Pumpkin Muffins

My friend Andrea posted a photo on her Facebook page with me tagged in it that she thought I would like…since she knows of my pumpkin obsession!

Ingredients

recipe

Instead of a yellow cake mix I used a spice cake since it had….well spices in it! I thought it would be comparable to what is used in pumpkin pie.

Ingredients

Ingredients

I just did like it said and mixed the pumpkin into the cake mix and put 1 and 1/2 scoops into a muffin tin lined with papers. The can of pumpkin in the picture is 15oz and since I make my own puree I measured out that amount.

filled and ready to bake!

filled and ready to bake!

cooked and cooling.

cooked and cooling.

I just tasted one and OMG they are so delicious! They came out light, fluffy and tasting just like pumpkin bread/roll/pie etc….so very good! Yummy! I suppose you could top with frosting (for the ones I made cream cheese frosting came to mind) but then they’d be cupcakes…right? I highly recommend this very easy and delicious recipe!

Advertisements

Homemade Hummus

I love hummus! I go though a family sized dish of Sabra hummus, either classic (plain) or red pepper, every two weeks at about $5 each. After awhile that gets really pricey so I started looking into making my own! The recipe I had sounded easy enough and bonus I had everything at home except the tahini!

Ingredients

Ingredients

Ingredients

 

One 15-ounce can (425 grams) chickpeas, also called garbanzo beans

1/4 cup (59 ml) fresh lemon juice, about 1 large lemon

1/4 cup (59 ml) tahini (we used Krinos)

Half of a large garlic clove, minced

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for serving

1/2 to 1 teaspoon kosher salt, depending on taste

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

water

First you take your tahini and lemon juice and blend it in your food processor for about 30 seconds. Then scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl then process for another 30 seconds. Next add garlic, olive oil, cumin, and salt to the bowl and blend another 30 seconds. Open the canned chickpeas rinse then drain before adding them to the bowl and process for 1 minute.  Stop and scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl then process for another 1-2 minutes. Add a bit of water if the hummus is to thick of if there are chunks of chickpeas while processing. Once it has reached a nice smooth consistency you are done!

My first batch is done!

My first batch is done!

Tips:

#1 I didn’t like how the cumin tasted so in my second batch I halved the amount and it came out so yummy!

#2 By  my second batch the finished product was a lot smoother thanks to a friend’s feedback. They said “with hummus process it until you think it is done…then process for another minute” either way you get a wonderful smooth product.

#3 I didn’t have a garlic clove on hand but I had some jarred minced garlic in the fridge so I used a tablespoon of that instead.

Before I made this I bough some generic off brand hummus because it was cheaper then Sabra. Well it was nasty and I was out the $2 but I washed out the bowl and now I store my hummus in it! That way everyone knows where the hummus is instead of looking at a tupperware bowl and going “What is this??????” lol.

reusing a dish

reusing a dish

General Cost:

Chickpeas $0.74 ( Market Pantry brand found at Target)

Tahini (I used Joyva brand) $6.24

Garlic clove $0.50

Lemon Juice $1.79

Total: $9.27 For about 7 batches or $1.32 instead of $5 like name brand hummus!

The tahini can had 15 oz and 1/4= 2 oz so you will get about 7 batches from the 15oz can or $0.89 a batch! Another way to reduce costs is to use what you have on hand in the fridge and pantry!

 

Almost Homemade Roast Beef Sandwiches

My sister once brought up almost homemade when I was using a frozen meal and jazzing it up to serve at a family reunion. One night I was wanting some hot roast beef sandwiches like these: Hot Roast Beef Sandwiches. However I didn’t have any roast cooking in the crock pot but then I came up with an idea.

Ingredients

1 package Oscar Mayer sliced roast beef lunch meat

1 package fresh mushrooms

1 sliced onion, I used about half an onion

1 package onion soup mix

sliced provolone cheese

hoagie rolls

Onion soup mix

Onion soup mix

Fix the envelope of onion soup mix as directed then add half of that to a skillet then add the roast beef.

Simmering roast beef with onion soup mix.

Simmering roast beef with onion soup mix.

This allows the roast beef to heat up without drying it out and it gives it some flavor. While the beef heats up place the sliced mushrooms in a skillet with butter and place the onions in another skillet with butter.

caramelizing the onions and sauteing the mushrooms.

caramelizing the onions and sauteing the mushrooms.

