Friday, March 27, 2009

Peanut Butter & Chocolate

I received my latest copy of Kraft's What Cooking and immediately had to check out the tasty recipes. This one caught my eye. Peanut Butter & Chocolate. A delightful combination. Usually.

Peanut Butter Cheesecake Brownie Babies

1 package (450 g) brownie mix
3/4 of 250-g (8 ounces) Brick Cream Cheese- softened
1/4 cup smooth Peanut Butter
2 Tablespoon sugar
1 cup thawed Cool Whip
12 maraschino cherries

Heat oven to 350ºF. Prepare brownie batter as directed on package. Spoon into 12 paper-lined muffin cups.
Beat cream cheese, peanut butter and sugar with mixer until blended. Spoon 1 rounded Tablespoon into centre of batter in each cup, pressing down slightly into batter.
Bake 25 minutes or until centres are set. Cool.

Serve topped with Cool Whip and cherries.

The ones I made look nothing like their picture- of course. Even without the toppings. Why is that?

So this wasn't my favorite recipe. But there could be several reasons for that.
1) I used light cream cheese. Which doesn't usually make a difference but I tasted a little of the mixture and it wasn't very tasty.
2) I forgot to put sugar in the peanut butter mixture. So I just sprinkled some on top before baking. Could be why the mixture wasn't tasty.
3) The brownie mix I used was smaller than what the recipe called for... so it only made 9.
It was also a generic mix. Which I normally don't like. But my Mom had previously bought some. I guess you have to lower your standards a little when you live with your parents. Ha!

4) I also didn't do the whipped cream and cherry on top. But we did eat them with ice cream which makes anything taste better!

So if you give this recipe a try, let me know. I am sure yours will be tastier!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Under the Weather

I think I have been sick more since I have moved home than I was the whole time I lived in Virginia. Weird.

It hit me again. This time I have a fever, aches, runny nose and coughs. It really needs to go away. And soon. Because in 3 sleeps I am going on a cruise to Mexico.

3 of the 4 girls going are sick. I guess it is good that it is happening now and not during the cruise.

And 3 days after I get back from the cruise, I am going to Virginia. That is a lot of travelling but I am super duper excited. Gotta take advantage of having a flexible work schedule. :)

Need to go make some orange juice. My throat is killing me.

Hope the cold/flu hasn't found you lately. If it has/does I will think of you while I'm doing this

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Fast, Cheap and Easy

and delicious.

I found this recipe while flipping through a magazine while the Kindergarten class I was subbing for was enjoying their nap time. It looked easy and yummy. And I have a bunch of broccoli left over from our Relief Society dinner.

It was so fast and easy.

Chicken & Broccoli Alfredo

1/2 of a 1-pound package linguine or spaghetti

1 cup fresh or frozen broccoli flowerets

2 Tablespoons butter

1 pound chicken breast- cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces

1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Cream of Mushroom Soup

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Prepare the linguine according to package directions in a 3-quart saucepan. Add the broccoli during the last 4 minutes of cooking.

Drain the linguine mixture well in a colander.

Heat the butter in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until it's well browned, stirring often. Stir the soup, milk, cheese, pepper and linguine mixture in the skillet. Cook until the mixture is hot and bubbling, stirring occasionally.

Serve with additional Parmesan cheese.

I read some of the reviews from other people who have made it. They recommended adding a little garlic. I had a little bit of Herb & Garlic Cream Cheese so I put that in there. I am not sure what difference it made but it was tasty. But a little garlic would make it even more delightful.

I LOVE that you put the broccoli in with the pasta to cook it.

We ate it with a side of carrot sticks. And not just any carrot sticks. The BEST carrots in the world. Truly. They are Al's Carrots grown in St. Paul, Alberta. They are only available at Sobey's (to my knowledge). When I bought some last week the cashier said they will be gone in 3 weeks. If you have the means, I highly recommend picking some up!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Top O' the Morning to Ya.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

What did YOU do to celebrate?

To celebrate this special day, I decided to get a haircut. Afterwards my hairdresser made me pancakes for lunch. Green pancakes even. Does YOUR hairdresser do that??
Then I went to IKEA to return some things.
And continued to celebrate with green frozen yogurt.

(Please forgive the squinting and the man hand.)

Even the city of Edmonton celebrated with green signs.

And I enjoyed the day driving a green car.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Arrivederci Fettuccine

Here is another delightful recipe from Pillsbury.
Fettuccine with Chicken & Herbed Vegetables

12 ounces uncooked fettuccine
1 Tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
1 medium onion- chopped (1/2 cup)
1 1/2 pounds chicken- cut into 1-inch pieces
1 small green pepper- cut into bite sized strips
2 cloves garlic- finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 small zucchini- cut in half lengthwise- sliced
3 large tomatoes- seeded- chopped (3 cups)
3 Tablespoons chopped basil leaves
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh oregano leaves
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Cook fettuccine. Drain; cover to keep warm.

