Category Archives: Recipes

Kicking a Cough Using Onions

Standard

It’s possible my son has a mild cold again but I’m starting to think it’s also possible he has seasonal allergies that make him cough and suffer a runny nose. It doesn’t really matter the reason for the excessive coughing, we still have to deal with it and when it’s keeping us up all night long it’s time to try something besides honey and lemon, hot showers and a humidifier. Last night around midnight I hopped on Pinterest and looked up cures for a kid’s cough. I came across a pin linking to another WordPress blogger who listed some Natural Cough Remedies for Kids. The first remedy said to cut up an onion, put the pieces in a bowl of warm water and set it in the room where your child is sleeping(this works for adults too of course.) I had never heard of this before but since I had a bunch of pearl onions in the kitchen and a boy who was still coughing in his sleep I got to chopping and in just a few minutes had a very fragrant bowl next to his bed. pearl onions

I’m not sure if it was the onions in and of themselves or the onions coupled with the humidifier and my boy’s exhaustion but I didn’t hear another cough from him until I woke him up at 7:30am and brought him downstairs for breakfast.

Unfortunately his coughing picked up all through breakfast and nothing seemed to help. We couldn’t get it under control by the time we arrived at preschool so we dropped off the snack for his class as it was our turn to bring it and I took my boy back home. It’s a funny thing though, he’s a bit tired from a lack of sleep but I wouldn’t call him sick and as soon as we got home he hopped right on his bike and now that he’s been playing/arguing with his little sister for the past hour the cough has reduced to a much more acceptable level! I think he just needed a distraction. He probably would have been fine at school but I didn’t want him to be a distraction for all the other kids if he kept coughing. It’s a bummer though because he has just 5 days left of school!

So anyways, the point of this post is…

Try placing a bowl of onions soaked in warm water by your bedside if you’re suffering from a terrible cough. It may just be the cure you were looking for!

Here’s to hoping his coughing continues to reduce in severity and our day includes a long, onion-scented nap for us all!

Cheers,

Colleen

 

 

 

 

Let’s Talk Chocolate Cake

Standard

Since I just filled y’all in about pregnancy #4 in my last post I figure it’s only fitting we should now discuss chocolate cake. Who am I kidding though? Talking about, and eating, chocolate cake is fitting at any time in my life but we’ll get after it here and now.

I’ve had my eye on a chocolate cake recipe that I stumbled across over at melskitchencafe.com a few weeks back. Mel boasted of a moist cake using an unconventional ingredient with fluffy chocolate whipped cream frosting. I was sold, especially since I’m so over the standard birthday cake combo of yellow cake with buttercream frosting. I bookmarked the recipe and daydreamed about it until yesterday when I decided that with Spring break over and soccer beginning we needed a little extra sweetness in our life.

The cake baked up great and flat thanks to Wilton’s Bake Even Strips that I always put around my pans. If you don’t know what I’m talking about you can check them out here. Basically they help reduce the amount of cake you have to trim off after baking to achieve level layers for stacking.

As for the chocolate whipped cream frosting, that was pretty straightforward so naturally I screwed it up. Either I didn’t let the chocolate-cream mixture cool completely in the fridge prior to whipping or my mixer speed was set too high or most likely, both. Whatever the reason I ended up with a mess, far from the fluffy chocolaty goodness I was aiming for. Mind you, it was a delicious mess but a mess all the same and I had no time to start over. That’s when I improvised and added powdered sugar until the consistency recovered enough to slather on the cake but, make no mistake, I was pissed. I’m an emotional baker.

2014-04-01 12.40.22

After dinner I served up the cake and I was pretty impressed with the cake itself. It was moist and chocolaty and it passed the test of my chocoholic husband. He even said the cake as a whole would have been great if the frosting hadn’t sucked. Love that honesty! The kids and I didn’t mind the frosting so much but I can’t wait to make it slathered in something more fluffy.

Then things got fun and I asked them to guess the secret ingredient. My son said, “Sprinkles!”

Nope, but that’s a solid 4-year-old guess.

My daughter pondered and said, “Chocolate!”

Nope, wouldn’t be a secret ingredient since the whole cake consists of it.

So then I said, “Quinoa!”

(Did you just groan at me or cheer? I couldn’t tell.)

It’s a gluten-free, dairy-free cake made with cooked quinoa that gets blended in a blender with the milk, eggs and vanilla extract. The recipe is linked above and if you have any uncooked quinoa left over from the other recipes I’ve suggested this would be a delicious way to use it up. Just don’t screw up the frosting like I did! I promise to move off the quinoa bandwagon but I had to share this adventure with you.

Stay happy in the kitchen, friends.

Love, Your Sugar-Addicted Pregger

 

 

 

Quinoa Burger

Standard

In a post earlier this month called Fun Happenings in Our Kitchen I mentioned that I had stumbled across a great quinoa recipe and it was imperative that you try it. Some of you did and I was happy to hear you liked it. Tonight’s dinner I took that little pattie to a new level and I must say I am very pleased with the results as was my husband.

