Friday, January 30, 2015

Shredded Chicken Patties (Recipe)

These chicken patties are excellent.  I find any excuse I can to add Greek yogurt and kefir to my foods to give them an extra "oomph" of healthy.  Because of this,  they are super moist yet the outside has a bit of a crunch.  We've had them with no bun and some cranberry mayonnaise and they were great.  Today, however, I had a bit more time so served them sandwich style

So, without further delay...

2 c. cooked shredded chicken
3/4 c. bread crumbs
3/8 c. greek yogurt
3/8 c. plain kefir
1/4 Tbsp. ground sage
1/4 Tbsp. rosemary, crushed
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 eggs
Oil spray

Mix all ingredients together.  The mixture will be very wet. 
Spray a griddle or skillet with oil and heat over medium.
Scoop out 1/6 of the mixture and flatten on griddle (it will look like it is too wet, but it will turn out just fine) 
Cook until cooked through half and golden brown on one side (about 3 to 5 minutes). Flip.
Cook another 3 to 5 minutes unto cooked through and golden brown on the other side

I served this on fresh sandwich buns (recipe here) with my Five Minute Eggless Mayo and mustard. 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Tortilla Pizza Night (Recipe)

Some days, you just have to declare a pizza night.  Due to some unforeseen events I got home and dinner needed to be made immediately.  So tonight, I declared pizza night!  No crust made??...

Tortilla Pizza Night!!



Flour Tortillas (recipe here)--don't use store bought, make them, TRUST ME!  So good! 
Pizza Sauce (recipe here)--it says spaghetti sauce, but I use it for pizza too:)
Shredded mozzarella cheese
Parmesan cheese

Put your tortilla on a baking sheet with sauce, cheeses and toppings.  Put on top rack and bake at 350 for about 7 minutes or until cheese just starts to brown.

Now sit in sweet silence as everyone is too busy eating this delicious feast to make noise....sweet sweet silence after a long day........a much needed blessing!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Grape Pie (Recipe)

When I was a kid I learned much about waiting patiently for something you wanted.  Every week my mom, my brothers and I would go to the grocery store.  I remember having to sort through the banana stand to find a certain number of green and a certain number of yellow bananas so we could have ripe bananas all week.  That, at least, was my mom's goal.

My goal was much different: get as many bananas as I could as close to browning as possible.  Heck, if the peel was falling off of them, even better.  You see, in my house once browned, bananas  would no longer have to lay with the other lowly fruit on the counter.  No, in my house a browned banana was deemed worthy of glory, worthy of refrigerator status.  Once refrigerated it would lay in wait until more joined it's royal quarters. 

When my mom deemed it "time" these ugly, nasty old "royal" bananas were turned into what can only be described as, "Bananas the way God intended them!"  Bananas made into bread!

I can still smell the banana bread baking in the oven.  The oven light stayed on so we knew the precise millisecond they went from batter to bread.  It was worth the week long burn on your tongue you received to get the first scorching hot bite.  Pretty sure my tongue is all scar tissue at this point from too many banana bread burns in childhood---worth it!

I learned to do the same with apples to get apple pie.  Delicious apple pie.

Now the roles have changed, I'm the mom trying desperately to get my kids to eat all their fruits and veggies.  All the while having three little ones (and one husband) who try desperately to get me to turn bruised apples to apple pie, past their prime oranges to orange popsicle, mushy pears to pear sauce, and withered grapes into....

Streusel-Topped Grape Pie

Double Crust (save the other half for later):
1 C butter, chilled and cubed
1 Tbsp sugar
2 3/4 C flour
8-10 Tbsp water

4 C grapes
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/3 C flour
1/4 + 2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp butter, softened

1/2 C flour
1/4 C sugar
1/4 C brown sugar
1/4 C butter, chilled

Preheat the oven to 400. 
In a food processor mix flour sugar and butter.  Process until grainy.
Slowly add water until until crust comes together.
Flour counter, place dough on flour and divide in half.  Form half into a disc and freeze for later use.
Roll out the other thalf and place in pie plate. 
Cover with parchment paper and refrigerate 15-20 minutes.
Fill with pie weights (I used dried beans).  Bake 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, process all filling ingredients in food processor until smooth (there will be some flecks of skin).

