Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Granola Bars

My online friend Carie shared this recipe, and I just had to give it a try. I'm always looking for new breakfast ideas for my kids, and these should be great for that. I do have to say that I don't think they have the typical granola bar texture. They're more of a "healthy cookie" texture, but my kids will love that! I'll just wrap them individually in plastic wrap and voila--quick and healthy breakfast!

2 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup wheat germ or ground flax seed (I used milled flax seed.)
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup all-purpose flour (or ¾ cup all-purpose flour & ¼ cup soy flour or sorghum flour)
3/4 cup raisins (optional)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup honey
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (I forgot to set it out for the picture.)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Generously grease a 9x13 inch baking pan.

In a large bowl, mix together the oats, brown sugar, wheat germ, cinnamon, flour, raisins and salt. Make a well in the center, and pour in the honey, egg, oil and vanilla. Mix well using your hands or a spatula. Pat the mixture evenly into the prepared pan.

Bake 25-30 minutes in the preheated oven, until the bars begin to turn golden at the edges. Cool for 5 minutes, then cut into bars while still warm. Do not allow the bars to cool completely before cutting, or they will be too hard to cut.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Menu Planning

I love to menu plan. It makes my grocery shopping *so* much easier, and our evenings run much smoother if I have something in mind before going into the kitchen. It also allows me to set out frozen meat if need be, or put dinner in the crockpot before heading out the door. Life with three kids is crazy enough without flying blind at dinnertime!

Having said all that, I am going to start listing my menu plans for the week each Monday. It'll be great to have it written here for my own use, but it might also give you an idea for dinner if you're in a slump.

I'm still planning to return to Meatless Monday posts as soon as I feel good 100% of the time. I just can't commit to coming up with new meatless recipes at this point in my pregnancy, but it shouldn't be too much longer before I can ditch the meds and get back to normal!

Monday--Pinto beans cooked with ham pieces, cornbread, butter cake for dessert (recipe soon!)

Tuesday--Beef stroganoff, green beans

Wednesday--Soft tacos with all the fixins', leftover pinto beans

Thursday--Date night for Jer and I, so the kids will have leftover soft tacos

Friday--Round steak in tomatoes, mashed potatoes, steamed broccoli

Saturday--Spaghetti, tossed salad, French bread

Sunday--Sunday pot roast

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Baked Ziti

I love to have family over for big Sunday lunches. This Sunday I decided to try out this baked ziti recipe from Cassie's Craves. It was wonderful because by using beef rather than sausage, I already had everything I needed for this recipe in my pantry and fridge! It made enough to feed six adults, four children, and several days of lunches for me! I actually prepared it first thing in the morning, and then baked it right before our guests arrived. I served it with a spinach salad and French bread, as well as a lemon cake that I'll share with you another day. Delicious!

This could easily be a meatless meal by simply eliminating the ground beef or sausage. I think it would be just as tasty!


1 pound ziti pasta (Is this the same as rigatoni, because that's what I used.)
1 pound ground hot Italian sausage (I used ground beef that I had on hand.)
1 small onion, chopped
1 jar of your favorite pasta sauce (I used Hunt's garlic and herb.)
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon sugar
1 14.75-ounce can diced tomatoes
8 ounces ricotta cheese
4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese (divided)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cook ziti in salted water according to package directions; drain. Add about 1 tablespoon of butter and 1/2 cup of the parmesan cheese directly to the noodles; stir until butter and cheese are melted.

Meanwhile, brown meat in a large, high-sided skillet. Add onion and saute until onion is translucent and meat is cooked through.

Add pasta sauce, Italian seasoning, sugar, and diced tomatoes to the sausage mixture. When sauce is heated through, stir in ricotta cheese. Once the ricotta is incorporated, add the ziti to the sauce mixture.

Pour half of the ziti mixture into a greased 9 x 13 casserole dish. Top with 2 cups mozzarella cheese. Pour the rest of the ziti on top of the cheese layer, and top with remaining mozzarella and remaining 1/2 cup of Parmesan.

Cover with foil and bake 20 minutes; remove foil and baked for an additional 20 minutes. Turn broiler to high and broil for 1-2 minutes, or until cheese begins to blister

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Pioneer Woman's Best Baked Beans Ever

This is a PW recipe. She made it over the Fourth of July, and I saved the recipe knowing that one day I would make it. I was WAY too sick in July to even consider making it then, but now that I'm back on my feet, I decided to give it a try. I have sneaked into the kitchen four times to *try* bites of it...truly amazing baked beans! These would be a great football food for all you college football fans! We're eating ours with homemade mac & cheese. Can't wait!

