Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Change of Address...

Just want to let you know we're in the middle of a move. Good things will soon be coming out of my new and improved kitchen... but alas, for now I must be content with unpacking pots and pans. Stay tuned!!! I can't wait to "christen" the kitchen! :)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Tomato-Tortilla Soup

I know I just posted a similar soup not too long ago, but this was to good to pass up! I loved the fresh flavor, and surprisingly, I could handle the heat! It had some kick, but it wasn't that kind that would "kill you off"... just definitely clear your sinuses a bit. :) I loved the pureed texture! Please note that it is "meatless". Are you proud of me eating my meat "sparingly?" I am finding that there really are some good recipes out there that have enough flavor that you don't have to throw in a bunch of meat to call it a meal. This is definitely one of them!

Lyd's Tip: When your making the tortilla chips, I pray that you won't waste your time individually brushing each tortilla chip! :) (A mistake I might have been destined to make, had they not otherwise informed me in the instructions.) I like her instructions to "brush each side of the tortilla shell" before you cut it. Then if you want to speed it up even more you can just coat it lightly with cooking spray- I use olive oil cooking spray because it is better for you, and I would recommend that if you are using this method-- just a good way to speed things along.

Tomato-Tortilla Soup (Ellie Krieger)

  • 2 (6-inch) corn tortillas
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 small onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 (14.5-ounce) cans no salt added diced tomatoes. with juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Brush both sides of each tortilla with oil, using 1 tablespoon of the oil. Cut the tortillas in half, then cut each half into 1/4-inch wide strips. Arrange the strips on a baking sheet, sprinkle with the salt, and bake until crisp and golden, about 12 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.

Heat the remaining 1 teaspoons of oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft and translucent. Add the garlic, jalapeno, cumin, and oregano and cook for 1 minute more. Add the broth and tomatoes, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 10 minutes. Stir in lime juice.

Remove the pan from the heat and puree with an immersion blender or in 2 batches in a regular blender until the soup lightens in color but chunks of tomato remain, about 30 seconds. Serve the soup topped with the tortilla strips, a dollop of sour cream, and a sprinkle of cilantro.

Per Serving:

Calories 270; Total Fat 10g (Sat Fat 2g, Mono Fat 3.5g, Poly Fat 2g); Protein 9g; Carb 36g; Fiber 4g; Cholesterol 8mg; Sodium 335mg

Excellent Source of: Vitamin A, Vitamin C

Good Source of: Fiber, Niacin, Phosphorus, Iron, Vitamin K, Protein

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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Perfect Popovers

I made these for my brother and sis-in-law while they were here for a visit. It made a yummy, easy breakfast for a bigger crew. I don't know if it was supposed to happen, but I had these totally awesome indentations in the bottom that made it perfect for "popping over" (as in up-side-down, and filling up with my Berry Sauce. It was delicious- whether an accident or intended. :)

Lyd's Tip: If you are making these for company, of if you are just busy in the mornings, make these a day or two ahead of time, let them cool, and store them in a ziplock bag. Just microwave them that morning and they are ready to go when you have company. They get a gourmet breakfast and you get the needed "peace of mind" and a bit of extra sleep with the the allusion that you have been slaving away to present them with a bed-and-breakfast meal. :)

Perfect Popovers (William-Sanoma)
4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
6 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups milk
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
Unsalted butter for serving (optional)

Preheat an oven to 450°F. Spray the wells of a standard 6-cup popover pan with nonstick cooking spray. Pour 1/2 tsp. of the melted butter into each cup. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk, then whisk in 2 Tbs. of the melted butter. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and salt, then whisk in the egg mixture. Whisk vigorously until smooth, about 2 minutes. Divide the batter among the prepared cups and bake for 20 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F and bake for 15 minutes more. Remove from the oven and invert the pan onto a wire rack. Let the pan cool, then spray the wells with nonstick cooking spray, pour 1/2 tsp. of the melted butter into each one, and bake the remaining batter. Serve immediately with butter.
Makes 12 popovers.
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Chocolate Marshmallow Cookies

I tried these cookies out and they were pretty good. I liked the marshmallow idea, but I was too lazy to make the icing and I think that would have bumped them up a notch. I didn't like the actual cookie very much. It was very thick and didn't mix well. If I do it again, I'm going to use Debra's Double Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe. I think it was a much better mixture- but I really like the idea for the icing and Pecan Halves on the top! (I got this one in a fun Taste of Home Cookie recipe book my mother in law gave me. It has been a fun resource.)

