Friday, September 30, 2011

Friday Foreshadowing

I tried again to put together a semi-well-rounded list of recipes this week. If I'm telling the truth though I had to skip over quite a few dessert recipes and fall flavor recipes in favor of finding the main dish and snack recipes. But since you don't gain weight just by looking at a screen a girl can dream, right?
  • Pull-Apart Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Bread from Sunny Side Up in San Diego: I love the way this bread looks. It seems slightly more labor intensive than other breads in how you have to layer it but for a result that looks so cool it's probably worth the effort.
  • Granola Bars in 15 Minutes from Biblical Homemaking: I'm always looking for more "snack" recipes. This one really appeals because of how easy it looks. Also, for anyone with allergy concerns there is no peanut butter in them.
  • Crockpot Chicken and Dumplings from Merry with Children: As the weather is turning cooler I want to use my crock pot more. However, I'm realizing I don't have a ton of crock pot recipes so this was a great find.
  • Aloha Burger from The Cutting Back Kitchen: I believe I had this burger when we went to Red Robin for my birthday and really enjoyed it. My favorite part was the grilled pineapple but as a whole the burger was amazing.
  • 3 Musketeer Bars from Monster Mama: I love 3 Musketeer Bars! For a while that was my favorite candy bar (it's still up there now but anything with peanut butter and chocolate probably outranks it.). Even if these don't turn out quite like the original I'm sure they'll still be good.
This is linked to Friday Favorites.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Ham & Peach Grilled Sandwiches

The first time we had these sandwiches my husband was very skeptical. He wasn't sure about the idea of putting fruit on a sandwich and then cooking it on top of that. Well, he has since changed his mind! We love these sandwiches; all the flavors complement each other so well and are just wonderful.
I've found that it helps speed up the process to prep all the ingredients (especially slicing the cheese and peaches) before you're ready to make the sandwiches. After that it's a simple matter of assembly.

Ham & Peach Grilled Sandwiches
 Print Recipe
Yields: 1 sandwich

Ingredients (per sandwich):
2 pieces bread
butter, slightly softened
*or in place of mustard and honey use honey mustard
sliced ham (we typically  use lunch meat but slices from a ham would work as well)
3-4 peach slices
4 thin slices Cheddar cheese
peach or apricot jam
   1.  In a small bowl mix mustard and honey until desired consistency and taste.
   2. Preheat griddle or fry pan.
   3.  Spread butter on outside of each piece of bread. Spread honey mustard on inside of one slice of bread. Layer ham, peach slices and cheese on top. Spread jam on inside of second piece of bread.
   4.  Place sandwich in preheated pan (I usually start with the cheese side down first); cook until slightly brown. Flip; cook until brown. Flip (back to cheese side); cook until cheese is melted.

Source: All You

This is linked to Good Cheap Eats and Joy in my Kitchen.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Menu 9-26

Recap From Last Week:

