Monthly Archives: April 2012

Vanilla Granola

I know you’re thinking to yourself, “Goodness gracious, does she eat anything else but granola?” I do. Honest. But I also really like granola and really enjoy making up different batches/flavors.

5 cups old fashined rolled oats
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup wheat germ
1 cup unsweetened coconut
1.5- 2 cups chopped pecans and/or sliced almonds
2 T vanilla
1/4 cup water
1 cup honey
1/2 cup vegetable oil
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

Mix all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.

Spread granola out on a greased cookie sheet that has sides.

Bake approximately 1 1/2 hours.

Remove from oven, cool and store in air tight containers.

What did the family think? I am the only one who has had any of this version and I love it. It’s one of my favorites.

Where did this recipe come from? Katie Did

photo from Feasts and Fotos

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Filed under After School Snacks, Breakfast, Definitely Making it Again, Easy, Vegetarian

Peanut Butter and Banana Smoothie

I love trying new smoothie recipes, so when I saw this one over at The Gracious Pantry, I knew I had to try it. I love it because it has a fruit, a veggie, protein and dairy.

1 cup unsweetened almond milk (I used unsweetened soy milk)
1 cup spinach
1 banana
1 T peanut butter, no sugar added
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Blend together and enjoy.

What did the family think? I am the only one who’s had this, but I will tell you it’s very yummy. If you’re afraid of it tasting too spinachy, don’t worry. All you taste is the peanut butter and banana.

Where did this recipe come from? The Gracious Pantry

photo from Urban Chickpea

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Filed under After School Snacks, Beverages, Breakfast, Definitely Making it Again, Easy, Six Ingredients or Less, Super Easy to Make, Vegetarian

CrockPot Thai Chicken Thighs

We love Thai food in our house. Hubby likes it for the heat and the boys like it because it often involves peanuts or peanut butter.


4-6 chicken thighs bone in or out (take off skin)
1 16 oz jar salsa (no beans or corn in it, medium)
1/3 cup natural creamy peanut butter
1 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
2 T fresh lime juice
1 1/2 T soy sauce
Crushed peanuts, garnish

Mix all ingredients together and pour over chicken in CrockPot.

Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4-6 hours.

Serve over rice and sprinkle with crushed peanuts.

What did the family think? Hubby and I liked it. I am not a huge fan of chicken from the CrockPot, but this was good. I would have liked it better if it had been a little spicier. Next time I might add some Rooster sauce or chili peppers to kick up the notch a little or maybe use spicier salsa.

Where did this recipe come from? I got it from Crockin’ Girls’ Facebook page.

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Filed under Chicken, Make Ahead of Time, Six Ingredients or Less, Super Easy to Make

Cakey Brownies

I am not a huge brownie/cake fan. I am more of a pie kind of girl, but sometimes my husband just needs his chocolate fix. He and the boys were thumbing through Food Network Magazine and were fairly fascinated with all of the brownie recipes they had in one of their issues. It became clear to me that they all wanted some brownies and since I needed to make something for an event we were going to later on in the day anyways….well, it was time to make the brownies.

1 3/4 cups flour
3 T cocoa powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
2 sticks butter
2 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 cup water
6 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped (I just used chocolate chips.)
5 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
Powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Coat a 9 x 13-inch pan with cooking spray.

Whisk flour, cocoa powder salt and baking powder in a medium bowl.

Bring butter, brown sugar and water to simmer in a saucepan.

Off the heat, whisk in chocolate.

Let the butter/sugar/chocolate mixture cool for about ten minutes.

Whisk in eggs one at a time and then add vanilla.

Stir in the flour mixture.

Spread in the pan and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean.

Let cool and then sprinkle with powdered sugar.

What did the family think? The family as well as the people at the event we went to all gave them a thumbs up.

Where did this recipe come from? Food Network Magazine

photo from Following God Every Day

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Filed under After School Snacks, Desserts, Vegetarian

Enchiladas in Salsa Verde

These are SO good, not necessarily good for you…that’s a whole lotta sour cream, but VERY tasty. What was also great is that I assembled everything ahead of time and put it in the refrigerator and then that night when we got home I just put it in the oven which meant we got to sit down to dinner a whole lot earlier.

