Blowing off Steam: Cooking and Other Adventures

Join me on my adventures in the kitchen and in life in general! We will laugh, talk about our successes and failures & figure this all out together!

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Spice Pancakes

I know I just made pumpkin muffins but I had a little bit of pumpkin left over and I can’t stand to throw away food so I made pumpkin pancakes!  Don’t they look yummy?

  1. 3/4 cup white whole wheat flour
  2. 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  3. 2 tsp baking powder
  4. 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  5. 1/4 tsp ginger
  6. 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  7. pinch of cloves
  8. 1 1/4 cups skim milk (+ or -, depending on your consistency preference)
  9. 2 tbsp sugar
  10. 6 tbsp canned pumpkin puree
  11. 2 tbsp butter
  12. 1 egg

Sift 1-7 together in a large bowl.  Mix 8-12 in a separate bowl.  Add wet to dry and gently fold together until blended. Read more…

Kid Approved Healthier Zucchini Bread


It worked!  I made healthier zucchini bread with much 1/2 the oil, 1/2 the sugar and more zucchini than the average recipe and the kids are inhaling it!  The recipe is adapted slightly from the one on Live Better America’s website.

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Pigs, Potatoes and Kale??

Sounds like a weird combination, right?  Not when you turn them into sausage, kale and potato soup!  I have pinned various versions of this soup over the last year but for some reason I couldn’t get inspired to make any of them.  Yesterday we went to the farmer’s market and I picked up some fresh kale, fresh hot pork sausage and baby red potatoes and I couldn’t think of anything better to do with them but make soup!  This meant I had to scratch my original menu choice, grilled pork chops, but it seemed a worthy swap with all the fresh ingredients.  You also can’t help but love the antioxidant packed, flu fighting team of kale and homemade chicken stock.

I was unable to find any one recipe that had everything for me so I used ideas from Skinnytaste and Confessions of a Pioneer Woman to make this one:

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IT’S ONLY 2:15???

That was my last Facebook post.  I was trying to think of something else to say but that pretty much sums it up!  We were banished to a day inside by hurricane Sandy and I have already made pumpkin muffins, puppets, a fort with a sun roof (a/k/a huge hole ripped into it by accident), done several puppet shows (“Hi! I’m a witch!  Hi! I’m a monkey!  Ok, bye!), broiled chicken for the soup I will make tonight, discovered that has the original Super Mario Bros. game FOR FREE (no, we don’t have a Nintendo or X-Box and now I am going to be totally playing this game since I never had it as a kid either and had to mooch off my friends), ate lunch (cheese sandwich and an orange, thank you) and now… I am out of ideas.  That was the end of the line as far as my creativity goes.  I always wanted to be one of those moms who sits on the floor and plays with her kids for hours and magically they don’t fight with each other and everyone plays together nicely for hours.  Did I mention FOR HOURS?  Sorry.  I can’t get past that part.  Anyway, I thought I would be able to come up with craft after craft and cool make believe games like my mom always did.  But that’s not how I turned out.

I taught the kids how to kick soccer balls, catch a Frisbee, hit a golf ball, hunt for roly poly bugs, catch minnows and crayfish, climb like monkeys and make a damn good pasta sauce but when it comes to building ANYTHING out of Legos I am not your girl.  If there aren’t directions, forget it.  I can’t even get past a wall of Legos or my go-to garage for toy cars.  My 4 yr old has already surpassed me in the drawing department so that’s out of the question and given that my attention span is quite possibly shorter than my 2 yr old’s anything that takes longer than 10 minutes makes me short circuit.

So that brings us to now.  Go in the playroom and play with the kids more you say?  We attempt to do this at least once a day and it always ends the same way.  Someone screaming and/or crying that their toy of choice wasn’t played with correctly, (dinosaurs and horses CAN NOT play together and don’t even get them started on My Little Pony), which results in said toy being removed from the scene, leading to more screaming/crying (by all of us) and everyone in time out (me included). It’s really a blast and though I should probably give up we still keep trying!

I hope (sort of) one day to have figured this whole play-with-your-kids-inside-with-no-TV thing out but for now, I think I will make them bundle up and rake the yard.  Come on, it’s a balmy 44 degrees out, (feels like 36 according to The Weather Channel)! That’s practically t-shirt weather!  Don’t look at me like that I really won’t DO it.  Sheesh.  Can’t a girl have some fun?

Roasted Tomato Basil Soup with 5 Cheese Italian Panini

I first saw this soup on Pinterest (no way!) and committed to make it tonight.  As usual, I couldn’t settle for the recipe at hand and had to view several versions and make additions and deletions as I saw fit.  I also couldn’t settle for just white bread and Gruyere croutons.  I needed something more.  I brainstormed with my friend D and her suggestion blossomed into an Italian style panini with ciabatta rubbed with garlic and topped with Asiago, Romano, Parmesan, sharp provolone and mozzarella.  Not just any mozzarella would do.  I went with bocconcini seasoned with herbs and garlic.  In two words:  WICKED AWESOME (we all know how cool it is to be orange-y and reflective like the soup in the picture and yes, I said wicked.).

Soup (Serves 4-6):

  • 1 1/2 lbs of plum tomatoes (about 9), halved lengthwise
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • pinch crushed red pepper
  • 1 14.5 ounce can crushed or whole San Marzano tomatoes, no salt added
  • 1 cup fresh packed basil leaves
  • pinch dried thyme
  • 2 cups homemade chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup cream (or in this case, evaporated milk to cut the fat)

Read more…

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