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Friday, September 28, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Hockey try-outs start tomorrow. What does that mean?? I better stock up on cookie supplies!!

What you'll need:
1 C Oil (I use Canola but Vegetable works too) and, yes I said oil. It's the only cookie recipe I EVER use oil in. You can use butter if you don't trust me but they don't taste the same.
2 Eggs
2 t Vanilla
3/4 C Sugar
3/4 C packed Brown Sugar
1 t Baking Soda
2 1/4 C Flour
3/4 bag of chips~I like to use half semi sweet and half milk chocolate but any variation will work
Mix the wet ingredients and sugar in a bowl. Add the dry. Drop by spoonful (I use just a regular spoon) onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for about 7 minutes. Remove from pan, place on waxed paper and repeat until done. You do not need to let your pan cool. Makes about 60 cookies.

Packed brown sugar means to press the brown sugar into the cup. Think about it like you are building a sand castle. It needs to be tight in the cup.

Here is all the wet ingredients and sugars. Make sure you have all the lumps of the brown sugar worked out or you will have ugly looking cookies.

Add the dry ingredients. I forgot to take a photo of how to measure flour so I'll explain because measuring flour incorrectly can cause you to have cookies that are the wrong texture with either too much flour or not enough.

Scoop your cup into the flour, the flour should be heaping over the top of the cup. Take your finger or a knife and level the cup. NEVER bang the flour down into the cup. It should be light and leveled. You don't need to "sift" the flour into the bowl, just measure and dump. Add the baking soda and salt and mix it up.

This is what your dough will look like when all the ingredients are added.

This is how big I make mine. Don't press them down, simply take a spoonful and plop onto the pan. Uniform size is key because if they are different sizes, they will cook differently. You'll have doughy ones, burnt ones..not good. They will spread a bit so I typically do 3 per row, depends on the size of your pan.

Here is what they look like fresh from the oven. Notice only the edges are very lightly browned. Don't brown the whole cookie or you'll have crunchy cookies. We like chewy ones around here. If you like crunchy, leave them in longer. Remove them immediately from the pan and put them on wax paper (if you use a wire rack, they will fall apart) or they will continue to cook. Plop more dough on the pan, no need to cool pan and throw another batch in the oven.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Baked Apple Donut Holes

I added these to my "favorites" and yet haven't made them in FOREVER. I think I know how I'm heating up the house this weekend.

They are kind of a cross between muffins and cake donuts.

1/3 C Butter soft
1 Egg
1/3 C Milk ~ I used skim
1/2 C Apple Sauce ~ one of those little lunch pack ones if you don't want to measure
1 t Vanilla
1 1/2 C Flour
1 3/4 t Baking Powder
1/2 t Salt
1/2 t Nutmeg
1 t Cinnamon
1/2 C Sugar

2 T melted butter
1/2 C Sugar
1/2 T Cinnamon

Mix the wet ingredients together (first 5 in the recipe). Add the dry. Spray a mini muffin pan with cooking spray. Put about 1 1/2 T of dough into each cup. Bake 11 minutes at 350. Cool a few minutes. Brush tops with melted butter and throw in a bag on cinnamon and sugar. Shake and serve. Makes 36.

Here's your ingredients.
Mix your wet ingredients..Butter, Milk, Vanilla, Apple Sauce and Egg. Don't worry about the butter not completely mixing in, you'll take care of that when you add the dry ingredients.
Throw in the dry..flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon and sugar.
Here's the dough, it has a sticky texture.
Spray your tins well with cooking spray.
This is how much dough I put in each cup, about 3/4 full.
After the cups are filled, bang on your counter to get the air bubbles out.
11 minutes in the oven and this is what they look like. Nevermind the missing one, the cook needed to try one to make sure they were cooked thoroughly.
Melt a couple of T butter to brush the tops with.
Melted butter, ready to go.
Brush the tops with melted butter.
Toss in a bag with cinnamon and sugar mixture.
Donuts are ready for the taking.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Something cool

My kids have been pretty lucky when it comes to contests with the Twins and this year was no exception. Max was selected again to be the Junior PA announcer. When we walked up, the camera guy said, "Not much 'junior' left in him". I agreed that my 6 foot son didn't look very "junior" but he'll always be my baby.

He was fabulous by the way;)

Monday, September 24, 2012


This is a repeat too. But the weather got icky this weekend and it was time to break out the "cold" recipes:) I also figured out the Weight Watcher points. I divided this into 7 bowls and it was 6.5 points per serving. Pretty nice!!

