Chef Mom

Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese

Recipe from Culinary Cory
Prep Time: 10 minutes/Total time: 1 1/2 - 3 hours. Serves 4.
Head to the site here for the recipe.

Ingredients: 

3 cups pasta, uncooked
3 Tbl. butter, unsalted
8 oz. Velveeta cheese, cubed
1 ¼ cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 cup milk
½ cup heavy cream
1 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper

Directions: 
  1. Cook the pasta in salted boiling water for 5 minutes or until it is just under al dente.  Drain and place in the slow cooker. 
  2. Add the remaining ingredients to the pasta and stir until well combined.  Cook on high for 2 – 3 hours stirring about every 30 minutes.

    Note: Some people have mentioned their mixture finished cooking after 1 1/2 hours on high. It really depends on the type of slow cooker you have. So it wouldn’t hurt to check for doneness at that time.  The pasta should still hold its shape and the cheese is completely creamy.  This makes about 6 servings as a side dish.

 

Pizza Puffs

Recipe from Please Note Paper
Prep Time: 10 minutes/Total time: 30 minutes. Makes 12 loaves
Head to the site here for the recipe.

Ingredients: 

1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
1 1/2 cups milk (preferably whole but I used lowfat)
2 eggs
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
2 cups pepperoni slices (chopped up)
1 jar of your favorite marinara sauce

Directions: 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and combine the dry ingredients.

Whisk in 2 eggs.

Shred the cheese, chop the pepperoni, and add them to the mixture. Stir together.

Grease your pan and divide the mixture evenly. You can use a cupcake pan to bake these too. If you do, bake them for about 20 to 25 minutes. I baked my mini loaves for about 45 minutes, using a toothpick to make sure the centers were cooked through.

Let them cool for a couple of minutes and serve with warm marinara sauce!

 

Triple Peanut Butter Krispie Treats

Recipe from Liv of Liv Life
Prep Time: 20 minutes/Total time: 60 minutes. Serves 12.

Ingredients: 

1st Layer - Krispe Treat Layer
3 cups Rice Krispies
1/2 bag (10.5-oz) miniature marshmallows
2 Tbs unsalted butter
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter (optional, but good!)

2nd Layer - Peanut Butter Fudge adapted from Alton Brown with TJ's mini PB Cups
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2  to 1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
1 container mini Peanut Butter cups

3rd Layer - Krispie Treat Layer
3 cups Rice Krispies
1/2 bag (10.5-oz) miniature marshmallows
2 Tbs unsalted butter

4th Layer - Peanut Butter Ganache
Generous 1 cup creamy peanut butter
2 cups chocolate, chopped

Directions: 

Spray a 9 x 13 pan with cooking spray, or alternatively grease pan with butter.
Measure cereal into a large mixing bowl, set aside.

Melt the marshmallows and butter (along with peanut butter if using) together in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Pour the melted marshmallow mixture over the cereal mixture, quickly stirring well to evenly coat the cereal. Pour the cereal mixture into the prepared pan and press evenly into the pan.  Set aside while preparing Peanut Butter Fudge Layer.


From Alton Brown:  Combine the butter and peanut butter in a 4-quart microwave-safe bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Microwave for 2 minutes on high. Stir and microwave on high for 2 more minutes. (Use caution when removing this mixture from the microwave, it will be very hot.) Add the vanilla and powdered sugar to the peanut butter mixture and stir to combine with a wooden spoon.


Alternatively, prepare fudge on the stove, melting butter and peanut butter over medium heat.  Add the vanilla and powdered sugar to the peanut butter mixture and stir to combine with a wooden spoon. If mixture is very thin, add a little extra powdered sugar.


Spread the fudge over the 1st layer of Krispie treats and scatter the mini peanut butter cups over the top, pushing cups into the fudge.  Refrigerate until cool and firm enough to handle second layer of treats, about 1 hour.


After fudge is somewhat firm, prepare second layer of krispies.  Measure cereal into a large mixing bowl, set aside. Melt the marshmallows and butter together in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Pour the melted marshmallow mixture over the cereal mixture, quickly stirring well to evenly coat the cereal. Drop the cereal mixture in "dollops" over the prepared fudge, pressing the cereal together and slightly into the fudge.


