Monday, July 19, 2010

3 Grain Muffins

We're still here! I take pictures of my food all the time with great intention to post, but I seem to get caught up in the many other things on my list. I wonder if there will ever be a day when I have my whole house organized, in place, and clean all at the same time. Is it actually possible? Anyways... enough of that. Here I am actually posting, so we will make it quick! We love muffins for breakfast. These healthy muffins have a little crunch from the cornmeal and oats, and are perfect with jam! They are delicious! We gobble them up in one morning. My kids love them, and they are healthy! Double bonus!!! I got the recipe from a book called 1 Mix, 100 Muffins by Susanna Tee. It's one of those books with one basic recipe used for 100 different muffins. I have had a good time experimenting, and have enjoyed all the muffins I have made. When I saw these muffins, they were calling my name. We eat a lot of whole wheat at my house, and I love cornmeal in breakfast baking, so I knew these wouldn't disappoint! They are quick to throw together, and are perfect with a side of eggs and fresh fruit!

Three-Grain Muffins
Susanna Tee
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup white flour (I use all wheat)
1 Tbsp baking powder
heaping 1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
heaping 1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
scant 1 cup rolled oats
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
6 Tbsp oil
1 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Greas 12 cup muffin pan or line with paper liners. Sift together flour and baking powder into a large bowl, adding any bran left in the sifter. Stir in the sugar, cornmeal, and oats.
Lightly beat the eggs in a large pitcher or bowl, then beat in the buttermilk, oil, and vanilla. Make a well in the center of the dry and pour in the beaten wet ingredients. Stir gently until just combined; do not overmix.
Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pan. Bake for about 20 minutes, until well risen, golden brown, and firm to the touch. Mine took 15 minutes.
Let the muffins cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then serve warm or transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Jumbo "Whatever" Breakfast Cookies

These breakfast cookies are amazing! I'm sure glad "breakfast" is in the title of the cookies, because then I don't feel guilty for eating a cookie for breakfast! My sister made me some of these beauties just after I had my first child. I loved them so much that I had to have the recipe and I have been making them ever since. They are so tasty. Almost like a granola bar, but in cookie form. They are breakfast cookies because they have Bran Flakes Cereal in them. We love to store them in the freezer and eat them frozen. I usually double my batch so I have plenty to store. Because they are JUMBO, one batch makes 12. I usally do 6 jumbo and do the rest mini for the kids. The dough is super tough and crumbly, so don't be alarmed. You have to really compact your dough balls. What's great about this recipe is the "whatever" part! You can throw in just about "whatever" you want. I always put in oats and craisins. Raisins are wonderful as well. You could throw in some coconut, or even nuts. The possibilities are endless, and delicious! So give em' a try and make it your own "whatever"! They will not disapoint!

Jumbo "Whatever" Breakfast Cookies

1 1/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup peanut butter

1 Tbsp vanilla

*Stir together*


1 1/2 cup flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

4 cups bran flakes cereal

1/2 cup soft butter

1/4 cup water

1 egg, beaten

1 cup chocolate chips (milk, semi-sweet, peanut butter, vanilla, butterscotch)

"Whatever" mix-ins:

1 cup oats

1 cup craisins or raisins

1 cup coconut

1 cup nuts

***Mix very well! (Your hand will get tired!) Drop by rounded 1/2 cups or giant spoonful. Round into about a 2-inch ball and flatten on cookie sheet to 1/2 inch thick. Bake at 375 degrees for 13-15 minutes on ungreased cookie sheet.