1 lb 93% lean hamburger~I usually use ground turkey but the points are the same for either.
1/2 green pepper minced
1/3 medium onion diced
1 t chopped garlic~I use the jar stuff most of the time
1 Can Tomato Soup
1 Can diced Tomatoes~I use Petite diced
1 sm Can Tomato Sauce
2 Cans Spicy Chili Beans OR I used 1 can of Chili and 1 of Rinsed Black Beans
1 soup can water
3 T Chili Powder
Optional~Cayenne pepper to taste, I think I used about a teaspoon. I also minced up half a jalapeno this time. Since my kids don't eat it, I might as well have it the way I like it..SPICY!

Brown Meat, green pepper, onion and garlic. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Throw in the crockpot and dump in soup, tomatoes, sauce, beans, water, chili powder and cayenne. Crock on low for 4-6 hours and serve.

Here's your ingredients.

Slice the green pepper really thin and then mince. You can also use a little food processor if you feel like extra dishes.

It's hard to see the onions because I used a white cutting board but this is how much of each after they are chopped.

Here is your meat that is browned with the green peppers, onion and garlic. Don't forget to season your meat. Throw in your crockpot, dump in the rest, stir and crock for at least 4 hours.

Dinner is served. You can top with sour cream, cheese, jalapenos. Whatever tickles your fancy.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Spaghetti and Meatballs

A Repeat...BUT it's what we're having for dinner and I thought you might want to enjoy some too.

I really like Spaghetti and Meatballs and I don't know why I don't make them more often. The kids don't like meatballs but that actually makes it easier because they can eat just sauce on pasta without the interruption of ~gasp~ meat.

In an attempt to get them to eat a meatball, I left out minced green pepper because you know kids, if they spot anything "green", they freak..or at least my kids do. Max claimed he still didn't like it but I'm thinking he didn't "hate" it because he finished it..things are looking up. Anyway, I missed the green peppers. Green peppers have a definite taste and if you don't like them, leave them's all good either way.

So, let's get started. The sauce is the same as my regular spaghetti sauce minus the ground beef.

1/2 medium onion diced
3-4 cloves diced garlic
6 oz can tomato paste
16 oz tomato sauce ~ you can use 2 small or 1 large can
1 can diced tomatoes ~ I used petite cut
12 oz water
3 t Italian Seasoning
1 t Basil
1 t Oregano
2 bay leaves
1 t Cayenne pepper

Saute your onions and garlic in a bit of olive oil for a couple of minutes. When they start to smell good, add the diced tomatoes and seasoning. Stir around and simmer a few minutes. Add the rest, put on simmer and make your meatballs.

1 lb Ground Beef
1 Egg
3/4 package of crushed Saltines
1/2 small Onion minced
1/2 medium Green Pepper minced
1/2 t Salt
1/2 t Pepper
1/2 t Garlic Powder

Mix together, roll one meatball, microwave for 1 minute. Yes, I said's quick and the meatballs stay moist. Taste and make sure it is seasoned correctly. Roll up all your meatballs, cover with wax paper and microwave for 4-5 minutes depending on your microwave. Add to sauce. Simmer about an hour and serve over pasta.
Here is another one of the kitchen gadgets I love and endorse. The mini food processor or chopper that saves you SO much time. Works like a gem and LOVE it when I need onions and/or green pepper so finely minced that it literally makes me cry. Put your pepper and onion in and give it a blast. Ahh, so easy.
Here's your meat, onions and crumbs. I actually used bread crumbs for the first time ever and I didn't "love" them. The meatballs are firmer, they weren't bad, I just prefer the crackers and that's why I posted that as my recipe. If you want to go the crumb route, use 3/4 C fine bread crumbs. I also used a little over a pound of meat because I had meat that needed to be used up. The recipe above is accurate, pay no attention to the extra meat in the photo.
Add your egg and seasoning and get your hands dirty. Mix it up.
My meatballs are about the size of a large gumball, you know the .25 cent kind. Cook one for a minute and taste. Adjust seasoning if necessary. Roll up the rest and put them on a microwave safe plate. You don't have to leave too much room. Cover with wax paper. Cook 2 1/2 minutes, check and keep microwaving. Mine took 5 minutes.
Done. Now let's make some sauce.
Onions, garlic and 1 T Olive Oil. Cook until onions are softening, a few minutes.
Add tomatoes and simmer a few minutes with spices. Add sauce, paste and water.
Add your meatballs to the sauce and simmer for about an hour.
Now for some pasta information. Bring a large pot of cold water to boil you want to make sure the pasta will not be crowded or it won't cook correctly. Add 1 T of salt. Put your pasta in the water. I usually use the medium size box for a pot of sauce. Give the pasta a stir. I use thin spaghetti and it takes about 8-10 minutes to cook. You can give it one more stir if you want. Drain the pasta, NOT rinsing helps the sauce stick but rinsing with hot water will prevent sticking if it's going to be awhile before you eat. Or you can toss with a bit of cooking spray or olive oil. If you OVER cook, you can sometimes save the pasta by running VERY cold water immediately on top of the pasta.
Dinner is served:)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Lemon Bars

I love Lemon Bars. It was a bonus that I had some raspberries and blueberries in the freezer but if you don't they are just as good without. I only made 1/2 the recipe but I'm posting for a 13x9 pan.

