Friday, February 27, 2015

Breakfast Quinoa with Blueberries, Strawberries and Chocolate Chips

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Quinoa is a great alternative to oatmeal for breakfast since it's packed with protein. Whenever I cook with it, I make sure to cook some extra and leave it in the refrigerator for recipes like these. You can use it as a substitute for rice in most recipes, so it always comes in handy.
Whenever I want a quick and satisfying breakfast, I heat up some leftover quinoa and make myself a delicious and hearty breakfast. Bradley loves this breakfast as well, and we enjoy sharing it with each other (that is...if he leaves me any). Enjoy!

Printable Recipe

Ingredients
Makes 2 servings
  • 2 cups milk, warmed
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1/4 cup strawberries, chopped
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tbsp. agave
In a large bowl, whisk together milk, cinnamon and vanilla.

Scoop the hot quinoa evenly into two serving bowls. Drizzle milk mixture evenly over top of quinoa.


Top with blueberries, strawberries, almonds, chocolate chips and a drizzle of agave. 


Source: SK Original

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Homemade Frosted Cinnamon Brown Sugar Pop Tarts

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When I was in high school (don't you dare ask me how long ago that was), my best friend's favorite things to get from the vending machine was cinnamon brown sugar pop tarts. I think she would get them every.single.day. When I wanted to treat myself I would follow her lead and get them as well, and they were beyond phenomenal every time. The cinnamon brown sugar combination inside soft pastry was the best pick-me-up during the treacherous school day.
I wanted to do something special for Chris' birthday last week, and breakfast in bed was at the top of my list. Instead of bringing him pancakes or something traditional, I chose to make him something unique: homemade cinnamon brown sugar pop tarts. They were always a fun and delicious treat for me, and I wanted that for him as well! I can say they easily lived up to my expectations and more; they might have even exceeded the boxed version!
Although a little time consuming, using store-bought pie dough cut back on some preparation so I could get these delicious little pastries cooking in no time. Chris was very surprised and loved his birthday breakfast in bed. He ate them for the next few mornings as well, but I don't think he was complaining one bit :) I can't wait to try these again with a Nutella filling. YUM. Enjoy!

Printable Recipe

Ingredients

Pastry:
  • 1 box (2 count) 9-inch refrigerated pie crust
Filling:
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tsp. milk
Glaze: 
  • 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar , sifted
  • 1 tbsp. milk, plus more as needed
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
For the pastry: Remove pie crust from packaging. Roll out one of the crusts on a floured work surface. Roll it into a rectangle (as best you can) about 1/8 inch thick and 9x12 inches in size. Trim the sides as needed. Cut each piece of dough into thirds and each third into thirds again. You will end up with 9 rectangles, each measuring 3×4 inches. Continue with the second pie crust. 

Place 9 rectangles onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. The pop-tarts will not spread in the oven much, so you may place them relatively near one another. Keep the remaining 9 rectangles in the fridge for the time being. 

For the filling: Mix the brown sugar, cinnamon, and flour together in a small bowl. Set aside. Whisk the egg and milk together in a small bowl until combined to make egg wash. 

Brush egg wash over the entire surface of each rectangle on the baking sheet. These will be the bottoms of your pop-tarts and the egg wash will help glue the lid on. Place a heaping tablespoon of the prepared brown sugar filling into the center of each rectangle, spread it around, leaving around 1/4 inch of space on the edges. 

Remove the remaining 9 rectangles from the refrigerator. Brush the second set of rectangles with egg wash, then place each rectangle on top of the filling-topped rectangles - egg wash side down. Use your fingertips to press firmly around the pocket of filling, sealing the dough well on all sides. Reserve remaining egg wash.

Use a toothpick to poke 8 holes in the tops of each filled pastry to allow the steam to escape. Seal the edges by crimping with a fork, to prevent the sides from opening as the pop-tarts bake. 

Refrigerate the filled pop-tarts uncovered for 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Once unbaked pop-tarts have chilled for 15 minutes, remove from the refrigerator and brush the tops with the remaining egg wash. Bake for about 22-28 minutes or until they’re golden brown, rotating the pan halfway through baking. Let the baked pop-tarts cool on the pan for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before glazing.

Make the glaze: Whisk all of the glaze ingredients together in a medium bowl until it reaches a spreading consistency. You want a thick glaze, but not too thick that it is hard to spread. Add another teaspoon or two of milk if needed. Use a spoon or knife to glaze each pop-tart. The glaze will slightly harden in about an hour.

Store pop-tarts in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 days or in the refrigerator for 6 days. To reheat, bake in a 350 degree F oven for 10 minutes. Baked pop-tarts freeze up to 3 months. Thaw and reheat as directed.

