Monday, May 31, 2010

Peanut Butter and Jelly Waffles

I thought these sounded different and delicious while looking through my Taste of Home magazine! I did make homemade jam to go on top!

Peanut Butter and Jelly Waffles- adapted from Taste of Home
1 1/4 cup flour
3 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 eggs, separated
1/3 cup peanut butter
1 1/4 cup milk
3 tbsp butter, melted

In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder and soda, and cinnamon. In another bowl, whisk together egg yolks, milk, butter, and peanut butter. Stir wet ingredients into the dry ones just until moistened. Whip egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold into batter. Place on heated waffle iron. Serve with jelly as syrup.

**These were quite tasty and a different take on waffles. The only problem I had was that my waffle maker decided to be finicky and stop in it wouldn't open or close! I didn't take a picture because they we not that exciting.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

I don't remember how I found this could be that I subscribe to the blog and get her updates, but I think another blog I frequent mentioned it. Either way, I found it and couldn't wait to try it. K's birthday was yesterday and he isn't usually a chocolate fan, but has lately been requesting choc/pb so I made this. It's cooking right now and smells wonderful...and its in the crock pot so no heating the house up!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake-shared from A Year of Slow Cooking
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar(divided)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp oil
1 cup boiling water
3 tbsp cocoa powder

Combine flour, powder, salt, and 1/2 cup sugar. Mix well. Soften peanut butter in microwave for 30 secs. Add to flour along with milk, vanilla, and oil. Stir well. Spread into bottom of greased slow cooker. Whisk together water, 1/2 cup sugar, and cocoa. Pour on top of batter. Cook on high for 2-4 hours until cake is cooked through.Start checking at 2 hours.

**I won't lie...I doubled this recipe. So we will see how long it takes to cook. It was delicous and so easy to make! Our dinner guest loved it and my mom did too. K couldn't really taste it due to his allergies, but rest assured it is good! Picture to come.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Homemade Strawberry Jam

So in preparation for cooking day and needing my freezer, I have been on a mission to clean it out. That meant I had to do something with 2 qts of strawberries. I also had on the menu pb and j waffles and I need jam for that! I also happen to have a box of pectin hanging out waiting to be used. Plus what is better than homemade jam and its EASY!

Homemade Strawberry Jam- from the SureJell box
1 pkg fruit pectin(I used surejell)
2 pints strawberries(2 cups crushed)
4 cups sugar
3/4 cup water

Wash, dry, and destem berries. Lightly crush with potato masher.(I did use frozen berries, I let them thaw and then crushed them). Mix berries with sugar and set aside for 10 mins. Stir occasionally.

Mix pectin and water together in a small sauce pan. Stir constantly while it comes to a boil and boil for 1 min. Remove from heat and add to strawberries. Mix for about 3 mins until sugar is dissolved, some crystals may still be around. Pour into containers within 1/8 in from the top, cover. Let cool for 24 hours. Store in freezer for up to 1 yr or in the fridge for 3 weeks.

**So far it has set up nicely...and I'm sure it tastes great, I'll let you know after breakfast tomorrow!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Rice Cooker Mac and Cheese

I can't remember where I found this recipe, but its the second time I've made it and been successful with it! So apparently if we want mac and cheese this will be the way its made, until I get brave enough to try a white sauce again...its just as easy to make as the "blue box" even K could handle it.

Rice Cooker Mac and Cheese
2 cups macaroni
2 cups broth
1/4-1/2 cup milk
2 cups shredded cheese
pepper to taste
dash of dry mustard

Place macaroni and broth in rice cooker. Turn cooker on. Check after 15 mins to make sure you have enough liquid(esp if using whole wheat pasta). Check doneness of mac after 20 mins. Once done, stir in cheese and allow to melt. Turn to warm. slowly add milk, careful not to add to much. Season with pepper and dry mustard.

Berry Baked Oatmeal

After a busy weekend and a Monday that has no nap, I had no snacks/breakfasts in the house. Usually I'll get to something over the weekend, but not this weekend. I wanted to switch up my regular oatmeal breakfast and use up some of my frozen fruit. Need to get the freezer cleaned out before we have a freezer cooking day. I've made this recipe twice within the last week...once I used the oven and once in the crockpot. I do like it better in the oven, its purely a texture thing for me though. I was not about to turn the oven on when it was 90+ degrees out!

Berry Baked Oatmeal- shared from Finding Joy In My Kitchen
1/2 cup applesauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 egg
1 cup milk
3 cups quick cook oats
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup frozen or fresh fruit(I used strawberries and blueberries)

Combine dry ingredients add in wet ingredients. Stir to combine. Fold in fruit. Place in a lightly greased 9x13 inch pan. Place in 350 degree oven for 40ish minutes until center is set.

Crock-pot method: Pour ingredients into greased crock pot. Turn on low for 4 hours or until center is set. I did put a towel over the crock pot between the lid and bowl the last hour to get some of the moisture out.