Once the onions were perfectly caramelized and the mushrooms sauteed I mixed them together.

mushrooms and onions.

mushrooms and onions.

I used the skillet that held the onions and heated it back up adding a bit more butter. I the laid the sliced rolls face down and slightly toasted them once at a time till all were crispy and hot.

After that it was simply a matter of arranging the sandwiches with juicy layers of meat, onions and mushrooms, and cheese on top of those crispy rolls. I split the remaining onion soup mix into small bowls to use as a dip.

Almost Homemade Roast Beef

ready to eat!

I call this almost homemade since I bought the meat instead of cooking my own. They turned out delicious, not as good as with homemade roast beef, but still tasty and they satisfied my cravings! These cooked in less then thirty minutes

Tips:

#1 you can add anything you want to those sandwiches like sauteed green bell peppers or anything else your mind can come up with.

#2 You can use any lunch meat you want from ham to turkey to chicken breast…the possibilities are endless! I may try ham with sharp cheddar cheese next time I bet it will be just as delicious!

I also like this because it lets me use up the odds and ends in the fridge. All I had to buy was the bread since I had gotten the meat on sale and the mushrooms and onions were starting to get old….I love using up things on hand instead of tossing money in the trash by wasting food.

Homemade Hamburger Helper

Oh how I missed blogging! I have had multiple health issues in the past month which have left me feeling drained and listless after work. But I have several recipes in the hold waiting for posts!

My boyfriend loves meat, potatoes, white bread, miracle whip, processed cheese…well any process foods! We differ in our eating since I have dietary restrictions (limited red meat, no caffeine, limited sodas, no artificial sweeteners, limited processed foods…etc.) so I started looking up easy meals we could both eat. I was pleased to find a recipe for homemade hamburger helper of the cheeseburger variety that was sure to please us both!

Ingredients:
1lb lean ground beef (I used 97/3 since I have to have limited fatty red meats)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup hot water
2 cups skim milk
1-1/2 cups elbow macaroni (or other small pasta)
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

 

Ingredients

Ingredients

I started by cooking the hamburger and as it was cooking I mixed up the seasonings and corn starch in a small bowl and set it aside; while this was all going on I also boiled the hot water. Once the meat was cooked I rinsed it off in hot water to get rid of any leftover fat. Then I placed the meat back into the pot and added the seasonings, water, corn starch, hot water, skim  milk, and pasta then bring to a boil.

Browned meat with seasonings.

Browned meat with seasonings.

Cooking.

Cooking.

Once the pasta is to the desired cooked amount turn off the heat and mix in the shredded cheese. Let stand 5 minutes (or more) to thicken the sauce before serving.

Add cheese

Add cheese

Finished product

Finished product

This was just as quick and easy as making the disgusting boxed mix but way more healthy! There were no weird ingredients or preservatives and bonus my boyfriend (and daughter) loved it just as much, if not more, then the boxed stuff!

Tips

#1 I added 2 cups cheese because after one cup I tasted it and wanted a cheesier flavor but then again I love cheese lol.

#2 You can substitute ground turkey, chicken, or pork in place of the beef depending on your preferences.

Enjoy!

Happy Pinning!

 

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

I have said it before and I will say it again….I hate wasting things and will reuse anything if it is possible. So once again I had a rotisserie chicken for dinner (this was made awhile back) and I saved the leftovers for soup!

Ingredients

Chicken still on the bone (could be leftover chicken or bone in split chicken breast or a whole chicken)

1 bag frozen egg noodles

1 bag frozen peas and carrots

1 bay leaf

salt and pepper

First I boiled the chicken all day until I had the meat slipping off the bones and a flavorful stock.

Boiling leftover chicken

Boiling leftover chicken

Homemade stock

Homemade stock

 

I then carefully poured the stock back into the pan and put it on to boil while I de-boned the chicken; putting aside the meat and tossing the bones.

 

De-boning leftover chicken

De-boning leftover chicken

Once the stock was boiling I added the frozen egg noodles and the bay leaf along with seasoning it to taste.

Broth ready to boil noodles.

Broth ready to boil noodles.

Once the egg noodles were partly done I added the frozen peas and carrots to the broth and let it simmer. Finally I added the chicken and let it simmer a bit longer to heat up the chicken pieces.

Finished soup

Finished soup

Once the soup was done I turned off the burner and covered it up to keep warm while I baked some bread for dinner! I made these yummy garlic knots I found at the grocery store but next time I will make the 1 hour dinner rolls with a recipe I found!

