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A little blog dedicated to finding creative ways to use things from a box, can or bag.

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“Win the Bake Sale” Crispy Rice Treats

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If I say so myself, these are the best marshmallow treats you will ever have. The secret ingredients are coco puffs and Kosher salt which makes magical little salt pockets.

Ingredients
1/4 cup butter
4 cups mini marshmallows
4 cups rice crispies
1 cup coco puffs
1/2 tsp Kosher salt

Instructions
Spread a small amount of butter on the bottom and sides of an 8×8″ pan (double the recipe for a 13×19″ pan). Melt remaining butter over medium-low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until melted. Mix cereal and salt in a large bowl. Add melted marshmallow and stir until well mixed. Spread evenly in the buttered pan. Press down firmly with parchment paper. Cool completely and cut into squares.

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Sriracha Marinara with Turkey Meatballs

This is based on a Martha Stewart recipe. I changed the meatballs a bit and increased the ingredients so there are a whole bunch to freeze.

Meatballs
2 lb Ground Turkey
16 oz frozen chopped spinach (I get the loose kind in a bag and throw it in the food processor while frozen to chop it up super fine)
2/3 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
1 tsp dried garlic
2 tsp dried onion
2 eggs

Sauce
1 diced onion
2 coves minced garlic
1/8-1/4 cup Sriracha
2 large cans crushed tomatoes
salt & pepper to taste

1 lb cooked pasta (I like thin spaghetti)

Mix all ingredients. Shape into 1″ balls. I use a cookie scoop because I don’t like toughing raw meat. Place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Freeze about half of the meatballs and for next time.

 

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Turkey Chili

Super yummy and super easy. I usually make a double batch and freeze it in meal sized containers. It’s better the second day or when you unthaw it because all the ingredients get a chance to mingle and become friends (kind of like the second season of Seinfeld vs. the first).

Ingredients
1 tsp Olive Oil
1 Large Onion, Chopped
4 Cloves Garlic, Minced
1 Lb Ground Turkey
1-2 Green Peppers, Chopped
2 Cans (28 oz) Diced Tomatoes
1 Can (40.5 oz) Kidney Beans (do not drain) – if I’m making a double batch, I will use one can dark and one can light
1 Can (15 oz) Pinto Beans (do not drain)
1 tsp Dijon or Stadium Mustard
1 tsp Cumin (ground, whole or 1/2 + 1/2)
2 tsp Chili Powder
2 Tbs Balsamic Vinegar
3 Bay Leaves
½ tsp Black Pepper

Directions
Sautee onions & garlic. Add meat and cook until done. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for about 1 hour. Eat.

Other than opening a lot of cans, it doesn’t get any easier than that, does it?

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Wyatt’s Apple Crisp

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My son Wyatt is very mechanical so Dana got him this really cool apple peeler for Xmas. I highly recommend getting one if you like to make things with apples. When he found this recipe in his Highlights High Five magazine we had to make it. Who knew it’s the best apple crisp ever? From now on we will only be trying new recipes from High Five. The single batch is 4-6 servings. I recommend the double so you can have it for breakfast (I did the math for you to double it, you’re welcome). 🙂

Ingredients (single batch)
Filling
3 large apples or 5 small
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup apple cider
Topping
1 cup flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 stick butter
1 cup granola

Ingredients (double batch)
Filling
6 large apples or 10 small
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup apple cider
Topping
2 cups flour
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 sticks butter
2 cups granola

Directions
Peel and core all the apples in 5-10 minutes using this awesome machine (or take all day doing it the old fashioned way). Mix all filling ingredients and spread out in a pan — for the single batch use an 8×8″ pan or a pie plate, for the double batch use a 13×19″ pan. Mix flour, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg for topping. Cut the butter into this mix with a pastry blender or fork. Mix in granola and spread on top of the apples. Bake at 400 degrees until the top is golden brown — 30-35 minutes single batch or 40-45 minutes double batch.

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Crockpot Moroccan Chicken

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I work from a home-based office, so I’ve been trying to find good crockpot recipes. Most of them are not really all that great no matter what the promise was. This, however, is pretty tasty and probably fairly low-cal. I combined a couple of recipes and my own incredible culinary skills 🙂 I can whip it together on my lunch break, and by dinner time it’s ready to eat. Win.

Ingredients
2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp pepper
3/4 tsp salt
6 chicken breasts cut into pieces
olive oil
1 medium onion cut into 1/2″ wedges
4 cloves garlic
1 tsp ground ginger
1 28-oz can diced tomatoes
1 can chickpeas, drained
1/2 cup diced prunes (or try raisins)

Serve on rice, couscous, or quinoa.

Directions
Mix first four spices in a large container that you can seal tight. Add chicken and shake it up to coat. In a large skillet, heat olive oil, add chicken and cook until it starts to brown (don’t cook it all the way, that’s the crockpot’s job). In the meantime, add onion, garlic and ginger to the bottom of the crockpot. Add chicken. Top with tomatoes, chickpeas, and prunes. Turn on crockpot and get your butt back to work. Cook on high for about 4 hours, low for about 8 hours (I’m guessing here). Stir it an hour or so before serving to mix everything together.

This makes a large pot, so invite your neighbors over. I made 3 cups of rice and that seemed to balance well.

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Pasta e Fagioli Soup

photoDude, Dana made this and it’s “souper” yum (damn, I’m funny). She made up the recipe herself and everything.

Ingredients
1 onion
1 cup celery
3 coves garlic
1 large can crushed tomatoes
2 small cans seasoned diced tomatoes
6 cups chicken broth or 6 cups water 6 bouillon cubes
2 cans great northern beans
2 cups ditalini pasta
1 tsp crushed red pepper
1/8 tsp black pepper

Directions
Saute onion and celery in olive oil. Add garlic and sautee a wee bit more. Add tomatoes and chicken stock and bring to boil. Turn temp to medium and simmer for about 30 minutes. Add beans (drained and rinsed) and heat to boiling. Add remaining ingredients and heat until pasta is cooked.

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So, You’re a PTA Mom, Now What? Frosting

1390556_10201610767843494_1872603548_nYesterday was my PTA mom initiation. I made cupcakes for I think the first time ever. I even bought the two-story carrier as a resignation to my fate. Fancy, huh? On the bright side, I got to have icing for breakfast. This is my mother-in-law’s recipe. It’s really fluffy and not super sweet. Makes enough icing for a two layer cake or 24 cupcakes plus a little leftover.

Ingredients
4 tbs flour
1 cup milk
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1/2 cup sortening
1 cup sugar (regular white, weird for frosting, I know)
1 tsp vanilla

Directions
Mix flour and milk in saucepan. Cook over low heat stirring constantly until thick. Set aside until cool. While that is cooling, put the butter in a medium bowl to soften. Cream butter and shorting  for 4 minutes with a mixer at medium speed. Gradually add sugar and beat 4 more minutes. Add flour paste and beat 4 more minutes (at this point I wish I had a standing mixer). Add vanilla and beat until mixed in.

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