Thursday, October 29, 2015

Nathan's American Ninja Warrior Birthday Party

Nathan had his birthday party this past Saturday, if you have watched the news at all you know it has been raining non stop in Texas.  This had me in a slight panic and I was very worried it would rain on his party... in fact I spent a while the night before praying that the rain would stop long enough to have a little outdoor fun. 

Nathan had decided to have an American Ninja Warrior Party, based off the t.v. show, and my dad built a pretty AMAZING course!  My poor boy had his heart set on doing it with his friends and thank the Lord it stopped raining for about 20 minutes.  It was wonderful and a true God thing. 

After the kiddos did the course several times they came in and we had Chick Fil A nuggets, chips, birthday cake and opened presents.  After presents we did the piñata which since it was raining had to be done in the boys room.  My poor husband got stuck holding it and luckily no one got hurt.

My big boy had a blast and I was thrilled just watching him with his friends!

This board moves so it is harder than it looks. 
Sadly I forgot to take pics of the rest of the course.
Birthday boy!
She was sooooo thrilled with her Pinata candy!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Menu for -10-26 to 11-1

B- Cereal
L- Leftover Chick Fil A
D- Tomato Basil Soup and Bread Knots

B- Homemade Hashbrowns
L- Grilled Cheese Quesadillas
D- Rustic Chicken Cacciatore (NR), Green Beans, Rice Pilaf and Red Lobster Biscuits

B- Doughnuts
L- Croissant Sandwich
D- Meatloaf, Scalloped Potatoes, BBQ Beans, Bread, and ....

B- Fruit
L- Lunch at the School
D- Chicken Taco Melts (NR), Spanish Rice, Corn

B- Scrambled Eggs, Bacon, and Pancakes
L- Cheese and Crackers
D- Steak Sandwiches (NR) and Potato Salad

Saturday (Halloween)
B- Biscuits and Gravy
L- ?
D- Parmesan Meatballs and Orzo in Mozzarella Basil Cream Sauce, Olive Garden Bread Sticks

B- Lemon Bread (NR)
L- Roast, Potatoes, Carrots, Corn Bread
D- Santa Land and Cracker Barrel

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Double Chocolate Croissant Bread Pudding

My daughter absolutely loved this and while I tried to be a fan of it for some reason I just can't help myself...  bread pudding loses me every time. 
For the Bread Pudding:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for the dish
8 large croissants, sliced 1 inch thick (about 12 cups)
3 large eggs plus 3 egg yolks
1 ½ cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
¼ cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
pinch of salt
6 ounces milk chocolate, cut into ¾ inch pieces
For the Sauce:
⅓ cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate chopped
Make the bread pudding:
Preheat the oven to 350 F degrees and butter a shallow 2 quart baking dish.
Toss the croissants with the melted butter on a baking sheet.
Arrange in a single layer and bake until toasted, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk the eggs, egg yolks, milk, heavy whipping cream, sugar, vanilla and salt in a large bowl.
Arrange about half of the croissants in the prepared baking dish.
Top with about two-thirds of the milk chocolate, then add the remaining croissants.
Pour the egg mixture over the croissants.
Let sit while the moisture absorbs, at least 15 minutes.
As it soaks press the bread into the mixture to help it absorb.
Cover the baking dish with foil and bake 30 minutes.
Uncover, top with the remaining milk chocolate and bake until the bread pudding is puffed, golden brown and set, 15 to 20 more minutes.
Let sit 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the sauce:
Bring the heavy cream, butter, sugar, corn syrup and vanilla to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
Add the bittersweet chocolate and whisk until smooth.
Serve the bread pudding with the chocolate sauce.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Cheeseburger Eggrolls

The kids and hubby LOVED these and while I thought they were ok they weren't my favorite thing ever.  I think next time I might fry them instead, I feel like the meat got dry since it was in the oven so long.

