Angel Food Cake with Crushed Pineapple

I was cruising Pintrest and found this easy simple recipie. It didn’t connect to a Blog so I’ll post the recipe:

1 box Angel Food Cake Mix. (I used Pilsbury)
1 20 oz can of crushed pineaple with juice.
1 greased 9×13 baking dish

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Take the box of Angel Food Cake mix, and combine it with a 20 ounce can of crushed pineapple and juice. When you mix these together, the mixture starts to froth.

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Once it’s all mixed up, simply pour it into a 9 x 13 baking dish and bake it at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. It seems pretty healthy for a sweet treat, and was really yummy!

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Million Dollar Casserole

So Sunday night while I was baking I decided I would make Million Dollar Casserole for Mondays supper. You can find the original recipe here.

I used what macaroni noodles I had and started cooking them per the directions on the box. I prefer to use Barilla Pasta. No matter what it never sticks together. I browned 1 lb of sausage for the optional meat portion of the recipe. I located the ingredients for the filling (added a tablespoon garlic to the mix) and mixed them together.

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After the noodles were done, I put half into my 9×13 casserole dish. On top of that I spread out the filling and then placed the sausage on that.

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Then I placed the rest of the noodles on top of the sausage and placed pasta sauce on that. I used Ragu sauce and used about a jar and a half.

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On the top I spread 2 cups mozzerilla cheese. The recipe said to let it sit overnight and then bake the next day. I don’t remember seeing if this was optional or not. In my humble opinion I don’t believe it is a nessasary step, but maybe just one of convenience if you are looking to just have something to make ahead of time to pop into the oven.

We came home the next night and cooked it after work for aprox 45 minutes. Here are photos of the top, and then inside so you can see the layers.

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The kids liked this. The hubby requested more sauce and more stuff in the sauce.

To make this again I would put sauce on both layers of noodles and then add veggies either in the casserole or in the sauce. When I put the sauce on the top of the casserole I assumed it would seep down through the noodles and get all layers, but it really didn’t do that. It was a fairly easy dish that reminded me a lot of a lasagna, but without some of the hard work. It definitely works for a weeknight dinner!

Whole Wheat Banana Bread

So I am a bread fiend! I am constantly finding ways to improve our bread so A. I can still eat lots of it, and B. it is healthier for me and my family. I came across this recipe here, and thought I would try it.

I mashed up 3 bananas with a fork. I only had one “ripe” banana, so I used the other two less ripe bananas. I believe the only difference is the riper bananas have more flavor.

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I started the blender mixing the eggs, honey, and applesauce. I did use sweetened applesauce as it what what I had on hand.

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While those were mixing in a separate bowl I measured out the whole wheat flour and baking powder mixing those dry ingredients with a fork.

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Then I added the bananas into my mixer with the eggs, honey, and applesauce.

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I slowly added the dry ingredients to the egg mixture in the mixer and mixed until everything was blended. I then placed into a greased bread pan.

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Here is a picture of the finished product. Doesn’t it look yummy?

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I really liked this recipe. My oldest ate it up, and my youngest ate a slice but wasn’t really fond of it. I have a hard time finding a whole wheat recipe where it isn’t so dense and heavy that I can sneak it by the rest of the family. I have tried other recipes substituting the applesauce for oil and this is the best one I have found. It was sweet and moist. The recipe was simple and very easy to make.

My take away for next time:
I think maybe next time I’ll do 1/2 white flour, and 1/2 wheat flour. If the kids don’t care for that I’ll try all white flour. The applesauce and honey were a perfect amount.
I also think this recipe would have been better split into two bread pans. It was so large in the middle the sides were pretty crispy when the middle finally got done. It is still great heated up in the microwave with butter on top. Mmmm…

Blueberry Cream Cheese Bread

I was on a bread kick this weekend. I have decided I’ll spread my posts out through the week as if I do a new item every night I’ll end up killing myself off. So this last weekend I did a few things on Sunday. It was the perfect day to do it. It gives us breakfast items for the week and leftovers for lunches! I was scrolling through Pintrest and found this recipe. It called for Blueberries/bread/and cream cheese. Sounded like a winner to me!

