Monday, September 29, 2008

Peanut Butter Rice Krispies

I Love MY MOM! This was a childhood favorite of mine that my mom whipped up regularly. Of course, she made them into cute little bears, stars, cars, etc. Maybe when I have kids I will go the extra mile, too...but for now...we get squares!
I also Love PEANUT BUTTER! These are so absolutely easy, peanut-buttery, and delicious all at once. You can literally make them and have them ready to be served in less than 10 minutes, with allowing them to cool and all!

From: Mom

1 cup light karo syrup
1 cup sugar
1 cup peanut butter
6 cups rice krispies

Combine karo syrup and sugar in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Stir constantly. When mixture begins to boil around the edges, wait 30 seconds and remove from heat. (If you like your rice krispies to be on the hard side, continue to boil for 2-3 minutes. I prefer mushy, chewy ones, thus the 30 second boiling time.) 
Mix in the peanut butter. We prefer creamy, but crunchy is delish as well!
When peanut butter is thoroughly mixed in, add rice krispies and stir until combined. 
Pam a 9x13 or cookie molds. Place mixture into desired pan and allow to cool.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Peanut Butter Cookies

Soft, fluffy, containing peanut butter and chocolate...that is my kind of cookie; and NOT my husbands! This makes these cookies very, very bad...I am forced to eat a lot more because he is eating a lot less of them, O WELL!
They are also so, so easy...just a few ingredients that you will definitely have on hand. I made these on a whim, and they totally filled my sugar desire!

1 cup peanut butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. baking soda
chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a small bowl mix together all of the ingredients, except the chocolate chips. 

When it is mixed well, add chocolate chips if desired. Drop by tablespoonfuls on a baking sheet, do not flatten.

Bake for 9 minutes or until puffed and golden. The cookies will be very soft, allow them to cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer them to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Gluten free anyone?

Can I do it? Can I really go without bread, flour, wheat...? I sure hope so! For those of you who know me personally, you know that I have been struggling with some inexplainable pain in my left knee. I feel like I have tried a ton of different remedies, and doctors don't seem to know what is going on in there after x-rays, MRI's, etc. A little background...

My adorable little 7 year old niece, Madison, was diagnosed with Celiac disease about 1 year ago. She had been having severe pain in her knee that caused her to wake up in the middle of the night in tears. After some extensive research, tests, and more they realized that gluten was causing this pain. Since she has gone off gluten she has been pain free! (Well...until she grabs a piece of cake for a little freedom anyway!)

So, my brother gave me a call a few weeks ago with the idea that maybe, just maybe, this could also be the cause of my pain. I know it sounds crazy, but I PRAY that this is the answer! I will do anything to get rid of this pain I am feeling, even if it means no more delicious bread...tear...

I am trying to change my diet and see if it has any effect whatsoever on my pain, so pray for me, and I apologize in advance for the somewhat sketch recipes I will be posting. Due to my husbands picky nature with foods and my new-found dedication to be non-gluteness(!), it may take me a while to edit recipes. No chunks, no gluten, not-too-spicy, recipes anyone?!

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Apple Strudel in Phyllo Dough

Okay, I am officially going to RAVE! This was delicious! I know that I say that about almost everything sweet, but I honestly felt like I was in some fancy-shmansy (yes, that is politically correct spelling and wordage!) restaurant. It was the perfect gooey-ness inside and crispyness outside, and the apples were not too mushy or too crisp. I did not use raisins or pecans, due to my picky hubby, and it was still delish! NOTE: I made two small strudels with this recipe because I had a lot of leftover filling(therefore, using 10 sheets of phyllo dough total; five on each). You could probably make one large strudel; if you choose to do so, I would probably add a few more sheets of phyllo dough...we loved that part of this dish!

From: Adapted from Paula Deen
1/4 cup apple juice 
1/2 cup golden raisins(optional) 
2 medium apples
1/2 lemon, juiced or 1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest, finely chopped(optional) 
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed 
1/2 cup crushed shortbread cookies 
1/4 cup chopped pecans(optional) 
2 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces 
5 sheets phyllo dough, thawed
2 tablespoons butter, melted (for brushing phyllo sheets)
1 tablespoon granulated sugar 
Caramel sauce, purchased


1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups confectioners' sugar 

3 tablespoons milk

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, pour apple juice over the raisins and microwave on high for 45 seconds. Let sit for 15 minutes.

