Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!... food crafting

We made a different kind of "turkey dinner" in class today. The kids had a great time making them and they turned out so cute!!

I got the idea from the internet and changed up some of the suggestions. What we used:
sliced almonds for the turkey
caramel ice cream topping for gravy
white icing for mashed potatoes
yellow food coloring gel tube for butter
round sprinkles for peas/corn/cranberries (cranberries not on this one)
the sprinkles that come on the top of the funfetti icing canister are multi colored and shaped, so they picked the orange discs out of there to make sliced carrots
yellow cupcake with a little icing "glue" to glue one of those super cheap cookies on (which worked perfectly size and structure-wise!), then icing for the plate to get the food to stick.

These were a hit! They would be fun at the kids' or adults' table:)
Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Pumpkin Cranberry Apple Baked Oatmeal

Mmm..fall in a dish, available every morning! Remember, I look for everything to use pumpkin in, and in my head, a baked oatmeal with pumpkin, cranberry, and apple in it sounded good. Behold the power of Google--typed in "my idea" and a whole bunch of other people already had "my idea"!! If you try this and you like sweet oatmeal, you'll want to add in more sugar. I like to sprinkle this with cinnamon and a touch of sugar or honey in the morning after reheating. The fresh cranberries are much more tart than dried would be, so follow your preference there, too. This is a healthy way to start a cool fall day!

Pumpkin Cranberry Apple Baked Oatmeal
adapted from My Kitchen Addiction

2 cups old fashioned oats
1/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup fresh cranberries or 1/2 cup dried cranberries (chop up your fresh if you use them--but be warned, they'll be super tart!! I had fresh on hand this time but will switch to dried next time)
1 1/2 cups skim milk
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 large egg, beaten
1 cup apple, chopped
1 cup walnuts, chopped (didn't use this, but it sounds good!)

Preheat oven to 375 F. Spray a square 8x8 baking dish with cooking spray.
Combine oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and baking powder in a bowl.
Combine milk, pumpkin, butter, and egg and stir well. Add apple and cranberries. Pour into oat mixture and stir to combine.
Pour into baking dish and bake for 20 minutes.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Skinny Crockpot Chicken & Wild Rice Soup

This recipe was another winner for Soup Sunday (and operation fill the lunchbox)! I loved the smell of it while I was cooking and the lemon zest gives it just a hit of something that makes you curious of the smell and the taste but is the perfect element of flavor in the soup! Even though the recipe calls for just 3/4 cup of wild rice, it seems like there is so much by the time this is done cooking and it's a great filling soup. Plus, it's "skinny"!! That really means it's from a Weight Watcher's blog, but it's really good and you'd never know it's a "skinny" version!

oops, I thought I had another ugly picture of soup to share with you, but I'll share this ugly one instead:) This is Norris doing his "we're taking a picture in the garage and this is embarrassing and someone is going to drive by and see us doing this" awkward laugh and me taking a self pic in the garage. Fun K-State season, even with this weekend's loss!

Skinny Crockpot Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
slightly adapted from Let's Get Cooking

1 cup finely diced carrots
1/2 onion, finely diced
3/4 cup uncooked wild rice (this is expensive to buy a box/bag of, so check out the bulk bins!)
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
2 bay leaves
zest of one lemon
1/4 tsp ground pepper
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
50 oz chicken broth

Combine all ingredients in a 4 1/2 qt crockpot. Cook on low for 7 hours or high for 3 hours. Remove chicken, shred with fork, and return to crockpot. Remove bay leaves and serve.
Serves 6

Monday, November 7, 2011

Pizza Focaccia

This would be great party food for adults or kids. It has such a quick rise time and the dough comes together so easily that you could have it all made and just pop in the oven or let kids make the dough and top with their favorite toppings and bake while the party's going on. Cut it into breadsticks and it makes the perfect appetizer; add a side and it makes a great dinner!
Norris claims there is not enough cheese for amount of bread, but I think it's perfect and took the leftovers to school where the kids agreed with me. I haven't made focaccia in a while and need to get back to making the Blitz Bread focaccia--that made some killer paninis!
I loved this a quicker alternative to pizza and with a side of roasted asparagus, this made a great dinner (despite the fact that it was already dark at 6:30 when we ate...depressing!!).

Pizza Focaccia
from Macaroni and Cheesecake

(I didn't change anything besides the toppings and using my own sauce, so I'm just linking there!)
Tip: focaccia dough is stickier than cinnamon roll dough, so don't be alarmed by that fact!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffin Tops: Lightened Up

Yes, still putting pumpkin everywhere I can. I used to have a pumpkin face mask from BBW that I looooved. Wish they still made that!
The original recipe calls these cookies, but Nikki had the right idea of changing the title to muffin tops. Pumpkin makes things so moist that they could be called really moist, cakey cookies, or muffin tops. Muffin tops is much more appealing, and with my lightened up version, they won't give you a muffin top!:)

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffin Tops
adapted from Pennies on a Platter

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 egg
2 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup Splenda
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 F.
Combine flours, soda, salt, and spices.
Cream the eggs and sugar/Splenda. Add oil, applesauce, pumpkin, and vanilla and beat until blended. Stir in flour just until blended. Stir in chocolate chips.
Drop by ice cream scoop (1/4 cup size) onto Silpat lined baking sheets, about two inches apart. Bake for about 16 minutes. Cool on wire racks. Store in airtight container for up to 4 days.