Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Hey ya'll! (yeah that's the southern roots coming out). I was just given some fab awards from NANA (You should check her out if you haven't already-love love love her blog!!) And I would like to give a HUGE thanks to her for thinking I'm cool enough to deserve these!

So now I would like to pass these on:

You guys rock and I wanted you to know it!

MaryBeth at Dunking Cookin
Stephanie at Fun Foods on a Budget
Megan at Megan's Munchies
Tanya at Sunday Baker

HAPPY EATING!!!!!!!!!!

BBQ Sloppy Joes and BBQ Seasoned Rings

There are some days when you don't care about calorie counts or anything but comfort foods and stuff that's probably not to great for you. Well that was me tonight. My daughter is pretty sick and I didn't want to have to fuss over anything fancy or time consuming. So it was my sloppy joes and since I was craving onion rings I made those too. Oh yummy!! This really hit the spot and it allowed me more time to keep and eye on my daughter as well as the boys (who I don't want getting sick). I hope you enjoy them too!

BBQ & Cilantro Sloppy Joes

1/2 bottle traditional BBQ sauce
1 pound hamburger, cooked and drained
1 handful cilantro, chopped
1/2C shredded cheddar cheese

Once hamburger is cooked add BBQ sauce and heat through. Once heated add cilantro and cheese and stir until melted. Place on hamburger buns and you can serve as is or for extra punch and vitamins you can top it with spinach. I was the only one who did that, and it was good!!!

BBQ Spiced Onion Rings
1 yellow onion, sliced
1 C buttermilk
4 tbsp bbq spice (you can find this in the spice isle in the grocery store)
2C flour

Place sliced onions and buttermilk in plastic baggie and place in fridge for a couple of hours. This will help soften the onion rings as well as flavor them. When ready to cook, mix the flour and bbq spice together and dredge rings in that and fry until golden brown.

I didn't add any extra salt or anything to these when they came out of the oil The spice in the flour added enough, but you can also add more or less depending on your taste.

I hope you enjoy these!


Super Bowl (GO STEELERS) Snacks

I'm so excited for the Super Bowl this Sunday!!!

Even though we live in AZ we are die hard Steelers fans. We've received a lot of grief about that. But that's ok. It's all a part of the fun!!!

So here's a recipe that would be super yummy to munch on during the game. My mom used to make these little appetizers all the time while I was growing up. They aren't fancy, yet they pack a HUGE punch of flavor. I really love them and anytime we had company I would always ask her to make them. Oh and did I mention that they are really easy??

Cheesy Sausage Balls
3 cups bisquick mix
1 pound sausage (I like mild but I bet the spicey would be super in this!)
4 C shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 C milk

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and shape the mixture into balls. Place on a lightly greased cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Let cool and eat. These are good by themselves or you could have a dipping sauce of your choice. My mom always had these without sauce.
sorry, not my picture, found it online.

HAPPY EATING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Chicken Chow Mein

Today is going to be an unusually yucky day. One of those days where all you want to do is wrap up in a blanket and watch tv or read a good book. Just yucky. The sky is a nasty looking color and we are in wait mode for the rain that may or may not come. So in light of the atmosphere right now I felt like posting what we had for dinner last night. It was so good and yummy. I've mentioned before that I like Asian food. Well I found a recipe the other day that I wanted to tweak and try. So here's what I came up with. The whole family enjoyed it and the husband said it was worthy of a contest or something. Not that I think i'll be entering it in anything, but I gladly took the compliment.

Chicken Chow Mein
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut up
1/2 pound thins spaghetti or vermicelli (or rice noodles if you have those-I used spaghetti)
1 zucchini thinly sliced
1 1/2 carrots thinly sliced
1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
6 garlic cloves
2tbsp sesame oil
2tbsp veg oil
1tbsp soy sauce
black pepper
1/2 tsp curry powder (more if you like it spicy)
1 tsp ginger powder
1 tomato, diced
2-3 green onions sliced

In a plastic baggie, combine chicken pieces, soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic cloves, and seasonings. Marinate for about 1 1/2 hours. Longer is you'd like but that's how long I marinated it.

