Thursday, September 30, 2010

Cauliflower "Mac" and Cheese Casserole

I love Facebook for many reasons..One being that when someone on my friends list uploads a photo of food they made I am able to get new ideas : ) This happens to be one of them. My friend Tammy made this casserole and the instant I saw it I knew I had to make it.

The recipe comes from Food Network and is supposed to be another way to enjoy the flavors of macaroni and cheese but without the pasta. Now to be honest it's kind of hard to imagine that cauliflower could take the place of pasta so don't go into this thinking that it will and then leave me messages saying it didn't taste anything like mac n cheese. However if you love cauliflower and cheese then you are so going to love this. It's seriously delicious and makes a great side dish to almost anything. It's creamy and does have the flavors of mac n cheese so I do get where they are coming from. I would suggest you let the casserole sit for a few mins when it comes out of the oven. It was a tad bit soupy but I think if I had allowed it to sit for a few mins it would of thickened up a bit more. You could get creative with this and possibly add in some diced up bacon or ham and make it a main dish or throw in some broccoli. The sauce is heavenly!

Cauliflower "Mac" and Cheese Casserole..serves 6
1 Large head Cauliflower,cut into small florets
1 cup Heavy Cream
2 ounces Cream Cheese, cut into small pieces
1-1/2 tsp. Dijon Mustard
1-1/2 cups Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1/4 tsp. Ground Balck Pepper
1/8 tsp. Garlic Powder

Pre heat oven to 375 or 190 celcius. Grease an 8x8 baking dish with non stick spray and set aside.

Bring large pot of water to boil. Sprinkle the water with salt. Cook cauliflower in the boiling water until crisp-tender,about 5 mins. Drain well and pat between several layers of paper towels to dry. Transfer to baking dish and set aside.

Bring cream to a simmer on a small saucepan,and whisk in the cream cheese and mustard until smooth. Stir in 1 cup of the cheese,salt to taste,pepper and garlic powder;whisk just until the cheese melts,about 1-2 mins. Remove from heat and pour over the cauliflower,and stir to combine. Top with remaining 1/2 cup cheese and bake until browned and bubbly,about 15 mins.

Mine never got brown so if yours doesn't either then I wouldn't worry about it.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Baked Ham and Cheese Rolls

Last week I received a box with Bisquick,Hawaiian Sweet Rolls and a few other goodies. I was over the moon happy. It's been over 3 years since I had those two items...3 loooong years. Now to be totally honest I can survive just fine without bisquick. I make awesome from scratch pancakes,biscuits, and even made a substitute version of bisquick to make an Impossible Cheeseburger Pie. However I will say that there are times when it's nice just to open up a package,add some milk and eggs and get on with making breakfast or dinner. The rolls are not something I can find here. They sell rolls of course but not the sweet kind. So I was happy :)

I mentioned what I had gotten on Facebook and my lovely friend Lizzy who is also an expat living here mentioned I should make these special sandwiches with the rolls. As it turns out I was thinking about the same thing. I've seen this recipe many many times but never made them before. Now that I know how awesome they are..mainly because of the glaze that goes on there, I will be making these puppies alot more.

I honeslty don't think you need the sweet rolls to make this dish. The glaze is what really makes these tiny sandwiches stand out. I used regular ham since you can't get honey baked ham here and used regular cheddar cheese. So for my expat friends living over here..just buy some rolls and make this easy dish that is perfect for lunch,dinner or as an appetizer!

Baked Ham and Cheese Rolls...Tasty Kitchen
3/4 sticks Butter(thats about 79 grams for us euro peeps)
2 TBL Brown Sugar
1/2 TBL French's Mustard
1/2 TBL Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 TBL Poppy Seeds
1 pkg. King's Hawaiian Sweet Rolls
12 slices Honey Baked Ham
12 Slices Provolone Cheese

Pre heat oven to 350 or 180 celcius. 

Melt butter in a saucepan and then add the brown sugar, mustard, worcestershire sauce and poppy seeds.

Brush the bottom of a 13x9 pan with some of the glaze mixture. Split your rolls and brush the insides of each roll with the glaze. Then add a slice of ham and cheese to each roll. Place tops on and put them into the baking dish. Brush tops with the remaining glaze mixture. Cover the rolls tightly with tin foil and bake for 25 mins. Serve warm.   

