Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Microwave risotto

I watch Hell's Kitchen and see the contestants screw up their risotto week after week.  They make it for every show and always get it wrong, and they're CHEFS! 
I was determined to learn how to make risotto, easily.  I found this recipe on allrecipes.com and its sooo yummy, and easy.  I wouldn't get kicked out of Gordon Ramsey's kitchen with this stuff.


After reading the reviews, I skipped the onions because a lot of people said that they burnt.  I used some of my own stock and some stock in a box.  I also cooked it on 70% power. 

                                                             Before it was cooked
                   Ready to eat. I added a little bit of warm water at the end, until it was the right texture.

Overnight French Toast

This is another recipe that my friend Jess shared with me. 

Here is the link: http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=544253

I also copy and pasted it here:


1/3 cup butter, melted
3/4 C brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
12 slices whole wheat bread (works best if slightly stale, but not required)
6 eggs
1 1/2 c milk
splash of vanilla
dash of salt


Place melted butter in 9 x 13 pan. Add brown sugar and cinnamon. Mix well and spread over bottom of pan. Cover with 2 layers of bread slices. Beat eggs, milk, vanilla, and salt. Pour egg mixture over bread; Cover and refrigerate overnight. Uncover and let sit on counter for 15 minutes. Bake at 300 degrees for 30 minutes or until knife comes out clean and it is not squishy.

Makes 12 servings. When serving, cut bread slices in half (the 2 layers of bread will create one THICK piece of bread). Can also put 1 tsp of fruit spread between slices before adding egg mixture.

Number of Servings: 12

This is a picture of the butter and brown sugar mixture, and the egg and milk mixture. 

Finished Product:


Monday, July 30, 2012

Aly's princess hat cupcakes


To coat the cone in icing, I put it on the end of a butter knife so I wouldn't have to hold it. 

I did the ribbon, with airheads but they looked strange when I put them on because I used red, and it didn't go with the pastel colors very well. 

Instead of putting candies around the cone, I piped icing around the edge. 

Instead of candies on the cone, I used silver glittery sprinkles. 

The kids loved them!

Sunday, July 15, 2012


This is what I use for my strawberries, instead of the spongy ones at the grocery stores.  My friend Lindsey gave me this recipe.  Its the one that her dad makes. 

2 cups of all purpose flour
1 tablespoon of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
3 tablespoons of sugar
1 stick butter, chilled-cut into 8 pieces
2/3-3/4 cup of milk

Preheat oven to 425

In food processor, or mixing bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar, pulse to mix.  Add cup up butter to mixture and pulse until mixture is well mixed.  There will be small chunks of butter.  Transfer to a large bowl and stir in milk, just until dough is moist.  Let dough stand for a minute.  Knead dough 2-3 times, until its less sticky.  Add more flour if needed. 
Pat the dough into 3/4 inch thick, by 3 inch wide biscuits.  Can be done with your hands, or a cookie cutter.  Sprinkle with sugar.
Bake 10-15 mins,  until risen and golden brown. 

Makes about 8 shortcakes.

Here is a picture of some that I made, if you can see it under the strawberries and cream.  I used real cream and whipped it with a little bit of sugar and vanilla. 

Maui Scalloped Potatoes

Here is another Disney recipe that I made before we left.  Its from Ohana at the Polynesian.  We ate there on our last day at Disney.  :-( 



Wednesday, July 11, 2012

My favorite tilapia

My friend Jess shared this recipe with me and its my absolute favorite way to cook fish.  Its from sparkpeople. 


My pictures are below.

Monday, April 2, 2012

50s Primetime Cafe Meatloaf

Here's the recipe: 

I used just one lb of turkey so I cut back everything else too.  I did the glaze recipe, exactly the way it is.

Ready to glaze and bake

Ready to eat!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Rice Cream

This is another Disney recipe.  Its from the Akerhaus Restaurant in Norway.  I did not make the strawberry sauce recipe thats included.  I used a different recipe for that.

