Saturday, September 28, 2013

No Bake Skillet Apple Bread Pudding

I was so in the mood for bread pudding... RIGHT NOW... which is kind of a problem, because that is just one of those things which takes time, so it got me thinking and searching for a way to speed up the process.  Sure enough, where there's a will, there's a way!
Two things:
First, this was super easy and the apples gave it a yummy apple fritter kind of smell, only minus the fat.  My whole crew asked at some point what I was making that smelled so good. :)  You've gotta love a recipe that does that.  It would make a great breakfast, but I didn't think it was sweet enough to make it a dessert.
Second, on that note, maybe they were getting sweetness from the banana jam in the original recipe (which
I didn't have/use), but I thought it really lacked flavor and sweetness.  It just kind of tasted like french toast, so I sprinkled cinnamon and sugar over the top and that helped... but definitely needed some sweetness.
On the whole, it was a bit dry and not quite what I was dreaming of, but still yummy.  A great one if you've got some extra bread around!

No Bake Skillet Apple Bread Pudding 
1 1/2 cups milk, plus additional for drizzling (Dairy-Free milk works as well: coconut milk, almond, soy etc.)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

4 cups of cubed whole grain bread, preferably stale
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup jam (Could also use apple pie filling, or 1/4 cup sugar)
1 large apple, sliced

Cinamon and Sugar for sprinkling
Coconut oil (or other) for greasing pan

1. Heat milk in a saucepan over low heat. Stir in salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
2. Place bread cubes in a large mixing bowl. When milk is hot but not yet simmering, pour milk over bread cubes. Mix gently.
3. Stir in egg yolks and jam, mixing gently until well combined. Fold in apple slices.
4. Heat 6-inch nonstick skillet over low-medium heat. Lightly grease with coconut oil. Pour bread mixture into pan and cover.
5. Cook bread pudding covered for 15 minutes, or until bottom is browned. Then flip entire pudding onto a plate and put pudding back in skillet, uncooked side down. Cook for an additional 10 minutes or until golden brown.
6. Scoop bread pudding into bowls. If you like, drizzle with a bit of coconut milk and honey or maple syrup. It is best served hot. 

(I drizzled with a bit of cream... yum!)

Adapted from: (The Kathmanduo)

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Sweet Zucchini Pancakes

The zucchinis are taking over the world!  Actually, I kinda wish they were.  It seems anyone with a garden is anxious to get rid of them, but I audibly gulped as I noted the priced of $1.30 per pound at the grocery store.  Zucchinis are the best sneaky veggie there is!  You can disguise them in just about anything, and they don't take over.  I love them!  So if you hadn't noticed, this post is a shout out to all my friends with gardens to pass some my way so I don't have to buy them at top dollar.  OR WAIT... I guess if I were being a little less demanding, {guilty smile} this is my gift to you.  You now have another yummy way to use up those green guys. :)

Sweet Zucchini Pancakes (Tasty Kitchen)
½ cups All-purpose Flour
3 Tablespoons Sugar
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
¼ teaspoons Baking Soda
¼ teaspoons Salt
1 whole Egg
½ cups Greek Yogurt (nonfat Is Fine) (I used plain yogurt, not Greek, and it don't think it worked as well.  Greek is quite a bit thicker, and my batter was kind of runny weird.  Just saying. :)
2 Tablespoons Melted Butter
1 whole Zucchini, Grated

½ cups Water Or Milk

Preheat a nonstick skillet or griddle to medium-high heat (350ºF).
Whisk dry ingredients together (flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt) and set aside.
In a separate bowl, whisk egg, yogurt, and melted butter together. Combine dry and wet ingredients together and mix until just combined. Fold in grated zucchini. Add water or milk a little at a time until the batter consistency reaches the desired thickness. The more you add, the thinner your pancakes will be. For me, 1/2 cup was enough to thin the batter but keep them nice and fluffy.
Scoop 1/3 cup of batter onto the griddle and gently spread the batter if necessary. When you see bubbles rising around the edges, flip the pancakes. I found that some of the pancakes took as long as 10 minutes to cook (5 minutes per side). Top with butter and maple syrup!
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Sunday, September 15, 2013

63 Kid-Friendly Healthy Snacks

"Mom, I'm hungry!  I want a snack!"  