1 1/2 C Flour
1/2 C Powdered Sugar
3/4 C Cold Butter

Mix together and press into 13x9 pan. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.

4 Eggs
1 1/2 C Sugar
3 T Flour
1 t Baking Powder
1/2 C Lemon Juice
Berries ~ Optional

Whisk together and pour on top of crust. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Dust with powdered sugar and serve.

Chop up your cold butter, it's easier to work with if you chop it up into pieces. You could use a pastry mixer but you know my style, less gadgets the better. So, mix your flour and powder sugar together and use two forks to mash the butter and flour mixture together.
You're going to mix the flour and powdered sugar in until it's crumbly and there are no chunks of butter. Pat this down and put in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes. Remember we're pretending this is a 13x9 pan;)
This is your crust out of the oven, I could have probably baked this for another minute or two but I was in a hurry
Pour the filling on top, place your berries on top if you choose and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden around the edges and set in the middle.
Sprinkle with powdered sugar and have a little taste of summer!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Red and White Lasagna

Remember when I've said to store those little bits of sauce away in the freezer until you get enough to do something with it. Here's what we're going to do with left over Creamy Italian sauce and regular Spaghetti sauce. If you don't want to make it from scratch, you can use your favorite jarred sauce I'm sure. Alanna claims the Ragu Alfredo sauce is very good. I'm taking her word on that one.

This was seriously YUMMY. I just made this for a party with 25 people and I was told repeatedly that it was the best lasagna they've ever had.

We're going to pretend that we're making a 13x9 pan because that's what most folks want to do when they are taking the time to make lasagna.'ll want left overs, I promise.

What you'll need:
3 C Red Sauce ~ I used my spaghetti sauce with ground turkey
1 1/2 C White Sauce ~ I used Creamy Italian Chicken sauce with chicken but you could use Alfredo
Box of Lasagna Noodles
1 Egg beaten
15 oz container Ricotta~I used low fat
1/2 bag of Spinach chopped
1/2 t salt
1 t pepper and garlic powder
1/2 C Asiago shredded ~ you could use Parmesan or any hard cheese like that
3 C Mozzarella shredded

Mix your egg, Ricotta, spinach, salt, pepper, garlic powder and Asiago cheese and set aside.

Spray a 13x9 pan. Put 1 1/2 C red sauce in the bottom of pan, top with dry lasagna noodles, single file.

Half of the ricotta mixture goes on top of the noodles.

Top with white sauce

Sprinkle with 1 1/2 C Mozzarella.

Another layer of noodles

Rest of Ricotta mixture

Rest of red sauce

Rest of mozzarella cheese

Cover and refrigerate over night. Take out of fridge for at least 30 minutes (you can go as long as an hour out of the fridge) before popping into a 350 degree oven for an hour uncovered. Serve.



Beaten Egg

this is what the spinach mix looks like

spinach spread on top


White sauce

Noodles, not pictured

Spinach mixture, not pictured,

Cheese, not pictured

Noodles, not pictured

Red Sauce, not pictured



Friday, September 14, 2012

Pan Fried Chicken

I use a non stick pan and leave most the butter in the fridge. The chicken also tastes great without it, you just have to watch it a little better so, choice is yours.

I also found these 90 second brown rice packages at the grocery store. They are AWESOME and I use them ALL the time. I throw some minced carrots (give them a spin in a mini food processor or chop by hand), minced onion and garlic in a pan with teaspoon of Olive oil. Saute for a couple of minutes. Add rice, soy sauce, probably 2 T, 2 t of garlic powder and a small drizzle of sesame oil or olive oil, cook together until heated through. This is our cheater fried rice and it only took about 6 minutes.

Max requests this meal more than anything else I make:) and I have dinner on the table in less than 20 minutes.

1 pkg boneless Chicken Breast cut into bite size pieces
1 T Butter or Olive Oil
1 t Garlic Powder
Salt and Pepper to Taste

Cut your chicken into bite size pieces. LOVE my kitchen sheers for this job.
Throw your chicken and butter into a pan. Season and cook until cooked through, about 5 minutes

Sorry, since it was so quick, I stopped taking photos;)