Friday, September 30, 2011

Fun Kitchen Toy and E-Z Hand Pies

Last month I mentioned this little kitchen gadget
a b-day gift from my sis.  I couldn't wait to play around with it, b/c I love me some kitchen toys.
Look how cute that is!
hand + pie
(and is it just me, or does that hand look very fat and puffy?  What's up with that?  That's the last time I use that hand model.  It's not my hand.  No sir, nope.  Okay, it's totally mine. ugh.)

Anyways...love these cute pies, and the possibilities are endless.  This one was a a super simple, throw it together on a school night, apple pie.  Store bought crust, low sugar apple pie filling (from a can), cinnamon sugar for the tops.  Done, and done!

Now I can't wait to experiment with different "stuffings", and maybe one day I'll get brave and try to make my own pie crust.  Maybe.

Happy Friday Y'all!


Thursday, September 29, 2011

Share a Spoon - Soup's on!

Today's theme over at the Think Tank is SOUP! While it's still hot and humid here, I'm still preparing for the cooler weather by collecting (aka 'pinning') soup recipes!  (and a mild pumpkin obsession has begun again, see yesterday's post)

The only soup I've made so far this year, is one I've shared before (it's my favorite, and I make it pretty regularly).  This time I did things a little different, in that I had cooked a whole chicken in the crockpot - along with some carrots, celery and onion.  After the chicken was done, I pulled the meat (actually, it just fell off) the bone, put the bones back in the crockpot with the veggies, seasonings, chicken 'juices' (ewww) and water, and let it cook a while.  Then I strained it, and put the broth in the fridge to cool.  After it cooled, I scraped all the fat off the top (ewww again), and then I had a rich, flavorful, chicken broth.  I used the broth, along with some of the leftover chicken, and made this soup.
Sadly, I'm all out of fresh basil :*(

However, I have several more soup recipes on my wish list (aka Pinterest)
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**all photos via Pinterest

Now, if the weather would just cooperate...

Head on over and check out
Think Tank Momma

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Pizza casserole-type thingy (low carb)

As you can tell from the title, I don't know what the crap to call this.  As you can probably tell, I haven't been doing a tremendous amount of cooking recently. At least nothing fun.  (definition of fun would be high calorie, high fat, full of chocolate deliciousness)  So...this is just some of the normal stuff we've had around here.  Normal being relative ;)  As many of you know, my husband is a diet-controlled diabetic.  To maintain his blood sugars, he eats a very low carb diet.  For someone like me, who is a carb-aholic, it makes life a little difficult.  Well, at least life in the kitchen at meal time.  I want lots of bread, potatoes and pasta, whereas, if he is going to be able to eat it, it has to have none of those fun things.  Therefore, I've learned to compromise.  I try to come up with dishes the entire family can enjoy.  Hence, the I'm-not-really-pizza-or-a-casserole dish....
This is pretty much the toppings of a pizza, baked in a casserole dish.  It contained - 

1 lb ground turkey sausage
1 jar No sugar added Ragu Light Spaghetti Sauce (with lots of added oregano to make it taste like pizza sauce!)
 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
turkey pepperoni - to taste
1/2 small diced onion

**These cheese quantities are estimates.  My crowd likes LOTS of cheese, so you can adjust it to suit your fancy.  I mean taste buds.  You can also add mushrooms, peppers, whatever your family likes on a pizza.  I've also made this with eggs mixed in with the meat to form a 'base' ...more like a traditional pizza. However, since Mr. Three is allergic to eggs, I can't do that anymore.

Cook your ground turkey and onion together, drain if needed.  Place a little "spizza" sauce on the bottom of your casserole dish (I used a 9x13), dump your turkey/onion on top, add the rest of your sauce, top with cheese, place pepperoni on top.  Bake until golden brown and bubbly.  

Toasted bread for the kids and I ...
so we could scoop up our toppings!

Served with a salad.  Nothing exciting, but tasty none the less.  And something everyone will eat, which is always a miraculous feat around here!  
Y'all have any egg free, nut free, carb free meals you enjoy?  hahaha

Monday, September 26, 2011

Healthy Cookies

If you have been on Pinterest, you've probably seen these cookies floating around.  The cookie that has no butter, no eggs and is called a 'healthy cookie'.  Well, obviously I had to try it immediately.  Obviously.
This recipe comes from 101 Cookbooks.  I had to make a few alterations due to allergies and ingredients I had on hand, and I'm sure the substitutions affected the flavor and texture a little.

