Looking for something to feed the kids? Need a great dessert to take to a gathering?
In the mood for a delicious soup, salad or whatever? Look no further.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Absolute Best Pancake Syrup

Well, the title just about sums up how I feel about this pancake syrup. I promise I am not exaggerating. Over the past little while I have been on a quest to rid my pantry of all HFCS. It really has not been too hard to do but I have just had to be really good about reading labels. Did you know that some brands of applesauce have HFCS in them? I thought that was really crazy. I figured that the biggest one I needed to get rid of was the pancake syrup. I found this recipe on allrecipes.com. It is super easy and much better tasting then the fake maple syrup junk. A little goes a long way and since there is butter in the syrup I don't butter the waffles or pancakes. This batch will make enough for two breakfasts.

1/2 c. butter
1 c. sugar
1 c. buttermilk (I used 1 c. milk + 1 Tbsp. lemon juice)
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. baking soda

Bring butter, sugar, buttermilk, vanilla, cinnamon to a simmer in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Once simmering whisk in baking soda (make sure you cook this in a big pot because the baking soda really foams up) and cook for 10 seconds before removing from heat.

I like to make the syrup earlier in the afternoon so it has a chance to cool and thicken. Store leftover syrup in refrigerator.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

French Toast Sticks

Okay, ladies.

I have a ton of recipes I want to post, but I don't have pictures of all of them yet. Here is a recipe with accompanying pictures that I do have, and I took pictures because we got these little trays at Target {for only 2.50 each. My kids have never eaten better, I swear, than off these things. Best money ever spent} and they told their grandparents about them, so they wanted to see them {run-on sentence}.

You can pretty much just use your favorite french toast recipe, but this one is a healthy version from 24 Hour Fitness' website.

see that little hand? that is a hand antsy with excitement.

French Toast Sticks

8 slices whole grain
5 oz. liquid or frozen egg substitute, thawed
2 1/2 T. skim milk
dash nutmeg
1/3 t. cinnamon
1 t. granulated sugar

Slice each piece of bread into 4 slices {I don't do this, I wait until after each slice is dipped and cooked to cut them, but whatevs}. Mix egg substitute with milk. Blend spices with sugar and add to egg mixture. Dip bread pieces into egg mixture and cook on a heated non-stick skillet until golden brown. Serve with powdered sugar and/or sugar-free syrup {or... regular syrup. Or whatever your kids will eat}.

I cut them up with a pizza cutter into even smaller pieces for my kids, and they had a lot of fun dipping them. And they really did eat these so well. David was so excited he had a hard time just letting me take a picture before he dug in.

Give these a shot for an easy Saturday morning breakfast or something!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Broccoli and bacon salad

I had a request to post this recipe, so here it is. A big pile of broccoli may not sound all that exciting, but trust me, once you add the rest of the not-so-healthy ingredients, it's down right yummy.

Broccoli and bacon salad

2 bunches of broccoli, cut up
1/4 c. chopped green onion (or red onion, if that's what you prefer.. personally, I prefer green)
1 lb. bacon, cooked and chopped
1 c. sunflower seeds
1 c. dried cranberries

1 1/2 c. mayo
1/2 c. sugar
4 Tbl vinegar

Mix up dressing, add to the rest of ingredients and coat thoroughly.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Epic Waffles

I am a big fan of breakfast for dinner, which is what we did tonight.  We hadn't had waffles in a very long time, and I was really craving some.  So, I was happy when one of my new favorite food blogs (Real Mom Kitchen), posted this waffle recipe today.  With a name like "Waffles of Insane Greatness" how could I go wrong?  They are super light and the cornstarch gives a light crispiness to the outside.  They almost melt in your mouth. We had them with fresh peaches.  Lizzie felt the name didn't do these waffles justice, so she re-named them "Epic Waffles."

Turns out this recipe gets around, but I got it from Real Mom Kitchen.  I tripled her measurements as she recommended.  I also added whole wheat flour for part of the flour.  I thought about substituting applesauce for the oil, but ended up throwing caution to the wind.  Next time I might try half applesauce-half oil since I wonder if eliminating the oil all together might make them hard to get off the waffle iron.

Make Ahead Note: You let the batter rest for 30 minutes before making these.

3/4 cup cornstarch
1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup unbleached flour
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1 ½ tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 ½ cup whole milk (I used plain soy milk)
1 ½ cup buttermilk
1 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 1/4 tsp. vanilla

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar.  Whisk together to blend.  In another mixing bowl, beat together the whole milk, buttermilk, oil, egg and vanilla.  Add the dry ingredients to the bowl with the wet ingredients and whisk just until incorporated and few lumps remain.  Set aside to rest for 30 minutes.

