Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Cheeseburger and Fry Casserole

I found an article recently about people combining their foods and so I thought about cheeseburgers and french fries and this is what I got.  I threw this together very quickly and it tasted delicious!
1 lbs hamburger
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder or 2 garlic cloves, chopped finely
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 jar Ragu cheese sauce
1 (16 ounce) package frozen french fries or 1 (16 ounce) package tater tots (I made my own fries...  I don't do frozen :-) )
1 teaspoon cajun seasoning
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Brown hamburger with onions and cloves of garlic if using until no longer pink and onions and garlic are translucent.
Drain grease.
Season meat with salt, pepper and garlic powder (if using instead).
Return meat to the heat and stir in cheese sauce.
Heat through until bubbly.
Season with cajun seasoning.
Spray a 9x13 cake pan with cooking spray and place meat mixture in the bottom of the pan and spread it out evenly. 
Cover the meat mixture with the frozen french fries in an even layer.
Bake for 30 minutes, or until the french fries are golden brown or if using tator tots until they are golden brown.
Remove from oven and sprinkle the top with the cheese.
Return to oven until cheese is melted. (I leave until cheese starts to get brown).



Monday, April 28, 2014

Deviled Eggs

This is the first time I have ever made deviled eggs, honestly I have never liked them because of the mayo factor so I decided to make some without mayo and the easiest thing to substitute is ranch.  I LOVE ranch dressing and with the mustard it gives the eggs a little bit of tang.  All the kids hubby and I really enjoyed these and I am sure we will be making them again sometime soon.
6 hard boiled eggs
1/4 cup ranch
1 tsp yellow mustard
1 tsp white distilled vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
Hard boil, cool, and peel eggs.
Cut eggs in half lengthwise and carefully remove the yolks.  
Place yolks in a bowl.
Mash with a fork.
Add ranch, yellow mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper.
Continue mixing and mashing with a fork until smooth and creamy.
Spoon yolk mixture back into the egg white shells.
Sprinkle with paprika for a garnish.
Store in an airtight container or on a plate wrapped in plastic wrap in the refrigerator.
Raegan Mirick's photo.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Menu for 4-28 to 5-4

B- Leftover Muffins
L- Cheese Pizza
D- Meatball Subs, Broccoli, and Deviled Eggs (NR)

B- Hootenanny Pancakes (NR)
L- Ranch Chicken Pizza

B- Ham Bake (NR)
L- Leftovers
D- Cheeseburger and Fries Casserole (NR) and Corn

B- French Toast
L- ?
D- Disney on Ice!!!!

B- Cereal
L- Baked Potato Pizza
D- Beef Pie!!! (one of my faves), Mushy Peas, and Macaroni and Cheese

B- Bread Pudding with Vanilla Sauce (NR)
L- BBQ Chicken Pizza
D- Sizzling Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, and ?

B- Biscuit Casserole (NR)
L- Lunch at Church
D- Leftovers

Friday, April 25, 2014

French Scrambled Eggs

Tonight I had the brilliant idea to have breakfast for dinner.  I thought that it would be quick and easy which is the goal since hubby is on nights this week and dinner has to be ready EARLY.  I think I was wrong... or I took on to much. 

I made hash browns, gravy, bacon, biscuits, pancakes and these eggs.  I found this recipe earlier on pinterest and decided to make it with a few changes.  I added in some garlic and onion (powder) because it gave it a little more flavor.  Honestly these were the best eggs I have ever had, they were light and fluffy but so full or flavor at the same time.

Nathan who usually isn't a big fan of eggs said they were good and that they were even better than the eggs they had at school on green egg and ham day...  I guess this means I did a good job.  ;-)  I think these eggs will become a go to for breakfast in our home.  We hope that you like these as much as we did.

