Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Bread

I have found a few quick breads on this foodie blog that I have been checking out and they are simply delicious! If you remember, we tried the cheesy dill bread last week and a couple days ago we tried this recipe... The kids loved it! I mean check out this sweet face...

I think he likes his first taste of chocolate!

In her recipe this blogger mentioned that it was a little dry and I would have to agree - it didn't stop us from loving the recipe though!! I might try to add some of those frozen ripe bananas that I have piling up in my freezer for a little moistness next time... I mean, who doesn't love the combo of chocolate and banana!!

Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Bread
(recipe found at http://www.sweetsbeginning.blogspot.com/)

1/4 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup whole wheat flour (or all purpose)
1 cup old fashioned oats
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup chocolate chunks
coarse sugar for topping

Preheat oven to 375. Lightly butter a 9x5 loaf pan. In a bowl, add flour, oats, cinnamon, salt and baking soda together and mix. Set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter until creamy then add sugar. Beat on high speed until fluffy, scraping the bowl down occasionally, about 3-4 minutes. Add in egg and mix until fully combined, then add in vanilla and do the same. Add half of the dry ingredients. Once combined, add the buttermilk, then the rest of the dry ingredients. Scrape down sides and mix on low speed until completely incorporated. Fold in chocolate chunks. Pour batter into the buttered pan and sprinkle with coarse sugar if desired. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool for 30 minutes before serving.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Chili Spiced Pork Chops

I found another delicious, healthy go to meal for the week night!! This was super easy to throw together (my 2 year old helped me make it) and was done in no time... While it cooked I was able to help my 6 year old with his homework and we had time for some Just Dance on the Wii before bed!! It was a win for all of us... I was a little worried about it being to "spice" for the 4 year old, but he took one bite and proclaimed "you made a delicious supper mommy!" No fighting over supper - that's a win for me every time! :)

Chili Spiced Pork Chops
(recipe found in Taste of Home Simple and Delicious)

3/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
3 tablespoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
1 egg
1/4 cup fat free milk
6 bone in pork rib chops

Combine bread crumbs, chili powder and seasoned salt in a shallow bowl. Combine egg and milk in another shallow bowl. Dip chops in egg mixture, then coat with crumbs. Transfer to a 15x10" baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until meat thermometer reads 160.

Serves: 6
Points: 7 per chop

Friday, January 27, 2012

Weekly Line Up - 1/27-2/2

Crazy week of running coming up (once again...) Definitely the theme of our life and the reason that I am always searching for quick recipes!

Friday - Wrestling meet - Subway after! :)
Saturday - *Baked Potato Cheddar Soup
Sunday - *Chicken Bacon Bowtie Bake
Monday - *Stuffed Pepper Soup
Tuesday - ECFE (they're feeding us)
Wednesday - Taco Night
Thursday - Eating out
Friday - Steaks/Glazed Sweet Potatoes

Extras: *Baked Oatmeal with Blueberry and Bananas, *Honey Cinnamon Roasted Chickpeas, *Brown Sugar and Banana Oatmeal

* New Recipes

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Balsamic Herb Chicken

Gotta love those quick weeknight meals - even on a weekend! I was looking for something to pair with my Glazed Sweet Potatoes and I came across this chicken recipe. It was very tasty and easy to throw together... I wasn't sure how much chicken stock was in 1 container, so I just eyeballed it with the stock that I had - work with me! :) It turned out great!

