Thursday, July 30, 2009

Chicken Noodle Soup



I know it's summer but it hasn't been as hot here and I was wanting chicken noodle soup. My tummy hasn't felt great today. Not sure if it was something I ate or a virus. And one of the things I like to eat when my tummy doesn't feel as good (once I feel like eating anyway) is potatoes diced and boiled in chicken broth. So I thought why not chicken noodle soup!

I decided to use my crockpot because I like to make a large amount at a time. That also helped not heat the house up so I can enjoy soup.



My favorite noodles to use in chicken noodle soup is the real homemade dried noodles. I found these at Kroger. They're a bit more expensive so we don't eat them often.

When I make this soup, I've never used a recipe. So amounts are not exact and can be played with depending on your liking.

Chicken Noodle Soup

3 cans of chicken broth
3-4 cups of water
2-3 tbsp of chicken base
2-3 cups of diced potatoes
16 oz bag of frozen veggies
2-3 cups of extra veggies of your choice (I added extra corn and green beans)
2-3 cups of diced, cooked chicken
8 oz of noodles
salt and pepper to taste

Add diced potatoes, veggies, chicken broth, water and base to the crockpot. Cook on high for 6-8 hours. I just checked occasionally to see if the potatoes were cooked. When the potatoes are cooked, add your diced chicken and noodles and cook for another 30 minutes to an hour. Just whenever the noodles get done. When you add the chicken and noodles check seasoning and adjust if needed.

This soup is so good. It's great leftover also! I will warn you that this recipe makes a ton. So you might cut it in half. But I love to have leftovers and eat it for a few days cause it is so yummy! The kids love it! Much better than what you can get in a can!

Happy eating!


This post is being shared at
Friday Feasts
Recipe Swap at The Grocery Cart Challenge
Family Recipe Fridays
Foodie Friday
Slow Cooking Thursday

Bargain Meal of the Week- Food Lion

Bargain Meal of the Week

Click on the image to go find your Bargain Meal of the Week!


Welcome to the Bargain Meal of the Week. I am enjoying this and hope you all are too. Check out even more great recipes and bargains at $5 Dinners!

Food Lion's ad is available online so be sure to check your local ad.

I noticed that they had on sale
bone-in pork chops $1.99/lb
Minute premium rice 14oz box 2/$4
campbell's cream of soups 5/$5
broccoli $1.69 a head

I found this recipe that sounds really yummy!

Pork Chops with Mushroom Onion Gravy

6 pork chops
1 tablespoon dried marjoram
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
3/4 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 onion, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. Heat a small amount of oil in a large skillet, add chops and brown on both sides. When chops are almost done, sprinkle marjoram on both sides.
3. Stir together half the can of soup, water, salt and pepper. Pour into a foil-lined 9x13 inch baking pan.
4. Put the onions and then the browned chops on top of the soup mixture. Spoon the remaining soup over the top of chops so they are covered. Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Take off foil and bake another 20 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

I would serve this with the rice and steamed broccoli.

1.5 pounds of pork chops $3.00
1/2 box of rice $1.00
1 can cream of mushroom soup $1.00
broccoli $1.69
Total cost $6.69



Come back next week to see what meals I find for Food Lion!
Happy eating!
God bless,
Amanda

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread




A good friend of mine brought by 2 large zucchini that she had. I had been wanting to make zucchini bread for awhile but never bought any for that purpose. So when she offered some extra produce she had I was excited! This is the recipe I decided to try. It's adapted from this recipe at Allrecipes.

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup white sugar
1 cup of brown sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups grated zucchini
1 cup chopped chocolate chips

Grease and flour two 8 x 4 inch pans. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
Sift flour, salt, baking powder, soda, and cinnamon together in a bowl. Add choclate chips and toss them around in the flour mixture.

Beat eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add sifted ingredients to the creamed mixture, and beat well. Stir in zucchini until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pans.

Bake for 40 to 60 minutes, or until tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on rack for 20 minutes. Remove bread from pan, and completely cool.



I couldn't wait for it to cool completely to try it. So here a picture of one of the four mini loaves that I ended up digging into early. Oh my! It was delicious! The crust was so crunchy and yummy! I could have ate the tops off of each loaf! LOL But I practiced restraint. :) This recipe definitely Works for me!

