Friday, December 3, 2010

Taking a break...

I'll be back sometime during the beginning of next year...things are a little too crazy &
I've got to scale back in order to stay sane :)

I'll still be sharing ideas & some recipes on my other blog...


I hope you all have a fantastic holiday season! See you next year!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Creamy, Wiggly Jello {after-school snack}


This is a quick & easy fun treat that the kids can help make--my kids love to help...just be careful with the boiling water :)

You Need:

2 Large or 4 small boxes of flavored gelatin
2 1/2 cups boiling water
1 small box vanilla instant pudding mix
2 cups cold milk (I use fat free)

1. Bring water to a boil.  Add gelatin & stir to dissolve. Set aside.

2. Mix together pudding mix & milk.  Whisk until it starts to set a little.

3. Add gelatin to pudding, stir until well combined.  Pour into a glass 9 x 13 pan (or for thicker treats, into a 9 x 9 inch pan).  Chill until firm, about 3-4 hours.

Enjoy!

*****
We sometimes like to mix & match.

To make 2 flavors in smaller batches:
Use 1 large (or 2 small) box of gelatin & half the water, then eyeball half the prepared pudding per flavor.  Pour each flavor into a separate dish (it fits great in a glass pie plate). Chill.

Try mixing flavors too...this time we made peach-pineapple & cherry-lime....I thought the peach-pineapple was great!

Monday, November 8, 2010

November, week 2 {menu monday}

Here's our menu for the week...

Monday: Sloppy Joes, sweet potato fries & apple slices

Tuesday: Stir fry wraps

Wednesday: Homemade shells & cheese, & the kids pick the veggie

Thursday: Chicken Enchiladas (see recipe below), corn cake :)

Friday: Meatless Spaghetti, homemade bread sticks

What are you eating this week...I'm trying out Simply Linked...Just leave your links below & let us know what you're eating



Chicken Enchiladas

4 lg. chicken breasts, cooked & chopped
1 pint sour cream
2 cans cream of chicken soup
3 green onions, chopped (opt...I leave these out)
1 small can diced green chilies
1 small can sliced black olives (opt.)
 4 cups shredded cheddar cheese (divided)
12 flour tortillas

1. Mix together soup, chilies, olives, sour cream, onions & 2 cups of the cheese.  Reserve 2 1/2 cups, spread a little of the reserved sauce in the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan.
2. Stir chicken into remaining sauce. Warm tortillas slightly (tortillas are easier to roll when warm) spoon about 2-3 tablespoons of the chicken mixture into a tortilla, roll up, and place in the baking dish.  Repeat for the remaining chicken mixture.
3. Cover with reserved sauce and remaining 2 cups of cheese.
4. Bake at 350 for about 40 minutes until bubbly. Serves 6.

Monday, November 1, 2010

November, week 1 {menu monday}

Here's what we are eating this week:

MONDAY: Shrimp Stir Fry & Rice
TUESDAY: Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, green beans & biscuits
WEDNESDAY: Pear Puff Pancakes, eggs your way & bacon
THURSDAY: Stuffed Shells, roasted broccoli, garlic bread sticks
FRIDAY: MYO (make your own) Pizzas--assorted toppings & one of the kids' favorite things to do :)


btw..watch for our menu posted each week, along with some of the recipes to go with---Feel free to post your menu & link back here with a comment-- Who can't use more dinner ideas? :D

Easiest Meatloaf Ever
 via my mom :)


1 lb meatloaf mix or hamburger
1 box ready to make stuffing (such as Stove Top)
1 can stewed or diced tomatoes
1 egg

Mix all ingredients and press into a 9 inch square pan.  Bake until cooked through about 30 to 40 minutes. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Eat Local

Is there anything better than shopping like this?
To me there's nothing better than a farmer's market on a cool, crisp, autumn, saturday morning....
You can find one near you at localharvest.org

Friday, October 15, 2010

Strawberry Crisp

A couple weeks ago strawberries were on sale...which doesn't totally make sense (complete opposite season, right)...but I went for it anyway & decided to do something a little different.
I've never had strawberry crisp (or even heard of it)...I've had almost any other fruit crisp, but not strawberry. Have you? If not---try it---it's really good :D

Filling:
1 lb strawberries, quartered or halved
sugar to taste (depending on the sweetness of the berries)
1 tsp vanilla
1 TB all-purpose flour

Topping:
1 c. oats
1/2 c. brown sugar
 2 heaping TB all-purpose flour
1/4 c. cold butter, cut into cubes

1. Mix together filling ingredients, pour into a 9 x 9 inch pan.

2. Mix dry topping ingredients.  Add butter and  use your fingers to work the butter in until the mixture resembles a crumble. 

