Wednesday, October 31, 2012

New Favorite Way to Cook Eggs

My Aunt Kathy told me about making eggs like this.  They are so good and very easy to make.  They taste like a poached egg and fried egg combined into one.
 We topped ours with cheese
 Freshly shredded hash browns on the side
 I put a little cottage cheese in before I baked them and it made them a little creamy
 The last few minutes of the bake time I topped them with cheese
Enjoy, these would also be the perfect size for a homemade egg mcmuffin!

Oven Baked Eggs
5 eggs
cooking spray
1/3 cup cottage cheese (optional)
shredded cheese and S&P

Preheat oven to 350.  Spray jumbo muffin tins or a ramekins with nonstick cooking spray.  Crack your eggs into the muffin tins.  Put a little cottage cheese on each egg as seen above.  Bake for 10 minutes, top with cheese and then bake 3-5 more minutes.  The times may vary depending on your oven, but you can tell when they start to harden.  
Enjoy with your favorite breakfast sides.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Homemade Peanut Butter Cups

Cliff requested homemade Reese's Cups the other day.  I think he got the craving from watching me eat lots of "instant Reese's" (scroll to bottom of page) I have been hooked on them.  Well, these are a lot more dessert-like.  They are a little tedious, but well worth the effort.  Cliff loved them!  My Dad approves and he is a Reese's connoisseur! 
 Spoon chocolate into a muffin paper
 Use your spoon and drag the chocolate up the edges, then freeze
 Put chilled peanut butter mix into the chocolate shell
 Top with melted chocolate and put in freezer until hardened
These are so good, you've got to try them.

Homemade Peanut Butter Cups
2 cups chocolate chips
1 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup powdered sugar
pinch of salt

In a double boiler melt chocolate.  While that is melting, mix peanut butter, powdered sugar and salt; place in fridge to chill.  Place muffin papers in a muffin tin and spoon chocolate into muffin papers.  Use your spoon to draw the chocolate up the edges of the paper.  Place those in the freezer until hardened (about 10 minutes).  Dip peanut butter into the chocolate shell and then top with chocolate.  Try to smooth the chocolate over the peanut butter gently until it is fully covered.  Place back in the freezer for 10-15 minutes.  Enjoy:)  I keep mine stored in the refrigerator. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Creamy Cheese Chicken Bake

I found this delightful recipe on Mels Kitchen Cafe.  I changed up a few things because of cheese preference and it was a winner.  Cliff said it had a lot of flavor and he really liked it.  It was also really easy.  Also, if you follow my blog you know that my Mom was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer in August so I have been very busy with that over the past few months.  This week she got a major surgery to remove her ovaries and all the other cancer.  If you would like to read about that, I will post the details at the bottom of this post.  We are so thankful that God has kept her safe and brought great healing to her body.
 We had oven fries, green beans and skillet corn bread on the side
 You make your creamy mixture, top the chicken and then top it with more cheese and I did green chili on one which turned out really good

Creamy Cheese Chicken Bake
1 pound chicken (I just used 3 large chicken tenders, boneless, skinless)
2 slices provolone cheese
1/4 cup mayo
1/4 cup yogurt
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
1/4 cup mozzarella
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
green chili (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 and lightly spray a baking dish.  Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season on each side with salt and pepper.  Lay the chicken breast pieces in a single layer on the bottom of the prepared baking pan.  Layer the provolone cheese slices over the chicken.  In a small bowl whisk together the mayo, yogurt, parmesan cheese, salt, pepper and garlic powder.  Spread this mixture over the chicken and cheese.  Top with mozzarella.  Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce is hot and bubbly.  Serve with your favorite sides. 

**Update on Mom:
She had a major surgery Monday to remove her ovaries and any other cancer the doctor found.  She got a very large incision down her stomach.  The doctor was very pleased with the surgery.  She removed her omentum, appendix, the cyst, ovaries and part of her colon.  All of those things had cancer on them, and she was able to remove all of the other cancer spots she saw.  We were so happy with the report and so was the doctor.  My Mom has made great progress since surgery.  She has been able to walk and get her drainage tube out of her nose/throat and it feeling pretty good.  She is sore, but overall we are grateful for the great progress.  I will be busy helping her with recovery for the next month, but plan to blog occasionally and also keep you updated on her continued progress.  

