Happy Pinning!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Too many recipes, too little time...

My brain is on overload of all the recipes that I want to make but my freezers are so full I need to eat out of them for a little while.  I am working on trying to use the stuff we already had to incorporate it into meals so I can cut grocery costs a little in this overly expensive time of the year.  Last weekend was thanksgiving, I am sure you all had lovely times with your family full of traditional recipes and lots of bonding.  There was a construction project going on at our house the whole weekend which meant we had a fair amount of time with the men segregated from the ladies.  In an effort to help shoulder the burden of all my Mom's major hostessing responsibilities and say thank you for the free labor at my house I made a yummy little spread for our ladies scrapbook afternoon.  It was a recipe I saw on Pinterest (of course) and it was yummy!

Taco Pizza
Ready for how easy this is?
Take two tubes of crescent rolls and roll them into jelly roll pan and bake at 375 for 11-14 min.  Take two cans of refried beans, I used two different types mixed together.

Meijers Organic Black Bean Refried Beans and Roasted Green Chile and Lime Refried Beans

Warm beans in microwave and spread over baked crust.  Cook meat of choice in skillet with taco packet.  I used chicken.  Spread on top of beans.  Add toppings, I used black olives, green onion, cheese, and cilantro.  I figured I would just use salsa instead of diced tomatoes.  Put back in the oven for 3-5 minutes until cheese is melted. 

I served with chips and guacamole and a tropical fruit salad.  Remember this salad here, I did the same thing but added pomegranate, tis the season after all!

In this hectic holiday season there is a super quick and easy dinner for you.  I hope I have many more recipes like this so I can spend less time in the kitchen and more time with my family this Christmas!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

You guys won't believe this one!

Remember when I was obsessed with these....

This is one of the recipes that went straight to freezer and I hadn't thawed it until now and I am bumming because you have no fresh peaches to try this, you seriously don't want to wait till next summer. I would suggest maybe using those frozen fresh peaches from the freezer section to pull this off. 

Cheddar-stuffed Turkey Burgers with Peach Ketchup

4 medium peaches, peeled and pitted and cut up
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
Dash cayenne pepper
2 pounds ground turkey (We actually did ground chicken, it was really good)
2 - 3 ounces white cheddar or Havarti cheese, shredded (1/2 to 3/4 cup)
1 tablespoon canola oil
Leaf lettuce (optional)
8 hamburger buns, split and toasted
Additional peach slices (optional)

First:  You need to make Peach Ketchup, that's right Peach Ketchup:

1. In a blender or food processor combine cut up peaches, sugar, cider vinegar, chili powder, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper. Cover and blend or process until smooth = Peach Ketchup
2. In large bowl lightly mix turkey with half of the Peach Ketchup, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. black pepper. Divide into 8 balls. Make an indentation in the center of each ball and fill with some cheddar cheese. Shape meat around cheese. Flatten into patties.
3. In a 12-inch skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add half of the burgers and cook about 5 minutes, or until well browned. Turn and cook 5 minutes more or until no pink remains (165 degrees F). Repeat with remaining burgers.
4.  Serve on lettuce-lined buns with additional peach slices and remaining Peach Ketchup. Makes 8 burgers. (We actually ended up with 9! Score!)

I had never done cheddar stuffed...anything before! It was so good.  Literally I took a bite of my burger tonight and white melted oozy cheese came out, it was so so good.  And peach ketchup!? It was amazing.  And we have a ton left over, Craig said I was giddy thinking of what I could marinade in it. 

I am tired and I worked a long day and my kids are whiny so I really am wracking my brain trying to think of something else clever to say or talk about....but I have got nothing.  Promise me you will make peach burgers and you will make them often.  I know I will!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Fall treats

Can you believe my "baby" is turning three? Say no.  Because I can't.  This is too much, I may need another baby now and that just sounds exhausting...

Isn't she precious?
So I had a fall themed party with her (complete with directing my family to wear fall colors to the party, I don't think my brother in law will ever let me live this down, what can I say I am a total control freak!)

Have to share a few of the little treats I made...

Look at these adorable acorns!!! Take a mini Nutter Butter, and a Hershey's Kiss and glue them together with peanut butter and then "glue" a chocolate chip on the other side, freeze.  Yummy, PB and Chocolate is the ultimate combo!

Halloween Bark: This is the best way to use up leftover halloween candy.  Chop up a whole bunch of different candy bars and add a bunch of peanuts (make sure if you use M&M's you only use the red/orange/yellow/brown to keep in halloween colors, this means you can eat greens and blues while you cook!)  Melt 1.5 bags dark chocolate and spread out on wax paper on cookie sheet.  Sprinkle with topping and gently press in.  Refridgerate until hardened.  Melt 3 oz white chocolate and drizzle on top and refridgerate again until hard.  Break apart into pieces and enjoy.

