Thursday, September 30, 2010

URS - Pumpkin Recipes

This can makes me very happy!  I love anything made with pumpkin and just as soon as pumpkin starts to appear on the shelves of the grocery stores I can't wait to make something with it.  I just can't decide which of my favorite pumpkin recipes to make first!

Pumpkin Crisp
from Southern Living Magazine

1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
1 c evaporated milk
1 c sugar
1 t vanilla
1 t cinnamon
1/4 t ginger
1/4 t nutmeg
1 butter flavor cake mix
1/2 c butter, melted

Stir together first 7 ingredients.  Pur into a lightly greased 13x9 baking dish.  Sprinkle cake mix evenly over pumpkin mixture.  Drizzle butter evenly over cake mix.  Bake at 350* for 1 hour or until golden brown.  Remove from oven and let stand for 10 minutes before serving.  Serve wam with fresh whipped cream. 

Pumpkin Raisin Bars
from Bon Appetit Magazine

2 c all purpose flour
2 c sugar
1 T ground cinnamon
2 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1 t salt
1/2 t ground nutmeg
1/2 t ground cloves
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
4 large eggs
3/4 c vegetable oil
1 c raisins

8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1 c powdered sugar
1/3 c butter, room temperature

Preheat oven to 350*.  Grease a 15 1/2 x 10 1/2 inch baking sheet.  Stir first 8 ingredients in large bowl.  Add pumpkin, eggs and oil and beat until blended.  Mix in raisins.  Spread batter in prepared pan.  Bake about 25 minutes.  Cook in pan on rack. 

Beat cream cheese, powdered sugar and butter in medium bowl to blend.  Spread frosting on cake in thin layer.  Must be refrigerated.  Makes 24 bars.

Pumpkin Apple Muffins
from Southern Living Annual Recipe Cookbook 20th Anniversary Edition

1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 t baking soda
1/4 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
1 T pumpkin pie spice
1 c sugar
1 c canned pumpkin
1/2 c butter or margarine, melted
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and finely chopped
3 T sugar
1 t pumpkin pie spice

Combine first 6 ingredients in a large bowl; make a well in center of mixture.  Combine pumpkin, butter and eggs, and add to dy ingredients, stirring just until moistened.  Fold in chopped apple and spoon into greased muffin pans, filling two-thirds full. 

Combine 3 T sugar and 1 t pumpkin pie spice; sprinkle evenly over muffins.  Bake at 350* for 20 minutes.  Remove from pans immediately and cool on wire racks.  Makes 2 dozen. 
from Southern Living Magazine

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

How To Eat at Home on the Go - Week 1 - Chef Salads

We are a sports family.  We participate in sports each season except for summer - football, cheerleading, dance, baskteball, gymnastics, and lacrosse.  This means we are constantly eating on the go.  Add to the complications that my athletes and coach do not like to eat before practice, leaving us eating very late.  We used to spend a great deal of time (and  money) in fast food drive thrus.  I was determined to find a better way.  I know there are many of you that share my dilemna, whether it be heading to church activities, band practice, tutoring session, shift work, etc.  Over the next 12 weeks I will share with you the tips and tricks we use to Eat At Home On The Go.

Chef Salads

This is a great way to use up what is in the refrigerator and is perfect for a hot night after a long hard practice.  You can also prep the components the night before or very quickly before heading to your evening activities. 

I chop a huge bowl of lettuce (I do this while everyone is in the shower right after practice) and make a tray of whatever salad components I have on hand.  The key is to have at least one source of protein and  a varitey of toppings to meet the different tastes of your family.

Sample platter - sliced deli ham and turkey, chopped hard boiled eggs, diced cucumbers, diced tomatoes, chopped green peppers, chopped banana peppers, sliced mushrooms, shredded or cubed cheese, bacon bits, croutons. 

Homemade Salad Dressings - these are our favorites
Avocado Ranch Dressing
Homemade Ranch Dressing Mix
Creamy Lime Cilantro Dressing

Each family member can then make their own salad tailored to their tastes.  Enojy!

Linked to
Tasty Tuesday
Delicious Dishes
Mouthwatering Mondays
Works for Me Wednesdays

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Meal Plan Monday 9/27/10

We added two more favorites to our menus last week.  We LOVED the Hubby Will Inhale Them Meatballs we used for the meatball subs.  No more store bought frozen meatballs for us!  We also liked the Italian Sausage and Potato Roast. 

This is a very busy week for us, so we will be eating out of the freezer and pantry. 

Sunday - Spinach Ravioli Lasagna and French Bread

Monday - Baked Potato Bar

Tuesday - Taco Casserole and Fruit Salad

Wednesday - Lemon Pasta Bake, French Bread and Salad

Thursday - Chicken Quesadillas with Avocado Ranch Dressing

Friday - Leftovers

Saturday - at the ball park

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

How to East at Home on the Go - A Series

Oh, the lazy days of summer are gone.  School, football and cheerleading all started on the same day -- it's enough to make you run to the nearest fast food drive thru.  This, however is not an option anymore, so I had to figure out a way to feed my family at home on nights when I get home from school at 5:00, leave again at 5:45 for the ball park and don't walk through the door until 8:45. 

Sounds impossible, but with the right recipes and a bit of planning, it is possible.  Follow me for the next 12 weeks as each Tuesday I share how my family eats at home, even when we are on the go.

If you are looking for a quick meal tonight, try this family favorite.

