PEANUT BUTTER CHOCOLATE MOUSSE CUPS

These little gems are so easy and light, but look really decadent and like you spent all day on them!PEANUT BUTTER CHOCOLATE MOUSSE CUPS
60 mini phyllo shells
1 + 1/4 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup creamy JIF peanut butter
1 1/2 cups FRESH heavy cream
1/4 cup Kraft caramel balls, chopped for garnish

  • Add 1 cup of the chocolate chips into a glass mixing bowl. Heat in microwave for 30 seconds at a time until melted.
  • Stir in peanut butter until well blended. Set aside.
  • In a medium mixing bowl beat cream with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form.
  • Fold whipped cream into peanut butter mixture.
  • Transfer to a ziploc bag. Chill until ready to use.
  • When ready to serve, pipe filling into phyllo shells and sprinkle with chopped caramel and chocolate pieces.

HONEY ROSEMARY ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH

Personally, I had never been fond of squash, but have recently found that with different textures and flavors, it’s really quite good 😀
HONEY ROSEMARY ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH
2 cups diced butternut squash
1 1/2 tablespoons avocado oil
3 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon chopped FRESH rosemary
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon grated Pecorino cheese

  • Heat avocado oil in non-stick skillet over medium heat.
  • When oil is sizzling add squash, season with salt and pepper, cover and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until golden brown on all sides.
  • Add water, stir and recover for 2 minutes.
  • Add honey and rosemary stirring until squash is coated in honey and rosemary is fragrant.
  • Sprinkle with cheese and serve immediately.

HONEYED BOGS

So I woke up this morning and really wanted to bake even though I can’t personally eat any of it. 😀  I’ve been itching to try something out of my new cookbook from the Prohibition Bakery. All the recipes are boozy and sound absolutely delectable!  I love their slogan, please eat responsibly.

Unfortunately, I don’t have on hand all the ingredients to make any one of their recipes EXACTLY as written so right out of the gate I’m improvising. This recipe is going to be “loosely” based on their PINK LADY recipe on page 181 AND their CARAMEL APPLE recipe from page 277.  I wasn’t thrilled with their PINK LADY frosting so I’m using the basic frosting from their CARAMEL APPLE but replacing the applejack brandy with the honey brandy I’m using to make the fruit puree.

HONEYED BOGS – yields 18 cup cakes

CAKE
1 2/3 (208g) cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup yogurt (240g) (I used a black cherry)
1/3 cup (70g) avocado oil
1 cup (200g) sugar
1/4 cup (60g) lemon juice
2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 eggs

  • Preheat oven to 325°.
  • Line tins with liners
  • Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  • Combine the yogurt, avocado oil, sugar, lemon juice and zest with mixer until well incorporated.
  • Add eggs one at a time, blending well after each addition.
  • With mixer on low, gradually add the dry ingredients, mixing until JUST combined. DO NOT OVER BEAT.
  • Fill cup cake liners two-thirds full.
  • Bake for 18-20 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.
  • Cool COMPLETELY before filling or icing.

PUREE
12 ounces cranberries
3/4 cup sugar*see note
1 1/4 cup honey brandy

  • Combine fruit and brandy in a saucepan.
  • Bring to a SLOW boil over a medium heat.
  • Simmer 10-15 minutes until fruit breaks down and mixture starts to thicken.
  • Remove from heat and transfer to food processor, blending until smooth.
  • Store in refrigerator until ready to use.

NOTE:

  • *Cranberries are tarter than most fruits and require a bit of sugar to tame them.
  • Cranberries also require more time to break down the skins so a nice SLOW boil and simmer gives them this time.

FILLING
1 cup (230g) cranberry puree
1/4 cup honey brandy

  • Whisk the puree until smooth.
  • Slowly add in the brandy 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring thoroughly after each spoonful until desired consistency reached.
  • Transfer to a squeeze bottle.

ICING
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 pound powdered sugar
1/3 cup Honey Brandy

  • Cream butter until fluffy.
  • Slowly add the powdered sugar until JUST incorporated.
  • Slowly stream in the brandy until icing is smooth and fluffy.
  • Transfer to a piping bag.

ASSEMBLY

  • Core each cupcake with a pastry tip.
  • Fill the cavity with puree. DO NOT OVERFLOW.
  • Frost each cupcake.
  • Decorate to your liking.

