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BLOG UNDER CONSTRUCTION

WELCOME to my blog… under construction. PLEASE NOTE if you are visiting for the first time or a long time fan, all my LINKS from Pinterest and just if you saved a favorite recipe, all links are broken. Most likely if you clicked on a saved link from somewhere it says “that page cannot be found”, but Do NOT worry, the recipe is STILL HERE, just lost in internet space. This happened when I had an error on my blog and someone tried to help me and basically destroyed my entire blog in the process.

THERE IS HOPE. Example: If you look at the URL of the link (recipe) you are trying to find, note the original post date, IE: 9/2012, just look in the original URL for month/year and then you can click on the ARCHIVE below under 2012 / September and then click the recipe name.

I am in the process of trying to fix my blog, but links cannot be restored, so basically my 4+ years of blogging is wasted and I am re-building from scratch. AHHHHH, okay! So…. HERE WE GO….

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Chia Muffins

Chia seeds are the new superfood health experts are talking about. These nutrient-packed seeds have been shown to fight cancer and suppress appetite while providing mega amounts of calcium and omega-3s. How can you incorporate chia into your diet? This muffin recipe is a tasty and delicious way to get your dose, (from Dr. Oz Show


Chia Muffins
recipe source; unknown

1 tbsp ground chia seeds
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sweet potato purée
1 cup unsweetened apple sauce 
2 egg whites
1/2 cup agave syrup
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup dried cranberries

Mix together wet ingredients. In a separate bowl, mix dry ingredients. Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Scoop into muffin tins and bake for 15-20 minutes at 350˚F. 

Monday, January 30, 2012

THIS WEEK'S CRAVINGS Linky Party #66 (FAVORITE COOKBOOK) and Pioneer Woman's Hot Artichoke Dip


THIS WEEK'S CRAVINGS Linky Party #66
(Recipes MUST be from your FAVORITE COOKBOOK)
Hot Artichoke Dip
I just LOVE LOVE the Pioneer Woman's cookbook. I am sure ALL of you do too! I LOVE that it's down-home cooking! I LOVE that it's food my family will eat and I LOVE that everything I make from her cookbook is a HUGE HIT!

Pioneer Woman's Hot Artichoke Dip
found in The Pioneer Woman Cooks Cookbook, by Ree Drummond

2 (14 oz) cans artichoke hearts, drained
1 (8 oz) cream cheese
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper
2 green onions, chopped
1 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
dash of salt
fresh ground pepper

Preheat oven to 350. Add one can of artichokes, cream cheese, mayonnaise, green onions and cayenne pepper (add more if you like it hot) to food processor. Pulse about 7 times, you do NOT want to liquefy. Then add in the Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.

Now, roughly chopped the additional can of artichokes, down to bite-size. Add these to the above mixture and mix together gently. Pour mixture into an oven-safe dish and bake for at least 20 minutes.


Please Grab Our Button!!!

This Week's Cravings Upcoming Linky "THEMES"
Here is a complete list of the past and what's coming up next on THIS WEEK'S CRAVINGS!
February 6 - Nutella Recipes (Nutella, Peanut Butter or Almond Butter)
February 13 - Valentine's Day Treats or Romantic Dinners

February 20 - Mexican Appetizers (Avocado Recipes & Salsa Recipes)

February 27 - Smoothies and Shakes
If you are new here browse around some past weeks at THIS WEEK'S CRAVINGS and you'll see why we are having so much fun and we invite you to link up too. Your hostess for this party are: Tina from MOMS CRAZY COOKING, Angela from Big Bear's Wife, Nicole from The Daily Dish and Kristi from Veggie Converter. We host this theme linky party every Monday (and the party stays open all week long)! We hope to inspire you to make something with our theme or get an old post notice by linking it up to the linky party below.

If you are a regular, link-up we're excited to see what you made this week. Just follow our simple rules, so that everyone can enjoy the linky party! If you forget to follow the theme, your post will be deleted. Please don't feel hurt, just come back and link up a recipe that follows the theme. Thanks a million, we look forward to blogging with you!
The LINKY PARTY is opened ALL Week!

