Friday, January 29, 2010

Cookbook: The Silver Spoon for Children

Note:   My baby sister gave Little Guy this book for Christmas.      I realize that this book is an adaptation from the adult version of the book, but I think we will stick with this one because we love it!    Thanks, Aunt K!

Look at these illustrations.   Aren't they divine?    So wonderful and appealing for children (of all ages).

The recipes range from amazingly simple to somewhat more complex, but all amazingly delicious!

Fruits of the Forest Ice Cream

1 1/4 cups heavy cream
3 1/4 cups frozen berries, such as blackberries, raspberries, redcurrants or blackcurrants
1/2 lemon

scant 1 cup superfine sugar


1. Pour the cream into a big bowl and using a hand whisk or electric whisk, whisk it until it holds in soft peaks--when you lift the whisk out of the cream, it should look like the picture of snowy mountains on the opposite page! If you whisk the cream for too long, it will become too firm and stiff.
2. Put the frozen berries into a food processor. Squeeze the lemon juice over the fruit, add the sugar, and whiz until the berries are mashed up. Ask an adult to help with the food processor...
3. Spoon the mashed fruit into the whipped cream and carefully fold everything together. Spoon into a freezeproof container (a clean used ice cream container or plastic tub is ideal) cover with a tight-fitting lid, and freeze for 3 hours or until frozen.

"The Silver Spoon" for Children
Phaidon, $19.95
This nice-looking picture book is especially adapted from "The Silver Spoon," the best-selling bible of Italian cooking. Simple, authentic and delicious recipes for children to cook with charming illustrations. 

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Blueberry Pancakes

Note:   Did you know today is National Blueberry Pancake day?   Me either until I got a tweet for Domino sugar!  (You can follow Domino on twitter here.)    Here is their recipe for delicious pancakes you can make to celebrate!      Lucky me.    I just bought a bottle of blueberry syrup yesterday!!

Blueberry Pancakes

1 cup all purpose flour
2 Tbsp Domino granulated sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 egg lightly beaten
1 cup buttermilk
2 Tbsp butter melted
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

Your choice of toppings :  more blueberries, your choice of syrup (ours is blueberry), powdered sugar, butter, whipped cream

In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Set aside.

In another medium mixing bowl, combine egg, buttermilk and butter. Add egg mixture all at once to the dry mixture. Stir just until moistened (batter should be lumpy).

To make 4-inch pancakes, pour about 1/4 cup batter onto a hot, lightly greased griddle or heavy skillet. Cook until the bottoms are golden and bubbles are popping on the surface, about 1 minute. Turn, and cook 1 minute on the other side. Serve warm.

Make 8-10 pancakes. (So I would seriously double this recipe from the start if you have hungry guys like mine!)

Toppings :  more blueberries, your choice of syrup (ours is blueberry), powdered sugar, butter, whipped cream

Bean Dip

Note:   Are you getting ready for the SuperBowl?    If you live around here you are.    It is SuperBowl madness, I tell you.     People are walking around wearing black and gold and if you dare utter that you might be pulling for that "other" team you better run for your life.      I think I may be one of the only people in this entire state who isn't a lifelong Saint fan (did I just publically admit that), but I still love a good football game.     

Bean Dip

1 can (9 oz) Fritos Bean Dip
1 (8 oz) block cream cheese
1 cup sour cream
1/2 package taco seasoning mix
8 to 10 drops Tabasco

Beat above ingredients. Fold in 1/4 cup green onions. Layer half of the mixture in pie plate. Spread 1 cup of jack/cheddar cheese over mixture. Repeat layer and add 1 cup of jack/cheddar cheese to top.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.      Eat with tostitos.     Share with friends.... if they promise not to torture you because you aren't a lifelong Saints fan.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Have you discovered OROWEAT Sandwich Thins?

I LOVE this bread!
100 calories
5 grams of fiber
1 gram of fat
choices of multi-grain, whole-wheat or honey-wheat (YUMM-O!)
but most of all.....


I grabbed a package of these sandwich thins at the store on a whim because they just looked delicious.   I thought they would be perfect for tuna or egg salad sandwiches.     I was right AND wrong.    They are not only delicious for those things, but so much more!    

Hubs toasted these and put ham and cheese on them.    Oh my heavens!!

Put these bad boys in a panini machine and you will think you have found sandwich perfection!

