Avocado, Cream Cheese, and Salsa Puff Pastries

Puff Pastries

I believe I found this recipe on Pinterest as well.  And I have one word for them….  AMAZING!!

These were so fun to make and even better to eat.  It gave the kids and I some good quality time together in the kitchen.

Brooklyn helping with the pastry

Caleb helping with the pastry

I wish I would have found this recipe while I still had some of the avocados left from SoCalAvocodos, but I  ran out too soon!

Avocado

Avocado, Cream Cheese, and Salsa-Stuffed Puff Pastries (with a vegan option)

Makes approximately 9 puffs, depending on size of squares and how thin dough is rolled

1 large sheet puffed pastry, thawed.

1 ripe avocado, halved and mashed (approximately 1 tablespoon of avocado per pastry square)

1/3 cup cream cheese (approximately 1 teaspoon of cream cheese per pastry square) – I used fat free

1/3 cup salsa (approximately 1 teaspoon of salsa per pastry square. I used a combination of Sala Verde and Tostito Restaurant Style salsa

salt and pepper, sprinkled to taste

1 egg, beaten

Salsa Verde

Salsa

How to:

Preheat oven to 400F and prepare two baking sheets with either parchment paper.

Thaw one large square of puffed pastry for about 10 minutes. Flour your countertop or working surface and roll out the pastry square as thinly as possible.  With a pizza cutter or knife, slice the puffed pastry into approximately 2-inch by 2-inch squares.  From the one thinly rolled large sheet of frozen puffed pastry, I created 18 squares.

On half the squares, place a dollop of avocado, then cream cheese, then salsa, season with salt and pepper.  Use the remaining squares as the lids and place one lid over the filling mounds. Seal the pastry packages by pressing the edges with a fork, taking care to seal the edges well, pressing the fork in repeatedly, so no filling escapes during baking.

Pastry Filling

In a small bowl, beat an egg with a fork, and apply an eggwash to each of the pastry packages. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until desired browning and puffing has occurred. Watch them closely after 10 minutes in case your oven is hotter or your brand of puffed pastry cooks faster.

Remove from the oven and serve.  Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator and if desired, reheat leftovers in the microwave for approximately 45 seconds before serving.  Or, store extras in an airtight container on the countertop for a day or so, using common sense because of the cream cheese filling, and reheating in the microwave if desired.

Just out of the oven

To keep this vegan, use vegan cream cheese such as Tofutti and there are many recipes on the internet for ‘vegan puffed pastry’ that you can make at home.  Omit the eggwash and if desired, lightly wash with almond milk or soy milk.

As I said, these were amazing.  We happen to have some left over of avocado, cream cheese and salsa left over, so I made a bit of chip dip to have along with these!  Again…. AMAZING.  So glad I found these!

Add a Little Bit of Salsa

Great Chip Dip

Happy Day for us in the kitchen.

Patricia – Two Girls Cooking

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Cooking with Kids

Today after work, the kids and I spent three hours in the kitchen cooking.  We made two different recipes that we’ll post soon for you all.  I thought I’d share some of the pictures of the fun we had today.

 

Enjoying our food

 

Eating some of our cooking

 

I got some pictures too of the kids actually sitting at the same table coloring today as well.  We had a few moments where there was some back and forth between the two of them, but for the most part we had a good time together this afternoon!

Color Time

 

Caleb I'm not taking a pix of him

Brooklyn and Rosetta coloring

I try my best to spend some quality time with each of the kids separately but they do make it difficult.  There is so much competition between the two of them for attention that when one is doing something with me, the other is right there having to do the same thing.  I tried to get Brooklyn to help me make the appetizer but Caleb insisted that he help too.  I ended up making two batches of the appetizers and doing dinner alone!

What a good way to end the long weekend.  Good cooking, good quality time and great food!

I believe in getting the kids as involved in the kitchen at this age so that they, not only learn how to cook, but also to enjoy doing it.

Getting our pastry ready

Caleb getting our pastry ready

Happy President’s Day.

Patricia, Caleb and Brooklyn

Apple Pie Baked in the Apple

The other day I was on Pinterest looking for something good to bake.  I stumbled on this picture of Apple Pie Baked in the Apple.  I thought it looked amazingly good.

I baked this tonight and have to say that this is one of the best apple dessert I’ve had in a long time!  It removed the crust except for the topping, yet it still had the best taste without it.  Being baked inside of the apple was twice the surprise as eating a  regular piece of pie.  You get the sugary, cinnamon flavor of the cut up apples on the inside and the soft baked apple on the outside was soft and sweet.  This is a must try for sure.

