Friday, June 25, 2010

Rainbow Ribbon Mold

Look at this masterpiece! It almost looks like a piece of art. My little boy loved it. He kept saying, "Let's eat the rainbow mommy! Please, please, please!!!!"

This was fun to make...well, until about the 8th layer! :) You have to give yourself plenty of time to make this mold (about 6 hours to be exact); otherwise, you will catch yourself up after midnight trying to rush it along like I did!

Rainbow Ribbon Mold

Prep Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 5 hours 30 minutes

6 1/4 c. boiling water, divided
5 pkg. (4-serving size each) JELL-O brand gelatin, any 5 different flavors, divided
1 c. sour cream or vanilla lowfat yogurt, divided

Stir 1 1/4 c. boiling water into 1 pkg. gelatin in small bowl at least 2 minutes until completely dissolved. Pour 3/4 c. of the dissolved gelatin into 8-cup ring mold sprayed with cooking spray. Refrigerate about 15 minutes or until set but not firm (gelatin should stick to finger when touched). Refrigerate remaining gelatin in bowl about 5 minutes or until slightly thickened (consistency of unbeaten egg whites). Gradually stir in 3 T. of the sour cream or yogurt. Spoon over gelatin in pan. Refrigerate about 15 minutes or until gelatin is set but not firm.

Repeat process with each remaining gelatin flavor. (Be sure to cool dissolved gelatin to room temperature before pouring into mold.) Refrigerate gelatin as directed to create a total of 10 alternating clear and creamy gelatin layers.

Refrigerate 2 hours or until firm. Cut into 16 slices to serve. Store leftover gelatin in refrigerator.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Starbuck's Coffee Cake

...or pretty darn close!

Starbuck's always has the best baked goods. I mentioned in a previous post that my favorite baked good from there is their cinnamon chip scones, but I am also a big fan of coffee cakes!

If you know me personally, you know that I can't stand the taste or smell of anything coffee! Not even something with just a hint of coffee or even the popular dessert called thank you! I would rather eat a big plate of brussel sprouts or a whole bag of raw carrots. So I got a chuckle today when my husband asked me what I was making. He said, "but you don't like coffee!" I proceeded to tell him that there was no coffee in this! That it was called coffee cake because it was meant to be eaten with coffee. I on the other hand will be enjoying my coffee cake with a big glass of milk!

This recipe is definitely not for those on a diet or counting their calories, but it sure is good!!! Everyone needs to splurge every now and then, right?

Beth's Starbuck's Coffee Cake
Source: Picky Palate

1 Box Yellow Cake Mix (plus ingredients on back of box)
2 Sticks cold butter
2 1/4 c. flour
1 1/2 T. cinnamon
1 ¾ c. brown sugar
1 1/2 T. vanilla
Powdered sugar (for dusting)

Preheat oven to 350.

Prepare cake mix in large bowl according to directions on box. Spray 9X13 pan with non-stick spray. Pour batter into pan. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes or until center is just barely set.

While cake is baking, prepare crumb topping. In large bowl of electric mixer combine, butter, flour, cinnamon, sugar and vanilla until all crumbly.

Immediately after cake is removed from oven, break crumb topping into marble size pieces with fingers, sprinkling over top. Put back in oven and bake an additional 10-15 minutes (topping will begin to look a little less wet/raw). Let cool fully then dust with powdered sugar.

Cut into squares and serve.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Pickle Wrap Dip

This is just like those yummy pickle wraps but so much easier to make! I think it's quite ironic that I got this recipe from a very pregnant friend of mine (since there are lots of pickles in it) but you don't have to be pregnant to enjoy this dip. Try it out!

Pickle Wrap Dip
Source: Barbie F.

1 8-oz. pkg cream cheese (you can use fat free)
1 container chive and onion cream cheese (low fat if you can find it)
1 c. sour cream
1 pkg Budding Dried beef, chopped
Lots of dill pickles, chopped (I used 3/4 of a big jar of pickles!)

Mix together and serve with club crackers.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Octoberfest Pork with Mushrooms

I can't remember where this recipe came from. It was in the back of my recipe box so I knew it was time to make it again. It's an easy meal to make and they were delicious paired with mashed potatoes and carrots.

Octoberfest Pork with Mushrooms

4 (4oz.) boneless pork chops
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
1/3 c. onion, chopped
4 T. water
2 c. sliced fresh mushrooms
1/4 t. dried thyme leaves
1/3 c. beer
2 t. flour

Spray large nonstick skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Heat over high heat until hot. Sprinkle both sides of pork chops lightly with salt and pepper; add to skillet. Cook 2 minutes on each side or until browned. Remove chops from skillet; cover to keep warm.

