Posts Tagged With: Home

White Beans And Penne Pasta

Yesterday I was going to make this for dinner as it was on my calendar,  but plans got changed and my husband ended up taking our two oldest to a youth group function.  I stayed home with our two youngest and made them chocolate chip pancakes instead!  So today, after ballet rehearsal, we were home the rest of the day as a family, which doesn’t happen very often on Saturdays!  I decided to go ahead and break my rule of no cooking on weekends and make Penne Pasta and home-made blueberry muffins.  The whole house smells wonderful!  I’m not sure what smells the best, the pasta or the muffins.  Maybe it’s a mixture of the two!

Here is the recipe for the pasta:

Ingredients
1Tsp olive oil
1 large onion, cut into wedges
1 tsp garlic, minced
2 cans canned tomatoes, diced
2 cans (14 1/2 oz) chicken broth
2 cans Great Northern Beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 tsp salt
6 oz penne pasta, dry
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp rosemary, dried or 1 tbsp fresh
Notes / Directions
Ounions, garlic, beans, broth and tomatoes simmering
Sauté olive oil, onion and garlic for 3-4 minutes in a large non-stick pan over medium/high heat. I used my electric skillet.  It was the perfect size.
Add tomatoes, broth, beans and salt and simmer 10 minutes.
Stir in the pasta and set timer for 10 minutes. I put a lid on the skillet to cook the noodles.
Penne pasta added
Mix together the olive oil( 2tbsp) and rosemary in a small microwave safe bowl.
Warm on high for 30 seconds.Put on plates and drizzle the warm olive oil/ rosemary over each serving. Use Parmesan cheese on top.
Here’s the end result of dinner. It was really good!  Enjoy!! (You’ll have to click on the picture to see it.  I’m still learning how to use Instagram!)l
Categories: Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

My Planned Monthly Menu

I wrote, a couple of days ago, that I took the month of April off menu planning and, basically, any cooking. I am back on track and created a menu plan on my iPad app, called ‘MealBoard’, starting on May 6 through the 31st. I don’t cook 7 days a week though! I believe in having weekends off! Since I don’t plan meals on the weekend we eat whatever is easy, like peanut butter sandwiches or pancakes, and that’s only if I feel like making it. Sometimes we have leftovers to eat. I do plan Monday through Friday meals though and want to share what this month looks like for us. I only plan dinners, but maybe one day I will plan breakfast and lunch too.

If a recipe sounds good and I haven’t posted it on my blog, let me know and I will share it.

Here’s our month of May menu:

May 06 -◦ Monday
Crock Pot Cheesy Ravioli Casserole (Dinner)
Ramon Noodle Salad (Dinner)
Breadsticks (Dinner)
Strawberry Freeze (Dinner)

May 07 -◦ Tuesday
Leftovers (Dinner)

May 08 -◦ Wednesday
Crock Pot Chicken Dinner (Dinner)
Cinnamon Sweet Potatoes (Dinner)
Cucumbers (Dinner)

May 09 -◦ Thursday
Tacos (Dinner)
Nachos & Cheese (Dinner)

May 10 -◦ Friday
White Beans And Penne Pasta (Dinner)
Blueberry Muffins (Dinner)
Corn (Dinner)

May 11 -◦ Saturday

May 12 -◦ Sunday

May 13 -◦ Monday
Chili (Dinner)
Corn Bread (Dinner)
Oriental Cole Slaw (Dinner)

May 14 -◦ Tuesday
Leftovers (Dinner)

May 15 -◦ Wednesday
Chicken Supreme (Dinner)
Honey Roasted Potatoes (Dinner)
Frozen Garlic Green Beans (Dinner)

May 16 -◦ Thursday
Easy Crock Lasagna (Dinner)
Tossed Salad (Dinner)
Garlic Bread (Dinner)

May 17 -◦ Friday
Leftovers (Dinner)

May 18 -◦ Saturday

May 19 -◦ Sunday

May 20 -◦ Monday
Potato Soup (Dinner)
Kentucky Fried Chicken Cole Slaw (Dinner)
Apple Cinnamon Bread (Dinner)

May 21 -◦ Tuesday
Leftovers (Dinner)

May 22 -◦ Wednesday
Double Crunch Honey Garlic Chicken Breast (Dinner)
Sweet Potato Fries (Dinner)
Carrots (Dinner)

May 23 -◦ Thursday
Beef Fajitas (Dinner)
Nachos & Cheese (Dinner)
Strawberries (Dinner)

May 24 -◦ Friday
Spaghetti (Dinner)
Tossed Salad (Dinner)
Italian Bread (Dinner)

May 25 -◦ Saturday

May 26 -◦ Sunday

May 27 -◦ Monday
Sweet And Sour Chicken (Dinner)
Crock Pot Fried Rice (Dinner)

May 28 -◦ Tuesday
Roast (Dinner)
Cheesy Potatoes (Dinner)
Broccoli (Dinner)

May 29 -◦ Wednesday
Beef Potpie (Dinner)
Tossed Salad (Dinner)

May 30 -◦ Thursday
Nachos & Cheese (Dinner)
Tacos (Dinner)

May 31 -◦ Friday
Hamburgers (Dinner)
Baked Beans (Dinner)
Homemade French Fries (Dinner)

Thanks for reading!

