Thursday, January 26, 2012

Tried and updated recipes

This week has been a lazy week.  I think I'm recovering from the sickness-induced cleaning and multiple trips to the pediatrician.  I haven't felt like doing much of anything.  However, I said I would post the recipes that we've been using, so I will.  Some of these were used last week and some I've used this week already.

Gummy recipe I found
Found on Pinterest
Rating - Neither kid liked it - 0 out of 10

I think that it's a good base recipe but I don't agree with the ratio of liquid to gelatin.  I followed the half recipe and used four 0.60 oz boxes of sugar-free Jello, 3 sleeves of Knox gelatin and 1/3 cup (and a splash) of white grape juice.  My gelatin and juice made a dry combination before I double boiled it and once I poured it into the molds and cooled it, they were almost rock hard.  It was like trying to chew rubber.  Also, I think they were a little sour because of the sugar-free Jello.  It made a lot, I used two ice cube trays, only filling them halfway.  I will be trying this recipe again.  However next time, I'm going to use half sugar-free Jello and half regular.  I still want to use the juice, but I might dilute it with water.  I'm planning on using the Jello recipe which calls for 2 cups of water/juice per box.  We'll see if that softens them up a little.  I really want this to work because it really is an easy recipe.  And if it does work, it'll be an awesome snack I don't have to buy for the kids.

Multiple coffee creamers
Found on Pinterest
Rating - about a 7 out of 10

I have only made the Pumpkin Spice creamer out of all the ones listed.  I made it for Matt because he likes some coffee with his creamer.  It was good.  I followed the directions exactly as it had listed, but next time I think I'll double the pumpkin.  It didn't have the pumpkin kick I was hoping for.  Also, I contemplated taking out the maple syrup, but I didn't and I don't recommend skipping that ingredient.  It adds another Autumn-related flavor that regular sugar doesn't.  When Matt gets back, I'm planning on trying the French Vanilla (his favorite) and the Honey Vanilla.

Gingerbread Latte recipe
Found on Google
Rating - 10 out of 10

This is a fantastic recipe for anyone that loves the Starbucks Gingerbread Latte.  I almost like it better because it has more of the molasses flavor, whereas the Starbucks Gingerbread syrup can be too sugary sometimes.  On the top, she has the directions to make the actual latte and below is the directions for the Gingerbread syrup.  I really like this recipe and plan on using it throughout the year.  She has lots of other really good recipes for coffee creamers on her page.

Honey Mustard Chicken
Found on
Rating - 9 out of 10

I have made this twice and have enjoyed it both times.  The first time, I made it exactly the way it says.  Last night I substituted evaporated milk for the mayo.  I marinated the chicken overnight and grilled it on my grill pan.  I love the way the honey creates a crust on the chicken and caramelizes.  I wish I would have made more for a dipping sauce and might just mix some up in a mason jar to keep as a condiment.

My Favorite Pizza Crust
Found on Pioneer Woman's blog
Rating - 9 out of 10

I have used this crust recipe numerous times and we all really like it.  I made the dough on Sunday and am planning on using it for pizza and garlic knots tonight.  I love that you make it in advance and then it continues rising while it's in the fridge.  It makes two cookie sheets full of pizza or, like we do, one cookie sheet pizza and two cookie sheets of garlic knots.  For the garlic knots, I roll out the dough, cut it like bread sticks one way and then in half.  Tie the dough in a knot and put it on the pan.  Bake it for about 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.  Once the knots come out I toss them in a bowl with olive oil, salt, garlic and Parmesan cheese.  Because the dough is so basic, if you're looking for flavor in your crust, I would drizzle some olive oil over the edges and then sprinkle it with some salt, garlic and Italian seasonings.

