Monday, December 30, 2013

Are you still out there??

Are you still out there? Cause I am still out here... It's been a while and I've missed you all! My computer has been giving me a lot of troubles, it went into the shop and I paid out some money to have the guy do basically nothing. Then I sucked it up and bought a new computer... I'm loving it and have been working my way around it and learning a bit here and there. I finally got a chance to upload the 300 pictures that I had on my camera from the middle of October tonight!! So, once I get my family blog back up and running, I will be busting out all the tasty recipes that we have been having around my house! Then hopefully we will be back on track!!

So, don't give up on my yet - I'm making my way back from the land of no computers... It was a sad and lonely place that had me trying to pay bills on my kids' ipods!! Hopefully I won't have to go back there any time soon! :)

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Sombrero Pasta Salad

This was a dish that really reminded me of my mom's taco salad. It was super yummy even though it didn't have the crunch that comes with the chips that are usually in a taco salad. I'm sure the whole wheat pasta that I used instead made it healthier! :) I have made this twice already and it was a hit with my family and with the group that I made it for at the potluck that we had!

Sombrero Pasta Salad
(recipe found on pinterest via

1 package (16 ounces) spiral pasta
1 pound ground beef
3/4 cup water
1 envelope taco seasoning
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 green pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
2 cans (2-1/4 ounces each) sliced ripe olives, drained
1 bottle (16 ounces) Catalina or Western salad dressing

Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Add water and taco seasoning; simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Rinse pasta in cold water and drain; place in a large bowl. Add beef mixture, cheese, green pepper, onion, tomato and olives; mix well. Add the dressing and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Pesto Ranch Chicken

Talk about an easy as pie recipe! Thow everything into the crock pot and let it go... Loved the ease of this recipe, yet it had a different taste for my family, using the pesto! It was so great.

Pesto Ranch Chicken
(recipe found on pinterest via

8 boneless skinless chicken thighs
6 ounce jar of pesto
1 package ranch dressing mix
1/2 cup chicken broth

Place chicken thighs, pesto, ranch dressing and chicken broth into crock pot. Stir gently to combine all seasonings. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 6-8 hours.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Cheesy Chicken and Rice

Cheesy Chicken and Rice
(recipe found on pinterest via

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, I left mine frozen
1 onion, chopped
1 (8 ounces) box Zatarain's Yellow Rice Mix, cooked according to directions
1 cup cheddar cheese
1 (10.5 ounces) can cream of chicken soup (or use cream of everything mix)
1 (15 ounces) can whole kernel corn, drained

Place chicken in bottom of slow cooker. Scatter chopped onion over top. Spoon soup over top of that. Cover and cook on low 7-8 hours or on high 3-4 hours. A few minutes before serving, remove chicken and shred. Add in shredded chicken, cooked rice, corn, and cheese. Stir to combine. Serve hot.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Slow Cooked Ham in Cider Gravy

This was a super yummy and easy way to cook up the ham that I had in my freezer. The gravy was good, but a bit tart for my liking... I did not need to use all the cider from the crock pot to make the gravy. I would definitely do that ham again, but make a different gravy for the potatoes we would have on the side!

Slow Cooked Ham in Cider Gravy
(recipe found on pinterest via

1 1-4 pound ham
2 cups apple cider, unsweetened
3/4 cups maple syrup
3 tablespoons cornstarch

Place the ham in a crockpot and cover with the cider and syrup. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Transfer the ham to a plate. Whisk the cornstarch with 1/2 cup of the cider on the stove-top over low heat until smooth. Increase the heat to medium-low. Whisking continuously, add the cider a little bit at a time, until it is all in the gravy. Keep whisking as the gravy bubbles until it is thickened. Serve with the ham.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Thai Chicken Salad

I told you I was in a Thai type of mood lately! :) This salad was awesome from start to finish!! VERY simple to throw together, it got my family to try bok choy for the first time and we all LOVED it... I would say that's a great thing!

