Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Chicken with white beans and tomatoes

Real Simple, January 2011

2 15 oz cans cannellini beans, rinsed
1 pt grape tomatoes
4 sprigs fresh thyme
4 sprigs fresh oregano, plus leaves for garnish
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
2 Tb olive oil
slat and pepper
8 bone-in, skin on chicken thighs (About 3 lbs total)

Heat oven to 425. IN 9 X 13 pan combine all ingredients (only use 1 Tb of the oil).

Pat chicken dry and place on top of bean mixture, skin-side up. Rub with the remaining tb of oil, season with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper.

Roast until chicken is golden and cooked through, 35 - 45 minutes. Sprinkle w/oregano leaves.


For 1 tsp chili powder use: 1/2 tsp dried oregano, 1/4 tsp dried cumin, and a dash of bottled hot sauce

Instead of nutmeg use cinnamon, ginger, or all spice (for sweet recipes)

Slow Cooked Vegetarian Chili with Sweet Potatoes

1 medium red onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tb chili powder
1 Tb ground cumin
2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp ground cinamon
salt and pepper
28 oz can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
15.5 oz can black beans, rinsed
15.5 oz can kidney beans, rinsed
1 medium sweet potato (8 oz) peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces

Sour cream, scallions, sliced radishes, and tortilla chips for serving.

In 4 - 6 quart slow cooker, combine onion, bell pepper, garlic, chili powder, cumin, cocoa, cinnamon, 1 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper. Add the tomatoes (and liquid), beans, sweet potato, and 1 cup water.

Cover and cook until sweet potatoes are tender and chili has thickened, on low for 7 - 8 hrs or high for 4 - 5 hours.

serve the chili with the sour cream, sacallions, radishes, and tortilla chips.

Writers Blocks

Family Fun December 2010

When kids are learning to read/write write basic vocabulary on blank adhesive labels (file folder size) and adhere them to lego duplo blocks. Project inspires kids to put together sentences.

Lemony Maple Sweet Potatoes

People December 20, 2010

2 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1" X 2" chunks
1 Tb olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
2 Tb maple syrup
2 Tb lemon juice

Preheat to 375.

Toss sweet potatoes with oil, salt, and pepper in large glass baking dish.

Cook until almost tender, 25 - 30 minutes.

Whisk syrup and lemon juice ina small bowl.

Remove potatoes from oven and drizzle 1/2 maple-lemon mixture over potatos

Stir gently, return ot oven and bake additional 10 - 15 minutes - or until potatoes are tender and golden brown.

Remove from oven, drizzel with remaining maple-lemon mixture and serve.

Gingerbread Cupcakes

nonstick cooking spray
1 14 oz box gingerbread or spice cake mix
1 8 oz bar cream cheese
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup sliced candied ginger

Heat oven to 350 and coat 36 mini muffin tins withcooking spray.

Prepare cake mix according to package. Divide batter evenly among muffin tins and bake until toothpick comes out clean, 10 - 12 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes in pan and then transfer to wire rack to cool completely

Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth and creamy. Frost the cooled cupcakes with the frosting and top with the ginger.

Real Simple December 2010

Signature Alcohol Drinks for a Party

Pineapple Mint Punch

In a small saucepan, combine 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until sugar dissolves, 1 - 2 minutes; let cool. In a large bowl, combine the sugar syrup, 3 quarts pineapple juice, 1 liter gin, and 1 cup fresh lime juice. Refrigerate for up to 6 hours. Justbefore serving add 1 liter club soda and 1 cup fresh mint leaves. Serve over ice (serves 20)

Tequila grapefruit splash

In a large bowl, combine 2 quarts fresh pink grapefruit juice, 1 liter tequila, 3/4 cup capari, and 1/4 cup triple sec. Fefrigerat eup to 6 hours. Just before serving, add 2 liters ginger ale. Serve over ice

Winter Sangria

In large bowl combine 3 bottles fruity red wine (pinot noir or cabernet sauvignon), 1 1/2 cups pomegranate juice, 3/4 cup brandy, 1/2 cup triple sec, 4 pears (cored and thinly sliced), and 2 oranges (thinly sliced). Refrigerat 6 hours. Just before serving add 2 liters black cherry soda. Serve over ice