3. Sprinkle oat mixture evenly over the top of the strawberry mixture.

3. Bake at 350 until top is browned and strawberries are bubbly, about 20 minutes.  Serve warm over vanilla ice cream.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Canning Season

I'm not lucky enough to have a garden (even if I could get things to grow)...but we do have a great farmer's market & this is the time of year that apples go on sale...there are lots of great deals. I got apples for $1 a pound at the store, and a huge box of less-than-perfect tomatoes for $10 at the farmers market.

This is my first year to can...I always thought it would be complicated & time consuming, but with all the kids in school, I thought I would give it a try & it turns out it's really not that hard. But I'm sticking to water bath canning for now...until I can acquire a pressure canner.

So, I've canned 4 things so far..
11 pints of crushed tomatoes (look here)
6 pints apples
2 pints apple butter &
3 pints apple cider jelly


Apple Butter
(it's really, really good)

You need:
3 1/2 c. apple cider
8 large apples(about 4 1/2 lbs)
1 1/2 c. sugar
1/4 tsp. kosher or pickling salt
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
3-inch cinnamon stick

*pint jars (or half pints)
*water bath canner ...if you don't have one, use an extra large heavy pot with a jar rack, or layer extra rings  from your canning lids on the bottom..you just want to keep the jars off the bottom of the pot (that's what I do)
*2 part canning lids
*large funnel
*canning tongs & magnetic lid lifter (you can find a kit in the canning section)


1. Peel, core and slice your apples. Meanwhile bring the apple cider to boil in a large sauce pan. Fill your water bath canner with water (with rings already in the bottom or have rack ready) and heat of high heat-keep it boiling; add clean, empty jars to heat while the water comes to a boil.

2. Add your apples to boiling cider, reduce heat and simmer (uncovered) until tender, about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Add the sugar, cinnamon, cinnamon stick & salt to the apples. 

4. Continue to cook until apples break down, and mixture begins to thicken, about 20 minutes.

5. Remove cinnamon stick.  Carefully transfer apple mixture to a food processor or blender.  Process until smooth.  Return to pan. Cook until it thickens up a little more, about 10 minutes.

6. Carefully remove hot jars from canner, pouring any hot water back into the canner.  Place upside down on a clean towel. Add your rings to the boiling water to heat.  Keep jars hot.  Using a funnel, fill the jars with hot apple butter, leaving a 1/4 inch headspace.

7. Run a plastic knife around the inside edge of the jar and through the apple butter to release any air bubbles.  Double check the headspace again..add more apple butter if needed.  Repeat with remaining jars (mine made 2 pints).

8. Wipe the lip of the jar with a damp cloth.  Top with the two-piece lids, the rings hot, tightening rings to finger-tip tightness (you don't want to close it too tight).

9. Carefully lower your hot jars into the water bath canner, return water to boil and cover with lid. Start timer--process 20 minutes for pints and 15 minutes for 1/2 pints.  When finished remove from canner to a clean towel & allow to cool.  Check all the seals (they should be tight, no popping).  Any that have not sealed you can keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.


Apple Cider Jelly

4 c. cider
1 pkg. powdered pectin
4 1/2 c. sugar

Prepare your canner (see above).

Combine all ingredients in a heavy sauce pan, bring to a boil.  Boil hard for 1 minute.  Remove from heat and skim any foam off the top of the jelly.

Using a funnel, pour your jelly into hot jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace.  Remove any bubbles.  Wipe lip of jar with a damp cloth and top with two-piece lids, rings hot, and tighten to finger-tip tightness.

Lower your jars into the canner, return to boil, cover and process for 10 minutes (pints)....process 1/2 pints for 5 minutes.

