Foods I Currently Can’t Live Without

March 25, 2010 at 4:13 pm | Posted in Breakfast, Healthy Snacks, Organics | 7 Comments

As promised I am going to start showcasing some of the more healthy items that I put into my belly on a regular basis.  🙂  I think it’s amazing how far healthy food has come in the past 5-10 years.  You now don’t have to just eat styrofoam boring rice cakes as snacks.  There are so many options out there!  So here are some things that I currently cannot live without:

Annie’s Bunny Grahams – Honey Flavor: So these little bunnies are amazing.  When I want something sweet I grab a handful of these and it definitely curbs the craving.  And the top of the box says to gently tug the ears to open – is that cute or what???  But onto the good stuff – these come in four flavors, they are trans and saturated fat-free, made with organic wheat flour and organic evaporated cane sugar, and are also a good source of calcium.  Yummy bunnies!

Bear Naked Fit Granola:  I have had an obsession with Bear Naked Fit granolal for quite some time now.  Some people need their coffee in the mornings – I need this.  Bear Naked makes several great granola flavors but these are my two favorites.  I mix it every morning with Kashi H2H cereal for a yummy filling breakfast with my banana.  Onto the good stuff – made with real whole grains, low sugar and good source of fiber, low glycemic index, all natural – no artificial flavors, no cholesterol, no hydrogenated oils, no high fructose corn syrup, no preservatives and 0 grams trans fat.  Also vegan and vegetarian friendly if that is your lifestyle.  Go buy this – NOW!

OIKOS Organic Greek Yogurt:  I used to hate yogurt but I have acquired a taste for it in the past year.  I eat this for my morning snack and also use it in cooking meals that require yogurt.  The good stuff – it has twice as much protein as regular yogurt, less lactose, and fewer carbs.  The plain yogurt has 0% fat and just 80 calories per serving which is great for a morning snack. 

Clif Bars:  And last but definitely not least, my absolute favorite little protein bar currently, the Clif bar.  More specifically the chocolate chip peanut crunch Clif bar.  For some reason I had always thought that these things must taste like crap, but let me tell you, eating this one is like eating a dessert that I shouldn’t be eating.  It is SO good.  I have one of these before a workout sometimes or in the morning with my breakfast if I don’t have time for cereal.  The good stuff – great organic ingredients, high in protein and fiber, all natural, and no trans fats.  Did I mention how YUMMY these are?!?!

Okay, now go out and buy some of this stuff!  Let me know what you think of it all.  🙂

Holy Yummy Cinnamon Coffee Cake

August 14, 2009 at 12:51 am | Posted in Breakfast, Cakes, Cinnamon, Dessert, nuts | 1 Comment

Let me go ahead and say if you have some aversion to using box cake mixes (Nikki) then quit reading how.  However, if you are like me and sometimes you just don’t care as long as the final product is yummy, then keep reading my friend…you will NOT be disappointed. 

I had this recipe saved for awhile from allrecipes.com – I love anything with cinnamon and vanilla flavors and I thought this would be great to take to the office and also for any type of brunch (I’m thinking Christmas breakfast this year Mom?!).  It is an easy recipe and it makes the house smell absolutely heavenly while it’s cooking.  You can use either a bundt pan or a 9×13.  I chose a bundt pan because, well, they are fun to use sometimes  🙂  Sheridan and I whipped this up last weekend and she was disappointed at first when I told her what we were making…she of course was under the impression that it had coffee in it which she wanted no part of.  HA

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Ingredients

  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
  • 1 (3.4 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 (3.4 ounce) package instant butterscotch pudding mix (I used two packages of vanilla instead of using butterscotch…personal preference)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional…you could use raisins, etc as well).
  • Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9×13 inch baking pan, or a 10 inch Bundt cake pan.
  • In a medium bowl, stir together the cake mix, vanilla pudding mix, and butterscotch pudding mix. Add the eggs, oil and water, mix until well blended. In another bowl, stir together the brown sugar, cinnamon and nuts. Pour half of the batter into the pan, spread evenly. Sprinkle with half of the nut mixture. Cover with the rest of the batter, and sprinkle with the rest of the nut mixture.
  • Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven, then turn the oven down to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) and bake for an additional 35 to 40 minutes.
  • DSC08281

    Mrs. Pig Rating:  This is a wonderful cake – it’s easy, it smells good while cooking, and oh man does it taste AWESOME!  Especially warm out of the oven. 

