Oct 29, 2010


I am notorious for putting dinner off until the last minute. I either forget to take something out of the freezer or time gets away from me, and we are approaching eight pm, and I haven’t even started dinner. Because of those reason I always make sure I have something that I can make for dinner that’s quick and easy and something I can pull out of the freezer at a moment’s notice. I always have stewed or roasted chicken in the freezer. I keep many zip bags with a pound of cooked chicken in the freezer at all times. When I am in a hurry I make barbeque chicken sliders. It’s cheating at its finest but it works, and taste great too! It’s simple, and I have not met a kid yet who doesn’t like them. They really are kid sized. Don't forget the paper plates for quick clean up. If you are going to cheat why not cheat all the way?


Ingredients:
  • 1 pound of precooked shredded chicken
  • Your favorite barbeque sauce
  • Slider buns
Directions
  1. Add chicken to a medium size pot
  2. Coat with your favorite barbeque sauce (just enough to coat your chicken, not soupy)
  3. Heat through
  4. Add to slider buns, and top with pickles onion, or whatever makes you happy!

Oct 28, 2010

I love this recipe especially for our meatless nights. It's so easy and quick, and it's just wonderful. I can't say enough about just how great it is. It's like Spinach-Artichoke dip on pasta. Yummy!

Ingredients
  • 5 ounce box frozen spinach, thawed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 small onion, grated
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream 
  • (14 ounce) can water-packed artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 lb of peene pasta
Directions:

  1. Heat a deep skillet over medium heat with the oil and butter.
  2. When butter melts, add garlic and grated onion. Saute for 5 minutes.
  3. Sprinkle the flour into the skillet and cook for 1 minute.
  4. Whisk in the broth, then the cream and bring to a simmer
  5. Reduce heat to low.
  6. Chop and separate spinach into pieces then add it to the sauce.
  7. Stir in the artichokes and cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  8. Cook the peene in salted boiling water according to package directions, about 12 minutes.
  9. Drain and toss with the spinach artichoke sauce.
  10. Serve immediately

Oct 27, 2010

As my husband’s friends and family in Minneapolis are dealing with horrible weather, snow, sleet, and just nastiness I had to post this picture for Wordless Wednesday. Here in Houston our weather is gorgeous! Yes its 94 degrees outside today, but it’s breezy and wonderful. I could go for cooler, but that will be here tomorrow. Tomorrow night our cooler weather will be here.

Tomorrow is my fourth wedding anniversary. I wanted to post a couple of our wedding pictures.  Four years ago tomorrow I married my best friend. It’s hard to believe it’s been four years. Like my husband said four years, and so much stronger. I always laughed when a friend of mine would go on and on about how she couldn’t wait to get married because life would be so much easier. One thing I have discovered about marriage is that it’s not easy at all. It’s a work in progress every day.





I had never made roasted carrots before, but I needed a veggie to go with dinner, and we had a few bags of carrots that needed to be used. I decided to try roasted them. Something about the fall makes me want to roast everything. Who knows why? There were several things I was not prepared for, 1 they shrink down, 2 they cook pretty quickly I figured the cooking time was wrong, and 3 they are so sweet and delicious. I was very impressed with the natural sweetness my husband even asked if I added sugar to them. They don’t need anything extra they came out perfect!


Ingredients:
  • 1lb of carrots cleaned and peeled
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil 
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
Directions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. If the carrots are thick, quarter them, if they are thin just leave them whole.
  3. Then cut them in 1 inch pieces. 
  4.  Toss them in a bowl with the olive oil, salt, and pepper. 
  5.  Transfer to a baking pan place the carrots in one layer
  6. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes, until browned and tender

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Oct 26, 2010


Normally when I make chicken marsala I spent a couple of hours making it. Last Sunday the night got away from me, and I didn’t realize dinner time was quickly passing us by. I went into full panic mode because I had planned chicken marsala for dinner. I went back through some recipes that had been emailed to me from readers, and gave this one a shot. It looked, easy, and quick everything I needed. 

I was correct, it was very quick, super good, and I could not have been happier with the results. In all honesty this recipe will probably get used for often than my other recipe. Thanks for the recipe Michelle.

Ingredients:
  • 3-4 boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg, beaten with
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 4 tablespoons garlic minced
  • 1 large can of sliced mushrooms
  • 1 cups marsala wine
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
Directions:
  1. Wash chicken breasts and place inside of a plastic bag and with a meat mallet pound to 1/4" thickness.
  2. In a large skillet heat 2 tsps. olive oil add onions, garlic and mushrooms and cook till mushrooms have a golden brown appearance. Take out of skillet and set aside.
  3. Pour bread crumbs on a plate. In a large bowl add egg and whisking
  4. Take chicken one piece at a time and dredge through the egg wash and then into the bread crumbs,
  5. Add 1 tbsp. of olive oil to skillet add your coated chicken breasts and brown both sides over medium high heat.
  6. Return Mushroom mixture back to skillet and add the marsala.
  7. Cover and cook over low heat for 30 minutes.
  8. Your chicken should be done and you should have a nice thickened gravy - serve over angel hair pasta and add some grated cheese if you like.
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Oct 25, 2010

