Sep 23, 2012

Oreo Fluff Dip

I love this dessert, it requires no cooking or baking or anything. And it gets rave reviews. 

I found it on pinterest a few months ago and made the recipe from a blog and loved it. I made it the other day again and it was even better this time. 
But for some reason the blog that the recipe is on, is no longer there. I guess the blog owner took down their site or something. So I can't pin back to the original source. 

OREO Fluff Dip

2 packages oreos
2 C. mini marshmallows 
1 small tub whipped cream
1 box oreo instant pudding mix
2 C. Milk

Mix the oreo pudding with the milk, whisk about 2 minutes. 
Crush about 15-20 oreos in the food processor or crunch in a ziploc. Add the oreos to the pudding, add whipped cream and marshmallows, stir until mixed through. 
Let set in the fridge about 30 minutes. Serve, and dunk the remaining Oreos in the dip! 

The blog I got this from says its just a regular fluff dessert, like you eat it with a spoon and stuff, and you can do that but I think its better as a dip, and I love dipping the oreos into it, its like an oreo paradise. I have also tried dipping graham crackers into it and its awesome, Vanilla Wafers would be good I am sure. 
The original recipe also calls for white chocolate pudding instead of oreo pudding, but they didn't have regular white chocolate pudding at Wal-Mart, only sugar free, so we got Oreo this time around and I think it was even better than the first time I made this with white chocolate pudding. 

Sep 20, 2012

DIY Moss Balls

I updated my table centerpiece, it used to be these fake flowers in a vase I got at Target, but after 3 1/2 years of them, I grew tired of the flowers. I found this great standing bowl thing at a garage sale for a buck. It came with some ugly fake fruit, but I just threw those out. I wanted to fill the bowl up with mossy balls, moss balls, balls made of moss, is there like a normal way to say that that doesn't sound dirty?? 
Dollar Tree, Aka: The greatest store on earth, had a package of styrofoam balls, have you bought styrofoam balls at the craft store? They are kinda pricey. So I picked some of those up, and then Dollar Tree also had moss! Seriously that place is like Wal-Mart, it has everything. I used two packages of styrofoam balls and one package of the floral moss. I put the moss in a big heaping pile on a paper plate, then I covered each ball in hot glue and rolled it around in the moss. I did like half of the ball at a time, so I didn't burn my fingers.

The balls were all different sizes so I made big balls and small balls. I loved that they were all different sizes, it made it more fun.

I put them in my little bowl with a piece of tan cloth inside the bowl and put it on my cute table runner and all done. New $ 4.00 centerpiece for a little while. 

Sep 19, 2012

Pita Pizzas

I think this is the easiest meal in the universe. I think its easier than Mac and Cheese (maybe not as easy as E-Z Mac, but that stuff makes me want to vomit) 

Pita Pizzas

1 pita per person eating
1 jar pizza sauce
mozzarella cheese
any other pizza toppings you want (olives, onions, pineapple etc.)

Place pitas on cookie sheet, pile on sauce, cheese and toppings. 

Bake at 400 degrees for about 13-15 min or until cheese is melted. 

Seriously, thats all. Your done. 

Usually when I make homemade pizza I make my own crust, but these are so so great if you are in a hurry or if you are tired or just not in the mood to cook. 

Amazing Fruit and Spinach Smoothie


So for the past couple years Jeremy and I have been making these fruit smoothies. We would make them late at night when we were in a snack-y mood but didn't want to eat something heavy. 
Lately I have been trying to eat healthier, and part of eating healthier was cutting out cereal in the morning, but I don't really like yogurt or eggs or most of the healthy breakfast stuff. So I decided to make up one of these smoothies, and I added some spinach and voila! Perfect breakfast shake! 

I am kinda weird and was skeptical of putting spinach in my delicious smoothie, I didn't want to be able to taste it because tasting spinach in the morning sounds disgusting. But you really can't taste it at all (just don't add huge amount of it). And this smoothie makes great baby food. A-Cakes gobbles it up every morning along with Jeremy and I. I mix hers with a little rice cereal to thicken it up so its a little bit cleaner to feed her. 
I do put fruit juice in it. When you are using frozen fruit in a blender, you have to have a liquid to help the blender chop it up a bit. I use 100% Juice only, and even though it is from concentrate, there is no added sugar.

Perfectly Pineapple Smoothies

1 cup frozen fruit- mixture of pineapple, mangos, strawberries and peaches
(Wal-Mart sells a big bag in the freezer section of this fruit mixture)
3/4 cup Dole Orange and Pineapple Juice 
(this is in the freezer section at Wal-Mart and most groceries, it is in the concentrate cans)
1 1/2 handfuls of spinach leaves

Add the frozen fruit in the blender, then add the spinach, then the juice. Blend until no chunks remain. You may have to stop and stir it a few times. Pour in a glass and enjoy! 

