Friday, April 30, 2010

Balsamic Raspberry Chicken

I love balsamic vinegar.  So this recipe was right up my alley!  The raspberry and balsamic combination is a hit.  My whole family enjoyed it.  Even the picky eater had two helpings.
Balsamic Raspberry Chicken
4 -6 boneless skinless chicken breasts (or equivalent in tenders)
1/3 cup raspberry jam
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
Spray skillet with cooking spray.  Saute chicken over medium-high heat.  Turning several times so it won't overbrown.  Lightly season with seasoning salt or salt and pepper. (what ever you  like!)  Saute until chicken is cooked thoroughly.  Remove chicken from pan and keep warm. Wipe out skillet a bit.
Reduce heat to medium and add, jam, vinegar, salt and pepper.  Stir until the jam melts.   Return chicken to pan and coat it evenly in the sauce.  Simmer on medium-low heat for about 5 minutes. 
Check out Foodie Friday and Recipe Swap!!

Thursday, April 29, 2010


Last week I came upon this recipe over at Cooking During Stolen Moments and it intrigued me, so of course I had to try it out. With butter, cream cheese and cinnamon sugar how could you go wrong!  When you see how they are made this woman is a genius!! They were a little time consuming but oh so worth it. Everyone could not wait until they were out of the oven.  Both my hubby and son burnt themselves from eating them as soon as I took them out. My son said they tasted like cinnamon roll bites.  They were a HUGE hit and my family ate every single one that afternoon. 
Mini Blinis
1 pound thinly sliced commercial white bread
1- 8 oz. cream cheese
1 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup sugar mixed with 2 teaspoons cinnamon
Carefully cut the crust off each slice of bread.
With a rolling pin, gently flatten each slice of bread until it is paper thin.
In a small bowl, beat together the cream cheese, 1 cup sugar, egg yolks and vanilla until smooth.
Spread a layer of cream cheese mixture onto each slice of bread and roll up jelly roll style.
Roll each piece in melted butter then in the cinnamon sugar mixture. (I cut each roll in half first).
Place on a cookie sheet and freeze for about 30 minutes to 1 hour.  Then transfer them into a freezer bag.
They will hold together better if you do this first.  
When ready to cook  preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place on a greased cookie sheet and bake for 15-18 minutes, until lightly golden brown on the edges. 
You can find great detailed directions at Cooking During Stolen Moments.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Crock Pot Parmesan Garlic Quick Bread

I must admit I made this recipe truly because I was skeptical.  Bread in a crock pot...YAH RIGHT!!  Well I must admit how wrong I was and how cool it was to see it take shape. Iit was light, moist and everyone loved it.  The only issue I had was getting it out of the crock pot. I needed to use a bigger spatula. Note: Spray the crock pot well with the cooking spray.
Crock Pot Parmesan Garlic Quick Bread (use a 3-4 quart crock pot)
1 1/2 cups baking mix (I used Bisquick)
2 egg whites
1/2 cup milk
1 Tablespoon minced onion
3/4 teaspoon garlic salt (or powder)
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
Combine all ingredients. Save a little of both cheeses to sprinkle on the top.  Pour into a well greased crock pot. 
Sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
  Cook on high for 1 hour.
Make 8 servings
*You can add more or less garlic depending on your garlic preference.
This post is linked to Crock Pot Wednesday!


Tuesday, April 27, 2010


I am so excited! I finally figured out how to put a print friendly button on here.  Now you can print the recipes with one click of a button located at the bottom of each post!!   Please let me know if there are any issues and if it is helpful or not!!  Thanks!!!!!

