Hearty Whole Wheat Waffles

Thomas made these waffles using the white whole wheat flour that King Arthur sent me.  Our boys LOVE waffles so it was no surprise that they loved these too.  I loved that they are made with wheat flour, so they are somewhat healthy.

Hearty Whole Wheat Waffles:

adapted from King Arthur Flour
click here for printable version

1 1/2 cups King Arthur white whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 large egg, separated
1 1/2 cups milk
1/3 cup melted butter, or vegetable oil

Whisk together the flour baking powder, salt and sugar.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolk, milk and butter or oil.  In a separate bowl, whisk whites until they form stiff peaks, fold into batter.

Cook the waffles in a waffle iron.

Mary's Chili

This is another one of my mother-in-law's great recipes.  I love it because it doesn't have beans.  If you do like beans in your chili you could easily add a can of pinto or black beans to this chili.  You can easily freeze this too and just pull it out when you need a quick dinner.

Mary's Chili:
click here for printable version
adapted from Mary Hubbell

2 pounds lean ground meat
1 bulb garlic, minced
1 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon oregano
2 1/2 teaspoons cumin
3-10 ounce cans Rotel mild diced tomatoes and green chilies
1/4 cup plain Fish Fri (corn flour or regular flour)
1/3 cup water

In a large pot, cook ground beef, garlic, onions and celery until the meat is browned.  Add the remaining ingredients, except the Fish Fri and water.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat.  Cover and simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.  
Mix the Fish Fri (or flour) and water; add to the chili.  Stir until well blended and simmer for 10 minutes.

Pepperoni Pan Pizza

Yum, that is all I can say about this recipe.  My son requested this for his birthday dinner.  In fact, this is requested by my kids for nearly every birthday dinner!  This recipe is a combination of my mother-in-law's pizza sauce and a recipe from America's Test Kitchen.

Pepperoni Pan Pizza:
click here for printable version
adapted from Mary Hubbell & America's Test Kitchen

Pizza Sauce
3-15 ounce cans tomato sauce
1-6 ounce can tomato paste
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup chopped onions
1 ounce minced garlic
2 tablespoons fresh parsley
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon basil

Saute onions and garlic in olive oil.  Add remaining ingredients, simmer 2-3 hours.
I like to make this and then freeze 3/4-1 cup of the sauce in individual freezer bags.  Whenever I want to make pizza I just defrost the bags and use the sauce.
Pepperoni Pan Pizza:
1/2 cup olive oil
3/4 cup skim milk, plus 2 tablespoons, warmed to 110 degrees
2 teaspoons sugar
2 1/3 cups flour
1 package instant yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt

1-3.5 ounce package sliced pepperoni
1 1/3 cups pizza sauce
3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

To make the dough:  
Adjust the oven rack to the lowest position and heat the oven to 200 degrees.  When it reaches 200 degrees, turn it off.  Spray a large bowl with nonstick spray.  Coat two 9-inch cake pans with 3 tablespoons of olive oil each.

Mix the flour, yeast and salt in a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook.  
Heat 3/4 cup milk to 110 degrees and mix with the sugar and remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil.  Turn mixer to low and slowly pour in milk mixture.  After the dough comes together, increase the speed to medium-low and mix until the dough is shiny and smooth, about 5 minutes.  Gently shape the dough into a ball and put it in the greased bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap and place in the warm oven until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured counter, divide in half and lightly roll each half into a ball.  Working with 1 at a time,  roll and shape dough into a 9 1/2 inch round and press into oiled pan.  Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm spot until puffy and slightly risen, about 20 minutes.  Meanwhile, heat the oven to 400 degrees.
While the dough rises, put half the pepperoni in a single layer on a microwave-safe plate lined with paper towels.  Cover with 2 paper towels and heat on high for 30 seconds in the microwave.  Repeat with new paper towels and remaining pepperoni.
Remove plastic wrap from the dough and ladle the sauce on the pizzas.  Sprinkle with the cheese and put the pepperoni on the top of the pizzas.  

Bake until the cheese is melted, about 20 minutes.
Remove from the oven, using a spatula, transfer the pizzas to a cutting board, slice and serve.

White Chicken Chili

White Chicken Chili:
click here for printable version

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
2-4 ounce cans chopped green chilis
3 -16 ounce cans Great Northern beans
6 cups chicken broth
2 teaspoons cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons oregano
dash red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
sour cream

Heat oil in a large pot over medium high heat.  Add the onions and garlic.  Saute until translucent.  Add the green chilis, chicken, oregano, cumin and red pepper.

