Sunday, August 31, 2014

Menu for 9-1 to 9-7

Monday (Labor Day)
B- Pancakes and Bacon
L- ?
D- Huli Huli Chicken (NR), Macaroni Salad, and Corn on Cob

B- Blueberry Muffins (NR)
L- Pizza Bites
D- Meatloaf, Broccoli Rice Casserole, and Biscuits

B- Cinnamon Breakfast Bites (NR)
L- Sandwiches
D- ?

B- Cereal
L- Sausage, Cheese, and Crackers
D- Crockpot Cashew Chicken, Fried Rice, and Fortune Cookies (NR)

B- Croissant Casserole
L- New York Style White Pizza (NR)
D- Potato Soup (My oldest keeps asking for this!)

B- One Eyed Sailor
L- ?
D- Chicken Cordon Bleu Hand Pies (NR), Pea Salad, and Lemon Potatoes

B- Cinnamon Rolls
L- Out
D- Leftovers

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Cucumber Salad

Hubby liked these... said they tasted like sweet pickles...

3 cups cucumbers (sliced)
2 tsps. minced fresh cilantro

1/4 cup sugar
2 tb water
2 tb white wine vinegar
2 tb lime juice
1 green onion thinly sliced (I used 1 tsp onion powder)
1/2 tsp salt

In a salad bowl, combine cucumber and cilantro.
In a small bowl, whisk the dressing ingredients.
Drizzle over salad and toss to coat.
Serve with a slotted spoon.

Sweet Cucumber Salad Recipe

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Magic Cake

This cake is wonderfully versatile.  I love that with seven simple ingredients, that most of us keep stocked up in our pantry, you can have a yummy dessert.  Even better is the fact that this can easily be made into a chocolate, lemon, almond, etc... cake.  How wonderful is that? 
While making this don't be alarmed that the batter is VERY thin.  This is ok and is the reason it is able to magically transform into the three layers.  Not only does this taste great it looks great too!  While it is baking it makes three layers, don't ask me how... after all it is a Magic Cake.  The top is golden and there is a custard like layer in the middle. 
You can mix this cake up in just a few minutes, so what are the cons of this recipe?  Only one... it takes awhile to come out of the oven and you are left drooling from the aroma that fills your house. 
4 eggs (separate yolks from whites) at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup sugar
1 stick or ½ cup butter, melted
3/4 cup flour
2 cups milk lukewarm
powdered sugar for dusting cake
Preheat oven to 325 F degrees.
Grease a 8 inch x 8 inch baking dish. (I used a 9x9)
Separate eggs and add the egg whites to a mixer and mix until egg whites are stiff.
Place egg whites in a bowl and set aside.
Beat the egg yolks with the sugar until light.
Add butter and vanilla extract and continue beating for another minute or two after which you can add the flour and mix it in until fully incorporated.
Slowly start adding the milk and beat until everything is well mixed together.
Add the egg whites, a third at a time and gently fold them in using a spatula, repeat until all egg whites are folded in.
Pour batter into baking dish and bake for 40 to 70 minutes or until the top is lightly golden. (The baking time could vary greatly depending on the oven, so take a peek at around 40 minutes and see how it looks.)
Sprinkle some powdered sugar after cake has cooled.

Green Bean, Chicken and Potato Dish

This was simple and tasty.  Everyone in our family enjoyed it and it was gone quickly... my son had about 6 servings of the green beans.  The only thing I would change is to add one more potato, another chicken breast, and one more package of seasoning.  This is mainly just because ours was devoured so quickly.

4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 can green beans, drained (I used a bag of frozen green beans... we don't do canned)
2-3 potatoes, cubed (I boil mine first to soften them up before putting in the oven – they seem to take forever to cook for me)
1 packet Good Seasons Italian Dressing Mix
1 stick butter, melted

Spray a 9” x 13” dish with cooking spray.
Take your one or two cans of drained green beans and empty on one side of the baking dish
Place your chicken breasts in the middle of the dish in a line
Put your potatoes on the third side of the dish.
Sprinkle your Italian Dressing Mix over the entire dish.
Drizzle melted butter over top.
Cover with foil and bake in your oven at 350 degrees for one hour.
Remove from oven, and serve

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Rosa's Biscuits

Before my grandmother got Parkinson's (and several other issues) she loved to cook and was pretty good at it.  Now it is kind of scary to have her anywhere near a kitchen, but in her day she was a wonderful cook.  She is actually part of the reason I love cooking so much.  My mother wasn't much of a cook or baker so my Grammy and I always made goodies together.  She loves (still) reading cooking magazines and cookbooks and has given me several.   