Peanut Butter Topped Secret Ingredient Brownies

Thanks to the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program and Kelloggs for sending me these:
 I LOVE bran so you can imagine my excitement!!  I am trying to get more fiber in the diet of all my family members, which is not an easy task.  So I decided to attempt to sneak a little fiber in. The best place to start: DESSERT!  I found this brownie recipe on  I was amazed at how many things you can make using bran cereal. 
Peanut Butter Topped Bran Brownies
adapted from
1 cup butter, melted
2 cups sugar
1 cup cocoa powder
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup All-Bran Original or All-Bran Buds
1 1/3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix butter, sugar and cocoa together.  Beat in eggs and vanilla. Add cereal, flour and salt gradually.  Mix well.  Spread into a greased 9 x 13 pan. 
Bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
I cooked mine 35 minutes and it was too long. The edges were a little crisp. 
30 minutes would of been perfect.
Peanut Butter Topping
Melt 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter in the microwave. Just until it is pourable.  Watch closely because it will burn easy.  It only takes about 20-30 seconds. 
Drizzle it over the top of the brownies.
If desired add cut up peanut butter cups on top.  Allow to set up!
THE VERDICT:  My oldest daughter saw me add the Bran and even though she promised not to tell.  She blabbed to the whole family.  So the element of surprise was out.  Dang it!!  I will be trying more things!! As for the brownies I loved them and with most brownies they tasted better after 24 hours.  Everyone agreed on that fact!  I will try them again this time making them when everyone is gone.  I would love to see if they really notice the bran, when then do not know it is there.
*The original recipe makes a 8 x8 size pan so I doubled the recipe. 
*I got the topping idea from Me & My Pink Mixer.  She made the most adorable and delicious looking Peanut Butter Brownie Bites .  I have tried it on regular box brownies. What is not to love about a peanut butter and chocolate combination!!

Monday, April 26, 2010

OoohLaLa New Cookware!!: CSN Review

This is the pan I use the most.
The coating has really began to flake off and I am getting a little nervous about then being in our food.
There are way too many little black flakes lately to try to pick out.
The bottom of the pan is no longer flat.  Makes cooking a bit difficult.
Now imagine how excited I was when I received this in the mail from 
one of the online stores affiliated with
I think I am in HEAVEN!! Isn't it beautiful and I LOVE the way it cooks.
Stainless Steel and an aluminum inner core bottom to create even heat distribution.
The glass lid is perfect for being able to see how things are cooking. 
 It is heavy duty and the perfect size.
So out with the old and in with the NEW!! is such a great place to shop for all most anything with over 200 online website choices.  Some of these are,,, and many more!
 They offer hassle free returns and FREE SHIPPING on almost everything. an amazing online shopping experience. 

Disclosurer: I was not paid for this review it is my own honest opinion.  I was given the saucepan by to try out.

Menu Plan Monday

I went a little overboard when I planned the menu for last week.  Too many time comsumers and ingredients that I did not have one hand.  I carried a few meals over, but tried to keep it a little more low key this week. If you remember last week I did not have a car again for most of the week and I was way to tired to go to the grocery store by the time hubby came home each night.  You can only imagine what I didn't have to work with.  That being said, I found we ate alot of pasta last week: lasagna, spaghetti, mac & cheese.  The good thing is these three meals actually stretched for five days.  We had enough leftovers for 2 nights of meals.  Good thing because those two nights were extremely CRAZY!!  I am happy to report I now have veggies, fruit and some chicken to add variety to this week's meals.
This Week's Menu:
Monday: Raspberry Balsamic Chicken
Tuesday: Tacos
Wednesday: Teriyaki Chicken Salad
Thursday: Picnic Night
Friday: Parmesan Chicken
Saturday: Out of Town Track Meet
Sunday: Malibu Chicken
Coming up this week:
What I did with this and
Have a deliciously great week!!
As usual check out lots of menus at Menu Plan Monday.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Pink Saturday: Simply Pink

Happy Pink Saturday!!
Since this week has been so crazy I am going to keep this post simple and pink of course!  Sorry no recipe today, but a holder of them. 
My mother in law gave me this cute pink recipe box several years ago.
It was very sweet and is something I treasure!!
Thanks June!!
Now check out everything PINK over at Pink Saturday!!
 A huge THANKS to Beverly for hosting.
Last week through Pink Saturday I found a blog called She Sews Pretty
She has some incredible pictures and great posts.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Baked Mac & Cheese

