Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Exploding Almond and Chia Oatmeal Breakfast Muffins from GUEST BLOGGER: Get Healthy with Heather


Hi all, I'm Heather from Get Healthy with Heather. If you were to sneak over to my site you'd find tons of healthy, quick and easy recipes, of course with some indulgences too. In my free time I teach group fitness classes, so I like to share some of my favorite home workouts. Also my husband and I are expending our first little buddle of joy in late May, so you'd likely run across my weekly updates and random thoughts on that as well.

Today I have a great holiday recipe I'm so excited to share with you! They are muffins, but not the kind of sweet holiday muffins you may be thinking of. Nope, these are breakfast (or brunch) muffins filled with amazing goof for you ingredients. They are naturally sweetened from the ripe banana, and come filled with whole grains from the oats + healthy fats from almonds and chia seeds.

I ended up with a lot of left over cranberry sauce from Thanksgiving and began making cranberry stuffed oatmeal breakfast cakes. Before I froze the rest of my sauce I made these muffins. Instead of stuffed muffins they are exploding muffins. Either way, they are mighty tasty.

I had fun making these with my 18-month-old nephew. He was such a great help stirring and scooping the batter... with my guiding hand of course. : )

I hope you enjoy these easy and nutritionally packed muffins with your family. Maybe the kids will join in and help make them too!

Exploding Almond and Chia Oatmeal Breakfast Muffins
Adapted from cranberry stuffed oatmeal breakfast cakes
Makes 6

1 large ripe banana, mashed
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
1/3 cup whole almonds
1/3 cup ground oats (from grinding roll oats in a blender)
1/3 cup + 2 tbsp rolled oats
1 tsp baking powder
3 tbsp chia seeds
1 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 cup
cranberry sauce

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Coat a 6-muffin tin with olive oil spray.

In a large bowl combine your wet ingredients; banana, eggs, vanilla and almond extract.  Place the almonds in a food processor or high-speed blender and grind until almost the texture of flour.  Make sure not to run it for too long or else you’ll end up with almond butter!

Combine the ground almonds, ground oats, rolled oats, baking powder, chia seeds and cinnamon in another bowl.  Pour in with your wet ingredients and mix until fully combined.

Scoop the batter into the muffin pan.  They will be filled almost to the top.  Divide the cranberry sauce on top of the batter.

Bake for 16-18 minutes, or until a toothpick is inserted and comes out clean.  Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before removing from the pan.
Notes: Don't have cranberry sauce on hand? Replace it with your favorite jam. It's even better if you sneak in a little peanut butter for PB & J flavor.
I'd love for you to stop by Get Healthy with Heather and share your favorite breakfast muffin recipe with me. Linke are always welcome!

Thanks for having me here Tina. Have a wonderful day all!


P.S. Let's be friends on facebook and twitter too! J

Thanks for such a wonderful recipe! I will be cooking alot of healthy recipes in January!

Monday, December 26, 2011

THIS WEEK'S CRAVINGS #60 (MACARONI & CHEESE) and Kraft Macaroni & Cheese "Cheater Recipe"

Kraft Macaroni & Cheese "Cheater Recipe"

Chrismas Celebrations got the best of me! And I forgot to post this on time! SO SORRY! We had a lovely Christmas and now we are preparing for all of our family to come from out of town for a big wedding this Friday! (I better get up and clean my house ASAP... I will be hosting my cousin and his family of four here from Washington)! But, before I go I wanted to share an amazing "cheater" recipe. It takes that AMAZING Blue Kraft box and makes it even better! I LOVE KRAFT MACARONI & CHEESE.

Kraft Macaroni & Cheese "Cheater Recipe"
recipe source unknown

1 box Kraft Macaroni & Cheese (make as directed on box)
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup grated Cheddar Cheese
1/4 tsp Cheyenne Pepper
6 to 8 Ritz Crackers
1 tbsp butter

Preheat oven to 350. Make box of Macaroni & Cheese as directed. Then mix the finished Macaroni & Cheese with the sour cream and 1/2 cup of Cheddar Cheese and Cheyenne Pepper. Crush the Ritz Crackers and then mix with the melted butter. Pour Macaroni and Cheese mixture into an 8x8 baking pan. Cover with 1/2 cup cheese and ritz cracker mixture and bake for 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!
January 2 - Let's Get Healthy (Healthy Meals & Snacks)

January 9 - Comfort Food (Soups & Casseroles)

January 16 - CHEESE LOVER DAY... any cheese recipe

January 23 - Homemade Pies (Dessert or Meals)
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: MACARONI & CHEESE
Please only link recipes with our theme!

