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Saturday, July 10, 2010

Chunky PB & Oatmeal Chocolate Chipsters

Chunky Peanut Butter and Oatmeal Chocolate Chipsters
from Baking, From My Home to Yours, by Dorie Greenspan

3 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoons freshly ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (8 oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup (packed) light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into chunks, or 1 1/2 cups -bought chocolate chips or chunks.
Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats. Whisk together the oats, flour, baking soda, spices and salt. Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter, peanut butter, sugar and brown sugar on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each addition, then beat in the vanilla.Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly add the dry ingredients, beating only until blended. Mix in the chips.If you have the time, cover and chill the dough for about 2 hours or for up to one day. (Chilling the dough will give you more evenly shaped cookies.) If the dough is not chilled, drop rounded tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto the baking sheets. If the dough is chilled, scoop up rounded tablespoons, roll the balls between your palms and place them 2 inches apart on the sheets. Press the chilled balls gently with the heel of your hand until they are about 1/2 inch thick. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes, rotating the sheets from top to bottom and front to back after 7 minutes. The cookies should be golden and just firm around the edges. Lift the cookies onto cooling racks with a wide metal spatula - they'll firm as they cool. Repeat with the remaining dough, cooling the baking sheets between batches.

!/4 lb. Chocolate Chip Cookies

Levain Bakery-ish Chocolate Chip Cookies
adapted from Confections of a Foodie Bride
yields ~12 cookies

8 oz (2 sticks) unsalted butter (very cold, shredded with your food processor)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups all purpose flour (13 1/2 oz)
3/4 tsp sea salt
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
12oz good quality semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup walnuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 375. Beat the cold butter and both sugars until just combined. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat just until incorporated. Stir together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add to the mixer bowl and mix just until blended. Add the chocolate chips and walnuts and mix until distributed. (The dough will be VERY stiff at this point.) Divide the dough into 12 balls, approx 4 oz each (think a little larger than a golf ball; a slightly rounded 2.5-inch scoop will do the trick perfectly) and place on an ungreased baking pan. Chill the dough for 20 minutes. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until browned on the edges and set in the center. Let cool completely on the pans before transferring to airtight storage

Sausage Cheese Biscuits

Sausage Cheese Biscuits
adapted from King Arthur Flour
Yield: 20 biscuits

3 cups (12 3/4 oz) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon Pizza Dough Flavor, optional
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cut in pats
1 cup (8 oz) yogurt, buttermilk, or sour cream (low-fat is fine)
3/4 pound breakfast sausage links, cooked and sliced in 1/2" pieces
1 cup (4 oz) diced cheddar cheese

Preheat the oven to 425°F. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and Pizza Dough Flavor. Add the butter, cut in pats. Work in the butter till the mixture is crumbly. Add the sausage and cheese, mixing to distribute. Add the yogurt, buttermilk, or sour cream. Mix just till everything is evenly moistened. Transfer the dough to a piece of parchment or a lightly floured work surface. Pat and roll it into an 8" x 10" rectangle about 3/4" thick. Cut the dough into twenty 2" squares. If you've been working on parchment, simply lift the parchment onto a baking sheet. Separate the biscuits so there's about 1" between them. If the biscuits aren't on parchment, space them on a lightly greased baking sheet, leaving about 1" between them. Bake the biscuits for 20 to 25 minutes, or until they're a medium- to deep-golden brown. Remove the biscuits from the oven, and cool them on a rack briefly. Serve warm.

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Make Your Own Laundry Detergent

•Borax - 1 cup
•Washing Soda - 1 cup
•A laundry soap bar--->Fels Naptha or Zote - 1 cup

1. Measure out 1 cup of Borax and put into a bowl
2. Measure out 1 cup of washing soda and put into a bowl
3. Grate 1 cup of the soap bar. Add to bowl with Borax and washing soda. I am using Zote this time. I usually use Fels Naptha, but found this at my Super Target and thought I would try it.
4. Mix well
5. Put in storage container---> In this case we are using an old cool whip container
6. Use 1 Tbsp per load.

That's it. It's as easy as that. It only cost me pennies per load. A very frugal alternative to store bought detergent. It works well too. If I have a really dirty load I will up the amount I use by a small amount. I know that people use Oxyclean also. Have you made your own laundry detergent? What did you think?

Coleslaw and Dressing recipe

Coleslaw is a great salad for the summer or any time as it is can be made ahead and keeps well in the fridge for several days. This coleslaw dressing recipe is easy and super healthy too. It's low in calories, fat, cholesterol and sodium which is great if you are watching what you eat due to health concerns or if you are trying to lose weight. Cabbage contains lots of fiber and nutrients so enjoy this tasty salad with out worries!

Coleslaw dressing ingredients:

1/3 cup plain nonfat yogurt
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 Tablespoons honey
Watkins black pepper to taste

Stir together yogurt, vinegar, honey and pepper in a large bowl until well combined. Use immediately or store in a covered container in the fridge for several days.

Coleslaw ingredients:
1 dressing recipe above
2 cups shredded or finely chopped cabbage
½ cup shredded carrots
¼ cup shredded or finely chopped green pepper
¼ cup finely chopped celery

Prepare vegetables, add dressing and mix well. Cover and chill for at least 30 minutes. You may want to drain liquid before serving. Makes about 4 servings.

Mashed Potato Casserole

Mashed Potato Casserole

12 medium potatoes
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/4 cup chopped chives
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon butter or margarine

Cook potatoes in boiling, salted water until tender. Drain. Mash potatoes in a large bowl. Add cream cheese, sour cram, salt, pepper, and garlic. Beat with electric mixer until smooth. Stir in chives. Spoon into a lightly greased casserole dish. Sprinkle with paprika and dot with butter. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until lightly browned.

Hamburger Garden Soup

1 pound ground beef
1 cup chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
2 cups fresh or frozen corn
2 cups water
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley or 1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
2 tablespoons minced fresh basil or 2 teaspoons dried basil
2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme or 2 teaspoons dried thyme
1-1/2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary or 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

In a large saucepan, cook the beef, onion and garlic over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain.
Add the remaining ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until heated through. Yield: 5 servings.

Broccoli Salad

1/2 lb. cooked bacon
2 bags broccoli
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 med red onion finely, chopped
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup mayonnaise

Prepare in large skillet bacon and fry until crisp. Drain on a paper towel, crumble and set aside. In a large bowl, combine broccoli, raisins, sunflower seeds and red onion. In a small bowl, stir together mayonnaise, sugar and vinegar. Spoon over broccoli mixture; toss to coat. Sprinkle bacon over salad and toss. Cover and refrigerate 3 hours or overnight.

Chinese Style Hamburger Casserole

Chinese style Hamburger Casserole
This doesn't taste very much like Chinese food, but it tastes good anyway! It has a pleasing crunch to it.

1 lb ground beef
1 onion, chopped or pureed
4-6 stalks of celery, chopped
1 c. almonds, chopped
6 c. brown rice, cooked
2 TBS butter
6 TBS flour, starch or other thickener
2 C. milk
1 TBS chicken bouillon
1 c. water
6 TBS soy sauce
salt and pepper to taste
chow mein noodles
Brown the ground beef in a pan. Add onions and celery and cook a couple of minutes till onions are translucent. Meanwhile, make sauce. Melt the butter then mix in the flour & bouillon to make a paste. Whisk in the milk and heat until thick and bubbly. Remove from heat. Add 1 cup of water and 6 TBS soy sauce; whisk till smooth. Put beef mix, almonds and rice in a bowl. Mix it up and then pour the sauce on top. Mix till coated. Put in 9x13 pan and bake at 350 for about 12-15 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Top with chow mein noodles if desired (still good without it, and gluten free if you don't

shared at
Friendship Friday

Tamale Pie

Tamale Pie
Fast, quick & super easy. Tastes surprisingly a lot like tamales.

