Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Peanut Brittle

A friend of mine over at Recipe Shoebox asked me to participate in her Baking Through The Holidays theme. My contribution was a tasty recipe for Peanut Brittle. So easy, so divine!


She's posting yummy treats everyday in December. You should really check them out!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Chocolate Chip Banana Nut Muffins

It's a snowy morning here in Minnesota. I'm talking suh-noooo-eee! I can barely see the tops of the tires of the car parked out on the street.
And it's still SNOWING out there!!

Nothing better than baking on a snowy morning. :)

I found a recipe for some Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins in my Taste of Home cookbook. I had to make a few modifications because I kept running out of ingredients, so I had to make some substitutions.

These muffins turned out so delicious...and picture perfect. Seriously, I'm having difficulty choosing the best pictures to post of the final product!
Of course my kitchen was a bit too messy for in-process pictures. Sorry!
Chocolate Chip Banana Nut Muffins
Click here for Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup oat bran
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • scant 1/4 cup canned, evaporated milk
  • 2 medium ripe bananas, mashed
  • scant 1/3 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans
Chocolate Chip Banana Nut Muffins
Directions:
Preheat oven to 375°F.

In a large bowl, combine the first seven ingredients.
In another bowl, combine the eggs and evaporated milk (adding enough water to bring the milk up to 1/4c); stir in the bananas, yogurt, and vanilla.
Make a well in the dry ingredients. Pour the liquid mixture into the well and whisk just until moistened. Stir in chocolate chips and pecans.

Coat muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray or use paper liners; fill three-fourths full with batter. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to wire rack.

Enjoy with yummy hot chocolate. I did!
Chocolate Chip Banana Nut Muffins

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Eggless Pancakes

This is a really simple post without a recipe per se, but the other morning, I wanted some pancakes. The pancake mix I had on hand (I know, what a bum, not even making pancakes from scratch) called for eggs. I had no eggs in my fridge! Based on the success of my Eggless Sugar Cookies, I decided to replace the eggs with yogurt. Again, I replaced each egg with 1/4 cup plain yogurt. I also added a bit of vanilla to add some flavor, (and so the pancakes wouldn't take too yogurt-y).

These were probably some of the tastiest pancakes!
 Eggless Pancakes
Some of the rhubarb jam I made over the summer didn't quite set up as much as it should, but the runny jam worked divinely as a topping for my pancakes.
So, so good!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Eggless Sugar Cookie Cutouts

I promised my dad some sugar cookies for Sunday dinner. When I went to start making them, I realized that I didn't have any eggs! I did a little research online and decided to try using plain yogurt as a replacement (which actually was great for me, because happened to have plain yogurt in my fridge that really needed to be used). For each egg, I used 1/4 cup of yogurt. Eggs are also used as leavening, but since there was already baking powder and soda in the recipe, I didn't make any further changes.

I was really pleased with how tasty these cookies turned out! They tasted so good. No one would have even known they were eggless. :) Of course I told everyone. Bragging rights, you know. They weren't quite as fluffy as usual, so next time I might increase the baking powder a bit.
Eggless Sugar Cookie Cutouts
Ingredients:

  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Directions:
Beat shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Add yogurt and vanilla.

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Gradually add to creamed mixture; mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours or until easy to handle.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/4" thickness. Cut with cookie cutters. Place on ungreased cookie sheets, 1" apart.

Bake at 325°F for 9-11 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool.

Frost as desired.
Eggless Sugar Cookie Cutouts

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Individual Shepherd's Pies

For dinner the other night, I thawed out some ground beef but wasn't sure how to prepare it. I thought a shepherd's pie sounded good, but it seemed like too much for just the two of us. After scouring the Internet a bit, I came up with the idea of making mini-shepherd's pies. Here is the recipe I concocted. I was so pleased with how delicious these turned out! Jeff even liked them so much that he warmed up leftovers the next day! :)

Click here for Printable Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 cup dried, minced onions
  • 1 tsp dried, minced garlic
  • 1 can cream of celery soup
  • 1 cup frozen mixed vegetables
  • 2 cups instant mashed potatoes, prepared
  • Parmesan cheese, to taste
  • Paprika, to taste

Directions:

Brown ground beef, onions, and garlic. Drain fat.
Defrost frozen veggies slightly by running under cold water.
Add soup and veggies to beef mixture.
Spoon mixture into a muffin tin.
Top with prepared mashed potatoes.
Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and paprika.
Place muffin tin on a cookie sheet (in case of overspill). Bake at 350°F for 20 min or until hot.
Enjoy!
Individual Shepherd's Pies
This was incredibly tasty; however if I make it again, I would stretch the beef mixture to make 24 mini-pies and increase the amount of potatoes. This would hopefully prevent the spilling over in the oven.
That would be a LOT for the two of us, so I might just make 1/2 the amount of beef mixture to accomplish the same task.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Cider-Glazed Chicken with Browned Butter-Pecan Rice

I was a little hesistant to try this recipe from MyRecipes because I thought it might be too sweet for Jeff. He doesn't usually like meats with any type of sweet glaze.

