Ham and Bean Soup

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I do not like ham and bean soup. I don’t like beans in any capacity. I may be a carnivore but I don’t really like ham. We had a few snow days in March, so I made a list of … Continue reading

Chicken Crust Pizza

It’s been a crazy couple of months for this girl. I went right from working full time at my favorite place in the world, to a long term subbing assignment at an inner city school, moved out of my parents into what would be our first apartment, started a new long term assignment at a different school with my own classroom, finished planning a wedding, and got married. Needless to say, I haven’t had too much time to breathe. BUT I have an entire collection of recipes, classroom freebies and adventures, wedding pictures and vendors, that I’ve been stock piling for when I was finally able to join the blogging world again.

Being that I have a special affinity for food, it’s only fitting that my return post be one of my new favorites, and one that Ethan LOVES- chicken crust pizza. This recipe was cooked in a 10in cast iron skillet, to give you an idea of space: ingredient ratio.

What you’ll need:

2-3 boneless skinless chicken breast (ground chicken is fine too)

1 egg

About ½ cup bread crumbs

Tomato sauce of choice (I use canned stuff from my parents garden)

Spices of choice (to add to your sauce- I do onion, garlic, basil, oregano, and red pepper flakes)

PIZZA TOPPINGS! This is my favorite part! I get good mozzarella, pepperoni, and fry up some bacon

Preheat your oven to 375.

  1. In a food processor, ground the chicken with the egg. It will be a fairly mushy consistency. Mix in the bread crumbs by hand or with a spoon. The egg helps keep the chicken from shrinking and the bread crumbs help bind it all together.
  2. Smoosh the chicken into the bottom of a baking dish, or skillet. Make sure it is pretty even. I like to make the edges a bit thicker like a real pizza crust. Put in the oven for at least 20 minutes or until it’s no longer pink.
  3. The sauce can be done a number of ways. I usually start my sauce on the stove well before I’m ready to use it to give the flavors time to meld and develop. You could also just use a jar of Ragu, the choice is really up to you. I do however recommend heating the sauce before using it.
  4. After the chicken crust is done baking, assemble the toppings! This is a great chance to get the kids or your spouse involved. I fried bacon, then sautéed onions in the bacon fat. I added some of the onions to the sauce, and used the rest as a topping on the pizzas. Bacon makes everything better.
  5. Since the chicken is already cooked and the sauce is already warm, you’re really only putting it back in the oven to melt the cheese (clearly the best part). I put it back in the oven at 375 for about 10 minutes to get it started, and kick on the broiler to really finish bubbling the cheese.

EAT! 😀

Germ-Be-Gone Drink

I am a teacher. I live with a teacher (my mom). My fiance is in ministry- aka, more public germs. We are surrounded every day by germs. But when back to school season is upon us, the germ exposure goes up dramatically in our house. My mom is in one school, and I sub so I’m in multiple schools a week, sometimes 2 in one day. My germ exposure is THROUGH THE ROOF! I also still have my tonsils (yuck). I also HATE getting sick. Most people hate getting sick, but I super hate it. So, I came up with this awesome germ-be-gone stuff and it’s 4 ingredients.

Why honey, lemon and ginger? Here are some fun health facts!

Ginger: Ginger has been used for thousands of years in homeopathic natural medicine. It is known as an immunity booster, to fight cancer, to reduce inflammation and pain, heart health, anti-biotic, and general gut health!

Lemon: Lemon is another great (delicious) natural immunity booster, antibacterial, antiviral, improves digestion, energy booster, reduces inflammation, is great for your skin, aids in alkalizing and cleansing your body, and bumps up your vitamin C!

Honey: The important thing about honey is trying to get it as raw and unprocessed as possible. Even better, is finding honey sourced in your area. This means that the pollens that the honey is made of is the same kind of stuff you breathe in everyday, which in turn helps will allergies! Honey also helps digestion, boost immunity, has antiviral properties, full of antioxidants, stabilizes blood pressure and blood sugars, antiseptic, and coats/sooth sore throats.

By mixing these 3 powerhouse ingredients, you make one yummy drink AND make your body very happy, all while killing germs and preventing sickness!

What you’ll need:

2-3 lemons

Small knob of ginger (dried stuff works too)

2-4 tablespoons of honey (depending on how sweet you like it)

Water

Large container that can handle hot water to put it all in.

