Friday, February 14, 2014

The Good Stuff

This is a Shaner favorite!

1 lg. box Corn Chex
1 lg. box Golden Grahams
1 lg. box Cinnamon Toast Crunch
16 oz. Cashews
3 C. Shredded Coconut
1 1/2 C. Butter
2 C. White Karo Syrup
2 C. Sugar

1. Mix the cereal, nuts and coconut in a large bowl.
2. Bring butter, syrup and sugar to a boil for 2-3 minutes.
3. Pour butter mixture over cereal and mix well.
4. Spread the mixture over countertop to let cool.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Orange Carrot Zucchini Cookies with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

My Mom used to make Orange Carrot Cookies when I was a wee lass. I thought of them when Steve brought in carrots from the garden. Besides all of the carrots the zucchini are bountiful so I decided to create my own variation of the original.

3/4 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup shredded carrots
1 cup shredded zucchini
1 orange, juice and rind 7 tablespoons
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 cups all-purpose flour






Preheat oven to 375.

Cream butter. Add sugar, egg and vanilla and stir. Mix in carrots and zucchini. Alternate adding dry ingredients with orange juice.

Bake for 10-15 minutes. Frost after cookies have cooled.

Frosting:
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons cream cheese
2 tablespoons orange juice
powder sugar

Cream butter and cream cheese. Add powdered sugar and orange juice to make the frosting the consistency that you want.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Summer Macaroni Salad with Bacon and Peas

This recipe inspired our salad. We had a lot of fresh peas and it gave us the opportunity to enjoy them fresh out of the pod. We aren't too picky about what shape our pasta is in, we just use what is on hand.


12 oz pasta, cooked according to package instructions and cooled
1 cup fresh peas or frozen, thawed
1/2 cup bacon bits
Canned chicken, optional
1/3 cup Miracle Whip
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
salt and pepper

Add the cooked and cooled macaroni, peas, bacon and chicken to a large bowl.

Mix miracle whip, mayonnaise, sour cream together. Toss with the macaroni/peas/bacon and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight to let the flavors mingle together.

Wonderful Whipped Cream Frosting

I used this recipe to top Jello Refrigerator Cake that I made as cupcakes and used cheesecake pudding. This is lighter then buttercream frosting and I thought that it tasted good but Steve was disappointed. He thought for sure it was buttercream. Sometimes you just need something lighter. The recipe comes from Food.

1 quart heavy whipping cream
1 (4 ounce) box pudding mix (any flavor)
1/3 cup powdered sugar

Chill large bowl and beaters in freezer for at least 30 minutes before use.
  
Beat whipping cream in chilled bowl with chilled beaters, slowly add pudding and powdered sugar, beat until mixture is thick and creamy, but still spreadable.
  
NOTE: This makes A LOT of frosting it's very light and not overly sweet great for cupcakes, layer cakes, and tarts can also be used in trifles (or just eaten with a spoon ;).

Fresh Zucchini Muffins

Constantly looking for new zucchini recipes since the garden has exploded with them. I made a double batch so that we could freeze some when we are in a rush. I changed the recipe by adding whole wheat flour, using applesauce for oil and adding oatmeal to the cinnamon and sugar for the topping. The original recipe is found here.

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 cups grated zucchini (about 2 small to medium-size zucc’s)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 teaspoons baking powder
Cinnamon and sugar for topping

Preheat oven to 375. In large bowl, whisk together flour, sugars, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.

In medium bowl, combine grated zucchini, eggs, vanilla, and applesauce. Stir well to combine, then gently stir into flour mixture. Be careful not to overwork this—it will lead to dense muffins!

Fill lined muffin tins about 3/4 of the way up with the batter and then sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on each. Bake for about 30 minutes or until golden.

Fruit Salad

If you are looking for something quick and easy this fits the bill. I made it last Sunday for dinner and they polished it off. We didn't have pineapple and it was still yummy! Next time I think I will let it sit overnight so that the pudding can mingle with the juices. Original recipe found here.

2 tablespoons dry instant vanilla pudding mix
1 pound of strawberries, quartered
1/2 pint blueberries
1/2 pint raspberries
1/2 pineapple, cubed
1 bunch grapes
Sprinkle fruit pudding powder and stir. Serve immediately or allow to sit overnight.

Sweet Onion Dip

This is a great dip for Baked Zucchini Sticks but Steve also likes it as a sandwich spread. I am supposed to make it and keep it in a bottle in the fridge so he can always have it. The recipe comes from King Arthur Flour. Makes 1 1/2 cups dip.

1 tablespoon butter
1 medium sweet onion, sliced (about 1/2 pound)
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
1 cup mayonnaise

Melt butter in a medium-sized frying pan over moderate heat, and add onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens, then caramelizes. This should take between 20 and 25 minutes, at medium-low heat. The lower the heat, the longer it takes, but the less likely you are to burn the onions. When the onions are medium brown, remove them from the heat.

Place onions, apple cider vinegar, honey and mustard in blender or food processor. Process until fairly smooth. Remove from blender and stir in mayonnaise.

Baked Zucchini Sticks

These will definitely be back on the menu. Serve them with Sweet Onion Dip. Recipe from King Arthur Flour.

3 medium-size zucchini, about 9″ to 10″ long
1 cup Panko bread crumbs
scant 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon Pizza Seasoning or mixed Italian herbs
2 large eggs

Cut each zucchini into 3″ sticks about the diameter of your finger. Cutting each zuke into 9 sticks lengthwise, then cutting into 3″ lengths, works well. Place the zucchini sticks in a colander over a bowl, and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of salt. Let them drain for 1 hour or longer.

Rinse them thoroughly; you want to get rid of any excess salt. Then pat them dry.

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment.

Combine bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese and seasoning in a bowl. Beat the eggs in a separate bowl. Dip each zucchini stick in the egg and then roll it in the crumbs. Place on baking sheet.

