Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Cinnamon Rolls

Adapted from

1 cup warm milk (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
1 packet or 8 grams yeast
2 eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup margarine, melted
4 1/2 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/3 cup butter, melted

1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese,softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt

  1. Place warm milk & yeast in the bowl of stand mixer and allow to sit for about 10 minutes.  Add eggs, margarine, flour, salt & white sugar.  Attach the dough hook and allow to mix & need for about 10 minutes (or until the dough is stretchy and not too sticky).  Remove bowl and cover, allowing the dough to rise in a warm dry place for about an hour.
  2. After the dough has doubled in size turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, cover and let rest for 10 minutes. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon.
  3. Roll dough into a 16x21 inch rectangle. Spread dough with 1/3 cup butter and sprinkle evenly with sugar/cinnamon mixture. Roll up dough and cut into 12 rolls. Place rolls in a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking pan. Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, about 30 minutes. 
  4. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).  Bake rolls in preheated oven until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Once complete, place a cookie sheet on top of your pan and turn the rolls out upside down and allow them to cool for a few minutes.  While rolls are baking, beat together cream cheese, 1/4 cup butter, confectioners' sugar, vanilla extract and salt. Spread frosting on warm rolls before serving. 

To make the night before, complete recipe through step 3, then cover and refrigerate.  In the morning, allow rolls to sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes, then complete step 4.

To freeze, complete through step 3, cover & freeze.  The day before you want to cook them, move them from the freezer to the fridge.  When ready to cook, allow rolls to sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes, then complete step 4.

Rolled Sugar Cookies

 Adapted from

1 1/2 cups butter, softened
3 cups white sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
5 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour (or overnight).
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Roll out dough on floured surface 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into shapes with any cookie cutter. Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets. 
Bake 6 to 8 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely & ice with sugar cookie icing.

Sugar Cookie Icing

adapted from

1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
assorted food coloring

In a small bowl, stir together confectioners' sugar and milk until smooth. Beat in corn syrup and almond extract until icing is smooth and glossy. If icing is too thick, add more corn syrup.

Divide into separate bowls, and add food colorings to each to desired intensity. Dip cookies, or paint them with a brush.

This icing is beautiful & a perfect pair with the rolled sugar cookies!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas Dinner 2010

My parents (and a huge sister) came from California to visit last week.  We decided to celebrate Christmas early, complete with a big meal together.  While I greatly prefer more of a Thanksgiving meal to anything else, I decided to try something different and try out a bunch of new recipes.  Here is what we enjoyed for our Christmas time together!

Cinnamon Rolls
I will post my version of this recipe soon.  I put them in the fridge overnight and missed the second rise on them so they didn't turn out quite right.  Also, since they were cold, they didn't cook correctly.  However, we still devoured them and I will be making them again as a special treat for Christmas day :)

covered with liquid smoke, wrapped in foil and cooked in a roaster on 225 for 10 hours

Tangy Cole Slaw

from Shanna Nail

3/4 cup Splenda
3/4 cup white vinegar
1 tsp oil
salt & pepper
One bag shredded cabbage & carrots,
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 yellow bell pepper, chopped
1/2 orange bell pepper, chopped

Wisk together Splenda, white vinegar, oil, salt and pepper.  Pour mixture over cabbage & carrots & bell peppers

Make at least 8 hours before serving it so that it has some time to marinate and chill. (Sometimes overnight) It works pretty well to place all ingredients in a large ziploc bag to mix and marinate. Before serving, pour off excess juices! 

It is very healthy, and for any Weight Watchers members counts as 0 points.

Crockpot Broccoli Casserole

2 pounds of fresh broccoli, washed and trimmed (I only really like the florets) 
1/3 cup flour 
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp ground mustard
1 cup low fat or fat free milk
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup shredded yummy white cheese (I used Montery Jack)
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

Wash and trim the broccoliIn a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt, pepper, and dried mustard. Toss the broccoli in the mixture. Dump the broccoli into the crockpot.

Cover with 1 cup of whatever shredded cheese you are going to use. Add the milk and the chicken broth.  Top with Parmesan cheese.

Cook on low for about 6 hours, or on high for about 3-4. This is done when the broccoli reaches desired tenderness and begins to brown a bit around the edges.

