Thursday, February 16, 2012

Recipe #22: Granola

Really Really good granola!

I had been searching! I think this is one of the best granolas I've ever had! 

Anytime Granola

{borrowed, adapted and enjoyed from: The Farm Chicks in the Kitchen by: Teri Edwards and Serena Thompson.} 

*note* we cut this recipe in half.


6 cups old fashioned rolled oats
2 cups shredded unsweetened coconut {found at health food stores or during the holidays}
2 cups pecan halves or pieces {optional}
1/3 cup canola oil {or something healthier, ex. coconut oil}
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter {or another crunchy nut butter you like}
1/2 cup honey
2 tsp ground cinnamon 
1 tsp. vanilla extract

I added:
 {to make healthier but not change the taste} 
1 T. flax seed meal
1 T. toasted wheat germ

Hear me out! :)

This little bit of both of these ingredients does NOT effect the taste of the granola. Both are really fine substances and mix in un-noticed. Why use it you ask? Flaxseed meal is a wonderful source of fiber and Omega 3 fats and toasted wheat germ provides vitamin E and folic acid. These two ingredients help fill you up faster! And keep you full longer. You won't compromise taste or texture, but you will gain important nutrients without even noticing! Both of these ingredients run about $7-10 and are kept in the fridge. They last a long time so they are certainly worth the purchase! You can find these ingredients at your local health food store or natural section at the supermarket. 

Ok back to the recipe!

1) Heat oven to 325 degrees F. 
2) Combine oats, coconut, pecans, flaxseed meal and toasted wheat germ in large bowl. Combine oil, brown sugar, peanut butter, honey, cinnamon, and vanilla in a small saucepan. Heat over medium heat and stir until smooth. {THIS CREATES THE MOST HEAVENLY SMELL!!}.
3) Pour peanut butter mixture over oat mixture stirring until well combined.
4) Line a shallow baking dish {jelly roll pan} with foil. Spread the oat mixture out on the pan evenly. Bake until lightly browned {or depending on your taste} about 50 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes with a large spoon or spatula. 
5) Cool in the pan on a wire rack stirring once more {otherwise you get a granola bar the size of you pan!!}.

You can store this in an air-tight container for up to 2 weeks!


What are in your favorite granolas? 

What do you like to add flaxseed meal and toasted wheat germ to?

All for now,


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Recipes #20 Fish and Chips and #21 Crock Pot Corn Chowder

We decided to make fish and chips.

Afterall, I really like seafood and we both like fish and chips.

And, this recipe was baked so its much healthier.

However, it was kinda bland and not my favorite.

So I won't post the recipe.

The "chips" were really good though.



Sea Salt
Freshly Ground Pepper
Olive Oil

1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2) Clean and cut potatoes into wedges.
3) Put olive oil, sea salt and freshly ground pepper into a bowl. Toss potato wedges in oil mixture until potatoes are coated.
4) Bake on a baking sheet for 45 minutes.

Crock Pot Corn Chowder

The Corn Chowder was just ok.. And it made WAY too much for us. Eating it multiple times was not a preference.

But something great came of it!

Kyle said "I definitely approve of the way you cook bacon!"

Which was super sweet and made me laugh!

But it also made me feel great because while bacon is not hard to cook, I've never made it myself. :)

So that was fun!

I calculated that with my goal of 100 for the year I need to make 8.3 recipes per month.

January: 16 recipes
February {so far}: 5 recipes
Total {so far]: 21 recipes!

I'm ahead of schedule! :)

Any specific types of recipes you would like me to try?

