Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Zesty Pork Chops

One of the best things that I have found from having this blog, is that people love to share their yummy recipes with you!! I have had a few friends email me with recipes that they have tried and think that I would like and I love it!! I find recipes everywhere from magazines to online to friends handing them over and it is great...

A good friend from AZ hooked a couple of her friends up with my blog site and now they have started checking out the recipes that I post. The other day I got a message from one of them with this delicious pork chop recipe! She said that it was super easy and a big hit with her family! I can second that opinion... My family thought it was great and every bit of it was gone!!

Zesty Pork Chops
(recipe from Jamie Phantz via Campbell's Kitchen)

4 bone in pork chops
all purpose flour
1 cup pace picante sauce
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 apple, peeled, cored and cut into slices, 1/4" thick
2 tablespoons olive oil

Coat the pork with flour. Mix the picante sauce, brown sugar and apple together in a medium bowl. Heat the oil in a 12" skillet over medium high heat. Add the pork and cook until well browned on both sides. Pour off any fat. Pour the picante sauce mixture over the pork. Reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook for 20 minutes or until the pork is cooked through.

As you can tell from the picture, I cheated and just chopped up my apples. When you have little kids that you have to cut everything up for, it just makes it easier to do it from the start, rather then "slicing" things to put in your recipes... So, while a lot of my recipes call for "sliced" ingredients, I usually just chop away! :)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Cheesy Chicken and Rice Hotdish

I found another great hotdish recipe to add to my collection! This one was so yummy and cheesy and a hit with everyone that ate it that night... The list included my brother and his kids! :) This would be a great dish to make up early so that you would be able to throw it right in the oven at supper time - I didn't realize the amount of prep work that went into it, so I was running a little behind this night!

Cheesy Chicken and Rice Hotdish
(recipe found at www.becomingbetty.blogspot.com)

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
3 carrots, peeled and diced
2 tablespoons fresh minced garlic
2 cups shredded, cooked chicken
3 cups white rice, cooked
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt

Cheese sauce:
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Heat oil in a skillet on stove. Saute onion, celery and carrots for about 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Stir in chicken, rice, salt, pepper and garlic salt. Reduce heat to low. Prepare cheese sauce by melting butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour, salt, pepper and chicken broth. Whisk continuously until thick and nearly bubbling. Stir in cheese until melted. Put rice mixture in a casserole dish and pour cheese sauce over it. Stir to combine. You can sprinkle some more cheese on top. Bake for 30 minutes on 350.

I used a 9x13 pan for this recipe and it fit perfectly! And you KNOW that I used the extra cheese on top like was suggested! :)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Cheesy Manicotti

I made this recipe the other night when my oldest son had his first playdate. I was a litle nervous about having something "weird" when other kids were at our house, but it got a big thumbs up from all of them! One even went home and told her mom how good supper was... Wahoo!! Very easy to throw together, other then the fact that I need to work on my manicotti stuffing technique! :)

Cheesy Manicotti
(recipe found at www.cucinafamiglia.com)

1 8 oz box manicotti shells
2 cups spaghetti sauce
1 cup parmesan cheese

stuffing ingredients:
1 cup cottage cheese
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup mozzarella cheese
1 tablespoon basil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 egg

Boil manicotti as directed on package. Make sure that they are al dente. Let cool. Mix together stuffing ingredients, then fill manicotti with mixture. Line 9x13 pan with spaghetti sauce, place noodles in pan, pour over more spaghetti sauce. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 15 minutes, remove foil, top with parmesan cheese and bake for an additional 10 minutes.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Weekly Line Up - 11/27-12/3

Here's the line-up for this week... Trying a new dish every night, so be ready for some recipes to be flying your way! Hope they turn out great! :) Josh has to head to Canada for week, so it will be me and the kids each night - we might have to invite some company for supper! I definitely need some adult interaction after a full day with kids!! :)

Saturday - *Tortellini Primavera
Sunday - Grilled Cheese/Spaghettios
Monday - *Easy Enchilada Casserole
Tuesday - Party Shrimp
Wednesday - Taco Night
Thursday - *Slow Cooker BBQ Beans and Polish Sausage
Friday - *Pastitsio

* New Recipes!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Chocolate Chip Cookies

So, one summer while I was in college I spent the summer living with my aunt and uncle and cousin. I did some random jobs the entire summer - rock picking, strawberry picking, working as a cook and waitress at Pizza Hut, but the best thing that I remember is spending time with my cousin and all the baking that we did that summer! I think that my aunt probably wondered what she was thinking letting me stay there - her grocery bill had to have skyrocketed with as much time as we spent in the kitchen! One of the things that we baked the most were chocolate chip cookies... We must have made a batch a week and they were always gone right away! They were so good, I thought that there had to be some secret to it... So, I made sure that I got the recipe and what do you know? It happens to be on the back of the chocolate chip package... It is still my go to recipe for chocolate chips and it always takes me back to that summer...

Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup shortening
1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
3 eggs
3 teaspoons vanilla
4 1/2-5 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
12 ounces chocolate chips

Mix shortening, butter and sugars. Add eggs and vanilla. When well mixed, combine the rest of ingredients. Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes on ungreased baking sheets.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Here is another yummy slow cooker soup recipe that we tried the other day. I thought that it was yummy and anything that you can put chips in is a hit with my kids! Josh didn't even whine about the black beans, so it must have been pretty good to him too! :)

Chicken Tortilla Soup
(recipe found in Fix It and Forget It)

4 chicken breast halves
2 (15 ounces each) cans black beans, undrained
2 (15 ounces each) can Mexican stewed tomatoes, or Rotel tomatoes
1 cup salsa
4 ounce can chopped green chilies
14 1/2 ounce can tomato sauce
tortilla chips
2 cups grated cheese

Combine all ingredients except chips and cheese in a large slow cooker. Cover and cook on low 8 hours. Just before serving, remove chicken breasts and slice into bite sized pieces. Stir into soup. To serve, put a handful of chips in each individual soup bowl. Ladle soup over chips. Top with cheese.

I chopped my chicken breasts up before I put them in the slow cooker. I would rather get that prep out of the way before it is all cooked and ready to go! I think that this may have caused them to cook a little faster then the recipe says though, so if you do this make sure that you shorten the time a bit... Our chicken was a little dry!

I would also recommend just crushing the chips up on top. I like them crunchy and they obviously got a little soggy when I put them on the bottom of the bowl!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Banana Split Breakfast

I am always looking for something fun and inexpensive to feed the kids for breakfast in the mornings... I do feed them cereal a few days of the week, but to mix it up I like to throw in muffins, pancakes, waffles and this tasty dish that my mom clipped for me when I first started doing daycare! The kids love this for breakfast, not to mention my sisters, who also get a little taste of it as they are dropping their kids off! I love serving these in my banana split dishes that I got from my friend Tracy - the picture would have been of those, but the kids gobble this breakfast up WAY too fast!

Banana Split Breakfast

1/2 banana, sliced
2 scoops frozen yogurt
scoop of strawberries
sprinkle of cereal

Slice bananas into your serving dish. Follow with 2 scoops of frozen yogurt. (I just buy the regular yogurt that comes in the big container and freeze it in my freezer. It is a little hard when you first take it out, but works great after you let it thaw a little!) Scoop strawberries on top, followed by a sprinkle of whatever cereal you have on hand...

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Chicken Parmesan

Here is the second recipe that I loved from my Nourishing Hearts class. Again, I had a crazy night where I was running out the door, but not so many daycare kids so it was a great night to have to cook up the noodles and get the plates ready! Plus, Josh was actually home with the kids and I didn't have to drag them out the door with me, which saves me LOADS of time!! Which means that I actually got a picture of this one...

Chicken Parmesan

1 package shake-n-bake
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 teasoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup melted butter
1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
12 ounces whole grain pasta, cooked acccoring to directions
marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese, for serving

Combine the dry ingredients in a shallow bowl. Dip the chicken in the melted butter, then roll in crumbs. Bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes. Serve with pasta topped with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese.

Again, the chicken is easy to freeze up for a later meal... Let it thaw completely and reheat in oven as directed, turning midway through.

Monday, November 22, 2010


The church that we are attending has begun a new class called Nourishing Hearts... It is a class for women where you make 4 freezer ready meals while talking about the women of the bible. Everyone pitches in and makes part of the four meals for 20 people. Not only do you walk away with your hearts full, but you get to walk away with a handful of meals that are easy to throw in the oven... It came in very handy this past month when I was running out the door every Monday night for a class that my sister-in-law was teaching where I did the childcare. I had meals that could be thrown in the oven and ready at 5:00 when all the daycare kids were gone and I didn't have to try juggling daycare kids while trying to make a good meal!

