These are the items we always have in our kitchen. As I run out of an item, I add it to the following week's grocery list. It is nice to have these staples on hand. Each household will have different must haves, but it is convenient to have items that are commonly used in many recipes.
Vegetable or Canola oil
Nonstick cooking spray
All Purpose flour
White wheat flour
Whole wheat flour
White and brown sugar
White and brown rice
2 pkgs pasta
2-4 cans chicken broth
Bouillion cubes (beef and chicken)
1 jar good quality pasta sauce
1 can good quality diced tomatoes
1 can good quality tomato sauce
1 can good quality crushed tomoatoes
1 can good quality whole tomatoes
1 can garbanzo beans
Light soy sauce
Red wine vinegar
Spices and Herbs
Dry mustard powder
Pure vanilla extract
Low fat plain yogurt or sour cream
Natural peanut butter
Preserves or jam
Half and Half
So simple to make and very good! Also, this is much lighter than traditional Alfredo.
1 pkg. (16 oz) penne pasta
1/2 pound (1 head)broccoli florets
3/4 cup reduced fat ricotta cheese
3/4 cup plain nonfat yogurt
1 Tbsp butter
1 1/2 tsp chopped garlic
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook it until is 2 minutes short of being done, then add the broccoli for the final 2 minutes of cooking.
2. While the pasta cooks, use a blender or food processor to combine the ricotta, yogurt, butter, garlic, walnuts, Parmesan cheese, basil, pepper, and salt. Blend until it is smooth.
3. When the pasta and broccoli are cooked; drain then and toss them with the sauce. Serve pasta warm.
**Note** I ommitted the walnuts because my son is under 2 years old.**
***Note*** This recipe calls for 1 box of pasta. This made A LOT and the pasta seemed to need more sauce so the next time I make this, I will only use 1/2 box of pasta. If you are feeding a lot of people, use 1 box of pasta and double the ingredients for the sauce.***
I got another award! Woot! Thanks to Felicia at Go Graham Go! I love your blog too! If you're a mom looking to find out which baby products work, you should definitely visit Go Graham Go. Felica doesn't do the "typical" review. She provides videos and slideshows of the product in action.
Here are the rules for the award:
1. Slap this baby up on your blog. Don’t be shy.
2. Link to the giver - in this case The Jolly Kitchen!
3. Nominate up to seven other fab blogs.
4. Post links to those super fly blogs your nominating.
5. Leave messages for your recipients on their blogs…so they can feel as special as you.
7 Blogs I Love:
The Best of DIY
Ellen Sew Crafty
1 Blog 2 Sides
Winniel & The Laughing House
The Daily Dish
Thank you so much Nessa at Ramblings of a Texas Housewife for the Kreativ Blogger Award! I really love your blog too and I am honored that you thought of me. Here are the rules for the award:
1. List six things about yourself
2. Pass this award on to other bloggers
Ok, here goes!
1. I love to cook! It is peaceful and relaxing to me. Well, it is peaceful and relaxing when I don't have a toddler grabbing my pant leg begging me to pick him up ; )
2. I love cheesecake and I make many different types. At Thanksgiving, I usually make a pumpkin cheesecake with a chocolate crust and decorated with chocolate leaves. It is so delicious!
3. I hate buffet style restaurants!
4. I love to decorate and own way too many dishes, glasses, silverware, etc...
5. I am a total mess in the kitchen. When I am done cooking, the kitchen looks like a tornado has been through it.
6. Don't talk to me if I have not had my coffee in the morning. I'm not very pleasant!
I would like to pass this award to these great bloggers:
1. Go Graham Go
2. My Art and the Mom in Me
3. The Mom Buzz
4. Momma Cooks Cooking
5. World of Homemaking
These are definitely a little bit of work, but they are really good!
10 green onions roots and ends trimmed
Olive oil for coating onions
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 large egg
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Rub a baking sheet with oil.