Chocolate Marshmallow Cookies
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup baking cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
16 to 18 large marshmallows

6 tablespoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons baking cocoa
1/4 cup milk
1-3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pecan halves

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add egg, milk and vanilla; mix well. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; beat into creamed mixture.
Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 8 minutes. Meanwhile, cut marshmallows in half. Press a marshmallow half, cut side down, onto each cookie. Return to the oven for 2 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack.
For icing, in a small saucepan, combine butter, cocoa and milk. Bring to a boil; boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Cool slightly; transfer to a small bowl. beat in confectioners' sugar and vanilla until smooth. Spread over the cooled cookies. Top each with a pecan half. Yield: about 3 dozen.

Nutrition Facts: 1 serving (2 each) equals 246 calories, 10 g fat (6 g saturated fat), 37 mg cholesterol, 201 mg sodium, 39 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 2 g protein.
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Saturday, May 15, 2010

Healthy No-Bake Cookies

I have been enjoying Southern Grace for a while now. I found this one in her cookie stash and because I'm always trying to make my desserts "healthy" it was a great fit. :) I even added some millet to mine just to give it some crunch- loved it. You can mix these up super fast- isn't that why we all love no-bakes?! I didn't have wheat germ, so I just substituted more of the ground flax seed. It has a distinct flavor, but I thought it was still good. I do have to note that these didn't firm up and set like regular No-Bakes. They were a little softer. The thought crossed my mind to freeze them... but, are you kidding? I wasn't going to wait to find out. :) They made a healthy treat/snack that I didn't feel terrible about letting the kids have a few of... and myself of course. :)

Healthy No-Bake Cookies
1/2 cup milk
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
2 teaspoons vanilla
2/3 cup peanut butter (crunchy for me!!)
1/4 cup wheat germ
1 tablespoon ground flax seed
2 cups oats
1/2 cup coconut
pinch o' cinnamon

Combine milk, sugar, and cocoa in small saucepan. Heat until a boil is reached. Stir in peanut butter and continue stirring until melted. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and cinnamon. After mixing well, stir in oats, wheat germ, flax seed, and coconut. When combined, drop spoonfuls onto wax paper and let cool.
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Easy Dinner Rolls

CONFESSION: Until this recipe came along, I had never before made a successful batch of rolls. Everyone always says, "Rolls... Oh they are SO EASY!" And it just feels like "IN YOUR FACE!" My first batch made fantastic hockey pucks. I have made every possible mistake you could make! SOOO... of course I was completely delighted when I made my decidedly last attempt and they turned out. They live up to the name! I think another trick with rolls is, don't try to make them whole wheat unless the recipe says so. I add it so often all in the name of "good health" and it somehow ruins it... every time. So I stuck with the white this time and they were perfect. I also used this recipe for a pizza crust and it was pretty good. Thank you to my friend Afton for a good roll recipe that even I can't ruin!

Easy Dinner Rolls
6 cups flour
2 T sugar
2 tsp salt
2 pkg dry yeast (about 1 1/2 tablespoons)
1/2 c oil
2 1/2 cups hot water

In the large work bowl of a heavy duty mixer add 4 cups of flour, salt, sugar and yeast. Using a standard beater mix ingredients together. With the mixer running slowly add the oil and mix until combined. Slowly add the hot water and beat until a soft smooth dough forms. Add the remaining 2 cups of flour and beat crust until combined. Scrape and remove standard beaters and replace with the dough hook. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes. Remove the dough hook and form the rolls or let the dough rise until double and gentle punch down. Make out rolls and place on baking pan covered with a baking sheet. Let rise until doubled and bake in a 400 degree oven until brown about 15 minute.
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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Natalie's Taco Soup (with the works)