Here is one of the two recipes that I am going to share with you... My favorites of the four that we made and recipes that I will probably use again! I have not ever made meatballs from scratch before and these were delicious - I only hope they turn out as good the next time that I make them! Sorry for no picture, but like I said, these are crazy nights that I am trying to run out the door!!

1 1/2 pounds hamburger
1 cup quick oats
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 chopped onion
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 tablespoon chili powder

1 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon liquid smoke
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt

Mix meatball ingrdients together and form into balls. Put in single layer in a baking dish. Mix and pour sauce over meatballs. Bake 1 hour at 350 degrees.

We were sent home with a ziploc baggie filled with meatballs to freeze. If you freeze yours, thaw completely and bake as directed.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Turkey White Bean Soup

I love to find new recipes, especially soups for my crock pot! When the weather is turning cooler and I know that we have someplace to be at night, I love throwing a great soup in the crockpot and letting it cook all day long! This one was pretty good - I substituted ham for the turkey and it turned out great...

Turkey White Bean Soup
(recipe found in Taste of Home)
Serves: 8

1 pound bulk pork sausage
4 cups cubed cooked turkey
2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) beef broth
1 can (15 ounces) white kidney or cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
4 medium carrots, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium green pepper, chopped
1 celery rib, chopped
2 teaspoons italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Crumble sausage into a large skillet; cook and stir until no longer pink. Drain. Transfer to a 5 or 6 quart slow cooker. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours or until vegetables are tender.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Weekly Line Up

I have had a lot of people question me about how I plan my meals... My family is very fly by the seat of their pants for meals and make whatever they have on hand for that night. I am in the total opposite direction of that! I am a planner - I like to know what we are having for the week and I take into account what we have going on for the week... Plus, I only make it to the grocery store once a week so I need to make sure that I have everything that I need or I am in trouble!! So, I sit down, usually on Thursday or Friday and plan out what my meals are for the week and plan my grocery list from this... Not that this stops unwanted purchases, but it does help a little! So, I thought that I would try posting my meals for the week to give you a little preview of what will be coming up on my blog... I try a lot of new recipes and not all of them make it to the blog, especially if they are big flops!! :) So, here is our menu plan for this week...

Saturday - Lasagna Roll-Ups (check the blog for this yummy dish!)
Sunday - Eggs and Toast (we have a huge Sunday dinner at my mom's, so I try to do something light on Sunday night...)
Monday - *Zesty Pork Chops
Tuesday - *Crock Pot BBQ Beef (ECFE night, so I love the crock pot for Tuesdays!)
Wednesday - Taco Night at the Legion (family tradition)
Thursday - Thanksgiving!! I am in charge of bringing the Sweet Potato Supreme (a request every year since I started bringing it!)
Friday - *Creamy Chicken and Rice Soup
Extras - *Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake Bars

* a new recipe attempt!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Sloppy Buffalo Joes

I love wings and when I found this recipe I couldn't resist trying it... I was a little nervous dishing it up for Beau, since he isn't super excited about spicy food. Beau ate it up pretty quick without a word about it being too hot! Josh on the other hand, who loves spicy food, but also likes his sloppy joes sweeter then I make them, was not a big fan of these!

Sloppy Buffalo Joes
(recipe found at www.foodnetwork.com)

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 pounds ground chicken or turkey breast
1 carrot, peeled and chopped or grated
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
salt and pepper
2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
1/4 - 1/3 cup hot sauce
1 cup tomato sauce
1 cup chicken stock
8 burger rolls
1 cup blue cheese crumbles
2 large pickles, chopped

Heat a large skillet with olive oil over mediumhigh heat. Add meat and break it up with wooden spoon, cook 5-6 minutes. Add in carrots, celery, onions and garlic, season with salt and pepper, cook 7-8 minutes more. In a bowl combine the vinegar, sugar, worcestershire, hot sauce, tomato sauce and stock. Pour into the pan and stir to combine. Simmer a few minutes more. Pile sloppy buffalo filling onto buns and top with blue cheese and chopped pickles.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Peanut Butter Popcorn Balls

I love to give my daycare kids little treats for the holidays... I also like to make sure that I don't spend all the money that I make buying them stuff! :) So, for Halloween this year I found this recipe and made these treats for the kids! They were very tasty... It says that it makes 10 popcorn balls, but I doubled the batch and only got about 15 - I wanted bigger popcorn balls then they made I guess!

