Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Cheesy Quinoa

This was a wonderful side dish for the supper that our family was having. I hadn't tried quinoa before and this was a great recipe to start with. We were all very happy with the taste of this dish, including my mother in law. I was little concerned about her opinion since she isn't a big rice fan and it kind of reminded me of rice... She thought that it was fantastic though! It makes a large batch, which we came nowhere near to finishing, so be aware of that!

Cheesy Quinoa
(recipe found on pinterest via aroundthetableri.blogspot.com)

1 1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed and drained
veggies of your choice, optional
pinch of salt
2 cloves garlic
2 large eggs
1 cup milk
1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese, more for sprinkling over top
panko bread crumbs

Lightly saute any veggies that you would like to include with your quinoa, if any. Cook quinoa according to directions. Preheat oven to 350 and spray 9x13 pan with cooking spray. Whisk together eggs and milk in large bowl. Fold in quinoa and cheese and stir well. Transfer to prepared pan and sprinkle with panko bread crumbs and additional cheese if desired. Bake 30-35 minutes or until bread crumbs are lightly browned.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Bake Oatmeal Casserole

This was a oh so yummy way to start out our morning! It had a hint of all my favorites, chocolate, berries, bananas and nuts! Definitely a nice treat/breakfast!

Baked Oatmeal Casserole
(recipe found on pinterest via alwaysamrsforeverakidd.blogspot.com/)

2 cups rolled oats
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup walnut pieces
1 cup raspberries (or berries or your choosing)
1/2 cup chocolate chips
2 cups milk
1 large egg
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 ripe banana, cut into slices

Preheat oven to 375. Spray 10 1/2x7" pan with cooking spray. In a large bowl mix together oats, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, half of the walnuts, half of the berries and half of the chocolate chips. In another bowl whisk together milk, egg, butter and vanilla. Place oat mixture into prepared pan and cover with remaining walnuts, berries, chocolate chips and banana slices. Pour milk mixture over everything and gently shake pan to allow milk mixture to be absorb into pan. Bake 35-40 minutes or until browned and milk mixture has set.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Applebee's Oriental Chicken Salad Knock Off

This was such a yummy and light supper! Very simple to throw together and all of us truly enjoyed it!

Applebee's Oriental Chicken Salad Knock Off
(recipe found on pinterest via www.sixsistersstuff.com)

6 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1/2 cup mayo
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil

Blend all ingredients together in a small bowl with a whisk or a mixer. Refrigerate until ready to use.

2 chicken breasts, grilled
bagged salad
bagged broccoli slaw
1 tablespoon almond slices, toasted
1/4 cup won ton strips (I used chow mein noodles instead)
1/4 cup mandarin slices, drained well

Cut chicken into bite size pieces. Mix together lettuce and broccoli slaw. Top with almonds, won ton strips, mandarins and chicken. Drizzle dressing on top, toss and serve.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Parmesan Sesame Chicken Strips

This sounded super good to me and for some reason my mind went straight to the tilapia fillets that I had in my freezer, so I thought that I would give it a whirl. Try them with chicken or fish, they were delicious!!

Parmesan Sesame Chicken Strips
(recipe found on pinterest via www.sixsistersstuff.com)

35 ritz crackers, finely crushed
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
4 skinless boneless chicken breasts (or tilapia fillets)
1 cup light mayo
2 teaspoons dried minced onion
2 teaspoons ground mustard

Cover a large baking sheet with tin foil and coat with cooking spray. Preheat oven to 425. In a bowl combine mayo, onion and mustard. In a second bowl combine crackers, sesame seeds and parmesan. Cut into strips if desired, dip into mayo mixture and cover with cracker mixture. Place on baking sheet and bake 15-18 minutes.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Ranch Potatoes

These were even a hit with Beau! ENOUGH SAID!! When my anti potato boy will eat a potato dish, you know that it is worth making! :)

Ranch Potatoes
(recipe found on pinterest via www.laaloosh.com)

12 ounces red potatoes, washed and quartered
1 packet dry ranch dressing mix
cooking spray
1 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 425. Place potatoes in a large bowl, spray with cooking spray until they are lightly coated. Add ranch mix and salt and toss until both are coating the potatoes. Spread evenly onto a baking pan and bake until potatoes are cooked through, 20-25 minutes.