Peppermint Chocolate Pie

1 chocolate pie crust
6 candy canes
2 cups cold milk
2 boxes (4 oz) instant pudding (1 chocolate and 1 vanilla)
1 tub (8 oz) Cool Whip whipped topping, thawed
crushed candy canes, mini candy canes, peppermint balls

Crush candy canes into small pieces and set aside. 
Pour 2 cups of milk into a bowl or measuring cup. Whisk in pudding about 2 minutes, mixture will be thick. Gently fold in 1/2 tub of Cool Whip and crushed candy canes, mix completely. Spoon into crust.
Place in fridge to set for at least 4 hours. Before serving, top with remaining Cool Whip & garnish with candy canes or peppermint balls.

Watergate Salad

adapted from

1 (3.4 ounce) package instant pistachio pudding mix
1 (20 ounce) can pineapple chunks in juice
1 cup miniature marshmallows
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
Drain pineapple reserving juice.  In a large bowl, mix together pudding mix, pineapple chunks, 1/4 cup pineapple juice, marshmallows, and nuts. Fold in whipped topping. Chill.

Sour Cream Potato Casserole

adapted from

2 (28 ounce) package frozen cubed hash brown potatoes with onions & peppers, thawed
2 cups sour cream
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup French-fried onions
In a bowl, combine the first eight ingredients. Pour into an ungreased baking dish. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees F for 1 hour. Sprinkle with onions; return to the oven for 10 minutes.

We used the leftovers to make some pretty awesome breakfast tacos :)

Jalapeno Popper Dip

2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup mayonnaise
1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chilies, drained
2 ounces canned diced jalapeno peppers, drained
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
French bread

Stir together cream cheese and mayonnaise in a large bowl until smooth. Stir in green chilies and jalapeno peppers. Pour mixture into a microwave safe serving dish, and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Microwave on High until hot, about 3 minutes. Serve with warm french bread.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Holiday Pretzel Treats

Bite-size, waffle-shaped pretzels
Hershey's Kiss or Hershey's Hug
M&M's candy

Heat the oven to 170F. Set a number of bite-size, waffle-shaped pretzels (one for each treat) in a single layer on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, then top each pretzel with an unwrapped Hershey's Kiss or Hershey's Hug.

Bake for 4 to 6 minutes (the white chocolate will melt more quickly), until the chocolates feel soft when touched with a wooden spoon. Remove the cookie sheet from the oven and quickly press an M&M's candy into the center of each Kiss.

Allow the treats to cool for a few minutes, then place them in the refrigerator to set, about 10 minutes. If desired, place handfuls of the candies in clear plastic bags and tie on colorful ribbons.

Reindeer Cookies

Cookie dough:  store bought or homemade, any flavor
Pretzel twists
Chocolate chips
Red M&Ms

Start with a round cookie shape and pinch the middle gently to create the face shape.  Add eyes, antlers, and Rudolph’s shining red nose.  Bake according to your recipe’s directions.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

So Exciting!!

This blog has been nominated for Best Austin Bloggers and we need your vote!! 
Go here to vote Feed My Monkeys for the Best Food Blog for Recipes!!
~ Thank You ~

Friday, November 26, 2010

Turkey Queso

1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cheddar cheese soup, undiluted
1/4 cup milk
1 can Rotel, drained
1 cup turkey, cubed
diced jalapenos, optional
tortilla chips

Combine soup, milk, Rotel & turkey in a sauce pan over medium heat until warm.  Add jalapenos & salt to taste.  Serve warm with chips.

We added 2 tablespoons of canned jalapenos after taking out 2 little cups of queso for the kids.  It was spicy, but not over the top.  Add jalapenos slowly.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010


Appetizers / Snacks

Hands down best turkey we have ever had!!

Stuffing (Stove Top with diced celery, onions & water chestnuts added)
Biscuits (Flaky Layers)


Citrus Turkey Brine

1 cup sea salt
1 lemon, cut into wedges
1 orange, cut into wedges
1 medium onion, cut into wedges
3 cloves garlic
4 bay leaves
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon black pepper corns
1 1/2 gallons cold water

Place lemons, oranges, onion, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, pepper & a small amount of water into a large pot. Rub salt onto your rinsed turkey (be sure to remove the innards), place remaining salt into the pot & stir.  Place the turkey in the pot, and fill with water. Refrigerate overnight. Discard brine after removing turkey.

