Friday, June 10, 2011

Egg McMuffins

After the kids both tried to eat my Egg McMuffin a couple of days ago, I thought I'd try making my own. I thought it was really good...the verdict is still out on what the kids think.

Here's what I did...

1. Spray ramekins with nonstick spray. Crack an egg into each one. Then use a fork to break the yolk. You don't have to stir it up, just kind of spread it out a little.
2. Place the ramekins on a baking sheet and place in the oven on 350 for about 15 minutes. I kept checking on mine, so it took a little longer.
3. While the eggs are cooking, toast up some whole grain English muffins.
4. Top the muffins with a slice of cheese and a slice or two of Canadian bacon.
5. Once the eggs are set, remove them from the oven. Run a knife around the edge so the eggs will slide out cleanly. Place on top of the cheese, and sandwich the two sides together.

It was easy, and the good thing is you can make as many or few of these as you need.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

So, it's been a while...

I have two blogs. One is for my running. And this one is for things related to my home and children. Running makes me a better me so that I can do the things around the house and with the kids without too much screaming. But having two blogs makes me feel like I have a split personality or alter ego. I haven't figured out how to rectify that, so here's a random post for this side of me.

Today, food is on my mind. Specifically, I'm thinking about trying to eat healthier. It's summer, and I'm home with the kids. It's so easy to eat out, especially when we're busy, busy,  but I'm really going to try and eat at home for the majority of our meals. It's expensive either way, to be honest, but I know it's not as expensive to eat at home.

One of the best things I've found lately are rolls of turkey meat. They have the plain turkey, taco seasoned, Italian seasoned and breakfast sausage. They are cheaper than ground beef and they're really good.

 We've used the Italian flavor for make-your-own pizza and for a baked pasta dish.
We've used the taco one for nachos and tacos (duh, right?), but it would be really good for a taco ring.

I've got black beans soaking right now to go in the crockpot this evening. I'm going to use them in a huevos rancheros cups recipe I saw on Melissa D'Arabian's 10 Dollar Dinners  recently. I'll freeze the rest to use later in other recipes (maybe a black bean burger?).

I've got a few new recipes planned for this week. I'll try to post those later.

Monday, February 21, 2011

New dessert

Now, I realize this is totally simple, but it's new to us. Here's what we made for dessert tonight...

I'm calling ours triple chocolate treat, but the inspiration came from Pioneer Woman's recipe for Frozen Cappuccino Cups.

Here is what I actually did:

24 Oreos crushed (this made too many and I should have used my food processor)
2 Tbps melted butter

Mix these two together and put in the bottom of 12 foil liners in the muffin tin.

Chocolate ice cream, softened (the small carton, I have no idea what size that is)
About 1/4 cup of mini chocolate chips
About 1/4 cup of the leftover crushed Oreos
A dash of cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix all of this together and layer on top of the Oreos in the muffin tin.

Top with softened Cool Whip and freeze until set. These can be put in a Ziploc after they have fully refrozen. I added a drizzle of chocolate syrup before eating.

I can just imagine all sorts of possibilities! Think of vanilla sandwich cookies topped with strawberries mixed into vanilla ice cream. Or graham cracker crusts topped with chocolate ice cream with chocolate chunks and marshmallows. It's endless!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Hot Vanilla Drink

With this being Day 4 of being at home due to the snow and ice, I've been able to try new things (which also attests to how much time I've had to look at recipes online). It's finally not in the teens for temperatures, so the kids and I headed outside this morning for some snow fun, which gave us the perfect chance to try this: Hot Vanilla. It is so simple to make and delicious! If you don't want to click on the link for the Family Fun site, here's what you do:

Heat up 1 cup of milk and 2 tsp. sugar for each drink you want to make. Add about 1/2 tsp. vanilla per drink after it's warmed. That's the basics of the drink, but the best part is the topping. The recipe calls for making your own whipped cream, but I had Cool Whip on hand so I used that. Add about a tablespoon of chocolate syrup and a dash of cinnmon to the whipped topping before putting it on the hot vanilla. Drizzle a little more chocolate syrup and sprinkle a little cinnamon on top. It's a really "pretty" drink (if there is such a thing) and it's warm and cozy.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Trying new things 3

Three days in a row...three new things. First, brussel sprouts. Second, edamame. And third? Polenta. I used the store-bought stuff because, well, because it was an impulse purchase. I had visions of crispy outside, creamy inside rounds of the stuff. It didn't work out quite like that, but I liked it.

