Monday, February 27, 2012

Grilled Herb Burgers

These flavor filled burgers hit the spot and are not filled with a lot of extras like crackers or oatmeal, etc. They are more solid because these things are missing but they have so much flavor you will be glad to overlook the absence of the added carbs, and they beat the dry, bland, frozen ones from the grocery store by a mile! My husband once again worked his magic with the grill yesterday and we enjoyed these for supper. I was out of lettuce but I had spinach so I added that instead for a yummy treat along with red onions and tomatoes. They were delicious! The recipe makes about 26 - ¼ lb. hamburgers which is kind of a lot but I wanted to have them handy in the freezer for later use so I made the whole batch.

9 lbs. (90% lean) ground beef
3 large eggs
3 Tablespoons dried onion flakes
1½ Tablespoons Roasted Garlic and Herb Seasoning
2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons black pepper
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried rosemary
2 teaspoons dried basil
2 teaspoons dried parsley
3 teaspoons dried, minced garlic
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Mix well. Weigh (¼ lb.) and form into patties and place into refrigerator for several hours to allow flavors to meld. Grill and serve with your favorite fixings. Or freeze in an airtight container. These were grilled with a small amount of Sweet Baby Rays Original BBQ Sauce on each side.


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Chicken Stir Fry

I'm loving my lunch today. Some of my favorite colors and flavors right there!

I spent the morning on the truck with my husband (propane delivery) and it was chilly and windy so by the time I got home at lunch time I was hungry and ready to warm up!

I tried a recipe last night for supper, for Chicken Marsala, and was not at all satisfied with it. Hate when that happens. Too much of this, too much of that, not enough flavor all around, so I think I'll by pass that one and find one that compares with the one I had at Carrabas. Yum! The kids were good sports and tasted it and okayed (except for the mushrooms ☺) it but I thought it was best without the sauce. So for lunch today I cubed a small piece and stir fried it with broccoli, spinach, red pepper, and shallots. Much better! I love the vibrant colors, too! Food is always better when it looks pretty :).

Now that I've warmed up maybe I should go trim the roses at the shop, they are in dire need of attention! These sunny days beckon me to come outside even if they are still on the cooler side.

Hope everyone is enjoying their Tuesday!


Saturday, February 18, 2012

Mini Monster Kisses

Because of an over abundance of Hershey kisses from Valentine's Day and because I wanted to bake cookies for the lunches and because I felt like changing things up a bit, and because I liked the name ☺I decided to use this recipe (Monster Cookies) omitting the chocolate chips and M&M's and bake them like I did these (Peanut Butter Cup Tarts) using a size 20 cookie scoop to form the balls. Bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes or until they begin to brown over the top. Press the kiss into the cookie right away and allow to cool in the pan for several minutes. Loosen the cookie the whole way around with a thin, sharp knife, (I know, time consuming) and allow to cool in the pan till they are easier to handle. Spray the pans with non stick spray before each batch. Drizzling the white chocolate over them is optional, it dresses them up a bit. ☺

Have a Super Saturday! The sky is blue and the sun is shining here so I think I will head OUTSIDE to finish trimming the raspberries and roses.


Friday, February 17, 2012

Jiffy Baked Corn

It doesn't get any easier than this! And it's the best baked corn I've ever had, of course that is just my opinion!☺ This can be baked in individual muffin cups or baked in an 8 x 11.5 or 9 x 13 glass baking dish. I like to bake it in serving size cups because it freezes well and it makes it easier to thaw when it is in smaller pieces.

And it's a four ingredient recipe, another plus if you ask me.

3 cups corn
1 box Jiffy corn muffin mix
1 cup sour cream
½ cup butter, melted
salt and pepper
paprika, optional

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and pour into a non stick sprayed muffin pan (size 20 cookie scoop) or a glass baking dish. Bake @350° for 35-40 minutes for muffin cups and 40-50 minutes for a bigger pan, or until set and golden.


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Chicken Enchiladas

I spent the last few days preparing a Valentine supper for the youth group our boys are a part of. They are a fun, lively group of kids as are the two couples that lead them. There are always lots of laughs and good times when they are around! These easy enchiladas were a part of the menu.

adapted from
3 cups cooked, shredded chicken
2 cups shredded cheese,
Cheddar and Jack are my choices*
½ cup sour cream
1 (4.5) oz. can chopped green chiles
1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
5 oz. mild taco sauce
8 (8 in.) flour tortillas
Cooking spray
1 can (10½ oz.) cream of chicken soup
12 oz. sour cream
1 cup shredded cheese

Your choice of toppings
* I like to shred the cheese and add Taco Seasoning to it and mix it for great flavor.

Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with non stick spray. Set aside.

 Mix together sour cream and chicken soup. Spread a layer in the bottom of the baking dish.