Balsamic Herb Chicken
(recipe found at www.sweetsbeginning.blogspot.com)

1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 container knorr homestyle chicken stock
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

Coat chicken with flour. Heat oil in 12" skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken in 2 batches and cook until well browned on both sides. Add garlic to skillet and cook for 30 seconds. Stir the broth, vinegar and thyme into skillet and heat to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover and cook for 5 minutes more or until chicken is cooked through.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Glazed Sweet Potatoes

I was watching a cooking show with Bobby Flay the other day and these scrumptious sweet potatoes were on the menu... So, I finally sat down with my pen in hand and copied the recipe from my DVR and made them the other night... I thought that they were super yummy! A little sweet with our savory. The kids were not such big fans, but I think it might just have been the night - they were fiesty about everything! :)

Glazed Sweet Potatoes
(recipe found on Cooking with Bobby Flay)

6 large sweet potatoes
olive oil
salt and pepper
4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon lemon zest

Cut sweet potatoes into large chunks and place in a bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and add salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Place on sheet try and bake for 25 minutes in 350 oven. Meanwhile, melt butter in a medium saucepan. Add lemon juice and brown sugar and whisk to combine. Add lemon zest, whisk and pour over sweet potatoes. Stir to coat. Place sweet potatoes back in oven for an additional 15 minutes.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Cheesy Dill Bread

We tried this for a baking project in daycare the other day and it was so quick and easy to throw together for the kids that it worked perfect for their snack for that day too! My kids are pretty adventurous eaters and like a lot of stuff so they gobbled it right up... The other kids, not quite so excited. That's okay - more for us! :)

Cheesy Dill Bread
(recipe found at www.sweetsbeginning.blogspot.com)

3 cups bisquick
1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar, grated
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/4 cups milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon dill weed
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 9x5 loaf pan. In a large bowl, combine bisquick, cheese and sugar. In another bowl, combine the remaining ingredients and mix well. Stir liquid mixture into dry mixture, blending thoroughly to remove lumps. Turn batter into prepared pan and bake until golden, about 40 minutes.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Peppermint Chocolate Layer Cake

This was a cake that I made for my friends birthday way back in December... My layer cakes have a tendency to tilt to one side, lean a little bit and kind of look like a drunken sailor put them together, but dang it - they taste good! :) This one was no exception - how can you go wrong with chocolate and mint?? Definitely worth making - even if it is past candy cake season! :)

Peppermint Chocolate Layer Cake
(recipe found in Good Housekeeping)

One Bowl Chocolate Cake
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup hot water
3/4 cup low fat buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

Chocolate Ganache Frosting and Glaze
1 pound semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
3 tablespoons creme de menthe or 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
14 dark chocolate thin mint candies
1 tablespoon corn syrup
candy canes, peppermint sticks, and starlight mints, for decorating

Prepare cake: preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease two 9" round cake pans. Lien bottoms with parchment paper; lightly grease paper. In large bowl, with mixer on low speed, beat flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt until well combined. With mixer running, add water, buttermilk, oil, eggs and vanilla. Increase speed to medium and beat until smooth, scraping bowl occasionally.l Divide batter between prepared pans. Bake 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Let cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Invert into racks. Discard parchment paper and cool completely. Cake layers can be kept at room temperature, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap overnight.

Prepare ganache: place chocolate in large heatproof bowl. In 2 quart saucepan, heat cream on medium high until just bubbling. Immediately pour over chocolate. Let stand 1 minute, then stir until smooth. Stir in creme de menthe until well incorporated. Return 1/3 ganache (about 1 cup) to saucepan; set aside for glaze. Refrigerate remaining ganache, uncovered, 10 minutes; with wire whisk, stir well. Repeat chilling and stirring until ganache is the consistency of frosting and becomes light brown. With long serrated knife, cut each cake in half horizontally. Place 1 layer, cut side up, on wire rack set over waxed paper. Spread top with 1/4 of frosting and top with another cake layer, cut side up. Spread with another 1/4 of frosting and top with another cake layer, cut side up. Spread with another 1/4 of frosting and top with final cake layer. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake to seal in crumbs. Let stand in cool place for frosting to harden and set. When frosting is set, add corn syrup to reserved ganache in saucepan. Heat on low just until runny, stirring constantly. Pour glaze over cake and immediately spread to evenly coat top and sides. (Excess glaze with run through rack.) Let cake stand until set. Carefully transfer to cake plate. Decorate with candy as desired.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Weekly Line Up - 1/20-1/26

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Pasta Primavera

This was a quick and easy weeknight meal idea that most of my kids ate! I don't know whose child Beau is, but seriously, if he picks apart one more meal I might scream... He finds the smallest things, holds them out and asks "what's this?" for everything!!! UGHHH... At least he is the only one, but if he keeps it up much longer I can see a copycat sister trying it in the future! :) Anyhow, back to the food... I used angel hair pasta instead of linguine, just out of personal preference, so feel free to use what you like! Happy eating!

