Showing posts with label recipes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label recipes. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Apple Crumb Pie

I just couldn't make the same old apple pie again.  Do you ever just get so tired of making the same old recipes again and again?  So I went all out on a limb and tried a crumb topping pie (adapted from a recipe I found on AllRecipes) for a little twist.

Apple Crumb Pie
1 9" pie shell (I used a Pillsbury roll out pie crust.)
6 cups thinly sliced apples
1 TBS lemon juice
2/3 cup white sugar
2 TBS all purpose flour
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
2/3 cup all purpose flour
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
4 TBS butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Place sliced apples in a large bowl.  
Sprinkle with lemon juice.
Add white sugar, 2 TBS flour, cinnamon and nutmeg.
Toss together until apples are well coated.

In a small bowl mix together 2/3 cup flour and brown sugar and cut in butter until mixture in crumbly.

Cover loosely with foil and bake for 25 minutes.  Take off foil and bake for another 25 minutes or until top in golden brown.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Banana Muffins

When I have too-ripe bananas I usually:
1. freeze them for smoothies
2. make banana bread with them
3. or make these very-low-sugar banana muffins.

I was in the mood for muffins, but I couldn't use the no-sugar recipe because I was out of sour cream, so I tried a new recipe.

These were good.  I cut down the sugar from the original recipe, hoping my bananas were sweet enough and they were.

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large ripe bananas
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
1/3 cup butter melted

Mix together and pour into greased muffin tins.  Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.
(Yield : 12.)

Thursday, June 13, 2013

A No-Recipe Meal: Calzones

This recipe is for BIG calzones, or enough to feed my family, plus some kid's friends.

Thaw, and let rise, 2 or 3 loafs of frozen bread dough.  (I usually throw these out in the morning.)

Give each bread dough a cookie sheet and remember to spray lightly with the non-stick spray.

You need:
1 lb. sandwich pepperoni
1 lb. cooked salami
1 lb. provolone cheese
1 bag of shredded mozzarella cheese
1 big tomato sliced thin
Green and or red peppers sliced very thin
Small onion sliced very thin
Parmesan cheese
(You can add any other favorite meats, cheeses or vegetables...I like to add some feta and fresh basil.)

Diced garlic or garlic powder
Italian seasoning
Pasta sauce for dipping

Once bread has thawed and risen, dump about 1 tablespoon of olive oil over bread dough and smash down onto cookie sheet like you are making a pizza. Flip over a couple times to make sure olive oil is coated everywhere on sheet and bread.

Down one long 1/2 layer ingredients with a single layer of each meat and then vegetables and then cheese.
(We make a "boy's" and "girl's" calzone...lots of veggies and cheese for the girls, no veggies and extra meat for the boy's.)
Fold over and seal edges all around.
Ours always end up looking like a giant crescent.
Sprinkle top with Italian seasoning and parm cheese and garlic.

30 minutes @ 350 degrees.  If the top is getting too crisp halfway into cooking time, cover loosely with foil.
Slice and serve with pizza or pasta sauce for dipping.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Apple Roll-Ups

Here's a great recipe I found in my favorite cook book.  I changed it a little to make it much quicker to assemble.  (I also renamed them Apple Roll-Ups because I roll them up-they are really called "Stuffed Apple-Cinnamon Rolls" but the stuffing part takes too long for me.)

They taste so good and I have started doubling the recipe, to eliminate any arguments over who gets how many.

Here's what you need:
1 package of refrigerated pizza dough-I use the Pillsbury Thin Crust kind*

2 cups shredded apples (peel first)
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon flour

1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 tablespoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

6 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 tablespoon melted butter
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1-2 teaspoons milk

1. Preheat oven to temperature on pizza dough container instructions.
2. Spray a pie plate with non stick cooking spray.
3. On a lightly floured surface, roll out pizza dough.
4. Mix the apple filling together in a bowl.
5. Spread the filling as evenly as you can over the rectangle of pizza dough.
6. Starting at a long side, roll up the dough.
7. Using a knife, slice the dough into 10-12 pieces from one end to the other.  Place little round rolls into the pie plate, any which way.
8.  Combine topping ingredients and sprinkle on top of dough.
9. Bake for 15-20 minutes.  Let cool for 10 minutes and then top with glaze.

