Barn Studio of Dance

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Sugar-Free Chocolate Coconut Pudding Pops

A friend of mine gave me a smoothie recipe a couple of weeks ago.  The recipe called for coconut milk, so in one of my daily texts to Joe, I asked him to pick up a carton on his way home.  It was good timing, too, since it was on sale for $1.00 off that week.

I have a bad track record when it comes to milk.  It doesn't matter if it's soy milk, coconut milk or my usual skim milk, I have a habit of forgetting about it until it has passed the expiration date.  Resulting in pouring the spoiled milk down the drain.  So, after seeing the high price of the coconut milk, Joe told me if I didn't use every last drop, he would not buy it again!

When I realized we had a half gallon of the stuff and the recipe only called for 1/4 cup, I was sure there was no way I'd finish it all before it expired.  I tried it in my cereal and was not a fan at all.

I then decided to make some pudding using a box of sugar free Jell-o pudding mix and the coconut milk.  I measured out the coconut milk, added it to the pudding, mixed it well and put in the fridge to set.

It didn't set.

I checked the box thinking maybe I used too much milk.  Nope.  I measured correctly.  I just failed to see the note at the bottom stating that the pudding would not set when using soy milk.  Apparently, it won't set when using coconut milk either.

Sigh.  I really didn't want to waste both the 2 cups of the coconut milk AND a box of pudding mix, but I really didn't want to drink the pudding either.

After chilling it overnight in hopes that it would eventually thicken (it didn't), I remembered that I've been wanting to try to make my own pudding pops.  Those oh-so-yummy frozen treats I enjoyed when I was a kid.  No better time then right then!  I pulled a chair up to the cabinet that's above my refrigerator and dug out my popsicle mold.  Cleaned it up, filled it with pudding and popped it into the freezer.  And waited.



The result?  A perfectly simple, oh-so-tasty low calorie snack!  Mmmmm!  So good!

Sugar Free Chocolate Coconut Pudding Pops

Ingredients:

  • Silk Coconut Milk 
  • Sugar Free Instant Pudding Mix 
Directions:  
  • Mix the pudding mix with the required amount of coconut milk as direction on the pudding box.  
  • I chilled the pudding/milk mixture overnight before eventually pouring into the mold, but I'm sure you could just pour into your popsicle mold at this point and freeze.  

I'll be making these again once the weather warms up a bit!  I'll have fun trying a bunch of different flavor combinations, too!  


I am linking up and sharing this post with the following blog carnivals and linky parties:




Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Menu Plan Monday 2013 ~ Week of February 25th


Yes, I know!  I'm late with this week's menu plan.  We were very busy running errands this weekend and I found myself away from the computer for most of the time we were home.  I've been bit by the spring cleaning bug and spent most of Sunday cleaning, although you can't really tell!  

In an effort to keep the grocery bill low and make room in the freezer, I'll be cooking (mostly) from the freezer and pantry the next couple of weeks.  

Here's what's on the menu for this week:  



Monday

Spaghetti with Meat Sauce, garlic breadsticks 
We have some ground venison in the freezer
that I think will be perfect for a big pot of sauce.



Tuesday

Sauteed Cabbage with turkey bacon and pierogies
I planned on making the cabbage and pierogies over the weekend
with kielbasa from the farmer's market, but we never did make it
to the farmer's market.

Wednesday



Crock Pot Chicken Noodle Soup 
We enjoyed this soup so much last week,
that it's making another appearance in this week's menu!
I think I'll make it with rice this time, instead of noodles.   

Thursday


Leftover Night 


Friday


Crock Pot Minestrone Soup 
and Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
With another week of watching my friend's little boy coming to a close,
I'm sure I will appreciate the simplicity of this dinner.
I've already taken the soup out of the freezer to thaw in the fridge,
so aside from reheating in the microwave,
all I'll have to do is make a few sandwiches!  

Saturday

Crock Pot Beef Barley Soup 
I love beef barley soup, but rarely get around to making it.
Mainly because anytime I have beef cubes in the house,
I end up making a pot of chili or beef stew.


Sunday 

Braided Spaghetti Bread
It's been a while since I've made this braided spaghetti bread.
I usually make it without cheese,
but since I have a lot of shredded mozzarella cheese in the fridge,
I think I'll add it this time!





