Friday, April 30, 2010

Ramblings of a tuckered baker

Well, I don't know about you, but it's been another busy week in our household.  Here's just a few things I accomplished this week:  substitute taught music two days, finished cleaning our old apartment, got to go to a beautiful park with my mom, one sister and her five beautiful children (pic above is one i captured while we were at the park), got my Wedding ring checked/cleaned, got a haircut, wrote birthday thank yous,  unpacked more boxes and baked more banana bread (and ate a lot of it...).  Just looking at that partial list wears me out...maybe it's also the weather though.  One day it was almost 80 degrees here!  Then the next morning there was snow on the ground.  Only in Colorado I guess.  :)  (Also part of the reason I love it so much here though!)

I'm not sure if I have blogged about my hubby much at all on here, other than the fact that I love him, he's my best friend and helps me out.  Anyway, he's about to graduate next month.  So soon, I can refer to him as "Dr."

Does anyone else watch Grey's Anatomy out there?  Ok, if you do, did you see it last night?  It was a good episode right?  I think I have to say my favorite part was near the very end when Meridith called McDreamy Chief.  It was so cute that it caught him by surprise.  Earlier in the episode Alex had given Mer some advice and I thought he was rather jerky.  But it turns out it was good advice.  If you didn't catch the episode and like Grey's you can see it here.

Anyway, I just thought that was interesting as it kind of relates to my life too.  Not that there is some intern pining over my husband at work.  Just the part that you can always fresh up your love life.  Who ever said that terms of endearment needed to be "sweetie" or "babe" ?

As you can tell, I am rather thoughtful or something as I sit here tuckered out and ready for the weekend.  I hope to make some yummy food this weekend too.  So stay tuned.

PS.  King Soopers is having a great 10 for $10 sale at least in Colorado this week.  (Thru Tuesday)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Bullet Express: Tips for Buying

Ok, you've heard me go on and on about this "Bullet Express" of mine right?  I didn't actually tell you the whole story though.  I did buy it with my birthday money, but I also got it on sale.

Well, I bought it at Bed, Bath and Beyond.  You know how they are always sending out coupons for 20% off of a purchase?  Well, I used that on my Bullet Express.  So, instead of paying full price which is $119.99 plus tax, I got it for a total of about $102!!  Pretty sweet huh?  Oh, and don't worry if your coupon expired yesterday, last month or a few months ago.  They will still take them!  Now, which other stores do that?  (Ok, maybe there are some...but none that I know of!!)

So, if you are interested in buying a Bullet Express, I recommend going to your Bed, Bath and Beyond with a coupon.

I don't think it's a bad price either for around $100.  It not only comes with a food processor attachment, but also a shredder, slicer and the juicer attachment!  You can expect to pay around $90 just for a juicer.  So, just think of how much this Bullet Express is worth and what you can get it for.  That all is if you need it to begin with though.  I'm not a salesperson.

But that's my story, and I'm sticking to it.  ;)

Fresh Grapefruit Juice

If you like Grapefruit (why do they call it that?  They don't look or taste anything like grapes...) you'll love fresh squeezed grapefruit juice at home!

I just made some this morning with the help of my sweet husband who peeled the fruit for me!  I just juiced it in my juicer attachment for my Bullet Express and there it was in seconds.  We both loved it too.  Why doesn't juice from the store ever, I mean EVER, taste like the real fruit and taste good?  I don't know....but I am hooked on my newest gadget and it's juices!

Ok, I just googled for an answer to my question and here's a site that explains it.  Basically, they got their name because grapefruit grow in clusters on tress very similar to the way grapes grow. :)

Monday, April 26, 2010

Monday, Monday . . . :)

10:15am  Writing…why lately have I been able to sit down and write so easily?  I’m not saying I am a regular “Ernest Hemmingway” or “Jane Austen"  or anything.  It’s just that I have had some time to myself.  Time to think.  Time to sit at my computer and contemplate.  And time to write.  Usually when I have assignments I can have a hard time coming up with anything until the deadline is nearly here.  These last few days, I guess it’s mostly been since we moved last Saturday, I have been able to just write though.  Again, not that it is necessarily anything profound or anything…it’s just interesting.

Right now, it’s 10:17am on Monday morning and I am at the Laundromat doing our laundry.  I think I might actually get used to not have my own washer/dryer and getting to do it all at a Laundromat.  The best part is the fact that I can get it all done in about 1 hour and 30 minutes.  Unheard of at home right?  We used to have the tiniest washer at our old place.  It looked like a 1.5’ deep bundt pan.  Yep, the cake pan.  Crazy huh?  We were doing laundry constantly.  Literally every night we would have to through things in.  Luckily, I have a very sweet husband, who helped me a lot with laundry, especially with that tiny washer!  He’s even helped me a bit here at our new place, which is nice.  I am doing it by myself today though.  Not a huge deal…or feat, but I will have to post a pic of the laundry contraption I made so I can bring it over here.  It’s super close to our apartment, which is nice….yet I wish I could just drive it over.  I would feel guilty since it’s SO close….and my contraption only fell apartment twice on the way over this morning….I may have to make it a more permanent solution though.

Well, it’s 10:20am and I think it’s about time to switch my things over.

Ok, it’s about 10:30am and I am back.  Funny thing, just happened too.  So I was supposed to Sub today but my job got cancelled kind of last-minute last night.  Which is fine, things happen right?  Ok, so I was kind of hoping I would get a call this morning since I had already planned on working today.  No such luck.  ( I hate the work luck…it’s just the only one that works there…)  Then I just put my laundry in the dryer and get a call.  For a job to start now, which obviously does’t work because I have laundry in the dryers and all.  AND it was in my district.  Crazy…oh well….I mean they like SO seldom call me it’s ridiculous.  I guess their sub pool is overflowing or something…but then I get a call and can’t take it.  Oh well.  I did really need to do laundry today anyway.   And there are A LOT of boxes that still need to be unpacked.  Isn’t that just life though?  Either way, I’ll praise the Lord! Right?

“We’ll praise Him when we win, and we’ll praise Him when we lose.”  Can you name that movie?

It’s from “Facing the Giants”.  Love that movie.  So good and SO true!  My hubs and I just watched it again the other night.  It just really rings so true in my life right now too.  I will praise Him no matter what happens.

12:00pm  I am home, well have been for a while, with clean laundry and I just ate lunch.  I made pasta Primavera with ½ whole grain rotini, 1 c. mixed veggies, 1 t. olive oil and about ½ T. parmesan cheese.  Yum.  I also made enough for some more lunches this week.  I love to just be able to grab something out of the freezer and heat it up.