Meanwhile in a skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion; cook 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender.

Stir in chicken, bell pepper, garlic, salt and pepper. Cook 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until chicken is browned. Stir in zucchini, tomatoes, basil and oregano. Cook 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until zucchini is tender.

Place fettuccine on serving platter; spoon chicken mixture over top. Sprinkle with cheese. Serve with additional Parmesan cheese if desired.

Why is it that the pictures in the recipe book (or online) look sooo much better than what it looks like when I make it?
My taste testers stated that it would be bland without the parmesan cheese (we just used grated instead of shredded). This could have been because I used dried basil and oregano instead of fresh. I don't know if that really makes a difference... I am spice challenged. But I do know it is delicious. And healthy!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

On top of spaghetti. All covered in cheese.

I don't remember ever having spaghetti & meatballs growing up. But I always wanted to have them because they just look fun. When I saw this recipe, I knew I had to make it.
To fulfill my childhood dream.
Cheese-Stuffed Meatballs & Spaghetti
from Pillsbury

4 mozzarella string cheese- cut into 18 (3/4 inch) cubes
1/2 cup Italian style bread crumbs
1 jar (48 ounces) pasta sauce
1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
2 Tablespoons onions- finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 egg
12 ounces cooked spaghetti
2/3 cup shredded fresh parmesan cheese

Place cheese cubes in small plastic zipper bag. Seal and freeze for at least 1 hour.
Heat oven to 375◦. Line 15x10x1 inch pan with foil; spray foil with cooking spray. In large bowl, mix bread crumbs and 3 Tablespoons of pasta sauce. Stir in beef, onion, salt, oregano and egg. Shape mixture into 18 inch balls. Press 1 cheese cube into center of each ball, sealing it inside. Gently place in pan. Bake 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, pour remaining pasta sauce into 5 quart pot. Cover; heat to simmering over medium-high heat, stirring frequently.

Be cafeful when doing this step. See that little geyser at the top of the picture. It caused a lot of splattering. Unfortuntely my cookbook got the brunt of it.

Gently stir in meatballs; reduce heat to medium-low. Cover; simmer about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until meatballs are thoroughly cooked and no longer pink in center.

Meanwhile, cook and drain spaghetti. Keep warm.
Serve meatballs and sauce over spaghetti. Serve with Parmesan cheese.

My meatballs didn't survive going from the pan to the pot. Or being stirred in the pot. Now I can see why my Mom never bothered making spaghetti and meatballs. I am not sure what would make them keep their shape...
*baking longer?
*making them bigger?

Even though it wasn't as meatbally as I had hoped, it was still fun and delicious. And I will for sure be making this recipe again!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


I have been trying new recipes. It's the blogging about them that is the hard part for me. I made this yummy recipe a couple weeks ago. There was a little bit left over and it was equally delightful for lunch the next day. It is so delightful, I suggested we have it for our Relief Society's March 17th party dinner. MMmmm. I hope there is lots leftover. Ha!
Cashew Chicken & Broccoli
from Pillsbury

1 cup uncooked rice
3 Tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons grated gingerroot
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil (if desired)
1 pound chicken breast- cut into bite-size pieces
3/4 cup chicken broth
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
2 cups fresh broccoli florets
2 green onions- sliced
1 cup salted roasted cashews

Cook rice.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix soy sauce, gingerroot, sugar and sesame oil. Stir in chicken until coated; let stand 15 minutes to marinate.

In a small bowl, stir 1/4 cup of the broth and the cornstarch until cornstarch is dissolved; set aside.

In skillet, heat vegetable oil over high heat. Remove chicken from marinade and add to heated oil in skillet; reserve any remaining marinade. Cook chicken about 3 minutes, stirring frequently, until no longer pink in center.

Stir broccoli and remaining 1/2 cup broth into chicken in skillet; cover and cook 1 minute. Stir in onions and cashews.

Stir reserved marinade into cornstarch mixture. Stir into chicken mixture; cook and stir 1 to 2 minutes or until sauce thickens slightly.

Serve over rice.
We like to put sesame seeds on our stir fries. Although in this picture it looks like I like a little stir fry with my sesame seeds!
The sauce didn't really thicken- it actually disappeared. So when I make this again I think I will double or at least 1 and a 1/2 the marinade.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Mind Your Manners Monday

Don't make the mistake of presuming that all dates have to end in a big clinch- or
even a little hearty handholding. Girls distrust a boy who's a "grabber"; boys don't
stay interested long in an "easy number."
- Etiquette for Young Moderns