Friday, March 6, 2015

Chicken Ranch Tacos

Ignore this horrible picture, these Chicken Ranch Tacos were delish!  My family loves ranch and I knew they would enjoy this recipe.  All the kiddies cleaned their plates and it was pretty darn cheap. That makes it a winner!  Lately I've been trying to do food prep on the weekend.  This recipe's so easy to do that with!  I cooked several pounds of chicken I found on sale and cubed it up and placed it in measured out freezer bags.  Now, I have several meals of chicken  cooked and ready to go!  It makes life so much easier after a busy day at work and running children around.  Do you meal prep?   ENJOY :)

3  cups of cooked chicken- cut into bite sized pieces (I used breast)
1 pkg taco seasoning
1/2 cup ranch dressing
Taco shells
Taco fixings (lettuce, tomato, cheese, onion, sour cream... whatever you love!)

Warm chicken in skillet and add taco seasoning.  This will look dry, but don't add any water.  Heat about 5 minutes (or until seasoning is stuck to the chicken).  Add ranch dressing and heat through (I added a little more dressing).  That's it!  Put it in your shells with your fixings and enjoy!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Pumpkin Spice No Bake Cookies

Here's a delicious no bake cookie just in time for Thanksgiving!  My friend Sherry shared these little goodies at work and they were a big hit. 

1 box 93.4 oz)  instant Pumpkin Spice pudding mix- if you cannot find this you can substitute it with vanilla pudding and 1 TBSP pumpkin pie spice
1 TBSP pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cups brown sugar
3/4 cup butter
2/3 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups quick oats

Combine milk, both sugars and butter in a sauce pan and bring to a boil.  Boil for 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and add pudding mix and spice.  Add oats and vanilla, stir and then let stand 5 minutes to thicken.  Drop onto wax paper to cool completely (this can take a few hours).  Makes around 36 cookies.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Halloween Brownies

Halloween already???  Here's a quick way to snazz-up a boxed brownie to look like you went all out!  I will be posting more Halloween treat ideas this week in the non-sweet variety (for Sophie's class since her not being able to have sugar limits what I can make).  Enjoy!
Brownies made from boxed mix (or homemade if you prefer)
candy coating (any color or flavor you want- I used green)
Melt your candy coating according to package directions.  Dip half of your brownie in coating and place on waxed paper.  While candy coating is still wet, sprinkle with sprinkles.  Let the candy coating harden and enjoy!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Monster Cookies

I always wondered why these cookies were called Monster Cookies... and now I know!  After the first bite, you cannot get enough and you attack them like a monster.  At least that was my reaction!  These cookies are peanut buttery, soft & gooey, hearty and have a little crunch from the M & M candies.  Divine.  Delish.  Yummy.  All gone!  Enjoy :)

2/3 cup butter
1 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups peanut butter (smooth or chunky)
3 eggs- beaten
5 1/2 cups oats
2 tsp baking soda
1 cup chocolate chips (or combination of chips of choice)
1 cup M & M candies

Melt butter and pour into a large bowl. With a wooden spoon, stir in both sugars and peanut butter.  Let cool for a few minutes and add in eggs stirring until just blended.  Stir in the baking soda, chocolate chips and M & M candies.  Add oats in one cup at a time until combined.  Let chill for a few hours or overnight in the fridge.  Preheat oven to 350.  Place balls onto a very lightly sprayed baking sheet and flatten slightly.  Bake 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned.  Do not over bake!  Let cool on sheet 3 minutes before removing.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Beachbody & Bacon Wrapped Cheddar Chicken Breast

Anyone feeling overweight & out-of-shape?  Are you lacking motivation?  If you answer yes to any of those questions I would like to invite you to join my new facebook fitness group Commit to Fit!  After being inspired by my beachbody coaches fitness group, I decided I wanted to start one of my own.  We share recipes, sweaty workout photos, lots of encouragement and motivation.  It's a great way to stay accountable.  We even participate in fun challenges.  Right now I have a great group of 20+ people and would love to have more.  More people = more motivation!
If you're ready to participate click HERE and sign me up for your free beachbody coach.  It's completely free with no pressure to buy any programs.  If you never visit the beachbody website again after signing up that is completely fine!  I decided to coach after falling in love with several of their programs (Insanity, Turbo Jam, Les Mils Combat, PiYo).  I recently lost 11 inches doing Combat, and am a believer in their programs, so it  felt natural for me to join their coaching ranks.  If you have any question feel free to email me at  If you were already considering a beachbody program or are interested in finding out which one would be a great fit for you, I would be more than happy to help!

