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Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Earlier today on my sister blog, Mocha Mornings I posted some fun ideas and tips about how to make your Superbowl party a bash to remember.  Now, onto the food!  No matter what our differences may be, all those seem to disappear one Sunday out of the year when we all put up a united front, dig into some hot wings and pop open a Bud Lite.

My favorite part of the Superbowl, besides the commercials and the game of course, is the food!  Here are some Ridiculously Delicious Game Day Foods that are sure to be a crowd pleaser.  Let's Chow Down!

Crispy Broiled Wings

The Football Foodie shares a recipe for the delicious wings that are cooked in the oven, but crispy as if they were fried.  They are dry wings, which make it easier for snacking and crispy without the messiness of cooking with oil.  Yum!  I can't wait!

Man-tested Game Day Dip

Man Tested Recipes brings us a Superbowl Dip that has been man tested, so you know it is good!  Cheese, beef, sausage, beans, and salsa.  How can you go wrong with that?  Needless to say, this is also on our Game Day Menu!

Baked Parmesan Seasoned Fries

Playing with Sugar has a fabulous recipe for oven baked Parmesan Seasoned Fries.  If you are having several guests over you will need to double or triple this recipe because I promise they won't last long.

CrockPot Chili

You can never go wrong with a big pot of soup or chili for your guests to munch on.  This Crock Pot Chili is a recipe from my collection and by cooking it in the CrockPot you can prepared earlier in the day and it will be ready to enjoy by the time your party goers arrive!

Stadium Brownies

Betty Crocker tempts us with these amazing brownies that are topped with butter, marshmallows, popcorn and peanuts.  It might be wise to have a copy of this recipe on hand, because you are sure to be asked for it a hundred times!
Bacon Wrapped Li'l Smokes

These Bacon-Wrapped Li'l Smokies in a Brown Sugar and Maple Glaze are found at Tasty Kitchen.  Although not the healthiest snack food to serve, it is sure to be one of the most delicious.  My mouth is watering already!

Taco Pizza

Taco Pizza anyone?  Real Mom Kitchen has a recipe that is out of this world.  Sure to be a hit and so much better than the frozen kind!

Or course it is never a bad idea to whip up some party mix and have a raw veggie spread ready for your guests to munch on throughout the game.  These foods are sure to be a hit at your Game Day Bash.  Remember to take some time to enjoy these goodies yourself, after all, you're the one that spent the day in the hot kitchen!

Monday, January 30, 2012

What we have cooking up this week!

Wipe Off Weekly Menu Board 
Another week?  Already?  Time just seems to go by so quickly these days, and I wish things would slow down, just a little.  My boys are growing up before my eyes and at least one day out of the week I find myself in tears at the thoughts of the oldest almost being through his freshman year of high school and before we know it he will be going away to college, with our second son not far behind him.   This makes me incredibly sad.  However, I am hopeful that they will always remember mama's good cookin' and come home every now and then to visit me.

But for now, my house remains chaotic, loud and full of hungry, growing boys, which brings us to this week's menu.  What do you have cooking this week?

Oh, and I almost forgot!  The picture I posted above came from the blog Make and Takes.  She has a great tutorial on how you can make this very cute Wipe Off Menu Board for yourself!

Hot oatmeal with fresh blueberries
Cold cereal
Toast with Apple Butter and banana
Bagel with Nutella and oranges
Waffles with apple slices

Left overs
Deli Meat Sandwich with mixed fruit and pretzels
Mac and Cheese with fruit snacks
Healthy  Choice for mom
Cheese and crackers with orange slices
Soup with crackers

Broccoli and Cheese Soup
Roast with carrots and potatoes with a side of spicy roasted cauliflower
Homemade chicken and dumplins, cream biscuits and fresh green bean stir-fry
Sweet and Sour Chicken, white rice, homemade egg rolls
Spaghetti with meat sauce, garlic bread, green salad
Kielbasa & Cabbage, mashed potatoes and roasted asparagus

Broccoli and Cheese Soup

Yesterday, as I was getting my meals planned for the week, I realized I had failed to blog a very delicious Broccoli and Cheese Soup that my family absolutely loves.  I have some broccoli that I need to use that I got from Bountiful Baskets last week, which is how this soup landed its way onto our current menu.  This soup is a delicious blend of broccoli and cheese, and topped with some croutons, you will definitely find yourself going back for seconds!

