Thursday, July 28, 2011

Peanut Butter & Jelly French Toast

I came home from work super early the other day and surprised my kids the other day with these beauties! They were so excited and gobbled them up.  I must admit they were delicious. 
Peanut Butter & Jelly French Toast
apapted from Rachael Ray
10 slices bread
6 eggs
1/2 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 Tablespoons butter
Peanut Butter
Jelly or jam
Optional: Maple Syrup
Spread peanut butter and then jelly on 5 of the slices of bread.  Put the other slices on top to make five sandwiches.  Beat the eggs, milk, and vanilla together in a bowl.
Place a large nonstick skillet over medium heat and add 2 Tablespoons of butter.  When the butter is almost melted, dunk two of the sandwiches in the egg batter and let the excess drip off.  Place in the pan. Fry the sandwiches until golden brown on each side about 3-4 minutes per side.  Repeat by melting the rest of the butter and finish cooking the rest of the sandwiches.   Cut sandwiches into 4 sticks each and if desired serve with warm maple syrup. (I ate mine plain!!)
Makes 5 sandwiches but you could possibly make 6 if you want.
*I made half with whole wheat bread and half with white.  The kids did not notice the difference. So next time it is all whole wheat! Yay!!
YUM!!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Sausage, Beans & Rice

This may not be the most beautiful meal, but it is delicious,really quick and simple.  The whole family loves it. You can always spice it up more if you like!!
Sausage, Beans & Rice
adapted from Scrumdiddlyumptious
1/2 cup onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced 
1-2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 lb. kielbasa or smoked sausage, sliced
1 (15 oz.) can chili or pinto beans
1 (8 oz.) tomato sauce
1/4 cup water
1-2 teaspoons chili powder or more to taste
Pepper to taste
2 - 2 1/2 cups uncooked rice
Cook rice.  Meanwhile,  heat olive oil in a saute pan. Add onion and cook until tender.  Add garlic and saute with the onion for another minute.  Add sliced sausage and cook until heated through.  Stir in tomato sauce, beans, chili powder and water. Let simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add salt and pepper if desired to taste. Stir in the cooked rice and serve.
*You can always add hot sauce if you like it a little spicier :-)
* I use Hillshire Farms link sausage

Dinner's ready super fast!!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Tried and True: Chocolate Caramel Cookies

This is one of my family's favorite cookies! Who can resist a soft chocolate cookie with caramel in the middle! Definitely not me! That is why I have to give most of them away each time I make a batch. They are simple and addicting! OH YUM!!
Check out that caramel goodness!! Who would guess it is as simple as a Rollo.
Just don't let other's know the secret. Let them wonder in amazement how you got all that delicious goodness in the middle and enjoy all the compliments you will receive!!
ENJOY!!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

The other day a friend made my day by bringing me this:
Isn't is so adorable!! I almost didn't want to open it, but so glad that I did!!
Decadent!!  Fresh Strawberry cupcakes with strawberry frosting!!
OH YUM!!  By the way there were four of them...one did not make it long enough for a picture!
I was in HEAVEN! 
Now on to this week's menu:
Oh wait... No Menu. For I will not be cooking this week, at least not at my house!! 
Heading to my parents for my little sister's wedding!!
Excited for her, my soon to be brother in law and
looking forward to enjoying some of my mom's cooking!!
It will be a busy week for I have already been committed to make some desserts for the wedding dinner. Good news is I will be around lots of great cooks this week.  So I can guarantee I will be bringing back lots of new delicious recipes to share!! 
Have a DELICIOUS WEEK!!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Oatmeal Caramel Bars

I must secretly be in a phase because if you've noticed my desserts lately have had one common ingredient: CARAMEL!!  This is another good one.  It takes a little time and you have to wait a bit (you can't eat them straight from the oven..I tried that!!). They are worth the time and wait!
Oatmeal Caramel Barsadapted from Betty Crocker
1 (14 oz.) bag caramels
1/3 cup milk
2 cups flour
2 cups old fashioned oats
1 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup chocolate chips
3/4 - 1 cup dry roasted peanuts
Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9 x 13 pan.  Unwrap caramel (ths is where you put the kids to work). Heat caramels and milk in a saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently, until smooth. Remove from heat. 
Stir together flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda, salt and egg in a large bowl.  Stir in the butter with a fork and mix until the mixture is crumbly.  Press half of the crumbly mixture in the pan.  Bake for 10 minutes.
Sprinkle chocolate chips and peanuts over the baked layer.  Drizzle with the caramel mixture.
Sprinkle with the remaining crumbly mixture.  Bake 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
Cool for 30 minutes and loosen edges for the sides of the pan, cool completely.
Cut into bars and enjoy!!

Friday Favorite Finds

A few faves I bookmarked this week that I want at my table!!
(With WW Points)
Running Away? I'll Help You Pack
Happier Than A Pig In Mud
Mommy's Kitchen

Ole Taco Casserole
Ma, What's for Dinner?
An 'A" for Effort

Baked Veggie Sandwiches
The Cookin' Chemist

A huge THANK YOU to all you talented bloggers!





