Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Quinoa Salad

I am a fairly plain and simple gal when it comes to cooking. I'm getting a little more adventurous all the time, but still fairly plain and simple. It's just the way I was raised. We ate what we grew in the garden and raised on the farm for the most part. Mama would still buy some things at the store, but they were still fairly plain and simple. I didn't grow up eating quinoa, couscous, tofu, asparagus or a lot of other good stuff.

I got brave a while back and cooked up some quinoa. Just plain, nothing added, and fed it to the family. The kids were super excited about it at first (they thought it was rice - they love that stuff!) and then figured out it wasn't rice. But what in the heck was it?!? I told them to put a little butter, S&P on it and eat. They quite enjoyed it. I wanted to try quinoa again, only make it into something. I happened across a blog by a friend of mine (Really, I have a friend! When I see her at church or really out in public, she doesn't pretend I don't exist. At least not all of the time.....) and she had this recipe on there. When I saw the avocados in there, I was in love. I bought what I didn't have on hand the next time I went to the store, went home and started making the salad. I was almost finished when I realized.....I forgot the avocados!! How in the world do you forget the best part (oh, and the cilantro. Mmmmmm But I didn't forget that). I pulled out the emergency "Phone-a-friend" card and called my sweet hubby (he is my most favorite friend in the world. Most of the time...). He was almost home but was nice enough to turn around and go back to the store to shop for avocados for me. He must really, REALLY love me to go into a store for me.

Anyway, the salad is delicious! Hubby and I both loved how fresh it tasted.

2 cups uncooked quinoa
1/2 green/red/or yellow pepper, diced
1 can black beans
1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 1/2 cup frozen corn
1 cup cherry tomatoes cut in half
1 or 2 avocados, diced
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

5 tablespoons lime juice (fresh is best)
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4teaspoon cumin
1/3 cup olive oil

Cook the quinoa according to package directions. While it is cooking soak the beans (rinse them first) in the vinegar with salt and pepper to taste. Mix dressing ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside. When quinoa is cooked, mix it with salad ingredients. Pour dressing over and mix well.

Recipe from Kristi at Lemon Glaze

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The BEST Waffles Ever!

I haven't tried all the recipes out there for waffles. I've honestly only tried a few. But, I am still convinced this is the BEST Waffle recipe. Ever. Growing up Mom made us waffles once in a while. Her recipe........Bisquick. There are some things Bisquick is good for. Waffles and pancakes are NOT one (or two) of them.

When we would go out to breakfast, I would usually order waffles. I LOVE waffles. Almost as much as I love pancakes. That's really saying something. So for me to be set on this recipe, that's also saying something (if you ask me).

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk
2 eggs
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

In a large bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Add milk, eggs and oil; mix well. Spray preheated waffle iron with non-stick cooking spray. Pour mix onto hot waffle iron. Cook until golden brown.

Recipe from

Saturday, August 27, 2011

BLT Wraps

I have been in a serious lunch rut lately. I mean, how many times can you stand to eat soup and sandwiches. I do switch between tomato soup and chicken noodle soup, but mostly stick with cheese sandwiches. Sometimes grilled and sometimes open face. I know, I know. BORING!!

I looked through my fridge really, REALLY hoping that some sort of divine inspiration would hit me and I would have a brilliant idea as to what different I should/could make for lunch. No luck. I decided to put away my groceries I had just bought, once again hoping for an epiphany to hit me, but still no luck. I was seriously kicking myself (not literally, that might hurt!) for not picking up one of those super yummy cooked chickens while I was out shopping. Then I got to the last bag of groceries and found bacon. Turkey bacon to be exact. Why turkey bacon? Do you ever go through those....things.... You know, where you decide you are going to eat healthier? Well, I was in the middle of one of those. And then I followed it up with a big batch of Yummy Chocolate Chip Cookies......

