Monday, March 24, 2014

Fast, Fun and Friendly

So, by now you are probably all assuming I have completely given up this blog.  The truth is, I come back to it for recipes, but I just haven't seemed to be able to find the time to post a whole lot.  I will start this up again when my life settles down a little during the days.  Having a kindergartner keeps me on my toes.

I wanted to post this really fast because if you are like me, you are crazy busy about this time of year.   We are starting back into spring soccer, which just happens to overlap our indoor winter soccer for the first time ever and baseball is starting, up too.  With gymnastics, piano and guitar on top of that, we are maxed out.  So...when I find a recipe that is super fast, happens to have whole grains in it, and my family (kids included!!!) seem to ALL love, I tend to make it a little more frequently.  This recipe is straight out of my cookbook, which you can purchase at the link on my home page...wink, wink.  These drumsticks are about the easiest meal of all time to prepare.  You can either make them with the skin (not quite so healthy) or take the skin off (not quite so easy).  We have done it both ways and my kids don't seem to care which way they are prepared...they still devour them.

So, for you busy mamas and daddies out is the recipe that might just save your life...or your sanity.

Oven-Baked Ranch Crusted Drumsticks
1⁄2 C whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt (optional)
1⁄2 tsp paprika
1T dry ranch seasoning (can be found in a packet) 1⁄4 tsp pepper
6 chicken drumsticks
1⁄4 C butter, melted

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Mix flour, salt, paprika, ranch seasoning and pepper in a bowl. Dip chicken drumsticks into butter; roll in flour mixture to coat. Arrange in an ungreased square pan, 8 x 8 x 2 inches. Bake, uncovered, until done, about 50 minutes. Yields: 8-10 drumsticks.
**L** For a healthier option, you can remove the skin on the drumsticks and then coat with seasoning.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Ginger "dead" men

Okay, I know I've been gone this point.  The truth of the matter is that I'm now on a PTA board, my kids are in multiple sports, and life has gotten a bit crazy.  So...I've been slacking a bit on the blog.  But...I did make these tonight and they were so good and so much fun!!!  I saw the idea on pinterest...they are ginger "dead" men.  My kids loved making them and I actually got to experiment with a new whole wheat recipe.  It worked out so well!  Whole wheat is really easy to substitute in gingerbread recipes because the goal of the cookie is to be flat...whole wheat is great for that!  It doesn't affect the flavor at all and they are MUCH healthier! is the recipe!  I hope to see you again.  Scroll down a couple of posts and you'll see TONS of my Halloween posts from last year!!!

Ginger “dead”  Men

2 1/2 C + 2 T whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp salt
1 stick salted butter, softened
1/4 C butter-flavored Crisco
1/2 C packed brown sugar
2/3 C molasses
1 egg

Mix together dry ingredients (flour, baking soda and spices and salt).  In another bowl, mix butter, crisco together.  Blend in sugar and molasses and egg and beat for 1 1/2 - 2 minutes.  Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until thoroughly combined.  Divide into two segments and wrap each segment in saran wrap.  Chill for at least 3 hours. 

Remove from fridge and sprinkle flour on a piece of parchment paper.  Put flour on a rolling pin and roll out to 1/8 in. thick.  Cut into gingerbread men.  Bake at 375 degrees for about 9-11 minutes. 

Let cookies cool.  Use white frosting and pipe on a skeleton.  Serve as “gingerdead” men.

Monday, October 29, 2012


I thought I'd share some of my favorite Halloween treats from this year and last year.  Please notice how easy they all are.  Obviously someone has a little too much going on this year!

Here they are:

Witch's Brooms...pretzel stick in a Reese's Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup (the mini kind). 

White chocolate skeletons...self-explanatory, except use the markers that are edible!

White chocolate covered bones...this one wasn't the best, but it was all I had left before it was devoured...

Not pictured from this year are the Witch's Hats.  They are made from fudge-striped cookies with a dollup of brown/black icing and a chocolate "kiss" stuck on the icing in the middle of the upside down cookie (the brown side).  

You can also find:

Mummy Pizzas

Ghost Eclairs

An Amazing Witch's Brew

Hotdog Mummies

Bone Breadsticks

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Easiest ever Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffin recipe

These are pretty much a staple at my house in autumn.  You probably already have the recipe, but if you don' need it!  My friend, Stacey, one of those perpetually thin, beautiful people, recommended this recipe.  When you have a friend who is perfectly toned all the time, like Stacey, and she tells you she has a delicious recipe that is also VERY low in calories and tastes like it would be loaded with tend to listen.  Ever since she shared this recipe with 8 years ago or something...these muffins are a frequent visitor of the Allen household.  P.S.  Stacey was right...even with the chocolate chips...these only have 94 calories a piece!!!  Without the chocolate chips, the way Stacey makes them, they are only 54 calories a muffin!  If only I didn't crave that chocolate...