HAPPY HOMEMAKER & MENU PLAN MONDAY week 8 of 2019

Be sure to join us and link up with
Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom for Happy homemaker Monday

and with Laura at I’m an Organizing Junkie for Menu Plan Monday.

GOOD MORNING sweet friends.  Today’s a holiday for most, but other than no mail today it is just another Monday to me.  😀

I hope you had a great week.  I was a bit under the weather and am still having quite a few issues with diet and the experimentation journey.  🙁  So I watched a few movies Hallmark Valentine’s movies and did enjoy NASCAR this past weekend, especially Friday night’s truck race!  I’m hoping this week is better than last.

OUTSIDE MY WINDOW & THE WEATHER OUTSIDE & WHAT I’M WEARING This is the latest on the weather, but it has been changing so fast I put literally no faith in it.  Yesterday alone went from sun to rain and back again at least 3 times.  We barely get to the highs before it starts nose diving to the lows.  I’m dressing in layers these days.  Levis, fluffy socks, long sleeve t-shirts and lightweight sweatshirt or hoodie unless I go outside and then I add a jacket.

ON THE BREAKFAST PLATE green tea, peach yogurt and apple pineapple carrot baby squeeze

AS I LOOK AROUND THE HOUSE/WEEKLY TO DO LIST & HOUSE PROJECTS/CRAFT BASKET/APPOINTMENTS

  • LAUNDRY… sheets and delicates
  • LIVING AREAS… clean and tidy
  • KITCHEN… put away dishes
  • YARD… nothing
  • BLOG… not sure yet
  • CRAFTS/PROJECTS… still working on some ETSY ideas
  • APPOINTMENTS… primary doctor for some referrals and medication udpates
  • TO DO… still making this list

ON MY MIND / THINGS THAT ARE MAKING ME HAPPY

Sending out a VERY happy birthday to one of my favorite munchkins whose birthday is today! 

Happy Birthday Allison!

I’M READING DAMNED, Jana Deleon’s current Shaye Archer #7 from the series

WHAT IS ON THE DVR, I LIKE OR ON THE LIST TO WATCH just a few series regulars as well as Kid’s Baking and Worst Cooks

FAVORITE PHOTO FROM THE CAMERA I think this is the most sun we saw last week, but it makes for a great cloud picture.

INSPIRATION

HEALTH & BEAUTY TIPS

HOMEMAKING/COOKING TIP

MENU PLANS FOR THE WEEK
MONDAYR.E.D. TUSCAN STEAK with MUSHROOM FETTUCCINE and 3 PEPPER SAUCE
TUESDAYSALISBURY STEAK, MASHED POTATOES and GREEN BEANS
WEDNESDAYCHICKEN SCALLOPINI with LEMON GARLIC SAUCE
THURSDAY CHICKEN LASAGNA
FRIDAYBBQ APRICOT PINEAPPLE CHICKEN
SATURDAYC.O.R.N.
SUNDAYCHICKEN WINGS and POTATO SALAD

RECIPE LINKS to LAST WEEK’s successful recipes

 

FEATURED PARTY LINKS FOR THIS WEEK

 

TART ORANGE MARMALADE

TART ORANGE MARMALADE
8-10 medium oranges (6 cups sections + 1 1/2 cups juice + 2 cups small cut rind slices)
2-3 medium lemons, sectioned and reserve juice
7 cups sugar
1 cup QUALITY honey
1 liquid pectin pouch (3 ounces)
1 tablespoon butter

  • Peel oranges and lemons, reserving rinds for later.
  • Using a cutting board with a reservoir to catch the juices, cut sections into small chopped pieces. You should have 6 cups of chopped fruit.
  • Pour off juice to measure. Off set with FRESH squeezed to equal 1 1/2 cups.
  • Slice rinds from both the lemons and oranges into VERY thin strips until you have 2 cups worth.
  • Add fruit, juice, rinds, sugar and honey to large stock pot. Bring to a FULL ROLLING boil.
  • Add pectin continuing to boil for 2 minutes.
  • Stir in butter and skim any remaining froth.
  • Immediately ladle into hot sterilized jars.
  • Process in water bath for 15 minutes.
  • Cool jars inverted on a towel until cool.

