Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Carrot Cake

My mom always made this carrot cake and it really is the ONLY carrot cake that I really like! I frequently make it for my mother in law's birthday as she for some reason can never make it like mine comes out. We tried to troubleshoot it one day, but it still didn't taste the same. I know my mom got the recipe with someone she used to work with and it is a moist and delicious cake. One that I usually don't change/adapt seen as we only have it once a year, but I decided to try to change it and it still came out just as good! I will add a few more directions than the ones I have from my mom...although its really not hard to figure out.

Carrot Cake
2/3 cup oil
2/3 cup applesauce
about 2 cups of sugar(I cut down on it, but don't have an exact measurement)
4 eggs
1 small can crushed pineapple, drained(about 8 oz)*
2 cup flour(I used wheat and white)
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
2 cup shredded carrots
1 tsp vanilla

Mix together oil, applesauce, sugar and eggs. Add in pineapple, mix.  Mix in the rest of the ingredients until batter is throughly mixed. Place in greased pan and cook for 45 mins at 350 degrees.
*When I drain my pineapple I only cut the top and drain the juice out and press it a little until most of the juice is out. This helps keep the cake nice and moist!

8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 stick of butter
1/2 box of powdered sugar(about 2-2.5 cups)

Cream together butter and cheese, add in sugar until light and fluffy. Top cake.

This has been linked to Finding Joy in my Kitchen

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Hard Working Mommy Blogger Award

I completely forgot that I received an award last week from Michelle over at All home Cooking. Luckily I remembered before it got to be too late! So first off, thank you Michelle for thinking of me! If you haven't check out Michelle's blog yet, I highly advise you do! She has some tasty and yummy treats on her site. She also has some very valuable and helpful information about cooking on a budget, especially when it comes to whole foods!

Guidelines for this award are:
1) accept award
2) Post award image and a link back to me!
3) Award seven bloggers this wonderful award and let them know they got it!

I will try to pick blogs I haven't highlighted or awarded here goes!
1) Lori at Teacher Turned Mommy. I love reading about her boys and she even shares tasty recipes!
2) Bee at Simply Bee Happy, she is new to the blogging world, but I love her daily goals!
3) Heather at Acting Balanced
4) D at Picture Yourself at Home. D is currently trying to find a way to become a sahm to her two sweet girls! Join her on her adventure and perhaps if you are in the area, she can do portraits for you! And anyone who is a sahm knows how hard it can be sometimes esp in this economy!
5) Kelle at Enjoying the Small Things. I LOVE LOVE LOVE reading her entries. She takes incredible pictures, is a beautiful writer, and has gorgeous children. She does amazing things for all her parties.
6)This amazing mama feeds her family of 4 on a budget of $25 a week! I'm still trying to figure it out! Feeding Four
7) This is another new blog I've been following. I am "friends" with her on a message board, but I've loved her recipes so far! Crystal at Now there are 3

Rootbeer BBQ Beef

This is another recipe from Hallee. I had made it before using pork and it works well, but I did want to try it with beef. I don't know my cuts of beef well AT ALL as we very rarely eat it and when we do its either ground or in steak form. I asked Hallee what I should use and she said anything was fine. I ended up buying a 6 lb round roast(or something like that). It was really the cheapest per lb that I could find. It worked out well because it cooks for a long time!

I made this for a get together at my inlaws house, they are really liked it. Even my mom liked it, even though she didn't think she would.

Root beer BBQ Beef
4-6 lb beef roast
1 12 oz can organic root beer
1-2 bottles of your favorite bbq sauce(or homemade)
Honey Wheat Rolls

Brown meat in skillet until all sides are done. Place in slow cooker. Place 2 tbsp of root beer in pan and scrape up the tiny bits from the browning. Dump into slow cooker.  Add in the rest of the root beer. Cover roast with sauce, turn slow cooker on low and cook for 8-10 hours. *I had a LOT of liquid when mine was done, so I dumped it out and shredded the meat. I then added more bbq sauce, another half a can of rootbeer and mixed it all in. Then I set it on low until warmed through.

Serve on rolls with more sauce if you wish.

**I did add some ketchup to my bbq sauce as it had a bit of a kick and knowing who I was serving it too, I was trying to cut it back. It worked out great! I had enough for a small army, this fed 7 adults, plus I sent some home with his brothers and we still have enough for at least 1 or 2 more dinners! Sorry it is not the best picture, but it still tasty!