3-4 cups crushed chips (great for bottom of the bag chips)
1 can corn
4-5 cups chili
2 c. shredded cheddar

Preheat oven to 350degrees. Crunch up all the chips and put on bottom of 13x9 pan. Open can of corn and dump over chips without draining first. Stir it all up to mix. Next spread the chili over the top. Put in oven and bake about 20 min. Remove, add cheese, return to oven for another 5-10 minutes till it melts.

The chips & corn create a tamale-like crust. Serve this with sour cream, salsa, shredded lettuce, etc

Spicy Oven Fried Chicken


3/4 cup buttermilk ( I used whole milk)
1 tbsp hot pepper sauce
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tsp salt, divided
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 cup plain bread crumbs ( I used seasoned bread crumbs)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp flour
2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp each paprika and cayenne pepper ( I used 1/4 tsp cayenne)
3 tbsp olive oil, divided
In a bowl, whisk first 5 ingredients and 1 tsp salt. Add chicken and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate 4 hours. In a bowl, combine bread crumbs and next 4 ingredients and 2 TBSP of olive oil and the remaining 1 tsp salt, mix well. Remove chicken from marinade, place in bread crumb mixture. Turn to coat. Place chicken on a baking rack and let sit for 20 min. ut remaining 1 TBSP olive oil in a rimmed baking sheet and place in 400 degree oven. After 5 min. place chicken on heated baking sheet. Bake 30 min. or until crispy, golden and baked through. Serve with roasted potatoes and green beans, if desired. I served with a baked potato and green salad. MAKES 4 SERVINGS.*
Recipe source: The Apple Dumpling Gang yahoo group, submitted by Russie

EggPlant Lasagna

Eggplant Lasagna

1/2 C. chopped onion
1/2 t. minced garlic
2 C. peeled and diced eggplant
1/2 C. chopped green bell pepper
1 small zucchini, diced
1 C. sliced mushrooms
1 (14.5 oz.) can no-salt-added tomatoes, chopped, with their juice 1 t. dried
1 t. dried basil
1/4 t. black pepper
6 oven ready lasagna noodles
2 lg. egg whites, beaten
1 (12 oz.) carton nonfat cottage cheese
2 T. snipped parsley
1 C.shredded nonfat mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350F. Grind oregano and basil with a mortar and pestle, stir in black pepper, set aside. In a large pan coated with cooking spray, saute' the onion and garlic over medium heat for 2 minutes. Stir in the eggplant, green bell pepper, zucchini, mushrooms, tomatoes with juice, oregano, basil, and black pepper. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes or until tender. Set the vegetable mixture aside. Combine the egg whites, cottage cheese, and parsley;
set aside. Coat a nine inch square baking dish with nonstick spray. Place half of the lasagna noodles on the bottom. Spoon half of the cottage cheese mixture onto the noodles. Spread half of the vegetable mixture over the cottage cheese mixture. Sprinkle half of the mozzarella over that. Repeat the layers. Cover with foil and bake for 20 to 25 minutes.

Chocolate Laced Fruit Kebabs

Chocolate Laced Fruit Kebabs
It’s boring to serve fresh fruit the same way over and over. That is exactly why
our test kitchen developed this new way that everyone loves.

* 10 (10- to 12-inch) wooden or metal skewers
* 20 medium strawberries, hulled
* 20 honeydew chunks (about 1/2 large honeydew)
* 20 cantaloupe chunks (about 1/2 large cantaloupe)
* 20 pineapple chunks (about 1/2 large pineapple)
* 1/2 cup (3 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
* 1 tablespoon butter
* 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
On each skewer, alternate 1 strawberry, 1 chunk honeydew, 1 chunk cantaloupe, and 1 chunk pineapple; repeat. Place on a wax paper-lined cookie sheet. In a small saucepan, heat the chocolate chips, butter, and corn syrup over low heat; stir until the chips are melted and the mixture is well combined. Drizzle the chocolate sauce evenly over the fruit skewers. Chill until the chocolate hardens then cover loosely with plastic wrap and keep chilled until ready to serve. Makes 10 fruit kebabs
Not in the mood for chocolate? Make the fruit skewers without chocolate and
enjoy them as a snack or an edible garnish.

Grasshopper Cake


(Wish I could eat some of this cake, its beautiful when made, 4 chocolate cake layers with green frosting piped or spread between each layer and a chocolate ganache on each layer too, talk about yummy).

1 1/4 cups hot water
2/3 cup sour cream
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
2 2/3 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 large eggs, room temp
1 tbs vanilla
1/2 cup flour
2 1/4 cups sugar
2 1/4 cups milk
4 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tbs creme de menthe
2 1/4 tsp peppermint extract
1/2 cup heavy cream
6 oz dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 tbs creme de menthe
1/2 tsp peppermint extract

CAKE LAYERS---Heat oven to 325 degrees. Butter and flour 2 parchment lined 9" round cake pans. In bowl, combine first 3 ingredients, let cool. Sift together flour and next 3 ingredients. In bowl, beat butter and shortening until light and fluffy. Add sugars, beat 5 min. Beat in eggs. Stir in vanilla. Alternate adding flour mixture and cocoa mixture. Divide batter between pans. Bake 35 min. or until done. Let cool 20 min. invert onto rack. Let cool completely. Remove parchment. Trim cakes to level, halve each layer horizontally to create 4 layers.
*BUTTERCREAM- --In saucepan, whisk sugar and flour. Add milk and cream. Cook 20 min. or until mixture comes to a boil and thickens. Transfer to bowl. Beat until cool. Reduce speed, add butter, beat until light and fluffy. Stir in creme de menthe and peppermint extract.
*GANACHE---Place chocolate in bowl. In saucepan, bring cream to a boil, pour over chocolate. Let sit 2 min. stir until smooth. Stir in creme de menthe and peppermint extract. Let sit 15 min. or until room temp.
*ASSEMBLE CAKE---Place 1 cake layer on platter. Spread with 1/4 cup ganache. Chill 1 min. or until set. Spread or pipe 1 1/4 cups buttercream on ganache. Repeat layering 3 times, then serve.

Golden Raisin Cookies

Golden Raisin Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 eggs
3 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 pkg. (15 oz.) golden raisins (2 1/2 cups)

In a large bowl, cream the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy. Add the lemon juice and the eggs. Combine the dry ingredients. Gradually add to the creamed mixture. Stir in the raisins. Roll into 1-inch balls. Place on greased baking sheets. Flatten with a fork dipped in flour. Bake at 400 for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned.
Makes about 6 dozen

Creamy Lemon Blueberry Dessert

Creamy Lemon-Blueberry Dessert

40 NILLA Wafers, crushed
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
4 (8 ounce) packages PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup BREAKSTONE'S or KNUDSEN Sour Cream
4 eggs
1 (3.4 ounce) package JELL-O Lemon Flavor Instant Pudding
1 (16 ounce) package frozen blueberries, thawed, drained and divided
2 cups thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping

Heat oven to 325 degrees F. Mix wafer crumbs, 3 Tbsp. sugar and butter; press onto bottom of 13x9-inch pan. Bake 10 min. Beat cream cheese, remaining sugar and flour in large bowl with mixer until well blended. Add sour cream; mix well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each just until blended. Stir in dry pudding mix until well blended. Gently stir in 1 cup berries. Bake 1 hour or until almost set. (Center will still be jiggly.) Cool completely. Refrigerate 4 hours. Crush remaining berries. Top cheesecake with COOL WHIP and crushed berries just before serving.

