Sunday, May 29, 2011

Inspiration... Sausage and peppers, breakfast style

Inspiration for dinner can come from just about anywhere.  I had an idea for dinner.  I knew we were doing sausage and peppers.  But then I came across a recipe in the Rachael Ray magazine I have here, and there was some recipe with a fried egg on it.  And it looked good... so our dinner morphed into something else.

Here it is... sausage and peppers for dinner, breakfast style

Chicken sausage, grilled
Grits, made according to package directions
2 Tbsp butter
Green Pepper, sliced
Onion, sliced
Eggs, fried

In a big skillet, melt 1 tbsp of the butter and saute the peppers and onions.

Add the other tbsp of butter to the grits.

Put the grits on a plate.

Put the sausage on the grits.

Put the peppers and onions on the sausage.

Put the egg on the peppers and onion.

Enjoy... making sure to get at least one bite with everything in it!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

A strange week... Caramelized Onion turkey BBQs

It was a weird week.  Not one single night did we all eat dinner together.   That's unusual for us.  And nothing I want to start doing.

However... one thing I do want to do more of is caramelizing onions.  Wow.  So good, pretty easy and they do awesome things for bbq.

Try it.  You'll want to start doing it too.

2 TBSP butter
2 onions, sliced

3 cups cooked turkey (you can definately use chicken)
1/2 bottle bbq sauce

Hamburger buns
Montery Jack cheese, sliced

In a heavy skillet, melt the butter over medium heat.

Turn the heat down and put the onions in the pan.  Cook on low until they are all caramelized and yummy.  Stir occasionally.

Mix the bbq sauce and turkey.

Add it to the caramelized onions.

Toast the buns.

Assmeble the bbqs... bun, turkey, cheese, bun.


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Woah Easy dinner Batman... Fish tacos take two...

So it's been a busy day, aren't they all?  But we are home for about an hour and a half today.  Then we're off to baseball.  So dinner needs to be easy, be full of protein and ready quickly.

I made fish sticks for the boys.  Husband is away, and the boys like fish sticks.  Me, not a huge fan. 

so I took my fish sticks and made fish tacos.  Check it out.

Corn tortillas (3 for me)
Fish sticks (6 for 3 tacos)
Asian sesame dressing

Bake the fish sticks according to package directions.

Warm the shells.

Put the fish on the shells.

Add lettuce.

Top with dressing.

Enjoy!  I threw some pineapple on the last one.  YUM!!!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Late dinner... date night! .... Crockpot chicken tacos

Yay!  It's nice outside.  We spent Friday night at a soccer game and the boys ate popcorn, crackerjacks and a granola bar (Thanks Uncle Jack!) for dinner.  And really, I am okay with that.  Sometimes you just go with the flow.

And then Big Man went to Nana's to spend the night. 

By the time we got home it was bedtime for Little Guy.

And then... dinner.  Just Husband and I.  I am also okay with that.

I had put chicken in the crockpot in the morning, thinking I'd serve it over rice.  But by the time dinner rolled around I was starving.  So I threw it in some taco shells and called it good.  And it was good, and of course, it was easy.

1 can Rotel Tomatos/peppers
1 can cream of chicken soup
3 chicken breasts

Corn tortilla shells
shredded cheese (I had mozzerella and it worked fine)

Put the chickens and canned goods in the crockpot (obviously, dumping the stuff out of the cans into the crockpot).

Cook on low for 6 hours.

Shred up the chicken.

Put it in shells, cover with cheese. 


Friday, May 20, 2011

Finally.. Southwest stromboli.

It's been a while since I've made it.... there aren't any pictures because I made it on a crazy busy day.  But it was really good.   So here's the recipe.

One batch of your favorite pizza dough.

1 small onion, chopped
1 small green/yellow/or red pepper, chopped
1 TSBP olive oil
1 1/2 c shredded cooked chicken breast
3/4 c salsa
2/3 c shredded mexican cheese blend
1/2 c refriend beans
3/4 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp chili poweder
1/4 tsp oregano

Saute the onion and pepper in the oil until crisp-tender.  Add the chicken, salsa, cheese, beans and seasonings.

Heat through.

Roll out the pizza dough. 

