Monday, June 21, 2010

Lime Cilantro Dressing

I have mentioned this dressing in a couple recipes and have finally gotten around to sharing it with you.  I used to be a ranch only kind of girl, but I have been discovering there are a plethora of tasty toppings for  your salad out there!  This one has only recently been added to my arsenal, and doesn't stray too far from ranch since you actually use a ranch packet when you make it, though you don't follow the directions on the back.

You will need:

1 ranch mix packet
1 cup mayo
1/2 cup milk
juice from 1 lime
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup cilantro
1/4 cup green salsa (I used Arriba fire roasted Mexican Green Salsa)

Put all of it in the blender and blend.

Eat on salads, burrito bowls, with a spoon. . .

Store covered in the refrigerator for about a week. . . if it lasts that long.

Burrito Bowl

For a family that eats a LOT of Mexican food (sure, it's largely Americanized, but we love it all), I have to admit that this recipe has only recently entered my kitchen via my neighbor's kitchen. . . with a few alterations.  But that's what is great about this recipe, you can throw in what ever tinkles your taste buds, and every bowl can be customized.  It tends to be more of a burrito bowl bar at our house.

Start with rice-- sticky rice, white rice, brown rice. . . you pick.  We usually use brown rice.

Then pick your toppings.  Our favorites are:

black beans
plum tomatoes
sour cream

You can add salsa, or eat it with just your choice of toppings, but I love to add a little zing with Lime Cilantro Dressing.  YUM.

Pile it all in a bowl and try not to overeat, I dare you.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Confetti Cupcakes

Signe was sick on Friday, so for our Friday Family Fun Night activity we let her choose dinner, dessert, and evening activity at home. For dessert she picked confetti cupcakes.  These turned out both lovely and delicious.  They were their own little party on a plate. . . only I don't think any plates were actually used.  The girls certainly had fun lavishing on the sprinkles--at three points in the process.  So if you plan on making these more than once you might want to invest in the large bottle of dot sprinkles, like I did.

For this fun and flavorful treat you will need:

1 1/4 cups of flour
3/4 cup of sugar
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup softened butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
2 Tbs multicolor sprinkles

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees (F) and line your cupcake pan with paper cups.

In mixer, blend flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Add milk, butter and vanilla.  Beat on low until combined and then on medium for two more minutes.

Turn off mixer.  Add egg, beat on low until incorporated then on medium for an additional two minutes.

Using a wooden spoon stir in sprinkles. (this picture is misleading--I DID use a spoon and not the mixer whisk.  You don't want to break up your dots!)

Pour batter into prepared paper cups.  In case you don't think there are enough dots (like my girls) sprinkle additional dots on top of each cupcake.

Bake in oven for 20-25 minutes or until a wooden toothpick comes out clean.

Let cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting I use a random assortment of cream cheese, butter, milk (or cream) powder sugar and vanilla.  This time I used approximately these proportions:

3 cups of pdr sugar
4 oz cream cheese
1/4 cup of butter
1-2 Tbs cream or milk
1 tsp vanilla

Add pdr sugar if you want it thicker or milk if you want it thinner.

Signe chose blue food coloring for our frosting.

And then Hannah topped them with yet MORE sprinkles.

It was a party. . .

on a cupcake.

Or rather, a dozen little parties.

We thought it looked so fun we invited it into our mouths. . .

we suggest you do too.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The "Stuff in My Fridge/Garden" Salad + Chicken

I have tons of produce in my refrigerator and garden that I need to eat.  Like rows of lettuce in my garden and a crisper drawer of stuff I picked or bought and need to eat while it's still fresh.  What better way than salad?  It actually turned out quite tasty so I am sharing it here (and documenting it for myself so I can replicate it later) so you can enjoy it also.

First I chopped:

four or five little sweet peppers
a stalk of celery
a handful of parsley (from my garden)
a couple green onions (from my garden)
about a half a cup of cheese (I used cheddar)
a large tomato
and while I would like to say I grilled up a chicken breast (which I highly recommend) I was lazy and threw on a can of chicken I picked up at Costco

Then I picked red lettuce and green lettuce and spinach from my garden.

I tossed the chopped ingredients in a bowl and piled a scoop onto my lettuce.

I topped mine with lime cilantro dressing which is oh-so-good, but which I have yet to post a recipe for.  So you may top it with whatever your heart desires. . . and soon I will post the recipe for the lime cilantro because you really should introduce it to your palate.  It will thank you.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Crock Pot Hot Cereal

I should really come up with a better name for this cereal, even though I got the recipe from my neighbor, because that title doesn't begin to describe how good this cereal is.

The hardest thing about this recipe is remembering to put it in the crock pot the night before.  It gets me half the time.  But on days like today I am so glad I remembered, even if it was at 11:00 at night.  But since I DID remember, it topped off a good Sunday morning.  We slept late, almost until nine which is unheard of around here with two kids and two dogs.  It must have been due to the gloomy pouring rain outside.  The temperature was warm enough to have the windows open so the pounding of the rain on the roof outside our window lulled us.  Not to mention the smell of rain in the morning. . . It was a relaxing way to start the day.

Then we rolled out of bed just after nine, after the girls had piled on our bed (and one dog) and headed down stairs to breakfast waiting for us.

To experience this kind of lazy Sunday morning you will need five ingredients:

Wheat Berries
Rolled Oats
Shredded Coconut
Brown Rice

Mix them in a storage container with a 1:1:1:1:1 ratio.

I managed to get two cups of each in my container and it just filled to the top.

Then when you make it, put one cup of the premixed cereal in the crock pot per three cups of water.  I usually double it, so 2 cups of cereal and 6 cups of water.  Leave on low over night.

It is good just like that.  It is usually a little soupy the first day, but if you store the left overs, you will want to add milk the next day.

But I don't leave it plain.  I add a dash of cream, a sprinkle of brown sugar and a handful of craisins.  YUM.  You, of course, may add whatever suits your fancy.