Monday, February 28, 2011


SO, i LURV  me some good granola... the yummy clumpy kind that i can use as a cereal AND just a quick snack... after trying 3 different recipes from here, an amish cookbook, and an email, I came up with THIS one!

  • 3 Cups old fashioned rolled oats (use what ya got)
  • 1/4 C whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 C unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 3/4 C chopped or sliced nut (i prefer almonds, but you can use pecans, walnuts, ect)
  • 1/2 t cinnamon, (i use Saigon cinnamon... so delicious, once you try it you'll never use regular cinnamon again!)
  • 1/2 C maple syrup, grade A or B, not the kind you buy for pancakes, but that's where you find it. it's a lot healthier (raw) than the maple syrup like Mrs buttersworth,  and spreads the flavor better than honey too.
  • 1/3 C coconut oil (again, healthier than other types of oil, and if you haven't noticed, we've been trying to get back to a more "raw" diet... )
  • 1 t vanilla (cause really, what DOESN'T vanilla go in ;)
EASY PEASY directions!
  1. preheat oven to 300 degrees. mix all except syrup, oil and vanilla, in one bowl. in a seperate bowl mix melted coconut oil (it's sometimes solid depending on the temp in your house) syrup and vanilla together then pour over dry mix.  Mix well! (you can also add dried fruits, but some in my family don't like it, so i add it after in my own servings)
  2. spread on parchment paper on cookie sheet. bake 30 minutes. slide parchment paper onto counter to finish drying.  DEVOUR  store in air tight container.
Like I said, i love me some good granola, and this was so delicious.  We can't keep our hand out of the canister! It was, super fast and easy to make.  I love this like i said as a cereal with vanilla almond milk, or with yogurt with or without fruit, or a plain snack.

***updated info: this recipe makes about 12 cups of granola, serving size 1/2 cup and ~ 260 calories/serving.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Baked Oatmeal

(again, sorry for lack of pictures... still no camera cord :(
  • 3 c. oats (the recipe says no quick cooking, but that's all i had, it was fine)
  • 3/4 c. brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 c. Craisins, raisins, dried cherries, or other dried fruit
  • 1 c. milk (we used almond milk)
  • 1/2 c. butter, melted or applesauce
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl, combine the oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, and Craisins. In a smaller bowl, mis together the milk, butter, vanilla, and eggs. Add the liquid mixture to the dry mixture and whisk to combine. Pour into a deep 9" pie plate or an 8x8" or 9x9" baking dish. Bake for 40 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Serve immediately with a splash of warmed milk. Serves 8.

I heated up 2 C milk in the microwave for about 1 minute then added about 1/3-1/2 C in each bowl. It was perfect that way!

This was absolutely LOVED by all in my family... EVEN TJ! he asked for 2nds! but was too full to finish it.  It was seriously like eating a soft oatmeal cookie.  And pretty filling, especially when paired with our green smoothies.  Although it wasn't as satiating as the steel oats, but definitely better than the little packets!

This recipe came from

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Crispy Parmesan Shrimp with Spaghetti

This is a REALLY SUPER Duper YUMMY Dinner!
  • 3 oz parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 garlic clove, pressed
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/2 t pepper
  • 1 lb frozen large, uncooked shrimp (21-25 per pound) thawed (i actually like the medium shrimp better, and you can get them all peeled already or, if you're like me, as long as i'm distracted and talking or thinking of something else, I can peel and deviene shrimp just fine :)
  • 2 T fresh parsley
  • 8 oz uncooked spaghetti (or pasta of your choice)
  • 2 C broccoli florets (I personally prefer more broccoli, so we double that)
  • 1 C Marinara sauce (We just use a whole jar of whatever spaghetti sacue we're in the mood for.

