Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Monkey Bread Muffins

Last night Belle spent the night with one of her friends so this morning I only have to feed the boys, myself, and my grandmother.  I cut this recipe in half because I knew there was no way we could put away that much food.  Nathan, my grandmother, and I absolutely loved these.  My Jacob is so picky that he wouldn't even try one, if he had tried it I know he would have liked them too. 

3 (12 oz) packages of refrigerated biscuit dough
1 cup of granulated sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1/2 cup raisins (optional)

Heat Oven to 350 degrees. Put foil liners into muffin tin (I figured foil would be better than paper)
Mix sugar and cinnamon in a plastic bag. Cut biscuits into thirds, and then cut into smaller pieces. Shake biscuit pieces in plastic bag and add all pieces to 1 muffin cup.
Continue until all biscuits are gone or muffin tins are full.
In a small sauce pan, melt the butter and brown sugar over medium heat. Boil for 1 minute.
Spoon 1 teaspoon of mixture over each muffin tin.
Bake at 350 for 17 minutes.
Cool and eat!  The muffins should just pull apart.


Crock Pot Balsamic Chicken

Hubby isn't much on crock pot meals and honestly neither am I, however this week my evenings are very busy so I am doing a few crockpot meals. 

A few weeks ago our church did our VBS and the Spanish church in town asked if we could help them do a Vacation Bible School, so of course our church said yes!  So all this week my evenings are being spent with some super cute kiddos.  They are ALL adorable.  I have the cutest group of little pre school girls with canyon sized dimples.  So sweet! 

This chicken was so nice and tender and the flavor was great.  I actually even poured some of the balsamic dressing over my potatoes and of course it was delicious.  Balsamic vinegar is one of my favorite flavors! 

1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp basil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tsp onion
4 garlic cloves minced
1 tb extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
8 chicken breasts (or thighs)
sprinkle of fresh parsley

Combine first five spices in a bowl.
Spread over chicken on both sides.
Set aside.
Pour olive oil and garlic on bottom of crock pot.
Place chicken on top.
Pour balsamic over chicken.
Cover and cook on high for four hours. (I did low for 7)
Sprinkle with fresh parsley on top to serve.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Broccoli Salad

Hubby said this was yummy.  I wouldn't know because there was none left by the time I got to it... I will say that the dressing was AMAZING!

5 cups broccoli florets
1/2 lb bacon fried and crumbled
2/3 cup raisins
1 onion chopped
1 cup mayo (I use ranch)
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tb white vinegar

Combine broccoli, bacon, raisins, and onion in a bowl.  ( I also add in nuts and some cheese!)
In a separate bowl whisk together mayo, sugar, and vinegar. (Let sugar dissolve)
Pour dressing over broccoli mix.
Stir well.
Refrigerate for at least 1-2 hours.
Toss again before serving.

Monday, July 28, 2014

PB and J Sushi

How fun is this?  We don't do sushi in our house, the idea of something that slimy freaks me out. Anyway I have been scouring the internet to find lunch ideas for the kiddos and this is so simple and fun!  Plus it was a HIT!

Peanut Butter

Cut – cut off the crust.
Flatten – Flatten the bread.  I use rolling pin.  You can use the heal of your palm, a can, another board or a plate.  Just get that sucker flat.
Spread – As you see, I put the peanut butter all the way across, and the jelly only half way.  The jelly tends to travel when you roll and this help reduce the mess.
Roll – Just roll it up.  Not too tight or you’ll squeeze all the good stuff out.
Wrap and Freeze – This is the KEY step.  You can skip this step to save time, but you’ll end up with a looser messier roll.  I usually freeze for 20 minutes.
Cut – After it’s firm you can unwrap it and cut.

How to Make Sandwich Sushi for Kids Bento School Lunch - Healthy Ideas From

Sunday, July 27, 2014

School Lunch Ideas

I love the back to school excitement, don't get me wrong I hate losing my kiddos during the day, but I love the shopping!  I love buying backpacks, lunch boxes, all the fun supplies and oh the clothes.  In fact I have been known to go overboard on the shopping part.

There are a few things though that I do not enjoy about the end of summer break: losing my kids, waking up early to make breakfast and get kids ready and chores done, AND the lunch dilemma.  It is so hard for me to figure out what to send in their lunches.

I hate sending the same thing day after day.  My oldest loves sandwiches but good heavens can we say BORING!  I do spice up life a little by cutting them into cute shapes but I need ideas for more "main dishes".  It is so hard because they don't have access to a microwave so they can't heat things up and there are very few foods that taste good cold.  :-)  I am pretty sure that a lot of you moms are in the same predicament I find myself in. 

