Sunday, August 30, 2009

Screaming S'Mores Bars

Who doesn't love ooey-gooey s'mores? Next time you go camping or attend a campfire outing, make sure you take along MSPI-friendly ingredients (marshmallows, graham crackers and chocolate -- I use MSPI-friendly chocolate chips) so you can enjoy this awesome treat!

If camping and campfires aren't your thing, then make this yummy dessert! The original recipe came from Kraft Foods years ago, but I can't find the recipe on the website anymore. Thankfully, I still have a printout from 2002!

Screaming S'Mores Bars

7-8 MSPI-friendly graham crackers
1 1/2 cups MSPI-friendly chocolate chips
6 tbsp. MSPI-friendly margarine, divided
1 10-oz. package marshmallows
1 13-oz. package MSPI-friendly cocoa-flavored crisped rice cereal

Line a 13x9 inch pan with foil and coat with cooking spray. Place graham crackers on bottom of pan, cutting crackers to fit, if necessary.

Microwave chocolate chips and 2 tablespoons margarine in microwave bowl on high for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally until chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Spread about two-thirds of the chocolate in a thin layer over the graham crackers.

Microwave remaining 4 tablespoons margarine in a 4-quart microwavable bowl on high 45 seconds or until melted. Add marshmallows; toss to coat. Microwave 1-1/2 minutes or until marshmallows are melted and smooth, stirring halfway through. Stir in cereal.

Press cereal mixture firmly over chocolate-coated graham crackers in pan. Reheat remaining chocolate. If desired, add a touch more margarine or shortening to help thin it out. Drizzle the melted chocolate randomly over the cereal mixture. Cool; cut into squares.

A little tip: Before pressing the cereal mixture into the pan, I like to coat my hands with cooking spray. It helps keep the mixture from sticking to my hands!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Southwest Taco Burgers

I know, another grill recipe, but it's summer. Gotta use that contraption while it isn't snowy or cold outside!

This burger, which was adapted from a recipe in the August/September issue of Taste of Home, was super good. The original recipe includes a slice of cheese, but thanks to the avocado, I don't think you'll even miss it. Well, let's be serious. You'll miss the cheese, but I promise you won't be disappointed in this burger. It's delish! Isn't the avocado calling out to you?

I whipped together a simple homemade salsa, but you can easily use your favorite store-bought version.

Southwest Taco Burgers

1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 tbsp. MSPI-friendly taco seasoning
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 lb. ground beef, chicken or turkey
4 MSPI-friendly hamburger buns
1 medium ripe avocado, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup salsa

In a large bowl, combine the first five ingredients. Crumble meat over mixture and mix well. Shape into four patties.

Grill burgers, covered, over medium heat for 4-6 minutes on each side or until a meat thermometer reads 165° and juices run clear.

Serve on buns with avocado and salsa.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Grilled Cauliflower

It's official. Everything tastes better when it's been grilled. (Have you tried grilling your meat loaf yet?) Seriously, my family loves cauliflower and will eat it any way I cook it, but when it's grilled, they will devour it.

The best part about this recipe is that it's easy to make and oh-so-easy to clean up. Just toss the foil. No dishes to wash!

I used this recipe from Recipezaar for the method, but with an MSPI-friendly twist.

Grilled Cauliflower

1 head cauliflower
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

Prepare grill and heat to medium.

Remove stem and leaves from cauliflower. Wash and pat dry. Lay out a large piece of heavy-duty foil or stack two pieces of regular foil. Place cauliflower head on foil. Gather sides of foil around the cauliflower, creating a loose bowl shape.

Drizzle olive oil over the cauliflower. Sprinkle with seasonings -- adding more or less per your preferences. Wrap the foil around the cauliflower.

Grill over medium heat about 30-40 minutes or until desired tenderness. Unwrap cauliflower and slice into pieces.

Quick Start with MSPI Mama: This is one of my Quick Start recipes

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Chex® Caramel Corn

I'm back! The new computer is up and running -- although the old computer's hard drive is completely fried. Unfortunately, I hadn't backed it up in ages, so tons and tons of photos and documents are lost. Please, learn from my very difficult lesson and back up your computer!

Enough about me and my misfortunes, let's talk food!

Here's a super yummy snack that my friend Laura brought to a lake outing for our small group from church. Seriously, I could have eaten the entire bag!

The original recipe comes from Chex.

Chex® Caramel Corn

4 cups popped MSPI-friendly popcorn
4 1/2 cups corn or rice Chex cereal
1/2 cup MSPI-friendly honey-roasted peanuts, if desired
1/4 cup MSPI-friendly margarine
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 tbsp. light corn syrup
1/4 tsp. vanilla

Oven Directions: Heat oven to 250°F. Remove and discard unpopped kernels from popped popcorn. In ungreased large roasting pan, mix popcorn, cereal and peanuts. In 2-quart saucepan, heat margarine, brown sugar, corn syrup and vanilla to boiling over medium heat, stirring frequently. Pour over cereal mixture, stirring until evenly coated. Bake 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Spread on waxed paper to cool, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to break up. Store in airtight container.

Microwave Directions: Remove and discard unpopped kernels from popped popcorn. In large microwavable bowl, mix popcorn, cereal and peanuts; set aside. In medium microwavable bowl, microwave margarine, brown sugar, corn syrup and vanilla uncovered on High about 2 minutes, stirring after 1 minute, until mixture is boiling. Pour over cereal mixture, stirring until evenly coated. Microwave uncovered on High 5 to 6 minutes, stirring and scraping bowl after every minute. Spread on waxed paper to cool, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to break up. Store in airtight container.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

An unintended hiatus ...