Anyway, back to the the bacon. I looked from the bacon to some beautiful tomatoes I picked from my garden earlier that were sitting pretty on my counter. Bacon + tomaotes = an idea!! BLT Wraps! Honestly, the ideal started with sandwiches, but quickly changed course to wraps where it stayed. The 2 little girls loved them (except for the sauce) and my sweet hubby and I loved them as well (and with the sauce).

8 slices bacon, cooked
1 tomato, diced
3-4 cups lettuce
4 tortillas (I used the kind you cook)
Creamy BBQ Sauce

Crumble 2 slices of bacon onto each tortilla. Top with lettuce and tomatoes, drizzle with Creamy BBQ Sauce and roll up.

Recipe from The Royal Cook - an original!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Creamy BBQ Sauce

Oh YUM!!! Have you ever found things that are good, but when you mix them together (instead of just piling them on top of each other) are, like, 10 times better? Well, this is one of them. It is amazing on burgers, sandwiches, or, my personal favorite, to dip sweep potato fries in. Helloooo heaven!!

1/4 cup BBQ sauce
1/4 cup mayonnaise (I used lite)

Mix until smooth.

Recipe from The Royal Cook - an original!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Second Best Donuts EVER!

Why only the second best? Well, apparently Krispy Kreme is #1 and can't be beat, at least according to my 12 year old. If you have never had a Krispy Kreme donut, ignore the "Second" part. These are the BEST donuts ever!

I made Funnel Cakes a couple mornings ago and didn't want to throw out the oil after only using it once, so I decided to make donuts! I have only attempted making donuts once before, and according to my 10 year old, that was enough! When she found out I was making donuts she informed me that I couldn't make good donuts. The last ones were gross! I personally think the last ones turned out just fine. They just didn't have the texture of the store bought donuts. But, they were still an epic failure - at least according to the 10 year old. It has been years since I made them - probably close to 5 - so maybe they really were that bad. Maybe.....

When I had the donuts all finished and asked the kids who wanted a donut, my 10 year old asked if they were good and the 12 year old ignored me. Really?!?! Who refuses a donut and what 12 year old boy ignores a call for grub? After the first bite my 10 year old said they were really good and really did taste like donuts. That perked my 12 year old up and he asked her if there really were good. Maybe he thought the last ones were really bad too.... Anyway, she mumbled something nobody could understand with a mouthful of donut and bobbed her head up and down so vigorously I thought she just might choke to death. She didn't choke and the 12 year old decided to try a donut. He even ate the whole donut (and a whole second and possibly a whole third!)

I don't own a traditional donut cutter, so I used a wide-mouth jar ring and a play heart cookie cutter (compliments of my daughter). The hearts turned out SUPER cute in the middle and for the donut holes. Pretty brilliant if you ask me.

Look how tender. Yum!!

2 tablespoons active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1 1/2 cups lukewarm milk
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/3 cup shortening
5 cups all-purpose flour
1 quart vegetable oil for frying

1/3 cup butter
2 cups powder sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
4 tablespoons hot water or as needed

Sprinkle the yeast over the warm water, and let stand for 5 minutes, or until foamy. In a large bowl, mix together the yeast mixture, milk, sugar, salt, eggs, shortening, and 2 cups of the flour. Mix for a few minutes at low speed, or stirring with a wooden spoon. Beat in remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough no longer sticks to the bowl. Knead for about 5 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Place the dough into a greased bowl, and cover. Set in a warm place to rise until double. Dough is ready if you touch it, and the indention remains. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and gently roll out to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut with a floured doughnut cutter. Let doughnuts sit out to rise again until double. Cover loosely with a cloth. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in powder sugar and vanilla until smooth. Remove from heat, and stir in hot water one tablespoon at a time until the icing is somewhat thin, but not watery. Set aside. Heat oil in a deep-fryer or large heavy skillet to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Slide doughnuts into the hot oil using a wide spatula. Fry doughnuts on each side until golden brown. Remove from hot oil, to drain on a wire rack. Dip doughnuts into the glaze while still hot, and set onto wire racks to drain off excess. Keep a cookie sheet or tray under racks for easier clean up.