I ended up trying a lot of new recipes this week. It was fun, enjoyable and I'm making a slight dent in my list of recipes to try! We found some keepers, some places for some improvement and some tossers.
The Stromboli on Monday was good, as usual. I ended up using ham, pastrami, peas, corn and cheese. Unfortunately, I forgot to spray the baking sheet so it stuck a little bit but it didn't affect the taste! 
The Pumpkin Soup and Sausage Rolls complemented each other very nicely. While we enjoyed the soup we probably won't have it again. The sausage rolls on the other hand will definitely be made again. They came together quickly (I had cooked sausage in the freezer already which helped immensely) and the taste was great.
The Ham and Peach Sandwiches turned out the best I have ever made them! I tried a new bread recipe, Wheat Buttermilk Bread. I can't decide if I'm 100% sold on it. It was great for the sandwiches but I used some of the rest for peanut butter and jelly and it almost had a sourdough taste to it. (Keep in mind I don't care for sourdough so my opinion could be skewed.) I'll probably try it again though.
I put about 1/2 cup chopped onion in the Chicken Enchiladas this time and didn't really measure the salsa. That combination made for spicier than normal Chicken Enchiladas but thankfully, they were still good. I'll try the onions again but maybe not quite as many.
Much to my husband's delight, I rolled the pizza dough for Chicken Bacon Ranch Pizza out into circles (of sorts) as opposed to my typical rectangle. I think I might keep doing it that way as we got three meals out of it instead of two.
We tried Pumpkin Pancakes for brunch of Saturday. I made a third of the original recipe so some of the measurements were a little goofy. Next time I'm going to put more cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger in as we couldn't really taste any of it. Overall though they were great.
I made myself a Pumpkin Spice Latte (my favorite fall drink at Starbucks!) twice this week. The second was definitely better as I learned from the first time. I blended everything before and after warming it which served a two-fold purpose. First, it helped the pumpkin incorporate more and not be chunky at the bottom of the cup and second, it was wonderfully frothy!
We had Cake Doughnut Muffins for breakfasts. They were awesome! I especially liked them after warming them in the microwave for about 15 seconds; it really brings out the goodness.
We were given another zucchini this week so this time I tried Chocolate Zucchini cake (a recipe from my sister). It was really delicious. The zucchini added a lot to the flavor, almost a nutty type of taste.
I also tried making Homemade Graham Crackers. I wasn't watching them carefully though and they ended up burning slightly. Some of it was still salvageable and from those parts I know I will be trying this again (and watching a little closer).
The Cinnamon Sugar Bread that I highlighted on Friday was awesome! It turned out very moist and wonderful. Next time I'm going to try adding some cinnamon to the bread batter as well.

Onto This Week:
  • Monday: Chicken Cordon Bleu: This is a recipe from someone at our old church. I'm going to try adapting the recipe a little bit, hopefully with good results.
  • Tuesday: Cream Cheese Pasta with Breadsticks: I cannot remember the last time I made this, probably because I didn't have hamburger for such a long time. I'm also looking forward to the Breadsticks!
  • Wednesday: Out to Eat: Husband's choice where we go, so who knows!
  • Thursday: Hot Dogs and Baked Beans: What can you say about such a combination? Simple, delicious, typical: sounds good to me!
  • Friday: Pizza Night! Sweet Hawaiian Pizza: Since we went with Chicken Bacon Ranch last week this week it's definitely Sweet Hawaiian.
  • Saturday Brunch: TBD: Maybe not the best idea but Saturday is so far away I have plenty of time to think about it, right?
Visit I'm an Organizing Junkie for more menu ideas.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Friday Foreshadowing

I found a quick bread, a cookie, rolls, a main dish and a breakfast choice. If you made each recipe you could eat for a day(+). I think I'll spread them out a bit though...
  • Cinnamon Sugar Bread from A Whisk and a Prayer: This looks wonderful! The fact that it is better if left over night actually appeals to me because so often breakfast breads say they're best if served fresh and right now I simply don't want to get up early to make it! Also, I love the name of the blog!
  • The Best Chewy Whole Grain Chocolate Chip Cookie from An Oregon Cottage: Well, by the time you finish reading the name of the recipe you could probably have the cookies halfway made. They do look good though and might this be one of those recipes where you can pretend it's good for you because it contains some healthy ingredients?
  • Onion Cheddar Rolls from Cookin' Mimi: These rolls are perfect to bookmark with soup season coming up. I think they would accompany many soups perfectly.
  • Chicken and Cheese Lasagna Rollups from iVillage: The finished look of this recipe really appeals to me. They just look so neat and orderly in the pan. Realistically though I know mine wouldn't turn out that nice looking but hopefully they'd still taste good.
  • Apple Cinnamon Pancakes from What Megan's Making: We really enjoy Cinnamon Pancakes and I'm sure adding apple to the mix would be great as well.
This is linked to Friday Favorites.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Broccoli Ham Quiche

When I went to make dinner I knew I wanted to make some sort of egg dish in a pie shell but I wasn't quite sure what exactly it was going to turn into. I pulled out a couple of egg recipe I already had and in the end decided to adapt my Cheese Quiche recipe. That turned out to be an excellent choice as we loved this dish!
Since the ham and green pepper I used were both from the freezer there was very little prep work involved in making this dish. Also, this recipe can definitely be adapted even more to accommodate whatever is on hand.