One thing I started doing last year that we love is a bento style lunch.  The kids have super cute little boxes that I got from Wal Mart with super heroes on them.  They have four spots and typically I fill those spots with a main, a side, a sweet, and a fruit/veggie.  Nathan also gets a pudding and they get a juice box.  This will be my first year making two lunches and my middle child is slightly pickier so that makes me even more nervous!

So I have decided to enlist help!  I am listing all my ideas and hope that you will give me a few of yours!

Ham and Cheese Sandwich
P,B, and J Sushi

Cheese Sticks
Gold Fish
Cheese Cubes
Baked Chips

Apple Slices
Mandarin Oranges
Carrot Sticks

1 Candy Piece
Rice Krispie

I end up taking one thing from each category adding a Jello, Pudding, or Yogurt and a Kool Aid pouch or water.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Menu for 7-28 to 8-3

B- Chocolate Chip Pancakes
L- P,B, and J Sushi (NR)
D- Lasagna Soup

B- Cereal
L- Mini Pizzas
D- Crockpot Balsamic Chicken (NR), Broccoli Salad, Herb Potato Salad

B- Monkey Bread Muffins (NR)
L- Sandwich

B- French Toast
L- Spaghetti O's
D- Slow Cooker Swiss Chicken, Pea Salad

B- Ham and Gouda Breakfast Casserole (NR)
L- Leftovers
D- Date Night

B- Fancy Ham and Egg Biscuits (NR)
L- Taco Stack Up
D- Cook out

B- Cinnamon Bread
L- Out
D- Leftovers

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Ground Beef and Noodle Casserole

Hubby is helping a friend move tonight and I am sorry that he wasn't here to try this dinner with us.  It was really good, although next time I may cut back on the pepper.  The kids all enjoyed it and Nathan and Belle went back for more several times.  It was quick, easy, and delicious... I think that means its a keeper!

1 lb. ground beef
15 oz. can of mixed veggies (I just used fresh carrots)
2 cups cooked macaroni noodles
¼ cup onion (chopped) (I used 1 tsp onion powder and 1 tsp garlic powder)
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
8 oz. shredded cheese
Sauce Mixture (ingredients below):
¼ cup butter or margarine
¼ cup flour
1 cup milk

Cook macaroni noodles as directed and drain.
Brown ground beef and onion (and garlic) and drain grease.
Melt butter, mix in flour and milk to make sauce in a bowl.
At this point I added salt and pepper.
Add mixed veggies and macaroni noodles together with ground beef in a oven safe dish.
Mix in 1 cup shredded cheese and add sauce mixture to casserole.
Top with 1 cup shredded cheese.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Serve and enjoy!

Maple Bacon Green Beans with Slivered Almonds

Hubby said these were good however kind of bland.  It might be because I used turkey bacon...

A big bag of green beans.. picked fresh
Several (maybe 4-5) pieces of maple flavored bacon
A handful of diced onion
A handful of sliced almonds
Flaked sea salt, large restaurant pepper, garlic powder

Cut the bacon into "lardons" - about 1/2 inch pieces
Cut the onions into a small dice
Find a kid to snap your beans - the size doesn't really matter
Start a pot of water to boil for the beans.
Once boiling, add the beans until they are about 90% done.
Drain the beans when they reach this point.
While the beans are boiling, saute the bacon over medium-high heat until about 3/4 done.
It's important that you do NOT put the onions in with the bacon at the beginning.  (If you do, the water in the onions will prevent the bacon from browning and crisping properly.)
Once the bacon is almost crisp, add the onions.
Saute the onions with the bacon until soft and translucent.
Add the drained (blanched) green beans to the crisped  bacon and onions.
Adjust seasonings by adding salt, pepper, garlic powder and slivered almonds.
Stir the beans into the bacon mixture to ensure that a little of the maple bacon grease has coated all of the beans.
Cook for maybe a couple of minutes more for the flavors to incorporate, then remove from heat.
The beans should still be firm, not mushy, salty, maple'y, peppery, crunchy from the bacon and almonds, sweet from the tender onions

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Pistachio Crusted Chicken Tortas

These were yummy!  We all loved them, some of us loved them more than others but everyone in our house enjoyed them.  I loved how the pistachios made them nice and crunchy and added a little extra saltiness.

When I put them together I spread some homemade pesto ( on the bottom part of the bun and it added another layer of goodness to these wonderful sandwiches.  The bread was nice and crunchy on the outside and soft and fluffy in the center.

The seasoning that I was supposed to sprinkle on the chicken just got thrown in with my flour because I kind of forgot about it till I started dipping the chicken.  :-)

1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in half lengthwise then pounded to 1/2-inch thickness
3/4 cup flour
2 eggs
3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup shelled Naturebox Chili Lime Pistachios, pulsed in food processor until finely chopped
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
In small bowl, stir together cumin, salt, paprika, cayenne and cinnamon.
Sprinkle both sides of chicken pieces with spice mixture.
Place flour in shallow dish.
In second shallow dish, lightly whisk eggs.
In third shallow dish, combine breadcrumbs and chopped pistachios.
Spray rimmed baking pan with cooking spray.
Working with one piece at a time, dip chicken in flour, shaking off excess, then egg and breadcrumb mixture.
Place on prepared baking pan.
Bake 15 minutes or until lightly browned and internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F, turning once.