Thai Chicken Salad
(recipe found on pinterest via

1 bag of broccoli slaw about (2 or 3 cups)
1 cup sliced papaya (I couldn't find this, so I used a can of mandarin oranges, which my family loves!)
1 cup sliced cucumber
2 cups baby boy choy, chopped in small pieces (2 small bok choy)
1 red chili pepper, diced (I subbed this for a red pepper)
4 cooked chicken breasts, shredded or cut in small pieces
1/4 cup chopped mint
1/2 cup peanuts or slivered almonds

juice from 2 limes
2 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoon peanut butter
1 teaspoon fish sauce (I couldn't find this, so I just omitted)
a pinch of red pepper flakes

Add all salad ingredients to a large bowl and toss. In a smaller bowl mix all dressing ingredients together. Pour over salad and toss well.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Thai Peanut Cabbage Slaw

Since I am totally into the Thai taste lately and we LOVE wraps at my house, this was a perfect fit for us! While we could have eaten it as a salad it was a huge hit at my house as a wrap... Very tasty and not a lot of calories so that made it even more appealing!

Thai Peanut Cabbage Slaw
(recipe found on pinterest via

1 granny smith apple, cored, peeled & chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon white rice vinegar
2 tablespoons peanut butter
1 tablespoon water
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

5 cups shredded cabbage (or one 16-oz bag cole slaw mix)
1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
2 green onions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
1 cup raw green peas, fresh or frozen
1/2 cup roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
2-1/2 cups cooked & shredded chicken breast

Puree dressing ingredients in a blender or food processor to a consistency similar to apple sauce. In large bowl, toss together slaw ingredients and dressing. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 3 days. Serve as a side or main dish salad, or use as a wrap filling.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Cream Cheese Chicken Chili

I definitely love a recipe that I can throw into a crock pot and not worry about, especially one that I can throw frozen chicken breasts into!! This was a thick and hearty chicken chili that we all enjoyed...

Cream Cheese Chicken Chili
(recipe found on pinterest)

2 chicken breasts, still frozen
1 can rotel tomates
1 can corn, undrained
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 package ranch dressing mix
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 (8 ounces) cream cheese

Place all ingredients in crock pot and cook on low 8-10 hours. Stir all together and serve!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Cake Batter Cheesecake Bars

I made these bars for a party that we were headed out to and I was all set to take a picture this time and I just couldn't do it... They turned out this odd shade of purple and they were not the prettiest things that I have ever laid eyes on. I didn't got for the optional food coloring, which I should have and I did stir in the sprinkles, which I think caused the odd purple color. So, when it says to stir, make sure you stir, don't just throw the mixer on low in the lazy fashion that I did! :) But let me tell you - Oh - My - Gosh!! These things were fabulous!! I'm usually a chocolate kind of girl, but these knocked my socks off... Super rich and delicious! Definitely making these again - and STIRRING the next time!!

Cake Batter Cheesecake Bars
(recipe found on pinterest via

1 3/4 cups nilla wafers
6 tablespoons butter, melted
16 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
1/2 cup yellow cake mix
2 eggs + 1 egg yolk
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sprinkles
5 drops blue food coloring (optional)
3 drops green food coloring (optional)

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9" square baking pan, then line with parchment paper; set aside. Stir together cookie crumbs, 2 tablespoons sugar and melted butter. Press into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake until the crust is just brown around the edges, 8 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, beat cream cheese with a mixer on medium speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the remaining sugar and beat for an additional couple of minutes, until smooth. Add the eggs and yolk, milk, vanilla, salt and beat again until completely combined and smooth. Finally, stir in the cake mix and sprinkles until smooth. Pour the filling over the crust. Set the pan in a larger pan (a 9×13-inch works for this), and add enough hot water to come halfway up the sides of the baking pan. Bake until just set, 40 to 45 minutes. Remove the baking pan from the water bath, and transfer to a wire rack. Let cool for 30 minutes, then refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight. Cut into bars. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Oven Fried Chicken Drumsticks

I love fried chicken, but hate the mess of frying anything. All that grease and nastiness all over my stove and everything that is remotely close to it. Yuck! So, I have tried a lot of "oven" fried chicken recipes and while they have been good, this one really lives up to the crunchiness that it promises. It was super yummy too!

