Friday, February 28, 2014

Weekly Line Up - 2/28-3/6

I'm super excited for this upcoming week! We have a lot of fun things coming up, including a bridal shower for my brother's fiance and Dr. Seuss night at ECFE. I get to make the cake and cupcakes for the shower and at ECFE we have been taking turns doing a meal for everyone that comes so that everyone doesn't have to rush supper at home before coming. I was excited to get the Dr. Seuss celebration because I knew that it meant coming up with some fun recipes. I have been harassed endlessly about all the baking and cooking that I do and bring to ECFE so now I really feel the need to step up my game - and I have a great plan! Can't wait!!

Friday - *tex mex round steak
Saturday - date night for the hubs and i!
Sunday - *brooklyn blackout cake and *lemon poppyseed cupcakes (for the shower)/ the hubs and kids will be hanging out eating whatever the hubs decides to make!
Monday - omelots
Tuesday - ECFE night - green eggs and ham/*1 fish, 2 fish, red fish, blue fish jello/*cat in the hat kabobs/*truffala trees
Wednesday - *slow cooker fiesta chicken soup
Thursday - shrimp tortellini pasta toss

* = new recipes

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Land Your Man Beans

These beans are a fabulous side dish!! The hubs mixed up a half batch for us while I was out one day and they were so yummy... He wouldn't let anyone have seconds because he wanted to be able to take them to work with him the next day for lunch! :) My only complaint was the big slice of bacon laying on the top - so, the next time that we made them, I chopped up the bacon and sprinkled that over the top... This was a great switch and made it much easier to enjoy that bacony flavor with the beans! This was a huge hit at the birthday party that I made it for.

Side Note - I made this for an ECFE event that we had and threw them in the crockpot and let them cook in there. They turned out awesome and were super portable!

Land Your Man Beans
(recipe found at

2 (28 ounces) can Bush's original baked beans
1 large finely chopped sweet onion
1 large finely chopped green bell pepper
1 1/2 pound ground beef
1/3 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons yellow mustard
4 tablespoons light brown sugar
3 tablespoons hot sauce
6 slices bacon
1 package taco seasoning

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brown beef. Add taco seasoning while browning beef. DO NOT add water. Drain beef and set aside. Combine beans, onions, peppers, ketchup, mustard, brown sugar and hot sauce in a 16X10 casserole dish. Add seasoned beef to the bean casserole. Place bacon on top of beans. Cover dish with aluminum foil, leaving a corner folded back for venting. Bake for about 1 hour. Remove foil and continue baking approx. 30 minutes or until bacon is brown and excess liquid has been cooked out.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Beer Crockpot Chicken

You can use any kind of chicken that you want for this recipe, but my kiddos love when I just grab a package of chicken legs and make something with them! :) I think it has something to do with the fact that they get to eat with their fingers! This was a fabulous, SUPER EASY recipe to throw in the crockpot. The meat was falling off of the bones and we all enjoyed the taste of this chicken dish.

Beer Crockpot Chicken
(recipe found on pinterest via

chicken legs
1 can of beer
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt

Put all ingredients into crockpot. If frozen cook on high 4-5 hours or low 8-10. If fresh cook on high 3-4 hrs or low 7-8 hours if fresh.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Ham and Cheese Pockets

As you can tell from the posts that I have been posting, I have been intent on filling my freezer lately! :) I love meals that I can pull out at a moments notice that are healthy, made from scratch and yummy! With the kids loving "pick your own night" I like to have a variety of things ready to eat that they can pick from. I found this recipe and I knew that we had to try it. These were so good and the family liked them so much that we have been though a few batches of these already. One thing that I changed up was using diced ham instead of a slice of ham... I didn't like the way that when I took a bite the meat would all come out of the pocket. I like the diced ham that stays in place! Other then that, we liked it as it was. I might have to mix up the dough a bit and add some spices that next time around, just to see how it goes!

Ham and Cheese Pockets
(recipe found on pinterest via

3 cups flour
4 tablespoons dry milk
3 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons yeast
1 cup warm water
diced ham
shredded cheese

Dissolve yeast in warm water. Stir in salt, sugar, and dry milk. Add flour and stir until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Dump dough onto a floured surface and knead for around 5 minutes, until a soft dough forms. Add a little more flour, if needed. Divide dough into 10-14 balls. Roll each ball into a rectangle. Put ham and cheese on half of the rectangle. Fold dough over and pinch sides to seal tightly. Bake pockets on a greased cookie sheet at 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes, until lightly browned. To freeze, let cool completely and freeze in airtight container.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Pumpkin French Toast Bake

I have obviously hit the pumpkin recipes on my list! :) I know that pumpkin is supposed to be a "fall" flavor, but I love it and make it whenever the mood strikes... French toast has always been a favorite breakfast of mine, so I was really interested in testing out the combo of pumpkin and french toast together. I don't like when a "bake" gets soggy and stays soggy so I have a tendency to bake it a little longer then the recipe calls for so that it has a crunchy, crusty texture rather then a soggy texture. This one didn't disappoint - it wasn't soggy and had a fabulous taste to it! It was definitely hard to put the fork down after only one serving!

