Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Taco Stuffed Pasta Shells

I made these pasta shells on a night when I had my niece and nephews over and I couldn't put the seconds on their plate fast enough... I started them with two a piece and they kept asking for more. While these are a little messy to make, they are fabulous to eat. I wish that I could have had more but the kids beat me to them! :) At least I got a couple of them...

Taco Stuffed Pasta Shells
(recipe found on pinterest via tipjunkie.com)

1 box of dried jumbo pasta shells, cooked according to package directions, rinsed and drained
1 pound ground beef
1 package (1.25 ounces) taco seasoning mix
1 cup of water
1 can (16 ounces) can refried beans
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1 jar chunky salsa, divided
1/4 cup sliced green onions
Sour cream (optional)

Preheat oven to 350. Spread 1/4 cup salsa over bottom of casserole dish. Cook beef in large skillet until brown; drain. Add seasoning mix and water; cook over low heat for 5 minutes or until thickened. Add beans and 3/4 cup cheese; mix well. Fill pasta shells with beef mixture; place on baking dish, filled side up. Spoon remaining salsa over shells; top with remaining cheese. Cover with foil. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until heated through. Sprinkle with green onions and remaining cheese. Serve with sour cream.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Penne With Peas and Asparagus

While this wasn't a super favorite of my kids (there was a bit of whining about the peas and asparagus), they all asked for more so it wasn't exactly a flop either! :) The hubs was not home this night and since he isn't a huge fan of peas I decided to treat myself to a meal that I thought would be tasty... It turned out really good and I also enjoyed it as leftovers for the next couple of days.

Penne with Peas and Asparagus
(recipe found on pinterest via recipe.com)

1/2 pound penne
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound thick asparagus, cut into 1-inch lengths
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups frozen baby peas, thawed (10 ounces)
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for serving

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the penne and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the garlic and asparagus and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the stock and boil over high heat until reduced by half and the asparagus are tender, about 5 minutes. Add the peas and cream to the skillet and boil over high heat until the sauce has thickened, 3 minutes. Stir in the penne and cook until heated through. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter, sage and the 1/2 cup of cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the pasta to bowls and serve right away.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Weekly Line Up - 9/26-10/2

This week I'm going for easy peasy meals that are favorites of the kiddos! I have a lot going on and we are helping my sister and her family move into their new house on top of the 5K we are doing this weekend, I'm bringing the meal for ECFE this week and my first night of being the troop leader for my son's cub scout group is Wednesday night... That means I have some planning to do! :) Have a great week!

Friday - Grilled Cheese and Spaghettios
Saturday - Steaks
Sunday - Eggs and Toast
Monday - *Cheesy Ground Beef Rice Casserole
Tuesday - Land Your Man Beans, Hot Dogs, Cornbread, Strawberry Jello with Bananas, Smores on a Stick (My night to bring for ECFE - Cowboy Theme)
Wednesday - Mac and Cheese with Hot Dogs
Thursday - Lasagna Roll-ups

Extras: granola, brownies, *cracker jacks

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Rosemary Garlic Beef Roast

We are to the end of our cow that we had butchered and I have a few roasts and a few steaks left... While I enjoy my normal roast recipe, I'm always game to try something new. The gravy with this recipe was super simple to throw together and we all enjoyed using it with our roast and the rice that I served on the side.

Rosemary Garlic Beef Roast
(recipe found on pillsbury.com)

1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
5-6 pound beef boneless sirloin tip roast
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
1 medium onion, sliced
1 cup beef broth
3 tablespoons chili sauce
1/3 cup all-purpose flour

In small bowl, mix oil and worcestershire sauce; brush over beef roast. Rub roast evenly with garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper. In 5-6 quart slow cooker, add onion. Pour 1/4 cup of the broth over onion. Place beef roast on onion. Refrigerate remaining broth. Cover and cook on low heat setting 8 to 9 hours.
Remove beef from cooker; cover to keep warm. In small bowl, mix remaining 3/4 cup broth, the chili sauce and flour; stir into hot mixture in cooker. Increase heat setting to high. Cook uncovered 5 to 10 minutes or until thickened. Serve gravy with beef.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Blueberry and White Chocolate Scones

I made this recipe as a special breakfast treat while we were camping this summer and it was a huge hit! We enjoyed them for breakfast and were able to have some for snack later in the day. These started out as strawberry scones, but I had blueberries on hand so I changed it up a bit! Love the versatility of this recipe and boy were my guys happy with the white chocolate that was in this recipe!! I will be definitely be making these again...

