Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Prayer Growth

It's so cute to see the kids grow in their prayer time.  

First they are short and blunt.  

Then they listen and learn from all the others they hear around them.  

I was also explaining how we need to be grateful and thankful 
for all the wonderful things God has allowed us to have.

So Monkey has started listing more things and also a little 
more of an explanation on why he's thankful for that item.  

Here is a cute example of Monkey's prayer growth.

Thank you God for this day, 
thank you for clothes that we can wear, 
food to eat, a Mom to keep us safe, 
legs to walk, eyes to see, and a bed to sleep in.  
Thank you for my dad and my brother,

Monday, August 30, 2010

Nacho Cheese Tater Tot Hotdish

TJ is not the hugest fan of tater-tot hotdish.  So my sister had passed along this variation a couple years ago.  It's still not his favorite, but I haven't made it for a super long time so I thought I'd make it again.  This probably only a once a year meal for our family. TJ gives it a 6 out of 10.  Edible, but not his favorite. :)

When I made this I thought I had grabbed the bag of regular tater tots, but I guess they were tater rounds instead.  Oh well, it's still a potato, so it worked.

Nacho Cheese Tater-Tot Hotdish

1 can Nacho Cheese Soup
1 lb hamburger, browned and seasoned
2 cups frozen corn
1-2 cups cheddar
1 bag tater-tots

Brown the hamburger.  Mix together with veggie and cheese soup and some cheddar cheese.  Pour in the bottom of a 9x9 pan or 9x13.  Layer with tater-tots and then top with more cheddar cheese.
We served it with sour cream.  My boys love sour cream on lots of things. :)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Taco Twists

I finally have hamburger again!  I waited too long to go to Sams Club to replenish my hamburger supply.  But I am set with 80 pounds again, so I'm good for quite some time!
So today, we just had to try a new recipe that included hamburger.  We're kinda chickened out for a few days anyway.  We still love chicken, no matter how much we have it!

Taco Twists
TJ rated this a 7 out of 10.
I thought they were pretty good!

1 lb hamburger
1/2 cup onion
1 1/2 cups cheddar
1 cup salsa
1 (4oz) can green chilies (I didn't use this)
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp hot pepper sauce (I used chopped red pepper seasoning instead)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cumin
2 tubes crescent rolls

Cook hamburger and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink and drain.  In a bowl combine hamburger, salsa, cheese, chilies, garlic powder, pepper sauce, and cumin.
Unroll crescent roll dough and separate into 8 rectangles.  Spoon mixture on the dough and bring the 4 corners to the center and twist.  Pinch to seal.  Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.

I topped it with a little more cheddar, salsa and sour cream!  Yummy!

Kite Project

Make your own paper kite.
Monkey made a kite at our homeschool meeting.  Then he decided he wanted to make some more.  They thought these were the best.  You could make them too.  Totally easy!

Cut a piece of paper into a diamond.  Line the back with 2 pipe cleaners and tape them on in the cross pattern.  To give the paper stability.  Tie a string however long you want, and tie the other end of the string to a clothes pin or popsicle stick.  Something to hold on to.  As long as it's a windy day out, they think it's great!   Even if it's not that windy, they still think it's pretty cool.  They just have to run around to get it to "Fly".  
And best of all, they get to make and color it how they want.  So even better.

Look mom, it's flying! :)

Running with it to make it fly!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Randomness v17

Bear- Grandma can you tell us a story.
Grandma- Once upon a time there was a.....
Bear- I can’t hear you, Speak it up Grandma!

I open the door to wake up Monkey- He looks at me and says, is it church day, because you look nice.  I say, no, these are just regular clothes.  Oh well, I want to look nice like you do.  So I figured he’d put on shorts and a nice polo or something.  No, he comes out of the room with khaki pants, a long sleeve button up shirt with a tie on! LOL

Monkey-Mommy there’s lots of dirt when we play in the dirt.

Bear- I’m going to bring this picture to heaven and show God.

Me- Golden Grahams is my favorite kind of cereal.  It was my favorite kind as a kid too, but Grandma would never buy it for me.
Monkey- how did you know it was your favorite kind if grandma never bought it for you?

