Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Easy Mac n Cheese

Hello all!!!!! I'm so sorry I've been gone for so long, but I think I'm back and ready to cook-well maybe a little bit. Long story short on why I was gone, I had a tubal pregnancy that burst and had to have emergency surgery. Lost both babies....., but the husband and I are ok and I am healing nicely from surgery. So that's that! :O)
Thanks to everyone for their thoughts and prayers-they were definitely felt!!

Today was my youngest boy's birthday. We celebrated it last Saturday but today was the official day. For each birthday if we don't go out to eat, the birthday person gets to pick their dinner. My son picked hot dogs with mac n cheese. So I wanted to share a really easy mac n cheese recipe. No picture, but I think everyone knows what mac n cheese looks like!

16oz velveeta cheese
16 oz elbow mac, uncooked
1/2C milk
1tbsp ground mustard
1tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste

Cook pasta to box directions, drain. Melt cheese in the milk. Add spices. Once melted add the pasta back into the sauce and turn to cover. Serve with ANYTHING!!!!!

It's really easy and super cheesy and yummy. I loved it and the birthday boy had 2 helpings. So I guess it's been a good day all around!

Here's a picture of the birthday boy and his cake (I made it too using a boxed mix with peanut butter cup candy cut up in the batter in a shaped pan.)

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

Wednesday, March 25, 2009



Even though I'm not ready for cooking I couldn't pass up this great give-away!! Thanks to our friends at Blogspark for this!!!

Did you know research has shown that fewer than half of all kids ages two to 12 get the calcium they need each day? Calcium and Vitamin D are both essential nutrients for building strong bones. Though it can be challenging for growing kids to get Vitamin D, since it is found naturally in very few foods, Yoplait for Kids makes it a little easier to incorporate a delicious source of Vitamin D and Calcium in your child's diet.

By entering the contest you have a chance to receive a coupon* for any of the Yoplait for Kids yogurt products (Go-Gurt, Trix, Yoplait Kids) along with a Yoplait Get Active Prize Pack. Yoplait for Kids helps build strong bones, enabling healthy and active bodies. Perfect for a fun-filled day for your active children, the Yoplait Get Active Prize Pack includes a travel cooler (to take your yogurt on the road), a jump rope, a water bottle and an outdoor game set that includes a beach ball, paddle ball, Jai-Ali and a Frisbee. I have
of these great gift packs to give away.

All I need from you is your favorite way to eat yogurt, whether it's plain out of the carton, in cereal or the name of your favorite recipe that incorporates it. For me, I'm not a yogurt fan, but my kids LOVE it. So I try to buy it as often as I can. They'll eat it anyway they can get it!

You have until Wednesday, April 1, AT MIDNIGHT (PST) for this contest.

*This coupon offer for a free six pack of Yoplait for Kids yogurt is not valid in some states, including Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Jersey, North Dakota and Tennessee. sorry!!!!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

I just wanted to let you know that I'll be out of the loop for a little while. I had surgery earlier this week (long story-when I feel up to it I'll share) and am pretty much not going to be cooking anything anytime soon. Enjoy the spring weather and I am excited to get back into the kitchen as soon as I can.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Because I'm all about something easy on a Saturday night, this was perfect. I saw this on my friend's family blog. She mentioned how someone brought it over for dinner and how yummy it was. The part that got me was the EASY part. Hello......you had me at easy.

Mexican Dip in the Crock pot
4-5 thawed chicken thighs
1 jar salsa
2 cans corn, drained
1 can black beans, drained
1 pkg cream cheese
shredded cheese
green onions
sour cream or ranch dressing

Add first 4 ingredients to crock pot. Simmer for 6-8 hours on low or 4 hours on high (personally, the longer the better).
Right before you are ready to eat, take the chicken out and shred it. Add it back to the pot and add cream cheese, let it melt.
Serve with chips, cheese, onions, sour cream or ranch. This is hearty and sooooo good.

It will calm the nacho craving you'll have and this makes a ton, you'll definitely have leftovers to quench your hunger at 11o'clock at night. Me likey, a lot!!!!!!


A little Italian

We lived with my sister in law for a little while and while there she made this. I've never made it before and actually had never had it. Seen it many times on the menu at our favorite little dive, but never ventured out to eat it. My SIL had lived in Italy and learned many yummy recipes. So I figured that it was time I tried to make it (we lived with her over 2 years ago.....)