This week's theme is: MACARONI & CHEESE
Please only link recipes with our theme!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

My family would love to wish your family the BEST Christmas!
Enjoy your day with family & Friends!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Potato Candy from GUEST BLOGGER: Fantastical Sharing of Recipes

TAKE IT AWAY:  Hi everyone! I'm Sarah from Fantastical Sharing of Recipes. I'm a 23 year old mom of two (Matthew, 4, and Cambria, 3) and army wife to my high school sweetheart. My favorite things in life other than my family and friends: food (especially chocolate and jalapenos), vampires, Lady Gaga, reading, crocheting, dying my hair, road trips, animals (especially otters and big cats), MN Vikings and laughing.

I started food blogging a little over a year and a half ago after much push and shove from my friends to share recipes. I love to try out new recipes - in fact, my family manages to not double up on the same recipe very often and we rarely eat out. I just feel like a home-cooked meal and eating together as a family is an important part of being a family. I also love to share recipes, blogs, etc. hence the blog name. I host a weekly link up called Twisted Thursday to let readers take a turn and share their favorite recipes and I also do a weekly round up of recipes I've found called Sunday Social.

I'm so happy to be guest posting for Tina. I absolutely love her blog. I love participating in THIS WEEK'S CRAVINGS and the CRAZY COOKING CHALLENGE. :) I adore bloggers who love to share as much as I do! The community of the foodie world is just amazing.

Today, I'm sharing my mother-in-law's recipe for potato candy. She makes this recipe every year at Christmas time, along with buckeyes. I liken it to fudge - it's very sweet and rich, definitely a family favorite!

Potato Candy
Recipe from Francie Koehrsen

1 medium size potato, baked
1 stick melted butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 lb. powdered sugar, plus some
Peanut Butter (creamy)

Peel baked potato and mash with a fork until smooth and free of lumps. Add melted butter and vanilla; stir. Work in sugar gradually until a stiff "dough" forms. Sprinkle wax paper with powdered sugar. Roll out potato dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Spread peanut butter over dough. Roll up like a jelly roll.

Refrigerate until firm; slice.

  • You may have to use more or less powdered sugar, depending on your potato's size. I had to use 2.5 lbs. on mine because it was bigger.
  • The "dough" can be very sticky, do not be afraid to sprinkle it with powdered sugar.
  • Store in the refrigerator so it stays firm.

Thank You so much for sharing this awesome recipe!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The De-Constructed Pumpkin Pie from GUEST BLOGGER: The Lady Behind the Curtain

The De-Constructed Pumpkin PieWhen I saw today's guest post I was so excited. I had just pinned a recipe almost exactly like this and so I knew I wanted to make something like this soon. But there are only so many days in a week and so many desserts my family can eat up in such a short amount of time. I am still happy that I get to share this recipe with all of you even though I didn't get to make it myself YET, it was made by a guest blogger, JUST FOR YOU, SO ENJOY!

Today's guest post comes to you from Sheryl at Lady Behind the Curtain. We are involved in a few projects together each month Secret Recipe Club, The Improv Cooking Challenge and Crazy Cooking Challenge, so we are getting to know each other quite well through blogging.

Blog: Lady Behind the Curtain

TAKE IT AWAY: Hi Everyone, I am Sheryl from LADY BEHIND THE CURTAIN. I am HONORED to be here at MOMS CRAZY COOKING as a GUEST BLOGGER! I have been blogging since January of this year and LOVE it! My passion is ENTERTAINING. I LOVE TO COOK! Giving the gift of a homemade meal is my way of showing the people in my life how much they mean to me. LADY BEHIND THE CURTAIN offers many recipes which range from the beginner cook to the more seasoned cook. Like, my Italian Sandwich , PERFECT for Game Day or The Old Fashioned Layer Cake which is easy to make but looks IMPRESSIVE.

The De-Constructed Pumpkin Pie

Nothing says Holiday like Pumpkin Pie. I decided to take the traditional dessert and mix it up a bit (literally). I have given you three options on how to serve this dessert ( see below). A push up pop, parfait cup and a mason jar.