Taco Casserole

1 lb ground beef (I cook this ahead of time with garlic and onions and keep it in the freezer)
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 small can corn, drained
1 can tomato sauce
1 pkg. taco seasoning ( I make my own)
3/4 pkg tortilla chips, crushed (my family likes Doritos)

Mix hamburger, taco seasoning and tomato sauce.  Heat over medium heat until flavors meld - about 5 - 7 minutes.  Add beans and corn.  Heat 2 - 3 minutes longer.  Mix in crushed tortilla chips.  Place in a casserole dish, top with cheese and bake at 350* until cheese melts and casserole is heated through. 

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Meal Plan Monday 9/20/10

On time this week!  First time since school started. 

Last week we tried several new recipes and had two winners.  Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderlion and Beer Marinated Chicken.  These will certainly be added to our favorites file. 

Sunday -  Hamburgers, Mac and Cheese, Salad, Chocolate Chip Cookies
Monday - Meatball Subs (using these meatballs), Carrots and Ranch with Ranch Dressing, Chips
Tuesday - Italian Sausage and Potato Roast, Lima Beans, Fruit
Wednesday - Chicken and Broccoli Braid, Salad, Sauteed Brown Sugar Pears
Thursday - BUNCO - $1 Taco Night for DH and Kids
Friday - BooBoo's Birthday - Whatever she picks (will probably be pasta)
Saturday - Shrimp and Grits

Linked to Meal Plan Monday at Orgjunkie

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Spiced Apples

After doing this....

We like to make these...

Spiced Apples
original recipe from Southern Living Annual Recipes 2000

1/4 c butter or margarine
5 large apples (we like Granny Smith or Jonagold the best), peeled, cored and sliced
1 c sugar
1 t ground cinnamon
1/4 t ground nutmeg

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add apple and remaining ingridients.  Saute 15 -20 minutes or until apple is tender.  Add cornstarch to thicken.  Serve immediately or freeze for later.

To freeze - portion out into small Gladware type containers.
To serve - Heat in microwave about 5 - 6 minutes

Sharing at Eat At Home's Ingredient Spotlight
Life As Mom's Ultimate Recipe Swap

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Meal Plan Monday 9/12/10

OK, so it is Tuesday, but it is better than my Thursday post last week.   Here's what we are eating at our house this week. 

Sunday - Book Club - I made Chardonnay Shrimp Salad to take.
Monday - Pick up Zaxby's
Tuesday - Grillled Beer Marinated Chicken, Mac and Cheese, Lima Beans and Salad
Wednesday - Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin, Creamy Cheese Grits, Broccoli with Cheese Sauce and Sauteed Pears
Thursday - Sandwiches, Chips and Fruit
Friday - Eating at the High School Football Game
Saturday - not sure what our plans are yet

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Oatmeal Breakfast Bars

Life as Mom hosts the Ultimate Recipe Swap each week on Thursday.  The theme for this week is snacks.  These oatmeal bars from Cooking During Stolen Moments have become some of our favorites.  I made a batch for my August Freezer Cooking Session and barely had any to freeze after my kids, especially my son, found them.   They especially like them for an after school snack.

Eat at Home is also hosting Ingredient Spotlight.  The ingredient in the spotlight this week is whole wheat flour.  Since I have adjusted this to use whole wheat flour, I am linking up there too. 

Oatmeal Breakfast Bars

4 c dry oats (old-fashioned or quick)
1 1/2 c flour (I use whole wheat)
1 c brown sugar
1/2 c sugar
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t salt'
3/4 - 1 c vegetable oil (I replace 1/2 the oil with applesauce)
4 eggs
1/2 c craisins
1/2 c shredded coconut

1.  Dump all ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
2.  Mix by hand until thoroughly combined.
3.  Press into a greased 13 x 9 pan and bake at 350 degrees for 20 - 25 minutes.  Cool completely before cutting into individual bars. 
4.  To freeze - wrap individual bars in plastic wrap, place in a freezer bag and freeze.  Thaw or defrost in microwave before eating. 

Linked to Life As Mom's Ultimate Recipe Swap and Eat At Home's Ingredient Spotlight.

Kitchen Goals Updated

Way back in December I made a list of 12 kitchen goals - one to work on each month of the year.  I have done fairly well with them, even if I have not posted about all of them.  Today I wanted to update 2 of my goals 1) use less processed foods and 2) meal plan consistantly and stick to the plan.

Use less processed foods - This has become more and more important to me over time as I read about food additives and I see how certain chemicals make me feel and my children act.  Some permanent changes I have made since January have been -
  • make my own chicken broth
  • make my own cream of whatever soup
  • make my own ranch dressing
  • make my own chocolate sauce 
  • make my own pancake syrup (1 c water, 2 c sugar, 1/2 t maple flavoring - boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.  Store in refrigerater)
  • make my own pesto
Each one of these items is soooo easy to make and tastes so much better than what I buy at the store (cheaper too!). 

Meal Plan Consistantly and Stick To It - While I don't always post my menu plan on Monday, I do have it written out and ready to go by Sunday afternoon.  I also do all my grocery shopping by Monday night so the week can just flow (yeah, right!).  With 3 nights a week and all day Saturday spent on the football field, meal planning is the only way to go to make sure we don't resort to the closest drive thru window.  Below are some of my favorite meal plans since January.
Overall, two successful attempts at improving our eating habits at home.  Now, on to those last few goals.....

Meal Plan Monday on Wednesday...

Sunday - Mexican Fiesta - Tacos, Steak and Chicken Fajitas, Mexican Rice, Natalie's Beans, "Fried" Ice Cream

Monday - Leftovers

Tuesday - Chicken Quesadillas

Wednesday - Beef and Chicken Wraps, Chips and Fruit

Thursday - Baked Potatoes (in the crockpot) and Fruit

Friday - French Dip Sandwiches, Chips and Fruit

Saturday - Not sure yet - DS's football game is a night game, so may go out with the team.