2 tb butter
5 large eggs
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic salt with parsley

Place water in the bottom of a double boiler and heat until boiling, reduce the heat to very low.
When the water is simmering, place the top of the double boiler over the water.
Add 1 tablespoon of the butter and heat until melted.
Meanwhile, whisk the eggs in a medium bowl just until combined.
Add 1 tablespoon butter, cut into small pieces, salt to taste and a grinding of pepper.
Pour into the double boiler.
Cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or heatproof rubber spatula, until eggs are thickened into soft curds, 10 to 15 minutes.
French Scrambled Eggs. Photo by Bonnie G #2

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Cheesy Potatoes

Tonight I threw these together out of sheer desperation while making dinner and they were super yummy.

4-6 potatoes (cubed)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup ranch
1 tb onion powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp powder
1/4 cup butter (melted)
2 cups cheese
bacon bits

Place the potatoes in the bottom of a deep baking dish.
Mix together all other ingredients (except cheese and bacon bits) and pour over the top.
Then top with cheese and sprinkle on bacon bits.
Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or till potatoes are tender.

Garlic and Cheese Peas

We were less than ecstatic about these, while there was nothing wrong with them they just aren't our favorite peas ever.  Hubby likes Pea Salad much more!

1 pound fresh green peas (or frozen should work fine too)
2 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. crushed garlic
1/4 cup fresh, chopped parsley
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
dash of sea salt

In a large sauté pan, melt the butter and add the garlic.
Stir around for a minute or two and then add the peas.
Mix until the peas are coated with the butter and garlic.
Cover and cook for 5-8 minutes (frozen peas will cook a little faster).
Remove the lid and stir.
Top with the grated Parmesan and stir in.
Salt to taste.

Garlic Brown Butter Chicken and Spaghetti

This was a great main dish, the flavoring was perfect.  After I cooked my chicken there was some juice left over and I poured it into the noodles and the combination was wonderful.  I doubled this recipe to be able to feed everyone in my family and absolutely everyone enjoyed it.

  • ½ boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp oil (sunflower or cannola)
  • 2 tsp garlic,minced
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • salt, black pepper, to taste
  • red pepper flakes (optional)

  • about ⅓ lb spaghetti
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 2 tsp garlic,minced
  • salt, pepper to taste
  • grated Parmesan cheese

    1. Season chicken breast with salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes. Place in well oiled porcelain or pyrex baking dish.
    2. In a small pan, heat butter and oil, add garlic and cook for just a few seconds. Do not allow garlic to brow or it will taste bitter.
    3. Add brown sugar and mix.
    4. Cover chicken breast with this mixture. Bake for about 25-30 (350 degrees) minutes or until chicken is cooked through and juices run clear.
    5. In the meantime cook spaghetti in salted water and drain.
    6. In a pan, melt butter, add garlic and cook for a few seconds. Season with salt and pepper. Add spaghetti and toss well to combine.
    7. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese. Garnish with chopped parsley (optional).
    Garlic Butter Spaghetti and Chicken -

    Wednesday, April 23, 2014

    Fudgy Chocolate Cake Bars

    Look how beautiful this is!  I just get all excited looking at this picture which is why I decided I NEEDED to make it today!  Hubby is working nights this week and I like to send things for him to snack on while he is working, to me it is my way of saying thank you, and all the other guys he works with enjoy it as much as he does.  In fact a few of them put in special requests for what they want...I think they might be spoiled.  ;-) 
    This smelled absolutely heavenly the last few minutes it was baking.  The whole front of our house was filled with the scent of chocolate wafting in the air.  Taking a bite of this chocolaty goodness is a real treat for your taste buds trust me they will adore you, your hips might not...  Who cares though?  Right?  You only live once you might as well live deliciously.  Top this with some ice cream and you are good to go.  Have a blessed day!
    Chocolate Cake Bars