Serves: 4
Points: 2+

Monday, April 22, 2013

Santa Fe Stuffed Peppers

The kids don't really care for the pepper part of a stuffed pepper when I make these, but Josh and I enjoy stuffed peppers enough that it is worth making them anyhow! :) Instead of fighting with them the whole meal I let them just dump the turkey mixture out and eat that part... Josh and I usually end up eating a few more peppers, but it all works out!

Santa Fe Stuffed Peppers
(recipe found on pinterest via www.skinnytaste.com/)

1/2 pound lean ground turkey
3/4 cup black beans
3/4 cup frozen corn
1 large diced tomato
1 clove garlic, minced
3 tablespoons chopped onion
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon cumin
3 red bell peppers, cut in half
1/3 cup reduced sodium fat free chicken broth
9 tablespoons reduced fat monterey jack cheese

In a large skillet, brown turkey until no pink remains. Add black beans, tomato, garlic, onion, cilantro and cumin. Mix well and simmer on low heat, covered, for 20 minutes. Remove lid, add corn and let simmer 5 more minutes or until liquid is reduced. Preheat oven to 350. Place peppers, cut side up in oven proof pan. Fill each pepper with 1/2 cup of turkey mixture. Pour chicken broth in bottom or the pan and cover tightly with tin foil. Bake 45-50 minutes or until peppers are softened. Remove foil, add cheese to each pepper and continue to cook until cheese is melted.

Serves: 6
Points: 3

Friday, April 19, 2013

Weekly Line Up - 4/18-4/25

Pretty laid back week coming up, so I am in the mood to do a little cooking. We'll see how much time that I actually end up having though when it comes right down to it! :) Buying some extra goodies so that I can do some baking, but I haven't decided exactly what I am going to make yet... I'll keep you posted!

Thursday - Three Bean Casserole
Friday - Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken
Saturday - Taco Fundraiser
Sunday - Grilled Cheese and Spaghettios
Monday - *Baked Turkey and Jack Cheese Chimichangas
Tuesday - *Skinny and Delicious Southwester Slow Cooker Chicken
Wednesday - Night Out
Thursday - *Skinny Baked Rigatoni

Extras - *Homemade tomato sauce, Nutty Berry Trail Mix

* New Recipes

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Chicken Enchilada Soup

This was a super delicious meal that tasted fabulous during this never ending winter that we are having right now. Hot and easy to throw together. Definitely a hit at my house!

Chicken Enchilada Soup
(Recipe found on pinterest via workingandcooking.blogspot.com)

3 tablespoons flour
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 cups milk
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can diced tomatoes with jalapenos
1 (10 ounces) frozen corn
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup bell pepper, diced
1 can (10 ounces) enchilada sauce
2 chicken breasts
1 cup shredded monterey jack

Melt butter in saucepan, add flour and stir until smooth. Add chicken broth and 1/2 cup milk and whisk until smooth. Place back on heat and heat until thickened. Whisk in enchilada sauce and remaining milk and set aside. Place all ingredients other then cheese into crockpot and cover with sauce mixture. Cook on high 4 hours or low 6-8 hours. Remove chicken and shred (if you didn't cut it into chunks like I always do), replace in crockpot and stir together. Top with cheese and serve.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Dairy Queen Copycat Ice Cream Cake

When I first moved to Arizona there was a huge explosion of ice cream places called Cold Stone Creamery... They were fabulous. If you have never been there imagine a HUGE variety of ice creams alongside what seems to be a never ending supply of toppings. Put them all on a cold slab and mix them together to make a type of create your own flavor blizzard treat. They were fabulous! So, when my birthday rolled along and someone asked me what kind of cake that I would like, of course I asked for an ice cream cake from Cold Stone Creamery. Then came the disappointment... I envisioned an actual ICE CREAM cake, not a cake that was layers of ice cream and cake together. Not the taste sensation that I was looking for when remembering my favorite ice cream cake from good old Dairy Queen. So, it was back to Dairy Queen, which never disappoints when it comes to ice cream cakes!

