Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Bread Bowls

♥ Beginner

Let's get real for a second. Like, really real. 

Have you ever heard someone say, "I hate homemade bread." Ever? Nope, that's because it's simply impossible to hate homemade bread. 

Homemade Bread might as well equal a loving embrace from your mom, because even if your mom never made homemade bread, the smell will envelope you in love. That's right I said it. The smell of homemade bread = love. 

Anyhow, who doesn't love their soup in a breadbowl? I do!!! 

These are super easy to make, and you don't have to let them rise twice, so they only take about an hour tops. Bonus!!! 

What you'll need: 
* 4 C + 4 Tbsp Warm Water
* 5 1/2 tsp. Active Dry Yeast (2 packets if you go that route) 
* 1/2 C Butter, Melted
* 2 Tbsp Sugar
* 3 tsp. Salt
* 6 1/2 C. All-Purpose or Bread Flour

How it's done: 
1. Combine yeast in warm water and let proof until foamy (about 3 minutes). 
2. Add Sugar, Butter, and Salt, combine lightly. 
3. Add Flour at 1C increments until it's all worked in. 
4. Pull out dough, and divide into 6 equal portions. Roll into a ball, and place on a greased cookie sheet. Let rise under a warm towel (in a warm place) for 40-60 minutes. Rolls should double in size. 
5. Bake at 425*F for 20-25 Minutes. 
6. Slice off tops, and hollow out insides - then fill with your favorite soup!

Creamy Tortellini Soup, Crockpot

♥ Beginner

Crockpot Thursday!!! This meal may actually end up being one of our absolute favorites. We have made it twice already, and it's even better in homemade bread bowls!

What you'll need:
* 1 Bag Frozen Tortellini (We prefer the cheese)
* 2 Cans of Italian Style Diced Tomatos
* 4 Cups Vegetable Broth
* 8oz. Cream Cheese
* 1 Bunch Baby Spinach, Fresh
** Browned Sausage optional

How it's done: 
1. Combine all ingredients in the crock pot, chunking up the cream cheese and combining with the other ingredients.
2. Cook on low 5-6 hours.

Enjoy!!! We sure have!

Mongolian Chicken

♥ Beginner

Let's just begin this post off with "Yummmmm, I can't believe I ate the whole thing!!!"

Seriously. This was so good. And super easy. Oh, and I cheated by using already minced, refrigerated garlic, and I didn't hate it. Try it. You won't be disappointed.

What you'll need:
* 2 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
* 1/2 C. Soy Sauce
* 1/2 C. Water
* 1/2 C. Brown Sugar
* 2-3 tsp. Ginger
* 2 Cloves Garlic, Crushed (I used 1 Tbs. Minced Garlic)
* 1 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil
* 1 Tbsp. Corn Starch
* 1 Tbsp. Water

How it's done:
1. Cut the chicken into thin strips, or bite size cubes (easiest while still kind of frozen).
2. Place chicken in frying pan over low heat.
3. While chicken is cooking, combine the soy sauce, water, brown sugar, and garlic in a small sauce pot. Stir to combine and bring to a boil. Remove from heat.
4. Combine in a small bowl the cornstarch and water, and then add the mixture to your sauce. Combining well.
5. Once chicken is cooked through, add the sauce mixture to your frying pan and let simmer for 4-5 minutes.

Best served over rice, or broccoli. We did both! Soooooo good, we all ate it all!

Meatball Sub Casserole

♥ Beginner

Click here for original recipe.
Meatball Sub's are not my favorite food. But the kids sure do love them, and so does the Hubs. So we tried this recipe awhile back, and everyone really liked it - so it's hung around a bit. Maybe your family will like it too.

What you'll need:
* 1 Loaf of Italian Bread, cut into 1" slices
* 8 oz. Cream Cheese, Softened
* 1/2 C. Mayonnaise
* 1 tsp. Italian Seasoning
* 1/4 tsp. Pepper
* 2 C. Mozzarella Cheese, Shredded
* 1lb. Fully Cooked Frozen Meatballs, Thawed
* 1 (28oz) Jar of Pasta Sauce
* 1 C. Water

How it's done:
1. Preheat oven to 350*F, and arrange sliced bread in the bottom of an un-greased 9x13 Pyrex.

2. In a bowl, combine cream cheese, mayo, italian seasoning, and pepper. Spread the mixture over the bread slices.

3. Sprinkle 1/2 C Mozzarella cheese over the top.

4. Mix together the pasta sauce, water, and meatballs and gently spoon them over the cream cheese mixture. Top with remaining mozzarella cheese.