Happy eating!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Cracker Barrel Coca Cola Cake


Tonight we had our Mom's Night Out with MOPS and our theme was Christmas in July. So we all brought special Christmas themed dishes. It was a lot of fun! Our host even decorated her house up for the occasion.

I decided to make Cracker Barrel Coca Cola Cake. It's one of my favorite cakes and very easy as well.

Sorry the picture isn't the best. I hated to cut a piece before I took it to the get together. So I took a picture of it whole. It is very good though!

Cracker Barrel Double Fudge Coca Cola Cake

Ingredients:
1 C. Coca-cola
1/2 C. oil
1 stick Margarine
3 Tbsp. cocoa
2 C. sugar
2 C. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1/2 C. buttermilk
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla

Preparation:

In a sauce Pan, Bring Coca-Cola, Oil, Margarine, and cocoa to a boil. In a bowl, mix the sugar, flour and salt. Pour into the boiling liquid and beat well. Add the eggs, Buttermilk, baking soda and vanilla. Beat well. Pour into a greased and floured sheet cake pan and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

Frosting
1/4 lb. Margarine
3 Tbsp. cocoa
6 Tbsp. cream or milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 lb. confectioners sugar

In a saucepan, combine the butter, cocoa, and milk. Heat until the butter melts. Beat in the remaining ingredients, and spread on the hot cake. Cool and cut.

What recipes remind you of Christmas? I can't believe it will be here in about 5 months!

This is being linked up at Tempt My Tummy Tuesday and Tasty Tuesday.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Using what's in the pantry: Canned Pumpkin



I have had a big can of pumpkin in the cabinet for while now. So I thought about pumpkin muffins, but then decided why not make Pumpkin Pie? So I did! I made a mix for two pies but decided to only bake one right then. I was going to bake the other one later. This turned out to be a very good thing and I will explain why.

Since my daughter has been begging to help me in the kitchen I decided to let her help. Then the boys kept coming in and out of the kitchen and I was a bit stressed. The kitchen is kind of my zone and the more people in an out of it while I'm cooking just stresses me out.

We did finally get the one pie in the oven. However, while it was baking I remembered I never put the sugar in it! When it was done I tasted it and it's amazing what that sugar does for pie! LOL

I was really disappointed but then added sugar to the next batch of mix and baked it up Tuesday night. It turned out very yummy!

I'm trying to get over being stressed out so easily in the kitchen because I want the kids to have memories of us in the kitchen together. They'll definitely remember this one. LOL

Sorry for the hole in the pie in the middle. It's from where I checked to see if it was done.

Libby's® Famous Pumpkin Pie
* 1 (9 inch) unbaked deep dish pie crust
* 3/4 cup white sugar
* 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
* 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
* 2 eggs
* 1 (15 ounce) can LIBBY'S® 100% Pure Pumpkin
* 1 (12 fluid ounce) can NESTLE® CARNATION® Evaporated Milk

1. Preheat oven to 425 F.
2. Combine sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves in small bowl. Beat eggs lightly in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk. Pour into pie shell.
3. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350 F.; bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours. Serve immediately or refrigerate. (Do not freeze as this will cause the crust to separate from the filling.)

Happy eating!

This is being shared at Flavor of the Month.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Blog Hop '09!




Hi! My name is Amanda. I love this idea of a Blog Hop! I would sure love to be at BlogHer so this is a nice idea for those of us who can't go. Thanks to Robin from Pensieve and Musings of a Housewife for starting this!

I'll tell you a bit about myself. I'm a 30 year old stay at home mom in Tennessee. I've been married to my husband, Mike for 10 years. We have three sweet children. Princess is 9, Rocket Boy is 6 and Monkey is 4.

I love the Lord and want to grow closer to Him and for Him to guide me in all I do. Cooking is a big love of mine as well as my family and friends.

I haven't been blogging for long but I am really loving it! Please come back and see me again! Thanks!

God bless,
Amanda

Don't forget to link your blog at the Blog Hop!

Cheesy Hashbrown Casserole



I love hash brown casserole. It's crispy on the outside and then there's that yummy cheesy goodness inside. Years ago I tried a recipe and the sour cream was just overwhelming to me. I like sour cream but it was most of what I could taste. So I never tried to make it again.