So, I discovered this recipe that claims to be a Dairy Queen copy cat cake and had to try it. I made it for my mother in laws birthday in March and it was so good that I was asked to make it again for my sons joint birthday party in April. More people tried it, some said that it was even BETTER then the DQ version!! SUCCESS!!

Dairy Queen Copycat Ice Cream Cake
(recipe found on pinterest via www.relativetaste.net)

2 1/2 cups crushed oreos
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
1/4-1/2 gallon chocolate ice cream, slightly softened
1/4-1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream, slightly softened
8 ounces cool whip, thawed

Hot Fudge Sauce
2 cups powdered sugar
2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
12 ounces fat free evaporated milk
1/2 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine oreos, butter and sugar. Press into 9x13 pan and freeze for 15 minutes. Spread each layer of ice cream on top of oreo mixture and refreeze for 3 additional hours. (I mixed it up a bit the 2nd time around and did a layer of vanilla, sprinkle some of the oreos in the middle and then added the chocolate.) Combine the first 4 ingredients of the hot fudge sauce and bring to a boil. Let boil for 8 minutes, remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Cool to room temperature and spread over top of ice cream. Freeze again until firm. Spread cool whip over top and sprinkle with oreos. Refreeze for at least 3 more hours. Enjoy the sinful deliciousness!!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Slow Cooker Wild Rice Soup

The hubs is a big wild rice soup fan so I try to make up a batch every once in a while. This was an easy recipe to double and very quick to throw together, so that's just what I did. Then I froze half of it and we were able to enjoy it again later! Actually it was perfect for the hubs to pull out while I was out of town visiting my brother in St. Louis... No cooking for him and it was a nice hot cooked meal from me even when I wasn't there! :)

Slow Cooker Wild Rice Soup
Recipe found at www.bettycrocker.com)

1 medium onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 cup diced smoked turkey (I used diced ham)
1/2 cup uncooked wild rice
1 teaspoon dried tarragon leaves
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 can (12 ounces) non fat evaporated milk
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1 cup frozen peas

Place onion, celery, carrots, turkey, wild rice, tarragon and pepper in crockpot. Pour chicken broth over top and stir to combine. Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours or until wild rice and vegetables are cooked. Stir in peas in last 15 minutes of cooking. Mix evaporated milk and flour together and pour into crockpot. Stir to combine, cover and cook an additional 20 minutes or until soup is thickened.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Twice Baked Potatoes

I am a big fan of twice baked potatoes but don't put the time into them as often as I would like. Partly because I focus so much on making new "main" dishes that I just usually throw a salad or some frozen veggies on the side and partly because I hate putting my effort into something that not everyone is going to eat. But, sometimes I just have to have what I want and Beau just has to suck it up and eat some taters! :) The rest of the family enjoyed the twice baked potatoes and Beau had a few bites...

Twice Baked Potatoes
(recipe found on pinterest via www.wwrecipes.net)

3 large baking potatoes
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 cup cheddar cheese, divided
1/3 cup green onion slices
1/4 cup light sour cream
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon paprika

Heat oven to 400. Pierce potatoes in several places with a fork. Bake 1 to 1 1/4 hours or until tender. Immediately cut potatoes lengthwise in half; scoop out centers, leaving 1/4-inch-thick shells. Beat potato, broth, 1/2 cup cheese, onions, sour cream and mustard with mixer until well blended. Spoon into shells and top with remaining cheese and paprika. Bake 20 minutes or until heated through.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Pizza Grilled Cheese

This is one of those hit myself in the head moments when I sit there thinking - "why didn't I think of this before?"... We love grilled cheese at our house, especially when we are looking for something quick, light and easy. So, to throw in the "pizza" aspect just bumps it up a notch! A new twist on an old favorite!