5. Bake uncovered for 30-35 minutes.

I like to serve this with the remaining Italian bread as garlic bread, and a side salad.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Chubby Chicken & Cream Cheese Taquitos

♥ Beginner

OMG, a new family favorite!!!! I made these tonight and they were a huge success. They were super simple, and were quick to make. I had one kid in bed my 6:45pm.... haha!So what if he has ear infections, that had NOTHING to do with his bed time (eye roll). 

If you make these, I know you'll love them too. They made enough to store, and snack on (but they'll be gone by tomorrow night for sure. :)

What you'll need:
* 3cups cooked shredded chicken (I like rotisserie)
6ounces cream cheese, softened
cup sour cream
½cup salsa
1+ ½ cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1+ ½ cups chopped baby spinach, stems removed
coarse salt and fresh black pepper, to taste
9 - 10(6-inch) flour tortillas

vegetable or canola oil, for frying

How it's done:

1. In a large bowl mix together the chicken, cream cheese, sour cream, salsa, cheddar and spinach. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 2. Working with one tortilla at a time add 2 heaping tablespoons of the chicken mixture off center and spread out like a log. Roll up and set seam side down on a platter. Repeat until all the tortillas are filled and rolled. 3. Add enough oil to a large skillet to generously cover the bottom. Heat on medium to medium-low heat, cook tortillas in batches, turning to brown each side. Remove to paper towels to drain. Serve with your choice of dunking sauce.

Weekly Menu 11/10

Last week went pretty well! I only fell off the wagon one night, so I guess we'll see how this week goes. :)

Hopefully you were able to utilize a few of the items from last week as well. If not, there's no better time than the present to get started. Even if you only decide to start cooking a few nights a week, it really is a budget saver - and those moments at the dinner table are a lot of fun. My son had us in stitches!!!

So on to this week we go...

Sunday: Chubby Cream Cheese and Chicken Taquitos w/ yellow rice.

Monday: OMG Chicken w/ corn and mashed potatoes  (OMG Chicken was SOOO gross I'm not even going to share the recipe. Trust me, you should thank me.) 

Tuesday: Meatball Sub Casserole

Wednesday: Grilled Flank Steak w/ Tomato Gorgonzola Salad

Crockpot Thursday: Crockpot Tortellini Soup w/homemade Bread Bowls!

Friday: Mongolian Chicken w/ Rice.

Saturday: Our Family Thanksgiving Celebration!!!!

Tell me below what you're eating this week...

Garlic Roasted Zucchini

♥ Beginner

This is a recipe I found on Pinterest... :) You can find the original recipe here

My kids loved this. it was a great way to get them to eat their greens! :)

What you'll need:
2 Zucchini (give or take depending on size and how many people you are feeding)
* Olive Oil
* Salt and Pepper
* Rosemary
* Garlic cloves, sliced
* Parmesan Cheese

How it's done:

1. Preheat oven to 375*F and cut and quarter your zucchini.

2. Put zucchini and all ingredients in a bowl and combine.

3. Pour out onto a baking sheet then bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. 

Shrimp Scampi

♥ Beginner

Campbells Skillet Sauces ROCK.MY.WORLD.
Talk about easy. 

What you'll need: 
* 1 Lb. Large peeled and de-veined shrimp. 
* 1 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil
* Fettuccini (or spaghetti) 

How it's done: 

1. Put oil in skillet, and cook shrimp until almost all the way pink throughout. 

2. Boil water and cook noodles. 

3. Add Skillet sauce and follow instructions (boil & then simmer). 

Enjoy! (We did.)

Except the kids. They wanted to put the shrimp back in the ocean. This was great for us, not great for the kids. Darn. 

Slow Cooker BBQ Beef Ribs

♥ Beginner

Can we just say, "Yum, that's good!" 

This was almost so easy that it would make you crazy. Literally a dump, and forget dinner. WIN! If you don't love this, then we shouldn't be friends. (And I don't usually like proteins other than Chicken!) 

What you'll need:
* 1 Cup Water
* 1 Cup Ketchup
* 1 (6oz) Can of Tomato Paste
* 3/4 Cup Brown Sugar
* 1/2 Cup Vinegar
* 2 Tablespoons Mustard
* 2 teaspoons Salt
* 2 Lbs. Beef Back Ribs

How it's done: 

1. Combine all of the ingredients in the crockpot, and then turn on low for 6-8 hours. 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Chicken Ranch Tacos

♥ Beginner

We've had these tacos a few times, and they have been a big hit. With only a few ingredients needed, and the prep work minimal, this is an ideal food for anyone who doesn't have a lot of time on their hands. You can find the original recipe here.