Ingredients

3 large, ripe bananas, well mashed (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup coconut oil, barely warm - so it isn't solid (or alternately, olive oil) *I used olive oil
2 cups rolled oats
2/3 cup almond meal 1/3 cup milled flax seed mixed with 1/3 cup AP flour. *I had to sub out almond meal b/c my son is allergic to nuts.  I have no idea if this is a good substitution or not, but it seems like I read it somewhere!
1/3 cup coconut, finely shredded & unsweetened
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
6 - 7 ounces chocolate chips or dark chocolate bar chopped *I used a combination of both


Preheat oven to 350 degrees, racks in the top third.
In a large bowl combine the bananas, vanilla extract, and olive oil. Set aside. In another bowl whisk together the oats, almond meal milled flax seed/flour, shredded coconut, cinnamon, salt, and baking powder.
 Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until combined. Fold in the chocolate chunks/chips.The dough is a bit looser than a standard cookie dough, don't worry about it. Drop dollops of the dough, each about 2 teaspoons in size, an inch apart, onto a parchment (or Silpat) lined baking sheet. Bake for 12 - 14 minutes. 
**In my opinion, you need to cook these until you think they are getting  ready to burn.  I did not like the texture otherwise.  However, everyone is different, and I made substitutions.  The kids didn't really eat them, they just picked out the chocolate.  (I don't know where they get that stuff from!)  Next time, I think I'll make them with the almond meal and see if  it makes a difference in taste and texture.  Overall, this is a pretty decent  cookie for what it is.  It's certainly not going to be confused with a butter laden cookie, but it works to tame a chocolate craving and offer a healthier alternative to your kids.  Because your kids might eat them.  My kids are weird.  Said with love, of course.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Homemade Oatmeal Bath

I love oatmeal.  I eat it in some form almost daily (overnight oats, pumpkin spiced oatmeal, oats in my yogurt, or added to muffins and cookies!)  But did you know it's also good for lots of different skin conditions?  Before we figured out my son had food allergies, he had really bad eczema.  Poor baby would wake up in the middle of the night scratching away, so often I would use the Aveeno Baby Oatmeal Bath. It always worked pretty well and I've been using the Aveeno Baby Soothing Relief Wash since he was very young.  Thankfully, his eczema is much improved so I no longer keep the oatmeal bath on hand.  *Aveeno has no idea I'm writing this post, these are products I use on a regular basis.  Unfortunately Therefore no compensation was received.

However, I found myself needing it the other night.  With all the rain we've had, and wacky weather, the mosquitoes are UN.REAL.  You can literally get swarmed by mosquitoes in a matter of minutes depending on where you are.  Sure enough, my middle child managed to get eat up (I'm talking 20 bites alone on one arm). My MIL let the kids walk into the woods, not thinking about mosquitoes.  My daughter said they walked a few steps in, and were immediately swarmed!  They high-tailed it out of there, but too late.  The damage was done.  So she comes home, itching, itching, itching.  The only thing I knew to do was put her in an oatmeal bath, and give her some Benadryl (we had tried every topical thing available).  Of course....I was out of the oatmeal bath (we stay stocked on Benadryl however!)  I did a quick search to find out if I could use regular oatmeal, and sure enough, you can.  All you have to do is take your regular, old-fashioned oats, and grind them up in a food processor or blender.  
(these actually needed a few more pulses)

This was one of those duh! moments.  I couldn't believe I had been paying 5 or 6 bucks for oatmeal bath, when I had all I needed sitting in the cabinet!  I just always assumed there was something added, or something different about what you bought in the store.  My daughter would not have questioned it if she had seen me open a packet and pour it into the bath, but she really thought I was off my rocker for getting it from the pantry.  I think she thought it was one of those "weird" experiments - like the time I made tofu parmesan (which IS good!) or tried making chocolate pudding out of avocados (I'm still convinced this can be done, just got to try again!).  

All you need is one cup of oats, a food processor or blender, and grind them up to a powder consistency.  Sprinkle 1/3 (for little ones) to 1/2 cup for big kids under running water.  Swirl it around to mix, and then soak in it!  After having to practically threaten my child, she finally got in the oatmeal bath, and felt much better afterwards.  She even took another one the next morning without me saying a word.  See, Mother does know best!

Linking up with The Ease of Freeze

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Hass Avocados Recipe Contest (win a free trip!)

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Hass Avocado Board featuring Hass Avocados for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

I've been given the opportunity to share something AWESOME with you guys!  Well, that is if you think round trip airfare, hotel accommodations, participation in a Rose Bowl Game®  Welcome Reception, admission to a "behind-the-scene" Rose Bowl Game®  decoration site, sightseeing tour of Pasadena, admission to THE Rose Bowl Game®        on  onojon   on January 2, 2012, plus more, all for FREE is AWESOME.  Clearly, I'm excited!