When the pie crust is baked remove beans and parchment and fill with grape filling.  Bake at 400 for and additional 25 minutes.

Meanwhile in a bowl, use a fork to mix the struesel ingredients until grainy/clumpy.

When pie with filling is baked add struesel to top and bake an additional 15 minutes. 

Let cool fully and serve with whipped cream. 


Friday, January 23, 2015

Spaghetti Sauce Spice Mix

Last night, by request of my three year old, we were having spaghetti for dinner.  It is a great go to meal.  As long as you have some noodles, frozen ground beef and tomato sauce you can whip it up in fifteen minutes.  Just remember to not skimp on the Parmesan.

Spaghetti Sauce Spice Mix

1/2 Tbsp garlic powder
2 tsp dried parsley
2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp pepper
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp dried basil
1/8 tsp dried thyme
1/8 tsp dried sage
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
2 1/2 tsp sugar
15 oz can tomato sauce
1 pound ground beef, cooked and drained (optional)

Mix together and grind with mortar and pestle.  Add to tomato sauce and heat through. Add cooked beef if desired.


A second option is to make a bulk amount of the spice mix.

Spaghetti Sauce Spice Mix (In Bulk)

 Note:  This mix makes enough for 12 (15oz) cans of tomato sauce to be turned into spaghetti sauce.

6 Tbsp garlic powder
1/2 C parsley
1/2 C oregano
1 Tbsp pepper
3 Tbsp salt
1 Tbsp basil
1/2 Tbsp thyme
1/2 Tbsp sage
2 Tbsp rosemary
1/2 C + 2 Tbsp sugar

Mix together, but to not grind with mortar and pestle.  When needed, grind 3 Tbsp + 1 tsp of the mix with mortar and pestle, add to a 15 oz can of tomato sauce and heat through.  Add 1 pound of ground beef, cooked and drained (if desired).

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Chicken Pot Pie (Recipe)

This recipe is a staple at my house.  It has to be served on plates and brought into the dining room, otherwise my husband and I will sit like starved piglets taking "just another scoop" until we have eaten an embarrassingly large amount, and by that I mean the whole stinking pie!  So without further a-do I present....

Note: This serves 6-8 people

2 C. flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
6 Tbsp cold butter
2 Eggs, divided
1/2 C. milk

4 Tbsp. butter
4 Tbsp. flour
1 C. milk
1 C. chicken broth
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2-1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp each sage, thyme and parsley
1/4 tsp each rosemary and basil
1 C. cooked cubed chicken (about 1 breast)
1 C. frozen vegetables (or fresh veggies diced and cooked to tender)
1 C. small curd cottage cheese

Grease a 1 1/2 to 2 quart casserole dish.
In a food processor mix 1 cup flour, baking powder and salt. 
Pulse in butter until mixture looks grainy and all of the butter is incorporated. 
Set aside 2 tsp. egg and mix the rest with the milk. 
Pulse egg mixture into flour mixture. 
Add the additional cup of flour and pulse until the dough is slightly sticky, but all comes together in a ball in the food processor.
Divide the dough in half. Roll have the dough out and place in the greased pan all the way up the sides.

For the filling, melt the butter in a sauce pan.
Add the flour until it smooth.

Add the chicken broth and milk and spices, heating to boiling, then turning the heat to low.
Mix in the chicken, vegetables and cottage cheese.
 Pour into the dough lined dish.
 Roll out the second half of the dough to fit the top.  Cover and make sure you crimp the edges.
 Make a fancy design on top with the excess dough,  give yourself five extra points for effort! 
Mix the reserved egg with 1 tsp water and brush on the crust.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until golden brown.