Stir together the first 6 ingredients.

Divide evenly in 8 portions (approx. 1/3-1/2 cup?) and spoon down the center of each tortilla.

Roll tightly. Place seam side down in a prepared pan. Then spread the remaining sauce on top.

Bake, uncovered at 350° for 35-40 minutes or until bubbly. Sprinkle with 1 cup of cheese and return to oven till the cheese is melted. Garnish as desired and serve.


Saturday, February 11, 2012

Mixed Fresh Fruit

I'm totally aware that fresh fruit needs nothing to 'dress' it up but every now and then I do it anyway. This is a very yummy fruit mixture and sure hits the spot when paired with a good Oatmeal Cookie. Shawn tells me that if ever I should wonder what to make for dessert, "just make this fruit stuff, Mom." He loves it! ☺

2 quarts canned pears, drained and juice reserved, cut into chunks
1 quart frozen peaches, thawed, drained and juice reserved
1½-2 cups pineapple juice
1 quarts fresh strawberries, washed, stems removed and quartered
6 kiwis, peeled and cut into chunks
1 pint fresh blueberries
½ of a fresh pineapple, cut into chunks,

3 lg. Tablespoons Clear jel, cook type

In a medium saucepan, combine the reserved juices and bring to a boil. In a small bowl or glass measuring cup combine the clear jel and just enough water to liquefy it. When the juices come to a boil slowly whisk the clear jel mixture in, stirring constantly until smooth and mixture is thickened to your preference. Allow to cool completely. Meanwhile, prepare the fruits in a large mixing bowl then pour the cooled, thickened juices over fruit and toss gently. Enjoy!


Monday, February 6, 2012

Brownie Mousse Torte with Raspberries and Tuxedo Topping


While looking through my cookbook stash I saw a picture of a black forest brownie pizza, but not being fond of cherries in that form and not liking the word pizza for dessert, I started brainstorming and this is what came out of that. It is a decadent dessert that gives the appearance of lots of time but is super easy and doesn't take much time at all. The best kind in my opinion. I also used a boxed brownie which saved a bit of time too. I think it would be fun to experiment with other versions of this one too.☺ It was delicious!!

1 box brownie mix

Chocolate Mousse:
8 (1 ounce each) squares
semisweet chocolate,
coarsely chopped
½ cup water, divided
2 Tablespoons butter, (no substitutes)
3 egg yolks
2 Tablespoons sugar
1¼ cups heavy cream
fresh red raspberries
¼-½ cup each white and milk
chocolate chips for drizzle

Preheat oven. Prepare tart pan (Spring form would work too) by lining it with waxed paper and spraying with non stick spray. Mix brownies according to package directions. I used the recipe for more cake like brownies. Pour into prepared pan and bake according to directions on the package.

I also used the tiny one because I thought the tart one would be too full and because
I thought it would be fun to do individual ones sometime.

 Allow to cool for about 5 minutes before inverting onto a serving dish. Carefully remove waxed paper.

All to cool while you prepare the mousse.

For the mousse:
Whip the cream until stiff peaks form, refrigerate.

In a double boiler, heat chocolate, ¼ cup water, and butter until the chocolate and butter are melted. Cool for 10 minutes. Meanwhile in a small heavy saucepan, whisk the egg yolks, sugar, and remaining water. Cook and stir over low heat until mixture reaches 160°F, about 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat; whisk in the chocolate mixture. Set saucepan in ice water and stir until cooled.Fold in whipped cream.

Spread on completely cooled brownie.

Top with red raspberries or fruit of your choice, strawberries would be perfect as well, and drizzle with melted chocolates. Refrigerate covered for several hours before serving. This gives the mousse time to get firm.

I think the individual ones are adorable. Serena and I stayed home from church because of sore throats so we shared this one. I'm sure it didn't do much good healthwise but it was a fun and worked wonders otherwise. ☺


Weekend Show Off, A Little Inspiration, A Little Birdie Told Me, Mushki Loves

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Happy Sunday

Serena stayed home from school this week one day because of a sore throat. It was beautiful and Spring-like that day and I was working outside so she bundled up and brought her school work out to the gazebo where I snapped this picture. ☺

The weather has been gorgeous and a lot of this has been going on because of it.

and this ☺ (but this has nothing to do with the weather) ☺

Lemon Blueberry Muffins

These were yummy but still need some tweaking.

It's been a week full of the kind of news that knocks you down, but I have faith and believe that God will prevail in the end. He is Good and Faithful!!

~Be Blessed today!~

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Stuffed Crust Stromboli


I made this Stromboli tonight in an attempt to fill the boys up. It may have lasted for an hour. They were working and playing hard today and I also heard them lifting weights. Where do they get all their energy?!

