Category: recipes (page 1 of 2)

Favorite Halloween Party Food Ideas

Halloween prep is in full swing around here. You guys, I LOVE Halloween. Our annual Halloween Bash is coming up in a couple of weeks so I am determined to get this place looking spooky. The food, though? That may be my favorite part. Here are a few of my favorite Halloween Party food ideas that I’m loving at the moment…

Five of my favorite Halloween Party food ideas!

  1. Slushy Punch Recipe – I love this! This is such a visually fun way to serve a Halloween punch to kiddos for a party.  I am totally adding this to our Halloween party this year.

Halloween party punch made the list of my favorite Halloween Party Food Ideas

2. Halloween Monster Apples – Fun and kid friendly apple treat for Halloween. I think my kids are going to love giving these a try! Not the scariest on the list of my favorite Halloween party food ideas but definitely one of the most colorful!

Halloween monster apple treat made the list of my favorite Halloween Party Food Ideas

3. Jack the Pumpkin King Pie – I wish I knew who to give credit to for this awesome idea but my Pinterest pin is a dead link. This is so cool! I think I may actually give this a try closer to Halloween with my favorite pot pie recipe for a spooky dinner treat!

Jack the Pumpkin King Pie made the list of my favorite Halloween Party Food Ideas

4. Avocado and Wasabi Deviled Eggs – WHAT?! A creepy deviled egg? Yes please. My kids love them some deviled eggs. Probably harkens back to the days when we were overrun with chickens in the backyard and more eggs than we knew what to do with. But, these look too fun not to try.

Halloween Appetizer Deviled Eggs made the list of my favorite Halloween Party Food Ideas

5. Creepy Brain Dip – This one is grown-up friendly, right? Classy-ish? I mean, as far as Halloween appetizers go it seems to be a good option. And I am always looking for an excuse to break out the $10 brain jello mold that I never seem to use. (Am I the only one who hates to make Jell-O? Ugh.)

Halloween appetizer cheese dip brains made the list of my favorite Halloween Party Food Ideas

Looking for more fun Halloween ideas? Check out my Pinterest board full of Halloween inspiration!

 

Super easy, super yummy clam chowder recipe. (I know, I know. I’m still working on my Christmas recap…)

Okay, I have lots of things to say about Christmas this year. It was a really great Christmas! I mean, hello, Georgia had the first white Christmas in like 200 years. How could that be anything short of fantastical?

But, I need to write this really easy delicious clam chowder recipe down first because if I don’t I’ll totally forget it and my blog is like my virtual recipe box so please bear with me while I publish this BEFORE my recap of Holiday Wonderfulness 2010.

And, so, without further ado…Clam Chowder.

1 small box organic cream of broccoli soup

1 small box organic potato leek soup

1 quart half and half

1 pint heavy whipping cream

3 large potatoes

3 cans minced clam (undrained)

3 celery stalks, chopped

1 clove garlic

olive oil

salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste

(next time I will add some chopped bacon, an extra can or two of whole clams and maybe even more potatoes)

Heat olive oil, chopped garlic, potatoes & celery in large stockpot. Add soups. Add half & half and heavy cream. Add canned clams with their juices. Let simmer (avoid boiling!) for about an hour and then reduce heat to low and cook until you’re ready to eat it. I left mine on the stove for several hours and the potatoes were so incredibly tender and delicious.

This was a huge hit around here and the kids absolutely loved it. Which I love because, as it turns out, clams have lots of amazing nutritional value to them. And since they were minced the kids never even knew they were in there (and I’m pretty sure they’d never eat the whole ones) and so it was like tricking them into eating something that was good for them. Of course, with the amount of heavy cream and half & half in this recipe I don’t know that I’d call it a healthy meal choice. But, it was delicious nonetheless!

Got (sour) milk?

We buy 3 gallons of raw milk a week from the local farmer. 3 gallons! That’s a lot for a family of 5, right? At $7 a gallon, I think it’s a lot.

