Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Sometimes you just need chocolate.

Chocolate can make even the worst day, just a little better, easier. 

So those farmers in South America and Africa that grow the cacao beans and ship them to be processed are an important part of a magical process to produce happiness and euphoria all over the world.

And yet, sometimes you just don't have the energy to make an epic chocolate something, it's just not happening baby....but you want more than just a plain old candy bar.

You want ooey-gooey chocolatey goodness and you want it NOW!

Saved by......

2 Ingredient Decadent Brownies




 

Caramel Brownies



Yield: 16 to 20 brownies
Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 40 min
Super, super easy jazzed up brownie mix to make a delicious caramel brownie. Nothing fancy here!

Ingredients:

1 box of your favorite brownie mix (I like the Ghirardelli Double Chocolate Brownie)
25 Dove Caramel- Milk Chocolate candies (unwrapped)- or use another chocolate covered caramel candy

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to whatever it says on your brownie mix box (325 degrees F for Ghirardelli). Spray a 9x9-inch metal pan with nonstick spray and then line with a 9x15-inch strip of parchment paper, letting it come up and over two sides. Spray the parchment with nonstick spray too.
2. In a large bowl, prepare your brownie batter as directed on the box. Spread 1/2 of the brownie batter into your prepared pan. Place the chocolate-covered caramels on top in 5 rows of 5. Spoon the remaining brownie batter on top and spread to cover.
3. Bake the brownies as directed on your brownie mix box for a 9x9-inch pan.
4. Let the brownies cool completely and then gently lift the parchment paper and brownies out of the pan and onto a cutting board. Cut into squares and serve!

Tips:

*I like to chill my brownies before I cut them- you get much cleaner cuts!

Source: Recipegirl.com

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

One Kings Lane



https://www.onekingslane.com/invite/karishifflett
Today is going to be hot....no really, I mean like upper 90's hot.

And while the thought of turning on my oven makes me break out in a sweat, I just may so that I can indulge in these delicious morsels.

We all know that almost  anything fried is just so dang good, but it makes our thighs and rears so unhappy. Especially when your still trying to look nice in the twilight days of summer capri's and shorts.

So, for the sake of my fanny I am going to "oven fry" or bake these babies instead of frying.

You'll still want to eat 6-27 of them so what the heck.

The Herby Buttermilk Ranch Dip is to die for as well. It would be good dipped with my shoe-good!!



As adapted from:SkinnyTaste
Ingredients:
  • 1-16 oz jar (48 slices) sliced oval dill hamburger pickles
  • 1/3 cup of Panko crumbs
  • 2 tbsn of cornmeal
  • 2 tbsn of flour
  • 1/4 tsp of smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle powder (or chile powder)
  • 2 tbsn dried parsley
  • 1/8th tsp kosher salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg white
  • olive oil spray

For the Ranch Dip:

  • 1/4 cup fat free sour cream
  • 1/4 cup fat free Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp light mayo
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tbsp chopped fresh chives 
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • freshly ground pepper to taste 
  • 1 tsp white balsamic vinegar 
  • 1/3 cup 1% low fat buttermilk


Directions:

Make ranch dip by combining all the dip ingredients and refrigerate until pickles are done.

Place pickles to drain on paper towels.
Mix crumbs and flour together along with paprika, parsley, and half the chipotle powder and salt.

Whisk eggs and egg whites in a bowl and season with remaining chipotle powder.  

Dip pickles in egg mixture and then into the crumb mix, pressing down on the crumbs. 

Heat oven to 450°F along with 2 baking sheets. When the oven reaches 450°, remove baking sheets and spray with olive oil spray; place pickles on the baking sheets and spray the tops of the pickles with the more oil.  Bake 8-10 minutes, turn and spray if needed and cook an additional five minutes. Remove pickles from cooking sheet and serve hot with dip. 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Camp Wander: DIY Lavender Dryer Balls For Lovely Laundry!

Camp Wander: DIY Lavender Dryer Balls For Lovely Laundry!: Your list of provisions for lovelier laundry includes:  a pair of clean cotton crew socks and a bottle of doTERRA Lavender essential o...

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Well, we're getting another little heat wave now that school has officially begun. Which happens about every year-the heat I mean.

That way, the corn ripens and the soybeans dry up, and then everything gets harvested in September. 

