Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Salisbury Steak

One of my friends on Facebook stated she was making this for her husband for dinner. This is something I've never made and haven't had for a very long time. The last time I had it it was a frozen entree and I'm pretty sure that this was way better than what I remember. I can't exactly remember what the "frozen" entree tasted like or even if this came close, but regardless it was quick, easy, and delicious!

Salisbury Steak-shared from Michelle
1-1 1/2  lb hamburger
1 onion, diced
2 cups(or more) cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 egg slightly beaten
1/3 cup water

Mix together meat, onion, one cup mushroom soup, spices, and egg. Form into thin patties, place in 9x13 baking dish. Bake at 350 for 20 mins. Mix together 1 cup soup and water. Pour over patties and cook for another 10 mins(you may decide you want more gravy so feel free to use more soup).

These were very tasty and moist! YUM! Thanks for the recipe Michelle!

Tasty Tuesday-8/31

Patty Melts-The Newlyweds
Apple Brown Betty Muffins-Eat at Home
Copycat KFC Buttermilk Biscuits-Tried and True Cooking
Mini Chicken Alfredo Pie-Pillsbury
Pineapple Black Bean Enchiladas-Pillsbury
Coconut Fudge Bars-Kraftfoods
Maple Oat Bread-One Frugal Foodie
Baked CLub Pinwheels-What's for dinner?
Laura's Maple Cakes-Cutting Coupons in KC via Finding Joy in my Kitchen
Breakfast on a Stick-A Beautiful Mess via Finding Joy in my Kitchen
Oatmeal Breakfast Bars-At Home with Haley via Finding Joy in my Kitchen
Cinnamon Roll Pancakes-At Home with Haley
Chocolate Swirl Banana Nut Bread-At Home with Haley
Chocolate Graham Crackers-Heavenly Homemakers
Whole Wheat Sourdough Biscuits-Heavenly Homemakers
Maple Choc. Chip Pancake Muffins-Diary of Recipe Addict

Monday, August 30, 2010

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

I managed to only snag one picture of the whoopie pies...I forgot to take a picture before I brought them to the picnic. I had left one here for K, he has yet to have one! These were gone in no time!

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies-shared from What Megan's Making
1 stick butter, melted
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 2/3 cups flour
1/2 stick butter, softened
4 oz cream cheese, chilled(although mine was softened)
1 cup powdered sugar
2 pinches of salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
a few shakes of cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter and brown sugar until smooth. Whisk in eggs,pumpkin, spices, 1 tsp vanilla, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Using a rubber spatula fold in flour.

Drop dough into small mounds of batter, evenly spaced.(I used my small dough scooper). Bake until springy to the touch about 10 mins. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.(The recipe does say to line the baking sheet with parchement paper, but I had non-stick pans so I didn't need to)

For the icing; cream the butter and cream cheese together. Add in teh sugar, salt, vanilla, and cinnamon. Mix on low until blended, then beat on high until fluffy, about 2 mins.

Spread the flat side of the cake with icing and top with another cookie.

**These were really good and not to difficult to make! I should have subbed half applesauce half butter in the cake recipe but i wasn't even thinking about it at the time! The cakes were really moist...I wasn't sure how I felt about the icing. I had one this past fall and the filling was delicious, this wasn't it but it worked well. Next time I will flatten the cakes a little more before baking so they are a bit flatter vs. the rounded cake. They did not spread out at all.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

There is probably nothing too exciting or new on this menu...its the end of the month and after cooking a freezer full of food for my brother in laws last week that didn't leave me with much food left for us! I'll need to get to the farm stand for some fruits and veggies as I don't even have an onion in the house! I think we are leaving Sunday to camping for the night so I'll probably bring something to share and inevitably it will take me ALL week to decide! Suggestions welcomed!

-Donut Muffins:I suggested them to someone at church today so I think I'll make a batch to bring on sunday and the recipe!
-Homemade McGriddles
-Pumpkin Muffins or pancakes

-Steak, Baked Potato, and Broccoli with cheese
-Mac and Cheese and cucumbers
-Sesame Chicken with....something
-Creamy Sausage, Peppers, and Onions
-Blts and cucumbers
-Turkey Patty Melts....although maybe ill bring these camping!(we shall see how the week goes!)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Lentil Sloppy Joes(Casserole)

I've never cooked lentils before...heck I've never even eaten them before! I've seen this recipe on a couple of blogs and have had it on my menu for at least 2 weeks now. I finally got around to making them! While I was making them for my brother in laws, I decided to make it into sloppy Joe Casserole.

I kinda followed Debbi's suggestion but also looked at the original recipe. I found it still to be very vinergary/ketchupy so I added more brown sugar and bbq sauce. So season to your taste...although next time I might try my version of Sloppy Joes and just add in more water.