Friday, October 19, 2012

Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal

I didn't eat very much pumpkin stuff last year and this year I am making up for it.  I made Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal this morning and it was very good.  If you have never tried baked oatmeal it is kind of like oatmeal and breakfast cake collided.  I have made baked oatmeal several ways and this is now one of my favorites.  The recipe itself is not very sweet but if you like it sweeter, you can add more sugar.  Instead of adding more sugar, we just did yummy toppings.

 I topped mine with peanut butter, maple syrup and pumpkin granola
 Fresh out of the oven
 I divided ours into four so we each got a full serving of oatmeal

Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal
(4 big servings or 6 small)
2 cups rolled oats
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (optional but pretty tasty-could do nutmeg and ginger)
1/4 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. brown sugar (or more if you like it sweeter)
1 egg, beat
1.5 cups milk
1 cup pumpkin
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup chopped apple (or raisins-I used apple but would like to try raisins or chocolate chips)

Preheat oven to 375.  Combine the dry ingredients including brown sugar.  Combine the wet ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into the dry.  Add chopped apple and stir well.  Bake for 25-30 minutes or until center is set.  Allow to cool slightly, cut and top with favorite toppings.
Topping ideas:  peanut butter, any nut butter, granola, syrup, honey, chocolate chips
Adapted slightly from Kath Eats

Have a good weekend everybody

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Pumpkin Madness

I am loving all the pumpkin goodies on the shelves.  My Mom and I went to Trader Joe's this week and they have all things pumpkin.  We got really excited and stocked up.  We are talking pumpkin spice chai, pumpkin granola, pumpkin butter, pumpkin ravioli, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin pancake mix, pumpkin get the point.  We didn't get all of these things but we are enjoying the pumpkin granola and coffee.  This is a great chance to talk about the pumpkin smoothie I have made a lot lately.  I have been enjoying it for breakfast and really enjoy it.
Smooth, creamy and delicious
Pumpkin Spice Smoothie
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
2 Tbsp peanut butter (approx.)
1 tsp. cocoa powder
1 tsp. chocolate carnation or nesquick
sprinkle cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice
5 ice cubes
1 large ripe frozen bananas

Combine all ingredients and blend until smooth.  Enjoy

Monday, October 15, 2012

Green Chili Cornbread

This is a long time favorite, okay since college favorite!  It is Cliff's favorite cornbread and I have not made it enough lately because I was avoiding corn for a while.  I have come to believe corn in moderation won't mess with my stomach so I was happy to make this cornbread at Cliff's request.  We ate it with our Four-Bean Vegetarian Chili the other night. 
 I really enjoy this with a little butter
Cliff really enjoys it with a load of butter

Green Chili Cornbread
4 Tbsp. butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup creamed corn
1/4 cup green chili (a little more if you like)
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup flour (I use a little wheat flour or oat flour for 1/2 of the flour)

Preheat oven to 375.  Grease and 8 inch square pan.  Melt butter and transfer to a large mixing bowl;  stir in sugar.  Quickly add egg and beat until well blended.  Add green chili and creamed corn.  In separate bowl combine buttermilk with baking soda then stir into egg mixture.  Stir in cornmeal, flour, and salt until a few lumps remain.  Pour batter into prepared pan. 
Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Happy Monday to all.  Hope you enjoyed the weekend!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Vegetarian Chili

Over the past year I have made an effort to have meatless meals several times a week.  I also have vegetarian friends so it is nice to try new things when I am cooking for them.  A couple weeks ago we had our good friends Kourt and Keith over for dinner (Kourt is a vegetarian), so I got to try a new chili recipe I found.  I will definitely make it again because it turned out really good.

 It has 4 kinds of beans.
 I had to take a picture when I saw how much butter Cliff put on his corn bread
 Awesome friends
 It was very yummy topped with sour cream and cheese.  Recipe for cornbread coming soon
 They were kind enough to bring over this delicious cheesecake.  We had coffee with it:)
Then we went to the pavilion to hear Florence from outside her concert, it worked and it was free!  It also poured on us, we just toughed it out with a couple umbrellas and rain jackets.  It was a lot of fun.

