Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Yummy Snack: Cashews & Craisens

I was very much in the moods for sweets yesterday (even though I'd already had sweets - bad!), so I found myself with a dollar standing in front of the vending machine at work.  Not a good place to be...

What looked good?  The fruit snacks looked good.  The nutty bar also looked good (so much yum!).  Then it hit me - I can make something!

I have entirely too much food at work, including clementines, yogurt, cheese sticks, granola bars, cashews, & craisens.

Well, I grabbed a cup from the breakroom and pulled out the craisens & cashews.  I put what I thought was 1/4 cup to 1/3 cup of each in the cup, and shook it up!  I got this:

That simple mixture was salty and sweet and soft and crunchy and it worked!  It took away my craving for a candy bar!

That was yesterday.  Today I took the rest of the craisens and put them in the can with the rest of the cashews and shook it up!  It's great to have it already mixed together ready to grab a bite!  When the can gets empty, I'll keep it around, and I'll continue to make my mixture so I have it when the sweet tooth strikes!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

A not-quite successful Pinterest recipe - Hamburger Cabbage Stir Fry

Every once in a while I really get a hankering for a good cabbage casserole.  It reminds me of my Grama & Grampa.  Grama used to make it, and then after she got sick, Grampa would make it (just not quite so successfully - it usually had some hard rice in it, but he tried  <3  ).

So when I saw a recipe recently for a Hamburger Cabbage Stir Fry, I thought I'd try it.  Looked simple enough.

1 pound ground beef
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small head of of cabbage, chopped
8 oz fresh mushrooms, sliced
2 TBSP soy sauce
1 TBSP sesame oil (I have toasted sesame oil and thought it added a nice flavor)
Pinch of powdered ginger
Pinch of cayenne, optional
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tsp Splenda
1 bunch green onions, chopped

In a very large skillet or wok, brown the ground beef with the garlic and a little salt and pepper.  DO NOT drain the ground beef.  Add the cabbage and mushrooms.  Stir-fry until the cabbage is tender-crisp.  Add all remaining ingredients and heat through.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Now, I will admit, I forgot the splenda (or sugar), and I didn't buy the green onions because they looked very sad at the store.

But, I would say that the result was very...  meh.  Not great, terribly salty (even tho I did use low-sodium soy sauce), and just something I don't believe I would make again.  But Jeff ate two bowls, and took the leftovers to work for lunch one day.  So it couldn't have been too bad, right?

I guess I just need to find Grama's recipe and make the dish of my childhood.

And something not quite related - I want to try roasted cabbage, but don't like caraway or fennel seeds.  Can anyone make a recommendation on seasoning?

Friday, March 1, 2013

More Pinteresting recipes... Easy Cheese Danish & skinny brownies

Last year I signed us up for the Fellowship Team at church.  It's where you bring in food for between church and Sunday School, and then clean up afterwards.  Of course it's a popular team to be on, so we're on an eight-week rotation.  Our first week was one with such bad weather, if we didn't have Fellowship, we would have turned around and gone home...  if the ice had let us.  :-)

I decided to try to make *skinny* brownies.  It's where you add only 12 ounces of diet pop to your brownie mix, and nothing else.  I added Diet Dr. Pepper because it's awesome.  They looked kinda funny, but the mix came with pink frosting (it was shortly before Valentine's Day) so I figured that you wouldn't be able to see the funny looking top.

Problem was, when I tried to spread the frosting, the top of the brownies came up with the frosting.  It was not successful.  And to be honest, the texture was also not successful.  I do think that this would work if you're wanting brownies (and the Diet Dr. Pepper added a slight cherry taste), but it just wasn't good enough to take for church.  We had to eat the all at home.

So, it was a good idea that I had also planned to make Easy Cheese Danish from the Adventures of Kitchen Girl.  So much yum!  And we had most of the ingredients on hand!  Yeay!

2 cans ready to use refrigerated crescent rolls
2 8-ounce packages cream cheese
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 egg white

1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350* degrees and grease a 13X9-inch baking pan. Lay a pack of crescent rolls in the pan and pinch the openings together. Beat the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, and egg together until smooth. Spread the mixture over the crescent rolls evenly and then lay the second pack of crescent rolls on top of the cheese mixture and brush with egg white. Bake for 35-45 minutes until the top is golden brown. Top with glaze after cooling for 20 minutes.

This was oh-so-good!  And so freaking easy!  I will say that the glaze was very very runny.  When I make it again I will
add some fruit filling
make glaze by eye, not recipe

There was no danish left at the end of Fellowship.  In fact, the daughter of the woman who made all our wedding desserts came through the line 4 times to get a pieces, so I think it must have been good!

I also took grapes, because you just plain need something fresh when you have baked goods and cheese & sausage.

Next time I think I'll take orange slices (the actual for real oranges, not the candy), and maybe the Hawaiian Baked Ham & Swiss sandwiches.  We're up again in April, I do believe...

Any suggestions for Fellowship?