Enjoy!

Do you plan on canning? What do you have in mind? Do you have a tips or tricks? Please share! :D

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Pretzel-Coated Chicken Tenders

My 5 year old declared these "super-duper good!"...I hope they will be a hit in your family too :)

(there are no quantities...you can easily adjust to how big a batch you would like to make)

Pretzels
prepared honey mustard
chicken (breast cut into wide strips, or tenders)

Place pretzels in the bowl of a food processor & pulse until it resembles bread crumbs (you can also place them in a sealed plastic bag & crush them with something heavy).

Squeeze or spoon some honey mustard into a small bowl, just a few tablespoon (this way you don't contaminate your whole jar with chicken germs).

Brush both sides of the chicken strips with a thin coat of the mustard, then roll in the pretzel crumbs...pressing down to stick the crumbs to the chicken.

Place the chicken on a greased baking sheet & into a 350 oven for about 20 minutes (watch them...it really depends on the size of you chicken & they cook fast).  Enjoy with your favorite dip...or more honey-mustard.

Variation:
using the same technique, substitute:

toasted panko bread crumbs for the pretzels
dijon mustard for the honey mustard
boneless pork chops for the chicken

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Thai Chicken Pizza

This one was a new one to me...I'm glad I tried it, because it was great! It's Rachel Ray's Thai Chicken Pizza (photo from foodnetwork.com)...if you use regular chicken breast, start them first....that way your crust is still hot when you top it with all the goodness.  I left off the peanuts (I didn't have any on hand) & cilantro (just because I don't like cilantro...tastes like dirt to me)...& If you think the "pickled" cucumbers are weird--don't worry, they are fantastic :)  So give it a try & let me know what you think....

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Glad To Be Back...

 Sorry about my blogging absence....the kids & I spent the entire summer (6 weeks) at my parent's farm outside Worland, WY.  We all had so much fun.  The kids were able to help in the garden, they thought picking peas was the best...read on to see more on that; pulling potatoes made a close second...while weeding wasn't so much fun.
We also canned beets (a first attempt for both my mom and me) which turned out well (even though I'm not the biggest fan of beets).
There were lots of little chocolate lab puppies...soooo cute. A couple of dogs, cats And 12 free range chickens to feed every night.  They LOVED helping take care of the animals each night...especially the chickens & we were so happy to find the first little (tiny, really) brown egg just days before we left.
We can't wait until next year...but until then, I'm back to blogging..

The peas...
The kids loved helping with every step (and I think we did this 3 times)...I know it's a little late in the season for peas...but keep it on hand for next year :)
 
 1. shell the peas (kids, at least my kids & my nieces LOVED this part...probably because they like to eat them)

 2. Add peas into lightly salted, boiling water, boil 90 seconds.  Remove promptly to an ice bath to shock the peas & stop the cooking.
3. Pat the peas dry on a clean towel, and transfer into a freezer bag, or if your lucky enough, vacuum seal them.
4. Then into the freezer to enjoy later, as needed.  My kids prefer to eat peas frozen (or cold)...also they great for teething babies (older babies that can chew up their food...and, of course, watch them while the eat)

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Caramel Corn

...I'd just like to note...this isn't my picture...ours was gobbled up too fast :)

I LOVE this caramel corn recipe...as a teenager I made it at least 100 times...now not so often, it's more of a special treat.  I think it's best eaten warm an gooey....

2 sticks butter
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup or honey
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. baking soda
6 quarts popped popcorn
(that's about two batches on a standard air popper) 
nuts (peanuts, cashews, pecans...whatever you like)

Melt butter in a large sauce pan.  Stir in sugar, corn syrup and salt.  Bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring constantly.  Boil 5 minutes without stirring.  Remove from heat, stir in soda and vanilla.  Pour over popcorn and nuts.  Mix well until all is coated. Will  harden as it cools.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

I love shopping (or just window shopping) on Etsy. There are so many great shops run by super talented people...here are just a few of my favorite kitchen picks...
Be sure to visit all the shops...you won't be disappointed...
(left to right...top to bottom)
You can visit this treasury here (be sure to click & comment) :D

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Hot Fudge Sundae Cake

This is my family's all-time favorite cake (growing up & in my family now)...it is one of my clearest food memories (as a little girl I thought for the longest time it was "Sunday" cake because (it seemed) we always had it on Sunday.

