Friday, September 30, 2011

Chicken Tetrazzini

This creamy pasta topped with crunchy almonds has become a family favorite and comfort food in my house.  I have made this dozens of times and I like to double the recipe and make it for family. You won't be disappointed with this one.  The top looks crisp and crunchy, but underneath it's creamy and beautiful!

Weekly Menu

I'm getting this out a day late, but here is this next weeks menu plan.  I've already made the first two items and have plenty of pictures to come!  I'm excited to try three new recipes this week.  I will also be making another cake at the end of next week, so check back to see what I came up with.  

Thursday- Chicken Milano - new pics and details added!

Saturday- Tex Mex Turkey Wraps (new recipe)

Wednesday- Split Pea Soup with Canadian Bacon (new recipe)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Crisp Buttermilk Chicken

I love fried chicken, but I hate all of the calories and grease.  So, what better way then to make a fake-out chicken that is baked and still tastes awesome!  Buttermilk goes great with chicken and the cornflakes give it a nice golden crunch that keeps you wanting more.  This one is going to be a keeper for us, I think you'll like it too.  

Pumpkin Bread

I just love Fall!  My house smelled glorious when I made this bread and it tasted oh so good.  This pumpkin bread, lightly spiced, and filled with the perfect blend of crunchy and soft with raisins and pecans didn't last long in my house.  A double batch is a very good idea.  

Monday, September 26, 2011

Brown Sugar Meatloaf

When you announce that you are making meatloaf, does your family sigh, shrug their shoulders and pout their way out of the room?  My family (especially my kids) gets really excited when I tell them I'm making meatloaf.  Plus they get to dip it in ketchup, and what kid wouldn't like that?  The caramelized brown sugar and ketchup glaze is the star of this meatloaf.  It's delish!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Chinese Hamburger Hash

If you're looking to use up some ground beef, and perhaps want an easy to make casserole, this dish is for you.  The casserole goes together quickly but allow for the long baking time.  This takes a total of 1 hour and 15 minutes to bake.  The kids and husband gobbled it up and I thought it tasted great for a fall night with a crisp cool air outside.  

Friday, September 23, 2011

Caramel Corn

 Yum!  I love this recipe.  You really can't go wrong with popcorn, brown sugar and corn syrup.  But this must be the best, easiest caramel corn ever.  This recipe comes from my Grandma's old cookbooks filled with handwritten recipes and I was delighted to find it.  You may even want a double batch, since it gets eaten so fast. 

Pasta Da Vinci (Cheesecake Factory Copycat)

My husband is the type who finds something he likes at a restaurant and orders that same dish every single time.  He had the idea for me to learn to make his all time favorite, Pasta Da Vinci from the Cheesecake Factory.  I did some research and found a recipe that was amazing!  According to my husband, it tasted very similar to the original, but he did give me some tips to really nail it next time... and there WILL be a next time.  Here's what you'll need and how to make it:

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Weekly Menu

This weeks menu started yesterday, but it was just leftover so I didn't think posting it late would matter much.  I'm excited for this week!  I'm trying to re-make my husbands favorite Cheesecake Factory dinner as well as make a few special treats!  Check back this week to see what tasty treats I've made for you.  Here is the week's dinner plan:

                                 Wednesday- Left Overs

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Spinach and Artichoke Mac 'N' Cheese

I love spinach and artichoke dip, and I love mac 'n' cheese, so I knew this had to be good.  The combination of spinach, artichokes, and fresh Italian Fontina and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheeses were very complimentary.  I loved the new flavor of this dish that doubles as a vegetarian meal.  

Canning Peaches

It's that time of year where I am getting "Fall Fever".  I'm ready to bake apple pies, put up Halloween decorations and make a Thanksgiving turkey! I love the crisp cool air in the mornings and watching the leaves turn color.  Fresh locally grown produce can be found all over town, and peaches are in season.  I didn't wait long to go get a box of peaches so I could get some canned and into the pantry.  If you haven't tried canning before, give it a shot.  It's not difficult and it's very rewarding to put freshly canned fruits and jams in the pantry, or give them away as gifts.  Follow along and I'll show you how it's done...

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Chicken Parmesan

I had never made Chicken Parmesan before yesterday, and now I am saving this recipe to make again.  The whole family gobbled it right up.  The homemade sauce was perfectly seasoned and complimented the chicken well.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Camouflage Deer Cake with Autumn Leaves

Every couple of months I get a huge urge to bake and decorate a cake,  so I was rather excited when some friends asked me to make the cake for their son's first birthday.  They love camping, hunting, and the outdoors in general.  Their adorable son is a hunter in the making, and this was the perfect cake for him.  It was a big hit and I tried a few things I had never done on a cake before.  I'll show you how to make the leaves and camouflage as well as a few tips along the way.  