All for now,


Monday, February 13, 2012

Recipe #19: Upside Down Mini Quiches

Upside Down Mini Quiches

{Borrowed, Enjoyed and Adapted from: Modern Hospitality By: Whitney Miller}

Serves 4


Biscuit Crust:

1 cup self-rising flour
2 T. COLD butter flavored shortening OR COLD butter
1/4 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 cup low fat butter milk
1 T. unsalted butter MELTED {for ramekins}


8 eggs
1 1/2 cups half and half 
3/4 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper 
4 tsp. diced yellow onion
4 T. diced bell pepper {any color, or mixed!}
4 {heaping} T. diced fresh cremini mushrooms
4 T. cooked and crumbled andouille sausage or bacon {OPTIONAL! We made ours veggie and they were great! Just add a little more veggies!}
8 T. shredded sharp cheddar cheese or feta

1) Preheat oven to 375 Degrees F. Lightly coat 4 8 oz ramekins with cooking spray OR olive oil and place on baking sheet.
2) Make crust: Put flour in medium bowl. Cut in shortening {or butter if subbing} with 2 forks or a pastry blender. Until the butter crumbles are small and incorporated into the flour. Stir in rosemary and buttermilk until incorporated. 
3) Flour your hands and roll the dough into a ball. Wrap with plastic wrap and chill for 10 minutes.
 4) Flour a pastry mat, counter or table. Roll the chilled dough out into 1/4 inch thickness round. Use a 5 inch round object to cut 4 round crusts out of the dough.
5) Make filling: Beat eggs in large bowl with half and half, sea salt and freshly ground pepper. 
6) Layer veggies and optional meat into each ramekin in this order: 1 tsp. of onion, 1 T. of bell pepper, 1 heaping T. of mushrooms, 1 T meat {optional, or replace with more veggies} and 2 T. cheddar cheese. Top with egg mixture.
7) Coat rims of ramekins with melted butter to help crusts stick. Press dough rounds onto buttered tops of ramekins so that they stick. Brush the top of the crust with remaining melted butter.
8) Bake until crust is golden brown, 20-25 minutes {ours took longer, but it could be our oven..}. Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.


What is your favorite quiche or omelet add in? 

All for now,


Sunday, February 12, 2012

Recipe #18: Crock Pot Chicken Parmesan

Crock Pot Chicken Parmesan

{Borrowed and enjoyed from: Crock Pot Best Loved Slow Cooker Recipes}
Serves 4 

8 oz. cremini mushrooms {sliced}
1 medium onion {cut into thin wedges}
1 T. olive oil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 jar (26 oz) pasta sauce 
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup (2 oz) shredded part skim mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese  

Hot cooked whole wheat spaghetti

1) Place mushrooms and onions in the bottom of the slow cooker. 
2) heat oil in large skillet, add chicken and lightly brown on both sides. Place chicken in crock pot.
3) pour pasta sauce over chicken. Add basil, oregano and bay leaf. 
4) Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours or high for 3 - 4 hours. IT's ALWAYS BETTER IF YOU COOK ON LOW IF POSSIBLE! {the meat is more tender}.
5) Remove bay leaf. Sprinkle with cheeses and cook uncovered on low for 15 - 30 minutes or until cheeses have melted. Serve over spaghetti.


All for now,


Friday, February 10, 2012

Recipe #17: Shrimp Alfredo with Snap Peas

I think I am in love with shrimp.

Seriously, all of my favorite meals right now include shrimp.
This one is no different.

Shrimp Alfredo with Snap Peas

{borrowed and enjoyed from The First Real Kitchen Cookbook By: Megan and Jill Carle}

Serves 4


12 oz. dry Whole Wheat* bow tie or penne pasta 
1b raw shrimp {alternative THAWED, frozen}
1 T. olive oil
1 1/2 cups of sugar snap peas
1 small clove of garlic
2 T. butter
1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 T. fresh chopped parsley

1) Bring a large sauce pan of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to package directions or for 10 minutes. Drain and keep warm in bowl covered with towel.
2) {FOR FRESH SHRIMP} - peel shrimp.
3) Heat olive oil in large frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook snap peas stirring frequently for 3 minutes. Add the shellfish {fresh or THAWED} and cook stirring frequently for 2 minutes {or until the FRESH ones start to curl up and turn pink}. Remove contents from pan and keep warm.
4) Peel and finely chop garlic. Put butter and cream in pan and cook over medium-low heat for 5 minutes or until butter is melted. Add cheese and garlic and stir until smooth {cheese is melted}. Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. 
5) Add peas and shrimp to sauce and add pasta. Stir until the pasta is completely coated with the sauce. 
6) Remove from heat, sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve.


