Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Frankenmuffins

Frankenmuffins

 

We had so much fun at the party on Monday! A huge thank you to all of our playgroup friends that came.

 

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If you have a picky eater you’ll want to whip up a batch of these muffins. You honestly can’t taste the spinach at all it just makes an awesome color. My kid won’t eat veggies and he loved these, as well as several of the other kids who tested them out.  

 

Frankenmuffins

(Adapted from October 2014 issue of FamilyFun magazine)

 

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1 cup each all-purpose and whole wheat flours

3/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon each baking soda

1/2 teaspoon each salt

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/4 cup canola oil

3/4 cup milk

6 ounces (6 cups packed) fresh baby spinach

1 large banana

2 teaspoons vanilla

 

Heat the oven to 350 degrees and coat 16 muffin cups with cooking spray.

 

In a large bowl, whisk together flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt, and cinnamon.

 

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In a blender, puree canola oil, milk, and fresh baby spinach until smooth, then blend in banana and vanilla.

 

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Fold the liquid mixture into the dry ingredients.

 

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Fill each prepared muffin well two-thirds full.

 

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Bake the muffins until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 18 minutes.

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Monday, October 27, 2014

Pumpkin Goodie Bags

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Today we are hosting the Halloween party for our playgroup and we are so excited. Well, probably more me than my son. He just loves to play, meanwhile I enjoy the planning part. I wanted to do a fun little goodie bag, but being they are toddlers you can’t just fill them with candy and send them on their merry way. Thank goodness for Pinterest I found a few things on there I could make and stick in there with some extra goodies.

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For the Jack-o-lanterns I just got little prepackaged fruit cups and using a black Sharpie marker I drew on the faces. The tip is to use a brand new sharpie to get a nice dark black otherwise it looks a little more washed out and doesn’t color on as good.

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For the applesauce mummies I took the pouches of applesauce and used the  white garland paper and some double sided tape. You only need two pieces one for the start and one for the end of the wrap. After they where wrapped I used some white glue and google eyes from the craft store to add some character. You could also take it one step further and using black paint pipe on a mouth, but I thought they where cute like this.

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To make the pumpkin bags I painted the clothes pins green and also made green handprints with my sons’ hand.

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I couldn’t find orange bags, being short on time, so I used brown then painted on a pumpkin shape.

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On Wednesday I’ll post some pictures from the party and a yummy treat to sneak in some veggies to the kiddos.

Friday, October 24, 2014

French Onion Soup Stuffed Mushrooms

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Your guest will loves these stuffed mushrooms for the upcoming holiday season. They are easy prep ahead of time and bake as you need them. I love the idea of combining stuffed mushrooms with French onion soup flavors.

French Onion Soup Stuffed Mushrooms

(Adapted from Pioneer Woman)

 

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2 Tablespoons Butter2 whole Large Onions, Halved And Sliced Thin

1/4 cup Beef Broth

7 dashes Worcestershire Sauce

Splash Of Red Or White Wine

1/2 cup Grated Gruyere Cheese (can Use Swiss)

Kosher Salt

24 whole White Or Crimini Mushrooms, Washed And Stems Removed

Minced Parsley

 

In a medium skillet, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Add onions and sauté for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until very soft. Splash in wine, broth, and Worcestershire. Cook for another 5 minutes, or until liquid is cooked down. Set aside.

 

Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Throw in mushrooms and toss around for 2 minutes, just to start the cooking process. Sprinkle mushrooms with salt.

 

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Place mushroom caps face down in a baking dish. Heap cavity with sautéed mushrooms, then sprinkle Gruyere over the top.

 

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Bake at 10 minutes on 325 degrees. Turn on broiler and broil for a couple of minutes, until the top of the Gruyere starts to bubble and slightly turn brown.

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Sprinkle minced parsley over the top and serve.

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Monday, October 20, 2014

Slow Cooker Lemon Garlic Chicken

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I’m starting to like roasting chickens in a crockpot more than the oven. The chicken stays really moist and the juices don’t burn so you can save them to make a gravy or baste your chicken at the end. I forgot to add the rosemary (too much multi tasking) which it wasn’t the end of the world, but it would have made the flavor really nice with the lemon. Can’t wait to make more in the crockpot like this.

Slow Cooker Lemon Garlic Chicken

(Adapted from No. 2 Pencil)

 

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4 lemons

2-3 heads of garlic

1 whole chicken 4 to 5 pounds

Fresh rosemary, or any fresh herbs

All-purpose steak seasoning or salt and pepper

 

Cut garlic heads and lemons in half and lay in bottom of slow cooker. Cut the bottoms off the lemons so they lay flat.

