Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Sweet Potato Quick Bread

I was looking for a way to use some sweet potatoes we had. My husband doesn't really like sweet potatoes because he likes more savory vegetables and side dishes. I thought this sweet quick bread might be the perfect compromise to get him to eat vegetables...even if a little sugar is added. I found this recipe in the Taste of Home's 2006 Quick Cooking Annual Recipes cookbook. I cut the recipe in half and changed a couple of things from the original since I didn't have (or like) some ingredients. The maple glaze was my addition. The original called for an orange glaze, but I didn't have the supplies for that. The result: it tastes a lot like this pumpkin pound cake recipe I make sometimes, but not quite as sweet. It's delicious!

 1 3/4 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 c mashed sweet potatoes (about 2 sweet potatoes)
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp milled flax seed
1 1/2 Tbl water
1/2 c canola oil
1 1/2 c sugar
1/2 c chopped walnuts (opt. I didn't use these)
1/2 c raisins (opt. I didn't use these)

1/2 c powdered sugar
2 Tb;c maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla
  • In a large bowl, combine the first seven ingredients.
  • In another bowl, whisk the sweet potatoes, eggs, and oil. Add sugar; whisk until smooth.
  • Stir into dry ingredients until just combined. Fold in walnuts and raisins if using.
  • Transfer (thick) batter to greased loaf pan.
  • Bake @ 350* for 60-70 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
  • Cool for 10 minutes.
  • Remove from pan and put on wire rack to cool completely. 
  • For glaze, combine ingredients and whisk until smooth.
  • Drizzle glaze over loaf.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Oatmeal Dinner Rolls

Third time is a charm, they say. It's true in this recipe for dinner rolls. I tend to have bad luck when trying homemade yeast breads. I think I have finally figured out why it hasn't turned out so far...the part where your rise in a warm place...well, I think the key is sticking it on top of the refrigerator. I guess the stovetop or countertop isn't good enough. Anyhow, enough about the past. These rolls have a super smooth, soft inside and just a hint of sweetness. The oatmeal is completely dissolved in the dough, so you would never know the rolls were made with it.

Start 2 1/2 hours ahead
2 c water
1 c oatmeal
3 Tbl butter
1 pkg yeast (or 2 1/4 tsp)
1/3 c warm water (110-115*)
1/3 c packed brown sugar
1 Tbl sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
4 3/4-5 1/4 c flour
  • Boil 2 c water, oats, and butter. Cook and stir for 1 minute. Cook to lukewarm
  • Dissolve yeast and 1 Tbl sugar in the 1/3 c warm water. Rest for about 5 minutes until bubbly.
  • Combine 4 cups flour, brown sugar, and salt.  Add oatmeal mixture. Add yeast mixture. Beat until smooth.
  • Add enough flour to make soft dough. I used 5 1/4 cups total
  • Turn on flour surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (6-8 minutes). I cheated and used the stand mixer for about 5 minutes.
  • Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. 
  • Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
  • Punch down and rest 10 minutes.
  • Shape into 18 balls. Place balls in 2 greased 9 inch round pans. 
  • Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes
  • Bake @ 350* for 20-25 minutes until golden
  • Top hot rolls with butter before serving.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

A New Obsession

This isn't a recipe post...but I have to share. And, no I'm not getting paid to tell you about it. I figured if you are reading this, you like food, so you might like this too!
I have found a new obsession. I"m not sure how this fits into my penny pinching grocery budget, but I must find a way to make it work. I blame my mom, really. She's the one who introduced me to this new treat. She brought it to my daughter's birthday party last weekend. Since then, I have bought two more bags of it, and no I didn't eat it all myself-though I could have.

It's popcorn! There I said it. I'm in love with Popcorn, Indiana popcorn. I love the history of the company, too. It originated very close to where I grew up. (Yes, there really is a Popcorn, Indiana!)