CHICKEN & ONIONS in WHITE WINE CREAM SAUCE


CHICKEN & ONIONS in WHITE WINE CREAM SAUCE

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/4 cup all-purpose flour for dredging
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons avocado oil
1 small Vidalia onion, halved and sliced
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup champagne

  • Generously salt and pepper each breast.
  • Lightly dredge chicken breasts with flour.
  • In a large skillet, lightly brown chicken breasts to a nice golden brown in oil.
  • Once browned on both sides, add onions and champagne.
  • Cook over medium heat, champagne should come to a SLOW boil.  Reduce to simmer for approximately 15 minutes hour.
  • When chicken is tender, transfer chicken to a platter.
  • Pour cream into skillet. Simmer about 5 minutes, until slightly thickened.
  • Pour sauce over chicken breasts. Serve.

CHILI LIME STEAK BITES

These are the perfect appetizer for ANY party. Super easy recipe ready in just minutes with only a few ingredients.
CHILI LIME BITES
1 pound top sirloin steak, cut into large bite sized pieces
scant 1/2 teaspoon FRESH ground sea salt
scant 1/2 teaspoon FRESH ground black pepper
scant 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon QUALITY honey
1 tablespoon chili paste
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 tablespoon avocado oil
2 LARGE limes zested and juiced
chopped parsley and green onion, for garnish

  • Place steak pieces in a mixing bowl.
  • Sprinkle with the salt, pepper and garlic powder. Toss to coat well.
  • Whisk together the honey, chili paste and garlic.
  • Pour chili paste mixture over steak pieces and toss until well mixed and coated.
  • Heat avocado oil in skillet over medium-high heat until sizzling. If it doesn’t sizzle and hiss, the pan is not hot enough.
  • Sear the steak for 1 minute before touching it, then flip the steak bites.
  • Sear the steak on the second side for an additional 1 minute, then remove the steak from the pan to a plate.
  • Add the lime zest and lime juice to the hot pan, stir to combine, and pour the chili lime sauce of the steak bites.

TANGERINE MARMALADE

TANGERINE MARMALADE
24+ tangerines (6 cups sections + 1 1/2 cups juice + 2 cups small cut rind slices)
7 cups sugar
1 cup QUALITY honey
1 liquid pectin pouch (3 ounces)
1 tablespoon butter

  • Peel tangerines, reserving rinds for later.  Remove loose pith.
  • Using a cutting board with a reservoir to catch the juices, cut sections into small chopped pieces. You should have 6 cups of chopped fruit.
  • Pour off juice to measure. Off set with FRESH squeezed juice to equal 1 1/2 cups.
  • Slice rinds into VERY thin strips until you have 2 cups worth.
  • Add fruit, juice, rinds, sugar and honey to large stock pot. Bring to a FULL ROLLING boil.
  • Add pectin continuing to boil for 2 minutes.
  • Stir in butter and skim any remaining froth.
  • Immediately ladle into hot sterilized jars.
  • Process in water bath for 15 minutes.
  • Cool jars inverted on a towel until cool.

NOTE: 1 bag of Cuties has about 30 tangerines in it.

HEARTY BEEF SOUP

HEARTY BEEF SOUP
1 pound chuck roast, cut into bite sized pieces
3 tablespoons Wondra flour
1/2 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning blend (see below)
1/2 teaspoon FRESH ground black pepper
FRESH ground sea salt, to taste
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1 tablespoon butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large shallot, halved, sliced and chopped
1 large celery stalk, chopped
1 carrots, chopped
2 cups beef stock
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 cup pasta

  • Heat butter and avocado oil in a skillet over a medium high heat.
  • Combine flour, salt, pepper and Italian seasoning in a ziploc bag.
  • Dredge beef pieces in flour mixture, shaking off the excess before adding to the hot oil. Sear beef on all sides.
  • Using a slotted spoon add beef to dutch oven.
  • Add celery, carrots and shallots to skillet and quickly saute before adding to the dutch oven.
  • Add beef stock, Worcestershire sauce and wine, stirring to combine.
  • Simmer on low 2 hours.
  • Season to taste with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Add pasta and simmer 1 hour more.
  • Enjoy!

ITALIAN SEASONING BLEND
1 1/2 tablespoons dried rosemary
3 tablespoons dried oregano
3 tablespoons dried basil
1 1/2 tablespoon dried marjoram
1 teaspoon dried sage

  • Blend together and store in an air tight bottle.

HAPPY HOMEMAKER & MENU PLAN MONDAY week 7 of 2019

Be sure to join us and link up with
Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom for Happy homemaker Monday

and with Laura at I’m an Organizing Junkie for Menu Plan Monday.

