Friday, July 29, 2011

Weekly Line Up - 7/30-8/3

We are off on another camping adventure this weekend! Can't wait for some good family fun - with no TV for my children to veg in front of! :) Then next week is already August... Is it just me or has this summer FLOWN by?? I can't believe that we are running out of time to get all of our fun stuff in! :) Got a lot planned for next week but here is the tentative menu...

Friday - Camping - *Sweet Lemonade Salad
Saturday - Camping - *BLT Pasta Salad
Sunday - Grilled Cheese Sandwich and Spaghettios
Monday - *Creamy Swiss Steak with Roasted Broccoli
Tuesday - *Honey Marinated Chicken
Wednesday - *Nacho Cheese Beef Bake
Thursday - *Cooker Chops

* New Recipes

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Berry Chicken Salad

This was a wonderful tasting, light meal that was perfect on a hot summer day! The kids and I had just been out strawberry picking, so this recipe caught my eye right away! It was super yummy and the kids even enjoyed it!! The store that I shop at didn't have raspberries when I went shopping, so I substituted with blueberries and trade out the goat cheese for mozzarella. Either way - super yummy!!

Berry Chicken Salad
(recipe found in Taste of Home Healthy Cooking)

4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 package (6 ounces) fresh baby spinach
1 cup fresh raspberries
1 cup halved fresh strawberries
2/3 cup crumbled goat cheese
3 tablespoons chopped pecans, toasted
1/4 cup fat free raspberry vinaigrette

Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Grill chicken, covered, over medium heat for 4-7 minutes on each side or until juices run clear. In a large bowl, combine the spinach, raspberries, strawberries, cheese and pecans. Divide among four serving plates. Slice chicken and arrange over spinach mixture; drizzle with vinaigrette.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Banana Roll Ups

This was a quick and easy snack that my kids loved! We go through bananas like crazy at our house, so this is a fun new way to serve them! I even had to jump on this snack bandwagon - yum!!

Banana Roll Ups
(recipe found at

2 soft flour tortillas
3 tablespoons peanut butter
2 tablespoons hot fudge ice cream topping
2 bananas
2 teaspoons toasted wheat germ

Spread tortillas with peanut butter. Sprinkle with wheat germ and ice cream topping. Place banana in center of each tortilla. Roll up and cut in half to serve.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Orange Julius - adult style!

So, I stole this tasty little treat from one of my sons friends moms... (I know there needs to be an apostrophe somewhere in that mess, but I'm not sure quite where it should go! :) I saw the ingredients and thought "that is a drink that I have to try!!" From the second I tasted it, I knew that I was in trouble - it tastes just like an orange julius!! Very cool and refreshing on a hot summer day... the bottle was half gone after an afternoon of relaxing with my family!!

Orange Julius - adult style!
(recipe stolen from Tina Ewert!)

Orange Cream Vodka
Orange Juice

Mix according to your taste buds. Pour over ice and ENJOY!!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Southwest Casserole

Call them a hotdish, call them a casserole - whatever they are, they are delish! If you are from Minnesota, you know ALL about the hotdish and how yummy, hearty and filling they are! The hubs made fun of me constantly when we first got together and was always asking why we had to have hotdishes for the majority of our meals... Guess his Arizona stomach didn't know what to do with a good Minnesota hotdish! :) He has gotten used to it over the years though and appreciated this tasty hotdish that I cooked up!!

Southwest Casserole
(recipe found at

1 pound ground beef
1 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced orange bell pepper
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon magic dust seasoning or montreal steak seasoning
16 ounces tomato sauce
1 10 ounce can diced tomatoes and green chiles
1 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 cups frozen corn
2 ounces shredded mexican 4 cheese blend
1 1/2 cups dried macaroni style pasta
1 cup shredded mexican 4 cheese blend
sliced green onions for garnish

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray a 2 quart casserole dish with cooking spray. In a large skillet brown ground beef with onions, bell pepper and red pepper flakes. Season with magic dust or steak seasoning.

Add tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, oregano and chili powder. Simmer for 15-20 minutes. Add frozen corn and simmer for a few more minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the 2 ounces of cheese until melted. Gently stir in cooked pasta. Pour all into prepared casserole dish and top with shredded cheese. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until browned and bubbly. Garnish with green onions if desired.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Weekly Line Up - 7/23-7/29

What a crazy week! I got recipes piling up all over the place... My computer is down for the count and that means that I can only get on the internet when the hubs is home and willing to share his computer! :) With his crazy summer schedule that isn't very often... The boys have bible school this week and with the hubs being gone as much as he is right now this week is pretty low key on the meals. No point in doing a lot of work when it is me and a 2 year old eating! :) Hope you have a fabulous week and wish me luck on getting my computer back up and running!

Friday - *Chicken BLT Taco Salad
Saturday - *Pepperoni Pizza Casserole
Sunday - *Loaded Flank Steak with *Asparagus Supreme
Monday - corn on the cob with garlic bread
Tuesday - Eggs and Toast
Wednesday - Tacos
Thursday - Chow Mein

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Ham and Pickle Wraps

These are another one of those family favorites that end up at a lot of our get togethers... They are easy to throw together and are gone before you know it. I made them up in advance for my husband's surprise party that I just threw and they tasted great!!

Ham and Pickle Wraps

1 package ham lunch meat
1 (8 ounces) cream cheese
1 large jar pickles

Spread cream cheese on one slice of ham. Add pickle and roll. Cut into slices. Repeat until you have as many as you want!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Cajun Shrimp Skewers

These were one of those super quick and easy recipes that I love to find! I got the shrimp in the the mix during naps and just had to skewer them quick when we got home. Served with some rice and fruit, it was a perfect summer meal that we all loved!

Cajun Shrimp Skewers
(recipe found in Taste of Home)

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 pound uncooked jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 medium lemon, cut into wedges

In a large resealable plastic bag, combine the first nine ingredients. Add the jumbo shrimp; seal bag and turn to coat. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. On eight metal or soaked wooden appetizer skewers, thread shrimp and lemon wedges. Grill, covered, over medium heat or broil 4" from the heat for 5-8 minutes or until shrimp turn pink, turning once.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Deluxe Cheeseburger Melt

This was a quick and easy meal that I threw together for supper the other night! It reminded me of a healthier version of shepard's pie - minus the yummy potatoes! :) I added the whole bag of vegetables - why stop at 1 cup if you are going to go healthy?? Plus I hate when there is just a tiny bit left, but that's just me! :)

Deluxe Cheeseburger Melt
(recipe found at

1 1/3 cups bisquick
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup fat free egg product or 4 egg whites
1 1/2 cups shredded reduced fat cheddar cheese
1 pound extra lean ground beef
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) condensed fat free cream of mushroom soup
1 cup green giant valley fresh steamers frozen mixed vegetables

Heat oven to 400. Spray a 13x9" pan with cooking spray. In medium bowl, stir together bisquick mix, water, egg product and 1 cup of cheese; spread in pan. In 10" skillet, cook beef over medium high heat until browned, stirring occasionally. Stir in soup and vegetables; heat until hot. Spread over batter in pan. Bake 25 minutes or until edges of light golden brown. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Bake until cheese is melted.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Roasted Potatoes with Old Bay & Secret Recipe Club

It's that time again... the Secret Recipe Club is posting once again and I found another fun blog to take a glance at! You can check out more amazing recipes from Barb by clicking here. She's got some amazing oreo stuffed chocolate chip cookies that I can't wait to try some time!

For this post though I was looking through her blog right about the time I was planning on grilling up some burgers and having potatoes as a side... These fit perfectly with that plan! I also have a couple of containers of Old Bay (whoops, who didn't look in the spice cabinet before she bought?) in my cupboard that need using up... Such a simple recipe and super good too! :) They didn't go over well with Beau, but what potato does? As for the rest of us, we inhaled them quickly, leaving just a few leftover for Josh to take for lunch!

Roasted Potatoes with Old Bay
(recipe found at

6 russet or yukon gold potatoes, unpeeled, sliced about 1/4" thick
2 tablespoons old bay seasoning
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat oven to 400. Cover a heavy baking sheet with foil. Brush with olive oil. (I just used my olive oil cooking spray...) Toss potatoes, seasonings and 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large bowl. Pour out onto prepared pan and spread so that they are in a single layer. Bake for 25 minutes at 400. Turn potatoes over and bake another 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Weekly Line Up - 7/16-7/22

A little too mych wandering last week so a lot of my last week's menu is sliding through to this week! :) That's what summer is for though... This week promises to be more of the same, so I am keeping it simple this time! :)

Friday - Camping
Saturday - Camping
Sunday - Sandwiches
Monday - Cereal
Tuesday - Rigatoni with bacon and asparagus
Wednesday - Tacos
Thursday - *Crunchy Onion Barbecue Chicken

* Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

* New Recipes

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Sugar and Spice Popcorn

I LOVE popcorn - it is one of my favorite healthier snacks... The hubs and I have a stir crazy popcorn popper that we got for our wedding and it is usually sitting out on our cupboard, that how often we have popcorn! I found this recipe and I had to try it - kettle korn is another favorite of mine. There is just something about the sweet and salty together, yummm!

So, this was a new spin on popcorn that we tried while we were playing cards the other night. Not the healthiest version, but worth a try. Truthfully - not my favorite. It had a good taste to it, but I wasn't so wowed by it that I need to go through the effort of it all the time. Try it, decide for yourself - it just might be your new favorite way to eat popcorn!

Sugar and Spice Popcorn
(recipe found at

8 cups popped popcorn
1/3 cup butter
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Put popped popcorn into a large bowl with enough room to mix ingredients. Melt butter and add sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Drizzle over popcorn and toss until well coated.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Chicken Bacon Alfredo Pizza

This was one of the best pizza recipes that I have tried so far! It might be the fact that it doesn't use pizza sauce and I'm not a big fan of red sauces, but none the less - it was delish!! We had a picnic out in our front yard and we gobbled this down with a big pail of watermelon... what a great way to spend a summer day.

Chicken Bacon Alfredo Pizza

Pizza Dough Crust
4 1/2 cups flour
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon salt
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 tablespoon yeast

olive oil
garlic powder
1/2 jar alfredo sauce
1 pound cooked and chopped chicken
3/4 pound mozzarella cheese
sprinkled parmesan cheese
sprinkled cheddar cheese
crumbled bacon

Proof yeast in warm water. Combine all dough ingredients and mix until well blended. Knead until dough is smooth and elastic. Let rest and rise. Divide dough into 2 crusts and roll or spread out onto a pizza plate. Prick crust with fork. Brush crust with olive oil and sprinkle garlic powder over top. Spread 1/2 jar of alfredo sauce over dough. Sprinkle chicken, mozzarella, cheddar and parmesan cheeses over sauce. Top with bacon. Wrap and freeze at this point, if desired.

To serve: Let thaw completely. Bake in a well preheated oven at 475 for 8-25 minutes or until done.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Cajun Sweet Potato Fries with Yogurt Dipping Sauce

Have you tried the sweet potato fries at restaurants lately? They are super yummy and I feel like they are much healthier for you then regular french fries... I wanted to try these out at home and here is the first recipe that I found. Not my favorite, but they got eaten! :) They were a little spicy for the kids, so Josh and I got most of them. The sauce had too much of a yogurty taste to it when I first mixed it up, but then I popped it into the fridge while the fries were baking and it went beautifully with the fries...

Cajun Sweet Potato Fries with Yogurt Dipping Sauce
(recipe found at

3 large dark orange sweet potatoes (3 pounds), peeled
2 teaspoons cajun seasoning
1 teaspoon ground cumin

2/3 cup fat free plain yogurt
1/4 cup chili sauce
1 teaspoon soy sauce

Heat oven to 425. Cut each potato crosswise into about 4" chunks, then cut lengthwise into 1/2x1/2" strips. In large resealable plastic bag, mix cajun seasoning and cumin. Add potatoes; toss until evenly coated. In ungreased 10x15 pan, arrange in single layer.

Bake 35-40 minutes, turning once, until potatoes are lightly browned and tender. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix all sauce ingredients. Serve sauce with fries.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Classic Cashew Beef

I love chinese! It's easy to make up at home, if you don't count all the chopping that is usually involved! :) I found this recipe and it sounded wonderful... It was all that I thought it would be and it didn't even require that much chopping!

Classic Cashew Beef
(recipe found in Taste of Home)

4 teaspoons cornstarch
4 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon oyster sauce
1/4 teaspoon ginger
dash of cayenne pepper
1/2 cup cold water
1 pound beef top sirloin steak, cut into 1/2" pieces
2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
8 green onions, cut into 1" lengths
2/3 cup lightly salted cashews
hot cooked rice

In a small bowl, combine the first seven ingredients and whisk until smooth; set aside. (I didn't have any oyster sauce, so I omitted this ingredient. I'm not a big fan of buying something that I only need a tiny bit of...)

In a large skillet or wok, stir fry beef in 1 tablespoon oil until no longer pink. Remove and keep warm. Stir fry onions, cashews and garlic in remaining oil for 1 minutes. Stir cornstarch mixture and add to the pan. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Add beef; heat through. Serve with rice.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Weekly Line Up - 7/9-7/15

I can't believe how fast summer is flying this year! We are already down to one more week of T-Ball, 4th of July has come and gone and school seems like it is just around the corner! With the sun finally staying out and giving us a true summer I don't want it to go so fast! :) I love being able to run with my kids all summer long, doing whatever we want to do and I hate to give that up too fast... Quick and easy meals are definitely a part of that game plan and this week is full of them! (As well as trying to not turn on the stove TOO much...)

Friday - *Berry Chicken Salad
Saturday - Sloppy Joes
Sunday - *Mac and Beer Cheese Cups with Ring Bologna
Monday - Cereal
Tuesday - Rigatoni with Bacon and Asparagus
Wednesday - Tacos
Thursday - *Hearty Pita Tacos with *Oven Roasted Broccoli

Extras: *Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

* - New Recipes

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Ham It Up Primavera

Wow, wowee, wow!! This was delish... I can't wait to make it again. In fact, as my dad and I were eating it, I was debating if I could make enough to have for my son's dedication party. From the first bite I was hooked!! So, were the rest of my family - my 2 year old had THREE plates full... I'm salivating right now thinking about it! :) WARNING - this will feed a huge crowd of people... I didn't pay attention to the serving size and I had tons left over - which was good, since I wanted to keep eating it forever!!

Ham It Up Primavera
(recipe found in Taste of Home)

1 package (16 ounces) spaghetti
1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1" pieces
2 medium carrots, cut into 1/4" slices
1/2 cup butter, cubed
1/2 pound sliced fresh mushrooms
2 medium zucchini, halved and cut into 1/4" slices
2 cups cubed fully cooked ham
1 package (10 ounces) frozen peas, thawed
8 green onions, chopped
3 teaspoons dried basil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided

Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Meanwhile in a large skillet, saute asparagus and carrots in butter for 3 minutes. Add mushrooms and zucchini; saute until crisp-tender. Stir in ham, peas, onions, basil, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Add cream. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes.

Drain spaghetti; place in a large bowl. Add vegetable mixture and 1/2 cup cheese; toss to combine. Serve with remaining cheese.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Hubby's Favorite Crepes

This was the recipe that I wanted to try when I tried my hand at making crepes. It got a little crazy when I was trying to make crepes and put the ingredients together for this recipe, so I would definitely recommend making the crepes earlier... The kids inhaled these - Bella ate 3 of them all by herself and wanted more! :) It was insane... So, they were definitely a hit at my house. My mother in law even came over for supper, with a few reservations when I told her that mushrooms were involved, and she took leftovers home! Yippee... success!

Hubby's Favorite Crepes
(recipe found in Taste of Home)

1/2 pound sliced fresh mushrooms
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups milk
2 teaspoons chicken bouillon granules
1/2 teaspoon italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup sour cream
3 tablespoons sherry
2 cups chopped cooked chicken
minced parsley

Saute mushrooms and onions in butter. Stir in flour and add milk, bouillon, italian seasoning and pepper. Bring to a boil. Stir in sour cream and sherry. Set aside one cup of sauce. Add chicken and parsley to remaining sauce. Spoon filling onto 15 prepared crepes. Roll and drizzle with remaining sauce.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Basic Crepes

I tried my hand at making crepes!! I have always wanted to try them, but I have been very intimidated by the thought of it. Although I think that I probably need a little bit more practice and some of them got a little thick and a little too buttery they didn't turn out too bad. It was a little bit time consuming of a process so making them ahead of time would definitely be on my to do list the next time that I try to make a meal with them!!

Basic Crepes
(recipe found in Taste of Home)

1 1/2 cups milk
4 eggs
1 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
8 teaspoons butter

In a small bowl, whisk milk and eggs. Combine the flour, sugar and salt; add to milk mixture and mix well. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Melt 1 teaspoon butter in an 8" nonstick skillet over medium heat; pour 2 tablespoons batter into center of skillet. Lift and tilt pan to coat bottom evenly. cook until top appears dry; turn and cook 15-20 seconds longer. Remove to a wire rack. Repeat with remaining batter, adding butter to skillet as needed. When cool, stack crepes with waxed paper or paper towels in between.

**These can be frozen for up to 2 months in the freezer.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Fantasy Chicken

Found this recipe on one of my favorite blogs to check and had to try it. I'm not an obsessed coconut fan, but I like it well enough to be able to give this recipe a spin... I am so glad that I did!! It was so sweet and crunchy and yummy all at the same time. The hubs and I were very impressed with the taste...

Fantasy Chicken
(recipe found at

4 chicken breasts (or use chicken tenders)
1 cup flour
1 8 ounce package of coconut flakes
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 cup club soda

1/2 cup orange marmalade
3 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon brown sugar

Beat together flour, sugar, salt, cayenne, club soda and half of the coconut until smooth. In another bowl, spread the rest of the coconut. Slice chicken into 1 1/2" strips. Dip chicken into flour mixture and then dredge in the coconut. In a frying pan, add about 2 inches of oil and heat. Fry for 2-4 minutes on each side, or until fully cooked. Dry on a paper towel. For the sauce, microwave marmalade, water and brown sugar for 30 seconds to 1 minute or until warm. Serve with rice and veggies.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Weekly Line Up - 7/2-7/8

It was a bit of a crazy week the past week - the youngest has been a little fussy and the older three ended up with strep throat (once again)... I think that we are all on the mend and I am anxious to get back in the kitchen! The hubs is actually going to be home all weekend and the weather is supposed to be pretty good so we are firing up the grill! I can't wait!!

Friday - Burgers with potatoes on the grill
Saturday - *Cajun Shrimp Skewers
Sunday - Steaks with sweet potatoes
Monday - *Oreo Turtle Bars (my contribution to 4th of July)
Tuesday - *Slow Cooker Teriyaki Sesame Chicken Wraps
Wednesday - Tacos
Thursday - *Southwest Casserole

* New Recipes