Have I mentioned that I am not being endorsed by the OROWEAT company to tell you about these sandwich thins?     However, if they wanted to send me a coupon for a FREE package I would NOT turn them down.     


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Mini Ham and Cheese

Note:    Don't you love make-ahead things?     Wednesday nights are so busy for us that I need things that I can grab out of the refrigerator and throw in the oven.     These sandwiches are delicious with a bowl of soup or even some fresh potato salad.       I am thinking these will be a nice addition to our Super Bowl celebration.

Mini Ham and Cheese

1 12 count package Kings Hawaiian Rolls
12 slices swiss cheese
12-16oz thin sliced ham
1/2 cup butter melted
1 tsp ground mustard
2 tsp onion flakes (or 1 tsp onion powder)
2 Tbsp worcestershire sauce

Place ham and cheese on the bottom of the sliced rolls.  Cover with the top half of rolls.  Mix together the remaining five ingredients in a small bowl and spoon over the tops of the sandwiches.   You will hesitate because you will think there is too much "stuff" but trust me!     Go ahead and use all of it.    After you have finished basting, let sit overnight or at least a couple of hours in the refrigerator.   Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes or until cheese is thoroughly melted.   Enjoy!

Monday, January 25, 2010

TMTT: Valentine Chex Mix

Note: My boys love Chex Mix so I know they will love this Valentine version!
Valentine Chex Mix

9 cups Rice Chex® cereal
1 cup white vanilla baking chips
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup butter or margarine
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup red, white and pink candy-coated chocolate candies
1/4 cup red or pink jimmies sprinkles

In large bowl, place cereal. In small microwavable bowl, microwave baking chips, peanut butter and butter uncovered on High 1 minute to 1 minute 30 seconds, stirring every 30 seconds, until melted and smooth. Pour peanut butter mixture over cereal, stirring until evenly coated.

Place 1/2 of the cereal mixture in 1-gallon food-storage plastic bag. Add powdered sugar. Seal bag; shake until well coated. Spread on waxed paper or foil to cool, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, stir candies and sprinkles into remaining cereal mixture. Spread on waxed paper or foil to cool, about 15 minutes.

In serving bowl, mix both cereal mixtures. Store in airtight container.

Recipe Source: Betty Crocker

Join me over at Tempt My Tummy Tuesday for more great recipes!

This Week's Menu

Monday:   Crockpot Chicken Nachos

Tuesday:   Skillet Lasagna, Salad, Garlic Bread

Wednesday:    Grilled Ham and Cheese, Parmesan Potato Wedges

Thursday: Meatloaf, Rice, Corn,Green Beans

Friday:   Leftovers

Saturday:  Jambalaya with sausage

Sunday:    Loaded Baked Potatoes

Crockpot Chicken Nachos

Note:    I originally saw a version of this recipe over at Real Mom Kitchen.     It sounded delicious, but I knew it would take a little tweaking for my boys to eat it.      I substitute picante sauce in any recipe that calls for salsa simply because my hubs hates tomato chunks.     He goes to great lengths to pick them out of anything he finds them in so I just save him the trouble by substituting or blending up any tomatoes in any recipes.     On a night when we have basketball practice, it is so nice to have this waiting for us when we get home, but this is a hit when we are watching football too.

Crockpot Chicken Nachos

1 small bag frozen corn
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
4 large frozen boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 16-oz jar medium Pace picante sauce
1 8 oz package of cream cheese
tortilla chips
Toppings:   sliced olives, sour cream, diced avocado, diced green onions, shredded cheese

Pour bag of frozen corn in bottom of crock pot. (Can corn can be used in place of the frozen.  Just drain it and put the chicken in first followed by the corn)    Place frozen chicken breasts on top of corn and cover with rinsed and drained black beans and jar of medium salsa.    Cook on high for 1 hour, and then on low for 4 hours.   Shred chicken with forks and mix in cream cheese until melted and creamy.   Serve with tortilla chips and add toppings to individual servings.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Cookbook: Vintage Vicksburg

Note:    My Mother gave me this cookbook not long after I got married.      Every time I look through the book for a recipe, it is like taking a tour of the hometown I grew up in.     It has such gorgeous pictures of historical places around Vicksburg along with the food and recipes.     Oh, the recipes.    Some of the best I use today come from this cookbook.    It includes 21 sections of amazing southern recipes.     Tried and true.    All comfort food to me!      I included a very simple recipe below for the Vicksburg Tomato Sandwich.     No matter what social event you went to (bridal shower, baby shower, wedding, funeral, church social, etc....), these sandwiches were served.