Hope everyone is having a happy Monday!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Organic Homemade Apple Juice

I don't think I will ever buy store bought apple juice again.  Seriously.  Have you ever tried making apple juice at home?  It's delicious!!  I just love my new "muse" aka Bullet Express!!  I just made Apple juice, as per my hubby's request too.  We just love, love, love it!!!  Super healthy, super tasty and quite easy in my new gadget!!

I used 4 large organic fuji apples and it made about 20 ounces of apple juice. Most of it is gone already...but I am looking forward to some in the morning too!  :)

I mean, it really tastes like real apples.  You have got to try it yourself!  If you don't have a juicer or bullet may have to go borrow one from your friend.  It's so a my tummy. ;)

New Neighbors and Banana Bread

Ok, so we moved into our new apartment last weekend.  (As you probably already know by now...  :))  So, my hubby and I were unpacking boxes last Sunday when we heard someone knock on the door.  We answered it to find a couple who lives a couple down and banana bread.  They baked us some banana bread and brought it over to welcome us to the neighborhood.  Isn't that nice?  We've never had anyone do that for us before.  So that was a nice chance to also meet them and chat a bit. Turns out I knew them from a Church we had all gone to while I was in College.....goes to show that it's a small world I guess.  ;)

So, as you know, I like to cook and bake.  Last year when we moved I baked cookies and we went around meeting all the neighbors.  We've already met most of our neighbors already, but the ones directly above us, have really yet to be seen.  So, right now I am baking Banana Bread and we are going to go up and take it to them in a few.  (When it's done of course.)  :)  Funny note about it though...we had been moving some more things from our old place today, and then we went to a movie--"The Last Song", that we both really liked too!!!--and then we got home and I started to make the bread for our neighbors.  I was whipping it up when I realized I only had about 1 c. of all purpose flour left....annoying...and I am still not sure why my spare wasn't there....because I keep a spare just in case...I guess I got confused with the move or something though.  Anyway, my sweet hubs went down the street to the local grocer and picked me up some.  I didn't want to make a weird impression on our new neighbors by giving them Whole Wheat Banana yeah, he actually got me a 10# bag and I should be good to go for a while now.  :)  I obviously made it fine and it's about to be done in fact.  Just a random, funny story from my life.

Ok, just got back from taking the bread up and it was a hit!   It's a single dad of a little 2 year old girl and he is SUPER nice!  How encouraging.  I like nice epople.  I guess, who doesn't right?  It's just refreshing that there are some still around!  (Our last upstairs neighbors were not so nice at all....long story.)  Needless to say, we're SO glad to be living here!! :)  God is SO good!

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!!  It's sunny and beautiful here after being so rainy for the last few days.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Foccacia Bread: Take 2

Ok, so I tried foccacia bread again tonight.  I used a bit of a different recipe.  I like the flavor better, but the texture wasn't as focaccia-y and I would like it to yet again I am on the quest.  I will try more in the coming weeks. :)

Foccacia Bread:

1 c.  warm water

1 teas.  yeast

1 tsp.  sugar

1/4 teas.  salt

splash of olive oil

~1/2 c. flour

~1/2 c. whole wheat flour


1.  Combine the water and yeast.  Let sit for about 5 minutes.

2.  Add sugar, salt, oil and stir.

3.  Add flour slowly until just getting sticky.

4.  Spray a baking sheet and spread dough onto it.  Top it with whatever toppings you'd like.  (I used some basil and Parmesan cheese.)

5.  Bake for about 12 minutes at 350 degrees.

Enjoy!  :)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Organic v3 f1 Juice

Ok, you know V8 juice?  Well, I am in love with making juices now at home with my Bullet Express.  So instead of V8, I did V3 F1.  So this juice has 3 vegetables and 1 fruit in it!  It's actually quite reminiscent of V8 juice too...well to me at least.  :)  Oh, and organic things were on sale today, so this is made with all organic veggies and fruit!  So here's how you too can make this healthy, vitamin filled drink at home!  :)

V3F1 Juice:

2 Carrots

4 Stalks Celery, you can use leaves too

1 Large Beet

2 Pears

1.  Cut veggies and fruit up into about 2" squares.

2.  Put some into your juicer or bullet express juicer and juice! :)

3.  Repeat until all fruit/veggies are juiced!

4.  Stir it up and enjoy!

Now...I want to try homemade apple juice but I have to clean the juicer to do that...I may just wait till tomorrow to make apple juice!  :)  (Something seems wrong with cleaning the juicer just to make a mess in it and have to clean it again...)

DISCLAIMER:  This juice has a beet in it, so beware, because it will be bright in color and could possibly stain your counters, clothing, etc...  So enjoy responsibly!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Easy Chocolaty Coffee Cheesecake

Do you love cheesecake but hate eating all the calories?  Do you want to make it at home and think that you have to be a trained pastry chef in order to do it?  Fear not!  I have made this quite simple (Really Simple if you have a Bullet Express) Chocolaty Coffee Cheesecake recipe for you!  (And me... ;) )  Don't worry if you don't have a spring-form pan.  I don't, so I made due with what I had.  You could also do this in a spring-form pan though.

Here's my recipe:

 1.25 c. Crushed Graham Crackers
~ 2 T. Margarine (I use the generic of Smart Balance Light with Omega 3s)
~1/4 c. Sugar

1. Mix these ingredients together either in a food processor or the Bullet Express with Meal Mixer like I did.
2. Put in bottom of pan you are using and press down firmly with your fingers. Then grab a glass and make sure it is evenly pressed down around the whole bottom of the pan. (You can use a Spring-form pan, or use something you have. I used this small 8 or 9" pan with a bottom that pops out.)

Cheesecake Filling:
1 lb. Cream Cheese ( I use the kind in the pic above--Fat Free that is the store brand.  Cheaper and also fat free, which is awesome! :)
3 Eggs
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 little packet of Starbucks Via (any variety you like, or you could use about 1 T. of other instant coffee.)
2.5 T. Cocoa (I use Hershey's.)
1/2 c. Sugar

See instructions below:

1.  In your Bullet Express (or Food Processor) using the meal mixer combine the cream cheese and eggs.  Mix on low until blended or about 20 seconds.

2.  Next add the rest of the ingredients (vanilla, cocoa, coffee, and sugar) and mix until blended again.

3.  Pour the chocolatly mixture into the pan with the crust in the bottom.

4.  Bake at 400 degree for 25 minutes and then at 350 degrees for another 20 minutes.  (It is completely normal for the cheese mixture to poof up like this during baking.  It will go back down once it cools too.)

5.  Turn the oven off and open the door.  Let the cake stay in there for about 30minutes while it starts to cool.  Then take it out and cut around the sides of the pan.

6.  Proceed to carefully take the cheese cake out of the pan and place on plate.  It should look something like this above.

Drizzle some chocolate on top for a finishing touch if you would like and bon appetit'!  Enjoy!  :)

I know mine didn't turn out perfectly...I probably got it out of the pan a little early...but it will taste delicious so that's good enough for me!  Plus it's practically fat free and was super easy to make!  :)  Have fun in your kitchen!