Charleston Press Club Meatballs

Charleston Press Club Meatballs
Recipe By : Chef--Charleston Press Club

--Meat Balls--
1 Lb Finely Ground Beef
1 Egg
1/2 Cup Cracker Meal
Salt And Pepper -- to taste
1/4 Cup Catsup
1 Onion -- finely chopped
1 Small Green Bell Pepper -- finely chopped
1 Small Onion -- finely chopped
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1/4 Cup Vinegar
1 Cup Water
1 Teaspoon Brown Sugar
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 Teaspoon Chili Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1 Pinch Garlic Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Tabasco Sauce


Combine all ingredients thorougly. Roll into 20 small balls. Place on
slightly greased baking sheet, allowing enough space between balls so they
will not stick. Bake 20 minutes in a 350° oven. Add to be barbecue sauce.


Saute onion in olive oil until golden brown combine remaining ingredients
except Tabasco sauce. and add to cooked onion. Simmer one hour, stirring
occasionally. Add Tabasco sauce 15 minutes befor serving. If time is
scarce, a bottled barbecue xcauce can be used. Can be frozen, but place in
a large flat container so as not to disturb meat balls. Serve in a chafing
Source: Mountain Measures--Junior League of Charleston, WV ed. 1974

Green Salsa

Classic Green Salsa
Recipe By : Lindy Nearman

25 Whole Tomatillos or 12-15 small green tomatoes
1/4 Cup Fresh Cilantro
1 Whole Lemon or Lime preferably Lemon)
1 Teaspoon Garlic powder or 2 fresh cloves -- minced
1/2 Teaspoon Chile powder
2 Tablespoons Extra virgin olive oil or 1 tbs. butter
1 Large Anaheim chili pepper
1 Small Green Bell pepper (sweet)
1 Large Big Bertha pepper (hot)
2 Whole Jalapenos chili pepper
1 Whole Pequin chili (optional for extra heat)
Salt and Pepper -- to taste
This Salsa is commonly known as Salsa Verde'. You may make it with Tomatillos which you may eat raw or processed without changing the taste. You may also make it with Green tomatoes of any type; however the taste will change dramatically if you process this type. Also it will separate during processing which can be remedied by vigorous shaking but it will still look terrible. If you grow your own Tomatillos or if you just need something to use all those 'last batch' unripe tomatoes, go ahead and multiply the recipe. Salsa Verde is good when made as a 'crunchy bits' Salsa or processed with green tomatoes instead of Tomatillos it makes a terrific Mexican Barbecue Sauce or a good base for Pork Chop Burritos or Frajitas.

Yields: 1 Qt.

Dice Tomatillos or Tomatoes in Med. small chunks chop all remaining vegetables. finely Juice the lemon Mix all ingredients in medium size mixing bowl gently toss with wooden spoon after adding spices and oil or butter. Put into serving Dish or 1 quart jar and chill for 1 hour and serve.
Keeps well in refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.

Great with chips and sour creme or on any of your favorite Mexican dishes. Or try it as a steak or chuck roast sauce! MMMMMM! Good! This salsa may also be used as a barbecue sauce on any and all slow cooked meats.

If you make a Salsa hotter than your taste buds appreciate, mix with sour cream to add flavor and reduce the fire. Jalapeno peppers come in different shapes and sizes. You can adjust the “heat” down by selecting the peppers with blunt or rounded ends. The more pointed the end of the Jalapeno the hotter it is. This is only true with the Jalapeno peppers.

The seeds and membrane of all Chile peppers contains the most “Capsaicin”. This is the hot stuff. You can adjust the “heat” down by removing them or turn it up by leaving some in. It is best to ware plastic or rubber gloves when processing Chile peppers. The Capsaicin oil is absorbed into the skin and can cause your fingers to burn. If you touch any mucus membrane parts of your body the fire is transferred almost instantly. Touching an eye, itching your nose
or rubbing your lips, etc. with Capsaicin contaminated fingers is an experience you will not soon forget! The Capsaicin oil can stay on your hands for days even after several washings

Brunswick Stew for a group

Brunswick Stew
Recipe By : The Southern Living Cookbook, 1987

1 pork roast
--4 1/2-pound
1 hen
--4 1/2 pound
48 ounces canned whole tomatoes
--undrained and chopped
8 ounces tomato sauce
3 large onions -- diced
2 small green peppers -- diced
3/4 cup vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 tablespoons hot sauce
16 ounces frozen shoepeg corn
Place roast, fat side up, on rack of a roasting pan. Insert meat thermometer, being careful not to touch bone or fat. Bake at 325 F about 30 to 35 minutes per pound Cool. Trim and discard fat; cut pork into 2-inch pieces. Place hen in a Dutch oven, and cover with water. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 2 hours or until tender. Remove hen from broth and cool. (Reserve broth for other uses.) Bone hen, and cut meat into 2-inch pieces Coarsely grind pork and chicken in food processor or with meat grinder. Combine ground meat, tomatoes, tomato sauce, onion, green pepper, vinegar, and sugar in a large Dutch oven. Combine flour and water, stirring until smooth; stir into meat mixture. Stir in salt, pepper, turmeric, and hot sauce. Cook over medium heat 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add water, if needed, to reach desired consistency. Stir in corn, and cook an additional 10 minutes.
Yield: 22 cups.
Note: Brunswick Stew freezes well. To serve, thaw and cook until thoroughly heated.
Notes: There are almost as many variations of Brunswick Stew as there are of barbecue sauce. This pork and chicken version seems to be most typical. While a bowl of steaming Brunswick Stew is good alone, it's often served as an accompaniment to Southern barbecue.

Meatball Stew

Meatball Stew

4 cups Kellogg's Corn Flakes®
2 egg whites
1/4 cup low sodium tomato sauce
1 tsp ground cumin
1 lbs lean ground turkey
1 cup onion slices
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
2 cans (14 1/2 oz. each) low sodium whole tomatoes
1 can (15 oz.) garbanzo beans, drained
3 Tbs chopped cilantro
1 1/2 cups water
1 Tbs flour

In large mixing bowl, combine KELLOGG'S CORN FLAKES cereal, egg whites, tomato sauce and cumin. Beat well. Add turkey. Mix until combined. Using rounded tablespoon, portion and shape into approximately 18 meatballs. In 4-quart saucepan coated with cooking spray, brown meatballs over low heat. Add onion slices, green pepper, tomatoes, beans, cilantro and water. Cover and simmer 25 minutes over low heat, stirring occasionally. Remove 1/3 cup hot liquid from meatball mixture. Gradually add flour mixing constantly, until smooth. Stir into meatball mixture. Continue cooking 5 minutes longer, stirring frequently, or until mixture thickens. Serve hot.

Steak Recipe

4 (6 ounce) rib-eye steaks
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
8 cloves garlic, minced
4 sprigs fresh rosemary

Preheat grill for high heat.
Rub each steak lightly with olive oil - this is to ensure that the
steaks don't stick to the grill. Season with salt and pepper. Rub
fresh garlic into both sides of each steak. Let stand for 15 minutes.
Place the steaks on the preheated grill, and immediately turn after
30 seconds (this first turn is to ensure that one side is seared).
Place the fresh rosemary sprigs on top. Cook 7 minutes per side, to
desired doneness, remembering to remove the rosemary sprigs before
turning, and to replace on top of the meat after turning.

Bean Corn and Pepper Salad with Chicken

Bean Corn And Pepper Salad With Chicken
1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice
3 cups cubed cooked skinless chicken breast
1 (15 oz.) can corn, drained
1 (15.5 oz.) black beans, rinsed and drained
1medium green bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1/2 cup peeled and diced jicama
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon freshly
squeezed lime juice or to taste
3/4 cup chunky salsa
3 drops hot pepper sauce, optional
2-3 tablespoons water
salt and pepper to taste
green leafy lettuce leaves
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro or flat leaf parsley, loosely packed
for garnish
1/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese for garnish

In large bowl combine rice, chicken, corn, beans, bell pepper and jicama. Gently toss until well mixed and set aside. In a medium bowl whisk together olive oil and lime juice until well blended. Mix in the salsa and hot pepper sauce. Add enough water to thin the consistency so dressing can be thinly drizzled over salad. Drizzle dressing over chicken mixture and toss to coat salad ingredients evenly. Cover salad and refrigerate 1 to 3 hours so flavors meld. Bring salad to room temperature and check seasonings before serving. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Drain any excess dressing. Place salad in serving bowl lined with lettuce leaves. Sprinkle top of salad with cilantro and cheese and serve.
Makes 6 servings.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Purse Perfector Review and Giveaway

Summer time seems to be a time that I find myself on the go allot. The teens are all at home with many plans of their own and my life gets bundled even more. Anything that gives me a boost at an organized life is something that I am very welcome to. The Purse Perfector does just that.