No Bake Granola Bars

These were pretty good mine took awhile to harden but once they did the taste was honestly better than I had expected.

2 cups old fashioned oats
½ cup shredded coconut
½ cup sliced almonds
¼ cup brown sugar
½ cup agave
2 Tbsp. coconut oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract
½ tsp. salt
dark chocolate chips
Spray an 8x8" dish with cooking spray.
Preheat oven to 325º F.
On a baking sheet, spread out oats, coconut and almonds.
Place in the oven and toast for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown (not burned!).
In the meantime, combine the brown sugar, agave, coconut oil, vanilla and salt in a medium sized saucepan.
Cook over medium heat until the brown sugar has completely dissolved.
Pour toasted oat mixture into saucepan with brown sugar mixture and stir together until every morsel is coated and combined.
Pour into prepared baking dish and press down so it's even on top and push down to make it stay together.
Let cool completely.
When cooled, cut into bars.
Melt some dark chocolate chip in a small bowl.
Stir and then add in some Nutella (I eyeballed the measurements).
Lightly drizzle over granola bars and enjoy!
Easy No-Bake Granola Bars  - simple granola bars with oats, almonds and coconut with a delicious chocolate & nutella drizzle on top.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Cheesy Baked Rice

This rice was kind of like my day very blah.  I have been feeling pretty bad the past few days and today it hit me full force.  In fact I spent most of the day on the couch which for me is very unusual.

Tonight I went ahead and made dinner anyway and did a speed clean to make sure the house was clean when hubby got home.  Hubby walked through the door and immediately dropped the Diet Dr Pepper he had brought me... huge mess.  So he leaves again to go get me another one, when he gets home I take a sip and it tastes like funky water.  Then after dinner my oldest was taking his plate to the sink and dropped it and everything he had leftover went everywhere, including pieces of my plate.  So I sent hubby back to Mc Donalds (with all 3 kiddos) where the lady told him that she tried to catch him before he left because she knew I wouldn't like the drink, and told him their machine was funky gave him his money back and told him to go to Sonic.  Now I am sitting on the couch enjoying my drink and my cough drops, getting ready for Real Housewives of Orange County.

That being said I think this is a decent base recipe and with some spices it could be pretty good however, I am not sure if I even want to waste my time or money on making it again.

4 cups cooked rice (This is about 1 1/3 cup uncooked rice :-) )
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 cup shredded colby jack or cheddar cheese
3 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt- you can use regular salt, but I like the extra flavoring of seasoning salt (I used at least 1 tsp)

In a bowl mix all ingredients using only half the cheese.
Spread into a greased 8×8 pan or similar casserole type dish and spread remaining cheese on top.
Bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes or until heat through and cheese is nice and melted.

Cheesy Baked Rice

Monday, July 21, 2014

Downunder Cheese Puffs

These were yummy, light, and fluffy.  For some reason I think I have made them before however I can't find them on the blog so maybe I just made something similar.  I really enjoyed these and will make them again and again.

1 egg,
12 cup milk,
1 cup flour, sifted
2 tsp baking powder,
1 pinch salt,
2 cup cheese, grated

Beat the egg in the milk; mix together with the flour, baking powder, salt and grated cheese.
Put large teaspoonfuls on a cold greased tray.
Bake for 10 minutes in a hot oven 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Downunder Cheese Puffs

Menu for 7/21 to 7/27

Last week was absolutely insane and I am starting this week off sick and in bed.  I am miserable.  Lets hope that I can stick to my menu this week and make it work.  I hope you all have a blessed day!

Monday (Moms Birthday)
B- Pancakes and Bacon
L- Grilled Cheese Sandwich and Cherries
D- Cheddar Baked Chicken, Cheese Puffs and Mixed Veggies (NR), Cheesy Baked Rice (NR)

Tuesday (My Birthday)
B- Cereal
L- Mini Pizzas and Apples
D- Texas Roadhouse

B- No Bake Granola Bars (NR)
L- Cheese Quesadillas and Oranges
D- Pistachio Crusted Chicken Torta (NR), Herbed Potato Salad and Veggie

B- Cinnamon Bites
L- Grilled Cheese and Pesto Sandwich
D- Ground Beef and Noodle Casserole and Biscuits

B- Hash Brown Casserole
L- Leftovers
D- Bourbon Chicken (NR), Fried Rice and Broccoli

