Sunday, December 19, 2010

Quadruple Cheese Macaroni with Smokey Bacon

I personally haven't tried this recipe...
but it sounds so yummy good, I'll be trying it real soon!!

1 pound rotini pasta
1 pound Applewood smoked bacon
4 Tablespoons butter, divided
3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon onion flakes
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon pepper
8 ounces extra sharp cheddar cheese
4 ounces shredded Monterey Jack cheese
4 ounces shredded mozzarella
8 slices American cheese slices
3 Tablespoon panko breadcrumbs

Preheat oven to 350o F. Spray a 3-quart baking dish that can also withstand the broiler with cooking spray. Bring a pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Cook rotini pasta according to package directions and drain.

Cook bacon until crisp and transfer to a dish with paper towels to absorb the fat. Pour of bacon fat drippings, reserving 2 Tablespoons in the pan. Add 1 Tablespoon butter.

Whisk flour into butter and bacon fat until smooth and cook for one minute to remove flour taste. Whisk in milk. Stir in onion flakes, garlic power, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and reduce heat, simmering about 2 minutes. Toss together cheddar, Monterey Jack and mozzarella cheese. Remove sauce from heat and whisk in the American cheese and about 1-1/2 cups of the cheeses. Toss the bacon with the remaining shredded cheese.

Combine cooked pasta with the cheese sauce. Pour half of it into the baking dish. Sprinkle with a heavy-hand of the bacon-cheese mixture. Repeat with one more layer. Melt 3 Tablespoons butter and combine with 3 Tablespoons panko breadcrumbs. Sprinkle over the top layer.

Bake for 20 minutes and then broil for 3-5 minutes to get the top nice and brown and crunchy.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Easiest Busy-day Soup

I almost felt like a bad mom when I started making this soup because it was so easy that I thought I was doing something wrong. :) I basically made it up as fast as I could from stuff I had around the house that I was trying to use. I thought I would have to add some sort of seasoning, but after having it simmer for 20 minutes, it was delicious! I thought I'd share with you just because it's SO EASY. Everyone in the family loved eating it with some hearty wheat bread and butter. Simple and yummy!

Busy-day Vegetable Onion Soup

1 pkg Lipton onion soup mix
4 cups water
1 can vegetable broth
1 small bunch celery, chopped (I like a lot, but you can do as much as you'd like)
3 large handfuls baby carrots, halved (again, as much as desired)
5-6 red potatoes, quartered (keep the skins on)

Put ingredients in a pot in order listed, and simmer until flavors meld. It really tastes simple and good for as easy as it is. Serve with wheat bread and butter.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Great Harvest Fruit Bars

I'm posting this recipe that Jenny sent me- looks good!

"Fruit Bars that are pretty darn close to the ones at Great Harvest.

I haven't been able to find a recipe online for the Great Harvest fruit bars! So I have combined a couple of recipes and think these come really close. I wanted to post, because I'll bet there are a lot of other people looking for the recipe!"

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 cup white flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cup oats
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
3 T milk
about 1 1/2 cups fruit- fresh or frozen (at Great Harvest, they seem to put in whatever is in season- peaches, berries, cherries, rhubarb...)

Cream together butter and sugar. Add egg and mix well. Add dry ingredients. Once mixed, stir in the milk. Spread into a 9x13 pan that's been lined with parchment. Then sprinkle on the fruit- all one kind, or a mix. Cook at 350 for 30-35 minutes- the center will be a little spongy, but not soupy. And, if you use frozen fruit, it will take a little longer.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Santa Snack Mix

The little santa hats in this snack mix might be the cutest thing to come out of my kitchen since the dump truck cake. Seriously, when I came across these on the internet, I just knew my Christmas could not be complete until I tried making them! They would make a cute addition to your holiday treats by themselves, if you didn't want to make the rest of the snack mix along with them, (although it's really good!) Such an adorable delicacy deserves to be shared with all the world, so unless you are totally immune to cuteness (Mark) you'll want to make these too! They're a little labor intensive, it's true, but not more than any other candy recipe and there's no thermometer or special, secret boiling point to worry about, so that was a plus for me! Here's the recipe. (and a lot of photos.)