Introducing, for the first time… The Quinoa Burger!

DSC06586

That’s one whopping big quinoa pattie atop a toasted, pretzel bun with provolone cheese, spring greens, a juicy tomato and a Mayo-Sriracha sauce (thanks for the inspiration, cousin Emily!) It was a very satisfying dinner indeed although I think adding some potato chips under the bun for an little crunch could catapult this burger into greatness.

So there you have it, a meatless burger for those of you who are into that sort of thing.

For those of you who think the term “meatless burger” is an abomination I insist you set aside your judgment until you try it. For real! Just do it.

If you give it a go I’d love to know your thoughts or how you altered it to make it awesome.

Happy cooking!

Colleen

 

 

From the Field to the Table

Standard

Yesterday I had figured on a chill day following my trip to the gym and the grocery store. I was pretty tired from all the fun we had on Friday and Saturday hanging with our good friends and staying up a bit too late as usual. Of course, those plans to chill were thwarted and as it turns out I was totally okay with it although I was tired.

So what was more important than chilling out on a Sunday?

Making Pheasant Pot Pie of course! My husband went hunting in the morning with his friend, John, and they took his young dog, Miri, for her first hunt. She did great and they guys ended up bringing home a handful of pheasants which they proceeded to pluck and clean in preparation of an afternoon of cooking.

First John made some stock by baking a few pheasants along with a base of celery, carrots and onion for about a half hour. Then he added herbs and water and simmered everything on the stove for a few hours. The stock was great and I can’t wait to reduce it and make a killer soup this week!

While John was working on the stock I was working on making the pie crusts. I’m in love with Cook’s Illustrated’s Foolproof Pie Dough recipe and use it as my go-to for all my pie crust needs. John typically only uses a top crust on his pot pies but I’m a double crust type of girl and so that’s how we made it. It’s a little bit more naughty that way but a lot more delicious (as least you’ll agree if you’re a crust-lover like myself!)

DSC06580

Here’s my youngest as she protests using the word “please”.

As the stock simmered and the dough chilled I took a brief nap while the rest of the clan went on a pinball machine errand. My husband has been itching for one and so they went to the next town over to check a few out. They didn’t come home with one but at least their errand gave me a little bit of peace to recharge for the remaining hour or so of cooking and cleaning.

Once the stock was finished, John got started on the filling as I deboned the pheasants used for the stock and both of us in the kitchen were thrilled as John’s wife, Lesley, and my husband took the dogs and the kids for a hike in the back woods. It’s so much nicer to cook when you’re not being pestered by little beings tugging at your leg and insisting on being held. Of course, they all came back just as I was about to tackle the most messy, attention demanding part; rolling out the dough.

For some reason, despite following the directions completely my dough was very crumbly. I do usually add a little extra vodka or water to the dough to make it more moist but this time I wanted to see if I could make it look like the picture looked without tinkering with the liquid requirements. I should have known better. The dough was very difficult to roll out/keep together but with the help of a lot of flour and parchment paper we got the job done and put the pies in the oven. A quick 30 minutes later, in which time we were able to clean up the kitchen, dinner was served.

DSC06574

I’m obviously no food photographer and I won’t be winning any awards for the aesthetic appeal of my pie crust but dang was it tasty and I’m thrilled that I have 3/4 of a pie left for lunch today! So, despite the fact that I was tired and hadn’t planned on spending the day in the kitchen I can’t complain. I love cooking with friends and I love when we are involved in every single process of getting the meal on the table.

Today could be a replacement chill day since it’s Spring break but let’s be real, if I don’t do some sort of organized activity with these kids they’re going to drive both myself and each other crazy. Guess I’d better get off my butt, get some clothes on theirs and go gallivant around town for a while. Maybe I’ll pull the car up to their favorite inflatable play place and make their morning… sounds exhausting! At least I have left overs to recharge us later.

Happy Monday, friends!

Colleen

Fun Happenings in Our Kitchen

Standard

There are a few fun and/or delicious things that have been happening in our kitchen lately. Come and take a look and maybe find a little inspiration to try some new things.

First off, I made some AMAZING quinoa patties compliments of Mel from Melskitchencafe.com. I’d post a picture of them but we were all happily stuffing our faces so the camera was far from my mind. Quinoa, if you’re unaware, is a wonderful superfood that can be substituted for rice/potatoes/pasta and is high in protein, fiber, magnesium and iron. My kids are a little less enthusiastic about quinoa but when it comes to these little patties I’ve been called “an amazing cook!” by my 5 year old and also told, “You should be a chef!” That’s quite an endorsement from a kid if I do say so myself so go check them out. We ate them dipped in ketchup and sour cream with cottage cheese and fruit for sides. It was a very satisfying, meat-less dinner.

