Monday, April 25, 2011

Carrot Cake or Cupcakes

Carrot Cake or Cupcakes

3 eggs
3/4 C buttermilk
3/4 C vegetable oil
1 1/2 C sugar
2 t vanilla
2 t ground cinnamon
1/4 t salt
2 C flour
2 t baking soda
2 C shredded carrots
1 C flaked coconut
1 8oz can crushed pineapple with juice

Sift together flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.  Set aside.  In mixer bowl, combine eggs, buttermilk, oil, sugar and vanilla.  Mix well.  Add flour mixture and mix well. Add carrots, coconut and pineapple.  Mix in with wooden spoon.

Bake at 350.

**Mine were mini cupcakes, so they only took 15 minutes or so. The original cake recipe that I have already modified, baked theirs in an 8x12 for an hour.  I prefer two 9 inch rounds for 30. It is quite moist and a bit hard to slice in the double layer, so I get why they did theirs in an 8x12.
**My most favorite carrot cake I've ever had, but it really is nothing without the coconut cream cheese frosting.
**My little carrot topper is white chocolate dyed and piped onto parchment paper. Cutesy.

Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting

8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 C unsalted butter, softened
4 C powdered sugar
2 T heavy cream
1/2 t salt
1/2 t coconut extract
1 t vanilla extract
1/2 C coconut (optional)- sweetened shredded of course
1 C toasted coconut, toasted (optional) sweetened shredded of course

Beat the cream cheese and butter in mixer until light and fluffy.  Gradually add powdered sugar, one cup at a time, alternating with heavy cream.  Beat in the salt coconut flavoring and vanilla. Continue beating until smooth.  Add additional powdered sugar to thicken, or more cream to thin. Stir in coconut if desired and top with toasted coconut, also optional.

**My dear friend Melody served me this cake at her house and I died over it.  I've always loved the flavor of carrot cake but have been put off by so many chunks.  No chunks here, just all flavor! The frosting takes it to a whole new level!
** Truman thought the frosting was HEAVEN!

Peach Lemonade Jello

Peach Lemonade Jello

2 lg pkg peach jello
4 C water
1 C fat free plain yogurt
Lemonade concentrate

Dissolve Jello in 4 C boiling water.  Divide in half and separate.  In one half add yogurt and wisk until combined.  Dissolve lemonade concentrate 1 T at a time in yogurt jello mixture until desired tartness (I usually use 4-6).  Pour into a deep 9 in pie plate (or 9x13) and let set in the refrigerator.  When yogurt mixture is set, pour other half of Jello on top and refrigerate.

**I picked this as a part of my birthday dinners growing up. Best jello combo ever!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Yogurt, Berries and Almonds

Yogurt, Berries and Almonds

1 C Fage plain yogurt (or any greek style yogurt unsweetened)
1/2 C blueberries
1/2 C raspberries
1 T sliced almonds

Mix your yogurt and splenda to your liking (I use 6 packets, I know, it will probably kill me, but I love it).  Top with berries and almonds.  Yummy to top with a little cinnamon too.

** This is one of my most favorite meals, breakfast, lunch or dinner, not only because it tastes so good, but because it is packed with power.  250 calories, 23g protein, 7g of fiber ... as well as all the antioxidants in the berries and good fat in the almonds. The greek yogurt has almost double the protein of normal yogurt and it is so creamy and delish.   All super foods in their own right, put them together and they are amazingly tasty!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Peanut Butter Nanaimo Bars

Peanut Butter Nanaimo Bars


1/2 C butter
1/4 C sugar
1 egg
1 t vanilla
1 T cocoa (I think I will put in 2 T next time...I'll update if I do and like it)

Mix together in a metal bowl over boiling water until slightly thickened. Stir occasionally.

2 C graham cracker crumbs
1 C dried coconut
1/2 C peanuts chopped (in food processor)

Mix together and add to butter mixture.  Press into a buttered 9x13.  Chill.

1 1/2 C  peanut butter (creamy)
6 T soft butter
6 T Bird's Custard Powder
6 C powdered sugar
3/4 C milk

Mix well and spread over crust.  Chill.

8 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips (next time I'll measure in C)
4 T unsalted butter

Melt in microwave and stir until smooth.  30 seconds at a time.  Spread over PB layer.  Chill until ready to serve.

**This picture is of a huge serving.  Usually they are cut to 1 1/2 inch square for a little finger dessert.  But don't despair, I'll eat a big one no problemo. A serious favorite.  An adapted recipe to be like the ones at Blue Lemon.

Acorn Squash and Spinach Egg White Omelet with Apple Salsa

*** Disclaimer...I'm starting a new label on this blog.  It will be MOMO....Meals On My Own....yes, sing the Les Mis song.  The purpose of this blog was to only do family loved, tried and true faves.  But I want to keep track of my faves...healthy they will be under MOMO.  These are the meals I usually make myself when Hans is working late or out of town and I don't want to eat what you kids are eating and you definitely don't want to eat this. So it really is again, just for me, but maybe some day, one of you kids will like it!