Well, my computer took a swan dive Sunday. Until we get a new one up and running -- it's been ordered -- I won't be adding any recipes to the site. Hopefully, I'll be back soon! (And hopefully we'll be able to recover the old hard drive, because that's where all my recipes and pics are saved! Aaaargh!!!)

Until then, peruse some of the old recipes. They're yummy, too!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Apple Sauce Icebox Cake

We went to visit my parents in Kansas last weekend. While the rest of us were pigging out on ice cream, my mom made this old-fashioned dessert just for JD, and he couldn't get enough of it.

This is the perfect first dessert for an MSPI baby. It's super simple to make. I didn't indicate any measurements because you can make it as big or as little as you want. I like to use a loaf pan.

Be generous with the apple sauce! It soaks into the graham crackers and creates a soft texture.

A dollop of whipped cream would be nice for non-MSPI eaters, and I'm thinking a sprinkling of toasted walnuts or pecans would be super yummy! And a sprinkling of cinnamon, too! (And speaking of cinnamon, cinnamon graham crackers would be great!)

Apple Sauce Icebox Cake

Apple sauce
MSPI-friendly graham crackers

Spoon a layer of apple sauce in the bottom of a square or rectangular casserole dish or baking pan. Follow with a single layer of graham crackers. Cover graham crackers with a layer of apple sauce and repeat to top of pan, ending with a layer of apple sauce.

Cover and place pan in refrigerator for several hours.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Marinated Grilled Vegetables

Oh yeah! More food on a stick!

This makes a great side dish to just about anything you cook on the grill. I served it along with the Beer Can Chicken. It worked out really well to cook these kebabs on the "hot" side of the grill while the chicken hung out on the indirect side.

The original recipe comes from Taste of Home. I didn't have any peppers, like the recipe recommended, so I just skipped them. You can adapt it to whatever vegetables you have on hand.

Marinated Grilled Vegetables

4 small onions, halved
2 medium carrots, cut into 1-1/2-inch chunks
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. salt
Dash pepper
1 summer squash, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 medium zucchini, cut into 1-inch chunks

In a large saucepan, cook onions and carrots in water for 10 minutes or until crisp-tender; drain. In a large bowl, combine oil and seasonings. Add the vegetables; stir to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Thread vegetables alternately onto skewers. (If using wooden skewers, soak them in water prior to use.) Grill over medium heat, covered, for 15-20 minutes or until tender.

Quick Start with MSPI Mama: This is one of my Quick Start recipes

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Grilled Meat Loaf

Evidently, the trick to getting my hubby to eat meat loaf is grilling it. He hates meat loaf. Doesn't matter how good a loaf it is, he'll only grudgingly choke it down. Well, he had two huge slices of this one! Yay! I love meat loaf, so I'm a happy camper now.

Because the temperature of a grill can fluctuate, please utilize your meat thermometer. It makes all the difference in over or under cooking your meat.

I followed this recipe from Taste of Home, but changed a few things and cut it in half. If you have a favorite MSPI-friendly meat loaf recipe, I'm guessing you could easily grill it, too, by following this method. It's great to keep the heat out of the kitchen!

Grilled Meat Loaf

1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup quick-cooking oats
1 tbsp. dried minced onion
1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp. dried parsley flakes
1/2 tsp. MSPI-friendly Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper
1 lb. lean ground beef
Additional ketchup, optional

Prepare grill for indirect heat.

In a large bowl, combine the first nine ingredients. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well. Shape into one loaf. Take a sheet of heavy-duty (or fold in half a sheet of regular) foil and place it on a plate. Place meat loaf on foil (do not seal foil).

Slide the foil onto the area of the grill that doesn't have direct heat. Grill meat, covered, over indirect medium heat for 50 minutes or until meat is no longer pink and a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees. Brush top with additional ketchup if desired. Let stand for 10 minutes before slicing. Yields four servings.

A note about Worcestershire sauce: In the past, I've always substituted A-1 Sauce for Worcestershire because I just assumed all Worcestershire sauces had soy in them. But some of them are MSPI-friendly -- including the Lea & Perrins brand! Thank you to reader Jason for sharing this with me.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Lemon Crunch Cookies

I love oatmeal raisin cookies, but Libby isn't a big fan of raisins. No problem, just make the cookies without the raisins, but where's the fun in that? The raisins are the best part -- in my humble opinion! They just add a depth of flavor that makes the oatmeal sing.

Well, this recipe from the Gooseberry Patch's "Simple Country Pleasures" is a wonderful compromise. The lemon helps elevate the oatmeal, and there are no raisins for Libby to complain about!

Usually when I make cookies with margarine, the cookies spread and end up thin and crispy, but the cream of tartar in this recipe helps the cookies hold their form and gives them a nice crunch.

Lemon Crunch Cookies

1 cup flour
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 cup MSPI-friendly margarine, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. lemon zest
1 egg
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup quick oats

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In bowl, mix flour, cream of tartar and baking soda; set aside. Cream margarine and gradually add sugar. Beat at medium speed until well blended. Add lemon juice, lemon zest, egg, allspice and salt; beat well. Gradually add flour mixture and mix until combined. Stir in oatmeal.

Drop by teaspoonful onto cookie sheets, and bake for 12 minutes. Makes 3-1/2 dozen.