Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Sooner than expected: Oatmeal Cookies

Well, so much for my apology earlier...this recipe was easy and quick and supposedly healthy ;-)

It's made with lots of stuff that's good for you, while still being sweet and filling that "I need a cookie NOW" craving! It isn't the most amazing cookie I've ever made, but it was easy and sweet enough to fulfill a craving pretty quickly without much fat.

I found the recipe here, and they said that they found it on Food Network. There is so much versatility! I made two batches, one with chocolate chips and the other with butterscotch chips, but the recipes have lots of other suggestions for mix-ins!

3 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 egg
1 tablespoon water
1/2 cup flour (I used all purpose)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups rolled oats

1. Preheat your oven to 350*. Spray a cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray. (This was convenient, but I don't think it's necessary to get a good cookie.)
2. Mix together (I used my hand mixer) the butter, brown sugar, honey, egg and water until thoroughly combined.

3. Sift together the flour, salt and baking soda. Then add the oats.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and mix well. Add your mix-ins to the blended batter.
chocolate chip version

butterscotch version
4. Drop by heaping teaspoonfuls onto the cookie sheet.

Bake 12 to 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

((Note: because I'm at high altitude and didn't adjust the recipe, I didn't actually cook the cookies at the time or temperature recommended. I always lower my temperature and just keep a close eye on the cookies while they're baking because I have a hard time getting cookies that don't burn or end up super flat. Just my two cents...if you're baking at sea level, you can follow the recipe as is and probably have no issues whatsoever :-)))

Dreadfully sorry...

I have not been making anything exciting in the last few days...so I haven't posted anything. My brother-in-law is visiting this week, and my in-laws join us next week, so I have pretty standard recipes set up to make for easy meals and less time spent in the kitchen.

I do have a couple of fun dessert recipes I plan to try in these next few weeks though, so keep an eye out!

For now, I'll share a picture of "Territory Days" in Colorado Springs for Memorial Day, where myself, Lane, Ethan, my sister Emily and brother-in-law Tyler spent the afternoon eating various foods and looking at all the overpriced stuff ;-)

This was Ethan's favorite part of the day:
Turkey Legs! "Don't they make you feel like a man?"

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Blueberry waffle sauce

Oh my word. Blueberries are now my new favorite waffle topping. They were so yummy and sweet!! ((and I totally didn't take any pictures, but our dinner was AWESOME and looked GREAT too!!))

Another Special K recipe which was easy to make, and delicious to eat. Again only made for one serving though, so I doubled the recipe and it made enough for 3 waffles for Lane and myself (6 total) and 1 waffle for Ethan, with a little left over in the bottom of the pot still...

Only a few ingredients too!
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel (I didn't use this because I was cooking a lot of different sides and didn't want to take the time to grate the lemon :-P)
3 tablespoons water
1 cup fresh blueberries, divided (see my note in the directions)
3 waffles (for the Special K recipe I used the Eggo Nutri-Grain Whole Wheat waffles, but you could totally use this on homemade waffles too!)

1. In a small saucepan, stir together the sugar, cornstarch and lemon peel. Whisk in the water.
2. Stir in 1/2 cup of the blueberries, crushing slightly. (I put in an entire cup since I had doubled the recipe, and when I got to the end of the recipe, I decided that there was plenty of blueberry-ness without adding another cup of uncooked berries, though I'm sure they would have been great!)
3. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture thickens and boils. Stir in the rest of the blueberries (if you decide to) and remove from heat.
4. Serve over waffles (or pancakes, or biscuits, or whatever else sounds delicious with sweet, warm blueberry sauce!!)

Easy and yummy. Even Ethan liked it! We ate ours with scrambled eggs (with cheese), apple juice and turkey bacon (which, though not bad, just isn't real bacon...I'm switching back to regular bacon next week, and I'll just eat less of it!)


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A surprise post - Tortillas and Flautas!

I wasn't planning on posting anything today because I was feeling unproductive and had a (normally) boring dinner planned for tonight.

But! Then I did a little workout and got a nice hot shower and felt much more productive...so I decided to try out the homemade tortilla recipe I've been saving. And though last night's attempt at food didn't turn out so well, these were great!
and so easy! They made dinner and dessert!!