I have been making this pie filling for over 20 years. It’s ALWAYS a BIG hit! This year I decided to add the homemade cinnamon whipped cream (recipe below) and all I can say is “YUM!” I hope you enjoy this twist on my families Thanksgiving tradition.

The De-Constructed Pumpkin Pie Recipe

Pie Crust
2-crust pie dough -- your favorite recipe or pre-made
Roll out a small piece of dough. Cut out shapes using a small pumpkin or leaf cookie cutter. Brush with egg wash ( 1 egg to 1 tablespoon of water) sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Bake at 375 degrees until lightly browned.

Roll out remaining dough to fit a large baking pan (like a jelly roll pan). Bake until browned. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Put the cooled crust into a food processor to make into crumbs. Set aside.

The De-Constructed Pumpkin Pie

The De-Constructed Pumpkin Pie
Pie Filling
1 – 16 ounce can pumpkin
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 eggs
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup milk

Mix together pumpkin, sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger, and nutmeg. Add eggs, lightly beat eggs into pumpkin mixture with a fork. Add the evaporated milk and milk; mix well. Place into a spring form pan. Place pan into a baking pan larger then the spring form pan, put into a pre heated 375 degree oven.

Fill the larger pan with boiling water.

Bake 45 minutes or until when a knife is inserted into the center comes out clean. CAREFULLY remove pan from water bath and cool on wire rack. Once cooled remove the outside ring.

Scoop the pie filling into a bowl and whip with a spoon.

The De-Constructed Pumpkin Pie

The De-Constructed Pumpkin Pie

Cinnamon Whipped Cream Recipe
2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a large bowl, using a mixer set on medium-high speed, beat the cream, sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla until stiff peaks form. Do not over beat.

For the push up pop add 1 tablespoon of pie crust crumbs; for the parfait cup or mason jar add 2 tablespoons of pie crust crumbs.

Fill a piping bag with the Pumpkin Pie Filling and another pipping bag with the Cinnamon Whipped Cream each fitted with your favorite tips.

Pipe pumpkin pie filling on top of the pie crust crumbs, and then pipe cinnamon whipped cream.

Repeat layers and top with a cut out pumpkin or leaf.

I know not all of you love to bake like I do, so I have an easy semi-homemade way you can make this dessert. It’s all in the presentation. Right?

Semi-Homemade De-Constructed Pumpkin Pie
Pumpkin Pie from Costco
Cool Whip

Yep, that’s it! Now there is NO excuse. You too can have an impressive dessert. Just scoop out the pumpkin from your pie into a bowl mix until fluffed. Put the pie crust in the food processor and make into crumbs. Add 1 teaspoon of cinnamon to a large tub of cool whip and mix. Scoop pumpkin pie filling into a pipping bag fitted with your favorite tip. Fill another pipping bag with the cinnamon cool whip also fitted with your favorite tip. Layer pie crust crumbs, pumpkin pie filling then cool whip into your container of choice, do this twice.

The De-Constructed Pumpkin Pie
I am very THANKFUL for the opportunity of bringing you this recipe and a NEW idea on how to serve THE PUMPKIN PIE! HAPPY THANKS GIVING to you from LADY BEHIND THE CURTAIN!

Thank You Sheryl, WOW what an amazing recipe!
And the semi-homemade idea. WAY TO GO!!!
Yep, I will be making this for sure!!!

Pecan Snowballs from GUEST BLOGGER: Melissa's Cuisine

I just love Melissa's blog. All her recipes look so delicious. I love that she is newly married and likes to make her husband treats (he even takes them to work.... my husband does the same thing). A few weeks ago I had an entire left-over cake from a recipe I was trying to make into something that didn't turn out quite right. I frosted the cake and set it off to work with him. My husband's work loves when I am in the kitchen baking too, they never turned down treats.

TAKE IT AWAY:  Hi everyone! I'm Melissa, and I blog over at Melissa's Cuisine. I was so excited when Tina sent an email asking if I'd be interested in guest posting (Thanks Tina!) and I'm thrilled to be sharing one of my favorite recipes with you today.