Thursday, July 21, 2011

Popcorn Anyone??

Popcorn is my favorite snack food.  I've had a air popper, oil popper, popped it in the microwave and on the stove, just to name a few.  My favorite is the oil popped corn, but hate the calories.  The micowave is easy, but can come calorie laden.  When my mom was visiting she gave me my new favorite gadget.
It's called PRESTO POWER POP!
All my problems solved: It is simple, quick, economical and DELICIOUS!!
You add 1/3 cup popcorn to the bottom. Cook for about 3 minutes in the microwave.
Perfect popcorn! 
It comes out tender and then you add what ever toppings you want. Clean up is simple!
LOVE THIS GADGET!!
Thanks MOM!!
This product was purchase for my by my mom. I was not given any compensation or product.  All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

BLT in a Bowl

We love anything with BACON around our house. BLT's are gourmet food.  So when I saw the opportunity to make BLT's a little different way I jumped at the idea!! Using pasta instead of bread. Brilliant. It did not let me down.  The kids LOVED it.  I served it as a side dish, but could of easily made it into a meal. Simple and delicious!!
BLT Pasta
12 oz. rigatoni pasta or other short pasta
9 slices of bacon (1/2 pound)
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup onion, diced
2 tomatoes, diced
baby spinach leaves
salt and pepper to taste
Cook pasta according to directions. Drain and set aside. Cook bacon until crisp. Transfer to a paper towel to blot off grease. Break into pieces  Heat skillet to medium heat, add olive oil, vinegar and onion.  Season with a little bit of salt and pepper. Cook stirring, until tender, about 5-6 minutes.  Add the tomatoes, and desired amount of spinach. Toss together and cook for 1 minute.  Toss the onion-tomato mixture with the pasta and fold in the bacon pieces. Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve hot or at room temperature.
*I used turkey bacon and it was good!!
You really don't need measurements with this recipe.
Perfect Summer dish!
YUM!!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

Last week was really CRAZY and my menu got changed up a bit so I am carrying a few meals over from last week.  This week is all about simplicity and minimal groceries.  I bought some local berries and am really excited to make some homemade jam this week!!
This Week's Menu
Monday: Pizza Pasta
Tuesday: Honey Chicken
Wednesday: Balsamic BBQ Chicken
Thursday: Picnic Night
Friday: Spaghetti with Gail's Italian Spaghetti Sauce (from the freezer)
Saturday: Chicken Ranch Wraps
Sunday: Pulled Pork
Have a Great Week!!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Caramel Shortbread Bars

Just a couple things to say about these bars SO DELICIOUS!! I had to make myself quit eating them. I totally could of eaten the whole pan.  The kids said these bars reminded them of a Twix Candy Bar.  They take a little time, but oh so worth it!!
Caramel Shortbread Bars
Shortbread layer:
3/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
Caramel layer
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
2 Tablespoons corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
Topping:
1 cup chocolate chips ( I used milk chocolate)
Preheat oven to  350 degrees.  In a bowl mix together the softened butter, sugar and vanilla. (I used a fork for mixing).  Stir in the flour until well mixed. Press batter into a 9 inch square pan (I used an 8 x 11 rectangle pan). Bake 20-25 minutes, until the edges are light brown.  Let cool.
For the caramel layer: Melt 1/2 cup butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the brown sugar, condensed milk and corn syrup, and bring to a boil. Cook for 5 minutes stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.  Pour over the cooled shortbread.  Let cool.
Once the caramel layer has cooled melt the chocolate chips in a microwave until smooth. Pour over the caramel layer and put in the freezer or fridge for about 10 minutes to set the chocolate.
 Cut into squares and enjoy!!

Beware: They are ADDICTING!!

Friday Favorite Finds

Well it looks as if I might have jinxed the Summer here.  Since I posted the nice blue sky picture it has only been gray sky and rain.  So at least there are lot of great things that you all made this week to brighten up my days.  Here are only a few of the many fabulous things!
Giving Up On Perfect
Alli N Son

Buttermilk Avocado Ranch Dressing
Baking Serendipity

Sugar Crunch Popcorn
Jamie Cooks It Up!

Oreo Stuffed Brownies
Miller Family Organizer

Grilled Zucchini and Squash
The Cutting Back Kitchen

Capri Sun Pouch
Talented Terrace Girls

The winner of the Fun Da Middles gift pack is:
 Dena of In the Kitchen With Mama Zoske Which is an amazing blog! She has tons of delicious recipes on there. You should check it out!

Happy Friday!!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

90 Calorie Brownies by Fiber One and a Giveway!!

Let’s face it, one of the toughest parts of managing your weight is steering clear of waistline-expanding sweet treats.
Rather than focusing on the foods you can’t have - Fiber One® is giving you the opportunity to eat what you love without the guilt. New Fiber One® 90 Calorie Brownies are moist, chewy treats that let you have what you crave while helping you stay on track with your balanced diet. With 5 grams of fiber, which is 20 percent of the Daily Value of Fiber, the new brownies are a smart snacking choice.

