Yum

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Peanut Butter Chocolate Squares

The weather has been pretty dreary and rainy this week, so we've been stuck in the house, wondering what to do. Of course, you know me and baking. So, I grabbed Mr.B and we headed into the kitchen to make these. Mr.B was all for it, since it included 2 of his favorite things; peanut butter and chocolate. He really is a great helper in the kitchen. I just love his enthusiasm in the kitchen. Even if sometimes it results in flour everywhere, LOL. He is getting really good at cracking eggs and is so proud of himself, when he doesn't get any shells in the bowl. I hope he grows up to enjoy being in the kitchen, like Hubby and I do.



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These bars are amazing. I mean peanut butter and chocolate are practically meant for each other! They are slightly gooey, with a nice slightly hard chocolate top. They would be too mushy, without the firm chocolate. I love the glaze, which just ups the PB flavor. I made extra glaze and add some to my piece, anytime I have one, LOL. This glaze would be so awesome on brownies or banana muffins...... drool.



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Peanut Butter Chocolate Squares
Adapted from Gold Medal Flour- Cookies from the Heart

1/2 C sugar
1/2 C brown sugar
1/2 C margarine or butter, softened
1/3 C peanut butter
1 C Gold Medal all-purpose flour
3/4 C quick cooking or old-fashioned oats
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1 C semisweet or milk chocolate chips
Peanut Butter Glaze ( below)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease rectangular pan, 13x9x2 inches. Mix sugars, margarine and peanut butter in a large bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients except chocolate chips and peanut butter glaze. Spread in pan.

Bake 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately sprinkle with chocolate chips. Let stand about 5 minutes or until chips are softened; carefully spread over baked layer.

Refrigerate uncovered about 30 minutes or until chocolate is firm. Drizzle with peanut butter glaze. Cut into 2-inch squares.

Peanut Butter Glaze

1/3 C powdered sugar
2 Tbs peanut butter
1-2 Tbs milk

Mix all ingredients until smooth and thin enough to drizzle.



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This post linked to

Cookbook Sundays

Recipe Swap Sundays

Potluck Sunday

Mouthwatering Mondays

Friday, October 29, 2010

Candied Bacon Pepper Squash

Squash. Those cute little gourds that fill grocery store shelves, this time of year. So many to choose from, so why do I by-pass them like the plague? Let's face it, growing up, my Mom never cooked squash. Was it even popular back then?? When I met Hubby and we both worked in the same restaurant, he would make this recipe for Thanksgiving week. The customers went wild over it and I couldn't understand why. Then I tasted it.

Creamy

Salty

Sweet

Bacon

Need I say more?

Over the years, this was one fool proof way of getting me to eat squash. Since then, my palate has matured and I've enjoyed other varieties of squash, but this remains my favorite. I was lucky enough to be in the kitchen one day, while Hubby was making these little beauties and took mental notes. A week later, with my girlfriend coming for dinner, I thought I take the chance and make them. She was also a co-worker at our love restaurant (where we fell in love), so I was hoping not to screw them up. After all, Hubby was sort of a God, while he worked there, LOL. I passed the test and was told they tasted exactly the same as the good ole days, so I'm proud to share this wonderful recipe with you today.



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Cut the squash into 16th. Top each piece with 1 tsp butter, salt, pepper, 1 Tbs brown sugar and 1/2 slice bacon. Sprinkle again with brown sugar, salt and pepper. Bake in oven, until bacon is cooked through, about 20-30 minutes. (full recipe to follow)



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Candied Bacon Pepper Squash

1 pepper/acorn squash
16 tsp butter or margarine
16 Tbs brown sugar
8 slices bacon
salt and pepper

Take the squash and cut it in half. Cut each half into quarters and cut each quarter in half. Place squash skin side down on a foil lined, rimmed cookie sheet. Dot squash with 1 tsp butter, season with salt and pepper and top butter with 1 Tbs brown sugar. Cut bacon in half and place a half slice, lengthwise, on top of brown sugar.  Sprinkle the bacon with a touch more brown sugar, salt and pepper. Bake in a 350 degree oven, until bacon is cooked through, about 20-30 minutes.

This post linked to

Friday Favorites

Saturday's Party

Days of Thanksgiving Holiday Party

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Easiest Crock Pot Chicken and Tag! You're it!

Years ago, when Mr.B was still in diapers, I was searching for crockpot recipes, to make my life easier. When I mentioned it on a cooking forum, I frequent, someone offered to send me a huge file of recipes. Throughout the years I've made a few, with great success. This is one of those recipes. The ingredients are so easy, but the chicken tastes so delicious. It's tender, creamy and goes so well with some hot cooked rice. Who ever thought up the title for this recipe wasn't kidding, it is the easiest recipe, but delicious at the same time.