A few years ago I was able to score the Bon Appetit magazine for $12 for 3 years... yep that's 36 issues for next to nothing.  As I was going through some of the magazines/cookbooks my grandmother gave me I found a few of the OLDER issues of Bon Appetit.  It makes me happy to know that we like the same magazines. 

Today I was looking through my newest issue and found this recipe, these were everyone's favorite part of the meal, we ALL loved them!  I made them earlier in the day and just popped them in the oven...

cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup sugar
teaspoons baking powder
teaspoons kosher salt, plus more
1 cup (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces; plus 6 Tbsp. (¾ stick), melted
¾ cup chilled buttermilk (I used whole milk... it's all I had)

Preheat oven to 350°.
Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, and 1½ tsp. salt in a large bowl.
Add chilled butter and toss to coat.
Work butter into flour mixture with your fingers until mixture resembles coarse meal with several pea-size pieces of butter remaining.
Using a fo`, gently mix in buttermilk, then gently knead just until dough comes together (do not overmix).
Pinch off pieces of dough and gently roll into 1” balls; place on 2 parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing 2” apart (you should have about 24).
If butter softens too much while you are working, chill dough until firm before baking, 15–20 minutes.
Bake biscuits until golden brown, 25–30 minutes.
Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with more salt.
Serve warm.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Menu for 8-25 to 8-31

School starts Monday which means Belly and I are the only ones home at lunch.  :-(  Also I am going to start doing meatless Monday!

Monday (1st day of school)
B- Chocolate Chip Muffins
L- Sandwiches (I got some great Sourdough bread from Panera with our GC)
D- Chick- Fil- A (I had a rough afternoon)

B- Pancake Pops
L- Pizza Bites
D- Chicken, Green Beans and Potato Bake (NR) and Biscuits (NR)

B- Cereal
L- PBJ Sushi
D- Hamburger Steak, Macaroni and Cheese, and Glazed Carrots

B- Moist Pecan Almond Loaf Cake (NR)
L- Leftovers
D- Hubby ended up having to work late so I didn't cook!  The kids had earned free Subway during summer reading!

B- One Eyed Sailors
L- Lunch With Boys at School
D- Huli Huli Chicken (NR), Broccoli Rice Casserole, Cheese Biscuits

B- Fancy Ham and Egg Biscuits (NR)
L- Pesto Grilled Cheese Sandwich
D- Parm Crusted Steak, Baked Potato, Grilled Veggies (NR)

B- Hash Brown Casserole
L- Roast, Potatoes, and Carrots
D- Leftovers

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Chocolate Chip Muffins 2

I saw this picture today and the muffins looked so beautiful so I decided to for go my regular chocolate chip muffin recipe and make these.  I will say they are both good... and honestly I cant really tell which I like more.  I don't think my kids even noticed that they were different from what I usually make.
3 cups (375) all-purpose flour (very careful not to overmeasure)
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 eggs, room temperature preferred
1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
1 cup (240ml) milk* 
1/2 cup (120ml) canola oil (or vegetable oil/melted coconut oil)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 and 1/2 cups (270g) semi-sweet chocolate chips (or chocolate chunks; or dark chocolate; or milk chocolate)
coarse sugar for sprinkling (optional)

Preheat oven to 425F degrees.
Spray your muffin tin of choice with non-stick spray or line with muffin liners.
Set aside.
In a large bowl, gently toss together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
Mix until all dry ingredients are combined – a 20 second toss to disburse everything together.
Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and sugar until combined.
Mix in milk, oil, and vanilla.
Mixture will be pale and yellow.
Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix everything together by hand with a wooden spoon. Avoid overmixing.
Gently mix until all the flour is off the bottom of the bowl and no big pockets of flour remain.
The batter will be VERY thick and somewhat lumpy.
Fold in the chocolate chips.
Divide batter among prepared muffin tins, filling all the way to the top.
Top with a sprinkle coarse sugar, if preferred.
Bake at 425F degrees for 5 minutes.
Reduce oven temperature to 375 and continue to bake for 25-26 minutes until tops are lightly golden and centers appear set.
Allow to cool for 10 minutes in pan before enjoying.
Muffins taste best fresh the same day.
Store muffins at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Muffins freeze well, up to 3 months.

*For 15-16 standard size muffins, reduce baking time to 18-19 total minutes: 5 initial minutes at the 425F and 13-14 minutes at 375F. For 30 mini muffins, bake for 11-12 minutes at 375F the entire time.

Big, bakery-style muffins stuffed with chocolate chips and topped with a sprinkle of sugar. These are the BEST chocolate chip muffins! @sallybakeblog