**Q absolutely loves this! That is why I had to make another batch he ate it all on me! I like it better in the oven because it dries it out a little more and you don't get the very dark edges like you do in the crock pot. The picture is from the crock pot version. I used a 5.5 qt crock pot.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Crockpot Boeuf Bourguignon

I had an unfortunate event that I had one extra cup of wine to use...I do not drink it. It's just not my thing...I prefer the girly drinks. Anyway, I came across this recipe a few months ago and I had everything on hand so I decided to toss it together for dinner! By the way, and I the only one who can't spell the title of this recipe, I have to thank SnoWhite as I copied it from her!

Crockpot Boeuf Bourguignon- shared from Finding Joy in my Kitchen
1-2 lbs stew beef, cubed
1 cup dry red wine
1 cup beef broth
4-5 carrots, cut into 1 inch chunks
1 onion, diced
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
8 tbsp bacon bits, or 6 strips of bacon, cooked/crumbled/drained
3 tbsp flour
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp thyme
1 bay leaf
1/2 lb frozen pearl onions(omitted)
1 lb white mushrooms, sliced(omitted)
1/2 tsp butter

Leave some of the bacon fat in pan after its been cooked. Brown stew meat. (If using real bacon bits, brown meat first then add in bits). Once browned transfer to crock pot. Add in onion, garlic, and carrots. Sprinkle with flour and seasonings. Stir to combine well. Add in broth, wine, and pearl onions. Stir. Cover and let cook for 6-8 hrs on low. 1 hour prior to eating, melt butter in pan and saute mushrooms. Once liquids have evaporated add to crock pot and continue cooking for one hour. Serve over rice.

**K and I really enjoyed this and we will make it again. It did remind us a lot of beef stew. Oh and watch out for the bay leaf.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Blueberry and Cheese Rolls

I apologize for the lack of new recipes. We had a busy weekend and no nap yesterday so recipe writing didn't make the list, but they are coming I promise!

This recipe I saw on Kraft originally. I was too lazy to look up the recipe on saturday morning so I just made it up. These remind me of a blueberry and cheese danish but not so sugary or fattening for you! I did pretty well with the recipe without looking at it! These come together quickly and taste delicious next time I'll double the recipe so I have leftovers.

Blueberry and Cheese  Rolls-
1 portion of crescent roll dough
4 oz cream cheese, softened(I used 1/3 less fat)
2 tbsp sugar(I used powdered)
1/2 cup blueberries(I did use frozen)

Mix together sugar and cream cheese. Roll out crescent dough into a rectangle if you can. Mine looked more like a circle. Cut into squares. Spread cheese on top and cover with blueberries. Fold up 2 corners and seal. Place on cookie sheet. Let rise for about 15 mins. Cook at 375 for 11-13 mins until golden brown.

**I'm sure the boys would have gobbled these up if I had actually made enough for them to have some. They LOVE blueberries. But I only got 4 out of my dough so K and I ate them while the boys had cereal.  I will admit that my cream cheese was not softened and I just whipped it using the electric mixer and it worked well.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

We had quite the busy weekend...Friday I had no internet, which meant I got none of the baking done I wanted too so I was up late getting that done( the peanut butter filled oreos were a hit!).

Saturday was unexpectedly busy...we went to the boys' pedi's office for a health and safety fair.  There is a reason for mentioning it other than it was fun to go too. One of the displays showed how much sugar are in popular soft drinks(gatorade, lemonade, soda, etc). K looked at the bottle and was surprised to see how much sugar was actually in it...he told the nurses he knew there was a lot but he visional surprised him. They served organic carrot sticks and organic cheerios with milk that both boys devoured. The final point...they had sugar laden hawaiian ices on the other side of the fair...and popcorn(sodium was something else they were trying to encourage to stay away from.

Ok so now that I've bored you with all those details here is the menu for the week!

My goal this week and next week is to empty out my freezer as much as possible as my good friend Amy and I are doing a once a month cooking day June 12 and I need my freezer for that! Half of the freezer contents are going to my brother in laws, its his bday gift! We have 16 meals(all doubled for a total of 32) in one day, needless to say my kids(and K) are being evicted!
-Leftover Bolognese Sauce
-Leftover Bouef Bouginon(recipe to come and i still can't spell it!)
-Honey Dijon Chicken Casserole
-Leftover Turkey Casserole(new recipe)

I also think it supposed to get pretty warm this week so I may grill some chicken. There is also a possible cook out this weekend for Memorial day with my family.

-some kind of muffin
-K requested granola, but made out of the granola bar recipe!
-Peanut Butter and Jelly Waffles
-Homemade strawberry Jelly(and I'm sure I'll have enough to even share with Amy!)

ok I think that may be it...who knows if I will even stay on the menu, but its more important I stay away from the store! We were able to save over $100 this month on groceries and hopefully next month will be even better esp with the huge cooking day.I keep having to go back to the store for kids seem to eat a lot of them and I need them for baking. I think we went through 4-5 dozen this month and we are only a family of four!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Homemade Bolognese Sauce

Well I learned a hard lesson yesterday as to why its not always a good thing to have ALL your recipes on line! I was planning to make oreos and start dinner and had NO INTERNET!! I decided to wing making dinner and only left out 2 ingredients, one I didn't even have on hand. Thankfully the internet decided to return. So it never fails to have some kind of adventure in the kitchen, K told me to make something else, but I had been thinking about this recipe all week. I also had just started the dishwasher and needed the shredder that was inside, so the carrots got chopped instead of grated.

