Saturday, January 16, 2010

Chocolate Cookie Sandwiches

Today is Brunch & Leftovers day. We had my version of bacon/egg mcmuffins for brunch and then leftovers from the week for early dinner. I fixed these yummy lil' sandwiches early this week, but saved it for today's post.

Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

1/2 c shortening
1 egg
1 c sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 c flour
1/2 c cocoa
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 c milk

2 Tbsp butter, softened
2 Tbsp shortening
1/2 c marshmallow creme
2/3 c powdered sugar
3/4 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cookie: Beat 1/2 c shortening, egg, sugar, and 1 tsp vanilla. Add flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Add milk. Blend slowly until mixed well. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet for 8-10 minutes.

Filling: Cream butter and shortening. Add marshmallow cream and powdered sugar. Add vanilla. Spread in between 2 cookies to make a sandwich.

And, in case you were wondering, these are 2 of my favorite things in my kitchen (my KitchenAid, which I've had for 10yrs now and my blue spatula):

Friday, January 15, 2010

You Asked

I got a request earlier this week for Sloppy Joes...well, I aim to please :D Friday is typically Burger Night, and since Sloppy Joes are made with ground beef and you put it on a hamburger bun...well, there you go. Plus - I like these waaaaaaay better than a burger!

Sloppy Joes

3/4 c ketchup
1 tsp mustard
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 c chopped onion & green peppers
1 lb ground beef

Brown ground beef with onions & peppers. Season well with salt & pepper, to taste. While beef is cooking, mix up ketchup, mustard, brown sugar, and garlic powder in a small bowl. Set aside. Drain grease from beef. Add in ketchup mixture. Stir and then simmer for about 10 minutes, or until completely heated through. Place cooked Sloppy Joe mix on a hamburger bun; top with cheese, if desired.

My kids (and Mike) are not fond of veggies like onions and green peppers, esp the peppers. As an alternative, I just add onion powder (about 1/2 tsp) to my ketchup mix. When I went to Glenn's Bulk Foods on Monday, I picked up some dehydrated green & red peppers, and thought I'd give it a try tonight (about 1/2 tsp). I loved it! AND I got no complaints about the "green thingies"!

P.S. Kuddos to my fantastic hubby who's been taking the pics of all my food this week. He's awesome at photography :D

For your enjoyment, here's some pics of my crazy kids...LOL

Cade - he's 8

Clark's 3

And then there's Reagan, 6. She's the craziest one!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Pizza Pizza

We love Pizza Night around here! Last week, PapaJohn's cooked for me :D This week, I'm back to my old self and was ready for some homemade stuff. I doubled my dough recipe which made 2 large pizzas and a small pan of breadsticks.

Pizza Dough
2 pkgs yeast
2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 c very warm water
1 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp italian seasoning or pizza seasoning (optional)
1/2 c whole wheat flour
2 - 2 1/2 c all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Dump the wheat flour plus 1/2 c of regular flour into mixer. Add yeast, sugar, and warm water. Mix well for about 3 minutes, until yeast is completely dissolved and bubbles start to form. Add olive oil, garlic salt, and seasoning (if desired). Mix well. Add enough rest of flour to form a stiff dough. Knead in mixer for about 5 minutes or until dough looks smooth. Let rest for about 10-15 minutes while you prepare toppings. After letting dough rest, divide into 2 parts and stretch out on 2 greased pizza pans or don't divide and put on 1 large half sheet baking pan. Top with pizza sauce and your favorite toppings. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until crust is golden brown and cheese is thoroughly melted.

Our toppings of choice tonight (nearly every week, actually): half cheese/half pepperoni
and thin crust Cheeseburger (for me and Mike)

We had a ton leftover....good thing the kids want sack lunches for school tomorrow!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Brown Sugar Chicken

It's been another busy day with running errands, and so I love using my crockpot on these kind of days. Since tonight was Parent's Choice, and since Mike and I love Chinese food, I made Brown Sugar Chicken. This is so, so easy to throw together. The recipe calls for chicken breasts, but I actually prefer to use chicken thighs if I have them (which is what I used today).

Brown Sugar Chicken

2 lbs frozen, boneless chicken, cut into chunks
2 Tbsp soy sauce
2/3 c vinegar
1/4 c lemon-lime soda (or whatever you might have on hand - I actually use Diet Coke!)
1 c brown sugar
2 Tbsp minced garlic
1/4-1/2 tsp black pepper (to taste)

Place frozen chicken in crockpot. Mix together rest of ingredients in a bowl and pour over the top of the chicken. Cover with lid and set crockpot to low for 6-8 hours or high for 4-6 hours. Serve with rice or fried rice.

As I was reading one of my favorite blogs today (Baker's Banter), I saw a post about a Mystery Cake. Welllll, since I'm a Campbell, here's my version of this old cake:

Campbell's Cake
4 Tbsp butter, softened
1 c sugar
1 egg
1 can Campbell's Tomato soup
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 c flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ginger
2 tsp cinnamon
Cream Cheese frosting (I used Betty Crocker's)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 inch round pan or one muffin tin (12 count). Cream together butter and sugar. Add egg and mix well. Open tomato soup and add the baking soda, stir. It will foam up like this:

Add this to the creamed mixture, and mix well. It will look curdled, but this is okay :D In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and spices. Add this to the rest of the tomato mixture and beat well (on medium for 1-2 minutes). Pour batter into pan or divide out into muffin tin. Bake for 30-35 minutes for 9 inch pan or 20-25 minutes for cupcakes. Cool completely and top with Cream Cheese frosting.