Once it's marinated, place ingredients in a large skillet or wok. Cook until meat is no longer pink and sauce is bubbly. Meanwhile, cook pasta just until done about 4 minutes..
Once chicken and sauce are cooked and bubbly, add veggies and cook until crisp tender. Then add pasta and let it finish cooking in the sauce until al dente.
Top with tomatoes and green onions.
Serve and enjoy!

Hope your day is good and you are enjoying good weather!!


Monday, January 19, 2009

Chocolate Strawberry Oat Bars

There comes a time in everyone's day when all you want is something sweet. I've been really good at watching what I eat, getting rid of all the junk food in the house and just trying to be good. Well Sunday I broke down and HAD to have something sweet. So I made these and they are sssooooo good. Just enough chocolate that it's really satisfying yet, oaty enough so I don't feel ridiculously guilty for eating one every now and then. I hope you enjoy them too!!!!!!

Chocolate Strawberry Oat Bars
2C quick cooking oats
2C all purpose flour
1 1/2 C packed brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 C butter, softened
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 bag semi sweet chocolate chips
1C strawberry jam

Spray 9x13 pan with cooking spray and preheat oven to 350 degrees.

For the crust and topping, mix together butter, vanilla and cinnamon. Add oats, flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Mix until crumbly in texture.

Divide mixture in half and press into prepared pan. Bake for 10 minutes or until lightly golden brown.

Dollop jam over crust and spread without breaking up the crust too much. Top with chocolate chips and allow to melt slightly. Then top with the rest of the crust mixture by sprinkling it on top of chips and jam. Bake again for another 20 min or until topping is golden brown.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

There comes a time when all i want is comfort food. Now folks have differing ideas on what comfort food is. Like when I asked the husband what his idea of comfort food was (which surprised me that he had never heard that expression, WHAT????) he said that for him it would be pork, sauerkraut and mashed potatoes. Well I can go with the mashed potatoes, but not by them selves and certainly not with sauerkraut...(not one of my favorite things AT ALL!!!!). So I made the final decision and tuna noodle casserole won out. Hey I also have to feed the monkeys and they aren't that fond of sauerkraut either.. So I looked for something that would be a little different and once I again, I turned to the Crockpot Lady. She has a great recipe for making this in the crockpot.

Crockpot Tune Noodles
2 cans tuna in water, drained
1 pound pasta (I used shell pasta-I would NOT use egg noodles)
10oz frozen mixed veggies
2 cans cream of whatever you prefer soup
2 C milk
1C shredded cheddar cheese
1C crushed tortilla chips

Spray your crockpot with cooking spray.

Add the dry noodles into the crock, and mix in the soup, milk, cheese, and drained tuna.

Cover and cook on low for 2-4 hours. This will cook fast so make sure you watch it. Mine was done in 2 1/2 hours on low.

30 minutes before serving time, stir in frozen peas, and make sure the crunchy pasta on top gets moved to the bottom of the crock. Top with chips and extra cheese, if desired.

This was good, It was a bit startchy and I think I would personally add another can of tuna and some salt. It was kind of bland, but the overall affect was so good and comforting that I really couldn't pass it up. It's even good as leftovers (which is what I had for lunch today after church).

Friday, January 16, 2009

Indonesian Chicken

A long time ago I dated a guy who was Indonesian. While visiting him once his mom (who was British and not at all Indonesian) made this glorious dish. I've been trying to find one similar to it ever since. And that's been about 10 years now...(boy how times flies!) So when I was looking through this website, I found one that looked like it would come close. So I figured why not try it and see how it would go.