And...then my favorite time of year---Fall.

But, because it's still in the high 80's during the day, we're still throwing stuff on the grill. 

No...not literally, you know what I'm saying. 

So, I decided to break out my healthy quinoa and use up some of my garden tomatoes. 

I have to say, it was delicious. Give it a try, I think you'll like it. Even my picky youngest daughter, gobbled it up. 


Quinoa and Tomato Salad

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Crispy Cheddar Chicken

School is Officially ON!!!

Yay! The kids are back in school, which means quiet-tude on my lunch hour, a sleepy dog awaiting me to walk her when I get home for lunch and the remote to myself. 

On the downside, they are ravenous when they walk in the door. So on my lunch I went grocery shopping to fill all the emptiness in their bellies that they'll be wailing about. 

I don't know of 2 other people that can open the doors on a fully stocked frig and declare "there's nothing to eat"!

One of the staples in our home during Fall and Winter is chicken of some sort, they're favorite being something crunchy of course (even tho they are 13 & 16). 

So I am posting the following recipe from Jamie Cooks It Up blog, because it looks delish and I know my family would devour it and want it on a weekly rotation, preferably with garlic mashed potatoes.

It looks really easy, and I'm sure many different boneless cuts of poultry can be used (we do like B/S thighs). And no that doesn't stand for what you think......

boneless/skinless, knucklehead.

Anyhoo, here's the receipt---

Let me know what you think!

Crispy Cheddar Chicken


 

www.jamiecooksitup.blogspot.com
Time: 15 minute prep + 45 minutes baking

Yield: 7 servings
Recipe from adapted from What's Cookin' Chicago via Pinterest

Chicken:
4 large chicken breasts
2 sleeves Ritz crackers
1/4 t salt
1/8 t pepper
1/2 C milk(with one beaten egg in it) or even better just coat the meat with Mayonnaise!
3 C cheddar cheese, grated
1 t dried parsley

Sauce:
1   14 ounce can cream of chicken soup
2 T sour cream
2 T butter
 
1. Cut each chicken breast into 3 large chunks. 
2. In a small food processor grind up the ritz crackers. 
3. Pour the milk, cheese and cracker crumbs into 3 separate small pans. Toss the 1/4 t salt and 1/8 t pepper into the cracker crumbs and stir the mixture around to combine.
4. Dip each piece of chicken into the milk/egg mixture or coat with mayo, then the cheese and finally the cracker crumbs. 
5. Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray and lay the chicken inside the pan. 
6. Sprinkle the dried parsley over the chicken. 
7. Cover the pan with tin foil and bake at 400 degrees for 35 minutes. Remove the tin foil, bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until the edges of the chicken are golden brown and crispy. 
8. Into a medium sized sauce pan combine the cream of chicken soup, sour cream and butter with a whisk. Stir it over medium high heat until the sauce is nice and hot. Serve over the chicken. 
Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


 Spicy Quinoa, Cucumber and Tomato Salad

 

This refreshing summer salad can sit in the refrigerator for a few hours without deteriorating, so it makes a great choice for bringing to work or to a summer picnic.

1 cup quinoa
3 cups water
Salt to taste
2 cups diced cucumber
1 small red onion, finely minced (optional)
2 cups finely diced tomatoes
1 to 2 jalapeƱo or serrano peppers (to taste), seeded if desired and finely chopped
1/2 cup chopped cilantro, plus several sprigs for garnish
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 avocado, sliced, for garnish

1. Place the quinoa in a bowl, and cover with cold water. Let sit for five minutes. Drain through a strainer, and rinse until the water runs clear. Bring the 3 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add salt (1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon) and the quinoa. Bring back to a boil, and reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer 15 minutes or until the quinoa is tender and translucent; each grain should have a little thread. Drain off the water in the pan through a strainer, and return the quinoa to the pan. Cover the pan with a clean dishtowel, replace the lid and allow to sit for 10 minutes. If making for the freezer, uncover and allow to cool, then place in plastic bags. Flatten the bags and seal.
2. Meanwhile, place the finely diced cucumber in a colander, and sprinkle with salt. Toss and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Rinse the cucumber with cold water, and drain on paper towels. If using the onion, place in a bowl and cover with cold water. Let sit for five minutes, then drain, rinse with cold water and drain on paper towels.
3. Combine the tomatoes, chiles, cilantro, vinegar, lime juice and olive oil in a bowl. Add the cucumber and onion, season to taste with salt, and add the quinoa and cilantro. Toss together, and taste and adjust seasonings. Serve garnished with sliced avocado and cilantro sprigs.
Yield: Serves six.
Advance preparation: The quinoa freezes well, and the assembled salad will keep for a day in the refrigerator. The leftovers will be good for a couple of days.
Nutritional information per serving: 236 calories; 14 grams fat; 2 grams saturated fat; 0 milligrams cholesterol; 25 grams carbohydrates; 5 grams dietary fiber; 12 milligrams sodium (does not include salt added during cooking); 6 grams protein