Mending play dresses (Repunzel)

My three year old daughter, M, like pretty much every three year old girl I know has no less that 423 princess dresses.  Spoiled?  Probably, at least when it comes to dresses.  But honestly, this girls wears every last one of them; she loves them to pieces...literally!  I present to you exhibit A:

Notice the gaping hole in the right hip (her right, our left).  
The hole continues clear through the back.
The damage continues.  The armpit is busted.  Great for airflow, not so great for a royal party!
 The entire bottom hem has fallen and keeps unraveling.
As an added bonus the hoop that is attached inside is broken.  I also forgot to take a picture of the side seam of the dress which is, isn't any longer on the bottom two inches. 
This dress is bad news.  But, not so bad that I'm totaling it.  No, Princess Repunzel will reign again, after all, hasn't she been through enough being stuck in a tower--er--mending pile for months on end.

I decided first to tackle the giant hole between the bodice and skirt.  Opening it up, you can see why it ripped. See that little seam, not the zig zag one, but that straight wide stitch that should just be used for tacking delicate doilies that are to be looked at and not touched.  Yep, they used that stitch-- while it tried to hold together while a three year old who has to go the bathroom like two minutes ago tried desperately to rip it off.  No wonder it didn't hold.  While mending the hole, I'm going to go all the way around and properly stitch this so I'm not doing this again on Friday. 
To fix this gaping hole, what I did first was turn the dress inside out and find the exact middle of the hole on all the pieces of fabric(since they are all different lengths, to give that nice full look).  Now, pin (or clip) all of those pieces together.  There are three here, because of the hoop, but most dresses only have two. 
Notice how since the dark purple piece has elastic I pulled it taut so it would bunch up nicely when all was said and done. 
Keep going in that fashion, clipping halfway between already placed clips so you get all the "pleats" or ruffling that the dress originally had.  Make sure you get all layers in each gather or you'll have little holes all over the dress.

When you are all done pinning or clipping you'll have something that looks like this:
Now staying on the stitch line that they had used when they made the dress, go ahead and stitch.  I used a zig zag stitch, but then went over it again with what looked like a zig zag with a straight line on one side.  That is the way to go.  The zig zag straight line stitch (that's probably not the technical name, but you understand).  Here it is with the stitching all the way around.  I used a contrasting color, but you would probably want to match the dress color better.

Next a quick zip up the side seam.
Now to fix the hem on the bottom.  First I used a pinking shears and cut off the raggedy edge folded over once...
 ...and again.  I then clipped and continued this all the way around.
Then as long as you use a color thread that matches your fabric well, you should be able to sew a straight stitch that is camouflaged.  Below is the straight stitch all complete...can't see it?  Camoflauged:)
Then I fixed the armpit hole the same way I connected the bodice to the skirt. Finally I fixed the hoop, which just involved sliding the connectors around (inside the fabric already) and reconnecting the tubes to them.

Now for that before and after goodness we all love to see!

I do have two more dresses to fix, so will get those up soon enough, they are slightly different problems, so if you don't see what you need here, check back in the next few days.

God Bless, and enjoy your little princesses (and princes)!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

How much to plant..."Here am I. Send me!"

If you have been keeping up with my gardening journey, welcome back.  If you stumbled upon this article first, feel free to peruse these links and see how I decided where to put my garden and how much food my family goes through in a year.

Now that we are all caught up, let's move unto my next need:  how much do I need to plant?

To start, I scoured the Internet and compiled a list of how much each kind of plant produces.  I made a spreadsheet that I could easily fill out:
A few notes to be taken into consideration:  Garlic is in terms of cloves.  One plant will yield about 10 cloves of garlic.

And let's take a few minutes to talk about the confusion that is tomatoes!  There are two kinds, determinate (bush) and indeterminate (vine).  There is so much info about them, but it all seems to boil down to:

Determinate (bush): takes up more space.  Doesn't need pruning or support and produces most of the tomatoes in a short time.  Seems like this is the way to go for canning.

Indeterminate (vine): takes up less ground space, but more vertical space.  Needs to be pruned and supported and produces the entire season.  Seems like the way to go if you want fresh tomatoes all season.

