Friday, October 31, 2008

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds!

Don't let your decorations go to waste! Cook, puree, and freeze your pumpkin for yummy recipes all winter. And the seeds are the best part (at least my husband thinks so!) He likes the savory recipe the best, while I love the Halloweeny :) I got this great tutorial from this link.

Directions for Making Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Ingredients and Equipment

  • pumpkin (see step 1)
  • a sharp, serrated large knife
  • Cookie sheet
  • vegetable oil
  • salt pepper, general herbs

Recipe and Directions

Step 1 - Clean the seeds

When you are carving your pumpkin, separate the seeds from the pumpkin flesh and strings. Wash them well (usually putting then in a big bowl of water and rubbing them between your hands is a fast way to clean them) and let them drain in a strainer for about 30 minutes, then spread them out on a baking pan. Now just use a hair dryer to dry them quickly! It is also time to start preheating the oven. Turn it on and set it to 275 F

Step 2 - Spread the seeds on a cookie sheet and season them

Spread the seeds evenly over a cookie sheet and lightly baste the seeds with melted butter, margarine, or vegetable oil. There are many variations. Here are the most popular, in order or popularity:

  1. Savory: 4 tablespoons melted butter, 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt and 2 teaspoons Worchestershire sauce
  2. Lemony: 4 tablespoons melted butter, 1 teaspoon 'Mrs. Dash" or lemon pepper
  3. Halloweeny: 4 tablespoons melted butter, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice.
  4. Spicy: 4 tablespoons melted butter, 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1/2 teaspoon thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  5. Natural: 1 teaspoon sea salt or other salt, 4 tablespoons melted butter,

Step 3 - Roast the seeds

Heat them in a 275-degree oven for 10 to 20 minutes until golden brown. DO KEEP AN EYE ON THEM, checking every few minutes and stir about every 5 minutes. Some ovens run hot and it can be as little as 10 minutes or as long as 30 minutes to roast them. Sprinkle with salt and serve hot or cold.

For milder flavor, simmer the cleaned seeds for about an hour in salted water and fry in deep oil. Or mix a tablespoon of oil or margarine to each cup of nuts and roast them at 250 degrees for 10 - 15 minutes until they're golden. Sprinkle them with salt.


Mom's Simple and Frugal Beefaroni

Whenever my Mom had a busy day, she would make this easy and frugal meal for dinner. And I always loved it!

Ingredients:
1 lb. ground beef
1 cup noodles of your choice
1 can tomato sauce
4 slices American cheese (or whatever cheese you like best)
shredded cheese to sprinkle on top

Directions: Cook pasta while browning ground beef. Drain water from pasta and grease from ground beef. Add pasta and tomato sauce to beef in pan, cook on med heat til sauce is bubbly. Turn heat down to low. Add in American cheese; stir til melted and well-mixed. Serve with some shredded cheese sprinkled on top.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Healthy Hint: when you don't have time to make everything from scratch...

Last week I wrote about the importance of soaking grains and legumes in order to get the most nutrients. I do have my own grain that I grind and soak for baking whenever possible, but to be honest, I just can't do it all the time! Being pregnant and chasing a busy toddler around limits the time I spend in the kitchen. So I was excited to find this article on healthy substitutes! Disclaimer: They are a little more expensive and some are hard to find at your local grocer. I've found that our Kroger has a great refrigerated organic section that has several of these products, although the only place to get them all would be Whole Foods or Earth Fare or another place like that.

Click HERE to read the whole article -- it has a lot of good info in it!!!

Four Steps to Replace White Flour with Whole Grains

STEP 1: Limit white flour products to 3 times per week

Use this step to help you pay attention to the amount of processed starches that you do eat and how they make you feel. Get in the habit of reading labels, be aware of products made with "enriched" flour. You'll soon discover that white flour is in practically all commercial foods. When you do eat white flour products, remember to eat them as part of a balanced meal. Don't eat starches by themselves, but eat them with protein and good fats.