Lentil Sloppy Joes-shared from Debbi Does Dinner Healthy
1 onion, diced
1 red or green pepper, diced
2 stalks celery, sliced(omitted)
1/2 tsp oregano
1 cup lentils, rinsed
1 cup ketchup
1 1/2 cups water(may need more)
Bbq sauce to taste
1/4 cup red whine vinegar
2 tbsp brown sugar(more or less to taste)
1/4 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp black pepper

Saute onions and peppers for about 5 mins. Add in water, ketchup, bbq sauce, sugar, spices, and lentils. Stir and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 30 mins until lentils are done and hold their round shape(whatever that means!). Serve on whole wheat rolls.

**So for this being my first attempt at these....they took over 2 hours and at least another cup of water before I was satisfied with the texture of them. I have no idea how they are supposed to be, but after consulting with a couple friends they told me they don't cook as soft as beans and they tend to have a bite to them. I'm not sure if I did something wrong or not, but hopefully you won't have to wait that LONG!

The taste was pretty good too and not bad in the texture department. This has been approved by K. He did like them...other than the lentils being crunchy. For another way to make them check out Michelle's version over at All Home Cooking.All Year Long, I will be trying them this way next time!

*This has been linked to Finding Joy in My Kitchen

Friday, August 27, 2010

Pepperoni Pizza Puffs

I stumbled on these last week and thought they'd be perfect to freeze for my brother in laws. I whipped up a double batch today. They were very quick and easy to make....the most time consuming was probably shredding the cheese. Even though I doubled the recipe I do not think I doubled pepperoni...I  may have doubled the cheese. I just used a whole 8 oz block! These are also kid friendly and a great appetizer! They don't even need sauce to dunk them in!

Pepperoni Pizza Puffs-shared from Crazy Jamie's Blog
3/4 cup ap flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp dried oregano
3/4 cup milk
1 egg, beaten
1 cup shredded mozzerella cheese
1 cup diced pepperoni

Whisk together flour, baking powder, and oregano. Stir in milk and egg. Fold in cheese and pepperoni until mixed in well. Set aside for 10 mins. Meanwhile lightly grease a mini muffin pan. Scoop batter into pan and bake at 375 for 20-25 mins or until golden brown.

**These were delicious! They were light and airy and the cheese made them crunchy on top! They do taste just like a pizza...in a muffin!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Banana Bread-The Deceptively Delicious Way!

Now that I have all these purees in my freezer, I need to use them up! Nevermind that I have 2 bunches of very ripe bananas to use, so I decided to try this recipe!

Banana Bread-shared from Deceptively Delicous
1/2 cup ap flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon(optional)
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup applesauce(or oil)
2 large egg whites
1 1/2 cups banana puree
1/2 cup cauliflower puree
1 tsp vanilla

Mix together dry ingredients and put aside. Combine purees, egg white, applesauce, sugar, and vanilla. Mix well. Add in flour and mix until combined. Place in loaf pan(may need to grease it). Cook for 55-60 mins in 350 degree oven.

**This was ok...it seemed very dense and not very thick. Q devoured it...honestly I wrapped it up, froze it, and sent it to my brother in laws!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Cream of ....Soup Take 2

I wanted to try out a Salisbury steak recipe that a friend on Facebook shared...but I needed 2 cans of mushroom soup, which we no longer consume. I knew I already had a recipe on here except it calls for butter and I am all out. So I quickly checked another recipe and found one without needing butter! YAY! I liked the way this one came together and it was much thicker and more "condensed" soup like. It was very simple as well!

This is my version of Cream of Mushroom, but the link will tell you how to do cream of chicken(or just leave out the mushrooms). You can also adapt it to make cream of celery or broccoli.

This makes approximately 2 cans worth of soup.

Cream of Mushroom Soup-adapted from Tammy's Recipes
1 container mushrooms, chopped fine(I used baby bellas)
1 tsp olive oil
2 tsp minced garlic
1 1/2 cups broth(I used veggie)
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
dash of paprika
dash of onion powder
3/4 cup flour

Place oil in pan over medium heat. Once hot, add in mushrooms and cook for 5 mins until soft. Add in broth, 1/2 cup milk, seasonings, and garlic. Bring to a boil. Whisk together rest of the milk and flour until smooth. Slowly add into broth mixture while whisking briskly until thick and smooth.

**This came together very quickly and thickened right up! It smells delicious too! It worked well in my recipe I just had to add some salt, but other than that it was excellent!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Hot Chocolate Snowballs

I've been in a cookie mood lately...I did make smore cookies last week but I froze half of them for my brother in laws. So what we had left were gone pretty quick! I'm meeting with some friends tomorrow and decided I wanted to make some cookies for them. I of course couldn't decide what kind, so I checked my Tasty Tuesday's posts and decided on this one! It was definitely a good choice and I hope they enjoy them as well! These came together very quick!