My recipe is a little different step-wise than the original, but it's the same ingredients and basic principle :-)

Homemade Tortillas (original)
3 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup warm water

1. Mix all the ingredients until they form a dough.
2. Roll the dough into several small balls. (My batch made 7) Flatten each ball into a tortilla. (I used my rolling pin)
3. Cook each tortilla in a flat pan on the stove until each side has the little brown spots you see on store-bought tortillas.

Burrito night!

SO yummy!!

And then we made them into dessert....oh yes.

This is the original recipe that I based our dessert flautas off, but I kinda just went off the cuff while making them.

Peeled, sliced apples (I used 2 medium sized apples)
lemon juice

1. Coat cut apples with lemon juice and cinnamon-sugar. (I made mine ahead of time, and let it sit in the fridge)
2. melt a couple tablespoons of butter in a pan on the stove (I used the same pan that I had used for tortillas), brush onto the tortillas. Sprinkle tortillas (both sides) with cinnamon-sugar.
3. Put the tortillas on a cookie sheet and warm them in the oven for a minute or two.
4. Meanwhile, cook the apple mixture in the remainder of the butter until the juice is bubbly.
5. Take the tortillas out of the oven and roll them up carefully. Return to the oven.
6. Continue warming the tortillas in the oven until the apples are soft. Then, carefully open the tortilla wraps and fill with the apple mixture. Roll the tortillas carefully back up, and enjoy!
We had ours with vanilla frozen yogurt!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Teriyaki Chicken Kabobs

Do you know what I love best about grilling?

Not the delicious smoky smell...not that perfect grill flavor...

Give up?

The general lack of dishes that have to be done afterward. No pans, no skillets...just plates...and maybe a few utensils depending on what you cook...

Ha! I was so excited to have these Teriyaki Chicken Kabobs for day 2 of my better eating from Special K. But the best part was the small amount of dishes I had to do this evening after our busy day out of the house.

And they were AMAZING. I'm not normally a kabob person. Usually because they involve pointy sticks filled with grilled veggies and I'm not a veggie person.

But these looked amazing, smelled amazing while making them, and tasted amazing for dinner! Yay for amazing!! When making them, again note that this recipe only makes ONE serving, so you have to multiply the recipe by the amount of people you are serving :-)

1 medium boneless skinless chicken breast (about 6 oz)
1/2 cup reduced-sodium teriyaki marinade/sauce
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
((note: the original recipe calls for red pepper, but I don't care for it much and there was already a bit in my teriyaki sauce, so I left it out))
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch

((another note: the second half of this recipe is for rice upon which to serve the kabobs...but (you guessed it), I'm not a rice person, and didn't want the hassle of cooking rice (probably the reason for the lack of dishes tonight ;-)), so instead we added pieces of pineapple, onion and green bell pepper to a few of the kabobs (for Lane). See the original recipe for how to cook their rice :-))

Aren't they pretty?
1. Cut the chicken into 1 inch pieces. Place in a resealable plastic bag.
2. In a small (tupperware works best!) bowl, mix the marinade, vinegar and pepper if you're using it. Pour 2 tablespoons of this mixture over the chicken. Seal bag and refrigerate for 2-24 hours, turning occasionally. Cover and refrigerate the remainder of the teriyaki mixture until needed later.
3. Drain chicken and discard used marinade. Thread the pieces of chicken onto two small skewers (or a big one like I used!). In a small microwaveable bowl (if you used tupperware in the previous step, you should be okay to just reuse rather than get a new bowl dirty...yay for fewer dishes!!), stir together reserved teriyaki mixture and cornstarch. Microwave on high for 30 seconds to 1 minute until boiling and slightly thickened, stirring once. Set aside.
4. Grill skewers directly over medium heat for 6-9 minutes or until no longer pink, turning kabobs frequently. During the last 2 minutes of grilling, brush the kabobs with the thickened teriyaki mixture.
Plain chicken like the recipe calls for

Chicken with onions, peppers and pineapple - ala Lane :-)