Oven Fried Chicken Drumsticks
(recipe found in Taste of Home)

1 cup fat free plain greek yogurt
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
2 garlic cloves, minced
8 chicken drumsticks, skin removed
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
olive oil flavored cooking spray

In a large resealable plastic bag, combine yogurt, mustard and garlic. Add chicken; seal bag and turn to coat. Refrigerate 8 hours or overnight. Preheat oven to 425. In another plastic bag, mix flour, paprika, balking powder, salt and pepper. Remove chicken from marinade and add, one piece at a time, to flour mixture; close bag and shake to coat. Place on a wire rack over a baking sheet; spritz with cooking spray. Bake 40-45 minutes or until a thermometer reads 180.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Kansas City Style Ribs

These took a little bit of work, but the hubs loves ribs and I thought that I would give them a go. They were a hit!! Super tasty and falling off the bone. Just what ribs are supposed to do! So, grab some napkins and try these out...

Kansas City Style Ribs
(Recipe found in Taste of Home)

1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons each garlic powder, onion powder and smoked paprika
1 1/4 teaspoons each ground cumin, ground pepper and cayenne pepper
12 bone in country style pork ribs (about 7 pounds)

2 tablespoons canola oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 cup tomato sauce
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup molasses
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground mustard
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

In a small bowl, mix brown sugar and seasonings; sprinkle over ribs. Refrigerate, covered, at least 1 hour. For suace, in a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion; cook and stir 5-6 minutes or until tender. Stir in remaining ingredients; bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Wrap ribs in a large piece of heavy duty foil; seal edges of foil. Grill, covered, over indirect medium heat 1 1/4 to 1 3/4 hours or until the ribs are tender. Carefully remove ribs from foil. Place ribs over direct medium heat; baste with some of the sauce. Grill, covered, 8-10 minutes or until browned, turning and basting occasionally with remaining sauce.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Brown Sugar Baked Peaches

This recipe looked so good that both my sister in law and I pinned it and brought along the ingredients when we went on our week long camping vacation! Although I beat her to making it, my nephew did an awesome job assembling the baked peaches and we all tremendously enjoyed them! I mean, look at how hard he is concentrating!!

Brown Sugar Baked Peaches
(recipe found on pinterest via

1 fresh peach
1 tsp. unsalted butter, divided
2 to 4 tsp. brown sugar, divided
Sprinkling of ground cinnamon, to taste

Cut peach in half and place on baking pan. Top with butter, then brown sugar, and finish with cinnamon. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Peach Ice Cream

Every year we get a couple of boxes of peaches from our local fire department and I love to find new ways to use them, other then just scarfing them down plain! This year (and I think last, even if I didn't get a chance to blog about it), I busted out my ice cream maker and churned up some peach ice cream. It was soooo good, nice and creamy and pretty easy to make! The kids definitely enjoyed it and although I prefer chocolate, I thought it was a good pick.

Peach Ice Cream
(recipe found in Ben and Jerry's)

2 cups finely chopped ripe peaches, peeled if you prefer (I left my peels on)
1 1/4 cups sugar
juice of 1/2 a lemon
2 large eggs
2 cups heavy or whipping cream
1 cup milk

Combine the peaches, 1/2 cup sugar and lemon juice in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours, stirring the mixture every 30 minutes. Remove peaches from refrigerator and drain the juice into another bowl. Return the peaches to the refrigerator. Whisk the eggs in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy, 1-2 minutes. Whisk in the remaining 3/4 cup sugar, a little at a time, then continue whisking until completely blended, about 1 minute more. Pour in the cream and milk and whisk to blend. Add the peach juice and blend. Transfer the mixture to an ice cream maker and freeze following the instructions. After the ice cream stiffens (about 2 minutes before it is done), add the peaches and continue freezing until the ice cream is ready.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Pork Chops in the Crock Pot

This was a super easy ways to serve up pork chops and was delicious. My meat was falling off the bone tender, so no picture of what it looked like! Definitely good to eat, even if it didn't look pretty! :)

Pork Chops in the Crock Pot
(recipe found in A.C.C.C.)