The Cake! It originally was going to be a pumpkin.  But it had a dent around the middle where I stacked the two Bundt cakes ( I am not a fan of baking!) so my Mother in law had the brilliant ideas of the ribbon and the flowers.  Turned out cool and very "autumnal" (that is my favorite word this month).  Recipe was good, I got it off Pinterest!

Caramel Apple Cake with Apple Cider Frosting
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1½ tsp. baking soda
1½ tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. salt
1½ cups light brown sugar
¾ cup canola oil
¾ cup unsweetened applesauce
¾ cup caramel sauce (homemade or jarred)
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 eggs
1½ cups buttermilk

Apple Cider Frosting:
7 1/2-8 cups confectioners’ sugar (to desired consistency)
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
1/2 cup apple cider or apple juice
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
pinch of salt

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease and flour two (8 or 9 inch) round cake pans and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together whole wheat pastry flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Set aside. In a second large bowl, beat sugar and oil together with an electric mixer until well combined, about 30 seconds. Add applesauce, caramel and vanilla, beat for 30 seconds, then add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the buttermilk, and continuing to beat until well combined.

3. Pour batter into prepared cake pans and bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle of each cake comes out clean, about 35-40 minutes. Set aside to let cool for 10 minutes, then gently loosen cakes and turn out onto a cooking rack; set aside to let cool completely.

4. For the frosting, put sugar, butter, cider, cinnamon and salt into a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Arrange one cake on a large plate and spread about 1 cup of the frosting evenly over the top. Arrange second cake on top then frost top and sides of entire cake with remaining frosting. Set aside at room temperature or in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour to allow frosting to set before serving.

Makes a tall 2-layer, 8-9 inch round cake. (I made two recipes, in two bundts to stack for the pumpkin shape and I added food coloring to get my orange color!)

For actual food I should share more than just treats with you!

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

  • 6 large baking potatoes, peeled, cut in 1/2 -inch cubes
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1 quart chicken broth
  • 3 garlic cloves minced (or pressed)
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup cream
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 1 cup sour cream (optional)
  • 8 slices bacon, fried & crumbled  
  • Cheese for sprinkling


  1. Combine first seven ingredients in a large crock pot; cover and cook on HIGH for 4 hours or LOW for 8 hours (potato should be tender).
  2. Mash mixture until potatoes are coarsely chopped and soupy is slightly thickened.
  3. Stir in cream, cheese and chives.
  4. Top with sour cream (if used), sprinkle with bacon and more cheese
Brie with Apples and Cranberries

8 in round brie
1/4 cup cranberries
1 medium apple chopped
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp melted butter
1/2 cup sliced almonds

Mix all ingredients minus brie in bowl, cut brie in top and bottom halves.  Layer brie, 1/2 filling, brie and top with other 1/2 filling.  Bake at 350 12-15 min, serve with crackers

It was a great party full of fun fall foods and colors! Hope you are having a wonderful fall!

Is it thanksgiving yet??

So a couple of weekends ago my Mom and Sister and I had a girls scrapbook weekend.  I thought I would treat them to a special treat.  My Ode to Thanksgiving Prelude meal.  It is so yummy and wonderful and I always feel fancy when I make it so it's especially good to make for loved ones.  I think it will be a LONG time before I am in the position, house, etc to make me able to be the Thanksgiving hostess so I love this meal because I feel like I am doing a Thanksgiving day spread but I am able to easily pull it off myself.  I went from the Pampered Chef Turkey and Cranberry wreath recipe and I started improvising and adding and I was inspired by a meal I had at a fall wedding to create my own special "gravy".  I love this recipe so much, I hope you will try it and love it too....

Amanda's Ode to Thanksgiving Prelude

1 pkg cream cheese
4 tbsp softed butter
2 pkg. refrigerated crescent rolls
1/2 C. mayonnaise
1 T. honey Dijon mustard
½ tsp coarsely ground pepper
2 C. cooked turkey, chopped (I buy a thick ½ in slice from the deli counter and cut it in chunks)
½ cup celery sliced
½ cup dried cherries
2 chopped apples
3 T fresh parsley
4 oz provolone/mozzarella shredded cheese
1 egg

Hollandaise Gravy:
Hollandaise packet
Cinnamon and brown sugar and apple pie spice
Milk and butter

Also for serving: Mashed potatoes, Stuffing, Meijers Cranberry Sauce (it's the best!)

Preheat oven to 375

Unroll dough, separate into 16 triangles.  With wide ends of triangles toward the center.  Arrange 8 triangles in a circle on large round stone.  Corners of wide ends will touch and points will extend 1 inch beyond of baking stone.  Arrange remaining 8 triangles in center matching ends.  Seal seams using pizza roller.   Points will overlap in center, do not seal. You can also do this in a straight braid but the wreath is good for serving/entertainment and I will tell you why in a moment...

