Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic and Cranberries

19 01 2012

I am going to be completely honest, up until now I have disliked Brussels Sprouts. Maybe it was because the only way I remember eating them growing up was boiled and dipped in either mayo or butter. My dad loves these little things and I always remember going out into the garden with my sisters and picking them and throwing them over the fence. So to be honest I was a bit scared when they came in our Bountiful Basket this last weekend.


But I figured I would find a recipe and give them a second chance since everyone or thing deserves a second chance. Much to my amazement I feel in love with this recipe. Although lets be honest it was from The Pioneer Woman and I have not ever found one of her recipes that I didn’t like. So I had one thing going for me. The sweet Balsamic reduction that you make really complemented the sometimes bitter tasting Brussels Sprouts. This was such a great recipe that my four year old gobbled them up and asked for more before she ate anything else off of her plate. I hope you enjoy Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic and Cranberries as much as my family did.


Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic and Cranberries

~ 1-2 pounds Brussels Sprouts

~ 1/2 cup olive oil

~ salt and pepper

~ 1 cup Balsamic Vinegar

~ 1/2 cup sugar

~ 1/2 cup dried cranberries or more to taste

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Trim and clean Brussels sprouts, then cut them in half if desired. Arrange on baking sheet and toss with olive oil. Sprinkle with plenty of salt and pepper and roast at 375 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes, or until brown.

2. Combine balsamic vinegar and sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and reduce until very thick, about 15 to 20 minutes.

3. Drizzle the balsamic reduction over the roasted Brussels Sprouts to taste. Then sprinkle on dried cranberries. Toss and serve immediately.

Click Below to Print Recipe

Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic and Cranberries


ABC Bingo

17 01 2012

So as most of you parents of preschoolers have learned there are two things that preschoolers start off learning right away, numbers and letters. My daughter has mastered her letters pretty well and now we are starting to think about my son. While my daughter knows her letters she still does need to keep practicing them because she can lose them so fast. A found this cute game of ABC Bingo over at Sassy Sanctuary. This blog has some great freebies so if you have some time check it out.


After I printed the ABC Bingo cards I cut them out and glued them on cardstock. One of the things I did when I was a teacher was place things on cardstock and laminate everything because we all know how hard kids are on things. I wanted to try and get as much use out of my handmade games and manipulative as I could since they took some work. Doing these two things will help out a lot!


Now I am sure most of you out there are saying yeah right laminate, that machine has to be expensive. Wrong, I was walking through Costco and found this one by Purple Cows for $20 and it came with 100 laminating sheets. It is really simple to use and did a great job. I found the same one I got on Amazon so check it out if you are in the market to get one.


Back to ABC Bingo, we took turns calling letters which was great for my daughter to recall the letters out of order. Once someone got a Bingo they had to read the letters that made that Bingo back. Again recalling the letters as well as recognizing them printed as well. My son isn’t quite there yet but he had a fun time helping call the letters as well.

The other great thing about this game is that it not only has the uppercase letters but the lowercase ones as well. That was a big problem for my daughter in the beginning, she was confused that there was more than one way to represent the letter. Below are the links to the ABC Bingo cards. I hope your family has as much fun as ours did playing ABC Bingo.

ABC Bingo card 1

ABC Bingo card 2

ABC Bingo card 3

ABC Bingo card 4

ABC Bingo card 5

ABC Bingo card 6

ABC Bingo card 7

ABC Bingo card 8

ABC Bingo Letters

What was in those baskets on January 14th?

14 01 2012

Another great week at the Kingman site and a great group of volunteers. I know I say it every week but we really do have the best volunteers and we really couldn’t do it with out all of them.


This weeks basket had broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, pineapple, oranges, tomatoes, avocado, lettuce, bananas, mushrooms, watermelon, and kiwi.

