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Whole Wheat & Oat Muffins

Whole Grain & Oat MuffinsI made a batch of these for breakfast this morning and they were a big hit! All the goodness of whole wheat and oats in a mouth-watering, delicious muffin!

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup rolled oats, quick cooking or old-fashioned
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup flaked coconut
1/2 cup chopped nuts, (I used walnuts)
1 egg, beaten
1 cup milk
3 tablespoons olive or canola oil

1. In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients, including the raisins, coconut and chopped nuts.

2. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Add the egg, milk and oil; blend only until moistened.

3. Fill greased muffin cups 1/2 full with mixture. Bake at 375 degrees F for 15 to 17 minutes. Makes 12 to 16 muffins.



Chicken with Artichokes and Thyme

Chicken with Artichokes and ThymeA yummy, easy way to dress up everyday chicken. Put it together in the morning in your slow cooker and dinner is on the table in a jiffy!

1-1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts*
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon chicken bouillon concentrate
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 (13 ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained
1 tablespoon corn starch
3 tablespoons water

1. In a large heavy skillet, brown the chicken in the oil over medium-high heat until golden on both sides. Transfer to a slow cooker.

2. In a small bowl, combine the wine, lemon juice, bouillon, thyme, garlic and pepper; blend well. Pour mixture over chicken; place artichokes on top. Cover and cook on Low for 6 hours.

3. With a slotted spoon, remove the chicken and artichoke hearts. In a small bowl, combine the corn starch and water; stir into liquid in slow cooker; cook until slightly thickened. Return chicken and artichoke hearts to slow cooker and stir into the sauce. Makes 4 servings, each with 7 grams of usable carbohydrates.

* You may use boneless, skinless chicken thighs in place of the chicken breasts, if desired.

You can serve this just as it is or over rice or pasta. Carbohydrate count will be higher if using rice or pasta.



Happy 101 Award

happy101 copyI just received this adorable award from Daleen over at Pixie Dusties. She is a young housewife, aspiring novelist and a lover of animals. You really must stop by and visit her soon. Thank you Daleen for honoring me with this award! Oh, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!

In order to accept this award I must list 10 things that make me happy.

1. Spending time with my family.

2. Reading a good book.

3. A warm fire when it’s cold outside.

4. A hot cup of coffee.

5. Helping someone in need.

6. Watching a sunrise or sunset.

7. Visiting my blogger friends.

8. Making new friends.

9. Sharing my recipes.

10. Knowing I am loved.

Now I must share the award with 10 people who bring a little happiness to my day. I have chosen the following friends:

Larry @ Big Dude’s Eclectic Ramblings

Jeanne Backyard Neighbor

Pam @ Screaming Mimi

Connie @ Meal Planning With Connie

Sherry @ Lamp Unto My Feet

Kristen @ Frugal Antics of A Harried Housewife

Brenda @ Brenda’s Blog From Paraguay

Jason @ Pet Research

Dave @ My Year On The Grill

Alice @ Alice Audrey

I enjoy visiting all of your blogs and have been greatly encouraged by your visits to my site and your very welcome comments. I am honored to have all of you as friends and I look forward to sharing more happiness with you in the days ahead!



12 Ways to Save Money in the Kitchen

groceriesIn view of today’s economic crisis, it is more important than ever to find ways to reduce our over-all spending. One way to accomplish this is to reduce the amount of money we spend at the grocery. Listed below are some tips that will help you as you endeavor to gain control of your household spending.

1. Make a weekly menu and shop accordingly. Make a list of all ingredients you will need. You will be less likely to buy things that are not on your grocery list.

2. Cook from scratch. When you purchase convenience foods you are paying a higher price for the “convenience”. Keeping a well-stocked pantry containing a variety of spices and seasonings will enable you to prepare healthier, whole foods for less.

3. Use leftover foods. Many leftover foods make wonderful soups, stews or casseroles. In fact, some of my best recipes have been the result of “cleaning out the fridge”.

4. Stretch ground beef. Add oatmeal, cut-up bread crusts, cracker crumbs, homemade breadcrumbs or plain cereal. This is a great way to use up stale crackers.

5. Use less meat. Use half the amount of meat called for in your recipe. Add inexpensive pasta or vegetables to replace the missing meat.

6. Save leftover pieces of pie crust dough. When making pies, save the leftover pieces of crust dough, place in a zip-lock freezer bag and store in the freezer. When you have collected enough pieces, use them to make another pie crust.

7. Buy blocks of cheese. Shredding blocks of cheese yourself will require a little time but will save you money over buying the pre-shredded type. After shredding, store the cheese in a large zip-lock bag and store in the refrigerator. Cheese can be frozen for later use. I would recommend freezing shredded cheese in 1 cup portion sizes to avoid having to thaw larger quantities that may not get used in time to prevent spoilage.

8. Buy eggs in bulk. When eggs are on sale, buy them in bulk. Crack each egg into a clean plastic ice cube tray and freeze. Remove the frozen “egg” cubes and store them in a zip-lock freezer bag or other freezer container. They can be thawed and used in baking, for making omelets or for scrambled eggs.

9. Freeze over-ripe bananas. Leave the skins on the bananas and place them in a zip-lock freezer bag and store in the freezer. When ready to use, thaw just enough to release the peel.They are perfect for making banana bread or banana muffins.

10. Stop impulse buying. Do not ever grocery shop when you are hungry. People who grocery shop when they are hungry tend to buy more food and make more impulse purchases. Eat before you shop!

11. Use coupons. Using grocery coupons can be a wonderful way to save money on your grocery bill. Some supermarkets offer double coupon days which allows you to save even more, especially when you combine the coupon value with the lower sale price of an item!

12. Use generics. Many times, I find that generic brand products are less expensive in comparison to brand name products, yet they contain the same basic ingredients. Many times generics are the better bargain over using a coupon for the brand name product. Be sure to compare both brand name and generic products to find the best bargain for your money.



Spicy Taco Meatloaf

Spicy Taco MeatloafMy husband was in the mood for meatloaf for dinner. I wasn’t in the mood for the traditional meatloaf recipe so I started putting ingredients together and this is what I came up with. It was sooo good! Hubby declared it his all-time favorite meatloaf!!

2 pounds lean ground beef
1/2 pound bulk pork sausage (I used hot)
1 (14 oz) jar pizza sauce
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 (1.25 oz) packages taco seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 large eggs, well beaten

1. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl; mix using your hands until well blended.

2. Transfer mixture to an 11×7-inch baking dish. With your fingers, form a ridge around all sides of the meat mixture to allow space for drippings to collect. Pour off these drippings at least twice during cooking time; discard drippings.

3. Bake at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Makes 8 servings.

This tastes great with my Easy Cheesy Pasta!



Deviled Chicken

Deviled ChickenThis recipe is from Dana Carpender’s “500 Low-Carb Recipes” cookbook. This is an extra easy-to-make recipe that delivers tender, tasty chicken that even the carb-eaters in your family are sure to enjoy!

4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup Splenda
1/4 cup spicy brown mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 cut-up broiler fryer (I used 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts)

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

2. Melt the butter in a shallow roasting pan. Add the Splenda, mustard, salt and curry powder and stir until well combined.

3. Roll the chicken pieces in the butter mixture until coated, then arrange them skin side up (meaty side-up if using chicken breasts) in the pan. Bake for 1 hour.

Yield: 4 servings, each with 5 grams of carbohydrates, a trace of fiber and 44 grams of protein.