Recipes

White Beans And Penne Pasta

Yesterday I was going to make this for dinner as it was on my calendar,  but plans got changed and my husband ended up taking our two oldest to a youth group function.  I stayed home with our two youngest and made them chocolate chip pancakes instead!  So today, after ballet rehearsal, we were home the rest of the day as a family, which doesn’t happen very often on Saturdays!  I decided to go ahead and break my rule of no cooking on weekends and make Penne Pasta and home-made blueberry muffins.  The whole house smells wonderful!  I’m not sure what smells the best, the pasta or the muffins.  Maybe it’s a mixture of the two!

Here is the recipe for the pasta:

Ingredients
1Tsp olive oil
1 large onion, cut into wedges
1 tsp garlic, minced
2 cans canned tomatoes, diced
2 cans (14 1/2 oz) chicken broth
2 cans Great Northern Beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 tsp salt
6 oz penne pasta, dry
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp rosemary, dried or 1 tbsp fresh
Notes / Directions
Ounions, garlic, beans, broth and tomatoes simmering
Sauté olive oil, onion and garlic for 3-4 minutes in a large non-stick pan over medium/high heat. I used my electric skillet.  It was the perfect size.
Add tomatoes, broth, beans and salt and simmer 10 minutes.
Stir in the pasta and set timer for 10 minutes. I put a lid on the skillet to cook the noodles.
Penne pasta added
Mix together the olive oil( 2tbsp) and rosemary in a small microwave safe bowl.
Warm on high for 30 seconds.Put on plates and drizzle the warm olive oil/ rosemary over each serving. Use Parmesan cheese on top.
Here’s the end result of dinner. It was really good!  Enjoy!! (You’ll have to click on the picture to see it.  I’m still learning how to use Instagram!)l
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Strawberry Freeze

I think one of my girls 'taste tested' it before I got the picture!

I think one of my girls ‘taste tested’ it before I got the picture!

I took a break from trying new recipes and, well, cooking in general, for the entire month of April!  I didn’t make up my meal plans for the month and I didn’t really even  cook a lot!  I used up a lot of the meat I had in the freezer and added noodles or rice, with a frozen vegetable and called that dinner…..that is, when they weren’t have peanut butter for the millionth time!  Well, I am back on track and have my meals planned out for the whole month of May and I finished grocery shopping for the meals (using coupons, of course!)!  It does feel good to be back on track!  So, Monday I decided to make a new recipe I was holding on to.  It sounded and looked very delicious and I had the ingredients for it!

Here’s the recipe: (of course I found it off of Pinterest)

12 Chips Ahoy! Cookies
1 pkg. Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 can  frozen berry punch concentrate, thawed
1 cup crushed fresh strawberries
2 cups whole fresh strawberries

Make It

COVER bottom of 9-inch springform pan with cookies.

In the spring board

BEAT cream cheese and sugar in large bowl with mixer until well blended. Gradually beat in punch concentrate. Whisk in Cool Whip and crushed strawberries until well blended. Pour over cookies.

FREEZE 6 hours or until firm. Remove from freezer 15 min. before serving. Let stand at room temperature to soften slightly. Garnish with whole berries just before serving.

My cake took longer to freeze.  It may have been because I was gone all day, after making the cake, to find the freezer was open just a bit.  It didn’t ruin any food, it just didn’t allow for the cake to freeze!  Everyone seemed to like it and didn’t complain too much they had to wait until the next day to try it!

It seemed a summery type dessert and was nice to have on a warm, sunny, spring day!
Enjoy!
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Blueberry Cake

Blueberry Cake

I found a leftover pint of blueberries in my basement refrigerator and decided a blueberry buckle or cake sounded good.  I hopped on to Pinterest, typed in blueberry cake and the first recipe I saw was very easy.  One specific ingredient the recipe called for drew me in……..fresh lemon zest!  My love affair with lemons convinced me this was the cake to make!  The recipe also called for the use of a spring-form pan, which I specifically bought a few months back to make cheesecake in.  I haven’t used it since then, so this clinched the fact that I needed to make this cake just to get more use out of my pan!  Of course, I used my Bosch to mix the cake in.  It only took a few minutes to make and tasted delicious.

