Thursday, March 31, 2011

Bacon and Cheese Stuffed Chicken

This recipe was so good that I want to go and have more right now... As I am blogging about it, Josh keeps telling me that I have to write about how yummy it was and that he wants to have it again!! Definitely a hit at my house. Since it was the first time that I have ever stuffed chicken, it was a learning experience at my Nourishing Hearts class. It wasn't super hard to tackle and if I can do it, so can you!!

Bacon and Cheese Stuffed Chicken

4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
4 ounces cheddar or pepperjack cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika, optional

Combine bacon and shredded cheese. With a sharp knife, cut a pocket into the thickest side of each chicken breast. Stuff each with 1/4 of the bacon and cheese mixture. Seal with a toothpick (or as many as you need to hold it all together:). SPrikle with salt, pepper and paprika. Bake, covered in a 350 degree oven for 30-40 minutes or until done.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Bacon Waffles

Here is another recipe that we made at my Nourishing Hearts class... They were okay, but I am not a reheated waffle type of girl. I think that they would be fabulous freshly made!! Every time my kids pulled out a piece of bacon you would have thought that they were finding little treasures - it was hilarious!

Bacon Waffles

2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons white sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon maple extract, optional
1/2 pound cooked and crumbled bacon

In a large bowl, melt the butter and let cool. Add milk, eggs, extracts and dry ingredients. Fold in the bacon. Bake according to the instructions on your waffle maker.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Weekly Line Up - 3/26-4/1

No weekly line up today... The baby is here!! Just got home from the hospital and while I am feeling pretty good - I am not too worried (yet) about planning a menu for this week. So, we are eating whatever my hubby and mother-in-law come up with and hopefully I will be up and running by next week!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Honey Baked French Toast

This was so easy that my husband made it and didn't even complain once!! He even doubled it up and talked about how quick it was to make it the second time once he knew how to do it. It had a wonderful taste to it and we all loved it, but it didn't make very much even with a double batch...

Honey Baked French Toast

1/2 stick unsalted butter
3 tablespoons honey
2/3 cup orange juice
4 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
pinch of nutmeg
6 thick slices of french or italian bread

Heat oven to 375. Put butter and honey into a 9x13 glass pan. heat in oven until butter melts and honey is bubbling, about 8 minutes. Remove from oven and stir well. In another baking dish, whisk together juice, eggs, spices and salt. Dip bread in, turning it once to coat well, let soak about 2 minutes per side, then carefully set each piece of bread into the honey buttered pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until well browned. (Be careful, the bottom browns much darker then the top!!) Before serving, flip over each piece sot hat the honey butter side is up.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Banana Split Parfaits

So, since I am so on top of it these days (or not) I was planning on making banana split breakfast for my daycare kids and forgot (shocking) to put the yogurt in the freezer. They have been asking for banana split breakfast for a while, so I didn't want to disappoint, but since I don't have a cool blast chiller like on food network (wouldn't that be cool?!?) I knew that I didn't have the time. So, we went for parfaits instead. Same ingredients, just used regular yogurt instead of frozen yogurt! They freaked out and were SOOOO excited! "Can we have this every morning?" Who knew how easy they were to please? (at least for today...)

Banana Split Parfaits


Place a layer of yogurt, layer of banana, layer of yogurt, sprinkle of cereal and strawberries in a dish. Serve. Watch for smiles and HUGE messes (especially with 2 year olds eating yogurt on their own!)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Hot off the Grill Chicken

This chicken recipe turned out so yummy and moist! It is one that our family has had a few times... Super easy with only 4 ingredients that I always have on hand. I even did the grilling this time and I have to say that it didn't turn out too bad! :) We were in a hurry, so no picture of my masterpiece, but trust me - it was pretty tasty!