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 medium red onion, minced
3/4 pound ground beef
Salt and pepper (I used house seasoning)
1 cup sharp yellow cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tablespoon grainy, whole-seed mustard
1 package egg roll wrappers
Cooking spray
Sesame seeds (didn't use)

Pre-heat the oven to 375°F.
Heat the EVOO in a skillet over medium-high heat.
Add the onion and let it sweat.
Once cooked, add the ground sirloin and brown, breaking it up into small pieces as it cooks.
Season with salt and pepper.
Once the meat is browned, drain the fat from pan and pour the meat and onion into a medium size mixing bowl and let cool.
Once cool, mix in the cheddar cheese, Worcestershire sauce and mustard.
To wrap the egg rolls, brush water around all four sides of a wrapper to act as the glue.
Place 1/3 cup of the meat and onion mixture into the center of the wrapper.
Fold two corners into the center, then wrap the other corner to the next, creating a long skinny roll. Place the finished rolls onto a sheet pan with a wire rack.
Spray the tops of each eggroll with cooking spray and sprinkle some sesame seeds on top.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the eggrolls start to brown.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Menu for 10-19 to 10-25

B- Doughnuts
L- Cheese and Crackers
D- Cheeseburger Egg Rolls (NR), Potatoes, Broccoli

B- Cinnamon Bread
L- Leftovers
D- Smothered Chicken, Pasta, Croissants, and Pea Salad

B- Pancakes and Eggs
L- Cheese Quesadillas
D- Parmesan Meatballs with Mozzarella Basil Cream Sauce (NR), Salad, and Bread

B- Muffins
L- Cheese and Crackers
D- Slow Cooker Rustic Chicken Stew (NR)

B- Cereal
L- Sandwich
D- Pancake Dinner at the School (Fundraiser)

B- One Eyed Sailor
L- Nathan's Birthday Party (American Ninja Warrior)
D- Wedding

B- Strawberry Muffins
L- Out
D- Leftovers

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Bacon Onion Green Beans

These were amazing.  Soooooo delicious!

1 lb. green beans, snip off ends and snap in half
3 slices of thick cut bacon
1 tsp. onion powder
2 t sugar
1 1/2 T red wine vinegar
1 t salt
1/2 t pepper
Add green beans to a pot of boiling water and cook for 4 minutes.
Cook bacon in a large skillet until crispy.
Drain off all but 2 tablespoons of grease.
Stir onion powder into bacon grease add in sugar, salt, pepper and red wine vinegar.
Toss the bacon and green beans back in.
Serve and enjoy.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Poor Man's Soup

The plan for last night wasn't too have soup, the plan was to have chicken.  However when I pulled my chicken out of the refrigerator it didn't look quite as fresh as I would like.  That meant that on my busiest evening this week I had to come up with a plan b. 

I found a recipe for Poor Man's Stew and planned on making it but ended up changing it up so much that I can't even say it is the same recipe.  My finished version was delicious though and the kids all ate it happily.  Jacob my middle child was so thrilled because I made cornbread to go with it and he LOVES cornbread, which I find slightly odd because he is my pickiest eater.

This soup was thrown together quickly and while it simmered I was able to whip up the cornbread.  Sadly I was so rushed getting the kids to cheer and cubscouts that I forgot to take a picture.

1 lb. ground beef, browned and drained
1.5 lbs potatoes, diced large
 1 carrot, sliced
2 (8-oz.) can tomato sauce
1 can beef broth
1 can chicken broth
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 tsp. onion powder
2 tsp. house seasoning
Add all ingredients to a large stock pot and simmer.
This dish is great with cornbread muffins!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Menu for 10-12 to 10-18

It's YAMBOREE time!!!  If you aren't from around here then you can not truly appreciate the Yamboree, for people in our town it is the best part of the year.  We love it! There are parades, pageants, shop projects, animals, rides, games, crafts, marching bands, bandstand music, a barn dance, amazing food, and even a Queen Yam!