Monday, August 20, 2012




It's Monday, which means a heavy workload and working towards that inevitable gold ring--Friday!
I started thinking about how I could incorporate more beneficial things into my diet, like Quinoa, Groats, Brown Rice, Farro, Stevia, and Chia Seeds

I love making Chia seed overnight cereal. I am a real fan of tapioca and this mirrors it for me. But Chia seeds are much healthier and have loads more nutrients. 

Then I started thinking about making a fruit jam that included it ( because some jams use tapioca as a natural thickener)

And guess what ??? You can!!

Try it and tell me what you think!

 

 Blueberry Chia Jam


 makes about 1/2 cup
Gluten free, vegan, sugar free, low fat, healthy
1 cup blueberries*
1 tbsp chia seeds
~1 tbsp water
Optional: sweetener, vanilla, spices etc. 
In a small nonstick saucepan over medium heat place blueberries, chia seeds and water. 
Once the blueberries start to heat and the mixture comes to a low boil stir frequently, lightly mashing the blueberries. 
Keep stirring the mixture until the jam is thick, remove from the head and pour into an air tight container. 
Store the jam in the container for a week or so in the fridge.
*You can use fresh or frozen blueberries (or another berry of your choice!).

Thumbs Up for Capri Sun’s New Super V and Your Chance To Win a $1,000 Visa Gift Card

Thumbs Up for Capri Sun’s New Super V and Your Chance To Win a $1,000 Visa Gift Card

Friday, August 17, 2012

Today is the second day of really fine, nice weather. Boy, do we need a break from the scorching weather we've been having as does the whole Midwest and South.

And because it's slightly cooler and I don't especially mind using my oven, I have been craving comfort food. When I think of comfort food it generally has potatoes in or with it.

So....I have been dieing to make Cottage or Shepherd's Pie!!

And it is so simple, Brown ground beef with onions, some seasoning, add your favorite vegetables and gravy and top with creamy mashed potatoes. I even plan on making it easier because, egad!!, I plan on using a jarred beef gravy**. If you really wanted to make things easy you could use instant prepared, refrigerated mashed potatoes.

But I already feel guilty enough using jarred gravy, instead of making my own, so I plan on boiling potatoes and mashing them.

So, today for Friday, here is my take on Cottage Pie, God Save The Queen!!!

Easy Cottage Pie

 

Easy Cottage Pie Recipe

  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lbs ground round beef
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1-2 cups vegetables - chopped carrots, corn, peas ( I use frozen)
  • 1 1/2 - 2 lbs potatoes (3 big ones)
  • 4 tablespoons butter (1/2 stick)
  • Milk, as needed to make mashed potatoes
  • 1 jar Beef Gravy**
  • 1 Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Pinch of Sage and/or thyme

Method

1 Peel and quarter potatoes, boil in salted water until tender (about 20 minutes).

2 While the potatoes are cooking, heat a large cast iron skillet, brown and crumble ground meat until cooked, add  onions and saute until softened.

3 Add vegetables,and season to taste with salt and pepper, add herbs if using. Pour in gravy and mix and set aside.I am using the cast iron skillet as my casserole dish as well. If you don't have one just use a skillet and transfer the meat mixture to a greased or sprayed casserole dish.

4 Drain and add butter to potatoes, mash and add enough milk to make creamy mashed potatoes.Salt and Pepper to taste.

5 Spread mashed potatoes over meat and vegetable mixture in cast iron skillet (see--1 dish!!). Sprinkle with cheese if desired and bake in a 400F oven for 30 or until potatoes start to brown and the dish is heated through thoroughly.