    Little Pig Ratings:  The little pigs loved this one!  Once they found out there was no coffee involved…  🙂

    Mrs. Pig Co-Workers:  Absolutely loved this one!  In fact my boss has already requested this as his birthday cake for next week!  That should tell you something.  🙂

    Vanilla Pudding Cinnamon Rolls w/Cream Cheese Icing

    March 9, 2009 at 11:07 pm | Posted in bread, Breakfast, Cinnamon, Dessert | 4 Comments

    So, I’ve said before, I’m not a huge “sweets” person.  If you give me the choice between a brownie and a plate of french fries, I’m going for the fries.  Salty is my thing.  However, I saw this recipe not too long ago on My Kitchen Cafe’s blog and it looked amazing.  I love cinnamon rolls – I always have!  I don’t eat them often at all.  In fact, before yesterday I probably hadn’t had one in years, but I really wanted to make these.  Everyone loves a good cinnamon roll!  I was a little nervous because baking with yeast scares me.  It shouldn’t, but it does.  You just never know how it is going to go, yet if that one little inredient doesn’t work, then the recipe is screwed.  These didn’t rise QUITE as much as I would have liked but they still did rise and they were so pretty when they came out of the oven!

    Ingredients

    Rolls:
    ½ cup warm water
    2 tablespoons active dry yeast
    2 tablespoons sugar
    3 ½ ounce package instant vanilla pudding
    ½ cup butter, melted
    2 eggs
    1 teaspoon salt
    6+ cups flour

    Filling:
    1 cup butter, softened to room temperature
    2 cups brown sugar
    4 teaspoons cinnamon

    Frosting:
    8 ounces cream cheese
    ½ cup butter, softened to room temperature
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    3 cups confectioner’s sugar
    2-3 tablespoons milk
    Directions

    In a small bowl combine water, yeast and sugar. Stir until dissolved. Set aside. In large bowl, take pudding mix and prepare according to package directions. Add butter, eggs and salt. Mix well. Then add yeast mixture. Blend. Gradually add flour; knead until smooth. Do not overflour the dough! It should be very soft but not sticky. Place in a greased bowl. Cover and let rise until doubled. Then roll out on floured board to 34 X 21 inches in size. Take 1 cup soft butter and spread over surface. In bowl, mix 2 cups brown sugar and 4 teaspoons cinnamon. Sprinkle over the top. Roll up very tightly. With knife put a notch every 1 1/2 inches. Cut with thread or serrated knife. Place on lightly greased cookie sheet 1 inch apart. Cover and let rise until double again. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Remove when they start to turn golden (don’t overbake). Frost warm rolls with cream cheese frosting (combine butter and cream cheese and mix well, then add vanilla and sugar and mix again, then add milk for desired consistency). Makes about 24 very large rolls.

    Pig Rating:  The Pig isn’t a huge “sweets” person either so I was surprised he even wanted one but he loved it!  He said it was awesome – he had one for dessert last night even after the initial “trying the baked good”. 

    Mrs. Pig Rating:  If you like cinnamon rolls, then you HAVE to make these.  They are a little work and lots of clean up (well, I’m messy…) but so worth it!  Warm them up in the microwave and they are perfection!!!

     

    Banana Crumb Muffins

    March 4, 2009 at 12:28 am | Posted in Banana, Breakfast, Muffins | 4 Comments

    Yes, I’m still alive!!!  My life has been very busy lately and I just haven’t been in the mood to blog but I’m coming back around.  🙂  I updated my other blog Musings of a Military Sister last night – check it out if you get a chance.  My brother left for Iraq this past weekend.  Maybe baking and cooking will keep my mind off of it?!  🙂 

    I made these muffins awhile ago now, but they were so good that I think I’ve made them three times now!  My coworkers loved them and I think they are truly the best banana muffin/bread that I have ever eaten.  I love banana flavored stuff but sometimes you think things will be good but they are too dry or not flavorful enough or some other weird bad thing.  However, these are absolutely amazing!!!  I found them on allrecipes.com when I needed to use up some bananas that were definitely past prime for an addition to my morning cereal.  🙂

    Ingredients (makes about 10-11 muffins)

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 bananas, mashed
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Directions

    1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease 10 muffin cups, or line with muffin papers.
    2. In a large bowl, mix together 1 1/2 cups flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, beat together bananas, sugar, egg and melted butter. Stir the banana mixture into the flour mixture just until moistened. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.
    3. In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, 2 tablespoons flour and cinnamon. Cut in 1 tablespoon butter until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Sprinkle topping over muffins.
    4. Bake in preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean.