My daughter H. opted to have it for her birthday...since May is loaded with birthday cakes this is a good option for us.

We serve this over vanilla ice cream (sometimes mint chocolate chip) & I love to add sliced bananas...YUM


in a 9 x 9 x 2 inch square pan combine:

1 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
2 T. cocoa powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup milk
2 T. vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla

Mix well and spread evenly to the edges of the pan.
In a small bowl combine:

1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup cocoa

Sprinkle sugar mixture evenly over batter.

Pour 1 3/4 cups hot water over all.

Bake at 350 for 45 minutes; the cake will "float" above the hot fudge sauce..serve warm.

Try it...it's easy...and soooo good :)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

My Birthday Dinner

Tortellini w/ sun dried tomatoes, artichokes, & prosciutto in a basil cream sauce...

This is me my take on a pasta dish from Clara's Station in Lansing, MI...with a few changes (of course) It starts with a basic bechamel sauce...which everyone should know how to make...more on that in another post :)

2 Tb. olive oil
1 Tb. Butter
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
3 Tb. flour
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup half and half
 6-8 large basil leafs, chiffonade
1- 14 oz can artichoke hearts, chopped
about 1/4 cup thinly sliced sun dried tomatoes (in olive oil)
3-4 slices prosciutto thinly sliced
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
salt and pepper
frozen or fresh cheese tortellini

Bring a large pot of water to boil. When ready, salt water generously & add tortellini, cook per package directions.
 
Meanwhile, in another large saucepan, heat olive oil and butter.  When hot add garlic and onions & cook a few minutes until soft.  Don't let them get brown (they will become bitter).  Sprinkle in the flour, stir and let cook for a minute or two.  Whisk in chicken stock, then half and half.  Bring to a simmer & allow to thicken.

Add basil, salt and pepper...go easy on the salt...you will be adding salt Parmesan a little later.  Stir in artichokes and sun dried tomatoes.

In a small skillet heat an additional 1/2 tb. olive oil.  Add prosciutto and saute until crisp, remove from heat.  Add to the sauce, reserving some to sprinkle on top if you like.

Stir in Parmesan, then add your cooked & drained tortellini, toss to coat with sauce & enjoy.

***
and for dessert...
Crepes with Nutella and Fresh Raspberries

for the crepes:
In a blender combine:
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup flour
1 Tb. oil
2 Tb. sugar

Blend until smooth.

Heat a greased, small skillet of medium heat. Remove pan from heat, pour about 2 Tb. of the batter onto the pan and swirl to form a thin pancake.  Return to heat.  Cook until you can loosen the sides and lift out (it takes very little time, you will see the change in the crepe & know when it is time...it takes a little practice, but you will get the hang of it).  Cook only on one side, transfer to a plate and repeat. Makes about 18.
 **I make a double batch, because I always tend to mess up a few & it never hurts to have a few extras :)

Smear Nutella (or other chocolate-hazelnut spread) onto your crepe, add a few raspberries, chopped or whole, and roll up. Enjoy!....it's sooooo good :)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Last Year's Birthday Cake

I still haven't decided...my birthday is tomorrow & I have no idea what I am going to make for dessert...I am leaning toward a crepe cake with Nutella ( I LOVE Nutella) :)

Last year I made this:
you can find the recipe here.

To see the rest of my 30th party menu visit my other blog...

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Fish Tacos

Cooking seafood is new to me...so I am always on the lookout for a great recipe to try. Last night we had this:

ULTIMATE FISH TACOS by Tyler Florence

...they were really, really good..I definitely recommend you try them :) {it makes A LOT of sauce & salsa...you may want to make only 1/2}

Do you have any seafood recipes I should try???
Send me an e-mail at
anticipationcards[at]yahoo[dot]com
...or just leave a comment
& I'll try them out & post them :)

I would love to hear from you!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Try this...

