Sunday, July 15, 2012

What to do with Melons...

Every summer we buy melons- watermelons, honeydews, cantaloupes, and so forth.  However, as a family of four, we often have trouble finishing the whole melon.  Last summer I made a muffin with a cake mix and watermelon.  This summer I decided to work on that recipe.  These muffins turned out delicious!  They were light, fluffy and very healthy.   They are also dairy free and egg free.  If you would like to use eggs instead of the flax seed, replace the water and flax seed with 2 eggs.  Enjoy the recipe!

Melon Muffins with Lime Caramel Sauce
1 Cup Blended Melon
1  Cake Mix (White, Yellow, or French Vanilla)
1/2 Cup Multi Grain Hot Cereal (I used Hodgkins Mills)
1/2 Cup Applesauce
1/4 Cup Juice (I used mango/tangerine, but any juice would work)
1/8 Cup Flax Seed
3/8 Cup Water

Lime Caramel Sauce (Optional)
1/4 Cup Honey
Juice of 1 Lime
Lime zest

Melon Muffins
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Microwave water for 45 seconds.  Mix flax seed into water and stir.  Set aside to cool.

2. In your magic bullet or blender, blend about 2 cups fresh melon (I used cantaloupe and watermelon).  Your goal is 1 cup of blended melon.  You want a thick juice.  Small chunks of melon are okay, they actually taste delicious in the muffin!

3. In a large bowl, mix together melon, muffin, multi-grain cereal, applesauce, and juice.  After mixing, mix in flax seed.  Thoroughly spray muffin tins with non-stick spray.  Fill each muffin tin almost to the top.  It will make 12 muffins.  Bake for 23 to 25 minutes.  Muffins will start to crack and pop up when gently pushed.  They will also start to brown around the edges.  Let cool before adding sauce. (I let ours sit covered overnight)

Lime Caramel Sauce
 Poor honey in a small pan.  Juice 1 lime into pan (make sure to remove seeds).  Mix together.  Cook on high, stirring constantly.  It will take 2 to 3 minutes to make the caramel.  I let mine boil for almost 5 minutes and that was too long.  The caramel and lime will start to boil and then froth up.  Keep stirring, it burns easily.  After it has reached a rapid boil, let boil for a minute.  Pull off the heat and let continue boiling for a minute, stirring while it cools.  Drizzle over muffins.  Grate lime zest over top of the muffins.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

What to do with cabbage...

I am on the countdown- 6 more days of students and 1 teacher workday!!!  I LOVE summer!  I especially love all of the fresh fruits and vegetables!  Here is a great slaw recipe if you are tired of traditional slaw.  It is sweet and crunchy, a favorite combination of mine!  Enjoy :)

Strawberry Apple Slaw
3 Cups Cabbage, shredded
1 Red Bell Pepper, thinly chopped
1 Apple, thinly chopped
8 to 10 Large Strawberries, chopped
1/4 Cup Red Onion, finely diced
3/8 Cup Vinegar & Oil Fruit Based Salad Dressing (E.g. raspberry vinaigrette, strawberry balsamic, etc.)
1/8 Cup Honey
Juice of 1/2 a Lime
1/2 Cup LaChoy Rice Noodles (the crunchy, salad topping kind)

In a large bowl, mix together cabbage, pepper, apple, strawberries, and onion.  In a separate bowl, mix together salad dressing, honey and juice of 1/2 a lime.  Pour over salad and mix gently.  Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.  Immediately before serving mix in the LaChoy rice noodles.  Serves 6 to 8.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

What to do with dip...

I've posted a lot about a little bit of dip, but it always seems like we have a tablespoon or two left in the containter and I can't throw it out.  I made these potatoes the other night and they were E.A.S.Y.  There are only 3 ingredients! They would be great with bbq chicken or ribs this summer.  Once again, I ate them cold for lunch the next two days (I am a traveling teacher and I have to eat lunch in my car).  They were still great!  Enjoy!

Weeknight Potatoes
6 Small Baked Potatoes
3 TBSP Dip (I used French Onion, but Ranch, Dill, Spinach or Bacon would work just as well)
1 Cup Shredded Cheese (I used Colby)

1. Thoroughly wash potatoes (you're going to keep the skin on so this is important).  Cut off the ends and cook in the microwave for about ten minutes until soft.  I usually check at 5 minutes, and 7 minutes to make sure they're not finished yet.  You don't want your potatoes exploding!
2. When potatoes have cooled, slice into thin slices.  Pour into a bowl.  Mix in cheese and dip.  Spray a large skillet with non-stick spray. Spread potato mixture into the skillet.  Broil on high for 8 to 10 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly (keep an eye on them, you don't want to burn them).  Serves 5 to 6

Thursday, May 3, 2012

What to do with leftover dessert cups...

I love the dessert cups they sell for strawberry shortcake, but it seems we always run out of strawberries before we finish the cakes.  This past weekend, I took our leftover dessert cups and make sorbet sandwiches out of them for Celia and Charlie.  They were beautiful and delightfully tasty and messy: a perfect dessert combination!  This would work even if your cakes are a little stale!  You can make them ahead and freeze them for a party or a children's play date.