Then I was at church one Wednesday night and they had hashbrown casserole. It was sooo good! And no sour cream taste. So I got the recipe and made it tonight. Absolutely perfect! It was hard to stop eating this one!


I also made chicken tenders (just marinated in italian dressing, then seared and baked), green beans and per my daughter's request- cream style corn. It was a yummy meal!


Hashbrown Casserole
2 cups of cheese (I used cheddar)
1 10 3/4oz can of cream of chicken soup
1 cup of sour cream (I only used a little over a 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup onion (diced)
1/4 cup of butter
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 32ox bag of shredded hashbrown potatoes (it seems most bags are 30oz now and that was what I used)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13 baking pan. In a large bowl, mix together the 1st 7 ingredients. Then fold in the potatoes. Pour in to your pan. Bake for 1 hour.

So simple yet so yummy! I also let the hashbrowns thaw on the counter for a bit to make mixing easy.

Happy eating!

This is being shared at the Grocery Cart Recipe Swap and Friday Feasts.

I'm in love....

......with my crockpot! I used it yesterday to cook 4 pounds of chicken breast (bone-in, on sale for .99 a pound!).

When I was taking it off the bone last night, I tried a bite. So tender! I usually boil my chicken on the stove or bake it in the oven. But nothing can beat how tender it was out of the crockpot!

I had been very frustrated lately because every time I've cooked chicken it's been kind of tough. I probably do overcook it a bit because I am always wanting to make sure it's done. But I just haven't been happy with the texture.

I know most of y'all have already been sold on crockpot cooking but I am truly amazed at how well things turn out in the crockpot. If you haven't tried it yet, please do so!

Happy Eating!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Bargain Meal of the Week- Food Lion

Bargain Meal of the Week

Click on the image to go find your Bargain Meal of the Week!


Welcome to the Bargain Meal of the Week. I am enjoying this and hope you all are too. Check out even more great recipes and bargains at $5 Dinners!

Food Lion's ad is available online so be sure to check your local ad.

Stuffed Bacon Cheeseburgers
Tyler Florence


Ingredients

* 1/2 cup shredded Monterey jack
* 4 slices cooked bacon, chopped
* 1 pound ground chuck
* Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 4 large hamburger buns, split
* Ketchup, mayonnaise, and mustard, for serving
* Lettuce, sliced tomato, onion, and avocado, for serving

Directions

Combine the jack cheese and chopped bacon in a bowl. Put the beef in another bowl and season with salt and pepper; use a rubber spatula to mix it in. Flatten 1/4 of the meat mixture in the palm of your hand. Squeeze together about a tablespoon of the cheese and bacon mixture to make a little nugget; put it in the center of the ground beef. Bring up the sides of the patty over the filling, making sure the cheese is completely covered by the meat. Flatten slightly for a nice patty shape. Set them side by side on a platter in the refrigerator while preparing the grill.

Place a large grill pan on 2 burners over medium-high heat or preheat an outdoor gas or charcoal barbecue and get it very hot. Brush the grates with oil to keep the burgers from sticking. Grill the burgers for 8 minutes per side for medium. (The USDA recommends cooking ground beef until it is no longer pink and the internal temperature is 160 degrees F.) Remove the burgers to a clean side plate while you toast the buns.

Rub the grill rack with more oil and place the buns cut-side down, toast for 1 minute. Serve the burgers with your favorite condiment and any garnish you like, such as lettuce, sliced tomato, onion, and/or avocado.

This uses the following items on sale:
Sargento Shredded Cheese 8oz $1.99
Plumrose bacon 16oz $2.50
Wonder or Merita hamburger buns 4/$5
1 pound of ground chuck $1.68/lb

So you're approximate cost for the meal would be
1/2 cup shredded cheese .50
4 slices cooked bacon .50
4 hamburger buns .63
1 pound of ground chuck 1.68

for 4 servings $3.31 and to double it for 6 servings would be $6.61

You could serve with
Bush's Baked Beans 28oz can $1.79
or
Betty Crocker Suddenly Salad 15oz twin pack $2.00


Come back next week to see what meals I find for Food Lion!
Happy eating!
God bless,
Amanda

No Bake cookies


I love these chocolaty, peanut buttery no bake cookies. You can't get much easier than these and so yummy. I have tried a few different recipes and this is my favorite. This one always sets up for me. I usually just pour it all out on a cookie sheet that I've covered with wax paper. Then break it apart into pieces. But for you guys, I made a few cookies for a nice picture. :)

