Monday, September 1, 2014

Make-Over Monday... "Back to School" Snack Mix

  Fall is in the air and today is the last big summer type holiday here at the beach. Having been a Teacher for many years and now finding myself with a lot of spare time on the computer I have discovered that I want to munch more, therefore I gain weight fast. So, I thought for today to kickoff our new Annie's Pantry format, we would start out with a fun, new, healthy, "Back to School" snack that is great for all ages. I love this snack both from a teacher and a snacker's point of view. It is very low-cal and totally nut free, its a great snack for the whole family and can be safely taken into the classroom.

Quick & Easy Snack Mix
 Makes:16 (1/2-cup) servings

4 cups air popped popcorn
1 cup raisin bran
2 cups TEDDY GRAHAMS Graham Snacks, any flavor
1 cup diced dried fruit mix (We like the tropical mix)     
MIX all ingredients in large bowl. 
                                                          Store in airtight container or ziplock bag. 

Please feel free to share your Family's favorite "Back to school snack". And to add a little fun for the day...I
challenge you to find inspiration in the colors of your snack and create a "Labor Day" Card to share. When I think of Labor day I think about all the hard working people in the world around me. Today, I was challenged to use an animal in my Labor Day card, so I choose the Elephant!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Llywelyn's Pub - St. Charles, MO

We love the handmade food with the homemade touches. We have eaten here several times and I always try something new or different from their menu, but my favorite is still their Bangers & Mash. Food is always served fresh at the correct tempatures. Never had a bad meal... Plus, It's fun to see the old bank vault and history of the building. It is always a great stop for a quick bite in our travels of the old Main Street and Katie Park.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

"Tuesday's with Dorie" - Baking Powder Biscuits

Yummy.... Yummy... Yummy! I think I like these better than I do just a plain Old Fashioned Buttermilk Biscuit... and they were even better smeared with fresh homemade butter and homemade mixed berry jam!

lots of people struggle with making great biscuits, so here are a few tips...

Getting ready: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Get out a sharp 2-inch-diameter biscuit cutter (I used a glass, and it was fine), and line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone mat.

Whisk the flour(s), baking powder, sugar and salt together in a bowl. Pour about 1 cup of the cream over the dry ingredients, grab a fork and start tossing the ingredients together. If necessary, add more cream, a spoonful at a time, until you’ve got a nice soft dough. Now reach into the bowl with your hands and give the dough a quick, gentle kneading – 3 or 4 turns should be just enough to bring everything together.

Lightly dust a work surface with flour and turn out the dough. Dust the top of the dough very lightly with flour and pat the dough out with your hands or roll it with a pin until it is about 1/2 inch high. Don’t worry if the dough isn’t completely even – a quick, light touch is more important than accuracy.

Use the biscuit cutter to cut out as many biscuits as you can. Try to cut the biscuits close to one another so you get the most you can out of this first round. By hand or with a small spatula, transfer the biscuits to the baking sheet. Gather together the scraps, working them as little as possible, pat out to a 1/2-inch thickness and cut as many additional biscuits as you can; transfer these to the sheet. (The biscuits can be made to this point and frozen on the baking sheet, then wrapped airtight and kept for up to 2 months. Bake without defrosting – just add a couple more minutes to the oven time.)

Bake the biscuits for 14 to 18 minutes, or until they are tall, puffed and golden brown. Transfer them to a serving basket. Makes about 12 biscuits
You can check out other fans and fun recipes at  "Tuesday's with Dori".

Friday, August 15, 2014

"French Fridays with Dorie" - Roasted Peppers

Yum.... I never get tired of the wonderful aroma of a pan full of roasting sweet peppers. They make an excellent side dish to compliment any protein or just a simple afternoon snack. These tasty treats are easy to make and have a great shelf life if kept smothered in olive oil and chilled.

If you are interested in the recipe or joining our group, we are cooking from Dorie Greenspan's cookbook entitled "Around My French Table"

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos

Here is another yummy treat from Kalee's Wednesday Wish List... We made homemade "Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos" and we used the recipe found here: "Chef in Training"

Very simple and easy to make, they would be great to make ahead, freeze and have on hand. They would make a great, quick afterschool snack for kids of all ages. LOVED THEM!!!!!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Southwest Grits & Cheddar Bread

What happens when you have a whole lot of leftover jalapeno cheddar grits. Well, you make bread of course.... Here at the pantry we have come up with a great new bread and hamburger bun recipe that is sure to tingle anybodies southwest taste buds. So today for our Super Saturday Cooking session, we invite you all to give it a try. 

Difficulty: Easy
Servings: 2 large loaves
Prep Time: 15 minutes plus rising time    
Cook Time: 25 - 35  minutes  


1 1/2 cups warm water
2 teaspoon yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup cooked Jalapeno Cheddar grits
4 1/2 - 5 cups flour
1/4 cup diced green pepper
1/4 cup diced sun-dried tomatoes
1/4 cup diced yellow squash


In a large bowl, combine water, yeast, sugar, and salt. Let sit five minutes. Stir in COOKED grits (leftover grits work really well) and the first cup of flour with a heavy spoon. Add diced veggies and the rest of the flour a little at a time, stirring until dough becomes somewhat stiff and not sticky. Add a little more flour and begin kneading, (I kneaded my bread while still in my bowl, but you can place it on a floured surface if desired). Continue adding flour a little at a time and kneading until the dough is smooth and elastic.
Let dough rise in a greased, covered bowl until doubled. (Usually, about an hour.) Uncover bowl; sprinkle in a little more flour and knead again. Because of the grits, this dough can stay very sticky, so don't be surprised if you use up to 7 of flour cups through out the whole recipe, so now with floured hands, cut and shape dough into 2 loaves and place on a greased pans. Cover and let rise until loaves have doubled. (About an hour, depending on the temperature in your kitchen.)
Bake for 25 -35 minutes in a preheated 350-degree oven

Friday, August 8, 2014

"French Fridays with Dorie" - Tuna Confit with Black Olive Tapenade & Tomato Salsa

So today for our "French Friday's with Dorie" we are making...

Tuna Confit with Black Olive Tapenade & Tomato Salsa   

This is one of those recipes that you have to prepare ahead of time for. I started marinading my Tuna early this morning, knowing that my family are not fish lovers and also being fully aware of all the bold flavors that we are working with today, I choose not to marinade my fresh tuna for the full 2 days. My tapenade is chilling and my salsa is melding. I am so excited, I can't wait for dinner to see how all the flavors come together. Another little secret about this recipe is that you can keep the cost down by making your own preserved Lemons. Here is the recipe...  Preserved Lemons 

If you are interested in the recipe or joining our group, we are cooking from Dorie Greenspan's cookbook entitled "Around My French Table"