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Bring salted water to boil for pasta.
  2. meanwhile, for parmesan topping, lightly spray nonstick skillet with oil and heat 1-3 minutes of medm heat.  Grate cheese evenly over bottom of skillet.  Cook 4-5 minutes or until cheese is lacy and golden.  starting at edges, immediately loosen cheese carefully. Slide onto a cutting board and coll completely.  place the cheese crisp into a resealable plastic bag; coarsely crush into crumbs using the flat side of a meat tenderizer.
  3. For shrimp, whisk together egg white, pressed garlic, salt and black pepper in a medium bowl. Peel and devein shrimp; remove tails.  add shrimp to egg mixture and toss to coat.  arange shrimp in a single layer in a deep dish baker (or any casserole dish you may have).
  4. Snip parsley and toss with cheese crumbs.  sprinkle cheese mixture o ver shrimp.  bake 10-12 minutes or until shrimp are cooked through.
  5. Add pasta to boiling water; cook 4 minutes.  Meanwhile, cut broccoli into small florets and add to boiling pasta; cook 1-2 minutes or until pasta is cooked to desired doneness.
  6. Meanwhile, heat sauce in microwave 2-3 minutes, drain pasta and broccoli.
  7. To serve, divide pasta among plates, spoon sauce over pasta mixture and top with shrimp.
Serve with french bread or some sort of garlic toast and caesar or tossed salad! mmmmmmmm.

Again, one that our whole family thourghouly enjoys! and it is also good as leftovers (they usually tend to be brad's lunch for the next day :)  Its also fast! the cheese crisp was a little tricky my first time, but it's so easy now that i know how.

Pampered Chef 29 minutes to Dinner

Monday, February 14, 2011

Curried Chicken With Couscous

Chicken and Curry (4 servings)
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless Chicken breasts
  • 3/4 t salt
  • 1/4 t coarsely ground black pepper
  • 4 medium carrots
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 t vegetable oil
  • 2 t curry powder
  • 1/2 C golen raisins
  • 1 can (13.5 oz) coconut milk
  • 2 C chicken broth
  • 1 1/3 C uncooked plain couscous
  • 1 T butter
  • 2 T snipped fresh cilantro plus additional for garnish.
  1. For chicken, cut into 1 in pieces. Heat oil in skillet over mdm-high heat for 1-3 minutes or till hot.  Mix pepper and salt together  and season chicken with half of the mix. cook chicken 2-3 minutes or golden brown, turn over and cook another 2-3 minutes or till center is no longer pink.  Remove from skillet and set aside.
  2. While chicken is cooking, peel carrots; cut in half lengthwise, then thinly slice on a bias (or just chop up thinly like i do:) Cut onion into 1/2 inch wedges. Add more oil to skillet and saute veggies for about 5 minutes, til crisp-tender, stirring occaisionally.  Stir curry powder, raisins, coconut milk and remaining black pepper and salt mix into skillet.  Add chicken.  Simmer 3-5 minutes or till sauce begins to thicken.
  3. Meanwhile, for couscous, either microwave or stove top boil it (about 3 minutes in the microwave) stir couscous and butter into broth.  cover and let it sit for 5 minutes.  while the couscous is sitting, snip your cilantro, then fluff couscous with a fork and add in the cilantro.
  4. To serve, divide couscouse among serving plates and spoon chicken mixture over couscous.  garnish with additioanl snipped cilantro.
This is absolutely our most FAVORITE curry dish! the first time i made it i didn't have any coconut milk and somehow found a recipe to mimic it and it was delicious that way... but then 2nd time i made it with the canned milk and it was really good too... but i can't find the mimic recipe now, so oh well.  but everyone in our family eats this one. it really is sooooo yummy, and takes less than 1/2 an hour to make!!!! (one of the best things of all!!!!!)

ps. sorry for lack of photos... we've lost the charging cord for our camera :( super sad day here...

Pampered Chef 29 Minutes to dinner.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Chicken N Dumplings