5 pounds pork chops
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons vinegar
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
sesame seeds, to taste

Slice onions into bottom of crockpot. Mix together all ingredients except meat and onions to create a sauce. Dip the meat into the sauce; layer in the crockpot. Pour remaining sauce on top of meat. Cook on low for 8-10 hours. Sprinkle with sesame seeds when ready to serve.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Chow Mein Hotdish

I love the crunch of chow mein noodles! They are so yummy and I enjoy them in a lot of dishes. I love the big can of chow mein that you can buy, throw the cans together, heat through and eat. Super simple and delish served over chow mein noodles. This is a much healthier, homemade version of that! Just as wonderful and mouthwatering! :)

Chow Mein Hotdish
(recipe found in A.C.C.C)

2 pound hamburger
2 medium onions, chopped
2 cup celery, chopped
1 cup raw rice
1 can cream of mushroom soup (or homemade cream of everything mix)
1 can cream of chicken soup (I just doubled the cream of everything mix)
2 cups water
1 can water chestnuts, cut up
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 can bean sprouts and juice

Brown hamburger and onions. Add remaining ingredients in a large casserole. Bake for 1 1/2 hours at 350. Stir every half hour while baking. Add more water if it seems too dry. Serve over chow mein noodles.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Weight Watchers Cobbler

This was by far the easiest dessert that I have ever put together! It was light to eat and delicious even though it was a "healthier" dessert! After the refrigerator brownie cake that we had the day before, I definitely needed something a little lighter!

Weight Watchers Cobbler
(recipe found on pinterest on

2 (12 ounces each) bags of frozen mixed berries
1 box white cake mix
1-2 cans of clear pop

Place fruit in bottom of a greased 9x13 pan. Sprinkle with white cake mix and cover with pop until no dry spots are still seen. Do not stir. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.

Serves: 16
Points: 3

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Taco Pie

I love a quick and easy recipe on the weekend. The hubs is gone a lot during the week and when he comes out he is always looking forward to some home cooked meals that hit the spot. He was a big fan of this one - it might have something to do with the doritos on top! :)

Taco Pie
(recipe found in A.C.C.C.)

1 pound hamburger
1 tube crescent rolls
1 package taco seasoning
1/2 cup water
1 cup sour cream
1 cup cheddar cheese
1 cup crushed nacho cheese chips

Brown hamburger. Add the taco seasoning and water; simmer for 5 minutes. Place crescent rolls in a greased deep pie pan; flatten to cover the bottom. Layer on top of crescent rolls, hamburger mixture, sour cream, cheese and crushed chips. Bake for 25 minutes at 350.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Brownie Refrigerator Cake

I was looking for something a little simpler to go with the Lil Cheddar Meat Loaves that we had with supper during the moving party and this was definitely it. I love to try the big desserts, but sometimes you just have to go with a good old chocolate brownie - with a twist! :)

Brownie Refrigerator Cake
(recipe found on pinterest via

2 brownie mixes (or you can use my homemade brownie mix - I just tripled it)
1 extra large egg
1 8 ounces package cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
2 8 ounces each containers whipped topping
1 3 ounces package instant chocolate pudding
1 3 ounces package instant vanilla pudding
3 1/2 cups milk
1 Hershey candy bar or chocolate syrup

Mix brownie mixes according to directions. Add egg. Bake in 9x13 inch greased and floured cake pan. Mix cream cheese, powdered sugar and 1 container whipped topping. Put this mix on top of the cooled brownies. Blend puddings and milk together and put on top of the cream cheese mixture. Top with another layer of whipped topping. Put chocolate shavings or chocolate syrup on top. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Lil Cheddar Meat Loaves

Since I was laid up with a bum knee after having knee surgery, I wasn't able to help with all the moving that my family was doing back in September. So, I helped the best way that I know how... I kept them all fed! After a long day of moving, everyone came over to my house for supper and these little meat loaves were a huge hit! I tripled the recipe and it fed the whole family, even when they came back for seconds and even thirds! (Mine were slightly larger then 12 mini loaves from each pound, so I did get less loaves per pound.)

