Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Healthy Strawberry Oat Muffins

This is not my recipe I came across it somewhere and have yet to try it. We have had a request for some Healthy Breakfast options and I had that in mind when I kept this recipe

2 1/2 cup Oats (old fashioned kind, not quick cooking)
1 cup Plain low fat greek yogurt
1/2 cupBaking stevia OR 1 cup sweetener of choice that measures like sugar
1 1/2 tspBaking powder
1/2 tsp Baking soda
1 1/2 cup Strawberries, diced, and patted dry + (optional 1/2 cup strawberries, diced to place on top of
1 tsp lemon juice
 Paper liners don’t work well when baking with a base that does not include flour (this is a no flour recipe) they always seem to stick to the paper. If you don’t have a silicone muffin tin or liners,  buy the foil cupcake liners at the store, and remove the paper inserts so you are only using the foil part of the liner. That way no sticking will occur.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line 12 muffin tins with silicone or foil liners. Place all of the ingredients (except strawberries) in a blender or food processor, and blend until oats are smooth. Pour mixture into a medium sized bowl, and stir in strawberries. Divide remaining 1/2 cup diced strawberries over the top of each muffin. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.

No picture as I have yet to try these! If anyone makes them 1st PLEASE share your pic!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Stock up Refried Beans (Frijoles)

In my house we eat refried beans at least once a week. They can actually be a little costly. I am always looking for ways to cut my budget down and this was a simple recipe that really will lower my grocery bill even more.

1 large bag of Pinto Beans (we bought the biggest bag in the store)
2 large Onions (diced)
2 bushels of Cilantro
Chicken Bouillon
Freezer Bags

I simply rinsed and sorted all of the Beans and dumped them into my crockpot. I added water and about a cup of Chicken Bouillon and the Onions . I did need to cook this for about 6 hours and continue to add more water during the duration of the day. About 4 hrs into cooking I removed them and put them thru the food processor and added a bit more water and put it all back in the crockpot and cooked them for another 2-3 hours. I then used my handheld emulsion blender and simply blended them in the crockpot. Last was chopping and adding the Cilantro. I then used a big ladle and placed 2-3 heaping ladles in Freezer Bags and froze them. I ended up with 10 bags a nice big bag for my neighbor and 1 serving left out in the fridge for the following nights dinner. I will never cook a small batch of Frijoles again.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Blue Jean Foodie Queen: Pastry Puff Chicken

Blue Jean Foodie Queen: Pastry Puff Chicken: I came across a chicken recipe on my Pinterest that looked like it would be good. Of course in the middle of my busy day I had no time to ru...

Pastry Puff Chicken

I came across a chicken recipe on my Pinterest that looked like it would be good. Of course in the middle of my busy day I had no time to run out to the store so I came up with this recipe on my own. I was a little nervous waiting for it to come out of the oven and when I served and tasted it I knew I would be blogging it for all of you to enjoy as well. It was simple quick and very pleasing to the taste buds.

1 Pkg of Pastry Puffs (there are 2 individual rolls inside you only need 1)
3 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts (sliced into 6 thin ones)
1/2 stick of Butter (cut into 6 squares)
Italian Seasoning
6 Sliced Strips of Cheese (your choice of course I had Parmesan)
1/4 stick of Butter (melted)
Garlic Salt

Take your chicken breasts and sprinkle with Italian seasonings and use 1 square of butter and 1 strip of cheese and roll your chicken breast up. Add the Garlic salt to your melted butter and gently brush a little on your pastry puff add the rolled up chicken onto the pastry puff and carefully fold it so as to leave it bunched at the top. Place each one into individual cupcake slots in a greased cupcake pan and brush the tops with a bit more garlic butter and bake at 350 for about 45 mins. Make sure your butter squares are not very large as you dont want any overflow. I served them with a simple white rice and even my picky eater ate this dish.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Tomato and Broccoli Pasta Salad

My brother worked at a local restaurant for years. He made the mistake of bringing me a bowl of this delicious pasta salad during one of my pregnancies. I craved it the entire pregnancy. After driving him crazy to bring it to me he finally caved and gave me the recipe. Its always a hit at any holiday or family get together in my house.

