Monday, April 29, 2013

Cinnamon Stick Sweet Potatoes

The Lewis Family just recently started eating more sweet potatoes.  We always have regular potatoes on hand so I often just go to those for a side dish.  My favorite thing to do with Sweet Potatoes is Baked Sweet Potato Fries with Cinnamon Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce, but this one is a close second.  I don't list the exact amount of butter and brown sugar that I use because everyone's taste is different.  And frankly I am not sure I want to admit how much I add to mine!

  • 2 Large Sweet Potatoes
  • 4 Cinnamon Sticks
  • Butter
  • All Spice
  • Brown Sugar
  • Aluminum Foil
 Clean the outside of the sweet potato and cut in half lengthwise.  I usually serve each person 1/2 of a potato.
Preheat oven to 400.  Place potato on aluminum foil.  Next, top sweet potato with a couple tablespoons of brown sugar and a couple tablespoons of butter.  This amount fluctuates at our house depending on how sweet I feel at the moment :) Place a cinnamon stick on top and add a few dashes of all spice.  Close foil around potato and place on rack in oven.
 Bake for about 40 minutes
 Remove the Sweet Potato from the foil and pour all of the buttery, sugary, cinnamon goodness over top!

BBQ Pulled Pork {Cincinnati Style}

Tracy and Scott lived in Cincinnati for about 6 years.  During that time they fell in love with several of the local restaurants, pizza places, and even Cincinnati Chili.  Montgomery Inn is a restaurant that started in the 1950's in Montgomery Ohio.  The owners now have three locations (all in Ohio), their products can be found on the shelves of grocery stores in 23 states, and they ship Ribs and Chicken all over the U.S.  Sometimes I can find the Montgomery Inn BBQ sauce at a grocery store here in Northern Virginia, but most often friends bring it when they come to visit.

  • 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons Ketchup
  • 2-2 1/2 lbs of Pork Tenderloin
  • Montgomery Inn BBQ Sauce (that's what makes it Cincy Style)
Place pork tenderloin in slow cooker.  Mix together brown sugar, vinegar, and ketchup.  Poor over meat.  
 Cook on low 4-6 hours or until meat pulls apart easily with a fork.

Remove from slow cooker and shred with two forks.  Coat with your favorite BBQ sauce.  If you can get your hands on it, make sure you use Montgomery Inn sauce.  

This recipe is the recipe that Tracy used for her BBQ Pulled Pork Mac and Cheese Sandwiches.

This recipe was featured on our 30 Days of Dinners June Menu, Make sure to check out all of the other great recipes on this month's menu!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

BBQ Pulled Pork and Mac and Cheese Sandwich

I love grilled cheese sandwiches.  This sandwich takes it up a few notches!  It proves that grilled cheese is not just for your kiddos and this is perfect for dinner.  When I make BBQ pulled pork I usually have leftovers because it makes so much.  I often freeze some and pull it out to make these amazing sandwiches and since it is already made I can throw it together quickly on nights when we have a baseball game or other evening activity

Serves 4

Cook the Pulled Pork according to one of our AMAZING recipes.  
Prepare your favorite Macaroni and Cheese recipe (I will post mine soon).
Butter one side of each piece of bread and pile on the pork followed by the mac and cheese.  

 Place in skillet and toast each side to a golden brown.  Be careful not to lose the insides of your sandwich as you flip it!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Teacher Sayings {Free Printable}

Just in time for Teacher Appreciation Week! Print out this cute design and stick it in a frame to go along with your gift for your children's teachers. Adorable print for them to put out on their desk or up on a shelf. Just right click on the image below and save to your computer.

Chevron Monogram Binder Covers- Great for Teachers!

Chevron is the hottest print tight now, and lucky for you, I have a whole bunch of monogram prints! These are great to use as covers and are the perfect touch to spice up your organizational binders. Just right click on the images below and then save to your computer. Print them out as a full page photo (do not click "fit to frame") and insert into the clear cover on your binder! If you use a notebook/planner system like Circa, these make great covers behind the clear cover also.

Derby Dessert

The Kentucky Derby is always the first Saturday in May, this is so good I am sure I will make it more often than once a year!  When I think of the Derby I think of two things- Big Fancy Hats and Derby Pie.  This famous dessert was originally made by a restaurant in Kentucky and their recipe is a family secret.  This is my take on their secret.  This is actually a recipe that Tracy's mother-in-law has been making for over 30 years and it is still a favorite.  I like to serve mine with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  YUM!!!!