Here’s the recipe:

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Ingredients

1/2t salt
4 oz (1 stick) butter

1C sugar
1/4t vanilla
1t lemon zest
2 large eggs

2C blueberries, rinsed and drained

1t lemon juice
1t flour
powdered sugar for dusting

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F or 175C. Lightly grease and flour the 9″ spring pan or pie pan.
  2. Combine 1C flour with baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. Using a mixer, beat butter and sugar on medium high speed for 2 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 more minutes. Add vanilla and lemon zest. Reduce the speed to low and slowly add the flour mixture, beating until smooth. Pour the batter into the pan.
  4. Combine the berries with the 1t flour and the lemon juice in a bowl. Spoon the berries over the batter.
  5. Bake for 45-60minutes or until the toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  6. Remove form the oven and let it cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Carefully slide a thin knife around the edges of the cake to release it form the pan. Transfer the cake to a platter.
  7. Dust the cake with powdered sugar before serving.

I have three sizes of spring-form pans and thought the 9″ was too big.  The batter didn’t even fill half of the pan.

Blueberry Cake

But, it did rise and somewhat filled the pan.

Blueberry Cake

Maybe next time I will try it in my smaller pan, but I don’t think it really mattered.  Fresh, out of the oven, served with whipped cream equals one cake eaten in about 15 minutes!

 

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Strawberry Cake

20130307-103944.jpg

I went to the local produce store a couple of weeks ago and they had strawberries for .99 a quart! They looked and smelled delicious! I bought about 4 quarts because, as a family, we can finish off one quart at dinner! A couple of days later, I noticed we still had a quart in the fridge that really needed used up. It got shoved towards the back of my messy refrigerator and that’s why they weren’t gone! I decided to look up a recipe using strawberries and found this delicious strawberry cake. It was really easy to make and really good to eat! You place cut up strawberries on top of the cake batter and bake them right along with the cake! It baked beautifully and tasted great with whipped cream on top! Of course, the cake was gone in one sitting!

Martha Stewart Living, June 2005
Makes one 10-inch cake

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pie plate
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 pound strawberries, hulled and halved
Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 10-inch pie plate. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together into a medium bowl.

Put butter and 1 cup sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium-low; mix in egg, milk, and vanilla.

Reduce speed to low; gradually mix in flour mixture. Transfer batter to buttered pie plate. Arrange strawberries on top of batter, cut sides down and as close together as possible. Sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons sugar over berries.

Bake cake 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Bake until cake is golden brown and firm to the touch, about 1 hour. Let cool in pie plate on a wire rack. Cut into wedges. Cake can be stored at room temperature, loosely covered, up to 2 days.

I have been craving another one of these cakes, but didn’t find any good strawberries. I bought blueberries yesterday. I wonder if I could substitute  the blueberries. I may have to try it and let you know!

Enjoy your day!

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Creamy Chicken Rice Soup

This is sooooo good!

This is sooooo good!

Since I am not back on track with meals from this past week,  I was trying to figure out what to make today that was easy and took very little ingredients that I actually had in my cupboard.  Then I had a great idea!  Over the past week we had lots of food brought in for us as we were rehearsing, getting ready for the play and while it was running.  One day we had various soups and salads.   There I discovered one of the best soups!  I went back for seconds and it was gone, so others must have thought it was good too!  I asked and found out who made it and she gave me the simple recipe.  I looked and also found one on Pinterest that was similar, so looked through my cupboards and found I had all the ingredients!