Peel, core, halve, and dice your apples.

Combine the raisins, apples, lemon juice, lemon zest, cinnamon, brown sugar, cookie crumbs, pecans, and butter in a large bowl.

Remove the phyllo dough from the box, unfold, and cover with a damp towel. Place 1 sheet of phyllo on the work surface and brush lightly with melted butter. Repeat to total 5 sheets. Brushing each with melted butter, stacking when done, being sure to keep the unbuttered phyllo covered.

Place the apple mixture on the nearest third of the phyllo stack, being sure to leave a 2-inch border.

Gently lift the bottom edge of the phyllo stack to cover the filling and fold the side edges over. Continue to roll the stack away from you until the filling is completely sealed in and the seam is on the bottom. 

Transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Brush the top with melted butter and sprinkle with granulated sugar.

Bake for 20-30 minutes, until golden brown. While baking, mix the confectioner's sugar, milk, and vanilla to create a glaze. Drizzle the glaze and caramel over strudel.

Wendy's Fantabulous Lasagna...the lazy way!

Yes, another one from Wendy! Woo-hoo! However, she probably makes this much more amazing than I do. She makes her red sauce from scratch! That is a good woman for you! Someday I am sure that I will suck it up and do it the hard way, but until then...this recipe is the cheesiest, yummiest lasagna I have eaten in...forever! It literally has 5 different types of cheese, including swiss, which makes the recipe! I cut this recipe in half for an 8x8 pan. BTW: I think it is officially impossible to get a good picture of lasagna!

From: Wendy

1 1/2 lbs hamburger
1 can prego
12 oz. cottage cheese
1 beaten egg
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
9 strips no boil lasagna noodles(or rice pasta to be gf)
1 1/2 cup swiss cheese
2 cup cheddar cheese
1-8oz. pkg. cream cheese
1 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350. Mix cottage cheese, egg, and parmesan cheese in a small bowl, set aside. Crumble hamburger in fry pan. Cook until no pink remains, then drain off fat and combine with prego. 
Place a thin layer of sauce mixture in the bottom of a 9x13 casserole dish. Layer 1/3 of each noodles, cottage cheese mixture, swiss and cheddar cheese. Pinch off small pieces of cream cheese and dot over other cheeses. 

Add another layer of sauce. Repeat layering 2-3 times, ending with sauce. 

Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and top with mozzarella. Bake for another 10-15 minutes.
Serve with Divine Breadsticks and you will definitely feel like you gained a couple pounds! Okay, maybe that isn't desirable, but just wait until you TASTE it!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Cilantro Lime Salsa

My roommate Brianne and I discovered this recipe in college...and I am still addicted to it! I make it whenever we have tacos. I am a big wussy when it comes to salsa, I hate, HATE the spicy stuff! So, this is a perfect, flavorful salsa that goes with anything!

1 can yellow corn
1/2 can black beans
Juice from 3 limes
1/2 large bunch of cilantro

Mix the above together and ENJOY with tortilla chips, on top of tacos or burritos! DELISIOUS!

Chicken Tacos

Hooray for Chicken Tacos! One of the easiest yet most satisfying meals. Especially with Cilantro Lime Salsa on them. I know everyone has this recipe, but it is just a nice reminder of an easy meal!

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 package mild taco seasoning
corn or flour tortillas
toppings for tacos

Cut chicken into bite size pieces and prepare as directed on back of taco seasoning packet.

Put chicken in tortillas and top with your choice of toppings. We top our with sour cream, salsa, lettuce, tomatoes, cilantro, and cheese.

Menu: Week 3

Disclaimer: This may look like a lazy week...okay, so it kind of was! My husband was out of town on Sunday and Monday for a dental school interview (woo-hoo!), so my sister was kind enough to feed me some delicious meals! We also had a little family get together, and we weren't required to bring a thing...aren't those the best?!

