Dare I say I have created a world's first!? I don't know...maybe!? While quilting has taken a back burner for the last couple of months there is always one thing I can count on doing, no matter how busy life gets, and that is eating...and cooking...and keeping the kids' stomachs full and happy :)
Faced with a large tub of greek yogurt, 1 lonely ripe banana and 3 hot and hungry kids, I decided to make bananas foster popsicles....only, I couldn't find a recipe!? So, I decided to invent one of my own! Here's what I came up with!
Creamy Bananas Foster Popsicles
(with my molds, which are smaller, I yielded 6 popsicles -- this will vary based on your molds...)
1 ripe Banana
1/8 cup Brown Sugar
1/8 tsp Allspice
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
1 cup Plain Greek Yogurt
In a small bowl, mash banana and add all remaining ingredients EXCEPT for the yogurt. Mix to combine.
Add banana mix to a small saucepan and heat over medium low heat for 3-4 min or until sugar has dissolved.
Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
Once cooled, add yogurt to the saucepan and mix completely. Next spoon yogurt/banana mixture into popsicle molds. Place in freezer and wait....overnight is best, but check after 4-6 hours, if you're lucky, they might be ready!
Note: To make this an adult version add Rum! Or even rum flavoring from the spice aisle....I'm going to try it on the next go -- I'll let you know how it turns out!
Although my expectations weren't high, I was blown away by these! Such a perfect summer treat! The kids devoured them, and I, well...am about to have my second one of the day! I hope you give them a try!
I came across a lovely looking recipe over at The View From The Great Island for Saucy Asian Meatballs. It looked eerily similar to the Lettuce Wraps recipe I posted a while back, only in a more compact, eater friendly, meatball form! What's not to love!? I made this recipe for dinner tonight, and it did not disappoint! Deliciously simple -- great on it's own or it would also make an amazing appetizer or finger food for your next gathering!I'm sure that I have mentioned before that I am not a big red meat eater, so I naturally changed this recipe to suit my tastes and used ground turkey instead of ground beef and/or pork -- the results? Awesome! Not only awesomely tasty but awesomely lower in fat than the original recipe! Saucy Asian Meatballs (Lower Fat Version)Makes Aprox. 24 one to one and half inch meatballsIngredients:Meatballs:1 Lb Ground Turkey1 Egg1 tsp Sesame Oil1/2 Cup Bread Crumbs1/4 tsp Ground Ginger1/2 Tbs Minced Garlic Cloves1/4 Cup FINELY sliced Green OnionsSalt and Pepper to tasteSauce:1/2 of a 7 oz Jar Hoisin Sauce1/8 Cup Rice Vinegar1 Minced Garlic Clove1 Tbs Soy Sauce1/2 tsp Sesame Oil1/2 tsp Ground GingerSesame Seeds for GarnishDirections:Preheat Oven to 400 degrees. Generously spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.Combine all meatball ingredients in a large bowl. Using your hands or a large spoon, mix ingredients until well incorporated. Next, shape meat into meatballs: mine came out to about 1 - 1.5 inches. Place rolled meatballs onto greased baking sheet.Bake for 10 min at 400 degrees. After 10 min, flip the oven to Broil and Broil on HIGH for 3-4 min until meatballs are nicely browned and slightly crisp. While meatballs are baking, whisk together the sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.Once meatballs are baked, remove from oven and let cool slightly. If you are ready to eat, GENTLY toss the baked meatballs with the sauce mixture...careful, you don't want to bust any balls :/ (errrrr.....ok, I had to go there, it's a meatball recipe after all!) hehee! If you aren't ready to eat, simply place the baked meatballs into a crock pot set on warm, drizzle with sauce, cover and let sit until ready to eat...before serving, sprinkle sesame seeds over top.Just to give you an example of how flexible this recipe is, I baked my meatballs around noonish and had them sit in the crock pot until dinner time at 5:00ish and they tasted great!
*This recipe has really surprised me with its popularity! Please feel free to share my recipe on your own blog, I just ask that you please link it back to this post as a reference for the original Slim Potato Casserole -- thanks!*
Here is a recipe that I came up with, out of necessity, one lazy weekend morning...it is a wonderfully awesome alternative to the classic hash brown casserole!! No canned soups, no sour cream and every bit as tasty as the original -- in fact, I prefer this recipe to the original...perhaps it's because I know I can eat that much more without the guilt :) I hope you give this recipe a try and let me know what you think!?
