Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Pumpkin Shake

I made this yesterday for my children for after school snack so I could take a picture, and of course, I forgot to get out the camera. Hopefully I'll get a pic soon.

But, picture or not, this is a yummy, festive, healthy snack. It serves 2.

1 c. coconut milk (I have made it with normal milk as well and it was delicious that way too)
1 t. cinnamon
2 pinches nutmeg (I like it with little to no nutmeg)
1 t. honey
3/4 banana (I like to use a frozen one because it helps the consistency)
1/2 c. pumpkin
4 ice cubes

Add all ingredients to the blender, blend and enjoy!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Cinnamon Rolls

This is an easy cinnamon roll recipe.  It makes 1 dozen cinnamon rolls that fill a 13x9 pan.

Cinnamon Rolls
Put in your stand mixer or breadmaker:
1 T. yeast
4 cups bread flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 Tablespoons butter
1/4 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
 2 cups warm water
1/4 cup dry buttermilk powder

Mix all together for several minutes.  Let rise for about an hour.  Mix down and add more flour ( this is inexact, but I usually end up adding 1/2- 1 cup more bread flour) to make a nice dough that you can handle- but it still will be sticky.  Dump onto a floured board or silicone mat.  Spray your hands with cooking spray.  Lightly kneed the dough.  With a floured rolling pin, roll out to about 12 x 12 size.

Spread the dough with about 1/3-1/2  cup very soft butter.  Sprinkle generously with a cinnamon sugar mixture.  I like to use brown sugar (2 parts brown sugar to 1 part cinnamon) You can also add chopped pecans, if desired.  Roll up and put seal the seam and put seam-side down.  Cut with a thread or a pizza cutter into 12 inch-wide pieces.  I cut the roll in half, then in halves again, then cut 3 out of each 1/4 roll.   Put in a well sprayed 13 x 9 pan.  Cover with a cloth and let rise until about double.  Bake at 350 about 20 minutes until lightly browned.
Make a simple frosting with powdered sugar, cream or milk, and vanilla.  Mix well and spread generously over the cinnamon roll while still warm.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Cream of Tomato Soup

I got this recipe years ago from my husband's aunt Jennie.  It is the old-fashioned way of making tomato soup and is really delicious.  Of course you need to add grilled cheese sandwiches to complete the meal!

Cream of Tomato Soup
1 quart tomato juice (you can substitute a quart of canned tomatoes and blend them)
1-2 Tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
4 Tablespoons real butter
 2 heaping Tablespoons flour
1 can evaporated milk (you can use cream if you'd rather)
2 cups milk

In a saucepan, melt the butter and blend with the flour until the butter is melted and it forms a roux.  Cook and stir for a couple of minutes.  Add the tomato juice and seasonings. Whisk until smooth and well blended.  Cook and stir until thickened.  Add the milks and stir and heat until thoroughly blended and heated through, but do not boil.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Fruit Fly Eliminator

We have a long summer here, and so this may be a little late for you- but this time of year we always get fruit flies in the house.  They seem to come in with the garden produce and then there's just bunches of them.  I finally found online a solution that really works to get red of them . . . and it's so easy:
Just get a bowl or jar and pour in a glug of apple cider vinegar.  Add a few drops of dishwashing soap and then add water.  Then just leave it out near where those pesky flies congregate.  You'll soon have lots of tiny dead flies in there.  They are attracted to the cider vinegar, then get trapped by the soap and water.  It really works.  Ours are completely gone.  I just thought I'd share in case you have the same problem.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Milkshake

I recently watched a documentary called "Fed Up" that has made me think more about what my family and I are eating and has increased my awareness of the amount of sugar that is added to a lot of the processed food that we buy. I have been amazed at how much sugar is in things that I have always considered healthy. Yogurt for example. Jacob LOVES it and asks for it several times a day. I usually happily get it for him. One serving of low-fat yogurt has 33 grams of sugar in it. That is more than 8 teaspoons. I was so surprised. The daily recommended amount of sugar for an adult is 25 grams...6 teaspoons and Jake was getting more than that in 1 bowl of yogurt! I feel like I am still learning a lot about the best way for my family and I to eat, and try to take everything "with a grain of salt", but for the last week or two, I have been trying to eat and cook with more whole foods with little to no added sugar and not as much processed food. That way I know what we are eating. I have felt a bit better and lost a little weight as well. Always a plus. :) This is a "whole food" treat that I love and have whipped up a couple of times when I have wanted something sweet.

2 frozen very ripe bananas
2 scoops all-natural peanut butter (I buy Smuckers brand at Walmart. It just has peanuts and 1% or less of salt. I like the taste a lot better than the other peanut butter I have always loved. It is less waxy and has a deeper flavor.)
1 scoop cocoa powder

Simply add everything to the blender and blend. Add as much milk as you need to reach your desired thickness and enjoy.

You can freeze this to make fudgesicles as well. Yum!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Pantry Pick of the Month: Roasted Salsa Verde/ Verde Chicken Mexican Lasagna

My pantry pick for this month is this Salsa Verde.  I found a recipe that called for a green salsa,  so I gave it a try.  This recipe for Verde Chicken Mexican Lasagna won LDS Living Magazine's Casserole Contest.  After making it, there are some changes I would suggest, so this recipe is slightly altered from the original.  

Verde Chicken Mexican Lasagna
2- 4 chicken breasts, cooked and cut up (rotisserie chicken works nicely)
2 cups sour cream
1 can black beans, drained
1 can corn, drained
1 -16 oz. jar rasted salsa verde or other green salsa
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
Handful of chopped cilantro
10 soft taco-sized flour tortillas
Mexican blend cheese, shredded

Heat your oven to 350.  Mix together the chicken, sour cream, black beans, salsa verde, corn, cilantr and spices.  Cut the tortillas in half with kitchen shears.  Spray a 13x9 pan.  Divide the tortilla halves into three piles.  Put one-third on the bottom of the pan.  Spoon in 1/3 of the filling mixture, then sprinkle with cheese.  Repeat two more times, ending with a generous sprinkling of cheese.  Bake for 20-25 minutes or until hot and bubbly and the cheese is melted.  You may garnish with pico de gallo, avocado, cilantro, and sour cream.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

What's For Dinner? November

Here's some ideas for dinners in November:

Chicken Mozzarella Pasta/ Green Salad/ Breadsticks

Shells and Cheese/ Tomatoes

Steak Sandwiches/ Homemade Fries

Chicken Enchiladas/ Pico de Gallo/ Black beans

Chicken Gnocchi Soup/ Garlic Bread

German Pancakes/ Fiesta Fruit Topping

Chicken Divan/ Creamy Jello Salad

Swedish Meatballs/ Mashed Potatoes/ Glazed Carrots
Tandoori Chicken/ Hot Rice/ Roasted Squash

Chicken Taco Salad
Easy Crockpot Beef Stew

Thanksgiving Dinner  Click this link for a collection of our favorite Thanksgiving side dishes.

Pantry Pick of the Month: Salsa Verde/ Verde Chicken Mexican Lasagna