Lil Cheddar Meat Loaves
(recipe found in A.C.C.C)

1 egg
2/3 cup milk
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup quick cooking oats
1/4 cup chopped onions
1 teaspoon salt
1 pound ground beef
2/3 cup ketchup
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon mustard

In a bowl, beat egg and milk. Stir in cheese, oats, onion and salt. Add beef and mix well. Shape into 12 mini loaves and place in a greased 9x13 pan. Combine ketchup, brown sugar and mustard; spoon over loaves. Bake, uncovered, at 350 for 45 minutes or until the meat is no longer pink on the inside.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Five Cheese Jumbo Shells

These looked a little scary coming out of the pan, but boy oh boy, did they taste fabulous! My family chowed them down and kept asking for more!! Serving size was 3 a piece and the hubs went on the safe side and only gave the kids 1 or 2... They didn't last long before they were begging for 1 or 2 more! It was definitely a hit at my house. This is also an easy meal to double up on and freeze the second pan. I mean, while you are at it, you might as well make one for later! :)

Five Cheese Jumbo Shells
(recipe found in Taste of Home)

24 uncooked jumbo pasta shells
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium zucchini, shredded and squeezed dry
1/2 pound baby portobello mushrooms, chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cups reduced fat ricotta cheese
1/2 cup shredded part skim mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup shredded provolone cheese
1/3 cup grated romano cheese
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 jar (24 ounce3) meatless spaghetti sauce
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 250. Cook shells according to package directions for al dente; drain. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Add vegetables; cook and stir until tender. Remove from heat. In a bowl, combine the riccota, mozzarella, provolone and romano cheeses; stir in egg, seasonings and vegetables. Spread 1 cup sauce into a 9x13 baking dish coated with cooking spray. Fill pasta shells with cheese mixture; place in baking dish. Top with remaining sauce. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Bake, uncovered, 40 minutes. Bake, uncovered, 10 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Cramy Tomato Tortellini with Sausage

I wasn't a huge fan of this pasta dish, so normally I wouldn't be posting about it. The hubs though - LOVED this dish and kept talking about how much he liked it. So, I obviously had to post it for his sake! :) It was easy to throw together, so that was a definite plus!

Creamy Tomato Tortellini with Sausage
(recipe found in Taste of Home)

1 package (19 ounces) frozen cheese tortellini
2 fully cooked italian sausage links, sliced
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes with garlic and onion, undrained
1 package (6 ounces) fresh baby spinach
4 ounces reduce fat cream cheese

Cook tortellini according to package directions. In a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, cook and stir sausage over medium high heat 4-5 minutes or until browned. Add tomatoes and spinach; cook and stir until spinach wilts. Stir in cream cheese until melted. Drain tortellini; add to sausage mixture. Toss to combine.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Ramen Shrimp and Veggies

As you know I am a big fan of quick and easy meals. We are on the run a lot of the time and I like to be able to feed the kids quick and get out the door. This incorporates my love of quickness and our families love of shrimp! Love it!

Ramen Shrimp and Veggies
(recipe found on

1 lb uncooked peeled deveined medium shrimp, thawed if frozen and tails peeled
2 cups water
1 package Oriental-flavor ramen noodle soup mix
1 bag (1 pound) stir-fry vegetables
1/4 cup stir-fry sauce

Heat skillet over medium-high heat. Cook shrimp in skillet 2 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until pink and firm. Remove shrimp from skillet; keep warm. Heat water to boiling in same skillet. Break up noodles from soup mix into water; stirring until slightly softened. Stir in vegetables. Heat to boiling. Boil 4 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are crisp-tender. Stir in seasoning packet from soup mix and stir-fry sauce. Cook 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until hot. Stir in shrimp.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Chipotle Orange Pork Chops

Sometimes I'm not too sure about the chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, they have a bit of a too smoky taste for me, but I thought that I would give them another go in this recipe. The orange juice and maple syrup definitely helped to cut the too smoky taste and they were fabulous! Easy to put together and the kids love anything that has a "dipping" sauce to it!