Add the beans and broth.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 2 hours.
Add 1 cup of cheese and season with salt and pepper.
Serve with additional cheese and sour cream.

Hoisin Pork Tenderloin with Broccoli and Mushrooms

This is an easy dish that I make often.  My oldest son actually told me that dinner was really good, and that DOES NOT happen often!  For an easy side dish, I like to save some of the sauce and use it to saute with some veggies.  

Hoisin Pork Tenderloin with Broccoli and Mushrooms:
adapted from Sara Moulton
click here for printable version

2 pork tenderloins (1.5 #)
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons sugar
8 ounces mushrooms, quartered
1/2 pound broccoli

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix hoisin, ketchup, soy sauce, garlic and sugar in a bowl.

Spray a roasting pan with nonstick cooking spray and place tenderloins in pan.
Pour half of the mixture over the pork to coat.
Bake in oven for 45 minutes, or until temp. is 160 degrees.

Put broccoli and mushrooms in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 3 minutes.
Remove and add to skillet.  Pour remaining sauce over veggies and saute until soft.

Slice pork and serve with veggies and rice.

Pork Roast with Apples

I have always been skeptical of dinners with fruit.  I love fruit, but usually not in my dinner.  I have seen so many recipes that include pork and apples.  I really enjoyed this dinner.  The pork was very moist and the vegetables and apples were extremely tender.  What a great meal for a fall night!

Pork Roast with Apples:
adapted from Food Network
click here for printable version

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1-  2 pound boneless pork loin
salt and pepper
1 medium onion, sliced thickly
2 carrots, sliced thickly
2 stalks of celery, sliced thickly
3 cloves garlic, smashed
3 sprigs thyme
3 sprigs rosemary
4 tablespoons butter
2 apples, peeled , cored and cut into quarters
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 cup apple cider
2 tablespoons whole grain mustard

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
In a Dutch oven heat the oil.  Season roast with salt and pepper.  Add the roast to the pot and brown on all sides.  Transfer to a plate.
Add onion, carrot, celery, garlic, herbs and 2 tablespoons of butter to the pot.  Stir 8 minutes.  

Stir in the apples, then push the mixture to the sides, and add the roast.  

Add the chicken broth, cover and put pot in the oven.  Cook until the internal temp. is 155 degrees, about 1 hour.  
Transfer the pork to a cutting board and tent with foil.  Remove the apples and veggies to a bowl and keep warm.
Remove and discard herb sprigs.
Return the pot to a high heat and add the vinegar.  Scrape all of the brown bits off the bottom of the pot and reduce by half.  Then add the apple cider and reduce by half.
Remove pot from heat and stir in mustard and butter.  Adjust salt and pepper and serve the pork sliced, with the apple mixture and sauce drizzled on top.

My Pantry/Refrigerator Essentials

I have been thinking of some items that I consider essentials in my pantry/refrigerator.  
Here are my Top Ten:
1.  Olive Oil
2.  Chicken Broth
3. Canned Whole Tomatoes 
4. Dijon Mustard
5. Fresh Parsley (I chop it up, then freeze it and just scrape out a     tablespoon as I need it.)
6. Garlic
7. Balsamic Vinegar
8. Soy Sauce
9. Sherry
10. Parmesan Cheese
If you always have these 10 items you will never be at a loss for what to do with that chicken or roast.  What are your top items that you always have on hand?

Pumpkin Soup

I have to admit I was a little bit skeptical of this soup.  I wasn't sure if I was going to like a pumpkin soup.  We all really liked it though!  It has a great balance of flavors and my kids actually ate it too.  That being said, I think this will be my last pumpkin recipe of the fall! 

Pumpkin Soup:
adapted from Rachael Ray
click here for printable version

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 bay leaf
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
1 onion, diced
3 tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
2 teaspoons hot sauce
6 cups chicken stock
1-28 ounce can pumpkin
1 cup heavy cream 
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Heat a medium pot over medium high heat, add the olive oil and butter.  Saute the bay leaf and onion for 6 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add flour, poultry seasoning and hot sauce, to taste, then cook for 1 minute.  Whisk in the chicken broth and bring to a boil.
Whisk in the pumpkin.  Simmer soup for 10 minutes.

Add the cream and nutmeg.

Mojo Chicken Burritos

I love this recipe because it is easy but full of flavor.  My kids actually eat this too, which is always a bonus!