Alright, I had to eat a piece.  I liked it too...I knew I would.  I used a graham crust -- instead of oreo -- so it wouldn't be too rich.  I also like that the filling isn't inches and inches thick, it's all around an inch thick.  The texture isn't quite the normal creamy cheesecake style, but that's what we get for eliminating the fat almost completely!  :)  I think you'll enjoy it too...

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Moving, Unpacking and lack of internet....

10:37am  Isn’t it interesting how we can hardly go a few days without internet now?  I remember the times before having internet…we weren’t so dependant on keeping in touch through computers.  We actually had to call people, write letters to send through the Post Office and look things up in a book.  Now, all of this technology has led to a decline in interpersonal communications and education because we don’t have to “talk” to people or even read a book.  We instant message, “Facebook” and google things….where did all the relationships go?  Where did all my time go?  Where did all the knowledge go?

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the convenience of the internet and all of its glorious pages…web pages that is.  I just have had a lot of time to think lately, since we are moved and have had no internet since Saturday (but will hopefully get it today).  I have SO much time on my hands.  It’s interesting….I actually have time to sit down and talk to people face-to-face.  Something we quite frankly seldom do anymore it seems.  I also have plenty of time to unpack and decorate.  It’s just very interesting.

The actual down side that I haven’t been able to do much writing because of the lack of internet and therefore muse…  I think I have some great ideas for upcoming articles and foodie things too though.  I couldn’t be more happy with my new kitchen!  It’s roomy and seriously must have about twice the amount of cupboard space than our last apartment!  :)

I cannot wait to share more things that are on my mind…but it is more difficult because I cannot publish this right away.  So…I will wait till I have internet for sure to write more.  .  .

1:32pm  Or so I said a few hours ago.  I just tried out the local grocer down the street.  Their produce is a little pricier than the city, but their meat selection is fabulous and reasonable!  When was the last time you actually saw a chicken that said “FRESH” and knew it really was?!?!?  Sweet.  I didn’t buy one of those today, but I did buy some produce to try out my new gadget--I will talk about in a sec--and some steak that was about 2.50 a pound.  When is beef really ever that cheap?  It’s USDA Choice Beef too….awesome!  :)

Oh, on to my newest gadget!  I just bought the Bullet Express with my Birthday money!!  I am SO excited too!  Not only will I have a new device to make healthy food and juice with, I will also have a muse for my blog!  :)  I was very eager to try it out, so when I got home from my new fave grocer I cut up some produce and got started.  I definitely think there will be a bit of a learning curve to get juice and things the way I like them--and super loaded with vitamins, but I am already impressed!  It just pulverizes fruit and veggies and throws the peel, etc. into a different compartment.

So I tried some carrots and was amazed.  Then I put navel orange through and again amazed.  Then I had the silly idea of putting a banana in…well, just don’t try that at home.  It doesn’t make it into juice and it discarded all of it…. :(  So I wasted one banana in the process of juicing this afternoon.  No too bad I suppose for my first time though.  I also have decided that even though it says you can just cut the whole fruit up into 2”x2” pieces, that I should peel them--at least Oranges--the next time I do it.  So I did about 1 pound of carrots and 2 very large navel oranges, and mixed together.  I like the overall taste, and the fact that it is ridiculously full of vitamins and has no preservatives, etc….BUT  it kind of tastes like that white part under the peel of the orange.  So, that’s why I am going to peel oranges before I put them up and juice them next time!  :)  I will let you know how that goes next time too.

Never the less I am still super excited for my new kitchen gadget and you will defintley be hearing more about it in the coming weeks/months/years. :)

Internet, internet, where are thou internet?

Boxes, boxes, boxes….You know I hate moving, but I love the opportunity to go through things and find treasures from the past.  You know like your favorite stuffed animal from your childhood, or maybe a funny little bookmark.  Yesterday I found little “Happy Birthday” books for both my hubby and me in a box.  You know the kind I am talking about right?  They say:  “Happy Birthday April 15th”   Or whatever your birthday date is and then inside are all these things that happened on your birthday in history and stuff.  Pretty sweet. Just some random notes in my head .  .  .

4:00pm  UPS just dropped off the modem startup kit.  Equals a happy foodie!!  (Soon to have internet again…)

6:32pm  My hubs just set up the internet!!!!!!!!! Woohoo!!!  I should be back to blogging and keeping up with everything on the internet in no time!  Hope everyone is doing well.  I heard it through the grapevine that a loyal reader just made calzones using my recipe!  So, thanks for reading and let’s all go whip up something delicious in the kitchen!  :)

PS  I got that great deal on steak today at the local grocer and used a peppery dry rub on it.  Then I cooked it to perfection on my Foreman Grill.  I also just made some Rice-A-Roni for the side.  (Not the most healthy meal ever….but I’m still unpacking my life…so that’s as good as it got tonight!)  We really enjoyed the steak!  I think I am going to have to get some more of them!  I hope they were grass fed cows though…I don’t want to become a corn person.  :(

Thursday, April 15, 2010

My Best Days are Ahead of Me . . .

Well, I don't know about you, but I had a great day today. Well, after all it was my birthday! :) I turned the big 26 too! I don't feel any different than when I was about 16 though...but I can't stay up as late anymore.

The cake post yesterday was mostly just prodding to see if people were really reading my posts....I wasn't serious about it. I just wanted to see if people would read it, and respond. I guess only my hubby did both though... :)

Anyway, I hope all is well out there, and I will be back in my kitchen doing experiments soon!! Oh!! We started moving today!! My Mom came over to hang out with my on my Birthday and we took a couple of car loads over. I am super excited about that huge kitchen too....should make this all a lot easier! :)

My hubs and I took another load over later and this song was on the radio that struck me as perfect! Check it out please! I think you'll enjoy it! :) (My Best Days are Ahead of Me by Danny Gokey.)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

My Birthday

So tomorrow is my birthday. Is it weird to want to make a birthday cake for myself? I mostly just like cake and need practice. I don't think I will actually do it...I was just curious if anyone was out there, reading this.....

Ok, I was just kidding.  :)  I didn't make one for myself silly!

Scrambled eggs and ham with Cinnamon Toast

This morning I decided to deviate from my usual breakfast of Pepsi and cereal. I felt like an egg, and instead of making it "Over Easy" like I always do, I scrambled it. I had some diced ham in the freezer so I added some to my scramble. Then I added some spice and toasted up a piece of wheat bread. I immediately buttered the bread when it was finished toasting and sprinkled a little cinnamon sugar on it. (I use ceylon cinnamon because it's what I like.) Yum-O! As Rachael Ray would say! :)

So for my scramble I used:
1 egg
1 T. water
2 T. diced ham
pinch rep pepper flakes
dash of jerk seasoning (Dr. Oz recommends adding spice to your breakfast because the Capsasin is supposed to help hold off hunger.)