Bear- Daddy, Repeat was in a boat, who fell out?
TJ- Larry
Bear- Larry and Repeat were in a boat who fell out?
TJ- Both of them
Bear- No.  Repeat.


Me-Do you guys want to share this?
Monkey- yes, because that’s what God says,  “Share with one another”

Friday, August 27, 2010

Reuse your Homeschool books

Being the frugal person that I am.  I do not want to have to buy the same book twice.  So I’m making as many books as I can, last for Monkey and Bear and whoever else comes along.  :)

Last year, I ripped the pages out and put them all in a sheet protector and used a dry erase marker on them.  This works awesome because then you can wipe it off, the sheet is still clean and new looking and ready to be used again, whenever!

This year however, our books are bigger and I thought, I do not want to have to put 300 sheet protectors in one binder.  That’s too big.  So I came up with a different plan.  I put the whole book in the binder after carefully ripping the pages out.  They were perferated first so that helped.  *Side note, if you have a book that is not already perferated you can take it to OfficeMax or a store like that and have them cut the binding off.  They have a big machine to that so you don’t have to cut each page by hand.

Anyway, after I put the pages in the book, I only put 6 sheet protectors in the binder.  This week we are lesson 9 so I have the 6 sheets for lesson nine in the sheet protectors.

Once we are done with this week’s work, I will put those in front, and pull the next 6 sheets out and put them in the sheet protectors.  That way it fits in a smaller binder, I don’t have to buy so many more sheet protectors, and I can use this book, over and over again!

Sometimes my frugal mind pays off...sometimes not. :)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Never-ending supply?

Is there something that you wish would never run out? 

Do you take some things for granted?  I know I sure do. 

This may be a rather silly comparison, but never the less it was a thought I had.  I was getting ready to start the dishwasher, so I reach in under the sink and grab a soap square.  Randomly I thought wouldn’t it be cool if I never ran out of these again. (not that I’m saying, of all the things in the world this is what I would wish to be never-ending, just a passing thought) If I never had that moment, which I have way too often, of reaching in hoping to be able to run the dishwasher, but only to find out that the bag is empty!  Immediately after I had that thought I also thought, would I even think about it again, if it was a never ending supply or would I be amazed at the wonder of it and grateful every time?  And then I thought of the lady who fed Elijah with the last of her flour.  Now this is a much more dramatic story than my thought of not every running out of dish washer soap, but nevertheless.....I shall proceed. 

It’s amazing how many things we can just take for granted.  I even think if something were to happen like that history shows we would probably not be grateful, but wondering and hoping and nervous to see if it really was true.  If even if I took the last one the next time I reached in there there would there really be more?! 

So back to the Bible.   Remember the story?

1 Kings 17
8 Then the word of the LORD came to him: 9 "Go at once to Zarephath of Sidon and stay there. I have commanded a widow in that place to supply you with food." 10 So he went to Zarephath. When he came to the town gate, a widow was there gathering sticks. He called to her and asked, "Would you bring me a little water in a jar so I may have a drink?" 11 As she was going to get it, he called, "And bring me, please, a piece of bread."  12 "As surely as the LORD your God lives," she replied, "I don't have any bread—only a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a jug. I am gathering a few sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it—and die." 13 Elijah said to her, "Don't be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small cake of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son. 14 For this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: 'The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the LORD gives rain on the land.' " 15 She went away and did as Elijah had told her. So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family. 16 For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the LORD spoken by Elijah.

Now if you were her, would you be thinking, ok?  Or would you be wondering and nervous about this really coming true?  I mean you have no money and only enough flour to make a  small bread for yourself and your son and you know that this is the last thing you’re going to eat before you die of starvation.  I’m not so sure I would be very trusting of this man.  Would you?  How do you honestly think you would react if someone told you that about something you rely on?  I mean, I know we’d all love to think we’d have no negative thoughts, but, get real.  We are all sinners.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Charlie Brown Dessert

This was my favorite dessert growing up.  We always got to choose what we wanted for our Birthday dinner and dessert.  This is what I would always pick for dessert.