Homemade Bolognese Sauce-shared from The Pioneer Woman
1/2 cup olive oil( I did not use this much)
1 1/2 cup shredded carrots
1 large red onion, chopped(I used white)
1 6 oz can tomato paste
1-2 lbs ground beef
2 tbsp dried oregano
2 tbsp dried basil leaves
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1-2 cups red wine
1 cup milk
2 28 oz cans of whole tomatoes

Heat oil in a large dutch oven or skillet. Add in carrots and onions and cook for a few minutes. Make a well in the center of the mixture and add in the ground beef. Cook for a few minutes until browned gradually working into the carrot mixture.

Throw in basil and oregano. Once combined with meat and veggies make another well for tomato paste. Let it heat through, add garlic and stir to combine.

Make another well and pour in wine. Stir to combine. Add Worcestershire and stir. Add in tomatoes and milk. Stir. Let simmer for 30 mins-2 hours. Serve over pasta(of your choice) and grated paremsan cheese.

**I did not have any tomato paste so this was a bit thinner than what it should have been. For some amazing pictures of the process make sure to check out Pioneer Woman...I'm not that talented in the picture making department. I am not sure that I have ever had a bolognese suace(we are tomato sauce people from a jar! I know the shame...) but this was really good for my first attempt. I did add some salt to the mixture as I felt it was needed and yes I burnt my tongue on it because I could not WAIT long enough for it to cool to try it. I may cut down the wine next time to 1 cup. We had the discussion of it reminding us of high school cafeteria food, but K reminded me that it was WAY better than that! It will definitely be made again. It does make quite a bit of sauce. It did thicken up after simmering on the stove for 2.5 hours!

Peanut Butter Frosting

I was supposed to make peanut butter truffle brownies for a graduation party tomorrow, but I was also making homemade oreos for the library bake sale. So instead of the brownies, I decided to double the recipe for the oreos and fill them with peanut butter frosting. Hopefully the grad won't be too disappointed...I know I wasn't!

Peanut Butter Frosting
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4-1/3 cup butter, softened
1 tbsp milk(possibly more)
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Cream together butter and peanut butter. Add in 1 tbsp milk and vanilla. Slowly add in sugar. May need to add in more milk 1-2 tsp at a time until desired consistancy. Spread between 2 cookies or over cake/cupcakes.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Baked Potato Soup

Well my father in law was coming over for dinner and it was rainy and cool out so a soup sounded great! Originally it was going to be Ham and Bean Chowder, except I didn't know it had beans...which I didn't have. I knew I had a bunch of potatoes to use up and everything else on hand, so baked potato soup it is!

Baked Potato Soup-adapted from Taste of Home
2/3 cup butter
2/3 cup flour
salt and pepper(although I tend to omit the salt)
2 cups chopped ham(or 1/2 lb bacon, cooked/crumbed/drained)
6 potatoes, baked, cubed
1 cup shredded cheese, plus more for garnish
1 cup sour cream
2 tbsp dry chives
3 cups chicken broth
3 cups milk

Melt butter in large saucepan. Add in flour, salt, and pepper. Whisk together. Cook for 1-2 mins until bubbly. Slowly add in milk/broth. Heat until boiling and thickened. Add in potatoes(I leave the skins on for texture, but you can remove them). Mash with a potato masher not completely but enough to thicken the soup, I leave some nice chunks. Stir in cheese, sour cream, and chives. Stir until cheese is melted, add in bacon/ham. Serve topped with cheese and bacon.

**This is the third or fourth time I made this recipe. K and I thought it was the best one I've yet to make. I had a beautiful white sauce, I only wish I could get it that way for mac and cheese. While I was making it, it reminded me of clam chowder and I would have made that if I had the ingredients on hand! I did ask K whether he preferred it with bacon or ham and he said they were both good and he would never turn down bacon...

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Deluxe Brownies

This is the second brownie recipe I have tried. It was pretty simple and easy.

Deluxe Brownies- shared from Hallee the Homemaker
5 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
2/3 cup butter
1 3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1  cup flour(I used whole wheat)
3 eggs
1 cup chopped nuts(optional)

Melt butter and chocolate in a small pan on the stove. Cool slightly.

In a large mixing bowl, combine eggs, sugar, and vanilla. Beat on high for 5 mins. Lower speed to low and add in chocolate mixture and beat for 2 mins. Add in flour until blended. Fold in nuts.

Place in greased and floured 9X9 pan(I used an 8 inch cake pan, because I don't own a square one!) Bake for 40-45 mins at 350 degrees until they start to pull away from the edge of the pan.