*If you want to make dough from scratch this recipe is the one to use.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

A No-Recipe Meal: Meatball Subs

This a favorite of ours and so easy.  It's great for those evenings when schedules get crazy and kids are eating at different times.

You need:
1 jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce
meatballs (I buy the frozen bagged kind)
mozzarella cheese
sub buns

Pour the jar of sauce into a saucepan and heat up the meatballs on low till they are heated through.  Place as many meatballs as you like onto the bread (I estimate about 6 small meatballs per person), along with some sauce.  I use anything from a fresh French bread loaf to (desperation) hotdog buns.  Sometimes I toast the buns if they are too soft so they don't get soggy.

Top with mozzarella cheese.  Leaving the sandwiches opened, I put them in a 350 degree oven till the mozzarella cheese is melted and browning just a bit and they are all warm and toasty.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Mud Cups

Oh, I hate making these things, but my kids love them.  They are allowed to bring a snack for their classmates on their birthdays and when I ask them what they want me to make, in my head (and sometimes out loud) I say, "Please don't say mud cups, please don't say mud cups."  But they usually do.  I made them once for Isaac when he was little-I must have been in some overachieving sort of mood-and I've been stuck making them ever since.  They ARE cute though.  And the kids DO love them.  And they require no baking and are relatively easy to whip up-just a little messy.

For about 30 mud cups you need:
6 large packages of instant chocolate pudding (the 5.9 oz size)
whole milk
Oreo cookies
gummy worms
clear plastic cups

Make all the chocolate pudding according to the directions and carefully pour desired amount into cups.  Crush Oreo cookies and sprinkle on top.
Add a few gummy worms.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A No-Recipe Meal- BBQ Chicken

Last week I brought you Easy Pork-Chops.  This is another one of those no-recipe, whip-together family dinners.

This week I bring you BBQ grilled chicken-in strips or in a sandwich.

I cut boneless, skinless chicken breasts into bun-size pieces and strips.  I marinated them in bottled BBQ sauce all day. (I usually do as much meal-time fixing in the morning as I can manage.)

I also made some hard-boiled eggs and refrigerated them for a salad later.

About 30 minutes before dinner, I cut up some new potatoes and put 1/4 stick of butter in a baking pan with them.  I sprinkled with garlic salt.  400 degrees for 30 minutes.  I stir a few times.

At dinner time, I threw the chicken on the grill.  I scavenged my fridge for salad fixings.  I almost always have Romaine hearts in my fridge and I happened to find some spinach, a cucumber, onion, and tomatoes.  I put some of the hard-boiled eggs and some grated cheese on top for a Chef's Salad.  I love homemade dressing and so I made this Greek Dressing.  It's so easy.  I don't even follow the recipe sometimes when I'm feeling lazy-I just use oil and vinegar as a base, and a little mustard, basil, and oregano.  It always turns out delicious.  Oh, and croutons.  A salad isn't a salad without croutons.

Some of us like chicken sandwiches:
Some of us like it plain dipped in ketchup or BBQ sauce:

The best part: I had leftover salad and chicken for lunch for Abbey and I the next day.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

A No-Recipe Meal

One time I was reading one of my favorite blogs and in a post the blogger listed the meals she fed her family for the week.  The point of the post was sort of "I am not good at dinners, I never know what to make" but it was one of my favorite posts-because I got quite a few great ideas for those simple throw-together family meals-the kind we take for granted and 'think' we should be embarrassed by.  Grilled cheese and soup, muffin pizzas-that sort of thing.  I loved seeing what this other mother, halfway around the world, made for her family and not being overwhelmed by it.  It's SO nice and such a relief today to not be overwhelmed isn't it?