This is another amazing recipe from my friend Natalie. We were all sick a while back and she brought us dinner... and what a dinner it was! She included every possible delicious topping you could add to the soup! It was heavenly. I loved the avocado! This soup had such an incredibly fresh flavor-- I was sipping sunshine in every spoonful! The lime and cilantro make this one stand out from your typical Taco Soup. It is fun that is has a more juicy texture, a thin, watery base, like tomato juice. I love that Natalie adds extra lime and cilantro, too. Here were her suggestions,
"on the taco soup, I bake the chicken instead of saute. Just lightly coat it with olive oil and bake about 7 minutes on each side (although I cut my chicken breasts in half so they are thin...if you leave them as is, they will need longer to bake, but I find that they stay very moist and tender when they're thin.) I also add more lime juice (3-4 limes) and more cilantro (1/3 to a whole bunch."
I imagine if you are in a hurry, you could even just use canned chicken, or grill it up, but I thought it was a good idea for moist tender chicken if you have the time. Beautiful Soup!!!
Taco Soup
(From a Relief Society cookbook contributed by Chris Hair/Jean McMullin)
3-4 chicken breasts (halves)
4 t. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 cans (14 ½ oz.) chicken broth
2 cans (14 ½ oz.) Mexican-style stewed tomatoes
1 ½ c. frozen sweet petite corn (Costco’s is good)
½ t. cumin
Juice of 1 - 2 limes (or to taste)
¼ c. chopped cilantro
Salt and pepper to taste

Sauté chicken in half of the olive oil. Remove from pan and pull apart into bite-size pieces. Add remaining oil and sauté onions and garlic.
Add broth and stewed tomatoes. (Chop tomato pieces if desired.) Bring to boil. Add corn, cumin, lime juice, cilantro and chicken. Heat, adjust seasonings, and serve with desired toppings:
Grated cheese
Chopped olives
Chopped green onions
Chopped avocados
Sour cream
Tortilla strips or chips
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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Tender Pork Chops

Who doesn't love a good crockpot recipe? Here is a good one! Easy to throw together and the pork really is tender and juicy cooked this way. I don't think it was intended to sit on a bed of whole-wheat noodles, but is just seemed like the right thing to do. :) I really liked the mushrooms and the sauce! I think you could easily exchange pork for chicken as well.

Tender Pork Chops (Taste of Home)
6 boneless pork loin chops (1/2 inch thick and 6 ounces each)
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 medium green pepper, diced
1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
1 jar (4-1/2 ounces) sliced mushrooms, drained
1/2 cup water
1 envelope spaghetti sauce mix
1/2 to 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
In a large skillet, brown pork chops in oil over medium heat for 3-4 minutes on each side; drain. In a 5-qt. slow cooker, combine the remaining ingredients. Top with pork chops. Cover and cook on low for 5-1/2 to 6 hours or until meat is tender. Yield: 6 servings.

Nutrition Facts: 1 pork chop with 2 tablespoons sauce equals 303 calories, 12 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 82 mg cholesterol, 763 mg sodium, 13 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 34 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 4 lean meat, 1 starch.
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Strawberry Long Cake

My friend Natlie made this most delicious dessert at our last cooking group. Isn't this just the perfect thing for spring? She did say that she greased the pan and the wax paper, but the cake still stuck to the paper, and that next time she would try greasing and flouring the wax paper. But it sure seemed flawless to me!

Strawberry Long Cake (Natalie Whittaker)

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 eggs, separated
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
Confectioners' sugar
1 pint heavy cream
2 pints strawberries, cut in half if large

Heat oven to 375º degrees F. Grease the bottom and sides of a jelly-roll pan (a cookie sheet with sides). Line the bottom with wax paper, and grease. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl; set aside.

Using an electric mixer at high speed, beat egg whites until foamy. Gradually add 1/2 cup of the granulated sugar, one tablespoon at a time, and continue beating until stiff peaks form.