Bake the sticks for about 12 minutes, until they’re starting to brown. Remove from the oven, and turn them over; you may actually need to do this one by one, or you may be able to turn several at a time using a spatula. Bake for an additional 12 to 16 minutes or so, until golden brown and crisp.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Chocolate Chip Cookies

This recipe comes from Gentry. She says that with some cookies you need to chill after making but these you don't need to.  Enjoy :) they are very delicious :)

3/4 cup salted butter (softened)
1/4 cup canola oil
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla (I double it)
3 cups flour
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips (I use 2 cups and use dark chocolate)

Preheat oven to 350 (I do 325).
 
Cream butter, oil, and both sugars. Add eggs and beat batter until fluffy. Add baking soda, baking powder, salt, and vanilla. Add flour 1/2 cup at a time. (Dough will be sticky)Fold in chocolate chips.
 
Roll into 1" balls. (Do not flatten)Place 2" apart from each other.Bake 8-9 minutes. (Just until edges barely go golden brown)

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Easy Fiesta Beans


This is another easy recipe from Recipe that is a nice side with tacos, enchiladas, burritos, etc.

1 16-ounce can nonfat refried beans, preferably spicy
1 15-ounce can no-salt-added pinto beans, rinsed
1/2 cup prepared salsa
2/3 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, divided
4 scallions, sliced

Position rack in upper third of oven; preheat broiler.

Combine refried beans, pinto beans, salsa and 1/3 cup cheese in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until the mixture is hot and the cheese is melted, 6 to 8 minutes. Spoon the bean mixture into a 2-quart baking dish and sprinkle with the remaining 1/3 cup cheese and scallions. Broil until the cheese is lightly browned, about 2 minutes.

Mexican Rice



This recipe comes from Recipe and is really good and simple but it makes a lot of rice.
3  tablespoons  butter
1  small  onion, chopped
1  clove  garlic, minced
1 1/2  cups  long-grain rice, uncooked
1  can  (15-ounce) whole-kernel corn, drained
2  cans  (10-ounce) diced tomatoes with green chilies
2  cans  (14.5-ounce) chicken broth
1  teaspoon  ground cumin
1/2  teaspoon  salt
1  cup  (4 ounces) Monterey Jack cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a Dutch oven, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, and rice. Cook until rice is browned, stirring often.

Stir in corn, tomatoes, broth, cumin, and salt. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and cook for 20 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender.

Spoon rice into a lightly greased 9-x-13-x-2-inch baking dish. Top with shredded cheese

Bake, uncovered, for 15 minutes.

Healthy Black Bean Spinach Enchiladas

This recipe that I found on Six Sister's Stuff is especially great when your garden is out of control with spinach. Everyone loves these but I don't think they make great leftovers so gobble them up fresh.

15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
15 oz. can of corn
6 oz. fresh baby spinach
6 green onions, thinly sliced
1 cup of fat free cottage cheese
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped - optional
2 teaspoon cumin
2 cups shredded 3 cheese blend (or your favorite cheese)
1 can of enchilada sauce
8 whole wheat or flour tortillas

In a large bowl, combine beans, 1 cup cheese, spinach, corn, green onions, cottage cheese,  2 tsp. cumin, and cilantro. Preheat oven to 375. Lightly spray a 9×13 inch baking dish, and pour a small amount of the enchilada sauce to coat the bottom.Generously fill tortillas with the bean mixture. Roll up tightly with ends tucked in, and place seam side down in dish.Pour remaining sauce over the enchiladas, coating evenly. Sprinkle with the other 1 cup of cheese on top. Bake about 20 minutes, and garnish with cilantro and/or green onions (optional).

Cheddar -Topped Shepherd's Pie

This recipe comes from Martha Stewart. When I make mashed potatoes for a meal I plan for extra so that I can make this recipe.

2 pounds baking potatoes (about 4), peeled and thinly sliced
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil, such as safflower
6 medium carrots, halved lengthwise, quartered if large, and thinly sliced
6 celery stalks, thinly sliced
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 pounds ground beef
1 cup whole milk
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 450. Place potatoes in a large saucepan, and cover by 1 inch with salted water. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer. Cook until potatoes are easily pierced with the tip of a paring knife, 15 to 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a 5-quart Dutch oven or heavy pot over medium-high. Add carrots, celery, onion, and thyme. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Add flour and tomato paste; cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add beef; cook, stirring occasionally, until no longer pink, 6 to 8 minutes. Add 1 cup water; bring to a boil, and simmer 1 minute. Set beef filling aside.

Drain potatoes; return to pan. Cook over medium, stirring, until liquid has evaporated and a thin film covers bottom of pan, about 1 minute. Remove pan from heat; add milk and 1 cup cheese. Mash until smooth; season cheddar-potato topping with salt and pepper.

Pour beef filling into a 13-by-9-inch baking dish. Drop dollops of topping over filling; spread to edges with a spatula. Using a fork, make decorative peaks; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Bake until topping is browned and filling is bubbling rapidly, about 20 minutes (if topping and filling were chilled, increase to 35 minutes). Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Cook's Note: Both filling and topping can be made up to a day ahead and refrigerated separately.

Crusty Bread

Jamie introduced me to this bread and it is so good. The only problem that I have with it is that I have to decide the night before that I want to make it.

3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
1 Tablespoon raw sugar 
1/2 teaspoon Instant or Rapid-rise yeast
1 1/2 cups water

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, salt, sugar and yeast. Add water and mix until a shaggy mixture forms. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for 12 - 18 hours. Overnight works great. Heat oven to 450 degrees. When the oven has reached 450 degrees place a cast iron pot with a lid in the oven and heat the pot for 25 minutes. Meanwhile, pour dough onto a heavily floured surface and shape into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and let set while the pot is heating. Remove hot pot from the oven and drop in the dough. Cover and return to oven for 25 minutes. After 30 minutes remove the lid and bake an additional 10 minutes. Remove bread from oven and place on a cooling rack to cool.

