Friday, April 29, 2011

Frozen Yogurt Pops

     I have a serious addiction to ice cream. I blame my dad really. He is the one who always wants it at 9pm. Now, I have fallen in to the same habit. Put E to bed, eat ice cream. Almost nightly. I know. I know.
     These frozen yogurt pops are a great lowfat, lowcal alternative to ice cream. And, it's the perfect snack on warm days. (Random side note, I hear the ice cream truck driving by outside. Not even kidding. Timing is everything.) This is my second attempt at popsicle making since I bought my molds a couple of months ago, and I've been very pleased with the outcome....but this still doesn't mean I'll give up my Blue Bell. I just won't eat it as often.
     I chose strawberries this time, but you could use the same amount of raspberries, blueberries, or cherries.

2 cups plain lowfat yogurt
2 cups frozen berries
1/2--3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • Combine in food processor or blender until smooth. 
  • Pour into popsicle molds and freeze.
Linked up to
Sweet Tooth FridaySweet Tooth Friday
and

SweetasSugarCookiesSweets for Saturday

Thursday, April 28, 2011

DOH!

    I had a lovely dinner planned for tonight which included BBQ pork chops, Rice A Roni Parmesan and Romano, and Green Beans. Some things just don't turn out the way you plan them though....
    I was thinking ahead for my busy day which was full of childcare and playdates and decided to make the pork chops in the crock pot. It was a great plan except that I forgot to put it in the pot until about 1. That wasn't really a problem though, because I could put it on HIGH and it would still be ready by about 5:30 when we needed to eat before our playdate. At 5:45, I realized it was time to leave for the bounce house and I hadn't finished making dinner. Well, I thought, "OK, I'm flexible. I'll just set the Crock-pot on Warm and it will keep for an hour while we are gone." I grabbed a quick dinner to go for my daughter, and we were out the door. We had a great time and I was pretty hungry by the time we came home. When we opened the door, the house smelled of food, but not the way I expected it to smell...You see, I didn't really set the Crock-pot on Warm before leaving. I accidently set it on High! The result was this inedible piece of charred meat...

     The good part is that we got to eat at Penn Station which we never get to do anymore. They don't really have great options for kiddo's there. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Fresh Squeezed Lemonade

     After making the Easter babka last week, I had some leftover lemons. They say, "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade," so that is what I did. This was my first homemade lemonade experience. I actually don't like lemonade all that much, but sometimes it just sounds good. This was the best lemonade I've ever had! My daughter and I drank all of it in one afternoon! I may be a lemonade lover after all.
     I added frozen strawberries to the lemonade. This is completely optional. The longer they sit in there, the more strawberry flavor your lemonade will have.

6 oz lemon juice (from real lemons)
2 oz agave nectar
2 oz honey
water
optional: frozen strawberries
  • Mix lemon juice, agave, and honey in a 2-qt pitcher. 
  • Fill with water.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Menu Plan Apr25-29

     After a wonderful weekend of visiting with family, it was hard to come back and prepare for the week. I try to do my menu plans on Sunday night, so I can get to the store before our friend (that I babysit) comes to play, but I had no motivation after the busy schedule we had. I feel like this week, I'm trying to use up some of the unhealthy things we have collected, so that we can get back into eating the way we should. Sometimes, I wonder what motivates me to buy these things I know I shouldn't...oh, the taste. Needless to say, we will enjoy our food this week!
     The last time we went to Sam's, one of the samples was a piece of breaded chicken. It was delicious and much better than the chicken nuggets I usually buy for Miss E. I bought them without reading the package. When I got home, I found out they could not be microwaved and they were huge chicken breasts, not small chicken tenders that could be made quickly for lunch. Note to self: read what you are buying. I know, I know.