Pasta Primavera
(recipe found in Taste of Home Simple and Delicious)

8 ounces uncooked linguine
1 cup thinly sliced fresh broccoli
1 medium carrot, thinly sliced
1/2 cup sliced green onions
1/4 cup butter, cubed
1 1/2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
6 ounces fresh or frozen snow pea (about 2 cups), thawed
1/4 cup dry white wine or chicken broth
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese

Cook pasta according to directions. Meanwhile, cook the broccoli, carrot and onions in butter in a large skillet for 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms, garlic, basil, salt and pepper; cook 1 minute longer. Add snow peas and wine. cover and cook 2 minutes or until peas are crisp tender. Drain pasta; add to skillet and toss to coat. Sprinkle with cheese.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Chicken Chimichangas

As promised, here is round 2 of the Honey and Spice Baked Chicken recipe that I brought to you yesterday. I was a little leery of round 2 because I hate the mess that frying makes in my house and the slippery floors it creates! :) But, I put the hubs to work and he did a fantastic job! These chimichangas were AWESOME and I am definitely willing to put up with the mess again for something that tastes this good!

Chicken Chimichangas
(recipe found in Taste of Home Simple and Delicious)

3 Honey and Spice Baked chicken breast halves, cubed
1 cup refried beans
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
6 flour tortillas
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
oil for deep fat frying
optional toppings: sour cream, salsa, shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, whatever floats your boat on top of chimichangas!!

Combine first seven ingredients in a small microwave safe bowl. Cover and microwave on high for 1 1/2-2 minutes or until heated through. Spoon 1/3 cup off center on each of the tortillas; sprinkle with cheese. Fold up edge nearest filling; fold in both sides and roll up. Secure with a toothpick. Heat oil to 375 in an electric skillet or deep fat fryer. Cook chimichangas until golden brown, turning to cook all sides. Drain on paper towels. Serve with toppings of your choice.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Honey and Spice Baked Chicken

I love recipes that are kind of 2 in 1 recipes, but don't usually find a lot where I enjoy both of the recipes. This one was right up my alley, although I wasn't too excited about the deep frying of the chimichangas... I love them but it's just so messy and greasy! Anyhow, I thought that I would try it and see how it went... Wowza, am I glad that I did! The whole family was raving over this chicken recipe and especially the chimichangas that are coming up next... My mother in law has been craving some good mexican and this did it for her. I guess I will be making it again very soon!

So, for today's recipe you have the Honey and Spice Baked Chicken. Tune in tomorrow to find out about the Chicken Chimichangas that use your extra chicken!

Honey and Spice Baked Chicken
(recipe found in Taste of Home Simple and Delicious)

3 teaspoons garlic powder
3 teaspoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
8 boneless skinless chicken breasts (5 ounces each)
6 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons cider vinegar

Combine first six ingredients and rub over chicken. Transfer to a greased 15x10" baking pan. Bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes or until juices run clear. Combine honey and vinegar; baste over chicken during the last 10 minutes of cooking. Save three chicken breast halves for the chimichanga recipe or another use.

Serves: 5
Points: 4 points per chicken breast

Monday, January 16, 2012

Bacon Cheeseburger Rice

When I head out to Pizza Ranch with the kids, my favorite kind of pizza is their bacon cheeseburger pizza. They just make it way better then anywhere else that I have tried it.... What am I talking about? Well, that is my way of saying that when I saw bacon cheeseburger rice, I knew that I had to try it. Once again - a hit at my house!! We all enjoyed it and Josh was the one that threw it all together... It doesn't get any more simple then that!

