Apple Picking

Went on our annual apple picking trip last weekend.  Not only do they have a fun kids area but great apples!  We ended up with $50 worth of apples and all I've made with them is homemade applesauce.  Last year I made lots of different things (apple pie muffins, apple bread, cross cross apple buns, apple turnovers, and apple pie of course) but this year I think I'm sticking with applesauce and a pie or two.  My husband and I absolutely love homemade applesauce.  I don't even eat any other applesauce.  So it doesn't last long.  I've found I can put it in my jam jars and freeze it and we can enjoy it a little longer.  What have you made with apples?

Homemade Lemonade

Lemons were cheap enough so I bought a small 2lb bag today and tried out some homemade lemonade.  I used the ratio of 1 cup sugar: 1 cup water: 1 cup lemon juice.

Mix 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water in a saucepan and boil gently until sugar is dissolved.  Meanwhile, squeeze lemons until you have 1 cup of lemon juice.  Combine lemon juice and sugar water.  Add 3-4 cups of water. 

We got about 1 1/8 cups of lemon juice and just used that with the 1:1 ratio of sugar and water.  It was a little tart so the 1:1:1 ratio is probably good.  I also read that if you use Meyer lemons they are naturally sweet so you may want less sugar. 

Menu Plan

I'm hoping to start updating this again but I'm not making any promises!  My son started kindergarten this year, plays soccer, daughter started dance and goes to preschool, and I'm expecting our third child, a girl, in early Feb.  So needless to say I've been making fast and easy dinners, usually those tried and true recipes, and not so many new ones and haven't had much to post.

Here's the plan for this week:

~Fajitas, rice, fruit
~Tortellini Soup, garlic bread, fruit
~Enchiladas, corn, fruit
~BLTs, chips, fruit


What We're Eating Wednesday

We're in a local produce co-op and we had the option last week of getting 8lbs of strawberries for $10.  I couldn't pass that up of course and figured what a great way to get ahead on my freezer jam.  I think I had about 12 jars, maybe 15, that I ended up making last summer but they were gone so quickly!  I didn't realize that my sisters and dad liked it so much and my husband fell in love with these fruit bars that just aren't the same without homemade strawberry freezer jam.  So this year I've decided we have the freezer space so I might as well stock up.

Can't wait to see what you're all making this week.  Please share!


Cheesy Burger, Rice and Broccoli Skillet

This was a recipe I got from the Pillsbury website.  It was alright.  Not sure I'd make it again without tweaking something though.

Cheesy Burger, Rice and Broccoli Skillet

1 lb lean ground beef
1 can condensed cream of chicken soup (10 3/4 oz)
1 can tomato sauce (8 oz)
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
4-5 drops hot sauce
1 cup uncooked regular long grain white rice
2 cups water
4 cups frozen broccoli florets
4 oz (1 cup) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

Brown beef in skillet until thoroughly cooked, stirring frequently.  Drain.

Add soup, tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and hot pepper sauce; mix well.  Stir in rice and water.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 15-20 minutes or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed, stirring once or twice.

Meanwhile cook broccoli to desired doneness as directed on package.  Drain and set aside.

Stir cooked broccoli into ground beef mixture; mix well.  Sprinkle with cheese.  Cover; cook an additional 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

1 1/2 cups = 420 calories

Veri Veri Teriyaki

My Dad's BBQ is one of my favorite things to eat.  He makes the best chicken ever!  I finally asked him what he used for his teriyaki chicken and this is it.  I wasn't sure I'd find it at home since we live on opposite sides of the state but I did.  I've used this on shrimp and chicken and it's great on both.  I highly recommend this if you like a teriyaki flavor.  I think my dad even puts this on the chicken and freezes it until ready to use.  It's pretty powerful though and if you're short on time an hour or so of marinade time still provides a very  nice flavor.


What We're Eating Wednesday - Shrimp Lorraine

This was a new shrimp dish I made.  I picked up the recipe card at our local grocery store.  I loved it, hubs liked it, and I suggest you like garlic if you make this!

Shrimp Lorraine
2 Tb unsalted butter, divided
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 green onions, chopped (1/4 cup)
1 1/2 pounds raw, peeled, and deveined 36-40 count shrimp, thawed if necessary
1/2 cup refrigerated savory garlic cooking creme (like the new Philadelphia cooking cremes)
1/2 cup shredded swiss cheese
3 Tb dry sherry or white wine
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Spray 1 quart baking dish or ceramic or metal pie plate with nonstick cooking spray.  In 12 inch skillet melt 1 Tb butter over medium heat.  Add garlic and green onions and cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add shrimp and cook 5 minutes or until shrimp turn opaque throughout and reach an internal temp of 145 degrees, stirring frequently.

