We love burgers around here, and making them is usually a Dude Time endeavor- which means I get a few minutes to relax while I wait for them to finish. Yay! One way to speed things up and get hungry people fed quicker is to pre-make the burgers and freeze them for a quick dinner later. This recipe will make several lunches or two hearty dinners for four.
The addition of two of my dudes’ favorite ingredients (apple sauce and oatmeal) meant they were excited to try them, and also made for a somewhat more rounded nutritional profile on the meal. We like to eat these on whole wheat toast or whole wheat buns, with a side of apple slices and carrot sticks.
This was my first time ever making an icebox cake but it won’t be the last! This just couldn’t be any easier, and the result was a rich dessert with the texture of cheesecake, the flavor of ginger snaps, and the time commitment of take out!
I found a store brand ginger wafer at my local Safeway, but you can use any ginger snap. Just remember that thicker cookies will have to sit longer before they soften enough to serve.
I needed a quick, easy, and food coloring-free frosting recipe for a birthday playdate, and this one really came through! It works up fast in the microwave, and, as a bonus, you dirty exactly one bowl and a set of mixer beaters. (Which my guys wouldn’t lick. Because they are WEIRDOS.) To turn these into funny face cupcakes, I used store-bought candy eyes and a quick squiggle of white frosting for the mouth. (For my cupcake recipe please visit my Creamsicle Cake post.)
The kids were tickled pink by the variety of expressions on the faces, and we’ll just pretend I did that on purpose, rather than that I couldn’t have made them identical if my life depended on it, okay?
Today I was on the mom side of the “your kid is sick” call from the school for the very first time. It made me remember how the time between when they called your mom and she came to get you was an eternity, no matter how long it actually took. We are fortunate enough to live very near the school, so I actually got to the clinic before his teacher came back with his bookbag so we could go. Naturally I hugged my sick baby while we waited, which prompted all the other sick kids at the clinic to come watch us with huge, sad eyes. I couldn’t gather them all up and mother them, but I hope their own mothers arrived quickly to love on them.
Once home, there is only one thing to do when everyone is feverish and cranky, and that’s to whip up some comfort food. Fortunately, I just finished some chicken stock from my “Still Going” chicken recipe. So I was able to whip up some chicken soup in a flash!
Fresh, home made chicken soup that's quicker than going to the store.
2 quarts chicken stock
4 ounces cooked chicken
1 package egg noodles
2 medium carrots, sliced
4 ribs celery, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon dried onion
¼ teaspoon thyme
Parmesan Cheese, grated, for garnish (optional)
In a stockpot over medium heat, add the carrots, celery, garlic, and onion to the stock and simmer until warmed through and the carrots are beginning to look bright and "cooked." (About 10-15 minutes.)
Add remaining ingredients and cook until the noodles are done. (Usually whatever it says on the package directions, but maybe a minute or two longer, depending on how hot your soup is when you add them. Probably 7-10 minutes.)
Serve with crusty bread and grated parmesan cheese.
Want it even faster? Skip the fresh carrots and celery and stir in an 8 ounce package of frozen peas and carrots for the last 5 or 6 minutes of cooking time. You will have fresh soup in approximately the time it takes to boil your noodles.
One of my favorite time and money savers is to “soup up” jarred pasta sauce! Nothing could be quicker or easier. Usually your time from pantry to table is 15-30 minutes! Here are two of my family’s favorite “souped up” pasta dishes. (Find the other here.)
Have you ever thought that waiting almost an hour for the perfect brownies to come out of the oven is just too darn long? Well, either way, I’ve got your back. You can make these fudgy and delicious in just four minutes in the microwave, or fudgy and delicious with a crispy top in the oven. Either way, you will be deep in love after your very first bite.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease an 8" square pan. Unless you have a Pampered Chef round covered baker and you're a sundae junkie like me. In which case, just grab your RCB.
Stir together butter, sugar, vanilla, and almond extract in bowl. (Unless you're using a round covered baker. I melt the butter right in mine- about a minute in the microwave, and then add the sugar and extracts to the baker. Use a silicone spatula to mix.)
Add eggs; mix well. Don't overmix. Use a spatula, not a hand mixer, or your batter will have too much air in it. You want these brownies to be nice and fudgy!
Stir together flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt; gradually add to egg mixture, mixing until well blended. (Again, don't overmix.)
If you are baking these conventionally, bake 20 to 25 minutes or until brownies begin to pull away from sides of pan, then cool completely in pan on wire rack. If you're using your Round Covered Baker, 4 minutes on high in the microwave and you'll have a delicious, fudgy, brownie base for your ice cream. (Sometimes there is a liquid layer on the bottom- this happens when you don't mix the eggs and the butter 100% thoroughly and it does NOT mean your brownies are underdone. Just that they are extra delicious!) These brownies will have a crumbly sugar crust on top if you bake them in the oven. If you prefer a tender top, substitute ½ cup canola oil for the butter.
These are the standard Hershey's brownieswith my own twist. You will want to eat the whole pan! Personally I love these as a base for ice cream sundaes.
Adapted from Hershey's Best Brownies