8 flour tortillas
2 cups shredded chicken
3/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup cheddar cheese (shredded)
1/2 cup monterey jack cheese (shredded)
2 cups salsa verde

Preheat oven to 350F.

Prepare the filling by mixing the chicken, sour cream and half of the cheese.

Place 1/2 cup of the green sauce in the baking dish.

Dip a tortilla in the green sauce.

Place the filling in the tortilla, wrap and place in baking dish seam down. Repeat until all of the filling has been used.

Cover with remaining green sauce and top with remaining cheese.

Bake in oven for 15 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and it’s warmed through.

What did the family think? Hubby and I really liked these and there was enough for leftovers for lunch which is always a bonus. I think the green sauce scared the kids. They don’t know what they’re missing.

Did I change anything? I reduced the amount of sour cream. The change is reflected in the recipe above.

Where did this recipe come from? Closet Cooking

photo from Closet Cooking

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Filed under Chicken, Definitely Making it Again, Easy, Mexican, Six Ingredients or Less

Rosemary Ranch Grilled Chicken

This was a huge hit in our house and was easy to prepare. You just have to remember to start marinating it in the morning…that’s the hardest part of the whole thing.

1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup ranch dressing
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste
1 tablespoon white sugar, or to taste
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

In a medium bowl, stir together the olive oil, ranch dressing, Worcestershire sauce, rosemary, salt, lemon juice, white vinegar, pepper, and sugar. Let stand for 5 minutes.

Pound chicken breast to 1/4″ thickness. Place chicken in the gallon size ziplock bag, and stir to coat with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours (all day).

Preheat the grill for medium-high heat. Grill chicken for 8 to 12 minutes, or until the chicken is no longer pink in the center, and the juices run clear.

What did the family think? So tasty and full of flavor…all of that marinating is worth it. Our youngest didn’t even attempt to try it because it’s chicken. He doesn’t do chicken. Period.

Where did this recipe come from? I got it from Plain Chicken and they got it from Allrecipes.

photo from Plain Chicken

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Filed under Chicken, Definitely Making it Again, Easy, Make Ahead of Time

Nutty Cashew Granola

I have been on a homemade granola kick ever since I tried this recipe and realized that homemade granola is a lot easier than I thought it would be. I like the nuttiness of this one. The only thing I think it’s missing is some raisins, but that’s easily fixed.

3 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup cashew pieces
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon grated or ground nutmeg
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup honey
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Also need – parchment paper

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Cover a rectangular baking sheet with parchment paper.

Mix the dry oats, almonds, cashews, coconut, seeds and spices together in a large mixing bowl.

Heat the butter and honey together in a small saucepan over low heat. Once the butter melts stir in the vanilla.

Pour the hot liquids over the dry ingredients and stir together with a rubber spatula until evenly coated.

Spread mixture onto prepared pan in one even layer. Bake for 75 minutes. Stir every 20 minutes or so while it’s baking.

Store in air tight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

What did the family think? I am pretty much the only granola eater in our house

Did I change anything? I added some raisins after it was done baking, but it’s good without the raisins, too.

Where did this recipe come from? 100 Days of Real Food

photo from Etsy

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Filed under After School Snacks, Breakfast, Definitely Making it Again, Easy, Make Ahead of Time, Vegetarian

Spicy Thai Peanut Enchiladas

Holy smokes these were good and I am super excited there were leftovers since that means I get to eat them again for lunch!

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 red bell pepper (thinly sliced)
2 green onions (sliced)
1 large carrot (julienned)
1 cups broccoli
1 cup cooked shredded chicken
1 handful cilantro (chopped)
1 cup spicy Thai peanut sauce
4 (8 inch) tortillas
1 cup jack and cheddar cheese (grated)
1/2 fresh jalepeno (sliced)
Cilantro and crushed peanuts, garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Heat the oil in a pan.