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Easiest Crock Pot Chicken

1 Package chicken breast halves
1 Can 98% fat-free cream of mushroom soup
1 Can 98% fat-free cream of chicken soup

Skin chicken pieces (or use boneless, skinless chicken breasts). Place in crockpot. Mix togethersoups, and pour over chicken. Cook on low, all day. Remove chicken from sauce - remove bones.Serve over hot rice.



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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

M, form Betty Crapper, has tagged me with a getting to know you post. We know each other through our food blogs and we also belong to the Cooking for your Family group. She has an awesome food blog and makes everything from scratch. If you haven't heard of it, you should check it out!

The rules of the internet "game" are simple: answer eight questions provided by the "tagger" and then chose eight blogs to tag with eight questions of my choosing.

1. What is your favorite cookbook? At the moment it's Fast Easy Fresh- Bon Appetit

2. What do you feel like eating when you are grumpy? Sweets, mostly chocolate

3. What is your favorite dessert? Yule log cake, that my Mom makes every Christmas.

4. How did you learn to cook? By watching my Mom in the kitchen, watching Food network and by watching Hubby (my Chef).

5. What is your favorite kitchen appliance or tool? I'd have to say my mini whisk or microplane.

6. Is there anything in the kitchen that intimidates you? Seafood. I'm always terrified of over cooking it and it being rubbery.

7. How far in advance do you plan your meals? I meal plan for 2 weeks at a time, since Hubby gets paid bi-weekly. Sometimes I'm lazy and we just wing it for a week or two, LOL.

8. What is your most treasured food related memory? Making cabbage rolls, meat pies and Christmas cookies with my sister and Mom.

I'm tagging the following bloggers

Ms. Enplace
Brenda's Canadian Kitchen
Amy's WFD Blog
Global Table
Savory Seasonings
Cookbook Confessions
Lunches Fit for a Kid
Recipes Straight from the Kowboys Home

Here are the 8 questions you must answer

1. Do you prefer cooking or baking?
2. Is there a dish your family is crazy about?
3. What makes you want to try a certain recipe?
4. What ingredient would you love to cook with, but never have?
5. It's late and the kids are starving, what do you make?
6. What is your favorite cold weather beverage?
7. Is there a specific kind of cuisine you prefer cooking?
8. What famous Chef would you love to cook with?


This post linked to

Tasty Tuesday

Tempt my Tummy Tuesday

What's Cooking Wednesday

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Spider Web Cupcakes

Relaxation. It means a lot of different things, to different people. To some, a nice glass of wine, can be relaxing. To others, a good movie, favorite snacks and the knowledge that the kids are in bed and sleeping, can be relaxing. For me, it's baking. Sounds crazy, since usually when you're baking, you're on your feet, making somewhat of a mess. For me the measuring, mixing and creating is the ultimate relaxation. My family laughs at me, because I bake when the kids are away, or asleep. Other people would take a bubble bath, or watch TV, but I love to bake.

It doesn't hurt that I get to eat, what ever sinfully sweet thing I've created, but we'll pretend that I don't even take that part into consideration.....

The other day, Mr.B was at a friends house and Queenie had yet to return from my parent's house; so what did I do? You got it! I went into the kitchen to make up some cute Halloween themed cupcakes. I made some Skeleton cupcakes and I also made some spider web cupcakes. I shared the spider web cupcakes with my neighbor, who now calls me Martha. I just loved seeing their 3 yr old's face light up, when she saw my creations.

Mr.B thought they were pretty cool too!



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Spider Web Cupcakes

1 C sugar
1/2 C butter
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 C flour
1/2 C milk
orange or green food color (optional)
1 can vanilla frosting
black food color

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a cupcake pan or line them with paper liners. In a medium bowl, cream sugar and butter. Beat the eggs in, 1 at a time, then add the vanilla. Combine the flour and baking soda and add to the creamed mixture. Mix well. Stir in the milkand food color (if using), until the batter is smooth. Pour into prepared cupcake pan and bake for 25-30 minutes. The cake should spring back when slightly touched. Cool completely.

Scoop out 1/4 C of frosting into a pipping bag, or Ziploc bag. Add black food color, mixing well, until desired shade is achieved. Frost cooled cupcakes, with black frosting. Using the white frosting, pipe 4 circles, starting from the outter edge of the cupcake, making smaller circles, as you get closer to the center. The top of your cupcake should look like a target. Taking a toothpick, slowly drag it through the frosting, from center of cupcake, to outer edge. Repeat 7 times, around the cupcake, to create the web.


