Monday, January 28, 2013

Menu January 28

You should try this Baguette recipe. I made it twice this week and plan on making it many more times. It takes under an hour to prepare and bake and tastes like bread you would you would buy from a bakery.
The kids and I have been doing snow and snowman activites this month. For snack this week we had snowmen inspired by this and for brunch we had snowman and snowflake pancakes. Our three year old daughter was absolutely tickled by both of them!
The highlight of the week was definitely this Cinnabon Popcorn. I didn't have the almond bark it called for to drizzle over but it was still wonderful without it. True to it's name it tastes like a cinnabon. You bite into it and taste the crunchy sugar, the spicy cinnamon and it combines to taste heavenly {in my husband's word.}

On the Menu...
Chicken Pot Pie Soup
Spicy Black Bean and Corn Burgers or Corn and Bean Burgers
Sweet and Sour Chicken
BBQ Chicken Pizza or Chicken Bacon Ranch Pizza
Brunch: Something eggy
Muffins: Cream Cheese Banana Bread

Visit I'm an Organizing Junkie for more menu ideas.  

Friday, January 25, 2013

Friday Foreshadowing

~Maple Honey Granola Bark from An Oregon Cottage: A different way of making granola that results in lots of those delicious clumps.
Maple Honey Granola Bark
~Chewy Coconut Bars from All Recipes: I've tended to avoid coconut recipes because my husband doesn't care for it. Recently I've been experimenting with toasting it first and then using it. So far, it seems to be helping {he thinks it's the texture more he doesn't like rather than the taste} so I've been looking at coconut recipes again.
Chewy Coconut Bars Recipe
~The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie with Variations from The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie: More so than the actual recipe what really caught my eye here was the explanation about why you should do things in a certain order and the troubleshooting for cookies. It was very interesting to read.
~Pizza Tot Casserole from Recipes Straight from the Kowboys Home: An interesting concept: tater tots on top of pizza toppings. This is definitely something that could be fun to play around with.
~5 Ingredient Strawberry Bread from CEO of Me: With only five ingredients and the ability to use whatever fruit you'd like {therefore have on hand} this bread has definite potential.
 Easy Homemade 5 Ingredient Strawberry Bread or Muffin Recipe

All images are from the original recipe source.
This is linked to Friday Favorites.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Banana Bread Pancakes

My family does breakfast for lunch every Saturday, a tradition we all enjoy as breakfast foods are delicious. We have our go-to recipes for Pancakes, Waffles and French Toast but sometimes want something a little different. When I saw this recipe for Banana Bread Pancakes I knew it would be a hit as we all like Banana Muffins. I was right, these are definitely a favorite!
The most noticeable difference about these pancakes is there is no egg in them. That means they are an excellent choice when you either out of or running low on eggs, something I seem to struggle with.

Banana Bread Pancakes
 Print Recipe
Source: Six Sisters' Stuff
Yields: ~1 1/2 dozen pancakes

1 cup flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 T brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 cup milk
1/2 cup water {more as needed}
1 T vanilla
3 ripe bananas, mashed
2 T applesauce
   1.  In a large mixing bowl combine dry ingredients. In a separate bowl combine wet ingredients. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients; stir just until combined.
   2.  Preheat griddle or skillet over medium heat. Pour 1/4 cup batter in pan; cook until bubbles start to appear. Flip and cook until browned. {Keep finished pancakes warm in a 170* oven until ready to serve.}
   ~These freeze excellently. Lay remaining pancakes on a cookie sheet in a single layer and place in freezer until frozen. Transfer to a plastic bag or container and return to freezer. To reheat place in a single layer on a cookie sheet and warm in a 250* oven until warmed through, flipping at least once.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Menu January 21

Tater Tot Hotdish: While the traditional version is wonderful I don't keep canned cream soup or tater tots on hand. However, we usually have potatoes and I have a new go-to recipe for homemade cream soup so we now enjoy what my husband calls Grown Up Green Bean Casserole.
Banana Bread Pancakes: I was running low on eggs so it was perfect week for these pancakes that don't require any eggs. The best part is we all love them so it worked out famously.
Cheddar Cheese Loaves: This bread was okay but probably not something I'll make again.

