Monday, October 29, 2012

Cinnamon Roll Waffles

I love it when something that looks easy and fun on Pinterest turns out just as I expected!  I found this idea here on Pinterest.  What did I ever do before Pinterest?  I never would have thought to make these on my own!   I bought some canned cinnamon rolls on sale at the local grocery store and determined to surprise the kids with this one morning.

Just bake your rolls on your waffle iron. Mine were done when the light went off. The recipe that I referenced has tips for thinning the icing to make a syrup--I just used the frosting it as it was.

The kids were so excited.  I was happy that it worked--the cinnamon rolls did not stick as I feared they might.  As I have mentioned before, I'm not that much of a morning person, so I love quick ideas for breakfast.  We just had to wait for the waffle iron to heat up.  (My son, Evan, was sad not to be mixing up waffles, though.  He loves to run the hand mixer!) 

All in all, it was a success.  I will be sure to have canned cinnamon rolls available every so often so that we can make these again sometime!

Looking for other quick breakfasts?  Try these!

Whole Wheat Waffles--make up a batch and toast what you need in the morning!

Greek Yogurt Pancakes--only four ingredients makes preparation a snap!

Baked Mini Omelettes--mix these up and take your shower while they are in the oven!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

S'mores Bars

Today, my kids (and several cousins) were invited over to Aunt Rita's to paint pumpkins.  I'll admit, there are not many days when we get paint out at our house, so my kids were giddy with delight just thinking about it.  I was excited that someone else wanted to take the responsibility for providing paint, pumpkins, etc.  So, I volunteered to make snacks (definitely more up my alley)!

I wanted something fun, easy, and kid-yummy.  I have been seeing lots of s'mores recipes on pinterest, so I decided to pull out one of my favorite s'mores variations.  We made these for a camp-themed Vacation Bible School one year, and the recipe has been happily ensconsed in my recipe box since then.  Luckily my kids love to run my mini food processor, so coming up with the graham cracker crumbs is easy for me!

S'mores Bars

3 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted
4 cups mini marshmallows
2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Spray a 9 by 13 inch pan with nonstick cooking spray.  Mix graham cracker crumbs and sugar together.  Add melted butter and mix to combine.  Press into the bottom of prepared pan.  Top with marshmallows and then chocolate chips.  Bake for 10 minutes or until marshmallows are starting to brown.  Cool completely and cut into bars.

Needless to say, these went over well at the Pumpkin Painting Party today.  There were none leftover to bring home!

I also brought sliced apples (soaked in Sprite to prevent browning) and Homemade Caramel Apple Dip.  Don't you just love fall?

Friday, October 19, 2012

Ham & Cheese Pockets

We have our fair share of sandwiches for lunch.  And, while my kids are big fans of PB & J, I like to change it up sometimes with something a little different.  This recipe definitely fits the bill.  It's also quick and easy to prepare, which makes me happy, too!

Ham & Cheese Pockets

1 can refrigerated crescent rolls
4 slices American cheese (or any cheese you would like to use.  I have used provolone sometimes and also shredded)
Sliced deli ham

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease an 8 by 8 inch pan with cooking spray. Press half of the crescent roll dough into the bottom of the pan, pinching seams to seal.  Place ham on top of the rolls--I like to rip mine up a bit with my fingers so the kids have an easier time biting into the pockets.  Top with cheese slices and remaining dough.  Bake for 17 - 19 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool slightly before serving. 

For extra cheesy pockets, place a layer of cheese over the dough before you put the ham on.  You can also make these into pizza pockets.  Just use pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese, and some pepperoni!  One last tip:  you can make this into a 9 by 13 inch recipe by doubling it.

Hope you enjoy this one for a quick and fun weekday lunch!
Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Speedy Italian Chicken

Ever have one of those days where you discover that it's 5:00 PM, and you still have no idea what you will put on the table for supper?  Well, yesterday was one of those days.  I was tired.  I had just brought the kids home from piano lessons, and I did not feel like going online for inspiration.  I mean, I needed to get something in the oven pronto. 