With new Fiber One 90-Calorie Brownies, you can have an unbelievably satisfying and wholesome treat in two delicious flavors. The Chocolate Fudge brownies are made with chocolate-flavored chips and topped with a dark chocolate-flavored drizzle, and the Chocolate Peanut Butter variety contains peanut butter chips topped with a peanut butter drizzle.

I was sent a couple boxes of these brownies.  I was a little hesitant to try them, but was really glad I did. They were not only delicious, but held my appetite for awhile.  To get a good test I had the kids try them out.  I came home from work the next day and they were all gone.  They loved them!!

Now one lucky reader will get to try them out also with this great gift pack.
The Fiber One 90-Calorie Brownies gift pack includes a box each of the Chocolate Fudge and the Chocolate Peanut Butter brownies, as well as a Fiber One 90-Calorie Brownie themed duffel bag, jump rope, water bottle, snack case, headband and bracelet.
This is a great gift pack!!
To enter be a follower of One Crazy Cookie and tell me when you would eat the 90 calorie Fiber One Brownies, such as an afternoon pick me up or after dinner indulgence.
Winner will be drawn by random number generator on July 20.
GOOD LUCK!!
The Fiber One 90-Calorie Brownies and gift pack were all given to you from Fiber One and General Mills through MyBlogSpark. All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Tried and True: Ranch Roast Beef

I made a roast on Sunday using this recipe and was reminded how simple and delicious it was!
It is one of those tried and true recipes posted at the start of this blog.
Had planned on leftovers for crockpot bbq beef sandwiches, but the family ate it all!!
You can either make this in the crock pot or oven.  So easy and versatile.
You can find the complete Ranch Roast Beef recipe here.
YUM!!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

Looks like Summer has officially come to the Pacific Northwest! YAY!! Check out that blue sky!
Loving it!  It does mean I need to start planning meals that won't heat the house up, but I will take that for this beautiful weather and any excuse I have to grill!!
This Week's Menu
Monday: Crockpot BBQ Beef Sandwiches
Tuesday: California Chowder
Wednesday: Balsamic Barbeque Chicken
Thursday:Picnic Night
Friday: Honey Chicken
Saturday:Tacos
Sunday: Pasta Milano

Happy SUMMER!!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Monkey Muffins

I had not made muffins in a really long time and now all of a sudden find myself in a "muffin mood" lately.  These were so good.  I froze half and was really glad when the rest got eaten because I couldn't stop eating them.  It is a great flavor combination.  YUM!!
Monkey Muffins
Adapted from Counting Chef
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup sour cream
1 cup mashed bananas
2/3 cup peanut butter
1 Tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cream butter and sugar together.  Add eggs beating well. Beat in the bananas, sour cream, peanut butter, milk and vanilla. Add flour, salt and soda.  Mix until all is mixed in completely.  Fold in chocolate chips.  Fill greased muffin tins 3/4 full. Bake for 14-16 minutes.  Becareful not to overbake. 
Makes 24 regular sized muffins.
*The Counting Chef has created a healthier version you can find here.
Delicious!!

Want a Visit From The Fairy Hobmother?

When I opened my email this morning I was amazed to have received a visit from The Appliance Online Fairy Hobmother. Have you heard of the Fairy Hobmother?  I first heard of her from Happier Than a Pig in Mud.  She visits from here and spread joy and grants wishes!
The Fariy Hobmother graciously left me a Amazon gift card! YAY!!
My kids think they are gonna buy some new music.
 Little do they know!! 
Now for the EXCITING NEWS. The Fairy Hobmother will visit this post and grant a wish to one lucky reader who comments!!
All you have to do is wish and believe!!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

FUN-Da Middles Review and a Giveaway

A few weeks ago I was sent a box of Betty Crocker's new product called "Fun-da middles"!
So last night when the house finally cooled down I baked them.
Easy and DELICIOUS!!
I went to bed with 11 of the 12 left (of course I couldn't wait until morning!!).
Came downstairs this morning and the plate was empty!!
The kids LOVED them!!
Betty Crocker has done it again:
  • Combining cake mix and filling pouch in one box, Fun da-middles have a special creamy filling that bakes inside the cupcake.
  • Available in three delicious flavors, Vanilla Cake with Creamy Chocolate Filling, Chocolate Cake with Creamy Vanilla Filling, and Vanilla Cake with Creamy Vanilla Filling, Fun da-middles are a fun and portable treat that children can take everywhere they go!
NOW one lucky reader will receive a box to try out!!
To enter be a follower and  leave me a comment on which flavor you would most like to try.
EASY PEASY!!
Winner will be drawn by random number generator on July 14, 2011.
BEST OF LUCK!!
The Betty Crocker Fun da-middles product, information, and giveaway have been provided to me by Betty Crocker through MyBlogSpark.”  All opinions are my own.



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