Thursday, September 30, 2010

And the winner is...

In go the names...

As promised, Superman was able to sneak away from very important superhero duties like destroying the toy room and tormenting his little brother, just long enough to make an appearance for the big drawing.

Batman officiated, to ensure there was no cheating.

And Superman chose...

a little closer...

Sadie's mommy! You win. Shoot me an email at so I can help you to redeem your $45 gift card toward any one of CSN's stores!
If you didn't win, don't be bummed! CSN emailed me about another giveaway opportunity and I'll be announcing my own Pampered Chef giveaway next week! Batman will be doing the draw next time, so maybe he'll bring you better luck :)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Sausage and Eggs Part 2

So, after I got through making the mini egg muffins, I gave a few to the boys for dinner. By the time I got everyone bathed, in bed and the house somewhat picked up, Kevin still wasn't home and I didn't feel hungry or energized enough to make the Enchilada Frittata I meal-planned. I'm sure it had nothing to do with the 10 mini-egg muffins I "sampled."

But while I got more food out on the counter to make the boy's lunches, my tummy started rumbling and my wheels started turning. I did already have that sausage chopped up. I do have 4 eggs left. I do have that Enchilada sauce already. And I do need to use those potatoes and peppers from CSA. I've written before how the best things happen organically, and this was definitely one of those times.

This was AWESOMMMEEE. Like "I'm salivating sitting here thinking about how amazing it was" awesome. I almost killed Kevin's half while I waited for him to get home... I had to text him to warn him that his dinner was going to be gone if he didn't get home immediately (it worked, at least I know how to get him home earlier now).

Mexican Hash

4 eggs
chopped up precooked turkey breakfast sausage
3 cloves garlic
2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
half a green pepper, diced
half an onion, diced
half a cup of cheese (didn't use as much as pictured)
Trader Joes Enchilada Sauce
***(I can't stress enough how this is the best enchilada sauce you can buy, seriously its the perfect blend of flavor and heat. It's very mild compared to any other canned enchilada sauce!! If you don't have a TJ's by you, I'm sincerely sorry for you)***
cilantro for garnish
Flour tortillas for sopping up amazing sauces

Is it weird to "saute" raw potatoes? I don't know, but I did it, and it was tasty. First do potatoes and garlic in olive oil, then add onions and green peppers. Let it all cook until the onions get translucent, stirring frequently.

Pour some enchilada sauce on top, as much or as little as you want.

Add the chopped breakfast turkey sausage. Mix it up and let it simmer for a while so the potatoes can cook through a bit.

And add some cheese, duh.

Then in a separate small pan I fried 4 eggs

Flipped each one on top of the potatoes, then topped with cilantro, some salt, and a little bit of hot sauce just cause.

I had no idea when this picture was taken how my life was about to change forever. :)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Sausage and Eggs Part 1

I've been looking for ways to do what I do more efficiently. How can I run the same 4 mile loop in the morning, but faster? How can I get a quick, healthy dinner on the table, but easier? How can I fit a long run in on the weekends, but early enough?

How can I get the kids fed a decent breakfast and off to school faster? Forget faster... just not late would be nice. Their favorite breakfast is scrambled eggs and sausage... but that takes the extra 5 minutes we don't have in the mornings so often its cheerios, toast, or pancakes (duh, the microwave kind) instead. Sugar + Superheroes = crazy out-of-control behavior at school so I'm trying to cut that out. Eggs and sausage are perfect, just slightly more time consuming.

Then it dawned on me... my mini-muffin tin. You need this.. it's great for appetizers for parties, for tricking kids into eating healthy *on-the-run* meals, and I even heard they're the perfect size for Jello Shots. Just sayin'.

Egg Muffins on the Run

6 fully cooked breakfast turkey sausage links or patties
***I only used about 3 for this recipe but saved the rest of the chopped sausage for dinner,
Sausage and Eggs part 2, posting tomorrow!***
1 tube of crescent rolls or biscuits
about a cup of shredded cheddar
8 eggs

I didn't use any PAM first, just put a small square size of crescent roll in each tin.

Lightly flour a tart shaper or use your fingers to press each one down to make a little cup

Like so... how cute.

Roughly chop the turkey breakfast sausage (it's already cooked)

Whisk 8 eggs in a bowl... I didn't add any milk. Then I threw in a handful of cheese.

I layered a bit of sausage first. Then I decided I'd do half with crescent roll at the bottom and half without and see if it made a difference.

