Monday, January 31, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

Last week was so CRAZY I ended up carrying over a few meals from last week.  I am feeling a bit out of sorts because I did not add any new thing to the menu (so not like me.).  So now the hunt is on to find something to add!! I sure with the Super Bowl, we will figure out something.  Hubby is a HUGE Steelers fan! I would just like it to be  good game!! 

This Week's Menu
Monday: Pulled Pork
Tuesday:  Tacos
Wednesday:  Baked Stew
Thursday: Cheesy Cracker Chicken
Friday: Out to eat for a Birthday dinner
Saturday:Hubby's Homemade White Mac & Cheese
Sunday: Super Bowl Eats!!

Happy Eating!

Linked to: Menu Plan Momday

Friday, January 28, 2011

Heavenly Buttermilk Syrup

My mom has been raving about Buttermilk syrup for a little while now.  So one night when my daughter wanted to make breakfast for dinner, I decided that it was the perfect time to try it out. Oh WOW!! It is AMAZING!!  It is truly a "died and gone to heaven moment".  The whole family LOVED it!!  I would recommend making it beforehand, but it was still heavenly!!  It would be great over pancakes, waffles or ice cream.  I am thinking it would be delicious over a warm blondie. 

Heavenly Buttermilk Syrup
1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon corn syrup
1 cup buttermilk*
2 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons baking soda
In a large saucepan mix all ingredients except for the baking soda and bring to a slow boil.  Boil for 1 minute and remove from heat.  Add soda and stir.  Mixture will foam a lot, so make sure you use a large pot. I didn't and made a HUGE mess!! Allow to sit for about five minutes for the foaming to go down.  Serve or pour mixture in a container and refrigerate.  It separates a bit, just stir and reheat when ready to serve. *I have had to makes myself stop eating spoon fulls right out of the fridge.
*I normally do not buy buttermilk, so I did not have any on hand.  Fortunately, I found a substitute that worked perfectly.
1 cup milk
1 Tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice.
Stir together and let sit for 5 minutes before using.
Enjoy this decadent syrup!!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Tried It Out Thursday: German Chocolate Bundt Cake

This "Tried it Out Thursday" post is a little bit different than the others, it is actually a recipe I shared that someone else tried.  I received a very sweet email about my sister's German Chocolate Bundt cake that I would like to share.  Candice (my sister) does not give herself enough credit for the great cook she is so here is the proof and the proof that this is a SERIOUSLY delicious recipe!!

I just had to write about the bundt cake recipe you got from a relative.  It it awesome!!!!
I got a call late yesterday to go to a small get together for a teacher I used to work with who moved to Virginia. She came back to NJ for a couple of days and another teacher wanted to have the small get together today from 3 to 5. I told the teacher who called me I would bring a dessert.
Got off the phone and remembered your recipe since I love German choc cake.  Had all the ingre. and made it so fast. It was so easy!!  Well, had to have a piece at the party and I was blown over!!! So light, yet so very moist and hearty.  The cake rose really high so I thought it would be light and dry. Not the case at all.  Little kids at the party even ate it.  I ususally prefer scratch cakes but this one is amazing.  Everyone loves a good bundt cake since they are easy to eat and dont have all that sweet frosting  Sorry I went on about this so long but I cant get over the great texture and taste and Moistness!!!.  It is really a keeper. Cant wait for my sister in laws to taste it. They are cake mix bakers.

After this email I asked if I could use her nice comment and this is the reply I got:

Of course, you can add my comment to the recipe. We have to get as many people as possible to try it. It's probably one of the best cake mix cakes I've ever eaten. It really has everything: fairly inexpensive to make if you get cake mix and frosting on sale, extremely easy to make and taste is phenominal. I think making it the day before serving made it even moister. I didnt even do the melted chocolate drizzle; just bought my pampered chef powdered sugar shaker with me to the party and when I took the plastic and foil off of the cake, I just sprinkled with the confectioners' sugar.  I'm just happy to know there's someone out there that does my kind of cooking. Cooking for families.  Thanks again for your great blog and recipes. I dont know where you get the time to do everything you do.
Carol Ann

WOW! That was so SWEET and so made my day!  Thanks Carol Ann and thanks for letting me share it with all of you.  You can check out the great German Chocolate Bundt Cake recipe here.