**Eek! I didn't have a jar of gravy, so I went traditional. After the meat was browned and onions softened I added a tbsp. of Worcestershire sauce and sprinkled it with 2 tbsp. of flour and cooked it for 2 minutes. I used a tsp. of concentrated beef stock and 1 1/2 cups of water and simmered it for another 5 minutes until it becomes thickened and gravy-like. Sprinkle the vegetables over and mix in and set aside for step 4. 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

All of a sudden we looked in our garden and things have begun to ripen and mature. We weren't sure if this drought was going to completely ruin our garden this year or not.

But everyday now my husband has been harvesting great, big , juicy tomatoes. and yes, I'll probably make sauce and freeze it with the Roma's we have growing, but these are the great big slicing tomatoes. Just made for eating. After having 4 nights of fresh tomato salads, dressed simply with olive oil, red wine vinegar and feta, I decided to try a tomato pie.

Quite delicious, savory and rich. I think you may like it too.

Summer Tomato Pie

Ingredients

  • 1 (9 inch) pie shell
  • 7 ripe tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 teaspoons fresh basil
  • 2 teaspoons fresh parsley

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Bake the pastry shell for 8 to 10 minutes or until browned.
  3. Slice tomatoes and then quarter them (this makes for easy of slicing and serving the pie), lay on several layers of paper towels or as my grandmother did, on a large paper grocery bag, and sprinkle lightly with salt. Blot lightly after 10-15 minutes.
  4. Dice onion, saute in butter or olive oil until softened and place in the bottom of pastry shell. Arrange drained tomatoes over onions. Add black pepper to taste.
  5. In a medium bowl, combine mozzarella, Parmesan and mayonnaise. Spread this mixture evenly over tomatoes.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Once cooked, garnish with fresh herbs.I like to use basil and parsley. I have also layered these in the pie with good results.

Makes 1 9" inch pie, serves approx. 8

Feel free to use any mixture of cheese, I have used Monterey Jack and Swiss , both are delicious.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Smothered Chile Colorado Burritos

School is almost back in session for those of you with school-aged kids and for some of you amazing students yourselves.  With all the busy preparation you must be facing, I can tell you that some of the EASIEST meals you find will be done in the crock pot.
These meal is SO easy and tastes exactly what you would get at a nice fancy mexican restaurant.  I found this recipe on The Food Pusher, used my own Crock-Pot refried beans recipe, and am happy to report that it is now one of our FAVORITE meals! My family was blown away by how delicious and beautiful the presentation was! My hubby went ON AND ON about how much he loved it.  We served at a dinner with my parents and my uncle and his family and all LOVED this meal!  Definitely a must try!
You can make the homemade refried beans a day or two ahead of time and use it for different meals or dips as well.  It makes a lot, but I always like to have some on hand.  They are my favorite!



Ingredients

Print This Recipe Print This Recipe

Instructions

  1. Put beef pieces into crock pot. Top with crushed bouillon cubes and enchilada sauce. Cook on low for 7-8 hours, or until meat is very tender.
  2. When beef is done (very tender and flakes off when stirred), taste and add more salt, if desired.
  3. Make sure beans are warmed through. You can use canned refried beans or the recipe I provided you with.
  4. Smear about 2 heaping spoons worth of beans on to the center of each tortilla. Add about 1/2 cup of beef, give or take, and roll into a burrito.
  5. Place burritos into a greased 9x13 baking pan until it fills the pan. Pour some of extra sauce over the tops of the burritos to smother them. Place cheese on top.
  6. Broil until cheese becomes bubbly, approx. 2-4 minutes.
  7. This recipe makes about 5-7 burritos depending on how big you make them.
Enjoy!
(recipe from: The Food Pusher)
(My mom’s homemade crock-pot refried beans)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Sometimes when you see a picture, a really beautiful picture of food, it can make you drool.
That's what this post did from apronandsneakers.com.

This literally made me want to drive the 30 miles to a large grocery store and purchase the biggest prawns shrimp they had in order to make these, like right now!

But of course, I can't just up and leave from work, so I will make a plan to purchase them as soon as I go and make these scrumptious looking morsels lickety-split!



