Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Chicken Noodle Soup

This soup was pretty good however I am not the type of person who is just absolutely in love with CNS.  It is ok but I never crave it... my kids call it chicken noodle booger soup.  Now if you know me you know that I did NOT put boogers in my soup (the family that I took this too for dinner tonight is grateful for that ;-) ) you also know I have two little boys and when they first saw the celery in it they apparently thought it looked like boogers and this somehow convinced them to eat it.

4 cups chicken broth
dash of black pepper
1 carrot
1 stalk celery
1/2 cup egg noodles
1 cup chicken
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic salt

Sensational Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe
  1. Mix broth, black pepper, carrot and celery in saucepan.
  2. Heat to a boil.
  3. Stir in noodles and chicken.
  4. Cook over medium heat 10 minutes until noodles are done.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Chocolate Molten Cake

One of my favorite things about the cruises we take is the food of course, but the Chocolate Molten Cake is on a whole different level.  It is heaven in a ramekin....  These were good but for some reason mine didn't have the ooey gooey center that the ones on the boat have.  I cooked these for 14 minutes but I think next time I will cut that down to about 12 and see how they turn out then.

8oz Bittersweet chocolate
8 tablespoon butter (1 stick)
plus more for ramekins
3 eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Generously butter four 6 ounce ramekins.
Place the prepared molds on a baking sheet and set aside.
Melt the chocolates and butter in a double boiler.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sugar until pale (about two minutes).
Beat in the vanilla.
Stir in the egg mixture into the chocolate and then add the flour.
Mix well.
Divide the batter among the prepared ramekins and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, the edges should be firm and set but the center will still look a little wet.
Serve immediately with vanilla bean ice cream.
You can serve them in the ramekins or run a knife around the edges to loosen and invert onto dessert plates.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Monster Granola Bars (Think Monster Cookies in bar form)

A fun semi healthy snack!

  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup honey (I ran out of honey so I finished it up with light corn syrup)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cups quick oats
  • 1/2 cup crispy rice cereal
  • 1 cup Monster trail mix (I just mixed up some nuts and m&m's)
  • 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  1. Combine brown sugar, peanut butter, honey and butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring frequently.
  2. Bring sugar mixture just to a boil and then continue cooking for an additional 2-3 minutes stirring constantly, or until sugar dissolves.
  3. Stir in oats and crispy rice cereal until evenly coated.
  4. Let mixture cool for 5 minutes.
  5. (Optional) Meanwhile, pick out a handful of M&Ms from the trail mix and set aside.
  6. Place parchment paper in an 8x8 inch baking dish. Make sure the paper hangs over on either side so you can pull out the granola bars and cut them up with ease.
  7. Once mixture has cooled slightly, fold in trail mix and press into the prepared dish.
  8. Sprinkle M&Ms and chocolate chips over the top of the bars and use the bottom of a bowl or cup to press them into the bars. You don't want them to fall out when cutting!
  9. Place dish into refrigerator and let bars set up for 1-2 hours.
  10. Cut into bars and serve!
Monster Trail Mix Granola Bars | These no-bake granola bars take less than ten minutes to prepare and taste WAY better than any store bought granola bars!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Menu for 10-28 to 11-3

B- Bacon and Pancakes
L- Sandwich and Mandarin Oranges
D- Chicken Fried Steak, Mashed Potatoes and Gravy and Popovers (This didn't happen, since we were out of town last week I didn't realize this was parent night at the school so we ended up with pizza....)

