Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Chicken Capri Pasta

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
1/2 cup  halved red pepper strips
2 cups frozen broccoli florets
1 tub  (10 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Savory Garlic Cooking Creme
2 cups hot cooked angel hair pasta
1/4 cup  KRAFT Shredded Parmesan Cheese
COOK and stir chicken and peppers in large nonstick skillet on medium heat 5 to 7 min. or until chicken is done. Stir in broccoli; cook 2 to 3 min. or until heated through.

ADD cooking creme; cook and stir 2 to 3 min. or until heated through.

SERVE over pasta; sprinkle with Parmesan.

Use whole wheat pasta in this recipe and the Points Plus value is 9 points per serving (serves 4).

Monday, March 28, 2011

Weekly Meal Plan

Sunday: Mexican Crockpot Chicken
Monday: Sandwiches
Tuesday: Chicken Capri Pasta
Wednesday: Pork and Homestyle Mac-n-Cheese
Thursday: Slow Cooker Creamy Chicken
Friday: Date Night
Saturday: Pizza

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Spring Pictures

We had pictures taken at Portrait Innovations yesterday. It was complete chaos in there. I will only go back to have them done there again because of the help from a woman named Keri. I had to go back because specific pictures I purchased to use as gifts for mother's day turned out bad. Not like we looked bad, but the picture were dark - a bulb was not working that studio. She fixed them right up (as best as we could by brightening them on the computer) but I can't show them to you right now. My mom might see them and one of the is coming her way in May. =)

Here are some of my favorites, however we only purchased the one with Colin and the black background and the family picture with the black background. If only I had endless amounts money to buy all the poses I wanted.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Peanut Butter Temptations

My mom made these over Christmas and they are awesome. I bought the ingredents and was waiting to make it until we had guests...because I don't need to eat these all by myself. Also, it can be a CHEAP crowd pleaser. Buy the Betty Crocker Peanut Butter cookie mix when it is on sale with a coupon and then but the bag of mini Reese's Cups after a holiday when the ones packaged in holiday colors are on clearence. I think these cost me about $2.50 to make today. =)

1 pkg Betty Crocker Peanut Butter cookie mix
1 Tbsp water
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 egg
Reese's mini peanut butter cups

I started by unwrapping the peanut butter cups and tossing them in to a bowl in the freezer to get cold.

Prepare the cookie mix as directed on the package.

Roll dough into 1" balls and place them in a mini muffin pan. Don't press them down. Bake at 350 for dark or non-stick pan and 375 for glass or metal pans. Bake for 10-12 minutes until puffed up.

Remove from oven and press one penaut butter cup down in each cookie. Allow to finish cooling in the pan.

I ended up with about 30 cookies.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

California Chicken Burger

This is a recipe I got from a weekly recipe exchange. I have never met Linsey but she forwarded on a great recipe and I am pretty sure this will be on our menu a lot from now on.

1 sesame seed hamburger bun 
2-4 teaspoons mayonnaise

4 slice dill pickle "sandwich chips"
1 chicken breast fillet
2 slices Monterey Jack cheese

2 slices hickory maple-smoked bacon
2 tomato slices
1/4 cup guacamole

1/3 cup shredded lettuce

Grill chicken for 4 to 6 minutes per side. Add 2 slices of Monterey Jack cheese on top of the fillet to melt during the last 1 minute of grilling. Toast the face of the top and bottom sesame seed bun on an indoor griddle or skillet over medium heat.

Build the sandwich:

Spread approximately 1-2 teaspoons of the mayonnaise on each of the toasted faces of the top and bottom bun.

Add dill pickle chips evenly on toasted bottom half of sesame seed bun.

Stack the chicken breast on the bottom bun.

Arrange the tomato slices on the chicken.

Arrange 2 slices cooked bacon in an "X" pattern on top of chicken.

Add guacomole on top of the tomato slices.

Add about 1/3 cup of shredded lettuce on next, top with the top bun.

*We skipped the mayo and before I grilled the chicken I pounded them flat and sprinkled them with a a little salt, pepper, and garlic powder.*

Chicken Enchiladas

2 tsp olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
3 cups shredded chicken
14.5 oz can diced no-salt-added diced tomatoes, drained
1/2 cup shredded mexican cheese
1 tub Philladelphia Santa Fe Blend Cooking Creme
8 - 6" flour tortillas
Head olive oil in skillet on medium heat. Add onions and cook until tender crisp, about 5 minutes. Stir in chicken, tomatoes, mexican cheese, and 3/4 cup cooking creme.