Sunday: Sponsored
Monday: Sponsored
Tuesday: Lemon Chicken with steamed Broccoli
Thursday: Creamy Ranch Chicken with house salad
Friday: Sponsored
Saturday: Lemon garlic chicken with couscous and French Bread

Saturday, September 13, 2008

French Bread

This bread is DELICIOUS! I, like many others who have tried this recipe, could honestly eat the entire LOAF! The second time that I had this I tried to cut the recipe in half and felt like the dough was just a bit too tough, so I wouldn't recommend altering the recipe. This is just a perfectly moist, yummy bread! Melanie at My Kitchen Cafe said it best, if you love soft, tender, delicious french bread...this recipe is for you!

From: The Sister's Cafe

2 ¼ c. warm water
2 T. sugar
1 Tbsp yeast
1 Tbsp salt
2 Tbsp oil
5 ½ -6 cups flour-stirred before measured

Dissolve sugar and yeast in the warm water. Let this proof—or sit for a few minutes until it bubbles. Then add salt, oil and 3 cups of flour and beat well. Add in 2 1/2 -3 more cups of flour. The dough should come clean off the sides of the bowl and not be too sticky - but be careful not to add too much flour. Knead for a few minutes.

Leave the dough in the mixer to rest for 10 minutes and then stir it down (turn on your mixer for 10 seconds) and then allow to rest another 10 minutes. Repeat for a total of 5 times. Then turn dough onto a floured surface and divide into two equal parts. Roll each part into a 9x13 rectangle. Roll dough up, starting from long edge of loaf to seal. Arrange seam side down on large baking sheet that’s been sprinkled with corn meal, allowing room for both loaves. Repeat with second part of dough. With a sharp knife, cut 5 gashes at an angle on the top of each. Cover lightly; allow to rise 30 minutes. Brush entire surface with egg wash (one egg beaten slightly with 1 Tbsp of water).  Bake for 30 minutes at 375 degrees.

Lemon Garlic Chicken

  • Talk about an easy meal! This is it! It was extremely flavorful, but not overwhelming. I changed the recipe quite a bit from the one that I found on I did not feel like a heavy meal with pasta or rice, so we served this meal with couscous and loved it! 

  • From:

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup chicken stock
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
  1. In a bowl, mix the oregano, salt, and pepper. Rub the mixture into chicken. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Brown chicken in butter for 3 to 5 minutes on each side. 
  2. Place chicken in a slow cooker.
  3. In the same skillet, mix the water, lemon juice, garlic, and chicken stock. Bring the mixture to boil. Pour over the chicken in the slow cooker. 
  4. Cover and cook on Low for 3 hours. With 30 minutes left to cook, remove chicken from crock pot and shred. While chicken is removed, add the sugar and cornstarch to the juice, then stir the shredded chicken back in and finish cooking. Serve over noodles, rice, or couscous.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Creamy Ranch Chicken

Yahoo for another 30 minute meal! This was so ridiculously easy, and tastes like it's difficult! As you have probably noticed, I use whole wheat noodles in all of my pasta recipes...we feel so much better if we overeat on healthy noodles! Ha! It doesn't really make that much of a difference in the taste, and takes away a few of those flagged "don't eat" fatty ingredients!

Adapted from: Stephanie's Kitchen

6 slices turkey bacon
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into bite size pieces
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons ranch dry salad dressing mix
1 1/4 cups milk
3 cups whole wheat egg noodles
3 tablespoon finely shredded Parmesan cheese

1. Start your water for your pasta. Cook noodles according to package directions.
2. Cut bacon into narrow strips, then again into tiny pieces. In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Drain bacon on paper towels.
3. In the same skillet, cook chicken until no longer pink, turning to brown evenly. 
4. Mix flour, salad dressing mix, and milk in a small bowl. Move chicken into saucepan. Pour flour mixture over chicken. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir 1 minute more. Stir in bacon.
5. Serve the cooked mixture over the noodles. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Menu: Week 2

This week was crazy! Okay, well not crazy with lots of stuff to do, but crazy with people. We ate dinner at a friends house, my mother in law took us out to dinner, and my sister made us dinner! Talk about a sponsored meal week!