On the Menu...
Ground Beef Stroganoff Soup
Either Chicken and Broccoli Grilled Cheese or Broccoli Cheddar Chicken Braid {New}
Burgers and Fries
Black Bean and Rice Burritos
Chicken Fajita Pizza
Pumpkin Pancakes
Dessert: Chocolate Zucchini Cake
Muffins for Breakfast: Almond Cranberry Quick Bread {New}

Visit I'm an Organizing Junkie for more menu ideas.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Friday Foreshadowing

~Healthy Whole Grain Waffles from Our Best Bites: I love our normal waffle recipe but I've been wanting to experiment with using flax seed meal so this would be a great recipe to start with.
Whole Grain Waffles
~Coconut Crispies from Jen's Favorite Cookies: These cookies look beautiful! I can almost taste them just by looking at them and the ingredients so if the real thing is anything like I'm imaging they are going to be wonderful!
coconut cookie
~Cinnamon Toast Popcorn from Snixy Kitchen: In the last few months popcorn has become one of our go-to snacks so I'm always looking for fun ways to change it up a little bit. This definitely qualifies.
~Chewy Granola Energy Bars from Jo and Sue: Yet another addition to my list of granola bars to try. We've found some we like but I just haven't been completely sold yet. It's out there though! This one also features flax seed.
~Broccoli Cheddar Chicken Braid from Amazing Pinterest World: So pretty looking and so delicious sounding. To top it off, it sounds like a relatively easy dish to put together.

All images are from the original recipe source.
This is linked to Friday Favorites.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Cinnamon Glazed Carrots

We typically have frozen veggies along with most of our meals. Sometimes though, if I'm thinking ahead or bored of the regulars, I'll make these Cinnamon Glazed Carrots. My husband, who before we were married would very rarely eat vegetables, even admits these are pretty good. That's high praise for vegetables from him!
I refuse to buy frozen carrots since I can get raw ones for half the price so peeling and cutting the carrots is the "hardest" part of this side dish. After that minimal prep work is done, all it takes is steaming the carrots then adding two ingredients and stirring. Not hard at all! Also, the measurements given are easily adjusted for the quantity or taste you desire.

Cinnamon Glazed Carrots
 Print Recipe
Yields: 4 side dish servings

4-6 carrots, peeled and diced
2 tsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon

   1.  Steam carrots until just softened.
   2.  Remove from strainer and place in pan. Add brown sugar and cinnamon; stir until coated.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Menu January 14

Lesson learned this week: when baking muffins with your 3 year old and 1 year old double, even triple check your recipe. Otherwise, you'll likely forget to add the baking soda and end up with dense Easy Buttermilk Spice Muffins. The flavor was good so I'll make these again soon and make sure to add the baking soda!
Well, baking the pancakes in the oven didn't quite turn out. I am going to try it again with just a basic recipe instead of Apple Cinnamon Pancakes and hopefully that will help. I love the concept and hope to be able to utilize it.
The 8 Can Taco Soup ended up tasting quite similar to Chicken Tortilla Soup. It was a crazy night when I made it so I made more modifications than I had planned on. I'd like try this one again because it definitely has potential.

On the Menu...
Hopefully things will go a bit better this week...
Mom's Chili from the freezer
Easy Potato & Bacon Breakfast Casserole
Tater Tot Hotdish 
Salty Dog/ Pepperoni Pizza
Pancakes maybe try the oven version again?

Visit I'm an Organizing Junkie for more menu ideas.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Friday Foreshadowing

~Amazing Amish Cinnamon Bread Alternative from Redfly Creations: It has been a long time since I've had any Amish Friendship Bread but that doesn't mean I've forgotten how delicious it is! This just shot to the top of my list of quick breads to try.
~Thick & Chewy Granola Bars from Sweet Hersey Kisses: Like many people I'm still looking for the perfect granola bar for my family. This is just the latest recipe I've found and will try, hopefully will tasty results.
~Garlic Focaccia from Good Cheap Eats: I love bread. That's probably enough said right there. :)
~Veggie-Packed Minestrone Soup from Our Best Bites: I used to have what we thought was a delicious minestrone recipe. However, as my cooking skills improved we realized that the soup was pretty anemic. I haven't found a suitable replacement so we'll have to see if this soup is it.
 Healthy Minestrone Soup from Our Best Bites

All images are from the original recipe source.
This is linked to Friday Favorites.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Buckeye Brownies

I signed up to bring a dessert to a church potluck and the day before I still had no idea what to make. I didn't want to go shopping so I was limited to what I had on hand. I wanted something more than just your basic bar, I wanted delicious and impressive. Based on the comments and requests for the recipe I think these Buckeye Brownies fulfilled my requirements.
They start with a simple brownie base {although a similar recipe used chocolate chip cookie dough as the base, which I think would also be great}, then a peanut butter filling, topped with chocolate. Obviously, since it has peanut butter and chocolate it will be a winner but this was beyond expectations. If you like peanut butter balls you will love these Buckeye Brownies!