I just cut the tube-shaped polenta into rounds. I attempted to "fry" it in a little oil/butter mix. That was a mess and it never crisped up like I thought it would. I drained the butter and oil for the second batch, and it turned out much better! It got a little browning action going. I did not like the flavor of it by itself though, but I topped it with chili from the crockpot (and a little cheese and sour cream). It was perfect! Nice and creamy under the spicy sauce. Good stuff!

I think next time I will make the polenta myself so I can add a little salt and parmesan though.

So, three new foods in three days. And I made pretzels for the first time too. These snow days aren't so bad after all :)

Repurposed crayons

So, technically, they aren't "repurposed" since the purpose remains the same...they color. Still, they are a fun way to use up those bits and pieces of leftover crayons, and the kids can help for most of it. And don't start thinking I'm all creative and crafty. This idea came from my mom, who used to make these either with or for her preschool students (of which I was one).

Start with your broken, old crayons.

This is where the kids can help (and we've actually been working on this part on and off for some time). You need to peel the paper off of them and sort them into muffin tins. We used the disposable foil ones. I know you can use shaped molds as well. Check out Etsy for some really cute ones. We sorted ours by similar colors, but you can let the kids go crazy with them.

Then, put them on a larger cookie sheet for stability and put in the oven at 350 degrees. I started worrying that this was too hot and turned them down for a while, but then they weren't melting. They will be very runny, so be careful pulling them out of the oven. I didn't watch to see exactly how long they took, but I'd guess about 15 minutes or so.

Pop them out of the molds after they have cooled. This didn't take nearly as long as I thought it would.

We have two sets of them...Ryan's and Sarah Beth's.  

The kids are looking forward to coloring with them this afternoon. The cool thing about these is that they color with a swirled effect. These are really great for toddlers who can't hold the skinny crayons yet, but they're fun for all ages.

Trapped in the house = cooking

Yesterday, I attempted to make homemade pretzels. Ok, attempted isn't the right word because they were delicious! I used this recipe: Butter Soft Pretzels. I followed it pretty closely, but I did take the advice of one reviewer and started with 4 cups of flour with the intention of adding more if needed. However, it didn't need more. My dough didn't want to rise, but it worked anyway. I was really impressed with the dough...very smooth and stretchy. I was also impressed with the baking soda/water dunk before baking. It really did make a crispy crunch on the outside. I doused mine in melted butter as they came out of oven and sprinkled them with a cinnamon/sugar mix. I did one with salt, but with this dough, I'd stick with the sweet. They were really, really in, I think I ate 3 or 4 of the dozen I made.

See, don't they look tasty?

I'm sure we'll tackle another recipe right now, but first, we're going to do some crafting. I'm getting all the crafty stuff out and letting the kids play away. We'll see what they come up with :)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Trying new things 2

Yesterday it was brussel, it's endamame. I'm hooked! I keep meaning to try it, and in fact, have 3 bags of it the freezer because, apparently, I remember that I want to try it every time I go to the store only to forget about it once I get home. I just boiled it in some salted water and tossed it with some kosher salt after I draiend it. It is so yummy! I've already bagged it up for snacks later in the week. Or day. It's a "snow day" so snacking is invetable. At least this one's healthy.

So, I'm thinking I'll try the polenta tomorrow. After I get to the store again, I'm going to try beets. I am not sure if I've ever eaten them, to be honest. I saw a beet slider on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives last night, and I read an article about them somewhere. Once again, I no idea what magazine or web site I'm thinking of...and honestly, I'm not even sure what the article said.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Trying new things

Tonight's new thing? Brussel sprouts. Or is it Brussels sprouts? Whatever. It's the same thing when you're eating it. And no, technically, brussel sprouts aren't new, even to me. I distinctly remember hating them as a child. But I saw a recipe for some roasted brussel sprouts the other day in some magazine or on some website...helpful, I know. I can never remember where I see these things. Then I spend ages looking for them again. And end up making something I hope comes close to what I originally saw.

