Monday, December 31, 2012

Baked Spaghetti

This recipe was really flavorful and delicious. It makes a TON of food however. So this would be great to either make two dishes & freeze one, or for a large gathering. The flavors are great, and since it's baked it gets nice and cheesy.

Baked Spaghetti-Adapted from The General Store of Minnetonka Cookbook
Total Time: 45 Minutes
Serves 10

  • 16 ounces angel hair pasta
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound Italian sausage
  • 2 jars spaghetti sauce
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 cup red pepper, chopped
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 cup mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook noodles according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, brown and drain beef and Italian sausage. Add onion, pepper, garlic and cook about 5 minutes. Add spaghetti sauce and mushrooms and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in spaghetti, and cook until thoroughly mixed. 

Pour mixture into 9x13-inch baking pan. Cover with tinfoil and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover, and top with cheese. Bake for 15 more minutes, or until cheese is melted and browned.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Spinach & Artichoke Dip

I've definitely made a few different spinach and/or artichoke dips over the course of this blog, and that's for a few reasons.
1. I love spinach artichoke dip.
2. They're usually very easy to make!

For work this holiday season, we had a pot-luck and I chose to bring an appetizer. I knew I wanted to make a hot dip, and wanted to use the small crock-pot I received for Christmas last year! I haven't yet made spinach dip in the slow cooker, it's usually in the oven or cold. But now that I have done this recipe, I'm confident that any of my others could be put on low for a few hours.

I really liked this recipe because it used other veggies in addition to spinach & artichokes, which many of my past recipes don't. Mushrooms are always a good addition :)

Spinach & Artichoke Dip-Adapted from Taste of Home
Total Time: 2 Hours
Makes 4 cups
  • 1 cup chopped fresh mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1 can water packed artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 10 ounces frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1/4 cup chopped red pepper
  • Bread, pita chips, or veggies for dipping
Melt butter in pan over medium heat and saute mushrooms until tender. Add garlic and cook 1 more minute.

Comine mayonnaise, cream cheese, 1 cup parmesan cheese, and 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese in a large bowl. Add the mushrooms, artichokes, spinach and red pepper.

Transfer to a 3-quart slow cooker. Sprinkle with remaining cheeses. Cover and cook for 2 hours on low, or until heated through. Serve with bread, pita chips or veggies.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Buttermilk Corn Muffins

Scott brought these to a work potluck, and I'm not really sure how they went over. I tried them, and they were pretty good--tasted like cornbread but a little bit dry. I don't know that I'd make it again, but they weren't bad.

Buttermilk Corn Muffins-adapted from Betty Crocker
Total Time: 25 Minutes
Makes 12 Muffins
  • 1 3/4 cups masa flour
  • 1 cup biscuit mix
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Line muffin pan with muffin cups.

Mix together all ingredients. Spoon into muffin cups. Cook for 14-17 minutes, or until golden.



Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Artichoke Hummus

Hope everyone is having a Merry Christmas!! I have another artichoke recipe for you all! I love new dips and this was definitely delicious! I made it for Thanksgiving (yes, I'm very behind on my posting), and I had leftovers for days. I loved every minute of it! This is easy and delicious!

Artichoke Hummus-Adapted from Cookin' Canuck
Total Time: 10 Minutes
Makes 2 cups

  • 1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts
  • 1 can artichoke hearts, packed in water-water reserved
  • 3 tablespoons artichoke water (from the can)
  • 1 can garbanzo beans
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons parsley
  • 1 tablespoon mint leaves
  • Crackers or veggies for dipping
Place the hazelnuts in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the hazelnuts are finely chopped.

To the blender, add artichoke hearts, artichoke water, garbanzo beans, garlic and Parmesan cheese. Blend until artichokes and garbanzo beans are finely chopped, scraping down the sides as needed.

With the motor running, slowly pour in olive oil and lemon juice. Blend until smooth.