Now that you know what we're eating this week, let us know in the comments what's for dinner at your house this week! Or, if you need more menu planning inspiration? Follow me over to Menu Plan Monday hosted by I'm an Organizing Junkie! Or, if you like what you see here, you can check out my past menu plans.

You can also find this week's menu plan linked to On the Menu Monday hosted by Yvonne at Stone Gable. If you haven't checked out Yvonne's blog before, I suggest you drop everything and head on over to check out her delicious recipes, inviting tablescapes and stunning photographs!



Friday, February 22, 2013

Inspired by Pinterest ~ Crockpot Chicken Noodle Soup

Today's post is about a recipe that I stumbled across last week while browsing Pinterest and just couldn't wait to try.  In fact, I almost prepared it last week, but was missing one of the key ingredients for the recipe.  I probably could have searched Pinterest for a replacement option, but I really wanted to keep things as simple as possible and picked up the missing ingredient while running errands over the weekend.


This soup was as delicious as it was simple!  I followed the recipe almost exactly, only making a couple of small changes based on the ingredients I had on hand and the leftovers available in the fridge.



Crock Pot Chicken Noodle Soup
          adapted from Creatively Domestic

Ingredients: 
  • 4 cups homemade chicken broth 
  • 10.5 oz can condensed Cream of Chicken Soup 
  • 1/2 cup celery, diced
  • 1/2 cup carrots, chopped
  • 1 small onion, diced 
  • 2 cups frozen corn
  • salt & pepper, to taste 
  • 2 cups rotisserie chicken, diced 
  • 1-2 cups leftover buttered noodles
Directions: 
  • Whisk together the chicken broth and cream of chicken soup.  
  • Stir in the celery, onion, carrots and frozen corn. 
  • Season with salt and pepper to your liking.  
  • Cover and set crock pot on high for one hour.  
  • Stir, adjust heat setting to low, and allow to cook for another 4 hours.  
  • Add in the diced chicken and pre-cooked noodles.  Cover and allow to cook for another hour or until chicken and noodles are heated through.  


Notes:
  • Since I started with frozen corn, I started out with the crockpot on high for the first hour.  If using thawed, canned or fresh corn, cook on low for the entire 4-6 hours. 
  • This recipe is a keeper!  I think next time I will double it!  


I'm sharing this recipe and linking up to the following blog carnivals and linky parties:

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Red Velvet Cake Mix Cookies

You probably know already that I hate to bake.  Multiple ingredients and all that measuring just doesn't interest me very much.  I make the exception with a few recipes since I really do love baked goods and homemade is so much tastier than store-bought.

I especially love recipes that start with a boxed cake mix.  Those recipes make it so much easier for this grumpy baker!

Occasionally, when Joe runs out to pick up the Sunday paper, he'll surprise me with a red velvet muffin stuffed with a sweet cream cheese filling.  They are a rare treat, since a lot of time they are sold out by the time Joe he gets there.

Ever since I first started making Gooey Butter Cookies (another cake mix cookie), I've been wanting to try them using a red velvet cake mix in place of my usual yellow and chocolate cake mixes.  I just never got around to trying it.  When it came time to make cookies to take to our family's annual Christmas Eve party, I made it a point to try the Red Velvet Cookies.

Just as I suspected, they were a success!  The only thing that would make them better is if they were frosted or filled with a cream cheese frosting!

Here's a quick picture that I snapped with my phone just before packing them into the tin before we left for the party.



Red Velvet  Cake Mix Cookies

Ingredients:
  • Box Red Velvet Cake Mix 
  • 1 egg
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened 
  • 1 stick butter, softened 
  • powdered sugar 
Directions: 
  • In a bowl, combine cake mix, egg, cream cheese and butter until well combined.  
  • Cover the cookie dough and chill overnight (or at least 4 hours).  
  • Roll dough into balls, then roll in powdered sugar.  
  • Bake in a 350* oven for 9-12 minutes.  


I'm linking this recipe to the following blog carnivals and linky parties:



Monday, February 18, 2013

Menu Plan Monday 2013 ~ Week of February 18th


Happy Monday morning, Friends!