Here's the rice cream recipe: (it makes ALOT)

 The cooked rice
 Whipped cream
Mixed together

This is the strawberry sauce recipe that I used:

I made this exact recipe.  It needs to be doubled if you want to have enough for all of the rice cream.  I don't think we'll end up eating all of it, so I purposely didn't make too much sauce.

The completed dessert. 

This is perfect for alot of people.  I made 10 parfait cups and barely made a dent in the rice.  I was glad I didn't make too many because they do start to dry out if they're uncovered for too long.  I've had it in the fridge for about 4 days and the rice is starting to get a little hard. 

BBQ Beef/Turkey Casserole

I found a recipe similar to this and modified it so many times that it doesn't resemble the original recipe at all anymore.  I think I found the original recipe on a budget website.  Its a great recipe to make ahead and I always freeze half of it (without the corn bread on top).  The original recipe used ground beef, but I always use turkey.  It also had 2 lbs of ground meat but I've made it with 1 or 2 and I think 1 lb is plenty.

2 lbs ground beef or turkey
large onion diced
sm. can of corn
3/4-1 cup BBQ sauce
small can or half a bag of kidney beans-dried beans need to be soaked or boiled first
14.5 oz diced tomatoes-drain partially
1/2 can V8
2 cups shredded cheese
2 packages corn bread mix

brown me atand drain
cook onion until soft
add corn, tomatoes and beans and add to meat
add BBQ sauce and V8
(can also add garlic and worst. sauce)

spread into pan and sprinkle cheese on top

prepare corn bread mix according to box and spread on top

bake 400 deg for 20-25 mins

Before the cornbread

Baked, with cornbread on top

St. Patrick's Day cupcakes

For St. Patrick's day, we made cupcakes in ice cream cones (with a mix) and then I made this buttercream icing:

This was one of the easiest and yummiest buttercream icing recipes that I've tried.  I made it green and added Lucky Charms.

Bella wanted to be in the blog too ;-) 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Tomato Sauce

I'm sooo excited to be planting veggies again.  This is my second year attempting to have a garden.  Last year, I just did tomatoes.  When I was planting my lettuce and spinach today, I was thinking about all of the things I want to do with whatever we grow this year.  I remembered this recipe that I used last year. 


I skipped the celery, bay leaf and wine.  It was amazing!  Jason said that it was way better than anything that he ever had out of a jar.  :-) 

I'm so excited to make it again this summer.  Now that I know I can do it, I'll be making big batches to freeze for the winter months.

Update (July): I made this again, so now I can add pictures.  This time, I added a little bit of fruitables veggie juice (like V8)

The tomatoes, after they were boiled

                                                             The veggies, simmering
The sauce, simmering

The sauce, after its pureed


I've always made my girls lunches that were more like a bunch of snacks on a plate (like the cupcake pan).  I've been starting to look for all of the things that Bella will need to start school in the fall and I decided to buy these containers: http://www.easylunchboxes.com/products/index.htm

I've been reading a whole bunch of blogs on bento lunch ideas.  I'm excited for her to have fun lunches at school. 

Here is another lunch that I made today, in a container simliar to the ones that I ordered.  This lunch was for both of the kids.  They also had goldfish and gogurts. 

William Penn Pasta

This is a copycat recipe from the place that we're eating at Magic Kingdom, Liberty Tree Tavern.  Its called William Penn Pasta.  Jason asked me who William Penn was.  He obviously didn't grow up in PA, like me.  :-) 

Here's the recipe: http://allears.net/din/recipes/rec_wpp.htm

The recipe for the pink sauce seems to be for a bulk recipe.  I used half a jar of tomato sauce, 1 clove of garlic, grated, and about a cup of milk with 1-2 tablespoons of cornstarch (in place of heavy cream). It didn't get pink, but it was a creamier red sauce.