No Bake Cookies
2 cups sugar
4 tbsp of cocoa (I usually make these heaping because you can't have too much chocolate)
1 stick of butter (this time I used smart balance 50/50 sticks and they worked great!)
1 tbsp of vanilla (I always leave this out. You can add if you like but vanilla is expensive and I'd rather save it for something I can really taste it in. I've never noticed a difference with/without it)
3 cups of oatmeal (I use 1-minute quick oats)
1/2 cup of milk
1 cup of peanut butter (I like to use crunchy sometimes)

In a heavy saucepan, bring to a boil the sugar, cocoa, butter and milk. Let boil for 1 minute. Then add the peanut butter, vanilla and oatmeal. On a sheet of waxed paper, drop mixture with an ice cream scoop or spoon into individual cookies. Let cool and they will firm up.

These yummy cookies definitely Work For Me!

Happy Eating!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Breakfast for dinner

The last couple weeks of the month is usually the tightest for us. Especially since I'm out of work right now. So I'm trying to implement one night every week of breakfast for dinner. Tonight we had french toast.

I just added three eggs, a tsp of vanilla, some cinnamon and some milk in a bowl. I didn't measure the milk. There are some recipes I'd like to try for french toast but tonight was just going to be quick so I didn't have time to find the recipes.

Served it with powdered sugar and cinnamon on top. My daughter had a little syrup on hers. Everyone really enjoyed it so I am going to have to make it more often.

So here's a cost breakdown...
milk- .25
cinnnamon- .05
vanilla- .25
three eggs- .25
half a loaf of texas toast- .60 (bought on sale at kroger)
So about a $1.40 for that.

Now, that was only for three people. My husband had eaten a bit before and wasn't hungry and my 4 year old ate a hot dog). But even if you double it for 6 people let's say, it'd only be $2.80. Plus we had some grapes from being on sale for .98 a pound as well. Very economical dinner!

Do you ever breakfast for dinner? What are your favorites for breakfast nights?

Happy eating!
God bless,
Amanda

Using my crockpot: cooking beans and a coleslaw recipe

One of my favorite meals is at a place called Huck Finn's in Pigeon Forge, TN. I love the "vittles" they bring out to you, served family style all you can eat. White beans, cole slaw, hush puppies, pickles and onions. I love their catfish as well. I haven't been there in a long time.

Yesterday I decided to make white beans, coleslaw and corn cakes (instead of hushpuppies). I served it with dill pickles and sliced tomatoes. It was a frugal yet yummy meal!

I hadn't cooked beans in the crockpot before but I looked a bit online and it seemed easy enough.

This is what I did.


Crockpot white beans

2 16 oz bags of white beans
water
bacon paste (from Soupbase.com)
1 packet of onion soup mix (I only used 1/2 and it definitely could have used a whole pack if not more)
salt

Look through beans and discard any stones, broken beans, etc. Rinse beans and place in crockpot. Add water (go about 2-3 inches above beans), bacon paste (I used about 2 tsp, you could use more or use some ham) and onion soup mix. I let this cook on low at first. Then decided to turn it to high because I didn't get it started til later than I had meant and wanted to speed up the cook time. I think it's good to get it up to temp so I would start out on high and either cook it on high or switch over to low after 3 hours or so. I added salt near the end after tasting to see where it was on seasoning.

I had never made homemade coleslaw before so I looked on Allrecipes.com and found a recipe for coleslaw.


Mom's Coleslaw
INGREDIENTS

* 1 small head cabbage, shredded
* 3 medium carrots, shredded
* 1 cup mayonnaise
* 1/3 cup sugar
* 1/4 cup cider vinegar

DIRECTIONS

1. In a large bowl, combine cabbage and carrots. In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, sugar and vinegar. Pour over cabbage mixture and toss to coat. Serve with a slotted spoon.

It turned out really yummy. I did add a tablespoon or so of ranch dressing to mine and some salt and pepper.

All in all a very good meal. Not exactly like Huck Finn's (I'd rather have the hushpuppies but have never made them so didn't try that yet) but a close substitute.

Happy Eating!

This is being shared at Tempt My Tummy Tuesday at Blessed With Grace.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Have you heard of MOPS?

