Sunday, January 11, 2009

January's In the Kitchen with... Recipes and Tips

Thank you everyone who contributed to this post! WE APPRECIATE YOUR TIPS!

Rebecca Hunter's Easy Pizza Tip

1 box of Trader Joe's Cheese Pizza . Add sliced tomatoes or whatever topping you prefer. Bake as directed. A kid favorite.

Chandra Newhouse's Easy Pasta Chicken

This is a family favorite. Combine your leftover chicken or ANY chicken on hand. Add cooked pasta, 1-2 Tbls of butter and bottle of Italian dressing (Bone or Girard's). Serve!

Arlene Lauper's Easy Breakfast Tips

Archer Farms (Target Brand) Chocolate Chip Banana & Chopped Bacon Multi-grain Waffles

I follow the waffle mix instructions. Then, I microwave two packages of the Hormel Microwaveable Bacon. Chop it up and add it to the waffle mix. Then just prepare on waffle iron. I serve them with fresh cut fruit and yogurt. It is a great, easy breakfast treat.

Trader Joe's Chocolate Croissants

These are our FAVORITE! They are so delicate and seriously rival William-Sonoma's version at a fraction of the cost. Enjoy!

Kim Marquis' Baked Whole Chicken and Yummy Protein Shakes

Baked Whole Chicken

1 Whole Chicken

1 can Chicken Broth

Herbs of Provence Seasoning (Williams-Sonoma is what I use)

Lemons (1-2)

Garlic (3 whole cloves)

Vegetables of your choice

Place whole chicken (clean cavity first) in a deep roasting pan. Stuff chicken w/3 whole cloves of Garlic and sliced Lemons. Generously sprinkle with Herbs of Provence (Williams-Sonoma) seasoning all over chicken (About 1 1/2 - 2 Tbls). Add veggies of your choice around chicken in pan...onion, potatoes, carrots, zucchini..whatever you prefer. Pour 1 can of Chicken Broth and Lemon Juice over chicken. Bake @ 350 for approx. 45 minutes.

Peanut Butter Protein Shake

1 ½ scoops of protein powder (I use Jay Robb's Vanilla Whey Protein Powder)
1 cup of non fat milk
1 tbsp. of light peanut butter or almond butter
¼ of a banana
½ cup of crushed ice

Blend it . If it is too thick use water to thin it out.

Orange Julius Breakfast Shake

1 ½ scoops of protein powder
1 cup OJ
¼ cup milk
½ cup of crushed ice

Lori Cook's Two Cents

You might have already gotten this one, but here are my Two Cents. My kids love frozen waffles, but I don't like to give them the store bought ones, so I will make them about once a month and make extra and freeze them. Then we have them to throw in the toaster on school mornings and they taste just like I have just made them.

Also if I am making a meal that will freeze well I will make a double batch and then freeze one so that I have a meal in the freezer for when I am not able to cook or if I don't feel like cooking. I hope these ideas help.

Lindsie Hazen's Great Breakfast Burrito Tips

Our family loves breakfast burritos for dinner. I always make potatoes, eggs, beans, and cheese and roll them up in a tortilla....BUT the potatoes take forever. So at Trader Joe's I bought frozen hashbrowns (they look like the ones they serve at McDonald's, but are healthier) and I cook those, cut them up, and then add them to the burrito. It's super yummy!

Tiffany Mehner's Cheese Torellini

Fresh cheese tortellini (Costco) . . . .or you can use the frozen I'd imagine.
Boil and then drain . Throw in a pan , squeeze ranch dressing all over the tortellini and throw in some grated Parmesan cheese. Stir together over medium heat until cheese melts and ranch is warm. I add any veggies . I've used sauteed green beans, broccoli, peas, sauteed onion, grilled chicken, or roasted red peppers. Anything you want! I know it sounds weird, but try it . Somehow the combo of ranch and Parmesan . works.

Megan Buchanan's Pumpkin Cookies in a minute

My easy recipe is : Pumpkin cookies in minute (and they are lowfat!)

1 box spice cake mix1 16 ounce can of pure pumpkin (not pumpkin spice)

2 cups chocolate chips

Mix and bake for 8 minutes on 350 degrees. They work well in mini muffin tins.