1 LB Velveeta Cheese
2 cans cream of chicken soup, undiluted
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup milk
16 oz of frozen broccoli (thawed).  *you can also use fresh broccoli


Mix all of the ingredients into the CrockPot.  Cook on low for 2 1/2-3 hours, stirring occasionally.  If soup seems too thick, you can add a little more milk to thin. Spoon into your favorite soup bowl, top with croutons if desired, and enjoy!


Saturday, January 28, 2012

25 pounds of carrots!

If you read by blog earlier this week, you will recall my joy over discovering Bountiful Baskets,, and that I also mentioned ordering 25 lbs of carrots for only $8.50, to be picked up today. Wow, let me just say that 25 lbs of carrots is a lot of carrots! I am so pleased with today's basket. For $15.00 I got a bag of red potatoes, 3 onions 4 green peppers, one red pepper, a package of blueberries, a head of cabbage, a bag of green beans, a bundle of asparagus, a stock of romaine lettuce, 2 grapefruit 8 oranges, 6 apples and 3 tomatoes. I am so pleased with this food co-op and can't wait to plan this week's meals! Now to start peeling and freezing some carrots!


Friday, January 27, 2012

Game Day Glazed BBQ Meatballs

With the weekend just hours away, I wanted to share a quick, yummy and perfect Game Day food.  If your home is anything like ours, Friday night, Saturday, and most all day Sunday is centered around ESPN.  This Saturday is a huge Game Day in our home as our Murray State Racers, who are 20-0 and the only undefeated Division I college basketball team in the nation, are playing, as well as our #1 ranked Kentucky Wildcats!  Needless to say, our house will be loud and rowdy for most of the day, and nothing goes better with basketball and rowdy boys than Game Day Foods!

Printable Version
To make these meatballs you will need:
1 cup of a classic BBQ sauce.  (we prefer Jack Daniels sauce, but any will work)
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup molasses or honey
36 frozen meatballs, unthawed

Combine the BBQ sauce, Worcestershire and honey in a large skillet.  Heat to a boil.  Stir in meatballs. Simmer, covered, about 10 min, until meatballs are heated through.  Stir often.  Serve meatballs warm with party picks and enjoy your game!

TIP: This recipe can easily be doubled and can also be heated in a slow cooker.


MSU photo credit


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Freezer Day

photo courtesy of Bountiful Baskets Facebook  page! 

Today I am working from home, and as time permits (during lunch and in between calls), a freezer day.  Oh, where to begin....

I have been introduced to a food co-op called Bountiful Baskets.  It is fabulous!  It not only  is in Wyoming, but several states, including Texas (for all my Texas readers and friends out there).  Go to this link to see if it is offered in your area.  BB is a volunteer food co-op and for $15.00 you get a laundry basket (literally) full of all kinds of fruits and veggies.  Plus, you have the option of adding whole grain breads, granola, etc.  You place your order every Monday and then pick it up on Saturday and you never know what you are going to get, so it is best to wait and go to the grocery after you get your basket so you don't over buy.  It saves tons of money in produce, plus we have been getting stuff that we might not normally buy at the store, so it is encouraging us to eat more fruits and veggies and overall healthier meals, as I meal plan around what we get.  Plus, the boys have been eating Kiwi and Pears like crazy this week and I didn't even realize they liked Kiwi.  It makes me so happy to see them try new things, and love them!  This week they had the option to order 25 pounds of carrots from Arizona for only $8.50.  That is a HUGE savings.  So, I plan on freezing those carrots to use in soups, roasts and as side dishes.  I really could just go on and on about it, but their website is packed full of information, so go check it out!

On Sunday we cooked a huge turkey with all the fixings and have been eating on that all week, so there is no meal plan for this week as we are in left over heaven and have plenty of turkey and veggies to get us through until next week.