Indonesian Chicken in the Crock Pot
Chicken pieces-enough for 4 people
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (I omitted this since I don't like spicy food)
1/3 C pnut butter (I used crunchy)
1/2 tsp ground ginger
brown rice

Add peanut butter to crock pot and turn on to melt. Once it's started to melt add other sauce ingredients. Add extra to taste (I think I added extra soy sauce and sesame oil). Stir to combine and let it melt together.

Add chicken (mine was frozen and it worked out ok-no need to thaw unless you just want too). Stir to coat the chicken and cover and cook for 6-9 hours on low or 4-5 hours on high. The longer this cooks and/or sits the better it is.

Keep an eye on the crock pot and stir every so often so the peanut butter doesn't burn.

Serve over rice and enjoy.

I really loved this dish and it reminded me of the one that was made so many years ago. So thanks for posting it Crockpot lady!! I appreciate it!
I may try it next time with a little less peanut butter, but otherwise it was yummy!!!!!


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Spaghetti Squash

As you may know I got the finger shake from my doctor and I'm trying to reassess how we do meals in this house. Well....i've heard several people around say that spaghetti squash was fabulous and you had a hard time telling the difference between that and regular spaghetti if it's cooked right. So I figured why not! I found some at my grocery store and brought it home. I only grabbed one since I wasn't sure how well it would go over. I also decided in the beginning to make some regular spaghetti as backup and for the kiddos.

Well it turns out that it was really good. I didn't even eat any pasta with mine. I cooked it like it said to on the squash (i'll include those directions in a bit) and then when it was ready to go into the oven, I salted, peppered and garliced it. Then let it cook the recommended time and VIOLA! Dinner is served. We also served this with a spinach salad (my new favorite thing now!)

So here's what the directions were to cooking the squash

Microwave squash to soften skin (this took me about 10 min in my microwave). Cut in half, remove seeds and place in greased 9x13 pan. Before turning over season as desired.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes. Then flip the squash over and bake a few more minutes until tender (It only took another 15 minutes for me). Pull out veggie strands with a fork and serve with favorite sauce.

I haven't tried this with a white sauce but I bet it would be just as yummy! My hubbie said it needed more salt, but otherwise was really good. I mixed the squash with noodles on each of the kiddos' plates as well as on my husbands plates. I was the only brave one to go it without noodles. And let me tell you....I was so full after eating this meal that I would have thought there had been loads of pasta on my plate. It was really good!!!

HAPPY EATING!!!!!!!!!!

Stuffed Shells

My kids got several cook books from their grandparents for Christmas. We've been looking through them to decide what to make. We picked Stuffed Shells out of this cookbook!

It's a great book. VERY kid friendly, it has pictures of the tools and the ingredients so even if a child can't read yet, they can still help out and do various things. I really love it!!! My 7 year old picked the stuffed shells that Ms. Paula does so we made those. I added a few things extra but otherwise it was a basic stuffed shells recipe. Both of my boys were able to help make dinner and it wonderful!

Stuffed Shells
20 large shell noodles
1 pound ricotta cheese
1C grated parm cheese (I used the Italian shredded cheese blend)
1 1/2 C shredded carrots
1C shredded fresh spinach (can use frozen, make sure you thaw and drain it well)
1 large can favorite spaghetti sauce
2C grated mozz. cheese

Cook pasta adding salt to the boiling water. Cook for about 5-7 minutes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium bowl combine ricotta and parm cheese, stirring well to mix. Add carrots and spinach (these were my additions-we needed a little more veggie in it).
Spray a 8.5X11 pan with cooking spray. Place a large spoonful of sauce on bottom of pan and spread out.
Once the shells have drained fill with the cheese mixture and place in prepared pan. If you have any of the cheese mixture left, spread it over the top of the shells. Top with rest of sauce and mozz. cheese.

Place in oven and bake for 30 minutes or until heated through.

Please excuse the fact that it's half eaten, I realized I hadn't taken a picture at this point and ran and grabbed my camera.