Preheat a waffle iron.  Fill waffle wells and cook according to the manufacturer’s instructions.  Cook until crisp and golden.  Serve immediately. Yield: depends on the size/shape of your waffle iron.  We got about 12 Belgian waffles.
Note: To make your own buttermilk, just add 1 Tbsp vinegar or lemon juice to 1 cup milk and let stand for 5 minutes.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Mom's Cheeseball

This is my mom's recipe {um. obviously.} and the holidays just aren't the same without it for me. It's easy, and always a hit at the parties.

Before I had two toddlers, I was able to make it all fun and turn it into a snowman with olive halves and a carrot nose {ha! ha ha. haaaa......}. See?

My oldest daughter helped with that part, so it can be fun for the kids to get them involved and do something creative. {I know it's something you'd never see in Martha Stewart Living, but still. Fun. And one year, I was crazy enough to turn it into a pine cone and I shaped it up all perfect and took like 4 hours to place sliced almonds in that thing. Yeah. Never again.}

At any rate, if you're looking for a new cheeseball recipe, I recommend you give this one a try!

Mom's Cheeseball

2 1/2 pkg. cream cheese, softened
2 t. Bon Appetit seasoning
1/2 t. ground mustard
4 green onions, chopped finely
chopped nuts, optional {walnuts, pecans, almonds, whatever you fancy}

Combine everything but the nuts in a bowl - mix and soften 'til smooth. Chill 'til firm. Roll in chopped nuts. {It's good without nuts, but it holds together better with them.} Serve with a variety of crackers or veggies.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Taco Soup

I love this soup so, so much not only because it tastes great, but it's the easiest thing on the planet to make.

{Remember when I called myself a lazy-face?}

I borrowed the picture from recipetips.com as I don't have any pictures, but this looks pretty much the same.

Taco Soup

1 lb. lean ground beef, browned and drained
1 can diced tomatoes, undrained {I get the kind with tiny onions and chilis in it - Mexican blend I think?}
1 can black beans, undrained
1 can kidney beans, undrained
1 can whole kernal corn, undrained
1 pkt. taco seasoning {you can get mild, medium or hot depending on your preference - I like mild}
1 pkt. dry ranch dressing
1 can olives, drained and sliced {<----- the most effort you'll have to make putting this together, or you can get rid of that effort by buying the pre-sliced kind}

Pour all ingredients into a crockpot, stir it all up and cook on low 4-6 hours. Serve with sour cream, shredded cheese and crushed tortilla chips.

This is a perfect recipe to use now, as the weather is getting colder. I have a 6 qt. crockpot, so I always double everything but the tomatoes {only because there isn't room for one more can of something and I haaaaaaate tomatoes} and invite people over. It feeds a large group or gives you plenty of leftovers.

I also like to do the beef on Sat. nights, load up the crockpot Sunday morning and we can have it for lunch, or if you get out of church by noon, you can load it up when you get home, and it's ready just in time for dinner.

p.s. I added a slow-cooker label. I hope that's okay? Look at me, all new and trying to run the place.

Easy Classic Deviled Eggs

Hi, ladies!

I'll start by introducing myself so you don't think I'm a freak. Or at least you'll know for sure that I am one. Or whatever.

Amy and I grew up around the corner from one another, and I knew exactly when to pick up my bare feet to avoid stepping on the rocks when I ran over to her house to play. We go way back, and I adore her.

I read her blog frequently, and once when I clicked to see her complete profile/stalk her, I found this blog and I must say I love it. I love the idea of people sharing recipes they've found to be tried and true {ly delicious}.

Thanks for letting me in on it.

I'll start by submitting this incredibly easy appetizer - the classic deviled egg. As "classic" as this recipe is, it's so yummy and they're definitely far and above the ones I grew up with. I found the recipe when I googled "deviled egg recipe" forever ago and took them to a Christmas party. I really wish I'd tripled the recipe, because they were literally gone in 2 minutes. Everyone raved about how they were the best they'd ever had.

I've not ventured too far into the waters of different flavors/varieties of deviled eggs, but these really are the best I've ever tasted. Easy, cheap {watch for sales on eggs at your local grocers - you can pretty much steal them sometimes}, and you can take them to a party, bbq, picnic, anything really.

Recipe from The Deviled Egg Gourmet {who also provided the picture Ü}

Easy Classic Deviled Eggs

6 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and cut lengthwise
1/4 c. light mayo or salad dressing
1/2 t. dry ground mustard
1/2 t. white vinegar
1/8 t. salt
1/4 t. ground black pepper
paprika for garnish

Remove egg yolks to small bowl and mash with a fork. Add mayo, mustard, vinegar, s & p and mix thoroughly. Fill the empty egg whites with yolk mixture and sprinkle lightly with paprika. Cover lightly with plastic wrap {or if you're fancy and have one of those egg carrier thingies, put them in there} and refrigerate for up to one day before serving.

{They piped theirs into the egg whites to look purty. I don't do that because I'm a lazy-face.}