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  1. Get water boiling on the stove.
  2. Rinse and slice your lemons. Pick out the seeds!
  3. Peel and chop your ginger. You can grate it, or leave it chopped.
  4. In your container, place your lemon slices and chopped ginger. Add in your honey. I think 3 tablespoons is usually pretty good.
  5. Let your mixture “steep” and cool. I usually let mine sit for at least 3 hours. You can leave all the stuff in, or you can strain it out. Totally your choice.

Drink at least a cup a day to help keep the icky germs away! You can make small batches in a mug, but I find making it in larger quantities is easier since I drink so much of it. I also enjoy drinking it warm verses drinking it cold. I feel like it is much more soothing and affective that way. Screen Shot 2016-08-28 at 10.47.27 AM.png

 

Shrimp and Chicken Pasta

Home alone. Well, kinda. Does having 4 dogs with you really count as “alone?” Is it kinda like “you’re not drinking alone if your <dog>/<cat> is with you?” Either way, after surviving on Cheerios for the last 3 days {no exaggeration, I eat like a toddler 95% of the time}, it was time for a “big kid meal.”

Ingredients:

1-2 lb shrimp (my bag was a 40-50 count)

Chicken (breasts, legs, what ever. I had some left over legs I chopped up and threw in)

Garlic clove

Butter

Olive oil

Pasta (penne is perfect!)

6 cups water

Tomato sauce (I used a pint mason jar of our homemade stuff)

1/2 cup red wine (optional but oh so yummy)

Salt/Pepper

Basil

Onion

Parmesan Cheese

Oh the best part, all done in ONE pan!!! BOOM!

*THAW AND PEAL YOUR SHRIMP BEFORE YOU START IF NEEDED! DONT FORGET TO DEVEIN! Prep what ever chicken you are using as well!*

  1. In your pan, melt butter with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil. While they are heating chop cup your garlic and onion.
  2. Once your butter has melted, on medium/high heat, add in your garlic and onion to sauté. While they are going, cut up your chicken, get your ingredients in order.
  3. Add in your shrimp and chicken to the butter goodness in the pan. Sear for 2-3 minutes.

13672090_10209826670848571_74546087_n4. Add in your tomato sauce, water, pasta, red wine, and sauce seasonings

13652707_10209826670768569_1814399578_n5. Cook at a low boil until the pasta is cooked through.

6. Serve nice and hot with parmesan on top!

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Total prep (including shrimp for me) 30 min. Clean up- 5 minutes, we have a great non-stick pan.

 

Savory Rosemary Garlic Scones

In preparation for my tea party bridal shower in a few days, one of the scone flavors that I made was rosemary and garlic. As you can imagine, we have a ton of sweets and just talking about all the sugar made me crave something a little more savory. So I made the executive decision to make something a bit more savory to throw into the mix.

Ingredients:

3 cups all purpose flour

1 cup Bisquick

1 cup milk

1/4 cup sugar

1 stick COLD butter

1/2 cup Crisco (optional)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper (or to taste)

4 teaspoons baking POWDER! (I will admit one time I made scones and I grabbed the baking soda instead of baking powder. Nothing will ever express how nasty they were. My friend from school was way too eager to tell the world of my epic baking failure)

1 large garlic clove (or two smaller ones)

2 tablespoons of rosemary (I used dried)

 

Mince your garlic. I also did a rough chop on the rosemary so it wasn’t like eating pine needles.

In a large bowl combine flour, oats, bisquick, sugar, baking soda, garlic, salt, pepper, and rosemary.

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Chop cold butter and Crisco into the dry ingredients with a hand pie crust thing. If you’re crazy, a fork will do just fine. I’ve done it before when a pie crust thing wasn’t available.

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Once the butter and Crisco are pea sized pieces, add in the milk. Continue to work through.

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Pre-heat your oven to 400

Flour a section of counter and dump the dough out. I cut my batch in half to make it easier to work with. Lightly flour the top of your dough and press with your hands to shape a rectangle about 1/2 of an inch thick. Using a sharp knife cut the dough into squares. Some people make a circle  like a small pie. I’m partial to the triangles myself. I did also sprinkle some additional rosemary on top of each one

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Place triangles 1/2 inch apart on a parchment covered cookie sheet. Bake 12-15 minutes or until the edges and top start to get brown.