    8 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
    1½ sticks salted butter, about 170 grams, softened
    1 cup sugar
    ¼ cup all purpose flour
    6 eggs, yolks and whites separated
    8 ounces semisweet chocolate chips (for the frosting)
    1 cup heavy cream (for the frosting)
    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
    Melt 8 ounces of chocolate chips in a double boiler, or if you don't have a double boiler, just melt it in a heat-safe bowl over a pot of boiling water.
    Stir in the butter until it's all melted.
    Transfer the melted mixture to a cooler, larger bowl and add the sugar and flour.
    Lightly beat the egg yolks and stir them into the bowl.
    Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until they are stiff. I find that it helps to have a cold bowl when I do this, and usually it takes about 3 minutes.
    Fold the stiff egg whites into the chocolate mixture.
    Pour the batter into the rectangular bar pan (9x13) or a round cake pan (8½ inches) lined with parchment paper and bake for about 30-35 minutes. The cake should have a thin crust on top when it's done, but the inner texture might appear underbaked. That's okay - the cake settles and firms up as it cools. It's meant to be thick and fudgy. I baked for 35 minutes and I wish I had stopped at 30.
    Make the frosting by melting the chocolate again in the double boiler with the cream, stirring until just melted.
    Let the frosting cool slightly and then gently spread the frosting over the cake bars.
    To set the frosting, let it cool in the refrigerator. Or dig in to the hot melty chocolate. Up to you.

    Tuesday, April 22, 2014

    Chocolate Cupcake Cocktail

    Guys I am going to tell you now that you will want to avoid this post, turn around now go back to what you were doing and don't read this!

    So here is the deal I am craving chocolate like nobody's business, if you didn't guess my "friend" will be coming to visit me in a few days.  So to settle my craving for chocolate I went in search of a recipe on Pinterest.  I found this and decided to give it a try luckily Phillip had been to the liquor store recently so we had everything on hand!

    The drink took less than a minute to whip up and has a great creamy smooth texture.  The flavor is wonderful and leaves you wanting more, but since it's a school night for the kiddos one is a good stopping point.  ;-)

  • 1/4 cup Vanilla frosting (I used chocolate)
  • 1 cup Rainbow jimmies (sprinkles)
  • Chocolate syrup
  • 1oz Whipped cream vodka
  • 1oz Amaertto
  • 1oz Chocolate cream liquor
  • 1oz Heavy whipping cream
  • Ice cubes (I didn't add ice)
  • Serving glass (I used a martini glass, but any glass you have could be used)
    Rim your serving glass with a generous amount of vanilla frosting.
    Make sure to get the inside, outside and top of the rim.
    Place rainbow jimmies into a flat bottomed, shallow bowl (or a small plate).
    Press frosted glass into the jimmies.
    You may need to move the jimmies around to ensure that all the frosting has be covered.
    On the inside of the glass, swirl chocolate syrup starting at the top and ending at the bottom of the glass.
    In a large glass, place the ice, whipped cream vodka, amaertto, chocolate cream liquor and heavy whipping cream. (I also added in 1/4 cup of chocolate icing)
    Stir with a spoon until well combined and chilled.
    Carefully strain into the prepared glass.
    Serve immediately.
    Chocolate Cupcake Cocktail

    Monday, April 21, 2014

    Chicken Enchilada Soup

    Utterly disappointing!  My kids liked it, hubby and I both just said it was ok nothing amazing.  It had an odd texture and the flavor was kind of bland... I even topped it with cheese and garnished with taco shells and it still didn't help it.  :-(

    2 C of diced chicken (I used breast meat)
    1 Tbsp olive oil
    1/2 C onion, diced
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    4 C chicken broth
    1/2 C masa harina
    2 C water, divided
    1 C enchilada sauce
    1 4.5 oz. can mild green chilies
    1 12 oz. can diced tomatoes
    1 can corn
    1/2 tsp salt
    1 tsp chili powder
    1/2 tsp ground cumin
    Cook onion and garlic in oil until onions are translucent.
    Add in chicken broth.
    In a bowl combine 1 cup water with 1/2 C masa harina. Mix until well blended and smooth.
    Add into chicken broth and stir to combine.
    Add in remaining 1 C water, enchilada sauce, green chilies, corn and tomatoes into chicken broth mixture.
    Add in salt, chili powder and cumin.
    Bring to a boil.
    Add in chicken and reduce heat and allow to simmer for 30-40 minutes, until thickened.
    If it thickens too much add some additional water or chicken broth.
    Chicken Enchilada Soup