My 2 favorite recipes for the tomatoes are Baked Parmesan Tomatoes and Tomato and Basil Bruschetta. If your tomatoes aren’t as ripe as you like remember to set them on your counter until the desired ripeness.

For the pineapple try Grilled Pineapple, it really brings out the flavor in the pineapple and is a great side dish. Or make Teriyaki Pineapple Turkey Burgers. If you are in the mood for some sorbet in the middle of winter try making Tropical Fruit Sorbet with your bananas, pineapple, and oranges.

Last week I was not able to make any of my banana breads because my kids decided that their favorite fruit for the week was the banana’s. This week I hope they have slowed down a bit so I can make Chocolate Chip Coconut Banana Bread or Pineapple, Banana, Coconut, and White Chocolate Chip Bread.

Last week I used my broccoli to make Chicken and Broccoli Stir Fry with Peanut Sauce, but this week I am planning on making Broccoli with Cashews. But this Broccoli and Tortellini Salad is also a great addition to a meal.

Cauliflower is a favorite of mine and my favorite way to enjoy it is Cauliflower with White Sauce. We also like Cauliflower Fritters and Oven Roasted Cauliflower. You can also boil your cauliflower with potatoes and mash them together to make mashed potatoes. Your kids won’t even know there is cauliflower in them, especially if you add cheese to them!

I haven’t decided what to use the mushrooms for yet but a few of my favorites are Chicken with Prosciutto, Fontina, and Mushroom Suace, Creamy Chicken Spaghetti Casserole, Salisbury Steak, or Blue Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms.

I hope everyone has a great week and enjoys their great basket. Let me know what you plan on making and keep checking back for new recipes.

Pepperoni Pizza Puffs

11 01 2012

If your looking for a bite size piece of pizza then this is the recipe. These are mini pepperoni pizzas, light a fluff and full of flavor. These are best served warm with warm pizza sauce. They would be a great appetizer or snack while watching a sporting event, great for kids, or why not just make them for dinner! Defiantly give these a try, they won’t disappoint!


Pepperoni Pizza Puffs

~ 3/4 cup flour

~ 3/4 tsp. baking powder

~ 1 Tbsp. Italian seasoning

~ pinch of salt

~ pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)

~ 3/4 cup milk

~ 1 egg

~ 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

~ 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

~ 1 cup cubed pepperoni

~ pizza sauce for dipping

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 24 cup mini muffin pan. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, Italian seasoning, slat and red pepper flakes. Whisk in the egg and milk. Stir in the mozzarella, Parmesan and pepperoni. Let stand for 10 minutes.

2. Stir and divide equally among the mini muffin cups. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Serve with warmed pizza sauce.

Click Below to Print Recipe

Pepperoni Pizza Puffs


Baked Parmesan Tomatoes

10 01 2012

There always reaches a point in the summer where you have been growing tomatoes and you have eaten them every way possible. You don’t know how else to cook them and yet they just keep coming.

Well I know it isn’t summer but over the last few months we had been getting tomatoes in our bountiful basket so often that I was starting to get a bit burnt out. I love tomatoes and had prepared them all the ways I like to enjoy them but was starting to get a bit tired of them. I was on the hunt to find a different way to prepare them and I found this recipe. It is now a new favorite of mine and is great in the colder months because the tomatoes are baked. These baked parmesan tomatoes would also be great on a sandwich or just as a side dish.


Baked Parmesan Tomatoes

~ 4 tomatoes, halved horizontally

~ 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan Cheese

~ 1 tsp. chopped fresh oregano (or dried if you don’t have fresh)

~ 1/4 tsp. salt

~ freshly ground pepper, to taste

~ 4 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil


1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees

2. In a small bowl mix together Parmesan cheese, oregano, salt, and pepper. Place tomatoes cut side up on a baking sheet. Top with Parmesan mixture and drizzle with olive oil. Bake until the tomatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.