Have you tried out anything good this week?  If so please share!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Pizza Pinwheels

My Mom recently gave me a new cookbook, one that was put together by my dad's high school softball team.  It really has some good recipes in it!! I was excited to find this one and add my own twist to it! It was delicious!!

Pizza Pinwheels
pizza dough (1 recipe or 1 can refrigerated dough).
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 jar spaghetti or pizza sauce
1 tablespoon butter
garlic salt
Your choice of toppings ( I used pepperoni, Canadian bacon, mushrooms & olives)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Spray cookie sheet lightly with cooking spray and roll out your dough into a rectangle.  Spread with a small amount of sauce. Add a slight layer of cheese.
Then add your desired toppings.
Fold up the short ends and roll into a tube (cinnamon roll style).
Melt butter and add some garlic salt to taste. Brush over the top of your roll.(or rolls in my case. I doubled the recipe.)
With a knife poke a few small holes in the top (about 4 or 5 about 1/4 inch long each). This will allow the steam to escape and will lessen the chance of your filling breaking through and leaking out.
Bake for 20-25 minutes. Dough should be lightly browned.
Let sit for a few minutes.
Slice.  Serve with pizza or spaghetti sauce on the side for dipping.
We also used ranch.
~You could do so many different combinations with this concept.  BBQ Chicken, Chicken Alfredo, oh the list is endless.  YUM:)
Linked to:

Monday, January 24, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

Hopefully, I am finally back on track with the menu thing!!  Why can't I learn that life is so much EASIER when I do not have to worry about what's for dinner every night.  Thanks for all the great comments on "A Good Salad".  The results are in and the name stands! I actually was craving it already so I made it for Sunday dinner, adding a few different things.  YUM!! This week is CRAZY so I am implementing the KISS theory...Keep It Simple Sister!!  I am the keynote speaker at a church event this week and I am really nervous...Please pray for me!!  Here's to a great week for all!!

This Week's Menu
Monday: Mongolian Stir Fry
Tuesday: Chicken Primavera
Wednesday: BBQ Cola Meatballs
Thursday: Picnic Night
Friday:  Crock Pot Pulled Pork
Saturday:  Hoagies
Sunday: Baked Stew

Congratulations to Amy of crookscorner for winning the Crayola Pixie Pop Art giveaway!!
Happy & Healthy Eating,
Linked to:
Menu Plan Monday over at The Organizing Junkie.  She has a fabulous Menu Board giveaway going on here.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Oven-Fried Parmesan Potatoes

French Fries are a huge weakness for me......What can I say I LOVE them, but the calories and fat do not love me.  Now I have found a good middle ground to curb the cravings.  It was quick and easy.  I had to fight off the kids to get my fair share (ok not really fight, but they did love them).  I will be putting these on the regular dinner menu.   We paired them with a little of Kayla's Killer Fry Sauce (recipe to come) and they were oh so delicious!!
Oven-Fried Parmesan Potatoes
adapted from Quick & Healthy
4-5 medium potatoes, washed but not peeled (about 5 oz. each)
1 Tablespoon canola oil
1 Tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
salt to taste (optional)
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Scrub potatoes. Cut in strips or slices.
Place potato slices in a plastic bag with the oil, and shake well to coat potatoes evenly.
Arrange potatoes, in a single layer, on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray.
Sprinkle the potatoes with the Parmesan cheese and other seasonings.
Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown and cooked though.

If desired sprinkle with a bit of salt and ENJOY!!
Makes about 5 servings at 159 calories each.
3g fiber
3g protein
Linked to:

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Jump-start Your Daily Calcium Giveaway!

Do you get enough calcium in your diet each and every day?  I must admit I am bad, I do not drink milk.  I don't like plain milk.  I don't know if it is the fact that I am a bit lactose intolerant or just craziness.  Since finding out that osteoporosis runs in my family, I have been trying harder to get my daily calcium in.  I have been trying to eat a yogurt each morning for breakfast. 
Luckily, for me Yoplait is committed to making it easier for women to add more calcium to their diet every day with the newly reformulated Yoplait Original style yogurt.