How is this possible?  Well, the great folks at Hass Avocados are hosting a fabulous Kick Off with Hass Avocados Recipe Contest!  There are TWO ways to participate - there will be a weekly sweepstakes where a box of avocados is being given away each week for 14 consecutive weeks, and there is a Recipe Contest where the winner will win a trip (for 4 people!) to the Rose Bowl Game® !!!  How cool is that?!

You may notice that there are not a lot of avocado recipes at Mo'Betta.  I know, it's sad.  However, I hope to remedy that very soon.  See, I have spent all these years in the dark, not knowing the creamy goodness that is the avocado.  Then I saw the light!  My sister raved about how delicious guacamole was, and how she liked to put avocado on sandwiches, and I was intrigued.  Maybe I should give the little green I-don't-know-if-I'm-a-veggie-or-a-fruit a chance.  So I bought one....

 

Whipped up some guacamole...

  

And my love affair with the avocado was born :)  Did you know that avocados have only 50 calories per ounce (about a fifth of a medium avocado) and contribute almost 20 vitamins and minerals?! Talk about a nutrient dense food choice.  They are also full of good fats (yes, there IS such a thing!). Over 75% of the fat in avocados is UNsaturated (mono- and polyunsaturated fats), and with the creamy, delicious texture, they are a great substitute for high saturated fat foods.  Saturated=BAD; Unsaturated=GOOD.  Mo'Betta's nutrition lesson for the day ;)

So, back to the Recipe Contest!  A few details:  30 finalists will be selected and judged based on (1) the use of Hass Avocados in the recipe -25% (2) Photo quality and image appeal - 25% (3) Creativity - 25% (4) Relevance - 25%; the finalists recipes will be voted on by the public; and the Grand Prize (the trip!) winner will be awarded based on the recipe that receives the greatest number of votes!  

That means, get those avocado recipes ready, enter at http://sports.avocadocentral.com/contest, and tell all your family and friends to head over and give you a vote!  I know you guys have lots of tailgating tips and recipes, and click on the link for lots more!  You can also sign up to receive free emails with recipe ideas, along with the nutrition info, that you will receive once a month.  That's right, you will never be at a loss as to what to prepare for game day!

As for me, I'm so hungry after looking through recipes I'm going to go have lunch - 

        

Yes, there is a nice helping of nutrient dense guacamole on top :D

What are your favorite game day recipes? Your favorite way to eat an avocado?

Visit Sponsor's Site

Pumpkin Yeast Bread

Ever since Joanne over at Eats Well With Others posted Pumpkin Yeast Bread, it's been on my bucket list. It's probably what gave me the idea to make Zucchini Yeast Bread when I was drowning in zucchini this summer. (which was delicious by the way).  So, when a Latte' with Ott, A  introduced September's Iron Chef Challenge as Red Star YEAST, I knew exactly what I was going to make!

Of course, you know what they say about 'best laid plans' and all.  I got a terrible upper respiratory infection which pretty much put my baking on the back burner-so to speak.  But, Ott, A. had been so kind as to send me packets of yeast provided by Red Star, so as soon as I was feeling a better, I got into the kitchen.  Besides, I needed this pumpkin bread, it was necessary for my full recovery ;)  What?  There are lots of health benefits to pumpkin.  Okay, so that's just an excuse to make this delicious bread.

However, I needed to make a few changes to the original recipe I coveted.  One, I needed to take out the eggs so Mr. Little Man could eat it.  Two, I really was lazy tired, and wanted to make this in my bread machine.  I took a gamble, b/c when I go making up recipes, it usually doesn't turn out well.  This however....
mmmmm, mmmm, good!

Pumpkin Yeast Bread

Ingredients
1/2 cup plus 2 T. warm milk
1 T. canola oil
1 T. molasses
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 t. ground cinnamon *I will increase this next time
1/2 t. ground nutmeg
1/2 t. sea salt
1/2 t. ground ginger
2 3/4 cups flour *I used unbleached all-purpose b/c I was out of bread flour
1 packet of Red Star Active Dry Yeast

Directions
Add all ingredients in the bread machine in the order suggested by manufacturer (for mine, you add your wet ingredients first, then dry on top, ending with your yeast).  Use your basic white bread setting.  (this was a 1 1/2 pound loaf)
It passed the little man test!

Come check out some other great recipes using yeast!
Photobucket

Linking up at Life as Mom,  Eat at Home

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wordless Wednesday-What every cook needs...

I found a whole stash of these in a notebook while cleaning out my grandfather's house.

But my favorite is definitely this one....
You can never have too many recipes for CheezWhiz ;)
Do they still even make this stuff?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I scream, You scream...

We all scream for HEALTHY ice cream!!!

fo' realz yo.

I originally saw this on Pinterest (shocker, I know) and just had to give it a try for the kiddos.  I was amazed at the results.