First of all we had another great trip to the farmers market & got some plants this time...another good reason to shop your farmers markets-- this gigantic basil plant was only $3.00 & the hanging basket with tomatoes only $6.00-- now if I can keep them alive (I have a bit of a black thumb...I'm working on it) :)

so, on to some recipes...

I made my first Coconut Shrimp (with this recipe...minus the sauce-I like cocktail sauce) & it was good, but needs a little tweak...here is what I would do differently next time...

*halve the breading ingredients...use 1 cup coconut, 1 cup bread crumbs, 1 cup flour and 2 eggs. I had soooo much leftover & wasted.

*substitute lightly toasted PANKO bread crumbs for the regular..I didn't like the texture of the regular bread crumbs.

*& make sure you generously salt & pepper both the flour & bread crumb mixture.

Give it a try & let me know what you think :)

***
And on a completely random note...my favorite pizza topping...Sauteed portobello mushrooms...I get a little tired of pepperoni & black olives or ham & pineapple (my family's favorites)...so I make this instead.  Sometimes I pair it with basil pesto, sometimes regular pizza sauce, always with freshly grated Parmesan...

about 2 T. olive oil
1 container baby portobello mushrooms (or cremini)
2 cloves garlic finely chopped
salt & pepper
2-3 pinches red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp dried thyme

1. Clean & slice or dice your mushrooms.  Heat olive oil over med-high heat & add mushrooms, then garlic.  Saute a few minutes until mushrooms are lightly browned, then add salt, pepper, red pepper flakes & thyme.  Saute until mushrooms are soft, then top your pizza or fold into a calzone.
Yum...honestly I can eat them right out of the pan :)

As always I love to hear your comments...
What's your favorite pizza topping??

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Banana-Oatmeal Pancakes

My kids LOVE pancakes (what kid doesn't) so I like to mix it up a little every once and awhile and do something a little different...and they LOVE these just as much :)

2 c. flour
2 T. sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 c. rolled oats
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 eggs
2 c. milk
1/4 c. oil
2 bananas, 1 mashed & 1 chopped

Mix together dry ingredients with a whisk.  Add eggs, milk and oil all at once an mix until just combined.  Add mashed bananas, try not to over mix and then gently stir in chopped bananas.
Spoon onto a hot, lightly greased griddle and cooked until puffed, bubbly & light golden brown, flip and continue to cook until light golden brown on the second side.  Keep warm in a low oven, covered with foil, until ready to serve.

If your wondering, for the "usual" pancakes omit the oats, cinnamon, & bananas.

Some of my favorite pancake add-ins:

*halved, pitted fresh cherries
*pecans & a little brown sugar
*whole wheat...substitute 3/4 c. of the flour for wheat flour
*mini chocolate chips & banana slices (pour batter onto griddle the drop bananas & chocolate chips on)
*finely chopped apples & cinnamon

What are your favorites??

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Grilling Season....

I love that it's warm enough to grill now...during the summer it's the way I cook the most--so watch for lots of great grilling recipes :)
Here's what we grilled last night...
Roasted Red Pepper Stuffed Turkey Burgers
w/ Roasted Red Pepper Mayo
&
Grilled Fingerling Potatoes
Start with the potatoes:
about 1 lb. red fingerling potatoes, scrubbed & halved
olive oil
kosher salt
pepper
about 1 1/2 tsp. dried thyme leaves
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
*In a large bowl place potatoes & drizzle with olive oil (a tablespoon or two), sprinkle generously with salt & pepper, add the thyme & garlic powder. Toss to coat.
*Grill on a preheated grill. Here's how I like to to it...start on the top rack (or in indirect heat) so that the potatoes get cooked through without getting too crispy. When the burgers are almost done move over more direct heat until crispy & browned. (Or arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet & bake at 350 until browned).
These are so good (and there are very few potatoes that I like). :)
****
For the turkey burgers & mayo:
1 lb. ground lean turkey
1 (12 oz) jar roasted red peppers (divided)
1/2 to 3/4 grated mozzarella cheese
kosher salt
pepper
1 c. mayonnaise (light works great)
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
lettuce leafs
sliced tomatoes
toasted hamburger buns
*Drain red peppers, remove about half from the jar & coarsely chop. Get your mozzarella ready in a bowl or on your cutting board (so there is no cross contamination with the turkey).
*Cut your package of turkey into fourths, then each 4th in half. Take one section of turkey and flatten into a thin patty, top with some peppers and mozzarella. Flatten a second patty & top your first patty with it, pinch the sides and mold into a patty...work with it and you will be able to remove the seams until it looks like a regular burger. Repeat with remaining 3 burgers.
*Move your burgers to a preheated grill. Cook until each side is golden brown & turkey is cooked through.
*Meanwhile, in a blender add the remaining peppers, salt & pepper to taste, garlic powder, lemon juice & mayo. Puree until smooth, transfer to a bowl & refrigerate until ready to use. It will be thin, it thickens back up a little as it chills...it also makes way more than you will need for your burgers, try it on sandwiches (it's even good as a dip) ;).
*Spread each side of the bun with a little mayo, then layer burger, lettuce & tomatoes.
Enjoy! It's one of my favorite burgers...
& you forget your eating turkey :)