Vodka Cranberry cooler

In lg saucepan combine four 12-oz bags cranberries (fresh or frozen), 4 cups sugar, and 2 cups water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon transfer 3 cups of the cranberries to a large bowl, then strain the remaining syrup into the bowl. let cool

Add 1 liter vodka and 1 cup fresh lime juice. Refrigerate up to 6 hours. Just before serving, add 3 liters tonic water. Serve over ice and top off with a spash of cream soda if desired

Spiked sparkling cider

In a large bowl, combine 4 bottles cold Prosecco (or some other dry sparkline wine), 6 cups cold apple juice, and 3/4 cup cinnamon schnapps (such as Goldschlager).

Bourbon Ginger Snap

In a large saucepan, combine 2 quarts water, 1 cup fresh lemon juice, 1 cup honey, and a 3 inch piece of fresh ginger (peeled and sliced); bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Strain into a large bowl and let cool. Add 6 cups fresh orange juice, 4 cups pear nectar, 1 liter bourbon, and 2 lemons (thinly sliced). Refrigerate for up to 6 hours. Serve over ice.

Real Simple, December 2010


Thinner and crispier than what is used for bruchetta.

Got from real simple December 2010

24 thin slices baguette (from one small loaf)
2 Tb olive oil

Heat oven to 400. Place baguette slices on a baking sheet and brush both sides of bread with oil.

Bake until golden brown, 4 - 5 minutes per side. Top as desired.

Freezing Dough

Mix up drop batter ahead of time and then bake when you need it.

Scoop balls of dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet and freeze until just firm, 15 - 20 minutes.

Transfer the frozen balls to a freezer-safe container, cover, and freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to bake place frozen balls on baking sheets (no need to thaw) and bake according to the instructions adding 1 - 2 minutes to the total time.


People Magazine

1 loaf french bread, sliced in 1 inch pieces
2 - 3 Tb butter, softened
1 pt cherry or grape tomatoes, diced
4 - 5 cloves garlic, minced
6 large basil leaves, minced
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 - 3 tb olive oil
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350.

Lightly butter one side of each piece of bread and bake for 5 minutes or until golden brown.

Mix tomatoes, garlic, basil, lemon juice, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Top each piece of bread with about a tb ov the tomato mixture. Serve.

Shrimp with Peppers and Corn

1 8.8 oz pouch cooked long grain rice (I think I would just make rice)
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes with chili seasoning
1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 Tb olive oil
1 cup sliced baby or diced sweet peppers
1 cup frozen whole kernal corn, thawed
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb peeled and deveined med raw shrip
Italian (flat leaf) parsley

Combine rice, undrained tomatoes, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper and 1/4 tsp cumin. Heat through.

In a 12 inch skillet heat oil over med-high. Add pepper and corn. Cook 3 - 4 minutes. Stir in garlic. Sprinkle shrimp with 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, and 1/4 tsp cumin. Add shrimp to skillet. Cook 2 - 5 minutes until shrimp are opaque and peppers are crisp tender.

Serve shrimp mixture over rice; sprinkle with parsley.

Better Homes and Gardens December 2010

Gingerbread Martini

1 1/2 oz vanilla flavored vodka
1 1/2 oz frangelico
1 Tb butterscotch schnapps.

Strain into an 8 oz glass filled with ice; add 4 oz ginger beer and a splash of dark rum. Makes 1 drink.

Betterhomes and gardens, December 2010

Star Ornaments

Crush hard candies like Jolly Rancers to create shimmery ornaments that resemble stained glass. Just line a cookie cutter with foil. Spritz it with cooking oil and fill it half way with candy pieces. Bake for approx 7 minutes at 350 to melt the candy, then cool for 10 minutes. Use a hot glue gun to add a hanger.

