Monday, January 30, 2012

Super Maple Snack Mix

Are you ready for some game-day goodies?  Here's a crunchy, munchy, no-fumble kickin' treat. 

Maple Bacon Peanut Snack Mix

scored with my grands, Lincoln, Annahlise and Chase!

Pretzels, peanuts, bacon, cranberries, and milk chocolate chips are covered with crunchy maple syrup and a hint of heat.  It's got just the right sweet and salty blend...

and fills a big jar with some to spare!

Grab Wackee Six and plan on a 1st down, making for a great family game day!

Maple Bacon Peanut Snack Mix
  • 1 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • 6 cups peanuts
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 (15 ounce) bag pretzel sticks
  • 2 cups dried cranberries
  • 1/2 pound bacon, crisp and crumbled
  • 1 (11.5 ounce) package milk chocolate morsels
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 15x10x1" backing pan with foil; set aside.  In a large bowl combine maple syrup, butter, peanuts and pepper flakes.  Pour onto prepared pan and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, till bubbly.  In an extra large bowl combine pretzels, crisp-crumbled bacon, and cranberries.  After the peanuts are roasted, gently toss with with the pretzels, bacon and cranberries until all of the ingredients are coated with maple syrup.  Spread on two large baking pans and let stand till dry.  Add the milk chocolate morsels and store in a large container in a cool spot.  

Enjoy unbeatable eatables all!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Apples

"Oh Brussels Sprouts, Oh Brussels Sprouts"......tra-la-la-la-la-la-la!

SNOW, finally Boise got lots of snow!  

We started up the Christmas tunes again and low and behold, we found some brussels sprouts in the garage fridge.  We planned to roast them over the holidays and just never got around to it.  I'm oh so glad because my guy grilled some chicken breasts and they were a perfect side to Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Bacon, and Apples. 

A Pinterest find, this recipe is from Everyday Foods.  

Here's the skinny:  Preheat to oven 425.  Clean and halve 3 to 4 quarts of brussels sprouts and cut 3 slices of bacon into small pieces.  Roast the bacon for 10 minutes.  Add the brussels sprouts on top of the bacon, sprinkle with coarse salt and fresh ground pepper and roast for 15 minutes.  While the sprouts are in the oven, cut and core an apple.  Slice it into bite size pieces.  Add apples to the sprouts and roast for 10-15 more minutes.

Remove from oven and toss with red-wine vinegar.

Serve warm with lots of love.  You may find yourself singing, "Oh Brussels Sprouts"...they are divine!
Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Bacon, and Apple
  • 3 slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 4 pints Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and halved
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 apple, cored and cut into 1/4-inch slices, each slice halved crosswise
  • 2 teaspoons red-wine vinegar 
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Arrange bacon in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake until browned, 10 minutes. Add Brussels sprouts in a single layer; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast until they begin to brown, about 15 minutes.  Remove from oven, and toss in apple. Return to oven; roast until Brussels sprouts are browned and tender and apple has softened, 10 to 15 minutes  Toss vegetables with vinegar, and serve immediately.

More snow today.  Stay warm, toasty, and eat more veggies friends!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Hear Ye, Hear Ye

"Singing out" this great idea shared by Kelly Rippa:

When out for dinner with family or friends,  the first person who uses their cell phone gets to pick up the check!!!  {NO}  Can you even imagine the quality conversations?

Love it! 

Monday, January 16, 2012

Potato, Sausage and Egg Gratin

Potato, Sausage and Egg Gratin

Our ward, or congregation, celebrated the holidays with a festive Christmas breakfast.  This splendid gratin was served without sausage or bacon, instead with ham slices and a glorious array of fruit breads.

Meet some of the chefs who shared the recipe with me and cooked for a huge group of hungry families that morning.    We meet monthly, a "Thursday lunch bunch," and December was at my home.  I took this photo at the end of our party and some friends had to leave earlier so a few are missing, sorry gals and thanks all for the fun!  
Our family made two gratins for Christmas morning brunch, one with sausage and another with bacon.  Both were very flavorful, so when I had an extra pound of mild Italian sausage to use and a handful of camera-shy grand-boys who slept over last Friday night Potato, Sausage and Egg Gratin was a nice fit.  

Potato, Sausage and Egg Gratin

Frozen hash-brown potatoes, browned sausage, grated cheese and eggs come together making an easy gratin that bakes for one hour while you finish brunch preparations, set the table or open presents.