PLEASE do not link more then 3 recipes per week.
This week's theme is: FAVORITE COOKBOOK RECIPES
Please only link recipes with our theme!


This week's theme is: FAVORITE COOKBOOK RECIPES
Please only link recipes with our theme!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Funfetti Cake Batter Fudge


Doesn't the look of this fudge just make you SMILE! It's like a kid in a candy store. This fudge is good for any occasion and especially a birthday party or bridal / baby shower. You can change up the sprinkles to match your theme (like red and pink for Valentine's day) or leave them rainbow to make you SMILE! No where does it say FUDGE is only for Christmas! I hope you all make a batch of this fudge today... JUST BECAUSE!


Funfetti Cake Batter Fudge
found on The Pursuit of Hippieness

3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 12 oz. package white chocolate chips
3 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 tsp Almond Extract
Rainbow Sprinkles

Pour milk and white chocolate into a microwave-safe bowl. Heat for 2-3 minutes, or until white chocolate is almost completely melted. DO NOT OVERHEAT. Stir until completely blended, melted, and smooth.

Immediately add vanilla and almond and combine thoroughly. Wait a minute or two, so mixture is not too hot and then add a handful or so of rainbow sprinkles and fold in quickly, because they will melt (and if they are stirred for too long they’ll turn the fudge an ugly muddy color).

Transfer to an parchment lined 8×8 inch baking pan, add additional sprinkles to the top and press down lightly with an extra piece of parchment paper. Let set at room temperature or in the refrigerator. Once set, cut into cubes. Store leftovers in an airtight container in a cool place.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Veggie Cups

I just LOVE this idea! Perfect for a party or just serving for dinner! And portion control (although the more veggies the better), but perfect for making sure each child eats their portion too! And don't forget no need to worry about double-dipping toddlers or teens with these CUTE Veggie Cups!



Veggie Cups
idea found on Spearmint Baby

Cut up sticks of Celery & Carrots and put with about 1/4 cup of Ranch dressing in a clear plastic cup. Prepare right before event and set out or serve to family at dinner time.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Chocolate Nutella Fudge with Sea Salt

I made so many fudge recipes over Christmas and for our monthly  CRAZY COOKING CHALLENGE - FUDGE, that it's going to take me forever to post them all! They were all so different, all so unique in their own sort of way and yet each one of them delicious too! I don't know if I could pick just ONE fudge recipe that is my go-to recipe. I really truly enjoyed the Frosting Fudge (and I've made it a few more times with different fillings), then there is the Butterfinger Fudge (YUM!), and I have yet to post a recipe for the Easiest Ever Fudge (it is SO easy and SO delicious). And now here is another recipe that we throughly enjoyed, Chocolate Nutella Fudge.



Chocolate Nutella Fudge with Sea Salt
found on Cookin' Canuck, using the basic fudge recipe by Giada De Laurentiis

Butter, for greasing pan (or use parchment paper)
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
8 oz. high-quality bittersweet (60% cacao) chocolate chips
1 cup Nutella, room temperature
3 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
Sea salt, approximately 1/2 tsp

Grease the bottom and sides of an 8- by 8-inch baking pan with butter or line the pan with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overlap on the sides.

In a medium glass bowl melt bittersweet chocolate in a microwave bowl until compeltely melted. (usually takes about 1 minute) Add in sweetened condensed milk, vanilla, Nutella, and butter.

Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan, spread the top smooth with a spatula, and sprinkle with sea salt. Refrigerate until the fudge is firm, at least 2 hours.

Using the overhanging parchment paper, lift the fudge out. Peel off the parchment paper. Cut the fudge into 3/4-inch squares. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container or wrapped well in plastic wrap and foil.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Pumpkin Butter Pinwheels

Still have some Pumpkin Butter laying around in the refrigerator? I know I do. I found this easy, fun recipe and it was delicious too!

Today we are leaving for a tropical vacation in Puerto Rico (with temperatures of 85 degress, oh heaven on earth... I am so sick of the cold weather already and I live in Southern California). I know I am so sorry for all you cold-weather states. But, I am so excited to spend the next 8 days with my hubby who has been working non-stop since New Year's Day. (ya gotta love the overtime... but it does get old)



Pumpkin Butter Pinwheels
from magazine clipping

1 roll crescent rolls
pumpkin butter (love the new Country Crock in a tub, pumpkin butter)
chopped pecans (as many or as few as you wish; just sprinkle)
1 can vanilla or cream cheese frosting

Unroll tube of crescent rolls; seal perforations. Spread with pumpkin butter and sprinkle with chopped pecans. Roll up starting with the short side; pinch seam. Place on a greased baking sheet; cut into 8 slices to within 1/2 inch of the bottom. Pull slices to each side, alternating left and right.

Bake at 375 for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Spread with vanilla frosting. Sprinkle with a few nuts on top and Serve.

Monday, January 23, 2012

THIS WEEK'S CRAVINGS LINKY PARTY #65 (HOMEMADE PIES) and Butterfinger Cream Pie


THIS WEEK'S CRAVINGS Linky Party #65
Homemade Pies - National Pie Day is Jan 23rd (Pie Recipes)
Butterfinger Cream Pie

I am not a famous pie maker, well let's say I am a newbie at trying to make pies. I have tried my hand at a few in the last few months. They are kind'of fun, still not my forte' but I am learning to like it! I have tried a few cheesecakes (and yes they fell or cracked in the middle) and I do make a few dinner like pies (Hamburger Pie and Chicken Pot Pie, that everyone loves). So, for today I picked a super duper easy homemade pie that I hope you will love.

Butterfinger Cream Pie
adapted by me - found at Food.com

1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese
1 (12 oz) carton Cool Whip
8 mini-size Butterfinger Candy Bars, chopped/crushed

(you can buy a pre-made crust or make one from scratch)
1-1/4 crumbs graham cracker crumbs and/or chocolate wafer crumbs (I used half & half)
3 tbsp sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted

Prepare your crust first, by mixing the graham cracker crumbs (or chocolate wafer crumbs), sugar and melted butter with a fork. Pack mixture firmly into a pie tin or form-spring pan. Bake at 350 for about 8 to 10 minutes. Cool to the touch before you fill.
In an electric mixer blend together cream cheese and cool whip , until well blended. Add in about 6 or 7 crushed butterfinger bars and combined (keeping out the add'l 2 bars for the topping). Fill the prepared crust with the mixture and then sprinkle the top with the remaining 2 crushed butterfinger candy bars. Chill in freezer overnight, before serving.


Please Grab Our Button!!!

This Week's Cravings Upcoming Linky "THEMES"
Here is a complete list of the past and what's coming up next on THIS WEEK'S CRAVINGS!
January 30 - Recipe from Your Favorite Cookbook
February 6 - Nutella Recipes (Nutella, Peanut Butter or Almond Butter)

February 13 - Valentine's Day Treats or Romantic Dinners

February 20 - Mexican Appetizers (Avocado Recipes & Salsa Recipes)
If you are new here browse around some past weeks at THIS WEEK'S CRAVINGS and you'll see why we are having so much fun and we invite you to link up too. Your hostess for this party are: Tina from MOMS CRAZY COOKING, Angela from Big Bear's Wife, Nicole from The Daily Dish and Kristi from Veggie Converter. We host this theme linky party every Monday (and the party stays open all week long)! We hope to inspire you to make something with our theme or get an old post notice by linking it up to the linky party below.

If you are a regular, link-up we're excited to see what you made this week. Just follow our simple rules, so that everyone can enjoy the linky party! If you forget to follow the theme, your post will be deleted. Please don't feel hurt, just come back and link up a recipe that follows the theme. Thanks a million, we look forward to blogging with you!
The LINKY PARTY is opened ALL Week!

PLEASE do not link more then 3 recipes per week.
This week's theme is: HOMEMADE PIES (Desserts or Meals)
Please only link recipes with our theme!


