Thursday, June 27, 2013

Raspberry and Chocolate Layer Parfait Dessert in Jars

This is a really easy summer dessert.  It is light and cool, and making them in individual jars makes them perfect for bringing to someone's house. It is very similar to the Trifle I make, but who doesn't love to serve dessert in jars! I also love that there are so many variations you can make of this.  I made mine with Raspberries and blueberries (red, white and blue for Memorial day - or 4th of July), but you can use any fruit you want.  I also did half of the jars with chocolate pudding and 1/2 with vanilla, bother were delicious!

Raspberry and Chocolate Layer Parfait Dessert in Jars
From: My Mom
Prep time: 20 min
Chill time: 2-3 hours up to overnight

1 jello pudding instant mix (I used chocolate for one, vanilla for the other)
Angel food cake
Milk (2 cups cold milk to make pudding)
Fruit (I used raspberries and blueberries for red white and blue but you could use anything)
8oz Whipped topping (thawed)

1. Make pudding according to package.  Cut angel food cake into 1 - 1 1/2 inch pieces.

2. In Jars (or other cups) layer pudding, top with angel food cake, then whipped cream, followed by fruit.  Repeat once.

3. Chill for a couple hours up to overnight. Serve.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Baked Apple Ring Chips

In an effort to eat a little healthier, especially when snacking, I tried making some Apple Ring Chips from a pinterest recipe.  It was pretty easy to do and I actually didn't remove the cores, I just thinly sliced them on my mandolin and then popped out the seeds.  I think these turned out ok, but I probably should have taken them out about 5-10 min earlier as some were a little to crispy for me. 

Baked Apple Ring Chips
From: Delighted Momma
Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 2 hrs

2 apples

1. Remove apple cores.

2. Thinly slice the entire apple.

3. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and place apple slices on it.  Sprinkle with cinnamon

4.  Bake at 275 degrees for 2 hours.  Flipping after 1 hour. (Check at 1 1/2 hours, may be done early.)

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Crock Pot Chicken Fajitas

These crock pot Fajitas were beyond easy (although regular fajitas aren't exactly taxing either) and had good flavor.  The only thing is that they don't really come out exactly like regular fajitas.  The chicken is shredded and the peppers and onions are softer than I usually like in my fajitas. The flavor is there, but don't expect it to look exactly like a fajita.  I ended up making a fajita bowl with some brown rice and black beans, as you can see in the pictures, and I thought it was really good.

Crock Pot Chicken Fajitas
From: Stacy Makes Cents
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook time: 6-8 hours

1 yellow onion, sliced
3 peppers (green, red, yellow, or orange), sliced
1 1/2 lbs boneless chicken breast
1/4 - 1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp cumin
1 1/2 Tbsp Chili powder
Squirt of lime juice
Fajita fixins

1. Combine sliced onion and peppers in the bottom of a greased crockpot.

2. Lay chicken on top of veggies

3. Pour broth over top, sprinkle with cumin, salt, chili powder and squirt of lime juice.

4.  Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.

5. When meat is done, shred with two forks and stir back into juices.  Serve meat mixture with slotted spoon on tortillas with your choice of fixings.  Or serve over rice and black beans for a fajita bowl like I did. :) 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Homemade Peanut Butter (or other nut butters)

I wanted to try my hand at making my own peanut butter because from what I had read/heard it was pretty easy.  When on a costco run with my friend I picked up a huge thing of peanuts, almonds, and cashews and decided to give it a try (although you don't need huge amounts of nuts).  It was so interesting to me how the nuts go through different stages and it seems like it will never become a nut butter, but then, it finally does!  And it is so delicious! I stored mine in a jar in the fridge.  After making a Peanut Butter, I then made a cashew/almond butter and both were very good.  I read  somewhere that sunflower seeds are a good addition so I may have to try that sometime. If you are thinking of making your own peanut butter, you should definitely give it a try.

Homemade Peanut Butter (or other nut butters)
From: Elizabeth's Dutch Oven
Prep Time: 5 min

Peanuts (or cashews, or almonds, or any nut)

1. Place 1 -2 cups of nuts in your food processor.  Alternate between leaving it on and pulsing. (Anywhere from 3-5 minutes) Occasionally you may need to scrape down the sides with a spatula.

2. The nuts will go from powdered, to wet, then to smooth eventually, so be patient! You can also add a 1/4 tsp of vanilla if you want.

*** I did one batch with just peanuts, and one batch with 1/2 almonds and 1/2 cashews.  Both were delicious!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Summer Couscous Salad with Garbanzo beans, Corn, Tomatoes and Avocado

This is a really light but filling salad. I made a few changes to to the original recipe which included butter in the dressing.  I didn't think it needed butter but it did need more lime, so that's what I did.  On the second serving of this (it made quite a lot), I added garbanzo beans and really liked the addition.  The picture shows it without and you could do it either way, but below includes my changes.