For the hats you will need:

white candy melts
1 tbs. shortening to thin the coating
red candy melts (or add red food color to the white)
Wilton sugar crystals or white sprinkles
mini marshmallows
wax paper

Melt your red candy melts according to directions. Stir in 1 tbs. shortening. Dump your bag of Bugles in a bowl, and choose ones that are open on the bottom so they will stand up to dry. Dip all but the very tips in red coating, tap of excess on side of bowl, and set on a cookie sheet with wax paper on it to dry.

When they are dry, melt the white candymelts. (You will only need a small bowl of these.) Dip the bottom of the hats to form a white brim, dip in the sugar, and set them back on the cookie sheet to set.
Now you are ready for the tops- with your kitchen shears or a clean pair of scissors, cut about 1/2 cup of mini marshmallows into halves. (Cut them through their middles, not across the flat top). Dip the bare tips of the bugles back into the remelted red coating, and poke a half marshmallow onto the hat, holding on for just a second to let it set.

To assemble the rest of the snack mix in a large bowl stir together about

2 cups Rice Chex cereal
2 cups pretzels
1 cup peanuts
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1 bag Christmas M&M's

Melt 1 bag white chocolate chips, pour over mixture and stir quickly. Chocolate will harden fast, so get everything coated evenly and pour onto another cookie sheet covered with wax paper. Put it back in the bowl when the chocolate is dry, add 1/2 to 2/3 of a bag of red and green M&M's. Add the santa hats. Almost too cute to eat!

And here is a link back to the original recipe.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Mix Em' Up Muffins

This is a fun recipe to adapt to whatever you happen to have on hand or what sounds yummy. There are several variations of muffins that work, the banana is my favorite.

Banana Muffins:

4 mashed ripe bananas
1/3 c. sugar
1/3 c. oil
1 egg
3/4 c. whole wheat flour
3/4 c. white flour
1/4 cup wheat germ
1 tsp. soda
1 tsp. B. powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. chopped walnuts are nice to add.

Mix the wet ingredients, and the sugar, blend well. Mix remaining dry ingredients. Stir both mixtures together until just combined. Pour into a muffin tin prepared with cooking spray. Bake at 350º for 20 min, or until tops spring back when poked.

Pumpkin Spice
Subst. 1 cup pumpkin puree for bananas. Add 1 tsp. cinnamon, and nuts if desired.

Apple Oat
Subst. 1 cup applesauce for bananas. Add 1 diced, peeled apple and 1 tsp. cinnamon. Subst. 1/2 cup of the flour with oatmeal and sprinkle a tsp. of oats on each muffin before baking.

Blueberry Yogurt
Subst. 1 cup vanilla yogurt for bananas. Use all white flour, add 1 cup frozen blueberries to the flour before mixing.

My next experiment is to make a cranberry orange batch of muffins.
Also, you can adjust the wheat flour/white flour ratio to whatever you like. The wheat germ is for added Vitamin E and folic acid.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Tasty Thai Pumpkin Soup

Wow it's been waaaay to long since I posted a recipe! Finding myself with a little less time these days, but to make up for it here is a really great soup for fall. This soup has unexpected notes of fresh ginger and coconut, and is not spicy, but leaves a gentle tingle on your tongue. It tastes like gourmet, but is really very easy to make. I was surprised how nice the pumpkin went with the Thai flavors, makes me think about using it in a curry... So if you want something a little different try a bowl of pumpkin soup to warm you up this fall.

Saute onion and celery with olive oil. Add coconut milk, red pepper flakes and grated ginger. Heat, stir in pumpkin and remaining ingredients except for cilantro, simmer for 10 min. Add chopped cilantro,stir to combine. Using and immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth. Or, blend it in batches in your blender. Serve with crusty bread.

*note: the final step to this soup is the tasting: balance the saltiness with soy sauce, add more or less of the veg. broth, and make adjustments till you are happy with it.(Also, I didn't have the sesame oil and it seemed Ok.)

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Pumpkin Cheesecake

I have made this recipe twice in the last month. It is so good. I like pumpkin pie, but after making this I think it has been replaced in our house. Those we shared it with loved it and begged for the recipe.