This was a BIG, HUGE hit!!! Even though it had the veggies in it, everyone cleaned their plates! I think it helped that the boys got to help make it. They were anxious to eat what they had made. For the adults I added a spinach salad (I HIGHLY recommend the Mediterranian Salad mix by dole).

HAPPY EATING!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Sweet and Sour Mango Shrimp

Oh boy this has been a crazy week. We've been trying to get everyone back into school, work and schedules. So nothing really exciting food wise has been done. I do apologize for that. But I am starting this week fresh beginning with tonight. I recently went to a doctor's appointment and have to start watching what I eat a little better than what I have been. (Darn those holiday goodies!!!!!)

So here's my first of many new "healthier" posts. I hope you enjoy!!

Sweet and Sour Mango Shrimp
2 tbsp sesame oil (veg oil is fine if you don't want to invest in the sesame oil)
1 bag 3 pepper and Onion blend (in the freezer section of the grocery store)
1 large carrot, shredded in food processor
1 1/2 pounds med sized shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 large mango, diced
1/2 C sweet and sour sauce (in the Asian section of the store)
brown rice

In a large skillet (or a wok) heat oil and add veggies. Saute for about 3-4 minutes until tender. Add shrimp and cook another couple of minutes until pink. Add mango and sweet and sour sauce. Cook until heated through.

Serve over rice.

This was just sweet enough and super yummy. I seriously could have eaten the whole thing. Very satisfying too with the brown rice.

Hey everyone! Sorry no posting in a while. I've been in a food funk and haven't really made anything worth posting about. It's been a lot of left overs and take out....ug......time to start the annual new years resolution to lose the holiday weight!!! :O)

I did however whip up some coleslaw the other day. We got this outstanding hot dog maker for Christmas (thanks mom and dad!), so we've been on a hot dog high! So I bought the bagged coleslaw and made my own dressing. Here's what I did!

1/2 bag shredded cabbage for cole slaw
garlic powder
lemon juice

Mix and enjoy!

Now this is really simple and basically you add however much you want to get the taste that you want. I didn't really measure when I made it. I just added stuff until I liked what I got. So that's why I didn't put any measures. I love coleslaw on hot dogs and really on a hamburger when it's slathered in chili. The best (and only way in my opinion) to eat a hamburger. Also really good on a fish sandwich or just as a side! :O)

HAPPY EATING!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Food Storage

I stumbled upon this great website for Food Storage. I'm starting to rebuild mine (after using most of it right before we moved). This has some really great ideas. I hope you get a chance to check it out!!


happy eating!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Dinner (s) and a dessert

Happy Sunday everyone! Hope it's been a good day! We are recovering from going to church so early today. We have been going in the afternoon (because we have 3 congregations meeting in our building) but today everyone switched so we got the early time. So now we go at 8am. Ug.....way to early. But at least we get the luxury of an afternoon nap!

I have some yummy recipes to share that I've saved up over the past couple of days. They are tummy warming and yummy. I hope you enjoy!

I found this in Rachael Ray's magazine.

Monte Cristo Sandwiches

8 slices bacon, cooked and drained
4 slices of tomato
salt and pepper to taste
8 slices bread
8 slices sharp cheddar cheese
1 pound deli style ham or turkey (we used turkey)
1 C baby spinach (since i'm the only one that would eat it, we left it off)
2 large eggs (I think I used 3)
1/4 C half and half (I used heavy whipping cream because that's what I had on hand-regular milk would work too)
2 tbsp butter.

Prepare sandwiches by stacking cheese, turkey, bacon, tomato, spinach, and cheese on the bread. Press slightly.
In a shallow pan heat the butter. Beat the eggs and add milk in a bowl. Place each sandwich in the egg mixture and then place in the pan. I used another pan to press down on each sandwich. Brown on both sides until deeply golden, about 7 minutes.
Cut in half and serve with your favorite sides. We had fries and homemade fry sauce.