So tonight, I partially thawed some frozen brussel sprouts in the microwave so I could cut them in half. I put them in a glass 9x13 pan and tossed them with some oil, squeezable garlic (love this stuff), and kosher salt. I put them in the oven at 375 and stirred them every 5 minutes or so. I really liked them! I'm impressed with myself! Diva Daughter even ate one half of one!

I bought some polenta at the store today too. That will be a new recipe for later this week. I haven't quite decided what to do with it though. I'm thinking slice it up and pan fry it for something...if the tomatoes had looked decent at the store, I would have made some of my yummy sauteed tomatoes for it. Instead, I'm thinking either melted cheese with marinara or a fried egg and salsa.

And we've got some cooooooollldd weather moving's super windy right now, and I'm pretty sure it's sleeting. We don't get weather like this often. Everyone was going crazy this afternoon at all the grocery stores stocking up on food and gas. I did go to the store, but only for stuff to make chicken noodle soup in the crockpot tomorrow and to have stuff for breakfast and lunch if we do end up not going to school tomorrow.

Saturday, January 29, 2011


We had such a simple, relaxing night last night. It was make-your-own-pizza night and I let everyone choose or make their own. We used two types of dough (because that's what we had). The first was the Pillsbury thin crust pizza in the can for the kids. Chad and I split some Pete's dough I get in the freezer section. Here's what we ended up with:
Diva Daughter had pizza "rolls" with sauce, cheese and bacon bits.
Mr. Getinsky had cheese sauce or cheese.
Chad had a chicken, bacon, cheese, purple onion and ranch pizza which was really, really good.
I had a buffalo chicken, cheese, purple onion and ranch pizza that really good too.

I had the stuff out for ham and pineapple too, but no one used it.

If we weren't having pancakes at the Pancake Festival for lunch, I'd used the leftover chicken for a buffalo wrap or some chicken salad. I'm guessing that will be either tomorrow's lunch or meals for the week.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


I tried a new soup in the crockpot today...very yummy, I have to say. I found it online at the Tasty Kitchen website, which is part of The Pioneer Woman's site. Gotta say I love that site. The recipe was called Sausage Corn Chowder, but I made a few adjustments. Here is what I made:

1 pound smoked sausage sliced (the big U-shaped link sausage)
several small red potatoes, quarted (but I should have cut them a little smaller)
2 stalks of celery, sliced
2 carrots, sliced
1 can cream-style corn
1 can cream of chicken soup
15 oz. chicken broth
a sprinkle of dried minced onions (because I didn't have the real thing)
salt and pepper
1/2 cup of half and half
1 1/2 Tbs. corn starch (that's approximate...I just put a big spoonful or so in the half and half)

Put everything except for the half and half and cornstarch in the crockpot and cook on low for 6 hours. I put everything in the crockpot and then in the fridge. My hubby had the job of putting the crockpot on low while he was home for lunch. Then, I mixed the cornstarch with the half and half and added it to the crockpot. I turned it up to high for a little while (about half and hour) to let it thicken up.

I really liked this and am actually looking forward to the leftovers tomorrow!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Crockpot cooking again

I'm so excited that I've got the crockpot out for tomorrow! It's been a long time. I hadn't looked at my Facebook group called Crockpot Cookers in a while. I forgot how many really good recipes we had collected there! I can't wait to try to a few of of them out soon.

The first one I'm trying out is the one I have ready to go for tomorrow. It's from one of my dearest friends. Here it is:

Ham and Bean Soup
1 lb. white beans
1 carrot (or more), diced
1 celery stalk (or more), diced
2 quarts water
2-3 ham hocks (which, by the way, I don't have)
1 lb. cooked ham, diced
1 onion, diced
spices (she suggests salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder)

Soak beans for 12 hours. Rinse and drain. Simmer with 2 quarts of water for 30 minutes. Place in crockpot with the rest of the ingredients. Cook on low for 10-12 hours.

I may change a few things about the recipe, but we'll see. I was thinking of adding a little chicken broth or bouillon. I have a little half-and-half in the fridge, so I thought about adding that at the end to make a creamy soup. We'll see.