STEP 2: Replace white bread/pasta with whole grain bread and whole grain pasta

This step will help you become a serious label reader. Do your best to avoid breads and pasta made with "enriched" flour. You'll notice that it is difficult to find a true whole grain bread at the grocery store. The few brands that are available unfortunately add undesirable ingredients like hydrogenated vegetable oils and high fructose corn syrup. It is best to purchase quality whole grain bread from a health food store. Use the chart below to help you with this step.

STEP 3: Replace all other flour products with whole grains

This step will help you to clean all the white flour out of your cupboards and stock them with whole grain alternatives. Choose products made with organic whole grains when possible--sprouted grains are best. Also remember to balance and limit the grains in your diet. Although products made with whole grain flour are a good source of fiber, unfortunately they begin to lose their nutritional value within days after they have been ground. If you are baking with whole grains, it is best to grind your own whole grain flour and consume it within 3-6 days.

STEP 4: (Advanced) Properly prepare your grains

All grains, nuts, and seeds contain phytic acid, an organic acid that blocks the absorption of minerals. Grains also contain enzyme inhibitors and irritating compounds that can inhibit digestion. Traditionally, grains were properly prepared by soaking and sprouting. Not only does this practice neutralize the negative effects of phytic acid, but it also increases the nutritional value of the grain. Proper preparation is especially important for breakfast cereals. For more information on how to properly prepare your grains, see the recipes in Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon.
Whole Grain Substitutes For Refined Grain Products
AVOID
USE
BREAD made with white flour
(Any brand sold at regular grocery stores)
Alvarado Street Bakery
Cybro's
Shiloh Farms Bakery
Nature's Path
Ezekial Bread
Jerusalem Pita Bread
CRACKERS made with white flour Wasa Sourdough Rye
Ak Mak
Hol-Grain
PASTA made with white flour Eden Pasta
BAGELS made with white flour Alvarado Street Bakery bagels
TORTILLAS made with white flour Alvarado Street Bakery sprouted wheat tortillas
WHITE RICE Lundberg Organic Brown Rice
Bob's Red Mill Grains
Arrowhead Mills Grains
BREAKFAST CEREALS
(All extruded breakfast cereals, whether sold in supermarkets or health food stores)
Rolled or steel-cut oats, preferably organic
Wheatena

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Pumpkin Cornbread

This is so yummy and goes great with my new pumpkin chili recipe! I use coconut oil to grease the pans because it adds a little sweetness to the crust and is so good for you!

Ingredients:
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup whole wheat flour
1 Tbs baking powder
1 tsp salt
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
1 cup cornmeal
2 large eggs
1 cup pumpkin puree (canned or freshly cooked and processed)
2/3 cup brown sugar
¼ cup canola oil
1 Tbs molasses

Directions:
1Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease 10-inch glass pie pan or 9-inch square baking pan.
2 Sift flours, baking powder, salt and spices in a large mixing bowl. Whisk in cornmeal.
3 In separate bowl, beat eggs lightly. Whisk in pumpkin, brown sugar, oil and molasses.
4 Make a well in the dry mixture. Add pumpkin mixture and blend batter with a few quick strokes (just until blended- don't overmix).
5 Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 30 minutes, or until cornbread is browned and the surface has a slightly springy feel.


Servings: 8

Cooking Tips
*We like to use Bob's Red Mill coarse grain corn meal for an added crunchy texture.
**Terrific with chili!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Pumpkin Chili

Have you noticed that I am a sucker for anything pumpkin during the fall? :) Its just so healthy and so yummy. I love this variation of chili! I added some soaked kidney beans to it as well because my baby loves beans and they are so good for her! Then it needed a little water so it wouldn't be too thick. I also added some cinnamon and nutmeg because anything pumpkin tastes better with those spices :) I forgot to copy the website I got it from, though, sorry.


