Monthly Archives: September 2010

Honey Lemon Olive Oil Muffins with Lemon Glaze

From one of my favorite cooking websites, Pinch My Salt.

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup honey (preferably local)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest (from about 2 lemons)
2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice

1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 12-cup muffin tin with non-stick baking spray or line with paper cups (spray the inside of the cups with baking spray to prevent muffins from sticking to the paper).

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until well combined. Set aside. In a separate medium bowl, combine honey, sugar, olive oil, buttermilk, eggs, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Whisk together until well combined.

Pour liquid ingredients into the flour mixture and stir with a wooden spoon just until all of the flour is incorporated. Don’t overmix. Divide batter between muffin cups using a large spoon or mechanical ice cream scoop – the cups should be mostly full.

Bake for 17 – 21 minutes or until the center of a muffin springs back lightly to the touch or a toothpick inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out clean. Check early and watch carefully, they will brown fast.

While muffins are baking, make glaze.

Let muffins cool in pan for 5 minutes then remove to a wire rack. Brush the tops of the muffins with glaze while they are still warm. Let cool completely.

from Pinch My Salt

What did the family think? Our oldest and I really like them. These seem to me to be the kind of muffins that are best with a cup of coffee or hot tea.

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Filed under After School Snacks, Bread, Breakfast, Vegetarian

Italian Chicken with Pasta

My house smelled SO good while this was cooking…

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
3 tsp Italian seasoning
2 tsp garlic powder
7 oz. angel hair pasta
26 oz. jar spaghetti sauce

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Combine Parmesan, Italian seasoning and garlic powder in a small bowl and stir to combine.

Coat each chicken breast with Parmesan mixture. Place each chicken breast in casserole dish sprayed with cooking spray. Bake for 20 minutes or until cooked through.

While chicken is cooking, cook pasta according to package directions and heat up spaghetti sauce (or pasta sauce as we call it in our house).

Serve chicken over top of pasta and pour sauce over everything.

We had this with grapes and a salad.

Did I change anything? The recipe called for 3 T of Italian seasoning and 2 T of garlic powder…that seemed like A LOT to me. The original recipe also called for broiling the chicken.

What did the family think? They loved it!



Filed under Chicken, Easy, Everybody Ate It, Italian, Six Ingredients or Less, Super Easy to Make

Baked Mexi Chicken Wraps

These were made out of the need to get dinner on the table, but I didn’t want to go to the store in the pouring rain. The cupboard was bare since tomorrow is grocery store day and I happened to have everything I needed to make these. They turned out pretty tasty too. 🙂

1 cup bottled salsa, divided
8 oz. sour cream
6 (10-inch) flour tortillas
1 1/2 cups chopped cooked chicken breast
2 T olive oil
1/2 cup onion, chopped
15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
4 oz. can chopped green chilis
2 cups fresh spinach
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1 clove garlic
Cooking spray
3/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until they begin to soften. Add black beans, green chilis, spinach, cumin, chili powder and garlic. Stir until heated through and spinach is wilted.

In a small bowl combine sour cream and 1/2 cup salsa.

Spread sour cream mixture down the center of each tortilla.

Spread chicken down the center of each tortilla and then continue with the black bean mixture.

Roll tortillas up and place seam-side down in a 11 x 7 inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.

Top with 1/2 cup salad and sprinkle with cheese.

Did I change anything? This was inspired by a recipe I found on-line, but I had to change a lot of things since I was working with only what I had on hand.

What did the family think? Sean and I loved these. They were a little on the spicy side, so the boys just picked through and ate the chicken and maybe a few beans.

inspired by a recipe from Cooking Light

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Filed under Chicken, Mexican, Spicy

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Twists

Our oldest has never met a baked good he didn’t like, so when he saw these in last month’s Food Network magazine, he HAD to have them. Today I finally got everything we needed and we made them together after school.