**I remember reading somewhere that instead of flouring the pan to use sugar that way you don't get the  flour on the outside of your baked good. So I tried it and it worked out wonderfully! Although I did have a little sugar crust on part of the brownie, but it did work! As for the father in law and my husband both liked them. The boys devoured them...I on the other hand thought they were ok. I think they will work for the peanut butter truffle brownies, but I'm still in search of the perfect recipe, its out there I know it. Maybe it's because I'm used to the store bought mix. The texture was pretty good, gooey, but perhaps I needed more sugar as I could taste the tartness of the chocolate still.

This recipe was shared at Finger Licking Friday!

Foccacia Hamburger Rolls

I found a new blog recently that I have fallen in love with. While looking around I came across a new hamburger bun recipe. So of course I had to try it!

Foccacia Hamburger Rolls- adapted from Sweet and Savory
2 1/4 tsp yeast( or 1 pkg)
1 cup lukewarm water
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour(or any flour)
2 tbsp olive oil, plus some for drizzling
parmesan cheese

Mix together yeast and water, set aside. Sift together salt and flour. Add to yeast and combine with oil. Kneed using dough hook for 5 mins until a ball forms. Place dough into covered greased bowl and let rise for 1 hr. Punch dough down and form into 4-6 balls. Form into roll shape. Press fingers lightly into dough to form dimples. Drizzle with oil, salt, and parmesan cheese. Cover with towel and let rise for at least 30 mins. Cook at 375 for 20-25 mins until golden brown.

**These were quite tasty and went well with the burgers. I was only able to get 4 rolls out of them, but I did proof the yeast wrong so that may have had something to do with it. I will make them again! I am on the search for a perfect roll...I like the softness of a store bought, but not sure if I will ever get it b/c im not using the yucky stuff they are!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Cantonese Chicken Burgers and Sweet and Sour Sauce

This is another recipe I came across while going through my Taste of Home magazines and these caught my eye for something a little different.

Cantonese Chicken Burgers- from Taste of Home
1 lb ground chicken(I used turkey)
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1 egg
1/3 cup dry breadcrumbs(I used whole wheat)
1/8 tsp garlic powder
2 tbsp grated carrot
1/4 cup chopped peanuts
2 tbsp sliced green onions

In a bowl, whisk together oil, soy sauce, and egg. Add in rest of the ingredients. Mix well until combined. Form into 4 patties. Grill uncovered for 8-10 mins on each side until juices run clear.

**Of course it started raining just as I was going out to grill. So I pulled out the George grill. K really loved them! I thought they were tasty, but the sauce made them. I have a love/hate relationship with sesame oil, but it actually worked well. The recipe called for plum sauce, which I didn't have so I quickly found a recipe for sweet and sour sauce. The peanuts added just a little crunch.

Sweet and Sour Sauce- Allrecipes
2/3 cup pineapple juice(may need 2 tbsp more)
3 tbsp brown sugar(plus more to taste)
2 tbsp ketchup
1/3 cup vinegar
1 tsp corn starch(may need 2 tsp more)
salt to taste

whisk together vinegar and cornstarch in medium size pan over med heat. Add in juice, ketchup, and sugar. Bring to a boil. *This is where I added more constarch/juice, I needed it to be thicker to go on top of the burger. Whisk the juice/cornstarch cold and add to hot mixture, cook until thickened.

**This was excellent! It reminded me of the La Choy Sweet and Sour sauce you buy at the store. It was quick and simple to make! I did add more sugar, as it was more sour than sweet.

Make sure to check out Whatcha' Cooking Wednesday?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Satay Noodle Salad

It was a nice summer day on Saturday and I wanted something refreshing for dinner. This recipe I've had for quite a while and have put it on our menu at least twice and it wasn't even on this week, but I knew I had everything to make it, so it was a spur of the moment dinner. You can add chicken to it, I made it without so the little boy that was here could have some as well.

Satay Noodle Salad- from Rachael Ray
1 lb spaghetti, cooked, cooled with water
1/3 cup peanut butter,softened
1/4 cup warm water
2 tbsp honey
1/2 cup tamari sauce(I used regular soy sauce)
juice of 2 limes(or 1/4 cup)
1 tsp hot sauce
1 clove garlic, grated(omitted)
2 tbsp oil
1 cup packed fresh spinach, thinly sliced(omitted)
3 carrots, grated
4 scallions, thinly sliced(omitted)
1/4 cup chopped peanuts

Whisk together peanut butter, honey, water, lime juice, hot sauce, garlic, and soy sauce. Pour in the oil in a steady stream while whisking continuously to combine. Add in noodles and veggies, toss to coat. Serve topped with peanuts.