Buckeye Brownies
 Print Recipe
Yields: 1 9x 13 pan
Source: Nestle and Susie Cutie Pies  

1 2/3 cups sugar
3/4 cup butter
2 T water
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/3 cups flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
Middle Layer
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup creamy peanut butter
3-4 T butter
6 oz chocolate chips
   1.  Preheat oven to 350. Grease 13x9 pan.
   2.  Combine sugar, butter and water in a large bowl. Stir in eggs and vanilla.
   3.  In a separate bowl, combine flour, coca, baking powder and salt. Stir into sugar mixture. Pour into prepared pan.
   4.  Bake for 18 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out slightly sticky.
   5.  After brownies have cooled, combine powdered sugar, butter and peanut butter. Spread over brownies (may need to press with fingers).
   6.   Melt butter and chocolate chips until smooth. Spread over brownies.

   *Another recipe I looked at suggested using chocolate chip cookie dough as the base.

This is linked to Finding Joy in My Kitchen

Monday, January 7, 2013

Menu January 7

Snacks around here have needed some motivation so this week we're trying these Breakfast Cookies {but for snacks.} I forgot to add the mix-ins until the third batch so some have nothing in them and some have stuff on top instead. It works.
We used up all the oatmeal in the cookies so we're having Breakfast Rice until we get to the store for more oatmeal.
My husband has been on a Chex Mix kick, trying different varieties which we've all been enjoying. This one is BBQ.

On the Menu...
8 Can Taco Soup with modifications
Orange Chicken
Cheesy Salsa Meatloaf with Twice Baked Potatoes
Grilled Teriyaki Chicken Pineapple Sandwiches but not grilled and with pineapple tidbits instead of rings
Southwestern Grilled Pizza
Apple Cinnamon Pancakes using this method
Visit I'm an Organizing Junkie for more menu ideas.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Friday Foreshadowing

My selection is all over the place this week. Even so, it's quite balanced although it would make a interesting day of eating if I made them all at once. Nonetheless, by themselves each looks like a winner!

~Homemade Ranch Dressing Mix from $5 Dinners: This find was perfect timing because I'm almost out of the ranch dressing mix I bought and loved. The only problem is that store is 1 1/2 hours away by the cottage so I won't be there until summer. Hopefully this mix will take the place well.
homemade ranch dressing sea Homemade Ranch Dressing Mix   Kitchen Shortcut
~Cranberry Bliss Bars from Confections of a Readaholic Mom: I have actually never had the original from Starbucks but these bars look wonderful. I love white chocolate and cranberries so I can't imagine I'd be disappointed.
~8 Can Taco Soup from High Heels and Grills: I'm actually planning on putting this on the menu for next week. There will definitely be some adaptations and less canned stuff but at the root this soup sounds great.
~Snickerdoodle Bread from Creations by Kara: This looks like a fun new type of bread to try. Common enough and ingredients and it calls for cinnamon chips, something we've fallen in love with in the past year.
 snickerdoodle cinnamon bread
~Easy Peasy Overnight *Instant* Oatmeal from Happy in Dole Valley: While the way I make oatmeal each morning works well for us this looks good as well so I'm willing to give it a try.
All images are from the original recipe source.
This is linked to Friday Favorites.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Traditional Bread

This is my go-to recipe for a basic sandwich bread. It's not complicated to make, turns out great and freezes well. It makes two loaves and right now our family eats one loaf in two meals {dinner and lunch} so it works out perfectly and I am often able to have one waiting in the freezer.
The original recipe called for all all-purpose flour. I make it with some whole wheat flour because it just adds a little bit to the bread without it being in your face, as some whole wheat breads can be.

Traditional Bread
 Print Recipe
Source: Betty Crocker Cookbook, 1988 Edition
Yields: 2 loaves

2 1/4 cups warm water (120-130 degrees)
2 T yeast
3 T sugar
2 cups whole wheat flour
4-5 cups all purpose flour, divided
2 T butter, melted or 2 T oil
1 T salt
   1.  Pour warm water in a large mixing bowl; sprinkle yeast and sugar on top. Wait five minutes, or until yeast is bubbly.
   2.  Add 2 cups whole wheat flour and 1 cup all purpose flour; mix with dough hook until combined. Gradually add remaining flour, one cup at a time, until the dough cleans the bowl and is easy to handle. Cover and let rise for 1 hour.
   3.  Punch down dough; divide into two equal parts. Grease and lightly flour two 9x5 bread pans. On a lightly floured surface roll out one portion of the dough into a large rectangle {the short length should be about the same width as your pan, 5 inches.} Starting at the short end roll into a log, place in prepared pan. Repeat with remaining portion. Cover and let rise for 1 hour.
   4.  Preheat oven to 425. Bake for 25-30 minutes; let cool in pans for 10-15 minutes then remove.
*I have also added various herbs into the dough and on top of the rolled loaf. I never do certain measurements but the extra flavor is a nice addition sometimes.