Broccoli Ham Quiche
 Print Recipe
Yields: 4 servings

4 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup chopped broccoli
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1/2 cup chopped, cooked ham
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp pepper
1 cup shredded cheese, divided
pie crust
   1.  In a medium bowl mix eggs and milk. Add broccoli, green pepper, ham, onion, nutmeg, cinnamon, pepper and 3/4 cup cheese.
   2.  Pour into pie crust and top with remaining 1/4 cup cheese.
   3.  Bake at 375 for 45-50 minutes. Let set 5 minutes before cutting.
This is linked to Joy in my Kitchen.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Menu 9-19

Recap From Last Week:

These Pepperoni Pizza Puffs will definitely be repeated in this house! I want to tweak the recipe a bit to make a little more batter and will also experiment with adding more "toppings" but in general this recipe was awesome!
On Tuesday I ended up using my Cheese Quiche recipe and adapting it slightly to make this Broccoli Ham Quiche. We really liked the results. {Recipe coming Wednesday.}
While we didn't mind the Cheeseburger Muffins we probably won't be having them again. I can see how they would be great for kids' lunches and such but since that's not our season of life right now this recipe is going back in the file for now.
Saturday morning we had Baked Apple Doughnuts and Strawberry Banana Smoothies. It was a delicious breakfast! I mixed the dry ingredients and cut the apples Friday night so the doughnuts came together really easily. All three of us really enjoyed both the doughnuts and the smoothies so I'm sure this will be repeated!
For breakfasts this week we enjoyed Heavenly Vanilla Muffins. While they were fine there was nothing super stellar about them so I probably won't keep this recipe since we have so many other muffin recipes we love.

Onto This Week:
  • Monday: Stromboli: I'm going to use ham, pastrami, possibly pepperoni, mixed veggies and cheese for the filling.
  • Tuesday: Pumpkin Soup and Sausage Rolls: The pumpkin soup really intrigues me and to appease my husband I found the Sausage Roll recipe so that there would be meat in the meal!
  • Wednesday: Ham and Peach Sandwiches: Peaches were on sale last week and I figure this might be the last logical time for such a summery sandwich.
  • Thursday: Chicken Enchiladas: I saw another recipe for Enchiladas this week that was similar to mine but also included onions so I'm going to try adding some this time.
  • Friday: Pizza Night! Sweet Hawaiian Pizza or Chicken Bacon Ranch: I was planning on Sweet Hawaiian but my husband mentioned maybe Chicken Bacon Ranch so we'll see what we're in the mood for on Friday.
  • Saturday Brunch: Pumpkin Pancakes or Cinnamon Sugar French Toast Bites: I'm so indecisive this week! This decision will likely come down to whether or not I have bread on hand for the French Toast Bites or not. Both recipes sound good though!
Visit I'm an Organizing Junkie for more menu ideas.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Friday Foreshadowing

This week's recipes are a real mish mash. Surprisingly, there's practically no chocolate on this list! I made sure to still cover the sweets though, so no worries! 
  • Two Ingredient Ice Cream from Our Best Bites: We actually do have an ice cream machine but have yet to unpack it. This recipe doesn't need a machine though! The two ingredients are already on my grocery list for next week and I keep thinking of different ways to flavor it. Exciting!
  • Apple Doughnut Holes from Slice & Dice: These sounded delicious to begin with but when I saw that they're baked and not fried I was definitely sold. (I hate the smell after you fry anything so I avoid doing so as much as possible.) And double bonus I have all the ingredients and they don't look too difficult. Perhaps Saturday morning?
  • Taco Soup from Slice & Dice: I'm starting to search out new soup recipes again as we'll be adding our weekly soup night back in soon. I have a taco soup recipe already from my aunt but it is spicy; I'm hoping I'll find this one a little more mild.
  • Cinnamon Roll Cake from Giving Up On Perfect: Simply put this sounds delicious! Now I just need to find a reason/occasion to make it.
  • Homemade Nutella from Alli n Son: Honestly, I just bought my first jar of nutella this week and have yet to try it. However, this looks so easy that I figure it's worth a try.
This is linked to Friday Favorites.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Banana Muffins

This is easily my go-to muffin recipe. We always have bananas on hand which means we often have super soft bananas on hand. The finished muffin always turns out so moist which is definitely something we all enjoy in our muffins.
If I don't get to it, or simply don't need to make them right away, I'll take three bananas, mash them and then freeze them. This makes it even easier to put these muffins together the next time!