Monday, May 3, 2010

Amazing, Soft, Chewy Flat Bread

I saw this recipe for Soft Wrap Bread a while ago at Real Mom Kitchen and My Kitchen Cafe. I tried it, loved it, and have been making them ever since. I crave this wrap bread! We use it for Chicken Gyros, Tacos, Fajitas, and pretty much anything that calls for a tortilla to stuff with good food! The original recipe calls for white flour, but I use my whole wheat flour with great results. I am always trying to work in the wheat wherever I can. If you are not used to the wheat, you can use white, or do half and half. I grind my wheat in small portions so that it doesn't go bad before I use it. We usually go through it pretty quick for it to go bad. The wheat berries will keep for a very long time, but once it is ground, it needs to be used. If you do grind a lot at a time, make sure you store it in a cool place. You can even store it in your fridge or freezer. This wrap bread is delicious! It is so soft and chewy from the potato flakes. It is also very simple to make. It is dry-fried, which is even better! This would be perfect to eat with your tacos, or fajitas on Cinco de Mayo!

Soft Wrap Bread

3 cups flour (wheat, or white flour, or half and half)

1 1/4 cups boiling water

1/4 cup potato flour or 1/2 cup potato buds or flakes

1 1/4 teaspoons salt

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 teaspoon instant yeast

1) To make the bread: Place 2 cups of the flour into a bowl or the bucket of a dough mixer. Pour the boiling water over the flour, and stir till smooth. Cover the bowl or bucket and set the mixture aside for 30 minutes.

2) In a seperate bowl, whisk together the potato flour (or flakes or buds) and the remaining 1 cup of flour with the salt, oil and yeast.

3) Add this to the cooled flour/water mixture, stir, then knead for several minutes (by hand, or mixer) to form a soft dough. Continue mixing for 5 minutes. The dough should form a ball, but will remain somewhat sticky. Add additional flour only if necessary; if kneading by hand, keep your hands and work surface lightly oiled.

4)Let the dough rise, covered, for 1 hour.

5) Divide the dough into 8 pieces (each about the size of a handball, cover, and let rest for 15-30 minutes.

6) Roll each piece into a 7"-8"-circle, and dry-fry them (fry without oil) over medium heat for about 1 minute per side, until they're puffed and flecked with brown spots. Adjust the heat if they seem to be cooking either too quickly, or too slowly; cooking too quickly means they may be raw in the center, while too slowly will dry them out.

7) Transfer the cooked breads to a wire rack, stacking them to keep them soft. Serve immediately, or cool slightly before storing in a plastic bag.


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Pudding Paint for the kids and those rainy-indoor days!

This was a perfect afternoon activity for my kids. They loved it. I made my pudding paint with Vanilla Instant Jell-O Pudding. I split it into 4 dishes and added different food colors to each. I gave my kids each a cookie sheet for their pudding art. We used some giant paint brushes to color with. We threw in some graham crackers and marshmallows for decorating and snacking.
They loved painting pictures. The fun ended... or should I say began... when one little boy accidentally painted on his older brothers' hand. It was so much fun, he just kept on going and going. They were laughing so hard. That was their favorite part. The little boy who started it started painting on himself. When they were finished, or I was finished with it all over the floor, it was bathtime! (It's best to just do this in the diapers and underwear.)

They had a great time with the pudding paint, and I had a great time watching them and taking pictures. So if you need a fun activity for the kiddos, and you are patient enough to clean up a little mess, you won't regret it. We love making memories, and my boys will always remember this one!
Happy Spring!!!

Monday, April 5, 2010

What are you going to do with all those hard boiled eggs?

Introducing... Eggs Golden Rod!!!

This is a post from last year, but is worthy for reposting, and I figured that we all are overloaded with dyed Easter eggs and don't know what to do with them. This recipe comes from my Dad's side. It is delicious! My husband doesn't dare try it, but I love it, and I will raise my family on it. Cut up egg white's in a creamy white sauce over toast, and topped with grated egg yolk and fresh ground pepper! Sounds, and maybe even looks a little weird, but until you have tried it, you can't say whether you like it or not. I think we will serve it for dinner this week so that my husband has to try it.'s so evil! Go here for the recipe!

