Monday, January 31, 2011

Tasty Tuesday 2/1

Homemade Cocoa-Meal Planning with Connie
Butterscotch Pudding-Taste and Tell
Mac and Cheese Dog Casserole-Teacher Turned Mommy
Fiesta Rice Salad-My Recipes
Mac and Cheese Soup-Meal Planning with Connie
Cheeseburger Mac and Cheese-Heavenly Homemakers
Fudgy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Brownies-How Sweet it is
Coconut Chicken Chili-The Sweet Life
Cake Batter Pancakes-How Sweet It Is
Chocolate French Silk Pancakes-How Sweet it is
BBQ Chicken Enchiladas-How Sweet it is
Creamsicle Muffins-How Sweet it is
Giant Breakfast Cookies-Heavenly Homemakers
Chocolate Pretzels-What Megan's Making
Red Velvet Trifles-Taste and Tell
Tamale Sandwiches on Cornbread-Eat At Home

This has been linked to Finding Joy in my Kitchen

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

-Maple Walnut Muffins
-Eggs Sandwiches on Cheddar Buttermilk Biscuits

-Potato Skins w/cheddar cheese and bacon with Salad
-Fiesta Rice Salad
-Zuppa Toscana
-Steak Sauce Rigatoni

and my son found a unique ice cream maker...basically its a ball shape and your roll it around to make it, so we will be making that, despite the enormous amount of snow expected this week!

Peanut Butter and Jelly Baked Oatmeal

I have fallen in love with regular oatmeal...something that I wasn't to fond of 2 yrs ago! But now I've discovered baked oatmeal and this sounded like a tasty new variation!

Peanut Butter and Jelly Baked Oatmeal-shared from Lynn's Kitchen Adventures
3 cups quick cook oats
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup milk
2 tbsp unsweetened applesauce
2 eggs
3/4 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2-3/4 cup jelly(I used polaner all fruit)

Preheat oven to 350.
Mix all ingredients together except jelly and stir well. Place into a greased 9x13 inch pan. Drop jelly by tbsp on top of oatmeal mixture.(I did try to break up some of the clumps, but you don't have too) Bake for 20-25 mins.

**This was really good, I loved the added jelly. I usually serve this in bar form or broken up with milk on top.

For 15 bars-157 calories, 6g fat

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Pasta Stuffed Peppers

My friend Amy posted on facebook that she really loved this vegetarian dish so she was kind enough to post it for me to try and share with you!

Pasta Stuffed Peppers-shared from A Foodie Fairytale
4-6 peppers
8 oz small pasta(I used orzo)
14 oz can diced Italian diced tomatoes
1 small onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tbsp olive oil,divided
1/4 cup raisins(omitted)
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese(omitted)
1/2 cup breadcrumbs(omitted)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Cook Pasta according to package directions. Drain.
Place oil in pan and heat. Add in onions and cook for about 5 mins. Add in garlic, tomatoes, raisins and spices. Simmer for 10-15 minutes. Add in drained pasta and mix well. Place mixture in peppers.

Combine bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, and 1 tbsp olive oil, stir to combine. Place on top of stuffed peppers. Place about one inch of water in the bottom of a 9x13 inch pan. Place peppers inside and cover tightly with foil. Bake for about 30 mins.

**Amy says that the raisins really added to the dish as odd as they sound...I thought I had some, but apparently the boys ate them! We did really like this regardless though, but next time I will use a bigger pasta as I felt like something was missing...besides the meat!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Italian Sausage Lasagna Calzones and Pizza Dough

I am always in search of the perfect pizza dough. I decided to adapt the one from my bread machine book the other night and it came out perfect for this calzone recipe!

Pizza Dough(this makes 2 lbs)
1 cup+6 tbsp warm water
3 tbsp olive oil
3/4 tsp salt
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups ap flour
2 tsp yeast
2 tsp vital wheat gluten

Place ingredients in bread machine according to manufacter's directions. Press dough button. Once dough is complete. Remove dough, cut into pieces and roll out to 1/4 inch thickness.(I made 6 calzones the first time and 11 the next night, so it will depend on how big you want them to be.)