I think the most important thing about family meals is eating them together-or with as many children as it is possible to gather in between soccer and lacrosse and play practice-and I'm always hunting high and low to find meals that everyone will at least try.  Sometimes the simplest meals-the ones that I think to myself "this is so lame, it took no effort, Rachel or Paula or Ree or Giada would be horrified if they were spying in my window", the ones that are SO not blog worthy, the ones that don't even really need a recipe, are the ones that we moms might find the most helpful.  Especially during certain stages of our lives-with a baby in the house, or when life gets really busy-those times when following complicated recipes, or heck, any sort of recipe, is just about impossible.

So here is one of those no recipe, easy meals, and I have the intention (you probably know how my intentions sometimes pan out) of sharing more.

Easy Pork Chops

I used boneless, thin cut pork loin, about one and a half pounds, or eight cutlets.
For the breading I have used the following:

seasoned breadcrumbs
Panko crumbs
Shake n Bake
Ritz crackers smashed

For this meal, I only had a little of the first three so I mixed them all up together.
I cracked 4 eggs in a bowl and dipped each pork loin in the egg, and then followed that with a dip into the breading (I needed about 3 cups).  You can "shake" the pork loins in a bag but I like them heavily breaded so I really smoosh them into the crumbs on a plate.

I heat a large frying pan on high, with enough oil to cover just the surface of the pan.  Any oil will do.
Arrange pork in the pan when hot.
It took me about 4 minutes on each side to cook through.

We had plain egg noodles with butter (always a favorite with the younger crowd) and a side of canned pears.  

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Easy Pasta Primavera

Here is a quick and easy meatless Lenten dinner....a little change from my old grilled cheese and/or fish sticks Friday.   

If you have Lenten resolutions, how are you doing?  I gave up sweets and so far so good-and boy does it make me feel better anyways.  Of course for the first week, I desperately wanted to stick my head in a chocolate fountain, but the cravings have calmed somewhat.  I still have to avert my eyes when walking down the candy aisle at the grocery store, so they haven't subsided completely.

3/4 of a 32 oz. box of pasta (I use rotini or ziti)
1/4 cup butter
1 envelope Knorr's vegetable soup mix
1 1/2 teaspoons all purpose flour
2 cups milk
2 TBS grated Parmesan cheese

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add pasta.  Cook till al dente, and drain.

2. In a saucepan melt butter.  Blend Knorr soup mix with flour and milk, and then add to saucepan.  Stir.  Bring to a soft boil, and then reduce heat to low and simmer for 7-10 minutes.  Stir in grated cheese.

3. Toss with cooked pasta and serve.

(This makes enough for all seven of us....I usually serve with a salad and garlic bread.)

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Sugar Cookies

We are giving up sweets for Lent here, but I made these last week just to get our pre-Lenten fix.

Here is our favorite recipe:

1 cup white sugar
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup butter
2 eggs
1/2 cup corn oil
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
4 cups flour

Cream together first six ingredients and gradually add the flour, tartar and soda.
Refrigerate for an hour until firm.
Roll out onto floured surface and punch out with cookie cutters. (We like thick ones!)
Bake at 375 degrees for 7-9 minutes (watch carefully for the right timing-just lightly browned on edges) on greased cookie sheets.

For the frosting:
3 cups powdered sugar
6 TBS butter
1 TBS vanilla extract
2 TBS milk
food coloring 

Adjust for thickness, adding a little more milk if necessary.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


I have been making batches of these like a crazy woman.  They are easy and so so so good.  And the best thing is that they don't cost $14 a dozen.  I bet they come in under $1.

This recipe is from AllRecipes and I use my Zojirushi Breadmaker...I love that thing.  The recipe makes about 8 bagels.  Last week I doubled it, and the bread maker handled it fine.

1 cup warm water
3 cups of bread flour
2 TBS white sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
3 TBS sugar
1 TSP cornmeal
1 egg white

Toppings if wish:  shredded asiago cheese, poppy seeds, dried onion flakes, rock salt, cinnamon sugar...

