Archive for the 'Recipes' Category

Pancakes – a new favorite!

About six months ago, we ran out of bisquick but we still wanted to make pancakes.  I looked online and found a very good recipe, and we have since stopped using bisquick for pancakes!

Ingredients:

1 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup general purpose flour

3 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder

1 (generous) tablespoon white sugar

1 1/4 cup milk

1 egg

3 tablespoons butter, melted

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 cup (+) fruit, optional (blueberries, etc.)

Directions:

Start heating up your griddle.

In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients.

After beating these items together, make a indent in the center and add the egg, milk, butter and vanilla.

Mix until smooth.

Fold in fruit/chocolate as desired.  Personally, I add these things to each pancake individually to spread out the awesome consistently.

Using a spoon or measuring cup, put about 1/4 cup out for each pancake.

Let brown, flip, brown, serve!

Results in 12-14 pancakes.

Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins

We’ve been rocking this recipe with Blueberries and Apples for a bit now – its delicious!  A very moist muffin recipe.

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups Uncooked quick oatmeal OR 1 1/4 cups old fashioned oatmeal
1 1/4 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 egg
1/4 oil
1 cup fresh OR frozen blueberries

Topping:

Granulated Sugar (Sugar In The Raw) to taste.
I put a healthy amount on each muffin.
Start with 1 Tablespoon for the pan and adjust from there.

Directions:

  1. Preheat Oven to 425
  2. Combine oats, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
  3. In separate bowl, combine milk, egg and oil.
  4. Add liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients, mix until moist only.
  5. DO NOT BEAT.
  6. Fold in Blueberries.
  7. Fill greased muffin cups 2/3 full.
  8. Sprinkle topping sugar over muffins evenly.
  9. Bake 20-25 minutes.
  10. Enjoy!

–Nat

Apple Muffins

This is about feeling better about eating “bad” food by making some “good” food.

As I ate leftovers for lunch last Saturday – delicious reheated take out Chinese – I got into a bit of a funk. What is in that food? How much MSG had I just eaten for the second day in a row?

So I decided to make some muffins. Apple muffins, made from things in the fridge and the pantry. I won’t claim that they are “healthy” as they are made with whole milk and butter, but at least I know what’s going on.

Delicious Muffins

Delicious Muffins

There is also a loaf of Honey Wheat bread made from my recipe doing its thing in the bread maker. I feel a little better now…

And I really hope that Gabe enjoys his afternoon snack!

Recipe:

2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
---
1 cup milk
1 egg
1/4 cup vegetable oil or butter, melted
---
1 cup sweet-tart medium to large apple, cored, peeled and chopped

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease 12-cup muffin tin or use paper liners. With a wire whisk combine first set of ingredients. In another bowl, combine wet ingredients. Add chopped apple and wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Stir only until moistened. Spoon into prepared muffin pan. Bake for 20 minutes or until tested done with tester.  Credit goes to baking.about.com for having this simple recipe that had a lot less going on than many of the others I looked at.

I added 1/8 tsp course “in the raw” sugar to each muffin before baking.  I think I’ll double that for the next batch.  Added a good touch of sweetness and little desirable texture.  I also used whole wheat flour – today I bought some non-bread white flour for another go at these and will probably do one cup wheat, one cup white to “lighten” them up a bit.

–Nat

Tasty Chicken Pasta

What You Need:

2 Cups mulit-grain rotini pasta, uncooked
1 lb. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into bite size pieces
1 & 1/4 cups tomatillo salsa
1 (10 oz.) frozen corn
1 Large Green Pepper, cut into strips, then cut in half
1 Cup KRAFT (guess where the recipe came from!) Mexican Style 2% Milk Four Cheese

Make it!

  • Cook Pasta as directed on Package
  • Meanwhile, heat large non-stick skillet sprayed with cooking spray on medium-high heat.
    Add chicken, cook & stir for 4 minutes. Stir in salsa, corn and green pepper, simmer on medium-low for 10 minutes or until chicken is done, stirring occassionally.
  • Drain Pasta. Add to chicken mixture, stir slightly. Top with cheese. Remove from heat, cover, and let rest for 1 minute or until cheese is melted.

