Wednesday, February 25, 2009

grilled-cheese sammies with mixed veggies

It's a rainy day. Derek's home {no flying... rainy day}. Our happy little family is together and cozy. I threw this together, wanting mostly a super-quick meal... and it was a hit! James couldn't get over the "beddies" {veggies} and kept wanting "meeew" {more}, which made me rediculously proud. And because I used NO butter or seasonings on the veggies {try it; you'll be surprised} and used whole wheat bread, we were able to eat a delicious AND nutritious meal. It's super simple but really yum. Try it. You'll like it.

RECIPE: Grilled-Cheese Sammies with Mixed Veggies

whole wheat bread
sharp cheddar cheese
butter/margarine {We love Canola Oil Harvest.}
frozen mixed veggies

Put veggies and water into a saucepan and cook according to package directions. {Seriously, don't add anything. I know you'll want to, but refrain. Taste them first... You'll be surprised how flavorful they are with nothing added.}

Meanwhile, spread butter on one side of each piece of bread. Slice cheese thinly and stack in between pieces of bread (touching the non-buttered sides). Heat a pan over med heat. Fry/grill {not sure which word is applicable here} each side until beautifully brown and the cheese is melted inside.

Cut the sandwich into four if serving little people, serve up and enjoy! {PS. The veggies are perfectly sized for tiny toddler fingers... and require no cutting to minimize the choking hazard! I know! Amazing.}

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

lasagna soup

This recipe is not mine in any way. I saw it on Studio5, loved it, and "brought it home" with me. I really do love this soup. It's a hearty soup, full of wonderful goodness. It's rediculously easy (a few cans of this, a couple of these, add this mix and BOOM). I make it fairly often and love it each time. Hats off to you, Ms. Cherise Cragun!

RECIPE: Lasagna Soup

1 lbs. Italian Sausage
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 pkg. Lasagna Dinner Mix (Hamburger Helper)
5 cups water
2 cans corn, undrained
1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
2 tlbs parmesan cheese
3 small zucchinis, chopped

Brown sausage with onion and drain. Add lasagna sauce mix (not noodles), water, tomatoes, corn and cheese. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Add noodles and zucchini. Cook 10 more minutes or until zucchini is done. Serve with shredded Parmesan cheese.

Serves: 12
Calories: 389

*Photo courtesy of Studio5.

Monday, February 9, 2009

french meringues with blackberry syrup

I got this recipe from One More Moore, a creative blog I like to "stalk." I altered her recipe a bit, screwed it up, then altered it more... and the syrup recipe is all mine {though the idea was hers, too, if truth be told}. We had company over last night and had these for dessert. They were good, really good, but they need a little tweaking. Next time I'll do things a little differently {i.e. throw in some vanilla and pay closer attention to the whipping}. But the general concept was too good not to post.

RECIPE: French Meringues

4 egg whites
2 1/4 powdered sugar

Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees. Line baking sheet with silpat or parchment paper. Whip the egg whites until foamy. Slowly add all the sugar in small bits. Mix in Kitchen-Aid on medium speed for 30-40* minutes until satiny and looks like whipped cream.

Place in pastry bag and pipe into desired shape (I used a large star shaped tip with my bag). Place in oven and put a wooden spoon in the oven door to keep it slightly propped open (this will avoid getting cracks in the meringues).

Bake for 3 hours. Make sure they are completely dry before pulling them out of the oven.Allow to cool completely & store in an air-tight container.

OR You can do it MY way and over whip them {*note to self: in the future, disregard the time frame and just watch for the stiff peaks to form... lesson learned}, add way too much extra sugar and an extra egg white {why not?} to the mix in attempts to salvage the meringue soup... all the while failing anyway. Then spoon {pour!} the mixture into cupcake tins and bake at 300 until the lil' beauties are pretty much dried out {but slightly pie-top-like-meringuey inside since you have no patience} and more resemble macaroons. Then eat them anyway... and still think they're pretty great. :) {I'm just sayin'... it's an option!}

RECIPE: Blackberry Syrup

1/2 c. water
1 c. sugar (plain ol' white sugar)
2 c. frozen blackberries

Over high heat {faster is better, imo}, bring water to a boil. Add sugar and stir. Let the mix boil for a few minutes to dissolve and thicken a tiny bit. Add blackberries. Bring to a boil again. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occassionally, until the syrup reaches the desired consistency (probably about 5 minutes). Serve hot, over oh-so-yummy meringues... and enjoy!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

no-bake cookies

I LOVE no-bake cookies! They're so darn delicious, and super duper easy to make. I used to make them a ton as a kid {pre-teen/teenish}, so I associate them with that part of my life. For example.... in eigth grade, I was in a Speech and Drama class {which was awesome, by the way; thanks, Mrs. Shelton!} and did a "How-To" speech on How To Make No-Bake Cookies. I dropped my mom's nice saucepan in the process, so the memory is bittersweet {i.e. impending doom}, but the speech went great... and... um... yeah, that story really has no climax.

Anyway, a friend of mine {Brittney} made these the other day {which inspired- literally- a happy dance on my part}. The recipe is from her mother-in-law, and who knows where she got it. Perhaps it's an original. Perhaps it's from a box or book. But regardless of its origins, it's fantastic. Mmm... pour me a glass of milk, baby! We're havin' cookies tonight!

RECIPE: No-Bake Cookies

Yield: about 30 cookies

1 cube (1/2 c.) margarine
2 c. white sugar
1/2 c. milk
4 Tbsp. cocoa
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. peanut butter
3 c. instant oatmeal

Melt margarine. Add sugar and milk. Bring to a boil. Add cocoa and boil for 1-2 min. Remove from heat and add vanilla, peanut butter and oatmeal. Spoon onto foil/wax paper/parchment paper {the indecision is my addition, not the original recipe} and let cool. Then eat up!

Serves: 12
Calories: 130