How To Stack, Frost, and Cover Cakes

Learning how to cover a cake in fondant can take some practice before you get it just right, but you soon learn how to work with the fondant and get it to look the way you want.  The fondant I used to cover this cake was Marshmallow Fondant which is easy to work with and tastes great for those of you who actually eat the fondant.  Learn how to make and cover a cake in fondant and you will be the new cake maker of the family.  You can come up with an infinite number of ideas and patterns to really impress your guests.  Here's how to get it done...

Chocolate Cake

Mmm Mmm Chocolate!!!  I love a moist and fluffy chocolate cake, and this one is always a big hit around my house.  The flavor is great and it holds up nicely if you plan on stacking and decorating a larger cake.  I have made this time and time again and it always turns out wonderfully.  The recipe comes from Better Homes and Gardens.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Sweet & Sour Chicken (Crock Pot)

I love Sweet & Sour Chicken, and I love my crock-pot... put the two together and it's love at first slow cooker!  I loved this dish.  The cooking time says 7-9 hours, but mine was ready in less than 7 (cooked on low).  I served mine with white rice and chow mein noodles for a crunch, plus I found some cute fortune cookies at the store to put with this dinner.  The kids loved having the fortune cookies.  Here's how to make this awesome, easy meal:

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Marshmallow Fondant

When it comes to making cakes, you can't always get the look you want without the help of fondant.  And who wants to pay a fortune to buy the pre-made stuff?  Not me!  But you also don't want the fondant to taste nasty.  That's why this is the ONLY fondant recipe I ever use!  It's made with marshmallows which gives it a great, workable texture and it's rather tasty at the same time.  My kids actually eat the fondant now when I make cakes.  You only need 5 ingredients and it takes about 20 minutes to make one batch.  Allow me to show you how...

Chicken Fettuccine and Biscuit Pull-Aparts

I've been looking for a good homemade Alfredo sauce, since I typically just buy the pre-made jars, and I thought this one was pretty tasty.  It was easy to make and came together nicely.  I also love making these cute little pull-aparts with dinner.  They take just minutes to make and the kids love them!  The recipe for the Alfredo sauce came from a "Cooking Light" cookbook that I have, and the biscuit recipe came from a family member a few years ago.  Here's the recipes...

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Glazed Chicken & Peaches with Cheese & Bacon Biscuits

OH MY GOSH!!!!!!!!!!  All I can say is Rachel Ray totally got this one right!  This dinner was AMAZING!  This is quite possibly the best chicken dish I have ever made, and I would love to make it for company.  It's kinda like a big plate of "Spiced Autumn" that is oh so good.  At first I thought, "chicken and peaches? hmmm", but it totally works.  I will make this one again and again.  Definitely a keeper.  Bet you want to know how to make it now huh?  Well here it is:

Taco Bar

I know just about everyone knows how to make a taco, and there's nothing fancy or special about mine, so I'm not going to attempt to teach "how to make tacos".  I am, however, going to calculate the cost for you since I know you are all just dying to know how much it costs to make 12 tacos!  I sure do love an easy dinner, and knowing that it didn't cost much is always a plus.  So here it is:

1 lb ground beef ($2.50)
I packet taco seasoning ($1.00)
1 can (16oz) refried beans ($1.25)
1/3 head of lettuce, chopped ($0.29)
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded ($1.60)
1/2 cup picante sauce ($0.50)
1 large tomato ($0.36)
1/2 cup sour cream ($0.40)
12 Taco Shells ($1.50)
*Plus tortillas if you like double deckers, or in exchange for the taco shells
Total Cost to Make $9.40, for 12 tacos.  That's $0.78 per taco!

Weekly Menu 9/12-9/18

Here is this weeks menu plan.  I'm a little late in posting this since we already made the first meal on this menu last night.  I am very excited about this week, I am making four new recipes plus a cake!  This cake is going to be a ton of fun.  Can't wait to show you.  So here's the plan:

Monday- Taco Bar

Tuesday- Glazed Chicken & Peaches, and salad

Friday- Dinner at a friend's- I'm making the cake

Saturday- Chicken Parmesan

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Creamy Tomato Beef Farfalle

I had about a pound of leftover roast beef from making French Dips last night, and I found this recipe, although it called for pork, and decided to give it a try.  It was a very creamy and rich pasta dish that I loved.  It was a great use of my leftover meat and it was quick and easy to put together.  The recipe comes from Betty Crocker, and here's what you'll need:

Saturday, September 10, 2011

French Dip Sandwiches - crock pot

So, a few months ago we bought a quarter of a cow and I got all sorts of cuts of steaks and roasts.  One of the roasts I got was a round bone roast.  I decided to use it in this recipe and it worked great!  A round bone roast is not one you'll find every day at the grocery store, but you can use a chuck roast or sirloin roast with this recipe.  My roast was probably between 4 and 5 pounds.  I had to cut it in half just to fit it in the crock pot, but it made some great french dip sandwiches.  I found the recipe on HERE.  This is what you'll need:

Easy Crock Pot Pork Chops

I have made this dinner a few times now and it is so easy!  We love to have pork chops once in a while and this recipe is very tasty.  Plus, there's nothing like throwing dinner in the crock pot in the morning and having it ready at dinner time, just make the rice or pasta! Plus the house smells heavenly. 

