Wednesday, December 30, 2009

More Baseballs; It's a boy!

Pictures and info on my other blog !

Monday, December 7, 2009

Vanilla Pudding Sugar Cookie Icing

Vanilla Pudding Icing

¼ cup cold milk

3 TBL instant vanilla pudding mix

¼ cup butter, softened

2 ½ cups powedered sugar

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Combine milk and pudding mix until smooth; set aside.

 In a mixing bowl; cream butter and beat in pudding mixture. Gradually add powdered sugar, vanilla and any food coloring. Beat on high speed until light and fluffy.

 I used a simple Betty Crocker sugar cookie bag mix. I used the recipe for cut out cookies, and used my angle cookie cutter.

Keira (5) thought they were leaves. How do I keep them from fattening up?! They're so much prettier above! The icing turns out a bit yellow from the pudding, so you may want to use food coloring if you want a different color. I topped mine with some sugar crystals. Not the most perfect thing to look at, but good! Kids loved them!


On a personal note, today I"m 16 weeks! I've been sick and coughing a ton this past week, but I had my 4 month apt. today and everything seems to be going well. More on my other blog

Monday, November 30, 2009

Vanilla Christmas Fudge


Now that Thankgsiving is over, it's time to begin all the holiday baking! Here's my first of hopefully many!

Vanilla Christmas Fudge
1 bag white vanilla chips
1/4 heavy whipping cream
1 TBL honey
3/4 cup chopped cashews or other nuts (opt)
3/4 cup red and green M&M's

Line the bottom of a 8X8 pan with foil, overhanging the edges by a few inches. Spray with pam.

In a large bowl, mix the vanilla chips, heavy whipping cream, and honey. Melt in microwave for 30 seconds and stir. Place in microwave for another 30 seconds and stir. It should be melted and smooth (if not, add for another few seconds!). Stir in the nuts, if using, and allow to sit in bowl for 30 minutes.

Quickly add M&M's (just 1/2 cup), and spread into pan. Sprinkle with a few more M&M's, and press down into mixture a little. Place in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Remove fudge and foil from pan and place on cutting board. The fudge should easily slip off the foil, and just the fudge should remain on cutting board. Slice in desired sized pieces!



This post is linked to Tasty Tuesday and Tempt my Tummy Tuesday

Monday, November 16, 2009

Chunky Beef Stew

Yes; I'm blogging! Finally! So I just began my 13th week of pregnancy, and even though I have had my fair share of sick days, I think I've been slightly lucky compared to other people I know! I've been sick once the past 2 weeks, and I have some friends that get sick every day. Yesterday was actually a bad day for me though; I got sick the previous night and yesterday at work. The first time EVER that I got sick in the morning or at work! okay; enough of that. 

I made a chunky beef stew for dinner, and thought I would share..since it was a hit at our house! I wasn't planning on posting this, so I didnt take pictures while I made it.

Prep time- 30-45 minutes (chopping potatoes and veggies)

Chunky Beef Stew

1 can diced tomatoes (don't drain. I blend it in a food processor)

1 cup water

3 TB quick cooking tapioca (stick with me here!)

2 ts. Sugar

1 ½ ts. Salt

½ ts. Pepper

2 pounds lean beef stew meat (I bought a package of pre cut beef stew meat. Cut yours in chunks if not already cut up)

4 medium carrots (cut into chunks)

3 medium potatoes; chunks

2 celery ribs; chunks (optional)

1 medium;  onion

1 slice bread; cubed

½ can chicken broth

In a large bowl; combine tomates, water, tapioca, sugar, salt and pepper. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Pour into a greased baking pan. Cover and bake at 375 for 1 ½-2 hours (2 hours for more tender meat and veggies). Serve in bowls. 


This is my daughter's bowl; that's why its not filled up much!


This post is linked to Tempt my Tummy Tuesday 

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Sorry for the lack of food posts...

So since I"m pregnant and all, I haven't really been cooking lately. I'm either too exhausted too, or the food just smells a bit nasty! My gag reflexes are pretty gnarly. I"m trying to get over it and cook, for my family's sake! 