  • 1 Tablespoon Bourbon
  • 1/4 cup of Butter (softened)
  • 1 teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 3/4 cup Light Karo Syrup
  • 1/2 Pecans
  • 1/4 teaspoonSalt
  • 1/2 cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • Perfect Pie Crust
Prepare the Perfect Pie Crust as directed in a previous post or you can cheat and use a store bought crust.  Preheat oven to 375.  Cream together butter, sugar, eggs, and karo syrup.
 Then add in salt, vanilla, and bourbon.  Last, stir in pecans and chocolate chips.
 Pour into unbaked pie crust.
 Bake for 40-50 minutes.  Let cool for about an hour.  Enjoy!

Perfect Pie Crust for Any Pie Baked or Cream

I originally posted this pie crust recipe in Honey's Dutch Apple Pie, but I have used it for so many other pies such as Chocolate Banana Cream Pie and Derby Dessert I decided I should post it separately to put it on the Recipe Box page.

Ingredients for Pie Crust:

  • 1.5 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1/4 Cup Vegetable Shortening
  • 1/4 Cup Butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 4-5 Tablespoons Ice Water
First combine flour and salt.  Then cut in the butter and shortening with a pastry knife or two forks until a crumbly mixture forms.

Add in 4-5 tablespoons of ice water until dough forms.  Next roll into large ball.
Place ball of dough in between floured sheets of wax paper and roll out to desired size.  Remember to go from the middle out until the crust is about 1/8" thick.
Place in pie dish and lightly press down.  Pinch edges to form decorative crust.  Place in freezer for about an hour or until ready to use.  Or you can bake it immediately you are using it for a cream pie.  To use for Cream Pie, preheat oven to 425 and bake for 7-9 minutes.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Parmesan Spaghetti Squash

  • Spaghetti Squash
  • Olive Oil
  • Garlic Powder
  • Salt and Pepper 
  • Parmesan Cheese
Preheat oven to 400.  Cut squash in half lengthwise.  Make sure you have a very sharp knife and be careful because they are very hard.
 Scoop out seeds.  Drizzle with olive oil and generously salt and pepper.  Some olive oil will pool in the middle just swirl it around to cover the inside.  Add a couple dashes of garlic powder.
Bake skin side down for 40 minutes.  
 Let the squash cool for about 10 minutes.  Then scrape the squash with a fork.  It will look like spaghetti.  Top with parmesan cheese.

This recipe was featured on the Marvelous May Menu, be sure to check out the rest of the May Menu.

Lemon Orzo Pasta Salad with Asparagus and Tomatoes

 Summer is just around the corner so it is time to add in some lighter side dishes into the rotation.  A cold salad always makes me think of a picnic and I wish summer was one giant picnic!  I think that I could grill outside every night!  BTW is orzo a pasta or a rice?  Whatever it is is delicious!  The orzo salad is very simple compliments almost anything.

  • 1 Cup of uncooked Orzo
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Fresh Asparagus
  • 2 Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2- Lemon juiced and zested
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried parsley or a couple tablespoons of fresh
  • Sea Salt
  • Pepper
  • Fresh Grated Parmigiano Reggiano
Serves 6

Bring two medium pots of water to a boil.  In one pot, cook the orzo according to the directions on the box.  Drain and place in In the other pot, blanch asparagus for 2-3 minutes.

Make sure you don't over cook it.  After it is cooked place asparagus in a bowl of ice to stop it from further cooking and keep them green.
In a small bowl combine lemon juice, zest, garlic, and dried parsley.  Pour over orzo and stir in asparagus, tomato halves, and parmesan cheese.  Salt and pepper to taste.

This can either be served warm or cold.  We prefer to serve it cold.

This recipe was featured on the Marvelous May Menu, be sure to check out the rest of the May Menu.

Red Pepper Turkey Burger Sliders

I have used ground turkey for a variety of things including tacos, meat loaf, and meatballs.  The family favorite is turkey burgers.  Ground turkey is a great alternative to ground beef because the turkey is much better for you.  The mix in possibilities are endless.  I like to sneak a veggie or two in them.  My first choice is peppers, but those are not easily hidden because of their bright color.  Zucchini is also a great option.  