I poured the eggs into each cup over the sausage, careful not to fill allllllll the way to the top.

Like so.

13 minutes at 350 seemed about right. They popped right out of the muffin pan with no mess behind using a small knife. The verdict... definitely better with crescent roll on the bottom. I bet biscuit would be even better. Superman was wary at first but this morning he ate his in the car!! I see many mini-muffins in my future.

Breakfast for the week! Just pop a few in the microwave for 15 seconds before you head out!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Crazy and Yummy Week Ahead...

Fall is in full swing and there is way too much going on. I need to get better about my meal plans again now that time is of the essence!

What's Up This Week for Hungry Mom...
Enchilada Frittata (tell me that's not fun to say)
Chicken/Spaghetti Squash (one of my faves, can't wait to post this)
Bringing dinner to two new moms, so I'm making a TON of this to feed three families
(mine included)
Red Thai Veggie Curry (Trader Joe's sauce plus leftover veggies, its the easiest and the tastiest. Last night of track workouts so I want to come home to something delicious!!)
Trader Joe's Pizza Dough night
Appetizer: Buffalo Chicken Bites for a Tailgate Party
(an Elina creation...can't wait to post these too, they rock)
What are you making this week??? Share! Don't forget to check back Thursday to see who Superman picked to win the CSN giveaway!

Monday, September 20, 2010

It's About That Time...

Party Time. Now that school has started up and we are barreling toward the holiday season, my calendar is quickly filling up with events from back-to-school spaghetti dinners, to tailgate parties, Halloween events, birthday parties, and everything in between. I'm always looking for a good easy app to bring with me to such events. Even better if most of the ingredients are already in my pantry.

I especially love a good "fake fancy" recipe. These are sophisticated and pretty but take a grand total of 20 minutes from start to finish.

Artichoke Cups

Won Ton Wrappers (these are hiding by the tofu, packaged herbs, and veggie dogs in that small section most grocery stores have tucked away in the produce section)

artichoke hearts and 1/2 lemon (OR canned marinated artichokes)

1 red pepper (OR a jar of pimientos if you want to use pantry ingredients or avoid chopping)

1/2 cup of freshly grated parm (or cheddar if thats what you have... make it work with what you've got)

Recipe calls for a 1/2 cup mayo... I did 1/4 cup mayo, 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt

small can of sliced black olives

half a red pepper

2 cloves garlic

Preheat the oven to 350 and line a mini muffin tin with the wonton wrappers. If you're taking them straight out of the fridge, microwave them for about 20 seconds so they are more pliable and keep from tearing when you push them down.

Push them in.

What's the difference between a can of artichoke hearts and a jar of marinated ones? About $1.50, and some citrus, olive oil and spices. So I just saved the buck fifty and squeezed some lemon juice on the canned ones instead.

So just finely chop up the red pepp and artichokes (did this in about .2 seconds with my food chopper), add the greek yogurt and mayo, cheese, olives, chopped or pressed garlic, and some salt and pepper for good measure. As long as its not too watery, its good to go.

Scoop into the wonton wrappers and bake for about 13 minutes, or until the won ton wrappers are a little golden. Then pop em out, put them on a pretty plate, and bring them to your next fiesta :)

I made 24 mini ones, but there was enough of the artichoke mixture for 24 more. Instead, I saved it and put it over baked chicken for another night's dinner! Or you can freeze it for another party!
If you don't have a mini-muffin pan, I highly suggest you get one for the holidays! You might be able to get one for free if you enter and win the CSN giveaway. :)

Monday, September 13, 2010


Last night I was having the same reoccuring dream that I have at the beginning of every fall. I'm a senior in high school and I'm running late to field hockey practice after school. Practice starts in 20 minutes and I've left my practice clothes, stick, and shin-guards at home. I'll never make it on time. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure out why I'm having this dream... I'm worried that I'm going to "drop the ball" in some area of my life. Show up to the first day of school without the kids lunches, the fact that my license has been expired for over a month, sleep through an alarm to run early in the morning, flake on a doctors appointment, forget to pay a bill, leave emails unanswered.

Thats why a Monday run is so important. It orders the rest of my day, and ultimately the rest of my week. Still, when I heard my alarm go off in the middle of my bad dream this morning, my first thought was HATE. I HATE that it's dark out in the mornings. I HATE that I went to bed way too late yet again. I really had to focus on that love part. I'm going to LOVE the way I feel when I'm done. I'm going to love starting out the week on the right foot. I'm going to love the cool fall air. And right now, at this current moment as I sip my coffee on the back patio, catching the sun rise before the kids get up, I LOVE that I made myself go.