Hot Chocolate Snowballs-shared from Alli'n'son
2/3 cup butter, softened
3 oz cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup hot chocolate(I used Swiss Miss)
1/3 cup powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup finely chopped pecans(omitted)
additional powdered sugar for rolling

Cream together butter, cream cheese, hot choc mix, and powdered sugar until smooth. Add in vanilla and beat. Sift together salt and flour, slowly incorporate into choc. mix until well combined. Beat in pecans if using.

Place dough in fridge and chill for 1 hr. Roll dough into 1 inch balls and place 1 inche apart on cookie sheet. Bake for 15-18 mins at 350 degrees or until firm. Remove from oven and cool slightly. Roll in sugar while still warm.

**These were really good...they reminded me of chocolate cheesecake cookies and I'm sure it would be even better if I used all 3 oz of cream cheese(I had 2 oz to use up and didn't want to open another pkg). They melted in your mouth and were soft! TASTY!

Tasty Tuesday-8/24

Guava Cheese Turnovers-The Newlyweds(if i can find Guava Paste)
Pepperoni Pizza Puffs-Crazy Jamie's Blog
Roasted Corn, Potato, and Chipotle Chowder-Andrea the Kitchen Witch
Pizza Hut Style Breadsticks-Food.com(by way of Tiny Blessings)
Peach Wine Coolers-Crazy Jamie's Blog
Maple Dinner Rolls-All Home Cooking.All Year Long
Nutella Gooey Butter Cookies-What's for dinner?
Eggplant and Mozzerella Melts-Cooking Claire(for the girl who has never had eggplant...and once its ready in my garden!)
Homemade McGriddles-from Hoosier Homemade
P.F. Chang's Lettuce Wraps-crazy Jamie's blog
Crock pot Indian Curry-A year of slow cooking  (via $5dinners)
Homemade French dressing-Heavenly Homemakers

Monday, August 23, 2010

Mexican Coucous Dinner

I tried coucous once...and I didn't think I was a fan of it. But I found this recipe last week and it sounded wonderful so I am giving it another shot! For some reason I couldn't find any plain couscous at the grocery store, but I was at a bulk place today and they had it! (I then of course had to go find out how to cook it!)

Mexican Couscous Dinner-shared from The Sweets Life
2 cups coucous
2 1/2 cups water
1 tbsp olive oil
4 cups bean(calls for black, but I'll be using red)
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp cumin
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped(omitted)
2 ears of corn, cooked and removed from cob
1 avocado, diced
1 tomato, diced

To cook couscous: Bring water to a boil, add in coucous, stir, and cover with dishcloth for 5 mins.

Place olive oil in pan over medium heat. Add garlic and spices saute for 1-2 mins. Pour in beans and cook until heated through. Add in cilantro, stir.

Place couscous in bowl, top with beans, corn, tomatoes, and avocado. Sprinkle with lime juice

**Ok something happened with the couscous...I did not have 2 cups of couscous more like 1 3/4 but it still worked out fine. I was afraid I had too much water, but perhaps because it was whole wheat it was fine? I'd do your own research or get a container/box with instructions on it!

This was pretty tasty...and QUITE filling! We both decided though that we aren't fans of avocado...its a texture thing! We took the leftovers and made it into a soup! YUM! sorry about the picture...its not the best!

*This has been linked to Finding Joy in my Kitchen

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

This week we have a lot of food on the menu...why? Because I'm cooking extra for my brother in laws! See I owe him his birthday present...which was in MAY!! OOPS! And he changed the oil in our car, and K asked if he wanted money or food, he choose food! So that is why there is quite a bit of influx this week...that wasn't exactly planned last week! Some of this I did make over the weekend!

We also have a church picnic to attend on Sunday, so I think I'll try my hand at making Smore Whoopie pies...or pumpkin whoppie pies, I haven't decided yet!

-Peaches and Cream Muffins
-Cinnamon Swirl Bread
-French Toast(from cinnamon swirl bread)
-Banana Bread
-Smores Cookies

-Homemade Salisbury Steak,mashed potatoes, summer squash
-Homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup(for the steak)
-Beer Braised Beef, egg noodles, cukes
-Pepperoni Pizza Puffs
-Pizza-haven't decided what kind...still!
-Tex-Mex Chicken and Dumplings
-Mexican Coucous Dinner
-Ravioli Lasagna
-Pancakes-not sure on the kind yet
-Lentil Sloppy Joe Casserole

Peaches and Cream Muffins

I had some things I needed to use up in a hurry...peaches and sour cream. So I found this recipe to try out! I am in the process of making food for my brother in laws...I owe him his birthday present I believe still which was in May! OOPS!

So anyway, on to the recipe! This was very quick and simple to come together, the longest part was really chopping the peaches and I did leave the skins on.