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Allow to cool before storing in an air tight container. Feel free to serve these warm, with butter, or on their own.

1 Dish Chicken and Veggies

Tonight my family is all over the place. My brother came home from work, turned around, and left for job number 2. My parents came home, loaded 2 of the four dogs into the car for a quick trip to the vet for a manicure. I was left home. As my mom ran out the door, she said “Why don’t you throw some hot dogs on the grill?” Now I like hot dogs as much as the next person. There was a solid 2 years of my small life where I ate nothing but hot dogs and chicken nuggets (my mother still talks about it). But having just had kielbasa the night before, I wasn’t feelin it. So, what could I make relatively quickly that would be done by the time my parents got home and wouldn’t make a giant mess? 1 dish chicken and veggies.

What you’ll need:

2 cups chicken stock or water with 2 bullion cubes

Salt

Pepper

Onion (we had yellow so that’s what I used)

Chicken Breasts

Potatoes

Green Beans (we have fresh, frozen ones from our garden)

Carrots

Thyme

Parsley

  1. Thaw your chicken breast. We buy chicken in bulk, and my mom usually cuts thick breasts in half so they’re not as thick and cook a bit quicker.
  2. Dirty peel and cut your potatoes and carrots. If you can’t stand the skins, feel free to peel them completely. If you are worried about them cooking all of the way in the oven (like me) you can pre-boil them for a bit to kick start the cooking process.
  3. Cut a slice of onion about 1/2 inch thick. Simply cut into quarters so you have pretty decent sized pieces.
  4. Prepare your chicken broth and preheat your oven to 400 degrees. The chicken broth helps cook the potatoes, carrots, and green beans while also keeping the chicken nice and juicy!
  5. Lightly grease the bottom of a 13×9 baking dish. dump in your veggies and mix a bit. Lay your chicken breast on top. Pour your chicken broth over it all, it won’t cover all of the veggies but it will come about 1/2 up.
  6. Sprinkle salt, pepper and a bit of thyme and parsley.

13177273_10209214354421043_6736157662262300396_n.jpg7. Cover with foil and put into your oven. Cook until chicken and veggies are cooked through.

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If you’re feeling adventurous, you could remove the chicken and veggies to a platter and make a thicker sauce with the juices and chicken broth by adding cornstarch. I did not do that this evening.

You could easily make this in a crock pot, or use additional vegetables like asparagus. If you were to do this in a crock pot, I would add an extra cup of broth/water just to be on the safe side, especially if you plan on leaving it unattended.

Cinnabon Rolls

I have an inherited disease. It’s a love of Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls. Once upon a time, before Google and Pinterest were things, before restaurants released “secret recipes,” and my mother was a stay at home mom, she made many batches in an attempt to replicate the Cinnabon Roll. They used to be much more popular than they are today. It is once in a blue moon to come across a store/stand. I am lucky enough to have a mall that has a Cinnabon kiosk. *Yes, be jealous.* Thankfully we are beyond the Pintrest-less years, and most recipes can be found online. Even though I’d just had Cinnabon Center of the Rolls on Wednesday, I needed some more. So I made them. Prepare yourself for butter, cinnamon, brown sugar, and frosting, to take over your weekend breakfast.

Depending on how tall you cut your rolls, this batch makes 8-12 cinnamon rolls. I suggest cutting them at least 2 inches though.

Ingredients:

Dough
1 package active dry yeast
1 cup warm milk
½ cup granulated sugar
⅓ cup softened butter (not melted)
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
4 cups all purpose flour
Filling
1 cup lightly packed brown sugar
2-3 tablespoons cinnamon
⅓ cup softened butter
Frosting
2 cups powdered sugar
Half the juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla
Milk until desired consistency
  1. Dissolve the yeast in the warm milk in a stand mixer with a sprinkle of sugar. Let sit a minute or two.
  2. Add sugar, eggs, and half of the flour flour to the bowl of a mixer and mix well using the dough attachment.
  3. Cut and add in the soft butter along with the rest of the flour. Continue to knead until well combined.
  4. Place dough into an oiled bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place about 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size. 12736031_10208509233113451_1755304200_n.jpg
  5. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface until it’s about 1/4 inch thick. My dough patch was HUGE!
  6. To make filling, brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl.12736046_10208509232873445_184962519_n.jpg
  7. Spread the filling butter on the surface of the dough. I literally squished it in my hands to soften and spread it. Dump and spread the mixture evenly over the surface of the dough. 12746440_10208510359821618_423696633_n.jpg 12769407_10208510359661614_741690829_n.jpg
  8. Working carefully, from the long edge, roll the dough down to the bottom edge. Cut I used a cerated knife. 12736431_10208510227058299_249941488_n.jpg
  9. Place the cut rolls in a lightly greased pan. Cover them with a . Let them rise again for another 30 minutes until they double in size. 12736337_10208510226618288_1088431460_n.jpg
  10. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Grease a 9×13 inch baking pan.
  11. Bake for about 20 minutes or until light golden brown. I baked mine for 18 and they were perfect!  12767385_10208510226298280_1408391615_n.jpg
  12. While the rolls are baking make the icing by mixing all ingredients and whisk until combined. Using a whisk attachment on your stand mixer would add additional fluff if you like that sort of thing.
  13. When the rolls are done, spread generously with icing.12721777_10208510225178252_1344450237_n.jpg

EAT WARM! If you can’t eat them right out of the oven, warming them in the microwave for 10-15 seconds is PERFECT! Drink with a nice hot cup of coffee or tall glass of milk!

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Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

My most favorite Christmas cookie ever is the Chocolate Crinkle cookie. I realized while making them the other night that it’s pretty close to a brownie batter…maybe that’s why I love them so much! They are soft, chewy, chocolatey and classic.

Ingredients:

1/2 vegetable oil

4 eggs

2 cups of flour

4 oz bakers chocolate

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 cups granulated sugar

1 cup powdered sugar

  1. Melt your bakers chocolate in the microwave
  2. In a mixer combine sugar, vegetable oil and melted chocolate
  3. Very SLOWLY add in your 4 eggs. The chocolate is hot so if you dump them all in at once they’ll scramble!
  4. Sift 2 cups of flour with baking powder and a dash of salt- slowly add to your chocolatey mix. Your batter will be thicker than a cake batter, but not as dry as a regular cookie batter.
  5. Transfer to some plastic wrap to chill in the fridge. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT!!! 3hrs-over night is best. I left mine in over night.
  6. In a bowl add powdered sugar. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

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  1. Using teaspoons or a small ice cream scooper, scoop small portions of chilled dough, roll and drop into powdered sugar to coat.

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  1. Place on parchmented cookie sheet. Bake for 9-11 minutes. DO NOT OVER BAKE or they will end up crunchy and they are best nice and soft. I bake mine for 9-10 minutes.
  2. Remove from baking sheet and place on cooling rack.

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ENJOY! These guys are best with a giant glass of milk and no care for your waist line. This is a hard cookie to have just 1 of. 🙂

Makes about 5 dozen cookies!

Darling Disney Bridal Shower

Christian college kid problems- everyone gets married. I made it almost 4 and one half whole years before finally being invited to a wedding from school. One of the perks, or downfalls, of being a commuter; depending on how you look at it. This, is a feat, matched by few in the world of CCKs. Not only was I finally invited to a wedding, but I was asked to be IN the wedding! This meant helping to plan a bridal shower. When the bride’s MOH contacted us, she shared that she was thinking of a Disney Princess theme. The bride LOVES Disney. I was asked what I would like to be in charge of: food, decorations, games etc. I couldn’t help myself, I HAD to pick decorations.

Then came the realization- how do I plan a Disney Princess themed bridal shower and NOT make it look like a 5 years olds birthday party. Well. I love Disney. I work at a craft store. Pinterest is my best friend. And I have an inability to not over plan things. It was actually relatively easy to come up with ideas that were more allusions to the theme than “HI I’M A DISNEY PRINCESS PARTY!”

The Bride’s favorite princess is Belle. Her grandmother collects tea cups and tea pots, so this was a no brainer. 11998796_10207471794378131_676422762_n

I used a yellow table-cloth, red tulle, and a tea-pot. I happen to own a copy of “The Story of King Arthur and His Knights,” the book Belle reads to Beast in the movie. I also own 2 sets of Beauty and the Beast figurines from when I was Belle in our school musical. The rose is a tall, skinny, glass hurricane with a single silk rose petal and silk rose, submerged in water; to look like the enchanted rose from Beauty and the Beast.

