Jodi’s Baby Shower

 

Jodi and baby

 

This Saturday (September 24th) will be the other part of “Two Girls Cooking” first baby shower.   Jodi will be celebrating her bundle of joy this coming November!  Not only am I excited for her shower because of this awesome recipe I found, but I’m just as excited to get to share in her special day and the new life that will begin for her in a short couple of months. For those of us that have had the pleasure of raising kids (and some of us already – grandkids) we know what it feels like to hold your baby in your arms for the first time.  The love that you feel before your child is even born is beyond words.  And that is the excitement I wait for Jodi to feel very soon.  Which I’m sure she already does.  She’s most likely at the point of waiting to meet her little guy by now! Her shower will be a group of friends that she’s known for a long time and some just a few short years.  Either way, we are all gathered to celebrate a special time in her life (and Scott’s too – he just won’t be at the shower!!). We decided on mid morning party so that we could have the best food….brunch!  I had made an egg bake some time back and decided that’s what I was going to make.  When I pulled up our website, there was a picture of another recipe of an egg bake (from Foodbuzz advertisement we have listed).  So I take a look at it and decide that I’m all for trying something new – so I travel back to the store for what I need and get this going the night before! I found this recipe at  a site call thatskinnygirlcanbake.  It was so easy to make and I can’t wait to taste it.  I’m hoping it’s as good as her photos showed it to be! Here’s what you need for this casserole: 4 cups seasoned croûtons 2 cups grated cheddar cheese 8 eggs, beaten 4 cups milk 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard 1/8 teaspoon pepper 2 cups crumbled cooked bacon (I used a pound) Diced red bell pepper – I left  this out and added mushrooms and onions.  I made two batches.  One with just the eggs and cheese and the other with the mushrooms and onions. Here’s what you do: Place croûtons and cheese in a well greased 9 x 13 pan.  Combine remaining ingredients except bacon.  Pour liquid over croûtons and cheese.  Top with bacon.   Bake at 325º for at least an hour or till egg is set.   To make the night before, complete all steps except for topping with bacon.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.  The next morning, remove from refrigerator and top with crumbled bacon.  Bake at 350º for 1 1/2 hours or till center is set.  Serve warm. We also had a French Toast Bake that Jodi made.  It was beyond delicious. Here’s what you need:

Ingredients

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 3 apples – peeled, cored and sliced
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 (1 pound) loaf French baguette, cut into 1 inch slices
  • 6 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Directions

  1. Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish. In a large bowl, mix together brown sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Mix in melted butter. Stir in apples and raisins until evenly coated. Pour into prepared pan. Arrange bread slices in an even layer over apples.
  2. In the bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, vanilla and 2 teaspoons cinnamon. Pour over bread, making sure every slice is fully soaked. Cover with aluminum foil, and refrigerated overnight.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Remove dish from refrigerator while the oven is heating. Bake covered for 40 minutes. Remove cover, and bake 5 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
If that weren’t enough, we also had some Tuxedo Brown Cups that Miss Jodi mommy made.  These too, we beyond words.

Tuxedo Brownie Cups

 Ingredients:
Nonstick cooking spray with flour
1 pkg (18-21 oz or 450 g) fudge brownie mix (plus ingredients to make cake-like brownies)
2 square (1 oz/30 g) white chocolate for baking
2 tbsp (30 mL) milk
8 oz (250 g) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup (50 mL) powdered sugar
1 cup (250 mL) thawed, frozen whipped topping
1 pint small strawberries, sliced
 Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C). Spray cups of Deluxe Mini-Muffin Pan with nonstick cooking spray with flour. Prepare brownie mix according to package directions for cake-like brownies. Fill wells of pan two-thirds full. Bake 14 minutes or until edges are set. (Do not overbake.) Remove pan from oven; immediately press tops of brownies to make indentations. Cool in pan 15 minutes. Remove brownies from pan; cool completely. Wash pan; repeat with remaining batter.
2. Combine white chocolate and milk in large microwave-safe bowl; microwave on HIGH 1 minute. Stir until smooth; cool slightly. In large mixing bowl, combine cream cheese and sugar; mix well. Gradually stir in white chocolate mixture until smooth. Fold in whipped topping.
3. Pipe cream cheese mixture into brownie cups; top with strawberries. Refrigerate 1-3 hours before serving. Serve on Large Bamboo Platter; replenish tray with brownie cups as needed.
Yield: 4 dozen brownie cups
Here’s a picture of the great food we had yesterday.

I’m looking forward to tomorrow and sharing this recipe with Jodi’s friends (and her little guy yet to come).  Hoping to share, not just the picture of this dish but some fun shower photos as well. Here are some pictures that I have to share with you for Miss Jodi’s special day:

Playing Guess the Book gameGift timeA bottle of wine for after the little guy is born!

Peggy Coloring Onesies

Beth Coloring OnesiesFriends

 

We had a great time.  I want to say thank you, thank you to Sarah.  She opened up her home for us to have this awesome party to celebrate for Jodi.  We had a good time with not just the food but rubbing Jodi’s belly and feeling her little guy move around.  I’m so glad I got to be a part of this and can’t wait for more to come!

Have a great weekend.

Patricia – Two Girls Cooking

Chicken and Dumplings

Today was one of my first “fall day” cooking days.  It technically feels like MN winter has rolled in and skipped right through fall.  I decided my new recipe of the week would be Chicken and Dumplings.

I felt like I was taking a risk on this one because there were carrots and celery in this soup, but it was requested.  So you get what you ask for, even if it comes with vegetables that you don’t like!!!

Most recipes that I found called for a whole chicken.  And when I want something cooked and don’t want to wait as long as it would normally take, I try to find some sort of short cut that won’t take a way from the flavor of the dish.  So instead of the whole chicken, I used boneless skinless chicken breasts that were herb flavored.