8 slices bacon, halved
1 medium onion (diced small)
1/2 medium green pepper (diced) I used a jalapeno instead.
3 large cans (28 ounces each) pork and beans (I used six small cans.)
3/4 cup barbecue sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup distilled or cider vinegar
2 teaspoons dry mustard or 2 tablespoons Dijon

Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Fry bacon in a large, deep sautee pan until bacon has partially cooked and released about 1/4 cup drippings. Remove the bacon from your pan and drain on paper towels. Add onions and peppers to the drippings in the pan and sautee until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the beans and remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer.

Pour flavored beans into a greased 9x13 pan. Top with the bacon, then bake until beans are bubbly and sauce is the consistency of pancake syrup, about 2 hours. Let stand to thicken slightly and serve.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Monkey Muffins

Good Sunday morning to ya! It's a rainy, beautiful day here in Central Oklahoma--the perfect day to wake up to a warm breakfast. I found this recipe here. She says it's a Pioneer Woman recipe...what more should I say?! These were a hit with me and the kids. I made them in mini muffins, which were the perfect size for young children. So sad my handsome husband is at the station today...he really missed out on a terrific breakfast!

I didn't get a chance to take a picture this morning.

1 can biscuits (I used Grands)
1/2 stick butter
cinnamon and sugar mixture (I just eyed it, so I'm not sure of the measurements)
sweetened condensed milk (Oh yeah!!)

Preheat oven to 375.

Place a small cube of butter in the bottom of the muffin tins.

Cut the biscuits in thirds (for regular biscuits) or fourths (for Grands). Roll the biscuit pieces in the cinnamon/sugar mixture. Place two (for mini muffin tins) or three (for regular muffin tins) of the pieces in the muffin tins.

Place another small cube of butter on top of the biscuits.

Bake for 15-18 minutes. Drizzle with sweetened condensed milk, or make up your own icing from powdered sugar and milk. I highly suggest using the condensed milk, though. :)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Can't Leave Alone Bars

After school snacks--they're a big part of why I love being a stay-at-home mama. When I was growing up, I always anticipated what my mama was going to have ready for us when we walked in the door from school. I was especially pleased if it was some sort of baked good! Our four-year-old started all-day PreK this year, and every day when I pick him up he asks me "what I cooked for him." He has only been in school for three weeks and he already anticipates his after school snack...I love it! He's going to be thrilled to smell this when he walks in the door.

I don't know which of the recipe sites that I visit offered this recipe up, but I do thank you! I have had an ongoing love affair with sweetened condensed milk since I was a tiny girl. My mama has the same love. She actually asked her grandma for a can of it on her eighth birthday, and she received it. Ha! Anything made with this ingredient is a sure-fire hit for me

1 box white or yellow cake mix (I used white.)
2 eggs
1/3 cup oil
1 cup chocolate chips
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
1/4 stick butter (cubed)

Preheat oven to 350.

In a large bowl, mix the cake mix, eggs, and oil together. Press two-thirds of the mixture in a 9x13 baking dish. You'll probably need to use your fingers for this part!

In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the milk, chocolate chips, and butter. Microwave uncovered until the chips and butter are melted (about 2 minutes on high). Stir until smooth. Pour over the crust.

Drop teaspoonfuls of the remaining cake mixture over the top of the chocolate. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until light brown. Cool before cutting.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Blueberry Snack Cake

I am posting this from my phone ,so

I'm going to keep it short. This recipe is from It tastes like a blueberry poundcake. So good!

2 cups all-purpose flour
1.5 cups sugar
1/2 cup cold butter
1teaspoon baking powder
1cup milk
2egg yolks
2egg whites--beaten until soft peaks form
2cups blueberries--don't thaw if frozen

Preheat oven to 350.

In a large bowl, combine flour and sugar. Cut the butter into pieces and add to flour mixture. Blend using a fork until it's crumbly. Set aside 3/4 cup of this mixture to use as a topping.

In another bowl, add the powder, milk, egg yolks. Mix well. Add this to the flour mixture and mix together Gently fold in the beaten egg whites.

Pour into 9x13 baking dish. Sprinkle with the blueberries and add the reserved topping. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.
-- Post From My iPhone