B- Moist Pecan Almond Loaf (NR)
L- ?
D- Steak Pie, Corn on Cob and Potatoes

B- Ham and Gouda Brunch Casserole (NR)
L- Out
D- Dinner with Friends

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Ice Cream Party

I haven't posted a whole lot this week, we had VBS at church in the morning and we spent several afternoons at the library.  This week has been absolutely beautiful in Texas, I can never remember a time when we had 70 degree temps ALL DAY in the middle of July!  When I planned this party I honestly expected it to be over 100 so we had planned on having all the water toys out and water balloons.  Seeing as how it never got over 72 yesterday we only put up a few toys and threw up the bounce house.  Even with it being chilly the kids still had a blast in the sprinkler and with the water balloons, I was frozen by the way, when I finished filling all of them.

We did dinner potluck style so that it was a little easier on me and then we got to the good stuff!  The ice cream and toppings!

Fun times!

Look at that spread isn't it beautiful?  Anyway here is a list of everything on the table.

Waffle Cone
Sugar Cone
Cake Cone
Chocolate Ice Cream
Vanilla Ice Cream
Chocolate Chip Cookie Pieces
Crushed Oreos
Kit Kat pieces
Resse's Peanut Butter Cup Pieces
Crushed Butterfingers
Andes Mints
Hot Fudge Sauce
Caramel Sauce
Strawberry Sauce

There were a few kids who came back for seconds and maybe thirds I'm just glad they weren't spending the night with me.  :-)

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Cajun Rice Pilaf

This was good....
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) of butter
1 cup of chopped onion
1/2 cup of chopped green bell pepper
1/4 cup of chopped celery
1 teaspoon of minced garlic
1-1/2 cups of long grain rice, uncooked
1 tablespoon of chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon of Cajun or Creole seasoning (I make my own and added more like 2-3 tsp)
Pinch of kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper
3 cups of chicken stock or broth, or water

Add the butter to a medium saucepan and melt.
Add the vegetables and saute on medium for about 5 minutes.
Add the rice and cook and stir it over medium heat until it begins to lightly brown.
Add the seasonings and the chicken stock or water, bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, cover and let cook about 15 to 20 minutes or until cooked through and most of the water has been absorbed. Use a fork to fluff before serving.
Serve as a side dish.

For the Rice Cooker: Add everything to the rice cooker and add water to the 2-1/2 cup line. Close and set for regular rice. May also skip the saute, add all the ingredients to the cooker and slicing cold butter on top. Give it a good stir to mix well and set for regular rice.

Variation: Use a variety of proteins to make this a main dish meal. Try smoked sausage, andouille sausage, diced ham, cooked chopped chicken, crumbled cooked bacon, raw shrimp, or any combination.

Buttermilk Pound Cake

 Last night we celebrated my birthday, my husbands birthday and my mothers birthday I know you are thinking that is a ton of July birthdays but it gets better.  My husband is July 17th, my great grandfather and grandmother were July 19th and 20th and my mom, aunt and uncle are all the 21st and I finish it up on the 22nd of July  Our family liked to keep warm in the winter.  ;-)

Anyway back to the point of the story, last night we celebrated our birthdays and my mother wanted a "plain" pound cake.  So I made her a "plain" pound cake, this was my first time making a pound cake and my sister in law told me twice how much she liked it...  This made me so happy!  This recipe was great however it took a little longer than I expected, I think I used a different size pan. 

My cake was great however the best part of the night was that I got to see my two super cute nieces.  One of them gave me such a big hug and squeezed tight when she was leaving (the other is a baby).  It made my night.

One more short story my oldest (6) was outside playing and found a baby frog.  Of course daddy told him he could bring it home and of course daddy was in a different vehicle.  About half way through the ride home we have this conversation.

Nathan- "uh oh I lost my pet frog"
Me- "Umm what do you mean you lost your pet frog?"
Nathan- "Remember the frog I caught at Nanny's?  Daddy said I could bring him home."
Me- "So now he is loose in my car????"
Nathan- "Yep but I trained him to do tricks so if I say come here he will."
Me- "You trained the frog in the 25 minutes you have had him?"
Nathan- "Frogs are smart mom."
Needless to say we didn't find the frog and I might have freaked out a bit.

1 cup butter, softened
2-1/2 cups sugar
4 eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Confectioners' sugar, optional

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Combine flour and baking soda; add alternately with buttermilk and beat well.
Stir in vanilla.                            
Pour into a greased and floured 10-in. fluted tube pan.
Bake at 325° for 70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
Cool in pan for 15 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
Dust with confectioners' sugar if desired.
Yield: 16-20 servings.