Ingredients

Serves 4

5-6 Granny Smith apples that can stand on their own

1 teaspoon of cinnamon – I added a bit more on the apples and on the top of the pie crust when baking

1/4 cup sugar

1 tablespoon brown sugar

Pie Crust (homemade or pre-made) I used the pre-made!

Here’s what you do:

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F.

Cut the top of 4 apples off and discard.  Remove the inside of each apple with a spoon or melon baller very carefully.

Roll out pie crust and slice into 1/4 inch strips.

Cover the top of the apple in a lattice pattern with pie crust strips.

Place apples in an 8×8 pan.  If your apples are big you may need a bigger pan.  Add just enough water to the cover the bottom of the pan.

Cover with foil and bake for 20-25 minutes.

Remove foil and bake for an additional 20 minutes or until crust is golden brown and sliced apples are soft.

Caleb decided he didn’t want one of these for his bedtime snack.  Too bad for him because now Nana gets to have another one tomorrow!!

I still can’t get over how easy this was to make and how good it was.  Fantastico!!

What a way to end the weekend.  Have a great week.

Patricia – Two Girls Cooking

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Paper Plates and China

Updated Shepherd’s Pie

What to have for dinner.  What to plan for the week.  I tend to go through this as you already know every single week.  I want to try new things, I want to make sure the family will like it, and I also want to find something that is simple to make, yet has great flavor to it.

I love Pinterest because I’ve found many good recipes on there.  I also have found quite a few recipes that are healthy for you (you may get sick of that but it’s what we have to do in our house) on the Kraft foods website.  I found this Updated Shepherd’s Pie on that site.

At first the family was a bit skeptical when they saw what I was putting in a pan and then on top of it!!  (And yes we’ve had this before).

Ingredients

1-1/4 lb. red potatoes (about 4), cut into chunks (I used store bought loaded baked potatoes – saved time)

3 large cloves garlic

1 lb. ground turkey

2 Tbsp. flour

4 cups frozen mixed vegetables (carrots, corn, green beans, peas), thawed (because I have picky people  I used corn and beans only)

3/4 cup fat-free reduced-sodium chicken broth

2 Tbsp. ketchup

3/4 cup BREAKSTONE’S Reduced Fat or KNUDSEN Light Sour Cream

1/2 cup KRAFT 2% Milk Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese, divided

COOK potatoes and garlic in boiling water in large saucepan 20 min. or until potatoes are tender. Meanwhile, brown meat in large nonstick skillet. Stir in flour; cook 1 min. Add mixed vegetables, broth and ketchup; cook 5 min., stirring frequently.

HEAT oven to 375°F. Drain potatoes; return to pan. Add sour cream; mash until potatoes are smooth and mixture is well blended. Stir in 1/4 cup cheese. (Or use the pre made potatoes)

SPOON meat mixture into 8-inch square baking dish; cover with potatoes.

BAKE 18 min. Top with remaining cheese; bake 2 min. or until melted.

kraft kitchens tips

MAKEOVER – HOW WE DID IT

We took a classic recipe and gave it a makeover by replacing the butter in the mashed potatoes with both BREAKSTONE’S Reduced Fat or KNUDSEN Light Sour Cream and KRAFT 2% Milk Shredded Cheddar for great taste and a creamy texture. In addition, we used extra-lean ground beef in place of regular ground beef. These small changes resulted in a savings of 90 calories and 15g of fat per serving.

SUBSTITUTE

Substitute 1 cup BREAKSTONE’S or KNUDSEN Low Fat Cottage Cheese for the sour cream. Blend the cottage cheese in a blender until smooth before using as directed.

SUBSTITUTE

Prepare using your favorite mix of frozen vegetables.

Another hearty, comfort food dinner.  This was a big hit.  No left overs tonight!!

Patricia – Two Girls Cooking

Source

Kraft Foods

Chicken & Vegetable Cheesy Pasta

Chicken Pasta

I was going to make this dinner one night that Craig was gone bowling.  But things changed and it just so happened he had to eat it!  He’s not a fan of carrots, which is why I said I was going to make it when he was gone.  I gave him the option to pick them out (and I think he did for the most part), but this was a hearty, close to comfort  food meal.  I also left out the onion because I’m the only fan of them in the house.  I think it would have had given it more flavor but it was still a good pasta dinner.

Easy to make, kids ate it, Craig ate it and there are left overs for me to have for lunch this week!

what you need

2 cups penne pasta, uncooked

1 Tbsp. oil, divided

1-1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips, divided

7 carrots (1/2 lb.), shredded (I bought a bag of shredded carrots)

1 onion, sliced (I left the onion out due to dislikes)

2 cloves garlic, minced

6 KRAFT Singles, chopped  – I used fat free

2 Tbsp. KRAFT Grated Parmesan Cheese

2 Tbsp.  chopped fresh parsley

make it

COOK pasta in large saucepan as directed on package, omitting salt.