Bacon Cheeseburger Rice
(recipe found in Taste of Home Simple and Delicious)

1 pound ground beef
1 3/4 cup water
2/3 cup barbecue sauce
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
2 teaspoons dried minced onion
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 cups uncooked instant rice
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/3 cup chopped pickles
5 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled

Cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink in a large skillet; drian. Add water, barbecue sauce, mustard, onion and pepper. Bring to a boil; stir in the rice. Sprinkle with cheese. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with pickles and bacon.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Cajun Beef Casserole

Simple and Delicious - I love that kind of cooking and this magazine from Taste of Home just keeps sending me more and more of those kinds of recipes!! Love it! Josh threw this quick casserole together on a night when he was home early and he did a great job!! He even made me get the camera out before he cut it because he was so impressed with himself! :) A little too tomatoey for my taste, but still pretty good... I really need to stop picking recipes that include tomatoe paste cause they usually seem too tomatoey for me! :) Who creates the menus in this place anyhow! :)

Cajun Beef Casserole
(recipe found in Taste of Home Simple and Delicious)

1 package (8 1/2 ounces) corn bread/muffin mix
1 pound ground beef
2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) diced tomatoes, drained
2 cups frozen mixed vegetables, thawed
1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
1-2 teaspoons cajun seasoning
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 green onions, thinly sliced

Prepare corn bread batter acording to package directions. Spread into a greased 11x7 baking dish. Cook beef in a large skillet over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Add the tomatoes, vegetables, tomato pasta and seasoning. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Pour over top. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 350 for 25-30 minutes or unitl godlen brown. Sprinkle with onions.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Deconstructed Pear Pork Chops

This recipe couldn't have come at a better time... Between my love of pork chops and the 10 pounds of mixed fruit that I have sitting in my kitchen (that included pears) I knew that I would be mixing up this tasty treat! :) Again, very quick to throw together and definitely delicious. My 4 year old gave me a hand in the kitchen this night and it as a lot of fun to have him as my "sous chef". While he didn't do any of the chopping or frying, he loved addign all the ingredients to the pan and getting the table ready!

Deconstructed Pear Pork Chops
(recipe found in Taste of Home Simple and Delicious)

1 package (6 ounces) corn bread stuffing mix
4 boneless pork chop loins
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
2 medium pears, chopped
1 medium sweet red pepper, chopped
2 green onions, thinly sliced

Prepare stuffing mix according to package directions. Meanwhile, sprinkle chops with pepper and salt. Brown chops in butter in a large skillet. Sprinkle with pears and red pepper. Top with stuffing and onions. Cook, uncovered, over medium heat for 8-10 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 160.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Angel Hair Pasta with Chicken and Vegetables

The hubby called this stir fry without the rice... I couldn't find the right vegetable package, so I used a stir fry veggie mix and obviously he thought that it tasted superb! We all enjoyed this a lot and it was pretty quick to throw together...

Angel Hair Pasta with Chicken and Vegetables
(recipe found in A.C.C. cookbook)

1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 (14.5 ounces) can italian style tomatoes with juice
1 (16 ounces) package frozen broccoli, cauliflower and carrots
1/2 pound grilled chicken, cut into bite size pieces
4 ounces angel hair pasta, cooked
3 tablespoons shredded parmesan cheese

In a skillet, cook onion and garlic in oil over medium heat 2-3 minutes or until onion is soft and transparent. Add tomatoes and frozen vegetables; cover and cook for 5-6 minutes. Stir in chicken and continue cooking for anther 2-3 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Place pasta on a large platter; spoon tomato-vegetable mixture in center; top with shredded cheese. Serve immediately.

Serves: 6

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Beer Cheese Soup

I have never tried to make beer cheese soup before, but I love ordering at restaurants when we go out for a meal... So, when I saw this recipe I knew that I wanted to try it right away. The kids were blown away by the bowl of popcorn that was set on the table in front of them.... "You mean we get popcorn for supper?" They thought that this was the coolest part and it definitely helped the soup go down for them! Very quick and easy to make and delicious to eat!

