Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Recipe of the Week: Baked Oatmeal

Another breakfast recipe! I made this recipe when some friends came in town for the weekend. I got this it from my mother-in-law who got it from a friend. It is great to make and eat on for the week.

Oatmeal Bake

3 cups of dry oatmeal
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tsp. sifted baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup canola oil
2 eggs beaten
1 cup milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup coarsely chopped nuts

a) In a medium size bowl, mix together the oatmeal brown sugar, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon.

b) In another bowl, beat together the eggs, oil, milk, and vanilla.

c) Pour batter into an oiled 2 quart baking dish. Sprinkle with chopped nuts.

d) Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Spoon into cereal bowls and serve with milk.

From my experience: I used applesauce instead of the oil to attempt to make it lighter and omitted the nuts since my daughter isn't allowed to eat them yet (she is 1). You will definitely need to add milk to moisten and break up the oatmeal (you could also try yogurt), but it was super yummy, and I enjoyed making it this way. We ended up having leftovers, so breakfast was low maintenance for the next few days. When you eat if for leftovers, you can vary the flavor by adding different things to it. I added different nuts, dried cranberries one day, then a chopped apple the next, it was great! Enjoy!

Recipe of the Week: Southwestern Potato Breakfast Bake

I hadn't tried any breakfast recipes yet, so a couple of weeks ago (I'm a little behind with spring break and an unexpected funeral) I made this breakfast casserole for a function at our church. Who doesn't like salsa, eggs, and potatoes?

Southwestern Potato Breakfast Bake

Nonstick cooking spray
5 cups frozen shredded hash brown potatoes (half of a 30-ounce package)
1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt
1 large onion, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 14 1/2-ounce cans diced tomatoes and green chile peppers, undrained
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
8 eggs
1/3 cup milk
1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend (4 ounces)

1. Lightly coat a 9x13-inch baking pan or baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Arrange potatoes evenly in prepared pan or dish; sprinkle with the 1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt. Set aside.

2. In a large skillet cook onion in hot oil until tender. Stir in undrained tomatoes, chili powder, the 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt, and the black pepper. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Spoon over potatoes in pan or dish.

3. In a large bowl whisk together eggs and milk; pour evenly over mixture in pan or dish. Sprinkle with shredded cheese.

4. Bake, uncovered, for 30 to 35 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes clean (170 degrees). Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Makes 8 servings. Recipe found in 9x13 The Pan That Can.

From my experience: This recipe was really easy to make and it tasted like a southwestern breakfast bake...good! I used half egg whites, and half whole eggs to make it a little lighter. The only difference was cook time, it took a while longer to finish cooking, in the center especially. When it was cut into, there was some remaining liquid which appeared to be from the rotel tomatoes. This suggests draining some of the liquid from the tomatoes or letting it simmer longer to reduce. You could also simply use salsa instead of the cans of rotel tomatoes. This recipe has a lot of potential, so I can definitely see myself making it again. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Eating a Milkshake with Daddy

Sloane saw Jake eating a milkshake, and eyed him with envy. I thought it was so funny, I had to document! Of course she loved it, and kept begging for more.

Check out Jake's cheesy face!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Recipe of the Week: Classic Sweet and Sour Pork

1/2 cup low-sugar apricot preserves
3 Tbsp. ketchup
3 Tbsp. apple-cider vinegar
2 Tbsp. water
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
2 Tbsp. canola oil
3/4 lb. boneless center-cut pork loin, cut into thin strips 2 minced garlic cloves
2 sliced bell peppers
2 cups fresh broccoli florets
1 cup trimmed fresh snow peas

Whisk top 5 ingredients together in a small bowl until smooth. Heat large deep skillet or wok over high heat until drop of water sizzles on it. Add oil and swirl to coat skillet. Add pork, and stir-fry until browned, 2 minutes. Add garlic and stir-fry until pork is cooked through and garlic is fragrant, 1 minute. Transfer pork mixture to plate. Spray skillet with nonstick spray and set over medium-high heat. Add vegetables; stir-fry until they begin to brown, about 3 minutes. Add sauce, reduce heat, and stir to coat. Add pork mixture and cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables are crisp-tender and sauce is bubbly and thickened, about 2 minutes.

Per serving: (1 1/4 CUPS) 290 CAL, 9 G TOTAL FAT, 3 G SAT FAT, 0 TRAN FAT, 54 MG CHOL, 174 MG SOD, 31 G TOTAL CARB, 25 G TOTAL SUGAR, 2 G FIBER, 21 G PROT, 44 MG CALC. PointsPlus value: 7

Recipe found in January/February 2011 edition of Weight Watchers magazine.