Friday, September 9, 2011

Chicken Cordon Bleu

Every time I ask my husband "what do you want for dinner tonight?" he always asks for chicken cordon bleu.  Unfortunately for him, I don't always have the ingredients on hand.  People tend to shy away from meals that sound difficult to make, but this one really isn't hard, it just has a few steps to follow and takes some time to prepare.  After you make it a few times you get fast at throwing it together.  Hopefully all my pictures will help. Here's what you'll need for this tasty dinner that comes from "The Taste of Home".

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Homemade Pancakes

Tonight was breakfast for dinner night with the kids.  When my husband is not home for dinner I like to make the things that he doesn't care for.  He doesn't really like sweets, so breakfast for dinner is not usually his favorite but the kids and I LOVE it! I found a recipe HERE at for some awesome pancakes.  They turned out nice and fluffy!  I did add about 1/4 cup chocolate chips. Here's what you'll need:

Berry Smoothies and Edamame

When my 7 year old gets home from school she always seems to be starving!  Plus her 4 year old brother is usually due for a snack to hold him over until dinner.  We make smoothies and edamame for snacks all the time!  My kids have so much fun popping the soy beans out to eat them and it's so healthy for them!  Plus its an antioxidant! I just buy the edamame from the frozen section at Costco.  It's so good and it comes in individual serving bags that you just microwave for a few minutes.  Just sprinkle with a little salt and it's ready to eat.  For the smoothies, I just use whatever's in the fridge and fruit bowl at the time.  Here's how I made the tasty smoothies today:

Berry Smoothie
1 1/2 Bananas
About 5 or 6 Strawberries (plus some for garnishing if you wish)
About 1/2 cup frozen Blueberries
1 6oz container yogurt (we used strawberry yogurt this time)
A few splashes of Cranberry Juice (probably about a cup)

Blend all ingredients together and enjoy!  This made 3 small cup smoothies, for my kids and me of course!  Yummy! And now the kids will be full until dinner :)

Texas Tater Casserole

About a year ago this time I was telling my Grandmother over the phone that I wanted more crock pot and casserole recipes for the colder season and that I was going to start looking around the internet for ideas.  About a week later I got a package in the mail with 10 small Betty Crocker Casserole and Crock Pot recipe books.  My Grandma got them on e-bay and they were all older cookbooks, which are the best kind.  This casserole recipe comes from a 1999 issue of Betty Crocker's Favorite Casseroles. I will be trying many more recipes from these books as the seasons get cooler.  This one is definitely a keeper.  It's like a tex-mex spin on a classic tater tot casserole.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Preserving Fresh Herbs

If you're anything like me, you love cooking with fresh herbs but you hate to see your money go down the drain if you don't use it all before it goes bad in the fridge.  So I am so proud of myself today for learning how to preserve these tasty herbs for use on a later date.  Today I preserved leftover Parsley, Mint and Rosemary.  I'm so excited to share with you how.  I feel like I learned a great secret today, although I learned this by searching the internet on how to freeze these herbs.  Here's how to do it:
For the Parsley, make sure you rinse the herbs.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Honey-Glazed Chicken Stir-Fry

This was such a tasty stir-fry.  If you are sick of having stir-fry sauce out of a bottle, I would highly recommend this one!  The sauce is made from scratch and it tastes awesome! You can of course use a different variety of vegetables, this is just what sounded good to me.  Also, if you like a lot of sauce you may want to make 50% more sauce.  I made the amount listed below and thought it was just right, nice and light.

Weekly Menu 9/5-9/11

Sorry I have not posted in a few days, but we were out of town.  It has been a long summer of no vacationing, so we decided to take our last available weekend to get up into the mountains and relax.  Lucky for me we ate out a few times and I did not cook dinner the whole weekend!  Yay me! But now we are back to reality and I just did my meal planning and grocery shopping for the week.  I am excited to try some new recipes.  Here is the tentative schedule:

Monday- Honey-Glazed Chicken Stir-Fry 

Tuesday-Texas Tater Casserole (New Recipe)

Wednesday- Breakfast for dinner, hubby will be gone, probably french toast with the kids

Thursday-Chicken Cordon Bleu w/ salad, mashed potatoes & gravy

Friday- Easy Crock Pot Pork Chops over Rice

Saturday- French Dips -with round bone or 7 bone roast (New Recipe)

Sunday- Creamy Tomato Beef Farfalle with leftover beef from French Dips (New Recipe)
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