Archive | November, 2013

Pumpkin Pecan Pie

28 Nov

Happy Thanksgiving! I could spend hours listing all of the wonderful things in my life that I am grateful for, but I’d rather spend time with them than blog about them. 😉 So, I’ll keep this short and sweet – you can’t have Thanksgiving dinner without a pumpkin pie, but there are no rules about dressing it up a bit! My second favorite pumpkin pie variation: Pumpkin Pecan Pie. Enjoy!

P.S. Ignore how horrid my crust looks! I made it gluten-free and gluten-free flour just doesn’t stick like the regular stuff. It was crumbly, but it still tasted good. 🙂

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Ingredients:

9 in unbaked pie crust

3 eggs

1 can pumpkin (15 oz)

3/4 cup sugar

1/3 cup dark corn syrup

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp ground cloves

3/4 cup candied pecans

Combine all ingredients, except pecans, and mix well. Pour into pie crust. Bake 20 min at 350^F. Sprinkle with pecans and bake 25 min more. Serve with whipped cream.

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Sticky Pear Crescents

27 Nov

We made these for family night last week. My two year old was in charge of treats, so we tried to pick something easy enough for her to help with. I figured these would end up being tasty, but nothing special – crescent rolls and pears…no big deal…right? Ummmm, wrong!!! These were ridiculous – it must have been the caramel (I used our homemade caramel instead of caramel topping) and the glaze on top. That, and the pear is just different enough from apple that it tastes somehow more special. Plus the pecans…ok, so the whole thing is just really good. The leftovers didn’t last long because I almost liked these better cold and they were too easy to snack on. There is a pear inside, so that makes it ok to eat 4 in a row – that’s the rule.

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Ingredients:
2 large ripe pears, peeled, cored
2 cans (8 oz each) Pillsbury® refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
1/2 cup caramel topping
3/4 cup butter or margarine
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup chopped pecans
Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 13×9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish with cooking spray. Cut each pear lengthwise into 8 slices. Unroll both cans of dough on work surface; separate into triangles. Spread about 1 teaspoon caramel topping on each triangle to within 1/4 inch of bottom edge. Place 1 pear slice across wide end of each dough triangle to within 1/4 inch of edge. Roll up, starting with wide end. Place point side down in baking dish.
In 1-quart saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat; stir in brown sugar and cinnamon. Cook, stirring occasionally, until brown sugar is dissolved. Pour over pears. Sprinkle with pecans. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown.

 

Parmesan Crusted Chicken

25 Nov

My parents and my husband’s parents both live nearby; this means two Thanksgiving dinners. No complaining here! We had our first one last night, and I ate myself sick. So many good things to eat, not enough room for it all! But I did my best to fill every crevice of my stomach…over-flowing, I’m sure, into other organs as well. All in the name of good food.

This chicken wasn’t on the menu for our Thanksgiving feast, but it might make it next year! Who knew ridiculously tender chicken only required 4 ingredients?

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Ingredients

1/2 cups mayonnaise

1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

4 chicken breast

4 tsp seasoned bread crumbs

Directions

Preheat oven 425^ F. Place mayo and cheese in a small bowl and mix. Lay chicken breasts in baking dish and spread mayo mixture evenly atop each. Evenly sprinkle bread crumbs atop each. Place in oven and bake for 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked thoroughly and juices run clear.

*Original recipe found here: http://www.keyingredient.com/recipes/60027340/parmesan-crusted-chicken-hellmanns-mayo-recipe/

Bacon Cheddar Pinwheels

21 Nov

“Mom! These are the best ever!” Palm to the forehead…why do I bother cooking anything that takes even a smidgen of effort? My kids always rant and rave about the things I throw together last minute, and poke their fork hesitantly at the things I slave over. I’ll tell you why I bother; I do it because I like my food to be interesting. So, I’ll keep doing it until one day my children develop taste buds and an appreciation for good food. In the mean time, however, I do thank my lucky stars that there are quick fixes out there that do taste pretty darn good.

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Ingredients:

1 pkg refrigerated crescent rolls

6 pieces of bacon, cooked crispy and broken in bits

shredded cheddar cheese

Lay out crescent roll dough in 2 rectangles, and cover with cheese and bacon bits. Tightly roll dough, sealing the edges and cut 4-5 individual pinwheels from each rectangle. Place on baking sheet and bake 375^F for 12-15 min.

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Play Dough

18 Nov

I’m way behind on posting lately – I have recipes piling up and I’m starting to forget about them. Similar to my laundry piles. I’d rather blog than fold laundry, so guess what gets my attention this morning? 🙂

We made play dough at Grandma’s the other day. Everyone wanted different colors to begin with, but purple eventually won. Quick and easy and very salty! So don’t let the kiddo’s take a taste test. Or do…they won’t do it again. 😉

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Ingredients:

1 cup flour

2 tsp cream of tartar

1 cup water

1/2 cup salt

1 Tbsp oil

food coloring of choice

Mix dry ingredients together in a frying pan. Add wet ingredients and mix. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture pulls away from the sides of the pan. Put on wax paper, knead. Store in ziplock bag.