So, today I am freezing some fresh corn on the cobb, some onion, broccoli and cauliflower and making a batch of Apple Butter using a bag of apples that we got from Bountiful Baskets.  I will share my freezing experience in a future blog.  As I have only frozen a limited variety of fruits and veggies in the past, I checked out Rodale's Complete Book of Home Freezing from the library earlier this week for tips and instructions for all of my freezing needs!  Needless to say, I a ready to get my freeze on!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Hearty Lasagna Soup

This is a recipe that I keep under my "Budget Recipes" file.  I found this recipe on, a site dedicated to help you "serve up savings!"  They have lots of recipes on there that I am eager to try.  Quick, delicious and saves me money...high fives to them!

The recipe that I am going to list only SERVES 4.  So, if you have a large family like mine, you are going to have to double it.  My picture also looks more like a bowl of pasta rather than a bowl of soup.  That would be because my husband added a few extra noodles to ensure we would "have enough".  Indeed we did, and even got away with some left-overs that the kids had the next day.  If you don't buy enough ingredients to double and feel like you need a little more wile cooking, don't forget you can always make some extra broth if you have any beef bullion on hand (I always make sure I have chicken and beef bullion on hand for this reason) and it will be delish!

Ingredients for FOUR servings:
1 lb ground beef
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 tsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp dried parsley flakes
3 1/2 cups beef broth
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon crushed Italian seasoning
1 1/2 cups uncooked corkscrew shaped pasta
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Making it!
1.  Cook the beef, onion, garlic, and parsley in a 3 quart saucepan over medium-high heat for 10 minutes, or until well browned.  Pour off the fat.
2.  Stir the broth, tomatoes and Italian seasoning in the saucepan and heat to a boil.
3.  Stir the pasta in the saucepan.  Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 10 minutes or until the pasta is tender.  Stir in the cheese.  Serve with additional cheese, if desired.

Side suggestions would be garlic toast and a green iceberg salad with an Olive Oil Vinaigrette.



Sunday, January 15, 2012

What's for dinner this week?

Magnetic Menu Planner from $5 Dinners!
This week we are cooking one of two extra turkeys we bought during the Thanksgiving holiday while they were on sale at rock-bottom prices.  This is something we decided we were going to try and do more often, cooking a large turkey that is, because it provides several meals for our family of six, and better yet, we all love the yumminess of Thanksgiving dinner!  

Above I posted a picture and a link to a magnetic menu planner from $5 Dinners.  She has two different printable versions, a scrapbook version and a recycled version, both of which are super cute!  

What's on your menu for this week?
Hot oatmeal with raisins 
Cold cereal
English Muffins and Jam
Waffles and oranges
Banana, yogurt and toast
Eggs and toast
Bagel and Nutella 

Mac and Cheese
Grilled cheese with apple slices
Deli Sandwich with pretzels 

Chicken & Dumplings (my mother-in-law's recipe), green beans, 7-up Biscuits
Deli Fried Chicken (on sale with coupon), mashed potatoes, mac and cheese
Taco Salad
Spaghetti with whole kernel corn and garlic bread 
Roast Turkey (bought on sale at Thanksgiving and kept frozen), cornbread stuffing, diced potatoes, cranberry & orange sauce, green bean casserole
Left Overs 


Saturday, January 14, 2012

Homemade Applesauce ~ in the CrockPot!

I had several apples that needed to be used and after making and having such success with the Apple Butter last year, (which is something I find myself cooking every month now) I decided to try making the CrockPot!  Yummo!  A few weeks ago I ran across a delicious looking applesauce recipe posted by Gina's Skinny Recipes, so after tweaking it a bit and making a batch of this sauce, I don't think I will ever buy applesauce from the store again.  My kids are in love with it and I love the fact that I made it for them.  Plus, you home is filled with very delightful aromas for the six hours that the apples are cooking.  Awww...I love apples!

