Wednesday, April 24, 2013

S'mores Granola

I have had some fun with granola lately, but this is my current favorite recipe, so I thought I'd share it with y'all. This s'mores granola over some greek yogurt is a delicious afternoon pick me up!

S'mores Granola

What you'll need: 
Adapted from: Dashing Dish
2 1/2 cupOld fashioned oats
2 tbsButter, melted
1/4 cupbrown sugar
1/8 cupHoney
1/4 cupMini chocolate chips
1 tspBaking powder
1/2 cupgraham cookies (or even chocolate graham crackers), broken into bite size pieces
1/2 cupmarshmallow bits (the little tiny marshmallows that you put in Hot Chocolate!)

To Make: 

Preheat oven to 350.
Combine all ingredients, except the chocolate chips and marshmallows. Spread out onto a greased cookie sheet.  Bake for 15 minutes. Stir, then bake another 15-20 minutes until granola is crisp. 
Enjoy over some yogurt or even ice cream! 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Avocado Bruschetta Chicken

Our dinner last night was too good not to share! So here you are -

Avocado Bruschetta Chicken

Ingredients:1 cup balsamic vinegar
4 thin sliced chicken breasts
Olive oil cooking spray
salt, pepper & Italian seasoning blend
1/2 cup pre-made bruschetta topping
2 avocado, sliced
4oz mozzarella cheese, sliced (or 1 cup shredded)
baby spinach, for serving
  1. Pour balsamic vinegar into a small saucepan then bring to a boil. Turn heat down to medium then simmer and reduce until vinegar is thick enough to coat a spoon, about 20 minutes. (Vinegar will continue to thicken while cooling.) Set aside to cool.
  2. Place oven rack in top position then preheat broiler. Spray chicken breasts with olive oil then season with salt, pepper & Italian seasoning blend on both sides. Spray a large skillet over medium-high heat with oil then add chicken breasts and cook for 4-5 minutes a side, or until no longer pink in the center.
  3. Transfer chicken to a foil-lined, nonstick-sprayed baking sheet then top with 2 Tablespoons bruschetta mixture, 4 slices avocado, and 1 oz mozzarella each. Broil until cheese has melted then serve over spinach and drizzle with the balsamic vinegar reduction.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Irish Skillet and Leprechaun Cookies

It's been way too long since my last post, I know! It's not that I haven't been trying new recipes, I have. It's not that I haven't liked any of the, I have. It's mostly because by the time I sit down to eat, I am starving and don't even think about taking a pic, I'm too focused on putting the yummy food in my mouth!! Well, yesterday was St Patrick's Day so I decided to make an Irish Skillet for dinner along with some Leprechaun cookies for dessert! Both were delish, and this time there was enough left in the dish to snap a quick pic so that I could share these recipes with you here.

Irish Skillet

1lb ground beef
1 onion, diced
Hash Potatoes
1c beef broth
1/4c apple juice
2tblsp yellow mustard
2tblsp vinegar
1tblsp Worcestershire
1 head of cabbage, chopped
4 slices of bacon, cut up (or more! I used about 8 slices)

To Make: 

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, season beef with salt and pepper and brown beef with onions. Add potatoes to skillet, cooking for about 10 minutes until potatoes are brown, stirring often. Mix in the remaining ingredients and cook for an additional 10 minutes until most of the liquid is absorbed. 

Leprechaun Cookies 

What you'll need: 

1 box of cake mix  (I used French Vanilla)
2 eggs
6tblsp melted butter
green food coloring
powdered sugar, about 1 cup

To Make: 

Preheat oven to 350. Mix green food coloring in with melted butter. Mix all ingredients together until well blended, will be sticky. Scoop out heaping tablespoons of dough mixture into bowl of powdered sugar and roll. Place rolled dough on cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes. 

PS- You can make these cookies with any flavor of cake mix and in any color! We made these exact cookies at Christmas and called them Grinch cookies. 

No matter what you are doing, it's always nice to have a helper!! 

Whether it's cooking dinner - 

Or working - 

Caleb loves to help me with dinner, and I have found that he is more agreeable to trying new foods if he helps in preparing them. 
Ethan enjoys working with me, and by working I mean coloring, because that's what he thinks I do all day!

