Friday, December 31, 2010

Whole Wheat Banana Bread

from Betty Crocker
2 cups Gold Medal® whole wheat flour
1 cup Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 cups mashed very ripe bananas (about 4 medium)
1/2 cup coarsely chopped nuts
2/3 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
4 eggs

1.Heat oven to 350°F. Grease bottoms only of 2 (9x5- or 8x4-inch) loaf pans with shortening or cooking spray.
2.In large bowl, beat all ingredients with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds. Beat on medium speed 45 seconds, scraping bowl frequently. Pour batter into pans.
3.Bake 55 to 65 minutes or until toothpick inserted halfway between center and edge of pan comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Loosen sides of loaves from pans. Remove from pans to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 2 hours, before slicing.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Works for Me Wednesday~Powder Sugar~

Does your recipe call for Powdered sugar, but you do not have any in the pantry? That's OK all you need is granulated white sugar and a blender. Blend as much sugar as needed in the blender it will turn powdery and ready to add to your other recipes.



Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Drucken Pork Chops

Drucken Pork Chops from this Mommy Cooks
5-6 pork chops- bone-in or boneless, your choice
Salt and pepper to taste
olive oil
1 bottle of beer (the darker the beer, the more flavorful the sauce. I used Fat Tire. There have been mixed reviews using Guiness.)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup ketchup
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup water

Heat about a tablespoon of olive oil in the bottom of a skillet on medium-high heat. Season the chops with salt and pepper. Place pork chops in skillet and brown both sides. While pork chops are browning, combine beer, ketchup, and brown sugar in a bowl. Pour sauce mixture over the pork chops and simmer over low-medium heat for 40-45 minutes. Remove pork chops and thicken the sauce for serving. In a small cup, combine 1 TBSP of cornstarch in 1/4 of water. Stir to combine and add to boiling sauce, whisk so no lumps form. Put pork chops back in the thickened sauce, flip to coat. Serve over mashed potatoes or rice.

Best of 2010 Turkey Edition!

1. Turkey Meatballs

2. Garlic and Ranch Burgers

3. Zesty Turkey Sloppy Joe

4. Spinach and Turkey Lasagna

5. Turkey Meatloaf

Monday, December 27, 2010

Italian Asparagus Sticks

Italian Asparagus Sticks
from weelicious

1 Cup Whole Wheat Panko or Bread Crumbs
1 Tbsp Italian Herbs (you can find them in any grocery’s spice section)
1/2 Tsp Salt
1/2 Tsp Garlic Powder
2 Large Eggs
1/4 Cup Flour
1 Bunch Asparagus, cleaned and stems removed (if you snap the asparagus down towards the bottom, they will naturally break at the woody part at the bottom)
Tomato Sauce

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees and coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray.
2. Mix the first 4 ingredients in a bowl.
3. Whisk the egg in a separate bowl.
4. Place the flour in another bowl.
5. Make an assembly line with the bowls. Dip the asparagus first into the flour, then the egg and finally into the bread crumb mixture, coating evenly and repeating with all the sticks.

6. Place all of the coated sticks on the baking sheet/rack. Arrange so they’re not touching, spray lightly with oil and bake for 30-35 minutes or until the bread crumbs are golden.

Review: These where a great hit, yummy they had great flavor and just the right amount of chrunch!

Oven Baked Fries

Friday, August 27, 2010
Oven Baked Fries
Oven Baked Fries

2 large baking potatoes, peeled and cut into thin strips
1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1.Heat oven to 450°.
2.Cook on parchment paper, and spray it with cooking spray.
3.Combine all dry ingredients and combine with potatoes, tossing to coat.
4.Drizzle with oil, tossing again to coat.
5.Arrange potatoes in a single layer on baking sheet and bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown.

Recipe Source - Colie's Kitchen

Best of 2010 Breakfast Edition

In the spirit of the end of the year. I have chosen a few recipes that where my favorite through this year! Check them out and link up your favorites! I love new inspiration:

1. Chocolate Chip Banana Pancakes

2. Colorful Frittata

3. Crepes

4. Baked Egg Cups

5. Slippin' in Omlet

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Mushroom Melt Skillet

Mushroom Melt Skillet - Finding Jot in my Kitchen

1/2 lb. ground turkey
1 T minced onion
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
8 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced
3/4-1 C mozzarella cheese, grated
2 C brown rice

Prepare rice using a rice cooker, or according to package directions. Make as much/little rice as you desire -- we like ~2-3 C prepared for this dish.

In a large skillet, brown the ground turkey with onions and garlic until cooked. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. {I used ground turkey from the freezer that was already browned!}

Then, add the mushrooms to the skillet and saute until softened.

Sprinkle cheese over the top, and cover to allow cheese to melt.

