Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Baked Honey Mustard Chicken

Tonight, I whipped up a chicken recipe that I've been meaning to try for a while now. It was really good and really easy. I made up the sauce and marinated the chicken in the fridge overnight. When I got home from work, I just dumped it all into a small dish and baked it. We had it with some brown rice and, I must say, it was delicious. Sweet, but not too sweet, ya know? I cut down the original recipe and the directions below include the alterations that I made. If you want to check out the original, click here.

Baked Honey Mustard Chicken
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup prepared mustard
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon dried parsley
Directions: Marinate chicken overnight for best results. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the chicken breasts and sauce in a smaller baking dish. Bake for 40-45 minutes, turning breasts once during cooking.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Puppy Chow

The hub and I put up the Christmas tree and all that jazz this weekend. Whenever we decorate at my in-law's house, my MIL makes finger foods for everyone to munch on throughout the day. We drink sparkling juice and load up on dips and desserts. So, I have continued the tradition by making a few dishes while the hub and I do the decorating at our apartment. This year, I wanted to whip up some puppy chow, too. I realize that all puppy chow recipes include essentially the same ingredients. But, I've most often seen butter mixed up in there. This recipe calls for peanut butter instead and it is soooo good.

Puppy Chow
9 cups Chex rice cereal squares (I think I only used about 8)
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used a whole bag)
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
Directions: In a saucepan over low heat, melt the chocolate (or you can just use the microwave, like I did). Add peanut butter and mix until smooth. Remove from heat, add cereal and stir until coated. Pour powdered sugar into large plastic bag, add coated cereal and shake until well coated. Store in an airtight container.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Best Birthday Cake...EVER

I want to start off my saying this is the best birthday cake...ever. Hands down. Seriously. Ever. And I have to give my mom-in-law all the credit. She makes me this cake every year for my birthday and it never, ever gets old. It might even get yummier. Anyway, my dad's birthday is the 25th, but we won't be home then. So, I thought we'd just celebrate while they were visiting. After going out for dinner and a movie, we came back for cake and presents. Everything was great. Dinner was awesome. The movie was hysterical. And the cake got rave reviews. If you want to try it for yourself, grab a box of chocolate cake mix (I used Devil's Food). Bake the cake according to directions on the box. After it's cooled, poke holes in the top of the cake with the handle of a wooden spoon or something of the like (I used the wide end of a chopstick). Heat a jar of hot fudge in the microwave and pour over the holes in the cake. Cool and frost (I used chocolate buttercream). Top with chocolate curls, if desired. Can you tell that I'm a pretty big fan of chocolate? The more, the better, I always say!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Early Thanksgiving

My family (Mom, Dad and one of my sisters) is visiting for a long weekend and I could not be any more excited about it. Since we're spending Thanksgiving with my hub's family this year, I thought it'd be fun if they came for an early Thanksgiving at our apartment. And I'm proud to say that there weren't any major mishaps. I even had my hub on standby in case I needed him to run to the store to pick up a rotisserie chicken as a turkey replacement. But, there was no need. Everything turned out great. Here are a few recipes. Apologies for the picture quality. I just quickly snapped a few shots before everyone sat down to eat.

Slow Cooker Thanksgiving Turkey
*I altered this recipe a little bit. So, these are my directions.
5 slices of bacon
1 3-pound boneless turkey breast
1/2 teaspoon garlic pepper
1 (10.5 oz.) can turkey gravy
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon dried sage
Directions: Spray slow cooker with cooking spray. Place turkey in the slow cooker. Season with garlic pepper. In a bowl, mix the gravy, flour, Worcestershire sauce and sage. Pour over turkey in the slow cooker. Top with sliced bacon. Cover slow cooker and cook turkey on the Low setting for 8 hours. 
* *I know that the picture doesn't make it look all that appetizing, but it was super moist and had a great flavor all around.

Green Bean Casserole
1 (10.75 oz.) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
3/4 cup milk
2 (14.5 oz.) cans green beans, drained
1 1/3 cups French-fried onions
Ground black pepper, to taste
Directions: In a 1-1/2 quart casserole dish, mix soup, milk and pepper. Stir in beans and 2/3 cup French-fried onions. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until heated through, stir. Top with remaining 2/3 cup of French-fried onions. Bake 5 minutes more until the onions are golden.