Cauliflower and Chickpea stew with couscous

Got from Real Simple, December 2010

2 Tb olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground ginger
salt and pepper
1 28 oz can whole tomatoes
1 15 oz can chickpeas, rinsed
1 head cauliflower, cored and cut into small florets
1/2 cup raisins
1 5 oz pkg baby spinach, chopped
1 cup couscous

Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to soften, 4 - 5 minutes. Add the cumin, ginger, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper, and cook stirring until fragrant 1 minute more.

Add the tomatoes and their liquid (crush the tomatoes with your hands as you add them), chickpeas, cauliflower, raisins, and 1/2 cup water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender and the liquid has slightly thickened, 15 - 20 minutes. Fold in the spinach and cook until just wilted, 1 -2 minutes more.

Meanwhile, place the couscous in a large bowl. Add 1 cup hot tap water, cover, and let sit for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Serve with the stew.

Chicken Drumsticks and Whole Roasted Chicken

Easy ways to cook these:

Drumsticks. Preheat oven to 400. Roast 35 - 40 minutes, if wanted rub w/bbq sauce during last 10 min of cooking

Whole roasted chicken (in pieces)

1 lb sweet potatoes cut into wedges
1 red onion cut into wedges
olive oil, thyme, salt and pepper

Toss potatoes, onion, oil, thyme and salt and pepper in roasting pan.

Season chicken with salt and pepper

Nestle skin side up among potatoes and onions. Cook at 400 for 50 minutes.

Spicy Pasta with Sweet Potatoes

1 lg sweet potato, peeled and cut into 3/4 inch cubes (2 cups)
1/2 tsp each sugar, chili powder, and cinnamon
8 oz dried rigatoni
1/3 cup peanut butter
1 3 oz pkg cream cheese cut up
2 tsp asian chili sauce (such as Sriracha sauce)
1 Tb soy sauce
6 green onions thinly sliced

Preheat oven to 450. Oil a rimmed baking pan, set aside. Place sweet potato in bowl. Toss with 1 Tb olive oil, sugar, chili powder, and cinnamon. Spread in prepared Pan (Can be used as a side dish as well)

Meanwhile cook posta. Drain reserving 1 cup pasta water.

In saucepan, combine peanut butter, cream cheese, chili sauce, and soy sauce. Whisk in 3/4 cup of the hot pasta water. Stir over med heat until heated through. If too thick, stir in additional water. Stir in most of the green onions. Serve sauce over pasta w/sweet potatoes and remaining onion.

Pumpkin Smoothie

In a blender whirl together 1/4 cup canned pumpkin with low-fat vanilla yogurt, a banana, a spoonful of peanutbutter, a handful of ice cubes, and milk to thin as desired. Top with whipped cream and cinnamon.

From Better Homes and Gardens November 2010

TUrkey Placemat

To make cut out two circles from construction paper for body and head and then use paper scraps to design the eyes, beak, and feet. Decorate the feathers and then decorate with whatever crafts you have.

One-on-One Fun

Ideas from Family Fun

Split up one night a week where one parent does something with one kid and the other parent does something with the other kid. Switch ne next week.

Once/week one kid gets to stay up 15 min past bedtime to spend extra time with mom or dad.

Frozen Blueberry Lemonaid

IN a blender combine 3 cups ice, 1 1/2 cups blueberries, 1 cup lemonaid, 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, and 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar and puree until smooth. Garnish with mint sprigs.

Make it a cocktail and add 1/2 cup vodka to the blender before pureeing.

Serves 4.

Real Simple, July 2010

Chicken Wrap

Preheat oven to 325. Wrap 6 8 - 10 inch tortillas in foil and heat for 15 minutes. Turn off oven but leave tortillas inside until you are ready to use them.

Spread quacamole over whole tortilla, and 1/4 cup chicken to bottom third of tortilla, top with 2 - 3 Tb black bean salsa and 6 - 10 arugula leaves. Roll tortilla over once, and fold the sides in tightly to form a burrito shape. Sith seam side down, cut wrap on the diagnal. Serve with sour cream, guacamole, and salsa.

Easter Bunny Cake

Bake two round cakes.

To form ears cut out 2 curved pieces from each side of one of the cake rounds. Place on eather side of the head. Use the remaining piece for the bow.