Pizza Grilled Cheese
(recipe found on pinterest via www.forkfulofcomfort.com)

bread of choice
mozzarella, or favorite cheese (I used pepperjack, cause I love the kick!)
italian seasoning

Create your grilled cheese as you normally would, shaking italian seasoning onto the buttered side of your bread and adding pepperonis onto the cheese before adding your other slice of bread. Serve with pizza sauce for dipping!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Asian Veggie Wraps

I thought that these tasted AMAZING!! The dressing was a bit oily for me, so I think that the next time that I make it I will cut back on the sesame oil a bit... The hubs isn't super excited about anything on a tortilla, so his opinion doesn't count much on this recipe, but if the kids chowing down on seconds and thirds are any indicator, they enjoyed the meal just a bit! :)

Asian Veggie Wraps
(recipe found on pinterest via www.hellopapermoon.com)

wraps or tortilla shells
1 bag precut cabbage with carrot mix
1 cup chow mein noodles
1 cup sugar snap peas, diced
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1/2 cup garlic ginger dressing

3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons minced ginger root
1/4 cup sesame oil
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup water

To make dressing - in a 1 quart jar combine all dressing ingredients. Cover jar with lid and shake well. Uncover and microwave 1 minute until honey is dissolved. Let cool and shake well before serving. Store in refrigerator. To make wraps - Combine all ingredients and mix well. Place on wrap or tortilla shell, roll up and chow down!!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Chicken and Corn Chili

Yummy! I found another great chili recipe that I can throw in the crockpot... I did leave out the jalapenos because my kids get a little excited if it is too spicy, but feel free to make it to your own taste! I made a batch of cornmeal muffins to go with the chili that night... Just used the recipe right off the cornmeal container - nothing fancy this time! :)

Chicken and Corn Chili
(recipe found at www.parents.com)

1 large onion, chopped
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 green pepper, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
1 3/4 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3/4 teaspoon black salt
1 (14 1/2 ounces) can diced tomatoes with jalapenos, drained
1 1/2 cups frozen corn
2 (14 ounces) cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons corn meal
shredded cheese

In slow cooker, combine onion, chicken, broth, green pepper, jalapeno, 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Stir, cover and cook on high 4 hours or low 6 hours. Remove from slow cooker and shredded chicken. Return to slow cooker and add remaining additional spices, tomatoes, corn and beans. Gently mash some of the beans against the side of the pot before adding to help thicken the chili. Stir in cornmeal and let cook a few minutes more to soften the cornmeal. Serve sprinkled with cheese.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Crockpot Beer Chicken

This was a super simple meal to throw together and the whole family enjoyed it very much! The original recipe calls for serving the chicken as is, but I thought it sounded great to throw on a tortilla shell as a chicken taco... This was definitely a light and easy meal!

Crockpot Beer Chicken
(recipe found on pinterest via www.laaloosh.com)

2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 bottle of beef
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
tortilla shells

Place all ingredients in crock pot and cook for 4-5 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low. Serve as is or shred chicken, return to crockpot, stir and serve on tortilla shells.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Homemade Instant Oatmeal

And to continue on with the breakfast theme... instant oatmeal! :) My kids are big oatmeal fans and the easiest way to get them breakfast in the morning is to just be able to pop one or two of those little packets in the microwave and bam - 1 minute later - hot oatmeal! But, they tend to add up quickly when I am going through a box or so a week! So, when I saw this pin on pinterest it was yet another "I need to try this now!" moment!! So, I threw about 20 packets together in about 10 minutes and they were gone about as quickly! I am now onto my second batch and I will never be buying premade boxes of instant oatmeal again! The kids love to throw some dried cranberries, raisins, even chocolate chips into their oatmeal... It's a great base for whatever flavor they want to add!

Homemade Instant Oatmeal
(recipe found on pinterest via amylovesherlife.blogspot.com)

quick cooking oatmeal
brown sugar
zip lock baggies (snack size work perfect)

You can make these in whatever amounts you want, but I like to make them the size that the packets you can buy are so that they are perfect for the kids. That way if they want more then can make another one, but they aren't wasting one that is too big. So, here is how I sized mine...

