Thursday, October 19, 2017

Taco Pizza

This is the second time that I have made this and I haven't told you about it so I thought I would share.  I haven't done a great job with pictures so I am going to try to make it up as I go along...just like I did with the recipe.  It was originally the way to use up my very little amount of taco meat to make a whole meal.  I started with this pizza crust but you can easily make your own.

I made some homemade enchilada sauce.  It is super easy to make from just a few ingredients which you can see here.  I have made both a red enchilada sauce and brown and we prefer the red one which just has a little tomato sauce in it which makes it even more perfect for pizza. The great thing is that I almost always have all of the ingredients in the pantry.

I made extra and put the other sauce in the freezer so that I would have it for enchiladas later.

 I spread the enchilada sauce and seasoned taco meat on the pizza shell.  Topped with cheddar cheese and mozzarella cheese.  I baked at 400 degrees until the cheese is lightly browned which is about 15 minutes and then I wait as long as I can to cut it into 8 pieces.  We topped the pizza with thinly sliced lettuce and enjoyed the whole pizza before I took this picture of the last piece left.

It is a nice difference with the hot and spicy bottom layer and the top lettuce layer. Feel free to add anything else that you like on your tacos.  We enjoyed this tasty leftover meal and so will you!!

I hope that you check this out for yourself and enjoy it as much as we did.  If you want to make your own pizza crust, my favorite recipe is here.  I hope that you enjoy this tasty dinner with this yummy recipe.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Little White Lies Book Review

I was excited to get to the next book in the series, Robert B. Parker's Little White Lies (Spenser) by Ace Atkins.  I have really enjoyed the Spenser series and I am quick to recommend these books to anyone who is interested in reading a lot of funny books filled with action.  This book was no different with lots of action and the funny wit of Spenser.  Hope there is another one coming soon!!

Boston PI Spenser and right hand Hawk follow a con man’s trail of smoke and mirrors in the latest entry of the iconic crime series. After conning everyone from the cable news shows to the local cops, it looks like the grifter’s latest double cross may be his last. Connie Kelly thought she’d found her perfect man on an online dating site. He was silver-haired and handsome, with a mysterious background working for the C.I.A. She fell so hard for M. Brooks Welles that she wrote him a check for almost three hundred thousand dollars, hoping for a big return on her investment.

But within weeks, both Welles and her money are gone. Her therapist, Dr. Susan Silverman, hands her Spenser’s card. A self-proclaimed military hotshot, Welles had been a frequent guest on national news shows speaking with authority about politics and world events. But when he disappears, he leaves not only a jilted lover but a growing list of angry investors, duped cops, and a team of paramilitary contractors looking for revenge. Enter Spenser, who quickly discovers that everything about Welles is phony. His name, his résumé, and his client list are nothing but an elaborate fraud. But uncovering the truth won’t be easy, as he’ll have to keep the mystery man alive long enough to get back his client’s money. As the trail winds from Boston to backroads Georgia, Spenser will need help from trusted allies Hawk and Teddy Sapp to make sure Welles’s next con is his last.

Connie Kelly came to Spenser as a referral from Dr. Susan Silverman because she needed help tracking down her ex-boyfriend to find the money that he took from her.  M. Brooke Welles took nearly $300,000 to invest in project and quickly lost it.  He claims to have a military and government background and was working a con to get money.  He convinced Connie to fire Spenser and move south with him.  Spenser left the case alone but then Connie was found dead.  Spenser went to investigate and things got crazy.  There are tons of mysteries and actions that end up happening in this book and Spenser gets support from Hawk and Tedy (a friend from an old book).  I hope that you check out this book and all the others in the series!  It is a super amusing series with fun and action.  I know that you will enjoy it as much as I have.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Apple Fritters

I have been wanting to make a recipes for apple fritters since I bought the Luck's Fried Apples at the grocery store as a money maker.  I knew that they would be great for these apple fritters because I don't like raw apples in things so I knew that these would make it better because they would be cooked through with the short cook time.  Although I think that you could use whatever works best and what you have on hand.

I mixed the dry ingredients in my bowl.

I didn't have buttermilk because I never do but I used some white vinegar in the milk to make the buttermilk.

I heated up some canola oil in a medium sized pan.

I took the apples out of the container and cut them into small pieces.