I stuffed the bird with additional quartered oranges, lemons & onion before cooking.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees:

Cook turkey for 20-30 minutes at 450, then reduce the temperature to 350.  For the final hour, reduce the temperature to 325 for a sensational Thanksgiving bird!

Please note: Brined turkeys cook faster than non-brined turkeys.  Be sure to keep a good eye on it and not over cook.  Bird should have an internal temperature of 160-170 degrees. 

Weight  of Bird

 Roasting Time (Unstuffed)

10 to 18 pounds
3 to 3-1/2 hours

18 to 22 pounds
3-1/2 to 4 hours

22 to 24 pounds
4 to 4-1/2 hours

24 to 29 pounds
4-1/2 to 5 hours

Creamy Smashed Potatoes

5 pounds potatoes, peeled and quartered
8 ounces reduced fat cream cheese
1 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon onion salt
1 teaspoon salt
Dash pepper
Place potatoes in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and cook for 15-20 minutes or until tender. Drain and place in a large bowl; mash the potatoes. Add the remaining ingredients; mix well.

Double Layer Pumpkin Cheesecake

adapted from

3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1 large prepared graham cracker crust
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup frozen whipped topping, thawed
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (165 degrees C).

In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Blend in eggs one at a time & fold in sour cream. Remove 1 1/2 cup of batter and spread into bottom of crust; set aside.
Add pumpkin & pumpkin pie spice to the remaining batter and mix until well blended. Carefully spread over the batter in the crust.
Place pie on a roll pan or baking sheet and pour a small layer of water on the pan to create a water bath.  Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour.  Turn off the oven, prop the door and allow the cheesecake to sit for an additional hour. Allow to cool, then refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight. Cover with whipped topping before serving.

Marshmallow & Lime Jello Salad

 adapted from

10 fluid ounces lemon-lime flavored carbonated beverage
4 cups miniature marshmallows, divided
2 (3 ounce) packages lime flavored gelatin mix
8 ounces cream cheese
1 (20 ounce) can crushed pineapple with juice
1 cup frozen whipped topping, thawed

In a saucepan, combine the carbonated beverage and marshmallows. Stir over medium heat until marshmallows melt. Turn off heat and add jello & cream cheese.  Wisk until well well blended and cream cheese lumps are gone.
Add the pineapple and whipped topping and mix well.  Stir in 1 cup of mini marshmallows and pour into a 9x12 inch dish and chill overnight or until set.

Cranberry Sauce


12 ounces cranberries
6 ounces unsweetened apple juice concentrate
Sugar or Splenda if desired
In a saucepan cook cranberries and apple juice concentrate over medium heat until cranberries have burst. Chill and serve. If the recipe isn't sweet enough for you, add sugar or Splenda only one tablespoon at a time to avoid over sweetening.

Cranberry Shortbread Bars

Cranberry Filling:
8 ounces (2 1/4 cups) (225 grams) fresh cranberries
2/3 cup (130 grams) granulated white sugar
3 tablespoons water

Shortbread Bars:
2 cups (270 grams) all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons (20 grams) cornstarch (corn flour)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (226 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup (70 grams) light brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) and place the wire oven rack in the center of the oven. Butter (or spray with a non stick cooking spray) a 9 x 9 inch (23 x 23 cm) pan.  

Cranberry Filling: In a medium sized saucepan, place all the ingredients. Then, over medium-high heat, cook the ingredients until boiling. Continue to boil the filling until it becomes thick and syrupy, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool while you make the shortbread.

Shortbreads: In a separate bowl whisk the flour, cornstarch, and salt.  
In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), cream the butter until smooth (about 1 minute). Add the sugar and beat until smooth (about 2 minutes). Beat in the vanilla extract. Gently stir in the flour mixture just until incorporated.  

Evenly press two-thirds of the shortbread into the bottom of the prepared pan. Then evenly spread the cranberry filling over the shortbread base, leaving a 1/4 inch border.  With the remaining shortbread dough, using your fingers, crumble it over the top of the cranberry filling. Then lightly press the dough into the filling.  

Bake in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown on top. Remove from oven, place on a wire rack, and while still hot, cut into 16 squares. Allow to cool completely in pan.

Makes about 16 bars.

