My favorite place in the world is in my kitchen with my children. The laughter and memories made while cooking and baking together are irreplaceable. This blog lists some of our favorite recipes & experiments in the kitchen. Check back regularly for new posts, and be sure to check each week to get the recipes featured on our Cooking with Mommy online radio show!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Movie Night

Hope you enjoyed today's show! We had a blast coming up with these recipes. Try our twist on some of your favorite movie theatre snacks, and see if you won't want your next movie night to be in your own living room!

Monster Nachos
1 lb. chicken breasts
1 lb. Mexican chorizo
1 lg. can refried black beans
1 pkt. Goya Sazon seasoning packet
16 oz. pkg. Velveeta
1 (4 oz.) can green chilies
Salsa, to taste
Sour cream, to taste
Black olives, sliced, to taste
1 Haas avocado
1-2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Grown-up helper: Cook chorizo in sauté pan for approximately 10 minutes. Drain on paper towel. Season chicken with Southwestern seasoning. Grill chicken breasts (approximately 10 minutes per side for thicker breasts). Slice chicken in thin slices (similar to fajitas).

Mini-chef: Microwave refried beans with packet of Goya seasoning mixed in for 5-6 minutes. Meanwhile, using a kid-safe knife, cut Velveeta into cubes and place in bowl. Add 4 oz. can of chopped green chilies to bowl. Microwave cheese mixture one minute and stir. Repeat process three more times (for a total of 4 minutes in the microwave).

Layer chips on platter. With the help of your grown-up helper, spoon refried beans onto chips. Pour melted cheese mixture over beans. Sprinkle chorizo and sliced chicken on top.

Top with salsa, sour cream, and black olives, to taste. Have grown-up helper peel and slice avocado. Place avocado slices on top of nachos. Top with grated cheddar cheese.

Jell-O Popcorn
1 c. white corn syrup
1 c. sugar
2 small pkgs. Jell-O, your flavor preference (enough for 8 servings)
1 bag popped popcorn, light butter flavor

Pour popcorn onto a baking sheet or stone cool. Mix corn syrup, sugar, and Jell-O in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 3 minutes, stirring after each 30 second (to 1 minute) interval. Have grown-up helper pour Jell-O mixture over popcorn. Bake at 300 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Allow to cool completely.

Stuffed Pretzels
1 can refrigerated pizza dough, thin crust style
1 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
¼ c. sugar
2 heaping Tablespoons strawberry preserves
Melted butter
Brown sugar

Cut pizza dough lengthwise into three strips. Mix cream cheese, sugar, and strawberry preserves. Place cream cheese mixture in plastic sandwich bag, seal, and cut small slit in corner of sandwich bag. Squeeze line of cream cheese mixture down the center of each pizza dough strip. Overlap sides of dough slightly, and pinch seams down the length of each dough strip, creating on long “rope” of filled dough. Bring each end around, as if forming a heart. Overlap, strip ends, and twist, bringing ends to a rest at the bottom end of the pretzel. Press slightly, being careful not to cause cream cheese mixture to squeeze out. Baste pretzels with melted butter. Sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon, to taste, on top of pretzel. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-17 minutes, or until golden brown.

Stuffed Soup

Stuffed Soup? "What is that?" you ask. Try this tasty side dish below to find out for yourself! Kids, get that grown-up helper in the kitchen and make some memories!!! Let us know what you think of this recipe. We'd love to hear from you!

Stuffed Soup

1 box cornbread stuffing mix
1 can cream of mushroom soup
8 oz. sour cream
2 c. shredded cheddar cheese, divided

In a large bowl, mix the first 3 ingredients together. Add 1 cup cheese and mix until fully incorporated. Pour into a 2 qt. (or 7" x 11") casserole dish. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, or until casserole is warm and cheese is fully melted.

Cinnamon Rolls

We had SOOO much fun making these Cinnamon Rolls in our test kitchen this week. And let me tell you - they are SUPER YUMMY!!!! Be sure to get a TALL glass of milk to wash these down. This also makes a perfect breakfast when you have guests over. Wouldn't this make a great breakfast after a sleepover party? =) Enjoy!

Cinnamon Rolls

2 packages Pillsbury Recipe Creations refrigerated dough
1/2 stick butter, melted
1 Tblsp. cinnamon
1/2 c. sugar
1/8 c. brown sugar
1/2 pkg. (4 oz.) cream cheese
1/2 c. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a small mixing bowl, mix cinnamon, sugar, and brown sugar thoroughly.