In another bowl, beat egg yolks and another 1/2 cup of the granulated sugar until pale and thick. Beat in 1 teaspoon of the vanilla. Use a rubber spatula to gently fold the flour and beaten yolks into the whites until just blended. Spread in pan. Bake 15 minutes or until the cake springs back when lightly touched.

Meanwhile, place a clean dish towel on the counter and dust it lightly with confectioners' sugar. When the cake is done, loosen the edges from the pan with a knife and invert the cake onto the towel. Peel off the waxed paper. Roll the cake lengthwise, along with the towel, and set aside, at room temperature, to cool.

Whip the cream with the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla until soft peaks form. Unroll the cake and spread with half the whipped cream. Top with half the strawberries, and reroll without the towel. Serve with the remaining strawberries and whipped cream.

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Sunday, May 9, 2010

Double-Chocolate Chip Cookies

My friend Debra shared this delicious cookie recipe with me. I thought they were great! (The type you can really loose control with and you find yourself eating the whole batch within the course of a day... possibly and hour. :) That was why I appreciated Debra's tips on freezing- why has it never occurred to me to do that? She's brilliant and she makes good cookies. Now you can be both as well! :) Thanks Debra!

Handy Tip from Debra: They taste great frozen as well (I usually freeze some cookies when I make some, helps them last longer when I don't see them sitting on my counter!). Sometimes I buy ice cream (vanilla or mint chip) are our favorites and I put a little scoop in between two cookies and then freeze them for a yummy homemade chipwich sandwich, we LOVE those as well. They are super easy to make. Enjoy!

Double-Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 pkg. Better Crocker Super Moist Devil's Food Cake Mix
1/2 c. butter or margarine, softened (I always use butter)
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
1/2 c. nuts (I never use nuts, love nuts, but not really in cookies)
1 c. semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat half of dry cake mix, butter, vanilla, and eggs in a large bowl on medium speed until smooth, or mix with a spoon. Stir in remaining cake mix, nuts and chocolate chips. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls about 2 inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes or until edges are set (centers will be soft). Cool 1 minutes; remove from cookie sheet. No changes for high altitude.

(Don't overbake, these are much better soft!)
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Thursday, May 6, 2010

Sour Cream-Blueberry Bread

Ok- don't ask me why, but I just barely discovered the local library as an incredible resource for good cookbooks. Where have I been? It was a whole isle bursting with everything from "Cooking for Dummies" and "How to's" to gourmet restaurant dishes. I am SO EXCITED! (A little too excited... I was a bit destracted and I lost my daughter while I was so enthralled and they had to intercom me to come pick up my crying child. Next time, I'm not taking the kids. :) Anyhow, I came across this William-Sanoma cookbook for breads- it jumped out at me, because I have one of his books, and really like it. Needless to say, I found this little gem in there! "This dessert bread puts boring ole' banana bread to shame for sure! This recipe is amazing. The use of bananas/sour cream makes it as light as cake, and the sweetness of the bananas and sugar gives it a delightfully light and crunchy crust." It says to put it in a 9x5 pan but I think you could do two small loafs or I made 4 mini-loafs.

Sour Cream-Blueberry Bread (William-Sanoma)
2 medium-ripe bananas
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped pecans
2 large eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted, plus extra for greasing
1 cup fresh blueberries

11) Preheat the oven to 350°F Grease a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan.
22) Mash the bananas well with a fork or coarsely purée them in a food processor. Measure out 1 cup and set aside.
33) In a bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nuts. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, sour cream, vanilla, butter, and the 1 cup mashed banana pulp. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the banana mixture. Stir together the wet and dry ingredients just until combined. The batter should be slightly lumpy. Gently fold in the blueberries, taking care not to break them up. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until the top of the bread is firm to the touch and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 50-60 minutes(It takes 53 minutes in my pre-heated convection oven). Let cool in the pan on a rack for 30 minutes. Turn the loaf out onto the rack and let cool completely.
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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Mexican Chicken and Rice Recipe

I know what you need to make for Cinco de Mayo!!! This one is a winner! It packs some great flavor and fresh avocados and tomatoes dress up any dish! Beautiful and delicious! (I did want to note that my rice wasn't cooked all the way through when I followed the directions, and were I to make it again, I would probably make the rice mix ahead and add it prepared.