Easy to make, and oh so good!

 The key ingredient is peanut butter!

2 sleeves of graham crackers
1 cup peanut butter
2 pkg chocolate pudding
4 cups milk
1 container cool whip

Smash the graham crackers.  Melt 1 cup of peanut butter in the microwave and mix in with the graham cracker crumbs to make the crust.  Mix together and pat down in the bottom of a 9x13 pan.  Make the Chocolate pudding with 4 cups of milk.  In the same bowl you mixed it in, set in the frig but ONLY for 2 minute to thicken it up....do not let it sit in the frig any longer than that or it will mold to the shape of the bowl instead of the shape of your pan.  Then pour into the pan on top of the graham cracker crust.  Let harden the rest of the way.  Top with the cool whip only a little before it's time to eat!


Super easy to make, super simple recipe, but it's even better because of the key ingredient! :)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Chewy Apple Oatmeal Cookies

I made a new cookie recipe.  They were super delicious!  It made about 3 dozen, and we ate them all in the same day.  With the help of company I should add. :)

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
3 cups oatmeal
1/2 cup chopped dried apples

I bought the dried apples from the Organic section at the local grocery store.

In a large bowl cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy.  Beat in eggs and vanilla.  Combine the flour, cinnamon and baking soda in a bowl.  Gradually add to creamed mixture, beating well after each addition.  Stir in oats and apples.

Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls 2 in apart onto ungreased baking sheet.  Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes.  Let stand for 1 minute before removing to a wire rack.

YUMMY!  I need to go to the store and get more apples so I can make some more!

Calorie Count
*120* per cookie

1600- butter
  720- brown sugar
  360- sugar
  160- eggs
  660- flour
  900- oats
    60- dried apples
*4460* for whole batch 

Monday, August 23, 2010

Grape Salad

Tonight we had company over and for the main dish I made Taco Chicken.  Click on the word to be brought to the recipe.  This is a family favorite, easy to make and usually loved by all new guests.  So we made this tonight.  One thing about it is it's hard to know what else to make with it.  This time I decided to go with a fruity salad.  So I made grape salad.

Grape Salad
2 big bunches of red grapes
1 cup sour cream
1 cup brown sugar
1 pkg. cream cheese
1 8oz container coolwhip

This bowl pictured is only half of those ingredients.  I didn't want to make quite that much for tonight so I halved the recipe.  I mix everything but the grapes together really well, and then just keep adding the grapes and fold them in until they are well covered.  I like it to be a good mix between the cream and the grapes, so I just keep adding them until they are all well covered with not too much extra cream laying around in the bowl. 


My 2cents worth v1

This is a comparison on your basic 13 gallon kitchen garbage bag.  No special "features" if you could call them that. :)

I always, always get GLAD garbage bags.

For some reason the last time I got garbage bags I purchased the HEFTY brand instead. 


They do not live up to their name.  Needless to say.....I will definitely be switching back to Glad brand after I finish this box. 

Of course the frugalness will not let me just through the box away!

*I have no affiliation with either one of these companies.  This is just my observation after using both products.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Fair Time!

Growing up if we ever said, "That's not Fair".  My mom would say, "The fairs in August."

Does this make sense to you?

It's one of those weird things that doesn't really make sense, but when you grow up  you end up saying it too.....I wouldn't know this from personal experience or anything!

This is a great week!

The Steele County Free Fair started on Tuesday and we have been there every day so far!   The boys and I went Thursday morning with a friend, and then again at night with daddy.  So we've gone 6 times so far.

One more day tomorrow, TJ thinks we need to keep the streak going.

Here are a few of the fun things we've enjoyed at the fair!

What do you like at the fair?  What's your favorite part?  How many fairs to you go to?
Comment on this blog and let me know!

Click on the image to see it bigger.

Some of our food choices today.....