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I gave each table a theme, and this one was Jasmine. I tried to stick with the more “classic” princesses since they were more well-known. I cut blue tulle into diamonds and layered them into a star. I also had small sticker jewels that I placed around as well. The other bridesmaids/family had the jars that I used in the center.

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Originally I was going to buy a fake white pumpkin and glitter it myself, but I found this super cute silver sequins one. You can’t have a Cinderella table without one! I used a light blue table cloth and light blue tulle. I again used the sticker jewels as well as sticker pearls. I picked up the blue crown at JoAnns. Coincidentally, the shower favors were little plastic “glass slippers” with baggies of mints. I couldn’t have planned that any better with this table.

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I’m not going to lie, I kinda think this might have been my favorite table. The purple table-cloth and green tulle sea shell lend itself to none other than the Little Mermaid. I used a smaller glass bowl and filled it with decorative blue/green stones, sea shells and water. I placed a few around the bowl along with “thingamabobs,” AKA- forks.

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Hi ho! Hi ho! Snow White was too much fun. A blue table-cloth and yellow tulle were my base. I pulled apples from the bride’s back yard and simply glittered them with red glitter. I got an unfinished little bird house for under $1 and painted it to match Snow White’s colors. I had the Doc sitting on a shelf in my room. There was no way to do this table scape without mirrors, so small mirrors were placed around the center as well.

I had been at a bridal shower earlier in the summer and loved the idea of giving guests the opportunity to write notes of well wishes, date ideas, advice, etc for the bride and groom. This table was the first idea I had when planning the shower. 11998437_10207471795178151_886444668_nThis was the well wishes table. It was just a small round table with a blue table-cloth with a lace overlay. I got a 18×18 canvas and painted on “A dream is a wish your heart makes.” I then used a clear glitter paint over the entire thing to add some sparkle and whimsy. Guests wrote down their notes on index cards and placed them in the vase.

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For the gift table, the mother of the bride had bought a picture frame as a gift, we used a blue expo marker to write “gifts,” and covered the table in a white table-cloth. This table didn’t need much more decoration than that- the gifts took care of decorating.

BONUS- I made the punch, and it was SO super easy. I’m sorry, I don’t have a picture to go with it.

Ingredients:

1 bottle Sprite

1 bottle of raspberry lemonade

105

 

 

 

 

 

1 pint fresh raspberries frozen, or 2 cups frozen raspberries

  1. Chill all ingredients before mixing
  2. Pour sprite/lemonade in a bowl
  3. Add frozen raspberries

That’s it. Super easy. Super yummy. Everyone loved it and thought it had been some super complicated recipe….NOPE!

 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Balls

As the school year is approaching, I am stocking up on desk snacks. I LOVE food, and tend to graze throughout the day instead of solid meals. This doesn’t usually work for teachers, but thankfully I have an awesome schedule that will allow me to do just that throughout my school day. Along with Goldfish, Nutella, chocolate chip muffins, and popcorn, I wanted something with a bit more substance. I’ve made these chocolate peanut butter balls before, but these have the added benefit of whey protein. The particular kind that I use also has added energy- B12, caffeine etc.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups peanut butter

1 cup oats

1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

1/4 honey

1 1/2 10g scoops of protein- I use whey protein and use a flavor that goes with this recipe- vanilla or chocolate

  1. In a bowl, warm peanut butter and honey in the microwave until it is a bit runny so that it will mix easier.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine your protein, oats and mini chocolate chips
  3. Once the peanut butter and honey are warmed, pour into the other ingredients and fold in. If the mixture still seems dry and crumbly, add a bit more warmed peanut butter. It should form a nice ball and hold together well.
  4. Using a 1 inch ice cream scoop, or teaspoons, scoop out the mix onto wax paper.
  5. Allow to set for about an hour. Keep in an air tight container or separate into snack bags for a quick grab.

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This recipe made 34 small protein balls. 3 or 4 is just enough so they will make it a week! It took me less than 20 minutes to make!!!! I am going to keep a bag of these guys in my desk for a great afternoon pick me up! Happy snacking!