Friday, January 31, 2014

Pioneer Woman's Blueberry Crumbcake

We made Pioneer Woman's Blueberry Crumb Cake for a breakfast treat the other morning, and this was really delicious.  We all gave it a 9 except for Owen who gave it an 8.  This is simple, and surprisingly not super high in calories.  For 1/16 of the total, the calories were 233.  I changed the recipe just a tiny bit, to hopefully make it better for high altitude baking.  This turned out well.
5 T Butter
3/4 c Sugar
1 whole Egg
1/2 t Vanilla Extract
1 t cinnamon
2 c All-purpose Flour
2 t Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 c Milk
1/4 c cream
2 cups frozen Blueberries

6 T Butter
1/2 c Sugar
1/2 t Cinnamon
1/2 c Flour
1/4 teaspoon Salt

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Combine flour, baking powder, and a salt. Stir and set aside.
Cream butter with cinnamon and sugar. Add egg and mix until combined. Add vanilla and mix. Add flour mixture and milk alternately until totally incorporated. Do not overbeat. Stir in blueberries until evenly distributed.
Grease a 9 x 13 inch baking pan. Pour in batter.
Combine topping ingredients in food processor and process for a few seconds.  Sprinkle over the top of the cake.
Bake cake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until golden brown.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Picky Palate's Pepperoni Pizza Enchiladas

These are super easy and super good.  We all gave them 9, and they are 410 calories per enchilada, because I added a little more cheese than the recipe called for.  I love me some cheese.  This came together really quickly, and we all enjoyed it.  You can find the recipe here, and I followed it pretty closely.  Here's what you do.

8 tortillas
24 oz marinara sauce
51 turkey pepperoni
4 c mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350.  Put a little sauce in the bottom of a greased 9x13 pan.  Place a little sauce, 4 pepperonis, and some cheese in the center of each tortilla, then roll them up and place them seam side down in the pan.  Top with more sauce, cheese, and the remainder of the pepperoni.  Bake for 25 minutes.  Serve.

Like I said, super easy, and you can mess with the ingredients/pizza toppings however you like.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Picky Palate's Salmon over Garlic Corn

This is a superdy duperdy delicious meal ;).  We loved it, Noah and Aaron both saying it was their favorite fish ever.  Way to go Picky Palate!  This was such an easy dinner, as well as great tasting, we will have this again, and I love that it was such a hit.  Aaron and I gave it a 9, Noah gave it a perfect 10, and Owen gave it an 8.  We used a smaller piece of salmon than the recipe called for, so the calories for our dinner were 288 per serving.  Here's what I did:

Tobasco Sauce
3/4 t paprika
2 T maple syrup
about 1 lb of salmon
2 T olive oil
1 can corn, drained
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T cilantro

Preheat the oven to 450.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Mix together some salt to taste, and the paprika.  Coat the fish with the salt and paprika, then put on a little tobasco sauce and then top with the maple syrup.  Place in the oven and cook for 12-15 minutes.  Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a skillet and then add the garlic and cook for about a minute.  Add in the corn, cilantro, some more salt, and tobasco.  Stir, then serve with the fish.

Easy and delicious!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Our Best Bite's Cheesy Tortellini Spinach Bake

This recipe from Our Best Bites is simple and hearty, but not one of Aaron's favorites.  It has 365 calories for 1 serving, and Aaron gave it a 4, Owen, Noah and I all gave it an 8.  This is simple, and I added a little more tortellini than the recipe called for, but otherwise I followed the recipe exactly.  I probably won't make this again, although it is easy and tastes good, just Aaron hated it :(.  Anyway, this is not too spinachy if you use fresh spinach, and my kids like it as do I.