    Glow in the Dark Egg Hunt

    For the past 3 or 4 years we have hosted an Easter egg dying party the week before Easter.  This year since I have a child in school (our party was during the day for mommas and kiddos)  I decided to change it up a bit.  While trying to think of something fun to do I had a brilliant idea, a glow in the dark egg hunt. 
    I liked this idea because it is different enough that it will be new for the kids but it will be super easy to pull off.  Another plus is that there is less preparation for me and it is much cleaner than dying eggs.  :-)  So since we couldn't fit it in before Easter we decided to do it the weekend after and my kids can not wait.  They are so excited and beyond thrilled to do this!
    Of course we will have other things going on too, the party starts at 5 and we will have the bounce house up, horseshoes, game tables set up and then we will eat dinner.  After dinner the party really gets started when the kids get to search for their eggs. 
    Last week I got slightly nervous and went ahead and made sure that you could actually see the glow stick inside the eggs.  I was so thrilled when it worked, how bad would that have been if I waited till the day of the party and then it didn't work?  I can only imagine how sad my kids would be. 
    Since the eggs have glow sticks in them instead of candy I will also have little goody bags for the kids with some candy, pencils, tattoos, and a few other fun things.
    Since the party is happening at dinner time we are doing a potluck style meal and this is what our menu looks like so far:
    Roast Chicken
    Broccoli Cheese Casserole
    Deviled Eggs
    Macaroni and Cheese
    Twice Baked Potatoes
    Chocolate Chip Pie
    Sweet Tea
    Unsweet Tea
    Dr Pepper
    Diet Dr Pepper

    Doesn't that sound yummy!

    Saturday, April 19, 2014

    Menu for 4-21 to 4-27

    B- Hootenanny Pancakes (NR)
    L- Corn Dogs and Strawberries
    D- Chicken Enchilada Soup (NR)

    B- Cereal
    L- Mini Pizzas
    D- Hamburger Steak, Mashed Potatoes, and Green Bean Bundles

    B- Chocolate Chip Muffins
    L- Chicken and Pretzels
    D- Garlic Butter Spaghetti and Chicken (NR), Peas and Caprese Salad

    B- One Eyed Sailor
    L- Sandwich and Mandarin Oranges
    D- Cracker Barrel Chicken, Cheesy Potatoes (NR) ,and Glazed Carrots

    B- Cereal
    L- Lunch with Nathan
    D- Pancakes, Bacon, Biscuits, Gravy, Scrambled Eggs (NR) and Hash Browns (NR)

    B- Monkey Bread
    L- Egg Salad Sandwiches
    D- Glow in the Dark Easter Egg Hunt

    B- Muffins
    L- Out
    D- Leftovers

    Friday, April 18, 2014

    Easter Bark

    I haven't tasted this yet but all three of my kids declared it was delicious, the fun thing about this recipe is that you can change it up depending on the holiday.  At Christmas you can do peppermint, at Halloween do orange and black, Valentines candy hearts!  The possibilities are endless, this is just one of the perks of this recipe, another bonus is that you can whip this up in about five minutes.  How great is that for an after school snack or for when you have extra kids over?
    1/2 lb White Almond Bark (I used closer to 1 lb)
    1/4 -1/2 Cup Easter M & M's
    Pastel Sprinkles

    Place the almond bark in a microwave safe dish and microwave for 90 seconds.
    Stir and return to the microwave for 15 second intervals until fully melted.
    Line a baking sheet with wax paper and pour and spread the almond bark.
    Drop the M & M's evenly over the melted bark along with the sprinkles.  
    Allow to cool and break into pieces. In a hurry, place in the freezer for a few minutes.

