Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Apple Crisp

It's fall! Apples are aplenty and the smell of them baking in your kitchen is the perfect scent for this season. This was often an after-school snack in our home when I was a child, and now I get to spoil my kids with it. Enjoy this delicious, warm, fruit-filled dessert all autumn!!


7 tart apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
4 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup oats
1/2 cup butter (room temperature)

Preheat oven to 375.

In a mixing bowl, combine apples, lemon juice, and vanilla. Toss to combine. Layer sliced apples in a 9 x 12-inch pan. Combine brown sugar, cinnamon, and oatmeal in a bowl. Cut in the butter. Sprinkle sugar mixture over apples. Bake 45 minutes or until topping looks crunchy and apples are tender. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

Salmon Patties

I had a request for salmon recipes, which is one of my favorite fish to eat. My mom made these for us while growing up, though she fried hers in oil. After a few years, she stopped frying and baked them instead. I prefer to save the fat and time, and just use my griddle. They come out great every time, and my kids love them. It's a great way to get in some Omega-3, without paying fresh fish prices!

1 can salmon (you can find it near the tuna)
about 8 saltine or Ritz crackers (crumbled)
1 egg
garlic powder, salt, and pepper to taste

Turn your griddle or skillet on medium-low.

Drain the excess water from the salmon, and if you want, pick out the bones. I leave them in since they're soft, and they provide a little extra calcium. Dump the fish into a medium-sized bowl, and take a fork and chop the salmon into smaller pieces. Add the crushed crackers, egg, and seasonings. Mix well with a fork. Make the salmon-mixture into hamburger-sized patties. Place each patty on the griddle or skillet and cook until golden brown. Flip. Cook exactly the same way on the opposite side. Don't be surprised if the edges crumble off a bit while cooking. I usually serve mine with ketchup on the side for dipping! This recipe usually makes four patties, so I double the recipe to feed my family of five.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Grilled chicken

This is the simplest grilled chicken EVER! My dad makes this often, and this was the first meal that Jeremy ate at our house after we started dating. We only use drumsticks when grilling our chicken, but I'm sure that it would be great with any piece. You can find the seasoning with all of the other seasonings in your grocery store.


1 package drumsticks
Tony Chachere's creole seasoning

Fire up your grill!

Lay your drumsticks on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle the seasoning on each piece of chicken. Tony Chacheres is fairly spicy, so keep that in mind when seasoning your meat. Throw it on the grill, and cook until done. The skin will get really dark from the grill. That's it! Enjoy!

Pear Pie

My mom made these all. the. time. while I was growing up. Pear trees produce SO MUCH fruit, so find a friend or neighbor who has a tree, and get your pears for free! It's a great way to use pears this time of year. Make a few, stick them in gallon-sized ziploc bags and freeze them for dessert all fall! It's extra-yummy with vanilla ice cream!

6 or 7 small pears (peeled and thinly sliced)
2 unfrozen pie crusts
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350.

Peel and slice your pears, and set them aside. In a medium-sized bowl, mix the sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Add the pears to the dry mix and coat them thoroughly. Pour the fruit into one of the pie crusts. Remove the second pie crust from the tin and place it on top of the fruit. Pinch all the way around the crust to form a seal. Take a knife and make two slits on the top of the crust. Bake at 350 for 50 minutes. If you freeze them first, bake for 70 minutes, or until fruit is tender.

Serve with vanilla ice cream.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Big Bird's Banana Bread

I got this recipe when I was six. I read a book about Big Bird, and he shared this recipe in it. I have kept the recipe since! It is so simple and delicious, and the best part is that it is really healthy! There is no white sugar added, only natural honey. Rheve got to eat this as one of his first "real" foods and LOVED it.

2 or 3 bananas (use the ones that are turning black, so you don't waste them!)
3/4 cup honey
1/4 cup butter (melted)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1.5 cups flour


Preheat oven to 350.

Mash your bananas with a fork and add the melted butter to them. Stir. Add all of your other ingredients and mix. Pour in a greased loaf pan and bake for one hour.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

French Bread Pizza

My mom made this for us when we were growing up. It's simple, but oh-so-good!

1 loaf fresh French bread cut into two pieces (longways)
1 pound ground meat or ground turkey
1 can Italian diced tomatoes
1 package mozzarella cheese or pizza cheese

Line a cookie sheet with foil. Place both sides of the French bread on the cookie sheet.

Brown and drain your ground meat. Mix your can of tomatoes into your meat. Top each half of the French bread with the meat mixture and cover with cheese. Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

*You can add fresh, cut up vegetables of your choice (mushrooms, bell peppers, onions) to your meat mixture.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Zucchini Bread

I love preparing foods for my family to snack on during the day. Having goodies around that are full of ingredients that I control, and NOT full of preservatives, makes me feel good about letting my family eat them. Baking different breads is one of my favorite things to do. I found this zucchini bread recipe while looking through fall-weather yummies, and had to try it out. It is absolutely delicious, and though sweet, is full of healthy zucchini squash. Trick your family into eating their vegetables!!


3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups white sugar
2 cups grated zucchini
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 325. Grease two inch loaf pans.

