Saturday, January 28, 2012

Square Dance

My kids get to take turns picking the treat for our weekly Family Night. It's kind of funny to see what they choose when no one else can influence their decision. We've covered most of the favorites, ie: Tres Leches cake, ice cream, pink cake with pink frosting, brownies, and the funniest (at least to me) M&M's.

This week the request was Lemon Squares.

I don't make my Lemon Squares very often, because they're probably my biggest weakness. They're light enough to taste calorie free, but they're not... I got the recipe in a Bisquick recipe book years and years ago. If you don't have Bisquick I don't recommend substituting, this is pretty much the only reason I have Bisquick in my pantry...but it's worth it.


1 cup Bisquick baking mix
2 tbsp. powdered sugar
2 tbsp. firm butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup flaked coconut, if desired
1 tbsp. Bisquick baking mix
2 eggs
2 tbsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. grated lemon peel
Glaze (see below)

Heat oven to 350°. Mix 1 cup baking mix and the powdered sugar. Cut in butter. Press in ungreased square baking dish, 8x8x2. Bake until light brown, about 10 minutes.

Mix remaining ingredients, except Glaze; pour over baked layer. Bake until set, about 25 minutes. Loosen edges from sides of pan while warm. Spread with Glaze. Cool completely; cut into 1-inch squares.

GLAZE: Mix 1/2 cup powdered sugar and 1 tbsp. lemon juice until smooth.

Thursday, January 26, 2012


I think I could eat chips and salsa every day. Totally not kidding. But I'm kind of picky about my salsas. I like tangy, and fresh, sometimes sweet. My mom brought us some mango salsa, pineapple salsa and peach salsa. They're really good, but I can eat only a little because they're pretty sweet.

I decided to make some Salsa Verde (that's green salsa to you non-Spainglish speaking people...) the other day. I had some cilantro, tomatillos, and jalapenos on hand, so it was perfect. I made up the recipe, without measuring, like normal, so here's some approximate measurements...sorry.


1 bunch cilantro, chopped
6 jalapenos, seeded
6 tomatillos, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
lime juice
black pepper

Blend all ingredients together.

I also love just regular tomato salsa. I received this recipe a year or so, and it's delicious!


1 yellow onion
2-3 jalapenos (seed them if you want to reduce the heat)
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 bunch of cilantro
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. sugar
1- 28 oz. can whole tomatoes (or just slice up some ripe tomatoes)
1- 8 oz. can tomato sauce
1/2 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
1 tsp. white vinegar

Chop all ingredients up, or just dump into a blender and blend.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

I Eats My Spinach

Shane is a finicky salad eater. We both dislike iceberg lettuce, but he's not even a fan of some of the more substantial lettuces, like romaine, butter or leaf. However, he does like spinach salads, so....I buy big containers of baby spinach at Sam's Club. Then, sometimes I don't feel like eating spinach salads every night, and I need to use the spinach up before it goes bad, so we eat something like this...


Sounds kind of fancy, right? It's delicious, the kids liked it, and it had hidden (well, sort of) nutrients for the kids.

I found it here on by using their ingredient search. I love that I can put whatever ingredients I have on hand, or that I need to use, and recipes will come up every single time.

PASTA FLORENTINE (because I didn't use Rigatoni, I used bowtie...)

1 (16-oz.) package of pasta
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 pounds boneless chicken, cubed (I only used 1 pound, my kids don't really eat meat)
3 cloves garlic, chopped (I minced it)
1 pint heavy cream
26 ounces spaghetti sauce
10 ounces fresh spinach, washed and chopped (I didn't chop mine, I missed that step)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (I didn't use it, I was out, didn't want to go to the worked ok without it, but I'll bet it's even better with it)

1. Bring water to boil and cook pasta to al dente, approximately 8-10 minutes.

2. In a large skilled, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken and saute until cooked through and no longer pink inside. Add garlic to skillet; saute until golden. Add cream and spaghetti sauce to skillet; cook over medium heat for 10-15 minutes or until sauce thickens.

