Friday, August 31, 2012

Weekly Line Up - 8/31-9/7

Well, we are back at it!! Daycare started back up this past Monday and school is about to start on Tuesday... I can't believe how fast the summer flew! Needless to say, we are ready to get back into a routine!! My kids need it and I DEFINITELY need it! :) As much fun as it is to run all summer with my kiddos and have a lot of freedom, it is nice to have structure and routine in our lives! :) Not that we don't run during the school year, cause we do! So, bring on the long weekend and the first day of school - it should be an awesome week!

Saturday - cereal (i know! lazy day for mom, dad is going to a tractor pull!)
Sunday - *Lime Tilapia
Monday - Burgers and Hot Dogs on the grill (we are hosting the party!)
Tuesday - *Mexican Beef Cobbler
Wednesday - Taco Night
Thursday - *Lemon Orange Shrimp and Rice
Friday - eating out (on our way to our last camping trip of the year!)

Extras: *Nutty Berry Trail Mix, *Jello Pineapples, *Peach Cobbler Muffins

* = New Recipes

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Cherry Cheesecake Dip

This was a delicious dip that was so incredibly easy to make... I mean come on 3 ingredients?? All I had to do was throw it all into a bowl and mix it up AND it was tasty! There is a packet of graham cracker crumbs that are in the box also and I think that this dip would be even better with the crumbs either added into it or else rolled in it. I would definitely buy a bigger tub of cool whip if I was going to do this because it got a little thick with the small tub of cool whip that I bought.

Cherry Cheesecake Dip
(recipe found on pinterest via

jello no bake cheesecake mix
tub of cool whip
1 can cherry pie filling

Combine packet of cheesecake mix and cool whip. Chill in fridge for an hour. Top with cherry pie filling and serve with graham crackers, animal crackers, nilla wafers, etc...

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Mini Chicken Pot Pies

These were a delicious alternative to making a big pot pie. I love the heartiness of the meal but it was nice to tone it down a bit with the individual servings. The kids loved these and they were delicious warmed up the next day for lunch too!

Mini Chicken Pot Pies
(recipe found on pinterest via

1 chicken breast, cooked and diced
1 (14.5 ounces) cream of chicken or cream of everything mix
1 cup frozen mixed veggies
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon onion salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 can pillsbury biscuits

Preheat oven to 400. In a large bowl combine all ingredients beside biscuits. Press biscuits into muffin pan spreading up the sides. Spoon chicken mixture into biscuits and bake for 15 minutes or until biscuits are browned. Let rest while you set the table and then dig in! :)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

No Bake PB Oatmeal Cookies

Brody ended his third level of swimming lessons this summer and of course that meant it was time to send another yummy treat to another swimming lessons instructor. I decided to try this new recipe and I was not disappointed and neither was his swimming lessons teacher! :) These were like a little bite of peanut butter balls and they were so delicious... Very easy to throw together!

No Bake PB Oatmeal Cookies
(recipe found on pinterest via

2 cups sugar
dash of salt
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup milk
1 cup peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups oatmeal

In a large saucepan, bring to sugar, salt, butter and milk to a boil. Boil mixture for 1 minutes and remove from heat. Add peanut butter and vanilla and stir to combine. Add oatmeal and stir until combined. Drop mixture onto waxed paper by teaspoonfuls. Drizzle with a chocolate glaze. (I used 1 tablespoon baking cocoa, 2 teaspoons crisco and 3 1/2 teaspoons powdered sugar. Microwave until melted and stir to combine.)

Monday, August 27, 2012

Cake Batter Bars

I was definitely in a sweet mode when I was planning the treats that I was bringing for the numerous potlucks we were involved in last week... These were on the top of my list when I got my oven back and they were worth it!! I doubled the recipe since we were going to be with a lot of people - be forewarned... make sure you use a big enough pan!! I just threw it in a 9x13 and it was not big enough. Definitely need to use a bigger pan next time - it took a LONG time to bake and the edges got too done while the middle stayed soggy... So, double it but make sure you get the right pan!

Cake Batter Bars
(recipe found on pinterest via

1 1/4 cups funfetti cake mix
3/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
5 heaping tablespoons sprinkles

Preheat oven to 350. Grease an 8x8 pan. Cream sugars, butter, egg, yolk and vanilla. Gradually mix in flour, baking soda and cake mix. Stir in sprinkles and spread batter into pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until top is lightly browned and center is still slightly jiggly. Cool before cutting.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Mexican Dip

Not knowing whether or not my oven would be working or not I went with a quick dip that I could bring along to the bean bag tournament that we were heading to a few weeks ago. Man, was this gooey, yummy and super easy to throw together... I just wanted to keep eating it! Definitely a redo on my part - loved it!!