**I did add more hot sauce to give it a little more kick. This came out wonderful and reminded me of a pad thai. I sat down to eat it and the 3 yr old and 2 yr old came running over, I had already fed them, but they wanted "noodles", so I gave them some and I've never seen them any anything so fast before! So they are also kid approved! This would be a great pot luck salad and you wouldn't have to worry about it spoiling at summer picnics. I also liked it warm as the sauce did get thick once it was completely cooled.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

I do have some new recipes coming...I haven't had a chance to type them up yet as we decided last minute to have a tag sale, so we've been busy. I veered a bit off the menu last week...that is just part of life, something comes up!

-Peanut butter and jelly waffles
-Blueberry and cheese Rolls

I think I'm also going to make homemade oreos for the bake sale at the library this weekend. We are also attending a college graduation and I'll be making peanut butter truffle brownies.

-Cantonese chicken burgers
-Black Bean Burrito Bake
-Ham Chowder(If it will be cool enough)
-Homemade Bolognese Sauce and pasta
-Mustard Roasted Chicken and some kind of potatoes...
-Sweet and Sour Chicken Cups

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Buffalo Chicken Pot Pie

This was not on the menu this week. Actually half of the stuff I've made this week wasn't on the list, but I didn't have to go to the store so it still worked. I'm still tweaking monthly meal planning. I was supposed to make buffalo chicken pizza, but I made a pizza last night so I didn't want pizza again. I had put buffalo chicken lasagna on the menu, but I was not in the mood for that either. So while driving home from the park, I thought of this recipe and that was ALL I I had to use up my celery.

Buffalo Chicken Pot Pie-adapted from Rachael Ray
1 lb chicken, cut into pieces
3 carrots, sliced
1 onion, diced
3-4 stalks celery, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced(which I forgot)
2 tbsp olive oil, divided
4 tbsp butter
4 tbsp flour
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/4-1/3 cup hot sauce(more if you want it spicier)
recipe for corn bread
1 cup blue cheese crumbles

Place oil in pan and brown chicken. Remove chicken and keep warm. Place 1 tbsp olive oil in pan and saute veggies with garlic until tender. Melt in butter. Add in flour and cook for 2-3 mins. Slowly whisk in chicken broth and hot sauce. Bring to a boil and simmer until thickened. Add in chicken. Stir and place into 9x13 casserole dish.

Mix together ingredients for corn bread. Fold in blue cheese. Scoop batter over chicken mix and place in 350 degree oven for 20-30 mins until cornbread is cooked through.

**I love this dish and it is delicious! K and I both enjoy it, the boys not so much as it is too spicy for them.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Homemade Graham Cracker Crumbs

I needed graham cracker crumbs for the Smore Muffins. I had made graham crackers over the weekend, but they did not come out dry/crunchy like a store bought cracker would be. So I decided to experiment a little bit and was successful in drying them out and getting crumbs!

Graham Cracker Crumbs
1 recipe for homemade graham crackers
cookie sheet with sides

Break up the graham crackers into small pieces. Spread on cookie sheet. Place in oven at 250 and cook for about 20 mins stirring after 10.

*I started with a low oven as I didn't want to burn them. Perhaps you can increase the temp and they wouldn't need to cook as long. But I figured slow and steady would be best for experimenting. They still had a soft texture to them, but once they cooled they were perfectly crispy and crushed beautifully. I think if you were to cook the graham crackers longer in the original recipe they would become dryer. I think you want more of the color than the texture.

Smore Muffins

My dear friend, Amy, post this recipe on her blog a few days ago. I immediately went to check it out and see if I had the ingredients. Luckily, I did. This is all I have been thinking about since she posted it...I finally made them today and they are a keeper! Thanks Amy! I did make a couple of changes, but they are still wonderful!

Smore Muffins- adapted from A Foodie Fairytale
4 tbsp butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup applesauce
2/3 cup light sour cream
1 1/3 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup milk
2/3 cup chocolate chips
mini marshmallows

Cream together butter and sugars. Add in applesauce and sour cream. Combine dry ingredients. Add into cream mixture and slowly add in milk. Mix until well combined. Batter will be thick. Fold in chocolate chips.

Place 1 tbsp batter in the bottom of muffin tins that have been greased. Place 4-5 marshmallows on top and cover with more batter. Place in 400 degree oven for 12-15 mins until toothpick comes clean.

 I had 12 regular muffins and 6 mini muffins. By the way, do you know what to do if you don't have enough batter for the muffin pan? Fill the empty ones with water. This keeps it from burning and allows for even cooking.

**These were fantastic! I love the chewiness of the marshmallow and even the crunchiness of the graham crackers!

Check out Meal Planning with Connie for more tasty recipes!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Bacon, Cheese, and Tomato Crescents

I was recently going through all my recipe magazines and came across this one. It is quick and simple!

Bacon, Cheese, and Tomato Crescents- adapted from Kraft
1  homemade crescent rolls dough(1 portion)
1/2 lb bacon, browned, crumbled
4 oz softened cream cheese
1-2 tomatoes, deseeded, chopped
1 red pepper, finely chopped(omitted)
Shredded cheese

Roll dough out into 1/4 inch thick circle. Cut into triangles. Spread each triangle with cream cheese, top with tomatoes, bacon, and cheese. Starting at the long end, roll up. Let rise for 20-30 mins until doubled. Place in 375 degree oven for 12-15 mins.