Ready to eat!

Ready to eat!

Hope you like it! Happy Pinning!!

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

Two things I have mentioned a once or twice or twenty is that I like to save money and reuse items I have on hand. After Christmas I got some cheap premade Pillsbury peanut butter cookie dough for less then $1 a roll. After Easter I snagged mini Reese’s peanut butter cups on clearance for $0.98 a bag then I used $1/2 coupons on top of that to pay $0.96 for 2 bags ($0.48 each)! On the package of cookie dough it give a recipe for peanut butter blossoms that uses Hershey Kisses. Well I thought why not use the peanut butter cups I got instead?

Ingredients

1 roll Premade or Homemade Peanut Butter cookie dough

1 Bag of peanut butter cups

2 tbsp sugar

peanut butter cups

peanut butter cups

cookie dough

cookie dough

Roll cookie dough by the tablespoon into balls then roll those is sugar.

dough rolled in sugar

dough rolled in sugar

Cook for 9 minutes at 350 or whatever your dough suggests then once done remove from cookie sheet and place on flat surface or cooling rack. I lay my fresh baked cookies on the counter that is covered in paper towels. Then press a piece of candy in the center of the cookie before it cools down.

finished and ready to eat!

finished and ready to eat!

 

Tips By Me:

#1: I have made these with Hershey’s Kisses before and the candy gets soft quickly but as the cookies cool the candy hardens back up slightly. With the peanut butter cups however they melted significantly, mine were even frozen, before they cooled. So I would suggest freezing the candy because room temperature candy may melt completely before they can cool to harden.

 

Happy Pinning!

Smothered Chicken Breasts

I wrote a post for a crock pot recipe for round steak and gravy, which I thought was amazingly delicious, and one day I wanted some but didn’t have any steak. So I decided to try chicken breasts in the same homemade gravy and wow was I amazed!

Ingredients

3-4 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts

1 package onion soup mix

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1/2 cup water (the old one called for 1/4 but I upped it for more gravy to cover the thicker chicken breasts)

 

I mixed the water and onion soup mix in the bottom of the crock pot before stirring in the cream of mushroom soup.

Gravy all mixed up and ready!

Gravy all mixed up and ready!

Then I added the chicken breasts and rolled them over a few times to make sure they were well covered.

Chicken cooking in the gravy.

Chicken cooking in the gravy.

I then set the crock pot to cook for 8 hours but you can set it for what works best for your time limit. After they were done I served them with mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli.

Dinner!!

Dinner!!

These were the most tender, moist, and delicious chicken I have had in a long time! They were so tender you could cut them with a fork! I love how easy the crock pot is and this “homemade” gravy is so easy and soooo delicious!!

 

Happy Pinning!

Single Serve Chocolate Chip Cookie

99.999% of people love fresh, hot chocolate chip cookies….right? They are so yummy and gooey but, admit it, it can be a lot of work and clean up to get those luscious cookies. Well the pin I found is perfect for those moments when you would kill for a fresh cookie but don’t have the time for a full batch of cookies!

Ingredients

Ingredients

Ingredients

1 tbsp butter

1 tbsp white

1 tbsp brown sugar

1 egg yolk

3 drops vanilla

1/4 flour

1-2 tbsp chocolate chips

pinch of salt (optional)

 

Melt the butter and add the sugars, salt, and drops of vanilla.

Butter, Sugar, and Vanilla

Butter, Sugar, and Vanilla

Then add the egg yolk and blend well

Sugars, Vanilla. Butter, Sugar, Salt, and Egg Yolk

After Egg Yolk

Mix in the flour and add the chocolate chips

Finished batter

Finished batter

Microwave 40-60 seconds until done and enjoy!

Hot, Fresh Cookie

Hot, Fresh Cookie

Tips

#1: Start with 40 second then if not done put in for 20 seconds more. I put it in for 60 seconds right away and while it was very good it was a tad overdone and crumbly because it was cooked a tad to long.

#2: I used farm fresh eggs that I get from a co worker and they have dark gold yolks which make baked good look almost neon. So your batter will not be as yellow as mine so do not be worried!

#3 This is very rich so you can split into 2 pieces and top with vanilla ice cream to make a delicious treat!

This was the fastest cookie I have ever made and it was so delicious! It made a lot and my daughter and I were able to share it since it was so rich. It hit the spot nicely and I will be making this again!

 

Happy Pinning!