The Purse Perfector comes in six (6) different colors with berry being one of my favorites. The other available colors are aqua, royal purple, sand, pink and silver sage. The Purse Perfector is a shape shifting organizer that helps you to keep all your needed items in separate sections so that you can easily locate everything with ease. Here are a few ideas that Purse Perfector offers you when using their product:
  • zipper forms the center pocket to fit a checkbook, a passport or photos;
  • The larger section holds my wallet, pen, reading glasses and sunglasses or make-up;
  • The smaller section is the perfect place for phone, notepads, pill bottles, lipsticks, hand sanitizer or business cards, and more;
  • The back pocket is handy for allowing quick access to business cards or, while traveling, a hotel key card;
  • Unzip two sides for the long, thin profile for briefcase, diaper bag, sport bag or oversize tote;
  • Unzip all three sides for a separated bag, smaller purse or fanny pack; Because of the stable, flat bottom, it sits upright when changing purses.

    No matter how you use the purse perfector you can be sure that it will help keep you organized and allow you to wipe off easily to clean. I received a purse perfector and must say that it has worked out quite well. My keys are now easily found, I keep an open compartment for cash and items that the teens hand me to hang onto when we are out as well.
  • Purchase your own Purse Perfector at this link
  • Win a Purse Perfector: One of Annies Home lucky readers will recieve their own Purse Perfector. To enter giveaway you must follow Purse Perfector on facebook and leave message letting them know you entered giveaway @ Annies HOme.
  • Extra Entries:
  • follow my blog
  • follow purse perfector on twitter
  • follow me on twitter
  • tweet about the giveaway (1 entry per tweet)
  • enter any other giveaway (1 entry per giveaway)

Giveaway ends July 31, 2010. Good Luck. Email must be in comment or on blog profile or entries will not count

Grapevine Salad

Grapevine Salad
Sweet Grapevine Salad has everything a fruit lover could possibly want. Even
better, it's so rich and sweet that it works as either a side dish or a dessert!

* 2 eggs
* 1/2 cup orange juice
* 2 cups any type seedless grapes, cut in half
* 1/4 cup maraschino cherries, cut in half
* 1 (20-ounce) cans pineapple chunks, drained
* 2 medium bananas, sliced
* 2 cups frozen whipped topping, thawed
* 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
In a small saucepan, cook the eggs and orange juice over very low heat until
slightly thickened, stirring constantly; set aside to cool. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the grapes, cherries, pineapple, and bananas. Fold in the egg mixture until evenly combined, then top with the whipped topping and walnuts and chill overnight to "marry" the flavors.

Options: Add a bit more nuts if you'd like, or omit the cherries -- do whatever
you want to make this your own.

Hot Pinapple Casserole


1 (20 oz.) can chunk pineapple, drained (save juice)
3 tbsp. flour
1/4 c. melted margarine
1/2 c. sugar
1 c. shredded Cheddar cheese
3 tbsp. pineapple juice
crushed Ritz crackers
Mix all together, except the Ritz crackers. Put in 1 1/2 quart casserole and top with crackers.
Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

Serving Suggestions:
Nice side dish to a baked ham and mashed sweet potatoes.

Frozen Hot Chocolate

Frozen Hot Chocolate

1½ cups ice cubes
¼ cup SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener, Granulated
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa
¼ cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons instant nonfat dry milk powder
1 cup 1% low-fat milk
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine all ingredients in a blender in the order listed; process mixture until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides.

Zucchini Pie

With so much delicious fresh produce available we would be foolish not to take advantage of it. After all farmer markets as well as great prices on fresh produce at the grocery store can help stretch the food budget. Here is a great idea to try with zucchini. I have made many different recipes with zucchini and this one is the among the top favorites


4 c. thinly slice zucchini
1 c. chopped onions
1/4 to 1/2 c margarine
1/2 c. chopped fresh parsley of 2 T. dried parsley
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
1/4 t. garlic salt
1/4 t. basil
1/4 t. oregano
2 eggs, beaten
2 c. grated cheddar or jack cheese
Dijon mustard
Deep dish pie crust, frozen or homemade

Prepare homemade crust or allow frozen crust to thaw. Preheat oven to 375. In a large skillet saute the zucchini & onions in the margarine for about 10 minutes or until softened . (I also added half of a green pepper, diced) Add the spices & stir well. Set aside. In a large bowl combine the eggs & cheese, mix well. (our favorite is cheddar cheese) Add the zucchini mixture & stir till well blended. Use Dijon mustard to paint inside of crust. ( I used a thicker layer of dijon one time & did not like it. I use about 1 t. of it, but you can use more if you like it.) Fill the pie crust with the zucchini mixture & bake for 18-20 minutes. (I added another 5 minutes to lighlty brown on top) Allow to stand for 10 minutes before cutting & serving.

I shared this @ Mom Trends

Green Pepper Jelly

Join  us Saturdays at for the weekend wrap up    party!

Green Pepper Jelly
5 lg. green bell peppers (about), seeded
2 jalapenos (seeded or not, considering how hot you like it)
1 t. crushed red pepper flakes (or more if you'd like it hotter)
5 1/2 C. sugar
1/3 c. lemon juice
1 pkg fruit pectin (I used the 3 oz. liquid pouch)
3/4 C. apple cider vinegar
green food coloring (if you prefer, you don't have to use it)

Finely chop peppers in food processor. Strain, pressing lightly. Measure 2 full cups & 1/4 c. pepper juice. Discard remaining juice. Combine the 2 cups of ground peppers, 1/4 c. pepper juice, sugar, & vinegar in 4 quart pan. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Remove from heat & let stand for 15 minutes. Reheat to boil, stirring constantly. Add lemon juice & return to boil for 1 minute, stirring. Add pectin & let boil for 3 minutes, skimming off the foam as it accumulates. Pour into sterilized pint or half pint jars & process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes, making sure the water is 1/2 to 1 inch above the lids. Remove from water & let jars sit on the counter overnight. Check in the morning that they have each sealed (they usually seal within seconds of removing from the water).
Makes 6 half pints.


Aloha Friday: Seen Any Good Movies Lately

Aloha Friday hosted by the An Island Life blog where Kailani shared with us in Hawaii Friday is the day of rest where they take it easy to prepare for the weekend. Aloha Friday is where bloggers ask each other simple questions with simple answers. You can join in as well.

Having no cable in this house is allowing us time to watch several of the vcr tapes that sat idling in boxes and on shelves in the living room. Many of which are very good. The last we watched was The Ghost and The Darkness which is about Africa and Killer Lions. We were very surprised that it was a great movie. SO that leads me to my Aloha Friday Question:
Have you seen any great movies lately? What was it? What is your favorite movie?

Freezer Slaw

Freezer Slaw

2 lbs. cabbage (4 cups)
1 large green pepper
3 large carrots
¾ c. onions, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 cup water
1 cup vinegar
1 teaspoon celery seed

Shred cabbage, green pepper, and carrots. (I did it in the food processor.) Add onion. Sprinkle with salt; let stand 1 hour. Drain. Combine remaining ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a boil; boil 3 minutes. Cool. Pour over cabbage mixture; let stand 5 minutes. Stir well. Pack in can or freeze jars or plastic freezer boxes. Seal; label; and freeze. Yield: about 5 pints.

