Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Pizza Crust with Agave

Yay!  I finally found a pizza crust my Sophie can safely eat!  Even though she cannot eat sugar or honey, she can eat agave.  Confusing to wrap your brain around because it is all sweet.  It's complicated!  I've had to change how I cook these last few years since her sucrose intolerance diagnoses.  If you see me in the grocery store I will probably have my nose in a label.  If you enjoy pizza, you will enjoy this crust.  It does take 1 hour to rise and 2 hours in the fridge, but it can be made up to 24 hours in advance and left in the fridge until you're ready to use it.  This crust has an awesome crunchy bottom due to rolling it out in cornmeal.  The kids piled on cheese and pepperoni and I piled on the veggies.  Enjoy :)

1 pkg. dry yeast
1 1/2 cup lukewarm water (110 degrees F)
1 1/2 cup whole wheat white flour
2 cup all purpose flour
1 TBSP olive oil
1 TBSP agave (or honey)
1/2 tsp salt
2-3 TBSP corn meal

In small bowl dissolve yeast in warm water.  Set aside.

In stand mixer add all flours, oil, agave, salt and dissolved yeast mixture.
Mix with dough hook until it forms a ball.  If it is dry you can add warm water until a nice ball forms a tablespoon at a time (depends on weather if you will need it)

Place dough in large greased bowl.  Cover with a clean towel or plastic wrap and set in a warm spot on your counter for 45 minutes, or until doubled.

Knead for a few minutes.

Cut in 2 pieces (this will give you 2 10 inch pizzas).  Place back in bowl, cover, and place in fridge at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours.

Roll dough into 2 10 inch pizzas on a counter dusted with cornmeal.  Place on baking sheet or pizza stone.  Top with sauce, cheese, or any other toppings of your choice.  Bake 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Slow Cooker Baked Potatoes

What's a mom to do when it's 150 degrees outside (hey, it felt like it!), your son has a 6 o'clock baseball game you need to leave for, and you forgot you had to cook dinner (seriously, why do they  need to eat EVERY day!)?  Panic!  Then pull out the good old slow cookers!  I threw chicken breast with Italian dressing and seasonings in one, wrapped potatoes in another, and green beans in my tiny one.  I had never thought to put baked potatoes in the slow cooker.  Seriously, why had no one ever told me about this?  We got home after a 2 1/2 hour game and dinner was done.  My house was even nice and cool.  Genius! The baked potatoes turned out perfect.  You need to try this one out!  Enjoy :)

Salt and Pepper

Wash potatoes and prick with a knife.  Lightly rub them with oil and season with salt and pepper.  Wrap with foil and place in slow cooker.  Cook on high for 5 hours.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Oreo Pudding Pop

Serious question here.  What happened to the pudding pops?  Growing up I LOVED them!  They were down right delicious... and now, they're no longer down the frozen treat isle.  Children everywhere are getting ripped off!  I see all these crazy popsicle and ice cream concoctions, but no delicious pudding pops!!!  What's a good 80's born mom to do so her kiddies don't miss out?  Make them and put oreo cookies in them!  Super easy!  Super yummy!  Enjoy :)

1 box pudding made to box directions  using milk
1 handful of oreo cookie, crushed

Mix and pour into popsicle molds.  Freeze 4 hours.  Dip mold in warm water for a few seconds until you can pull the pop easily out and enjoy!!!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Mango Cucumber Salsa

Hello, it's me.  I was wondering if after all these months you'd like a recipe.  They say that summer break is supposed to give ya time, but I am still busy!
How'd ya like my pretty lame attempt at an Adele parody?  At least you don't have to hear my singing voice!
So yay!  It's summer!  I have a huge list I want to accomplish, but so far I'm just going to my sons ball games and trying to be lazy!!!
Here's a great salsa recipe I found using  mangos on sale for 39 cents at Aldi. I had never had one before.  I picked the cilantro out of my garden and it tastes so much better than the store stuff.  I hope you try this one out.  It's yummy with some tortilla chips.  Enjoy :)

Mango Cucumber Salsa
3 TBSP lime juice (lemon would work too)
2 tsp fresh minced cilantro
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp salt
1 medium cucumber, diced
1 medium mango, diced
1 medium tomato, diced
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion

Mix everything and enjoy!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Delicious Zucchini Brownies

Look at these gooey, chocolate brownies.  They look sinful, don't they?  Guess what?  These have 2 cups of zucchini in them.  That means you're practically eating a vegetable...AND you can't even tell!  Now, I'm not gonna lie.  I 've eaten my share of zucchini cakes and brownies.  While I was eating those cakes and brownies  I knew I was eating zucchini. No one was fooled in those recipes.  They were good, but I could totally tell they were zucchini laden.  Now these, on the other hand, you would never know!  They're packed with moist, super chocolate deliciousness and you can feel good about yourself because you are eating your veggies :)

2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup oil
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups shredded/grated zucchini
3-5 TBSP of water (you may not need this depending on how moist your zucchini is)

3 TBSP cocoa
1/4 cup melted butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 TBSP vanilla
Pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 350°F
Line a 9 x 13 pan with foil and spray with cooking spray.  Set aside.
Mix oil, sugar, and vanilla until well combined.  Add dry ingredients, stir and then fold in zucchini.
Let this batter set 5 minutes to absorb the moisture from the zucchini.  The mixture should be very thick, but not powdery. (The moisture depends on your zucchini.  Some are wetter than others!)   If it is powdery add a TBSP at a time of water until you get a very thick batter.  You do not want it to be thin like regular cake batter, you want it very thick like a cookie dough.  It should give your arm a good workout while stirring (See, you're eating veggies and working out!  You're an official health nut!)
Spread batter into prepared pan.
Bake 25-30 minutes or until it springs back when you touch it.

Whisk butter, cocoa, salt and powdered sugar. Whisk in milk and vanilla.  Whisk until smooth and then spread onto cooled cake.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Italian Steak Sandwiches

The busy time has arrived!  School's started and I'm now switching gears and cooking more quick and easy meals.

Look at how big they've gotten!  Chase is in 3rd, Worm 6th, and Miss Picky Pants is in 8th (Lord help me!).
Between homework, gymnastics, piano, band stuff and who knows what else, I'm already feeling overwhelmed!  This meal's quick, easy and everyone ate it and was happy.  I call that a win!  I love that it calls for deli roast beef and items that are quick to whip together.  I doubled the recipe to ensure my husband had leftovers for his lunch...and we're pigs!  Just saying!  I hope you try it soon!  Enjoy :)

2 TBSP oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 pound sliced deli roast beef
1/2 cup beef broth
2 TBSP red wine or additional beef brother (I used broth)
2 tsp parsley
2 tsp basil
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp oregano
sandwich rolls
provolone cheese

Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.  Add garlic and pepper flakes.  Cook and stir 1 minute.  Add roast beef, broth, wine (or more broth) and seasonings. Heat through.  Place beef on rolls, drizzling with some of the broth from the pan.  Top with cheese. 

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies- Vegan, Gluten Free & Amazing!!!

OMG!  These are the BEST cookies!  I didn't have eggs and had a serious cookie craving.  Hmmm, vegan is egg free.  I searched Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies on Pinterest and found these amazing cookies.  My husband ate 3 and said they were the best cookie ever. I told him they were healthy because they were Vegan and Gluten Free, so he ate 4 more! The neighborhood kids loved them too! They're chewy, peanut buttery with a hint of oatmeal deliciousness.  Enjoy :)

1 cup peanut butter
1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
3/4 cup oat flour (I did my own in the food processor)
1 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. salt
1/4 cup water

Cream peanut butter and brown sugar for 1 minute (it will be fluffy).  Mix in vanilla.  Combine dry ingredients and slowly add until well mixed.  Add in water and mix until incorporated.  Roll into 1 inch balls.  Dredge in sugar and place on lightly greased cookie sheet.  Use a fork to press down (and make cute designs!).  Bake at 350 degrees 8-10 minutes (light golden).  Cool completely and remove from cookie sheet.  Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting

A few weeks ago I scoured the net for an awesome recipe to make for my friend Tasha's birthday.  It needed to be fancy and deliciously because she's cool like that!  After putting up with my crazy ideas for over 30 years, she deserves something super yummy.  Seriously!  After watching way to many episodes of Cupcake Wars I decided to make Swiss Meringue Buttercream.  I had never eaten it, but it sure sounded fancy!  I must admit, this recipe takes a little time to make.  If I didn't love her so much I may have said heck with it and used the canned stuff, but I hung in there and was very happy with the result!  This buttercream's very rich and creamy and completely delicious. It is much less sweet than a traditional buttercream.  I'm posting the original recipe I found at Gretchen's Bakery, but I halved it with success. Enjoy!!!

