Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Cereal Treat Bars & A Back to School Giveaway!

Well time has come to send the kids back to school.  Time to think about getting up early, homework and packing kids lunches once again!
If keeping up with your kids’ changing tastes feels like a full-time job, then Betty Crocker/General Mills has got your back with Cereal Treats Bars, a fully-loaded flavorsome snack! When sending your child back to school this year, help them get “back to cool” with a fun snack they are sure to love and won’t trade during lunch.   My kids loved these bars! They ate them up before I could say "WAIT I wanted them for lunches." So I guess I will be buying some more.  My soon to be 2nd grader just told me I have to buy some more Golden Graham Treat bars!!
  • Flavor varieties include the ever popular Golden Grahams® (130 calories) and new Lucky Charms® Treats (100 calories), loaded with popular favorites like chocolate and marshmallows.
  • Cereal Treats Bars contain less than 140 calories per bar and are made with wholesome cereal, making them a snack option that you can feel good about giving your kids.
  • TWO Box Tops for Education seals on each box of Cereal Treat Bars, making earning cash for your school doubly cool!
Now for a great BACK TO SCHOOL GIVEAWAY!
One lucky reader will win this great prize package:

One box of Lucky Charms® Cereal Treats Bars
One box of Golden Grahams® Cereal Treats Bars 
Lunch bag
Locker whiteboard
Colored pencil set

It is such a fun package!!
To enter be a follower of One Crazy Cookie and leave me a comment telling me which flavor of treat bars you would love to try!
Winner will be drawn by random number generator on
September 8, 2011.
Easy Peasy!
Best wishes for a great new school year!!
Disclosure: Cereal Treats Bars, information, and giveaway have been provided by General Mills through MyBlogSpark.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Grandma's White Bread

As most of you know I have been working on converting my family to wheat bread for awhile and they are now getting used to it, but when the kids begged me for homemade white bread I caved!  Can you say pure comfort food!! This recipe has been in the family for generations.  It brings back great memories of my grandma and I honestly had forgotten how good this bread is. It is easy to make and oh so DELICIOUS!! A HUGE thanks to my Aunt Linda for keeping the recipe going and for sharing it with me!!
Grandma's White Bread
Makes 4 loaves 
1 cups milk
1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons sugar
1 Tablespoon + 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons butter
3 cups warm water
2 Tablespoons yeast
12 cups flour
Put the milk, sugar, butter and salt in a medium saucepan.  Heat over medium high heat stirring constantly just until the mixture comes to a boil.  Remove from heat and allow it to cool down. 
(This is an important step. Sometimes I put it in the fridge for little while.)  Put the warm water in mixing bowl, add the yeast and a pinch of sugar. Stir and allow to yeast to bubble a bit (about five minutes) Stir in the milk mixture. Add half the flour and mix until smooth.  Keep adding flour until the dough is smooth and elastic.  Raise in a warm place until doubled.  Punch down and let it rest for 15 minutes.  Shape into loaves and place into greased bread pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes or until golden brown and hollow sounding when you tap the top.  Remove from oven and lightly butter the tops of each loaf. 
Yum! My family ate one loaf straight out of the oven!!
You can use the dough to make several other things.  I will be sharing some of my ideas a bit later!
We were in Bread Heaven!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

WOW! The kids start school this week and it feels like summer just started.  Where does the time go?  I want to slow it down just a bit.  Last week was super crazy which explains the meals I carried over from last week to this week. 
This Week's Menu
Monday: Steak Fajitas
Tuesday: Thai Shrimp Noodles
Wednesday: French Dips
Thursday: Picnic Night
Friday: Bacon Rice
Saturday: Finger Steaks
Sunday:Bacon, Swiss and Mushroom Meatloaf

Wishing you all a delicious week!!
Linked to Menu Plan Monday



Friday, August 26, 2011

Perfect Pulled Pork

Pulled pork has become a fave at our house.  This recipe is amazing!! I found it over at Kevin & Amanda a really great site with lots of cool things. It takes a bit of preparation and time but OH SO WORTH IT!! It is delicous!!
Perfect Pulled Pork
adapted from Kevin & Amanda