This tasted fantastic!

It definitely won his approval, and I definitely plan on making it again!

The glaze had a perfectly delectable taste, and the rice was magnificent. I don't think I'd ever had a flavored rice before, let alone one with toasted pecans in it! I loved the added crunch from the pecans. :-)

Cider-Glazed Chicken with Browned Butter-Pecan Rice
Serve with green beans for one delicious meal!
Total: 20 minutes
Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 cutlet and about 1/2 cup rice)

Ingredients
  • 1 (3.5-ounce) bag boil-in-bag brown rice (such as Uncle Ben's) I just used regular white rice - prepared in my rice cooker. Nothing fancy, like boil-in-a-bag. Just what I had on-hand at home.
  • 2 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 pound chicken breast cutlets (about 4 cutlets)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup refrigerated apple cider
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley This is just a garnish, so I left it out.

Directions

Cook rice according to package directions in a small saucepan, omitting salt and fat; drain.

While rice cooks, melt 1 teaspoon butter in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Add chicken to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until done.
Remove from pan.

Add cider and mustard to pan, scraping pan to loosen browned bits; cook 2 to 3 minutes or until syrupy.
Add chicken to pan, turning to coat. Remove from heat; set aside.

Melt remaining 5 teaspoons butter in saucepan over medium-high heat; cook for 2 minutes or until browned and fragrant. Lower heat to medium; add pecans, and cook for 1 minute or until toasted, stirring frequently.
Add rice and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt; toss well to coat.
Serve rice with chicken. Sprinkle with parsley.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Spiderweb Dip

Jeff and I went to a Halloween party last night. We were asked to bring an appetizer to share. I found this cute recipe on the Taste of Home website for Spiderweb Dip with Bat Tortilla Chips. It looked yummy and super easy!

Of course when it came time to make it, I realized I didn't have any bat cookie cutters, so I just made the spiderweb dip
and served it with regular, store bought tortilla chips.
Spiderweb Dip
Ingredients:

  • 8-oz pkg cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 c salsa
  • 1/2 c prepared guacamole
  • 1-2 T sour cream

Directions:

Mix the cream cheese and the salsa together. Spread into a pie plate. Carefully spoon the guacamole into the center of the cream cheese mixture leaving about a one-inch border.
Put sour cream into a zippered bag. Snip corner of bag. Pipe sour cream in concentric circles.
Beginning with the center circle, gently pull a knife through circles toward center edge. Wipe knife clean. Repeat to complete spiderweb pattern.
I knew Jeff would love the cream cheese and salsa (two of his favorite things) part, but he usually says how much he dislikes guacamole,
so I wasn't sure how well this dip would go over with him.

He LOVED it!
He couldn't stop eating it or raving about it (even the guacamole part).
It was awesome. :-)

Happy Halloween, everyone!!

This post was written as an entry for a contest to win a Canon Rebel T2i camera. Hop on over to SITS for great blogging tips and more awesome Halloween crafts.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Spaghetti Pie

The other day, I wanted spaghetti pie for dinner. Naturally, I checked my blog for the recipe. It wasn't there! I couldn't believe I hadn't done a post on it yet. It's one of my all time faves! It's relatively easy and oh, so yummy!!

Click here for Printable Recipe.

Ingredients
  • 6 oz spaghetti, cooked, drained, rinsed with cold water
  • 1 large egg, separated
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 1 1/4 cups spaghetti sauce
  • 3/4 cup cottage cheese
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a 9-inch pie plate with cooking spray. Combine spaghetti, egg white, and Parmesan in a medium bowl. Press mixture into pie plate to form a pie shell.
Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat; add beef. Cook, stirring frequently, until beef is brown and crumbly; about 5 minutes. Stir in spaghetti sauce; simmer for 5 minutes. Set aside.

Combine cottage cheese, egg yolk, parsley and 1/2 cup mozzarella in a medium bowl. Spread mixture into spaghetti pie shell.
Spread meat sauce over cheese mixture.
Top with remaining mozzarella.
Spaghetti Pie
Cover pie with foil. Bake for 35 minutes, removing foil during the last 10 minutes of cooking. Let stand before serving.

