Saturday, December 8, 2012

PB&J Pancakes

I forgot who turned me onto these, but Food Network! Good job on this one! I make these when I am in the mood for dinner-breakfast. It is more of an effort that regular pancakes (probably due to the fact you have to melt peanut butter) but when I am running low on regular syrup, I make these puppies. I don't make the homemade blackberry syrup in the recipe, I just have a bottle of raspberry syrup I bought from Smith's stashed away at all times. Hope you like them as much as I do. With a kid who really only likes pancakes and pretzels, this is a good way to get some protein in him.

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk, plus extra if needed to thin
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 4 tablespoons butter
Mix up all the dry ingredients in a bowl and then slowly beat in the egg, milk, and peanut butter. It may be a little thick, add a tablespoon of milk. (or two) Melt some butter onto the griddle and scoop out into 1/4 c. increments. It takes a bit longer to cook, but scorches easily, so you may have to turn them several times. Still, I feel like I have to remind you- STILL WORTH IT. 

Top with a fruity syrup. 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Cinnamon Sugar Pull Apart Bread

The whole idea of "making" bread seems rather tedious. And time consuming with all the "waiting for dough to rise." However I tried this over Thanksgiving and it wasn't as much of a pain as I had expected. Plus it was super delicious to eat. (I was mostly responsible for finishing off a whole pan) Since the kids are at home sick today, and I will be forced to spend the entire day inside my house, I am making up a batch right now.

     2 3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
     1/4 cup sugar
     2 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast (1 packet)
     1/2 tsp. salt
     4 Tbsp. butter
     1/3 cup whole milk
     1/4 cup water
     2 eggs (at room temperature)
     1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

     1 cup sugar
     2 tsp. cinnamon
     1/4 tsp. nutmeg
     4 Tbsp. butter, melted

In a large mixing bowl, mix 2 cups of flour, sugar, yeast and salt. Set aside.

In a small sauce pan, melt the butter and milk. Once the butter is completely melted take off the burner and add the water and vanilla. Let the mixture cool for 5 minutes.

Pour the milk mixture into the large bowl with the dry ingredients and mix well. Whisk together the eggs and add to the batter. Keep mixing. Add 3/4 cup of flour and mix well. The mixture will be very sticky which means it's perfect. Place the dough in a medium greased bowl. Cover with wrap and let it sit in a warm place to rise for about 30-45 minutes. Once the dough has doubled its size, knead in 2 tablespoons of flour. Cover the dough again for 5-10 minutes.

Meanwhile, start on the filling. In a medium bowl, mix together the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a small bowl. Set aside.

Once the dough is ready, roll it out on a floured surface. Brush the melted butter on the dough and add the sugar mixture. Make sure everything is covered. Using a shape knife or pizza cutter, cut the dough into equal sized strips (about 2 to 2 1/2 inches wide). Then cut the strips into equal sized squares. Stack the squares on top of each other and place them in a bread pan. Cover the dough for another 10-15 minutes to rise.

While dough is rising, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Place a cookie sheet under bread pan and bake for 30-35 minutes until outside of bread is golden brown.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

A while ago, when I was going through a particularly rough time, a good friend brought over these amazing muffins. They were so good that I haven't posted the recipe because I've been waiting to put an equally amazing picture to accompany it. Things have been too busy to take such a picture, but that doesn't mean I should continue to keep all this goodness to myself. Enjoy!

1 (15 oz) can Pumpkin (or about 2 cups)
1 box spice cake mix
1-2 c. chocolate chips

Mix those three ingredients together, pour into cupcake tins, and bake at 350 for 20-25 mins.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Raspberry Lemon Cheesecake Pots

Is it just me, or do mason jars make everything fancier? It would seem I am a complete sucker for the mason jar fad. Especially when they are tiny mason jars.

This is a lovely little recipe that was especially delicious. The perfect way to end summer.

For the crust:
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the filling: 
2/3 cup sugar
zest of 2 lemons
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice ( I used a bit more) 
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 (8 ounce) tub frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 cup fresh raspberries, slightly mashed with a fork

In a medium bowl, stir together the graham cracker crumbs and 1 tablespoon of sugar and melted butter. Evenly divide the crumbs between your individual serving dishes and press into the bottoms of the dishes to form a crust layer.
In a large bowl, mix together the sugar and lemon zest until the sugar becomes moist and fragrant. Add cream cheese and beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Add lemon juice and vanilla mixing to combine. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the whipped topping until well blended, then fold in the raspberries.
Evenly pipe or spoon the filling into individual serving dishes. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. 