Ashley Hladek Recipes and Recommendations

(Her chocolate cake was featured on Sunday)

Here are some of my ideas off the top of my head and I will email you more if I think of them:

1) Cilantro Jalapeno Hummus from Trader Joe's with the Pretzels slims.
2) Bruschetta in the refrigerated section of Trader Joe's, serve it with a Baguette that you cut in slices and brush olive oil and a little salt on top of each slice and broil it for a few minutes

1) The spinach complete salad from Trader Joe's (it comes with Craisins, blue cheese and candied almonds and a great salad dressing) and then I add a little extra blue cheese, pomegranate seeds and pears to make it even more yummy.

Main Courses:
1) Trader Joe's meatballs (comes in a package in the frozen section). Defrost the meatballs and then I just make a quick and easy homemade marinara that goes with it. Here it is:
Put some olive oil in a pan and chop up about 1/3 a cup of onion and 2 or 3 garlic cloves. Saute while adding 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, and 1 teaspoon dried basil and some salt and pepper. Then add 1 can tomato sauce and 1 can diced tomatoes. Last, add the meatballs and simmer until ready to eat (don't forget to make some spaghetti noodles to go with it). It's great with grated mozzarella on top if you have it in your fridge.

2) Chicken Fajita mix in the Trader Joe's frozen section. I get a package of that mix and then just add some extra chicken because they don't put enough chicken in. But it ends up tasting like homemade fajitas and is so nice because you don't have to cut up all the peppers and onions. I serve it on tortillas with cheese and sour cream.

3) Trader Joe's Carne Asada steak is great on the grill and then you can cut it up on top of a salad or make tacos out of it. Quick and easy!


Mango and Cream Bars (in the frozen section from Trader Joe's). The yummiest little treat that is only 60 calories!


My kids love yogurt parfaits. I get Trader Joe's French Village Vanilla Nonfat Yogurt, then buy any kind of frozen fruit to go with it, and Trader Joe's Pecan Praline Granola. It is a great snack that is actually healthy and that my kids will eat.

Almost Homemade Bundt Cakes

1 box yellow cake mix

1 small instant vanilla pudding mix

1/2 c. sugar

3/4 c. oil

3/4 c. water

3 eggs

8 oz. sour cream

2 t. almond flavoring

mix:cake mix, pudding mix, and sugar add oil and water blend in eggs one at a time, then add sour cream and almond flavoring blend with hand mixer for 3-4 minutes bake in greased bundt pan at 350 for 50-60 minutes let cake cool in pan for about 10 minutes and then remove from baking pan and place on a cake plate, etc.

If desired, sprinkle cake with cinnamon and sugar. my side notes: My oven bakes for more on the 50 minute end so check it then by pressing it lightly with your finger (if it bounces right back it is done) or testing it with a toothpick, etc.;I let the cake cool for maybe 10-15 min. on a cake plate and then I steam it by placing a cake lid over the entire cake for 10-20 minutes. I think this is what helps it to stay so moist. I serve it with fresh berries and whipped cream.

*Variation for chocolate version (also a favorite): use chocolate cake mix, chocolate pudding mix, 1 small package semi-sweet chocolate chips and omit the almond flavoring. Add the chocolate chips after the sour cream and bake the same. I don't put cinnamon and sugar on it and I don't do the steaming process.

Alana Kirkham's Perfect Cake Mix Cookies Every time

Many of the sisters may already know about this easy recipe, but I'll share it for those who don't...

You can make the most fabulous cookies in less than 15 minutes with 4 easy ingredients! They turn out looking and tasting perfect every time. Perfect for quick and easy treat plates for Visiting/Home Teaching.
Ingredients: 1 box Triple Chocolate Fudge Cake Mix (or any chocolate flavor cake mix you like)
2 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Mix it all together into a stiff dough. Roll into 1 - 1 1/2 inch balls, and place balls 2 -3 inches apart on a cookie sheet. Bake at 350ºF for 10-12 minutes. Key Step: Remove them from the oven after they rise and crackle on top, but before they settle back down. Allow them to cool on the pan for 2-3 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack. Or, serve them piping hot - with cold milk, of course!

This recipe (minus the chocolate chips) works with any non-chocolate cake mix flavor, too. Try Strawberry, Cherry Chip, Lemon, or my Fall favorite... Spice Cake mix. Mmmmm!

Shannon Eberhardt's Chicken Enchilada Soup

This recipe is great with left over chicken. I almost always cook an extra piece or two to have for this recipe the following night.

Chicken Enchilada Soup
1 c. salsa
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can water
cooked chicken, torn or cubed (as much as you want)

Combine! Top with tortilla chips, cheese, and sour cream.
This makes enough for 2 people, if you want more, just double, triple, quadruple