Monday, September 30, 2013

Cherry Coke Crockpot Chicken

This was a fabulous, quick meal that I was able to throw in the crockpot and forget about until supper time. I love that! Since we are on the move a lot, I LOVE my crockpot for ready to eat meals as we walk in the door...

Cherry Coke Crockpot Chicken
(recipe found on pinterest via

4 chicken breasts
1 container barbecue sauce
1/2 can cherry coke
1/2 cup brown sugar

Place all ingredients in crockpot and cook on low for 5 hours. Pull out chicken and shred. Place back in crockpot with sauce to cover and serve on your favorite type of bun!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Grilled Shrimp Scampi

Around here we are a hearty bunch! That means that we grill all year round, even if we have to shovel our way across the deck to get to the grill and scrape off the top of it... There's just something about grilled meat that is so fabulous! So, that's the way we cooked this scampi and it was wonderful - a perfect, light meal! Easy and yummy...

Grilled Shrimp Scampi
(recipe found in Taste of Home)

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 pounds uncooked jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined

In a large bowl, whisk the first five ingredients. Add shrimp; toss to coat. Refrigerate, covered, 30 minutes. Thread shrimp onto skewers. Grill, covered, over medium heat or broil 4" from heat 6-8 minutes or until shrimp turn pink, turning once. Serve with rice.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Blueberry Cinnamon Rolls

So, I have never really made cinnamon or caramel rolls from scratch before. Give me dough and my cooking prowess just goes down the drain... I don't know what it is, they turn out yummy but they look super funky! So, I just roll with it and continue to plod along! I think that I have said a few times that the way it is displayed isn't as important to me as how it tastes. These definitely taste fabulous!! Yummy, gooey and full of blueberry goodness... They were a hit at my house, and we even had company here when we had them! :)

Blueberry Cinnamon Rolls
(recipe found on pinterest via

2 cups milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
4 cups + 1/2 cup flour
1/2 heaping teaspoon baking powder
1/2 scant teaspoon baking soda
1/2 tablespoon salt

1 pint blueberries
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2-3 teaspoons lemon juice
3/4 cup water

Blueberries for Sprinkling
1 pint blueberries
2 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons cinnamon
2 tablespoons flour

Cream Cheese Frosting

For the blueberry filling, combine 1 pint of the blueberries, sugar and cornstarch in a small saucepan. Stir in lemon juice and water. Turn heat to medium and cook, stirring often, until mixture begins to thicken slightly. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

For the dough, mix milk, oil and sugar in a pan. Scald to 150 degrees. Let cool until lukewarm, about 45 minutes. Sprinkle in yeast and let sit. Then add 4 cups flour and stir mixture together. Cover and let sit for one hour.

Add 1/2 C flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir mixture together.

Divide the dough in half. Sprinkle surface generously with flour and form into a rectangle, roll the dough thin, maintaining a rectangular shape. Spread half of the blueberry filling onto the dough. Sprinkle half of the additional blueberries that were for sprinkling on top. Roll the dough toward you. Pinch the seam to seal it. Grease foil cake or pie pans. Cut rolls 3/4 to 1 inch thick and lay in greased pans. Repeat with other half of dough and blueberry filling.

Cover the rolls and let sit for 30 minutes.

Bake at 375 for 15 to 18 minutes.

Generously drizzle frosting over warm rolls after they come out of the oven.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Samoa Popcorn

These took a little bit of work, but are totally worth it! I am a big fan of the samoa cookies that they sell at Girl Scouts time, but didn't realize that there is a knock off kind made by Keebler. Pretty close to the same and pretty tasty! :) They are worth the effort of adding to this recipe! Enjoy!