This too shall pass....(or so I'm told)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Fall Marshmallow Treats

If you missed my pregnancy announcement from last week, go read it here! I'm 8 weeks today (well, until my ultrasound this Friday proves otherwise!) I currently have pink eye and a bladder infection; neat huh?! Little baby Twitty is taking everything out of me, and leaving my immune system in kuputs! 

Easy Fall Marshmallow Treats
3 TBL Butter
1 package, 10oz mini marshmallows
6 cups rice krispies cereal
1. In large saucepan melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted.
 Remove from heat.  2. Add rice krispies cereal. Stir well
 3. Using buttered spatula or wax paper evenly press mixture into pan, coated with cooking spray. 
Allow to cool, and cut with fall cookie cutter
This post is linked to Tasty Tuesday and Tempt my Tummy Tuesday

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

...I'm pregnant!

It's time to announce that I'm 7 weeks pregnant! I took a test on Sept. 24th, and was surprised to see positive results! With this being my first pregnancy, I didnt know what to expect and thought I was just having PMS symptoms; so, I put off taking a test for a while.  I took two tests ( just to be sure!) while Edwin was at Kade's football game, and the darn thing turned positive while it was "still in use"!  Here are a few pictures to document the first few weeks. 

The two tests. The top one kinda faded, thats why I went and bought a second test.
I typed this up on the computer real quick (blue and pink) and taped the tests to it, then put it in a bag for Edwin when he got home!
The day we found out; obviously only a few weeks, and not showing yet! 


~Giggles~

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

So, lets be HONEST for a moment. I like to try a lot of new things when I cook and bake. I try not to try TOO many things during the week, because I'll have 4 unhappy campers if its a FLOP. Sometimes I try 2 new things a week, but I"m trying to keep it to 1. The problem is that I ENJOY trying new things, both cooking and baking; however, my husband and I discussed that my baking endeavors are usually a big fat FLOP with the fam. They would just prefer good old chocolate chip cookies and box brownies. Which, that should be easy and great right?! BUT I have JOY in cooking, and find satisfaction during the cooking PROCESS. I think my taste buds may be a bit more exotic or broad than the rest of my family. There are things I DESIRE to make and try, but I don't because I don't think my FAMILY will share in my enthusiasm. And again, let's be honest; usually KIDS don't!  So those are my thoughts for the moment. I think we all desire to please the tummies; yet, please our own CULINARY desires. I hope I can continue to find the BALANCE between the two. 

Sunday- Bourbon maple pork loin, sauteed zucchini (I sautee zucchini in olive oil, and add a dash of garlic salt, paprika, parsley flakes and either some chopped onion, or just minced onion; taste and add more if needed!), and baked red potatoes with parmesan (from last week)
Monday-Spinach and Cheese manicotti (from last week)
Tuesday- BBQ Sandwiches (easy peasy)
Wednesday- Lanthem Stew (layered casserole. I call it the poor mans dinner. My husband's favorite, but definitely not mine! ha)
Thursday-Bacon wrapped teriyaki chicken kabobs, rice, and broccoli (we LOVE this meal!)
Friday- Kids night or out to eat

Desert- Autumn Rice Krispy Treats, and/or Homemade chocolate chip cookies with eggless cookie dough recipe (so I can eat the dough!)

This post is linked to Orgjunkie

Monday, September 28, 2009

Carmel Popcorn


All I can say is; YUM. 

Carmel Corn (Give credit where credit is due! Recipe originally from here)

1 cup butter

1/2 cup corn syrup

2 bags popcorn

2 cups brown sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 250F.

Pop popcorn, and spread onto two large baking sheets. Make sure it is evenly spread between the two pans.

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add in sugar, corn syrup,vanilla, and salt; stir until well combined. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Once it comes to a steady boil, continue boiling without stirring for about 5 minutes. 

Gradually pour the caramel mixture over the popped corn, mixing well on the pans. 

Bake for 30 minutes, stirring a few times with the wooden spoon. Allow popcorn to cool for a few minutes; break into pieces and put in an airtight container. 

This is addicting and OH so bad for you!

This post is linked to Tempt my Tummy Tuesday, and Tasty Tuesday


 

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Anybody else have the day off on Monday?! I do, I do! My kiddos have the day off from school, so we're going to see "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs".  Here's to another week!

