Tuesday, November 30, 2010

KATHY'S BEEF ENCHILADAS

This is my mother in law's recipe, hence the name, "Kathy's". These enchiladas are easy and use ingredients that are usually on hand.They are kind of an "americanized" mexican food, as they don't have any real "authentic" mexican ingredients, but that's part of what makes them so appealing to kids! I use low carb wheat wraps for my husband and I, and regular flour tortillas for the kids, and both ways turn out great.

KATHY'S BEEF ENCHILADAS
makes approx. 9 medium enchiladas
(Printable Recipe)

1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 (32 oz) can diced tomatoes in juice (drain slightly)
1/2 C. chopped onion
1/2 a green pepper, chopped
1 small can sliced olives
mexican seasonings such as cumin, chili powder, onion powder, etc.
shredded cheese
flour tortillas
green onion
sour cream, optional

1. Saute green pepper and onion, add to tomatoes & tomato sauce. Sprinkle with mexican seasonings. Simmer for 15-30 minutes.
2. In seperate pan, brown 1 pound ground beef, add green onion part way through, then olives when beef is completely browned.
3. Spoon meat mixture down center of each tortilla, sprinkle w/ cheese and roll up. Cover bottom of 9x13 baking dish with 1/3 of the tomato sauce mixture. Place enchiladas in dish and cover with remaining tomato sauce mixture. Sprinkle with more cheese & bake @ 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

CROCK POT PORRIDGE

Our typical Sunday morning breakfast is to grab a banana and run out the door to be to church by 9am. Last night, I decided to think ahead and make a crock pot breakfast so we could actually have a warm Sunday breakfast for once. I've made overnight oatmeal in the crockpot in the past and it has always ended up extremely dried out and half burned. This time, I decided to put the setting to "warm" instead of "low" and see what would happen. Perfect! I think my crock pot tends to be a little hotter than others, so "warm" may not be best with yours, but it was just right for mine. This was a very hearty, filling, comforting, and tasty breakfast. You can make it as healthy or unhealthy as you want, depending on the amount of sweetener and liquid you use. I opted to use a little half and half along with skim milk to thin it out a bit once it was in my bowl, and I used a packet of PureVia sweetener. I threw a few Craisins and Almonds and called it...GOOD!

CROCK POT PORRIDGE
Recipe from The Eat Clean Diet Cookbook by Tosca Reno
(Printable Recipe)

1/2 C. cracked wheat (I used Quinoa)
1 1/2 C. steel-cut oats
1/2 C. rye flakes (I used barley flakes)
1/2 C. brown rice
1/4 C. wheat germ
1/4 C. ground flax (could wait and add this right before serving)
6 1/2 C. water or any combo of liquids including rice milk, soy milk, etc. (I used 2 1/2 C. skim milk & the rest water)
1/2 C. raisins (I used dried blueberries)
1/2 C. chopped dates (didn't use)
1 Tbsp. best-quality bourbon vanilla (didn't use)
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla (I used 1 Tbsp.)
pinch of nutmeg

1. Place all ingredients in a 3 quart or greater crock pot. Stir well to combine all ingredients. Cover.
2. Set on lowest cooking temperature (or warm setting) and cook overnight.
3. Spoon into bowls in the morning and serve with desired garnishings such as half & half, milk, berries, nuts, sweetener, etc.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

PEANUT BUTTER & JELLY MUFFINS (WITH CARROT PUREE)

In case you don't know by now, my kids adore peanut butter! They would eat it on just about anything. To meet their peanut butter demands this morning, I decided to switch things up a little and put the peanut butter IN something instead of ON something. I found this recipe in my Deceptively Delicious cookbook. The end result was ok, but a few things I think I would change next time would be to make them regular size instead of mini size. The mini size did't allow for enough jam filling for my liking. Another thing I would change is to make them without the peanut butter mixed into the batter, but instead put the peanut butter AND jam on the inside of the muffins. The "secret" carrot ingredient added moistness and my kids didn't seem to mind it being in there, but my kids are very used to me putting all kinds of healthy stuff in their baked goods :)

PEANUT BUTTER & JELLY MUFFINS (WITH CARROT PUREE)
recipe from Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld
(Printable Recipe)