Frost the whole bunny, including sides. Place marchmallows on head to form cheeks.

Pat coconut evenly over top of sides of cake. Use jelly beans for eyes and nose and bowtie knot, and chicklets for teeth. Dust bow tie with colored sugar. Use decorating gel to outline eyes, ears, and bow tie to make whiskers.

Paper Bag Nest

Got from FAmily Fun April 2011

Squish down the sides of a paper lunch bag. gather twigs from the yard and break into pieces. Pour a small puddle of tacky glue onto a paper plate, then dip each twig in the glue and stick to the bag. Let the blue dry completely before filling the nest.

Homemade Croutons

1 loaf sliced white sandwich bread (20 - 24 oz), cut into 3/4 inch pieces
1/2 cup olive oil
kosher salt

heat oven to 350. Dividing evenly between 2 rimmed baking sheets, toss the bread with the oil and 1 1/2 tsp salt. Arrange in a single layer and bake, tossing the bread and rotating the pans halfway through, until golden and crisp, 25 - 30 min. Let cool completely on the pans. Croutons can be kept at room temp in airtight container for 1 month.

Real Simple, March 2011

Zucchini Rice

Got from Real Simple, March 2011

1 cup long grain white rice
1 medium zucchini, coarsely grated.

Cook rice, remove from heat, sprinkle the zucchini over the rice, cover, and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff the rice and fold in the zucchini.

Green Beans and Corn

Got from Real simple march 2011

Put 1 tb olive oil in skillet over med-high heat. Add 3/4 lb green beans cut into 1 1/2 inch lengths, 4 scallion whites, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper. Cook, tossing frequently, until the green beans begin to soften, 5 - 7 minutes. Add 1 cup frozen corn and cook, tossing frequently, until the veggies are tender, 3 - 4 minutes. Fold in 4 scallion greens.

Couscous and parsley

Cook couscous and toss with sun dried tomatoes and parsley

Mediterranean campanelle with roasted red peppers and almonds

Got from real simple, March 2011

12 oz campanelle, penne, or some other short pasta
4 red or orange bell peppers cut into quarters and seeds removed
3/4 cup pitted kalamata olives
1/2 cup coarsely chopped roasted almonds
1/4 cup olive oil
1 Tb fresh thyme leaves
salt and pepper

Cook pasta, reserve 1/4 cup cooking water

Meanshile, heat broiler. Place the peppers on a baking sheet skin-side up and broil until blackened, 8 - 10 minutes. When the peppers are cool enough to handle, scrape away the blackened skins with a knife and discard. Cut the flesh into 1 inch pieces.

Add the peppers, olives, almonds, oil, thyme, 2 Tb of reserved cooking water, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper, add to pasta and toss to combine.

Add more cooking water if it seems dry.

Pesto Orecchiette with chicken sausage

Got from real simple March 2011

12 oz orechiette
1/2 lb green beans, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 cup frozen peas
1 Tb olive oil
8 oz fully cooked italian-style chicken sausage links, thinly sliced
1/3 cup pesto
1/2 cup grated parm

cook pasta, add green beans and peas during last 3 minutes.

Reserve 1 cup of cooking water, drain pasta and veggies, return them to the pot

Meanwhile, heat oil over med-high, add the sausage and cook until browned - 6 - 8 minutes

Add sausage, pesto, parm, and 1/2 cup of the reserved cooking water to pasta and veggies and toss to combine. Add more cooking water if pasta seems dry.

Stop Light Cookies

Got from P{arents Magazine, April 2011

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup peanut butter (or use 1/4 cup extra butter if child is allergic)
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup apple jelly
green and yellow food coloring
1/4 cup strawberry jelly

Put parchment paper on cookie sheets

combine flour, baking powder and salt. Beat butter, pb, and brown sugar with a mixer until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Blend in egg. Beat in vanilla until smooth, scraping down the sides.

