Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Crockpot Corn on the Cob

I will give a disclaimer:  This is nothing fancy at all.  I don't know if I would even call it a "recipe". But I wanted to share because apparently it is good stuff.

Another disclaimer:  I do not eat cooked corn. I like corn in corn dip but beyond that, I just don't. I try it periodically because it looks good to me. But it doesn't taste good (to me).  However, the people in my family who DO eat corn have loved it this way.  Thus, I am sharing.

Corn on the cob, husk removed and corn washed (I break mine in half to make it easier to eat, per hubby's request)

Melted butter (2-3 Tbsp)

Salt and pepper (I use sea salt and freshly ground peppercorns)

After cleaning the corn, rub with melted butter.

Salt and pepper the corn cob.

Wrap in aluminum foil.

Place in a crockpot (no water added) on low for about 4 hours.


Like I said, simple but apparently really tasty!


Saturday, July 27, 2013

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Bars

 On occasion, I make "breakfast energy bites" which usually Child 4 and I eat ourselves.  But this week I saw this recipe (very similar but cooked and in "bar" form and gave it a try. 

Well, all I can say is that they were gone really fast.  And it was NOT just because of Child 4 and me.  The whole family (minus Dad who was gone) chowed down on them. I WILL be making them again, especially during the school year. They are quick, fairly healthy, and can be made ahead of time then just reheated (if preferred). 

1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup peanut butter (I used creamy/natural)
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour (the original recipe used whole wheat, I just had all purpose on hand)
1 cup old fashioned oats (I am not sure how it would work with quick oats)
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup other add in (original recipe used raisins, I used flax meal)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spray an 8 x 8 baking dish with cooking spray.

With a mixer, mix the peanut butter and brown sugar on medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. The original recipe called for using the paddle attachment.  My mixer does not have that so I just used the regular beaters and they worked fine.

Mix in the vanilla.

Continue mixing on medium speed, adding in the flour, oats, baking soda, and salt.  It will be thick. Just be patient. :)

Slowly pour in the milk.  Mix until a dough forms.

Fold in the chocolate chips and the other add in.

Once all is combined, press into the baking dish. 

Bake for about 17-20 minutes until gold brown. 

Allow to cool completely before cutting. 

I stored them in the fridge, but I am guessing they would be fine on the counter.


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Smores Bars

I am not a big marshmallow fan.  I can do without Rice Krispie treats.  And Rocky Road ice cream is NOT my favorite.

But Smores.

Oh, how I love smores.

In fact, I have a whole Pinterest board dedicated to them.  "More Smores". 

The unfortunate thing is my hubby is not the smores fan I am.

So I don't try out the smores recipes nearly as much as I want.  Well, due to that and the fact that I would weigh a LOT more if I did.

But every now and then I figure out a way to do it.

Like when we are going to a cookout.

Perfect time.

So this past week, I decided to try Smores Bars.

They looked easy.  Required little preparation.  And they could be made ahead of time.

The only "warning" I feel like I should give is to let people know ahead of time that they are cold.

My kids all complained a little at first because they think "smores" and think "warm".

Yet it didn't stop one of them from eating the bars.

3 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted (plus a little more for greasing purposes)

1 cup graham cracker crumbs (I just threw a "sleeve" of crackers into the food processor and whirled away), plus 2 graham crackers broken into large pieces

3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk (not quite a whole can)

1 1/3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

pinch of salt

1 cup mini marshmallows

Line an 8 x 8 baking pan with aluminum foil and butter/grease.  I did do this but I actually think next time I would just grease the baking pan itself with the butter or cooking spray.

Mix the melted butter and the graham cracker crumbs together in a bowl with a fork until moistened. 

Press firmly into the bottom of the baking dish.

This is the only area I had trouble. I pressed as much as I could but my crumbs just never stuck together. I don't know if I should have used more butter, pressed more, or what.  Don't get me wrong, it was still tasty.  I just couldn't get it to gel.  I think next time I make these, I will do something similar to what I do with the pretzels for pineapple fluff.  I think I will "bake it" at 400 degrees for 5-7 minutes...just enough to make it a bit crunchier/more together.  I will let you know how that goes. :)

Next, heat the chocolate chips and the condensed milk over medium heat, stirring constantly until smooth.  Once smooth, remove from the heat and add in the salt and vanilla.

Quickly, pour over the graham cracker and spread. You have to work quick or it will start to harden.  I found that if I held the spatula vertically and started in the middle to spread to the sides, it worked much easier. Otherwise the graham crackers try to go with the chocolate. :)

Next, pour the marshmallows over the top and push down into the chocolate.

Finish by pressing in the broken pieces of the 2 graham crackers in the "holes" left by marshmallows.

Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or so before cutting/serving.


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Cinnamon Sugar "Donut" Muffins

I try to make breakfast a couple times a week.  I have been eying this recipe on Pinterest for a while and decided to give it a try. 

