Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Pocket Sandwiches

See this little tool? It's the cut and seal from Pampered Chef. When I got married, I knew this was a must have. So, with no kiddos, I still bought it. It has saved me many a day! Running out the door, hair slicked straight back I suddenly remember.."ARGGG. Kids need FOOD!" so, to my handy little freezer to snag a few bags of these with a couple cheese sticks (another must have cut up in the fridge at all times item...) and we're ready to roll! 
I think all moms should have one.
Whole wheat bread doesn't seal AS good as standard white bread, but I still use the wheat. Loves!!

Peppermint Patties

Short and sweet, these are super easy to make and amazingly addicting. I don't mind, so much, though, because they're a lot healthier then the store version of peppermint patties! These don't last long in our house! I like them straight out of the freezer...

1/2 cup coconut butter (how to make --> here <--)
1/4 cup honey
10 drops pure peppermint essential oil
1 cup dark chocolate chips

Soften coconut butter and stir in honey and peppermint oil. Form mixture into "patties" or flattened balls. Put on wax paper lined plate and put in freezer for about 20mins. Gently melt chocolate. When melted, remove patties from freezer and dip halfway in chocolate. Let harden and store in fridge or freezer.

Crescent Lasagna

Let me first go on record in saying I've no idea why it's called a lasagna. It looks, tastes, sets up nothing like lasagna but hey, that's what I've known it as!

Next, I would also like to say I know it's not the ultimate health food. But making it twice a year, I don't care =) All the spinach pear salads make up for a little less healthy meal.

Disclaimers over, my family loves this meal. It's one of Craig's favorites. I'd never made it until I met him and it's super easy! I make a double batch because the other half goes in foil to be re-heated on the stoneware a few days later. Bakes up new!!

Crescent Roll Lasagna

2 rolls crescent
1 lb beef
1 can tomato paste
1/2 chopped onion
1/2 tsp each, basil, oregano, salt, pepper
1 8oz cream cheese
1 cup shredded cheese

Brown beef with onion. Drain fat if any. Stir in paste and seasoning. Follow photographic instructions. Bake on 375 for about 25 minutes. 

Using one of the crescent roll packages..
 Cover using other crescent roll package. Sprinkle with parsley.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Grandma's Breakfast Cookies

As a kid, I remember sneaking into the freezer and opening a super icy cookie tin to sneak one of the BEST healthy cookies known to man. Whether I did it at home or at my Grandma's, it was no different. Always in the freezer. Always in a tin. They're so good, my grandma actually makes them as gifts! Every birthday, my dad gets his own tin. And woe unto the child who sneaks into HIS cookie tin. No way. 
So, you can imagine my excitement to get the actual recipe. I thought it was a secret or something! Now, I did a few things different because I didn't have all the "right" stuff, but it made no difference. They are fabulous! Substitutions in italic parentheses.

Grandma's Breakfast Cookies

1 cup softened butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup raw sugar (I used pure cane syrup)
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup each, sesame seed, flax seed, sunflower seed, chopped
1 cup each, raisins and cranberries (cover with boiling water for about 10 minutes, reserve 1 cup liquid)
1 cup walnuts (I used 1 c raw mixed nuts, chopped super fine..pumpkin-walnut-cashew-pecan-almond)
3 3/4 cup whole wheat or spelt flour
6 cups old fashioned oats
1/2 Tablespoon salt
1/2 Tablespoon baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp each, cloves and nutmeg

Put raisins and cranberries in 2 cup measuring cup, add boiling water to cover and let sit while you do rest. (Save water, about 1 cup)
Beat together butter and sugars until light. Add eggs and vanilla, beat well. Combine flour, soda, salt and spices, add to mixture with raisins (with the 1 cup water from raisins), seeds, walnuts and mix well. Add oatmeal, mix well. Drop onto lightly greased cookie sheet, press down with fork dipped in water. Bake at 375* 12 minutes.
 The absolute best frozen with peanut butter and a hot cup of coffee!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Soft Pretzels

I was browsing through some old cookbooks I had got from my mom when I got married and found this recipe. Beings I didn't have much "going on" today (can I even say that with three toddlers?!) I figured I'd try them out.
I know my kids love soft pretzels but I've just never made them myself. These are easy enough that I will be re-making them hence the blog post. It's so much easier to read recipes on my phone then digging through stacks and stacks of cookbooks trying to find that one recipe. =) So, this is as much for you as it is for me!