I had previously made a similar recipe to this one in the crockpot.  I thought, "Why can't I adapt it to an oven dish?"  So, here is what I did:

Speedy Italian Chicken

6 - 8 four ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 jar spaghetti sauce
6 - 8 slices provolone cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place chicken breasts in a greased 9 by 13 in pan.  Pour spaghetti sauce over the top.  Place a slice of cheese over each chicken breast.

Bake, uncovered, for about 40 - 45 minutes or until the chicken is done.  I recommend using a meat thermometer to prevent overbaking.  Since I started using one, I have saved so much time and energy because I'm not constantly checking to see if the meat is done. 

Tip: after you empty the jar of spaghetti sauce, place a small amount of water inside. Replace the lid, shake, and pour the remainder of the sauce over the chicken. (I just hate wasting that extra bit, but not enough to go after it with a plastic scraper!)

My kids and husband really liked this one.  I will definitely be making it again, even when I'm not desperate for an idea! 

Cake Mix Blondies

I love desserts that you can throw together quickly but that still taste yummy.  These blondies do the trick.  My daughter, Anna, loves to help me make them.  I suppose it's because she gets to have some of the leftover chocolate chips when we are done mixing them up.

I found the original recipe here on Betty Crocker's website and modified it slightly.

Cake Mix Blondies

1 box yellow cake mix
2 eggs
2 Tablespoons water
1/3 Cup butter, melted
1 1/4 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (325 for dark pan.)  Grease a 9 by 13 inch pan with nonstick cooking spray.  Stir together cake mix, eggs, water, and butter.  Add chocolate chips and stir to combine; spread into prepared pan.  Bake 21 to 26 minutes or until golden brown.
Saturday, October 13, 2012

Greek Yogurt Pancakes

Well, I have lost some weight and have been exercising more regularly.  As a result, I have more energy.  I have been enjoying finding new recipes to try out on my kids for breakfast. 

I found this recipe for Greek Yogurt Pancakes from Everyday Belle on Pinterest.  I was surprised at how light and fluffy they were.  They were so pretty that I had to take a picture.  What's more, the kids loved them.  Also, they made a small batch.  It was just enough to feed the kids so I was not tempted to indulge.  If you are planning to feed a large family, you will probably need to at least triple the recipe.  I used strawberry banana yogurt this time, but I am going to try blueberry the next time around. 

Note: when you first put the batter on the griddle, it does not spread out much, and it looks like you are going to have a really puffy pancake.  However, as it cooks, it spreads out.

Here's a link to the recipe.  Hope you enjoy it, too. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

With this beautiful fall weather, I am loving all things pumpkin right now.  My kids enjoy oatmeal, and I'm always looking for variations on our old standby's.  So, when I found a recipe for Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal, I knew I had to give it a go.

I found the original recipe here.  Since I have no desire or need to follow vegan recipes, I made some modifications to suit our tastes and the ingredients I have on hand.  My recipe fed my four kids with some left over for Mommy, so I would say it makes about three servings.

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

1 1/4 cups quick oats
2 cups milk (I used skim, and it worked great)
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup brown sugar

Whisk ingredients together in a large microwave-safe bowl.  Microwave two minutes.  Stir and microwave 2 minutes more or until desired consistency.

Enjoy the flavors of fall!
Sunday, October 7, 2012

Banana Snacks

Since the weather has turned cooler, I decided it was time to get out my plates with the snowflakes on them!  I just love the colors.  I also felt like being a little creative at today's snack time.  I don't know about you, but there's something about bananas and peanut butter.  Mmm. . . makes me feel happy just thinking about it.  I thought, "What about adding a little crunch to it?"  Here's what I made:

Banana Snacks

Sliced Bananas
Peanut Butter or other nut butter if you prefer
Cheerios, Rice Krispies, or other crunchy cereal

Place about a half cup of each cereal you are going to use in a small bowl.  Spread a small amount of peanut butter on a banana slice and dip into the cereal.

Judging by the fact that my kiddos were gobbling these up as fast as I can assemble them, I think we will have these again soon!  Next time, we might try with Cocoa Krispies. . .

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