Monday, January 31, 2011

Menu: Jan 24-30

Now for a topic that I don't talk that much about - my weight.  I have to admit that I fell of the diet wagon at the beginning of the week... well, mostly because the modifications that I had made weren't working so I took a break for a couple of days... Then I started the more strict diet. It's working for me now and I'm just a couple of pounds away from where I was in September... I gained about 8 pounds at the end of last year. I'm close to being at that landmark again. I still need to lose 30 pounds, so hopefully this diet will work until I get down to where I want to be.  The main problem is that I tend to follow the diet for a month and then decide I can't hack it anymore. So as it usually happens, I'm my biggest enemy when it comes to losing weight. Part of it is that I want to make cookies and such which do NOT help me follow a diet. I tend to eat WAY too many of them.

I'll move on to the reason you came to read today - the weekly menu:
Monday: Spinach Chicken Alfredo Pizza (I added about 4 cups of raw spinach to the pizza crust - turned out great!)

Tuesday: Green Chili Chicken Enchiladas (Somehow I didn't get a picture of these...)

Wednesday: Leftover Night

Thursday: Pancakes

Friday: Spaghetti & Meatballs

Saturday: Meatball Subs

Sunday: Roast, Carrots and Apple Crisp.

 Vote for the recipe you want to see next Thursday! I'll be posting the Poppyseed Salad this week.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Peanut Butter Snackies

 My son has become quite a mommy's boy... While sometimes it is great to feel so loved and needed, other times I would like to be able to leave the room without him complaining. One time of day he can be particularly persistent is when I am cooking dinner. He likes to come into the kitchen with me, but our kitchen is no where near child proof so I have to make sure he isn't getting into anything... However, I have found that if we do spend time in the kitchen together it makes him happier. The first thing we've made recently with him acting as my sous chef was Peanut Butter Snackies. I chose this recipe because there are only 4 ingredients... okay, the original recipe only had 3 but I HAD to add chocolate! We're a chocolate loving family, so it made perfect sense.

 Have I mentioned recently that my son is a momma's boy?  He is. Sometimes I absolutely love it, there is nothing quite so great as feeling that loved and needed. He gives the greatest hugs. However, there are some times that I really need to get things done, like cook dinner. He likes to come into the kitchen with me, but as the kitchen is far from child proof I have to be with him constantly. Doesn't work so great for a lot of the meals I make. However, I have recently decided to help him 'cook' in the kitchen with mommy. There are many child friendly recipes out there to choose from. However the first one we made together came from a Christmas present from Aunt Sarah (my son's aunt). She gave him Mouse Cookies and More by Laura Numeroff. It has 4 stories and after each story has activities. I decided to help my son make Pop's Peanut Butter Munchies (I could never remember the name so I've re-named it snackies...). It seemed easy, only 3 ingredients. So we decided to make it. Of course I had to add chocolate so I increased it to 4 ingredients. ;)

If you need ideas to help you cook together with  your family, there is a website you can visit - They give tips, recipes and how to videos to help families cook together. Even better, each time you visit the Kids' Cooking Academy between now and 4-25-11, Frigidaire will donate $1 to Save the Children to help make sure that more children have access to healthy foods!

Peanut Butter Snackies
You'll need 1 cup peanut butter. I used creamy, as I did not want nuts in the cookies... that whole choking hazard for children under 3.
You will also need 1 cup sugar
 and an egg
 You'll also want 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
 If cooking with younger children (my son is not quite 2) I highly suggest having everything measured out beforehand!
 Pour all ingredients into the bowl.
 I let my son add the chocolate chips while I poured the sugar. A few chips ended up on the counter, but it's all good. I think he might have eaten a few of those that didn't make it into the bowl.
 Now, add the egg.
 Give your child a chance to stir. My son couldn't manage the thickness.
 So I eventually helped him mix it.
 At this point I was very glad he had a pacifier in his mouth - then I knew he couldn't snitch the dough with the raw egg in it!

 Once the mixture is mixed completely,
 spoon about a tablespoon of dough
 and form it into a ball.

 I formed the balls and my son put them on the cookie sheet.

 Naturally I had to re-place some of them, but it was a blast!

 He also tried to form some into balls...
 or rather he mushed two together
 and then tried to eat it... luckily I caught him before the dough got into his mouth.
 Bake at 350 for 12 minutes.
 The tops will be slightly browner and will be cracking.
 Take a fork and press the cookie flat.

 Repeat with all the cookies.
 I had my son use a wooden spoon to help flatten the cookies... I didn't think it would be that wise for his little hands to be that close to the hot pan.
 You can see the cookies he flattened... as well as me catching my husband snitching a cookie!
 Spoon licking good!

 I have to share this story with you - I was taking pictures of the cookie on my son's high chair tray and he covered it up with his and and pushed me away. I could hear him thinking, "Can't I eat my cookie in peace? Stop taking pictures of my cookies!"
 The whole family enjoyed these cookies.
 The best part was making them with my son.

This recipe is linked to:

Friday, January 28, 2011

Whole Wheat Pancakes & Waffles

Growing up whenever we went to visit my paternal grandfather, we'd always have his waffles. They became nicknamed "Awful Waffles" by one of my cousins. That statement is actually quite far from the truth, these are actually quite delicious! I think my cousin was young and it rhymed. I remember sitting down to eat these, pouring home-made syrup from a ketchup bottle. Grandpa would always say something about making sure to get syrup in all the little squares of the waffle. The greatest part - these are actually quite healthy - they are made with wheat berries, not flour. The blended wheat berries give a bit of a crunch to the waffles/pancakes. I adapted the recipe to make the pancakes. Turns out great! Seriously, you have got to try these!

Grandpa's Not So Awful Waffles (pancake variation to follow)

 First, you'll need some wheat berries (1 cup to be exact) and 1 cup milk.
 Aren't those wheat berries gorgeous?
 Place these two ingredients in your blender. Blend on medium speed for
 4 minutes.
The mixture should be thick and creamy.
 Meanwhile measure out: 1/2 tsp salt, 4 tsp baking powder (that's 1 tablespoon and 1 tsp),
 You'll also need 2 eggs,
 1/2 cup more milk,
 1/4 cup brown sugar,
 and 1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted.
 Once the wheat berries and 1 cup milk has blended for 4 minutes,
 add the remaining ingredients (listed above) to the blender.

 Once they are all added, blend on medium for an additional
 3 minutes.
 It's pretty much impossible to take a good picture of blending food, just saying...

 Make sure you have a hot waffle iron. My grandfather's was the type with the smaller squares... some day I'm going to buy one of those!
 Pour batter into the hot waffle iron.
 Be sure not to overfill... I typically do.
 So much in fact, that I've taken to placing a paper towel under the waffle iron to catch the drippings.
 However, this one was perfect!
 Once it is cooked, remove and serve.
 These are absolutely delicious with whipped cream and fresh strawberries. They are also delicious with syrup.

Now for the pancake variation:
After the 4 minute blending of the wheat and milk, reduce the amount of butter to 1/4 cup, reduce baking powder to 1 Tbsp, add 1/2 tsp baking soda, and only use 1 egg.
 Blend for 3 minutes like with the waffles.
 Have a hot frying pan/griddle.
 Pour about 1/4 cup batter into the pan for each pancake.

 Cook until the top is bubbly,
 Once most of the outside inch of bubbles has popped,
 flip the pancake over.
 cook until reverse side is browned.
 Serve warm. We ate these with blueberry jam (actually preserves...)
 These are delicious as well. I just had them last night and want to go make more right now!