You will need:
8 medium apples 
1 strip of orange peel (a vegetable peeler is the easiest way to do this)
2 tsp of fresh squeezed orange juice
3 inch cinnamon stick
6 tsp light brown sugar

Making the Applesauce:
1.  Peel, core and slice the apples.
2.  Place the apples in the slow cooker.  Add the orange peel, cinnamon stick and brown sugar.
3.  Turn the CrockPot setting to low and cook for 6 hours.  Stir the apples occasionally.  After the apples have finished cooking, remove the cinnamon stick and orange peel and use a food processor to blend until smooth. 
4.  Let cool completely, place in a jar or air tight container and keep in the refrigerator.

Makes 3 cups.


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Cranberry Relish

This recipe was given to me from a friend in Texas about two years ago.  She served this cranberry relish as a garnish for a pork tenderloin and it was absolutely delicious.  I most recently made this to serve alongside a glazed ham I cooked for my family and it added such a fabulous flavor.  Its bright red color is so festive and just simply beautiful.

To make it you need...

2 cups of cranberries
1/2 cup green bell pepper, chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 cup onions, chopped
1 jalapenos, seeded and chopped (optional)
1/4 cup lime juice
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
Combine all ingredients and blend in a food processor.  Chill for at least 30 min before serving.  Serve alongside a pork tenderloin, ham or meat of your choice.  

Add all the ingredients in the food processor to chop & blend.

A beautiful and delicious side, when spooned over pork is absolutely divine!


Sunday, January 8, 2012

This week's menu...

This cute recipe book can be found at Lucky Girl gifts.

Last week's menu stayed on task and we enjoyed some pretty tasty meals, several were new to us and have found their way onto our list of favorites.  This week I am attempting my first DIY project of the year, Homemade English Muffins.  I am hoping they turn out as yummy as Utah Deal Diva's did!

What yummy meals are you cooking up this week?

Homemade English Muffins with jam
Bagels with Nutella
Homemade Sausage and Egg "McMuffins"
Cold ceral
Waffles with oranges
Scrambled eggs with toast and banana
Oatmeal with toast

Grilled cheese with pretzels
Leftovers from Dinner
Lunch out with the hubby
PB&J with grapes
Healthy Choice meals for mom
Ham and Cheese sandwich with apple slices

Kielbasa & Cabbage with cornbread and mashed potatoes
Spaghetti with green beans and garlic bread
Southwest Enchilada Bake (freezer friendly meal) with green salad
Zatarain's Spanish Rice with Italian sausage, charo beans and cornbread
Nacho Cheese Chicken Chowder
Deli sandwich with soup and chips

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Southwest Enchilada Bake

This Southwest Enchilada Bake is a fantastic freezer pleaser!  I love freezer-friendly dishes to enjoy now...and later!  I made this dish about two weeks ago.  Since it makes two casseroles, we ate one for dinner and then froze the other.  We are going to eat the frozen one this week, as outlined in my meal plan.   Each casserole serves 8 and costs about $1.93 per serving.

To the right is an example of what it looks like before adding the cheese....
30 - (6 inch) corn tortillas
3 lbs lean ground beef
2 onions, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 cans (15 oz each) black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
2 cans (10-3/4 oz each) condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
2 cans (10-3/4 oz each) condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
2 cans (10 oz each) diced tomatoes and green chilies, undrained
2 cans (10 oz each) enchilada sauce
1/2 tsp. hot pepper sauce
4 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
corn tortillas cut into eights 

Cut tortillas into eighths; set aside.  In a dutch oven cook the beef, onions, jalapenos and garlic over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain.  Stir in the black-eyed peas, soups, tomatoes, enchilada sauce and pepper sauce; heat through.

Spread 2-2/3 cups meat mixture into each of two greased 13 x 9 in baking dishes.  Top each with 2 cups cut tortillas.  Repeat layers. Top with remaining meat mixture; sprinkle with cheese.

Cool one casserole; cover and freeze for up to 3 months.  Cover and bake the remaining casserole at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until bubbly and cheese is melted.  Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting.

TO USE FROZEN CASSEROLE:  Thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking.  Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes.  Uncover; bake 10-15 minutes longer until cheese is melted.  Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting.
Bake and enjoy!