Mexican Dip
(recipe found on pinterest)

2 pounds ground beef
16 ounce velveeta
16 ounce refried beans
large jar of taco sauce

Brown ground beef. Add all ingredients to crock pot and stir. Let everything melt together and stir together again to combine. Serve with chips.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Mexican Ranch Burgers

I love a good burger cooked up on the grill but I also like a little variety in my burgers! This was a new recipe that I found and it was delicious... Not too spicy for the kids but it had a wonderful flavor.

Mexican Ranch Burgers
(recipe found on pinterest via

1 pound extra lean ground beef
1 packet ranch dressing
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 tablespoon chili powder

Mix all ingredients until well combined. Form into patties and grill until done to your liking.

Serves: 4
Points: 4

Monday, August 20, 2012

Shrimp Cobb Salad

This was a wonderful take on a cobb salad! We all loved the taste and it was delicious the next day too... The presentation of this salad would be great for a potluck, especially if you take the time to layer it in a trifle dish. Since it was just us at home I didn't take the time to pretty it up, but it definitely tastes just as good either way! :) It was a refreshing meal on a hot day!

Shrimp Cobb Salad
(recipe found on pinterest via

16 ounces large shrimp, cooked and cooled
1 tablespoon lime juice
chipotle chili powder and salt, to taste
6 cups romaine lettuce, shredded
15 ounces black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup corn kernels
2 tablespoons red onion, chopped
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
juice of 1/2 a lime
1 seedless cucumber, chopped
2 cups diced tomato
1 ripe avocado, diced
1 cup mexican cheese blend

Rinse shrimp and chop into large chunks. Toss with salt, chipotle chili powder and lime juice. Set aside. Combine beans, corn, red onion, cilantro, juice of 1/2 a lime and salt to taste.

In a large glass bowl, like a trifle dish, layer ingredients beginning with lettuce, black bean mixture, cucumbers, tomatoes, avocado, cheese and ending with the shrimp on top.

Serves: 6
Points: 6 per 2 cup servings

Friday, August 17, 2012

Weekly Line Up 8/14-8/22

Since my oven is back up and running I did a lot of baking this week and I loved it! We are heading on a little family vacation this weekend and I was busy baking up some goodies for us to take along... chocolate chip cookies, banana bread, and some blueberry muffins for breakfast. We are all very excited to go and I have some new crockpot recipes that I am trying out for while we are gone. We are taking the camper so starting everything in the morning and then having it cooking while we are out having fun sounds like a grand plan to me! Have a great week - I know we will! :)

Tuesday - *Easy Chicken Pot Pie
Wednesday - Taco Night
Thursday - Hot Dogs
Friday - Lunch - BLT's and fruit/Supper - *French Dip Sandwich and Corn on the Cob
Saturday - Lunch - Eating out/Supper - *Crockpot Ranch Pork Chops
Sunday - Lunch - Turkey and Cheese Pinwheels/Supper - Eating out
Monday - Pizza
Tuesday - Taco Stuffed Shells
Wednesday - Taco Night

* New Recipes

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Laughing Cow Wraps

This was a fabulous lunch for my kids this summer! You can use plain cream cheese but I think that the additional flavor of the laughing cow cheese gives it a little kick. Super yummy and a great way to get rid of some of the cucumbers that are filling up my kitchen from the garden! :)

Laughing Cow Wraps
(recipe found on pinterest via

4 tablespoons laughing cow cheese, whichever flavor you desire
1/4 cup cucumber, chopped
3 flour tortillas
1/4 pound sliced turkey

Stir together cheese and cucumbers. Spread on tortillas, top with turkey and roll the tortilla up.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Honey Mustard Pork Tenderloin

This was a super tasty way to cook up pork tenderloin or roast... Talk about easy and with very few ingredients. We had this with corn on the cob and it made a fabulous meal! I didn't freeze it but I did use a frozen pork roast and put it straight into the crockpot. It was delicious and the whole family went back for seconds!

Honey Mustard Pork Tenderloin
(recipe found on pinterest via

pork tenderloin (I used a pork roast since that is what I had)
1/4 cup grainy mustard
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, if desired
garlic clove, crushed

If freezing, place pork in zip lock bag. If preparing immediately place pork in crockpot. (I used a frozen pork roast). Mix together remaining ingredients and pour over pork. Freeze. To cook, place frozen pork into crockpot and cook on low for 8 hours.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Hot Chocolate

I'm keeping this recipe in my back pocket for this winter! :) As part of the Secret Recipe Club that I am a part of I had found a few recipes that I was able to try even without my stove. I chose to post that day about the hoecakes recipe that she had on her blog but I also tried this fabulous hot chocolate. It was a little warm for hot chocolate but it still tasted delicious! The coconut milk gave the hot chocolate a different taste then normal and it was fabulous. I needed to do a little experimenting with how much milk to add in order to not have it quite so thick but once I got it right it was a great chocolatey treat to top off my night... that and a great book - perfect!