Sunday: Hamburgers, fresh fruit, Grilled Potatoes and Peanut Butter Crumble Cake
Monday: Taco stuffed shells with salad
Tuesday: Gnocchi with pink sauce and Divine breadsticks
Wednesday: Creamy Italian Chicken and fruit
Thursday: Sponsored!
Friday: Sponsored again!

See you next week! I hope that you enjoy the yummy meal plan!

Cheddar Mac and Cheese

Now, nothing beats Momma's Mac and Cheese, but it is Sunday, and I have absolutely NO Velveeta! Cody really wanted some yummy cheesy something, however, so I nabbed this recipe from Food Network, and changed it to fit our tastes: AKA SIMPLE! It was pretty much delicious, so next time that I am fresh out of the ingredients for the good stuff, I will make this again!

Whole wheat pasta
3 Tbs. butter
2 cups milk, warm
1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Boil pasta until done, drain. While pasta is cooking, melt 6 tablespoons butter in a large saucepot over medium heat. Add flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Whisk in the warmed milk and bring to a boil, continue to whisk constantly. The mixture will thicken as the heat increases. Stir in 3 cups cheese until it melts.
Top pasta with cheese sauce and enjoy! You can also bake this at 350 degrees for 30 minutes and then eat it, I just didn't have time!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Taco Stuffed Shells

Yes, you are seeing this right: I finally made a main dish that does not include CHICKEN! Not to mention, this is great! This meal was so fun to prepare, mainly because it is a twist on a basic meal. I was honestly ENTERTAINED while cooking this...I know, that sounds weird, but I was! It has a wonderful flavor and is different than most basic nightly meals. The crushed tortilla chips on top were probably my favorite part, they added just the perfect CRUNCH!

Taco Stuffed Shells

1lb ground beef
1 package taco seasoning
1 4 once package cream cheese
12 large pasta shells
1 cup salsa
1 cup taco sauce
1 1/2 cups mexican blend shredded cheese
1 ½ cups tortilla chips (crushed)
1 cup sour cream

In a fry pan cook ground beef and add taco seasoning and prepare according to package directions. Add cream cheese, cover, and simmer until cheese is melted. Blend well. Set aside and allow slightly cool. While burger is cooking cook the pasta shells, drain.
Pour salsa in the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch baking dish.
Stuff each shell with the meat mixture. Place the stuffed shells in the baking dish and cover the tops of the shells with taco sauce.

Cover with foil and bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, uncover, and sprinkle crushed chips and shredded cheddar and Monterey jack cheeses on top. Cook for 15 additional minutes. Serve with sour cream, additional salsa, and anything else that you like to serve with tacos.

Serves 3.

Recipe From: The Blog Chef

Monday, September 1, 2008

Peanut Butter Crumble Cake

Moist AND crumbly? Is that possible?! Yes, in this cake, it is! The bottom is a chocolate chip cake, moist and delicious, the top is a peanut butter crumble, to die for. Cody said he would prefer to just eat the top alone! I like to eat them both together, they are a great mixture!
From: Baking Bites

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour 

1/2 cup brown sugar 

1/2 cup sugar 

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon 

1/2 tsp ground ginger 

1 tsp baking powder 

1/2 tsp baking soda 

1/2 tsp salt 

1/2 cup butter, room temperature 

3/4 cup buttermilk

 1 large egg 

1/2 cup chocolate chips 

1 cup crunchy(I used creamy) peanut butter, room temperature

Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9-inch square baking pan. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, brown sugar, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Using a hand mixer (or with a spoon, if you’re so motivated), beat in the softened butter until mixed well. Remove 1 cup of the mixture to a medium bowl and set aside. Add buttermilk and egg to the large bowl with the remaining flour mixture. Stir well, until no streaks of flour remain, then stir in chocolate chips. Pour into prepared pan. Add peanut butter to medium bowl with remaining 1 cup flour mixture. Stir well and crumble (or drop in clumps, as the mixture will be thick) onto the cake batter in the pan. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until a tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack before slicing.