Maybe I have a future chef and artist on my hands! 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Cookie Dough Hummus

Yep! You read that right! I have found an amazing recipe for hummus that tastes like cookie dough! It is a delicious healthy way to curb those sweet cravings. It pairs perfectly with some sliced apples, raw baby carrots, graham crackers, or even wheat Ritz crackers. You can even bake the hummus and have yourself some healthy cookies!

Cookie Dough Hummus

What you'll need for the hummus dip: 
1 can chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
1/4c peanut butter or almond butter
1/4 oats (I use Mom's Natural Quick Oats)
1/4c milk (I use almond milk) 
1/4c brown sugar
1/3 to 1/2c chocolate chips (I use dark chocolate chips)

To Make: 
Mix all ingredients, except for the chocolate chips, together in a blender or food processor. Fold in chocolate chips. Chill before serving. 

What you'll need to make cookies: 
Follow the same ingredients and instructions above, but also add 1/4tsp salt, 1/4tsp baking soda and 1/2tsp vanilla before combining together. Then drop by the tablespoon onto a greased cookie sheet and bake at 375 for 6-8 minutes. 

There you have it! One of my favorite afternoon snacks! 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Freezer Meals - Done!

Our last bill at the grocery store was ridiculous, so I gathered some ideas on ways to save on groceries. These freezer meals seemed to keep popping up. I read one ladies blog about it and decided to give it a try. I pulled some recipes, from many different blogs and website and made my grocery list. Not only did I save on my grocery bill, cut it back by about $100, I prepared more meals! The last trip to the grocery store, the expensive one, only made 9 meals, while this trip I was able to prepare 16 meals! I spent 3 hours in the kitchen on Sunday cutting up all the veggies and gathering all the meals together. The best part was that I did most of the preparing while the kids were napping and I only had to cook one meat. All, except one, of these meals you just throw all the raw ingredients together in a baggie and freeze until you are ready to cook! 

Here are the recipes for the meals currently in my freezer: 

1. BBQ Chicken (Crock Pot) (2 bagged meals)

Chop the following ingredients & divide them between the 2 gallon size ziploc bags
3 sweet potatoes, cubed1 zucchini, chopped1 onion, sliced2 green bell peppers, sliced1 red bell peper, sliced4-5 chicken breasts, diced
In each bag, place... 8oz tomato paste1T Worcestershire2T brown sugar1T mustard powder1 garlic clove1/4tsp salt
Reheating - This can go in the crock pot while still frozen. Add about 3/4C water or chicken broth. Cook on low for about 6 hours.

Update: This was the first meal that I made and it was delicious. All the flavors of the vegetables and sweet potatoes came together very nicely! I think it is very important to cook this meal on low for 6 hours! I was gone from the house longer than that (wouldn't it be nice to only have a 6 hour workday!) and my meal was a little overcooked. It was still tasty, just a little mushy. 

2. Spaghetti Chicken  (1 casserole)

4 chicken breasts 
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 onion, diced
4oz jar of pimentos, diced
8oz  Velveeta sliced
1 tsp seasoned salt
1/8 tsp cayenne
salt & pepper to taste

3C thin spaghetti, broken into small pieces 
Place chicken in an 8x8 foil casserole pan, sprinkle with seasonings, place peppers, onions and pimentos on top, pour cans of soup over chicken mixture, place sliced velveeta on top. Cover with foil and plastic lid, freeze.
Reheating - Thaw casserole. Remove foil & bake at 350 for 45m. Serve over cooked spaghetti noodles.

3. Citrus Ginger Chicken (1 bagged meal)

4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup orange marmalade
1 tablespoon Honey Mustard
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon red pepper -- ground

 For freezing: Place all ingredients into a 1 Gallon freezer bag. Lay flat
in freezer.

Thaw meal, pour in baking dish and bake at 350 until juices run clear, about 30 minutes.