I'm sure I forgot something, but as you can see it is a lot of small town fun.  From Wednesday to Saturday at midnight our small town of about 5,000 will have several hundred thousand people from all over coming to join the festivities.  There are no other towns anywhere around that have a fair as awesome as the Yamboree. 

All that being said we can not wait and we fully intend on eating as much deep fried, unhealthy, greasy, yummy fair food as possible.

B- Chocolate Chip Muffins
L- Grilled Cheese
D- Poor Man's Soup (NR)

B- Leftover Muffins
L- Grilled Chicken
D- Ground Beef Casserole, Green Beans and Bacon (NR), Biscuits

Wednesday (School lets out early)
B- Cereal
L- Egg Salad
D- Balsamic Almond Chicken (NR), Green Beans, Rolls, and Boiled Potatoes

Thursday (No school)
B- Scrambled Eggs, Bacon and Pancakes
L- ?
D- Dinner at the Yamboree!

Friday (No school)
B- One Eyed Sailor
L- Yamboree!
D- Parmesan Meatballs with Mozzarella Basil Cream Sauce (NR), Salad, and Bread

B- Biscuits and Gravy
L- Tacos
D- Easy Chicken Bake, Rice Pilaf, and Pea Salad

B- Chocolate Bread Pudding (NR)
L- Out
D- Rustic Chicken Slow Cooker Stew (NR)

Friday, October 9, 2015

Peasant Bread

This bread was wonderful, nice and fluffy and so easy to slice.

4 cups all-purpose flour* (do not use bleached all-purpose)
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 cups lukewarm water**
2 to 3 teaspoons sugar (I use 2, my mom uses 3 — difference is negligible)
2 teaspoons active-dry yeast***
room temperature butter, about 2 tablespoons
In a small mixing bowl, dissolve the sugar into the water.
Sprinkle the yeast over top. (There is no need to stir it up.)
Let it stand for about 10 to 15 minutes or until the mixture is foamy.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the flour and salt.
When the yeast-water-sugar mixture is foamy, stir it up, and add it to the flour bowl.
Mix until the flour is absorbed.
Cover bowl with a tea towel or plastic wrap and set aside in a warm spot to rise for at least an hour. This is how to create a slightly warm spot for your bread to rise in: Turn the oven on at any temperature (350ºF or so) for one minute, then turn it off.
Preheat the oven to 425ºF.
Grease two oven-safe bowls (such as the pyrex bowls I mentioned above) with about a tablespoon of butter each.
Divide dough into two portions and place in well greased bowls/ pans.
Let the dough rise for about 20 to 30 minutes on the countertop near the oven (or near a warm spot) or until it has risen to just below or above (depending on what size bowl you are using) the top of the bowls. (Note: Do not do the warm-oven trick for the second rise, and do not cover your bowls for the second rise. Simply set your bowls on top of your oven, so that they are in a warm spot. Twenty minutes in this spot usually is enough for my loaves.)
Bake for 15 minutes.
Reduce the heat to 375º and make for 15 to 17 minutes longer.
Remove from the oven and turn the loaves onto cooling racks.
Let cool for 10 minutes before cutting.


Thursday, October 8, 2015

Owl Cookies

Yesterday I was looking through a magazine and saw a picture for some adorable owl cookies.  Since it is Wednesday I thought they would be a fun dessert for after our big dinner.  Wednesday is the day that my friend and her family come to eat with us, I love our dinners, we always have a great time.  In fact I look forward to them all week.

I started by making my Snickerdoodle Cookie recipe ( and then got out the other necessary supplies. 

I used vanilla wafers, I didn't have any of the mini ones so I took a measuring spoon placed it over the wafer and used it like a cookie cutter to cut it smaller.  You will also need chocolate chips, icing, and cashews (the original used almonds but I didn't have any). 

Since I didn't feel like running to the store I used what I had on hand, I only had vanilla frosting but added in some cocoa powder and Nutella and it came out perfectly.  The icing not only is used for the wings, but it is also the "glue" that holds everything in place.  Since my friend, mentioned above, borrowed my icing tips I rummaged through my cabinet and finally found a couple of older cheaper ones, but they worked in a pinch. 