This week's theme is: HOMEMADE PIES (Desserts or Meals)
Please only link recipes with our theme!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Easy Crock-Pot Potato Soup

My kids are still not fans of soup. I wish they were, because I love all the crock-pot recipes for soup. Throw it all in and when you get home it's DONE! Now that is the kind of cooking I love (sometimes). I made this easy crock-pot potato soup and they actually ate it. Happy Mama!


Easy Crock-Pot Potato Soup
adapted by me, original recipe found at Pearls, Handcuffs & Happy Hour

1 (30oz) bag of frozen hash browns (diced or shredded)
4-1/2 to 5 cups of fresh chicken broth or 3 (14oz) cans of chicken broth
1 can of cream of chicken soup
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 pkg (8oz) cream cheese
(extra for toppings.. grated cheese, sour cream, bacon bits or green onions)

Combine everything EXCEPT for the cream cheese. Cook for 6-8 hours on low heat. About 1 hour before serving, add cream cheese and keep heated until thoroughly melted. Serve with cheese, sour cream, bacon bits, green onions, or whatever else you think would be good!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Enchilada Verdes

These are one of my favorite enchiladas, they are so cheesy. I've been making them for years (I can even get my girls to eat them and they hate Mexican food). They are easy to make, easy to freeze and they are delicious too! (once again NO they are not on my 2012 diet)


I made this recipe a while ago but with all the fun in posting Christmas Goodies and Guest Bloggers in November and December this post just never got published, so here it is now. Better later then never. (oh, and I wish, I wish I had a pan of these in my freezer now.) I really really need to get back into freezer cooking. I miss it SO much. I will have to make it another one of my goals for this year (after I complete my 40 bags in 40 days house cleaning!)


This is a recipe I found at Taste of Home and it's actually already in my
Volume 2 - Family Cookbook/Scrapbook! You can see a copy of the page here!



Enchilada Verdes
recipe source Taste of Home

1 lb ground beef
1/2 large onion, diced
1 small garlic glove, minced (or 1 tbsp minced garlic)
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
1 can Cream of Chicken Soup
8 oz Velvetta Cheese, diced
3/4 cup evaporated milk
1 can (4oz) chopped green chilies, drained
1 jar (2oz) diced Pimiento, drained

12 to 14 flour tortillas

In large skillet cook ground beef, onion, garlic and salt over medium heat until no longer pink, drain. Stir in cheddar cheese and set aside.

Meanwhile in a large sauce pan cook cream of chicken soup, Velveeta cheese and evaporated milk. Cook until cheese is melted. Stir in chilies and pimientos.

Place a spoonful of meat mixture down the center of tortilla and roll. Place them seam side down in a greased 9x13 pan. Pour cheese sauce over top and cover with foil. Bake at 350 for 25 to 30 minutes or until heated all the way through.


Monday, January 16, 2012

THIS WEEK'S CRAVINGS #64 (CHEESE LOVER DAY) and Mozzarella Sticks


THIS WEEK'S CRAVINGS Linky Party
National Cheese Lover Day (Cheese Recipes)
Mozzarella Sticks

These were a HIT in the afternoon at our New Year's Eve get-together. Everyone LOVED them, I couldn't keep them coming off the stove fast enough. Never ever would I have thought to roll up a simple little cheese stick in an egg roll wrapper, and WOW! The taste is out-of-this-world DE-LI-CIOUS!!! (Of course these are not on the 2012 Diet... but we will be making them again... as soon as possible)


These were SO good!
Mozzarella Sticks
from Taste of Home

12 pieces string cheese
12 egg roll wrappers
Oil for deep-fat frying
Marinara or spaghetti sauce

Place a piece of string cheese near the bottom corner of one egg roll wrapper (keep remaining wrappers covered with a damp paper towel until ready to use). Fold bottom corner over cheese. Roll up halfway; fold sides toward center over cheese. Moisten remaining corner with water; roll up tightly to seal. Repeat with remaining wrappers and cheese.

In an electric skillet, heat 1/2 in. of oil to 375°.

Fry sticks, a few at a time, for 30-60 seconds on each side or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Serve with marinara sauce.





Please Grab Our Button!!!

