Tuesday, March 30, 2010

What did you say was for dinner?

Last night at dinner, we were eating a chicken noodle casserole and green bean casserole (recipes forthcoming sometime in the next month as I get the time) and the following was said:

Marissa: "Mom, I'm going to eat this but it's not my favorite."

Corban: "It's not my favorite either, but at least it's better than paper."

(as if eating paper is a regular occurrence around our house.)

Me (a bit sarcastically, I'll admit): "Thanks a lot, Corban."

Corban: "Well, it's a LOT better than paper, actually."

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Apple Fritters

Little chunks of fried cinnamon dough stuffed with chunks of apples and covered with a sweet glaze - just divine!
Pioneer Woman posted about these a few weeks ago and I knew I had to try them. I don't know why exactly, I've never made any sort of doughnut or fritter before and had a bit of apprehension about frying without a deep-fryer, and besides, fried goodies aren't exactly on the plan for helping me lose weight, but even still I could not resist.
I used my turn to make food for our small group as an excuse to try these out.
I have to say, they were much easier than I expected. And oh, so good.

Couple of side notes:
Pioneer Woman says they're just as good the next day, heated for 8-10 minutes in a 350° oven. I didn't think so. They were definitely still tasty, but without a doubt they are best eaten within an hour of being made.
The glaze recipe didn't make enough for my fritters - so I ended up just covering the rest with some powdered sugar. Still good. Maybe next time I'll put the glazed fritters on a cooling rack and let the excess drip into a bowl so I can use it! I ended up with quite a bit wasted where it puddled up on the plate.


2 cups All-purpose Flour (I used part whole wheat)
2/3 cup Sugar
2-¼ t. baking powder
1-¼ t. Salt
2 t. ground cinnamon
2 large eggs
¾ cup whole milk
2 t. vanilla extract
2 T. melted butter
2 whole Granny Smith Apples, peeled and diced
Powdered Sugar (optional, For Dusting)
GLAZE (optional)
1-½ cup powdered sugar
¼ t. salt
¼ t. vanilla
¼ cup milk

In a mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.

In a separate bowl, beat the eggs with a fork, then add milk, melted butter, and vanilla.

Gently fold dry and wet ingredients together until just combined (do not overmix.) Fold in apples. Add enough apples to make a very chunky batter. You want the apples to shine though!

In a medium-large saucepan, heat a couple of inches of canola oil over medium to medium-low heat. When it gets hot, drop a little drop of batter into the oil. If it sizzles immediately and rises to the top, the oil is ready; if it burns quickly, turn down the heat.

Drop teaspoons of batter into the hot oil, six or eight at a time. Sometimes they’ll flip over by themselves; sometimes you have to flip them. Just watch them and make sure they don’t get too brown, but cook them long enough to make sure the batter’s cooked through, about 2 to 2 1/2 minutes total.

Remove and drain on a paper towel. Dust very generously with powdered sugar, or dip fritters in a light doughnut glaze (mix all glaze ingredients together, then dunk warm fritters).
Serve warm!

**May be heated up the next day in a 350 degree oven for 8 minutes.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

White Bean Chicken Chili

We like good hearty soups and chilis around here. This one has lots of flavor but not too much heat, depending on how spicy your salsa verde is, of course. I used a medium heat, cause that was all Wal-Mart had. The original recipe, from Allrecipes, called for tomatillos. I couldn't find those, so I improvised.
Try the hint of lime tortilla chips with this chili....I'm normally not a fan of those chips, but here, they're delicious. Or just do like I did this time and use regular tortilla chips and some lime wedges.
Note: Three limes wedges for one bowl of chili as pictured is too much. Believe me, I know.


1-1/2 lbs boneless chicken breasts (frozen is fine)
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 (14.5 oz) can petite diced tomatoes
3 (15 oz) cans white beans
1 (16 oz) jar salsa verde
1 cup frozen corn
1 (14.5 oz) can chicken broth (or water with bouillion)
1 (7 oz) can diced green chiles
1 t. dried oregano
1 t. cumin
salt and pepper to taste

Optional Garnishes: sliced limes, shredded cheese, sour cream, avocado, tortilla chips

Combine all ingredients (except garnishes) in a slow cooker. Cook on high for 4-6 hours, or on low for 8 hours. When cooking time is close to finished, remove chicken breasts and shred with forks. Return to pot.