Add cooking creme, cheese, sherry and cayenne and cook until cheese begins to melt.  Pour mixture into prepared baking dish.  In microwave safe bowl, heat remaining 1 Tb butter in microwave until melted.  Stir in panko; sprinkle evenly over shrimp mixture.  Bake 10-12 minutes or until edges bubble and top is golden brown.

~300 calories per serving

This post is linked to:
Your Recipe My Kitchen at Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker
Take a Look Tuesday at Sugar Bee Crafts
Made By You Monday at Skip to My Lou
Delicious Dishes at It's a Blog Party
Slightly Indulgent Tuesday at Simply Sugar & Gluten Free
Tuesday Night Supper Club at Fudge Ripple
Mouthwatering Mondays at A Southern Fairytale
Homemaker Monday at 11th Heaven's Homemaking Haven
Tempt My Tummy Tuesday at Blessed with Grace


Menu Plan

Finally trying some new things this coming week!

~Twice Baked Potatoes
~Shrimp Lorraine
~Teriyaki Chicken
~Cheesy Burger, Rice, and Broccoli Skillet
~Honey Mustard Pork Chops

Two nights this weekend we'll be out of town for Easter and I'm not cookin'!


How Does Your Garden Grow?

It's that time of year again!  We're on our second year of gardening and sure have learned a lot.  This year we added one more smaller box and still have peppers to get in the ground.  This past weekend we planted our corn, zucchini, and lettuce.  The strawberries from last year are taking off and are already covered in blooms.  The raspberries are doing well and already growing nicely.  We planted two new raspberry bushes this year, black raspberries, but they aren't looking too hot.  They're still just a stick in the ground with no growth.  I'm hoping they're still settling in and will take off soon.  Let me know if  any of you garden and send me your blog so I can follow along with your gardening successes!



My wimpy lettuce.  I'm hoping they perk up soon and get bigger.


Corn - we have on whole bed of corn this year because it did so well last year and was very yummy!

Overall view of garden.  This year we also added a fence.  Last year I tried peppers and as soon as anything grew, something (rabbits maybe?) stripped them.  So I never got any peppers.


Chicken Pot Pie Soup w/ Dumplings

 I was making Chicken Pot Pie for dinner and decided instead of layering the dough on top and baking in the oven I'd try making it into dumplings and having more of a soup.  My husband's vote was that he liked it better, I'm not so sure.  I liked it just fine but the textures between the two different ways are totally different.  I say this is a keeper but I'll make it both ways still.

See above for the link to my Chicken Pot Pie receipe.  You follow all the same steps except for the end:

Mix up the dough.  Add a little bit of extra chicken broth or milk to the pot with the vegetables and chicken, probably a cup or two depending on how thick it already is, and bring to a slight boil.  Drop the dough mixture by tablespoonfulls on top of the soup mixture.  (They will get larger as they cook so I wouldn't make them too big.)  Let sit for a minute or two then flip over.  Wait a minute or two, push those to the side, and add more dough.  Repeat until all dumplings are in and then stir.

This is linked to:

What's Cooking Wednesday at Turning the Clock Back
What's On the Menu Wednesday at Dining with Debbie
What's On Your Plate at GoodCheapEats
Made it on Monday at Lark's Country Heart
Tasty Traditions at Coupon Cookin'
Recipe Swap Thursday at Prairie Story
Tip Day Thursday at Around My Family Table

It's a Keeper
Miz Helen’s Country Cottage


What We're Eating Wednesday

I decided to host my very first Blog Hop!  I'm always looking for new recipes and enjoy seeing what others are cooking so please share your recipes!

I will usually be posting a recipe myself but this week has been kind of crazy and I haven't had a chance to cook anything new.  I do suggest checking out the Potato Leek Soup I made this past weekend.  That was a new recipe and is one of my new favorites!


Let Me Know!

Let me know what you think about the new blog design.  New name too.  I absolutely love the job they did over at So Stylilized.  Definitely check them out for any of your blog design needs.


Potato Leek Soup with Bacon

This was in the April 2011 issue of Food Network magazine.  I love how pretty this soup is and it was very good.  It will definitely be making an appearance next fall when it becomes soup weather again.