Banana Muffins
 Print Recipe
Yields: 12+ muffins

1 cup sugar (I typically use slightly less and they turn out fine)
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
2 eggs
1 1/2 T buttermilk (I always make it from milk and lemon juice, measuring it before I start mixing everything else and adding it at the end.)
1 cup flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3 ripe bananas, mashed (If my bananas aren't super ripe I put them in the oven (still in the peel) while it preheats during mixing. By the time I'm ready for the bananas they're soft and ready.)

   1.  Preheat oven to 350. Grease 12 cup muffin tin.
   2.  Mix in order given.
   3.  Pour into prepared pan, filling about 2/3 full. (If there is leftover batter, I pour it into a loaf pan.)
   4.  Bake 18-20 minutes, using a knife or toothpick to check when they are done (insert knife or toothpick into center of muffin, should pull out with little or no wet crumbs).  

Monday, September 12, 2011

Menu 9-12

Recap From Last Week:

For Labor Day we had Hot Dogs with Corn on the Cob. My daughter and I also made a quick dessert of pudding with bananas and chocolate chips mixed in, topped with coconut, rice crispies and mini chocolate chips. It was a quick thing but a fun addition.

Tuesday we had Orange Chicken for the first time in quite a while. We had forgotten how delicious the dish is and really enjoyed having it again.

The Pasta Carbonara was okay. It tasted fine but wasn't anything spectacular. What I really appreciated about the dish was how quickly it came together. Less than thirty minutes after I started dinner we were sitting down to eat.
My husband brought home a zucchini on Tuesday. I had no plan of what to do with it until I saw this recipe for Zucchini Chips. Since I just had the one zucchini it was the perfect time to try the chips. They ended up being fine. We found that they tasted the best when you only had two or three at a time. If I make them again I won't use as much olive oil as I think I might have overdone it a bit.
For breakfast this week we had Banana Muffins with Cinnamon. The addition of cinnamon to one of our favorite muffin recipes was absolutely stellar.

Onto This Week:
Disclaimer: I'm working on this at my parent's house, away from my fridge and cupboards so this menu is highly subject to change once I see what I actually have on hand!
  • Monday: Traveling
  • Tuesday: Pepperoni Pizza Puffs: We won't be having pizza night this week on Friday but this way we'll still have a taste of pizza.
  • Wednesday: Egg Dish: This is the same thing I've been putting on the menu for weeks now. It'll be a pie shell, eggs, some veggies and chopped ham.
  • Thursday: Cheeseburger Muffins: I finally found an okay price on hamburger. These look like something fun to try.
  • Friday: We have a wedding rehearsal dinner to go to.
  • Saturday Brunch: The wedding is in the early afternoon so we'll probably have something quick and simple instead of brunch.
Visit I'm an Organizing Junkie for more menu ideas.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Friday Foreshadowing

Fall is in the air! Realistically though I am well aware that we will likely see our share of warm days again. That's okay though because little bursts of Fall are still great! My picks this week are definitely fall inspired (for the most part). I'm hoping to be more intentional about getting lots of these made and enjoying the fall weather and fall flavors together.
  • Crock Pot Chicken Chili from Crock Pot Chicken Recipes: I'm always looking for a Chicken Chili recipe but for some reason or another have yet to find one I'm truly inspired to make. This one, however, looks tasty and doesn't call for any wacky ingredients (a common complaint of mine for Chicken Chili recipes).
  • Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte from Mom Advice: We're coming up on my favorite time of year at Starbucks: Pumpkin Spice Lattes followed by White Chocolate Peppermint Mochas! I will surely be trying this homemade version as soon as I buy some pumpkin.
  • Banana Cookie from Chef in Training: We often have bananas that need to be used up; I'm hoping this will be another tasty application. Anyway, if there's fruit in the cookie then it's "good for you", right?
  • Carrot Bread from Finding Joy in My Kitchen: I've tried one carrot bread recipe in the past and enjoyed it but wished it had more of a carrot flavor. I'm hoping this one will satisfy that wish.
  • Pepperoni Pizza Puffs from Lick the Bowl Good: This one is obviously the non-fall inspired recipe but it still looks good! It will be fun to try another twist on pepperoni pizza.
This is linked to Friday Favorites.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Ham & Peas Mac & Cheese

