Thursday, February 23, 2012

Cleaning Tip

For quite a while I've use vinegar to clean. Its pretty much unbeatable for water spots, grime, and buildup without counting harsh commercial chemical cleaners. I always have a spray bottle of it in my kitchen for easy access. When I read you can make vinegar smell like citrus, I was quite excited. It worked, too! I steeped mine for two weeks and I just cleaned my house entirely with can't even tell! Give it a try. I bet you'll like it! 

Citrus Vinegar

Canning Jars
Grapefruit, Orange, and Lemon peels

Fill jars almost to the top with peels. Add vinegar. Cap and let sit for 2 weeks. To use: dilute by half with water. 

My favorite part about this, though, is taking a roll of good quality paper towel, cutting it in half with my bread knife, manipulating the cardboard roll out of it, and putting one of the halves in a baby wipes container. Dampen the paper towel with this vinegar/water solution and you have quick cleaning wipes for a fraction of the store cost! It really works. I promise! 

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal

This morning I wanted to try something new to accompany my crustless quiche for breakfast. I had never made baked oatmeal before so I decided to give it a whirl. With the apples, cinnamon, and nutmeg it was really tasty. I topped it with maple sugar and frozen vanilla yogurt. Yum!! 

Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal

1/2 cup softened butter or coconut oil
1/2 cup brown sugar or succanat
2 beaten eggs
3 cups oats
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
3 apples, sliced paper thin

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs. Mix in oats, baking powder, and milk. Lightly grease an 8x8 pan. Put sliced apples on the bottom. Top with oat mixture. Bake on 350 for 30 mins. Top with maple syrup and frozen yogurt for best experience =) 

BBQ Chicken Pita Pizzas

One of my favorite freezer meals is pita pizza. I like mine topped with fresh mozzarella, olive oil, garlic, basil, and roma tomato. The kids and Craig like bbq chicken. I make all the topping in the crock pot so it's very easy to assemble in mass production. I freeze them in foil and then ziploc bags and bake from their frozen state on 375 until the cheese bubbles. Not very scientific, but it works! 

BBQ Chicken Pita Pizza

10 slices bacon
shredded mozzarella cheese
12 100% whole grain pitas

Make chicken. Crisp and crumble bacon. Add to chicken mixture. Top pita with chicken and cheese. Wrap in foil. Freeze. 3 easy dinners for my family! 

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

This is one recipe from my childhood that brings back memories of thinking I was going to barf because I was eating zucchini, but actually fell in like because it was SO awesome. Super moist, just sweet enough, and even has a few servings of veg! Do yourself a favor and make a batch.

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

1 cup butter
1 cup oil
1 1/2 cup evap cane juice or sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup sour cream
5 cups whole wheat flour
8 tbsp cocoa
2 tsp salt
2 tsp soda
1 tsp cinnamon
4 cups pureed zucchini
3 large 85% cocoa chocolate bars

Cream butter, oil, and sugar. Whisk in eggs, vanilla, and sour cream. Add dry ingredients and mix well. Stir in zucchini and chocolate. Pour into 4 greased loaf pans. Bake on 350 and start checking center for done-ness at 50 minutes. Whole wheat flour takes longer to bake than white flour, so depending on what you use, it'll bake up differently. Loaf is done when a knife inserted in the center comes out with no batter. Melted chocolate is not to be confused with batter =). 

Cottage Cheese Pancakes

I found this recipe via this blog. I didn't even tell my kids what the secret ingredient was. They just automatically assumed they were little sugar cubes. Works for me!! I actually despise cottage cheese with an intense passion but was pleasantly surprised that theses were amazing with maple syrup!! I'm just going to copy and paste from her blog as that's much easier. They froze and thawed/toasted up quite well, too. Who would have thought?! 

Cottage Cheese Pancakes

3 Eggs
1 Cup Cottage Cheese
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
2 Tbsp Honey or Agave
1/2 Cup Flour
1 Tsp Baking Powder
1/4 Tsp Salt
Butter, Oil or Oil Spray

1. Place the first 4 ingredients in a bowl and whisk.
2. In a separate bowl whisk the dry ingredients.
3. Pour the dry mixture into the wet mixture and stir until just combined.
4. Heat a large sauté pan or griddle over medium heat, lightly coat with oil or butter and pour about 1 tbsp of the mixture onto the griddle for each pancake.
5. Cook for 2 minutes on each side or until pancakes are set and golden.

Layered Bean Dip

My dad's famous layered bean dip. At every Christmas, New Years, and family game night, pretty much! It never lasts long =) I made it in a big storage container and stored it in the fridge, adding lettuce only when serving. It sure didn't last long, though. Already making another batch again today..! 

Layered Bean Dip
add desired quantity of each in this order...

refried beans
1 package taco seasoning sprinkled on top
sour cream
green onions
lettuce (unless storing, add on top..)
green onion

Pretty basic, but all the flavors together make one yummy treat! 

Apple Pork Chops

This was the first time I made freezer meal pork chops so I was a bit nervous, but the whole family loved them! It just seems SO weird to me to be making apple pie (pretty much), and then add...pork?! But...all strangeness aside, it was good so I was happy! 

Apple Pork Chops

8 pork chops
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
4 apples, sliced paper thin

Combine all ingredients in ziplock bag and mix thoroughly. Put in freezer until ready to cook...

Cooking day: dump contents into crock pot. Bake on high for about 4 hours.