Lane ate some extra pineapple with his kabobs, while I followed the suggestions from Special K and had 1/2 cup strawberries with 1/2 cup frozen yogurt (I used frozen though the original called for regular yogurt. I needed the feel of sugar) along with a couple teaspoons of chocolate chips!
Lane's dinner
My (yummier) dinner!
And everyone enjoyed a couple of fortune cookies (also a suggestion from Special K!) which were very fun!!
Ethan is going to be successful in his career...that's good to know I guess!
It was a great ending to a fun day, and I totally suggest trying this recipe!! I'm definitely going to be having these again next week when we have company!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Pomegranate PorkChops

I have to apologize. Again. Because once again I have failed to keep up with the blog.

BUT! Never fear! I am back and ready to cook! This time, it's going to be cooking, rather than baking because I have been informed (by my doctor ;-)) that I need to be careful of eating too many sweets throughout the rest of my pregnancy...yay for "baby" weight ;-)

SO! I have started following the Special K Challenge (not to lose weight, but to maintain a healthy weight while working off some extra fat!), which includes a healthy dinner straight from their set of recipes (I was actually able to find 7 recipes that I like! So I have a whole week ready to go!)

I started this eating plan today, and so far I'm doing well with it! Lots of fruit and healthy meals throughout the day without wanting chocolate too much!!

The first healthy dinner is a Pork Chop with Pomegranate Glaze.
Ethan saw this picture and said "Oh yes, we eat those and it's delicious!"
This was such an easy recipe and cooked in a really short time! PLEASE NOTE: The recipe is made for ONE person (one serving). So make sure you multiply all the ingredients by how many people you will be feeding!!

1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 boneless pork loin chop, cut about 1 inch thick (5 oz)
1/4 cup pomegranate juice
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons sliced green onions
1. In a small bowl, stir together salt, cinnamon and pepper. Rub on both sides of the pork chop.

2. In a small nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, cook pork chop over medium heat for 7 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned and nearly done, turning once. Remove from skillet. Keep warm.
3. In the same skillet, combine pomegranate juice and sugar. Bring to boiling. Boil, uncovered, for 2 to 3 minutes or until the mixture is reduced to half.
Return pork chop to skillet. Cook, uncovered, about 1 minute more until sauce thickens slightly and pork chop is done. Transfer to serving plate. Sprinkle with onions.

See? So easy! And (as Ethan said) very delicious! I followed the serving suggestion for the meal, and enjoyed 1/2 cup of vanilla frozen yogurt with 1/2 cup of fresh raspberries. Yum!!

It feels good to be back and cooking...good food is fun! Keep an eye out for the rest of the yummy dinners this week!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A sneaky little tip for cooking chicken patties...

I love chicken patties. I don't ever order chicken sandwiches when I'm out to eat, because I love burgers too, but I love chicken patties at home.

Normally the instructions say that you can either cook the patties in the microwave for a few minutes (which is convenient, but leaves the chicken soft and almost soggy)...OR...you can cook them in the oven for nearly 20 minutes (which gives delicious crispy chicken patties, but takes forever).

So...I figured out a little trick...a way to have the short microwave-like time, with the wonderful crispy chicken patty flavor I like...

Microwave the patties for 2 minutes (one minute on each side of the patty), then transfer to a baking sheet and bake at 350* for a few minutes until they are crispy enough.

Yay! Deliciousness and ease all in one. So delightful <3

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Recycling Food...aka leftover cake trifles!

Super simple to put together, and super cute when all done :-)
I had leftover chocolate muffins (remember these?) so I decided to make them into a simple dessert that was fun for Ethan to help me put together!

Chocolate muffins
Chocolate Chips
Vanilla pudding (I know it looks like it's flavored, but it's just colored for fun!)

Layer up the ingredients however you like! Our order is as follows:
- Chocolate muffin crumbles

- Vanilla Pudding

- Marshmallows

- Chocolate Chips

- Pudding

- Chocolate Muffin crumbles

Can't wait until dessert time!!

Cinnamon-Sugar Muffins...for (dinner) Breakfast

These are yum-ilicious!

Tempting right? And (of course) super easy!!

Found these online here, and made them for our "Breakfast for dinner" evening. Yay!