Cranberry Orange Bread

1/2 cup (50 grams) pecans or walnuts, optional
1 cup (120 grams) fresh or frozen cranberries, coarsely chopped
1 large egg, well beaten
3/4 cup (180 ml) freshly squeezed orange juice
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups (260 grams) all-purpose flour
1 cup (200 grams) granulated white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon orange zest (outer skin of orange - about 1 1/2 oranges)
4 tablespoons (57 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place rack in the center of the oven. Grease (or spray with a nonstick vegetable spray) a 9 x 5 x 3 inch (23 x 13 x 8 cm) loaf pan. 

If desired, toast the pecans or walnuts for about 8 - 10 minutes or until lightly browned and fragrant. Let cool and then chop coarsely.

In a small bowl, combine the beaten egg with the orange juice and vanilla extract. 

In a large bowl, whisk the flour with the sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and orange zest. Cut the butter into small pieces and blend it into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or two knives. The mixture should look like coarse crumbs. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Stir in the chopped cranberry and nuts. 

Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 50 - 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes. Then remove the bread from the pan and let cool completely before slicing. This bread can be frozen.
Makes one - 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf.

Cranberry Cider

adapted from

8 cups apple cider
6 cups cranberry juice
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
3 cinnamon sticks
1 teaspoons whole cloves
1 orange

In a large pot (or crockpot), combine apple cider, cranberry juice, brown sugar & cinnamon sticks.  Slice orange and stick cloves in the ends of the orange & place in pot.

Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or put crockpot on high for 1 hour, then low for 1 hour and warm as long as needed.  Serve hot.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Turkey Cooking Temp & Time (unstuffed)

Cook turkey for 20-30 minutes at 450, then reduce the temperature to 350.  
For the final hour, reduce the temperature to 325 for a sensational Thanksgiving bird!

Weight  of Bird

 Roasting Time

10 to 18 pounds
3 to 3-1/2 hours

18 to 22 pounds
3-1/2 to 4 hours

22 to 24 pounds
4 to 4-1/2 hours

24 to 29 pounds
4-1/2 to 5 hours

Friday, November 5, 2010

No Coffee Pumpkin Latte

 adapted from
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 quart milk
1/4 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
whipped cream & ground cinnamon for garnish
Combine pumpkin, milk, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla in a large saucepan over medium heat. Use a whisk to blend well. Heat to a simmer; do not boil.  Fill cups and top with whipped cream and a dash of cinnamon.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Freezer Cooking: Egg Muffin Sandwhiches

I don't do much freezer cooking.  I don't have much freezer space nor the desire to actually cook in bulk.  However, having a husband who leaves the house before dawn (commuting 1 1/2 hours each way) for work, has led us to discover that freezer cooking for his breakfast benefits everyone.  He needs something more substantial than cereal and milk or yogurt, so we've gone to making egg muffin sandwiches.  This way he has a hearty breakfast, that he can heat quickly (and quietly) & I don't have to get up 4 hours before the kids to make it.  I spend about an hour a month preparing them & he's got enough to get him through almost every morning for the entire month!

18 English Muffin
18 eggs
1 package of Canadian Bacon (there are only 15 pieces in the pack I buy, so he has 3 that don't have meat)
18 American Cheese slices

I have this adorable little egg frying pan and it works perfectly!  I spray a little non stick cooking spray, crack the egg into the pan, break up the yolk with a tooth pic & cook it.  Since I'll be using the entire carton of eggs, I just put the cracked shells back in the carton :)

As each egg is cooked, I place them on a wire rack to cool. 
As the eggs are cooking, I get out my bread knife and begin to the cut the muffins in half.
Go ahead and toss the box, but keep the bag the box comes in for later.

Then I begin assembling the sandwiches.  I start with the bottom of the muffin, then add an egg, a slice of canadian bacon & the top of the muffin.  We have found that adding cheese at this point is really not the best idea since it heats so much more quickly than the rest of the items.

Once all the sandwiches are assembled, I individually wrap the sandwiches in seran wrap.  Once they are all wrapped, I place the individually wrapped sandwiches into the bag from the english muffins, secure the top of the bag and place in the freezer.

In the morning, my sweet husband takes out a sandwich, unwraps it, wraps it in a paper towel and microwaves the entire thing for 1 minute & 15 seconds.  While it's cooking, he grabs a slice of cheese out of the fridge.  Once it's cooked, he opens it, adds the cheese, lets it sit for a minute or so and enjoys a nice, hot, filling breakfast.