Serve over brown rice.


Review: This was quick and easy and of course super yummy!

Plan of attack for 2011

How man of you out there have a New Years resolution to get organized? I DO! I

As a working mom I often become overwhelmed by all the chores that has to be accomplished daily/weekly. My current schedule is to clean the entire house on Saturday and clean floors, and kitchen as needed. This currently dose not meet our families needs, as I work 40+ hours a week and by the time Saturday comes I want to sit down and relax! I have been searching other blogs and have come up with a mix that works for me!

One thing that works for me is the way that I meal plan.I complete a monthly meal plan and shop once a month for staples, and meats. I shop weekly for dairy products and perishables. Yet other moms/ladies I know meal plan weekly and shop once a week! The key is to do what works best for your family, these are just a few ideas

So I am hoping that writing this down will help relieve some of the stress I feel and help with the organizational component of keeping house.

Monday: Market Day. The kitchen is cleaned daily after use) but today all things kitchen are completed.. Fridge cleaned out, meal planing, top of fridge, organize cabinets etc.)

Tuesday: Toilet, Tub, Towels. Toys (Organize toy boxes)

Wednesday: Wash(sheets, whites, darks, kids clothes)

Thursday: Bedrooms (dusted, vacuumed etc)

Friday: Family (Living rooms, dusted, cobwebs etc)

Saturday: Self Day Take time for you! Complete a favorite hobby etc. For me that activity is scrapbooking! LOVE IT! I also want to have a family activity scheduled this day! This will also be my errand running day!

Sunday: Saving Day! No money spent, other than at the collection at church. I also want to have a family activity scheduled this day!

Daily I will continue to clean the kitchen and complete chores as needed.

On another note: I would love to get my family to eat out only once bi- weekly. Let's see if I can do it!

Please link up and share your homemaking tips or cleaning schedules.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Restaurant Style Potato salad

Restaurant Style Potato salad from allrecipes

2 pounds russet potatoes
1 cup mayonnaise
4 teaspoons sweet pickle relish
4 teaspoons white sugar
2 teaspoons chopped white onion
2 teaspoons prepared mustard
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon minced celery
1 teaspoon minced pimento
1/2 teaspoon shredded carrot
1/4 teaspoon dried parsley
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper salt to taste

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until tender but still firm, about 15 minutes. Drain, cool and chop.

In a large bowl, combine the potatoes, mayonnaise, sweet pickle relish, sugar, onion, mustard, vinegar, celery, pimentos, carrot, parsley, pepper and salt. Mix well, chill and serve

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Paula Dean's Jelly Roll

Paula Dean's Jelly Roll

4 eggs, separated
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
3/4 cup cake flour, sifted
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Confectioners' sugar, for dusting, sifted
1 cup jam or jelly, stirred well
Whipped cream

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a small bowl beat egg whites until stiff but not dry and set aside. In another bowl, beat the egg yolks until light. Gradually add the sugar and vanilla, and mix well. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the sifted flour mixture to the egg yolk mixture. Fold in the egg whites into the egg mixture and pour the batter into a 15 by 10 by 1-inch jelly roll pan lined with waxed paper. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until the cake is golden.

Loosen edges of cake, invert cake onto a towel dusted with confectioners' sugar. Gently peel wax paper off cake. Trim 1/4-inch of hard crust off each long side of the jelly roll cake. Begin with the narrow side and roll the cake and towel up together. Cool cake on rack, seam side down, for 10 to 15 minutes.

Once cake has cooled, gently unroll and spread cake with jam or jelly and re-roll. Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar or cover with whipped cream.

Review: This was the second Jelly Roll recipe that I attempted to make. The first one cracked. This one had good color and rolled well.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Crustless White Chocolate Cheesecake

Crustless White Chocolate Cheesecake from
Lynn's Kitchen adventures

1 1/4 lbs white chocolate, cut into pieces
3 egg whites
pinch of cream of tarter
3 tablespoons sugar
12 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 egg yolks

Melt white chocolate in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds until melted and set aside.

Beat the egg whites until frothy and then add cream of tarter. Slowly add sugar while continuing to beat. Beat until stiff peaks form. Set aside.

In another bowl beat cream cheese until smooth.

Add sour cream and vanilla and mix until smooth.

Add egg yolks one at a time beating about 30 seconds in between each addition.

Beat in the melted white chocolate

Fold one third of the egg whites into the cream cheese mixture. Once folded in well, fold in the remaining egg whites.

Prepare a 9 inch cheesecake pan using the water bath method. ( Do not skip this step the water bath helps give it the right texture)

Bake at 250 for 1 hr. Do not open the oven during this time.

After 1 hr turn off the oven but DO NOT open the oven. Leave cheesecake in the oven to continue cooking as the oven cools for 1 hr.