Pumpkin French Toast Bake
(recipe found on pinterest via

5 1/2 – 7 1/2 cups 1-inch bread cubes
7 large eggs
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
3-4 tablespoons brown sugar for topping
pecan or walnuts (optional)

Cut any kind of bread into 1-inch cubes. Just use enough chunks to fill a lightly greased 9×13 baking dish quite full. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, vanilla, pumpkin and pie spice until well combined. Pour over bread and push down with a spoon or your hands until it’s all soaked and mostly covered. Cover with saran wrap or lid and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, preheat oven to 350 degrees, uncover and top with brown sugar, additional pumpkin pie spice and nuts (optional). Bake for 35-45 minutes or golden brown and no longer wet Serve immediately with maple syrup or honey.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Play Dough

As a daycare and as a mom, playdough is a blessing and a curse. The kids love to play with it and it is super easy to make, but oh the mess of it all!! We have tried a few of the playdough machines and they drive me absolutely insane... The playdough gets stuck in there, hardens, never comes out and then you spend a few hours chipping away at the stupid machine just so that the kids can play with it for a little while. Ugh!! Anyhow, can you tell how I feel about those dang machines?? So, at our house we have a bucket of cookie cutters, rolling pins, butter knives and so on that are MUCH easier to clean and the kids have just as much fun playing with!! This is my favorite playdough recipe that we use quite often - I usually have all the ingredients on hand and the kids love to pick what color it is going to be! This dough lasts FOREVER!! Seriously, I usually end up throwing it away and making a new "cooler" color batch before it hardens up at all...


1 cup flour
1 cup warm water
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon oil
1/4 cup salt
food coloring

Mix all ingredients, adding food coloring last. Stir over medium heat until smooth and starts to pull away from the side of the pan. Remove from pan and knead until blended smooth. I usually add flour and knead it out like bread dough so it isn't so sticky... Place in plastic bag or airtight container when cooled.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Weekly Line Up - 2/21-2/28

With a crazy week last week of a lot of new meal ideas, I was ready for a quiet week... Not a lot of new recipes this week, just a couple to shake it up a little but not a lot of baking or cooking going on this week, but a lot of running, so that seems to go hand in hand with a quiet cooking week! :)

Friday - spaghetti
Saturday - shopping - eating out!
Sunday - steaks on the grill, honey roasted sweet potatoes
Monday - *tex mex chicken and corn chowder
Tuesday - ECFE
Wednesday - hot dogs
Thursday - *baked chicken chimichangas, *slow cooker refried beans

Extras: *french toast muffins

* = new recipes

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Crumbly Pumpkin Bread

This was such a great recipe! I couldn't stop picking at it... :) Obviously, I am a huge pumpkin fan so that was a big bonus on this recipe and what drew my attention to it - and the crumb topping was a kicker also! We had this as a snack after school and the kids immediately asked for seconds! I don't butter a lot of the breads that I make and this was no exception - it had such a great taste, especially warm out of the oven that it didn't need anything more!

Crumbly Pumpkin Bread
(recipe found on pinterest via

1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/3 cup oil
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup applesauce
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat three mini loaf pans with nonstick spray. To make the crumb topping, combine flour, sugars, pumpkin pie spice and butter; set aside. In a large bowl, combine flours, sugar, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, whisk together pumpkin, oil, butter, apple sauce, egg and vanilla. Pour mixture over dry ingredients and stir just until moistened. Scoop the batter evenly into the loaf pans. Sprinkle with reserved topping, using your fingertips to gently press the crumbs into the batter. Place into oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool for 15 minutes before inverting the cake onto a wire rack.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Mini Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins

Mini bites of heaven - that is what these are!! These were so moist and delicious and the glaze on top just pushed them over the edge... They were a fabulous snack for the kids when they got home from school and would be a sweet treat at breakfast too! :)

Mini Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins
(recipe found on

1/3 cup oil
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1 3/4 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

1 cup powdered sugar
5 teaspoons milk
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

In a mixing bowl, beat the oil, brown sugar, applesauce, vanilla and pumpkin until creamy. Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and nutmeg. Slowly add to the pumpkin mixture alternately with the buttermilk. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand. Spray a mini muffin pan with non stick spray. Fill the tins almost full. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes. Let cool 2-3 minutes in the pan. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely. Stir together the powdered sugar, milk and cinnamon. Dip the tops if the muffins in the glaze and let set.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Sausage and Bean Supper

This was definitely a favorite freezer meal of mine. I love beans in my supper, it just makes everything so much heartier! You can mix up the beans to whatever kinds that you enjoy the most... Again, I double this recipe and made one for the same day and froze the other for another day. It didn't last too long in the freezer though since we enjoyed it so much!

