Monday, May 31, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Happy Memorial Day!!
This week I am feeling a bit more FRAZZLED and more CRAZY than usual. I am in charge of meals for a Youth Conference this coming weekend and feeding 300 is not in my usual routine. I have almost finished baking the desserts and stashing them in the freezer. Whew....  I just pray that I can pull it off. Wish me luck and sanity!! 

This Week's Menu
Monday: Cheeseburger Twist
Tuesday: Honey Chicken
Wednesday: Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup
Thursday: Shepherd's Pie
Friday: Youth Conference
Saturday: Youth Conference
Sunday: Steak
Check out Menu Plan Monday for lots of great menu plans this week.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Pink Saturday Birthday Celebration!!

It is a great day for a
Congratulations to Beverly of How Sweet the Sound
for 2 years of hosting the highly successful and very fun

Where every Saturday is a PARTY!
I have participated in Pink Saturday for
13 weeks.
Today in honor of Beverly I am celebrating
some of my favorite
 pink posts!

Who can resist a Pink Frosted Sugar Cookie
and we must add
a little chocolate: Cream Cheese Brownie Bites.
Enjoy the Celebration!
Now go over to How Sweet the Sound and give
Beverly Pink Birthday Wishes!!
While you are there check out her blog.  She has great posts, incredible pictures, fun games,
and much more!! It is an AMAZING blog!!
Also go and check out Suzie Button Creations.
She has some incredible pictures, creations, great posts and much more. I love it!!
Happy Pink Saturday!!

Friday, May 28, 2010

German Chocolate Frosting

Every year for my husband's birthday it is a tradition that I make German Chocolate Cake.  It is his favorite and since I was given this incredible recipe it is a given that I WILL make it each year.  One year I broke tradition and made it for a cake auction (I was in charge of). My kids did not see the cake because I had taken it to the church earlier.  I was working in the kitchen cleaning up when others came in and told me how sweet it was that my husband had bid on my cake and bought it for some crazy amount.  A little while later my daughter came running in to the kitchen shouting...."Mom, Dad just bought a cake that looks like someone threw up on!!" Everyone stopped cleaning and waited for my response.  The look on my daughter's face was priceless when I told her I had made that cake.  Then the laughter in the kitchen exploded!! From that point on I cannot make this cake without giggling just a bit. 
It really doesn't look like someone got sick and one bite will have you hooked.  It tastes so delicious!  It takes patience to make and you get a good arm workout with all the stirring involved, but believe me it is SO WORTH IT!  If you like German Chocolate Cake this frosting is for you.  Never again will you be tempted to buy a can. I must admit I cheat and use a box cake mix, but for .78 it can't be beat! This is a true family favorite!!
German Chocolate Frosting
1 (12 oz.) can evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup butter
4 egg yolks, slightly beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla
7 oz. shredded coconut (or more if you like)
1 1/2 cup pecans (I use sliced almonds)
Place milk, sugar, butter, egg yolks and vanilla in a sauce pan.  On medium heat, stir until butter is melted.  Add coconut and nuts. 
Turn the temperature up to medium-high (I set it between 6 and 7) Stirring constantly, cook for 12 minutes (this is where the arm strength comes in!) or until thick and  light golden brown. 
 Cool a bit and then frost your cake.  Enjoy!!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Friendly Friday!!

Last week, I discovered lots of great blogs and found lots of wonderful new friends by joining Friendly Friday hosted by Xenia at  Thanks, Mail Carrier, Christi at Frugal Novice and Charla at Healthy Home Blog.  They are all incredibly talented ladies with awesome blogs. Make sure you check them all out!  A HUGE THANKS to them for hosting such a fun link party!! 
This week is really fun for me because I am featured...WOW!! I feel very honored and I am blushing a bit for the great write up!! THANKS it means alot to me.  Go check it out and join the Friendly Friday party!! It is tons of fun!!
Happy Friendly Friday!!

Tried It Out Thursday: Garlic Cheese Popovers

I have to admit I had never made popovers before. They reminded me a little of Yorkshire Pudding. I found this recipe in a Better Homes & Gardens Cookbook and changed it a bit to go with the soup I was serving. It was a good change from the normal bread we eat.