2. Lightly coat the onions with olive oil, place them on the baking sheet, ans season with salt. Roast for 5 to 8 minutes, until lightly browned. Chop into small dice.
3. Decrease the oven temperature to 375 degrees. Grease the cups of the muffin tins with butter.
4. In a small bowl, whisk together the milk, buttermilk, and egg.
5. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar.
6. In the bowl of the stand mixeer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter on high speed until smooth. Continuing to beat on low speed, add the flour mixture, alternating with the milk mixture until smooth. Add the cheese and green onions. Mix just to blend.
7. Use a small ice cream scoop to spoon batter into each cup. Bake on the center rack for 20 minutes until the tops are golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
8. Let cool on a rack for 5-10 minutes before removing muffins from tin. Left over muffins can be refigerated for 2-3 days and frozen for 2-3 weeks.
Makes 18 regular sized muffins or 36 mini muffins
1 cup low fat sour cream
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 pound cubed Angus stewing meat or beef tenderloin tips
2 Tbsp butter
8 ounces sliced mushrooms
3 large celery stalks finely chopped
1 tsp fresh dill or 3/4 tsp dried dill
1/8 cup red wine
1/8 cup light soy sauce
Remove the sour cream from the refrigerator so it warms slightly. Stir the mustard into the sour cream and set aside.
In a large heavy skillet, heat the oil over medium high heat. Sear the meat (cook without moving it) on all sides for about 1 minute until it is no longer pink on the outside. With a slotted spoon, tranfer the meat to a plate.
Using the same skillet, reduce the heat to medium and add butter. Add the mushrooms, celery, and dill and saute them for about 5 minutes until they are softened. Add the red wine and soy sauce and continue cooking the mixture for about 5 to 7 minutes until the vegetables are very tender and most of the liquid is absorbed. If the vegetables get too dry, add 1/4 cup water to the skillet.
Return the meat to the skillet and cook it for 2 to 3 more minutes until it is cooked through. Reduce the heat to low, let the temperature lower for a minute, and stir in the sour cream mixture until it is warmed through. Remove from heat and serve immediately over potatoes or egg noodles.
Menu For This Week: I'll post recipes and pictures as I make each meal.
Baked Macaroni & Cheese with Tomatos
Crunchy Chicken Fingers
Sweet Potato Fries
Bowties Alfredo with Broccoli
Cheddar Cheese Muffins
Beef & Mushrooms in Light Cream Sauce over Potatoes
Lunch for the Toddler:
Whole Grain Crackers with Deli Meat & Cheese
Assorted Fruit: Pineapple, Blueberries, Grapes, Bananas
Organic Yogurt Mixed with Fresh Fruit
I got on award! Woo-hoo! Thank you to Jen at The Geek's Girl and Kimmi at Kimmis Krazy World. I love your blogs too!
As with all awards, here are the rules:
Here are the rules:
1. The winner can put the logo on his/her blog.
2. Link the person you received your award from.
3. Nominate at least 7 other blogs.
4. Put links of those blogs on yours.
5. Leave a message on the blogs of the persons you've nominated.
I would like to pass the award to these great bloggers:
1. Modern Mommy
2. Saving Grace
3. Tired Mama
4. Soccer Mom Says
5. Katee Dyd What
6. Housewife Mom
7. Feels Like Home
This is the best meatloaf I have ever had. The couscous is delicious and a total comfort food.
2 1/2 lbs. lean ground beef
1 1/2 c. packaged stuffing mix
2 c. finely chopped Paula Red apples
2 t. salt
2 T. prepared mustard
1 large onion, minced
3 T. prepared horseradish
3/4 c. ketchup
In a large bowl, combine all ingredients, mixing well. Pack into a greased 8×5x3 inch loaf pan. Bake at 350° for 1 and 1/4 hours.
Couscous with Cauliflower and Carrots
5 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 head cauliflower (or 1 bag frozen florets)
1 pkg Near East Parmesan couscous
salt to taste
1. Put cauliflower and carrots in a large pot with water and bring to a boil until vegetables are fork tender. Drain. Lightly mash cauliflower and carrots and set aside.
