delicious

I love to brag on my Keith. One of the things I admire (or is it desire?) most about him is that he’s a fabulous cook. Which is sometimes surprising since by trade, he is an outdoor-working, manual laboring, swimming pool builder for our family owned business, Prestige Pools. But in his spare time, My Keith can cook like nobody’s business and desserts are his specialty. We joke alot that we will open up a bakery in our off-season when it’s too cold to build swimming pools…but then we remember that making desserts regulary in the winter probably wouldn’t be the best idea for our waistlines.

We had a small group a little while back and this is what he created…

These are candy bar cupcakes and get this…they have Snickers bars inside AND we got the recipe out the Taste of Home Healthy Cooking magazine…yummmmm.

These are red velvet cupcakes. I had never had red velvet anything and my Keith really thought I would love these…needless to say that I did (I don’t know that I’ve ever NOT loved a dessert that he’s made).

We got this recipe from http://annies-eats.com/2010/09/17/red-velvet-cupcakes/

yummy treat

If you have one more treat to make, but don’t have alot of time, this is the easiest recipe ever for one of the yummiest treats ever.

Trust me…you will not be disappointed (or strapped for time).

If you make multiple batches, it’s a great thing to keep in the freezer.

 

Cracker Candy

2 sticks butter

1 long package of saltine crackers

1 c sugar

12 ox. Chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with foil. Place the saltines side by side in single layer on the foil and set aside.

Melt butter and sugar in pot on the stove over medium heat until it starts to bubble. Stir constantly as it boils for 4-5 minutes. The mixture should be a golden brown. Immediately pour over crackers, spreading evenly. Put into oven for 10 minutes.

Remove and sprinkle with chocolate chips. As the chips melt, spread them evenly over the edges.

Put into freezer for 30 minutes, peel off foil, break into pieces and enjoy!

my new favorite

I have a friend who loves to cook. And she is a great cook and takes pretty pictures of the things she cooks.

They all look delicious and inspire me…

 

So, I found this a couple of weeks ago and tried it.

My kids are quite picky when it comes to their meat, so I was somewhat hesitant, but it turned out to be a hit!

So, here’s my new favorite…

 

Added bonuses…

1. it only requires 3 ingredients…package, pork chops and water

2. you put it all in a bag so there’s no cleanup!

 

Woo hoo! That’s what I’m talking about!

(note…I found that adding a bit more water and cooking a little less time made for an even jucier pork chop)

Chicken Tortilla Soup

I wish I loved to cook.

I really do.

Don’t hear me wrong…I love to eat.

I just don’t see the point in spending 3 hours making something that is going to be gone in 20 minutes.

Sometimes I indulge in the lie that “if only” I had a big, pretty kitchen, then I’d like to cook…

but in reality I’m pretty certain I’d get more joy out of organizing all the cabinets.

So, when I come across a really easy recipe that is yummy too, I get giddy about sharing it with those of you who might share my love for food….just not preparing it.

I got this recipe from my sister. It is really, really yummy…especially on a cold day.

 

Chicken Tortilla Soup

1 box chicken broth (4 cups)
1 can mexican corn
1 can chopped green chilis
1 can cream of potato soup
1 packet taco seasoning mix
1 can black beans
1 rotisserie chicken or 18 oz pre-cooked chicken or double the recipe and boil/shred a 5-6 lb. roaster
8oz cream cheese
 
Mix everything but the cream cheese together.  Boil, simmer for awhile….add cream cheese, but don’t boil it.  Enjoy!
 
Note:  instead of buying chicken broth, you can also boil a chicken and use the broth from there instead

(note is from my sister…I don’t even begin to know what to do with a whole chicken, I just bought an already cooked rotisserie chicken from the grocery store).

Harris Teeter Triples again…

Harris Teeter is doing triples again this week (3/25-3/31). You can see lots of great deals here at the savvydollar.org site. There are a TON of freebies.

As always…

1. They will only trip 20 coupons at a time – up to $0.99. Some checkers/stores will let you do multiple “shops”, but ask first…don’t assume that they will (last time we got “caught” and had to leave without checking out and go to another store).

2. if the coupon UPC starts with a “5″ and says “do not double”, it will still double/triple.

