Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Monday, March 29, 2010
As always, lunch for the week will be leftovers from the night before with Friday being our eat lunch at work day. The kids will eat lunch as part of their daycare food program.
Whole Wheat Buttermilk Pancakes (from the freezer)
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins (from the freezer - recipe to come!)
Monday: Chili Mac
Tuesday: White Chicken Chili (crockpot)
Wednesday: Mexican meatloaf (recipe to come!)
Friday: Make your own pizza night
Saturday: Homemade Chinese (General Tso, Chicken w/ Broccoli, and fried rice)
Sunday: Easter Dinner @ my Grandmother's house
For more yummy meal ideas, visit I'm an Organizing Junkie!
Saturday, March 27, 2010
After lots of experimenting, I finally came up with a mixture of seasonings that worked perfect for my chili recipe, and I'm sure that it will work well in any other dish that needs a little kick! I made a bunch of this ahead of time and packed it into ziploc bags so I don't have to worry about measuring and mixing every time I want to make chili. I think it will work out perfectly! Still convenient, but much more healthy!
Chili Seasoning Packets:
4 Tbsp Chili Powder
2 tsp dried Oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp Paprika
2 tsp Cumin
2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1 tsp dried Onion Flakes (or onion powder)
Friday, March 26, 2010
Thursday, March 25, 2010
I just finished the dogs about a half hour ago, and they were a hit with my little food critic! I hope you enjoy these as much as we did.
- 2 cups water (110° F)
- 4 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
- 3 Tbsp sugar
- 3 tsp salt
- 5 cups unsifted all-purpose flour
- 8 quality all-beef hot dogs
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 egg yolk plus 1 tablespoon water, lightly beaten
- Coarse Salt for garnish
Pour the water into the bowl of an electric stand mixer and sprinkle with the yeast. Let the mixture stand about five minutes or until foamy, then stir in 3 tablespoons of sugar and the salt.
Using the paddle attachment, add flour one cup at a time, beating until well-blended and smooth, until you have a stiff dough. Replace the paddle attachment with the dough hook and knead thoroughly until smooth and elastic in texture (about 5-7 minutes). Form the dough into a ball and place it into a lightly greased bowl. Turn the dough over to grease the top. Cover loosely with a kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place for about an hour or until doubled in size.
Punch down the dough and knead as needed to rid the dough of any air bubbles. Place dough on a lightly floured cutting board and roll out into a 8 x 10 rectangle or until the dough is about 1/4 inch thick. Add flour as necessary to keep dough from sticking.
Using a pizza cutter, cut the dough into 8 long strips.
Dry the hot dogs. Starting at one end of each hot dog, wrap a strip of dough around the hot dog, overlapping as you go until you reach the other end of the hot dog. Place seam down on a parchment covered baking sheet as you finish them. Let dogs rest on the sheet for about 30 minutes.
Preheat the over to 400°. Fill a stock pot with water and add the baking soda. Bring to a gentle boil. Working two bagels at a time, carefully drop the bagel dogs into the boiling water, turning frequently with a slotted spoon or spatula, for about a minute. Lift out of the water and gently dry each bagel well on a kitchen towel and arrange about 2-inches apart on a parchment lined baking sheet, seam side down. Repeat with remaining bagel dogs. I put four dogs to a sheet and used two sheets.
Brush the bagels with egg wash and sprinkle with coarse salt. Bake for about 35 minutes or until nicely browned and crusty, turning the pan about halfway through Serve warm or let cool on a wire rack.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Around Thanksgiving of 2009, my family decided to take the plunge into healthier home cooking and started to wean ourselves from the processed foods that we were so accustomed to. My "real life" friend Heather started the same mission a little earlier than us, and she was a great help in getting us started on the path to giving up processed foods.
Recipients of the Stilleto Award:
- Display the Stiletto badge of honor.
- Brag about it-post a link to the page to highlight what the award is about
- Say thanks! Include a link to the friend who nominated you.
- Share the love-nominate 5-10 more blogs. Leave links to their blogs and leave them a comment so they know they won!
- Do what you do! Keep at it and keep inspiring others!
I'd like to nominate the following blogs for this award:
These are all blogs that I've followed for quite some time. I don't comment very often, but I enjoy each and every post I read!
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
I modified the recipe a bit, but it was absolutely delicious and I'm sure that this will become a regular in our house.