Peaches and Cream Muffins-adapted from Taste of Home
1 1/2 cups flour(I used half wheat/half ap)
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup applesauce
1/2 cup sour cream or milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup fresh or frozen peaches, thawed, chopped

Mix together dry ingredients. Add in wet ingredients and stir to combine. (This was a pretty thick batter, so I added the peaches to help move it along) Place in prepared muffin tin. Bake for 15-20 mins until golden brown and cooked through.*The recipe says it makes 10 muffins, I got 12 plus a heart shaped ramekin that was equal to 2 more muffins!

**These were approved by my 3 yr old so they must be good!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

This has been on my list of "to try" for a while now...apparently since April when Terra posted it on her blog! We decided to have breakfast for dinner so I made this bread to have french toast with. We very rarely have a morning where we are all home so we don't get big, delicious breakfasts very often!

It was pretty simple to put together considering you use a bread machine...although my dough rised right out of the pan and well into the window, thankfully I wasn't baking it in there!

Cinnamon Swirl Bread-shared from Barefoot ConTerra
1 cup warm milk
1/4 cup warm water
1/4 cup butter, softened,cubed
2 eggs
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
5 cups bread flour
2 1/4 tsp yeast

1/2 cup brown sugar
3 tbsp butter, melted
1 tsp cinnamon

Mix together for filling.

Glaze:(which I won't be doing)
1 cup powdered sugar
4 tsp milk
1/2 tsp vanilla

In bread machine pan, put in ingredients according to machine's directions. Set to dough and press start. Check dough about 5 mins in to make sure you don't need extra flour or water.

Once dough is done, turn dough out onto floured surface and divide in half. Roll one half out into a 10x8 rectangle.(I admit, I did not measure it!) Spread half of the mixture over the dough and roll up jelly roll style, seal ends and place seam side down in greased loaf pan. Repeat with second piece of dough. Cover and let rise 1 hr or until doubled in size.

Place in 350 degree oven for 25 mins. Cover with foil and bake for 5-10 mins more or until golden brown.

Mix glaze ingredients together and drizzle over cooled loaves.
**This bread was light and delicious!! We made it into french toast and it was mighty tasty! The boys both loved it!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Coconut Macaroons

Why yes there is the coconut again...I love coconut! I had almost a whole can of sweetened condensed milk left over from the muffins so I decided to try these! They were quick and easy to make!

Coconut Macaroons-shared from Sweet and Savory
2 1/2 cups shredded sweetened coconut
1/3 cup flour
1/8 tsp salt
2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla

Mix together flour, salt, and coconut. Add in milk and vanilla. Stir until combined. Place on cookie sheet by rounded tbsp.(I did flatten mine a bit as they were on the bigger size) Place in 350 degree oven for 15-20 mins until golden brown.

**You can't get much quicker and easier than 5 ingredients! They were quite tasty too! These were approved by my mother and father in law(he had 2), by a 1 yr old, and K loved them as well!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Cocoa Macaroon Muffins

I have been craving the chocolate/coconut combo lately...not sure why!  I keep seeing all these recipes with coconut in them and even one for an upside down German Chocolate Cake, but I have no cake mix...or German chocolate to make one! I had coconut almond muffins on the menu this week and of course I can now not find the recipe, so I checked Taste of Home and found this one instead!

Cocoa Macaroon Muffins-adapted from Taste of Home
2 cups flour(I used half whole wheat, half ap)
3 heaping tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup milk
1 egg
1/3 cup applesauce
1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 cup shredded coconut(+more for top)

Mix together cocoa, baking powder, flour, and salt. Add in milk, egg, and applesauce, stir until just combined. Combine coconut and sw. milk and set aside. Place 2 tbsp batter in the bottom of greased cupcake pan(or lined). Scoop 1 tbsp of coconut mix and place on top of batter. Cover with remaining batter. Sprinkle with additional coconut. Place in 400 degree oven for 15-22 mins.(the original recipe says 20-22, but mine were done at 15)

**These were pretty tasty...not quite as good as a nice moist cupcake or German Chocolate cake might be, but it was still pretty good! It was like eating a chocolate muffin with a macaroon inside of it...these were approved by a 1 yr old!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Blueberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

My friend Kim, who always shares THE BEST recipes posted this one on Facebook the other day...I knew I had just purchased some blueberries. She went on to make it and came back and told me to "run to my kitchen and not to walk, it was THAT good!" So I went and purchased the lemon and trekked on to make it...It was a bit more work, but it was very worth it!

Blueberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake-shared from Mac's Kitchen Adventure
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1/4 cup apple juice
1 tsp cornstarch
2 tsp lemon juice
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 stick butter, cold, cut up
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
zest of one lemon
3/4 cup low fat plain yogurt(i did use vanilla)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 lg eggs
6 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1 tsp lemon juice

Place blueberries and apple juice in pot on stove and heat until boiling, stirring. Let cook for 3 mins. Mix together 2 tsp lemon juice and corn starch. Add to blueberries and simmer for 1 min until thickened. Cool to room temperature.