Cinnamon Toast:
1 piece Whole Wheat Bread, toasted
Butter to spread on toast
Cinnamon Sugar mixture to sprinkle--3 parts sugar and 1 part cinnamon.

Just thought I would share. Hope everyone is having a lovely day! :)

Weekly Menu

So, since I am busy packing and everything this week I have created a menu of quick, yummy meals that can seriously be fixed in a jiffy.

Spaghetti--instead of regular spaghetti though I used Vermicelli because it cooks in half the time.  Of course I always use at least half whole grain pasta.  (Literally, I buy one regular bag of pasta and one whole grain and then mix them together.)  :) So for my hubs I used half of a jar of marinara sauce and put 10 meatballs in a pot to heat. Then for myself I made pasta primavera with 1 c. veggies sauted slightly with 2 tsp. Olive Oil and then tossed with the vermicelli and topped with shredded Parmesan cheese.

Cream Dried Beef, or sometimes known as Creamed Chipped Beef, served over toast with veggies on the side.

Macaroni and Cheese, that I made a week or two ago and have in the freezer, served with veggies.

More than likely another spaghetti dish...

I also think I will bake some bread/rolls this week but as you can see I am certainly making dinners easy on myself. :)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Skiing, and time out of the kitchen

So, my husband and I just got back about 4 hours ago.  We went on a Spring Ski trip to Steamboat Springs, CO.  Even though it was so warm it was slushy snow to ski in, we had a lot of fun! :)  It was SO nice that my hubs skied in a t-shirt.  Wow!  Now, that's a very warm ski day in Colorado.  Did I mention how absolutely beautiful the mountains were on our drive up to Steamboat and our time there?  There were gorgeous vistas from everywhere, even our hotel room!  It's such a pleasure and privilege to live in Colorado!

Anyway, I took along my Electric Skillet so I could make some easy dinners in the hotel room.  But, as it turns out I didn't use it much at all.  We stayed there three nights, and skied two days.  When we got there on Friday night it was around 5:30.  But by the time we unloaded the car it was nearly 6.  We we quite hungry, so I just heated up Spaghetti O's in the skillet.  (Actually a tasty and quick way to do it...)  So, then for dinner on Saturday night we ate some turkey sandwiches on homemade rolls with avocado and lettuce.  (Surprisingly good, but probably because we were tuckered from skiing and starved....)  Then, for dinner last night, we were in Old Town Steamboat and decided to eat out at Beau Jo's Mountain Style Pizzas.  (It was delicious, as always...we have one where we live too.  Just love it!)  So, all in all we ate quite a few turkey sandwiches on our trip--because they are easy, yummy, healthy, pretty cheap and the only cold cut I like--and some easy dinners too.

Now this week I am busy packing up our apartment because we are moving across town on Saturday!  (We technically have until the 7th of May to be out of our apartment, but we'd like to live in our new place as soon as we can!) :)  So, I am going to try to blog and add recipes as much as I can, but this week may be a little hectic.  So we may just have to see.  :)  I have already packed up about 8 boxes since we got back tonight I am feeling encouraged!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Quick Meals

Who says that Impromtu meals can't be just as fabulous as the well planned and prepared ones? Well, I guess that's just kind of an obvious answer....but still, just because you are busy with life doesn't mean that you have to eat Ramen or go out to eat when you only have 20 minutes to prepare a meal. Granted, this does take some prep work on the front end.

I like to keep meatballs, diced ham and others things like that in the freezer for quick meals. Then I can grab a bag of meat balls to throw in some sauce and viola it's dinner. :) Same thing with the ham, but instead of sauce for spaghetti, put it in a pan with eggs and some potatoes and you made yourself a "skillet" from Village Inn at home!

Anyway, today I had some time because I am going through boxes and packing because we move in about a week. So, I grabbed some frozen chicken breasts out of the freezer, thawed them in the sink and cooked them. Now I am going to cut them up and make chicken salad for dinner. I think we will have the chicken salad on beds of lettuce with some focaccia bread from last night on the side. There, it's a great dinner, that didn't cost an arm and a leg and didn't take hours to make! Just took a little bit of planning. But really, I could have done it even quicker. Just an idea....let me know what your favorite quick meals are at home! :)

Writing about Burgers . . .

I never thought that I would ever really be writing and getting published. Now that I have been for over 6 months, things still surprise me about it. Like today for instance...I just wrote an article about great burger places to grab a burger. I just never thought I would write on burgers. :) As my blog followers know, I don't even eat them. I do however have a family who LOVES burgers. And I have been to many, many great ones and just about everywhere including but no limited to: Florida, California, Kentucky and of course Colorado! So, I obviously know something about them, and what makes people like them. Plus, I used to eat some burgers, and occasionally still will eat a good little White Castle burg. Anyway, I just never thought I would write about them. I guess God likes to throw some curve balls every now and then though huh? ;)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Focaccia Bread

Who out there likes Focaccia bread? I know I do and my mom does too. So, as per her request I am on a bit of a quest to make the perfect Focaccia bread. I also want it to be easy and cost effective. So, this is my first attempt and I already enjoyed the results. So, I will try another twist in my recipe next week. :)

I started with my pizza dough, and then added a little less flour. So here's the ingredients for my first foccacia bread:

1 package active dry yeast
3/4 c. warm water
1-3/4 c. All Purpose Flour
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Sugar
Olive Oil to brush on top
Herbs for top
Optional Parmesan cheese for top

1. In a medium bowl combine the warm water and yeast.
2. Add flour, olive oil, salt and sugar to the yeast mixture.
3. Let rise in a warm place for about 45 minutes.
4. Take out the fluffy dough and spread onto a baking sheet. (Spread to your desired thickness.)
5. With a fork poke holes in the dough so bubbles don't form during baking.
6. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle herbs and cheese. (I used 1/2 t. Thyme and 2 T. Parmesan Cheese.)
7. Bake for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees.
This is how mine turned out:

It didn't turn out too bad for the first try.  :)  It tasted really yummy too, which is always my favorite part!  ;)

Monday, April 5, 2010


I made Calzones for the first time tonight for dinner.  They turned out really well too! :) We really enjoyed them.  Here's how I made them...

I used my pizza dough recipe found on the pizza page and below:


1 package active dry yeast
3/4 c. warm water
1 c. All Purpose Flour
1 c. Whole Wheat Flour
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Sugar (or Honey)
Egg wash (1 egg whisked)

This can really be whatever you would like it be.  I will tell you what I put in ours though.