B- Muffins
L- Cheese Quesadillas
D- Cajun Chicken Pasta, Caprese Salad and Garlic Bread Chocolate Molten Cakes (New Recipe)

B- Cereal
L- Corn Dogs
D- Chicken Noodle Soup

B- Cinnamon Bread
L- Mini Pizzas
D- Dance Party

B- Cereal
L- Bake Sale
D- Family Date (Cracker Barrel and Opening Night of Santa Land)

B- Overnight Pecan French Toast (New Recipe)
D- Fundraiser

B- Breakfast Enchiladas
L- Parmesean Meatloaf (New Recipe), Green Beans and Boiled Potatoes, and ?
D- Leftovers

Back from Vacation

First things first I will just say that the food was AMAZING!  Yesterday however was the best day who can resist an all you can eat "Chocolate Extravaganza" ?  Not this girl! 

I love that on cruises you have people waiting on you constantly I also love that you dress up for dinner.  I feel that this is something that we as a culture have put on the back burner.  We are all so busy that it doesn't really seem like we even give a second thought to getting ourselves all dolled up.  Not that long ago they "dressed" for dinner every evening instead of just special occasions... not really sure how I went off on this subject it just sort of happened. :-)

Anyway my husband is WAY more adventurous than I am and tried the Didja Ever items every night.  Think alligator, lamb, shark, squid... NOT my thing.  I love food and have an obsession with making things taste and look wonderful however I just don't think shark will make my heart skip a beat.

Even though we ate some great food (and gained a few pounds despite taking the stairs everywhere) I am excited to be back home and in my kitchen.  I am ready to cook for my family and try new things, I am ready to use something I am passionate about to show my family that they are special and that I adore them.

I missed blogging and look forward to getting back at it!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Off the Grid

Just a quick note to let you all know that for the next seven days I will be without technology! 
I am very excited to spend time with my family without the distraction of the computer, phone, and household duties. 
When I get home I will share with you all of the yummy food I ate and hopefully will get to show you some pictures. 
I hope you all have a great week and cook some yummy food. 

Friday, October 18, 2013

Biscuit and Gravy Casserole

This morning while trying to figure out what to make for breakfast I stumbled across a recipe for biscuit and gravy casserole and thought that might be interesting, so I gave it a try!  My hubby and two of the kiddos loved it the other wasn't crazy about it because "he doesn't like gravy"... not sure when this happened...  Anyway I did modify the original recipe I found quite a bit, but it was a good starting point!

Ingredients you'll need:

1 pound sausage

1 1/2 ounces sausage gravy mix (I made homemade gravy)

1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

6 eggs

1/2 cup milk

to taste salt

to taste black pepper

1 Can (8 oz) biscuits (I made homemade biscuits just remember not to cook the dough before making the casserole it has plenty of time to cook when it is all together.)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Get a 9 x 13 pan and spray it with Pam or other cooking spray.
Then take the Biscuits and tear into 1" pieces and line bottom of your pan.
Brown your sausage in a skillet and scatter over biscuits.
Sprinkle with Cheddar Cheese.
Whisk eggs and milk with a pinch of salt and pepper and pour it over the pan.
Make Gravy mix per package directions and pour over.
Bake in the oven for about 30-45 minutes.  
Serve while hot.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Turtle Bars

To me Turtle Bars would mean that there would be caramel however there really isn't a "caramel" part of this recipe.  So after I spread the chocolate on top I drizzled mine with a little caramel topping just to add a little something extra and I think it put these bars over the top!  In the words of my very cute 3 year old "mommy this snack is tasty".

Turtle Bars

Bar Base

2 cup flour
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup softened butter
6 oz. pecan halves


2/3 cup butter
½ cup brown sugar
10 oz. bittersweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Place the flour, sugar, and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer. 
Blend until  the mixture looks coarse and crumbly.
Press mixture into a 9×13-inch pan.
Arrange the pecans over the flour mixture.
Set aside.
In a small sauce pan, melt butter and brown sugar. 
Stirring frequently.
Bring to a boil.
Boil for 30 seconds, stirring constantly to make sure the mixture is fully blended. 
Remove from heat and pour the over the pecans-covered base.
Bake for 20 minutes.
Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle with chocolate chips. 
Return to oven for about 30 second-1 minute. 
Remove, and with an offset spatula, spread the chocolate into an even layer.
Let cool in pan completely and then cut into small squares.
Yields about 20-30 squares.
Post image for Turtle Bar Bites

