Sunday, June 27, 2010

Overnight Stuffed French Toast

This was pretty good and if I could go back I would have added a couple of more eggs. I used bread that I made myself and I think it absorbed more of the egg mixture than store bought bread. It was good with the cream cheese mixture inside the bread. It didn't taste that much like french toast, but I think that was due to the lack of egg mixture. My camera ran out of batteries so I could not take pictures. Too bad because Anna even ate it and liked it. We didn't tell her there was egg in it. Enjoy

Grade: B

2 3-oz packages cream cheese, softened
2 Tbs apple jelly
1 tsp finely chopped crystallized ginger (I used ¼ tsp ground ginger)
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
¼ c chopped almonds, toasted (I skipped this)
6 1.5-in slices bread (I used white bread that I made myself)
4 eggs
1 c milk
1 tsp vanilla

1. Generously grease a 3-qt rectangular baking dish; set aside. In a small bowl beat together cream cheese, jelly, ginger, and nutmeg. Stir in the almonds. Cut a pocket in the top crust of each bread slice. Divide cream cheese mixture evenly among pockets. Place bread slices in prepared baking dish.
2. In a small bowl beat together the eggs, milk, and vanilla; slowly pour the egg mixture over bread slices, covering all the tops. Cover and chill overnight.
3. Bake, uncovered, in a 350 degree oven 30 to 35 minutes or until golden.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Scrambled Egg Pizza

I loved this pizza. I am always up for breakfast for dinner and this brought it to a whole new level. The girls love scrambled eggs for breakfast and the triplets will eat 6 eggs scrambled by themselves, so obviously they were going to love this dinner and they did! Jen and Anna do not like eggs so I made a section of the pizza without the eggs for them. Jen tried a little of the pizza with the eggs on it and she said that it wasn’t too bad. If you like eggs, I highly recommend this dinner.

Grade: A

1 16-oz loaf frozen whole wheat bread dough, thawed
1 c chopped zucchini
1 c sliced fresh mushrooms
¼ tsp crushed red pepper
1 Tbs cooking oil
8 eggs
½ c milk
1 Tbs butter
¾ c shredded mozzarella cheese
2 slices bacon, crisp cooked, drained, and crumbled (I did not use bacon in my recipe)

1. On a lightly floured surface, roll bread dough into a 14-in circle. Transfer dough to a greased 13-in pizza pan. Build up edges slightly. Prick dough generously with a fork. Bake in a 375 degree oven 15 to 20 minutes or until light brown.
2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet cook zucchini, mushrooms, and crushed red pepper in hot oil about 5 min. or until vegetables are almost tender. Remove zucchini mixture and drain.
3. In a medium bowl beat together eggs and milk. In the same skillet melt butter over medium heat; pour in egg mixture. Cook, without stirring, until mixture begins to set on the bottom and around edge. Using a large spatula, lift and fold partially cooked egg mixture so that the uncooked portion flows underneath. Continue cooking over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes or until egg mixture is cooked through but still glossy and moist. (Just make scrambled eggs!) Remove from heat.
4. Sprinkle half of the shredded cheese over the hot crust. Top with scrambled eggs, zucchini mixture, bacon, and remaining cheese. Bake for 5 to 8 minutes more or until cheese melts.

Lucy loving every bite.
Anna loves pizza!
Sarah eating or covering her mouth for a sneeze?
Emily politely reaching for her food.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Banana Muffins

I made these muffins with the help of the triplets. It didn’t go too bad and they did a pretty good job of sharing who got to pour the ingredients into the bowl. There wasn’t too big of a mess from the flour or sugar not making it into the bowl the first time. I had to take the flour bowl away because they kept taking spoonfuls and putting in their mouths. Yum!

Grade: B

1 ¾ c all-purpose flour
1/3 c sugar
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1 beaten egg
½ c milk
¼ c cooking oil
¾ c mashed banana
½ c chopped nuts

1. Grease twelve 2 ½ inch muffin cups
2. In a medium bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Make a well in center of flour mixture; set aside.
3. In another bowl combine egg, milk, banana, nuts, and oil. Add egg mixture all at once to flour mixture. Stir just until moistened (batter should be lumpy).
4. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling each 2/3 full. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 18 to 20 minutes, or until golden and a wooden toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool in muffin cups on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove from muffin cups.

Emily getting a mouthful

Sarah chewing it up.

