Homemade Pancakes Sunday

This morning Mr. Man woke up and requested pancakes. I felt terrible because he always asks for pancakes and I just never buy any mix at the store. We aren’t big breakfast people. We enjoy a breakfast out or Papa-made breakfasts but on a daily basis we usually eat toast, bagels, waffles or cereal with fruit. Nothing fancy.

After apologizing to him for awhile and telling him I would add it to my grocery list I decided to just google “Homemade Pancake Recipe”. That’s when I stumbled upon this Martha Stewart Basic Pancake Recipe. After realizing I had all the ingredients I told him we could make our own. He was SO EXCITED. I ran into the kitchen to whip up his brunch as fast as I could.

I am making a declaration right now: I will NEVER buy boxed pancake or waffle mix {unless I’m in a hurry} again! It was so easy! As long as I stay stocked up on my baking supplies I think this could be a very frequent occurrence.

Once I saw that the recipe yielded 12-15 pancakes I decided to stock up and freeze the uneaten ones. As I was going I realized it wasn’t very hard to do so I decided to use up our last egg and our last cup of milk and double the batch. I ended up getting 30 small to medium sized pancakes all together! The kids had 5 between them during the process. That means I was able to pack up and store away 25 pancakes for quick breakfasts in the days to come. I am seriously thinking of making this a monthly occurrence!

Any other suggestions on things I can make ahead of time and freeze for later to make my life easier? I don’t have a ton of space in our freezer but I’m looking for more ideas. Please send them my way {along with your best estimate of how long they will keep}. I can not wait to have our own home someday soon so we can have an extra upright freezer for storage! Our current freezer contents are pork chops, chicken, roast, cookie dough, ice cream, whipped cream and ice cubes. I need more space–especially for those times I find a good deal on our meats at the grocery store!

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Dinner Menu: Tuesday “Chicken Pasta Stir Fry”

Tonight’s dinner was another product of “What does Amy want to eat together tonight”. And let me tell you–my taste buds have never steered me wrong!

We get so tired of the same old thing all the time so I like to mix things up often. Even if it’s only one or two different ingredients sometimes it can make it seem like a whole new dish.

Tonight’s dish I am calling “Chicken Pasta Stir Fry” because it was simply that. Chicken, pasta and a whole bunch of vegetables.

Again, I don’t measure out my ingredients per say and we make according to our taste buds. Here is what we did tonight:

6-8 chicken thin cut tenderloins cut into small cubes
Angel hair pasta
Zucchini
Red Bell Pepper
Mushrooms
Onion
Garlic cloves
Lime
Olive oil
Butter
Salt
Ground black pepper
Garlic salt
Parmesan Cheese

In a large skillet drizzle olive oil in the pan and add chicken. Cook on medium heat about 5 minutes or until they are no longer pink.

Add chopped zucchini, red bell pepper, mushrooms, onion, fresh garlic (3 or 4), 1 tsp butter, salt, pepper and garlic salt to taste.

Squeeze half a lime over the entire mix. Stir the dish, cover and cook for 10-12 minutes on medium heat.

Cook pasta accordingly.

Drain pasta, serve the chicken vegetable stir fry over and add a few sprinkles of Parmesan cheese.

Enjoy!

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Dinner Menu: Wednesday

Tonight’s dinner is a recipe I made up myself. I’m the type of person that likes to look at dishes at restaurants or other people’s houses and think about how I could make it at home. Often my cooking ends up being more of a “what do I want to eat and how could I put that all together?” kind of cooking. My husband always applauds my creations even though I know he can do exactly the same if he tried. He says he can never think of what would be good together.

Our favorite creation of mine this summer is something I’ll call my Summer Vegetable Pasta.

{Note: I never measure my ingredients or spices. I make all my own creations by taste and quantity of eaters.}

For this recipe you will need:
Asparagus
Zucchini
Red peppers
*Chicken or shrimp*
Butter
Oil
Garlic salt
Black pepper
Angel hair pasta

In a large skillet add some olive oil and a small dollop of butter over medium heat. Chop the asparagus, zucchini and red pepper into small pieces. {I’ve learned that the smaller the pieces the softer they are; the larger the pieces the crunchier they are}. When the butter and oil is melted add the vegetables, sprinkle Garlic Salt and Black pepper over and stir. Cover and let simmer for 10 minutes on medium heat {cook a few minutes longer than 10 if you prefer softer pieces of vegetables.}

Meanwhile, cook pasta as normal in a separate pan. Stir the vegetables a few times throughout the course of time and add seasoning if needed. By the end, the juices from the vegetables themselves help add to the flavor and “sauce” of this dish. Strain pasta. Pour vegetables over pasta on dish and enjoy!

*Add chicken or shrimp that has been cooked thoroughly and chopped into small pieces with the vegetables as they simmer for extra flavor!