Transfer the dip to a medium-sized bowl, and stir in parsley and mint. Serve with crackers and fresh raw vegetables.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Artichoke Chicken

Artichokes are on of my favorite veggies to add to dishes. They give such great flavor, and add a lot to almost any dish. When I saw this recipe, I knew I had to make it! It has all my favorite things-artichokes, chicken, cheese. This is a recipe for just two people, but can easily be doubled (or quadrupled  because the leftovers are AMAZING!) This is definitely a new favorite!

Artichoke Chicken
Artichoke Chicken-adapted from Sugarlaws
Total Time: 30 minutes
Serves 2
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup artichoke hearts chopped
  • 1/3 cup mozzarella cheese
Heat oil in a large skillet; cook chicken until no loner pink in the middle, about 8-10 minutes.

In a small bowl, mix mayonnaise, artichokes and cheese. Once chicken is cooked, spread mixture over the chicken breasts. Broil chicken in oven, about 3 minutes, until browned on top.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Cadbury Creme Eggs-Imitation Recipe

Cadbury Creme Eggs are definitely a guilty pleasure of mine every spring. There's just something about them that's so yummy! I saw this recipe, and knew I had to try. As you can see by the picture below, they turned out a little messy. They're also overly sweet-too much for me! The inside gets really sticky so it's hard to get into an egg shape, unless you're using a mold. The recipe did suggest using cake-pop sticks to dip into chocolate, and I'd definitely recommend it!

Cadbury Creme Eggs
Cadbury Creme Eggs-Imitation-Adapted from Instructables.com
Total Time:
Makes 18 'eggs'
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Yellow food coloring (optional)
  • 12 ounces milk chocolate chips
Cream corn syrup, butter, and vanilla with a hand mixer. Sift in the powdered sugar and beat until incorporated. If you are going to use food color, separate about a third of the mixture and stir in yellow food coloring. Put all the filling into the fridge (or freezer) as it is easier to work with when chilled.

Once chilled, roll into balls, and place the 'yolk' inside the outer egg. Place on a baking sheet with parchment paper to keep from sticking. Place back into the refrigerator to chill.

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler, or closely watch while melting in the microwave. Dip filling into chocolate and place on parchment paper. Place in freezer to harden.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Eclairs

When I worked at Perkins, I loved the eclairs! I didn't eat them often, but every once in awhile it hit the spot. I saw this recipe, and knew I had to give it a try! Doing the filling was the most time consuming, and slightly frustrated part. They weren't overly clean either, but they did taste like the ones you buy in the store! I'd definitely make these again, if it wasn't so time consuming.

Eclairs
Eclairs-Adapted from The Daily Smash
Total Time: 1 hour
Makes 10 eclairs

Eclairs

  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs
Custard Filling
  • 1 (4 serving size) package instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 2 cups milk (or as called for on pudding package)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • dash of salt
Chocolate Frosting
  • 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons hot water
In a medium saucepan, combine 1/2 cup butter and water. Bring to a boil, stirring to melt butter.
Reduce heat to low and stir in flour and salt with a wooden spoon until the mixture begins to form a stiff ball of dough.

Remove from heat and add eggs, one at a time, stirring vigorously after each addition to ensure they are incorporated. Work quickly, especially with the first one, to prevent it from cooking into scrambled eggs on the bottom of your warm pan.

Fill large plastic zip bag with dough, and cut off tip to be able to pipe. Pipe out dough onto lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 325 and bake another 20 minutes, until puffed and golden and hollow sounding when lightly tapped on the bottom. If you under cook them, they will flatten out. 

 When removed from oven, IMMEDIATELY pierce the ends almost through to the other side with a sharp knife to let steam escape and prevent any sogginess in the middle. This hole is also where you will be piping your filling into. Let cool completely before filling and icing (this will only take about half an hour).


For the Custard Filling:
Combine pudding and milk in a bowl and mix according to package directions. (Let the pudding set in the the fridge about 10 min) In a separate bowl, beat the cream with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Beat in 1/4 cup sugar, 1 tsp vanilla, and dash of salt. Fold whipped cream into pudding. 

Scoop mixture into zip bag with hole cut at end and pipe mixture into centers of eclairs until full. 