For me, I'm going to plant a few vine tomatoes (maybe 6) and then the rest bush tomatoes.  I think come canning time I will be counting on everyone to help me process them all!

Okay, enough tomato talk, let's talk squate footage.  After filling out my spreadsheet, I found I would need 900 square feet. So onward I went finding a way of removing 210 square feet from my garden.  It is probably for the best, since I have to weed it all!

Here is my worksheet with only the pertinent columns shown (this was prior to my jazzing it up for you guys)!
My main space takers are: potatoes, bush tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower and carrots.  I don't want to give up carrots, but that seems like an awful lot of tomatoes and potatoes.  So, I'm going to reduce my tomatoes to 35 bush plants and 6 vines and my potatoes down to 600.  I've also certain my husband will gladly refrain from broccoli and cauliflower, so I'm cutting each of those in half.  After making other adjustments, I've come to this:

That will work out nicely and best of all, it will all fit in my garden.  When I try to lay it all out I may have to reduce further, but this gives me a nice jumping point.  So feel free to print out a copy and get to work figuring out your own garden.  If you want the excel document, just add a comment to this post and I'll be sure to email it to you.

I'm getting so excited to get this garden going, in just a few weeks I'll be starting my indoor plants.  But what I'm most excited about is having my own tomato sauce!  I can close my eyes and imagine the jars upon jars of tomato sauce.  Glorious tomato sauce...made from beautiful bushes of tomatoes, which when watered properly will result in twelve pounds each, maybe even more.  There is even a Guinness World Record for the most pounds of tomatoes produced by a single to take a guess?  No husband guessed 50.  HA!  The answer: 1151.84 lbs held by Walt Disney World.

Could you even imagine how awesome that would be?  I could plant one plant and feed not just my family, but my whole neighborhood.  People would come from all over the world just to get a glimpse at the glory that was my tomato plant.  Will I achieve that?  I can say with certainty that I will absolutely not get anywhere near 1151 pounds of tomatoes from my 41 plants, let alone a single tomato plant.  While Disney World has the money and climate necessary to pull off such a feet, I live in garden zone 5 and have a tomato budget of about 15 dollars.  So I am just going to skip planting tomatoes all together, if I can't be the best, I won't!

Sounds ridiculous, doesn't it?  Well....IT IS!  I may not get enough tomatoes to set a record, but I can certainly get enough to sustain my family.  My absolute favorite hymn is inspired by Isaiah chapter seven, verse eight: Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

Isaiah was facing a difficult task but when God asked for a volunteer to complete the task of delivering news to his people; people that weren't even going to listen, Isaiah declared, "Here am I. Send me!Isaiah did not hesitate.  There would be no glory, no honor from those around him (at least not in Isaiah's lifetime).  Yet the Lord commanded him to complete this task and he willingly did so.  

Now, you may have heard this hymn before, you may have sung it.  It is entitled, "Hark the Voice of Jesus Calling" and is inspired by Isaiah's willingness to answer the Lord's calling for him.  Below are the words:

Hark, the voice of Jesus calling,
"Who will go and work today?
Fields are white and harvests waiting,
Who will bear the sheaves away?"

Loud and long the master calls you;
Rich reward he offers free.
Who will answer, gladly saying,
"Here am I. Send me, send me"?

If you cannot speak like angels,
If you cannot preach like Paul,
You can tell the love of Jesus;
You can say he died for all.

If you cannot rouse the wicked
With the judgment’s dread alarms,
You can lead the little children
To the Savior’s waiting arms.

If you cannot be a watchman,
Standing high on Zion’s wall,
Pointing out the path to heaven,
Offering life and peace to all,

With your prayers and with your bounties
You can do what God demands;
You can be like faithful Aaron,
Holding up the prophet’s hands.

Let none hear you idly saying,
"There is nothing I can do,"
While the multitudes are dying
And the master calls for you.

Take the task he gives you gladly;
Let his work your pleasure be.
Answer quickly when he calls you,
"Here am I. Send me, send me!"