Happy Spring weather to you all!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Irish Dinner & St. Patrick's Day Ideas

We really enjoy celebrating the holiday's at our house and try to make them special for our kids. For me holiday's are exciting, mostly because I enjoy planning and preparing food. Last year for St. Patrick's day my sister and her kids joined us for our St. Patrick's day dinner, and this is what we came up with. We made Corned Beef Grilled Cheese on Rye, Curried Split Pea Soup, and Pistachio pudding served in lime bowls. It was a delicious St. Patty's day feast, and we ate it right up. I got the idea at Prudence Pennywise. Click here for the recipe. I did Pastrami instead of the Corned Beef, which was delicious. It was a little more peppy, and we loved it. This year I am going to make my own Irish Soda Bread, also found at Prudence Pennywise. Go here for the recipe. The bread looks delicious, and I want to make my meal as Irish as possible! The Curried Split Pea Soup isn't so much Irish, but it is green!!! This recipe was found at the Food Network from Alton Brown. Get the recipe here. This soup was delicious. I had never had Split Peas before, and had a great experience with this soup. We added carrots just to throw in more veggies. It was perfect, and the curry is so perfect in this soup. This was a perfect meal, and definitely filled us up.

Next, we made a Pistachio Pudding Salad. I love this salad. The pistachio taste is so perfect, and I love the crunch. It's all in a pudding box, and fantastic. This is one of those "throw-it-together" salads, that never dissapoints. If you have never had Pistachio Pudding Salad, and you are thinking "Yuck", just try it. Those thoughts will change! We served it in a hollowed Lime. More green!

Pistachio Pudding Salad

1 small box Pistachio Instant Pudding
1 small can mandarin oranges drained
1 can fruit cocktail drained
1 8 oz. Cool Whip

Combine all ingredients and stir to combine. Allow a few hours to sit and set up in the fridge before serving. Yumm!

More green!!! Break out the food coloring!

What would St. Patrick's Day be without a green breakfast!?! We made our favorite Wheat blender pancakes and threw in drops of food coloring to get a good St. Patty's Day green. Because I am not talented in making Shamrock shaped pancakes, we made our own shamrocks with the round pancakes put together, and added a piece for the stem. We added food coloring to the eggs too. I know that you may not think this looks very appetizing, but do it for the kids!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Peanut Butter Mousse

I'm so excited that it's March! Spring is on its way! I have some tullips that are pushing their way up through the cold ground. I'm so excited to see what flowers are going to pop up here at our new house. I have to tell my sister thank you for taking over and posting some wonderful recipes over the last few months. I am finally getting back into the swing of things after having my #4 baby. Babies are so wonderful. I have been enjoying every minute of it. Having 4 boys (not including Dad) in the house can get pretty crazy at times, but I wouldn't change it for anything. I love my boys and feel so LUCKY to have them. This recipe was a HUGE hit with them.
Monday was National Peanutbutter Lover's Day and on Studio 5 ( )they shared this recipe! I have several, including me, in my house that LOVE peanut butter. I happened to have all the ingredients on hand and decided to make this for our FHE treat! It was AMAZING. Our hands and faces were covered with the mousse. We loved it! My sister will be making these for our get together on Sunday after blessing my new baby. She's going to make them mini. We did have a hard time eating them the regular size cupcakes. I think they'll be the perfect bite size dessert for Sunday.

Stephanie Younger's Peanut Butter Mousse
3 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
2 cups heavy cream (cold)
1 Tbsp. vanilla
With a mixer, mix cream and vanilla until stiff peaks form. Put in fridge. Cream together cream cheese, milk, & peanut butter. Fold in the whipped cream. Stir until it is smooth. Refrigerate before eating.
I used a Triple Chocolate box cake mix for my cupcakes. Follow directions for cupcake. Cool completely. Cut in half. Place mousse in a ziplock bag and cut corner, squeeze mousse onto cup cake. Put top of cupcake on top of mousse & top it with another dollop of peanut butter mousse. To top the dessert off, you can chop up Reese's Peanut Butter Cups or use peanut butter & chocolate chips! ENJOY!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Olympic Pizza & my new FAVORITE Pizza Crust

