Saturday, January 14, 2017

Hamburger Soup

Baby it's cold outside, so how about some yummy, delicious soup????  I can't think of much better than soup on a dreary day!  This hamburger soup always hits the spot.  It's thick, delicious, and full of amazing flavor.  I took the Pioneer Woman's recipe and changed it up a little by adding corn and green beans.  You could add any of your family's favorite veggies.  Enjoy :)

2 1/2 pounds of ground beef
1 diced onion
2 stalks diced celery
3 cloves minced garlic
1 can whole tomatoes (14.5 oz)
3 cups beef broth (more if needed)
1 seeded and diced red pepper
1 seeded and diced yellow pepper
1 seeded and diced green pepper
4 carrots, peeled and sliced diagonally
5 whole red potatoes, chunked
1 can drained green beans (opt)
1/2 cup frozen corn (opt)
3 TBS tomato paste
2 tsp parsley flakes
1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
salt & pepper to taste

Brown ground beef with celery, onion and garlic.  Drain excess fat.
Add everything else and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer 15-20 minutes or until potatoes are tender, but not mushy.
The soup should be thick.  If you want it thinner, add more beef broth to desired consistency.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Buttery Hot Rolls with Agave, Delicous!, Vegan!, Egg Free!

It's been 2 months (I'm a very bad girl!) since I lasted posted, but this recipe is worth the wait!  For Thanksgiving I was looking for a roll recipe my Sophie could eat.  My regular recipe calls for sugar, but I needed a recipe using a sweetener she can tolerate.  I googled and I found these rolls made with agave.  I was a little leery because they're egg free, but they were very easy and absolutely AMAZING!  Very soft!  I have made them twice in less than a week!  They're also great bushed with a butter/garlic/parsley mixture and served in place of garlic bread.
Hurry!  Quick!  What are you waiting for?  Make these delicious rolls today!  Enjoy :)

1 pkg yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp salt
3 TBSP butter (earth balance for vegan option)
3 TBSP Agave (or honey if non-vegan)
1 cup warm water (divided)

*METAL BAKING PAN*  This is very important!!!!  Don't use glass, you won't have the same results!

Dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup warm water.  Let set 10 minutes.  It will be foamy/bubbly.
In a separate bowl, combine flour and salt.
Melt butter and mix with agave and 3/4 cup warm water.  Mix well.
Pour yeast mixture and butter mixture into flour.
Mix until it forms a ball.  It should be smooth and not sticky.  If it is sticky, mix in 1/4 cup flour (I didn't need the extra flour).
On floured surface, knead by hand for 5 minutes, until smooth and elastic.
Place in oiled bowl, cover and let rise 1 hour in warm spot.
Punch down dough and form into about 16 balls and place in greased metal pans.  Cover and let rise 45 minutes or until dough is doubled.  You want rolls to be touching.
Bake at 350 for 15 minutes, or until golden brown.  Brush with melted butter.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Easy Cheese Stuffed Shells

Picky Pants has turned 15 (I know, I can't believe it either!!!).  I thought she was picky before, but now she has decided to become vegetarian. So, for now, I'm trying to incorporate dishes everyone in the family can enjoy and respect that she's now in high school and is old enough to make decisions about what she's going to put in her body.  Vegetarian, or not, this dish is AMAZING!  Super yummy.  Super Cheesy.  Super Easy!  It can even be made the night before or warmed in a crock pot.  Enjoy :)

1 container ricotta cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (reserve 1/2 cup for topping)
1 package jumbo shells
2 TBSP parsley
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp salt
1 jar marinara sauce

Cook jumbo shells according to package directions.
Combine ricotta, Parmesan, 2 cups mozzarella, and seasonings.  Set aside.
Lightly spray a 9x13 baking dish.  Spread 1/2 cup marinara sauce in a thin coat along the bottom.  Stuff shells with cheese mixture and place open side up in the baking dish.  Evenly pour remaining marinara on stuffed shells and sprinkle with the last 1/2 cup grated mozzarella.  Bake uncovered at 350 Degrees F 20-30 minutes, or until bubbly.