Seeing as I always get at least one set of the rolled eyes and "I don't really like Chinese" or "do I have to eat the rice?", these yummy lil' spiced cupcakes were the redeeming factor.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Baby It's Cold Outside

Brrrrr - it's cold outside, guys!! It's way colder than I thought it was going to be (I thought it was going to be in the 50's, but I know it didn't reached that!) I even saw it snowing a little this morning! On days like this, I just want to grab a cup of hot tea, a blanket, and a book or my computer and hibernate. I didn't have this luxury today seeing as how the dishes were piled up and I hadn't done laundry since....ummm.....last Thursday and I still needed to get my thank you's done from Christmas and well, you know how it goes.

I know that tonight is pasta night, and I did make homemade Mac-n-Cheese for the kiddos, but I wanted something a little lower in fat but filling for me & Mike. Here's what I fixed:

Mexican Beef Soup
1 26oz jar of salsa (I used Great Value Corn & Black Bean from Walmart b/c that's my favorite and it has the extra veggies & beans; if you like stuff spicy, use hot salsa!)
3 c beef broth (chicken or veggie broth would be fine, too, though)
2 c cooked hamburger (I used our leftovers from last night's tacos!) (you could even use up leftover roast..yum!)
1 can of corn, undrained

Dump everything in your pot and simmer on the stove until hot or better yet, dump it in your crockpot in the morning, set it on low, and you'll be good to go for dinner!

I actually fixed this at lunch and it literally took me,

at the max, 20 minutes to throw together and heat up. I topped it with some crushed tortilla chips. YUMMO! Even though I made this at lunch, we'll be having it again for supper.

Baked Cheesy Macaroni
2 c uncooked pasta
1/4 c flour
2 3/4 c milk
1/2 c cheese powder
3 c shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt (or to taste)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook pasta according to package. Grease a 2 quart dish. Over medium heat, whisk together flour, cheese powder, and milk. (cheese powder may not want to dissolve - this is okay). Bring to a boil. Remove this from heat and add 2 cups of cheddar, salt, and pepper. Stir until cheddar melts. Add this to cooked pasta and pour all into your greased pan. Bake for 25 minutes. Take out and add remaining 1 cup of cheese. Bake another 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

You'll notice the Diet Coke in the'll probably see this a lot.... :D

I told you yesterday about my visit to Glenn's Bulk Foods. I also mentioned how much I love this store. I used to buy my specialty baking items online, never knowing this little gem of a store was only a short drive out of Hutchinson. Once I finally went there, I've never looked back. I no longer have to pay shipping for all my baking needs (and wants)!!!! When I went there yesterday, I decided to finally try their cheese powder, perfect for making homemade mac-n-cheese. One of the Mennonite ladies working there was willing to share a simple recipe for how to use this powder (and I will try this recipe another time), but I decided to try my own version of a baked mac-n-cheese.

Monday, January 11, 2010

It's Monday...Again

Well, Ya'll....I'm t i r e d! Mondays are a crazy: Clark to speech therapy, got half of my groceries at Glen's Bulk Foods (awesome, awesome, awesome store, by the way!), came home to babysit my lil' Lucy over the lunch hour, finished up getting my other half of groceries @ Walmart (ugh), and by this time, the older two were home from school....starving, of course. Good thing it's Mexican night...Tacos! Easy, Peasy!

Brown up some hamburger meat, sprinkle on your favorite seasoning. Warm up the taco shells and tortillas. Set out your favorite toppings (tonight we had refried beans, farmer's cheese, chopped romaine, leftover corn, & salsa).

If you haven't discovered these yet, I want to introduce you to these yummy little white corn taco shells. We tried them several months ago, and I'll never go back to buying yellow corn shells. These are just too good. Very light and crispy!!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Smells Good Enough to Eat

Okay, so this really isn't something to eat, but it's sooooo much fun! My kids have spent hours, HOURS, playing with this homemade playdough. It's fun to make, fun to play with, fun to smell, fun to look's just FUN! A year and a half ago, the summer of 08, when Clark broke his leg...this is the one thing that kept his sanity and mine! That's impressive for a 2 year old!

Homemade Playdough
2 c flour
1 c salt
1 Tbsp cream of tartar
1 Tbsp oil
2 c boiling water
food colorings
liquid flavorings

Mix flour, salt, and cream of tartar in a large mixing bowl and whisk together. Add oil to hot water, and then add this to flour mixture. After well mixed, divide dough into equal parts and add your favorite colors, and if desired, your favorite flavorings (vanilla, almond, peppermint, etc.) You can use your hands to knead the color and flavorings in, but I recommend using rubber gloves so that the color doesn't stain your hands. Store the dough in ziploc bags. Lasts several months.