Hot off the Grill Chicken
(recipe found in If I Gotta Cook, Make it Quick)

1/2 cup miracle whip
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon italian seasoning
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

In a small bowl, combine miracle whip, cheese and italian seasoning. Mix well. Brush chicken with half of mixture. Place chicken on grill. Cook 4-6 minutes. Turn, brush with rest of mixture. Cook 4-6 minutes or until done.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Weekly Line Up - 3/19-3/25

The final week of pregnancy number 4 is nearing... As much as I have been hoping that it would be earlier, that doesn't seem to be happening! :) The rest of my kids have been 2 weeks early, but even with all the issues I have been having with this one, he doesn't seem to want to budge. Oh well, not long now! :) The blood pressure has been a little better, but the lower back pain is killing me right now... So, I am resorting to a lot of the freezer meals that I have been saving up just for this occasion! I have recipes for all of them, so if they turn out wonderfully I will definitely be posting...

Saturday - *Bacon and Cheese Stuffed Chicken
Sunday - *Bacon Waffles with fruit salad
Monday - *Pepperoni and Green Olive Calzones
Tuesday - ECFE (They are providing a meal!)
Wednesday - Taco Night
Thursday - *Chuckwagon Bake
Friday - Spaghetti and Garlic Bread

* New Recipes

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Souped Up Meatloaf

Here is another crockpot meal that I tried out... Usually I put my meatloaf in the oven, but I thought that I would try it in the crockpot, especially when I saw how few ingredients there were! It turned out pretty good - I made sure to cook it only for the 4 hours instead of longer and it stayed quite juicy... The kids ate it really well so it will be a definite redo at our house!

Souped Up Meatloaf
(recipe found in If I Gotta Cook, Make it Quick)

1 (1 ounce) packet onion soup mix
2 pounds ground beef
1 1/2 cups soft bread crumbs
2 eggs
1 cup ketchup

In large bowl, combine all ingredients. Mix well. Shape in loaf. Place in slow cooker. cover and cook on low 4-6 hours.

Note: This can be baked in the oven for 1 hour at 350.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Easy Sweet and Sour Pork Chops

In an effort to stay off my feet a little more, I am going to try and use my crockpot more. I know that I have said it before, but I love, love, love my crockpot! It is so nice to throw a few things in and have a meal ready when you want to sit down and eat...

So, I found a few recipes and this one sounded pretty good and SUPER easy!! The pork chops were wonderful!! The were super tender and falling apart as I took them out of the crockpot (which Josh said meant they were cooked too long, but they tasted really good and not dry to me!). The oriental vegetables on the other hand... DISGUSTING!!! They were completely brown from being in the crockpot that long and not tasty at all, and I put them in COMPLETELY frozen... The pea pods did not cook in 5 minutes, but were delish once they heated completely through, about 15 minutes... So, when I make this recipe again, I am definitely leaving out the oriental vegetables and just cooking up the chops, because they were definitely worth it!

Easy Sweet and Sour Pork Chops
(recipe found in If I Gotta Cook, Make it Quick)

16 ounces bag frozen oriental vegetables
6 pork chops
12 ounces bottle sweet and sour sauce
1/2 cup water
1 cup frozen pea pods

Place partially thawed oriental vegetables in slow cooker. Arrange chops on top. Combine sauce and water, pour over chops. Cover. Cook on low 7-8 hours. Turn to high and add pea pods. Cover. Cook on high 5 minutes.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Weekly Line Up - 3/12-3/18

2 weeks and counting... I've been doing pretty good about staying off my feet and not doing too much. Cheated a little bit but sometimes you just gotta get into the kitchen to stay sane! :) Have a great week...

Saturday - Ravioli with Garlic Bread
Sunday - *Honey Baked French Toast with bacon
Monday - *Tater Tot Casserole
Tuesday - Ring Bologna and Mac-N-Cheese
Wednesday - Taco Night
Thursday - *Golden Chicken and Noodles
Friday - Concession Stand Supper (wrestling that night!)

* new recipes

Friday, March 11, 2011

Best Ever Chicken Fajita Chowder

This was an easy soup to throw together before supper. I did most of my chopping during naptime and then was able to throw everything in and have supper ready early. It was a little bland for me, but adding salt and pepper helped. We also topped ours with crunched up potato chips and that seemed to give it a little crunch and maybe more flavor. The kids all ate it really well, so that was an added bonus for me!

Best Ever Chicken Fajita Chowder
(recipe found in Taste of Home)

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, chopped
1 each medium green, red and yellow peppers, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups water
2 cups frozen corn
1 cup uncooked brown rice
1 cup green enchilada sauce
1/4 cup canned chopped green chilies
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup shredded mexican cheese blend
1 cup sour cream
tortilla chips and minced fresh chives, optional

In a dutch oven over medium high heat, cook and stir the chicken, peppers and onion in oil until vegetables are tender crisp. Stir in the water, corn, rice, enchilada sauce, chilies and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 35-40 minutes or until rice is tender. Remove from heat. Stir in cheese and sour cream until cheese is melted. Serve with chips and chives if desired.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Nutty Chicken Stir Fry

I love stir fry! After you get done with all the chopping, it is so easy to throw everything into the pan and stir fry it up... So, whenever I find a recipe that involves stir fry and chicken, it is definitely one I want to try. This was a good one. It didn't require a ton of chopping, so that made it even better in my book! I was also amazed at how much my kids LOVE cabbage... What is up with that? Bella and Beau both kept coming back to my chopping board and asking for more - I mean, it was like a snack to them! Weirdos! :)

Nutty Chicken Stir Fry
(recipe found in Taste of Home)

1 pound boneless skinless chickien breasts, chopped
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 package (16 ounces) frozen stir fry vegetable blend
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons brown sguar
4 teaspoons cornstarch
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/3 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup chunky peanut butter
5-6 drops hot pepper sauce
3 cups shredded cabbage
3/4 cup salted peanuts, chopped
hot cooked rice

In a large skillet or wok, stir fy chicken in oil for 2 minutes. Add vegetables; cook 4 minutes longer. Add garlic; stir fry until chicken is no longer pink and vegetables are crisp tender. In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, cornstarch and ginger; stir in the broth, soy sauce, peanut butter an dpepper sauce until blended. Pour over chicken mixture. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Add cabbage; cook 2 minutes longer or until crisp tender. Sprinkle with peanuts. Serve with rice.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Cookie Dough Waffles

I found this recipe online and had to try it for my breakfast for supper this week. I mean, COME ON, cookie dough and waffles? So, I whipped up the batter and Josh and I both had to try a taste... He didn't read the title of the recipe and immediately said - it tastes like cookie dough. Then commented on how he could feel the sugar on his teeth as he was chewing. That should have been a sign, but we pressed on!

As we were eating them, Josh kept commenting on how they tasted a lot like sugar cookies. I tried them with the blueberry syrup that I had made with the blueberry pancake recipe that we tried a while ago and it was massive sugar overload... I tried some with regular maple syrup and that was better. They were good, but really, really sweet! Not a recipe that I would use all the time, but fun to try. The kids ate them like crazy and even walked around with a couple after supper was finished.

So, this one I leave up to you to try... They were pretty tasty, but I think that I will stick to the standard waffles before trying it again.

Cookie Dough Waffles
(recipe found at

2 1/2 sticks butter
5 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups sugar
3 1/2 cups flour

Mix all ingredients together. Batter will not be runny, it will be more like cookie dough. Cook until lightly browned in your waffle iron. (Be sure to spray your waffle iron before cooking - they didn't come out super easy for me and I think that this definitely helped when I did the second batch. I also used a spatula to take them out instead of a fork like I normally do. They didn't have a super crunchy exterior to pierce into.)

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Weekly Line Up - 3/5-3/11

As much as I don't want to admit it or do it, the time has come... This baby is officially kicking my bootie! I am three weeks and counting and feeling every minute of it! Blood pressure issues, carpal tunnel and just plain old tiredness is catching up with me. So, doctor's orders are to put my feet up as much as possible (with three kids and a full daycare, that is an interesting suggestion) and try not to do so much. Those are hard orders to fill, but I am going to try my best...

That means cutting back on all the cooking and baking that I do. That means letting my husband cook stuff that he actually wants to cook instead of attempting the recipes that I have planned. That means eating, gasp, some freezer foods for once! :) I know my kids and hubby will survive and probably appreciate it, but it won't be as fun for me! :)

So, from now until after the baby is born, I will only be posting every other day. Not much fun to post pictures of the fish sticks and frozen pizza that we are eating - although my kids have tried to remind me in the past to take a picture of that kind of stuff. "Well, mommy didn't make this" isn't an explanation that they are quite understanding... :) Hoping to be back in my kitchen a lot more very soon but until then feel free to go back and check out all the recipes that are already posted, there are some good ones! I will still post my weekly menus and hopefully I will get to them, but they might get shuffled to the next week, depending on how we are doing here! Have a great week!

Saturday - Brats and Baked Beans
Sunday - omelots
Monday - *Souped Up Meatloaf
Tuesday - fast food (if our basketball team keeps winning!)
Wednesday - Taco Night
Thursday - *Hot off the Grill Chicken
Friday - Tortellini and Garlic Bread

* New Recipes

Friday, March 4, 2011

Rocky Road Chocolate Cake

I am lucky enough to have a group of wonderful friends... You know the kind - the ones that would do anything for you and the ones that you can call in the middle of the night if you ever needed anything. We play games, cards, watch tv and just hang out as much as possible! I am even more lucky that this group includes family - my brother and his wife and my cousin and his wife! Don't get me wrong, I have other friends and family that I hang out with but these are my "Friday night friends". Growing up, there was a group of eight that my parents spent pretty much every Friday night with. They had a core group that hung out together and I always thought that was so wonderful... Now I have my group (even though with all the craziness of our lives we don't always get to hang out on every Friday night) and I love it!!

Anyhow, the reason behind the story is that our group got together this weekend to play cards, hang out and since my brother's birthday was coming up, I made this cake! It was fabulous.... Wish the kids would have been up to share it with us, but unfortunately it was past their bedtime! :) This was super easy to throw together - it didn't look pretty dishing it up out of the crockpot, but it looked yummy in the crockpot and tasted fabulous with some ice cream!!

Rocky Road Chocolate Cake
(recipe found at

1 (18.25 ounces) package german chocolate cake mix
1 (3.9 ounces) package chocolate instant pudding mix
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup sour cream
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 1/4 cups milk, divided
1 (3.4 ounces) package chocolate cook and serve pudding mix
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
vanilla ice cream, optional

Beat cake mix, next 5 ingredients, and 1 1/4 cups milk at medium speed with an electric mixer 2 minutes, stopping to scrape down sides as needed. Pour batter into a lightly greased 4 quart slow cooker. Cook remaining 2 cups milk in a heavy nonaluminum saucepan over medium heat, stirring often, 3-5 minutes or just until bubbles appear (do not boil); remove from heat.

Sprinkle cook and serve pudding mix over batter. Slowly pour hot milk over pudding. Cover and cook on low 3 1/2 hours. Meanwhile, heat pecans in a small nonstick skillet over medium low heat, stirring often, 3-5 minutes or until lightly toasted and fragrant.

Turn off slow cooker. Sprinkle cake with pecans, marshmallows and chocolate chips. Let stand 15 minutes or until marshmallows are slightly melted. Spoon into dessert dishes and serve with ice cream, if desired.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Spinach Cheese Manicotti

Yep - I tried it again! We did another type of manicotti this week and I was up and running, so I made it this time. It went much, much smoother! That might have also been due to the fact that when I stuffed the manicotti, you leave the shells uncooked - much easier! :) It had a lot of prep work involved with it, but it was worth it... The kids all got treats after supper even, which hasn't happened for a long time - but they all devoured everything on their plates!!

Spinach Cheese Manicotti
(recipe found in Taste of Home Healthy Cooking)

1 large onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cans (8 ounces each) no salt added tomato sauce
2 cans (6 ounces each) tomato paste
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup dry red wine or vegetable broth (I used chicken broth)
2 tablespoons italian seasoning
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons dried oregano

1 package (8 ounces) fat free cream cheese
1 1/4 cups 2% cottage cheese
1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pacakge manicotti shells
1 cup shredded part skim mozzarella cheese

In a large saucepan, saute onion and garlic in oil until tender. Stir in the tomato sauce, tomato paste, water, wine, italian seasoning, sugar and oregano. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, for filling, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese, spinach, parmesan cheese, eggs and salt.

Stuff cream cheese mixture into uncooked manicotti shells. Spread 1 cup sauce into a 13x9" baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange manicotti over sauce. Pour remaining sauce over top. Cover and bake at 350 for 50-55 minutes or until pasta is tender. Uncover; sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Bake 5-10 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Meaty Manicotti

Okay, truthfully, I debated even posting this recipe... It was a rough night around here the night that this was made. I have about 6 weeks to go before the baby is born and cleaning was a bit of a chore this week. Back spasms while trying to sweep and mop, tightening in my belly when trying to vacuum - it was a rough one. Josh finally told me to sit down and rest and he would make supper. YES!!! I asked if he wanted to try making the manicotti - I should have never gone there...

He did really well until he got to the stuffing of the manicotti shells. Then it was all swearing, spoons flying and him yelling about why can't I just plan normal meals. By the time I got to the kitchen it was all pretty much just thrown into the pan. Meaty lasagna anyone? I finished it up, sent him to cool down and worked on homework with our son. By the time it got to the table, I really didn't even know how to scoop it up and I was a little nervous to try it. It turned out pretty well! Not pretty enough to take a picture of, but it tasted pretty! :) I guess maybe I should have warned him a little earlier to undercook the manicotti a little so that it is easier to stuff. Lesson learned... Hope you enjoy and spoons don't go flying at your house!! Love you baby - thanks for putting up with all my "not normal" meals! :)

Meaty Manicotti
(recipe found in Taste of Home)

14 uncooked manicotti shells
1 pound bulk italian sausage
3/4 pound ground beef
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese
1 package (3 ounces) cream cheese, cubed
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 cups meatless spaghetti sauce, divided
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Cook manicotti shells according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook the sausage, beef and garlic over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Remove from the heat. Cool for 10 minutes. Drain shells and rinse in cold water. Stir the mozzarella, cream cheese and salt into the meat mixture. Spread 2 cups spaghetti sauce into a greased 13x9" baking dish. Stuff each shell with about 1/4 cup meat mixture; arrange over sauce. Pour remaining sauce over top. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

Cover; bake at 350 for 40 minutes. Uncover; bake 5-10 minutes longer or until bubbly and heated through.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Big Dipper Oatmeal Cookies

I had a really quiet day at daycare, so I got the opportunity to do a little baking with the four little ones that I still had. We made these delicious oatmeal cookies for snack and they loved them!! I found this recipe a few years ago when I was living in Arizona and the roommate that I had then LOVED oatmeal cookies. He practically traded me rent for these cookies - that would have worked for me! :) It has been a while since I found this recipe, but it was somewhere on the wonderful world wide web!!

Big Dipper Oatmeal Cookies

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups oatmeal, uncooked
1 cup raisins or 1 cup semi sweet chocolate morsels

2 cups semi sweet chocolate morsels
3/4 cups chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 350. For cookies, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in medium bowl, mix well. Beat butter and sugars in large bowl with electric mixer until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla, beat well. Add flour mixture; mix well. Stir in oats and if desired, raisins or morsels, mix well. Drop dough by rounded tablespoons onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 1 minute, remove to wire rack to cool completely.

For glaze, melt morsels according to package directions. Dip half of one cookie in chocolate, gently shake to remove excess. Sprinkle with chopped nuts. Place on waxed paper until set. Repeat with remaining cookies. If chocolate thickens, microwave at 15 second intervals until fluid.