Beer Cheese Soup
(recipe found in A.C.C. cookbook)

1/2 cup butter, melted
1 1/2 cup flour (I only used 1 cup, it will depend on how thick you want the soup)
2 (14 1/2 ounces) cans chicken broth
1 can hot water
1 int cream or half and half
1/2 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
1 can non alcoholic beer or beer
1/4 cup chives
1 (16 ounces) jar cheez whiz

Stir flour into butter in a medium to large saucepan until smooth. Add chicken broth and hot water to butter and flour mixture. Add cream; cook over medium heat until thickened, then add remaining ingredients and simmer for 15 minutes. serve with popcorn or croutons as a topping for soup.

Monday, January 9, 2012

The Wigglers Casserole

I received this cookbook from my cousin for Thanksgiving and I wanted to give a few of the recipes a try. She swore up and down that this is one of the best cookbooks that she has ever had and that you can't go wrong with any of the recipes... This reputation seemed as if it should be hard to live up to. So far, so good - I have tried a few of the recipes and they have all made the cut!! They will be posted on the blog because they are definitely all yummy and re-doable! :) This one looked a little crazy with all the ingredients but it was a hit at my house for supper and also the next day for the daycare kids...

The Wigglers Casserole
(recipe found in Apostolic Christian Church Cookbook)

1 pound ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 cup cubed potatoes
1 cup carrots, cut up
1 cup celery, cut up
1 cup raw spaghetti noodles
1 cup peas
1 (10 3/4 ounces) can cream of mushroom soup
1 1/2 cup tomato juice
3 slices bacon, fried and cut up
1/3 pound grated cheese

Brown beef and onions; layer in bottom of a greased 9x13" casserole. Cook vegetables and noodles until done. I did this all in one large pot - start with bring the potatoes, carrots and celery to a boil, then adding noodles and peas for the last few minutes. Drain and put on top of the beef layer. Next layer soup on stop, then bacon and finally tomato juice. Bake for 45 minutes at 350, putting cheese on for the last 5 minutes of baking.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Weekly Line Up - 1/6-1/12

Wow, this week flew by... I know that it was a short week for me, but still - I can't believe (and yes, I am excited) that it is Friday already!! Another short week for me next week also as we are flying to Arizona for a short vacation to visit with friends and family... Should be lots of fun! On that note, I was trying to plan my meals for TWO whole weeks - yikes! I mean, I know that I am organized, but that takes a little extra - including figuring out what we are bringing with for the trip, when we are going to be leaving and when we are going to be getting back... I think that I got it under control and if not? There is always cereal! :)

Friday - *Pasta Primavera
Saturday - *Chicken Chimichangas
Sunday - Lasagna Roll Ups
Monday - *Rumza Pockets
Tuesday - *Turkey and Green Bean Casserole
Wednesday - Taco Night
Thursday-Tuesday - VACATION BABY!!
Wednesday - Taco Night
Thursday - *Sloppy Joes
Friday - Eggs and Toast

* New Recipe

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Crunchy Chicken Nuggets

My mother-in-law- is a huge quilter... She makes the most beautiful things and she continues to amaze me me with her newest creations. She came over to my house for Thanksgiving and brought me a hand towel that she had embroidered with a recipe on it and all the fixings for that recipe. It was the coolest idea and I couldn't get over the fact that she had made it - it is so awesome!! So I finally busted the towel out and got down to cooking... The kids were impressed with our homemade chicken nuggets and ate every last one...

Crunchy Chicken Nuggets
(recipe from my mother-in-law!)