Gradually add flour mixture. Cover and chill for 1 hour or until easy to handle

Preheat to 350. Shap dough into 3-inch logs. Place logs 2 inches apart on cookie shets. Flatten to a 1-inch wide rectangle. Use handle of a wooden spoon to make three indentations in dough to look like a traffic light. Bake for 3 - 4 minutes, remove, and re-press indentations. Bake 6 - 8 more minutes, until edges are golden and just firm. Let cool on a wire rack.

Dive apple jelly btwn two bowls; tint one with green food coloring, one with yellow.

Fill top indentation with strawberry jelly and bottom two with colored apple jelly.

For the neatest look, pipe them in using resealable plastic bage. Makes about 3 doze cookies.

109 cals each

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Dying Easter Eggs

Combine 20 drops of color with 1 Tb vinegar and 1/2 cup water.

Dip eggs - longer egg is left in the deeper the color

Experiment with different colors by mixing (such as 10 drops red and 10 drops blue)

Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

Recipe from All Recipes:

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour 3/4 cup sugar 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 egg 1/2 cup vegetable oil 1/2 cup plain yogurt 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 cup mashed ripe bananas 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, combine the egg, oil, yogurt and vanilla. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in bananas and chocolate chips. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 350 degrees F for 22-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.

**Some people said they used 1% milk instead of yogurt, some used 1/2 brown sugar and 1/2 white sugar

If doing mini muffins makes 36 muffins and bake at 350 for 15 - 17 minutes

If recipe is doubled makes 24 big muffins and 24 mini muffins

Used 3 little containers of applesauce instead of oil - turned out well.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Goat Cheese with Pistachios and Cranberries

2 Tb roasted pistachios, chopped
2 Tb dried cranberries, chopped
1 8 - 10 oz log fresh goat cheese
Crackers or bread for serving

On a large plate, combine pistachios and cranberries

Roll the goat cheese in the mixture. Serve with crackers or bread

Real Simple November 2010

Carmelized Onion Dip

Real Simple November 2010

2 Tb unsalted butter
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
salt and pepper
1 8 oz bar cream cheese, room temp
1 cup sour cream
2 Tb chopped fresh chives
Thick cut potato and vegetable chips for serving

Melt butter over med low heat, add onions and 1/2 tsp salt and cook, stirring occassionally, until deep golden brown, 30 - 35 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool

In medium bowl, mix together onions, cream cheese, sour cream, chives and 1/4 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp pepper. Serve with chips

Acorn Squash and Tomatoes

Real Simple November 2010

1 small acorn squash (about 1 1/2 lbs) - halved, seeded, and sliced 1/4 inch thick (leave skin on)
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
4 cloves garlic, sliced
2 Tb olive oil
salt and pepper

Heat oven to 425. Toss the squash, tomatoes, and garlic with 2 Tb of oil, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Roast until the squash is tender (20 - 25 minutes).

Garlic Oven Fries

Toss 2 lbs russet potatoes (about 4 medium cut into 1/2 inch thick sticks) with 4 smashed garlic cloves, 2 Tb olive oil, 3/4 tsp kosher salt, and 1/4 tsp black pepper. Roast at 425, turning once, until golden brown and crisp (35 - 40 min)

Real Simple August 2010

Homemade Pickles

Real Simple August 2010

Makes 16 spears

4 kirby cucumbers (about 1 lb) quartered lengthwise
3/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 small sweet onion (such as vidalia or walla walla) thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, smashed
2 Tb sugar
1 tsp dill seed
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
kosher salt

place cucumbers in a 1 qt jar or some other container with a tight fitting lid.

In a bowl combine vinegar, onion, garlic, sugar, dill seed, peppercorns, bay leaf, 2 tsp salt, and 3/4 cup hot tap water. Stir until the sugar dissolves.

Pour the vinegar mixture into the jar with the cucumbers, cover, and refrigerate for at least 1 day before serving. The picles will last up to 1 week.

