Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Morning Milkshake

This has turned into one of my favorite go to smoothies right now. I throw it all in the blender for a quick breakfast or for an afternoon snack for the kids. It's so quick and tasty - I mean, who can resist peanut butter and banana??

Morning Milkshake
(recipe found at www.parenting.com)

1 cup milk
1 tablespoon honey or sugar
1 tablespoon peanut butter
1 banana, frozen
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. If you don't have any frozen bananas you can use fresh bananas and add ice cubes.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Mediterranean Pasta Caesar Toss

This was another one of those quick evening meals that comes together in no time and tastes fabulous!! The kids all begged for seconds and since I had doubled the recipe I was able to have some for lunch the next day too!! Yippee!!

Mediterranean Pasta Caesar Toss
(recipe found in Taste of Home Healthy Cooking)

1 package (9 ounces) refrigerated cheese ravioli
1 cup frozen cut green beans, thawed
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
3/4 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
1/3 cup reduced fat creamy caesar salad dressing
3 tablespoons shredded parmesan cheese

In a large saucepan, cook ravioli according to package directions, adding beans during the last 3 minutes of cooking. Drain. In a serving bowl, combine ravioli mixture, tomatoes and pepper. Add dressing; toss to coat. Sprinkle with cheese.

Serves: 4

Points: 6 per 1 cup

Friday, July 27, 2012

Weekly Line Up - 7/24-7/30

I haven't been doing my weekly line up for a while... It's summer, what can I say?? :) I decided that it was time to jump back on the wagon and try to get some weekly line ups back out there!

I have been switching things up for the summer and my menu planning has been going from Tuesday to Tuesday instead of Friday to Friday... It works better for grocery shopping when I am already going there for other appointments and you know summer vacation means LOTS of appointments, especially with four kids! Grocery shopping was super easy this week since the kids are at bible school for the week and they serve them supper there and our school has a summer lunch program for the month of July. This momma hasn't had to do a lot of cooking this week! So, here's the line up for this "week"! :) (Keep in mind that I am STILL without my oven and believe me - it's killing me!!)

Tuesday - Bible School
Wednesday - Taco Night
Thursday - Bible School
Friday - *Pasta Recipe from Pinterest
Saturday - *Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken
Sunday - Eggs and Toast
Monday - Cocoa and Chili Rubbed Pork Chops

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Bourbon Chicken

My kids have been huge corn on the cob fans this summer... We have it at least once a week and we all devour it! I tell you this so that it will put some perspective on this recipe. I paired the corn with this bourbon chicken the other night and the kids LOVED it... My eldest told me "mommy I want more, not corn, just chicken..." My jaw about hit the floor!! I mean, I thought it was delicious but I didn't realize that it would rank that high with the kids! Definitely a do over...

Bourbon Chicken
(recipe found at www.jamiecooksitup.blogspot.com)

5 chicken breasts
2 tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon garlic
1/4 cup apple or pineapple juice
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup soy sauce
pinch red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon cornstarch

Cut chicken into small 1-2" pieces. Heat large skillet over medium high heat. Once it is hot, add olive oil. Add chicken pieces to pan and cook about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once chicken starts to get juicy and bubbly put a lid on the pan and drain juices. Return pan to stove and continue cooking over medium high heat. Into a medium size mixing bowl combine rest of ingredients. Whisk it all together until the cornstarch is dissolved and all ingredients are well combined. When chicken is browned add sauce to the pan, stir to cover pieces. Reduce heat to a low simmer and cover the pan with a lid at an angle to allow some of the steam to escape. Let this simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring a couple of times. Serve over rice.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Parmesan Honey Pork Roast

As I was typing this recipe I realized that I completely forgot to make the gravy... Summer is so crazy around here - I am usually looking for meals that I can just throw in the crockpot so that we can eat as soon as we walk in the door from the pool. Sometimes the brain just gets fried after a lazy afternoon of fun in the sun! :) Oh well, it was good even without the gravy but I definitely will be making this recipe again so that I can try it! :) It was super yummy without the gravy and the roast that I thought that we would have for leftovers was completely gone before I could even get it put away.

Parmesan Honey Pork Roast
(recipe found on pinterest.com via www.sixsistersstuff.com)

1 (2-3 pound boneless pork roast)
2/3 cup grated parmesan
1/2 cup honey
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons dried basil
2 tablespoons mince garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup cold water

Coat crockpot with cooking spray. Place roast inside. In a small bowl combine parmesan, honey, soy sauce, basil, garlic, olive oil and salt. Pour over pork and cook on low for 6-7 hours. Remove pork from slow cooker and skim fat from liquid remaining. Pour liquid into a small sauce pan and bring to a boil. Combine cornstarch and water and stir until smooth. Gradually stir into pan. Bring to a boil and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Pour over roast and serve.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Chicken with Tropical Barbecue Sauce

As you can probably tell from the few posts that I have had my oven has not been used for a while... It went out of commission a few weeks ago and the part is on back order! NOOOOO!! Like they say, you don't know what you've got til it's gone... While I am missing the handiness of having an oven that works I am also giving my trusty old crock pot a good work out, as well as the stove top and the grill! Hopefully it will be fixed soon so I can make a few loaves of banana bread and a few batches of cookies, but until then - the crock pot is on!