This has been linked to Finding Joy in my Kitchen

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

We are still working on some freezer meals...and we leave for vacation a week from Wednesday so not much in the way of stocking my kitchen. Just enough to get us through...and I do suppose K will need some meals while I'm gone.

-Steak of some sort...I got some strip steaks as a treat, so if you have a good recipe pass it along!
-Mango Cranberry Chicken
-Sloppy Joes
-Rootbeer BBQ Beef
-Carrot Cake
-Taco Pasta Salad

There might be a few other things in store, but I haven't been home long enough to think about it yet! So this is where it stands as of now!

For more menu ideas make sure to check out Orgjunkie

Chocolate Peanut Butter Popcorn

I decided I needed one more "treat" for a bridal shower gift(more coming on that soon). I remember seeing this recipe a while ago and wanted to make it, just hadn't had time or the opportunity to yet. I knew this would be the perfect time! This would make a great gift for Christmas or teacher's gifts as well! Afterall who doesn't love some gourmet popcorn?

Chocolate Peanut Butter Popcorn-shared from Annie's Eats
1/2 cup popcorn
2 tbsp oil
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 tsp butter
2 tsp brown sugar
1/2 cup(or more chocolate chips)

Place oil in pan and pop corn. I use a whirlypop, but you can also use an air popper or a regular pan and just shake it until the kernels are all popped. Spread popcorn out onto cookie sheets lined with waxed/parchment paper. In the mean time, place pb, sugar, and butter into microwave safe bowl and heat until melty so you are able to drizzle it. BECAREFUL THE BOWL IS HOT! (and ultimately the peanut butter is too!) Drizzle over popcorn and turn to coat, this works best with your hands. Spread to cool. (For me, I had enough pb mix to make another batch so I did, I also didn't measure out the pb so that could have been why).

Next melt, chocolate chips in microwave safe bowl until it is able to drizzle. Drizzle over popcorn and let set and cool.

I packaged mine into a big batter bowl with a lid for the shower gift, after all I thought she might like to share with her husband to be. But you can also use mason jars or pretty cellophane bags tied with a ribbon.

**This was tasty and it made A LOT of popcorn. This was a good thing since the boys were oogling over it while I was making it. I forgot to mention that next time I think I will add a touch of salt perhaps once I get the popcorn on it. It didn't give me a sweet/salty taste much(it could be the pb i used). And yes my kitchen was covered in chocolate...along with myself!

This recipe has been linked to Finding Joy in my Kitchen
Popcorn on FoodistaPopcorn

Friday, June 25, 2010

Spanish Rice Casserole

This was another meal made on cooking day. I had taken it out on Wednesday night and it was still frozen solid when I went to bake it on Thursday.

So we ended up heading to a Taste Of festival. I decided to be adventurous and tried Indian food, I LOVED the chicken Tika Masala, K thought it was ok. The boys had french fries, and K had a steak fajita. I know they aren't too adventurous. We also had a triple berry shortcake that was better than I expected it to be. I love going to things like this as you only pay $3-4 dollars for a serving and you can try all kinds of food. This way I'm not waisting $12 on a meal I won't like. I also love trying new dishes so I can figure out how to make them at home, I love a challenge!

So back to the was FINALLY thawed and we were home for dinner so I popped it out of the zip top bag and into the slow cooker. Amy's directions do say to cook it in the oven, but it was a little warm for that. It worked out great in the slow cooker. I cooked it on low for 4 hours, which I'm sure was probably a bit long, but it still tasted great!

Both boys loved it! It is also a great way to use up your surplus of summer veggies! I would definitely add more veggies in next time. A liked the "cucumbers" in it....aka zucchini. I told him it was zucchini and he informed me he didn't like it, so I told him it was a cucumber and he ate it with no problem!

Spanish Rice Casserole courtesy of A Foodie Fairytale

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Shortcake Biscuits

We went strawberry picking a couple weeks ago and then decided to make strawberry shortcake. I needed to find a recipe and a quick one at that, I also didn't want to have to roll them out and cut them. This recipe was simple and quick!

2 cups flour(I used half whole wheat/ap)
2 tbsp sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup shortening
2/3 cup milk
1 egg

Mix together dry ingredients and cut in shortening using a pastry blender or fork until dough resembles coarse crumbles. In another bowl, whisk together milk and egg and blend into crumbles just until moistened. Drop by spoonfuls onto baking sheet. Bake at 450 degreese for 10-12 mins or until golden brown.