If you've got little ones, you probably just recently heard those words, and unless you are "The Model Mother", you are probably just about to reach for the nearest cheap, sugar-filled granola bar or the overprice, under-nourishing gold-fish crackers, but... STOP... WAIT... DON'T!!!  
Here, I have compiled a list of my favorite PRACTICAL Kid-Friendly Snacks that I prepared for my little crew over the summer (yes, this has been a long time in the making) that we both liked, because they were tasty, easy to prepare, used things I had on hand, and were fairly balanced and nutritional.  So before your toss them a fruit snack packet loaded with high-fructose corn syrup, consider tossing them a REAL fruit snack, or something fun on this list.
*Please know that I'm not saying your a wicked mother if you give your kids fruit snacks or goldfish.  I would be a hypocrite if I were. :)  I'm only "nudging" you and the kids to branch out and discover something on this list that might be just about as easy to prepare and much more satisfying.
Also, these were just the ones that came to mind.  If you can think of more good ones, by all means, add them in the comments!  I'm always open to new great ideas.

Happy Snacking!

63 Kid-Friendly Healthy Snacks

  • Apple Slices & Peanut Butter (My 2nd Favorite!)
  • Sliced Veggies (i.e. carrots, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, or bell peppers) & Ranch Dip
  • String Cheese & Tomato Juice
  • Trail Mix (Nuts, raisins, mini-marshmallows, chocolate chips etc.)
  • Ants on a Log (Celery, Spread Peanut Butter, and Raisins)
  • Healthy Granola Bar (LARABAR's are my latest favorite.  The simple, healthy ingredient list with astound you!)
  • Nuts & Raisins
  • Fruit & Yogurt
  • Yogurt & Granola (or for quick Good Morning Granola)
  • Apple Sauce & Cheese Slices
  • Cottage cheese & Fruit or Tomato Slices
  • Melon
  • Whole Wheat Pitas & Hummus
  • Hard Boiled Egg & Slice of Toast
  • Kale Chips
  • Sliced Wraps (tortilla, cream cheese spread, ham slice & sprouts) (Julia's Wraps)
  • Muffin Tray Sample Plate (Put whatever you have on hand in the muffin cups... kids love it!)
  • Snack Kabobs (skewer whatever you have on hand)
  • Frozen Peas
  • Frozen Grapes
  • Almonds & Fruit
  • Smoothie (The Green Smoothie from Bliss From Scratch)
  • Pickles
  • Peanut Butter Banana Toast (Monkey-Bee Sandwiches)
  • Canned Fruit
  • Sweet Potato Chips
  • Healthy Muffin (Three Grain Muffin)
  • Dried Fruit (Mango or Apricots)
  • Ricotta w/Fruit
  • Deli Meat Slice & Fruit
  • Edamame
  • Tuna (w/ a tiny put of mayo or plain yogurt and salt) & Crackers
  • Grapefruit w/a bit of salt or sugar (I still can't abide this, but for whatever reason my kids love it. :)
  • Oatmeal & Fruit
  • Yogurt & Graham Cracker (I'm LOVING Greek Yogurt lately... so creamy and more protein)
  • Mini Pizza (English Muffin, sauce, & pepperoni, Microwave)
  • Juice Ice-Cubes
  • Chips & Salsa
  • Whole Wheat Breadsticks & Tomato Sauce for dipping
  • Pudding (Homemade Dairy-Free Chocolate Pudding)
  • Wimbledon Strawberries (strawberries, sour cream or plain yogurt, and brown sugar)
  • Chocolate Slim Fast Drink w/Banana
  • Nut Mix
  • Whole Carrot
  • Cheesy Toast
  • Cheese Quesidilla Slice
  • Fruit Cups
  • Warm Refried Beans & Tortilla Chips
  • Creamy Fruit (Sliced Fruit drizzled kefir) (*FYI Kefir was done wonders for my digestive systems... not to give too much info. :) It's loaded with pro-biotics... super good for you!  I put it in my smoothies every morning. I use The Greek Gods brand in the dairy section at Winco.  It's about $3.00 per quart. Worth every penny!)
  • Sliced Bananas, Milk, & Honey (My dad used to give this to me for a bed-night-snack :)
  • Sliced Fruit w/drizzled honey
  • Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich slices
  • Peanut Butter & Honey Sandwich Slices
  • Banana Chips
  • Cheese Chips (cheese melted over chips)
  • Crackers & Cheese
  • Steamy Brown Rice w/Parmesan Cheese and salt
  • Tomato slices w/mozzerella cheese slices
  • Cinnamon Baked Apples (Microwave 2-3 minutes)
  • Toast w/Ricotta and Strawberries
  • Apple Sandwiches
  • Healthy Cookies (Giant Breakfast Cookies)  
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Sunday, September 8, 2013