I love to bake and cook, though I would say I love baking the most! I grew up helping my parents in the kitchen, and now that I'm married I spend a lot of time baking treats for my husband. His co-workers love it when I spend a day in the kitchen :) You’ll find all kinds of baked goods and lots more over at my blog…I hope you’ll stop by!

Christmas is my favorite holiday. I absolutely love every part of it--especially the excitement in the air everywhere I go! It's one of the busiest times of the year, but also the most fun. For me, the fun comes from baking Christmas treats and sharing them with my family and friends. One Christmas cookie I grew up making and eating is the Pecan Snowball. Today I'd like to share my recipe with you, and I hope you'll love it as much as I do!

Pecan Snowballs
recipe source unknown

1 cup shortening
3/4 cup powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons milk
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1-3/4 cup flour
1 cup oats
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
1/4 teaspoon salt
powdered sugar for coating

In a large bowl, beat shortening, powdered sugar, milk and vanilla until fluffy. Add in flour, oats, chopped pecan, and salt. Beat until combined. Form dough into 1 inch balls and place on a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 325 for 15-18 minutes.

Roll in baked cookies in powdered sugar while they're still warm.

Makes 2 dozen cookies

I was very excited to see that Melissa shared this recipe today! This was on my "to-do" list for this month and now I am glad that we got to share this with all of you! Thanks again Melissa.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Forgotten Cookies from GUEST BLOGGER: Chocolate, Chocolate and More

I first remember meeting Joan from Chocolate, Chocolate and More a few weeks ago through a facebook post. A desperate facebook post. I had just made a batch of Olive Garden Bread Sticks; copycat recipe and it failed. She commented on my post that she had made them and they worked! I hopped over to her her blog, grabbed her recipe and wah-lah a new blog friend. I signed up for her emails and I love all her posts. She is from a small town (only 4 stop-lights) I can only dream of visiting a place like that. Yep, that is as far off as you can get from me living in Southern California (close to Los Angeles), the busiest place ever.

And I love this quote from her about me page: "I  firmly believe that chocolate makes everything better.  The smell of something baking in the kitchen can completely change an attitude." I am going to have to use that, OFTEN! Oh and she says "In my house, we have dinner, every night, together, around a table (usually ours) with the television off. (We even ignore the phone if it rings.) We eat and we ....TALK. About whatever. No one can get by with silence" (can I PLEASE PLEASE go live at her house... I've always-always wanted, dreamed of and never had that). Don't get me wrong my kids and I are VERY close and we are together every night (but never around a dinner table, and with a husband who works some days / some nights and a ton of overtime), we take what we can get. Usually that means we run over to Disneyland after work/school for a few hours or fly to far off islands like Turks and Caicos (last summers family vacation) or we hop in our motorhome to go camping to get quality family time! But none the less.... I love her blog and I am sure I would love her family and I know she would enjoy mine too!


I'm so excited Tina invited me to guest post here at MOMS CRAZY COOKING! Every time I visit her blog I find so many good and delicious recipes, I'll never finish my "must make" list. And her link parties and the Crazy Cooking Challenge are so much fun, everyone posting the most amazing recipes!

I love the holidays, and I love to give homemade yumminess as gifts!

With all the holiday baking, you'll have recipes that call for egg yolks only. Well that will leave you with some egg whites.

And my favorite thing to do with egg whites is Forgotten Cookies. Some people call them Kisses, some call them Meringues. Whatever you call them, they are easy and wonderful to make, whether you have one egg white or 4, the recipe is so easy to scale.

Forgotten Cookies
recipe source unknown

1 egg white (room temperature)
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon cocoa powder (optional)

Just multiply your recipe for however many egg whites you have. And if you don't have cream of tartar, leave it out, don't worry about it.

Place eggs in a medium bowl and start whipping, with a hand mixer is easiest. Once your eggs turn foamy (white) you can add the rest of the ingredients. Continue whipping until stiff peaks form.

Now you can drop these as cookie size onto a parchment lined cookie sheet

But you can also make these bite sized, and it's easy. Take a plastic bag and place it in a wide mouthed cup, sides folded over. Then scoop your beaten egg whites into the plastic bag. Twist the top of the bag closed then clip the corner off the bottom of the bag. Now have fun, placing kisses on your parchment covered or silicone lined pan.

Place in a preheated 225 degree oven for 25-30 minutes. Turn off oven and leave in oven for at least 2 hours, or overnight. & Just "forget" about them.