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This post linked to




Monday, October 25, 2010

Meal Plan Monday~ Oct 25

Good morning! We are getting a late start today, since I was kept up most of the night, by Hubby coughing. Just when we get over one cold/flu, another comes home :o(. Hopefully this one won't be so bad.

Today is a PA (professional activity) day, in Ontario, which means Mr.B has no school. He will have had a whole week off, with last week being his short week, and having today off. I'm not sure how they can justify that he is learning the same amount as the other children who go to school everyday. Let's just say I'm looking forward to Wed. School is such a great outlet for Mr.B and he's been a bit restless, with all this rain.

Hopefully, the rain will clear up by tomorrow, since we plan on heading to the pumpkin patch. Other than that the rest of the week will be low key. We do have to get Queenie her Halloween costume and we are pretty sure she has decided to be a pumpkin. Mr. B will be a Goblin, Sunday night, but a Vampire for school. Check back next Monday for pics of the kids in their costumes! So here's our menu for the week.


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  • Breaded Fish (from a box), with fries and Cheesy Mashed Cauliflower
  • Ribs and baked potatoes (crock pot), with corn
  • Balsamic Pork Scallopine (new recipe), with a salad
  • Salmon Patties, with rice pilaf
  • Creamy Chicken Tortilla soup (new recipe), with cornbread
  • leftovers
  • Pumpkin shaped pizza, spider dogs, veggies and dip (Halloween)

Head on over to OrgJunkie.com to see tons of other great meal plans for the week!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Double Cheese and Prosciutto Calzone

A few months ago, while at the Farmer's Market, Mr.B tried some goat cheese, on a cracker. He claimed he liked it and has been asking us, why we never buy it. The truth is we do buy it; DH makes a wonderful roasted red pepper hummus, topped with herbed goat cheese. The thing is, he usually makes it for him and me, after the kids go to bed, LOL.

Not because we don't want to share, just because we were certain that the kids wouldn't like hummus. A theory that was debunked last month, when Queenie was found helping herself to Hubby's hummus and pita chips, while he was getting her a drink. (She's sneaky that way...)

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So, back to the goat cheese. I had decided to try this recipe, since it fit into my restricted diet. Plus we love pizza; and a calzone is just an inside out pizza, right? I thought this would be a great way to see if Mr.B really likes goat cheese or not.

The verdict is...... not in this dish, LOL. It received one thumb up and one thumb down, then Mr.B decided to go for the regular cheese and pepperoni calzone.

Hubby and I, on the other hand, loved this. The tangy-ness of the goat cheese, the saltiness of the prosciutto and the pungent taste of the thyme, went so well together. It was creamy, ooey, gooey deliciousness! I'm not fond of refrigerated tube pizza dough, so I made my own (Master Pizza Dough), rolling it into a rectangle and following the recipe from there. Mini versions of these, would be so awesome for cocktail parties.


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Mix cheeses, prosciutto, garlic and thyme in a bowl. Roll out dough, into a large rectangle, on cookie sheet. Mound filling, in a strip on one side of dough, leaving a 1-inch border. Fold dough over, crimp edges and tuck in corners, to form a half circle. (Full recipe to follow)




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Double-Cheese and Prosciutto Calzone
Adapted from Bon Appetit~ Fast Fresh Easy Cookbook

2 cups grated mozzarella cheese (about 8 ounces)
3 1/2 ounces soft fresh goat cheese, crumbled
2 ounces prosciutto slices, chopped
2 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1 garlic clove, pressed
1 13.8-ounce tube refrigerated pizza dough
Extra-virgin olive oil

Position rack in middle of oven; preheat to 425°F. Toss first 5 ingredients in medium bowl. Season with pepper. Unroll dough into rectangle on rimmed baking sheet. Mound filling crosswise on lower half of dough, leaving 1-inch border on sides. Fold upper half of dough over. Crimp edges to seal; fold corners under to form half-circle. Bake until puffed and brown, about 18 minutes. Brush with oil. Transfer to platter and cut into 4 pieces.

This post linked to

Friday Favorites

Saturday's Party

Cookbook Sundays

Recipe Swap Sundays

Delicious Dishes

Hearth and Soul

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Pioneer Woman's Chicken Spaghetti

Spaghetti, veggies and chicken are tossed in a creamy sauce, topped with cheese and baked until bubbly.

Hun... What's for Dinner? Pioneer Woman's Chicken Spaghetti- a great way to use leftover chicken or turkey




There has been a lot of buzz, about this dish and the Pioneer Woman, over on Cooking for your Family. I first heard about Ree, a few years ago, on TV. She was promoting her new cookbook, so I decided to check out her site. Amazing!! I mean great food, no fancy shmancy ingredients and it all tastes so yummy. I think this is about the third PW recipe I've tried. I've added her cookbook(s) to this years Christmas list, hoping to try more of her great recipes. I've already book marked her Ranch Chicken recipe, for my next meal plan, LOL.