Chicken Caesar Pasta Bake - Adapted from Cooking During Stolen Moments
- 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tsp lemon pepper seasoning
- 1 lb. penne pasta
- 1 cup broccoli (fresh or frozen)
- 1 cup cauliflower (fresh or frozen)
- 2 cups part skim ricotta cheese
- 1 c. Reduced Fat Creamy Caesar dressing
- 1/2 t. black pepper
- 1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Boil water for pasta. Cook pasta until it is al dente. Drain and put aside.
In a skillet, add cubed chicken, garlic. Sprinkle chicken with lemon pepper seasoning and cook until chicken is cooked completely through.
In a large mixing bowl, combine ricotta, dressing, pepper, broccoli, cauliflower, chicken, and pasta. Toss until all pasta/vegetables are evenly coated in the sauce. Pour mixture into a 9x13 casserole dish and sprinkle evenly with Parmesan cheese. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.
Monday, March 22, 2010
I made these again for brunch after my son's Baptism this weekend, I made a double batch (1/2 with bacon, 1/2 with sausage) for a total of 4 dozen and they were all gone before I even got the chance to steal one for myself!
Breakfast Biscuit Cups (makes 2 dozen) - Modified from Cooking During Stolen Moments
- 2 1/2 c. flour
- 2 1/2 t. baking powder
- 1/2 t. salt
- 1 T. sugar
- 1/2 c. butter, cut into small pieces
- 1/2 c. milk
- 1 egg, slightly beaten
In a large bowl, whisk or sift together flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Cut in butter until crumbly. Stir in milk and egg until dough comes together. Knead a few times by hand and set aside.
- 1 1/2 cups egg beaters
- 3 oz. reduced fat cream cheese
- 1/2 c. 1% milk
- 1 lb. turkey bacon, cooked and crumbled (I've also used turkey breakfast sausage)
- 1 1/2 c. reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese
Whisk egg beaters in a large bowl. Stir in cream cheese and milk until smooth. Add other ingredients and stir to combine.
Press biscuit dough into the bottom, and 3/4 of the way up the sides, of lightly greased muffin tins. Pre-bake at 400 degrees for 3 minutes.Fill each biscuit cup with egg mixture and bake for 12-15 minutes longer, until eggs are completely set and biscuit cups are slightly browned.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Knowing how much hard work goes into the samoas, I was delighted to find that there was a bar version!
Samoas Cookie Bars - Shared from Baking Bites
Shortbread Crust Ingredients:
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup butter, softened
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking pan. In a large bowl, cream together sugar and butter, until fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla extract. Working at a low speed, gradually beat in flour and salt until mixture is crumbly. Pour crumbly dough into baking pan and press into an even layer. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until base is set and edges are lightly browned. Cool completely on a wire rack before topping.
- 3 cups shredded sweetened coconut
- 12-oz good-quality chewy caramels
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3 tbsp milk
- 10 oz. dark or semisweet chocolate (I used Ghirardelli and it was delicious)
Preheat oven to 300. Spread coconut evenly on a parchment-lined baking sheet (preferably one with sides) and toast 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, until coconut is golden. Cool on baking sheet, stirring occasionally. Set aside.
Unwrap the caramels and place in a large microwave-safe bowl with milk and salt. Cook on high for 3-4 minutes, stopping to stir a few times to help the caramel melt. When smooth, fold in toasted coconut with a spatula. Put dollops of the topping all over the shortbread base. Using the spatula, spread topping into an even layer. Let topping set until cooled.
When cooled, cut into 30 bars with a large knife or a pizza cutter (it’s easy to get it through the topping).
Once bars are cut, melt chocolate in a small bowl. Heat on high in the microwave in 45 second intervals, stirring thoroughly to prevent scorching. Dip the base of each bar into the chocolate and place on a clean piece of parchment or wax paper. Transfer all remaining chocolate (or melt a bit of additional chocolate, if necessary) into a piping bag or a ziploc bag with the corner snipped off and drizzle bars with chocolate to finish.
Let chocolate set completely before storing in an airtight container.
Makes 30 bar cookies.
Note: You can simply drizzle chocolate on top of the bars before slicing them up if you’re looking for yet an easier way to finish these off. You won’t need quite as much chocolate as noted above, and you won’t quite get the Samoas look, but the results will still be tasty.
