Thursday, December 13, 2012
Nutella Swirl Banana Muffins
makes approx. 18-24 muffins
1 stick of butter, softened
1 cup of sugar
½ tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
salt (leave out if you used salted butter)
2 cups flour 3-4 very ripe bananas, enough to make a generous cup
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
1. Cream butter, sugar, and eggs together. Add vanilla. Add flour, sift if possible with baking soda and salt. Add mashed bananas and nuts.
2. In a small bowl, mix approximately 2-3 tablespoons of Nutella with 2-3 tablespoons of batter. Set aside.
3. Pour remaining batter into greased muffin tin. Drop a small spoonful of Nutella mix on the top of each muffin and swirl in slowly with a toothpick.
4. Bake at 350° for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out almost clean in the center. Let cool slightly and remove from pan.
Sunday, December 9, 2012
There really is nothing like having a really hard day at work, and coming home to a dinner that is ready and a house that smells so good you almost can’t wait to eat. That happens to be my problem when I come home from work to a crock pot meal. I get home from teaching and picking up the baby at about 4:30, so that gives me about a two-hour window before dinner. That’s a lot of time to restrain myself from digging in. I sometimes even try and convince myself that there won’t be enough natural light left by the time dinner rolls around to be able to take pictures. Thank goodness the baby kept me occupied last night because this roast almost didn’t even see 6:00. It had the most incredible flavor and literally melted in my mouth. And you wouldn’t believe how easy it was…almost criminal. But that’s what I think a good crockpot meal should be, quick and easy to put together but tastes incredible. And an added bonus…this gave us plenty of leftovers for a few other dinners over the next few days. Win-Win!
Slow Cooker Pepperoncini Beef Roast Printable Recipe
makes about 8 sandwiches
Ingredients: 1 (4-5 lb) beef roast, any variety
1 jar of pepperoncini rings
1 onion chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
Directions: 1. Place all ingredients in a slow cooker. Cook on low for 8-10 hours or until roast falls apart with a fork. Serve on toasted hoagie rolls with provolone or swiss cheese and a side of au jus.
*I did not add any liquid to my slow cooker, except the liquid that was in the jar of peppers. I found that I had plenty of liquid that came from the beef itself as it was cooking. If you are worried about not having enough liquid,
Monday, December 3, 2012
I. Love. Fall. Period. Double Period. It is my absolute favorite season. Second being spring, third summer, and winter...well aside from one good snow and Christmas, winter is for the birds in my opinion. I hate the cold. I hate feeling cold, and I hate cold that has "no purpose." You know, that bitter nasty cold that goes straight to your bones. But right now it is fall, the most glorious time of the year. Full of casseroles and slow cookers, apple cinnamon candles and old college sweatshirts. I like to make foods that are in season, because obviously they are cheaper to buy. And you can't get much cheaper than pears you gathered from a relative and apples that have been in your fridge for about a week. Speaking of apples...soooooo good for you, and once I get on a kick, I eat them every day. Not on a kick of any kind right now. Right now I'm still in pregnancy mode, where I eat whatever I want whenever I want. Mental note: I gotta quit that. So I mixed up a good old batch of my favorite apple crisp, but subsituted in some pears. Yummy and very fall-esque.
makes 8 servings
For the Fruit Base:
3 cups Granny Smith apples (about 3 large), peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
2 cups pears (about 3 large), peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
For the Topping:
2/3 cup old fashioned oats
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 cup melted butter, cooled
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Butter a 8x8 baking dish, or use an ungreased stoneware baking dish.
2. Prepare the fruit base: In a mixing bowl, combine apples, pears and lemon juice; toss to coat. In a separate bowl, mix sugar, brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Sprinkle sugar mixture over apples and pears, tossing to coat. Pour mixture into prepared pan, spreading into an even layer.
3. Prepare the topping: combine the oats, flour, cinnamon, and brown sugar. Mix butter and vanilla together and pour over oat mixture. Stir to combine. Crumble mixture evenly over the apples and pears.
4. Bake in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes or until the crumble topping is golden brown.
Friday, November 30, 2012
1. Cook multiple chicken breasts until fully cooked. I tend to buy a ton of chicken breasts when they go on sale, and cook them in the crock pot. That way they are ready to shred when I get home from work, and I have homemade chicken broth that I can use as well!