Vintage Vicksburg
Junior Auxilary of Vicksburg, December 1985

Vicksburg tomato sandwiches

4 loaves day-old bread
6 to 8 medium tomatoes, peeled
Salt and black pepper
Mayonnaise, preferably homemade
1 grated onion with juice

With a large (2- or 3-inch) biscuit cutter, cut bread slices into 72 rounds. Slice tomatoes thinly and place on double sheets of paper towels to drain. Salt and pepper tomato slices.
Spread mayonnaise on bread rounds. Place well-drained tomato slices on half of the bread rounds and sprinkle again with salt and pepper. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of onion with juice over each tomato and top with remaining bread rounds. Sprinkle tops with paprika.   To save until serving time, place on a cookie sheet with waxed paper between the layers.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Homemade Chocolate Syrup

Note:     Do you know how much chocolate syrup my boys go through?    Making chocolate milk.   Pouring it over their ice cream.     For the longest time when the boys were little they were convinced that they couldn't go to sleep without a glass of chocolate milk.      It was inevitable that I would run out of chocolate syrup and be desperate to find a way to make some.       With this recipe, the boys don't freak out when they find an empty bottle!

Homemade Chocolate Syrup

1 cup cocoa
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 dash salt
1 cup hot water
2 tsp. vanilla

Combine cocoa, sugar, salt and hot water in saucepan.    Stir until well combined.     Boil for 3 minutes.     Remove from the heat and stir in vanilla.     Pour into a container and store in the refrigerator.     

Monday, January 18, 2010

TMTT: Copycat Chili's Cajun Pasta

Note:   Eating out is so expensive.    There are some dishes in restaurants I love so when I get the craving I just try to find a recipe that copies it really well.      This one copies the Cajun Pasta at Chili's.    Yummy!

Copycat Chili's Cajun Pasta

12 ounces penne
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups half and half
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast
 1 1/2 tablespoons cajun seasoning
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons vegetable oil|
2 firm-ripe roma tomatoes, cored and diced

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook penne according to package directions.  Melt butter over medium heat. Add flour; stir for 1 minute. Add half-and-half; stir until thickened, 6 minutes. Remove from heat; add parmesan, salt and pepper. Cover.  Pound chicken to 1/2-inch thickness. Rub Cajun seasoning and cayenne evenly over chicken. Warm oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook, turning once, until no longer pink in center, 6-8 minutes. Slice chicken.  In a bowl, toss pasta with sauce. Top with chicken and tomatoes and serve.

What better way to start the year than heading over to Lisa and Lana's for delicious recipes at Tempt My Tummy Tuesday?

Friday, January 15, 2010

Cookbook: Family Feasts for $75 a Week

Note:    Buying groceries on $75 a week can be quite a challenge some weeks in this economy, but Mary Ostyn does it for a family of 12.    I have a new hero.      How does she have time and energy to go to the grocery store much less have the organized mind to only spend $75?     That alone is worth purchasing the cookbook.      I won't reveal all of Mary's secrets, but I will tell you that one of the things I love is that Mary is her way of thinking:    “Frugality is not about deprivation,” she writes. “It’s about taking control of your resources.”

"Family Feasts for $75 a Week" by Mary Ostyn
Oxmoor House, $17.95
A pennywise mom shares her recipe for cutting hundreds of dollars from your monthly food bill. Ostyn has 10 children, and so she really has to manage her food dollars. She offers amazing information on navigating the food aisles and tons of general tips. This is a great how-to for cooking healthy affordable meals.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Little Guy's Chocolate Chip Muffins

Note:   Mississippi doesn't see cold weather like we have had.      Baking and cooking has not only been a good way to warm the body, but it has been a good way to warm the house.    Little Guy likes warm breakfast.     He has never been a cold cereal or pastry kid.     He wants warm, stomach filling breakfast.      As a treat, occasionally he makes these for us.

Little Guy's Chocolate Chip Muffins

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips

In a large bowl, combine the first four ingredients. In a small bowl, beat egg, milk and oil. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in chocolate chips. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full. Bake at 400 degrees F for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Little Guy's Apple Chips

Note:     Little Guy is having so much fun with his new food processor.    The first night he got it he wanted to chop and mix everything.     To try out his slicing blade, he grabbed a few apples and ran them through.    Immediately he said, "I bet we could make apple chips with these!"      So we did.      What a delicious snack.