Ingredients:

1 lb


ground beef


1 cup


chopped onions


1 cup


chopped green bell peppers


1 clove


garlic, minced


Two 14½oz.


cans diced tomatoes


1 cup


pure pumpkin pureé


1 Tbs


ground chili powder


1 tsp


ground cumin seed


½ tsp


ground black pepper


dash of


salt


½ cup


grated cheddar cheese


½ cup


sour cream



Directions:

1

Brown ground beef in large sauté pan with onion, green pepper and garlic. Spoon off grease.

2

Return to heat and add tomatoes, pumpkin, chili powder, cumin, pepper and salt. Mix well. Cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes.

3

Serve topped with cheese and sour cream.


Sunday, October 26, 2008

Weekly meal plan 10/26/08

Mon: Cranberry Chicken (from freezer)
Tues: Frugal Beans and Rice Tortillas (new recipe)
Wed:Potato Soup
Thurs:Sloppy Joes (double and freeze!)
Fri:Hawaiin Chicken Pile-up
Sat:Lasagna (double and freeze!)
Sun:C.O.R.N.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Beans and Rice Tortillas

For some time, I've been hearing that the best way to save money on groceries is to: 1) not have a meat every dinner and 2) eat more beans and rice. Neither option comes easily for our family -- Mark is a meat-and-potatoes kind of guy and I have never done much with beans other than in chili. But I really do want to save money, and beans and rice are really incredibly good for ya, so here is my first no-meat, beans and rice recipe! We decided to smother them with salsa, sour cream, and cheddar cheese and fry them into quesadillas. Yeah, the no-meat idea is pretty hard on my hubby and I won't do it too often for dinner. But Karis loved them, so its a great lunch for the two of us! And its 100% healthy if you use home-made salsa and sprouted wheat tortillas!

Ingredients:
1 cup brown Rice
1 cup beans of your choice -- I'll be using black beans or kidney beans
1 - 1 1/2 Tbs. Taco seasoning
Tortillas
fixings of choice (sour cream, shredded cheese, salsa, etc)

Directions:
For the rice
: either just follow the directions on the box or, to be the healthiest, soak overnight in 2 cups warm water and 2 Tbs. yogurt or buttermilk. Bring to a boil, skim, reduce heat to low, stir in some salt and butter, and cover tightly, cooking on low for 45 minutes.

For beans: either follow directions on the bag or to be healthiest, cover beans with warm water (if using black beans, also stir in 1 Tbs. whey or lemon juice) for 12-24 hours. Drain, rinse, place in a large pot and add water to cover the beans. Bring to a boil and skim off foam. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, for 4-8 hours. Check occasionally and add more water as necessary. Season to taste once beans are soft and ready to eat.

Put it all together in a tortilla wrap with the fixings of your choice

Friday, October 24, 2008

Healthy Hint: Soaking grains and legumes

Whenever we make oatmeal, quinoa, beans, rice, or any other kind of grain or legume, I usually try to think ahead and soak it the night before in warm water. This is because soaking increases vitamin content and makes all the nutrients more available. I usually add 2 Tbs. buttermilk or yogurt with my grains because it works to break down to phytic acid and complex starches. That just means it helps my body digest it more easily and absorb the nutrients better. You might not notice the difference, but I have relatives with stomach issues who cannot eat a bowl of normal oatmeal but can eat it after being soaked overnight. It really does make a difference!

To make my life easier, I usually store my grains in glass jars in my pantry, already measured in 1 cup portions. Then all I have to do is pull it out the night before, add a cup of warm water and 2 Tbs buttermilk, and let it set overnight. Once soaked, oatmeal, quinoa, or other grains cook in less than 5 minutes in the morning! So simple and yet it makes a huge difference nutritionally!