1/3 c. butter, melted
1/2 c. sugar
1 egg (preferably room temperature)
1 1/2 c. AP flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 c. milk

1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. butter, melted
1 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a medium-large bowl, sift together all dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients and stir until combined, but still a bit lumpy. Don't overmix. Scoop batter into muffin tins that have sprayed with cooking spray. Using a large ice cream scoop, I got 8 medium-large muffins out of this batter; I think you could get 10-12 muffins by distributing the batter a little less generously. Bake for 20-25 muffins, or until they just start to turn a bit golden at the edges.

For the topping, mix sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Place melted butter in another small bowl. 

Dip the warm muffins in melted butter, then in cinnamon sugar. CONSUME, ENJOY, GO CRAZY!   

Yum. I'm excited for dinner...since I already tried one of these muffins...they were a little plain on the inside, but a little bit of butter made them delightful!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Just for fun...

For Mother's Day I got some kitchen stuff...specifically for my fun summer of food idea...I got a rolling pin...and some pastry brushes...and an awesome kit of 101 cookie cutters for every occasion (literally...Christmas, Easter, Halloween, Valentine's Day, sporting events, alphabet...oh yes)...

So, to test out these super fun tools, I decided to make tonight's dinner biscuits in fun shapes (namely, the alphabet and trains/trucks!)

So cute, right?!? Ethan had a blast rolling out and cutting the dough with me, and since I used a pre-made mix (Bisquick), it wasn't a hard task.

So, there is no recipe to share, but a fun idea which didn't take too long to complete, and made dinnertime just a little more exciting.

And I just can't resist cooking with this cutie pie <3

Super Easy (and delicious!) Marinade

First, I'm sorry that I didn't post this yesterday...some of you might have wanted to try it for dinner...because it's awesome. :-D

Second, I have only used this marinade on chicken, but I'll bet it would be good on steak/pork chops/etc. too...

Third: it's so easy...just try it...I made it up myself, so it can't be that hard right??

Orange Garlic Soy Marinade
Orange Juice
Soy Sauce
Garlic Powder
Chicken Breasts

1. Pour the orange juice into a tupperware or bowl big enough to hold your chicken (with a lid, for shaking!), you need enough orange juice to fill the bowl about 1/3-1/2 of the way full (the amount of chicken you are making will determine the amount of juice you need).
2. Add a tablespoon of soy sauce to the orange juice and stir. Add garlic powder to taste. (I say to taste because the garlic is a strong ingredient, and some people don't like super garlic-y foods. I used about a teaspoon at this step.)
3. Add your chicken to the juice mixture. Pour 1/2 cup of orange juice and another tablespoon of soy sauce over the top of the chicken. Sprinkle with garlic powder (if you want more, 1/2 a teaspoon here for me, but this part is optional.)
4. Cover with the lid (it needs to be a locking lid so that the juice won't fly everywhere) and shake the bowl to combine all ingredients and cover chicken on all sides.
5. Let the chicken sit and marinade until time to cook. The longer the better! (Depending on how soon you are cooking, how much chicken you have and whether or not your chicken was frozen to begin with, you can either let the chicken defrost/marinade on the counter or in the refrigerator.)

We BBQ this chicken (which is awesome), but I think I might try to bake it in the oven sometime too...I think it would be really good baked! Enjoy!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Green Beans for my mother

Happy Mother's Day!

Since I'm a mother myself, I decided to make something today that I know how to make already, and that doesn't take much time to do! Since my mom loves green beans, I went with a Southern Fried Green Beans recipe that I've made for a couple of years for Thanksgiving...everyone loves it!

I don't have any pictures right now because I haven't actually made it yet this morning...I'll be making it this afternoon for the BBQ :-)

The recipe is here, and I don't change a thing! Though I'm not a fan of green beans (and haven't ever tasted this recipe myself ;-)), it only ever gets good reviews from my family!