Courtesy of my Aunt Jan
3 cans whole kernel corn (not the "crisp" kind) drained well
2 cans creamed corn
1 stick of butter or margarine, melted
1 box Jiffy cornmeal
2 eggs, beaten
Cheese Whiz
Directions: Mix everything except the Cheese Whiz in a large mixing bowl before pouring into a 9x13 dish. Bake at 350 degrees for about 35 minutes. The edges should be a golden brown and the edges should be slightly pulled away from the corners of the pan. Top with Cheese Whiz. If needed, return the dish to the oven to allow the cheese to melt.

Spinach Dip
Courtesy of my Momma
1 (16 oz.) tub of sour cream
1 package dry ranch dressing
1/2 cup mayo
Mix well and then add 1 can water chestnuts (diced); 1 small package dried beef (lunchmeat); 1 packaged thawed, frozen spinach (squeezed of excess liquid); 2 to 3 green onions (chopped) or 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped regular onion. Mix well and refrigerate overnight.

In addition to the above recipes, we had mashed potatoes & gravy, stuffing, salad, deviled eggs, cranberry sauce, rolls and pumpkin & cherry pie. Yum. And waaay more than enough for 5 people...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Facial Scrub

A while back, I read that baking soda makes a great exfoliant. Basically, you just mix baking soda with some water until you have a paste of sorts. Since I ran out of my facial scrub a number of weeks ago, I was starting to get desperate. So, I made the baking soda scrub that I had read about. And, guess what? It works! My skin has gotten smoother after every use. It does, however, dry your skin out. But, a good moisturizer takes care of that. And a 79-cent box of baking soda sure beats a $15 tube of facial scrub. Now, you may notice from the photo that the water and baking soda separate a little bit if you make up a mix in a bottle. Just shake it up before using and you're good to go.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Quick and Easy Alfredo Sauce

Now, I must give a bit of a disclaimer with regards to this recipe... It's horribly bad for you. It's terrible. It's so unhealthy...and yet, it tastes sooooo good. So, if you're up for throwing caution to the wind, give this one a shot. It really is as quick and easy as the title implies.

Quick and Easy Alfredo Sauce
1/2 cup butter
1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 cups milk
6 oz. Parmesan cheese
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
Directions: Melt butter in a medium, non-stick saucepan over medium heat. Add cream cheese and garlic powder, stirring with wire whisk until smooth. Add milk, a little at a time, whisking to smooth out lumps. Stir in Parmesan and pepper. Remove from heat when sauce reaches desired consistency. Sauce will thicken rapidly, thin with milk if cooked too long. Toss with hot pasta and serve.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Whole Wheat Snickerdoodles

I've never baked with whole wheat flour before. But, in an effort to be a bit healthier, I picked some up at the store a few weeks ago. And when I stumbled upon this recipe for Whole Wheat Snickerdoodles, I decided to give it a go. They were actually really good. I mean, you could tell that they were "different," but they were still good. And I'm all about sneaking in the healthy when I can. Just a word of warning, the dough is a bit messy to work with and I'd add a couple of minutes to the baking time.

Whole Wheat Snickerdoodles
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 tablespoons white sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Directions: Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add egg and vanilla. Beat well. Add dry ingredients (minus white sugar and cinnamon). Shape dough into 1-inch balls and roll in sugar cinnamon mixture. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Flatten slightly with a drinking glass. Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes. 

Monday, October 20, 2008

Another Scarf

A while back, I auctioned off a scarf for The Nielsons on my other blog. Life has been a little on the hectic side lately, but I finally finished it up this weekend. I think I really like the pattern and I hope the buyer does, too.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Banana Bread

I kind of forgot about this recipe until I was looking through my recipe box this morning, in search of something yummy to make for a late breakfast. I'd definitely recommend this.

Banana Bread
1/2 cup butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 to 1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups flour
3 mashed bananas
Chopped nuts (optional)
Directions: Cream butter, sugar, salt and eggs. Add flour, baking powder and baking soda. Mix in bananas. Grease and flour a bread pan or a 13x9-inch pan. Bake at 325 degrees for about an hour for a loaf pan or about 30 minutes for a cake pan. Check for doneness with a toothpick. I added about 1/3 cup of walnuts to my batter before baking, which resulted in me also adding about 10-15 more minutes to my baking time.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Slow-Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

I don't know if I've mentioned it or not, but I'm a fan of the crock-pot. It's easy, yummy and oh-so-convenient. So, when I found a recipe for Slow-Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup, I knew I had to try it. The recipe below includes a few revisions that I made. For the original recipe, check out the link. BTW- it's gooooooood. But, next time I'll try it with a spicier enchilada sauce for a little bit more of a kick.

