Saturday, January 30, 2010

Pumpkin Pie Martini


A few months ago, I had a hankering for a pumpkin martini. I found this recipe and decided to give it a try. Verdict: it was ridiculously strong and I was a quite inebriated in about a minute and a half. I loved the flavor, it was just a wee bit strong for me, plus I wasn't crazy about all of the heavy cream. So I decided to adjust the measurements a bit and this is what I came up with.

(for your reference, 1.5 ounces = 1 shot)
3 ounces milk
1.5 ounces light or heavy cream
3 ounces creme de cacao
1 ounce vanilla vodka
1 t. nutmeg and/or pumpkin spice

Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice. Add ingredients and shake well.

My recommendations:
Instead of serving this as a martini, I have also blended all of the ingredients with ice in my magic bullet. That is how it's shown above. It's a very yummy frozen drink! I also add an extra sprinkle of nutmeg after it's mixed/blended. Delicious.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Taco Seasoning


It wasn't until about 2:30 p.m. today that I started thinking about dinner. That may sound kind of early, but I usually start prepping for dinner as I'm cleaning up after breakfast. The child arguments tend to peak mid to late afternoon, so it's best to be productive in the morning. Today was somewhat busy though and with my errands, Bible study, and an intense game of hide and seek with Bubba, I fell a bit behind. Around 2:30, I decided I wanted Mexican food for dinner - specifically, chicken tacos in the crockpot. Even though we were fresh out of taco seasoning, a quick google search solved my problem.

(courtesy of All Recipes)
1 T. chili powder
1/4 t. garlic powder
1/4 t. onion powder
1/4 t. crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 t. dried oregano
1/2 t. paprika
1 1/2 t. ground cumin
1 t. salt
1 t. black pepper

Mix together ingredients. Store in an airtight container.


My Recommendations:
I will never buy packaged taco seasoning again. Seriously. The flavor was fantastic and, in my opinion, much better than the packaged stuff. I did omit the red pepper, for the kids' sake, and the salt. Also, the recipe yielded about 3 T. and is equal to a packet of taco seasoning.

I'm so proud of myself for throwing together a succesful dinner last minute (for me) =)

Monday, January 25, 2010



It was a rainy day today - terrential downpour to be more exact. Whenever it's cold and rainy, I get the urge to make a yummy treat. Bubba and I were on our own today (big sister was at pre-K) so we set off to the kitchen to make some granola.

I have never attempted to make granola before but while I was reading Musings of a Housewife, I stumbled upon a recipe here, and it sounded too easy and too good to pass up. Plus, we are out of cereal, and I wasn't about to trek out in the rain to get more.


(See the original recipe here - I tweaked it a bit based on what I had in the pantry)
3 c. oats
1/2 c. almonds
1/2 c. coconut
1/4 c. butter
1/3 c. honey
1/6 c. water
1 t. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix dry ingredients in one bowl, and mix wet ingredients in another. Combine contents of both bowls. Pour into a 9 x 13 pan.

Put the pan into the oven and stir every 10 minutes until browned.


My recommendations:
The top and the sides browned first, so make sure you stir frequently or else the granola will get too crispy. Ours baked for about 25 minutes before it came out. Bubba and I had some with milk and it was seriously. so. good. We also snacked on some later while we relaxed on the couch. I'm thinking that next time I will double the recipe because I can see the granola disappearing fast in our house! Especially since Bubba inhales about 4 bowls of cereal for breakfast every morning. I'm kind of scared of what he'll be able to consume in his teenage years.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Coconut Craisin Granola Bars


I'm not going to pretend that we don't eat processed food - we live on stuff that comes in boxes and cans. Although one of my new years resolutions is to add more made-from-scratch food to our menu. And with my homemade pizza dough and soft pretzels (I'll have to post that), I'm definitely heading in the right direction. Anyway before I type more run-on sentences or go off on a tangent...

These granola bars are so easy to make, completely customizable, and oh so good! I have made these at least a dozen times, tweaked the recipe a bit more every time, and these were my latest experiment. I love being able to have these handy to give the kids as a snack, and I love that they are made-from-scratch. They make me feel better about giving my kids boxed macaroni.

(Adapted from this recipe)
4 1/2 c. oats
1/2 c. flour
1 t. baking soda
1 t. vanilla
1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. applesauce
1/2 c. honey
1/3 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. coconut
1/4 c. craisins

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients. Press the mixture into a lightly greased 9x13 pan. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes and then cut into bars. Let them cool completely before you take them out of the pan.

My Recommendations:
I have made the bars with and without the brown sugar and I actually prefer them without the sugar.

I have made these with chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, peanut butter, and raisins. That's what I love about this recipe! You can add or leave out whatever you want.

Enjoy =)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Bourbon Chicken


I have been making this recipe for so long that I can't even remember where I first saw it, and what it is actually called. But in our house, we call it Bourbon Chicken. No idea if that's even close to accurate but it works for us. It does require a lot of ingredients but it is easy to make and the kids love it (so important).

3/4 c. chicken broth
2 T. cornstarch
2 T. sugar
2 T. soy sauce
1 T. white wine vinegar
1/2 t. ginger
2 t. peanut oil
2 garlic cloves
1/2 t. crushed red pepper (optional)
1 lb. cubed chicken

Whisk together chicken broth, cornstarch, sugar, soy sauce, white wine vinegar, and ginger. Set aside.

In a frying pan, add peanut oil, garlic cloves, and red pepper. After the garlic cloves have browned, add the cubed chicken. Cook over medium heat for about 10-15 mins until browned.

Add the chicken broth mixture to the cooked chicken and adjust the heat to the low setting. Heat until the sauce has thickened. Serve over rice!

My Recommendations:
I always double the ingredients in the chicken broth mixture because my husband is a sauce hog. Also, I omit the red pepper because the kids can't handle spicy food just yet.

Nutella-Swirl Pound Cake FAIL


My poor little pound cake.

I was inspired by friend's facebook post about a delicious Nutella-Swirl Pound Cake and without hesitation, I ran to the grocery store and bought all the ingredients to make it. I followed the directions precisely:




(I may or may not have licked that container clean)

But after I put my pound cake in the oven, something went horribly wrong. After the 1 hour and 15 min baking time, the outside was done but the middle was not even close. I kept it in and checked every 15 minutes but the middle would just not bake! Finally after two hours in the over, the middle was done but the outside of the cake was very brown. It was not a pretty sight.

Fortunately, we value taste more than appearance in this house. Even though my poor pound cake looked rather unappealing, it was delicious. I improvised and served slivers of the not burnt part with ice cream.



I will definitely make this again and keep everything crossed that next time I don't have any baking issues.