It didn't take long to assemble them and then it was a short time to bake and then breakfast time.



They taste JUST like cinnamon sugar donuts.

In muffin form.

And baked.

(I calculated the calories and they were not horrible)

I made a double batch:  one mini muffin batch and one regular muffin batch.

Here is the recipe for one batch...

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 cup milk

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon.

In another bowl, stir/whisk together vegetable oil, sugar, egg, and milk.

Pour the flour mixture into the oil mixture and stir just until mixed.

Coat the "cups" of the muffin tin or use muffin liners. I used liners.

Divide the batter evenly among the cups.  (I did one 24 mini muffin tin and one 12 cup regular muffin with a double batch)  I used my cookie scoop to put the mixture into the cups.  It was almost even/level with the tin.

Bake for 15-18 minutes.  (I think mine was close to 20 minutes)

Remove the muffins from the muffin tin and cool on a wire rack.

Topping recipe:
1/4 cup melted butter
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 Tbsp cinnamon

Put melted butter in one bowl.  Mix cinnamon/sugar in another bowl.

Now, in the original recipe. they dipped the whole muffin in the butter and then the cinnamon sugar mix.

I only dipped the top.  (In fact, I did NOT double the topping and had JUST enough for two batches) 

Either way, my kids have raved about them.  My son came in and said, "Thanks for the donuts, Mom!" 



Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Creamy Mashed Potatoes

Usually if I make mashed potatoes, I use this recipe

But the other day I decided to try something new that didn't require so much planning ahead.

So I did a little Googling and found this recipe.

Very simple.  Few ingredients.  Little time involved other than peeling the potatoes.

And guess what?

Hubby declared they were his favorite mashed potatoes I have made.

Well, guess it was a winner then!

5 or 6 large Russet potatoes, peeled and cut (I rarely dice, I usually just cut into smaller chunks)

1 Tbsp kosher salt

2-4 Tbsp butter (I think I used 3)

1/4 tsp white pepper or black pepper

1 or 2 cans evaporated milk

Boil potatoes in a large pot of water with salt added.

Okay, you really should bring the salted water to a boil before adding the potatoes but I kind of just did it all at once.

Boil until fork tender (15+ minutes...a little longer if you don't bring the water to a boil first :).

Drain the potatoes and mash.  I just used a mixer because I have a ricer, not a masher.  I now have a hand masher on order... :)

Add in the butter and pepper.

Add in the evaporated milk slowly until the desired creaminess is reached.

I only used 1 can; it was just right for us.



Monday, July 15, 2013

Hot Fudge Brownie Pie

I don't make dessert often though I have a BUNCH of them pinned on Pinterest.

It isn't that I don't like desserts.

It is actually the opposite.

I love them.

Too much.

So it is better if I don't make it often.

Because if I do, I eat them.  :)

However, once in a while, I splurge.

Like last night.

This is one I have pinned not once but twice. And possibly even three times.

It just looked oh so yummy.

So last night I got dinner in the oven then turned my attention to this recipe.

It is labeled as "hot fudge pie" but other than baking it in a pie dish, there is nothing really "pie" about it. 

We had great discussion about what it truly is.

And our answer?

A cross between a brownie and a molten chocolate lava cake.  

Except this was even easier the chocolate lava cake (which is pretty simple).

And what I love is that the portion size is that much easier to control.

With a hungry teenager in the house, I didn't have to worry about eating too much. :)

4 oz unsalted butter
1 1/2 squares unsweetened chocolate (1.5 oz)
1 cup sugar (granulated)
2 eggs beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp milk
1/4 cup all purpose flour

Pre-heat the oven to 350. 

Grease a pie pan (use butter or a cooking spray).

Melt butter and chocolate together.  I suppose you could do this stove top. I went the microwave route.  I put them together in a large measuring cup and headed for 30 seconds, stirred slightly, then heated 30 seconds more. The chocolate wasn't very melted at this point but the butter was. So I just took it out and stirred it for a few minutes.  Then it was a silky chocolate mess... :)

Let it cool while you stir the sugar into the beaten eggs.  Note: A hand mixer is not necessary. You just need a good spatula or spoon and a little elbow grease.  Stir until the sugar is fully incorporated into the eggs.

Once the chocolate mixture has cooled (and not before then or you will cook the eggs :), add it to the egg mixture.  Stir together.

Next add the vanilla  and milk.  Stir together.

Last, fold in the flour until no white is showing.

Do NOT overmix.

Pour the mixture into the pie pan and bake for 25 minutes.

Let it cool a few minutes.

I HIGHLY recommend eating this with ice cream on the side.




Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Chocolate Glazed Chocolate Doughnuts

I have been wanting to make some doughnuts for a while. The other day I checked out my "Breakfast Goodies" bulletin board on Pinterest and saw this recipe I had pinned. 