20 oz cheese tortellini
3 strips thick sliced bacon, chopped with 2 T grease reserved
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 T flour
2 c almond milk (I used this because I have leftovers and it is way less calories)
1 1/2 t basil
1/4 t red pepper flakes
1 medium lemon zested and juiced
2 c baby spinach leaves
3/4 c mozzarella cheese
3/4 c parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 350.
Boil the tortellini until done, drain, and set aside.
Cook the bacon and reserve the grease.  Cook the garlic in the grease, then add the flour and make a roux.  Add the almond milk to make a white sauce, then add the zest, basil, red pepper flakes, and juice.  Cook until thickened.  Add the 1/2 c of both cheeses, spinach, and sauce to the tortellini, then place into a greased 8x8 pan and top with the remaining cheese.  Cover with aluminum foil, bake for 20 minutes, then remove the foil and cook for an additional 10 minutes.  Let sit 10 more minutes before serving.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Garlic Bread Sandwiches

So my Noah loves garlic bread.  It's his favorite thing ever.  He asked me to make some sandwiches using garlic bread, so I did :).  This is so fast and easy when you use premade garlic bread like I did.  I use Pepperidge Farm Texas Toast garlic bread, and it is fast and easy to make.  Here's what we did.

Take whatever meat you want, I used turkey lunch meat, and cook it in a pan on both sides.  Add cheese and allow to melt.  Then add avocado and tomato and slide onto garlic bread slice and top with another garlic bread slice.  Serve!  That was how I made the boys' sandwiches, and I made mine vegetarian, because I prefer vegetarian sandwiches.  I just cooked my tomatoes a little, then added the cheese to melt, then topped it with avocado and arranged it on the bread.  My sandwich was 480 calories, the boys' were about 600.  We all gave them a 9, except Owen, he gave his an 8 because he didn't love the meat.  We will have these again!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Pinoeer Woman's Dr. Pepper Cupcakes

I bought myself the Pioneer Woman's newest cookbook, The Pioneer Woman Cooks, A Year Of Holidays a little while ago, and the first recipe I tried was her Dr. Pepper Cupcakes.  I want to start by saying that almost every recipe I have tried by the Pioneer Woman, and I have tried a lot of them, has been delicious.  I believe this must have been a user error, because after making this and receiving such negative reactions, I realized I had used orange flavored prunes instead of original prunes.  This may have contributed to the downfall of these cupcakes.  Anyway, as you can read, these were a major upset in our household.  Everyone was so excited for Dr. Pepper cupcakes, because we love Dr. Pepper around here, but these didn't taste like Dr. Pepper, not even the frosting which had 4 cups of it in there. 
So these cupcakes were each 351 calories, and they are super moist, have great texture, and should've been delicious.  I didn't think they were so terrible, but Aaron actually threw his away, so I'm saying he gave them a 1.  Owen and Noah and I gave them a 6, but everyone said they wouldn't have any more of them.  Sigh.  I'm sure the orange flavored prunes were part of the problem, since they did taste overwhelmingly of orange.  Here's what you do:
For The Cupcakes:
1/2 c prunes, roughly chopped
1/2 c dried cherries, roughly chopped
1 c Dr. Pepper (I used caffeine free)
1 c butter
1/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 c boiling water
1/2 c buttermilk
3 eggs
1 t baking soda
1 1/2 t vanilla extract
2 c all-purpose flour
1 1/3 c sugar
1/2 t ground nutmeg
1/2 t anise seed
1/2 t ground ginger
1/2 t ground allspice
1/2 t ground cardamom
For The Frosting:
4 c Dr. Pepper
1 1/2 c salted butter, softened
1 t ground ginger
2 1/2 c powdered sugar
1 T grated lemon zest
1 T grated orange zest
1/2 t vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 325.  Line two 12 cup muffin pans with paper cupcake liners.  Add the prunes and dried cherries to a medium saucepan.  Pour in 1 c of Dr. Pepper, then bring it to a slow boil over medium heat.  Cook it for 5 minutes, then remove it from the heat and set it aside to cool, about 20 minutes.  In a separate saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.  Add the cocoa powder, then add in the boiling water and whisk it together until smooth.  Set this aside to cool.  In a small pitcher, combine the buttermilk, eggs, baking soda, and vanilla and whisk until combined.  In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the flour, sugar, nutmeg, anise seed, ginger, allspice, and cardamom.  With the mixer on low, drizzle in the butter-cocoa mixture.  Then pour in the buttermilk mixture, and the Dr. Pepper fruit mixture.  Mix until it's all combined, then scoop the batter into the muffin tins.  Bake the cupcakes for 18 minutes (mine went for about 25 minutes), then cool completely before frosting them.
Gently boil 4 c Dr. Pepper over medium heat until the mixture has reduced to 1/2 c, about 25 minutes (mine took more like 35).  Add the butter to the bowl of an electric mixer, then add the ginger, powdered sugar, zests, and vanilla.  Beat it until the mixture is light and fluffy.  Add the Dr. Pepper reduction very slowly with mixer on low.  Continue beating until the frosting is smooth.  Frost cupcakes and serve.
Sounds delicious, right?  And it should've been.  I am blaming the orange prunes :).  Try these and tell me how they turn out, would you?