Buttermilk Pound Cake Recipe

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Most Viewed Posts

I decided to compile a list of the posts that have the most views...  this does not necessarily mean they are my favorites although some of them are, these are just the ones you tend to look at most.  These are in no specific order. ;-)

Slow Cooker Italian Seasoned Potatoes

Cherry Pie Cookies

Lupe Tortilla Fajitas

Pretzel Rolls

Café Du Monde

Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese

Campfire Potato Recipe

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Texas Roadhouse Loaded Cheese Fries

TGIFridays Sizzling Chicken and Cheese (Over 350 Views!!!)
Hamburger Steaks with Brown Gravy (Most Viewed Post!!!)
Cajun Chicken Pasta
Candy Mans Billion Dollar Candy Bar
Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake
Orange Chicken
Chocolate Truffles
Baked Potato Soup
No Rise Rolls From Pinterest
Chocolate Chip Muffins
Maple Glazed Carrots
Yummy Chicken Tacos
Country Swirl Cinnamon Bread
Chocolate Turtle Cookies
Lasagna Soup
Snickerdoodle Cookies
Cheddar Biscuits
Chicken Swirls
Yummy Honey Chicken Kabobs
Cracker Barrel Chicken
Italian Roast
Something Sweet
Texas Brisket
Homemade Caramel Candies
Baked Brown Sugar Chicken

Menu for 7-14 to 7-20

This week is going to be super busy, we have VBS all week plus all the normal fun stuff that we squeeze in .  We have an amazing library and they have something 4 days of the week for the kiddos.  Also last night I found a bucket of mud in hubbys closet... I think he may have been hiding it from me because it is FULL!  Anyway this means that I will be tearing down the paneling in the kitchen area after church.  I am so excited I love a good project.

B- No Bake Granola Bars (NR)
L- Grilled Cheese and Strawberries
D- Chinese Food (Free!)

B- Muffins
L- Pizza Bites
D- Birthay Dinner at Parent's House

B- Cereal
L- My kids ate goldfish, its VBS week and I am wiped.
D- Baked Chicken, Lemon Potatoes Cajun Rice (NR), and Glazed Carrots

Thursday (Hubby's Birthday)
B- One Eyed Sailor
L- ?
D- Cheesy Sizzling Chicken, Oven Roasted Broccoli, Macaroni Salad, and Mashed Potatoes

B- French Toast
L- Popcorn Chicken and Strawberries
D- Mexican Fiesta with the Lewis' Family (We have friends coming over for Mexican food)

B- Cinnamon Bread
L- Leftovers
D- Ice Cream Party

B- Muffins
L- Birthday Lunch with Phillip's Parents
D- Leftovers

Chocolate Magic Custard Cake

This was ok however I would not make it again...

4 eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla powder or extract
1 and ¼ cup sugar
110g butter, melted (I googled and this is about 8 tb)
½ cup all purpose flour
⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups milk, lukewarm
1 tablespoon powdered sugar for dusting
Preheat oven to 320F (160C).
Grease a 30cmx17cm baking pan and line it with parchment paper.
Separate egg whites and yolks.
Beat egg whites in a bowl until stiff and put aside.
Whisk egg yolks, vanilla powder and sugar until creamy.
Add melted butter and mix for half a minute.
Add the flour and unsweetened cocoa powder. Mix with a spatula until incorporated well.
Pour the milk gradually and continue beating.
Add in the egg whites, one third at a time and gently mix with a spatula.
Pour this liquidy batter into the baking pan and bake for 60 minutes.
Let it cool and when it comes to room temperature chill for an hour.
Slice it in the size you like and dust with powdered sugar right before serving.
Keep it in refrigerator until you finish it all.
Chocolate Magic Custard Cake 4

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Mocha Cookie Frozen Coffee

Let me preface this post by saying I am NOT a coffee girl.  Hubby loves coffee and I like the thought of loving coffee, something about it just seems so sophisticated to me, however I just can't handle it.  Hubby likes his coffee black I am talking nothing in it and the darkest roast he can get. 

On the occasion that we go through Starbucks I typically get a hot chocolate, even in the middle of summer, sometimes I go out on a limb and get an iced drink.  So I decided that I was going to make my own, I found this recipe and gave it a try.  I am happy to say it is super yummy and cost less than a dollar to make, at Starbucks it would be atleast $3 for a small. 

Soooooo yummy!