    *Almond Bark needs to be in a dry container when melted or it will not melt correctly. Even a little drop of water will ruin it.

    Pastel Mint Patties

    I just made these and even though they say to sit out for a day I tried one anyway and the flavor is pretty good, I think the kiddos will really like them tomorrow.  I am off to bake Easter cookies so the kids can decorate them while waiting for dinner tomorrow night.  :-)

    1/4 cup butter, softened
    1/3 cup light corn syrup
    4 cups powdered sugar, divided
    1 - 2 tsp your choice of extract or candy flavoring - I used mint
    food coloring - preferably gel or paste
    1/2 cup granulated sugar (to roll balls in)
    Combine butter and corn syrup together in a small bowl.
    Add 2 cups powdered sugar and your choice of extract and beat until well combined.
    Add extract 1/2 teaspoon at a time until the mixture reaches your desired flavor.
    Stir in an additional cup of powdered sugar.
    Turn bowl onto a cutting board sprinkled with last cup of powdered sugar.
    Knead the mixture until sugar is absorbed and is completely smooth.
    Divide dough into four portions.
    Tint one portion pink, one green, one blue and one yellow.
    Shape into 3/4 inch balls and roll in granulated sugar.
    Flatten gently with a fork.
    Let candies stand, uncovered, at room temperature for 1 day.
    Store in an airtight container.
    Pretty Pastel Mint Patties are perfect for Easter and Spring! |

    Baked Egg Boats

    This was a great breakfast it smelled wonderful while it was baking in the oven, I did make a few changes so make sure you read my notes at the bottom!
    4 demi sourdough baguettes (I used 1 large loaf of French bread, our store was out of Baguettes)
    5 eggs ( I used 4 eggs)
    1/3 cup heavy cream
    4 ounces pancetta, finely chopped and fried until crisp (This is just an Italian type of bacon)
    3 ounces gruyere cheese, grated (I did 1/3 a cup and then sprinkled more across the top)
    2 green onions, thinly sliced (I did 1 tsp onion powder)
    salt and pepper to taste

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
    Cut a deep “V” through the tops of each baguette until about a 1/2 inch to the bottom. Partially unstuff the baguettes. Set aside.
    Place the eggs and cream into a mixing bowl and lightly beat together. Whisk in the remaining ingredients and lightly season with salt and pepper.
    Divide and pour the mixture into each baguette boat and place onto a baking sheet.
    Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown, puffed and set in the center. Season with salt and pepper.
    Allow to cool for about 5 minutes, cut and serve.
    * After I hollowed out my bread I melted 2 tb of butter and then stirred in 1 tsp garlic salt and brushed it on the bread for a little extra flavor!
    * If you are like me and don't care for bacon then you can spread some cheese over the eggs and then put the bacon on top so that you can control where the bacon goes better than if you mix it in.

    Tuesday, April 15, 2014

    Flourless Cheesy Bread

    This bread was pretty good, I would make it again, however it wasn't mind blowing.  I did end up using flour in mine because I have heard of arrowroot before but have never used it and honestly have no clue where I would even buy any if I wanted to use it.

    1 egg
    1/2 cup packed grated Parmesan cheese
    1 cup packed shredded cheddar cheese
    2 tb plain whole milk yogurt ( I just used milk not yogurt)
    1/4 cup arrowroot* (I used flour... I guess it isn't flourless anymore :-))
    pinch cayenne pepper
    pinch fine ground celtic sea salt
    1/4 tsp baking soda

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
    Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl.
    Mix with a stand mixer until well-combined.
    Spread the mixture onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or an Exopat.
    Use a silicone spatula to spread the mixture out as thin as you can make it without seeing any holes.
    Bake at 350 degrees for 18-22 minutes. The edges should be very browned, and the top should be nicely browned.
    Remove from the oven and cool for a few minutes.
    Then use a pizza cutter or knife to cut the bread into wedges or pieces.