Add the red pepper and saute until tender.

Add the green onion, carrot, broccoli and jalepeno and saute until tender.

Remove from heat.

Mix in the chicken, cilantro and 1/2 cup of the peanut sauce.

Spread some of the peanut sauce over the bottom of a baking dish.

Place some of the filling in a tortilla, wrap it up and place it in a baking dish seam side down. Repeat for the remaining tortillas.

Pour the remaining peanut sauce over the enchiladas and sprinkle on the cheese.

Bake until the sides are bubbling and the cheese is melted about 20-30 minutes.

Serve garnished with chopped peanuts and cilantro.

What did the family think? These were too spicy for the boys, but hubby and I thought these were delis. I love all of the veggies and the spiciness. Yum!

Did I change anything? The original recipe called for sprouts, but I didn’t have any sprouts, but I did have broccoli. Also, the original recipe called for an extremely hot pepper. I just went with the jalepeno.

Where did the recipe come from? Closet Cooking

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Filed under Chicken, Definitely Making it Again, Spicy

Easy Slow Cooker Refried Beans

These are super easy, healthy and were a wonderful addition to our taco dinner last night, but (full disclosure here) my house smelled like an onion factory exploded in it and we could smell it before we even got in the garage. I don’t know if I had a super stinky onion or if that’s just what you get when you throw a whole onion in the CrockPot. Ignore the smell, enjoy your beans and then light a candle to get the stink out.

1 onion, peeled and halved
2 cups dry pinto beans, rinsed
½ fresh jalapeno or other hot pepper, seeded and chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
¾ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
One big pinch of cumin
6 cups water

Combine all ingredients in slow cooker.

Cook on high for 8 hours or overnight while you are sleeping.

When done cooking, remove the bigger onion chunks and drain the excess liquid.

Mash remaining beans with a potato masher or the backside of a wooden spoon.

What did the family think? Hubby and I liked them and there were enough for leftovers for the next day for lunch, too. Our kids aren’t huge refried bean fans, so they weren’t a hit with them. I would like to note though that when our youngest was little we had to practically restrain him from literally licking his plate clean when we would have refried beans. Somewhere around the age of three he decided refried beans weren’t for him

Where did this recipe come from? I got it from 100 Days of Real Food and she got it from Allrecipes

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Filed under Definitely Making it Again, Easy, Lent, Make Ahead of Time, Mexican, Side Dish, Super Easy to Make, Vegetarian

Egg Souffle

About the only way we eat eggs around here is scrambled, so for Easter I decided we needed to do something a little “fancier”. These came out great and were an excellent addition to our Easter brunch.

2 T butter
2 T whole-wheat flour
1 cup milk
Salt & pepper
5 eggs
1 cup grated cheddar cheese

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch round baking dish.

Separate the eggs by placing the whites in a separate bowl from the yolks. Whisk the egg whites with a mixer on high speed until soft peaks form and set aside.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Once the foam has subsided, whisk in the whole-wheat flour. Keep whisking until the mixture begins to brown then turn the heat down to low and slowly add the milk while still whisking constantly so lumps do not form. Turn it back up to medium and continue whisking until the milk mixture begins to thicken, about 5 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat and add 1/8 teaspoon salt and a pinch of pepper.

Quickly whisk the egg yolks into the milk mixture without allowing them to cook.

Pour the milk/yolk mixture into the fluffy egg whites and using a rubber spatula carefully fold the two together without crushing the air out of the egg whites. Also add and mix in cheese. Do not overmix.

Scoop the mixture into the prepared baking dish and bake until lightly brown on top, about 20 – 25 minutes. Serve immediately (otherwise the soufflé will “fall”). Enjoy!

What did the family think? Yum!

Where did this recipe come from? 100 Days of Real Food

Photo from More Intelligent Life

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Filed under Breakfast, Definitely Making it Again, Everybody Ate It, Lent, Not so Easy, Six Ingredients or Less, Vegetarian