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Dutch Treat

I've got this bad boy in the fridge right now and I'm loseing my "must resist" willpower... Do you think anyone would notice if I took a small slice?
    I'll just make sure I do the So whats your "Today" look like? Communal Global wants to know. So link on up with us and share your today. Make sure you include a link back to communal global so others can join in and view everyone's Today's aswell.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sunday's In My City...

YAY,it's sunday! Unknown Mami allows all of us to join her every sunday in sharing a piece of our world. Thanks Mami, you are the best :) So please head over there and check it all out! Today's theme is "Sunday's In My Backyard". I wanted to capture the last bit of summer. Fall is on the way! Up above is a seriously cool looking green bug : )
 This is the last few blooms on my hydrangea bush.
                             Morning dew shots are cool : )
              I'm working on my spider web shots now. I hope you all have a wonderful week ahead and see you next sunday! I have a feeling they will be filled with fall photos : )                        

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Full Moon

Finally after trying for 8 months I got a clear shot of the moon! I'm still learning about my camera and all the settings it comes with and it can be trying sometimes. I often say my camera has failed me with certain photos..but it's me who has failed the camera. The biggest lesson I have learned is that you really need to play with all the settings and learn what each one can do. I still have tons to learn but I'm so happy I was able to get some detail with this photo. Click on it to make it larger and look at the bottom left can see the indentations from the craters :)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Chicken Fajitas Mix

I often wonder why it takes me so long to try new recipes because the moment I make them I kick myself for not making it along time ago. Take chicken fajitas..I never had them before in my life until yesterday! Now I'm kicking myself over how easy it was to make and how incredibly delicious it is!! One of the reasons I loved this dish is because of how versatile it can be. We ate this without the flour tortillas and I could see this being served over white rice even.

I've had this recipe bookmarked for some time. It comes from My Kitchen Cafe and so far this is my third recipe of hers that we have loved. The other two were Sweet and Sour Chicken and Bourbon Chicken. The real winner in this dish is the liquid smoke! Although I can not find it here I've been lucky enough to have it sent over to me. Liquid smoke is one of those ingredients you never really think to use..but should! During the winter I like to use it in my hamburger meat and then fry them up in a pan. When you bite into one of them it tastes like you cooked it over a hickory smoked bbq :) So pick some up and give this recipe a try.

Thanks Melanie for yet another winner!!

Chicken Fajitas..served 4 adults and 2 kids

1/4 cup Fresh Lime juice..I used bottled
1/3 cup Water
2 TBL Vegetable Oil
2 Large Cloves Garlic,Minced
1 tsp. Salt
3 tsp. Apple cider or Red Wine Vinegar
2 tsp. Soy Sauce
1/2 tsp. Chili Powder
1/2 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
1/2 tsp. Liquid Smoke
1/4 tsp. Black Pepper
1/8 tsp. Onion Powder

1-1/2 lbs. Chicken Breasts..I used 4
1 Yellow Onion,cut into thin strips..I forgot to add this
1 Green Pepper,cut into thin strips
1 Red Pepper,cut into thin strips
8 ounces Fresh Mushrooms,quarted or sliced
1 tsp. Soy Sauce
2 TBS. Water
1/2 tsp. Lime Juice
Dash of Salt and Pepper 

Combine all marinade ingredients in a small bowl. Place chicken in a ziploc bag and pour the marinade over the chicken. Seal the bag,turn to coat and place in fridge for 2-3 hours..making sure to turn the bag half way though. Take chicken out of bag and discard marinade. Grill,broil,or like me fry the chicken until done. Remove from heat and tent with foil to keep warm.

In a large skillet, heat one tablespoon of oil over medium heat and add the onion,mushrooms and peppers. Stir fry until softened but still crisp tender. Add soy sauce,water,lime juice, and salt and pepper. Cook 2-3 mins longer,stirring frequently.

Slice chicken thinly on the diagonal and toss with the veggies in the skillet. Serve right away with flour tortillas,tomatoes,lettuce,sour cream and cheese...or eat it as is or maybe over some rice : )

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sunday's In My City...

