Turkey Apple Salad

I’ve been trying to eat healthier this year.  This is one of those great dishes that you wish you ate more of after you put your plate in the dishwasher.  This would be great to eat around Christmas time because of its coloring.  On Thanksgiving the Hubby and I made two turkeys; one for eating on the big day and one for shredding and putting in freezer bags to save for a rainy day.  I was so glad I decided to pull one of those bags out for a yummy turkey dinner night.   I got the original recipe from pinterest, but made quite a few changes to it so now the recipe is mine.  I apologize because my measurement aren’t really exact, because I don’t always measure everything, but they are pretty good estimates.  Happy eating!

Turkey Apple Salad

apx. 3 cups shredded turkey

1 large Granny Smith or Gala apple chopped into little pieces

2 stalks celery, chopped

1/4 cup onion flakes

1/2 cup parsley flakes

1/4 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped

1/4 cup craisins

1 cup greek yogurt, plain

1 avacado, pureed

2 Tbsp. lemon juice

1 tsp. chili sauce

red pepper flakes to taste ( I put in about 2 tsp.)

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

salt and pepper to taste

(serve with lettuce, Pita’s, and some hot sauce)

Combine all the dry ingredients in one bowl and the wet ingredients in another.  Combine them both and refrigerate until ready to eat.  Voila! Num num num num.

Spinach Artichoke Dip

I absolutely love Spinach Artichoke Dip!  This is by far my favorite recipe and you will love it.  Warning: this makes A LOT of dip.  It’s probably enough for a party of 30-40 people.  Or, in our case, a small party and snacks everyday for a week:).

Spinach Artichoke Dip

1/4 cup butter

6 cloves garlic (chopped)

2 (10oz) pkg. frozen chopped spinach (partially thawed is easier)

2 (14 oz.) cans artichoke hearts, drained and broken up

1 1/2 pkg. (8 oz) cream cheese, softened

1 (16 oz.) container sour cream

1 cup Parmesan cheese

salt and pepper to taste

(Optional add ins I’d like to try next time: red pepper flakes, and/or bacon bits)

Melt butter in a large saucepan and pour in the chopped garlic and let simmer for about a minutes.  Stir in the spinach and artichoke hearts. Cook until tender, about 5 minutes.  Add and stir in the remaining ingredients.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 10-15 minutes.  Scoop/pour into blender and let blend to better combine the ingredients and to remove all chunks, but don’t over blend.

Bacon Wrapped Smokies

I decided to support my husbands love of Football by putting together a snack spread for a little game day party.  These were a HUGE hit and disappeared pretty quickly, so I ended up making a second batch.  I think my 6 year old son even ate 10 of these guys by himself.  They are yummy!

Bacon Wrapped Smokies

1 package lil smokies

1 package bacon

brown sugar

skewers

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cut all of the bacon strips into thirds.  It’s fastest to just lay them out just as they were in the package and cut them all at the same time.  Wrap each smoky in one of the bacon thirds and place on skewer.  Each of my skewers could hold about 6.  Sprinkle brown sugar over each of the little piggies and cook in oven for 20-25 minutes.  (These would be great grilled too!)  Take them out when the bacon looks browned and well cooked.  Now wipe the drool from your mouth and eat up.  .  . you may want to share some too. :)

Chocolate Pomegranate ‘muffins’

I was craving chocolate covered pomegranates, but I didn’t want to spend all the time covering each seed.  This was SO good and so easy.  It’s my new favorite pomegranate treat.  My picture is blurry but it looked so pretty in person:)

Chocolate Pomegranate ‘mufins’

1 Pomegranate de-seeded

melting chocolate (I actually used chocolate chips and they worked great)

mini-muffin pan

Spray your muffin pan with oil to help prevent sticking. Fill the bottom of your muffin cups with the pomegranate seeds. You want it just be one-two seeds thick, no thicker than that.  Melt your chocolate and spoon over the pomegranates.  Place in freezer for 20ish minutes.  Carefully flip the pan upside down.  Some will just fall out for you and be ready to serve.  Use a knife to gently wiggle the stuck chocolate edges off the pan of the remaining.  Enjoy!

Caramel Apple Pie Bites

Be careful these are scandalous on a number of levels.  I was making this up, and didn’t keep track of how much of the ingredients I used, so I apologize (kinda) if you end up having to eat some extra carmel or snickers bars afterward.  Enjoy!

Caramel Apple Pie Bites

1 double pie pastry crust (I made mine with THIS recipe)

2 small cans sweetened condensed milk (Find out how to make it HERE)

1-2 Snickers candy bar

1 apple (sour are better) cut into very small chunks

Preheat oven 350 degrees. Roll your pastry dough out on your counter and then use a small cup to cut out circles in the dough.  Gently push the dough circles into the muffin pan.  Bake for APX 12minutes.  Watch them, because I didn’t actually time how long I had them in.  (SO SORRY!  I’ll pay attention next time) You want them to be just slightly browning on the edges.  Let the crust cool for a few minutes and then place one or two of the little apple pieces in the bottom of each pie cup.  Then open up the caramel and spoon a dab in each crust on top of the apple.  You want it to be a full at this point but NOT overflowing.  This is not a lot of caramel, but I promise you will get the effect.  Then cut up that Snickers bar and place a piece on top of each pie.  The caramel settles in nice and smooth, so don’t worry about pushing it in or making it look nice.