Potato Leek Soup with Bacon

2 Tb unsalted butter
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 1/2 c cubed crusty bread
4 slices bacon, chopped
2 large leeks, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 c heavy cream (I used half and half)
1 1/2 c frozen peas (do not thaw)
1/4 c chopped fresh parsley
*I added just a little bit of shredded Italian cheese blend

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Make croutons:  Melt 1 Tb butter, then mix in paprika in a bowl.  Add bread cubes and toss.  Spread on baking sheet and bake until golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook bacon in large saucepan over medium heat until crisp, about 8 minutes.  Transfer with slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate.  Discard all but about 1 Tb fat from the pan.  Add remaining 1 Tb butter, then add leeks and garlic; cover and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.  Add broth, 2 cups water, potatoes and 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper; cover and bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce the heat to medium and simmer, partially covered, until potatoes are tender, about 10 mintues.

Puree half the soup in a blender, then return to pot.  Add cream and bring to a simmer.  Add peas and cook until tender, about 3 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Serve with croutons, bacon and parsley.

4 servings = 446 calories

I got 8 cups out of this so I made 6 servings at 298 calories each.

This link is posted to:

Seasonal Sundays at Real Sustenance
My Meatless Mondays at My Sweet and Savory
Your Recipe My Kitchen at Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker
Take a Look Tuesday at Sugar Bee Crafts
Made By You Monday at Skip to My Lou
Delicious Dishes at It's a Blog Party
Slightly Indulgent Tuesday at Simply Sugar and Gluten Free
Tuesday Night Supper Club at Fudge Ripple
Homemaker Monday at 11th Heaven's Homemaking Haven
Tasty Tuesday Parade of Food at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam
Tempt My Tummy Tuesday at Blessed with Grace
Tuesdays at the Table at All the Small Stuff


I'll Be Back Soon!

I know I keep promising to get back to my regular posting and it just doesn't happen.  I've been unmotivated these past few months, have had sick kids, and a crazy work schedule. 

But Monday April 18th my new blog design is being set up and then I'll be rockin' and rollin' with a new name (Peas & Carrots), new design, and lots of new recipes to come.  With the changing weather I'm getting more motivated to cook, have started getting our produce co-op again, and am ready to go!

Just bear with me one more week to get some things together and then I'll be back!

Scrambled Egg Muffins

We had this for dinner but this would be a great breakfast, brunch, and would probably freeze well too.

Scrambled Egg Muffins

1/2 lb pork sausage
12 eggs
1/2 c chopped onion
1/4 c chopped green pepper (I used red)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 c shredded cheddar cheese

In skillet, cook sausage over medium heat until no longer pink; drain.  In bowl, beat eggs.  Add onion, green pepper, salt, pepper and garlic powder.  Stir in sausage and cheese.

Spoon by 1/3 cupfuls into greased muffin cups.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean.

12 servings
158 calories per muffin


Menu Plan

~No meat Friday:  fish fry at our church for the hubby and kids, probably veggie sub from Subway for me
~Chicken Puffs (from freezer), corn, fruit
~Nachos, fruit
~Sloppy Jo, baked potatos
~Red Beans and Rice, fruit
~Broccoli and Cauliflower Casserole, garlic bread, fruit - NEW!
~Egg Muffins, fruit, toast - NEW!

Bacon and Caramelized Onion Asparagus

Bacon & Caramelized Onion Asparagus

3 slices bacon
1 1/2 lb fresh asparagus spears, trimmed (frozen works just fine)
1 Tb water
1/2 c chopped onion
1/2 c ranch dressing

Cook bacon until crisp.  Drain.  Discard dripping from skillet.  Place asparagus in microwavable casserole or 10x14 inch dish.  Add water.  Microwave 4 to 5 minutes or until crisp tender.  Meanwhile, add onions to skillet; cook and stir 5 minutes or until crisp tender.  Stir in dressing.  Drain asparagus; top with sauce and crumbled bacon.

This was even better leftover the next day!


Cream of Broccoli Soup

I asked my mother in law for this recipe since hers was absolutely delicious!  This is what she sent me, although we both added some velveeta to ours.  You could leave out the ham to make it meatless too.

