Jul 31, 2013

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Jul 28, 2013

When I was a kid my Nana would always talk about Dagwood sandwiches. I never heard anything but the word sandwich…. Oh joy! I was never a kid that liked sandwiches, but at Nana’s house Dagwood sandwiches didn’t mean just a plain old sandwich! Nana’s Dagwood sandwiches were beastly sandwiches and jumbo works of art! 

I loved Dagwood’s! It ever occurred to me until a few days ago that Dagwood sandwiches had everything to do with the comic strip Dagwood! Nana loved that comic strip but I never associated the two. It hit me the other night when my family and I were eating our Dagwood sandwiches that Dagwood would have massive sandwiches just like Nana’s. Duh!

We never eat at places like Subway because we make our own. Not only are they better but you know exactly where everything came from, what’s on your sandwiches, they are tastier, and cheaper too. Fresh and like Nana’s a work of art!

Our sandwiches cost no more than a $1 a person. They were almost too big to finish and oh so good! These are the only sandwiches I like!

Ingredients (We love):
  • French bread loafs
  • Italian dressing
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Pepper jack cheese
  • Ham
  • Pepperoni slices
  • Lettuce
  • Onion
  • Pickles
  • Avocado
  • Tomato
  • Bell pepper
  • Salt/pepper to taste
(Yes Simple)
  1. Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees
  2. Slice French bread into multiple pieces the slice each piece half way through length wise, then add your Italian dressing (Generously), meat and cheeses. Place each sandwich individually in pieces of tin foil wrapped tightly.
  3. Bake for 15 minutes or until cheese is melted then top with veggies, salt and pepper and then serve. Delicious!

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Jul 25, 2013

I am the number one hater of breakfast. I just don’t like breakfast! As far as I am concerned it’s something worth skipping. I don’t like eggs, I don’t like sausage, and well the list goes on. I think it’s a waste of calories, but I know I need to eat breakfast anyway.

I am always on the hurt for something new and delicious that I can make quickly, and actually enjoy. I would make pancakes, but they are not quick, nor are they figure friendly. When you are trying to lose a few pounds you want to avoid pancakes.

Since being on vacation the house is pretty empty of food so I starting looking around for something to have that I had on hand and would be delicious. This certainly hit the mark. Delicious, nutritious, and low in calories… what more could you ask for?

  • Yoplait - Honey Vanilla Greek Yogurt 4 ounces (100 calories)
  • Triple Berry Blend 1 ounce (Frozen)
  • Strawberries 1 ounce (Frozen)
  • Sweetened Coconut flakes 1 tablespoon
  • 1 (2 bars per pack) Nature Valley Granola Bar (Crumbled)
  1. In a bowl or glass
  2. Layer yogurt and berries
  3. Sprinkle on coconut
  4. Crumble granola over the yogurt and fruit.
  5. Serve chilled.
Number of Servings: 1
Nutritional Information:
  • 252 calories per serving
  • 41 carbs 
  • 5 grams of fat 
  • 11 protein
  • 23 sugar
*Nutritional information found on www.myfitnesspal.com this information will vary based on the products you use.*

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Jul 24, 2013

A doll seat in the back? Oh yeah! That’s how we roll!

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Jul 21, 2013

When I was a child we would have a side salad with every dinner at home. The only way we didn’t have a side salad if we were having burger out for dinner. Even if we were having pizza out. We always had salad with it.

Today fast food seems to be a staple food for people, but when I was a child we never had fast food. I didn’t have McDonalds until I was probably in my early teens. My friends would eat there all the time, but not me. I didn’t resent it or even think twice about it because it was normal to me. Occasionally we would have burgers or pizza out and it was a really big deal if my mom would agree to Taco bell.

My parents believed that if you were going to go out to eat that it needed to be something nice, and a better quality meal. If we went out it was for steak, seafood, or Mexican food, not crap food as my Dad would call it.

Out of the blue it hit me the other day that for whatever reason I didn’t carry on the side salad with dinner tradition that had been instilled in me. When I was having a side salad with dinner growing up I ate less and I was a lot healthier. I was certainly a lot thinner. So I decided to change that and start having that side salad again. 

Sometimes bringing back those old traditions can be just what you need to start yourself back on a good eating regiment. It can be as simple as lettuce and tomato, or something with everything you can put in a bowl. The great part is there are so many ways to serve a salad I don’t think you could ever get bored!

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Jul 20, 2013

So why do I call these fast and furious? For a few reason. If you forget to make them they can be done fast, if you need something to take to someone's house in a hurry, they are fast, and because that’s how fast they leave the table. 

My mom would make these all the time when I was a kid as appetizers when she would need to bring something to a party or even as sometime extra for a pot luck or a side with dinner.

These little bits of heaven are so delicious, rich, creamy, ridiculously simple and dirt cheap! Yes so many words to describe something so simple!

Three ingredients and it makes a ton of appetizers. At first I am not sure if people know what to expect when they see them, but after a bite they keep coming back for more. Cream cheese, picante sauce, and tortillas. What more can you ask for? By the way these are super cute at a baby girl baby shower because the filling is nice and pink.

  • 12 pack of flour tortillas
  • 1 small jar of picante sauce (I use Pace Mild)
  • 1 package of cream cheese (room temperature)

  1. Take cream cheese out and let it come to room temperature. This is important or your cheese will be lumpy.
  2. To your room temperature cream cheese add picante sauce. A little bit at a time until you have a nice cream cheese picante sauce ration. You don’t want too much picante sauce or it will be soupy, but you don’t want your cream cheese to be white either.
  3. Keep adding until it’s just perfect. Your cream cheese will be nice and spreadable, but not too thin. I caution you to add the picante slowly because you can’t take it out once you have gone too far, and if you go too far it will be too messy to use with the tortillas.
  4. Next add a few tablespoons to a tortillas them roll, but not too tightly. You don’t want all of your mixture to come back out so don’t over fill either. Once you have a nice rolled tortilla cut it into about one inch rounds and lay then on the cut side down.
  5. Keep repeating until you are out of your filling.
  6. Served chilled. 

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Jul 18, 2013

For Independence Day I decided to make this wonderful parfaits. Oh boy did they turn out delicious! The only problem was the red, white, and blue theme I was going for… didn’t exactly turn out so red white and blue.

Although they didn’t give you the Americana feel I was going for they turned out delicious seriously delicious!! I used broken butter cookies in between each layer of delight and let me tell you the crowd went wild.

Although I would have loved to have a nice bright red and blue color for each of these layers I wasn’t going to add food color to pull of the affect.
So simple and so delicious!

Red Layer:
  • Puréed Fresh Strawberries
  • 8 ounces of whip topping
White layer:
  • Sweetened coconut flakes
  • Coconut extract
  • 8 ounces of whip topping
Blue layer:
  • 1 can of black berry pie filling
  • 8 ounces of whip topping
  • Butter Cookies (or Biscotti, Nilla Wafers, or ANY plain cookie)
  • Stevia as needed

  1. Pretty basic directions here.  For each container of whipped topping combine enough fruit to make sure that the whipped topping has a generous amount of fruit. Test to make sure the whipped topping is sweet enough. If not add some stevia.
  2. With the white coconut layer add a few tablespoons of coconut flakes, then start adding the coconut extra slowly. I would suggest about ¼ of a teaspoon at a time. Keep in mind you can always add more you can never take it away.
  3. Crumble butter cookies still leaving them a bit chunky so that they will not get too soggy.
  4. Start off by layering from the bottom blackberry, cookies, coconut, cookies, strawberry, cookies, or the other way around. It doesn’t matter what you do to it… its delicious!
  5. I topped mine off with a cute pretzel butter cookie.
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Jul 17, 2013

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Jul 16, 2013

This mac-n-cheese is delicious. It’s a pain to make if you are thinking of boxed mac-n-cheese, but let me tell you its well worth all the work. It’s so creamy and delicious.

This recipe is very decadent and rich. If you are wanting something plain and simple this recipe is not for you. The only I could suggest is leaving out the Gouda cheese, but I wouldn’t!

If you want to serve it right away leave the bread crumbs off and sever right from the stove top. You can’t beat this mac-n-cheese. 