You should really try it this holiday season! Wow your guests at Thanksgiving.

Follow this link to: Allrecipes

Friday, October 8, 2010

"Comfort" Cheese Soup

I love this time of year that starts calling for comfort food at dinner time. The warm soups. The fresh breads. The classics that have been cooked many times. The recipes that come straight from Mom's kitchen and remind you of when it was served to you!

Thought I'd share my family's cheese soup. The processed cheese and sticks of butter maybe equal the veggies pulled from the garden. Maybe. It's a great standby that screams Fall to me!

2 C. Carrots, diced small
2 Medium Onions, chopped
1/2 Pkg Frozen Green Peas
3 Sticks of Butter (no substitute)
1 1/2 C. Flour
3 Quarts Boiling Water
2 Tbls Chicken Bouillon
1 Jar (16 oz) Cheese Whiz

  1. Cook Vegetable in salted water, until tender.
  2. Set jar of CheezeWhiz in pan of boiling water to melt, or melt it slowly in the microwave.
  3. Heat butter in large saucepan, stir in lour and cook and stir until bubbly. Remove from heat.
  4. Add half of the boiling water to the roux (flour and butter mixture) and mix until well blended.
  5. Dissolve the bouillon in the remaining water. Add to other water/roux.
  6. Continue cooking until thick.
  7. Add melted cheese and vegetables.
  8. Season to taste.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

It's that time of year...

Pumpkin Season!
The Joy of Baking website has a page full of delish-looking pumpkin recipes- I just wish I could try them all, see if there is one there that strikes your fancy...

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Crispy Balsamic Baked Chicken Breasts

I just made this and it was so easy and yummy. It's probably similar to shake-and-bake, but I imagine it's better for you. Plus, we love any and all recipes containing balsamic vinegar.

*1/3 cup breadcrumbs (use Italian flavored or regular and add some Italian seasoning)
*1/2 tsp dry parsley flakes
*1/2 tsp garlic powder
*1/4 tsp garlic salt
*1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
*2 tsp balsamic vinegar
*2 egg whites
*2 boneless chicken breasts

1. Put bread crumbs, parsley, garlic powder, garlic salt, and cheese in medium bowl and mix.
2. Whisk together vinegar and egg whites in smaller bowl.
3. Dip chicken in vinegar mixture then dry mixture.
4. Place on Pam-sprayed rack placed on foil-lined cookie sheet (I used my metal cookie rack for this and it worked well).
5. Spray the top of the chicken breasts with cooking spray (I forgot this step and it still worked).
6. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.
7. Bake at 400 for 30-40 minutes, until fork tender and the juices run clear.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Cucumber Salad

If you planted as many cucumbers as I did, you need to find some creative ways to eat them. (Since I don't like pickles).We had this salad last night- it is very simple and very good, and goes well with fish.

1 medium cucumber
1/4 red bell pepper, diced
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1 Tbs chopped fresh cilantro

1 Tbs. honey
1 Tbs. rice vinegar
2 tsp grated ginger (I just used a little dried ginger).
1/2 tsp. salt

Peel cucumber, slice in half lengthwise and cut out seeds. Make thin slices and place in a salad bowl, along with onions and red bell pepper. Top with dressing and cilantro, toss to coat evenly.
I couldn't really imagine how this would taste before I made it, but there is a nice sweet-spiciness to it, great fresh flavors. I also didn't have any bell peppers but it still turned out fine!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Small-fry Frittatas
Okay, this isn't so much a recipe as it is a great idea I found in an old Family Fun magazine (March 2005) to solve the problem we have in our house of making omelettes for people with differing tastes (yes tomatoes, no tomatoes, yes tomatoes or peppers, yes ham...etc...).
You bake the eggs in a muffin tin! Pour in the egg mixture, have the mix-ins available and let everyone make one or two of these to their own taste. My Kindergartener swears they taste better than regular omelettes, too.
For 12 frittatas:
8 large eggs
1/2 cup half and half
1 tsp salt
assorted mix-ins (shredded cheese, diced tomatoes, peppers, chives, bacon bits, sausage bits, ham bits....)
Heat the oven to 350 and spray 12 muffin tins. Whisk together the eggs, half and half and salt in a medium bowl, then evenly distribute among the muffin cups. Add about 2 Tablespoons of mix-ins to each cup. Bake until they're puffy and the edges are brown- 20 to 25 minutes. Loosen with a really cool crepe flipper, or with a knife.

