Posts from the ‘Lazy Cooking’ Category

Round 1

So the first thing I forgot about Taxol, is that through some weird paradox, you actually feel better than when you started. Or one of the accompanying drugs helps out immensely. I’m pretty sure I remember that changing, but for right this moment, my pain scale is about 2. And the sad face for this moment is:

I still can’t sleep.

I’m thinking of making bagels but the bread machine is loud.

Zucchini bread in the crockpot maybe? Hmm.


Lazy instant chocolate pudding

I know what you are thinking. What can possibly be lazier than instant chocolate pudding.

Instant chocolate pudding made in one of these.


I have no idea why it didn’t occur to me before I read it on the back of the pudding box.

Blew my mind.

Yogurt in a crock pot

I’ve had a lot of interest in the yogurt I used in the muffins.

There are a bunch of different instructions out there but the one I used is from one of my favorite blogs:

budget bytes

I’m draining one of the jars I made with a coffee filter and a bowl to give it a more Greek yogurt texture.

Pumpkin chocolate chip muffins

So apparently Throws Like A Girl is turning into a food blog. Heh. Anyway, I’m constantly struggling to find things that my children will eat for breakfast. So far their favorite is ramen noodles, but that is a story for another day. Not to mention the amount of sodium makes me convulse… Anyway, today I made pumpkin chocolate chip muffins. I adapted a recipe from here:

The Frugal Girl

Who adapted her recipe from here:

Money Saving Mom

It’s like playing recipe telephone…

So here’s my version:

Pumpkin chocolate chip muffins

Mix the following in a large bowl:

4 eggs
1 cup of sugar
3/4 cup fat free plain yogurt
1/2 cup no sugar added applesauce
1/4 cup canola oil

In a separate bowl whisk:

2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup chocolate chips

Mix the dry ingredients with the wet and spoon into greased muffin cups. Bake in a 350 degree oven about 18 minutes. Makes about 36 standard size muffins.


The major changes I made were cutting the sugar in half, replacing some of the oil with applesauce, and using yogurt instead of milk. I just happen to have a lot of yogurt because I made some yesterday! In my crockpot! 🙂

Poor neglected blog and strawberry balsamic jam

So this summer has been flying by. A trip to Memphis for my brother’s wedding, vacation bible school, a trip to Florida to visit the parents and our first trip to Disney World, all of which deserve their own posts.

So instead I’m going to write about jam. I got a big old thing of strawberries on sale and as seems to happen they were pretty ripe and needed to be used pretty quickly. So I googled and learned that making small batch jam is pretty easy. And I had all the stuff in the pantry, so I made this.

Strawberry Balsamic Jam

And it was so good! The kids loved it. We ate it on waffles.


Chicken Shawarma!

I’ve been somewhat obsessed by the idea of chicken Shawarma since seeing the Avengers earlier this summer. I scoured the Internet for recipes until I found one that sounded yummy, healthy, and easy. Two things I love about this recipe: the marinade and the yogurt sauce. Both are easy and made with simple ingredients.

Unless you’ve been under a rock, you know that the state of Colorado is pretty much on fire, and temperatures are in the 100s. Since there is no way I’m turning on an oven and I’m avoiding the outside, I used the foreman grill to cook the chicken, which worked out perfectly.

Any way here’s the link:

chicken Shawarma at budget bytes

And a picture 🙂


BBQ chicken chopped salad in a mason jar

So one of my family’s favorite light dinners is our version of the California Pizza Kitchen BBQ chicken chopped salad. I am terrible about eating leftovers so I copied something that’s been bouncing around the Internet for a while – mason jar salads.

I put the ingredients in in the following order:

A tablespoon of BBQ sauce
A tablespoon of light ranch dressing
Fresh corn kernels
Lime juice

In theory,I should be able to shake the jar when it’s time for lunch. I’ll let you know how it goes.


Edited to add:

It worked brilliantly.


Breadmaker pizza dough

I just had to share. I think I’ve blogged before about making pizza with leftovers. There was a time where as long as I put it on a crust and called it pizza, the kids would eat it. We had sesame chicken pizza, taco pizza, and more that I’ve forgotten. Anyway, last night I decided to make a pizza again and was too lazy to go find my dough recipe. As I was googling, I came across this one.