  • 4 cups Dried Pasta
  • 1/4 cup unsalted Butter
  • 1/4 cup All-purpose Flour
  • 2-1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 3 teaspoons Dry Mustard
  • 2 ounces Smoked Gouda grated
  • 8 ounces Cheddar Cheese grated
  • 6 ounces Mozzarella Cheese grated
  • 1 teaspoon Seasoned Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
  • Plain Bread Crumbs
  1. Cook pasta about 4 minutes shy of package directions then drain and set aside.
  2. In a large pot, melt butter and sprinkle in flour. Whisk together over medium-heat. Cook mixture for five minutes, whisking constantly.
  3. Pour in milk, and mustard, then whisk until smooth. Cook until very thick. Reduce heat to low.
  4. Add in cheese and stir to melt.
  5. Add seasoned salt and pepper.
  6. Pour in cooked pasta and stir to combine.
  7. Pour into a buttered baking dish, top with plain bread crumbs, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until bubbly and golden on top.
Original Recipe Source

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Jul 13, 2013

I was reading a post by One Good thing by Jillee when I came across one of her normal wonderful ideas that was a “must try” for me.  I never would have come up with this idea, but leave it to Jill… Hash browns using a waffle iron. Brilliant!

Not only are your hash browns done in under five minutes but they are perfectly golden brown and extra crispy just the way I like them. I will tell you that my waffle iron will alert you when your “waffles” are ready which helps when you are patiently impatiently waiting for your hash browns to be done. If you don’t have any alert or light indicator on your iron no worries just keep checking them.  You don’t want your potato goodness to burn or be under cooked.

You can use either frozen hash browns or tatar tots. I used the tatar tot rounds (they are thinner than your regular tatar tots) and to me they came out perfect. I have a nonstick waffle iron, but I still sprayed it down with some cooking spray, then added a little seasoning just for extra flavor. As the hash browns are cooking you will need to keep squeezing the top and the bottom of the waffle iron together. As they defrost you will want them smashed as tight as possible for the crispiness. 

In under five minutes  I had the perfect crispy hash browns. This is a wonderful time saver, and it’s a great way to keep the house cooler during the summer too! Great idea! Thanks Jill

But hey why stop at hash browns? I made a grilled cheese too. Once again there is no need to turn on the stove when you can use your waffle iron.

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Jul 12, 2013

These sweet potatoes were delicious! I loved them made this way because the roasting processes brings out the sweetness and gives the potatoes a nice caramelized stickiness. They are bursting with flavor and will be great made again in the fall. I think this would be a great addition to a Thanksgiving Day table.

The only change I will make next time is to make them on parchment paper for easy removal. Foil was a fail!

  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2-3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and position oven rack to middle position. Line the bottom of a large baking sheet with parchment paper and spray well with cooking spray.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, place the prepared, cubed sweet potatoes, garlic, olive oil, Parmesan cheese, dried thyme. Distribute the ingredients evenly to cover the sweet potatoes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer the sweet potato mixture to the prepared baking sheet and spread out the potatoes so that they are in a single layer.
  3. Roast in oven for about 40 minutes or until tender.
  4. Set the oven to broil and broil until the tops of the sweet potatoes start to brown and get crispy about 5-10 minutes but be sure to watch them because they will burn. 
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Jul 11, 2013

Obviously there is no science to these mashed potatoes but I have to admit I just love them. Chili’s has the best loaded mashed potatoes I have ever had. They are so good and so creamy and loaded full of ooey gooey goodness.

Here is my rendition of this wonderful pillow of potato fluff.  Take about 2 pounds of potatoes, wash, peeled, sliced, then boiled. Once they are cooked add some salted butter, and sour cream to taste.

Now to the good part: Add a large spoon full of mashed potatoes to your plate,  make a well in the middle of the potatoes (halfway hollow it out) add a generous amount of cheddar cheese, and bacon bits, then top with green onions (missing from the picture) then a little salt and pepper to top it all off. Delicious! 

Like I said no science involved here! Just simple and delicious!

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Jul 10, 2013

Lately I have noticed that my family is getting tired of the same meals over and over again. In an effort to find something I know they will love I have been scouring the web for something new and interesting. 

I recently discovered Old El Paso Recipes. We buy and eat their products so why not start cooking up some of their favorite recipes?

They have so many recipes to choose from. Better yet, they make it easy for you to narrow down their selection based on what you are looking for, or even based on the products you love. Who knew?  If you are looking for main dishes or party planning ideas they have them.

What I love is they tell you exactly which of their products to buy. Also, you can print their recipes right on the recipe page. Brilliant!

I had a really hard time narrowing down the first few recipes we are going to try. My family is looking forward to trying their Cheesy Bean and Sweet Corn Nachos, and their Chicken, Lime, and Coriander Nachos. Delicious!

Have you tried any Old El Paso Recipes? Which ones?

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