In a bowl, I whisked the egg whites until they were bubbly but I probably should have gone longer but my family was sleeping and it was loud.

I put the yolks in the buttermilk and mixed them together.

Mixed the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.

They combine into a thick and sticky batter.

Then I added the egg whites to the mixture and folded it in. 

It turns into a shiny mixture that has a little more air incorporated.

After mixing in the apples, you can see the high gloss finish in the dough.

I made the glaze with apple cider and powdered sugar and set that aside until the fritters were a little cooled.

Dunked them in here catching both sides with the glaze until they were coated with the glaze.

They sat on this tray so that the sugar would have a chance to stick to both sides.  I made the first few without the apples because I wanted my son to try it but it turns out that the apples add a lot of texture that is needed and the ones without apples were not good.

 I learned after the first few that I needed to cook longer on both sides and it was tastier and crunchier if I could drip it into the oil a little more like funnel cake because it make it is a little bumpier then just putting one spoonful in.

Although we enjoyed eating them, these were not the recipe that we will make again.  I am still in search of one that works for our family so stay tuned for another recipe soon.  I am sure that I didn't do things exactly the same as the original recipe but I hope that you check out her blog here.

Apple Fritters
2 cups all purpose flour
pinch of salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 1/4 cups milk with vinegar (or buttermilk)
2 eggs, separated
1 1/2 cups finely diced apples (I used canned)

Vegetable Oil for Frying

Powdered sugar
Apple Cider/Juice

1. Mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside.
2. In a small bowl mix together buttermilk and egg yolks and add to flour mixture. Stir just until mixed thoroughly.

3. Beat egg whites until stiff. Fold beaten egg whites gently into batter. 

4. Fold in finely diced apples.

5. Heat oil in flat pan then drop batter by a tablespoon into hot oil. Cook one side until golden brown then flip over and cook other side until golden brown.

6. Remove hot fritters and allow to drain on paper towels until cooled so glaze can stick.

7. Mix powdered sugar and apple cider/juice in a small bowl until it is the consistency of thin icing. Dip warm fritter in icing flipping to coat both sides.
8. Return iced fritter to rack for any excess icing to drain and icing to set. Eat warm or cooled!

Monday, October 16, 2017

Menu Plan Monday 10/16

Monday- Chicken fries, Buffalo Chicken with homemade french fries
Tuesday- Pasta (getting more creative with this because I am sick of plain spaghetti)
Thursday- Chicken and Rice Casserole
Friday- Leftovers
Saturday- Roast Beef Sandwiches
Sunday- Egg Rolls and Simple Fried Rice

I think that last week went really well but I got a little confused on the meal plan.  Early in the week I switched Wednesday and Thursday because I didn't have the meat all the way defrosted in time but I thought that I was back on track.  We didn't have a lot of leftovers by Friday so I mixed Friday leftover night with Roast Beef Sandwiches because I got pork chops which I was going to make Saturday but I spent all day working and thought it was Sunday so I made Meatball Sliders on Saturday night and saved the pork chops and rice for Sunday night.  Although it went really well and I just slide around a few meals and still make it work.  I love when that happens!!  Luckily it all works out great because we have things that can be moved around easily and still food leftover to make.  I have worked hard this month to not get any take out and hoping we can make it until the end of the month and I might break down for Halloween because that is usually the best way to get my guy to eat before trick or treating.  I hope that you have a great week and enjoy a stress free dinner time!

Friday, October 13, 2017

Bringing Maggie Home Book Review

I was excited to get to read another book by Kim Vogel Sawyer because I have enjoyed other books from her.  Bringing Maggie Home: A Novel by Kim Vogel Sawyer was next in my pile to read and I had to finish it before posting the review.  I was trying to find time to read and it seemed to always be taking a back seat to other things but I finally finished the book and enjoyed the amazing progress through the book to bring Maggie home.