This hymn, like Isaiah's answer to the Lord has such a powerful command of my attention.  Every stanza is filled with an example of someone with great power and then a more humble version of the same calling.  God wants us to serve him; serve him with gusto!  God sent angels prior to his questioning of Isaiah to encourage him because God wanted for Isaiah to declare without hesitation, "Here am I.  Send me!"  Isaiah's example is  profound and inspiring! 

So today though I may not grow the best yielding tomato plants, I am still going to plan my garden knowing that I am going to grow the best tomato plants that I can and it will be good enough for a 15 dollar budget in garden zone 5!

I encourage you (if you are still reading after such a lengthy post) that even if you may not be a pastor or a missionary or even be able to leave your house you can tell someone of Jesus' love for them!  God is calling all of us humble tomato growers to plant the seed of faith in others!  God doesn't need to us be perfect, he just needs us to hear his calling for us and excitedly declare, "Here am I, Send Me!"

Monday, January 19, 2015

Five Minute Eggless Mayo (Recipe)

I always feel terrible giving my family mayonnaise or that fake spread.  Either you get a ton of fat or whatever unpronounceable things are in the spread.  But a dry sandwich and plain tuna noodle salad just isn't right!  So, lo and behold after looking for many recipes and tweaking them together, I've come up with a recipe which works quite well.  You will need a stick mixture like this:

Five Minute Eggless Mayo

Note: Makes about 1 1/2 cups and can be stored refrigerated about a week.

1/2 C. milk
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground mustard
1 clove minced garlic or about 2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. apple cider vinegar 
1 C. grape seed oil

Using the stick mixer, blend everything except the oil.  Once mixed, add a small amount of oil and a time and blend until it turns into the consistency of mayo.  It will get a little stiffer once refrigerated, but you can use it right away.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Breakfast Fest 2015 (Day 2)

Phew!  A six hour day of breakfast making is complete!  Please read yesterday's blog for a rundown of day one (here).  Last night, I spent about 15 minutes laying out the order to which I would make each recipe.  The trick is to not do anymore washing than you have to.  Also, because I'm very particular about no raw eggs getting consumed I wanted to do all of my fresh foods first.

So, if you have completed Day 1 of my Breakfast fest you should have the following:

1 bowl of cooked and scooped butternut squash  (Cream Cheese filled Butternut Squash Bread)
2 loaves of  Thick Butter Bread (French Toast)
A bunch of Sky High Biscuits (Ham, Egg and Cheese Biscuits)
A whole bunch of scrambled eggs (Ham, Egg and Cheese Biscuits and Bacon and Egg Breakfast Burritos)

Today's recipes are found here

When you wake up in the morning, you want to do the following:

Set out all the eggs, butter, cream cheese and blueberries you'll be using.
Print out all the recipes and the plan below.

Now, go do your morning routine while all of your ingredients get to room temperature.

I started today at about 9:30 and finished at about 3:30.  I was pretty busy the whole time, so that was about 6 hours plus about 2 hours yesterday (including shopping time).  It seems like a lot but is well worth it and actually ends up saving you a ton of time in the end.

Okay, so now I present to you...

The Master Plan 

Make sure you follow the steps in order


1 zone for cooling/holding station covered with every cooling rack you have
1 zone for cooking and mixing
1 sink always full with hot soapy water

Step 1) Prepping

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees
-In "cooking and mixing zone" place food processor.
-Dice strawberries and set in holding zone(Chocolate Strawberry Muffin Bite)
-Puree butternut squash and place in refrigerator(Cream Cheese filled Butternut Squash Bread)
-Rinse food processor bowl
-Shred zucchini (set enough for Apple, Carrot, Zucchini Bread in bowl)
-Rinse food processor bowl
-Shred carrots (set enough for Apple, Carrot Zucchini Bread in bowl with zucchini)
-Rinse food processor bowl
-Shred cheddar cheese and place in refrigerator(Bacon and Egg Breakfast Burritos)
-Dice enough apple for Apple, Carrot Zucchini Bread (place in bowl with zucchini and apple)
-Set aside food processor bowl to wash
-Wash food processor and put away