1/2 cup softened cream cheese
1 T cinnamon sugar
1 package refrigerated bread sticks (the kind you smack on the counter to open)
Melted Butter

Beat cream cheese and cinnamon sugar together until smooth.

Spread cream cheese mixture on breadsticks.

Twist and stretch breadsticks and bake as the breadstick label directs.

Brush with melted butter when they come out of the oven.

What did the family think? I had some along with our oldest. They were really good, especially fresh out of the oven. I think the next time we make these, I will sprinkle some cinnamon sugar on top of them so they are more cinnamonny.

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Filed under After School Snacks, Bread, Six Ingredients or Less, Super Easy to Make, Vegetarian

Pumpkin Currant Muffins

I made a batch of these today to give to the boys’ teachers. I had never made them before and they turned out great.

1 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
pinch nutmeg
2 eggs
1/4 cup molasses
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1/2 cup currants

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Grease muffin tins or line with paper cups.

In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg.

In another bowl, whisk together eggs, brown sugar, molasses, oil and pumpkin. Add to flour mixture and and mix with spoon until flour disappears. Stir in currants.

Spoon into muffin cups and bake for 20-25 minutes.

Did I change anything? I didn’t have any currants, so I used raisins and I didn’t have any molasses, so I used maple syrup. I also used a whole can of pumpkin instead of just a cup because I didn’t read the recipe correctly. They turned out great, so I guess it wasn’t a huge mistake.

What did the family think? The family didn’t get any since I made them for the boys’ teachers, but I ate one and they were fantastic.

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Filed under After School Snacks, Bread, Definitely Making it Again, Easy

Spinach and Cheese Pasta Bake

Got this recipe from my good friend, Janelle. She said her whole family ate it up so I thought I would give it a try with mine.

14 oz. box penne pasta
10 oz frozen creamed spinach, defrosted
7 1/2 oz. low fat ricotta cheese
1 cup Mozzarella, shredded
26 oz jar pasta sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cook pasta according to package directions.

In a large mixing bowl, mix together spinach, ricotta and Mozzarella.

When pasta is done and drained, add pasta to spinach mixture. Stir well.

Pour the pasta mixture into a casserole dish. Pour the spaghetti sauce over the pasta making sure to cover as much of the pasta as you can.

Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Did I change anything? I just changed the type of pasta (Janelle stuffed the spinach mixture into manicotti) and I used a whole jar of sauce. Janelle used a cup of sauce. My family LOVES sauce. I also couldn’t find the creamed spinach at my grocery store, so I ended up making my own creamed spinach.

What did the family think? Everyone loved it including our babysitter who was here to watch the boys so we could go to Back to School night at the boys’ school.


Filed under Definitely Making it Again, Easy, Everybody Ate It, Italian, Lent, Six Ingredients or Less, Super Easy to Make, Vegetarian

Chicken Enchiladas Verdes

I have several verdes recipes on here, but we like our verdes. 🙂

2 chicken breasts
16 oz. jar mild salsa verde
2 cups fresh cilantro
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups canned corn
8 oz Monterey Jack cheese, grated
Salt and pepper, to taste
8 6-inch flour tortillas
Tomatoes, sour cream, salsa (for garnish)

Heat oven to 400° F.

Place the chicken in a medium pot, add enough water to cover chicken, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes; remove from pot and let cool. When cool enough to handle, shred the chicken. Place the meat in a large bowl.

In a blender, puree the salsa, cilantro, and ½ cup of the sour cream until smooth. Transfer to a small saucepan and simmer until slightly thickened, 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in the remaining ½ cup sour cream.

Add the corn, ½ cup of the sauce, 1 cup of the cheese, and ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper to the chicken. Toss to combine.

Spread 1 cup of the remaining sauce in the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.

On a separate plate, place the chicken mixture in the tortillas (about ½ cup per tortilla), roll them up and put seam-side down in the baking dish. Top with the remaining sauce and cheese. Bake until bubbling and beginning to brown, 15 to 20 minutes.