I searched my handy dandy crockpot cookbook and came up with a new recipe that I haven't tried yet... It was really good, even though I over cooked it a bit and it was a little dry. It was just as good when we threw some barbecue sauce on it and used the leftovers for sandwiches the next day! Yes, dual purpose!!

Chicken with Tropical Barbecue Sauce
(recipe found in Fix It and Forget It)

1/4 cup molasses
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons prepared mustard
1/8-1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
2 tablespoons orange juice
3 whole chicken breasts, halved

Combine molasses, vinegar, worcestershire sauce, mustard, hot pepper sauce and orange juice. Brush over chicken. Place chicken in slow cooker. Cover and cook on low 7-9 hours or high for 3-4 hours.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Cream of Everything Mix

I found this recipe on pinterest and had to try it. I feel like I use cream of mushroom or cream of chicken a few times a week so I thought that this was a good recipe to try and cut back on all the soup cans I use! :) Wouldn't you know that I haven't had a recipe that called for it until just recently... Oh well! Tried it with my Italian Cream Cheese Chicken that we just had and it seemed to work well! Love when I can cut my grocery costs anywhere and everywhere!

Cream of Everything Mix
(recipe found on pinterest.com via www.oneorangegiraffe.blogspot.com)

1 cup nonfat dried milk
3/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup bouillon, any type - smashed if you have cubes
4 tablespoons minced onions
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon pepper

Mix together and store in airtight jar.

For the equivalent of one can of cream of anything soup, mix 1/3 cup dried mix with 1 1/4 cup water. Heat until thick.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Italian Cream Cheese Chicken

This was a hit among my kids and in fact, Beau has requested this meal again already! Sorry, once again no picture... This time it was just too unappetizing of a picture - it definitely tasted better then it looked! :) I used my shredding method in my mixture but walked away and left it a little too long. Instead of shredded it was ground and THAT did not look pretty... Oh well, I guess I will have the chance to try it again since the kids are clamouring for it again!

Italian Cream Cheese Chicken
(recipe found at www.jamiecooksitup.blogspot.com)

1 (.07 ounce) package good seasons zesty italian salad dressing mix
1/2 cup butter, melted
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4 ounces cream cheese
2 (10.5 ounces) cans cream of chicken soup
1 (12 ounces) package fettuccine noodles

Melt butter in microwave and add dressing packet to butter. Stir it around to combine. Place chicken breasts in crock pot (I used frozen) and pour butter mixture over the top of the chicken. Cover crock pot and cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 7 hours. When chicken is no longer pink in center, add cream cheese and soup. Pop a fork into the pot and stir it all together until smooth. Place shredded chicken back into crock pot, stir, cover and cook on high for 20 minutes or until heated through. Cook fettucine according to package directions. Pour chicken mixture over pasta and serve.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas

Wow, this was so creamy, cheesy and delicious... It doesn't taste healthy at all and that's how I like it!! I also love when a recipe that is so good calls for making 2 pans... Perfect for the freezer and to be able to pull out later! This was a wonderful meal that we already had twice and will have again soon...

Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas
(recipe found in Taste of Home Healthy Cooking)

4 cups cubed cooked chicken breast
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
12 flour tortillas (8"), warmed

2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) sour cream
1 cup shredded monterey jack
1 cup shredded mexican blend
chopped tomatoes, optional

In a large bowl, combine the chicken, chili powder, garlic salt and cumin. Place 1/3 cup chicken mixture down the center of each tortilla. Roll up and place seam side down in 2 13x9" baking dishes coated with cooking spray. In a large saucepan, whisk flour and broth until smooth. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes. Reduce heat; stir in sour cream and monterey jack cheese until melted. Pour sauce over enchiladas; sprinkle with mexican cheese blend. Bake, uncovered, at 350 for 15-20 minutes or until bubbly. Top with tomatoes if desired.

Serves: 12
Points: 8 points per enchilada

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Asian Vegetable Pasta

This wasn't a favorite recipe of mine but the hubs was actually home for this meal and absolutely loved it... This is shocking mainly due to the fact that he likes meat in EVERYTHING that I make and isn't a big fan of anything vegetarian! :) So, with a thumbs up like that, I had to include this recipe...