Decades of Loss, an Unsolved Mystery, and a Rift Spanning Three Generations.  Hazel DeFord is a woman haunted by her past. While berry picking in a blackberry thicket in 1943, ten-year old Hazel momentarily turns her back on her three-year old sister Maggie and the young girl disappears.  Almost seventy years later, the mystery remains unsolved and the secret guilt Hazel carries has alienated her from her daughter Diane, who can’t understand her mother’s overprotectiveness and near paranoia. While Diane resents her mother’s inexplicable eccentricities, her daughter Meghan—a cold case agent—cherishes her grandmother’s lavish attention and affection.  When a traffic accident forces Meghan to take a six-week leave-of-absence to recover, all three generations of DeFord women find themselves unexpectedly under the same roof. Meghan knows she will have to act as a mediator between the two headstrong and contentious women. But when they uncover Hazel’s painful secret, will Meghan also be able to use her investigative prowess to solve the family mystery and help both women recover all that’s been lost?

Hazel has grown up with a big secret that she lost her little sister and it has changed the way that she lived her whole life.  Her parents told her she needed to forget all about it and burnt all of her sisters things but she hid some pictures.  Hazel grew up and was very overprotective of her daughter, Margaret Diane, which caused her daughter to revolt and be a lot less loving to her own daughter, Meghan, because she didn't want to put the same pressure on that she grew up with.  Seventy years later, Meghan finds the box of picture and learns of the long lost sister.  Meghan works with her friend, Sean, to try to find Maggie and bring her back to her grandmother.  The search and process helps heal the family and brings answers to the long family history.  It was interesting to read all about the family dynamics and see how one person's decisions changes all of the other decisions of the family.  It is amazing to see how one person's actions directly affect all the other people they contact.  It makes you rethink decisions that you make in your life.  The only problem that I had with the book was that although they were trying to bring Margaret Diane and Meghan to God but they were pushing it frequently more then needed to because it was obviously discussed through wanting to go to church and more.  I wish there were a few things that were left out that would have made the book faster moving and smoother but I still enjoyed the whole story searching for Maggie.  I hope that you check out this book and enjoy it for yourself.

**I was given a copy of the book for my review but all opinions here are honest and my own.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Fried or Baked Mozzarella

I had used the crescent rolls to make some pizza bites in the past and I decided that it would be a good idea to try to see how they would taste fried.  I got a bunch free in the last few sales and we don't often make them to eat with dinner so I try to use them as creatively as possible.

I pulled out a few cheese sticks to see how they would taste.

I cut them into small bite sized pieces.

I sealed up the edges of the crescent roll division areas and cut them into a pieces a little bigger then the cheese.

I rolled the edge over the cheese like this.

Then I folded the edges in dough so no cheese can get out the edges.  After pushing in the sides, I continued rolling the dough until it was totally covered.  On any that had a lot of extra dough, I cut it off to make an extra one with the extra dough.

When this was done, you get a little thing about the size of a pizza bite.  I smooshed the dough in so that there wouldn't be any cheese leaking out. 

Originally I was going to bake these and I decided to try them fried because I really wanted to see what the difference would be in the taste and texture.

They browned up nicely and quickly into these much later pillow-y fried cheese balls.

When you bite into the center, it is soft soft and has a little crispy outside with the dough fried up.  It was super tasty and an interesting change.  It was great dipped in a little pizza sauce.  I enjoyed it for my lunch and reheated the leftovers for dinner the next night.  It tasted exactly the same!!  Perfect to make ahead of time and heat up for dinner.

They would be great with a little bit of pepperoni and sausage too!!  

Super easy and tasty made from things that I got super cheap or free at the store and enjoyed making them into a meal. Hope that you check out this and make some for yourself. I know that you will enjoy these tasty treats in a little bit of dipping sauce!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Cinnamon Roll Waffle Dippers

I was looking for something fun to make for breakfast that wouldn't take a lot of effort.  I decided that I would try the cinnamon rolls that I got at super doubles for free.  Don't these look boring!

In order to make them more interesting to my son, I brought out the waffle maker and turned them into Cinnamon Roll Waffle Dippers.  I put one biscuit on each side of the warmed waffle maker.  I normally don't have to grease my waffle maker but do whatever works well with your waffle maker.  After they were done cooking, they released fairly easily with a fork.

The biscuits came out looking like this little waffles.

I made some with two biscuits in each side which made longer waffle looking strips.  I cut them up so that my son could pick them up and dip them in the icing.  In order to make the icing into a glaze, it just needed to be microwaved for 10 seconds and it made a great dipping sauce that my son and I both loved. 

Think you are too busy to make waffles?  Grab some cinnamon rolls and make these tasty treats!  I promise they will be a favorite of your family too!