Slow-Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup
2 chicken breasts
1 (15-oz. can) tomatoes, mashed
1 (10-oz.) can enchilada sauce (I used "Mild")
1 medium onion, chopped
1 (4-oz.) can chopped green chile peppers
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups water
1 (14.5-oz.) can chicken broth
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed bay leaves
1 can of corn, drained
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
Directions: Place whole chicken breasts, tomatoes, enchilada sauce, onion, green chiles and garlic into slow cooker. Pour in water, chicken broth and season with cumin, chili powder, salt, pepper and bay leaves. Stir in corn and cilantro. Cover and cook on low setting for 6 to 8 hours or on high setting for 3 to 4 hours. Remove chicken breasts from slow cooker and shred with 2 forks. Return chicken to soup. Garnish with shredded cheese, sour cream and/or crushed tortilla chips.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Thai Peanut Sauce

My hub wasn't feeling his best yesterday so I offered to make him one of his favorites, Egg Drop Soup. Unfortunately, we were out of eggs at the time and we had to put it off until tonight. But, the soup didn't completely fill us up. So, I got to googling and stumbled upon this recipe for Thai Peanut Sauce. We just cooked up two ramen bricks (minus the flavor packet) and voila! A meal for two. It was pretty good, but the next time I make this, I'll cut the garlic in half and put some chopped peanuts on top. Yum!

1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 cloves garlic, minced and crushed
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
Directions: Combine all ingredients in a saucepan over low heat (mixture will become easy to combine as peanut butter melts). Continue stirring over low heat until ingredients are combined and mixture is smooth and creamy. If it's too thick for your liking, thin it out with a little more water.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Blueberry Streusel Muffins

I broke out the boxed muffin mix I had in the pantry this morning. It was a muffin morning, what can I say. Anyway, I wanted to add a little something to them, but I wasn't sure what. So, I hopped on Allrecipes.com and found a recipe for Blueberry Streusel Muffins. Obviously, I already had the blueberry muffins. But, the streusel...now that was a different story. So, I made the streusel part of the recipe and topped the muffin mix before popping it in the oven. They were done only a few minutes before I was due out the door, but I had my hub quickly taste test before I took them to work with me. (In case they were absolutely vile, ya know?) He said they were "different." Now, I know from experience that this is my hub's way of saying (without actually saying), "Not your best work, babe." So, I had a quick bite and boy was he right. The streusel was kind of dry and wasn't all that good. "It needs some butter," he said. He was right. So, I slathered some butter on each of the hot muffins and, I must say, it was much better after that. Not healthy, but more yummy. So, if you want to try this, I'd recommend adding some extra butter. But, here's the recipe:

Muffin-Topping Streusel
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter, chilled
Directions: In a small bowl, mix together flour, brown sugar and cinnamon. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle topping over unbaked muffins. Cook muffins as directed.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Football Dip

On Sundays during football season, I like to make things for my hub and me to munch on. He watches the games almost all day and I enjoy my time in the kitchen while he's "busy." I stumbled upon this quick and easy dip recipe today and thought I'd give it a shot. I made a couple of revisions, though. I used ground turkey instead of ground beef (as I do for everything) and I added taco seasoning to the meat and a little to the cream cheese. I also used less processed cheese. It just seemed like it was going to be a lot. And I cooked it for closer to 20 minutes. It was pretty good, if I do say so myself.

1 pound ground beef
1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, room temp.
1 (8-oz.) jar prepared salsa
1 pound loaf processed cheese, sliced or cubed.
Directions: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the ground beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring to crumble, until no longer pink. Drain off grease. Spread the cream cheese in an even layer in the bottom of a 9-inch square baking dish. Spread a layer of salsa over the cream cheese, then cover with a layer of ground beef. Top with slices of processed cheese and cover the dish with aluminum foil. Bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until heated through. Serve hot.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Still Experimenting...

