Foodie Pen Pal – January 2014

This month I was paired up with Megan.  Megan writes a blog called St. Louis Dietician.  Check out her blog for health tips.

Ohio was part of the country impacted by the Polar Vortex at the beginning of the month and at the end of the month.  Since the jet stream was further south than it usually was we got snow from Alberta Clippers.  Three days straight we got snow during the day.  Two of those days, I had stressful commutes home because of the road conditions.  I was greeted with the box after that second commute.  I absolutely loved the box so that put a smile on my face after my stressful commute.

I’ve tried everything in my box.  One of  favorites was the dark chocolate mint bar.  I eat only one block of it at a time so I can savor it.  Another favorite was the peppermint tea.  I love mint teas so this was perfect.  I’ve been using the Greek Seasoning on air popped popcorn and coconut oil instead of butter.  Yum!  The olive oil granola was quickly eaten for breakfast.  I love the combination of cashews and pistachios.  In fact,  I keep a container of almonds, pistachios, and almonds at work so I can eat some when my stomach growls.

Thank you Megan for a great box.

Dilly Oyster Crackers

This is an easy snack to assemble and bake.  They are also very yummy!

They are also like Lay’s Chips.  Once you eat one, you can’t stop.

Dilly Oyster Crackers

Adapted from Cooks.com

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Stars of the recipe:

  • 1 package of Ranch dressing mix
  • 1/2 tsp. dill
  • 3/4 c. vegetable or olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp. lemon pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 package oyster crackers

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
  2. Mix the first 5 ingredients thoroughly in a big mixing bowl.
  3. Add the oyster crackers and toss gently.  (Get the topping on all of the oyster crackers.)
  4. Spread on a cookie sheet and then bake for 15 to 20 minutes.  Stirring 2 to 3 times during baking.
  5. Cool and then store in an airtight container.
  6. Enjoy!

Printable Recipe

Mom, What’s for Dinner? Week of January 27

I know’s it’s Tuesday and I’m finally typing out my menu for this week.  This Arctic blast of cold air has really been playing with my sinuses.  Last Thursday, I started out with a sinus headache.  It didn’t go away on Friday so I called off of work.  Saturday and Sunday were full of me stuffed up.  Yesterday I went to work for half of the day and then went to a training (professional development) in the afternoon.  Every time I would come in from the cold air, I would be stuffed up once again.  So frustrating.  Today we are at home because Ohio is getting wind chill values down into the negative 30’s.  I’m doing okay today but that is because I’m not going out into the cold air.

So what are we having for dinner?  This week consists of eating foods that we have in the house.

MondayCopycat I-Hop pancakes from the freezer, smoothies, and bacon

Tuesday – Ravioli, garlic bread, veggie, applesauce

Wednesday – Sausage, baked French fries, veggie

ThursdayTaco

Friday and Saturday – Crockpot meals out of the freezer

Chocolate Chip Muffins

In August 2010, I posted a recipe for an All Star Muffin Mix.  With this cold weather, I’ve been baking more than usual.  Last night I decided to make a batch of it.  Then I asked the Imaginative One what he thought I should use as add-ins.  He suggested chocolate chips.

Once they were baked, the Imaginative One had 1 and the Wee One had 2.  I’ll say they were a hit.

I’m going to give you the recipe 2 different ways.  One using the All-Star Muffin Mix and one without the muffin mix.

Chocolate Chip Muffins

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Stars of the recipe:

  • 2-3/4 c. All Star Muffin Mix
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 c. melted butter (1 stick) – (Melt in the microwave for 1 minute.)  – Allow the butter to cool down before adding to the mix.
  • 1 c.milk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 c. chocolate chips (I used milk chocolate chips but you can use semi-sweet chocolate chips.)

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Add all the ingredients to a large mixing bowl.
  3. Mix together until all the ingredients are well combined.
  4. Pour into a muffin sprayed down with cooking spray or lined with cupcake wrappers.  I put a 1/4 of a cup of batter in each cavity.
  5. Bake in oven for 20 minutes.
  6. Cool and enjoy!  (Store in an airtight container.)