4-7 pound pork roast

Dry Rub
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp chili powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (add 1 Tbsp if you like it spicy)
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp ground pepper
1 tbsp paprika
1/2 cup brown sugar
Mix all ingredients together well and store in an air tight container.
Cover it and set it aside.
Now for the brine – A brine solution gives the meat the extra moisture it needs for a long, slow cooking process so you don’t end up with tough, dried out meat.
Brine Solution
1/2 cup salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 qts cold water
3 tbsp dry rub mix
2 bay leaves
Add salt to cold water and stir very well until all the salt is completely dissolved. Then add the brown sugar and dry rub and stir well to combine.
Rinse the pork shoulder in cold water and place in a 2 gallon ziploc bag (or a container big enough so the shoulder is completely covered in brine solution).  Carefully pour in the brine solution. 
Add two dried bay leaves.
Refrigerate for at least 8 hours, but no longer than 24 hours.
Then at least 8 hours later…
Preheat oven to 225, remove the pork roast from the brine solution and place in the roasting pan
that is bigger than the shoulder by at least a inch in length and width and at least 3 inches deep. Sprinkle dry rub onto the surface of the roast and massage in such that it adheres to the surface. Coat all sides.
 Make sure the fat layer on the roast is facing up before cooking! Place baking pan uncovered in a 225 degree oven on the middle rack. Insert a probe thermometer into the center or thickest part of the shoulder, but not touching the bone. Monitor the temperature throughout cooking (a digital thermometer with an alarm function is the easiest way to do this). Do not remove from the oven until the center of the shoulder reaches 200 degrees. When the shoulder has reached 200 degrees, shut off the oven and let the roast cool for a couple of hours before removing from the oven. If the bottom of the pan is dry (or crusted with dried spices) then cover the pan with foil to retain internal moisture of the meat during the cooling period. When the temperature drops to 170 degrees or slightly lower, remove from oven.
  Place on a large, clean work surface such as a cutting board, and remove the large sheet of crusted fat on the top. Pull apart with two forks, it will pull apart very easily.
Mix with your favorite BBQ sauce and serve on toasted buns.
Two of my faves are:
*After the roast is pulled apart I freeze part of it for later meals.
YUM!!

Friday Favorite Finds

A few of the incredible things I found this week that I want to try on my table!
Thanks everyone!
Valrhona Chocolate Crepe Layer Cake
u Try. it

Food Revolution Mac & Cheese
Finding Joy in My Kitchen

Texas Roadhouse Copycat Cinnamon Butter
Beth's Favorite Recipes

Potato Rounds
Meatless Meals for Meat Eaters

Brownie Goody Bars
An 'A' for Effort

Cake Batter Bars
Lovin' From the Oven

Thai Shrimp with Noodles
Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker

Pretzel Bites
Talented Terrace Girls

Happy Friday!!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Gluten and Dairy Free Chunky Potato Soup

It seems like lately, I have lots of friends who have discovered the need to go gluten free.  I have heard the problems they have finding recipes that are good.  This recipe comes courtesy of my boss, who is trying a new food program as she calls it.  The soup is both gluten and dairy free.  I was a bit skeptical of this recipe, but it was delicious!! It is not the typical potato soup but has great flavor and the kids loved it.
Chunky Potato Soup
adapted from The Ultimate Guide to the Daniel Fast
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onions
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped celery
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups Vegetable broth
5 cups potatoes, peeled and cubed (about 3 large potatoes)
1 yellow or zucchini squash. diced (optional)
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup rice milk (or almond milk)
1 teaspoon dried parsley
Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat.  Cook onions, carrots and celery until vegetables are softened.  Stir in garlic and cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly so garlic does not burn.
Add broth, potatoes, squash, bay leaf, salt, thyme and pepper.  Bring to a boil. Simmer for 30 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.  Disgard bay leaf.  Add half of the potato mixture to a food processor or blender and process until smooth.  Return to saucepan.  Stir in the rice milk and parsley.  Cook unitl heated through, and serve.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Taco Biscuit Bake