Remove the cheesecake from the oven and let cool.

Once cool refrigerate for several hours or over night. This is best made a day ahead.

Here are the directions for the water bath.
Wrap the outside of the spring form pan in foil . This keeps the water from the water bath from leaking into the pan and making your crust soggy.

Place a small cloth in the bottom of a large pan or roaster. This pan has to be large enough to hold the spring form pan.

When your filling is ready to bake, place it in the spring form pan that has been wrapped in foil and set the pan into the larger roaster pan.

Fill the outer pan with about 1 – 1 1/2 inches of very hot water. Thus, creating your water bath.

Place the whole thing in the oven and bake at 250 for 1 hour. And yes 250 is the correct temperature here. You cook it low and slow. And Do not open your oven while the cheesecake is baking.

After the cheesecake has baked 1 hour, turn the oven off, but DO NOT open the oven.

Leave the cheesecake in the oven for 1 more hour. It will continue to cook as the oven cools off.

Remove cheesecake from oven and also from the water bath.

Let cool in pan and refrigerate for several hours or over night. I prefer to make my cheesecakes the day before I serve them. I think they are better the day after I make them.

Serve and enjoy!

Review: This was the first time I used the bathing technique, and it worked great the cheesecake did not break and it had great texture!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Almond Brittle Cookies

Almond Brittle Cookies

1 box graham crackers
Break into 4 pieces. I use a light sawing motion with a serrated knife to cut the crackers along the lines. You will not use the whole box of crackers. Line up crackers as close as possible on cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil. Sprinkle ½ of 6 oz. package of sliced almonds on top of crackers. Heat oven to 350˚.

Sauce: Melt 2 cubes butter
½ cup sugar
Simmer until bubbly, foaming and frothy. Pour over crackers and almonds with a soup ladle, so the almonds do not move around.

Bake 15-20 minutes. Do not over bake.
Take out. A few minutes later break apart along cracker lines while still warm and then cool. Don’t wait too long or it may be difficult to break apart crackers.

NOTE: I use a 12x18 size cookie sheet lined with heavy-duty foil. This makes clean up so much easier.

review: These make great gifts for neighbors or loved ones. I loved the texture of these, be ware these are addictive!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Death by chocoloate

1 (19.8 ounce) package brownie mix
2 (3.9 ounce) packages instant chocolate pudding mix
1 (16 ounce) package frozen whipped topping, thawed
3 (1.4 ounce) bars chocolate covered English toffee
Prepare brownies according to package directions. Let cool.
Mix pudding according to package directions.
In a glass punch bowl, layer in the following order: 1/2 of the brownie, crumbled; 1/2 of the pudding; 1 toffee bar, crushed; 1/2 of the whipped topping.
Repeat layers in the same order. Save the last toffee bar to crumble and sprinkle on top before serving. Refrigerate. Best if made the day before you serve it.

Review:Simple to prepare and the presentation of this dish is great! Tastes good with low fat prodcuts as well.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Slow Cooker Pizza Pork Chops

Slow Cooker Pizza Pork Chops
from here

6 Pork loin chops, 1 inch thick (about 2 1/4 lb)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
Tablespoon minced Garlic
2 cups tomato pasta sauce
4 cups cooked orzo or other pasta
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (4 oz)

Place oil in Large skillet over medium heat. Sprinkle Pork chops with salt and pepper and cook for about 4 minutes on each side.

Place pork in 3 1/2- to 4-quart slow cooker. Sprinkle onion and garlic over pork. Add pasta sauce.

Cover; cook on Low heat setting 4 to 6 hours.
Place orzo or pasta on platter. Top with pork and sauce. Sprinkle with cheese

I prepared this the night before and left it in the slow cooker. I love browning the meat but at sometimes do not have time. I added mushrooms, peppers and olives. Yummy!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Whole Roasted chicken with potatoes and onions

check out this blog post for the recipe.
Review: The chicke had a great flavor. I think the next time I have extra cash I am going to buy the cookbook!


Recipe adapted from Taste of Home Oct/Nov 2010 edition

3 lbs pork loin boneless chops (I had a roast and sliced into chops)
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour (I may have used less, didn't measure, just made sure chops were coated)
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tbs butter
1 medium onion chopped
1 small jar pimiento peppers undrained
5 garlic cloves pressed
1 cup chicken broth (I used homemade but canned would work)
2 tbsp dried basil
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1 tsp pepper

Dredge pork chops in flour or place all in a plastic bag and shake well. Heat oil and butter in a large skillet over medium high heat; add pork and brown in batches. Remove to a plate.
Add onion and pimientos and saute until onion tender. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute longer. Add the broth, vinegar and pepper. Return pork to the pan , layering if necessary.