Mix together flour and 3/4 cup sugar. Cut in butter until it resembles fine crumbs. Reserve a 1/2 cup and set aside. To the flour mix add in salt, baking soda, baking powder, and lemon zest. Stir to combine.

Combine yogurt, vanilla, and 1 egg, stir well and mix into flour mixture just until incorporated. Place in a well buttered 8 inch cake pan(or a spring form pan)

Beat together the remaining egg, cream cheese, and 1 tsp lemon juice on high until smooth. Spread on top of cake batter. Then top with blueberries staying about a half inch to an inch of the side.(I then took a knife and swirled it a bit.)

Take the remaining flour/butter/sugar and sprinkle over the top of the cake along the edges. Place in 350 degree oven for 30-40 mins or until center barely jiggles and cake top is golden brown.(Mine took closer to 40 mins, if not a bit longer, I lost track after a while)

**This did take a little extra work, but it was so delicious and totally worth it! I think it really took me longer because I was a bit scatter brained and doing more than one thing at a time today! I didn't even want to share it with the boys...but I was nice enough to save a couple slices for my brother in laws...hopefully they will get to try some as well! K must have forgotten it was here because he has yet to try it, but I know he will enjoy it!

Thanks for the recipe Kim!

For other great dessert recipes check out Finding Joy in My Kitchen

Tasty Tuesday

This is something new I want to try... I always such yummy recipes in my travels on the net, so I will start to keep them listed here and on each Tuesday I'll post them. Hopefully I will get to them at some point!

Beer Batter Pizza Dough from Alli n Son
Hot Chocolate Snowballs from Alli n son
Cornbread Pizza from Eat At Home
Pizza Burritos from Debbi Does Dinner Healthy
Mexican Coucous-The Sweets Life
Fruit Salsa-The Sweets Life
Cheesecake Cookies-The Sweets Life
Salsbury Steak-from Michelle(she doesn't have a blog, but was talking about it on facebook, so i asked for her recipe, never made it before!)
Naan Bread-Let's Dish
Glenn's Famous Brownies-Let's Dish
Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup-Let's Dish
Creamy Tomato, Sausage, and Tortellini Soup-Let's Dish
Sesame Chicken-Let's Dish
Tex Mex Chicken and Dumplings-Let's Dish
Sweet Potato and Apple Casserole-another one from Michelle

Monday, August 16, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

I swayed a little bit from my menu last week, but I don't believe there is much on this week's menu that is a repeat. Except for one!

I think I'm going to have to start planning lunch, at least for the boys. I don't feel they have much for a variety and its always the same thing...that they don't always eat! I usually just ask A what he wants and then Q gets that too...I don't want to be a short order cook for lunch! How do you handle toddler/preschool lunch in your house?

-Blueberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake
-Coconut Almond Muffins
-some kind of smore treat...either cookies or bars, I just have the stuff to make it!

-Pizza, anyone have any suggestions?(that isn't pepperoni or red sauce?), salad
-Pizza Burritios(see why I don't want a red sauce?), cucumbers
-Spanish Rice
-Mini BBQ meatloaves, summer squash, potatoes of some sort
-Tortilla Cigars from Deceptively Delicious...if I get to them!

For more great menu ideas make sure to check out orgjunkie.com

Sunday, August 15, 2010

4 B's Pork Chops and Au Gratin Potatoes

This is another recipe I adapted from the Fix, Freeze, Feast cookbook.

4 B's Pork Chops
3/4 cup pale ale

1/4 cup ketchup
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp dijion mustard
1 tsp garlic, minced
1/4 tsp pepper

Place all ingredients in zip top bag and squish around to mix. Add in pork. Squeeze out air and seal. Freeze until ready to use!

**These were pretty good...but really all I could taste was the beer! 

Au Gratin Potatoes-shared from Hallee the Homemaker

I've just been waiting for a chance to try this recipe out! I love the ones that come in a box...but I really wanted to find a homemade recipe! K gets all the credit for slicing the potatoes! He did a great job!(I told him I'd give him credit!) He decided they were worth the effort...and he loves my santoku knife!

6 medium potatoes, sliced as thin as you can
3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp flour
3 green onions with tops,sliced
2 1/4 cups milk
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dry mustard
3/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 1/2-2 cups shredded cheese

Place butter in skillet and let melt. Add in onions and cook for 5 mins or until onion is soft. Whisk in flour, salt, pepper, and mustard. Stir until smooth and bubbly. Add in milk and whisk constantly until thickened and is almost to a boil. Add in nutmeg, stir. Fold in cheese and let melt, while stirring. Mix in with potatoes. Cover tightly with foil and cook in preheated oven for 45 mins. Remove foil and cook another 15 mins until potatoes are tender.(Mine ended up cooking for about 1 1/4-1 1/2 hours, this could have been from the thickness of the potatoes, you can only get them so thin with a knife! The sauce did thicken.)

