Sharing our food successes and failures, new recipes and old favorites
...and throwing in some great money-saving deals here and there!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Rissers 2013

The Rissers 2013
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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Quiche, cold soup & quinoa!

Yep, I know - another 4+ months have passed since the last post. I can definitely use pregnancy, labor and recovery as an excuse! Jakob Steaven Risser was born May 13 (Mother's Day!) and is as perfect as they come. Here he is about 2 weeks old - cute, huh?

We've been lucky enough to have another round of meals provided by the MOMS Club, but now that they are winding down I have to go back to cooking. I still have some pregnancy weight to lose and with all of the fresh fruits and vegetables available over the summer, no better way to attack the weight loss with a little bit of healthy eating, as well as some cross-fit training sessions from a good friend (a totally tough broad!). I stocked up on lots from Wegmans this week - corn, asparagus, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, carrots, peppers...and we picked a nice crop of green beans from our garden. Speaking of which, we're growing red and green peppers, jalapeno peppers, zucchini, beans and corn - yep, corn! We have four stalks planted, so we'll see how that works out. Hoping to do some major expansion next year and get some fruits planted (and fenced so the critters stay out), but for now, this is just enough.

This morning the baby was especially cooperative and the kids were entertained enough with the trampoline, Wii Just Dance Kids, and general goofing around, so I had at it. I made red quinoa-avacado salad, crab and asparagus quiche and strawberry soup. I spent a couple hours cooking peacefully which almost rarely happens! I may need to start prepping meals in the morning if it's always that easy. The "witching hour(s)" hits our house around 5 p.m. and lasts until bed time. Never easy to juggle all of the melt downs with meal preparation...practically impossible!

I was a little nervous about the salad and soup since I've never made either, but all the ingredients seemed like things that would work well together and taste good, so what the hell?! And boy-oh-boy did they ever work! No one else will eat the quinoa (which is fine...I'm happy to tackle that on my own), but the quiche is a fan-favorite and the soup seemed to be a hit, too. We're still struggling with Luke on eating things other than mac-n-cheese, hot dogs, nuggets, etc., but he's improving. He loves hummus and is slowly coming around to trying new things. I can't remember how old Linds was when she started eating "for real," but I'm sure Luke will come around soon enough.

Soooo, without further ado, here are the recipes!

Red Quinoa-Avacado Salad (courtesy of Wegmans)
7 oz red quinoa, cooked per pkg directions, chilled
12 oz frozen corn, thawed
1 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup green onions, thinly sliced on the bias
2 plum tomatoes, 1/4-inch dice (about 1 cup)
2 avocados, peeled, pitted, cubed small
1/2 cup lemon vinaigrette (I used the Wegmans brand, but if you aren't local to one you can find recipes all over the 'net)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

  1. Add cooked quinoa, corn, cilantro, green onions, and tomatoes to mixing bowl. 
  2. Fold in avocados and dressing; mix until well-combined. 
  3. Season with salt and pepper; serve.

Strawberry Soup (courtesy All Recipes)
2 pints strawberries
2 cups plain yogurt
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup water

  1. In a blender, combine the strawberries, yogurt, orange juice, sugar, and water. 
  2. Puree until well mixed. Chill and serve.

Crab & Asparagus Quiche
1/2 cup light mayonnaise
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 eggs
1/2 cup milk
2 cans crab meat (or 1 cup fresh)
1.5 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup chopped green onions
8 spears asparagus, chopped
1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together eggs, mayonnaise, flour, milk, crab, cheese, asparagus and onion. Spread into pie shell.
  3. Bake for 60 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Saturday, February 11, 2012


The kiddos begged for pancakes this morning, and I have to admit - I'm a sucker for tons of warm pancakes, loaded with maple syrup and butter on a cold, snowy day. It all just seems to fit together. Instead of wimping out with my Bisquick batch, I made them from scratch - and they were delish! This made about a dozen or so.

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 1/4 cups milk
1 egg
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract

  1. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. 
  2. Make a well in the center and pour in the milk, egg, vanilla and melted butter; mix until smooth.
  3. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium heat. 
  4. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Chicken and Dumplings

I've been doing a lot of crockpot meals lately - they're so much easier to throw together and have ready in time rather than fighting the clock (and the kiddos) for a decent meal. Everyone eats this one (well, Luke picks at it and takes a few reluctant bites), so we do it every once in awhile. The sodium content has to be out of control, but it's a good way to sneak in some vegetables and I admit I love the mushy biscuits!

Chicken and Dumplings
3 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
2 tablespoons butter
1 (10.75 ounce) cans condensed cream of chicken soup
1 (10.75 ounce) cans condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 onion, finely diced
2 (10 ounce) packages refrigerated biscuit dough, torn into pieces
1 can mixed veggies
1 can chicken broth

  1. Place the chicken, butter, soups, veggies and onion in a slow cooker. (It will look VERY liquidy, but that's what you want.)
  2. Cover, and cook for 5 to 6 hours on High or 10 hours on Low.
  3. About 2 hours before serving, place the torn biscuit dough in the slow cooker. Cook until the dough is no longer raw in the center.

Banana Bread

I was really excited about this banana bread recipe - it substituted honey and sugar-free applesauce for the brown sugar and oil in a normal recipe, and was made with whole wheat flour. I've been trying to get all of us eating more natural foods, along with more fruits and vegetables, so I thought this was a great recipe to try out.

The end result was decent - although not nearly as sweet and addictive as my other banana bread recipe. It's very moist, though, which was a pleasant surprise. Linds took one bite and refused the rest of the piece, which is highly unlike her, so I have a feeling this may not be a keeper. I'd give it a 6/10 - tastes decent enough to finish the loaf, but not something we're going to be craving anytime soon.

"Healthy" Banana Bread
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar-free applesauce
3/4 cup honey
2 eggs, beaten
4 mashed overripe bananas

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. 
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together applesauce and honey. Stir in eggs and mashed bananas until well blended. 
  4. Stir banana mixture into flour mixture; stir just to moisten. 
  5. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Bake in preheated oven for 60 to 65 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean. 
  6. Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.

Fried Pickles

This has been a serious craving of mine throughout the pregnancy. I've had them at Cheeseburger in Paradise and Buffalo Wild Wings, and when I saw the link on Pinterest for homemade fried pickles, there was no stopping me! I opted to wait until Superbowl Sunday to make them (perfect game-day treat) and boy were they delish. Linds begged to help, so I let her do the dipping and I dropped them in the pan of oil. It was a huge mess, but well worth it. The picture below doesn't accurately represent the level of messiness, but it's a glimpse of it.
Fried Pickles
1 large egg
3/4 cup milk
1 cup cornstarch, divided
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal (I ran out and used 1/2 cup out of a box of Jiffy Mix)
2 teaspoons dill
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
36 dill pickle slices, cold
Canola oil
Ranch dressing for dipping

  1. Beat egg and milk. 
  2. Place 1/2 cup cornstarch in a shallow dish. In another dish, mix 1/2 cup each cornstarch and cornmeal with dill, paprika, salt and pepper.
  3. Dip cold pickle slices in the plain cornstarch, then the egg wash, then the cornmeal mixture. 
  4. Fry in 2 inches of 375 F (medium-high stovetop heat) canola oil until golden, about 3 minutes.
  5. Drain on paper towels and serve with ranch dressing.
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