Creamy of Broccoli Soup or Broccoli Cheese Soup

4 cups chicken broth
1 large bunch broccoli, chopped (3 cups)
1/2 cup diced onion
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp salt
dash of ground pepper
1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 oz ham (1/3 cup diced)
1/2 cup heavy cream (I used half and half, my  mother in law uses evaporated milk)

Combine broth, broccoli, onion, bay leaf, salt and pepper in large saucepan over high heat.  When broth comes to a boil, turn down the heat and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.  The vegetables will become tender.
Remove bay leaf and discard.  Transfer a little more than half of the broth and vegetable mixture to a blender or food processor.  Mix on low speed for 20 to 30 seconds.  This will finely chop the vegetables to nearly a puree.  (Be careful blending hot liquids. You may want to let it cool a bit before this step.)
Pour the blended mixture back into pot over medium/low heat.  Add flour and whisk until all lumps have dissolved.
Add ham and cream.  Continue to simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until the soup is as thick as you like it.
If you're adding cheese do it at the very end and just warm until melted.

This made 6 cups for me.  It says that it makes 4 servings as an appetizer or 2 servings as an entree but we got three servings easily out of this one.

This post is linked to:

It's a Keeper Thursday
Show Off Your Stuff at Fireflies and Jellybeans
Tasty Traditions at Coupon Cookin'
Recipe Swap Thursday at Prairie Story
Tuesday Night Supper Club at Fudge Ripple
Miz Helen’s Country Cottage


Amish Friendship Muffins

I got some starter from a friend last week and made my bread yesterday.  I used this recipe which actually is for muffins but I made two loaves out of it instead.  Very tasty, my hubby is happy with it!

Amish Friendship Muffins

1 cup Amish batter
2 cups flour
3/4 cup oil
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp vanilla

Stir well.

Add 1 cup chopped nuts if desired.

1 cup apples, chopped
1 cup raisins or
1 cup blueberries

Mix well.  Put into muffin tins well greased if not using liners.  Sprinkle with topping on each muffin and bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until done.

1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup margarine

Mix well and sprinkle over tops of muffins before baking.

Chicken Puffs

These would have been good if they had more filling in them.  I think since I used homemade crescent roll dough they  needed more filling than called for but I would make them again.

Chicken Puffs

2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cubed
3 Tb chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
3/4 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese
6 Tb butter
3 (10 oz) cans refrigerated crescent roll dough (or I used homemade crescent roll dough)

In medium saucepan over medium heat slowly cook and stir skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, onion and garlic.  Cook until onions are tender and chicken is lightly browned.

In medium bowl, blend chicken mixture, cream cheese and butter until creamy.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Unroll crescent rolls and divide in half to create 12 rectangles.  Place approximately one tablespoon of chicken mixture on each rectangle.  Fold into balls.

Arrange balls on large baking sheet.  Bake for 12 minutes, or until golden brown.

Grilled Turkey and Swiss

The hubby was making grilled cheese one day for the kiddos and made this for himself.  We're on a big swiss cheese kick so we also had these for dinner one night recently.  They're very yummy!

Spread two pieces of bread with butter.  Place one slice butter side down in hot skillet.  Top with a few slices of turkey (or ham or roast beef, whatever your choice may be), and a slice or two of cheese (in this case, Swiss).  Place other slice of bread on top.  Flip and finish cooking other side.

I added a bit of mayo to the inside of mine, as well as a few slivers of onion.  Then we dipped the sandwiches in honey mustard.

String Pie

I used to make this a lot but haven't made it for quite a long time until tonight.  I remembered how good it was!

String Pie

12 oz spaghetti
4 Tb butter
salt and pepper
2 eggs, beaten
2 lbs ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1/2 green pepper (I use red)
2 Tb oil (I omit this)
1 jar spaghetti sauce
2 tsp sugar
garlic, oregano
2 cups cottage cheese
8 oz mozzarella
2/3 cup parmesan

Cook and drain spaghetti.  Place in bottom of 9x13 dish.  Combine butter, parmesan, salt, pepper, and egg.  Spread over noodles.  Spread on cottage cheese.  Cook ground beef, onion, green pepper in oil.  Stir in spaghetti sauce, sugar, garlic, and oregano.  Layer over noodles and cottage cheese.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Sprinkle with mozzarella.  Bake 10 minutes more until cheese is melted.

Menu Plan

I've been neglecting my blog.  Had a short trip, sick kids and just an overall crazy schedule lately.  I'm hoping it all gets better soon.  For now, here's my plan for the next week or so.

~Zucchini Casserole - from last week we never got to.  I went ahead and made it and stuck it in the freezer.  Will post soon I hope.
~String Pie, fresh string beans
~Crockpot Pork Chops, mashed potatoes, blueberry muffins
~Broccoli Cheese Soup, fruit, breadsticks
~Shepherd's Pie, fruit
~Baked Potatoes
~Pizza Night


Menu Plan

Things have been a little crazy lately but I will get some posts up from last week as soon as I can.  Here's my next menu that will probably last more than a week.