Easy Chicken

Need an idea for chicken?
Take four chicken breasts, and butterfly them. (Or use chicken tenderloins). Cook in a fry pan with a little olive oil, turning them as needed and season with garlic & onion powder, some tumeric and paprika. When the chicken is almost done, top each piece with a heaping spoonful of mango or peach salsa, (your favorite brand). Add some fresh chopped tomatoes if you have them. Top with some grated mozzarella cheese, and place in 500º oven until cheese is melted. Serve on a bed of fresh, steamed spinach. Make sure to drizzle all the sauce from the pan over chicken when you serve it. Yum!

Friday, August 20, 2010

My Favorite Summertime Dessert

Blueberry Buckle

When we lived in Connecticut I used to visit the pick-your-own blueberry farm, and I came home looking for a recipe that would help me use up my buckets of blueberries. Now I make this every summer, even if the blueberries are from Costco. It is kind of like a big, delicious blueberry muffin made into a cake! Very good, and good for you if you consider blueberries are one of the most nutritious foods you can eat. (Can't really say the same about the streusel topping, though!)

Why is this dessert called a Buckle? Buckle is a New England dessert developed by colonists which combines fresh seasonal fruit, a rich cake batter, and a streusel topping. The result is a rich, dense cake with a moist crumb which is sometimes compared to coffee cake. While blueberry buckle is a classic version, the dessert can also be made with peaches, nectarines, raspberries, and any mixture of other fresh fruit. So in eating this you are not just taking a bite of a delicious dessert, you are actually taking a big, yummy bite of American history!

1 1/2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. butter, softened
1 egg
1/2 c. milk
3 c. fresh or frozen blueberries (do not thaw)

Heat oven to 350º. Grease and flour 10 inch tube pan. (Or, a 9x13 will work as well). In medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt, set aside. In large bowl, beat sugar and 1/4 c. butter until light and fluffy. Add egg, beat well. Alternately add dry ingredients and milk to sugar mixture, beating well after each addition. Spread 2/3 of batter into greased and floured pan, top with blueberries. Spread remaining batter.

1/3 c. flour
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 c. butter
1/4 c. chopped walnuts

Combine flour, brown sugar and cinnamon. Using pastry blender or fork, cut in butter until mixture is crumbly, add nuts. (Looks like I also added some oatmeal for texture, it's up to you.) Sprinkle over cake batter. Bake at 350º for 55 to 65 minutes or until cake is deep golden brown. Cool 10 minutes, remove from pan. Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Cook's note:
This recipe calls for a tube pan to make a ring-shaped cake that you can turn out of the pan. If you'd rather just use a 9x13 baking dish to serve it out of, that works too. I have also found that this comes out just a little short on the batter- there's never quite enough to divide up so I tend to just make all the measurements "heaping" portions-except for the salt- in the measuring cups- does that make sense? Just to make the batter stretch a little farther.
Now I know that every recipe on the internet promises to be the best thing ever- but in this case it's really true. It's probably second only to fresh peach cobbler in my book!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Katie's Famous Pear Pie

My mom is famous for her pies, and one of the favorites is this pear pie.

1 9" unbaked pie crust
4-6 fresh pears
juice of 1/2 a lemon

1/4 cup margarine
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp mace

whipping cream (optional)

Place cored, peeled, lemon-coated pears in pie shell. Be careful not to use too many pears. I used three large pears for the pie pictured. If you use too many pears, the custard filling is too juicy and doesn't set.

Combine butter and sugar. Beat in flour, eggs, vanilla, and salt.

Pour custard filling over pears and sprinkle with mace. (I never use the mace because I never think to buy it.)

Bake 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes (or until it looks right...).

For the record, I don't think the whipping cream is optional. I think you've gotta have a dollop on top of your slice of pie.

Sunday, July 25, 2010


My friend Sara taught me how to make this delicious vegetable stew. It's perfect to make now with all the fresh vegetables at the market and in your gardens. It tastes even better as a leftover (maybe the flavors settle better?).