Nutrition (Per Serving – 4 servings):

460 Calories
9g total fat
4g saturated fat
1020 mg sodium (!)
54g carbohydrates
42g protein

“Improvements”

Kristin and I simply used four chicken breasts, which I cut into chunks. We added about 10 mushrooms and used three ears of fresh corn that we cooked and then cut off – this resulted in a lot of corn in the mix. For “salsa” we substituted 1.5 cups of Chi-Chi’s medium salsa.  Next time, we’d like to make some fresh salsa to make this a completely “from scratch” type recipe and hopefully further reduce that horrendous sodium content.  We also substituted in a whole box of Penne Rigata because it is what we hand in the cupboard, pasta is pasta :)

Kraft claims this is four servings, but we are looking at more like 7 to 8.

Final Thoughts

It was pretty good. I would suggest adding in some pepper for flavor and not to be scared of using spicy salsa. The medium Chi-Chis is decently spicy but it was completely mild in this dish. The fresh and slightly crunchy corn was delicious.

You’ll want to use a *large* saucepan for this. Ours was overwhelmed before even adding the pasta, so we served it up Spaghetti style by putting the chicken sauce over the pasta right on the plate.

If you might be looking for a way to use some corn, green pepper and salsa this would be an excellent and potentially quite healthy experiment. We wouldn’t post it here if we weren’t planning on making it again!

–Nat

Tasty Chicken Caserole

When we were in Iowa last weekend, we had the great fortune of sitting down for Sunday supper with my parents, my Grandma Dorothy and Grandpa Ben.  It was tasty of course and there were of course leftovers.  Kristin and I packed up some buns and Grandpa Ben’s chicken and headed north.  During the week we had a couple chicken sandwiches and exhausted the bun supply.  We were left with a fair amount of chicken, so we looked online for a chicken casserole recipe that didn’t contain peas by default (Kristin doesn’t like them.)  Here is what we found:

Chicken Noodle Casserole

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces egg noodles, uncooked
  • 1/2 cup butter (8 ounces)
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms, about 4 ounces
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup pimiento, chopped (2 ounce jar, drained)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups cooked diced chicken
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preparation:

Cook noodles according to package directions and drain. In large skillet, melt butter in a large skillet over low heat; sauté mushrooms. Blend in flour, stirring until smooth. Gradually add broth, milk, pimiento, salt and pepper, stirring constantly until sauce is thickened. In a buttered 2 1/2-quart casserole, combine noodles, chicken and sauce. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over top. Bake chicken noodle casserole 20 to 25 minutes in a preheated 350° oven.

What we did:

Instead of using egg noodles we used a random 12 oz box of pasta and put some aside after cooking it up.  Egg noodles aren’t exactly the healthiest.  We also just used enough butter to saute the mushrooms, we didn’t go all out as the recipe calls for.  The Pimeintos were found near the olives in the grocery store.  They added a little flavor but where also a nice way to add color to the dish as they are bright red.

It was really quite a tasty way to use up some leftovers.

–Nat

Favorite Easy Pasta Bake

This has been one of our favorite oven recipes so far.  You’ll need an oven and a 9×13 pan.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of your favorite pasta
  • 1 pound of ground beef
  • 1 Jar/32 oz. spaghetti sauce
  • 8 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 1/4 cup of Italian Style stewed tomatoes
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Cook the pasta as directed and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Brown the beef, add spaghetti sauce, mushrooms, peppers, onions, garlic, etc.

Simmer the beef and sauce for 10 minutes.

Put the cooked pasta in the pan, followed by the sauce.  Mix well.

Sprinkle cheese over the top.

Bake until the cheese bubbles or 20 minutes.

Enjoy!

–Nat

(I like to add more cheese :) )