Monday, October 14, 2013

Menu for 10-14 to 10-20

Yamboree starts this week so our menu may not be followed as closely as normal.  ;)  Those of you who aren't from around here are probably curious as to what I am talking about.  Yamboree is the greatest small town festival!  I LOVE it.  There are rides, carnival games, arts and crafts booths, different art contests, parades, pageants, barn dances, livestock competitions, and kids are out of school!  It is soooo much fun!  Enough about that I am making a menu for this week however I am not making any promises on whether I actually follow it. 

B- Leftover Tater Tot Casserole
L- Cheese Quesadillas and Grapes
D- Hubby picked up dinner I had a major headache!

B- Cereal
L- Corn Dogs and Mandarin Oranges
D- Free  Chinese food with my dad!

Wednesday (School lets out early)
B- Pancakes and Sausage
L- Popcorn Chicken, Grapes
D- Hamburger Steak, Mashed Potatoes, and Cucumber Salad

Thursday (Yamboree)
B- Muffins
L-Corn Dogs and Grapes (We have an open package that I really want to use up)
D- Dinner at Yamboree

Friday (Yamboree)
B- Biscuit and Gravy Casserole (New Recipe)
L- Sandwiches
D- Ribs, Baked Potatoes, Okra

Saturday (Yamboree)
B- Leftover Biscuit and Gravy Casserole
L- Parade
D- Taco Soup

B- Vacation
L- Vacation
D- Vacation

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Honey Teriyaki Chicken Recipe

This was some pretty good chicken!!!

  • 1.5 lbs boneless skinless chicken tenders
  • 1/3 cup honey 
  • 1/3 cup teriyaki sauce 
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce 
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt
  • 2 tbsp. sesame seeds

  • Instructions

     Chop chicken tenders into 1 inch pieces.

    Transfer chicken into a large bowl.

    Add the teriyaki sauce, soy sauce, honey, minced garlic and salt and pepper.

    Transfer chicken (liquid and all) into an oiled and heated pan.

    Place the stove on medium heat, if you put it any higher the juices will jump out of the pan and burn you (don't ask me how I know that ;) )

    After about five minutes, crank the heat up to medium high.

    Stirring occasionally.

    Cook until sauce has reduced. Trust me, the sauce will reduce... even if it looks like you're going to be serving teriyaki soup for dinner. It took about 15 to 20 minutes of total cooking time for the sauce to thicken up. However, I'm not including a specific time frame because it can vary according to your stove and your definition of “medium high.”

    When the sauce thickens up and starts sticking to the chicken, add sesame seeds. Stir.

    Remove from heat. Let sit for five minutes before serving.

    The best ever healthy honey teriyaki chicken recipe. Moist, sticky and crunchy all at the same time. And uses everyday ingredients. Only 322 calories per serving!

    Chocolate Fudge Cake

    Since we will be out of the country on my Nathan's 6th birthday we had his party yesterday.  He had insisted that the cake be chocolate (which was perfectly fine with me) so I found this recipe and everyone really seemed to like it!

    "What a way to celebrate someone's birthday with this Chocolate Fudge Layer Cake"

    3  ounces unsweetened chocolate
    1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
    2 cups sugar
    2 large eggs, room temperature
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1/2 cup buttermilk (I used regular milk)
    2 cups all-purpose flour
    2 teaspoons baking soda
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 cup boiling water

    Grease and flour two 9-inch layer cake pans and line with parchment paper rounds. 
    Preheat oven to 350˚F. 
    Place the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and microwave in 30 second intervals until melted, stirring in between intervals – approximately 1 1/2 – 2 minutes.
    Set aside. 
    In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. 
    Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. 
    Mix in vanilla and melted chocolate, beating until smooth. 
    Add the buttermilk, flour, soda, and salt.
    Mix until incorporated. 
    Add boiling water and beat smooth.  (Batter will be thin.) 
    Divide batter evenly between the two cake pans. 
    Bake in the middle of the oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the layers comes out clean. 
    Do not over bake or the cake will be dry. 
    Remove to cooling racks and cool for 10 minutes. 
    Run a knife around the edge of the cakes and invert onto the cooling racks. 
    Cool completely. 
    At this stage the layers can be wrapped tightly and stored at room temperature overnight or frozen for up to a month.