**This dough is perfect! Its light and fluffy on the inside but had a nice crust as well.

Italian Sausage Lasagna Filling-adapted from Picky Palate
4 sausage links(I used 2 sweet and 2 hot)
1 sweet pepper diced
1 onion diced
1 28 oz jar spaghetti sauce
15-16 oz container ricotta cheese
1-2 tbsp italian seasoning
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
olive oil

Remove casings from sausage throughly cook through. Remove sausage to drain on paper towels. Add in veggies and saute until soft. Add sausage back in then add in spaghetti sauce. Heat through.

Combine cheeses and seasonings. Mix until well combined.

Place some sausage filling on dough (about 1-2 tbsp, again depending the size) then place some cheese mixture on top. Fold dough over and press to seal. Press down with forks around seam. Brush tops with olive oil.

Place in 350 degree oven for 20-25 mins until lightly browned.

**This was a HUGE hit with the boys! They both polished off their mini calzones. They were so good that K asked for them again, this filling does make a lot! So I had some leftover that is why I had different amounts on each night. The second night Q ate ALL of his and his brothers, so he must really like it! I'm not usually a fan of ricotta cheese, but these were delicious. Its a good thing we have lots of leftovers! The second night I also mixed the ricotta mix into the sauce and we liked that even better!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Cheesy Chimichangas

I always see people talk about chimichangas, but I've never actually had one. Then I saw this recipe so I wanted to see what it was all about. The only problem...was that it reminded me of a burrito or an enchilada. So maybe perhaps these weren't "authentic" and I'm missing something, but either way they were still pretty tasty!

Cheesy Chimichangas-shared from Debbi Does Dinner Healthy
1 lb ground turkey
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 onion diced
1 1/2 tbsp cumin
1 4 oz can diced green chilis(omitted)
2 tsp oregano
1 can diced tomatoes with green chilis
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
8-10 flour tortillas

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Brown turkey and onions. Drain.  Add in spices, tomatoes, sauce and chilis. Let simmer for 10 mins or until thickened. Turn off heat and stir in cheese until melted.

Place a 1/4-1/2 cup of mixture down the center of tortilla. Roll up and place in baking dish. Continue until all filling/tortillas are used. Spray tops with cooking spray and bake for 25 mins.

**These were pretty good, but nothing super special to me! K liked them, but they bordered too spicy for me. I was glad that I didn't have that extra can of chilis as it was spicy enough! I felt like it was missing something...but not sure what!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Tasty Tuesday-1/25

Rigatoni with Steak Sauce-Apples and Twinkies
No Bake Chocolate and Peanut Butter Bars-Cooking During Stolen Moments
Pasta Stuffed Peppers-A Foodie Fairytale
BLT Pasta-Let's Dish
Maple Walnut Muffins-$5 dinners
Chocolate Peanut Spread-Smitten Kitchen
Fiesta Stuffed Peppers-Debbi Does Dinner Healthy
Waffles of Insane Greatness-Finding Joy in my Kitchen
Cheesecake Mousse-What's for Dinner?
Enchilada Soup-Alli n son
Margarita Mac and Cheese-What's Megan Making?
Peanut Butter and Jelly Baked Oatmeal-Lynn's Kitchen Adventures
Caramel Oatmeal Brownies-Sweet & Savory

This has been linked to Finding Joy in my Kitchen

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Meal Plan Monday

-Maple Walnut Muffins
-Spritz Cookies
-Gingerbread Muffins

-Pasta Stuffed peppers
-Steak and Cheese Egg Rolls
-Clam Chowder with Garlic Cheddar Biscuits
-Creamy Chicken Taquitos
-Sausage Lasagna Stuffed Pizza
-Broccoli Cheese Noodle soup
-Turkey Noodle Soup

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Olive Garden's Chicken (Homemade) Gnocci Soup

I was out to lunch one day and tried this was AMAZING! Later that week this recipe popped up so I knew I had to try it!

This does include a recipe also for homemade gnocci, but you can buy your favorite brand!

Chicken Gnocci Soup-shared from Brenda's Canadian Kitchen
4 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
4 tbsp flour
1 onion, chopped
4 stalks celery, finely diced
1 cup carrots, shredded
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 qt half and half
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup chicken, chopped
1 lb gnocci*
1 cup fresh spinach, coarsely chopped
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp parsley
pamesan cheese

Place butter and oil in large kettle and allow to melt and get warm. Add in veggie and saute for about 5 mins or until onions are translucent. Stir in flour and let cook for one min. Add in half and half, stir to combine. Add in chicken. Stir.Once mixture becomes thick add in chicken broth, once thickened again add the cooked gnocci and seasonings, continue cooking until heated through. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

Cook gnocci according the package or recipe directions.