Acorn Squash and Spinach Egg White Omelet
with Apple Salsa

1 C acorn squash, peeled and chopped (probably just as good with butternut)
1/2 C onion chopped
1 big handfuls of spinach chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced (I used the jarred)
1/4 t cumin
pinch - 1/8 t cinnamon
salt and pepper to taste
3 egg whites 
1 babybel light cheese round (grated)

Roast the squash in the oven at 350 for 20 min until soft.  Doesn't take long if your pieces are small.  Spray skillet with pam and cook onion for about 5 minutes.  Add garlic, cumin and cinnamon. After about a minute, add the squash and spinach. Cook until spinach is wilted, a few minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
Wipe out pan and spray heavily with pam.  Add the egg whites and tilt pan so a nice round is created. Cook through, on med low heat.  I sometimes flip mine.  Add squash mixture back, sprinkle on grated cheese and fold over omelet.  Top with apple salsa (a must).

Apple Salsa
1/2 apple, diced (fuji)
2 T cilantro, chopped
1/4 C onion, diced
1/2 lime juiced
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients and serve on top of omelet.

**This is my own creation, adapted from a quesadilla recipe. It is just about the same, except add 1/2 C black beans into the squash mixture, put it in a tortilla and use a lot of cheddar cheese. I also added the cinnamon which is total yum.
** OK, here is the awesome news.  This is 280 calories, 21g of protein, and 12g of fiber.  It is one of the yummiest healthy things I've had in a long time, and I crave it!  Sometimes I double the squash portion and save the 2nd half for the next day lunch or dinner!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Chicken Edamame Chowder

Chicken Edamame Chowder

1 lb cubed chicken breasts
2 8oz pkgs frozen edamame
1 lg sweet pepper (orange, yellow or red), chopped
1 lg onion, chopped
2 jalapenos, finely chopped
2 t ground cumin
2 t ground coriander
1/2 t salt
1/4 t black pepper
4 C chicken broth
8oz sour cream
3 T flour
2 medium zucchini, halved and sliced
Toppings: cilantro and cheese

Spray soup pot with pam and cook chicken. Add edamame, peppers, onion, cumin, coriander, salt and pepper.  pour chicken broth over all and stir to combine.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 30 minutes or so.  Combine sour cream and flour.  Stir (whisk) into soup until well combined.  Add zucchini.  Increase heat and bring to a boil to thicken soup and to cook zucchini. As soon as soup is thickened and zucchini are just tender, take off heat. Serve topped with  cilantro and cheese. About 8 servings.

*Crazy yummy and healthy.

No Bake Cookies (basically a nugget of joy)

No Bake Cookies 
(basically a nugget of joy - all peanut butter version)

2 cups sugar
1 stick butter
1/2 cup milk

Mix in a saucepan and boil for one minute.  Remove from heat and mix in:

1 cup peanut butter (I use a heaping cup, a little less than 1 1/2)
1 tablespoon vanilla
31/2 cups oatmeal

When cooled a bit and mixed well, mix in:
1 C white chocolate chips

Scoop with an ice cream scoop or rounded Tablespoon onto parchment lined cookie sheet. Let cool (if you can wait that long) and enjoy.

Traditional Chocolate Peanut Butter No Bakes
2 cups sugar
4 tablespoons cocoa
1 stick butter
1/2 cup milk

Mix in a saucepan and boil for one minute.  Remove from heat and mix in:

1 cup peanut butter (the more the merrier...see above)
1 tablespoon vanilla
3 cups oatmeal

Make drop cookies on parchment lined cookie sheet. Let cool and enjoy.

**Fun to add in different things....
** So Josie and I wanted to mess around today and decided to honor Tru's request he yelled as he was running out the door for school...."Can you make the peanut butter nuggets?" So we did and decided to get creative.  I measured the batter and it was about 4 cups. Taking out a cup of batter at a time, I added in about 1/4 C - 1/2 C of either marshmallows, butterscotch chips, white chocolate and m&m's.  I LOVE the butterscotch and Josie is lovin' the m&m's.  We'll see what's Tru's fave when he gets home!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Tilapia with Lemon Vinaigrette

Tilapia  with Lemon Vinaigrette

8 T olive oil
3 shallots, thinly sliced
1 large head radicchio, coarsely chopped
1 (15 oz) can cannelloni beans, drained and rinsed (or great northern if you can't find)
1/3 C vegetable broth
Salt and freshly ground pepper
6 (5-6oz) tilapia fillets
Flour for dredging
Lemon Vinaigrette (recipe follows)

Heat 2 T of oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat.  Add the shallots and sauté until tender, about 2 minutes.  Add the radicchio and sauté until wilted, about 2 minutes.  Add the beans and broth, and cook until the beans are heated through, stirring often, about 5 minutes.  Season the radicchio mixture, to taste, with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, heat 3 T  of oil in a nonstick fry pan over medium-high heat.  Sprinkle the fillets with salt and pepper.  Dredge the fillets in flour to coat completely.  Shake off the excess flour and fry fillets until they are golden brown and just cooked through, about 3 minutes per side.