How can this decadent looking treat be healthy you ask?  Because it's made from frozen bananas!  Obviously, I added some extra ingredients to mine, but that's the beauty.  You can make it to suit your individual taste buds.  So, the next time you have some really ripe bananas, slice them up into one inch pieces, place them on wax/parchment paper lined baking sheet, and stick them in the freezer until frozen solid.  Then place them into a food processor (I'm assuming a blender would work for this as well) and blend them up.  The frozen bananas blend into a soft serve ice cream consistency!

Head over to Sophistimom for more details and ideas for add-ins for your healthy ice cream :)  I added cocoa  powder and Sunbutter to ours.  (and just a little bit of stevia)  The pictured serving was from 3 medium sized bananas.  My oldest daughter loved this, and I can't get her to eat a plain banana for anything! 

I'm linking this healthy dish up with FaveDiets, and Eat at Home (ingredient spotlight - Bananas!)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Buttermilk Cinnamon Rolls (no yeast)


Cinnamon rolls have been one of those things that just seemed like a little too much trouble.  I mean, who wants to spend half the morning trying to prepare breakfast (an unhealthy one at that. I like my fat and calories quick, fast and in a hurry!)  I'm talking, of course, about those cinnamon rolls requiring yeast.  The proofing and rising and waiting.  Then I saw this recipe (on Pinterest of course) for Buttermilk Cinnamon Rolls.  No yeast required.

I put my children to work in the kitchen again, and we made them a few weekends ago.  (Before we made these! I just forgot to post them.)

Buttermilk Cinnamon Rolls slightly adapted from epicurean escapism

For the Dough:
2 3⁄4 cup plain flour, plus extra for dusting the counter
2 tbsp sugar
1 1⁄4 tsp baking powder
1⁄2 tsp baking soda
3⁄4 tsp. salt
1 1⁄4 cup buttermilk *We added vinegar to skim milk and let sit to make our 'buttermilk'
6 tbsp melted butter *We used 3 T. melted butter and 3 T. applesauce
For the filling:
2 tbsp. melted butter
2 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. cinnamon
For the glaze:2 tbsp. water *we used milk and a little cinnamon
3/4 to 1 c. powdered sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 425°F 
  2. In a bowl, mix together the dry ingredients for the dough (flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt).
  3. Stir in the butter, applesauce and buttermilk.
  4. At this point, the dough will be sticky, so just spoon it on top of a heavily floured surface, and add a bit more flour to the top.
  5. With floured hands, gently knead the flour into the dough (adding more flour if necessary) until the dough is manageable and is fairly smooth.
  6. With a rolling pin, roll the dough out into a rectangle/square of approximately 1⁄2 inch thick.
  7. Spread the surface of the dough with 2 tbsp melted butter, then sprinkle on the cinnamon and sugar.
  8. Roll the dough from the longer side, and cut the dough to about 2 inches thick.
  9. Place the rolls in a lightly greased pan, and bake at 425 for about 20mins, or until the edges have turned golden brown.
  10. To prepare the glaze, mix the water and powdered sugar, and pour onto the rolls while they’re still hot.
Verdict - These reminded me of the store-bought Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls.  Not great, but not terrible.  My kids liked them, and like I mentioned, they are much quicker than the yeast variety.  Also, they probably would have been better with the full amount of butter :)  I'm always trying to skimp out on the butter, and let's face it, baked goods neeeed buttahh!  However, I am thinking next time I might sub the butter in the filling with applesauce.  I think it would give it a good flavor, and would cut some of the fat too.  I think adding a little cinnamon and nutmeg to the dough would be yummy too!  

Friday, September 16, 2011

Thanks

Just wanted to say thanks for the great suggestions and concern from my bloggy friends (and my sister too)!  Y'all are awesome.  I finally saw the doctor today (it was a regularly scheduled "girly doctor" appt) and he put me on an antibiotic.  Thank God for antibiotics.  Seriously.  So, it was worth enduring the rest of the appointment to get some meds and getting myself well.  (Upper respiratory infection/pharyngitis - y'all were right, I needed to go to the doctor.  Nurses make terrible patients, even the doctor was like "why didn't you call?!")

I'll be spending the weekend trying to get myself back on track, and searching for jeans for my children.  Today was the first cool day we've had, and 2 of my 3 children didn't have pants that fit!  I also have a couple of fun reviews coming up, as well as some recipes I can't wait to try.  This cool weather has me thinking PUMPKIN :D

Have a great {sick free} weekend!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Up all night

I was up all. night. long. Why was I up all night long you didn't ask?  COUGHING.  If I don't get a good nights sleep soon, I'm going to hurt someone.  Or (more likely) consume large amounts of cookie dough.  I've tried cough medicines, honey, lemon, you name it.  I even tried chewing on pepper corns.  Yes, it was some stupid thing I read online and figured it couldn't hurt.  Besides, I have no whiskey in the house.  Which needs to be remedied ASAP.  I just feel like bringing my 3 y/o along to the liquor store warrants, I don't know, a call to child protective services or something.  Nothing screams "BAD MOMMY" like hauling your young'uns with you to buy a 5th.  Of course, it would be for medicinal purposes.

