Jul 262014
 

Pinterest is my go to when I’m menu planning. I spend hours pinning food to my mmmmm… board (I think I may have a problem)…I pinned these a few days ago and immediately had to try them. So, while DH was out doing something, Noah and I whipped them up and OMG…I’m in love!!

The Skinny Pineapple Angle Loaves are really simple – like 2 ingredient simple and are so tasty. I used a muffin pan because I don’t have the brownie loaf pan she talks about and they still worked out great (although I got 29 cupcakes vs. the 24 loaves that she got). That makes each cupcake less than 1 WW point (MyFitnessPal clocked them at 13 cals/cupcake?!).

It’s REALLY hard not to eat like 10 in a sitting!!

Jun 192012
 

I’ve been trying to menu plan more in hopes of getting into the habit before baby girls arrives. It’s easier to sit down one day, write a menu and shop than to stumble around the night of trying to find food for the fam. We resort less to processed foods now that I’m thinking ahead.

One of my favorite places to find recipes has been Pinterest! We’ve had some definite hits and some total misses so I thought I’d share some of my favorites (or rather, the ones there DH was like, “This is awesome and needs to be done again!”)

OMG Chicken – Parmesan Crusted Chicken (The Enchanted Cook)
This is the easiest chicken in the world! Probably not entirely healthy for you but oh so yummy and quick. DH told me I need to put this on our regular rotation!

{image from The Enchanted Cook website}

Easy Crockpot Pulled Pork (Mybakingaddiction.com)
This one was really easy and so yummy!! My pork roast wasn’t as large as she directed so I had to alter my cooking time (it was about half her size so I just about halved the time). My new crockpot with a nifty timer on it was perfect! It cooked for the requisite 5 hours and then clicked over to warm. The pork stayed nice and warm and was ready for us to eat as soon as we got home.

DH’s one complaint is that he likes a thicker sauce so next time I’ll supplement a little Famous Daves BBQ sauce as a side when serving.

{Image from the mybakingaddiction website}

Four Cheese Baked Skillet Rigatoni(howSweetitis.com)
This one was awesome and so tasty. DH’s comment was to add chicken or something to it to give it some protein. I’m fine with just the pasta:)

{image from the how sweet it is website}

Creamy Artichoke Lasagna (Better Homes and Gardens via Recipe.com)
I couldn’t find marcapone so I improvised (creamcheese and sour cream) and it didn’t take anything away from the dish. I also used canned chokes because that’s what I had. DH loved the pine nuts. It’s a little time consuming but then again, most lasagne is so we did this on a weekend and had leftovers for the week.

{image from Recipe.com website}

Creamy Corn Casserole (Pennies on a Platter)
Oh so good and oh so bad for you! I had this first at an Easter potluck. I think I finished half of the 9×11 pan myself. Since I found the recipe I’ve made it twice. Once for guests and once for just us. Amazing both times!! And it’s great as left overs too!!

{image from Pennies on a Platter website}

It’s really not that much more work for dinner when you plan ahead. I dont even really cook ahead, I just know what i’m doing when I get home so I can get to work. I’ve planned full menus while driving from work to the grocery store (or sitting at a stop light on my way to the store:) ). I’ve noticed that our grocery bills have been lower too because I’m not buying any more than we need for the week. The produce stays fresher and the meat never needs frozen.

We even have a little dinner menu that hangs out in the kitchen so I can remember what is what. It’s missing Saturday and Sunday but that works for us since we’re generally fending for ourselves or traveling on those days.

Aug 042011
 

I mentioned in this post my new affection for my crockpot. As much as I love it, I struggle for healthy, tasty foods to do in it. I’m still on a mission but thought I’d share one big success lately:

Crockpot Chicken Chili

Ingredients

2 cups canned black beans
2 cans diced tomatoes with green chilies
1 packet taco seasoning
24 oz chicken breasts (i used 3 breasts)
1 cup chopped onion
8 oz tomato sauce
15 oz kidney beans

Directions
Drain beans.
Combine beans, onion, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes with chilies, and taco seasoning in a slow cooker.
Place whole (thawed) chicken breasts on top and cover. (i left mine frozen so it would take longer to cook)
Cook on low for 10 hours or on high for 6 hours.
Half hour before serving, remove chicken breasts and shred. Return chicken to slow cooker and stir back in.
Top with fresh cilantro, reduced fat cheese, and/or light or fat-free sour cream. Serve with cornbread, low-fat chips, or rice.

This was great the second and third day!!

As soon as I get a chance to type it up I’ll share the awesome chicken corn chowder. It’s not super healthy but it’s oh so yummy!!

