Monday, December 26, 2011
My husband the baker is back!! :-) I am so happy, since I seriously suck at baking. And last weekend he made these oatmeal muffins that we gobbled up in days. So he just made a new batch and we are already down 2.
So I am sharing this recipe that he found on Food.com. It's really easy to modify this recipe according to your taste for add-in's also. For example, I like the muffins plain, but my husband likes them with raisins. We just tried dried cranberries which were tasty, but I still prefer the muffins plain and he likes raisins better.
But you could add apples, chocolate chips, other dried fruits... etc. Anything you like with oatmeal.
And the best part - they are low-fat. Healthy. YUM!
They take about an hour and a half from start to finish, but it is not all active time. And they are worth it.
Here is the recipe: (12 muffins)
1 cup rolled oat (old fashioned oatmeal)
1 cup skim milk
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup brown sugar , packed
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 egg whites
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Soak oats in milk for 1 hour. (We put it back in the fridge while it is soaking).
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.
Spoon into a muffin pan that has been lightly greased or sprayed with nonstick spray. (We use muffin/cupcake cups)
Bake at 400 F for 20-25 minutes.
Variations: To make Oatmeal Raisin Muffins, Oatmeal Apple Muffins, or Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Muffins, add raisins/chopped apples/chocolate chips to the batter.
Enjoy! We like these as part of breakfast or a mid-morning snack! Yum!!
Saturday, December 24, 2011
So as my husband was getting ready to sit down to THE game, Jets vs Giants, I made him a "game day lunch." I had purchased a polenta log from Trader Joe's because I was really curious about working with it. I know, it's better to make your own fresh polenta, but I really wanted to try this.
I tried searching for recipes using the log, or even just general polenta recipes, but I couldn't find many that used polenta in creative ways. So I decided to do something simple - little pizzas. Also very game day-ish.
So I sliced up the polenta and dipped it into some olive oil that had been mixed with garlic powder, Italian seasoning and a little paprika. Then I grilled it for a few minutes on each side.
Once I felt the flavors were soaked in, I transferred the polenta wheels to a baking tray and topped them with turkey pepperoni, sauce and cheese.
Once cooked for about 10 minutes in the oven, it was ready to eat! I gave my husband his plate first as I made mine and I heard "this is really good," coming from our kitchen table before I even sat down. So I guess it was a success!
It was a lighter lunch, so these can definitely be made and served as a snack for the game, but it packed a lot of flavor.
So here is a run down of the ingredients and the steps - this is just something I threw together, I didn't follow any recipe.
One polenta log from Trader Joe's
Hormel turkey pepperoni, chopped
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Slice the log into pieces, no more than 1/2" thick.
Mix the garlic powder, paprika (just a pinch) and Italian seasonings together and then pour some olive oil into the bowl. Stir until well combined.
Dip each polenta slice into the oil mixture and place on a grill pan. Grill on each side on medium heat for a few minutes.
Transfer polenta slices to a baking sheet and top with pepperoni, sauce and cheese.
Bake until cheese is melted.
Hope everyone has a happy holiday! I am not sure if this will be the last week of game day snacks, or if I will make one for week 17. It this is the last, it's been fun. Hopefully I have time to do this next season with a little baby in the house!
I'll try to have some Superbowl snacks up though!
Sunday, December 18, 2011
I LOVE when I can make two different dinners from just one main ingredient. Last weekend my husband and I purchased an eggplant to use for dinner for the week. I am very picky about the way I eat my eggplant...I don't like it in certain forms.
I wanted to do something different, yet healthy. So I started searching for some eggplant recipes that were kinda low in carbs but cooked in a way that I would enjoy.
The first thing I came across was for something the original "chef" called "Eggplant Mexicano." It intrigued both myself and my husband, though when we ate it, while SUPER tasty, we couldn't figure out why it was really considered "Mexican."
I also saw someone post a recipe for "eggplant pizzas" which was essentially just a non fried eggplant parmesan, but I added some pepperoni to it and it was actually very good! So, I sliced up my eggplant into round slices and set half aside for the Mexicano and half aside for the "mini pizzas."
I started by making the mini pizzas. I followed no recipe, just sort of made it up as I was going along.
Round eggplant slices
chopped up pepperoni (I used Hormel turkey pepperoni)
your favorite pizza/pasta sauce
crushed red pepper flakes
After I cut the eggplant, I lightly salted each side and let them rest on a paper towel. Then I grilled the slices for a few minutes on each side to start to get them nice and tender.