1 full tray of Frozen coffee ice cubes (coffee brewed then placed in ice cube trays and frozen overnight)
¾ or 1 cup milk (more or less to taste and consistency)
2 Tbsp sugar (more or less to taste)
2 Tbsp. Hershey's Chocolate Syrup
¼ cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
¼ cup crushed Oreo Cookies (with the middle cream part taken out)
Chocolate Whipped Cream (Beat together ¼ cup sugar with 2 Tbsp Cocoa and 1 cup whipping cream) (I don't like whip cream so I left this off)
Blend all ingredient except the chocolate whipped cream in a blender.
Blend until smooth.
Pour into glass and serve with the chocolate whipped cream and a few sprinkles of the crushed Oreo's.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Hootenanny Pancakes

Even the dog wouldn't eat it...  I had high hopes for this because it looked like a quick easy breakfast.  The other users had rated it a 4 out of 5 stars so I thought it would be a hit.  I mixed it all up, popped it in the oven and then went for a shower.  When I took it out of the oven the kids loved the look of it because there were bubbles on it.  Tasting it was a different story however... the texture was way too eggy for me.  Nathan and Jacob immediately commented that they didn't like it and Belle ate all of hers but did not ask for more.  I feel like this was a waste of perfectly good eggs and tried to feed it to the dog so it wouldn't be completely wasted but he didn't even eat it.
1/2 cup butter or 1/2 cup margarine
6 eggs
1 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup flour
Preheat oven to 425 degree F.
Put entire stick butter into a 9 x 13 inch pan.
Put pan with butter into the oven until butter is melted.
Beat the eggs, milk, and salt until frothy.
Add flour.  
Beat until mixed.
Pour over melted butter.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.
Serve with syrup or jelly.
Raegan Mirick's photo.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Ground Beef 'n' Biscuits Recipe

One of my favorite things is to get my meat straight from the butcher.  I absolutely love the sound the paper makes as you unwrap the meat.  When our local grocer puts their ground beef on sale I tend to stock up, because it can be fairly pricey if you get the good stuff.  I also love buying steaks at the butcher however when I got outside I realized that I had thrown in pork and not steak... I guess that's what happens when you take three young kiddos (who were surprisingly good) and your grandmother (who was unsurprisingly bad :-) ) into the store.

Yummy yummy yummy I got love in my tummy.  Hellooooooooooooooo easy meal.  I literally threw this together in about 5 minutes and then popped it in the oven.  It made my heart happy after such a difficult day.  We will be having this again in the future!!!
1-1/2 pounds ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion                            
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 cans (8 ounces each) tomato sauce (I had an open jar of ragu (garlic and herbs) so I used that)                            
1 package (10 ounces) frozen peas
1 tube (12 ounces) refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
In a large skillet, cook the beef and onion over medium heat, until meat is no longer pink; drain.
Stir in the flour, salt, oregano and pepper until blended.
Add tomato sauce and peas; simmer for 5 minutes.
Transfer to a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish.
Separate biscuits; arrange over beef mixture. S
prinkle with cheese.
Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 20 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown and cheese is melted. Yield: 6 servings.
*I also sprinkled some parmesan on with the cheddar.

Ground Beef 'n' Biscuits Recipe

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Oven Roasted Broccoli

Hubby said this was the best broccoli I have ever made and the best broccoli he has ever tasted.  Isabelle loved it also, the boys were not crazy about it though.  I will be making it again, it was simple and tasted great that is a win win for me!

1 Bag of fresh broccoli, trimmed and cut into spears
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Place the trimmed broccoli in a baggie with 1/4 cup olive oil and salt. 
Shake it until the oil completely covers all of it.
Lay the trimmed broccoli smooth side down on a baking sheet.
Bake for approximately 15 minutes until you get a golden color broccoli. 
Be sure to watch it closely because you don’t want it to burn.

Paula Deen’s Green Bean Casserole

These were a hit in our house!  I didn't have any fried onions so I crushed up some potato chips and used those instead and it was basically the same thing.  Hubby did say that they were not near as good when he heated them up at work the next day.
1/3 cup butter
1/2 cup diced onions
1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
2 cups sliced fresh green beans
3 cups chicken broth (I used 2 because I didn't want to open another can...)
1 can cream of mushroom soup (I use cream of chicken)
1 (2.8 oz) can French-fried onion rings
pinch of salt, black pepper, and garlic powder (1 tsp house seasoning)
1 cup grated Cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 350º.
Bring the chicken broth to a boil in a saucepan.
Boil the green beans in the broth for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt the butter and saute the onions and mushrooms.
Drain the green beans and add to the mushroom and onions mixture.
Add the mushroom soup, onion rings, and seasonings to this mixture as well.
Stir until well combined and pour into a greased 1 1/2 quart baking dish.
Bake for 20 minutes, then top the casserole with the Cheddar and bake for 10 minutes longer, or until the casserole is hot and cheese is melted.
Makes 6 servings.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Lemon Rice

This was very good, tangy but good.  I like trying different versions of rice because it is a cheap easy way to add to a meal. 
2 tablespoons butter or 2 tablespoons margarine
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup long grain rice
2 tablespoons orzo pasta
2 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
In a heavy saucepan, saute onion in butter until tender.
Add rice and orzo and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.
Add chicken broth and lemon juice and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes or until rice is tender and liquid has been absorbed.
Fluff pilaf up with fork and stir in chopped parsley.
Greek Lemon Pilaf. Photo by gailanng

Monday, July 7, 2014

Garlic Flatbread

This was soooooo yummy.  I took homemade pizza dough and just jazzed it up some... and of course I forgot a photo!