The kids especially loved these cookies and kept commenting on how cute they were... the adults just liked them because they tasted amazing. 


Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Pecan and Parmesan Chicken

Holy heavens this was good.  I changed the original recipe up a bit and it turned out great (this is my version).  After coating my chicken breasts I had a few extra crumbs so I poured them in the pan to bake with the chicken and then sprinkled them on my macaroni to give it some crunch.  Do yourself a favor and make this dish this week!

6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (4 ounces each)
1/2 cups soft bread crumbs (I used Italian)                           
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup finely chopped pecans                            
1 teaspoon seasoned salt                                                        
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 egg whites
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon olive oil          
Flatten chicken to 1/2-in. thickness.
In a shallow bowl, combine the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, pecans, salt, and pepper.
In another shallow bowl, whisk egg whites and cornstarch until smooth.
Dip chicken into egg white mixture, then roll in crumb mixture.
In a large nonstick skillet, cook chicken over medium heat in oil for 3-5 minutes on each side or until browned.
Transfer to an ungreased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan.
Bake, uncovered, at 450° for 8-10 minutes or until juices run clear.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Cheddar Bay Chicken Bake

This was delicious, however my crust didn't puff up as much as it normally does...

1 box. Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuit mix (I did homemade)
3/4 c. cold water
1/2 c. shredded cheddar
1/2 c. green onions, chopped
1 lb. boneless chicken breasts
12 oz. marinara
1/2 c. butter, melted
Saute the chicken breasts for 8 minutes, or until no longer pink in the center.
Meanwhile, combine the biscuit mix with water, cheddar and green onion.
Set aside.
In a sprayed 9x13 pan, layer the marinara, chicken breasts and prepared biscuit mix.
Spoon the biscuit mix over the chicken breasts to cover completely.
Bake at 400° for 25 minutes.
Combine the melted butter and seasoning packet from the biscuit mixture and brush over the top of the casserole.
Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes and serve.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Menu for 10-5 to 10-11

B- Muffins
L- Cheese Quesadillas
D- Red Lobster Bake (NR) and Broccoli Rice Casserole

B- Doughnuts
L- Cheese and Crackers
D- Pecan Parmesan Chicken (NR), Carrots, Macaroni and Cheese, and Popovers

B- Chocolate and Caramel Sticky Buns (NR)
L- Pesto Grilled Cheese
D- Chicken Fried Steak, Baked Potatoes, Salad and Bread

B- Lemon Almond Bread Cake
L- Egg Salad
D- Chicken Taco Melts (NR), Spanish Rice, and Corn

B- Breakfast with my Hottie! (Cereal for the kiddos)
L- Egg Salad
D- Parmesan Meatballs with Mozzarella Basil Cream Sauce (NR), Salad, and Bread

B- Soft and Fluffy Vanilla Pancakes (NR)
L- Tacos
D- S'more Party (Soup contest)

B- Cinnamon Twists
L- Out
D- Leftovers

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Candy Bar Pie

I made this for our weekly Wednesday night dinner with friends.  All the kids loved it!!!  I used Kit Kat and M&M's and it turned out delicious!
1 pie crust, from a pack of two or homemade
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup flour
1 cup candy bars
Extra candy for the top of the pie
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Place pie crust in a 9” pie plate, crimping as desired.
Press the sides of the crust so they are firmly attached to the edges of the pie plate.
Cream brown sugar and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or you can use a hand mixer).
Add eggs and vanilla and beat until combined.
Add baking powder, salt, and flour and mix.
Press into prepared pan (dough is sticky, spray your hands with cooking spray to avoid it sticking to your hands).
Press some remaining candy on the top for decoration.
Press the sides of the crust that are showing with the tines of a fork a few times.
Bake for about 24-30 minutes, until the crust is browned and the top of the pie is golden.
Cool completely before cutting.
Serve by itself or with whipped cream or ice cream.

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