From my experience: This recipe was super easy and can be varied in many ways. I used Sweet Orange Marmelade, low-fat cornstarch, and changed the vegetables, using bell peppers, shelled edamame, and carrots instead because that's what I had in supply. I simplified the recipe by adding the vegetables into the pan with the pork mixture while it was finishing cooking instead of cooking them separately. The liquid never thickened like the recipe described, so I added cooked rice into the pan at the last minute to absorb some of it. I had planned on serving the dish with it in anyway. This recipe was good and even better as leftovers. Enjoy!

1 Year Old

I took Sloane to get pictures taken in her birthday outfit. Here are some of our favorites!

Sloane is turning into a toddler as the days go by. She has developed an attitude and likes to show her independence. On the other hand, she has become more shy around strangers and will cling to those familiar around her. She still likes hugs and her beloved Pooh bear; she sucks on the tag of it as she is getting to sleep. Sloane no longer uses a pacifier. When she had RSV her nose was so stopped up she couldn't breath and suck on it. Then it was almost two weeks without it, so we didn't go back to it. She can stand on her own, but needs to get a little braver so she can walk on her own. In the meantime, she pushes around a cart walking laps around our house. She only needs us to help her steer, because she gets quite upset when the cart gets stuck. She says "ma ma", "da da", "nana" and "dog" plus talks alot of jibberish and mimics us. Her top teeth finally came in, so now she has 5 total with another one about to surface.

We went to the doctor for her 1 year check-up last week and found out her ear infection is cleared and her development is on track. Sloane weighed only 18 pounds, because she had lost weight when she got sick and has become more active. This put her in the 8%, but Dr. Dudley wasn't worried. She is 30 1/4 inches long which is the 85%. Her head circumference was 44.6 centimeters, 45%. We go back in early June for a 15 month check-up. Sloane has already moved away from formula to whole milk and stopped using bottles. Now our goal is to get her to initiate drinking from her sippy cups by herself, since at this time we mostly have to bring it to her for a drink.

Here is what Miss Sloane can do now:
bang objects together
*play give and take
*give kisses
*point with a finger
*say two words other than "ma ma" and "da da"
*put objects into a container

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Recipe of the Week: Spinach-Stuffed Chicken Rolls

Jake and I had our friends Steve and Ashlee over for dinner. My intention was to have dinner in the oven when they arrived, but time got away from me so Ashlee ended up helping me prepare and cook this recipe. In the end, I think our evening turned out better that way!

Steve and Ashlee

Spinach-Stuffed Chicken Rolls
makes 8 servings
2/3 cup chopped onion

2/3 cup chopped fresh mushrooms

2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach,
thawed and well drained

3/4 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

8 skinless, boneless, chicken breast halves

(about 2 1/2 pounds total)

2/3 cup fine dry bread crumbs

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 teaspoon paprika
2 eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon water

3 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9x13-inch baking pan or baking dish; set aside. For filling, in a large skillet cook onions, mushrooms, and garlic in the 2 tablespoons hot butter until tender. Stir in spinach, oregano, salt, and pepper, set aside.

2. Place each chicken breast half between two pieces of plastic wrap. Using the flat side of a meat mallet and working from the center out, pound each half lightly into a rectangle about 1/8 inch thick. Remove plastic wrap.

3. Divide the filling evenly among the breast halves. Fold in sides; roll up each piece into a spiral, pressing edges to seal. If necessary, secure with wooden toothpicks.

4. In a shallow dish combine bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, and paprika. In another shallow dish combine eggs and the water. Dip chicken rolls in the egg mixture; coat with bread crumb mixture. Place rolls, seam sides down, in a prepared pan or dish. Drizzle with the melted butter.

5. Bake, uncovered, for 20 to 25 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink.

Recipe found in 9X13 The Pan That Can cookbook.

Our meal: Spinach-Stuffed Chicken Rolls, garlic bread,
and roasted sweet potatoes, broccoli, and cauliflower

Jake and myself

From my experience: There is quite a lot of prep work with this recipe, but I didn't realize it until I started reading it. It was partly my fault since my chicken and spinach hadn't finished thawing and I had old bread I wanted to use for breadcrumbs. The main prep work goes into getting the chicken cleaned and ready to fill. I only made 6 chicken breasts since they were pretty large and thick. Consequently when beaten, our chicken didn't flatten to what the recipe called for nor result in the shape of a rectangle. Nevertheless, they rolled just fine. We ended up just folding over the skinnier end of the chicken once like a sideways taco, then securing it with two toothpicks. To make the topping, I mixed the breadcrumbs with Parmesan cheese since I didn't have any paprika. To make the process easier, I simply patted the breadcrumb mixture on top of the chicken, then flipped it and repeated on the other side totally avoiding dipping the chicken in any egg mixture. The breadcrumb topping stuck to the chicken well without it. Overall the chicken tasted really good, even our guests thought so. I will definitely make this chicken recipe again. Next time I will make sure to have everything chopped and ready before I start cooking so it won't take as long. Also I would add some salt to the breadcrumb mixture. Enjoy!