1.  I add the first 5 ingredients in the order listed.  Set on Dough Cycle.  When complete, place dough on a lightly floured surface. Shape into 8-10 balls, flatten them, and then poke hole in the middle.  (Make it big, because dough will rise.)

2. Cover bagels with a clean dish towel, and let rise.  Mine take about 30-60 minutes to get rise.  Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to boil.  Dissolve 3 TBS of sugar in boiling water.

3. Sprinkle an ungreased cookie sheet with cornmeal.  Heat oven to 375.  Transfer bagels to boiling water.  (My pot holds about 4 at a time.)  Boil for 1 minute, turning halfway through.  Remove bagels and place on dish towel to drain.

4. Arrange boiled bagels on baking sheet. Glaze top with egg white.

My kids love asiago cheese bagels, so I will grate some of that and sprinkle on top.  They also love "everything" bagels:  I mix up some poppy seeds, dried onion flakes, and a teeny bit of coarse salt. I will dip the top of the bagel in the egg white, and then dip it in the "everything mixture".  We haven't tried cinnamon sugar yet, but I bet that would be good.

5. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes.

PS.  There is a little Print Friendly button down below.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Tortilla Chili

4 split boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 8 oz. cans of Mexican style chopped tomatoes, undrained
2 cans of black beans, undrained
1 can tomato sauce
1 jar of medium or hot salsa
1 can chopped green chiles

Add all ingredients to a slow cooker.
Cook for 8 hours on low.
Take chicken breasts out when cooked through, and shred or cut into small pieces and then put back in slow cooker.
(I keep some chicken out for the picky kid who won't eat chili...I wrap it up in tortilla with some cheese.)
Spoon chili in bowl and top with cheese and chips and sour cream.
This recipe makes a lot...great for a party instead of traditional chili, or to freeze for later.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Potato Soup

I love this simple potato soup recipe for cold winter nights.  I usually serve with a side of grilled cheese.

2 TBS butter
1 chopped onion
About a dozen peeled potatoes, cut or sliced in big chunks.  I use large red potatoes.
2 carrots, diced
1 can of evaporated milk

Place butter and onions in a large soup pot and saute till onions are soft and translucent.
Place potatoes and carrots in next and cover them with plenty of water (about 3" above the potatoes).
Boil gently till potatoes are really soft and smushy.
Smash potatoes until smooth right in the pot with the water.  (I use a potato masher.) 
Add the milk and stir together.
Add salt to taste. 
Simmer on low till nice and warm, stirring often-be careful to not burn!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Our New Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

1 cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 2/3 cups all purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 pkg semi-sweet chocolate chips

In a large bowl cream together butter, sugars, eggs and vanilla.  Add dry ingredients.  Mix well.  Add chocolate chips.  I put the dough in the fridge for about 2 hours.

I wanted to make large cookies, so I used my ice cream scooper to measure and scooped dough onto parchment covered cookie sheets.  I flattened each cookie a little before baking.

Bake at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes (keep in mind my oven is fast).  Cool before removing from sheets.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Oatmeal Butterscotch Cookies

Patrick and I made these yesterday-I was desperate for a little change for our stand-by chocolate chip cookies.
They were delicious.

1 cup butter
2 eggs
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups quick cooking oats
1 cup butterscotch chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a medium bowl mix butter, sugars, and eggs till smooth.
3. Add flour, baking powder, soda, salt and oats to butter mixture.
4. Don't forget the chips!
5. Drop on lightly sprayed cookie sheets.
6. Bake for about 9 minutes until brown and crispy around edges.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Homemade Thin Crust Pizza