Sorry I've been missing for a few days. Last week got a bit busy. Then Friday and Saturday our MOPS steering team had a retreat to plan the coming year. It was so much fun!

I just decided to become a discussion group leader around April. I'm very excited about the coming year of MOPS!

So have you heard of MOPS? If you haven't you can go here for more information. It's for moms with kids from birth through Kindergarten. MOPS International is now offering (as of this year) a group for moms with school age children. That's definitely exciting as well! I highly encourage you to see out a MOPS group in your area if you have children. It can be such a blessing in your life and the lives of others!

God bless,
Amanda

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Kroger Shopping trip


Wow! Kroger has some awesome deals this week! I went today and got many good buys. I spent $60.74 and here's what I got.

3 tombstone pizzas
purity milk (gallon, not pictured because the kids had already put it in the fridge)
5 smart balance 50/50 butter sticks (this was a steal! On sale for $1.49 on the mix n match 10 items thing, but had .55 coupons on each!)
1 pkg of keebler cookie (we never get these but at $1.49 it was hard to pass up!)
2 pkgs of quaker chewy dips peanut butter granola bars
2 welch's jam
1 A-1 Sauce
Colgate toothpaste
3 yoplait yogurts
3 kroger brand yogurt (3 for .99!)
4 healthy choice steamers frozen dinners (I haven't tried these before but there were in store coupons that made them $1.29 I believe so I got a few to have on hand)
Minute Maid Pomegrante Blueberry Juice
10 Jif Peanut butters (this was a stock up for us, you can't beat $1.49 a jar!)
2 pkg of kroger pretzels
bananas
texas toast
wheat bread
blackberries

The receipt says my total savings was $49.15. Not bad at all!

Check out more grocery deals at GCC Shopping Round Up!

Oooey Gooey German Chocolate Brownies


Our Sunday School class got together Friday night to celebrate one of our sweet sister's birthday. So I brought brownies but decided to make them a new way. They were really delicious! Especially while they were still warm. But divine leftover as well!

German Chocolate Brownies
1 box of brownies (9x13, family size box- I used low fat)
1 can of coconut pecan frosting (german chocolate)
1/2 cup of chocolate chips
ingredients for brownies (on the box)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13 pan. In a large bowl, empty the brownie mix. Add chocolate chips and toss them around in the mix. Then add ingredients for brownie (mine were oil, water and one egg but your box may vary). Mix well.

Pour into pan and bake for time on box. Mine was 28 minutes.

Then while the brownies are still hot, spread frosting over them. I used the whole can. Serve and enjoy!

I had such a good time at the party! Lots of fun fellowship and yummy food! Then we played pictionary and that was a lot of fun. It was my second time playing but I really enjoy it!

Happy eating!
God bless,
Amanda

This is being linked up at Tasy Tuesday at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam and Tempt My Tummy Tuesday.

Monday, July 13, 2009

My first REAL CVS Deal!


I did try this one other week but I don't think I got a good deal so I didn't post it. However, this week was different and I am excited about doing this more often.

Now, since I'm new at this I messed one thing up and had to refund. Plus, there were no signs for any of this stuff so it was hard to tell which thing was the ECB's. I'm sure I'll get better at it each time. Signs being up would have helped as well. :)

Here's what I got:
1st transaction:
2 rulers
1 school glue
Pd with 2 ecb's
OOP total- $1.06
earned $2.97 ecb's


2nd transaction:
3 pks of 8pk pens
pd $2.97 in ecb's
OOP total $0
earned $2.97 in ecb's


3rd Transaction:
scissors
pd with $2.97 ecb's
OOP total- $0.02
earned $2.99 in ecb's


4th Transaction:
scissors
pd. $2.99 ecbs
OOP total- $0
earned $2.97 in ecb's


5th transaction:
3 1 subject notebooks
pd 2.97 in ecb's
OOP total- $0
earned $2.97 in ecb's


6th transaction:
1 5 subject notebook
school glue
pd $2.97 in ecb's
OOP total- $2.29
earned $3.99 in ecb's


7th transaction:
gain detergent 50oz
pd. $3.99 in ecb's
OOP total- $2.20
earned $2.00 in ecb's


So in all I spent $5.57 for all of that. Plus $2 ecb's to use later. I was pretty impressed!