2. Cook couscous according to package directions BUT replace the water with the chicken broth.
3. Combine couscous and vegetables and stir to combine.Season with salt according to your taste.
This pizza was so good and the closest thing to pizza from a true pizzeria. The reason those pizzas are so good is that they are cooked at really high temperatures in stone ovens. Your oven at home can never come close to that. The next best thing is using your grill.
White Wheat Pizza Dough Recipe
4 1/2 cups King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon instant yeast
2 Tbsp Honey
1/4 cup olive oil
1 3/4 cups water, ice cold
a few tablespoons chopped herbs (optional)
Semolina flour or cornmeal for dusting
Stir together the flour, salt, and instant yeast in the bowl of an electric mixer. By hand stir in the oil, honey, and the cold water until the flour is all absorbed. Add the herbs. Switch to the dough hook and mix on medium speed for 5 to 7 minutes, or as long as it takes to create a smooth, sticky dough. The dough should clear the sides of the bowl but stick to the bottom of the bowl (to me it looks like a tornado). Add a touch of water or flour to reach the desired effect. The finished dough will be springy, elastic, and sticky, not just tacky.
Transfer the dough to a floured countertop. Cut the dough into 6 equal pieces and mold each into a ball. Rub each ball with olive oil and place in a bowl. Cover the bowl with a dishtowel and let rise for at least an hour in a warm place. I like to put really hot water in a baking dish in the lower rack of my oven (do not turn oven on) and place covered bowls with dough on rack directly above. After the dough has risen, roll out the dough. Take each ball and form into a disk and roll out. I like thin crust, but thick works as well.
If you do not want to grill your pizza, then preheat your oven to 450 degrees and bake for 10-15 minutes on a pizza stone or baking sheet.
Makes six 6-ounce pizza crusts.
Really, anything goes here. We did sauteed mushrooms, ham, mozarella cheese, and tomato sauce. The best thing to do when grilling a pizza is to use less toppings. Do not load the pizza.
Turn on all the burners of your gas grill to high and let heat for 10 minutes. Bring out the rolled dough and all of your toppings. It is best to have your toppings already cooked. For example, I sauteed the mushrooms beforehand. I put all of the toppings on a plate so they were ready as soon as the crust was ready. Once you get the dough on the grill, everything goes really fast.
Ok, so you have preheated the grill for 10 minutes on high. Turn the burners down to medium heat.
Rub olive oil onto top of dough and put that side down on the grill. Close the grill. Check the dough about 2 minutes later by using tongs and peeking under the dough to make sure it is not burning. If you need to, rotate the dough. Don't worry about grill marks-you are supposed to get them. Close the grill again and wait 1 minute and check again. At this point, if you have a thin crust, it will probably be done. Take the dough off the grill and now rub olive oil onto the top (ungrilled) of the dough.
Flip over so that you have the grilled side up and put your toppings on. Turn off 2 burners (if you have a 3 burner grill or turn off 1 burner if you have a 2 burner grill). Place pizza on the grill over the burner that is turned off and close the lid of the grill. You will be using indirect heat to finish the pizza. The key is to get your cheese to melt BEFORE the crust burns. Keep checking the underside of the crust to make sure it is not burning. When your cheese melts, the pizza is done. If your cheese melts and the crust does not seem done on the bottom, slide it over to the burner that is on for 30 seconds to a minute.
I know this seems like a lot, but it is actually very easy and goes really, really fast. We were really nervous about it at first because we had never grilled a pizza, but it was really easy and so delicious.
I recently discovered White Wheat Flour. It is milled from white whole wheat, rather than red, it has all the fiber and nutrition of traditional whole wheat, with milder flavor and lighter color. It tastes delicious, especially for people who don't really like the grainy taste of Whole Wheat (like my husband). I have been using it to cook this past week and it has been a hit. I didn't have any trouble finding it at my local grocery store. It was right in the baking aisle. I used King Arthurs, but I am sure there must be some other brands out there as well.