Slow Cooker Kalua Pork

This is the recipe on La Fuji Mama that I used for our luau. It was so simple and I didn't hear any complaints :) I didn't have Hawaiian sea salt so I substituted with regular sea salt that I had in the house. Makes 12-14 servings

5-6 pound pork butt roast
1 1/2 tablespoons Hawaiian sea salt (coarse sea salt)
1 1/2 tablespoons liquid smoke flavoring

Pierce the pork roast all over with the tip of a sharp knife. Place the roast in a large slow cooker and rub the salt all over the meat. Drizzle the liquid smoke over the meat.

Cover the slow cooker and cook on Low Heat for 16 to 20 hours, turning the roast over once half-way through the cooking time. Depending on how hot your low setting is on your slow cooker, you may or may not need the full 20 hours. When the meat easily shreds with a fork it is ready.

Remove the meat from the slow cooker and shred with two forks, adding drippings from the slow cooker as needed to moisten the meat.

*Note: Don’t be tempted to add any additional liquid–you don’t need it. The fat in the roast will provide more than enough liquid. For this size of roast, you will need a 6-qt. slow cooker. If you have a smaller slow cooker, use a smaller roast and reduce the amount of the other ingredients accordingly.

Raspberry Crisp

The original recipe is here but I made a few changes for what we had in the house and how many I needed to make.

2 1/2 cups fresh raspberries
5 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup oats
6 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl combine berries and sugar. Mix and set aside.

In another bowl mix together flour, oats, brown sugar and cinnamon. Add in butter using a pastry mixer until crumbly.

Put berries into 4 - 4 oz. wide mouth jars and add crumble on top. Place on a cookie sheet for stablity and spills. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until the fruit is bubbly and the topping will be golden brown.

Spaghetti Salad

A cool salad for those hot summer days.

1 lb spaghetti
1 16 oz Italian-style salad dressing
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
8 ounces cubed cheddar cheese
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
8 ounces pepperoni

Cook spaghetti in boiling salted water until al dente. Rinse in cool water, drain.

In a large bowl place chopped tomatoes, green bell pepper, onion, cucumber and pepperoni. Add Cheddar cheese, and salad seasoning.

Add cooled pasta to large bowl with vegetables and pour salad dressing over top. Toss well to coat.

Chill for several hours before serving.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Quinoa Bake


 I found this recipe on Pinterest. I made it for the first time in New Zealand and had a hard time finding canned chilies. So the one can that I could find were hot! So if you don't like spicy foods watch the chilies and chili powder.

1 cup quinoa, uncooked
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup onion, diced (about 1 medium)
1//2 green pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 cup zucchini, cubed (about 2 small)
1 15 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 4 ounce can diced green chiles
1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
1 cup frozen corn
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 lime, juiced
Salt
2 cups shredded monterey jack cheese
 
Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
Place the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer and rinse throughly with cool water for at least two minutes. Drain. In a medium saucepan, heat 2 teaspoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the quinoa and cook, stirring, for about one minute. The quinoa should begin to dry out and pop a bit. Add the chicken stock. Stir and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to low and cook, covered, for 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes.
 
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 1tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and peppers and cook, stirring occasionally until soft, about 7 minutes. Add garlic and zucchini and cook 3 more minutes.
 
Fluff the quinoa with a fork and place it in a large bowl. Add onion mixture, beans, green chiles, tomatoes, corn, cumin, oregano, chili powder, lime juice, and salt to taste. Mix thoroughly and transfer to prepared baking dish. Bake 30 minutes, top with cheese, and bake 10 minutes more or until melted and just beginning to brown.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Zupa's Wisconsin Cauliflower Soup

I Love Zupas!  It is always a treat when I get to SLC.  When I saw this recipe from Chef In Training I knew that I had to make it and as luck would have it I had cauliflower in the house.  Steve and I both enjoyed it and Steve didn't even ask for meat :)  I did change up a couple of things. I didn't blend up all of the cauliflower because my man does like to chew his food unless it is tomatoes and those have to be smooth.  I also used medium cheddar cheese because it is what I had.


3 Tbsp. butter
1 medium onion chopped
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup half and half
1 cup milk
1 1/2 cups water
1 (14.5 oz) can chicken broth
2.5 lbs cauliflower
1 tsp. Dijon Mustard
1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese shredded
1/2 cup pepper jack cheese shredded

Melt butter and chopped onion together in a large sauce pan and sauté for approximately 10 minutes over medium heat until onion gets golden in color.

Add flour and stir to make a roux. Heat while stirring for a couple of minutes.

Slowly add half and half along with the milk. Gradually add and stir the entire time. Following the milk, gradually add water and chicken broth and stir constantly.

Add chopped cauliflower and heat until boil.

Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until cauliflower is tender. This will take approximately 15 minutes.

Place contents of sauce pan into blender and blend until smooth. Remove center part of blender cover to allow steam to escape.

Return cauliflower mixture to saucepan; heat over medium heat until hot, stirring occasionally. Remove saucepan from heat; stir in mustard and cheese until melted and smooth.

Serve soup topped with a little cheese for garnish.


Saturday, January 5, 2013

Crock Pot Cashew Chicken

I miss my Chinese restaurant here in town and I am not a fan of buffets so I avoid my only other option.  When I picked up cashews on sale I thought of using some for cashew chicken but I needed a recipe.  I found three but I didn't have all the ingredients from each so I worked out my own recipe which turned out great.

3 chicken breasts, cubed
soy sauce
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 Tablespoon white vinegar
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
green onions, sliced - optional
cashews

Cut up chicken breasts then sprinkle with soy sauce and let marinade while preparing sauce.

Combine soy sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, garlic, red pepper flakes, pepper and cornstarch in a bowl and set aside.

In frying pan brown chicken breast cubes for about 2 minutes per side.  Place chicken in crock pot and pour sauce over chicken.  Add chopped green onions if desired.  Cook on LOW for 3 to 4 hours.  Serve over rice and sprinkle with cashews.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Crispy Baked Ravioli

When I used to work at Tunex we would order lunch from Bruno's occasionally and I always loved to order the deep-fried ravioli.  Now I know that deep-frying isn't the best for you and it isn't the easiest either so when I saw a recipe for baked ravioli I had to give it a try. 