Blueberry and White Chocolate Scones
(recipe found on pinterest via ifieverownedabakery.blogspot.com)

2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons COLD unsalted butter, cubed
1 cup blueberries
3/4 cup chopped white chocolate (plus a few tablespoons chocolate to melt and drizzle on top when baked)
3/4 cup heavy cream (plus 2 tsp to use to melt white chocolate)

Preheat oven to 425 and line a baking sheet with parchment or foil. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Then cut the butter in with a pastry cutter, or 2 knives until only pea-sized lumps remain. Fold in blueberries and chocolate until berries are coated in flour. Pour in heavy cream and gently stir to combine. Once the cream has mostly absorbed, use your hands to knead the dough in the bowl GENTLY, to get all of it in a ball. Be sure to not overwork the dough. Pour out onto a well floured surface and sprinkle top with flour. Gently press the dough until it's down to 3/4 inch thickness, and in the shape of a circle. Using a large, floured chef's knife, cut the circle into 8 even wedges. Place on the baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes. Once it has cooled, microwave white chocolate and cream until melted. Using a ziploc bag or a drizzling with a spoon decorate the top of the scones.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Crockpot Applesauce BBQ Chicken

I was looking for a few new recipes to make while my brother in law is staying with us... Since he is gluten free I have to be a little more careful about what I am feeding the family when he is around! :) I love applesauce with chicken and pork, but I wasn't too sure about how this was going to go all mixed together. It turned out really tasty! I couldn't find chunky applesauce anywhere that I checked so I went with the regular applesauce and it was pretty good, although I will keep checking because I want to try it with the chunkiness of apples.

Crockpot Applesauce BBQ Chicken
(recipe found on pinterest via whoneedsacape.com)

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
2/3 cup chunky applesauce
2/3 cup BBQ sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon chili powder

Spray crockpot with cooking spray. Place chicken breasts on bottom. Mix all remaining ingredients together and pour over chicken. Cook 6-8 hours on low setting. If FREEZING, place all ingredients in gallon-sized freezer bag. Freeze. Thaw overnight in refrigerator prior to placing into slow cooker.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Banana Oat Greek Yogurt Pancakes

My brother in law is staying with us for a while since he is in the process of moving his family from Arizona to Minnesota - YAY!! That means that I get to work on a whole new style of cooking and baking - Gluten Free! We do a lot of "meat" meals in our house anyhow, so that isn't that big of a deal but breakfast for us is usually carb city! :) That means finding something yummy for him to eat at the same time we are eating... I found this gluten free pancake recipe and had to give it a whirl. He thought it was pretty tasty, even though I forgot that he has a slight allergy to bananas. Whoops! Luckily it isn't that bad and it only happens sometimes - whew! Next time we will give it a try with blueberries instead so we don't take the chance of a reaction! He also mentioned that the texture was pretty good also, so all in all this is a repeat recipe!

Banana Oat Greek Yogurt Pancakes
(recipe found on pinterest via runningwithspoons.com)

1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 medium banana, sliced
2 egg whites
1/4 cup plain greek yogurt
1-2 tablespoons almond milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat a skillet over medium heat and coat it with cooking spray or oil. You want to make sure that it's very hot before you start cooking your pancakes.
Add ingredients to a blender in the order listed and blend until oats are broken down and batter is frothy. Using a ladle or 1/4 cup measuring cup, drop batter onto skillet until desired size of pancakes is reached. Cook until the edges begin to look dry and bubbles start to form on the top of the pancake, about 1 minute. Using a spatula, flip and cook about 2 more minutes on the other side. Repeat with remaining batter, making sure to coat your skillet again with oil between each batch. Remove from heat and serve with your favorite toppings.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Crockpot Chicken Tacos

I've said it before, my family are big fans of tacos... They are usually on the menu a couple times a month, if not once a week. I wanted to shake it up a bit and use chicken instead of beef and I love the fact that I was able to make these in the crock pot. They were super delicious and a great way to mix it up!

