Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Whip It Up Wednesday -- Zucchini Muffins

I've said it before and I'll say it again (especially on another lazy Wednesday like today).  I am finding all sorts of healthy toddler recipes online.  I love giving them something healthy and heck it is dang tasty to me as well.  This one comes from  Find it and other finger foods here.

Cheesy Zucchini Muffins
2 eggs
3/4 cup milk - use whole milk, formula or breast milk
2/3 cup olive oil
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 medium zucchini, grated
1 to 2 tsp dried oregano (adjust according to your baby's taste)
3 tbsp grated Cheddar cheese

Preheat the oven to 450 deg F.  Beat the eggs and milk together in a bowl, then stir in the oil.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour and baking powder.  Mix the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients until the flour is moistened (the batter should look lumpy - don't try to make it smooth).
Carefully stir in the zucchini and oregano.  Spoon into greased muffin tins (you should get 12 muffins) and top with the cheese.
Bake for around 20 to 25 mins, then cool and serve!

Notes:  I didn't change this one much.  I used canola oil instead of olive oil.  Also since I didn't have oregano on hand I put in some Italian seasoning.  This is a very easy recipe and also freezes and reheats well (although keep in mind hot spots if you microwave to reheat).

Rating: 5 stars
-love these.  A sweet but savory taste.  I love to cut them open and spread butter on them. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Whip It Up Wednesday -- Pumpkin Pancakes

Man I'm a slacker.  I was going to put in effort and share a recipe out of my books or recipe box but sorry not going to happen this week.  But I have been on a "I need healthier foods and snacks for my girls" kick so I will share a recipe that I really like and they seem to love.

Pumpkin Pancakes (via ...I love love love them for kid recipes...check them out)

1 C whole wheat flour
3/4 C white flour
1 T baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 eggs
1 C pureed pumpkin or canned pumpkin
1 tsp vanilla
2 C milk
3 T canola oil

Stir/sift together all of the dry ingredients in a medium bowl.  In a separate larger bowl beat eggs, pumpkin and vanilla together.  Add milk and oil and beat again until smooth.  Add the flour mixture.  Cook as usual.

Notes:  I left out the salt (as did the author) and the allspice (I didn't have any).  I would actually try adding the salt next time but they taste fine without it.
I must be a pancake cooking ninny.  The first couple didn't flip well for me.  Make sure you cook these until the edges are a little "dry" and top is not as shiny (these are hard to burn).  This will help to have a non-doughy and easy-flipping pancake.
I also doubled the recipe for the purpose of freezing.  Worked great.  I usually reheat in the microwave for about 30-40 seconds and then pop them in the toaster to keep the soggy away.

Rating:  5 stars
-these are delicious and my 1 year old twins love these also.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Free Craft Friday -- Wire Accessory Organizer

I was cleaning out junk for selling our house when I came across my old wire cube storage.  About the time that the wire hit the bottom of my outside trash can the idea of turning them into this occurred to me instead.  I dug it out (yep I dumpster dove in my own trash can) and got to work.

-Wire cube (one side piece no extras)
-glue gun
*I made this for FREE but I'm quoting under $5 to include cost of ribbon.

Step 1.  Arrange a pattern either in your mind or on the wire cube that you want to follow with your ribbon.  Don't worry about pre-cutting this as you go.

Step 2.  Loop your ribbon around the back of wire cube and hot glue to the back of ribbon.  Then proceed to weave your ribbon through the wire until you get to the opposite side.  Pull ribbon tight and wrap it around the wire and got glue to the back again.

*I promise pictures are coming;  my laptop crashed a while back and I think these pictures (done before the holidays) went with it.

Step 3.  Continue with your pattern by repeating step 2 until it is complete.  Then mount on the wall with a couple nails in the corners and you're done.  Decorate with hair clips (alligator work best but I've hung snap  types over the ribbon also--unsnapped of course)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Whip It Up Wednesday -- Mama Chang's Spicy Chicken

I have decided to add on to scheduled posts on this blog by including Whip It Up Wednesdays.  I will be sharing some of my favorite recipes as well as recipes that I discover and try out online.  I will rate and review them and discuss tips or changes I made or would make.

* original recipe found here (I changed the name a little based on how I've made this)

Mama Chang's Stir-Fried Shrimp and Scallions
*not my picture...I forgot to take one; will replace this if I remember next time*

1 1/2 to 2 lb chicken
3 garlic cloves
1" piece of fresh ginger
1 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper 
1 large egg white
2 tsp cornstarch
3/4 C ketchup
1/2 C low sodium chicken broth
1 Tbsp Sugar
1 1/2 tsp ground pepper
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 C canola oil
3 scallions/green onions
1/2 C coarsely chopped cilantro (optional;  I don't use this)

1.  Cut up your chicken into bite size pieces and cook in a large skillet.  When they are mostly done remove from heat and place into a large mixing bowl.  

2.  Toss the chicken with garlic, ginger, red pepper, egg white and 1 tsp of cornstarch until well coated. 

3.  In a separate bowl, whisk the ketchup with the brother, sugar, pepper, salt and remaining 1 tsp of cornstarch. 

4.  Heat oil in your large skillet until shimmering.  Add your chicken mixture to the oil over med-high heat and let sizzle and cook until the chicken is somewhat golden.  Add the ketchup mixture and simmer for an additional 2 minutes or until the sauce has thickened.  Stir in the scallions and cilantro (or top with cilantro for garnish) and serve.  

* this can be served on it's own or pair with steamed rice or ham fried rice.  

Ratings/Comments:  I really love this recipe.  It is a little spicy so if you are sensitive to spice considering cutting down or cutting out the ginger and/or red pepper.  The original recipe is made with shrimp.  Since I made it with chicken I  made sure to cook my chicken thoroughly before mixing with other ingredients.  Then I cooked the chicken in the oil til golden to make it a little crispy.  Original recipe also recommends slicing the garlic and mincing the ginger.  I used a garlic press on the garlic and grated the ginger with a small cheese grater. 

Friday, February 3, 2012

The Difference is Paint...

Not much of a post but I'm quite happy with the result so I'm sharing.  We recently took on the weekend project of painting our master closet.  When we bought the home it was a dark brown...I think the previous owners were going for a "wood look" sans the nice look.  Anyway after 3 years (plus) of living here and the recent listing of our home to live somewhere else (we aren't loving our house plan or lot now with kids in the picture) came time to make a change.  A change I wish we would have made 3 years ago.
My side / shared side of the closet pre-painting (please ignore the mess)
Husband's side of the closet pre-paint
Post-paint job miracle...yeah! I love our closet now
Husband's side post-paint job (still needs organizing again)