Best part is, there is an entire month of drive thru style breakfasts for about 10 bucks...can't beat that!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bread

adapted from

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
1 1/2 cups white sugar, divided
1 2/3 cups & 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, divided
3 eggs, divided
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup vegetable oil or unsweetened applesauce
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Lightly grease two 8x4 inch loaf pans.
In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon flour and 1 egg; beat until smooth. Set aside. 
Sift together 1 2/3 cup flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves and pumpkin pie spice; set aside 
Place pumpkin, vegetable oil/applesauce, 2 eggs and 1 cup sugar in a large bowl; beat well. Stir the pumpkin mixture into the flour mixture just until combined. Fold in the pecans if desired. Pour 1/2 of the pumpkin batter into the loaf pans. Spoon cream cheese mixture on top of this layer and then pour on the remaining batter.
Bake in preheated oven for 60 to 70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean. Cool bread in pans for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
So, I messed this up, but it is so good I can't wait to make it again :)  
What I did wrong (pictured above): I only had one 9 inch loaf pan, so I thought I could make a large loaf and maybe a few muffins.  I put in the bottom pumpkin mixture, then 1/2 the cream cheese.  It wasn't until I had already started putting in the top layer that I realized I was not going to have enough left to make anything else.  So I ended up with a really good bread, but with a smaller layer of cream cheese than expected.  Take care to make the bottom layer fairly thin as it will rise when baking.
I think I may go buy two 8 inch loaf pans just so I can make this again soon :)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Frosted Pumpkin Bars

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 egg
2 egg whites
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/4 cup canola oil
2 tablespoons water
4 ounces reduced fat cream cheese
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon grated lemon peel

In a mixing bowl, combine the first six ingredients. Add egg, egg whites, pumpkin, oil and water; mix well. Transfer to an 11-in. x 7-in. x 2-in. baking pan coated with nonstick cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese. Beat in confectioners' sugar, then vanilla and lemon peel. Frost bars. Chill for 15 minutes, then cut. Refrigerate leftovers.

I left out the lemon peel & didn't miss it :)
I made them in a jelly roll pan which is why they are on the thin side & my boys prefer them without the frosting, so I just frosted them as we ate them

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Double Mileage Meal: Ground Turkey

To complete 2 different meals, you will need:
2 1/2 pounds ground turkey
2 1/2 tablespoons dry onion soup mix
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon dried minced garlic
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 egg, lightly beaten (optional)
1 cup ketchup
2 teaspoons Splenda
2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 tablespoons yellow mustard
10 hamburger buns

This weeks double mileage meal started with 2 1/2 pounds of ground turkey.

I placed 1 1/2 pounds in a bowl and 1 pound in a second bowl.

In the larger bowl, I mix the ingredients for Turkey Burgers. While, in the 2nd, bowl, I mix up the turkey & onions soup for Sloppy Joes.

I form and cook the turkey burgers for tonight's meal, while at the same time browning the meat for the sloppy joes.

Then, when tomorrow comes (or anytime later in the week), all I have to do is add ingredients to the pan & simmer....viola, dinner in a snap!

Also, since we have no need for 6 burgers, I cooked 3 (one for each adult & one split between the toddlers) and individually wrapped and froze the other 3. So in reality, I've got triple mileage :)

Sloppy Joes

 adapted from

1 pound ground turkey
1 tablespoon dry onion soup mix
1 cup ketchup
2 teaspoons Splenda
2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 tablespoons yellow mustard
4 hamburger buns

In a medium to large bowl, combine the turkey & onion soup mix.  Place the turkey mixture in a large skillet over medium heat, cook until evenly brown, and drain.

In a large saucepan over medium heat, mix the ketchup, sugar, vinegar, and mustard. Mix in the turkey. Cook, stirring often, for 30 minutes.

Top each bun evenly & enjoy

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Turkey Burgers

 adapted from

1 1/2 pounds ground turkey
1 1/2 tablespoons dry onion soup mix
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon dried minced garlic
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 egg, lightly beaten (optional)
6 hamburger buns, split

In a large bowl, mix the turkey with the onion soup mix, pepper, garlic powder, soy sauce, and egg. Refrigerate the mixture about 10 minutes, then form into 6 patties.

Preheat the grill or frying pan for medium-high heat.