Now with two times the amount of calcium of the leading yogurt, that’s 50 percent of the Daily Value in one convenient 6-ounce cup, Yoplait Original yogurt provides women with an easy and delicious way to get the calcium they need. Yoplait Original also contains 50 percent of the Daily Value of vitamin D, which helps with the absorption of calcium. Yoplait is committed to women’s health and is proud to offer a product that has even more of the calcium and vitamin D they need for strong, healthy bodies.
In an effort to further educate women about the importance of maintaining strong, healthy bones through an active lifestyle and a diet rich in calcium, Yoplait is partnering with TV host and celebrity mom Nancy O’Dell on a one million cup giveaway of Yoplait Original yogurt, beginning December 13th. Visit Yoplait on Facebook to sign up for your free cup and make a personal commitment to meeting your calcium needs each day. While you’re there, take a moment to enjoy daily calcium tips from Registered Dietitian Katherine Brooking and healthy lifestyle advice from Nancy O’Dell.

Yoplait Original Style yogurt is available in 4-cup packs and easy-to-store 8-cup fridge packs in 23 delicious flavors including Strawberry, French Vanilla, Harvest Peach, and Blackberry Pomegranate.
Now for a great giveaway to help you jump-start a healthier new year!! (Even the guys in my house were excited over this one).
 Thanks to Yoplait though  MyBlogSpark one reader will win:

 *VIP Coupon for a free sample of Yoplait Original yogurt, as well as a duffel bag, speed rope, water bottle and sport towel.
It is a really nice gift package!!!
*This coupon offer for Yoplait yogurt is not valid in some states, including California, Idaho, Louisiana, Minnesota, New Jersey, Nevada, North Dakota and Tennessee.
To enter the giveaway be a follower and leave me a comment telling me how you are going to ensure that you obtain your daily dose of calcium each day.
Winner will be chosen by random number generator on January 29th.

The coupon, prize pack, information and giveaway were all provided by Yoplait through MyBlogSpark all opinions are my own. 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Crock Pot Beef & Pasta

The original recipe called this dish a soup.  We ate it from a bowl, but it was more of a pasta dish than a soup.  It was so delicious and easy!! Even the picky eater had two servings.  The leftovers were great also!!

Crock Pot Beef & Pasta
adapted from Betty Crocker
Makes about 10 servings
2 pounds boneless beef round steak, cut into 1/2 inch cubes.
2 jars spaghetti sauce (26-28 oz.)
1 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup onions, diced
1-2 small zucchini, sliced and diced
2 1/2 cups water
16 oz. of cheese filled ravioli
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
In crock pot mix beef, spaghetti sauce, onions, mushrooms, zucchini and water.  Cook on low heat setting for 6-8 hours.  
Stir in ravioli, increase heat setting to high. Cover and cook 20-30 minutes until ravioli are tender.  Stir in the Parmesan cheese. 
Serve.  Sprinkle individual servings with Parmesan if desired.

*This would be good with chicken or hamburger.  Hubby agreed it was really good with the steak.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A Good Salad

I know the name of this recipe isn't too exciting but it has a good story behind it.  One day my mom sent my brother and son to get us fast food while we were at a ball game.  She wrote him a list and then told him she didn't know what type of salads they had so to just get her "a good salad".  He ordered and had no issues until he ordered "a good salad" just like that.  This confused both the order taker and my brother. My son was still laughing when they came back with the food.  We continue to laugh about it to this day.  So in honor of this memory and for lack of a better name this is most definitely A GOOD SALAD!!
This is one of those recipes that is so simple I almost feel guilty posting it, but it was so DELICIOUS, that I could not resist!!  I also want a permanent reminder for myself to make it more often.  Yum.  I am already craving it again. I was really hoping for leftovers, but they ate every last bit!!! Next time I will try it using spinach or a variety of lettuce.
The Good Salad
A large bowl of torn mixed salad greens (about 8 cups)
1 large apple, cored and diced
1/2 cup sliced almonds, cashews or other nuts
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, diced in 1 inch cubes
Combine ingredients in bowl.
Serve with:
2/3 cup oil
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon mustard
1/2 teaspoon onion salt
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon poppy seeds
Mix well. Shake before serving.

*You can either pour dressing over salad or serve on the side.  I prefer on the side because then the leftovers stay good longer.  That is if you have any leftovers!!
I would really like a better name for this salad. Since I am brain dead I am asking for your help. 
If you can think of a clever name please let me know!!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Healthy Living Giveaway Winner!!