Fresh Fruit Tart

Yes- I know it screams USA all the way! and I bet your are saying to yourself, "where was this post for our 4th of July picnic?"  The answer... it was collecting digital dust in the "Food 2013" folder of my desktop, just waiting for me to blog it.  Life has been busy, and I'm running a bit late on posts.  So lets just pretend it's Independence Day and you're thoroughly impressed with my foodie display of patriotism, shall we? :)
So here is a lovely Fruit Tart in memory of the summer days that are all but gone.
I found this one on my cute Sis-in-law, Amy's blog.  It looked too good to pass up.  Maybe it was also because of the cute picture of my precious niece on the post.  I LOVED the crust.  It was SO EASY!  I recently got a food processor and it was a great easy crust recipe, that also tasted good.  I wasn't as crazy about the filling, and I think that was probably a lot my fault.  Hers looked lovely, but I just couldn't get my cream to whip and the cold made the butter chunk up and it was just kind of a runny, fatty mess.  But... it still tasted good and the fresh fruit make just about anything taste good.  It was a real treat... And a pretty one to boot!
Thanks for the recipe, Amy!

Fresh Fruit Tart
Tart Crust:
1/2 C. powdered sugar
1 1/2 C. flour
1 1/2 sticks of butter (3/4 C.)

1 (8 oz.) package of cream cheese
1/4 C. brown sugar
1 C. whipping cream
1/2 C. powdered sugar
zest of about half and orange (add more if you want it to be more citrusy)

black berries
fresh pineapple
any other kind of fruit you would like (blueberries, peaches, oranges, pears, apples, mango, plums, apricots, etc).

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine the crust ingredients in a food processor until it starts to ball up. Now, just use your fingers to press into a 12 inch tart pan with a removable bottom. If the crust seems a little thick, feel free to use a little bit less of the dough. I have actually halved the recipe before and made a thinner crust. Both ways are good! This crust is sweet and flaky and tasty, so thick or thin is delicious. 
2. Bake for about 12 minutes or until the crust is ever so lightly browned. It may take just a little longer, so just watch it. Let it cool completely before removing it from the pan. 
3. Beat together the cream cheese and brown sugar. Separately beat the whipping cream and powdered sugar together until medium peaks form and you have a nice whipped cream. Fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture until combined. Fold in the orange zest. 
4. Once the crust is cool, top it with the cream topping. Slice up all the fruit and throw it on top. Just throw it on or make a pretty design with it. You will want to eat this fairly soon after you top it. 
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Sunday, September 1, 2013

Meatballs in Creamy Mushroom Sauce

I had a friend share a package of the costco meatballs with me... quite handy!  I also like to make my own homemade meatballs, too.  Once you've made them though, you need a way to dress them up a bit.  This worked well for a busy weeknight.

Meatballs in Creamy Mushroom Sauce (
1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 medium onion, halved and sliced
1 tablespoon vegetable oil ( I used Olive oil)
1 (10 1/2 ounce) cans condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 cup low-fat milk ( I used whole milk because that's what I had on hand)
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 lb frozen meatballs ( I had made my own)
1/2 lb linguine, uncooked ( I used spaghetti, but I think any rice would be ok too)
*I also added paprika, salt and pepper and a little extra cream.

Cook noodles according to package directions; drain and keep warm.
Saute mushrooms and onion in oil until tender.
Stir in soup, milk, and Worcestershire sauce.
Add meatballs.
Cover; simmer 10-15 minutes or until meatballs are thawed and heated.

Serve over noodles. Garnish with chopped parsley (I used dry Italian seasoning).
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