Soft Pretzels By, Naomi Waineo

1 tablespoon yeast
1 1/2 cups warm, not hot, water
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon salt
4 cups flour
1 egg, beaten

Mix yeast, warm water, and sugar in a bowl. Let sit ten minutes. Stir in salt and flour. Knead until as smooth as a baby's rash-free bottom. (and about as soft, too).... roll into ropes about the thickness of my thumb. =) or your thumb, I guess..I used mine as a gauge. Cut into 1-2 inch pieces. Line on a cookie sheet. Brush with egg. Sprinkle with salt. Bake on 425 for 15 minutes.

Not bad, hey? Pretty basic and they are perfect for little hands! Even Vienna (10 months now!) had her fair share!

Pumpkin Pudding Cake

Last night I had the privilege of going to a Pampered Chef party.
Obviously with my baking obsession, this is right up my alley. Before we got married, my dad's family got us one lump sum giftcard to Pampered Chef as a wedding gift so I have a pretty stocked kitchen. That doesn't stop me from wanting more, though!! I am so a 'gadgets' person...! Anyway, there was The. Most. Amazing. By. Far. Hands. Down. pumpkin dessert there. No lie, when people ate it, there were so many eyes rolling heavenward and the steady sound of 'MMMMMMM!!!!!!!!!!!" Yeah. I got the recipe!! So. Do YOURSELF a favor and make this! If you like pumpkin, you will NOT regret it. I think there were murmurs of making while husbands were away so as not to have to share at ALL.... ;-) Thank you, Carmelle, for hosting and sharing this recipe!!

Pumpkin Pudding Cake

1 large can pumpkin
1 12oz can evaporated milk
3 eggs, beaten
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
1 box yellow cake mix
1 stick butter
cinnamon+sugar for dusting

Mix pumpkin, evaporated milk, eggs, cinnamon, and cloves in a bowl until well combined and pour into 9x13 pan. Evenly dump powdered cake mix on top of pumpkin. Melt butter and pour evenly over top. Sprinkle with extra cinnamon and sugar. Bake on 350 for 50-60 minutes. Serve warm. 

You will probably eat this all yourself, so make two pans if you're feeling nice and want others to have some ;-) Must be served with whipped cream!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Chicken Puff Pockets

A family favorite, I don't make these often..but when I do, they don't last long no matter how many I make! They're super easy and they reheat in the oven quite well....One of Craig's favorite recipes!

Chicken Puff Pockets

1 onion, minced
1/2 red pepper, minced
1 clove minced garlic
1 box cream cheese
2 chicken breasts, cooked and chopped
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3 tubes crescent rolls

Saute onion and red pepper in 1-2 tablespoons oil of your choice until soft. Add garlic, cream cheese, chicken, salt, and pepper. Mix well. Follow photographic instruction and then bake on 375 for 12-14 minutes or until lightly browned. 

cut each rectangle down the middle and...


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Miniature Quiche

In the spirit of quick, easy, freezable, portable, make-ahead-and-forget-about-it meals, I present to you...Miniature Quiche.

Prep was done in about 20 minutes and I "forgot" about it in the fridge for awhile. Super easy to make and store in the fridge until you're ready dump into muffin tins and bake. My kids devoured these. Thankfully, I made a large batch!! It's all about freezability, you know? 
Miniature Quiche

8 oz sausage, cooked, crumbled, drained
1/2 cup finely chopped ham
8 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup whole milk
1 cup shredded cheese
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

coconut or olive oil
1 bunch green onions, chopped thin
2 cups spinach, chopped small
1 cup cooked potato, chopped small (This is where canned potato comes in handy! You could use frozen hash, though, too.
Any other veg you might want. The "big" ones I made with diced red peppers...

Mix sausage, ham, eggs, milk, cheese, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Heat scant amount of oil in a pan and saute veggies until tender. Add veg to egg mixture and stir well. Fill greased muffin tins half full with mixture. Bake on 350 for 22-25 minutes for regular muffin tins and 15 minutes or so for mini muffin tins. This made 24 ultra mini quiche, and 8 regular muffin size quiche.