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Cooking & Baking


TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2013


Sugar-Rolled Molasses Cookies Recipe! YUMMERS!

After doing our weekly grocery trip this week I realized I totally forgot one very important thing - chocolate chips! Doi! I was going to make cookies with those this week !
So, with us living way out far from any grocery store, I had to be creative! Then, I discovered at the back of my pantry - Molasses! (I love it when you think you have nothing but then clean out your cupboards and actually have something - yes!!)
So I decided to make some Molasses cookies - things I have seen in the grocery store before, but have never attempted myself. And let me tell you, store bought is not even comparable to homemade! (as with pretty much all things!)

So here is my recipe for Sugar Rolled Molasses Cookies!
I hope you enjoy!
Debbie Jean [Click here to continue reading....]

Recipe: Best Choc Chip Cookies EVER!

One of the things I love to bake the most for my family are cookies!
Not only are they mostly quick and easy to make, but the kids love to help stir the batter, and roll the cookies onto the pan!
Plus everyone loves to eat them up!

I have been trying out a ton of different chocolate chip cookie recipes lately in hopes of finding a really good, soft and chewy one! And I have!
Plus I have a great tip below the recipe that I find makes ANY cookie recipe extra delicious!
So here it is!

Now before I continue I am telling you that I put some food coloring in these for Valentines Day - they didn't really come out red, but they're yummy! So that's why they have a different color :) [Click here to continue reading....]

Best Chocolate Chip Cookies


MONDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2013


Easy,Cheap Homemade Rose Pasta Sauce!

One of my favorite dishes ever is a nice dish of tortellini with Rose Sauce! I first tried the wonderful, creamy stuff when my husband and I were first dating and since then cannot go a month without it at least once!
So while we've been trying to save money on groceries lately, I haven't really been able to buy any - it isn't exactly cheap unless you buy the no-name variety, which just does not taste as good!
So I decided to go ahead and try it myself one night when I was getting to the end of our grocery supply the day before our shopping day :)
And it came out really great! I was surprised, especially since I didn't have any real cheese, just cheese slices! (But you can use real cheese too!)

So here it is....Click here to continue reading

Homemade Rose Pasta Sauce


MONDAY, JANUARY 28, 2013

2-Ingredient, Super Healthy Pancakes!

If there's one thing the family and I loooove for breakfast on a nice, relaxed weekend morning, it's pancakes!! I mean, who doesn't right?
So I was really super excited when I found this great flapjack recipe that is not only really easy, but healthy, inexpensive, and YUMMY! Really, even my fussy eaters ate it :)
All you need is .... Click here to continue reading

2-Ingredient Pancakes



SATURDAY, DECEMBER 8, 2012


Christmas Baking: Simple No-Chill Sugar Cookies

When holiday baking comes to mind the first thing I think about is definitely always sugar cookies!
From cutting them out, to smelling them bake, frosting them all kinds of colors, and of course enjoying them! Sugar cookies are my absolute favorite part of Christmas baking!


SO of course I was super excited to start baking with my kids this year! And I am happy to share my recipe for super-easy, no-chill sugar cookies!
I always like to bake them on one day and frost the next! So tomorrow I'll be sharing my frosting recipe too!
My favorite cookie of ours - the angel - which I've had since childhood!

The recipe
1 cup unsalted butter

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt


1) Preheat the oven to 350
2) Mix together butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla until it has light, whipped look.
3) Mix together flour, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl. Add to the wet mixture 1/2 cup at a time. If dough is too dry, add some more butter.
4) Roll out your dough onto a floured surface and cut out your cookies! (see ours pre-baked below!)
5) To avoid cookies sticking, it's best to line your pans with parchment paper. Bake cookies for about 8 minutes (check at 6 minutes. Edges will be lightly browned.