GOOD MORNING friends – Happy Valentine’s Day week.  I had a productive albeit slow week with the weather hindering much activity.  First it snows and then it pours down rain the hardest I’ve ever seen or heard and then it snows again! I did get some tamales made, some canning done and these cute little boxes put together for the munchkins which I gave them over the weekend since they have multiple practices, games and activities every day after school this week including Valentine’s Day.

 

OUTSIDE MY WINDOW & THE WEATHER OUTSIDE & WHAT I’M WEARING It’s going to be another cold wet week HAHA 😀 I have on my favorite yoga pants, long sleeve t-shirt and fluffy socks since I have no intention of going outside as wet as it’s supposed to be! I’m not too invested in this (other than to know it will be some form of cold and wet) as it seems to change every couple hours 😀

ON THE BREAKFAST PLATE apple raisin oatmeal, banana and green tea

AS I LOOK AROUND THE HOUSE/WEEKLY TO DO LIST & HOUSE PROJECTS/CRAFT BASKET/APPOINTMENTS

  • LAUNDRY… ALL caught up
  • LIVING AREAS… I need to dust, vacuum and neaten
  • KITCHEN… just did a DEEP clean after canning
  • YARD… nothing
  • BLOG… not much this week
  • CRAFTS/PROJECTS… still working on a new idea or two
  • APPOINTMENTS… just a couple
  • TO DO… a few phone calls and paperwork

SOMETHING INTERESTING I WATCHED We rented a couple Netflix movies over the cold, wet weekend, but nothing was super extraordinary except Hunter Killer.  Some of the previews did look REALLY good though. 

I’M READING Ava Miles The Patchwork Quilt of Happiness (Dare River Book 6)

WHAT IS ON THE DVR, I LIKE OR ON THE LIST TO WATCH Nothing much, but some cooking shows and a couple of Hallmark Valentine movies.

FAVORITE PHOTO FROM THE CAMERA Yesterday was SUPER cold, but almost sunny so we did a little drive and found a few nice pictures like the old barn, neat tree and weird donkey, but the fighting turkeys and peacocks were REALLY interesting near my favorite bridge.

They were NOT happy with each other and it turned into an all out brawl before it was over!  Then they chased each other over the bridge before acting like long lost friends again!

INSPIRATION

HEALTH & BEAUTY TIPS

HOMEMAKING/COOKING TIP I do this and it really works!!

MENU PLANS FOR THE WEEK

BREAKFAST

LUNCH

DINNER

DESSERT

MONDAY – FRIDAY

GREEN TEA,

BANANA & YOGURT

CHICKEN or TUNA SALAD

MONDAY

TUSCAN STEAK with MUSHROOM FETTUCCINE & THREE PEPPER SAUCE

TUESDAY

SHRIMP FETTUCCINE

WEDNESDAY

GRILLED NEW YORK STEAKS & TWICE BAKED POTATOES

THURSDAY

VEGETABLE BEEF SOUP & GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICHES

FRIDAY

CHILI LIME STEAK BITES & SALAD

SATURDAY

C.O.R.N. 

SUNDAY

HOT WINGS & POTATO SALAD for NASCAR OPENING RACE DAY

SUCCESSFUL RECIPE LINKS FROM LAST WEEK

FEATURED PARTY LINKS FOR THIS WEEK

 

DINNER HOME DELIVERY SERVICE versus DIY MEAL PLANNING & SHOPPING

For the past couple of years I have tried MANY of the more reliable and popular Dinner Home Delivery services out there – Blue Apron, Home Chef, Hello Fresh, Gobble… At first it seemed like a great idea while we were still working on A House From Hell.  I had an offer emailed from a friend for a nice discount to give Blue Apron a try…  Long story short the recipes started to repeat themselves, the selection of recipes dwindled to where I was skipping more weeks than I was ordering and the issues that required customer service became more and more while the service became slower and slower while also less accommodating.  I even encountered a customer service line that was outsourced to somewhere that English was not their first language and the communication barrier was unbelievable!

Well, all I can say after this last box is NO MORE!!! Gobble is the last one we tried and I was SORELY DISAPPOINTED!  There was a HUGE discount to give them a try and I STILL overpaid for what arrived.  NOT only were many of the ingredients NOT fresh, many were also pre-prepared and not well at that! The original goal was to save time and money while trying some new and innovative recipes, but since that is NOT the end result I’ve cancelled all the services and will be back to doing my own planning and shopping.