Sausage and Bean Supper
recipe found on pinterest via

1 pound sausage, crumbled
1 onion, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 cup honey
1 can tomatoes with chili peppers
1 can butter beans, rinsed and drained
1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained

In a large skillet brown sausage and onion, drain and allow to cool (this step is optional, sausage will cook in the crock pot but there will be excess oil if you don’t pre-brown it). Place sausage in a ziploc bag with other ingredients. Freeze. Thaw contents of bag and place in a slow cooker. Cook on low for 4 hours, stirring occasionally. Serve with shredded cheese and tortilla chips over rice.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Teriyaki Chicken

Another crockpot meal that is perfect for the freezer! I doubled up on this recipe and served one for supper and froze the other for another day... I'm still looking for the best teriyaki chicken recipe. This is one of the better ones, but I will definitely keep looking!

Teriyaki Chicken
(recipe found on pinterest via

bag of baby carrots
red onion, cut into chunks
2 large cans of pineapples, undrained
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 chicken breasts, frozen or fresh
1 cup teriyaki sauce + 1/4 cup additional sauce

Combine all ingredients and mix together. Split into two freezer bags and freeze flat. When cooking add 1/4 cup of additional sauce and cook in crockpot 6-7 hours. Serve over hot rice.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Weekly Line Up - 2/14-2/21

Happy Valentine's Day!! The hubs' dad flew in for a visit last night and he will be staying with us for a few days... So, I let the hubs pick out a few of his favorite meals for while his dad is here, which means some oldies, but some goodies. There's a few new recipes thrown in here and there though, you know I can't stand not trying something new! :)

Here's the valentines that my kiddos made for their classes this year, I just had to share... Thanks, as always, to pinterest for the great ideas!

Friday - breakfast - *pink cinnamon rolls/supper - cilantro chicken and honey roasted sweet potatoes and *crepes for dessert

Saturday - breakfast - *breakfast enchiladas/lunch - pepperoni pizza chili

Sunday - lunch out/supper - *barbecue chicken pizza using this recipe for the pizza crust!

Monday - breakfast - *french toast muffins/supper - corn dogs

Tuesday - Spaghetti

Wednesday - pick your own night

Thursday - lasagna roll ups

* - new recipe

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Smores Snack Mix

Since tomorrow is Valentine's Day and tonight is parent teacher conferences, I wanted to send a little snack to school with my kids for their teachers that they would be able to snack on in between conferences... This sounded fabulous to me, so of course I made up a double batch and sent it to school with my kids! It was an addicting snack at our house and definitely easy to throw together...

Smores Snack Mix
(recipe found on pinterest via

graham cracker goldfish (they didn't have these where I was shopping, so I substituted Teddy Grahams)
m&m's (I used Valentine ones since it was for Valentine's Day)
mini marshmallows

Mix all ingredients together and place in airtight container to store.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Chocolate Frosting

My daughter's birthday falls in the same month as two of her cousins and since there are 21 cousins in our family, we try to combine parties as much as possible... Makes it a little easier to find time to get everyone together! :) So, when asking one of her cousins what kind of cake he would like, he told me that he wanted chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and he wanted fighting guys on top... That was doable! I decided to go with cupcakes so that I could split up the themes a bit (since Bella is really into My Little Ponies right now) and started searching for recipes... Found a cake recipe that didn't end up thrilling me too much, but this frosting recipe was fabulous!! Too fabulous to not share. I'm still in search of the chocolate cake recipe that I love, but when I find it, I'll definitely make this frosting again...