I halved this recipe and still had enough for a cup of hot chocolate for 4 nights. I stored the leftover hot chocolate mixture in the fridge and added milk and reheated as much as I wanted...

Hot Chocolate
(recipe found at

3 cups chipped dark chocolate (I used a bag of dark chocolate chips which was perfect for a half a batch)
2 cans coconut milk
4 tablespoons sugar

Bring coconut milk to a simmer in a large saucepan. Add chocolate and sugar and whisk until completely melted. Mixture will be very thick. Add milk to create desired consistency.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Chicken Taco Chili

I love my crockpot for soups but with this summer being so incredibly warm (for Minnesota) I haven't busted out any of my favorite soups... We had a rainy day last week and it was the perfect time to make a soup - yay!! This was super tasty and would have been perfect with some corn chips sprinkled on top. Unfortunately that was a thought that I had as I was putting the soup on the table! :) Oh well, crackers work just as well...

Chicken Taco Chili
(recipe found on pinterest)

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can corn
1 (16 ounces) tomato sauce
1 (28 ounces) diced tomatoes
1 packet taco seasoning
1 tablespoon chili powder
3 boneless chicken breasts

Combine all ingredients in crockpot and cook on high for 6 hours or low for 10 hours. Shred chicken and stir.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Weekly Line Up - 8/7-8/14

My oven is fixed!! Wahoo!! My excitement is running over and the first thing that I did yesterday was bake up a batch of peach crisp We just picked up our box of peaches from the fire department and it was time to celebrate! :) Oh how I have missed my oven...

I had already made up my meal plan for this week before I got the call that told me my oven part was in so a lot of my meals and treats for this week are still part of the crockpot and stovetop... We have a lot going on this weekend which means I have a chance to bring a few of the dips that I have been waiting for a chance to try... Definitely on a sweet treat kick this week! Can't wait to have a little more flexibility next week though!

Tuesday - waffles and side pork
Wednesday - Pizza Ranch
Thursday - *Garlic and Brown Sugar Chicken
Friday - *Skinny Mexican Burgers and corn on the cob
Saturday - *Mexican Dip (my part of the bean bag tourney and potluck we are going to.)
Sunday - *Cake Batter Bars and *Cherry Cheesecake Dip (lake trip!)
Monday - *Dunkaroo Dip (going away party for my cousin)
Tuesday - *Mini Chicken Pot Pies

Extras: *No Bake Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

* New Recipes

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken

This was a simple recipe that I was able to throw together in no time and was done super fast... This would be perfect for those days when I forget to take something out of the freezer and need something quick! It was delicious and a great filling meal for the kids and I!

Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken
(recipe found at pinterest via

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, frozen
1 cup salsa
1 packet taco seasoning
1 can cream of chicken soup (or use cream of everything soup mix)
1/2 cup sour cream

Spray crockpot with nonstick cooking spray. Put chicken in the bottom of crockpot and cover with taco seasoning. Mix cream of chicken soup and salsa together until combined. Pour over chicken. Cook on high for 4 hours. Shred chicken and stir in sour cream. Serve on tortillas.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Coconut Oatmeal No Bake Cookies

Since my oven is still out I was in a pinch about what to make for Beau's swimming lessons teacher. I try to make a little something to say thank you for the hard work that my kids' teachers do - especially when Beau can be a little shyster... These turned out pretty good and were a little bit of a change but I definitely still like the regular no bake cookies better!

Coconut Oatmeal No Bake Cookies
(recipe found on pinterest via

2 cups sugar
3/4 cup butter
2/3 cup milk
1 (3.4 ounces) box coconut flavor pudding mix (I didn't have this, so I substituted cheesecake flavor)
2 1/2 cups quick cooking oatmeal
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

In a large pan mix together sugar, butter and milk. Bring to a boil and let boil for 2 minutes. Turn off heat, add in pudding mix, oatmeal, coconut and vanilla. Stir and let sit for 5 minutes. Drop by spoonfuls onto wax paper and let cool. Store in airtight container.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Strawberry Banana Smoothie

Yep - here's another smoothie!! I didn't have any spinach to throw in so it turned out a beautiful pink color... If you have some spinach, throw some in and you won't even taste it - fabulous and extra healthy!

Strawberry Banana Smoothie

1 banana, frozen
handful of strawberries
1 cup milk
1 cup yogurt (I used raspberry cause that is what I had...)