If you want to know more about the benefits of soaking grains, please click HERE
Here is my basic recipe for oatmeal, quinoa, etc:

Ingredients:
1 cup oats (not instant!) or whatever grain you are using
1 cup warm water plus 2 Tbs. whey, yogurt, kefir, or buttermilk
1/2 tsp. salt (sea salt is the most nutritious, but any kind works :)
1 cup water for cooking

Directions: Mix oats with warm water mixture, cover and leave in a warm place for at least 7 hours and as long as 24 hours. After soaking, bring an additional 1 cup of water to boil with salt. Add soaked oats, reduce heat, cover and simmer several minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for several minutes. Serve with sweetener of your choice.
*Karis and I use a combination of coconut oil, applesauce, and cinnamon to sweeten our oatmeal. Maple syrup or raw honey are other good options.

And what do I do with leftover oatmeal? I mix an egg into it and fry it in coconut oil! Its a great way to get more coconut oil in us and Karis absolutely loves it! She will eat fried oatmeal cakes for breakfast and almond butter on her fried oatmeal cakes for lunch :) Yummy and so good for her!

Recipe from Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Lynne's Cheddar Potato Chowder

This post is part of the Whole Food for the Holidays Progressive Dinner! I am always so excited when my mother-in-law makes this cheesy potato soup. Yummy, easy, and healthier than recipes using cream soups :) I usually replace the water with home-made chicken stock to make it more flavorful and nutritious. I also often add broccoli or other veggies :)

Ingredients:

2 cups diced potatoes

½ to 1 cup diced carrots

½ cup chopped celery

½ cup chopped onion

1 ½ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. pepper

¼ cup margarine

¼ cup flour
2 cups milk

2 cups cheddar cheese

½ lb. Bacon, cooked and crumbled

Directions: Boil two cups of water; add to potatoes, celery, carrots, onion, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer 10 minutes. Do not drain. Make a white sauce using margarine, flour, and milk. Cook until thickened. Add grated cheddar. Stir until smooth. Add bacon and the undrained vegetables. Simmer (do not boil) until heated through.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Toffee Apple French Toast Bake

Ok, so this doesn't fall under the particularly healthy category, but it is ever so yummy!

Ingredients:
8 cups cubed French bread
2 medium tart apples
1 pkg. cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1-3/4 cups milk, divided
2 tsp. vanilla extract, divided
1/2 cup English toffee bits, almond brickle chips, or caramel chips
5 eggs

Directions: Place half of the bread cubes in a greased 13x9x2 baking dish; top with apples. In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugars, 1/4 cup milk and 1 tsp. vanilla until smooth; stir in toffee bits. Spread over apples. Top with remaining bread cubes. In another bowl, beat the eggs and remaining milk and vanilla; pour over bread. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Bake, uncovered, at 350 for 35-45 minutes until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.


This recipe of part of KK's SUYL Breakfasts

Monday, October 20, 2008

Helpful Hints: Storing Fruits and Veggies

I found this chart on a blog and thought it was pretty helpful for knowing how to store your fruits and veggies to make them last longer. Disclaimer: I don't love the blog it came from (a little too green for me :) but I thought it was a very useful chart.



Sunday, October 19, 2008

Weekly menu 10/18/08

Mon: Enchiladas (from freezer)
Tues: C.O.R.N night
Wed: Apple Chicken Bake with Sweet Potato Spinach Casserole
Thurs:Italian Chicken over quinoa
Fri: Spinach Beef Pasta (from freezer)
Sat: Taco Soup (new recipe!)
Sun: chili (from freezer)

Mom's Apple Chicken Bake

My Mom made up this recipe when she ate a similar dish at Cracker Barrel and it was so delicious! Very easy and another one of my favorite "comfort food" meals :)

Ingredients:
Chicken breasts
Sliced apples
Basic White Sauce
Ritz Crackers
Melted Butter
Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Cooked Bacon (optional)

Directions:Make a white sauce; Layer the sliced chicken in a greased casserole dish, then the white sauce, apple slices, then some cheddar cheese, then Ritz cracker crumbs mixed with melted butter. I like to add some crisp bacon with the cheddar cheese under the Ritz crackers :) Bake at 350 for about 30 min til bubbly and chicken is no longer pink.