3 large eggs
1 1/2oz grated parm cheese (about 3/4 C)
1/4 C grated pecorina romano cheese
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound bacon, chopped fine
1/2 C chicken broth
1 pound spaghetti

Adjust oven rack to the lowest position and place a large oven safe serving bowl on the rack. Heat the oven to 200 degrees. Bring 4 quarts of water to a boul in a large pot for the spaghetti.

Meanwhile, whisk eggs, cheeses and garlic together and set aside.

Cook bacon over medium heat. Cook until crisp. Add the broth and simmer until it is slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cover.

When the water is boiling, stir in pound of spaghetti and salt. Cook until al dente.

Reserve 1/2 C of the pasta water and drain the spaghetti, leaving it slightly wet. Remove the warm bowl from the oven and add the spaghetti. Immediately pour the egg and bacon mixtures over the spaghetti and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the reserved pasta cooking water as needed to loosen the sauce before serving. Top with green onions (optional)

Divine...this was absolutely divine.


Navajo Tacos

When we moved to Utah my husband told me about these little gems. He originally told me about the bread part of them and then added the taco part. There's a place on 3100 South in Salt Lake City that makes these. I believe it's called Navajo Joe's. It's a little part of a larger building so if you aren't looking for it you'll drive right past it. So if you are ever in the area, I recommend it (if it's still there, we don't live in SLC anymore so I don't know.)

These are really good. You can do just about anything to them and they are still good. The bread is also really good with cinnamon sugar and honey on top, perfect for a dessert! Enjoy!

Navajo Tacos

Fry Bread
2C all purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1C buttermilk
oil for frying

Stir together flour, baking powder & salt. Stir in buttermilk and mix until dough forms. Knead dough until smooth. Let rest for 5 minutes. Break off 3/4" pieces and flatten into rounds, making it thinner in the center. Fry, turning once, until golden brown.

1 lb hamburger
1 pkg taco seasoning
shredded cheddar cheese

Cook and drain hamburger. Add seasoning. Layer on fry bread and top with ranch or sour cream.

A million different possibilities!


Me Likey!

I got this award from MaryBeth over at Dunkin Cookin-The Semi Homemade Way. It's so old fashioned and I LOVE IT!! THANKS SO MUCH!!!!

The rules of the award: Choose at least 8 blogs that you find brilliant in content or design. Show the 8 winners names and links on your blog, then leave them a comment that they too have been given the Honest Scrap award. Then everyone must list at least 10 honest things about themselves.


10: I'm a huge sci fi geek. I love all the goofy movies and George Lucas is my hero! ;O)

9: When I was little I would sit at the end of my grandmothers table watching her roll out biscuit dough. She would always pinch off the end of the dough and give it to me before finishing. I learned a lot by watching her cook (stillc an't make fried chicken like she does though-the bain to my existence).

8: I love sweets. Especially chocolate. I love finding new ways to make it and eat it. Don't get me wrong, chocolate brownies and chocolate chip cookies are great but a woman needs some variety some times!

7: I am teaching myself to sew. Now that I have a daughter I'm getting really into making her dresses. She'll be better dressed than I am....oh wait.....she already is.

6: I know everything is to know about Scooby-Doo. It drives my husband crazy.

5: I went to college to become a radio dj and would now rather go to culinary school for cake decorating. I'm a closet cake decorator and would someday like to have my own business.

4: I have the best friends in the world, both on line and off.

3: I am an Army Brat and come from a long line of military history, but I have never been in the Army. My husband was though.

2: I secretly want to learn to play the banjo and be in a bluegrass band.

1: I love being a mom to my 3 monkeys.

And now........the award goes to:

1- Priscilla at Priscilla's Baking Adventures
2. Stephaine at Fun Foods on a Budget
3. Nana at Nana's Kitchen
4. Jenny at Picky Palate
5. Mari at Once Upon a Plate
6. Tanya at Sunday Baker
7. Stephanie at A Year of Crockpotting
8. Jennifer at Creative Confectionary

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Easy dinner and Dessert

How about this for a super easy weeknight dinner and dessert!!!!

Chicken Stuffing Bake

1pkg stuffing mix
1 1/2 pounds chicken thighs cut up
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/3 C sour cream
1 (16 oz) bag mixed veggies
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Make stuffing according to package directions, set aside.
Meanwhile, mix, soup, sour cream and veggies together with chicken. Pour into 9X13in baking dish. Top with stuffing mix.

Bake for 30-40 minutes or until chicken is cooked (it took 45 minutes in my oven). Serve with side salad or rolls.