I first started out zesting my orange. It took almost the whole orange and when I zested it I took a knive and chopped it into fine pieces. While I zested the orange I had set the cream cheese filling to mix. When the filling was done mixing I then added my orange peels and mixed a minute more. After that was complete I set the filling in a bowl and put inside the fridge per the recipes recommendation. After I finished with the orange I made some new “flavored” water with the rest of the orange, some strawberries and fresh lime juice. It was fabulous!

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Next I made the topping and set it aside. It was pretty brown from the Vanilla. I used Pure Vanilla Extract.

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Then I put the butter and sugar in the mixer and mixed until well blended.

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I added the egg yolks. I had used fresh farm eggs I had gotten from a friend so I noticed mine were a bit yellow than the eggs I would buy from the store.

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After that I mixed in my milk and dry ingredients, alternating per the recipe. I removed the dough from the bowl and set aside so I could whip the egg whites. I did notice my dough was pretty sticky.

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After whipping the egg whites and adding the sugar I stirred it into the dough mixture by hand. I then took my blueberries (I used 2 cups) out of the freezer and mixed with 1 tbsp flour and added it to the dough. That was a mistake. I should have taken them out of the freezer when I initially started to let them thaw. I had forgotten to do that, and when I added them to the dough it kind of froze the dough making it hard to spread. After I spread out the bottom layer of dough I got out the cream cheese filling and added that on top. The cream cheese filling covered the bottom layer of the dough.

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I wish I would have gotten a picture of the top prior to cooking it, but I forgot in my frustration! It looked horrible, and I thought for sure it wouldn’t turn out. The top layer of dough didn’t spread very well due to it being frozen and I thought for sure it was going to ruin it. Of course I didn’t wait to let it thaw out. Somehow though when it cooked the top layer spread out and it was fine. Whew!

Here is a picture of the finished product!

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I noticed after the initial cooking time when I checked the bread the middle was still wiggly. I shut off the oven and let it set for another 15 min after the fact and then let it cool out on the counter. This is something I learned from a cheesecake recipe that I have done before. Must give the cream cheese time to set. The bread was either done, or that worked as the bread appears to be all done. I think is a great bread when you are looking for something different. It is a bit more time consuming and more dishes so it more than likely will be something I do for special occasions or when I have more time. The orange and blueberries are great together. My youngest requested strawberries next time. Maybe I’ll do that with lemon zest in the filling.

My take aways for next time:
UNTHAW THE FRUIT:)

Chicken Bacon Ranch

Well tonight I was going to make the million dollar casserole, buuutt I got lazy. This looked a little easier 😉 I dug through the cupboards and I had Farfalle (bowtie) pasta and canned chicken. Perfect. You can link to the original recipe here. Here are the ingredients I used (I used 2 cups of unboiled pasta. The original recipe said 8 oz, but didn’t specify if it was dry or cooked.):

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The original recipe said to cook the pasta, drain, set aside, and use the same pan to start the sauce. Well I HATE it when my pasta gets cold as I don’t feel you can always get the dish to heat back up. So I started heating the water and in a separate pan started the sauce. As I started the water I started melting the butter in my separate pan and then adding the flour. I didn’t think that the recipe would be enough for us so I doubled it.

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After I melted the butter and mixed in the flour I added the milk. The sauce got a little thicker and I added a the Ranch seasoning. I only added 2 tbsp instead of 4. It ended up being about 1 packet. Then when it was mixed in I added the cheese. I used colby jack as I had a block of it on hand. After the cheese had melted I added the bacon bits.

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During this time my water had started boiling and I added the pasta to the water and cooked per the directions on the box. I kept a low heat on the sauce stirring once in a while the pasta was boiling. When the pasta was done I drained it and then added the canned chicken to the pasta.

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Once that was mixed together I added the sauce to the pasta and chicken.