Spaghetti with Zucchini, Walnuts, and Raisins

12 oz spaghetti (3/4 box)
3 Tb olive oil
1/2 cup walnut halves, roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 1/2 lbs small zucchini (4 - 5), cut into thin half moons
3/4 cup raisins
salt and pepper
1/4 cup grated parmesan

Cook pasta, drain, and return to pot

Meanwhile, heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add walnuts and cook, stirring frequently, until beginning to brown (3 - 4 minutes). Add the garlic and cook until beginning to brown (1 minute)

Add zucchini and raisins, season with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper, cook tossing occassionally until zucchini is just tender (4 - 5 minutes)

Add zucchini mixture to pasta, toss to combine. Sprinkle with parm before serving

Real Simple July 2010

Curried Rice and Cherries

Real Simple July 2010

1 cup long grain white rice
1 tsp curry powder
1 cup cherries, halved and pitted
1/2 cup torn basil leaves

Cook rice, adding the curry powder to water before cooking.

Gently fold the cherries and basil into the cooked rice.

Cabbage and Corn Slaw

Real Simple July 2010

2 Tsp honey
2 Tb olive oil
2 Tb Fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper.
1/2 lb green cabbage cored and shredded (1/4 small head)
1 red pepper thinly sliced
1 cup corn kernals (1 - 2 ears or thawed if frozen)

Toss all to combine

Sandal Cookies

Family Fun July 2010

Oval Shaped Cookies


For straps use rope licorice or sour gummy worm. For the gummy worm, cut it in half, and then slice each half lengthwise, leaving one end in tact.

Use graham cracker crumbs for sand

Grilled Cheese on a Stick

Parents August 2010

Make a grilled cheese, cut into a circle, carefully insert a pretzel rod

Kid Birdfeeders

Spread a pinecone with peanutbutter and cover with dried cranberries and sunflower seeds. Add a string.

Spaghetti with roasted tomatoes and herbs

Real Simple September 2010

12 oz spaghetti (3/4 box)
2 lbs cherry tomatoes (6 cups)
6 cloves garlic, smashed
3 Tb olive oil, plus more for serving
salt and pepper
1/2 cup chopped mixed fresh herbs (such as basil, parsley, and chives)
Shaved parm for serving

heat oven to 400, cook pasta according to package, drain, and return to pot

Meanwhile on a rimmed baking sheet, toss the tomatoes, garlic, 2 Tb of the oil 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Roast, tossing once, until the tomatoes begin to burst, 20 - 25 minutes.

Toss the pasta with the tomato mixture and remaining tb of oil. Serve with parm and additional oil if desired.

Pita Chips

Real Simple September 2010

4 pitas
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup grated parmesan
1 tsp dried oregano
salt and pepper

Heat oven to 400. Split pitas orizontally to make 8 rounds. Brush the insides of the pitas with the oil. Cut the rounds into wedges and divide between 2 baking sheets.

Sprinkle with the parmesan, oregano, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Bake until golden brown and crisp, 10 - 12 minutes. The chips can be stored at room temp in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Walk Across the Mississippi

Itasca State Park holds the headwaters of the mississipppi. Might be fun to go and camp here.

Rice Tip

To remove excess starch that can cause stickiness and clumping, rinse uncooked rice in a sieve or a mesh colander until the water runs clear.

Twix Cheesecake Pie

Got from Real Simple October 2010

Beat 2 8 oz bars cream cheese (room temp) with 1/2 cup sigar and 2 large eggs. Mix in 16 chopped twix fun size bars (2 cups total).

Pour into an 8 inch chocolate cookie pie crust. Bake at 325 until set (40 - 45 minutes). Cool

Sprinkle with 6 chopped Twix bars; chill until firm.

Smoothie Recipes

From Real Simple February 2011

Mango Smoothie:

1 cup chopped mango
1/2 cup low fat milk
1/2 cup ice
1/4 cup plain low fat yogurt
1 Tb honey

Spinach, Grape, and Coconut:

1 cup seedless green grapes
1 cup packed baby spinach
1/2 cup ice
1/4 cup coconut

Strawberry Flax:

1 cup frozen strawberries
3/4 cup plain low fat yogurt
1/2 cup orange juice
1 Tb honey
1 Tb flaxseed meal

Gingery Berry and Oat Smoothie

Mix 1/2 cup water and 1/4 cup old fashioned rolled oats in blender for about 15 minutes
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 cup plain low fat yogurt
1/2 cup ice
2 Tb brown sugar
1/4 tsp grated fresh ginger