Thin Crust Pizza 
2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups hot water
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 can Chef Boyardee pizza sauce
mozzarella cheese
Parmesan cheese
toppings if desired
Dissolve yeast and sugar in hot water, let rest for 8 minutes-it will foam up a little.
In a separate bowl, combine flour and salt.
Pour yeast mixture over the flour mixture and mix well until it forms a ball.
Pour one capful of oil over dough, cover and let sit for about 5 minutes.
Divide into 2 portions.
(We use 2 9x12" cookie sheets for this recipe.)
Place dough on a lightly buttered pizza pan and stretch to edges.
Be patient...this is a thin crust, so you have to press little by little to stretch it. I use my fingertips and work the dough slowly till it covers the pan.
Top with Chef Boyardee sauce, and then Parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese.
Bake at 500 degrees for 8-12 minutes.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Easy Holiday Food and Busy Day Recipes

Food, food, food-my life seems to revolve around it, it seems, especially at this time of year.  Here are some simple recipes that make my life easier this holiday season.

If I need to bring an appetizer to a party, my feta dip is super easy and I know it will be gone in seconds.  (It is my most viewed post, no kidding.)  No oven, no bowls, no mixer, no stove top.  Here is the easy step by step recipe.

If I need to bring a dessert, I know Kitty's Brownies will be a huge hit.  I am telling you, these things are divine-and it's just brownie mix and 3 candy bars.  They are ooey and gooey and chocolately and taste like you slaved over them for hours.

Caramel corn or shortbread cookies are usually my old standbys if I want to bake a gift.

These pretzels are fun to make with kids and make a great snack.  My blog friend Sarah made them with her kids and they turned out prettier than mine ever do.  You can check them out here.

My favorite cut out cookies are from an old-fashioned recipe my mom used every Christmas when we were kids.  The recipe uses granulated brown sugar-they are sweet, but not too sweet, look like gingerbread, but not too gingery.  My kids love them. Here is the recipe for Butterscotch Rolled Cookies.

I have talked about meal planning and how it really saves me time and money and my sanity also-more than ever this season.  Sometimes I just about hate doing it, but if I don't we will end up eating take out pizza every night.  Here is an example of my menu for the week-I just want to prove that it does NOT have to be fancy-I always think "meal planning" just sounds overwhelming. I use notebook paper and tape it up where I can see it every morning. Grilled cheese and soup one night-or pizza night on Saturday-no gourmet dinners or five course meals here.  (Lots of my recipes are here and I've been adding new ones every week.)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Apple Bars

This a nice easy recipe-no mixer!  The bars were gone in seconds at my house.

1 cup sifted flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup chopped apple (any kind)

For topping:
1 TBS white sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350.
Grease 9x9 inch pan.
Sift together dry flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.
In a large bowl mix together melted butter, brown sugar, and 1/2 cup white sugar with a wooden spoon till smooth.
Stir in egg and vanilla.
Blend in flour mixture until just combined, then add apples.
Spread the mixture evenly in pan.
In a small cup stir together sugar and cinnamon for topping and sprinkle evenly over top.

Bake for 25 minutes in oven.  Cool in pan and cut into squares.

Great with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Quick and Easy Pasta Primavera

3/4 of a 16 oz. box of pasta (I use rotini or ziti)
1/4 cup butter
1 envelope Knorr's vegetable soup mix
1 1/2 teaspoon all purpose flour
2 cups milk
2 TBS grated Parmesan cheese

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add pasta.  Cook till al dente, and drain.
2. In a saucepan melt butter.  Blend Knorr soup mix with flour and milk, and then add to saucepan.  Stir.  Bring to a soft boil, and then reduce heat to low and simmer for 7-10 minutes.  Stir in grated cheese.
3. Toss with cooked pasta and serve.
(This makes enough for all seven of us-I usually serve with a big salad and garlic bread.)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Blueberry Zucchini Bread

This recipe makes 4 mini-loaves.  Perfect for sharing.

3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups white sugar
2 cups shredded zucchini
3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 pint fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease 4 mini-loaf pans.

In a bowl, beat together eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar.  Fold in the zucchini.  Beat in the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon.  Fold in blueberries and transfer to mini-loaf pans.  (They will each be pretty full.)

Bake for 40 minutes or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean.   Cool in pans.