**These were mighty tasty...almost too peppery for my liking but definitely good! YUM! I was even successful in making my first cheese sauce and it didn't SEPARATE! My aunt taught me well....

Friday, August 13, 2010

Cherry Skillet Chicken

Another delicious recipe from Fix, Freeze, Feast!

Cherry Skillet Chicken
1 lb chicken breast
1/2 cup dried cherries, chopped
HOT water
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp sugar
1/3 tsp salt

Place cherries in a bowl and cover with hot water, let sit for 5 mins. In the mean time combine the rest of the ingredients in a zip top bag. Add in chicken and cherries. Release air from bag and freeze. When ready to cook thaw and cook until chicken is cooked through. Serve over rice, if you prefer.

**This was actually pretty tasty! I of course ran out of time and didn't make rice to serve it over. I made a Balsamic Mozzerella and Tomato Salad, it did work well!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Donut Muffins

I saw these a couple weeks ago on The Pioneer Woman's cooking blog...yup they looked absolutely delightful and couldn't want to try them out! I think another blog also had them up that week, but they were called by a different name. So I knew I had to try them! If you haven't checked out The Pioneer Woman's blog...you should all her recipes and pictures are superb! The recipe actually comes from Tasty Kitchen which are from reader submitted recipes, but occasionally Ree highlights a recipe!(and yes I changed the really long name...)

Donut Muffins-adapted from Tasty Kitchen
1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp each:salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon
1/3 cup oil
3/4 cup milk(I did use almond milk)
1 egg

2 tbsp melted butter
3 tbsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
*you may need more topping, I didn't actually measure it as I already had some made and just added more in when I needed it.

Combine dry ingredients. Mix together wet ingredients and sugar, slowly add in dry until just combined. Scoop into greased or lined muffin tins. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 mins.* I did let mine go a bit longer to let them get brown. Remove muffins while still warm and dip in melted butter then into cinnamon sugar.

**These were AWESOME and another very easy recipe to make and put together! They did taste very much like a donut...and I wonder if I could use apple cider in place of the milk for apple cider donut muffins...something to try once fall rolls in! I was just informed by my 3 yr old that they were good....and the dog agreed! (yes the poor thing lost his muffin to a dog!)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Raspberry Chicken

I had play around with this recipe a bit...I realized when I went to make it tonight that I didn't have instant rice that the recipe originally called for. I ended up cooking the chicken in the crock pot(which I think I added to much mustard) and cooked the rice the good ol' fashioned way on the stove.

Raspberry Chicken-shared from What a Crock
3 cups instant rice
6 cups chicken broth
12 oz jar raspberry preserves
1/4 cup dijon mustard
1 tsp ground ginger
1 lb chicken breast
1 cup pineapple chunks drained

Place rice, broth, ginger in bottom of slow cooker. Stir. Mix together perserves and mustard and stir into the rice. Add chicken and pineapple. Cover and cook on low for 3 hours or until liquid is absorbed and chicken is cooked through.

WHAT I DID: I mixed the preserves and mustard together along with some pureed pineapple. Place the chicken in the slow cooker and covered it with the mix. Cooked on high for 3 hrs...this may have been too much but I needed it cooked in that time. And YES I forgot the ginger...then I strained some of the juice from the chicken and used it to make the rice. (2 cups water, 2 cups juices, 2 cups rice, cooked on the stove for 40 mins until tender)

**This was just ok...nothing to write home about. I only used a small jar of the raspberry and I think I used too much mustard(that's what I get for not measuring!) But there was hardly ANY flavor in the chicken...it was pretty moist and fell apart while I was cutting it so it was more like shredded by the time I was done. I do encourage you to try it and let me know how it comes out! Perhaps you will have better luck!

And because I've been in a food funk...and because I had JUST watched Oprah and she was talking Food Inc and about Chipotle, I pulled out my burrito size flour tortillas and yes I made a burrito with it. I seasoned it up with salt and pepper....it was edible but not a favorite. K did really like it!

No Bake Granola Bites

Joy the Baker shared this recipe the other day. It sounded wonderful and easy too! I knew with it being hot it would be perfect to make! I was a renegade and did use all 2 tbsp of butter...normally I sub applesauce, but sometimes you just need a little treat! (So perhaps next time I'll try the applesauce) I will also double it as well!

No Bake Peanut Butter Granola Bites-shared from Joy the Baker
1/3 cup maple syrup or honey(I used maple syrup)
1/4 cup natural peanut butter
2 tbsp butter
1 cup rice krispies
1 cup old fashioned oats
1/3 cup craisins(or any dried fruit)

Place syrup, butter, and peanut butter in small sauce pan. Cook until butter is melted and peanut butter softens.(Mine did end up boiling, and it the pb was melted). In the meantime, combine cereal, dried fruit, and oats. Stir to combine. Mix in syrup mixture and stir. Scoop using a small cookie scoop onto a wax paper lined cookie sheet. *I had to press mine in firmly in hopes they would stay together, yet I still had some fall apart, but I just left them. Place in refrigerator to harden.