Somoa Popcorn
(recipe found on pinterest via

2 bags of light popcorn, popped (or equivalent of 2 bags)
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
12 tablespoons butter, cubed
4 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups sweetened coconut
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
1 package samoa Cookies

Pop popcorn and set aside in a large bowl. Put coconut in cold skillet and heat to medium low. It will take 10-15 minutes or so for it to toast up, watch it carefully because once it scorches easily. Once it is a light golden color remove from heat and set aside. Chop cookies into small bit-sized pieces and set aside. On counter or a nearby table line a few sheets of wax paper so you can spread you popcorn onto it when mixing the caramel. You don't have to do this, but it makes it easier. To make the caramel combine the butter, brown sugar, water and corn syrup in a medium saucepan. Whisk ingredients together and bring to a boil. Preheat oven to 200. Boil without stirring for approx 5 minutes until candy thermometer reads 250. If you don't have a candy thermometer, 5 minutes is just about the right amount of time. Remove from heat and immediately whisk in baking soda and vanilla. Pour your caramel over your popcorn and stir until it's all coated. Now pour popcorn onto waxed paper and sprinkle coconut on top of popcorn evenly. (I skipped this step and just spread it out when I put it into the baking pan.) In a large roasting pan or baking sheet bake popcorn in oven for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Now spread you popcorn back onto the wax paper and sprinkle chopped cookies evenly on top. Melt semi-sweet chocolate in microwave until melted, stirring every 30 seconds. Drizzle melted chocolate on top of cookies and popcorn. Let the chocolate set and break apart.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Sugar Cookies

These were some of the most fantastic sugar cookies that I have ever tasted! I was super excited about these because I am always trying to find a good sugar cookie recipe that I can make... Cut-outs never seem to work for me, so I make do with just shaping them into a ball shape! :) These reminded me a little of the yummy Lofthouse cookies that I slobber over every time I see them in the store. Soft and yummy! There is a glaze or frosting that goes on top, but honestly they would have been just as good without!

In the interest of respecting the wishes of the blogger that I found this recipe from, I am not sharing her recipe on my blog, but linking to her blog. I hope you take the time to check it out... They seriously are one of the best sugar cookies that I have tasted! Sorry no picture this time, I must have been too busy gobbling all the cookies down to take time to take a picture! :)

Find the recipe here!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Rainbow Cake In a Jar

I made this fun cakes in a jar for my kids' teachers this year to start the year off. I couldn't post earlier because my daughter just got started and I didn't want to ruin the surprise for her teacher! :) Everyone thought that they were super fun and my kids loved that they got to help make them and eat the extras that we had... This recipe makes 4 jars and I had to make it twice since the boys' meet the teacher night was a couple weeks earlier then my daughters. That meant 2 extra jars each time and the kids were definitely excited about that! I attached a label on the side that read "I'm so LUCKY to have you as my teacher this year!"

Rainbow Cake in a Jar
(recipe found at

1 white cake mix
1 whipped white frosting
3 egg whites, for cake mix
1/3 cup vegetable oil, for cake mix
1 1/4 cup water, for cake mix
neon food colors
regular food colors
4 (1 quart) wide mouth canning jars
nonstick cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350. Wash canning jars and dry thoroughly. Spray glass jar with cooking spray. Make cake batter according to directions on box. Divide batter evenly between 5 small bowls, approximately 1 cup of batter in each bowl. Add 15 drops of neon pink food coloring to the first bowl. Add 14 drops of regular yellow food coloring to the second bowl. Add 24 drops of regular green food coloring to the third bowl. Add 7 drops of neon blue food coloring to the fourth bowl. Add 8 drops of regular red, 7 drops of regular blue and 3 drops of neon purple food coloring to the fifth bowl. Stir each bowl to blend well. Spoon about 1/4 cup of each color batter into each of the jars. Use a paper towel to wipe any spills or drips from the jars. Place the jars in a glass baking dish and add 1/4" of water to the bottom of the dish. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until cake tops spring back from being touched. Allow cakes to cool completely before frosting. Spread frosting over top of cake and decorate as desired.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

No Bake Peanut Butter Bars

As usual, no picture with these treats, since I took them to a night out that we were heading to. Good thing that I brought them out with us though because if they would have been left at my house, I would have eaten everything last one of them... They were so simple to throw together and soooo delicious! But come on, was there any doubt? I mean really, chocolate and peanut butter? No brainer recipe here!

