Sunday, February 18, 2018

A Taste of Winter!

A view from our front window!
Snowflakes fell last night.  Well, it is February.  During the daytime hours we've been getting a taste of Spring, lately.  Daily walks outside are great!  Brisker weather came in yesterday and the flakes fell.  In the wee hours of the AM the snow plows cleared our streets and we are all good to go again.

Our Grill is hibernating!
This week we just may be able to use the grill!

Enjoying the seasons!
 

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Hawaiian Flatbread

Hawaiian Flatbread
There was a coating of snow on the lawn this morning.  Lately it's been warm, so most of the piles of the white stuff have disappeared.  That is unless you look at the piles of snow left by snow plows in parking lots.  That takes a long time to melt.  It is a pretty sight looking out a window and see snow on tree branches.

About 2 weeks ago when the outdoor temperatures were a bit chillier, I baked a Ham.  That may happen about once every 2 years.  Two nights later we enjoyed Hawaiian Flatbread at dinnertime!  The combination of the sweet pieces of roasted Pineapple with chunks of Ham was so good.  The creamy texture of the Ricotta Cheese and roasted Broccoli florets added to the delicious flavor.  It was also quite filling!

Before putting the flatbreads in the oven, the Pineapple and Broccoli florets were roasted.  I roasted them, because the fresh veggie was crispy and the Pineapple was very juicy.  That just would not work well considering the short amount of time a Flatbread is baked.  Roasting took out the excess juice and the broccoli was tender.     

***Roasting Pineapple and Broccoli Florets:
Rinse Broccoli under cool running water.  Pat dry.  Cut off stalks, so small florets remain.  If needed, cut smaller.  Drain about 1/2 Cup canned Pineapple chunks.  Coat florets and chunks with Olive Oil for sauteing & baking along with a 2 shakes of Basil & also Oregano.  That's when I visit my Spice Rack.  I place the Olive Oil & dried herbs in a Ziploc Gallon Bag and add the veggies/ fruit to coat.  Roast in a 450°F oven for 11 Minutes.     

Hawaiian Flatbread

Ingredients

Flatbreads- I use 3.
1/4 Cup Ricotta Cheese (can be fat free) for each Flatbread
Roasted Broccoli and Roasted Canned Pineapple chunks
Chunks of Baked Ham
4 teaspoons BBQ Sauce
1 teaspoon Water
Shredded Cheese- desired amount

Method:
  1. Place 3 Flatbreads on a large cookie pan.  Prick with fork. Bake in 375°F oven for 2 Minutes.  Remove from oven.
  2. Spread about 1/2 Cup Ricotta Cheese on each Flatbread.  
  3. Place Roasted Broccoli and Pineapple on each Flatbread.
  4. Add Baked Ham chunks.
  5. In a small cup combine BBQ Sauce + Water.  
  6. Drizzle BBQ Sauce mixture over Flatbreads.
  7. Sprinkle desired amount of Shredded Cheese on top.
  8. Bake for 5 Minutes at 375°F.
  9. Remove from oven.
  10. Cut each Flatbread on a diagonal- into 3 pieces.
  11. Cover and refrigerate any leftovers. 
Hawaiian Flatbread is just so delicious!!!  If you do have any chunks of Baked Ham in your fridge, use them while preparing flatbread for dinner.  It is just so good!

Enjoy!
Yummy!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Banana Cinnamon Chip Muffins

Banana Cinnamon Chip Muffins
A few months ago I tasted Cinnamon Chip Bread.  The name sounds interesting and let me tell you each bite of this bread was just... delicious.  The Cinnamon Chips have that bit of pizzazz whenever your taste buds discover even a bit of one chip!  I had read recipes that contained this "mystery" ingredient, but had never been able to purchase a bag in the grocery stores.  Well, that changed!  Yes!!  Woohoo!!!  I could not wait to bake a goodie using them.  This led to an old recipe I posted years ago, Banana Crumb Muffins.   I used the batter recipe for this Cinnamon Chip variety.

**There was no need to make a "crumb topping" here, so I did not.  However, I did sprinkle a small amount of granulated Sugar on top of each muffin before baking.

The batter for the muffins was prepared with the addition of 2 Tablespoons of Cinnamon Chips.  I did not want to overwhelm my recipe, so I used this small amount.  When putting the batter in the muffin liners, there were plenty of chips for each muffin. 

While these muffins were baking, my entire home smelled Cinnamon!  Yum!  These muffins are so good!  I did learn that they do not freeze well.  That's no problem, because 12 muffins do not last long.     


Banana Cinnamon Chip Muffins


Oven Temperature:  375°F     Baking Time:  18- 20 Minutes
Yield:  12 Muffins

Ingredients:

1 and 1/2 Cups Flour
1/2 Cup Sugar
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt
2 Tablespoons Cinnamon Chips
2 large overripe Bananas
2 Egg Whites- slightly beaten
1/3 Cup Olive Oil for baking & sauteing

Method: 
  1. Combine Flour, Sugar, Baking Soda, Baking Powder and Salt in large mixing bowl.
  2. Add 2 Tablespoons Cinnamon Chips.
  3. In another bowl mash the 2 Bananas.
  4. Add 2 Egg Whites and beat mixture with a whisk.
  5. Add Olive Oil to Banana/ Egg Whites mixture and whisk together.
  6.  Stir Banana mixture into Flour mixture until combined.
  7. Spoon batter into the 12 muffin liners.
  8. **Optional:  Sprinkle a small amount of sugar on top of each muffin.
  9. Bake in a preheated 375°F oven for 18- 20 Minutes or until cake tester comes out clean.
  10. Remove from pan & cool on wire rack.
Cinnamon Chips are a new ingredient to me, but one I will always keep in my pantry from here on!  Amazing how much pizzazz these Banana Cinnamon Chip Muffins have.

