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Cake Batter Protein Cookies January 23, 2012

Filed under: baked goods — meier1014 @ 12:07 pm

I have been addicted to the Food and Drink section on Pinterest lately. I have made quite a few recipes that I found on there. This recipe is one of them. It is actually a recipe that calls for boxed cake mix, but as I am trying to eat healthier I wasn’t about to make cookies with cake batter (plus, we don’t buy boxed cake mix…). So I was trying to figure out how to make these “better for you”, and I remembered we have cake batter flavored protein powder! I figured I’d give it a try and they turned out PERFECT!!! This recipe really could be done with any flavor of protein powder, which makes it more fun. Ok, on the the recipe.

Cake Batter Protein Cookies

3/4c butter, room temp
3/4c brown sugar
1/4c sugar
1 (3.4oz) box of instant pudding mix (I used vanilla)
1c protein powder, divided (I used cake batter flavored)
2 eggs, room temp
1tsp vanilla
1tsp baking powder
2c flour
1/2tsp salt

-Preheat oven to 350
-Combine flour, 1/4c protein powder, salt, and baking powder. Set aside
-Cream butter and both sugars with your mixer
-Add pudding mix and the rest of the protein powder. Beat until well blended, and no dry mix remains
-Add eggs and vanilla. Mix until smooth
-Add dry flour mixture and beat until well incorporated, scraping down the sides as need.
-Roll into 1tbs balls, place onto a greased cookie sheet, and flatten slightly
-Bake for 10 minutes
-Cool on a cooling rack, or eat them hot, which ever you prefer 😉



Crockpot Mac and Cheese January 16, 2012

Filed under: crockpot,entrees — meier1014 @ 3:00 pm

Truth be told, I’m not the biggest fan of mac and cheese. I’m not exactly sure why, but that’s just the way it is. However, I do have 2 little kids, and kids LOVE mac and cheese. I usually just go the stereotypical route with the boxed stuff, but I am trying to get away from things that are so overly processed. I came across this recipe on Pinterest the other day and really wanted to try it. I had the perfect chance recently, a friend came over with her little one for a playdate. So, I said I’d make lunch and I gave this recipe a try. It turned out awesome. It wasn’t overly saucey, but it wasn’t dry either. Plus, I was able to make it in the crockpot so it was beyond simple. It did make quite a bit more than I expected… I would say this recipe could serve anywhere between 6-10 people.

Crockpot Mac and Cheese

-1 1/2 cups milk
-One 12 oz can evaporated milk (I used skim)
-1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted, cooled to room temp
-3 large eggs
-1/2 tsp salt
-3 cups (12 oz) shredded cheese (I bought the preshredded bagged stuff, I used 2 cups of cheddar blend and 1 cup colby jack)
-1/2 pound elbow macaroni or mini penne tubes, par cooked and drained (this means cook them for about five minutes until tender but not completely cooked)
-Freshly ground black pepper to taste
-1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Spray the inside of your crockpot with cooking spray

Combine the first four ingredients in your crockpot and whisk until smooth. It is very important to make sure your butter is room temp, I added mine a little early and it made the mixture a little weird.

Add par cooked noodles

Top with your 3 cups of shredded cheese

Pepper to taste

Give it a stir to combine everything

Top with the parmesan and paprika.
Cover and cook on high for 30 mins. Once the 30 minutes is up reduce heat to low and cook for an additonal 2 hours. When it’s done it should look like this:

(I didn’t take this picture, it’s from the original blog, I’m just an idiot and forgot to take a pic of the final product… It did look like this though.)


Quinoa Burgers January 11, 2012

Filed under: entrees — meier1014 @ 8:03 am

Derived from the Spanish spelling of the Quechua name “kinwa”, or occasionally “Qin-wah”, Quinoa originated in the Andean region of Ecuador, Bolivia, Colombia and Peru before they were colonized and became nation-states, where it was successfully domesticated 3,000 to 4,000 years ago for human consumption, though archeological evidence shows a non-domesticated association with pastoral herding some 5,200 to 7,000 years ago.
Similar species, such as pitseed goosefoot and fat hen, were grown and domesticated in North America as part of the Eastern Agricultural Complex before maize agriculture became popular. Fat hen, which has a widespread distribution in the Northern Hemisphere, produces edible seeds and greens much like quinoa, but in smaller quantities.
The nutrient composition is very good compared with common cereals. Quinoa grains contain essential amino acids like lysine and good quantities of calcium, phosphorus, and iron.
After harvest, the grains need to be processed to remove the coating containing the bitter-tasting saponins. Quinoa grains are in general cooked the same way as rice and can be used in a wide range of dishes. Quinoa leaves are also eaten as a leaf vegetable, much like amaranth, but the commercial availability of quinoa greens is limited.
(from Wikipedia)

