Thursday, November 28, 2013

Kraft’s Thanksgiving Leftover Casserole

Kraft provides this terrific recipe to whip up your turkey day leftovers into something new - a comforting all-in-one casserole dish combining turkey with stuffing, mashed potatoes, and vegetables. It is creamy and delicious! This dish reheats well in the microwave too which is important to me since a 9x13 dish serves my family at least 3 times usually. The creamy, cheesy mashed potatoes are the star of this dish, in my opinion, and help pull everything together nicely.

Kraft’s Thanksgiving Leftover Casserole 
Prep Time: 15 min. | Makes: 8 servings

1 pkg. (6 oz.) STOVE TOP Stuffing Mix for Turkey
4 cups chopped leftover roasted turkey
2 cups frozen mixed vegetables (carrots, corn, green beans, peas), thawed
¾ cup KRAFT Real Mayo Mayonnaise or MIRACLE WHIP Dressing
3 cups leftover mashed potatoes
1 cup KRAFT Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1/8 tsp. paprika

  1. HEAT oven to 375ºF.
  2. PREPARE stuffing as directed on package; spread onto bottom of 13x9-inch baking dish sprayed with cooking spray.
  3. COMBINE turkey, mixed vegetables and mayo; spoon over stuffing.
  4. MIX potatoes and cheese; spread over turkey mixture. Sprinkle with paprika.
  5. BAKE 30 to 40 min. or until heated through.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Miss Lindsey is 2 months old and Kent is 15!

My kiddos are growing so fast! My beautiful baby girl is now 2 months old, holding her head up so well, and cooing and babbling all the time. She is not sleeping very well yet - ever since we had to switch her to the hypoallergenic formula which doesn't taste as good and isn't as thick as the regular formula the longest she'll sleep is about 5 hours and typically only 3-4 hours for the first stretch of the night, followed by usually 2 hour intervals. She'll be awake for anywhere from 30 - 90 minutes in between depending on how hungry she is and how awake she gets. Last night was one of those up for 90+ minutes sessions- up at 2:20 am and the last time I checked the clock it was around 4:00am when I finally got back to sleep. Sigh. Working full time with a baby on this kind of schedule does not go well together at all. I am running on fumes  by the end of the week and all I can think about is sleep. Doesn't really result in good quality time at home. I know this too shall pass, and am still just trying to enjoy each moment as it comes. I love spending time with my family - whether it's in a sleep deprived stupor or not.

Lindsey is growing well still, she is in the 86th percentile for weight and 69th percentile for height. She's in size 3-6 month - some of it is a little big on her still, but most of it fits pretty well. The 0-3 items were definitely getting too tight - most just weren't long enough anymore. She is a happy girl most of the time, really only getting fussy or crying when she's hungry. She seems to be doing well at daycare, though I miss her like crazy and hate being away from her all day.

Kent is 15 now! He had two birthday parties this month - the first one with friends, and the second one (on his actual birthday) with family. We had cupcakes from a FABULOUS bakery for both - though I couldn't really enjoy them since I can't eat dairy (I scraped the icing off of a carrot cake one and still ate the cake though!)

I just love that kid. He is such a joy to parent, and I absolute love him to bits. He is strong, so smart, independent, loving, loyal, and has a good heart. He is a self proclaimed nerd, and he loves to learn and gets aggravated with the students who don't take school very seriously. He loves to write, draw, and to build with mega blocks and legos. He still loves all things Halo and Minecraft this year. He is a hugger, and he likes to talk about everything from his teachers, to a random crazy thought he had. He really enjoys music and almost always has it on. His big gift from us this year (for birthday and Christmas) was a new computer - all his own which he is very excited about. There are some cool programs they work with at school and the old laptop he was using couldn't support them. This one should get him through high school - barring a major accident! He is enjoying JROTC and I loved getting to watch him at the Veteran's Day ceremony in his uniform looking all serious and official. Right now he has plans to join the military after college and I am so curious if that is the route he will actually end up taking! It is SUCH a pleasure to be his mom - to watch him growing and developing into such a wonderful young man!

My kiddos are growing up so fast!! Love them!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Secret Recipe Club: Pumpkin Spice Muffins

It's time once again for the fabulous Secret Recipe Club! This month I was assigned the blog Burnt Apple and had a great time reading all about the author and getting familiar with the fantastic list of recipes!

So many things jumped out at me as I was browsing through: Pumpkin Pie French Toast Casserole, Whole Grain Pumpkin Chocolate Chip WafflesPumpkin Spice Muffins, 30 Minute Apple Pie Pretzel RecipeUnder an Hour Cinnamon Swirl Bread, Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread, Pumpkin Swirl Breakfast Cake, Starbucks Turkey Bacon Sandwich, and the Pillsbury Funfetti Cake Mix!! (Can you tell pumpkin recipes are sounding really good to me right now?!)