Do I sound a little too cheerful for a Monday morning?  Maybe the fact that it's Sunday evening as I type this up has something to do with me being cheery!  Or maybe it's because I managed to get a few things accomplished around here last week.  I've managed to de-clutter our bedroom, Grace's room and the spare bedroom in just over a week's time.  While the rooms aren't 100% complete, just removing the majority of the junk and clutter have me feeling really great!  Closets are on the agenda for this week!

In addition to getting a head start on some Spring Cleaning, I am also babysitting this week.  Meaning, I'll be keeping the menu plan simple.  I am also hoping to try a couple of new recipes this week, if I can!


Monday


Chicken Noodle Soup with corn bread
I know the groundhog predicted an early spring, but it's still super-chilly
and perfect soup weather!  


Tuesday



We loved this recipe the last time I made it, 
I'm thinking Joe will love it even more using ground venison from the freezer! 


Wednesday 


Leftover Night


Thursday 


Baked Chicken Fingers, Mashed Potatoes w/Cauliflower, Peas 


Friday 

Lima Bean Soup, Salad, biscuits 


Saturday 

Pierogies, kielbasa, cabbage 


Sunday 


This dish is so delicious, I could eat it every day of the week!  
Mmmm!  



Now that you know what we're eating this week, let us know in the comments what's for dinner at your house this week! Or, if you need more menu planning inspiration? Follow me over to Menu Plan Monday hosted by I'm an Organizing Junkie! Or, if you like what you see here, you can check out my past menu plans.

You can also find this week's menu plan linked to On the Menu Monday hosted by Yvonne at Stone Gable. If you haven't checked out Yvonne's blog before, I suggest you drop everything and head on over to check out her delicious recipes, inviting tablescapes and stunning photographs!



Monday, February 11, 2013

Menu Plan Monday 2013 ~ Week of February 11th


Is it just me or do the weeks seem to be speeding by?  Or maybe it's just the weekends that seem to disappear at the blink of an eye, making the rest of the week seem shorter.  Hmmm.  All I know is that I've been having a really tough time keeping up with all that needs to be done.

Last week was especially busy for us.  We ran errands, had some friends over to watch the Super Bowl, ran down to Philly to get our taxes done, and watched one of Grace's little buddies for a couple days while his momma works.  For Grace and I, that's a very busy week!

Menu planning took a back seat while I got other things done around the house, but it wasn't such a big deal since we had plenty of leftovers from the big game!

This week is looking to be another busy week with our little buddy here for a few days again, and since Lent begins this week, I really don't want to be caught unprepared at dinner time.  It's naptime for Grace's buddy, so I figure it's a good time to work on this week's menu:

Monday 


Tonight's pot pie is leftovers from last night. 
I'm not accustomed to cooking with 2 kiddos 
running around, so having leftovers in the fridge is 
really convenient for today! 




Tuesday 


French Toast, SPAM, Fruit 



Wednesday 
Meatless for Lent 

Crock Pot Ravioli, salad, bread
It's been a while since I served this dish.
With Lent beginning this week, 
I was sure to take advantage of a sale
on Ravioli last week and picked up 2 packages!   



Thursday 

Valentine's Day 
(undecided)



Friday 
Meatless for Lent 


Spanish Rice with Corn Quesadillas
When I cleaned out the fridge over the weekend, 
I discovered several packages of shredded cheese.  
 I hate when being unorganized causes us to over-purchase.  
Quesadillas for lunches and dinners 
will be a fun way to use it all up before 
the expiration date!  


Saturday 

Pizza Night 
I have a free one-time-use coupon code for Papa John's Pizza
for voting correctly for the Super Bowl coin toss.  



Sunday 


I'm not sure yet what our plans are for the weekend, 
but I do know that I want to keep Sunday's meal pretty easy. 
Can't get much easier than a simple crock pot stew!  



Now that you know what we're eating this week, let us know in the comments what's for dinner at your house this week! Or, if you need more menu planning inspiration? Follow me over to Menu Plan Monday hosted by I'm an Organizing Junkie! Or, if you like what you see here, you can check out my past menu plans.

