Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Don't Knock it Till Ya Try It...

I’ve had a lot of meetings in the evenings lately so earlier this week I came home around 7 pm listening to my three year old screaming at my husband “NO DADDY!!! I WANT CHEESE ON MY CUPCAKE!!!!!” “I WANT CHEEEEEEESE!!”. I couldn’t help but giggle because the kid eats so much cheese he’s seriously going to turn into a big block of it. After his tantrum had subsided (and we reminded him that yelling at Daddy wasn’t very nice) I got him settled for bed then started thinking he might have a good idea. Cheese cupcakes? I mean, I would do anything to make my lil’ boy’+s tummy happy J.  I’d never heard of such a thing but promised him that I’d find a recipe or work one up that involved his endearing love for “yellow and orange” cheeses.. I googled and googled then came upon this recipe below. I have an aversion for processed cheeses and this, of course, has Velveeta in it, along with cheddar and sweetened condensed milk. So, my poor baby James has been sick the past two day and I had to make something for him. We decided on the cheese cupcakes! I have to say, I have the happiest three year old in Texas right now. The cupcakes are moist, fluffy and have a hint of orange in them that cuts the sharpness of the cheddar. This would be a PERFECT snack for your school children who can’t take peanut butter for lunches and snacks! Enjoy!

Cheese Cupcakes

1 3/4 cups flour, sifted
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon orange extract
8 ounces sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup Velveeta cheese, shredded
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
Change Measurements: US | Metric

 In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt.
In a medium bowl, beat butter, sugar, eggs and extract.
Pour in flour mixture in thirds adding 1/2 can of sweetened condensed milk in between (beginning and ending with flour mixture.).
Add in grated Velveeta and blend well.
Put in muffin cups 3/4 cup full only.
Top with grated cheddar cheese.
Bake in 350 oven for 20-25 minutes.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

If you're going to pig out, you might as well do it well...

One 40 piece bag of individual Cheetos, Doritos and Lays, one bag of cheesy popcorn, one large bag of pretzel M&M’s and a large pepperoni pizza and bread sticks from Little Caesars. Our grocery list. I remember when I use to teach, I could always tell when the weather was going to change. The kids went crazy. They did things they would normally NEVER do. I guess with an “Arctic Blast” like Texas has last week it actually affected adults. Our family, although my children don’t eat veggies, eat pretty healthy. There’s not one thing that I can think of that I can’t make a little healthier and still enjoy. This doesn’t mean that we don’t ever splurge and eat unhealthy things but it’s usually in small quantities and we get rid of if quickly. So the arctic blast came through last week and brought a couple inches of ice and 4-6 inches of snow for our little snow bunnies to play in. We were iced in for a good couple of days and couldn’t go anywhere until Wed evening. We finally decided to brave the elements and head out as a family so Chris could see “how icy the bridge over the lake is”. Not the smartest thing to do but if we’re going out we might as well do it together right??? We needed some things at the store so we headed to good old Target. Chris had already mentioned that he wanted his bag of cheesy popcorn that he’s been getting for the past few weeks but once we grabbed that it was a free for all. “I want some Cheetos!” I hear from my boys. Then, down the slippery slope we went. I’ll be honest, I was the one that grabbed the large bag of pretzel M&M’s. For the record, they were worth it. The topper had to be stopping for the Little Caesars. We love pizza and you know what? We had the BEST family dinner we’d had in a long time. So after regrouping and finishing off the bag of M&M’s for breakfast I remembered how EASY it was to make your food fresh, yummy and healthy if you wanted it to be so. So, I pulled out my old recipe books and made some whole wheat pizza dough, feeling I had to make up for the lack of will power I’d had the previous day. I really forgot how delicious it was. So, that’s what I’ll share with you this week. If you’re pizza people like us, this is your week!! Pizza dough is one of the EASIEST things to make and you can top it with basically anything under the sun. We personally like red onions, spinach, feta cheese, sundried tomatoes and olives .

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough

1 packet of yeast

1 ¼ c. warm water

1 TBS sugar or honey

3 ¾ c. whole wheat flour

1 TBS Olive Oil

1 tsp salt

1. dissolve the yeast packet in the warm water and let sit for a 4-5 minutes. Make sure it dissolves. Add the honey or sugar to the water.

2. In a separate bowl mix the flour and salt

3. Add the water and olive oil to the flour mixture until it forms a ball. You can take it out of the bowl and work with it on a flat surface.

4. once your dough is completely formed oil it with a little bit of Olive Oil and put it back in the bowl. Cover it and let it sit in a warm place in your house (I usually stick it in the laundry room because the dryer is always one) until it doubles in size. Usually 30-45 min.

5. Separate the dough into 4 pieces for individual pizzas

6. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 min.