My family eats alot of cereal.  I forgot to include my family's favorite Big G cereals.  Lucky Charms, Cinnamon Toast Crunch and the all time favorite is Reese's Puff!! 
Now the winner drawn by random number generator........
Tessa author of The Cooking Chemist!!
She has some amazing and delicious creations!!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Triple Cheese Baked Beefaroni

My plan for this coming year is to feed my family healthier meals.  So this is the first in hopefully a series of many.  This took a little bit of time to make, but was a HUGE hit with the family. No one noticed the missing calories.  In fact there was nothing leftover!! It had great flavor.
Triple Cheese Baked Beefaroni
adapted from The Complete Light Cookbook
1 pound penne pasta or pasta of your choice
Meat Sauce
1 cup minced onions
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 pound hamburger
2 cups spaghetti sauce
1/2 cup chicken or beef broth
Cheese Sauce
1/4 cup flour
2 cups milk
1 3/4 cups beef or chicken broth
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 Tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Cook pasta until tender but firm. Drain and set aside.
Meat Sauce:
Brown hamburger with the garlic and onion.  Stir in the pasta sauce and 1/2 cup broth. Simmer for 10  minutes of until thickened. Set aside.
Cheese Sauce:
Whisk flour, milk and  1 3/4 cup broth in a nonstick pan until smooth.  Place over medium heat and cook until the mixture comes to a boil.  Reduce heat and continue to cook, for five minutes or until thickened. Stir in the cheddar cheese until it is all melted. Remove from heat.
 Stir the cheese sauce into the meat sauce.
Toss the pasta with the sauce. Pour into a greased 9 x 13 pan. Sprinkle with the mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.
Bake for 10 minutes or until bubbly.
*You can substitute the hamburger with ground turkey or ground soy.
This also freezes well!
Linked to:

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Tried It Out Thursday: Crayola Pop Art Pixies Activity Kits & a Giveaway

Crayola’s new Pop Art Pixies activity kit line invites tween girls to enter a world of self-discovery and creativity through the lives of the Pop Art Pixies. These best buds each have their own special interest that sets them apart, giving tweens a chance to find a virtual pal in one or even all of them. Your daughters can get to know the Pop Art Pixies as they enjoy their online world at and by adding their own creative touch to one of the 14 Pop Art Pixies craft projects.
Whether your daughter is eco-friendly and into saving the environment like Skye, loves to throw parties like Tatum, is into music and technology like Naomi, or can’t wait to express her free-spirit like Maya – she’ll love sharing her unique style at Pop Art Pixies Virtual Clubhouse. There, she can create a personal avatar that can “hang out” with the Pop Art Pixies and upload photos of her original masterpieces to share with friend.
Coupled with the special Pop Art Pixies community are 14 activity kits that are tailored to each of the girls’ unique interests. From Skye’s wooden charm bracelet to Tatum’s decoupage glass plate, the Crayola Pop Art Pixies kits will give your daughter a chance to personalize a fun project that lets her character and creativity shine.

You cannot begin to imagine how EXCITED my girls were when we received a Crayola Pop Art Pixie Gift package in the mail!!  If your girls like to do crafty things these are so perfect, fun and not to mention ADORABLE!! 
Maya's Glass Pendant Kit

Naomi's Color Glow Lamp Kit
The colors make it so cool!!
Tatum's Decoupage Glass Plate Kit

Maya's Shadow Box Kit

Skye's Wind Chimes Kit
Skye's Water Bottle Kit
Somehow, I did not get a picture of the very CUTE Naomi's Bento Stationary Kit. Trust me it is ADORABLE!!  My girls had so much fun with these kits (and so did I)!! They have easy directions and are well put together. I love the fact that you can put your own unique touch to every kit!!
Crayola has offered you a downloadable coupon for $2.00 off a Crayola Pixie Pop Art Kit here.
Now for the REALLY FUN part....
One reader will win:
A prize pack which includes:Tatum’s “Decoupage Glass Plates” kit, Naomi’s “Create a Color Glow Lamp” kit, Naomi’s “Create a Stationary Box” kit, and Skye’s “Create a Water Bottle” kit.
All wonderfully incredible kits and so much fun!!(even for adults!)
To enter the giveaway:
Be a follower and tell me which kit you like the best!!
For an extra entry: blog about this giveaway and tell me where to find it.
Hopefully that is all easy enough!! I am all about easy right now!!
Winner will be drawn by random number generator on January 22.
Good Luck!
The Crayola Pop Art Pixies products, information, and giveaway were all provided by Crayola through MyBlogSpark. All opinions are my own.


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