I did do all of the transactions seperate to maximize my savings and to prevent much from being spent out of pocket. The cashier was very friendly and happy to do so. I just moved out of the way whenever someone came to check out and then would go again after them. They weren't very busy so it worked out well. Can't wait for some more good deals!

Lowes Build and Grow Kids Clinic


On Saturday, I took the boys to Lowes for the Build and Grow clinic. We were supposed to all go but hubby and daughter were very tired and stayed home.

The boys had a great time! They built a pirate treasure chest. It was so much fun and we'll definitely be going to the next clinic they have.

I highly recommend these clinics. Check with your local Lowes and see what they have going on. And make sure to get there a little extra early on the day of the clinic. They only have 50 kits each time and once they're gone, they're gone. They were out by 10:30am and it started at 10am. And best of all, it's free!

Making use of leftovers


When I made the pork fried won tons, I had bought a whole pork loin because they were on sale for $1.49 a pound. I put two meals of chops in the freezer. Then used one pound and had them grind it for the won tons. Then I roasted the rest in the crockpot. We had it for dinner that night and then ate it for lunch a couple of times.

Then one night for dinner, my husband wanted quesadillas. Now my husband is the king of picky with our youngest son coming in right behind him. So he just had chicken and cheese on his. Our 6 year old had his that way too. But my daughter and I decided to do something different. Why not use pork?

Pork and sauteed onion quesadillas
leftover pork (I used probably 1/2 a cup or so, shredded or chunked
one vidalia onion, quartered and sliced
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp fajita seasoning (I use McCormick)
colby and monterey jack shredded cheese
4 tortillas
butter

Start heating pan over medium heat. Add about a tablespoon or two of butter in the pan. I always try to use as little fat as possible when sauteeing things. You can be as generous as you like. Saute onions in pan until carmelized. Then add pork to the pan, (I also added maybe 2 tbsp of the pork broth that was in the container to give it moisture. Add seaonings. Heat throughly.

Place mixture in a bowl and wipe out skillet. Melt a small amount of butter in the skillet and lay your first tortilla down in the pan. I like to put a little cheese, then some of the pork mixture and then more cheese. It seems to help it stay together more. Then top with another tortilla. Let that side get golden brown, then flip it. I find using an extra large spatula/turner helps.

Remove from the pan when it's golden brown on the other side and slice. I find usuing a pizza cutter to be very handy!

Serve with whatever sides you like. Or by itself. I served it with tomatoes with cilantro and sour cream.

This was a yummy way to help use up some of that pork!

Happy eating!
God bless,
Amanda

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Mini-Burgers or Sliders


These are so cute! I love little burgers like this and what kid doesn't? The direct sales company that I work for had a recipe for these and while I didn't use that recipe (didn't have the ingredients on hand), I made my own version.

I wanted mine pretty thin, so I used a very large jelly roll sheet pan. I ended up with 24 burgers. Very yummy!

Homemade Sliders
24 ct mini burger buns (mine were made my Lewis Bakeries, I think the same people who do bunny bread. I found them at Kroger)
2.75-3 pounds of ground beef
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1-2tsp season salt (I basically just eye ball this, just do it to your preference)
sliced cheese
dill pickles
mustard
whatever other toppings you might want (onions, tomato, mushrooms, etc)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, mix meat, Worcestershire sauce and season salt together. In a large jelly roll pan, pat out the meat to cover the entire surface. Sprinkle a little extra season salt on top.




Place in oven and bake for about 20-25 minutes (you can start checking at around 15 minutes, it will all depend on thickness and how your oven cooks).


Remove from oven when done and slice into 24 squares. Assemble burgers and you're done! Very quick and easy!

Happy eating!
God bless,
Amanda

This is linked to The Grocery Cart Challenge Recipe Swap.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Cow Appreciation Day




Today was cow appreciation day at Chick Fil A. If you dress like a cow, you get free food! So what's a litte humilation for some free food, right? LOL

We went tonight. I got a picture of us before we left the house. Husband refused to dress up. :) Once we got there, my husband and I start laughing so hard. I think he was a little embarrassed to be seen with us! LOL

I decided to go late. We got there at 9pm. I'm thinking, they won't be busy. Well there was quite a few customers in there. None of them were dressed up. So our daughter started getting embarrassed and then our 6 year old did too. The youngest just really didn't mind. LOL

Some younger guys were in there and started asking about the cow appreciation day. They didn't have any cow stuff on but the employees said that they could run around the restaurant, flapping their arms and mooing. That would get them a free milkshake. Okay, I thought it was embarrassing to be dressed like a cow but I'll take dressing like one over that any day! And they did it!