This recipe is part of Kelly's Korner SUYL

Leah's Taco Soup

This comes highly recommended from my friend, Leah, and my family loved it! I used a little less taco seasoning because I know Ed and Leah like things spicy. We ate it with sour cream, cheddar cheese, and Ritz or tortilla chips :) And I just throw all the ingredients into the crockpot and leave it all day :)

Ingredients:
1 pound ground beef or sausage
chopped onion to season beef
2 cans stewed tomatoes
1 lg. can tomato sauce
2 pkgs taco seasoning
2 cans kidney beans
2 cans corn, drained

Directions:
1. Brown 1# ground beef or sausage with chopped onion.
2. Put meat in large pot. Add 2 cans stewed tomatoes, 1 lg. can tomato sauce, 2 pkgs. taco seasoning, 2 cans kidney beans, 2 cans corn (drained).
3. Cook for about 1/2 hour - sorry to be vague. You're pretty much just warming it all up. You can also put this in the crockpot on low.
**I usually only make HALF of this recipe b/c the whole thing feeds quite a few people**

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Layered Spaghetti Casserole

I made up this recipe on Thursday when I decided at the last minute to take dinner to a family who had lost a loved one. I needed something that I had on hand, but that was better than plain old spaghetti. So this is what I came up with. I made one for us, as well, and we loved it!

Ingredients:
1 lb. browned ground beef
cooked noodles: whatever you like best :)
1 can spaghetti sauce
basic white sauce
1/2 cup or more of whatever cheese you have on hand: mozzarella or Monteray Jack works great! I added a bit of cream cheese, too, but it wouldn't be necessary :)
shredded cheese to sprinkle on top

Directions: Make basic white sauce; season to taste with salt, pepper and maybe some minced onions. Add in whatever cheese you are using, stir til melted and mixed with white sauce. Mix with cooked noodles; make sure you have enough for it to be soupy. Pour into a greased baking dish. In another bowl, mix browned ground beef with spaghetti sauce. Pour over creamy noodles. Sprinkle cheese on top. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes til bubbly.
*Depending on what size dish used, you can do several layers or just two.

Basic White/Cream Sauce

Since a lot of my recipes use a basic white sauce, I thought I'd better post this so I can just link to it instead of typing it out all the time :)

Ingredients:

1 tbsp. butter
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. flour
1 c. milk

Directions: Melt butter in medium skillet over low heat. Add flour and salt and stir to paste. Slowly add milk until desired consistency is reached.

Makes 1 cup of creamy white sauce (thin)..

FOR VARIATIONS: MEDIUM: Use 2 tablespoons butter and flour for each cup of milk. THICK: Use 4 tablespoons of butter and flour for each cup of milk. CHEESE SAUCE: Add at least 1/2 cup of any cheese to the Basic White Sauce, stir til melted and blended well.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Sweet potato Spinach Bake: my favorite fall side dish

This combination sounds a little weird, but it actually is unbelievably good! This is undoubtedly my new favorite fall side dish :) I got the recipe from a Simple and Delicious cooking magazine. If you don't want to pay for Gouda cheese, mozzarella or Swiss works fine. I actually do not use the microwave, but boil the sweet potatoes in their skins on the stove until just tender, then slip them out of their skins, slice, and follow the rest of the recipe.
Ingredients:

  • 4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Gouda cheese
  • 3 tablespoons crumbled cooked bacon
Directions: Place sweet potatoes in a 1-1/2-qt. microwave-safe dish; add water. Cover and microwave on high for 8-10 minutes or until tender.
Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, saute onion in butter until tender. Add spinach. Stir in flour and seasonings until blended. Gradually stir in milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat.
Drain sweet potatoes. Spread half of the spinach mixture into a greased 11-in. x 7-in. baking dish. Top with half of the potatoes and cheese. Repeat layers. Sprinkle with bacon. Cover and bake at 375° for 10-15 minutes or until bubbly. Yield: 4 servings


This post is a part of Kelly's SUYL side dishes!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Melanie's Delicious Pumpkin Dump Cake

My sis-in-law made this one Thanksgiving and I just couldn't stop eating it! So yummy and super easy, too!