Asian Vegetable Pasta
(recipe found in Taste of Home Healthy Cooking)

8 ounces angel hair pasta
1 pound asparagus, cut into 1" pieces
3/4 cup julienned carrots
1/3 cup reduced fat creamy peanut butter (i used chunky)
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
3 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup unsalted peanuts, chopped

Bring water to a boil. Add pasta and asparagus; cook for 3 minutes. Stir in carrots; cook 1 minute or until pasta is tender; drain. In a saucepan, combine peanut butter, rice vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Toss with pasta. Sprinkle with nuts.

Serves: 5
Points: 7 per 1 cup

Monday, July 16, 2012

Spinach Penne Salad

I love a nice easy salad on a hot day! This was as easy as it was yummy! It didn't take long to mix it up and the kids and I gobbled it down as quick as I made it! :) I switched up the feta and used mozzarella since that is what I had on hand and cut out the onions so that the kids didn't whine... Still pretty tasty!

Spinach Penne Salad
(recipe found in Taste of Home Healthy Cooking)

1 package (16 ounces) uncooked whole wheat penne pasta

1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 package (6 ounces) baby spinach
3 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped
3/4 cup (6 ounces) crumbled feta cheese
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup sliced ripe or greek olives

In a dutch oven, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse in cold water; drain again. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk the vinaigrette ingredients. In a large bowl, combine the pasta, spinach, tomatoes, feta cheese, onions and olives. Add vinaigrette; toss to coat. Serve immediately.

Serves: 10
Points: 7 points for 1 1/2 cups

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Grilled Taco Burger and Potato Packs

I was looking for something new and easy to take with us for camping and I found this wonderful foil pack recipe. I love cooking over the fire while we are camping... Everything just seems to taste so much better!! We LOVED this recipe and it will definitely be a do over when we go again... The cheese dip that I picked was a little too spicy for the kids but other then that it was a definite hit!

Grilled Taco Burger and Potato Packs
(recipe found at www.bettycrocker.com)

1 pound ground beef
1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
2 tablespoons taco seasoning mix
1/4 cup milk
3 cups frozen southern style diced hashbrown potatoes
1 cup cheese and salsa dip

Heat gas or charcoal grill. In medium bowl, mix ground beef, bread crumbs, taco seasoning mix and milk until well blended. Shape mixture into 4 patties. In another medium bowl, mix frozen potatoes and dip. Cut 4 (18x12") sheets of heavy duty foil. Place 1 patty on each; top with 1/4 of potato mixture. Wrap each packet securely using double-fold seals, allowing room for heat expansion. When grill is heated, place packets, seam side up, on grill over medium heat; cover grill. Cook 15-25 minutes, rearranging packets several times, until patties are thoroughly cooked.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Orange Chicken with Asparagus

I thought that this would be a new take on another chicken dish and it did not disappoint. I love the asian flavor of this and the asparagus was wonderful with it... I enjoyed this meal, even with all the fighting to get my kids to eat the asparagus! :)

Orange Chicken with Asparagus

1 tablespoon sesame oil
4 ounces chicken, sliced into strips
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 cups asparagus, chopped
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
1 orange, zested and juiced

Heat sesame oil in large skillet over medium heat. Saute chicken, garlic and red pepper flakes for about 7 minutes. Add asparagus and cook 3 minutes more. In small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, honey, sesame seeds, orange juice and zest. Add to skillet and cook 1 minute. Serve over brown rice.

Monday, July 9, 2012

PB and Chocolate Microwave Cake & The Secret Recipe Club

It's that time of the month again - Secret Recipe Club time!! Let me tell you, this one was a tough one for me... Not because of the blog that I got, http://bizzybakesb.blogspot.com/, cause I found a bunch of recipes that I wanted to try from here. No... it's the summer and all things obviously go crazy around here during the summer! :) SRC went a little wackadoo for a bit, so we got our assignments a little later then usual... Not a biggie, if it weren't for the fact that we were leaving for vacation in the middle of June and on top of that, my oven gave out!! The part is back ordered so I am still ovenless which is KILLING me - especially when I was all set to try these fabulous looking Cheese Hashbrown Muffins and this yummy looking Blueberry Streusel Coffee Cake!

Lucky for me I had picked out numerous recipes to try and the Peanut Butter and Chocolate Mini Cake required only a microwave!! YAY for me! :) I have made microwave cakes in the past and enjoyed them quite a bit so I was excited to see how this one would turn out. I was not disappointed... They were super yummy and wonderful to have warm out of the microwave! Thanks for the fun recipe, my kids and I loved it! Sorry for the horrid picture = obviously my camera and I need to have a talk also...