Spread the filling over half the dough.

Roll it over and seal the edges by pinching them.

Bake on ungreased baking sheet at 350 for 25-30 minutes


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Thankful Thursday... Peanut butter granola bars

Today I'm thankful for family.

My boys, who are growing so much, and are so sweet.  For Big Man who woke me up this morning when my alarm clock didn't go off, saying, "Mom, dont' I have school today?"

My husband, who works hard for our family.  He works hard at his job; he works hard on the boards at church; he takes good care of our boys while I'm at work. 

My mother in law, who took care of Little Guy yesterday while I attended a funeral, and then gave me the afternoon with "no kids!" so that I could spend some girl time with my aunt and cousin.

My brother, who went out fishing and then gave some of that fish to us, all cleaned and ready to make some kind of amazing meal.  Stay tuned, we'll see if I can actually do that.

My brother, who comes home to visit in less than a month.  We miss Uncle Drew around here so much, and hope he isnt' disappointed by the Toy Story birthday cake he gets.

My mom, who keeps us supplied in cereal (among other things) so that I can make granola bars with that massive box of Rice Krispies that was on sale!

And of course... here's the recipe for that.  They are super yummy.

What are you thankful for this Thursday?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Repeat Meals... mini meatloaf link

So I was all ready to post about dinner last night.  Then I realized I had made these here before. 

So here's a link to what we've already made... mini meatloaves.  So much better than the big ones because they all get crispy on the top. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Spending time outside... pizza stromboli

I love these days.  The first ones of summer, when it's not too hot, not too cold, and we actually want to be outside.

I'd rather be outside than in the kitchen on these days.  So of course, dinner is going to be easy and quick.

This one was easy, quick and a hit.  It is basically pizza after all.

I made the pizza dough in the morning and let it rise for most of the day.  That way I could spend the afternoon outside.  And I love these days.

1 batch pizza dough
1/2 jar spaghetti sauce
1/2 lb ground beef, cooked
onion powder
any other ingredients you'd like to have.

Roll out the pizza dough.  Cut it into 8 pieces.

Combine the sauce and ground beef. (I had some left from the lasagna buns I made earlier)

In one half of each piece, spread the sauce mixture on the dough.

Add the toppings.

Fold over the empty half onto the half that you've topped with all the fixins.

Seal with a fork.

Bake at 400 for 15 minutes, flip over and bake for another 5 minutes.


Monday, May 16, 2011

Crockpot Sunday... Orange chicken

The little crockpot was still upstairs from making overnight oats the other day. 

So I figured, might as well use it, right?

Chinese for lunch on a Sunday... yes please!

Sounds like a perfect day for some crockpot orange chicken!

Three chicken breasts, sliced in small pieces
Green pepper, chunked
1/2 c flour for coating
1/2 can frozen orange juice concentrate
3 TBSP brown sugar
3 TBSP ketchup
1 tsp balsamic vinegar

Rice for serving.

coat the chicken in the flour, shake off the excess.
Brown it in olive oil.

Mix the juice, sugar, ketchup and vinegar.

Pour it over the chicken ,add the green pepper, and put it in the crockpot.

Cook for 3 hours on high or 6 hours on low. 

Serve over rice.


Monday's menu plan...

Love sharing my menu at!  Great ideas there too!

Monday- Individual pizza stromboli
Tuesday- Mini meatloaves
Wedesday- work
Thursday- work
Friday- Crock pot mexican chicken
Saturday- Turkey dinner, stuffing, green bean cassarole

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Thankful Thursday... and a link to Snickerdoodles!

Today I'm thankful.  The sun is out.  The house is clean.  The weather is finally warming up enough to put the boys in shorts.  The windows are open. 

My family is healthy, happy and life is good.

Plus, the Red Wings could actually make a comeback tonight.  We'll see.  I made some snickerdoodles for the game earlier in the week.  They were really good... addicting really.  You can find the link here.
What are you thankful for?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Gotta love a good casserole... Green enchilada casserole

I love a good recipe where I can just dump food in and go.  It makes life easy.  And we all know I like easy. =)

This is a good one.  Really good.  You know, because Big Man was still eating and asked me, "Mom, is there more?"

"Yes," I said. "But you've got plenty there."

"I know, Mom," he said.  "But I want some for lunch tomorrow too."

So there ya go. 

2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
2 cups cooked rice
handful of cilantro, chopped
1 tsp lime juice
1 can black beans, drained
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
1 can green enchilada sauce
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tsp cumin
1 cup cheese

Mix the rice, cilantro and lime juice and put it in a greased 9x11 pan.

Dump everything BUT the cheese in a big bowl.

Mix it together.

Spread it over the rice.

Top with cheese.

Bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until warmed through.


Loved this recipe enough to share at both and

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

My husband loves me... Lasagna buns

We don't eat a lot of Italian food.  But when we do my husband loves me.  He likes Italian.  And 9 times out of 10 he likes his italian food with some bread.  So this meal was made for him.

Lasagna and bread... all together in a little package.  Perfect for a busy night, to take with you, to do over the campfire.

I would make one change to the following recipe, I'd do it on a crustier roll.  Hamburger buns just get a little mushy for my taste.  I think if you got a big baguette and cut it in pieces it would be ideal.

But here it is the way we did it last night.

hamburger buns (or a baguette)
1/2 lb ground beef
1/2 jar of spaghetti sauce
1/2 c sour cream
1 egg white
2 TBSP parmesean cheese
1 tsp italian seasonings
1 cup mozzerella cheese (I used that and cheddar blend because I had it)

Brown the ground beef and add the spaghetti sauce.

Mix the sour cream, egg white, parmesean and seasonings... or just use ricotta here... either way.

Hollow out the hamburger buns.

Spread the spaghetti sauce on one side, the sour cream (or ricotta) mixture on the other side.

Sprinkle a little mozzerella cheese on both sides.

Smoosh (yes, a very specific cooking term) the sides together.

Wrap in foil and bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.


Monday, May 9, 2011

Yup... this one is a keeper!!! Pineapple/cilantro quinoa

I promised a few of you when I made this recipe, I'd post it if I liked it. 

I love it.

It's good hot or cold, it will make a good base for salads, it's easy...

Here it is. (The recipe is easy to double.)

1 cup quinoa
1 1/4 c chicken broth
1/2 can crushed pineapple, drained
1/3 c cilantro leaves, finely chopped.

Cook the quinoa in the chicken broth for 20-25  minutes on low, until all the liquid is absorbed.

Add the pineapple.

Add the cilantro right before serving.


Menu for this week:   I think we're hitting all the major food groups here, Mexican, Italian, Cajun, Steakhouse, Chinese... yup, got 'em all.

Monday (baseball)- Lasagna buns
Tuesday- Chicken enchilada bake
Wednesday- work
Thursday- work
Friday- Orange chicken
Saturday- whitefish po boys
Sunday- Steak

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Thankful Thursday... link to a recipe.

Today is Thursday... I have to work, worked last night.. so no fun dinners to post on here.  Instead, let's be grateful!

Today I'm thankful for:

1.Friends who come and hang out on Thursday mornings... I like to pretend I'm a honorary Hanson sister on mornings where three out of four of them hang out here.  I'm just holding your place, Alcica, not stealing it

2. A clean house, which comes because I have friends bringing kids here.  So it has to be picked up pretty nicely.

3. The sunshine.

4. A sweet little almost four year old  three year old (I'm in denial) who likes to snuggle and will always be my baby.

5. A reason to make this recipe for scones... leaving out the chips, adding orange juice and zest, making some orange glaze.  Almost as good as Panera.

What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Baseball season is here!.. Cowboy spaghetti

I love this time of year.  I love going to baseball games.  I love, love, love that my son is playing baseball on the field that his grandpa built and that both his uncles played on.  I love that he has family cheering him on each game, and each game he gains a little more confidence.

But with this season comes craziness.  Being at the field once or twice a week isn't a big deal, but it means eating dinner early, getting homework done early in the week, rushing home to get showers and to bed halfway on time.

So dinner on baseball nights has to be easy.  This was on of those easy meals.

I'm not a huge fan of Italian food, but this was a hit with the family for sure.

2 TBSP olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
1 lb ground beef
1 can tomatoes
1 small can tomato paste
1 tsp italian seasoning
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp hot sauce
8-16 oz spaghetti noodles.  I used 8 oz of the quinoa pasta I got as a gift for Christmas.  LOVED it1
1 c shredded colby jack cheese

Boil the water and cook the pasta.. in the meantime.
Cook onion in oil over medium heat.  Add ground beef and brown it.
Add tomatoes, paste, and seasoning and cook 8 minutes, covered.

Add hot sauce.
When the pasta is done, add it to the sauce.

Stir it all together, and top with cheese.
Stick it under a low broiler for just a few minutes until the cheese is melted.

Enjoy!  Then hurry out the door for whatever it is you have to do.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

This could be trouble... Chicken crepes plus dessert

Oh my word.  Had I known that crepes were this easy, I would have been making them forever.  Because I knew they were good.  But easy?  No way, I'm not a baker.  I can't make those.


Now we're in trouble.  Because I can make them, I can freeze them... we'll be using them for everything.

Now I'm going to share the recipe with you, and you can too. Just don't tell anyone how easy they are. =)

The one I used was from Taste of Home and you'll find it here.

Okay, now that you have those... keep them warm as you make them,  I put mine in a pie plate as I made them, in the oven set at 175.   It worked wonderfully.

Then make the chicken filling.  Yup, savory crepes.  Yum.  Reminds me of a meal I had a few years ago at a nice restaurant in town.  One of my favorite meals ever.  And now easy to make at home.

1/2 lb sliced mushrooms
1/2 onion, sliced
2 TBSP flour
1 cup milk
1 tsp chicken boullion
1/4 tsp iatlian seasoning
salt and pepper to taste.
2 chicken breasts, cooked and diced
1/4 c sour cream
2 c fresh spinach

Cook mushrooms and onion in 2 TBSP of butter.  Stir in flour

Add milk, chicken boullion, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil.  (I added the spinach here, but don't.  It gets a little wilty-er than I like.)

Add sour cream.

Stir in chicken and spinach. 

Spoon into cepes and roll them.  add a little sauce to the top.

Enjoy!!  My boys did.  Proving, they'll eat anything when it's wrapped in a pancake!

And later for dessert.. take the same crepes.  Fill them with 2 TBSP peanut butter, 1/2 banana, a few chocolate chips.  Top with whipped cream and chocolate sauce.  


Monday, May 2, 2011

Menu Planning Monday... here we go

Monday has indeed rolled around again.  This week we start baseball games for Big Man.  So excited to spend some nights out at the baseball field.  We definatly want to plan meals for before we go, otherwise I know we'll be pulling through the drivethru somewhere.

So here it goes:
Monday- Chicken, Mushroom, Spinach crepes
Tuesday- Beef and Bean Taquitos
Wednesday- Work
Thursday- Work
Friday- Steak
Saturday- Out to dinner?? Either today or Friday, not sure what or where
Sunday- Mothers Day... at different places we'll make jello fruit squares, pineapple quinoa and southwest stromboli

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Trying new things... chicken chop suey

I like trying new things.  So there are very few recipes that I make that are truly the same from time to time. 

Like this one.  I guess I've probably made things that are alot like this one before.  But I found this recipe and thought,  I'd eat this.  So I pulled it out of the magazine and made it.

I'd make it again, but probably won't.  Because I'll find something else that I want to try and make that instead.

2 TBSP cornstarch
1 1/3 chicken broth
2 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 lb sliced mushrooms
1 onion, sliced
1 green pepper, sliced
1/4 c carrots, sliced
2 tsp oil
2 cloves garlic
3 chicken breasts, sliced

First, make life simple.  chop all the veggies.

In a small bowl, combine the cornstartch, soy sauce, chicken broth, salt and ginger until it's smooth.

In a large skillet, cook the chicken breast with a pinch of salt and pepper (not in the recipe!) and remove from pan.  Then cook the mushrooms, onion pepper and carrot in oil for 5 minutes.  Add garlic and stir fry until veggies are crisp-tender.

Stir the cornstarch mixture and add to the pan.  Bring to a boil and cook for 1-2 minutes.  Add the chicken back to the pan.

Serve with rice.