Grilled Prawns with Honey Sauce





Prawns with Honey Sauce
Recipe adapted from Sapori Italiani, Barbecue

Ingredients:
Serves 4

  • 12 prawns
  • 1 lemon, juice
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons acacia honey (or any similar honey)
  • 1 chili, chopped finely, seeds taken away
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped chives
  1. Take away the shells and veins of the prawns but leave the tails.  Insert each prawn in a skewer.  Set aside.
  2. In a bowl, mix together the oil, lemon, honey, chili, parsley & chives.  
  3. Set aside about a tablespoon of the sauce.  Pour the rest of the sauce on the prawns and let them marinate for about 10 minutes. 
  4. Grill the prawns for about 2 minutes each side.
  5. Drizzle the sauce that you set aside on the cooked prawns and serve immediately. 

Monday, August 13, 2012




Zucchini Cream Cheese Pound Cake

Another indulgence from the fantastic Joy the Baker Cookbook.


I’m a zucchini lover, but when I came across this recipe I was slightly concerned that zucchini in a cake might be stringy and weird. I was oh so wrong. It’s the best part by a long shot. The water content of the zucchini makes this cake extra moist (yep, still a gross word, but there’s no substitute) and rich. The addition of cream cheese certainly doesn’t hurt either. I highly recommend you make this cake and get your daily dose vegetables and dessert all in one sitting.
Seriously though, this cake isn't really "good" for you but it is seriously GOOD!!!

Zucchini Cream Cheese Pound Cake



Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 50 mins
Total time: 1 hour
Serves: 16
Ingredients
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini (from 2 medium-sized zucchini)
Instructions
  1. Move oven rack to top third of oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.
  2. Grease bundt pan with butter or cooking spray and coat with 2-3 tbsp of sugar. This will give your cake a nice crust.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and sea salt. Set aside.
  4. In the bowl of your stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, whisk together cream cheese and sugar on medium speed until well combined. Add eggs one at a time, allowing them to fully incorporate into the mixture before adding the next egg. Add vanilla and almond extracts.
  5. Turn mixer to low and gradually add in melted butter while the mixer is still running. Increase speed to medium-high and allow mixer to run about three minutes until mixture is smooth.
  6. Reduce mixer speed to low, and pour in the entire flour mixture, allowing mixer to run until flour is just incorporated. Turn off mixer, add in zucchini and gently fold in by hand.
  7. Pour mixture into bundt pan and bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes until inserted skewer comes out clean.
  8. Remove cake from oven and allow to cool at least twenty minutes prior to removing from pan. Cut and serve! Yields approximately sixteen slices.
Notes
Slightly adapted from the Joy the Baker Cookbook: 100 Simple and Comforting Recipes

Instant Getaway Wish #1

If I could make a wish, right this moment to go away and be some where else, this is what I would wish for...............

Can you think of somewhere you'd could make a wish and go to right at this moment??
 

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Today we were excited to attend the Wedding of 2 great kids in our community. It turned out to be an absolutely gorgeous day for a Wedding. The bride was beautiful and the groom so handsome, they make quite the couple. There was a stunning reception put on afterwards at the famous Surf Ball Room  in Clear Lake, Iowa and it was attended by hundreds of people. Truly a blessed day for all. 

In honor of such a beautiful day and because I was not in the kitchen; I am sharing a great post by Six Sister's Stuff for some really good cookies. Enjoy!!


Lemon Cool-Whip Crinkle Cookies

When I originally saw this recipe, I seriously didn't think that it would work. Who would have thought that Cool-Whip could make such soft, light-weight cookies? This recipe is also incredibly versatile! I have made it using a Devil's Food cake mix and they were equally delicious! I really think that you could substitute any flavor of cake mix and have it work just fine. I even used Lite Cool-Whip and they turned out awesome.
Side note: This dough is VERY sticky and hard to work with. Instead of using my hands to roll the cookie balls, I would scoop the dough using a spoon and plop it into a bowl of powdered sugar. From there I would use to spoon to roll it around in the sugar until it was totally coated, and then use my hands to make it a ball.
 
Recipe from: Six Sisters Stuff 
  • 1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package lemon cake mix
  • 1/3 cup confectioners' sugar for decoration
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease baking sheets.
  2. Beat together the whipped topping and eggs together. Add the lemon cake mix and continue to mix. Dough will be sticky.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  3. Drop by teaspoonfuls into a bowl of confectioners' sugar and roll to coat. Place cookies on the prepared baking sheets. Bake  for 9-11 minutes.  Cool on racks.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Midwest Chow Mein

Say What???