I love a good pizza. Friday nights are usually Pizza night at our house. It is a meal that the whole family enjoys, and I don't have to force it down! We designed our Pepperoni's to make the Olympic Rings on our pizza. We ate pizza and watched the Olympics. It was a lot of fun, and something we never do. We always eat dinner at the dinner table, and never sit in front of the TV while we eat. Our kids just ate it right up, and tried to immitate the ice skaters and their jumps. This would be a great way to close out the Olympics. Enough about the Pizza decorating, and Olympics... The crust is what I am talking about today. This crust is delicious! Chewy, crispy, crusty, and quick!!! I was most pleased with the quick part about it. You bake this pizza at 500 degrees. That scared me, but it was perfect. I can't wait to make it again tonight for another Olympic night. We are going to do some junior olympics with our kids. We are going to play games like "carry the cotton balls on a spoon", throw the ball into a jar", "balance a pose on one foot", "kitchen hockey with wooden spoons", etc... I've got young kids, so it won't be complicated at all. I am going to make medals for everyone out of canning jar lids, tied with ribbon. Then we will watch the Olympics. We'll see how it goes. Because my kids are young I try not to get my hopes up, and I don't put too much time and effort into it, in case it totally blows! So, if you want to do an Olympic party this weekend to close out the 2010 Winter Olympics, whip up this awesome pizza crust and make it festive for the closing ceremonies.

I found this recipe through The Sisters' dish at , who found it at Little Birdie Secrets at . Thanks for sharing this yummy crust! Check out their blogs. They are great!

15-Minute Pizza Dough

2 1/2 cup flour
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup hot water (120-130 degrees, use a candy thermometer for accuracy)
1 Tbsp Rapid Ris or Bread Machine yeast (I used SAF Instant yeast with great results)
2 Tbsp olive oil

Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Mix dry ingredients together. Add hot water and olive oil. Mix for five minutes (I used my mixer with dough hook, but you could do it by hand too). Let rest 10 minutes. Press dough on pizza pan, pizza stone, or jelly roll pan. Bake at 500 degrees for 3 minutes. Take out of the oven and cover with toppings. Return to the oven and bake 8-10 minutes more. Makes on large pizza (16-18 inches).

***I rolled mine out to fit my cookie sheet and it was perfect for an Olympic flag.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Caramel & Chocolate Dipped Pretzels for your Valentine!

My very favorite sweet is caramel and chocolate dipped pretzels. Years ago I had a friend who was a pro at making them. I have lost touch with her, and I have tried to make my own. I have been working on them for a few years now, and I almost have them perfect. This year the perfect thing that worked was using my mom's caramel recipe, which is actually my grandma's recipe. It is delicious! We have used it as caramel dip, caramel popcorn, it really can be used for caramel in any recipe. In my case, I used the caramel for the first layer on my yummy dipped pretzels. The recipe is really easy, soft, chewy and of course, sweet goodness. I love licking the spatula! Dipping pretzels for Valentine's Day has become a tradition for me. I would like to do them for Christmas, but I can't make all the best sweets for Christmas, so I save these little treasures for Valentine's day. I love the crunch from the pretzel, the chewy caramel, and heavenly milk chocolate topped with festive sprinkles. To top them off, I wrap them in a simple clear treat bag and dress it up with a cute ribbon. It is perfect for all the love's in your life. I like to use the Honey Wheat Pretzel Twists that are found at Wal-Mart. (They are Wal-Mart brand, and so tasty.) I used to be able to get them at Sam's Club in a big tub, but they stopped selling them, so when I found them at Wal-Mart, I had to buy several bags. My kids love to snack on them, and I get my fair share too. These are so much better than the standard bland pretzel's that our out there. I just used Guittard Milk Chocolate Chips for dipping, which worked out great, but next time I am going to get dipping chocolate. I also want to get pink and red dipping chocolate for drizzling next time. I'm not crazy about the crunch from the sprinkles. So, I'm still perfecting them, but I do know one thing, that I will always use my mom's caramel recipe, so here it is...