And now for some dessert...... My parents went to a dinner party while they were here and this is what I made for them to take. I just wish I wasn't nursing a sick husband and kids and could have joined in and had some.....maybe next time!
Key Lime Cheesecake
1 1/2 C graham cracker crumbs
1/4 C plus 2 tbsp butter, melted
1 1/2 pounds cream cheese, softened
1C white sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch
3 eggs
1tbsp fresh grated lime zest
2/3 C lime juice

Combine cracker crumbs and butter and press into bottom and sides of a 9in spring form pan. Refrigerate.
In a large bowl, beat with an electric mixer the cream cheese, sugar, lime zest and cornstarch until smooth and fluffly. Beat in eggs one at a time, blending until smooth. Add lime juice with mixer on low. Finish mixing by hand. Do not overbeat, or cake will crack during baking. Pour batter into prepared crust.
Bake at 300 degrees for 55 to 65 minutes or until set. To minimixe cracking, place shallow baking dish half full fo water on lower rack during baking.
Turn oven off and let cheesecake stay in oven for 30 minutes with oven door slightly open. Remove from oven and refrigerate over night. Top with whip cream and a lime.

And lastly....
We had this dish at a women's craft day at church. I couldn't help but recreate it and try it at home. It was super easy and really yummy! You could customize it to your taste as well.

Tortilla Soup
1 quart chicken stock
1/2 envelope taco seasoning
1 bag tortilla chips
2C shredded sharp cheddar cheese
4 green onions, chopped
3 roma tomatoes, chopped
2C sour cream

Bring chicken stock to a boil and add the taco seasoning.

While stock is coming to a boil, set up topping bowls. Once stock is ready assemble extras in bowl and top with stock. The heat will melt the cheese and cause the chips to soften. This really is a no-brainer. I loved it!! And you could mix it up however you like, add olives, salsa, onions, shredded chicken, whatever your family likes!!!


Friday, January 2, 2009

My oldest has a birthday on New Year's Eve. 11:10pm to be exact. So his birthday is always a big production. Too bad he's never been able to stay up to ring in the new year. This time he zonked out at 11:30pm. Just missed it. Oh well.

I asked him what he wanted for his birthday breakfast and he wanted Spaceman Eggs. It's basically a rendition of toad in the hole. But they were yummy and everyone enjoyed them and he even enjoyed helping make them, which in my book was the best part.

Spaceman Eggs
1-2 slices of bread per person
1 egg per slice of bread
gingerbread man cookie cutter
1-2 tbsp butter

Take the cookie cutter and cut the shape out of the bread (the cut out part would be really fun for sandwiches later in the day or bread crumbs).
Place a bit of butter in the pan and melt. Place bread in the pan and toast on one side. Flip the bread and add the egg to the cut out part of the bread. Cook until the egg is done. If you like sunny side up eggs it will only take a couple of minutes. We didn't so we basically stirred up the egg before adding it to the toast. Either way is fine, just depends on how you like it.

Eat and enjoy. This is a great kids breakfast and perfect for letting little hands help out. My oldest really loved being able to make his birthday breakfast.

The way for leftovers

There are ALWAYS leftovers after Christmas dinner. At least in my house anyway. A lot of times more left overs than you can shake a stick at. We like to eat, what can I say! :O)

So I wanted to do something yummy and satisfying that used up our leftover turkey that wasn't the same thing for dinner again. This was super easy and really comforting!!

Leftover Turkey and Gravy
however much left over turkey you have or want
turkey gravy packet with any additional leftover gravy to make it thick
mashed potatoes (enough to feed your family)

make gravy or heat up leftover gravy. Add the turkey and warm through.
Meanwhile, make the mashed potatoes.

Put potatoes on plates and top with gravy mixture.

Didn't I tell you it would be super easy and let me assure you, it's scrumptious and filling!!! So good!!!


Broccoli Casserole

My sister is a great cook. She makes the yummiest stuff with holiday dinners. I got this recipe from her several years ago and now I'd like to share it with you all. It's one of my favorite things to see on the table. I made it this year for our Christmas meal. I can really eat this all by myself, I love it that much!!!