Click Below to Print Recipe

Baked Parmesan Tomatoes

Baked Apple Donut Holes

9 01 2012

My husband loves donuts. He could a few donuts every morning for breakfast and be a happy man. In fact I am pretty sure that for most of high school he actually did eat a couple of donuts every morning for breakfast. While I like them they tend to be a bit too sweet for me not to mention they are defiantly not the healthiest thing to eat. So when I found this baked donut hole recipe I was super excited to make it.

I will say that while mixing up the batter I was a bit worried because it was unlike most of the recipes I make. But I was very happy with the end result. These are super moist and very flavorful. You really don’t even know that they are baked instead of fried. I took these wonderful goodies to a MOPS meeting and they were a huge hit. Hope you enjoy!


Baked Apple Donut Holes

~ cooking spray

~ 3 Tbsp. sugar (for muffin pans)

~ 2 cups flour

~ 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda

~ 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

~ 1/2 tsp. salt

~ 2 tsp. cinnamon

~ 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

~ 1 egg

~ 2/3 cup brown sugar

~ 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

~ 1/3 cup pure maple syrup

~ 1/3 cup 100% apple juice

~ 1/3 cup lain low fat yogurt

~ 3 Tbsp. vegetable oil


~ 2/3 cup sugar

~ 2 tsp. cinnamon

~ 1/4 cup butter

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray mini muffin pans with cooking spray and sprinkle sugar on top, shaking out the excess.

2. In a bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice. In a separate bowl, mix together brown sugar, applesauce, maple syrup, egg, apple juice, yogurt, and vegetable oil.

3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and stir gently just until evenly blended. Spoon the batter into the muffin pan, filling only half way. Bake for 8 – 10 minutes.

4. While they are baking melt the butter in a bowl. In another bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon. Remove donuts from the oven and when they are still hot, dip the tops in melted butter and roll them in the cinnamon sugar mixture until evenly coated. The bottoms will still be moist from cooking, so there is not need to dip them into the butter.

Click Below to Print Recipe

Baked Apple Donut Holes

What was in those baskets on January 7th?

7 01 2012

Well I don’t know about everyone else but I was starting to have Bountiful Basket withdrawals. While it was very nice to have a few weeks off my family and I missed the fresh fruits and veggies that Bountiful Baskets provides. Not only that but way to start the new year off right with Olive Oil as an extra offering. We had a great turn out of volunteers and things ran smoothly. I know that we really couldn’t do it without all our awesome volunteers!


This weeks basket included grapes, blackberries, Asian pears, apples, tomatoes, bananas, avocados, radishes, lettuce, spinach, broccoli, onions, and clementine’s.

If you have a hard time getting all your apples eaten, like my family some times does, then make the Baked Apple Crisps. As soon as I did this they disappeared faster than I could make them. I love to eat them and any of the other fruit with this Fruit Dip.

We got a lot of bananas in our basket and I am planning on making either the Chocolate Chip Coconut Banana Bread or the Pineapple, Banana, Coconut, and White Chocolate Chip Bread. If your blackberries don’t disappear before nights end this Blackberry Cake is a great dessert served warm with vanilla ice cream.

Lately my favorite way to cook the broccoli is by making Broccoli with Cashews. A few months ago our families favorite was Chicken and Broccoli stir fry with Peanut Sauce. Also check out Broccoli Casserole and Oven Roasted Broccoli.

You can chop up some onion and add it to almost any recipe but The Pioneer Woman’s Black-Eyed Pea Dip and these Baked Onion Rings are favorites in our house.

I plan on using my spinach to make Chicken Parmesan Bundles. But the Chicken Florentine Bowtie Pasta and Mini Florentine Cups are also great choices. Just remember that any recipe that calls for frozen spinach can easily be substituted by your fresh spinach. Just wilt it down in a pan and 1 bundle equals one box of frozen.

I hope every one’s new year is starting off great and that your baskets were as bountiful as mine was. Let me know what you plan on making with your produce. See everyone next week.

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