Chia Seed Egg Substitute

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Chia Seed Egg Substitute

I had been wanting to try Chia seeds for awhile now. What was stopping me was the price. Thanks to my sister Dana and her extreme coupon ways I got a great deal on a bag of Chia seeds.

I went to Pinterest, of course, to find recipes using Chia seeds. I found a few I want to try. One pin that got my attention was how to use Chia seed to replace eggs in recipes. You can add water to the seeds wait a while and bam you have a Chia seed gel thing going on.

This easy recipe will replace 1 egg.

1 tbsp. Chia seed
3 tbsp. water

Mix in a small bowl. Set aside 15 minutes.
Done.

Painless wasn’t it?

My first bag of Chia seeds. Let the adventures begin.

My first bag of Chia seeds. Let the adventures begin.


In my fancy bowl is 3 tbsp. of seeds. This will replace 3 eggs.

In my fancy bowl is 3 tbsp. of seeds. This will replace 3 eggs.


Add 9 tbsp. of water. Let sit for 15 minutes.

Add 9 tbsp. of water. Let sit for 15 minutes.


See the gel going on?

See the gel going on?

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The Whole Enchilada, Story of a Casserole

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so yummy

So I shared with you how to make your own Taco seasoning a few days ago. I had found a few Mexican recipes on Pinterest I wanted to try. Each recipe called for Taco seasoning. It was cheaper for me to make my own seasoning mix. Here is one of the recipes I tried.
The Enchilada Casserole was the first dish I tried. It turned out to be a fairly easy recipe. You brown your meat, layer everything in your cooking dish then bake away. Throwing it together was quick. The baking took the longest amount of time. While the dish was baking I went out to do some yard work.
When it was time to take the casserole out of the oven I came back inside. Oh my goodness. The house smelled so darn good. Like a Mexican restaurant.
I was lucky to get to take the few pictures I did take. My hubby was hovering over me, demanding me and the camera get out of his way. Seems I was standing between him and the enchilada casserole. I snapped a few quick photos then moved out of his way. He helped himself to HALF of the casserole. While walking away with plate in hand he said. “You can take all the pictures you want now.”
I cut me a small piece and joined my husband on the couch. Yes we are living room eaters. Very rarely do we sit down to the dining table to eat. He finished his dinner before me. He took his empty plate to the kitchen. A few minutes later I followed him. The casserole was so good I wanted another small piece. Imagine my surprise when I saw an empty casserole dish.
I looked at the hubby and said, “What the fudge?” to be honest I didn’t use the word fudge.
“Oh I thought you were done so I put the rest in a container to take to work tomorrow.” Being the good wife I am I told him it was okay. I told him it was okay but in my mind I was planning his demise. Don’t judge, the enchilada casserole was that good, but luckily for the hubby I didn’t follow through with my evil plan. This time.
We now have another recipe that will be a regular on the menu.
I would share the pin but Pinterest has decided it is a link to spam. Thankfully I had saved the recipe to my recipe folder.

Enchilada Casserole

Ingredients:
1 lb. ground beef
1 lg. onion, chopped
2 ½ c. salsa
1 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 tbsp taco seasoning
6 flour tortillas (you can use corn tortilla if you want)
1 sm. Can of corn, drained
¾ c. sour cream
2 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Cook beef in onion in a large frying pan. Drain. Return to pan. Stir in salsa and taco seasoning. Add beans and corn. Stir. Add sour cream and stir well.

Meat mixture before adding sour cream

Meat mixture before adding sour cream

With sour cream mixed in

With sour cream mixed in

 

In a 2 qt. casserole dish spoon out a layer of the meat mixture. Sprinkle with cheese.

meat and cheese, bottom layer

meat and cheese, bottom layer

 

bottom layer with tortilla

bottom layer with tortilla

three layers

Cover with a tortilla. Repeat layers until dish is full. The top should have the most cheese. Bake 20 to 25 minutes.

 

I’m sure this would be just as good made with shredded chicken also.

