Thursday, June 30, 2011

Lemon Blueberry Muffins

We've had some serious amounts of blueberries as of late and so this is the second batch of blueberry muffins we've tried.  Geoff liked this recipe the best, and I'll have to agree.  Enjoy!

3/4 C milk
1/4 C lemon juice
2 C flour - I did 1 C white, 1 C whole wheat
3/4 C sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
1/4 C oil
1 C blueberries

Combine milk and lemon juice; set aside (the milk needs time to "sour" from the lemon juice)

In a large bowl, combien flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.  Set aside.  Add egg and oil to the milk mixture.  Mix well.  Gently stir milk into the flour mixture just until moistened.  Fold in blueberries

Fill muffin cups 2/3 full.  Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

Original recipe by Carolyn Gilman, found here on

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Stuffed Tomatoes

I like these even better than stuffed green peppers.  Geoff, not so much. (He still thinks he doesn't like tomatoes - one tomato dish at a time, though, and I'll convince him otherwise.  After all, I used to think I didn't like tomatoes.  How wrong I was.)  But, he liked the stuffing and thinks we should try this filling inside green peppers.

10 oz can diced tomatoes with green chile
1/4 C dry bread crumbs
1/3 C cooked rice (or more to taste, or depending on how many tomatoes you're doing)
1/3 lb smoked cooked sausage, cut into bite sized pieces
A handful of shredded Cheddar cheese
4 large tomatoes

Combine canned tomatoes, bread crumbs, rice, sausage, and a small handful of cheese.

Cut the tops of the tomatoes and scoop out the innards.  Save for another use (we're making spaghetti sauce tonight!).  Stuff tomato shells with sausage mixture.  Sprinkle with additional shredded cheese.

Bake at 400 for 12-15 minutes.

Original recipe by Stephanie Burr, posted here on

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Length of a Banana

We are at 20 weeks, and supposedly our little apple has grown to the length of a banana from head to toe.  To celebrate, we are going to the doctor on Wednesday to see said baby in close up detail.  Perhaps the only time we want our little one to expose him/her-self.

What you don't see in this picture is Tina sitting at my feet looking at me quizzically, surely wondering why I'm not petting her.

And because all things in life must be celebrated through eating, we are also enjoying banana boats, a camping favorite, on our new grill.

Banana Boats

Slit a banana open lengthwise, but do not unpeel.  Eat a few small bites of banana (again, going lengthwise) to make room for toppings, but leave at least half the banana in the peel.  Top with anything that sounds delicious to you.  I usually do mini marshmallows and some cut up Rollo's.  Wrap the whole thing in foil and throw it in the camp fire. (We're doing these on our grill.  I've also heard of people cooking them in the oven.)  Wait 10-15 minutes until melty and delicious!


Mini marshmallows
Cut up candy bar (rollo's, peanut butter cups, milk chocolate bar, etc)
Chocolate sauce
Caramel sauce
Peanut Butter
Chocolate chips (or any chips - white choc, peanut butter, etc)
Chopped nuts
Basically anything that would be a good topping on ice cream will make a good topping in banana boats.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookies

While making these, and tragically not eating any cookie dough due to the little one inside me, I made a decision.  Baby magazine gurus always talking about coming up with a "Birthing Plan".  I think they actually want you to come up with a plan for labor, but I came up with what I consider to be a critical part of my Birthing Plan:  I want chocolate chip cookie dough at some point after giving birth.  I'm not saying I need it immediately afterwards ("Baby's out, where's my cookie dough?"), but sometime before I leave the hospital, at least.  My husband has been informed. . . . He thinks I'm crazy.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 C butter, softened
3/4 C sugar
3/4 C brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 C flour
2 C chocolate chips

Beat butter, sugars, and baking soda together (yes, I thought this was a weird time to put in baking soda, but I followed the directions - against my better judgement - and they turned out really good).  Add eggs and vanilla.  Gradually beat in flour.  DO NOT OVER BEAT.  Stir in chocolate.

Dough will be rather sticky.  Throw it in the fridge for 30 minutes and it will become a little more manageable.  Drop with spoons onto ungreased sheet.  Bake for 8-10 minutes at 375 degrees.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Foccacia Bread

We had already eaten over half of the bread when I realized I hadn't taken a picture.  The other half of the bread had tomato slices on top which were amazing - wish I had enough tomatoes for the whole thing.