This can be made the night before and refrigerated until cooking.  Baking time will increase.
The stuffed shells can also be layered in a crock pot and cooked on low 2-4 hours.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Crack Chicken, Low Carb, THM-S

We're mid way through September and I'm already getting overwhelmed!  I've been on the hunt for easy, delicious crock pot recipes for all my busy nights shuffling the kids to practices and ball games.  I saw this recipe pop up on facebook and thought it sounded yummy!  I threw everything in the crock pot the night before a super busy day I knew I wouldn't have time to cook.  I'm so glad I chose this recipe!  Everyone loved it, even though they were skeptical about how it looked (it's not the prettiest dish!).  Once trying it, everyone came back for more.  So addictive and only 3 ingredients!!  Enjoy :)

3 pounds chicken breast (I used boneless, skinless)
2 packages cream cheese
1 package dry Ranch dressing mix
Salt and Pepper to taste

Place chicken in crock pot/slow cooker (I always spray mine with a little cooking spray).  Top with cream cheese and Ranch Seasoning mix.  Cook 6-8 hours on LOW, or 4 hours on HIGH.  Shred with forks right in the crock pot (it breaks apart really easily).  
We served ours on buns, but would be great on rice or noodles or even plain with salad or veggies.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Easy Grilled Lemon Chicken Breast

Goodbye summer.  Hello back to school!  I will miss lazy days hanging out with my kids and getting to sleep past 5 am!  We started school 2 days ago and I'm already exhausted!  That means posting will be less frequent and meals will be easier.  This chicken's super yummy and can be grilled or cooked in a skillet.  It's great eaten on a bun, on a salad, or on it's own.  You can use any cut of chicken.  It's seasoned simply, but juicy and delicious!  Enjoy :)

Easy Grilled Lemon Chicken Breast
Chicken (I used 3 large breast split in half)
The juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup oil (I used olive oil)
sea salt

Place in large zip loc bag and let marinade at least 2 hours.  Grill (or cook in skillet) until juices run clear and temps at 165 degrees.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Jalapeno Cheese Crisps, Low Carb, THM S

What do you do when you find your 13 year old has pinned recipes on Pinterest?  You make it!  Poor Sophie always feels left out in the treat department since discovering her CSID (sugar intolerance). I'm so proud of her for hunting recipes she can enjoy.  This is something she will have to deal with the rest of her life and this shows me she's turning into a food responsible young lady :)
If you're looking for a crunchy, cheesy, sorta spicy snack, this will hit the spot! Everyone at my table loved them.  Enjoy :)

1 cup shredded cheese ( I used colby jack, but use your favorite!)
1 jalapeno, sliced and seeded

Skillet method (I used electric skillet):
Heat skillet (electric skillet was set on 300-325 degrees).  Place a 1 TBSP pile of cheese on skillet and top with a slice of jalapeno.  Cook until the cheese is bubbly and starting to brown.  If the cheese is ready you will be able to flip with a spatula.  If the cheese is to soft to flip, it isn't ready and let it cook another 30 seconds and try again.  Once flipped, cook until it's brown around the edges.  Let drain on a paper towel. They will get crunchy while they're cooling.

The original recipe I adapted this from can be viewed here.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Zucchini Fries, Low Carb, THM S

Anyone else have about a bazillion zucchini setting on their counter right now?  I do!  I do!  I've made zucchini bread (this is the best ever recipe!), zucchini lasagna, zucchini brownies, chocolate zucchini cake, diced it and hidden it in ground beef and made these clever zucchini fries!  They were pretty darn yummy dipped in marinara sauce. These are e a yummy low carb side dish, or if you're on THM they compliment a great S meal (net carbs are 3 grams per 8 fries).   Enjoy :)

2 small/medium zucchini
3/4 cup graded Parmesan
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Lightly grease a baking sheet (you can also line it).
Cut each zucchini into sticks about 4 inches long and 1/2 inch thick. (Mine were a hair to big and didn't get super crunchy.)
Make an assembly line with 1 bowl having the Parmesan cheese and spices and the other bowl having a whisked egg.
Dip each zucchini fry into egg, shake of excess, and then press into Parmesan cheese mixture to coat.
Place dipped fries onto baking sheet in a single layer trying not to make them touch.
Bake 15-20 minutes while flipping halfway through and rotating pan.  Bake until golden and crispy.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Easy & Delicious Buttercream Frosting

See that yummy looking frosting?  It was super easy and super delicious!  Last week I made treats for Drumline/Flags/Band Camp and was actually going to be a cheater and use canned frosting I had bought for 25 cents after Easter. Bad news- I opened up the container to see my son had at some pointed opened it and put a huge finger swipe in it.  I'm guessing it was several months ago by the way the frosting looked!  Good news, I made this yummy frosting.  See how great it pipes?  This is my new "go to" frosting recipe!  I even used it on Chase's birthday cake.
Enjoy :)

