Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Instant Oatmeal

Make at Home Instant Oatmeal

18 ounces quick-cooking oats (I used Bob's Red Mill...I got a great price at Cash & Carry)
3 1/4 ounces nonfat dry milk powder
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup raisins

1. In a large bowl combine oats, milk powder, brown sugar and raisins.
2. Transfer to a large airtight container
3. For breakfast: scoop 1/2 cup of oatmeal mix into a bowl, add 1/2 cup of water, and microwave on high for 1 minute. Enjoy!

We made individual servings for Andy to take to school by putting a 1/2 cup of oatmeal in a pint canning jar. When Andy gets to school, he just adds hot water or adds cool water and puts it in the microwave. So easy! I keep a gallon ziploc bag with oatmeal mix in the house for the boys' breakfast.

You could substitute other dried fruit for the raisins like apples, craisins, misc berries, or even a spice mix. Let me know what you've tried.

I found this recipe in Woman's Day magazine

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Totally basic, right? Everyone knows how to make pancakes, right? Well, just in case you need a good, simple recipe, here's my favorite. I taped it to the inside of the cabinet so the kids can make pancakes by themselves whenever I'm too lazy to get out of bed and make Mother's Day breakfast.

You have to know that I feed an army, so yes, we make and eat this whole recipe.

You also have to know I am obsessed with modifying recipes. I can't look at a recipe without seeing how I'll change it or add to it. So here's the plan: read the recipe and tell us how your family likes to get creative with pancakes!

Pancakes or Waffles -- from the King Aurthur Flour Cookbook
4 cups flour
4 Tbs sugar
1 Tbs baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
4 eggs
4 cups buttermilk, yogurt or sour milk
1/2 c melted butter
  • if you want smooth, fluffy, diner-style pancakes, use all white flour
  • if you like crunchy, hippy pancakes like I do, use 2 cups white, 1 cup wheat, 1 cup oats. you could also add in some flax or other seeds for nutty, hippy goodness.
  • if you want really airy, puffy pancakes no matter what, separate the eggs, whip the whites and loosely fold them in as the last ingredient
  • who has buttermilk on hand? I always do 2 cups plain yogurt and 2 cups sour milk (2 cups minus about 2 Tbs milk, then fill that 2 Tbs with lemon juice to make 2 cups. Let sit for 5-15 minutes to get lumpy and "sour")
  • for that matter, lemon zest is always a bonus special feature treat secret goodness
  • for that matter, orange liqueur is always a bonus special feature treat secret goodness
  • my favorite add-in: grated zucchini. I have never had a single vegetable-related complaint about this, and the moisture in the zuch makes up for the dryness that wheat flour adds
  • chocolate chips make any pancake better
  • bananas and other fruit (hello mango!)
  • ...what else? Who knows a good substitute for sugar (proportions included)?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

It's All About Ratios

I found this article with some interesting/helpful advise about baking, which coincides well with my experiences baking in mass quantities in Austria. We used metric (which I think everyone should use), and we used weight to measure ingredients like flour. It makes so much more sense, and might explain why I find baking difficult at home. Looks like I need me a kitchen scale!

...Now if we can only find a solution to burning things...

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Freezing refried beans??

So I made a big batch of refried beans this evening. I'm not sure exactly what I was thinking when I made this big of a I was wondering if anyone has any advice on whether they freeze well and if they do then what is the best method for packaging and/or reheating. Thanks for any help.... or we may be eating a lot of refried beans in the next few days.

I double-dog-dare you..... try this recipe. It's from a cute little popcorn cookbook I have(cleverly titled, "Popcorn"). The book is full of super yummy savory and sweet popcorn recipes(like chile-lime-tequila popcorn, curry corn, chai-spiced popcorn and mocha latte corn) but also has a few main course recipes that are a little over the top. One of them is this intriguing(though slightly unappealing) recipe. Any one up for the challenge?


8 ounces elbow macaroni
8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
12 ounces small curd cottage cheese
8 ounces sour cream
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 cups freshly popped corn
1/3 cup butter,melted
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley flakes

Preheat oven to 350.
Cook and drain the macaroni.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the cheeses, sour cream, milk, mustard, salt/pepper, and cayenne; stir well. Pour the drained macaroni into the cheese mixture and stir until blended. Transfer everything to a 9 by 13 baking dish.
Put the popcorn into a large bowl and crush it slightly with the back of a wooden spoon. Pour in the melted butter and parsley, stir well.
Sprinkle the popcorn mixture over the pasta and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until golden brown.
Serves 6

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


In our house guacamole really just means mashed up avocado with the occasional sprinkle of lemon pepper seasoning if mom is feeling festive... so I'm do you all make guacamole??

Friday, March 20, 2009

Cottage Cheese Biscuits

These drop biscuits are something I make at least once a week. They are super easy, fast and perfect for serving with soup, stew and chili. This recipe also doubles really well.
The recipe is from the Better Homes and Gardens New Baking Book which is one of my very favorite cookbooks... I use it ALL THE TIME.

2 cups flour(I use half whole wheat and half unbleached)
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup low-fat cottage cheese
2/3 cups milk
2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions
1-2 tablespoons of your favorite herbs(I often use dill and they turn out great)

Grease a cookie sheet and preheat oven to 425^.
In a medium mixing bowl combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside.
In a small mixing bowl combine cottage cheese, milk and chives(or herbs). Add cottage cheese mixture to the dry mix and stir until just moistened.
Drop dough by generous tablespoons onto baking sheet. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until golden. Serve warm.
makes 12 yummy biscuits.