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Pad Thai

14 Nov

My kids like to bring their entire room with them when we go places. Stuffed animals, blankets, toys, pillows…you name it, it should be with us…always. And they are all about carrying it themselves for about the first 2 minutes. And then its, “Mom, it’s getting too heavy. Can you carry this…and this…and this.” Never mind the fact that I am holding a baby, a diaper bag, a bink in my teeth, a blanket, a sippy cup – you get the idea. I try to discourage the entourage, but sometimes I cave when the tantrum is just not worth it. We went to the fabric store yesterday and my two year old fell asleep in the car. It’s hard to wake up from a 5 minutes nap sometimes, I get that. So, blankie was allowed to accompany us inside to help. Unfortunately, as soon as the world started looking a little brighter, so did everything else in the store, and poor blankie got left behind. I didn’t realize that we didn’t have it until, of course, we had already gotten home. Sigh. Reload everyone up and trek back to the store. Luckily, someone had found it and brought it to the front register (a blankie a few years back was not so lucky and has never been seen or heard from again). Today, we went to the library. Same two year old: “Mom! I want to hold my movie!” I was laden with the same baggage as I listed before, and then add in seven or eight books precariously balanced in my free hand – I didn’t mind at all having someone offer to help for a change. I should have been a little wiser considering our escapade from the day before. We got home, got everyone out and…I had a two year old with two fists full of acorns, but no movie. Gah! Back to the library we went, to search for the movie that had been left on the lawn to make room for the acorn collection (which they actually tried to eat, but declared to be ‘disgusting!’) Again, someone had found our abandoned treasure and had returned it to the library for us. Too bad for two year old, I did not check it out again. Maybe she’ll learn a lesson…maybe.

This recipe is actually a Chinese Pasta Salad – I liked it better warm and with a little more veggies, which turned it into Pad Thai instead of pasta. Works for me. Top with some crispy noodles (or improvise with some tortillas strips like me when you don’t have crispy noodles 😉 – still tasty!), and enjoy!

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Ingredients:

1/4 cup sesame seeds
4 (3 oz.) packages Ramen noodles, any flavor
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1 tsp. sesame oil
3 Tbs sugar
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp black pepper
3 cups diced, cooked chicken breast
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
choice of mixed vegetables, cooked

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add sesame seeds and cook, stirring frequently until lightly toasted. Remove from heat and set aside. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil; add pasta (break each brick into at least 4 pieces so the noodles aren’t too long) and cook 3-4 minutes or until slightly tender but not soft – do not use seasoning packs. Drain and transfer to a large bowl.

Combine vegetable oil, soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, sugar, sesame seeds, ginger and pepper. Mix well. Pour sauce over pasta and toss to coat evenly. Gently mix in chicken, cilantro, and mixed vegetables.

Homemade Frosty

13 Nov

Homemade frosty? I was a little skeptical – how close can it really be? Um, turns out…pretty darn close. So close, in fact, that if you were to steal some Wendy’s cups and use them to serve this ice cream, I guarantee that no one would know the difference. Frosties! At home! Any time! With no drive-through involved! You are welcome.

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Ingredients:

1/2 gallon chocolate milk

1 (8 oz) tub of cool whip

1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk

Mix ingredients until smooth. Place in ice cream maker and follow manufacturer’s instructions. When set, serve and enjoy!

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Wontons

12 Nov

Sometimes when I look up recipes, I find typos. Gasp! It is true…even though I read and re-read every post I do, I occasionally miss things. Have I mentioned that I have four kids? And I’m pretty sure that I’m living proof that you lose brain cells with every child born. But they are just cute enough that I’m pretty sure it’s worth no longer being able to carry on intelligent conversation, let alone manage a blog with no typos. The funny thing is that you’d think that I’d fix them when I see them. It’s my blog. I can do that. But…wait for it…I forget where they are. I remember that there was a typo somewhere, but I have no idea where. In between, “Mom, I need more juice,” cleaning up said juice when it spills, keeping the dog from eating the food from the table, tripping over toys, giving tastes on spoons, trying to remember which spoons were used for tastes and which ones were used for stirring, stealing tastes myself…I can’t even remember what it was I was making when I saw the mistake. I’m lucky to remember my name most days. So, if you see one do share. And maybe, just maybe, I’ll manage to get it fixed. 🙂

This recipe is a no-brainer. Phew.

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Ingredients:

1 lb chicken or pork, cubed

1 1/2 cups soy sauce

2/3 cup brown sugar

won ton wrappers

Cube chicken and place in sauce pan. Add soy sauce and brown sugar and cook until meat is cooked through and sauce is thickened (can adjust soy sauce and brown sugar to taste). Lay out won ton wrappers. Place 2-3 pieces of chicken in each wrapper making sure not to fill too full or wrapper will tear. Wet sides with water and fold into a triangle. Bring bottom 2 corners up to meet top corner. Fry in hot oil until light brown and crispy; flip and cook other side. Serve with Sweet and Sour Sauce and rice.

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Sweet and Sour Sauce

11 Nov

The perfect Sweet and Sour sauce that contains no ketchup! Dip for Wontons, or coat Homemade Chicken nuggets and bake @ 350^F for 30 min for sweet and sour chicken.

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Ingredients:

1/2 cup vinegar

1 cup water

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup sugar

2 tsp cornstarch

1 tsp soy sauce

Combine all ingredients in saucepan and cook over medium-high heat until thickened.

 

Banana Bars

8 Nov

A little less good for you than straight banana bread, and a little too good to be able to eat just one. When our pan got polished off, my four year old cried. Guilt requires me to make another batch…darn.

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Ingredients:

Bars-

2 cups sugar

1/2 cup butter

3 eggs

2 cups mashed bananas (3-4 bananas)

1 tsp vanilla

2 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

pinch of salt

Mix butter and sugar until creamy. Add eggs. Add the rest of the ingredients until well blended. Spread into a greased jelly roll pan (15x10x1). Bake at 350^F for 20-25 min. Cool and frost

Cream Cheese Frosting-

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 8oz pkg cream cheese, softened

4 cups powdered sugar

2 tsp vanilla

Mix all ingredients well and spread over cooled banana bars.

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