You can use this for breakfast or any snack during the day. And the great thing is that you can play around with this recipe, add some more berries, or more spinach. Greek yogurt would totally add some great protein to this, too bad I hate greek yogurt.
{The amount shown in the pics serves two and a baby}

Sep 17, 2012

How to puree your veggies

In my last post, HERE, I talked about how I have started 'hiding' vegetables in my meals. 
And I explained that its not really hiding them since mainly my husband and I eat the meals and both of us know what is in it (A-Cakes sometimes will eat it too) but the vegetables are pureed in in the meal so  you can't really taste it and it helps to get more of your daily veggies in. 

So here is how I started out, using the book Deceptively Delicious as a guide I bought a whole bunch of vegetables at the store, I came home and spent a morning steaming all those vegetables (cut up the veggies in chunks before you steam them). Unfortunately I don't have a steamer, but I do plan on getting one in the near future. But if you don't have a steamer it is fine. All I did is use my rice cooker, you can use pot on the stove too, and just added a small amount of water. I then put the vegetables in the water and covered it with a lid. And left them in there to steam. If  you aren't using a steamer stir the vegetables every so often and make sure the water doesn't evaporate all the way or the veggies will burn. Then once they are steamed you just need to add the vegetable to your blender and blend it until smooth. I then poured it into small sandwich sized ziploc bags, in about 1 1/2 Cup amounts. 
I did this with each vegetable I had bought, then I let them cool in the bags and then put them in a bigger ziploc in the freezer. 
Freezing the vegetables is nice too, because sometimes they go bad before I have a chance to use them, and this way they don't go to waste. I usually make a meal with some kind of meat in it for dinner, so when I take out the meat out of the freezer each morning to thaw I just take out a vegetable baggie too, and it works perfectly. 
If you have a veggie fresh on hand and you are using something that is going to be cooked like spaghetti sauce you don't really need to cook it first. It will cook in the sauce, especially if its a squash because those cook up fast. 

Here are the vegetables I used: 
Zucchini Squash
Yellow Squash

You can try fruits like bananas or other veggies like butternut squash and beets, but I have not tried those veggies yet. 

I will be adding more recipes as I go with this new plan, but some ideas in using these veggies that I have used are:
(some of these recipes were posted before I started this meal plan, look for the updates at the bottom of the post for the pureed vegetable I used)

Spaghetti with meat sauce

Chicken Fajitas

Chicken Enchiladas- These enchiladas are fantastic, I have yet to post the recipe on this blog though, but you can find it at Annie Eats. I add a cup of Cauliflower to the sauce. It is perfect. 

Banana Bread- This was one of the few recipes I have used from the Deceptively Delicious cookbook (I mostly use the book as a reference) and it was delicious. It didn't have a ton of sugar which was nice, and it uses half whole wheat flour and half white flour, banana puree and cauliflower puree. I also went a step further and used applesauce instead of oil. 

Applesauce instead of Oil - I don't make my own applesauce, yet. But it is technically a puree. And I love using this instead of oil in my baked goods. I have used it in zucchini bread, banana bread and cupcakes and it turns out great every time. So much healthier for you! Next I am going to try it in brownies. 

Smoothies-  I love Perfectly Pineapple Smoothies that I eat every morning for breakfast. Lots of fruit and spinach. You don't even need to puree the spinach before hand since it is pureed in the blender and doesn't need to be cooked. 

I just started this, but already I am loving the idea, so I will be editing my recipes I have up to add the purees to the recipes and adding new recipes as I create them. 

Sep 16, 2012

Pureeing Vegetables

This past week I made about 15 bags of vegetable purees.

I am now 'hiding' the purees in our dinners and homemade breads and other foods so that the hubs and I can get our full daily serving of vegetables.

I borrowed the book Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld from my lovely mother-in-law and followed her plan on adding the pureed veggies to your food, the best thing about it is that you can't tell it is in there. Seriously, for most of the things I have made the past couple weeks I really have not noticed they were in there at all. Some of the things even tasted better with the veggie puree, or so my husband said.

I have a hard time eating a full serving of vegetables a day. I usually eat a decent amount of vegetables too, but seriously you have to eat so many vegetables, and before I started doing this, I was getting about half my daily allotment.
A-Cakes is kinda picky, she won't eat the vegetable baby food no matter how hard I try. It got to the point where she wouldn't even eat the fruit baby food, which she loves, without me forcing it in her mouth to show her it wasn't veggies. So I started mixing the vegetable baby food in with the fruit. And she ate that stuff right up. So that gave me the idea to put veggies in other foods, especially since she eats more 'big people food' now and not only the baby foods. I wanted to make sure that with the 'big people food' she got veggies too. I started with spaghetti sauce. I made my spaghetti and added pureed zucchini to it. I am pretty picky and I didn't notice it at all, and I added a whole zucchini squash to it. Then I remembered the Deceptively Delicious cookbook that my mother in law had. I had never been too interested in the idea with the pureed veggies until now. But I borrowed the book and it has a lot of great ideas.

For a lot of the recipes in the book, I already have recipes I love, such as spaghetti, but I borrowed the book as a reference to see what kinds of veggies she uses in what meals and then I can use my own recipes, but add veggies to them.

Since I started doing this, I have gotten my 3 cups of daily vegetables in each day. And A-Cakes and the hubs eats it all up.