My mom brought the original Kettle corn to the party. Everyone loved it. I have a special place in my heart for sugared popcorn. My Papaw (grandpa) used to make it for us when we would spend the night...the old fashioned way with that special popcorn pan. This Kettle corn almost tastes like the way he used to make it!

Then she mentioned there was a cinnamon sugar flavor, too. I knew I had to have it. I went to a local grocery store, but they didn't have that flavor...so I got the Aged White Cheddar Kettle corn. It was amazing! Probably the best White Cheddar popcorn I've had.

I became a fan of Popcorn, Indiana on Facebook and noticed that other people where having trouble finding the Cinnamon-Sugar flavor as well. They said it's only available at Wal-Mart. Oh man, I hate Wal-Mart, but that's another thing altogether. Well, I swallowed my pride and went to Wal-Mart and bought it. For those of you who know me, this is a huge deal, but I had to have it! YUM, it was totally worth the craziness!

I think I'll go grab a handful right now...

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Broccoli Chicken Casserole

This is something my mom used to make when people would come over. It looks much harder than it actually is! I think the recipe originally came from Pampered Chef. I cut the recipe in half since there are just two of us eating it. The half recipe (posted below) is enough for 4 decent sized servings. We always eat the leftovers for lunch the following day.

2-3 pieces of chicken, cooked/cubed
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 stalk of broccoli, steamed
1 cup shredded cheese
1 can crescent rolls
  • Separate rolls into 8 triangles. Place four triangles, points facing away from you on a pizza stone. Place the other four triangles with points facing  you. The short straight sides of the triangles should be lined up and touching each other. Use a rolling pin to smooth out the seams. 
  • Combine chicken, soup, broccoli, and cheese in a bowl.
  • Spoon chicken mixture onto rolls. Fold triangle points over the filling so it looks like a mummy.
  • Bake @ 350* for about 10 minutes or until golden brown

Monday, March 22, 2010

Pizza Roll Ups

These roll ups are delicious! To save a little money or if you don't have it onhand you can substitute the pizza sauce with 8oz tomato sauce plus 1 heaping teaspoon oregano and some onion powder. Adapted from my favorite cookbook,  Taste of Home  Quick Cooking 2006

1 lb ground beef, turkey, or sausage
1 can (8oz) pizza sauce
about 30 pepperoni or turkey pepperoni slices
1/2 tsp dried oregano
6 tortillas, warmed (I used wheat)
6 pieces string cheese
  • Brown meat in skillet. Stir in pizza sauce, pepperoni, and oregano.
  • Spoon about 1/2 cup meat mixture off-center on each tortilla. Top with string cheese. Fold one side of each tortilla over filling and roll up from the opposite side. Place seam side down on ungreased baking dish
  • Bake @ 350* for 10 minutes or until heated through and cheese melts.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Best Punch Ever!

We had my daughter's first birthday party this weekend, and no birthday party is complete without punch. This recipe is the same punch we had at all of my birthday parties when I was little too. I suppose if it were an adult party, spiking it with some rum might make a tasty beverage, but I've never tried it that way.

1/2 gal Hawaiian Punch (red)
1 Liter 7-Up (Sprite, etc)
1/2 tub pineapple sherbet
  • Pour liquids into punch bowl and stir.
  • Scoop sherbet on top

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Pot Roast

This recipe came about when I realized last minute that I had forgotten to buy an ingredient I normally use to make pot roast. I looked through a cookbook, but I didn't have all the ingredients for one recipe, but I had several ingredients from a few different recipes....so I combined them and used what I had, and this is what we ended up with. It was pretty tasty!