*These do have the potential to be gluten-free if your oats are gluten free!

**These came together very quick and easy! I will double them next time and they are SO VERY GOOD!! I did use natural peanut butter as well! This might be my new granola recipe!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Veggie Loaded Nachos

I couldn't make up my mind with what I wanted on our menu this week tonight for dinner...so because I waited so long it was to late to take anything out of the freezer! Yesterday I purchased some tortilla chips as I wanted salsa and chips, I had some beans leftover and need to do something with them, and also half a zucchini...the other half rotted! I decided to make nachos, but vegetarian! The original recipe comes from Rachael Ray and I'll post a link to it, as it is quite tasty as well! Great way to hind some veggies!

Veggie Loaded Nachos-adapted from Rachael Ray
1 tsp olive oil
2-3 cups beans(I used white cannellini)
1 cup chopped carrots
2 tsp minced garlic
1 onion, diced
1 zucchini, shredded
1/2 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp chili powder
1 bag frozen corn, thawed
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes, NOT drained
2 cups shredded cheese
tortilla chips

Saute onions and carrots over med heat in 1 tsp olive oil for about 5 mins. Add in garlic, zucchini, and beans. Sprinkle with spices and stir. Stir in corn. Cook until heated through. Turn broiler on. Lay chips on baking sheet and cover with "nacho" mix. Sprinkle with cheese. Place under broiler for about 5 mins until cheese is melted and slightly brown.

**These were very tasty! I was almost afraid that I'd miss the meat...well not so much me, but K. He really did like then and they are super healthy(although I suppose they could have been healthier if I used baked chips and they were whole grain ones, but you can't win them all!) YUM!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Sweet Asian Chicken

This recipe came out of the book, Fix, Freeze, Feast. I was first introduced to this book when Amy came over for our cooking day. Usually you prepare the recipe in bulk, but there were some recipes in there that I wanted to try, but didn't have the meat(or ingredients in bulk) so I cut them down to one entree.

Sweet Asian Chicken-shared from Fix, Freeze, Feast
1 lb chicken breast
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup soy sauce
1 1/2 tbsp lime juice
1/4 tsp curry powder
1 tbsp garlic
3/4 tsp crushed red pepper

Place all ingredients, except chicken in zip top bag. Squish around until combined, add in chicken, squeeze out the air and freeze.

When ready to cook, thaw, and grill until done!

**This was delicious! The chicken was very moist and flavorful! It is definitely a keeper! I remembered after that it had crushed red pepper and it may be spicy, but rest assured it wasn't that spicy! Even my mom who doesn't like spicy liked it!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

We didn't do so well with our menu last week...what I had planned I just did not feel like eating. Most nights I still cooked, just other food, and 2 nights we grabbed something out to eat. It doesn't happen very often, but I just was not in the mood for anything I had planned or felt like cooking. So perhaps this week I'll be a little better! We also had 2 boys with colds, which I think they are now sharing with their parents...one even had an ear infection, so our weekend plans got scrapped! Hopefully he is back on the mend!

-Blueberry Cheesecake muffins(or cupcakes) I finally have all the ingredients!
-Tastes Like a Donut Muffin
-no bake granola bites

-Sweet Asian Chicken, salad, mashed potatoes
-Lentil sloppy joes...or tacos
-Spanish rice(freezer)
-Raspberry Chicken Supreme
-4 B's porkchops

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Mozzarella Sticks and Rice Balls

These recipes come from the Deceptively Delicious book....I have adapted them a bit as I didn't have a couple of key ingredients, but I think it will still work.(I really just switched what purees I used!) So after making a mess once again with the rolling, dipping, and breading....dinner is waiting to be cooked!

Mozzarella Sticks-shared from Deceptively Delicious
1 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs(I used panko)
1 tbsp flaxseed meal
1 tsp sesame seeds(optional)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 cup cauliflower puree
spray oil

Mix together breadcrumbs, flax meal, and sesame seeds. Set aside. Combine cornstarch, cheese, and puree. Mix together well. Shape into 2 inch logs and roll in breadcrumb mixture. Place on cookie sheet. Place in freezer for 20 mins and cook at 400 degrees for 15 mins until golden brown. *I did end up doubling this recipe.

