Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Energy protein bites

I have been wanting to try energy protein bites for such a long time, but I couldn't find a recipe that appealed to me.. lots had agave nectar ( I am not a fan) and stuff that did not sound good whatsoever...so I did what I always do, and made one up, trying stuff until it tasted good. 

I am always looking for ways to bump up the protein nutrition in my diet, and as always it's gotta taste good too :)  My stepson said, can you make these every week, these things are awesome.  Also my husband and littlest son gave these 2 thumbs up.. yeah

There are so many varieties out there, I used things I thought would taste good, but you can eliminate or play around and use stuff you like.  You can use different kinds of dried fruits/nuts/seeds anything.  These basically have just about everything but the kitchen sink in there, but they are so good.  Use real maple syrup, no pancake syrup here. 

I wanted mine moist, cause I have heard that sometimes these are so dry, you can barely choke them down.  Not what I was going for.   I usually put a couple in a baggie and take to work, or the kids have a couple with a glass of milk for a nutritious snack.

I put these on a wax/parchment lined baking sheet after I roll them out.  I also wet my hands after every couple of balls, this mixture is very sticky and the mixture sticks to your hands, the water cuts thru some of that stickiness.
I used unsalted nuts, so I put a big pinch of kosher salt into the mixture to cut thru all that sweetness/nuttiness.  Whatever you do, make these soon... Enjoy

Energy protein bites

3 cups old fashioned oats, uncooked, dry
1 cup real maple syrup
1/2 cup honey
1 cup crunchy peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla
big pinch of kosher salt
1/2 cup wheat germ
2/3 cup sunflower seeds
2/3 slivered almonds
1/2 cup chia seeds
2/3 cup flax seeds
1/2 cup dried cherries or cranberries
1/4 cup chopped dried dates (remove pits)
2/3 cup mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Put everything in a really big bowl, because you need to stir and combine really well and these make a huge batch.  

Line a baking sheet with wax/parchment paper.  With wet hands (see above I keep a bowl of water so I can dip my hands into after I roll a couple out at a time).  Make these balls about golf ball size.  They are moist and are not compact and with all the nuts and seeds they will not be perfectly round.  Squeeze the mixture the best that you can, continuing until all the mixture is used.  Place balls to harden up in the fridge.  After they are cool, I line them in a big gallon size Ziploc baggie on a paper plate and store them in the fridge.  They will last a couple of weeks (mine never last that long tho).  Make sure you keep the Ziploc baggie closed tight so they won't dry out in the fridge.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Enchilada casserole

I love all things enchilada... Rolled kind with chicken, beef, turkey or just plain cheese.  I make them layered with tortillas too instead of rolling them up, super easy.

 I made a recipe similar to this with sloppy joe mixture on top and it was super yummy..so why not use enchilada sauce and voila that's how this came up.  My stepson asked if I could make this every week.. which in my book is a winner :)

To make the sloppy joe version, make the same cornbread base, but you can use prepared BBQ sauce ( I mix mine with a little ketchup and mustard to add some extra flavor)  instead of the enchilada sauce, and continue making this the same way but I don't serve sour cream on the side with the sloppy joe version.  Really good too. It is good in the cooler months.  I serve both versions with a tossed salad on the side.

Whatever version you make, make this soon.. Enjoy

Enchilada casserole

2 boxes of jiffy cornbread
1/4 cup milk
1 egg
1 can cream style corn
1 lb ground beef, turkey or chicken
1 small can enchilada sauce
1 package shredded Colby jack cheese
seasonings of your choice ( I used cumin, garlic and onion powder, pinch of seasoned salt and pepper)
*sour cream for serving

Preheat oven to 400, spray a 13x9 pan with non-stick spray.  Mix cornbread, milk, egg and cream style corn until combined, pour into prepared pan.  Bake for around 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
While the base is baking, brown meat and seasonings breaking up till no longer pink and cooked thru.  Add 1/4 can of enchilada sauce to meat mixture keeping mixture hot.
Remove cornbread base from oven, and with a butter knife poke holes all in the cornbread.  Drizzle the rest of the can of enchilada sauce over the cornbread base spreading with a rubber spatula to make a even layer across the cornbread.  Sprinkle the hot meat mixture over the top of the cornbread and top with an even layer of cheese.  Return to oven for 5 minutes to melt the cheese.  Remove from the oven and cut into squares.  Serve with a dollop of sour cream on the side.  Enjoy.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Oven fajitas

It is the middle of summer and boy is it hot outside...ugh   I do not do well when the temp is over 90 degrees, & just last week in Michigan it was 98 degrees.  I don't want to do anything except sit in the air conditioning and relaxing.. even going to the grocery store or doing anything for that matter just takes it out of you. 