Of course, I couldn't wait to eat this when it came out, so I forgot to take a picture of the final product before cutting and serving this delicious meal. You'll just have to imagine the above picture with the cheese all nice and melted. :-)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Puffed-Up Chocolate-Chip Cookies

Who doesn't love a good chocolate chip cookie? Some people may prefer to stick to a tried-and-true chocolate chip cookie recipe, but I like to experiment. When I received this recipe for Puffed-Up Chocolate-Chip Cookies from MyRecipes, I couldn't wait to try it out! Plus they are made with applesauce, so they're a little lighter when talking about fat content.

These turned out super good. They were a little more cake-like than most chocolate chip cookies, which made them almost melt in your mouth.
Puffed-Up Chocolate-Chip Cookies
Ingredients
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • Cooking spray

Directions
Preheat oven to 375°.

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl; stir well with a whisk.

Spoon applesauce into a fine sieve over a bowl; let stand 15 minutes. Discard liquid. Scrape drained applesauce into a large bowl. Add sugar and butter; beat with a mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes). Beat in vanilla and egg. Add flour mixture; beat at low speed until well-blended. Fold in chips.

Drop by level tablespoons 2 inches apart onto baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375° for 10 minutes or until almost set. Cool on pan 2 to 3 minutes or until firm. Remove cookies from pan; cool on wire racks.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Two-Bean Soup with Kale

I know, I know. It's been forever. Hopefully this is the beginning of a long stint in updating regularly.

Anyway, a week or so ago I received in my Inbox a recipe from MyRecipes.com. As you may remember, my husband loves himself a good soup. I asked him if he'd be willing to try a soup that had kale in it. We've been so.very.adventurous (*rolling eyes*) with our dining in the past that, yes, I did have to google kale. It sounded like something that might be good, and we are trying to make some changes and experiment more with good food, so I decided to take it for a whirl.

It was delicious! We couldn't stop eating it. If I'd known how yummy it would turn out, I probably would have doubled or tripled the batch to gobble up (and maybe save for later).

 Two-Bean Soup with Kale
It was the perfect consistency - not too creamy, not too brothy.
It was colorful and had a delectable flavor.

The only complaint I got was the kale. Not the taste but the size. It was slightly bigger than the spoon. I know I could have cut it a little finer. Next time for sure!

Since I didn't really make any changes to this recipe, I'm not going to post it all here. You can click here to get the printable version from the MyRecipes website.

Hope you make this soup. You'll LOVE it!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Back to Blogging: A Title We Are Particularly Proud Of - "The ghost sister returns with a new recipe!!!"

NOTE: This was originally posted on December 15, 2009. It was posted by my sister, who has done ALL the creative post titles on our blogs. She's awesome! Hope you enjoy her recipe.

Yes, ghost sister has returned and with her a new recipe! I was at a loss for supper last night. I had a pair of very tasty looking boneless pork chops just WAITING for me to make something splendid out of them. I peeked in my pantry, and voila my muse, my inspiration, peeked over a can of kidney beans. How could a girl resist that sweet golden goodness that is just MADE to be paired up with pork. It is like peanut butter to chocolate....cornbread to honey....orange yogurt to saltine crackers (this MAY or may not be to everyone's liking). Inspiration hit and I started to busily clang around pots and pans. I was feeling like my old self again, my "dinner block" had been tossed to the curb. I am BACK and raring to dust off my hot pads and don my apron again. This is what became of the beautiful pork chops and the lowly can of crushed pineapple. My son really liked the rice especially.


One Skillet Jamaican Baked Pork Chops with Sticky Pineapple Rice

Click here for Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
1-2 tbsp olive oil
2 Lean Boneless Pork Chops marinated in Lawrys Jamaican Jerk Marinade Sauce
1 cup white rice
1 medium onion chopped
2 cloves garlic minced
1 cup chicken broth or water
1 small can crushed pineapple
1/4 cup brown sugar + 2 tbsp
1 tbsp Jamaican Jerk seasoning (I used Spice Islands brand)
1 tsp salt
pepper to your tastes

Directions:

Heat olive oil in oven proof skillet. Sear Pork Chops on both sides for a minute or so. Remove pork chops and set aside. To skillet add onion, rice and garlic. Stir frequently until rice is toasted. Add broth or water, crushed pineapple, brown sugar, Jamaican seasoning, salt and pepper. Stir and bring to a boil. Place pork chops on top of rice mixture and cover tightly. Place in a preheated 350°F oven for 45 minutes. Remove and sprinkle the remaining brown sugar over the skillet. Serve with your choice of vegetable but broccoli is AWESOME! You can easily add 2 more pork chops to this and not alter anything else!

Hope that you enjoy this like my family did!!!

Jennifer The OTHER sister :)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Back to Blogging: A Post I Wish More People Had Read - "Homemade Tomato Soup"

NOTE: This was originally posted January 26, 2010. I've reposted it as part of SITS Back to Blogging event. This was probably one of my favorite recipes. It tasted so delicious! Soup season is nearly upon us again, and I'm excited to try this again soon. I hope you enjoy it, too.