Basil & Cherry Tomato Salad

Basil Tomato Salad

Cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
a few basil leaves, chopped
a few chives, chopped
olive oil, just a drizzle
dash of salt

Add all ingredients together, stir & chill

Spicy V8 Juice

Spicy V8 Juice

8 quarts water
4 pounds homegrown tomatoes, chopped
1 bunch celery, chopped
8 green jalapeno peppers, chopped
1 cup vinegar
3 bay leaves
2 Tbs oregano
1 large onion, chopped
1 head garlic, pressed
4 Tbs salt
4 Tbs sugar
another pound of tomatoes
1 green pepper
5 sweet banana peppers
a small handful of flat leaf parsley
about 10 basil leaves, rolled & chopped
5 or 6 sprigs of thyme
3 sage leaves

In a large pot, combine all ingredients except the sugar, bring to a boil, and cook at a steady boil for 2 hours. Remove from heat and strain through a colonder or food mill, making sure to express all the liquid you can. Discard the pulp, return the liquid to the pot, and boil for another couple of hours, or until the liquid is reduced to roughly three quarts. Add four tablespoons of sugar, remove from heat, stir, and let cool.

M&M Cookies

1 c packed brown sugar
1/c white sugar
1 c shortening
2 eggs
1.5 tsp vanilla
2.5c flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1.5 cups m&ms

Mix the sugars, shortening, eggs and vanilla in a large bowl. Then add the flower, baking soda, salt and m&ms. Drop by tablespoons onto a cookie sheet (i use foil on my cookie sheets) and bake for 12 minutes or till the bottom is golden.

A Watermellon House You Can Make

Is this not just the cutest thing you have ever seen? You can make one as well. I think when my son gets home from camp I am going watermellon shopping. I have told him how his uncle made watermellon baskets etc.. but nothing like this You can find out how to make one at Disney Family Fun

Pumpkin Shortage

Were you aware that we are currently under a pumpkin shortage? You can read all about it here
It seems that the pumpkin growers are praying for a dryer summer and tell you the truth I am as well. Without pumpkin this fall will be very different without Pumpkin Dump Cake or Pumpkin Chowder

Paula Deen's Tomato Pie

Paula Deen’s Tomato Pie

4 tomatoes, peeled and sliced
10 fresh basil leaves, chopped
1/2 cup chopped green onion
1 (9-inch) prebaked deep dish pie shell
1 cup grated mozzarella
1 cup grated cheddar
1 cup mayonnaise
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place the tomatoes in a colander in the sink in 1 layer. Sprinkle with salt and allow to drain for 10 minutes. Layer the tomato slices, basil, and onion in pie shell. Season with salt and pepper. Combine the grated cheeses and mayonnaise together. Spread mixture on top of the tomatoes and bake for 30 minutes or until lightly browned.
To serve, cut into slices and serve warm.

Frugal Fridays

Saving money can be hard to do but here are a few different ways that we have relied on to save money.

  • Be a one-car family. Not always easy but it works. We walk whenever we can.

  • Get rid of your cell phone. Don't just lower your plan--get rid of your phone altogether. Don't buy phones for your children. While me and hubby have no cell phones we still have a home phone where the kids can reach us if necessary. There are no extras on our home phone The kids are all on a plan where the charge is $45 a month. When they were younger they did not have their own phone. Now that they are all older working, college etc... phones are now needed. They are responsible for their own phones

  • Get rid of your cable/satellite tv. This will also save you electricity and give you 15 or more hours a week to get more done! I know it does not seem like it but great time for family to catch up. Dust off those old movie tapes and watch them again. Hulu is a great source to watch those shows that you love. Less commercial time this way as well.

  • Stop eating out. Take lunch to work with you. Saves money and also is often healthier. Also cooking meals from scratch is often a great time to get together with family and you always know what is in your food

  • Drink water. Better for your body and pocket book

  • Gardening is a great way to get outside, saves money as you can grow your own produce and the difference in taste is great as well

  • Buy used clothing. Use hand-me downs. Make clothes over. Thrift stores are one of my favorite places to visit, garage sales are treasures where you never know what you will find

  • Mend your clothes. Never thought I would do it but as my children started to wear their socks heels and toes out but the rest being great I started mending like dear old grandma. Also style of today allow small holes in jeans to be present lucky us.

  • Stop shopping. Only go to the store when absolutely necessary. Try to limit your shopping to once every two weeks, or once a month. Buy enough so that you don't have to go more than that. Don't ever run to the store for just one thing.

  • Try the generic. You may find that it is very near the same as the brand you like. While there are few things that I buy by brand name I often purchase the generic whenever possible When I do purchase brand names I always try to find a coupon that will make it cheaper

  • Eat less expensive foods: potatoes, beans, rice, soups I have tried to post frugal recipes on my blog. Keep it healthy whenever possible as well as frugal

  • Turn your thermostat to 79º in the summer, and to 65º (or less) in the winter. I did not think that I would be comfortable at temps like this so I tried it this year and must say that I am comfortable and also love the bills as they are the lower than normal for summer months.

  • Learn to make things instead of buying them. I know it sounded tricky for me at first as well but let me tell you there are things that we can all do

  • Learn how to do your own repairs whenever possible. There are times that this has not been the case however

  • Cut hair at home. For the price of some clippers and some good scissors, you will have paid for your clippers in two or three haircuts. I have cut my sons hair for many years and they look great. I have cut my own and my girls but often make this a sort of treat that we save up for

  • Turn off your computer at night, and ceiling fans when you're not in the room. Remember the old adage from my grandma if your not using it or not in the room then it is not needed

  • Use the real thing instead of disposable: towels, napkins, plates, glasses, diapers. This makes it so much more nicer very vintage to me.

  • Plan your meals around the sales, instead of planning your meals and then shopping. Better yet, stock your pantry around the sales, and then make whatever you want! I do this quite often whenever there is extra money I may make a menu to be on guard and change it up depending on sales. I also stock up whenever possible Remember--if you can't afford it, it doesn't matter how good of a deal it is!

Diabetes Drugs

Are you a diabetic? Know someone who is a diabetic? Know what medication you are on and what side effect if any is known? I am a diabetic and so is my hubby. I recently found this rather cool list of drugs for diabetis they list a bit of information about each drug. You can read this list here

Barbara's Chunky Tomato Sauce

Barbara's Chunky Tomato Sauce
healthy recipe for diabetics yahoo group

4 ripe tomatoes -- about 2 1/2 pounds, peeled, seeded, and finely chopped, with juices
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion -- finely chopped
3 shallots -- finely chopped
4 garlic cloves -- thinly sliced
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
5 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs -- including basil, oregano, and/or flat-leaf parsley
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes -- to 1/2 teaspoon
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Peel and seed the tomatoes, working over a bowl and sieve to catch the juices. Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick frying pan. Add the onion and cook over medium-low heat until a rich golden brown, about 6 to 10 minutes. Reduce th heat slightly, add the shallots and garlic, and cook for 2 minutes, or until golden brown. Add the balsamic vinegar and bring to a boil. Add the tomatoes with their juices and tomato paste, brown sugar, herbs, pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Gently simmer the sauce until thick and richly flavored, 10 to 15 minutes, stirring often with a wooden spoon. Correct the seasonings, adding salt, brown sugar, or vinegar to taste.

Makes 3 to 4 cups (6 to 8 one-half cup servings).

Graham Cracker Grape Nut Crust

Graham Cracker Grape Nut Crust

1 cup graham cracker crumbs -- 8 to 10 whole crackers ground in a food processor
2/3 cup Grape-Nuts® -- or other crunchy cereal
2 tablespoons canola oil
3 tablespoons apple cider -- or water
spray oil

Combine the graham cracker crumbs, Grape-Nuts, oil and cider in a food processor and process until crumbly. Press this mixture into the bottom of a 9 1/2-inch nonstick springform pan
oiled with spray oil. Makes one 9 1/2-inch crust (serves 8)

AuthorNote: Grape-Nuts give the crust plenty of crunch, while the cider
and canola oil stand in for tractional artery-clogging doses of butter.

