Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Spider Cider

Spider Cider

This is just a cute name for an orange juice based hot cider.  

In a saucepan heat 3 c orange juice, 4 cinnamon sticks, 1 tsp nutmeg, 1 tsp cloves, 1/2 c brown sugar and 1/4 c honey.  Stir well and keep or serve.  

To make the cups a bit more festive this Halloween evening, I drew some spiderwebs on the mason jars and a few colored paper straws for fun!

We are planning on a hot cup when we get home from our Fall Festival tonight!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Fall S'more Owls

Fall S'more Owls

My boys like dressing up for the fun of Halloween, but my hubby and I aren't big on the spooky aspect that comes with Halloween so we have fun with other decorative and baking options - this is one of them!

Super easy ...

Break graham crackers in half so the two rectangular parts are still stuck together.  Slice a large marshmallow in half and place the sticky sides up, side by side.  

I then placed yellow Wilton candy melts with the dollop side down on top of the marshmallow's sticky side up.  By placing these sides together it will help the other pieces melt and stick best.

Place in the microwave for about 5 seconds - just enough for the marshmallow to puff up a bit.  Gently press the yellow candy into the marshmallow.  Immediately place a chocolate chip on top of each candy melt and a candy corn in the center.

Such a quick and yummy treat for the Fall season

Friday, October 26, 2012

Buttercream Frosting

Buttercream Frosting

In a small saucepan cook 4 tbsp flour with 1 c milk, stirring constantly until the texture becomes thick like a paste.  Let it cool to room temperature.

With an electric mixer, beat 1 c softened butter with 1 c sugar until creamy.

Beat both mixtures together on high speed until smooth and then add 1 tsp vanilla- give it another minute to mix.

Refrigerate for about 30 minutes and then use on your baked goods!

Braydon and I used it to top our pumpkin ginger cupcakes this morning instead of using our cream cheese frosting recipe!

Turkey Lasagna Improv

Turkey Lasagna Improv

Last night I had prepped and started dinner with Lasagna as the plan ... until I realized I was a few lasagna noodles short to finish the dinner- SO, I continued as planned but instead of using the lasagna noodles in layering dish, I used Radiatori noodles since that is what I had on hand.  Granted, the noodles didn't hold the shape of a classic lasagna, but the taste was just as good!

To get started, begin boiling noodles in a pot and at the same time place oil in a deep pan with about 1 1/2 tbsp minced garlic and 3/4 c diced onions.  Let cook until it begins to brown and add 1 pound ground turkey.  I seasoned my turkey with basil, red pepper and a few other italian seasonings- feel free to season to your liking.  Once the turkey has cooked completely, add about 1/2 c diced tomatoes, 1/2 c milk and a can of tomato sauce.  Continue to cook on a low/medium simmer to incorporate your flavors, but not so much to where the turkey will begin to dry out.  

At this point, add 15 ounces of fresh ricotta cheese, 1/2 c of monterey jack cheese and 1/4 c of parmesan cheese.  Stir well to mix in with the turkey.  

The noodles should now be boiled and drained.  

Prepare a 9 x13 pan and coat the bottom with 2 c of the turkey/sauce.  Then cover with noodles.  I added a complete layer of provolone cheese to the top of the noodles and then repeated the process again with more turkey/sauce, noodles and provolone cheese- I topped with a bit of parsley at the end for extra garnish. 

Bake for 30 minutes at 350*

As always, using ground turkey instead of ground beef and non-fat/low-fat options of cheeses and milks will lower your fat and calorie intakes.

This was a big hit and made enough for leftovers for tonight!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Kid Approved Mac and Cheese

Kid Approved Mac and Cheese

My boys love the Kraft Mac and Cheese, but I don't like that is a processed food, SO I tried a few recipes, altered measurements and I think I have figured out a homemade rendition!

Boil noodles and drain them- add 5-6 tbsp butter to the noodles with a can of chedder cheese soup.  Mix together until it has melted.  Then add 3/4 of a can of evaporated milk and 2 c of shredded cheddar cheese.  Add or take away more or less cheese upon your preference.  Continue to stir on low heat until everything is creamy and cheesy.  

To try to cut down on the fat intake since there is a lot of potential here, use Smart Balance instead of your butter, the Campbell's Healthy Request version of the Cheddar Cheese Soup and Fat Free evaporated milk.  The taste truly is just as good and you can feel good about giving your kids a better option to boxed mac and cheese!!  

Monday, October 1, 2012

Italian Panko Breaded Chicken with Melted Provolone Cheese

Italian Panko Breaded Chicken with Melted Provolone Cheese

This meal is really easy and super tasty!  Defrost as many chicken breasts as your family will eat, I took out 3.  

In a ziploc bag pour in about 2 1/2 c panko bread crumbs, 1/4 c onion, a dash of red pepper, 1 tsp oregano, 1 tsp basil and 1/2 tsp rosemary.  Be sure to mix all the seasonings together.  

In a separate bowl pour in enough italian dressing to completely coat the chicken.  If you have time in advance, marinating the chicken as long as possible will increase the flavors!  In the event that you are preparing all at once, simply dip each piece of chicken in the dressing and then in the panko bread crumbs and place in a prepared baking pan.  

Preheat your oven to 350.  Once all the chicken has been dipped in the dressing and the bread crumbs, top with provolone cheese and bake, covered for 40 minutes.  Remove the lid or foil and continue to bake until the cheese has become golden brown.  

Serve with your favorite side or vegetable and enjoy!