20130510-230933.jpg

Categories: Cooking | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Strawberry Freeze

I think one of my girls 'taste tested' it before I got the picture!

I think one of my girls ‘taste tested’ it before I got the picture!

I took a break from trying new recipes and, well, cooking in general, for the entire month of April!  I didn’t make up my meal plans for the month and I didn’t really even  cook a lot!  I used up a lot of the meat I had in the freezer and added noodles or rice, with a frozen vegetable and called that dinner…..that is, when they weren’t have peanut butter for the millionth time!  Well, I am back on track and have my meals planned out for the whole month of May and I finished grocery shopping for the meals (using coupons, of course!)!  It does feel good to be back on track!  So, Monday I decided to make a new recipe I was holding on to.  It sounded and looked very delicious and I had the ingredients for it!

Here’s the recipe: (of course I found it off of Pinterest)

12 Chips Ahoy! Cookies
1 pkg. Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 can  frozen berry punch concentrate, thawed
1 cup crushed fresh strawberries
2 cups whole fresh strawberries

Make It

COVER bottom of 9-inch springform pan with cookies.

In the spring board

BEAT cream cheese and sugar in large bowl with mixer until well blended. Gradually beat in punch concentrate. Whisk in Cool Whip and crushed strawberries until well blended. Pour over cookies.

FREEZE 6 hours or until firm. Remove from freezer 15 min. before serving. Let stand at room temperature to soften slightly. Garnish with whole berries just before serving.

My cake took longer to freeze.  It may have been because I was gone all day, after making the cake, to find the freezer was open just a bit.  It didn’t ruin any food, it just didn’t allow for the cake to freeze!  Everyone seemed to like it and didn’t complain too much they had to wait until the next day to try it!

It seemed a summery type dessert and was nice to have on a warm, sunny, spring day!
Enjoy!
Categories: Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Using Coupons

 I had the idea of using coupons to save on our monthly grocery bills, but did very little with it for almost a year!  Last year I bought a nice, green binder that zips all the way around and has many zipped pockets to hold goodies.

My Coupon Folder

Then, I went to the dollar store and purchased a few packs of baseball card holders to store my clipped coupons in.  Next, I organized the holders into categories with tabs.  I have about 20 different categories, ranging from dairy to oral care to boxed food and much, much more.  I sat, one afternoon, and clipped all the coupons I received in the Sunday paper that week, organized them into the different holders and then sat back with a satisfied sigh…..The only problem was I didn’t use them!  The coupons all expired because they sat in my folder for many, many months.

Organized Categories

Recently, my husband’s job was looking bleaker and bleaker and it pulled me out of my blissful fog and forced me to, again,  start thinking about coupons.  I figured if I got serious this time and put a couple of hours a week into planning out my shopping trip, along with meal planning, I just might save money on my monthly grocery bill.  I started to get excited!  I found this as a challenge I wanted to conquer!  So, I re-entered my dusty folder, with all the expired coupons, threw them away (well, actually, my 9 year did it for me) and started anew.  My husband brought home the coupon inserts from work so I didn’t even have to buy any newspapers….an extra savings right there.  Thanks to sites like, Bargains to Bounty (http://www.bargainstobounty.com/) I am able to match my coupons with the store ads because they do all the coupons/store match ups for us, which saves a ton of time!  I  hop on the site, see what is on sale at my local grocery stores and sort what coupons I want to use.  I use a combination of coupon inserts and ecoupons from sites like coupons.com.  I then mark a few envelopes with the grocery store name on the outside and slip the coupons in it for my shopping trip.   With a little planning, I have ended up getting boxes of cereal from $1.50 all the way down to .99 each, protein bars and gum for free and V-8 juice for $1.24 each, to name a few things.  I find that very exciting because we go through a LOT of cereal and juice in this house! I do want to be careful not to buy items that I normally wouldn’t buy, just because it’s a lower price than retail.  It needs to be items we regularly use or that I can get free.