Spray a 9x13 baking dish. Fill each tortilla with about 1/3 cup of chicken mixture and lay seam side down in prepared pan. Spread remaing cooking creme of top of tortillas. Cover tightly and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until done.

*I added some green peppers in with the onions and we used corn tortillas instead of flour. They corn tortillas were pretty stiff and would break easily, so I heated them up in the microwave before filling. Also, too much filling would break the corn tortillas, so we ended up with about 12 filled tortillas.*

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Bread Sticks

12 Bridgeford White or Parkerhouse Rolls thawed
1 loaf Bridgeford frozen bread dough thawed

Melted Butter

Lightly grease baking sheet(s); set aside. Preheat oven to 425°. If using loaf of dough, divide loaf into 12 equal slices. If using rolls, they are ready to use once thawed. With lightly floured hands, roll each piece of dough into a thin rope 7-10 inches in length. Place on prepared pan 2-3 inches apart. Brush with melted butter or margarine. For chewy bread sticks, bake immediately at 425° for 10-12 minutes. For softer bread sticks, brush dough with melted butter or margarine, let bread sticks rise in warm area, until puffy (30-60 minutes). Bake in a preheated 425° oven for 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven and brush with additional melted butter or margarine. Remove from pan and serve.

*I sprinkled them with a littel garlic poweder before baking.*

Weekly Meal Plan

Sunday: Hosting Family for a big lunch today. The menu: Paula Dean Spaghetti Bake, Peas, Strawberry Pretzel Salad, Fresh Bread Sticks, and Chocolate Mousse Cake
Monday: Pasta Primavera
Tuesday: Chicken Enchiladas (new recipe)
Wednesday: California Chicken Burgers (new recipe from Weekly Recipe Swap)
Thursday: Turkey Meatballs and Spaghetti
Friday: Homemade Mini Pizzas
Saturday: BBQ Pork in the slow cooker

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Weekly Meal Plan

Sunday: Baked Potatoes stuffed with broccoli and shredded cheese
Monday: Pork Tenderloin and Veggies in the crockpot (using this seasoning)
Tuesday: Chicken Tetrazzini
Wednesday: Chuck-E-Cheeses
Thursday: Leftovers
Friday: Mexican Crockpot Chicken
Saturday: Leftovers

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Slow-Cooker Creamy Chicken

3/4 pound carrots (about4), cut into 1-inch lengths
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
1 small onion, chopped
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 8)
1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
kosher salt and black pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
6 (store-bought or Easy Drop Biscuits), split
1 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup heavy cream

In a 4 to 6 quart slow cooker, toss together the carrots, celery, onion, and flour. Place the chicken on top an season with the poultry seasoning, 1 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper. Add the wine and broth.

Cover and cook until the chicken and vegetable are tender, on low for 5 yo 6 hours or on high for 2 1/2 to 3 hours.

Thirty minutes before serving, prepare the Easy Drop Biscuits (if using).

Ten minutes before servings, add the peas, cream, and 1/2 tsp salt to the chicken and stir to combine. Cover and cook until heated through, 5 to 10 minutes more.

To serve, place the bottom halves of the biscuits in shallow bowls, then top with the chicken mixture and the remaining biscuit halves.

Points Plus: 6 pts per serving (not including a biscuit). This makes 6 servings.

Easy Drop Biscuits

2 cups all purpose flour, spooned and leveled
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
1 cup whole milk

Heat oven to 400. In a food processor combine the flour, butter, baking powder, and salt; pulse until pea sized clumps form. Add the milk and pulse just until moistened.

Drop 6 large mounds of the dough onto a baking sheet. Bake until golden, 18 to 20 minutes

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Peanut Butter Granola Bars

Here is another Giada recipe. I made it exactly as it was written the first time and Andrew didn't like it - he said it was way too sweet. I am down for anything that tastes like a cookie so I didn't mind it. The only problem I had was that they were too soft to cut. They just fell apart. I made them again today and made a few adjustments So, here is the recipe and I will put any change in ingredients I made out to the side in bold italics.

