Saturday, June 26, 2010

Banana "Soft Serve"

This is pretty incredible.....I could hardly believe it the first time I tried it. The consistency is exactly like soft serve. And you can't beat the nutritional value!

Next time you buy bananas, cut some up into chunks and store in your freezer. When you get a craving for sweets, pop some of the chunks into your blender (I definitely need a better one).

Start processing them. At first, they will go into tiny pieces.
The next part takes a little more effort (at least it does in my lame blender). As you blend, you'll have to frequently stop and use a spatula to push the bananas down into the blades. Keep at it, and eventually get something surprisingly similar to soft serve ice cream (banana flavored, of course).
It's very creamy and smooth. It's great with a little strawberry or chocolate sauce on it too!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Fast Enchilada Sauce

O.K. So made this last night and its so easy I may not ever buy enchilada sauce again, because I generally have all this stuff on hand - I double the batch because I dip my tortillas in the sauce and I mix the chicken in a little sauce...then I add a little sour cream to the rest of the sauce and dump it over the top and top with more cheese....I've decided this would make the best cheese enchiladas. I've also decided this would make a great canning recipe - yum!!

Makes 2 1/2 cups and only takes 15 minutes
1tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, minced
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp chili powder
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp sugar
2 (8oz) cans tomato sauce
1/2 c. water

Heat the oil in a 12 inch skiller over med heat until shimmering. Add the onion and salt and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chili powder, garlic, cumin, and sugar/ Cook until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Stir in the tomota sauce and the water. Bring to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


Sunday, May 16, 2010

Brussels Sprouts (yes, you read that right)

I did not grow up eating Brussels Sprouts. In fact, I lived in Virginia where they like to say they are in "the South," and I never ate them there. My children ate Brussels Sprouts at their babysitter's house. She told the kids (they were still real young), that it was broccoli balls. And they like them!

Well, we move back to Utah, and my husband occasionally buys frozen Brussels Sprouts. And there they sit because, well, I have no clue what to do with them! I search the internet for recipes, but I never try them. So they still sit in my freezer! (I think I even through them out one time...)

Anyway, I got my first "basket" of produce from the co-op yesterday and there were 12 little Brussels Sprouts in there. What in the world was I going to do with them? So I searched one more time and found this recipe and turns out my whole family loved them! (They went well with the meatloaf, too! In fact, I heated up a can of green beans in case the sprouts didn't go over very well... Brussels Sprouts were gone before the green beans!)

So here it is:

Brussels Sprouts (I'd say 2-3 per person)
Olive oil
Parmesan cheese (for the springtime and they suggested like Gouda for winter time, so your taste/mood of cheese)

Wash and halve the Brussels Sprouts. Toss them in the olive oil (or I just poured some in my fry pan and then sprayed the tops of them after I placed them cut-side down in the hot pan).
*Don't get the pan too hot or the outside will cook faster than the inside, and that wouldn't taste very good.
Sprinkle sale and pepper on the oiled sprouts.
Cover and cook for about 5 minutes. The cut side will be a nice crusty brown color.
Sprinkle cheese on and serve immediately. These are best warm.

These are fabulous, and my kids asked me to make them another time!

It was a winner dinner day!

And we topped it off with homemade Key Lime Pie.

Slow Cooker Meatloaf

I have never had much luck with meatloaf and I am nearly 40 years old. I know, what could possibly be so hard about making meatloaf? Mine was NEVER completely cooked! I always followed the recipe to a T, but for some reason, it just didn't click.

However, I stumbled across a recipe (and now I can't find it), and I will never bake a meatloaf in the conventional oven again!

This is what I made today:

1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground turkey
2 eggs
2 Tbs Worcestershire Sauce
1 onion chopped
1 cup quick oats

Mix it all together and form into a loaf in your slow cooker/crock pot (whatever you call it).

Spread some of your favorite barbecue sauce on top.

Cook on HIGH power 3-4 hours, or LOW power 6-8 hours.

Mine cooker has a timer and goes to "Keep Warm" after the timer goes off (very nice when you go to church for 3 hours). When we came home, I spread another layer of barbecue sauce on top (used Famous Dave's Sweet and Zesty).

HINT: I read (and now I believe it) that if you let your meatloaf sit for 15 minutes after it's done cooking, it will be easier to cook.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

slow cooked mac 'n cheese

I saw this recipe in my taste of home slow cooker book a while ago. I posted it on my food blog a couple of months ago.  Went back to make it again this week because it is my favorite home-made mac 'n cheese that I've found so far, and it is also low fat.  Soo good.  I like it sprinkled with a bit of pepper.

  • 2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 1 can reduced-fat evaporated milk (12 oz)
  • 1 1/2 cups fat-free milk
  • 1/3 cup egg substitute
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 8 ounces reduced-fat Velveeta, cubed
  • 2 cups (8 oz) shredded dharp cheddar cheese, divided
1. Cook macaroni according to package directions; drain and rinse in cold water. While macaroni is cooking: Reserve 1/2 cup cheddar cheese and mix remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Mix in the macaroni
2. Transfer to a 3-quart slow cooker coated with cooking spray. Cover and cook on low for 2 3/4 hours to 3 hours or until center is set, stirring once. Sprinkle with remaining sharp cheddar cheese.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken

This is in my crockpot as we speak! Okay, so I did have to change a few things a little...

I did use chicken breast strips. I used white cooking wine instead of rice wine vinegar. And i used red pepper instead of red pepper flakes, but my house smells so good!

The best part is, I finished work at about noon. I got lunch for the kids, and then I threw everything together. Even on low, dinner will be ready by 4:30-5:00! I just have to steam rice and decide on a vegetable or fruit!


Prepared by Karen Peterson
Serves 4-6
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1/2 inch pieces (don't use chicken breasts)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp canola oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp ketchup
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 cup cashews
Combine flour and pepper in resealable food storage bag. Add chicken. Shake to coat with flour mixture. Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Brown chicken about 2 minutes on each side. Place chicken in slow cooker. Combine soy sauce, vinegar, ketchup, sugar, garlic, ginger, and pepper flakes in small bowl; pour over chicken. Cook on low for 3 to 4 hours. Add cashews and stir. Server over rice.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Black Bean Soup

so this is TGI Fridays recipes out of one of my very favorite cookbooks - its called topsecret restaurant recipes 2. Yes, I have both and love both, but if I could only buy one it would be this one. Warning, its not the prettiest to look at - but yum its delicious

2 TBSP Vegetable oil
3/4 c. diced white onion - I use yellow if I don't have white
3/4 c. diced celery
1/2 c. diced carrot
1/4 c. diced green bell pepper
2 tbsp minced garlic
4 15oz cans black beans
4 c. chicken broth
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp liquis hickory smoke

Can garnish with shredded cheddar / monterey jack cheese blend / chopped green onion

Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a large saucepan over med / low heat. Add onion, celery, carrot, bell pepper, and garlic to the oil and simmer slowly (sweat) for 15 minutes or until the onions are practically clear. Keep the heat low enough the veggies don't brown. While you cook the veggies, pour the canned beans into a strainer and rinse them under cold water. Measure 3 cups of the drained and rinsed beans into a food processor with 1 cup of the chicken broth. Puree on high speed until smooth. When the veggies are ready, pour the pureed beans, the whole beans, the rest of the chicken broth, and every other ingredient in the list, into the pot. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 50-60 minutes or until soup has thickened and all the ingredients are tender. Serve the soup topped with a couple tablespoons of the cheese blend and a teaspoon or so of chopped green onion. Makes 6 1 cup servings