  • 1 lb of Ground Turkey
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon Old Bay
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • A handful or so of finely diced red bell pepper
  • Red Onion
  • Baby Spinach Leaves
  • Whole Wheat Slider Buns
In a bowl combine ground turkey, egg,  Old Bay, and diced red pepper.
 Once well mixed form into  8 small patties.  Season patties with salt and pepper.

Lightly spray large skillet with cooking spray.  Place patties in skillet and cook for about 7 minutes on each side.  For last 3 minutes on the second side, add about 3 tablespoons of water to the skillet and cover to allow the burgers to steam and cook fully.
Place patty on whole wheat slider bun and top with red onion and baby spinach.
I served with Baked Sweet Potato Fries with Cinnamon Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

This recipe was featured on the Marvelous May Menu, be sure to check out the rest of the May Menu.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Skinny BBQ Chicken Pizza On the Grill

Typical pizza is loaded with calories many of which come from the buttery crust.  By using a whole wheat tortilla and a lot less cheese I can make this a delicious meal that is WAY healthier than any delivery pizza.  

  • 4 Burrito Size Whole Wheat Tortilla
  • 1 Grilled Chicken Breast
  • About a 1/2 Cup Favorite BBQ Sauce (I used Best Darn BBQ Sauce Recipe)
  • Red Onion (I lightly saute the slices so they are not so crunchy)
  • Two Pieces Cooked and Crumbled Turkey Bacon
  • 1/2- 1 cup 2% Milk Cheddar Cheese
Spread an even layer of BBQ sauce onto each tortilla shell.  Sprinkle with chicken, bacon, onion, and cheese.  Place on foil lined grill for 6-8 minutes or until cheese is melted and tortilla is slightly crispy.  Cut into quarters.

I served this with Honey Grilled Pineapple.

This recipe was featured on the Marvelous May Menu, be sure to check out the rest of the May Menu.

Baked Sweet Potato Fries with Cinnamon Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

Burgers and fries are a guilty pleasure of mine.  I recently discovered that I LOVE sweet potato fries!  So I gave them a shot at home and I was pretty impressed (and so was my family) that they came out as good as they did.  
  • 2 Large Sweet Potatoes
  • Sea Salt
  • Cayenne Pepper (just a little)
  • about a tablespoon of vegetable oil
Dipping Sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons Honey
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons Mustard
  • A couple dashes of Cinnamon
Preheat oven to 400.  Cut sweet potatoes into half inch slices and then cut those into 1/2 inch pieces.  Place a single layer of potatoes on a baking sheet.  Drizzle with vegetable oil- toss and sprinkle with sea salt and a tiny bit of cayenne pepper.

Bake for about 25 minutes flipping them about half way through.

The dipping sauce is incredibly easy to make.  Just mix the honey, mustard, and cinnamon together.
I served these with Red Pepper Turkey Burgers YUM!

This recipe was featured on the Marvelous May Menu, be sure to check out the rest of the May Menu.

Mom's Magical Martini

Sometimes after a day of running kids around, cleaning and slaving over the stove, mama needs a drink. And tonight I felt like a magical drink. This drink is easy and delicious, with quite a bit of a kick!

  • 3 oz. sweet white wine (Moscato, Riesling or Zinfandel)
  • 1 oz. vanilla vodka
  • 1 oz. cherry 7-up
Mix wine and vodka in a shaker with ice. Pour into martini glass and top with soda. Garnish with fruit if desired. Drink up!

Spicy Italian Beef and Noodles

I made Tracy's Spicy Italian Shredded Beef Sandwiches for dinner last night and they were so yummy! However, I have a TON of leftover beef! Just this week I had to throw out a bunch of leftovers, so I am holding off on cooking anything totally new until we eat some of what we already have in the fridge. So I came up with an idea to use the beef in a different and new way.

  • Leftover beef from Spicy Italian Shredded Beef Sandwiches and broth
  • Beef broth or beef bouillon (if you don't have enough leftover broth)
  • Egg noodles (just use enough servings based on package directions for the number of people you are serving)
  • 1Tbsp. Grated Parmesan cheese
If you really like beef and noodles, you may want to take the time and make this beef just for this dish. I didn't save all of the broth from the beef, so I just boiled some egg noodles in water with 3 bouillon cubes. Drain the noodles over a bowl to reserve some of the broth.  Stir in the leftover beef and desired amount of broth and Parmesan cheese.

I STILL have leftover beef, so you might just get another makeover recipe in a few days!