Crockpot Chicken Tacos
(recipe found on pinterest via laaloosh.com)

12 ounces boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 package dry ranch seasoning mix
1 package dry taco seasoning mix
2 cups fat free chicken broth
12 taco shells
1 cup lettuce, shredded
1 small red onion, diced
1/2 cup salsa
1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream

Put chicken, broth, taco seasoning and ranch seasoning into a crock pot and cook on low for 4-6 hours. Shred chicken with two forks. Divide chicken and taco fixings evenly among taco shells.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Avocado Egg Salad Sandwich

While my kids aren't huge fans of avocado, the hubs and I love it! I try to sneak it in a few different places when I can, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't! :) This wasn't a favorite of theirs, but I enjoyed a new take on an old favorite! Plus it was easy enough to throw together regular egg salad for the kids while I made this kind for me... It was yummy and simple!

Avocado Egg Salad Sandwich
(recipe found on pinterest via twopeasandtheirpod.com)

2 hard boiled eggs, chopped
2 hard boiled egg whites, chopped
2 small avocados, pitted and peeled
1 tablespoon plain greek yogurt
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped green onion
1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

In a medium bowl, combine the hard boiled eggs and egg whites, avocado, yogurt, lemon juice, green onion and mustard. Mash with a fork. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Root Beer BBQ Chicken

I tried this recipe with my kids and they couldn't stop eating it!! I had to buy smaller packages of chicken legs then I usually do and I was a little concerned about not having enough. I was right to be concerned! I had to stop them from eating more and more, seriously they would have had 4 or 5 if I would have let them... I can't blame them though, the crispiest of the skin from being seared on the grill and the sauce was fabulous!! My boys took a couple pieces with them to cub scout camp the next day and enjoyed them just as much! Just make sure that you have enough gas for your grill... Not so much fun to find out that you are out when you are in the middle of searing! No worries though - I just heated the oven up to 450 and finished cooking that way. It was a late supper, but the kids didn't seem to mind.

Root Beer BBQ Chicken
(recipe found in Family Fun)

BBQ Sauce
1 cup root beer
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons liquid smoke

3 pounds bone in, skin on chicken pieces (I used chicken legs)
1 teaspoon steak seasoning

To make the sauce: combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil of medium heat, then lower the heat and simmer the sauce until it thickens and reduces by about a quarter, about 15-20 minutes. Set aside to cool. Place chicken on a sheet pan and rub with steak seasoning. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Prepare your grill so that the heat is concentrated on one side (direct heat). Sear the chicken over the direct heat, covered, turning it once or twice, for about 8 minutes. Move the chicken to the cooler side and cook it, covered, turning it once or twice, until almost cooked through, about 12 minutes. Baste the chicken with the sauce, close the lid, and cook for about 3 minutes. Repeat two or three times, until the sauce is thick and browned and the chicken is done, for 8-10 minutes.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Pie Iron Tacos

We headed out on our first camping trip of the season and I decided that I wanted to try a new recipe... Since my kids are a little obsessed with tacos, I thought that these sounded right up their alley! They were a huge hit and I ended up making them on the next camping trip that we went on as well! I love cooking over the fire while we are camping - luckily our first weekend wasn't a huge bust since the rain stopped just in time for us to get the fire going to make these! They were super yummy and easy to prep at home before we left for the weekend!

Pie Iron Tacos
recipe found on pinterest via twomaidsamilking.com)

1 pound ground beef
1 ounce packet taco seasoning
12 (5") corn tortillas
1 cup cheese
1/2 cup onion, chopped
taco garnishes - lettuce, black olives, green olives, tomatoes, salsa, sour cream, taco sauce

Prepare taco meat according to taco seasoning packet directions. Place tortilla shells on each side of a pie iron. Place meat on one shell.

Add cheese and onion, if desired.

