Tuesday, July 31, 2012

My morning cup of Joe!

Well, my morning Joe is actually my coffee....did you guess? 

I went shopping this weekend wishing I could find a stand a lone milk steamer that would not only look good on my kitchen counter but also compliment my Keurig machine. 

I found it!  Shopping at Bed Bath and Beyond I found the simple yet awesome CBTL (The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf) one touch Milk Frothing and Heating System.  It looks like a small pitcher that sits on an electric base.  It is perfect for making that wonderful creamy steamed milk that only the perfect expert Barista can do!  It makes the milk so creamy you can slide your finger into the cream and it comes out looking and sticking like whipped cream.  I am not one to endorse appliances but I just have to give a shout out for this little device.  It has changed my morning black coffee into a more enjoyable treat! 

I love coconut, rice and almond milk but it really doesn't cream like cow's milk or half and half .  I have to limit certain high fat content so I have blended the coconut (rice or almond) milk with non fat milk and that has produced a creamy blend. 

I have a Keurig with a small, medium and large cup setting so I usually will use the small setting with my  K cups ( I prefer French Roast).  The CBTL takes about the same amount of time to cream as it does to quickly heat up the Keurip and make your cup of coffee.

You can add your syrups if you prefer or just skip that and mix the coffee with the steamed milk.  It is a treat either way. I think I may buy some caramel for a sweet topping to the cream.....just maybe.

And if you are interested in how sayings came to be like I am then you might enjoy reading this link that explains about how a "cup of Joe" came to be....

 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

The Filling:


1 cup Rhubarb cut in pieces
3 cups Strawberries sliced
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup buttermilk pancake mix 
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Mix the above together and then put in a greased baking pan or baking dish.




 The Topping:


1/2 cup buttermilk pancake mix
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup of oats
1/4 - 1/2  cup butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg 



Mix the above really good and sprinkle over the mixture in the dish.  Cook uncovered on 350 degrees for about 35 minutes until topping is done and mixture is bubbling. ENJOY!


Monday, February 27, 2012

Lasagne Cupcakes

I made the taco cupcakes a few weeks back and this past week decided to try the Lasagne Cupcakes... I took them to a party and they were a sensational hit!  Do I take credit?  No, not really.  They were just too easy to make, quick and totally delicious!  Do you have a hectic, on the go, type of life?  If so, you have to start using won tons and a cupcake holder to make your life easier!  It takes only a few minutes to prepare and 20 minutes to cook.

Ingredients:

1 lb of hamburger
3 Tablespoons or more of Italian seasoning ( I add extra)
5 oz. of chopped mushrooms (optional)
2 cloves of chopped garlic (optional)
1 pkg. Won ton wrappers (in the produce section of most large grocery stores)
8 oz. of fat free Ricotta cheese
1 container of Parmesan cheese, freshly grated (usually found in the deli section)
1 jar of Spaghetti sauce (any type - I prefer the roasted garlic and basil - if you use this type don't add extra garlic!  Just a warning.....)
1 bag of shredded Mozzarella cheese
 
If you are having a party you will use all of the ingredients noted above and 32 won ton wrappers.  If you want to cook all of the ingredients and only make about 8 "cupcakes" then freeze the other half of the meat to make more later in the week after a hard day at work.  This will cut down on cooking time since you will be half way prepared!

Also if you don't want to save the meat to use later you can make more cupcakes and freeze them for quick meals.  If you store them a few days in the fridge you can heat them up for about 1.25 minutes and they are ready to eat.  If you freeze them of course it takes a little longer but use a lower microwave temp to make sure they don't over cook!

First you want to preheat your oven.  The 375 degree temp. was a good for these type of cupcakes. It worked great.  Take a muffin pan and spray it with cooking spray.  Only spray for the number that you want to bake. 

Fry the ground beef on medium until all broken up and starting to brown. Add the Italian seasoning, mushrooms and garlic until the meat is done.

Now, put a won ton wrapper in each cupcake bottom.  Be careful because they are thin and sometimes when you pull them apart you may end up with two instead of one.  After placing in the cupcake pan you are ready to start layering your mixture.  The bottom always starts with the 1 tablespoon of ricotta spread out across the bottom of the won ton wrapper.  Then take a spoonful of the meat mixture followed by the a spoonful of spaghetti sauce and then sprinkled with mozzarella cheese and top with the Parmesan cheese.  Repeat the layering one more time.  

You should bake until a golden brown color which is only about twenty minutes since the meat mixture is already cooked and you just need to brown the won tons and melt the cheese for a perfect meal!

If you liked the Taco Cupcakes you will LOVE the Lasagne ones!






Saturday, February 18, 2012

Taco Cupcakes

OK I'm hooked!  Saw this recipe on the internet in several places and I thought I would try it.  Won Ton wrappers in a taco recipe....right.  I thought won ton wrappers were exclusive and limited but boy was I wrong! Can't wait to try the Lasagne Cupcakes.  I will critique them after I try them and post my thoughts.

Ingredients:

1 lb of lean ground beef
1 pkg of taco seasoning
1 can of black beans rinsed
1 pkg. of Won Ton wrappers (you will find these in the produce area)
1 1/2 chili oil (in the Asian food section)
1 jar of Queso dip or salsa con queso
1 jar of chunky salsa
1 can green chilis (don't drain)
1 cup shredded Mexican cheese (regular or reduced fat)
1/4 cup of water

If you are having a party you will use all of the ingredients noted above and 32 won ton wrappers.  If you want to cook all of the ingredients and then only make about 8 "cupcakes" then freeze the other half of the meat to make more later in the week after a hard day at work.  This will cut down on cooking time since you will be half way prepared!

