Wednesday, October 30, 2013

French Style Crepes

While shopping at my local grocery store, I came across pre-packaged crepes.  They were priced at $4.99 for 10 and I thought that was absolutely crazy.  I make crepes all the time and they don't cost anywhere near that amount.  They are very easy to make and you can fill them with just about anything.  I love savory crepes more than the sweet ones, but I won't turn those ones down either.

French Style Crepes

1C Flour
1 1/2C Milk
2 Eggs
2 Tbs Sugar
1/8Tsp Salt
1Tbs Butter, melted

Combine all ingredients and beat until smooth.

I let the batter sit on the counter for 20 minutes so everything is completely mixed.

Lightly spray a 6" non-stick skillet and place over medium heat.

Add 2 tablespoons of batter to pan and swirl around until the pan is completely coated and the batter won't move any more.

Cook on one side until just browned and then flip to the other side using a small spatula.

Cook for additional minute and then remove from pan onto a plate covered with parchment paper.

Finish the rest of crepe batter the same way.

You can fill these crepes with just about anything, but my favorite way is  a couple slices of turkey, Swiss cheese, baby spinach and a few olives.  So darn yummy.

This recipe will make 18 crepes and it only costs just over .50!  That's around .02 per crepe!

Giada's Frozen Meringue Cake

This recipe is amazing.  The end.  I made it for a family get together, and I wasn't disappointed.  It was light, and creamy and now my mouth is watering.  I had dreams about it and still do.  It takes very little work to make, most of the time is spent baking the meringues, and they are so simple to do.
Next time I make these, I am going to make small individual meringues and then dollop these with cream and berries and drizzle the sauce on top.  Yummy!

This recipe costs around $11.00 to make and is worth every delicious penny.

Total Time:
8 hr 0 min
30 min
5 hr 0 min
2 hr 30 min

6 to 8 servings




4 large egg whites, at room temperature
3/4 cup superfine baker's sugar
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
Pinch fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries (6 ounces)


1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries (6 ounces)
1 cup balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 cup fresh raspberries, for garnish, optional
Special equipment: One piping bag fitted with a plain 1/2-inch tip


For the meringue: Place an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 200 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a pencil, trace two 8-inch-diameter circles, side-by-side, on the parchment paper.

Beat the egg whites until fluffy in a stand mixer with a whisk attachment. Gradually add the superfine sugar, about 1 tablespoon at a time, with the machine running on medium-low speed, until the mixture holds soft peaks. Beat in the cream of tartar and salt. Increase the speed to high and beat until the mixture is thick and holds stiff peaks, 3 to 5 minutes. Beat in the vanilla extract. Place the meringue in the piping bag. Pipe the meringue into two 8-inch circles on the prepared baking sheet using the traced circles as a guide. Bake until crisp, 2 hours. Turn off the oven and allow the meringues to cool completely while still in the oven, about 2 hours.

For the cream: Beat the cream on high speed until thick using an electric hand mixer. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Continue to beat on high speed until the cream holds stiff peaks. Add the raspberries and beat until incorporated into the cream.

Spread one-third of the cream over each meringue circle. Place 1 circle on top of the other to create 2 layers. Spread the remaining cream on the sides of the cake. Garnish with fresh raspberries if using, and freeze the cake until firm, 3 hours.

For the syrup: Mix the raspberries, vinegar and maple syrup in a small saucepan. Lightly mash the raspberries using a fork. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until thick, 25 to 30 minutes. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve and allow to cool.

To serve: Allow the cake to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes. Cut the cake into wedges and place on serving plates. Drizzle with the syrup and serve

Read more at:
*If you don't have a piping bag, don't rush out to get one.  You can use a large zip-loc bag and get the same results.  Just place the egg whites into the bag, in the corner and twist the bag.  Cut off the corner and pipe like you would if you had a professional piping bag.  

Broccoli Chicken and Rice Casserole

Who doesn't love a good casserole.  Cheesy, comforting, easy, cheap.  I love em.  They bring back memories of childhood or can brighten up a sick persons day.

I am sure everyone has this recipe written down somewhere, a ward cook book...or two...or three...
I don't think it has changed much over the years and that's what makes it the most perfect comfort food.