1/4 cup Italian dry bread crumbs*
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons milk
12 frozen cheese-filled ravioli
pasta sauce, warmed

Heat oven to 375°F. Combine bread crumbs and cheese in medium bowl.

Combine sour cream and milk in small bowl. Dip ravioli in sour cream mixture, then in bread crumb mixture to coat evenly.

Place ravioli on nonstick baking sheet. Bake 10-14 minutes or until ravioli are crisp and lightly browned. Serve immediately with pasta sauce.

To make ahead, prepare ravioli as directed except do not bake. Layer between sheets of waxed paper in a resealable plastic freezer containers. At serving time, remove from freezer. Heat oven to 375°F. Place desired number of ravioli onto nonstick baking sheet. Bake 12-14 minutes or until ravioli are crisp and lightly browned. Serve immediately with pasta sauce.

*Italian Bread Crumbs - I didn't have these in the house so I used my plain bread crumbs and add a pinch of the following spices.

Salt
Dried parsley flakes
Garlic powder
Onion power
Sugar
Dried oregano

Crockpot Ham and Beans

We had leftover ham from Christmas and Steve asked for ham and beans so I went searching for an easy recipe.  Just so you know he loved it!

1 lb dried great northern beans (mixed if desired) or 1 lb other dried beans ( mixed if desired)
3 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
1 large sweet onions, chopped coarsely
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 lb smoked ham or 1 lb ham hocks
6 cups water or 6 cups broth

Sort beans and place in a saucepan with 2-inches of water to cover.  Bring them to a boil, boil for 3 minutes, then cover and remove from heat.  Allow to sit for one hour after boiling (don't lift the lid).  Rinse and drain the beans before placing them in the crock pot.

Put the rinsed beans, garlic, onion, salt, pepper, parsley, cloves, ham (chopped into large chunks) or ham hocks into the crock pot along with 6 cups water or broth.  Cover crock, and cook on low for about 8 hours, or until beans are tender and creamy.  Skim any excess fat, if necessary, before serving.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Ultimate Crock Pot Mashed Potatoes

Out of all of the yumminess of the day this has to be our best find at Budget Savvy Diva.  Steve is my butter and sauce man, everything has to have something on it but not these, he ate them plain!  The other fantastic thing is that we made them in the crock pot which made them so easy.  If they are done early just leave your crockpot on warm and do a little relaxing.  You don't have to soak your potatoes but I read that it helps remove some of the starch.

5 Pounds Russet Potatoes - we used red
1 garlic clove minced
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup butter, cut into small cubes chunks
1 1/4 cup light sour cream
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/3 cup milk, warmed - we left this out, they just didn't need more liquid
2 ounces of light cream cheese

Peel potatoes, optional, and cube trying to get 12 cubes per potato.  This can be done up to 24 hours in advance and soaking them in water.  You can also cut up your potatoes and soak them for 30 minutes and then drain.



Place potatoes in crock pot along with chicken broth and butter.  We used the 8 hour setting but you could also use the high setting and they should be done in 4 1/2 hours.

Roughly mash potatoes – then add garlic, sour cream, salt, pepper, milk, and cream cheese and finish mashing.

Pecan Pie

I am not a pecan pie fan but my brother-in-law is so I found this recipe from Martha Stewart.  I have never made a pecan pie and of course I would want to try and alter it without ever trying it.  Our Thanksgiving party was a whooping 5 people so I opted for mini pies which worked out fantastic but that meant I needed to cut the recipe down.  The top recipe is for the full size pie and the smaller portion recipe is below.

1 pie crust
4 large eggs
1 cup light corn syrup
1/3 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups pecan halves
Lightly sweetened whipped cream, for serving (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. with rack set in lowest position.

Using kitchen shears or a paring knife, trim dough to a 1-inch overhang. With floured fingers, fold overhang under itself to form a rim; pinch between thumb and forefinger to form a uniform edge around rim of pie plate. Crimp with fingertips. Transfer dough-lined pie plate to refrigerator.

Make filling: In a large bowl, whisk eggs, corn syrup, sugars, butter, vanilla, and salt until smooth; mix in pecans. Pour mixture into chilled pie crust; place pie plate on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until filling jiggles slightly in the center when gently shaken, 50 to 60 minutes.

Cool pie completely in plate, 5 to 6 hours. Serve with whipped cream, if desired.

2 mini pie crust
1 large eggs
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1 tablespoon & 1 teaspoon cup packed light-brown sugar
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
3/4 cup pecan halves
Lightly sweetened whipped cream, for serving (optional)

Bake 30 minutes

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecake

This recipe comes from Glorious Treats and I got rave reviews so another keeper for Thanksgiving.  I don't own a fancy mini cheesecake pan (I would like to) so I used foil muffin liners.

Crust-
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Filling-
1 (8oz.) package cream cheese
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon canned pumpkin puree
1 egg
2 tablespoons sour cream
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
pinch of cloves
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350*F

Prepare crust by combining crust ingredients in a small bowl. Mix to combine with a fork. Add one rounded tablespoon of moist crust crumbs into each mini cheesecake space. Use a small bottle (such as a spice bottle, or a shot glass) to press down the crumbs, to form a crust.

Prepare the filling-
Beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add pumpkin, eggs, sour cream, sugar and spices. Blend until combined. Add flour and vanilla, and beat until well combined. Pour filling into prepared crusts. Divide batter amoung the 12 spaces.

Bake mini cheesecakes in pre-heated oven for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool about 15 minutes. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours minimum.

Texas Roadhouse Cinnamon Honey Butter

Found this recipe on Pinterest but the link doesn't go anywhere so I can give credit to it's creator.  Served it up with our Thanksgiving dinner.  It may just have to be a new tradition.  I never have unsalted butter in the house so I just used what I had.

1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 c. powdered sugar
1/4 c. honey
1 tsp. ground cinnamon

Whip the room temperature butter with whisk attachment for 30 seconds. Add powdered sugar, honey and cinnamon and beat until completely combined and very smooth. Scrape down sides of bowl and turn up speed and whip for a minute or two or until really light and fluffy. Makes about 3/4 cup

Monday, November 19, 2012

Candy Corn Cupcakes

This is such a fun and easy cupcake to make.  The original idea came from Our Best Bites but I used the recipe from Recipe Girl and added my own twist.   I have also made these with red and blue cake and white frosting for election day but the possibilities are endless.  If you haven't noticed the cake mixes are staying the same price but the cake mix is getting smaller.  Using the smaller cake mix and adding in the extra ingredients I can get 36 cupcakes that are moist and tasty.  I have also substituted the white cake mix for chocolate and use chocolate pudding.

1 box white cake mix
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated white sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups water
2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
4 large egg whites or 3 large eggs - depends on the color you are making
1 large box vanilla pudding


Preheat oven to 375°F. Place cupcake liners in cupcake pans (you'll need approx. 36).

In a large bowl, whisk together cake mix, flour, sugar and salt. Add remaining ingredients and beat with mixer for 2 minutes, or until well blended.

Use ice cream scoop to fill prepared cupcake tins- fill about 3/4 full. Bake about 15 - 18 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Royal Icing

I saw these cute pumpkins on The Sweet Adventures of SugarBelle and wanted to give them a go.  They were super easy and I learned a new trick which only helps to spark my imagination.  Since I am new at this I would highly recommend going to her website for excellent tips and tutorials.  Meringue powder can be purchased at Joanne's and Wal-Mart as well as other places but these two are my only options where I live.

4lbs {two bags} confectioner’s sugar
3/4 c. meringue powder
1 1/3-1 1/2 c. warm water
2-4 tbsp. oil-free extract or flavoring

Add the dry ingredients first. Use your mixer’s whisk attachment to incorporate the sugar and meringue powder.

Add the extract to the water and slowly add it to the dry ingredients while mixing. At first the icing will be very liquid-like.

Continue to mix it at medium-high speed until it is fluffy and stiff peaks form, about 7-10 minutes. Mixing times are approximate, keep your eye it icing and stop mixing as soon as it becomes stiff. Over mixing and oil-containing extracts can keep the icing from setting up, so keep this in mind as you work.

Notes
Royal icing will keep at least a month. I prefer refrigerating it, but it can also be left at room temperature.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Tomato Soup

This recipe came from our good friend, Ronda Bodily. We love this recipe. I use this  recipe when I make porcupine meat balls, sloppy joes, or stuffed green bell peppers

14 qts. tomatoes
14 stalks celery
14 sprigs parsley
4 Bay leaves
21 cloves
8 med. onions-cut fine
Boil and strain

1 lb. butter
1/2c. salt
1 c. sugar
3/4 tsp. paprika

Mix with a little juice. Then pour into hot juice and cook til thick.

Pressure cook 20 minutes.

Makes 14 qts.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Thin Buns

I have loved the thin buns ever since they came out.  When you use them with a hamburger you can actually taste the good stuff between the bun.  I found a recipe for these on Pinterest from Food that I had to try.  Mine are not as pretty but they taste good and they are only 114 calories per bun.  A muffin top pan is supposed to work wonderfully for these, something new to add to my wish list.

1 1/3 cups warm water
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon yeast
1 eggs
2 teaspoons canola oil
3 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup oat fiber
2 tablespoons vital wheat gluten
1 teaspoon salt

In a bowl sprinkle the sugar over the warm water, then do the same with the yeast. Add the egg and oil and combine. In a separate container, use a fork or a whisk to stir together the flour, oat fiber, wheat gluten, and salt. Add 1/2 of this mixture to the wet ingredients and blend. This is the sponge.
Let rise 30 - 45 minutes.

Add rest of flour mixture and knead for about 5 minutes. I use my stand mixer with the dough attachment. This dough will be sticky.

Spray 3 cookie sheets or muffin top pan with cooking spray or line with parchment paper. Divide dough into 16 equal portions. This is a wet dough so instead of adding any additional flour, weigh the dough on a food scale and divide it by 16. Then weigh out each portion and place on cookie sheet. Don't worry about how it looks now.

Take a 4" biscuit cutter and place it over one of the dough portions. If you wet the inside of the cutter as well as your fingers you can spread the dough into a perfect circle by using your fingers to flatten it to the inside edge of the biscuit cutter. (These will be very thin but they will rise). Remove the cutter, re-wet the inside and use it to do the same thing to the remaining 15 buns.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Let the buns rise for 30 minutes. After this time you can choose to "dock" the buns.  This means poking small holes into the dough.  A fork works well.  Docking prevents air bubbles from forming, keeping them nice and thin.  Let them rest another 10 to 15 minutes.  Bake 12-15 minutes until golden brown. Don't overbake. Cool the buns and then cut them in half for sandwich buns.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Homemade Taco Seasoning

I never have those little packets of seasoning in the house when I need them.  I found this recipe on Whole New Mom and we tried it last night when we had taco salad.  Steve asked about the seasoning on the turkey burger and said that he really liked it, so it is a keeper.

2 Tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp oregano
1 tsp paprika
1 Tbsp cumin
2 1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp pepper

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl.  Mix well. Store in a tightly closed container.

Use approximately 2 tablespoons per 1 pound ground meat.  Adjust per your taste buds.  I did not add water but you can if you want it a little saucy.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Crustless Zucchini Pie

I keep reading about people that say they wake up in the morning with a load of zucchini on their porch.  That has never happened to me but my two zucchini plants keep me hopping.  I keep trying to find new recipes and here is the latest. I found this recipe on Skinnytaste and Gentry and I both liked it.  Steve ate it but he wasn't a huge fan.  He isn't a fan of quiche either, go figure.  The few changes I made were green onions for shallots, no chives and regular whole wheat flour.  1/6th of pie is 125 calories if fat free milk is used, I had 2% in the house so the calories increased to 129 for 1/6 of pie.