I found and interesting fact: Never bake with metal pans when using yogurt, the yougurt's acidity will react with the metal and result in bad taste! Use glass or ceramic instead. You can find more info about cooking/baking with yogurt here
SLIM POTATO CASSEROLE:
1 (32oz) bag frozen SHREDDED Hash Browns
1 1/2 cups plain Greek Yogurt
1/2 cup Chicken Broth
1/2 cup Milk (at least 2%)
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1 tsp Onion Powder
1 tsp Season All Salt
1/2 tsp Italian Seasoning
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
1 cup Shredded Cheese (of your choice...but be sure it is NOT low-fat)
Salt and Pepper to taste
*Although this recipe is much lower in fat/calories than the traditional, it still needs some fat to make sure the ingredients bind while cooking...that is why I suggest 2% milk and regular cheese...if you use low fat everything, it will turn out watery....
PreHeat Oven to 350 degrees.
Combine all ingredients into a large bowl. Grease a 9 X 13 glass or ceramic (no metal!) baking pan with cooking spray. Pour potato mixture into baking pan and spread evenly. Bake uncovered for 55 min.
*I have never encountered this, but if you are worried about the yogurt curdling, try mixing in 1.5 Tbs of flour to the potato mixture before pouring into the baking pan*
I have a wonderful quilt to share with you in the upcoming weeks, but for now I must keep it under wraps as it is going to be a gift for someone close to me :) Until then, I would like to share with you a, nothing short of amazing, dessert that I made for Easter
I apologize again for the lighting, by the time I got around to cleaning up after Easter dinner and grabbing my camera, it was already pitch black outside...
You can find the recipe for this lovely fruit tart at Eat Yourself Skinny (note: I chose to make the unskinny version of Eat Yourself Skinny's recipe :) I'm sure the skinny version is delicious as well, however I only had the unskinny ingredients on hand...) I also think this tart would be awesome with blueberry or raspberry substitutions! A very simple recipe with an amazing presentation!
Well, I MUST be feeling better because I just wolfed down a bunch of these amazing lettuce wraps for dinner!! Please give these a try -- as with most of the recipes I share, this one is simple to prepare (I had 3 kids hanging on my legs when I cooked mine), flexible, doesn't dirty a kitchen full of dishes, and packs a lot of flavor punch!
I originally found this recipe on AllRecipes.com and adapted it to fit my tastes
1 Big Head of Boston Bibb Lettuce
1 Lb Ground Turkey
1 Large Onion, Chopped
2 Cloves of Garlic, Chopped
2 Tbs Soy Sauce
1/2 Cup Hoisin Sauce
1 tsp Ground Ginger
1 Tbs Rice Wine Vinegar
2 tsp. Sesame Oil
1-2 Tbs Garlic Chili Sauce (I used 2 and it was perfectly spicy...if you have a more sensitive palate use 1 or omit all together)
1 (8oz) Can of Water Chestnuts, Chopped
1 Bunch of Green Onions, Chopped
Cooked Rice (optional)
Add ground turkey to a large skillet and cook over medium high heat until completely browned. Drain any excess fat. Add chopped white onion and garlic and cook until onion becomes soft, about 3-4 min. Add remaining ingredients. Stir to incorporate. Turn off heat and cover to keep warm.
Carefully separate individual leaves from the lettuce head. Wash each leaf thoroughly and place on paper towels to dry. Pat the tops of the leaves with more paper towels to dry further, being careful not to tear the leaves. PRINT THIS RECIPE
To eat, treat the lettuce as you would a tortilla. Place rice and meat mixture on top of a piece of lettuce, fold the ends of the leaf inwards and roll to close the leaf -- enjoy!
Grilling season is fast approaching! I decided to kick-off spring with some, long overdue, grilled burgers! I don't fix red meat very often -- we are a ground turkey kind of family (although my husband wishes it would be otherwise...) So, because I was using ground beef for these particular burgers, I wanted them to be special and full of flavor! This recipe did not disappoint! The most flavorful and juicy burgers I have EVER had...no joke. I found a recipe online, but did a lot of tweaking to fit my flavor-craving tastes.
