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The other day I woke up with the desire to try out a new recipe for breakfast. I wanted pancakes, but I wanted something with some fiber. I thought this pancake recipe would give me the hearty results I was looking for.

Oatmeal and Applesauce Pancakes

INGREDIENTS

* 1 cup all-purpose flour
* 1/3 cup quick cooking oats
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
* 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
* 1/2 cup fat free sour cream
* 1 egg, lightly beaten
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1/3 cup milk

DIRECTIONS

1. Heat a lightly oiled griddle over medium-low heat.
2. In a bowl, mix the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. In a separate bowl, mix applesauce, sour cream, egg, and vanilla. Stir applesauce mixture and milk into the flour mixture until evenly moist and thick.
3. Scoop about 1/4 cup batter for each pancake onto the prepared griddle, and cook, turning once, until golden brown on both sides.

Makes 11 pancakes

Nutrition Information (as weighed and calculated by me):
Serving Size: 3 pancakes
Calories: 233
Fat: 2g
Sat Fat: 1g
Mono Fat: 1g
Cholesterol: 62mg
Sodium: 276 mg
Potassium: 113mg
Carbohydrate: 45g
Fiber: 2g
Protein: 8g

These pancakes were thick, hearty, and something like a 3.5 on a scale of 5 for me. I think I’m not head over heels in love with them because I’m just not a pancake person. I cover my pancakes in peanut butter and syrup and ICBINB and suddenly they aren’t quite so healthy anymore. So I’ll stick to my homemade breakfast burritos or my favorite “8g fiber per serving” cereal.

If you are a pancake person though, I think you’ll live them. Cook them slow because they are so thick and hearty, but they’re the perfect breakfast if you want something that will stick to your bones (in a good way, not in a jiggly way).

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We asked some friends over for dinner on Sunday night and I decided to attempt to feed them using a recipe out of my newest cookbook acquisition (Thanks to Miss Taffy!) I chose to make Real Beef Stroganoff, Cauliflower Gratin, some store bought rolls, a slow cooker Hot Fudge and Peanut Butter Cake, and some Homemade Fat Free White Chocolate Ice Cream. The Hot Fudege and Peanut Butter Cake was a complete flop so I won’t be sharing the recipe with you, and the rolls were just that, rolls but I have recipes for everything else to share so you can enjoy them as well.

Real Beef Stroganoff

Makes: 4 Servings

Time: 30 Minutes or less

Ingredients
3 tablespoons butter
2 large onions, sliced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 ounces mushrooms, trimmed and sliced (optional)
1.5 to 2 pounds beef tenderloid or sirloin, cut into 1 to 1.5 chunks
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 plum tomatoes (canned are fine), choppen, or 1/2 cup good tomato sauce (optional)
1 cup beef or chicken stock
1/2 cup sour cream
Chopped fresh dill or parsley leaves for garnish

1. Put the butter in a large, deep skillet with a lid or a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. When the butter is melted, add the onions, along with a sprinkling of salt and pepper and the mushrooms if you’re using them, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are very soft but not browned, about 10 minutes. Add the beef and cook, stirring for just a minute.
2. Stir in the mustard, the tomatoes if you’re using them, and the stock. Adjust the heat so the mixture bubbles steadily but not violently and cook until the meat is tender, about 5 minutes. (You can make the dish in advance up to this point; cover and refrigerate for up to a day before reheating and finishing.) Stir in the sour cream, taste and adjust the seasoning, garnish with dill, and serve.

Cauliflower Gratin

I’m not even going to take the time to transcribe this recipe because it’s ridiculously easy, so these are my own personal steps.

1. Take a head of cauliflower, trim off the leave, and cut it in half. Drop it in a pot of boiling water until tender. Break off the “flowers” and drop in a gratin dish.

2. Preheat the oven to 400.

3. Add some butter (a lot for a really buttery taste, a little if you are feeling healthy) and some fresh grated parmesan (that crumly Kraft stuff is not going to do it). Toss the butter, cauliflower, and parmesan together.

