Recipe Week 2015 #7: White Wine Sangria

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For my final post of the summer recipe series, I made sangria! I found the recipe for this perfect summery drink on my friend Heather’s blog. You can find it here!

I look forward to the next recipe week… When I have time to work on it! I am enjoying the last few weeks of summer (where did the time go???), prepping for a short family vacation, and will be setting up my classroom about a week before school starts. Have a wonderful week and for all the teachers out there, a great remainder of the summer!
  
White Wine Sangria

Adapted from Heather


Ingredients:

1 bottle of Reisling (if using the super large bottle, only use half)

1/4 bottle of mango rum

1 can of Sprite (or similar)

Assorted fruit to your liking – peaches, apples, grapes, strawberries
Directions:

Slice fruit, place in pitcher. Add the liquids and allow time for it to chill in the fridge. Enjoy!

The best part about this recipe is that now I have extra liquor leftover that can be used in a few days to make another pitcher! The original recipe made too much for my container, so I just halved the recipe. 

  

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Small changes that can help you lose weight

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Serena Glow - health, vitality and food

Little things add up. So this blog post is about those little things. Things like procrastinating your work out, deciding to choose the couch over a walk, or choosing that soda over regular plain drinking water.

One of my girlfriends said that if there is an option to take the stairs she would always choose the stairs over the elevator. I like that. Because it is the things you do every day that add up. And that contributes to an overall improvement in your health.

Here are some little things:


I stopped drinking juice last year. I used to always have a 2 L bottle of cranberry juice in my fridge. It was my favorite drink for years, until I realized that what I was doing was basically ingesting loads of sugar!

I also used to have chips in my house. I love chips! And I’ll still eat them from…

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Recipe Week 2015 #6: Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti Bake

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Sorry for the brief hiatus in Recipe Week! After a short break (spent the weekend celebrating my friend Kayla!), I am back to finish the last two recipes. Today’s is from a recipe found from Thirty One, specifically a Thirty One crockpot holder bag. I LOVE Thirty One bags… I could write an entire month of blog posts, just posting one picture per day, of the bags I own. I do not have a crockpot holder bag, but they do look really cute. This is a quick and easy recipe to prep after lunch and make in the crockpot to come back to around dinnertime!

Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti Bake
16 oz spaghetti, cooked and drained (I threw in some leftover penne pasta too)

1 lb Velveeta, cubed

2 cups cooked chicken, diced (I boiled it to cook it, and used two chicken breasts – didn’t measure it!)

1 can cream of chicken soup

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 can petite diced tomatoes

1/2 cup milk

Mix ingredients in crockpot and cook on low for 2 hours, or until Velveeta is melted. Enjoy! This is a super cheesy and tasty recipe, and it got the approval from the hubby!
 

   

  

Recipe Week 2015 #5: Grilled Corn on the Cob

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This recipe goes out to Brooke, a friend of mine who is pregnant and has been craving corn on the cob lately, so she says! Apparently Baby Bennett loves corn! I included this recipe about two or three weeks ago on our dinner menu. I prepped the corn and Kris grilled it outside for us. It turned out okay; when I say that I mean there was nothing wrong with it and it was edible and tasty – I just personally did not care for the charred taste of the blackened corn since it was cooked in its husks on the grill. But you may enjoy it that way! I think in the future, although “in the husks” makes for a beautiful presentation, I will go back to grilling corn in aluminum foil on the grill outside or boiling the corn on the stove. 

Let me see if I can remember the recipe… I looked up some recipes on Epicurious to get me started and get some ideas. You will need:

butter (I used part of a stick of unsalted)

corn on the cob

sea salt

I don’t think I used lime juice or chili powder in this recipe but it is always a tasty addition. 

Step 1. “Half-husk” the corn – What I mean by this is open up the green outer covering and pull out all of the silk. 

Step 2. Cover the corn with butter and sprinkle with seat salt. I used the end of a stick of butter to reach in and easily get to the corn, but I guess spray butter would work, too. 

Step 3. Pull the green husks back up over the corn. 

Step 4. Grill on medium-high heat on the grill for 20 minutes. This didn’t seem to warm our corn all the way through, so we put it back on for 5-10 minutes. It also may depend on which rack of your grill you are using. 
Enjoy! Let me know if you prefer the charred corn over regular boiled or foil grilled corn! 🌽
  

Recipe Week 2015 #4: Summer Squash Casserole

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I followed this recipe last week and made squash casserole for dinner. I have eaten squash before, and I pretty much enjoy all vegetables, but had never cooked with squash personally. For the first time, I think it went very well! The summer squash is from my cousin’s garden, and the recipe is from my Mom-Mom. She had a few squash recipes in her book, but I decided to make this one.
This recipe will feed an army, just as a fair warning! I used it as a side dish and paired it with pan-fried pork chops, so needless to say, when used as a side dish for only two people… We were eating it for the next three or four days!