BEST BURGER MARINADE:
1/2 cup Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 cup Soy Sauce
1 tsp Garlic powder
1 tsp Onion Powder
1 Tbs Black Pepper
1 tsp Italian Seasoning
1 tsp Yellow Mustard
1 Tbs Brown Sugar
Mix all ingredients well in a small bowl. Form burgers into patties and lay onto the bottom of a glass baking dish. Pour marinade over formed burgers. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator. Allow burgers to marinade for at least 1 hour. Grill as usual. I grilled my one inch thick patties at 375 degrees for 6 min on each side. *Only flip your burgers ONCE and NEVER press the patties!!!*
I would imagine that this marinade would work well with turkey burgers or ever salmon burgers -- let me know if you try it!
Every time I visit family, we inevitably end up eating, at least once, at the greatest bruschetta restaurant....ever. Postinos, is known in the local area, and beyond, for its famous and delicious bruschetta selections. If you are ever in the Scottsdale, AZ vicinity, walk (...no run) to Postinos! Because I am only in AZ a couple of times a year, I am not able to have their bruschetta at my beck and call....so I decided to make it myself! Well, my busy mom version of bruschetta...
Postinos has a never ending variety of bruschetta on hand, but the last time I visited, the fig, apple and brie stood out to me the most. Sweet and savory rolled into one delicious bite after the next! Here's my version:
Sliced Wheat Sandwich Bread or Cinnamon Raisin Bread (yow-zers!)
Baby Brie Cheese Wheel
Sliced Granny Smith Apples
Fig Butter (butter is really the best because it is less sweet than jam or other fig spreads)
Toast 2 pieces of sandwich bread in your toaster to desired crispness (in my opinion, the crispier, the better). While waiting on the bread, cut a few sections of brie from the cheese wheel, remove rind. Cut about 2/3 of a granny smith apple into small slices, set aside. When bread has toasted, spread brie over the top of warm toast. Next spread a layer of fig butter over the brie. Add sliced apples on top of the fig butter, and finally, drizzle with honey!
That's it, enjoy! This little snack is so irresistible -- I have literally had this for lunch every day this week! And although it surely doesn't look as pretty as the Postinos version, it tastes just as good and is a quick, healthy eat for a busy mom!
Another great recipe to share! Fruit Butter Bars -- adapted from a recipe I found over at 52 Kitchen Adventures -- I added a few more grains and spices to the recipe and played around with two different fruit butters, the results were delicious!
FRUIT BUTTER BARS
6 T Butter, softened
1/2 Cup + 2 T Brown Sugar
2 T Milk
1 1/4 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
1 1/4 Cup All Purpose Flour
2 T Wheat Germ
2 T Oat Bran
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/8 tsp Nutmeg
1/2 tsp Salt
1 Cup Fruit Butter (I used Fig and Mango)
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
- Cream butter and brown sugar in a large bowl
- Add milk and whip until light and fluffy
- Add eggs, one at a time, mixing until combined after each addition
- Add dry ingredients (baking faux pas...) and mix until soft dough forms
- Collect dough into a ball, cover with seran wrap and place in fridge for 4 hours, or overnight
- Divided chilled dough into fourths. Set aside one fourth, return the remaining three sections to the fridge
- Roll our dough section into a 1/4 inch thick rectangle
- Working quickly (dough becomes very soft when it warms) spread 1/4 cup of fruit butter on top of the dough, leaving a small edge.
- Fold the dough in half, enveloping the fruit butter, and press edges gently to seal.
- Place dough onto baking sheet and repeat for the remaining sections of dough
- Bake for 20 min or until golden brown.
- Place on cooling rack. Cut into squares after bars have cooled.
I recommend dividing the dough into fourths, instead of halves because I found it very difficult to work with in the larger quantity. Be sure to work quickly, because once the dough comes out of the fridge it gets soft fast! Also, don't worry about the rolled dough shape being a perfect rectangle, or the edges coming together perfectly once you fold the dough over -- I liked the way mine turned out rustic looking! These would be awesome with any fruit butter, apple may be next on my list!
