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

Friday, August 20, 2010

Double Mileage Meal: Whole Chicken

This weeks Double Mileage Meal is super simple & requires very little work for both meals.
We begin with a whole chicken (5-6 pounds fed our family)

You'll also need:

2 tsp kosher salt (if you'd like it as salty as the ones in the store, add another 1 tsp.)
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp black pepper
pinch of chili pepper (probably not necessary)
4 whole garlic cloves (optional)
1 yellow onion, quartered (optional)
1 can Veg-All mixed Vegetables, drained
1 can Cream of Potato Soup
1 can Cream of Chicken Soup
1/2 a soup can of milk
2 uncooked refrigerated pie crusts
salt & pepper to taste
1 egg, slightly beaten for egg wash 

Prepare the Crockpot Rotisserie-Style Chicken as directed.  Once cooked, use the breasts of the bird as the main dish for meal #1 (you can also shred it for tacos or wraps if desired).  Remove & shred the meat from the wings & thighs to save for Chicken Pot Pie.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Crockpot Rotissere-Style Chicken

1 whole chicken, skinned (4-5 pounds)
2 tsp kosher salt (if you'd like it as salty as the ones in the store, add another 1 tsp.)
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp black pepper
pinch of chili pepper (probably not necessary)

4 whole garlic cloves (optional)
1 yellow onion, quartered (optional)

I used a 6 quart crockpot for a 5 pound bird. It fit nicely.

Skin the chicken and get rid of the neck and other stuff from the cavity. This takes a while, and is gross. Keep small children away so you don't freak out about salmonella. I skin whole chickens because I hate the idea of the chicken fat simmering all day in the crock---it also looks disgusting when the chicken is cooked because it's all slimy and icky.

I get it that I'm weird. If chicken skin makes you happy, then by all means, ignore me.

In a bowl, combine all of dried spices. Rub the spice mixture all over the bird, inside and out. Plop the bird breast-side down into the crockpot.

If desired, shove 4 whole garlic cloves and a quartered onion inside the bird.

Do not add water.

Cover and cook on high for 4-5 hours, or on low for 8. The meat is done when it is fully cooked and has reached desired tenderness. The longer you cook it, the more tender the meat.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

School Lunch Ideas

My local MoM's group is at it again :)  This time, the question was ideas for school lunches for kids beyond the PB&J.   In addition to my sack lunch post from way back, here is a compilation from some of our fellow busy moms!
  • Beans - garbanzo, black beans, ranch beans etc
  • Tilapia fish sticks
  • Sliced meats or shredded cheese
  • Baby bell cheeses
  • Simple veggies, beets, broccoli, peas, corn (on and off the cob) red cabbage, celery, carrots, jicama, pickles!
  • Egg taco with a piece of turkey bacon inside
  • Peanut butter or almond butter on thin apple slices 
  • Hot dogs, or little central market breakfast links
  • Yogurt smoothies in a thermos
  • Tamales
  • Taco meat and a "taco shell to make your own"
  • Mini bagels with cream cheese
  • Dinner left overs
  • Small thermos with chicken noodle soup or macaroni
  • Cream cheese & jelly sandwiches
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Pasta w/ butter & parmesan or pesto (sometimes with cubed chicken)
  • Ham cubes stirred up w/ a little apricot jelly, cheese & buttered bread (cut all of it into cubes)
  • Veggie ideas: sweet mini peppers or cucumbers with or without ranch dip, spinach leaves/croutons 
  • Cream cheese and sliced banana sandwich - on a CRACKER if you kids don't like sandwiches.
  • Yogurt dip - plain yogurt with minced cucumber and fresh chopped dill - eat with bagel chips.
  • Turkey spring roll - cabbage leaf with shredded turkey, chopped mango, chopped avocado, and bean sprouts.
  • Mozzarella sticks
  • Hummus (and veggies to dip with)
  • Edamame
  • Cheese cubes
  • Mini Ritz pb crackers
  • Greek yogurt w/ honey and fruit
What do you have to add?

