January 29, 2011

Popcorn Snack

I got this idea from Snack Girl. I love popcorn and I especially love sweet popcorn, like caramel corn, popcorn balls or that yummy sweet/salty kettlecorn. This is a delicious snack that is pretty healthy too, especially if you air pop the corn. This is my popcorn popper-

I love this thing! I see them all the time at garage sales and Goodwill and I have no idea why anyone would want to get rid of it. It's the easiest way to pop corn and you add nothing but the kernels. I do not care for those ready-made pouches you buy at the store. Those bags scare me, I remember reading about some toxic chemical that's in them. Plus, there is always some added gunk/salt/grease, even in the 'lite' variety. And I have never understood how to read the nutritional labels on them. Very confusing. Anyway, my popper is awesome and I hope they never stop making the little refill power cells or whatever they're called.

So, HERE is snack girl's recipe. And here's a quick summary: 1 T peanut butter, 1 T maple syrup warmed in the microwave then combined with a big bowl of popcorn. I pretty much followed her recipe except I raised the ratio of syrup to peanut butter just a bit and I do not microwave it for 30 seconds, that's way too long. 15, maybe 20 seconds tops. And I still haven't splurged on the real maple syrup, so mine has the fake stuff. It's not as hard to stir together as I expected, my method is similar to tossing a salad. Grab two large spoons, put the popcorn in a large bowl and have at it. I used crunchy peanut butter and I liked that added crunch. The kids love this stuff too. Try it!

January 26, 2011


It was another dinner inspired by an old Taste of Home magazine clipping. I often find these magazines at garage sales for 10 or 25 cents each. I buy them up then take them on car trips/vacations and just cut out all the recipes that sound good. I have a couple small photo albums that are stuffed with these clippings. When I need to get inspired, I sort through them.

Tonight I tried out this ham and veggie quiche. What made it especially good was the crust, not your usual quiche pie crust but hash browns! I changed a couple things from the original recipe (what else is new). The family isn't fond of green peppers so I omitted those and added onions and mushrooms. You could really play around with the veggies in this! I also added another egg to the quichy part then reduced the salt down to almost nothing since the ham is plenty salty. Here's the recipe-

Ham and Vegetable Quiche

3 cups frozen hash browns, thawed
1 egg
1/4 cup parmesan cheese

Combine all and spread in a greased pan with edges coming up slightly (I used a 7 X 10 pan, but a pie pan would yield a thicker quiche) Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until crust is set and edges are brown.

1 medium zucchini, diced
1/2 medium onion, chopped
2 cups mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup diced, fully-cooked ham
3 eggs
1/3 cup milk
3/4 cup shredded cheese (I used colby jack)
salt and pepper to taste

Sautee veggies and ham in a little olive oil for about 5 minutes (someday, I'll just make a big pan of this for dinner. yum!) Remove from heat and let cool slightly. In a large bowl, combine eggs and milk then combine with veggie mixture and cheese. Pour on top of crust and bake at 375 for 30 minutes or until set. Let stand 5 minutes before cutting.

I served it with a tossed spinach salad. You know what's music to my ears? "Mom, can I please have more spinach salad?!" Love it.

January 22, 2011


Not an edible recipe, but a great recipe none-the-less! The last two weeks for us have included some long snow days stuck at home. I got creative last week and made some homemade play-dough that the kids (and I) really enjoyed. There is something much more fun about making your own dough as opposed to opening a little container that may or may not be dried up, sticky gooey or just not there. So, I found a recipe online and we've already made it twice. It is awesome play-dough. And so easy to make too, that's part of the fun! And when it is freshly made it is so smooth and soft and warm. Even if you don't have little kids, seriously, make some for yourself. It is the perfect stress reliever and will make you feel like a child again, I promise :) Get the rolling pin and some cookie cutters out and have at it!


1 c flour
1/2 c salt
2 t cream of tartar
1 T vegetable oil
1 c water
food coloring

Place all of the ingredients in a medium size or large saucepan. Cook slowly on medium-high and stir constantly until the playdough thickens. Let it cool before handling.

Keep sealed in an air-tight container or ziplock bag.

Little hands making a worm

She made a whole worm family (yes, those are worms)

January 21, 2011


This is my favorite go-to snack these days. It's pretty simple but I think it's super yummy and really, who doesn't love to dip!? I make my dip with plain non-fat yogurt mixed about half and half with light sour cream. I think I go through a big container of both each week. Then, I take some dry ranch or italian dressing mix and sprinkle that into it along with some dry dill and/or chives and/or dry minced onion. Really, the seasoning possibilities are endless and totally to taste, though I try to keep the salt content down as much as possible. Then let the dipping begin...pretzles, triscuits, carrots, cucumbers, red & yellow peppers, raw cauliflower & broccoli you name it, I'll dip it. It's a good refreshing snack!

The pretzles in the picture are called "pennysticks" and they had NO salt added. I loved them!

January 17, 2011

Cabbage Sloppy Joes

This is a recipe I found in my stash of clipped-out Taste of Home magazine recipes. I had everything on hand so it was super simple! This is pretty much your basic sloppy joe recipe but with cabbage added. I knew that I would like them since I have no problem with cabbage or even saurkraut. And, I thought maybe the flavor might resemble Bierocks (or Runzas, depending on where you're from) and we all love those! Well, these joes turned out great AND everybody else loved them too. I don't think anyone, including me, could even tell there was cabbage in them. It didn't hurt that we ate them on yummy onion rolls and *maybe* added some cheese on top. Anyway, here's my recipe, slightly altered from the original.

Cabbage Sloppy Joes

1 lb ground turkey
1.5 cups finely shredded cabbage
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 celery rib, chopped
1/2 red pepper, chopped

1 cup ketchup
2 T brown sugar
2 T lemon juice
1 T vinegar
1 T worcestershire sauce
1 T yellow mustard
1/2 t pepper
salt to taste (I added none)

In a large skillet cook meat and veggies over medium heat until the meat is no longer pink. Combine sauce ingredients in a small bowl then add to meat mixture. Simmer 10 -15 minutes. Spoon onto rolls.

I served them with sides of corn on the cob and raw carrots & cukes in (light) ranch dip. It was a good no-frills dinner.

January 12, 2011

Pizza Soup

Tis the season for making soup in the crockpot! I tried a new recipe today and it was a success. Pizza soup! It has all the ingredients of a pizza but in soup form. I found this recipe online and changed a few things, namely making it in the crockpot. Also using canned tomatoes and mushroom just for simplicity sake, but next time I think I'll sautee fresh mushrooms and onions like the recipe called for. I also added peppers and of course, you could add olives or whatever 'toppings' you like. Here's my recipe as best as I can estimate (I'm really not much for measuring).

My Pizza Soup

1 small can mushrooms
3 sliced green onions
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1/2 jar water
8 ounces sliced pepperoni, each slice cut in half
1 can diced tomatoes
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
Grated parmesan & mozzarella cheese

Dump everything into the crockpot and cook on low for 4-6 hours.
Before serving, garnish with cheeses.

It's excellent with breadsticks, they're like the crust!