The boys had a corn dog.....we found a stand that had them for $2, that was the cheapest place.  Joy and I shared a Combo from the Norwegian Cheese Curd stand.  They are the best cheese curds at the fair...the combo was cheese curds and onion rings.   They are the best onion rings ever!  Bob had a Turkey leg and the pierogi  with keilbasa This time TJ got an Oof-dah Taco.  We also had malts for snack today, and Joy had a homemade nut roll. 

All through out the week we've also had, kabobs, mini donuts, more cheese curds and onion rings, chinese chicken on a stick, old fashioned root beer, Nitro Ice Cream, a dole whip, funnel cake.....there might be something else, but I can't think of anything else right now.  Remember 6 trips to the fair...not all eaten in one day! :)

More fun pics to enjoy.....
Riding the rollercoster.  

Watching the crazy lady climb this thing without a harness and than stand on the top with nothing holding her on!  Then she continued to do some hanging stunts as she swayed back and forth.  Insane....  This is 127 feet in the air.

 A picture with the fair's mascot. :)

Waiting for the puppet show to start. 

 Watching the puppet show.  I was very impressed.  This was a fun show to watch.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Ice Cream Truck

Ice Cream Truck!

Remember watching "older" shows....like Full House?  They had an ice cream truck that drove around town, and all the kids would run after it.

As of last year, Owatonna has an ice cream truck. 

Or should I say.....Ice cream bus.  

This is an upgrade.  Last year was the first time we saw this going around town.  But last year it was a minivan that had been transformed and spray painted.  This year, as you can see, it is an old bus, painted and transformed into an ice cream mobile.

It even plays music so you can hear it going all around town. 

Classically the Neighbor kid heard the music for it and instantly yelled.....ICE CREAM TRUCK!!!!

Funny, and yet Awesome at the same time.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Food News Flash!

If you have been following along with the blog, you may have noticed and remember how TJ rates the food.  Well,  I’ve been making home made mashed potatoes the last 4 days.  And the last time I made it TJ gave it a 9 I think.  Then after having it again for left overs at work the next day he came home and said, I think I may have to give your mashed potatoes a 10!

Now again, if you know or remember TJ does not really give 10’s to anything.  So this is breaking news!  He said he thinks they are so good that I should put them on/in something.  I’m not sure about that, but it’s a nice feeling to know he loves them that much.  I kinda changed it a teensy little bit.

So here’e the scoop...

Garlic Smashed Potatoes
8-10 regular potatoes, skin on
4 garlic cloves
kosher salt
1 stick butter
1/4 cup milk

This time I put some kosher salt in the water, and 4 cloves of garlic, freshly pressed.  Bring the water to a boil.  Wash, but do not peel the potatoes.  Cut in cubes, quarters, whatever size and bring to a boil.  Cook until they are tender and easy to press through with a fork.  (There is no magic number, you just have to keep checking).  Drain the water and Mash.  Again, I use my hand held mixer for this.  First I mix them a little to mash them.  Then I add the stick of butter to help blend them and smoothen them.  If still a little rough, I would add that 1/4 cup of milk.  Not too much though because you still want them to be thick not runny.  Then I added more kosher salt.  And yes actually being Kosher salt does make a difference in the taste.  Blend together a little more and serve. 

Enjoy your Smashed Potatoes! 

Can use red, or regular potatoes.  Either way. :)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Newspaper Clay

Today for our Art Class at school we did Paper Mache....but there are many forms of paper mache, and this time we decided to do a non-standard paper mache.  It's actually a little more like working with clay, except it's newspaper.....so Monkey decided a good name for it was Newspaper Clay. :)
Not a bad idea.

First we took the newspaper and ripped it into chunks....at this point, I was still thinking we were going to do regular paper mache, so we really could have mad the chunks smaller.  But it still worked.  We soaked it in water overnight.

Then today, I ripped it all apart to an "oatmeal" consistency.  And made some glue....with 1 cup of flour not quite 2 cups of warm water.  I kept adding flour until it was a nice and thick, "Glue" type consistency.
 Just an FYI....if you can tell from the picture of my hand it turns your fingers black while you are ripping the newspaper apart.   This was after washing my hands a couple times already....still kinda dirty looking.  It's gone now, but you definitely get dirty!