Unroll 1 package of dough. Using a basting brush, spread butter on dough. Make sure to cover all the dough. Sprinkle sugar mixture over butter. (We like to use A LOT of the sugar mixture.) When the dough is thoroughly covered with sugar mixture, roll dough into original shape. Cut into 8 slices. Repeat with second package of dough.

Place slices flat side down on a baking sheet. (For best results, use a stone baking sheet.) Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven, and allow to cool for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix cream cheese, vanilla, and powdered sugar in a separate bowl. Spread cream cheese icing on each cinnamon roll. Enjoy!

Ranch Chicken Fingers

We just love these delicious chicken fingers! Forget McDonald's! Kids, get in the kitchen with your grown-up helpers and have FUN making these chicken fingers for dinner!!! =)

Ranch Chicken Fingers

1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast cutlets
1 c. buttermilk
1 c. flour
1 c. crushed corn flakes
2 packets dry ranch seasoning (recommended: Hidden Valley)
3 eggs

Have a grown-up helper cut the chicken into strips (or nugget sizes, if you prefer). Marinate chicken in buttermilk for several hours or overnight.

In a medium size bowl or pan, mix the flour, crushed corn flakes, and ranch seasoning. In a second bowl, beat the 3 eggs using a fork or whisk. Spray your pan with a non-stick cooking spray or lightly brush with oil.

Removing the chicken from the marinade, dip chicken into eggs, and then dip into the flour mixture. Be sure to cover the chicken fully on all sides with the flour mixture. Lay chicken in pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until cooked thoroughly. (Our oven took about 30 minutes for the chicken to be perfectly cooked and moist.) Enjoy!!!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Deviled Eggs

This devilish recipe is for my kiddos. They love our monthly church potluck where they get to have deviled eggs each month. We decided to try to make our own at home. Let us know what you think!

Deviled Eggs

1 dozen eggs, boiled, cooled, and peeled
3/4 c. mayonnaise (recommended: Duke's)
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/8 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. paprika, plus more for garnish

Cut each peeled egg in half lengthwise. Separate yolks into a bowl. Mash yolks with a fork, and add remaining ingredients. Mix until smooth.

Place filling in a sandwich or freezer ziplock bag. Snip a small opening at the corner. Squeezing from the corner diagonal to the cut corner, fill each egg half with filling. Sprinkle paprika on top, and dig in! (I like to chill our deviled eggs in the fridge for 30-60 minutes, so the flavors can fuse!)

Delectable Drinks

Hope you guys enjoy these tasty drinks as much as we do! Use your imagination when choosing flavor combinations for smoothies, shakes, floats, and punch. It's a neverending idea parade that can't go wrong... Well, if it does go wrong, you can just keep trying other combinations! Here are the recipes from today's show! (We will upload the pics sometime this weekend!)

Sunrise Smoothie

1 c. frozen strawberries, slightly thawed
1 c. frozen peach slices, slight thawed
1/2 c. orange juice
1 (6 oz.) container Rasberry Yogurt

Blend all ingredients until smooth. Say hello to morning! =)

Purple Cow Milkshake

4 scoops vanilla ice cream
1/4 cup frozen grape juice concentrate, thawed
1/2 cup milk

Blend ingredients until smooth. Drink up and enjoy! =)

Sherbet Punch

1 46 oz. bottle Tropical Punch
2 liter Ginger Ale
1 6 oz. can frozen lemonade concentrate
1 container pineapple sherbet

Mix equal parts tropical punch and gingerale. Add frozen lemonade concentrate. (You can add less than the 6 oz., if you would like.) Add scoops of pineapple sherbet, and stir gently. This punch tastes a little like a Cherry Limeade. It's delicious!

Soups & Salads

Hope you enjoyed this special 1 hour edition of Cooking with Mommy. First up - Soups & Salads! Kids, we hope you enjoy making these yummy dishes with your grown-up helpers. Let us know what you think!!! =)

French Onion Soup
3 small onions, diced
1/2 stick butter
2 cans beef broth
1 can chicken broth
1/2 c. cooking sherry
1 pkt. onion soup mix
1 loaf french bread
1 pkt. (12 slices) provolone cheese

Saute onions in butter for 3-5 minutes, or until transluscent. Add beef and chicken broths, cooking sherry, and onion soup mix. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cover. Simmer for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place 3/4 cup soup in crock-style bowl or ramekin. Slice french bread into 1 inch slices. Lay provolone slice on bread. Place 6-8 bowls on cookie sheet or stone cooking sheet. Bake for 7-8 minutes until cheese is melted. Enjoy!

