Friday, November 27, 2015

Recipe - Easiest Homemade Pancake Syrup

So, I know some of you will insist on real maple syrup.  I get it.  It's natural, delicious and truly cannot be copied.  However, if you're looking for a cheap alternative that's easy and still yummy you should try this.  I bought the bottle of extract for less than $4 at Walmart and it's taken me over a year to use even three quarters of it.

Pancake Syrup
This recipe comes off of the back of the Watkins Imitation Maple Extract box.


1 cups boiling water
2 cups white sugar
1/2 teaspoon imitation maple extract

Bring water to boil in a medium pot.  Add sugar and stir until sugar is dissolved.  Remove from heat and stir in extract.  

The box suggests serving warm, but I typically let the syrup cool and pour it into an old syrup bottle with the help of a funnel.

If you're not into the fake stuff, I've heard of people who will make the simple syrup and instead of adding maple extract, they add real maple syrup.  If you have done this, please comment below!  I'd love to hear your results.

This syrup goes wonderfully with Mom's Pancakes!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving and I pray you are blessed with the presence of friends, family and loved ones as the official start to the holiday season begins.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Recipe - Best Ever Rolls

You need to make these rolls!  With or without a bread maker, I'm sure these rolls will turn out fantastic.

Betty Crocker Bread Machine Rolls
recipe by: Betty Crocker


1 cup water
2 Tablespoons butter, softened
1 egg
3 1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons bread machine yeast

Measure ingredients as stated and place in machine in the order suggested by the manufacturer.  Select dough/manual cycle.  Do not use delay cycle.  When complete, remove dough from pan and let rest 10 minutes on a lightly floured surface.  Grease a 13X9 pan.  Divide dough into 16 sections and shape into balls.  Place balls in four rows of four in pan.  The dough will touch.  Cover and let rise 30-40 minutes. Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Bake rolls 12-15 minutes or until just golden.  Cool or serve warm.

Nutrition Information:
Serves 16
1 serving =
123 calories
2 grams fat
23 grams carb
1 gram fiber
3 grams protein

Calculated at Calorie

Weight Watchers Points Plus - 3
Weight Watcher POINTS - 2

Thursday, November 19, 2015

The Best Moist Bread Stuffing

Just in time for Thanksgiving, you can enjoy this family favorite.  If I'm going to guess, it will be the best stuffing you have ever had!  You can thank my mom once again for another great recipe.  She spent many years searching for the perfect recipes and creating new recipes to fill her recipe collection.  Many of my friends and family have her recipe book and I hope you enjoy some of the things I have shared from it.  This one is a definite keeper.

Moist Bread Stuffing


11/2 cups boiling water
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 Tablespoons diced celery
12 cups white bread, torn into pieces (try using this white bread)
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Put torn bread in a large bowl.  Melt butter in a medium frying pan and saute onions and celery on medium-high heat until tender.  Pour butter, onions and celery onto torn bread.  Add seasonings and mix.  Pour water over everything and mix well.  Place in the cavity of a chicken or turkey and bake.  Or, place in a baking dish and bake for 30-40 minutes at 350 degrees or until heated throughout.  If you like a crust on the top, remove the lid of the baking dish for the last 10 minutes.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Recipe - Favorite White Bread for Bread Machines

Traditional White Bread
1.5-pound loaf
From Sunbeam Breadmaker Instruction Manual


1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons hot water
2 Tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups bread machine flour
5 teaspoons bread machine yeast

Attach the kneading blade into the bread pan and place ingredients in machine in order according to your machine's instructions.  Carefully insert pan into bread maker and close the lid  Choose express bake and press start.  

My machine's express bake takes just under an hour.  I prefer this bread to the longer process loaves. 

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Recipe - Hummus

Image by PDPics
Another from my mom's collection, this recipe is great for parties or every day.  You can pair it with cut vegetables or triangles of pita bread.  It is also great on sandwiches, spread on bread as you would mayonnaise.