So, when we go on vacation and come home to a full gallon of sour milk I just have a really hard time throwing it out. I mean, it’s like throwing $7 straight into the trash. It seems only natural to Google “What to do with sour milk” before I toss it in the trash. Afterall, I do love me some Google.

And here’s what I learned. Sour milk? It is totally usable for baking. In fact, some recipes actually call for sour milk. (Humor me and pretend that I’m not the only person in the world who didn’t realize this.)

That is how I came to be baking sour milk biscuits, bread, and pancakes over the course of a weekend.

Maybe I’m the only person in the free world who didn’t know you could actually cook with sour milk, but maybe not. So, in case you’re wondering what to do with the milk in the fridge that is on the verge of spoiling I thought I’d share some recipes. Here you go…

Click the name to link to the recipe’s listed. What do YOU do with sour milk?

Sour Milk Biscuits

Sour Milk Bread

Sour Milk Pancakes

Cheap & Easy Pho (a.k.a. My favorite recipe!)

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A couple of years ago my family fell in love with Pho, a Vietnamese Noodle Soup. It is hands down one of my kid’s favorite meals. It is one of my favorite meals, too. For various reasons. Those reasons are:

1. It’s yummy.

2. It’s easy.

3. It’s cheap.

4. It’s healthy.

What more could you ask for in a meal?

So, since I’m such a huge fan I thought I’d share the recipe so you can be a huge fan, too!

1 lb of chicken (I often use frozen chicken and just boil it because I ALWAYS forget to thaw it in time)
1 can chicken broth (I use bouillon sometimes, too)
2 cups water
1-2 limes
garlic
rice noodles (from the international section @ grocery store)
cilantro
hoisin sauce
bean sprouts

Boil the raw chicken in the broth/water until cooked through. Add lime juice, 2 Tablespoons hoisin sauce, garlic & cilantro. Add more water if desired. When broth is ready, add noodles. Cook per instructions on package. (Usually about 5-6 minutes). Remove from heat and serve immediately. Can be topped with bean sprouts, cilantro, basil, limes and more Hoisin sauce!

That’s it. See, what I mean? Easy peasy. And definitely sure to please the whole family!

The post in which I profess my love of Vinegar…

Here’s how it happened. Traveler, my dear sweet goofy face making boy, will not let me put him down during the day. So, I wear him in a sling. And carry him on my hip. But my little stowaway makes cleaning the house a bit complicated.

My biggest concern was the fumes. Nearly every product I used caused these awful caustic fumes and I refused to use them with Trav (or the girls) around. And I wanted to buy Shaklee, but I am too stinking impatient to order something and wait to get it. So after a Twitter poll the other day my Twitter/Blog friend Mama Hall recommended Vinegar. Which immediately intrigued me. So I did some research and it turns out (though I may be the only person who didn’t already know this) that Vinegar is a great cleaning product. And cheap.

The next thing I knew I was in the kitchen concocting cleaning solutions to use around the house. And after having used them for the last couple weeks I must say, they are AWESOME! And totally cute in their little mason jars and pretty spray bottles. Very charming. Maybe even a bit Little House on the Prairie.

So, I thought I’d share my recipes (I came up with these spending two days searching on the internet so I don’t really have a source to credit. But, in the interest of full disclosure, just know they aren’t my invention.) and you can use them or Google others or recommend some to me that you’ve used.

All Purpose Cleaner:

Spray Bottle
1 part Vinegar
1 part Water

This All-Purpose Cleaner is awesome. I used it to clean my counters and refrigerator one minute and then turned around and used it on Traveler’s exersaucer the next. I didn’t have to worry about any harmful residue or fumes. Later, I was able to spray it on the girls wet hair to help remove the chlorine residue from swimming before washing it. It’s truly multipurpose!

Disinfectant:

Spray Bottle
1/2 C Vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Tea Tree Oil
1/4 C Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Seventh Generation Unscented detergent
10 drops Sweet Orange essential oil
fill remainder of bottle with water

Mix the ingredients together (don’t forget Vinegar + Baking Soda makes fizzy foam so be careful when mixing!) and shake bottle well. Use anywhere you need to clean and disinfect. It works great at cleaning shower stalls and bathroom areas.