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

4 large Yukon Gold Potatoes
8 slices bacon
2 cans chicken broth
2 cups milk
16 oz. Velveeta cheese
8 oz. sour cream
3 green onion stalks

Microwave potatoes for approximately 10 minutes. Allow potatoes to cool. Microwave bacon for 1 minute per slice. (I microwave 4 slices at a time for 4 minutes.) Remove bacon from plate and pat dry with paper towel. Crumble bacon. When potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut into cubes, approximately 1/2 inch to 1 inch in size.

Slice green onions into thin slices. Cut Velveeta into small cubes for easier melting.

Heat chicken broth, milk, and Velveeta in pot, stirring frequently. Once cheese has melted completely, add potatoes, bacon, sour cream, and green onions. Stir until fully incorporated. Simmer another 10- 15 minutes, stirring occasionally and serve.

Mandarin Chicken Salad

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/3 c. orange juice
1 tsp. Asian seasoning (recommended: Emeril's Asian Essence)
Romaine lettuce hearts, chopped or torn
1 can Mandarin oranges
1 can water chesnuts
3 stalks green onions, sliced
Sliced almonds, to taste
Chow Mein noodles, to taste
Asian dressing

Marinate chicken breasts in orange juice and Asian seasoning for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Grill chicken breasts over medium heat 6-8 minutes per side, or until cooked through. (If using cutlets, chicken may grill a little more quickly.) Let chicken rest for 5 to 10 minutes. When cool enough to handle, slice chicken in thin slices.

To assemble salad, put chopped or torn lettuce in a bowl. Top with remaining ingredients and chicken. It's yummy!!!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger Meatloaf

Want to add some zing to boring old meatloaf? We sent Kaiya's daddy to the kitchen to create a new twist on traditional meatloaf. Give this zesty meatloaf a try and see smiles on the faces of your family! Hope you enjoy!

BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger Meatloaf

1.5 lbs Lean Ground beef
1 egg
1 cup fried onions, divided (French’s)
8 Ritz crackers, crushed
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
¼ cup ketchup
1/8 cup yellow mustard
¾ cup BBQ sauce divided
Salt & pepper to taste
6 oz. bacon, fried and then crumbled

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine ground beef, egg, ½ cup fried onions, crushed crackers, ½ cup shredded cheddar, ¼ cup Ketchup, 1/8 cup yellow mustard, ¼ cup BBQ sauce, and salt & pepper to taste. Transfer mixed ingredients into a loaf pan.

Sprinkle remaining fried onions over the top and press lightly into the mixture. Bake 55 minutes. Have grown-up helper remove meatloaf from the oven and drizzle ½ cup BBQ sauce on top of meat loaf. Sprinkle the crumbled bacon and remaining cheddar cheese on top. Have your grown-up helper return the meatloaf to the oven and bake 15-20 minutes longer. Remove and enjoy.

Crafts in the Kitchen

Hey kids! Here are some SUPER recipes to use when you want to explore your artistic talents. Head to the kitchen with a grown-up helper and have fun with the following recipes! I'll add pictures later!

Kool-Aid Playdough

3 c. flour
1 c. salt
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
2 c. boiling water
2 packets unsweetened Kool-aid (in color of your choice)

Have your grown-up helper bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Meanwhile, mix flour and salt thoroughly. In a separate bowl, add Kool-aid and oil to boiling water. Mix until Kool-aid dissolves completely. Pour wet mixture into dry mixture and stir until incorporated. (Add extra flour if needed to get playdough consistency.)

Knead dough until flour is no longer visible. Allow to cool. Play and enjoy. (Store in an airtight container in your refrigerator.)

*Note - we divided the recipe in two halves, and used a different Kool-aid color in each half.

Puff Paint

1 can shaving cream
1-2 containers white school glue
Food Coloring

Mix equal parts shaving cream and school glue in the amount you desire. Add food coloring to achieve desired color. (You can make several colors using the above ingredients.)

Bath Crayons

1 bar (3.1 oz.) Ivory soap
1/4 c. to 1/2 c. warm water
Food Coloring

Grate Soap using a cheese grater. Microwave water for 1-2 minutes. Mix soap, water, and food coloring. Knead until the consistency of a very thick dough.

Shape with hands as a ball or crayon. You can also use ice cube trays or cookie cutters. Place crayons in freezer for 15 minutes.

Remove crayons from freezer and allow to dry until hard (overnight or all day.) Enjoy at bathtime!!! =)

Have fun kiddos! Check in tomorrow for another recipe just for you!