  • 1 whole chicken cut up (fryer cut)
  • 2-4 T butter
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1/2 C flour
  • 1/2 t thyme
  • 1/4 t tumeric
  • 1/2 C chopped celery (I used 3 stalks)
  • 1/2 C chopped carrots (I like lots of veggies, so mine measured close to 1 C)
  • 1 whole mdm onion chopped
  • 1/2 C apple cider (different i know... but go with it)
  • 6 C low sodium  chicken broth
  • 1/2 C heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 C half and half
  • 1 1/2 C flour
  • 1/2 C yellow cornmeal (i just used regular cornmeal)
  • 1 T (heaping) Baking powder
  • 1 T kosher salt (i used reg salt)
  • salt as needed
  • 2 T fresh minced parsley for garnish at end
(This is how I did it... a little different from the original directions)
  1. In a large pan melt butter at med-high heat. salt and pepper both sides of a chicken piece and dredge both sides in flour. Place in pan repeat for all chicken pieces (I had to do it in 2 batches).   Just brown both sides... DON'T cook all the way... maybe 5 minutes per side... if that? then remove to a clean plate.
  2. In the same pan, (after chicken is removed) add celery, carrots, onion.  cook 3-4 minutes then add tumeric and thyme.  
  3. This is where I trans  fered everything to my stock pot ( You could just begin there... but i didn't.)Then pour in chicken broth and apple cider. stir and add chicken.  cover and simmer  (SIMMER) (i forgot to turn my heat down :) for about 20 minutes.
  4. While that is simmering make the dumplings :) Sift together all the dry ingredients into a bowl, then add half and half and stir till combined (i had to add extra flour).
Back to the "soup"
  1. pull out chicken pieces and use forks to get meat off and shred.  put chicken back into pot and add the heavy cream. SMILE and stir :)
  2. drop tablespoons of dumpling dough into the pot. add minced parsley then cover pot and simmer for 15 minutes.  check flavor and add salt if needed. remove from heat for 10 minutes before serving.
This Recipe got 5 Stars from just about everyone in our family!(out of 5 ;)  SERIOUSLY the BEST chicken n dumplings I have ever had or made! it looked a little questionable during part of the process (green chicken???) but go with it.  It's all good , and i mean ALL GOOD in the end.

After dishing up for 2 adults and 3 kiddlets, we only managed to eat about 1/3 -just under 1/2 of it. It said the serving size was about 8... We would DEFINITELY get 2-3 meals from this... OR it would be one of those really yummy filling ones to share with another family :)

the recipe says prep time and cooking time all together was 45 minutes.... I on the other hand took nearly 2 hours! this being my first time making it i can see how i could probably get it down to 1- 1 1/2, but i must say it was well worth it! definitely worth a 2 times a month meal :)  I think I will be dreaming about this tonight!

I found this recipe at She has some really great tips and recipes here. I really suggest you check it out!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Green Smoothies


 This is what we have with breakfast, just about EVERY morning!
  • 2 Cups liquid, (we mostly use water, but sometimes we use a 100% juice of some sort)
  • about 10 oz Spinach leaves (you can use different greens but for beginners, spinach is easiest!)
  • 2-3 bananas
  • Whatever other fruit you have or want to use (we use a lot of "about to go bad fruit that we put in the freezer" fruit :)
  • oh yes, your blender!
  1. Fill your blender with your liquid and add your greens, blend on the "liquify" setting.when it looks fully incorporated turn off and look add more greens till the resting liquid level is between 3 and 4 cups.
  2. add your bananas and frozen/other fruit till your blender is full and happily green :)
  3. Serve 1 C for kids and 2 C for adults... this way you get a few servings of greens AND fruit before you've even really started your day!
The REVIEWS are in!

Of course my healthy eater is good with these, they just can't be too cold for her or she complains of brain freeze :)

We just taught him the thumbs up!

I don't worry too much about my picky eater because He is SOOOO good about drinking his smoothies every morning :)
Even my hubby is on board :)

You really can't mess this up, and if you have annnnnyyy questions PLEASE ask me! I get so tickled talking about these :)


I've been really into reading up on "Green diets" or Raw food diets and the best way to start your family on the way to that healthy eating style is through green smoothies. I first learned about it from and checked her book out of the library, then read "Green for Life" and have conflicting issues within my own desire for yummy food for emotional reasons ;) and my desire to live healthy and teach my children this important principal.

For now, we're on our way with our green smoothies! little by little!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Steel Cut Oatmeal

  • 1 T butter
  • 1 C Steel Oats
  • 3 C Boiling Water
  • 1 C Vanilla Almond (or Soy) milk
  • fruits or nuts or toppings to your liking ;)

  1. In a large sauce pan, melt butter, add oats and stir till toasted, about 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add boiling water and stir
  3. Reduce heat to simmer for about 20-25 minutes.
  4. Add milk, stir and simmer about 10 more minutes.
  5. We add about 1/3 C of brown sugar and mix then pour into bowls and top with fruit or nuts.
**** UPDATED 4/1/11
the other morning we made this breakfast and while it was cooking i took 2 apples and cut them into little pieces, put them in a microwave save dish (i used a pampered chef micro-cooker) with a little bit of water, cinnamon, and honey. microwaved till the apples were super tender, drained, added it to the oatmeal just before serving.  CAN WE DAY DELISH!!!!:) everyone went back for seconds!