Speaking of home remedies... I thought I'd share some of what I have found.  The most popular (and probably my favorite) is the whiskey/honey/lemon combo.  As I said, I don't have any whiskey, and the plain honey/lemon didn't do a thang.  Tasted good though.  Another popular one is Vick's Vapor Rub on the feet.  Yes, feet.  Don't ask me how or why this is supposed to work, and I have actually had good luck with this with the kids.  But not for me. I also saw a few suggestions of using onion or garlic...boiling with water and adding honey and sometimes lemon.  Uhhh, no thanks.  I'm not boiling onion or garlic at 1 in the morning, and I'm not drinking it either.

But here is one that really has me pondering....a warm water enema.  For coughing.  Huh?  I'm not coughing out of my ass, and if I was, well, my issues are far greater that what anyone reading could help me with.  So please, if anyone can enlighten me as to how an enema will help my coughing, feel free to share.  So anyway, obviously home remedies are not doing me much good right  now.  Anyone have any tried and true cough remedies?  I'm definitely open for suggestions.  As long as it doesn't involve my colon.

The pepper corns, by the way, do nothing.  Shocker.  Speaking of 'shocker'...did anyone else watch the Big Brother Finale?  (It wasn't all that shocking.)  I guess I won't say anything in case you have it on DVR with plans to watch it later.  Survivor started last night as well.  Yep, I'm a sucker for reality TV.

Let's see how I manage to get through the day on pretty much NO sleep.  Getting ready for my second cup of coffee....

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Empty Plate

uhm... I had a recipe to share.
It was good.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Hot Banana Pepper Poppers

Once upon a time I had an abundance of peppers coming in from my garden, especially hot banana peppers. (for some reason, my jalapenos didn't grow)  I made pickled banana peppers, used them in salsa, and froze some.  Then I saw this post over at PreventionRD for Sweet and Spicy Jalapeno Poppers.  They looked tasty, and I've liked everything I have made from Nicole's blog.  I decided to give them a try with my hot banana peppers....
The picture isn't the greatest, but you can 'pop' over to PreventionRD's blog for some better ones ;)

Sweet and Spicy Jalapeno Poppers slightly adapted from PreventionRD
6 jalapeno peppers hot banana peppers
4 oz light cream cheese, softened
2 Tbsp 2% cheddar cheese, shredded
6 turkey bacon strips, halved widthwise
3 Tbsp packed brown sugar
1 Tbsp chili seasoning
Directions:
Cut peppers in half lengthwise and remove seeds and membrane; set aside. In a small bowl, beat cheeses until blended. Spoon into pepper halves. Wrap a half-strip of bacon around each pepper half.
Combine brown sugar and chili seasoning; coat peppers with sugar mixture. Place in a greased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan.
Bake at 350 F for 18-20 minutes or until bacon is firm. Yield: 12 poppers.  
Verdict?  They were very good!  I would love them with jalapenos, but the banana peppers were good too.  Hot banana peppers are still pretty mild as far as heat, but have a nice flavor.  These are also pretty simple to put together, and would make great appetizers for a par-tay. Or football. Or just make them and eat 'em for dinner like I did
I'm linking up this recipe at Beyer Beware, Delightfully Dowling, Skip to my Lou, Eat at Home (Ingredient Spotlight: Bacon)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

We Remember





It's hard to believe it has been 10 years since the attacks of September 11th. I wasn't anywhere near the tragedies that day, I don't personally know anyone who lost their life that day, but I was affected.  Just as every other American old enough to know what was happening was affected.  We watched the tragedies unfold on the television, we cried, we grieved, and we came together as a nation.  And today, we remember.

Some posts and links I've seen today that I wanted to share with you....
33 Shades of Green has an awesome post and pictures of a September 11th memorial called "West Michigan Healing Field".  There is a field with flags representing each person who lost their life that day. Please visit her site and read about it.

Joanne at Eats Well With Others was there that day.  See her post about her experience as a young girl living in New York during the attacks.

and go here and here for more stories and pics from 9/11 and as we remember, 10 years later.

25 Most Powerful Photosvia

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Cherry Rosemary Focaccia

A while back I saw this recipe over at Joy the Baker, I pinned it, I wanted it, I planned on making it.  Then I didn't.  Then I had cherries instead of strawberries in my fridge and I thought, hmmmm. Then, about that time, I saw this at Sweet as Sugar Cookies! So, decision made. Cherry Rosemary Foccacia.
I basically followed the recipe from Joy the Baker, however, I sort of screwed up the whole 'adding flour in one cup increments' thing.  Oh well. It was still highly edible.