~Chevy's:  got a Groupon to use before it expires.
~Chicken Noodle Soup from a friend
~Ham and Cheese Puff Pastry, broccoli, fruit
~Lasagna Soup, crescent rolls
~Chicken Puffs, zucchini casserole - both NEW!
~Grilled Turkey and Swiss Sandwiches, tater tots, fruit - NEW!
~String Pie, green beans - NEW!
~Waffles/Breakfast Night, or just something quick like pizza or ravioli


Good Freezer Meals

My sister had a baby on Valentine's Day.  We're going down to visit next week and I'm bringing along some meals to fill her freezer to help her out at dinnertime.  Thought I'd share my list of good freezer meals.

Sloppy Joes
Red Beans and Rice
Tortellini Soup (freeze without tortellini, reheat when ready to eat and add cheese tortellini the last 5-10 minutes)
Wild Rice Chicken Supreme
Franks & Beans (Recipe to come.)
Slow Cooker Pork Chops
Lil' Cheddar Meatloaves
Twice Baked Potatoes
Fajita Chicken (just cook some chicken and season with fajita seasoning.  Put in freezer and just reheat when ready to use.)

I'm also bringing for breakfast/snacks:
Butterhorns (filled with chocolate chips and cinnamon sugar)
Zucchini Muffins
Apple Pie Muffins

Quick Burritos

Just a quick easy burrito I made to put in the freezer.  Wrap them individually and then you can just pull them out and nuke them.

Spread some refried beans onto a tortilla shell.  Top with some cooked ground beef (I seasoned mine with chili powder and cumin), taco sauce, and shredded cheese.  Roll up and wrap in plastic wrap and place in a freezer bag.  Microwave when ready to eat.


Menu Plan

I'm stretching this next plan over a little more than a week.  I got this past menu to last 9 days and this one should last awhile too.  It's kinda nice not going grocery shopping every week!

~Southwest Turkey Soup, biscuits, fruit
~Enchiritos, corn, fruit
~Honey Chicken Bites (processed dinner night!  Those Tyson things in the freezer section.), onion rings, maybe rice and veggies
~Tilapia - NEW -, broccoli
~Pancakes and Sausage
~Leftovers/Eat Out
~Franks and Beans, cornbread - the kids and I are heading out of town for a few days next week so I'll be making this for hubby to throw in the oven for himself one night, per his request.

Southwest Turkey Soup

You must like ground turkey to like this soup.  I think next time I may try it with ground beef.  I like turkey, but only if it's cooked a certain way, or with certain ingredients.  This wasn't bad, don't get me wrong, just may tweak it some next time.

Found the recipe in the Taste of Home magazine, December/January 2011 issue page 38.

Southwest Turkey Soup

In a Dutch oven, brown 1lb. ground turkey in 1 Tb olive oil. (I omitted the oil and added a small onion during this step.)  Drain if needed.  Add two cans rinsed and drained kidney beans, 2 cans (14 oz each) chicken broth, 2 cups frozen corn, 1 cup salsa, 1 can (4 oz) green chilies and 1 Tb chili powder.  (I seasoned my meat with chili powder and cumin so I did not add anymore here.)  Bring to a boil; cover and simmer fro 10 minutes.  Serve topped with sour cream and fresh cilantro.

Serves 6


Baked Ravioli (or Tortellini) with Spinach and Walnuts

 This was pretty good.  We used cheese tortellini and it was a little too cheesy for us (if that's possible).  Next time I might try meat filled pasta or use less cheese if I go with cheese filled pasta.  And I will say, you need to like spinach to enjoy this dish.  I'm not a huge fan of it, but can eat it.  I would make this again, with a little tweaking.

Baked Ravioli with Spinach & Walnuts

1 Tb olive oil
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1 lb (or more) fresh spinach (&/or arugula), well washed, wrung out, and chopped
2 Tb butter
2 Tb all purpose flour
2 cup low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 cup skim milk
1/2 cup parmigiano reggiano cheese, shredded
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
salt & pepper, to taste (I didn't use salt due to sodium in the cheese)
2 cup mozzarella or other favorite cheese, grated
20 to 28 oz favorite frozen ravioli &/or tortellini
1/2 cup (or more) walnuts, chopped

In large pot, cook pasta according to package directions until slightly underdone (will finish in oven)

In large skillet over medium heat saute garlic in olive oil for about a minute, until fragrant.  Add spinach to skillet and saute for 5 minutes until well coated and wilted.  Drain and remove to small bowl.