 

baked

 

 

 

 

 

DIY Taco Seasoning

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diy taco

I have several new dishes I will be trying out in the next few weeks. Each one requires Taco seasoning. I didn’t want to have to go buy several packets so I rummaged around in my spice bowl. Yes a bowl, I just toss my spice jars into one huge bowl. I would love a fancy spice rack but space is limited in my kitchen, so spices go into a bowl that goes into the cabinet. Honestly it’s not even a bowl just a huge plastic container Sweet Stripe mints came in. Nothing but class around here.

I made a list of all my spices. Did a quick search on Pinterest for Taco season recipes. Amazingly I had all the spices I need to make the taco seasoning.

This recipe took me about five minutes from start to finish. It took that long because I had trouble finding my measuring spoons. They were right in front of me the whole time. How did I miss seeing them? I have no clue, they’re bright red in a white cabinet.

I looked at several Taco seasoning Pins, the recipe was basically the same on all of them. The only thing I have changed was the red pepper flakes. In the other recipes the red pepper flakes were ground up. I used my red pepper flakes as is. I will probably end up changing the amount of some spices or omitting the red pepper flakes next time I make this. My hubby can’t handle too much heat. There is always a chance he might surprise me and will be able to handle the heat from this first batch. Doubt it but a girl can dream, right?

So without further ado, here is the recipe to make your own Taco seasoning.

DIY Taco Seasoning

½ c. chili powder
¼ c. ground cumin
2 ½ tbsp. sea salt
2 ½ tbsp. black pepper
1 ½ tbsp. paprika
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. onion powder
2 tsp. red pepper flakes
2 tsp. dried oregano

Measure all spices out into a large bowl. Mix with a spoon or fork until well blended. This makes 1 ½ cups of Taco seasoning. I poured the mix into four small canning jars. I would have liked to just put it in one jar but all my bigger jars are occupied at this time.

all spices

Like most spices toss out any you have left after six months or a year. Some people keep their spices for a year. Some even longer. Just go with what your are most comfortable with.

That was easy, wasn’t it? So easy it should be illegal.

DIY Taco recipe

Do You Know the Pumpkin Muffin Man?

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cupcake 2

I’ve been doing a lot of baking. A LOT. Last week I baked the star shape in a cake. Monday I baked Pumpkin muffins. The two posts to follow this one are going to be about baking also.

This past Monday I was looking for something simple and quick to bake that would satisfy my sweet tooth. I had pinned the pin for this the other week, I remembered it was simple. Two ingredients! Also there seem to be a few claims that each muffin is only 1 Weight Watchers point. Is it true? I have no clue, but it sounds good to me. Simple, quick and waist friendly. Sold!

The two ingredients are one box cake mix, any type and one 15 ounce can of Pumpkin puree. The pin used a yellow cake mix I used a white. I added a third ingredient. Just a tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice. That was a suggestion in the comments on the blog that the pin led to. Mix well. I used a hand mixer. Bake at 350 degrees 20 to 25 minutes.

Cake mix and canned pumpkin. Mix well. Fill muffin tin and bake 20 to 25 minutes at 350 degrees.

Cake mix and canned pumpkin. Mix well. Fill muffin tin and bake 20 to 25 minutes at 350 degrees.

Simple as that. How did it taste? Okay. I was not a fan, everyone else loved them. I might have liked them if I had some sort of frosting to put on them. I read where the chocolate cake mix with the pumpkin was better than the other cake flavors. I may try it one day. I also think it might be a decent breakfast muffin if you add some granola before making.

The Pumpkin Muffin post from Pinterest.

cupcake 1

 

 

Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star Cake

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stars1
If you have been on Pinterest I’m sure you have seen the pin showing how to bake a cake with a heart shape running through the middle. The pin is just a series of photos merged into one long photo showing the process. I was unable to find, and believe me I searched all over, but could not find written/detailed instructions on how to do this.

Here is the Heart Inside Cake Pin

So even though there was a pin I was still on my own on this one. The pictures were self explanatory so how hard could it be? Right?

Well it wasn’t difficult. It sure would have been nice to have some pointers with experience behind them. Well I’m going to share what I learned from the mistakes I made and the things I did right.