4. Slide into the oven and cook until browned.

Fat Free Ice Cream

via All Things Ice Cream Blog

1 4 oz package sugar free fat free instant chocolate pudding mix
1/4 cup splenda
1 12 oz can fat free evaporated skim milk
1 cup fat free milk

In a medium bowl, stir together the instant pudding and splenda.

Add the evaporated milk and fat free milk and stir until blended. Pour
into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manf. directions.

After all of that delicious food we settled in and played 11 games of Sequence in a row. Our friends ended up staying for 5.5 hours! We learned that couples should not team up and play together, since it causes cat fights to erupt all too easily. The boys creamed us 6 or 7 times in a row, but I still loved the game.

What a fun couple they are! Also much more creative with their poses for photos than us.

I bought another cookbook last week. I don’t know why I keep buying these huge cookbooks with 1000+ recipes because I just end up overwhelmed at the task of choosing some recipes to try. I’ve been looking for ways to utilize my slow cooker a lot more, and the Fix-It and Forget-It Big Cookbook looked like it might help me get started.

I chose 3 different recipes I wanted to try, did my shopping, and due to time constraints this morning I decided to make the one with the shortest cooking time for lunch today.

Asian Style Tuna

Makes: 3 servings
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cooking Time: 1 Hour
Ideal Slow Cooker Size: 2-Quart

Ingredients
1/2 green bell pepper, cut into strips (I used a whole)
1 small onion, thinly sliced (I used 2)
2 tsp. olive oil
1/2 cup unsweetened pinapple juice
1 1/2 tsp. cornstrach
2/3 cup canned unsweetened pineapple chunks, drained
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. vingear
6 oz. can solid, water-packed tuna, drained and flaked (I used a 12 oz. can)
1/8 tsp. black pepper
dash of Tabasco sauce (I didn’t have this so I didn’t use it)

Directions

1. Cook green pepper and onion with oil in a skillet over medium heat, leaving the vegetables slightly crisp.
2. Mix pinapple juice with corstarch. Add to green pepper mixture.
3. Cook, stirring gently until thickened.
4. Add remaining ingredients. Pour into slow cooker.
5. Cover. Cook on Low 1 hour.

I served it over rice and splashed some soy sauce into my bowl, That Husband did not, since he tries to eat low sodium.

Nutritional Information:
Per Serving
170 Calories
3.5g fat
20 mg cholesterol
210mg sodium
18g carbohydrates
17g protein
20% vitamin C
2% calcium
8% iron

I think for both of us, it was good, but not great. Some Chinese noodles would have been really tasty with it I think. If I ever make this again I’ll be sure to have some of those on hand.

While living in one of the coolest places ever, the Yellow Brick House, I had a fabulously artistic roommate named Kacey who presented me with this book for my 22nd birthday.

It’s an awesome gift, and I love looking at it, but I’m about 20 years away from actually being able to cook things out of it on a regular basis. It has no pictures (other than a few stenciled drawings) and I think that it assumes when I am cooking chicken I am first going to head out back and start choppin’ away at necks in the chicken coop. I’m rather intimidated by most of the names of the dishes. If I can’t get past the name, how will I ever find a way to assemble the ingredients correctly?

Last week I decided to overcome my apprehension and cook something out of the book for the first time. The results were quite delicious, probably because I picked the easiest recipe possible.

Sauteed Fillets of Breast of Chicken with Lemon and Parsley, Siena Style

Ingredients

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter

3 whole chicken breasts

The freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon

3 tablespoons chopped parsley

Salt

Black pepper

Directions

1. Put the oil and 3 tablespoons of the butter in a skillet and turn on the heat to medium high. When the butter foam subsides, slip in as many of the chicken fillets as will fit loosely. Cook them briefly on both sides, less than 1 minute altogether. Transfer the fillets to a warm plate, using a slotted spoon or spatula, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Repeat the procedure until all the fillets are done.