Pasta Noodles (your choice we use whatever we have on hand)
Broccoli (cleaned and cut up into bite size pieces)
Cherry Tomatoes (the small ones)
Mayonnaise (about a cup)
Sour Cream (about a cup)
Ranch Dressing (about a cup and 1/2)

Cook your pasta, rinse in very cold water, drain well. I leave it in the strainer to mix all ingredients together it seems to make the cleanup easiest. Add in your Broccoli and Cherry Tomatoes. Then I pile in the Sour Cream the Mayo and the Ranch Dressing (I am not a ranch fan but its the secret ingredient) I amke sure my hands are very clean and find just mixing it all together with my hands is the best way to do this. Then simply transfer all to a bowl and refrigerate. If you find before serving that the pasta has become a bit dry add a bit more sour cream and ranch before serving.

Tomato and Mozzarella

This is a simpler version of an authentic Italian recipe. Having 2 picky eaters in the house  sometimes have to do my own versions. This is one. I made this one weekend my stepson was here for a visit and he has asked me every visit since to please make this for him (insert BIG smile)

Tomatoes (sliced they can be red, green, orange, yellow, your choice)
Fresh Mozzarella (sliced)
Italian Seasonings
Salt (a dash before serving)
Balsamic Vinegar

Simply place the sliced tomatoes on a baking sheet (I line mine with foil for easy cleanup). Then place a slice of fresh mozzarella on top of each slice. You can stack different colored tomatoes and mozzarella. I have tried that it just seemed to slip a bit during cooking. Bake at 400 for about 10mins. Then add a dash of the Italian Seasoning to the top of each and plate them. In a bowl mix even parts of EVOO and Balsamic Vinegar and whisk really hard and pour over the top. Before serving I add a dash of salt just for a bit of extra flavor.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Apple Pie Filling

This is another great recipe to can. I suggest you don't make it your 1st experience with canning tho. It was quite sticky and a little tougher as the air bubbles need to be released. This would be fantastic to just make near the holidays to pass out as a mini gift! I am not going to repeat the pie crust recipe. (Its on the Blueberry filling Blog)
Now lets make some apple pies!

4 and 1/2 cups of Sugar
1 cup of Cornstarch
3 Tsps of Cinnamon
1/4 Tsp of Nutmeg
2 Tsps of Salt
10 cups of water
3Tbsps Lemon Juice
5 drops of Yellow Food Coloring
10 lbs of Apples (peeled cored and sliced)

Sterilize all your jars and lids.  Keep your sliced apples in a bowl of cold water so they don't turn brown. This made 6 jars for me. In a large pan mix Sugar, Cornstarch, Cinnamon, and Nutmeg. Add in Salt and Water and mix really well. Bring to a boil and cook until it gets really thick and starts to bubble.Turn off heat. Now start to stuff your jars with the apple slices do not pack them full we still need to add the liquid. Add your lemon juice and food coloring to your liquid and stir well. Now ladle the mixture on top of the apples taking your time. I even walked away once or twice to let it settle throughout the jar. Here is the tricky part get a plastic knife and slide down the sides of your jars to release more of the air bubbles. Add more of the liquid until you have only about an inch of head space at the top of the jar. Now I know you will have a big sticky mess all over your counter but don't worry its worth the mess. Wipe down the tops of the jars and put your lids on. Give em an average twist just as if you were closing a regular jar. Now just simply submerse these jars in a boiling pan of water covering the tops of the jars and boil for 20-25 mins. Carefully remove them and place them on a towel and allow to sit for 24hrs. Listen for the wonderful popping sounds. After the 24hrs simply press the tops of your jars and make sure they don't pop up and down. Now you have a shelf life of 1 year.
When ever you are ready just bake at 350 for 50-55 mins and don't forget to try the easy homemade pie crust recipe on the Blueberry Pie Blog!
Serve any way you wish I prefer it cold but of course my family wanted it warm and it was delicious both ways!