Jun 202011
 

So, awhile back on Facebook I saw one of my highschool friends post about how amazing Kale chips were. I was intrigued and had been dying to try them out but could never find Kale in my store. It doesn’t help that I had no idea what kale looked like – even today, I was looking it up on my phone and comparing the pictures from El Google to make sure I had the right stuff. Anyways, I digress. I finally was able to find some kale and had the time to try it. I’m not disappointed! The recipe was super easy and quick and the “chips” are actually really tasty! I wonder if you can OD on these things!

You can alter the seasoning to taste, I used garlic and parmesan on one set and some Penzey’s spice mix I had on the other (Northwood seasoning I think). I definitely like the parmesan ones best (of course, I love cheese!).

(excuse the cell phone pics, that’s the only camera that had any batteries at the time)

Raw Curly Kale

Cut the woody center out and chop into bit sized pieces. Put on a baking sheet, drizzle in EVOO and season as you see fit.

Baked kale chips…

Now, getting the right baking time can be tricky. To little and you get limp kale, too much and it tastes burnt. In my batch I had all three – perfect, burnt, and limp. I think because I wasn’t super careful about my sizes.

In any case, this was an awesome experiment that I’ll certainly try again (I better, I still have 1lb of Kale to cook..haha).

What’s your favorite healthy snack?

Jan 242011
 

The last few days both DH and I have been craving something chocolate like a brownie or chocolate chip cookie. Problem is, I haven’t been shopping in a while so I had nothing of the sort in the house – not even a small bar of chocolate lurking in the back of the closet. Then – I remembered I had brownie mix! Happy day…until I realized I had no eggs. Sad day! Then I realized that you can substitute applesauce or bananas for eggs and I had both! Happy day again!

So, instead of two eggs, I used 1/8 cup applesauce and a moderately large banana mashed up. My only mistake was to tell hubby before he tasted them. I had to endure some pretty tough ribbing from him. That is, until he tasted them. They’re super moist (like fudgy) and have a slight banana flavor – chocolate and banana – how can you go wrong?

I may start to use egg alternatives in other recipes that it makes sense in….hmm….

Oct 212010
 

So I stumbled upon this recipe a few weeks ago over at Scary Mommy and just have to share! It’s so simple –

Mix the ingredients in a food processor :

2 c. ricotta cheese (drain water)
1/2 c. confectioners’ sugar
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

Hand mix 1/4 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Scary Mommy suggests serving it with cinnamon pita chips. For some odd reason my grocery store didn’t carry those so I had to improvise. I found unfilled piroulines that I worked perfectly! With a little more effort deep fried won tons would work too.

I wish I had pics of it but we ate it too fast:) And if you run out of things to dip, just use a spoon (or in a pinch, your finger!)

Try it this weekend – you won’t be sorry!

Jun 242010
 

This appetizer came from my dad of all places! His love of all things spicy made this one recipe he had to have and has since passed on to the rest of the family! WARNING: this sucker is hot!

It’s super super simple (you’ll notice that trend with me – the simpler the better)

Ingredients:
1 block of cream cheese
2-3 tbs wasabi paste(I get mine in a tube in the Asian section of the grocery store)
2 tbs soy sauce (yea, I ignored the amt and just dumped until things were well coated)
2 tbs toasted sesame seeds

Prep:
Place the cream cheese in a shallow dish. Cut the block of cream cheese in half length wise (so you have two thin blocks of cream cheese). Spread the wasabi paste all over one piece of the cream cheese and put the top back on (so you have a cream cheese and wasabi sandwich). Pour soy sauce over the cream cheese and let it stand for at least 2 hours, turning over occasionally.

Some versions tell you to roll the whole block in sesame seeds now, I take the lazy route and just sprinkle them on top:) Cover in plastic wrap and refridge. It’s best if it sits overnight but is still quite tasty if you serve it immediately.

Serve with crackers. (I use Ritz Crisps but when I originially had it the chef had found rice crackers to complete the Asian taste).

Variation:
let the cheese soften at room temp so it’s spreadable then spread it out on a piece of saran wrap in a rectangle about 10in x 5in. Spread the wasabi on top and roll up tightly like a jelly roll (long and skinny). Refridgerate until you’re ready to eat it (or at least until it hardens some).

When you’re ready to server, place on in a shallow dish, pour soy sauce over top and garnish with the sesame seeds. Server with crackers.

This was is a tad more fancy but in all honesty, it goes so quickly that few people will notice the extra effort:)

Jun 212010
 

So we’re a day late on this one! I had every intention of making DH his favorite breakfast of french toast yesterday but I couldn’t just do regular french toast – no, this was a special occasion so I needed to do it up right – blueberry stuffed french toast. The problem was that I didn’t have all the ingredients and my plan to get to the grocery store on Saturday just didn’t work out so…long story short. I prepped everything yesterday (after he said that he’s rather have dinner type food for dinner – not breakfast food) and made it this morning – a day late but well received none the less.