I loved learning more about the woman behind "Burnt Apple" - loved the inspiration for the name of the blog! :) I think it is a fantastic site - all about real life. Trying to balance good eating with the health of herself and her family, and of course the occasional yummy splurge!

I opted for the fantastic Pumpkin Spice Muffins! I have to be milk-free at the moment due to a milk protein allergy our baby girl is dealing with, so no cow's milk for this lactating mama! This recipe sounded perfect for the fall weather and would allow me to enjoy them as well since they met the "milk free" requirement. My son and I both really enjoyed these - like little pumpkin bread morsels in muffin sized treats! Tender, lightly flavored, and the light crunch and sweetness from the brown sugar on top was a really nice addition! I think I may have added more flour then was originally called for (the measuring cup I was using is not exactly the best!!) so my batter was very thick, and these had a pretty dense texture and didn't look quite like the ones at Burnt Apple - but regardless, they were great muffins and perfect for a fall time snack, breakfast, or dessert! They're great warm or cool, and I'm sure you could wrap and freeze them and pull them out as needed. I used Stevia in place of sugar, but I would probably need sugar next time since in this particular recipe the Stevia left an aftertaste that I noticed. It was probably the quantity - I might do half and half sugar / Stevia next time.

Pumpkin Spice Muffins slightly adapted from Burnt Apple
Makes 12

3/4 cup whole wheat white flour
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon pumpkin-pie spice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup solid-pack pumpkin puree
1/2 cup applesauce
2 large eggs
1 1/4 cups sugar (I used Stevia)
Brown Sugar, Cinnamon


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease muffin cups.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and spices.
  3. In a mixing bowl thoroughly blend together the pumpkin, applesauce, eggs, and sugar until smooth. With mixer on low, slowly add in dry ingredients and mix just until fully incorporated.
  4. Fill each muffin cup approximately 2/3 full with batter. Sprinkle a generous pinch of brown sugar and a small pinch of cinnamon on top of each muffin for added flavor.
  5. Cook at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Muffins are done cooking when they spring back when lightly touched. Remove from oven and allow muffins to cool on cooling rack for several minutes before serving.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Dairy Free Tasty Breakfast Sandwich

Now that my little peanut (who is now 2 months old!) has been diagnosed with a milk protein allergy, it has been a little bit of a challenge as I re-learn how to eat without butter, cream cheese, milk, sour cream, etc. in my diet. This has meant largely no processed foods (but Oreos are dairy free - woo hoo!!) and getting quite a few "substitute" ingredients that I can safely enjoy. We switched over to almond milk and coconut milk, have vegan margarine in the refrigerator, some Tofuttie "cream cheese" and "sour cream" and some Daiya "cheese" shreds. Between these items I've been able to eat mostly like I normally do. I haven't found a substitute for ranch dressing yet, but have been eating more hummus with my veggies (and I love it as a spread on sandwiches) and peanut butter as a celery dip.

This is a quick and easy Dairy Free breakfast sandwich I recently enjoyed, and will be using again soon!

Dairy Free Tasty Breakfast Sandwich

2 slices dairy free bread (I used Food for Life 7 Sprouted Grains)
1 egg
1 TBS Tofutti "better than" cream cheese
2 slices ham lunchmeat

  1. Toast bread; meanwhile cook egg over medium heat in a non-stick skillet to preferred "doneness". 
  2. When bread has toasted, smear the "better than" cream cheese on both sides. Place cooked egg on one slice.
  3. Fry the ham up until warmed and lightly browned in the same frying pan you cooked the egg in and add to the sandwich. Top with 2nd slice of bread and enjoy! 

Friday, November 01, 2013

Chef John's Pumpkin Pancakes

This is a wonderful fall breakfast treat! If you like pancakes and pumpkin, you can't go wrong with this one. I LOVED the flavor of these - the spices are just right and they go perfectly with some yummy maple syrup. These are very hearty; I made 6 large pancakes out of the recipe and my husband and I could barely finish a whole one each! The batter was very thick, so make sure you spread it out a little on the griddle or thin with a little more milk to get to your preferred thickness. I did skip the lemon zest, but otherwise followed the ingredients and instructions.

Chef John's Pumpkin Pancakes by Chef John on AllRecipes

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon white sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1 egg
1 1/2 cups milk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon vegetable oil


  1. Combine flour, brown sugar, white sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl, and whisk together for two minutes to aerate.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine pumpkin puree, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, egg, milk, 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Mix in the flour mixture, and stir just until moistened. (Do not overmix.)
  3. Coat skillet with 1 teaspoon vegetable oil over medium heat.
  4. Pour batter into skillet 1/4 cup at a time, and cook the pancakes until golden brown, about 3 minutes on each side.