 Easiest Ever Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffin Recipe

1 box spice cake mix
1 16 oz. can pumpkin
3/4 C- 1 C chocolate chips
1/2 C water

Mix all ingredients together with mixer on low speed for about a minute and then on medium speed for another minute.  Spoon into greased muffin tins about 3/4 full.  Bake at 350 degrees or 20 minutes.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Chocolate Pancakes

Chocolate pancakes?  Why?  Here are my many reasons for making chocolate pancakes:

1.  They are full of whole grains
2.  They are delicious
3.  My kids absolutely loved them
4.  My husband loved them
5.  Cocoa is a powerful antioxidant and full of nutrients
6.  I didn't have to fight my kids to eat them
7.  Because they are so one knows if I burned them or not (just kidding!)

Chocolate Pancakes

3 C milk
2 eggs
1/4 C vegetable oil
2 1/2 C whole wheat flour
2/3 C unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Dutch Process Cocoa)
1/2 C sugar
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 T baking powder
1 tsp. salt

Mix together milk, eggs and oil.  Add flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Mix on high speed for 2 minutes.  Bake on greased, preheated griddle.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Chicken Enchilada Soup

Okay, why do I love this soup so much?  Well, I saw a very similar recipe on a blog and thought..."hmmmm...that is full of veggies, my family probably wouldn't like it.  hmmm...but you do puree the veggies.  hmmm...I'm going to try this out and see how it goes over."  Well, I'm pleased as punch to tell you that my family LOVED it!  My husband kept saying, "This is AWESOME!"  My kids told me it was amazing...even my son who HATES butternut squash loved it.  They had no idea that is was amazing healthy with all kinds of pureed veggies composing the thick broth.  All they knew was that they LOVED it...that is a winner in my book.

Chicken Enchilada Soup

8 C chicken broth (or 8 C water and 8 tsp. powdered chicken broth)
3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I used frozen)
1 large yellow onion, peeled and roughly chopped
3-4 medium potatoes
2 red bell peppers, seeded and roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic
1/2 medium butternut squash, peeled and chopped ( had mine already pureed and stored in the freezer)
3 cloves garlic
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. cumin

Place all of the above ingredients in a large pot.  Bring to a full boil.  Reduce heat and cover and simmer for about 20 minutes or until veggies are soft and chicken is cooked through.  Remove chicken and puree the rest of the soup in a blender.  Return pureed soup to pot.  Chop or shred chicken into bite-size pieces.


3/4 C sour cream
1-8 oz. can tomato sauce
4 C cooked Great Northern beans (2 cans)
2 T taco seasoning

Stir in above ingredients and mix in cooked chicken.  Serve with tortilla chips, shredded cheese, etc.

For Delicious Vegetarian Version:

Switch chicken broth for vegetable broth, do not add any chicken and stop after addition of cumin.   Puree veggies and return to pot.  I've done this with the chicken broth only, but it was delicious WITHOUT the chicken in it!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Chunky Broccoli Cheese Soup

Autumn is finally here!  The nights are brisk and cold and the morning air is crisp with the dusting of ice on the grass.  Its that favorite time of the year.  It is the time for soup.  This soup was a huge hit with my family and since it uses a was a huge hit for me.

Chunky Broccoli Cheese Soup

3 T powdered chicken broth
10 C water
3-5 chicken boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Mix above ingredients in crockpot and cook on low for about 4-6 hours or until chicken is cooked through and no pink remains.  Cut chicken into cubes with kitchen scissors.  When you have about an hour left of cooking, add cut broccoli...I added three heads of broccoli to my soup.

1/2 C butter
3/4 C whole wheat flour
1 C milk
3 C shredded cheddar cheese

Melt butter in saucepan over low heat on stove.  Add whole wheat flour and stir.  Slowly stir into crockpot until all flour/butter is dissolved into the soup and it starts to thicken a little.  Let cook on high for about 15 minutes.  Add 1 C of milk and stir in cheese.  Cook soup in crockpot on high until all cheese is melted.

That is it...easy, delicious, and healthy!