Recipe from All Recipes

Shared on Tempt My Tummy Tuesday, Show Me What Ya Got #38 and Anything Related #58.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Funnel Cakes

It's fair time here and that means Funnel Cakes! We are about 45 minutes away from the fair ground and we didn't make it this year, so I made Funnel Cakes for the kids since we won't be getting any at fair this year.

The Funnel Cakes come out so tasty! The kids love them with just plain powdered sugar, but I like to add some fresh berries or fruit puree. YUM!!!

Honestly, I don't use a funnel when I make Funnel Cakes. The funnel that I have is too small and the batter doesn't come out fast enough. I usually just make a funnel out of heavy paper, but got thinking this time (OUCH!!) and poured the batter into a plastic bag and snipped off the corner. Brilliant! A little messy (the only way that I found to stop the batter was by pinching the end of the bag), but still brilliant.

1 2/3 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cream of tarter
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 egg
1 cup milk
1/4 cup powdered sugar for dusting

Beat together milk and eggs. Mix in flour, salt, baking soda, cream of tarter, and white sugar until smooth. Heat about 1 inch cooking oil in frying pan to 375. Pour 1/2 cup batter through a funnel into oil with a circular motion to form a spiral. Fry until golden brown, turn over to other side and brown. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Recipe from my old friend Lynda.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Fry Bread

My family and I love fry bread, but I don't get around to making it too often. I don't have a problem ordering fry bread at a restaurant or at the fair, but for some reason, watching them float around in a bath of hot oil just seems a little, um, eww. They do turn out VERY tasty though.

We ate them as Navajo Tacos this time, but we also love to eat the with honey butter or cinnamon honey butter. YUM!!!

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
4 cups oil for frying, or as needed

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir in milk, and mix until the dough comes together. Add more flour if necessary to be able to handle the dough. On a floured surface, knead the dough until smooth, at least 5 minutes. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes.
Heat oil in a large, deep heavy skillet to 365 degrees F (180 degrees C). Oil should be about 1 1/2 inches deep. Break off 3/4 cup sized pieces of dough, and shape into round discs 1/4 inch in thickness, making a thinner depressed area in the center. Fry breads in the hot oil until golden on both sides, turning only once. Drain on paper towels.

Recipe from All Recipes

Friday, August 5, 2011

Puffy Pancakes

This is my 5 year olds FAVORITE meal! She love these Puffy Pancakes (aka Oven Pancakes, German Pancakes). As a matter of fact, all of my kids love them. This is one of the meals I can make and not have a single complaint! I think watching them bake is half the fun. My sweet little 5 year old likes to watch them grow in the oven. They can get HUGE!

After the Puffy Pancakes are baked I sprinkle them with powdered sugar for the kids. I like to add fresh berries to mine as well. Yum!

3 eggs
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons margarine

Preheat oven to 400. Place margarine in 7x11" baking dish and put in the oven to melt. Mix all other ingredients and pour into baking dish once butter has melted. Bake for 20 minutes on a bottom rack.

Recipe from my old friend Lynda.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Chicken Pot Pie

I used to be in a freezer meal group and one of the meals I got was a really tasty chicken pot pie. It looked super easy so I tried to duplicate it and this is what I came up with.

The kids LOVE this Chicken Pot Pie and ask for it all the time. I love that it is easy and I almost always have everything on hand to make it.

1 (9 in) pie crust
1 (10.75 oz) can cream of chicken soup
1 cup chicken broth
1 potato, cooked and diced
½ cup celery
1 tablespoon butter
¾ cup frozen peas and carrots mixed
¾ cup frozen corn
2 to 3 cups chicken, shredded

Sautee celery in butter until tender. Mix chicken broth and soup. .Add chicken and veggies to the soup and mix well. Pour into 7x11 baking dish. Cover with pie crust and make 3 slits in the top. Bake at 450 for 20 to 30 minutes.

Recipe can easily be doubled and put into a 9x13 baking dish.

Recipe from The Royal Cook - an original!
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