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Wednesday
Oct032012

Grandma Linnea's Swedish pancakes

Hello friends! I have missed you! I have not had much time to spend on my beloved blog lately. It has been a busy couple of weeks, to say the least! My wonderful husband offered to write a post to take that off my plate (ha!) this week. Isn't he sweet?! He did everything, minus editing the photos. He is awesome and creative and I love him dearly. Thanks, Hubby!

I have to start this recipe off with two disclaimers. First, I am Dan (husband of Pip/Megan) and I am not detailed or concerned with grammatical things. I apologize in advance for errors and/or brevity. Second, I realize there may be an "official" Swedish Pancake recipe that is different than this one. I call these Swedish pancakes because my awesome Grandma (who turns 89 this month) is Swedish and made thousands of these for me and that's what she called them and so that's what they'll always be to me.

Speaking of my Grandma, she rocks. I have numerous childhood memories of vacations at her house in Norway, MI (the UP) and to this day my favorite foods come from her recipes. She's giving, caring and anyone who meets her comes away with a smile because of her genuine sweetness.

Anyway, these pancakes were always eagerly anticipated whenever we were at Grandma's or she was at our house. She would hover over the stove throwing out hot cakes to anyone and everyone until all bellies were crammed full. Good times.

Combine the following in a bowl or blender:

2 cups milk

2 eggs

3 tablespoons white sugar

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 cup of flour

Pour roughly 1/4 cup of batter into a well greased, medium-high heated skillet and cook for roughly 30 seconds to a minute on both sides. I say roughly because you can make the pancakes as big or as small as you like or as your flipping skills will allow. Also, you can cook them a little longer or shorter depending on your desire for crispiness or chewiness. The batter is very thin so it might take a few times before you figure out the right amount/time that works best for you.

(I'm not huge fan of strict guidelines when it comes to cooking, just feel it!)

Serve hot and enjoy!

(As a kid I used to love rolling these up like tortillas and then cutting them into tiny pieces before devouring them, they're versatile like that.)

Printable recipe: Grandma Linnea's Swedish pancakes

Wednesday
Sep262012

Four cheese stuffed shells

Hello friends. I am tired. I started a new job last week that is leaving me a little bit extra sleepy. I will be spending Monday through Wednesday away from home until the end of October. This is a huge change for our family! I miss my boys immensely while I am away. Luckily I keep very busy, so the time goes by quickly.

Goooooood things are comin' our waaaayy.. Can you tell me the song that line comes from? (The first person to comment with the correct answer will receive a special treat in the mail!) Can you tell I need sleep?!  

The weekends are our time to reconnect as a family after a long week. Since it is still skydiving season, we typically do our reconnecting at the dropzone. I made these stuffed shells a few weekends ago for Dan and I and a few skydiving friends. The boys had been tucked into their trailer-bathroom-turned-bunk-beds by the time we were eating, so they sadly were not able to taste the deliciousness. Next time.

 

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.

Cook a 12-oz. box of jumbo shells in boiling water, 2 to 3 minutes short of the package directions. Drain, rinse and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine:

15-oz. container ricotta cheese

1 cup Muenster cheese, shredded

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup Asiago medium cheese, shredded 

1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

Mix well.

Stuff a spoonful of the cheese mixture into each cooked shell.

Place the stuffed shells cheese-side-up into the prepared baking dish.

Pour a 28-oz. jar of spaghetti sauce evenly over the stuffed shells.

Top that with 1 cup of shredded Muenster cheese and 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese.

Bake in the preheated oven, uncovered, for 50 minutes.

Serve warm with garlic bread and a green salad!

I want to thank you all for reading my blog. Seriously, I appreciate every eye that lands on this website. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Enjoy this yummy pasta, and have a great rest of your week!

Four-Cheese Stuffed Shells

This one is a family favorite. Four cheeses are stuffed into jumbo shells and covered with sauce!