Please read directions before starting.  It has many steps and I want yours to turn out as delish as mine did!

6 large egg whites
1 cup + 1/2 cup sugar
2 cups powdered sugar
3/4 cup shortening- room temp
2 cups unsalted butter- room temp
1 TBSP vanilla

In a large metal bowl over a double boiler, whisk sugar and egg whites.  Stir constantly until it reaches 115 degrees F and the sugar crystals have dissolved (it will not feel grainy to the touch)

Pour mixture into the metal bowl of your stand mixer with the whisk attachment.  Whip on High until it is thick, glossy and white.  The peaks should be very firm.

While mixture is whipping to stiff peaks, sift powdered sugar.  After it reaches stiff peaks add the sifted powdered sugar all at once with your mixer on the lowest speed (to avoid a mess!).  Once incorporated you can turn the mixer back to med-high speed.

Add your room temperature butter and shortening quickly in 2-3 additions.

Add vanilla.

Stop mixer and take of the whip attachment replacing it with your paddle attachment. (Lick whip attachment!)

Using paddle attachment, mix until smooth.  Then it's done!  You can use it under fondant, you can pipe it on cupcakes, or spread it on a cake.  Be sure to lick to paddle!  YUM!!!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Nutella Treats

Dear Nutella,
think I am in love with you!!!
Heidi :)

If you're a fellow Nutella fan, this is a MUST TRY recipe!  You get a soft ooeey-gooeey krispie treat with a delicious kick of Nutella.  What's not to love!?!  My husband is obsessed with these yummy treats (me too!).   Try it!  You will not be disappointed.  Enjoy :)

1/2 stick butter (4 TBSP)
1 package marshmallows (10 oz)
1/2 cup Nutella
5-6 cups rice krispie cereal

Melt butter in large sauce pan over low heat.  Add in marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat and stir in Nutella,  then cereal (I didn't stir my Nutella in complete so there are also plain marshmallows peaking through making it look marbled).
Pour into buttered 9x13 baking pan and press down using buttered hands.  Cool and enjoy!!!

Friday, May 29, 2015

Grilled London Broil

I LOVE London broil!  It's one of my very favorite pieces of grilled meat.  It has kind of a bad reputation for being tough and dry as an old boot, but with a few tricks it will melt in your mouth.  Promise!  I've made this recipe for years and it has not let me down yet.  First, you must marinade it.  This marinade is from Sara Moulton.  Then, when you grill it, you must make sure to leave it a little pink. BUT the biggest secret to a tender, juicy, delicious London broil is how you slice it.  You must use a very sharp knife and cut it very thinly (super, duper thin!) against the grain.  Now that you know the secrets to making this piece of meat awesome, so you must try it out!  You won't be disappointed.  ENJOY :)

1 London Broil (2- 2 1/2 lb)
4 cloves minced garlic
4 TBSP balsamic vinegar
4 TBSP fresh lemon juice
3 TBSP Dijon mustard
1 1/2 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
1 TBSP soy sauce
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
2/3 cup olive oil (canola also works)

Mix marinade ingredients together in a large zip loc bag.  Add the meat.  Seal bag (press out extra air) and set in a shallow dish.  Let set 8 hours or over night.
Remove meat and discard marinade.
Preheat grill and grill meat, turning each side once (9-10 minutes on each side), or until it reaches 125-130 degrees (medium-rare).
Remove from grill and let rest on cutting board 10 minutes.  Slice VERY thin against the grain with a sharp knife.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Overnight Danish

Are you looking for the perfect recipe to impress on Easter morning?  THIS IS IT!!!!  These are absolutely delicious!  They are easy enough I even make them once a month for breakfast at school.  They're always a huge hit.  I've even had students get the recipe from me!  I've used cherry, blueberry and apple pie fillings, but think any flavor would work (I'm thinking peach will be next or even chocolate!).  If you don't think you will have time to make these out in the morning they can be prepared a day in advance, covered with foil and popped in the oven for a few minutes to warm right before you need them.  Frost them and serve.  Enjoy!!!