Next step is to get down and dirty some more.  Pick up some newspaper clay, squeeze out the excess water, add some glue and stick it together to make whatever you want to make. 

Bear made a mountain.  He did a pretty good job!

Monkey made the Statue of Liberty.  Can't you see it?!  It's even holding the torch.  Not sure why but as soon as we talked about making something this was the first thing he said he wanted to make.  But he says...."Obviously not as large as the real one, cuz that would take forever!"  hahaha

After playing for a little while Monkey says, can you wash my hands off?
me-Why are you done?
Monkey- No, but they are so sticky, it's annoying.  I can't handle the mess.

The end result....Can you guess which one I made?  It's a snowman. :)  In 3 days or so it should be dry and then we can paint them. :)

What can YOU make with newspaper clay?

Potato Topped Chicken Casserole

Potato Topped Chicken Chicken Casserole

6-8 red potatoes
3 chicken breasts
2 carrots
1/2 onion
1/4 cup flour
2 Tbsp tomato paste (I forgot this ingredient)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp thyme
1 1/4 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup milk
6 Tbsp butter
1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese

Place potatoes in boiling water.  Reduce heat and simmer 15-20 minutes.  Meanwhile cook chopped chicken with finely chopped carrots and onion until no longer pink.  Stir in the flour, tomato paste, salt, pepper, and thyme.  Add chicken broth and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer uncovered 6-8 minutes.  Place chicken mixture in a 9x13 pan.  Drain potatoes, add milk and butter and blend/mash until smooth. Stir in the cheese.  Spread over the chicken mixture. Bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes. 
You can make this ahead of time and freeze for up to 3 months to be used later.  To cook after freezing, Thaw in the refigerator overnight.  Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking.  Bake, uncovered at 400 for 50-55 minutes.  Whether now or 3 months from now....ENJOY! :)

Cooking the chicken, onion, carrots, broth, seasonings etc....in this pan.

Mashed potatoes in the other pot.  This pan does not have a teflon lining so I just drain the water and mash them in the same pan.  Saves on dishes to wash later. :)

Side note....I actually forgot to add the 2 Tbsp of tomato paste...not sure how much difference this made.

RATING: 7 out of 10.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Pumpkin Chip Muffins

4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 can pumpkin
1 1/2 cups canola oil
3 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
2 cups chocolate chips

Mix together eggs, sugar, pumpkin and oil until smooth.  Combine the flour, soda, powder, cinnamon and salt in another bowl.   Gradually add to the pumpkin mixture.  Fold in the chocolate chips.  Fill greased or paper lined muffin pan, three-fourths full.  Bake at 400 for 15-18 minutes or until the toothpick comes out clean.  Cool in the pan 10 minutes before removing. 

I filled my muffin liner 3/4th's full and it made almost 3 dozen.  So somewhere around 2-3 dozen depending on how full you fill them.

TJ gives them a 7 out of 10.  If you like pumpkin I guess. 

I love them!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Lemon Chicken with Cucumber Salsa

Today was another grill recipe.  This meal requires some prep work.  It needs to marinade in the juice.  It says to marinade 2-4 hours, so not that much prep, but a little more notice than...hmmmm....what's for supper tonight? :)  I prepped this yesterday and just let it marinade all night.  Is it even possible for something to marinade too long?!  I don't think so.

Lemon Chicken with Cucumber Salsa.

TJ gave this an 8 maybe 9 out of 10.  He was on the fence...couldn't quite decide. :)

Chicken breasts (We used bone in/skin on ones)
(or you could use a broiler-fryer chicken cut into quarters, or 2 cornished hens)
2 lemons
3 garlic cloves
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp oregano leaves
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

Cucumber Salsa Ingredients
1/2 medium unpeeled, seeded cucumber (1 cup)
2 Tbsp coarsely chopped red onion
1/3 cup ripe olives, sliced
1/4 cup diced red pepper

