Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Best Ever Waffles




This was an absolutely DELICIOUS waffle recipe we enjoyed for a tasty weekend breakfast treat recently. The batter cooks up with great flavor and beautifully crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. My son (who complained at first about me trying out yet another "new" recipe on them) ate these up in no time flat and declared them the best!

The Best Ever Waffles By Cooking to Perfection on Food.com

Ingredients
1 1/3 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
2 eggs, separated
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 3/4 cups milk

Directions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine all the dry ingredients and whisk to blend.
  2. Separate the eggs, placing the yolks in with the dry ingredient mixture.
  3. Pour the egg whites into a smaller mixing bowl, and beat them until they are moderately stiff. Set aside.
  4. Blend the milk and melted butter into the dry ingredient mixture and mix until just combined.
  5. Gently fold the stiff egg whites into the batter.
  6. Pour about 1/3 - 1/2 cup (as much as needed) into hot, prepared waffle iron and cook until golden brown.
Our little Lindsey who is almost 7 months old now! This was taken about 3 weeks ago on an outing to the park. Such a happy girl! :)


Sunday, April 06, 2014

Thai Mango in Hiram, Georgia



 

We decided to try out Thai Mango the other day and oh my gosh - it was so good!! We'd tried another Asian restaurant recently and were very disappointed but had heard great things about Thai Mango.

I ordered the Shrimp Fried Rice, Pepper Steak, and Chicken Pad Thai. We also loved our order of crispy spring rolls - the dipping sauce was delicious!

Kent enjoyed the Fried Rice a lot - I didn't put the full amount on his plate because it was a large portion, but he ate it all and then finished the rest I'd left in the box too. The only complaint is that there were only a couple pieces of shrimp and veggies, it was mostly rice and the texture was very dry but the flavor was delicious and the shrimp were cooked beautifully!

The chicken Pad Thai was the best dish, I thought. Perfect combination of ingredients, perfectly seasoned, just the right amount of sauce, and great ratio of noodles to the rest of the ingredients. So good! I will definitely order that again. Kent had a bite - he's never had Pad Thai before and he really liked it! Smart boy. :)

Kenneth ate his entire dish of Pepper Steak up without much conversation - so I'm thinking he really enjoyed his as well!

I'm so glad to have a good Thai restaurant in town - generally steak and barbecue places do well around here and we don't get very many ethnic options so this is a very nice treat and I can't wait to enjoy dining there again soon!

To end this post - here is a picture of our sweet girl 2 weeks ago, at 6 months and 1 week old. Enjoying watching the puppies running around the back yard as the sun set!


Saturday, April 05, 2014

Crock Pot Pulled Pork


This is one of those almost too simple to be called a recipe "recipe"! It is so quick, easy and absolutely fantastic. I don't know why we haven't tried this method for shredded barbecue sooner - it's so good!! We all loved it, and the leftovers disappeared in no time flat! We served this up with some fried okra and mac 'n cheese. The boys loved it and we will definitely use this one again as a go to barbecue recipe. Love that I can set this one in the crock pot and let it cook all day, then you just throw in the sauce and you're ready to enjoy dinner. We pretty much always use Sweet Baby Ray's barbecue sauce - definitely our favorite.

Easy Crock Pot Pulled Pork from Drizzle of Sunshine

Ingredients
2 lbs pork loin
1 can of root beer
1 bottle of your favorite barbecue sauce

Directions

  1. Combine pork loin and root beer in the crock pot.
  2. Set it on low and cook for 6 to 8 hours, or until easily shredded with a spoon.
  3. Break meat up with a spoon. Drain off excess liquid and mix in the barbecue sauce. 
And what better way to end this post then with a picture of our super cutie just because! She's 6.5 months now and was enjoying some apricots. She thinks she should "help" with her feedings. :)






Monday, March 31, 2014

Sweet and Spicy Salmon from Mazola


All I can say is if you like salmon please do yourself a favor and try this one out! Oh my gosh - this rub is perfection on the salmon. I made 4 salmon fillets for dinner and my son ate 2 1/2 of them by himself! The flavor is smoky and sweet, and the fish is flaky and tender. The combination is absolutely delicious and went perfectly with some fresh green beans and a piece of garlic toast. My son said it was the best meal we'd had in a long time. I choose to take that as a compliment to the recipe, and not a remark on my cooking of late! :D

I skipped the grapefruit salsa - the only ingredient that I will eat in the list is the grapefruit and I figured that would defeat the purpose (I love onion and bell pepper, but don't eat either raw). I will say most everyone else who did make the salsa said how great it was - so if you like those ingredients whip up a batch and let me know what you think!!

This is a wonderful recipe from Mazola - you can find their whole recipe collection on AllRecipes.com here.

Sweet and Spicy Salmon with Grapefruit Salsa from Mazola on AllRecipes

Ingredients
Sweet and Spicy Rub:
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 pound salmon fillet
2 teaspoons Mazola® Corn Oil

Grapefruit Salsa:
2 cups grapefruit sections
1/3 cup chopped green onion
1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 jalapeno pepper, diced

Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Combine paprika, onion and garlic powder, salt, oregano, thyme, black pepper, cayenne pepper and brown sugar in a small bowl.
  3. Cut salmon into 4 portions and brush with oil. Distribute the rub over the salmon generously coating all surfaces. Place salmon on a shallow baking pan with sides.
  4. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until fish flakes easily.
  5. Coarsely chop grapefruit into bite size pieces. Combine all salsa ingredients and serve with salmon. Grapefruit salsa can be made ahead and refrigerated until ready to serve.