Here's my before and after Les Mils Combat photos from April- June

Here's a delicious and moist chicken breast recipe everyone in my house enjoyed!  I used regular cheese and bacon for my family, but lightened it up for mine.  Both came out amazing!  This is a great recipe to add to your families rotation.  Enjoy :)

Ingredients per chicken breast
2-4 strips of sweet red or orange pepper
2 pieces of bacon ( I used turkey bacon)
1 slice sharp cheddar (I used 1 TBSP fat free cheddar)

Preheat oven to 350.
Carefully butterfly chicken breast (cut them open evenly with a sharp knife leaving an uncut seam along the edge so it can lay open).
Season inside and out with sea salt and pepper.
Stuff with cheese and pepper strips making sure you lay them completely inside chicken so there is nothing overhanging.
Fold chicken up and wrap in bacon (you can secure with toothpick if necessary).
Bake for 30 minutes or until you get an internal temp. of 165.  Leave in the oven and set to broil and crisp the bacon for 2 minutes.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Dog Treats

I'm always posting tasty treats for us 2 legged creatures, but what about our 4 legged friends?  You know, those adorable, furry critters whose lives revolve around us.  Here's a snack my doggy loves.  Have you ever read the ingredient label on your dogs treats?  Pretty scary!  These are much less frightening.  These ingredients look much like a regular cookie.  In fact, the boy down the road asks for them (don't ask... it's a long story involving my daughter convincing her little friend they were regular cookies as a joke and then he liked them).  Make these for your favorite doggy today and enjoy :)

1 cup flour (whole wheat or all purpose)
3/4 cup oats
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup canola oil
2 TBSP honey
1 tsp baking powder

Preheat oven to 350.  Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl.  Add wet and stir until well combined.  Roll out on a floured surface to 1/4 inch thickness.  Using cookie cutters (or a I just cut into squared with my pizza cutter) cut out shapes and place on greased cookie sheet.  Bake for 18 to 20 minutes. If your doggy likes cookie-like treats pull them out of the oven now.  If your doggy likes super crunchy treats then shut the oven off and leave them in for 60 minutes.  Cool and store in an air tight container.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Chocolate Chip Muffins

Here's a quick breakfast recipe you can bake on Monday and store in an airtight container for easy breakfasts throughout the week.  My children always want something different.  Today Chase had 2 runny eggs, Makayla had an egg white and biscuit with jelly and Sophie had 2 waffles, 1 piece of peanut butter toast and 1 piece of peanut butter with blueberry preserves.  (Ggggrrrrrr, why can't they just all choose the same thing?)  If I have these muffins made up I can at least count on not cooking for Chase because he LOVES them!  I love making homemade muffins because I know exactly what is in them, whereas a mix has crazy ingredients no one should be eating.  I found this recipe at Little House Living (along with lots of other recipes I want to try soon!).  These are moist, chocolaty and kid approved.  Enjoy :)

2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 stick butter- slightly softened
1 cup milk
1 cup chocolate chips
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix together dry ingredients.  Add all remaining ingredients leaving the chocolate chips for last.  Scoop into sprayed or lined muffin tins and bake at 400 for 18-20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean (or if they are springy to the touch).

