Thursday, July 8, 2010

Watermelon Juice

I know I already posted this picture, but I didn't include the recipe.
My sister-in-law, Stephanie made this for all of us on the 4th of July. The kids loved them, and some of the adults added a little rum to ours to spice them up a bit. Next time I make it, I will probably blend it with some ice for a slushy kind of texture (probably do the rum thing again, too).

6 c. of cubed watermelon, blended
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. water
1/2 c. pineapple juice
one can frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed

In a small saucepan, combine the water and sugar and bring to a rolling boil, and simmer for 1 minute.
Strain the watermelon puree (I use a collander lined with coffee filters). Blend together the sugar mixture, watermelon, pineapple juice, and lemonade.
Serve over ice.

Blackberry Cobbler

I bought some fresh blackberries from the farmer's market. I was trying to figure out what to do with them, and I remembered that Daphne has a easy and fabulous cobbler recipe on her blog, Food Junkie from Texas.
Needless to say, it was great. Especially with Blue Bell Vanilla Bean ice cream. :)

Peach Glazed Chicken

We had a couple of peaches, and I love using fruit in my cooking. So, I decided to make a glaze for grilled chicken.
I pureed a couple of peaches, added some ginger, salt, pepper, honey, and rosemary (all to taste). I processed all that in the food processor until I got it to the texture that I wanted. You could probably reduce this down over the stove as well. Then I simply poured it over grilled chicken breasts.
It was sweet, but not too sweet, and so simple. Everybody really enjoyed it.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Fourth of July

We made a LOT of food for the fourth. Everything from really healthy to, well, not so healthy. We had a great time with my family for lunch and Chris' family for dinner. Now, I'm on a diet. :)

Fourth of July Cupcakes
There is really not a recipe, as these were from a (gasp) cake mix. We made red, white, and blue Funfetti cupcakes. So, no recipe just pictures.
We also made fruit kebobs (pineapple, grapes, strawberries, blueberries, and mango). . .

and homemade strawberry ice cream . . .
and watermelon juice (some of which were were spiked with a little rum).

Sweet Blueberry Cornbread

I love cornbread and I love blueberries, so when I found this on the Paula Deen website I had to make it. Of course, I tweaked it a little bit to make it healthier.

We ate it for breakfast drizzled with a little honey. The kids really liked it. I loved the texture and I was surprized at how well blueberries and cornmeal complimented each other.

Daphne has this on her blog, too. She used blue cornmeal instead of yellow. I will definately be trying that next time. :)

Sweet Blueberry Cornbread
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour (I used whole wheat flour)

2/3 cup sugar ( I used helf sugar, half Splenda)

1/2 cup cornmeal

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 cups milk

2 large eggs, lightly beaten (I used Egg Beaters)

1/3 cup canola oil

4 tablespoons butter, melted

1 cup fresh or fresh frozen blueberries

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray an 8” square baking pan (I used a 9x13 pan) with non stick baking spray and set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, corn meal, baking powder and salt. In a separate large mixing bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, oil and butter. Add to flour mixture to wet mixture and stir just until blended. Gently fold in blueberries.
Pour into prepared baking pan. Bake for 35 minutes or until wooden pick comes out clean. Serve warm with butter.

Animal Crackers

Oay, so I'm going to play a little catch up today. I've got about 4 or 5 different things to post PLUS 4th of July stuff. SO, there will be several posts for today. :)

The first one is animal crackers. We were actually looking for a graham cracker recipe, and we came upon this one (by "we" I mean Zane and I). I had some circus animal cutters, but I think they were a little too big for what we wanted. Also, I think next time I'm going to roll them out a bit thinner.

They didn't turn out very sweet, but Dillon and I like them. The other boys are kind of on the fence. Oh, and it didn't make very many, but, like I said, we were using large cutters.

Animal Crackers

1/2 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter
2 teaspoons honey
1/4 cup buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grind oats until fine using a blender or food processor.
In a medium bowl, stir together the blended oats, flour, baking soda and salt. Cut in the butter using a pastry blender or your fingers until the butter lumps are smaller than peas. Stir in the buttermilk and honey to form a stiff dough. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/8 inch in thickness. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters. Place cookies 1 inch apart onto cookie sheets.
Bake for 5 to 7 minutes in the preheated oven, until edges are lightly browned. Remove from cookie sheets to cool on wire racks.