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
- 3 cups cooked whole grain rice
- 2 cups cooked, diced chicken
- 2 cups chopped fresh or frozen broccoli
- 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese (divided)
- 1 1/4 cup condensed cream of chicken soup (or 1 can store-bought)
- 1 1/4 c. milk
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
Mix rice, chicken, broccoli, 1 cup of the cheddar cheese, soup, milk, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Pour into a 9x13 pan and top with remaining cheese. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until casserole is hot and cheese is melted and bubbly. Enjoy!
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Monday, March 15, 2010
This weekend, we went to our local farm to stock up on meat, and we're finally out of food from our last "freezer cooking day", so this is a fresh new menu!
Since my husband and I both work full time, we rarely have time for breakfast during the week, and we leave so early that the kids don't eat breakfast until they get to daycare. So, we typically only cook breakfast on the weekend. Lunches during the week are typically leftovers from the night before.
Monday: Chicken Paprika Stew *new recipe
Tuesday: ChiliMac (my own creation, recipe to come)
Wednesday: Cheeseburger Soup
Thursday: Leftover night (husband plays volleyball, so it's just me and the kids)
Friday: Pizza Night, we'll be making individual sized pizzas with our choice of toppings
Saturday: Whole Wheat Buttermilk Pancakes, Grilled Cheese, Cheesy Broccoli and Rice with Chicken *new recipe
Sunday: Cinnamon Rolls, Mac and Cheese with Broccoli, White Bean Chicken Chili and cornbread
Check out lots of other yummy menus at orgjunkie!
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Last night, I made some homemade chicken stock, and it was the perfect opportunity to try my hand at making my own condensed cream of chicken soup. The original recipe is only enough to make 2 "cans" of soup, so I tripled the recipe so I'd be able to freeze a bunch to take out as needed for recipes.
Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup- Adapted from Tammy's Recipes
- 4 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt (or less; taste to test)
- 3/4 teaspoon parsley
- dash of paprika
- 4 1/2 cups milk
- 2 1/4 cup flour
In medium-sized saucepan, boil chicken broth, 1 1/2 cups of the milk, and the seasonings for a minute or two (longer if using fresh onions or garlic).
In a bowl, whisk together the remaining 3 cups of milk and flour.
Add to boiling mixture and continue whisking briskly until mixture boils and thickens.
This came out great, and I was able to freeze enough cream of chicken soup to equal 6 10.5oz cans!
Friday, March 12, 2010
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
One of our very first steps in our journey to rid ourselves of processed foods was giving up canned soups. Not only are canned soups full of sodium, they are super expensive. We are big soup eaters, especially during those cold New England winters! After the first few soup recipes we tried, we decided that we'd never buy a can of soup again!
One of our favorite soups to make is Cheeseburger Soup. We are big cheeseburger fans, and what better way to warm up on a cold winter day than with a bowl full of hearty soup (maybe we should call it cheeseburger chowder?). Since our first attempt at making cheeseburger soup, we've tried a few different things and all of them have been delicious!
Cheeseburger Soup - Modified from Taste of Home
- 1 pound ground beef or turkey (I like to use turkey)
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3/4 cup shredded carrots (optional)
- 3/4 cup diced celery
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
- 4 tablespoons butter, divided
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 4 cups diced peeled potatoes (1-3/4 pounds)
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups (8 ounces) Velveeta
- 1-1/2 cups milk
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 cup sour cream
In a 3-qt. saucepan, brown beef; drain and set aside. In the same saucepan, saute onion, garlic, carrots, celery, basil and parsley in 1 tablespoon butter until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Add broth, potatoes and beef; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10-12 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
Meanwhile, in a small skillet, melt remaining butter. Add flour; cook and stir for 3-5 minutes or until bubbly. Add to soup; bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Add cheese, milk, salt and pepper; cook and stir until cheese melts. Remove from the heat; blend in sour cream. Yield: 8 servings (2-1/4 quarts).
- Add 1/2 cup chopped hamburger pickles
- Add 1 cup iceburg lettuce, chopped
- Add 1 can diced tomatoes
- Garnish with crumbled bacon
- Note, if you add all of these vegetables in addition to those in the original recipe, you may want to add one cup of chicken broth and extra velveeta so the soup isn't too thick (unless of course you'd like it to be a stew, which is also super yummy!).
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
This is the start of a new adventure, a new lifestyle, my very own fairytale. The goal - to have a happy ending to this fairytale by making better food decisions, making more food in our home instead of buying processed foods with ingredients we've never heard of, and set an example for my growing children so that they too will continue the pattern when they are older.