Step 2) Breads/Muffins and Toast

-In "cooking and mixing zone" place mixer and griddle.
-Make and bake Lemon, Blueberry Yogurt Bread 
-Rinse mixer's bowl and beater
-Make and bake Apple, Carrot Zucchini Bread
-Rinse mixer's bowl and beater
-Mix and bake Chocolate Strawberry Muffin Bite (Do this by hand, not with a mixer or you'll overmix) place in cooling zone when complete.
-Cut Thick Butter Bread into 8 to 9 slices per loaf (French Toast)
-Start to make French Toast
***Breads should be coming out while making French Toast--place in cooling zone***
-Make and bake Cream Cheese filled Butternut Squash Bread
-Set mixing bowl and beater aside to get washed.
-Wash mixer and set aside.
-Continue until French Toast is complete, placing on cooling zone.
-Fry ham slices (Ham, Egg and Cheese Biscuits)
-Fry bacon (Bacon and Egg Breakfast Burritos) then set aside griddle to cool.

Step 3) Assembly and Freezing

-While bacon is frying assemble Ham Egg and Cheese Biscuits, placing each in a waxed paper bag and then in Gallon Freezer bags when complete.
-As breads an pancake bites cool: slice bread, place on cookie sheets, flash freeze and then place in gallon freezer bags and place in freezer.
-Assemble Bacon and Egg Breakfast Burritos, wrap in waxed paper bags and freeze
-Assemble Oatmeal Packets, place in gallon bags in freezer.
-Finish packing up rest of items, flash freezing and then storing in gallon bags when complete.

Now that wasn't so bad!  And look at all you accomplished!  All told I made:

-36 Chocolate Strawberry Muffin Bites--the recipe makes 48, I just was getting the portions correct
-24 Bacon and Egg Breakfast Burritos
-2 Loaves of Lemon, Blueberry Yogurt Bread
-2 Loaves of Apple, Carrot Zucchini Bread
-36 Oatmeal Packs
-17 big slices of French Toast
-32 Ham, Egg and Cheese Biscuits
-2 Loaves of Cream Cheese filled Butternut Squash Bread.

That is enough for about 170 Breakfasts.  Since my family eat about 3 to 4 servings per breakfast that is 42 to 56 days!  My wonderful husband, armed with an Olaf waffle maker, does breakfast on Saturday mornings, so with that we are set for two months! 

How blessed I am!  Not just because of the food, but because of how smoothly today went.  Lately, life has been quite hectic.  Here in Wisconsin it has been extremely cold, making facing even opening your front door exhausting, I begin to feel a cabin fever.  You start to feel alone, sheltered and for many it becomes a time where you just feel sad but at the same time overwhelmed.

Today, while I was beginning Breakfast Fest, my son, S, asked his Daddy to read "The story of Jesus calming the storm."  Whenever my son asks my husband to read him a bible story, bless my husband's heart, everything and anything gets dropped, the bible is picked up and he obliges.  Today was no different.  From the kitchen I hear my husband read Mark 4: 35-41:

That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.”  Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”
He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”

Today, in all that is the craziness going around here God gave my family a reprieve.  I stood at the counter baking up a storm and my sweet little M helped (at least for as long at a three year old is able).  My one and a half year old circled round, trying as she could to "taste" everything she could, learning flour is bad and that if you sit on mama's lap while cutting bread, you get the only snitch before it gets packed away in the the freezer!  My son played with his dad, went out to eat with grandparents and then returned eager to help me assemble the biscuits.  Games were played, laughs were had and they even got some outside time since the weather decided to actually get above freezing (which around this time of year is such a gift).  I got to enjoy time with my husband and got to see him having so much fun with our kids (even though he was as bad as the kids with snitching), it was so nice having him close!