Sorbet Sandwiches
Dessert Cups
Sorbet or Ice Cream

Scoop one big ball of sorbet or ice cream into the center of the dessert cup.  Place other dessert cup on top.  Cut through the middle to make two ice cream sandwiches.  We sprinkled sprinkles on top to make them even fancier :) Enjoy!

What to do with zucchini...

I love zucchini!  Celia, Charlie, and Andy- not as much.  However, it is my goal in life (while this seems like a strange goal, it's true!) to get my family to eat as many fruits and vegetables as possible.  I strictly stick to the 5 to 9 a day rule and try to sneak them in as many meals and dishes as possible.  Last night for dinner I made these Zucchini Pancakes as a side dish.  I loved them!  In fact I ate them cold for lunch the next 2 days.  Charlie and Celia did not like them as much, but Celia did eat the batter before I cooked them and Charlie was impressed that they were green.  I think in general, it is an adult recipe, at least for our family.  They would be great served with Tzatziki sauce.

Zucchini Pancakes
1 Small to Medium Zucchini
1/2 Cup Cooked Oatmeal (I used plain, but I think Apple Cinnamon would taste okay too)
1 TBSP French Onion Dip I(if you don't have this, use salad dressing)
1 Egg
1/3 Cup Chopped Green Peppers
2/3 Cup Flour
1/2 Tsp Sea Salt
1/2 Tsp Curry Powder

1. Cook oatmeal in microwave following oatmeal directions.
2.. Chop Zucchini into large chunks.  Put into Magic Bullet, blender or food processor with dip, egg and green pepper.  Blend until at least semi-smooth.  Small bits of pepper or zucchini are okay.
3. In a bowl, mix together zucchini mixture, oatmeal, flour, sea salt and curry powder.
4. Heat a large skillet to med-high.  To cook mine, I used 2 TBSP of coconut oil, but olive oil would work as well.  When oil is hot, add scoops of batter to the pan.  Cook on each side 1 to 2 minutes until lightly browned.  Add more oil as needed.  Makes 10 - 12 pancakes.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

What do with leftover chili...

I know cold weather foods aren't on everybody's menus right now, but my mom's work had chili the other day and she brought me the leftovers.  I often make chili dogs after we have chili, but I wanted to make something a little different this time.  Instead, I made Chili Cheese Burritos and they turned out great! Plus, they have to be somewhat healthier than chili dogs :)  Enjoy the recipe!

Chili Cheese Burritos
3 Small to Medium Baked Potatoes or 2 Large
1 & 1/2 Cups Chili
1/2 TBSP Minced, Dried Onion
1/2 TBSP Fresh, Minced Garlic
1 TBSP Fresh, Chopped Parsley (I was out of Cilantro, but you can use that instead)
1 &1/2 Cups Shredded Cheese (Colby, Cheddar or Mexican Mix)
8 Large Flour Tortillas
Frito Corn Chips, crushed (I used a snack-size bag, but you'll want about 1/2 to 1 Cup)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spread a thin layer of salsa into the bottom of a 9x13 baking pan.
2. Deskin potatoes and cut into chunks.  In a large bowl, mix together potatoes, chili, onion, garlic, parsley, and shredded cheese. 
3. Microwave tortillas until soft (I microwaved mine separately for about 10 to 15 sec. each).  Put a large scoop of filling on each tortilla and roll.  Place into baking dish.  Spray burritos with Pam and bake for 20 minutes.  After 20 minutes, cover burritos with a thin layer of salsa and sprinkle Fritos on top.  Bake for 5 minutes more.  Makes 8 large burritos.  Top with lettuce, tomatoes and sour cream if desired.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

What to do with leftover cole slaw...

Happy Sunday!  I recently discovered our local CSA.  For an incredibly reasonable price I got a huge bag of fruits and vegetables for our family from local farms.  I love that in the bag there are tons of kinds of fruits and vegetables that I wouldn't normally buy.  Here is a recipe using Kale.  I have never bought Kale in my life, but my children not only ate it, they loved it in this dish!  Plus, it's a great way to use leftover coleslaw.  I used a vinegar and oil based coleslaw, but I think a mayo based one will work as well, it will just be creamier.  

Kale with Bacon and Onions
4 Slices Bacon (ours was brown-sugar which added to the taste!)
1/2 Cup Chopped Red Onions
4 Cups Kale, torn and lightly packed
1 Cup Cole Slaw
1 Hard Boiled Egg
1 Large Pinch Sea Salt

Chop bacon into bite-sized pieces.  Throw into a large skillet and start sauteing.  Add chopped onions to the skillet.  Cook bacon and onions while washing and tearing the kale. Add kale to the skillet and stir.  Next add coleslaw and stir.  Chop hard boiled egg and add it to the skillet.  Sprinkle the sea salt on top and stir.  Cover and continue cooking for another 5 to 8 minutes until bacon is finished cooking, onions are translucent and kale has wilted completely.  Stir occasionally during this time. Serves 4 to 5.