Kempton liked it!
This has a different texture than the rolled oats that most people are used to, but It's soooo much healthier and soooo much more filling.  Our kids each ate 1/3 C and brad and i each had 2/3 C. (my 1 C measuring cup was dirty).  I REALLY loved the flavor and how full i was! I wasn't hungry until lunch! Usually with the instant oatmeal packets it takes 3 or 4 for me to "feel" satisfied, but it doesn't last...SB really liked it too.  Brad really liked it, he says he was good till lunch too! TJ however, (he's our picky eater) has a real problem with textures, he doesn't do eggs or potatoes very well, or anything really... but 4/5 aint bad!

We got this from my friend amy, you can read her post about it here.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Fried Rice

  • prepared white rice (cook it earlier and sit it in the fridge for a bit. this makes the texture perfect for this meal)
  • 1 T of oil for every 1 egg
  • a little more oil for rice
  • ~2 T soy sauce
  1. Scramble the egg(s) in the oil, then remove from pan.
  2. Add some more oil and then add the rice and soy sauce, mix well.
  3. Add eggs back into rice mixture and again, mix well.
  4. divide onto plates or put on a platter

Japanese Shrimp Sauce (or, as the chefs at hokkaido's call it Sexy Sauce)

  • 1 C mayo 
  • 3 T white sugar
  • 3 T rice vinegar
  • 2 T melted butter
  • 3/4 t paprika
  • 3/8 t garlic powder
  1. In a small bowl, combine everything and mix well.  Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.
Take your favorite meats and vegetables and cut them into bite sized pieces and cook on your griddle, or don't cut the meat and grill till desired doneness and enjoy!

We like to use steak, chicken, shrimp, zucchini, broccoli, mushrooms and onions.

We love going to our favorite Japanese Hibachi grill, but we don't love the price that it costs for us all to go.  So we figured out how to do it at home for special nights!  We found the sauce REALLY makes the difference and tried quite a few for just that right flavor. This is just about perfect!

The sauce recipe came from 

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

S'mores Sandwich Bar Cookies

Who doesn't Love Smores!?!?! but they're not always easy to do in the winter, so, this cookie type bar is the perfect alternative!

  • 1/2 C (1 stick) of butter or margarine, softened
  • 3/4 C sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 1 1/3 C all purpose flour
  • 3/4 C graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1 1/3 C (8 oz package) Hershey's Mini Milk chocolate Bars
  • 3 C mini marshmallows
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F, grease 8 inch square baking pan
  2. beat butter and sugar in a large bowl until well blended. add egg & vanilla. beat well. stir together flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder and salt; add to butter mixture, beating until blended. press half of dough into prepared pan. bake 15 minutes
  3. sprinkle mini choc bars over baked layer or arrange unwrapped choc bars over baked layer, breaking as needed to fit. Sprinkle with marshmallows; scatter bits of remaining dough over marshmallows forming top layer. bake 10-15 minutes or just until lightly browned.  Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Cut into bars (approx 16 bars)
One of our most favorite desserts! especially with a cold glass of milk!

This is from a Hershey's Card box recipe that we gave my mother in law for christmas this year... so so so good!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Stick Stacks

This is one of our favorite Pancake recipes!

  • 1 3/4 C unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3 T packed, light brown sugar
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 2 T flax meal
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 1 T unsalted butter melted
  • 1 C milk
  1. Mix all Dry ingredients
  2. Add Wet ingredients and mix well.
  3. Place bowl in freezer for 5 minutes while you heat up the griddle.
  4. Ladel  ~1/8 cup to make mini pancakes
Serve with home made whipped cream and fresh strawberries, blueberries, and if no one in your family is allergic to kiwi like I am, add that! 

These are soooo delicious and fluff right up.  Plus they are the perfect size for my kiddlets! And we usually forgo the sugary syrup with these as they are yummy plain too!