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Best Banana Bread...at least I think so :)

1/2 c. shortening
1 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp salt (a little less if you use kosher)
2 cups flour
3-4 bananas, mashed
1/4 c. milk
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (opt.)
Cream together shortening, sugars, eggs and vanilla. Add baking powder, soda salt and 1 cup flour, mix well. Add bananas (sometimes I don't even mash them---just throw them in & mix well) and milk. Add remaining cup of flour and mix well, scrape down the sides of the bowl to make sure all is combined. Stir in nuts.
Pour into 2 greased (medium size) loaf pans & bake at 350 for 30 to 45 minutes. If browning too quickly tent with aluminum foil. Also makes great muffins (makes about 24 small muffins)--reduce the cooking time to about 20-30 minutes or until tester comes out clean.
Cool completely & wrap in plastic wrap....banana bread is always better the second day...trust me--it's worth the wait :)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Farmer's Market is Back!

Yesterday we took a little trip to the FARMER'S MARKET :) I am sooo happy that it is back....even if right now it is just plants & flowers...soon it will be full of fresh veggies & fruit (I plan on taking some pictures & sharing with you our little farmers market then).

But..I did get a huge bunch of LILACS...which I lOvE...I would have loved to get some veggie plants--I wish I had a non-shady area of my yard to grow a garden...and that I didn't have a black thumb :)...maybe someday.

**a great Banana Bread Recipe coming tomorrow :)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Operation: Easter Candy Detour

I have a problem...I like an assortment of Easter candies...which ultimately leads to an extreme amount of candy hanging around my house...here's my solution (for at least 3 types of the candy) :) Bake a few...then save the rest of the dough in the freezer for later...

#1 Chocolate Malt Cookies (Robin Eggs)

1/2 c. butter, softened

1 c. sugar

1/4 c. cocoa powder

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. kosher salt

1 3/4 c. flour

1/3 c. + 1 Tbs. milk

1 c. broken robin egg (or other malty candy)

Cream together butter & sugar. Add cocoa powder, mix well. Mix in vanilla & remaining dry ingredients. Add milk and mix well, scraping down the sides of the bowl as you go. Stir in candy pieces.

Line a baking sheet with a Silpat or parchment paper (when the candies melt, they can get sticky) and drop batter by tablespoons onto prepared sheet. Bake at 350 for 8 minutes. Cool on the tray for a few minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

#2 Oatmeal Peanut butter Chunk Cookies (Reese's Eggs)

3/4 c. butter, softened

1 c. brown sugar

1/2 c. sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. baking soda

1/8 tsp. salt

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

1 3/4 c. flour

2 c. rolled oats

1 c. chopped peanut butter eggs

Cream butter and sugars, add eggs & mix well; add baking soda & powder, salt & vanilla. Mix in flour and oats. Mix until well combined. Stir in candy pieces carefully by hand.

Drop by tablespoons onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 8 minutes until edges just turn brown. Cool completely.