Potato, Sausage and Egg Gratin

Saturday I served fresh fruit; bananas, apples and tangerines in fresh squeezed juice, and heavenly muffins I will share soon, promise!  

Potato, Sausage and Egg Gratin
  • 1 pound mild Italian Sausage or bacon (optional)
  • 18 eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups plain yogurt (I used Greek yogurt)
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons seasoned salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 3 cups shredded hash browns, thawed 
  • 1 tablespoon dried chopped onions
  • 2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese (or whatever cheese you like)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9 x 13" glass casserole dish with oil.  Beat eggs, yogurt, and salt together.  Set aside.  In a large bowl add butter, thawed potatoes and dried onions.  Stir to mix.  Pour in egg mixture and lightly stir to blend ingredients.  Pour into casserole dish.  Sprinkle grated cheese over casserole.  Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 45 minutes or until a knife comes out clean when inserted.  Serves 16-24.

Enjoy and thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Tortellini Sausage Soup

Surprise friends, soup's on, and this one is worth running for!

My niece, Tagan, shared her Tortellini Sausage Soup with our family about 3 years ago and I have been dishing it ever since.  Over the holidays I made it for company and promised I would share the recipe here.  It's perfect with fresh parmesan cheese and hot bread on a cold winter's day.

Begin by browning the sausage in a large Dutch oven.  Drain the sausage well and saute onion and garlic till soft.

Now add the sausage, broth, veggies and wine and let the soup simmer for 30 minutes.  Add the cheese tortellini and simmer for 8 minutes.  For those of you who don't drink alcohol like me, the alcohol will cook out of the broth and leave a delicious flavor, or just use an extra cup of beef broth, your choice!

Sprinkle with fresh grated parmesan cheese and serve with buttered bread.  Enjoy friends!

Tortellini Sausage Soup
  • 1 lb. sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1 c chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 6 c beef stock
  • 2 c Italian style stewed tomatoes
  • 1 8oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1 large or 2 small zucchini, sliced
  • 1 large or 2 small carrots, sliced
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 3 T Italian seasoning
  • 8-10 oz. fresh cheese tortellini
  • Fresh parmesan cheese

Sauté sausage in heavy Dutch oven over medium-high heat until cooked through, crumbling. Using a slotted spoon transfer sausage to a large bowl. Pour off all but 1 T drippings from Dutch oven. Add onion and garlic to pot and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Return sausage to pan. Add stock, tomatoes, sauce, zucchini, carrot, pepper, wine, and Italian seasonings. Simmer until veggies are tender, about 30 minutes.

Add tortellini to soup and cook until tender (8 minutes). Season soup to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.  Serve with love.

Stay warm and healthy.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Pepper Steak

"Happy New Year" friends!  Can you believe it's 2012?
I'm hoping your holiday was extra merry and bright and that like me, you are playing catch up after time with family and friends.  My amazing mom joined us for two weeks and we had a great time together.  She is a gift wrapping pro, chef and designer.  Imagine, she even packed her rubber-gloves!  Don't worry, I tried not to take advantage of her willing spirit.  We shopped and dined out and she even got to cheer for the BSU Broncos!  

What a gift she is to me.  Thanks for all your love and help mom.

All of our children and grands arrived between Christmas and New Years.  We had a fabulous par-tay; lots of yummy food, late nights and precious little ones.  I'm feeling sweet misery, missing all 27 of them, washing sheets, towels, and putting our house back together!  

Pepper Steak  sounded like an easy fix with brown steamed rice for dinner last night.   

Fire up your wok.  It's so easy to chop and stir-fry steak and veggies together in a tiny bit of oil.  

Be sure to serve healthy, nutty, brown rice with it.  This truly is a 30 minute meal!    

Pepper Steak
  • 3 pounds boneless steak
  • 1 large green bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 large red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 large rib of celery, sliced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 medium tomatoes, cut in wedges
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Better than Beef Bouillon (or bouillon cubes)
  • 3 cups warm water
  • 2-3 tablespoons cornstarch
Slice steak in thin strips on an angle.  Slice and chop peppers, celery and onion.  Cut tomatoes into wedges.  Stir soy sauce, bouillon, and water and add to cornstarch.  Mix till smooth.  Add a small amount of oil to a wok or dutch oven.  When hot add steak and brown well.  Add peppers, celery and onion, stirring and turning till tender crisp.  Add liquid and stir till it thickens.  Add tomatoes, only heating through.  Serve over steamed brown rice.

Wishing you lots of good luck in the new year!