This Week's Cravings Upcoming Linky "THEMES"
Here is a complete list of the past and what's coming up next on THIS WEEK'S CRAVINGS!
January 23 - Homemade Pies (National Pie Day)
January 30 - Recipe from Your Favorite Cookbook

February 6 - Nutella Recipes (Nutella, Peanut Butter or Almond Butter)

February 13 - Valentine's Day Treats or Romantic Dinners
If you are new here browse around some past weeks at THIS WEEK'S CRAVINGS and you'll see why we are having so much fun and we invite you to link up too. Your hostess for this party are: Tina from MOMS CRAZY COOKING, Angela from Big Bear's Wife, Nicole from The Daily Dish and Kristi from Veggie Converter. We host this theme linky party every Monday (and the party stays open all week long)! We hope to inspire you to make something with our theme or get an old post notice by linking it up to the linky party below.

If you are a regular, link-up we're excited to see what you made this week. Just follow our simple rules, so that everyone can enjoy the linky party! If you forget to follow the theme, your post will be deleted. Please don't feel hurt, just come back and link up a recipe that follows the theme. Thanks a million, we look forward to blogging with you!
The LINKY PARTY is opened ALL Week!

PLEASE do not link more then 3 recipes per week.
This week's theme is: CHEESE LOVER DAY
Please only link recipes with our theme!


This week's theme is: CHEESE LOVER DAY
Please only link recipes with our theme!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

FAMILY MEAL PLANNING & MORE (1-15-2012)

Click here to see previous week's Family Meal Planning! 

I am back! Organizing, Meal Planning and $150 cash grocery budget per week for my family of five. I started this goal last year in January 2011 and it lasted all the way thru May 2011, then I just got lazy. Oh, I still cooked, I still planned (but didn't post meal plans) and we ate whatever, no set meals for the week. And honestly I MISS it, I miss it alot. I miss coming home and already knowing exactly what I am suppose to cook. I miss sitting around on Sunday afternoons going through my pile of recipes and picking out what we want for the week. I miss coupon clipping and trying my hand on Extreme Couponing (in my own little sort of way... in no way do I match those people on the show). But I do try my hand in couponing and LOVE my own personal results. I usually save about 50% and I am happy with that.

FAMILY MEAL PLANNING
Carrot Zucchini Bars
Sweet Potato Muffins
Chicken Noodle Soup
Salad with Comeback Sauce
Fresh Turkey
Lasagna
Grilled Turkey Burger & Veggie Pack
Skinny Zucchini Pasta
Chia Peanut Butter Balls

Check back and we will link the actual recipe!
(not all recipes will become reality so if there is not a link, we haven't made it yet)

I am also renewing my Dave Ramsey plan/skills. This is still first and foremost on our mind! I am re-taking the classes just as a refresher and I gave my sister and her husband the Dave Ramsey FPU kit for Christmas, so I will be going to classes with them. The classes start today and I am SUPER-DUPER excited to once again re-new my goals, thoughts, ideas and to help keep me on track. Last year was our first year of Dave Ramsey and our six-year pay off debt plan began. One year down and five more to go! (Yes, it's gonna take six-years! I know a lot longer then the average Dave Ramsey student. But I believe we can do it and we are going for it! We wanted to pay off everything instead of selling everything). I am so proud of how far we have came and it's exciting to look at where we are headed with our debt snowball. Our 2012 Budget is already complete and I know we will do just as well in our second year. For all you Dave Ramsey fans I am happy to report we had an amazing first-year on his plan and paid off...  are you ready.... ??? and WHOPPING $35,000 dollars in ONE-YEAR! YES, isn't that amazing! We are still shocked and excited, plus a little over whelmed that this Dave Ramsey system really works (and my husband still has his doubts). My whole goal is to prove him wrong and prove that we CAN DO THIS!!!

