Thursday, April 29, 2010

Spanish Rice

Spanish rice.  Sounds kind of exotic and hard to make doesn't it?  Well if not to you then it did to me.  Until today I had only made the Rice A Roni type of spanish rice.  I love the stuff, but really didn't think it would be easy to make from scratch.  Boy was I wrong!  I received this recipe from the county extension office and fell in love.  Easy to do and very tasty.  I love that I can control the heat and the salt content too.  Of course it also tastes fresh and I love the bright colors.  So if your in a spanish mood give this a try.

1 cup chopped onion
1 chopped green pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp oil
16 oz can tomatoes
8 oz can tomato sauce
2 Tbsp worcestershire sauce
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup uncooked rice

In saucepan, saute onions, peppers, and garlic in oil.  When tender add rest of ingredients except rice.  Bring to a boil.  Add rice, cover, and turn to low.  Cook 20-30 min or until rice is done.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Sweet Crescents Rolls

What do you do when you have cans of crescent rolls in your fridge and you want to jazz them up?  Well, I add candy and dried fruit.  At least I did this time for a sweet breakfast roll.
Open 1 can of crescent rolls and separate into triangles.  Brush with melted butter.  Top with mini chocolate chips and heath toffee bits or mini chocolate chips and dried craisins.  Roll up to make crescents, brush with more butter, and cook according to package.  When out of oven and cooled some top with chocolate or caramel syrup.

After School Snacks

Always on the look out for good snacks for the kids, I ran across these recipes in a newspaper and have finally tried them.  They were a hit with kids and husband alike.  They love the taste and I can feel good about them eating them.

Nutty Buddies (pictured)
1/2 cup crushed pretzels
1/3 cup mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup nonfat dry milk
1 Tbsp honey
Mix half the pretzels, the chocolate chips, peanut butter, dry milk and honey in a bowl with hands or fork.  Form 1" ball and roll in remaining crushed pretzels.

Coconut Balls
1/4 cup peanut butter
1 Tbsp honey
1/2 cup Rice Krispies
2 Tbsp nonfat dry milk
1/2 cup coconut
Mix peanut butter, honey, cereal, and milk.  Roll into 1" balls and roll in coconut.

PBJ Balls
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 cup Rice Krispies
1/4 cup nonfat dry milk
2 Tbsp favorite jelly
Mix peanut butter, cereal and milk.  Spread jelly over top and mix in slightly.  Form into 1" balls.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Low Carb Crepes

In my efforts to eat better with gestational diabetes I got this recipe from a friend who was doing a low carb diet.  These really are good and good for you.  I found that you have to cook them on low heat or else they stick to the pan.  I cook mine on the number 2 on my burner dial.  Trial and error are what you will need to find where to cook yours.  This recipe makes one serving, but I find them very filling and split the amount between 2 days.  Since they take so long to cook I also double the recipe and use them all week long.
Here is one cooking.
1/4 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup cottage cheese
4 egg whites or equivalent of liquid egg whites
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp splenda or other sugar substitute
Put all ingredients in the blender and blend together.  I usually leave out the vanilla and sugar substitute because I figure with toppings I don't need the extra stuff.  Cook in skillet sprayed with cooking spray one at a time.  Serve with your favorite toppings.  I spread peanut butter on top and add low carb syrup (Mrs. Buttersworth).
Stack of finished crepes.

Banana Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

In my efforts to clean the clutter in my house I am going through my recipe collection.  Okay, maybe it is more than a collection and a horde, but I am finally trying to go through all the clippings and saved web pages to find the recipes that I want to keep and those that although sound good are just gross.  So, to that end you will be seeing a lot of recipe posts in the future as I go through the stash.  These recipes are ones that I will be making again and again and have gotten the seal of approval from husband and kids.  Here we go!
Banana Bars
(I think I heard my heart shutting down as I ate these bars so for your sake I have cut the frosting recipe in half and cut back on the sugar in the bars.  The picture shows with full recipe of frosting and as you can see a tiny bar with an inch of frosting.  It was good but like I said my heart tried to shut down. :)  For the original recipe see my baking addiction.)

1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla
2 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup mashed banana
Heat oven to 350* and grease a 9X13" pan.  Cream the butter and sugar.  Add in eggs one at a time.  Stir in the sour cream and vanilla.  Stir in the dry ingredients.  Mix in the mashed banana.  Put in pan and bake for 25-30 min or until done.  Cool completely.
8 oz cream cheese softened
1/4 cup softened butter
1 lb powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon.
Beat together and spread over cooled bars. Enjoy!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Cooking with bananas

I'm not a chef or culinary anything, but I do like to bake.  Recently I had some overripe bananas and looked up some new recipes to try.  I can't believe the amount of sugar called for!  It is my opinion that people underestimate the sweetness of an overripe banana.  Maybe they cook with ripe bananas and not overripe but really you need the banana to get really soft and ripe before you bake with it.  Hence the two pictures.  The first is of course what my bananas looked on the out side and the other is the inside.  Really a few more days or even a week of ripening wouldn't have hurt them any and would have only increased the sweet taste.  So next time you want to bake with bananas make sure they are good and ripe and then cut back on the sugar.  I usually cut it in half, but you can experiment to your liking.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

April Fool's - Lasagna for dessert

Did I have the kids going tonight! Being April Fool's Day and all, I found a recipe in a magazine for fake out lasagna. It looks like the real deal but is really a sweet treat. It helped that the last two nights we really did have lasagna for dinner. So this is how it played out:
Me - Who wants dessert?
Kids - Me!
Me - We have some leftover lasagna from last night so were going to eat it for dessert.
Kids - What?! Then I don't want any. Can I have a cookie instead?
Me - Nope. Eat this first and then you can have a cookie.
So I dish them all up and set it out on the table for them to eat. "What is this?" they ask. Lasagna comes the reply. Of course by this time the torture is at peak level and Doug says that I have something to say to the kids so I say April Fool's.

Ben eating his "lasagna" with a chagrined express after being fooled

Chris dug right in

View from the side

Top view

Make a box of instant vanilla pudding (I used banana). Cut a loaf of pound cake into 1/4-in-thick slices. Arrange half of the slices in a 7-by-11-inch baking dish, then press 20 vanilla wafers into the cake. Make fake tomato sauce: MIx 3/4 cup strawberry jam with 5 crushed oreos and dollop half of the mixture over the wafers. Sweeten 3/4 cup ricotta cheese with 2 teaspoons sugar; dollop half over the jam. Top with 1 sliced banana and half of the pudding. Repeat with the remaining cake, 20 more wafers, the remaining jam adn ricotta mictures, another sliced banana and the remaining pudding. Top with shaved white chocolate, crushed wafers and mint; chill.
From Food Network Magazine