Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Dressing Any Time of the Year

I absolutely love dressing, but it seems I only make it during the holidays.  I chose to change that and make it quite a few times throughout the year.  I save all of the heels, deformed pieces and stragglers from a loaf of bread in a Ziploc bag in my freezer.  This way when I feel the need for dressing, I can whip up a batch.  My basic stuffing recipe always includes sausage or bacon, some sort of fruit and something green.  Today's on hand items were sausage, apples and brussel sprouts.  To start toast all of the bread in the oven.  I toast about 12 slices at 250 degrees until toasted.

Next brown the sausage removing all but about 1 tablespoon of grease.

 Add two chopped apples, 4 chopped brussel sprouts, one small chopped onion and 4 cloves of chopped garlic to the sausage.  Saute over medium heat until all items are softened.  

Chop all the toast into small squares.

Mix two cups milk and one egg together.

After the sausage mix has cooled add it to the egg and milk.  Add one teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon dried parsley and mix until combined.

Put the mixture in a square dish and bake at 350 degrees for one hour.  The dressing will come out moist and delicious.  The perfect companion for a side of chicken or pork. 

If you enjoy your stuffing a little drier cut back on the amount of milk added.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

What is fall without roasted pumpkin seeds?  It's like a ball game without boiled peanuts or a fair without corn dogs and funnel cakes.  So, don't forget to save your pumpkin seeds and roast them up this season.  It is super easy and nutritious.
After you remove them from your pumpkin (whether you have roasted it or not), place them in a colander.  Place the colander under warm running water and swirl them with your hand until all of the pulp is gone and only seeds remain.  
Place the pumpkin seeds on a baking sheet lined with paper towels to remove the excess water.

Remove the paper towels so you only have the seeds on the baking sheet.  Bake the seeds at 350 degrees until they are completely dry, which will take about 15-20 minutes.  Remove them from the oven for seasoning.  Pour about 1.5 Tbs. olive oil (or your favorite oil) on the pumpkin seeds along with your favorite seasoning combination.  I love cumin, kosher salt and cayenne pepper.  I have also used kosher salt, cumin and cinnamon.  If you like yours sweet use cinnamon and sugar.  After they are seasoned thoroughly mix with a spatula until they are completely covered with the oil and seasoning.  Place them back in the oven at 200 degrees for about 10 minutes.  Let them cool for a moment and enjoy.  They can also be placed in a storage container for later enjoyment, but I don't think they will last that long!

Roasted Pumpkin

I absolutely love this time of year!  The weather is changing, nature's d├ęcor is turning yellow, orange, red, brown, etc. (you know all the colors of fall) and produce like pumpkins are in season.  Who could ask for more?  I lucked out this year and found pie pumpkins for $1.69 each at Kroger so I picked up a large one to roast.  It is very easy to roast and can be used in many different recipes such as spaghetti sauce, muffins, pancakes, pies and smoothies.  Also, don't forget about the seeds as you can roast those as well for a nutritious snack. 
To roast the pie pumpkin just wash it off under hot running water and place it on a rimmed pan or baking sheet.  I use a commercial stainless steel baking sheet.  Place the pumpkin in the oven at 350 degrees for about one hour.  You will need to adjust the time based on the size of the pumpkin.  The pumpkin will swell as it cooks.  Be careful not to leave it in too long because I am sure it could explode if left in too long.  When the pumpkin is soft (not gooshy) take it out and set it on the counter to cool.  As it cools it will deflate as seen below. 
When the pumpkin is cool enough for you to touch (but not cold) peel the skin off.  This will be very easy!  Make sure to keep it on the pan as some juices will seep out as you peel.

Once it is fully peeled, lightly break it half.  Scoop the seeds into one bowl with a spoon.  Put the remaining pulp and juices in another bowl for mashing.

Mash the pumpkin pulp.  I use a potato masher because it does not take much to mash the pumpkin.  But if you prefer a blender it will work too.  There is not wrong answer here.

If you are going to freeze some of your pumpkin mash for later use place about one cup in a labeled freezer bag (or container).  Place in the freezer.  When you are ready to use take it out and defrost in the refrigerator.


Monday, July 1, 2013

Kroger Yogurt Smoothie Bars Review

I was given an opportunity to try Kroger Yogurt Smoothie Bars as a member of Bzzagent.  I choose the triple berry flavor for our family.   These yogurt smoothie bars bars were great.  Our whole family loved them, even me!  I was afraid they would be too sugary like most sweet treats, but I was pleasantly surprised with only 8 grams of sugar per bar. They were a perfect treat, not too sweet, creamy and the perfect size.  Even the toddler could finish the bar before it melted.  As a family we normally buy yogurt and freeze it to have as a frozen treat.  The smoothie bars from Kroger were comparable to my frozen yogurt and did not melt as fast.  We choose the triple berry because we are huge berry fans.  The berry flavor was very prominent and realistic.  I will definitely buy the again and again!

I was provided a free manufacturer's coupon from BzzAgent as well as coupons to giveaway.  I was not compensated for this review and all opinions expressed here are my own.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Morning Star Farms Garden Veggie Patties Review

I was given the opportunity to review a Morning Star Farm product as a member of BzzAgent.  I chose to try the Morning Star Farms Garden Veggie Patties.  I was pleasantly surprised at how well they tasted.  I expected them to be hard to chew and flavorless.  While they were just the opposite...tender and full of flavor.  You could taste and see the carrots, bell peppers, onions and water chestnuts.  I chose to make a double cheese veggie patty on sourdough bread with mayo, honey mustard, pickle and tomato.  It was just what the doctor ordered for lunch on a cold day.  My only issue was the water chestnut could have been chopped a little smaller.  I had about two bites that seemed to be only water chestnut.  I will definitely buy this product again and try a few other varieties as well.

I was provided a free manufacturer's coupon from BzzAgent as well as coupons to giveaway.  I was not compensated for this review and all opinions expressed here are my own.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Pampers Gifts to Grow: 10 Point Code

There is a new 10 point Pampers Gifts to Grow code - FB4CHILD23DAY12.

Thanks Penny Pinchin Mom

Strawberry Muffins

My son, my mother and I went to a local farm last weekend to pick strawberries.  We had such a great time and ended up picking 20.5 pounds of strawberries.  My mother and I split the strawberries so I ended up with 10 pounds of strawberries.  We ate about 2 pounds, froze 7 pounds and made strawberry preserves and muffins with the remaining pound.  I have never had or made strawberry muffins...they turned out great!  I will make these again. 

In a bowl, mix:
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
 Stir that with a fork.

Now- in a 1cup measuring cup:
1/3 cup oil
2 tsp vanilla
1 egg
Add milk to the 1cup mark
Add 3/4 cup honey (if you don't like or have honey use 3/4 cup sugar)
Whisk all the ingredients together

Add 1/3 cup coarsely chopped strawberries, and combine the wet and dry ingredients. 

Fill 1 12 count muffin tin.
Bake at 375°F for 17-20 min.