Serves: 8

Total time: 1 hr, 15 min

Four-Cheese Stuffed Shells


Ingredients:

  • 12-oz. box jumbo shells pasta
  • 15-oz. container ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup Muenster cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup Asiago medium cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 28-oz. jar spaghetti sauce
  • 1 cup Muenster cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside. Cook the jumbo shells in boiling water 2-3 minutes short of package directions. Drain and rinse.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, 1 cup of Muenster cheese, ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, Asiago cheese, parsley, salt and pepper. Mix well. Stuff a spoonful of the cheese mixture into each cooked shell. Place the stuffed shells cheese-side-up into the prepared baking dish.
  3. Evenly pour the spaghetti sauce over the stuffed shells. Top with 1 cup of shredded Muenster cheese and ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese. Bake in the preheated oven for 50 minutes. Serve warm with garlic bread and green salad.

 

 

Tuesday
Sep182012

Spicy fresh salsa

I was excited when a sweet friend gave me a plentiful amount of her tomato crop a few weeks ago. Being the foodie that I am, I squealed with delight! I had tomatoes stacked upon tomatoes on my countertop. It was a foodie's dream! After throwing a bunch of them into a salad and eating a few for snacks (topped with salt of course), I decided to throw a salsa together so that not a single one of them was wasted.

Dan and I actually had a Salsa-Off, which I believe I won, according to a handful of our testers. :)

Here was a small portion of the tomatoes I received. Thank you, Monica!

In a large bowl, combine:

12 Roma tomatoes, chopped

1/2 red onion, chopped

1/2 yellow onion, chopped

1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced

6 cloves garlic, minced

2 jalapeno peppers, finely chopped

3 serrano peppers, finely chopped

Grab two bumpy (or non-bumpy), limes and juice them.

Once they are juiced, they could possibly turn into green-toothed caterpillars. That is what Elijah thinks.

Add to the bowl:

1/3 cup cilantro, finely chopped

1/3 cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

Juice from 2 limes

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Mix well and add:

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper 

Mix well!

Store in the refrigerator in mason jars or in an air-tight container. This salsa will remain fresh in the fridge for 1 week.

Serve chilled with tortilla chips or as a taco topping. Or do as Dan and I do when we have this in our fridge. PUT IT ON EVERYTHING.

Spicy Fresh Salsa

This is my absolute favorite salsa on the planet, friends. Did you hear that? FAVORITE.

Serves: Eight 8-oz. jars

Total time: 1 hr

Spicy Fresh Salsa


Ingredients:

  • 12 Roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, finely chopped
  • 3 serrano peppers, finely chopped
  • Juice from 2 limes
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
Instructions:
  1. In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, red onion, yellow onion, green onion, garlic, cilantro, parsley, jalapeno peppers and Serrano peppers. Mix well. Add the lime juice, olive oil, white wine vinegar, salt and pepper. Stir to combine completely. Store in the refrigerator in mason jars or in an air-tight container. Will remain fresh in fridge for 1 week. Serve chilled with tortilla chips or as a taco topping.

 

 

Tuesday
Sep112012

Healthy breakfast cookies

Today my life went from crazy to CRAZY ENOUGH TO BE WRITTEN IN CAPS. More on that another time. The reason I mention it is because I will not be able to write more than one post per week on this blog for the next couple of months. This makes me sad. I have been writing two or more posts per week for at least a year. I hope to get back to that rate by December, just in time to make a couple truckloads of Christmas cookies!  

What a great transition! I didn't even plan this one. While we're on the topic of cookies..

My friend Maren passed this recipe along to me from mydailymoment.com. I am always up for a healthy snack, especially one that is referred to as a cookie (i.e., that will sound enticing to my children). I have made these a few times and my boys LOVE THEM. Elijah asks to eat these for dessert. And breakfast. And lunch. You get the point. They are totally and completely healthy and delicious. It almost seems good to be true! But it's not!

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine:

3 cups bran flakes, crushed (that is, 3 cups pre-crushed and just less than 2 cups crushed; on my last batch I discovered I only had 2 cups pre-crushed and that worked fine, too!)