In my Hubby's I put:
1 sliced tomato
1/2 c. cheddar cheese
a bunch of pepperoni
Dash of Basil

I made mine more like a margherita style with the following ingredients:
1 sliced tomato
Dash of Basil
1/8 c. Parmesan Cheese

1. Start by adding the yeast to the warm water and stir.
2. Mix in the rest of the ingredients into the yeast mixture.
3. Once well combined, let rise for 30 minutes.
4. Punch down, turn and let rise another 30 minutes.
5. Once the dough is through with its second rise take it out of the bowl and separate it into two or more sections. (I used about 1/3 of the dough for my calzone, and 2/3 of it for my hubby's. So do whatever you'd like.)
6. Lightly spray a baking sheet and spread out the dough on it. (I made circles first, then loaded them and then closed them.)
7. After you have the circles spread out of dough, load in the filling! Just put it on 1/2 of the circle though.
8. Fold the circles in half and firmly, yet gently close up the calzones. I used a pinching and twisting technique, that worked well and made it look quite pretty. Do whatever works for you though! :)
9. Evenly space them on the baking sheet and brush all over the tops and sides with the egg wash.
10. Put in the oven and bake for about 20minutes, or until golden brown.

This is a view of the inside of my calzone.

Banana Bread and Applesauce

Alright, I made some more Banana Bread today.  Big surprise huh?  ;)  This time I substituted applesauce?* for the shortening and it turned out just perfectly.  So I may officially just do that from now on with baked goods.  I guess we'll see...  One more thing, I decided to cut out some of the sugar** to see what would happen and it didn't change it either!  So now it is fat free and has less sugar.

*I use applesauce that doesn't contain anything other than apples. :)

**I cut out 1/3 of the sugar the recipe calls for. :)

Easter Cupcakes

I brought cupcakes to Easter dinner, so I thought I would make them look cute and festive.  After thinking of ideas for the decor on the top of the cupcake, I decided on this.  I was going to make the batter from scratch, but decided it would be easier to just use a mix, so I did.  I used a Betty Crocker's Devil's Food Cake mix and prepared it according to directions.  Then I let them cool completely before I frosted them.

Here's how I did it:

1.  I used my Mom's recipe for frosting for decorating cakes and tinted 2/3 of it light green and the other 1/3 was just white.

2.  I used a Wilton #32 tip for the "grass", starting the spiral from the middle and going outward. (Green frosting)

3.  Then I used a Wilton #18 tip for the bunny tails, and Wilton #5 tip for the feet.  (White frosting)

So it looks like these cute little bunnies are stuck in the grass with just their feet and tails peeking out.  :)

Friday, April 2, 2010

Healthier Broccoli Cheese Casserole

Alright, if you are like me you love a good cheesy casserole. But if you're like me you also don't like all the calories and fat that those contain.... So, I've been experimenting and here's what I have come up with for a Broccoli Cheese Casserole!

Broccoli Cheese Casserole:

4 c. Cooked Brown Rice
3 c. Broccoli (Could also have some carrots and cauliflower in there too.)
1/2 c. Skim Milk
1 c. Low-Fat Cheddar Cheese, shredded

1. Combine the cooked rice, milk and broccoli in a bowl.
2. Then add the cheese and mix together.
3. Put in a casserole dish, and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

4-6 servings.

Sugar Eggs

My mom and I made sugar eggs today, just in time for Easter! This was my first time making these and they are well worth the effort. Although, I'm not sure if I will be doing anymore in the near future... :)

To be honest though, I am impressed that mine turned out this well. I know they are not perfect by any stretch. But they do look like Sugar Eggs, which is something! I had a great teacher though! I learned SO much about decorating today from my Mom! It really was a great day! :)

I think the real reason Royal Frosting is called that is because it is a "Royal" pain to work with. LOL....I know I just think I am SO clever. ;) To tell you the truth though, I think the hardest part is molding the actual sugar into the egg shape. Looks and sounds easy, but it very difficult. I think I gained some mad skills for the next time around though.

Easter Eggs

Oh and I had to boil 6 more the next day because all the other ones were gone  :)

Well, Easter is just around the corner! So we had to make sure to dye some eggs. :) I didn't feel like buying a "PAAS" kit to dye them this year. . . so I just used the food coloring I had and made up the recipe on the box. Easy enough huh? They even had directions for different fun colors like: Raspberry, Teal and Sunset Orange. I made Teal, Raspberry, Yellow and Blue colors to dip the eggs in. My hubs and I just dyed 6 eggs, it's just the two of us. (♫We can make it on our own...♫) The colors turned out pretty well and quite vivid. Fun memories of our childhoods too. . .

Oh by the way, have you ever used an "Eggtimer"? They are the greatest thing ever. You just boil your water, put the eggs and timer in and when the timer turns all black the eggs are perfectly hard boiled! I love mine. Just a random tip! :)

Can't live with it, and can't live without it....

I suppose there are a few things I could be speaking of....but right now I'm talking about food.  Seriously, we need to it survive, but sometimes it seems like it would be easier to just do without.  Since that's not possible, I've decided to start journaling about what I eat.

This maybe too personal...but I will just say it.  I have what you would call "a sensitive stomach".  I'm not really sure what it is, and Doctors haven't been too helpful either.  About a year ago I was convinced it was Lactose Intolerance, so I went to the Dr. and she wanted me to go without any milk products (including milk, cheese, yogurt, etc...) for a month.  She said that if I got better that was the problem, and if I didn't then it was something else.  I didn't really think that seemed terribly scientific...but I went along with it.  I surprisingly got a lot better throughout that month.  So I kept going for a while longer, and I got worse again.  Since that Dr. wasn't too helpful I didn't go back.  So since then, I've wondered if I'm actually a Celiac or something...

Well, I still don't know.  I bought a book called "The Gluten Connection" a few months ago and only have read a few pages. I think I am going to try reading it again, and see if I can figure something out.  Meanwhile, I am logging foods I eat that don't go so well.

My husband and I have done some research for other things that could be going on and we've found a couple things that seem to be helping me, so I'll share what we've come up with.

1.  Don't wait to long to eat.  So eat small meals throughout the day.

2.  Don't have citrus fruit or Emergen-C on an empty stomach.

3.  Don't eat too fast.  Chew each bit thoroughly and drink water every few bites.

4.  Don't eat too much red meat or fat in any meal.  They just don't digest very well.

5.  Try not to drink fluids with "High Fructose Corn Syrup" in them on an empty stomach.  (Includes: Pop, Apple Juice and Powerade.)