-2 onions
-1 big yellow or red bell pepper
-3 small zucchini
-1-2 eggplants
-1 big can diced tomatoes with juice
-1-2 cloves garlic, chopped
-1 tsp. Italian seasoning
-1/2 - 1 Tbsp sugar
-salt and pepper to taste

Dice all veggies to 1" cubes. Set a big pot on the back burner of your stove, set on low. In a frying pan, partially cook each vegetable in olive oil in the order given. As each one is done, put it in the big pot while you partially cook the next vegetable (I chop the next one in line while one is cooking). After adding all the partially-cooked vegetables to the pot, add the tomatoes and juice. Top with garlic and spices. Cover and cook at lease 30 minutes until cooked and tender, stirring occasionally. Can take an hour if the cut of the vegetables is big.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Orange Julius

I figure everyone has this recipe, but here's a reminder of something that made us feel oh, so cool on a day that was oh, so hot.

6 oz. frozen concentrated orange juice (we used raspberry lemonade--it was all I had and very yummy)
1 cup water
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup sugar

mix together in a blender, then add 8-12 ice cubes.

Cool liquidy!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Breakfast Casserole

This went way too fast at my sons baby blessing to take a picture so you will have to use your imaginations...

8 frozen hash brown patties
1/2 C. butter, melted
1 C. cubed ham
1 C. shredded cheddar cheese
1 C. shredded Swiss cheese
8 eggs
2 C. milk or cream
1/2 tsp salt

Place potato patties in greased 9 x 13 pan, Pour melted butter evenly over the top of the patties and bake at 350 for 20 min. Remove from oven and sprinkle ham and cheese over the top. In large bowl beat eggs. Add milk and salt. Stir. Pour mixture over cheeses and ham. Bake for 30 min.

I have done this with southern style hash browns and cubed lunch meat as well. No matter how you make it, it is delicious! Add fresh fruit and you have a great and easy meal for family gatherings.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Pear and Gorgonzola Salad

Hi Recipe Room- I've been a little busy of late with my new little one, but here is a recipe for you, finally.
This is my favorite salad, all the flavors just have that perfect "harmony" together! Throw a smaller batch of this together for a tasty lunch for one, or make this version for a larger group.


2 cups torn baby spinach greens
1 ripe pear, diced in 1/2" pieces
1/3 c. (or so) crumbled gorgonzola cheese
1/3 c. chopped walnuts. (Or pecans)


1/2 c. olive oil
1/3 c. lemon juice
2 Tbs. water
3 Tbs. Splenda or sugar
1 tsp. dill
dash of salt
Mix everything well in a bottle/jar.

Combine salad ingredients, and toss with dressing. Enjoy with a piece of crusty bread.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Crockpot Broccoli Beef

I found this a few months ago on A Year of Slow Cooking. It's really good and easy.

--1 lb thin beef (she used rib eye)
--1/4 cup soy sauce (La Choy and Tamari wheat-free are gluten free)
--2 T white wine
--2 T apple cider vinegar
--1 T brown sugar
--2 t sesame oil
--2 cloves smashed and chopped garlic
--1/2 t crushed red pepper flakes
--1 bag thawed broccoli florets (to add later)

Add the liquid to the crockpot. Chop up your garlic and add it along with the spices to the mixture. Slice meat into thin strips (I used my kitchen scissors this time I made it and it was much easier). Toss in the liquid and spice mixture to coat.

Cook on low for 6-8 hours, depending on the cut of meat. Thicker pieces will take longer to tenderize.
An hour before serving, add entire bag of broccoli, cover and cook on high for another hour or so.
Stir gingerly to coat broccoli.

Serve over steamed rice.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Potato Salad

Here's my mom's recipe for potato salad. It's a "clean" potato salad--meaning there's not much else in it besides potatoes and dressing. It's kind of a learned art, so try it out and make your own adjustments.

12-15 potatoes
2 c cottage cheese
2 c mayonnaise
1/3 onion grated
1/2 bunch green onions
3 T vinegar
salt to taste

Boil potatoes the night before. Drain and let cool. The next morning, peel and cut into bit-sized pieces. 