I want quick and easy dinners.  Like this, I know what your saying it's hot why turn your oven on.  I have air conditioning, and I usually make a big batch of something and we eat it for a couple of days.  Leftovers on hot days, are a lifesaver, so make an extra casserole and throw it in the freezer for days like this.  I have tried experimenting and making this dish in the crockpot and did not like the results.  Everything was a big mushy mess.  Peppers and onions, were soggy, and the chicken was mushy.  Not my idea of a good dinner.  So made it this way and winner, winner... I use boneless chicken breast, but you can use boneless chicken thighs, or a small pork tenderloin, or whatever meat you like.  I was thinking of next time skipping the meat, and adding zucchini and summer squash and making veggie fajitas.. I will let you all know how that turns out:)

To make it even easier, the produce section at your supermarket has cut up fajita kits (peppers and onions cut up), or you can cut up your own.  When I do cut my own, I use red, yellow, orange & green) and a big red onion.

Use whatever condiments you want, I use lettuce, tomato, sour cream, and shredded cheese.  My husband adds sliced jalapenos, and hot sauce.

Oven fajitas

1 package of boneless chicken breast ( about 1 1/2-2 lbs)
One package of cut up onion, peppers (Mine had red, & green)
1 package of taco seasoning mix
*seasonings of your choice, (I used, cumin, garlic and onion powder, salt  & pepper)
olive oil
tortillas (heated for a couple of seconds in the microwave to soften)
lime juice
condiments of your choice

Preheat oven to 375.  Place foil down on the pan.  If your chicken breast are very large, cut in half the long way.  Place the chicken breast on one side of the pan, and the veggies on the other.  Drizzle olive oil on the chicken and vegetables (keeping separate) mix each side well coating with oil.  For the veggie side, sprinkle with salt,  pepper and garlic and onion powder.  For the chicken side, sprinkle both sides with taco seasoning, cumin, salt & pepper.

Cook for around 30 minutes, stirring veggies half way thru, and turning the chicken too.  Cook until veggies and the chicken are done.  Remove from oven.  On the pan thinly slice the chicken against the grain, and mix getting any seasoning and additional juices from the pan.  Drizzle meat with lime juice. 

Serve the tortillas with a little chicken, vegetables and condiments of your choice.  Enjoy.  (I sprinkle mine with a little extra lime juice at the table to brighten up the flavors). 

Saturday, July 9, 2016

My mom's famous macaroni & potato salad dressing

Ah this dressing... this is the stuff legends are made of.. no seriously everyone that eats this dressing on either macaroni salad or potato salad falls in love with it.  It is just yummy... and until now, this was an "eyeball" thing.  My mom learned to make this from her mom. We have never measured amounts of anything.. just tasted it and went.. until now. Just like when my grandma made cinnamon rolls, she was like, measure what, I just do it.  Which I totally get, because that is why I am not a baker.... I HATE measuring stuff, and being all precise.. I like to eyeball measurements when I cook.  But sometimes even me (sigh) measure to preserve and get things right. 

You must use MIRACLE WHIP salad dressing, or you will not get the same results.  I have tried using other mayo and it is not the same, at all.  This is a must.  NO light either.  Regular kind.

Also, we use Plochman's mustard. It is in the barrel shaped bottle, our favorite.

This dressing can be used on either macaroni or on potato salad either one.  Use your favorite ingredients and add this dressing at the end and mix well.  For macaroni the pasta sucks in the dressing and you might have to make some extra for the next day, stir well and if it seems dry add some more. 

For our macaroni salad, we use cooked macaroni, frozen peas (unthawed I put mine in the colander frozen and then pour the cooked macaroni with the water before it is drained, and the boiling macaroni and water will unthaw the peas, with no extra work :), chopped peeled hard boiled eggs,chopped red onion, shredded carrots, chopped celery, and bell pepper (we also sometimes use colored peppers, and or radishes use what you like).