3. tripling starts at 7am on 3/25, Harris Teeter usually restocks late Friday night as well, so going late late Friday or early early Saturday can sometimes get you the products that are sold out by mid-morning the first day.

4. Don’t buy packaged food just because you have a coupon for it. If you don’t usually buy packaged food, look for the great deals and freebies in things like dish soap, cleaners, paper products, haircare and oral care.

5. Have fun!!!

If you have any questions, youcan definitely post a comment and I’ll try to respond very quickly, but there is some great information and lots of explanation at www.savvydollar.org.

Harris Teeter triples

Harris Teeter is doing triples starting tomorrow (2/5) until Sunday (2/8). You can see lots of great deals here at the savvydollar.org site (as far as I am aware, this is only confirmed for North Carolina for any of you reading out of state). 

Remember…

1. They will only trip 20 coupons at a time – up to $0.99. Some checkers/stores will let you do multiple “shops”, but ask first…don’t assume that they will

2. if the coupon UPC starts with a “5” and says “do not double”, it will still double/triple

3. tripling starts at 7am on Thursday, Harris Teeter usually restocks late Friday night as well, so going late late Friday or early early Saturday can sometimes get you the products that are sold out by mid-morning Thursday

4. Don’t buy packaged food just because you have a coupon for it. If you don’t usually buy packaged food, look for the great deals and freebies in things like dish soap, cleaners, paper products, haircare and oral care

5. Have fun!!!

If you have any questions, youcan definitely post a comment and I’ll try to respond very quickly, but there is some great information and lots of explanation at www.savvydollar.org.

Yummy banana waffles

Recently, I’ve been finding an abundance of fun sites. We wanted to make banana waffles the other night for dinner (we are lovers of breakfast for dinner) and found this site. We also found this very yummy (and easy) recipe for some waffles that are melt-in-your-mouth delicious…we love pretty much any recipe that includes “cream” in the title and sour cream or cream cheese in the ingredients.

Banana Sour Cream Waffles

(4 servings)  …(we doubled it and it was a perfect amount for the 5 of us)

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg — separated (beat egg white until stiff)
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup butter — melted
  • 1 banana — mashed

Heat waffle iron.

Stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in mixing bowl. Set aside.

In separate bowl whisk together egg yolk, sour cream, milk, butter and banana. Add liquid mixture to dry ingredients, stirring just until blended. Fold in beaten egg white.

Pour batter from cup or ladle onto center of hot waffle iron. Bake about 5 minutes or until steaming stops. Remove waffle carefully.

(Mr Breakfast would like to thank MrsBuckeye for this recipe.)

5 lbs

Thanksgiving has come and gone….and left a few pounds behind as it headed on towards next year. I checked the scale yesterday…bummer.

A couple of years ago, after deciding not to have any more children, I realized that childbearing had left behind the same “mark” to the tune of about fifty unwanted pounds. I have never been much of a dieter, mainly because if you tell me I cannot eat something, sure as the sun comes up it will be the only thing I crave. So, I landed on trying Weight Watchers since it never “deprived” me of any one food…and that sounded like something I could wrap my discipline around. It also broke weightloss down into increments – smaller goals that I met along the way in my journey to my “goal” weight. Again, smaller victories…I can do that.

So, after realizing the bounty that Thanksgiving has left behind, Keith and I decided to have a challenge over the next 3 weeks – to lose 5 lbs each before Christmas Eve. And here’s our motivation: we both love to eat – especially at the holidays. So the five pounds is just a headstart to whatever weight we may gain between Christmas Eve and January 2nd (I’d say the 1st, but we will be at my sister’s until the 2nd and we both adore all of the food she makes!)

One of the key principles I learned while on Weight Watchers was to drink lots of water (at least 64 oz) and eat lots of fruits and veggies (at least 5) everyday. I’ve noticed over time that if I can keep those two things in check, for me, the weight stays off because after covering those, there is not near as much room for much else. So, here are our guidelines:

1. Drink half our body weight in ounces of water each day (if you weigh 150, that’s 75 oz a day) or at least 64 oz.

2. Eat 5 fruits and/or veggies a day. We are not legalistic about what counts as “one”….any serving of fruits/veggies counts. The only rule we have is that it can’t be coated in butter, brown sugar or any other tasty condiment.