For the Chocolate Icing:
Melt the chocolate and butter over low heat in a saucepan. Stir in  powdered sugar and vanilla. Stir in hot water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until icing is smooth and reaches desired consistency. Drizzle, pipe or spread over filled eclairs.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Mushroom, Corn and Poblano Tacos

Tacos are one of my favorite things to make. They're just so easy and basically a comfort food. Since I started cooking, my favorite thing about tacos is that they are so diverse. You can make chicken tacos, and chinese tacos, and tacos in a casserole. Whatever sounds good, just throw it in a tortilla!

These tacos, even though they have no meat, were so delicious and filling. There was a lot of flavor to the tacos themselves. These tacos were probably my most 'out-there' taco I've tried to date. I love mushrooms and I would make these again and again.

Mushroom, Corn and Poblano Tacos
Mushroom, Corn and Poblano Tacos-Adapted from Cooking Light's "Dinner Tonight"
Total Time: 20 Minutes
Serves 4

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 ounces sliced mushrooms
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 poblano chile, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen corn
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup salsa verde
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 flour tortillas
  • 4 ounces shredded taco cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup black olives
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add mushrooms; cook 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil and onion, oregano, garlic, chili powder, cumin and poblano chile. Cook 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add corn and beans, cook 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove pan from heat and stir in salsa, lime juice, hot sauce and salt.

Heat tortillas and divide vegetables among tortillas. top with cheese, cilantro, sour cream and black olives.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Shrimp Bisque

This was a great flavorful tomato soup! We ate it with the Cheesy Breadsticks, and it was so good! I love shrimp, I just wish it wasn't so expensive to cook with! This soup is so quick and easy to make and it is absolutely delicious! Just make it! (PS...yes I did realize I ended each sentence with an exclamation point.)

Shrimp Bisque
Shrimp Bisque-Adapted from Real Simple's "Dinner Tonight? Done!"
Total Time: 20 Minutes
Serves 4

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 pound peeled, deveined shrimp
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned pepper
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 2 tablespoons whiskey
  • 2 cans tomato soup
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmesan
Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Toss the shrimp with pepper, garlic and salt until opaque throughout, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove to a plate.

Add the whiskey to the saucepan and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Add the soup and cream and simmer until thickened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add back shrimp until heated through. Top with cheese.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Cheesy Breadsticks

This is a nice easy recipe to have as a side for some tomato soup--which is just how we had it! There's good flavor, and it's so easy and quick!

Cheesy Breadsticks
Cheesy Breadsticks-adapted from Prevention Guide's Easy Family Meals
Total Time: 12 minutes
Serves 6

  • 2 refrigerated pizza crusts
  • 2 tablespoons shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 1 cup marinara sauce, optional
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Transfer to a baking sheet and lightly coat with cooking spray. Sprinkle with cheese and Italian seasoning.

Bake for 12 minutes, or until golden. Slice into strips to serve with warm marinara sauce.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Apple Scones

A few weeks ago, I bought a bag of apples since they're in season and I needed some fruit in my life. The thing is, they weren't very good apples. So I decided to bake them! These scones weren't anything super special, but they were decent. A little dry-I probably won't make them again, but who knows!


Apple Scones
Apple Scones-Adapted from SparkRecipes
Total Time: 20 Minutes
Makes 12 Scones

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/4 cup butter, chilled
  • 2 small apples peeled, cored, and shredded
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
Heat oven to 425 degrees. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, soda and salt into a largebowl. Cut in butter until crumbly. Add shredded apple, 1/4 c milk, applesauce, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Stir to form a soft dough.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead gently 8 - 10 times. Pat into two 6-inch round circles or drop by rounded spoonfuls onto a greased baking sheet.

Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until browned and risen. 

Friday, November 9, 2012

Apple Streusel Muffins

This recipe was part of my apple baking extravaganza! I got the recipe from a friend from high school after posting on Facebook that I had too many apples, and didn't know what to do with them. These muffins were great! I think I'll use a bit more apple next time, but these are definitely worth a try!

Apple Streusel Muffins
Apple Streusel Muffins
Total Time: 30 Minutes
Makes 12 Muffins
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped apples

For the Streusel

  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 12 cup muffin pan.

In medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon

In large bowl, beat butter, sugar, and eggs until smooth. Mix in vanilla. Stir in apples, and gradually blend in flour mixture. Spoon into pan.

In a small bowl, mix brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle on top of muffin mixture.

Bake 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Allow to sit for 5 minutes before removing from pan. Cool on a wire rack.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Frittata with Potato and Prosciutto

Frittatas are slowly becoming a favorite of mine-both for breakfast and dinner. They are a little bit heartier than just eggs, but not overwhelming. And you can put so much stuff in them to make them your own!

This recipe is definitely a new favorite. The potatoes turned out amazing, and the prosciutto gave it just enough salt and flavor. This is super easy and quick to make-it would be perfect for a Sunday morning when you have guests! Give it a try, and let me know what you think!

Frittata with Potato and Prosciutto
Frittata with Potato and Prosciutto-adapted from Everyday Italian by Giada De Laurentiis
Total Time: 25 Minutes
Serves 6

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 3 small yellow potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the potato, garlic, salt and pepper, and saute over medium-low heat until the potato is tender and golden, about 15 minutes.

In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, whipping cream, Parmesan cheese, prosciutto and basil. Stir the egg mixture into the skillet. Cover and cook over medium-low heat until egg mixture is set.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Taco Pizza

I don't know why, but I've been on such a kick for taco pizza recently. It just always sounds so good. I've been meaning to make one for awhile, but haven't gotten around to it. Until now.

I have to say, I never thought of using refried beans instead of salsa for a "sauce". I love refried beans so this actually made me happy! Using crescent rolls instead of pizza dough was a nice change too. A different texture, but it was definitely yummy! Something I'll be making again! Thanks, once again, to Pinterest!


Taco Pizza

Taco Pizza-adapted from Real Mom Kitchen
Total Time: 20 Minutes
Serves 6

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 envelope taco seasoning
  • 2 cans crescent rolls
  • 1 can refried beans
  • 2 cups shredded taco cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup sliced black olives
  • 4 green onions, chopped
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Cook ground beef until browned; drain and return to skillet. Add taco seasoning according to package directions.

Unroll crescent rolls in squares on to foil lined baking sheet, pressing down center to make a crust on the edges. Place in over for 11-13 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.

In microwave safe bowl, heat refried beans about 1 1/2 minutes. Spread beans onto crescent rolls. Evenly top with ground beef, tomatoes, black olives, green onions and cheese. Cook 3-5 more minutes, or until cheese is melted. Cut into squares and serve.


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Pot Roast with Lemon

I love pot roast. It's one of those things that I grew up with. My grandma would make it all the time, in an oven bag and make the absolute best gravy! I haven't gotten up the courage to make it that way yet, but I finally tried a roast outside of the crockpot!

The original recipe calls for lamb, but I'm not that fancy, so I stuck to a beef shoulder roast. I was a little worried when I first took the roast out of the oven that it wasn't going to cook long enough as it was still bloody. I ended up leaving it in another 25 minutes, instead of 15. It probably would've been fine at 15 minutes. The lemon flavor is great, but not over powering. The roast is a little dry, as they usually tend to be. But it was great with some gravy and mashed potatoes.

I forgot a picture. But I promise it was yummy looking!

Pot Roast with Lemon-adapted from "Cook This Now" by Melissa Clark
Total Time: 2 Hours
Serves 6

  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1-3 1/2-4 pound boneless beef shoulder roast
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons black pepper
  • 2 lemons
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 cups water
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Season the lamb with salt, pepper, and 2 cloves of garlic; refrigerate until ready to cook. Finely grate the zest of both lemons and reserve; juice the lemons.

Heat the oil in a large, oven-safe Dutch oven until almost smoking. Sear the roast in the oil until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Pour the lemon juice over the roast, and add enough water to cover about half the roast (about 2 cups). Bring the liquid to a boil over high heat.

