Strawberry "Flatcakes" Redeemed!

So yesterday I saw those three pretty flat strawberry cakes in my freezer and I got one out. As it defrosted on my kitchen counter, I thought about what I could do with it. I decided to Google icing ideas. I found an icing made with Greek yogurt. (of course! :) So I was able to simply whip it up and I cut the cake into little squares and dabbed a bit of the icing on it and it was a yummy little dessert snack! I will be using this icing recipe more often! I got the recipe from here.

Here it is:

  • 1 C Greek yogurt (I used Fage Greek yogurt)
  • A good splash of vanilla extract (I used 1 t)
  • 1/2 C powered sugar, sifted
  1. Whisk all ingredients until they become a bit thick.
  2. Place in the fridge to thicken even more (at least 30 minutes). (I skipped this step)
  3. Spread on cupcakes (or little slices of strawberry "flatcakes" :)

Read more: http://www.cupcakeproject.com/2009/05/greek-yogurt-frosting-healthy-frosting.html#ixzz2Au90GcuD


Baking Woes and Wins

Last week I had a baking FAIL. I decided to bake my grandmother's birthday cake for her 91st birthday party. She loves strawberry so I picked a recipe for a homemade strawberry cake. It looked simple enough. I decided to bake the cakes on Monday. I mixed something wrong and the cakes didn't rise. I came out with three 8 inch round strawberry pancakes. :( I froze them anyway because I thought they might still taste good. 

I scrambled for an hour or so on Wednesday morning to find a professional baker that could produce a strawberry cake by 6pm that night. Through a trusty friend via Facebook, I found Miss Muff'n bakery in Germantown. They were a life saver! They had their strawberry cream cake ready and they wrote "Happy Birthday Mem" on it. It was a hit!

On to my baking win...a few years back, my sweet friend Lee got me the cookbook called Mom-a-licious by Domenica Catelli.  It is a great cookbook that features lots of simple and healthy recipes. I mixed up her homemade shake 'n bake mix. I used these ingredients to make it.

I mixed all of these in a plastic bag and throw in boneless skinless chicken breasts that I cut into strips. I just shook them a bit and then placed them on a cookie sheet. I baked them for about 20 minutes and they turned out great. Add a little honey mustard or bbq sauce for dipping and they are delish!

Here is the recipe:

1/2 cup white or wheat flour, or a combo of the two (i used white wheat flour)
1/2 cup panko or bread crumbs
1/4 cup granulated garlic (I used garlic powder)
3+ tablespoons of combined dried spices such as paprika, celery seed, oregano, dry mustard powder, curry powder, etc.
3 tablespoons kosher salt
1/4 cup fresh herbs such as basil, parsley or thyme or a combo, minced (I omitted this step. Just didn't have any on hand.)
4-6 chicken breasts or one whole chicken, cut into pieces (quartered)
drizzle extra virgin olive oil

the process:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
-Place all ingredients (except chicken and extra virgin olive oil) in a large plastic bag and shake well to mix. Rinse chicken and then shake in the bag.
-Place the coated chicken on a foil-lined baking sheet and cook for 20 minutes to one hour, depending on the size and quantity of chicken. ( i didn't line my baking sheet.)
-Bake until golden brown, crispy, and juices run clear when poked with a knife. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil afterwards.


Pumpkin Guts, anyone?

When my friend/neighbor/running buddy told me that they were going to carve pumpkins this weekend, I asked if she would save me the guts. So today after church we picked them up on our way home! I had a recipe in mind. I made Pumpkin-Sweet Potato Soup.

Here it is in pictures...

After chopping one medium onion (with my trusty Pampered Chef chopper), I put it in this pot with 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-low heat. It cooked for about 5 minutes.

Then I chopped four carrots and two celery stalks and added them to sauteed onion.

I'm missing a couple of steps in pictures. After the chopping, I added vegetable broth (some chicken stock because I didn't have enough vegetable stock), spices, coconut milk, sliced up sweet potato and real pumpkin guts. (my take on that is that it was neat to use it, but until I learn that there is something wrong with canned pumpkin, I'm going to continue to use it. :)
The soup simmers for about 35 minutes on medium heat. Then I blended it in my blender. I could only fill the blender half way full, so this took three rounds. The blog suggests using an immersion blender. Then I poured the soup into a large dish. (My roast dish, actually).

The above pic is the finished product with two buttered slices of Ezekiel bread on the side.
Delish! It was time consuming, but cooking real food from scratch is very rewarding!
I will be enjoying this with a grilled cheese sandwich tomorrow!


Getting Crafty

A few weeks ago, a sweet friend showed me how to make bows. I was so excited to try my hand at this craft. The other night, I got out some ribbon that I had on hand and started crafting. I made these!

Tonight I finished them up with hot glue and attached clips. I'm excited that I've learned how to make these. I will be stopping by Hobby Lobby soon to buy ribbon that will go with Amelia's outfits. I may try and tweak my skills and make some as gifts for Christmas. Who knows? The possibilities are endless! :)

Homemade Cream of Chicken Soup

I decided to make my go-to dish for a family that has been sick this week--Poppy Seed Chicken. I've made this dish many times since we've been married. It seemed to be something everyone loves. This time, I decided to be a bit daring and change it up a bit. I used Greek yogurt (Fage) instead of sour cream. I just substituted it evenly. Then I decided to try my hand at making cream of chicken soup to avoid the MSG and other yucky ingredients that are in the can. Success! I was so excited! AND it was so easy! Why haven't I been doing this all along?!