**This soup was REALLY good! K went back for seconds, but I honestly can't remember how it compares to OG's but it is still very tasty!

Homemade Gnocci(via Foodnetwork)
This might sound hard, but they actually are not! The most time consuming part is "shaping" them, which I attempted, but then I figured they are going in the soup so I didn't really care about the shape. It also would have helped if I had the right kind of fork clean!

I did have to add some water to get my dough to form, although the recipe DID not call for water. I was mixing it and basically just had crumbs, so if this happens add just enough water to form a soft dough. I baked my potatoes so that may have been where I had trouble, less moisture was in them.

4 potaoes, cooked(recipes said to boil them)
1 1/4 cups flour plus 2 tbsp
2 egg yolks
1/2 tsp fine salt
dash or two of nutmeg
water if needed

Run potatoes through a ricer. Or grate on the finest tooth on a box grater. Add in rest of the ingredients and lightly stir to form a soft dough. DO NOT over mix as this will make them tough.

Divide dough into six pieces. Roll dough into 3/4" width snake. Cut into pieces about 3/4" big. *Leave as is...or place a large salad fork at a 45 degree angel. Holding the dough with the finger and thumb gently push the dough over the back of the fork and down. This should cause the dough to have lines and a little divot on the other side.

Place on cookie sheet and continue until all dough is complete. Place in fridge and allow to rest for at least an hour or up to 24 hours.

When ready to cook, bring a pot of water to a boil. Salt water.  Place gnocci in boiling water and let cook 1-2 mins or until they rise to the top. Remove and drain excess water. Do not over cook gnocci as it will cause them to get tough.

**Considering this was the first time I've made them they were pretty good! The salted water is a plus and the nutmeg made them delicious!

Friday, January 21, 2011

(Mint) Hot Chocolate Cookies

I attempted to make some homemade hot chocolate mix for Christmas presents...but we weren't that impressed with it. So back to the drawing boards on that, but I didn't want to throw the ingredients out so I decided to make these cookies with them.

You can leave these without the mint in them, I used mint chips in the cocoa mix so I went with mint chips!

Hot Chocolate Cookies-adapted from What's for dinner?
2 sticks butter, softened
2/3 cup brown sugar
2/3-3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup hot chocolate mix(or 4 envelopes)
3 1/4 cup flour(ww and ap)
1 tsp salt
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 cup dark choclate mint chips or 1 cup semi sweet

Cream together sugar and butter together. Add in eggs one at a time. Beat in vanilla. Stir together dry ingredients and slowly incorporate dry into the wet ingredients. Stir in chocolate chips. Place dough in fridge for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350. Scoop dough by tablespoon onto cookie sheet. Bake for 9-11 mins. Try not to over bake them. Remove to cooling rack.

**If you didn't over bake them they should be a little fudgy on the inside, I think this is how they are supposed to be and they are delicious!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Cajun Chicken Pasta

I've seen this recipe floating around different places and I think K has even tried it at one of the restaurants (but I'm not sure which). I've been wanting to make it just haven't yet and the other day this recipe was brought up on my message board and it was all I could think about as it sounded delicious!

I used a combination of 2 recipes, one a friend of mine posted Jessi, and Pioneer Woman's.

Cajun Chicken Pasta
1 lb spaghetti(or any pasta)
1/2-1 lb chicken breast, cubed
3 sweet peppers, sliced(I used green, red, and yellow)
1 onion, sliced
2 tbsp butter
cajun seasoning
1 cup chicken broth
2 cups half and half
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 tsp lemon pepper

Cook pasta according to pkg directions.
Melt butter in pan. Sprinkle chicken with cajun seasoning with as much as you like. Place chicken in pan and cook until browned. Remove from the pan and set aside. Add veggies and garlic into pan and sprinkle with more seasoning. Cook for about 5-8 mins until crisp tender. Remove from the pan. Add cream, broth, and lemon seasoning(more cajun if desired). Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer until sauce thickens. Add in chicken and veggies to coat.