**These were just ok...K and Q loved them. I thought they needed more flavor. K said I should add bacon or something, apparently he didn't get any bacon in the 2 bites he had taken. I felt like ranch would have been better than the cream cheese.

The Versatile Blogger Award

Versatile Blogger Award
Here is yet another award! Thanks to Valerie from Sex, Food, and Rock & Roll. I stumbled upon her blog one day while reading a comment she left on another blog. She wrote she was from Western Massachusetts so it peeked my interest. I don't see many local blogs and I was excited to see her blog! I admit, I haven't had much time to check out the rest of her blog, but her recipes sound wonderful so far! I apologize also for the comment leaving errors.

The rules of the award are:
1. Thank the person who gave you the award
2. Share seven things about you.
3. Nominate 15 newly discovered blogs that you think are fantastic
4. Let your nominees know about the award.

So let's see seven things about me...
1. I felt the awful effects of eating out this past week...even K agreed. I guess this is what happens when you give up processed/fast foods.
2. I almost killed my garden...and its not even in the ground yet. Hopefully they will be ok.
3.I did NOT cook on Mother's Day, we went out and well that leads up to #1. K was informed he is in charge next year!
4. I really can NOT make a mac and cheese recipe or a broccoli and cheese soup. I really wish I didn't like them both so much.
5. I have been reading more than watching t.v. lately...which is a good thing. It's about that time for reruns again.
6. Would like to someday be able to make mac and cheese and broccoli cheese soup successfully!
7. We have been trying out menu planning a month a time...I have some kinks to work out, but seems to be working well so far!

I am not sure that I have discovered 15 new blogs, but I have found some new ones!
1. Angie's Healthy Living Blog (she is fairly new to my blog roll)
2. Cottage Sisters (delicious homemade enchilada sauce)
3.Debbi Does Dinner...Healthy and Low Calorie
4. Eats Well with Others
5. Enjoying the Small Things (she is absolutely beautiful photographer and writer)
6. Recipes from the Cookie Jar
7. Siggy Spice
8. Sweet and Savory

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Menu Plan Monday- May 10

-Strawberry Cheese Cake Pancakes
-Graham Crackers
-Whole Wheat Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
-some kind of bread, pita, or bagel for sandwiches

-Spinach and Blue Cheese Calzones
-Bacon, Cheese, Tomato on homemade crescent rolls
-Black Bean Burrito Bake
I think there was one more item...but can't remember what it was now!

I think I will also experiment with brownies, I had a request to make peanut butter truffle brownies for a graduation party so i need to find a good brownie recipe first!

Homemade Graham Crackers

I have had this recipe I think for MONTHS and have been meaning to make them for a while. So I finally got to it yesterday. I can't recall where the recipe came from though.

Homemade Graham Crackers
3/4 cup whole wheat flour or graham flour
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup butter(or shortening),cold and cut into small pieces
3 tbsp water
1/4 cup honey, warmed

Combine dry ingredients, cut in butter. Stir in honey and water. Blend well. Roll out dough onto cookie sheet until its 1/4" thick. Prick with fork.  Repeat with remaining dough. Place in 375 degree oven for 8-10 mins until golden brown. Remove from the oven and cut into squares.

**These came out delicious and were very simple to make. They are not dry like a store bought cracker, they reminded me of a hermit cookie. I did not alter the recipe at all as I have never made an attempt at these before, but next time I'll try to use more whole wheat flour.

I was successful in making graham cracker crumbs!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Strawberry Cheesecake Pancakes

Well that is a mouthful for a pretty easy recipe! I woke up with not much breakfast type food in the house. I really wanted pancakes, but not the plain ol' pancakes I always make. I also knew we had waffles twice this week. I remember seeing a recipe for blueberry cheesecake flapjacks, except I wanted to use my strawberries before they went bad. This worked out very well.

Strawberry Cheesecake Pancakes-adapted from Taste of Home
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg
1 cup of water+4 tbsp dry buttermilk(or 1 cup buttermilk)
2 tbsp oil(I used applesauce
Cheesecake filling:
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1-6 oz cup vanilla yogurt(or 3/4 cup whipped topping)
2 cups chopped strawberries
2 tbsp sugar

Mix together sugar and strawberries and set aside. Combine yogurt(or whipped topping) and cream cheese.

Combine and sift together dry ingredients for pancakes. Add in wet ingredients and stir until mixed well. Place batter on hot griddle, flip when bubbles form and cook until golden brown. Cool pancakes slightly.

Once cooled, cover each pancake with cream cheese mixture and 1 tbsp of strawberries and stack. Serve to your favorite guests....or your family!

**These were really good and hit the spot perfectly. The original recipe also has graham cracker crumbs in the batter, but I was out of graham crackers. K's said they were really good(although I'm pretty sure he said something else, but now he is going to argue with me about it) so we will just leave it as they were good. It was a good thing I doubled the recipe as he had 2 servings!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Tex-Mex Cheese Steaks

I stumbled on this recipe in the Rachel Ray magazine as I was sorting through them. I love cheesesteak and love to change up recipes. This was very simple and quick!