Ingredients:

1 30 oz can pumpkin pie filling

1 ½ cup granulated sugar

3 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. salt

3 large eggs

1 12 oz. Box yellow cake mix

1 cup chopped pecans, if desired

¾ cup melted butter

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix first 6 ingredients until smooth and pour into a greased 9x13 pan. Sprinkle cake mix over pumpkin batter and then cover with the chopped pecans. Drizzle melted butter over the top and then bake for 45-50 minutes. Refrigerate until completely cold and then serve with French Vanilla Cool Whip.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Barbara's Scrumptious Zucchini Bread

My sis-in-law's mother gave some of this to me and it was the best zucchini bread I'd ever had!


Ingredients:


Zucchini Mixture:

3 eggs

2 cups sugar

1 cup veg. Oil

2 cups grated zucchini

3 tsp. vanilla

Bread Mixture
3 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
3 tsp. cinnamon


Filling:
½ cup chopped nuts
½ cup brown sugar
1 ½ tsp. cinnamon

Directions: Mix filling ingredients together; set aside. Beat eggs, sugar, and veg oil; then add zucchini and vanilla. Set aside. Mix ingredients for bread mixture, then add zucchini mixture and mix well. Grease pan! Put ½ batter into pan(s). Add ½ filling. Pour remaining batter on top of filling. Sprinkle remaining filling on top. Bake at 350 for 1 hour.

*If using bundt cake pan, cook for 1 hour, ten minutes.


Sunday, October 12, 2008

Weekly menu 10/12/08

Monday: out of town; eating at Grandma's :)
Tuesday: Omlets for dinner :)
Wednesday: Spinach Chicken Pasta (from freezer:) with squash
Thursday: Pumpkin Chowder with grilled apple-turkey cheese sandwich -- new recipe!
Friday: Manicotti -- (double and freeze) with side salad
Saturday: C.O.R.N* night
Sunday: Meatball subs (meatballs from freezer:)

*CORN = Clean Out The Refrigerator Night

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Volmer Farm Pumpkin Chowder

We visited Volmer Farm and I tried their pumpkin chowder...YUMMY! I asked the girl at the counter if they had a recipe and she started writing it out for me :) We like our chowder chunky, so I added some diced carrots, potatoes, and apples to the mix. This post is part of the Whole Food for the Holidays Progressive Dinner!

Ingredients:
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 Tsp. butter
1 Tsp. flour
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups packed pumpkin
1 Tsp. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 cup half & half

Directions: She didn't give me any directions, only the ingredients. So this is what I did and I thought it turned out well. I melted my butter in the microwave and mixed in the flour. I poured it into the crockpot with the half and half and broth, stirring til well mixed. Then I added all my chopped veggies, pumpkin puree, sugar, and spices. I cooked it in the crockpot all day long and it was ready for dinner :)

Meatball Subs

We eat meatball subs quite often after church on Sunday because I just throw some meatballs I've already made and frozen into the crockpot with some spaghetti sauce before we leave for church :)

Ingredients:
Butter
salt
garlic
parsley
meatballs
buns
Shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions: Mix some butter with garlic salt and parsley. I never measure :) Spread butter on buns and toast in the oven at 375 degrees for about 10 minutes or until toasted. Heat up some spaghetti sauce and meatballs. Put meatballs on toasted bun. Top with some spoonfuls of sauce. Sprinkle with shredded mozzarella cheese. Broil for a few minutes until cheese is browned. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and enjoy!


Recipe from Tammy's Blog


Thursday, October 9, 2008

Ranch Potato Wedges

My husband likes anything Ranch flavored and these are super easy to make! We like a little more flavor, so we use a little more Ranch seasoning :)
Ingredients:
4 medium potatoes
2 tsp olive oil
1 - 2 TBSP ranch seasoning

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Slice the potatoes into wedges, typically I get 8 per potato, unless it’s quite large. Toss the wedges in a bowl with the olive oil and ranch seasoning. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, turn the wedges, and bake for an additional 15 - 20 minutes.