Four-Bean Vegetarian Chili
1 medium onion
1 green bell-pepper, diced
1 carrot, diced small (optional I just added it because I had it)
1 stick celery, diced small (optional)
2 Tbsp. Olive oil
1 can black beans, drained
1 can great northern beans, drained
1 can white kidney beans, drained
1 can fire roasted tomatoes in juice
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
2 cups vegetable broth (you could use beef or chicken broth if you don't care about meatless)
2 Tbsp. chili powder
2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
Pepper and taco seasoning to taste as needed

In a large pot saute the onion, bell pepper, celery and carrot in olive oil over medium heat.  Add seasonings and when they start to get tender pour in your broth.  Add drained beans and tomatoes in juice to the pot.  Give everything a good stir and bring to simmer.  Let simmer at least 15 minutes, longer if you can.  I let mine simmer for about an hour.  You could also do this in a crock pot if you wanted dinner to be ready when you got home from work.  Serve with cornbread.  Enjoy!
I got recipe from Daily Garnish.  I only made a few adjustments  

 The Lord is my light and my salvation—
    whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
    of whom shall I be afraid?
Psalm 27:1

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Simple Pasta Skillet for 2

Last night I was craving something with vegetables, I was out of town this weekend and came home to slim pickins in the fridge.  I went to the store on my way home from work and knew dinner needed to be simple.  I make a dish called Lazy Lasagna (will be posting that soon) and it has cottage cheese and spaghetti sauce.  I decided to make a faster version of that, with lots of extra veggies.  It was very simple to throw together, so keep it in mind for a quick healthy meal.
This was just what I was craving!
 When it was all combined, I topped it with mozzarella and basil
 Extra bonus:  this is meatless!

Simple Veggie Pasta Skillet
(serves 2, or make it for one and have leftovers!)
1 heaping cup favorite pasta (I used multi-color rotini)
2 cups frozen mixed veggies
1 Tbsp. Olive oil
1/2 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed (optional, I had it so I used it)
3/4 cup spaghetti sauce
2/3 cup cottage cheese
3/4 cup mozzarella
Basil and Italian seasoning to taste

Boil water for pasta and cook according to directions on box.  While water is heating, warm a large skillet over medium heat.  Add olive oil and veggies and cook until tender, and slightly browned (about 7 minutes and turn heat up at end to brown them).  Add spinach and sauce and stir to combine.  Turn heat to medium-low and add cottage cheese and drained cooked pasta.  Once that is combined and heated though, top with mozz, basil and Italian seasoning.  Take off heat and serve once the cheese is melted.  

This has been my recent dessert of choice.  Homemade peanut butter topped with mini and normal sized chocolate chips!  So yummy :)

Monday, October 8, 2012

Morning Change Up

I have a lot of recipes to blog so get excited.  As you know I have been really off and on with blogging over the past couple of months.  I have had a lot going on and decided there was no need to have extra pressure to blog.  Over that time I have kind of stockpiled the things I have been cooking, so now I have lots to blog about.  I plan to blog one recipe a post to keep it simple. 
      Back to my morning change up!  If you didn't know, I drink a smoothie almost every morning.  I take Metamucil and flax (to help my stomach) I prefer to blend them in a smoothie rather than drink them in water.  This has been working for about 4 months, but last week I felt the need to change it up.  I have been craving pumpkin (and had some leftover pumpkin in my fridge) so I made pumpkin pancakes!  They turned out so yummy, plus they are moist and filling.  The best part is how easy they are to make-check it out.
 Topped with peanut butter, bananas, mini chocolate chips and cinnamon sugar
About 5-6 minutes on the griddle total.
A great way to start the day!

Easy Pumpkin Pancakes (for 1)
1/3 cup just add water pancake mix (I used Kodiak mix)
1/3 cup water
1 tsp. Nopalina Flax
2 Tbsp. pumpkin puree (approximate measurement, it is the plain pumpkin)
Sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon

Basically I made the mix according to the package, adding the pumpkin, flax, and spices before I stirred it all together.  Lightly oil a griddle and cook until bubbles start to pop (about 4-5 minutes) then flip.  Top with your favorite toppings.
*I like to keep my weekday breakfasts on the healthy side so I didn't use syrup.  I topped mine with peanut butter, bananas, a few mini chocolate chips and a sprinkles of cinnamon sugar.  I am not one to skip out on syrup but these were really good without it:)  Hope you enjoy them as much as me.
Other topping/batter ideas:  These would be really good with walnuts or pecans, topped with butter and syrup for a weekend breakfast.  Also they would be good topped with granola.