**This should be a fairly quick and simple meal to get together, but for whatever reason it TOOK forever! Part of this is due to my pans that I cook with and my sheer impatience for sauce to thicken, but it finally did! This could have used more cajun seasoning as it wasn't spicy hot, but it definitely had a lot of flavor! It was even better the next day! I think if I make it again I want to try Ree's version with the actual wine and tomatoes! This one was creamy but not over the top rich!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Butternut Squash Cinnamon Chip Muffins

I had bought a squash for Thanksgiving and then never used it. So I knew I needed to use it soon and I'm not a fan of it! I made it for dinner one night and gave it to K, but I remembered seeing this recipe in my blogging travels so I wanted to give them a shot!

Butternut Squash Cinnamon Chip Muffins-adapted from Creatively Domestic
1 cup flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 unsweetened applesauce
2 bananas mashed
3 eggs*
1/4 cup oil
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup butternut squash, cooked,mashed
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup cinnamon chips

*The original recipe calls for 4 eggs, but I had 2 bananas to use so I cut back on one egg for the banana, but if you only have 1 banana use the 4 eggs!

Mix together the wet ingredients until combined. Stir together dry ingredients and add to wet until a batter forms. Stir in cinnamon chips. Place in prepared muffin tins. Bake at 350 for 16-18 mins or until toothpick comes out clean.

**I wasn't so sure about the combo of this while I was making it...BUT I am happy to say they were AMAZING! They were moist, not to sweet, and delicious! If I could actually convince my son to eat them I'm sure he'd love them! I told him they were banana muffins...and apparently he doesn't like banana muffins, but I also knew if I said they were squash muffins, the wouldn't eat those either. These are very similar to my browned butter pumpkin cinnamon chip muffins!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Tasty Tuesday-1/18

Slow Cooker Artichoke Pasta-A Year of Slow Cooking
Sweet Potato Flat bread-Apples to Zucchini
Cheesy Ranch White Chicken Chili-Siggy Spice
Lentil Stew-Apples to Zucchini
Homemade Tater Tots-Finding Joy in my Kitchen
Slow Cooker Pasta Fagioli-Apples and Twinkies
Ultimate Chicken Fajitas-Siggy Spice

This has been linked to Friday Favorites at Finding Joy in my Kitchen

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

-Oatmeal Cookie Pancakes
-Hot Chocolate Cookies
-Biscuit Breakfast Pizza

-Sloppy Joe Casserole
-Cajun Chicken Pasta
-Olive Garden Chicken and Gnocci soup w/homemade gnocci(first attempt)
-Stroganoff Melts
-Loaded Chicken Sammies on Hawaiian Rolls

Thai Chicken Pizza

I love Thai food so when I saw this recipe I knew I had to try it to have something new on the menu and who doesn't like pizza! I used leftover turkey on my pizza. This pizza also is supposed to have like a "slaw" topping, but I forgot to buy it, so it went without, but if you are looking for more veggies you can definitely add it.

Thai Chicken Pizza-shared from Creatively Domestic
No Rise Pizza Crust(this makes 2 thin crusts or one thick large crust)
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
2 tbsp hoisin sauce
2 tbsp terriyaki sauce
2 tbsp water
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes(I only used a pinch)
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp white sugar
1-2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp minced onion(omitted)
1 tsp minced ginger
1.5 cups chopped chicken/turkey
1/4 cup chopped peanuts
1-2 cups mozzarella cheese

Place sauce ingredients together in a bowl. Heat in microwave for 30-60 secs until pb melts slightly and you can mix it together. Take some of the sauce and pour it over the chicken and let marinate.(When i did this it made the chicken paste like)

Spread crust out, and bake at 400 degrees for 8 mins. Remove from the oven and top with remaining sauce. You may have a little left over. Top with cheese, chicken, and sprinkle with peanuts. Return to the oven and bake for another 8-10 mins until cheese is melted(watch that the nuts don't burn!)

**This pizza surprised me with how good it was! K I think was pleasantly surprised as well and he then asked me what it was.He loved it though and went back for seconds! I wasn't sure at first how the italian cheese I used would blend with thai flavors, but the sauce was so flavorful that it took right over the subtle cheese flavor and worked well!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Creamy Brown and Wild Rice Turkey Soup

I made homemade turkey stock yesterday and from then on all I wanted was some soup...but I know K is getting souped out. Although, I'm not sure why, but today I wasn't feeling well so I made this soup for lunch as I had most of the ingredients on hand and if K doesn't want any...well that is fine too!