1 recipe for pizza dough (link is at the bottom)
1/4 cup melted butter
3 tsp garlic salt with parsley
Cheddar (enough to cover the surface)

Make the dough as directed.
Roll it out and place on baking sheet.
Spread on melted butter and sprinkle with garlic.
Top with cheddar.
Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Fail Proof Pizza Dough

Let me start off by saying I LOVE this dough.  It is the most perfect pizza dough you will ever find.  I thought I had put it on here earlier but discovered I hadn't shared it with you and so here we are.  You will thank me for this and maybe even love me.  :-)  This was one of the first recipes (if not the first) that I tried from Pinterest and it left me going back for more.  When you are making this I suggest you go ahead and make one pizza and one cheesy garlic bread sticks... there won't be any leftovers... trust me!

for the pizza dough-
1 cup warm water
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 tablespoon honey {or sugar} 
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons olive or canola oil
3 cups bread flour {give or take 1/2 cup...depending on the heat & humidity}

for the cheesy garlic bread sticks (You want to make these they are heavenly)
1/2 recipe Fail-Proof Pizza Dough from above
2 tablespoons softened salted butter
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese {use the real stuff!}
1/4 pound grated mozzarella cheese
{salt & pepper, if desired}

For the pizza dough--
In a large mixing bowl, preferably that of a stand mixer, stir yeast and honey into warm water.
Sit for 5-10 minutes or until bubbles form and mixture starts to foam.
This tells you that the yeast is alive and kicking.
Pour in salt, oil and half the flour and mix.
Once that flour is incorporated, start adding flour in bit by bit until you get the pizza dough to the consistency you want: slightly tacky, but when you touch it it doesn't stick to your hands.
Once you reach this stage, knead for 6 minutes.
Turn a timer on and walk away!
Resist the temptation to stop earlier than 6 minutes! That seems to be the magical number.
The dough should be smooth and easy to work with. And the bowl should be clean!

{*This is the point when you could freeze your dough!! Divide into portions, place into freezer bags, seal removing all air and freeze. To use, remove from freezer and let sit out to get to room temperature and double in size; 6-8 hours. Then use as you'd like.}
Lightly grease the bowl & the dough so it doesn't dry out, cover with plastic wrap and let it rise 1-2 hours.
That's it! Use as desired.

For the Cheesy Garlic Bread Sticks-
Preheat oven to 500 degrees with pizza stone inside. {If you don't have a pizza stone, use an upside down cookie sheet...a tip I got from Natalie!}
Mix butter and garlic in a small bowl and set aside.
Spread pizza dough out into a 12-inch circle on parchment paper. {This makes it easier to transfer to the pizza stone.}
Spread the butter and garlic mixture over dough and top with parmesan and mozzarella cheeses.
Top with a light sprinkling of salt and pepper, if desired. {That step is totally optional!}


Sunday, July 6, 2014

Menu for 7-7 to 7-13

Stuck in the airport because of flight delays so I figure I will put that time to good use and work on my menu for this coming up week!

B- Cereal
L- Egg Salad Sandwich
D- Parmesan Chicken, Parmesan Garlic Flatbread (NR) and Green Beans

B- Cinnamon Rolls (The guys Phillip works with have been asking for them.)
L- Pizza Bites
D- Chicken Pot Pie (I know it is summer and we live in Texas but hubby asked for this!), Salad, and Rice

B- Doughnuts
L- Homemade Pizza
D- Ground Beef n Biscuits, Potatoes, and Roasted Broccoli

B- Hootenanny Pancakes (NR)
L- PB&J Sushi (NR)
D- Beef Tips, Mashed Potatoes, and Carrots

B- Nothing... (we forgot to eat lol)
L- Popcorn Chicken
D- Free Chick Fil A!!! Dress Like a Cow Day!

B- Biscuits and Gravy
L- Quiche and ?
D- Birthday Party

B- Cinnamon Rolls (Yes again, our Life Group loves them and I haven't made them in a while)
L- Taco Stackup!
D-  Beef and Chicken Fajita Pitas (Homemade pita bread NR), Rice, and Corn

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Last Day

Currently I am sitting in Boston Logan International Airport, waiting for our plane.  It keeps getting delayed so I figured I would go ahead and type up my blog.  I know you are all dying to know how our last day has been.  It started off fairly slow we slept late, grabbed breakfast on the road, and started the drive into Boston from Cape Cod.  It is only about 60 miles but with the traffic and the 55 speed limit it takes about an hour and a half.  When we got to Boston we decided we had to go back to Bobby's Burger Palace for a quick bite before going to the airport.