Once I thought the eggplant was tender enough, I moved it to a baking dish and put the chopped pepperoni on each slice.
Then I spooned some sauce over that and sprinkled a dash of crushed red pepper flakes over the sauce.
The cheese went next, followed by a sprinkle of oregano.
Then I baked it at 375 degrees F until the cheese was melted with hints of browning on it, cause I like it that way!
Once the mini pizzas were good to go on the baking sheet, I started on the eggplant Mexicano. I followed the directions of the recipe to a point, but instead of Monterey Jack cheese I used sharp cheddar because that is what I had in the house.
I also baked these after grilling them instead of just grilling and plunking salsa and cheese on them. I baked them with the salsa and cheese on the slices so it was a little more melted and it turned out great!
Ingredients: (with what I used, click link above for original)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2/3 cup salsa (I like fruity salsas so I used a cherry salsa!)
1/2 cup sharp white cheddar cheese
In a bowl, combine oil, garlic powder and oregano.
Brush over both sides of the eggplant.
Grill, uncovered, over medium heat until slightly tender.
Place slices onto baking sheet and spoon salsa over them. Then sprinkle the cheese over the salsa.
Bake at 375 degrees F until tender and cheese is melted.
(Pizza on the left, Mexicano on the right)
So there you go, delicious eggplant two ways!
My husband and I ate the mini pizza ones first. He had a side of garlic bread, I had a side of peas to try and cut some carbs.
A few nights later we enjoyed the Mexicano ones. All in all, it was a successful use of the eggplant!
So, today's recipe came from my company's newsletter that came out on Friday the 16th. There were some "holiday" recipes in there, and this one caught my eye. It's originally called "Seven Layer Cookies," but one of the layers was coconut and I hate coconut.
Here is the original recipe: (click on it for a larger view)
It seemed easy enough so I wanted to try and make it. The result did come out very, VERY tasty, but either mine still wasn't cool enough to cut, so it turned into a crumble of sorts (still very tasty to eat) or it needed to be baked a minute or two longer or it needed to be chilled in the refrigerator. I don't have the answer yet - and I just put the remainder of the dish in the fridge to see if that solidifies it a bit more so they can be cut into perfect squares.
I really need to stop attempting to bake since I could never get it perfect but at least the correct flavor of the cookie recipe was there and my husband and I are more than happy to eat it as a fork and knife dessert or over plain ice cream or something!
I also wanted to post the original recipe because I made quite a few changes, just to flavors. Instead of regular graham crackers, I used cinnamon graham crackers, because that is what we had in the house.
Instead of butterscotch chips, I used white chocolate chips, for the same reason. We used to have butterscotch chips, but I guess we used those up.
Lastly, instead of pecans, I used peanuts. We had cashews, peanuts and almonds in the house, so I chose the peanuts.
My revised combination tasted great and you can tell how easy this recipe is to manipulate. None of my changes should have affected the consistency. I have a feeling it needed a minute or two longer baking time and then refrigeration to solidify.
I also thought baking it at 275 was a little odd, it seemed low, so I wonder if there was a typo in my company newsletter. I wish I knew who the recipe came from to ask!
Maybe those of you better at baking than I am will know the answer!
Anyway, as mentioned, the original recipe is above, and here is what I used:
1 stick butter or margarine
2 cups graham cracker crumbs (I used cinnamon!)
1 12 oz package of semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 12 oz package of white chocolate chips
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup chopped peanuts
Directions: (I halved the recipe, but these are directions for full size!)
Melt butter in a 9 x 13 pan.
Mix and press graham cracker crumbs in with butter to form a base.
Add all the other ingredients in order listed.
Bake at 275 degrees F for about 20 minutes.
Let cool completely before cutting into small squares.
The recipe was very, very easy to make and I was about to put it together in about 7 minutes and then bake it. The cooling takes the longest.
I'll see what happens after refrigeration time - if it solidifies more, success! If not, well, back to the drawing board when it comes to baking! What else is new?
Also, a reminder for you sports fans who play fantasy baseball. The season is coming up and my husband's website, www.rotoprofessor.com, does an annual fantasy baseball draft guide. It is sold online via Excel for $6 and once it is released (sometime in January), it will get updated every 2-3 weeks and re-sent to you via e-mail until the baseball season officially starts.
This is the 3rd year for the draft guide and it gets rave reviews. Many fantasy baseball fans appreciate the low cost and constant updates as opposed to the pricier magazines in the stores. So hurry up and reserve your copy today! The RotoProfessor is currently hard at work making sure it will be finished on time for its release!