This recipe is from a book I bought with Christmas money called Bean Appetit by shannon payyete seip, kelly parthen and carisa dixon.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE this book because it has so many great ideas on how to involve your kids in the kitchen and how to have fun with healthy food.  But don't just take my word for it. go check it out!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Fondue Night!

We LOVE to do fondue! It's just so much fun.

Cheese Fondue

  • 2 5 oz Jars of kraft old english cheese (found next to velveeta in fridge section)
  • 1 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1/4 C whole milk
  • 1/2 t Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 t garlic salt
  • 1/4 t cayenne pepper
  • 1 6 oz can crab meat
  1. Mix all but the crab meat in a sauce pan.
  2. Once melted, add the crab meat and mix then transfer to your fondue pot!
  3. Serve with Crusty bread :)
  4. Also good to dip with your veggies.

Coq au vin
(this is for your meats and vegetables)

  • 3 1/2 C vegetable stock
  • 1 cube vegetable bouillion cube
  • 1/2 C dry red wine (I use burgundy cooking wine)
  • 1 T minced garlic
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  1. Put everything in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Then transfer to your fondue pot!
  2. If liquid level becomes too low, just add water
We like to use steak, chicken and shrimp cut into bite sized pieces, zucchini, squash, mushrooms and broccoli.  Feel free to use whatever you like :)

Sauces for dipping
  1. Ranch 
  2. Blue Cheese
  3. Cocktail sauce
  4. Garlic Butter
  5. Curry Mayonaise (just add curry to the mayo till you like how it tastes.)
Chocolate Fondue
  • 6 oz chocolate (whichever kind you want)
  • 1/2 C sugar
  • 1/2 C whole milk
  1. Combine all in a sauce pan and stir till all is melted. 
  3. transfer to your fondue pot and enjoy!
Our favorite dippers for dessert are Strawberries, Bananas, Pears, Apples, Marsh mellows, and Angel Food Cake!

This is absolutely one of our most favorite dinner party meals.  Even if the party is just our own family!
And so super easy! Just make sure you have enough pots for everyone! It's easy to get crowded.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Gourmet Stuffed Burgers & Hamburger Buns


  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1/2 Cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 Cup Ketchup
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 6 slices cheese
  • 4 strips of bacon, crisply cooked, drained & crumbled
  • your favorite burger toppings!

  1. In a bowl, mix onion, ketchup, garlic, salt, and pepper and beef.
  2. Form into 12 round patties, about 1/2 inch thick, fold cheese into quarters and place on half of the patties, top with bacon and remaining patties.
  3. Seal well, forming 6 stuffed burgers.
  4. Grill 11-14 minutes for medium doneness or till meat is no longer pink. 
  5. Enjoy yummy burgers.
Hamburger Buns in 30 minutes
(I actually cut this recipe in half for our family of 5 and it still made a ton)

  • 3 1/2 Cups warm water
  • 1 cup oil (i use applesauce)
  • 3/4 Cup sugar (or 1/2 C honey or 3/4 C stevia)
  • 6 T yeast
  • 1 T salt
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 10 1/2 C white or wheat or mixture of flour
  1. Mix first 4 ingredients and let rest 15 minutes. It should get spongy and bubbly.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and mix.
  3. Knead for 5 minutes, adding flour if needed.
  4. Pre-heat oven to 425 
  5. Roll out to 1/2" thick and i like big buns, so i use a plastic bowl to shape mine. you can use a ring from a wide mouth jar for children size buns.
  6. Let rise for about 10 minutes then bake 10-15 minutes.
This was TJ's request for his "last meal" before he got his tonsil's out. (unfortunately he came down with the flu the day before and the surgery had to be postponed)  I didn't add bacon to ours, well, because i didn't have any, and it was fu-REEZ-ing so I didn't grill our burgers either.  I just cooked them in our skillet but remembered as I was almost done with he process that I could have cooked them on our griddle...  But the burgers were still super delicious. 

This was my first time using the buns recipe. The flavor was great, but they were pretty thick. We DID just eat them from the oven, so I don't know if that had anything to do with it, needs some tweaking, but Showing GREAT promise :)

The stuffed burgers recipe is from pampered chef, and the buns recipe I think is from raising olives... but I will get back to you on that :)