In same skillet, over medium heat, make roux by melting butter and whisking in flour; cook about 2 minutes.  Slowly stir in broth; increase heat and bring to boil, stirring continuously.  Add milk and parmesan and bring just to a simmer, cooking for 2 minutes.  Stir in nutmeg, salt and pepper.

Preheat oven broiler to 500 degrees (or high) temperature.  (I thought this was way too hot and was also making garlic bread at the same time so I just used a 375 degree oven until the cheese was melted.)

In 9x9 baking dish, cover bottom with a thin layer of chicken broth mixture.  Layer half of pasta in dish.  Top with half of spinach and walnuts, then about half of remaining chicken broth.  (Walnuts too if you're adding them to entire dish.)

Add other half of pasta, followed by remainder of spinach and walnuts.  Cover with rest of chicken broth mixture.  Top with grated mozzarella.

Place in oven about 8" from broiler element and broil for 4 to 5 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and golden.  Plate and garnish with chopped walnuts; serve immediately.

Serves 4-8  (I got 6 pretty good size servings.)

This post is linked to:
Seasonal Sunday at Real Sustenance
Meatless Mondays at My Sweet and Savory
Your Recipe My Kitchen at Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker
Made By You Monday at Skip to My Lou
Tuesday Night Supper Club at Fudge Ripple
Mouthwatering Monday at A Southern Fairytale
Homemaker Monday at 11th Heaven's Homemaking Haven

Menu Plan

Sorry about the lack of posts.  My sister had my new baby niece on Monday and this week has been kind of crazy.

Here's my menu that I had for the past week or so, that will continue until Sunday:

~Wild Rice Chicken Supreme (x2 for freezer), green beans
~Cheddar Sausages (you know, the Beddar Cheddar...SO good, yet SO bad.  Got the turkey ones for myself), scrambled eggs (with veggies for me)
~Crockpot Tamale Pie (x2), fruit
~Southwest Turkey Soup - NEW - fruit, maybe some bread
~Baked Tortellini with Spinach and Walnuts - NEW - fruit, garlic bread
~Eat Out...the weather was amazing here yesterday, 75 degrees, so we went to one of our favorite places to eat outside.

I'll be posting the SW Soup and Baked Tortellini recipes soon.  And I'll apologize in advance for any lack of posting, since there are a few days I'll be at my sister's and possibly a few more if the baby goes back to the hospital.


Macaroni Salad

This is a basic macaroni salad.  I've never been big on macaroni salad, but as I've gotten older I've come to like it a little more.  I prefer a homemade version, like this one, that doesn't have so much mayo.  I cut this recipe in half and got about 4 servings since I'm the only one who will eat it.

Macaroni Salad

2 cups dry elbow macaroni
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup diced dill pickles
1/4 tsp onion powder
1 medium stalk celery, diced
1 small sweet red pepper, chopped
1/2 cup cooked frozen peas and carrots (I just used uncooked peas)
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
3 medium scallion, chopped

Cook macaroni according to directions.  Drain and rinse with cold water; drain again.

Meanwhile to make dressing, combine mayo, sour cream, pickles, onion powder; mix well.

In large mixing bowl combine macaroni, celery, pepper, peas, carrots, cheese and scallions.  Pour dressing over salad; toss lightly to coat.  Cover and chill at least 2 hours.  Yields about 1/2 cup per serving.


Be on the Lookout!

for a new design for my blog.  I won a custom blog design over at http://crazyjayzplace.blogspot.com/2011/01/introducing-new-blog-custom-blog-or.html and I can't wait to see how it turns out!

On that note...I'd like a new name for my blog.  Preferably something without my name in it.  There are so many out there that I like but I can't think of anything very creative for mine!  I really like Cooking During Stolen Moments because as a work from home mom of two young kids it kind of applies to my life.  So if you have any ideas please comment and let me know.  Thanks!


Menu Plan

We were supposed to go out tonight for my husband's birthday but thanks to the lovely snow our babysitter, aka my mom, can't make it.  So...not sure what we'll do tonight.

~Breaded Catfish, calico beans, cornbread
~Soup, garlic bread (just canned soup I had bought and we've never eaten.  Plus we have swim lessons two nights a week for the next four weeks so this will help time-wise.)
~Quesadillas:  chicken and cheese for family, veggie and black bean for me, corn, fruit
~Chicken Breasts (honey mustard and plum glazed), macaroni salad, onion rings, biscuits
~Italian Meatball Casserole, green beans
~Beddar Cheddar sausages (turkey for me), scrambled eggs (w/ veggies for me), fruit
~Nachos for the Super Bowl


Baked Potato Soup

This is a receipe I grew up on.  Quick and easy, very adaptable to your tastes.