Recipe from Tammy's Blog

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

My roommate from Colorado used to make these and whenever it gets to be fall weather I start wanting them. Very easy and yummy!

Ingredients:
1 cup sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
½ cup shortening
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp. salt
chocolate chips
**I added about a tsp. of vanilla and pumpkin pie spice

Directions: Mix together the dry ingredients in a small bowl; set aside. Mix together the sugar, shortening, and canned pumpkin in a slightly larger bowl. Gradually stir in the dry ingredients. Then add in the chocolate chips. Bake at 375 for 8 – 10 min.
**Can substitute white chocolate chips or Macadamia nuts for chocolate chips or combine all three 

Mom's Crazy Rich Toffee Caramel Bars

These are incredibly rich but are always a hit at get-togethers :)

Ingredients:

1 pkg white or yellow cake mix

2 eggs

1 cup white choc chips

½ cup butter

1 can sweetened condensed milk

1/3 cup oil 1 pkg choc chips
3 choc- covered toffee candy bars, cut into pieces
32 caramels, unwrapped

Directions: Heat oven to 350. Grease 13x9 inch pan. In a large bowl, combine cake mix, oil, and eggs; blend well. Stir in chocolate chips, white chips, and cany bar pieces. (Mixture will be thick). Press half of mixture in bottom of greased pan. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in med. Saucepan, combine butter, caramels, and condensed milk. Cook over medium-low heat until caramels are melted and mixture is smooth, stirring occasionally. Slowly pour caramel mixture over partially baked crust. Top with remaining cake mixture. Return to oven; bake and additional 25-30 minutes or until top is set and edges are a deep golden brown. Cool 20 minutes; run knife around sides of pan to loosen bars. Cool 40 min. Refrigerate 1 hour. Cut into bars. Store in refrigerator.

This post is part of Kelly's SUYL desserts!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Harvest Loaf Cake

When I was a preschool teacher, one of the parents used to make my day by bringing us this pumpkin harvest loaf in the mornings. The chocolate chips make it such a treat and for some reason Mark thinks they make it more substantial than most pumpkin breads :)

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups flour

1 cup sugar

1 tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. salt

½ tsp. cinn.

½ tsp. nutmeg

¼ tsp. cloves

¼ tsp. ginger

¼ cup Crisco oil

1 cup pumpkin

2 eggs

1 cup chocolate chips

1 cup walnuts – chopped

Directions: Grease a bread pan or meatloaf pan. Combine all ingredients except chips and nuts. Beat on low, then on medium for 2 minutes. Stir in chips and nuts. Bake at 350 for 60-70 minutes or until toothpick is clean. Cool

*Freezes well


Sunday, October 5, 2008

Weekly menu 10/5/08

Monday: Chicken and veggies stir-fry in coconut oil with quinoa
Tuesday: C.O.R.N. night*
Wednesday: Chicken Tortilla Soup -- new recipe to try! with a fresh salad
Thursday: Bierocks from freezer and Ranch Potato Wedges
Friday: Chicken Casserole, double and freeze 1, with squash and zuchini
Saturday: Chili from freezer over a baked potato, side salad
Sunday: out of town; visiting family
*clean out the refrigerator night :)

"Can't Leave Alone Bars"

In college, these were my trademark bars that my friends always asked me to make :) If you like rich chocolate, these will hit the spot! No, I didn't come up with the name; I got the recipe out of a Quick Cooking magazine :)

Ingredients:

1 pkg. white cake mix

2 eggs

1/3-cup vegetable oil

1 can sweetened condensed milk

1-cup semisweet chocolate chips

¼ butter/mar, cubed

Directions: Combine dry cake mix, eggs, and oil in bowl, press 2/3 of mixture into (greased) pan. Set other 1/3 of mixture aside for topping. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine milk, chocolate chips, and butter; microwave till melted (probably 1 ½ minutes, stirring ½ way through). Pour choc. mixture over crust. Drop tsp. of remaining cake mixture over top. Bake at 350 for 20-25 min until lightly browned on top.