#3 Peanut Butter with Candy Coated Chocolates

1/2 c. butter, softened

1/2 c. peanut butter

1/2 c. sugar

1/4 c. honey

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1 egg

1 tsp. vanilla

1 1/4 c. flour

1 cup candy coated chocolate candies

Cream together butter, peanut butter, sugar & honey. Add baking soda & powder, egg and vanilla; combine well. Mix in flour & candies.

Drop by tablespoons onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 8 minutes until lightly golden brown...if you like them crispy you can go for another minute or so. Allow to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

****

Cookie dough can be kept in the freezer for up to 4-6 weeks.

For ready to bake portions, scoop cookies onto a cookie sheet, place in freezer to harden for a few hours--then transfer to a freezer bag to store & return to the freezer. When you feel like cookies, just pull out how many you need :)

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Comfort Food

This is what we are having for dinner tonight....
Veggie Lasagna...you won't even miss the meat.
Here's my recipe...it starts with the sauce:

2 Tb. olive oil
1 small onion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium carrots, peeled & finely diced
2 celery stalks, finely diced
2- 28 oz. cans crushed tomatoes
2 tsp. dried crushed basil
1 Tb. dried crushed parsley
a pinch or 2 of crushed red pepper flakes (about 1/4 tsp.)
Salt & Pepper
1 box "no boil" lasagna noodles
1 small container part skim ricotta cheese
2 eggs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 box frozen chopped spinach, thaw & squeeze out extra moisture
1 container baby Portobello mushrooms (or Cremini),chopped
about 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

1. Preheat your oven to 350. Heat olive oil in a large sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add onions, garlic, carrots & celery to sauce pan. Add salt & pepper to taste, saute veggies until tender, & onions are translucent, about 8-10 minutes.

2. Add both cans of crushed tomatoes to saucepan, stir to combine. Add basil, parsley, & crushed red pepper and a little more salt and pepper. Bring up to a simmer, cover & turn heat down to med-low; stir occasionally.

4. In a medium bowl, mix together ricotta cheese, eggs, Parmesan cheese, salt & pepper. Set aside.

5. Layer as follows in a 9x13 casserole dish:
**1 cup sauce
**4 noodles, 1/3 of the ricotta mixture, 1/2 of your mushrooms & spinach, 1 cup cheese, 1 cup sauce.
**4 noodles, 1/3 of the ricotta mixture, 1 1/2 cups sauce
**4 noodles, last of the ricotta mixture, last of the mushrooms and spinach, 1 cup mozzarella, 1 cup sauce.
**4 noodles, the rest of the sauce, the rest of the cheese (add a little more Parmesan if you like)

6. Cover tightly with foil & bake for about 40 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes until bubbly & cheese is golden brown.

7. Allow to cool about 15 minutes before cutting (I was impatient & cut mine a little early...it sets up more if you allow it to cool a little). Enjoy! Serves a lot :).

***you can always add browned ground beef or sausage...substitute where the mushrooms & spinach are added.
***if you don't want to make your own sauce, use 2 regular jars (or 1 large) prepared spaghetti sauce.

Snack Time

This is my kids FAVORITE snack of all time...

Apples with Peanut Butter Dip

Apple Slices
1/3 c. peanut butter
1-2 Tb. honey
1/4 tsp. cinnamon

Mix together peanut butter, honey & cinnamon, adding enough honey to loosen the peanut butter up.
Dip apples & enjoy....also good with bananas, celery, crackers...or as a sandwich.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Easy Cheesy

This is a crazy easy recipe...it almost seems to easy to post. But it's so much better than fast food, or microwave food--so next time you are in a pinch try this:

Chicken Quesadillas
1 boneless skinless chicken breast per 2 people
(I used the frozen ones...worked great)
prepared salsa
shredded cheese
flour tortillas
Preheat your oven to 350. Place frozen (or fresh) chicken in a baking dish. Cover each piece with a little of the prepared salsa...you don't want to drown it. Pop in the oven and cook until done...about 20 minutes.
Remove chicken & salsa to a cutting board. Roughly chop the chicken, along with the salsa & mix it up a little bit.
Heat a flat skillet over med-high heat. Heat a tortilla a little, flip over. Add shredded cheese & chicken to one side, fold tortilla over and brown on both sides. Cool slightly & cut into wedges.
See, easy....no more convenience food :)