This was super yummy. I could've eaten just the stuffing. It's definitely my favorite part!! The whole mixture though was really creamy and good. Perfect for a cold night when you are craving comfort food. It's easy to make and doesn't take a long time. Rachael Ray would be proud! This would also be perfect as a make ahead meal. Just mix the soup, veggies and sour cream and freeze. When you are ready to heat it, make the stuffing, top it and bake it.

And because no meal is perfect without something chocolaty for dessert, here's a yummy brownie recipe. This recipe is one that my mom used to make for me growing up. Until I learned to cook and then this was always to weekend treat. It's my FAVORITE brownie recipe because you can customize it so many ways. I used to add some mint extract instead of all the vanilla and these were a hit! This time I made the recipe as listed and on half of the batter added Andes thin mint baking pieces. The other half I left plain. My mom always put pecans on top. But since my family aren't really into nuts, I felt mint would be a better option! Enjoy and share the ways you customize these!!!.

This was originally in my mom's HERSHEY cookbook. I only have a copy of it.

Easy Fudge Brownies
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup boiling water
2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour a 9x13 inch pan.

In a large bowl, stir together the cocoa and baking soda. Add 1/3 cup vegetable oil and boiling water. Mix until well blended and thickened. Stir in the sugar, eggs, and remaining 1/3 cup oil. Finally, add the flour, vanilla and salt, mix just until all of the flour is absorbed. Spread evenly into the prepared pan.

Bake in the preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool before cutting into squares.

These are so rich and gooey. Really are my favorites. Takes me back to when I was little. I hope you enjoy them!!!!


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Honey Chicken Stir Fry

This is a really easy stir fry to make and it's really good. Try to use local honey. I've heard that if you have allergies, eating honey that's local is a good way to help alleviate the allergies. So we tried this tonight with some local honey. Honestly I couldn't tell a difference in taste. It's really good though and I hope you'll forgive the lack of photos. My mind was elsewhere tonight (in la-la land probably) and I completely forgot to grab my camera. So you'll have to use your imagination!

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed (I used thighs)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp canola oil
1 tsp sesame oil (if you don't have it use all canola oil)
3 tbsp honey
2 tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 (16 oz) pkg stir fry veggies (i used a broccoli and pepper mix)
2tsp cornstarch
1 tbsp cold water
hot cooked brown rice

In a large skillet or wok, cook chicken and garlic in 2 tsps oil. Add the honey, soy sauce, salt and pepper. Cook and stir until the chicken is lightly browned. Remove and keep warm.

In the same pan, stir fry the veggies in remaining oil for 4-5 minutes or until heated through. Return chicken to pan and mix well. Combine cornstarch and water until smooth, stir into chicken mixture. Bring to a boil, cook and stir for 1 minute or until thickened. Serve over rice.

For our family I usually double this recipe. This is best for left overs.


Monday, March 2, 2009

White Chocolate Chunk Muffins

I've had this recipe in the reserves for a long time. I've never used it and decided today was the day to use it. So I whipped up these little gems for family night. We've already "tested" a few of them. Beware.....they are addicting and you WILL need a glass of milk to go with them. But the chocolate really comes through and the buttermilk in them really gives it a zing!! These are really good!!!!

White Chocolate Chunk Muffins
2 1/2 C all purpose flour
1 1/2 C chopped white chocolate chunks or chips
1 C packed brown sugar
1/2 C unsweetened cocoa
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/3 C buttermilk
6 tbsp butter, melted
2 eggs. beaten
1 1/2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease or paper line muffin pan.
Mix dry ingredients together. Combine buttermilk, butter, eggs, and vanilla in a small bowl until blended. Add to dry mixture. Spoon evenly into prepared muffin cups, filling about 2/3 full. Bake 16-18 minutes. Cool in pans on wire racks 5 minutes and remove from pans. Cool completely.

These made 30 muffins for me, but may make more or less depending on the size of your muffin pan. Enjoy!!

Saturday night went headed over to a 40th birthday party. It was pot luck style and I decided to bring wheat crackers and a dip. This dip is really easy and was super yummy! It was a HUGE hit. It's one I'll be making again for sure!!!

BBQ Party Spread
2 pkg cream cheese
1C of your favorite BBQ sauce (I used hickory flavor)
4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1/2 C mixed bell peppers, chopped
2 green onion stalks, chopped
2C shredded cheddar cheese

Spread cream cheese on bottom of 12in pan or pie plate. Top with BBQ sauce and remaining ingredients ending with cheese and then bacon. Chill over night and serve with wheat crackers. The longer this sits, the better it gets. Yummy!!!!!!!
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