I couldn't convince them to take a group picture at the restuarant but thankfully got one before we left. I did have my husband take a picture of us eating our free food! Well all except little monkey who wanted to play instead. LOL They had removed their spots before they started eating.

I think we'll definitely do this again next year. There was really no cost, except the paper I used. We ended up receiving about $20 or so of free food. That's a good deal to me!

How many of you particpated? Would love to see your pictures!

God bless,
Amanda

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Bargain Meal of the Week- Food Lion

Bargain Meal of the Week

Click on the image to go find your Bargain Meal of the Week!


Welcome to the Bargain Meal of the Week. I am enjoying this and hope you all are too. Check out even more great recipes and bargains at $5 Dinners!

Food Lion's ad is available online so be sure to check your local ad.

This week they have bone-in chicken breast on sale for .87/pound. I plan on going and stocking up.

Meal #1
I don't have a recipe for this but I think what I'd like to do is get some white potaoes they have on sale (5lb bag for $2.99) and a pound of green beans ($1.49/lb).
Wash and cut up 2.5 pounds of white potatoes and layer them on the bottom of the crockpot. Wash and trim the green beans and layer those in also. Salt and pepper a bit. Then top with 4-6 chicken breasts (little more salt and pepper). I think I'd be tempted to add about 1/2 cup-1 cup of liquid but I don't think you'd have to.

2.5 pounds potatoes $1.49
1 pound of green beans $1.49
2 pounds of chicken $1.74

Entire meal for $4.72
(you could also add a salad and/or rolls to it but it would increase the cost, not by much)

This sounds really good so I am going to try to make it this week.

Meal #2
These Restaurant Style Chicken Nachos sound really yummy to use that chicken in. You can't beat .87/lb!

Restaurant Style Chicken Nachos

2 cloves garlic, crushed
6 green onions, sliced, white parts and tops separated
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 shredded, cooked, whole chicken breast
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup salsa
1/2 (12 ounce) package tortilla chips
1 (8 ounce) package shredded Cheddar/Monterey Jack cheese blend
1/2 large tomato, diced

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. In a 12 inch skillet over medium heat, cook and stir the garlic and white parts of the green onions in canola oil until tender. Mix in shredded chicken, salt and pepper. Toss until well coated with oil. Stir in the salsa.
3. Arrange tortilla chips on a large baking sheet. Spoon the chicken mixture over tortilla chips. Top with Cheddar/Monterey Jack cheese blend and tomato. Bake in the preheated oven 10 minutes, or until cheese has melted. Remove from heat and sprinkle with green onion tops before serving.


There are endless possibilities with those chicken breasts. You could also cook them up in a large batch and remove the meat from the bones. Then package and freeze. Then you have cooked chicken ready for you whenever you need it!

Come back next week to see what meals I find for Food Lion!
Happy eating!
God bless,
Amanda

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Love my crockpot!

I love my crockpot! I have had a crockpot for years and never really used it.That is until I tasted a boston butt pork roast that my friend cooked in hers. It was so tender and yummy! I couldn't believe that's what happened in a crockpot! So I decided I was going to dig out my crockpot and make one too. I made a boston butt pork roast in mine and it was really good. I do my roasts in there if I can. I never want to put another roast in the oven!

Last night I cooked a pork loin in there (on sale for $1.49/lb!). It turned out so yummy and just so tender. It was delicious!

And one of the best parts, it didn't heat up my house! Which is wonderful during the summer. I got my electric bill yesterday and was shocked how much it jumped from last month's. It was way more than we had planned for so any savings in electricity is very good!

I have to admit, I haven't tried much other than roasting meats in it. I'd like to try some other recipes in my crockpot since I now love it so much! What are your favorite crockpot recipes? I'd love to have new ones to try!

Happy eating!
God bless,
Amanda

Saturday, July 4, 2009

'Ohana Night

One of our favorite meals at Disney World last year was 'Ohana. It was at the Polynesian Resort and it was very yummy. We had a wonderful seat right next to the window that night and had a great view of the nightly fireworks. It was really awesome. So we decided to recreate that meal at home.