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My end product seemed more like soup than a dish. My youngest even commented after his first bite if I could make the soup again sometime. Definitely means he liked it. The hubby said he liked it better soupy and it had great flavor. So even though it didn’t turn out exactly like I expected it to, I imagine I’ll be making this one again.

My modifications to the original recipe:
2 cans of chicken
bacon bits instead of cooking bacon
1 package of Ranch seasoning per double batch

Homemade Baked Cheese Bites

So I found a pin for baked cheese bites. I thought this would be a healthier option for the boys. So I preheated my oven to 425 degrees and cut some string cheese into bite sized pieces.

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I dipped them in milk and then in bread crumbs. I just used store brand seasoned bread crumbs.

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I lined my pan with no stick aluminum foil and placed my cheese bites on the pan.

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Popped the pan into the oven for aprox 10 minutes.

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They were yummy. There was much more cheese than in the fried cheese balls you get at a restaurant. We just served them with some pizza sauce. That whole pan was gone in one setting. The last picture was the underside of the cheese bites where it got kinda crispy. Yummm!

Shaving with Baby Oil

I am so excited to do all of these great Pintrest ideas. Last night I was sitting on the couch and thought, what a great idea to try shaving my legs with baby oil. The jist of the idea is you use baby oil instead of shaving cream/soap/conditioner and it provides a close shave while moisturizing . Also this method is supposed to make your razor last longer. Sounds like a good plan.

I located a new razor, baby oil, and I put some dish soap in my sink just in case there were problems with the razor. I figured if I use a new razor I could keep track of how well it lasts.

I would have to say that this process didn’t work out so well for me. As I was shaving, it sounded awful, kind of like I was taking off the first layer of skin. It didn’t hurt or cause any discomfort as I was shaving so I continued. If it doesn’t hurt it can’t be bad right? AFterwards I didn’t feel any pain, so I thought it was good. I did notice that I got a nice close shave. I was pleased with that. That night, however, when I went to bed my legs were a bit itchy. I did notice this morning I did have some razor burn. I won’t post pictures of my pasty white legs, so you will just have to take my word on that!

Even though my experiment didn’t work, I would like to try it again changing a few things. I am always more likely to get razor burn just due to having sensitive skin. I have read previously that your skin is softer after a bath or shower, so next time I would like to try it after my bath or shower. I would also like to try using Vitamin E oil instead of baby oil. After I had tried the whole process I went back and read all the comments on the Pintrest page, as I didn’t want to be biased prior to trying my experiment. There were some very valid comments that baby oil is mostly mineral oil which doesn’t always absorb into the skin as other oils might. I googled mineral oil and didn’t get very pleasing results. Some comments made where the person noticed clumping in their razor. I had actually anticipated some of that so I had the dish soap in the sink with water in case, but I didn’t notice any odd clumping. In fact I didn’t use the water in the sink at all.

Once I get a chance to redo this experiment I’ll have to update you as well!

Crock Pot Cheese Potatoes

Have I mentioned I love Pintrest?

I was looking for a side dish to go with some chicken vegetable soup and came across this recipe. It called for 10-12 hours in the crock pot, which at the time I didn’t have.  I improvised. I lined a oblong baking dish with aluminum foil and started the process. I got my slicer and sliced one medium sized onion, and aprox 5 smaller potatoes ( I happen to have Klondike Rose on hand).

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For the first layer I put a little bacon crumbles on the bottom (yes they were the baked bacon pieces from before), lined with thinly sliced onions, and then added a layer of potatoes. ImageOnce I had the potatoes layered, I put a layer of shredded cheddar cheese. I think I put aprox 1 cup. It was what I had leftover in the fridge. Once that layer was complete I started again with the bacon/onions/potatoes, and then I sprinkled a little garlic powder and lemon pepper on that layer of potatoes prior to putting on the cheese. This time I used colby jack shredded cheese. After the second layer my dish was pretty full so I put a few pats of butter on top of the cheese per the instructions in the recipe.

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I wrapped up the aluminum foil and placed it in the oven on 400 degrees for aprox 2 hours. It turned out so yummy.

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Everyone really liked this one, and it was even good leftover and heated up.

I would say that maybe it could have cooked just a little longer (maybe a 1/2 hour) and I should have put the garlic powder and lemon pepper on the 1st layer of potatoes as well. I will definitely be trying this one in the crock pot once I plan ahead. Maybe I’ll try making it up in the crock pot the night before and see how it does that way.

Bacon in the Oven!

So I saw a post saying you could bake Bacon in the oven! WHAT?? No way could you cook bacon in the oven, not have a HUGE mess to clean up and have it turn out nice and crispy. So I thought I’ll try a package of bacon. I would only be out $4 and I’ll know for sure if it works or not. I had some bacon in the freezer so I defrosted it by putting it in the sink with some cool water. It really only took about 15-20 min to defrost. I lined my pans with aluminum foil and spread out the bacon.

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I preheated my oven to 400 degrees and after it was done pre heating I placed it in my oven. I kept a pretty close eye on it since I wasn’t sure if it would make a huge mess in my oven or what it would do. I still didn’t think it could be possible.

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I would say it cooked for aprox 15-17 minutes. I took it out when I noticed it was getting brown and crisp.

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Let me tell you I was AMAZED! The bacon came out flat, it was super crispy, and very little mess. I didn’t notice any mess in my oven! I just picked up the aluminum foil, folded it up carefully and put it in the trash. I didn’t notice the house smelling like bacon for hours, and I didn’t have to stand slaving over a hot stove risking getting grease burns. It was fabulous! I will definitely try that one again.

The one thing I will recommend is to remove the bacon from the pan immediately and place on paper towels. The second pan I wasn’t as quick about getting the bacon off the cookie sheet and the grease cooled on to the bacon.

Homemade Pizza Hut Breadsticks

I was cruising through Pintrest this morning and came across the recipe for Pizza Hut style bread sticks. Who could resist? lt might have helped that I hadn’t yet eaten breakfast and I was starving! Kind of like going to the grocery store on an empty stomach. Never should happen. I thought about it for a while and decided that since I have the time I should at least give it a shot. So I got out the ingredients and went to work. This was after I had to figure out how much 11/4 tsp is. (if you are curious it is 2 3/4 tsp) Sheesh.

The original site where I found the recipe is here.

I started mixing the milk, water, sugar, and yeast in my mixer with my dough hook, but to be honest unless it is a big batch it doesn’t work so well. So I switched to the mixer attachment and mixed away.

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I removed the mixer attachment and put the dough hook back on, added the butter and then added the flour and garlic powder. I just added a couple shakes from the salt shaker instead of measuring it out. The recipe said to add a little flour at a time, but I put it all in at once. Luckily my mixer can handle that and I can still have a good dough.

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Once the dough was all mixed up I rolled it out as stated. I find it hard to roll exactly a 9×13 pan size, so mine overlapped. I just trimmed it off and then put it in a smaller pan to rise.

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I also then mixed together the topping. I have no idea what parmesan powder is so I just used grated parmesan cheese. I thought it tasted fairly the same.

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The recipe said to let it raise 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Mine ended up sitting longer, aprox 2 hours or so as I decided to have them with supper and had to wait for everything else to be done. I didn’t notice a big difference in letting it go. Then before I put it in the oven I brushed olive oil on the top as gently as I could but it was hard to do as the dough was soft. I think next time I would try brushing the oil on before it rises to see how it does there. After the dough had finished rising, and I had sprinkled the toppings on I popped it in to the oven. The recipe recommended 450 for aprox 15-17 minutes. My oven is extremely old and tends to run hotter than some. I cooked it at 400 degrees for aprox 20 minutes. After it was done I cut it into pieces with my pizza cutter.

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I thought these tasted amazingly like the Pizza Hut bread sticks. The boys loved them.

Take away for possible improvements next time:
The big pan maybe needed to cook a bit longer. The middle pieces weren’t as crispy as I would have liked.
Maybe I’ll cut them up prior to letting them rise as the ones in the individual pan were crispy on all sides as opposed to the bigger pan.