Close pie irons and tear any extra tortilla shell off.

Place in fire and heat until tortillas are browned to desired amount.

Top with your favorite taco toppings!

Or just pick it up and go! :)

Friday, September 12, 2014

Weekly Line Up - 9/12-9/18

The hubs is going to be gone a lot this week, so I'm making it easy on myself and going with a lot of easy meals! :) My baby is starting preschool this week as well, so I might have some extra time on my hands and an excited 4 year old that will love to do some baking with me while he is gone! So, I might be making more then just blueberry scones while I am baking!

Thursday - Pick Your Own
Friday - Eggs/Toast
Saturday - Lasagna Roll Ups
Sunday - Waffles
Monday - Zesty Corn Chowder
Tuesday - ECFE
Wednesday - *Pizzetti
Thursday - *BBQ Mac-N-Cheese

Extras - *Blueberry Scones, Breakfast Burritos

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Snickatella Pie

For my mom's birthday dessert she requested an ice cream dessert that included something chocolatey and peanutty... This was a recipe that I wanted to try for a while, so I decided to go for it! It was definitely a hit... I made up a double batch for our whole family at Sunday dinner and there was not a lot left. Everyone kept going back for a few more bites! :) While the dulce de leche took some time to cook it was worth the sweet taste.

Snickatella Pie
(recipe found on pinterest via cakestudent.com)

1 prepared pan of brownies (in a 9″ spring form pan)
1 half gallon vanilla ice cream
1/2 cup nutella
chocolate animal crackers, crushed (2 cups worth)
dulce de leche, as recipe states
sweetened condensed milk
2 snickers, chopped

Dulce de leche: Place sweetened condensed milk in a pie plate and cover with foil. Place in roasting pan and pour water into bottom of roasting pan until it is up the sides of the pie plate. Put in preheated oven (425) and cook for 1 hour, chickening occasionally to make sure the water level remains about halfway up pie plate. Cook until golden brown color and thickened. Let cool completely. Mix together nutella and crushed animal crackers, adding a small amount of milk to make spreadable. Spread a layer of nutella mixture onto the brownies. Freeze for 15 minutes while ice cream is softening. Spread a layer of ice cream. Top with the dulce de leche and then chopped snickers. Freeze.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Ground Beef Totchos

I made this as a special supper for the kids one night and they were crazy about it! I had my niece and nephew the same night, so I doubled the recipe and threw some grapes on the side for a quick and easy "finger food" supper. I couldn't dish it up fast enough for them as they were eating it! :) I did add black olives to the totchos that we had and if it wasn't for having kids that might be a bit pickier, I would have thrown some onions in the mix as well. So tasty!! I definitely like to bake up my tater tots until they are nice and crispy so I added about 10 minutes extra onto the cooking time...

Ground Beef Totchos
(recipe found pillsbury.com)

2 bags (16 oz each) tater tots
1 pound ground beef
1 package taco seasoning mix
3 tablespoons water
1 1/2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend
1 cup salsa
Shredded lettuce
Sour cream and guacamole, if desired

Heat oven to 425°F. Line cookie sheet with sides with foil or cooking parchment paper. Place frozen potatoes on cookie sheet. Bake as directed on bag. Meanwhile, in 10-inch skillet, cook beef over medium heat 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thoroughly cooked; drain. Add taco seasoning mix and water. Cook about 2 minutes or until hot. Sprinkle potatoes with beef mixture and cheese. Bake 3 to 5 minutes longer or just until cheese is melted. Top with remaining ingredients.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Bunkhouse Beans

Sorry, no picture - running out the door once again and didn't take the time to stop for my camera! This was a great side dish for the potluck that I went too... Although we didn't have burgers or hot dogs like I was thinking we were going to when I planned this side dish it still went well with the shredded turkey that we had. I like that it was not your normal cold salad for the potluck and it was super easy to throw together the night before and plug in the next day! I chose to bump it up a notch with the jalapeno and also throw in the brown sugar for a sweeter taste... it was delicious!