Kale Apple:

3/4 cup shopped kale (ribs and thick stems removed)
1 small stalk celery chopped
1/2 banana
1/2 cup apple juice
1/2 cup ice
1 Tb fresh lemon juice

Spiced Pumpkin:

1 cup ice
1/2 cup whole milk
1/3 cup pure pumpkin puree
1 Tb honey
pinch of ground nutmeg

Raspberry and Nut

3/4 cup low fat milk
3/4 cup frozen raspberries
1/2 banana
1 Tb natural almond or peanut butter
1 Tb agave nectar or honey

Sweet Heart Pops

Got from Family Fun Feb 2011

12 mini candy canes
6 (6 inch) paper lollipop sticks
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1 1/2 tsp vegetable oil
Red, White and Pink sprinkles

Heat oven to 235. On parchment paper arrange the candy canes as hearts and bake for 10 minutes

Slide the hearts, still on parchment, onto a work surface. Quickly pinch each heart into a lollipop stick (adults job)

In microwave, melt together chocolate chips and oil in 10 second intervals - stirring in between heatings.

Spoon chocolate mixture into center of each heart, then top with sprinkles. cool before serving or wrapping.

Best Way To Make A Baked Potato

Got from Real Simple Feb 2011

Heat oven to 400

Rub 4 medium russet potatos (8 - 10 oz each) w a total of 1 tsp olive oil.

Place on rimmed baking sheet and bake, turning occassionally, until tender and easily pierced w/paring knife, 65 - 75 minutes.

Mexican Mac & Cheese

Got from Better Homes and Gardens March 2011

12 oz dried rigatoni or mostaccioli
1 lb bulk pork sausage
1 cup shopped onion
1 16 oz jar green medium-hot salsa
2 8 0z pkg. shredded monterey jack cheese (4 cups)

Tomato wedges, sliced jalapeno pepper, and chopped fresh cilantro. Salsa (optional)

Cook Pasta

Preheat oven to 350 and lightly grease 3 qt baking dish.

Cook sausage and onion, drain. Stir in green salsa.

Layer half of the pasta, half of the meat, and half the cheese. Repeat layers.

Bake uncovered for 35 min. Let stand 10 minutes. Add toppings.

Fruit Dipped Snacks

Got Recipe from Pillsbury Frosting Container

10 pieces bite size assorted fruit
1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup pillsbury chocolat frosting
1 tsp multicolored candy sprinkles

Line cookie sheet w/waxed paper. Place chocolite chips in microwave on high for 60 - 90 seconds until melted; stir. Add frosting, mix well. Microwave on high fro 15 - 20 seconds or until dipping consistency.

Dip each piece of fruit in chocolate mixture, spooning chocolate onto sides of fruit. Sprinkle w/candy sprinkles. Place on paper-lined cookie sheet. If mixture becomes too stiff to dip, microwave on high for 5 - 10 seconds until softened.

Asian Pork w Snow peas, red peppers, and soba noodles

Got from Real Simple March 2011 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce 1/2 cup dark brown sugar 2 Tb rice wine vinegar 1 tsp toasted sesame oil 1 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced 1/4 to 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper 2 1/2 lbs pork shoulder, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces 12 oz soba noodles 2 red bell peppers, thinly sliced 1/2 lb snow peas, trimmed chopped roasted peanuts for serving

In a 4 - 6 qt slow cooker, stir together soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, oil, ginger, and red pepper. Add the pork and toss to combine. Cover and cook until pork is tender on low for 7 - 8 hours or on high for 4 - 5 hours 15 minutes before serving cook the soba noodles according to directions, adding peppers and peas to water during last minute of cooking. Meanwhile transfer pork to a medium bowl; set aside. Pour cooking water into a large skillet and boil until slightly thickened, 4 - 5 minutes. Add the pork and toss to combine. Serve the pork over the noodles and veggies; sprinkle w/peanuts.