Hi Everyone..It's Sunday's In My city again! Head on over to Unknown Mami and and see what she's up to along with everyone else this sunday! This week I am bringing you "Sunday's with friends"..and I only have photo to show you! I know thats not like me but as you can see from above it took me a very long time to crochet that semi Granny Square. Our friends Tammy and Xander came over and Tammy spent the afternoon showing me how to crochet. It's sloppy but I'm so proud of it. I have a looooooong way to go but pretty soon that will be a blanket. Thanks for stopping by and see you next sunday!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Maple Walnut Brownies

I've officially let go of summer and I'm now welcoming in Fall! So now I'm craving maple things and apple dishes and stews and roasts..the list goes on and on :) I'm starting to think about Christmas too and all the wonderful things that come along with that!

These brownies are more like a moist snack cake in my opinion. They are slightly chewy,moist and have a smooth maple flavor. They are a great alternative to the chocolate brownie if you should need a break from those. Although the recipe never states when it says Maple syrup, I'm pretty sure they mean the real stuff. Please don't hate on me but I can not stand real maple syrup. The taste is just so off to me. That's probably beause I was raised on Aunt Jemima instead. So with that being said I never keep the real stuff in the house and used my homemade kind instead with no problems at all. The flavor was not overpowering and we all loved these brownie type snack cakes.

Maple Walnut Brownies..Taste of Home

1-1/4 cups Flour
3/4 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
6 TBS Unsalted Butter
3/4 cup Packed Brown Sugar
1/3 cup Maple Syrup
2 Eggs
1/2 tsp. Maple Flavoring
3/4 cup Chopped Walnuts

Maple Glaze
1 cup Powdered Sugar
2 TBS Maple Syrup
1-2 TBS Milk or Cream

Pre heat oven to 350 or 180 celcius. Grease an 8x8 square baking dish and set aside.

Combine flour,salt and baking powder,set aside. In a saucepan,melt butter and brown sugar. Make sure you do not allow it to cook over high heat. The brown sugar will start to turn into candy!! Remove from heat and stir in maple syrup. Cool mixture to lukewarm. Beat in eggs and flavoring (I used a whisk). Stir in flour mixture and nuts.

Pour into prepared pan and bake for 25 mins or until edges pull away from the sides of the pa. Cool on wire rack.

For glaze combine ingredients and enough milk to achieve a pourable conistency. Drizzle over brownies.

We liked these even more when they were allow to sit for awhile. The brownie setteled and became more moist and the flavors were able to settle into one another.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


I know, I's a mosquito and who actually likes them? You don't have to like them but you should take the time to really study one upclose(click on the photo to make it larger). I encourage all levels of photo takers to invest in some kind of Macro lense and head out into your backyard. When I got my macro lense I really started taking the time to hunt around for the smaller creatures in my backyard. My world has been opened up to the teenie weenie caterpillars and the ants,and now this guy. In dutch he's called "langpootmug" wich means long leg mosquito. I think he looks so cool! So what does your "Today" look like? As always we at Communal Global want to know! Link up with us,post a link back to communal global so that everyone else can join in!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sunday's In My City...

Hi everyone! If this is your first time here, I'm Sonya and I'm an American living in The Netherlands. Today I am bringing you Sunday's In my Yard. I spent a much needed lazy weekend around the house and this is what I captured! As always a big thanks to Unknown Mami for allowing all of us to join in on this wonderful thing. Please head over there to see what she and everyone else is up to!  The above pic shows the first signs of Fall that I spotted! 
     We've had some sun this week and couldn't resist the last of my summer bug photos.
     Yesterday was a perfect day for hot airballooning!
  Incase you prefer a blue balloon I have one of those too!
  Hello Mr.Fall colored spider! he's candy corn colored! Thanks for stopping by! Have a wonderful week : ) 

P.S. As always for a larger view of the photos just click on them!                                                

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Feeling Froggy : )

Today I am wishing I had the money and the space for this wonderful statue! Whats your "Today" look like? time to link up with Communal Global and let everyone know : )

Monday, September 6, 2010

Spaghetti Pizza

We've got another day of sunshine here and I'm just loving it. My youngest son is feeling better so thanks so much for the get well soon messages. I seem to of caught a small amount of the cold but thankfully it seems to be already moving on :)

Spaghetti is always a favorite for most families..however I've talked before about mine and my husband's issues with red sauce. I just can not seem to love it. I always love what it goes with;noodles,meats,cheeses, but always wish there was less sauce. I have a Taste of Home magazine called Family Favorite Pasta and it has over 230 recipes..and not all of them have the red sauce. However I let my two sons go through the pages and put a sticky note on the ones they wanted to try. This was the first one.