Spoon radicchio mixture over the center of the plates.  Top with fillets.  Drizzle the vinaigrette over and serve immediately.

Lemon Vinaigrette:
2 t finely grated lemon zest
¼ C fresh lemon juice
¼ C lightly packed fresh Italian parsley leaves
2 cloves garlic
½ t salt
¼ t freshly ground pepper
1/3 C extra virgin olive oil
Blend the lemon juice, parsley, lemon zest, garlic, salt and pepper in a blender. With the machine running, gradually blend in the oil.  Season the vinaigrette, to taste, with more salt and pepper.

**This is one of our all time favorite meals, for everyone. Hans requests it for his birthday. Truman and Gray eat 2 pieces of fish and Rock devours the beans.  Josie & Chloe like it.  It doesn't look all that impressive, but it is delish and pretty healthy, especially is if you cut down the oil in the frying and in the vinaigrette (just add a little water instead of some of the oil, makes it a little more runny, but the flavor is still there!)
*A little funny note, this is from the very first Giada De Laurentiis show I saw, Everyday Italian, on an airplane on our way home from Vermont, and I've been making it ever since.
*Served with a simple salad of spring mix, butternut squash,  toasted almonds, a crumbled lemon cheese and a simple vinaigrette. It was made up, but yummy.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Julie's Sundance Bars

Julie’s Sundance Bars   

2 C flour
1 ½ C packed brown sugar
1 C whole oats-old fashioned
1 t baking powder
½ t salt
1 C butter-melted
1 C semi-sweet & milk chocolate chips combined
1 C butterscotch chips
1 can sweetened condensed milk

Other optional add ins:
1 C chopped pecans
1 C coconut

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 9x13 pan. In a large bowl, mix flour, brown sugar, oats, baking powder & salt. Stir in butter. Press 3 c mixture evenly in bottom of pan (do not press while measuring). Bake 10 min. Remove & sprinkle choc chips & nuts over crust, pour condensed milk evenly over top. (Avoid the pan edges, the sweetened condensed milk cooks faster and makes it hard to cut the edges.) Sprinkle with remaining oat mixture. Bake 25-30 min. (Don't let the edges get dark.) Cool completely. Cut into squares. Seriously, so good!
**I love them cut big, like at Sundance, but proper portion size is probably 2x2 not 4x4! Shucks!
Tried a variation that was yummy.  Use I C diced dried apricots, I C shredded coconut, I C chopped cashews and 2 C white chocolate chips before pouring on the sweetened condensed milk!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Breanna's Snickerdoodles

Breanna's Snickerdoodles

1 C shortening (I prefer butter flavored crisco)               
1 ½ C sugar
2 eggs               
1 t vanilla
½ t salt               
1 t baking soda
2 t cream of tartar       
3 C flour

Cream together shortening and sugar.  Add eggs and vanilla. Mix.  Add dry ingredients.  Mix until combined.  (My dough pulls away from the bowl.) 

2 T sugar             
1 t cinnamon
Mix in a bowl.

Roll dough into balls and then into cinnamon mixture.  Place on baking sheet and slightly flatten with the bottom of a cup.  Bake at 350 for 10-13 minutes, depending on size.  They will look a little underdone when perfect. Made 18 large cookies.

**Bre uses 2 3/4 C flour, but I like mine with a little more body, so I add in a 1/4 C and bake mine a touch longer.  But Breanna still rules as the master cookie maker in my book...who am I kidding, master of everything in the kitchen!
**After baking dozens of these for Truman's Cookie Stand, I realized most people preferred them the average time for 1/4 C dough cookie was 8-9 minutes.  Once the edges begin to crack a tiny bit, take them out! Still keep the flour at 3 C.
**1 batch makes 53 (1T) or 26 (2T) or 13 (1/4C)

Bird Seed

Bird Seed

1 box fruit loop cereal
1 box pops cereal
2 boxes crunch n munch caramel or toffee popcorn (or cracker jacks)
1 lb peanut m&ms (or peanut butter)
1 lb plain m&ms

Add ins:
Salted Peanuts

Mix together and store in an airtight container.  Serve with cups for people to "scoop" out their serving to "peck" at.

**This is a tradition handed down from Grandma Peterson, to my Mom and to me.  We had it at Bear Lake every summer.  You can do any flavor and amount variations you like.  It doesn't melt in the sun and it is perfect for camping trips and girls camp!

Strawberries Romanoff

Strawberries Romanoff

Strawberries (and other fruit if desired)
Sour Cream
Brown Sugar

Dip the strawberry in the sour cream and then into the brown sugar. YUM!

**This is our favorite combined with sticky buns or cinnamon rolls on Conference Sunday! The strawberries are the best flavor, but the grapes and bananas are yummy too.