Wild Energy Bars
Given to us by a friend
Rating - 8 out of 10

Instead of granola, I used old fashioned oats and substituted dates for apricots.  I like this recipe and plan on making these again with a few alterations.  I will double the amount of cranberries (because I like the sour punch it gives you) and I will half the amount of honey.  I couldn't believe the amount of honey it calls for, but I used it.  And they are SWEET!  They are almost sickening sweet to me.  I don't know if it's the clover honey I used or what, but man, they almost made my teeth hurt.  Below, you can see that 1/20 of the recipe is 220 calories.  I ended up cutting them into 10 bars and then cut each bar into four.  It made little bites of about 1x2 inches.  Then I plastic wrapped each little bite and put them in a zip-loc bag to keep them fresh.  Despite the sweetness, they have been a huge hit around here.  Gabe loves to put them in his lunch and I eat one as a 100 calorie snack or as a dessert option.

Bacon Risotto
Found on
Rating - 9 out of 10

I know what you're thinking, bacon and risotto!  Now you know why I picked this recipe to try!  That and I didn't have very much Parmesan cheese.  I ended up needing 6 cups of broth instead of the 5 listed and added a bay leaf while I toasted the risotto.  I removed the bay leaf at the end before I added the cheese and butter.  According to Top Chef judges, risotto should ooze on the plate after it's served.  Not the greatest of mental images, but that's how I knew if it was done or not.  I knew all those Top Chef episodes would come in handy some day!  The only other thing I changed was I added frozen carrots and peas the same time I added the last cup of broth, so they would cook a little but not get over cooked.  It was fantastic and I am anxious to have it again.

Sweet Potatoes with coconut oil
Given to us by a friend
Rating - 9 out of 10

It's as easy as it sounds.  I peeled and cut up one sweet potato in french fry style, coated a cookie sheet with coconut oil and baked the sweet potatoes at 450 degrees for 20-25 minutes.  They were so delicious!  The coconut oil almost caramelizes the outside, especially if you burn them a little (I think they tasted better a little charred).  I sprinkled them with salt and the boys ate them up!  I was really surprised that they ate them, but I wish I would have used both potatoes I had because the one ended up not being enough!  It's so surprising to me how sweet the actual potato is by itself, it's almost a dessert.  I hadn't had sweet potatoes in a long time (and almost always made with lots of brown sugar and butter), but this has really opened my eyes to this root vegetable.

Ice Cream in a Bag
Found on Pinterest
Rating - 9 out of 10

I followed the directions exactly like it said and it worked like a charm.  I had always heard of making ice cream in a machine, but had never made it in such a small quantity.  I love the flexibility of this recipe.  You can add whatever you want to create different flavors.  You can make each kid their own flavor.  You don't have to buy a big tub of artificially flavored ice cream.  It's also built in portion control!  I highly recommend this!  There are also comments from other people that have tried it on how to make it low-calorie using milk and splenda instead.

Aside from food, I have been finding and been given a lot of recipes for homemade household products:

Homemade Laundry Detergent

Homemade Lotion

Homemade Eczema Body Wash

Homemade Baby Wipes
*Wondering if I could alter this to include making Bleach wipes

Club-sized Bubble Mix

Once we start running out of products we've purchased, I can't wait to try out these homemade, cheaper and BETTER alternatives.

So far the only things crafty I've made this week are place mats for the boys.  Hopefully this will stop the dinner time squabble as to who is sitting where.  Also, whenever they have snacks, we can use these instead of dishes.  I used scrapbook paper that I had lying around and clear contact paper to seal it.

Lastly, I would like to say Happy Three Months to my baby Cal-Cal girl.  We all love you so much and have a hard time believing you're already three months old.  You bring such light, joy and happiness to all of us with your sweet smiles.  I fall more in love with you every second.  Thank you for coming into our lives.

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad the boys liked the sweet potatoes! I'm definitely going to have to try that creamer recipe; I go through a lot and love to try new flavors. I have a confession though; I bought 6 bottles of the pumpkin spice creamer when it was on clearance after Christmas! They are all in my freezer so I can enjoy them for months after Christmas!! But I will definitely try some of these other flavors!