Tuesday, September 30, 2008

thai peanut noodles...

1 cup julienned carrots
1 small onion; sliced
3 green onions; sliced into 2 in pieces
1 Tbsp canola oil, divided
2 tsp grated peeled fresh ginger
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
3 Tbsp rice vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 1/2 cups snow peas
1 lb pasta, cooked
1/2-1/4 cup peanuts

Heat 1 tsp oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the ginger and minced garlic; saute 30 seconds. Add chicken broth and the next 5 ingredients; stir until well blended. Reduce heat and simmer 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and cover to keep warm. Meanwhile, cook pasta until al dente. Heat 2 tsp oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add carrots and onions, season with salt & pepper and cook until almost tender. Add snow peas and green onions and cook 1-2 min more. Toss vegetables, pasta and peanut sauce together and sprinkle with peanuts.

This was a nice change from the usual pasta. My kids DEVOURED this...and they don't really like peanut butter that much! Was it good...yes. Is is a new favorite...probably not. I would like to tweak the peanut sauce a little. As it cools down the peanut butter starts to solidify back to it's normal state. That consistency bugged me a little, but it still tasted really good.
(1 cup 7pts)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Chef Barbie...

I want this Barbie.
I LOVE Barbie.
I've been trying to think of a good reason to buy this.
I'm too old.
My baby girl is too young.
I think I have it in my head that if Miss TV Chef Barbie enters my home she can cook a little something up for the family because I've had serious recipe block lately.
What do you think?
(I think I really just want her cute little red Kitchenaid!)

Friday, September 19, 2008

baked pasta...

1 pound extra-lean ground beef
16 oz uncooked, short cut pasta (shells, penne, macaroni, etc)
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1 bag (2 cups) shredded mozzarella cheese

Cook pasta for about 6-8 min. Brown ground beef & drain off any excess fat. Combine beef, drained pasta & spaghetti sauce. Place in lightly greased 9x13 pan. Top with shredded cheese. Bake, covered at 350 degrees for 15-20 min.

This is so easy that I'm almost embarrased to share it. If it wasn't so good...and so easy, I wouldn't have!
(7 pts for 1 cup)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

turkey, avocado blt...

The name says it all!!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

french toast cups & strawberry smoothie...

4 slices whole wheat bread, cut into cubes
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
dash of ground nutmeg

In a medium bowl, mix the eggs, milk, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg until well combined. Add bread cubes and mix together until all the bread is saturated.
Using a regular size muffin tin, scoop bread evenly into 6 of the muffin cups. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until set and lightly golden brown.
Mix 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar and 1 tablespoon milk until smooth. Drizzle on top of french toast cups.

*strawberry smoothie*

1 16oz bag frozen strawberries
1/2 cup vanilla yogurt
1 cup milk
1-2 Tbsp sugar or Splenda

Mix everything in blender until smooth.

The french toast cups are another winning recipe from Stephanie's Kitchen. She even sauteed apples in cinnamon & added them in!!! I doubled the recipe and it made 12 cups. I think these would be great with maple syrup, too. Just another great way to turn something ordinary into something ...you guessed it...extraordinary. Your kids will LOVE them!
The smoothie was a hit, too. I just started putting things in the blender until it tasted right. We all drained our glasses!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

crispy, chewey oatmeal cookies...

1 cup butter; room temp
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs; room temp
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
3 cups quick-cooking rolled oats
chocolate chips

Combine dry ingredients; set aside. Cream butter and sugars together until fluffy, 2-3 min. Add vanilla and eggs and mix until well combined. Add dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Stir in oats and chocolate chips. Bake at 350 degrees on greased or lined cookie sheets 10-12 min.

I've been looking for a good oatmeal cookie recipe. Somehow I have told myself if there are oats in the cookies, they must be healthy (especially with that cup of butter and 2 cups of sugar...who asked you, anyways??)
These were good. I won't lie...they were not my favorite when they first came out of the oven, but the next day...look out. This is a problem for me. I usually only like cookies straight from the oven and don't even care about them after that. Well, these are the EXACT opposite. Great. Especially since I doubled the recipe.
I actually froze little cookie dough balls on baking sheets, then just tossed them in a Ziploc bag to keep in the freezer. You never know when you might need a treat for an unexpected visitor, a hostess gift, a quick after school snack, etc.
Oh, who am I kidding?? I just like taking a ball of dough out of the freezer and popping it in my mouth. Did I mention how DIVINE the dough is?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

banana bread...