**These worked perfectly for strawberry shortcake! Mine did not take 10 mins to cook, so just keep an eye on them.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Parmesan Crusted Chicken and Creamy Herb Rice

I have been wanting to make this recipe all month and I finally got to it last night...well it got started last night! I had just put it in the oven when my mom called, so it got pulled out and then we had to bring her my car, so needless to say it didn't get eaten.

But I did have it for lunch! I was looking for a recipe without using breadcrumbs, I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted too do, just wasn't sure it was going to work. I finally found one on

Parmesan Crusted
1 lb chicken breast, butterflied, cut into pieces
1 8 oz pkg shredded parmesan cheese
dijion mustard

Place chicken in greased baking sheet. Coat one side with mustard(i used my silicone brush) and press cheese on top, flip and do the same thing to the other side. Place in 475 oven for 15 mins(just watch that it doesn't burn.)

**I ended up taking the chicken out of the baking pan and pan fried it so the cheese was crunchy and brown. I know I didn't leave it in long enough in the oven so perhaps if I left it in longer it would have gotten brown and crunchy. It did have a pretty good flavor. Next time I'll just do it on the stove. You want to make sure your chicken is cut pretty thin so you don't burn the cheese. Overall it was pretty tasty! The dijon was not overpowering at all.

I needed something to go with the chicken and I wanted to try creamy parm. noodles but knew I only had a half a bag of noodles, so I went with the rice.

Creamy Herb Rice
2 cups of brown rice
4 cups water
1 veggie bouillon cube(or 2 chicken or beef ones)
4 oz reduced fat cream cheese,softened
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 tbsp dry basil
2 tsp minced garlic(or to your liking)

In rice cooker, add in rice, water, and bouillon cube(s). Set to cook. Once rice is cooked, stir and add in cream cheese, basil, parm, and garlic. *You can put the garlic right in with the rice/water. Put lid back on to give cheese time to melt. Stir. Add in milk until you reach a creamy consistency.

*You can also do this without a rice cooker. Dump rice, water, bouillon in pan on stove. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 mins until rice is done. Then follow the rest of the directions.

**K and I really liked this. I of course held out hope that Q would like it and even used his milk so he could have it. I'm not sure who this kid belongs too but he does not like pasta or rice....

3 Cheese Baked Spaghetti

I am not usually a fan of baked spaghetti/pasta. But I did seem to order it out from a restaurant when we lived in our first apartment and it was quite tasty then! Little did I really know how easy it was to make! This one peeked my interest...more so for that fact that it was simple AND it involved 3 cheeses! I did double the original recipe to fit into a 9x13 pan.

3 Cheese Baked Spaghetti- shared from Tammy's Recipes
1 lb spaghetti
1 26 oz jar spaghetti sauce
2 cups cottage cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese(omitted)
1 cup cheddar cheese
*optional: ground meat, sausage, or chopped cooked veggies

Bring water to a boil and cook spaghetti according to the package. Drain. Mix in cottage cheese, mozzerella, and parmesan. Place into greased 9x13 inch pan. Top with sauce and cheddar cheese. Place in 350 degree oven for 45 mins to 1 hour until heated through.
*If using meat/veggies, layer on top of spaghetti mixture before the sauce. This does freeze well, but under cook the spaghetti just a bit as it will finish cooking in the oven.

**We did really like this and we used some crumbled italian sausage in it and some shredded zucchini. The boys also enjoyed it! Sorry no picture we ate it all before I remembered to take one!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Tequila Lime Chicken

I want to thank Amy for taking the time to type up this recipe and for sharing her picture! Yes we ate it ALL before I remembered to take a picture. It was tasty, moist, and even the boys loved it! I used the leftovers and put it inside a quesadilla. K's first reaction was, is there liquor in this? yes yes there is, but its not overpowering in the least. I was actually surprised he noticed...but maybe he over heard me talking about it!

So head on over and check it out at A Foodie Fairytale

Mango Cranberry Chicken

This has got to be my favorite recipe from cooking day yet! It smelled really good while Amy was making it and it did not disappoint. Perhaps it was even worth over $4/jar for the chutney. Keith and I gobbled this up and then fought over the leftovers...ok, yes I was nice enough to share! It reminded us more of a curry and I am a bit obsessed with curry lately, it is definitely one I'd make again. I served ours with brown jasmine rice and sprinkled with coconut. It was quick and easy to make even without freezing!

So to check out the recipe head on over to A Foodie Fairytale!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Sorry there have been a lack of recipes this week...mostly what we've been eating has been food from the freezer and I do not have the recipes for that yet! Once I get them I'll post them though. My husband also switched my computer over to Linux so I was out it for a bit and then I had no internet when I went to type up recipes on Friday.