Blueberry Pie Filling

I can this recipe and am actually thrilled that I have a bunch put up for the holidays. If you are not going to can it feel free to reduce the recipe or simply just make the batch and give it to friends/family. Lets get it started. It was probably one of my easiest recipes to can to date.

10 cups of blueberries (I wash them in a vinegar/water bath)
1/2 cup of water
1 1/2 cups of sugar
6 Tsps Cornstarch
5 Tsps Lemon Juice

In a large soup pot bring the water, sugar, cornstarch, and lemon juice to a boil. Pour the blueberries in and bring it back to a boil. Continuously stirring so as not to burn it. Cook for at least a good 5-8 mins. You will notice it all becoming glossy and thick. Now here is where the canning comes in I use quart size jars. You must sterilize your jars and lids. I can not express enough how much a good clean sterile environment is for canning. Place a sterile funnel in jars and ladle the filling. Leave about an inch of room at the top. If any gooey goodness is on top of your jars wipe them clean with a sterile wet rag or paper towel. Place the lids on and tighten but don't tighten them extra tight just a good screw will do. Place the jars in a pot of boiling water standing straight up and make sure the water covers the lids. Cover and boil for 30 mins. Carefully remove the jars and set them on a towel in a safe place for 24hrs. You will hear 'popping' noises and these are like music to the ears of every canner! After 24 hrs check the tops of jars by pressing and if they do not push down you are sealed. This has a shelf life of 1 year.

Now lets bake one you can use a store bought crust or make your own. I prefer to make my own here is my recipe for that.

2 1/2 cups flour
1cup of real butter (2 sticks cut into cubes)
1 Tsp of salt
1Tsp of sugar
Make a glass of ice water as you will be adding 6-9 Tsps at the end

Throw the flour, salt, butter, and sugar in the food processor and pulse it to mix it to a crumble (I put the butter on the bottom it seems to mix better for me)  Add the ice water 1 Tsp at a time to make it hold together. Remove from the food processor then split it into 2 separate mounds. Knead them then place in a bag and refrigerate for an hour. Remove them and flour up your clean counter and roll out your 2 crusts one for top and one for bottom. I have tried to get fancy and criss cross the top but my family enjoys the full crusted top best. After you layer your bottom crust in a greased pie pan add your filling top off the crust and press the edges together. I then whisk up 1 egg white paint the top and bake at 350 for 50-55 mins Let cool for about 40 mins then I refrigerate the pie for about an hour before serving. It is better than any pie I ever bought!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Blue Jean Foodie Queen: Easy Lasagna

Blue Jean Foodie Queen: Easy Lasagna: This is definitely the easiest lasagna I have ever made. I have been making it for years! Today I had a very busy schedule and needed to mak...

Easy Lasagna

This is definitely the easiest lasagna I have ever made. I have been making it for years! Today I had a very busy schedule and needed to make a lasagna with very little time to spare so I decided to try this new no boil lasagna made by Barilla. Let me tell you firsthand my family never knew the difference. I highly recommend them for a quick delicious lasagna. Now lets just get to the recipe. I have substituted cottage cheese for Ricotta (I have one very picky eater in my house) I am not gonna give you exact measurements as sometimes when I am in a big hurry I do not at all measure anything I just go with the flow. However I did use 2 full jars of the Pasta Sauce recipe that has been previously blogged. I can it to have it on hand at all times.