1/4 cup oatmeal
1 tablespoon brown sugar

Place both ingredients into a zip lock bag, press out air, seal and squish around so everything is mixed together. Store in cupboard until ready to use. When ready to use, add 1/2 cup water, stir to combine and microwave for 1 minute. Add whatever toppings you like and enjoy!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Breakfast Burritos

This is a wonderful on the go breakfast or even snack for my kids! Brody loves them the most and it isn't surprising for him to request this for breakfast a few mornings a week. Once assembled they are awesome to keep in the freezer for those mornings that you don't have time to make something! Love a homecooked on the go meal!

Breakfast Burritos
(recipe found on pinterest via cdm-arewethereyet.blogspot.com)

1 pound pork sausage
1 (32 ounces bag) hashbrowns
8-12 eggs
1/4 cup milk
2 cups shredded cheese
salt and pepper, to taste
tortilla shells

Brown and drain sausage. Cook hashbrowns in the same pan that you cooked the sausage. While hashbrowns are cooking, mix together eggs, milk, salt and pepper. When hashbrowns are cooked, add the sausage back into the pan along with egg mixture. Stir gently to combine all ingredients. When eggs are finished cooking you can begin the assembly of the burritos. Start with your tortilla shell. Place egg, hashbrown, sausage mixture on shell and sprinkle with cheese. Roll into a burrito and wrap with saran wrap or aluminum foil. Eat while still warm or place in freezer. When cooking from freezer, unwrap saran wrap or aluminum foil and microwave until hot all the way through, 1-2 minutes.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Cilantro Chicken

Yep, I had the hubby home and made him go out and shovel off the foot of snow that was in the way to get to the grill! :) It was delicious though and I don't think that he minded that much! This recipe was fabulous and was a fun new twist on our chicken... A few tips - buy a jar of minced garlic and save your hand from pressing all the garlic that you will need. And make sure you have all the ingredients that you need to make this recipe before you try to make it the first time... or the second! :) It's worth it!

Cilantro Chicken
(recipe found on pinterest via recipegirl.com)

2 1/2 pounds chicken
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup minced garlic
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro
3/4-1 cup sweet chili sauce (I couldn't find this, so I used sweet and sour sauce)

Process olive oil, garlic and cilantro in blender until it is a smooth texture. Place chicken in ziplock bag and add cilantro mix. Squish around to cover chicken and allow to marinade overnight or all day! Grill 4-5 minutes on each side or until chicken is cooked through. Brush with sweet chili sauce and serve!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Pretzel Crusted Brownies

These brownies were the bomb! I am a big chocolate lover anyhow so brownies are a hit most of the time and then you go and add the salty layer of the pretzels and that just upped them a notch! I didn't go all out with the buttercream frosting, sometimes I feel like that just goes too far and gets to be a little too much, but I did pair it with some ice cream and chocolate syrup... YUMM!!

Pretzel Crusted Brownies
(recipe found on pinterest via www.alliescleanplateclub.com)

4 cups pretzels
1 1/2 cups butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar

use your favorite brownie recipe or box mix (I used this new homemade brownie mix recipe that I love!!)

Buttercream Layer:
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon milk

Preheat oven to 400. Line 9x13 pan with foil, allowing some to overhang the edges for easier removal. Spray with cooking spray. Process pretzels in a food processor (or use a ziplock with a rolling pin to crush) until pretzels are small pieces but not a fine powder. Mix pretzels with butter and sugar until combined. Press into baking pan and bake for 10 minutes or until crust is set. Allow to cool. Set oven temperature to 350. Mix up your brownie mix and pour over the top of the cooled pretzel crust, spread evenly over top. Bake for 35-40 minutes, checking for doneness as you go. Allow to cool once again while making up the buttercream frosting layer. Beat butter with mixer until fluffy. Add powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, until combined. Mix in vanilla and milk, adding more milk if needed to form the right consistency. Frost cooled brownies and serve!