As I've mentioned, I'm trying some new things in the kitchen. Tonight's dinner featured Lemon Garlic Tilapia and Potatoes/Green Beans. My hub had a late class today so I was hoping to whip it all up really quick before he got home. I love sitting down to a nice, hot meal together. However, my plan came to a screeching halt when I realized not only that I had forgotten to grab a couple of lemons from the grocery store this weekend, but also that my lemon juice had recently expired. My hub actually came home early and offered to save the day by running to the store for me. It was really sweet of him, considering that he had just had a long day of work and class. When he got home, he proudly handed me the bottle, as if to say "Don't worry honey, I took care of it." Unfortunately, he had grabbed a bottle of lime juice by mistake. It was so cute. And since I already had the fish prepped and ready to go, we used the lime juice instead. So, that's my disclaimer for this particular dinner. I didn't like the tilapia at all, but I'm fairly certain that the lime had a lot to do with that. My hub liked it though. So, it wasn't a complete loss, I guess. And we both really loved the side. It was surprising since both of us don't really care for green beans in general. But, this was really good, not to mention super easy. Try it for yourself!

1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
Water to cover both the potatoes and beans
1 pound very small, red potatoes (washed well, skins on )
1 pound fresh green beans, stem ends snapped off, broken in half or thirds
Minced garlic to taste ( I used 1 tablespoon)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Directions: Start the water, salt and sugar to a boil while prepping the potatoes. Add the potatoes as soon as they're prepped, cover and let cook until nearly done. (Actual time will vary based on the size and density of the potatoes. The tiny potatoes from Summit took only about 20 minutes.) Add the beans, return to a boil and cook for about 7 minutes or until the beans are well-cooked but still bright green. Drain. Return to the hot pot and toss with garlic and butter. Add salt, if needed. 

4 tilapia fillets
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
pepper to taste
Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Spray a baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Rinse tilapia fillets under cool water, and pat dry with paper towels. Place fillets in baking dish. Pour lemon juice over fillets, then drizzle butter on top. Sprinkle with garlic, parsley, and pepper. Bake in preheated oven until the fish is white and flakes when pulled apart with a fork, about 10-20 minutes.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Curious Cooking

Lately, I've been wanting to venture out and try foods that I've never had before. I've been curious in the kitchen. So, my hub and I went to the Farmer's Market this weekend and picked up a few things. We both had never had eggplant before so we thought we'd try it. Today, I cooked up an Eggplant Parmesan recipe. It got rave reviews and 4 1/2 stars on Allrecipes.com so I thought I was in for a treat. And...apparently I don't like eggplant. My hub enjoyed it, though. So, I'm chalking it up to my tastebuds. If you like eggplant, give the recipe a shot.

Eggplant Parmesan
3 eggplant, peeled and thinly sliced 
(I only used 1 large eggplant and estimated the other ingredients from there)
2 eggs, beaten
4 cups Italian seasoned bread crumbs
6 cups spaghetti sauce, divided
1 (16 oz.) package mozzarella cheese, shredded and divided
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Dip eggplant slices in egg, then bread crumbs. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 5 minutes on each side. In a 9x13-inch baking dish, spread spaghetti sauce to cover the bottom. Place a layer of eggplant slices in the sauce. Sprinkle with mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. Repeat with remaining ingredients, ending with the cheeses. (As you might be able to tell from the photo, I only did a single layer.) Sprinkle basil on top. Bake for 35 minutes, or until golden brown.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Raspberry Crisp

I've been wanting to make raspberry ... something for a while now, as the hub has had a craving. And after I stumbled upon Little Birdie Secrets' Blackberry Crisp this weekend, I thought I'd give it a go (substituting raspberries for blackberries, of course). I've never made a crisp of any kind, but the recipe was really simple and looked really yummy. And it did not disappoint. It was really good, even though I messed up. I used a cup less raspberries. But, I think the extra sugar just helped off-set the tartness of the berries and all was well. I've added what I did to the recipe below. Enjoy!

Raspberry Crisp
3 cups raspberries (I bet blueberries would also be fabulous!)
1 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup cold butter
3/4 cup rolled oats
2/3 cup brown sugar

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Pour raspberries in a casserole dish or pie plate. Pour 1 cup of sugar over the berries and gently mix. For the topping, combine cinnamon, flour, brown sugar and oats. Cut in butter with a pastry cutter or two knives until mixture is crumbly. Cover the raspberries with the topping. Bake for 30-45 minutes or until brown. My reduced amount of raspberries seemed to have some effect on the topping staying afloat, but it was no biggie because we liked it just the same!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Banana Cookies

We had some bananas that were starting to go in the kitchen tonight. So, I got it in my head that my hubby and I should bake together. But, I didn't want to make banana bread (as the recipe for the last batch I made was kind of "blah"). So, when I stumbled across this recipe for banana cookies, I thought we'd give it a go. They were....different. I think the spices all complimented each other well, but the consistency was anything but cookie-like. They were more like banana bread bites. But, they were good. I think I just had a hard time getting over them not being firm at all. The above picture is from the site, since I forgot to take one last night. Also, I used the pecans, as suggested. But, I bet it would be great with pecans and chocolate chips. Yum!