Lucy picking at it before she digs in.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Father's Day Meal

Here is what I cooked on Father's Day for myself and a couple of our friends. The meal was not intended for the kids, and they did have a couple of bites of potato and beans, but that was about it. There are not any pictures of the couple of bites that the girls did eat, but again, this meal was not intended to be a kid meal.

I know that it sounds weird that I cooked for my Father's Day meal, but like Jen told our friends that came over, it is what I wanted for my Father's Day. We rarely by steak because the girls do not eat it and for the price, it is not worth the trouble to make steak with the dinner that the girls will eat. The meal turned out pretty good. I didn't cut the stems off of the mushrooms, so we had to do it while we were eating, but other than that, I do not have any complaints. After typing out the recipes for the blog, I noticed that I forgot the lemon juice in the green beans and I didn't reset the temperature to medium once I added the steaks, but they tasted good even with the mistakes. I noted it down with the recipe for the steaks, but I used chuckeye steak. I had never heard of it before, but my mom told me about it a couple of weeks ago and I saw it at the D & R Market when I was shopping for the beef, so I decided to try it. It was a very good cut and it was only 5.00 per pound, so if you see the Chuckeye at your local grocery store it is worth trying. It was hectic to get all of the dishes finished in time because I am used to cooking two or three easy meals that I do not have to look over the recipe more than once, but it was tricky flipping to the different pages to read all three recipes at once! I made the snack mix the night before with Sarah and that is who is pictured above. Also, I made the Apple Cake the night before as well. I have made it so many times and it always taste the same (amazing). I have given each dish a grade next to the title. Enjoy.

Crunchy Party Mix - Grade: B+

5 c pretzel sticks
4 c round toasted oat cereal
4 c bite-size wheat square cereal
4 c bite-size rice square cereal
3 c mixed nuts
1 c butter
3 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
½ tsp garlic powder

1. In a large roasting pan combine pretzels, oat, wheat, and rice cereal, and mixed nuts; set aside
2. In a small saucepan heat and stir butter, Worcestershire sauce, and garlic powder until butter melts. Drizzle butter mixture over cereal mixture; stir gently to coat.
3. Bake in a 300 degree oven for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Spread on a large piece of foil to cool. Store in an airtight container.

Green Beans Amandine - Grade: A-
8 oz fresh green beans
2 Tbs slivered almonds
1 Tbs butter
1 tsp lemon juice

1. Cut fresh beans into 1 inch pieces. Cook fresh green beans, covered, in a small amount of boiling salted water for 10 to 15 minutes or until crisp and tender. Drain. Keep warm.
2. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan cook and stir almonds in melted butter over medium heat until golden. Remove from heat; stir in lemon juice. Stir almond mixture into beans.

Baked Potato Fans - Grade: B
4 medium baking potatoes
3 Tbs butter
¼ tsp garlic salt
¼ c shredded cheddar cheese
3 Tbs snipped fresh chives
2 Tbs grated Parmesan cheese

1. Scrub potatoes thoroughly with a brush; pat dry. Cut potatoes crosswise into thin slices, but do not cut all the way through. Place potatoes in a shallow baking dish or pan. Gently press potatoes down to fan slightly.
2. Combine melted butter and garlic salt; drizzle over potatoes. Bake, covered, in a 350 degree oven for 50 minutes. Uncover and bake about 15 minutes more or until tender. Transfer potatoes to a serving platter. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese, chives, and Parmesan cheese. Let stand about 5 minutes or until cheese melts.

Bistro Beef and Mushrooms - Grade: A-
4 beef tenderloin steaks (I used Chuckeye steaks)
1 Tbs Dijon-style mustard
2Tbs olive oil
8 oz mushrooms (I used shiitake)
1/3 c dry red wine
1 Tbs white wine Worcestershire sauce (I used regular Worchestershire)
2 tsp snipped fresh thyme

1. Trim fat from steaks. Spread mustard evenly over both sides of steaks. In a large skillet heat 1 Tbs of the oil over medium-high heat. Add steaks; reduce heat to medium. Cook to desired doneness, turning once. Allow 7 to 9 minutes for medium rare to medium. Transfer steaks to a serving platter; keep warm.
2. Add remaining 1 Tbs oil to drippings in skillet. Add mushrooms; cook and stir for 4 minutes . Stir in wine, Worcestershire sauce, and thyme. Simmer, uncovered, for 3 minutes. Spoon over steaks.