    She used a different frosting recipe than I typically do and personally I really like mine and it seemed easier so I just used it!  I will post the recipe for that later today...

    Thursday, October 10, 2013

    Caramel Apple Pie Cookies

    My husband LOVES and I mean LOVES his grandmother's apple pie, so I made a choice years ago that I probably won't make him apple pie very often.  In his eyes there is no competing with his Nanny and I am fine with that.  In fact it is probably good for our marriage that I DON'T make him apple pie because he once told his mom, "this is good but not as good as Nanny's"  and I think I would hurt him if he said it to me in the same way it was said to his mother.  ;)  So... when I found this recipe I decided that this is different enough that I can make them and hopefully they won't be compared to anyone (I hope this mainly for his sake). 

    He ended up really enjoying them and didn't say one word about his Nanny until... "You should tell my Nanny she has some competition."  Ha yeah right I am not telling her that!!!  I love her and think she is one of the funniest women I have ever met however she really enjoys making him this special treat and I think that if he said anything to her she might bury me in a deep hole. (JK) 

    So here is the recipe that you have all been waiting for:

    Caramel Apple Pie Cookies #recipe #cookies #apples #dessert

    rolled ready made pie crusts (in the refrigerated section of your grocery store)
    Caramel Topping
    Apple Pie Filling
    Cinnamon Sugar, optional (I used it because Phillip loves cinnamon sugar)

    For other variations 
    - Sprinkle apple layer with 2 tablespoons of toffee bits.
    -use pie filling in your choice of flavors...imagine Cherry, Blueberry or Peach pie Cookies!

    1. Remove pie crusts from packaging and allow to rest at room temp for 5-10 minutes.
    2. Flour work surface and open one of the crusts. 
    3. Spread a thin layer of caramel topping evenly over crust. 
    4. Take the can of pie filling and run a knife through it to mince it to much smaller pieces, then spread about 1/2 to 3/4 of the can over the caramel layer. (I used about 1/2 the can)
    5. Dust apple layer with cinnamon-sugar.  (I used 1 tsp)
    6. Now open the second crust and use a pizza cutter to cut into thin strips to make the lattice tops.
    7. Using the pie crust strips, create a lattice top over the apple filling.     
    8. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
    9. Spray cookie sheet with non-stick spray. 
    10. Use a round cookie cutter [I used a drinking glass] to cut out your cookies and place them on prepared cookie sheet. 
    11. If desired, at this time, each cookie can be brushed with an egg wash or cream and sprinkled with coarse sugar. (I used another tsp cinnamon sugar mix)
    12. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until light golden brown.
    I also baked my scraps... no one but us will see them anyway and they taste as good as the other!

    Cornbread Casserole

    1 package of cornbread mix (plus the egg and milk to prepare it)
    1 pound of ground beef (or substitute ground turkey, pork or chicken)
    1 onion, chopped
    3 cloves of garlic, chopped
    1 tablespoon Chili Powder
    1 teaspoon Cumin
    1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
    1 can Rotel tomatoes
    1 cup cheddar cheese

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 
    Prepare packaged cornbread mix per box instructions. 
    In a greased 9x13 baking dish, spread cornbread mixture across bottom. 
    Bake 9-10 minutes or until done.