Mexican Chicken and Rice Recipe (Simple and Delicious)
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch strips
2 tablespoons butter
1-3/4 cups salsa
1 envelope (5.4 ounces) Mexican-style rice and pasta mix
1 can (2-1/4 ounces) sliced ripe olives, drained
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
1 medium ripe avocado, peeled and cubed
1 medium tomato, chopped

In a large skillet, brown chicken in butter. Stir in the salsa, rice mix, olives and lime juice. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 8-10 minutes or until rice is tender.
Sprinkle with cheese. Serve with sour cream, avocado and tomato. Yield: 4 servings.

Nutrition Facts: 1 serving equals 617 calories, 32 g fat (16 g saturated fat), 133 mg cholesterol, 1,478 mg sodium, 45 g carbohydrate, 5 g fiber, 33 g protein.
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Lemon Blueberry Cake with Blueberry Sauce

We had a cooking group with the theme of "Summer Favorites". One of the girls made this yummy fresh Lemony dish that I had to share. What a great combo lemon and blueberries make!

Lemon Blueberry Cake with Blueberry Sauce

Courtesy of Sarah Punkoney

For the cake:

1 box favorite lemon cake mix

1 box favorite lemon instant pudding

1 cup fresh lemon juice (zest the lemons first)

3/4 cup sour cream

3 eggs

1/3 cup oil

2 cups blueberries

Beat the cake mix, pudding mix, lemon juice, sour cream, eggs and oil on high for 2 minutes. Fold in blueberries. Spoon into a greased and floured bunt pan. Top with about a tablespoon lemon zest. Bake for 45-55 minutes.

Let cake cool on wire rack for thirty minutes. Turn onto a serving plate and let cool for another thirty minutes. To serve, top with warm blueberry sauce and a sprinkle more of lemon zest.

For the blueberry sauce:

1/4 cup sugar

1 tablespoon corn starch

1/2 cup cold water

2 cups blueberries

In a medium sized saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch. Stir in water until smooth. Add blueberries and bring to a boil over medium heat. Smoosh some of the blueberries. Cook and stir for two minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat. Cover to keep warm.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Creamy Chicken Enchiladas

I used my traditional enchilada recipe, but I made a few swaps that I thought turned out well.

Creamy Chicken Enchiladas
· 1-2 Chicken breasts, diced (I nuke & chop them or do my Crockpot Italian chicken)
· 1 can cream of chicken
· 1 can enchilada sauce (instead of the red sauce, I used the green.)
· 1 can chilies (optional-too spicy for me :)
· 3-4 tbs sour cream
· 1 cup grated cheese
· Flour tortillas (I swapped for corn tortillas)
· ½ can of olives, slices
· 1-2 Green Onions, chopped
Chopped tomatoes

*Cook chicken. Mix cream of chicken, chilies, chicken, sour cream, and ½ can enchilada sauce in a bowl. Layer casserole dish with tortilla, sauce mixture, cheese, etc. End with tortilla, then put more enchilada sauce, and cheese. Bake at 350 for 20-30 min. (you can also do individuals, just put sauce and cheese inside, roll up and place in dish. Top with remaining sauce and cheese and bake for 15-20 minutes.)
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Monday, May 3, 2010

Feijuada for Cinco de Mayo!

I am posting this in honor of nearly Cinco de Mayo. It just so happens that I appropriately have a couple Mexican/Latin dishes on their way, quite by chance--how it that for perfect timing. :) I have my friends Duane and Jessica to thank for this one. I was visiting her once and Duane had put this together for dinner. I knew the moment I walked in and the smell hit me, that I needed this recipe. :) This is a good one- simple and savory! Doug thought it was perfect for us- I love beans and he loves pork and rice... perfection! Thanks Duane- the name alone makes me feel much more cultured (seeing as how I can't say it)! :) He told me, but I can't remember what part of South America it comes from. Anyway- good stuff! Made a great Sunday dinner!