Pie Crust

Most people think making a homemade pie crust it so difficult or time consuming so they would rather buy  pre-made ones. I about fell over when I saw how much refrigerated pre-made pie crust cost! It was about $5 for 2 crusts! Buying those graham cracker and/or Oreo ones cost about $4 for 1! Pie crust is not that hard to make nor does it take a long time and it costs less the $1 if you use items you have at home.

Ingredients for Single Crust: 

1/3 cup all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 stick Crisco baking stick shortening OR 1/2 cup Crisco shortening…make sure it is cold. Chill it in the fridge for a bit before using it!

3-6 tablespoons cold water

Blend flour and salt together and set aside. If using Crisco baking sticks cut them into small cubes before using. Cut the shortening into the flour using a pastry blender, If you don’t have a pastry blender (I don’t) use a butter knife, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs about pea size.

Cut shortening into flower

Cut shortening into flower

Crust ready for water. See the pea sized lumps of shortening?

Crust ready for water. See the pea sized lumps of shortening?

Sprinkle 3 tablespoons of water onto the flour and shortening mixture then use a fork to mix the water into the flour. Add another tablespoon of water until dough is moist enough to hold together when pressed together. Shape dough into a ball then roll out onto a floured surface until it is the desired thinness. Then fold the dough in half then pick it up and distribute it into the pie pan, make sure not to stretch the dough when unfolding it. Let it rest loosely in the pan.

Formed and ready to roll

Formed and ready to roll

Seeing if the crust is big enough for the pie pan.

Seeing if the crust is big enough for the pie pan.

Ready to fill!

Ready to fill!

Once the crust is in the pan take a fork and gently press against the dough hanging over the edge of the pan to remove the excess. Then you are ready to fill and bake it!

Tips:

#1 For ease in rolling, wrap dough in plastic wrap the chill for 30 minutes but no more then 2 days.

#2 Instead of rolling it out on a floured surface you can place the dough between two sheets of wax paper then roll the pin on top of the wax paper.

 

This the recipe I use every year to make delicious homemade pumpkin pies for Thanksgiving and Christmas! Happy Pinning!

Leftover Chicken Enchiladas

Now the title of this post is rather misleading because I am not talking about eating enchiladas or reheating them the day after. I am talking about how to make chicken enchiladas from leftovers. By now, if you’ve been following my blog, you should know I love to reuse everything because it saves me time and money. One night I was very tired and didn’t feel like cooking nor did I want takeout so I grabbed a rotisserie chicken from a local grocery store. I made sides for it that night (instant potatoes and steamed veggies) and after dinner my boyfriend wanted to toss the chicken remains and I refused to let him.

I used:

Enchilada ingriedients

Enchilada ingriedients

The next day I put the chicken carcass into a pot of water and boiled it until the meat was falling off the bones.

Boiling leftover chicken

Boiling leftover chicken

 After the chicken was done I carefully separated the cooked chicken from the stock, I placed the strainer over a pot and drained the liquid into the pot. 

De-boning leftover chicken

De-boning leftover chicken

Homemade stock

Homemade stock

Before I started making the enchiladas I took the stock and froze it for later use….I hate wasting anything including homemade stock! I then took the tortillas and made them like any other enchiladas I added a bit of chicken, a bit of cheese, and some enchilada sauce (I used the red sauce). I then lined them all up in a pan and topped with more enchilada sauce and more cheese before baking them at 350 degrees until the cheese was melted and bubbly.

Finished product

Finished product

 

They turned out so wonderful! Tender meaty chicken rolled up with bubbly cheese and tasty sauce….I love them so much!

Tips from me:

#1 You can use any leftover chicken or you can use fresh chicken breasts/whole chicken…whatever you like. A few days ago (I made these months ago) I made salsa chicken (just a jar of salsa in a crockpot with 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts) for chicken tacos/taco salad. The next day I took those leftovers and made enchiladas with them I just put sauce on the outside since the inside chicken already had salsa. They turned out sooo good too…so any chicken will do!

#2 You don’t have to use flour tortillas. You can use whole wheat tortillas, corn tortillas, or gluten free…whatever you want!

Later I used the homemade stock to make chicken noodle soup. So a $5 rotisserie chicken made 3 meals for me and two of them were just out the remains that most people toss! The only think I tossed from that chicken was the bones! So whenever you have remains of any meal instead of tossing them think about how you could possibly reuse it to stretch your budget further!

Happy Pinning!!