Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Healthier Nacho

  • 1 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • ½-1 tsp. ground chipotle powder
  • ½ tsp. cumin
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • ¾ cup water
  • 1.3 lb. Shady Brook Farms ground turkey, 99% lean
  • 1 medium sized diced sweet onion
  • 1 can fat free refried beans, 16 oz.
  • 1 jar pickled jalapeño slices
  • 1 bag Utz Baked Tortilla chips
  • 1 (8 oz.) pkg. Sargento 4 Cheese Mexican reduced fat cheese
In a small bowl mix together first 7 ingredients. In a 2-cup measuring cup put ketchup, water and spice powders. Whisk together and set aside.

Brown ground turkey and onion in a medium nonstick skillet sprayed with cooking oil and cook over medium heat. When meat is no longer pink and is cooked through add spice mixture to meat while stirring well until all meat is coated. Add refried beans and simmer uncovered for 5 minutes. Preheat oven to 450º at this time if you are going to bake them.

You need to decide whether or not you would like to bake or microwave them.
• Option #1: Bake at 450º on a cookie sheet for about 8 minutes or until cheese is melted.
• Option #2: Microwave on plate until cheese is melted, my microwave took 60 seconds.

Now that you have decided whether or not you want to microwave or bake, prepare the munchies. Place chips in a single layer on a plate or cookie sheet without any gaps and a spoonful of the turkey/bean mixture onto each chip then top with grated cheese and some jalapeños.

You may make the turkey/bean mixture aday ahead if you wish, just heat mixture up before preparing Nachos. Also you may add additional toppings such as sliced black olives, freshly chopped green onion, fat free sour cream, etc.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

DIY Kissing Ball Project

Supplies list
  1. Five to six inch wet foam ball, clink on this link to see.
  2. Decorations such as: pine cones, red berries, mini X-Mas balls, ribbon at least 3ft long, and wire.
  3. Bucket.
  4. 4 large pine branches cut into pieces into 6-7 inches long with about a 2 inch stem to stick into foam ball.
  5. Wire to hang ball, I recommend bending an old wire coat hanger.
  6. Make sure you wear long sleeves and gloves because the pine is very prickly.
  1. Soak foam ball in bucket filled with cool water for about 10 minutes.
  2. Send your Stud Muffin outside to cut the pine branches.
  3. Place wire through the wet foam ball leaving a 3 inch stem at bottom then bend it at a right angle. This will stop the ball from slipping back out and you will have a spot to hang the ribbon on the bottom wire. I recommend you do this over a sink or a bucket as it will drip the whole time.
  4. Start at the bottom of the ball and start sticking pine cutting into the ball in a random order about an inch apart.
  5. After the ball is full of greens then randomly add decorations.
  6. Attach ribbon onto the bottom of wire sticking through the ball.
  7. Hang outside and spritz with water everyday. Last year our lasted for many months.
      This is a messy project and it would be best done in a utility sink, basement or garage.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Apple Praline Cake

I nailed this one on the first try, oh how I love that! If you want an easy to make moist cake then this baby is for you. I only wanted to take one taste test bite but I made all gone with mine because it was so scrumptious. A perfect dessert for the holidays and you don't have to tell them that it starts with a cake mix. We can keep a secret.

Apple Praline Cake
  • 1 box Duncan Hines yellow cake mix
  • 1 can Apple pie filling, 20 oz.
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/8 cup canola oil
  • 1/8 cup water
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup pecan pieces
Preheat oven and bake according to package directions but do not follow their mixing instructions. In a large bowl sift together 1 tsp. cinnamon with the powdered cake mix, then set aside. This step will blend the cinnamon well and remove unwanted lumps when mixing later on.

In a medium size bowl mix 1 tsp cinnamon with the apple filling mix until well blended. Then add to the cake mix; apple mixture, eggs, oil and water. Stir well by hand and mix thoroughly through, mixture will be thick and mud like.

Bake according to package instructions or until cake tester comes out clean, mine took about 38 minutes. Meanwhile toast pecans over medium heat in a 12 inch non stick skillet stirring occasionally while toasting them, this will take about 8-10 minutes, then set aside to cool.

Once cake is baked remove from oven and set cake pan on a wire rack to cool for 10 - 15 minutes. Meanwhile as the cake is cooling on a rack it's time to melt the brown sugar and butter in a medium size saucepan whisking constantly over a medium heat. Slowly bring to a boil for 1 minute then turn off the heat, leaving the pan on the stove. You want to make sure the sugar is melted and not gritty, it will take about 8 to 10 minutes.

As soon as butter/brown sugar mixture is ready invert the cake onto plate and immediately drizzle the mixture on the top and then sprinkle on the pecans.

This would bake well in a 9 x 13 inch cake pan. Pour brown sugar mixture over top of hot cake as soon as it comes out of the oven, then sprinkle pecans evenly over the top.