4. Chicken & Spinach - (2 bagged meals)
 6-8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
 1 jar Classico Pasta (Three Cheese)
 Onions, bellpeppers, etc.
 Cajun seasoning to taste
 Sliced zucchini & squash 
 mushrooms sliced 
 Bag or container of fresh spinach 
 Pasta of your choice (bow-tie, spaghetti, etc.)
  Layer:Chicken breasts, onions, bell peppers, etc., seasoning, other veggies in two gallon sized ziploc baggies and top with  spinach.  Freeze.
Place in crockpot, still frozen and cook on low for about 6-8 hours. 

Update: This was the 2nd meal that I made and it was delicious!! I think this should be titled Chicken & Veggies, not just Chicken & Spinach. It has some of my favorite veggies all mixed together in a yummy cheese tomato sauce with pasta! What's not to like about that!? After my crockpot experience on Monday, I decided not to use the crockpot for this one, even though it suggests to. There were too many veggies in this bag that I didn't want them to get mushy, since I'd be gone from the house for 10 hours. So, I thawed out my meal by placing it in the fridge the night before and poured all the ingredients from the bag into a large heated saucepan when I got home. I kept stirring it and it took about 30 minutes for it to cook through. I cooked the pasta in a separate saucepan as directed on the package, I used Ronzoni Garden Delight Penne. Once the noodles were cooked, drained, and the chicken/veggie mixture was done I mixed them all together and sprinkled a little Italian cheese on top. The whole family approved of this recipe. I am excited that this made 2 meals, I'm looking forward to having this again! 

5. Crock Pot Pizza Soup - (2 bagged meals)
1 jar (14 oz) of pizza sauce
4 empty jars full of water
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
2 already-cooked Italian sausage (I used chicken Italian sausage)
1 cup sliced pepperoni, sliced in quarters 
8 fresh basil leaves, chopped (or 1/2 T dried)
1 T dried oregano
1/2 to 1/3 cup of dried penne pasta
shredded mozzarella cheese (to add later)
The Directions.
Divide all ingredients between two gallon sized ziploc bags, freeze. Place in crockpot while still frozen and cook on low for about 6 hours. Top with cheese.

6. PEACHY CHICKEN (1 bagged meal)

1 1/2 Pounds Chicken Pieces -- (4 to 6)
1 heaping tablespoon orange marmalade
1/3 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon Soy Sauce
2 teaspoon honey
1 1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 to 1 cup frozen sliced peaches

 For freezing: Place all ingredients into a 1 Gallon freezer bag. Lay flat
in freezer.
Thaw meal, pour in baking dish and bake at 350 until juices run clear, about 30 minutes.

7. Sticky Chicky "DUMP" Recipe (1 bagged meal)

2 Tablespoons Oil
1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
3 Tablespoons Smooth Peanut Butter
3 Tablespoons Ketchup
1 1/2 Pounds Chicken Pieces
For freezing: Place all ingredients into a 1 Gallon freezer bag. Lay flat
in freezer. 
Thaw meal, pour in baking dish and bake at 350 until juices run clear, about 30 minutes.

8. Summer Vegetables with Sausage (2 bagged meals)

1 lb baby red potatoes, cut in half or quartered
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp kosher salt
fresh cracked pepper
14 oz Italian sausage, sliced 1-inch thick
1 large onion, chopped
4-5 cloves garlic, smashed with the side of the knife
1/2 orange bell pepper, diced 1-inch squares
1/2 yellow bell pepper, diced 1-inch squares 
1 red bell pepper, diced 1-inch squares
2 tbsp fresh rosemary (or other fresh herb such as thyme)
2 cups zucchini, 1/2 inch thick and quartered
1 tablespoon oil

Divide ingredients except for the oil between two gallon sized ziploc bags, freeze. Thaw meal. Cook in large oiled skillet until sausage is cooked through and veggies are tender, and more oil as needed. 
Update: This meal was fabulous. I really love cooking with lots of vegetables, it really creates a flavorful dish. Leftovers were yummy too. My husband gave the meal two thumbs up, and we are both glad there is still another bag in the freezer to enjoy! 