So, since I had a ton of leftover turkey (from Thanksgiving), I decided to give this recipe a try. It was a great meal. Total comfort food. Creamy, cheesy pasta and turkey, with a slight bite at the end. For some reason, I couldn't find pimentos at the grocery store down the street, so I decided to use roasted red peppers instead.

(I really wasn't in the mood to drive right into town, to search for pimentos, LOL)

Mr.B loved it, as did Hubby and my nephew. By the next morning, it was all gone and my hopes of having some for lunch, were dashed. This will be going into my leftover turkey file, since it's a great way to use already cooked chicken/turkey.




Hun... What's for Dinner? Pioneer Woman's Chicken Spaghetti- a great way to use leftover chicken or turkey


Chicken Spaghetti
Adapted from The Pioneer Woman Cooks

2 C cooked chicken or turkey
3 C dry spaghetti, broken Into Two
2 cans Cream of chicken Soup
1 C sharp Cheddar cheese, divided
¼ C yellow pepper, chopped
¼ C onion, finely diced
1/2 C finely sliced button mushrooms
1- 4oz jar diced pimentos, drained (or 1 roasted red pepper)
1 C reserved pasta water
1 teaspoon Lawry's Seasoned Salt
1/8- 1/4 tsp thyme
Salt And Pepper, to taste


Cook up a fryer chicken and pick out the meat to make two cups (feel free to use leftover roast chicken, or turkey).

Cook spaghetti in a large pot of generously salted water, until al dente. Do not overcook.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add in the onion, yellow pepper and mushrooms. Cook until mushrooms are browned and onions are translucent; about 5 minutes. Add in chopped roast red pepper and turkey. Cook until heated through; about 3 minutes. Pour in cream of chicken soup and season with seasoned salt and thyme. Cook for 5 minutes, to heat through. Add drained pasta to the skillet and toss to coat, adding pasta water if sauce it too thick.

Place mixture in casserole pan and top with sharp cheddar. Bake for 45 minutes until bubbly. (If the cheese on top starts to get too cooked, cover with foil).


** This is my most popular recipe on my blog. I really wasn't a fan of the photos, so I took recent photos which I think are much better. I will however leave the old photo on this post, as it is one of my most pinned recipes. **



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Monday, October 18, 2010

Skeleton Cupcakes

I saw these cute little things on the cover of a magazine, in the checkout line of our local grocery store. I just knew I had to make them, so I bought the magazine.

This is one of the reasons Hubby hates when I shop alone.... I deter from the list, LOL.

I had a free afternoon on Saturday, with Hubby at work and Mr.B at a Bday party, so I took the time to make the cupcakes. I knew Mr.B would freak right out, when he saw them, so I wanted to surprise him. The are pretty simple to make, but do take a bit of time and patience. I used some white melting chocolate, instead of frosting, to secure the ribs and arms. I figured it would set up much quicker than the frosting would. An hour later I had a counter full of cute little Mr. Bones (as Mr.B calls them).

When Mr.B got home from his party, all hopped up on candy, cake and ice cream, he saw the cupcakes and exclaimed " Wow Mommy, you're the bestest baker ever!!".

Nothing like a great ego boost from a 5 yr old, LOL.

He's been telling anyone who will listen, about his skeleton cupcakes.






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Skeleton Cupcakes

Adapted from Woman's Day Halloween Celebrations; 2010


Who could resist a cute cupcake with a skeletal frame comprised of a marshmallow skull and yogurt mini pretzel ribs supported by a lollipop stick? Whip up a batch of these bony characters with your favorite cake mix and canned frosting.


Active Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes


1 box (18.25 oz) white cake mix

4 large egg whites

1 cup milk

1/3 cup canola oil

2 cans (16 oz each) vanilla frosting


Decoration:


18 marshmallows

4-in. lollipop sticks

black food color decorating pen

Black writing gel

72 yogurt-covered mini-pretzels


1. Heat oven to 350°F. Line 18 regular size muffin cups with white liners.


2. Beat cake mix, egg whites, milk and oil in large bowl with mixer on low speed 1 minute until blended; increase speed to medium and continue to beat 2 minutes or until batter is smooth. Divide batter among muffin cups, filling each 2/3 full.


3. Bake 20 to 22 minutes until a wooden toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire rack 10 minutes before removing cupcakes to rack to cool completely. Frost cupcakes with vanilla frosting.