This week we will be enjoying:
-Banana Blueberry Pancakes
-Parmesan Crusted Chicken
-Spanish Rice
-Veggie Lasagna
-Cheddar Jack Burgers

and perhaps a few surprises!

I also need to work on July's menu, but we are camping for 4 days right after July 4th so I need to come up with food for that. What is your favorite camping food? So far we are eating burgers, pancakes w/ bacon, and one night we are headed to my aunt's house for dinner. Clearly, we don't have enough food planned yet!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Grilled Pizza

I had on my menu last week for Thai Pizza and I had planned on grilling it to try out my new grill. After looking at the recipe all it was was stir-fry sauce, chicken, and peanuts. For some reason this did NOT sound appetizing. I had to bake some potatoes for Saturday so I threw some extra in to try a red potato pizza recipe I had for a while. It seemed to work pretty well.

Grilled Pizza
1 recipe for no rise pizza crust
your choice of toppings(see below)

Prepare dough as directed. Preheat greased grill. Divide dough in half or in quarters. Roll dough out...(now the key is NOT to roll it to thin because when you go to move it, it will tear. I think I re-rolled the dough 2 or 3 times each time I tried to roll out the dough, I was going for size. I know know to go for thickness!) Let cook until side is browned and the top is bubbly(yes I learned this as i put the 4th pizza on!) Once you flip it go ahead and top your pizza. Cook until cheese is melted.*I had my grill on low and this seemed to take forever to cook so next time I'll try med heat. It is nice to have a grill that doesn't have hot spots!

Hawaiian Bbq Pizza topping
bbq sauce(Bull's Eye is high fructose corn syrup free!)
Pineapple,chunks or tidbits
diced ham

Spread dough with bbq sauce. Sprinkle pineapple, ham, and cheese over the top.

Red Potato Pizza topping
2-3 red potatoes, baked,sliced thin
4 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
fresh herbs,chopped(I used rosemary, basil, and oregnao)
diced chicken
diced partially cooked broccoli

Mix together cream cheese, herbs, and sour cream. Spread on dough. Top with potatoes, chicken, broccoli, and cheese. Cook until cheese is melted.

*this makes a lot of sauce, so if you aren't making a lot of pizza I'd cut it down.(I did used the extra in our eggs for the breakfast burritos) This also makes a pretty thick pizza. I enjoyed it!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Bluberry Cornmeal Scones

Another freezer friendly recipe here. I found this recipe a while back in a magazine and have just made them. For some reason mine did not come out like the picture in the magazine did, but they were still delicious despite them having a problem in my oven that resulted in burned bottoms! Thankfully I was able to save them by cutting the bottom off. They were very easy to make. The original recipe did call for lime juice/peel, but we decided to use lemon juice/peel in them. The juice is actually for a glaze that I omitted. They by no means needed the glaze, but you can drizzle it on!

Blueberry Cornmeal Scones
1 1/3 cups flour(I did use whole wheat)
2/3 cup cornmeal
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp packed brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup cold butter, cut up
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp lemon(or lime) zest(I used zest from one fruit)
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 tsp cornstarch

3 or 4 tsp lime(or lemon) juice
1 cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 450. Coat baking sheet with cooking spray.

In a large bowl combine dry ingredients and stir. Cut in butter until mixture resembles course crumbs. Make a well in flour mixutre and add in buttermilk, egg, and zest. Stir with a fork just until moistened.

Toss berries with cornstarch to coat. add to flour mixture and gently fold in. Drop dough onto greased cookie sheet and bake for 12-15 mins(Mine took less time, so watch them). Until they are golden brown. Cool.

To make icing: combine sugar and enough lime/lemon juice until you get a drizzling consistency(you want it runny) Drizzle over warm scones.

Chocolate Chip Cinnamon Rolls

We made these last saturday during our cooking day. We have been enjoying them since then as they wouldn't fit in our freezer so that means we've had a tasty treat! Amy has been nice enough to share the recipe, so to find out more please visit:

A Foodie Fairytale

*Avery has loved these!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Pineapple Chicken Fajitas

I know I owe all my faithful readers a new recipe and this one I can do off the top of my head! It's really quite easy and one that I made for our freezer cooking day. Amy just had these and reported that they were very good, but spicy. It was a new recipe for the seasoning so you may want to cut back on the pepper. I have yet to have them, but she tends to have a higher level of spice tolerance. I have made them before, but I used a store bought you can choose! Pictures to come once we eat them!