Broccoli Chicken and Rice Casserole

1 bag Frozen broccoli
1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 can Cream of Chicken Soup
1/2 c Milk
1 c Cheddar Cheese
2 tbs Dried Onion
1 c Rice, cooked
1 Chicken breast, cooked and cubed
Salt and pepper to taste

Grease casserole dish and preheat oven to 350 degrees

In casserole dish layer in cooked rice

Mix broccoli, soups, milk, cheese, salt, pepper and dried onion and spoon in dish over rice.

Cover and bake for 30 minutes.

This recipe is so cheesy and good and costs just under $5.00 to make.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Homemade Vanilla

I love vanilla.  The flavor, the smell.  Makes me a happy happy girl.

The other day I was almost out so I went to the store to pick some up.  I push my cart down the isle and reach for the vanilla and Bam!  The price hit me square between the eyes.  The store priced it at $10.00 of a tiny bottle of Vanilla.  Yeah, right.  I picked up the cheap bottle for .99, much better deal even if it really isn't vanilla.  Then and there I decided that I would make my own vanilla.  It couldn't be that hard.

            This is a before and almost after shot.  Vanilla is only 4 weeks along.

That week I ordered a basket from Bountiful Baskets.  If you haven't checked them out, do.   Amazing.  Anyway, I ordered their tropical basket for $14.00 and when I opened the box, low and behold, 2 beautiful Madagascar Vanilla Beans.  I took it as a sign that I needed to make my own vanilla.

It isn't hard.  Just 2 items in homemade vanilla.  It does take a bit of time to develop the flavor, but it is so worth it.  Hard thing to do is not drink it straight, and I don't drink period.  It smells that good!


3 Vanilla Beans, cut and seeded
1 (375ml) Bottle of Vodka

Slice Vanilla bean down the center.

Run the back of your knife down each side and harvest the vanilla beans.

Place scraped vanilla beans and both stalks in the vodka.  Shake.

Place in a dark cupboard for 6 weeks.  Shake every once in a while.

If you want a darker color, use another bean.

This recipe will cost you around $11.00, depending on how much you spend on the vanilla bean and Vodka.  Buy the cheap kind, you aren't going to be drinking it.

*As you use Vanilla, replace what you lost with a little more vodka.  This way you never run out.
*This is hard Liquor.  I wouldn't suggest eating anything raw if you use this.
*PLEASE keep out of reach of little ones, this can make them very sick and or  kill them.

Thursday, October 17, 2013


I find it funny how each pregnancy is different.  With my first child, carbs were the thing.  They seemed to give me the pick up I needed, so bread became my favorite to eat.  With my second baby, I craved Sugar.  Holy, but did I crave sugar.  Pretty much any way I could get it, I would eat it, except straight out of the bag, I couldn't bring myself to do that.

Here is my favorite cheesecake recipe from that time.  It takes a bit of work, and boy, does it take patience (something I was incredibly short on those 8 months) but it is so worth it.  Creamy, luscious cheesecake.  Oh great, now I am wanting some, what's a girl to do?

Eggnog Cheesecake


1/3c Butter at room temp
1c Flour
1/3c Brown sugar, firmly packed.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, butter 8" spring form pan and set aside. Boil several cups of water and keep hot until you are ready to bake entire cheesecake.  In a mixing bowl combine sugar and butter and mix well for 1 minute.  Scrape sides down and mix for 1 more minute.  Add flour and mix for another minute.   Press into the bottom of pan and set aside.  Do not pre-bake.


4 (8oz) Cream cheese
1 1/2c Sugar
3/4c Egg Nogg, you can substitute milk if you are against this:)
4 Eggs
1c Sour cream
1tbs Vanilla
1/4c Flour

Mix cream cheese and sugar on med speed for 5 minutes.  During that time, scrape bottom and sides a few times.
Add in eggs one at a time, mixing well after each egg.
Scrape bottom and sides of bowl and then add in sour cream and vanilla.  Mix well and make sure there are no lumps.
Add egg nogg (or milk) and combine well.
Last step is to add the flour and mix.

If you are worried about lumps, you can run ingredients through a fine mesh sieve.
Pour this luscious batter into prepared crust.  Remember that water you boiled and are keeping hot?  Put that whole pan (as long as it is oven safe) into the oven on a lower rack.  Make sure there is plenty of water in there(this will help the cake to remain crack free and keep it moist)  and bake the cheesecake in a 350 degree oven for 1 hour.  Then, turn the oven off and let completely cool for 5-6 hours.  This will help it not crack.  Chill in the fridge.