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Microwave Cake
(recipe found at http://bizzybakesb.blogspot.com/)

1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 heaping tablespoon flour
2 tablespoons peanut butter
1 tablespoon chocolate chips

In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients except chocolate chips. Add chips and stir well. Pour into greased ramekin, cup or mug. Microwave for 45-60 seconds or until done. Be sure to get a container that will be big enough or you might end up with this...

and while the kids still loved biting it off the container - it might not be the presentation that you are looking for! :)

Tip onto plate and enjoy! (Or just eat it right out of the cup like we did! :)

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Red, White and Blueberry Poke Cake

Happy Fourth of July! I hope you are having a fabulous day spending time with friends, family and hopefully not having to work! Today's recipe is dual purpose... It fits the 4th of July theme wonderfully and it also introduces you to the cake that I made for my son's birthday! It was a hit and I am sure that you will enjoy it too...

My 4 year old wanted a Spiderman cake this year for his birthday and I was completely game for making it for him... While we were walking through the grocery store he "I spied" these Spiderman stickers that you just place on your cake. He thought that they were the best thing ever and wanted those for his cake. Okay - way easier for mom! :) So, we just found the cake that we wanted and stuck on the stickers... Wham, Bam, Thank you Mom! This cake was one of the moistest cakes that I have had and everyone that tried it thought it was awesome... Love when easier also means tasty!

Red, White and Blueberry Poke Cake
(recipe found in Taste of Home)

1 package white cake mix
1 1/4 cups water
2 eggs
1/4 cup canola oil

Strawberry Gelatin
1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries
1/2 cup water
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon strawberry gelatin

Blueberry Gelatin
1 cup fresh blueberries
3/4 cup water
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons berry blue gelatin

Frosting and Filling
2 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup powdered sugar

In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, water, eggs and oil; beat on low speed for 30 seconds. Beat on medium for 2 minutes. Pour into 2 greased and floured 8" round baking pans. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool completely in pans on wire racks. For strawberry gelatin, in a small saucepan, combine the strawberries, water and sugar; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 2-3 minutes or until berries are soft. Strain into a small bowl; discard pulp. Dissolve gelatin in syrup; cool to room temperature. Repeat steps to make blueberry gelatin. Use a skewer to poke holes in the top of each cake layer. Pour cooled strawberry mixture over one cake and cooled blueberry mixture over remaining cake. Cover cakes with plastic wrap; refrigerate until gelatin is set, about 2 hours. In a large bowl, beat cream until it begins to thicken. Add powdered sugar; beat until soft peaks form. Run a knife around edge of pans. Remove strawberry cake to a serving plate; spread with 2 cup whipped cream. Top with blueberry cake. Frost cake with remaining whipped cream. Chill 1 hour before serving.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Chocolate Banana Muffins

These were some of the best muffins that I have ever made... I'm dead serious! :) They ranked right up there with my To Die For Blueberry Muffins. The kids had them for snack and they all wanted more - guess I will have to double the batch next time I make them!

Chocolate Banana Muffins
(recipe found at www.edesiasnotebook.com)

3 very ripe bananas
1/2 cup canola oil
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Coat muffin pan with baking spray. Place bananas in a large bowl; mash. Add oil, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla, mixing until well combined. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt; mix well. Add flour mixture to banana mixture and stir until just combined. Gently fold in the white chocolate chips. Spoon batter evenly into each muffin cup. Place in oven and bake 22-25 minutes or until a tester inserted into center comes out clean. Let muffins cool on rack.

Monday, July 2, 2012


I love rhubarb but I have mainly used it in desserts. So, when I saw this recipe I wanted to try it... It was pretty easy to make and since it lasts in the fridge for a few weeks I figured that I might as well go ahead and double it. Good thing I did... Since I brought it with me to a party a few others decided that they needed to try it too and they loved it as much as I did!! It was gone that same day... Guess I will be heading back to my stash of rhubarb to make some more!

(recipe found at www.tablespoon.com)

2 cups chopped rhubarb
1 cup sugar
2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
4 ounces clear tequila
4 ounces lime juice
lime juice, coarse salt and sugar, optional (to rim the glasses)

In a medium saucepan over high heat, bring rhubarb, sugar, water and vanilla to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 6-7 minutes. Remove from heat; cool to room temperature. Strain syrup from rhubarb into a measuring cup. Discard rhubarb and pour 8 ounces rhubarb simple syrup into a cocktail shaker. (The remainder can be refrigerated in a covered container for 1-2 weeks.) Add tequila and lime juice to cocktail shaker and cover; shake to combine. Moisten the rims of 4 glasses with lime juice; roll rims in coarse salt and sugar, if desired. Place a few ice cubes in each glass. Pour margarita mixture evenly into prepared glasses.