Monday- 
Breakfast- Sausage Parmesan Crescents (didnt get to this, last week)
Dinner- Parmesan Chicken Bake ,(did not make last week) broccoli, and Parmesan baked red potatoes (boil red potatoes until done. Put on a cookie sheet, sprinkle with parmesan cheese and cook until the top is brown).
Tuesday- BBQ potatoes (large baked potatoes topped with BBQ!)
Wednesday-Spinach and cheese manicotti 
Thursday-Crock pot Whole Rotisserie Chicken, potatoes, and sautéed zucchini (since I messed up and bought a cucumber last week! seriously!)
Friday- Out to eat, or kids night

Dessert- Homemade Carmel Popcorn (Can't wait!)

This post is linked to Orgjunkie

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Brown Sugar Cupcakes with Cookie Dough Icing


These are seriously yummy. I love this icing. Go make it; now.

Brown Sugar Cupcakes (Original recipe found here)

3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

3/4 cup light brown sugar

2 large eggs, room temperature

1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Beat butter on high until soft, about 30 seconds.

Add sugar. Beat on medium-high until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

Add eggs one at a time, beat for 30 seconds after each.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.

Measure out milk and vanilla together in a separate bowl.

Add about a fourth of the flour to the butter/sugar mixture and beat to combine.

Add about one third the milk/vanilla mixture and beat until combined.

Repeat above, alternating flour and milk and ending with the flour mixture.

Bake 15-20 minutes until cupcake springs back when pushed or toothpick comes out clean.

Let cool before frosting cupcakes

Cookie Dough Icing (Original recipe found here)

2 C all-purpose flour

1/2 t salt

3/4 C unsalted butter, melted

1 C packed brown sugar

1/2 C white sugar

1 T vanilla extract

4 T milk

Mix together then add 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream, until spreadable for frosting


This post is linked to (a little late, but better late than never!) to Tempt my Tummy and Tasty Tuesdays

Monday, September 21, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

We didnt get to everything last week, but here's to another week!

Monday- Shrimp Scampi
Tuesday- Lemon Pepper Chicken, sautéed zucchini, corn on the cob
Wednesday- Lasagna
Thursday-Brown sugar pork chops, rice, and green beens 
Friday- Parmesan Garlic Baked Chicken 
Saturday- Sausage Parmesan Crescents 
Dessert- Brown sugar cupcakes with cookie dough icing

Brown Sugar Pork Chops

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

2 ½ tsp. basil

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. chili powder

4 TBL oil, divided

5 boneless pork loin chops

In a small bowl, co mbine the brown sugar, basil, salt and chili powder. Gradually stir in 2 tablespoons of oil until crumbly. Rub over both sides of pork chops. In a large skillet, cook pork in remaining oil over medium heat for 8 minutes on each side. 

Parmesan Garlic Baked Chicken

3/4 cup butter

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup dry bread crumbs

1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 pkg good seasons dry italain dressing mix

2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

6 (4 ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Melt the butter with the garlic in a saucepan over medium heat. When the butter starts to bubble, remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly. Stir the breadcrumbs together with the Parmesan cheese, thyme, basil, oregano, pepper, and salt in a bowl. Dip the chicken breasts in the butter, then press into the seasoned bread crumbs. Place the chicken into a 9x13 inch baking dish.

Bake in the preheated oven until the chicken is golden brown and no longer pink in the center, 50 to 55 minutes.

This post is linked to Orgjunkie

Monday, September 14, 2009

Whopper Cookies

My kids have been begging me to make Whopper Cookies; curtsey of Recipe Girl. Enjoy!

Ingredients 

1 cup butter, softened
 

¾ cup granulated sugar


¾ cup packed brown sugar


1 tsp baking soda


2 large eggs


1 tsp vanilla extract


2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted & cooled


2¾ cups all-purpose flour


½ cup instant malted milk powder


1 cup coarsely chopped malted milk balls

Directions

 Preheat oven to 375°F. Beat butter about 30 seconds. Add the sugars and soda; beat until combined. 

Beat in eggs, vanilla and melted chocolate. 

Beat in flour. Stir in the malted milk powder.

 Stir in chopped malted milk balls.