I am still learning the tricks of the trade and have to confess I have watched every episode of Extreme Couponing on Netflix (which my daughters have pulled their money together and agreed to pay for each month).  I vow that I will NOT become like the guests on the show and start a three-year stockpile of baby food, especially since I don’t have a baby!  It did, though, give me some good ideas on how to start couponing and how to use them to make the most of my grocery money.  Since this was the first month, I was very excited to see how much I saved on my groceries for the month.  I added up all the receipts and what I would have paid retail, and the total for the month was  $657.70.  After coupons and store deals, I paid $337.67.  I saved $320.03!  That is close to 50%!  That’s not bad for the first month!  My purchases  included a variety of meats, juices, many boxes of cereal, protein bars and gum (both for free) along with the normal staple items like bread, milk, eggs, etc.  As I continue to use coupons, my wish is to see even greater savings each month.

With just a bit of pre-planning and organizing, I have found one way to shave off a bit of our monthly expenses and that makes me feel very satisfied!

Categories: Welcome! | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Blueberry Cake

Blueberry Cake

I found a leftover pint of blueberries in my basement refrigerator and decided a blueberry buckle or cake sounded good.  I hopped on to Pinterest, typed in blueberry cake and the first recipe I saw was very easy.  One specific ingredient the recipe called for drew me in……..fresh lemon zest!  My love affair with lemons convinced me this was the cake to make!  The recipe also called for the use of a spring-form pan, which I specifically bought a few months back to make cheesecake in.  I haven’t used it since then, so this clinched the fact that I needed to make this cake just to get more use out of my pan!  Of course, I used my Bosch to mix the cake in.  It only took a few minutes to make and tasted delicious.

Here’s the recipe:

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Ingredients

1/2t salt
4 oz (1 stick) butter

1C sugar
1/4t vanilla
1t lemon zest
2 large eggs

2C blueberries, rinsed and drained

1t lemon juice
1t flour
powdered sugar for dusting

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F or 175C. Lightly grease and flour the 9″ spring pan or pie pan.
  2. Combine 1C flour with baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. Using a mixer, beat butter and sugar on medium high speed for 2 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 more minutes. Add vanilla and lemon zest. Reduce the speed to low and slowly add the flour mixture, beating until smooth. Pour the batter into the pan.
  4. Combine the berries with the 1t flour and the lemon juice in a bowl. Spoon the berries over the batter.
  5. Bake for 45-60minutes or until the toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  6. Remove form the oven and let it cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Carefully slide a thin knife around the edges of the cake to release it form the pan. Transfer the cake to a platter.
  7. Dust the cake with powdered sugar before serving.

I have three sizes of spring-form pans and thought the 9″ was too big.  The batter didn’t even fill half of the pan.

Blueberry Cake

But, it did rise and somewhat filled the pan.

Blueberry Cake

Maybe next time I will try it in my smaller pan, but I don’t think it really mattered.  Fresh, out of the oven, served with whipped cream equals one cake eaten in about 15 minutes!

 

Categories: Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Bosch Compact Kitchen Machine Review

This small stand mixer is a delight to own!

This small stand mixer is a delight to own!

Since I have been trying to make more and more home made meals and using my hand held mixer more, it decided to quit on me in the middle of Christmas cookies!  Ok, so it was cheap one that I bought when my husband and I got married, 17 years earlier….was it made that well…OR did I not use it that much???  Luckily, I bought another cheap one earlier that month, though I’m not sure why I did.  Was it women’s intuition that my old one would quit in the middle of making Christmas cookies?  I’m not sure, but, I WAS glad I had a spare!  I took that opportune moment to ‘complain’ to my husband…..ok, really I meant ‘hint’ to my husband that I had been eying the stand mixers for awhile.  They are rather expensive and bulky though, so I only hinted a few times, maybe a couple were strong hints…:)  He decided to do a little research on them behind my back and asked a good friend of mine, who is an excellent guide on cooking and kitchen tools.  She told him the best brand was Bosch, so he started researching that brand.  His only concern was that we have very little extra counter space and where would I put it?  He found the compact mixer online and read positive review after positive review about this product and decided to go for it.  When I opened it I thought it was rather small and felt like it was cheaply made.  That was a review my husband had read from another buyer.  The reviewer had said the same thing, but, after he used it was amazed at the quality of it!   So I thought I would give it a try.  I did like the smallness of it.  It’s not too small that I can’t make anything in it, but small enough not to intrude the counter.   I can easily make a batch of cookies or 2 batches of bread in it!  I have been using it at least once a week since Christmas and have not been disappointed!  I just shove every ingredient in the bowl and let it do it’s work!

4 quart mixing bowl

It has a lid with a hole to pour in liquid ingredients while not splattering all over the place.

I LOVE having this lid, especially with a small opening to pour liquids into it!

I LOVE having this lid, especially with a small opening to pour liquids into it!

It has three attachments, a stirring whisk, beating whisk and a hook for dough.

These are the three attachments that come with the mixer.

These are the three attachments that come with the mixer.

This is a 400-watt power unit with a four quart mixing bowl, the anti-splash cover, four speeds, and a 5-6 pound dough capacity.  It fits perfectly on my counter and is kind of cute!