Chocolate Frosting
(recipe found on pinterest via

6 squares (1 ounce each) unsweetened chocolate, chopped
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
3 - 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine chocolate and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring until melted, about 4 minutes. Beat in corn syrup. Add half the powdered sugar and beat until blended (mixture will look a little grainy). Beat in milk, followed by remaining powdered sugar and vanilla extract and beat until smooth, adding extra 1/2 cup powdered sugar if needed. Refrigerate for 15 minutes or until good spreading consistency. (Mine was spreadable right away.) Spoon frosting into a piping bag fitted with a large star tip and pipe in swirled pattern over cupcakes. Be generous... I was afraid that I was going to run out of frosting and I ended up with a ton left over!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Cookies and Cream Fudge

Since it's Valentine's Day this week, I decided that we needed to make it an ultra sweet week and my posts are going to be a week of delicious desserts and treats! :) We'll start with some of this fabulous fudge that I made a few weeks ago for paraprofessionals week at school. It was so simple to make and it was DELISH... I had to sample a few before I sent them out the door. Definitely a do over! :)

Cookies and Cream Fudge
(recipe found in Family Fun magazine)

30 oreos, crushed
16 ounces white chocolate chips
1 (14 ounces) can sweetened condensed milk

Line 8" square baking pan with parchment paper. Using double boiler method, stir together and melt chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk. Stir until melted and smooth, about 6 minutes. Fold two cups of crushed cookies into the chocolate mixture and then pour it into the pan. Spread evenly with a spatula. Gently press remaining cookies into the fudge. Refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours. Use parchment to lift the fudge out of the pan and cut into 36 pieces.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Pumpkin Pie Pancakes

We used to eat pancakes at least once a week when my daycare was in full swing and while I love the recipe that I use for pancakes, it is fun to be able to change it up a bit every once in a while. I love my pumpkin and I love breakfast, so it's great to be able to mix the two up together. Definitely a family favorite!!

Pumpkin Pie Pancakes
(recipe found on pinterest via

1 1/2 cups flour
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin purée (not pumpkin pie filling)
1 1/4 cups whole milk
1 egg
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Vegetable oil

Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ginger and sugar in a large bowl. Set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk together the pumpkin with the milk, egg and melted butter. Make a well in the dry ingredients then pour in the wet, stirring to combine. Allow the batter to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes. Heat a large sauté pan over medium-low heat and add just enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan, allowing it to heat for 2 to 3 minutes. In batches, scoop 3 to 4 tablespoons of batter into the pan to form pancakes. Cook the pancakes on one side until bubbles appear in the center, then flip them once and continue cooking until no longer doughy in the center.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014


We have a waffle maker that doesn't get used as much as my husband would like it to be... So, I finally found a recipe that I wanted to try out, I hate using a box mix for things that are easy to make on my own, and it was pretty good! Super excited to find a new recipe and I made a bunch of waffles up to keep in the freezer. The kids love to be able to pop their waffles into the toaster and have a hot breakfast and I love not have to pay for premade waffles from the store! :) It's a win-win for all of us!

(recipe found on pinterest via

1 3/4 cups flour (I used a mixture of both all purpose and whole wheat)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 eggs
1 3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup oil or melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix together dry ingredients in one bowl. Lightly beat together wet ingredients in another. Add egg mixture to dry ingredients and stir just until moistened. Pour batter onto lightly-oiled or buttered waffle iron and bake until done. To freeze: Let cool and put into a freezer bag. To thaw: Pull desired number of waffles out of the freezer and heat in the microwave, in a toaster oven, or in the oven.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Smothered Chicken

Yeah - A healthy chicken dinner that incorporates the word "smothered" and cheese? I'll take it!! The kids, of course, weren't super happy about the peppers and onions that topped it, but we just had them slide them off onto our plates and they loved the chicken...

Smothered Chicken
(recipe found on pinterest via

12 oz boneless skinless chicken breast, grilled
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 green bell pepper, sliced
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1 large onion, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon oregano
salt and pepper - to taste
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1/2 cup reduced fat mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat olive oil in pan and add green peppers, mushrooms and onions. Saute until soft and then add garlic, oregano and salt and pepper. Stir together and set aside. In an 8x8 pan add the grilled chicken. Slather chicken evenly with dijon mustard. Take warm vegetables and top chicken. Cover vegetables and chicken with reduced fat cheese. Cook in the oven until the cheese is melted.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Sausage and Pancake Muffins

I'm always on the look out for quick and easy meals, especially at breakfast time. My husband's version of breakfast is a pop tart and a Dr. Pepper, but I'm not too fond of that so I am working on changing his breakfast tastes! :) This is a favorite of my son Beau's - he picks it whenever he gets to pick his own breakfast...

Sausage and Pancake Muffins
(recipe found on pinterest via

pancake batter (I used this recipe)
1 pound italian sausage

Mix up pancake batter. Brown italian sausage, drain. Mix together and scoop into a greased muffin tin. Bake at 350 for 13-15 minutes or until browned.