1/2 C. creamy peanut butter (preferably natural)
1/2 C. carrot puree (or baby food carrots)
1/2 C. packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp. trans-fat free soft tub margarine spread
1/2 C. nonfat plain yogurt (I used nonfat sour cream)
1 large egg white
1 C. all purpose flour (I used 1/2 C. wheat 1/2 C. all purpose)
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 C. low-sugar strawberry preserves

1.  Preheat oven to 350 F. Coat a 12 cup muffin tin with cooking spray or line with paper cups.
2.  In large bowl, beat the peanut butter, carrot puree, sugar, and margarine with wooden spoon until well blended. Stir in yogurt and egg white.
3.  Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir until just combined, but don't overmix - there should be some lumps remaining.
4.  Divide batter among the muffin cups and drop a spoonful of preserves on top of each. (or spoon a little of the mixture on bottom, top with preserves, and top with more mixture)
5.  Bake until the tops of the muffins are lighly browned and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 20-25 minutes (or 10-12 minutes for mini's). Turn the muffins onto a wire rack to cool.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

GERMAN SCONES


We celebrated my husband's birthday the other day. I have to laugh because several months ago, out of nowhere he said, "I know what I want instead of cake for my birthday party. Scones." You have to understand that we don't really allow ourselves to eat fried desserts very often; like, once a year maybe. So, I decided to take his request a few steps further and go full-boar. I fried up a storm that day making churros, pumpkin cake donuts, chocolate cake donuts, and finally these soft, pillowy scones. (I have to say they were soft and pillowy because my husband says they look hard and crusty in the picture!) In the past (when I used to not be so reserved about frying things) when I would make scones, I would just defrost the Rhodes Roll dough, stretch it out and plop it in the fryer. Those are good, but these are way better!

GERMAN SCONES
recipe from Taste and Tell

2 packages dry yeast
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup butter
2 teaspoons salt
3 eggs, beaten
4 1/2 cups flour (may need slightly more)



Dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the 1 tablespoon of sugar; set aside.

Pour the boiling water over the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, the butter, and the salt. Add the eggs, mix well. Add in the yeast mixture and 2 cups of the flour. Beat with a mixer until smooth. Add the remaining 2 1/2 cups flour and mix in. Let this rise for 1 hour (I just kept it in the mixing bowl) and then refrigerate until cold.

Roll out very thin (about 1/4 inch) on a heavily floured surface, and cut into 3 inch squares. Fry in hot oil until brown, then flip and fry until both sides are browned and puffy.

Serve with butter and honey, cinnamon honey butter, jam, or coat them with granulated sugar.

Friday, November 12, 2010

WHOLESOME PECAN BANANA BREAD WAFFLES

These...are...good! I love, love breakfast foods. I especially love waffles and pancakes. Everyone in the family came back for more of these. They are no ordinary waffle.  I left the nuts out of the batter and just sprinkled them on top for those of us that wanted them. I also topped them with some homemade elderberry jam, oh and some not-so-wholesome whipped cream!

WHOLESOME PECAN BANANA BREAD WAFFLES
recipe from Everybody Likes Sandwiches
(Printable Recipe)

1 1/2 c whole wheat pastry flour
1 c oat bran
1/4 c packed brown sugar
1 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
1/4 c toasted chopped pecans
1 t cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg & cardamom
1 c plain yogurt (or sour cream)
1/2 c skim milk
2 eggs, beaten
2 ripe bananas, mashed
3 T butter, melted
2 t vanilla



In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients from the flour to the spices. In another bowl, blend together the wet ingredients from the yogurt to vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and lightly mix until combined. Batter should be thick. Use a ladle to pour batter onto waffle maker and proceed as per your usual waffle-making style. Serve with butter, syrup and fresh fruit.






Tuesday, November 9, 2010

INA GARTEN'S ROASTED CHICKEN BREAST

This is the perfect way to cook chicken. It has never failed me. It's amazing how easy it is to get super moist, tender and flavorful chicken with this method. Since I am fairly health-conscious, I used to wonder why in the world anyone would ever buy bone-in, skin-on chicken breast?? Well, this is why. You don't have to eat the skin to get the flavor. Sure, this isn't going to be quite as low fat as if you were to poach a skinless chicken breast, but the few extra fat grams are well worth it. I roast 3 or 4 breasts at a time, so that I can freeze some for later use. Next time your recipe calls for pre-cooked chicken; do yourself a favor and roast it this way!

INA GARTEN'S ROASTED CHICKEN BREAST
(Printable Recipe)
Preheat oven to 350.