Here’s DH loving his blueberry stuffed french toast (looking a bit rough, a hard driven volleyball to the face leaves marks!)

And the second picture was when I made him pause so I could take a pic of my masterpiece before he housed it – only 2 min after I set his plate down:)

I made up the recipe from bits and pieces I found on the internet. I’ll try to recount it here:

Blueberry and Cream cheese stuffed French Toast

Cream Cheese Filling

small tub of cream cheese (6 or 8 oz?)
1/8 cup milk
1/4 cup confectioners sugar
1-2 tsp of vanilla extract

I started slowly by putting only part of the milk and part of the sugar in, mixing with my electric wisk and tasting as I went. I wanted a creamy and slightly sweet filling. In the end I think I ended up with what I specified above but in all honesty, I went with taste testing over ingredient measures:) My advice is just start slow – a splash of the milk, a few tbs of the sugar and work up until it’s the consistency and taste you want.

I refrigerated mine overnight but that wasn’t necessary – just happened to be how I put things together.

Blueberry Syrup
1/2 pint fresh blueberries
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 cup water
small lemon wedge to squeeze and some lemon zest

I heated the water and sugar to a boil (simple syrup) then added the blueberries and let them cook down (stir gently) at a mild boil. They start to burst when you stir so if you like more whole berries like I do, just stir gently. If you prefer more syrup than anything then have fun, you can strain out the bits later with cheese cloth.

I squeezed part of a lemon (maybe 1 tbs of juice) and then zested it (about 1/2 tsp) into the mix. I boiled a bit longer until the sugar was all dissolved and I was happy with the taste. I then put it in a jar and plopped it in the fridge overnight. This I think is a must. The syrup had time to cool and the flavors to come out. When it was hot you couldn’t taste all the blueberry goodness!

French Toast

3 eggs
2 slices of Texas Toast (the big thick stuff)
cinnamon

Beat the eggs, dredge the bread in the egg mix (both sides) and then drop on a hot pan, sprinkle with cinnamon. Flip once to make sure all the egg is cooked (i made sure the edges of the bread hit the hot skillet too so the egg on there would cook) and plate.

To plate everything

Place one piece of toast down, spread the cream cheese mix on it like you would peanut butter. Drop the second piece on top (now you have a super think sandwich). Add more cream cheese mix and top with the blueberry sauce. If you want to get fancy garnish with confectioners sugar – DH was too hungry for pretty things so I just gave it to him as is:)

I tried to get a picture of Noey cooking but he was uncooperative..something about being too small to access to stove or something…:) However, never fear – there’s another post coming with Noey goodness! Stay tuned!

Jun 162010
 

So, while Noah is super exciting and stuff, he only does so many different things at one time and I’m finding that I’m running out of material to blog about so…I thought I’d share some of my favorite recipes on occasion. Here’s the first of many!:)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
If there’s one thing you can guarantee to see at family gatherings, it’s the artichoke dip! I don’t know where or when it started but for as long as I’ve been in this family we’ve had Artichoke Dip at every family function. It’s super simple to make and super yummy!

Here goes:

Ingredients:
1 can of artichoke hearts (non marinated)
1-2 cups mayonnaise
1- 2 cups parmesan cheese, grated
garlic powder to taste

Prep:
Pre heat your oven 400 degrees
Coarsely chop the artichoke hearts (think: you’re scooping this with crackers)
Mix mayo, parmesan, artichokes and garlic powder together
Layer into a pie plate or other shallow baking dish
Bake until warm and bubbly
Serve with sliced baguettes and/or crackers

You really can’t screw this up:) I add mozzarella too sometimes to make it extra gooey

Jun 092010
 

Frenchy over at Le Chateau des fleurs posted about a french snack that looked simply delish (heck, anything with cheese anything I’m all over it!). It looked like a simple enough snack and had the potential to be quite tasty so I decided to try it as an appetizer to last nights dinner. OMG – I’m in love! So in love that I’m super glad that I bought enough supplies to do a second round of them for dinner tonight!!

Anyways…I thought I’d be nice and share my find! Here goes:

Ingredients:
Endive
Feta Cheese
Walnuts
Balsamic vinaigrette

Prepare:
Separate and wash the endive
Sprinkle endive with walnuts and feta (I left the walnuts off due to DH’s aversion to nuts)
Drizzle with the balsamic

and that’s it! Sooo simple and oh so tasty! Plus it looks super high end and would perfect for a fancy dinner party if paired with the right serving platter!

Thanks for sharing that Frenchy!

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