Vegetable cooking spray
1 egg white
1/2 cup chunky peanut butter (1/3 cup chunky peanut butter)
1/3 cup brown sugar (1/4 cup brown sugar)
1/2 cup (1-stick) butter (6 Tbsp butter)
2 cups old fashioned oats
1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted (1/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted)
1/3 cup miniature chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Spray a 7 by 10 3/4-inch nonstick baking pan with vegetable cooking spray. Lay a 6 by 18-inch piece of parchment paper in the pan, allowing the excess paper to hang over the sides. Spray the parchment paper lightly with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, using a hand beater, beat the egg white until frothy. Stir in the peanut butter, brown sugar, and honey. Add the melted butter, oats and almonds. Stir to combine, then add the chocolate chips.

Using a rubber spatula, spread mixture into the prepared baking pan, pressing lightly to form an even layer.

Bake until the edge of the mixture begins to brown, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for at least 1 hour. Cut into 1 1/2-inch squares and serve.

When it came to baking it the second time around I did it differently. I divided the mixture evenly into sprayed muffin pans to make 12 individual servings. I still baked at 350 for 15 minutes. To get them out I let them cool in the pans on a cookie rack, ran a knife around the edges, then flippd them out onto a paper towel. We liked them better this time!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Weekly Meal Plan

Sunday: Dinner at Mom's for Megan b-day
Monday: BBQ Pork & Sweet Potato Fries
Tuesday: Pizza
Wednesday: Creamy Crockpot Chicken & Drop Biscuits (new recipe)
Thursday: GNO and Hallie's Sprinkle! Daddy is cooking for Colin
Friday: Bison burgers (a new one for our household!)
Saturday: Not sure - maybe some leftovers

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Warm weather sounds nice....

You see that countdown over there ------------->

We are booked and ready to go on our next cruise! It is quite a while away, but next February, after Colin is ring bearer in Phil and Emily's wedding, we will be boarding the (currently) biggest ship (Allure of the Seas!!) and visitng Nassau, St. Thomas, and St. Maarten.

I can't wait.

And for the first time we got a balcony! I am looking forward to having a place to sit and read while Colin (hopefully) takes a short nap each day.

Stuck at Home

Colin was sick this weekend and we have been inside the house since Saturday. He is OK to be out and about around other people today, but it has been a very very long 4 days. We are looking forward to going to Jumper's Playhouse on Friday and getting in some exercise!

So how I have I kept myself entertained while stuck in the house these past few days? Why I started planning a birthday party that is 4 MONTHS AWAY of course. Yes, I have some Groupons I bought for the sole purpose of using for his birthday party and I got to designing a invitation and deciding that I am going to make his birthday cupcakes myself. I was a little nervous about this, but my friend told me there was a Groupon for a cake decorating class that covered two people so we split it! I am excited to get to go to that and maybe have a better idea of how to decorate these cupcakes the way I want. I might even have a "practice round" that will require some volunteers to eat them when I am done. Let me know if anyone is up for that job. ;-P

Now that we are on the road to good health (he slept through the night in his own bed last night!!) we are ready for some nice weather so we can meet friends at the park and play in the back yard after dinner. What else am I looking forward to? The Farmer's Market, taking Colin strawberry picking for the first time, the sun staying out longer in the evening allowing us more play time outside, and maybe a little energy to do some simple landscaping front of our fence soon.

...And maybe a few extra trips to Sweet Cece's after dinner.

Cheddar-Stuffed Potatoes

2 large russet potatoes (about 1 pound)
1/4 cup whole milk
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into pieces
4 ounces Cheddar, grated (1 cup)
kosher salt and black pepper

Microwave the potatoes on high until tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Halve lengthwise and, preserving the skins, scoop the flesh in a bowl. Mash the flesh with the milk, butter, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper; mix in half the Cheddar. Spoon into the potato skins, place on a baking sheet, and sprinkle with the remaining Cheddar.

Bake at 450 degrees for 20-25 minutes, until golden.

Roasted Turkey

1 boneless, skinless turkey oreast half (about 2 1/2 lbs)
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
kosher salt and black pepper

Heat ove to 450 degrees. Place the turkey breast on a rimmed baking sheet and rub with olive oil; season with thyme, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1 tsp pepper. Roast until cooked through, 50 to 55 minutes.

The turkey breast I bought was huge...and I just followed the cooking directions on it's package. I still used the seasoning recipe above though. We had plently left over for a recipe later in the week!