As for the Eating With A fans, I actually have a few recipes from the past week that I never posted (blame it on some jackass who left me so stressed I didn't have time for something else!)
So watch out for those as well!
Ta Ta For Now!
Sunday, December 11, 2011
Sorry for the delay in posting this, since games started an hour ago where I live, but it was worth the wait!
Last night I was searching for a recipe to make and I typed "game day foods" into Google. I tried the word foods instead of snacks so I could hopefully get a little bit of a different search. it worked, and I found this list of 20 "hearty" game day recipes.
This one here (called Judy's Cheese Bread) caught my eye and my recipe was inspired by it, but I changed it completely. Well, I used different ingredients, the idea is still the same.
When I sent it to my husband for his approval he said "eh, it looks good but it isn't blowing me away." Well, too bad, I wanted to make it. (Yet as he was eating it he was like, "this is really good!!!"). Men.
It was REALLY easy to make, the cooking took the longest time. You can throw this together pretty quickly for people watching the game or a pack of hungry kids.
The original recipe contained sourdough bread, jack cheese, onions and melted butter. I used a hard wheat roll (I made individual sized instead of a huge loaf), a mix of sharp cheddar and Parmesan cheese and olive oil mixed with onion powder and paprika with a dash of crush red pepper flakes sprinkled over the top.
Click the link above for the original recipe, or follow mine below. You can always pick the cheese you like to use the most too and make your own creation!
And now, the recipe. Enjoy!!
1 loaf round sourdough bread, unsliced ** (I used a hard wheat roll from our grocery store's bakery. You just need a "harder" bread, and mine made an individual size)
1/2 pound grated sharp cheddar and Parmesan mix (about 6-8 oz)
1/4 cup dried parsley
crushed red pepper flakes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cut bread into diagonal slices, about 1 inch apart, stopping before you cut through the bottom of the loaf.
Cut bread in the opposite direction in the same manner, creating diagonal shaped cubes, taking care not to cut through to the bottom.
Carefully stuff the space in between each cube with cheese and parsley.
Pour some olive oil into a small bowl and mix in the desired amount of onion powder and paprika. Then, drizzle over the bread, making sure to get some in the cracks between the cubes. You can also brush some on top of the bread for extra flavor.
Wrap in foil and place in the oven for 20 minutes. Unwrap the top of the loaf and bake for 15 minutes more, to crisp up the crust.
Monday, December 5, 2011
Once again, my cousin-in-law, Melissa, has written a guest post for the blog. Good job on the recipe, Melissa! You should mail some to us :-) (and PS - I hope you used a Michael's coupon for the Lollipop Sticks!)
Everything from here on is all Melissa's words. Enjoy!
RED VELVET CAKE POPS!
While doing my routine Facebook stalking, I came across pictures of cake-pops that my friend made for Thanksgiving desert. I was instantly inspired, as it's unlike anything I've ever done before. So after doing a bit of research I decided to attempt it. I probably shouldn't have done this after work when I was exhausted because prep through clean up took me FIVE hours. Seriously.
Here's what you'll need:
Piece of styrofoam
Of course, you can make your cake and frosting from scratch, but I had a box of Duncan Hine's Red Velvet mix that I wanted to use (I bought it on sale and with a coupon -- SCORE!)
I went to Michael's for the lollipop sticks, candy melts, sprinkles, and styrofoam.
First, bake the cake following the box directions. Let it cool. I let it sit out for an hour, then put in the freezer for ten minutes.
Take the cake out of the pan and put it in a mixing bowl, crumbling it into pieces.
Then add a bit of frosting and start to mix together, gradually adding more frosting as needed. I initially mixed with a rubber spatula, but towards the end I used my hands to make sure everything was evenly coated.
Next, shape the dough into small balls, placing them on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper. Slip them into the freezer for 10 minutes so they hold together.
Toward the end of the 10 minutes, melt your candy melts. I did this in the microwave as I don't have one of those special double boiler things to use on the stove.
Take the balls out of the freezer.
Take your lollipop sticks and dip them into the melted chocolate, then insert them into the balls half way. After you've inserted the sticks to all your cake balls, place the baking sheet in the fridge for about ten minutes - it will help the cake stay on the stick.
Once you take the cake balls out of the fridge, you can start dipping! I found this part to be extremely difficult. After testing a lot of different methods, I realized it was easiest for me to melt a large amount of the chocolate in a tall, narrow coffee mug. I dipped the entire ball into the chocolate and slowly pulled it out. The melted chocolate makes it REALLY HEAVY, so be careful when you pull it out of the mug so as not to yank the stick out.