Due to the lack of cars in our household the past ten days and lack of groceries, unknowingly we ate alot of pasta this week.  Normally not something I like to do.  Mixing it up is good, but also you do what you have to with what you have.  Thankfully, I now have my car back!! 
WARNING: This recipe is not for the faint of calories.  Because of this fact I had not made this in a long time.  I tried to lighten it up a bit though.  For all you cheesy lovers; it is very cheesy and delicious!! Moderation is the key: I only had a small portion.
Yes, I did add a few hot dogs, cut up.  My family likes the addition, me not so much!!
Baked Mac & Cheese
1 pound pasta
3 Tablespoons butter
1 Tablespoon flour
3 cups milk
8 oz. cream cheese (I used light)
4 cups shredded cheddar cheese (I used 3 and then sprinkled a little bit on top before baking)
breadcrumbs (optional)
Grease a 9 x13 casserole dish. Cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain, rinse.  Set aside.
In a large skillet (or same pan you cooked the pasta in), melt butter over medium high heat.  Add flour and cook until bubbly (about 1 minute).  Slowly add the milk, stirring after each addition.  Cook until slightly thickened, stirring constantly.  Add the cream cheese, stirring until completely melted.  Season with salt if desired (I skipped the salt).  Remove from heat. Mix the pasta in with the cream cheese mixture. The sauce will seem not thick enough, but will thicken when the cheese is added and baked.
  Add the shredded cheese and stir to combine. 
 Pour the mixture in the prepared dish, top with breadcrumbs if desired
and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
I wanted to add the asparagus to it, but knew my one daughter would not like it and it just wasn't worth the fight!!
You could add lots of things to this versatile recipe.
Now one question: How do you get the breadcrumbs to brown?  What did I do wrong?
Linked with  Foodie Friday and Recipe Swap/

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Easy Ranch Pretzels

I found this recipe over at All The Small Stuff and it could not wait for next Thursday, it is just THAT GOOD!! So forgive for the second Tried it out Thursday post.  I loved flavored pretzels and have not been able to find my favorite brand for a really long time.  Looking at the ingredients and the word "Easy" in the title or this recipe I practically ran to the store to get everything (actually I had to wait to get my car back)!!  I made these last night and can I just say one thing YUMMMM!!  They are delicious.  I love the fact that I know exactly what is on them and what a great snack for the kids.  All the credit for this one goes to All The Small Stuff  for sharing this "keeper". 
Easy Ranch Pretzels
Recipe idea from All the Small Stuff
1 package (about 20 oz.) pretzels
1 envelope ranch salad dressing mix
3/4 cup canola oil
1 1/2 teaspoons dill weed
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
Place pretzels in a large bowl.  Combiine remaining ingredients; pour over pretzels and stir to coat.  Pour on to a cookie sheet and bake at 200 degrees for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Crock Pot Hamburger Casserole

This is one of those recipes in my cookbook that I personally had handwritten.  I had not made it in awhile, but usually when I write something in it must of  been good.  I  needed something for the crock pot on a busy track meet day so I tried this out.  It was good.   I left from the track meet to a meeting and did not get home until late.  When arriving home I found that my family had ordered pizza...WHAT???  Come to find out the potatoes weren't done and they were starved.   I don't know if it was my potatoes or if I just did not start it early enough in the day, but they took a full 8 hours to get cooked.  I put the crock pot in the fridge and we ate it the next day.  It was good.
Crock Pot Hamburger Casserole
1 pound hamburger, browned and drained
6 potatoes, sliced
1/2 cup onion, diced
1 (14.5 oz.) can cut green beans.
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 (10 3/4 oz.) can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup sour cream
1-2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
Mix hamburger, potatoes, onions and cheese together in the crock pot.  Pour beans over top. 
Mix together the cream of mushroom soup with 1 can of water(or milk), sour cream, salt and pepper.  Spoon over the top of the beans. 
Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours.  (Mine took the full 8)
Next time I think I will add some garlic and mushrooms to the potato mixture.
I think it would be fine mixing everything together and placing in the crock pot. 
Next time I may serve the beans on the side.
My friend brought me something similar when one of my babies were born.  There were no beans and it was baked.  So that is another option.
Simple and everyone liked it.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Spaghetti Salad