Creamy Brown and Wild Rice Turkey Soup-adapted from What's Megan Making?
1 onion diced
1 cup carrots, sliced
1/4 cup butter
1/2-3/4 cup flour
1.5 cups chopped turkey
2 pkg brown and wild rice with veggies(bird's eye steamfresh)
6 cups turkey broth
2 cups milk
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp ground mustard
1 tsp salt(only if you use homemade stock, otherwise adjust to taste)
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1 tsp dried parsley
*this also called for diced celery and mushrooms, which i didn't have but you can add

Melt butter in a large stock pot. Add in carrots and onion. Cook for about 5-8 mins. Stir in 1/2 cup flour and let cook for about 1-2 mins. Slowly stir in broth, and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for about 8 mins. Add in spices, turkey, and rice mix and stir until heated through. Add in milk.(I also whisked in 1/4 cup more flour into the milk to help thicken it more) Simmer for another 10 mins or so.

**This soup smelled AMAZING while it was cooking. It tasted AMAZING as well! It was pretty quick and simple to make as the rice was already frozen and pretty much ready to go! This is perfect for a cold snowy day!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Oatmeal Tea Muffins

I found this recipe during Finding Joy in my Kitchen's Best of 2010 breakfast foods! I also believe that Snowhite tried this recipe as well, but she made them into a bread.

Oatmeal Tea Muffins-adapted from Loving my Domestic Life
1/4 cup milk
2 eggs
1/3 cup oil
1 1/4 cups unsweetened applesauce
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup sugar(although i do think i cut this down)
1 1/4 cup flour(ap and ww were used)
1 cup oatmeal
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp chopped pecans
1/4 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350.
Sift together dry ingredients. Mix together went ingredients and add to dry until just incorporated. Place in prepared muffin tins. Mix together topping and sprinkle onto muffins. Bake for 20 mins or until they test done with a toothpick.

**I made 2 dozen mini muffins and about 9 reg. sized boys ATE them all in two days! My guess is they really liked those! I also liked them, the 2 I had! They were pretty tasty and not overly sweet and pretty healthy as well!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

4 Cheese Rosa Baked Pasta

In my quest to please K...and still have a meatless dinner, pasta and cheese usually fits the bill! I had a feeling he would love this, so I picked up the Rosa sauce to try it out. Although I think by the time I was done, it was actually a 6 cheese pasta...but that was because I used a 6 cheese blend on top!

4 Cheese Rosa Baked Pasta-Sidewalk Shoes
1 lb pasta(I used penne)
16-24 oz container reduced fat ricotta or cottage cheese
1 jar Bertolli 4 Cheese Rosa Sauce
1-2 cups shredded Italian Cheese
*I now realize that I left out some of the ingredients when making this, so you can use the original or how I did it.

Preheat oven to 350.
Cook pasta until al dente. Drain well. Mix pasta with rosa sauce and ricotta cheese. Place in 9x13 pan. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake covered for 25 mins, remove cover and bake for another 5 mins until hot and bubbly.

**This was really good! If you've never had a rosa sauce, it is a cross between a tomato sauce and alfredo sauce. It was creamy and delicious! K said it was the best vegetarian meal I've ever made...but it had cheese so of course he loved it!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Snickerdoodle Muffins

My mom bought the boys a cookie pan that has shapes in it. I've been wanting a muffin top pan and she mentioned that maybe I can do muffin tops in this pan. I had to make another batch of muffins for the week seen as the boys ate the other batch I already 2 days! I've been meaning to make these for a while and finally remembered to take the butter out, so here they are!

Snickerdoodle Muffins-adapted from Eat At Home
1 1/2 cups ww flour
1/2 cup ap flour
2 tsp cream of tartar*
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2-2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup milk
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
cinnamon and sugar(1 tbsp sugar+1 tsp cinnamon)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Cream together butter and sugar. Add in applesauce and beat in one egg at a time until incorporated. Add in milk and vanilla, mix. Sift together the dry ingredients and add them to the wet and mix until just combined. Place in prepared muffin tins(either greased or paper lined) Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Bake for 12-20 mins or until toothpick comes out clean.
*If you don't have cream of tartar, use 1 tbsp of baking powder in the recipe.

**The Muffin "tops" were a little over cooked, but they were still tasty! So if you use a smaller muffin pan or muffin tops make sure to lower the time. But the pan did work well for muffin tops! You can't see the shapes though.

