Thursday, November 4, 2010

Veggie Pucks

Ok, I had a friend on Facebook ask me what veggie pucks were. Since, I was making another batch of chicken stock and boiled chicken I thought I'd share with you how to make veggie pucks and not waste valuable nutrients and veggies. :) I like to get my money's worth when I'm making chicken stock and boiled chicken. I don't throw anything but the bones away. I put to use my hand blender and make these wonderful veggie pucks. How I got the name was looking at them after they were frozen. I was trying to figure out what to call them. They look a little bit like a hockey puck and are veggies. So I decided to call then veggie pucks.

With a lot of parents trying to figure out how to get their kids to eat more veggies and I'm struggling with the same thing, I figured that this would be a good way for me to "Hide" the veggies into things that you wouldn't normally add them to, so they can get the nourishment from them. I have added the veggie pucks to two different recipes so far, and I've got lots more in mind. So keep checking back on how to incorporate more veggies into your kids meals. :)


Follow directions for making chicken stock. After you separate out the broth, chicken and veggies here is what you do.

Since when I pull the chicken out I seem to always pull some of the veggies out too. I remove
chicken from the bone, set the onion peels, bay leaf and bones in my trash pile.

Chicken pulled off of the bone.

Chicken broth

Chicken bones, onion peels, bay leafs

Veggies and spices left.

I add the leftover veggies back into my veggie bowl. After my chicken broth has been strained, the added spices and veggie debris left in my cheese cloth I add back to my veggie bowl.

blending the veggies and spices

Once I have all of the veggies and leftover spices, I use my hand blender to blend them all down. It turns into an orange mixture that resembles canned pumpkin.

a fully blended veggie mix

After it's well blended, I pull out two muffin pans (12 total muffin cups). I take my 1/3 measuring cup and place 1/3 cup into each muffin cup. Once the entire mixture is in the muffin cups, I place the muffin tins into the freezer to freeze the veggie mix.

adding by 1/3 measuring cup to my muffin tins

a perfect fit into my muffin tins.

Once they are frozen (usually 2-4 hours)

I remove from the muffin tin

and place in a freezer ziploc bag.

The veggie pucks are now finally ready for use in any dish you desire. These would be good to use when your making homemade chicken fingers as part of the dredge, or added to pretty much anything. Enjoy!

They are not the most beautiful thing to see, but full of wonderful nutrients for a healthier diet :)

Beef Egg Rolls

I decided to try my hand at homemade egg rolls. I have never made egg rolls before... Nor have I ever seen them made. So I really had no idea what I was doing. But I had a recipe that I used from the back of the egg roll wrapper bag, they were Nasoya egg roll wrappers. I figured it would be a good recipe. So here is my trial into homemade beef egg rolls.

1 lb ground beef, pork, chicken or firm tofu, drained and crumbled
1 tsp minced ginger
2 cups finely chopped cabbage
1/4 lb been sprouts
1/2 cup shredded carrot
3 green onions, finely chopped
2 tbsp oyster sauce
1 pkg egg roll wrappers
vegetable oil for deep frying
mustard and catsup or sweet and sour sauce

Stir-fry meat or tofu and ginger in wide skillet over high heat until lightly browned, 2-3 minutes.

Add cabbage, bean sprouts, carrot and green onion; cook 2 min.

Stir in oyster sauce. :t mixture cool.

Use 2 tbsp filling for each egg roll.

Follow folding directions.

Deep Fry at 350F, a few at a time, turning occasionally, until golden, 2-3 min. Drain on paper towels.

Serve warm with mustard and catsup, or serve with sweet and sour sauce.
makes approx 20 rolls.

Verdict... I think i either added too much oyster sauce, or should omit that all together. I am not a fan of oyster sauce, so I am not sure what to do with all these egg rolls. I ate one and I'm hoping my kids like them when they get home. :) I also think that I will add more cabbage next time, I didn't taste much of it, and that is one of my favorite parts. I hope you try it and let me know what you think. Thanks, Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Chicken Enchilada's

I had this pulled chicken from when I made the chicken broth and I wanted to use it up, before it went bad. I polled on Facebook what to make either chicken noodle soup or chicken enchilada and the verdict was a unanimous chicken enchilada. :) yummy.