This soup is very easy and very, very good!  Everyone in the household liked it!  Here’s the recipe:

3 cups cooked Uncle Ben’s Wild Rice (there are several different varieties – use whichever kind you want!)
2 carrots (diced small)
1 cup diced chicken
1 cup flour
salt and pepper (to taste)
1 large onion, diced
2 celery stalks (diced small)
1/2 cup butter
8 cups chicken broth
1 cup half and half

Start cooking the rice before you begin working on the rest of the soup.  I usually get the “quick cook” kind, but if you get regular wild rice, it will take a while before it is ready!

Chop up carrots, onions and celery.

Saute carrots, celery and onion in butter until tender.  Add flour.  Add broth, salt and pepper (I just put a pinch of each in – you probably don’t even really need salt).  Bring to a boil.  Add chicken and half and half and reheat, but don’t boil again.  Add rice right before serving (if you put it in a long time before serving, the rice will keep cooking and get mushy).

***I used my own half and half.  It was 1 tbsp of butter melted and enough milk to fill one cup with the butter in it.***

 

I hope you try it out!  You’ll find out how delicious it is!!

 

Have a great evening!

 

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Lemon Yogurt Muffins

I absolutely LOVE anything lemon!  Even as a child!  I remember, when I was in 6th grade, getting a lemon lip gloss and wanting to eat it because it smelled so good!  Of course I didn’t, but I was tempted!  I have a lemon candle I bought to use for a ‘special’ occasion.  Not sure what that will be, but I have it waiting!  So, I was looking for healthy muffin recipes using yogurt and ran into this one on Pinterest.  They are super easy to make and I really liked the taste of them!  NOt all my girls like them and it may be because of the icing, but, it meant more for me!!  🙂

Here’s the recipe:

Adapted from Cooking Light’s Tuscan Lemon Muffins

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup sugar

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

6 oz nonfat yogurt

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup canola oil

zest and juice of 1/2 lemon

1 large egg, lightly beaten

cooking spray

For the lemon icing:

1 cup powdered sugar

1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons grated lemon zest

1 tbsp milk

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Make a well in the center.

In a separate bowl, combine the yogurt, water, lemon juice, oil and egg. Pour the liquid mixture into the well of the dry mix.

Mix until just combined. The batter should be airy and light.

Stir in the zest.

Spray muffin tins with cooking spray. Divide the batter among the muffin cups and bake for about 15 minutes, or until done.

Allow the muffins to cool slightly while you make the lemon icing.

This part is easy. Simply whisk together the powdered sugar, lemon juice and zest, and milk. Then, drizzle over each muffin.

It makes 12, but I left 2 in the pan for my daughter after ballet, knowing we would eat them all and not save her any!.

It makes 12, but I left 2 in the pan for my daughter after ballet.

IMG_5849

Look at the gooey icing! Mmmmmm

Enjoy!!!!

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Oriental Cole Slaw

Oriental Cole Slaw

I can’t believe a week has gone by!  We have been busy with, can you guess?  Yes, ballet!  One of my children better go professional after all I have and am spending!  We have had  some fun meals and I wanted to share this salad I made last night with dinner.  It was easy and very good!

Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients
1 package broccoli cole slaw mix
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 bunch broccoli, chopped
1 cup almonds
2 packages beef Ramen noodles
1 small green onions, chopped
Dressing:
1 cup olive oil
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup white vinegar
2 packages Ramen noodle seasoning mix, dryDirections:
Mix together and pour dressing mixture over salad.Better served after marinated for at least 24 hours, but it still tasted very good after only a few hours!Enjoy!

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Pork Tenderloins

Cooking on the grill!

Cooking on the grill!

The finished product.  It looks burnt, but the topping is only caramelized.

The finished product. It looks burnt, but the topping is only caramelized.