Also if you don't want to save the meat to use later you can make more cupcakes and freeze them for quick meals.  If you store them a few days in the fridge you can heat them up for about 1.25 minutes and they are ready to eat.  If you freeze them of course it takes a little longer but use a lower microwave temp to make sure they don't over cook!

First you want to preheat your oven.  I thought 350 was a good temp for me to use. It worked great.  Take a muffin pan and spray it with cooking spray.  Only spray for the number that you want to bake. 

Fry the ground beef in the hot chili oil on medium until all broken up and starting to brown.
Add the taco seasoning packet, black beans, 1/2 cup of water and the green chilis until the water starts to thicken.  Cook until meat is done and the mixture if no longer watery.

Now, put a won ton wrapper in each cupcake bottom.  Be careful because they are thin and sometimes when you pull them apart you may end up with two instead of one.  After placing in the cupcake pan you are ready to start layering your mixture.  The bottom always starts with the 1 teaspoon of the queso dip spread out across the bottom of the won ton wrapper.  Then take a spoonful of the meat mixture followed by the salsa and then sprinkled with cheese.  Repeat this one more time.  I ended with the cheese on top but I think next time I might try to add a won ton on the top of a few of them to see how that works by adding a little bit of a crust to the top.

You want to bake until a golden brown color which was only about twenty minutes since the meat mixture if already cooked and you just need to brown the won tons and melt the cheese for a perfect meal!

We cut up avocado, had a side of sour cream, tortilla chips and hot sauce to accompany the meal.  It was quick and easy!!  I have to give this recipe a 10 for top notch and easy.

Try it and you will definitely want to make it again and try the won ton wrappers to make Lasagne cupcakes too!  I will try to find other recipes for the won tons and test them out too. How versatile for something I thought was so exclusive and limited.   



Sunday, January 29, 2012

Ice Cream Cone Cup Cakes


 
I like to try different things that are unique so when I saw on line an easy method for making cup cakes I thought I would give it a try.

It called for ice cream cones and cake mix.  Easy enough!  We went to the local store and bought a box of ice cream cones and ready to use cake mix.

We mixed the cake mix as directed and filled each cone, approximately 20 half full and baked at 325 degrees until done (about 20-25 minutes) or as directed on the box for  cupcakes.


The results were great at first.  When they have cooled down you can add toppings - either frosting, ice cream or whip cream and they make a great dessert or an awesome treat for a kid's party!


The only draw back is not to store any of the left over cake filled cones for later use.  They do get soggy when saved.  You can pop them in the oven for about ten minutes to crisp them back up somewhat but they are best used right away! Make only enough for the party that you are having.  Fresh is best for this idea!


Saturday, January 7, 2012

CJ's Meatloaf

Ingredients:

2 lbs of sirloin ground beef
1 pkg of meatloaf mix
1/2 cup of ketchup
2 pieces of bread toasted and fine crumbled (or use ready to use bread crumbs)
1 egg
1/2 cup of salsa
1 bell pepper (food processed to a part liquid consistency.
1/2 onion (food processed with the bell pepper)
1 tablespoon of steak seasoning
1 teaspoon of basil
1 teaspoon of parsley
2 Tablespoons of minced garlic
1 cup of shredded cheese ( I like mexican cheese mix or cojack cheese)

Mix together and put in a baking pan.  Make sure that the baking pan is big enough in size so that any liquid boiling will not boil over in the oven. It is best to put a baking sheet underneath.

I bake at 375 degrees covered in aluminum for about 1.5 hours.  Make sure the meat is cooked in the center.

You can add any type of seasoning you like that is handy and goes good with hamburger meat.  I like to add Italian seasonings because it is a combination of different ones and I especially like fresh oregano from the garden and anything else I can pick to go in to it. 

There is a lot of seasoning from the meatloaf mix but since I use 2 lbs to have plenty leftover for meatloaf sandwiches the next day or two I find I need to add a little more zest to the flavor.  The salsa does that too. 

With meatloaf you can experiment.  I sometimes puree vegetables to a juice consistency and put them in.  Those picky eaters have no clue and they have told me when I did a combination of peas and green beans that it was the best meatloaf they ever had!!  So I told them.....big mistake.  Some secrets are best left unsaid.

Enjoy!

My Morning Fruit and Protein Shake

I don't seem to eat enough fruit each day so I have started making a shake in the morning before leaving for work that is filled with a combination of protein, fruit and calcium. I vary with the fruit and sometimes I just throw it all in for a great flavor.

Ingredients in this order:

12 oz Coconut Milk ( sometimes I mix organic non fat or almond milk with it)
4-5 pieces of each frozen fruit (blueberries, strawberries, peaches, mangos or any other type you like)
1 tablespoon of flaxseed oil
1 scoop of whey protein mix vanilla flavor
1 multi vitamin
1 vitamin D pill
1 or 1/2 bananna (optional)


Then I mix it in the blender for about 3-4 minutes.  The longer I blend it the creamier it becomes and the frozen berries makes it extra cold.  I try to start my day off with this and I can actually feel the extra energy I have throughout the day.  You can modify it to fit your taste.  Add wheatgrass or use soy milk.  My preference is Coconut milk.  It actually has more calcium than milk in most cases.  If I want more of a coconut flavor I throw in a handful of shredded coconut before blending.