1-1/2 T. sugar
1 t. cinnamon
1 large crisp apple (Braeburn or Granny Smith)

Preheat oven to 200 degrees, then line a baking sheet with parchment paper.     Mix together sugar and cinnamon.   Wash apples and run through slicing blade of your food processor.    

( If you don't have a food processor, use a knife to quarter the apple lengthwise.     Cut up the slices as thin as possible.)  

Spread the apple slices on the baking sheet in one layer.     Sprinkle with spice mixture.     Bake for 1 1/2 hours.     Rotate the pan and bake another hour or until crisp.      If you don't think they are crisp enough, just turn off the oven and leave them pan inside until desired crispness.

Once they are done, remove from the oven, cool and then transfer to a container with a lid.      Yummy!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Cookbook: $5 Dinner Mom Cookbook

Note:   A dinner that only cost $5 is definitely appealing to my budget right now.     Quick, delicious and nourishing sounds really good too.      This cookbook won't be a surprise to you if you are already following her blog!   Aren't bloggers just the best?!?

"The $5 Dinner Mom" by Erin Chase
St Martin's Griffin, $14.99
Erin shows you how to size up the best supermarket deals, clip coupons that will really save you money and create a weekly dinner menu plan. She lists prices for all the ingredients and offers hundred of appealing recipes based on fresh foods.

Here are a few of Erin's favorites:
  • North Carolina Pulled Pork Sandwiches - $4.90
  • Curried Pumpkin Soup - $4.41
  • Apple Dijon Pork Roast - $4.30
  • Orange Beef and Broccoli Stir-Fry - $4.94
  • Creamy Lemon Dill Catfish - $4.95
  • Bacon-Wrapped Apple Chicken - $4.96
  • Country Ribs with Oven Fries - $4.77

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Cinnamon Cream Cheese

Note: We are easing back into our homeschool routine. Some mornings it is taking more coaxing than others. The boys are enjoying this flavored cream cheese to put on their warm bagels.

Cinnamon Cream Cheese

1 block of cream cheese
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
3 Tbsp. powdered sugar


Mix all ingredients together well with hand mixer. Cover and chill until needed.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Cheese Glorious Cheese

Note:     Nothing says comfort like a grilled cheese sandwich.      When my Mom went into the hospital to have my baby sister, we would have starved if it hadn't been for grilled cheese sandwiches.     It was the only thing that my Dad knew how to cook.     But we didn't care because we loved them.       We were totally bummed when Mom came home and made us eat veggies again.    Ha!

The Basic Grilled Cheese

2 pieces of white bread
1 piece of American cheese

Spray your skillet with non-stick cooking spray and turn on the heat to warm.      Spread butter on one side of both pieces of bread.      Place one piece of bread, butter side down, in the skillet.    Oooh... the buttery sizzle!     Top with a piece of American cheese.     Top with other side of buttered bread this time with butter facing up.         Let first side get golden brown and then flip.    When the other side is golden.    Transfer to a plate and eat while cheese and good and gooey!

The Viking

(We got this grilled cheese recipe suggestion from one of the chefs at Viking Cooking School which is why we nicknamed it "The Viking".     When we say use mozzarella cheese, we mean REAL mozzarella cheese like in the photo.     Rich, creamy, delicious.)

2 pieces of bread
slice of mozzarella cheese
1 piece of grilled chicken

Spray your skillet with non-stick cooking spray and turn on the heat to warm.      Spread butter on one side of both pieces of bread.      Place one piece of bread, butter side down, in the skillet.    Oooh... the buttery sizzle!     Top with mozzarella cheese and grilled chicken.  Top with other side of buttered bread this time with butter facing up.         Let first side get golden brown and then flip.    When the other side is golden.    Transfer to a plate and eat while cheese and good and gooey!

The Tanner
(This is my son's specialty grilled cheese.    I love it when he makes these.)

2 pieces of bread or 1 bagel
2 thin slices of ham
2 thin slices of Granny Smith apples
slices of cheddar cheese

Spray your skillet with non-stick cooking spray and turn on the heat to warm.      Spread butter on one side of both pieces of bread.      Place one piece of bread, butter side down, in the skillet.    Oooh... the buttery sizzle!     Layer with cheese, ham, apple, cheese, ham, apple, and end with cheese.  Top with other side of buttered bread this time with butter facing up.         Let first side get golden brown and then flip.    When the other side is golden.    Transfer to a plate and eat while cheese and good and gooey!