Baked Potato Soup

3 strips bacon, diced (I use real bacon pieces with the salad stuff)
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp pepper
2 lg potatoes, baked, peeled, cubed (about 2 cups)
1 cup 1/2 and 1/2 cream
3 Tb flour
1 tsp salt and dried basil
3 cups chicken broth (I use a little more than this depending on the amount of cheese and thickness of the soup)
shredded cheddar (and/or Velveeta)

In large saucepan, cook bacon until crisp.  Drain, reserving 1 Tb drippings.  Set aside bacon.  Saute onion and garlic in dripping until tender.  (Since I use bacon pieces that are already cooked I saute my onion and garlic in some oil and butter.)  Stir in flour, basil, salt, and pepper.  Mix well.  Gradually add broth.  Bring to boil and stir 2 minutes.  Add potatoes and cream; heat through but do not boil.  Garnish with bacon, cheese, and parsley.  (I mix the cheese into mine, about a cup of shredded cheddar and 1/4 lb of velveeta)

You could easily add veggies to this.  Corn or broccoli would be good, maybe some red pepper.

This post is linked to:
Show Me What You've Got Thursday at It's a Keeper
Full Plate Thursday at Miz Helen's Country Cottage
Tasty Traditions at Coupon Cookin'
Recipe Swap Thursday at Prairie Story
Tip Day Thursday at Around My Family Table (where I was featured this week!)
Foodie Friday at Designs by Gollum
Your Recipe My Kitchen at Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker
Seasonal Sunday at Real Sustenance
Meatless Mondays at My Sweet and Savory (where my French Toast Casserole was featured this week!)
Mouthwatering Mondays at A Southern Fairytale
Homemaker Monday at 11th Heaven's Homemaking Haven


My First Features!

I was told that my Ham and Cheese Puff Pastries would be featured tomorrow at Around My Family Table.  Looking forward to seeing that.

But last night, as I was linking up my Baked French Toast Casserole recipe, I saw that my Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies were featured on Fudge Ripple's Tuesday Night Supper Club!

Thanks to both of you for featuring my recipes!


Maple Wheat Bread

Used this in the Baked French Toast Casserole but it'd be good for other things.  I will say though...I used a little more maple syrup than it called for (6Tb) and only about 1 cup of water, just a splash more than a cup.  And I took it out of the bread machine probably 12 mintues early because it was done.  Next time I would take it out even earlier so that it wasn't so crunchy on the outside.  I also split the flour a little bit and did 1 1/2 cups of whole wheat and 1 1/2 cups of bread flour because I read that it wasn't rising right for other people and someone mentioned that you needed more bread flour.  I'm not sure about that and next time would follow the recipe exactly to see what happened.

Maple Whole Wheat Bread

2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup bread flour
1/3 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups water
4 Tb maple syrup
2 Tb olive oil
1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast

Place ingredients in pan of bread machine in order recommended by manufacturer.  Select Wheat Bread cycle and press start.

Found this recipe on AllRecipes.

Baked French Toast Casserole

Thanks to my friend Kara for the fabulous recipe, even when I messed it up it was still good!  I used too much bread.  Wasn't doing my math right but it still turned out good and I will make it again.

Baked French Toast Casserole

3/4 stick butter, melted
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
12 slices bread (crusts cut off) (I used a bread machine recipe for this Maple Wheat Bread)
7 eggs
3/4 cup milk
1 tsp cinnamon
cinnamon/sugar for topping

Mix melted butter, brown sugar, and vanilla together and spread in 9x13 baking dish.  Top with 6 pieces of crustless bread.

Mix eggs, milk and cinnamon together and pour 1/2 over bread.  Layer remaining 6 pieces of bread on top and cover with remaining egg mixture.

Sprinkle top with cinnamon and sugar and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

Since I'm counting calories I'll let you know that this was appoximately 322 calories per serving with 8 servings.