Dinners/Leftovers for Lunch
Grilled burgers with Swiss on English Muffins, broccoli, Mac N'Cheese
Frozen Breaded Chicken Breasts, Mashed Potato w/Hidden Cauliflower, Mixed Veggies
BBQ Pork Chop, Parmesan Rice A Roni, Green Beans
Chicken Alfredo, Spinach, Tomato Pizza (on Beer Batter Pizza Dough)
Stroganoff w/whole wheat egg noodles, broccoli

Head over to orgJunkie's weekly Menu Plan link up for tons of Menu Plans!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Easter Babka

     During the last couple of months, I have experimented with a few types of babkas. Here are some I have made Nutella,Apple Cinnamon, Chocolate Cinnamon, and Caramel Apple.
     There are two types of Babka's; Jewish and Eastern European. The main difference is that the Jewish babka is sweet and cake-like, while the Eastern European version is more like bread.
     For Easter, I decided to try my hand at a traditional Easter Babka. This is a round shaped bread, called Paska in Ukrainian, or Babka in Polish.  The top of this bread is elaborately decorated with fancy dough ornaments, having a cross as the central motif. The bread is made with a lot of eggs since Easter marks the end of Lent. Traditionally, during Lent the faithful maintain a very strict diet with no eggs, among other things.
     I really enjoy this bread. It is very flavorful and surprisingly light tasting. I think this is a result of the lemon and orange zests. It would definitely be a perfect accompaniment to a traditional Easter dinner of ham and all the "fixin's" since it tastes like a sweet dinner bread....along the same lines as Hawaiian bread.
    As a side note, I will make a half batch next time around. This experience could have been an SNL sketch for sure. The dough just kept growing and growing. I didn't seem to have a bowl big enough to contain it! In the end, it was all worth it. The bread is not only beautiful, but a perfect and delicious addition to our Easter celebration.

from Suburban Grandma
1 tsp. sugar
1 cup lukewarm water
1 package dry granular yeast
3 cups scalded whole milk, lukewarm
5 cups of flour
6 eggs, beaten
1 cup sugar
½ cup melted butter
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbs. orange zest
1 tsp. lemon zest
6 cups of sifted all purpose flour

Directions:
  • Dissolve the sugar in the lukewarm water and sprinkle the yeast over it.
  • Let it stand for 10 minutes.
  • Combine the softened yeast with the lukewarm milk and 5 cups of flour.
  • Beat well until smooth.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and a towel, and let the batter rise in a warm place until light and bubbly (30min)
  • Add the beaten eggs, sugar, melted butter, salt, and orange and lemon zest.
  • Mix thoroughly.
  • Stir in enough flour to make dough that is neither too soft nor too stiff.
  • Knead until the dough no longer sticks to the hand.
  • Turn the dough on a floured board, or other work surface, and knead until smooth and satiny.
  • Place in a bowl, cover, and let it rise in a warm place until double in bulk (45 minutes).
  • Punch down and let it rise again (45 minutes).
  •  Prepare your pans by thoroughly greasing them with shortening. I used two 9-inch cake pans...and a couple ramekins for some HUGE mini-loaves.
  • divide the dough into 3 parts; the third part is for ornamental decorations
  • If you wish to make several small breads, then fill your greased pans 1/3 full with the dough, still leaving some dough for decorations
  • To make ornaments, one of them being the cross, you roll out some dough into a rope like shape and form it into an ornamental cross to place in the middle of the top of the bread.
  • Now that your loaves are decorated, dip a pastry brush in whole milk, and gently brush the bread tops, and ornaments, to give them a nice golden color once baked.  For a darker shade, you may use a wash made out of one egg beaten with 2 Tbs. of water.
  • Set the loaves in a warm place, once more, until almost double in bulk (25 minutes).
    Do not let the loaves rise longer than necessary, because the ornaments will lose their shape.
     
  • Preheat you oven to 400 degrees, and bake the bread for 10 minutes.
  • Lower the temperature to 350 degrees, and bake for 30 minutes longer, or until done.
    For smaller loaves your baking time should be shorter, so you need to use your judgment.
  • To prevent over browning of the tops, you may cover them with loose pieces of aluminum foil, once the babka is lightly browned.
  • Remove the loves from the pans, and cool completely.
  • You may wrap cooled loaves in aluminum foil, and plastic bag, and freeze until ready to use, to keep them fresh.
  • To thaw, keep covered, to prevent from drying out.
Tip: If you like raisins in your bread, you may add 1-2 cups of golden raisins to your dough, and you need to make sure to push them deeper into the dough before baking, or they will burn if sticking out of the bread.