In a separate bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients, adjusting as necessary (sometimes I don't use the full 2 c mayo and sometimes I grate a little more onion). Add the dressing to the potatoes until you've reached a desired consistency. Sometimes there is left-over dressing depending on how many potatoes you have, so it's best to add as needed. Enjoy!

(This is always a hit at BBQs and is pretty much perfect with baked beans. My husband made it at the last BBQ we attended and everyone was quite impressed.)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Lickety-Split Orange Rolls

I usually make these rolls in a small pan when I'm making a batch of regular rolls, but I was curious to see how they would work out with the dough from my friend Adele's Fastest Ever Cinnamon Rolls. I was pleasantly surprised at how well they turned out. I'll never wait for yeast to rise again! (At least not for orange rolls...)

In a blender or food processor combine:

3/4 cup cottage cheese
1/3 cup buttermilk (1 tsp vinegar and milk to make 1/3 cup)
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup white sugar
4 Tbs butter, melted

In a large bowl, combine:

2 cup flour
1 Tbs baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Add liquid to dry ingredients until a sticky ball forms. Turn out onto some flour until dough is manageable. Roll out to about 9X13 rectangle. Roll like cinnamon rolls. Place in a 9X9 pan.

Cover with:

1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup white sugar
zest of 1 orange

Bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes. Cool a little before enjoying.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Oatmeal Coconut Cake

Well, all I can say about this cake is yum, yum, yum! I wish I could reach through your computer screen and hand you a piece, so you could taste it's carmelly goodness! This recipe is an old one and is all over the internet- there are a few variations, but it's unanimous that it is super-duper delicious. And it's a very quick cake to bake. Some versions call for cinnamon, which I did not use, some call for either walnuts or pecans. Some have you broil the topping after you put it on, I just boiled mine for a few minutes. Anyway, it's a wonderful carmel cake with a topping similar to a german choc. cake, except I even think the flavors compliment each other better with this cake rather than with a chocolate one, but you be the judge.
Here's the recipe:

Oatmeal Cake

1 cup quick oatmeal (not intstant)
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup margarine
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Put oatmeal and boiling water in bowl, let stand 15 minutes. Add the rest of ingredients, except combine the dry ingredients before mixing them in. Beat well. Bake in a greased 9 x13 pan at 350 for 30 to 40 minutes, till dark golden and center springs back when poked.


6 tbsp melted margarine or butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 c. evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups coconut
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
Mix together well and spread on warm cake (still in pan) Broil until brown on top. Cake with topping can be frozen.

(Like I said, I made the topping and boiled it for a few minutes in the microwave. Then after it and the cake cooled for awhile I spread it on top. Oh, yumminess...)

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Meal Ideas

As most of you know, I am expecting soon so, in preparation for the new-baby-sleep-deprivation fog, I am freezing some dinners. Any ideas on meals that will freeze well?

Sunday, May 23, 2010

White Chocolate Blueberry Cookies

This is a winning taste combination- dried blueberries and white chocolate! You can find dried blueberries in packages near the other dried fruits, and in the bulk foods section at Smith's, and at Costco where they are the best price per ounce but of course come in a larger bag. (They are also great in your oatmeal.) Recipe as follows:

Cream together:
1 c. butter
3/4 c. sugar
3/4 c. brown sugar

add and mix:
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla

Mix the dry ingredients and add to dough:
2 1/4 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt

Add and mix in:
2 c. oatmeal
1 1/2 c. dried blueberries
1 bag white chocolate chips
1/2 c. chopped walnuts

Drop tablespoon size dollops onto and ungreased cookie sheet, bake at 350º for 10 min.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Homemade Nutella

Ok, if this really works it may just change my life forever. This website says it has a recipe for homemade Nutella and I'm so curious to see if it tastes like the real thing. So, anyone want to try/review this recipe first?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Baked Salmon

Let me preface this by saying that yes, salmon is very expensive. I only bought some because I like it and it was my birthday. My kids, 6 and 4, couldn't get enough of this salmon. I got the recipe from recipezaar.