And I might add that anytime a recipe includes making something from scratch that includes flower…I skip past it.  But I have had Chicken and Dumplings before that were pretty good.  So I gave it my best shot.  I think it turned out pretty good!!  The only complaint was from a little one that didn’t want the carrots!

Looking for a hearty soup?  Try this one.  It hits the spot when the weather is turning cold outside!

Here’s what you need (I’ll leave the whole chicken in for those that want to make it that way)

1 4 lb. broiler or roasting chicken

2 quarts water or chicken broth

1 teaspoon bouillon powder

2 tablespoons fresh parsley

1 onion, whole

1 bay leaf (optional)

2-3 cloves garlic, crushed

pinch of black pepper

1/2 lb. baby carrots

1 or 2 tablespoons butter

2-3 stalks celery, whole, plus leaves

 

Wash chicken, inside and out. Place in a large enough pot to cover with about 2 quarts of water or chicken broth and bouillon powder (a bouillon cube or soup base may be substituted. Add celery, a bay leaf (optional), parsley, pepper, onion and garlic. Bring the pot to a boil and then reduce heat immediately to low; simmer for 60-90 minutes until chicken is very tender.

Remove chicken from the broth and set on a dish to cool. Add the baby carrots to the broth and cook carrots on medium until tender (about 15-20 minutes). Remove carrots using a slotted spoon and set aside. Continue to simmer the broth over low heat while preparing the dumplings.

When chicken becomes cool enough to handle, cut into bite size pieces, removing bones and skin. Set de-boned chicken aside.

Dumplings:

 

2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons sugar

2 tablespoons cold butter

1 cup buttermilk

 

In a medium bowl, combine flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda, mixing well. Cut in shortening using a pastry blender or a large fork (pastry makers mix in the shortening using their hands – if you want to try, dip your hands in ice cold water for a minute, then dry your hands first; it’s important not to melt the butter!)

Cooks Note: Butter is the shortening used in this recipe.

Add cold buttermilk, a few spoons at a time, mixing the dough from the outside in with fork until a soft dough forms (do not overmix – about 2 minutes total). You may need to add a small amount of buttermilk or flour to adjust the consistency of the dough due to flour storage conditions or humidity in the environment. Add liquid if the dough is very dry and crumbly after it has been mixed; add flour if the dough is very sticky.

Roll dough out on a work surface which has been lightly sprinkled with with flour to prevent sticking. Roll dough out thinly, about 1/8″ thick, then slice into strips, each about 2 inches in length.

Gently drop the dumplings into the simmering chicken broth. Stir them gently to prevent sticking. Add chicken, pepper and butter and simmer for another 10 minutes or so before serving.

Have a great start to your week.

Two Girls Cooking – Patricia

Serve with the carrots on the side and sprinkle the chicken and dumplings with a bit of chopped parsley, if desired.

Variations: Add 1/4 teaspoon each of rubbed sage and/or onion powder to chicken broth for added flavor. Sometimes we serve this with sliced mushrooms, too. Simply add them to the broth during the last 10 minutes.

 

 

 

Ravioli Bake

 

Today was the first day of school for us!  Fall is definitely in the air already.  We’ve gone from one extreme to the other.   From hot and humid to needing a warm jacket on while walking to the bus stop in the morning.

I found this post online last week while looking for something new to make for the week, but also something that I could put together quick and cook after our busy day/night.  I came across this recipe on Kraft’s website.

After work today I had to pick up the kids from school, bet one of them to the eye doctor, run home quick to let the dogs outside, go to soccer practice by 6pm for an hour.  Since the kids have started sports, that’s how at least 4 our of 5 days of the week are for us now, so I wanted something I could throw in the oven and eat when we got home (I refuse to go to McDonald’s every night!).

I am fortunate enough to work from home, so during my 15 minute break, I prepared this, stuck it in the fridge and had it ready to go when we got home.

I am always a bit nervous intruding something new to the family (not because they tend to be on the picky side or anything) but they ALL liked this one.  So not only did I have a good dinner tonight, but I know that I get to make this again at some point!  Score one for me!

Simple and easy to make and not much needed for this meal.

Ingredients

1 jar
(26 oz.) spaghetti sauce
1 can
(14-1/2 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained – I used tomato sauce
1/2 cup
water
2 pkg.
(1 lb. each) frozen cheese frozen cheese ravioli
1 pkg.
(8 oz.) KRAFT Shredded Italian* Five Cheese with a Touch of PHILADELPHIA – I used mozzarella shredded cheese
2 Tbsp.
KRAFT Grated Parmesan Cheese

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 400ºF.
  2. Mix spaghetti sauce, tomatoes and water; spoon 1 cup onto bottom of 13×9-inch baking dish.
  3. Layer half the ravioli and 1 cup shredded cheese over sauce. Top with remaining ravioli and sauce mixture. Sprinkle with remaining shredded cheese; cover.
  4. Bake 30 min.; uncover. Bake 15 min. or until ravioli is tender and heated through. Sprinkle with Parmesan. Let stand 10 min
Whether you’re in a hurry and need a go to meal or just want to try something new, this one is a winner in our house.
Kraft Tips:

  • Serving SuggestionRound out this easy dish with a crisp mixed green salad tossed with your favorite KRAFT Light Dressing.
  • Buying the right ravioliUse large round or square ravioli for this dish, about 12 per lb.
  • Special ExtraAdd 1 pkg. (10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained, between ravioli layers.
I hope your kids all had a great first day of school, whether it was today or last week.  I hope you enjoy this recipe as well.
Two Girls Cooking
Patricia