Chipotle Orange Pork Chops
(recipe found in Simple and Delicious)

1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup thawed orange juice concentrate
3 tablespoons chopped chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
8 bone in pork loin chops

Mix the first five ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside 1/3 cup for serving. Grill pork chops, covered, over medium heat or broil 4" from the heat for 6-8 minutes on each side or until a meat thermometer reads 160, basting frequently with orange mixture. Serve with reserved sauce.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Chicken Caesar Wraps

This summer I had the opportunity to take a cooking class that was offered through the U of M extension offices. It was fantastic! It was a small group of ladies that got together once a week for 6 weeks and made quick healthy recipes. I have remade a few of them a couple of times, a few of them at least once a week and they have went over well with my family. Love to be able to get new ideas for healthy recipes that everyone will enjoy!

Chicken Caesar Wraps
(recipe found at Simply Good Eating)

4 cups shredded romaine lettuce
1/3 cup fat free caesar salad dressing
1 1/2 cups grilled chicken, chopped
4 whole wheat tortillas
parmesan cheese, to taste
black pepper, to taste

Combine lettuce with caesar dressing. Add chopped chicken and stir together. Spoon mix onto tortillas, sprinkle with parmisan cheese and black pepper. Fold bottom up and wrap.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Broccoli Slaw Salad

I was in search of gluten free recipes when my brother in law came into town for a visit and this one caught my eye. We had a potluck to go to and I knew this would be a great dish to bring along that he would be able to eat! Although they ended up being late enough that they didn't get to eat with us, this was a hit at the potluck and I'm definitely going to make it again!

Broccoli Slaw Salad
(recipe found at

1-2 pounds broccoli, peeled & chopped small
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
2-4 carrots, grated
1/4-1/3 cups bacon bits
1 apple, peeled & chopped small
craisins, raisins, or chopped dates, to taste
walnuts, chopped, to taste
marzetti slaw dressing, to taste

Mix all ingredients together and refrigerate to chill. Stir before serving.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Cajun Shrimp and Cucumber Wraps

Like I have said in the past, shrimp is a favorite around the Connor house and we like it a whole variety of ways... Bella was craving cucumbers one day, so I thought that I would whip up this quick and easy snack. Definitely a hit! Although the hubs isn't too found of anything on a tortilla shell, the kids and I like wraps of all kinds...

Cajun Shrimp and Cucumber Wraps
(recipe found in Taste of Home)

1/4 cup lemon juice
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 1/2 teaspoon cajun seasoning, divided
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 pound uncooked large shrimp, peeled and deveined (tails removed)
8 lettuce leaves
4 flatbread wraps (I used tortilla shells)
2 small cucumbers, cut lengthwise into quarters
4 thin sliced red onions
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves

In a small bowl, whisk lemon juice, 3 tablespoons oil, 1 teaspoon cajun seasoning and pepper. Toss shrimp with remaining cajun seasoning. In a large skillet, heat remaining oil over medium high heat. Add shrimp mixture; cook and stir until shrimp turn pink. Place lettuce on flatbread wraps; top with cucumbers, onion, parsley and shrimp. Drizzle with dressing; roll up and chow down!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Sknny Pool Dip

Okay, okay, I know that you are not necessarily thinking "pool" weather right now, but still - it's good stuff and you can eat it wherever you please... We had a couple of weekend gatherings that required me to make something to bring along and I was pretty "dippy" that weekend. The spinach and artichoke dip that I blogged about yesterday was one of them and today's recipe was the other. While I preferred the spinach and artichoke, this one was pretty good too and I would definitely make it again! Love the quickness of this recipe and the fact that I can make it up early and pop it into the fridge until we are ready to roll... I skipped the raw veggie suggestion on this recipe because I was looking for quick and easy, so I went with the wheat thins and it was fabulous!!

Skinny Pool Dip
(recipe found on pinterest via

1 red pepper
2 jalapenos (unseeded)
1 can of corn
1/2 can diced olives
16 ounces fat-free cream cheese (softened)
1 packet Hidden Valley Ranch dip seasoning mix.