I held the chocolate covered ball over the mug for a little while to let the excess chocolate drip off. Then, I put sprinkles all over it!
Then stand the pops upright in a styrofoam slab to dry. For me, this made 42 pops.
Like I said, this took a really long time. It's not something I'll make often, but it tasted great and would be fun for a kid's party or family event.
Saturday, December 3, 2011
So here is a dip for the beer lovers! I found this recipe while searching for something quick and easy to make for game day. My husband and I were jaunting down to Florida to see some family this weekend, so I wanted something easy I could pick up just a few ingredients and make at the house in FL., like I did last year.
But then I saw the beer-cheese spread, and we had everything in MY house. So I knew I wanted to make it, and I did, one day after work. And my husband ate it as part of dinner the next night! Plus, it was made during the week so I could post it super early for game day people! Yay!
The recipe was relatively easy to make, though I did modify it slightly. For example, I used pumpkin beer because that is what my husband had in the house so it was more of a pumpkin beer cheese spread. (Still enjoyable!)
I also ended up heating it slightly to make the cheese melt because the way the recipe describes below, I couldn't see anything happening and I felt it wasn't getting creamy enough. So a few minutes on low heat did the trick, melted the cheese into a smoother consistency and all was good.
I couldn't taste the spread (thank you little baby to be), but my husband said it came out well. And he used it to make a steak grilled cheese sandwich the next night for dinner. And, he really enjoyed THAT. I think cooking it may have killed my beer flavor just a tad (or else I didn't use enough, or else his beer just didn't have a super strong taste). But he could taste it, just not strongly. So if you want a strong beer taste, go with a strong beer!
You chill the dip for at least 2 hours after it is prepared, so it's definitely easy to make ahead of time and bring to the game with you, or bring to someone's house.
So, enjoy and drink (er, eat) up!
Ingredients: (this recipe makes 5 cups. I actually only made half of it)
1 (2-lb.) block sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 small onion, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 (12-oz.) bottle amber beer, at room temperature
Salt and pepper to taste
Garnish: thyme sprig (optional, I did not use)
Beat together first 5 ingredients at low speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until blended.
Gradually add beer, beating until blended after each addition. Beat at medium-high speed 1 minute or until blended and creamy.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Cover and chill 2 hours. Garnish, if desired.
Store in an airtight container in refrigerator up to 2 weeks.
** This recipe can be frozen for up to a month. Thaw overnight in the fridge.
My husband made his steak grilled cheese sandwich by slicing some steak really thin. He heated the steak, and then put it on some rye bread. He spread the cheese dip on one side of the bread. Then he buttered the outsides of the sandwich and put it on the grill pan for about a minute and a half each side.
Delish! He ate his sandwich with some garlic fries and a spicy pickle.
Thursday, December 1, 2011
Since I loved the butternut squash so much in my Butternut Squash Lasagna, I decided to buy another one and do something different with it, especially when this recipe from Eat Better America showed up in my e-mail one day.
It looked so good, and I had planned to make it over Thanksgiving weekend for the following week. Imagine my surprise when at Thanksgiving, our family friend hosting it made pretty much exactly the same thing! It was DELICIOUS, so I knew I would definitely make it for me and my husband.
I don't really have much to say about this except it really is good. I kept the recipe exactly as is, so what I am posting below is what was sent to me in the e-mail. It does take time, you need a good hour and a half from start to finish. But even as a leftover, it still tastes amazing!
So, here is the recipe. Enjoy!
1 butternut squash (2 1/2 lb)
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (optional, I did not use)
Heat oven to 375°F.
Spray 13x9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish with cooking spray.
Peel, halve lengthwise and seed squash; cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Arrange with slices overlapping slightly in bottom of baking dish.
In 2-quart saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Reduce heat to low.
Add garlic; cook 2 to 3 minutes, stirring frequently, until garlic is soft and butter is infused with garlic flavor. Do not let butter brown.
In small bowl, mix bread crumbs, cheese and 1 tablespoon of the butter-garlic mixture.
Brush squash slices with remaining butter-garlic mixture. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and bread crumb mixture.
Bake uncovered 30 to 40 minutes or until squash is tender when pierced with fork.
Increase oven temperature to 425°F; bake 5 to 10 minutes longer or until lightly browned.
Before serving, sprinkle parsley over top, if desired.