Nutritional Information
Amount Per Serving Calories: 40 Total Fat: 2.1g Cholesterol: 5mg
Nutritional Information
Animal Crackers
Servings Per Recipe: 24
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 40
Total Fat: 2.1g
Cholesterol: 5mg
Sodium: 54mg
Total Carbs: 4.8g
Dietary Fiber: 0.3g
Protein: 0.7g

The nutrition stats are the ones that were on the website, so I don't know if they are correct.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Baked Peach Pancakes

We got some fresh peaches from a local orchard, and I wanted to make some kind of pancake with them. I LOVE using fresh fruit in my baking - especially breakfast. So, I did an online search for some ideas, and I found a Weight Watchers recipe for Baked Peach Pancakes. It's more like a cobbler, but not anywhere near as sweet. So, it's perfect for breakfast or brunch. My kids really liked it. I got a great compliment from Dillon, "Mom, you're the best cooker. Even my teacher says so." Okay, I had to brag a bit. ;)

I changed up the recipe a little bit here and there, and I really like the results. Next time, though, I will probably use more peaches - cover the bottom of the 9x13 with them. Alll the nutritional info did not come from me. It was included with the recipe, and I have no idea if it's correct or not. Plus, with all my changes, it's probably not the same anyway.

Baked Peach Pancakes

Makes 6 servings


2 cups peeled and sliced fresh peaches (3 medium)
6 eggs (I used Egg Beaters)
1 cup flour ( I used Whole Wheat flour)
6 tablespoons butter
1 cup milk (I used buttermilk)
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract or vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt


1. Preheat the oven to 375° F.
2. Spray 2 1/2 quart casserole or 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray.
3. Melt butter in baking dish in oven.
4. Beat eggs slightly in large bowl with wire whisk.
5. Beat in flour, sugar, salt, milk and almond or vanilla extract until smooth.
6. Stir peaches into butter in baking dish. Return to oven 2 or 3 minutes until sizzling.
7. Pour batter over peaches.
8. Bake about 20 minutes or until puffed and golden.
9. Serve with warmed Peach preserves or Maple syrup, if desired.

WW POINTS per serving: 8

Nutritional information per serving: 344 calories, 18.3g fat, 1.4g fiber

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Breakfast with Aunt Daphne

My sister-in-law has been visiting this week, and she went home today. :(

But, before she left this morning, we made breakfast (of course). She went blueberry picking yesterday, so we decided to make blueberry pancakes. Yum Yum. I made up the batter last night and put it in the fridge. Then, this morning we added the blueberries and cooked up the pancakes. I have to say they were great. I cut up some strawberries and some cantalope (bought from a local produce stand) to put on the side. Great summer time breakfast!!

Of course, my two little guys had to help. So, on with the aprons and chef hats and we had two very eager assistants. They wanted to put the blueberries in the batter and help with the fruit - they really ate more fruit that they helped with. Everyone had fun cooking together, and afterwards, eating together. Dad even came in from working on the "Man Cave" to eat with us. :)

Here is the finished product. Blueberry pancakes with strawberries and canalope. Don't get too impressed, the pancakes were started from Heart Smart Bisquick that I jazzed up a bit. I added cinnamon, vanilla extract, and a bit of Splenda to the mix. Plus, instead of eggs, I used Egg Beaters. Hey. at least I attempted to keep them healthy! :)

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Ready, Set, Cook

So, after being asked a million times for different recipes, I've decided to start a blog. I was inspired by my sister-in-law, who has a great blog, Food Junkie from Texas, that I have recommended to several of my friends. I LOVE to cook, and I love to experiment with new flavors and combinations. Plus, I'm always looking for new ways to present "old" dishes. I have four kids, two of which eat pretty much whatever I put in front of them, and two that are a bit picky. They and my husband are my culinary guinea pigs. Sometimes they love it - sometimes not.

I'm also trying to feed them as healthy as I can. So, I'm always on the look out for good, easy recipes that are good for us. A lot of what I cook starts out from a recipe that I found somewhere else, then I kind of do my own thing to it. Also, I do a lot of trial and error in the kitchen. Those are usually either the best or the worst - nothing in between.

I'd like to not only use this as a sounding board for anything that I find that either makes things easier in the kitchen or makes things healthier. I'm also an avid reader, so I may from time to time talk about whatever book I'm reading at the time. I'll try to make sure to keep those short. :)

So, all that being said, happy reading and I hope I can bring a little creative cooking to your life.