Here is the recipe from Bun in my Oven :


-1 tablespoon flour (I used white wheat flour)
-3 tablespoons butter
-1/2 chicken broth
-1/2 milk
-salt and pepper, to taste


Melt the butter in a small sauce pan over medium-low heat. When melted, whisk in the flour and continue whisking until smooth and bubbly. Remove from the heat and slowly whisk in the chicken broth and milk. Return to the heat and bring to a gentle boil, whisking constantly, until the soup thickens. Add salt and pepper to taste. Substitute this for one can of cream of chicken soup.

This is not an exciting picture, but this is what the soup looked like after I finished. A quick taste and it was good.

I talked to my friend later last night and she said the Poppy Seed Chicken was really good. Yay! 

Just in case you haven't made this dish before. Here is the recipe...

Poppy Seed Chicken
-4 chicken breasts (boiled, shredded)
-1 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt
-1 can cream of chicken soup or equivalent homemade cream of chicken soup
-1 1/2 sleeves Ritz crackers or any cracker crumbs
-poppy seeds (i don't measure. i just scatter over crumbled crackers)
-3 tbsp. butter

Preheat oven to 350. Boil the chicken. Shred it. ( I used my Pampered Chef chopper. Love it!) Put the chicken in a 9X13 pan. Mix sour cream or yogurt with cream of chicken soup. Pour it over the chicken. Crumble crackers and put over mixture. Sprinkle poppy seeds over crackers, liberally. Melt butter in microwave for about 20 seconds. Pour it over the dish. Bake for about 35 minutes or until bubbly. Serve. 

This dish should yield 6-8 servings. 

Let me know if you try this for the first time!


Homemade Taco Seasoning

This doesn't sound too exciting, but after the security of leaving out the yucky ingredients, it has its appeal. I've been making my own taco seasoning for a few weeks now. We cook dishes that call for it at least once every other week. Last night I made chicken fajita spuds and I put the taco seasoning on the shredded chicken. It was yummy! Here is the recipe for the taco seasoning...

homemade taco seasoning Homemade Taco Seasoning


- 1part chili powder
- 1 part garlic powder
- 1 part ground cumin
- 1 part onion powder
- 1/4-1/2 part crushed red pepper


- Mix all the ingredients together and store in an airtight container. I keep mine in the freezer.
- Use sparingly or liberally!

I found this recipe from http://www.5dollardinners.com/homemade-taco-seasoning/ via Pinterest (of course:).

Next, I'm going to make homemade cream of everything soup mix. :)


The Detox

Sunday morning I began the Dr. Oz' 48 hour detox.  It began with a quinoa porridge, which was actually pretty good. I could eat that on a normal day. It included prunes and ginger. Pretty tasty! I thought this wouldn't be so bad!

This is the quinoa breakfast.

We went to church and I got pretty hungry during the service. I was looking forward to whatever would be my lunch. Well, at first I blended up a pineapple kale smoothie. Just like it sounds....YUCK! He suggested juicing it and I'm just not sure that would have helped the taste. I made it three quarters of the way through a glass and gave up. It was such a strong, grassy taste. It included fresh mint and that was a very strong smell. 

No words needed. :(

I also mixed up another drink that was suggested to aid in detox. It was pomegranate juice, pineapple juice and water. It was great! The plan states that you can drink as much of the green drink and juice drink as desired throughout the days. I just stuck with the juice drink. 

The actual lunch was the smoothie pictured below. It was yummy! Ground flax, frozen blueberries, and  almond milk. Amelia even had a few sips of this one. :)

Both Sunday and Monday I had a tough time between lunch and dinner because                                 I got really hungry. It suggests snacking on raw green beans, cucumber and radishes with olive oil mixed with lemon juice and pepper. I've eaten many green beans in the past 48 hours! Not too bad, really. It won't be my go-to snack anytime soon though.

Finally, dinner was a cabbage soup. Thankfully, Bear helped me prep everything for the soup. Everything had to be chopped and then it had to boil then simmer on the stove for an hour. It takes a looooonnnngggg time for a big pot of soup to boil! I got so hungry. It actually smelled so good! This was the best tasting part of the plan. It didn't look very appetizing, but was great. It probably was so great because I was so hungry!

Here is a pic of the soup on the stove.

It was very filling and both nights I had two bowls. I could eat cabbage soup on a regular basis.

A funny thing...at Kroger, I was surprised to find that they do sell fennel bulbs. It was an ingredient for my soup. When we got to the check out, the lady didn't know what it was and then it took her a while to figure out how to charge for it. She kept calling it a "fennel bowl". HA! It really smelled great. Kind of like licorice. It was neat to try something new. 

Over all, the detox wasn't too bad. I did get hungry between meals. I did see bloat reduced in my stomach. I haven't had any negative effects from the plan so far. I would recommend it to someone, but would recommend getting a juicer to try the pineapple kale drink. I do think the cleanse would have been more effective had I drank that more. 

I do have a confession...I went to Sonic tonight...and ate a Resse's blast. I really don't feel bad about it though. I was so hungry. I went ahead and ate dinner with the family because I had to eat my soup at 4:30. Dinner was so good. But to kind of even things out, my neighbor and I ran before we ran to Sonic and then we walked home. :)