Hamburger (a couple lbs)

Cottage Cheese (probably 16oz container maybe a lil more)

Cheese (I used a combo of fresh Mozzarella and Muenster with around 2 cups of fresh Parmesan grated for the top)

Italian Seasoning

1 and 1/2 packages of Barilla no boil lasagna

2 jars of Pasta Sauce (recipe from previous blog)

I precooked the hamburger adding a hearty dash of Italian Seasoning the day before and refrigerated it until I needed it today. Then I simply warmed it up a bit in the microwave just so it wasn't a cold hard clump. Add in your cottage cheese add as much as you like I use a bit more than average as I am purposefully leaving eggs out of the recipe. Add a few Tbsps of sauce to the bottom of each baking pan you are using. Now we simply start to layer. I put a layer of pasta followed by the meat and cheese mixture add your mozzarella and Muenster and top it off with more sauce. Continue to layer in that order. Don't overfill your baking pan as you don't want it to boil over. On the very top layer I add extra cheese and sauce and sprinkle a nice handful of freshly grated Parmesan cheese.  Cover with foil. Preheat oven to 375 and Bake for 45-55 minutes. Remove foil and before I cut into it I sprinkle a nice dash of Italian Seasoning over the top. Let it rest for about 7mins and serve.

This is not your traditional lasagna but it tastes just the same. I have the long enduring recipe but this is designed simply for convenience when you have little to no prep time and still want to serve your family a delicious healthy meal. Serving this today I could not believe how much my family actually consumed. No one seemed to notice or care that I had not slaved half the day making it! This was the first time I left eggs out of the recipe and I doubt I will ever put them back in as you could not tell the difference.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Blue Jean Foodie Queen: Loaded Potatoes

Blue Jean Foodie Queen: Loaded Potatoes: This is a recipe I have been using for over 10yrs. Usually it is all prepped wrapped in foil that has been sprayed with a non-stick spray. T...

Loaded Potatoes

This is a recipe I have been using for over 10yrs. Usually it is all prepped wrapped in foil that has been sprayed with a non-stick spray. Then placed on the rack alongside whatever we happen to grill. This is a 2nd option to the way I am about to post as I have been sick and cooking it inside was easier for me. Either way its a very enjoyable recipe. I am surprised even my picky eaters eat it I use a purple/red onion as I have one child who cannot be fooled and the onions must be fished out of anything she eats. Once again the purple/red onion just makes it easier for me to pick it out. It tastes the same no matter what onion you choose.

1 large onion chopped

4 large potatoes (I find that pre cooking them in the microwave is easy and less time consuming) Skin then dice the potatoes

Italian Seasonings (I used dried off my spice rack)

1/4 cup of butter (chopped into chunks)

1 clove of garlic (chopped)

a few maybe 6 chunks of Queso cheese


optional ingredients would be sour cream and bacon bits

Coat your frying pan with a nice amount of EVOO and add onion and garlic. I add the potato one at a time as I am usually already starting the onion as I am skinning the potato. Sprinkle the Italian seasonings over the top and simply fry up the mixture. I like to mash them down and get them a little extra brown and crispy. If you find they are sticking to your pan to much simply move half the mixture to the side and add a bit more EVOO. Fry them up as you wish. When done add the chunks of cheese and the butter to the top and cover about 10 mins. Give it a nice stir to mix in the butter and cheese add salt to taste and enjoy.
Before serving if you choose add your optional ingredients to make it a lil extra yummy

Blue Jean Foodie Queen: Lets make Chicken n Dumplings

Blue Jean Foodie Queen: Lets make Chicken n Dumplings: This is a very enjoyable recipe I am going to give 2 options on your dumplings. I have tried both and depending on my timetable  I use the o...

Lets make Chicken n Dumplings

This is a very enjoyable recipe I am going to give 2 options on your dumplings. I have tried both and depending on my timetable  I use the one that fits. My family enjoys both versions and truth be told I doubt they even taste a difference. Now lets get started on version one!!
Keep in mind either recipe you use is up to you but before I even start the dumpling I either start the chicken soup in the crockpot or on the stove. My soup recipe is as simple as it gets on occasion I add cabbage, celery (I dislike it), corn etc add whatever your family like I have very picky eaters so today I went super simple and had no complaints.