To prepare the ganache, melt the peanut butter and chocolate either in a microwave, stirring often, or over a double boiler on the stove, also stirring often, over low heat.  When the chocolate and peanut butter are fully melted, cool slightly and then pour over the krispie treats, smoothing with the back of a wooden spoon.  Give the pan a shake to evenly distribute the melted chocolate mixture.


Allow to cool (for those of us who are impatient - myself included - place treats in the fridge for about 1/2 of an hour until the ganache is set).


Getting the treats out of the pan and still looking pretty is always a bit challenging for me.  I usually cut about a 1 1/2 inch slice from the top of the pan (shorter side) and pull that out.  (usually I end up eating that before the rest of the treats are fully cut) With the gap left from that slice I can usually get a spatula under the remaining block of treats and using the spatula and my hands I can work the block out onto a cutting board.  I then use a warm, dry and clean knife to cut one slice of the treats, cleaning the knife off after each cut and continuing until all the treats are cut into the desired shapes.

 

Blue Mango Smoothie

Recipe from Maria and Josh of Two Peas and Their Pod
Prep Time:5 minutes/Total time: 10 minutes. Makes 10 bars.

Ingredients: 

1 cup frozen blueberries
1 cup mango chunks
1 cup plain Greek yogurt (I used Chobani 0%)
1/4 cup vanilla soy milk, almond milk, or skim milk or water (the liquid helps it blend)

 

Directions: 

1. Combine all of the ingredients in a blender, and blend at high speed until smooth.

2. Pour into glasses and serve immediately.

Note-If you don't have frozen berries, you can use fresh, just throw in a couple of ice cubes. Also, you can place the smoothie in the freezer for later. Just thaw before drinking.

 

Panko-Crusted Fish Sticks with Edamame Salsa

Recipe from Ingredients Inc
Prep: 25 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Yield: Yield: 6 servings.
Serving size: 2 fish sticks and 1/3 cup (75 mL) salsa.
Click here for the link to the recipe
Ingredients: 

Edamame Salsa:
1 1/2 cups frozen shelled edamame beans, thawed 375 mL
1/2 medium red pepper, diced
1/2 small red onion, diced
2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro 30 mL
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice 30 mL
1 Tbsp canola oil 15 mL 

 
1 cup whole wheat panko breadcrumbs 250 mL
1/2 tsp paprika 10 mL
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts 60 mL
1/2 cup all-purpose or whole-wheat flour 125 mL
4 egg whites, lightly beaten
1 Tbsp canola oil 15 mL
1 1/2 lb grouper or cod, cut into 1 1/4-inch (3 cm) slices 750 g
1/2 tsp sea salt 2 mL
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper 2 mL
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard 30 mL

Directions: 

1. To make edamame salsa, in medium bowl, combine edamame beans, red pepper, onion, cilantro, lime juice and canola oil, mixing well. Cover and chill until ready to serve.


2. Preheat oven to 400 ˚F (200 ˚C).


3. In shallow dish, combine panko, paprika and walnuts. In another small dish, place flour. Whisk together egg whites and canola oil in third dish.

4. Season fish with salt and pepper and brush with Dijon mustard. Dip fish in flour, then egg and oil, and dredge in panko mixture, pressing firmly to coat. Place fish on lightly oiled baking sheet. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until fish flakes evenly when tested with fork. Serve with Edamame Salsa.

Tip: To make these into fish cakes, pulse the fish in a food processor about four times until the fish is ground (like ground chicken or pork).


Nutella & Banana Smoothie

Recipe from Jennifer of Mother Thyme
Prep Time: 4 minutes/Total time: 5 minutes. Serves 2.
Head to Jennifer's site here for the recipe.

Ingredients: 

1 cup nonfat vanilla yogurt
⅓ cup Nutella
1 banana, sliced
1 cup ice

Directions: 

In a blender combine ingredients in order and blend on highest setting until desired consistency.