The same Hate/Love relationship (not to be confused with "love/hate," because for me the hate always preceeds the love) happens for me at 5 pm most nights. Did I really meal-plan enchiladas on a Thursday night? When I'm so beat down from the week, that I just want to microwave a pizza and call it a day?

But just like my morning run I was happy I made myself do it. It really wasn't that much effort, and it was worth it at the end to have a healthy, yummy, hearty, filling meal to end the day with.

Veggie Enchiladas

Corn Tortillas
Veg Oil for frying (optional)
1 zucc
1 to 2 ears of raw corn, kernels removed
can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 bottle/can of enchilada sauce (I like Trader Joes', its a little thicker and not overly spicy like many canned ones)
bit of shredded cheddar or mexican blend

Add the corn, zucchini, beans, and cheese into a bowl. I added a splash of enchilada sauce for good measure.

Set up your frying station. You don't HAVE to do this. For these enchiladas, it's basically mandatory because you're doing so much work anyway, why not just go the extra mile. These veggie ones are a fast weeknight meal, so if you skip this step, don't beat yourself up. Just nuke the corn tortillas for a minute so they are soft and pliable when you roll them.

So I lightly fried them for about 25 seconds each side (or nuke them), then dip into the enchilada sauce.

Fill with the mix...

Roll em up, and drizzle more enchilada sauce on the top. Okay okay fine I'll admit it I added more cheese on top.

Bake at 350, covered, for about 20 to 25, then take the cover off and add another 5 minutes, or broil for a minute.

And then I got kind of crazy and mixed salsa with greek yogurt to top it off with a "sour creamish" like topping. SO GOOD!

AND by the way, there was so much of the filling left over that we had it the next night as nachos. One night of work, two nights of dinner... my favorite!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

My First Giveaway!

So imagine my excitement when I recieved an email from CSN Stores requesting that I do a giveaway on my blog?? I was shocked that this humble little blog, which I started as a way to catalog recipes for myself, was even a blip on their radar. In fact, when I first saw the email I almost immediately deleted it as spam! But after doing a bit of research, it seems that CSN is actually more than legit... they are enormous. They run over 150 "niche" stores on the internet and are one of the fastest growing online internet retailers in the country! So basically with this $45 giftcard I'm giving away, you can buy just about any little thing your heart desires. Seriously, from a bistro set, like the one I'm sitting at right now with my cup o' Joe, to a yoga mat, to dog food!

It's pretty awesome that they are giving me the opportunity to share more with you than just recipes... now I can give you some free mula!! And who doesn't like free mula.

SO here are the THREE things you'll need to do to enter the giveaway for $45 to a CSN online store...

1. Become a follower of this blog
2. Leave a comment on THIS posting that you are entering the contest and that you are a follower of this blog
3. Kiss your computer screen for luck. This is very important

Thats it. Very simple. The contest will end 3 WEEKS from now, on the last day of the month. The winner will be chosen at random... ie, superman picking your name out of a bowl.

Good luck!!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Lazy Sunday Morning

I'm a Saturday morning kinda workout girl. Especially on a perfect 75 degree day like yesterday, I actually enjoy getting up a little early on the weekends to fit a good, longer run in. However, I equally enjoy sleeping in and catching up on my calories on Sunday. :)

I'm the worst when it comes to sweets and baking. If a recipe calls for yeast I usually throw it away. I skim past dessert recipes knowing that I rather spend my time and effort on dinner and scoop some ice cream for dessert. So, I don't even know what to call these.... Coffee cake? Cinnamon rolls? Monkey bread? Given my amateur level status as a pastry chef, I will say they might not be the best you've ever had... BUT they are the easiest and pretty idiot-proof. If I can make these, a monkey can.

Sunday Morning Monkey Bread

2 tubes of refrigerated biscuit dough or crescent roll dough
hal a stick butter, melted
1/2 cup brown or white sugar (I did brown this time)
1 tbl cinnamon
1/4 cup raisins

icy topping: 1/2 cup powdered sugar whisked with 1 tbl milk

Preheat oven to 375.

Spread melted butter on the bottom of a round stone or baking dish

Break up the biscuits or crescent roll dough into one inch pieces.

mix sugar and cinnamon in the butter, and stir in dough pieces.

Pour it in the baking dish or a satue pan, and top with raisins (and I did walnuts too)

Bake for about 20 minutes and then top with the Icy topping.