Mom's Caramel for Dipped Pretzels

2 cups Brown Sugar
1 cup Light Corn Syrup
1 cube Butter (has to be butter)
1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk

Dissolve brown sugar in corn syrup in large pan over medium-high heat. When dissolved, add butter and melt. When butter is melted, add sweetened condensed milk. Stir and scrape the bottom constantly as to not let caramel burn on the bottom. Attatch candy thermometer to the side of your pot and watch closely. When it gets to Soft Ball Stage, keep stirring vigorously and time for 2-3 more minutes. Remove your pan from heat and continue stirring to cool down quickly. Let it sit for about 10-15 minutes stirring occassionally before dipping pretzels. Prepare cookie sheets lined with wax paper. You are ready to dip when the caramel stays on the pretzel and doesn't just melt right off. If it slides right off and pools, wait a bit longer. Dip your pretzels and twist with your finger to drain extra caramel off and place on parchment paper to set. Continue until caramel is gone. Any extra caramel can be stored in the fridge and reheated for caramel apple dipping, ice cream drizzling, or other caramel yummies.

When caramel is set, melt chocolate in double broiler pan. If you don't have a double broiler, you can use a glass bowl that will fit inside a saucepan with about one inch of space between the glass bowl and saucepan. Fill saucepan with about 1/4 in of water and boil. Put chocolate chips or dipping chocolate in glass bowl and melt. Dip caramel covered pretzels into chocolate and place back on parchment lined cookie sheet to set up. If you want sprinkles, do it now before the chocolate dries. If you want to drizzle with colored chocolate, wait until chocolate sets up.

When pretzels are set up, assemble in cute bags with bow. There are lots of creative ways to pretty them up. I love tying them with big cute bows. It's simple, and really cute. So if you have some special people in your life that you love, surprise them with these delicious treats!
Happy Valentine's Day from My Sisters' Cucina!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Lemony "LOVE" Potion

We had a fun Valentine's party for all the cousins last week, and this was the drink we served. I found the recipe on Family Fun's website. That is one of my "go-to" sites when I am looking for something kid-friendly. I did modify the recipe a bit, and I do have ideas to make it even better! I found these cute valentine kiddie cups at Wal-Mart, and my mom got the straws from none other than... 7-eleven. They were kind to give us 15 long slurpee straws for free! Thanks 7-eleven! The kids just guzzled these right up, and we were right there taking pictures of it all. I wish I had it on video. They were slurping, and blowing bubbles...all the things we tell them not to do at the dinner table. They would say, "On your mark, get set, go"... and they would all blow bubbles at the same time. It was a hoot. They loved it, and so did we, because they were sitting still and being quiet...other than the slurping and bubble blowing! They were having fun spending time with their cousins, and that is why we plan these parties. It is very easy to assemble, and takes little prep time. So, if you have a Valentine's party to plan, throw this onto the menu. You'll be glad you did!

Lemony Love Potion
Family Fun

12-ounce can frozen Raspberry Lemonade concentrate
1/2 gallon Raspberry Sherbet
1 liter Lemon-Lime soda (I used 1-up)

In a pitcher prepare frozen lemonade with recommended water. (Decide how much drink you want, and you will put half lemonade and half 7-up.) Pour lemonade in cup. Drop one large scoop of sherbet into lemonade and top with 7-up to fill cup and make good bubbles. Stick one red soda straw in each cup, and serve!