10 oz shredded zucchini, all liquid squeezed out
1/2 cup green onions, chopped - click on link for green onion tip
1/2 cup part skim mozzarella
2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
2/3 cup milk
1 tsp olive oil
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 tsp kosher salt
fresh cracked pepper to taste
cooking spray

Preheat oven to 400°. Lightly spray a pie dish with cooking spray. Combine zucchini, onions, and mozzarella cheese in a bowl.
 
Mix flour and baking powder in a medium bowl. Add remaining ingredients, except Parmesan cheese, to the bowl and blend well. Combine with zucchini mixture and pour it into the pie dish.

 
Top with Parmesan cheese and bake 30-35 minutes or until knife comes out clean from the center. Let it stand at least 5 minutes before serving.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Cupcake Tips

Jamie wrote this email to me:
 
I am watching the Rachael Ray show and learned something new today :) You might already know this but if you're using a cake mix but want to bake cupcakes instead of a cake this is how you bake them...
 
350 degrees makes a flat cupcake
375 degrees makes a round top
 
then you bake it for 15 mins until golden brown

Saturday, July 28, 2012

chocolate zucchini cake

1 1/2 c. sugar

2 1/2 c. flour
4 Tbsp. cocoa
1 tsp. soda
2 c, grated zucchini
2 eggs
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 c, oil
1/2 c. buttermilk or sour milk w/ vinegar

Mix sugar, eggs and oil. Stir dry ingredients and add alternately with buttermilk. Pour into a 9x13 inch pan. Sprinkle with 2/3 c. chocolate chips and 1/2 c. chopped nuts. Bake at 325 for 35 to 40 minutes.   ( Do not ice)

Monday, July 23, 2012

Peach-Nectarine Fruit Roll-Ups

Steve just bought me a dehydrator and I have been drying all different kinds of fruit but when I looked at the peaches and nectarines on the counter they were too ripe.  I have wanted to try fruit leather and this was the perfect opportunity.  I did a Google search and came up this recipe from Blissfully Content.  It worked out perfect.  I have apricots in the fridge that may end up as roll-ups as well.

About 3 pounds nectarines and peaches {combined}. You can use ANY combination of fruits.
1 TBS lemon juice
1/4 cup honey {this really gives it a great texture and flavor}

Wash your peaches and nectarines really well. Cut into quarters, pit, and put into a pot on low. Use a potato masher to cook down. Add lemon juice and honey.

When fruit is heated through and it looks fairly mashed, put into a blender. Blend until smooth.

I have non-stick sheets for my dehydrator and I was able to spread one cup of puree per tray.  I tried to leave the edges a little thicker, about 1/4 inch, and the inside, about 1/8 inch.  Smooth out as evenly as possible with a spoon

Dry at 135 degrees until leathery and pliable...about 4-7 hours. Make sure there are no sticky spots in the center. 

While fruit leather is still warm, cut and roll in parchment paper.  I used scissors to cut even pieces. Store in glass jars.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Sweet and Sour Jam

Steve's Mom has a cherry, apricot and two apple trees.  We were able to get cherries and apricots and have to see what comes of the apples.  I was looking for different ways to use apricots and stumbled upon this recipe.  I love sweet and sour chicken!  I keep saying that I love this or I love that but I really should say I love food!!!  I did make a couple of changes by not using habaneros, shallots, cherry tomatoes and cilantro.  I didn't have any of those so I used jalapenos, green onions and a tomato minus the seeds.  There wasn't any heat when I used the jam on the chicken so next time I think I will leave a few jalapeno seeds in.

2 jalapenos, minus seeds unless you like heat
3 cups fresh apricots, pitted and chopped
1 cup green onions, sliced into thin slivers
1/2 cup green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup fresh pineapple, chopped
1/4 cup tomatoes, minus seeds, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon minced fresh cilantro (optional)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1 (1.75 ounce) package powdered fruit pectin
6 cups white sugar
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 teaspoon butter

9 sterilized half-pint canning jars with lids and rings


Wearing rubber gloves and avoiding touching your eyes or face, seed and mince the jalapeno peppers. Place the jalapenos, apricots, green onions, green and red bell pepper, pineapple, tomatoes, garlic, cilantro, cumin, and lime juice into a large pot over medium heat, and stir in the pectin until dissolved. Bring the mixture to a boil, and mix in the white and brown sugars, stirring until completely dissolved. Return the jam to a full rolling boil, add the butter to reduce foaming, and boil hard for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly.


Turn off heat, and skim and discard any foam that forms on the jam. Pack the jam into the sterilized jars up to 1/8 of the rim and top each with a sterilized lid and ring.

 
Simmer the filled jars in a boiling water bath for 25* minutes, then remove the jars and listen for the popping sound. Let jars cool completely.


*25 minutes is for my elevation 5800 ft.  I consulted the packaging with the pectin which told me how to adjust my time.

I opted out of breading my chicken, you could use pork, to cut down on the calories but you can bread if you like using this recipe.  I cut up my chicken into bite-size pieces and then spooned jam over chicken.  Toss chicken to coat and bake at 325 for 1 hour. 

Sweet Pork

I love Costa Vida Sweet Pork Burritos or Salad! I had made a pork loin the other day without anything on it because I wanted to try this apricot BBQ sauce which no one liked but I had to give it a whorl. Anyway I had left over pork and kept thinking about Costa Vida and that sweet pork salad. I knew where I could get a copycat recipe of Cafe Rio versions of sweet pork but when I looked at the ingredients I didn't have any Coke and I found out that there isn't any reason I need it.

1 can diced green chilies
1 (10oz) can red enchilada sauce (I use Old El Paso brand, mild spiciness but any will work)
3/4 c. brown sugar
Cooked, shredded pork

Place chilies and enchilada sauce in blender and give it a spin. Stir brown sugar, shredded pork and enchilada sauce together. Place in crock pot for two hours. Enjoy!