    Flourless Cheesy Bread Recipe  The Nourished Life

    Monday, April 14, 2014

    Crispy Coconut Chicken

    Holy yum!  This chicken was amazing!  I didn't tell the kiddos that it had coconut because honestly I thought it might scare them off from trying it, they really really loved it though.  It was crunchy but sweet and had just the right amount of coconut so that it wasn't overpowering. 

    On a side note there was some extra bread crumbs and coconut so I threw it on the pan and cooked it too, we then mixed it in with the rice pilaf and I was amazed at how wonderful it was!  It was such a great combination of flavors.

    2 T olive oil
    5 chicken breasts (about 2 1/2 pounds)
    1 egg
    2 T milk
    2 C panko bread crumbs (I only used 1 1/2 and it was plenty)
    1/2 C coconut (I used sweetened)
    1/8 t salt

    Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
    Pour 2 tablespoons olive oil onto a large cookie sheet.
    Spread it around evenly over the pan.
    Cut 5 chicken breasts into strips that are about 2 inches wide. (Give or take...please don't search for a ruler).
    Crack an egg into a loaf pan.
    Add 2 tablespoons milk and whisk the two together until well combined.
    In a separate loaf pan combine 2 cups panko bread crumbs, 1/2 cup coconut and 1/8 teaspoon salt.
    Dredge each chicken slice into the egg mixture and then into the coconut mixture.
    Be sure to press the mixture into the chicken a bit to help it stick.
    Lay each piece of coated chicken onto your greased cookie sheet.
    Spray a bit of cooking spray over the tops to give them a little bit of moisture.
    This will also help the bread crumbs and coconut to get golden brown.
    Bake for 40 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the coating is crisp. 

    Saturday, April 12, 2014

    Menu for 4-14 to 4-20

    B- Cereal
    L- Popcorn Chicken and Strawberries
    D- Crispy Coconut Chicken (NR), Flourless Cheesy Bread (NR), Rice Pilaf, and That Corn

    B- Mini Egg Omelets (NR)
    L- Grammy took us out for pizza
    D- Meat Loaf, Green Bean Bundles, Cheese Sticks (left over from lunch), and Potatoes

    B- Cinnamon Bread
    L- Sandwich and Pretzels
    D- Pizza

    B- Chocolate Chip Muffins
    D- Cajun Chicken Pasta and Red Lobster Biscuits

    Friday (No School!)
    B- Egg Boats (NR)
    L- Mc Donald's (We are doing a minor remodel and didn't have time to cook)
    D- Sandwich

    B- Brunch Enchiladas
    L- Easter party at Church
    D- Easter at Mom and Dad's (I think Pizza Pan is catering)

    Sunday (Easter)
    L- Brown Butter Ravioli with Rotisserie Chicken, Toasted Walnuts and Crispy Sage (NR)
    D- Leftovers

    Wednesday, April 9, 2014

    Chicken Pot Pie Soup

    Yummy yummy yummy I got love in my tummy...  holy cow ultimate comfort food alert!  Hubby took one bite and said that I should make this more often and two of the three kids loved it as well.  My grandmother also said it was delicious.  I would definently double or triple tis recipe because it doesn't make all that much! 