1/2 cup softened butter
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 TBSP milk
3-4 cups powdered sugar

Cream softened butter in stand mixer (or use a hand mixer) until smooth and fluffy.  Mix in vanilla and milk.  Slowly beat in powdered sugar until smooth and stiff enough to pipe (It took me 3/4 bag of powdered sugar). If you are wanting colored frosting mix it in now and beat until smooth and evenly colored.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Cilantro Lime Chicken in the Crock Pot

Are you ready for a delicious Crock Pot meal that keeps your house cool and smells AMAZING??? You've hit the moist and flavorful chicken jackpot today!  This recipe (from a cookbook my super cool friend gave me for Christmas!) also uses a "secret" ingredient a lot of people grow in their gardens (and if you don't, you can pick up a frozen bag super cheap, like $2 cheap, at the grocery store!).  Okra!  Now, now.  Don't turn up your noses.  While I grew up eating pickled okra and fried okra, I know a lot of you have either #1, not tried it because it looks yucky or #2, tried it but thinks it's slimy.  Well, I will assure you, this isn't yucky or slimy!  No one will ever know this has healthy okra in it if you don't tell them.  No one at my dinner table knows.  Trust me on this one! This chicken is delish served with rice or in a tortilla shell.  Enjoy :)
3-5 pounds of chicken (I used a large package of thighs)
1 bunch of fresh cilantro- leaves removed and washed
1 onion, diced
2 colored bell peppers (I used red and yellow), sliced
1 cup sliced okra (frozen works awesome!)
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder

Place chicken in a crock pot.  Chop 1/2 of the cilantro leaves and sprinkle on chicken along with diced onion and sliced peppers.

Make sauce:  Blend remaining 1/2 bunch of cilantro leaves with okra, lime juice, salt, pepper and garlic until well blended.  I used a magic bullet.  Pour sauce over chicken and veggies in the crock pot.  Cook on high 6-8 hours.  I removed the meat and took off the skin and bones and put it back in the juice before serving.  If you cook breasts, you can just shred them in the juices.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Baked Jalapeno Poppers

Holy Smokes!  These spicy little poppers are AMAZING!!!  With a counter full of jalapeno and macho nacho peppers, I needed a delicious way to use some of them up.  My tongue hit the jackpot with these!  Everyone loved these, even though it was like playing roulette because some were mild and some where so spicy you didn't know if you wanted to keep chewing them up!  I didn't have enough of only the jalapeno peppers and those macho nacho peppers were super spicy!  Either way they're wonderful.  It's a little time consuming, but with a little prep work. or an assembly line, it goes much faster.  Don't be scared away by the steps, it's really very easy!   My husband loves these so much he will cut and seed the peppers, and my 9 year old son always makes the filling.  All I have to do it fill, dip and bake!  These are a must try!  Enjoy :)

12 jalapeno peppers (or other similar peppers- like Macho Nacho)
4 oz. mozzarella or colby jack cheese, grated (both are great!)
3 oz. softened cream cheese
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. chili powder (optional)
3/4 cup bread crumbs- regular or panko
2 eggs- whisked

Cut each pepper in half lengthwise.  Scrape out and discard seeds and ribs.  Set aside.

In a small bowl combine shredded cheese, cream cheese and spices.  Mix well with fork.

Assembly line
1st bowl- slightly beaten eggs
2nd bowl-  bread crumbs
3rd- lightly sprayed baking sheet

Assembling Poppers
Fill each pepper half with a little of the cheese mixture.  Press into pepper to make sure you have it filled.
Dip filled pepper in egg, then roll in bread crumbs (bread crumbs will mainly just stick to cheese filling) and place on cookie sheet.

Bake at 325 degrees until peppers are tender and top is golden brown.  Serve warm.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

CopyCat STARBUCKS Passion Tea Lemonade

Anyone else spend a ridiculous amount every time they go to Starbucks?  I know I do! My daughters favorite drink is the Passion Tea Lemonade.  If you're also a fan of this tasty drink, you're in the right place!  She says this tastes exactly the same and you can make a ton for the price of one Starbucks drink!  Mix up a batch today, save money and enjoy :)

2 TAZO Passion Tea bags (I purchased them at Walmart)
2 cups water
Bottled lemonade (I used Simply Lemonade with Raspberry from Walmart)
2 tsp. sugar
1/8 tsp. vanilla

Boil water (on stove or in microwavable mug).  Add tea bags and let set 15 minutes.  Remove tea bags and add sugar and vanilla.  Place in fridge until cold (about 1 hour).  To serve:  Fill a glass with ice.  Pour 1/3 of the way up with passion tea mixture.  Fill rest of the way with lemonade.  I have found 1/3 tea mixture to 2/3 lemonade mixture tastes best, but adjust to your liking.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Frozen Grapes! A healthy, delicious treat!