Whole Grain Chocolate Cookies

Excerpted from by © 2010 used with permission from The Cleaner Plate Club by Bader and Benjamin. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

Prep Time: 15 minutes/Total time: 45 minutes. Makes 2 dozen cookies.

Can I Get the Recipe Tip: Dark chocolate, less butter, and whole grains take the edge off the guilt in this version of “monster cookies.” Use natural peanut butter, with no added fats or sugars.

Ingredients: 

1½ cups whole-wheat pastry flour
1 cup quick-cooking oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
¼ cup canola oil
2 tablespoons butter
¾ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup brown sugar
¾ cup chunky peanut butter
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
12 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chunks

Directions: 

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine flour, oats, baking soda, and salt, and mix well. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the oil, butter, and sugars, starting on low speed and finishing with a couple of minutes on high. Add the peanut butter, eggs, and vanilla, and mix well. With the mixer on low, slowly beat the dry ingredients into the peanut butter mixture, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. The dough will be very thick. Fold in the chocolate chunks.

Using your hands, form cookies in 3-inch rounds on a baking sheet; you will have to press the dough together a bit. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, until there’s just a hint of brown on the bottoms of the cookies.

Raspberry and White Cherry Yogurt Pops

Recipe from Michael of Verses From My Kitchen

Prep Time
: minutes/Total time: minutes. Serves 4.

Ingredients: 

2 cup raspberries
2 tbsp sugar
1 cup white cherries, pit removed, chopped
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 cup superfine sugar
1 1/4 cups full-fat yogurt

Directions: 

Place the popsicles moulds in the freezer.

Add the raspberries and sugar to a blender and pulse into pureed. Strain through a fine sieve and pour into the bottom of the popsicle moulds.

In a clean blender, add in the white cherries, lemon juice, superfine sugar and yogurt and puree.

Once the raspberries have been in the mould for about an hour, add in the white cherry yogurt mix on top and freeze until cold.

Run warm water over the sides of the moulds to release the popsicles. Serves 6.

 

Homemade Ice Cream Chocolate Shell

Recipe from Tessa of Handle the Heat
Prep Time: 5 minutes/Total time: 10 minutes. Serves 4.

Ingredients: 

Makes 3/4 cup

•7 ounces semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
•2 tablespoons virgin coconut oil

Directions: 

Melt the chocolate in a small metal bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir in the coconut oil and heat until dissolved, about 1 minute. Keep the liquid lukewarm until ready to pour over the ice cream. Chocolate will harden into a shell within a few seconds when spooned over ice cream.

Grilled Hawaiin Teriyaki Steak Wraps

Recipe used with permission from Elle of Elle's New England Kitchen
Prep Time: 20 *minutes (plus overnight marinating time)/Total time: 30 minutes. Serves 4.

Can I Get the Recipe Tip: Marinate the steak at least a couple of hours but if you can, prep the steak the day before and marinate overnight for best results.

Ingredients: 

about 3/4 to 1 pound (450 - 500 grams) of steak
fresh pineapple slices    
shredded carrots    
sliced cucumber (I used 2 smallish cukes)    
sliced green onions    
hot sauce (optional)    
Flour Tortillas
Miso Yogurt Sauce:   
7 oz container Greek Yogurt
1/4 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp light Miso
a few drops of sesame oil
1 tsp honey
1/2 tsp Toasted Sesame Ginger Seasoning

Directions: 

Make the yogurt sauce: Whisk all sauce ingredients in a small bowl and set in the fridge until you're ready to serve.

Grill your steaks until done to your liking, or you can also cook them on the stove-again, till done the way you like them. Let the meat rest for at least 5 minutes before you slice it. After the steak is grilled, grill your pineapple slices. They only take a few minutes. Set those aside.

Just before assembling the wraps, place the tortillas on the grill. Let them get toasty on one side, then flip them-watching carefully so you don't burn them. The charred spots just add to the overall flavor, so don't be afraid to let them get some good color! They cook very quickly.

Spread some of the yogurt sauce down the middle of the tortillas, then top with the sliced steak, carrots, cucumber, green onion, and the grilled pineapple. Drizzle with some hot sauce if you like. Roll the tortillas up and serve.