I don't think the point of adding the vegetables to your food is to hide it from your kids, I still believe you should feed your kids other vegetables that aren't hidden and let them know what they are eating is healthy, but I think this is a great way to get all those vegetables in each day and just make your meals healthier and more nutritious. But if you have an older kid more set in their ways, hiding the vegetables might just be your salvation. I still feed A-Cakes other vegetables like tiny pieces of broccoli and peas that are not hidden and as long as its not baby food she does better at eating it.
But as an adult it makes me feel healthy and I know I am getting more out of my meals.

Follow up post:  How to Puree your veggies

Sep 13, 2012

Go Fight Win Cupcakes

I don't like football, in fact when football is on, I see that as my cue to take a Sunday nap. But my husband loves, loves football. He loves him some NFL.  So on the first game day for the NFL we skip church and go to his dad's house and watch a few games. Well I watched A-Cakes and browsed pinterest. To make the day more special I made these adorable football cupcakes. 

Were they hard, well they shouldn't have been. I am sure anyone else out there besides me would think they are easy. But I have serious problems with cupcakes. I really cannot make them work. I also think a big problem with this was that I need pastry bags. I bought pastry tip things to frost with, but silly me, I thought, I can just use a ziploc bag and cut a hole in the tip, well I kept bursting the stupid bag and all my frosting would come pouring out some hole. But the actual making the design was super easy. I just made a box of yellow cake (I only eat yellow and chocolate cakes, white is gross) and then bought some chocolate frosting. I frosted the cupcakes with a light layer of chocolate, and then I put more frosting on top of them with my frosting kit. Then I made some homemade white frosting and put that on top of the chocolate. 
I keep trying to make cupcakes and I am trying to learn to decorate them well, because A-Cake's birthday is in December and I really wanted to make Sesame Street cupcakes for her party. But after my last few experiences making cupcakes I don't think I will be making any Elmo cupcakes. I just cannot make cupcakes well for some reason... 
But anyway these football cupcakes turned out cute, and made a huge mess in my kitchen. 
So anyone else but me could easily make them, I am just doomed with cupcakes. 

Sep 9, 2012

Menu Plan Monday

Here is a list of what I am making this week. 

For those of you that don't do meal planning I highly recommend it, it makes life so much easier. There isn't a bunch of guessing and you already have all the stuff on hand. 
What works for me is creating a list of 12 meals or so that sound good and then spreading those meals out over 2 weeks. I go to the grocery store with a list of everything I need for those meals and then I am set for the next two weeks. If I am planning a meal with something that will not last two weeks (store bought rolls or a certain vegetable ) I either make that meal first or I just plan on making a quick trip to the store to get a couple items later in the week. I don't however plan what meal is going for what night. I just make a list of meals, stick it on my fridge (or else I will forget what I bought) and then that morning I decide what sounds good and get the meat out to thaw (because it is usually all frozen). If planning out each night's meal in advance works for you do it, but if your like me, then its easier to just have a list. 

Chicken Noodle Soup: Its going to be a rainy day, and nothing says fall and rain like a nice bowl of homemade chicken noodle.  I make homemade noodles and they are delicious. But if you want to make it easier, buy some egg noodles. I am also trying to eat more veggies, so I am going to puree some carrots and put that into the sauce, and chop up carrots as well. Lots of veggies in this meal. 

Healthy Spice Rub Slow Cooker Chicken: I haven't made this recipe yet, but I hope its delicious. It looks really healthy. I think I might pair it with some homemade rolls, maybe some grilled zucchini? I'm not sure yet. But the chicken is paleo friendly too. 

Pita Pizzas: No recipe needed for these, they are too easy. I recently bought some pitas at the market, not my usual market to make sandwich pockets for lunch and they don't open up, they are just unopenable flatbreads. So I can't use them for my lunches. But I don't want to waste them so I am going to make them into pizzas. Whole wheat pitas are the best, and they make perfect pizza crusts. Just  pile on the sauce and the cheese and your favorite toppings, bake at 400 for about 15-20 min until cheese is melted and voila! Easiest thing ever to make. You can also use french bread too. 

Chicken Enchiladas: I love this recipe, its healthy and delicious. I recently made them in the crock pot too, which made them way easier. I will post soon on how I altered it to be a slow cooker recipe. But meanwhile you can find the recipe over at Annie Eats.

Out to Eat! I can't cook every single night. I will go insane. 

Pancakes w. bacon: Breakfast for dinner is always fun, especially because I never, ever make breakfast foods for breakfast. I just really can't cook that early. I just buy pancake mix and use that, way easier. Sometimes I put chocolate chips in my pancakes though, that is the bomb. I love bacon, so, so much, especially wonderful fatty, salty bacon. But turkey bacon is also good, and I buy that so I can have it more often. Its almost just as good. I even converted my husband, he says he likes it better than the pork kind. 

Chicken Parmesean: I like to class it up a bit on Sundays. And Italian food is always an elegant food. Someday I will do a post on this recipe, but I don't have one up yet, sorry!