Stuffed Pepper Soup

I found this recipe from a message board I used to belong to, its actually a Rachael Ray recipe. I love stuffed peppers and what better way to switch it up than to make it into a soup! I did see a recipe for this this week and they put it in the crock pot, which will also work wonderfully, but its a pretty easy soup.

Stuffed Pepper Soup-shared from Rachael Ray
1 lb ground meat,
3-4 sweet peppers, sliced
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
2 cups cooked brown rice(or 1 cup orzo)
1 qt broth
1 bay leaf

Place meat in pan and brown it until cooked through, drain if needed. Add in peppers, garlic, and onions and cook for about 5-10 mins. Stir in tomatoes, broth, and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer and cook for another 7-8 mins.

**I love the flavors of this soup, you can use any spices you like that you would put in your stuffed peppers. I think I added some italian seasoning to mine. I think next time I may add in a can of diced tomatoes too just for some more texture!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Whole Grain Brown Rice Bread

Last week I shared a recipe for artisan bread and then I wanted to check out the rest of the book that this recipe came from. I am always looking for a great bread recipe. This one is actually from the new book in the series called Healthy Bread in 5 Minutes. I will share a few recipes from this book, but I do recommend looking through the whole book as there are lots of tasty recipes, they are easy and delicious! I love this technique of making bread too!

These recipes can be easily halved or doubled. This recipe makes about 4 1 lb loaves!

Whole Grain Brown Rice Bread-shared from Healthy Bread in 5 Minutes
5 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
1 1/2 tbsp yeast
1 tbsp salt
1/4 cup vital wheat gluten
3 1/2 cups lukewarm water
1 cup cooked brown rice

Whisk together flour, flaxseed, yeast, salt, and gluten together in a 5 qt bowl(preferably with a lid). Combine the water and rice and add into dry ingredients. Cover dough, not airtight, and allow to rest at room temperature until it rises and collapses(or flattens on top) about 2 hours.

Place in fridge and use within 10 days!(I did bake one loaf immediately). Cover, but not airtight.

On baking day. dust the dough with some flour, cut off a 1 lb piece(about the size of a grapefruit). Dust with more flour and quickly form into a ball. Elongate the ball into a narrow oval. Allow to rest loosely covered with plastic wrap for 90 mins(40 mins if it hasn't' been in the fridge). Preheat oven to 450. Place an empty broiler pan on oven rack, and baking stone above it.

Before baking, baste with water using pastry brush and slash loaf with 1/4 inch deep parallel lines with a serrated bread knife.

Slide dough onto hot stone(or place cookie sheet or silicone mat on top of stone). Pour 1 cup hot water into the boiler tray and close oven door immediately. Bake for 35-40 mins until richly brown and firm.(They do recommend baking directly on the stone 2/3 of the way through baking, but I didn't).

Allow bread to cool before slicing and baking.

**This bread was fabulous! It was soft and chewy inside. The texture was great! I think the next time I make it I will try a regular loaf so I can use it for sandwiches. This bread I started early morning and I made it later at night and it barely made it through dinner! It was wonderful!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

You may start seeing more meat-free meals on our menu. I have noticed lately that the price of meat is outrageous and in an effort to keep our food bill down, I haven't been buying it. But K is NOT willing to go completely vegetarian, so you will still see meat on the menu!

-Oatmeal Tea Muffins
-Snickerdoodle Muffins(as the tea muffins are almost gone!)
-Peanut Butter Chocolate Oatmeal
-Hot Chocolate Cookies
-Whole Grain Brown Rice Bread

-6 Cheese Rosa Pasta Bake with summer squash
-Turkey with mashed potatoes and veggies
-Lentil Sloppy Joes
-Thai Chicken Pizza
-Cheesy Chimichangas
-Minestrone Soup w/ Whole Grain Brown Rice Bread

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Roasted Banana Cinnamon Rolls

I stumbled upon this recipe on a new blog I found and thought it sounded I had a WHOLE bunch of bananas here ready to be made into something and I wanted something other than bread or a muffin.

Then I was off to find a cinnamon roll dough that was slightly healthier...after all it is the new year and everyone is attempting to eat healthier, right? I did find one so here it is!

Roasted Banana Cinnamon Rolls-adapted from Picky Palate and Allrecipes
1 cup warm water
2 tbsp applesauce
1 tbsp oil
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp dry milk powder
2  tsp yeast
1 tsp salt
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup ap flour
2 tsp vital wheat gluten

2-3 very ripe bananas, sliced
3 tbsp butter, cut into cubes
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp brown sugar

powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Place dough ingredients in bread machine according to manufacturer's instructions. Once dough cycle is complete, turn dough out onto lightly floured surface and roll into a rectangle.