1 1/2 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into cubes
1 jar (12 ounces) refrigerated creamy ranch salad dressing
2 cups pepperidge farm herb seasoned stuffing, crushed

Dip chicken into 3/4 cup dressing. Coat with stuffing. Bake at 400 for 15 minutes or until done. Serve with remaining dressing for dipping.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Crustless Quiche

I love a good quiche! They are pretty easy to throw together and you know that is definitely my M.O.! :) This was a tasty one and besides Beau (who doesn't like anything), my kids like to as well... Brody remembers his dad's Popeye talk every time that we have spinach in anything, so he is all for it! :)

Crustless Quiche
(recipe found at http://iwasborntocook.blogspot.com)

6 pieces low sodium bacon
1/2 tomato, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1 scallion, chopped
1 cup frozen spinach, cooked and squeezed dry
6 eggs
pepper to taste
1/4 cup fat free sour cream
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 325 and spray a 9x9 baking pan. Fry bacon in a skillet, plate and pat dry when finished. Chop it up. Dump bacon fat out of skillet but leave about a tablespoon in it. Add tomato, onion, scallion and spinach to the pan, then bacon. Cook on low until onion is translucent. Beat eggs with sour cream and pepper, then add to baking pan, followed by veggie/bacon mixture, then top with cheese. Bake for about 18 minutes or until cooked through.

Serves: 4
Points: 7

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Beef and Potato Soup

This isn't quite the throw in the crock pot and be done with it recipe that I usually use, but it sounded good so I wanted to try it. I'm glad that I did... Both Josh and I loved this soup! It was hearty and perfect on a cold night.

Beef and Potato Soup
(recipe found in Taste of Home Healthy Cooking)

1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
3/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) reduced sodium chicken broth, divided
5 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
5 medium carrots, chopped
3 celery ribs, chopped
3 teaspoons dried basil
2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon pepper
12 ounces reduced fat process cheese, cubed (velveeta)
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream

In a large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Combine flour and 1 can broth until smooth. Add to beef mixture. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Transfer to a 5 quart slow cooker. Stir in the potatoes, carrots, celery, seasonings and remaining broth. Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours or until vegetables are tender. Stir in cheese and milk. Cover; cook 30 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Just before serving, stir in sour cream.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Sunflower Seed and Honey Wheat Bread

Is there anything more delicious then a piping hot slice of hearty bread, fresh out of the oven? There is something about the smell as it is baking, the softness of the warm bread, watching the butter slide across it that just makes my mouth water!! I love a good hearty bread and this one didn't disappoint! It makes up a couple of loaves, so that is nice to be able to stick one in the freezer for later - if it lasts that long! :) I made this to pair with my Honey Glazed Pork Chops and it also went great with the Short Ribs that I had. The third loaf got smuggled home by my brother-in-law who thought that it was as good as I did!

Sunflower Seed and Honey Wheat Bread
(recipe found in Taste of Home)

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the bread flour, oil, honey, salt and 4 cups whole wheat flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in sunflower kernels and enough remaining flour to form a firm dough. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

Punch dough down; divide into three portions. Shape into loaves; place in three greased 8x4" loaf pans. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes. Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown. Brush with melted butter. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Oreo Balls

Happy New Year everyone!! This was another new recipe that I tried this year and although I enjoyed them and they were gone immediately, they weren't my absolute favorite... But then, I am not the biggest oreo fan in the world. My brother on the other hand was begging me to make him some more! I think he ate about half the batch the first night that I put them out! :)

Oreo Balls
(recipe found in A.C.C.)

1 (20 ounces) package oreos
1 (8 ounces) package cream cheese, softened
15 ounces vanilla flavored almond bark
12 ounces chocolate flavored almond bark

Place cookies in a food processor; cover and process until finely crushed. In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and cookies until blended. Roll into 3/4" balls. I used my mini cookie scoop. Place on waxed paper; cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. They dip better when they are cold! Microwave almond bark according to package directions; stir until smooth. Dip half of the drops in the vanilla and half in the chocolate. I use a fork to pick the drops up and shake off the excess almond bark. Place on waxed paper until hardened and then drizzle with opposite almond bark when hardened. Store in a cool place.