In our house we are always looking for new things to try. We want our kids to have a wide range of things they will eat, and the best way to do that is to introduce them to as many different tastes as possible. We are also on a very tight budget, so we need to find a way to try new things but keep it inexspensive. The best way we have found to do this is with the bulk section at Winco. I LOVE the bulk section at Winco, it has a little bit of everyting. Quinoa was our most recent “let’s give it a try” from the bulk section. The first recipe my hubby made with it was a little weird texture-wise for me (I was pretty sick at the time, so that could have been a large part of it) , but these Quinoa Veggie Burgers were delicious.
The simple fact that we’re talking veggie burgers is a big deal for me. I don’t do veggie burgers, I love meat. The fact that I made an entirely vegetarian meal (no bacon fat, or chicken stock, or anything meat product at all!) is a really big deal for me, especially since it wasn’t breakfast food. But I found this recipe on Pinterest, it’s originally from the blog Canyoustayfordinner, and we had the Quinoa in the pantry so I figured I’d give it a try. They turned out AWESOME! Next time though I think I may bump up the spice with a bit of cayenne. Now on to the recipe.

Quinoa Veggie Burgers

1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
1 carrot, diced
4 scallions, sliced
2 cloves garlic
15 ounces can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup Italian seasoned dried breadcrumbs
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 tbs ground cumin
¾ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
Cayenne to taste
Cooking Spray


In a small pot, bring 3/4 cup water to a boil

Add quinoa

Cover and reduce heat to low

Cook until liquid is absorbed, 12 to 14 minutes; set aside

In a food processor, pulse carrot until finely chopped

Add cooked quinoa, scallions, garlic, beans, breadcrumbs, egg, cumin, salt, and pepper

Pulse until combined but still slightly chunky

Use a 1/4 cup measure and form into patties (should make about 8)

Heat a non-stick skillet or griddle on medium, spray with cooking spray, and cook patties until brown on both sides (approx 8 mins each side)

Top with your favorite cheese, and allow to melt



Crusty No Knead Bread January 9, 2012

Filed under: baked goods — meier1014 @ 4:30 pm

I love homemade bread. I’m pretty sure I’ve gone over that before. There is nothing like the way the house smells while it’s baking, and the flavor is just so much better than the stuff you buy in the store! I looked for a basic crusty white bread recipe for ages, and never found on that satisfied me, until I found this one! This recipe is so so so simple. There’s no special equipment, no kneading, a kid could make this recipe by themselves it’s so simple. But it is beyond delicious, and extremely versitile. I have used this recipe for everything, from simply eating to using in recipes like bread pudding and dressing. So, please, give it a try. Let’s get baking!

Crusty No Knead bread

3 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tbs salt (I use kosher)
2 1/4 tsp yeast
1 1/2 cups water, approx 105 degrees (basically it should feel warm, almost hot, to the touch but not burn your finger)

-Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and stir until well combined
-Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm spot for 2 hours, then move to the fridge for anywhere from 2 hours to 7 days (no joke. I have left it in the fridge for over a week before and it was still good, just had a more sourdough type flavor)
-Remove from the fridge, sprinkle a clean counter with flour, and sprinkle the top of the dough with a small amount of flour as well
-Place the dough on the floured counter and shape into whatever shape you want it. No need to make it perfect or to mess with it too much
-You can bake your bread two ways, on a pizza/baking stone or on a baking sheet, either way place you shaped dough on a sheet of parchment paper and sprinkle the top with flour
-Allow the dough to rest for 45-60 minutes.
-Place a shallow baking dish on the very bottom rack of your oven (if you are using a pizza/baking stone place that in your oven as well, on the middle rack). Preheat your over to 450 while the dough is resting.
-Once the dough has had a chance to rest get 1 cup hot water ready to place in the shallow baking dish. Slice 2-3 slits approx 1/2 inch deep in the top of your bread. Put the bread in the oven (parchment paper and all) and the hot water in the shallow dish and quickly close the oven.
-Cook for 25-35 or until deep golden brown on top
-Remove and allow to cool on a cooling rack. Or, if you’re like me, place on the cooling rack, cut yourself a slice, then allow to cool. ENJOY!