*Tips for cooking whole wheat pasta: if you or someone you know and feed complains about the texture of whole wheat pasta, cook for just a bit longer than the box suggests and it will soften the texture a little more! You won't even notice! This swap is so healthy for you and your family! :)*

What is your favorite shrimp/seafood recipe?

All for now,


Thursday, February 9, 2012

Recipe #16: Beef Stew and Garlic Mash + New Plant!

Beef Stew and Garlic Mash

pretty good.. but had some sketchy pre-cooked "meat" that didn't expire until April in it..

So.. if it gets made again.. it will be with real meat. ;) 

But again if anyone would like the recipe.. just leave a comment!

Plant #1 of 2012!

Also.. this may seem random... 
but for fairness of my other resolutions.. 
I thought I would let you know that I got new plant #1 of 3! 

Here he is! Still working on a name! :) hehe

He's and Ivy Topiary! :) So fun and unique. 

Might get rid of the pink-ness eventually. But the plant is great :)

Thank you to my wonderful husband! :)

What are your favorite house plants? Or thoughtful gifts from significan others?

All for now,


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Recipe #15: Apple Cinnamon Cupcakes

Gilmore Girls nights call for delicious and/or junky food.

So when Juliet, Jessica and I planned a night I had to make something great :) {after all I have my own kitchen now. :)}

But of course my baking supplies were limited.

So I found something that I didn't have to buy groceries for.

Apple Cinnamon Cupcakes {or Cuffins as Kyle and I call them}

{Borrowed and Enjoyed from: The cupcake deck by: Elinor Klivans- courtesy of the lovely Jenne Moore!}

Makes 1 dozen cupcakes


Swirl and Topping:

1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon


1 cup grated peeled apple {1 large apple} of the firm or baking variety {ex. granny smith}
2 T cinnamon sugar {from above} 
1 1/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
2 large eggs
1 cup canola oil or corn oil OR {healthy!} 1 cup of applesauce!
{tastes perfect with the apple flavor!}
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 tsp. unsalted butter {melted}

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Move rack to middle position in the oven.
2) Make swirl and topping by mixing cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl.
3) In a small bowl mix together the grated apple and 2 T of the cinnamon sugar, set aside. 
4) In a large bowl stir the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt together. 
5) Make a hole in the center of the flour mixture and add the eggs, oil and vanilla extract. Stir just until blended.
6) Stir in the reserved apple mixture and any juice it produced.
7) Spoon about 2 T of batter into each cupcake liner. Sprinkle 1/2 tsp. cinnamon sugar over the batter. Then add another layer of batter {slightly less than 2 T}. Brush top of batter with melted butter and sprinkle again with cinnamon sugar {whatever looks good}.
8) Bake just until the top feels firm and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes.

Enjoy! {like we did! :)}

*Note: if you use a soft apple the cupcakes will turn out very oily! Still good but VERY oily! *

What is your favorite cupcake or muffin recipe?

All for now,


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Recipe #14: Chili Pie

Ok.. so clearly.. 

The week these posts are from...
was not the healthiest week of eating. 

Oh well. We are doing a better job of spacing things out now. :) 

Anyway this recipe was actually really good and really easy!

Perfect for a cold day! 

Chili Pie

{Borrowed and Enjoyed from Debbie Macomber's Cedar Cove Cookbook}

Serves 4 {but more like 6 for us!}


2 T. Olive Oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 T chili powder
2 tsp. ground cumin
sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 lb. ground beef OR ground turkey OR ground buffalo {healthier}
1 15 oz. can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 lb. frozen shredded hash brown potatoes
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1) Preheat oven to 450 F. 
2) Warm oil in large pan over medium low heat. Add onion, chili powder, cumin, sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes, until onions are softened. Stir often. Stir in tomato paste until absorbed.
3) Add beef and cook for 5 minutes until no longer pink. Use a wooden spoon to break up pieces of meat as it cooks. Stir in tomatoes and beans. Reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes. 
4) Uncover and cook 10 minutes longer. Add water if mixture seems dry. Stir occasionally. Pour into a 2qt casserole dish, or several smaller oven-safe pans.
5) In a large bowl, toss potatoes with {LOTS OF!} sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Scatter potatoes over casserole, sprinkle with cheese. Place on a rimmed baking sheet {in case of overflow!} and bake for 35 minutes. {until potatoes are cooked through and chili is bubbling}. *if smaller pans are used, reduce cooking time!*