No Bake Peanut Butter Bars
(recipe found on pinterest via

1 cup butter, melted
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 cups powdered sugar)
1 cup + 4 tablespoons peanut butter
1 1/2 cups milk chocolate chips

Mix together butter, graham cracker crumbs, powdered sugar, and 1 cup peanut butter in a large bowl until well blended. Press evenly into the bottom of a 9×13 pan. In the microwave, melt the chocolate chips with the peanut butter, stirring every 30 seconds until melted until smooth. Spread over the peanut butter layer. Refrigerate for at least one hour before cutting into squares. See what I mean? Another super easy, delicious recipe!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Minion Cupcakes

So, on the tail of Brody's birthday, we also had Beau's birthday party. What was I thinking, I'm not sure, but I decided to do back to back parties for the boys... Good thing Brody's cake was so easy - Beau's was a little more complicated! Not much more, but you saw how easy Brody's cake was! :) I'm not always the best cake decorator, but my kids loved it and that is all that counts!

Minion Cupcakes
(Recipe found on pinterest via

1 box cake mix, your preferred flavor
1 can frosting
blue food coloring
twinkies (or something similar)
white smarties (this takes a lot of packages of smarties to find all white ones!)

Bake up your cupcakes as directed on box. Allow to cool and frost with frosting mix to the blue tint that you desire. Cut twinkies in half. Place 2 smarties on the twinkie half, using frosting as a glue to get them to stay. Add frosting lines for glasses and mouth. Place twinkie on top of cupcake. Repeat until all cupcakes are minionized!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Minecraft Creeper Cake

So, I don't know much about minecraft, but I know that I have 2 boys that insist on playing it on their ipods all the time!! They have a blast with it and they have a bunch of cousins that are addicted to it as well. So, when I saw this birthday cake on pinterest, I knew I had to give it a whirl for Brody's birthday... It was so simple that I almost felt like I was cheating him! :) It saved me some time and he loved it! YAY!!

Minecraft Creeper Cake
(idea found on pinterest)

1 box cake mix, whatever flavor you prefer
1 container white frosting
green food coloring
kit kat bars (I bought 2 king size to have enough - for the cake and me, I love kit kats!)

Prepare cake according to directions on box. Mix green food coloring with frosting until you have the green shade that you desire. Frost cake and place kit kat pieces on cake to look like picture. Walah! You are finished... See, told you it was easy peasy!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Southwestern Slow Cooker Chicken

Another quick crock pot recipe to not heat up your kitchen... Perfect for summer days or for winter ones when you don't want to have to cook when you get home from a busy day! This was super yummy and we have had it a couple of times. I served it with the chicken whole and I have also shredded up the chicken and served it over rice. Delish either way!

Southwestern Slow Cooker Chicken
(recipe found at

2 cans (15 1/2 ounces) corn, drained
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 jar (16 ounces) chunky salsa, divided
6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
southwest seasoning blend
1 cup low fat shredded mexican cheese blend

Combine the corn, black beans and 1/2 cup salsa in a crock pot. Season chicken with seasoning blend and add to crock pot. Top with remaining salsa. Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 7-8 hours. Sprinkle with cheese and cover for 5 additional minute to melt cheese.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Barbecue Meat Loaf Minis

My kids are big on anything that they can pick up and eat with their hands. Meatloaf in muffin form? That works perfectly! These were a tasty supper that was easy to throw together and even take with us to a game!

Barbecue Meat Loaf Minis
(recipe found in Taste of Home)

1 (6 ounces) package stuffing mix
1 cup water
2 tablespoons barbecue sauce
1 pound ground beef
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Combine stuffing mix, water and barbecue sauce. Mix in ground beef. Place 1/3 cup into each of 12 muffin cups. Bake at 375, uncovered, for 18-22 minutes or until meat is no longer pink in middle. Sprinkle tops with cheese; bake 2-4 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Patty's Three Bean Hot Dish

This was a dish that I made for a family gathering and while everyone raved about it, of course I didn't take a picture! I even made it twice this summer, that's how much we liked it... I don't know how to get myself out the door on time, so the thought of taking a picture before I leave doesn't even cross my mind! So, you will have to mentally picture this one and know that it is worth making! In fact writing this post has made me a little hungry for it and it might be on the menu soon again! :) Maybe I will get a picture of it then... Feel free to mix up what types of beans that you add to it. I couldn't find butter beans at my grocery store, so I substituted black beans one time and pinto beans another...