Hi there!  Hope your day is going well!  It is 60 degrees and rainy here in Michigan on December 4th!  I’m not complaining about it!  I am quite fine with the day!  My day has been completely filled again!  Today is co-op day for the oldest and I am the registrar for it, and today is registration for next semester.  I then got a call for my 12 year old to attend a ballet class today for a couple of hours about 1/2 hour away, piano classes at 1:15-2:15 at my house (have I mentioned that having piano at the house is the BEST thing?) and then pick up my oldest from co-op and drive my 12 year old to her normal ballet class the opposite direction from the other class!  Sometime in there dinner will be made….actually I’m getting ready to pre-make the potatoes and the tenderloin was already pre-made and froze until ready for use!  How convenient!  This recipe for the pork tenderloin is very, very good!  I made it a couple of months ago and ran out, went out and bought another huge tenderloin, and divided it in three and mixed the marinade in the bag and froze them for a later date.  All I do then is take it out of the freezer to thaw the night before and then plop it on the grill to cook!  It is one of my husband and my favorites!

Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients
2/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup Olive Oil
2 tbsp soy sauce
4 1/2 tsp Brown Sugar
3/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup rosemary, fresh, finely chopped
5 cloves Garlic, minced
2 Pork Tenderloins, 2 1/2 lbs
1/8 tsp salt, to taste
Notes / Directions

Directions:
To make the balsamic-rosemary marinade, in a food processor, combine the vinegar, olive oil, soy sauce, brown sugar and pepper and pulse until blended. With the motor running, drop the rosemary and garlic through the feed tube and continue to process until fairly smooth. Place the tenderloins in a nonreactive dish and pour the marinade over them. Cover and let stand at room temperature, turning occasionally, for up to 2 hours.

Prepare a charcoal or gas grill for direct grilling over medium-high heat. Remove the tenderloins from the marinade, reserving the marinade.

Well, my dinner is all made!  I made some glazed baby carrots and everything is ready to be warmed up for my husband when he gets home from work!

Have a great day!

 

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Garlic Cheddar Mashed Potatoes

Boiling the potatoes and garlic

Boiling the potatoes and garlic

Ready to hand mix with other ingredients

Ready to hand mix with other ingredients

All done!  Yum!

All done! Yum!

I made these potatoes and froze them a couple of months ago and they tasted very good.  I am making them fresh for dinner today with my pork tenderloin.  I figured I’ll steam some carrots with them and it will be a healthy, yet tasty dinner.  Make sure to check out my pork tenderloin recipe post.

Here’s the recipe for the Garlic Cheddar Mashed Potatoes:

Ingredients
6 potatoes, peeled and diced
6 cloves garlic, peeled-not minced
1/3 cup buttermilk  (check out recipe for this down below))
3/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp paprika
Notes / Directions
Cook potatoes and garlic together until tender. Mash with buttermilk, cheese, salt and paprika.To make buttermilk, use just under one cup of milk and add 1 tbsp of white vinegar
This is very simple and very good!
Enjoy!
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Apple Ring Fritters

Wow!  What a couple of weeks it has been!  We are done with both Nutcrackers!  It is bitter-sweet.  Both shows were spectacular!  All the girls were amazing and beautiful dancers!  I feel like it has been a whirlwind, a fun one, but a whirlwind, none the less!  We now have our weekends back and I’m not sure what to do!!  I’m sure they will fill up quickly!   🙂  I haven’t been posting for a couple of days so I thought I would share a recipe I found that IApple Fritters would like to give a try.  If you try it let me know how you liked it.

Here it is:

1 cup flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

2 tbsp sugar

3/4 cup milk

1 egg, beaten

4 apples, peeled and cored

Directions:

1)  Sift the dry ingredients.

2)  Add the egg and milk and stir well.

3)  Peel and core the apples and slice into rings about 1/4 inch thick

4)  Dip the rings in the batter and drop into a skillet containing about 1/2 inch of hot, melted shortening.

5)  fry until golden brown on both sides

6)  Drain on a paper towel

7)  Mix sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl to sprinkle over the fritters

Makes about 16-20

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