Garlic Cheese Popovers
adapted from Better Homes & Gardens
Makes 12 muffin size popovers
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cups milk
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray cups in a muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray (coat each well).
In a medium bowl use a wisk to beat eggs, milk and oil until combined. Add flour and garlic salt; beat until smooth. Stir in 1 cup of the shredded cheese. Fill the cups 3/4 full. Sprinkle the tops with the remaining cheese.
Bake 15-20 minutes or until firm. (mine took 18 minutes). Immediately after removing from the oven, prick each popover to let the steam escape. Turn off the oven. For crispier popovers, return them to the oven for 5-10 minutes or until the desired crispness is reached. Remove from tin and serve immediately.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Oven Baked Rigatoni Rosa

I receive this cute package from the Foodbuzz Tastemakers program and Bertoli. (A HUGE THANKS!!)  I had never tried Bertoli and was especially excited to try the Four Cheese Rosa Sauce.  It had great flavor! This pasta dish turned out great and is very versatile.
Oven Baked Rigatoni Rosa
1 pound hamburger, browned and drained.
1 jar Bertoli Four Cheese Rosa Sauce
2 cups spaghetti sauce
2 cups mozzarella, shredded
1 can (14.5 oz) petite diced tomatoes
1/8 teaspoon pepper
3 Tablespoon parmesan cheese, grated
3 Tablespoons breadcrumbs
1 pound box rigatoni pasta (or other type pasta.), cook and drain.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix hamburger, sauces, 1 1/2 cups mozzarella, tomatoes, pepper and 1 Tablespoon parmesan cheese together. Stir in the pasta.  Pour into a 9x13 casserole dish.  Sprinkle top with remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, 2 Tablespoons parmesan, and breadcrumbs.
Cover and bake for 25 minutes.  Uncover and bake 5 more minutes.
You can substitute the rosa sauce: use 1 jar spaghetti sauce and 1 can tomato soup.
You can add garlic, mushrooms, peppers, chicken, ect. 

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

C&C Cookie Bars

C&C otherwise known as chocolate & coconut.  I found this recipe in an elementary school cookbook my mom bought me. (actually THE elementary school I attended).  It is so simple and oh so delicious!! Especially good when the chocolate is still a bit melted.  YUM!! I begged hubby to take the leftovers to work so I would not eat them.  

C&C Cookie Bars
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup melted butter
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
2 cups milk chocolate chips (or semi-sweet)
1 1/3 cups flaked coconut
1/4 cup slivered almonds (or your choice or nuts)Optional
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a small bowl combine the graham cracker crumbs with the butter.  Mix well.  Press mixture firmly in the bottom of a  9x13 pan. 
Pour sweetened condensed milk over the top.  Layer evenly the rest of the ingredients.
Press down firmly with a fork.
Bake 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned.
Cool. Cut in to bars. Store covered at room temperature.
Linked to:

Monday, May 24, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

The big hit around our house last week was the most simply meal I made Corn Bread & Chili Casserole. I normally don't like to make our meals from a box and can, but once in a while the busy schedule makes it hard to do otherwise.  These types of meals make it so we don't turn to going out for fast food. 
This week I have added a few new recipes and will be baking Hubby a birthday cake.  I am also adding a Quinoa sidedish in the mix.  A very daring thing considering all the grief I am still getting over the couscous.  So wish me luck!!