Store in an air tight container such as a mason jar.

Chocolate, Chocolate and more
I am so excited about trying these cookies. I have never heard of them before!
Thank You so much for sharing!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Mega-Brownie Bites from GUEST BLOGGER:

I wish I had a batch of these right now! Please help me welcome my next Guest Blogger!


Hello! I am Ann from Sumptuous Spoonfuls and I feel very honored to be guest blogging here at Mom's Crazy Cooking today. I started Sumptuous Spoonfuls last July as a way of sharing and documenting my recipes, and I can't believe what an incredible journey my blog has taken me on. I never in a million years would have guessed I would meet so many amazing people from all over the world. Through facebook and twitter, I've made such wonderful foodie friends that introduce me to so many different cooking ideas, fantastic photography, and so much more. These people I have never met in person have become some of my best friends. I look forward to "seeing" them every morning and finding out what they've been up to.

Tina is one of the great foodie friends I have met through facebook and the MOMS CRAZY COOKING Challenge. I have to say I admire her endless energy, her enthusiasm and all the work that she does to help promote everyone's food blogs. With a family of six, I don't know how she does it all! She is such a sweetheart, always so kind and so organized and she always has something nice to say to everyone. (You are TOO sweet, Thanks Ann)

I want to share this wonderful brownie bite idea I came up with last month ... I was baking up a storm for the bake sale we were having at my daughter's dance studio, and this idea popped into my mind. It was one of the favored treats at the bake sale--the little dancer girls would come up and with big eyes, point and say "What's that?" When I told them there were Reese's cups hiding inside, their eyes just lit up.

Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Mega-Brownie Bites Supreme
1 batch of your favorite brownie batter (one that makes a 13 x 9 inch pan of brownies … if your brownie recipe or mix only makes a 9x9 inch pan of brownies, double the recipe)
Cooking spray
12 mini-Reese's Peanut Butter cups
Chopped peanuts
Caramel sauce
Chocolate chips. melted, with a little milk stirred in to thin the chocolate so it drizzles better

Spray a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray. Mix up the brownie batter and divide evenly amongst the 12 spots. Press a mini-Reese's cup into each one down into the batter so that the top of the Reese's cup is evenly aligned with the batter.
Bake the brownie mega-bites according to your brownie directions. As they rise, the brownies will rise up over the edges of the peanut butter cups and make a sort of "basket" or “nest”.

Fill each brownie basket with chopped peanuts, then drizzle with caramel and melted chocolate chips.

Next time I want to try this trick as mini-brownie bites with junior mints in place of the peanut butter cups and crushed peppermint candy canes in place of the peanuts, drizzled with white and dark chocolate. Wouldn't that be good? I also thought at Easter time, you could put little jellybeans in the brownie “nests”
Thanks Ann for such a wonderful recipe! I hope to try these sooner then later!

Peanut Butter Cookies from GUEST BLOGGER: This is how we eat. by Laura Rees

Laura Rees blogs at This is how we eat, a record of everyday meals and the eternal struggle to get her kids to eat anything. She works full time as a copywriter, writing advertising copy for banks, insurance companies, and the occasional college. You can see why she spends her free time writing about food. 


I'm all for over-the-top holiday fanfare. Give me Christmas galas, breakfasts with Santa, glistening trees, and elaborate gingerbread houses. Getting caught up in the hustle and bustle is, for me, part of the fun.

But there's also something about the simple things. A beautiful carol. A quiet snowfall. A lowly stable. I think this season is best when it's a mix of both.

Because simple can be harder to find this time of year, I offer a reminder in the form of plain old peanut butter cookies. Give them a place on your platter next to the fanciest cut-outs and cake pops. And let them be a sweet note to yourself to stop and reflect, and keep things in balance.

Peanut Butter Cookies
recipe source: an ole' family recipe

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon white sugar
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 350. Cream the butter and sugar, and add the peanut butter. Then add the eggs and vanilla. Mix in the flour baking powder and salt. Chill in the fridge for at least an hour.

To prepare cookies, pinch off some dough (about 1 tablespoon's worth). Roll into a ball and place on cookie sheet. Dip a fork in flour, then use the tines to flatten the cookie slightly, making an indentation. Turn the fork 90 degrees and press again, making a criss-cross pattern. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until just cooked.
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