Cherry Almond Scones

These are the English type of scone not the yummy deep-fried kind you smear honey butter all over.  I am not saying that these aren't yummy as well, actually I really enjoy a good English scone.  Jamie has a recipe posted for Blueberry Scones and I love Great Harvests Raspberry White Chocolate Scones.  This recipe is from The Kitchen Sink Recipes which is one of the food blogs that I follow.  I have cherries from Steve's Moms tree and I keep trying to find other uses besides drying them.  Two substitutions that I made were using milk and vinegar instead of buttermilk and I used Demerara sugar instead of Turbinado because it is what I have on hand. 225 calories for 12 or 150 calories if you make 18.

2 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup butter, in 1/2-inch cubes
1 cup pitted and chopped cherries
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon almond extract
Turbinado or sanding sugar for sprinkling (optional)

Preheat oven to 375°.

Place cubed butter in freezer for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk together the flour, 1/4 cup sugar, baking powder and baking soda.  Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter (or two knives or your finger tips) until the flour-butter mixture is the texture of coarse cornmeal.  Stir in the buttermilk and fruit.
Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently a couple times. Roll dough out to approximately one-inch thickness and cut into squares. Sprinkle with coarse sugar (optional).

Bake on a parchment-lined baking sheet for 25 to 30 minutes, until lightly browned.
 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Straws and Fruit

Strawberry - start at the bottom of the strawberry and push through to pop out the stem

Cherries - start at the stem and push the pit out.  The pits are hard on a straw but you do have two sides and it is a lot faster then the paper clip method.

I would recommend investing in a good box of straws for these procedures and save the dollar store straws for drinking.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

2 Ingredient Lemon Bars

I think I would actually call this lemon cake and it couldn't be any easier!  The can of lemon pie filling I found at the store was actually larger then the recipe called for so I have a little left over in the fridge but I just read some of the comments and some used the whole can and just baked it a little longer.  I have read other places that you could use other pie fillings and do the same thing.  Raspberry or Becky's Razzleberry Pie Filling, I am definitely going to try.  I might even try my own homemade lemon pie filling since I don't keep pie filling in the house.  Very good and not too bad on the calorie count, 107 calories if you cut it to get 22 servings and it would be a little more if you used the whole can.  Recipe from Practically Living

1 box angel food cake
15 oz can lemon pie filling

Mix the two together by hand until moist. Be sure not to over stir. Bake in a 9x13 cake pan at 350 degrees until golden brown on the top (about 20 minutes). Cool completely before eating. As they are cooling, you can sprinkle with powder sugar if you wish (Which I guess technically makes this a 3-ingredient recipe). They have more of an angel food cake texture than a traditional lemon bar texture. 

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Plum Muffins

The original recipe was to make a loaf of bread but it is all about portion control for me.  The original recipe served 8 (338 calories) while mine serves 12 (211 calories) saving over a 100 calories per serving.  I substituted some of the flour for whole wheat and used half the brown sugar it called for.  I have a cookie scoop that is 2 tablespoons that works fantastic for muffins as well as cupcakes.


1 cup pitted, chopped plums
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons brown sugar


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Sprinkle chopped plums with 1 tablespoon of flour in a bowl and toss to coat.  Set aside.  In a large bowl, beat the butter, white sugar and vanilla extract with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.  Beat in the eggs.  In another bowl, sift together 1 1/2 cups of flours with salt and baking soda.  Stir the dry ingredients into the egg mixture, alternating with yogurt until the mixture forms a smooth batter.  Lightly stir in the flour-coated plums and pour the batter into the greased or paper-lined muffin pan.  Sprinkle the top or the batter with brown sugar.  Bake in the preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean.

Zucchini Tots

It's that time of year when zucchini starts multiplying like rabbits and we need 501,432 ways to use it.  This recipe The Curious Country Cook was quick and easy and low in calories, just 23 per tot.  I used Panko bread crumbs because they half the calories of regular bread crumbs. I used my cookie scoop which holds 1 tablespoon and they fit exactly into the mini muffin cups.


2 cups zucchini, grated
2 egg
1/2 cup yellow onion, diced
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
Salt and Pepper

Preheat oven to 400F. Spray a mini-muffin tin with non-stick spray, set aside.


Grate the zucchini and then place in a dish towel to squeeze out the excess water- you will be surprised how much liquid comes out but if you skip this part the middle of the zucchini tots will be really soggy.


In a bowl combine, the egg, onion, cheese, bread crumbs, zucchini, salt and pepper.


Using a spoon or a cookie scoop, fill the muffin cups to the top. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until the top is browned and set.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls

When you read the ingredients in this recipe that my friend pinned on Pinterest you are going to wonder, "What is Cheryl thinking?", but these are awesome.  Steve loves them as well!  Steve says they taste just like my peanut butter bars.  The recipe made 12 cookie dough balls and 151 calories a piece.  I can only eat one because they are so filling.  After baking I placed them in the freezer and nuke them for 30 seconds to have a nice warm healthier treat.

1 can garbanzo (chickpeas) well-rinsed and patted dry with a paper towel
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons peanut butter
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon baking powder
a pinch of salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Combine all the ingredients, except for the chocolate chips, in a food processor and process until very smooth. Make sure to scrape the sides and the top to get the little chunks of chickpeas and process again until they're combined. Put in the chocolate chips and stir it if you can, or pulse it once or twice. The mixture will be very thick and sticky. With wet hands, form into 1 1/2" balls. Place onto a Silpat or a piece of parchment paper. If you want them to look more like normal cookies, press down slightly on the balls. They don't do much rising. Bake for about 10 minutes.

Notes: I used chunky peanut butter because that is what I had open in the house.  I am sure that smooth would work as well.  I don't own a food processor so I had to mash the beans with a fork and maybe the chunks of peanuts hide the chunks of beans that didn't get completely smooth.  I can't tell you because you CAN NOT taste the beans.