I wanted to make some sort of delicious bread using my rosemary plant to go with our salad dinner last night.  I found this recipe on here and it was perfect.  I could have eaten the whole thing myself!

1 Tbsp honey
2 C warm water
1 Tbsp yeast
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 C onions, diced
5-6 C flour
1 Tbsp salt

3 Tbsp olive oil
Fresh chopped rosemary
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Freshly ground salt

Dissolve honey in warm water and sprinkle yeast over the top.  Let stand for 5 minutes until yeast begins to foam.  Combine with 1 Tbsp olive oil, onions, 5 C flour and 1 Tbsp salt.  Beat with dough hook, adding flour as necessary to get a smooth and elastic dough.  Lightly oil a large bowl.  Place the dough in the bowl, turning to coat with oil, cover with a damp cloth and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in volume (~20 min)

Spread dough onto oiled cookie sheet or jelly roll sheet.  Use tips of fingers to make indentations all over the dough.  Drizzle with 3 Tbsp olive oil.  Sprinkle with rosemary, Parmesan cheese, and salt.  Let rise for 10 minutes.

Bake at 415 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Balsamic Chicken Sandwiches

I forgot to take a picture - I'm always hungry; this dinner was immediately consumed with no consideration for a blog, only thoughts for my stomach.  There should be a picture here. 

2 lb chicken breast, cut in cubes or strips
Salt and Pepper
Olive Oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 C chicken broth
1/2 C balsamic vinegar
6 Tbsp brown sugar
1/2 C broccoli puree (steam some broccoli, throw it in a food processor or blender with a teaspoon or more of the steaming water.  Puree until you have a smooth, creamy texture.  My thoughts - cook up a bunch of steamed broccoli and either use it the night before and save out enough for this, or serve the extra steamed broccoli as a side to this sandwich)
6 ciabatta rolls
Tomatoes, sliced
Fresh basil
Grated mozzerella cheese

Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper.  Dredge in flour.  Cook in skillet with olive oil and garlic until chicken browns on all sides.  Add chicken broth, vinegar, and brown sugar.  Bring to boil.  Simmer ~10 min until chicken is cooked all the way through.  Add broccoli puree.  Cook for 2 more minutes.

Place tomato slices and basil on bottom of rolls.  Top with chicken, sauce, and sprinkle with cheese.  Bake at 350 (or if your impatient like me, broil - but watch closely so it doesn't burn) until cheese is melted.  Enjoy!

Original recipe in the parade magazine a month ago, by Jessica Seinfeld.  Supposedly Jerry Seinfeld's favorite sandwich. 

Friday, June 3, 2011

Mexican Mac & Cheese

Like Mac & Cheese?  Like Mexican dishes?  This is a delicious combination that has absolutely no nutritional worthwhile-ness to it.  I told my husband "what an unhealthy main dish" and he said "good".  Typical.  And, to add to it, we forgot to garnish with tomatoes.  At least then the pasta would have had a vegetable.  Oh well, it was super tasty.

12 oz pasta, cooked (I used penne, since that's what I had on hand)
1 lb pork sausage (I cooked the full 1 lb but saved out a little more than 1/3 of it for a dish we'll have later this week.  We had plenty of meat and this helps keep the grocery bill down a little (as well as the calories!))
1 onion, chopped
16 oz jar green salsa, medium
Serious amount of grated Monterrey jack or Mexican cheese blend (I used about 3 C, but the recipe called for 4 C)
Tomatoes, sliced jalapeno peppers, and/or cilantro for garnish

While pasta is cooking, brown sausage and onions.  Drain.  Stir in green salsa.

Spray a 3-quart baking dish (we used 2 9x9's.  Baked one tonight and froze one unbaked for a quick dinner in a few weeks).  Layer half the pasta, half the sausage mixture, and half the cheese.  Repeat layers.

Bake at 350 for 35 minutes.  Garnish with tomatoes, jalapenos, and/or cilantro.

Original Recipe from March 2011 Better Homes and Gardens Magazine.