I got the chicken today!
Phillip loves peppers.
After lunch we went and found this mainly because Phillip wanted a picture.  He doesn't even like Sam Adams beer but wanted a picture and sense we are this close we figured we might as well.

We then decided to drive around town and look at some of the houses (we do this a lot).  We just happened to find some gorgeous ones and I forgot to take pictures till the end.  We still ended up getting a few good ones though.

This one is my favorite I LOVE it.
This is what $13 million looks like!
Since we didn't want to buy anymore gas we headed to the airport a little early, and decided to take a picture so we would always remember our car.  I never thought I would say this but I am soooooo ready to get back to my minivan!!! 

So we made our way to our section of the airport and waited in line for ever to check in and now we are sitting here getting delayed repeatedly!  Not fun with three kids but they are doing really really well.  While waiting in line we decided to take a few pictures to pass time.

I am thinking we will stick to the late night flights, on our way to Boston our plane left at 1:15 in the morning and no one was in the airport, we basically walked straight through....  I hope you have enjoyed our vacation as much as we have.


Friday, July 4, 2014

Cape Cod Day 5

This morning we slept fairly late and then got up and headed to Bagels and Beyond (I know I know shocker).  Phillip is already trying to figure out how many bagels he can fit in his carry on to bring home with him. 
Clearly they weren't ready...
Much better!

Since we have a tropical storm heading our way we decided to go hunt down a few more of the sand sculptures before the rain.  We treated it like a scavenger hunt and got excited each time we spotted one.

Who doesn't love a naked "wormaide"?
Nathan wanted to take this one!
Stopped at the candy store for a minute!
After finding all those sand castles we picked up lunch for the kids at Mc Donalds and headed back to the resort for a little bit.  After we rested and read our books we set off in search of an ornament.  I like getting an ornament from every place we vacation putting the year on it, and then we have a special tree just for these at Christmas time.  It's a fun way to remember all the things we have done as a family.  Before we finally found our ornaments we drove about 25 minutes (in the pouring rain) to a store called The Christmas Tree Shops.  You would think with a name like this that they would have a few Christmas related items... you would be wrong... and so were we!  They had NOTHING that in any way could have been considered Christmasy however they did have this really cute ice cream dish that I bought for our ice cream party. 

Photo: Bought this today for the ice cream party.

Our Cape Cod ornament.
We finally found one at a store about 5 minutes from our room... wouldn't you know it!
We then decided to grab a bite to eat before going back to our room for the night like I said earlier there is a tropical storm here and it is raining hard and the wind is blowing pretty fiercely.  So we went back to 99 and I had some amazing Bruschetta Chicken and of course forgot a picture even though I set my camera on the table. 

Grilled Angus Chopped Sirloin*
Phillip's dinner.
Bruschetta Chicken
My dinner.

Our "petite sweet".  That brownie was amazing, it was fudgy with a graham cracker crust on bottom!
We are now in our room listening to the rain and watching the wind blowing the trees!  Since we fly home tomorrow evening we are taking it easy and making sure everything is packed up.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Cape Cod Day 4

Today was a lot of fun.  When we got up we grabbed a quick breakfast and headed to our Pirate Adventure.  We have done these types of things before but this one was by far the best!  They were GREAT with the kids and it was entertaining for P and I also.

Not sure why I took these up and down but I did.  :-(
Shooting the cannons.
After the Pirate Adventure they saw all these props and wanted to take their pics with them.

"Daddy it's like Jaws"
This is his scared face.
After the photo ops we went to Uno which is a popular place here... Phillip and the kiddos enjoyed their food, mine was ok but honestly $15 for a piece of chicken was ridicuolous and the service was terrible.  I was a waitress at one point and realize that it is hard work and I am typically a REALLY good tipper however this girl probably got the worst tip I have ever left!
I thought the babies were cute!
We then headed back to the room to rest before going to dinner and to a bounce house park. 
We decided to do dinner at Hearth and Kettle which is a local chain.  When we first got there we found another one of our sand sculptures that we are scoping out.

Early Bird Specials at the Hearth 'n Kettle Restaurants on Cape Cod and in Weymouth, Plymouth MA
The pic in the middle is what P and I had.  I put my camera on the table at both meals to remind me to take pictures and I still forgot!  It was really good though.
After dinner we went to Cape Cod Inflatables which is a great place with a TON of bounce houses, games, and Putt Putt golf.  They have a little of everything and this is just a few of the pictures I took.
I think Phillip loved this place as much as the kids did.  When it was time to leave they did something they have never done before, my two little men tried to hide.  Luckily this momma was watching them.  We are now sitting at the hotel waiting for the tropical storm to roll in.  Happy Thursday everyone!

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