What else are we up too... well! I am excited to report that I am following two. Yes, two organizing plans for my home. I found both of these on Pinterest (which if you read my blog regularly know that this is my newest hobby). I am so thrilled to be following both of these things to get my life, my junk cleaned out and my house in tip-top organized shape. The first one is 52 weeks to an Organized House. I love this once a week email with a certain section of the house to tackle. And the second challenge is 40 bags in 40 days found at Little Lucy Lu. This challenge is even more doable. It's so easy to just tackle one thing each day. My friends and I are following along with each other on facebook and it's been great so far. I came up with my own little 40 bags in 40 days list and would love for any of you to come along with us! Just print this out, post it on your refrigerator and clean along with us! I would love to hear your results... just comment here and let me know you are following along.


Saturday, January 14, 2012

ULTIMATE CRAZY COOKING CHALLENGE RECIPE: Chicken Noodle Soup

Photobucket
Last week we completed the fifth month of the CRAZY COOKING CHALLENGE; all of the Chicken Noodle Soup recipes looked amazing. I know I am still enjoying the recipe we made (we froze the extra's for later and I will be enjoying some of it today for lunch).

We had 63 bloggers search and blog about CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP and the variety of recipes that showed up were awesome. If you missed the linky party, check it out CRAZY COOKING CHALLENGE - Chicken Noodle Soup. The Ultimate recipe this month is being picked from the linky that received the most traffic/most clicks. We had over 26,000 views of this one linky party! I think thats fantastic, and the recipe that received the most clicks got 222 hits! WOW!

If you want more details about this challenge or joining this challenge for next month read all about it here. We will be baking and blogging about the ULTIMATE Chocolate Cake recipe. Please come join us!

Now, let's announce the January WINNER of the CRAZY COOKING CHALLENGE.
This title "The Ultimate FUDGE Recipe" is given to:

The Ultimate CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP Recipe

I had never even heard of Thai Chicken Noodle Soup and so many bloggers choose that style of recipe. I must be missing out and will need to try this winning recipe sooner rather then later. The picture looks incredible and it looks like many others liked it too I am sure that's why it's the WINNER this month! Thank you, Cheese Curd in Paradise for finding this recipe over at Bev Cooks. And we'd like to thank you BOTH for sharing your recipe with the CRAZY COOKING CHALLENGE. You both deserve a big round of applause and you BOTH are entitled to the ULTIMATE CRAZY COOKING CHALLENGE BUTTON, please feel free to grab it below and post it proudly on your blog.

Photobucket


Also a BIG THANK YOU to the bloggers who participated in the challenge!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Bacon Pancakes

Now isn't that just the cutest little guy ever! That's my baby boy! (who is now 12 years old and would kill me for posting this photo). And check out that ancient computer in the back ground. WOW, we've come a long way!

My son LOVES bacon, his 1st and 2nd grade teachers called him "Bacon Boy". He really took bacon in his lunch everyday to school instead of a sandwich. He took bacon and a cut up tomato. Yes a whole tomato. Everyone was always shocked when they saw the tomato. And to this day he still loves them both!

With his love of bacon and his love of pancakes too! I saw this and thought WHY NOT? What a crazy way to serve up his two favorite things! You simply pour out your favorite pancake batter and add a piece of cooked bacon to the back side before you flip and then bam you have a wonderful Bacon Pancake!

Hard to photograph this monsterous pancake!

Bacon Pancakes
source of idea unknown

1 batch of your favorite Pancake Batter, homemade or from a box
8 to 10 pieces of cooked bacon

Start to cook pancakes as you normally would and before you fil it over add the full piece of bacon to the uncooked/wet side. Then flip. After you flip the back side will cook and then serve it up. Your little ones will love it!


Here is the handsome fellow now! He is my golf-nut! He loves to golf pretty much everyday and now he is in the 7th grade and already practicing with the High School team! 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Caramel Pecan Sticky Buns

This is NOT on my 2012 diet! But it's a GREAT-GREAT recipe that I made over the holiday's and it was too good not to post for all of you fun-loving non-dieters! (Which I hope to join you again soon!). Anyhow, this recipe would be perfect for the little ones, or perfect to make for a Sunday brunch! I am planning a Baby Shower Brunch for my sister-in-law and these would work great for that too! ENJOY!