2 lb pot roast
1 Tbl mustard (I used spicy brown)
1 Tbl worchestershire
1 tsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp onion powder
1 clove minced garlic
1/4 tsp pepper
1 cup water
  • Combine all ingredients in slow cooker
  • Cook on low for 6 hours or high for 4 hours

Apple Pie Muffins

When my sister and I lived in an apartment together, we found a box mix of apple pie muffins where there is a filling center in the middle of the muffin. The store that had them, doesn't have them anymore. Since we had some apples that needed to be used soon, I searched for a recipe that had a filling center, but couldn't find one. I decided to use a basic muffin recipe and add the filling myself and see what happened!

1/2 c brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1/3 c flour
1/4 c melted butter
1 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 cup peeled, diced apples
1 1/2 c brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon (I forgot this ingredient, but it was still great!)
2/3 c oil
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 c buttermilk (or 1 c milk + 1 Tbl vinegar...sit 5 minutes)
  • Grease muffin cups...or use papers.
  • Boil apples until a little soft (a secret to soft apple pies!)
  • Drain, add the rest of the filling ingredients to the apples. Sit aside.
Alternatively, don't boil the apples. Mix all the filling ingredients in with the other muffin ingredients. This way the apples will be more evenly spread out, rather than a surprise in the middle of your muffin. Both ways are fabulous!
  • Combine muffin ingredients
  • Put a layer of batter to fill 1/4 of the muffin cup. Add a layer of apple filling up to 1/2 of muffin cup. And finally, top with batter to fill to 3/4 of muffin cup. Continue to layer batter, filling, batter in each muffin cup.
  • Bake at 350* for 25 minutes or until golden brown and top springs back.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Red Beans and Rice

I had never eaten this classic dish before a few months ago when I ran across the recipe in the little book that comes with the crock-pot. I guess I always thought it would be super spicy, but it's not. I just love the seasonings and the heartiness (yes, even without meat!). It's super cheap to make, too!
You can double the recipe if you want, but it does make a lot of food!

1/2 lb dry red beans
1/2 onion, chopped (I used onion powder)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 14 1/2 oz. can vegetable (or beef) broth
1 cup water
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp hot pepper sauce
3 cups cooked rice (brown rice is more flavorful and healthier)
  • In large pot, cover beans with three times their volume of water and bring to a boil.
  • Boil for 10 minutes, and then remove from heat. 
  • Cover and let stand for 1 hour and then drain.
  • Combine all of the ingredients in the slow cooker except the rice.
  • Cover, cook on low for 10 hours or on high for 6 hours.
  • Serve over the hot cooked rice.

Spice Rubbed Chicken Fingers with BBQ Sauce

Yum! We are still trying to eat healthy, so we have been having a lot more chicken lately. It's finally warm enough to use the grill so we had these chicken fingers last night. A little spicy, but very good! I wrap each tender in a tortilla and add cheese and BBQ sauce for a quick lunch the next day.
Adapted from South Beach Diet Cookbook

1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp salt
1 lb chicken tenders
BBQ sauce
  • Coat grill rack (or broiler pan) with cooking spray and preheat grill
  • Combine chili powder, cumin, and salt.
  • Cut small slashes in each side of chicken tenders and rub the spice mixture over the chicken, pressing it into the slits.
  • Place chicken in pan, coat with cooking spray, and let stand for 10 minutes
  • Grill chicken, turning several times until juices run clear.
  • Dip in your favorite BBQ sauce (we use Sweet Baby Ray's)

Friday, March 12, 2010

Cornmeal Pancakes

Sorry for all the posts today. It has been a crazy week of sickness and drama.
I don't know what I was thinking when I went to the store last weekend, but I negelected to get some of the needed supplies. So by the time we got to the end of the week we had no butter, 1 egg, no oatmeal, not enough flour, and the list goes on. I had to get creative for breakfast today. I remembered a long time ago seeing a recipe for cornmeal pancakes on the side of the cornmeal bag....of course, when I checked it was a different bag and only had a recipe for cornbread, so I wondered if I could just substitute cornmeal for flour using our regular pancakes recipe. I tried it and it came out pretty well!

1 egg
1 1/4 c buttermilk (or milk with 1tsp vinegar)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 c flour (it's all I had!)
3/4 c cornmeal
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp melted butter or oil
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
  • Heat griddle. Spray with cooking spray, then wipe with a cold wet cloth (a trick I learned at the hibachi grill nearby-ha)
  • Combine ingredients until smooth
  • Spoon onto  griddle using 1/4c measure. 
  • Flip over when bubbles appear

Baked Oatmeal

I saw this recipe on another blog. It does take some preparation, so if you don't have a lot of time in the morning, make it the night before and bake it in the morning. It's so good and filling!
I made a half recipe in an 8x8 pan, which was enough food for 2 days! I think next time I will make 1/4 recipe. I also used strawberries and blueberries instead of apples. So good!

for 8x8 pan (4 servings)
1/4 c applesauce
1/4 c oil (or 1/2 c oil-omit applesauce)
1/2 c sugar
2 eggs
3 c oatmeal
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla (everything is better with extra vanilla!)
1 c milk
1 c fruit (apple, blueberry, strawberry, etc)
  • Combine all ingredients
  • Pour into 8x8 pan
  • Bake at 375* for 30-40 minutes until lightly browned

Chicken Corn Tacos (revised)

Over the weekend, I posted this recipes for Corn tacos. I started thinking about it again, and thought it would probably be better if the tortilla were toasted. The idea came from our favorite burrito shop in town Red Habanero. We also tried these with just cheese and salsa and they were excellent!

Chicken, (3 breast tenderloins)
Fiesta Lime seasoning (Mrs. Dash)
Lemon juice (or lime if you have it)
Shredded cheese (cheddar/pepper jack)
Corn tortillas (4)
Pepperoncini (opt)

  • Sprinkle seasoning on the chicken. 
  • Spray skillet with oil and brown chicken.
  • Add about 2 Tbl lemon juice and smash/shred chicken. Cook until meat is done.
  • Meanwhile, heat tortillas for about 10 seconds in the microwave just to make them pliable.
  • Heat another skillet to Medium and spray with cooking spray.
  • Add shredded cheese and meat to tortillas, Roll.
  • Add rolled taco to skillet to brown on all sides. 
  • Top with salsa.

Blueberry Blondies

So a couple of weeks ago I made these delicious treats which I saw on another blog. It got me thinking....These were good....I have a Blondie recipe that is good....I love blueberries....I think Blueberry Blondies would be wonderful! So with that inspiration, I set to work and the end result was so good. We took them to a friend's house and they were all eaten!

1 c butter
2 1/4 c brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 c flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 c blueberries
  • In saucepan, heat butter and brown sugar over medium heat until sugar is dissolved.
  • In bowl, combine eggs, vanilla, and butter mixture. 
  • Combine flour and baking powder, add gradually to butter mixture.
  • Spread batter into greased 9x13 pan. 
  • Sprinkle blueberries evenly on top.
  • Bake at 350* for 20-25 minutes or until tooth pick comes out with moist crumbs and edges are crisp.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Chicken Soft Corn Tacos

We didn't have leftovers to eat for lunch today, so I threw this together really quick and it was delicious! We had soft corn tortillas left from the Southwest Lasagna from the other day that we needed to use anyway.

Chicken, (3 breast tenderloins)
Fiesta Lime seasoning (Mrs. Dash)
Lemon juice (or lime if you have it)
Shredded cheese (cheddar/pepper jack)
Corn tortillas (4)
Pepperoncini (opt)
  • Sprinkle seasoning on the chicken. 
  • Spray skillet with oil and brown chicken.
  • Add about 2 Tbl lemon juice and smash/shred chicken. Cook until meat is done.
  • Meanwhile, heat up corn tortillas in the microwave (or skillet if you like them a little toasty)
  • Put shredded cheese on warmed tortillas. Add chicken and salsa. Fold like a taco

Friday, March 5, 2010

Brownies with Peanut Butter Frosting

A bad day in the kitchen... (running behind, pan overflowed in oven, screaming baby, bars fell apart, huge mess with company arrived, etc...)
Company came over tonight, and I wanted to make peanut butter bars. The bars didn't turn out, but I had already made the frosting to spread on the warm bars so I whipped some brownies to spread it on. This chewy, perfect brownie recipe, that was my great-grandmother's, is my favorite of all time. They are absolutely fabulous on their own, but they are great with the frosting as well.

Brownies (13x9 pan...can be halved for 8x8 pan)
4 (1oz) squares unsweetened chocolate (or 12 Tbl cocoa + 4 Tbl oil)
1 c butter
2 c sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 c flour
Peanut Butter Frosting
1/3 c butter, softened
2/3 c peanut butter
2 c powdered sugar
1/3 c milk
  • Melt chocolate squares over hot water. (or mix cocoa with oil)
  • Thoroughly cream butter and sugar.
  • Add eggs and beat well.
  • Blend in melted chocolate, vanilla, and flour.
  • Pour into greased 13x9 pan and bake at 325* for 35 minutes (until toothpick comes out clean)
  • ICING Beat ingredients together until smooth. Pour over warm brownies and spread.

Southwest Lasagna

This is a great dish to have when company is coming over...It makes a lot (9x13 pan) and everyone likes it. I even made it for a friend as a freezer meal after she had a baby. This recipe is adapted from Taste of Home Ground Beef 2009 (one of those that you pick up by the grocery checkout).

1 lb ground beef or turkey
1 med. onion, chopped
15 oz enchilada sauce
1 can diced tomato (drained)
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp pepper
1 cup 4% cottage cheese, pureed
1 egg
1/2 lb monterey jack shredded cheese
8 (8inch) corn tortilla, halved
1/2 cup shredded cheddar
  • Brown beef and onion. Drain.
  • Stir in enchilada sauce, tomatoes, salt, garlic powder, and pepper. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes.
  • Combine cottage cheese and egg. Set aside.
  • Spread 1/3 of meat sauce in a greased 13x9 dish. Top with half the Jack cheese, half the cottage cheese mixture, and half the tortillas.
  • Repeat layers ending with meat sauce. Sprinkle Cheddar on top.
  • Cover and bake at 350* for 20 minutes.
  • Uncover and bake 10 more minutes or until bubbly and cheese is melted.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


Quick blog, no picture. I just discovered a way to make oatmeal that even my husband enjoys...usually he just tolerates oatmeal so he can have a hot breakfast instead of cold cereal.

1 cup Old Fashioned Oats
1 3/4 cup water
2 pinches salt
1 tsp vanilla---the "secret" ingredient
4 Tbl brown sugar
  • Put oats, water, and salt into pan. Bring to boil
  • Turn off heat, but keep the pan on the burner until most of the liquid is absorbed.
  • Remove from heat. Add vanilla and sugar....and if desired, butter....Stir
  • Cover until ready to serve

Monday, March 1, 2010

Taco Soup

This simple and quick soup is a nice change from the chili that is usually on our weekly rotation. Perfect for a cold winter day, or the taste of tacos without a lot of calories.

1 lb ground turkey or beef
1 envelope taco seasoning
1 can stewed or diced tomatoes
1 can kidney beans, drained & rinsed
1 cup water
shredded cheddar cheese
optional toppings: green onion, corn chips, tortilla chips, or sour cream
  • Cook meat until no longer pink. Drain.
  • Add taco seasoning, tomatoes, beans and water. Bring to boil
  • Reduce heat and cook until heated through.
  • Spoon into bowls and add toppings if desired.

Special Note

For the present, anonymous comments are not allowed at Robin, Restored due to the large number of spam comments that make it through Blogger's spam filter. I'm sorry about those of you who comment as Anonymous and sign your names. I'll try later to enable the function again.
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