Some tips
- I find it always best to put the cookies in and time them for 6 minutes, check them then and if not done, put 2 more minutes on the timer. This way you avoid smaller ones burning and if your oven is like mine, (unpredictable!) you avoid burning the bottoms!
- When you take them out of the oven, let the cookies cool  on the hot tray for about five minutes. This will ensure that they're cooked through.

Cooking with the kids
My oldest who is 10 was of course able to do things himself without much help. My toddler however being only 1 1/2 doesn't quite get that we're baking cookies yet, so what I did was gave her her own little piece of dough, a child-size rolling pin and free rein of the cookie cutters. What resulted was a piece of dough full of cookie shapes on top of cookie shapes and  a general mess! But she had fun, felt like she was taking part, and got s surprise when her creation magically baked into a cookie!
As young as they are let your kids do their part of the baking too - you'll be making memories they'll remember forever, and although it may be a bit more of a mess to clean up, it will be so worth it! :-)



WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2012


Creamy Garlic & Herb Mashed Potatoes




Some nice Chicken Pot Pie was on sale this week at our supermarket so I decided to make a good, filling home-cooked meal with mashed potatoes!
I was looking for a twist though - more flavor! So having seen so much advertising for cream cheese recipes I decided to try out some herb & garlic flavor cream cheese! 
And they were goood! They were so good actually, I had them plain - no bbq sauce!

You can find the recipe below with lower fat/calorie suggestions too!
Enjoy and tweet me your pics of your meals! I might just share them here!@debbiemcmullen
Also be sure to check out my cooking blog if you loved this recipe!

Creamy Garlic & Herb Mashed Potatoes

  • 8 large potatoes, peeled
  • 1/2 cup garlic & herb cream cheese 
  • 1/2 cup milk
  1. Cook potatoes in boiling water until you can easily mush them with a fork. Drain and mash away!
  2. Using a whisk or mixer, add in your cream cheese and milk.
  3. That's it!!
150 calories per serving 

Lower fat/calorie version:
Besides using skim milk or 1%, use low-fat regular cream cheese, and add in garlic and your desired herbs (experiment! rosemary, sage, etc) and you've saved about 50 calories a serving!

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FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2012

Black Bean Patties - Cheap, Fast, Yummy, Easy!                                                                                   



I made these black bean patties tonight with some leftover chili (see my chili recipe here!) and they came out delicious! They taste awesome with some salsa, or by themselves! They would even work as a veggie burger !
They are also very economical and easy to make- here's the recipe!

Black Bean Patties
Preheat oven to 425, line baking pan with parchemnt paper.
  • 2 cups black beans
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 cup corn 
  • 1/4 cup graham crumbs (optional - this gives them a sweet taste!)
  • 1/2 cup plus 1/3 cup breadcrumbs (if you have none, blend up some toast or croutons)
  • 2 cups tomatoes - fresh or canned, diced
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 + 1/2 tsp paprika
  • some red pepper flakes (optional) for spice
  • 1 tbsp oil, or melted butter or margarine
  1. Mash up black beans and cumin in a bowl until mushy. 
  2. Stir in corn, graham crumbs, and 1/2 cup breadcrumbs.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine tomatoes, onion, 1/2 tsp paprika, chili powder.
  4. Put 1/2 cup tomato mixture into bean mixture
  5. In a separate bowl, mix oil or butter and 1/2 tsp paprika. Add in remaining breadcrumbs. 
  6. Shape some of the bean mixture into a patty, then dip it in the breadcrumb mixture to coat both sides and place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper.Repeat for remaining mixture.
  7. Bake in oven for about 20 minutes, until firm.
  8. Done!
I had these served with some chili on rice, salad, yummy whole grain bread and raw veggies.
It was deeeeelicious! 
As I said they would probably also make great veggie burgers! A lot cheaper than store-bought too :) With some nice whole grain buns and sweet potato fries!