Pineapple Chicken Fajitas
1 lb chicken breast, chopped(I used tenders and was lazy and left them whole!)
1 onion, sliced
1-2 peppers, sliced
2 tsp jerk seasoning*
1 can pineapple chunks, drained
8-10 flour tortillas

Brown chicken until cooked through. Saute peppers and onions until tender. Add chicken, pineapple, and seasoning into pan and heat until warm, stirring. Place filling into tortillas, fold, and enjoy!

Jerk Seasoning-from
2 tbsp dry minced onion(omitted)
2 1/2 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp ground allspice
2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp salt

Mix all together and sprinkle on desired food.
**Now looking at the recipe perhaps the reason it was so so spicy was because I split it between the two bags...and should have only used a little! Lesson learned!

To prepare this for the freezer all I did was put veggies and chicken in a gallon size bag. Sprinkled the seasong on top and moved it around to evenly coat it. Then in another bag I placed in the pineapple, sealed it and put it inside the bag and sealed the gallon bag so it was all ready to go! Easy!

Freezer Cooking Day-June 2010

This past saturday, my friend Amy from A Foodie Fairytale, came over and we had our very first freezer cooking day. It is something we have been wanting to do for a while and we finally got a chance to do it! We had a total of 32+ meals, we had a wonderful mostly kid free time! I am also glad it decided to rain and not be too hot and humid. It worked out perfectly and we can't wait to do it again!

So within the next few weeks I will be sharing with you the recipes I made and I believe Amy will be sharing hers, I will make sure to link up to them when she does so you can see all the goodies we made and how to make them!

We started with all these ingredients...the meat is not shown as it was all in the fridge/cooler.
We started at 930 and ended at about 430ish. It wasn't bad all for a days work! We were both tired to say the least and we learned exactly what not to make on days like this that take a little more time. All recipes were doubled and some recipes that were found in Amy's freezer meal cookbooks gave us 3 meals each.

Here is what we made:
-chocolate chip cinnamon rolls
-Breakfast burritos
-Choc. chip zucchini muffins
-blueberry scones...and they had an accident by setting my smoke alarm off. But I was able to save most of them and they tasted delcious!
-Pumpkin French Toast Sticks(which the boys have loved)
-Blueberry Banana Pancakes

-Sloppy Joes with homemade rolls
-Cran-Mango Chicken
-Tequila Lime Chicken
-Denise's Beans
-Spanish Rice
-Sausage, onion, pepper calzones
-Veggie Lasagna
-Chedder Jack Burgers
-Pineapple chicken Fajitas
-3 cheese baked spaghetti

All of our finished meals!

and one VERY full freezer!

and the aftermath...I'm still working on the dishes and I have a dishwasher. Just been busy and I was too pooped to do them saturday night. 
*at least the ones on the right ARE clean and we did wash dishes as we went...but all the baking came at the end, which is something we will alter for next time! 

and for lunch we had strawberry margaritas..and potato pizza!
and last but not least, I have to give credit also to my husband K! He helped measure out all the dry ingredients the night before which helped this go a lot smoother!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Baked Potato Salad

The idea for this salad has been rolling around in my mind for a couple weeks now....I read in our local store's flyer about it and have been wanting to try it. I should go ask for a sample so I can see what their salad tastes like so I can copy it! But I never got a sample...I have been looking around for a recipe to no avail have found nothing of what I am thinking of. I want to take a bite and think, YUM loaded baked potato! Thanks to Hallee the Homemaker for consulting with me!

Baked Potato Salad
10 potatoes(about 2 lbs)
1/2 cup mayo
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 lb bacon, cooked, crumbled, drained
1 cup shredded cheese
2 tbsp dried chives

Wash and pierce potatoes. Place in 375 oven and bake until fork inserted in potato goes in easy. Cool. Once cool cube potatoes.  Mix in read of the ingredients and serve. Although I do recommend making this the day before you make it as it tastes even better the day after one the flavors mix together.

**This did work out perfectly! I did feel like there was too much mayo/sour cream, but K thought it was fine. You can easily adjust this up or down to make more salad or less. It was a great take on a potato salad and one that I'm sure I will make again! You can also try it with 1/2 plain yogurt as well.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Hula Bagel Melts

I was looking for quick, easy, summer recipes and found this one. Although, its not very summery out today...we have rain and 60 degree weather, perhaps it will make it feel summery!