Lemon Blueberry Muffins

I really should take photography classes
     We love muffins.  I make them at least once a week to have around for a quick breakfast. My daughter loves anything in the shape of a muffin. She won't normally eat meatloaf, but if I make it in a muffin cup she will. I found a recipe for lemon blueberry bread and thought it would make fantastic muffins. I was not disappointed. We had company over the morning we tried these, and everyone loved them. These are very light and refreshing, and the glaze on top adds that something extra that makes them terrific. The best part was, I had everything on hand to make them! I will definitely make these again.

Below the recipe, you'll find links to other muffins we have made. Enjoy.

1/3 cup melted butter
1 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups flour (I used white whole wheat/removed 1-1/2 Tbl flour)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
1Tbl lemon extract
1 1/4 cup fresh or frozen blueberries or raspberries (I used frozen)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/3 cup powdered sugar (or more, if needed, for thickening)
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  • Line muffin tins.
  • In a mixing bowl, beat together butter, 1 cup sugar, 3 tablespoons juice and eggs. Combine flour, baking powder and salt; stir into egg mixture alternately with milk. Beat in lemon extract. Toss blueberries with just enough flour to coat. (This helps keep them evenly distributed throughout rather than sinking like a lump to the bottom.) Gently stir blueberries into batter, then pour batter into muffin tins.
  • Bake in preheated oven for about 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.
  •  Meanwhile, combine 2 tablespoons lemon juice and 1/3 cup powdered sugar in a small bowl. Drizzle over warm muffins, using pastry brush to evening distribute.
      Apple Pie Muffins
     Bacon Egg and Cheese Muffins
     Banana Bread
     Blueberry Muffins
     Blueberry Muffins 2

     Corn Muffins  
     Fudge Swirl Peanut Butter Muffins
     Monkey Muffins 
     Peanut Butter and Jelly Muffins
     Pumpkin Amish bread Muffins w/Icing
     Pumpkin Streusel Muffins
     Strawberry Muffins 

 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Cinnamon Chip Pancakes

     We love pancakes and waffles around here. Friday breakfasts are reserved to one of these two delicacies. Sometimes, we do get a little tired of plain pancakes or waffles and like to add a little more flavor. These are the result of one such morning.
    Another thing I love about pancakes and waffles is their ability to freeze. Anytime we have more than we need, I pop the extras in a single layer on a cookie sheet and stick them in the freezer. Once they are frozen, transfer to a freezer bag and you'll have a quick breakfast anytime you need it. Just pop in the microwave or toaster (for waffles) until heated.

1-1/2 c flour (I used white whole wheat...take out 1-1/2 tbl)
1-3/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3 Tbl sugar
1 c milk
2 eggs, slightly beaten (or 1 egg + 1Tbl flax seed + 3 Tbl water)
3 Tbl butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon (or cocoa)
1/4 c cinnamon chips (or whatever chips you love)
  • Combine flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar in large bowl.
  • Combine milk, eggs, butter, cinnamon, and vanilla in a small bowl. Add chips.
  • Pour liquid ingredients into dry ingredients and mix well. Do not overmix!
  • Scoop 1/4c batter onto hot griddle. Flip when edges begin to turn.
linked up to
. Sweet Tooth FridaySweet Tooth Friday
and

SweetasSugarCookiesSweets for Saturday

Spaghetti Marinara or Baked Ziti

Spaghetti always looks weird in photos!
     Who says Italian food has to be unhealthy? This recipe is not only versatile, but very healthy as well. I love pasta, which is why I can never stick to a diet. If I can eat delicious, healthy pasta, I'm a happy girl. Anyhow, I feel like a "diet" is more about moderation and less about limitations...which is a post for another blog on another day.
     These recipes will both appear on one post because they both use the same base: marinara sauce....and because my picture of the baked ziti was not appetizing at all. I'm a cook; I'm not a photographer. I promise it tastes so good, though!

adapted from Biggest Loser Family Cookbook
The Marinara Sauce:
1 c minced yellow or white onion
2 Tbl minced garlic
28oz Italian diced tomatoes
1/4 c water
2 Tbl tomato paste (no salt)
2 tsp honey
1 Tbl dried oregano
2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp red pepper
salt, to taste
optional: ground turkey or turkey sausage (not pictured, but have done before with great success)
  • Spray a saucepan with oil and place over medium heat.
  • Add onion and garlic and cook until tender. 
  • Reduce heat to low and stir in tomatoes, water, paste, honey, oregano, basil, and pepper. 
  • Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for at least an hour. Season with salt if desired.
Option 1: Spaghetti Marinara serves 6-8

sauce (above)
zucchini, diced
whole wheat spaghetti
  • Prepare marinara sauce as stated above. Add zucchini during the last 5 minutes or so. If you add it too early, it will get soggy.
  • Cook spaghetti as directed on box.
  • Drain spaghetti and mix with sauce. Top with grated Parmesan if desired.
Option 2: Baked Ziti serves 8