Note: I bet you could reduce the liquid in your favorite chili recipe and just add the hashbrowns and cheese!

What is your favorite cold weather recipe? Or your favorite chili recipe?

All for now,


Monday, February 6, 2012

Recipe #13 BBQ Pulled Pork

Kyle is a big BBQ fan.

and since Wednesday is crockpot night...
We decided to try a BBQ pulled pork recipe.

and I have to say.. it was great! :)

BBQ Pulled Pork

{Borrowed and enjoyed from Crock Pot Best-Loved Slow Cooker Recipes

Serves 6  {= lots of leftovers for us!}


1 Pork Shoulder roast {about 2.5 lbs}
1 14oz bottle of BBQ Sauce {we used sweet baby ray's or Uncle Sonny's for the locals :)}
1 T. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. brown sugar
1 medium onion, chopped
+ buns, rolls, bread or whatever you like to put it on.

1) Place roast in crock pot. Cook on low for 10-12 hours or High for 5-6 hours. {LOW is ALWAYS better! If you have time!}
2) Remove roast from crock pot, drain liquid into empty disposable container. Shred the pork and return to crock pot.
3) Add BBQ sauce, lemon juice, brown sugar and onion.
4) Cover and cook on high for 1 hour or low for 2 hours.


What is your favorite BBQ Sauce?

All for now,


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Recipe #11: Blackened Chicken Nachos & #12 Guacamole

Generally I am not a huge fan of nachos.

Or chips and salsa. 

I LOVE salsa... just not with chips. Especially not restaurant chips.

But for some reason this nacho recipe sounded good, and it turned out that "good" is an understatement.

Blackened Chicken Nachos 

{Borrowed and Enjoyed from The First Real Kitchen Cookbook by Megan and Jill Carle}

Serves 4-6

1 T. Cajun seasoning
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts (2-3)
2 large tomatoes
tortilla chips (13 oz)
pickled jalapeno slices
4 cups cheddar cheese {or jack or Mexican blend...}

*I think I would add some black beans!*
1) Preheat oven to 350 F.
2) Put Cajun seasoning on a plate and dredge {i.e. rub on chicken, or dip chicken in} the chicken in it until fully covered.
3) Heat frying pan with oil, or non-stick pan w/o oil on high heat and add chicken. Cooking for 1 minute on each side. Transfer to baking sheet/tray and bake for 20 minutes.
4) Let chicken cool and then cut into cubes or chunks.
5) Halve, seed and cut the tomatoes into pieces.
6) Spread some chips on the pan. Top with chicken, tomato, jalapeno and cheese. Repeat.
7) Bake for 15 minutes or until the cheese has melted. 
The chicken was FANTASTIC! The Cajun seasoning made all of the difference. :) These nachos were great!!!



1 ripe avocado {dark skin, has give when you poke it}*
2 cloves of garlic
1 lime {juice}
1 small tomato
sea salt and ground pepper
1 T. cilantro

salsa and/or sour cream on the side

1) Pit avocado and scoop out insides into a bowl. 
2)Finely chop garlic and add to avocado.
3) Cut tomato into pieces and add to avocado.
4) Add lime juice and season with sea salt and ground pepper.
5) Chop cilantro into small pieces and add.
6) Stir.


*tip* avocado not ripe? Put in a paper bag overnight to speed up the process.

This is not my favorite guacamole recipe {the one I always use} but it ended up being very good!

Serve all together with salsa and sour cream!

What is your favorite nacho topping?

All for now,