We have a small woods here beside the area where our fire ring is that I have often wished would be cleared a bit for some plans that keep floating around in my head but it's filled with lots of scrubby trees and briers. So I made a little deal with the boys and they've been working out there after school and Saturdays cutting down some trees (Dad helps with that if needed) and chopping the wood for firewood to sell. They worked up quite an appetite doing this! It's always fun to cook or bake something I know they will enjoy when they are very hungry.

The crust recipe for this come from my sister Becky but I played around with it a little because I wanted to use some freshly milled whole grain flour along with the white. It turned out really good and I was amazed at the amount they 'put away!' I guess it shouldn't surprise me anymore but it still does at times. There's a reason why the grocery store and I are good friends! Anyway, on to the goodies-

For the Crust:
2 Tablespoons Instant Yeast
3 Tablespoons sugar
2-2/3 cups warm water
Combine and let set for 5 minutes. Then add
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Mix; then add
2 cups freshly ground wheat flour
4 cups AP white flour

1 egg
beat together
for brushing over the top

Knead for a few minutes in mixer bowl and then cover and allow to rise till double. (This makes approximately 3 pieces that are around 1lb. 4oz. each.)

Roll out 1 piece at a time on a surface sprayed with non stick spray. I didn't measure but it looked something like this when I was done.

Fill with your favorite pizza toppings. In 2 of the pieces I used pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese slices, cooked, crumbled, seasoned sausage*, chipped turkey ham, pepperoni, and parmesan cheese. Fold the far side towards you and the ends in.

Because I really don't enjoy Stromboli that is mostly dough and not much else I filled it up with lots of toppings and put a second layer of sliced cheese between the two folds of dough. Fold the last side up and over the cheese slices and seal the edges. Place seam side down on a baking sheet and let rise for about 10 minutes. Brush with an egg wash and sprinkle seasonings of your choice and parmesan cheese over top.

Bake @375° for 20-25 minutes.

*I bought plain loose sausage and seasoned it with these, for a delicious flavor.


Friday, February 3, 2012

Breakfast Bake

I've been spending time outside getting an earlier than usual start on the Spring work so I'm usually tired and not really in the mood to cook up a storm when the day is over. I happened to have some refrigerated crescent rolls on hand so I made this last night for supper. Everyone enjoyed it and said it was tasty and very filling. I served it with Lemon Blueberry Muffins, orange slices, and juice for a satisfying meal that was easy and went together quickly.

2 tubes refrigerated crescent rolls
1 lb, sausage, cooked and crumbled
(I used precooked frozen patties)
1-2 Tablespoons chopped onion
10 eggs
¼ cup milk
¼ teaspoon black pepper
8 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded
Parsley Flakes

Preheat oven to 400°. Lightly spray a 10 x 15 bar pan and set aside.

Unroll crescent rolls (I stretched them a bit with a rolling pin), make sure seams are sealed. Press into the bottom and up the sides of the prepared pan.

Top with sausage and onions. In a bowl combine eggs, milk, and pepper and beat. Pour into prepared crust.

Top with shredded cheese and parsley flakes.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until eggs are set and crust is golden.


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies

I was needing some cookies for the lunches and I had tried these a few weeks ago, to the children's credit they ate those and said they were good but I wasn't quite satisfied with them because they were too dark and too dry. I decided to try them again last night and change things up a bit. These turned out just right. Chewy, chocolaty, and delicious with milk or with coffee.

Preheat oven to 375°.

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup brown sugar
¾ cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
¼ cup dark chocolate cocoa
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 small box chocolate fudge instant pudding
1 cup dark chocolate chips
1 cup milk chocolate chips

Cream butter, sugars, eggs, and vanilla until light and creamy. Mix dry ingredients in a separate bowl and add in batches to the creamed mixture. Mix well after each addition. Add the chocolate chips and mix. With a size 30 cookie scoop drop onto a baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes. Allow to set on baking sheet several minutes after removing from the oven to let them set up.

I'm in love with Silpat mats!! If you don't have one or two, go quickly and buy one!!

Remove to a wire rack and cool completely and store in an airtight container. Makes approximately 30 cookies.


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Pineapple Strawberry & Protien Smoothie

Breakfast anyone?

I was in a hurry this morning but still wanted to give my body something good for fuel so I whipped up a smoothie and added a half packet of Advocare Berry flavored meal shake. With a few red raspberries and almonds on the side I was good to go! mmm, delicious, and so satisfying!!

1½ Fresh Strawberries
2/3 cup Fresh Pineapple
1 large Tablespoon Flax seeds
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 packet SomerSweet sugar
½ cup Greek yogurt
½ pack Advocare Berry shake mix

These measurements are approximates.

Enjoy your day!