Ok, those are my five tips this week for eating for a sensitive stomach.  :)

2 Notes on Panera's French Onion Soup

So I have been curious if I could just use one or two types of onions in the soup, instead of five, and still have it taste the same. I also wondered if I could get away with using a cheaper but similar cheese and have it still taste great. So today, I tried it! I will let you know just how it turned out too! :)

1. So instead of the five types of onions Panera's recipe calls for, I used about 2 lbs. of Yellow Onions and 2 lbs. of White Onions. I did everything else the same for the soup recipe. I was pleased to find it still tastes like Panera's! I suppose there might be a subtle disctinction but I would probably only be able to notice the difference if I had a side by side taste test. So it's a relief that I only have to buy two types of onions to make a great French Onion Soup at home. (I got them on sale at King Soopers and it was only about $4 all together for all those onions! So it's significantly cheaper than getting 5 varieties!)

2. I had a hard time trying this because the one thing I love the most about Panera's French Onion Soup is that they don't have ridiculous amounts of stringy cheese on top. In fact, they have just enough cheese on top and it's really not even stringy at all. I noticed that when I was making the croutons last time and put the cheese on them the "Gruyere" smelled and tasted a lot like regular Swiss cheese as we know it. So, I thought I would try the croutons with Swiss instead of Gruyere. I was again pleasantly surprised at the end result. It didn't have as strong of a flavor of the cheese and with the Gruyere but, since Swiss is so much cheaper I am pretty sure I will always use Swiss from now on!

Just thought I would update you on those two things! Have fun in the kitchen, till next time! :)

Panera's French Onion Soup

I love French Onion Soup. My favorite has got to be Panera's and my mom recently sent me their recipe. You can't find it on their website anymore...but here's a link to it. I just had to try it, and I was pleased with the results. In fact, apparently it was so good my husband now likes onions. (Or so he says...not sure I believe him yet.)

I made a slight variation in my soup due to what I had on hand. It really did taste just about identical to their French Onion Soup at Panera Bread though. So I am definitely impressed they actually put their recipe on the web! :)

I made a half batch because I only cook for two and quite frankly I don't have a big enoguh pot for a whole batch. (Who really does?!?) I had all the types of onions except for leeks, so I didn't put them in. I also used dried Thyme instead of fresh. Beware when you are buying the ingredients because the "Gruyere" cheese is quite expensive. (Expect to pay around $20 a pound, but you don't need a whole pound for this recipe.) You wouldn't have to get this type, but I highly recommend it. It was just the perfect touch to ensure it tasted like Panera's soup.

I hope you enjoy this soup at home as much as I did. Get cooking, if you'd like! :)

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

I love Pineapple Upside Down Cake. In fact, I am pretty sure my whole family loves it! I usually just buy the kind that comes in a box by Betty Crocker, and it turns out well. Today I decided to try it from scratch and it's even better! :)

Here's my recipe:

1 can of Pineapple Rings
1/2 c. Brown Sugar
2 Tbsp. Butter/Margarine
1 c. Flour
1/2 c. Sugar
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Vanilla
1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 c. Skim Milk
1 egg
2 Tbsp. Pineapple Juice (reserved from can)

1. Drain can of Pineapple rings into a cup. (To save the juice for later.) Preheat Oven to 375 degrees.
2. Melt Butter in microwave, then pour it in the bottom of a 9x9 square baking dish.
3. Sprinkle brown sugar evenly on top of the butter.
4. Then place Pineapple rings on top of the butter/sugar. Try not to overlap.
5. Now, in a large mixing bowl combine the flour, sugar, salt, vanilla, baking powder, milk, egg and 2 Tbsp. juice.
6. When that is combined well, gently pour the batter over the rings in the baking dish.
7. After the oven is preheated, place the baking dish in the oven for 30 minutes. (Or until it is golden brown.)
8. Once it is finished baking, immediately flip it onto a serving dish. *Be careful it will be HOT!
9. Best when served immediately! Enjoy!

From my kitchen to yours!

Chocolate Peanut Butter No-Bake Cookies

Ok, a lot of us have probably had some version of these delicious little no bake cookies. They have chocolate, peanut butter and oatmeal in them for starters. I just recently found out about quinoa, from my mom, and it's an amazing little grain. So I thought I would try these today with some oatmeal and some quinoa. Wow, it worked out well, and gave them a more rounded flavor.

Here's my recipe:
2 Tbsp. Butter/Margarine
1/2 c. Milk
2 c. Sugar
3 Tbsp. Cocoa
2 c. Quick Oats
1 c. Quinoa
1 tsp. Vanilla
1/2 to 3/4 c. Peanut Butter

Bring butter, milk, sugar and cocoa to a boil. Then boil one minute.

Remove from heat and add vanilla and peanut butter mixing well.

Then add quinoa and mix well.

Add oatmeal and mix again.

Here's a closeup and what it will look like after it is combined. Let it stand until it starts to set up.

Then drop the mixture by the spoonful onto a sheet of waxed paper. Now, sit back relax and enjoy these yummy cookies! I am sure going to do that right now! :)

Dilly Bread

I love to bake bread at home. Sometimes I use my bread machine, and sometimes I use the oven. I have fallen back in love with Dilly bread recently though. I made it on Friday and ate half the loaf before my husband even got home from work! We devoured the rest of it the next day. So naturally I had to make more of it today. (Even though I had baked some other bread--honey oat--on Sunday.)

I actually mixed it in the bread machine this time which made it even easier! My bread machine is a "Breadman" and has 12 or 13 different settings. So it has a couple for just mixing/kneeding doughs, one for just baking and they others for doing both. I think I may have to try this with other bread from now on. I just like the look and shape of bread that has been baked in the oven better than the machine. I suppose it comes down to the crust factor. I enjoy the top crust, and with the bread machine you really don't get any of that.

Ok, on to the recipe. This is one my mom has used for years. I just found out that it was the Pillsbury Bake-off winner back in 1960. Here's a link to it: Dilly Casserole Bread. I highly recommend this bread! It's just fantastic! Flavorful and moist with a lovely crust. This time I tried it with half regular flour and half whole wheat and it is just as wonderful! Ok, now go get your bake on!

Budget Meals with Spiral Hams

So, in today's economy we have to truly save a penny, to earn a penny. When the words spiral ham, come to mind you probably don't think of a budget friendly meal. You need to change the way you think about it though. I just bought one on Saturday at Wal-mart for $10. It was a Sam's Choice Spiral Cut Double Glazed Brown Sugar Premium Smoked Ham that was just over 10lbs and was on sale for $0.99 a pound. Steal of a deal to begin with right? It just gets better. I really learned this trick from my Mom and it totally makes eating well possible on a budget! :)

Sunday afternoon I cooked the ham, well really since it was already fully cooked I just heated it up, for about 2 hours. I followed the instructions on the package for glazing it and heating it. Then I served it for dinner last night. My husband and I ate like and King and Queen with spiral ham, stuffing and mashed potatoes. (For some reason I didn't do a veggie for a side.) Then I refigerated the sliced meat, and cut the rest of the ham off the bone. I put about 1/3 of the ham in the freezer not cut, to save for later. I personally think it is easier to cut cold ham than warm ham, but this is a personal preference of course.