*** Sorry, I forgot to take a picture of the ingredients before making it because I was in a rush!***

Summer Couscous Salad with Garbanzo beans, Corn, Tomatoes and Avocado
From: Elizabeth's Dutch oven inspired by Simply Scratch
Prep time: 30 min

1 cup couscous
2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
1 cup corn (canned and drained or frozen but thawed)
2-3 scallions,thinly sliced
2-3 Tbsp Fresh Basil, roughly chopped
1/4 -1/2 cup fresh ciliantro, roughly chopped
2 avocados, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
Juice from 3 limes
1 Tbsp grated lime zest
2 Tbsp Olive oil
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper

1. Cook couscous according to directions on box.  Meanwhile prep tomatoes, scallions, basil cilantro, garbanzos, and corn.

2. Once couscous is cooked, transfer to bowl and fluff with a fork. Add tomatoes, corn, scallions, cilantro, garbanzo beans, and basil to serving bowl and mix. Then mix in avocados.

3. Prepare lime dressing by combining lime zest, lime juice, olive oil, sugar, salt, and pepper.  Whisk until smooth.  Drizzle over salad and stir until combined.  Serve with side of lime wedges in case someone would like more lime.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Quinoa Pilaf

I wanted a side dish to go with some steak and chicken on the grill and wanted something rice-like without being rice.  I landed on this as a side.  It was very mild, but tasty, filling, and easy to make.

Quinoa Pilaf
From: The Marathon Mom
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time:20 min

2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
1 cup bell peppers, diced
salt and pepper

1.  Prep all veggies.  Place olive oil and onion in medium sauce pan and begin cooking on low heat until onions are translucent.

2.  Add salt and garlic an dstir.

3.  Add quinoa and stir, then add two cups of water and stir.

4.  Cover and cook for 12 minutes or until most of the water is absorbed.  Add the cup of diced bell peppers and stir again.

5. Continue cooking 2-5 more minutes.  Quinoa pilaf is done when water is absorbed and peppers are slightly tender.  Add salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

What's for Lunch Wednesday: Greek Yogurt with Strawberries, Raw Honey, and Almonds

I've been trying to cut out sugar except for natural sugars like fruit and raw honey.  So when someone in my beachbody challenge group suggested the combo of greek yogurt, strawberries, almonds, and honey, I was all over it.  It is really tasty and sweet, plus it is really filling.  You can eat this with your lunch or as a snack in the morning or afternoon.  It keeps the craving for candy in the afternoon at bay!

What's for Lunch Wednesday: Greek Yogurt with Strawberries, Raw Honey, and Almonds
From: Elizabeth's Dutch Oven
Prep time: 5 min

1 cup (or one small container) plain greek yogurt
5-7 large strawberries, sliced
handful of almonds
1-2 Tbsp Raw Honey

1. Clean and slice strawberries

2. Place greek yogurt in a bowl and top with strawberries, almonds, and drizzle with honey.  Enjoy!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Pan-Grilled Chicken with Green Olive, Caper, and Lemon Relish

Bill and I both love green olives, so this is perfect for us.  this was easy to make, and very flavorful.  However, if you don't like green olives, this probably isn't a recipe for you since the olive flavor is very dominant.

Pan-Grilled Chicken with Green Olive, Caper, and Lemon Relish
From: Kalyn's Kitchen
Prep time: 10 min
Cook Time: 10-15 min

1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and pounded to 1/2 inch thickness
1-2 tsp of your favorite seasoning for chicken (I used Lawry's seasoned salt)
3/4 cup finely chopped green olives with pimentos
2 Tbsp blanched almonds, toasted in dry pan (I just used some slivered almonds I had and didn't toast them)
1 Tbsp capers, chopped
1-2 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme (or 1/2 tsp crushed dried thyme which is what I used)
1 clove garlic, minced
3 Tbsp olive oil

1. Combine the chopped green olives, toasted and chopped almonds, chopped capers, lemon zest, chopped thyme, minced garlic, and olive oil to make the relish.  Let it sit while you prep and cook the chicken so the flavors can blend.

2. Prepare chicken breasts by trimming fat and pounding chicken in a plastic bag and pound until the chicken is 1/2 inch thick.   Rub with seasoning on both sides.

3.  Brush grill pan with olive oil and heat over medium-high heat until pan is hot.  Add chicken to pan and cook about 2-3 minutes per side or until chicken feels firm (but not hard). 

4. When chicken feels done, remove it to a cutting board and let it sit for a couple of minutes; then slice each chicken breast into diagonal slices and arrange on a plate.  Serve with green olive relish spooned over, plus more to pass at the table.


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