Serve with desired garnishes!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Barbecue Chicken Bacon Pizza

This is one of our hands-down favorite meals. I try to make it at least once a month, sometimes twice. Grant is always appreciative! Our kids aren't crazy about barbecue sauce, so on one pizza I use ranch dressing (msg-free) instead. It's really good too, but Grant and I prefer the barbecue. I like to buy the barbecue sauce from Trader Joe's, because it doesn't have high fructose corn syrup in it. And it's really tasty.
We love leftover grilled chicken on this pizza, but if we don't have that around, I just cut up some raw chicken into bite-sized pieces and cook it in a skillet with a little barbecue sauce.


2 T. yeast (or two .25 oz packages)
2 cups warm water (110-115 degrees)
2 T. honey or sugar
2 t. salt
6 T. canola oil or olive oil
6 cups flour (I use at least half whole wheat)

In a large mixing bowl (I use my KitchenAid mixer with the dough hook - awesome!), dissolve yeast in warm water. Add honey or sugar and let it sit about 5 minutes, until yeast is frothy.

Add salt, oil, then gradually add flour while mixing. Knead by hand (or let your mixer do the work) for 6-8 minutes, until dough is smooth and elastic. Cover and let rise in a warm place (I like to use my oven - preheat at 350° for 1 minute then turn it off) for 20 minutes. In the meantime, prepare toppings.

1-1.5 lbs chicken, cooked as desired and chopped into bite-sized pieces
1/2 med. red onion, chopped
9-10 strips turkey bacon, cooked (I bake them on a foil-lined cookie sheet in the oven at 400° until crispy) and chopped
Barbecue sauce as desired
Ranch dressing (if desired)
4-5 cups mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 450°.
Divide dough into two portions.
Roll into circles and press into 2 greased pizza pans (I have a 14" and a 12" pan).
Spread desired sauce on crusts; put on the chicken, onion, bacon, and cheese and bake for 11-12 minutes, switching pizza positions halfway through.

Note: This crust is a bit on the thick size, but that all depends on how big your pans are. We like it thick!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Pumpkin Cheese Coffee Cake

Another tasty recipe from Taste of Home. I made this for my MOPS group a few weeks ago and it was delicious. I refrigerated the leftovers and actually preferred the cake cold. Just the topping itself makes it worth eating.....give it a try!


2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1-1/4 cups cooked or canned pumpkin
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 t. vanilla extract
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 t. ground cinnamon
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1 egg
1 T. sugar
3/4 c. flaked coconut
1/2 c. chopped pecans
1/4 c. packed brown sugar
1/4 t. ground cinnamon

In a large mixing bowl, beat sugar, eggs, pumpkin, oil, and vanilla. Combine the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt; add to the egg mixture and mix well. Pour into a greased 13 x 9" pan. In a small mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, egg, and sugar until smooth. Drop tablespoonfuls over batter; cut through batter with a knife to swirl. combine topping ingredients; sprinkle over top. Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

Yield: 12-15 servings

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Chocolate Marshmallow Cookies

Oh my. Why on earth did I make these when I'm trying to lose the baby weight and do NOT need to have irresistible chocolaty treats lying around my kitchen? My excuse for making them was a playdate with a couple of friends.....but really, I didn't have to make something so wicked. Truthfully, I had been eying them in my Taste of Home Cookie cookbook for over a year and finally buckled and made them. My friends loved them, the kids loved them (one little girl was trying to climb up the cabinets to get to the countertop to reach them!).....only Grant was a dissenter. But he doesn't count, since he hates marshmallows. There's no way he was going to like them.

Recipe: (yields about 3 dozen)

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
1 t. vanilla extract
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup baking cocoa
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 cup chocolate chips
18 large marshmallows (more or less)

6 T. butter, softened
2 T. baking cocoa
1/4 cup milk
1-3/4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 t. vanilla extract
Pecan halves (optional)

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add egg, milk, and vanilla; mix well. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; beat into creamed mixture. Add chocolate chips.

Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 7-8 minutes. Meanwhile, cut marshmallows in half. Press a marshmallow half cut side down onto each cookie. Return to the oven for 2 minutes. After removing from oven, press gently down on each marshmallow to flatten a bit. Cool completely on a wire rack.

For icing, in a small saucepan, combine butter, cocoa, and milk. Bring to a boil; boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Cool slightly; transfer to a small mixing bowl. Beat in powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth. Spread over the cooled cookies. Top each with a pecan half if desired.

Note: I had a bit of leftover icing. Which tastes absolutely amazing by itself. Oh darn.

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