Cover the pot and transfer to the oven. Cook for 45 minutes then turn the meat over in the pot, add remaining garlic, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Stir in reserved lemon zest and continue to cook for 15 more minutes.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Veggie Cheese Soup

I have made a few different cheese soups since I've started cooking. They've all been fine. I thought this soup was on the verge of great! It had so much flavor and yummyness! Even though some may consider this gross, I think the diference was the Velveeta cheese. It just has so much flavor and thickness to it! You could always remove the ham from this recipe to make it vegetarian, but it does give it some extra yum!

Veggie Cheese Soup
Veggie Cheese Soup-Adapted from Taste of Home
Total Time: 30 Minutes
Serves 9
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 celer rib, chopped
  • 2 small potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 2 3/4 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons chicken bouillon granules
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 3 cups frozen California-blend vegetables, thawed
  • 1/2 cup chopped fully cooked lean ham
  • 8 ounces velveeta
In a large nonstick saucepan coated with cooking spray, cook onion and celery over medium high until tender. Stir in potatoes, water and bouillon. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

Combine cornstarch and cold water until smooth; gradually stir into soup. Return to a boil; cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until slightly thickened. Stir in condensed soup until blended.

Reduce heat; add vegetables and ham. Cook and stir until vegetables are tender. Stir in cheese until melted.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Lasagna

When I first started cooking for Scott, I remember him saying something along the lines of, "I'll say you're a good cook once you can make lasagna." This was definitely one of the best lasagnas I've ever made! I don't think I will ever go back to using ricotta in lasagna. The cottage cheese was just too good! It was sinful...but definitely a go to.


Lasagna
Lasagna-adapted from Cooking with Kare cookbook
Total Time: 1 hour
Serves 12
  • 1 pound Italian sausage
  • 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 2 6-ounce cans tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 12 uncooked lasagna noodles
  • 1 24-ounce carton low-fat cream cheese
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 pound mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
Heat oven to 375 degrees. In a large saucepan, cook sausage over medium-high heat until no longer pink; drain fat. Stir in tomatoes, tomato paste, parsley, basil, garlic and salt. Bring to a boil.

Meanwhile, cook lasagna noodles according to package directions; drain.

In a medium bowl combine cottage cheese, eggs, Parmesan cheese and pepper. In 13x9 inch baking pan layer 4 noodles, 1/3 sauce, 1/2 cottage cheese mixture and 1/3 sliced cheese. Repeat; end with noodles, sauce and sliced cheese. 

Bake 30-40 minutes or until bubbly all over. 

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Granola

I've been wanting to try making my own granola for a long time. I don't know why-I've never bought granola from the store or anything. I think I'm just trying to be healthier and granola always seems so healthy.

This granola is definitely one that needs to be mixed with something. For me, that something is yogurt! Especially if you're just eating plain, not flavored yogurt, granola can make it so much better! This makes a lot, so if you aren't already a big granola fan, you might want to halve the recipe. I don't know that I'll make it again, but I'll definitely continue to try new recipes!

Granola
Granola-adapted from "The Brown Bag Lunch Cookbook" by Miriam Jacobs
Total Time: 25 Minutes
Makes 2 quarts

  • 4 cups rolled oats (not instant)
  • 1 cup flaked coconut
  • 1/2 cup oat bran
  • 1/2 cup chopped almonds
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 tablespoon molasses
  • 1 tablespoon almond extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the oats, coconut, oat bran, almonds, walnuts, sesame seeds, cinnamon and cloves. Mix well.

In a medium bowl, mix the honey, oil, water, molasses, and almond extract. Mix well.

Pour the honey mixture over the oat mixture. Spread over a large baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, stirring every 7 minutes.


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Sweet 'n Salty Pretzel Brownies

Every once in awhile I like to make brownies or sweets. Not too often because I'm really trying to cut back on the unnecessary things in my diet. These brownies had some good flavors to them, but ended up being way too sweet. I don't think I'll make these again, but if someone finds out how to make them taste yummy, let me know!

Sweet 'n Salty Pretzel Brownies
Sweet 'n Salty Pretzel Brownies-adapted from Betty Crocker
Total Time 1 hour
Makes 24 brownies

  • 1 1/2 cups crushed pretzels
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 box brownie mix
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 container vanilla frosting
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped pretzels
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped peanuts
Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, mix crushed pretzels, sugar and butter. Press in ungreased 13x9-inch pan. Bake for 8 minutes. Cool for 20 minutes.