So today, Monday, I pulled out the ham from the fridge to prep it for meals. I saved a few slices for sandwiches for my husband. Then I cute up the rest into cubes, and put them in a mixing bowl for keeping while I was finishing up. I set about one cup of meat aside for the casserole I'm made for dinner tonight. Then when I was finished cutting up that meat I got a measuring cup and some baggies out. Then I filled 5 bags with One Cup of cubed ham, sealed them and put them in the freezer. Then the next time I want to make a quick casserole that takes ham, the ham is ready to go! You won't even have to measure it!

After I put those in the freezer I went ahead and put together the casserole for dinner. I made one of my family favorites Ham and Potato Bake. It's my mom's delicious recipe though, so I can't share it. But just know that it's amazing and takes 1 cup of ham, just like a bunch of other casseroles out there. :)

So remember, you don't have to each junk on a budget. You can have healthy, happy and delicious meals on a budget. As you saw in this article my family of two will get at least 10 meals out of this 10#, $10 Spiral ham. So search out those sales on meat in your area! They are well worth it! :)

Homemade Tortillas

Don't you just love the taste of homemade tortillas? I sure do. I've made them from scratch before, but they can be a lot of work. While my husband and I were shopping the other day we found this mix below for tortillas. All you have to do is add water and then make them! Super easy and delicious.
My hubs made some for us on Saturday night and they turned out well. So today I just had to make some for lunch. See the pic below for how they turned out! So easy and so yummy!
Now, I just have to find the perfect combo of things to put inside for them to taste like my favorite tacos I had in Mexico about 11 years ago.....I will post when I master them! :)

Black Forest Cake

Do you love Black Forest Cake? I do and so does my hubby! In fact, today is his birthday and I made this for him! Here's a way to make it at home that will not disappoint!

Here's what you will need:

1 Can of Cherry Pie Filling
1 Box of Betty Crocker Devil's Food Cake Mix (As well as the ingredients to prepare it.)
Chocolate Candy Bar (I used a Hershey's Special Dark.)
Whipped Cream (I made homemade, you could use cool whip.)
2-9" Cake Pans
Cooking Spray

1. Prepare the cake mix according to the instructions on the box and bake in two 9" cake pans.

2. Drain the juice off of the cherry pie filling. Shave the chocolate bar. (I used a cheese grater.)

3. Prepare the whipped cream, if you are making it at home.
4. Once the cakes are finsihed baking wait 10 minutes before you turn them out onto a cooling rack. Then wait until they are completely cool before you finish the cake.

5. Once the cakes are cool put one on the cake plate. Then smooth whipped cream on the top of the bottom layer.

6. Next put as many cherries as you would like on the whipped cream layer.

7. Ok, it is shaping up! Now layer the other cake on top of the whipped cream/cherry layer. (Carefully!)

8. You are on the home stretch! Just frost the rest of the cake with the whipped cream and garnish with the shaved chocolate, cherries and extra whipped cream!

Enjoy your time baking and eating the fruits of your labor! :)

Crockpot Chili

Here's my recipe for Crockpot Chili.

Waldorf Chicken Salad

Here's my recipe for Waldorf Chicken Salad.

Harvest Meatloaf Stuffed Peppers

Here's my recipe for Harvest Stuffed Peppers.

Hearty Butternut Squash Soup

Here's my recipe for Hearty Butternut Squash Soup.

Ginger Apple Curry Chicken

Here's my recipe for Ginger Apple Curry Chicken on AC.

Tortilla Soup

I love tortilla soup and still am trying to perfect my recipe for it, but here's the one I published on AC.

Hot Cocoa

I also write for AC and published my recipe for homemade hot cocoa there.  Check it out!  :)

Wheat Sourdough Rolls

I still have my sourdough starter in the fridge and wanted to make some rolls for sandwiches this weekend. So I started out using the basic sourdough recipe from Better Homes and Gardens, then added my own ingredients to it. They really turned out well with a sweet sourdough/wheat taste that was moist and perfect for a turkey sandwich!

Here's my recipe and a pic of them baking in the oven!

1/2 c. Sourdough Starter
3 c. flour (I used 2 c. all purpose and 1 c. whole wheat)
1 pkg. Active Dry Yeast
1/2 c. Water
1/2 c. Fat-free Cottage Cheese
1.5 Tbsp. Sugar
1.5 Tbsp. Butter/Margarine
1 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp. Baking Soda

1. I mixed, kneaded and had the dough rise in my bread machine. If you don't have a bread machine you can do this all according to the directions on link above.
2. After it has doubled in size, shape into rolls. I wanted some different sizes of rolls for my family. (As you can see in the pic.) This makes 8 good sized rolls, and obviously more smaller rolls.
3. Put rolls on baking sheet and preheat oven to 375degrees. Cut the tops of the rolls, if desired.
4. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until they are golden brown.

Enjoy! I think you'll love these! We sure did! I am going to make more today! :)

Easy, Yummy Dessert

I love dessert and so does my hubby. I love to bake and like trying new recipes, but I also like easy things sometimes. Recently I asked what my husband wanted for dessert on V-Day and he said something like that Oreo stuff you make. I think he knows it's quick and easy and yummy!

(If you haven't seen this or had it yet, I highly recommend it! I think they recently changed their packaging though, so it may not look exactly like this one.)

It truly takes less than 15 minutes to prepare and then you chill for a few hours and serve! How easy is that? It's really good too, think of it as a giant, creamy oreo delight!

I usually make it either in a pie pan or a square dish, but this time I wanted it to look Valentinesy. So I made them in cupcake cups that have conversation hearts on them. :)

Ok, that's all for now. Just remember you don't always have to work hours in the kitchen to whip up something great!

Anniseed Braid

Do you like Anise or licorice? Well, I don't like licorice but I LOVE the taste of Anise. So when I picked some up this weekend I just had to bake something with it! I found this great recipe for an Aniseed Braid. This recipe makes two braids, so cut it in half if you would like only one. (That's what I did.)


Ok, do you love Peanut Butter and Chocolate as much as we do? If so, this dessert is for you! They look like Ohio Buckeyes when they are done and taste just heavenly. :)

There are a lot of recipes for these online, and I have not tried them all, but this one is simple and yummy! The recipe says it yields about 30, and since I was just trying it I thought I would do a half batch. I'm glad I did because it made over 35 for me and that was just half of it! So beware . . . Here's the link to the recipe. After I mix the peanut butter mixture up and made balls, I froze them for 1 hour. Then I made a make shift double boiler for the chocolate chips with a glass casserole dish over a pot with boiling water in the bottom. It acutally worked really well too, so don't fret if you don't have a double boiler! :)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Yummy Whole Wheat Bread

My sister recommended this recipe to me, and we were very delighted with the results!  Try some for yourself!  :)

Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon Rolls:

1 "loaf" of this bread dough

1/2 c. Light Brown Sugar

1 tsp. Cinnamon (Use whichever you prefer, I used Ceylon because it's sweet and delicious!)