What I liked about this recipe is that the spaghetti noddles actually made a firm crust on the bottom. On top are the traditional pizza like toppings and feel free to add or take away from the list. I always use fresh ingredients so I left out the canned mushrooms and replaced them with fresh. I added them into the hamburger and cooked them that way. What I didn't like is because the bottom is so firm, the topping can slide right off..wich it did when trying to cut it. It's not a huge issue but something I noticed while eating it. Pair this with a side salad and you've got a great weeknight meal!

Spaghetti Pizza..8 servings

2 Eggs
1 cup Milk
1 pkg (16 ounces) cooked spaghetti
1 lb Ground Beef,cooked and drained
1 jar (28ounces) spaghetti sauce
1 can (4ounces) Mushroom stems and pieces;drained
1 pkg (3-1/2 ounces) sliced pepperoni
1/4 cup Chopped Onion
Garlic Salt to taste
2 cups Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1 cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese

Pre heat oven to 350 or 180 celcius. Gease a 13x9 baking dish and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and milk. Add spaghetti and toss to coat. Pour into greased baking dish. Top with beef,spaghetti sauce,pepperoni,mushrooms and onion. Sprinkles with garlic salt.

Bake uncovered for 20 minutes. Sprinkles with cheeses. Bake 10 minutes longer or until cheese has melted. Let stand for 15 minutes before cutting into.
    I'm not a fan of raw onions so when I do use them I always sautee them first. So in this case I cooked them with the hamburger and mushrooms. I think this would be great with black olives aswell.                            

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Sunday's In My City...

Hello Everyone!! Yep it's sunday and we all know what that means!! Unknown Mami's sunday in my city!! Today I am coming to from " Sunny Holland" thats right..we've got sun! of course because of this my youngest is sick with the first back to school cold...So instead of doing something else super exciting I had to reschedule! The photo at the top is a nearby harbor.
    My husband and I took a quick drive through town.
   I lived in the large building to the left for a very short amount of time. This is the front of our city center. There are hundreds of shopping areas in there,places to eat,and twice a week they have an open market..kind of like a Famer's Market.
    I watched that tall building being built. It's directly across from where I lived in the above photo.
                        We zoomed out into the countryside.
                     Drove by a spaceship looking building.
          And spotted a funky looking yellow house! Thanks for swingin by..head on over to Unknown Mami to see what she and everyone else is up to! Have a wonderful week ahead!                                                                                           

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Drop Cookies

Aaahh cookies..I don't think you can ever out grow them. I promised my 3 guys that I would bake them some cookies this week since it had been awhile since my last batch. I whipped up some Snickerdoodles the other day but those were part of a birthday gift for my friend Candee. I also bought her a cookie recipe book and this recipe comes from it!
  These are soft,peanut buttery,chocolatey if you add in some chocolate chips and very addictive! a real winner in my book. It makes a ton so whip up a batch and share them with a neighbor or a friend : ) I also wanted to say thanks for the comforting comments you all left me on my post yesterday. I'm happy to say that although I miss home,I am feeling better about it. It comes and goes for not only people like me but for anyone who no longer lives near their family and friends. So thanks everyone!!

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies..4 dozen

1 cup Butter, Softened
1 cup Creamy or Chunky Peanut Butter
2 cups Packed Brown Sugar
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1 tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 tsp. Salt
2 Eggs
2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
2-1/4 cups Flour
2 cups Rolled Oats
1 cup milk or semi sweet chocolate chips;optional

Pre heat oven to 350 or 180 celcius. In a large mixing bowl beat butter and peanut butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar,baking soda,baking powder, and salt. Beat until combined,scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in eggs and vanilla until combined. Beat in the flour. Stir in the oats and chocolate chips by hand.

Drop by rounded teaspoons full 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10-12 mins or until golden brown. Let stand for one minute on sheet. Transfer to wire rack and cool completely.