Monday, January 4, 2010

No Bake Oatmeal Cookie Balls

Note:    My husband LOVES no bake cookies.      I HATE them.   I hate the smell when they are cooking.    Hate the texture of them when you are eating them.      But, because I love my husband, I am willing to hold my nose and make him a batch.     I found this recipe for no bake cookie balls.    

No Bake Oatmeal Cookie Balls
adapted from


2 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 tablespoons peanut butter
1 cup confectioners' sugar

In a large bowl, combine the oats, sugar and cocoa. With clean hands, mix in the water, vanilla, butter and peanut butter to form a dough.

Wash hands, then roll the dough into balls 1 to 2 inches in diameter. Roll balls in confectioners' sugar until thickly coated.

Chill 20 minutes before serving.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Cookbook: "My Bread" by Jim Lahey

Note:     We have rediscovered making bread instead of buying it.     We are just loving it.    When this book showed up on a "must have" list while watching one of the morning news shows, I was hooked.     This man loves bread and he doesn't believe in kneading.      Who wouldn't at least want to try that?      He has delicious recipes for bread like roasted red pepper, pizza bianca, panino cubano, and traditional whole wheat.     I have included a fun peanut butter and jelly bread recipe for you to try which I found at   

"My Bread" by Jim Lahey
W.W. Norton, $29.95
From the man who popularized the no-knead bread-making method made popular by Mark Bittman in an article in The New York Times, comes this very accessible book for the home cook. As advertised, there is no kneading involved. You just mix the ingredients and then let the bread rise slowly. There are many delicious variations to choose from. "My Bread" will get nonbakers baking. After all, what is better than home-baked bread?

Peanut Butter and Jelly Bread

- egg, beaten/1 large
- bread flour/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons
- whole wheat flour/2 tablespoons
- table salt/¾ teaspoon
- instant or other active dry yeast/¼ teaspoon
- cool (55 to 65 degrees F) water/1 cup plus 2 tablespoons
- unsalted smooth peanut butter/3 tablespoons
- unsalted dry-roasted peanuts, whole/¼ cup
- unsalted dry-roasted peanuts, roughly chopped/¼ cup
- seedless fruit jam of choice/1/3 cup

- nonstick cooking spray
- additional flour for dusting

1. Reserve 1 tablespoon of the beaten egg for glazing the bread. In a medium bowl, stir together the flours, salt, yeast, and the remaining egg. Blend the water and peanut butter in a blender until smooth (some settling will occur if this is left to stand, so blend just before using). Add mixture to the flour mixture and, using a wooden spoon or your hand, mix until you have a wet, sticky dough without any lumps, about 30 seconds. Stir in the whole peanuts until evenly distributed. Cover the bowl and let sit at room temperature until the surface is dotted with bubbles and the dough is more than doubled in size, about 12 hours.
2. When the first rise is complete, sprinkle the surface of the dough with flour. Use a bowl scraper or rubber spatula to scrape the dough out of the bowl in one piece. Lightly flour your hands and gently pat and pull the dough into a rough rectangle about 8 by 12 inches.
3. Now you’re going to make a sort of jelly roll: Position the dough so a long side is in front of you. Spread the jam evenly over the surface of the dough, leaving a 1-inch border on all sides. Lift up the far side of the rectangle and fold one third of it over toward the center, then continue rolling up the remainder into a cylinder. With the seam on the bottom, tuck the ends of the roll under to seal them, so the jam doesn’t ooze out during baking.
4. Lightly coat the loaf pan with cooking spray. Sprinkle half of the chopped peanuts into the bottom of the pan. Gently transfer the dough, seam side down, to the loaf pan. Sprinkle the remaining chopped peanuts onto the dough. Cover the dough with a towel and place it in a warm, draft-free spot to rise for 1 hour. The dough is ready when it has doubled. If you gently poke it with your finger, it should hold the impression. If it springs back, let it rise for another 15 minutes.
5. About 15 minutes before the end of the second rise, preheat the oven to 450 degrees F, with a rack in the center.
6. Brush the top of the dough with the reserved beaten egg. Bake until golden, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. If the peanuts start to darken, loosely cover the loaf with foil. Use pot holders to invert the pan onto a rack, remove the pan, and turn the bread right side up to cool thoroughly. (Don’t dawdle—the bread will get soggy if it cools in the pan.)