Add onion and 2 T. of the water to same skillet, cook over medium heat for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add chops, mushrooms, thyme, and beer. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and cook 8 to 11 minutes or until chops are no longer pink in center.

In small bowl; combine remaining 2 T. water and flour; blend well. Add to skillet; cook and stir until thickened. Serve mushroom mixture over chops.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Baked Pineapple

What a sweet delight this dish is! When I first heard of this recipe I honestly thought, "Ewwwwww! Gross! Those ingredients don't go together!" This is one of those recipes that you really do have to try in order to believe. I love this dish! I served it as a side with sandwiches last night but it is so sweet that it could be a dessert as well!

Baked Pineapple
Source: Barbie F.

1 fresh pineapple or 2 cans (I prefer using fresh!)
3 T. pineapple juice/apple juice
3 T. flour
1/2 c. sugar

1 sleeve of Ritz crackers, crushed
1/2 c. butter, melted
1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese

Cut pineapple up into bite-size pieces. Stir together pineapple, juice, flour, and sugar. Spread in 9 x 13 dish.

Mix together crackers, melted butter, and cheddar cheese. Sprinkle mixture on top of pineapple. Bake at 350 for 30-45 min.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Hawaiian Chicken Kebabs

We just love grilling in the summertime! Last night we had these yummy kebabs. It's a Weight Watcher recipe that I've made several time before...only 6 points per serving! Very tasty and full of flavor!

Hawaiian Chicken Kebabs
Source: Weight Watchers

1 lb. uncooked boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 medium pineapple
1 green pepper
1 red pepper
1 large onion
1/4 c. pineapple juice or orange juice
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 T. low-sodium soy sauce
1 T. olive oil
2 servings cooking spray (5 one-second sprays per serving)
2 c. cooked white rice

Cut each chicken breast, pineapple, pepper, and onion into approximately twenty-four 1-inch-thick pieces. Combine chicken, pineapple juice, garlic, soy sauce and oil in a large nonmetallic bowl; marinate in refrigerator for at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours.

Preheat grill. Lightly coat vegetables with cooking spray. Thread 2 pieces of pepper, pineapple, chicken and onion onto each of 8 skewers. Brush with marinade. (Note: If using wooden skewers, soak in water to prevent charring.)

Grill over medium-hot coals until chicken is completely cooked, about 8 to 10 minutes, turning kebabs every 2 minutes so they're cooked evenly on all sides. Serve with rice.

Yield 2 kebabs and 1/2 cup rice per serving.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Zucchini Hamburger

Not a very interesting name for a dish but this is a family favorite! My mom always made this for us when I was a kid and now it is one of my husband's favorite meals! Not sure where the recipe came from or what the name of it really is but I just always call it "Zucchini Hamburger".

Many of you have fresh zucchini growing in your garden right now so give it a try. It's delicious!!!

Zucchini Hamburger

1 lb. hamburger
1/4 c. butter
5-7 small zucchinis, peeled and grated (I use my Pampered Chef chopper)
1 green pepper, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1/3 c. (give or take) soy sauce

In large frying pan, brown hamburger. Drain grease and set aside. In the same frying pan melt butter and saute green pepper and onion. Add zucchini and cook on med-high heat, covered, stirring often, until zucchini is cooked and tender. Stir hamburger back in and add soy sauce. Continue cooking until veggies are completely tender. Serve over rice.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Zucchini Fries

Ever had fries that taste great and are actually good for you too? I love trying new recipes and this was a great find! My whole family devoured them to the last bite!

Zucchini Fries
Source: Country Woman magazine

2 small zucchini
1 egg white
1/4 c. flour
3 T. cornmeal
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. chili powder
1/2 t. paprika
1/2 t. pepper
Cooking Spray
Marinara or spaghetti sauce, warmed

Cut zucchini into 3-in. x 1/2-in. x 1/2-in. pieces. In a shallow bowl, whisk egg white. In another shallow bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal and seasonings. Dip zucchini in egg white, then roll in flour mixture.

Place zucchini on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray; spray with additional cooking spray. Bake at 425 for 18-22 minutes or until golden brown, turning once. Serve with marinara sauce.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Pecan Pie Cupcakes

I came across this recipe while looking at a food blog that I love called Lick The Bowl Good. Oh my!!! They are like little pieces of pecan pie! And I love the miniature size of them because you can just pop them in your mouth! They are a little dangerous though...I began to lose count of just how many I was popping in my mouth. They are to die for though especially right out of the oven when they are still warm.

Pecan Pie Cupcakes
Source: Lick The Bowl Good

1 c. chopped pecans
1/2 c. flour
1 c. packed brown sugar
2/3 c. butter, melted
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients and mix well. Generously spray a miniature muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray. Fill each 3/4 full.

