Monday, December 24, 2012

Crockpot Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti

This tasted a bit like tuna hotdish to me. I don't mind tuna hotdish, it was just not what I was expecting... The kids and the hubs devoured this and wanted more. Me, I wasn't that big of a fan. Maybe I just wasn't expecting the tuna hotdish taste - definitely low on the points if that is what you are looking for though! It was a very simple and filling dish to make.

Crockpot Cheese Chicken Spaghetti
(recipe found on pinterest via livingachangedlife.blogspot.com)

1 pound velveeta light cheese product
12 1/2 ounces canned chicken, drained
10 3/4 ounces cream of chicken, 98% fat free
10 3/4 ounces cream of mushroom, 98% fat free
10 ounces tomatoes with green chiles
4 ounces canned mushrooms, stems and pieces, drained
1/2 cup water
1 small onion, diced
1 medium green pepper, diced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
14 1/2 ounces whole wheat spaghetti, cooked

Spray crockpot with cooking spray. Add all ingredients and mix well. Cook for 2-3 hours on low. Stir before serving.

Serves: 8
Points: 7 points + per 1 cup

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Parmesan Chicken Cutlets

My son is really getting into helping me in the kitchen. He comes home from school and asks immediately if he can help with supper. This was a great recipe for him to help with since it was so simple and didn't require any cutting. Plus it was a great time to talk about washing our hands after touching raw chicken! :) Everyone enjoyed this simple and delicious meal and we all made sure tell Beau how much we liked it !:)

Parmesan Chicken Cutlets
(recipe found on pinterest via www.food.com)

1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
2 tablespoons italian style bread crumbs
1/8 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts

Preheat oven to 400. In resealable plastic bag, combine cheese, bread crumbs, paprika, parsley, garlic powder and pepper and shake well to combine. Transfer mixture to a plate and coat chicken on both sides. Arrange on sprayed baking sheet. Bake 20-25 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink.

Serves: 4
Points: 4 per serving

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Slow Cooker Hearty Beef Chili

As I sat down to finally blog a bunch of recipes that had been piling up, my mother in law walked in the door. She saw what I was doing and was quick to start talking about this chili recipe... "I REALLY liked that chili that we had the other night, it was sooo good!" She doesn't always care for the meals that we have, never complains, but doesn't always care for everything - so this is big endorsement for her! :) It was super easy to throw together before we went out galavanting and smelled delicious when we walked in the door.


Slow Cooker Hearty Beef Chili
(recipe found on pinterest via www.kraftrecipes.com)

1 1/2 pounds ground beef
2 (15 ounces) cans dark red kidney beans
1 (16 ounces) can tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups salsa
1 cup frozen corn
1 onion, chopped
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 cup cheddar cheese

Brown meat, drain and add to crockpot with remaining ingredients, except cheese. Stir and cover with lid. Cook on low 5-6 hours or high 3-4 hours. stir before serving and top with cheese.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Crockpot Honey Sesame Chicken

Another pinterest recipe! Did I ever mention how wonderful that site is? Love, love, love it! This was easy to throw together. Although it said to cook the chicken breasts whole in the crockpot, I cut them up before I threw them in to make it easier to work with... We also doubled this recipe and it was gone very quickly - we all enjoyed it!

Crockpot Honey Sesame Chicken
recipe found on pinterest via www.chef-in-training.com)

2 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
salt and pepper
1 cup honey
1/2 cup soy sauce
4 tablespoons diced onion
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
4 teaspoons cornstarch dissolved in 6 tablespoons water
sesame seeds

Season both sides of chicken breast with salt and pepper, add to crockpot. In a small bowl combine honey, soy sauce, diced onion, canola oil, garlic and red pepper flakes. Pour over chicken and cook on low for 3-4 hours or on high 1 1/2-2 1/2 hours or until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken from crockpot and cut into bite sized pieces. Pour sauce into saucepan and add cornstarch mixture, stir to combine with sauce. Boil until thickened. Return chicken to saucepan to coat with sauce. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Unbaked Cookies

These were a simple quick cookie that I made at lunchtime the other day... I left them on the counter to set and then froze them for my Christmas cookie trays! They were easy to make and the hardest part was when I threw in some extra chocolate chips accidentally and had to add some more corn flakes! :) The kids definitely thought these were a winner!


Unbaked Cookies
(not sure where I got this recipe from - it's been in my stash for a while...)

1 (12 ounces) butterscotch chips
1 (6 ounces) chocolate chips
1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
3 cups corn flakes
1/2 cup peanuts

Melt first three ingredients together. Remove from heat and add the rest of the ingredients. Mix together gently. Place small or medium spoonfuls on cookie sheet lined with waxed paper. Refrigerate. Eat or freeze when hardened.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Skinny Chimichangas

With all the baking I have been doing, I have been trying to make sure that we are having healthy yet scrumptious meals at night! :) This one fit the bill to a T. Although I swapped out the turkey for beef it was still quick, easy and healthy!


Skinny Chimichangas
(recipe found at recipegirl.com)

1/2 pound ground skinless turkey breast
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
8 ounces tomato sauce
2 tablespoons chopped mild green chiles
1/3 cup shredded reduced fat cheddar cheese
4 (8") fat free flour tortillas

Preheat oven to 400. Spray a nonstick baking sheet with nonstick spray. Cook turkey, onion, garlic, chili powder, oregano and cumin in skillet until turkey is browned, about 6 minutes. Stir in tomato sauce and chiles; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until the flavors are blended and the mixture thickens slightly, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cheddar. Spoon about 1/2 cup of the filling into the center of each tortilla. Fold in sides, then roll to enclose the filling. Place the chimichangas, seam side down, on the baking sheet. Lightly spry tops of the tortillas with nonstick spray. Bake until golden and crisp, about 20 minutes. Do not turn.

Serves: 4
Points: 4 1/2 points per

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Candy Cane Pudding Cookies

Candy cane pudding? Were you aware of such a thing? Seriously, I found it and right next to it? GINGERBREAD pudding!! What is this world coming to? I have to definitely get out more... What fun flavors that I am definitely going to try on their own! :) For right now though, the candy cane pudding was a part of the new cookies that I tried. They were super good, even though I was missing the cake mix! Missed that one on my grocery list when I was looking at this recipe. So, I begged, borrowed and/or stole some german chocolate cake mix from my brother's house and these tasted fantastic! Chocolate and candy cane? How could it go wrong? Super yummy!


Candy Cane Pudding Cookies
(recipe found on pinterest via momscrazycooking.blogspot.com)

2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 (3.4 ounces) candy cane pudding mix
3/4 cup vanilla, yellow or white cake mix
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 (12 ounces) package white chocolate chips
1/4 - 1/2 cup candy canes, crushed

Preheat oven to 350. Stir together flour, salt and baking soda, set aside. Cream together sugars and butter in a large bowl. Add pudding and cake mix and beat until well blended. Add eggs and vanilla and continue to mix until smooth. With mixer speed on low, add flour mixture and beat until all ingredients are incorporated. Add chocolate chips and combine. Scoop out 1" balls of dough and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten and top with crushed candy canes. Bake 10-12 minutes or until set.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Turtle Cookies

Wow! Wow, wow, wow!! Such a yummy, decadent cookie... I was super excited to try this cookie and boy was it worth it. They were super delicious and I loved how easy they were to make. I mixed up the batch during morning naps and then baked them up during afternoon naps... I love being home during the day! :) These are definitely on my make again list! :)


Turtle Cookies
(recipe found on pinterest via www.thekitchenismyplayground.com)

Cookie:
1 cup flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg, separated
1 egg white
2 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cup pecans, finely chopped

Caramel Filling:
14 caramels, unwrapped
3 tablespoons heavy cream, use more as needed to get a pourable consistency

Chocolate Drizzle:
2 ounces semi sweet chocolate
1 teaspoon shortening

Combine flour, cocoa and salt, set aside. Beat butter and sugar until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg yolk, milk and vanilla and mix until combined. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture. Beat just until all ingredients are combined. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. Whisk egg whites until frothy. Place pecans in another bowl. Roll dough into 1" balls, dip in egg whites and roll in pecans. Place on ungreased baking sheet. Using 1/2 teaspoon press press down on center of ball and create an indent. Bake at 350 for 12 minutes or until set.

To make caramel filling, combine caramels and heavy cream in microwavable bowl. Microwave 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally until smooth. When removing cookies from oven press down again with 1/2 teaspoon. Fill in indentations with caramel and allow to cool on pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and finish cooling on wire rack.

If desired, melt chocolate and shortening together and drizzle over the top of cookies.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Chocolate Cherry Shortbread Cookies

I am turning into a big fan of shortbread... Usually I go straight for the chocolate but these sounded interesting with the chocolate and shortbread mix and then toss in some cherries? Not a super fan of cherries but I like them enough to give it a whirl. They were fantastic and I was not disappointed. Even the hubs, who is not a fan of anything different, inhaled about 4 of them before I could get them all the way cooled and into the freezer! :)

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Chocolate Cherry Shortbread Cookies
(recipe found on pinterest via www.bhg.com)

1/2 cup maraschino cherries, drained and finely chopped
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup cold butter
12 ounces white chocolate baking squares, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 drops red food coloring (optional)
2 teaspoons shortening
edible decorations (optional)

Preheat oven to 325. Spread cherries on paper towels to dry thoroughly. In a large bowl, combine flour and sugar. Add butter and cut in with pastry blender, or two forks, until fine crumbs are formed. Stir in cherries and 4 ounces (2/3 cup) of white chocolate and almond extract. Add food coloring at this time also if desired. Knead until dough is smooth. Shape into 3/4" balls and place 2" apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Using a glass dipped in sugar, flatten each ball. Bake 10-12 minutes or until edges are set. Transfer to wire rack and cool. After cookies are cooled melt remaining white chocolate and shortening together in a saucepan. Dip half of each cookie into chocolate and allow extra to drip off before placing back on wire rack or wax paper to harden. Roll or sprinkle on decorations before hardened.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Egg Nog Cookies

Oh, I am so excited!! Christmas is upon us and I have started my baking... I love this time of year and the chance that it gives me to bake, bake, bake and give it away so that I don't eat it all myself! I am trying a few new cookies again this year and so far, they have all be fabulous!! Here's the first of many recipes! :) These were definitely tasty - especially if you are like me and wait for the egg nog to come out each holiday season! :)


Egg Nog Cookies
(recipe found on pinterest via www.yourcupofcake.com)

1 1/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup egg nog
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Glaze:
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons egg nog, plus more as needed to make glaze runny enough

Preheat oven to 300. Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside. Cream sugar and butter together until fluffy. Add egg nog, vanilla and egg yolks. Mix until well combined. Add flour mixture and mix until just combined. Use small scoop and place cookies onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 15-18 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and allow to cool. While the cookies are cooling, mix together glaze. Glaze cookies.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Lasagna Corn Carne

I made this the other night when I had 4 of my nephews and nieces over for supper and my mother in law. I doubled it just in case one pan wasn't enough for the 11 of us... It wasn't needed, not because it wasn't any good, but because it was so delicious and filling! All the kids ate it, all 8 of them! and the extra pan was perfect for the daycare kids the next time they came over. It was a great meal paired just with a salad and of course an ice cream cone for dessert! :)


Lasagna Corn Carne
(recipe found in Taste of Home Healthy Cooking)

1 pound lean ground beef
16 ounces salsa
1 (16 ounces) can kidney beans
1 (14 3/4 ounces) cream style corn
1 onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 celery rib, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
12 lasagna noodles
2 cups shredded part skim mozzarella
1/2 cup parmesan, grated

Cook beef until no longer pink. Add salsa, kidney beans, corn, onion, green pepper, celery, garlic, basil, salt and chili powder. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Spread a fourth of the sauce in a greased 13x9 pan; top with four cooked lasagna noodles. Repeat layers once. Top with half of the remaining sauce; sprinkle with 1 cup mozzarella and 1/4 cup parmesan. Layer with four more noodles, remaining sauce, 1 cup mozzarella and 1/4 cup parmesan. Cover and bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Uncover; bake 15-20 minutes longer or until heated through. Let stand for 15 minutes before cutting.

Serves: 12
Points: 6 per piece

Monday, December 3, 2012

Smore's Pockets

When I make crescent dogs for the daycare kids I always end up with a couple of of extra crescent rolls. So, the other day I was looking for a fun way to use them up and make a little treat for the kids after they were done eating. Seeing the 4 leftover marshmallows in my cupboard started this chain of events. Chocolate was just a given! :) Super yummy and easy to make - make 1, 2 or a whole batch!


Smore's Pockets
(all me baby, all me!)

crescent roll
sprinkle of chocolate chips
1 large marshmallow
cinnamon

Preheat oven at 375. Unroll crescent roll. Sprinkle on a few chocolate chips on large end of crescent roll. Place marshmallow on top and roll, tucking in sides as you roll so that the chocolate chips don't fall out. Sprinkle with cinnamon and bake for until browned and crescent rolls are done.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Snappy Chicken Stir Fry

Ohhhh, so yummy!! I love recipes that I can throw together in no time and still taste like you have slaved forever on... It was one of those meals where I had to honestly stop myself from continuing to eat. I even had to send the leftovers with my mother in law and my husband so that I wouldn't finish them off the next day! It was so fabulous and the whole family agreed!


Snappy Chicken Stir Fry
(recipe found in Taste of Home Healthy)

3 tablespoon cornstarch
1 1/2 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoon reduced sodium soy sauce
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 package (16 ounces) frozen sugar snap stir fry vegetable blend
1 tablespoon sesame or canola oil
2 cups cubed cooked chicken breast
2 cups hot cooked brown rice
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted

In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch, broth, soy sauce, garlic powder, ginger and pepper flakes; set aside. In a large skillet or wok, stir fry vegetable blend in oil for 5-7 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Stir cornstarch mixture and add to the pan. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Add chicken; heat through. Serve with rice; sprinkle with almonds.

Serves: 4
Points: 7 points for 1 cup chicken, 1/2 cup rice, 1 tablespoon almonds

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken

My mom's favorite meals would include anything with chicken, so I decided that I had to have her over for supper when we tried this meal. She was not disappointed! :) This was super yummy over rice, but I think that next time I will try it in a wrap and I think it might be even more fabulous! :) Very filling and delicious...


Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken
(recipe found at www.skinnytaste.com)

24 ounces (1 1/2 pounds) chicken breast
14.4 ounces can diced tomatoes with mild green chilies
15 ounces can black beans
8 ounces frozen corn
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
14.4 ounces can fat free chicken broth
3 scallions, chopped
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt to taste

Combine chicken broth, beans, corn, tomatoes, cilantro, scallions, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, cayenne pepper and salt in the crock pot. Season chicken breast with salt and lay on top. Cook on low for 10 hours or on high for 6 hours. Half hour before serving, remove chicken and shred. Return chicken to slow cooker and stir in. Adjust salt and seasoning. Serve over rice or in a tortilla.

Serves: 8
Points: 3 per 1 cup

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

California Chili

Once again, who has 1/2 pound anything at their house?? Double it up baby!! We had leftovers yet again, which is always a good thing at my house with daycare and taking food over to my grandparents as often as possible... This was super thick and savory and a snap to throw together. I love a soup like that!

California Chili
(recipe found on www.recipegirl.com)

1 tablespoon butter
1/2 pound ground lean turkey
1 medium onion, diced
1 medium green bell pepper, diced
2 large tomatoes, diced
1 (15 ounces) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15 ounces) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 (8 ounces) can tomato sauce
1/2 tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup barbecue sauce
salt and pepper to taste

Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Add turkey and cook until browned, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. Add onion and bell pepper and cook until softened, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook 5 minutes. Stir in all remaining ingredients and simmer until thickened, at least an hour.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Beef Enchiladas

First off, I doubled this recipe immediately... Who has 1/2 pound of meat laying around? Not this house! So, I doubled the recipe and then used flour tortillas instead of corn tortillas. Not a big fan of the corn tortillas. So, I am sure that this changed the points value, but it also made them delicious! :) We were good to go with 1 enchilada instead of the 2, so it all evened out in the end... Our family were big fans of this recipe and I will definitely be making them again. I like that I have lots of leftovers or another pan to throw in the freezer!


Beef Enchiladas
(recipe found on pinterest via yumm.com)

1/2 pound lean ground beef
1/2 cup red peppers, chopped
1/2 cup green peppers, chopped
1 1/2 cups salsa
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
2 tablespoon italian dressing
8 corn tortillas

Preheat oven to 400. Brown meat and peppers in large pan. Stir in 1 cup salsa and simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 cup cheese. Spread 1/4 cup remaining salsa on bottom of 9x13 pan. Brush dressing over both sides of tortillas and then spoon 1/3 cup meat mixture onto tortilla and roll up. Place into pan seam side down. Top with remaining salsa and cover. Bake 20 minutes covered and then remove covering, add remaining cheese and bake for 2-3 minutes more or until cheese is melted.

Serves: 4
Points: 8 points + for 2 enchiladas

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Crockpot Cheeseburger Soup

I had pinned a recipe for cheeseburger soup on pinterest and of course when I went to make it, couldn't find it anywhere! :( So, I did a quick google search and came up with this beauty! The kids and I enjoyed it - very thick and hearty even though you are using chicken broth. Easy to throw together and tasty at the same time...

Crockpot Cheeseburger Soup
(recipe found at www.crockpot365.blogspot.com)

4 cups chicken broth
1/2 onion, diced finely
1 pound lean ground beef, browned and drained
1 red pepper, chopped
4 red potatoes, cubed
2 small garlic cloves, minced
1 cup milk
24 ounces velveeta, cubed

Brown meat on stove top with onion. In crockpot add chicken broth, garlic, red pepper, potatoes, browned beef and onion. Stir to combine. Cover and cook on low 6 hours or until potatoes are tender. Stir in milk and velveeta 20-30 minutes before serving.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Roasted Broccoli

After I found this recipe I have made it a few different times. Of course none of them included taking a picture, but as much as I have been making it, I am sure that I will get one on here sooner or later! :) Definitely a fun take on roasted broccoli...

Roasted Broccoli
(recipe found in Parents)

1 pound broccoli, cut up
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, inced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/3 cup whole wheat panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup cheese

Preheat oven to 425. Mix broccoli, olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper and bread crumbs. Spread mixture in a shallow baking pan. Roast for 13-15 minutes or until broccoli is tender, stirring once. Transfer to a serving plate and sprinkle on cheese.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Pumpkin Muffins

You know me and pumpkin - especially this time of year! I always have a can on hand and am ready to use it as the need arises! I found this recipes while paging through my family fun magazine and had to try it. The kids really enjoy muffins for breakfast and I enjoy coming up with a healthier alternative to some of the boxed cereals that I usually have on hand! :)


Pumpkin Muffins
(recipe found in Family Fun)

1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin
1/3 cup oil
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
2 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Heat the oven to 350 and grease the bottom only of 12 muffin cups. I a large bowl, combine the pumpkin, oil, eggs, vanilla and brown sugar. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture and stir until just combined. Pour batter into muffin cups and bake until muffins are slightly puffed and golden brown, about 25 minutes. Cool in pan on wire rack.

Monday, November 19, 2012

15 Minute Pork Chops

This was a quick and easy meal to throw together... So simple that my husband even busted it out the other night. Love when we can get supper on the table quickly!


15 Minute Pork Chops
(recipe found at authenticsimplicity.net)

1 pound pork chops
salt and pepper
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon ground sage
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1 tablespoon olive oil

Rub salt and pepper to taste on both sides of the pork chops. In a bowl, stir together flour and seasonings and dredge the pork chops through mixture on both sides. Heat oil over medium high heat and add pork chops. Cook on both sides about 4 minutes, covered, or until done.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Chicken and White Bean Stuffed Peppers

Josh loves stuffed peppers, so I thought that I would shake things up a bit and try a new stuffed pepper recipe. We both thought that these were delicious! The kids, not so excited about the peppers, but they loved the insides... With the exception of my two youngest they pretty much ate the peppers and nothing else. Oh well, at least that part was healthy! :)


We are bigger fans of red peppers then green, so I swapped out the two in this recipe and we put our ingredients in the red peppers and chopped half of a green pepper. Pick whatever your family likes best!


2 teaspoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper
1/4 cup parsley
5 bell peppers
14 ounces shredded cooked chicken
1/2 teaspoon cumin
salt to taste
15 1/2 ounce can white beans
1/2 cup reduced fat shredded cheddar

In a medium pan, heat oil on medium. Add chopped onions, garlic, parsley and red pepper. Saute until soft, about a minute. Add chicken and season with cumin and salt. Add beans and 1=1 1/3 cups water and simmer for about 5-10 minutes, until it thickens and the liquid reduces. Adjust spices to taste. Preheat oven to 350. Cut peppers in half removing seeds and stem. Place peppers in an oven proof dish. Fill each pepper with 1/3 cup chicken and bean mixture. Pour about 1/3 cup water or chicken broth on the bottom of the dish. Cover tight with foil. Bake 30 minutes. Remove foil, top with cheese and bake uncovered another five minutes.

Serves: 5
Points: 6 per 2 pepper halves

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Zucchini Mini Muffins

I try to send in a little something for the teachers that my kids have at each holiday... This year I found these cute little containers on the dollar rack at Target and couldn't resist! The trick was to then find something that went inside of them! :) Well, I had this recipe that I have been holding on to for a while and a big fat zucchini sitting on my counter, so the decision was made for me... They turned out delicious! I made one batch according to directions and they were good, but I wanted to kick it up a notch, so I made another batch and threw in some white chocolate chips. While this definitely affected the points value, it gave them a little extra goodness! Try it either way - they are pretty yummy!


Zucchini Mini Muffins
(recipe found at weightwatchers.com)

1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
2 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 small zucchini, grated and squeezed of excess moisture
1 large egg white
1/3 cup lowfat milk
2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons almond or walnut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Position rack in center of oven and preheat oven to 400. Pray mini muffin tin with cooking spray. In large bowl, whisk together both flours, sugar, baking powder, ground ginger and salt. In a second bowl, whisk together zucchini, egg white, milk, brown sugar, oil and vanilla until sugar is mostly dissolved (might still be a little grainy). Pour wet ingredients into dry; stir with wooden spoon just until combined. Spoon into muffin tin, about 2 tablespoons per hole. Bake until browned, until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 12-14 minutes. Cool for a few minute before turning muffins out and finish cooling on a wire rack.

Serving size: 1 muffin
Points Plus: 2 per serving

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Blondies

I whipped these up for the boy scout Halloween party that we had at our house and seriously? They were gone before I finished getting the rest of the stuff out! The boys and their families chowed them down in 2.2 seconds! They were soft and delicious and perfect for our fall gathering...


Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Blondies
(recipe found at authenticsimplicity.net)

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/2 cup pumpkin
3/4 cup flour
1/3 cup chocolate chips

Beat together butter and sugar until fluffy. Add cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, salt, egg and pumpkin and mix until well combined. Stir in flour just until combined. Add chocolate chips and mix in. Pour into greased 8x8 pan and bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until edges are golden and middle is set.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Corn Chowder

I love a good soup on a blustery, fall or winter day! Although the creamier and meater the better usually takes precedence with me, I have been trying to eat healthier and so when I saw that this was a weight watchers meal I thought that I would try it... It was so good that I went back for a little more and since it is so low in points - it was fine with me!! It had wonderful flavor and was definitely filling!


Corn Chowder
(recipe found at weightwatchers.com)

2 (15 ounces) cans reduced sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1 (1 pound) bag frozen corn
1 onion, finely chopped
1 large (10 ounces) baking potato, peeled and diced
2 celery ribs, finely chopped
4 slices crisp cooked bacon, crumbled (can omit if no meat meal)
3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
3/4 cup fat free sour cream
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

Combine the broth, corn, onion, potato, celery, bacon and thyme in a slow cooker. Cook on low until the potatoes are nearly tender, about 6 hours; raise heat to high and cook until potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes more. Stir in sour cream and pepper; heat through, 15 minutes more.

Serves: 8
Points: 2 per 1 cup

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Sweet and Salty Fritos

Sweet and salty? You are talking my language now! I love the saltiness of corn chips and the though of something sweet covering them sounded like a little slice of heaven! This was another treat that I busted out for my kids during movie night and they thought that it was fantastic! They came back for more as soon as they were done and would have probably had 3rds if mom hadn't scarfed down the rest of the pan! :)


Sweet and Salty Fritos
(recipe found on pinterst via www.skiptomylou.org)

1 package corn chips
1 cup light corn syrup
1 cup sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter

Spread corn chips on greased cookie sheet. In a saucepan, over medium heat combine corn syrup and sugar and bring to a boil. Stir frequently to dissolve sugar. Allow to boil 1 minute and remove from heat. Stir in peanut butter and continue stirring until smooth. Pour over corn chips. Cool and then break into pieces to chow down!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Mom's Chili

This is our go to chili at the Kiser house and when I decided that I wanted to whip up a batch the other day I sat down to my blog to find the recipe... I couldn't believe that it wasn't on here!! How could I not have blogged about my mom's chili?? Unheard of! :) So, I gave my mom a quick call and got the complete list of ingredients (for the 80th time!) and put it on the stove... Hope you enjoy as much as we do!


Mom's Chili
(recipe found at my mama's house!)

1 pound ground beef
salt, pepper and diced onion to taste
16 ounce dark red kidney bean
16 ounce diced tomatoes
16 ounce tomato sauce
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
tabasco sauce, to taste
1 tablespoon chili powder

In a large saucepan brown beef with salt, pepper and diced onion until cooked through. Add remaining ingredients to pan and allow to come to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for as long as you choose to allow flavors to come together.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Pumpkin Puppy Chow

What's got only 3 ingredients and is super addictive? This version of puppy chow, that's what!! I had to search for a while to find the pumpkin flavored kisses but when I found them I knew I was making this recipe for our next movie night... Once again, a hit at our house and so good that I had to force myself to put them away!


Pumpkin Puppy Chow
(recipe found on pinterest via creatingandteaching.blogspot.com)

9 cups chex rice cereal
1 bag pumpkin flavored kisses
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Place cereal in large bowl. Melt down kisses, using double boiler method, until smooth. Pour over cereal and stir gently until coated. Add powdered sugar and stir until covered.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Chicken Noodle Soup & SRC

It's that time again... Man, the months just are flying by! I can't believe that Christmas is just around the corner - who's started their shopping?? I just came back from our annual girls weekend where I usually get most of mine done... Hoping to finish the rest up soon so that I can concentrate on the goodie baking part of Christmas, which is also a favorite part! :)

SRC this month brought me to the blog authenticsimplicity.net. As I wandered through the pages and pages of recipes and other goodies that I found on Anne's blog, I found myself writing down more and more recipes that I wanted to try and share! I actually got a chance to try a few different recipes and I will definitely be sharing the rest down the road. Pumpkin chocolate chip blondies? Easy as pumpkin pie and gone before I finished bringing the rest of my stuff out for the potluck! Salted steak and 15 minute pork chops were a couple of the other recipes that I tried and enjoyed, but for today I decided to focus in on her Chicken Noodle Soup.

I was excited to make this chicken noodle soup - it was a windy fall day. We had spent a good part of the day outside chopping wood and getting the yard ready for winter and it was nice to walk into the house and have a warm supper ready and waiting for us... Seriously - I love a good, healthy crockpot meal! The only problem with this recipe is that I should have doubled it! :) The whole family enjoyed and it was hearty enough for my 1 year old to have with out any of the broth!


Chicken Noodle Soup
(recipe found at http://authenticsimplicity.net)

8 cups chicken broth
2 cups chopped chicken
4 medium carrots, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
1 tablespoon dried parsley
4 cups uncooked pasta
salt and pepper to taste

Put broth, chicken, carrots, celery, onion and spices into your slow cooker and stir to combine. Cook on low 4-6 hours. Right before serving, cook pasta according to package directions, drain and add to soup. Stir to combine. Serve with crackers or your favorite bread...



Friday, November 2, 2012

Weekly Line Up - 11/2-11/9

Let me tell you - my weekends have been a little wild lately... I am heading out of town this morning for our girls shopping weekend, so that means no time for this weeks shopping. That means that last week I worked my butt off to plan for two weeks. Seriously - not so much fun! I don't know how people plan their meals for a month at a time... It was a little stressful trying to make sure that I had enough of everything for two weeks worth! Granted my hubs is stopping today with the kids to pick up more milk and a few things that got overlooked, but still - I did the bulk of it in one trip and it was crazy! I don't get to the store more then once a week usually and my cart looks insane, so you can imagine what it looked like for 2 weeks! :) Oh well, things will hopefully be slowing down now and I will be home for my weekly outing... Here's the menu for this week -

Friday/Saturday/Sunday - Mama is going shopping so the kids are on their own with Grandma and Daddy to fend for them.... The freezer is stalked with pizza, corn dogs, fish sticks and all that healthy kind of stuff! They will live, it's one weekend! :)
Monday - Baked Tilapia
Tuesday - Beef Stuffed Shells
Wednesday - Honey and Spice Baked Chicken
Thursday - Crockpot French Onion Soup
Friday - Cocoa and chili Rubbed Pork Chops

See - back on the eating healthy path for the rest of the week! :)

Have a great one!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Candy Corn Kix Mix Popcorn Balls

These were the treats that I handed out for my daycare kids yesterday... They turned out better then I could have imagined! Super yummy and soft instead of the tooth breaking popcorn balls that you buy in the store... I love that they have the orange color to them for Halloween - Seriously, so easy and good that I have been contemplating red and green ones for Christmas already! :) Never mind the fancy packaging - you know I am more cook then crafter! I doubled this recipe and had enough for 19 popcorn balls - they may or may not all be the same size! :)


Candy Corn Kix Mix Popcorn Balls
(recipe found at ohmysugarhigh.com)

2 cups Kix cereal
4 cups cooked popcorn
1 1/2 cups candy corn
4 tablespoons butter
10/5 ounces mini marshmallows
4 tablespoons orange flavored gelatin powder

In a large bowl, combine cereal, popcorn and candy corn. In a large pot over medium low heat, melt butter. Add marshmallows and stir until thoroughly coated in melted butter. Continue to stir until marshmallows are completely melted, add gelatin and mix well. Add one mixture to the other and combine. Allow to cool for 5 minutes. Coating your hands with butter, form small balls with mixture and place on wax paper to cool.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Apple Nachos

Happy Halloween!! I always try to come up with something fun that the kids can have for lunch, snack or supper on Halloween and I am definitely going to bust this one back out! It is way healthier then all the candy that they are going to be carting in tonight... You can switch this up as much as you want, add whatever toppings that you feel your family would like. I skipped the lemon juice since I put these on the plate and served them up right away. I don't think that there was enough time for the air to even hit the apples and brown them! :)


Apple Nachos
(recipe found on pinterest via http://www.manifestvegan.com)

3 apples, sliced
1 teaspoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons peanut butter
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup pecans
1/4 cup flaked coconut
1/4 cup chocolate chips
caramel

Place sliced apples on a plate. Cover with lemon juice. Melt peanut butter until super runny and drizzle over apples. Sprinkle with remaining ingredients and top with drizzled caramel. Eat up!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Three Cheese Sausage Lasagna

This was a fun new take on lasagna... The sauce was better then red sauce (since I'm not too partial to red sauces) but it did taste a little biscuit and gravy-ish! The kids all enjoyed it and some even asked for seconds - means it is a hit at our house!


Three Cheese Sausage Lasagna
(recipe found in A.C.C.)

1 1/2 pound bulk italian sausage
6 tablespoons butter
6 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
3 cups milk
9 lasagna noodles, cooked and drained
6 ounces sliced mozzarella cheese
4 ounces sliced provolone cheese
1/3 cup grated romano cheese

In a large skillet, cook sausage over medium heat until no longer pink; drain and set aside. In a small saucepan, melt butter. Stir in flour, salt and pepper until smooth. Gradually stir in milk. Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat. In a greased 9x13 baking dish, layer 1/4 of the sauce, 3 noodles, half of the sausage and 1/3 of the mozzarella and provolone cheese slices. Repeat layers once. Spoon half of the remaining sauce over the top. Layer with remaining noodles, sauce and sliced cheeses; sprinkle with romano cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 350 for 30-35 minutes, or until heated through. Let stand for 15 minutes before cutting.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Chow Mein Hot Dish

This was a great quick meal that I could throw together during naps and pop in the oven so we were ready to roll as soon as the daycare kids were gone... Personally I am a big fan of canned chow mein (should I admit that?) but I love that this recipe is homemade and tastes just as good! I didn't want the chow mein noodles to get soggy, so I didn't add them to the hot dish, we just put them underneath! I love the crunchiness that went with it...


Chow Mein Hot Dish
(recipe found in A.C.C.)

1 pound ground beef
2 small onions, chopped
2 cups celery, diced
1/2 cup uncooked rice
1 (8 ounces) can water chestnuts
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 (11 ounces) can cream of mushroom soup (or cream of everything soup)
1 (11 ounces) can chicken and rice soup
2 cups water

Brown beef, onion and celery. Add remaining ingredients and stir together. Bake at 350 for 1 1/2 hours. Add chow mein noodles the last 15 minutes.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Weekly Line Up - 10/26-11/1

Once again I am on the eternal quest for eating healthier and losing some of this weight that I have managed to find again... This means making healthier meals and better choices as to what and how much I eat. To help in my quest a group of us have joined up at healthy wage in order to put our money where our mouth is! Hopefully this will give us all the extra nudge that we need. They have a variety of mini challenges there, so I hope that you will stop by and vote for our team, The Flab-U-Less Five! We could use all the help and encouragement you can spare!

Friday - Sandwiches (on the run)
Saturday - *15 minute pork chops
Sunday - Roast
Monday - pasta primavera with shrimp
Tuesday - italian burritos
Wednesday - grilled cheese with spaghettios
Thursday - *Grandma's Dip (that's my item for her birthday party!)

Extras: *zucchini mini muffins, *candy corn kix mix popcorn balls

* new recipes

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Cheesy Chicken and Rice Casserole

Since this meal includes black beans I had to make sure that I made it when Josh wasn't around. The rest of us aren't quite as picky and we thought that it was fabulous! :) It was easy to throw it together during nap time and put in the oven to be ready when the daycare kids left... Love meals like that!

Cheesy Chicken and Rice Casserole
(recipe found at http://tastykitchen.com)

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked
4 cups cooked brown rice
3/4 cup frozen corn
1 cup greek yogurt
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (4 ounces) green chiles
1/2 cup salsa
1 cup cheese, plus more for topping if desired

Preheat oven to 350. Mix all ingredients together thoroughly and transfer to oven safe baking dish. Top with extra cheese if desired. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until heated through.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Java Roast Beef

This was an easy alternative to our usual roast beef and it made our house smell so fabulous! I'm a big fan of coffee, but Josh was a little leery since he isn't really a coffee drinker. It worked out well though and we all thought that it was VERY yummy... Definitely tender and delicious with a salad and potatoes!

Java Roast Beef
(recipe found in Taste of Home Healthy Cooking)

5 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon pepper
3-3 1/2 pound boneless beef chuck roast
1 1/2 cups strong brewed coffee
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup cold water

Combine garlic cloves, salt and pepper; rub over roast. Transfer to 4 quart slow cooker. Add coffee, cover and cook on low 8-10 hours or until tender. Remove meat and keep warm. Kim fat from juices; transfer to a saucepan. Bring to a boil Combine cornstarch and water until smooth; gradually stir into pan. Bring to a boil; cook and stir until thickened.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Crockpot Cheddar Beer Chicken

I love a good taco recipe! Found this recipe when I was searching for new recipe to try for our secret recipe club and we loved it! Super easy to throw together, although the workers that were at our house were wondering why I was pulling out a beer at 10:30 in the morning! :)

Crockpot Cheddar Beer Chicken
(recipe found at http://cookinchemist.blogspot.com)

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3/4 cup beer
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
pinch cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3/4 cup freshly grated monterey jack or cheddar cheese
taco shells or tortillas

In a bowl, combine spices. Measure beer and stir in 1 1/2 tablespoons of spice mix. Place chicken in crockpot. Pour beef mixture over top. Cook on low for 4-6 hours. When cooked, remove the chicken from the crockpot and shred. Add chicken back to liquid and mix until combined. Leave in crockpot to cook for an additional 15 minutes. Remove the chicken from the crockpot and immediately mix in the shredded cheese.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Caramel Drizzled Pumpkin Poke Cake

Are you ready for a big slice of cake that you definitely need a glass of milk with?? This is the one that you want!! Pumpkiny, rich deliciousness... I took this dessert to a back to school party that we had and it was a big hit! A little rich so the pan didn't get finished, but it was still delish the next day...

Caramel Drizzled Pumpkin Poke Cake
(recipe found at www.bettycrocker.com)

Cake
1 box yellow cake mix
1 cup pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

Topping
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
2 jars (12 ounces each) hot fudge topping
1 container whipped fluffy white frosting
1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted
2 tablespoons caramel topping

Heat oven to 350. Grease or spray bottom only of 13x9" pan. In large bowl, beat cake mix, pumpkin, water, oil, eggs and pumpkin pie spice with electric mixer on low speed until moistened, then on medium speed 2 minutes. Pour into pan. Bake 26-33 minutes or until cake springs back when touched lightly in center. Immediately poke cake every inch with handle of wooden spoon halfway into cake. Drizzle condensed milk evenly over top of cake; let stand until milk has been absorbed into cake, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, place hot fudge in medium microwavable bowl. Microwave uncovered on high 15-30 seconds or until smooth. Spoon and spread over cake, pressing slightly into holes. Run knife around sides of pan to loosen cake. Cover and refrigerate about 2 hours or until chilled. Spread frosting over top of cake. Sprinkle with pecans. Just before serving, drizzle with caramel sauce over each serving of cake. Store cake loosely covered in refrigerator.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Jello Pineapple

So one of my best buds and walking partner shared a little treat that she remembered having whenever she visited a friend's house in high school. So simple and they begged for it every time that they were there... I thought it sounded like something fun for the daycare kids and definitely easy so we tried it out the other day. I only had one tell me that they didn't like it otherwise the rest gave it definite thumbs up!! We have already had it a few times!! I have only done it with the pineapple slices, but I would like to try it soon with the pineapple chunks - less work of cutting it up when it is serving time.



Jello Pineapple
(recipe found from THEE ravishing Rachel Close)

2 cans sliced pineapples
1 small package jello (any flavor)

Open up cans of pineapples. Drain juices and separate pineapple slices as much as possible. Make jello according to directions on package. Pour into cans of pineapple. Place in fridge until set.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Grands Easy Taco Melts

These were definitely a favorite around our house. With only 4 ingredients, we will surely be doing them again!! I might need to make a double batch though because Brody chowed down about 3 of them... No leftovers at our house that night!


Grands Easy Taco Melts
(recipe found at www.pillsbury.com)

1 pound ground beef, cooked and drained
1 1/2 cups salsa
1 can (16.3 ounces) refrigerated biscuits
1/2 cup shredded monterey jack cheese

In 10" nonstick skillet, mix cooked beef and 1/2 cup of salsa. Cook over medium high heat, stirring occasionally, until hot. Press each biscuit into 6" round. Spoon 1/3 cup meat mixture and 1 tablespoon cheese onto center of each round. Fold dough in half over filling; press to seal. Place on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for 9-14 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with remaining salsa.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Pumpkin Granola

Here I go on my pumpkin kick once again! I love fall and finding new recipes that include pumpkin to try... I have been having yogurt for breakfast a lot lately and I like to throw a little something in there that gives it some crunch and this granola seemed like the place to start! I had some troubles getting it to the right crunchiness so I am going to have to try it again - soon! I ended up cooking it longer then the 40 minutes that it called for. It still seemed not as crunchy as I liked but I took it out anyhow. It continued to "crunch up" for lack of a better way of saying it and almost got too crunchy... So, make sure you take it out when it is almost to the texture that you would like it. Play around with it until you get it just right, I know I am going to! :)

Pumpkin Granola
(recipe found at www.cookinchemist.blogspot.com)

5 cups rolled oats
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup almonds
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup applesauce
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup pepitas (or pumpkin seeds)

Preheat oven to 325. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. In a small bowl, combine oats, spices, salt and almonds. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together brown sugar, pumpkin puree, applesauce, maple syrup and vanilla. Whisk until smooth. Combine wet and dry ingredients and stir until oats are covered. They will be moist. Evenly spread the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet. bake for 20 minutes. Remove pan from oven and stir. Bake for 15-20 more minutes or until granola is golden and crisp. Remove from oven and stir in dried cranberries and pepitas. Let cool completely. Store in airtight container.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Skillet Chicken Burritos

These were a tasty supper that we had the other night and they took no time to whip together. Mine kept turning out more black then "browned" on each side so I wasn't happy with that result, but they tasted delicious... I skipped spritzing both sides with cooking spray since that sounded a little gross to me, but I think that might have been why I couldn't get them to brown up. Guess I will be trying that next time since I would definitely make these again!


Skillet Chicken Burritos
(recipe found in Taste of Home - Healthy Cooking)

1 cup (8 ounces) reduced fat sour cream
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons chopped pickled jalapeno slices
2 teaspoons chopped onion
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
1 teaspoon grated lime peel

Burritos
2 cups cubed cooked chicken
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (11 ounces) mexicorn, drained
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded reduced fat cheddar cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 whole wheat tortillas

In a small bowl, combine the first six ingredients. In a large bowl, combine the chicken, beans, corn, cheese, salt and 1/2 cup sour cream mixture. Spoon 1/2 cup chicken mixture onto each tortilla. Fold sides and ends over filling and roll up. Spritz both sides with cooking spray. In a large nonstick skillet or griddle coated with cooking spray, cook burritos in batches over medium heat for 3-4 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Serve with remaining sour cream mixture and salsa if desired.

Serves: 8
Points: 7 points per 1 burrito with 1 tablespoon sour cream mixture

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Moon Sand

You know how it goes... the kids are watching cartoons and every commercial comes on and it is the chance for them to tell you how much they want this and how much they need that. My kids are that way too - it gets old really quick! Last winter their obsession was moon sand and while my sister was nice enough to get it for her kids for Christmas she didn't think that it was worth the money... So, when I found this recipe on pinterest I thought that I would give it a shot. Not that exciting to me either, but the kids have played with it continuously since I made it and while it is kind of messy, it is pretty easy to clean up. The next batch that we make will include a bit more baby oil since I didn't feel like this was quite sticky enough.


Moon Sand
(found on pinterest - no link included)

8 cups flour
1 cup baby oil

Mix ingredients together and play!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Slime

I am always on the look out for cheap activities to do with the daycare kids and I found this one on pinterest and decided to try it. I didn't have the clear glue that she suggested, but white glue worked just fine and the kids really couldn't have cared less if it was as "cool" looking as the one with the clear glue! They just went nuts playing with it for about 45 minutes! Now that's a long time for them to be occupied...

Don't be concerned if it starts out looking like this...


You just need to get down and dirty and mix it together with your hands little more! Then it will turn out to look like this...


or this...


and you will have super happy kids!

Find the recipe here!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Marshmallow Caramel Corn

An impromptu bonfire calls for snacks and smores right?? I hadn't planned for people coming over so I was working hard to find something yummy that I could whip up quickly and with all the ingredients that I had in my house. So, we went with a variety of popcorns! :) I made up a batch of "blue" popcorn for the kids and also tried this new recipe that I found on pinterest. This was just as big of a hit as the blue popcorn was and I was definitely glad that I had made up a double batch from the get go!! So, make a batch of popcorn, kick back and enjoy the night!


Marshmallow Caramel Corn
(recipe found on pinterest via www.pincookie.com)

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
9-10 marshmallows
12 cups popped popcorn

Pop popcorn and set aside. In microwave safe bowl, melt brown sugar and butter for 2 minutes. Add marshmallows and microwave for another 1 1/2-2 minutes or until melted and smooth when stirred. Pour over popcorn and stir.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Chicken Alfredo Pasta Pies

My husband is still raving about this meal and we ate a few hours ago! I thought that he was giving me a hard time when I told him what we were having for supper - "I love chicken, pasta and spinach..." Sarcasm runs high at our house so I really believed that he wasn't too excited for supper - turns out I was dead wrong. He quickly packed away 2 of these bad boys for lunch tomorrow and ate 2 more at supper. He wasn't the only one that ate them like they were heaven either... My 1 year old - who boycotts ANY type of food most of the time, inhaled them also! Must be a keeper...

FYI: I don't have a jumbo muffin tin so I just used my regular one... This meant that I had a lot more filling then fit in 8 biscuits so I needed to open another can. So, if you don't have a jumbo pan either - make sure you pick up 2 cans biscuits because you will use about 11 of them...


Chicken Alfredo Pasta Pies
(recipe found at www.pillsbury.com)

1 cup uncooked penne pasta
2 cups chopped cooked chicken
1 jar (15 ounces) alfredo pasta sauce
1 box (9 ounces) frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed to drain
1 can (16.3 ounces) refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese

Heat oven to 350. Cook and drain pasta as directed on package. Mix pasta, chicken, alfredo sauce and spinach. Separate dough into 8 biscuits; press each biscuit into 5 1/2" round. Firmly press 1 biscuit in bottom and up side of each of 8 ungreased jumbo muffin cups, forming 1/4" rim. Fill with chicken mixture; sprinkle with cheese. Bake 28-32 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 1 minute; remove from pan.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Slow Cooker Big and Spicy Chicken Hoagies

I was a little worried that this would be a little too spicy for the kids but they didn't say anything about it being spicy - which is a great thing!! This meal was super easy to throw together, cooked all day long and tasted wonderful with some simple sides... Great for a weeknight meal!


Slow Cooker Big and Spicy Chicken Hoagies
(recipe found at www.pillsbury.com)

3 tablespoons caribbean jerk seasoning
3 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 large red or green bell pepper, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup ketchup
8 hoagie buns

Rub jerk seasoning generously over chicken. Place bell pepper and onion in bottom of greased slow cooker. Place chicken over vegetables. Mix broth and ketchup in small bowl; pour over chicken. cover and cook on low 6-8 hours. Remove chicken from cooker; place on cutting board and shred. Return chicken to cooker and mix well. Using a slotted spoon, remove chicken mixture from cooker and fill buns.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Two for One and the SRC

In case you are not familiar with the Secret Recipe Club, here's the low down... Each month we are assigned a new blog, usually one that I have not had the opportunity to discover yet, and we choose one recipe from their blog to create and blog about. That's the quick version! :) It is an exciting thing for me... I love to peruse through new blogs and see what kind of stuff other people are cooking up and if it fits with the kinds of stuff that I like to cook up. Some months are more challenging then others, but it is always fun to try a new recipe and meet a new blogger!

This month was one of those months where I felt like I couldn't go wrong... I usually try out a few different recipes, pick one and continue on my way. Not with this blog!! It was recipe after recipe of "oooh, I want to try this one and oh my gosh, that one sounds good. I felt a great kinship with Tessa, who lives in Arizona as I did for about 7 years and also likes to cook straight from a recipe, even though we both spend a lot of time in the kitchen... Her excuse is her pharmacist background, my excuse? Probably the control freak in my that needs to have everything neat and tidy in a recipe and hopefully not screw it up! :) Doesn't work all the time, but I will keep trying...

So, in my quest for finding a recipe to blog about, I made quite a few goodies that I will be blogging about in the future - pumpkin granola? already made 2 batches! Crockpot Cheddar Beer Chicken Tacos? Delicious... For supper tonight? Chicken Avocado Pizza with Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars coming up soon! There were so many yummy recipes to choose from that I just had to add her blog to my favorites list and go back there time and time again!

For today's post I decided on Root Beer Pulled Pork, but that seemed a little too easy, so I whipped up a batch of her White Chocolate Oatmeal Crunch Brownies too!

Let's start with the Root Beer Pulled Pork! So simple that there is no way to screw this one up! I didn't even have root beer in the house, so I busted out a bottle of Pepsi and went with it. Super delicious! My husband was super happy with the results and the kids ate it up too... Win, win!


Root Beer Pulled Pork
(recipe found at http://cookinchemist.blogspot.com)

1 pound pork loin
1 liter root beer
barbecue sauce

Trim meat of visible fat and place in crock pot. Add root beer. Cook on low 8 hours. Shred pork and place back in crock pot for 5-10 minutes. Place meat on bun and cover with barbecue sauce.

For dessert that night (my kids were ecstatic - we don't do dessert too much around here) we had the White Chocolate Oatmeal Crunch Brownies. Mine fell a bit in the middle when I took them out, but that didn't stop us from chowing down on the majority of the pan! In fact, I had to get them out of the house and brought a few to my mom and her friends where they also received rave reviews! :) They were super quick to throw together and definitely tasty...


White Chocolate Oatmeal Crunch Brownies
(recipe found at http://cookinchemist.blogspot.com)

crust:
1/2 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup oatmeal
1/3 cup shredded sweetened coconut
1/3 cup butter, melted and cooled

brownies:
1 1/2 ounces white chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup butter
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg
2/3 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons skim milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350. Spray an 8x8 pan with cooking spray or line with aluminum foil or parchment paper for easy removal after baking. For the crust, mix all dry ingredients in the first list together. Pour in melted butter and mix to combine. Press into pan and bake for 12 minutes. Meanwhile, for the brownies, melt the butter and white chocolate together and allow to cool slightly. In a separate bowl, whisk the sugar and egg together until light in color. Stir the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture until combine. Add dry ingredients, milk and vanilla. Stir just until no streaks remain. When the crust finishes baking, add dough to top of crust and carefully spread to cover. Bake an additional 30 minutes. Cool completely.


Sunday, October 7, 2012

Frankenstein!

Here's another cute project that I did with the daycare kids... They love to paint and had a lot of fun putting these together. Did I mention how much I love pinterest? I am finding Halloween projects galore!



Saturday, October 6, 2012

Color Mixing Experiment

Again, I found a fantastic idea on pinterest, so I had to share! This took a bit of time, but it was a perfect experiment for the kids to watch while they were eating lunch. A little learning along with their meal?? What a great idea!


So simple and the kids went wild! I just went off of the picture for how to do it but for the link to the actual experiment you can click here.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Weekly Line Up - 10/5-10/12

This week has been crazy wild with stuff going on each and every night... running out of the house as soon as the daycare kids leave means a lot of meals ready to roll from the oven or out of the crockpot... Next week should be a little less busy, but I always say that and then we are out and about running anyhow! :) I love it, but I have to say, I am ready for the weekend and just hanging out with the family...

I have been trying out a bunch of new recipes from my blog that I was assigned for Secret Recipe Club and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the blog I was assigned... I swear, we are sisters from another mother. We both like quick and simple and there are so many recipes that I want to try that I can't decide which one to actually blog about! I have already made 2 of them, but still want to try a few more before the big reveal on Monday... That means some baking this weekend - YES!

Saturday - *Root Beer Pulled Pork
Sunday - *Crockpot Ham
Monday - *Chicken Avocado Pizza
Tuesday - Mom's Chili
Wednesday - Taco Night
Thursday - Chili Rubbed Pork Chops
Friday - Sausage Pasta with Vegetables

Extras: *white chocolate oatmeal crunch brownies, *thick and chewy chocolate chip cookie bars, pumpkin granola

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Chicken and Ravioli Carbonara

Wow, wow, wow... This was so good that I could barely stop myself from eating and eating and eating!! I love the combo of chicken and pasta and then add some bacon and a sauce?? Out of this world! I cooked it up quick while the daycare kids were still running around and had it on the table about 2 minutes after they all left - we were once again running out the door... Delicious and the kids chowed without a word!


Chicken and Ravioli Carbonara
(recipe found at www.bettycrocker.com)

2 tablespoons italian dressing
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2" strips
3/4 cup chicken broth
1 package (9 ounces) refrigerated cheese filled ravioli
1/2 cup half and half
4 slices bacon, crisply cooked and crumbled
shredded parmesan cheese, if desired

In 10" skillet, heat dressing over high heat. Cook chicken in dressing 2-4 minutes, turning occasionally, until brown. Add broth and ravioli to skillet. Heat to boiling; reduce heat to medium. Cook uncovered about 4 minutes or until ravioli are tender and almost all broth has evaporated. Stir in half and half; reduce heat. Simmer uncovered 3-5 minutes or until sauce is hot and desired consistency (cook it longer for a thicker sauce). Sprinkle with bacon and cheese.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Peanut Butter and Banana Roll Up

I have started keeping tortillas on hand all the time now because my kids LOVE anything that I make with them... Cheese crisp? Meat and cheese Wrap? Peanut Butter and Banana Wrap? They will eat anything if it is in a tortilla shell! So, I saw this recipe on pinterest and since I had all the ingredients on hand I thought that I would try it out for a daycare snack. The kids LOVED it!! It was quick to throw together and the little bit of chocolate included made it more special...


Peanut Butter and Banana Roll Up
(recipe found on pinterest)

tortilla
peanut butter
banana slices
chocolate chips

Spread peanut butter over tortilla. Add a layer of banana slices and sprinkle with chocolate chips. Roll up and serve to the hungry mob!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Ranch, Bacon and Tomato Pasta Salad

I was in charge of lunch for the last camping trip that we had and I went the easy route with wraps! Simple and quick to make and the kids can all pick whatever toppings they want in their wrap... I figured I better round it out a bit though and add something yummy on the side and found this recipe hiding in my "to try" pile! It was a perfect compliment to our wraps - anything is better with bacon, right??


Ranch, Bacon and Tomato Pasta Salad
(recipe found at www.jamiecooksitup.blogspot.com)

1 (16 ounces) bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 (16 ounces) package large shell pasta
1 1/2 pounds grape tomatoes
3 green onions, chopped
3/4 cup sour cream
3/4 cup mayo
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 (1 ounce) package hidden valley ranch dip mix
salt and pepper

Boil pasta according to package directions. Pour into a strainer and rinse with cold water. Slice grape tomatoes in half and place in large mixing bowl with green onions and pasta. In a small mixing bowl combine sour cream, mayo, buttermilk and hidden valley. Stir well to combine, making sure all ingredients are well incorporated. Add bacon and half of the dressing to the pasta mixture and mix well. Cover and refrigerate both dressing and pasta for one hour or until you are ready to serve. When ready to serve pour remaining dressing over top and stir well. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Slow Cooked Taco Casserole

We are obviously on a taco type kick around our house! Found another crock pot recipe that I tried out this past weekend and it was a winner... Very thick and hearty. I took out the corn tortillas - I don't really care for the gummy texture that they become when they are baked or slow cooked in something, but followed the rest of the recipe. We topped ours with corn chips to give it a little crunch and we all loved it!


Slow Cooked Taco Casserole
(recipe found at www.pillsbury.com)

1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 (1 ounce) taco seasoning mix
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
9 (5 1/2 inch) corn tortillas
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1 (10 ounces) enchilada sauce
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 (15 ounces) cans pinto, black or kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 (11 ounces) can mexicorn
1 (4.5 ounces) can chopped green chiles
1 (2 1/4 ounces) can chopped ripe olives

Spray slow cooker with cooking spray. In large skillet, brown beef with onion and garlic over medium high heat for 8-10 minutes or until thoroughly cooked, stirring frequently. Drain. Stir in taco seasoning mix, salt and pepper. Place 3 tortillas in bottom of slow cooker. Top with beef mixture, broth, tomato sauce and enchilada sauce. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup cheese. Layer with 3 more tortillas. Top with beans, corn, green chiles, half of the olives and 1/2 cup cheese. Place remaining tortillas in slow cooker and sprinkle with remaining cheese and olives. Cook on high 2 1/2 - 3 hours or low 6-7 hours. Uncover slow cooker for last 30 minutes. Top with sour cream.

Serves: 8 1 1/4 cup servings
Points: 9

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Fall is in the Air!

Just had to share a little project that I did with the daycare kids this week! They turned out so adorable and the kids had a blast making them... Anything with paint is a definite hit around here!


Found this fun craft on pinterest via familyfun.com. Find directions if you need them here!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Lemon Orange Shrimp and Rice

I think that this was one of my favorite meals in a long time!! I love rice-a-roni and I love the simpleness of this meal. I also LOVE when I don't have to fight with my kids to eat supper and this was that meal! They gobbled it right up and we didn't have any problems at all...

Lemon Orange Shrimp and Rice
(recipe found in Taste of Home)

2 packages (6.2 ounces each) fried rice mix (I used rice-a-roni)
1 1/2 pounds uncooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/4 cup orange marmalade
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
3 cups frozen sugar snap peas, thawed

Prepare rice according to package directions, simmering for about 10-15 minutes or just until rice is tender. Remove from pan. In the same skillet, cook and stir shrimp in oil over medium high heat for 4-6 minutes or until shrimp are pink; stir in orange marmalade and lemon peel. Add snap peas and rice; heat through, mixing gently to combine. Serve immediately.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Nutty Berry Trail Mix

I love a good trail mix... Finding that right mix of sweet and salty, a little bit of chocolate and having a lot of nuts - yummmm.... I saw this recipe that had a lot of my favorites and had to try it! Turned out pretty dang good and a great treat to have along with us for our last weekend of camping for the year! Much healthier then the chips that are usually busted out around the campfire after the kids go to bed! :)


Nutty Berry Trail Mix
(recipe found in Taste of Home)

1 can (15 ounces) mixed nuts
2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
1 package (9 ounces) raisins
1 package (6 ounces) chopped dried pineapples
1 jar (5.85 ounces) sunflower kernels
1 package (5 ounces) dried cranberries

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients; mix well. Store in an airtight container.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Mexican Beef Cobbler

Yet another quick and fabulous weeknight meal! Definitely easy for me to throw together during naps and have ready to pop into the oven right before the daycare kids leave. I also love when I have time to help the kids out with their homework while it is cooking! Just one more chore checked off the list on our hectic nights!


Mexican Beef Cobbler
(recipe found in Taste of Home)

1 pound ground beef
1 envelope taco seasoning
3/4 cup water
1 jar (16 ounces) salsa
1 can (8 3/4 ounces) whole kernel corn, drained
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
3 1/3 cups biscuit/baking mix
1 1/3 cups milk
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper

In a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat for 6-8 minutes or until no longer pink. Stir in taco seasoning and water. Bring mixture to a boil; cook until liquid is evaporated. Transfer to an 11x7" baking dish; layer with salsa, corn and cheese. In a large bowl, mix biscuit mix and milk just until blended; drop mixture by tablespoonfuls over cheese (dish will be full). Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake, uncovered, at 350 for 35-45 minutes or until bubbly and topping is golden brown.