I also was VERY glad to FINALLY find a bbq sauce that was NOT made with high fructose corn syrup or any corn syrup for that matter. I have been experimenting with my own but just haven't found THE recipe yet! I got this one on sale so it helped! Even the organic sauce I have found some with the syrup in it so I've been on the hunt. This is made by kraft, but is called Bull's Eye...yet the regular kraft sauce has it in it. I don't get it...oh well on to the recipe!

Hula Bagel Melts-shared from Kraft 
1 homemade bagel/person
bbq sauce
sliced pineapple, patted dry
sliced ham
sliced/shredded cheese

Toast bagel. Spread with bbq sauce, followed by pineapple, ham, and cheese. Place under broiler until cheese is melted.

**These were pretty tasty and quick to make!

Sugar Cookies

I recently purchased some red/white/blue sprinkles, usually A likes to put them on his oatmeal anything to get him to eat a little healthy! He then informed me that we needed to make cookies because we bought some sprinkles so I couldn't say no...

Sugar Cookies- shared from Hallee The Homemaker
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 3/4 cups flour(I used 2 cups wheat, 3/4 cup white)
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda

Cream together butter, sugar, and eggs. Add in vanilla. Mix together dry ingredients and slowly add to wet ingredients until incorporated. Scoop dough out using cookie scoop and roll in sprinkles. Place on cookie sheet and bake at 375 for 8-10 mins.

*You can also chill the dough for several hours and roll the cookies out and use cookie cutters.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Watermelon Lemonade

After making Strawberry Lemonade last week and having my mom split a huge watermelon with me(after we just finished a whole one last week) I needed something to do with the watermelon before it went bad. I did use less sugar this time.
Watermelon Lemonade-Taste Of Home
3-4 cups cubed watermelon
1-1 1/4 cups lemon juice
4 cups water, divided
2/3 cup sugar

Place lemon juice and watermelon in blender and blend until smooth. Heat up 2 cups of water and mix in the sugar until dissolved. Add to juice mixture and the additional 2 cups of water. Stir and enjoy!

**I'm sure this would be VERY refreshing on a hot summer's day...if we had a hot summer's day today. It is currently rainy and in the 60's. I liked this a lot with less sugar than the previous recipe and had just the right amount of tart and sweet for the girl who doesn't like lemonade...yet this is the second lemonade I've made in a week! Hopefully I keep finding them marked down!

Blueberry Crunch Muffins

I did our big monthly shopping yesterday and the blueberries were on sale...and after I got home didn't look to pretty once I opened them and looked around. I remember seeing this recipe and knew I had a bunch of granola already made and I really wanted to try out my jumbo muffin pan. So all this meant trying out a new recipe and using an ENTIRE quart of yogurt! I ended up doubling the recipe and ended up with 6 jumbo muffins and 21 regular sized muffins. This is a single batch of muffin guess would be 1-2 dozen muffins.*Picture to come!

Blueberry Crunch Muffins-shared from Sweet and Savory
2 egg whites(or 1 whole egg)
1/4 cup applesauce
2 cup yogurt(I used plain then added 1 tsp vanilla)
1/2 cup flax seed(I used oat bran)
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 cup granola(since i used the bar recipe I crushed them)
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup blueberries, dusted in flour
additional granola for topping

Combine dry ingredients together. Mix in wet ingredients. Fold in blueberries. Place batter in prepared muffin pans(either liners or greased). Sprinkle granola on top and press down.  Bake at 400 degrees for 18-22 mins until toothpick comes out clean. *You may have to tent the muffins half way through if you notice the granola is browning too quickly.

**These are pretty tasty...but not sure if they rival the blueberry buttermilk muffins. They seemed dense and not fluffly, but still good to eat! Q loves them!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Beef Stroganoff

In the pursue of cleaning out my freezer I decided to make beef stroganoff. I love this stuff...I used hamburger this time and we both decided we prefer it with steak. But its a cheap and easy meal none the less! This was also the first time I made it with my homemade cream of chicken soup and it worked out great!