2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm  milk (110° to 115°)
6 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup cold butter, cubed
1-1/2 cups warm half-and-half cream (70° to 80°)  (whole milk can be subbed)
6 egg yolks
1 can (21 ounce) pie filling (or you can make your own)

3 cups confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Dash salt
4 to 5 tablespoons half-and-half cream

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm milk.
In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar and salt. Cut in butter until crumbly.
Add yeast mixture, cream and egg yolks; stir until mixture forms a soft dough (dough will be sticky, don't worry that's the way it should be!).
Refrigerate, covered, overnight.
Punch down dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide into four portions. Roll each portion into an large rectangle; cut into 4x1-in. strips. (I use a pizza cutter- it is forgiving so if it's not exactly perfect strips it will work out just fine).
Place two strips side by side; twist together. Shape into a ring and pinch ends together. Place 2 in. apart on greased baking sheets. Repeat with remaining strips. Cover with kitchen towels; let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350°. Using a spoon, make a 1/2-in.-deep indentation in the center of each Danish. Fill each with about 1 tablespoon pie filling. Bake 14-16 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool.
For icing, in a bowl, beat confectioners' sugar, butter, vanilla, salt and enough cream to reach desired consistency. Drizzle over Danish. Yield: 3 dozen

Friday, March 6, 2015

Chicken Ranch Tacos

Ignore this horrible picture, these Chicken Ranch Tacos were delish!  My family loves ranch and I knew they would enjoy this recipe.  All the kiddies cleaned their plates and it was pretty darn cheap. That makes it a winner!  Lately I've been trying to do food prep on the weekend.  This recipe's so easy to do that with!  I cooked several pounds of chicken I found on sale and cubed it up and placed it in measured out freezer bags.  Now, I have several meals of chicken  cooked and ready to go!  It makes life so much easier after a busy day at work and running children around.  Do you meal prep?   ENJOY :)

3  cups of cooked chicken- cut into bite sized pieces (I used breast)
1 pkg taco seasoning
1/2 cup ranch dressing
Taco shells
Taco fixings (lettuce, tomato, cheese, onion, sour cream... whatever you love!)

Warm chicken in skillet and add taco seasoning.  This will look dry, but don't add any water.  Heat about 5 minutes (or until seasoning is stuck to the chicken).  Add ranch dressing and heat through (I added a little more dressing).  That's it!  Put it in your shells with your fixings and enjoy!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Pumpkin Spice No Bake Cookies

Here's a delicious no bake cookie just in time for Thanksgiving!  My friend Sherry shared these little goodies at work and they were a big hit. 

1 box 93.4 oz)  instant Pumpkin Spice pudding mix- if you cannot find this you can substitute it with vanilla pudding and 1 TBSP pumpkin pie spice
1 TBSP pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cups brown sugar
3/4 cup butter
2/3 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups quick oats

Combine milk, both sugars and butter in a sauce pan and bring to a boil.  Boil for 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and add pudding mix and spice.  Add oats and vanilla, stir and then let stand 5 minutes to thicken.  Drop onto wax paper to cool completely (this can take a few hours).  Makes around 36 cookies.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Halloween Brownies

Halloween already???  Here's a quick way to snazz-up a boxed brownie to look like you went all out!  I will be posting more Halloween treat ideas this week in the non-sweet variety (for Sophie's class since her not being able to have sugar limits what I can make).  Enjoy!
Brownies made from boxed mix (or homemade if you prefer)
candy coating (any color or flavor you want- I used green)
Melt your candy coating according to package directions.  Dip half of your brownie in coating and place on waxed paper.  While candy coating is still wet, sprinkle with sprinkles.  Let the candy coating harden and enjoy!