Feijuada (pronounced "fay-jew-ah-dah") From Duane Elgan

1 pound black or red beans
1 small chopped onion
4 garlic cloves
1 pound pork (I sliced up a pork roast)
1 pound hot sausage

Soak beans overnight then rinse
Put everything into a Crockpot
cover in an inch of water
Cook for 3 hrs on low or until beans and pork are tender (I let mine cook about 5-6)
Serve over rice.

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Lady Bug Lady Bug... Fly Away Home...

How about this for a fun snack idea?! Kathleen taught the kids a fun joy school class with a lady bug theme. She had the kids put on their spots. I thought it was quite clever!

Lady Bug Snack
red apple
chocolate chips (she used mini semi-sweet)
peanut butter
carrot sticks for the antennas

Place your peanut butter in a small ziplock bag and cut the tip like you would for frosting. Dot the apple half with peanut butter and have the little ones stick on the chocolate chips. They can practice counting! :)
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Giant Breakfast Cookies

Who wouldn't want cookies for breakfast?! Don't they sound good! Kathleen said she made these and her kids loved them. I bet you could add all kinds of nuts or seed to it too if you wanted! (She found this recipe on heavenlyhomemakers.com)

Giant Breakfast Cookies
1 cup butter, melted
¾ cup honey
2 eggs
1 t. salt
1 t. cinnamon
1 t. baking soda
1 t. vanilla
½ cup buttermilk
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups whole rolled oats
1 cup raisins or chocolate chips

Mix butter, honey, eggs, salt, cinnamon, soda, vanilla and buttermilk. Stir in flour and oats. Fold in raisins or chocolate chips. Scoop heaping tablespoons of dough onto a cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Allow cookies to cool 3-4 minutes on cookie sheet before removing cookies to cool on a wire rack.
To soak the grain in these cookies before baking (in order to help them to digest better):
Melt and cool butter. In a glass bowl, stir together flour, oats, butter and cultured buttermilk. Add a bit more buttermilk than the 1/2 cup the recipe calls for if the grains are not all moistened. Cover and let the grains soak overnight (on the counter). Stir in the remaining ingredients in the morning and bake as directed.
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Sunday, May 2, 2010

A Tuna Transformation...

If there is anyone out there who gets excited at the thought of tuna, raise your hand. That's what I thought... dry, stinky fish has it's place, but there is only so much you can take. Well, shake of those old tuna chains and get a pita full of this!!! Total tuna transformation! I'm not real big on tuna-fish normally, and I'm always looking for a way to disguise it. I could eat this any night! The sweetness is gentle and PERFECT- even the kids liked it! The nuts and cranberries are a must! (Don't cut corners on this one!) Just a great colorful collection! I'll be making this one again soon! Got this on the table in no time- a good one for a busy night!

Fruited Tuna Salad Pitas (Simple and Delicious)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon honey
1 can (12 ounces) white water-packed tuna, drained
1 can (11 ounces) mandarin oranges, drained
1 medium apple, chopped
1/3 cup chopped pecans
1 celery rib, thinly sliced
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 whole wheat pita breads (6 inches)
2-3/4 cups alfalfa sprouts

In a large bowl, combine mayonnaise and honey. Stir in the tuna, oranges, apple, pecans, celery, cranberries and salt. Serve on pita breads with sprouts. Yield: 4 servings.

(I was filled up on one pita half, for what it's worth. :)

Nutrition Facts: 2 filled pita halves equals 640 calories, 34 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 46 mg cholesterol, 899 mg sodium, 60 g carbohydrate, 8 g fiber, 29 g protein.
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The Happy Halibut and The Perky Pickle...