Raspberry Buckle

I was lucky enough to be in SLC when Becky was coming through and she gave me a bucket of fresh raspberries.  I made a batch of jam but wanted something else tasty to enjoy this great harvest.  Yes I did another Pinterest search and came up with this recipe from Martha Stewart.  I bet you could use any fresh fruit that you have handy.  It was sweet enough that we didn't serve with whipping cream or ice cream.  It makes 8 servings and 300 calories per serving.

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for baking dish
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 containers (1/2 pint each) raspberries (2 3/4 cups)
 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 2-quart oval or square baking dish. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition to combine. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and baking powder; with mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture until incorporated.
 
Spread batter in baking dish. Scatter raspberries on top. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean and top is golden brown, 45 to 50 minutes. Let cool 20 minutes.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Homemade Ranch Dressing


I am not a lover of ranch dressing but I don't mind using it as a dip for vegetables.  I know that I am in the minority but that doesn't mean that I won't try and search out something tasty for the rest of the family.  I stumbled upon this recipe on Pinterest (what a surprise, right?).  The calories in a whole batch is roughly 255 calories depending on the brand of yogurt and type of milk used.  When you add the milk you may think that the dressing is a little runny but after it has chilled for an hour it thickens right up.

1 cup Greek yogurt
1 Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing Packet (NOT DIP!)
1/2 cup milk

Whisk together and chill for one hour.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Great Harvest Dakota Bread


I love bread!  One thing I learned from the HCG diet is that I don't like empty calories.  I used to pop a donut in my mouth and it was so tasty but now I have noticed I enjoy the taste but I don't feel like I have eaten anything so I want another to help satisfy my hunger.  I need that full feeling to help stop the eating and I found Great Harvest's Dakota Bread to help do the trick.  It is a little pricey so I decided to try and duplicate the recipe to help save a few bucks.  I did a search on Pinterest and here is the recipe that I found to which I have made a few small alterations.

Update: You can change up the bread by adding 3/4 cup of Oat Fiber and reduce the whole wheat flour to 2 1/4 cups.  It reduces the calories and ups the fiber but you will notice that the bread doesn't raise as high with the oat fiber.

1 1/4 cups warm water, 120 - 130 degrees
1/2 cup honey
3 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
3 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup rolled oats (not instant)
2 tablespoons vital wheat gluten
1 1/2 teaspoons rapid or instant yeast

Add-ins
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
2 tablespoons flaxseed
1 tablespoon poppy seeds

Mix add-ins together in a bowl and reserve one tablespoon for top of loaf.  Place add-ins, flour, oats, vital wheat gluten and yeast in mixing bowl.  In a measuring cup stir together water, honey, butter and salt.  Pour into mixing bowl and mix until you have a soft ball of dough.  Place in a greased bowl and cover with cloth.  Let rise until double, about 45 - 60 minutes.
Punch down dough and form into a loaf.  Place in a greased loaf pan and allow the dough to rise about 30 minutes.  Sprinkle topping over the loaf pressing seeds lightly into the dough.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Bake 30 - 40 minutes or until golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped.  Cool at least 20 minutes before slicing.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Kitchen Sink Frittata

I have made these frittatas a couple times now and Beau and I love them! I am not a big egg person so I put tons of stuff in them so they're not "eggy." They're perfect when you have a veggie tray that you need to use before it goes bad :)

In this specific frittata this is what I used:

Frozen Hashbrowns
Precooked Turkey Sausage
Cooked Quinoa
Zucchini
Yellow Squash
Tomato
Red Onion
Red Pepper
Celery
Eggs/Egg Whites
Cheese

- Heat oven to 375 degrees.
- In a frying pan, spray with pam. Heat hashbrowns and sausage. Evenly spread across the bottom of the pan. Add quinoa and veggies. You don't stir so evenly sprinkle each item on top.
- Pour eggs on top. I used 5 eggs and some carton egg whites so all the ingredients are in the egg mixture. I used a spatula and poked all around so the egg would get down to the bottom.
- Top with cheese.
(this is what it looks like when it's ready to go in the oven)
- Bake for 15-20 minutes. Until all eggs are cooked. You can check with a toothpick.

It is good to eat with ketchup, hot sauce and salsa.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Mini Oreo Cheesecakes

We were celebrating a birthday today at work.  I said that I would bring the dessert which gave me an opportunity to try something new from Pinterest.  This recipe comes from Sprinkle Charms and they were simple and tasty.  She baked her cheesecakes in a special cheesecake pan but I used my muffin pan and used the foil liners.  Mine took a little bit longer to cook but the spring back let me know when they were done.  I really liked the Whipping Cream Topping and I am thinking of other ways to utilize that nifty recipe.

16 ounces cream cheese
2/3 cup sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 cup sour cream
1 package regular size Oreo cookies
1 package mini Oreo cookies (chop about 1 cup to use in batter, the rest are garnish on top)

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

Place one full size Oreo cookie in the bottom of every mini cheesecake cup or muffin pan. This will serve as the "crust" of the cookie.

Beat the cream cheese for several minutes until it is smooth and creamy.

Add the sugar and salt. Add eggs one at a time until incorporated.

Add the vanilla extract and lemon juice. Fold in the sour cream and chopped Oreo cookies and mix until combined.

Pour the mixture into the prepared cups and bake for 22-25 minutes (the tops should spring back slightly when touched).

WHIPPING CREAM TOPPING
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tsp. corn starch
2 tbsp. instant vanilla pudding mix

Combine all ingredients and beat for several minutes until the cream thickens and soft peaks form. Pipe onto tops of cheesecakes and garnish with a mini Oreo.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Tortilla and Black Bean Pie

My Tortilla and Black Bean Pie isn't as pretty as Martha's but I am sure that it tasted just as good, my springform pan was larger then the tortillas I had in the house.  Basically this is a large bean and cheese burrito not rolled up.  

4 flour tortillas (10 inches)
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 large onion, diced
1 jalapeno chile, minced (remove seeds and ribs for less heat)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
2 cans (15 ounces each) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups water
1 package (10 ounces) frozen corn
4 scallions, thinly sliced, plus more for garnish
8 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded (2 1/2 cups)