2. Add the lemon juice to the skillet, and let it simmer briskly over medium heat for about 20 seconds, while scraping loose cooking residues from the bottom and sides of the pan, using a wooden spoon. Add the chopped parsley and the remaining tablespoon of butter, stir rapidly for 4 or 5 seconds , then turn the heat down to low and return the fillets to the pan together with any juice they may have shed in the plate. Turn them over in the pan juices 2 or 3 times, then transfer, together with the juices, to a warm platter. Garnish with the thin slices of lemon, and serve at once.

I don’t know what the cooks call it, but the “pan residue” that remains after the chicken is removed tastes absolutely divine. The butter, lemon, parsley, and chicken juice combine to create a lick your fingers kind of experience.

Last week I made two delicious things. Well maybe the brownies were a little overdone, but they were my first ever brownies from scratch and I am still learning.

Thanks to Julie for the delicious Mexican Lasagna recipe! Go ahead and visit her blog to get the recipe, she has step-by-step photos on how to make it! Of course we used the tortillas to make it. Any recipe that requires tortillas is our new official favorite.

Mexican Lasagna

That Husband was gone from 5 AM Monday morning to 7 PM Thursday night, so I made brownies to celebrate his return. Not just any brownies, Peppermint Patty Brownies, as invented by Coconut & Lime. I love Coconut & Lime. Beautiful photography combined with delicious food.

Find the recipe here.

The secret is lining the middle of the brownie batter with broken up pieces of Peppermint Patties. She used mini’s but I couldn’t find them, so I just bought whole ones.

peppermint pattie brownies

I love eating the sections with the almost-burnt oozing filling. They are perfect with a glass of milk and a little bit of whipped cream on top. Please note that I made these brownies with eggs, flour, sugar, and the like. Not from a box thankyouverymuch.

Oozing Peppermint Pattie BrowniesSuper rich and so delicious!

So I made the name up. And some purist might come along and say “Those are, in no way, enchiladas.” Well in my house they are.

Before we begin you must buy these exact tortillas. Or any other type of uncooked tortilla. Then you must not be angry with me that you find yourself consuming 7 or 8 of them every day. They are divine and I love them with every fiber of my being. I think I will have to cook some up right this very minute and eat them for lunch.

tortillas

Step 1:

Make your cheesecake filling. It’s going to taste better if you make it one day in advance, but when I do this I have a hard time resisting the urge to eat spoonfuls throughout the day. It does need to sit in the fridge for a few hours to “set”.

Ingredients

1 box of cream cheese

1 cup of powdered sugar

1 Tbsp vanilla extract

Some lemon juice

1 tub of whipped cream

Beat cream cheese to soften. Add powdered sugar, possibly add more if you want it extra sweet (sometimes I do). Add vanilla and lemon juice. Mix until thoroughly blended. Fold in whipped cream (if you are new to baking like myself, fold means don’t over-beat. Just enough to blend the whipped cream with the cream cheese mixture).

This time I made it with fat free cream cheese, and fat free whipped cream. I have a hard time eating the fat free cheesecake filling plain, but it works great for the enchiladas!

Step 2:

strawberries

Now make yourself some strawberry topping. Don’t say that these strawberries look old, the age adds sweetness so they are the best kind! Just cut off the really icky parts.

I cut the tops of my strawberries, cut them into quarters, throw them in a bowl, add some sugar, and mash away with a fork. Or you can throw everything in the food processor and make a nice little puree.

Step 3:

Cook your tortillas in a large pan for a few minutes on each side. Watch them close, because they just aren’t good burnt. I spray some I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter on each side to make them a little bit crispy.