In the meantime, place bananas in a pan. Dot with butter and sprinkle with brown sugar. Place in oven and roast until bananas are brown and caramelized, about 25 mins. Let cool for 10 mins. Mash slightly with fork. Lower oven temp to 350 degrees.

Sprinkle dough with cinnamon, evenly spread(or dollop) bananas over dough. Sprinkle with walnuts. Roll up like a jelly roll starting with the long side, tucking edges in.

Cut roll into 12 slices...becareful as the filling tries to escape! Place in 9x13 inch pan and allow to rise for about 1 hour or until doubled. Bake for 25-30 mins or until golden brown.

Allow rolls to cool and prepare glaze. I didn't measure any of this it was probably like 1/4 cup sugar and 1-2 tbsp milk. You can adjust this as needed and then drizzle it over the rolls.

**These were delicious and not to bad for you, although I don't have the breakdown calorie wise. They were pretty simple and had a different take on cinnamon rolls, plus its a great way to use up ripe bananas. I did like that we added in chopped walnuts, it gave it a perfect crunch!

Friday, January 7, 2011

General Tso's Chicken

We generally love Chinese food, but it doesn't tend to like us back so I've been trying some at home versions. I originally saw this recipe at Debbi Does Dinner Healthy, but followed her link to the original and used that one.

I did double the sauce, but this is the NOT doubled.

General Tso's Chicken-shared from Recipe Rhapsody
1 lb chicken,cubed
1 head broccoli
2 sweet peppers, sliced
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 tbsp sesame oil
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp ginger, minced
1 tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsp hoisin sauce
crushed red pepper flakes

1 egg
1 tbsp soy sauce

Mix together sauce ingredients and set aside. Heat some oil in a large frying pan. (My oil wasnt deep, it just filled the pan and I replenished if I needed too) Oil is hot enough when a sprinkle of water sizzles when added.

Combine egg and soy sauce and mix well. Combine with the chicken. Coat chicken with flour and fry until crispy and cooked all the way through. Remove to a papertowl lined plate.

Saute veggies in pan until crisp tender about 10 mins or so.(This may depend on how well you like them cooked.) Remove from the pan. Add the sauce into the pan and bring to a simmer and allow to thicken. Add the chicken back in and heat through. Toss in the veggies. Serve over brown rice.

**I did add in some crushed red pepper flakes for some heat as I know its traditionally spicy, but it needed more. We felt like something was missing but we weren't sure what. We did end up adding some more soy sauce as we ate it and that helped the flavor along. It was pretty healthy and tasty otherwise.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Apple Cheddar Monte Cristos

I found this recipe in of the Rachael Ray's magazine. I have never actually tried a Monte Cristo before, but these sounded good. The original recipe did have bacon in it, but I omitted it as we are trying to have more meat free meals, but I did tell K about the bacon and he agreed it would have been a great addiction. He does have a slight addiction to the stuff.

Apple Cheddar Monte Cristos-shared from Rachael Ray
2 apples, thinly sliced
2-3 slices cheddar cheese
1 egg
2-3 tbsp milk
dash of nutmeg
1 loaf french bread or your favorite bread

Preheat griddle or george foreman grill.

Beat together egg, milk, and nutmeg.*The original recipe called for 3 eggs and half a cup of milk, but this made WAY to much egg mixture for my sandwiches and I used a whole loaf of bread, so I cut down the amounts, you can always make more if needed)

Take one piece of bread and slather/dip it into the egg mix. Lay on griddle or grill. Lay on half a slice of cheese followed by 2-3 slices of apple, followed by another half a slice of cheese.(I had small pieces of bread so you may want 2 whole slices/sandwich). Close grill and cook for about 2-3 mins until golden brown. If you are using a griddle flip once cheese is melted and one side is golden.

**This was a very quick and easy weekend night meal...if I had planned better on the bread, but that was my mistake. I didn't think you could really taste the egg on the outside as the apple and cheddar took over on the flavor scale. We served them with roasted sweet and white potatoes and it was very filling!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Brunch Pizza

I saw this recipe somewhere...but then I couldn't find it when I went to look for it! So I quickly looked up another recipe. I had the basic concept in my head but  I wasn't sure how long to cook it or at the temperature. I could have guessed, but I had company and we were hungry!