Cherry Rosemary Focaccia adapted from Strawberry Balsamic Flatbread by Joy the Baker & Cherry Rosemary Focaccia by Sweet as Sugar Cookies

2 packages (about 5 teaspoons) active dry yeast

1 cup warm water (between 110 and 115 degrees F)
3 cups of flour, divided into 1 cup increments
3 tablespoons, plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
3 tablespoons sugar
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon orange zest
halved and pitted cherries
rosemary and coarse salt for sprinkling
In a large bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water.  Stir to dissolve.  Add one cup of the flour and blend together until smooth.  Cover and set in a warm place to rise for 1 hour.


After 1 hour, stir in 3 tablespoons of olive oil, the sugar, and orange zest.  Add one cup of flour and stir to blend.  Add the remaining cup of flour, the salt, and mix together to form a dough.
Place dough on a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes.  If the dough is too sticky, add up to 1/3 cup more flour and knead.  The dough is going to be a little sticky.
Coat your large bowl with 1 teaspoon olive oil.  Place dough in the bowl, and flip it over so that it’s entirely coated in oil.  Cover and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
Punch the dough down and knead for a minute, then stretch the dough into a 16×9-inch rectangle.  Place on a greased baking sheet and let rise for 30 minutes.
Preheat to 375 degrees F.  When dough has risen, use your fingers to make random indentations in the puffed dough.  Drizzle with olive oil.  Top with sliced cherries, and sprinkle with coarse sea salt & rosemary.  Bake for 30 to 35 minutes on center rack in oven, until golden in color and crisp.  
Verdict? Pretty darn good. It's hard to go wrong with fresh baked bread products! 
Have a great weekend and let's remember all of those that lost their lives during the 9/11 terrorist attacks.  It's hard to believe it's been 10 years, but I remember well, holding my 6 month old baby at the time, thinking how glad I was that she was too little to understand what had happened, and wondering what the future was going to hold for my baby girl.  Now, she's 10 years old and learning about September 11th in school. I don't think she really understands why I can't talk about it with her without getting upset, and I can only imagine how difficult it is for all those that lost someone that day.  May God bless us and keep us....

Linking this recipe up at Eat at Home for Ingredient Spotlight: Cherries and Pomegranates 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Buffalo Chicken Enchiladas

If you have been reading my blog for a while, you may have figured out that I love everything buffalo chicken.  Buffalo chicken pizza one of my favorite things, and when I saw Buffalo Chicken Enchiladas I knew I had to make them A.S.A.P.

Buffalo Chicken Enchiladas 
source How Sweet It Is

8 large tortillas (I use low carb)
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
28 ounces enchilada sauce
1/2 cup buffalo wing sauce (or to taste)
1 cup shredded cheese *I used a Mexican blend
4 ounces gorgonzola cheese, crumbled *I didn't have any, so I skipped it
5 green onions, chopped
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. 
  • Pour enchilada sauce in a bowl and whisk in 1/4 cup buffalo wing sauce. Add more as needed to achieve desired taste. Set aside.
  • In a separate bowl, add shredded chicken, 2 green onions and 1/2 cup shredded cheese. Add in about a 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce and mix thoroughly. 
  • Pour a 1/2 cup or so of enchilada sauce in the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Fill each tortilla with a few tablespoons of the chicken mixture. Roll up tortillas and place in the baking dish, seam side down. 
  • Pour another 1/2 cup or more of enchilada sauce over the tortillas and add remaining shredded cheese. 
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes. Immediately after taking enchiladas out of the oven, add crumbled gorgonzola (if using) on top. Garnish with the remaining green onions and cilantro. 
Notes - I cut this recipe in half since I knew I would be the only one eating it.  It was pretty good, but I definitely will add more buffalo sauce next time.  Before serving, I added additional sauce and bleu cheese dressing.  I'm sure they would be delicious with the gorgonzola cheese, which I'm pretty sure I've never bought before.  I need to expand my cheese repertoire.  There is a whole world beyond cheddar and mozzarella :)  
I've also read that enchiladas freeze well, but I haven't tried it yet.  I just ate on these until they were gone!  My husband took one bite and said "yeah, you're right, I don't like them".  Well, duhhh. Some how my crowd all has the super sensitive taste buds of a newborn.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Hurricane Prep


Rice Krispie treats per recipe on the back of the Gluten Free Rice Krispie box, plus 1/4 cup wheat germ.  And sprinkles.