I know, the title is a little twisted. but, it's the closest thing to how I made a standard American-Chinese dish more mainstream Midwest. Up here in Northern Iowa, there aren't many Oriental restaurants to choose from and in the town where I live, pop., 2200, there are zip, zero, zilch. 

So when I get a craving for Asian American-Chinese food, fast, I have to adapt. Which is what I did when I came up with this dish. It can be made in a snap and will satisfy even the most picky person. All of my kids gobble it up whenever I make it. 
The beauty of this recipe is that it can be made with any variety of ground meat or TVP, even tofu, and the vegetables can be whatever you have in the freezer or canned ( I mean, come on...who doesn't eat corn). 

And, big bonus, IF.....operative word here, if there happen to be any leftovers, they are delicious cold as a salad. 

Which, unbelievably there was, so I also showed how I make my Hubs lunch for the next day.





Midwest Chow Mein Recipe*

1 lb. ground meat (any lean variety, I mostly use chicken)
3 pkg. Oriental Ramen (any flavor-whatever you have on hand)-broken up and seasoning packets set aside.
1 12-16 oz. pkg. of frozen Oriental vegetables or what ever you prefer
1 tbsp-freshly grated Ginger (opt.)
1 tbsp Sesame Oil
2 tbsp Reduced Sodium Soy or Tamari Sauce
Black Pepper to taste


In a large dutch oven or 6 qt. pot, thoroughly brown and crumble meat, sprinkling with one of the seasoning packets from the Ramen and adding the ginger if using. Pour in 3 cups of water and add the broken Ramen and the frozen vegetables. Cover and reduce heat to simmer and steam Ramen and vegetables, stirring occasionally. When noodles are tender and vegetables crisp tender, sprinkle with 1 or both of the remaining seasoning packets, Sesame Oil and Soy Sauce, and black pepper, stir to combine. Enjoy! This is also delicious over steamed white or brown rice. 

And in the event you have any leftover, I serve it cold the next day. For the Hubs I put a Sesame Ginger dressing in the bottom of a  container layered with lettuce and sesame seeds(I only had black) and then place the chilled leftovers on top. Delicious!!




*This recipe makes 4 generous servings, and can make more if served over rice, or by adding more Ramen or veggies, (just increase your water accordingly).


Thursday, August 9, 2012

Taters.......Where did they go?

 Last night I was really craving a big, baked potato. I looked in the huge bowl that I keep potatoes and onions, and yep, you guessed it, 3 smaller white potatoes and 6 big onions.

Well dang.

There's four of us and one daughter is so ravenous from her daily volleyball practices that she eats like a lumberjack. The first thing she says to me when I walk in the door is "hhuunnnggrry!!!".

What to do, what to do? I didn't want to go to the store either.

So, I made 6 halves of twice baked potatoes. Ta da!! Just basic too, little butter, sour cream, cheese and scallions. I didn't photograph them though because they were so puny.

But the next time I get some bakers, which will probably be today because I'm still craving taters, I am going to make Sherron's recipe below from her Simply Gourmet Blog. Totally loving her version but I may have to change it up.




Simply Gourmet…Where food, family and friends gather.: 30. Potato Skins, Spinach and Cheese

What a great idea for using potato skins. Plus I like the idea that you can really change up the initial ingredients. This is the inspiration for my Cheesy Zucchini skins, since that particular veg is exploding in our garden right now.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Eeek, here I am, I'm taking the Leap!!

Have Faith! I am going to be tortuously slow at this in the beginning. But, I always catch on real fast!!! I have spent so much time enjoying reading other wonderful blogs, that I knew eventually I would just have to break down and start my own.
I am a busy, working mom, wife, chef, psycho analyst, quasi-mediator and I love it all! Not necessarily all the time, to be quite honest.
I was born and raised in Northern California, and moved to Northern Iowa (WTH) in 1993. I know; what was I thinking? But, I have grown to really love being back here and have great memories of California.
Four kids, and 2 still at home, one very loved pooch and a loving, extremely tolerant, hard-working hubs makes up our world and everything that we do.