Gingery Peanut Noodles w/Chicken

In a blender combine 1 cup water, 1/2 cup peanut butter, 3 Tb rice vinegar, 3 Tb soy sauce, 1 Tb brown sugar, and 1 tsp grated fresh ginger. Toss w/ 8 oz spaghetti (cooked), 1 1/2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken, 1 sliced red bell pepper, 1/2 cucumber cut into strips, and 2 sliced scallions. Sprinkle w/chopped peanuts Got from Real Simple March 2011

Roasted Turkey with Cheddar Stuffed Potatoes

1 boneless, skinless turkey breast half (about 2 1/2 lbs) 2 Tb olive oil 2 tsp chopped fresh thyme, Salt and pepper 2 large russet potatoes (about 1 lb) 1/4 cup whole milk 4 Tb (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces 1 cup grated cheddar (4 oz) 1 lb green beans Heat oven to 450. Please turkey breast on a rimmed baking sheet and rub with 1 Tb oil, season with thyme, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1 tsp pepper. Roast until cooked through, 50 - 55 minutes Meanshile, microwave the potatoes on high until tender, 10 - 12 minutes. Halve lengthwise and preserving the skins, scoop the flesh into a bowl. Mash the flesh w/milk, butter, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper; mix in half the cheddar. Spoon into the potato skins, place on a baking sheet, and sprinkle w/remaining cheddar. After turkey has been roasting for 30 minutes, place stuffed potatoes in oven and bake until golden, 20 - 25 min Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to a boil, add the green beans, cook until tender, 5 - 7 minutes. Drain and toss with remaining tbs of oil. Slice turkey and serve w/green beans an dpotatoes Got from Real Simple March 2011

Pasta Carbonara with Spicy Sausage

Got from Real Simple March 2011 8 oz papperdelle or fettuccine 1 1/2 cups frozen peas 1 Tb olive oil 4 italian sausage links (about 1 lb) 2 lg egg yolks 1/2 cup half and half 1/2 cup grated parmesan salt and black pepper Cook pasta, adding peas during last minute of cooking. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water, drain pasta and peas and return them to the pot Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook sausages, turning occasionally, until cooked through, 8 - 10 minutes In a med bowl wisk yolks, half and half, parm cheese, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper. Add the egg mixture and reserved cooking water to the pasta and peas in the pot. Cook over low heat, tossing gently until the sauce is slightly thickened and coats the pasta. serve with sausage and additional cheese.

The Land of Nod

Cake Mix Cookies

Got receipt from Parents April 2011 1 box (18.25 oz) yellow cake mix 1 large egg 1/4 cup canola oil 1/4 cup buttermilk colored sprinkles 1 can (16 oz) vanilla frostering Yellow, Red, Blue food coloring Preheat oven to 350. Line cookie sheets with parchment. Combine mix, egg, oil, and buttermilk. Beat w/ electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Shape 1-inch mounds of better into balls and flatten slightly. Place 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets. Top with sprinkles Bake 8 - 10 minutes until cookies are golden and firm. Cool on wire rack. Tint frosting to desired shades. Sandwich the cookies together with frosting

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Children's Book Ideas

Super good website: Has great chapter book and picture book suggestions

Monday, April 11, 2011

Hamburger Baked Beans

I made this recipe for Summer b-day party and they were great! 1 lb thick cut bacon 1 lb ground beef 1/2 lb sage pork sausage 1 clove garlic - crushed 1 lg onion - cut into 1/2 inch pieces 1 cup dark brown sugar 1 cup real maple syrup 1 cup ketsup 1/2 cup mustard couple tablespoons chipotle sauce 16 oz baked beans 16 oz black beans 16 oz pinto beans 16 oz great northern beans 16 oz cannellini beans 1 Tb chili powder salt to taste 1. Cook bacon and crumble 2. Brown beef and sausage w garlic and onion. Drain 3. Mix in sugar, syrup, ketsup, mustard and chipotle - bring to boil, cook 20 minutes 4. Mix in bacon and beans - continue cooking 20 minutes 5. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes - let stand 20 min b4 serving **After step 4 I put in the fridge and then put them in the crock pot a couple hours before the party to heat them up. YUM!!