I tend to enjoy and can tolerate spices better than most of my dinner guests so I LOVE to add the black pepper a few times throughout.

Let me know if you try this quick and easy summer recipe. Please feel free to share your favorite quick and easy recipes with me too!

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Spicy Chicken Rigatoni

When I first started this blog I had the intention of making it about my kids and the things they say and do.  I’m starting to see it evolve into much more.  A blog about kids, family, crafts, preschool, recipes and more!  Tonight, I have a dinner spotlight to share!

We all know that Pinterest is an amazing site yet it is very time consuming.  When I was up nursing a newborn in the middle of the night I would skim Pinterest since I knew I would be up for awhile.  Now that we are sleeping through the night I’m not on that much anymore.  The other day I decided that I didn’t want the norm for dinners–I wanted to try new things.

I have a love affair with my crock pot.  It is such a lifesaver and makes the yummiest meals for us with not much work.  I stumbled upon my Pinterest board of recipes and although they are NOT crock pot recipes I picked a couple dishes to try.

Tonight was one of those nights.  I LOVE making dinner for my family.

One of my favorite things about making dinner for my family is doing it with my husband.  Tonight, we crushed and chopped our own FRESH garlic cloves together!  Zac did all the stiring, I did all the preparing.  It was MARVELOUS!  (Zac even taught me how to crush and chop the garlic–he said he saw it on a Jamie Oliver cooking show.  Go hubs!)

( Sidenote: I didn’t even notice until we were reading the recipe that this is a dish from Buca Di Beppo.  If you’ve never been to one of their restaurants…you are missing out!  This was one of my favorite restaurants in college.  I only went a few times on pick-a-dates but for a pasta loving girl this was the place to be!  Family style pasta dishes all around.)

Spicy Chicken Rigatoni

http://www.tastebook.com/recipes/2423433-Spicy-Chicken-Rigatoni

ingredients

  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1/2 Tbs crushed red pepper
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbs chopped garlic
  • 6 oz chicken, sliced
  • 3/4 cup. Marinara sauce
  • 1/2 cup Alfredo sauce
  • 2 tsp butter
  • 1/4 cup peas
  • 1 lb Rigatoni pasta, cooked according to package directions
  • additional 1/2 t crushed red pepper (for garnish)

directions

  • In a sauté pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add crushed red pepper, salt, black pepper and garlic and sauté just long enough for garlic to caramelize and red pepper to release flavor into the oil. Add sliced chicken and sauté briefly to coat in spices and garlic.

  • Add Marinara Sauce first and then Alfredo Sauce and bring to a simmer. Cook until sauce thickens slightly and chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165°. Turn off flame, add butter and peas and incorporate into sauce.

  • Drop cooked pasta in boiling water for 3 seconds. Let drain for 15 seconds. Toss with the sauce. Place pasta and sauce in pasta bowl, reserving the majority of the chicken to be placed on top of the pasta. Using a rubber spatula, scrape any remaining sauce from the pan to the pasta. Garnish with crushed red pepper and serve.

In The Kitchen: Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

First thing I did this morning after walking in the door from dropping Reese off at preschool was set my oven to 350 degrees.

 

Then, the smells of banana bread started to fill my home.

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Here is my recipe: Chocolate Chip Banana Bread (taken from Rachael Ray I believe)

1/4 Cup Vegetable Oil

1 1/2 Cups Flour

1 Cup Sugar

1 Teaspoon Baking Soda

1/2 Teaspoon Salt

2 eggs, lightly beaten

3 Bananas, mashed (about 1 cup)

1 Cup Chocolate Chips

 

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour an 8 1/2 in x 4 1/2 in loaf pan.  In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.  Mix in the oil, bananas and eggs.  Stir in the chocolate chips (do not over mix!) and pour into prepared pan.  Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 60-80 minutes (my oven takes about 70 minutes).  Cool the loaf in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out and cool completely, right side up.  Makes 1 loaf.

 

 

You can add chocolate chips or walnuts to any banana bread recipe for Chocolate Chip Banana Bread or Banana Nut Bread.  I have found that the chocolate chips add just the right amount of chocolate to the bread to be oh so yummy and not overbearing in taste!

 

 

 

Here is my Grandma Curtis and Mom’s Banana Bread Recipe:

1 Cup Sugar

1/4 Cup Crisco Shortening

2 Eggs

5 Ripe Bananas

1 Teaspoon Baking Soda

2 Cups Flour

1/3 Teaspoon Salt

1/2 Cup Chopped Walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cream together sugar and Crisco in bowl with hand mixer; add eggs and mix again.  Mash bananas in a bowl, with a large fork.  Add the soda to them and then pour into sugar/Crisco mixture.  Mix well and add remaining items.  Pour into loaf pans that have been greased and floured.  Bake 60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Makes 2 loafs.

 

Enjoy!