Tomorrow, my husband goes back to work, I'll be calling doctor's for some much awaited lab results, packing lunches, figuring out what we are going to do about a minivan in need of new tires, cleaning bathrooms, paying bills, ironing...and all the other stresses that go along with life.  But, today God gave us a little "Quiet" a little "Still."  The wind of life died down and it was calm.  Because of that, I feel blessed!  Even the wind and the waves obey our God, our beautiful, calming God!

God Bless!

Breakfast Fest 2015 (Day 2 Recipes)

Chocolate Strawberry Muffin Bites:

Note: makes 48 "Bites"

4 C. flour
4 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
4 egg
3 C. Kefir
1/2 C. oil
2 C. milk
1 bag mini chocolate chips
1 quart strawberries, chopped

Mix dry ingredients together.
In a separate bowl, beat wet ingredients.
Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients all at once.  Stir just until incorporated (It will be lumpy).
Pour about 1/2 way up in 48 greased muffin tins. Sprinkle with mini chocolate chips and chopped strawberry.
Bake at 350 for 10 - 12 minutes or until toothpick in center comes out clean.

Breakfast Burritos:

3 packs bacon, diced and cooked
20 scrambled eggs
3 cups cheddar cheese (shredded)
20 9" flour tortillas

Roll up about 1/8 cup cheese, 1 scrambled egg and bacon in tortilla, folding in like a burrito.

Lemon, Blueberry Yogurt Bread

Note: makes 2 loaves

3 C. + 1 1/2 Tbsp flour, divided
1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 C. vanilla yogurt
1 C. plain kefir
2 C. sugar
6 eggs
2 grated lemon zests
1 tsp vanilla
1 C. oil
3 C. frozen blueberries (thawed)

Preheat oven to 350.  Grease AND FLOUR two bread pans.
Mix together 3 cups flour, baking powder and salt.
In a separate bowl, whisk yogurt, kefir, sugar, eggs, lemon zest, vanilla and oil.  Mix in the dry ingredients in.
In a separate bowl mix the blueberries and 1 1/2 Tbsp flour.
Fold blueberry mixture into batter.
Place batter in two loaf pans and bake 50 to 55 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Apple, Carrot Zucchini Bread

Note: makes 2 loaves

1 C. melted butter
2 C. sugar
3 eggs
1/4 C. orange juice
1 Tbsp. vanilla
3 1/4 C. flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
2 C. shredded carrots
1 C. shredded zucchini, unpeeled
1 C. finely diced peeled apple

Preheat oven to 350.  Grease AND FLOUR two bread loaf pans.
Whisk butter, sugar, egg, orange juice and vanilla.
In a separate bowl mix flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and ginger.
Mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients just until combined.
Pour into 2 pans and back about 1 hour until golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Oatmeal Packs

Note: recipe is per packet

1/3 cup instant oats
1 tsp ground flaxseed
2 tsp wheat germ
2 tsp brown sugar
1/8 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt

Mix in a sandwich bag.
When ready to make, pour in 2/3 c. boiling water, stir and let stand 3 to 4 minutes

French Toast

Note: Makes 2 loaves worth

20 eggs
1/2 C. milk
2 loaves Thick Butter Bread

Preheat griddle.
Beat eggs with milk
Immerse each slice of Bread in egg mixture.  Place on griddle.
Cook each side to golden brown.

Ham, Egg and Cheese Biscuit

Note: makes 1 biscuit

1 Sky High Biscuit
1 slice American Cheese
1 slice Ham, fried
1 egg, scrambled with milk and cooked

Assemble biscuit, cheese, ham, egg.  Place in over for a few minutes on warm or microwave until cheese is melted.

Cream Cheese filled Butternut Squash Bread 

Note: makes 2 loaves

Bread Batter:
2 eggs
2 C. butternut squash puree
1 C. brown sugar
1/2 C. sugar
1/2 C. oil
1/2 C. plan Greek yogurt
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp. ginger
2 C. flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt

2 eggs
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. sugar
6 Tbsp flour

Preheat oven to 350.  Grease AND FLOUR two bread loaf pans.
Whisk together egg, squash puree, brown sugar, sugar, oil, Greek yogurt, vanilla, cinnamon and ginger.
All at once mix in flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt just until combined.