Looks kinda "interesting", but so yummy!
Enlist in taste testers! 
Drop dough from rounded teaspoons 2½ inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake about 8 minutes for chewy cookies, or about 10 minutes for crispy cookies. Cool on cookie sheet for 1 minute. Transfer cookies to wire racks; cool.
Enjoy!

This post is linked to Tasty Tuesday, and Tempt My Tummy Tuesdays

Menu Plan Monday

Here's what we have cookin this week!

Monday- Italian chicken casserole (didn't get to this last week!)
Tuesday-Ranch Chicken kabobs, with biscuits, served over rice
Wednesday- Kid's night
Thursday-  Grilled lemon pepper chicken, with sautéed zucchini and corn on the cob
Friday-Shrimp Scampi with angel hair pasta (recipe below)

Dessert- Whopper Cookies (to be posted on Tuesday)

Shrimp Scampi

1 lb peeled and deveined large raw shrimp

1 (12 oz) package angel hair pasta

1/4 cup butter

1/4 finely chopped onion

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 tsp Italian seasoning

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1 tbsp lemon juice

1/4 cup grated Romano or Parmesan cheese

Prepare angel hair pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add onion and garlic and saute' three to five minutes or until tender. Stir in Italian seasoning and Worcestershire sauce. Reduce heat to medium. Add shrimp and cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 5 minutes or just until shrimp turn pink. Stir in lemon juice. Toss shrimp mixture with drained pasta and sprinkle with cheese. Serve immediately.

This post is linked to Orgjunkie

Monday, September 7, 2009

RootBeer Cookies

Okay people; last week you read about my epiphany with bread crumbs, and my questions and attempts at fresh garlic cloves. What is it this week? Brown sugar. Thats right; brown sugar. There's light brown sugar, golden brown sugar, and dark brown sugar. I never really knew the difference, of if they were interchangeable in recipes. I mean, how different could they really be?! Apparently with Rootbeer Cookies, really different! Why don't you cooking bloggie friends, tell me these things?! My husband reminded me, that nobody is perfect the first time around at something. So, if you're going to make Rootbeer Cookies, don't use DARK brown sugar like I did! They kinda came out more like brown sugar molasses cookies. Do it right, and they will be yummy! 

Rootbeer Cookies

1 cup butter, softened

2 cups packed brown sugar

2 eggs

1 cup buttermilk

¾ tsp. root beer, or extract

4 cups flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

1 ½ cups chopped pecans

Frosting

 3 ½ cups powdered sugar

¾ cup butter, softened

3 TBL water

1 ¼ tsp. root beer or extract

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and brown sugar. 

Add eggs; one at a time, beating well after each egg. Beat in buttermilk and root beer.

 Combine the flour, baking soda and salt in another bowl. Gradually add to creamed mixture. 

Stir in pecans.

Drop by tablespoons 3 inches apart, on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes; or until lightly browned.

Allow cookies to cool (see how mine came out like molasses cookies?! darn dark brown sugar!)

In a mixing bowl, combine frosting ingredients

Beat until smooth. If icing isn’t thick enough; add an additional ½ cup of powdered sugar and 1/8 tsp. rootbeer

Frost cooled cookies. Looks like a little brown sugar donut hole!

Say hello to my leg and knee! Wear an apron when working with powdered sugar and flour!

This post is linked to Tempt my Tummy Tuesday and Tasty Tuesdays

Menu Plan Monday

Happy Labor Day! I hope everyone enjoyed the day off. Our household was a bit under the weather, so we really needed the day to get better! Our oldest, Kade, had his first football game on Saturday. Pictures are on my other blog, if you're interested.

I know I told you I was going to make Rootbeer Cookies, but I was missing some ingredients and didnt get to it! I'm certainly going to try this week! Cookies; take two. 

Monday- Since its already almost 4, I think we may be going to chickfila or something tonight!
Tuesday- Lemon chicken piccata
Wednesday- Italian chicken casserole 
Thursday-Grilled garlic herbed chicken, with corn on the cob and sautéed zucchini 
Friday- Taco casserole 

This post is linked to orgjunkie

Monday, August 31, 2009

Italian Mac and Cheese

I know I wrote the recipe below in my menu plan, but I made a few changes as I cooked it. Also, I was going to make my cookies instead, and I just didnt get around to it! 