These also freeze well!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Strawberry Pie

Need a super-delicious dessert that doesn't heat up your kitchen?  This one's perfect (think picnic, BBQ, family reunion)!  Growing up this was one of my favorites and was also the first recipe I ever cooked to try to impress a boy.  The boy didn't last the test of time, but the recipe did!  I still love it and was able to make a few changes so Sophie (my non-sugar digesting child) could also enjoy it.  It's sweet, refreshing and down right yummy!  Enjoy :)

2 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
2 TBSP cornstarch
1 1/2 cups cold water
1 pkg. (.3 ounce) Strawberry gelatin (sugar-free or regular both work great)
3 TBSP sugar
1 graham cracker crust (bought or homemade)
2 cups cool whip

In a large saucepan, combine cornstarch and water until smooth.  Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.  Remove from heat; stir in gelatin and sugar until dissolved.  Stir in sliced strawberries.  Pour into crust.  Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or until firm.  Top with cool whip and dive in :)

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Overnight Oats

 Seriously!?!  Why has no one told me about overnight oats?  I think I've found my new favorite way to eat oats.  You put them in a jar (Did you totally notice how my mason jar appeared in two posts in a row? Shhhh.   Don't let him know.  I don't want him to get big headed and think he is for fine dining purposes only!), shake them, put them in the fridge overnight and in the morning you have an awesome breakfast!  I wasn't sure I liked them at my first bite because the texture is a little different and I didn't know what to expect, but then I loved them!  Yay for oatmeal!
Today is my 14 year wedding anniversary!!!

1/4 cup oatmeal (I used old-fashioned)
1/3 cup milk of choice (I used skim)
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
1 1/2 tsp chia or flax (opt)
1/4 tsp vanilla
1 TBSP preserves (I used no sugar added)
1/4-1/2 cup fruit (I used strawberry)

Mix all in a jar.  Stir, or put a lid on it and shake it up.  Leave in fridge overnight before eating.  Serve chilled. Will last 2-3 days in fridge.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Strawberry Banana Shake

My little Chase (well, not quite so little anymore!) has become obsessed with shakes.  He calls them smoothies... maybe that makes them seem healthy to him!  To help come up with ideas for summer recipes I picked up a copy of Taste of Home Kid Approved Cookbook.

This was the first recipe we tried and it has started the "smoothie" obsession.  At least it has fruit in it!   
Enjoy :)

1/4 cup milk
1 cup strawberry ice cream or frozen yogurt
1 medium banana

Place in blender; cover and process until smooth.  Pour into glasses.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Healthy Breakfast Casserole

Summer vacation is here!!!!  The pool's filling and I'm already hearing a chorus of "I'M BORED".  I'm also having to deal with my least favorite thing about summer.... coming up with breakfast and lunch ideas that aren't super expensive while keeping everyone happy.  I should be a pro at this.  I mean, really, I'm a Food Service Director over our local school district. This is my job!  So, what's a frustrated mom to do?  I scoured the Internet and found a delicious, healthy and quick breakfast recipe that makes a lot and freezes/reheats well.  Mission accomplished!  Everyone can feel good about eating this one.  Enjoy :)

2 cups liquid egg whites
1 pkg. turkey sausage (1 lb.)
1 pkg. shredded hash browns (mine was in the refrigerated section and equals 3 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup diced onion
1/4 cup diced broccoli (optional)
Salt and Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350.

In a large skillet crumble and brown sausage.  Add in hash browns and onions (broccoli if using) and cook until onions are softened and potatoes are starting to brown.  Lightly spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray (you could also make these in muffin cups). Pour egg whites into pan.  Stir cooked sausage, hash brown and onion mixture into the eggs.  Bake 25-30 minutes or until eggs are set and it's starting to brown along the edges.  Cut into squares and serve.  If you want to freeze/refrigerate this for later use- let cool and place individual servings in zip loc bags or containers.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Starbucks lemon pound cake copy cat

Any lovers of Starbucks lemon pound cake out there?  This was my little Sophie's favorite back in the days of still being able to eat sugar.  This cake's moist and completely delicious.  Maybe I will learn to master baking with stevia and come up with a version of it she can have.  Enjoy :)