I hope you enjoy as much as we did!
Debbie Jean

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THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 15, 2012


Super Simple Chili

One of my favorite stand-by dishes for weeks when sales are not so great at the grocery store is chili! It can be made with so many different veggies, meats, and spices and is so easy to adapt to whatever you can afford, or whatever you have in the kitchen!
The best part is you can just throw it in your crock pot, let it simmer all day, and have a really nice dinner waiting for you in the evening!
This chili I made is a really basic vegetarian version spiced up to make it really tasty!
It is both economical and enjoyable! You could also add some meat to it if you like!


Super SImple Chili

  • 2 cans diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups beans - any kind you prefer
  • 1 onion
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp red chili peppers (more if you want spicy!)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Mince up onion and pepper, blend tomatoes until smooth but still a little chunky (unless you like your chili chunky - you can leave the tomatoes as are)
  2. Put into crock pot, add spices. Use salt and pepper to your liking.
  3. Simmer on low for a few hours until chili has a thicker consitency and veggies are cooked through.
  4. That's it! Serve with some nice rice or pasta, over bread, or even by itself!
  5. If you'd like to add some ground meat into it, just cook it up ahead of time and add it in in step 2! (If you're short on time during the week, cook the meat during the weekend so it's ready!)
I made mine with some nice brown rice, soft buttered whole grain bread, a nice leafy salad, and some raw veggies.
Yum!

I hope you enjoy!
Remember to tune in tomorrow for a new recipe!
Debbie Jean


MONDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2012


Recipe: Apple-Basil Pasta Sauce


I made up a batch of this pasta sauce tonight, wanting to reduce the amount of sugar I use in my sauce, but still make something everyone would actually want to eat!
And it came out great!
Even with compliments!
I replaced some of the sugar usually used in pasta sauce with some apple juice basically, and thus the name!....

Apple-Basil Pasta Sauce
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 1/4 cup basil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Dice or blend the onion, cook a few minutes until soft in pan.
  2. Blend diced tomatoes (or leave if you prefer a chunkier sauce) until they have chunky-salsa consistency.
  3. Add in remaining ingredients, adding salt to your desired taste. Simmer on stove about 20 minutes to bring out flavor.
That's all! Serve over some nice whole grain pasta with whole grain garlic bread, and a nice green, leafy salad!
This sauce make 16 servings, has just 60 calories per serving (about 3/4 cup) and only costs  about $2 to make!
Hope you enjoy!

Debbie Jean


SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 2012


Recipe: Banana Chips

If there's one thing I love it's munching on something crunchy!
So I was happy to find this recipe for banana chips - something I thought you could only make with a dehydrator!
Some of mine came out a little crispy, but they were good! In fact, even my toddler loved them!
So here is the recipe for banana chips....



Banana Chips
  • 2 bananas
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  1. Cut bananas into thin slices
  2. Dip or brush the slices with small amount of lemon juice. Lay flat on a thin baking tray lined with parchment paper.
  3. Bake in 200 degree F oven until crsipy. This took mine about 4 hours.
I had to turn mine a few times, even though the recipe doesn't call for this.

Super simply, right? You can also add some additional flavour onto them - I was thinking some cinnamon or pure maple might be good!

Enjoy!
Debbie Jean


SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 2012


Recipe: Sunshine Chicken Stir Fry

I am a huge fan of stir fry - they are easy to make, quick, fun to experiment with, and always taste awesome!
Tonight my mission was to make a stir fry big enough to feed the four of us for 2 meals with only 2 chicken legs available! Quite a demand!
But I did it!!
So I present my recipe for....



