Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Marathon Kitchen

Lots of recipes to share today!  And all of them quite fantastic.

First, lunch.  I had a meeting at work from 9-12, and by the time I got home, I was starving and feeling lazy.  I was close to grabbing Spaghettios, but Kenzie reminded me that she has been wanting to try the Greek quesadilla recipe that I had pinned a few weeks ago.  So, quesadillas it is! These were a pretty delicious and easy lunch.  We changed a few things up: no red pepper flakes, no sundried tomatoes, and no olives (the first because spice was unnecessary; the second because neither of us are huge fans, and the third simply because we were out).  And we made some additions as well: Greek seasoning, and fresh oregano rather than dried, since it is going crazy in my herb garden.  I put the toppings on whole wheat tortillas, grilled them on the skillet, and served them up to Kenzie, Mark and myself.  We were all big fans.  The feta was soooo salty and delicious, the spinach was fresh and crunchy.... not too shabby for a Wednesday lunch!

For dinner, I made something Rachael has been asking me to make for a while: macaroni and cheese with broccoli.  To make it even better, it's from the Skinny Mom blog, meaning it's actually low-fat!  Only 335 calories per serving!  And let me tell you: it does not taste skinny.  At all.  Shockingly enough, everyone loved it.  You know that this never happens, so I was pumped.  Rachael said it is her favorite dinner that I've made, since most of the other stuff I make is "wicked weird."  Mom had seconds and asked me to please make it again.  Mark had thirds!  A successful, tasty, and healthy meal!?  Holy crap!

Continuing being Sister of the Year, I made peanut butter cookies for dessert because Rach has been craving them.  To be honest, I was pretty tired, but I figured I could offer to make them and still be off the hook because we were out of some the ingredients, and I wasn't sure where Dad's trusty old recipe was.  Mom attacked the cookbooks and recipe files until she found a handwritten one in the file, and as for Rach?  She was so desperate, she even went to the store to pick up peanut butter and shortening.  So, peanut butter crisscrosses it was!  Actually these were pretty easy.  I love it when things can be made in one bowl.  My fingers are literally shredded because I have cleaned so  many pans lately!   I was able to make them up pretty quickly, even though I had to roll all 54 tiny balls and make crisscrosses in them with a fork dipped in sugar (hence the name).  Rachael, Mom, Kenzie and Mark devoured a bunch, and Rachael said she has no idea why I don't make them more often since they were "so easy!"  I guess I'll have to do a lot of repeats of today's recipes!

Greek quesadillas
Skinny baked mac and cheese with broccoli

Peanut Butter Crisscrosses
(found in Mom's handwriting from the cookie recipe file, with the random fact that each cookie has 3 grams of fat and 61 calories)

1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup shortening
1/4 cup butter
1  1/3 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1)  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2)  In a mixer, beat peanut butter, shortening, and butter on medium to high for 30 seconds or until soft.

3) Add half the flour (that's 2/3 cup, for those of you who need a hint), both sugars, egg, vanilla, baking powder, and baking soda to the peanut butter mixture.  Beat till thoroughly combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally.  Then beat in remaining flour.

4) Shape dough into 1" balls.  Place 2" apart on ungreased cookie sheets.  Using the tines of a fork dipped in sugar, flatten balls to 1/4", forming crisscrosses.

5) Bake till bottoms are lightly brown, 10-12 minutes.

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