You will need:
2 cakes. Each different color. (I used box mixes. One chocolate the other strawberry)
A 9×13 pan to bake the first cake in.
A cookie cutter.
A loaf type pan to bake the final cake in.

I did not have a heart shape cookie cutter like used in the pin but I did have a pack of star shaped cookie cutters in various sizes. I choose the smallest one. That was my first and second mistake. I should have used a more simple shape, one without pointy small parts. I also should have used a bigger cutter.

star cutter

I lined my 9×13 pan with a product that is parchment paper on one side aluminum foil on the other. You could grease and flour the pan if you prefer.
Bake the cake according to directions on box. Looking back maybe I should have added an extra egg to the mix to make the cake denser.
Let cake cool, use cookie cutter to cut out the stars. I just cut out as many as possible. My dad just happen to come by as I finished cutting out the pieces and he offered to ‘dispose’ of the scrap pieces of cake I had left over. He is too kind.

the first cake
I only had a loaf pan. I knew it wasn’t going to be large enough for this project. Yet the crazy woman in me said, just do it. Here’s where I made the third mistake, well fourth if you count using to small of a loaf pan. I put a bit of batter down in bottom of pan before lining the pan with the shape pieces. Don’t do this.
My next but not last mistake was I did not cram the pan full of the star pieces. I lined them up like the pin showed but I should have packed them in tight. There were gaps. Did it occur to me that those gaps would get filled with chocolate batter causing things to go wrong? No.

in the pan
So I poured the batter in over the star pieces. Of course the batter oozed between the stars and a few stars moved around because I poured the batter in to fast. You should spoon your batter in, you will have more control.
The pan was too small so the cake overflowed some. I was prepared for this, I had placed a pan under the cake to catch any overflow. When she see the photos you will notice I did not place the catch pan in the best spot. Clean up was still easy though.

Oops, too much cake for one pan

Oops, too much cake for one pan

I turned the baked cake out of the pan to let it cool. As you look at the pictures I promise there is a star shape in there…somewhere.

So what I learned:
Simple shape cookie cutter. Skip the star shape. Don’t use the smallest cookie cutter.
Use the deepest loaf type pan you have.
Don’t pour any batter on bottom of loaf pan before placing in your cut shape pieces.
Cram the cake shapes in line so there isn’t any gaps for the batter to ooze between.
Spoon batter slowly over cake shapes so not to displace them.

There's a star in there. I promise.

There’s a star in there. I promise.

Really there is.

Really there is.

I will try again and I will perfect this. I actually have an idea of my next shape in cake, cake. It is Halloween themed. I will share it with you when I make it.
Thanks for joining my on this very Pinteresting cake adventure.

Lemon, Limes and Cookie Cakes

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lemon cookies 1

I have been in search of a good lemon cookie recipe. I still haven’t found The Lemon Cookie Recipe. The one were the cookie is not hard but not so soft it falls apart in your hand. Until I find that recipe I will share all the others I try in my search.

This one I decided to try because I just happened to have a box of lemon cake mix. The recipe was similar to a crinkle cookie. I made the two batches following the directions. Oh how I love the taste of lemon. Oh how the lemon taste in this cookie was too much. To try to tone it down the last batch I baked crinkle cookie style. They were good but still the lemon was too strong. These cookies are very soft and will fall to pieces easily.

The original recipe called for a lemon icing. I decided to go with a lime icing to try to balance the flavors. In my opinion it worked.

The husband tried the cookies, he said they were okay. He is not a lemon fan. Which was good for me. I had lemon cookies all week long. For first break at work, last break and for dessert after dinner. I was a very happy Gotha.


 

Lemon Cookies

Ingredients:

1 box lemon cake mix

2 eggs

1/3 cup oil

Mix ingredients by hand.

Set in freezer to harden.

Roll into 1 inch balls.

Place on greased cookie sheet

Bake at 375* for 7-8 minutes.

Cool and frost with lemon or lime frosting.

 

Lime Frosting (or lemon)

Ingredients:

4 cups of confectioners’ sugar
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons of water or milk (I prefer milk)

Mix until smooth. Spoon over cookies.

Some I covered heavily with frosting others much less.