    2 cup chicken, cooked and diced
    3 Tbsp unsalted butter
    1/2 yellow onion, diced
    3 celery stalks, diced
    1 cup fresh carrots
    1/4 cup all purpose flour
    3/4 cup chicken broth
    1 cup heavy cream
    1 cup milk 
    pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
    1 tsp kosher salt
    1/2 tsp ground black pepper
    1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
    1/2 package pie crust (I used Pillsbury), thawed (this is plenty you won't need to double it)

    In a large pot, melt butter over medium high heat.
    Add onions, celery and carrots and cook to soften about 3-5 minutes.
    Sprinkle with flour and cook an additional minute, stirring constantly.
    Slowly add broth, milk, cream, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.
    Use a whisk to combine, then add in cooked chicken.
    Heat over medium heat until warm, about 10-15 minutes.
    To make crust strips, unroll thawed pie crust (for one crust).
    Cut into strips and lay on parchment paper lined baking sheet.
    Bake in a 450 degree oven for 6-8 minutes, until browned.
    Remove from oven.
    To assemble, Pour soup into individual ramekins and top with shredded cheese and pieces of pie crust strips. ENJOY!
    Chicken Pot Pie Soup recipe: a delicious soup that is on your table in 30 minutes! #pillsburypiecrust

    Raising Money

    This year Nathan is going to be attending Pine Cove Base Camp at our church, he is VERY excited about it.  Since the price of camp is fairly high ($240) my husband thought he would appreciate it more if he helped raise the money.  He started off with doing a little yard work for my parents here and there and then "had a brilliant idea". 
    He decided that he wanted to sell cookies, brownies, and cinnamon bread.  When he first came up with this idea I honestly sort of dreaded it thinking I would be doing most of the work but I will say that he has done most of the work himself.   Not only has he raised enough money for Pine Cove but he is still happily baking and now his brother and sister are joining him.  They are now working on raising money for zoo camp. 
    This has been a fun family project and we have gotten to spend lots of time in the kitchen together, this afternoon my grandmother will be joining in the fun.  Nathan has done a great job all the cookies are put in pretty packages and then in bags with ribbon and a hand written thank you note.  I am so proud of this little guy! 

    Monday, April 7, 2014

    Chewier Monster Cookies

      The kids love the original monster cookie recipe I posted however they were too crunchy for me, so I found this recipe and decided to give it a try.  The flavor is about the same but these have a lighter and more airy texture.
    1 cup granulated sugar
    1 cup brown sugar
    1/2 cup butter, softened
    12 ounces creamy peanut butter
    3 eggs
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    3 1/2 cups oatmeal
    2 teaspoons baking soda
    1 cup flour
    1 cup mini chocolate chips
    3/4 cup m&m's
    Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
    Cream together granulated sugar, brown sugar, butter and peanut butter.
    Mix until well combined and then add one egg at-a-time to the mixture until all eggs are thoroughly incorporated.
    Add vanilla and give it a good stir.
    With the mixer running on low speed, add oatmeal, baking soda and flour until dough forms.
    Remove bowl from mixture and using a rubber spatula incorporate chocolate chips and m&m's.
    Place dough on prepared baking sheet with the help of a cookie scoop or about 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons of dough per cookie.
    Place in the oven and bake until lightly browned, about 7-9 minutes.
    Enjoy with a cold glass of milk.
    Chewy Monster Cookies will keep up to 1 week in your cookie jar or up to 6 weeks in an airtight container in the freezer.
    Chewy Monster Cookies by Deliciously Yum!

    Menu for- 4-7 to 4-13

    B- Chocolate Chip Pancakes
    L- Mini Pizzas
    D- Italian Roast, Cornbread, Macaroni Salad

    B- Doughnuts
    L- Sandwiches
    D- Honey Chicken Kabobs, Broccoli and Rice, and Potatoes

    B- Pancakes (Leftover)
    L- Pizza with Grammy
    D- Chicken Pot Pie Soup (NR)

    B- Cereal
    L- Corn Dogs and Strawberries

    B- Biscuits and Gravy
    L- Cheese Quesadillas
    D- Date with Belle

    B- Cinnamon Rolls
    L- ?
    D- Beef Tips, Mac and Cheese, Corn on Cob and Biscuits

    B- Hashbrown Casserole
    L- Butcher Shop (Grammy's Birthday Lunch)
    D- Leftovers

    Thursday, April 3, 2014

    Caprese Pasta Salad

    This dish is actually sitting in my fridge ready for us to eat at dinner tonight, with Phillip working nights I try and get everything done ahead of time that I can.   I changed this recipe up a bit to make it a little more flavorful.  In the end it turned out delicious (I might have sneaked a bite, or two, or three)!