Peanut Butter Popcorn Balls
(recipe found in Taste of Home)

5 cups popped popcorn
1 cup dry roasted peanuts
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place popcorn and peanuts in a large bowl; set aside. In a large heavy saucepan over medium heat, bring sugar and corn syrup to a rolling boil; stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat; stir in peanut butter and vanilla. Quickly pour over popcorn mixture and mix well. When cool enough to handle, quickly shape into 10 2 1/2 inch balls. Let stand at room temperature until firm; wrap in plastic wrap.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Garlic Cheese Beer Biscuits

I love beer bread and when I saw this recipe I just had to try it... They were yummy, but by the time that we ate them they weren't warm anymore and I think that they would have tasted better straight out of the oven! The kids knocked back quite a few of them, so they were definitely a hit with them!!

Garlic Cheese Beer Biscuits
(recipe found at www.madebystephie.blogspot.com)

3 cups of bisquick
1 can of cold beer
3 tablespoons sugar
1 cup cheese
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt

Just mix all of it together and spoon into a muffin pan. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes. It makes 24 biscuits!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Slow Cooker Cheesy Potato Soup

This was definitely the perfect pick me up supper on a cold windy day! It was easy to throw into the crockpot, continued cooking even when the power went out for a little bit and was pretty much a no fuss supper! You know that I added a little more bacon then was called for, but other then that I followed the recipe and it was delicious!

Slow Cooker Cheesy Potato Soup
(recipe found at www.pillsbury.com)

1 bag (32 ounces) frozen southern style diced hasbrown potatoes, thawed
1/2 cup frozen chopped onion, thawed - (I used a regular onion, chopped)
1 medium stalk celery, diced (1/2 cup)
1 carton (32 ounces) chicken broth
1 cup water
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 cup milk
1 bag (8 ounces) shredded american-cheddar cheese blend (2 cups)
1/4 cup real bacon pieces
4 medium green onions, sliced (1/4 cup)

In 3-4 quart slow cooker, mix potatoes, onion, celery, broth and water. Cover; cook on low heat 6-8 hours. In small bowl, mix flour into milk; stir into potato mixture. Increase heat to high. Cover and cook 20-30 minutes more or until mixture thickens. Stir in cheese until melted. Garnish individual servings with bacon and green onions. Sprinkle with pepper if desired.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Beef Bake

This is a quick and easy supper idea that is filling at the same time! And so easy your husband can make it! :) I was down and out with a stomach bug this night and the hubby was in charge of supper. He whipped this up with pretty much no problems! So, sorry no pictures, but he was already working so hard I didn't want to start being demanding about details! :)

Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Beef Bake

1 pound ground beef
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) condensed cream of mushroom with roasted garlic soup (if you can't find this, I just use regular cream of mushroom and add some garlic salt to the recipe...)
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
1 bag (16 ounces) frozen vegetable combo, thawed
3 cups hot mashed potatoes

In a medium skillet over medium high heat, cook beef until browned. In a 2 quart baking dish, mix beef, 1/2 can soup, worcestershire sauce and vegetables. Stir reamining soup into potatoes. Spoon potato mixture over beef mixture. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Banana Bread

This is my go to recipe for banana bread. I have tried a lot of other banana breads, but this is the one that I use the majority of the time! It is yummy and great for breakfast, snack or any time! I usually end up doubling this recipe...

Banana Bread

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs
2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon soda
1 cup mashed bananas (I usually use at least 3 bananas for each batch)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup sour cream

Cream together sugar and butter. Then beat eggs into the mixture. Mix in flour, salt and soda. Add rest of ingredients. Put in well greased and floured loaf pans. Let stand 10 minutes. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.