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

CrockPot Chicken Tortilla Soup

My favorite soup of all time is Chicken tortilla soup.  This particular recipe was derived from Miller's Musings and I was so excited to find it.  I have tried it at many different places, but in my opinion the kind you make at home is simply the best.  This soup is absolutely amazing and the fact that it is cooked in a CrockPot makes it even more yummy!  

The Ingredients:
2 chicken boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 cans Ro-Tel 
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can corn
1 onion, chopped
2 cans low-sodium chicken broth
1-2 cups of water

1 package of Grill Mates Mojito Lime Marinade
shredded cheddar or mozzarella cheese
tortilla chips

Put chopped onion, beans, rotel, corn, chicken broth, water, and Mojito Lime spices in CrockPot and stir to mix. Put chicken on top of mixture and make sure they're at least partly submerged in liquid. Cook on high 6-7 hours or low 8-9 hours. Before serving remove the chicken from soup and shred, if needed.  Return chicken to the slow cooker and stir to combine.

To serve put a few tortilla chips in the bottom of a bowl, topped with some shredded cheddar cheese, spoon some soup over the tortilla chips, and top with additional shredded cheddar cheese if desired.  Absolutely delicious! 


Monday, January 2, 2012

Kielbasa and Cabbage

Last night I attempted two firsts in our home, cooking cabbage and frying potatoes.  Lets just say they were both absolutely delicious, however I don't know that frying potatoes will be done that often.  I'm not really into frying foods for the simple facts that it is not real healthy and I really can't stand the greasiness the entire house feels afterwards.  However, those potatoes sure were good!

Since I had never cooked a head of cabbage before in my entire life, I was on a mad search yesterday for a good cabbage recipe to feed my family for New Years Day.  I came across a Kielbasa and Cabbage recipe on Mostly Food and Crafts blog.  My kids ate this and asked for seconds, so that says a lot.  I had enough left over to feed us lunch today, which made this recipe even better.  If you love cabbage, you are sure to love this.

What you need:
1  pound  kielbasa, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick slices 
2 1/2 pound head of cabbage, chopped into bite-size pieces
1  (14.5-ounce) can of Rotel, undrained
1  teaspoon  salt
1/2  teaspoon  pepper

What you do:
Sauté kielbasa in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until browned. Remove sausage with a slotted spoon, and drain on paper towels, reserving drippings in skillet. Set aside.
 Stir in cabbage; cover and cook, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
Stir in cooked sausage, Rotel, salt, and pepper. Cook until thoroughly heated.


Sunday, January 1, 2012

Hello 2012 and welcome back Meal Planning!

Throughout the 2011 holiday season my meal planning seemed to get lost in the hustle and bustle of company parties, school functions, gift wrapping, seasonal baking and so on....

I was excited this morning, the first day of a new year, to sit down at my computer with my pen and paper (yes, I'm a write it down and cross it out type of gal) and meal plan for this week.  I found some new budget friendly and healthy meal choices that will be new for our family as well as some family favorites that we tend to eat every week.  I look forward to sharing these new foods with you and if you try them and like them, I would love to hear about it!  The Project Girl offers a FREE downloadable menu planner to make your meal planning that much easier.

HAPPY NEW YEAR from our family to yours!

Week of Jan 1, 2012:

cold cereal
english muffin with apple butter. (my Jan DIY project is homemade english muffins so keep an out for that recipe later in the month).
waffle and fruit
oatmeal and banana
scrambled eggs and toast
Chocolate No-Bake Energy Bars
bagels and Nutella

PB & J sandwich with bananas
Left over soup and crackers
Ham Sandwich and chips
Grilled cheese and apple slices
Healthy choice meals for mom
Left overs from dinner
Cheese and crackers with oranges

Black eye peas, kielbasa and cabbage, fried potatoes and sweet cornbread
Pasta Bake with Kielbasa and Apples , whole kernal corn,  Red Lobster Biscuits
Spaghetti with meat sauce, cut green beans, and garlic bread
Hearty Lasagna Soup  with garlic bread
One Pot Chili Casserole and corn on the cobb
Left Overs
Date Night with the hubby at Proud Cut (using gift card won at Christmas Company party)!