Lightly oil the grill grate or frying pan. Place the patties on the grill. Cook for 20 minutes, turning once, or until well done. The inside of the burgers will look whitish in color when cooked through. Serve on bun with desired burger toppings.

Triple Mileage Meal: Mexican Trio

This is one of my favorite grouping of meals (and they all happen to be hubby favorites!).  Each dish is delicious on it's own and they are all super easy.
It's with great excitement, I give you the first TRIPLE MILEAGE MEAL!!
To make 3 meals, you'll need:

Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Taco seasoning
Shredded cheese
Flour tortillas (soft taco size)
Green Chili Enchilada Sauce
Taco toppings

With this short list, you can make Mexican Crockpot Chicken and use it to yield you tacos, Baked Flautas & Green Chili Enchiladas.  The enchiladas can even be prepared and frozen (thaw completely & add a little extra time at baking) for extra ease.

You'll have to determine based on how many people you plan to feed with each meal.  For our family of 4 (which includes 2 toddlers), I would use 7-9 chicken breasts (double the initial chicken recipe) to make all 3 meals.

Chicken & Pasta

 adapted from

1 (16 ounce) package penne pasta
4 (6 ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breasts - cubed
1 (14.5 ounce) can chicken broth
1 (10 ounce) package frozen spinach, thawed and drained
1 (8 ounce) package cold cream cheese, cubed
1/2 to 3/4 can of Del Monte canned tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano
Minced onion & garlic
Salt, pepper & Italian seasoning
Parmesan cheese

Bring large pot of water to a boil, and stir in penne pasta. 

Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, combine chicken cubes, garlic, onion, salt, pepper, seasoning & broth; simmering until done. Stir in cubed cream cheese and spinach. Return to simmer, and cook about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in tomatoes, and cook about 3 minutes more. 

In a large bowl, mix together cooked, drained pasta and sauce. Let stand a few minutes & top each serving with cheese before serving.

This is even better as left overs!

Green Chili Enchiladas

2 cups Mexican Crockpot Chicken
2 1/2 cups Shredded Cheese, divided
6 flour tortillas, soft taco size
1 can Green Chili Enchilada Sauce (10 oz)

Pour a thin layer of enchilada sauce into 8x8 baking pan.

Divide chicken & 1 1/2 cups cheese among tortillas. Roll up. Place seam-side-down in baking pan. Pour remaining enchilada sauce over tortillas & cover top with cheese.

Bake uncovered for 30 minutes or until bubbly.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Oven Baked Brown Rice

 adapted from

1 cup brown rice
1 cup beef broth
1 (14.5 ounce) can chicken broth
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon garlic powder
dried or fresh onion, optional
dried or fresh garlic, optional
salt & pepper to taste 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). 

In a 2 quart casserole dish, mix together all ingredients. Bake covered in preheated oven for 90 minutes, until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Classic Waffles

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons white sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups warm milk
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

In a large bowl, mix together flour, salt, baking powder and sugar; set aside. Preheat waffle iron to desired temperature.

In a separate bowl, beat the eggs. Stir in the milk, butter and vanilla. Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture; beat until blended.

Ladle the batter into a preheated waffle iron. Cook the waffles until golden and crisp. Serve immediately.

Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream Cake

Note: I made this cake for my husbands birthday this weekend and it was a disaster!  I attempted to create a roll cake using a box cake mix and it stuck to the towel as I unrolled it.  I did the best I could with it...rolling it up in saran wrap & securing it with packing tape (I wish I had taken a photo!).  The end result tasted great, and each slice looked acceptable, but the cake as a whole was not pretty.  So, for your sake, I am modifying the directions here to create an actual ice cream cake rather than a roll :)

6 cups, not packed, vanilla ice cream (I use Blue Bell No Sugar Added)
1 package mini peanut butter cups, divided
1 box cake mix (I used vanilla, but white, yellow or chocolate would work just as well)
Hot fudge (store bought or homemade)

Prepare cake mix as directed and bake in 2 rounds.  Place 1/3 of the bag of peanut butter cups in the freezer for later use.  Allow the cakes to cool completely, wrap each layer in saran wrap and freeze.

When ready to assemble, unwrap 3/4 of the peanut butter cups and set aside.  Then, remove rounds & ice cream from freezer.  Determine which layer will be the top and set it aside.  Cut the rounded top off the other layer so the top is completely flat.