Join us if you’d like – but here’s my only other “rule” – if this gets condemning or discouraging at any time, stop! This is purely supposed to be fun and be a small victory to celebrate before Christmas.

Hot Grape Nuts

It’s been cold and rainy here the past few days, so cold sandwiches for lunch just aren’t doing it for us. Here’s a really easy recipe for something that’s on the healthy fence (half healthy ingredients, half not). All of my kids love it – that’s really saying something if you know my kids at all and it fills them up really good.

I triple this recipe for all 5 of us. I got the recipe from Keith’s mom, Lani. I’m not certain if she made it up or not.

Hot Grape Nuts

1 C milk

3/4 C grape nuts

2 tbls brown sugar or honey

1 tbls butter

Mix all ingredients over medium heat until thickened. Let cool and serve (it will be VERY hot!)

Cracker Candy

The holidays are coming and lots of fun festivities and potlucks are sure to abound!

Wanted to share with you the yummiest and EASIEST (I’m ALL about easy) dessert ever…that you can freeze and bring out as needed. Make 3-4 batches and you’re set for every party you have to bring something to and I guarantee people love it!

I cannot take credit for it and I don’t know who can (if I find it, I’ll be sure to post the “author” to give credit where credit is due).

Cracker Candy

2 sticks butter

1 long package of saltine crackers

1 c sugar

12 ox. Chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with foil. Place the saltines side by side in single layer on the foil and set aside.

Melt butter and sugar in pot on the stove over medium heat until it starts to bubble. Stir constantly as it boils for 4-5 minutes. The mixture should be a golden brown. Immediately pour over crackers, spreading evenly. Put into oven for 10 minutes.

Remove and sprinkle with chocolate chips. As the chips melt, spread them evenly over the edges.

Put into freezer for 30 minutes, peel off foil, break into pieces and enjoy!

Smoothies

I LOVE smoothies – I think they are God’s gift to people trying to get kids out of the house and to school in the morning….and making sure they get the nutrition they need to make it through the day.

I’ve been making smoothies almost every morning for me and the kids for about 2 years now – and they are still my favorite treat of the day (other than the half-baked cookie I have each night with Keith after the kids go to bed : )

So, here’s my “recipe” and a bit of info at the bottom about the ingredients…..

In a blender put:

  • 2 C. Very Vanilla Silk Soy milk
  • Approx 10 frozen strawberries
  • 1 C. frozen blueberries
  • 3-4 ripe bananas
  • 3-4 tbls honey
  • 1/2 quart lowfat vanilla yogurt

Blend the soymilk and frozen fruits first – it blends easier and keeps air pockets from happening. Then add the bananas, honey and yogurt. Blend to liquify – I then put them in Chili’s cups (yes, I save them when we go there to treat the kids to moltens….the best dessert ever made) with straws to keep from spilling….and they drink them in the van on the way to school.

Ingredient notes:

  • Very Vanilla Silk Soymilk – VERY sweet soymilk…almost like a vanilla milkshake…almost (use coupons, it’s not cheap….but you can find $0.55 coupons that double at Lowes Foods and Harris Teeter to save $1.10. Still more expensive than regular milk, but I only use it for smoothies)
  • Frozen strawberries and blueberries – buy in bulk from BJs or Sams (or grow your own and freeze them)
  • bananas – the riper they are, the sweeter the smootie. GREAT if your child plays sports – helps with muscle cramps.
  • vanilla yogurt – lowfat is MUCH sweeter than fat free….you decide
  • honey – one of the best natural sweetners around – use as much or as little as you want

Alternative (since I know that strawberries and blueberries are expensive!):

  • 1 Can pear halves with juice
  • 4-5 bananas
  • Ice
  • Very vanilla soymilk
  • honey
  • Lowfat vanilla yogurt

Put the can of pears in first, then bananas, then soymilk, honey and yogurt. Blend to liquify.

TMI…..

  • Soy is a natural laxative – great for keeping the little ones (and you) regular
  • Yogurt is a great digestive aid – for those of you who may bloat from time to time, consuming yogurt daily can help with this alot.
  • Blueberries are one of the greatest antioxidants – cold/flu season is coming……

Anyone else have some great smoothie recipes? I love trying new things and would love it if you’d share!