Friday, November 30, 2012

My Obsession with Mason Jars

As you can tell from past posts, I love mason jars! In any case, I was about to dump these Hershey Candy Cane Kisses into a bowl in the kitchen and instead, I displayed it in my mason jar. Why? #1, your hand can't fit all the way in there, so you won't eat as much and #2, it just looks so darn cute.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Easy Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake Parfait

Do you have extra cans of Pumpkin left over from Thanksgiving? Try this Pumpkin Cheesecake Parfait.

1 can Pumpkin
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
4 tsp sugar
JELL-O Cheesecake Pudding (prepared)
In a small bowl, mix together all ingredients except granola and JELL-O Pudding. Layer the pumpkin mix and JELL-O into your cups and top with some granola.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Gingerbread Cookies

Despite the mess we made while trying to decorate these Gingerbread men, the cookies were delicious!
Recipe adapted from Diabetic Living.


Saturday, November 24, 2012

Thanksgiving Recap

This year, Thanksgiving was great! We had great food and the best part was..  I helped cook it. You probably don't need these recipes since Thanksgiving is over, but if you want them, I am happy to post each recipe.
My mom makes the best turkey. It's very juicy. How does she get it so juicy? She covers the turkey in mayonnaise, then spice it with pepper, garlic powder, salt and paprika for color. Then, she adds in cut up onions and oranges (like above) and stuffs the inside of the turkey with that and ice cubes. (who would have thought?)
A sweet potato is a sweet potato, but this casserole is more like a dessert! We added praline to the mix and last minute, heated up some marshmallows right before serving.
What are your favorite Thanksgiving dishes?

PS. Do you like my pie dress??

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Oh, Thanksgiving

Mom and I were up til 12 last night getting things ready for today. But at least today won't be as crazy! This is the first Thanksgiving where I'm actually cooking, which is mainly because my mom is tired from chemo and can't do everything like she used to, so i am here to help! Here is an update of a night of prepping.
The beginning of cranberry sauce. Yes, we added some rum to it at the end. :)
Mom's famous noodle pudding. It's like dessert, but it's not, which makes a good excuse to have some more.
Praline for our sweet potato praline casserole.
And this is what I woke up to this morning.

I am also wearing my pie dress! Pictures to come! Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Easy Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Muffin Cookies

There's only THREE ingredients in this cookie and they are: 1 box of Spiced Caked, 1 can of Pureed Pumpkin, and 1 bag of Dark Chocolate Chips.
Mix all ingredients like so.
Spoon onto baking sheet.
And bake for 20-30 minutes until brown. They taste pretty good, more like a muffin, less like a cookie, but they are tasty and light!

Happy Thanksgiving all!

Monday, November 12, 2012

3 step chicken parm

Our friend Stan got us some cured Parmesan cheese and we needed to use it up so tonight we made chicken parm. I say three steps because there's essentially three steps to this process: 1) make your sauce 2) bread your chicken and 3) layer your chicken, sauce and cheese in a deep dish pan.
To make the sauce you need:

1 small can of tomato paste
Use 1 can of water (1:1 ratio of paste to water)
1/2 onion chopped
4 garlic cloves minced
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp basil

Mix all ingredients and let simmer for about 20-30 minutes while you get your chicken ready.
You'll want to dress your chicken breast as well. I just used:

Italian bread crumbs
dash of garlic powder
dash of my favorite Emeril's spice

Mix all in a bowl and cover your chicken breast. To get more of a crisp taste, you can first drench your chicken in egg wash before the breadcrumbs.

Lastly, layer your chicken, sauce, cheese, more sauce, more cheese in a deep dish pan.
Cook covered on 300 degrees for about 1 to 1.5 hours or until chicken is white in the middle.
Add some more cheese to the top and then put back in oven uncovered for about 10 to 15 minutes so cheese browns a little on top.
Serve with a side of spaghetti.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Smoothie Sunday - Coconut Water

I'm not really a big fan of coconut water, but decided to try and add some in this week's smoothie. It added a slight coconut taste to it without it being too watery.

In this smoothie, I added the usual banana, honey, yogurt, apple slices and then some coconut water.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

no recipe holiday peanut brittle

hi. This is another no recipe recipe. One night I really wanted to make something but had nothing in my kitchen, but peanuts. So I decided to just go for it! So...
In my pan, I put a half stick of butter, chopped up peanuts, some almonds as well and sugar, milk and brown sugar. I also added in a dash of nutmeg for a holiday taste.

I'd give you the measurements, but as this was an experiment for me, I kept adding things to figure out the consistency if it would harden. And unfortunately it did not (unless I froze it).
I have made a caramel sauce that hardens before and it takes a little while to get it at it's soft ball stage, which usually consists of letting the sugars and cream boil and mix for a long while. I guess I may have run out of patience. In any case, I am going to try this again and come back with a working recipe!

Though I do love experimenting, but sometimes you just have to figure out why something didn't turn out right...

Monday, November 5, 2012

reduced-fat homemade chicken pot pie

1 cup cooked chicken
1 bag of steamed vegetables
1 can condensed 98% fat-free cream of chicken soup
1 cup fat-free (skim) milk 
1 cup Bisquick Heart Smart mix
1/2cup fat-free (skim) milk
Heat oven to 400°F. In a 2-quart dish, mix chicken, vegetables, soup and 1/2 cup milk. Microwave on High 4 minutes and stir.

In separate bowl, stir Bisquick mix, 1/2 cup milk and the egg with fork until blended. Pour over vegetable mixture.

Bake uncovered about 30 minutes or until golden brown. 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Smoothie Sunday

My new installation of Smoothie Sunday. Each week, I make a smoothie at work with what's in the kitchen, sometimes going to the store any getting some extra things.

Ingredients in this smoothie:
1 greek yogurt
1/4 cup OJ
1 banana
1 tsp honey
Handful of spinach (you can barely taste it!)
1/2 cup ice

I love having my mini blender at work!

Friday, November 2, 2012

20 things i am grateful for

I'm grateful that this dog came into my Pinterest feed tonight. Makes me miss my parent's dogs and really makes me want to get one for myself. I would love to save a dog and give it a happy home. My work actually allows dogs so he/she can come with me too! If only my apartment allowed dogs and Matt wanted one, I would definitely get one.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

the no recipe pumpkin cookie

You might be wondering why I'm dressed like a baker. Well... it was Halloween yesterday and I decided to go all out and even bake some fall cookies too.
Keep in mind, these were no recipe cookies, I just threw a bunch of things in a bowl to experiment. I thought they turned out good enough I wanted to share.

In the bowl goes 1/3 cup of coconut oil, 1 tsp baking soda, some applesauce, half a can of pumpkin puree, 1 cup sugar, 1 tsp or more of nutmeg. Make small balls of dough and place on a baking sheet and bake at 350 for about 30 minutes or until cookies are dry in the middle and golden on the outside. Let cool and enjoy!
Hope you all had a great Halloween too.