Banana Cookies Recipe
1/2 cup of unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup of sugar
1 egg, room temperature
1 cup of mashed bananas (about 2 ½ large bananas)
1 teaspoon of baking soda
2 cups of flour
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of ground mace or nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon of ground cloves
1 cup of pecans (walnuts and chocolate chips are fine alternatives)
Directions: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the egg and continue to beat until the mixture is light and fluffy.
In a bowl, mix the mashed bananas and baking soda. Let sit for 2 minutes. The baking soda will react with the acid in the bananas which in turn will give the cookies their lift and rise.
Mix the banana mixture into the butter mixture. Mix together the flour, salt, and spices and sift into the butter and banana mixture and mix until just combined. Fold into the batter the pecans or chocolate chips if using. Drop in dollops onto parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake for 11-13 minutes or until nicely golden brown. Let cool on wire racks.
Makes about 30 cookies.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Bruschetta Chicken Bake

I don't think that I've mentioned the Kraft Food & Family magazine on here before, but I'm a pretty big fan. It's a free magazine that you can sign up for online and it's full of easy & yummy recipes. Of course, there are Kraft products in every recipe and the whole magazine is basically a big advertisement, but there are some great finds if you look for them. And that was the case last night. I finally tried the Bruschetta Chicken Bake that I put a post-it note on weeks ago and I was not disappointed. It wasn't something that I would normally make, but I'll absolutely be whipping it up again. Try it for yourself!

Bruschetta Chicken Bake
Recipe by Kraft Food & Family
1 (14.5 oz.) can of diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (6 oz.) package Stuffing Mix for Chicken (I used cornbread stuffing mix)
1/2 cup water
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 tsp. (I only used 1/2 tsp.) dried basil leaves
1 cup Shredded Low-Moisture, Part-Skim Mozzarella Cheese
Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place tomatoes with their liquid in medium bowl. Add stuffing mix, water and garlic. Stir until stuffing mix is moistened. Set aside. Place chicken in 13x9-inch baking dish. Sprinkle with the basil and cheese and top with the stuffing mixture. Bake 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Serves 6.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Nana Puddin

Yesterday, I made banana pudding for my co-workers. And since I know that several of them are trying to be healthier, I made the recipe diet-friendly. I used instant fat-free, sugar-free banana pudding/pie filling from J-E-L-L-O. I layered the pudding with reduced-fat Nilla wafers and banana slices. I think I just repeated it once before topping it with fat-free Cool Whip and cookie crumbs. What a fast, guilt-free dessert! In case you were wondering, I used two boxes of pudding mix, half a box of Nilla wafers, two whole bananas and a full tub of Cool Whip in my 8-inch square dish. Yum!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Lemon Bars and Muffins

So, I got it in my head that I just had to bake last night...in the middle of a lightning storm. I was worried when the lights started flickering, but we didn't end up loosing power and it all worked out in the end. I made light banana muffins, which I've made before and prefer warm with a dollop of cool whip on top. I also tried my hand at a lemon bar recipe that I've been meaning to give a go for a while now. I think they turned out alright. Next time, I might add a smidge more lemon, though.

Annemarie's Lemon Bars
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup white sugar
2 eggs
3/4 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
3 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
Powdered sugar
Directions: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. To make crust: Mix together the butter, 1 1/3 cups flour and 1/4 cup sugar with fork until crumbly. Press into an 8-inch square pan and bake for 20 minutes. The crust will look white. Do not brown. Combine the eggs, 3/4 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons flour, baking powder and lemon juice in a blender. Blend until well mixed. Pour over pre-baked crust. Return to oven and bake an additional 20 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Let bars cool before cutting.