    Ok dinner is over and while everyone enjoyed this we unanimously voted that the macaroni salad recipe I posted a few months ago is better. 

    1 pound bow tie pasta, cooked according to package
    1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut into fourths
    1 cup fresh mozzarella, cubed
    1/4 cup olive oil
    2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon pepper
    2 teaspoons garlic, minced
    1 teaspoon onion powder
    1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
    Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and serve.


    Wednesday, April 2, 2014

    Cheese Gougères

    These were great in fact they taste a lot like popovers.  I loved that they had a crunch on the outside but were so light and fluffy on the inside.  My oldest said that they were perfect with our Tomato soup tonight.  He also said that he liked how light they were and how "it feels like I'm not holding anything".  They were nice and easy to make infact I did everything ahead of time so all I had to do was pop them in the oven!

    1 cup (8 ounces) water
    8 tablespoons (4 ounces/1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into several pieces
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon dry mustard powder (optional)
    1 cup (5 ounces) all-purpose flour
    4 large eggs, lightly beaten
    1 1/2 cup (6 ounces) grated cheese, like gruyère or cheddar

    Boil the Water and Butter: Combine the water, butter, salt, and mustard (if using) in a 2- to 4-quart saucepan and bring to a rolling boil.
    Add the Flour: Once all the butter has melted, remove the pan from heat and add the flour all at once.
    Stir vigorously until the mixture comes together and resembles mashed potatoes.
    Cook the Dough: Return the pan to medium-low heat and stir for 3-5 minutes to dry out the dough. The dough is ready when it glistens and is thick enough to hold a spoon upright.
    Some starch buildup on the bottom of the pan is normal.
    Add the Eggs: Transfer the dough to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. (The following steps can also be done with a hand mixer or by hand with a stiff spatula.)
    Beat the dough on a medium-low speed for one minute until it stops steaming and is just warm to the touch.
    Continue beating and add the egg in four additions.
    Wait for each addition to be absorbed and for the dough to smooth out before adding the next.
    Scrape down the sides of the bowl if needed between additions.
    In the end, the dough should come together in a very smooth, creamy batter.
    Beat in the cheese.
    Bake the Gougères: Heat the oven to 450°F.
    Scoop rounded tablespoons of dough onto sheet pans lined with silicone mats or parchment paper. Space them at least an inch apart.
    Bake the gougères for 5 minutes and then turn the heat down to 350°F.
    Bake for another 20-25 minutes, rotating the pans once during baking.
    The finished gougères will be puffed, deep golden-brown, and dry to the touch (the cheese may still be bubbling a bit).
    They will also feel light and hollow when picked up.
    Cool the Gougères: Transfer the sheet pan to a cooling rack.
    Serve warm or room temperature.

    Cheese goucheres: I've never heard of them before, but I am positively drooling over the photos.

    Tuesday, April 1, 2014

    April Fool's Cupcakes

    So as you know if you read my blog at all my neighbor does a ton of taste testing for me, well today I took advantage of it...  I might have told him that I was trying out a new recipe, however I had made him an awful cupcake!

    Simple Vanilla Cake
    Garlic Powder
    Onion Powder
    Chili Powder
    Chocolate Icing

    Since I didn't want to ruin all the cupcakes I only did this to one.  To my surprise my neighbor ate the whole thing and after I went inside told my hubby that it was terrible.  Maybe the chocolate icing helped disguise some of the nasty flavor!  I honestly expected him to spit it out as soon as he tasted it.

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