  • 5 slices bacon, diced
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans green beans, drained
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Place the bacon in a skillet; cook over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until evenly browned and crisp. Mix the sugar and green beans into the bacon. Cook over medium-high heat until green beans become become soft and limp and start to caramelize. 
Enjoy! Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there! <3 

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Gooooood Morning Saturday! (Chocolate Muffins)

Alright...waking up early is NOT my thing. But I'm getting used to being awake before 6:30 (6:14 this morning) with the kiddo, so I figured I might as well make the best of it (or bake the best of it as the case is ;-))...

Hungry yet? I sure was...and my house smells of chocolate and is all warm and toasty (which is why my screen door is now open...I'm waiting to see how long it will take the neighbors to come knocking on my door ;-))!
Young Flash says "Chocolate YES!"
 This is the first time that I've had to think about the recipe I was making and make slight changes to it. The original recipe was missing the instructions for one of the ingredients, and the ingredient list was in an awkward order. So I followed the basic premise and the ingredient list, and made the following recipe:

2/3 cup of baking cocoa.
2 cups of flour.
1/2 cup of sugar.
2 teaspoons of baking soda.
1/2 teaspoon of salt.
2 large eggs.
1 1/3 cups milk.
1/3 cup of vegetable oil.
1 teaspoon of vanilla.
1 cup of chocolate chips. (divided)

1. Preheat oven to 350*. Spray your muffin pans with non-stick cooking spray. ((I suppose you could use muffin liners, but the cooking spray worked really well, the final muffin isn't sticky, so I had no problems popping the muffins out of the pans. I used 2 mini-muffin pans (48 muffins) and 1 regular muffin pan (12 muffins), which worked out perfectly.))
2.  Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
3. Whisk the wet ingredients together in a separate bowl. Add to the dry ingredients slowly, mixing constantly. (I used a wooden spoon to get the mix basically moist, then whisked the batter together to make sure all the liquid was well integrated.)
4. Add 1/2 cup of chocolate chips and mix. Scoop into muffin pans. Top the muffins with the rest of the chocolate chips.
Mini-muffins topped with chocolate chips!
5. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until a toothpick (or fork) stuck in the center comes out clean. Remember that the mini-muffins will take much less time to cook than the big muffins!
6. Cool on a rack before removing from the pans, then cool completely on the racks. (By cooling the pan on the rack, away from the oven first, the muffins don't over cook while cooling in the pan, and you don't burn your hand off trying to take the muffins out of the pans.)
These muffins made Saturday worth being awake! The recipe tastes a lot like a basic chocolate cake, and would probably make a *delicious* chocolate layer cake with yummy frosting! (Might have to try that this afternoon ;-))

Friday, May 6, 2011

Burger Buns...from scratch!

I love hamburgers. I have for like...ever. So the idea of making delicious, warm, fresh-out-of-the-oven buns for them myself is like "icing on the cake"...or "buns on a burger" rather ;-)

And it was so simple! And my house smells delicious, and I can't wait to have burgers for dinner tomorrow night! (Yes, tomorrow...my parents invited us over for pizza tonight, so these delicious little buns will have to wait!)

I got the recipe here, and made no changes! It was SO perfect! (Even for me, a cook who is afraid of using yeast because I just know something is not going to work out right!!)


[[ooops, did make a small change, I didn't use the optional onion stuff...I don't care for the flavor, and wanted to be able to use these buns for sandwiches too, so I left them plain]]

Before rising (just after mixing)
1. Combine all the ingredients and mix and knead them together, by hand or by mixer, until you have a soft, smooth dough.
2. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover and let rise for 1 hour.
After rising for an hour...yay!
 3. Divide the dough into 8 pieces and shape each piece into a flattened ball; place the buns on greased baking sheets, cover and let rise 30-40 minutes, until they're puffy.
Before rising...
...and after!
4. Preheat oven to 375°.
5. Bake the buns for 12-15 minutes, until they're golden brown; remove from oven and baking sheet and cool them on a rack. 
I split them into two pans to bake, but I think they would have been okay on one.
6. Split and use for burgers or sandwiches.
Delicious, buttery, warm, bready goodness!
 They turned out AWESOME, are lightly buttery, and ever so delicious! These could *easily* be made with garlic, or cinnamon/sugar, or other spices to make "rolls" for breakfast or as a side to any other dish. They are really that good!!