Tex-Mex Cheese Steaks-Rachel Ray
1 lb shaved steak
olive oil
1 onion, slice
1-2 sweet peppers,sliced(I used 1 yellow, 1 red)
chili powder to taste
salt, to taste
1-2 avocados
2-4 rolls(I used homemade italian bread shaped into sandwich rolls)
shredded cheese

Place some oil in the bottom of the pan. Place onions and peppers into the pan and saute for about 5 mins. Add in steak, sprinkle with salt and chili powder. Cook until steak is cooked through. Sprinkle with cheese and allow to melt.

Slice rolls and toast. Spread half an avocado over bottom of roll. Top with steak mixture. Cover with top bun and serve.

**These were excellent! I was waiting for K to complain about the avocado, but he didn't. It was a nice change from your ordinary cheese steak. K said they were delicious. The boys had eggs and leftover waffles, they are not avocado or steak fans.

Ham and Cheddar Waffles

We had this recipe before and I LOVED it the first time. The cheese gets crunchy and its a delicious way to enjoy a waffle. This time I had one apple that I needed to use so I shredded that up and added it in.

I apparently need a cooking break this week...although I know I won't get one. I've had numerous recipes so not work out for me. It could be that I try to do too much at one time. First it was the mac and cheese(while it was delicious it was not a creamy mac and cheese), then it was the egg biscuit cups, and now the first waffle I made separated and stuck(despite it being non-stick and I greased the griddle.)Little did I know that my "little helper" changed the setting so it didn't cook long enough. Oh I've also made dinner twice and not eat it because I wasn't feeling well and it just didn't seem appetizing...but see you can't always have great days/weeks I suppose.

Ham and Cheddar Waffles-All You magazine
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups milk
1 large egg, beaten
4 tbsp butter, melted and cooled(I used half applesauce)
2 oz thinly sliced ham, chopped
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Whisk together dry ingredients. Stir in egg, milk, and butter until combined. Fold in ham and cheese. Place batter in waffle iron and cook according to the directions. *I have a Belgian waffle maker and I doubled the recipe and only had 6 waffles....this was also on the highest setting and let it cook a little longer as they seem to need the extra time to cook.

**You could easily leave the ham out and use apple instead. I also would like to try it with turkey. Q and A really loved them.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Egg Biscuit Cups

These have been on my list to make for a while...I always seem to overshoot my menu and somethings just have to wait. I finally got to make them...and I messed up the recipe! I really should just try to do one thing at a time instead of 3. They still worked though.

Egg Biscuit Cups-adapted from A Foodie Fairytale
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup cold butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup milk
1 egg, beaten

Mix together dry ingredeints. Cut in butter until crumbly. Stir in milk and egg until soft dough forms. Kneed a couple times and let rest for a few minutes.

6-8 eggs
3 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 cups shredded cheese
1 lb bacon or sausage(I actually used red pepper, onion, and garlic, sauted)

Whisk together eggs and milk. Stir in cream cheese. Add in other ingredients.

Press dough into muffin cups(you will need 2 dozen) that have been WELL GREASED! Bake in 400 degree oven for 3 mins. Remove cups and fill with filling. Place back into oven and cook for 12-15 mins until eggs are set.

**My dough did rise in the cups, so they didn't leave much room for the filling, but I made do. It could have been because I added the milk and egg before I got the butter cut in. I ended up melting the butter and adding it to the dough. They stuck. I mean REALLY stuck to my reg. muffin pan that yes I did grease(even though I was thinking I shouldn't have to with a stick of butter in them). These were just ok to me...I'm sure the bacon/sausage would have added a bunch more flavor, but the sausage I had cooked up I decided I didn't like, so vegetarian it became! I do know that Amy, who I borrowed the recipe from really liked them!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Honey Lime Enchiladas

I can't remember where this recipe came from, it's not new to us, but it is very good! This time I made it with homemade enchilada sauce.

Honey Lime Enchiladas
1 lb chicken, cooked, shredded
1-2 limes, zested and juiced
6 tbsp honey
1 tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
8-10 flour tortillas
1 lb chedder cheese, shredded
1 1/2 cups enchilada sauce
1 1/4 cup cream(omitted)

Place chicken, honey, lime juice/zest, and spices in a bowl. Let marinate for at least a half hour.

Spread about a 1/2 cup of sauce on the bottom of 9x13 casserole dish. Lay 1-2 tortillas down on plate(or counter). Scoop 2 tbsp of chicken mixture down center, dribble with sauce, top with cheese, and roll. Place seem side down in casserole dish until all filling/tortillas are used. Cover enchiladas with more sauce and top with cheese. Place in 350 degree oven for 20 mins until heated through and bubbly.

**I know these will be delicious! I love the combo of lime and honey....and I also know these will be very spicey! The sauce is spicy, so I know A &Q won't be partaking in this dinner tonight!