Be careful! This recipe might turn your family into mac and cheese snobs! We used to enjoy the boxed stuff but now, after having this version, find the boxed stuff to be acceptable but not all that great. This mac and cheese though is beyond acceptable and really great!
The addition of the ham and peas really puts the mac and cheese over the top. This works well to use any small amount of leftover ham you might have. It's a perfect make-ahead meal that I've often made in the morning or during nap time and then had it quite easy come dinnertime.

Ham & Peas Mac & Cheese
 Print Recipe
Yields: 8-12 servings

1 lb pasta
2 T butter
2 T flour
2 cups milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp nutmeg
~4 cups shredded cheese
1 cup peas
1/2 lb ham, diced 
   1.  Cook pasta following package directions.
   2.  While pasta is cooking, melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in flour; cook 1 minute. Whisk in 1 cup milk until smooth. Whisk in remaining milk; cook until smooth and thickened, stirring often. Remove from heat; stir in spices. Whisk in 2 cups of cheese until smooth.
   3.  Mix together pasta, cheese sauce, and 1 cup shredded cheese. Stir in peas and ham. Pour into greased 9x13 pan. Scatter remaining cheese over top.
   4.  Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until warmed through. Cool 5-10 minutes before serving.
   ~I often will put this in two smaller pans and freeze one.
   ~To cook from freezing let it thaw overnight in fridge; follow directions as normal. 
Adapted from: Family Circle

This is linked to Good Cheap Eats and Tasty Tuesday.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Menu 9-5

Recap From Last Week:

Corndog Muffins were a wonderful hit! I used my cornbread recipe and chopped the hot dogs into small pieces so that they would be spread throughout the muffin. We will definitely be having these again.
The Cranberry Chicken Sandwich experiment was mostly a success. I ended up using shredded chicken, whole cranberry sauce, celery and mozzarella cheese. If I had dried cranberries on hand I would have put some in as well. This is a recipe I want to keep playing with because it has definite potential.
We tried Peanut Butter Muffins and thought they were great. It's amazing how such a small amount of peanut butter can flavor the whole batch so thoroughly. I'd like to make these again and maybe tweak a few things but even this way I really enjoyed them.
I tried a new dessert recipe. I had seen a chocolate cookie with the individual smores built on top but didn't bookmark it so I tried to recreate my own version. I took this Smores Cookies Bar recipe, halved it and then built the individual smores on each bar. They turned out delicious but I'm going to try making them again and change a couple things to see if I can get them to be even more delicious!

Onto This Week:
  • Monday: Happy Labor Day! Hot Dogs with Corn on the Cog: Nothing super spectacular but definitely appropriate for the day.
  • Tuesday: Orange Chicken: I have just enough celery to use for this recipe before it gets too soggy gross. It's been a while since we've had Orange Chicken so it all works out quite nicely.
  • Wednesday: Pasta Carbonara: I'll be making a few changes since my bacon is already cooked and instead of cream cheese I'm going to use cooking creme that's been sitting in my fridge for the longest time.
  • Thursday- Monday: My cousin is getting married this weekend so we'll be traveling.
Visit I'm an Organizing Junkie for more menu ideas.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Friday Foreshadowing

There were a bunch of delicious looking recipes out there this week. These are just five of the many that I would like to try.
  • Upside Down Ravioli from I absolutely adore ravioli so this immediately grabs my attention. I also love how simple and easy this looks.
  • Copycat Cake from The Novice Chef:  Her take on a Cookies and Cream Cake. In my opinion it seems like she did a great job!
  • Skillet Cookie from One Ordinary Day: This looks like a typical chocolate chip cookie but done slightly differently. I always find it fun to try classics in a new way.
  • Easy Noodle Stir Fry from Heavenly Homemakers: Simple, healthy, filling, tasty: Great!
  • Root Beer Float Fudge from Shugary Sweets: Oh, how I wish I had everything on hand to make this right now!
This is linked to Friday Favorites.