*Note - I am not making light of adequate Hurricane preparation. It is very important to have essential supplies.  If you're smart, you have them prior to the day before so you don't end up at Wal-Mart with the entire town. I, of course, had everything I needed except toilet paper.  Helloooo? Can't go without toilet paper.  So in the mass chaos I grabbed my toilet paper, resisted the urge to buy every canned item left in stock (honestly, you couldn't get down the canned food isle!) and grabbed Rice Krispies and marshmallows.  Then high tailed my butt outta there.  That place was a nut house.  I almost bought water and batteries just b/c of the frenzy, and I didn't even need them!

p.s. I was very glad to have my treats while waiting for the power to be restored.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Cinnamon Breakfast Biscuits

Pinterest strikes again.  My food board was getting so large that I had to further break it down into smaller categories so I could find stuff easier.  It's a little ridiculous.  Of course, I like to think of it as my online recipe binder.  One of the things that kept getting my attention were these Giant Gooey Cinnamon Breakfast Biscuits.
The perfect opportunity came up to make them when my girls had a friend sleepover, and they got up at the ungodly hour of 6am to make breakfast (which they were planning on doing while I was sleeping). I, however, must have had mother's intuition, b/c for some reason I woke up, wide awake, at 5:30am.  So I was on the computer sipping my coffee when they came sneaking downstairs, still half asleep.  Way to go mom, for busting that bubble. (My kids know they are not allowed to use the oven without my permission)  My oldest was quite disappointed until I printed off the recipe for these biscuits and told her to have at it.  I had heavy cream left over from making the chocolate ganache, so we were ready to go.  Well, except I can't find cinnamon chips anywhere around here - we improvised.  Check out the original recipe for some very mouth watering pictures!

Giant Gooey Cinnamon Breakfast Biscuits adapted from The Kitchn

2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups heavy cream, divided
1/2 cup cinnamon chips  *We used 2 T. softened butter/3 T. brown sugar/1 T. cinnamon
3/4 cup confectioner's sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Heat the oven to 425°F. Lightly grease an 8 x 8-inch baking pan.  In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt, breaking up any large clumps in the brown sugar. Pour in 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups of the cream — just enough to make a thick, fairly wet and sticky dough — and mix quickly, just until combined. Dump the dough out on a floured countertop and pat into a long, thick rectangle. The dough will be firm, yet wet and sticky. *Our dough was VERY wet and we had to add quite a bit more flour. I don't know if this was an error on our part (my kids are 8 &10 that made this!) or if the measurements are off.  We probably added up to 1/2 cup more flour.  I would start with the recommended amount and see what it's like for you. I'm thinking my daughter just dumped in too much cream.
Slice the rectangle into 8 equally-sized squares. Lay half the squares in the prepared baking pan. Sprinkle about a tablespoon and a half of cinnamon chips mixture over each square. Place half the dough into your 8 x 8 pan, cover with half your cinnamon mixture, then place the other half of your dough on top.  Lightly press the edges to seal. Repeat with each biscuit. Top the biscuits with the remaining cinnamon chips mixture.
Bake for 14 to 16 minutes, or until the biscuits are barely golden on the outside and just cooked through. Remove from the oven and use a knife to spread and smear the now hot cinnamon chips on top of the biscuits.
Whisk together the remaining 1/2 cup cream, confectioner's sugar, and vanilla. Lightly drizzle the biscuits with this glaze (you may not want to use all of the glaze). Serve and eat while hot.
Even with the issues we ran into, these biscuits were pretty darn delicious.  I think it must be the heavy cream!  They had a very soft texture, which was not what I was expecting with all the extra flour we had to add.  These are definitely going on my 'must make again' board on Pinterest ;)
My little early bird chefs. 

I'm linking up today with the following Tuesday recipe linky parties! Tuesday at the Table, Tasty Tuesdays @ 33 Shades of Green, Tempt My Tummy Tuesday, Made From Scratch Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday @ FTLB, Delicious Dishes

Monday, September 5, 2011

Mo'Betta gets crafty for back-to-school

I looked everywhere for a cute backpack for Mr. Three.  He will be going to "preschool" for 3 hours 3 days a week.  So, of course, he needs to be stylin' ;)  I wanted something small, but I couldn't find any character bags I liked.  I didn't check out all the resources on line...I'm sure I could have found something really expensive cute.  However, I stumbled upon this small plain black bag at Wal-Mart the other day -
It was less than 5 bucks! 
Then I began thinking about how I could decorate and personalize Mr. Three's little bag...
I picked up this iron on adhesive (also at Wally World) and I already had some "little boy" fabric.
I decided I would 'monogram' his bag.  
Just a note of caution - make sure all of your adhesive is covered by fabric before ironing.  I made the mistake of cutting out my letter first, then adding the adhesive...and ended up with a sticky mess on my ironing board cover.  Lesson learned!
After ironing on my letter D, it was still pretty plain, so I cut out a firetruck from the same fabric.
and of course, I couldn't stop there, I was on a roll, so I made little strap covers too!
Overall, I thought it turned out pretty cute for my first attempt.  
Now my oldest daughter has picked out fabric so I can "dress up" her book bag too! (Peace signs of course!) And Mr. Three....well, he said he liked it, but refused to wear it on his shoulders for more than 2 milliseconds.
This was his first day of school. 
Don't you love that cheesy fake smile?!
My baby boy is growing up :*(

I'm linking this post up with these fabulously crafty bloggers...