Abrasive Scrub:

Medium sized Mason Jar
1/4 Cup Baking Soda
Seventh Generation Unscented detergent

Put the Baking Soda in a bowl and add the detergent until the mixture has the consistency of cake frosting. Then put in a mason jar and seal. You can add a few drops of Olive Oil to keep the mixture moist. Use for cleaning the oven, bathtubs, or anywhere you need a scrub.

Swiffer Hack:

I added a mixture of 1/3 C Vinegar and 2/3 C Water (You can use 2/3 C Vinegar and 1/3 C Olive Oil for more of a polish) and a few drops of Sweet Orange essential oil to my Swiffer WetJet. Here’s how.

Completely use up all of the Swiffer WetJet Cleaning solution. Make small hole in the top of the container. Using a very small funnel (or I use a turkey injector without the needle) add the solution to the bottle. Then apply a small piece of duct tape over the top to keep it sealed. That way you can keep the convenience of the WetJet but have a healthier & less expensive cleaning solution to use with it!

Thanks again to Mama Hall for opening my eyes to a new cleaning product! 

So there you have it! My new obsession. Got any recipes for cleaning products you’ve used in your house? Feel free to leave them or links to them in the comments!

A ‘bit of Irish in the Kitchen

In honor of St. Patty’s Day (my all-time favorite holiday) I’m making some simple, easy Irish-inspired dishes for dinner and thought I’d share the recipes!

The Soda Bread recipe is one I found here at Recipezaar.com. They’ve got tons of variations on the recipe but I use this one since it is simple and goes well with the Corned Beef & Cabbage dish below.

SODA BREAD

* 6 cups all-purpose flour
* 2 teaspoons baking soda
* 2 teaspoons baking powder
* 3 tablespoons cornstarch
* 2 teaspoons sugar
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 2 1/2 cups buttermilk

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Add all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.
3. Add all of buttermilk at once and stir until soft dough forms.
4. It might be a little lumpy, but don’t worry about it at this point. Pour contents of bowl out onto the counter and knead for a minute or so until blended.
5. Divide dough into two portions and shape each portion into a round loaf, with lightly flattened tops.
6. Put loaves on large ungreased baking sheet, preferably the nonstick kind.
7. Sprinkle some additional flour on top of each loaf and with a sharp knife, cut a cross in two slashes across the top of each loaf.
8. Let the loaves sit for 10 minutes and bake for 40 minutes, or until golden brown.

Makes 2 loaves.

CORNED BEEF & CABBAGE SOUP

1 head of cabbage cut into chunks
olive oil
1 small box penne pasta
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup water
1 can corned beef, chopped (I think it could use 2 cans, but I’ve only ever made it with one)
fresh carrots, sliced

Heat oil in stock pot. Add cabbage and cook 2 minutes. Add broth and water. Add carrots and corned beef. Simmer 20 minutes. Add pasta. Cook until tender. Salt to taste.

There you have it! The “Irish” menu I’m tackling this week. Head over to 5 Minutes for Mom to see what other moms are tackling this week!

Cheaters Tortilla Soup

One of my preggo cravings this time around has been Mexican food. Actually, more specifically, the HUGE bowl of chicken soup from the Mexican restaurant that you can get for $3 and feed your whole family with. Yeah, I can eat that all on my own in one sitting. Don’t judge me.

Unfortunately, my husband loathes this particular type of food so getting to the restaurant to get some has not been without drama. But, in my first trimester there were several nights the only thing I could stomach was the “chicken soup” from our local El Azteca.

I just wish I’d had this recipe then, because this is the easiest and most delicious cheater’s Mexican Chicken Soup I’ve ever had. Definitely not any kind of authentic recipe, but I’m not pretending it is. It just hits the spot when you’re craving some good easy chicken soup with more of a Mexican flare.