4. To decorate: Slightly flatten marshmallows with palm of your hand. Insert a lollipop stick into each marshmallow. With the black decorating pen, using photo as a guide, draw the skeleton mouth along the bottom of each marshmallow. Draw 2 nostrils above the middle of the mouth, as shown. Make the eyes with dabs of the black writing gel.


5. For each skeleton, carefully thread the stick end of the marshmallow head through the small hole of a pretzel, slowly twisting the pretzel from side to side as you push it up toward the head, stopping about 1/2 in. below the head. Secure the pretzel in position with a dab of frosting. Add 2 more pretzels, lining them up, to resemble the rib cage, securing with dabs of frosting. Stick the skeleton into the top of a cupcake. To make the arms, carefully cut a pretzel in half with a serrated knife and attach to the top rib with frosting as shown. Repeat with remaining skeletons.

Linking this post to

Cupcake Tuesday

Tasty Tuesday

Tempt my Tummy Tuesday

Tuesdays at the Table

Delishes Dishes

What's Cooking Wednesday

All Halloween Bash

Meal Plan Monday~ Oct 18

Happy Monday! Mr.B and I spent a great weekend. Mr.B attended a birthday party for one of his school friends and I made awesome Halloween cupcakes, which I'll post tomorrow. Sunday we spent a whole lot of time at the park with our neighbors and have another play date with them, today, after school.


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This week is a busy and exciting one. Queenie comes home tomorrow!!! Though I appreciate my parents taking her home so I could rest and heal, I missed her tremendously and am beyond happy she will be coming home. I also have my post surgery follow up appt on Wed, so I'm hoping to get the green light on resuming regular activities. Thursday we hope to hit the pumpkin patch, with Hubby and one of our good friends. Amidst all this excitement, we'll be eating (at least I hope so!!), so here is our menu for the week, in no particular order.


  • Double cheese and Prosciutto calzones (new recipe) and salad
  • Roast, with mashed potatoes and mashes carrots/ ruttabaga
  • Porcupine Balls (crock pot) with peas
  • Butternut squash soup (new recipe) with Honey oatmeal bread
  • Baked Rigattoni with ham, tomatoes and Feta (new recipe) and bread sticks
  • Baked chicken breast, scalloped potatoes and candied bacon pepper squash

Head on over to OrgJunkie.com, to check out tons of other great meal plans for the week!!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Chocolate Brownie Cookies

Well, to re-enforce my love of desserts, mentioned on my previous post, I'm treating you to another dessert recipe. I get antsy when there isn't any dessert in the house. Not sure why, but I always feel better knowing there are cookies, brownies, pie or cake ready at my disposal. Just another of my oh so wonderful quirks, LOL.

So, my nephew was returning home, after a brief visit and I wanted to send him off with something. Well, something other than the food I gathered up from our pantry. I remember being in college and living on Kraft Dinner, so when ever my nephew comes by, I try to send him home with staples he can survive on. Anyway.... back to my special treat, um... I mean my nephew's special treat.

{Ok, I really wanted to try these cookies, but what better excuse to make them, then to send half home with a starving college student :o)}

I've been eyeing these cookies for a few months now. I mean with a name like 'brownie' cookies, who could resist. Well. I had been resisting due to the fact that I can't eat nuts yet, but starting thinking, what if I replaced the nuts with something else. Like white chocolate, marshmallows and chocolate. That's exactly what I did. Wowee Wow are these good. The melted marshmallow makes them gooey, while the added white and semi sweet chocolate make them that more decadent.

My only tip here is to NOT overcook them. I was in a rush, forgot to set the timer on my last batch and they came out quiet crispy. OK..... almost like rocks, but nothing a little dip in a glass of milk can't fix.


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Chocolate Brownie Cookies
Adapted from Cookies- A Cookie Lover's Collection

2 C sugar
1 C vegetable oil
4 eggs
4 squares unsweetened baking chocolate, melted and slightly cooled
2 tsp vanilla
4 c flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 C chopped walnuts

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease cookie sheets. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar, oil, eggs, melted chocolate and vanilla. Beat at medium speed until well blended. Add flour, baking soda and salt. Beat at low speed until soft dough is formed. Stir in walnuts.

Drop dough by heaping teaspoons 2 inches apart onto cookie sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until set. Cool completely before storing.
Makes 5 dozen

Cindy's notes: I added 1/4 C each of white and semi sweet chocolate chips, and marshmallows.

This post is linked to

Cookbook Sundays

Recipe Swap Sundays

Potluck Sunday

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Most everyone has a weakness. For some it's shoes, others it's gambling. For me it's dessert. I just love dessert! Every time we go out, I look at the dessert menu first, to decide how much of an entree I want to order. That way I can get dessert. After all "There's always room for dessert", right?