1 19-ounce can chickpeas, drained*
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup light olive oil or vegetable oil, divided
2 Tablespoons sesame seeds
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup lemon juice

In a small skillet gently shake sesame seeds over low heat until very lightly browned.  In a food processor puree seeds, garlic, salt, pepper and 1/4 cup oil until smooth.  Add chickpeas, lemon juice and remaining cup of 1/4 cup oil.  Process until smooth.  Serve with vegetables or pita bread.

*You can use 2 cups of cooked chickpeas prepared from dry if desired.  Preparing dry beans is a simple and easy way to save money and control your ingredients at the most basic level.

Nutrition Information:
Serves 6
1 serving =
425 calories
24 grams fat
42 grams carb
12 grams fiber
14 grams protein

Calculated at

Weight Watchers Points Plus - 11
Weight Watchers POINTS - 10

While healthy, this is definitely NOT a diet recipe!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Recipe - Oatmeal Cookie Dough Bites

Inspired by a few recipes like this one and this one, here's what I came up with for a healthy and delicious snack.  I think it's as yummy as it is healthy!

Oatmeal Cookie Dough Bites


1 1/4 cups oats
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
3 Tablespoons raw honey
1/4 cup oat bran
1/4 cup water
1/3 cup chocolate chips - mini or regular

Combine first 5 ingredients until well mixed.  Add in chocolate chips.  Form into balls.  Place into container and refrigerate until ready to eat.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Recipe - Easy Slow Cooker Chicken and Chicken Broth

Are you looking for an easy way to serve up a healthy dinner on a busy day. This chicken could be your answer.  A friend once mentioned to me she made chicken like this and I've made it often since.  It's simple and delicious.

3-4 pound chicken with giblets and neck removed.  Seasoned with adobo and parsley.

Easy Slow Cooker Chicken


1 whole chicken
seasoning of choice such as 
  • adobo - a personal favorite, Goya brand specifically (no msg)
  • homemade seasoned salt
  • salt, onion powder, garlic powder, poultry seasoning
  • A-1 dry rub
  • salt and pepper
  • parsley flakes

Put chicken in slow cooker and season to taste.  Turn slow cooker to low for 5-6 hours, depending on size of chicken.

I usually buy a smaller chicken as I have a slow cooker on the small side.  My chickens are usually around 3-4 pounds and take around 5 hours to cook.  If you want the meat to fall off the bone, leave it in longer.

Once your chicken is completely cooked, you will see several cups of drippings remaining in your slow cooker.  Don't dump!  Look below for a recipe to turn these drippings into a delicious broth.

This chicken serves up nicely with rice and steamed vegetables. 

My bird fit snugly in the pot.  If you wish to do a larger chicken, you will need to use a larger slow cooker.

This is what it looks like after 7 hours on low.  I put it in at 11am and we ate around  6pm.  My chicken was partly frozen when I put it in.  If you want the meat to fall off the bone, cook it longer.  My family prefers it like this.

I didn't make it this time, but when you remove the chicken you will notice a good amount of liquid remaining.  It's not all fat, don't worry!  It's the juice from the meat.  If you want to make a broth from this liquid and leftover chicken, it's very easy.  Here's the recipe!

Easy Slow Cooker Broth


remaining liquid from slow-cooked chicken
bones and any meat stuck to bones from chicken
1 onion, quartered
celery, chopped
carrots, chopped

Put leftover chicken bones and pieces into slow cooker.  Add chopped onion, celery and carrots.  Fill remaining space with water.  Turn slow cooker to low and leave on until you wake up in the morning.  In morning, turn off slow cooker and let stand for a short time until you can easily handle the bones.  Strain broth into containers, cool and freeze.

There you have it, a simple and easy way to make your own healthy chicken broth with none of the fuss.  Plus, it will be rich in calcium after you've left those bones in it all night!

If you want to make it even easier you can skip adding the veggies, but they add so much flavor it's hardly worth skipping.  You decide!


Update:  I just made this broth the other day and made sure to add an onion and a some carrots (we were out of celery) and it gave the broth such a full flavor.  If you have them on hand, it really is worth adding the veggies.