 

Enchilada Soup (Freezer Meal)

This soup is delicious!  With four boys six and under I just haven’t been able to find the time to cook as often as I used to.  I’ve resolved to make a bulk meal every couple of weeks so that I can divide it up and freeze the majority of it.  Especially as it gets closer to winter it will be nice to have several meals ready to be put in a crockpot or oven at a days notice.  The original recipe was found at my favorite go to recipe site HERE.  One thing I love about allrecipes is that you can change the serving amount to make a huge batch.  I changed my serving batch to feed 40 so I can have lots of freezer bags full.

Enchilada Soup

5 cups cooked and shredded chicken

2 onions chopped

5 tsp. minced garlic

3 peppers chopped (different colors)

3 carrots peeled and chopped

5 cans chili beans, with liquid

5 cans kidney beans, with liquid

5 cans whole kernel corn, with liquid

5 (8oz) cans tomato sauce

10 cups chicken stock

5 packages taco seasoning

Stick everything in a big pot on medium heat and stir to a boil.  Let simmer for 20-30 minutes.  If freezing, combine all ingredients and then place in freezer bags.  When ready to eat, thaw out and place in pot. Yumm yumm!

Rice Krispie Treats

This is the most simple comfort treat that was one of my favorites when I was young.  It’s so easy to make, yet I make it so infrequently that I always have to look up the recipe.  So, here it is in my box of recipes so I don’t have to forget again.

Rice Krispie Treats

5 cups rice krispies cereal

1 bag large marshmallows (not the ultru large, but the regular large)

1/4 cup butter (NOT margarine)

1 tsp vanilla

(opt. 2/3 cup peanut butter – stirred in with melted butter, m&m’s sprinkled on top after set in pan while still somewhat warm)

On medium heat melt butter in a large pot.  Once butter has melted, add marshmallows and stir continuously until they have all melted.  Do NOT let it heat up too much or it will brown or burn and not set well.  Add vanilla.  Once the marshmallows are mostly melted add the krispies and stir until well immersed.  Pour/scoop into a greased 9×13 pan.  Push down and flatten with a greased spatula.  Let it set for about an hour and then enjoy. . . although I always sneak one while it’s still hot and gooey.  Mmmm.

Easy Orange Chicken

This little gem has been showing up everywhere on Pinterest, so of course I had to try it out.  The original recipe is from HERE It was very good.  It wasn’t the kind of dish that made me quickly call my mom and sisters to tell them to try it, but still very good.  The picky husband really liked it and actually took it for lunch the next day, so in my book that makes it a definite keeper:)  Plus side is that it’s also very easy!

Easy Orange Chicken

4-5 chicken breasts thawed

1 cup sweet orange marmalade

1 cup Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce

2 Tbsp. soy sauce

2 cloves minced garlic

Cook the chicken in the crockpot on high for 3 hours, drain juices, add remaining ingredients and cook on high for another 30 minutes. Viola!  Yumm Yumm!

 

Banana Spice Bread

Looking for the easiest sweet bread in the world to make?  Seriously, there are only two ingredients.  I made this as an experiment and it was so good that I ate it. . . all. . . by myself.   Hmmm, that really sounds horrible, but to be fair to myself I had a little bit every day over a week, because the rest of my family doesn’t like the spice cake flavor.  Man, it was good!  :)I think I’ll try this with other combinations of cake mixes.  Possibilities are endless!  Okay here it is:

Banana Spice Bread

Spice Cake powder mix

4 banana’s mashed

(possible add-ins:  nuts, coconut flakes, dried fruit bits, etc.)

Stir the ingredients together.  Pour in bread pan that has been oiled.  Bake at 400 degrees for approximately 50 minutes or until knife poked through comes out clean.  Done.  Woohoo!

Easter Rolls

I love Easter and it’s so nice to find a way to make it more meaningful.  I want our boys to know what Easter is all about.  I want them to understand the Passover and that because of a perfect mans willing sacrifice of his own life,  death will only be a sting in the eternal journey of a continued life.  He concurred death so that we can too defeat the grave and be free.  I started searching online for something I could cook up with an analogy.  This was the best thing I could find for explaining the resurrection to a 4 and 5 year old.  It went well and the boys really seemed to understand and grasp onto the meaning.  Not to mention they were delicious and made the house smell TANTALIZING!

I copied the recipe from here:  http://growinggourmets.blogspot.com/2011/04/resurrection-rolls-resurrection-cookies.html

She has some great pictures of the whole process too.  However, when I made them I used crescent rolls.

Easter Rolls

1 can of refrigerated biscuits (crescents)
1 package of large marshmallows, (must be fresh; stale ones won’t work)
1 stick butter
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon

Melt butter in a microwavable bowl.  In a separate bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon.

 Have the children each take a marshmallow.  Jesus was pure and sinless which is represented by the white marshmallow.

Now have the children roll the marshmallow in the butter.  After Jesus died on the cross, they anointed his body with oil.

Next, roll the marshmallow in the cinnamon sugar mixture.  This represents the spices that were put on Jesus’ body before they placed him in the tomb.

Take one biscuit and flatten it with your fingers. Wrap the biscuit around the marshmallow and seal it very carefully.  Make sure it completely sealed.  Jesus was placed in the tomb and they rolled a large stone in front of it to seal it.

Roll the ball of dough in the cinnamon sugar mixture and place it on the cookie sheet.  Be sure and place them, seal side down, so the marshmallow doesn’t expand and puff out the top.

Bake the biscuit tombs in a 350 degree oven for 10-15 minutes or until browned on the outside.  Remind the children that Jesus was sealed up in the tomb for three days.

Finally, remove the biscuits from the oven.  Let cool slightly and encourage them to break open the tomb.  Where is Jesus?  He has risen!  The rolls taste sweet. Easter is a sweet time because Christ died for us and then three days after the cross, he arose so that we also can have a new life in Him!