This was a quick, easy and delicious meal. The kids loved it. Perfect for a quick Mexican craving!
Taco Biscuit Bake
adapted from Taste of Home
1 pound hamburger
2/3 cup water
1 packet taco seasoning
2 tubes (12 oz. each) refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
1 (15 oz.) can chili (or 1 1/2 cups leftover chili)
1 cup + shredded cheddar cheese
sour cream
shredded lettuce
diced tomato
salsa
Brown and drain hamburger. Stir in water and taco seasoning.  Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. 
Meanwhile, quarter the biscuits and place in the bottom of a greased 9 x13 pan.
Layer with the hamburger mixture, chili and top with the cheese.
Bake uncovered at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until cheese is melted and biscuits are golden brown.
Serve with sour cream, shredded lettuce, tomatoes and salsa if desired.
YUM!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

I am sad that this is the last full week of summer vacation.  The kids start school next week.  I love having my kids home.  We for the most part have a great time together.  So I am hoping to make the most of this week.   I hope you all are enjoying the remainder of the summer!!
This Week's Menu
Monday: Chicken Alfredo
Tuesday:Beef Stir Fry
Wednesday: Tacos
Thursday: Picnic Night
Friday: Bacon, Swiss and Mushroom Meatloaf
Saturday: Spaghetti
Sunday: French Dip Sandwiches

~Here's to a great week~

Friday, August 19, 2011

Smore Cookie Bars

I've had a huge craving for smores so when I came across this recipe it had to be made. 
These little bar are loaded with the flavor combination of a cookie and smores.  OH YUM!! They did not last long around our house.
Smore Cookie Bars
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/3 cup flour
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 regular size Hershey chocolate bars
2 cups mini marshmellows
Preheat oven 350 degrees. Grease an 8 inch square baking pan.
Beat butter and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy.  Add egg and vanilla; beat well.  Gradually add the flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking soda and salt.  Mix until well blended.  Press half the dough into the prepared pan.  Arrange chocolate bars over the dough, breaking as needed to fit. Pour the marshmellows over the top and spread to equal them out over the top.  Scatter bits of the remaining dough over the marshmellows. 
Bake 30-35 minutes or until lightly browned.  
Cool completely before cutting into bars.
Enjoy!!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Cake Decorating..Just a Little Tip

A couple of weeks ago my daughter and I had the opportunity to attend a cake decorating activity.  I just watched, but was fascinated by it all.
You ever wonder how to get a smooth finish on your cake?
Dip your knife in some water.  Sprinkle little water drops off your knife to the top of the cake.( Make sure it is just a little water.)  Then use your knife to smooth out the frosting.
So simple and works amazingly!!
Kayla was so proud of her cake.
She did such a great job!!


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Donut Muffins

Is it a donut or a muffin??  A question you can answer after tasting these little beauties.
I was a little hesitant to make this recipe, but I am so glad I got over that fear.  They were so delicious and easy to make.  The only issue I had is that I should of doubled the batch!!
Donut Muffins
Makes about 24 mini muffins
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup flour
Topping:
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease mini muffin tins.
Mix sugar, butter and nutmeg together in a large bowl.  Stir in milk, then baking powder and flour until just combined. Fill muffin cups about 1/2 full.  Bake until the tops are lightly golden about 15-20 minutes.
While muffins are baking, place 1/4 cup melted butter in a bowl.  In a separate bowl, mix together 1/2 cup sugar with the cinnamon.  Remove baked muffins from their cups, dip each muffin in melted butter, and then roll in the cinnamon sugar mixture.
Let cool and serve!!
YUM!!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Menu Plan Monday and An Idea!