9. Ginger Cilantro Tilapia (2 bagged meals)

6-8 tilapia fillets
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
3 minced garlic
1 inch fresh ginger, grated, about 1 tablespoon
1 jalapeƱo pepper, roughly chopped (optional
1/3 cup roughly chopped cilantro leaves
1/4 cup white wine
2 tablespoons soy sauce 
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Scallions, chopped for garnish

Divide all ingredients between two gallon sized ziploc bags, freeze. Thaw meal and place in baking dish. Bake at 475 for 8-10 minutes until fish flakes easily with fork. Serve with orzo pasta and carrots. 
Update: This was a slightly spicy, tasty dish. I wasn't sure how preparing this meal and freezing it ahead of time would work. I was worried that the juices wouldn't thaw right, but they did. It had just a little kick, not too much. We didn't have any orzo, so I served it with some brown rice. My husband went back for seconds, so he was either really hungry or liked it.

10. Italian Baked Chicken (1 casserole) 

4-6 chicken breasts
1-2 cans green beans
diced red potatoes, about 1 lb. 
Italian dressing mix
1 stick melted butter

Place all ingredients in a foil casserole dish, pouring melted butter over top, freeze. Thaw meal and bake at 350 for about 1 hour. 
Update: DO NOT FREEZE this meal! Learn from me, when you freeze fresh potatoes, they will turn black! YUK! This is, however, a very easy and delicious meal to make. Just throw everything together in a casserole dish and bake! 

11. Turkey Meatloaf  (1 meatloaf)
1 lb ground turkey
1/2c quick oats
1/4c ketchup
1 2 eggs
1onion chopped
1 tablespoon Worcestershire
1 teaspoon marjoram

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Place into a foil lined loaf pan and wrap tightly in pan. Freeze for 1 hour then remove from loaf pan and place foil wrapped meatloaf back in freezer. Meatloaf will keep it's shape and you don't have to keep your pan in the freezer. Thaw meal and bake at 375 for 45 minutes to 1 hour. 

Update: Why did I not know you could freeze meatloaf!? My family loves meatloaf, especially this recipe using oats instead of breadcrumbs. I would probably add one more egg next time (I updated the recipe above to 2 eggs instead of 1). The meatloaf was a little crumbly, and I think adding the additional egg would help hold it together better. I served this with some steamed broccoli and mashed potatoes. It was great for lunch the next day too. 

I will update this post and let y'all know how they turned out as I cook them. 


Monday, July 9, 2012

It's Hot! Cool off with a Banana Popsicle

Summer is in full swing and it's HOT outside! Here is a tasty treat to cool you off. It's fun to make and fun to eat!

Banana Popsicles

What you'll need: 
4-5 medium size firm bananas
8oz semi sweet chocolate, melted
1tsp canola oil
colored sprinkles 
4 Popsicle sticks

To Make: 

Cut each of your bananas in half. Insert Popsicle stick into each banana half and freeze on a wax paper lined cookie sheet. When the bananas are frozen, melt the chocolate in a coffee mug, microwave for about 2mins at 1/2 power. Stir in 1tsp oil. Dip frozen bananas in the melted chocolate and place back on wax paper lined cookie sheet. Return to the freezer until you are ready to eat. Eat cold and enjoy! 

After playing outside in the sprinklers, we came in and enjoyed our Popsicle! My boys LOVED them, as you can tell by their chocolate covered faces! And yes, those are cupcake liners, to "catch" the drippings! :-) 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Granola Energy Balls

These tastey little treats are sure to give you the afternoon pick me up you need, without undoing your whole day. 

Granola Energy Balls

  • 2 cups oats
  • 2 cups coconut flakes
  • 1 cup peanut butter or almond butter
  • 1 cup ground flaxseed
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (I used dark chocolate chips)
  • 2/3 cup honey 
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon 
To Make:
  1. Mix all ingredients thoroughly.
  2. Roll into bite-size balls.  The size you roll them will determine how many the recipe yields. I rolled mine a little bigger and the recipe made about 2 dozen balls. You could also flatten the mixture out onto a 9x13 pan and cut up as granola bars, if you prefer. 
  3. Store in fridge.
You could easily cut this recipe in half, but they stay good in the fridge for about a week, so stock up and snack away! I popped 2 at a time as my afternoon snack last week.