Breadmaker pizza dough

It was amazing. And easy. When the dough came out of the breadmaker it was the perfect consistency. I did my best pizza tossing (which I’m grateful no one witnessed) and put some leftover barbecue sauce, bacon, and pineapple on it with Italian cheese blend. The crust was amazing.

My sister, the pizza expert, says to poke the crust with holes before you bake it. And I’m glad we did because the dough would have bubbled up and made a pizza volcano. Which could be fun. But hard to eat.

Christmas 2011

Dear family and friends,

Once again, I did not come even close to getting cards out this year.

Struggling to find that balance between work, school, extra curriculars and family, I count myself lucky to have such problems. 🙂

I have a job that I love, as hard as it is somedays. This year, in addition to teaching general music, I am the district middle school choir director. As weird as it sounds, I had forgotten that I like choral music and this has been a wonderful opportunity to rekindle that. John’s been an amazing help with the new schedule. Did I mention that the choir is at 7 am? He juggled his work schedule so he can take the kids to daycare in the morning. Love that guy.

Both kids are in school! The boy is loving kindergarten. If you ask him what he’s learned this year he will tell you, I am very good at being quiet. Heh. It amazes me how fast they grow once they start school. He’s reading now. He doesn’t love that as much as his sister, but I bet that will come with time. The girl is a third grader, 9 going on 35 somedays. She reads all the time now, even holing up in the bathroom sometimes. (Mom, Dad, sound like anybody you know?). She is such a hybrid between John and I. It’s so strange seeing yourself in your children. It’s like they are a fun house mirror of who they are and what we’d like them to be.

The girl is still in Children’s Chorale. It is very weird being the mom waiting in line at drop off. I think I’ve been in all the roles now. Singer, grad, assisstant, and now mom. It’s so cool to see her up on stage at Boettcher Hall. The boy spends most of his afternoons playing with the cousins and the neighbors. Again, we are fortunate for the kids to have such wonderful playmates!

And if 2011 has been anything, it’s been a year for family. I often tell my children how wonderful it is that they have gotten to spend so much time with their cousins, but truthfully, its been wonderful for me too. I love having my sister and her family nearby. We are a weirdly wacky bunch and I will miss them when they move back south.

We’ve been preparing for Christmas round our house. We’ve got Christmas lights up, half of which quit working after the first freeze, but amusingly enough, the light tree dad built twenty years ago is still going strong. The kids have been to their grandparents to make cookies with them and their cousin. My sister has made probably two batches fudge and I don’t know how many cookies. With everyone else making cookies I made a lot of Sprucehill’s pumpkin gingerbread and some homemade limoncello. We may or may not have tasted it this morning. At 9 am. After making apple fritters. Heh.

Anyway, I want to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year!

Love, Nicole

PS. Did you know you can follow Santa on google maps? Crazy world we live in!


Penne with roasted tomato sauce

So my friend Lindsey gave me a bunch of tomatoes that have spent a lonely week on my counter. Today I decided to do something about it, so I perused my cookbooks and found a simple roasted tomato sauce in “The Best of the Best” by Food and Wine magazine. I adapted it to what I had lying around and am very pleased by the results.

Basically, you stick your your tomatoes (the recipe calls for 3 lbs. I used as many as would fit on my toaster oven pan, adding two cooked chicken sausages I found in the meat drawer.) under the broiler with a drizzle of olive oil until the tomatoes are cracked open, hot, and even blackened a bit. Meanwhile, cook a pound of pasta. I had penne, the recipe called for orrechiete. When the tomatoes are done, smash them in a bowl with a ton of fresh basil (i used about 40 leaves), the chicken sausage, and a spoonful of chopped garlic (I used the jar kind). The hot tomatoes will wilt the basil. Stir in the pasta and serve with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese. I do think I added about a teaspoon of salt and a couple cranks of pepper to the sauce. It was very yummy. You should serve it with garlic bread. I served it with bagel thins, because that’s how I roll. And that’s what I could find on the counter.