Bunkhouse Beans
(recipe found on justapinch.com)

1 cup salsa
2/3 cup barbecue sauce
1 whole sweet onion, chopped
2 cans (28 ounces each) pork and beans
1 can (15 ounces) chili beans
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
4 sausage links, kielbasa, bacon (cooked and drained), or other meat of choice
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped, optional (for those who like it spicy)
2/3 cup brown sugar, optional (for those who like their baked beans on the sweeter side)

Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker, stir to combine, set on low for 6-8 hours stirring occasionally (if you are able). When mixture has thickened and is hot and bubbly, it is ready to eat!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Slow Cooker BBQ Pork Ribs

I made these for the hubs birthday dinner, which he ended up not being home for... Work has been crazy for him and while he was supposed to be home for his birthday, he ended up being gone. But, my dad, the kids and I had a fabulous meal of ribs and Corn Casserole! These were falling off the bone good and had a yummy taste... This was a super easy meal to throw together and it smelled fabulous while it was cooking in the crock pot all day long! :)

Slow Cooker BBQ Pork Ribs
(recipe found on pillsbury.com)

3 pounds pork loin ribs
2 cups ketchup
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon liquid smoke
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper

Spray 4-5 quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Place ribs in slow cooker. In medium bowl, mix all remaining ingredients. Pour over ribs. Cover; cook on low 9 to 10 hours.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Weekly Line Up - 9/5-9/11

School is back in session, normal routine reigns over my house and I have fewer kids in my daycare this year... This all adds up to being able to try some new things in my kitchen! This past week I tried some plum jam that I haven't attempted before and then did my own twist on it right after that. I can't wait to share the results with you! But, back to school also means back to the craziness that is life with 4 kids, 3 of which are in school and running in different directions at all times... So, quick and easy meals are on the menu for this week! Enjoy!

Friday - *Bacon Cheeseburger Nacho Bake
Saturday - Pick Your Own Night (For the kiddos!)/*Hot Pepper Plum Jam over Cream Cheese (What I am bringing to the party that we are heading to!)
Sunday - Pizza Casserole
Monday - eggs/toast
Tuesday - Hubby's Favorite Crepes
Wednesday - *Tortellini Bake
Thursday - Slow Cooker White Bean Soup

Extras: *Brown Sugar Oatmeal Cookies with Pecans and Raisins, *Blueberry Lemon Tea Bread

* = New Recipes

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Braided Spaghetti Bread

I don't know why I waited so long to make this! I have had it pinned forever and it just looked so calorie laden that I felt like it was a lot to make... It was pretty easy to throw together and it was super fantastically tasty! Wow... I wish I would have made a double batch of this because I want leftovers for tomorrow!! The kids had a great time eating this spaghetti like a sandwich.

Braided Spaghetti Bread
(recipe found on rhodesbread.com)

1 loaf bread dough, thawed to room temperature
6 ounces spaghetti, cooked
1 cup spaghetti sauce
1/2 pound ground beef
8 ounces mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 egg white, beaten
Parmesan cheese
garlic salt

Let bread dough thaw 2-3 hours. Brown ground beef and add spaghetti sauce to browned beef. Cook spaghetti according to package instructions. Drain and add to spaghetti sauce. Let cool. Spray parchment paper lightly with cooking spray. Roll loaf into a 12x16" rectangle. Let rest 10-15 minutes. Place spaghetti lengthwise in a 4-inch strip down center of dough. Top with cheese cubes. Make cuts 1 1/2-inches apart on long sides of dough to within 1/2-inch of filling. Begin braid by folding top and bottom strips toward filling. Then braid strips left over right, right over left. Finish by pulling last strip over and tucking under braid. Lift braid on parchment paper and place on a large baking sheet. Brush with egg white and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and garlic salt. Bake at 350°F 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Cool slightly and slice to serve.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Honey Garlic Pork Chops

These chops were fabulous!! They were super tasty and saucy... The kids couldn't get enough of them and were disappointed that I didn't make enough for two a piece... They were a bit more time consuming with having to baste every five minutes, but I was able to get some homework done with the kids while they were cooking. Next time I make these I would love to try them on the grill... That was my plan for this time, but the rain was coming down hard and I didn't have the hubs to send out in the monsoon! :) I think it would be fantastic on chicken as well. It definitely makes a lot of sauce, so don't be sparing with the basting...

