February 15, 2010

Stuffed French Toast

Made these for my lil' Valentines. They LOVED it (and so did we!)

4 Eggs
1 tsp vanilla
Nutmeg and cinnamon (to your liking)
Peanut butter
Bananas, sliced
White bread
1 T butter

Beat egg, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a bowl and set aside.
Spread peanut butter on one side of bread (texas toast works great!). Place banana slices on top of peanut butter. Place other slice of bread on top to make a sandwich. Assemble as many as you like or need.
In a skillet or frying pan melt the butter. Dip each sandwich into the egg mixture, be sure to press so the bread absorbs the mixture. Place into the heated skilled and cook until brown on both sides.
Serve with syrup, powdered sugar, and fruit!
It sounds crazy, but it's really yummy! :)

February 14, 2010


What would we do without The Sisters' Cafe? I saw this recipe a few weeks ago and have been dying to try it. I finally did, and WOW! I can't stop eating it!

Please excuse the flour-lined canister that I put the granola in.
The recipe is here. I followed it exactly except for the cardamom. I even went to the grocery store to get it, but it's $12 a container! So I didn't get it. Also, you can do almonds or pecans and I did almonds since Carson's allergic to pecans. Plus, I prefer almonds myself.

Next time I make it, I will make one change. When you first spread it in the cookie sheet, I will try to "clump" it together better and make sure I don't have very many loose sections.

3 ¼ cups Oats (Old Fashioned or Quick—any combination)
1 ¼ cup white wheat flour-freshly ground if possible
1 1/3 cup shredded coconut
¼ cup flax seed (optional)
1 cup or more coarsely chopped almonds and/or pecans
1 cup brown sugar
1 stick butter
1/3 cup water
½ tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp cardamom

Preheat oven to 300. In a large mixing bowl combine the oats, flour, flax seed, coconut and nuts. Set aside. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine brown sugar, butter, and water and heat until the butter has melted and the mixture is bubbly. Using a wooden spoon, stir the mixture together until smooth, and then stir in the salt, vanilla and spices. Pour mixture over the oats mixture and stir well to coat. Let stand for about 10 minutes. Spread mixture on a large baking sheet, separating it into irregular clumps with your fingers, and allowing space between clumps for the hot air to circulate. Slide it into the middle of the oven and bake until the top is golden brown, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and stir to break up the mixture into medium sized clumps. Return to the oven and bake again for 15 minutes before stirring again. Bake for another 15 minutes or until the granola is uniform golden brown and completely dry—this usually takes me about 45 minutes . Cool completely on a wire rack. Store in an air tight container.

February 12, 2010

Chicken Noodle Soup w/ Dumplings

Mom has a recipe that is really similar to this soup- it's here on the blog. And I love it.

But the other night I didn't have all of the ingredients (namely, heavy cream) and tried a soup that was very close. And very yummy! We've had it for leftovers and loved it just as much as the first time.

I found the recipe here at My Kitchen Cafe. My picture is not as good as hers!

Chicken and Broth:
4 cups chicken broth
4 cups water
2-3 chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds)

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 large carrots (6-7 baby carrots), chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup frozen peas

1 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme or sage
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil

In a large pot, boil the chicken broth, water and chicken breasts until the chicken is cooked through and tender (about 15 minutes). Remove the chicken from the pot, reserving the broth in the pot, and shred the chicken with two forks. Set the chicken aside and keep the broth warm on the stove.

While the chicken is boiling, in a large skillet, heat 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the celery, carrots and onions. Saute for about 6-7 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Add the vegetables to the hot broth in the pot after the chicken has been removed. Add salt, thyme and pepper to the vegetable/broth mixture and stir to combine. Heat the soup to a simmer.

In a small bowl, blend ½ cup cold water and 1/4 cup flour with a wire whisk until smooth. Whisking vigorously, slowly add the flour mixture into the hot vegetables and broth and whisk until well combined. Add ½ cup frozen peas and the reserved chicken and cook, stirring gently for one minute.

For the dumplings, in a medium bowl, stir together the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, combine sour cream, milk and oil. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir just until combined (don't overmix, it is ok if there are a few dry spots of flour here and there).

Heat the soup to boiling and drop teaspoonful amounts (the dumplings should be fairly small, they'll expand while cooking) of dumpling dough into the boiling soup, covering the entire surface of the soup (don't make more than one layer of dumplings). Reduce the heat to simmering, cover and let the dumplings cook for 15 minutes. Do not lift the lid of the pot while the dumplings cook. When the dumplings have cooked fully, remove the lid and gently stir the dumplings to break them apart. Serve.

*Note: I had extra shredded chicken from another meal in my freezer. I just used chicken bouillon cubes to make the broth/water mixture and went from there.

February 6, 2010

Chicken Artichoke Pasta

I used my cousin Angie's Capers and Artichoke Pasta recipe (thank you!) as a foundation for this yummy pasta dinner.

1 jar artichoke hearts (drained)
1 can olives sliced in half
1 tomato diced
1 small or 1/2 large red bell pepper diced
1 medium zucchini diced
4 tsp capers
2 cloves garlic minced
2 chicken breasts grilled and cubed
1-2 T olive oil

1/2 pint of half 'n half
3/4 cup broth
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Parmesan cheese
Your choice of noodles

Cook pasta as directed and drain. In a deep saute pan put in oil and add artichokes, olives, tomato, bell pepper, capers, garlic, and zucchini. Saute for a few minutes. In a separate bowl combine broth, half 'n half, and cornstarch. Add to veggies and bring to a simmer. Add balsamic vinegar (up to 1 T more if you like), chicken and noodles and heat everything through until desired thickness of sauce. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Enjoy with a piece of toasted garlic bread.

Everything But the Kitchen Sink Cookies

This was originally a Mrs Fields cookie recipe that Alan and I tweeked and tweeked until this delicious piece of heaven.

1 C butter softened
1 C sugar
1 C brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 pkg (3.4 oz) vanilla instant pudding
2 C oatmeal
2 C flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 C coconut
1/2 C chopped walnuts
1/4 C Heath bits (found by the chocolate chips)
1/2 bag of Semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 bag of Milk chocolate chips
Small handful of raisins

Cream butter and sugar. Add brown sugar, eggs, vanilla, and pudding mix. Cream together. Add oatmeal, flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Mix together. Add coconut, walnuts, Heath bits, chocolate chips, and raisins. Mix together.
Form into balls and bake at 375 degrees for 9 minutes.
Serve with a tall, cold glass of milk. Yummmmmmmmy!!!

February 2, 2010

One Bowl Brownies

We tried these brownies last night for F.H.E. I found the recipe on The Sisters' Cafe. I thought they were ok warm, but not great. Then I tried them this morning. WOW. They were so. much. better!! The flavor and consistency settled together and they were dense and chocolately and yummy! Best of all, they really were super easy. So when you make them, let them cool and settle before serving.

Perfect One Bowl Brownies

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
4 eggs
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cup flour
1 cup chocolate chips (however much you want- just sprinkle them on top)

Preheat oven to 350. In a medium bowl melt butter in microwave, then stir in oil, sugar and cocoa. With a wooden spoon stir in the remainder of the ingredients except for the chocolate chips. Spread into a 9x13 pan sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top. Bake in a preheated oven for 25-30 minutes. If your toothpick comes out clean you have cooked them too long! DO NOT OVERCOOK!

*note: I halved this recipe and made it in a square 8x8 pan. They turned out great.
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