I think it all started with my Dad. My Mom never lets him forget that at the age of 3 months, he was feeding me ice cream and dipping his finger in the sugar bowl and sneaking me a taste. I've probably been hooked ever since then.

I'm more partial to chocolate-y desserts, though you'll never see me turn down a good fruit pie, strudels or donuts, LOL. So when I saw these being reviewed on Cooking for your Family, I instantly knew I had to make them. Plus, Hubby is crazy about peanut butter and chocolate, so I knew they wouldn't go to waste.

These are amazingly good! The roasted peanut flavor with the creamy chocolate..... HEAVEN! You can't really taste the banana flavor, but it makes me feel a tad less guilty, since there's fruit in them. They are a bit more dense than regular 'cake' muffins, but really does it matter??



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Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
Submitted by Marybeth~ mamamb10

2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed, golden brown sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2-3 large, ripe bananas, mashed-enough for
1-1/4 cups banana
1 cup milk
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
3 Tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 large egg
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

In a large bowl, sift together (make sure to sift), flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, salt and the cinnamon; combine.

In another mixing vessel combine mashed bananas, milk, peanut butter, egg, oil, and vanilla; mix well. Add this to the dry mixture previously prepared; mix just enough to combine. Stir in chocolate chips.

Spray muffin tins with cooking spray, if you are using liners, spray those too, and fill tins 3/4 full. This will make 18 nicely sized muffins. You can double the recipe if you need more. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Cindy's notes: I used chunky peanut butter, so I increased the amount to 1 C, to compensate.



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Friday Favorites

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Bacon and Sage Stuffing

Well, Thanksgiving was 2 days ago and I must say, I'm still stuffed. Since Hubby had to work, I was in charge of cooking our Thanksgiving feast. No problem! My plan was to go simple. Turkey, a few sides and dessert. Simple right?? Well as Hubby and I were discussing the menu, the night before, he asked it I was making stuffing.

Stuffing, really?? I mean I don't even like stuffing, so why should I make some?

What do you mean, it isn't Thanksgiving without stuffing?

My Mom never made stuffing and we still were thankful for all the blessings in our lives.

Stuffing..... who needs it?!





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I'll tell you who needs it. Hubby does. He even convinced my nephew, that it wouldn't be Thanksgiving without stuffing. You want stuffing, you make it! That was my initial response. But since I wanted to eat at a decent time, I told him to leave me the recipe and I'd make it.

Do you think he left the recipe??

Um, no.... instead Hubby decided to call me from work and explain how to make his beloved stuffing. I listened with half and ear, since I figured I'm not that stupid, right? Well, I'm quite proud of how my darn stuffing turned out. The flavors were great and it wasn't too soggy and nice and crispy on the outside. The boys must have liked it too, since it disappeared quite quickly. So there, they got their stuffing and I didn't have to hear about how sacrilegious it is to even think of leaving it off any holiday table. (The full recipe is at the end of this post.)





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Throw some cubed stale bread in a large bowl. Fry up some chopped bacon and onions, until cooked through and onion are soft and golden brown. Throw that in on top of the bread.







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Add the sage, celery salt and pepper to the bowl and slowly add chicken broth, stirring as you go. You want to moisten the bread, without drenching it. Transfer it to a baking dish, cover with foil and bake at 375 degrees, for 45 mins to 1 hour.






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Bacon and Sage Stuffing

4 C stale bread (use what ever you have on hand, I used leftover sandwich rolls)
1/2 lb bacon, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1/4-1/2 tsp sage (depends on how much you like sage)
1/2 tsp celery salt
1/4 tsp fresh cracked pepper
chicken broth (I'd say anywhere from 1/2 to 1 C)
cooking spray

In a large skillet, start to brown the bacon. Once it's about cooked through, add the onion and cook until soften and golden brown. Meanwhile, cut the bread into 1 inch cubes and throw it into a large bowl. Once the bacon and onion are cooked, transfer them to the same bowl as the bread. Sprinkle with sage, celery salt and pepper. Pour in chicken broth, mixing as you go. Add just enough to moisten the bread, but not soak it. Taste for seasoning and adjust if needed. Transfer to a baking dish, sprayed with cooking spray. Cover with foil and bake for 45 mins to an hour at 375 degrees.

This post linked to

Tasty Tuesdays

Tempt my Tummy Tuesday

Tuesday Night Supper Club

What's on the Menu Wednesdays

What's Cooking Wednesdays

Monday, October 11, 2010

Meal Plan Monday~ Oct 11

Happy Thanksgiving Canada!! Today is turkey day for us, so I'll be a busy little bee in the kitchen. Thankfully my nephew came for the weekend, so I'll have some help, since Hubby is working early, so he can join in the meal tonight.