Rinse chicken and pat dry.  Remove any excess fat.  Zest the Lemon......Have you ever zested a lemon?  I have a handy dandy tool just for this.  Mine is from pampered chef, but I'm sure they have them at Target or something.  It comes in handy every once in a while...
Zesting the Lemon
Zest the lemon to measure 1 Tbsp of zest.  Juice the lemons to measure 1/2 cup.  I don't have a juicer for this, so I cut the lemon in half.  Then squeezed the lemon first.  Next to get the most juice out of it that I could I stuck my fingers in side and squeezed against the edge from the inside to get the rest of the juice out.  Measure 1/2 cup of the juice or a little more.  Place this and zest in a bowl along with the rest of the seasonings, fresh pressed garlic, olive oil, oregano, paprika, salt & pepper.  Whip this together and then set 2 Tbsp of this mixture aside for the salsa.  Place the chicken in the marinade and turn to coat.  Marinade in the frig for 2-4 hours.

I put this in a 9x13 pan.  With the chicken upsidedown.  I put some saran wrap over and then the lid, and shook it slightly.  Then before bed, I flipped the chicken around so it could marinade a few hours on each side. (Otherwise it says to put it in a big zip lock baggie...I didn't have one that big so I improvised.

For the Salsa.  Corasely chop cucumber and onion.  Slice olives and dice bell pepper.  Place in a small bowl, add reserved 2 Tbsp of marinade and mix gently.  cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Cook the chicken over an indirect medium heat until the temperature registers 180degrees in the thickest part of the chicken.

I'd say this took about 15 minutes to prepare, and then let it marinade 2-4 hours or overnight....and then grill approximately 45-50 minutes, or until the chicken is done.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Randomness v16

Driving home from  my mom’s we went past a meat packing plant where they slaughter the cows.
side note.... My dad used to work there, so I know the stinky smell, all to much.
  So while we are driving by we get a whiff.....I say, oh PEW! 
Monkey says, Yummy, that smells like strawberries. 
Me- No it doesn’t it smells like poop. 
Monkey- Do you like the smell Bear? 
Bear- NO!  That’s why I’m plugging my nose!

I usually snap my fingers to get my kids attention.  It’s a softer way to get their attention other than yelling at them.  I was snapping my fingers to the beat of a song and Bear turns to look at me.  After I snapped a few times he’s still looking at me, and says...”What Mommy?”

Random kid at family camp's comment...One of the guys made a dragon.  It was awesome.  I guess grown ups are gooder than kids sometimes.

When we were at the lake there was foam along the shore.  Bear said, "Who put the soap in the water?"

Vear on the boat....”Are you going to go on the winner tube?”

We should whip a tornado into the water where they don’t live so they don’t die.-Bear
Monkey- You can’t whip tornados Bear.

(We had no idea what he was talking about, but even though it didn't make sense, Monkey was willing to correct him) funny.

Not every year we’re gonna do it cuz if we run out of money and get poor that’s bad.- Monkey

When we drive by a cemetary the boys used to look up and say, "Oh, that's where you go to die."  So I was trying to correct them and say that you are already dead, so they bring you there to bury you.  So now when we go by Monkey says, "Oh, that's where you go to get married."
Married, buried......same difference. hahaha

I was talking with the kids about littering, and how you need to make sure you are throwing things in the garbage, and even helping out to pick up if someone else does litter.  So we were in the store and Monkey had something in his hand he dropped it and said, "Mom, I need to go back and pick that up!  I don't want to murder!"

Not really sure how you confuse litter and murder, but must sound the same to him.  So I said make sure you don't say it wrong because murder means you are killing someone.  "Oh", he said.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Italian Chicken & Garlic Red Mashed Potatoes

New Recipe tonight...... :)

Italian Chicken

1 envelope dry Italian dressing
1/2 stick of butter
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
4 chicken breasts

Mix the dry Italian dressing with melted butter. Dip both sides of the chicken in the butter mixture.  Place in a 9x13 pan and top with parmesan cheese.  Bake at 425 for 25-30 minutes, or until the chicken comes out at the right temperature.  (I had to cook it longer, to get the biggest piece of chicken to the right temp, and because my chicken wasn't completely thawed yet when I put it in the oven)

Garlic Red Mashed Potatoes

8-10 red potatoes
3-4 cloves of garlic
1 stick of butter

First I started the water to boil with the fresh pressed garlic in the water.  Then cut the red potatoes into cubes and bring to a boil until tender.  Mash and blend together with 1 stick of butter and salt.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Black Bottom Banana Cream Pie

I made this once last year, and TJ asked me to make it again.
So now I get to share it with you all.