Homemade Enchilada Sauce

I needed some enchilada sauce for dinner this week. Normally, I just buy a can, but I happen to have found a recipe for homemade sauce. It seemed pretty easy to make and did not have complicated ingredients. Although, I was trying to do to many things at one time, so I of course messed up the recipe. I don't think it hurt the recipe any, but always make sure to read the recipe through and know what you are supposed to do before you do it!

Homemade Enchilada Sauce-shared from Cottage Sisters
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 jalepeno, diced(or 1 4 oz can diced green chilies)
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tbsp sugar
1 6 oz can tomato paste
2 tbsp garlic salt(I used garlic powder)
1/4 cup flour
3/4 cup water
3 cups broth(I used veggie)

Place onion and pepper into food processor and run until minced. Place oil and pepper/onion mix into pan and cook until softened about 5 mins. Add in paste, flour, chili powder, garlic, sugar, 1 tbsp garlic powder, cumin. Cook until completely mixed together. Add in water and broth. (The original recipe says that it will be thick at this point, so bring to a boil and let simmer for 5-8 mins until thinned out).I on the other hand, add liquids in with the paste/spices, so I had a very thin "broth". So I let it simmer for 20 mins until it thickened. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside to cool.

**So far it smells amazing!

Monday, May 3, 2010

BLT Pasta

For anyone who lives in New England knows how hot it was yesterday...we peaked at 92 and it was very humid. Today was still humid and gross out so I knew I didn't want to eat anything heavy. I decided at the last moment to make this as K was actually going to be home for dinner. I saw this originally on a blog...sorry I can't remember whose it was, but its a Rachael Ray recipe so I followed that one.

BLT Pasta- adapted from Rachael Ray
1/2 lb angel hair
1/2 lb bacon, cooked/drained/crumbed
1 pt cherry or grape tomatoes
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup parmasan cheese, grated
1 tbsp basil, dried
1 pinch of crushed red pepper
1 head romaine lettuce, washed and shredded
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Start water to boil for pasta.

Save about 2 tbsp of bacon grease after draining bacon and add in bread crumbs. Stir them around so they are nicely coated. Toast until golden brown. Turn off and remove from heat. Add in parm cheese and stir.

Place onion in 1 tbsp olive oil and cook until soft. Add in garlic, red pepper, and tomatoes, season with salt and pepper. Cover pan and allow to cook until tomatoes start to burst(about 3-4 mins). Lightly smash tomatoes, add in basil, and stir. Once you add the pasta to the water, add lettuce to the tomatoes and allow to wilt.

Drain pasta and add tomato mixture. Stir in bacon. I added a little olive oil here to to keep it loose.(1-2 tbsp) Stir. Place on plate and top with breadcrumb mixture.

**This was the perfect hot weather dish. It was light and tasted wonderful! We both really liked it. We ate all of it...this could easily be doubled or tripled and brought to a bbq or potluck. You may want to keep the lettuce to the side. The original recipe did call for arugula so you can go ahead and use that if you use.

Menu Plan Monday-May 3

Sorry this is late...we had a busy weekend. One that involved buying veggie plants and dirt. I still need more dirt for my garden. Also K, threw a curve ball at me this week and won't be home 4 nights this week so it seems I making dinner for mostly myself as the boys can be hit or miss some days! We are also headed to K's parents for dinner on Tuesday and a cookout at my mom's sunday (although she doesn't know that yet!)
I also seemed to have managed to get a month's worth of groceries for $170 this week so let's see how long I last until I MUST go to the store. I'm hoping I stocked up enough so I won't have too, except for milk. This will be a challenge and the first month I'm doing it.

-Egg Biscuit Cups
-Lemon Poppy Seed Waffles
-Coconut Pecan Waffles(we had over the weekend)
-graham crackers

-Blt Pasta
-Tex-Mex Cheesesteaks
-Honey Lime Enchiladas with homemade enchilada sauce
-Bacon Tomato Cheese Crescents

*I also volunteered myself to make a cookie cake for a graduation party we are attending on Saturday.

For more menu ideas check out orgjunkie

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Coconut Pecan Waffles

A has been begging me for waffles so I decided to finally make him some. His did not have pecans or coconut in it as he was sharing with Q, it did have sprinkles and coconut extract in it!

Coconut Pecan Waffles-Taste of Home
2 cups biscuit mix*
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 tsp coconut extract
1 cup club soda
1/2 cup flaked coconut, toasted
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted
1/4 cup applesauce

Mix together all ingredients. Place batter into waffle iron and cook until done.

*I had one cup of bisquick left and will no longer stock it, so I used the recipe on the back of the buttermilk container. 1 cup whole wheat flour, 1 tbsp sugar, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp salt.

**I didn't toast the coconut or pecans, I didn't realize that they needed to be toasted. They still tasted great, but the flavor would be even better if they were toasted. There is no picture because I forgot to take one just as I was eating the last bite!

This recipe was shared at Finger Licking Friday