I found this recipe in the Redbook's re-do recipe section. Cinnabon Caramel Pecanbon restaurant re-do which they say is now only 372 calories. Now, don't quote me on the calories, I have no idea if they are correct or not. We loved this new version, but we also love our original monkey-bread type of treat too. It's really a toss-up. It actually tastes almost the same as monkey bread, but this is a little bit easier to make.

These can be whipped up in a few minutes with the pre-made biscuits. I know my entire family loved these when I served them on a cozy Saturday morning. You can re-peat this recipe this weekend and be the hero in your home too! ENJOY!!!


Caramel Pecan Sticky Buns
from Redbook Magazine Article

1/2 cup dark-brown sugar, packed
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp honey
1/2 cup pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped
1 can reduced-fat buttermilk biscuits (we used regular)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp melted butter
1/3 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoon(s) low-fat milk

Heat oven to 400. In a small saucepan, heat brown sugar, butter, honey, and 1 tablespoon water over medium heat, until mixture is smooth. Pour into a 9-inch-round cake pan. Sprinkle pecans over mixture, then place biscuits on top of pecans in pan.

In a small bowl, combine granulated sugar and cinnamon. Brush each biscuit with melted butter; sprinkle with ­cinnamon-sugar mixture. Bake 20 minutes or until tops of biscuits are browned. Remove from oven and immediately invert onto a plate or platter in order to catch drips; let cool slightly.

In a small bowl, whisk together glaze ingredients and drizzle over buns. Serve warm.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Jamie Oliver Chicken & Homemade Chicken Stock/Broth


I love Jamie Oliver and his recipes. And his cookbook is full of Healthy Recipes. I will be sure to be pulling out his cookbook this month and begin cooking lots of his healthy meals. I know I will be making this at least once a week this whole month while we are on this "meat, vegetable and fruit only diet". I love this chicken it's simple to throw together and we cook it in the crock-pot. The BEST kind of cooking. Plus after cooking this delicious chicken, I make homemade chicken broth for the freeze and that my friends, I just LOVE having on hand, and I just ran out!


Jamie Oliver's Perfect Roast Chicken (crock-pot)
adapted but found on Fabulously Fun Food
Jamie Oliver's Perfect Roast Chicken

1 small whole chicken
 
salt and fresh ground pepper (use less than 2 tsp of salt)
3 small handfuls of fresh herbs (basil, parsley, oregano) finely chopped, or use dry herbs
1/4 cup olive oil
2 lemons, quartered
4 bay leaves, torn
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, or dry works great too
1 onions, diced

Wash chicken inside and out and pat dry. Rub the cavity with salt. Carefully separate the skin from the breast meat and sprinkle with salt. Drizzle the outside with a bit of olive oil and the fresh or dry herbs (and a little salt if you wish).

Put a layer of onions on the bottom of the crock-pot and then put the chicken on top. Stuff the bird with one of the lemons, bay leaves, and rosemary. Pull the skin forward making sure the flesh isn't exposed. The second lemon can be squeezed all over the chicken and then placed on top of the chicken for cooking. Place the lid on the crock-pot and cook on low for about 8 hours (some crock pots may take less or more time).


The added bonus is making homemade chicken stock and it's easier than pie!  It’s also extremely frugal!  I just figured out how to make this... and wondering why oh why didn't someone show me this sooner ?


Homemade Chicken Stock (crock-pot)
following instructions found at Real Food, Allergy Free
and adapted slightly by me!