Sunshine Chicken Stir Fry
Ingredients:

  • 2 Chicken Legs, or any type of meat! cooked and diced
  • 1 bell pepper, minced
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 1 can corn 
  • 2 clementines (or oranges, etc), cut each half into half
  • 3 tbsp + 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • whole grain pasta

  1. Put meat, bell pepper, onion, corn (do not drain), clementines into frying pan or wok over medium heat.
  2. Add in 3 tbsp soy sauce, lemon juice. Stir in paprika and red pepper (the more the spicier!). Use salt and pepper to your liking. Cook until liquids are absorbed.
  3. Cook whole grain pasta and drain, add in 4 tbsp soy sauce to coat pasta.
  4. Serve stir fry over pasta, or to bulk up for more servings, stir into pasta.
  5. You're done!
Easy , right? And healthy! And Low calorie! For a serving with 1 cup whole grain pasta, and one serving of stir fry comes out to about 320 calories!
I paired it with a salad and some raw veggies! 
Enjoy!!
Debbie Jean


SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 2012


Recipe: Chicken Fajitas With Chips & Salsa!



I really love Mexican food and love to have a  nice fajita or taco with some chips, salsa and a nice cold drink!


Here's what you'll find the how-to's for in this post:

Chicken Fajitas meat mixture
Fajita/Taco Spice
Homemade Salsa
Homemade Pita Tostito-like chips

Yummy! Right?
Here's How:

Taco Spice (Make two batches - one for the meat mixture, one for the salsa)

  • 1 tbsp chilli powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • some red pepper flakes (the more the spicier!)
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • pinch of salt
Just mix all together!


Next,
The Fajita Meat Mixture


  • Chicken, pork, ground meat, or whatever you've bought on sale!
  • Veggies you like: I used red and orange bell peppers, an onion, and two tomatoes
  • Some rice - this is optional but bulks up the recipe to make more servings
  1. Cook your meat first! I bought chicken legs and put them in the oven before throwing them in the frying pan - I am not a fan of cutting up raw chicken! I used 3 legs.
  2. Add in Your veggies and let it simmer - stir occassionally until the veggies are cooked.
  3. Add in 1 cup water and 1 cup of rice (this is optional as I mentioned above, but adds bulk to the meal for more servings (and less $$!))
  4. Add in your seasoning mixture (above) and stir.
  5. Cook until water is absorbed, and rice is soft (if it doesn't get soft enough, add in some more water and cook longer)
  6. Voila! You're done!
Calories per 3/4 cup: 92

And now, 
The Salsa!
My salsa in my veggie chopper! Quick and easy!

  • Can Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 onion
  • Taco Seasoning (above)
  1. Drain liquid from tomato can. Blend tomatoes and onion in blender or chopper (or cut up really small!) until in very small pieces.
  2. Add in taco seaoning
  3. That's it!
Calories in 1/4 cup: 20!

The Pita Chips


  • Pita Bread
  • Lemon juice
  • Salt
  • Some paprika and chilli powder
  1. Cut pitas into wedges 
  2. Mix lemon juice with spices in bowl
  3. Dip pita wedges (one side only) into mixture, or brush mixture onto wedges
  4. Lay out flat on baking tray lined with parchment paper and bake in oven at 350 for about 10 minutes (check to be sure! oven times vary)
  5. That's it!
Calories per half pita cut in 6 wedges: 60

Pretty Simple right?

I paired all this with some nice chopped veggies, and salad, and shared a nice bottle of beer with my hubby! My only caloric drink that day (yay!)


happy & Healthy!
Debbie Jean




6 comments:

  1. Chips and Salsa is my biggest downfall. I lose all control when it comes to that. Thank you for posting I am going to have to try your recipe.
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  2. thanks for the great recipes
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  3. What a great recipe, I may try to make this except I will add pineapple or mango to my salsa for a little extra flavor. :)

    ~The Momma Blogger
    http://themommablogger.blogspot.com
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  4. Anything with tortillas is fabulous. I admire your ability to stick with the lettuce. This does look easy too!
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  5. This sounds amazing and now I'm going to go get some chips and salsa from the kitchen because it sounds so good!
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  6. Looks amazing....makes me really hungry!!
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3 comments :

  1. Some nice recipe ideas, thanks so much... I really like the cookie recipe

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  2. these are so yummy !! thank u! I ll try to cook some :)

    ReplyDelete