So, I thought I’d post the recipe for you in case you find yourself pregnant and about to inflict bodily harm on someone because they are refusing to take you to get Mexican food no matter how badly you want it and you need some other way to fill the craving. Not that it has ever happened to me. **ahem**

Mexican Chicken Soup (adapted from Real Simple recipe)

1 12-ounce jar salsa verde
1 lb. cooked chicken
4 cups chicken broth
1 and 1/4 cups water
1 teaspoon ground cumin (optional)
2 green onions, chopped
2 cans Ro-tel diced tomatoes (undrained)
fresh cilantro, chopped
2 limes, quartered
No Yolk noodles
2 avocados, diced
salt (to taste)

Empty the salsa, broth, water, and tomatoes into a large saucepan. Cook 2 minutes over medium-high heat, then add the onions, cilantro, and cumin. Bring to a boil. Add cooked chicken and limes. Add noodles and allow to simmer until noodles are soft. Top with avocados and serve with your favorite side dish!

Enjoy!

Georgia Bird

Thomas is famous for his turkey cooking abilities. And this recipe is one that shows off those culinary skills. The Georgia Bird is hands-down my favorite way for turkey to be cooked.

1 turkey
1 C olive oil
3/4 C peach schnapps
5 pears (sliced thin w/skin)
2.5 T of sea salt
1/2 T pepper
fresh minced rosemary (6-9 sprigs)
1 vidalia onion (quartered)

Mix above ingredients in a bowl and stuff into your turkey. Use the juices left in bowl to inject into your turkey and rub into the turkey skin. Rub an extra Tablespoon of sea salt into the turkey skin. Begin cooking turkey upside down and continue cooking for half the required cooking time of your sized turkey. (at 350) At halfway point, flip turkey right side up and baste with the juices in the roaster and dust with pepper, a dash of salt, and top with fresh sprigs of rosemary for presentation and for the delicious aroma! For a beautifully browned bird, be sure and brush with butter throughout the cooking process.

Finish cooking and enjoy!

Recipe Box Swap: Cookies and Bars

swap blogpost

I love to bake shortbread cookies. They are pretty much the simplest cookie out there and one you make with such simple ingredients you’re almost always guaranteed to have everything on hand. But, my problem is that I always associate them with Christmas holidays and completely ignore them during warmer months.

Not true anymore! I’ve found a delicious way to serve them that makes them more adaptable to summer months. (And, I’d love to hear your suggestions for making them more of a summer dessert.)

First, here’s my shortbread cookie recipe. Pretty standard stuff, but I thought I’d share it anyways.

1 1/2 Cups Softened Butter
3/4 Cup Sugar
3 Cups Flour

Cream together Butter and Sugar. Add in Flour one cup at a time. Mix well (but not too well). Roll into 1-inch balls. Bake at 325 for 15-20 minutes.

Then, here’s my new favorite part. Take those freshly bake shortbread cookies and serve them alongside a bowl of your favorite fruit sorbet. I like using berry sorbets and even topping them with some fresh berries. The buttery flavor of the shortbread balances the tart sorbet nicely. It is a perfect midsummer treat!

Now head over I Have to Say to read and share some really great recipes!

My new favorite salad

I found an awesome recipe for an “oriental” type salad on recipezaar.com the other day and modified it a bit to create what is now my new favorite salad.

First, I must say, I LOVE cabbage. Red cabbage, green cabbage, asian cabbage, any kind of cabbage. I’ll go on these cabbage eating kicks where I eat it everyday. Until, my body screams at me to STOP! and then I take a break until I get the hankering again.

So, when I found this salad I couldn’t resist:

One head of Purple or Green Cabbage (you can also use the pre-shredded coleslaw bags)
Grilled chicken
Toasted almonds
One bag Ramen Noodles, crushed

For the dressing:
1/2 C Sugar
1/2 C Vinegar
1/4 C Oil
1/4 C Soy sauce

Mix the dressing separately and pour over the cabbage and chicken. Top with crushed Ramen and almonds. It’s a great sweet and sour salad that is perfect for warm summer days!

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