IMG_5646IMG_5649

Thank you for joining me on another Pinteresting adventure. Hopefully one day I will find that perfect lemon cookie.

lemon cookies

 

Tame Your Evil Side, Feed it Cookies

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Crinkle cookies

Crinkle cookies

Crinkle Cake Mix Cookies. OH YES! This is more than a recipe, it’s a technique that once you learn the cookie possibilities are endless. Endless really? No. But there will be a lot of cookie possibilities.

The air was cold, the wind had a bitter bite to it. Good cheer was abundant. Decorated trees peeked out of frosty windows. Yes it was that time. Christmas. I always plan a raid on those Who’s down the mountain this time of year. I will celebrate Christmas but I’m not a big fan of it. Why you ask? Well I am full of evil and darkness but that’s not the reason I’m not a Christmas fan. To some people (I’m one of them) the holiday is just a reminder of what has been lost. The hubby and I lost a child some years ago. We tend to stay home more during the holiday and only limit our outings to work and family gatherings. We avoid the public as much as possible, it is too hard, even after all these years, to be out and around people during the holiday season. It seems our sadness and heartache intensifies that time of year.
Why am I sharing this sad story? Not for pity. I want people to know when a co-worker, neighbor or even a stranger ‘Bah humbugs’ Christmas it’s not because they are bad it’s because it is just to painful. So please keep that in mind next holiday season. Don’t be angry or pity them just understand for some of us we don’t celebrate Christmas we just try to survive it.

Okay now that I’ve bummed out myself and maybe even you let’s cheer up by baking some crinkle cookies! Since I’m home most of the holiday season I spend time on Pinterest and a whole lot of time baking. It’s nice to have a full belly of some fresh baked goodness when you are going on all those Whoville raids.

Me and my Grinchy self was snooping around Pinterest looking for some cookie recipes I could make to share at a family gathering. What grabs my who hash hoarding soul’s attention? GRINCH CRINKLE COOKIES! I repeat: Grinch. Crinkle. Cookies.

Here is the direct link to the blog by Cookin’ Cowgirl and her “How the Grinch Crinkled Christmas” cookies. If you visit her site, stay awhile and wandering around. She has some great recipes. I mostly go by her recipe but I have changed it slightly. You may prefer her recipe so hit that link that will transport you to the Cookin‘ Cowgirl (after you scroll down past this first recipe and check out my devils food crinkle cookie recipe).

The cookies have the word Grinch in them because the cookies are green not because it’s made from real Grinches. I’m sure that’s a relief to know!

Green Cake Mix Crinkle Cookies

1 white cake mix.
6 tbsp melted butter.
1 tbsp vanilla extract.
2 eggs.
Green food color.
Powdered sugar.
Mix cake mix, butter and eggs together.
Add food color, mix well.
At this point I put my dough into freezer for several minutes to firm up. It works better for me that way.
Remove from freezer. Roll a spoonful dough into powdered sugar. Once covered roll into ball. Bake at 375 degrees 8 to 9 minutes.
Transfer from cookie sheet to wax paper to cool.grinch2

Below is the cookies I ended up making for my family get together.

Devils Food Crinkle Cake Cookies
1 box devils food cake mix.
2 eggs.
1/2 cup vegetable oil.
2 tbsp coffee.
Mix by hand.
Set in freezer 30 minutes(makes it easier to roll).
Roll in powdered sugar. I use 2 spoons to cover dough in powdered sugar before rolling them into balls. Bake in a preheated 350 degree over for 8 minutes. Transfer to wax paper to cool.
*Line cookie pan with parchment paper. Makes clean up easier. I store the cookies in a plastic container, each layer is covered in wax paper to keep each layer of cookies from touching. These cookies are delicate and will stick to each other.

These cookies disappeared like diamonds at a kleptomaniac convention. I set them on the dessert counter at my grandmothers, went to car to grab the other things I cooked, walked back to the dessert counter and bam! No more cookies. They were gobbled up that fast. Everyone was expressing their disappointment that I hadn’t brought more.

gccc2

So one recipe used melted butter the other oil. You can adapt either recipe to any cake mix. Easy as heart shaped pancakes. (if you’ve read my other postings you totally get that)