Another awesome dish from Melskitchencafe.com that I made this weekend is The Ultimate 7-Layer Dip. It’s a little labor intensive but well worth it. It’s suppose to be an appetizer for 6-8 people but they way I stood around this dish with a few friends and annihilated it I had to count it as my dinner! Again, there’s no picture for you to enjoy but if you jump over to Mel’s site you’ll quickly fall in love with her great food blogging and be able to put a visual to this dish that I am drooling over as I type. It’s getting a little messy over here…

Pull it together, woman! Moving on…

My left-over Super Hero sugar cookies that I made for a baby shower were a fun accompaniment to the few delicious dishes I was whipping up this weekend. It was my first attempt at these aside from Spiderman and the learning curve was huge so next time I expect them to look even better.

DSC06382

Much to my son’s dismay they are now all gone but I’ll soon be whipping up 10 dozen for an upcoming wedding so he won’t be deprived of sugar cookies for too long!

 

DSC06383

A little non-edible kitchen fun happened when my bored son needed a little excitement. It’s the simple and always pleasing baking soda and colored vinegar reaction. He was eager to show his sister the awesome color combinations he made and of course she needed a chance to experiment with the bubbly, color fun.

DSC06386

We used pink, blue, teal and yellow which combined to make this awesomeness…DSC06387

  

My daughter left her tray out over night to show her dad the next morning. Of course her little sister started playing in it and eventually learned that baking soda doesn’t taste as good as quinoa patties and 7-layer dip although it does look prettier!

As for this week, I’m going to try branching out some more with sweet and sour chicken, chicken and sweet potato soup and a chocolate flan cake all from Melskitchencafe.com.

What’s your favorite thing to whip up these days and what’s your favorite place to get great recipes? I’d love to hear about it!

Cheers to staying motivated in the kitchen!

Colleen

 

Family-Pleasing Belgian Waffle Recipe

Standard

I could live on  breakfast foods. Pancakes, waffles, omelets, French toast and all the other wonderful options out there make it hard for me to make up my mind when we go out for our morning meal. Lately we’ve been eating out at my favorite local spot a lot and everything I’ve ordered is amazing. Of course my kids stick to the chocolate chip pancakes no matter our location and they often have me whipping them up at home too.

This past Saturday it was no surprise that chocolate chip pancakes (regular for me and the toddler) was on the morning menu but Sunday proved to be a little different. My husband declared it Belgian waffle morning so I shuffled my butt into the kitchen while he corralled the mini terrorists upstairs. I quickly pulled up a recipe I had bookmarked from my last waffle making attempt which went over shockingly well with my waffle connoisseur of a husband.

The recipe I used was the True Belgian Waffles Recipe off Taste of Home’s website although I did tweak it some this time around and the high praise stayed the same. Mainly I reduced the amount of butter and sugar because when you’re topping your waffles before eating them you don’t really need all that stuff in the batter anyways.

2014-02-15 10.11.09

Here’s the recipe I used. Give it a try some morning, you won’t be disappointed.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Family-Pleasing Belgian Waffles Recipe

2 cups all- purpose flour

1/2 cup sugar

1 Tbsp baking powder

2 eggs, separated

1 1/2 cups milk

1/2 cup butter, melted

1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions

1. In a large bowl combine flour, sugar and baking powder. In a separate bowl beat the egg yolks and add the milk, butter and vanilla. Mix well. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients until just combined. In a third bowl beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gently fold into batter.

2. Bake in preheated waffle iron. I start off on setting 3 and adjust down from there if need be but you be the judge of your own waffle iron. Settings and temperatures vary.

Don’t forget to top those waffles with some strawberry preserves, a little applesauce and syrup, some fresh fruit or whatever suits your fancy!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

These waffles were so good that even my SIL who is dropping weight for an upcoming fight couldn’t resist and had to use it as her cheat meal for the week.

What’s also great is that they reheat wonderfully in the toaster so go ahead and double the batch while you’re at it and throw some in the freezer for the next time you’re having a waffle craving. They’re great as a dessert option too!

Bon Appetit!

Colleen

 

My New Drink of Choice

Standard

I stumbled upon something wonderful. It’s a drink that I never knew existed until I did a little Google search Saturday morning. I needed to place my Starbucks order with my SIL but didn’t want another mediocre caramel latte, my coffee drink fallback, so I searched for “Best Starbucks Drinks” and came across a link that listed drinks not on the menu. Most of the drinks on the list were some sort of Frappuccino concoction which I don’t drink but there was one that caught my eye.

It’s called the Dirty Chai Latte.
I love chai lattes but rarely order them, opting for something with a bit more caffeine so when I read the words ‘shot of espresso’ I knew this was going to be my new obsession. I placed my order with my SIL who ordered herself one as well. The name makes it sound kinda wrong but the drink itself is a whole lot of right and we both guzzled them down and enjoyed the pleasant kick start to our morning. Let’s just say it’s a good thing for my wallet that I don’t drive by a Starbucks while dropping the kids off at preschool every day.

Cheers!

Colleen