Secret Recipe Club: Apple Cinnamon Pancakes



Happy Secret Recipe Club reveal day!! I was so excited to visit Angel's Homestead and view her extensive recipe index; I knew I wouldn't have any trouble finding something my family would really enjoy. And honestly I didn't make it very far through the list before I knew what I was making for breakfast that very morning!

Learn more about April (our very own Secret Recipe Club's owner!) here; at Angel's Homestead you will find a blog focused on family - frugal tips, down-home comfort cooking, and posts focused on good food and good living.

So, back to my recipe selection! I was thinking about seeing if I could find something to make for breakfast over the weekend, and it didn't take me more than a few seconds after clicking the "Breakfast" link to spot this fantastic Apple Cinnamon Pancakes recipe. I knew that's what I would be making. I could imagine the smell of them cooking - and let me tell you, the smell is pretty dang fantastic!

These are absolutely delicious. I loved the tender, warm pieces of apple blended into the lightly cinnamon-flavored pancake batter. It all works absolutely beautifully together. Top these with a pat of butter and some warm maple syrup and you will be in apple-cinnamon heaven.

I only made 4 very large pancakes out of this recipe - one was enough for each of us for breakfast.

A few other recipes I tucked away to try soon include Dijon Turkey Burgers, Crock Pot Applesauce, or Blue Ribbon Mac and Cheese - YUMM!

Apple Cinnamon Pancakes from Angel's Homestead

Ingredients
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 TBS brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup applesauce
1 apple, peeled and chopped
1 egg
2 TBS melted butter (or margarine)

Directions
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together dry ingredients: flour, salt, cinnamon, sugar and baking powder.
  2. In a another medium bowl blend the milk, egg, applesauce and melted butter.
  3. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and combine gently, just until just blended.
  4. Stir in the chopped apples; the batter will be thick and lumpy.
  5. Prepare a skillet, and let the batter rest for at least 10 minutes.
  6. Melt a tablespoon of butter over medium to medium-low heat. Once the skillet is hot and butter is melted, pour about 1/3 cup scoop of pancake batter onto the prepared pan.
  7. Let the pancake cook until bubbles begin to form on the top, the edges begin to appear dry, and the bottom is lightly browned.
  8. Gently flip the pancake with a spatula and cook the second side until it is also golden brown, about a couple minutes more.



Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Baked Chocolate Glazed Donuts




These are very tasty chocolate cake donuts - I think the batter would be fantastic as a regular chocolate snack cake topped with some chocolate chips and/or powdered sugar. I made a fairly thin glaze - dunked the donuts in and the glaze stayed fairly wet which made our donuts gooey and sticky (and all the better for finger-lickin'!)

I would definitely use these again - the batter amount was perfect for my 6-donut pan and I really liked the springy, tender, and delicious cakey donuts - you can adjust the glaze to your likeness in terms of thickness and then add some sprinkles if you want for that extra sweet touch!

Baked Chocolate Glazed Donuts by Food Family and Finds

Ingredients
Donuts
1 cup all purpose flour
¼ cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup + 3 tablespoons milk
1 egg
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon butter, melted

Glaze
2 tablespoons coffee, brewed (Donut House Chocolate Glazed Donut was suggested in original recipe)
2 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 2/3 cup powdered sugar
(add ⅓ more powdered sugar for a thick frosting)

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees and prepare a donut baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients and whisk to blend.
  3. Add in the milk, egg, vanilla and butter to the dry ingredients; whisk until smooth.
  4. Evenly distribute the batter between the donut pan compartments (6 total, they should be about half full).
  5. Bake 12 – 14 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  6. For the glaze, whisk together all ingredients until smooth. You may need to add an additional ⅓ cup of powdered sugar for a thicker glaze.
  7. Dip the top of each donut in the glaze, top with chocolate sprinkles if desired and enjoy.



Monday, March 24, 2014

AB&J (Almond Butter & Jam) Smoothie



This was a quick, easy, and very tasty dairy free smoothie that we whipped up and enjoyed as a quick liquid lunch over the weekend. Easy to adjust the flavor with more / less peanut butter or jam - or use a different jam flavor (though I thought the strawberry worked well)!

I will definitely remember this one - next time I'll probably throw in a frozen banana and skip the ice cubes.

Almond, Butter, and Jam Smoothie from Almond Breeze

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups almond milk
1/4 cup peanut butter
2 TBS strawberry jam
1 ripe banana, peeled
2 ice cubes

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender, blend for about 60-90 seconds or until completely smooth and ingredients are well blended.



Sunday, March 23, 2014

Young Love: Kent and April in the Park

My son and his girlfriend, April, have been together off and on since about 6th grade and have been pretty "serious" this year (they're in 9th grade now). He's been spending more and more time with April on the weekends and I decided it was time to try to get some pictures of the two of them together so we invited April to come to the park and have a picnic lunch and let me get some shots of the two of them. They are goofy kids, and I think I captured that in most of the shots! Kent was pretty reluctant to do pictures since he hates being my photo subject, but between April and I we drug him along and got him to cooperate most of the time. :) I had such a good time getting to share an hour with them watching them have fun together and capturing some of those moments.