The best part was that the only "special" ingredient I don't always have on hand is the plain yogurt. But thankfully this time, I did.

So this morning I went to work.

This is a fairly quick recipe (which was a treat for the kids...not much waiting). It was easy.  And when I calculated the calories, it wasn't too bad.  I don't feel very guilty that I ate two.  Even though I wanted to eat like 12.

By the way, I have a doughnut pan, otherwise the circles wouldn't be so "circlish".  :)

Oh, I doubled the recipe and I did NOT use a mini doughnut pan...even with doubling the recipe, I got 15 doughnuts.  So next time I may have to triple if we want to have any left over. That being said, there is not really any reason to double the glaze. I did, and I ended up with WAY too much.

Doughnut ingredients: (recipe is doubled from original)
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
2/3 cups white granulated sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
4 Tbsp plain yogurt
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
6 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375.

Mix the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl.  I just used a whisk.

Add in the remaining ingredients (yogurt, milk, eggs, vegetable oil, and vanilla).

Stir until smooth.

Grease a doughnut pan.  I read on the original site that someone used a mini muffin pan instead...that is a great idea if you don't have a doughnut pan.

Fill the circles about 3/4 full. Mine was kind of thick so I just kind of "spooned" it in.

Bake for 7 minutes.  A good test is to press a doughnut. If the indention springs back immediately, it is ready.

Let them cool on a wire rack.  I probably didn't let them cool quite long enough before glazing but I had a hungry crew. :)

Glaze Ingredients: (not doubled)
2 Tbsp unsalted butter (I didn't have any on hand so I used salted which works okay)
3/4 tsp light corn syrup (I am not a big corn syrup person so I substituted with honey)
1 Tbsp milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used my favorite Ghirardelli)
1/2 cup powdered (confectioner's) sugar

Optional:  Sprinkles for decoration (I did half with, half without.  My kids loved the sprinkles touch but I have to use some pricey all natural ones :)

Over low heat, add the butter, corn syrup or honey, milk, and vanilla extract to a small sauce pan.  Stir constantly until butter melts. Once melted, add in the semi-sweet chocolate chips.  Again, stir until melted.  Then add in the powdered sugar.  Stir until smooth.

Glaze doughnuts.  I just held the doughnuts and dipped them halfway into the glaze.

Add sprinkles immediately if desired.


I have tried a few doughnut recipes and this has been one of my favorites. It is a cake like doughnut...yum!


Monday, July 8, 2013

Eating Through June (Monthly Menu)

We did fairly well sticking with our menu...UNTIL the last week. We were preparing for our family vacation and got a little lax.  And we just finished up said vacation which is why I haven't been posting. :)

Week of June 3
Sunday: Calzones (new recipe, it was a hit!)
Monday:  Amish chicken, bowtie pasta, carrots/Ranch, and butter dip biscuits
Tuesday: I don't remember...I think we just ate on our own.
Wednesday:  Out for dinner (celebrating a birthday!)
Thursday:   OYO (On your own night)
Friday:  Bacon wrapped shrimp, potatoes in white sauce, bread
Saturday:  Burrito casserole, chips and guacamole

Week of June 10
Monday:  OYO
Lunch:  Mostaccioli, Caeser salad, "killer" garlic bread (new recipe), peanut butter/chocolate chip blondies (new recipe, I need to share!)
Tuesday:  Breakfast Burritos (tortillas, bacon, ham, eggs, hashbrown potatoes, cheese), fruit
Wednesday:  Butter Cream Chicken, Angel hair Pasta, carrots/Ranch, rolls 
Thursday:   Out for Hubby’s birthday, chocolate pound cake for dessert
Friday:  Korean Beef, basmati rice, bread, carrots
Saturday:  Key West Chicken and Shrimp, cheese bread, almond rice pilaf, cole slaw, birthday cake (need to share the recipe) with buttercream frosting

Week of June 17
Sunday: Pizza (out)
Monday:  OYO
Tuesday:  Pork Chops (new recipe), black eye peas, fingerling potatoes, Texas Roadhouse rolls
Wednesday:  Ham/Cheese Sandwiches, chips
Thursday:   Leftovers
Friday:  Shakes/Popcorn
Saturday: Mostaccioli, "killer garlic bread", carrots/Ranch

Week of June 24
Sunday:  Pizza (Homemade), white cheese and pepperoni/Canadian bacon
Monday:  Crockpot Chicken/Potatoes, carrots/Ranch, Rhodes white bread
Tuesday:  Grilled hamburgers, fries (just frozen this time)
Wednesday:  Sushi date night with the Hubs
Thursday:   Eating at a friend's house
Friday: Vacation!
Saturday: Vacation!

So that pretty much sums up our June...how about you? Any new recipes or family favorites to share?