How To: Freezing Raspberries


Selecting High-Quality Fruit Raspberries:

Once frozen, berries do lose some of their texture, but they are still good for use in dishes and desserts. Select firm, mature, well-colored berries that are fully ripe. Avoid leaky, mushy, or discolored berries. Remove those that are immature, moldy or damaged.

Preparing for Freezing:

Put raspberries into a colander and dunk in cold water to wash gently. Lift and drain. If possible, until you're ready to process them, store raspberries in a single layer in the refrigerator to avoid crushing. They will stay fresh for 1 or 2 days.

Best Freezing Methods(s):

Unsweetened (Plain) Pack

Place raspberries in a single layer on a cookie sheet and tray-freeze. Once frozen (within 24 hours), pack them into suitable containers, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace. Seal, label and freeze. Raspberries can also be packaged and placed directly into the freezer, although berries that are tray-frozen are likely to freeze together in clumps.

Sweetened (Sugar) Pack

Combine 1 quart (1 1/3 pounds) of raspberries and _ cup sugar. Mix carefully to avoid crushing the berries. Stir until most of the sugar is dissolved. Pack into suitable containers, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace. Seal, label and freeze.

Syrup Pack

Pack raspberries into containers and cover with cold, light syrup (2 cups sugar to 4 cups water). Pack in suitable containers leaving 1/2 inch of headspace. Seal, label and freeze.

Suitable Packaging:

Freezer containers should be moisture and vapor resistant and should not be prone to cracking or breaking at low temperatures. Containers should provide protection against absorbing flavors or odors and should be easy to label. Suitable packaging for freezing raspberries includes freezer-grade plastic bags, rigid plastic containers or glass containers and heavy-duty aluminum foil.

Maximum Storage Time:

Up to 12 months at 0ºF.


Add frozen raspberries directly to dishes and desserts.

Tips & Shortcuts:

Raspberries frozen in a sweetened (sugar) pack are best for pies. They will retain their texture better in sugar than if frozen in an unsweetened (plain) pack.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Chicken Pot Pie

 Adapted from

1 can Veg-All mixed Vegetables, drained
1 can Cream of Potato Soup
1 can Cream of Chicken Soup
1/2 a soup can of milk
2 cups cooked chicken, shredded, cubed, or chopped
2 uncooked refrigerated pie crusts
salt & pepper to taste
1 egg, slightly beaten for egg wash

The directions on the box of pie crusts say to let stand at room temperature for about 20 minutes. Take these out of your refrigerator now, open each package and set aside.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place vegetables, soups, milk, chicken and S&P in a bowl, mix until combined thoroughly.

Put one pie crust into pie plate, add filling, top with remaining pie crust.

Cut a couple of slits in the crust, brush lightly with egg wash.

Bake on cookie sheet in center of over for 45 minutes.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

In My Kitchen - Shoe Rack :)

Like most people, I have a pretty simple/standard kitchen.  However, there is one thing you that when seen, often gets peoples attention.  I picked up this gem of an idea somewhere years ago and I will never be without it again.  

I have a shoe rack attached to the inside of my pantry door!

Let me tell you for a moment how fantastic this is :)  
You can put just about anything in it and use it however you need to!  

Here is how I use it...It frees up space on my pantry shelves, helps me to actually be able to see and find random items, keeps open bags from spilling all over & even helps us waste less food.  Whenever I get toward the bottom of a box of individually wrapped items, instead of having the entire box with 1 or 2 things in it, the items go in a pocket in the door.  Those little packets of seasoning, gravy/soup mix, sugar substitute, etc., they all have a home.  Open bags of chocolate chips, brown sugar, rice, etc., they get a twist at the top of the bag, then placed twist side spilling and no spoiling!

This is by far the best use of a few bucks & 2 screws (make sure you're screws are short enough to not go out the front side of the door).  If you are looking for a way to get more organization in your kitchen, maybe you should give this a try!

Have another good organizational tip...please share!!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I Love You!

For today's lunch, I dug out the 'I love you' sign cookie cutter that my fantastic hubby got me for Christmas as well as a little gift set of cutter the we received as a gift from my sweet friend Rachel.