Monday, September 3, 2012

Butterfinger Cake

I am making my little brother's favorite dessert today, and realized I do not have it on here! I have to haul out my recipe box and get the hardcopy! (astonishing!) So here is the gooey, chocolately, Butterfinger-y favorite dessert of my favorite brother. Do enjoy it.

1 box devil's food cake mix
1 can sweetened, condensed milk
1 jar caramel ice cream topping
1 tub Cool Whip
8 Butterfinger bars

Place the candy in the freezer and bake the cake according to the instructions on the box. When the cake comes out, let it cool a bit and in a small bowl combine the condensed milk and caramel. Lightly stab the cake and pour the milk mixture on top. Refrigerate for at least an hour, while the milk and caramel absorb into the cake. In a large bag, place the cool candy and smash it to a crumble. Cover the cake with Cool Whip, sprinkling crumbled candy on top. Put back in the fridge for 45 minutes.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Not Just Any Pulled Pork Tacos

I must admit, I am leery when it comes to pork recipes. I have been burned before... and often. But this recipe was a home run. I especially enjoyed it the next day on a bed of rice, some sour cream and sliced olives on top. It was a bit spicy for our shorter residents. I would suggest eliminating or half-ing the cayenne if you are making it for kids. Enjoy!

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork via Can You Stay for Dinner

1 lb pork tenderloin, or chicken
1 15 oz can tomato sauce, or one 12 oz jar salsa
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon salt
3 cloves garlic, minced

Place pork in the base of your slow cooker. In a small bowl, stir together all remaining ingredients. Pour evenly over pork. Cook on low for 8 hours. When done, shred the pork using two forks, pulling against the grain of the meat. Serve in warmed tortillas with shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, grated cheddar cheese, and sour cream. 

Monday, March 5, 2012

Spicy Veggie Pasta

This is another one that I just ignore the chicken bits on, too. I hate dealing with meat. Plus when I made this specific recipe, the chicken was all gross anyway. The sauce was not too spicy for the kids, and I added a couple extra sprinkles of red pepper flakes on my bowl and it was excellent.

Veggies & Pasta
16 oz. of Whole Wheat Penne Pasta (cooked) 
tbsp. olive oil, divided
2 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, cut in 1″ cubes (optional)
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
½ c. Onion, diced
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 Yellow Bell Pepper, long thin slices 
c. Broccoli florets
c. Asparagus, chopped in 1″ pieces
c. Grape tomatoes
Cook your pasta and let it drain.  (tip: I always add a bit of olive oil to my pasta water during cooking so the noodles don’t stick together). Sprinkle the chicken breast with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tbsp. oil in a skillet over medium heat and cook chicken until done and golden on all sides. Remove and let rest in a large bowl.
Add the remaining olive oil and begin sauteing the onions for 2 min. Add in the garlic and bell pepper and saute another 2 mins. Then toss in any other woody veggies  (broccoli, asparagus) saving the tomatoes until the very end.
When everything is cooked, combine the veggies with the chicken in your big bowl. 
Spicy Cream Sauce
tbsp. butter
tbsp. flour 
c. half & half
1/4 tsp. of red pepper flakes
c. Parmesan cheese- shredded
In the same pan you cooked the chicken and veggies in, melt the butter over medium heat. Toss in the flour and stir, cooking 1-2 minutes.  
Slowly add in the half and half while stirring to prevent any clumps from forming.  Sprinkle in the red pepper flakes and allow to simmer until you see boiling action.  Stir periodically.
When your sauce begins to thicken and bubble, turn off the heat and add in your cheese. Stir until melty
To assemble everything I like to add the pasta first so it gets nice and coated with sauce and then pour the rest of the veggies in. 

Lime Taco Salad

Making your own salad dressing is kind of a pain, gets a lot of things messy, but man! Is it worth it!

I did not bother with the chicken, and did not miss it. So it's great as a vegetarian lunch salad.