Place ice cream and peanut butter cups in a large bowl and mix with an electric mixer until well combined.  Quickly spread a generous layer of the ice cream mixture on the bottom section of cake, then stack the additional layer of cake on top.  Wrap the entire cake in saran wrap and refreeze.

Remove from freezer 10-15 minutes before serving.  During this time, chop the frozen peanut butter cups and heat the fudge.  Generously drizzly the fudge on the cake & sprinkle with the chopped peanut butter cups.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Sweet Dinner Rolls

 Adapted from

1/2 cup water
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup white sugar
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
1 egg
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon salt
3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup butter, melted
Mix the water and milk, microwave for 1 minute and 15 seconds.  Poured it into a large bowl & stir in the sugar until dissolved.  Stirred in the yeast & allow to set for 10-15 minutes.
Add salt, butter and egg to bowl and mix until combined.  Add flour slowly (a half cup or so at a time). Once combined, kneed for 2-3 minutes, cover and let it rise for in the bowl for 1 hour.
Once risen, punch the dough down and divide it into 16 balls.  Place dough balls on an ungreased cookie sheet.  Let rolls rise for another 1/2 hour.
Brush the top of each roll with melted butter and bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes.

Austin Parenting Multiples Examiner

Feed My Monkey's has been featured in an article by the Austin Parenting Multiples Examiner.  A huge thank you goes out Leigh Ann for choosing to spotlight our blog and for writing such a great piece!
You can read the entire article here.

Friday, August 27, 2010


We just received our Vrrrmmm!!  Transportation Lunch Punch Sandwich Cutters last week and I have been dying to use them.  They are so fun and perfect for little boys lunch!

Ever since the ABC Muffin Tin lunch, T will only eat sandwiches in the shape of the letter A.  
So, today, I give you J's lunch :)

He's got a train & coal car.  The pieces are connected with carrots and the coal is dried cranberries.  Up to, he's got some Pirates Booty, an Oatmeal Cranberry White Chocolate Cookie & some apple slices.  He downed the entire thing and then asked for a turkey roll too!

Double Mileage Meal: Chicken Breasts & BBQ Sauce

This week's Double Mileage Meal yields 2 of my hubby's favorites!
They are both super easy & very delicious.

Here's what you'll need:
Chicken Breasts (boneless, skinless) - we use 4-6 for our family of 2 plus 2 toddlers
BBQ Sauce
Lettuce, shredded (optional)
Tomato (optional)
Cheddar Cheese, sliced (optional)
Mayo or Ranch Dressing
Crispy Onions/Onion Straws
2 small or 1 large pizza crust - homemade or packaged
Approximately 1 cup of cooked chicken (shredded or thinly sliced) 
1 onion, caramelized*
Mozzarella cheese 

Prepare the BBQ Chicken Sandwiches as directed.  Reserve leftovers (the very finely shredded pieces are perfect) for the BBQ Chicken Pizza.

BBQ Chicken Pizza

2 small or 1 large pizza crust - homemade or packaged
BBQ sauce
Approximately 1 cup of cooked chicken (shredded or thinly sliced) 
1 onion, caramelized*
Mozzarella cheese

Top pizza crust with a generous layer of BBQ sauce.  Top sauce with a layer of chicken, then a layer of cheese.  Add onions to the top and cook according to the pizza crust directions and until cheese is melted.

*caramelize onions by slowly cooking them in a little olive oil until they are richly browned.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Oatmeal Cranberry White Chocolate Cookies

2/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 6-ounce package Ocean Spray® Craisins® Original Dried Cranberries
2/3 cup white chocolate chunks or chips

Preheat oven to 375ºF.

Using an electric mixer, beat butter or margarine and sugar together in a medium mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs, mixing well. Combine oats, flour, baking soda and salt in a separate mixing bowl. Add to butter mixture in several additions, mixing well after each addition. Stir in dried cranberries and white chocolate chunks.

Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire rack.

Makes approximately 2 1/2 dozen cookies.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Muffin Tin: ABC

Today's theme is ABC

We've got a sandwich cut into letter shapes with the Wilton 50 Piece ABC & 123 Cookie Cutter Set

Under each letter, we have a corresponding side item
A = apple sauce
B = bananas
C = carrots & ranch

If you'd like to see more muffin tin meals, you can click on over to the home of Muffin Tin Monday to check them out!
Muffin Tin Mom


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