Wash grapes and freeze them.  Not much of a recipe, huh?!?  It occurred to me that even though I've eaten these yummy frozen grapes my entire life, maybe you have never heard of them.  If that's so, you are missing out!  It's hot outside.  What's better than a cool treat on a hot day?   Better yet, this is a creamy treat you can eat and still fit into your pants!  It's also a great way to keep grapes when they are on sale, but you can't eat them all before they go bad.  Enjoy :)


Pull grapes off vine.  Wash, lightly dry and place on a cookie sheet.  Freeze until hard and place in a zip loc bag or container and keep in your freezer.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Crispy Buffalo Chicken Legs

I'm so excited to share this delicious chicken recipe with you from my very favorite YouTuber and blogger Janelle from Parsnips and Parsimony.  If you're not familiar with Janelle and her family's daily youtube vlogs, you're seriously missing out!  I look forward to watching everyday.  I'm slightly obsessed and possibly a huge stalker their biggest fan!  When Janelle shared this recipe, I knew I must make it immediately.  The original recipe called for chicken wings, but I had some chicken legs hollering from the freezer that they must be made into this dish!  I didn't have the hot wing sauce and panicked, but Janelle's a huge sweetheart and insured me regular hot sauce would work (sorry Janelle for always pestering you!).  It turned out wonderful.  The skin gets super crispy from baking at a high temperature and the hot sauce compliments it perfectly.  My kids enjoyed this dipped in Ranch style dressing to tame the heat (wimps!).  You must make this soon!  You won't be disappointed.  Enjoy!!!

Check out the original recipe HERE on the Parsnips and Parsimony website (they have a printable recipe!) and Here for Janelle making this yummy dish. Be sure to check out their daily vlog on YouTube for large family fun, great recipes, gardening, garage sale finds, money saving grocery tips, homeschooling, pregnancy and much much more!!!  They always put a smile on my face.

1 large package of chicken legs or wings (3-5 pounds)
Garlic Powder
Ground Red Pepper
Salt & Pepper
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup Frank's Hot Sauce or Frank's Hot Wing Sauce (or your favorite hot sauce)

Pre heat oven to 400 degrees
Place chicken legs on a lightly greased baking sheet and sprinkle with spices to even coat the chicken.  Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until chicken skin is crispy.  Turn chicken and continue cooking 10 minutes or until the other side is crispy.
While chicken is baking, place melted butter and hot sauce in a large bowl or large container with a lid. Add cooked chicken and toss in sauce (or shake if you have a resealable container).  Chow down!!!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Jalapeno Popper Stuffed Chicken Breast

We finally picked a few jalapeno peppers from our garden.  I LOVE jalapeno poppers, but I definitely didn't have enough peppers to make poppers!  So, I looked on pinterest and put a few recipes together to come up with this delicious dish.  Everyone ate and enjoyed this chicken.... and that doesn't happen very often!  One of these chicken breasts will feed 2 people.  It also looks pretty fancy!  Enjoy :)

4 chicken breast
2 TBSP oil
salt and pepper
twine or toothpicks
1/3 cup chopped jalapeno peppers
1 block cream cheese (8 oz)- softened
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 eggs- whisked in bowl
1 cup flour seasoned with salt and pepper in separate bowl
1 cup seasoned bread crumbs in separate bowl

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Make a 1 inch slit in the side of each chicken breast.  Use your hands to stretch the inside of the chicken breast to make a pocket to stuff your filling inside.  Be careful to not rip the chicken.  Season inside and out with salt and pepper and set aside.

To make filling, mix cream cheese, mozzarella, and jalapeno peppers.  Spoon filling into chicken breast and close skin around it so there is no filling hanging out (a little of mine did and it was OK). Secure with twine or toothpicks.

Dip stuffed breasts into flour to coat, then egg and then bread crumbs.  Place in skillet coated with oil and let brown 3-5 minutes over medium heat on each side.  Place in greased 9x13 baking dish and bake 30 minutes, or until thermometer placed into meat reaches 165 degrees.