Friday, January 17, 2014

Penne with White Beans, Bacon and Arugula

This recipe is from my Cook's Illustrated America's Test Kitchen cookbook, and I loved this!  I love arugula, it's probably my favorite green, so tasty without a weird after taste.  No one else felt that strongly about it though.  I gave it a perfect 10, Noah gave it a 9 because he didn't like the arugula, Owen gave it an 8, because he didn't like the beans, and Aaron gave it a 6 because he said "if only it had sausage..." :)  Oh well.  This was simple, filling, and delicious.  This came together in about 30 minutes from start to finish.  Each serving was 325 calories.  Here's what I did, which is just a tiny bit different from the recipe.

1/2 lb penne, cooked, with about 1/2 c pasta water reserved
3/4 c chicken broth
3 slices thick-sliced bacon, chopped
1 onion, diced
1 T minced garlic
1 15 oz can cannellini beans
1 T lemon juice
1 bag (about 4 cups) arugula
cheese to garnish

Cook the bacon until crispy, about 5 minutes.  Add in the onion, then cook for about 5 minutes until softened.  Add in the garlic, then the beans, 1/2 t salt, and chicken broth.  Mash up some of the beans, and stir for a few minutes while the sauce comes to a simmer.  Add in the cooked, drained pasta and the pasta water, then cook for a few minutes tossing.  Add in the lemon juice and the arugula, cook until the pasta all comes together.  Garnish with cheese and serve.

I have been eating the leftovers, and it is still delicious the next day :).

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Our Best Bites Mini Oven Pancakes

These mini puffed oven pancakes from Our Best Bites were a hit with my family, and I appreciated how easy they were.  I followed the recipe with the decrease in flour she suggests, because I found the recipe in their cookbook and that is how the recipe was printed.  Since I followed the recipe exactly, I will let you go to the link to see the recipe.  The calories for one puffy pancake was 35 calories since I only got 20 out of the recipe rather than 24.  The calories are 29 per pancake if you make 24.  We all gave this a 9, these are fun to dip and taste great!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Crockpot Zuppa Toscana

This Zuppa Toscana is a great soup.  It's fast and easy, and I love how it tastes.  Noah, Aaron and I gave it a 9, and Owen gave it an 8 because he said it was a little spicy.  This is full of flavor, and super simple.  We divided this into 8 servings, and each serving was 335 calories.  Make this on a cold night, it is warm and satisfying.  Here's what I did.

3/4 lb mild Italian sausage\
12 baby potatoes, cut in half
2 cans chicken broth
salt and pepper and Italian seasoning to taste
1 small onion, diced
1 t minced garlic
1 c cream
1 bag spinach
2-4 slices bacon, cooked and chopped

Brown sausage, onion and garlic, salt, pepper and Italian seasoning together then add to crockpot with potatoes, and chicken broth.  Cook on low for 5-8 hours, then add cream, spinach, and bacon and serve. 