3. Add cooked chicken and spinach and cook until spinach reduces. Then add pasta; toss with cheese and serve.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Feeling Our Oats

I think I've mentioned a time or two, that we've been diligent about having a prepared breakfast with the kids before school each morning this year. Yes, this is a new thing. We used to do "hot" breakfasts only on the weekends, because our school provides a breakfast each morning and I just didn't want to get up any earlier.

Yes, I love my sleep. And I love my kids happy, which comes from them getting more sleep.

And yes, I love how this year is going, it's so much better, even with the lack of sleep. I love knowing what is going into my kids stomachs for every single meal. We try to eat pretty healthy, and relatively package free, I can't say the same thing about school food.

However, with the introduction of another meal to prepare each day came a whole new obstacle. Not getting stuck in the breakfast rut, like I sometimes get bogged down in for lunch menus. I spent a long time preparing a list of foods that were our old stand-bys and I've done some fun research since then to find variations to the same things.

Today, we're going to address oatmeal. Oatmeal can be sooo good, and it can be sooo bad. I am not a fan of slimy, gooey oatmeal. I want the oats to still have some bite, and not resemble something you would encounter when you have a cold. I know, gross. So is slimy oatmeal.

We've tried three oatmeal recipes since school started. One was something I had in my recipe box from who knows where, then we tried this one, and then this morning we tried this one. All of them were tasty, all of them were relatively healthy (think fiber, dairy and vitamins), but one was a clear winner in our household.

Let's countdown from #3 to #1...

#3 comes to us from a package of quick oats from the Church storehouse. It's the easiest recipe of the three, and also the fastest to prepare. It's not bad, particularly if you add brown sugar, or maple syrup, or fruit. It's an easy standby for a rushed, cold morning.


4 1/4 cups water
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups uncooked oats
1 tbsp. powdered milk
1 tbsp. sugar

Bring water and salt to a boil. Stir in oats and reduce heat. Cook about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Increase or decrease water for thinner or thicker oatmeal. Add powdered milk and sugar and stir well.  Makes 4 cups of cereal.

#2 was one of the first things I found on Pinterest (yes, I'm now part of one more time-sucking social network). I'm giving it number two because it has the potential to be so much better than it was this morning. It's easy, because it's a crockpot recipe. It's tasty enough. However, because I thought about doing this late last night, I used regular oats, instead of steel cut oats. I'm hoping it's a little less slimy with steel cut oats... If not it's still easy, tasty and filling.

Originally found at

1 cup steel cut oats *
3 diced apples
1 cup apple juice
3 cups water

For best results: Combine all ingredients in slow cooker and cook for 2-4 hours on high or 4-5 hours on low until it reaches the consistency that you like. Be sure to stir every hour or so.

You can also cook longer without stirring as often, but you have to add more water liquid and it does come out a bit mushier. Add an extra cup of liquid for 7-8 hours in slow cooker. (btw, I cooked it for 6 hours on low, it sat for 2 hours on warm and I added no extra liquid but I also used regular oats, not steel cut...)

* It must be steel cut oats, regular oats get very soggy when cooked this way. You can find steel cut oats in your local grocery store (sometimes they are called "Irish oats" or "pinhead oats").

#1 is the clear winner at our house. It's a little less healthy, a little more time consuming, but it's match has not been found here at the Snow house. It provides grains, dairy and protein and Cael will eat it without complaint (which is huge). I wake up, prepare it, but it in the oven to bake and then go wake the kids up, by the time they're ready for school the food is ready to eat. Simple, right?!? 

I'm a huge fan of Our Best Bites, and this is indicative of the quality of recipes you'll find on their site.

Originally found at

3 cups regular oats (though in a pinch I've used quick oats and it was still really good)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 cup craisins, raisins, etc.
1 cup milk
1/2 cup butter (1/4 cup can be replaced with applesauce)
2 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl combine the oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, salt and craisins.

In a smaller bowl, mix together the milk, butter, vanilla, and eggs. Add the liquid mixture to the dry and stir to combine. Pour into an 8x8-in. baking dish. Bake for 40 minutes or until golden brown. Serve immediately with warm milk. Serves 8.