I forgot to take a picture of this meal, but I have to post it on here because it so good and a favorite at my house. It is especially good in the winter because it is such a comfort food.
1 tray boneless, skinless chicken thighs
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 small onion coarsely grated
1-2 cups peas or broccoli
1 can biscuits
salt and pepper to taste
1. Pour soup into crockpot and using can from soup, add 2 cans of water to pot and stir soup and water.
2. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Add chicken into crock pot and add onions. Flip chicken in crockpot to coat with soup mixture.
3. Set crock pot to low and cook for 5 hours.
4. When done, remove chicken from crockpot and shred. Put back into crockpot and add vegetables. Stir.
5. Place biscuits over chicken mixture.
6. Turn crockpot to high and cook 30 more minutes.
These are really tasty and the whole family loved them! I really made them for the tot to serve with lunch or a snack. You can make a lot and freeze for up to a month. You can use all sorts of veggies instead of zucchini such as yellow squash, broccoli, corn, peas, etc.
8 oz zucchini coarsely grated
3 tbsp parmesan cheese
1 free range egg, lightly beaten
2 tbsp white all purpose flour (I used white wheat flour)
2 tbsp sunflower oil (I used olive oil)
salt and pepper to taste
1. Squeeze the zucchini in a dish towel to remove any excess moisture. Mix the zucchini with the parmesan, egg, and flour, then season.
2. Heat half the oil in a nonstick skillet. Add 2 tbsp of the zucchini mixture to the skillet for each fritter to make approximately 6 total. Cook in two batches for 2-3 minutes on each side until set and golden. Drain on paper towels and let cool.
These mini tarts are really wonderful and make a great lunch for the kiddo. I give him 1/2 a tart,some veggies, and fruit and he is happy. I made them in actual mini tart pans, but the recipe called for a muffin tin. I made 6 of them, but I froze 4 of them right away. If you try this recipe, I have to warn that it calls for only 2 tbsp of water to make the crust, but I had to add more than that. I just kept adding in small increments until the dough formed a ball and was not dry. The key with making a pastry dough is to not "work" the dough too much. I used my food processor to make the dough. If you do that, make sure you use the PULSE feature to go slowly. Also, I added a bit of chopped ham to egg mixture.
2/3 cup milk
4 free range eggs, lightly beaten
2 1/2 oz grated cheddar cheese
1 tomato, sliced into 8 circles
freshly ground pepper, salt to taste
1 1/3 cups wholewheat plain flour
3 1/2 oz cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
pinch of salt
1. Sift the flour into a bowl, adding any bran left in the sifter. Rub the butter into the flour using your fingertips until it forms breadcrumbs. Pour in 2 tbsp of iced water and stir with a fork, then your hands, until it forms a ball. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill 30 minutes.
2. Grease an 8 cup deep muffin pan. Roll out the dough on a floured surface and use to line the holes, leaving dough slightly on top. Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Chill the dough shells 15 minutes.
3. Bake the dough shells 6 minutes then remove from the oven. Whisk the eggs and milk together and season. Sprinkle the cheese into the shells, add the egg mixture and a slice of tomato, and bake 15 minutes until set.
4. Cool slightly before removing with a paring knife.
I made these Spinach Nuggets last week. I got the recipe from a toddler food idea website. OMG, seriously, the hubby and I were praying the toddler would hate them so that we could eat all of them ourselves. No such luck, he fervently popped them in his mouth like he hadn't eaten in weeks. Anyhow, I had posted this recipe on one of my other blogs, but at that point, I had not made them. Here is the recipe again with pictures of the ones I actually made. These would make excellent appetizers. I have already added the recipe to my "party recipes" file.
1 16-oz package frozen chopped spinach, cooked, drained, and chopped further if needed
1 cup whole wheat seasoned bread crumbs
1 1/4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
3 eggs or 5 egg whites
Heat oven to 375 degrees.