  • 1 box Yellow Cake Mix
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1/2 cup Milk
  • 1 box (3.4 oz) Instant Lemon Pudding Mix
  • 1/2 cup Vegetable Oil
  • 8 oz Sour Cream
  • 6 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 3 cup Powdered Sugar
  • 4 tbsp Lemon Juice
Preheat oven to 350.  Spray two loaf pans with non stick cooking pray.  Beat all cake ingredients until smooth and well combined.  Evenly divide batter into loaf pans.  Bake 45-50 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick in center comes out clean. Combine glaze ingredients.  Stir until smooth.  Drizzle over loaves and allow to set before slicing.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Skinny Banana Pancakes

Hello, and welcome to Pancake Central!  Here's another de-lish pancake recipe AND this one's healthy to boot :)  I love Pinterest. Pinterest has become my new best friend after being stuck in the house with three children and a dog.  We have not had school since January 30th people!!!!  Snow Days are making me crazy.  The first few days were enjoyable.  We wore our Pajama's all day and lounged around eating snow ice cream.  Well, that was over a week ago.  The Pajama thing has gotten old, everyone is fighting and the snow has turned crunchy and dirty.  At least my best friend Pinterest has provided me with this yummy recipe.  It's super easy and super yummy.  Enjoy :)

2 egg whites
1/2 cup oats
1/2 banana
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Toppings of choice

Put everything in a blender (I used my magic bullet).  Blend until smooth.  Spray skillet or griddle with cooking spray.  When skillet is hot, spoon batter and cook until lightly brown on both sides (you know the drill).  Top with your favorite toppings.  Mine has preserves and maple syrup.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Sour Cream Pancakes

Happy New Year everyone!!!  Do I even have any followers left?  2013 was not my year for being a consistent post-er.  I will try to be better in 2014!
These delicious pancakes out of The Pioneer Woman Cooks (I love you Ree Drummond!!!)  are a favorite of my little Sophie.  My poor little Sophie did not have a very good 2013.  After ongoing tummy issues she finally got sent to a specialist who ran lots of not fun tests (think colonoscopy and endoscopy on a 10 year old...not fun is a nice way to put it!)  The doctor was worried she may have Crohn's or Inflammatory Bowl Disease, but what she really had shocked us all.  My little Sophie is sucrose and maltose intolerant.  Who would have thought she would be intolerant to sugar!  Her body is lacking the enzymes that break down sugar and when she eats it....well, it is not fun!  Cooking has been a challenge.  There is not a lot of information on this condition and even a dietitian was not very helpful.  Luckily, I love to cook and have came up with a few treats she can enjoy.  While she cannot have any form of sugar (white, brown, powdered), Splenda (it's made from sugar), honey, maple and even sugar alcohols - she can have corn syrup, fructose and dextrose (glucose).  I have not had much luck cooking with the granulated versions of fructose and dextrose, but I have adjusted a few of her favorite treats that contained corn syrup so that she can enjoy them.  We also discovered she can have pancake syrup (it is not sweetened with maple, but with corn syrup), so I went on the hunt for a pancake recipe that didn't contain sugar.  This recipe originally contained 1 TBSP sugar, but I left it out and no one knew the difference.  They're light, fluffy and my kids all love them!  Enjoy :)

SOUR CREAM PANCAKES (pg. 76 of The Pioneer Woman Cooks)
1 cup sour cream
7 TBSP all-purpose flour
1 TBSP sugar (I leave this out with great results)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
Maple or Pancake syrup

Pre-heat a skillet or griddle over medium-low heat.  Get it nice a toasty!  Place sour cream in a bowl and dump in flour, sugar (if you are using it), baking soda and salt.  Stir gently, but stop short of it being completely combined.  Whisk eggs and vanilla in separate bowl and pour into dry mixture.  Stir gently but it is OK if you still see some yellow and white swirling.
Melt about a TBSP butter on your warmed skillet.  Pour batter into skillet (about 1/4 cup per pancake).  Cook until lightly browned on both sides and top with plenty of yummy butter and syrup!