Bake in preheated oven for approximately 18 minutes. Let cool for 1 minute and then turn out onto a cooling rack. (If you don't do this while they are still hot, they will stick to your muffin pan!)

*IMPORTANT NOTE: I put half the cupcakes in mini muffin liners and half without to see which one would work the best. Lesson learned: DO NOT use muffin liners for this recipe! They stick to the liners really bad even though I sprayed them with non-stick cooking spray.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Simple Salmon Cakes

My Mom made these when she came to stay with us after the baby was born. It was the first time I'd ever had Salmon Cakes. They are delicious and I've made them several times since she's gone back to Indiana. Very easy to whip up for lunch or dinner!

Simple Salmon Cakes

1 6-oz. pouch boneless pink salmon
1/4 c. finely chopped green onions
1/4 c. mayonaise
1 T. lemon juice
1/2 t. garlic powder
Dash of cayenne pepper
1/4 c. finely chopped red bell pepper
1 egg, beaten
1 c. seasoned bread crumbs or crackers
3 T. butter, melted
1/4 t. seasoned salt

Mix all together and form into patties. (I made 5.) Spray skillet with Pam and fry for 3 to 4 minutes on each side until golden brown.

Here's what they look like frying in the pan.

My 3 year old and I think they go well with mustard especially when you draw something fun on them!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Balloon Chocolate Bowls

What fun we had in the kitchen last night! My 3 year old and I made edible chocolate bowls for our ice cream! It was quite an experiment (and mess in my kitchen) with many giggles along the way!

Semi-sweet chocolate bowl with cherry ice cream inside.

Balloon Chocolate Bowls
Source: Gourmet Mom on-the-Go

White and Dark chocolate candy melts or chocolate bark (DO NOT USE chocolate chips.)
Balloons, any size (Water balloons are the perfect size for individual-serving bowls)
Wax Paper

Blow up desired amount of balloons. Fill a microwave-safe bowl with a bag of white candy melts (about 2 cups). Microwave for 60 seconds, stir. Continue to microwave at 20-second intervals and stirring until melted.

In a seperate small bowl, place about 1 cup dark chocolate and melt as above.
Drizzle a small amount of the dark chocolate over the white chocolate. DO NOT STIR. This is the key to great-looking bowls. The less you stir, the more they will be striped. People tend to use dark chocolate as the base or they mix it too much and it all mixes together into a light brown. So, just drizzle and get ready to dip!

Dip a balloon into your chocolate (as deep as you want), pull out and let extras drip back into the bowl, then place on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper to dry. Continue with all the balloons. Drizzle more dark chocolate on top as you need/want it. You can pop them in the fridge if you want and they'll set up in just a couple minutes.

When set, gently push against the sides of the balloon to release from the chocolate. Using a pin or scissors, make a small hole in the top of the balloon so the air can leak out. As the air leaks, out, peel balloon off of chocolate bowl. You're ready to fill and serve! Or, you can place in a single layer and store in a cool place up to 3 weeks.

For a complete tutorial with lots of pictures visit Gourmet Mom on-the-Go.

Marbled with white chocolate and Dulce de leche ice cream inside.


Kathie's Lessons Learned:

* I have no idea how they got the water balloons to work. Each time I dipped one into the chocolate the balloon would pop (causing me to jump and my 3 year old to crack up laughing!)

So instead, I used thicker, 12-inch size balloons and only blew them up a little bit. (I guess you could make a 12 inch ice cream bowl if you want, but I sure wasn't up for the challenge! :)

I thought maybe my water balloons were popping because the melted chocolate was too hot. So at the very end, after I had already dipped many of the 12-inch balloons, I decided to try one more water balloon. I thought it was a success and put it on the cookie sheet to set up. About 2 minutes later, it popped causing a chocolate explosion in my kitchen. My 3 year old was in the line of fire and got a face full of chocolate from the mishap. There was chocolate all over our floor and cabinets. My newborn even managed to get some on her clothes and pacifier and she was sitting in her bouncy chair pretty far away from us. My son and I couldn't stop laughing!

* Also note that I used a dark chocolate base and drizzled it with white chocolate. (I'm not a big fan of white chocolate.) Supposedly you'll get more of a striped look if you use a white chocolate base.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Cream Cheese Stuffed Celery

Cream Cheese + Green Olives + Celery = ?!?!?!?!

A couple months ago, I read a Facebook post from my friend, Rachel. She was eating this weird concoction for a snack and I along with many others thought it sounded disgusting! But I will try anything once! In fact, that is one of the (many) things my husband likes about me!