Banana Bread (recipe from the Joy of Cooking)

1 1/3 cups flour

3/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp baking powder

5 1/3 Tbsp butter; room temp

2/3 cup sugar

2 large eggs; lightly beaten

1 cup mashed very ripe bananas

1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 in. loaf pan (or three mini loaf pans). Whisk dry ingredients together thoroughly. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar on high speed, about 2-3 minutes. Beat in the flour mixture until blended and the consistency of brown sugar. Gradually beat in eggs. Fold in bananas & nuts. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, 50-60 min. for large pan; 25-30 for small pans. Let cool in the pan (s) on a rack for 5-10 min before unmolding to cool completely on rack.

When life gives you overripe bananas, or when your kids decide they don't like bananas in their true form anymore...make banana bread & they will DEVOUR it!

Monday, September 8, 2008

vegetable stir fry...

1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup fresh broccoli florets
1 cup fresh green beans
1 medium onion; chopped
1 clove garlic; minced
1 Tbsp olive oil
salt & pepper

Heat oil in large skillet. Add carrots, onion and broccoli and season with salt & pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, over med high heat (cover occasionally if needed to speed this up). Just before vegetables are fork tender add green beans and garlic. Cover & let steam until crisp tender.

This is a great way to eat your veggies! The olive oil and garlic give this such great flavor. I made this was a side with dinner, but it would make a filling, healthy lunch.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

cookie election...

*Michelle Obama's Shortbread*

1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons Amaretto (almond liqueur); or 1 tsp almond extract
1 teaspoon each orange and lemon zest
3 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 beaten egg white
Chopped nuts or dried fruit (optional)

Heat oven to 325°.Line a 17 x 12 x 1-inch baking pan with nonstick foil. In large bowl, cream together butter and 11/2 cups of the sugar.Slowly add egg yolks, and beat well until smooth. Beat in Amaretto and zest.Stir in flour and salt until combined.Spread dough evenly into prepared pan, flattening as smoothly as possible.Brush top of dough with egg white; sprinkle with nuts or fruit (if using) and with remaining 2 tablespoons sugar.Bake at 325° for 25 minutes or until brown, turn off oven and allow cookies to sit in oven (with door ajar) for 15 minutes. Cut while slightly warm.
Yields: 6 dozen 2" x 3" cookies

*Cindy McCain's Butterscotch Oatmeal cookies*

3/4 cup (11/2 sticks) unsalted butter or margarine, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups rolled oats
1 2/3 cups butterscotch chips

Heat oven to 375°.In a large bowl beat the butter or margarine, granulated sugar and brown sugar together. Add the eggs and vanilla, beating well.In a medium-size bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture; stir until blended. Stir in oats and butterscotch chips. Drop by tablespoonfuls about 2 inches apart onto un-greased cookie sheets.Bake at 375° for 10 minutes, until the edges begin to brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Yields: 5 1/2 dozen cookies

I voted!!
We hosted a neighborhood block party this weekend, and my dessert offering was the cookie recipes of the Presidential candidates wives. I did not divulge which cookie belonged to which candidate. Everyone had one (or more!!) of each cookie and then cast their vote in the ever so chic brown lunch bags used as ballot boxes!! The neighbors really got into it! It was hilarious!!
The results...
Mc Cain took it by 6 votes.
(I behaved...there was absolutely no altering of either recipe to sway the vote!!)

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

southwest brown rice & black bean burgers...

2 cups brown rice, cooked
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup chopped onion
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1-3 tablespoons minced jalapeno or green chilies, (canned is fine)
1/4 cup salsa
1 egg white
1/4 cup to 1/2 cup flour
1 tablespoon olive oil
cheese, if desired

Mix rice, beans, chili powder, cumin, salt, garlic, onion, cilantro, chilies, salsa, and egg white in large bowl. Mixture will be very moist. Add flour, using only enough so that you can shape the mixture into patties. Dust the outside of the patties lightly with flour. Heat a medium skillet over medium high heat. Add olive oil and warm. Add patties and cook until nicely browned, about 3-4 minutes per side. Sprinkle with cheese, reduce heat to low and cover with lid to melt cheese.

I got this recipe from a FABULOUS recipe site, Prudence Pennywise. These were a great change from the usual grilled burgers...that we've had a lot of this Summer. The recipe came together quickly and was yum-my. I made extra and stuck them in the freezer for another time.
The only changes I made to the recipe was that I left out the cilantro and used green onions. I also left out the chili's and the salsa...I didn't read the recipe thoroughly before going to the store...oops! Even with those changes we thought they were really good and so filling.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

sandwich bar...

No recipe. Just an idea. This is a great meal for a crowd. It is so refreshing after A LOT of grilled food!! Be as creative as you want. Provide lots of options and everyone is happy!