Mix ingredients together. Serve with crackers or raw veggies.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Spinach and Artichoke Dip

My first experience with artichoke hearts was at a restaurant, where some friends ordered up spinach and artichoke dip. I didn't think that it would be all that wonderful, until I tasted it... I couldn't get enough! I think that I could easily eat this whole recipe on my own and still want more! This is super tasty and the jalapenos give it a kick that goes well with it. Love it! And since there wasn't any left for me to take home, I'm guessing everyone at the party enjoyed it too!

Spinach and Artichoke Dip
(recipe found on pinterest via

8 ounces cream cheese
16 ounces light sour cream
1 stick butter
1 1/2 – 2 cups shredded Parmesan cheese
14 ounces quartered artichoke hearts, drained and coarsely chopped
4 ounces can diced jalapeƱos, drained
10 ounces frozen spinach (thawed and drained)
2-3 garlic cloves, pressed

In a medium pot over medium heat, melt together cream cheese, sour cream, butter and parmesan cheese, stirring frequently until melted and an even consistency. It should start to bubble. Stir in coarsely chopped artichoke hearts, jalapenos, spinach and garlic cloves. Serve hot with chips or crackers.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Mushroom Stuffed Cheeseburgers

I made these this summer when my father-in-law came into town for a visit. It was a beautiful summer night and perfect for grilling up burgers! Remember, you can still make these now, doesn't matter how cold or wintery it is, burgers and grilling can still happen! :) The kids thought that these were fantastic and barely even noticed the mushrooms that filled the middle... Love when that happens!

Mushroom Stuffed Cheeseburgers
(recipe found in Taste of Home)

2 bacon strips, finely chopped
2 cups chopped fresh mushrooms
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped sweet red pepper
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
2 pounds lean ground beef
2 tablespoons steak sauce
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
4 slices provolone cheese, halved
8 kaiser rolls, split

In a large skillet, cook and stir bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon; drain on paper towels. Cook and stir mushrooms, onion and peppers in bacon drippings until tender. Using slotted spoon, remove to a small bowl; cool completely. Stir in bacon. In a large bowl, combine beef, steak sauce and seasoned salt, mixing lightly but thoroughly. Shape into 16 thin patties. Top eight of the patties with cheese, folding over cheese to fit within 3/4" of the edge. Spread with mushroom mixture. Top with remaining patties, pressing edges to enclose filling. Grill the stuffed burgers, uncovered, over medium high heat or broil 4" from heat 5-6 minutes on each side. serve on rolls.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Ghost Pops

Since I was going the cookie route with the Witch Hats, I decided I needed something a little healthier to go with it. I found these fabulous Ghost Pops on pinterest and couldn't resist. They were a little more difficult to transport since you need to keep them frozen. They get pretty slimy and gross if you leave them out too long! They turned out super cute and the kids LOVED them!! I might have to make another batch for at home...

Ghost Pops
(recipe found on pinterest via

white melting chocolate
mini chocolate chips
popsicle sticks

Place waxed paper on a cookie sheet. Cut banana(s) in half and then slice each half lengthwise. Insert a popsicle stick into each quartered banana. (I found it easiest to keep the two lengthwise halves together and squeeze at the top while you are sliding the popsicle stick inside, otherwise the banana seemed to crack down the sides.) Place prepared bananas onto waxed cookie sheet and place in freezer until frozen through. Melt white melting chocolate over a double boiler. Working quickly, coat banana(s) in white chocolate, place two chocolate chips on for eyes and place back onto cookie sheet. Refreeze until chocolate is firm and you are ready to eat.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Witch Hats

I volunteered to bring snacks for ECFE this past week and you know that I had to make something super Halloweeny and cute! It is one of the last places that you can actually still bring in something homemade and since I have time on my hands during the day, I decided to make a couple cute things. I started with these witch hats... Love them and other then unwrapping a lot of kisses, they were super simple!

Witch Hats
(recipe found on pinterest)

Keebler fudge stripe cookies (I used a combo of regular and dark chocolate ones)
frosting, tinted orange
Hershey's kisses

Turn cookie upside down, pipe frosting around center whole and place a kiss on top. I placed them in the refrigerator for the day since I wasn't going to be using them until the next evening.