All of the ingredients separately: 

All mixed together:

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Jason's birthday

For breakfast, we made blueberry scones.  I used this recipe: http://www.tasteofhome.com/Recipes/Blueberry-Scones 
They were a little bland and a little dry.  I wasn't going to add the recipe but I read the reviews for it and decided to keep it so I could make a few changes next time.  It was a really easy recipe. 

Ready to bake:
Ready to eat:

Dinner was breaded pork chops.  I'm putting this here because Jason went on and on about how great they were.  He kept saying he was so glad we decided to eat at home instead of going out for dinner. 
I completely forgot to take pictures while I was making it.  I think I was distracted by the peace and quiet while I was cooking because the girls were "working" in the garage with Jason.
I trimmed the fat off of 3 pork chops, and tenderized them so they were thinner.  I had about a tablespoon of honey dijon mustard in the bottom of a jar so I made my own "bottom of the jar" recipe, like Rachael Ray.  :-)  I added about a tablespoon of olive oil and a tablespoon of Miracle Whip to the jar and shook it up.  Then I smeared it on both sides of pork chops.  In my magic bullet, (no measurements), I put corn flakes, basil, parsley and paprika.  I coated the pork chops in the crumbs.  I tried to broil them but the crumbs just burnt, within a few mins.  So, I baked them at 400 for about 30 mins. 
I took a picture of the one that was left. 

Ham Bone Soup

I've made this soup a few times.  The first time I made it, I did have a ham bone.  This time I just had a big hunk of ham.  It worked very well, both times.  The picture in the recipe on allrecipes.com looks pretty nasty.  Fortunately, mine hasn't looked like that, either time. 

Changes that I made:
I never, ever use buillion cubes,  (YUCK!)  I either use  stock that I've made and frozen, or one box of stock in a box, is the equivalent of the buillion cube/water for this recipe.

Instead of canned tomatoes, I use fresh or some that I've frozen myself. 

Instead of canned beans, I use dried beans.  See my post about how to cook dried beans.  Beans

I also skip the grean pepper.



Saturday, March 3, 2012

Chicken-Bacon Bowtie Bake

Here is the original recipe:  http://www.recipething.com/recipes/show/33797-chicken-bacon-bowtie-bake

And this is how I made it (with my changes)

This recipe uses one chicken breast.  I had a package of two so I'll be making another recipe later this week, that also uses one.  Its called William Penn's Pasta.  Check back for that one.  :-)

1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast
some kind of seasoning for the chicken
4 slices of turkey bacon
1 pound of bowtie pasta
2 T. flour
2 cups of milk
1 can of condensed cream of chicken soup
1 clove of garlic or 1/2 t garlic salt
1 1/4 cup shredded cheese

Cut a chicken breast into bite sized pieces and cook it in a pan with olive oil and montreal chicken seasoning
While thats cooking, put 4 slices of bacon in the microwave and boil a pot of water for pasta.  The recipe says 1 pound of pasta but I used a little bit less.  I had a box of pasta from Italy and it was 350 g.  (A pound is approx 450 g.)

Mix 2 Tbsp of water with 2 cups of milk.  (I used a container that I could shake). 

In a small pan, pour a can of condensed cream of chicken soup, and grate one clove of garlic.  Add milk and flour mixture and simmer for 2 mins, until thick.  Then stir in 3/4 cup of shredded cheese.  (I used cheddar)

This is everything, ready to be mixed together:

Ready to bake:

One will go into the refridgerator for dinner tonight and the other one will go into the freezer. 

The recipe says: Broil 4 inches from flame for 2-3 mins, or until heated and lightly browned on top.

I will bake it for a few mins, because it will be completely cold, and then broil.

Pop Tarts Part II

I used the other half of the pop tart dough today.  The 2nd batch is even better than the first. I made them smaller this time.  I also cut one rectangle, then put in on the top of the dough to cut the second one, for each pop tart.  It made them fit together a little bit better. 

I brushed a little bit of egg on top of them and sprinkled with a little bit of extra filling.  It gave the dough a little bit more flavor. 