I didn’t do it this time because I was lazy, but usually I melt some margarine and mix in cinnamon and sugar and fry them up like elephant ears. It is, to put it simply, divine.

tortilla

Step 4:

Cover our tortilla with cheesecake filling. If you put a lot on like I do, be prepared to get messy! That Husband puts his strawberries on the inside, but I like mine on the outside.

cheesecake tortilla

Step 5:

Roll it up, throw some strawberries on top, and dive right in. Have a napkin handy, and feel free to come back and thank me for introducing you to this little piece of heaven.

cheesecake enchiladas

Wow, that is a really long title. But, in my defense, I’m going to show you two really delicious recipes, and if you, by chance, are getting ready to go grocery shopping one day and think “I really would like to make that Chicken with Apple and Brie and Asparagus with Sliced Almonds and Parmesan Cheese That Wife talked about a few weeks ago,” you will now be able to locate it very easily. This blog is all about convenience people.

There is something I should have told you the last time I posted some recipes… I don’t follow recipes very well. Sylvia Weinstock taught me that baking is about chemistry and science, but I think that cooking is all about ingenuity and creativity. So if I bake something, I will do my best to follow the recipe exactly, but when I cook I make it up as I go along.

The Chicken recipe was found here, at The Cook Mobile. She made a dish that looked like this:

As is always the case when I copy a recipe, mine did not look so pretty. If you want the original recipe, click on the above link. What I am pasting below is what I actually did (well, it’s what I can remember from what I actually did). I don’t have a meat tenderizer, and after debating on the merits of using a hammer to flatten out the chicken, I just decided to improvise.

2 packages of trimmed and sliced chicken breasts (I believe mine were Tyson)
1 large Granny Smith apples, sliced thin
3/4small block of light Havarti cheese, sliced thin
3/4 box of corn flakes, crushed (mine were kind of big because we were watching Bones and TH got made that I was being loud and ruining the show for him 🙂 )
6 large eggs, throw out half the yolks

Dip one package of chicken breasts in egg mixture and roll in crushed corn flakes. Line the bottom of the dish with corn flake encrusted chicken breasts. Cover the chicken with apple slices, then cover the apple slices with Havarti cheese.

img_51081

Dip and coat the rest of the chicken breasts, and lay those on top of the cheese. Sprinkle extra corn flakes on top for extra crunch.

img_51101

Bake in a 375 F oven until cooked throuh, around 20 to 30 minutes.

While that was cooking I whipped up the asparagus. Again, the recipe below is what I did and includes my wannabe witty commentary. Visit the link to see the original.

INGREDIENTS

* 2 tablespoons margarine
* 1 bundle asparagus, bottoms trimmed
* Some water
* Some thinly sliced almonds
* Some Parmesan cheese (not the dehydrated Kraft stuff, use the real thing people!)

DIRECTIONS

1. Melt margarine in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the asparagus, and cook and stir. Add in some water like I did because it doesn’t like like it is getting tender fast enough. (Take small bites to keep checking tenderness. Try to bite the same piece each time or you will wind up with a bunch of half-chewed asparagus pieces and husbands don’t like that.) Cook until all of the water is gone.

2. Stir in as many almonds as you want and grate parmesan until you are satisfied. Cook for a few more minutes, until all of the cheese is melted.

Pull the chicken out of the oven and serve with some kind of bread/starch because your husband demands it.

chicken with brie and asparagus

That Husband and I really liked liked both the Chicken and the Asparagus dishes, and the Asparagus dish will definitely become a staple in our house from now on. The Chicken was good, but the true test of any dish is how it holds up as leftovers, and this one might not make the cut because of it. Actually I’m starting to feel hungry right now, signaling the end of this post, and the beginning of my lunch of dinner leftovers!

Tonight, after driving to four different locations on the outskirts of Dallas to find a craft store (I don’t know why google has so many dead addresses on file), I arrived home around 8:00 pm to find That Husband had just arrived home also, and he was starving. It was bad. The situation became really bad when I realized that the rice cooker didn’t turn on when I walked out the door like I thought.

I had to think fast for dinner because he was already rummaging around in the kitchen asking about a pre-dinner snack. I decided on chicken salad sandwhiches and tomato soup. The chicken salad was made with chicken, tomatoes, celery, honeycrisp apple, mayonnaise, ginger, and garlic (and pretty good for right off the top of my head). The soup was my favorite kind of tomato, and I thought I had saved the day with my quick thinking.