My recipe makes two large pans, so feel free to share one of these yummy dishes with a neighbor, or freeze for future use.


2 veggie pucks (see chicken broth)
1/2 cup salsa
1 tsp minced garlic
2 tsp dried minced onion
3 tsp taco seasoning
3/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp fresh ground sea salt
1 tsp fresh ground pepper
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 can sweet corn
4-5 cups diced/pulled chicken
1-2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
12-14 flour tortillas

2 cans cream of chicken soup
8 oz sour cream
1 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 medium minced jalapeno (no seeds, or green chili's)
Sprinkle a little mexican cheese blend on top..

Mix all of the fillings together and fill into the flour tortillas,

roll and place into 13X9 pan. (this will fill 2 - 13X9 pans.

Mix all of the topping ingredients together. Use the same bowl you mixed the filling in without rinsing to get some of the flavor.

Spread topping on top of the rolled flour tortillas, and then sprinkle with cheese.

Cover with Foil and bake in the oven 350 for 30-45 min until bubbly and heated through (all things precooked) just needing heated through. Enjoy :)

Verdict! :) Well, I love it! This has great flavor, not too much to be spicy, but just enough of a kick to let you know its a mexican dish. The sweet corn makes a nice touch and adding a little crunch to the dish instead of being all mushy. Another thing that I like is that since I didn't add any sauce to the bottom of the pan or spray it with cooking spray, it is nicely golden with a little crunch too, not a stale crunch but a nice crunch. In all, I am very pleased with this dish. I made this with things I already had in the house and it is very healthy. Lots of added veggies from the veggie pucks, and you don't even know it. :) I love that. My son has scouts tonight at 5:30, and this will be something he can eat before he goes. :) I hope you enjoy this as much as I do. I gave away my second dish to have a friend try it. :) I'll let you know what she says. But I give it two thumbs up!!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Pineapple BBQ Meatballs

Tonight I wanted meatballs, but I had a feeling everyone is getting a little tired of the spaghetti sauce with our meal. We tend to do a lot of spaghetti sauce with our meals. So, I remembered back when my cousin Mimi got married, they had this sweet and sour type meatballs... Oh my, was it yummy. I remember pineapple and catalina dressing. I couldn't remember anything else. Well, I don't have any catalina dressing or pineapple, just pineapple juice. I thought I'd make my own version using BBq sauce and pineapple juice. I made some homemade bbq meatballs which is different than my normal meatball recipe. I'm trying to use what I have and add extra veggies to my kids meals. Since I blended and froze some of the veggies from making the chicken stock. (using it instead of throwing it away). I added two of my frozen "pucks" of minced mixed veggies. It has a ton of celery, carrots, onion and seasonings. I thawed them in the microwave to be able to use them.

Ingredients for BBQ Meatballs
1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground sausage
2 veggie pucks
3 tbsp minced onion
1 cup quick cooking oats
4 tbsp bbq sauce
2 eggs
2 tsp garlic sea salt

Mixed all together, balled and placed on a cookie sheet baked for 40 min in a 375F oven. Pulled off the hot cookie sheet into a sauce pan.

Pineapple BBQ sauce
1 -1 1/2 cup Famous Daves BBQ sauce
1-2 cups pineapple juice (to thin the BBQ sauce)

stir in a sauce pan, then add the meatballs from the oven, heat sauce with meatballs til boiling then lower heat and simmer.

This makes a nice sweet, tangy and with a little kick sauce and meatballs.

I am serving this over rice with a side of green peas. I had my taste tester (braeden) try one of the meatballs in the sauce and he said it was AWESOME!!! Best meatballs ever!

I think they are pretty good myself. Enjoy.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Prime Rib

Earlier in the week we found in the deep freeze to our surprise... a prime rib! Oh, yeah! what a find. Almost as good as finding a $20 in your pocket... Can I say... SCORE! My husband has been salavating all week. He was researching recipes online all week, to find the best one... funniest thing is that he didn't find one but he said we needed to find prime rib spice mix. So a quick trip to the grocery store (ie. Walmart) did not give us prime rib spice mix... but he settled for some kosher salt and a pepper grinder, and a digital meat thermometer. So, we get home and he wants me to make the spice rub, but telling me what to put in it...