MEANWHILE, heat 1 tsp. oil in large skillet on medium-high heat. Add half the chicken; cook and stir 2 min. or until lightly browned. Remove from skillet; cover to keep warm. Repeat with remaining chicken and 1 tsp. of the remaining oil. Add remaining oil. carrots, onions and garlic to skillet; cook and stir 3 min. Return chicken to skillet; cook 2 min. or until done, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; cover to keep warm.

DRAIN pasta, reserving 1-1/4 cups of the cooking water. Return pasta to pan. Stir in reserved water and Singles; cook and stir 1 min. or until Singles are completely melted. Add chicken mixture; cook and stir 2 min. or until heated through. Top with Parmesan and parsley.

It seems, lately, that every time I’m in the kitchen cooking, the kids come in and say “gross”.  Doesn’t matter what it is.  I’ve grown used to it at this point.  They have a choice.  They can eat what I make for dinner or they can make a sandwich to eat.  Brooklyn has only done that once.  Not sure if it’s because she doesn’t want to make it herself or because she actually likes what I make.  She did go back for 2 more helpings.

Have a great rest of the weekend.

I may have a good dessert for tomorrow depending on time!

Patricia – Two Girls Cooking

Source:

Kraft Foods

Thursday Fun

Today Brooklyn finished her very first book report.  I’m still trying to remember if I even knew how to spell in that grade, and this girl has read a book on Elizabeth Blackwell and written a page and a half report.  In second grade.  Did I mention that!!  I listened to her read the book, gather her facts, and guided her in the direction of how to write it.  But she did the work herself!  Way to go Brooklyn.

After that we started a birthday card for one of her friends.  It seems as though one of the kids has a birthday party to go to every other weekend at least.  It’s so funny to look back at when I was younger and compare things to where they are now.  No cell phones, no PS3, no DS lites, no XBox.  We got on our bikes and rode our bikes miles away from home without our parents knowing where we were every second of the day.  But now we have playmates scheduled for days in advance, birthday parties at Pump It Up or Chuck E. Cheese.

I’m thankful that a friend introduced me to the Cricut.  The kids and I have spent hours at a time making cards and having fun doing it.  There may be a bit of bicker back and forth, but our goal at the end brings out a pretty little card!

Birthday Card

After making the card Brooklyn needed a break.  She got the iPad out and turned on her Kidz Bop and listened to music!!

Brooklyn listening to music

While Brooklyn took her little break on the floor, Caleb did his reading for the day.  He had 25 minutes to finish his next reading clock.  He snuggled up in our bed and read to me while I folded clothes.

Snuggled up with a good book!

The 1st graders have a goal of reading 30 hours by the end of the year.  So far Caleb is at 16 hours.  Not much longer to go.  It seems as though reading was more enjoyable to him when he didn’t “have” to do it.

Me?  I took the day off and got my hair cut!!

Goofy Nana!!

Tomorrow is Friday.  Looking forward to the weekend.  It seems after I have a day off from work, I need another day off to get myself back into a routine.  If that even makes sense.

Take time to read, play and enjoy what you have.  Before you know it kids are grown before your eyes.

Patricia

Breakfast for dinner..

Cheesy Spinach Scramble

I love breakfast for dinner.  Who doesn’t!!  I stumbled up on this recipe last week on Kraft foods website while getting my weekly dinner plan down.

The best part of this dinner was that it was under 300 calories, low fat, and low cholesterol (yay for me).  And the kids sure didn’t notice a difference!  I was a bit nervous that they wouldn’t like the “green stuff” inside the eggs, but they both asked for more!!

Here’s what you need

1/2 cup baby spinach

1 cup of All Whites (100% Liquid Egg Whites)

1tsp Mrs. Dash

Multi-grain English muffin, toasted

Slices of fat free Kraft Singles

Turkey Bacon – I added this little fun part

 

Turkey Bacon

 

Here's what you need

Here’s what you do:

Cook the spinach in a non stick skillet on medium heat for 1 minute or until spinach starts to wilt.

Add egg product with Mrs. Dash; cook and stir 1-2 minutes or until soft set.

After toasting muffins, fill with egg mixture and add bacon and cheese!  Hopefully you’ll have some leftover bacon to add to the side!

Easy, good for you, and most importantly, the kids loved it.  And when the kids love it, you know you get to make it again!!

 

Breakfast for Dinner

Enjoy the rest of your week.

Patricia – Two Girls Cooking