In just a few short weeks this I will be celebrating a "Blogiversary"!! I have been planning lots of good stuff.  During this party week I would like to spotlight different blogs.  If you would like to be spotlighted or have something you would like to giveaway to promote your blog please let me know!!
Now on to this week....
This Week's Menu
Monday: BBQ Chicken Pizza
Tuesday: Taco Biscuit Bake
Wednesday:Oriental Chicken Wraps
Thursday: Picnic Night
Friday: Chicken Alfredo
Saturday: Pigs in a Blanket
Sunday: Ultimate BBQ Cheese Burgers

Have a delicious week!!

Linked to: Menu Plan Monday

Friday, August 12, 2011

Friday Favorite Finds

If you look at my list of things I found that I want to make you will beable to tell it was an extremely stressful week.. for I crave sweet when under stress!! Luckily, I didn't have time to make them because I would of made them all and ate it all my myself.  Now that things have calmed down I am excited to make these recipes..one at a time!!

Blueberry White Chocolate Cookies
Baking Serendipity
Meatless Meals for Meat Eaters
Healthy Eating for Ordinary People

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies
Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker

Dreamy Oreo Brownies
Making Memories One Fun Thing After Another

Caramel and Macadamia Cheesecake
II Dolce Bacio

Cake Batter Rice Krispy Treats
The Cooking Chemist

The winner of the Land O' Lakes giveaway drawn by random number generator is:
Rhonda
Have a great weekend!!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Santa Fe Chicken

It is time I got back to the Tried it Out Thursday posts.  I found this one along with many other delicious things over at An 'A' For Effort. I was hooked at first glance of her picture!! It was delicious!!

Santa Fe Chicken
adapted from An 'A' For Effort
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound chicken breasts
1 can cream of chicken
1 can diced chilies
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup water
1 can sliced olives, divided
1/2 cup diced onions
Doritos tortilla chips
8 ounces Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded (about 2 cups)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease a 9 x13 pan.Brown chicken in olive oil for 15 minutes. Shred chicken.
Combine soup, sour cream, water, chilies, 1/2 can olives, and 1/4 cup onions.  Stir in chicken and half of the cheese.  Pour mixture in the pan.  Top with remaining olives and onions.
Bake for 25 minutes at 350.  Let sit for about 5 minutes before serving.
Serve over crushed tortilla chips.
*I meant to add a can of black beans, but got busy and forgot.  So next time!!
If you want to add a bit more spice replace the chilies with jalapenos.
A HUGE HIT!!
Thanks Abby!!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Strawberry Bread

This is one of those seasonal recipes that are so good you wish you could eat them year round.  Maybe that's what makes it so special. You need to use fresh berries to get it to turn out right.  This bread has just the right amount of sweetness to it and leaves you wanting more!!
Strawberry Bread
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 3/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups strawberries, fresh and chopped fine (Frozen berries will not work)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Beat butter and sugars together until light and creamy.  Beat in the egg one at a time.  Then mix in the sour cream and vanilla.  Gradually add flour, soda, baking powder and salt.  Mix until all ingredients are combined.  Fold in the strawberries.  Pour into a loaf pan.
 Bake at 350 degrees for 60-65 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
*This can also be made with fresh blueberries. 
Before the fresh berries are gone for this season I am going to make a double batch a freeze a loaf so I can still enjoy it when the berry season is done.


Monday, August 8, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

I had a tough adjustment this last week returning to work and life in general.  So I am carrying a few meals over to this week.  Just a few more wedding pictures to share with you.
The candy bar at the reception.  They had little bags for each guest to fill and take home.
I think the adults liked it as much as the kids!!
A gorgeous view of the Grand Teton Mountains.
Now here's to accomplishing a few things this week and the first thing is the menu..
This Week's Menu
Tuesday:Chicken Caesar Wraps
Thursday: Kelsee's Birthday! Dinner Out.
Saturday: Chef Salads
Sunday: Roast
Wishing you all a delicious week!!

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