What you'll need: 
* 3 Cups of cooked chicken, cut up
* 1 Packet of Taco Seasoning
* 1/2-1 Cup of Ranch Dressing
* Taco/Tortilla Shells
* Any toppings you might want

How it's done: 

1. You'll want to prepare your chicken by broiling it until cooked through. It usually only takes 7-10 minutes. Then cut it into small cubes.

2. On medium high heat, combine chicken and taco seasoning packet. DO NOT ADD WATER! Once the chicken has been covered, and heated through, add your ranch dressing. The original recipe called for 1/2 cup, but we like the flavor so much that we add about 3/4 of a cup.

3. Prepare your shells and toppings.

4. Build your tacos and enjoy! Easy-peasy!

Baked Tortellini

Waiting for daddy to get home!
♥ Beginner

We considered this meal a win. The kids ate nearly everything on their plates, which made it a big win for me! Paired with a salad and a loaf of french bread, it was a win all around.

Everyone was really hungry, so they dug in before I got a good picture... Lol! This is where I found the recipe originally.

What you'll need:
20 Oz. of Baked Tortellini
15 oz. Alfredo Sauce (Already Prepared)
4 oz. of Prosciutto Minced
8 oz. Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

How it's done: 

1. Start boiling your tortellini to perfection. and preheat your oven to 350*F.

2. Mince Prosciutto.

3. Prepare Alfredo, or get the jar open. :)

4. Pour 1/4 Cup of Alfredo in the bottom of your baking dish.

5. In large bowl, combine coked tortellini, remainder of your Alfredo Sauce, and 1/2 Cup mozzarella cheese.

6. Pour mixture in baking dish, and cover with remainder of mozzarella cheese.

7. Bake for 15 minutes.

Pair with a nice salad, and a loaf of french bread. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Quick Homemade Pizza

Little Pizza Maker. April 2012
♥ Beginner

In our house pizza might as well be a staple. I think it's just because it's super easy, and mostly quick - and it's a great meal for little helpers. My only problem is that I HATE waiting for the dough to rise. Who has time for that?? So I wen't in search of a great pizza recipe that I could make and bake, without waiting 90 minutes for it to get it's rise on.

Warning: It will get thicker when it's cooked (thanks to the yeast), but this definitely isn't a "pan pizza style" dough. Think thin-medium crust.

Prep Time: 10 Minute
Serves: Makes Two 12" Pizzas

What you'll need: 
* 1 Tablespoon of Yeast (or one yeast packet)
* 1 Teaspoon Sugar
* 1 Cup Warm Water (not too hot!)
* 2 1/2 Cups Bread or All-Purpose Flour
* 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
* 1 Teaspoon Salt

*Any Sauce and Toppings that you would like. (Easy route, buy jarred pizza sauce.)

What fun would it be without a
little flour on your face?
How it's done: 
1. Preheat oven to 450*F.

2. In a medium size bowl (or kitchen aid), dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water. Let stand until creamy - about 5 minutes.

3. Stir in flour, salt, and oil. Beat until smooth (If you use your dough hook attachment with your kitchen aid, it only takes a minute on power level 2.).

4. Turn out dough onto a lightly greased cookie sheet or cake pan, and shape. Remember it may rise some upon baking, so get it thinner than intended.

5. Top with desired toppings, and bake for 15-20 Minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

New Weekly Meal Plan!

To keep this brief, I need to be held accountable for feeding my family dinner each night. This used to be a place where you could come for sweets and treats, but our family has evolved and now dinner time has become more relevant.

I know that if I'm able to post my weekly recipes and meal plans, then I might actually be more responsible to myself and my kids. No more KFC for us!
Dinosaur Chicken Nuggets.
Yep, I need help.

So here it is, our meal plan for this week. I hope this is able to help someone else as well. (BTW, I'll be posting the recipes and pictures each night - but if you want them before they are posted, "Hey, that sounds good, I wish we could have that tomorrow!" just email me and I'll get you the recipe early.)

Sunday: Homemade Pizzas.
*These are super easy to make. The prep time is minimal, ingredients are minimal, and cook time is 15 minutes. It's a great Sunday dinner, because everyone can help (even little people) and within an hour everyone can be fed and in bed!

Monday: We're having dinner at my parents... woo hoo!!!

Tuesday: Baked Tortellini with Salad & French Bread.
*I like to make the meals that require bread as a side as early in the week as possible. It would be my luck that by Friday the bread would be moldy.

Wednesday: Chicken Ranch Tacos (Yum, thank you Pinterest!)

Crockpot Thursday: Slow Cooker BBQ Beef Ribs with Mashed Potatoes & Steamed Corn

Friday: Shrimp Scampi with Pasta & Garlic Roasted Zucchini

Saturday: Fajitas!

I hope we enjoy this week as much as I'm hoping we will...

Let me know if you have any good meals this week too! I love a good, easy recipe!