This seemed like a good time to re-run this section on how I menu plan and save money while doing it.

There is more to menu planning than just deciding what to make for dinner, at least for the average family. We’re a military family used to getting paid once a month and trying to make it last. So for me, menu planning also encompasses recipe scouring, coupon clipping (we love to read the Sunday papers and have coffee. One of the things I always go for first is the coupons to see what I can save for us – hubby always laughs when I get excited at a large coupon for something already on the list – LOL), sale ad reading and logical common sense planning. I do participate in Menu Plan Monday, but I actually prepare my menu for the entire month all at once and then just break it up for posting. A little organization goes a long way.

I start the last week of the previous month with checking out what I already have in the freezer inventory and then the ads for my local markets for the upcoming week. I see what meats will be going on sale and then scour my recipe file for recipes to match. One of the biggest things I do to help not only with cost of ingredients, but also waste is to make sure that I back recipes up to each other that use similar ingredients that I can buy in bulk.

For example if a recipe calls for half an onion for Monday night’s recipe, I make sure Tuesday night’s recipe uses the other half. I also know which meals we’ll probably have leftovers for so I plan to either freeze part of it for a future meal or plan a C.O.R.N. (clean out refrigerator night) within my plan if there is only going to be a little of this and that leftover. I write my list and then I match up the coupons for whatever staples (flour, sugar, eggs, butter, etc…) I need and then the luxuries if there is room within the budget. If there is a really good sale I buy in super bulk for the following month also. Now I know this sounds like a lot of work, but the whole process takes less than an hour and then it’s done for the month.

It seems I have every scrap of a recipe I have ever saved as well as many of my grandma’s too. It’s like an obsession with me. If a recipe sounds good in a magazine, I figure I can make it better based on my family’s likes and dislikes and tuck it away to try and manipulate at a later date. I recently decided it was time to clean-up this mess.

I found an old metal LP file box at a garage sale for 50 cents and dressed it up a bit so it didn’t look like a trash bin on my kitchen counter. (it was a beat up lime green with stickers everywhere). I have written 2 family reunion cook books in the past which helped some with eliminating the scraps of paper and I’m also in the midst of writing a Tastebook to use as family Christmas gifts that is helping to clean up this mess on a permanent basis.

I have a perpetual list on the counter and every time we use something or run out of something, everyone is trained (finally) to list whatever they used or ran out of on an ongoing basis.

We keep a pretty concise calendar with everyone’s activities, appointments, meetings and such on it. I also write what we will be eating on each day so they’ll know what to expect. If for some reason we have to cancel a night I will rearrange the week so that the meal actually canceled is one using something from the freezer, not the fresh ingredients I’ve already purchased. When I do the shopping I buy in bulk to cut the cost and since I have my menu planned ahead of time, I break down the bulk package into meal appropriate sizes before freezing when I get home.

I originally wrote this post years ago, but nothing has changed – I still do things exactly the same.

I start with LARGE bulk packs of meat.  I then break them down by size and meat right down to cutting certain recipes into bite sized pieces.  Then I wrap them in freezer paper because I really hate freezer burn!  And I package them into pre-labeled ziploc bags for the freezer.

FIRECRACKER PORK CHOPS

FIRECRACKER PORK CHOPS
4 bone in center cut pork chops
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon Mexican seasoning blend (see below)
1/4 cup avocado oil
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup Wondra flour
1 recipe RED HOT Aioli (see below)
1 scallion, finely chopped
Italian parsley, chopped for garnish

  • Whisk together the buttermilk and half the Mexican seasoning. Set aside.
  • Whisk together the flour with the other half of the Mexican seasoning.
  • Heat avocado oil in skillet over medium high heat.
  • Dredge the pork chops one at a time in the buttermilk mixture and then press into the flour mixture, shaking off excess before doing it ALL AGAIN to double coat each chop before adding to the skillet.
  • Sear pork chops 3-4 minutes per side.
  • Remove chops to a plate and immediately coat with the aioli, turning to coat both sides.
  • Sprinkle with scallions and parsley.

RED HOT AIOLI
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Frank’s Original hot sauce
1 1/2 teaspoon QUALITY honey
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
PINCH FRESH ground sea salt

  • Whisk ALL the ingredients until smooth.

MEXICAN SEASONING BLEND
4 tablespoons chile powder
2 tablespoons sweet paprika
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon ground Mexican oregano
1 tablespoon ground red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • Blend together and store in an airtight bottle.