This Week's Menu:
Monday: S&S Meatballs
Tuesday: Balsamic Almond Chicken/Quinoa
Wednesday: Fajitas
Thursday: Dinner out for Hubby's Birthday
Friday:  Shredded Chicken Sandwiches
Saturday: Picnic Night
Sunday: Hamburgers
Linked with Menu Plan Monday where there are lots of great menu plans!!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Pink Saturday & A Clothes Saving Tip

I know that this is a food blog but I just have to share the great tip with you.
Yesterday, ten minutes before he had to leave, my son discovered that he had left the sticker on his jersey and I washed it without noticing. Have your kids every done that?  What a mess!! I have thown clothes away before because I could not get it to come off.  Luckily,  this time I remembered a great tip that my MOM gave me...HAND SANITIZER!!  Put a dab on the sticker residue and scrub.  In this case I used a toothbrush to scrub the mess.  It may take more than one shot of hand sanitizer, but it worked BRILLANTLY!!  Jersey just like new in under ten minutes!! He did not have to race with a HUGE sticker mess on his shoulder.  Yay!!  It also works on glue stains (I had a huge Mod Podge stain and it worked). Thanks MOM!! Now with that crisis solved I can relax at the beach... oh wait only in my mind, but wouldn't be great!!
Happy Pink Saturday!
Now go check out all the PINK over at Pink Saturday hosted by Beverly at How Sweet the Sound!
Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Chicken Cordon Bleu Pizza

When I saw this recipe I just knew it had to be made.  I found it in the Taste of Home Magazine April/May issue of this year.  I changed it up using grilled chicken, homemade alfredo and pizza crust.  One word: DELICIOUS!!  It was a little work but so worth it.  My family ate the whole thing before morning.  Hubby and son had seconds later that night.  This is my new found favorite.  I can't wait to make it for my family next time they visit!! Save your calories and splurge on this is that good!!!
Chicken Cordon Bleu Pizza
adapted from Taste of Home
1 recipe Pizza Dough (or use 2 refrigerated ones)
Roll dough out onto a cookie sheet and bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes.
1 cup alfredo sauce
1 cup shredded swiss cheese
1-2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
2 cups cooked chicken, diced (grilled, breaded or what you prefer)
1 1/2 cups ham, cooked and cubed
Spread the alfredo sauce over the cooked pizza crust.
Sprinkle with the swiss cheese
Top with chicken and ham.
Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.
Bake for 10-12 minutes or until crust is golden brown and cheese is melted.
YUM!! This makes me want to make it again.  Enjoy!!!
Linked to Foodie Friday

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Corn Bread & Chili Casserole

I want to share with you a famly favorite that I have added canned Chili to. This casserole is great for one of those busy days.  It is quick, simple and delicious. I also consider it a budget friendly meal.  You can feed the family for little. I got the chili on sale for $1.25 a can, corn bread .50 a package (I bought the little ones).  Total cost under $5. Not bad for a great meal. I got this idea  from a friend years ago. She had taken it to a casserole contest at church and won first prize. That night I was the real winner when she presented me with the leftovers to take home. She never gave me the recipe, but I liked it so much that I had to come up with my own version.
Corn Bread & Chili Casserole
3 (15 oz.) cans Chili (use your favorite or homemade).
1 box of corn bread mix (or two of the small ones)
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 cup onions, diced (optional)
Open cans of chili and mix in onions if desired.  Pour into a greased 9 x13 casserole dish. Sprinkle the cheese on top. 
 Make the corn bread according to package directions spoon over top of  the chili mixture.  Spread to even it out.
 Bake at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until the corn bread is done.
Make sure you check the middle to make sure it is done.
This was a huge hit at my house!!


Tried It Out Thursday: Simple Couscous

I must admit I had never tried Couscous until about a month ago.  It was a little sample and I liked it.  I was a little afraid to add it to the family meals, but finally bought some the other day.  Since we have been trying to eat healthier I figured now was a good time to try this out.  The kids were leary, all but one ate it all.  My oldest thought it was oatmeal (what???). After looking at it Hubby called it by a not so nice name.  Then ate one large helping and later added another to his plate.  He later admitted it was pretty good.  I really liked it and will make it again perhaps adding a few more veggies to the mix.
Simple Couscous
adapted from Rachel Ray
2 cup chicken broth
1 1/2 cup couscous
1 small zucchini, diced
1/4 cup onions, diced
1 Tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon dried parsley
 Place the chicken broth and butter in a medium  sized pot.  Cook on medium heat.  Once butter is melted add onion and zucchini, cook until veggies are tender.  Bring to a boil, add coucous, salt and pepper to taste.  Stir quickly to mix and take pan off heat. Place a tight fitting lid on pan and leave it covered for about 5 minutes.  Fluff with a fork and stir in almonds and parsley.
Note: As I was typing this recipe I realized I only added 3/4 cup of couscous.  Half the amount it called for and I liked it.  Now I am left wondering if it will be the same with the right amount.  Guess I will just have to try it out and see!!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Dove Ice Cream Miniatures "My Mini Moment" Contest

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Dove Ice Cream. All opinions are 100% mine.