Source: Adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

{Tiny Tot Tuesdays} Mini Egg, Ham and Cheese Muffins

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Bradley is a big fan of having eggs in the morning, but it's not always easy nor convenient to whip up a batch of eggs for him (especially if we're in a rush). Therefore, I made a big batch of these delicious and easy egg, ham and cheese muffins to keep in the freezer at all times. When we're in a time crunch (or if I just want to get him something quick) all I have to do is zap a few of these in the microwave for 30 seconds. Then Bradley has a delicious, warm breakfast ready in no time. He loves these and easily eats 3-4 at a time! Enjoy!

Printable Recipe

Ingredients
Makes 24 mini muffins
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 tbsp. whole milk
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 cup deli ham, diced
  • 1/4 tsp. seasoned salt
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray two mini muffin pans with cooking spray and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs and milk together. Add cheese, ham, salt and pepper and stir to combine. 

Pour mixture into prepared muffin tins, almost all the way to the top. Bake in preheated oven for 8-10 minutes or until muffins are set.

Serve immediately. If saving for later, keep in the refrigerator for 2 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. To defrost, put muffins on a microwave-safe dish and microwave for 30 seconds.

Source: SK Original

Monday, February 23, 2015

Slow Cooker Piggies aka Stuffed Cabbage Rolls (Gluten-Free)

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When Chris was out of town for work, Bradley and I decided to stay at my parents' house for a night. Not only was a snow storm looming, but Bradley was under the weather and I didn't want to be trapped in my house all alone with a sick baby. So we went to my parents' house and I got to spend some quality time with my mom. During one of Bradley's naps, I asked to make these Piggies that my mom has been making for years. It was her mom's recipe and I just needed to know how to make them.
Piggies are very simple to make; they're just a little time consuming. But with two people working on the cabbage rolls, we got the meal prepared in no time! A simple combination of pork and beef is tucked and rolled into cabbage leaves and then you slow cook them with a simple tomato sauce. These are the ultimate comfort food to me since they remind me of my childhood. Enjoy!

Printable Recipe


Ingredients


  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can sauerkraut
  • 1 head cabbage, outer damaged layers removed
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 lb. ground pork
  • 1 cup long grain rice (NOT cooked)
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce

Line the bottom of a crockpot with sauerkraut and set aside.

Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Add cabbage and boil for 5 minutes. Remove cabbage from pot and allow to cool slightly. Reserve water.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a small pan. Add onions and saute until soft, about 5-7 minutes. 

Combine cooked onions, beef, pork, rice and garlic powder in a large bowl. 

Take cabbage and separate leaves. Use a small knife to remove the tough rib from the center of each leaf.

Take about 1 tablespoon of the meat mixture and place in the center of each leaf. Fold like an envelope and roll up tightly. If the leaf is very large, cut it in half before filling. Continue with the remaining cabbage leaves. If you have extra cabbage leaves, you can shred them and throw into the bottom of the crockpot with the sauerkraut.

Place stuffed cabbage rolls very close together in the bottom of the prepared crockpot (you can lay them on top of one another). Cover with tomato sauce and 2 cups of the reserved cabbage water.

Put the lid on the crockpot and cook on HIGH for 1 hour or until rice is tender (alternatively, you can cook the piggies in a large pot or dutch oven at 350 degrees F for 1 hour).

Source: My Mom

Friday, February 20, 2015

Mediterranean Couscous Salad

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Chris, Bradley and I often go to a Great American Restaurant for dinner when I don't feel like cooking, and one of their new "healthy" dinner options includes a couscous side dish. I don't think I've ever had couscous before, but this particular side dish made me obsessed with the stuff. The rest of the meal is just okay, but I specifically order it now JUST for the couscous. It has onions, tomatoes, cheese and raisins in it. Raisins! It seemed so weird to me, but it was a very welcome sweet contrast to the rest of the ingredients.
Since couscous is now one of my favorite things (and I also researched it and found out how easy--and QUICK--it is to make) I was eager to create a recipe using it. I went with flavors I already know and love just to play it safe: tomatoes, Kalamata olives, garbanzo beans and feta round out this Mediterranean-style dish. I opted to throw some raisins in there as well to add a little sweetness, and I absolutely loved the contrast (feel free to leave them out if you're iffy about them). This is a dish that can be prepared in under 10 minutes and can be served hot or cold. I don't know about you, but versatile dishes are some of my favorite dishes. Enjoy!

Printable Recipe

Ingredients
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 extra large chicken bouillon cube
  • 1 1/2 cups dry couscous
  • 1 cup tomato, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 Kalamata olives, chopped
  • 1/2 cup scallions, diced
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup feta, crumbled
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • Dash of salt
  • Dash of cayenne pepper
In a medium saucepan, add the water and bouillon cube. Bring to a boil and stir until bouillon cube is dissolved. Stir in couscous and remove from heat. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl combine the tomato, olives, scallions, raisins, garbanzo beans, feta, olive oil, lemon juice, pepper, a dash of salt (use a small amount since the olives are already salty) and cayenne pepper.

Once couscous is done, remove cover and fluff with a fork. Add couscous to tomato mixture and lightly stir to combine. Serve immediately, at room temperature or chill in the refrigerator until ready to eat.

Source: SK Original