Lightly coat a baking sheet with olive oil and set aside.
Combine all remaining ingredients and mix well.
*Add seasonings if you like - garlic powder, pepper, extra basil & oregano for example.
Add a fruit or veggie puree to substitute for the eggs if desired.
Shape mixture into nuggets or fun shapes such as squares or squigglies etc..at this point, you can cook as they are or lightly coat each nugget with some bread crumbs and place on baking tray.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, turn nuggets over after 15 minutes.
I made Fruit Jigglers for my 1 year old today and they were a hit and so easy to make. I know, I know this is a obvious, simple uncreative recipe, but I didn't think of making it until I read of another mom making it. Sometimes, it's the simplest things that are overlooked. Next time, I will use a more colorful juice. I used organic apple juice this time and it felt great knowing the little one was not getting any added sugar and eating healthy. It is much better than Jello because you know exactly what is in it. Honestly, it is just as easy to make as Jello. So, here is the recipe:
Homemade Fruit Jigglers
2 cups fruit juice of your choice (100% Natural Fruit Juice)
3 tsp powdered gelatin
1/4 cup small cubed fruit of your choice
Place 1/4 cup of the juice in a cup; sprinkle gelatin over juice.
Stand cup in a small pan of simmering water, stir until gelatin is dissolved.
Stir gelatin mixture and fruits into remaining juice in a medium bowl or square/rectangular pan.
Refrigerate until firm.
Scoop into a cup or cut into shapes to serve. Let your toddler help with the cutting of the shapes! Break out the cookie cutters and make this a toddler activity!
Low Fat Burgers with Caramelized Onions on Whole Wheat Bun
The burgers were delicious! The Apple Coleslaw was ok, but could do without the scallions. I will post the recipe anyway for those who may enjoy it. I know I just said it, but the burgers were fabulous! The husband, the toddler, and I loved them! I know I sound like a mad woman raving about a simple burger, but have you ever tried to make a burger with lean beef? It is so difficult to make them come out juicy. These were great!
Low Fat Burger
1Lb Lean Ground Beef
1/2 Cup Seasoned Bread Crumbs
2 Egg Whites
1/2 Cup Low Fat Milk
2 TB Light Soy Sauce
Combine ingredients by hand and form into patties. Grill or broil 4-6 minutes each side. Serves 4.
Heat a heavy bottomed pan on medium heat. Add a Tbsp of extra virgin oil to the pan. Thinly slice 1 large onion. Put onions in the heated pan and add 1 tsp of sugar. Cook for 15 minutes stirring occasionaly.
8oz Cabbage (any kind you like)
1 coarsely shredded carrot
1 coarsely shredded apple
1 thinly chopped scallion
2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 freshly squeezed lemon
2 Tbsp Light Mayonaise
Salt & Pepper to taste
Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl until combined. Refrigerate until right before serving.
I made Low Fat Blueberrry Bran Muffins today and they turned out really well. They are very healthy and do not have any oil. Surprisingly, they are really moist and taste really good...especially for being healthy and low fat. I gave the little one a couple of bites tonight and he really loved it. He kept coming back for more, which is always a good sign! The husband liked them as well, which is a good sign coming from someone who slathers all of his food in ranch or cheese-LOL!
1 1/2 cups wheat bran
1 cup nonfat milk
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup white wheat flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup blueberries
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease muffin cups or use paper muffin liners. Mix together wheat bran and milk, and let stand for 10 minutes.
In a large bowl, mix together applesauce, egg, brown sugar, and vanilla. Beat in bran mixture. Sift together all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Stir into bran mixture until just blended. Fold in blueberries. Scoop into muffin cups.
Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until tops spring back when lightly tapped.