Donna's Broccoli Casserole
2 pkgs chopped frozen broccoli, cooked and drained
1 stick melted butter
2 well beaten eggs
1/2 C mayo
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 C grated sharp cheddar cheese (and since we love cheese, A LOT, I added extra cheese)
2 tbsp chopped onion
1 C cracker crumbs

Mix ingredients and add broccoli.
Put into a grease casserole dish. Top with the cracker crumbs. Bake 1 hour in preheated 350 oven.

Super easy. When isn't something you just throw together and bake not yummy!!! Enjoy it!!


Cowboy Spaghetti

Rachael Ray has some pretty good ideas. I found this one in one of her cookbooks. My dad is a HUGE spaghetti fan so I decided to make this one for him. It was a hit and a twist on the traditional spaghetti.

1 pound spaghetti noodles
3 slices bacon, chopped
1 pound ground beef (or turkey or whatever you like)
1 onion, chopped,
4 garlic cloves, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
1 14oz can diced tomatoes
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
8 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
4 scallions, chopped

Cook spaghetti, drain.

Meanwhile cook the bacon and drain on paper towels. Drain off the fat. Cook the beef and cook for about 3 minutes. Add onion and garlic and continue to cook. Season with salt and pepper and worcestershire sauce. Cook fora bout 5 minutes more until onions are tender and then add the tomatoes and tomato sauce.

Add the spaghetti to the sauce to combine. Serve up with favorite cheesy garlic bread. Sprinkle top with scallions. I made cheddar buttermilk biscuits.
They were super yummy with this.

my little guy just had to have his picture made with his dinner!


Andes Thin Mint Fudge

I love fudge. In fact I think just about everyone in my family loves fudge!!! There are so many varieties and so much you can do with a basic fudge recipe.
I was in the grocery store one afternoon (typical afternoon activity) and I found Andes Mints baking pieces. I bought them knowing that I would find something scrumptious to make with them. I originally thought about cookies, but I think this was a much better idea!
In our church family we signed up for Secret Santas. So I decided to make some fudge for our Santa family. And while making it I thought that mint fudge would be divine. So I took out the andes mints. And here we are!!!! While making the fudge I added some of the pieces into the mix and they melted leaving a minty yummy taste. Then topped the fudge with some more. I even have a few left over for cookies later on. I'm so excited!!! I just hope my Santa family enjoyed eating this as much I enjoyed making it.

1 pkg baking semi sweet chocolate
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 bag Andes Thin Mint baking pieces

Line 8 in square baking pan with foil and let the foil drape over the edges of the pan.

Microwave chocolate and milk on high for 2-3 minutes, stirring after 2 minutes. Stir until completely melted. Add vanilla flavoring and half of the mint pieces.

Spread into pan and top with additional mint pieces. Refrigerate 2 hours or until fudge is firm.
Use foil handles to lift fudge from pan and cut into squares.


French Onion Pork Chops

Hello again!!!

I was cooking up a storm over the break. Some old favorites and some new tries. Here's one that went over really well!!! I found this in the Kraft Food and Family magazine. Super easy and full of flavor. All plates were cleaned by the end of the meal.

6 boneless pork chops
2 onions, sliced
2 tbsp (more or less depending on how you like it-I think I added a little more) Worcestershire sauce
1 pkg stove top stuffing mix (I used 2 to feed our crowd)
1 C shredded mozzarella cheese (I used Italian cheese blend)

Heat large skillet and add the chops and onions. Once chops are done remove them, leaving the onions in the pan. Cook the onions until golden brown.
Add Worcestershire sauce. Put chops back in pan and top with onion mixture, warm through.
In another pot make the stuffing. Place the chops and onions on top of the stuffing mixture and top with cheese. Let the cheese melt for about 5 minutes.

Blog Widget by LinkWithin