Add all ingredients to blender and blend until smooth.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Hoecakes and The Secret Recipe Club

As I spent some time looking through Camilla's blog I was amazed by all the interesting ideas that she has and the variety of recipes that there is to choose from. It definitely was a culinary adventure just to peruse through her blog... there were a lot of ingredients that left me thinking "Where would I find those around my area?" LOL! So keeping in my mind that I am STILL without an oven and that I needed a recipe that I could get my hands on the ingredients I set out to find something that I knew my family and I would enjoy... It didn't take long until I had a list of recipes that I want to try as soon as possible that fit my criteria! :)

I can't wait until my oven is fixed to try her Sour Cream Rhubarb Muffins! On my list that fit the "no oven" part of the criteria was also Chocolate en Leche de Coco and her Savory Potato Pancakes.

But for today's secret recipe club, I chose to make hoecakes. Now I have to tell you that I have seen people talk about hoecakes before but have never gotten around to figuring out what they were let alone how to make them. So, I figured that this was the perfect opportunity to make them. I am a big fan of cornmeal and since this is obviously a key ingredient I figured this would be a sure fire recipe!! Obviously my kids thought the same thing too since I only made a single batch and that left them all begging for more. Next time, and yes there WILL be a next time, I will definitely have to double the recipe! My oldest ate 4 of them on his own!! So, thanks Camilla for the great recipe, we thoroughly enjoyed it...

(recipe found at

1 cup flour (next time I will try 1/2 whole wheat and 1/2 all purpose)
1 cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup butter, melted

Mix all dry ingredients together in a bowl. Add wet ingredients and stir until just combined. Let sit while preheating griddle or pan. Coat griddle with butter and place batter in scoopfuls onto butter coated griddle. Cook until browned on both sides. Camilla used a fennel pollen honey butter to top hers, I just went with plain old butter and syrup! :)

Friday, August 3, 2012

Weekly Line Up 7/30-8/7

Ugh... Going on over a month with no stove and I am getting extremely annoyed!! Secret Recipe Club is right around the corner again and with no stove it makes my picks very limited... I am definitely ready for that part to come in - made the call today and hopefully I will hear good news back from the repair guy! Okay, done whining...

Other then that - cooking this week is back in my house since bible school is done and the summer meal program ended on Tuesday... Time to bust out the crockpot, stove top and grill! :) I have a lot of recipes pinned on pinterest that I have been dying to try out so keeping that criteria in mind I scrounged through and found some that sound really tasty... Can't wait to try them out!

Tuesday - *Hoecakes
Wednesday - Taco Night
Thursday - Cocoa and Chili Rubbed Pork Chops
Friday - *Chicken Taco Chili
Saturday - *Honey Mustard Pork Tenderloin
Sunday - Waffles and Side Pork
Monday - *Shrimp Cobb Salad
Tuesday - *Pasta Toss

Extras: *Laughing Cow Wraps

* New Recipes

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Cilantro Lime Chicken Sandwiches

Yumm.... It was a fabulous night that we had these sandwiches! The avocado and cream cheese spread pushed this sandwich over the top! Everything is better grilled!

Cilantro Lime Chicken Sandwiches
(recipe found in Taste of Home Healthy Cooking)

1/2 cup canola oil
1/4 cup lime juice
4 teaspoon ground cumin
8 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1 cup fat free spreadable cream cheese
1/3 cup minced fresh cilantro
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
8 whole wheat hamburger buns, split
1 medium ripe avocado, peeled and thinly sliced
2 medium tomatoes, sliced

In a large resealable plastic bag, combine the oil, lime juice and cumin. Add the chicken; seal bag and turn to coat. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. In a small bowl, combine the cream cheese, cilantro, onion, salt and pepper; chill until serving. Drain and discard marinade. Grill chicken, covered, over medium heat or broil 4" from heat for 6-8 minutes on each side or until thermometer reads 170. Spread cream cheese mixture onto buns. layer with avocado, tomatoes and chicken; replace bun tops.

Serves: 8
Points: 10 points per sandwich

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Egg Brunch Casserole

This was a great breakfast recipe that I busted out while we were camping a few weekends ago and let me tell you - waking up to the smell of this in our camper in the morning and knowing that I can just get up and dish it up for the kids and us was the best feeling in the world!! We did all the hard work while we were in the camper waiting for the kids to settle in for the night and enjoyed the fruits of our labor in the morning... It was delicious!

Egg Brunch Casserole
(recipe found at

6-8 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 red or green pepper, chopped
1 (2 pound) bag frozen hashbrowns
1 1/4 cups shredded cheese
12 eggs
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon dried dill
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Spray crockpot with nonstick cooking spray. Saute onion, garlic and bell pepper for 5 minutes. Place 1/3 of frozen hashbrowns in the bottom of crock pot. Add 1/3 bacon, and 1/3 onion, garlic, pepper mixture and 1/3 cheese. Repeat layers, ending with cheese. In a large bowl, mix eggs, milk, dill, salt and pepper. Pour over ingredients in crockpot, cover and turn on low. Cook for 8-10 hours.