In a large bowl, beat eggs until light and frothy. Mix in oil and sugar. Stir in zucchini and vanilla. Combine flour, cinnamon, soda, baking powder, salt and nuts; stir into the egg mixture. Divide batter into prepared pans.

Bake for 60 to 70 minutes, or until done.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Chicken Parmigiana

You just cannot go wrong with chicken, cheese, sauce, and noodles! This is delicious and so easy! We got this version of chicken parm from our sweet friends, Kendall and Bobbie Miller.


spaghetti noodles (cooked and drained)
1.5 jars Bertolli tomato and basil sauce
one package boneless skinless chicken breasts
one package mozzarella cheese
plain bread crumbs
Parmesan cheese
olive oil
one teaspoon minced garlic


Preheat your oven to 350.

In a sautee pan, pour enough olive oil to have a thin layer over the whole pan. Add one teaspoon of garlic to the oil and let it infuse for just a few minutes. Garlic cooks quickly, so don't leave it! Remove the oil from the heat. Dip both sides of each piece of chicken into the oil.

Pour equal amounts Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs into a large bowl. After removing the chicken from the oil, dip it into the bread crumb/cheese mixture, coating thoroughly.

In a large casserole dish, pour a thin layer of sauce. Place each piece of chicken in the dish, and top with mozzarella. Bake for forty-five minutes, or until done.

Heat the remainder of your sauce in a pot on the stovetop.

Serve over cooked noodles with the sauce.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Buffalo-Style Chicken Pizza and Pizza Dough

Buffalo-Style Chicken Pizza
During my kids' nap time, I often blog-stalk (when I should be studying). I found this recipe while doing this and tweaked it a little for my taste. You can find the hot wing sauce at Wal-Mart, near the bbq sauce.

2 skinless, boneless breasts
2 tablespoons butter, melted
3 ounces of Franks Hot Wing Sauce (be sure to buy the hot wing sauce, not hot sauce)
4 ounces of low-fat cream cheese
4 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 package dry ranch mix

Preheat oven to 375.

Slice and cook chicken breasts on grill pan or in large frying pan. In a medium bowl, combine the chicken, melted butter and hot sauce. Mix well. Mix ranch mix with cream cheese and spread on prepared crust. Top with chicken mixture and shredded cheese.

Bake in preheated oven until crust is golden brown and cheese is bubbly, about 20-22 minutes. Let set a few minutes before slicing.

Pizza Dough

I took this recipe off of our parenting forum recipe section. It was written by Juli. . .thanks!

1 package of yeast
1 cup warm water
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp olive or vegetable oil
1/2 tsp salt
olive or vegetable oil


Dissolve yeast in warm water in a medium bowl. Stir in flour, 2 tablespoons oil, and salt. Beat vigorously 20 strokes. Cover and let rest for 20 minutes.

Heat oven to 375. Grease a full-size baking sheet with oil and sprinkle some cornmeal on it. Pat dough into the baking sheet, covering the whole sheet. Cover (with a dish towel) and let rise in warm place 30-45 minutes or until almost doubled. I cooked the dough first for about 15 minutes and then let it cool before adding the pizza toppings. I then put it back in the oven until the cheese was melted (another 20 minutes).

*I made part of the pizza with chicken that was not covered in the wing sauce. I was afraid that it would be too spicy for the little ones. I did not add the melted butter to my sauce mixture. I wanted to try to cut some of the fat. It tasted fabulous, and was a great leftover lunch today!

Baked Oatmeal

My kids are C-RAZY about oatmeal! They love it made traditionally for breakfast, eat it in blueberry muffins, as granola, and their absolute favorite is when I use it to make peanut butter fudge (that recipe will come later!). Because of their love for oatmeal, I decided to try this new recipe out. This was given to me by a friend on a parenting forum that I've been a member of for years. The toppings can be adapted to whatever fruits, nuts, berries, honey, etc. that you have laying around the house. We always have honey, cinnamon, and raisins in our pantry, so that's what I used. Thanks for sharing, Shawn!


2 eggs

2 cups of milk

1/2 cup oil

2/3 cup brown sugar

3 cups oats

1 tsp. vanilla

2 tsp. baking powder

whatever type of fruit, nuts, honey, or raisins you like


Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Grease an 8x8 pan. Pour in ingredients. Top with chopped up fruit/nuts/honey/etc. Sprinkle with sugar and/or cinnamon. Bake at 375 for 35 minutes or until golden brown.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Why Am I Doing This?

Cooking has always been an interest of mine, but it wasn't until I became a mother that I discovered just how much I love it. I get a lot of fulfillment out of preparing healthy food for my family! Cutting back on grocery bills is also a huge factor in why I prepare most things from scratch. I now have a real passion for meal planning, coupon clipping, nutrition-researching, and getting delicious food into my family!

Several people have asked for some of my collection of recipes; I've been asked to hold a cooking class, my husband wants me to write a cookbook, and some of my Facebook friends said that they would follow me on a blog. Those are a few of the reasons that I have decided to put this blog together. Another HUGE reason is that I'd like to collect your recipes,too! Please leave a comment anytime with your favorite recipe in it! If you decide to use one of the listed recipes, be sure to leave a comment letting me know what you and your family thought of it!