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Mr.B came down with the sniffles and a fever yesterday. He hasn't been eating much, so I've been trying to keep him hydrated. He still has a slight fever today, so I'm glad he doesn't have school until Wed. It'll give him time to rest and get this bug out of his system. I'm slightly congested too, so I hope I'm not catching anything. Other than that it should be a super quiet week for us. So here is our menu for the week, which consists of many recipes using leftover turkey.


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  • Thanksgiving- turkey, roast garlic mashed potatoes, honey-thyme squash, green beans with bacon and onions, stuffing, gravy and rolls. Apple pie and tarte au sucre (sugar pie) for dessert.
  • PW chicken Spaghetti (using turkey)
  • Sweet and Sour turkey balls, with fries and corn
  • Turkey tortellini soup, with honey oatmeal bread
  • Pierogies with a salad
  • Breakfast- pancakes, bacon and fruit salad
  • any leftovers

Head of over to OrgJunkie.com to check out tons of other great weekly meal plans.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Cooking with Kids- Disappearing Chocolate Chip Cookies

It was cold and rainy. I didn't want Mr.B sitting mindlessly in front of the TV all day, so I dug out our Disney cookbook and asked him to pick a recipe, that he'd like me to help him with. Of course chocolate chip cookies won, LOL. We set out into the kitchen, to get all our needed equipment and ingredients. Then we went to work. Mr.B poured and measured, stirred and cracked eggs. He really enjoyed being the chef, while Mommy stepped in when needed. I liked that he didn't question the ingredients. It's not everyday that you find yogurt and ground oats in chocolate chip cookies. He was so proud of himself and eagerly awaited the baked cookies to cool. One bite is all it took and he gave them a huge thumbs up. I was surprised that the oats and yogurt didn't compromise the authentic chocolate chip cookie taste. They are a bit more dense and chewy than traditional CC cookies, but taste great none the less.





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I have to admit that I'm a little OCD and controlling at times (really? no way...). I like that letting the kids cook with me, helps me let go a bit. Yes, flour ends up all over the counter and the floor. Yes, egg shells end up in the bowl, but that is why we use a separate bowl, to crack the eggs in. The look of sheer joy and pride on my children's faces makes any mess, big or small, oh so worth if. Plus, I figure if they start now, they'll be able to cook for me in no time, LOL. So get in the kitchen with your kids and make not only great food, but great memories as well.






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Disappearing Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from Disney's Magic Kitchen Cookbook

Unless you can put a force field around them, these cookies are sure to disappear. -Violet Incredible

1 C rolled oats
1/2 C butter softened
1 C packed brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 C plain low fat yogurt
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 C flour
1 C mini semisweet chocolate chips

1. Turn on the oven to 375 degrees. Put oats in a shallow baking pan. Put baking pan in the oven. Bake about 10 minutes or until toasted, stirring once with a wodden spoon. Use hot pads to remove baking pan from oven. Put oats in the food processor or blender. Cover and process or blend until oats are ground. Save until step 2.

2. Put butter in a large mixing bowl. Beat butter with electric mixer on medium high speed for about 30 seconds. Add brown sugar, baking soda and salt. Beat until combined, stopping occasionally and scraping the sides with a rubber scraper. Add the yogurt, eggs and vanilla and beat until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stop the mixer. Stir in the oats and any remaining flour with the wooden spoon. Stir in chocolate pieces.

3. Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls onto the ungreased cookie sheet. Fill the cookie sheet with mounds of dough, leaving about 2 inches between cookies. Put the cookie sheet in the oven. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes, or until the cookie bottoms are browned. Use the hot pads to remove the cookies from the oven. Use a wide spatula to transfer the cookies to a wire rack; let cookies cool. Repeat with remaining daugh, letting cookie sheet cool between batches or using a second cookie sheet. Turn off oven.Makes about 60 cookies.

Cindy's notes: we used vanilla yogurt, since it's what we had on hand. We also made them bigger, so we got about 36 cookies.




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Linking this post to

Cookbook Sundays

Potluck Sunday

Colleen's Kitchen Recipe Swap

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Honey-Thyme Butternut Squash

I have to admit, I don't like squash very much. Is it sweet, is it savory? The texture throws me off too, but I was determined to increase my veggie intake, so I knew I had to incorporate squash into my diet somehow. Then I saw this recipe in the Taste of Home Magazine and knew this was a possible way to make me like squash.