Without the All Star Muffin Mix

Stars of the recipe:

  • 2 c. flour (all purpose or white whole wheat)
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 2-1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 c. melted butter (1 stick) – (Melt in the microwave for 1 minute.)  – Allow the butter to cool down before adding to the mix.
  • 1 c.milk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 c. chocolate chips (I used milk chocolate chips but you can use semi-sweet chocolate chips.)

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients minus the chocolate chips.
  3. Add all the wet ingredients and chocolate chips to dry ingredients.
  4. Mix together until all the ingredients are well combined.
  5. Pour into a muffin sprayed down with cooking spray or lined with cupcake wrappers.  I put a 1/4 of a cup of batter in each cavity.
  6. Bake in oven for 20 minutes.
  7. Cool and enjoy!  (Store in an airtight container.)

Printable Recipe

Apple Cinnamon Instant Oatmeal or Overnight Oatmeal

In August of 2010, I posted an entry for Instant Oatmeal Mix.  As we are experiencing another cold snap, oatmeal is a good way to warm up on a bitterly cold morning.

I was pursing Yummy Life‘s instant oatmeal packets’ blog entry and found some good ideas for different types of instant oatmeal.  Making your own instant oatmeal mixes is  better than the Quaker or off brand instant oatmeal packets.  You control the ingredients.  Plus it doesn’t have preservatives.

Using some of the ideas from Yummy Life and what I had around the house, I came up with an apple cinnamon instant oatmeal that is divine.

Apple Cinnamon Instant Oatmeal

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Stars of the recipe:

  • 2-1/4 c. Instant or Quick Oatmeal
  • 1/3 c. powdered milk
  • 1/2 c. packed brown sugar
  • 2 to 3 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/3 c. dried apples
  • 1/3 c. chopped nuts (I used cashews.)
  • 2 -3 Tbsp Chia seeds
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. vanilla powder (optional)

Steps:

  1. Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Store in an airtight container.
  3. When you are ready to make oatmeal, mix 1/2 c. of the oatmeal mix with 3/4 c. water.  (Make sure the bowl is big enough because the oatmeal with expand in the microwave.)
  4. Heat in the microwave for 90 seconds.

Or:

  1. Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Store in an airtight container.
  3. Mix 1/3 c. oatmeal mix, 1/2 c. water, and 1/4 c. yogurt in a mason jar or a similar type jar.
  4. Make sure the lid is on tightly and shake up the mixture.
  5. Place in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  6. Enjoy straight out of the fridge or allow it to warm up to room temperature before eating!

Printable Recipe

Mom, What’s For Dinner? Week of January 20

I can’t believe it’s almost the end of January.  2014 is already flying by.  Two more months until we are going to Disney.  That gives me something to look forward to.

We are going to use the crock pot all week again.  It was so helpful getting supper on the table all week.  It’s also going to be soup week.  Three of our meals are going to be soups.  Yum!!!

 

Monday – Chili and Northern Cornbread

Tuesday – Shredded Taco Beef

Wednesday – Chicken Divan Broccoli in the Slow Cooker, Veggie, Rolls

Thursday – Potato Soup, Rolls

Friday – Teriyaki Chicken with rice

Saturday – All Day Beef Stew, Rolls

 

Northern Cornbread

My husband is a northern with southern roots.  His mom’s family was from the Charleston, South Carolina area.  During his childhood, his family would travel to Folly Beach which is near Charleston.  We’ve traveled there ourselves several times.  One of our favorite things is to do while there is to eat southern cuisine.

So when we had pinto beans and ham for supper, he was a happy camper.  I needed something to serve with the pinto beans and ham so I decided to bake up some cornbread.  I made them the northern way which is more cake like.

The Wee One and Hubby both gave thumbs up when they tried the cornbread.

Northern Cornbread

adapted from Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures

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Stars of the recipe:

  • 1-1/4 c. flour
  • 3/4 c. corn meal
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/3 c. sugar
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1-1/4 c. milk
  • 1/4 c. shortening
  • 1 egg

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Combine all dry ingredients in a medium sized mixing bowl.
  3. Add the milk, shortening, and egg to the dry ingredients.
  4. Mix until combined.
  5. Pour into a greased 8 by 8 pan.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
  7. Enjoy with butter, syrup, or honey!

Or follow steps 1 through 4.  While you are making the batter, place a cast iron skillet with a tablespoon of butter in the oven.  When the butter is melted, place the batter in the skillet.  Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Printable Recipe