Friday, September 2, 2011

let's get organized


Pinterest leaves me wanting....wanting to decorate, wanting to cook, wanting to organize....
via
for the pantry

via
for the fridge

via
dream pantry

via
please

linen closet
via
*sigh*
These are doable right?!  So....could someone come do them please?

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Dark Cherry Bundt Cake with Dark Chocolate Ganache

I wanted to make something special for my Dad's birthday a couple of weeks ago.  I wanted it to be something a little different, and completely homemade.  Since I had some fresh cherries, I started searching cherry recipes. Of course, it couldn't just be cherries...it needed chocolate (durr).  My Dad loves dark chocolate...so when I saw this Dark Cherry Bundt Cake from EatingWell, I figured I could top it with a dark chocolate ganache.
I'm not sure how this ended up being the best picture I had of the whole cake...anyways...
cherry filling! 
Obviously I didn't do a very good job "swirling" the filling, b/c it looks nothing like this.
(and that knife - my mom has had those knives for as long as I can remember. and i'm gettin' on up there
totally vintage ;)

slightly adapted from EatingWell.com

CHERRY FILLING

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 3 cups fresh or frozen dark sweet cherries, pitted and coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice 
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract

CAKE

  • 1 2/3 cups cake flour
  • 1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour *I used 1/2 cup all-purpose & 1/2 cup whole wheat
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons butter, slightly softened
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 1/4 cups nonfat vanilla, or lemon yogurt *I used vanilla
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract

    1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Very generously grease and flour a 10-inch Bundt pan (I like the non-stick spray with flour already in it.)
    2. To prepare cherry filling: Combine sugar and cornstarch in a medium nonreactive saucepan (see Note). Stir in cherries, orange juice, lemon zest and almond extract. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture gets thick and has reduced to about 1 cup (about 5 to 7 minutes.)
    3. To prepare cake: Sift flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a medium bowl. Beat sugar, butter and oil in a large bowl with an electric mixer on low, then medium speed, until very light and fluffy, about 1 1/2 minutes, scraping the sides as needed. Add half the yogurt and beat until smooth. With the mixer on low speed, beat in half the dry ingredients until incorporated. Beat in the remaining yogurt, eggs, vanilla and almond extract until combined, scraping the sides as needed. Stir in the remaining dry ingredients just until mixed.
    4. Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan, spreading to the edges. Spoon the cherry mixture over the batter, then top with the remaining batter. Grease a butter knife and swirl it vertically through the batter and cherries.
    5. Bake the cake approx 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with no crumbs clinging to it. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let stand until the cake is completely cooled, about 1 1/2 hours. Very carefully run a knife around the edges and center tube to loosen the cake from sides and bottom. Invert the pan onto a serving plate  and top as desired. (Chocolate ganache is very desirable!)
Dark Chocolate Ganache
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips or chopped dark chocolate
1/2 cup heavy cream
heaven
Heat heavy cream just before boiling, remove from heat, stir in chocolate until melted.  Let cool.  The cooler it gets, the thicker it gets. I got impatient and dumped it on the cake too early, and then once I got to my parents' house (a couple hours away) I added more. It was nice and thick at that point.  It pays to be patient.  A lesson I have yet to learn.

My notes:  The cake is a healthier version. And it tastes like a healthier version.  Mine was a little bland and a little dry (I'm learning that my oven cooks hot!)  However, if you are looking for a decent healthier cake recipe to satisfy a sweet tooth - then this one will fit the bill.  I screwed up the healthier bit by dumping chocolate and cream on top!  Which, of course, made it mo'betta.  Overall, I liked it. It was fine. It just wasn't great, like I wanted it to be.
Mr. Man had some egg free cupcakes (I keep some in the freezer for parties, etc) and he was pretty content. I love how he tried to lick all the icing off his face...didn't want to miss any!  My mom made cupcakes from a box with chocolate icing from a can, and they were better than my totally from scratch cake. I hate it when that happens! (with the exception of the chocolate ganache of course.  There is nothing better than dark chocolate and heavy cream.  Can I get an amen?!)


I'm linking this recipe up at Eat at Home for Ingredient Spotlight - Cherries and Pomegranates

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