Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Copycat Panera Poppyseed Salad

I love this salad. I had it at Panera Bread Company and I couldn't stop thinking about it. In all honesty, Panera Bread Company is in my top 5 favorite places to eat. I LOVE their bagels, especially the jalapeno cheese bagels (sorry Max, I was so hooked on those while pregnant, that probably explains his reflux). I also love the soup and the sandwiches, and now I love this salad. I can't really afford to spend $7 on a salad everytime I want this salad, which is for lunch and dinner every day of the week, so I found a copycat recipe and I've already made it twice. Yum-o.


  • 6 cups romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1 cup sliced strawberries
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 cup mandarin oranges
  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • grilled chicken breast, chunks (if you want meat)


  • 1/2 cup miracle whip, i use light
  • 1/4 cup skim milk
  • 1/4 cup Splenda
  • 1/8 cup white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
Mix the salad fixins together, put 2 tbsp dressing on top individual salads. It gets really sloppy if you put it on the entire salad.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Oven Roasted Potatoes

A big shout out to my friend Michelle. She's the blog's first follower. What is it about having blog followers that brings instant joy? "You like me, you really like me!!!" In honor of Michelle, I shall do a gluten free, cheese free, yummy treat that is dipable (a word? No? Its one now) in ketchup. I think that counts for her, Ryan and Lily's qualifications, but maybe not.

Oven Roasted Potatoes

3lbs red potatoes
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tbsp dried rosemary
salt and pepper*

Set the oven for 400 degrees. Dice the potatoes in small pieces, approximately 1-2 inches, no certain shape, just chunk the heck out of them as fast as you can. Toss them on a cookie sheet. Brush olive oil all over the potatoes and sprinkle with rosemary, salt and pepper.

Bake for 20 minutes, then eat.

*I probably use about a tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp of pepper, I usually just shake it on till I feel like its enough. The potatoes soak the salt up, so I find I use more than I first thought I would.

**I made these Tuesday of this week and added a tsp of dried dill to the mix and it was equally delicious.

***I realize that its explosively hot this summer and heating an oven to 400 degrees probably isn't smart. But a diet coke at Macaroni Grill is $2.50, so just staying at my house saved us $2.50, plus $3.40 a gallon in gas, so we've already saved $6 just staying at home, I don't judge.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Hope you brought your appetite

So, right above scrapbooking, below raising totally cute giants, and way way way above any form of exercise, I love to cook. I have another blog, Rob and Sara plus 1 plus 1 more. On said blog, I've been known to post a recipe here and there. Well, I've been asked from time to time "what was that one recipe you posted that one time....." and I have no idea when I posted it, and it didn't behoove me at the time to do anything smart like ARCHIVE my blog posts with catchy tags that make it easy to find things.

I have mad love for people with blogs about meals that they have tried that worked out fabulously. I have even more mad love for people that have recipes for me that are easy and can be cooked with two little linebackers running/rolling around. I have a gigantic amount of mad love for any recipe that is kid friendly. And my highest amount of mad love? A fabulous, easy, kid-friendly meal that you can FREEZE! I hope to post many things that fit 1-4 of these categories so that I can help people as they have helped me.

For my first post, I am going to move the recipes that I have previously posted on THAT OTHER BLOG. Now they are easier to find. At least I hope. My main man, Rob is the computer wizard. I'm just a mom and GI nurse.

Autumn Harvest Soup
*Serves 6

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, diced
6 ounces turkey or regular bacon or ham, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 (14.5 oz.) cans diced tomatoes
2 (15 oz.) cans Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
½ cup chopped carrots
2 celery stalks, chopped
¼ cup chopped flat-leaf fresh parsley
2 potatoes, peeled and diced (If you use red potatoes, leave the peels on)
1 zucchini, diced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
½ cup to ¾ cup small pasta

Heat the oil over medium heat in a large pot until shimmering. Add the onion and bacon and sauté until the onion is translucent, stirring frequently. Add the garlic and stir, cooking for one minute. Add all the other ingredients except the pasta and simmer, stirring occasionally, partially covered for 20-30 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. Add the pasta and simmer for 10 minutes longer. Serve.

Poor Man's Toffee

1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks)
1 cup, packed light brown sugar
1.5 bags of 11.05 ounces of milk chocolate chips
½ box of Ritz crackers
1 cup of chopped pecans (or walnuts or whatever you crave)

Preheat oven to 400ºF.
Line jelly roll pan or cookie sheet with foil and spray with non-stick spray. Or just use a non-stick jelly roll pan.
Lay a flat layer of Ritz crackers out on the foil. I did a layer and a half, making sure to cover up any gaps with Ritz.
In a saucepan, melt the sugar and butter until a boil is reached. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 3-4 minutes or until mixture is thickened and sugar is completely dissolved. Pour this mixture over the crackers and spread to coat evenly. Do not mix! Just pour, and fill in any gaps with a spatula.
Bake in pre-heated oven for 5-8 minutes, or until the toffee becomes bubbly. Turn off oven, then take out of oven and let it sit for a couple of minutes. Then sprinkle on the chocolate chips. But tray back in oven to help the chips melt a bit. When chips are melted a bit, spread them into an even layer like you would frosting a cake. After done spreading the chocolate this is the time to sprinkle on the chopped nuts or whatever else you want to add.
Let cool and/or refrigerate until hardened. Once firmly cooled then break into pieces.


Bread Machine Cinnamon Rolls
These are magical. If you have a bread machine, dust it off, clean it out and make yourself some of these babies.
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm milk
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 egg, lightly beaten plus 2 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
4 cups flour (Add a bit more if dough seems too wet after first few minutes of kneading in the bread machine.)
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons bread machine yeast

2 tablespoons butter
2/3 cup brown sugar mixed with 1 tablespoon cinnamon
* I doubled the brown sugar/cinnamon part and it was delicious
1 teaspoon milk
1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
4 tablespoons (or less) butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla

Put the dough ingredients in the bread machine in the order listed and run on the dough cycle. After the dough cycle is finished, roll the dough into a large rectangle and spread it with 2 Tablespoons melted butter and 2/3 cup brown sugar mixed with 1 Tablespoon cinnamon.

Roll up and cut into 10-15 rolls and place in two greased round cake pans. Bake at 325 degrees for 20 minutes or until browned. Spread the icing on as soon as they come out of the oven.

**You can also cover the unbaked rolls with plastic wrap, stick them in the refrigerator overnight, and then bake in the morning. This actually makes GIGANTIC rolls if you do the night before method, so you might want to make the rolls a bit smaller if you do this. Or just loosen your belt or put on some maternity pants.
**I have also made the frosting with cream cheese (1/3 less fat, since we are dieting....just kidding) instead of butter and it was EVEN BETTER

Pistachio Dream Cake

Makes 20 Servings

This is actually a weight watchers cake that I make every year for St. Patrick's Day (it turns out green, in a good way) and any other day I deem worthy of a light, yummy, and feel like your cheating, but your not kind of snack.


1 pkg white cake mix
1 pkg sugar-free instant pistachio pudding
1 carton (8 oz) non-fat vanilla yogurt
3 egg whites
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup diet lemon lime soda


1 1/2 cup cold skim milk 1 pkg sugar-free instant pistachio pudding

2 cups light or fat-free whipped topping

Combine cake mix, pudding, yogurt, egg whites, vanilla (beat at low speed fora minute). Gradually beat in soda. Pour into a 9 x 13 pan sprayed with nonstickcooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or

until toothpick comes out clean.

Frosting: Mix the milk and pudding for 2 minutes. Fold in the whipped topping and frost.