2. While the chicken is still very warm, place the breasts in your Kitchen-aid mixer and put on the paddle attachment. Lock the mixer in place (otherwise it can get a little rocky) and turn on low. It won't look like it is doing much at first, but give it a minute. It will shred your chicken perfectly. This shredded chicken can be frozen in cup-increments for easy additions to casseroles, soups, quesadillas, chicken salad, etc.
Wednesday, November 7, 2012
I was feeling a little under the weather a few weeks ago. As in, standing outside wearing next to nothing, and getting pounded by cold wind, rain, and hail. Seriously where does a phrase like "under the weather" even come from?? It started out as a runny nose, you know the typical fall Missouri allergy greeting, and then slowly turned into stuffy nose, constant sneezing, coughing, and no voice. By the middle of the week I'd had it! Not to mention the fact that I can't take any meds, and I'm sleep deprived as it is. I wanted soup for dinner, but I really wasn't feeling chicken noodle soup. I wanted something hearty...annnndddd we had some spare potatoes lying around.
I've been wanting to make homemade bread bowls for a long time, and my friend Ang told me she had a recipe at home for easy refrigerated dough bread bowls (she's my source anytime I need a new recipe!) I'm not really sure where she got this one so I can't credit it, but it was super easy, and the perfect addition to any soup! It really took it over the top...
So I put on my sweatpants, laid the baby down to play on his mat, and enjoyed this warm intro to fall.
Start by bringing the potatoes, ham, and water to a boil, then cook until the potatoes are tender, about 10-15 minutes. I like to cook them on the lesser side of that time because they will continue to cook in the soup.
Pop open your can of store bought pizza crust. Scare the bejeezus out of yourself. I do it everytime..never fails.
Cut the dough in half, leaving it in tact. Stand the dough up cut-side-down on a baking sheet. Then smush it down (yeah we get technical around here)...
Tuesday, October 9, 2012
I was watching the news last week and they were reporting that the price of chicken wings has increased 25%. Say whaaaa? And why just the wings? Why not the breast, or the thighs? Then it dawned on me...football season. This is my theory on whey they also reported that the price of tortilla chips has gone up 20%. The die hard men and women that love football LOVE their football! And most totally dig buffalo wings. I tend to be more of a fan of the breaded and baked spicy wings myself, but every once in awhile I'll get down with some messy, greasy, finger lickin' good wings. And don't forget the beer on the side...and the ranch, can't forget the ranch. Although some people like blue cheese dressing (I'm not a hater, I just don't enjoy something that smells like stinky feet...but I totally love me some feta, go figure.)
So when I told my husband I was going to transform our typical party potato casserole recipe into a buffalo chicken casserole, he was skeptical to say the least. I believe his exact words were, "well I mean it sounds ok, but I guess I'm just not as excited about it as you are..." Can you tell we support each other 100%? But I soldered on. I knew that if he gave it a chance he would like it..at least that was the vision I had in mind. At that point the recipe could still be a total bust. But I wasn't going down without a fight. So with Thursday night football playing, and a beer in hand, he uttered those magical words I'd been waiting to hear..."Wow this is a lot better than I thought it was going to be...It's good!" He always knows exactly what to say I tell ya! So I hope when you try this recipe it exceeds your expectations, no matter how low they are.
Buffalo Chicken Potato Casserole
makes 12-16 servings
1 (2 lb) pkg frozen hashbrowns, shredded or cubed
16 oz (2 cups) sour cream
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 pkg ranch dip mix
1/2 cup onion (half a medium onion) finely chopped
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup Franks Red Hot
1-1/2 lbs chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces
pepper to taste
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups crushed corn flakes
1/4 cup melted butter
1. Preheat oven to 375°. Lightly grease a 9x13 baking dish.
2. In a large bowl, mix together sour cream, soup, ranch mix, onion, and pepper. Stir in frozen hashbrowns, and cheese until mixed together. Spread into the baking dish.
3. Melt 1/2 cup butter and stir in the hot sauce. Toss the chicken pieces in the hot sauce mixture until well coated. Spread out over the potato layer. Cover with foil and bake @ 375° for 45-50 min or until hot and bubbly.
4. Melt 1/4 cup butter and stir with crushed cornflakes. Sprinkle topping over chicken layer and return casserole to oven. Cook uncovered for 20-25 minutes.