Is that not the coolest name ever? Ok- so during her high school years, my own dear mother actually worked in the mall at "The Happy Halibut and The Perky Pickle." Who wouldn't want to eat there with a name like that? She was the deep fryin' queen! :) I don't think the job lasted long, but her legacy of "Perky Pickles" will endure on through the ages of time! :) She probably only made them at home 3 or 4 times (combine 6 over-excited youngster's with a pot of hot grease and that just speaks disaster) but she made it enough that I thought it was more often then that, and it was SO SPECIAL when she did. And I'm sure it was a ton of work-- I think all we would have for dinner that night was a big batch of "Perky Pickles" (which makes me feel less guilty about the hash browns of late) but you wouldn't have heard one complaint. I love them to this day! I had a hankering the other day, and it is a lot of work, but SO GOOD!

Mom's Perky Pickles
Mom would just mix a thin batter with flour and water, but she is not the measuring type, so I cheated and used a box of Tempura mix (you'll find it in the Asian section.) but I would suggest making it just a bit thicker so it coats the pickles well.

Uses hamburger pickles, coat in batter, and gently drop in hot oil and deep fry until they start turning golden brown. Let cool and eat up-- you're sure to feel might "perky". :)

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Fish 'n Chips with Dip

One of my favorite things ever is homemade deep fried french fries. (I'm talkin' greasy!) And as if that's not enough, you have to dunk them in fatty fry sauce. It takes a good week for your body to recover, but it is heavenly! Is this sounding a little "Eat Drink and be Merryish?" Sorry, but do! Ok- you can't have these every night... or it might really be your last, if you know what I mean, but once in a while, we really like to make a mess in the kitchen and this is a good one for that. :) We just like to peel them, slice 'em up, deep fry them for about 10 minutes ish, and sprinkle with season salt. Perfect goodness!

I was shocked to find a lack of REAL fry sauce outside the state of Utah and Idaho! They served it by the tub full during our school lunches. I think it originated with Arctic Circle... and it is just a crying shame that it hasn't caught on. Once you dip the fry in this, you will be hunting for it, and disappointed at nearly every fast-food joint in town! This is TOO good to be kept secret! WORLD-- here it is! My all-time favorite thing to drench fries in... (Here is how I make it.)

Homemade Fry Sauce (Lyd's Original)
1 cup Mayo
1/2 cup ketchup
1 T mustard (or less according to preference)

Stir mixture together until blended and serve with fries. (I love to dip my fish sticks in it too! Or pretty much anything. :)
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Restaurant-Style Hash Browns

Are you ever in the mood for breakfast for dinner? :) Doug was gone on Friday, and when the man it out of the house, why cook? :) Ok... there are three other little mouths I get to feed as well... that's why. Soooo... not feeling in the mood to do anything elaborate, and seeing these hash browns on Ashley's Big Flavor's From a Tiny Kitchen, I decided to make hash browns for dinner. Period. Now isn't that a balanced meal for the kiddos? :)
They just sounded yummy!
...And they were.
(Sorry Doug... you missed out!)

Emily's Famous Hash Browns
Allrecipes - your mom

"Good old fashioned restaurant-style hash browns. Perfect with hot pepper sauce and ketchup!"

Prep Time: 20 Min
Cook Time: 15 Min
Ready In: 35 Min

Original Recipe Yield 4 servings

2 medium russet potatoes, shredded
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 egg
1 cup oil for frying, or as needed
salt and pepper to taste

1. Rinse shredded potatoes until water is clear, then drain and squeeze dry. Place shreds in a bowl, and mix in the onion, flour and egg until evenly distributed.
2. Heat about 1/4 inch of oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. When oil is sizzling hot, place potatoes into the pan in a 1/2 inch thick layer. Cover the whole bottom of the pan, or make separate piles like pancakes. Cook until nicely browned on the bottom, then flip over and brown on the other side. It should take at least 5 minutes per side. If you are cooking them in one big piece, it can be cut into quarters for easier flipping.
3. Remove from pan, and drain on paper towels. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Amount Per Serving Calories: 183 | Total Fat: 6.9g | Cholesterol: 53mg

MacGourmet Rating: 5 stars

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