A couple weeks ago, we had a "Soup and Swap" for a church activity. It's always so fun to gather together and share some delicious soup and browse through *new* treasures. This is one of my favorite activities each year. I signed up to bring a soup. I was really hankering for some tomato soup, so I found this recipe at FoodNetwork.com and decided to try it out. My husband loved it, and I got so many compliments and requests for the recipe. :-) A couple people did their very best to clean the serving spoon and crockpot - not one drop to be missed!

Ok...so this picture of the finished product doesn't really do it justice, but trust me, this is the BEST tomato soup recipe!!

Click here for Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
1 (14-ounce) can chopped tomatoes
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 stalk celery, diced
1 small carrot, diced
1 yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chicken broth
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup heavy cream, optional

Directions:
Preheat oven to 450°F.
Strain the chopped canned tomatoes, reserving the juices. I used Hunt's® Diced tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano.
Spread onto a baking sheet, season with salt and pepper, to taste, drizzle with 1/4 cup of the olive oil and roast until caramelized, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a saucepan, heat remaining olive oil (I actually ran out of olive oil with the tomatoes, so I used canola oil) over medium-low heat. Add the celery, carrot, onion and garlic, cook until softened, about 10 minutes.
Add the roasted chopped canned tomatoes, reserved tomato juices, chicken broth, bay leaf and butter. Simmer until vegetables are very tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Add basil and cream, if using. (I left out the cream. The basil I used was some I had frozen last summer.)
Puree with a hand held immersion blender until smooth.
I, of course, don't have an immersion blender or a full-size blender, so I had to blend it in batches in my Magic Bullet®.

Voila! Super, yummy tomato soup!


ENJOY!!
Sorry about the poor final product pictures. :-(

Monday, September 13, 2010

Back to Blogging: The First Post We Ever Wrote - "Welcome to our blog!"

As part of SITS Back to Blogging event, I am re-posting my very first blog entry for the the Tale of Two Sisters and their Kitchens! This was originally posted on October 21, 2009.

Wow! We're coming up on our first year. We better get something fabulous planned. :-) We were really ambitious with our blog in the beginning. Here's to jumping right back on that bandwagon. Wish us luck!

This morning, I thought, "Hey! I should totally create a recipe/cooking/baking/kitchen blog. I'll call it Clarinda's Kitchen."

Then I was chatting with my sister on Facebook, and she got really excited about it. She thought it sounded like fun, so I told her I could make her an author, too, so she could share her favorite recipes.

Well, Clarinda's Kitchen, just wouldn't cut it if we both contribute our favorite recipes, so...

Tale of Two Sisters and Their Kitchens was born.

We're both very excited to begin sharing with the world our favorite recipes and our adventures in our kitchens.

Please stay tuned for exciting recipes that we hope you'll just love.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Easy Rhubarb Jam

My dad has a few rhubarb weeds plants in his garden. I look forward to helping him use up his bounty each summer. A few years ago, I found this super easy recipe on Allrecipes.com. It is SO yummy and SO easy!! This year, I made a couple batches with a some girlfriends; it was very fun to teach them how to make this delicious jam.
Easy Rhubarb Jam
Click here for Printable Recipe
Yields 6 (1/2 pint) jars

Ingredients:

  • 5 cups chopped fresh rhubarb
  • 4 cups white sugar
  • 1 (20 ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1 (6 ounce) package strawberry flavored gelatin

Directions:

In a large saucepan or stock pot, combine the rhubarb, sugar, and pineapple.
Boil for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. (Jars can be sterilized at the same time.)
Remove from heat. Stir in gelatin powder.
Transfer to sterile jars and seal.

I always process them in a boiling water bath as well. Place the sealed jars in a big pot of boiling water and boil gently for 5 minutes.
Allow jars to cool in a draft-free area. Refrigerate jars after seal has been broken.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Big Pot of Chicken Noodle Soup




It has been awhile!!! I am done moving and and am trying to get back to a routine! So Saul is home sick with a cough and sniffles along with me and Todd, so this calls for homemade medicine!! A big pot of chicken noodle soup. HOpe you enjoy.

  • 1 lb chicken cut up in bite size chunks
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 3 carrots chopped
  • 3 ribs of celery chopped
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp natures seasoning
  • 2 tbsp chicken stock paste
  • 8 cups water/broth--I can my own chicken broth
  • 1/2 bag of egg noodles
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Saute first seven ingredients until chicken is cooked through.
Add the stock paste, water/broth and just bring to a boil.
Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer covered on low until noodles are cooked through--the longer it is on the stove though the better!!!

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