1 box penne or ziti (whole wheat or garden delight)
15oz Fat Free Ricotta
1 egg
8oz Red-Fat Mozzarella
1/4 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper, to taste
red pepper, to taset
Marinara (from above)
2 Tbl grated Parmesan
  • Preheat oven to 450*. Mist a 13x9 dish with olive oil.
  • Cook ziti two minutes less than package directs. Drain
  • Combine riccota, egg, and all but 1 cup of mozzarella.  Add garlic powder and season with salt, pepper, and red pepper. Stir in cooked pasta until well combined.
  • Spread 1 cup of marinara on bottom of prepared dish. Add half the pasta in an even layer over sauce. Top the pasta with another cup of sauce. Layer the remaining pasta over sauce. Spoon the rest of the sauce evenly over the top, then sprinkle the remaining mozzarella and the parmesan on the top.
  • Cover the dish with foil and bake 20 minutes. 
  • Remove foil and bake 10 minutes longer, or until cheese is melted.  Let stand 5 minutes.


    

Monday, April 18, 2011

Menu Plan April 17-22

     This week is going to be pretty busy, so we have an easy menu. Old favorites and one new recipe to try.

Breakfasts: 
Cinnamon Roll Pancakes
Egg Roll Ups
Fruit and Yogurt Smoothies
Turkey sausage links, fruit
yogurt parfaits
waffles

Snacks:
Butterfinger cupcakes (These are amazing!)
yogurt
crackers/pretzels
cheese sticks
raisins

Dinners/Leftovers for Lunch
Bo's Dirty Rice
Spaghetti with homemade sauce and zucchini
Mahogany Pork, Mixed Veggies
Chicken Casserole, green beans
Grilled burgers w/Swiss on English Muffins



visit orgjunkie for more menu plans

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Banana Bread Waffles with Cinnamon Butter

     For my daughter's birthday, I made a special breakfast. Anytime you ask her what she wants to eat, she will say, "Waffles!" She also loves bananas. So, for her birthday, we had banana bread waffles.
     These were really great waffles, but the best part was the cinnamon butter. Maybe I thought that because bananas aren't my favorite, but I really loved the cinnamon butter. The recipe made more than we needed, so we had cinnamon butter left over for our toast for a couple of days.

1/2 c butter, softened
2 Tbl powdered sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp vanilla


1 (7oz)pkg banana muffin mix
2/3 c butter milk
1 egg
  • Preheat waffle iron.
  • Combine butter, sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla in a small bowl. Set aside.
  • Combine muffin mix, buttermilk, and egg. Stir until just blended.
  • Spray waffle iron with cooking spray. 
  • Spooin batter onto waffle iron and bake. Repeat with remaining batter.
  • Spoon cinnamon butter onto each waffle. 
  • Top with syrup if desired.
Submitted to
. Sweet Tooth FridaySweet Tooth Friday
and
.

SweetasSugarCookiesSweets for Saturday

Monday, April 11, 2011

BBQ Chicken and Bacon Cups

     A couple of weeks ago, I found a recipe (grilled bacon wrapped chicken tender) that I thought sounded really good. It had one problem: in order to make it, I would have to touch the raw chicken. I know this seems like no big deal to most people, but I can't stand to touch raw meat. I always use tongs or ziploc bags over my hands. I'll do anything to avoid it. If there is any other possible way to make a similar recipe, I will do it. So this is the result of my raw meat fear: meat in a cup.
     This actually turned out much better than I thought. My family loved it, and it was super easy to make.