Dove Ice Cream Miniatures has launched "My Mini Moment" contestDove Ice Cream is asking women to share their favorite mini moment of escape and one lucky winner could win one of 3 sensational mini-grand prizes: You could win your choice of an Ultimate Mini-Escape and since everyone has their own idea of what their favorite mini-escape would be. That’s why Dove Ice Cream Miniatures has given you three luxuriously indulgent choices.

Spa Service for a year!
A mini-home makeover
They will revamp your favorite room!!
These are some incredible prizes so be thinking of your favorite "Mini Moment Escape" Women need to submit a photo and short essay at by June 7, 2010

Me-time” is important to the Dove consumers,so Dove Ice Cream Miniatures conducted a survey of over 400 mothers and an astonishing 70 percent of these ultimate multi-taskers are taking time for themselves each day. The "My Mini Moment" contest celebrates these cherished moments.

At only 70 calories each, Dove Ice Cream Miniatures feature full indulgent ice cream wrapped in real Dove chocolate making them the perfect treat. They come in two different options:
  Vanilla & Chocolate Chip ice cream covered in DOVE® Milk Chocolate variety pack
Try the NEW decadent CafĂ© Collection which features Java Chip and Cappuccino Flavors 
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Grab some Dove Ice Cream Miniatures, enjoy and enter the "My Mini Moment" contest.
Visit my sponsor: “My Mini Moment” contest

Toasted Italian Breadcrumbs

Remember these:
I turned them into this:
A great way to save a little money is to create your own breadcrumbs. One of my favorite restaurants is Johnny Carinos.  I love their bread and a friend got me hooked on adding balsamic vinegar, parmesan cheese to the garlic dipping oil.  YUM! These breadcrumbs remind me of that combination. I like the fact that they are already browned ready to top my favorite dish.  I am really wanting to use them to make chicken parmesan.

Toasted Italian Breadcrumbs
crusts from 1 loaf of bread
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup parmesan
3/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
Combine oil, parmesan, garlic salt, pepper and vinegar in a large bowl.  Add bread crusts and toss to coat.  Pour on to a cookie sheet and arrange in a single layer.  Bake at 300 degrees for 15-20 minutes until the bread is dry.  Stir after 10 minutes and then watch closely so they do not burn.  Remove from oven and let cool.
Place in a food processor or blender; process into fine crumbs.
My yield would of been higher except my daughter kept eating the toasted crust before I got them processed. 
Some cool information from Better Homes and Gardens
*1 slice of bread will yield 1/4 cup fine dry crumbs
*To make 1 cup of cracker or cookie crumbs, you'll need 28 saltine crackers, 14 graham cracker squares, 22 vanilla wafers, 19 chocolate wafers, 15 gingersnaps or 24 rich, round crackers (such as Ritz).

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Super Quick Breadsticks

Another segment of my semi-homemade recipes.  I made a pasta meal and needed something a little extra to go with and quick, so I came up with this recipe.  It was a hit and my little girls rolled them out for me saving me a little time. If you can catch the biscuits on sale it makes for cheap breadsticks.
Super Quick Breadsticks
2 cans refrigerater biscuits
1/4 cup butter
2 Tablespoons Parmesan
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
Preheat oven to Spray cookie sheet with cooking oil.  Open the cans and roll each biscuit into a rope shape.
Melt butter; stir in parmesan and garlic salt.  Brush liberally on to each breadstick. 
Bake 8-10 minutes.
Dip in extra pasta sauce, ranch or just enjoy!!


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