This is a good change of pace for pasta salad lovers. You can add what ever veggies you like to it.  My hubby likes it because it reminds him of his favorite marinated veggies.  Everyone loves it.  It is best when allowed to set in the fridge for a few hours, but tastes great freshly made also.
Spaghetti Salad
1 small box thin spaghetti (around 1 lb.)
1 medium tomato, diced
3 celery stalks, sliced
1/2 cup carrots, diced
1 cup olices, sliced (optional)
1 cup Italian Dressing
1 Tablespoon Salad Supreme seasoning (or more if you like.)
2 teaspoons Parmesan cheese (optional)
Cook spaghetti, break into three pieces.  Drain and rinse with cold water.  Place in bowl and add all the other ingredients.  Mix well.  Place in fridge.  Mix again before serving.
*Adjust the amounts of the veggies to suit your tastes.
You could add onions, peppers, broccoli, cauliflower or other veggies. 
Check out what's cooking over at Tempt My Tummy Tuesday and Tuesday at the Table.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

Well it did not rain on Saturday.... It POURED!!  Poor Kody had to run the mile with an extra 2 pounds of water in each shoe.  Kids were slipping and falling down.  To be honest it was MISERABLE!  We spent the time between the mile and 2 mile race trying to get his clothing and shoes dried out.  The girls were great sports through it all.  He made the podium in both events so that was cool! 
Hubby's car has been in the shop over a week now and that leaves me carless...good thing because I can't spend money, but boy am I missing my freedom.  Not to mention we are out of everthing!  This menu is based on the fact that I actually get to go to the grocery store or we will be eating very interesting things this week.  Pray I get my freedom back SOON!!
This Week's Menu:
Monday: Lasagna (I must confess it is a store bought one from the freezer. Hubby was supposed to cook it yesterday while I was at meetings!!)
Tuesday: Bacon Cheese Burger Twist
Wednesday: Pasta Milano
Thursday: Picnic Night
Friday: Raspberry Balsamic Chicken (new recipe)
Saturday: Tacos
Sunday: Smoky Mountain Chicken
Check out what other's are cooking this week at Menu Plan Monday!
Wishing everyone a super week!!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Peanut Butter Kisses

Happy Pink Saturday!!
I bought some packages of Hershey's Kisses on clearance after Easter.  My plan was to make these cookies. I hid (or thought I had), the bags in the cupboard.  Well the chocolate thiefs found them.  I was lucky enough to save one bag so Karlie and I made cookies for a pink tea party.
 Peanut Butter Kisses
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
2 Tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 3/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 package Hershey's Kisses, unwrapped
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Cream together butter, peanut butter and sugars.  Beat until light and fluffy.  Add egg, milk and vanilla and mix well.  Gradually add flour, baking soda and salt.  Mix until it is all combined well.  Shape dough into 1 inch balls and roll in white sugar; place on a greased cookie sheet.
Bake for 8 minutes (you may need to adjust the time according to the way your oven bakes).
Remove from oven
Press an unwrapped kiss in the center of each cookie.
Return to the oven and bake 2 more minutes.
Makes about 4 dozen cookies.
My pink flowered china. I really need to use it more often.
My Aunts gave it to me when I graduated from High School.
Now the girls and I are ready for our Tea Party!
Too bad the CRAZY TEA LADY (my mom) is not here to celebrate with us.
She makes tea parties much more fun!!
Last  Pink Saturday I found a really neat blog called Concerning Marie.  She made the most adorable slippers out of scrapbook paper.  They are amazing!! Go check them out!!
Have a wonderful PINK DAY!!  I will be spending mine sitting at a track meet!
I am hoping for no rain and Kody will run fast!!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Low Cal Veggie Soup

This recipe is so tasty you forget that it is low calorie.  When feeding it to the family I serve cut up cooked chicken and cooked pasta on the side.  Then they each just add what they want and it keeps everyone happy.  This time I just made the soup for lunch and my 6 year old had 4 helpings and then wanted it the next day cause "it was ohhh so good"!  I usually double or even triple the recipe.  I hear it freezes well.  Mine never lasts that long.

