Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Easy Peas-y

Here's a super simple recipe that is tasty and fast. It's a great dish because it yields so much, lending to a great freeze-half-for-later situation and also because it's yummy and very kid friendly, an absolute MUST in my home!!!

Easy Peas-y Casserole:
16 oz. egg noodles, cooked
1 can cream of chicken soup
2 cooked chicken breasts, shredded or cubed
1 cup sour cream
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (save a little for sprinkling over top..)
2 cups peas (can be canned or frozen..)

Mix all ingredients in large bowl then transfer to 9X13 baking pan or two 8X8 baking pans (if you plan to save half), sprinkling top with cheese. Bake in a 400 degree oven until cheese is melted and casserole is heated through, about twenty minutes. Enjoy!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Do Blondes Have More Fun???

I don't know the answer to that but I can tell you that blondies are just as delicious as the original brownie. And they may be more fun because they are loaded with mini m&ms. Now, I will admit that I am partial to brownies and not just because I happen to be a brunette but because I'm obsessed with chocolate and will take it in any form. Rich, fudgy brownies are tough to compete with but these blondies will hit the spot if you're looking for a little something sweet, but not too heavy.

2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup mini m&ms

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and mix all ingredients. Coat 8X8 baking pan with cooking spray and press dough into pan. Bake 20-30 minutes or until just set. Cut into squares and enjoy!!!

Monday, February 18, 2013

A Food Journey

I am on a food journey, one that has twists and turns, ups and downs and everything in-between. From making a weekly menu and grocery planning to days of aimless shopping and drive-thru dinners, I'm trying, one day at a time, to get back on track. For good. I'm sick of the grocery trips spent trying to entertain two high-energy kids. Sick of trying to come up with something different and sick, sick, sick of the monotony of standing in the kitchen and chopping. And browning. And baking. But once again, I'm going to try and get out of this rut. My family deserves to eat healthy, delicious meals and frankly, I deserve a little time to make that happen! So here's my menu for the next few days and yes, it involves a lot of chicken. My next round, I'll try and be a bit more inventive!

Sunday: Baked Chicken Flautas\Mexican Rice
Monday: Creamy Chicken and Penne with Garlic Bread
Tuesday: Crispy Chicken\Green Beans and Rice
Wednesday: Dinner out
Thursday: Chopped Chicken Salad with Bread
Friday: Sandwiches/Fruit
Dessert: Homemade Blondies (Recipe to follow in another post...)
What are you making this week??

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Day: A Love Story

Once upon a time, there was a couple who doted on one another, went on adventurous dates every weekend and looked forward to Valentine's Day. My memory is a little fuzzy, but I'm pretty sure they bought each other gifts and treats, and there were usually flowers involved. Fast forward ten years and picture this: dishes in the sink, laundry piled up and sticky handed children waiting to be loved on, dressed and fed. All memories of Valentine's Days past have all but vanished. They've been replaced with days making all things heart-shaped, creating homemade valentines, and coming up with ways to surprise the kids in the morning with a little something from cupid. Yes, our holiday has taken a sharp turn, veering toward a no-man's land of all things children, but you know something?? I wouldn't have it any other way!
Diamonds? Flowers? Lingerie? I'll take a pass and instead happily decorate our home with the red and pink artwork fashioned by little dimpled hands, make heart-shaped pancakes, cookies and sandwiches and then when the kids are in bed, enjoy a little treat and maybe even a movie in bed with my honey. Kids change things and take our lives in a new direction where there's just no looking back. Ever. No more sleeping in, popping out for a late-night movie or having a spontaneous weekend trip just because. Yes, our lives are teetering on the verge of insanity but having my own family has created a richness in my life that words cannot define. Only mommies understand. They have that same frazzled, yet blissful look in their eyes. So whatever you do to celebrate this year, just remember, there's no comparing to years gone by, only moving ahead and enjoying what's right before us. So hit the dollar store, stock up on goodies and let the kiddos at it! Happy Valentine's Day!
What do you do to celebrate??

                                                                  Treats for my kiddos! 

Friday, February 8, 2013

Better Than Crack (Yes, Crack!) Brownies

I recently had the privilege at MOPS to learn from and be inspired by a food blogger. She made us a few dishes to try but the best part for me?? Dessert. She made us brownies, which really, doesn't do them justice. They were chewy, chocolaty, crunchy and peanut buttery squares of deliciousness. Now, I cannot personally attest to whether or not they are actually better than crack but my guess? They probably are! With a simple boxed brownie mix or a recipe of your own, you can easily create them in just thirty minutes or so. You can also adapt these and play with them, adding your own ingredients or whatever you have on hand. Here's the recipe, see for yourself:

1 box brownie mix plus ingredients
Make your favorite brownie mix, like mine:
3/4 cup of flour
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup butter, softened
4 oz chopped chocolate, melted (whatever you prefer..I used semi-sweet chocolate chips...)
1 cup crunchy peanut butter
1 cup chocolate chips (choose your favorite, I used the semi-sweet again..)
1 cup crispy rice cereal
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and mix brownie ingredients, pouring into a greased 8X8X2 inch pan. Bake until just done in the center, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, melt peanut butter and chocolate chips over low heat until melted. Remove from heat and stir in one cup crispy rice cereal. Pour mixture over top of the brownies and refrigerate until cooled (if you can wait that long...) Cut into squares and enjoy!!!
                                                     dark chocolate peanut butter crunch brownies
Adapted from