In a separate bowl blend all filling ingredients together.

Add 1/3 of bread mixture to each loaf pan.  Spoon half of filling on top.  Cover each loaf with 1/2 of remaining mixture.

Bake about 50 to 55 minutes until batter is set and bread is a deep golden brown.  Cool in pan 15 minutes then turn out and cool on wire rack.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Breakfast Fest 2015 (Day 1)

Today, I embarked on an adventure that my family has dubbed Breakfast Fest!  What does this mean?  It means I LOATHE making breakfast in the morning.  In fact, I hate mornings all together.  The waking up, the making beds, the convincing children to get on the move for is a lot of work.  So, I invented Breakfast Fest.

Breakfast Fest started in 2014.  I basically take an entire day (or divide it into two days), plan out what my family would eat for breakfast and make a lot of it.  Like probably enough to feed a small schoolhouse...full of sumo wrestlers...for a year.  Okay, well, maybe not quite that much, but it does get us through breakfast for well over a month, maybe even two.

Sometime between Breakfast Fest 2014 and now, my middle kiddo, M, developed a horrible allergy to cashews...which turned out to be an allergy to all nuts.  So we had to scrap what breakfasts were left (just in case of some cross contamination) and live off of cereal, oatmeal and whatever we could until...

....Breakfast Fest 2015!!!!!

A few things I learned after Breakfast Fest 2014:

1)Don't do it all in one day.  You end up with really sore swollen feet.
2)Plan exactly what to get at the store so you don't end up making twenty trips.
3)You can never have too many bread pans.  Borrow them from everyone you know!

Now, unto the plan!  For starting out, I sit down and figure out exactly what I'll make and about how many.  On this Breakfast Fest's docket is:

-Chocolate Strawberry Muffin Bites (about 48)
-Bacon and Egg Breakfast Burritos (about 20)
-Lemon, Blueberry Yogurt Bread (2 loaves)
-Apple, Carrot Zucchini Bread (2 loaves)
-Oatmeal Packs (40 at least)
-French Toast (2 loaves worth)
-Ham, Egg and Cheese Biscuit (36)
-Cream Cheese filled Butternut Squash Bread 2 loaves)

For the recipes needed today please follow this link: Breakfast Fest Day 1 Recipes

Now, get your little notepads out (are you as excited as I was)??, figure out which breakfasts you are making and write yourself a grocery list. Don't forget all the eggs and lots of flour!  Make a note, this stuff is pretty much from scratch, but you can substitute with some premade items, i.e. loaves of bread instead of making your own thick butter bread or those bang on the counter until they pop and scare the daylights out of you biscuits instead of the ones I make.  Whatever you need to do, just make sure you buy what you need.

Okay, now you have all your ingredients, here is the plan!

Day 1)
Step 1: Prepare Butternut squash for Cream Cheese filled Butternut Squash Bread (Wash, cut in half, scoop out seeds, put in a pan inside down with 3/4 inch of water, cover with foil and bake at 450 for about 40 minutes or until you can easily put a fork in the thickest part)

While the squash is cooking...

Step 2: Make Thick Butter Bread for French Toast

While Bread is rising...

Step 3: Make Sky High Biscuits for Ham, Egg and Cheese Biscuits in SINGLE BATCHES

While Biscuits are chilling and cooking...

Step 4: Make Scrambled Eggs in batches (1 egg per Bacon and Egg Breakfast Burrito and 1 egg per Ham, Egg and Cheese Biscuit)

Note, don't try this Pinterest trick to make perfect little circle eggs...LIES!

Step 5: After squash is cooled scoop out the inside and place in a bowl in your refrigerator for Day 2.

Step 6: After Bread and Biscuits have cooled store airtight at room temperature for Day 2.
Step 7: After scrambled eggs have cooled, store in the refrigerator for Day 2.

Now that wasn't so bad.  Look for Day 2 tomorrow....

Day 2 is now completed.  Click here to view the step by step plan and here to view day 2 recipes.