Beef Stroganoff
1 lb ground beef, or cubed beef
1 pt mushrooms, diced
1-2 cups cream of chicken soup
1 onion sliced
1 cup beef broth
1 cup sour cream

Brown meat and drain. Place in slow cooker. Add in mushrooms, soup, broth, and onion. Place on low 6-8 hours. Stir in sour cream right before serving. Serve over egg noodles, season with salt and pepper!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

This Saturday is the day we kick my children out of the house, with my husband so I can do an all day cooking day with Amy from A Foodie Fairytale. We have quite the list and it will be the first time we attempt something like this. We have changed around the recipes a couple of times...ok, Amy didn't, I changed a couple of mine! I had 3 or 4 different recipes using flour tortillas, which is normally fine, but I didn't want it to start all tasting the same. Then I picked a recipe call Chicken Tortilla Casserole thinking it was like a Mexican Lasagna...actually no it uses tortilla chips which would not freeze well so I swapped that recipe out too. Sorry for all the changes Amy! I'm sure this being the first time we do this there will be some more kinks to work out! I hope to finish grabbing the rest of my groceries on monday so we will be set for Saturday and come up with something for lunch. 

Here is our list:
Pumpkin French Toast Sticks
Blueberry Banana Pancakes
Chocolate Chip Cinnamon Rolls
Breakfast Burritos
Cornmeal Blueberry Scones
Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins

Monterey Jack Burgers (with homemade burger buns)
Tequila Lime Chicken
Spanish Rice
Vegetable Lasagna
Mango-Cranberry Chicken
Sausage/Onion/Pepper Calzones
Denise's Black Beans w/ Kielbasa
Sloppy Joe's (with homemade rolls)
Three Cheese Baked Spaghetti
Pineapple Chicken Fajitas

So that is a total of 16 meals that will be doubled for 32 meals! 

As for what we are eating until then...

-Apple Muffins with Maple glaze
-Cinnamon Roll Bread

-Corn Dog Muffins
-Thai Pizza on the grill
-Hula Bagel Melts
-Honey Ginger Chicken Stir fry

There may be more in the mix so stay tuned for new recipes!

For more menu ideas make sure to check out orgjunkie!

Cream Cheese and Black Bean Enchiladas

I had some leftover corn and black beans that were not used in the black bean corn salsa. I was originally going to make burritos with it, but then remembered a recipe that was shared on a message board that got very high reviews. You can also use chicken in black of the black beans.

Cream Cheese and Black Bean Enchiladas
6-8 flour tortillas
1 block cream cheese, softened
1 can diced green chilis
1 cup corn
1-2 cups black beans
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 cup shredded cheese
1-2 cups enchilada sauce

Saute chilis and garlic. Add in corn and black beans. Combine with cream cheese until heated through. Spread some sauce on bottom of 9x13 casserole dish. Place filling down center of tortilla, wrap and place seam side down in casserole dish. Continue until all filling has been used. Cover with remaining sauce and top with cheese. Place in 350 degree oven for 20-30 mins until heated through.

**I actually only made 3 tonight and froze the other 3. I placed them in my crockpot with sauce on the bottom and top and cooked on low for 2 hours, it worked quite well. K had these for dinner and he really liked them.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Black Bean and Corn Salsa

I was asked to bring some kind of chip and dip to a party. I knew I had to find something that I had all the ingredients on hand and I remember seeing this recipe at Eat at Home. This is simple and quick to make!

Black Bean and Corn Salsa- shared from Eat at Home
1 2/3 cup black beans(or 1 can rinsed and drained)
1 2/3 cup corn(or 1 can rinsed and drained
1 can diced tomatoes with green chilis
1 cup shredded cheese(I used cheddar w/ jalepenos)
salt to taste
handful of chopped cilantro(optional)

Mix together all ingredients except cheese. Add cheese before serving. Serve with tortilla chips or over a salad.

**So pretend that looks like salsa...and not nachos! I repurposed the leftovers into nachos. Everyone at the party loved it and it was very easy to make!

Fruity Curry Chicken Pasta Salad

It has still been quite warm here...after all it is June, but its so different than last June where I think it rained for 20 something days that month. Anyway, I've been craving pasta salad even though I think I've made 2 or 3 different kinds in the past couple of weeks and had some at a grad party. So tonight I had on the menu enchiladas, but I didn't feel like eating I started searching for a recipe for what I wanted, I finally gave up and made up my own!

Fruity Curry Chicken Pasta Salad
1/2 lb pasta, cooked, drained(I used rotinit)
1/2 cup mayo(enough to keep it moist)
1 can mandarin oranges, drained
1 cup chopped grapes
2 cups chopped cooked chicken
curry powder to taste

Mix all ingredients together and enjoy! I don't have exact measurements as sometimes I have a habit of not measuring especially if I'm making it up. I had a pretty big pinch of curry powder, and I think it could have used more!

**This was quite tasty and hit the spot perfectly! Next time I'll add more curry! YUM!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Strawberry Lemonade

I am not usually a fan of lemonade...but my sister had some Simply Lemonade with Raspberry one day, so I snagged a sip. It was SO ever since then I've wanted some, but I've been to cheap to buy some. It is actually on sale this week, but of course not at the store I was at. Michelle at All Home Cooking posted a recipe for strawberry lemonade and I got a steal on 5 lemons the other day(87 cents) so I bought more strawberries to make this!

Strawberry Lemonade- All Home Cooking.All Year Long
1 qt(or 1 lb) strawberries, hulled
1 cup lemon juice(I had 5 lemons and it got me 1 1/4 cup of juice)
4 cups water(2 cups warm)
1 cup sugar

Place strawberries and lemon juice in blender and blend until smooth. Mix 2 cups warm water and sugar until dissolved. Add to juice and add in 2 more cups of cold water. Stir and let chill.

**To us this was more strawberry than lemonade...which worked for me! I may add more lemon juice or cut back on the strawberries next time, but it was REALLY good!

Leftover Turkey Bake

This is essentially homemade stuffing with cranberries and turkey already mixed in. It was pretty simple to prepare once you have the bread made. I love Thanksgiving dinner so this was just about all the essentials in one casserole!

Leftover Turkey Bake-adapted from Taste of Home
6 cups cubed whole wheat french bread(or any bread)
2-3 cups cooked, cubed, turkey
1 onion, diced
3-4 stalks celery, sliced
2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup cranberries, fresh or frozen
2 tsp poultry seasoning
pepper to taste

Saute onions and celery for about 5 mins. Add in turkey. Pour in broth,cranberries, and seasonings. Stir in bread until completely moistened. Place in 350 degree oven for 20-30 mins until heated through.

**My mom thought something was missing, so I was a bit hesitant to try it. But I found that it was quite tasty(a bit on the salty side, but that was because I used bouillion). I think serving it with cranberry sauce would be a nice

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Zuppa Toscana Soup

I know it is summer and it might be a little to warm for soup, but in an effort to empty the freezer the chicken broth had to be used. It was K's birthday yesterday and I invited one of our friends over for dinner, so that meant I had to come up with something to eat. We love this soup at Olive Garden and I've made it before and had almost all the ingredients so this is what we are eating! This recipe comes from my friend Terra, she posted it on Facebook one night and I had to make it! Thanks Terra!

Zuppa Toscana Soup- from Terra R.
1 qt chicken broth
1 lb sausage(hot or sweet)
1 onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 bunch kale, veins removed, sliced into ribbons
1 lb potatoes, skins on, cubed
3 slices of bacon, cooked, crumbled, drained
2 1/2 cups water
1 1/4 cups milk(cream or half and half)

Remove casings from sausage, break up and brown. Drain on paper towels. Leave about 1 tsp of fat in pan and lightly saute onions. Place water, broth, garlic and potatoes in stock pot. Bring to a boil and cook until potatoes are softened. Add in sausage, onions, and milk. Stir in kale and cook until wilted.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Menu Plan...Tuesday

I was going to post this yesterday, but couldn't remember what I had put on my list for the week. I still had to dig through my freezer/pantry to see what I had as I'm holding off on shopping still.Still prepping my tiny freezer for our freezer cooking day and its getting quite bare...I've never seen it so empty! So without further ado...

-We have leftovers on out list of black bean corn salsa which I will make into some nachos and into some cream cheese enchiladas.
-Also leftovers of leftover turkey bake, which I have yet to try, but my mom had it. I may make it into something else just not sure what yet.
-I got permission from K that it would be ok to have blt's without the t and with cheese. I think I will miss the t, but perhaps I'll find some ts at the farmer's market today. Fresh lettuce out of our garden will make them quite tasty!
-Honey Lime Enchiladas we still have in the freezer and I found only when I went to bring my brother in laws their food.
-I also have some cream of chicken soup and egg noodles so I think I'll make beef I have mushrooms and beef in the freezer.

This should safely get us into next week I hope and not have to go to the store until then. The only problem I am having with once a month shopping(which I have been attempting to do, is I miss the fresh veggies, but it is farmer's market season so I may hit those up once a week or so, if I make it there.

I do have 2 little broccolis growing in the garden, along with lettuce that I can harvest at any time. I have have quite a few strawberries just need them to be ripe and at least a half dozen jalepeno peppers...I wasn't expecting them to grow so fast so now I suppose I need to find something to do with those!