Apple Cake -Grade: A+
2 beaten eggs
3 c all-purpose flour
2 tsp finely shredded lemon peel
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp allspice
¼ tsp salt
1 c granulated sugar
1 c packed brown sugar
1 c oil
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups chopped, peeled apples
1 c chopped pecans, toasted

1. Allow eggs to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, grease and lightly flour a 10-in tube pan; set pan aside. In a medium bowl stir together flour, lemon peel, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, and salt; set aside.
2. In a mixing bowl combine granulated sugar, brown sugar, oil eggs, and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add flour mixture and beat on low speed just until combined. Fold in apples and pecans. Spoon batter into the prepared pan.
3. Bake in a 350 degree oven about 1 hour or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool cake on a rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan. Cool thoroughly on wire rack. Sprinkle with sifted powdered sugar. Cover; store in refrigerator.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Nun's Puffs

I made this because I was in the mood to cook but it was 8:30 and I didn’t feel like staying up too late. It was a miniature workout with as much beating and mixing by hand, but if you like the smell of melting butter as much as I do, it is all worth it. The taste is a lot like a popover, so if you like popovers, it is a recipe that you might like to try. Enjoy.

Grade: B+

½ cup butter
1 cup milk
¾ cup all-purpose flour
4 eggs
1 Tbs sugar
Honey Optional
1. Generously grease twelve 2.5 in muffin cups, including the edge and around the top of each cup; set aside. In a medium saucepan melt butter; add milk. Bring to boiling. Add flour all at once, stirring vigorously. Cook and stir until mixture forms a ball that does not separate. Remove from heat; cool for 5 minutes.
2. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating for 1 minute with a wooden spoon after each addition or until smooth. Divide dough evenly among prepared muffin cups, filling cups about two-thirds full; sprinkle with sugar.
3. Bake in a 375 degree oven about 30 minutes or until golden brown and puffy. Remove from pan. Serve immediately. If desired, serve with honey.

No pictures of the girls

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Tortilla Crisps, Guacamole, Spanish Rice, and Cheese Quesadilla

Just realized that I did not take a picture of the food, sorry.

The homemade part of this dinner was small and wasn't the major aspect of the dish, but it was by far the best. I made the tortilla chips from a recipe I got in my cooking bible, Better Homes and Gardens. I was looking the recipe for guacamole that Jen wanted and this was on the same page. We initially intended to make this a few days earlier when one of my friends from work was coming over and our power went out during a storm. She ended up picking up pizza and this was postponed until tonight's dinner. The chips tasted good and they were perfect for dipping because they were strong. Jen commented that they were better than the baked tortilla chips that they sell. I thought they were good, but I am trying to figure out the best way to add salt and make it stick on the chip. Jen made the guacamole and we, not Anna, all ate and liked it. The quesadilla's were cooked on a regular pan and the Spanish rice was microwaved. Nothing special. Enjoy.

Grade B +

Tortilla Crisps
1. Cut each of twelve 7 or 8 inch flour tortillas into 8 wedges. Spread on-third of the wedges in a 15x10x1-inch baking pan. Bake in a 350 degree oven 5 to 10 minutes or until dry and crisp; cool. Repeat with remaining wedges. Store in an airtight container at room temperature up to 4 days or freeze up to 3 weeks.


2 rip avocados
1/2 small onion, cut up
1 clove garlic, minced
2/3 cup chopped tomato
Use a fork to mash up the avocado and mix in the additional ingredients.

Lucy before she started eating

Emily carefully scooping the guacamole

Sarah before the sour cream got all over her face.

You probably can tell from Anna's expression, but we almost banned her to the backyard during dinner.

Cheeseburgers for Dessert?

My wife saw this idea from some cooking blog and it wasn't too hard to make. The bun is a vanilla cupcake cut in half and the burger part is a brownie. Jen made cream cheese frosting and dyed it for the other parts of the burger. Needless to say, it was a hit.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Memorial Day Fun

This post is not really about the recipe that I made because on the menu was corn on the cob, hotdogs, baked beans (from a can) and shish kabobs. Jen made the dessert which is a separate post under Hamburgers for Dessert. Our neighbors came over with their two girls and we had a good time.

Anna taking the hotdog out of her bun because she didn't feel like the hotdog?

The neighbor girls