I don’t have a lot of experience cooking with pork so I was a little intimidated making this recipe. It was a great I actually surprised myself. Everyone really enjoyed these chops, and loved the fact that they are stuffed. One thing I did not like about this recipe was  it was time consuming. I must admit as much as I liked it, I won’t be making it again until I have the time to devote to it. It’s definitely a weekend meal. Thank you Bill Gary for such a great recipe.
Ingredients:
  • 4 pork chops (for stuffing, 1 to 2 inches thick)
Sauce
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 3/4 cup coarsely chopped mushroom
  • 1/4 cup diced green bell peppers or 1/4 cup red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/4-1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Stuffing
  • 4 cups toasted bread, cut into cubes
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup diced mushroom
  • 1/4 cup finely diced green bell peppers or 1/4 cup red bell pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon ground thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup beef stock (or a combination) or 1/4 cup red wine (or a combination)
Directions:
  1. 1 Prepare the stuffing: In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and sauté the onions, garlic, celery, bell pepper, and mushrooms over medium heat until the vegetables have softened (about 10 minutes).
  2. Stir in parsley, thyme, salt, and pepper, mixing until well combined.
  3. Toss with bread cubes gently.
  4. Add liquid until bread cubes are just barely mushy on the outside (you may not need the whole 1/4 cup liquid, or you may need a little more).
  5. Stuff the pork chops: Slice pockets into the pork chops toward, but not quite reaching, the bone.
  6. Stuff each pork chop and seal with toothpicks (I jam pack the stuffing in there, feel free to do the same).
  7. Sauté the pork chops in 2 tablespoons butter for about 5 minutes per side, until browned.
  8. Remove toothpicks and set pork chops in a casserole or other baking dish that will hold them.
  9. If there is any stuffing left over, you may mound it on top of the pork chops.
  10. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  11. Prepare the sauce: In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and add all the vegetables.
  12. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring often, until all the vegetables are tender and the onions are translucent.
  13. Lower heat to medium and sprinkle with flour.
  14. Cook, stirring constantly, for about a minute.
  15. Whisk in the milk, scraping the pan as you go to get up all the flour.
  16. Cook, whisking often, until mixture begins to boil and thickens to a slightly thicker consistency than heavy cream.
  17. Immediately remove pan from heat and stir in cheddar cheese, stirring until the cheese is melted.
  18. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  19. Pour sauce over the pork chops.
  20. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 to 30 minutes, until the top is browned and the sauce is bubbly.
  21. Let stand for about 10 minutes

Oct 24, 2010

I was not sure if I would like this recipe or not, but I really did. It definitely put a different spin on green beans, and it really brought out their natural flavor. I like food that has an earthy taste, and this truly fit the bill. Be sure to watch them when they are cooking because they can go from cooked to burnt very quickly. I got mine out of the oven just in time. Thank you Seamouse for this great recipe.
Ingredients:
  • 2 lbs green beans 
  • 1 -2 tablespoon olive oil 
  • 1 teaspoon 
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Wash, dry well, and trim green beans.
  3. Put green beans on a jelly roll pan.
  4. Drizzle with olive oil.
  5. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste
  6. Use your hands to be sure all the beans are evenly coated and spread them out into 1 layer.
  7. Roast for 20-25 minutes, turning after 15 minutes, until beans are fairly brown in spots and somewhat shriveled.
  8. Serve hot

Oct 23, 2010

I love this recipe. My Dad would make it all the time when I was a kid, especially when we would go to our river house for the weekend. He would get up early and dig up some new potatoes out of the garden, and make this dish on the camp fire. He never wanted to heat up the house during the summer so he did most of the cooking outside.


Ingredients
  • 2lbs new potatoes (red potatoes)
  • 2 tbsp. margarine
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • Salt/pepper
Directions
  1. Wash and quarter new potatoes, and dice onion
  2. In a cast iron skillet or any skillet melt margarine, and then add olive oil and heat.
  3. On a medium high heat add onions and new potatoes and stir together
  4. Pan Fry (stirring every few minutes) until potatoes are tender between 30-45 minutes depending on the size of your potatoes
  5. Add salt and pepper as needed serve hot