Enjoy!
Yummy!

Monday, January 1, 2018

~Happy New Year!!!~


Have a
Happy and a
Healthy New Year!!!

Enjoy!

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Chicken Chowder


A Steaming Bowl of Chicken Chowder
It's been freezing cold outside!  A big bowl of steaming homemade soup for dinner sounds great.  On Thursday, that was my thought process in the afternoon.  So that's what we had for dinner- a hearty hot bowl of soup!  Most of the ingredients were, well, leftovers from another dinner. 

On Wednesday the family was in town.  It was a FuN time!  After Wednesday's dinner there were many slices of oven baked barbecued Chicken remaining on the serving dish.  There was also a small amount of mashed potatoes.  One other food we always have whenever they are in is Kraft Mac and Cheese.  I'm not sure how, but yes, there was a bit remaining, too.  Nothing else. 

As I was deciding what to prepare for dinner, the happy memories of Wednesday reminded me that we did have a few leftovers in the fridge.  This could be the start of a hearty soup on a cold winter night.  And it was!

It did not take long for me to combine Chicken Broth with about 1/2 Cup of Mashed Potatoes in a small soup pot.  About 1 Cup of frozen Mixed Veggies were add to the mixture along with dehydrated Onion, Parsley and also Basil.  After cooking the vegetables in the broth mixture for 11 minutes, about 1 Cup of cooked Chicken chunks were added and stirred in.  Then about 1/2 Cup of the prepared Kraft Mac and Cheese.  To make this soup a little creamier, I added in 1/2 Cup of Milk.  What a delicious soup!  The macaroni that was coated with cheese gave the soup a great taste.  I wanted it a little creamier, so I added in 1/2 Cup of Milk. 

WoW!  This very tasty hearty soup was prepared mostly from leftovers.  Who would have guessed that soup would be on the menu the following night?  Soup that was prepared with, well, foods that were just waiting in the fridge!  So good! 

Chicken Chowder 
     2- 3 Servings

Ingredients:
1 can Chicken Broth (I use 14.5 ounce can College Inn Light and Fat Free Chicken Broth)
1/2 Cup Mashed Potatoes
1 Cup frozen Mixed Vegetables
1 Tablespoon Parsley
1 Tablespoon dehydrated chopped Onion
1/2 teaspoon dried Basil
1 Cup cooked Chicken- cut into small chunks
1/2 Cup cooked (Kraft) Mac and Cheese
1/2 Cup Milk

Method:
  1. In a small Dutch Oven/ Soup Pot combine Chicken Broth with Mashed Potatoes. 
  2. Stir and bring to a simmer.
  3. Add frozen Mixed Vegetables, Parsley, Onion & Basil.  Cook for 11 Minutes or until vegetables are done.
  4.  Add cooked Chicken chunks and Kraft Mac & Cheese.  Stir.
  5. Add 1/2 Cup Milk and stir.  Soup will be creamier.
  6. Heat another 4- 5 Minutes.
A bowl of this hot soup tasted so good on that cold night! 

Enjoy!
Yummy!
          

Thursday, December 21, 2017

~Best Ever Sour Cream Sugar Cookies~

Best Ever Sour Cream Sugar Cookies
(File Photo)
Today I made the batter for my traditional Christmas Cookies!  They are just so good.  For years I've baked these cookies.  Well, the years all add up to over 40 years, now.  The dough contains a hint of nutmeg and also sour cream.  As I write this, the double wrapped cookie batter is in the fridge.

These cookies are not only "just the best", they are an easy 2 day process.  On Day 1 the dough is prepared and refrigerated.  Then, on Day 2 a rolling pin, mat and cookie cutters are given a workout.  On baking day find your colored sugars for decorating.

Rolling out the dough!
(File Photo)

***I always use unsalted Butter when preparing the dough.  The dough is much easier to roll out when using Butter.        

There's always a little "taste test" going on after the first tray of these cookies have been taken out of the oven and they've cooled a bit.  Most of the batch will be packaged/ labelled and frozen for next week.  Yes, these cookies freeze very well.  I usually also place 6 in a small Ziploc Freezer Bag to freeze.  It's a great treat on a cold winter day to find this treasure in our freezer.

This recipe makes about 5 dozen Best Ever Sour Cream Sugar CookiesClick here for the recipe.   Look no more for a tasty sugar cookie recipe.  This one has a hint of nutmeg and sour cream.

Enjoy!
Yummy!
      

Saturday, December 9, 2017

~December 9, 2017~

~Home Sweet Home~

Just a quiet Saturday afternoon in New England on a December day! 

Enjoy!