1 pkg Grands Jr biscuits
1-lb chicken
5 slices turkey bacon
BBQ sauce
shredded cheddar
  • Put chicken and bacon in sauce pan and cook until chicken is no longer pink. Chop. Add enough BBQ sauce to coat.
  • Pop open the can of biscuits. Roll each one into a thin bigger circle. Place each circle in a muffin cup (or greased muffin tin).
  • Spoon in chicken mixture Top with shredded cheese. I folded down the overhanging biscuit before baking.
  • Bake @ 400* for 11 minutes.

Menu Plan Monday April 11-15

     Spring is finally here! I'm so excited to enjoy the warm weather, so we will be using our grill a lot this week. Now, I just need to get out and do all my yard work...

Breakfast
bacon, egg, and cheese sandwiches
yogurt and fruit parfaits
muffins
cereal
waffles

Snacks:
cupcakes?
cheddar sticks
yogurt

Dinners/Lunches (leftovers)
BBQ Chicken and Bacon Cups
Pepperoncini Pot Roast
Baked Ziti (Vegetarian)
Chicken Kebabs and broccoli
Grilled Chops
Grilled Burgers


Head over to OrgJunkie for hundreds of other meal plan ideas!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Cups

     Are you looking for an interesting way to serve breakfast? This is the recipe for you. It's so easy, even my husband could make it! In fact, he did. After his friend made it for his family and passed on the recipe. The original recipe (as posted below) says to crack an egg in each cup, but we scrambled them first since that is how we like our eggs. Our friend who made it said he likes his eggs runny, so he just cracked the egg in it and cooked it for less time so the eggs were a little more runny.
     Basically, this tastes about the same as a bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich. The presentation is really what makes it a little different.         
     Overall, I would say to just make the sandwich unless you are trying to impress guests or get your kids to eat all the ingredients. My daughter will not eat the sandwich, but ate the whole muffin because  it was a muffin. She loves muffins!

One muffin is pretty filling, so just make enough for what your family will eat.
bread
bacon
eggs
optional: cheese
  • preheat oven to 375. 
  • Take a slice of bread, use a rolling pin to flatten it. 
  • Butter the muffin pan. 
  • Cook the bacon in a frying pan, but not too much.  It will brown more as it bakes.
  • Put the bread into the muffin tin, then the bacon, then crack an egg in it. 
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes. Sprinkle cheese on top for the last couple of minutes.

linked to
 

    Nutella Babka

         I've been wanting to make this Nutella Babka for so long, and I finally had the chance last weekend. I thought the opportunity was perfect, then I realized one of our guests is allergic to tree nuts and couldn't eat it! OOPS! Luckily, we had lots of other snacks and a promise to make another babka that she could enjoy using this stuff. I've never had that peanut butter before, but I'm pretty sure that it can't be bad.
         This might have been my very favorite babka to date! J says I should make his favorite (Apple Cinnamon) and the nutella babka at the same time so he could compare and see which one he likes better.

    Here are some other babka recipes I've made: Apple Cinnamon, Chocolate Cinnamon, and Caramel Apple. Stayed tuned for more.

    start 4 hours ahead!
    Dough
    4 oz warm milk
    1-1/2 tsp yeast
    1/4 c sugar
    1 egg, plus 1 yolk
    2-1/4 c flour (I part whole wheat)
    1/4 tsp salt
    5 Tbl butter, cut into pieces, room temp
    Filling
    a generous smear of Nutella
    Streusal Topping
    1/4 c butter
    1/2 c flour
    1/2 c brown sugar
    2 tsp cinnamon
    2 tsp cocoa

    • Dissolve yeast in warm milk. Let stand until creamy.
    • Whisk eggs, sugar, and yeast mixture until combined. 
    • In bowl of stand mixer, combine flour and salt. Add egg mixture and beat until flour is incorporated. 
    • Add butter and knead 10 minutes until a smooth dough forms.
    • Cover and let rise until doubled, about an hour 

    • Butter a 9x5 loaf pan. Add parchment paper. Butter the parchment paper.
    • Punch down the dough and let rest 5 minutes. 
    • Roll dough into a 16inch square. Brush edges of the dough with egg wash.
    • Spread Nutella over dough leaving about a half inch around edges. 
    • Roll dough up, pinching sides to seal as you go. 
    • Twist  the rolled dough 5-6 times to make it longer, then fold into a horseshoe shape.
    • Cross the ends to form a figure eight and twist a couple more times. Fit the twisted dough into the prepared pan. 
    • Let rise 45 minutes.

    • Preheat oven to 350*
    • To make streusel, combine butter, flour, brown sugar, cocoa and cinnamon. Using fork (or pastry cutter), cut into butter until mixture is about the texture of coarse bread crumbs. 
    • Sprinkle on top of loaf. 
    • Bake 50 minutes, rotating pan after 25 minutes.
    • Turn temperature down to 325* and bake 20-30 more minutes, until golden and knife comes out clean.
    • Don't underbake. Cool on wire rack.
    Linked to a lot of other sweets!
    .
    Sweet Tooth FridaySweet Tooth Friday by Alli N' Son
    and
    .

    SweetasSugarCookiesSweets for Saturday by Sweet As Sugar Cookies

    Wednesday, April 6, 2011

    Chicken Rice Nachos

         Is it really on Wednesday? This has been the longest week. ever.
    As I write, I'm thinking I just posted something using Rice-a-Roni. I guess the sale we found a few weeks ago, put us on a bit of a kick. Anyhow, these nachos were really good. They were even better the second day! Just the right amount of saltiness and crunchiness and salsa. I highly recommend making this as nachos as we did, but you could also make a taco salad by placing it on a bed of lettuce with just a few chips sprinkle on top for crunchiness.

    1 pkg Rice-a-Roni, chicken flavor
    2 Tbl butter
    16oz salsa
    1-lb chicken, chopped
    1 cup corn
    1/2 c shredded cheddar
    2 cups tortilla chips
    optional: chopped tomato, shredded lettuce
    • Saute rice over medium-high heat with butter until golden.
    • Stir in 2 cups water, salsa, chicken, and special seasoning from Rice-a-Roni box. Bring to boil. Reduce to low. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
    • Stir in corn. Cover and simmer 5-10 more minutes until rice is tender and chicken is cooked. 
    • Arrange chips on each plate. Top with chicken/rice mixture. Sprinkle with cheese.

    Tuesday, April 5, 2011

    Chop Salad

         I hear you are supposed to eat some raw veggies everyday. I'm sure that is probably a healthy thing to do but, I don't always want to. I'm much rather eat pretzels and graham crackers for snacks. Enter the chop salad. No longer just a handful of carrots. Variety is the spice of life right. Change it up, use what you like, add ranch or Italian dressing, just eat it! Here's my version, but you could add whatever fresh veggies you like.

    1 red bell pepper
    1 carrot
    1 stalk celery
    1 seedless cucumber

    • Chop and combine.
    • Yum.

    Monday, April 4, 2011

    Spicy Chicken Stromboli

         We are definitely making this again. This was so good and so easy to make! Depending on the ingredients you use, this could be a pretty healthy all in one dish too. We added a little salsa on top and served this with a side of broccoli since we had some left after making the stromboli filling. I think it would make a great appetizer at a party if you cut it into thin slices.
    We used homemade pizza dough (from the freezer), but you could use a refrigerated store bought dough to save a lot of time and rolling!
         If you don't like such a spicy dish, use plain cheddar cheese and mild salsa.

    1 cup frozen broccoli, thawed
    1 can (10 oz) chicken (or about 10 oz cooked chicken, diced)
    1-1/2 c shredded cheddar w/jalepenos (or plain cheddar)
    1/4 cup chunky salsa
    whole wheat pizza dough (about 10 oz)
    • Preheat oven to 400*. 
    • Coarsely chop broccoli. Combine broccoli, chicken, cheese, and salsa in a small bowl. 
    • Roll (or unroll) pizza dough into a 15x10 rectangle. Sprinkle broccoli mixture evenly over top. Starting with a long side, tightly roll into a log. Pinch seam to seal. Place on baking sheet, seam side down. 
    • Bake 15-20 minutes or until golden.

    Broccoli, Chicken, and Rice

         While the combination of broccoli, chicken, and rice is nothing new, this recipe is probably the best I've ever had. It was very flavorful and super easy to make. I happened to get the Rice-a-Roni on sale last week, so that made it very cheap to make, too.

    adapted from Cooking for Kids Bible

    1 box Rice-a-Roni Broccoli Augratin
    2 cups boiling water
    1-lb chicken tenders
    1/4 tsp garlic
    2 cups frozen broccoli
    1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
    • Heat oven to 425*
    • Combine rice and seasoning packet in 13x9 pan. Add boiling water, mix well. Add chicken, sprinkle with garlic powder.
    • Cover and bake 30 minutes.
    • Add broccoli and cheese. Continue to bake, covered, 8-10 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink.