  • Vinaigrette:
  • 1/4 cup chopped seeded tomato
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon grated lime rind
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • garlic clove, peeled
  • 8 cups thinly sliced iceberg lettuce
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped ready-to-eat roasted skinned, boned chicken breast- about 2 breasts (optional)
  • 1 cup chopped tomato
  • 1 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 cup finely diced red onion
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese
  • (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 4 cups fat-free baked tortilla chips (about 4 ounces)
  1. To prepare vinaigrette, combine first 11 ingredients in a blender or food processor; process until smooth.
  2. To prepare salad, combine lettuce and remaining ingredients except chips in a large bowl. Add vinaigrette; toss well to coat. Serve with chips.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Black Bean Quesadillas

Yes, ok! I like black beans! So obviously I had to try this, and it was easy enough, plus the kids ate it without much mess.

  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese- I could only find a white "mexican style" shredded cheese bag, it worked just fine
  • 1/2 cup prepared fresh salsa, divided- I used whatever was on sale
  • 4 8-inch whole-wheat tortillas
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil, divided
  • 1 ripe avocado, diced (I can never pick a good one, so I skipped this- totally optional)

  • Combine beans, cheese and 1/4 cup salsa in a medium bowl. Place tortillas on a work surface. Spread 1/2 cup filling on half of each tortilla. Fold tortillas in half, pressing gently to flatten.

  • Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 2 quesadillas and cook, turning once, until golden on both sides, 2 to 4 minutes total. Transfer to a cutting board and tent with foil to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining 1 teaspoon oil and quesadillas. Serve the quesadillas with avocado and the remaining salsa.

    Sunday, February 19, 2012

    Oreo Cheesecake Cupcakes

    So a while ago I pinned this recipe for Oreo Cheesecake Cupcakes. I'm a sucker for all things Oreo... and cheesecake. I wrote out all the ingredients I would need to buy on Saturday, following the Pinterest link.

    The very next day I go back to start making them? Tumblr is down or the blog is gone. Or whatever. Kicking myself in the pants for not writing it down. Usually I don't put them on this blog until I've tried them. I did not want to end up with three unused packages of cream cheese, so I scoured the internet for something similar. This was the closest I could find, although I think it calls for less cream cheese.

    But I am going to transcribe it here anyway, because HOLY CATS- I don't want this to happen again!

      Oreos, whole only 6 coarsely chopped
      2 8-oz packages cream cheese, at room temperature (Neufchatel is fine)
      1/2 cup sugar
      1/2 tsp vanilla extract
      2 large eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
      1/2 cup sour cream
      Pinch of salt
    Preheat oven to 275 F.
    Line muffin tins (I used 18) with paper liners.
    Place 1 whole Oreo in the bottom of each lined cup.
    Beat the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer on medium. Gradually beat in the sugar and vanilla.
    Pour in the beaten eggs, a little at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition.
    Beat in the sour cream and salt.
    Stir in chopped cookies by hand.
    Pour the batter into the prepared tins, filling each almost to the top.
    Bake, rotating pan halfway through, until filling is set, 22-25 minutes.
    Cool in the pans for about 15 minutes, on a wire rack, then transfer to a plate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.

    Monday, February 6, 2012

    Homemade Pita Chips

    Once upon a time, Sam's Club sold a pita chip- in a huge bag, of course. I could not get enough of those chips. They were crispy, salty, and just a hint of garlic. Sadly, I have not seen the same chips on sale for about two years, and it has made me all sad and mopey.

    Luckily, I ran across this recipe in an old issue of Family Fun in my doctor's office. I scribbled down the instructions and just cooked up a batch today. They are quite similar to the chips of yore, and pair really well with my favorite Cool Cucumber Dip.

    You'll need:
    6 pitas
    1/3 c. olive oil
    garlic salt
    dried herbs (oregano or basil)

    Preheat the oven to 400. Slice the pitas in half, and peel the sides off each other, so you'll have four half-circles. Cut into chip-sized pieces and arrange on a baking tray. Brush with olive oil, sprinkle garlic salt, pepper, and oregano on top. Bake for about 6-7 minutes until golden brown. Rotate the pan in the middle if you can remember it. 
    Cool in pan on wire rack. Store in a Ziploc for a couple weeks.