For our potato salad, we use peeled and chopped Idaho russet potatoes (they hold up the best and don't get mushy or watery, or waxy like sometimes redskins do), chopped onion, chopped peeled hard boiled eggs,chopped celery, radishes, carrots, and bell pepper. 

Again, use what you have on hand and like.  Make this soon.. Enjoy

My mom's famous macaroni & potato salad dressing

2 cups Miracle whip (no substitutions)
1 Tbls and 1 Tsp mustard (we use Plochman's mustard
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup milk
plenty of salt and pepper

Mix all ingredients together with a whisk, mixing well.  Pour over salad ingredients, & mix well.  Cover and refrigerate several hours.  Enjoy

Monday, June 13, 2016

Carrot cake muffins

I love carrot cake.. in all it's  carrot, coconut, pineapply goodness, and I love muffins..  So why not put the two together and make these delicious things...

I use cupcake liners to make things easier, but you can grease and flour your muffin tins as well. You can also add chopped pecans or nuts to this recipe.  I am also thinking I should make a cream cheese glaze to drizzle over these next time I make them... YUM .  I made 12 large muffins, you can make smaller ones, I fulled the muffin tins heaping to the top. These do not really puff up and spread like most muffins do.  I smooth out the tops with the back of a spoon before baking.

I used a lot of coconut.  If you don't like them really coconutty, use less.  I also used pineapple tidbits, but you can use crushed, chunked you get the idea.

How every you make these....make them today... Enjoy

Carrot cake muffins

1 box carrot cake mix, dry
1/2 cup  pineapple ( I used tidbits)with it's juice
 1/2 cups shredded coconut
2 T water
1 15 oz can pumpkin

Preheat oven to 350.  Put cupcake liners in cupcake/muffin tins.   Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.  Scoop into prepared muffin tins (see above).  I baked for 38 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (they will look underdone slightly but they are cooked).   Enoy

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Frito corn salad

I got this recipe from my friend Miss Marsha.. she writes a wonderful food blog...check out her blog here...www.thebetterbaker.blogspot.com

I did change it slightly and we love, love it.. one of our favorites... I usually when serving at home, put the bag of Fritos on the table and let everyone add their own individually.  When taking this to a potluck, I usually do like Marsha says, and put it on a long platter in a thin layer and sprinkle the Fritos on top, so everyone gets lots of crunch Fritos on their portion. You can use green onions or Vidalia onions would be great too. 

Make this today...Enjoy

Frito corn salad

2 cans corn, drained
1 small jar pimentos, drained
1/2 cup mayo
2 T half & half or heavy cream
1 T sour cream
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1/2 cup shredded cheese (I used Colby jack)
seasonings of your choice, ( I used onion & garlic powder, a pinch of cayenne, pepper and seasoned salt.

Combine everything (except the Fritos).  Cover & sit in the fridge to let the flavors blend.  Right before serving sprinkle with Fritos.  Enjoy..

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Sesame ginger maple salmon

Mmmmm.. sesame ginger maple salmon.. just the name of this deliciousness makes me happy.  This glaze I probably could have on any kind of protein and be happy.  It is absolute delicious!!  I am not a huge fish fan.  Usually it tastes too fishy and strong for me.  So I came up with this glaze to make my fish taste better and thinking I hit the jackpot.. My family loves this every time I make it.  It is a winner in the Johnson household.

Sesame ginger maple salmon

Fresh Salmon filet  (I use skin on and I cook this with the skin side down)

glaze: (mix all together)

1/3 cup teriyaki sauce
3 T brown sugar
1/4 tsp sesame seeds
little bit of fresh ginger (or ginger powdered will work fine too)
 sprinkle of garlic powder
2 T maple syrup
1 T sesame seeds

Preheat the broiler:

Line a large baking sheet with foil & place salmon filet skin side down.  Brush glaze over the top of the salmon (reserving a couple of tablespoonful's to drizzle over the top when done), coating the fish  thickly with glaze.  Place under pan the broiler watching to make sure that it doesn't get too done, I usually remove it half way thru to look at it, but make sure it is cooked enough so fish flakes easily with a fork and glaze is bubbly.  Remove from heat and drizzle remaining glaze over the top and serve.  I remove the skin when I am serving it.  It usually separates when you are lifting the salmon onto your plate, if not it really comes off easily.  Enjoy.