This is a great way to use up those leftover bananas... A tip - when my bananas start to brown, I just throw them in the freezer if I don't have time to bake banana bread right away. Then when you need them you can just take them out, thaw for a few hours (you will want to have them in a bowl or on a plate). They will look disgusting, but they work perfectly for banana bread!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Pork Chop Surprise

Pork Chop Surprise
(recipe found in Fix It and Forget It)

4 pork chops
6 potatoes, sliced
10 34/ ounce can cream of mushroom soup

Brown pork shops on both sides in skillet. Transfer to slow cooker. Add potatoes, pour soup over the top. Add enough water to cover all ingredients. Cover and cook on high 6-8 hours.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Ham and Asparagus Casserole

Asparagus is a vegetable that my kids all like and we don't eat a lot of. So, when I saw this recipe I knew that we had to try it... The kids loved it for supper that night and leftovers a couple days later! Beau kept asking what the asparagus pieces were, but he at them right up! :) Warning... This recipe used most of the pans in my kitchen!!

Ham and Asparagus Casserole
(recipe found in Taste of Home Healthy Cooking)
Serves: 4 (the 5 of us ate this twice, so I would beg to differ with the serving size)

3 3/4 cups uncooked yolk free whole wheat noodles
2 1/2 cups cut fresh asparagus (1 inch pieces)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tablespoon reduced fat butter
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 cup fat free milk
1 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 1/2 cups cubed fully cooked lean ham
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
1/3 cup french fried onions
2 tablespoon shredded parmesan cheese

Cook noodles according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add asparagus. Cover and cook for 2-5 minutes or until crisp tender; drain and set aside.

In a large skillet, saute the chopped onion in butter until tender. Combine the flour, thyme and pepper; gradually whisk in milk and broth until smooth. Add milk mixture to the skillet. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat; stir in lemon juice. Drain noodles; add the ham, parsley, sauce and asparagus. Transfer to a 13x9 inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Top with fried onions and cheese. Cover and bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until bubbly. Uncover and bake 5-10 minutes longer or until golden brown.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Mom's Stroganoff

Sunday dinners at my mom's house are a weekly event, to state the obvious! After church, whoever can make it from the family gathers there for a few hours over lunch to visit, eat and hang out for a little bit! Every once in a while mom will let us pick what we want for lunch and the "normal" two picks are my mom's stroganoff and her taco salad. I swear, we could eat those every other week and be happy as clams! Mom was gone today, so no Sunday dinner with the family but I made stroganoff for my family just the same!

Mom's Stroganoff

1 pound ground beef
1/4 cup butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon salt
1 (8 ounces) can mushroom stems and pieces
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) condensed cream of chicken or cream of mushroom soup
1 cup sour cream

Cook hamburger and onion together. Drain fat and add butter to melt. Stir in flour, salt, garlic salt and mushroom pieces. Cook 5 minutes. Stir in soup. Simmer 10 minutes. Stir in sour cream and heat through.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Cheeseburger and Fries Pies

I have been meaning to try this recipe for a while now... I pulled it out of a Parents magazine back in 2007 and I finally found it again and thought that I would try it with the family! They were delicious.

Cheeseburger and Fries Pies
(recipe found in Parents Magazine)

2 packages (4.25 ounces each) extra crispy microwave ready fries
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 small onion, diced
1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup beef or chicken broth
1 package refrigerated pie crusts (2 crusts)
2 tablespoon chopped pickles
8 slices cheddar or american cheese

Heat oven to 400. Prepare fries according to package directions, then cut into bite size pieces. In a skillet, heat oil over medium high heat and add onion. Cook until soft, about 6 minutes. Add ground beef and salt and cook, beaking up beef with a spoon, until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Stir in ketchup and broth and cook 3 minutes more. Stir in fries and cool 5 minutes. Roll out piecrusts and cut each into quarters. Spoon filling into crusts. Top with pickles and a slice of cheese. Fold edges of crust up to form packets; seal edges. Place on a baking sheet and bake 20 minutes.

A few tips to learn from me and my mistakes! :)

When I brown my hamburger, I just throw the onion with it and fry it all up together. This will eliminate the need for the extra oil as well as the extra 6 minutes in cooking time!

I had a little problem with my pie crust falling apart as I was moving the pies, but other then that they turned out great! I think that my impatientness was a factor with the falling apart. It says to cool the meat for 5 minutes before placing on the pie crust and I definitely rushed it. Next time I will wait until it is really cool, maybe even longer then 5 minutes so that it doesn't heat through the pie crust...

Next time that I make this, I will use shredded cheese. I think that this will make it easier to roll up the pie crust around the filling.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

SKillet Beef and Noodles

This was a recipe that I tried with the daycare kids... It was quick and cheap to throw together and I didn't hear any complaints from the kids - which is rare when I serve something "different"! :) I thought it tasted a little too sloppy joe with noodles for my taste, but for those days when I am feeding the kids and not myself, I will probably bust this recipe out again!

Skillet Beef and Noodles
Serves: 4 (I served it to 7 kids, with a couple of sides...)

2 packages (3 ounces each) beef ramen
1 pound beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 can (11 1/8 ounces) condensed tomato soup
1/2 soup can of water
1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon prepared mustard

Cook noodles according to directions. Add seasoning. Drain off most of the liquid. Set aside. In 10 inch skillet over medium high heat, cook beef and onion until browned. Drain fat. Stir in soup, water worcestershire, mustard and pepper. Stir in noodles. Heat though, stirring occasionally.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookies

Found this recipe in one of my cookbooks last year and I have been making them like crazy ever since! It makes a ton of cookies, which are nice to freeze or keep in the cookie jar! They are soft and yummy... The daycare kids and I whipped up a batch this morning and it smells delicious throughout my house!

Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookies

2 1/2 cups shortening
5 cups sugar
4 eggs
1/3 cup molasses
1 tablespoon vanilla
3 3/4 quick cooking oats
4 1/3 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
4 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt

In a large mixing bowl, cream shortening and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in molasses and vanilla. Combine the remaining ingredients; gradually add to creamed mixture.

Drop by tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto greased baking sheets. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes or until eges are firm. Remove to wire racks to cool.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Slow Cooker Ham and Wild Rice Soup

Like I have said before, I love a good crockpot recipe when we are running out the door around the time that we normally have supper. Tonight we had to be somewhere by 6:00, which is when we normally eat and I have daycare kids until 5:00. While I can usually throw something together while the kids are here, it is way easier to just have something in the crockpot that I can dish up as soon as they last kids walk out the door... So, here's another recipe that can help you do just that!

Slow Cooker Ham and Wild Rice Soup
(recipe found at www.pillsbury.com)

2 cups diced cooked ham
3/4 cup uncooked wild rice
1 medium onion, chopped
1 bag (16 ounces) frozen mixed vegetables, thawed
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
1 can cream of celery soup
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 cups water
1/2 cup half-and-half

Mix all ingredients except half and half in 3 1/2-4 quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on low 8-9 hours. Stir in half and half. Increase heat to high. Cover and cook 10-15 minutes or until hot.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Quick Crescent Taco Pie

This is another quick, filling meal that hits the spot with my family... We paired it with a side of fruit and each of us were full after only 1 slice!!

Quick Crescent Taco Pie
(recipe found in Taste of Home)
serves: 6-8

1 1/4 pounds lean ground beef
1 package taco seasoning mix
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup chunky salsa
1 can (8 ounces) refrigerated crescent rolls
1 1/2 cups crushed corn chips, divided
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
6 slices american cheese
shredded lettuce
sliced ripe olives
diced tomatoes

Brown meat in a large skillet; drain. I just use 1 pound, I mean really - I am not going to thaw a whole extra pound just to get 1/4 pound more... :) Add seasoning mix, water and salsa; simmer for 5 minutes. Spread the crescent roll dough in a 10 inch pie plate to form crust; press edges together at seams. Sprinkle 1 cup corn chips over crust. Spoon meat mixture over chips. Spread sour cream on top. Cover with cheese slices; sprinkle with remaining corn chips. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Serve with lettuce, olives and tomatoes.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Sesame Grilled Chicken

Here is a recipe that Josh and I have tried quite a few times... It is quick and tasty and doesn't require a lot of prep time! This time seemed a little bit saltier then the rest, so I might cut back a little on the soy sauce the next time that I make it...

Sesame Grilled Chicken
(recipe found in If I Gotta Cook, Make it Quick!)
serves: 4-6

4-6 boneless, skinless, chicken thighs
1 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup pineapple juice
1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Place chicken in large recloseable plastic bag. Pour soy sauce and pineapple juice into bag. Chill 4-8 hours. Place chicken on grill. Cook 5-6 minutes on both sides. Sprinkle sesame seeds on both sides of chicken.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Butternut Squash Casserole

I love a good mac and cheese recipe... This is a fun one for the fall when squash is abundant!! It kicks it up a notch and adds to the fun of mac and cheese.

Butternut Squash Casserole
(recipe found in Parents magazine)
Serves: 6

1/2 butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes (2 cups)
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 pound whole wheat elbows
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups reduced fat milk
1 3/4 cups low fat white cheddar cheese, shredded and divided

Preheat oven to 375. Toss squash with oil and salt on a foil lined tray. Bake for 20 minutes or until tender, set aside. Cook pasta for 2 minutes less than package directions call for; drain and place in a bowl with squash. Meanwhile, melt butter over low heat. Whisk in flour; cook for 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in milk. Bring mixture to a boil, then simmer. Cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 1 1/2 cups cheese; stir until melted. Stir cheese sauce into pasta and squash. Spoon into 6 greased, individual ramekins. Sprinkle on remaining cheese. Bake 10 minutes.

I didn't have another use for the other half of the squash, so I doubled this recipe and then threw it into a 9x13 inch pan. I baked it for 15 minutes instead of the 10 that it called for! Ramekins might be fancier, but nothing says easier clean-up then 1 pan instead of 6!!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Cheesy Chicken Chowder

Usually any soup that I make goes into the crockpot to cook all day and have for a quick supper that night. I found this recipe in the back of my binder and had to try it. Very quick, simple and still delicious!

Cheesy Chicken Chowder
(recipe found at campbells.com)

2 cans cheddar cheese soup
2 soup cans milk
1 1/2 cups picante sauce
1 medium red or green pepper, finely chopped
4 green onions, sliced
3 cups cubed cooked chicken
sour cream, if desired

Mix soup, milk, picante sauce, pepper and onions in saucepan. Heat to a boil. Cook over low heat 5 minutes. Add chicken and heat through. Garnish with sour cream.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Mashed Snakes

Here is the second recipe that I had for Halloween! The kids loved the look of this one and were all sitting around the table as I put them on the plates! They looked really cool I will have to say!! The only problem that I found was that the potatoes got cold really fast...

Mashed Snakes
(recipe found in Pillsbury magazine)

3 medium potatoes, about 1 pound, peeled and quartered
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2-3 tablespoons milk
salt to taste
10 drops green food color
6 drops yellow food color
4 small pimiento stuffed olives, sliced
8 pimiento slices (from olives)

In 2 quart saucepan, place potatoes; add enough water to just cover potatoes. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 18-20 minutes or until tender; drain. Mash potatoes with potato masher or electic mixer on medium speed. Add butter and milk. Stir until light and fluffy. Add salt. Stir in food colors.

Place mashed potatoes in gallon size resealable food storage plastic bag. Cut about 1 inch hole in one corner of bag. Pipe "snakes" onto serving plates. Place 2 olive slices on one end of the snake for eyes. Cut pimiento in half for snake tongue. Serve immediately.

Tips that I found while making this recipe...

~ you can used boxed potatoes instead of making them from scratch to save time. I am not as big of a fan of boxed potatoes, but they definitely make things go quicker!

~ feeding a 19 month old mashed potatoes is much cleaner when you do it this way...

Monday, November 1, 2010

Meatball Creepy Crawlers

I found a few recipes that I had to try on Halloween night for my family! I wanted something that we could eat quick and that everyone would like FOR SURE so that we could get out of the house at a decent time and be home and in bed at a good time! These were a hit and were gobbled up right away!

Meatball Creepy Crawlers
(recipe found in Pillsbury magazine)

1 can (12 ounces) refrigerated flaky original biscuits
20 frozen cooked beef meatballs, thawed
1/4 cup shoestring potatoes or chow mein noodles
sliced olives, pickles and carrots, if desired
1/4 cup kethcup
1/4 cup mustard
1/2 cup cheese dip

Heat oven to 375. Spray large cookie sheet with cooking spray, or cover with cooking parchment paper. Separate dough into 10 biscuits. Separate each biscuit into 2 layers. Wrap 1 biscuit piece around each meatball; seal. To make 1 crawler, line up 10 biscuit wrapped meatballs on cookie sheet, making sure each is touching, to make a curved line. Poke shoestring potatoes in both sides of each ball for legs, at head for antennae and tongue, and end for tail. Repeat with remaining 10 wrapped meatballs to make second crawler.

Bake 13-16 minutes of until golden brown. Garnish with olives for eyes and mouth. Top every other section with layer of sliced pickle, carrot and olive. In small bowl, mix ketchup and mustard. Serve crawlers with ketchup mixture and cheese dip.