Servings Per Recipe: 12
Amount Per Serving
Total Fat: 1g
Total Carbs: 28.1g
Dietary Fiber: 4.3g
I spent the whole weekend dusting off and reading cook books and scouring the internet for websites with good, healthy recipes. And, today I went to the grocery store to stock up the fridge and pantry. On a side note, there should be a parenting class devoted to "Grocery Shopping with a 1 Year Old". At first, Lucas (my son) was really, really sweet. He blew kisses to every single person he saw. About halfway through, he proceeded to grab every grocery item and throw it out of the cart, which earned me some stares from fellow shoppers. Ok, so back to cooking, which is the point of this blog. Tomorrow, which is really today since it is now 2:13 AM, I will spend the day prepping meals for the week and organizing the kitchen. I will also be making homemade household cleaners. If you want to know more about that, I will be posting a series about "greening" your life on Saving With Style. Below is the menu for the week. There are only 5 dinners, rather than 7 because I know there will be leftovers. As I make each dish, I will post recipes, take pictures, and let you know what we thought about it.
Breakfast (Choose 1):
Oatmeal & Fruit
Blueberry Bran Muffins & Fruit
Waffles & Fruit
Ham, Egg, Cheese (Baked in muffin tins)
Eggs, Toast, Fruit
Lunch (for the little one):
Egg, Tomato, Cheese Mini Tarts (Whole Wheat) & Fruit
Spinach Nuggets and Fruit/Veggie
Zucchini & Parmesan Fritters and Fruit/Veggie
Pear & Ham Bundles, Organic Whole Grain Crackers
Whole Wheat Pizza With Chicken, Mushrooms, & Onions
Slowcooker Chicken & Dumplings (with Peas)
Low Fat Burgers & Apple Coleslaw
Classic Beef Stew
Apple Meatloaf & Couscous w/Cauliflower & Carrots
Snacks (for the little one):
Hummus on Whole Grain Crackers
If you are searching for some great blogs, here are some you should definitely check out:
A Little of This and That
All in a Blog
Angies Silly Stuff
Anything I Think About
Blog About it
Busy Bee Village
The Cajun Blogger
Candle At Both Ends
A Christian Marriage
Cypress TX Mom
Da Boss And Bryguy
Deal with Chrominc Pain
Fat Girl Goes Fit
Feelings Just Are
Florida Travel Spots
4 Cats Make Me Crazy!
The Fuzzbutt Files
The Geeks Girl
Green 'n' Pink
Happy Healthy Families
Have Your Health
Healthy Home Blog
Here On Columbia Avenue
House of Bargains
House Wife Wom
Huckle Buckle and Other Mom Stuff
A Hunter's Wife
I Don't Commute
I Feel Like A Woman
I Love My 3 Boys
It's Just My Thoughts
Kimmi's Krazy World
Kim's Kountry Kitchen
KKB Mom of 3
Lipgloss N" Pinups
Making My American Dream
Moma's Crazy World
Mommy Mia's World
Mom to Three Sisters
Ms Frugal McDougal
My Big Fat Battle
My First Steps With Jesus
My So Called Blog
My Name is Not “Mom”
My Song of Joy
My Wahm Life
My Weekly Beef
Notes From a Wannabe WAHM
Not Just In Your Head
101 Ways to Save
Paradise Fiber Studio
Photos for the Fun of it
Postcard from Somewhere
Pure Jade Home
Raising a Girl
Saving with Style
Saving With Tracy
Savvy Business Moms
Secret Thoughts and More
Something Witty to Say
Surgical Nurse Musings
Talk Time with Kim
That‘s What I am Talking About
The Geek's Girl
The Jolly Kitchen
Thrifty Momma Ramblings
Time Keeps on Flying
Vibrant Healthy U
WAH and Loving It
The Work From Home Blog
Work from Home Options
World of Homemaking
World of Mom
This is my first post here. In the next week, I will be adding recipes and pictures of dishes I have made in the past or make during the week. I love to cook, but haven't been as creative as I used to be before my son was born. I am ready to get back into the kitchen and come up with great tasting, healthy meals for the family.