2 cups oatmeal

2 tablespoons wheat germ

2 tablespoons cinnamon

Mix well and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine:

1/2 cup yogurt (I have been using vanilla yogurt, but feel free to use plain or another flavor)

1 cup applesauce (I have used unsweetened, cinnamon and mango-peach flavored; all were delicious!)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup honey

1 large egg

1/2 cup skim milk

Mix well.

Add:

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

Mix well.

Gradually add the cereal-oatmeal mixture and stir after each addition.

Add:

3/4 cup raisins

Stir in the raisins.

Roll heaping tablespoons into balls with your hands and place them onto the prepared baking sheets. Lightly flatten the top of each cookie with your fingers.

Bake in the preheated oven for 15-18 minutes.

All of my batches so far have made exactly 36 cookies and none of my batches have lasted for more than 48 hours.

I added a mashed banana to one batch and it was delicious! I would imagine that a shredded carrot would be great, too, or some berries or a mashed peach.

This is officially my new favorite recipe.

Healthy Breakfast Cookies

No trickery needed with these babies. They are just as delicious as dessert cookies and kids love them! (adapted from: mydailymoment.com)

Serves: 36

Total time: 1 hr

Healthy Breakfast Cookies



Ingredients:

  • 3 cups bran flakes, crushed (when crushed, it equals ~2 cups)
  • 2 cups oatmeal
  • 2 tablespoons wheat germ
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup vanilla yogurt
  • 1 cup cinnamon applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2cup skim milk
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 cup raisins
Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. In a medium bowl, combine bran flakes, oatmeal, wheat germ and cinnamon. Mix well and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine yogurt, applesauce, vanilla, honey, egg and milk. Mix well. Add baking soda and baking powder and mix well. Gradually add the cereal-oatmeal mixture to the yogurt mixture and stir after each addition. Fold in the raisins.
  3. Roll heaping tablespoons into balls with your hands and place on prepared baking sheet. Lightly press down on the ball to flatten it. Bake in the preheated oven for 15-18 minutes.

 

 

Tuesday
Sep042012

Blueberry zucchini bread

From what I hear, those of you with gardens have zucchini coming out of your ears! I wouldn't know, since I live in a townhome with about ten square feet of grass and no room for gardening. I am here to help those of you with a plentiful crop! Make a few loaves of this bread and your friends and family will love you. This bread is moist and filled with flavor, and I can tell you from experience that it is impossible to eat just one slice. If you have children, you will have to lock this stuff up!

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Coat two 9x5-inch loaf pans with cooking spray and set aside.

Shred 1 large zucchini and set aside.

I think it is so cool how zucchinis sweat.

In a large mixing bowl, combine:

2 eggs

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup light brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup sour cream

Mix with a spoon until the mixture is smooth.

Add the shredded zucchini. When measured, it should equal approximately 1 1/2 cups.

Fold in the shredded zucchini.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons cinnamon

Mix well.

Gradually add the flour mixture to the zucchini mixture, stirring after each addition.

Rinse 1 pint of fresh blueberries.

Add the blueberries to the bowl, reserving a handful. 

Fold in the blueberries.

Divide the mixture between the prepared loaf pans.

Sprinkle a tablespoon or two of brown sugar over the tops, along with the reserved blueberries.

Bake in the preheated oven for 50-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Here's hoping this recipe helps those of you with a zucchini situation. Enjoy!

Blueberry Zucchini Bread

This bread does NOT disappoint. It is super moist and delicious!

Serves: Two 9x5-inch loaves

Total time: 1 hr, 30 min

Blueberry Zucchini Bread


Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 large zucchini, shredded (equals approx. 1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries
  • Brown sugar for sprinkling
Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat two 9x5-inch loaf pans with cooking spray and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs, oil, sugars, vanilla and sour cream. Mix until smooth.
  2. Fold in the shredded zucchini. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Mix well.
  3. Gradually add the flour mixture to the zucchini mixture, stirring after each addition. Fold in the blueberries, reserving a handful. Divide the mixture between the prepared loaf pans. Sprinkle brown sugar on the tops, along with the reserved blueberries. Bake in the preheated oven for 50-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.