On the top, they've got mango, some bell pepper cut the the same heart and the 'I Love You' set & some baked cheetos

On the bottom, an I love you grilled cheese & fruit leather 'I Love You' letters on a cracker

Monday, August 9, 2010

Maple-Roasted Chicken With Sweet Potatoes

1 3 1/2- to 4-pound chicken, cut into 8 pieces
1 yellow onion, cut into 1-inch wedges
2 small sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons maple syrup
6 sprigs fresh thyme

Heat oven to 400° F.

Rinse the chicken and pat it dry. Arrange the chicken, onion, and sweet potatoes in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Drizzle the oil over the chicken and vegetables and season with the salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Drizzle with the maple syrup and top with the sprigs of thyme.

Roast, stirring the vegetables once, until the chicken is cooked through, about 1 hour, 15 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

I made this with chicken breasts cut in 1/2.  I also substituted sugar free syrup & dried thyme.  The chicken ended up a little tough on the outside, but still tender enough to cut with a fork.  Since it is so similar to the Easy Chicken recipe, I think I may try it in an oven bag next time.  Regardless, it was really good :)

Sweet Potato on Foodista

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Low Country Boil

Old Bay Seasoning TM to taste
1-1/4 pounds new potatoes
1 (16 ounce) package cooked kielbasa sausage, cut into 1 inch pieces
3 ears fresh corn, husks and silks removed
1-1/4 pounds whole crab, broken into pieces
1 pound fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined

Heat a large pot of water over an outdoor cooker, or medium-high heat indoors. Add Old Bay Seasoning to taste, and bring to a boil. Add potatoes, and sausage, and cook for about 10 minutes. Add the corn and crab; cook for another 5 minutes, then add the shrimp when everything else is almost done, and cook for another 3 or 4 minutes.

Drain off the water, and pour the contents out onto a picnic table covered with newspaper. Grab a paper plate and a beer and enjoy!

I made this with chicken sausage & no crab. It was easy, delicious and really fun! We didn't have newspaper, so we just dumped it onto a paper towel lined baking sheet. This would be a great crowd pleaser!

King Ranch Casserole

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 tablespoon chicken bouillon
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup chopped onion
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chile peppers
2 (8 ounce) cans chili beans, drained
12 (8 inch) flour tortillas
3 cups shredded Colby-Monterey Jack cheese

Bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil. Add chicken and bouillon and boil for 12 to 15 minutes, or until cooked through (no longer pink inside). Reserve 1 cup broth. Remove chicken from pan and dice; set aside.

In a separate large saucepan combine reserved broth, onion, cream of chicken soup, cream of mushroom soup, bell pepper, diced tomatoes with green chile peppers and beans. Mix together and heat through, stirring often.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
In a 9x13 inch baking dish layer casserole as follows: 4 torn tortillas, 1/2 of diced chicken, 1/3 of soup mixture, more tortilla strips, remaining diced chicken, 1/3 of soup mixture, more tortilla strips and remaining soup mixture. Cover with cheese.
Bake in preheated oven for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until heated through and cheese is melted and bubbly. 

This is really good, but rather time consuming.  It took me almost an hour & a half to complete the prep.  It made enough for about 4 meals for our family of 4.  I think next time, I would make it in 2 8x8 pans and freeze one.

Lemon-Garlic Broccoli

4 to 5 pounds of broccoli
6 1/2 Tbs olive oil, divided
1 1/2 tsps kosher salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
4 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
1 lemon
3 Tbs pine nuts, toasted
1/3 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tbs julienned fresh basil

Preheat the oven to 425.

Take 4 to 5 pounds of broccoli, cut into florets (but relatively big ones.). Put the broccoli on a cookie sheet. Toss with 5 Tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper and add 4 garlic cloves and toss again.  Roast in the oven 20 to 25 minutes, until "crisp-tender and the tips of some of the florets are browned."