Honey Garlic Pork Chops
(recipe found on justapinch.com)

1 1/2 pounds pork chops
1 cup ketchup
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper

In a medium bowl stir together ketchup, honey, soy sauce and garlic. Spray broiler pan with cooking spray. Place the chops on broiler tray. Lightly season the pork chops on both sides with salt and pepper. Brush each chop with the sauce to coat. Place oven rack two notches down from the top. Place chops in the oven. Broil about 5 minutes, baste. Broil another 5 minutes; turn chop, baste. Keep turning and basting until chops are cooked. Mine took about 20 minutes. Remember to baste often.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Cinnamon Pull Apart Bread

I decided to make this for Christmas breakfast for my family. It was a bit time consuming, but super tasty! It made 2 loaf pans and I knew that we wouldn't eat all that, so I brought the rest over to my mom's house where we were spending Christmas day... It was really good when it was warm and still good when it was cold later! :) Definitely a sweet redo treat!

Cinnamon Pull Apart Bread
(recipe found on pinterest via jamiecooksitup.net)

1 cup hot milk
3/4 cup hot water
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cups sugar
4 tablespoons butter
2 eggs
5-6 cups flour

1/2 cups butter, softened
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup brown sugar

2 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons milk
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 170 degrees. Heat cup of milk in the microwave for 1 minute. Carefully place the 4 tablespoons of butter into the hot milk. Let it sit until the butter starts to melt. In mixing bowl place 2 cups flour, salt, sugar and eggs. Let it mix just long enough for the egg to get a bit mixed in. Pour in hot water. Add the milk/butter mixture. Mix for 30 seconds. Add yeast and mix until combined. With the mixer on low, begin to add the rest of the flour. Add the flour until the dough pulls away from the side of the bowl. Once you have the right amount of flour, mix on medium speed for 5 minutes. Cut the dough into two equal parts. Shape each half into a round ball and let it rest for about 5 minutes. Letting the dough rest will make it easier to roll out. Roll each ball of dough out into a large rectangle. Spread 4 tablespoons softened butter over the top of each rectangle. Sprinkle 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/2 cup brown sugar over the butter. Using your loaf pan for a guide, cut the rectangle into three long strips the width of your pan. Cut each strip into 6 or 7 pieces.

Stack the pieces on top of each other. Carefully set them into the loaf pans. Place them into a 170 degree oven for about 15-20 minutes, or until the dough has risen up and over the top of the pans (about 1-2 inches). Turn your oven temperature to 350 degrees, leaving the pans in the oven to rise a bit more as the temperature increases. Once the oven reaches 350 degrees bake the loaves for 15-20 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the loaves are cooked through. While your loaves are baking make the glaze. Into a small mixing bowl place glaze ingredients and whisk all together with a fork until smooth. When the loaves are done baking take them out of the oven and let rest for about 10 minutes. Then remove the bread from the pans to a serving plate and drizzle the glaze over the tops and between a few of the layers while the loaves are still warm.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Black and White Bean Chili

This recipe originally called for no ground beef, but I am kind of a meat in my chili type of girl so I added it in... I loved the heartiness of this chili with the beans and the beef and the healthiness with the added veggies. The kids thought that it was pretty good too (even though worried that it might be a little spicy for them with the jalapeno) and we all enjoyed a nice hot soup fresh out the crockpot on a rainy day!

Black and White Bean Chili
(recipe found on justapinch.com)

1 teaspoon olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 red sweet pepper, cored, seeded and diced
1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded and diced
1 large jalapeno pepper, trimmed, seeded and finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) cannellini beans (white kidney beans), drained and rinsed
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup water

Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat, if making without ground beef. If making with ground beef, brown beef and vegetables at the same time. Add peppers, onion garlic, and jalapenos to oil when warmed. Cook 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Add chili powder, cumin and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, 1 minute. Add tomatoes, beans and water. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer, covered for 20 minutes. Serve chili topped with feta cheese, scallions, cilantro and sour cream.