4-5 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp fresh ground pepper
2 tbsp kosher salt
2 tbsp garlic
4.47lb prime rib

mixed and put on the top of the prime rib...

From there he took over. The prime rib was room temperature.. Internal temperature was 50F. After we placed the wet rub on the prime rib we placed it in an oven that was preheated to a temperature of 500F for 15 minutes then turned it down to 325F for 1 hour 20 min or internal temperature reached 120F for medium rare. (DO NOT OPEN OVEN). Once internal temperature reached 120F we removed the meat and removed the bone and let rest for 20 min. Then it was cut and served. Perfectly medium rare.

This served our family of 5 well. We each had a huge slice approx. 10 oz. My kids all had BIG eyes and full stomachs... We served this with fancy cut green beans and instant mashed potatoes. (I know crazy no fresh potatoes). It was a simple meal, that was amazing. This was a great meal, and fairly simple to prepare. My kids, my husband, we all enjoyed this! If you ever get some prime rib... I highly suggest this recipe and enjoy!


My husband has been nagging me to make bagels, he even looked for recipes and kept sending them to me and telling me to try them. He is from NJ and spent many holidays, and summers in NJ near NY. We have even been there many times since we have been married, and all he can talk about is their pizza and their bagels. Oh the bagels... are what dreams are made of, at least in his mind. So I finally gave in... I made homemade bagels. The recipe was curtousy of They provided a great recipe and lots great comments on how to make sure these turn out right. I don't think I can express how excited he was that I was making these bagels. He wanted to help me. He was reading off the ingredients, and the directions. It was nice to work with him in the kitchen. That doesn't happen very often, so I was grateful. I decided to double the recipe since I had a feeling that if I made a single, it would last a total of 5 min. Then there would be no more later, when he would be craving them. So I doubled the recipe and here is what we got...

Ingredients (double batch)
8 cups of bread flour
2 tbsp sugar
3 tsp salt
2 tbsp vegetable oil
4 tsp instant yeast (2 pkg instant yeast)
3 cups warm water


Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. You don't have to worry about soaking the yeast when you use instant yeast (most yeast sold these daysis instant yeast). The dough should feel stiff, but add the extra water if it's really stiff, or you can't get all the dry flour incorporated.

Plop the dough down onto the counter, and kneed for about 10 min, or until the dough is uniform and smooth.

Cut the dough into 8 equal sized balls, and let rest for 10-20 min.
(side note - cover dough with plastic wrap or towel, or the dough will get a crust while waiting)

Preheat your oven to 425F

Now, take each of the dough balls and using two hands, roll it into a little snake on the counter. When the snake is longer than the width of your two hands, wrap it around your dominant rolling hand. The dough rope should be wrapped so the overlapping ends are together at palm, near the start of your fingers. Now take the two overlapping ends, and use your palm to squish/roll these two ends together. Once the dough is fused, you should have a perfectly circular bagel-to-be! This is the only part of the process that can take a little practice before your bagels will look really professional. Don't get discouraged if they don't look perfect, it takes practice!

Let your bagels rest on the counter for about 20 min, and meanwhile, bring a pot of water to boil, and grease a large baking tray lightly, you can just rub a splash of vegetable oil and rub it around.

After the 20 minute wait, your bagels will start to look puffy, and it's time to get them boiling! Add them as many at a time as you can to your boiling water without crowding them. Boil for about a minute, turn them over, and boil for another minute. Take them out and let dry for a minute and then place them on your oiled baking tray. Repeat until all the bagels are boiled.

Add the tray to the oven, and after 10 minutes, flip the bagels over, bake for another 10 minutes; and they're done!

Let them cool for at least 20 minutes, get the cream cheese ready and feast on what's got to be one of the best weekend brunch treats possible!
These were really fun to make and fairly simple too. I know the boiling sounds daunting, but it's really easy and nothing to stress over. I think that is what had me worried for a while. I'm most likely going to be making these again... soon. Our double batch is almost gone. We had 7 left this morning, (we made these yesterday). And now I have 2, to eat during the week. I need to start making these by the double batch every other day. I guess I'd better get started tomorrow. :) I hope you enjoy these and enjoy making them. I know we had fun!