I cook the Jamie Oliver Chicken in my crock-pot and then after dinner take all that's left in the crock-pot add a few things and make homemade chicken stock/chicken broth. 
  1. First pick the rest of the meat off the bones and refrigerate or freeze for soups, stir fry's or chicken salad sandwiches.
  2. Then I toss the bones back in the crockpot.  I now save the “gizzards,”  and toss them in the crockpot too.  Organ meat actually contain more nutrients than the muscle meat.  Most Americans are uncomfortable eating the organs.  By cooking them in the broth, you can transfer many of the nutrients into the stock. (I tried this for the first time and the chicken broth looks and tastes the same, so if it adds more nutritional value, I am all for it).
  3. Next, I add vegetables (whatever I have on hand), and only if you wish. The chicken sometimes already has vegetables in them, so there was no need to add more. But, if you'd like add in a couple onions, carrots and celery. Use frozen vegeatbles too, or whatever you have left over in the refrigerator. You can even use the tough part of asparagus. I add in parsley too, for additional minerals.
  4. Cover the bones and veggies with cold water, I fill my crock-pot up almost to the top, then add in 2 - 4 tablespoons of vinegar.
  5. Turn the crockpot on low.  Cook 12+ hours, I leave in the crock-pot overnight. So from about 8pm to about 8 or 9am. I heard the longer you cook, the richer the broth.
  6. After the chicken and stock cool, remove the bones and veggies and strain the stock (I use an extemley small strainer so that all I get is the liquid). 
  7. Take all of the liquid and mix it in a food processor or blender.
  8. Pour the stock into freezer containers, freezer bags or ice cube trays if you want small amounts.
Homemade stock will keep in the fridge 5-7 days or can be frozen indefinitely. 

Monday, January 9, 2012

THIS WEEK'S CRAVINGS #63 (SOUPS & CASSEROLES) and Tomato Zucchini Soup

THIS WEEK'S CRAVINGS Linky Party
SOUPS & CASSEROLES
Zucchini Soup
We are still eating healthy and lovin' these new recipes that we are finding. I came across this recipe and thought wow, what an interesting way to cook tomato soup and I just so happen to have some zucchini waiting in my frig to be made into something. I don't know if you would exactly call this healthy because of the sausage, but we are trying to eat all meat, veggies and fruit with zero to no carbs. SO it does fall into our diet! I'll let you know tomorrow how the scale went this week! My first week of this 2012 Diet.

I am just in love with my new Pyrex Dishes! Look how cute these are! I made up this big batch of soup and put individual portions into these bowls with lids that can be reheated later. I put four of them into the refrigerator for my twins to enjoy a hot delicious lunch after school today! :-)

Tomato Zucchini Soup
adapted by me, found on Kristen Duke Photography

1 lb ground sausage (we use the Jimmy Dean roll)
3 to 5 fresh zucchini
1/2 onion, diced
1 tbsp minced garlic
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
8 oz. can tomoato soup
4 to 5 fresh tomatoes, diced 
1 tsp onion powder

Cook ground sausage, set aside. Cut up fresh zucchini into cubes. Cook zucchini, onion and garlic in oil and butter until soft. Throw in cooked sausage, tomato soup, diced tomoatoes and sprinkle of onion powder. Simmer until hot.  Serve Hot!

NOTE: The best part is that the left overs work great to use as pasta sauce ontop of your favorite noodles. I love making left-overs into a completely new meal that my family has no idea I even used the left overs in the first place.


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This Week's Cravings Upcoming Linky "THEMES"
Here is a complete list of the past and what's coming up next on THIS WEEK'S CRAVINGS!
January 16 - CHEESE LOVER DAY... any cheese recipe
January 23 - Homemade Pies (National Pie Day)

January 30 - Recipe from Your Favorite Cookbook

February 6 - Nutella Day (Peanut Butter, Almond Butter & More)
If you are new here browse around some past weeks at THIS WEEK'S CRAVINGS and you'll see why we are having so much fun and we invite you to link up too. Your hostess for this party are: Tina from MOMS CRAZY COOKING, Angela from Big Bear's Wife, Nicole from The Daily Dish and Kristi from Veggie Converter. We host this theme linky party every Monday (and the party stays open all week long)! We hope to inspire you to make something with our theme or get an old post notice by linking it up to the linky party below.

If you are a regular, link-up we're excited to see what you made this week. Just follow our simple rules, so that everyone can enjoy the linky party! If you forget to follow the theme, your post will be deleted. Please don't feel hurt, just come back and link up a recipe that follows the theme. Thanks a million, we look forward to blogging with you!
The LINKY PARTY is opened ALL Week!


PLEASE do not link more then 3 recipes per week.
This week's theme is: SOUPS & CASSEROLES
Please only link recipes with our theme!


This week's theme is: SOUPS & CASSEROLES
Please only link recipes with our theme!
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