I really do love my new toy and was really surprised my husband did quite a bit of research to buy just the perfect one for me!  See, it only took a little bit of hinting around!!  🙂

Categories: Cooking | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Creamy Chicken Rice Soup

This is sooooo good!

This is sooooo good!

Since I am not back on track with meals from this past week,  I was trying to figure out what to make today that was easy and took very little ingredients that I actually had in my cupboard.  Then I had a great idea!  Over the past week we had lots of food brought in for us as we were rehearsing, getting ready for the play and while it was running.  One day we had various soups and salads.   There I discovered one of the best soups!  I went back for seconds and it was gone, so others must have thought it was good too!  I asked and found out who made it and she gave me the simple recipe.  I looked and also found one on Pinterest that was similar, so looked through my cupboards and found I had all the ingredients!

This soup is very easy and very, very good!  Everyone in the household liked it!  Here’s the recipe:

3 cups cooked Uncle Ben’s Wild Rice (there are several different varieties – use whichever kind you want!)
2 carrots (diced small)
1 cup diced chicken
1 cup flour
salt and pepper (to taste)
1 large onion, diced
2 celery stalks (diced small)
1/2 cup butter
8 cups chicken broth
1 cup half and half

Start cooking the rice before you begin working on the rest of the soup.  I usually get the “quick cook” kind, but if you get regular wild rice, it will take a while before it is ready!

Chop up carrots, onions and celery.

Saute carrots, celery and onion in butter until tender.  Add flour.  Add broth, salt and pepper (I just put a pinch of each in – you probably don’t even really need salt).  Bring to a boil.  Add chicken and half and half and reheat, but don’t boil again.  Add rice right before serving (if you put it in a long time before serving, the rice will keep cooking and get mushy).

***I used my own half and half.  It was 1 tbsp of butter melted and enough milk to fill one cup with the butter in it.***

 

I hope you try it out!  You’ll find out how delicious it is!!

 

Have a great evening!

 

Categories: Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Oriental Cole Slaw

Oriental Cole Slaw

I can’t believe a week has gone by!  We have been busy with, can you guess?  Yes, ballet!  One of my children better go professional after all I have and am spending!  We have had  some fun meals and I wanted to share this salad I made last night with dinner.  It was easy and very good!

Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients
1 package broccoli cole slaw mix
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 bunch broccoli, chopped
1 cup almonds
2 packages beef Ramen noodles
1 small green onions, chopped
Dressing:
1 cup olive oil
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup white vinegar
2 packages Ramen noodle seasoning mix, dryDirections:
Mix together and pour dressing mixture over salad.Better served after marinated for at least 24 hours, but it still tasted very good after only a few hours!Enjoy!

Categories: Cooking, Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Garlic Cheddar Mashed Potatoes

Boiling the potatoes and garlic

Boiling the potatoes and garlic

Ready to hand mix with other ingredients

Ready to hand mix with other ingredients

All done!  Yum!

All done! Yum!

I made these potatoes and froze them a couple of months ago and they tasted very good.  I am making them fresh for dinner today with my pork tenderloin.  I figured I’ll steam some carrots with them and it will be a healthy, yet tasty dinner.  Make sure to check out my pork tenderloin recipe post.

Here’s the recipe for the Garlic Cheddar Mashed Potatoes:

Ingredients
6 potatoes, peeled and diced
6 cloves garlic, peeled-not minced
1/3 cup buttermilk  (check out recipe for this down below))
3/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp paprika
Notes / Directions
Cook potatoes and garlic together until tender. Mash with buttermilk, cheese, salt and paprika.To make buttermilk, use just under one cup of milk and add 1 tbsp of white vinegar
This is very simple and very good!
Enjoy!
Categories: Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Apple Ring Fritters

Wow!  What a couple of weeks it has been!  We are done with both Nutcrackers!  It is bitter-sweet.  Both shows were spectacular!  All the girls were amazing and beautiful dancers!  I feel like it has been a whirlwind, a fun one, but a whirlwind, none the less!  We now have our weekends back and I’m not sure what to do!!  I’m sure they will fill up quickly!   🙂  I haven’t been posting for a couple of days so I thought I would share a recipe I found that IApple Fritters would like to give a try.  If you try it let me know how you liked it.

Here it is:

1 cup flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

2 tbsp sugar

3/4 cup milk

1 egg, beaten

4 apples, peeled and cored

Directions:

1)  Sift the dry ingredients.

2)  Add the egg and milk and stir well.

3)  Peel and core the apples and slice into rings about 1/4 inch thick

4)  Dip the rings in the batter and drop into a skillet containing about 1/2 inch of hot, melted shortening.

5)  fry until golden brown on both sides

6)  Drain on a paper towel

7)  Mix sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl to sprinkle over the fritters

Makes about 16-20

Categories: Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: