Thursday, May 31, 2012

Mini Cheeseburger Pies

With daycare at my house I never know for sure when all my kids are going to be picked up so spur of the moment events are not common with my family... I usually have supper rolling before everyone leaves and we are trying to eat pretty quick after everyone is out the door. The other day we had everyone out the door early and my son wanted to go to the baseball game that was in town that night. Although supper was already in the oven it was pretty portable so I threw everyone in the car and off we went... These were the best thing ever!! Super easy to take long with us and these along with some fruit made for a great portable, healthy meal at the ballgame... Definitely a redo!!

Mini Cheeseburger Pies
(recipe found at

Burger Mixture:
1 pound lean ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Baking Mixture:
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup bisquick
2 eggs

Heat oven to 375. Spray 12 regular size muffin cups with cooking spray. In 10" skillet, cook beef and onion over medium high heat 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently until thoroughly cooked; drain. Cool 5 minutes; stir in worcestershire sauce, garlic salt and cheese. In medium bowl, stir baking mixture ingredients with whisk or fork until blended. Spoon 1 scant tablespoon baking mixture into each muffin cup. Top with 1/4 cup burger mixture. Spoon 1 tablespoon baking mixture onto burger mixture in each muffin cup. Bake about 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean and muffin tops are golden brown. Cool 5 minutes. With thin knife, loosen sides of muffins from pan; remove from pan and place top side up on cooling rack. Cool 10 minutes longer and serve with garnishes.

Serves: 6 (2 mini pies each)
Points: 7

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Taco Corn Chili

I can say this over and over again and it will never change - I love a good quick meal that I can dump together in no time!! Here is another beauty that fits that criteria... I know that summer is right around the corner, but put this one in your back pocket for a rainy day! :)

Taco Corn Chili
(recipe found at

1 pound extra lean ground beef
1 can (15 ounces) red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 envelope taco seasoning mix
1 can (10 ounces) diced tomatoes and green chilies, undrained
1 package (9 ounces) frozen corn, thawed and drained
2 cups water
2 teaspoons sugar

Spray 4 quart dutch oven with cooking spray; heat over medium high heat. Cook beef in dutch oven 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until browned; drain. Stir in remaining ingredients. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer uncovered about 18 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Serves: 5
Points: 6 per serving

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Cookie Dough Bites

This were a tasty treat that I brought along for the hub's family when we all got together. They were a big hit and I love that they taste a lot like cookie dough without the eggs!! Don't forget to keep them in the fridge though - they got a little squishy on the drive to meet the fam...

Cookie Dough Bites
(recipe found at

1 cup salted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
6 ounces mini chocolate chips

Cream butter and sugar together. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Roll into 1 inch balls. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes. Dip or drizzle with chocolate or eat as they are... They are delicious no matter what!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Cake Batter Puppy Chow

At some point I need to make up a batch of my sister's puppy chow so that I can put a good post of it on my blog, but I guess I will start you off with a twist on it first... I found this recipe on pinterest and knew that I needed to try it out and I am so glad that I did! I am also really, really, really glad that I brought it with when we went to see my husband's family because it could have been very dangerous for me to have at my house. I wanted to eat it and never stop - extremely addicting!! Melt in your mouth addicting...

Cake Batter Puppy Chow
(recipe found at

5 cups chex cereal
10 ounces (5 squares) vanilla flavored almond bark
1 1/2 cups yellow cake mix
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Melt almond bark and shortening together in microwave according to package directions until smooth and slightly runny. Pour over chex and gently stir to coat. Mix together cake mix and powdered sugar, combine with chex and shake to coat.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Fudgy Chocolate Layer Cake

My oldest decided that he needed to have a birthday cake that was themed around a dirt bike. As I searched the internet for something that I could do on my own this one popped up on my screen... I thought that I could tackle it and I was excited about how it turned out!! He thought it was pretty cool too and it didn't even take as much effort as some of our other cakes have taken... plus this recipe was delicious!! We used whoppers for the rocks, pretzel rods for the course and fruit roll ups for the banners...

Fudgy Chocolate Layer Cake
(dirt bike idea found here)

1 3/4 cups flour
1 cup less 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cups brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cups buttermilk

Frosting and Garnish
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups powder sugar, sifted
3 ounces (3 squares) unsweetened chocolate, melted
2 teaspoons vanilla

Preheat oven to 350. Line bottoms of two 9" round cake pans with waxed paper. Grease paper and side of pans. Dust with flour. Mix flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, beat butter, sugar and brown sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla. At low speed, alternately beat flour mixture and buttermilk into butter mixture just until blended. Divide batter equally between prepared pans. Bake cakes until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 25-30 minutes. Transfer pans to wire racks to cool for 10 minutes. Turn out onto racks. Remove paper. Turn layers top side up and cool completely.

To prepare frosting, beat butter and powdered sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add melted chocolate and vanilla; continue beating until shiny and smooth. Place 1 cake layer on a serving plate; spread with frosting. Top with remaining cake layer. Spread frosting on top and side of cake. Let cake stand for at least 30 minutes before slicing.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Chicken Roll Ups

Wow - these were super good, definitely not the healthiest thing I have put on my blog, but they were delicious!! These were something that was easy to mix up early and then bake later, which is exactly what I did. While I was fixing Saturday lunch, I baked up my chicken breasts and threw them in the good old Kitchenaid!! This was a fabulous tip that I just learned - a quick and easy way to shred chicken - throw it in your stand mixer and let it whirl... Done in less then a minute - fabulous!! While it was in there I just added the rest of my ingredients and then threw it in the fridge. Later that afternoon when I was ready to get supper going I just grabbed the bowl and starting rolling!! It was fabulous... We paired this with some fresh fruit (to try and make it a little healthier) and then tried to not eat all of them! :)

Chicken Roll Ups
(recipe found on pinterest via

2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
1 (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded monterey jack cheese
2 cans crescent rolls
butter and bread crumbs, if desired

Combine chicken, cream cheese and cheeses. Roll out crescent rolls. Place filling on wide end of crescent roll and roll up, tucking in the sides to avoid loosing your filling! Place on greased baking pan and brush with butter. Sprinkle with bread crumbs and bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Mini Ham and Cheese Frittatas

Once again I found myself cooking up breakfast on the weekend! I love to be able to do that, but I also love being able to sleep in. This means sacrificing one or the other... Well, this weekend I got to fit both into my schedule and the kids weren't even moaning and groaning about how hungry they were!! BONUS... These tasted fabulous and I would show you a picture, but it turned out horribly and I don't want to turn you off from how good these were! I guess that you will just have to make them yourself to find out how good they were! :)

Mini Ham and Cheese Frittatas
(recipe found in Taste of Home Healthy Cooking)

1/4 pound cubed cooked ham
1 cup shredded fat free cheddar cheese
6 eggs
4 egg whites
3 tablespoons minced chives
2 tablespoons fat free milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Divide ham between eight greased muffin cups and top with cheese. Beat eggs and egg whites until combined and add chives, milk, salt and pepper. Pour over cheese. Bake at 375 for 22-25 minutes or until a knife comes out clean. Carefully run a knife around edges to loosen; remove from pan.

Serves: 8
Points: 2 per frittata

Monday, May 21, 2012

Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

Like I said, I have been on a smoothie kick lately and this is one of the first ones that I tried. Last month for the Secret Recipe Club, I was assigned I found another recipe that I wanted to blog about for our reveal date but I had also tried a couple of her smoothie recipes. This one definitely helps with that peanut butter craving that I always seems to have and who doesn't love the combo of peanut butter and banana. Not me and definitely not the kiddos, who had to have this with me for breakfast one morning!!

Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie
(recipe found at

2 bananas sliced and frozen
1/4 cup oatmeal
1/4 cup peanut butter
3/4 cup milk

Put oatmeal in blender and blend until fine powder. Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Spicy Barbecued Chicken

There is just something about the hubs grilling that makes everything taste so much better! :) I have been attempting to do the grilling when he is gone and I don't do half bad but it just tastes different somehow... maybe it is the partnership of working together to get supper ready or just having him home, but whatever it is - it works! :) This chicken had a great taste and was delicious!!

Spicy Barbecued Chicken
(recipe found in Taste of Home)

2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 cup chili sauce
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons salt free seasoning blend, divided
3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, divided
2 teaspoons ground mustard
2 teaspoon chili powder
8 boneless skinless chicken breast halves

In a small saucepan, saute garlic in oil for 1 minute. Add the chili sauce, brown sugar, 1 teaspoon seasoning blend and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1 minute. Remove from the heat; set aside. Prepare grill for indirect heat. Coat grill rack with nonstick cooking spray before starting the grill. Combine the mustard, chili powder and remaining seasoning blend and cayenne; rub over chicken. Grill, covered, over indirect medium hot heat for 3 minutes. Turn and baste with chili sauce mixture. Grill 6-8 minutes longer or until juices run clear, basting occasionally.

Serves: 6
Points: 4

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Baked French Toast

I made this for breakfast on Easter morning and we were definitely not disappointed!! I was worried about the overnight thing since when I usually make an overnight bread dish it usually turns out soggy and I can't stand the texture. They usually taste fine but the texture just gets to me. This recipe DID NOT do this at all - it was heavenly and I couldn't get enough!!! It was a great find and one that I plan on making again.

Baked French Toast
(recipe found at

1 loaf sourdough bread
8 eggs
2 cups milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla

1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick cold butter, cut into pieces

Grease 9x13 pan. Tear bread into bite size chunks and place in pan. mix together eggs, milk, cream, sugar and vanilla. Pour evenly over bread. Cover tightly and store in the fridge overnight. In a medium bowl mix together the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Cut in butter with pastry blender until crumbly. When ready to bake, take pan out of fridge and sprinkle crumb mixture on top. Bake for 1 hour at 350.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Mexican Pork Chops

Usually the weekends are a time that I step out of the kitchen and either treat myself to whipping up something easy or else heading out so that someone else can cook for once. With Josh being out of town so much he likes nothing more then to come home and have a home cooked meal. I love cooking and I love the hubs, so I try to oblige as much as I can. Sometimes though, it is sure nice to have him whip up a meal. He was actually home during the week one night so I took advantage of him being home and gave him the choice of helping with homework or heading into the kitchen. He chose the kitchen and served us this fantastic meal! Thanks honey - you do great work! :)

Mexican Pork Chops
(recipe found in Taste of Home)

1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
4 boneless pork loin chops
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 1/4 cups salsa
1 teaspoon baking cocoa
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
1 green onion, chopped

Combine cumin and chili powder; rub over both sides of pork. In a large skillet, brown pork chops in oil on both sides over medium heat. In a small bowl, combine the salsa, cocoa and cinnamon; pour over pork. Bring sauce to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 8-10 minutes or until meat is tender, turning chops once and stirring sauce occasionally. Sprinkle with cilantro and green onion.

Serves: 4
Points: 5 per 1 chop and 1/3 cup sauce

Monday, May 14, 2012

Blueberry Yogurt Smoothie

I have been on a huge smoothie kick lately... While most of them have been pretty enjoyable, there have been a few setbacks! :) The grapefruit, orange, lemon smoothie that I tried this morning was definitely one of those - yikes!! Way too chunky and bitter for my taste! Thankfully, since I have a freezer full of blueberries, this was not the case with this smoothie. It was delish!! Definitely another breakfast find for me...

Blueberry Yogurt Smoothie
(recipe found on pinterest via smoothie handbook)

1 cup blueberries, frozen
3/4 cup plain yogurt
1 tablespoon honey
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 water
4 ice cubes

Pour water and yogurt into the blender. Add rest of the ingredients. Blend on low for 10-20 seconds. Then increase the speed to medium/high until creamy smooth.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Weekly Line Up - 5/11-5/17

It's been a crazy couple of weeks of running and they have finally come to an end... We are staying home this weekend with nothing to do and I couldn't be more excited! Time to till up the garden, putz around the house and just spend time with the family AND the weather is supposed to be beautiful... Who could ask for more?? We might have to bust out the bikes and head out on a family outing - I smell summer just around the corner!! Have a fabulous week!

Friday - *Bacon, Egg and Cheese Bagel
Saturday - *Taco Pasta Toss
Sunday - Mother's Day - Eating out!!
Monday - Birthday party - my sister has to cook for the rest of my kiddos...
Tuesday - *Slow Cooker Chicken Alfredo Stew
Wednesday - Taco Night
Thursday - *California Chicken BLT Salad
Friday - *BLT Mac 'n Cheese

Extras: *Breakfast Cookies, *Oatmeal in a Jar

*New Recipes

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Garbage Bread Chicken

I love buffalo anything... So when I came across this recipe on pinterest I knew that I had to try it!! I cut back on the hot sauce due to the kids and we all loved the ooey gooeyness of this meal! :)

Garbage Bread Chicken
(recipe found on Pinterest)

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 store bought pizza dough
8 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
3 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup frank's red hot sauce
1/3 cup ranch or blue cheese dressing

Cut chicken into cubes. Season with salt and pepper. Saute chicken in oil until no longer pink. Add 1/4 cup of frank's red hot sauce. Stir to coat chicken and simmer 1-2 minutes. Take chicken off heat and let cool. Preheat oven to 425. Roll out pizza dough. Add dressing of choice and 1/4 cup of frank's red hot sauce. Spread across dough. Add chicken and cheese. Roll dough starting from the short side and tuck in ends when rolled so you don't lose your filling. Place on sprayed baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes or until browned and heated through.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Pesto Chicken and Asparagus

I don't know what happened to my kids... The first few times that I served them asparagus, they were all over it! They loved the taste and gobbled it up like nobody's business. Now all of a sudden they are boycotting it.. I don't know, but I still like it and they are stuck with eating at least a little of it every time that I serve it! :) I liked that this meal and it was once again a quick one that only used 1 pan - that is definitely a plus when I am chief cook AND bottle washer since Josh has been gone so much lately!!

Pesto Chicken and Asparagus
(recipe found in Taste of Home)

1 pound cubed boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound cut asparagus (1" pieces)
1 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup prepared pesto
1/8 teaspoon pepper

In a large skillet, saute chicken in oil until no longer pink. Remove and set aside. In the same skillet, saute asparagus until crisp tender. Stir in whipping cream, pesto and pepper. Return chicken to pan; heat through. Serve over cooked couscous.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Italian Burritos

This was a nice hearty meal that I could put together pretty quickly. The kids (and of course Josh) love all the beef and cheese!! I loved that I could make these up during nap time and be able to throw them in the oven at the right time!

Italian Burritos
(recipe found in Taste of Home Healthy Cooking)

1 pound lean ground beef
1 cup marinara sauce
1/2 cup shredded part skim mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
8 whole wheat tortillas (8"), warmed

In a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Stir in the marinara, cheeses and garlic powder. Spoon 1/3 cup filling off center on each tortilla. Fold sides and ends over filling and roll up. Place on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375 for 18-20 minutes or until heated through and bottoms are lightly browned.

Serves: 8
Points: 6

Monday, May 7, 2012

Purple Green Monster and the SRC

I have been getting into smoothies lately but have not tried my hand at the legendary "green monster" yet.  As I was searching through all of the fabulous recipes that Heather has to offer, I found her recipe for a purple green monster and I knew that this was the time to try it out!  I have made it a few different times already and love it every time.  It doesn't have the green color that sometimes can be a little off-putting (at least not right away) and it tastes delish!!  I am still amazed at all the spinach that is packed into this smoothie and you can't even taste it!  I love that! :)  Tip Time:  I like to chunk my bananas up BEFORE I put them into the the freezer...  I learned this the hard way - it is really hard to peel frozen bananas! :)  So, I have started keeping a container in the freezer full of banana chunks and it works perfect for all the smoothies we have been having around here!

This was a little bit of a busy month for me so I didn't get to sample a bunch of the recipes on Heather's blog like I usually do, but I am definitely anxious to try my hand at her pumpkin chocolate chip bread and the taco pasta toss very soon!  Look for more of Heather's recipes to be featured on my blog in the future and if you just can't wait that long?  Take a look here!  And for more fabulous Secret Recipe Club recipes check out the website here...

Purple Green Monster
(recipe found at

1 frozen banana
2 cups baby spinach
3/4 cups cold water or milk
1 1/2-2 scoops protein powder
1 cup frozen berries (optional)

Cut up frozen banana into small chunks and place in the bottom of blender.  Add spinach to blender, followed by water or milk, protein powder and frozen berries.  Blend on high for about 2 minutes, until all ingredients are thoroughly combined and smooth.  Pour into a large glass and enjoy!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Fauxberry Pie

I made this for supper on April Fool's Day. While the kids weren't quite fooled into believing that this was really a pie, we did think that it had a pretty good taste. Beau was also still not fooled into believing that mashed potatoes are any good, even when they are pink! :)

Fauxberry Pie
(recipe found in Family Fun)

"Chocolate Filling"
1/3 cup barbecue sauce
1/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon dark molasses
1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2/3 cup bread crumbs
1 1/4 pounds ground beef
1 egg, lightly beaten
frozen pie shell

"Whipped Cream Topping"
2 pound baking potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/2 cup canned sliced beets, not pickled
1/4 cup (or more) warm milk
4 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces

Heat oven to 350. In a small saucepan, combine the barbecue sauce, milk, molasses, cocoa and chili powder. Set the pan over medium heat and whisk the mixture until it's lukewarm and the cocoa is completely dissolved. Set aside to cool. In a medium size pan, saute the onion in the oil until it's transparent, about 7 minutes. In a large bowl, whisk together the salt, celery salt, pepper and bread crumbs. Add the beef, egg, sauce mixture and onion. Thoroughly mix the ingredients using your hands or a wooden spoon. Transfer beef mixture to the shell, spreading it evenly with a spoon. Bake it until the meat is cooked through, about 60 minutes.

While the pie is baking, prepare the mashed potato topping. Place the potatoes in a large saucepan and add enough water to completely submerge them. Lightly salt the water, cover the pot and bring the water to a boil. Reduce the heat slightly and cook the potatoes at a low boil until they are tender, about 12 minutes. Meanwhile, puree the beets with 1/4 cup of warm milk in a blender until only small bits of beets are left in the mixture. Set aside. Drain the potatoes and transfer them to a large mixing bowl. Add butter and pureed beets and use the electric mixer to whip the mixture until it is smooth and fluffy. Add more milk, if needed, and salt to taste. Spread the topping over the cooked meat pie with a spatula, as you would whipped cream. Slice and serve the pie while potatoes are still hot.

Serves: 8
Points: 11

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Pasta Primavera with Shrimp

In keeping with Beau's new found love of shrimp, I thought that I would mix this quick dish up on the week night! It was another quick, easy meal that I could throw together and the kids all loved it! We ate on our deck for the first time this spring - love that the weather has been so nice so early this year!!

Pasta Primavera with Shrimp
(recipe found in Family Fun)

1 1/2 cups baby carrots, trimmed
2 cups sugar snap peas
8 ounces penne
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 pound medium size peeled shrimp
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup chicken broth
1/3 cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup grated parmesan
1/3 cup chopped parsley

In a large pot, bring 2 quarts of water to a boil. Add carrots and simmer for 1 1/2 minutes. Add peas and simmer for 1 minute more. As the water continues to boil, use a slotted spoon and transfer the vegetables to a bowl, then put the pasta into the pot and cook it according to the package directions. In a large skillet over medium high heat, warm the oil. Add the shrimp and cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes. Add the carrots, peas, salt, pepper and garlic and continue cooking and stirring for 1 minute more. Stir in the chicken broth, scraping the pan to loosen any browned bits. Stir in the cream and lemon juice and cook for 1 minute. Add the pasta and grated cheese and combine well to coat. Remove the pan from the heat and mix in the parsley.

Serves: 6
Points: 6

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Beef Taquitos

Taquitos were a favorite appetizer of mine when we lived in Arizona but I have never made them at home before. I thought I would try out this recipe that I found and I am glad that I did. The kids loved that they could pick them up to eat them and that they had a few different "dips" to eat with them. Definitely a do again recipe! Try this with my homemade guacamole - it would be perfect!!

Beef Taquitos
(Recipe found in Family Fun)

1 tablespoon vegetable oil, plus more for brushing on the taquitos
1 medium size onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
3/4 pound lean ground beef
1/2 cup salsa, plus more for dipping
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
10 (6") flour tortillas
1/2 cup shredded cheddar or monterey jack
sour cream, guacamole (optional)

Heat the oven to 400. In a large skillet over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the onion and garlic and cook them, stirring often, for 3 minutes. Add the beef and cook, breaking up lumps, until it's no longer pink, about 3 minutes. Stir in the salsa, chili powder, salt and pepper. Cook the mixture over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Place the tortillas on a plate and cover them with damp paper towels. Microwave the tortillas until they are warm and pliable, about 45 seconds. Top each tortilla with 1/4 cup of the beef mixture. Spread the mixture to an inch from the edge and sprinkle cheese evenly over the beef. Roll up the tortillas and place them seam side down on a foil lined baking sheet. Brush lightly with oil, then bake them until the filling is heated through and the tortillas are lightly browned, about 8-12 minutes. Serve with salsa, sour cream and guacamole.

Serves: 5
Points: 10