Light Banana Muffins
2 eggs, beaten
3 very ripe bananas, mashed
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
Walnuts, if desired
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 12 muffin cups. Combine eggs and bananas. In a separate bowl, mix flour, salt, sugar and baking soda. Stir banana mixture into flour mix. Fold in walnuts, if desired. Pour into cups. Bake 20-25 minutes.
Disclaimer: I totally can't remember where I got this recipe. It's been in my box for years.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Chinese Night

With the price of things rising across the board, I've been trying to be more cost-effective in any way that I can. So, I've been really working at menu planning. We've cut down on the gas we spend because we only go grocery shopping every other week. Plus, only getting the things that you actually need for the meals that you're actually going to make helps as well. As part of the planning, I'm trying to incorporate a new recipe at least once a week. Tonight was Chinese night. The hub loves egg drop soup and I found a super easy recipe that was pretty good. I included a salad that we both ended up liking, too (Caution: the salad recipe serves 12!). The hub picked up the egg rolls (I'm just not ready to try my hand at those yet) at a nearby take-out place. All in all, it was a good meal and I think it was good for us to break out of our food comfort zones.

Chinese Cabbage Salad
1 (3 oz.) package ramen noodles, crushed
10 oz. cashew pieces
1 (16 oz.) packaged shredded coleslaw mix
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
Directions: In a pre-heated 350 degree oven, toast the crushed noodles and nuts until golden brown. In a large bowl, combine the coleslaw, green onions, toasted ramen noodles and cashews. To prepare the dressing, whisk together the sugar, oil, vinegar and soy sauce. Pour the dressing over the salad, toss and serve.

Egg Drop Soup
4 cups water
4 cubes chicken bouillon
2 eggs
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 tablespoon dried minced onion
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Directions: In a medium saucepan, combine water, bouillon, parsley and onion. Bring to a boil. Lightly beat eggs together. Gradually stir into soup. Remove about half a cup of the soup. Stir in cornstarch until there are no lumps and return to the soup. Boil until soup thickens.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Mini Meat Loaves

My grandma sent me this recipe for mini meat loaves in the mail a few years ago. I've tweaked it a little bit over time and, since I made it tonight, I thought I'd share it here. It's quick and easy, not to mention pretty yummy. My mom-in-law still makes the best meat loaf in town, but this is a pretty close second in my book.

Mini Meat Loaves
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2/3 cup crushed crackers
4 tbs. ketchup
2 tbs. dried minced onion
4 tbs. shredded cheese (optional)
A few splashes of Worcestershire sauce
1 lb. ground turkey (or beef)

Topping: 6 tbs. ketchup, 2 tbs. brown sugar

Directions: Preheat oven at 400 degrees. Combine egg, cracker crumbs, ketchup and onion. Crumble turkey over mixture and mix well. Coat 10 muffin cups with cooking spray and fill 3/4 full. Mix topping ingredients well (I put it in the microwave for about 15 seconds to break down the brown sugar) and spread on top of loaves. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Pull out of oven, sprinkle tops with cheese, if desired and bake an additional 5 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Pink Punch

I forgot to post the recipe that I used for Raspberry Sherbet Punch at the bridal shower over the weekend. And I forgot to take a picture of it, too. But, it was SO good. If you're having a giant party in the future, you should definitely try it.

Raspberry Sherbet Punch
2 (6-oz.) cans of frozen pink lemonade concentrate, partially thawed
1 quart raspberry sherbet
2 (28-oz) bottles of ginger ale, chilled
Combine all ingredients together. Makes 25 (5-oz.) servings.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Today's my birthday. I decided to try a little something different for b-day treats this year and made red velvet cupcakes. Yum! These were fairly simple and I think they turned out great!

Red Velvet Cupcakes
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 fluid ounce red food coloring
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt

Directions:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease two 12 cup muffin pans or line with 20 paper baking cups. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Mix in the eggs, buttermilk, red food coloring and vanilla. Stir in the baking soda and vinegar. Combine the flour, cocoa powder and salt; stir into the batter just until blended. Spoon the batter into the prepared cups, dividing evenly. Bake in the preheated oven until the tops spring back when lightly pressed, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool in the pan set over a wire rack. When cool, arrange the cupcakes on a serving platter and frost with desired frosting. 

*NOTE: Be sure to take care when using the food coloring. I made a bit of a mess :)

Thursday, February 21, 2008

To start it off...

I like to make things. I always have. I haven't always been good. In fact, I still don't think I'm that I am. But, I do my best to be creative and to make things when I can. After stumbling upon homemadebyjill, I was inspired to start this blog. I'm simply using this as a place to write about projects that I try. Because, let's face it, things are just better when they're homemade.
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