Blend cream cheese and 4 Tbsp butter until creamy.  Add mayo, mustard and black pepper into the bowl.  Add shredded cheese into the bowl.  Mix filling by adding turkey, celery, cherries and apples and parsley.  Scoop filling over seams of dough, forming a circle. 

Beginning in center lift one dough triangle across mixture continue alternating with outer triangles, slightly overlapping to form wreath.  Tuck last end under first.

Separate egg over bowl.  Beat egg white lightly; brush over dough.  Bake 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.  (Ok I don't know how Pampered Chef predicts 30 min, we usually do 45 min and the bottom can still be doughy so watch this and alter as needed!)

Hollandaise gravy; I literally took a packet of hollandaise, followed the directions but added 3 T brown sugar and sprinkled in cinnamon (about 2 tsp) and apple pie spice (1 tsp)

Make with stuffing and mashed potatoes (for easy "mashed"  potatoes I boiled red skins with skin on and then drain and add 1/2 to a full stick of butter and garlic salt and smash) (For stuffing I start with a box of stove top and I add extra celery, dried cherries and chopped apples and onion and saute and add to prepared stuffing, fancies it up a little!)
As an homage to thanksgiving, serve pretty for guests with potatoes and stuffing in center of wreath.  Hollandaise drizzled a la gravy.  Cherries, apples, and cinnamon flavors of fall mixing with the turkey make it a wonderful fall preview.  Also serve Meijers cranberry relish on the side. 

Seriously people make this for someone today! You will love all the oohs and aahs! Be prepared for food coma to set in shortly afterwards though....

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Breakfast!! The most important meal of the day!

Who doesn't need a few breakfast ideas? Good gravy if I don't have anything planned it's a granola bar.  That is about as boring as you can get! Started my first week of exercising with my new fabulous accountability partners on Friday (You know who you are!) and I wanted to have a snack for us after especially one that the kids would eat.  I think it often helps keep your blood sugar stabilized throughout the day to eat frequent little meals so these ideas make a perfect mid morning snack or 2nd breakfast or if you are a Hobbit "Elevensies".  First:

 Fruit and Yogurt Parfait

This is not rocket science.  My husband loves these.  My kids love these.  McDonald's has them on the dollar menu.  You can mix and match a million different fruit and yogurt combos (again I can't stress enough how much kids like choosing and building their own food). One 3 pt yoplait yogurt and 2 pts worth of granola (differ by brand, check your label), beautiful pick me up for 5 pts! You may remember a very popular PB&J parfait we made here.

Next up: Egg Mugs

Mediterranean Egg Mug

This is Hungry Girl's specialty here is her Greek Mug. There are more ideas to be found here and there and everywhere.  Make your own! I bet my husband would go crazy for a Mexican one with chorizo and salsa. Here is how mine went.

Chopped 3 baby bella mushrooms, handful of cherry tomatoes, handful of green onion chopped and a handful of black olives.  Spray big coffee mug with cooking spray, toss in veges and microwave one minute.  Now Hungry Girl uses Egg Beater liquid on these 1/2 cup = 2 eggs.  I am not opposed to Egg Beaters, I just didn't have any! 2 eggs in, you also want to add any seasonings to go with your flavor here, I added a dash of garlic salt and a dash of italian seasoning, stir up to scramble with your veges.  Microwave 45 sec to 1 min.  Add cheese and stir.  I added 1-2 Tbsp feta.  Microwave another 45 sec to 1 min.  Perfect Mediterranean Egg Scramble, no dirty pan, 2.5 min, 5-6 pts.  This would be really fun if you had overnight guests.  Set out a variety of toppings and let everyone build there own egg scramble and get some big huge mugs easy and quick.  Only warning I would give, especially for kids.  These are really hot! I scalded my tongue on a moist tomato steaming hot from the bottom of the cup. There was a lot of stirring to release the heat and a lot of blowing on the spoon involved.  No burn injuries please.

One last breakfast recommendation!

Protein Shakes

I take my magic bullet and I even make it right in the cup piece so after I blend... I am ready to go.  I add a scoop of this

and a scoop of this
1 cup of milk and then if I want a combo flavor with the chocolate I may add one of these

I can say enough about these shakes.  7 pts but the whey keeps your blood sugar stabilized ALL day, you hardly ever feel hungry so you snack a lot less.  Sometimes I will even make one for my kids.  They feel like they are getting away with having a chocolate milk shake for breakfast but they are getting their fruit, their milk, healthy protein and more concentration power especially the little ones in school! Another tip is keep a bag of flaxseed in your freezer, add a tbsp to your parfaits or protein shakes, you won't notice but the health benefits are limitless!

So no more breakfast skipping and I will also try not to keep going to that dreaded granola bar fall back so often, not with these much more satisfying and delicious (and simple!) choices.  Eat a good breakfast everyone!