Oct 13, 2010


Top Ten Organizing Tips (From Betty Crocker)
  1. Group like items in the cupboard together and label the shelves (i.e. pasta & grains, soup, tea). This will provide you with a visual cue as to what you need to replenish.
  2. On the top cupboard shelf store dry foods that are specifically for guests that pop by. Items like assorted crackers, jarred spreads, anchovies and olives can be quickly assembled if you need to act quick.
  3. Contrary to popular belief, spices to have a shelf life. Once a year, toss any spices that have not retained their aroma.
  4. Transfer pastas, dry beans, rice and flour to clear air-tight containers and place a label on the container indicating when you purchased the item. Dry foods that have been kept too long start to lose their color and can form grain mites.
  5. After a shopping trip, place newer items at the back of the fridge. Older items moved up front will get used before they expire.
  6. To avoid science experiments from taking over your fridge, once a week throw out any items that just don't belong anymore, such as uneaten leftovers.
  7. Mimic your supermarket's storage system. If they don't have something refrigerated, do the same at home i.e. tomatoes and most fruits do not need to be refrigerated; most vegetables do.
  8. More than 1/4 inch frost build-up in a freezer increases the amount of energy uses. If necessary, defrost your freezer often.
  9. If storage containers take up too much space in your freezer, create an airtight seal using foil. Then apply a strip of colored tape to identify the contents i.e. red equals steak, blue equals fish. Note: Stickers do not work as well as tape in the freezer.
  10. No need to have three bags of peas - consolidate all like items.

Oct 12, 2010

(Picture from CNN)

Obviously, I did not take this picture, but considering I am posting this as the second miner is on the way to the top, I thought this picture was perfect for Wordless Wednesday!
What more can you say, but God is Good!


Recently I went from having a kitchen freezer and a full size large freezer to just having a kitchen freezer. Our large freezer died, and we do not want to purchase a new one until we move in the spring. Less to move! Wow what an adjustment. As you can see, my freezer is packed. We never have enough room now. I cannot stock up on many of the things I did stock up on. When I was cleaning out the large freezer, I can across things that looked like they had been there five years.


I am horrible about putting things in the freezer that later become unidentifiable. I do not know what they are much less, how long they have been there. Even when I have gone through the trouble of labeling, I am never sure if it is safe to eat. I could never have told you what it was. Is there a time limit when freezing food? I found this article on Yahoo Green to be very informative. How long can you freeze food?

Oct 8, 2010


Hi everyone!


I hope you are having a wonderful Friday! Kevin and I are about to head out for lunch, and a little shopping. So far, that’s the beginning of our weekend. It’s a beautiful day here in Houston so it’s time to get out and enjoy it.


Saturday I am heading to Wally World for a little grocery shopping, and since UT isn’t playing, I suppose I will get other things around the house accomplished.


Sunday will be the Texas on TV, homework, and to start working on at least one of my final projects. It’s so nice outside that it’s going to be hard to stay inside.


I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! Don’t forget to enter out Stubbs BBQ Kit Giveaway!!



Oct 6, 2010


You just never know what you will find in the pantry!

Oct 2, 2010

I had to share this article because it’s so me. I am the frugal gourmet. I save all our ketchup packets, soy sauce, you name it that we get when we purchase take-out. I can’t tell you the last time I purchased condiments. If a recipe calls for a ½ cup of ketchup I cut open ketchup packets and squeeze them in a measuring cup. I just don’t believe in wasting free items I already paid for. If McDonalds, King Wok, or Whataburger want to load me down with condiments I will be more than happy to take them. My way of looking at it is I already paid for them when I purchased my meal why pay for them again. The great part is they freeze well. I throw them in a gallon size freezer bag, and when I need them they are ready to go. If you need them defrosted quickly just drop them in a bowl of hot water, and you are ready to roll. Here is an article on other frugal weird-isms. Click Here
I love chicken fried chicken so when I saw this recipe I had to try it. I am happy I did. It turned out crispy, and very flavorful.

Ingredients:

  • 3 Chicken boneless Breast
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/2 Cup Italian Seasoned Bread Crumbs
  • 1/2 Cup Flour
  • 3-4 Cups Cooking Oil
Directions:
  1. Pre heat cooking oil in skillet
  2. With a meat cleaver pound each chicken breast until it's thined out evenly
  3. Scramble eggs until they are fluffy
  4. Combine flour and italian seasoned bread crumbs and mix well
  5. Take each breast and dreadge through the egg mixture then through bread crumb mixture
  6. Each chicken breast will need to be cook by it'self unless you have an extra large skillet
  7. When the oil is ready add a battered chicken breast to the oil let cook half way then flip and cook the other half of the chicken breast
  8. Repeat until all breast are done

Oct 1, 2010



This recipe was a huge hit in our house. Not only was it fun to make, but it was fun to eat too, and it puts a different spin on Jell-O. We have made several different versions since discovering this recipe. It doesn’t matter the flavor of the Jell-O or the fruit you put inside because this recipe will be a hit! I suggest making it up several days before you need it because it takes a bit of time to set.

I love making it for Thanksgiving. Cranberry juice with cranberries, apples, and pineapple. Not that is a delicious recipe for fun food!

Ingredients:
·         2 small packages of Raspberry Jell-O (I used black cherry)
·         2 cups boiling water
·         8 oz. can of crushed pineapple
·         1 can of whole cranberry sauce
·         1/2 cup red wine (I guess you could substitute grape juice)
·         1/3 cup chopped walnuts

Directions:
  1. Mix it all (except for the nuts) together and pour into a mold.
  2. Refrigerate.
  3. Sprinkle with the walnuts when Jell-O starts to set, but isn't firm (after an hour or two, so they don't sink to the bottom
  4. Serve and enjoy!

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