Turns out I was wrong because TH hates celery. Hates it with a passion, and picked it out of his chicken salad like a little child. I couldn’t be mad at him for it because he was smart and thanked me for the dinner I had made before telling me he sort of hated it.

Then he mentioned that he had been thinking it would be nice to take a lunch to work with him the next day. I was a good wife and packed it up in a little tupperware container with pieces of bread safely packaged in a plastic bag, after removing all of the celery from the mix.

celery in the sink

Then I was informed that I had packed his lunch incorrectly. He apparently does not have time at work to slap filling on pieces of bread and eat it. Also, assembling his lunch in such manner would not be considered “cool”. The sandwich must be put together before work, so that it can be eaten while hiding underneath a desk in an effort to keep anyone from knowing he didn’t order out (just kidding about the desk, but not about the sandwich having to be pre-assembled).

What happened to corporate wellness programs and an emphasis on personal wellness?

I had the idea a few weeks ago to begin a series that will give you a little bit more insight into the life and mind of That Wife, as well as introduce you to some things you might want to incorporate into your own life. Please note that these are in no order whatsoever. Todays post is not the #1 thing in my life, nor will it ever be (thought it is quite fantastic).

What is the easiest meal in the world? Could it be waffles or pancakes? What would it take for you to believe that I discovered a way to make the easiest meal even easier. Enter the Batter Blaster.

batterblaster

This my friends, is waffle/pancake batter in a can. In a spray can to be exact. Warm the waffle maker, grease, pop the top of the batter, and pour. Wait a few minutes and it’s all over.

batterblasteruse

I topped mine with fresh raspberries, Cool Whip, and syrup. I would have added some I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter and peanut butter to the mix if we had some.

batterblasterwaffle

I discovered this lovely on our last trip to stock up on all of life;s necessities at Costco. Every time I open up the fridge I get a sudden craving for waffles. I suggest heading on over to the nearest Costco ASAP.

Whitney reminded me that it is NaBloPoMo! So I didn’t technically post on this blog on November 1st, but I posted on That Bride and the rules are “Post every day for a month” so I figure I can still count myself as successful.

As Ethidium Bromide recently began doing, I’m going to start posting some recipes. Not because I actually know how to cook. No, I am doing it because I love broadcasting all of my mistakes to you, my dear readers (I hope there will be a few successes as well).

My first cooking attempts were from my two favorite blogs, Coconut & Lime and Bakerella.

Autumn Vegetable Chowder

My chowder:

Thoughts on my chowder:

Why is mine orangey/green and hers is white? I have absolutely no idea. Maybe she only blended her cauliflower, but I blended everything except the broccoli and potatoes. I really liked it that way.

A little bit of salt ground on top made it so good.

That bread you see in the background is Asiago cheese bread. I could eat it with every meal.

Pumpkin Pecan Chocolate Chunk Cookies With Maple Brown Butter Frosting

My cookies:

Thoughts on my cookies:

I used 72% dark chocolate chunks. Although a good choice, I put too many inside and they overpower the pumpkin. That Husband likes it though because he doesn’t like pumpkin that much.

The frosting was delicious, but a failure compared to that fluffy stuff Bakerella made. Maybe it’s because I used margarine (filled with trans fat, ooops!) instead of butter.

Why are my cookies oblong and shaped all funny? And hers are perfectly round? What is the secret to this roundness?

Do not eat one of these and then try to eat an apple. It just doesn’t work.

Things I learned overall:

I want a new camera. A fancy pants DSLR.
I want to live somewhere with better lighting.
I should start cooking in the middle of the day in order to have better lighting.
I should try not to be sad when my food doesn’t look exactly like that of the pros. (Hey, I consider these bloggers to be pros okay?)

Should you make the soup? Yes!

Should you make the cookies? Yes!