In a medium bowl, mix brownie mix, water, oil and eggs until blended. Carefully spread batter over cooled crust.

Bake 19-22 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely on cooling rack, about 1 hour.

Frost cooled brownies with vanilla frosting. Sprinkle with chopped pretzels and peanuts. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Tuna Pasta Primavera

To be honest, it's been so long since I've made this that I don't really remember it. I wrote that it was okay, and I know I ate it for dinner and then lunch the next day. So give it a try!

Tuna Pasta Primavera
Tuna Pasta Primavera-adapted from Cheap & Easy Recipes by Gooseberry Patch
Total Time: 20 minutes
Serves 4

  • 8 ounces rotini pasta, uncooked
  • 2 cups frozen broccoli, thawed
  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 12 ounces tuna, drained
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Cook pasta according to package directions, adding broccoli and carrots to cooking water during last 5 minutes of cooking. Drain and return to pan; keep warm. Mix remaining ingredients together and add to pasta; toss to coat.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Buttermilk Mac & Cheese

I love mac and cheese! I've said before, Scott always wants to make sure the mac & cheese I make has something that makes it "different". He actually loved this recipe! It had great flavors, and the consistency was so different! It wasn't creamy, but it wasn't dry. Just try this--you'll love it!

Buttermilk Mac & Cheese
Buttermilk Mac & Cheese-adapted from SparkRecipes
Total Time: 1 Hour
Serves: 12

  • 4 eggs
  • 3 cups buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 16 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
  • 8 ounces macaroni pasta, cooked according to package directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, salt and pepper, then stir in the cheese. Add macaroni; stir well. 
Pour into greased 9x13 pan. Bake uncovered for 45-50 minutes.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Layered Tortellini Salad

I was kind of nervous to make this recipe. I'm not sure why-but I think it was the cabbage. I haven't worked much with it so it kind of scares me. I'm so glad I made this though! It was absolutely fantastic! I don't have a glass bowl, so I couldn't take a great picture of the layers, but it doesn't even matter with how awesome this was! The flavor of the dressing was an awesome surprise! Make this for your next potluck-you won't be disappointed!

Layered Tortellini Salad
Layered Tortellini Salad-Adapted from Taste of Home
Total Time 30 Minutes + Chilling
Serves 12

  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon dired dill
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 package (20 oz) cheese filled tortellini
  • 2 cups shredded red cabbage
  • 2 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
  • 8 ounces diced colby jack cheese
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 8 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
For dressing, place the first eight ingredients in a blender. Cover and process until blended; process 1-2 minutes longer or until smooth.

Cook tortellini according to package directions. Drain and rinse in cold water

In a large glass bowl, layer the cabbage, lettuce, and tortellini. Top with cheese, bacon, onion and tomato. Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours. Drizzle with dressing. Toss to coat.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

French Onion Soup

My grandma and mom always seemed to get french onion soup when we would go out to eat in the winter time. For the longest time I didn't want to try it because it was brown, and looked kind of gross, and I knew it had a lot of onions in it (which I thought I didn't like).

Now that I'm older, I've tried this soup at restaurants and love it! I put onions (especially cooked ones) in almost everything where it makes sense. I love cheese. I love bread. I love warm soups! I was so excited when I found this recipe! It had great flavor to it, and would be great as a side to steak or chicken for dinner.

I don't have oven safe bowls, so I just put the soup with bread and cheese in the microwave for about a minute to melt the cheese. It's not quite the same as broiling it, which is why I'm keeping the recipe that says that. But it's still delicious!