4 Tbsp. Fat Free Cream Cheese (You could also use low fat or regular)

1 Tbsp. Margarine

3 c. Powdered Sugar

1. To make cinnamon mixture just combine Brown sugar and cinnamon.

2. Divide dough into thirds. Take one third and roll out to about 1/4 thick. Use flour so it doesn't stick to the board.

3. Evenly spread 1/3 of the cinnamon mixture over the rolled out dough and roll up tightly.

4. With a sharp knife, cut diagonally (so the rolls will be bigger) and discard the ends.

5. Repeat with the 2nd and 3rd thirds of the dough.

6. Place on a baking sheet, they can be close to each other. Just put as many as you can on the sheet. Probably 30 will fit on a sheet.

7. Let rise for 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 350degrees.

8. Bake for 9 minutes, or until done.

9. While they are baking soften the margarine and cream cheese.

10. Mix the three ingredients for icing until well combined and smooth.

11. As soon as the cinnamon rolls are out of the oven frost them with the icing! Enjoy! :)

Baked Chicken Nuggets

4 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
1 c. Bread Crumbs (Plain or Italian)

1. Rinse off pieces of chicken with water.
2. Dip* in bread crumbs and cover thoroughly.
3. Place on baking sheet** and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

*No need to dip in egg or butter, because the crumbs stick to the chicken.
**Also no need to grease the pan.

Applesauce instead of oil

Alright, I'm on this quest to eat healthier and still be able to eat things I like. :) So, when I was making some of my very, very favorite cupcakes (sorry another fabulous family recipe) I thought I would use half all purpose flour and half whole wheat flour. Then I also wanted to get rid of the fat of the oil, so I substituted 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce for the 1/3 cup oil. I must say, they turned out just wonderfully, as always and seriously no one could EVER tell the difference! Just get creative with recipes you love. Then you can cut the fat and calories and add nutrition! :)

Have fun baking and substitute applesauce next time in something! I am definitely going to try this the next time I make a quick bread too. :)

An eighth note on Ground Turkey

Ok, today I just had to buy some more ground turkey because it went over so well last week! This time I was at Wal-mart and bought the kind in 1 lb. tube that comes frozen. It was only $1.92 so I bought a couple. (That's the regular price which is quite a steal...)

I don't know about you but I typically don't buy the tubes of meat because they are a pain to use. Anyway, I have come up with this system and my husband thought it worked so well that I should share it with all of you. So here it goes . . .

These are instructions for when you are ready to use the meat out of the tube and didn't have time to defrost it in the fridge.

1. Take the tube out of the freezer and place it on a microwave safe plate. Then place the plate with tube into the microwave for 45 sec. WARNING: I really cannot recommend putting the tubes with metal in the microwave because of spark/fire danger. I also cannot control what you do, so that said please BE CAREFUL! Always watch the contents of the microwave to see how it is all doing.

2. Take the plate/tube out of the microwave and place on the counter. Grab a sharp knife and slit the tube from end to end. Then set the knife down and carefully pull the frozen turkey (or beef) out of the tube package. Viola! It's out and way easier than other alternatives...

3. Place the turkey back on the plate and place back in the microwave for 1 minute. (Discard the package.)

4. Take the plate out of the microwave and with a spoon scrape off the thawed meat and put into mixing bowl. (The mixing bowl does not go into the microwave, it sits on the counter.)

5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until the meat it completely thawed and in the bowl.

6. Prepare the meat as you wish, whether it is meatballs, meatloaf, tacos or a new creation!

Enjoy and I hope these instructions were useful! :)

Dessert Pizza

Dessert Pizza:
Use the same dough as my regular pizza, and recipe is below as well.
1-3 c. fruit of your choice (cook apples on stove beforehand but blueberries cooked fine in the oven.)
1/4 c. Flour
1/2 c. Brown/Granulated Sugar
1 Tbsp. Butter/Margarine

1 package active dry yeast
3/4 c. warm water
1 c. All Purpose Flour
1 c. Whole Wheat Flour
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Sugar (or Honey)
Olive oil to brush on crust

1. Start by adding the yeast to the warm water and stir.
2. Mix in the rest of the ingredients into the yeast mixture.
3. Once well combined, let rise for 30 minutes.
4. Punch down, turn and let rise another 30 minutes.
5. After the dough is done with the second rise, place it on a pizza pan evenly spreading it to the edges. (I used one with wholes in it so it is nice and crisp on the bottom.)
6. Bake dough for 4 minutes at 400 degrees.
7. Spread fruit evenly across dough.
8. Mix streusel ingredients (flour, sugar and butter) together with a fork, and sprinkle on top of the pizza.
9. Bake dessert pizza for about 13 minutes at 400 degrees.

Yum. :)


Here's my recipe:


1 package active dry yeast

3/4 c. warm water

1 c. All Purpose Flour

1 c. Whole Wheat Flour

1 Tbsp. Olive Oil

1/2 tsp. Salt

1 tsp. Sugar (or Honey)

Olive oil to brush on crust


Your favorite sauce (I used Barilla's Tomato and Basil)

1.5 c. Italian Cheese Mix (or Mozzarella)



(Really, any toppings of your choice here!)

1. Start by adding the yeast to the warm water and stir.

2. Mix in the rest of the ingredients into the yeast mixture.

3. Once well combined, let rise for 30 minutes.

4. Punch down, turn and let rise another 30 minutes.

5. After the dough is done with the second rise, place it on a pizza pan evenly spreading it to the edges. (I used one with wholes in it so it is nice and crisp on the bottom.)

6. Spread the sauce, cheese and toppings on top of the dough.

7. Go around the edge of the crust and brush with the Olive Oil.

8. Bake in a 400degree oven for about 20minutes. (Or until done)

If you see my picture above you may wonder why the pepperoni isn't all over the pizza. That is because I just wanted Mushroom on my pieces. :)



1lb. Ground meat (I used turkey, but you could use beef.)

2 Eggs

1 c. Warm water

1 c. Whole bran cereal (I used Grape Nuts, but you could use bran flakes, etc.)

1/3 c. Parmesan cheese (Grated is fine.)

1 Tbsp. Onion flakes

1 tsp. Oregano

1 tsp. Parsley

1 tsp. Basil

1/2 tsp. Salt

Dash of Pepper

1. In a large mixing bowl soak bran cereal in the warm water for about 5 minutes.

2. Add the remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly.

3. Shape into balls, or use a metal (so you can sanitize it later) cookie scoop and place on baking sheet.

3. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Yields about 55 meatballs.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...