    Mrs. Pig Rating:  These are absolutely my favorite muffin ever.  And my favorite banana dessert/food of any kind.  I will make these again and again.  And they are pretty enough to take to a party or something if you need a breakfast!

    January SBGEX – Part Two (Kat Graz RULES!!!)

    February 19, 2008 at 1:34 am | Posted in Breakfast, Muffins, SBGEX | 6 Comments

    Yes, I totally just sounded like my brother who is in high school – but she DOES rule!  What an awesome SB! 

    As all of you faithful readers saw, Kat Graz was my January baker in the SBGEX – and she sent me a New York cheesecake!  And as she promised, there was more to come.  More!  Can you believe it?!  🙂 

     Last week we had a terrible ice storm – but yes, the Fed Ex man backed right up to my front door and delivered my box of goodies to me. : )  Thank you Mr. Fed Ex man!  I was so excited – Kat made THE most amazing banana muffins.  They were mini muffins (so perfect for me to take to work for breakfast) AND she made them healthy.  As I’ve mentioned, she is a personal trainer and a nutritionist – so I couldn’t quite believe the cheesecake (ha!) but she says this was to make up for that!  (For the recipes, click here)  She made them even healthier than what her recipe reads on her blog – ask her if you want to know her “secret” ingredients!  I would have never guessed!

    As if the muffins were not enough, there was an additional gift!  Background – I eat pretty healthy most of the time despite some “cheat”recipes that I put on my blog.  : )  I faithfully eat a bowl of Kashi cereal with fruit every morning for breakfast (1 of my 5 meals a day).  Kat owns a gym – gyms get samples.  SO, she sent me a ton of Kashi cereal samples!!!!!  Seriously – could she get any cooler?! 

    Anyway, thank you so much Kat for your thoughtfulness and sending some amazing things to me!!  I can’t wait to see you in Chicago in April – on your birthday nonetheless!  : )

    Snow Day! Smile!

    February 12, 2008 at 3:03 pm | Posted in Breakfast, Fun | 7 Comments

    Our weather people predict snow and ice quite often and it doesn’t end up happening so we never know when to believe them.  However, yesterday they predicted it and boy did it come!  It took me an hour and a half to get home from work when it usually takes me 10-12 minutes.  I think we ended up getting about 4 inches of snow, which is no big deal but on top of that we have now received about an inch of ice.  Yikes! 

    Ice and slick roads are not my friend.  Therefore, I am working from home for at least this morning in hopes that some of the ice will melt off the roads and they will be safe again.  Tommy says at this point I shouldn’t even try to drive out of our subdivision, so here I am.  In my pajamas, watching Gossip Girl (my guilty pleasure), waiting on that next work email or phone call to come in.  I could get used to this…

     Anyway, I wanted pancakes for breakfast since I was home.  And the pancake face describes my  mood right now  : )   (Dont’ get too excited, it’s just from a pancake box mix, but smiley face pancakes are always good right?!)

    Breakfast Casserole

    December 29, 2007 at 9:51 pm | Posted in Breakfast, ham | Leave a comment

    We always do Christmas morning breakfast at my parent’s house and there is always a variety of things to eat – homemade muffins, ham, casseroles, etc. This year I decided to brave a breakfast casserole to take. I cook breakfast all of the time but casseroles have historically freaked me out a little bit…I was never one to have a bunch of food mixed together. I grew up a very picky child and some habits die hard even though I have broadened my horizons quite a bit as an adult. Anyway, I found this recipe and decided to try it. I wanted one that I could make the night before and just pop in the oven Christmas morning so I wouldn’t have to get up super duper early to fix it.