Mojo Chicken Burritos:
adapted from Tyler Florence
click here for printable version
4 garlic cloves
2 serrano chilies, seeds removed, OR 1 jalapeno
1 large handful of cilantro leaves
juice of 2 limes
juice of 1 orange
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
flour tortillas
grated Monterey Jack cheese
2-3 cups shredded chicken

In a food processor, add the garlic, chilies, cilantro, lime and orange juice and olive oil.  Process until smooth.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
Pour mojo sauce over chicken.  

Pile chicken, cheese and sour cream on tortillas and serve.

Tortilla Chicken Soup

So, I know this is called Tortilla Chicken Soup and there aren't any tortillas in my picture!  Let me explain-I figured frying tortilla strips wouldn't exactly fit into my healthy eating plan. BUT, we have made it this way before and it is really good.  This is just the soup with some Chihauhua cheese.  The soup is light and has great flavor and you can put whatever toppings you want on it: cheese, sour cream and tortilla strips.

Tortilla Chicken Soup:
adapted from Tyler Florence
click here for printable version

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium white onions, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
3 medium tomatoes, chopped
3 quarts chicken stock
vegetable oil
8 corn tortillas, cut into strips
1 1/2 cups cooked shredded chicken
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup shredded Chihuahua cheese

Heat olive oil over medium heat in a stockpot.  Add onions, garlic, jalapenos, and tomatoes.  Cook, stirring for 15 minutes.

Pour in stock, season with salt.  Add the chicken. Simmer for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat 1 inc of oil in a skillet over medium high heat.  When the oil begins to smoke, add the tortilla strips and fry until crispy.  Remove to a paper towled-lined plate and sprinkle with salt.
Serve the soup with cheese, sour cream and tortilla strips.

Corn Chowder

UGH, can I apologize AGAIN for my horrible camera???!  I hate putting ugly pictures on my blog, but I could not get a good one of this soup.
Anyway, this is a great recipe for corn chowder.  I am going to include the light version, which is pictured, and the not-so-light version.  Honestly, if I wasn't trying to lose weight, I definitely would have made the latter.  However, the light version was still good, just not as rich.

Corn Chowder:
adapted from Tyler Florence
click here for printable version

2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only or 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/4 cup flour
6 cups vegetable stock
2 cups heavy cream
2 potatoes, peeled and diced
2 cups frozen corn, or 6 ears of fresh corn
salt and pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, or 2 teaspoons dried parsley

omit butter
replace 2 cups heavy cream with 1 cup fat free half and half

Heat the butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a pot over medium heat.  Add the onion, garlic and thyme.  Cook for about 8 minutes.
Dust the vegetables with the flour and stir to coat.  Pour in the vegetable stock and bring to a boil.

Boil for 10 minutes, until the potatoes break down.  I used my immersion blender at this point to attempt to make the soup a little creamier without the cream.  If you have one I would use it, but if you don't it shouldn't change the outcome that much.
Cut the corn off the cob, or if using frozen, add to the pot.  Season soup with salt and pepper and simmer about 10-12 minutes, until the corn is soft.  Stir in the parsley.

King Arthur Flour

I am a frugal kind of girl.  I will always buy the generic version of most basic ingredients.  This includes: sugar, spices, tomato sauce, mustard, salad dressing, baking soda, salt etc.  There are some things I always buy that are name-brand but flour has never been one of them.  Until now.....

I bought some King Arthur Flour because it was on sale, and the boys thought it looked cool because there was a knight on the package.  I have to say... WOW!  I never thought there could be such a big difference between generic and name-brand flour, but there is.  I would recommend that, if you are frugal like me, you splurge and spend the extra .50 cents because it is worth it.  I have noticed that the texture and taste are so much better in everything I have made with this flour.  Now, if only King Arthur would send me a free sample or something for endorsing their product!

Easy Pulled Pork

I was really worried that cooking a pork loin this way would leave it too dry.  Fortunately, that was not the case!  After cooking for 3 hours in a low heat oven, the meat fell apart and was very tasty.  The other bonus of this dinner is that it is healthy.  The pork loin is a very lean cut of meat and there is only one tablespoon of olive oil.  Much better for you than the traditional pulled pork that is from the fatty Boston Butt!

Easy Pulled Pork:
click here for printable version

2 # pork loin roast
1 can chicken broth
garlic powder
chili powder
1 bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce
olive oil

Preheat the oven to 275 degrees.
Season the roast with salt, pepper, garlic powder and a little bit of chili powder.

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in an oven-proof pot or Dutch oven.
Brown roast in oil on all sides.

Add chicken broth, cover and put in oven for 2 hours.
Turn roast over and put back in oven for 1 hour.
Remove roast and let cool.
Shred meat and mix with BBQ sauce.