The outcome? Who would have guessed...three very different ingredients DO taste good together! It makes a very tasty snack. One that you must try for yourself in order to believe.

Cream Cheese Stuffed Celery

8 oz. Cream Cheese, softened
green olives, chopped

Wash celery. Cut into 3 inch pieces. Stir olives and cream cheese together and add a couple tablespoons of olive juice for extra flavor. Fill the celery.

Store leftover cream cheese mixture in the refrigerator.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Chocolate Butterscotch-Chip Cookies

I needed a quick dessert to take to our friends' house today. Found this super easy recipe in one of my favorite cookbooks called "101 Things To Do With A Cake Mix". They were a big hit. If only they knew how easy they were to make! :)

Chocolate Butterscotch-Chip Cookies
Source: 101 Things To Do With A Cake Mix

1 chocolate cake mix
2 eggs
1/3 c. vegetable oil
1 c. butterscotch chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix together cake mix, eggs, and oil in a large bowl until mix is dissolved. Mix butterscotch chips into dough. Drop balls of dough onto a greased baking sheet.

Bake 9-12 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from pan and cool.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Almond Chip Scones

Scones are always such a fun addition to any breakfast. My all-time favorite scone is the Cinnamon Chip Scone from Starbucks. Today was my first attempt at making my own scones. I was surprised at how quick and easy they were to make. And they did not disappoint - they were delicious! I would have to say they are Starbuck quality and I will for sure make them again!

Thanks AGAIN Barbie, for sharing such a great recipe with me!!! :)

Almond Chip Scones

3 1/2 c. flour
2 T. sugar
5 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
1/2 c. cold butter
4 eggs (divided)
1 c. heavy whipping cream
1 1/2 to 2 t. almond extract
1 c. chocolate chips
1/2 c. toasted almonds (optional)

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
Cut in butter until it resembles coarse crumbs.
In a bowl, whisk 3 eggs, cream, and extract; add to crumb mixture just until moistened.
Gently stir in choc chips and almonds.
Turn onto a floured surface and knead 6-8 times.

Pat dough onto greased baking sheet into a 10 inch circle about 3/4 inch thick.
Cut into 8 wedges.
Beat remaining egg and brush over dough.
Slightly separate wedges.

Bake at 425 for 10-15 min or until golden brown.

Serve warm!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Frozen Peanut Butter Puffs

Talk about a super easy, super yummy summer dessert! This recipe only calls for 3 simple ingredients. You can whip this one up in a matter of minutes! My Uncle Tim suggested I try this recipe. They are very good and great for a hot summer day. They remind me of a peanut butter ice cream pie minus the crust!

Frozen Peanut Butter Puffs
Source: eMagazine - March 2010

8 oz tub Cool Whip
1/2 c. creamy peanut butter
Hershey's chocolate syrup or chocolate ice cream topping

Put paper liners in a 12 space muffin pan. Mix Cool Whip and peanut butter with a wooden spoon until well combined. Spoon even portions into the muffin liners.

Top each with a dollop of chocolate syrup or ice cream topping. Place in freezer until frozen. Once they are solid, you can remove them and put into tupperware containers or freezer bags. I doubt they make it that far though.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Ultimate Fruity Granola

I have a tasty snack for you today thanks to my beloved friend, Barbie!

I have to be honest with you. I'm not usually one who would sit around and snack on granola. But since I am no longer pregnant (and have some baby weight to lose), I was looking for a semi-healthy snack that Carson and I could try. And I sure am glad I did!!! It is soooo good and it also makes your entire house smell delicious while you are baking it in the oven.

The one lesson I learned from this recipe is that I should not have bought the smallest container of oats at the store. Take it from me, you'll want to buy it in bulk because you are going to want to make this recipe over and over again!

Ultimate Fruity Granola

5 c. old fashioned oats
1 c. sliced almonds (I only had 1/2 cup)
1/2 c. sunflower kernels (optional)
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. maple syrup
1/4 c. honey
2 T canola oil
1/2 t salt
1/2 t ground cinnamon
1 t vanilla
1 1/2 c. dried fruit (apricots, raisins, cranberries, bananas, apples....etc.)
I used bananas, raisins, and blueberry flavored craisins.

In large bowl, combine oats, almonds, sunflower kernels.

In saucepan, combine brown sugar, maple syrup, honey, oil, salt and cinnamon. Cook and stir over med heat until brown sugar is dissolved, 2-3 min. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Pour over oat mixture to coat.

Transfer to 15 x 10 in baking pan coated with cooking spray.
Bake at 350 for 20-25 min stirring every 8 min.
Cool completely. Stir in dried fruit. Store in airtight container.