***I think this would be great with a pineapple sherbet, or rainbow sherbet. I liked the tarty taste that the lemonade gave it, but I probably will leave it out next time. I love the sherbet and 7-up combo. It's just like a Root Beer Float, but it's fruity. Love it! I think next time I will top them each with a nice red cherry. They would look beautiful in Sundae mugs.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

"Lovely" Banana Cake

I promised a few banana recipes, so here is one more!!! This Banana-Sour Cream Cake is de-lish! This recipe comes from Kraft Foods. The combination of banana and walnut is perfect, and the sour cream makes it a very moist cake. It takes a boxed cake mix to a whole new level. Topped with a rich cream cheese frosting definitely making this cake absolutely perfect! We eat this cake all year. There is always a reason to make Banana cake at my house. We have lots of ripe bananas in our freezer from the killer deal Macey's had on bananas in the summer, so we can make Banana cake several more times... and I'm sure we will... and so should you!

Banana-Sour Cream Cake
Kraft Foods

1 pkg (2-layer size) yellow cake mix
3 eggs
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 3)
1 cup sour Cream
1/4 cup oil
1 pkg. (8 oz.) Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 pkg. (16 oz.) powdered sugar (about 4 cups)
1 cup walnut pieces, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 13x9- inch baking pan; set aside. Beat cake mix, eggs, bananas, sour cream and oil in large bowl with electric mixer on low speed just until moistened, stopping frequently to scrape bottom and side of bowl. Beat on medium speed 2 min. Pour into prepared pan.

Bake 35 min. or until wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on wire rack.

Beat cream cheese and butter in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Gradually add sugar, beating after each addition until well blended.

Remove cake from pan; cut crosswise in half. Place one cake half, top-side down, on large serving plate; spread top with frosting. Top with remaining cake half, top-side up. Frost top and sides of cake with remaining frosting. Carefully press walnuts into frosting on sides of cake. Store any leftovers in refrigerator.

***Neatly frost this cake by freezing cake layers about 20 minutes before frosting. This helps to set the crumbs on the cut edges of the cake layers so they don't pull up into the frosting. Don't worry if the frosting doesn't look perfect on the sides of the cake - the walnuts will cover any imperfections.

***I doubled this cake for a baby blessing and it worked perfectly. I stacked 2 - 9x13 cakes. It turned out beautifully!


Come back next week with some Valentine's Day Treats!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Frosted Banana Cookies

This recipe comes from the Worlwide Ward Cookbook, and they are fabulous! They are banana bread in a cookie form with a sweet cream cheese frosting to top them off. What could be better!?! I love banana bread, banana cake (which I will be posting soon), banana muffins (another post for another day), and I love these banana cookies. These cookies are so soft and chewy... I couldn't stop eating them! I shared them with neighbors and friends who helped me when I had my baby recently, of which is not so recent anymore! This is a great way to use up ripe bananas. Never throw out your old bananas because they aren't getting used ... peel, and put them in a ziploc and place them in the freezer until you are ready to use them. When you are ready to use them, defrost them and mash them right in the bag.

Frosted Banana Cookies
WorldWide Ward Cookbook / Minda Kjar

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup butter-flavored shortening
1 cup sugar
1 cup ripe bananas, mashed (about 3)
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk or 1/2 cup milk + 1 tsp. lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3 1/4 cups flour

Cream Cheese Frosting:
1/2 cup butter, softened
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract

Cream the butter and shortening. Add sugar, then bananas. Mix well. Stir in eggs and vanilla. Blend in buttermilk. Add the dry ingredients until just combined. Do not over-beat. It will be a sticky batter. Drop by tablespoons onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 9-12 minutes. Cool completely.

Cream the butter and cream cheese. Add powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat until fluffy. Spread on cookies.

Makes 3-4 dozen cookies.

Congrats to my Sister who welcomed her #4 BOY into their home this week! Best of Luck Rach, and get some rest! Love ya baby Cooper! Your Favorite Auntie Sara will be there soon to meet you! Love ya Rach!