 

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Add a sprig of rosemary, or any herbs. (I forgot to do this)

 

Remove insides from chicken, rinse chicken and pat dry. Season chicken well, inside and out, with all-purpose steak seasoning or salt and pepper. Lay chicken on top of garlic and lemon slices and stuff the chicken with a garlic head cut in half, and a lemon cut in quarters.

 

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Cover top of chicken with additional lemon slices and rosemary.

 

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Turn slow cooker to high, and cook for about 4 hours, or until chicken reaches 165 degrees.

 

Slow cooker cooking times vary.

 

Important: Use a meat thermometer to check for doneness.

 

When chicken has reached 165, turn off slow cooker and let chicken rest for about 15 minutes.

 

Remove from slow cooker, carve and serve.


Liquid from slow cooker can be strained and served over chicken.

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Saturday, October 18, 2014

Dreamfields Creamy Pumpkin Pasta with Scallops #IHeartDreamfields {Pasta Give-Away}

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Did you know that October is National Pasta Month? Well it is, which is why I have partnered with Dreamfields and some other very talented blogger to bring you 31 magical days of delicious pasta recipes and also a giveaway to win some of your own pasta to try out these fantastic dishes.

To find all of the delicious Dreamfields pasta recipes be sure to follow the hastag, #IHeartDreamfields via social media for each weeks theme which features a variety if Dreamfields pasta.

October 1-7: Casual Entertaining

October 8-14: Vegetarian Entrees

October 15-21: Table for Two

October 22-31: Stovetop Saviors/Quick and Easy Recipes

A few fun facts about Dreamfields Pasta to want to choose them for your pasta dish:

  • It's made with premium durum wheat semolina from North Dakota.
  • It has 5 grams of fiber and 7 grams of plant protein per serving (2 ounces dry / 1 cup cooked).
  • It tastes great with your favorite pasta dishes and can be included in your healthy meal plan.
  • It's prebiotic fiber helps promote healthy digestion.
  • It has the taste and texture of traditional pasta from a blend of fiber and plant proteins (which also help you feel full).
Can't wait to try Dreamfields? Just look for the black box in the pasta aisle at your local store or purchase it online.

GIVEAWAY

Dreamfields has offered to send one of my readers a $25 gift card AND box of each of their seven cuts of pasta: Spaghetti, Angel Hair, Linguine, Elbows, Penne Rigate, Rotini, and Lasagna. To enter, simply answer this question in the comment section below (mandatory entry):

All you need to do is tell me what is your favorite cut of pasta?

This giveaway is open to residents of the USA only. Submissions will be accepted through 11:59 pm ET on Sunday, October 26, 2014. One winner will be chosen via random draw and contacted within 48 hours of the close of this contest, and given 24 hours in which to respond. If no response is received within that time frame, a new winner will be chosen.

Since my theme was Table for Two, I decided since we are moving slowly into Fall I wanted to combine the flavors of pumpkin and a creamy soup. I hope you give it a try!!

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Dreamfields Creamy Pumpkin Pasta with Scallops

Created by Finding Inspiration in Food

 

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4 ounces Dreamfields Angel Hair pasta, uncooked

1 small onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cups pumpkin puree

2 cups chicken stock, reduced sodium, fat-free

1/2 cup lite coconut milk

dash of kosher or sea salt

dash of freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, divided

6 large scallops

1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning

Shredded Gouda cheese (optional)

2 tablespoons chopped hazelnuts

 

Bring a medium size pot of water to a boil. Add the pasta to the pot and cook until al dente, or according to the package instructions. Drain and set aside.

 

While the pasta is cooking, in a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the olive oil; reduce the heat to medium low and add the onion and garlic to the pan.

 

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Cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.

 

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Increase the heat to medium and add the pumpkin, chicken stock, coconut milk, salt, pepper and 1 tablespoon of the thyme to the skillet. Whisk until well-combined and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Combine with cooked pasta.

 

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Meanwhile, sprinkle scallops on both sides with desired amount of Cajun seasoning.  You can choose to grill the scallops or heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a skillet and cook about 1 minute on each side or until scallops are opaque.

 

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Divide between 2 bowls and garnish with the remaining thyme and Gouda cheese, if using. Top with scallops and hazelnuts; serve immediately.

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Disclaimer: Dreamfields pasta and giveaway pack have been provided by Dreamfields for this Review & Giveaway. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”