When it's done, take it out of the oven and zest a lemon over the broccoli, squeeze the lemon juice over the broccoli, add remainder of thee olive oil, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese & basil.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Here Fishy, Fishy

Today's lunch didn't have much of a theme, but did have some good variety.  Starting at the top and going clockwise, they've got:

Red bell pepper, carrots & simple hummus
1/2 a piece of Almond Bar
Strawberries (sliced and stacked)
Sandwich (cut with the fish/shark shape from the Wilton 101-Piece Cookie Cutter Set)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Faux-Fried Zucchini

2 large zucchini; ends removed
3/4 cup Fiber One bran cereal (original); ground to a breadcrumb-like consistency in a blender or food processor
1/4 cup fat-free liquid egg substitute (like Egg Beaters)
1 tbsp. powdered ranch dressing/dip mix
1/4 tsp. plus 1 dash garlic powder
1/4 tsp. plus 1 dash onion powder
1/4 tsp. plus 1 dash oregano
2 dashes pepper
2 dashes salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut zucchini into half-inch-wide circles. Blot away any excess moisture with a paper towel.

Fill a medium-sized dish with egg substitute, and season with a dash each of garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, salt, and pepper. In a separate medium-sized container, combine cereal breadcrumbs with 1/4 tsp. each of garlic powder, onion powder, and oregano -- add the ranch mix and a dash each of salt and pepper, and then mix well.

Set out a baking pan, and spray with nonstick spray. Toss zucchini circles in the egg substitute until they are all evenly covered. One by one, coat zucchini with breadcrumbs (giving them a shake first to remove excess egg substitute), and lay them flat on the baking pan.

Place in the oven, and bake for 10 minutes. Flip zucchini circles over, and return to the oven for about 10 more minutes, or until outsides are crispy and zucchini is cooked through.


WW POINTS® value 1 per serving

Muffin Tin: Tuesday Edition

Looks like we're a day late again :)

On the top row, we've got blueberries, carrots & simple hummus

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

Double Mileage Meal: Rotisserie Chicken

For this weeks Double Mileage Meal, I am going as simple as a rotisserie chicken straight from the grocery store deli.
Once I get it home, I shred it (with my hands to get as much as chicken off the bone as possible) into a large container with a lid. We'll use 1/2 of the chicken for BBQ Chicken Salad and follow it the next night with Baked Chicken Chimichangas.

To complete both meals, you'll need 1 chicken and:
Romain Lettuce
1 can black beans
1 can of corn
Ranch dressing
Barbecue sauce
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
1 (8 ounce) package shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 (1 ounce) package taco seasoning
8 soft taco size (or larger) flour tortillas
Olive oil spray

Monday, August 2, 2010

Simple Hummus

15- to 20-ounce can chickpeas or garbanzo beans, drained, liquid saved
3 to 9 cloves garlic, peeled
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt, to taste
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
3 to 5 tablespoons olive oil; or a combination of olive oil and reserved liquid from the beans

Place the drained chickpeas, garlic, salt, and cumin in the work bowl of a food processor. Process until the beans are very finely chopped. With the machine running, drizzle in the oil. If necessary, drizzle in just enough of the reserved chickpea liquid to make the mixture smooth. Remove from the processor, and refrigerate in a covered container until ready to serve. Garnish with a sprig of fresh parsley, if desired.

I sprinkled a little paprika to add some color :) We love to eat this with carrots, celery, bell pepper or pitas. So easy and so yummy!

Crispy Treats

4 Tbs butter (substitution not recommend)
1 bag marshmallows (or 4 1/2 cups mini marshmallows)
6 cups crispy rice cereal

Line a baking pan with parchment paper. Spray a large bowl with non-stick spray (preferably butter flavored) and add crispy rice cereal. In a large pot, melt butter and marshmallows until smooth. Stir marshmallows with cereal in the large bowl until well combined. Pour mixture into baking pan. Take a 2nd sheet of parchment paper and spray one side with non-stick spray. Place paper (sprayed side down) on top of the cereal and roll with a rolling pin until evenly distributed. Cool & cut.

Store no more than two days at room temperature in airtight container. To freeze, place in layers separated by wax paper in airtight container. Freeze for up to 6 weeks. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving.

My husband LOVES rice crispy treats :) I used to make them for him and they always paled in comparison to the ones his mom makes. The difference...real butter. So, I made them like this tonight and he is thankful!


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