Super great!!!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Crockpot Pesto Ranch Chicken

You can find the recipe for Crockpot Pesto Ranch Chicken from Picky Palate at this link, and you should try this soon.  It's such an easy, yummy, recipe.  Noah gave it a perfect 10, Aaron and I gave it a 9, and Owen gave it an 8.  For one thigh with lots of sauce, which we didn't use, the calories are 344, but like I said, we didn't use hardly any of the sauce so the calories are fewer.  This tasted great, it came together super quickly, and I will definitely make it again.  Here's what to do:

5 boneless skinless chicken thighs
4-5 oz pesto
1/2 packet ranch dressing mix
1 can chicken broth

Mix all ingredients together in a crockpot, and cook on low for 5-6 hours.  Serve.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Asian Chicken Barbeque

This Asian Chicken Barbecue from 365 Days of Slow Cooking was a hit.  The recipe in her cookbook was a little different from the one on her website, she didn't use tapioca in her cookbook, so I didn't either, but I think it would've been even better with the tapioca.  Owen, Aaron and I gave it a 9, and Noah gave it a perfect 10.  The calories for 1 serving were 285.  Here's what I did

5 chicken thighs, cut into fourths
1/2 c soy sauce
1/3 c brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 T sesame oil
1/2 T sesame chili oil
1 T minced garlic

Lay the chicken in the slow cooker, mix the sauce ingredients together, then place the sauce ingredients on top of the chicken.  Cook on low for 2 hours on one side, flip the chicken pieces over, and cook for another hour. 

We served ours over ramen noodles, but I think it would've been better over rice.  Sometimes I just get tired of rice :).

Monday, January 6, 2014

Crockpot Italian Meatballs

This was such a great meal!  We made meatballs in the crockpot, and I found the recipe in the crockpot 365 cookbook.  I altered it just a little, and it came out so well!  Each meatball with sauce was 162 calories, and Owen, Noah and I all gave them a 9, while Aaron gave it an 8 because he said he would've liked more flavor.  Anyway, here's the super easy recipe.

3/4 lb lean Italian sausage
3/4 lb lean ground beef
1/4 c Italian cheese blend
1/4 c bread crumbs
1 egg
seasonings to taste

Mix ingredients together, then place in the crockpot and cook for 5 hours on low, covered in sauce of your choice.  Skim grease off before serving.

This was so good and easy, I love it!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Mediterranean Egg Scramble

This easy recipe from Our Best Bites wasn't a hit at our house, only I really liked it.  Mediterranean Egg Scramble is really good!
Owen and Noah gave this a 7, Aaron gave it a 5, and I gave it an 8.  This is so easy, I loved it.
For 1/4 of the total, the calories are 204.  Here's what you do.
6 eggs
1/4 c sour cream
1/2 t basil
1/4 t oregano
1/4 t garlic salt
pinch of salt
2 green onions, chopped
3/4 c feta
1/2 red pepper, chopped
cooking spray
Spray a large fry pan.  Add in red pepper.  Mix together sour cream, eggs, and spices.  Then add in the feta and pour into the pan with the red pepper.  Last add the green onions and serve. 
The original recipe says to wrap them in crepes or tortillas, that was more work than I wanted to go to, so we just had scrambled eggs.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The Recipe Girl's Cheesecake Hot Chocolate

This is a fun recipe for cheesecake whipped cream.  I love to try this, as we drink lots of cocoa around here.  It's cold this winter!  Lori Lange's cookbook The Recipe Girl Cookbook was given to me by Noah for my birthday, and I am super excited to try so many of her recipes.  I didn't make the whole hot chocolate recipe, just the whipped cream, because I was almost out of milk :), but the whipped cream was yummy!  Owen, Noah and I gave it an 8, and Aaron gave it a 7.  Each helping of whipped cream was 267 calories.  Here's what I did:

3 oz cream cheese, softened
3/4 c whipping cream
3 T sugar

Whip the cream cheese in a mixing bowl until fluffy.  Scrape the bowl down well (I didn't do this and we had little cream cheese chunks in our whipped cream, the reason for Aaron's lower score :)), then add in the sugar and whipping cream and beat until firm peaks are formed.  Serve on your hot chocolate of choice. 

Check out her blog for some great recipes, or her cookbook!!