1 refrigerated pie crust (I just used a graham cracker crust)
1 container cool whip
1 1/2 cups cold milk
1 pkg. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 pkg. (5.1 oz) Instant vanilla pudding
1/2 teaspoon rum extract (I did not use this)
2 medium bananas, sliced
strawberries for garnish

Cook pie crust if using a regular crust instead of a graham cracker crust. Cool completely.
Place 1 1/2 cups of the whipped topping and bag of chocolate chips in a microwavable dish.  Microwave for 30 seconds, stir, then 30 seconds more until all melted.  Remove 2 Tbsp of the chocolate and put in a plastic baggie for decoration on top later.  Pour the rest of the chocolate mixture into the pie crust.  Place in the freezer to harden the chocolate while you are preparing the pudding.
Pour milk into a bowl and add the pudding mix and rum extract.  Whisk 1 minute or until it begins to thicken.  Fold in 1 1/2 cups of the whipped topping.  Slice 1 1/2 bananas, arrange slices over the chocolate layer in the crust.  Spread pudding mixture over top of the banana layer.
To garnish cut a small corner of the baggie with the chocolate reserve and decorate the top.  Also top with left over banana slices and strawberries if desired for extra decoration.

*Side note...the first time I made this, I thought the bottom chocolate layer was way to thick and fudgey....so this time, I only used 1 cup of cool whip and half the bag of chocolate chips and it was much more manageable.  For me anyway!  This way the chocolate bottom was not too overbearing.
But make it how you want....just giving you a heads up.

Chocolate layer on bottom.
Second layer of Bananas.

Third layer pudding.

Next decorate with the extra chocolate you saved and top with extra bananas.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Cream Cheese Chicken Enchiladas

2 chicken breasts
1 1/2 pkg. cream cheese
2 small cans green chilies
1 can cream of chicken soup
8-10 flour tortillas
1 bag cheddar

Mix together the cream cheese, cream of chicken and green chilies.  
Using half of this mixture, spread over each tortilla.

I had cooked the chicken and chopped it up, then spread it out evenly over the 10 tortillas.

Next I put some cheddar on top of the chicken layer.

Then I rolled them up and placed them in a 9x13 pan.

Top them with the rest of the cream cheese mixture and more cheddar cheese.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

It was pretty good.

TJ gave this meal a 6 out of 10.  He thought it was too cream cheesy. :)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Sloppy Jacks

I made a new recipe tonight....not that hard, and pretty tasty!

I decided to change the name, and I came up with a fitting/witty name.  Sloppy Jacks.

1 lb hamburger
3 cloves garlic
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup olives
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 tsp oregano
1-8oz can tomato sauce
1-6oz can tomato paste
1 or 2 cup mozz cheese

First fry the hamburger with garlic and onion.  Add olives, salt, sugar, pepper and oregano.  Stir in tomato sauce and paste.  Simmer, covered, over low heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Just before serving, stir half of the cheese into meat mixture until melted.  Lightly butter your hamburger buns and cook in the oven at 350 for 8 minutes to crisp em up.

Meat mixture is thick, not runny after it's cooked and the extra cheese also helps hold it together.

Buns crisping up in the oven.  Yummy!  This was a crowd pleaser tonight!

Variation.....it did not say to butter and crisp up the bun...I added this part.  
You could also butter and fry the inside edge of the bun on the stove just to crisp the top part.  
Or you could not crisp it and just eat it regular.  You could put 2 buns together and eat it as a sandwich....but I thought open faced sounded good with a crunchy bun.  

Have at it, and spice it up a little bit when you are cooking!!!  

You do not have to follow the recipe 100%. 

I dont.

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