You can also find this week's menu plan linked to On the Menu Monday hosted by Yvonne at Stone Gable. If you haven't checked out Yvonne's blog before, I suggest you drop everything and head on over to check out her delicious recipes, inviting tablescapes and stunning photographs!  



Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Wordless Wednesday ~ So Sleepy

I may or may not have mentioned here before that Grace has pretty much phased out nap time.  I miss nap time.  You know, the only two hours of alone time that us stay-at-home-moms get each day.  The two hours that we use to shower, fold laundry, clean out the fridge, get dinner ready, clean the bathroon, or even catch a nap ourselves if the kiddo kept us up all night the night before.

Since nap time is no longer a part of our daily schedule, it's been a challenge to find time to get all of those things done during the day.  A couple of days last week, Grace and I entertained one of our little friends.  This resulted in earlier mornings and a lot more play time than usual for Grace.



This is how I found her when I peeked in on her while trying to get dinner started after our little friend left for the day.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Hamburger Soup

I love beef vegetable soup, but I don't make it as often as I would like since we don't purchase red meat that often.  On the occasions that we do buy red meat, it's usually in the form of hamburger patties or ground beef.  I stay away from pricey beef cubes unless I can find a really great sale.

Hamburger Soup is a good substitute for the more traditional beef vegetable soup.  I find it to be quicker as well as less expensive, especially if you have some pre-cooked ground beef in your freezer.  I didn't have any on hand, but starting from raw ground beef only adds a few more minutes to the process.



Hamburger Soup 

Ingredients: 

  • 3/4 lb. ground beef
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 lg. carrot, diced 
  • 2 potatoes, diced
  • 3 Tbs. steak sauce
  • 1 Tbs. worcestershire sauce 
  • 2 cartons beef broth 
  • 1/2 Tbs. oregano
  • 1/2 Tbs. Mrs. Dash 
  • pepper, to taste 
  • 3 cups frozen mixed vegetables, thawed 
  • cooked pasta, small variety preferred 
Directions: 
  • Brown the the ground meat, drain. 
  • Add in your diced vegetables and the broth. 
  • Stir in the steak sauce, worcestershire sauce and seasonings.  
  • bring to boil.
  • Cover, reduce heat.  Allow to simmer for 20 minutes. 
  • Stir in the mixed vegetables and pasta, simmer for another 5-10 minutes. 

We love this soup!  It's an easy, throw-together soup that's perfect for during the busy work week.  It's such an easy and quick soup that you can throw together in the morning and serve for lunch on a cold afternoon!  



Friday, February 1, 2013

Guest Post ~ Groundhog Day Pudding Cups

January has passed by so quickly that the entire month is truly a blur!  Because of this, I didn't get around to doing anything special for Groundhog Day.  In fact, I completely forgot about it until I saw the adorable treat my friend Merry made for her kiddos to celebrate the day that we find out if we'll have an early spring or if we'll be stuck with 6 more weeks of winter!

Since I've been wanting to ask Merry to do a guest post ever since I shared photos of her daughter's Princess and the Pea birthday party, I saw this as the perfect opportunity!  




Hi, my name is Merry and I am mom to James, 11, and Lily, 5. I am a big holiday celebrator. No matter how small the holiday I can find a way to celebrate it. Especially these winter holidays when Christmas is over and spring seems so far away. It's another 2 weeks to Valentines Day? Have no fear - Groundhog Day is here! Lily has come home from school asking to watch Punxsutawney Phil on tv live and this year I have made a cute dessert, Groundhog pudding cups for the kids to enjoy. So we are in full Groundhog mode here.



I got the idea from FamilyFun magazine (you can see my inspiration here) and if you don't already get it look into it because they have many great and easy things to do for and with your kids. The only changes I made to the directions in the magazine is I substituted butterscotch chips for the suggested peanut butter ones and used a tube of black cake decorator icing that I already had. It was hard but I managed to not eat the whole bag of Milanos before I could make these.

So, have a Happy Groundhog Day and in this house we are hoping for an early spring!
(and don't drive angry!)



Note from Alison:  In case you're like me and you've lived under a rock since the release of the movie Groundhog Day in 1993, the last line in Merry's post is a reference to the movie.  I've never seen the movie so I had to ask her!  I guess it's about time I watch it...I wonder if it will be on cable at all today?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...