Graham Crackers

One of the first snacks my daughter liked to eat, after moving past the beloved Cheerios, was graham crackers. She loved them, but frankly I thought they tasted like cardboard. How funny that I had never tasted a graham cracker that didn’t have a marshmallow and some chocolate sandwiched in between?

Graham crackers from scratch, like most anything, taste so much better. I mean it. So much better! I honestly don’t think I could buy a box again. The only problem I ran into was I couldn’t find graham flour anywhere. Yes, you can substitute, but I wanted the real thing since we would be enjoying these crackers by themselves. Thankfully, the amazing internet allowed a bag to be delivered to my door two days later :)

Now, you can truly enjoy these crackers enough to eat them alone, make a little sandwich out of them, or go ahead and enjoy a tasty S’more.

Graham Crackers

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. (1 1/2 cups) graham flour
  • 2 oz (1/2 cup) all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 oz (1/2 cup) brown sugar
  • 3 oz (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, cold
  • 3 oz (1/4 cup) honey
  • 1/8 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Add the graham flour, all purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and sugar into a food processor.  Pulse until combined.

Add the cold butter and pulse until the mixture resembles corn meal.

Add the honey, milk, and vanilla extract and pulse until the mixture forms a dough.

Lightly flour your counter and remove and knead for a few moments, if needed. Roll out into a 1 inch thick disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Pre-heat oven to 350 F.

Roll the dough out to 1/4″ or 1/8″ thick. You can use a cookie cutter, pizza cutter, or a pasta wheel to create your crackers. Use a toothpick or skewer and poke some holes into whatever design your heart desires!

Place the cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for about 15 minutes for crackers that are 1 inch in size or about 20 minutes for 2 inch crackers, or until the sides get brown.

Makes about 32 2-inch cookies.

Source: Chasingdelicious, modified from Alton Brown

This is the way to his heart! If he is like my husband, steak almost always wins. A good, well prepared steak will make most any man happy. Best part? It made my daughter so happy as well that it was a very quiet meal. We don’t have many of those in our house so my husband and I joked that it would be worth it to splurge more often!

I was a little hesitant about trying this recipe for my husband. I’ve never cooked a filet, always just letting the professional do it, but then I thought of how far I’ve come with my pan frying skills and decided to give it a whirl. I also wasn’t sure about how strong the brandy or mustard would be, two things my husband usually cringes his nose to. They really complement the steak well and you don’t get a strong taste of either.

This steak is perfect for impressing, but simple enough that you can make it on a Tuesday night.

*Now, a disclaimer about pan frying any kind of steak. If you get a plump steak and want it cooked pretty done, like my husband does, pan frying alone may not cut it. You’ll end up with a really crispy outside. So, crank up your oven to 450 F and toss the skillet in and cook the rest of the way.

**Also, the recipe calls for a nonstick pan, but if you want a great sear for a steak you really must use a cast iron skillet. It also helps since you may need it to be oven safe!

Brandy and Mustard-Glazed Tenderloin Steaks

Ingredients

  • 4 (4oz) beef tenderloin steaks
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp butter
  • 1/4 cup minced shallots
  • 1/2 cup fat-free, less-sodium beef broth
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp brandy

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Sprinkle both sides of steaks evenly with salt and pepper. Add steaks to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until browned. Remove steaks from pan and keep warm by wrapping in tin foil.

Melt butter in pan. Add shallots to pan and cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add broth and mustard to pan and cook 1 minute or until sauce thickens, stirring occasionally. Stir in brandy. Return steaks to pan and cook 1 minute on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Serve sauce with steak.

Source: Cooking Light, April 2008

Parmesan Tilapia

Have you ever had a recipe bookmarked for a long time and know you want to try it, but it doesn’t happen. Then, one day you finally dig it out and make it. While you’re preparing it you expect it to be good, otherwise you wouldn’t have chosen it. Then, you take your first bite and it’s heaven. You want to smack yourself for not trying the recipe months ago when you first saw it. Thinking back on all of those times you’ve made that protein and hadn’t tried this particular recipe and denied yourself in it’s deliciousness.

Yup, it happens. The good thing is if you try this recipe soon you wont end up like me! You wont wonder about all those times you made fish and denied yourself the creamy, Parmesan crust that occurs. I literally scrapped my plate clean and wished I had made more! This was so easy to halve and make for a lunch that I see this in my future soon and often!

Parmesan Tilapia

Ingredients

  • 1 lb tilapia filets
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 1/8 teaspoon onion salt
  • ground black pepper to taste

Pre-heat the oven broiler. Line a baking pan with foil and spray with cooking spray.

In a small bowl, combine the Parmesan cheese, butter, mayonnaise, lemon juice, garlic, Italian seasoning, onion salt, and pepper. Mix well and set aside.

Arrange tilapia filets in a single layer on baking pan. Broil a few inches from heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the filets over and broil for an additional 2 minutes.

Remove from heat and cover filets with Parmesan cheese mixture on the top side. Return to broiler and continue cooking until the top is lightly browned and the fish flakes easily with a fork.

Source: The Cooking Nurse, originally from Mrs.B.Cooks

Italian Seasoning

A lot of times you’ll come across recipes that call for a small amount of a seasoning blend. Most run out to the store and purchase it, but if you know what makes up that blend a lot of times you already have everything handy in your spice cabinet. If I don’t happen to already have the seasoning mixed up I research it online and make up a batch. I find it is better to have a large quantity of your basic herbs and spices and make small batches of blends than going out and buying a bunch of jars you aren’t going to use all of the time. An added bonus is you really know what is going into the blend so you really know what is going into your dish!

Tomorrow, I’ll show you a great recipe that includes this seasoning!

***Congratulations to Kylee from Arizona and Kylee Cooks. She won a set of small and large Glad FreezerWare containers. Hope you enjoy!

Italian Seasoning

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons basil
  • 2 Tablespoons marjoram
  • 2 Tablespoons oregano
  • 2 Tablespoons rosemary
  • 2 Tablespoons thyme

Mix all of the ingredients together until well combined. Store in an airtight container.

Source: Frugal Living