After all, with something that tastes this good, you're not going to think twice about the way that they look :) Enjoy! Oh, and I promise to post about sewing/crafting again soon...I've been working on a few projects and have yet to get one completely finished...soon!
I think I may have just won the breakfast lottery....I am sick and tired of giving my kids the same ole breakfast morning after morning --waffles, pancakes, toast, cereal or oatmeal -- it is time for a change. I found a recipe for Morning Glory Muffins on AllRecipes.com, but ended up changing almost everything about the recipe to fit the ingredients I actually had on hand....I was very skeptical as I shoved the muffins in the oven to bake, hoping I would end up with something somewhat edible....what resulted was nothing short of a-mazing. And, healthy to boot! Here's what I came up with:
(sorry for the poor lighting...it's raining here today and I am majorly lacking natural light)
Early Bird Muffins
Makes about 21 muffins (I know an odd number...)
Oven 375 Degrees
2 cups of Flour
1 1/4 cups Sugar
1 Tbs. Cinnamon
2 tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3 Apples, peeled, cored and chopped
1 Banana, peeled and chopped
1 cup Raisins
1/2 cup Apple Sauce
1/4 cup Vegetable Oil
1 Tbs Vanilla Extract
1/4 cup Almonds, chopped
2 Tbs Wheat Germ
1/2 T Cinnamon
1/2 T Brown Sugar
Preheat oven to 375. In a large bowl combine all of the dry ingredients, stir to combine. Next add the remaining ingredients, stir to combine....now, I know somewhere in bake-land I am committing a mortal sin by telling you to just dump everything in a bowl and stir....but that's how I do it, because I don't have the patience to do it any other way :)
For the topping, pour almonds into a food processor and chop to desired consistency. Combine chopped almonds and remaining topping ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.
Line muffin pan with baking cups and spoon muffin batter into individual cups. I filled mine almost entirely full...this is the one circumstance when I feel a big muffin top is a good thing ;) Next, sprinkle topping mixture over muffin batter. Place in oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.
I am so happy that these turned out as well as they did! They will definitely be on a regular breakfast rotation from now on...I think my toaster will thank me :)
Another wonderful recipe to share with you! We actually had this for dinner tonight, and it was so good that I couldn't wait until tomorrow to share it! The following recipe is adapted from one I found over at SmittenKitchen's Blog -- I made some preference changes and added a few of my own 'twists' -- hope you enjoy! INGREDIENTS: (MAKES 2 GENEROUS PORTIONS)8-10 Roma Tomatoes, halved lengthwise2 Tbs Olive OIl3 cloves of Garlic, unpeeledOnion PowderItalian SeasoningBlack PepperSaltPinch of Sugar
1 cup Chicken BrothHandful fresh Spinach Leaves4 slices of Sourdough Bread4 slices of Sharp Cheddar CheeseOlive Oil
DIRECTIONS:Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
Lay halved tomatoes, face up, in a shallow baking pan. Sprinkle onion powder, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper over tomatoes to your taste. Drizzle olive oil over seasoned tomatoes.
Wrap unpeeled garlic cloves in a tight tin foil packet. Place packet in the pan with the tomatoes. Roast the tomatoes/garlic in oven for 1 hour.
Remove tomatoes and allow to cool slightly. Unwrap and peel the roasted garlic. Add tomatoes, peeled garlic and 1/2 cup of chicken broth to a blender. Puree to desired consistency.
Pour pureed tomatoes into a pot over medium low heat. Add a healthy pinch of sugar and remaining chicken broth, more broth if you prefer your soup thinner.
While soup is staying warm. Add a handful of fresh spinach leaves to the same pan you used to roast the tomatoes. Stir the leaves to coat with the remaining olive oil. Broil on high until leaves are wilted and crisp....watch out! It happens fast!
For the cheese panini: I used my George Foreman Grill (yes, we still have one of those...and it is the BEST panini press!) Spread olive oil on one side of each of the sourdough slices. Place two slices of bread, olive oil side down, on the heated grill. Top each piece with two slices of cheese. Top the cheese with the remaining slice of bread, olive oil side up. Close the grill and cook about 3-4 min until nice and toasty!
Mmmm, Mmmm Good!