Summer Squash Casserole

Ingredients:

6 cups yellow squash or yellow zucchini, sliced (I cubed mine and did not measure 6 cups, just used one very large squash)

1/4 cup onion, chopped

1 can cream of chicken soup

1 cup sour cream

1 cup shredded carrots (of half of the bag like I threw in)

1/2 cup margarine, melted 

8 oz. box seasoned stuffing mix (I chose pork flavored since I served it with pork chops; the box was a little smaller than 8 oz. so I used less margarine than it called for too)

Directions:

Cook squash and onion in salted water for 5 minutes. Drain. Combine soup, sour cream, and carrots. Fold into squash mixture. Combine stuffing mix (uncooked, do not prepare it like on the box) and margarine. Spread half of stuffing mix on bottom of 12×7.5×2 pan (I used an oblong glass dish). Spoon on squash mixture. Place remaining stuffing on top. 

*Putting grated cheese on top is optional. Maybe I will try that next time I make it.*

Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes.

  

Recipe Week 2015 #3: My Take on Reconstructed Eggplant Parmesan

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Well I titled this post accordingly because I followed a recipe from Epicurious titled Inside Out Eggplant Parmesan. And yet I did not follow the recipe exactly – yes I am a rule breaker in the kitchen! You know I don’t like to measure ingredients exactly either, and so this recipe will be my memory of how I tweaked the recipe and the amount of each ingredient to fit my needs. I cooked it tonight for the first time and I am excited to try it again in the future to perfect it even more! It was also my first time cooking with eggplant, which I think went as well as it could have. Special thanks to my Mom-Mom and Pop-Pop for the delicious eggplant, picked fresh from their garden last week when I was in town! 🍆 And yes that is an eggplant emoji. 😄

Mallory’s advice before you make the recipe… Keep these things in mind: 

*Do not use the lowest oven rack setting in your oven. You will overcook and burn the eggplant!

*Do not cook eggplant at temps higher than 450 degrees F. 

*When slicing the eggplant, thicker is better. Thinner slices will cook down and stick to the tray, and will also cook faster and burn more easily. 

Do not ask how I know these things… (I may have learned the hard way!)

The original recipe is available here from Epicurious, but here is my version, in which I omitted the homemade tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, basil, and parsley and substituted other things because it’s what I already had in the pantry!

Ingredients:

olive oil (I did not measure it, but just keep the bottle handy!)

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 jar of spaghetti sauce (I used a small jar of Classico: Sweet Basil Traditional)

1/2 cup water

1 medium-to-large size eggplant

3/4 cup plain dry bread crumbs

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (the Kraft brand was in my fridge)

1/2 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley (or 5 tablespoons of the dried stuff!)

4 large eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 cup water

1/8 teaspoon each of salt and pepper

salt, for sprinkling on the eggplant slices

1/4 to 1/2 bag of shredded mozzarella cheese (I used Kraft)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450°F with rack in lowest position. *Do not believe this lie from the original recipe. Put your rack in the center.*

Cut approximately 12 rounds from eggplant. Brush both sides with olive oil and season with salt. Bake on an oiled baking sheet, turning once, until golden and tender, 10 to 20 minutes total (I would try 7 min on each side and if that’s not enough then put them back into the oven). Transfer to a plate and keep warm, covered.

While eggplant slices are cooking, heat the spaghetti sauce on the stove in a sauce pan on low. Now you can prepare and cook the egg patties.

Stir together bread crumbs, parmesan, parsley, garlic, salt and pepper, then stir in eggs and water. *It may look a little runny but that’s okay.*

Heat olive oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium heat until it shimmers. Drop rounded 1/3 cups of egg mixture (again, I did not bother to measure but this is how the recipe read) into skillet and cook, turning once, until patties are golden brown and puffed, about 5 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain. This will make 4 to 8 patties, depending on their size. 
Arrange one egg patty on dinner plate. Top with a few spoonfuls of spaghetti sauce, 1 or 2 eggplant slices, and shredded mozzarella cheese. Depending on how many slices the eggplant produced, and the size of the egg patties, this recipe can feed 2-4 people. Enjoy!
  

  

Recipe Week 2015 #2: Buffalo Chicken Dip

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Now for my second recipe, I am just posting an old favorite that I make often – the Frank’s Red Hot recipe from the back of the bottle. Haha! All credit can go to Frank’s. If you enjoy buffalo chicken recipes, check out the pasta I made and wrote about last year.

Buffalo Chicken Dip

(I made mine using the crock pot – throw all ingredients in and cook on high for 2 hours. The recipe on the hot sauce bottle says to cook in oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes – it is up to you!)

Ingredients:

8 oz. brick of cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup Frank’s Red Hot sauce, more to taste if you’d like

12 oz. cooked chicken (I used canned chicken but fresh breasts that have been boiled and shredded works well too)

1/2 cup bleu cheese dressing

1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese, divided

Directions:
Stir all ingredients in the crock pot, saving half of the shredded cheese to use for topping when finished. Cook in crock pot on high for 2 hours or 3-4 hours on low and serve with crackers. I like Triscuits or Club crackers best. Enjoy!