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Homemade Marshmallows

5 May

busy-mommy.com

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Sure you could go out and just buy a bag of marshmallows at the store, and yes it would be much easier.  If you have ever had homemade marshmallows though, you know why doing that just isn’t an option anymore.  Homemade marshmallows are so much better than the storebought kind because they are warm, fluffy, and you can add any flavorings you want to the mix like vanilla or  even cocoa powder.  You can use these the same way you would in any recipe, but only makes sense to make them the star of your dish like using them in Smore’s or topping off your hot cocoa.  The recipe is really short and sweet so don’t be tempted to reach for the old standby anymore and try this out, I promise you won’t be let down.  This recipe will make enough to fill a large baking pan, so about 20 large marshmallows.

Ingredients:

  • 3 packages unflavored gelatin
  • 1 cup cold water, divided
  •  1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup  
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • Nonstick spray

Directions:

  1. Place the gelatin into the bowl of a stand mixer along with 1/2 cup of the water.
  2. In a small saucepan combine the remaining 1/2 cup water, granulated sugar, and corn syrup. Place over medium high heat, cover and allow to cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Uncover the pan and continue to cook until the mixture reaches 240 F; about 7 to 8 minutes. 
  3. Turn the mixer on low speed and, slowly pour the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl into the gelatin mixture. Once you’ve added all of the syrup, increase the speed to high. Continue to whip until the mixture becomes thick, about 12 to 15 minutes. Add the vanilla during the last minute of whipping. 
  4. Combine the confectioners’ sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. Spray a 13 by 9-inch metal baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Add the sugar and cornstarch mixture to coat the bottom and sides of the pan. Return the remaining mixture to the bowl for later use.
  5. When ready, pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Dust the top with enough of the remaining sugar and cornstarch mixture to lightly cover. Reserve the rest for later. Take a break and let your marshmallows rest for 5 hours.
  6. Turn the marshmallows out onto a cutting board and cut into 1-inch squares. Once cut, lightly dust all sides of each marshmallow with the remaining sugar and cornstartch mixture.

Healthy Bacon Mac ‘N’ Cheese

3 May
liketocook.com

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Mac and cheese is most likely on every American’s top 10 list of favorite comfort foods, so I thought that honoring it with a healthy twist would need to be done.  Many people either swore of this dish when they started a diet because they thought it had too much fat or too many carbs, but this recipe manages to cut down on a lot of the fat and replace those bad carbs with healthy whole wheat pasta.  If you’ve tried healthier versions of this dish before and haven’t had any luck, I feel that this one will change your mind because it still has the cheesiness and creaminess that everyone has come to know and love about this dish.

Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 12 ounces penne pasta or elbow macaroni
  • 4 teaspoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups skim milk
  • 2 cups finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • Cooking spray

Directions:

1. Preheat broiler

2. Bring a pot of water and salt to a boil. Add pasta and cook 7-8 minutes or until al dente; drain.

3. Combine flour and milk in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; let stand about 5 minutes to cool.  Stir in 1 1/2 cups cheese. Add pepper, and bacon; stir. Add pasta and toss to coat. Spoon into an oven safe dish coated with cooking spray and top with your remaining cheese. Broil 7 minutes until brown on top and bubbly below.

Banana Chocolate Quesadillas On The Grill.

3 May

karenscountrycakes.com

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This is just a fun recipe for whenever you already have the grill turned on for your BBQ and are just finishing up that last burger.  These quesadillas are super easy to make and don’t require any special equipment to make them like some other recipes do.  This recipe is actually one of my favorites to make because it is so simple yet delicious at the same time.

Ingredients:

  • Nonstick cooking spray (Pam for the grill)
  • 2 (10-inch) flour tortillas
  • 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 medium banana, thinly slice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Spray the grill rack with cooking spray. 
  2. Place the tortilla on the grill. Arrange the banana slices on the tortilla and top with the chocolate chips and sprinkle of cinnamon. Place the remaining tortilla on top to cover the bananas. Grill until the chocolate is melted and the bananas are soft, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Serve immediately.

If you would like to add some additional toppings like ice-cream or fresh berries that would be a great option.  Or perhaps you could be like Elvis and use some peanut butter in the tortillas combined with the bananas and chocolate chips.