It is important that all of the ingredients are at room temperature.  This ensures that the batter is smooth and no lumps will show up in your cake.  Take out all the ingredients at least an hour before you plan on using them.  2 is even better.

This easy cheesecake serves 12 big slices and only cost me $10.22 to make, that's just a little over .85 a slice. Store bought is over $15.00 and mine tastes better.  That's just a little over .85 a slice.  You can also add other flavors like pumpkin (yum) or cherry or strawberry or chocolate.  The list goes on!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

I broke down

Ok, I'll admit it.  Yesterday was a bad day.  I wasn't feeling all that well.  I was tired and grumpy and cold and miserable and pretty much everything else a person can be while having a bad day.  I didn't feel like making dinner.  So, 25 minutes before the hubs got home from work I called the local Chinese place.  I spent $50 bucks on food that I know I could have made for 75% cheaper.  The really stinky thing about this situation other than the fact that I spent that much money on dinner is that it didn't taste good.  At all.  For a Chinese place, they had really bad food. 

Lesson learned.  Now back to my goal of no eating out.  Today is bound to be a better day for me and for the food we eat. 

It's Wednesday and this is my craziest day.  No seriously, it's crazy.  I worked while managing to make sure my youngest two didn't kill each other, themselves or destroy my office.  I have to pick up the oldest boy from school to take him to a standing, weekly doctors appointment.  Then I get to wrangle the younger ones to pick up the oldest daughter at school after the skating bus drops her off. The hubs has school and won't get home until just before I need to take my oldest daughter to achievement days, and then run back and grab the oldest boy and take him to scouts.  Then I get to swing back by where my daughter is at and pick her up.  Then I will get home and host the scout committee meeting of which I am the Chairperson AND assistant Cub Master. 

Sheesh, just typing it all out makes me want to cry. Somewhere in there I need to squeeze in a shower, laundry, kid time-for the kids, not me;) and dinner.  How on earth am I going to manage all this in one small day?  I need an extra pair of hands, 10 more hours in a day, and a housekeeper.  I'm not asking for much, but my fairy godmother seems to be on a vacation. 

Some of these things are going to have to go, but dinner is not one of them.  I have my trusty crock pot.  I love the thing.  When it breaks, I just might shed a few tears.  Tonight we are having shredded chicken tacos.  I am going to make the meat in the crock pot and the other things pretty much come out of a can, jar or bag. 

Here is my recipe for shredded Mexican Chicken  You can also make this with beef or pork.  Any of those meats will taste amazing.

Shredded Mexican Chicken

2 Chicken breasts, bone in
2 Chicken thighs, bone in
2 Pkgs, Taco Seasoning
1tsp Garlic, minced
1tsp Pepper
1tsp Salt
1/2c Water
1 can (8oz) tomatoes
2tsp Chicken bullion 
1 Onion, sliced thinly
1 Green Pepper, sliced thinly

Coat chicken pieces in salt and pepper. 

Place in crock pot and cover with taco seasonings

Pour in water, bullion and can of tomatoes.  Stir and put lid on.

Cook on low for 5 hours

Add onion and green pepper and cook another 3 hours on low.  If you need more water, add a tablespoon at a time.

When finished, the meat should fall off the bone.  Shred into small pieces and discard the bones.

Serve these on Tortillas, or over rice. Very yummy!

This recipe will make fill over 20 tacos or more, depending on how much meat you use and the size of your tortillas, so it really makes a ton.  It costs just $5.43, that's just .27 per serving

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

He's here! He's here!

My newest little nephew was born on this last Friday.  I got to spend several hours snuggling on his sweet little face while mom and dad tried to get some sleep.  He is precious and sent straight from Heavens Door. 

My brother and sister-in-law have settled into parenthood like pros and other than the sleep deprivation that all new parents have, they are doing great.  As for the baby, he is wonderful.  I forgot how small they are when they are first born, and truthfully, he wasn't a small baby to begin with. 

Wyatt was born weighing a whopping 9 pounds 14 OUNCES with a 14inch head.  He is 21 1/2 " long and much to his dads chagrin, has the most perfect shade of red hair.  His momma has red hair, so we were all praying it would be that color.   I am not able to post pics at this moment, so you will just have to take my word that he is the cutest little thing to be born since my little Carter-man. 

I love being an auntie.  Best ever!  I am now aunt to 9 nieces and nephews and great aunt to 7!  When I married my husband I inherited 6 nieces and nephews my age and all the great nieces and nephews.  Life is good!