Buffalo Chicken Salad with Homemade Low Fat Spicy Ranch

We love buffalo chicken wings at our house!  Thank goodness that football season doesn't last all year because my jeans don't love them!  Tossing grilled chicken in buffalo sauce fills my craving for spicy chicken and still fit in my jeans.
  • Lettuce- I like to use Iceberg or Romaine
  • Tomato
  • Red Onion
  • Grilled Chicken cut into strips
  • Blue Cheese Crumbles
  • Shredded Carrot
  • Diced Celery
  • Your Favorite Buffalo or Hot Sauce
  • Red or Yellow Bell Pepper
Low Fat Spicy Ranch Dressing
  • A Couple Dashes of Cayenne Pepper (add more or less depending on how spicy you want it)
  • 1 Wedge of Laughing Cow Cheese
  • 3/4 teaspoon Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing Mix
  • 2-3 Tablespoons of Skim Milk
  • 2 Tablespoons of Fat Free Sour Cream
Combine all dressing ingredients in small food processor for about 10 seconds.  Place in container and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Toss chicken in buffalo sauce and place on top of lettuce.  Add desired amount of remaining salad ingredients.  Since the homemade ranch is almost fat free, I like to serve with additional carrots and celery for dipping because the spicy ranch is so yummy!

This recipe was featured on the Marvelous May Menu, be sure to check out the rest of the May Menu.

Henderson House Salad

We love a good salad around here. If I had my choice, a salad would be my vegetable every day of the week. I eat so many things in salads that I would never eat by themselves. This salad is my favorite and its pretty simple. I serve it for just the two of us and for large gatherings. It's delicious!

For the salad:

  • Lettuce of your choice ( I usually buy a bag of the Italian blend salad)
  • Red onions
  • Tomatoes
  • Blue cheese crumbles
  • Diced, cooked prosciutto
Use the amount of ingredients that you desire for your perfect salad. The red onions and blue cheese really make the salad, so just don't skimp on those. For the prosciutto, my deli sells it already cubed, but if you can't find it that way, just cut it up before you cook it. Then stick it in the skillet and cook like you would bacon. Get it pretty crispy or else it's very chewy and takes a while to chew each bite of your salad.

For the dressing:
  • 1/2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 Tbsp. mayo
  • 1/2Tbsp. Salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic (I actually like to use the jar kind and just use the oil and juices)
  • Dash black pepper
  • Dash Italian seasoning (or oregano)
  • 3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup oil
Whisk all ingredients except oil in medium boil until well mixed. Slowly add a stream of oil while continuing to whisk until all oil is well blended. Chill until ready to serve.

If you like a pretty cold salad, you'll want to let the prosciutto cool off after cooking and even stick in the fridge for 10 minutes or so. I usually cook the prosciutto, make the dressing and chop the salad before I get the rest of the meal ready and let the salad ingredients chill in the fridge. Otherwise, the warm prosciutto makes your dressing warm and gives you a lukewarm salad. Then I toss all ingredients in the dressing and serve. Yummy!

Coco Loco Chicken Tenders

I love breaded chicken tenders. Some of the best "bar food" is those delicious, breaded and fried tenders. However, they are not healthy! So one way I satisfy my craving for them is to coat the chicken in something else to give it that crunchy flavor, but without the extra added white flour from the breading. And then I bake them in the oven instead of frying them. This recipe uses unsweetened coconut as the "breading" which gives a slightly sweet but nutty flavor and makes them delicious!

  • 1 lb. chicken breast tenderloins (or use regular breasts and cut them lengthwise into thirds)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
  • 1 Tbsp. paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 egg whites
Preheat oven to 350°. Combine the coconut, paprika, salt and pepper on a plate or wax paper. Place egg whites in a bowl and lightly whisk.  Dip tenders in egg whites, then roll in coconut mixture. You'll need to kind of "smush" the coconut onto the chicken to ensure it adheres nicely. Bake in oven at 350° for 30-40 minutes or until chicken is thoroughly cooked. We served with Sweet Potato Crisps.

You'll have to excuse my lack of pictures from while I was preparing the food. My 2 year old has been especially needy lately and barely gives me time to cook, let alone take pictures!

This recipe was featured on the Marvelous May Menu, be sure to check out the rest of the May Menu.

This recipe was featured on the Magical Moms' July Menu.  Be sure to check out all of our monthly menus

Lots of AMAZING recipes on the Magical Moms' June MenuMarvelous May MenuAppetizing April Menu, and March Madness Menu.