**These were pretty good...but next time I will fry them instead, maybe. By the time they were done they looked more like "planks" than sticks. They reminded me of fried cauliflower with cheese. You could still taste the cauliflower although the author claims you can't. K got it right without knowing what it was.
Rice Balls-adapted from Deceptively Delicious
1 cup brown rice, cooked
1/2 cup sweet potato puree
1 cup white beans(or 1/4 cooked chicken)
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup shredded cheese
1/4 cup lowfat buttermilk
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 cup spinach or broccoli, or butternut puree(I used cauliflower)
1 1/2 cups whole wheat breadcrumbs(I actually used panko and flax meal)

Mix together cauliflower and egg. Set aside. Place breadcrumbs into shallow bowl or plate. In a blender or food processor, combine sw. potato puree, buttermilk, cheese, salt, and beans(or chicken). Puree until combined. Stir in rice. Shape into balls, roll in cauliflower and dip into breadcrumbs. Place on cookie sheet. Cook at 400 degrees for 20-30 mins until golden brown.

*I am not sure why, but my mixture was very wet...so after I dipped a few in the cauliflower, I decided I no longer needed it. So I just went straight to the breadcrumbs after making a ball. This could have been because of the beans. So just in case, I'd make the filling and see if you need the cauliflower/egg mix to coat it.

**These were just ok...you could still taste the sweet potato, which was fine. But they weren't something that I thought was the best thing I have ever tasted. The boys ate more of this than the mozz. sticks so I guess that was a win, but not sure they were worth the extra effort.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Blueberry Coconut Streusel Muffins

I came across this recipe when I was searching for something different to do with the 2.5 lbs of blueberries I picked last week. I am on a coconut kick so of course it peaked my interest....this original recipe also called for mangos, but I didn't have any so I left them out. Feel free to add them if you want to of course!

Blueberry Coconut Streusel Muffins-adapted from Allrecipes.com
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp sweetened flaked coconut, chopped
1 pinch salt
2 tbsp cold butter, cut up

Mix together all the ingredients except the butter, once mixed cup in butter to form loose crumbs. Set aside

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup applesauce
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 3/4 cup flour(I used whole wheat and ap)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup blueberries(I did use 1.5 cups)
1/4 cup ap flour

Combine 1/4 cup flour and blueberries, toss to coat. Set aside.
Beat together butter, applesauce, salt, and sugar. Add in one egg at a time until incorporated. Mix together flour and baking powder. Incorporate flour mix into the butter mixture by alternating with buttermilk. Fold in blueberries. Place batter into greased cupcake pans and  sprinkle with streusel. Cook for 25-35 mins in a 375 degree oven.

**These were really good and I love the taste and crunch of the streusel topping! Next time I think I will add in some coconut extract to give it more of a coconutty flavor.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Aloha Chicken Fingers/Nuggets

A few weeks ago when on vacation I bought "Deceptively Delicious" by Jessica Seinfield. It was part of the Kohl's for Kids Campaign and only $5! So I splurged...I wasn't sure how I was going to like it, but I have found a few recipes in it to try. This one was definitely a winner! Actually the original recipe is called Aloha Chicken Kabobs...but I find kabobs to be tedious to make and then I burn the skewers, so I opted not to do them!

You may want to prepare this chicken WITHOUT your children present so they don't see what the secret ingredients are. Although, my boys didn't care!

Aloha Chicken Fingers-Deceptively Delicious
1-2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 cup panko bread crumbs(or whole wheat bread crumbs)
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup ground flax seed meal
1/2 cup sweet potato puree
1/4 cup pineapple puree
1 large egg white, beaten
1 tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup flour

In a shallow bowl, mix together bread crumbs and flax seed. Combine purees, egg white, soy sauce, and coconut. Mix together in shallow plate/bowl. *I found this to be VERY thick, so I added some water to help thin it out. Place 1/4 cup flour onto another plate. Cut chicken into nugget or finger shapes. Dredge chicken in flour, followed by puree mix, and then breadcrumbs. Place on non-stick pan or greased cookie sheet. Spray with non-stick cooking spray. Place in 400 degree oven for 20-30 mins until cooked through.

**K and I really enjoyed them...but now I remember WHY I don't make these often. They are quite a bit of work, but we did decide they were worth it. K had no idea about the hidden ingredients but he could taste the coconut. The boys ate a couple bites...someday I will figure out WHY they won't eat the good homemade nuggets...These were perfectly crunchy and yummy without the frying! 

Menu Plan Monday

Well it seems I did NOT stick to my meal plan at all last week...can't even remember what was on it. I just wasn't feeling what I had planned, but thankfully I didn't make any trips to the store or out to eat but used what I had or other things on my menu. Perhaps this week will be better...who knows!

-Rice balls and Mozzerella Sticks(if I can actually get a cauliflower that doesn't go bad BEFORE I use it!)
-Aloha Chicken skewers...without skewers
-Tomato-y Beef Rigatoni
-Cream Cheese Enchiladas(freezer)

-Blueberry Cheesecake Cupcakes

We have my 10 year high school reunion this weekend and we will be spending the nigh at my mom's so that part of the week is kinda up in the air!