Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Weight Loss Magic Soup ~ by Sarah

Now, don't get all excited about the title.  There's really nothing "magic" about it.  You're just supposed to eat it for lunch, snack, and dinner for two weeks and then you'll supposedly lose weight.  Well, duh.  But I'm pretty sure that if I ate this three times a day for 14 days, I would never want to eat it ever again.  But it is a delicious soup and very, very filling.  It makes a TON--like almost more than my big crockpot could hold--so make sure you freeze it or halve the recipe if you don't think you'll get through it in a week.  Wes and I are both taking it for lunch and it looks like it's going to be the perfect amount to get us through the week.  It is delicious, fresh, and will keep you full!

2 cans chicken broth (I used low-sodium)
3 cups V-8 juice (you can use low-sodium V8--which I did--or even tomato juice)
2 cans Italian diced tomatoes
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves minced garlic
1 package sliced mushrooms
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 zucchini, diced
1 yellow squash, diced
2 cups fresh or frozen green beans
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
3-4 cups shredded cabbage
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
salt and pepper to taste
3 chicken breasts, boiled and cubed (This is my addition.  There is no way I can do lunch without meat, so I added it.  I'm sure it still keeps the calories low.)

In a large frying pan sprayed with cooking spray, sauté garlic, onions, carrots, and mushrooms for about 5 minutes. In a large crockpot, combine sautéed garlic and vegetables with the remaining ingredients. Cook on high for 2-3 hours, or until vegetables are cooked.  (This is where I will do things differently last time.  This filled my crockpot SO full that it took forever for the soup to begin to boil and I actually had to cook it on high for about 4 1/2 hours.  So next time I will put it in my Dutch oven on the stove so that I can stir it and not have it take so long.)  This makes a large batch of soup. If you would like to freeze portions of it to use later, undercook the vegetables just a little. Pour the soup into freezer Ziplock bags and let as much air out as you can. Lay the bags flat on a cookie sheet and freeze. Once the soup is frozen flat, it is easy to layer in your freezer and won't take up much room. To thaw, place the bag in the fridge for 24 hours and then reheat.

Weight loss magic soup
Obviously not my picture...

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Brown Sugar Scones~by Kelsey

So good!  Makes eight scones, you may want to double.

2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch squares (or salted butter if you reduce salt to 1/2 teaspoon)
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, brown sugar and cinnamon.  Work in the butter with a fork or pasty blender until mixture is coarse crumbs.  In a separate bowl, whisk together egg, heavy cream, vanilla.  Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the wet.  Stir just until dough forms.  Turn dough onto floured surface and from a disc about one inch tall.  Cut into eight wedges.  Bake on ungreased cookie sheet at 350 degrees for 12-14 minutes until scones begin to brown on bottom.  Remove from oven and cool about five minutes before serving.

Popcorn Balls~by Kelsey

This was my first attempt at popcorn balls, and they really turned out well.  They are sticky to make, you need to spray your hands with cooking spray to keep it from sticking while you are shaping the balls.

1/4 cup butter
1 pkg (10.5 oz) mini-marshmallows (beef by-product, woo hoo!)
1 pkg (3 oz) Jell-o (also beef by-product, woo hoo again!), any flavor
12 cups popped popcorn (I recommend using something close to plain, not too much butter)

Microwave butter and marshmallows in a large bowl for 1 1/2- 2 minutes or until marshmallows are puffed.  Stir in jell-o and mix until well blended.  Add it to the popcorn; toss to coat.  Shape into balls with greased hands.  Place on wax paper while they harden.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Breakfast for a Week ~ by Sarah

My co-worker, Mary Ruth, made this breakfast up and when I saw her eating it I had to have the recipe.  It smelled amazing!  She makes a big batch of it on the weekend, stores it in the fridge, and then eats it every morning.  I made my first batch today and it is delicious!  I can't wait to have a quick, healthy, and delicious breakfast each morning when I'm in a rush!

1 lb. breakfast sausage (not maple--hot or mild regular)
1 bunch kale
1 bag spinach
1 red bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
1 package mushrooms
1/2 onion
2 cloves garlic
any other veggies you think would be good--she puts jalapeño peppers in hers, but that's too spicy for me!
12 eggs, beaten

Cook sausage in large skillet until completely browned.  Take out and drain on a paper towel.  Using a food processor, shred kale and spinach.  Cook in skillet over medium-high heat until tender.  Add sausage back along with the peppers, onion, and mushrooms.  Saute until everything is tender.  Add in beaten eggs and stir pretty constantly until egg is completely cooked.  Season well while cooking.  It will smell amazing!  Cool for awhile and then store in a large airtight container.  Take what you want in the morning and heat it in the microwave.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Cinnamon Roll Waffles ~ by Sarah

My friend Angela made these the other morning for her daycare kids and Gavin raved and raved.  Since Mom and Dad got us a new waffle maker for Christmas I wanted to give them a shot.  Super easy and super good!  These little suckers will tempt you to eat more than one...

1 roll refrigerated cinnamon rolls (the kind in a can)
cooking spray

Grease waffle iron with cooking spray.  Place one cinnamon roll per section of your waffle iron.  (If your waffle iron is small you might not want to do four like I did in our big, Belgian one.)  I just cooked mine until the beeper went off on the waffle iron.  If yours doesn't have a beeper, just keep checking them until they're golden.  Spread with icing (from the can--it comes with them) and enjoy!