No Fry Refries

No-Fry Refries

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion -- finely chopped
3 garlic cloves -- minced
1/2 green bell pepper -- finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon chili powder -- to 2 teaspoons, or to taste
2 1/2 cups cooked pink beans
3/4 cup corn kernels -- optional
1/2 cup vegetable stock -- or bean cooking liquid
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the olive oil in a nonstick frying pan. Add the onion, garlic, salt, and bell pepper and cook over medium heat until soft but not brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the cumin, oregano, and chili powder and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the beans, corn, vegetable stock, cilantro, salt, and black
pepper. Simmer the beans, loosely covered for 5 to 10 minutes, or until tender and flavorful and most of the liquid has been absorbed. Mash half or all of the beans with a pestle or the back of a spoon. (I like to mash half the beans, leaving the other half whole for texture.) Correct the seasonings, adding salt or chili powder to taste. For a quick, simple dinner, wrap the refries in tortillas with chopped vegetables, salsa and no-fat sour cream. Makes about 2 1/2 cups (5 one-half cup servings)


Fresh Summer Tomato and Onion Salad

Fresh Summer Tomato and Onion Salad -

2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp Italian Herb Seasoning from McCormick Italian Herb Seasoning Grinder
1/2 tsp sugar
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1 lb ripe tomatoes, sliced (about 3 medium)
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
Mix oil, vinegar, Italian herb seasoning and sugar in small bowl. Layer onion and tomato slices on serving plate. Drizzle with dressing. Sprinkle with feta cheese.

Herb Roast Pork Loin

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In bowl, combine 6 minced garlic cloves, 2 tsp each oregano, lemon zest and fennel seeds, 1 tsp olive oil and 1/4 tsp salt. Mash until mixture forms thick paste.
*Place 3 pounds boneless center cut pork loin on cutting board. Beginning at top of loin, cut down the center 3/4 of the way into meat. Spread open loin and repeat incision down center of each half, so loin is open like a book.
*Rub 3/4 garlic mixture inside loin. Roll, tie with twine. Rub remaining garlic mixture on loin. Roast pork 1 hour or until thermometer reads 150 degrees. Remove from oven. Let sit 20 min. before slicing, then serve.

Cheesy MexiMac


(Who doesn't like mac and cheese? talk about a comfort food, this is delicious, easy to make, I made it healthier by substituting certain ingredients). ENJOY.

1 1/2 cups milk (I used fat free milk)
16 oz grated pepper Jack cheese
16 oz box rotini pasta (I used elbow macaroni, I use wheat pastas when available too.)
1 tbs each flour and unsalted butter
Pinch chili powder
10 oz can drained Mexican flavored corn
1/8 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp salt (I omitted the salt)
2 trimmed, sliced, green onions

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 11x7x2" baking pan with oil or with cooking spray. Bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add rotini and cook 5 min. Add green onions and cook an additional 2 min. Drain and set aside.
*In a saucepan, melt butter. Whisk in flour until smooth. Add milk, whisking until smooth. Stir in salt and pepper, bring to a simmer. Cook simmering, 4 min. Remove from heat.
*Add half of the cheese to milk mixture, whisk until smooth. Stir in corn, then combine in bowl with pasta and green onions. Pour half into dish, top with half of remaining cheese. Repeat, ending with cheese.
*Bake 25 min. Cool slightly before serving.

Slow Cooker Mediterranean Pork Roast


4 chopped tomatoes
2 tbs cornstarch
2 sliced trimmed fennel bulbs
1/4 cup chopped black olives (optional)
1 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp pepper
3/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup + 2 tbs low sodium chicken broth
4 tsp Greek seasoning mix
3 pounds boneless pork loin roast

Place fennel in slow cooker bowl. Rub pork with 1 tsp Greek seasoning and place in bowl on top of fennel. Scatter tomatoes around pork. Pour 1/3 cup broth in bowl, top with 2 tsp Greek seasoning, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Cook 3 hours on high or 6 hours on low.
*Blend remaining broth, cornstarch and Worcestershire. Remove pork to a serving platter, keep warm. Strain liquid from slow cooker into a saucepan, place vegetables around pork.
Bring liquid to a boil. Whisk cornstarch mixture, remaining Greek seasoning and salt and pepper, cook 1 min. Spoon sauce over pork. Sprinkle with olives, if desired, then serve.

Creamy Lemon Vanilla Ricotta Souffles


(Little individual desserts, you can garnish the tops of these with a sprig of mint if you wish, these sound really yummy, sounds like ingredients I could eat, I would make it a very little pinch of salt though). HOPE YOU ENJOY.

2 tsp lemon zest
1 pinch salt
2 large eggs, separated
1/2 tsp each lemon extract and vanilla extract
3 tbs sugar substitute
1 cup part skim ricotta cheese

Heat oven to 375 degrees. In bowl, combine ricotta, yolks, 1 tbs sugar, zest and extracts. Beat egg whites and salt 2 min. or until soft peaks form. Add remaining sugar, continue beating until stiff peaks form. Fold egg whites into ricotta mixture.
*Spoon mixture into 4 ramekins or ovenproof cups coated with oil or with cooking spray. Bake 15 min. or until souffles have risen and are set. Serve immediately.
Note: if you do not have ramekins you can cook in muffin cup tin. A bit more messy but will work

Barbecue Stuffed Potatoes

4 (6-ounce) baking potatoes
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
2 green onions, finely chopped and divided
1 1/3 cups shredded barbecue chicken (such as Lloyd's)
1/2 cup (2 ounces) reduced-fat shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese

Pierce potatoes with a fork; arrange in a circle on paper towels in microwave oven. Microwave at HIGH 10 minutes or until done, rearranging potatoes after 5 minutes. While potatoes cook, combine sour cream and 2 tablespoons onions; set aside. Place chicken in a microwave-safe bowl; cover with plastic wrap (do not allow plastic wrap to touch food). Remove potatoes from microwave; place chicken in microwave. Microwave at HIGH 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Slice potatoes lengthwise, cutting to, but not through, other side; fluff with fork. Top each potato evenly with chicken, sour cream mixture, cheese, and remaining onions.

Source: My Recipes

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Strawberry Napoleons

2 (5.3-oz.) containers plain fat-free yogurt
3 tablespoons honey
1 (16-oz.) container fresh strawberries, sliced
2 tablespoons sugar
4 frozen phyllo sheets, thawed
Vegetable cooking spray
1 teaspoon sugar
Garnishes: mint sprigs, whole strawberries

Stir together yogurt and honey; cover and chill yogurt sauce until ready to serve. Combine strawberries and 2 Tbsp. sugar; cover and chill until ready to serve. Place 1 phyllo sheet on a flat work surface. Coat with cooking spray, and sprinkle evenly with 1/4 tsp. sugar. Top with 1 phyllo sheet; coat again with cooking spray, and sprinkle with 1/4 tsp. sugar. Cut phyllo stack into thirds lengthwise; cut each in half, creating 6 even rectangular stacks. Repeat procedure with remaining phyllo sheets, cooking spray, and 1/2 tsp. sugar. Grill phyllo stacks, without grill lid, over medium-low heat (300° to 350°) 1 to 2 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Place 1 grilled phyllo stack on each of 6 serving plates; top evenly with half of strawberry slices. Drizzle evenly with half of yogurt sauce. Top each with 1 grilled phyllo stack. Top evenly with remaining strawberry slices and yogurt sauce. Garnish, if desired. Serve immediately