Low Cal Veggie Soup
adapted from Weight Watchers (0 points)
Makes 4 - 1 cup servings
2/3 cup sliced carrot
1/2 cup diced onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups fat-free broth (beef, chicken or vegetable -I like chicken!)
1 1/2 cups diced green cabbage
1/2 cup green beans
1 Tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup diced zucchini (or yellow squash)
Spray a large saucepan with cooking spray.  Saute the carrot, onion, and garlic over low heat until softened,
about 5 minutes. 
 Add broth, cabbage, beans, tomato paste, basil, oregano and salt.
Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; simmer, covered, for about 15 minutes or until veggies are tender.  Stir in zucchini and heat for about 5 more minutes. 
I usually add half zucchini and half yellow squash, but this time of the year
could not find any yellow squash.
 This time I added about 2/3 cup asparagus (with all the main ingredients) and I really liked it.
Check out Foodie Friday and Recipe Swap for some great recipes.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

WOW!! I Actually Won Something!

On the Foodie Blogroll you can search for recipes, check out incredible blogs, along with many other helpful and cool things.  The really fun thing is they have contests each week and giveaway some great prizes.  You can only imagine my excitement when me the "unlucky" one was notified that I won something.   
Look how COOL not to mention functional this tote is! It is the PERFECT size!!
My model likes it alot too!  I cannot wait to take it and my cute model shopping!!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Crock Pot Peanut Butter & Hot Fudge Pudding Cake

A friend recently lent me a crock pot cookbook.  It is supposed to be low fat, healthy recipes for the crock pot.  Ok my curiosity was peaked.  As I searched though I came across a handwritten recipe and you know me, I immediately became intrigued.  I had never made a cake or dessert in the crock pot before.  She had written that it is only 3 Weight Watchers points per serving.    Thanks Amy!!

Crock Pot Peanut Butter & Hot Fudge Pudding Cake
Makes 8 servings
1 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2/3 cup milk
2 Tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup peanut butter
Combine ingredients and mix until smooth.  Pour in a greased crock pot.
1/2 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons cocoa
1 cup boiling water
Mix until sugar is dissolved.  Pour over cake mixture.  DO NOT STIR! 
Cover and cook on High for 2-3 hours. The cake will be very moist and floating on a layer of molten chocolate when it is done.  You will know it is done cooking when nearly all the cake is set and its edges begin to pull away from the sides. 
Verdict: It was different but delicious!  The kids all ate theirs topped with whipped topping. 

Check out Crock Pot Wednesday over at Dining With Debbie.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Chicken & Asparagus Bake

A friend of mine sent me this recipe last week.  Since I love asparagus I could not wait to try it out.  I made a few minor adjustments to fit my family's tastes and it was a hit!!  There was none leftover.  Thanks Katie!! 
Chicken & Asparagus Bake
3-4 chicken breasts
4 Tablespoons butter
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon. pepper
2 cups water
2 teaspoons chicken bouillon
1/2 cup heavy cream
16 oz (one bundle) asparagus, washed and broken into pieces.
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
Spray skillet with cooking spray and brown chicken.  Cut in to bite size pieces.   Place asparagus in the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan and top with the chicken pieces. 
In a saucepan, melt butter and add the flour, salt and pepper.  Stir until smooth.  Stir in the water and bouillon.  Bring to a boil stirring constantly until thickened (about 5 minutes).  Remove from heat; stir in cream and parmesan cheese.  Pour over top of chicken and asparagus.
Sprinkle a little bit of parmesan over the top.  Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.  Remove from oven and let sit for about 5 minutes before serving. 
NOTE: I did not have any cream so I used half and half.
The original recipe adds 1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce. (I knew my kids would not eat it.) 
So add that if you prefer!
The whole family agreed it would have been really good served over pasta!!

For some great recipes check out Tuesdays at the Table and Tempt My Tummy Tuesday.



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