    Menu Plan April 4-10

         This week, yet again, is a week of new recipes. That reminds me, I need to post some recipes from last week! The rain is not encouraging me to do much of anything. I can't complain though, the high has been in the 40's or above for a couple of weeks. Spring is on the way (despite the fact that it's already technically Spring!).

    Breakfasts:
    omelets
    cereal
    oatmeal
    muffins of some kind

    Snacks:
    Taco Flavored Doritos (healthy, right?)
    Celery w/ PB and honey
    dried apricots
    granola bars

    Dinners/Lunches (leftovers)
    New Meatballs w/ Mock Ikea sauce and garlic mashed potatoes (with hidden cauliflower)
    Fajitas with veggies
    Grilled Bacon Wrapped BBQ Chicken Tenders, broccoli
    Sweet Chicken Kebabs, Mixed Veggies
    Breakfast for Dinner: Egg, Bacon, and Cheese sandwiches
    Birthday Party Cookout at Friend's
    Family Picture Day, Dining Out

    Head over to OrgJunkie for more menu plans

    Friday, April 1, 2011

    Caramel Apple Babka

    Notice the caramel oozing out the side

         I've been on a babka kick for a while. My mom even suggested I make a "babka blog." I'm not sure if I will go that far, but I have another post for you....and I plan to make another babka this weekend for company.
         For this babka, I decided to use apples and the caramel bits I found in the chocolate chip aisle.The caramel oozed out the side of the babka during baking. I couldn't wait to cut into it, but I made myself wait until J got home from work, since I made it in celebration of his first day at the new job.
         The time  finally came to taste this masterpiece, and it was well worth the wait. The caramel and apples were a perfect compliment for the dough. We had a piece that night, and more the next morning for breakfast. It was great with coffee.
         Here are some other babka recipes I've made: Apple Cinnamon and Chocolate Cinnamon. Stayed tuned for more.

    start 4 hours ahead!
    Dough
    4 oz warm milk
    1-1/2 tsp yeast
    1/4 c sugar
    1 egg, plus 1 yolk
    2-1/4 c flour (I part whole wheat)
    1/4 tsp salt
    5 Tbl butter, cut into pieces, room temp
    Filling
    2 apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
    1 cup caramel bits 
    Streusal Topping
    1/4 c butter
    1/2 c flour
    1/2 c brown sugar
    2 tsp cinnamon

    • Dissolve yeast in warm milk. Let stand until creamy.
    • Whisk eggs, sugar, and yeast mixture until combined. 
    • In bowl of stand mixer, combine flour and salt. Add egg mixture and beat until flour is incorporated. 
    • Add butter and knead 10 minutes until a smooth dough forms.
    • Cover and let rise until doubled, about an hour 

    • Butter a 9x5 loaf pan. Add parchment paper. Butter the parchment paper.
    • Punch down the dough and let rest 5 minutes. 
    • Roll dough into a 16inch square. Brush edges of the dough with egg wash.
    • Spread apples and caramel bits over dough leaving about a half inch around edges. 
    • Roll dough up, pinching sides to seal as you go. 
    • Twist  the rolled dough 5-6 times to make it longer, then fold into a horseshoe shape.
    • Cross the ends to form a figure eight and twist a couple more times. Fit the twisted dough into the prepared pan. 
    • Let rise 45 minutes.

    • Preheat oven to 350*
    • To make streusel, combine butter, flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Using fork (or pastry cutter), cut into butter until mixture is about the texture of coarse bread crumbs. 
    • Sprinkle on top of loaf. 
    • Bake 50 minutes, rotating pan after 25 minutes.
    • Turn temperature down to 325* and bake 20-30 more minutes, until golden and knife comes out clean.
    • Don't underbake. Cool on wire rack.
    Linked up to
    .
    Sweet Tooth FridaySweet Tooth Friday
    and
    .

    SweetasSugarCookiesSweets for Saturday

    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.
    Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

    sharing

    Follow Me on Pinterest Pin It