Source: Southern living 2006

Chorizo Beef Nachos

5 ounces skirt steak (see Notes), chopped, or lean ground beef
5 ounces Mexican chorizo, casing removed, finely crumbled
1 medium onion
1 large garlic clove
1 teaspoon ground cumin, divided
1 1/2 cups plus 1 tbsp. mild to hot salsa verde
1 can (15 oz.) black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1 can (4 oz.) diced green chiles, drained
1 large, ripe avocado
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, divided
Kosher salt
9 cups tortilla chips
2 cups (1/2 lb.) shredded jack cheese
1 quart finely shredded Iceberg lettuce

Preheat oven to 400°. In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, brown steak and chorizo, stirring, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, chop onion and mince garlic. Add onion and all but 1/8 tsp. cumin to pan. Stir often until onion is soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium; stir in 1 1/2 cups salsa. Simmer until thick, 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. While steak mixture simmers, combine black beans, 3/4 cup water, oregano, 1 tsp. garlic, and chiles in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium and simmer until all but about 1/4 cup liquid has evaporated, 10 minutes. Meanwhile, make guacamole: Pit and peel avocado. In a bowl, mash avocado with remaining 1 tbsp. salsa, remaining 1/8 tsp. cumin, remaining garlic, and the lime juice. Stir 1 tbsp. cilantro into guacamole and add salt to taste.
Line a large, rimmed baking pan with parchment paper. Arrange chips in a 12-in.-wide circle. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake until cheese melts, 3 to 4 minutes. While chips are baking, arrange lettuce around rim of a large serving platter (at least 16 in. wide). With a wide spatula, loosen chips from parchment. Carefully lift parchment from pan, then slide chips off paper into center of platter. Spoon meat mixture over chips. With a slotted spoon, top with beans. Spoon guacamole over center of nachos and sprinkle with remaining 1 tbsp. cilantro.

Source: My Recipes

Keep A Keen Eye On The Meat Counter

Today in our town there are no butcher shops or meat shops. Rather the meat here is bought at the local Wal-Mart or Grocery Store where the meat arrives pre-packed. So the freshness of choice is not always at hand. However, that does not mean that you are settled into a price that you must buy. I normally walk into the store and look for markdowns. Last night we hit the jackpot with all meat that was leftover from the 4th of July weekend at a great discount. YEAH for me and my freezer. Total savings around $50. Be sure to watch your meat counter for the same sort of sales.

Balsamic Asparagus and Cherry Tomato Salad

Balsamic Asparagus And Cherry Tomato Salad

1 1/2 pounds asparagus, about 40 spears
1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons orange juice
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese
1/8 teaspoon table salt or to taste
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper to taste

Chop woody ends off asparagus. Microwave for 2 to 3 minutes, or cook in boiling, salted water until barely tender, about 4 to 6 minutes.
Plunge into ice water to stop cooking. Drain. Add cherry tomatoes.
Stir together vinegar, orange juice and garlic; season to taste. Spoon dressing over asparagus and tomatoes. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Spiritually Unequal Marriage

Thursday is the day we all come together to share what we are thankful for. We give thanks every day here for lots of things both big and small. Some of those this summer include having enough groceries in the house with five teens home for the summer without breaking the bank. Yesterday while shopping for groceries the cart filled up very fast with needed items. The bill I feared would be very high as well. With 3 teenage boys who all seem to never get filled up the grocery bill can become very hefty. I was very thankful when I learned through coupon so and sales I saved over $75. YEAH!! While that is something to be thankful for there are many more things in our life. Two of my boys are away at camp this week and they were very excited to go. I Thank God that they have the desire to learn so very much more. It is very exciting for me as a mother to sit back and watch as my boys become men of God.

What are you thankful for? Share at Spiritually Unequal Marriage or see what others are thankful for

Carrot Cucumber Salad in Dill Dressing

Carrot Cucumber Salad in Dill Dressing

1 cucumber
2 cups grated carrots
1/2 cup non-fat plain yogurt
1 teaspoon dill weed
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Peel cucumber, leaving stripes of peel on it if more crunchiness is desired. Slice lengthwise in fourths. Gently scrape seeds out. Thinly slice each cucumber fourth. Mix yogurt, dill weed, and lemon juice.
Add cucumber and carrots. Gently toss to coat vegetables.

linked to What's on the Menu Wednesday @ Dining With Debbie

Japanese Broccoli Noodles

Japanese Broccoli Noodles -

1 medium head broccoli
2 bunches green onions
1 to 2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp peeled, minced fresh ginger
2 Tbsp peanut butter
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 Tbsp sugar
3 Tbsp water or vegetable broth
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
8 ounces spaghetti or vermicelli
1 to 2 Tbsp vegetable oil

Trim and discard tough bottoms from broccoli. Cut florets into 1-inch
pieces; peel stems if using, and cut then into 1-inch squares. Trim and discard roots and any wilted green tops from green onions. Mince green onions and combine in a small bowl with garlic, ginger, peanut butter, soy sauce, and sugar. Stir to blend peanut butter, then add water or broth, lemon juice and salt. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook noodles according to package instructions, about 8 minutes for spaghetti, a little less for vermicelli, or until barely tender. Drain and rinse with cold water; drain again and set aside. Heat wok or other wide, deep cast-iron skillet over high heat for 3 or 4 minutes (if using an enameled or nonstick pan, don't heat without food in it). Add oil and broccoli. Stir-fry for 3 minutes. Add drained noodles, stirring constantly to heat them evenly. Stir
peanut butter mixture to distribute garlic and ginger, then add to the pan, stirring to distribute sauce evenly throughout. Serve hot.* If you like tofu, you can add 1/2 pound cut into 1/2 cubes. In that case increase the amount of noodles to 12 ounces.

Chicken with Cashews


1/2 cup roasted cashews
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunks
1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
3 tbs cornstarch
2 cans 8 oz each pineapple tidbits, drained, and 2 tbs juice reserved
3 cups cooked brown rice (optional)
1 red bell pepper, seeded, thinly sliced
8 oz snow peas, trimmed
4 tbs low sodium soy sauce
2 cups baby carrots

Stir together carrots, chicken, broth and 2 tbs soy sauce in slow cooker bowl. Cover and cook 3 hours on high or 5 hours on low. Remove cover and stir in pineapple, peas, and bell pepper and cook an additional 20 min.
*In bowl, stir together remaining soy sauce, pineapple juice and cornstarch. Stir into liquid in slow cooker bowl. Stir in cashews and cook an additional 10 min. or until liquid has thickened. Serve over rice, if desired.

Sweet & Salty Milkshake


(You should be able to find the peanut butter pretzel sandwiches in the cracker isle of your grocery store, they are little round pretzel crackers with a peanut butter filling).

Add 2 cups peanut butter pretzel sandwiches to a blender, and pulse until they are crushed. Set aside 4 tbs for garnish. Add 2 cups vanilla ice cream to the crushed peanut butter pretzel sandwiches. Add 1/2 cup milk to blender and blend until smooth.
*Rim 4 glasses with 1/4 cup peanut butter and Salt, then dip the rims into the reserved crushed peanut butter pretzel sandwiches. Pour shake into glasses, garnish with dollop of whipped cream and extra peanut butter pretzel sandwiches, then serve.

Basic Marinara Sauce


(This recipe has 3 versions: Sugar Free Version, Spicier Version & Meaty Version (see below).

1 pound spaghetti
2 cloves garlic, peeled, chopped
1 tsp sugar
2 tbs olive oil
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt
8 oz can no salt added tomato sauce
28 oz can whole tomatoes
1 medium onion, peeled, chopped

Heat oil in a saucepan. Add onion and garlic and cook 10 min. Add tomatoes and their liquid, tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, sugar, salt and pepper. Cut tomatoes into bite size chunks in pan.
*Bring sauce to a simmer, then reduce heat and simmer 20 min. In a pot of lightly salted water, cook spaghetti according to package directions. Drain pasta and serve topped with marinara sauce.