    In the meantime, on the stove, brown ground beef. 
    Add in onion and garlic and saute about 5 minutes. 
    Add in next 4 ingredients. 
    Simmer 10 minutes on low. 
    Pour ground beef mixture over cornbread, top with cheese and bake 10 minutes or until bubbly.

    Wednesday, October 9, 2013

    Mexican Style Rice

    This was so good in fact it was better than any rice I have ever had at a Mexican restraunt!
    3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
    1 cup long grain rice, uncooked
    1 tsp. fresh minced garlic
    1/2 tsp. kosher salt
    1/2 tsp. cumin
    1/2 c. tomato sauce
    1 (14 oz) can chicken broth
    3 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh cilantro
    Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
    Add the rice and gently stir until rice begins to lightly brown.
    Add the garlic, salt, and cumin and stir the rice til it looks golden.
    Add the tomato sauce, chicken broth, and cilantro and turn the heat up to medium high.
    Bring the mix to a boil then turn the heat to low and cover the pan with a lid.
    Simmer for 20 to 25 minutes.
    Remove from heat and fluff with a fork.

    A user's photo.

    Brownie Pie

    This was a hit with my family and neighbors, I didn't try it (we have vacation in 11 days and I need to look decent in my swimsuit).  I hope you enjoy!

    1 pie crust from a 14.1-ounce box of refrigerated pie crust ( I used homemade)
    1/2 cup butter, softened
    1/2 cup sugar
    1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
    4 large eggs, divided
    1 tablespoon vanilla extract
    6 ounces semisweet chocolate (I used chocolate chips), 
    melted and cooled slightly.
    1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
    1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    1/2 cup fleur de sel caramel sauce (I used homemade)

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    On a lightly floured surface, unroll pie crust. 
    Roll pastry into a 12-inch circle.
    Press pie crust into a 9-inch pie plate, crimping edges, if desired.
    In a medium bowl, beat butter and sugars on medium speed with a mixer until fluffy. 
    Add 3 eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. 
    Beat in vanilla. 
    Stir in melted chocolate until combined.
    In a small bowl, combine flour and baking powder. 
    Gradually add to the butter mixture, beating until smooth. 
    Spoon batter into prepared crust.
    In a small bowl, combine caramel sauce and remaining egg. (I made homemade caramel)
    Spoon caramel mixture by tablespoonfuls over brownie pie. 
    Gently swirl batter with a knife. 
    Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until a knife (or wooden pick) inserted in center comes out clean. 
    Let cool 30 minutes before serving.
    Original recipe from:

    Monday, October 7, 2013

    Cheddar Cheese Buttermilk Biscuits

    These were pretty darn good.  ;-)  They taste a lot like the biscuits that we have had at Paula Deen's The Lady And Sons.  I hope you enjoy!

    2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
    1 tbsp baking powder
    1 1/2 tsp salt
    1 1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter, diced
    1/2 cup cold buttermilk, shaken
    1 cold egg
    1 cup grated Cheddar cheese
    1 egg, beaten
    Preheat oven to 425 F degrees.
    In a large bowl add the flour, baking powder and salt and mix well and place the bowl in the fridge for about 30 min.
    Cut the cold butter into pieces, and let it sit out, we just want it to soften a bit.
    Place the flour mixture in the bowl of a mixer and add the butter and the grated cheese.
    Using the paddle attachment mix until the butter forms into small peas. You can also do this by hand using a pastry blender.
    Whisk the cold egg together with the buttermilk and add it to the mixer and continue mixing until the dough comes together.
    Turn the dough onto a floured surface and continue kneading a few times.
    Roll out the dough so that it's about half an inch thick to 3/4 of an inch.
    Using a round cookie cutter, you can also use a glass if you don't have a round cookie cutter, start cutting the biscuits. My cookie cutter was about 2 inches in diameter.
    Brush the biscuits with the egg wash and bake in the oven for about 20-25 minutes then let cool on a wire rack.
      Raegan Mirick's photo.