This post is part of Kelly's SUYL desserts!

Emily's Chicken Tortilla Soup

My sis-in-law makes this regularly during the winter and since Mark loves any meal that allows him to eat tortilla chips, I decided to try it! We toned down the spicyness by getting plain black beans, diced tomatoes with green peppers, and mild rotelle because Emily had warned us her version was pretty spicy. I also added about 2 cups of corn just to add some veggies to it. It was delicious and would be great over rice, quinoa, a baked potato, or just with chips or crackers. It also made a bunch so I am freezing it for later :)

Ingredients:

1 can cream of chic. soup
1 can chicken broth
1 can Rotel tomatoes
1 can Mex. style stewed tomatoes
1 can Ranch Style Beans (that's the brand name)
cooked chicken in bite size pieces

Directions: Heat the cream of chicken and chicken broth in saucepan until well blended. Blend both cans of tomatoes in blender til pureed. Place all ingredients in slow cooker or large pot and cook on low heat until hot. Serve topped with Monterey Jack cheese and crumbled tortilla chips.

Bierocks

I found this recipe this summer when I was trying to find a way to use up my cabbage that Mark would like (we got cabbage in our CSA and Mark is generally NOT a cabbage fan!) But he liked these. I added some Worcestershire sauce to the ground beef mixture to add a little flavor and sprinkled some cheddar cheese on each pocket before sealing :) I got the idea from my friend Gi and the recipe from www.cooks.com. These little pockets also freeze well!

Ingredients:

2 lbs. hamburger
1 c. onion, chopped
4 c. cabbage, chopped
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper

Directions: Cook hamburger, onion, cabbage, salt and pepper until browned. Roll out dough and cut into large circles. Put 1/4 cup meat mixture in center of dough. Pinch closed. Bake until browned, approximately 20 minutes, at 375 degrees.

DOUGH FOR BIEROCKS:
2 pkgs. yeast
1 tsp. salt
1 c. warm milk
4 c. flour
1/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. warm water
1/4 c. butter, softened
Dissolve yeast in warm water. Set in warm place. Add warm milk, butter and salt; let stand for 10 minutes with yeast mixture in it. Add flour and sugar. Let double for 50 minutes.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

K & W mac and cheese

I'm not sure how my grandmother got the recipe from K & W, but this is probably the easiest and yummiest mac and cheese ever. I used to make it for my brother and his friends in college and they loved it when I added diced ham to it and would eat it as a complete meal :)

Ingredients:
8 oz macaroni, uncooked
2 cups cottage cheese
1 cup sour cream
1 large egg, slightly beaten
3 cups cheddar cheese, grated
1 tsp. Salt

Directions: Cook macaroni according to package; drain. Mix all ingredients, reserving ¾ cup cheddar cheese to sprinkle on top. Bake in buttered baking dish until bubbly on top; approx. 35 minutes at 350

Easiest Better Than Anything Cake

If you are looking for a no-fail, super easy, utterly rich and delicious cake, here it is :) I only make this cake when I am taking it to a party or potluck or I will make myself sick eating so much of it. It is chocolate gooeyness at it best! :)

Ingredients:

Chocolate or German chocolate cake mix

1 can sweetened condensed milk

Caramel and/or chocolate ice cream topping

I carton cool whip

4 butter finger bars or other favorite candy bars

Directions: Bake cake in 9x13 pan according to directions. Poke holes in cake with a straw or fork. Pour condensed milk and caramel and chocolate sauces over top while cake is still warm. Use about ¾ of each bottle. Wait til cake cools. Spread cool whip on top. Crumble candy bars on top.

This post is part of Kelly's SUYL desserts!