**Since ours was a little dry (due to my mistake) we used a little maple syrup for this.

This post is linked to:
Seasonal Sundays at Real Sustenance
Meatless Mondays at My Sweet and Savory
Your Recipe, My Kitchen at Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker
Mouthwatering Monday at A Southern Fairytale
Homemaker Monday at 11th Heaven's Homemaking Haven
Delicious Dishes at It's a Blog Party
Slightly Indulgent Tuesday at Simply Sugar and Gluten Free
Show Us What You're Working With at Me and My Bucket
What's Cooking Wednesday at Turning the Clock Back
Tuesday Night Supper Club at Fudge Ripple
Tempt My Tummy Tuesday at Blessed with Grace
Tasty Tuesday at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam
Tuesdays at the Table at All the Small Stuff


Menu Plan

~Burritos w/ Cilantro Lime Rice, fruit
~Potato Soup, corn, garlic bread
~Lil' Cheddar Meatloaves, green beans, bread, fruit
~French Toast Casserole (hopefully I make this one this week since it's been on my  menu for a few weeks now and keeps getting pushed back), sausages
~Hub's Bday:  KFC chicken strips, bacon cheese potatoes, red lobster biscuits, chocolate pie
~Chocolate Butterhorns
~Pumpkin Muffins


I Won an Award!

I'm excited to have my first blogger award!  And the ability to pass it on.  I'm not sure how much it counts since it comes from my good friend Sarah over at Sweet Pea and JoJo.  But I'll take it!

The way it works is I have to tell you seven things about myself and then pass on this award to 15 other bloggers. So here goes...

1.  I am a mom to two awesome kids and currently trying for a third. Call me insane.
2.  I LOVE to read!  My husband asked me last month how many books I had read last year and I had no idea.  So I'm now keeping a list to satisfy my curiosity.  Currently reading Kristin Hannah and would highly recommend any book by her.  I think I've read all of them except for a couple and then I'm moving onto Debbie Macomber since I have an entire bag of her books waiting for me.
3.  I love to cook.  Obviously.  Which leads to...
4.  I am always trying to lose weight.  I am a yo-yo dieter.  I lose a bunch then gain it all back plus more.  Lose some, gain it back, lose some, gain it back, etc.  Might help if I didn't cook so much.  Then I wouldn't eat so much.  Doesn't help having kids around either since I tend to clean up after them. But regardless of what excuses I make, it's because my will power sucks.  One of these days maybe it'll happen.
5.  I'm from a small town, married to a guy from an even smaller town, who ended up by the big city of St Louis.  Hubs dreams of moving back some day but after living up here for 6 1/2 years I'm not sure I could go back.
6. I enjoy quilting, even though I haven't done it since I had kids.  My Grandma Jo, who was like a second mother to me and passed away this past summer, taught me what I know and instilled in me my love for it.  I'm looking forward to the days when the kids are older and our basement is finished so I can drag out all my quilting stuff again and do something I enjoy.
7.  I  have a BS in Elementary Ed, an MBA in Accounting, and yet I work from home doing web design.  Guess I'm not sure what I want to do but I do love what I'm currently doing.  It's only me and my boss, the owner of a small company in St Louis and the most awesome boss ever.  I can work when I want, as much as I want, and still be home for my kids.  I'm hoping this is something I can keep doing indefinitely so that as the kids get older I can still volunteer at school and go on field trips, take care of them if they're sick, etc.  So if you have any web design needs or SEO needs check out www.highlevelstudios.com! 

That's it.  Now to pass it along:

1.  Finding Joy in My Kitchen - I enjoy the Friday Favorites, the healthy recipes, and get great recipe ideas of things to try from this site.
2.  An Oregon Cottage - This site not only has great recipes but I learned a lot about gardening this summer as we ventured through our first garden.  It also talks about decorating and crafty things, like these Flax Seed Pillows I'd like to make some day.
3. A Year of Slow Cooking - Who doesn't love the crockpot?!
4. This Week for Dinner - I love the weekly menus to pull ideas from, and she has awesome give-aways.
5. Lynn's Kitchen Adventures - Great recipes and ideas, plus vlogs teaching me new ways of doing things.
6. Crafts N Things for Children - My friend Sarah, who I mentioned above, makes awesome crafts.  But I don't have my sewing machine out and am not as crafty as her.  But this site provides some great ideas for some fast and easy crafts for kids, and I especially love the learning ones.
7. Hon, What's for Dinner? - I like how she makes her own twist of recipes.
8. Loving My Domestic Life - Since I myself have a domestic life I enjoy the ideas she comes up with.
9. Mom!  What's for Dinner? - Yummy recipes that are quick and easy.
10.  A Bountiful Kitchen - Lovely recipes and great photos.

Okay, well, I can only think of 10 right now but if I come across anymore deserving I'll add to my list.