Review: This was a great recipe, very tasy. GREAT for guests. I did add some salt pepper and itilian seasoning to the flour for added flavor. We served this over pasta.
Cover and cook over low heat for 15 minutes or until meat is no longer pink. I turned the stove off and allowed the pork to cool in the pan with the top on while I did some housewor

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Meatball stuffed sandwiches

Meatball Stuffed Sandwiches from here

makes 4 large stuffed sandwiches

(*note: You can make these as easy or complicated as you would like. Homemade sauce and homemade meatballs would be delish. Regular mozzarella cut into strips or chunks would work fine.)

1 batch breadstick dough*
1/2 jar spaghetti sauce
20 frozen meatballs
4 string cheese

Breadstick Dough-

1 teaspoon yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 cup warm water
1/4 cup oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
approx. 2 1/2 cups flour

Pour water in mixing bowl. Sprinkle yeast and sugar on top. Allow to get foamy. Add oil, salt, seasoning, and flour. Mix together using dough hook for about five minutes- dough should be soft, but not sticky. Add flour as needed. Place dough, covered, in oiled bowl in warm place for 30-45 minutes. Punch down and proceef

Here's what you'll have at this point:

Roll dough on lightly floured surface into a large oblong shape, just under 1/4" thick I'd say. Let rest for a few minutes.:

Cut into four equal "rectangles". I use a pizza cutter for this:

Spread a couple tablespoons of sauce on each. Top with one string cheese.

Line 5 meatballs along each string cheese.

Brush a little water along the edges- this will make it seal better.

Fold short ends in toward middle.

Fold long sides.

Line up your stuffed sandwiches on a greased cookie sheet.

Cover and let rise for at least 30 minutes in a warm place or, alternatively, up to a few hours in a coolish place

Bake at 375 for about 15 minutes.

I loved the way the breadsticks dough tasted you! I did make my meatballs from scratch using this recipe. overall a great recipe. I could not prpare this on a weeknight but makes a great weekend recipe. I am sure they would freeze well as well.

Hot Cocoa - Adapted from Hersheys

Hot Cocoa - Adapted from Hersheys

8oz warm/hot milk
2 T cocoa (Special Dark is awesome)
2 T sugar
sprinkle, salt
1/4 tsp. vanilla*

*If you wish to have a more "french vanilla" cocoa, add 2ish tsp. vanilla

First, measure the cocoa and sugar and place in the bottom of the mug of choice.

Then, heat the milk (in a microwave safe container, or in a saucepan) until it reaches the desired warmness. I've found it helpful to warm the milk in a large measuring cup because it pours so nicely into the mug.

Stir the mix as needed to dissolve the chocolate. Some clumps will remain... but, that's life. ( Ipoured a little and then the remainder)

Add in vanilla and the dash of salt. I don't know why you need the salt, but, it does make a difference.

Enjoy your nice mug of hot chocolate.

Recommended use: with a blanket, a good book and sitting before a fireplace.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Peanut Butter Brownie Bites*

Peanut Butter Brownie Bites*

15 ounce package brownie mix
1/3 cup hot water
1/4 cup oil
1 egg
48 miniature chocolate covered peanut butter cups

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine brownie mix, water, oil and egg, beat well with spoon. Fill paper-lined mini-muffin cups 1/2 full. Press one peanut butter cup in each cup. Bake 15 - 20 minutes. Cool completely.

Review: These are great, a very nice combonations of flavors. Simple to make and the presentation is good!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Spaghetti and Ham bake

Spaghetti and Ham bake

From: Better Homes and Gardens

2 packages (7 ounces each) thin spaghetti, broken into 2-inch pieces
4 cups cubed fully cooked ham
2 cans (10-3/4 ounces each) condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
2 cups (16 ounces) sour cream
1/2 pound sliced fresh mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup sliced ripe olives, optional
1-1/2 teaspoons ground mustard
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

2 cups soft bread crumbs
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
Cook spaghetti according to package directions; drain and place in a large bowl. Stir in the ham, soup, sour cream, mushrooms, onion, olives if desired, mustard, seasoned salt and Worcestershire sauce.
Transfer to two greased 11-in. x 7-in. baking dishes. In a small bowl, toss bread crumbs and butter; add cheese. Sprinkle over casseroles.
Cover and freeze one casserole for up to 2 months. Bake the remaining casserole, uncovered, at 325° for 30 minutes or until heated through.
To use frozen casserole: Thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Bake, uncovered, at 325° for 50-55 minutes or until heated through. Yield: 2 casseroles (6 servings each).

Review: I prepared and cooked this all on the same night. This dish had a great combonation of flavors and was a great way to use up leftover ham. Once again it was very good!