Baked Oatmeal For Mother’s Day

2 May

kblog.lunchboxbunch.com

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Mother’s day is this weekend so I know that everyone is going to be searching for some new and awesome recipes.  I decided that this was a really great idea for anyone who wanted to try something new while even putting their own spin on it because you can use different spices and whatever toppings you please.  Baked oatmeal is a really interesting idea because you just set it and forget it while you prepare whatever else you need for breakfast or brunch that morning.  Some other variations on this recipe could be adding raising, cranberries or even diced apples, really whatever you would normally put on-top of your oatmeal would go great in this dish.  Serve this dish with some of the yogurt waffles from the previous article or the crepes from the archive recipes and your mother would be very proud, enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (not instant)
  • 1/4 cup cane sugar or maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 ripe bananas, cut into 1/2-inch
  • 1 blueberries
  • Non-stick cooking spray

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F with a rack in the middle of the oven.  Spray the inside of an 8-inch square baking dish.
  2. In a bowl, mix together the oats, sugar, and cinnamon.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together the milk, egg, and the vanilla.
  4. Arrange the bananas in a single layer in the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle two-thirds of the berries over the top. Cover the fruit with the oat mixture.  Drizzle the milk mixture over the oats.  Scatter the remaining berries and remaining across the top.
  5. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until the top is golden and the oat mixture has set. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. 

Cheese Quesedillas For Cinco de Mayo

29 Apr

finecooking.com

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I thought this recipe would be a great vegetarian option for those of you looking to celebrate Cinco de Mayo with your family of meat eaters.  This recipe calls for flour tortillas, and what better way to use the homemade tortillas from the previous article than in this recipe?  This is a really simple and fast recipe to make at home and you don’t need any special equipment unless of course you already own a quesadilla cooker; in that case feel free to use it for this recipe.  You could really use almost whatever your favorite cheese is for this recipe, so don’t feel like you have to use what is suggested.

Ingredients:

  • 4  flour tortillas (previous recipe or store-bought)
  • 1 cup grated cheese, (sharp Cheddar or your favorite)
  • 2 tablespoons butter

Directions:

  1. Sprinkle some of the cheese in the middle of each tortilla.
  2. Warm a skillet over low heat and add 1 tablespoon of the butter. Add the tortilla to the skillet and cook until it is lightly brown, about 2 minutes.
  3. After 1 side is brown, turn the tortilla over and cook the other side until brown.
  4. Use a spatula to transfer to each plate.
  5.  Repeat with remaining butter and tortillas.

Some variations on this dish could be adding in some bell peppers or onions.  For the meat version of this recipe you could simply add some cooked chicken or beef to the cheese.  Just don’t feel like you have to be bogged down but what the recipe says, use your favorite ingredients and enjoy Cinco de Mayo.

Homemade Flour Tortillas

29 Apr

cafenilson.com

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 Cinco de Mayo is coming up and one of the main ingredients that many people enjoy using for such an occasion are flour tortillas.  A fun and easy way to impress your guests and family members alike is to make your own tortillas, the result is a fresh and flavorful take on an old classic.  Some variations on the tortillas could be a sprinkle of onion or garlic powder into the dough before you cook them.  You can use these tortillas the same way you would use the store bought kind in any recipe that you are planning on making.  This recipe makes about 4 tortillas, so double the recipe if you need or want more. 

 
Ingredients:
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, combine flour and salt.  Stir in water and oil. 
  2. Turn onto a floured surface; knead about 5-6 times.  Divide your down into 4 portions and roll each into a large circle.
  3. In a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, cook the tortillas over medium heat for about 1 minute on each side.

Crustless Quiche For Mothers Day Breakfast

28 Apr

flikr.com

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Mothers day is just around the corner and will be here in about two weeks now so why not start planning your breakfast in bed menu?  A really simple recipe is this crustless quiche that doesn’t require much time but looks quite impressive on the plate.  This recipe is for the base of the recipe, while the additional ingredients could be whatever she likes best.  Perhaps she’s a big fan of bell peppers and onions, or maybe she loves cheese with her eggs; the additional ingredients are totally up to you and will be added just before you pour your mixture into the pan and baked in the oven. 

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups milk (whole or low-fat) 
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • Pinch of salt 
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup shredded cheese of your choice (cheddar, Parmesan, goat)
  • 1 1/2 cups of filling of your choice (vegetables, meat)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Whisk the milk, eggs, and yolks in large glass measuring cup. Season with salt, pepper to taste. Spread half the desired filling evenly in the pan, top with about half the cheese; repeat with remaining filling and cheese. Pour the remaining mixture over the fillings. Top with more herbs or cheese if you please.
  3. Bake until the quiche is set in the center, about 40 to 50 minutes. Cool  on a rack before serving.