SUGAR FREE VERSION---Replace the tsp of sugar with 1/4 cup peeled, chopped carrot stirred into the oil along with onion and garlic.
SPICIER VERSION---Add 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes before simmering.
MEATY VERSION---Cook 1 pound lean ground beef or pork along with onion and garlic.


1 cup fat free refried beans
8 oz pkg sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup salsa
1 pound chicken breast tenders
4 whole wheat tortillas
1 cup reduced fat shredded Mexican blend cheese

Fill a skillet halfway with water, bring to a boil. Poach chicken 7 min. or until cooked through. Let cool, then shred.
*Remove skillet from heat and wipe clean. Coat skillet with oil or with cooking spray and place over heat. Cook mushrooms 5 min. or until softened.
*Spread all tortillas with 1/4 cup beans. Divide cheese, chicken and mushrooms between 2 of the tortillas. Place remaining 2 tortillas on top, bean side down.
*Return skillet to heat. Coat skillet and top of quesadillas with oil or with cooking spray. Cook one quesadilla 4 min. per side or until cheese has melted. Repeat with remaining quesadilla. Cut both quesadillas in half and serve with salsa.

Rootbeer Pulled Pork

1 2-1/2- to 3-pound pork sirloin roast
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon cooking oil
2 medium onions, cut into thin wedges
1 cup root beer*
6 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups root beer (two 12-ounce cans or bottles)*
1 cup bottled chili sauce
1/4 teaspoon root beer concentrate (optional)
Several dashes bottled hot pepper sauce (optional)
8 to 10 hamburger buns, split (and toasted, if desired)
Lettuce leaves (optional)
Tomato slices (optional)

Trim fat from meat. If necessary, cut roast to fit into a 3-1/2- to 5-quart crockery cooker. Sprinkle meat with the salt and pepper. In a large skillet brown meat on all sides in hot oil. Drain off fat. Transfer meat to cooker. Add onions, the 1 cup root beer, and garlic. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 8 to 10 hours or on high-heat setting for 4 to 5 hours. Meanwhile, for sauce, in a medium saucepan combine the 3 cups of root beer and the chili sauce. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Boil gently, uncovered, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes or until mixture is reduced to 2 cups. Add root beer concentrate and bottled hot pepper sauce, if desired. Transfer roast to a cutting board or serving platter. Using a slotted spoon, remove onions from cooking juices and place on serving platter. Discard juices. Using 2 forks, pull meat apart into shreds. To serve, line buns with lettuce leaves and tomato slices, if desired. Add meat and onions; spoon on sauce. Makes 8 to 10 servings.

Source: Parents Online

The Baby Bunch Cupcake Onesies Review and Giveaway

The Baby Bunch welcomes babies in a wonderful way with Cupcake Onesies. Cupcake Onesies are the cutest non fattening cupcakes perfect for babies 0 to 6 months or up to 16 lbs.

Organic Cupcake Onesies from The Baby Bunch make the perfect baby shower gift. Imagine the awes as the cupcakes are unwrapped by the mother to be. Imagine cupcakes that are the hit of the party and no baking is required. Organic gifts are perfect for parents who are earth friendly and ecologically responsible. Looking inside the fun polka dotted box you will see four precious onesies shaped to resemble cupcakes. The onesies are made of unbleached, undyed cotton onesies and has a decorative element such as a fruit or flower. The box that the onesies comes in is so cute and sturdy that it can easily be used again. How sweet.

Absolutely no baking is required to give the gift of organic cupcake onesies that many will love. Each box of four organic cupcake onesies comes complete with a cupcake gift tag which makes them the perfect baby shower gift. Since onesies are among the desired items for new babies The Baby Bunch cupcake onesies makes the perfect gift whether its for a boy or girl.

Buy: you can find The Baby Bunch cupcake onesies on The Baby Bunch Website

Win: one lucky reader of Annies Home will win their own set of cupcake onesies. To enter this giveaway share with me another gift on The Baby Bunch website you like

Extra Entries:
  • follow my blog on google friend finder
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  • share the giveaway on your blog, facebook, etc.... Please let me know where you share it at (10 entries each)
  • enter any other giveaway on my blog (2 entries each)

Giveaway starts now and ends July 28, 2010 Good Luck Open to American and Canadians readers only. Email must be in comment or on blog profile

we received a set of the baby bunch cupcakes for review purposes. The thoughts and opinions share are my own

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Winning Wednesday

Winner of the UVSkinz product of choice
Owen's Mom said...
I like UV Skinz in FB (andrea potter kruse)

Winner of the BC Mississippi Mud Bars & Pan
colorfulcarla said...
My mom's birthday in August. Well, that's when I'll make my second batch, because if I won these I'd have to make them immediately! Well you know, just to make sure they're delicious

Winner of the ABC Tie (goes to show last entry still counts as there were 59 entries and #59 won)
Gianna said...
Navy Blue Woven Grid Silk Tie

Winner of the Daddy Scrubs is
debbie said...
I like the edgy navy seal blue

Peanut Butter Caramel Candy Bites With Colorful Candies

1 (16.5-oz.) package refrigerated peanut butter cookie dough
24 bite-size chocolate-covered caramel-peanut nougat bars
72 candy-coated chocolate pieces

Preheat oven to 350°. Shape cookie dough into 24 (1-inch) balls, and place in cups of lightly greased miniature muffin pans. Bake 15 to 18 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Remove from oven, and press 1 bite-size chocolate-covered caramel-peanut nougat bar into each cookie. Sprinkle cookies evenly with candy-coated chocolate pieces.

Southern Living, JULY 2009

shared at
totally terrific tuesday 

Beautiful Pictures from Italy

I received these wonderful pictures from a dear school friend of mine while she was in Italy for a wedding. Thought I would share them with all of you

Dessert Lasagna

Found this delicious recipe and could not help but to make it for a lovely event. I never knew lasagna noodles could taste so sweet.

12 pieces lasagna
4 cups ricotta cheese
1 cup sugar, divided
8 kiwis, peeled
4 cups strawberries, washed and trimmed, with 8 berries reserved for garnishing
4 cups blackberries, washed
1/2 cup toasted, sliced almonds
Mint sprigs to garnish

Cook the pasta according to package directions. Rinse, drain and set aside.
In a medium bowl, stir together the ricotta cheese and ½ cup sugar. Set aside.
In a food processor, purée 4 kiwis with 2 tablespoons sugar. Transfer the purée to a bowl and set it aside. Rinse the processor bowl.
In the processor, purée half the strawberries with 2 tablespoons sugar. Strain the purée into a bowl and set it aside. Rinse the processor bowl.
In the processor, purée half the blackberries with 2 tablespoons sugar. Strain the purée and set it aside.
Slice the kiwis into ¼-inch thick rounds. Slice the strawberries into 1/8-inch thick pieces. Slice the blackberries in half.
Reserve 1/4 cup of each of the purée to use as a garnish when serving.
To assemble the lasagna, first cover the bottom of a 9-inch-by-13-inch glass baking pan with 3 pieces of pasta. Spoon 1/3 of the ricotta on top and spread it evenly. Pour the kiwi purée over the cheese and arrange the kiwi slices on the purée. Lay on 3 more pieces of pasta and cover with 1/2 the remaining cheese. Pour the strawberry purée over the cheese and sprinkle with sliced strawberries. Lay on 3 more pieces of pasta and cover with the remaining cheese. Pour the blackberry purée over the cheese and sprinkle with blackberries. Top with a final layer of pasta. Cover tightly with plastic and refrigerate overnight.
Just before serving, sprinkle the lasagne with the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and the toasted almonds. Cut into 8 rectangles and use a spatula to set the pieces on dessert plates. Decorate the plates with dots of reserved purées. Garnish each piece of lasagna with a strawberry and a sprig of mint.