Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Mini pizza's...

We had some friends over for dinner recently and because a lot of  kids were present I decided to make the easiest thing I could think of. We have "make your own pizzas" on a regular basis here...for two reasons. 1- they are soooooo easy to throw together 2- they really are delicious. My friend asked why she hadn't seen this on my blog. I guess I never even think to post the super easy stuff, but isn't that what we all really want??? Anyways... Here you go!

1 pkg Greek flat bread (Costco sells these in a pkg of six for dirt cheap & they freeze really well)
Italian seasoned tomato paste (trust me on this one) Also freezes well if you don't use all of the tiny can
Shredded mozzarella cheese 
Turkey pepperoni (regular if you like to live on the wild side)
Dried oregano 
Additional pizza toppings of your choice 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare pizzas. Bake 10 min (approximately) or until edges are golden brown and cheese is melted. Run under broiler for a min until cheese is extra bubbly!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

s'more cookie bars...

Not too much to say here except that these are the BOMB! Everything you love about a s'more and everything you like about a really goooood cookie is present in these yummy bars. Enjoy, my friends!

2 sticks butter; room temperature 
1 1/2 cups sugar 
2 eggs 
2 tsp vanilla 
2 2/3 cups flour 
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs 
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
7-8 Hershey bars (regular candy bar size)
6 cups mini marshmallows 

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x13 pan with foil and spray with cooking spray*

Cream butter and sugar until well blended. Add eggs and vanilla; mix. Combine dry ingredients and add along with graham cracker crumbs.

Press half of the dough into the pan. Bake for 15 min.

Remove from oven and immediately cover cooked dough with chocolate bars-breaking the chocolate to fit, if needed. Sprinkle on the marshmallows. Scatter bits of remaining dough over the top of the marshmallows. Bake for 20-25 min or until the top and sides are lightly browned.

Cool on wire rack and serve.

*you can line the pan with foil and spray OR with parchment paper. If you skip this step the marshmallows become baked on to the pan and it is reeeeaaaalllly hard to get them out. A little bit of sticking will probably still happen in the corners, but that's ok.

Monday, July 6, 2015

blender wheat pancakes...

We are breakfast people. I don't usually make breakfast, but we do have breakfast for dinner about once a week. These pancakes are a childhood FAVORITE! They come together so easily. The whole thing is done in the blender and can be poured right on to the griddle. We have always eaten these with boysenberry syrup (store bought), but whatever strikes your fancy!

1 cup milk
3/4 cup whole wheat kernels (wheat berries)
2 eggs
1/4 cup oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda 
2 tsps baking powder 
1 Tbsp sugar or honey 

Put milk and wheat in blender and blend for a few minutes or until wheat is completely broken up. (In my Blendtec it took less than a minute) Add remaining ingredients. Blend well. Cook on lightly greased griddle; turning once. Keep warm in 200 degree oven until ready to serve. Makes approximately 12 pancakes. I usually double and freeze leftover pancakes.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

coconut jasmine rice...

You know what goes great with huli huli chicken???? This does. I've always liked rice, in all its forms, but this might just top the list. Jasmine rice has a light, subtle, almost floral taste. With the addition of coconut milk it takes it over the top. I've used full fat and light coconut milk and honestly couldn't tell a difference. Grill up some pineapple spears and you have an amazing meal.

2 cups jasmine rice; rinsed
1 can light coconut milk (13.5 oz)
1 1/4 cups water 
1 tsp salt
1 green onion; thinly sliced 

Place rice, coconut milk, water and salt in a large saucepan or Dutch oven. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 20 min. Fluff with a fork and stir in green onions.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

hawaiian chicken (or huli huli chicken)...

I am constantly looking for new ways to make chicken. My husband made this for a neighborhood luau last summer and it was a hit. I'm a little disappointed that it took me a year to make it again! Plus, with 100 degree temps I'm not interested in turning the oven on or standing in front of a hot stove to cook chicken.
This recipe calls for chicken thighs...going to be completely honest here, I would probably prefer this with chicken cutlets. I'm not a huge fan of dark meat. However, chicken thighs are definitely more moist and much less expensive. So, go with whatever you prefer.

*Note...I cut this recipe in half for six people. Recipe, as shown, makes 12 plus servings

1 cup packed brown sugar 
3/4 cup ketchup 
3/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce 
1/3 cup chicken broth 
2 1/2 tsp fresh grated ginger*
1 1/2 tsp minced garlic 
24 boneless skinless chicken thighs 

In a small bowl, mix the first six ingredients. Reserve 1 1/3 cups for basting; cover and refrigerate. Divide remaining marinade btwn two large re sealable plastic bags. Add chicken thighs to each; seal bags and turn to coat. Refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.

Grill chicken, covered, over medium heat for 6-8 minutes per side or until no longer pink; baste occasionally with reserved marinade during the last 5 minutes.

*you can purchase a large piece of ginger and keep in an air tight container/bag in the freezer. Peel using the back of a spoon. Grate or mince finely.

Recipe adapted from Taste of Home

Monday, June 22, 2015

honey almond granola...

I love making large batches of granola to keep on hand. I actually always double this recipe...it disappears fast and if you're going to make it, you might as well make a lot! It stores well in an air tight container, and will even freeze nicely in a freezer bag. Our favorite way to eat it is with honey vanilla Greek yogurt, but my kids also grab it by the handful & go to town!

1/3 cup honey
3 cups old fashioned rolled oats (not quick cooking)
1/8 tsp almond extract 
1/3 cup brown sugar 
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp vanilla extract 
3 Tbsp coconut oil 
1 cup almonds; chopped 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine chopped almonds, oats, salt and brown sugar. Stir to combine.

In a microwave safe bowl, combine honey and coconut oil and heat 30-40 seconds. Stir to dissolve coconut oil. Add extracts.

Pour honey mixture over oats and stir until evenly coated. Pour evenly onto a Silpat or parchment lined baking sheet.

Bake for 5 minutes, stir and bake for 5 more minutes. 

Let cool completely and store in an air tight container.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

crock pot baked potatoes...

If you've never tried this, then you need to!! Foolproof way of baking potatoes that turn out fluffy and delicious! 

Olive oil or butter
Salt & pepper 

Prick potatoes with a fork. Rub each with either butter or olive oil. Place in slow cooker. Cover. Cook on high 3-5 hours, or low 6-8 hours.