    Menu for 10-7 to 10-13

    B- Cinnamon Bread (I made extra on Sunday)
    L- Corn Dogs and Grapes
    D- Meatloaf Muffins, Macaroni and Cheese, Corn and Cheddar Buttermilk Biscuits (New Recipe)

    Tuesday (MOPS)
    B- Cereal
    L- Mini Pizzas
    D- Ritz Cracker Chicken, Glazed Carrots and Road House Fries (I know weird combination... )

    B- Pancakes and Bacon
    L- Cheese Quesadillas
    D- Cornbread Mexican Casserole (New Recipe), Spanish Rice (New Recipe), Corn

    B- Muffins
    L- Cheese Quesadillas

    B- Cereal
    L- Out with Aunt Jordan
    D- Cheesy Chicken and Potatoes

    B- Breakfast Enchiladas
    L- Taco Soup
    D- Nathan's Birthday Party

    B- Tater Tot Casserole
    L- Honey Teriyaki Chicken (New Recipe) and Fried Rice
    D- Leftovers

    Saturday, October 5, 2013

    Chili (Kid Friendly)

    My family loves this recipe for chili, I love that it is simple and quick!  I guess that means it is a winner for all of us.  ;-)

    1 pound lean ground beef
    1 (29 ounce) can tomato sauce                                    
    1 1/2 cups chopped onion  (I use onion powder to taste)                                    
    1/4 cup chili powder                                    
    2 teaspoons ground cumin
    1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
    1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
    1/2 teaspoon white sugar
    1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper                  
    Place ground beef in a large, deep skillet.
    Cook over medium-high heat until evenly brown.
    Drain, crumble, and set aside.
    Add all ingredients to a large kettle.
    Bring to boil.
    Reduce heat and simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.                 

      Friday, October 4, 2013

      Tater Tot Casserole

      I made this today for breakfast and everyone loved it hubby was even home this morning (usually he leaves for work EARLY)  and he really enjoyed it!  I did change quite a bit from the original recipe otherwise I feel it would have been very bland.

      1 pound breakfast meat (sausage, bacon, ham, etc...)
      2 cups cheddar cheese (the original recipe said 2-4 cups, I LOVE cheese but think 4 cups is a lot!)
      2 cups milk
      4 eggs
      1 1/2 pounds tater tots (the original recipe said 2lbs but that is WAY too much)
      1 tsp onion powder
      1 tsp garlic powder

      Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
      Spread the sausage, bacon, or ham evenly in the bottom of a 9x13 inch pan.
      Spread cheese over meat. 
      In large bowl, beat together milk and eggs.
      Pour over cheese. (May be refrigerated overnight at this point).
      Top with frozen tater tots.
      Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes. 
      Cool for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

      Tuesday, October 1, 2013

      English Pea Salad

      Hubby's favorite veggie is green beans however we can not have them every night so tonight I decided to try out this recipe.  Everyone seemed to like it except my three year old who squeezed the peas in her hands, which made her hands slippery, which made her drop her cup of milk, which spilt all over the floor... yep it has been one of those days!

      This makes enough for 8 so I cut it in half however the adjustments are still based on the full portion!

      4 cups of English peas (can be either fresh or frozen
      4 pieces of bacon, cooked and crumbled
      1/2 of a small onion, finely minced (I used 1 tsp onion powder)
      1 tablespoon of fresh mint, chopped
      1/2 cup of sharp cheddar, cubed
      1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
      1/4 cup mayonnaise
      Pinch of cayenne
      Salt to taste

      Rinse your peas (do not cook, either fresh or frozen) and then mix all ingredients together.
      Chill for a few hours and serve.
      Serves 8.

      Notes: Like all salads, this is just a guide and you can jazz this up any way you see fit, such as using ham or chicken instead of bacon, adding pimientos or jalapenos, or maybe adding a dollop of mustard to give it some tang.

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