Let me tell you, I loved it!!! I loved the buttery-ness, paired with the sweet honey and the savory thyme. The contrast of sweet and salty is wonderful. It almost had a creamy testure, which I enjoyed more than just roasted squash. Mr.B gave it one thumb up and one thumb down. He ate his serving without complaining, so it couldn't have been that bad, LOL. I served it with Orange Glazed Pork Roast and it paired perfectly. I did have to omit the parsley and used ground thyme.


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Honey-Thyme Butternut Squash
Adapted from Taste of Home Magazine

1 large butternut squash (about 5 pounds), peeled and cubed
1/4 cup butter, cubed
3 tablespoons half-and-half cream
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
1/8 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper

Place squash in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 8-10 minutes or until tender.Drain. Mash squash with the remaining ingredients.
Yield: 10 servings.

This post linked to

What's on the Menu Wednesday

Friday Favorites

Tuesday Night Supper Club

Monday, October 4, 2010

Meal Plan Monday~ Oct 4

Good morning! Today was the first day in almost a month and a half, that I was on my own, to get DS ready for school. I must say it went pretty well and we made made it to school with time to spare. I'm sure it would have been more difficult with Queenie to take care of as well, but she went to my parent's house for a few weeks. Since I still don't have the green light to resume everyday activities, this week's menu will consist of many easy recipes, as well as some crock pot recipes.

This week, shouldn't be too busy. Mr.B has his first field trip of the year, to Puck's Farm. He was beyond excited to go today. He also has school on Wed and Fri and plans to ask Hubby if they can start decorating for Halloween on Thurs. If I can survive all that, then I'm truly on the road to recovery, LOL.


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So here is our Menu for the week.



  • Easiest Crock Pot Chicken with noodles, broccoli (Mr.B) and honey-thyme squash (me)
  • Spaghetti and Meatballs (crock pot) with garlic bread
  • Beefy Noodles with peas
  • Old Fashion Tomato soup with homemade bread
  • Hubby's night to cook
  • BBQ Pork Sandwiches (using leftover Orange Glazed Pork), homemade Burger Buns and Potato Salad.
  • Leftovers

Don't forget to head over to OrgJunkie.com, to check out tons of other great meal plans for the week!!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Orange Glazed Pork Roast

The weather is starting to cool off, so that means I get to use the oven without feeling too guilty, LOL. There is nothing I like more, than the smell of dinner cooking in the oven, on a chilly afternoon. Since I'm still suppose to take it easy, a roast was the right way to go. You just pop it into the oven and a few hours later, it's ready to go. I found this recipe in my Southern Living Christmas Cookbook. I've had this cookbook for years, but this is the first recipe I've made from it. It's full of great down home recipes, that aren't too elaborate or extravagant.

This recipe was so simple, yet so flavorful and wonderful. The meat was tender and juicy. I really loved the tangy sweetness of the orange/mustard combo, paired with the savoriness of the rosemary (which is quickly becoming my favorite herb). Mr.B agreed that the meat was the best he's ever tasted and gobbled it up, before anything else on his plate. I didn't have Creole mustard, so I mixed 1 Tbs of Cajun seasoning with 2 Tbs of Dijon. I also cannot eat Marmalade at the moment, so I reduced 1 C of pulp free orange juice with 1 Tbs of sugar, until thick, which worked perfectly. This is a versatile recipe that can be altered to fit the ingredients you have on hand.



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Orange-Glazed Pork Roast
Adapted from Southern Living Christmas Cookbook

Preparation Time: 10 minutes minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour minutes
Other Time: 10 minutes minutes
Yield: Makes 16 servings

1 (3-pound) boneless pork loin roast
Vegetable cooking spray
1 1/2 teaspoons coarsely ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup orange marmalade
2 tablespoons Creole mustard
2 teaspoons fresh or dried rosemary
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can fat-free reduced-sodium chicken broth
Garnish: fresh rosemary sprigs

Place roast on a rack coated with cooking spray in an aluminum foil-lined shallow roasting pan. Rub roast with pepper and salt. Heat marmalade in a microwave-safe bowl at HIGH 10 seconds or until melted. Add mustard and rosemary, stirring until blended. Brush mixture over roast.

Bake at 375° for 1 hour or until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion registers 155°. Cover with foil; let stand 10 minutes. Remove roast from pan, and cut into slices; cover and keep warm.

Sprinkle roasting pan with flour; place on cook top, and cook over medium heat, 1 minute, whisking constantly. Add broth, and cook 5 more minutes, whisking constantly or until mixture thickens. Serve with sliced pork. Garnish, if desired.

This post is being linked to:

Cookbook Sunday @ Brenda's Canadian Kitchen

Potluck Sunday @ Mommy's Kitchen