Patty's Three Bean Hot Dish
(recipe found at

2 cans pork n' beans
1 cans kidney beans, drained
1 cans butter beans, drained
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup ketchup
1 small onion, cut into small pieces
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 pound bacon, chopped
1 pound ground beef, browned

Fry chopped bacon in skillet. When almost crispy add onion and continue to cook until bacon is done. Drain. Add all ingredients to crockpot. Stir and cook on high for 4 hours. Stir and then cook for an additional 2 hours.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Tex Mex SLoppy Joes

Again, this was a tasty meal that didn't take a lot of effort to create. My kids enjoy sloppy joes, especially since it is one of the few times we get to have chips with our meal! I just love a salty potato chip (especially the ruffled kind) with sloppy joes, I don't know what there is about that combo! I was worried about the heat factor with my kiddos and they didn't make a peep about it, just gobbled it right up... This is a meal that could easily be frozen for future use or thrown in the crockpot to heat through. Make it however is easiest and most convenient for you!

Tex Mex Sloppy Joes
(recipe found in Taste of Home)

1 pound ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup ketchup
1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies
1/2 cup beef broth
1/4 cup chili sauce
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
6 hamburger buns
2 tablespoons butter, softened

In a large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat for 6=8 minutes or until beef is no longer pink. Drain. Add garlic; cook 1-2 minutes longer. Stir in ketchup, chilies, broth, chili sauce and seasonings. Bring to a boil Reduce heat; simmer, uncevered, for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, spread cut sides of buns with butter. Place on baking sheets, buttered side up. Broil 4" from heat for 1-2 minutes or until toasted. Serve sloppy joes on buns!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Weekly Line Up - 9/6-9/13

One week down and I'm still at it! :) Seriously, I'm one of those people that needs to be on a schedule to get stuff accomplished and that is what is happening right now... September promises to be a crazy hectic month with three different family members moving, two to houses that are only within a mile of each other, but they have lived in their current homes for over 10 years and they each of 4 kids! You know what that means, a lot of stuff to move! So, I foresee a lot of moving parties in the next few weeks. Since I just finished up with knew surgery 2 1/2 weeks ago, that leaves me on the sidelines for much of this moving... So, I have volunteered for kid wrangling duty and also to provide a meal or 2 - much more enjoyable then moving boxes! :) So, here's our week in a nutshell!

Friday - *Five Cheese Jumbo Shells
Saturday - *Lil' Cheddar Meat Loaves and *Refrigerator Brownie Dessert
Sunday - *Taco Pie and *Weight Watchers Cobbler
Monday - Chicken on the grill
Tuesday - *Chow Mein Hotdish
Wednesday - Spinach Penne Salad
Thursday - *Pork Chops in the Crock Pot
Friday - Roast

Extras: *Rainbow Cake in a Jar

* = new recipe, with a post to come in the future, if it's a keeper!

So, that's what is on the plan for the week. Have a great one!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Chinese Chicken Stir Fry

Yum... a good stir fry is a fabulous thing in my book! I love the ease, once it is all chopped up, of throwing everything in the pan and boom - it's done in like 2 seconds! You know me and my speedy quick meals! Once again, I did a lot of chopping in my take on this dish - easier for the kids to eat and easier to hide some of the veggies that they might not be super excited about... So, chop, slice, dice - whatever floats your boat!

Chinese Chicken Stir Fry
(recipe found on pinterest via

3 chicken breasts
1 red pepper, chopped
1 yellow pepper, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
3 large carrots, chopped
1/2 onion, diced
20 edamame (I traded these out for pea pods)
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
pinch of red pepper flakes

Season chicken with salt and pepper and cut into bite size pieces. Heat skillet or wok to medium high and add oil. Allow to heat up and add veggies. Saute for about 3 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and stir fry until chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

I'm Baaaccck! (hopefully!)

So, obviously I thought that I was on summer vacation also... Or my kids helped me think that! I have missed my blogging and the recipes and pictures piling up around here tell me that I have a lot of catching up to do. So, hopefully now that we are back into the swing of things and I am more into a routine I will be able to get back to posting most days! Hope you all had a fabulous summer! Here's to me playing catch up! Check it out though... I think I figured out how to get the pinterest button on my site!! Hopefully it is working because I know that I love blogs and websites that have that handy little button! See, I did do SOMETHING over break! :) Seriously though, this time with my family was well worth it and hopefully the new recipes that I'm sending your way is well worth the wait!