    Ingredients
    1 pound ground pork sausage (I used ham per Tommy’s request)
    1 teaspoon mustard powder
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    4 eggs, beaten
    2 cups milk
    6 slices white bread, toasted and cut into cubes
    8 ounces mild Cheddar cheese, shredded

    Directions
    Crumble sausage into a medium skillet. Cook over medium heat until evenly brown; drain.
    In a medium bowl, mix together mustard powder, salt, eggs and milk. Add the sausage, bread cubes, and cheese, and stir to coat evenly. Pour into a greased 9×13 inch baking dish. Cover, and chill in the refrigerator for 8 hours, or overnight.
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
    Cover, and bake 45 to 60 minutes. Uncover, and reduce temperature to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Bake for an additional 30 minutes, or until set.

    Pig Rating: The pig ate two or three servings of this so I think it was a hit with him. : )

    Mrs. Pig Rating: I am not a big ham fan so I wasn’t huge into this one, but I made it for my family so I figured I’d do something that they all like. This was okay though. Next time I want to find a casserole that calls for something other than bread though – maybe crescent rolls? It seemed to be missing that breading to me…

    Recipe from www.allrecipes.com, picture from my kitchen

    Monkey Bread

    December 19, 2007 at 3:02 am | Posted in Breakfast, Dessert | 5 Comments

    Isn’t the name just great?! I mean, “monkey bread”? Doesn’t it make you smile? : ) It does me. And I used to make this with my Granny all of the time so that makes it even better.

    Last week at work I was telling everyone to put in their requests for my baking weekend and my boss’ only request was monkey bread. I hadn’t made it in so long but it sounded great so I made it. I took it into work Monday morning and it was so good! 🙂

    Ingredients
    3 (12 ounce) packages refrigerated biscuit dough
    1 cup white sugar
    2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    1/2 cup margarine
    1 cup packed brown sugar
    1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
    1/2 cup raisins (I omitted these)

    Directions
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease one 9 or 10 inch tube pan.
    Mix white sugar and cinnamon in a plastic bag. Cut biscuits into quarters. Shake 6 to 8 biscuit pieces in the sugar cinnamon mix. Arrange pieces in the bottom of the prepared pan. Continue until all biscuits are coated and placed in pan. If using nuts and raisins, arrange them in and among the biscuit pieces as you go along.
    In a small saucepan, melt the margarine with the brown sugar over medium heat. Boil for 1 minute. Pour over the biscuits.
    Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 35 minutes. Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a plate. Do not cut! The bread just pulls apart.

    Mrs. Pig Rating: I LOOVE this stuff. It’s almost too sweet for me first thing in the morning but I’m not used to super sweet in the morning. Put a piece of it in the microwave though and it’s sugary heaven….

    Pig Rating: The pig didn’t get any since I took the whole thing to work. : ) Although, he did think this picture was a must for this blog udpate….

    Mrs. Pig’s CW Rating: I think my co workers like this one : ) They keep eating it for breakfast so that is a good sign right?

    Recipe from allrecipes.com, pictures from my kitchen

    Breakfast for Dinner

    October 17, 2007 at 11:45 pm | Posted in Breakfast, Fun | 3 Comments

    We had the kids tonight and I wanted something different and fun for dinner. I can remember when I was little I always thought it was cool when my mom made breakfast for dinner. The kids love helping me cook breakfast on Saturday mornings, so why not on a Wednesday night? : ) So, Sheridan did the eggs, Will set the table and helped me stir the eggs, and we did it.

    I cooked bacon, scrambled eggs, biscuits with jelly and honey, and hash browns. It was super yummy for something different. Now only if it were really Saturday already…. : )

    Saturday morning family breakfast…

    September 28, 2007 at 1:51 am | Posted in Breakfast, Fun | 1 Comment

    Ignore my PJ’s and my horrible morning hair and no makeup…it’s breakfast time people! 🙂

    We have our kids every other weekend and we love the time that we get to spend with them. One thing about me is that I hate getting up in the mornings. Hate it. However, on Saturday mornings when we have the kids, they come in, wake me up, and the three of us fix breakfast together. It has become a tradition and they absolutely love to help me cook. It’s what makes me get up with a smile at 7:30am on a Saturday morning. We all fix breakfast in our PJ’s – Sheridan has recently learned to crack the eggs, Will hands me the ham and puts the bread in the toaster, etc. We all have our roles. 🙂

    If you have kids or plan to, I think doing things like this with them is absolutely fantastic. These are the types of things that will remember someday – not what kind of shirt you bought them, or what color their backpack is. I remember cooking with my grandma and I love those memories.

    ::insert cheesiness here:: : )

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