This feeds about 4, so if you have more people or want more servings, you may need to double this recipe! This fed me and my kiddos only. (no leftovers!)

1 ½ cups uncooked elbow macaroni

6 TBL butter; divided

3 TBL flour

1 ½ cups milk

1 cup (4 ounces) chedder cheese

(2 ounces) velvetta cheese

½ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. pepper

3 TBL dry Italian bread crumbs

Cook macaroni according to box. Drain, and place in a greased baking dish (1-2 quart); and set aside. In a saucepan, melt 4TBL of butter over medium heat. Stir in flour until smooth. Gradually add milk; bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes; then reduce heat. Stir in cheeses, salt and pepper until cheese is melted. Pour over macaroni; mix well. Melt remaining butter (2 TBL); add bread crumbs. 

These are the bread crumbs that I use. Let me give you a confession. I've cooked a few recipes that have called for bread crumbs, and I had no idea there was actually something I could buy like this! Think about it; if nobody ever told me, how was I supposed to know?! I crumbled up sandwich bread, and always got frustrating that the dinner was really weird. Go ahead and laugh. But as a new cook, how was I supposed to know people?! Now I know, and I"m excited! HA

Sprinkle over casserole. Add a few more dashes of the dry bread crumbs, out of the box. Bake, uncovered, at 375 for 30 minutes. 

YUM! My kids LOVED this recipe

This post is linked to Tempt my tummy Tuesday, and Tasty Tuesday.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Menu Plan Monday-question about garlic!

Monday-  Bacon wrapped teriyaki skewers (we love this!)
Tuesday- Chicken Cannelloni 
Wednesday-20 Clove garlic Chicken (I've never used whole garlic cloves before. Is the whole garlic 4 cloves?!I have no idea how to do it!)
Thursday- Kid's night- If you can find it; eat it!
Friday- Homemade Mac and Cheese
Desserts- RootBeer Cookies, with a light and fluffy rootbeer icing

Recipes
Chicken cannelloni

1 pkg cannilonni/or manicotti

16 oz ricotta cheese


1 large egg


1 teaspoon dried basil, crushed


1/2 clove garlic, - minced


1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese


1 teaspoon salt


1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper


1 lb cooked chicken breast, finely chop

1 cup fontona cheese

1 jar (16 oz)  mararina sauce

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Boil manicotta noodles in a large sauce pan, until fully cooked. In a large bowl, Combine ricotta, egg, Parmesan, basil, garlic, salt and pepper. Whisk together well. Fold in chicken and 1/2 cup of Fontina cheese. Set filling aside.

Grease a 9x13 baking pan with olive oil. Spread 1/2 cup of Marinara across the bottom of the pan. Fill pasta with mixture. Top rolls with sauce, covering each completely. Sprinkle the other 1/2 cup of Fontina over the cannelloni.

Bake for 30 minutes until bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

 20 Clove garlic chicken

3-4 pounds chicken (breasts)

1 large onion diced

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 teaspoons kosher salt

2 teaspoons paprika

1 teaspoon pepper

20-40 garlic cloves, peeled, but intact

Using a slow cooker, place onion slices on the bottom. In a large mixing bowl, toss chicken with olive oil, salt, paprika, pepper, and all of the garlic cloves. Pour into slow cooker, on top of the onion. (Do not add water.)

Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for 4-6. 

Macaroni and Cheese

1 ½ cups uncooked elbow macaroni

5 TBL butter

3 TBL flour

1 ½ cups milk

1 cup (4 ounces) chedder cheese

(2 ounces) velvetta cheese

½ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. pepper

2 TBL dry bread crumbs

Cook macaroni according to box. Drain, and place in a greased baking dish (1-1/2 quart); set aside. In a saucepan, melt 4 TBL of butter over medium heat. Stir in flour until smooth. Gradually add milk; bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes; reduce heat. Stir in cheeses, salt and pepper until cheese is melted. Pour over macaroni; mix well. Melt remaining butter; add bread crumbs. Sprinkle over casserole. Bake, uncovered, at 375 for 30 minutes. 

As always, this post is linked to Orgjunkie