Place desired number of chicken breasts (MUST be bone-in, skin-on) on rimmed baking sheet. Rub all over with olive oil and sprinkle liberally with salt (I used kosher) and pepper. Roast for 35-40 minutes or until cooked through. Set baking sheet aside on rack to cool. Once chicken is cool enough to handle, pull meat from bones and skin, keeping just the meat. Use in any dish calling for pre-cooked chicken or eat by itself!

Monday, November 8, 2010

CHOCOLATE DRIZZLE CARAMEL CORN

This is a very addicting treat! I was in a hurry to make a "thank you" treat for someone who had done me a big favor, and I thought about my go-to caramel corn recipe. This recipe is one that holds memories for me as it came from a friend who was killed in a car wreck about 7 years ago, while pregnant with a much-longed-for child, so each time I make it, I think of her as I look at her handwriting on the recipe card.

Usually this is a gooey, sticky caramel corn, but I wanted it to be a little easier to package up and look nice, so I baked it in the oven to let it crisp up a bit.

CARAMEL CORN
recipe from Emily Barrus
(Printable Recipe)

1/2 C. butter, melted (no substitutes)
1/2 C. brown sugar
1/2 C. white corn syrup
1/2 C. sweet and condensed milk

Mix together in large microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for 3-5 minutes, check after 3 minutes to be sure it doesn't scorch.

Pour over 2 packages of microwave popcorn that have been dumped into a very large bowl, with unpopped kernels removed.

Enjoy as is for a gooey, sticky, messy treat, or spread slightly cooled caramel corn onto two rimmed sheet pans that have been sprayed with nonstick spray and bake at 250 degrees for about 45-60 minutes, stirring ocassionally.

Cool slightly and drizzle with melted chocolate, if desired. I used chocolate almond bark that I melted in microwave at 30 second intervals, stirring after each until just melted.

You can also add nuts, candies, etc. to this for a customized treat.

Friday, November 5, 2010

ROLO TURTLES

I mentioned a while ago that I made a ton of goodies for a company open house. These were SOOO easy to make and were SOOO good. The most time consuming part is unwrapping the Rolos (which still isn't too bad). This is a recipe the kids will love helping with too. I saw the idea at The Nerd's Wife where she made these with pecans on top as I did, but also with M&M's. These are a good "filler" for any ocassion!

ROLO TURTLES
(Printable Recipe)

salted pretzel twists
Rolo chocolate candies
pecans or walnuts (or M&M's)

Place pretzels in single layer on rimmed baking sheet, with a little space between each one. Top each pretzel with a Rolo. Place in 350 degree oven for 3-5 minutes, until rolo has melted slightly. Remove baking sheet from oven and immediately top each Rolo with a pecan or M&M's, enjoy!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

HOMEMADE CREAM OF MUSHROOM SOUP

Now, I'm not a huge fan of mushrooms, nor am I a huge fan of Cream of Mushroom Soup, as far as sitting down to eat a bowl of it. But... I do like using it in recipes. Since I prefer to not use the condensed soups too often, this recipe is a great one to have on hand. Not only is it healthier for you, it tastes a lot better too. I actually might consider eating this straight out of the bowl, ok, I actually did! I'm sure you can swap out the mushrooms for broccoli, chicken, etc. to come up with whatever cream of _______ soup you need.


CREAM OF MUSHROOM SOUP
recipe from food.com
(Printable Recipe)

8 ounces fresh mushrooms (I used rehydrated freeze dried mushrooms)
2 tablespoons onions, chopped (I used rehydrated minced dried onion)

1 -2 garlic clove, minced

2 tablespoons butter

2 -3 tablespoons flour (seperated)

2 cups chicken broth

1 cup light cream or 1 cup evaporated milk

1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (I used closer to 1/8 tsp. of fresh ground)


* I did end up adding a little cornstarch mixture at the end in order to thicken it up a bit for the recipe I was using it in.
Directions:


1 Cut the mushrooms into slices.
2 Melt butter in large frying pan. Add in onions, garlic, and mushrooms. Cook until onions are soft.
3 Blend in 2 T. flour and stir.
4 Add in the chicken broth and heat until slightly thickened while stirring frequently.
5 Stir cream with additional 1 T. flour and seasonings. Add in cream to soup. Heat to thicken while stirring frequently.
6 Serve and enjoy!