3-4 Boneless Chicken Breasts (I chop them up at some point before serving)
1-2 bags of carrots (today I used baby carrots before they went bad in the fridge)
1/2 cup of chicken bouillon (I use the powder kind posted in a previous recipe)

Simply toss in a crockpot or in a soup pan and start cooking this up before you start your dumplings

Dumpling recipe #1

                   1 cup all-purpose flour
                   2 teaspoons baking powder
                   1 teaspoon white sugar
                   1/2 teaspoon salt
                   1 tablespoon butter
                   1/2 cup milk
You will need some chicken bouillon to cook this in about 1/2 cup

Stir together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt in medium size bowl. Cut in butter until crumbly. Stir in milk to make a soft dough. Drop by spoonfuls into boiling water about 4 cups with chicken bouillon. Cover and simmer 15 minutes without lifting lid. If water does not cover the entire dumpling halfway through use a fork to flip the dumpling.

I take them out place them on a platter and refrigerate until serving the soup as if you add to your soup it will become cloudy and  a little thick. Some people enjoy that. My family does not.

Dumpling recipe #2
                  2 and 1/4 cups of Bisquick
                  3/4 cup of milk

Same cooking instructions as #1 I cook it in the chicken bouillon as it adds more flavor. Like I said my family doesn't know the difference between the 2 recipes.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Blue Jean Foodie Queen: Stuffed EggPlant

Blue Jean Foodie Queen: Stuffed EggPlant: My better half is Italian as are my children so at least once or twice a week we have Italian food. I like to explore outside the box every ...

Stuffed EggPlant

My better half is Italian as are my children so at least once or twice a week we have Italian food. I like to explore outside the box every now and then. I am going to give you the basic recipe for this but I did add a few extras that I will leave off the ingredients list as they don't 'have' to be in it to keep this so delicious! This is another recipe that I use the Pasta Sauce Recipe (already pre posted on the Blog. Like I said I can that so it makes my life easier.)

OPTIONAL INGREDIENTS : Red Bell Pepper, Fresh Mushrooms, Shredded Mozzarella, Shredded Cheddar Cheese

3 cups of Pasta Sauce

2 EggPlants (trim edges, slice in half, and scoop out the seeded area. Scoop out some of the flesh inside and dice it up Save the shell of the EggPlant)


1 Onion (chopped)

1 Clove of Garlic (minced)

1 cup of Breadcrumbs

1/2 cup of Parmesan Cheese

Italian Sausage (cooked and chopped into pieces

 Italian Seasoning
1 Egg (beaten

 Red Pepper Flakes (optional)


Boil a pot of Salted Water. Throw the Eggplant Shells in and cook til they are soft. Turning them a few times helps. It takes about 5mins. Carefully pour them into a strainer and rinse them in cold water. Pat them dry and set them aside.

Heat some EVOO in a large skillet and add the diced up Eggplant and cook it til it is soft about 5mins. Add the Onion and the Garlic. This is where I add extra ingredients such as Red Bell Pepper and Mushrooms. Cook until all of the veggies are nice and tender. Remove from the skillet and toss in a nice big bowl. Add in the Parmesan Cheese, BreadCrumbs, Red Pepper, Italian Seasoning, Sausage, Egg and a bit of Salt. Stir this all up together.

Take your EggPlant Shells and place them in an oiled baking pan. Season em up with a little salt. Then stuff them up with the Sausage/ Veggie mixture. Top it off with just a bit of the Pasta Sauce maybe a 1/4 -1/2 cup  of the Pasta Sauce. At this point I also topp it off with a handful of some shredded mozzarella and shredded cheddar cheese as well. Save the rest of the sauce in a pan keeping it warm.

Bake the Stuffed EggPlants for about 30mins in a 350 degree oven I use the middle rack. Cover them with foil for the first 15mins.

Be careful transferring each Eggplant to a plate. Then top it off with the warm Pasta sauce and a little bit of Fresh Parmesan Cheese. Enjoy!

I only have a before the oven picture to share as we got so excited when they were done we forgot to take a picture. Yes they are that delicious!