French Onion Soup-Adapted from Cooking Light's "Comfort Food"
Total Time: 2 and 1/2 hours
Serves 8

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil 
  • 4 cups thinly vertically sliced sweet onion 
  • 4 cups thinly vertically sliced red onion 
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar 
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine 
  • 8 cups less-sodium beef broth 
  • 1/4 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme 
  • 8 (1-ounce) slices French bread, cut into 1-inch cubes 
  • 8 (1-ounce) slices reduced-fat, reduced-sodium Swiss cheese
Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onions to pan; sauté for 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in sugar, pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Reduce heat to medium; cook 20 minutes, stirring frequently. Increase heat to medium-high, and sauté for 5 minutes or until onion is golden brown. Stir in wine, and cook for 1 minute. Add broth and thyme; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 2 hours.

**If you have oven safe bowls follow directions below. If not, add the bread and cheese and pop in the microwave for about 1 minute**

Preheat broiler. Place bread in a single layer on a baking sheet; broil 2 minutes or until toasted, turning after 1 minute. Place 8 ovenproof bowls on a jelly-roll pan. Ladle 1 cup soup into each bowl. Divide bread evenly among bowls; top each serving with 1 cheese slice. Broil 3 minutes or until cheese begins to brown.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Broccoli Beer Cheese Soup

I love broccoli cheese soup and beer cheese soup. Seeing both in the title made me know I had to make this! I absolutely loved it! There was so much flavor to this soup! The only thing Scott wasn't a fan of was that it wasn't a very thick soup. I think that's okay though, because of all the other things that are in it. I will definitely be making this again--and you can make it as a freezer recipe too!

Broccoli Beer Cheese Soup
Broccoli Beer Cheese Soup-adapted from Taste of Home
Total Time: 55 Minutes
Serves: 12

  • 5 celery ribs, finely chopped
  • 3 medium carrots, finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 4 cans chicken broth
  • 4 cups frozen broccoli florets, thawed
  • 1 medium red pepper, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 package cream cheese, cubed
  • 12 ounces light beer
In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, saute celery, carrots and onion in butter over medium high heat until tender. Add the broth, broccoli, red pepper, salt and pepper. Combine flour and water in a small bowl until smooth; stir into pan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered for 30-40 minutes or until thickened and vegetables are tender.

Stir in cheese and beer; cook until heated through and cheese is melted, stirring occasionally (do not boil). 

**To Freeze**
Cool remaining soup; transfer to freezer containers. Freeze for up to 3 months. To use frozen soup: thaw in refrigerator overnight. Transfer to a saucepan. Cover and cook over medium-low heat until heated through, stirring occasionally (do not boil).


Nutrition Facts

  12 Servings

Amount Per Serving
  Calories186.8
  Total Fat11.0 g
     Saturated Fat6.8 g
     Polyunsaturated Fat0.6 g
     Monounsaturated Fat2.0 g
  Cholesterol36.7 mg
  Sodium1,071.2 mg
  Potassium444.3 mg
  Total Carbohydrate10.4 g
     Dietary Fiber1.7 g
     Sugars1.7 g
  Protein11.3 g

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Pulled pork is always a staple at any gathering-bridal showers, baby showers, birthday parties-you name it. I don't have parties all that often, but this was a great and easy recipe! I would highly recommend it!

Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Pulled Pork Sandwiches-Adapted from Crock Pot's "Best Loved Slow Cooker Recipes"
Total Time 5-6 hours
Serves 8
  • 3 1/2 pound pork shoulder roast
  • 21 ounces barbeque sauce
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 8 hamburger buns
Place roast in a 5 quart slow cooker. Cook on low 10-12 hours, or on high 5-6 hours.

Remove roast from slow cooker; discard cooking liquid. Shred pork with two forks and return meat to slow cooker. Add barbecue sauce, lemon juice, garlic, brown sugar and onion. Cook on high 1 hour or low 2 hours. Serve shredded pork on hamburger buns.

Nutrition Facts

  8 Servings
Amount Per Serving
  Calories788.6
  Total Fat46.2 g
     Saturated Fat15.8 g
     Polyunsaturated Fat5.8 g
     Monounsaturated Fat19.7 g
  Cholesterol166.5 mg
  Sodium1,158.3 mg
  Potassium744.4 mg
  Total Carbohydrate43.0 g
     Dietary Fiber2.3 g
     Sugars13.6 g
  Protein48.3 g

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