2 cloves garlic
6 TBS light olive oil (I used extra virgin. It was a little oily, but still good)
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper (I used half)
1 TBS lemon juice
1 tsp chopped fresh parsley

2 (6 oz) salmon fillets

Mix the first seven ingredients. Pour over salmon in a baking dish. Cover with foil and marinate for an hour. I turned them once. Bake at 375 25-35 minutes, until the salmon flakes with a fork. I doubled the marinade recipe and used two pounds of salmon. It was delicious with a baked potato and some asparagus.

Banana Berry Brownie Pizza

▪ 1 package fudge brownie mix (13-inch x 9-inch size)
▪ 1/3 cup boiling water
▪ 1/4 cup vegetable oil
▪ 1 egg
▪ 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
▪ 1/4 cup sugar
▪ 1 egg
▪ 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
▪ 2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
▪ 1 to 2 medium firm bananas, sliced
▪ 1 square (1 ounce) semisweet chocolate, melted

In a bowl, combine the brownie mix, water, oil and egg until well blended. Spread into a 12-in. pizza pan lined with parchment paper (you can try using grease and flour, but it always sticks that way for me). Bake at 350° for 25 minutes.
In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar, egg and vanilla until combined. Spread over brownie crust. Bake 15 minutes longer or until topping is set. Cool on a wire rack.
Just before serving, arrange strawberries and bananas over topping; drizzle with chocolate. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 10-12 servings.

The picture above was without parchment paper and the brownie was very hard to get out. I made it last night using parchment paper and it was so much better! That also allowed me to move it to a pretty round platter for serving.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Peanut Chicken Bowl

Attention all peanut-butter-lovers out there (yes, I'm pointing at Mark)! I found this on Recipe Girl and it is really good. I used frozen broccoli (thawed), sweet red pepper and carrots. I left out the crushed red pepper.

Two 3-ounce packages Oriental- flavored ramen noodles
3 cups cut up vegetables, such as broccoli florets, red pepper strips, halved pea pods and/or thinly sliced carrots
1¼ cups water
¼ cup peanut butter
¼ cup soy sauce
2 Tbs packed brown sugar
1 Tbs cornstarch
½ tsp crushed red pepper
2 cups chopped cooked chicken
8 ounce can sliced water chestnuts, drained
8 ounce can bamboo shoots, drained
¼ cup chopped peanuts
¼ cup sliced green onions

1. Set aside 1 seasoning packet from noodles to use in recipe; store remaining packet for another use. In a large saucepan bring 2 quarts water to boiling. Break up noodles slightly and add to water along with cut-up vegetables. Return to boiling; reduce heat. Boil gently, uncovered, for 3 minutes. Drain and return to saucepan.

2. Meanwhile, for sauce, in a medium saucepan whisk together the 1¼ cups water, peanut butter, soy sauce, brown sugar, cornstarch, crushed red pepper, and seasoning packet. Whisk until smooth. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir for 2 minutes more. Add chicken, water chestnuts, and bamboo shoots to sauce; heat through. Add to noodle mixture in saucepan. Toss to combine. Top with peanuts and green onions.

Servings: 4

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Pad Thai

Learned how to make Pad Thai thanks to this great recipe Mark found for me. So yummy- now I don't have to wait around for our semi-annual date to get my fix!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Fiesta Chicken

Here is a yummy crock-pot recipe using ingredients that you probably have in your pantry/fridge right now!

6 frozen boneless, skinless chicken thighs
2 cups salsa (I use Costco Mango salsa!)
1 can Cheddar Cheese soup
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed.
1 can white (Northern) beans, drained
2 pkts. Sazon Goya seasoning mix
(You might have a box of this if you have tried the Beans and Rice recipe.)

Place chicken thighs in crock pot, season generously with onion powder and garlic powder. Now add the rest of the ingredients and stir to combine. Cook on high for about 4-5 hours, or until your chicken is cooked through. Add 1 can of corn, drained- cook on low till chicken is fork-tender. Shred the chicken with two forks. Before serving, stir in 6 oz. cream cheese, (melt it a little in the microwave first.)

Serve over hot rice, top with grated cheddar cheese. You can also add chopped fresh tomatoes and avocados. Yum!