Friday, March 2, 2012

Green Eggs and Ham

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!! 

I soaked ham in water and green food coloring for a few hours.
Then I added green food coloring to milk and eggs.
When the eggs and ham were almost cooked, I added some spinach. 
The kids LOVED it!

Breakfast Casserole

I use my own version of this recipe: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/mrs-allens-brunch-bake/detail.aspx

The one on allrecipes is a great recipe if you're having a brunch but its way too much for the 4 of us. 

I save all of the ends of our bread in a bag in the freezer for this recipe. 

4 slices bacon

8 slices bread

about 4 Tbsp butter, softened

1 1/2 cups shredded cheese (I use whatever I have in the fridge and I don't measure)

4 eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 cups milk

a handful of spinach

seasoning (I usually use garlic and salt in a grinder)

Microwave bacon
Spread 1 side of each bread slice with butter.
Arrange 4 bread slices buttered side down in the bottom of a squre baking dish.
Layer with the crumbled bacon and half of the cheese
Arrange remaining bread slices over the cheese, buttered sides up.
In a small bowl, mix the eggs, milk, spinach and seasoning and pour evenly over bread slices.
Top with remaining cheese. Cover, and refrigerate 8 hours, or overnight.
Bake at 325 for about 45 mins.  (Until eggs are set)

Steel Cut Oats

This is the recipe that my friend Tara gave me:

1 cup steel cut oats
1 TBSP brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup water
4 cups milk
Optional - raisins, dried fruit, nuts, etc.

Cook over night for 8 hours on low heat in the crock pot
I double the brown sugar and cinnamon.  I usually use craisins because they plump up so much when they're cooking. 
TIP:  Grease the crockpot!!  Its a major mess.  Tara also told me that she cooks hers in a smaller bowl, in a water bath. 
TIP #1:  The first time you do this, do it during the day when you can watch it.  My crockpot takes about 4-5 hours, not 8. 

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Honey Orange Ham

My brother, Tim, and his girlfriend, Kristen, gave us a ham when we went to PA for Christmas.  I took a few slices of it out of the freezer and mixed the following:
1 tablespoon of orange juice, 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon, and about 1 tablespoon of honey. 
I baked the ham for about 20 mins, poured the glaze on it, and baked it another 20 mins. 
I've probably tried at least 10 ham glazes and this was definitely one of my favorites. 

Here is the original recipe, for an 8 lb ham. (with a lot more ingredients)


Sunday, February 26, 2012

Rainforest Cafe

Tonight we had a copycat recipe from Rainforest Cafe.  The terriyaki sauce that I made was YUMMY!  I will never buy terriyaki sauce again.  The only change that I made to the recipe was that I used my own seasoned salt instead of straight cajun seasoning because I didn't want it to be too spicy for the girls. 
I also used spinach instead of lettuce.

This is the seasoned salt recipe that I used: http://www.food.com/recipe/judis-seasoning-salt-78572
I substituted Tony Chachere's cajun seasoning for the celery salt, tumeric and cayenne. 

Here is the Rainforest Cafe Blue Mountain Grilled Chicken Sandwich:

 Grilling chicken
 Toasted buns, crispy bacon and chicken coated in yummy terriyaki sauce

This will have to satisfy us for 55 more days.  Then we'll be at Rainforest Cafe eating the real thing!

King Cake

I just couldn't eat another yucky Food Lion/Ukrops/Walmart King Cake this year.  I found this recipe in the Family Fun magazine and decided to try it.  http://familyfun.go.com/recipes/king-cake-1033941/

Mine didn't look nearly as pretty and it was a looong process.   The girls loved it and it tasted much more like an authentic King Cake.  We're hoping to make it to Mardi Gras sometime in the next few years and we promised Bella a real Randazzo's cake. 

My only tip for this is make sure its in an airtight container with some bread to keep it moist.  It gets dry quickly. 


 Making a ring
 Rising again
 Ready to bake

Finished product
Jan 27, 2012