Serve with tomatoes, sour cream, and salsa, if desired.

What did the family think? This was not their favorite. Hubby thought it would have been better if I had substituted black beans for the corn. I thought the corn was fine, but maybe there was a little too much of it.

from Real Simple

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Filed under Chicken, Mexican

Chocolate Chip and Pumpkin Muffins with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

My oldest said these were the best “cupcakes” he had EVER eaten…

1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1/2 cup yellow squash puree (baby food)
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup canola oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

8 oz. cream cheese
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Coat a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray or line with paper baking cups.

Put the pumpkin and squash in a large mixing bowl. Add the brown sugar, water, oil and vanilla and beat until well blended.

Next add the flour, baking soda, salt and chocolate chips and mix thoroughly.

Divide the batter among the muffin cups and bake 20-25 minutes.

For the frosting, beat the cream cheese, maple syrup and vanilla together. Spread the frosting over the COOLED muffins.

Did I change anything? I was going to make these without the frosting just to cut down on the sugar, but these really do need the frosting. That said, the consistency of the frosting I made was kind of off. My oldest said it looked like cottage cheese, but that didn’t stop him from eating it all up. 🙂 I think maybe I should have spent the money on name brand cream cheese, maybe that would have helped with the consistency issues.

What did the family think? Our oldest is the only one who has had them so far besides me and he said it was the best cupcake he’s ever eaten. I think he likes it. 🙂

from Deceptively Delicious

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Filed under After School Snacks, Bread, Breakfast, Desserts

Pasta e Fagioli with Italian Sausage (or Meatballs)

This is supposed to be a meatless dish, but to make everyone in the family happy I added some extra protein.

Olive oil
One medium onion, chopped
1 tsp garlic, chopped
2 carrots, sliced
2 celery ribs, chopped
6 cups chicken broth
2 cans white beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup diced tomatoes
1 cup macaroni, dry
2 bay leaves
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp rosemary
1/2 tsp salt
Ground black pepper
Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste (optional)
3 Italian sausage links, sliced and cooked thoroughly (optional) or 8 meatballs (optional)

In a large stock pot, sauté onion, garlic, celery and carrots in olive oil until onions are tender. Add the broth, beans, crushed tomatoes, bay leaves, herbs, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Let simmer about 20 minutes, until vegetables have softened. Add macaroni and cook for 10 more minutes. If you are going to have this with Italian sausage, once the sausages have been sliced and cooked in a separate skillet, put them in the pot of soup. You can put the already cooked meatballs in the soup as well.

Serve with Parmesan cheese to sprinkle on top.

We had this with grapes, salad and french bread.

Did I change anything? I just added the Italian sausage. I just sliced it up and cooked it in some olive oil in a skillet and then added it to the soup once it was done.

What did the family think? Everyone ate it! This worked out great, too because I made it this afternoon because I knew we would be getting home late from soccer practice. I just put it back on the stove to warm up after soccer while I was getting the salad ready and although it was a late dinner we were able to eat together as a family.

from Half Assed Kitchen

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Filed under Everybody Ate It, Italian, Stew/Soup

Apple and Cheese Quesadillas

This has been a new addition to our lunchbox menu and they make a great snack, too.

Flour tortilla
Shredded Cheddar cheese
Apple, thinly sliced

Place a tortilla on a microwaveable plate. Sprinkle cheddar cheese on tortilla. Place in microwave until cheese is just barely melted. Place apples in a single layer on one side of the tortilla. Fold over, cut in half and enjoy.

If you are going to put this in your child’s lunch, let it rest for a couple of minutes after placing the apples on it and cutting it and then wrap it in aluminum foil. If you don’t wait and wrap it up before it has a chance to cool off a little, your child will have a soggy quesadilla come lunchtime. We learned this the hard way. 🙂

What did the family think? These are a favorite with my oldest.


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