Brunch Pizza-Taste of Home
1 tube crescent rolls
1 lb breakfast sausage, cooked, crumbled, drained
8 eggs
1/4 cup milk
leftover roasted seasoned potatoes(optional)
1 cup shredded cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place crescent rolls in 9x11 inch pan, spread out into pan sealing the seams, have the dough come up the side of the pan a bit. Sprinkle on sausage and potatoes. Scramble together eggs and milk. Pour over sausage, sprinkle with cheese. Place in oven and bake for 20-25 mins until eggs are set.

**This came together very quick and easy! It was delicious too! We had this for lunch but would work for every meal!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

Happy New Year!! Can you believe that Christmas and New Year's are now behind us? Now onto 2011!  Wishing all my fellow bloggers and readers a very Happy and Healthy New Year!

-Egg Sandwiches
-Tea Muffins
-Roasted Banana Cinnamon Rolls
-French Toast

-Stuffed Pepper Stoup
-Chili with corn muffins...not sure if it will be veg. or regular chili yet
-Mac and Cheese
-Lentil Sloppy Joes

Egg Nog Pancakes

I know I made these before and couldn't believe I never put them on here! So here it is, they are worth it!

Egg Nog Pancakes-adapted from Joy the Baker
1 cup flour
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 heaping tsp grated nutmeg
1/8 tsp cinnamon
pinch of allspice
3 tbsp butter, melted until browned
1 egg
1 cup buttermilk
1 tbsp whiskey, white rum OR 2 tsp vanilla

Add spices to melted butter and allow to cool for a bit. Whisk together flour, soda, sugar, and salt. In another bowl combine buttermilk, whiskey, vanilla, and butter. (It's ok if the butter solidifies a bit). Stir in dry ingredients until combined. Ladle onto hot griddle and cook until bubbles form, flip and cook until golden.

**These are very flavorful, moist, and delicious! This might be one of my favorite pancake recipes! I did double this recipe the other day and used part applesauce and the results were still fabulous! I also used ww flour.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Artisan Bread

While I was reading this week's Menu Plans for various blogs I follow, I stumbled upon this bread recipe! I am also looking for new bread recipes and willing to try them. I haven't found "the one" yet, but I think this one change my mind!

Now this bread has a story to it, and you can read more by following the link before on Snowhite's blog. This bread dough is made ahead of time and then can be kept for up to 14 days in the fridge, but I made the whole thing tonight for dinner. But if you don't use it all in one sitting, you can have fresh bread everyday with VERY little effort!

Artisan Bread-Finding Joy in my Kitchen
1 1/2 cups warm water(about 100 degrees)
3/4 tbsp yeast
1/2 tbsp salt
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 3/4 cup white flour

Place water in a big bowl/container that has a cover.(I used my big tupperware bowl, at least 4 liters) Add in the yeast and salt and let it dissolve. Add in flour and stir with wooden spoon or spatula.The dough is very wet.(if you need to use your hands, make sure you oil it or wet it). *No need to knead it! Cover dough, but do not seal container and let sit on your counter for 2-4 hours. The dough is ready for the fridge when a)the dough has fallen in on itself or b) it is flat at the top(so its no longer dome shape). Place in fridge for up to 14 days.

You will need to the dough out of the fridge 1 hour before ready to bake.
When ready to bake, sprinkle some flour on dough and tear a piece off depending on how big you want the loaf. DO NOT KNEAD IT! Place on cookie sheet and shape into a round loaf and let rise for 30 mins. After 15 mins preheat the oven to 450 degrees. After 30ish mins for rise time, cut an x in the top of the loaf. Fill a pan with 1 cup hot water and place it under the rack where the bread will be baked. Place loaf in oven and close door quickly.(The steams helps give the bread the crusty interior). Bake for 25-30 mins. The loaf will be hard and brown when done.

**I despite thinking I put too much yeast it, it still worked and it was THE BEST BREAD! IT was supposed to make 2 loaves, but I only made one. It didn't rise as high as the original recipe, but that could have been because it wasn't warm enough, didn't rise long enough, or too much yeast. There is only a 1/4 of it left to say the least! Next time I think I might add in some cheese, but it is a super simple recipe and if you make a batch(or double it) you'd be good with dough for a while. It was crusty on the outside and chewy delicious on the inside!