First up we have Terryaki Chicken and steak tips. Now at 'Ohana, they serve everything off these skewers and everything is grilled but we don't have a grill right now. I cooked the chicken in the oven with bottled marinade on it. They don't have terryiaki chicken but I thought since we weren't grilling it would add additional flavor. For the steak tips, I put a little oil in the pan and dry the tips, then flip them over. I let them cook for a bit and then I add about a cup of beef stock and let them simmer until the liquid has evaporated. I used eye of round because it was on sale and it turned out very tender!



Next up is the Pork Fried Wontons. They were so yummy! It was my first time making wontons. It is a more lenghty process but they end result was very yummy! We could hardly stop eating them!

Here's the recipe for those. I didn't use the scallions or the water chestnuts. I used more like a teaspoon of filling on each. So I had a bit of meat leftover. I used my Lodge Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven to fry in and I think that helped hold heat well. I fried anywhere between 6-9 at a time.

Fried Pork Dumplings

Ingredients
12 1/3 ounces ground pork
3 green onions, sliced thinly (scallions)
3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
5 water chestnuts, chopped (optional)
1 egg, well beaten
45 wonton wrappers
oil (enough to deep fry the dumplings)


Directions
Place the pork mince, green onions, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, water chestnuts and egg into a bowl. Stir until combined.

Lay a wonton wrapper on a flat surface and brush a little water around the edge of the wrapper.

Place 2 teaspoons of the pork mixture in the middle of the wrapper. Fold over to enclose the filling in a trangle shape and pinch the edges together to seal. Repeat with the remaining mixture and wonton wrappers.

NOTE:Make sure you pinch the dumplings well.
If air is in the wrapper, when they are deep fried, they will open up.
Heat the oil in a pan, and deep fry the dumpling till golden brown (NOTE: Do not put too many in at once, the heat of the oil will drop too drastically).



'Ohana serves a Peanut Sauce so I found a recipe online for that. This sauce was very yummy! Even my husband loved it and he's very picky. We served it with the Won Tons. I made half a recipe.

Peanut Dipping Sauce
'Ohana Polynesian Resort

Yield: 2 quarts

Ingredients

1 oz. garlic in oil
1 teaspoon Thai curry paste
16 oz. soy sauce
1 1/4 lbs. sugar
14 oz. peanut butter
1 oz. fresh ginger, finely chopped
salt & pepper to taste
chopped green onions & peanuts for garnish

Method:

1. In a medium saucepan, lightly saute' garlic in a small amount of oil.
Stir in curry paste. Add soy sauce and bring to a simmer.

2. Add sugar and stir until dissolved. Add remaining ingredients and
continue to stir. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Remove from heat and chill.

4. Serve in bowls for dipping garnished with chopped green onions and
peanuts.



Then I made Stir Fried Noodles. I ended up just adding broccoli to these. I also forgot to get pineapple so I left that off. They were really yummy. I used a yellow pepper because I like them better and subbed linguine for the udon noodles. These were yummy as well.

Stir Fried Noodles
'Ohana Polynesian Resort
Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 teaspoon each, puréed: garlic and ginger
1/4 cup each, julienned: red pepper and pineapple
2 cups cooked udon noodles
Salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon chopped roasted peanuts

Peanut sauce
2 cloves garlic, peeled
2-inch piece ginger, peeled
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup each: soy sauce, sugar and water
1/8 cup diced Spanish onion
1 tablespoon chopped peanuts

Method of Preparation:
1. For sauce, put ingredients in pan. Bring to boil, stirring. Turn heat to simmer, stirring occasionally. Simmer 10 minutes. Remove from heat, pour in blender. Pulse until smooth.

2. For noodles, heat canola oil in wok. Add garlic, ginger, red pepper and pineapple. Stir-fry until red peppers are tender but still firm. Season with salt and pepper. Add noodles. Stir-fry until noodles are heated. Add 1/2 cup peanut sauce to glaze ingredients. Garnish with nuts.


We also made a box of mac'n'cheese for our youngest just in case he wouldn't eat the other things. My husband also requested Hawaiian Rolls for our dinner so I got those. He even arranged some white christmas lights on the wall so that we could dine in the dark with some "candle" light. It was really fun and we had a great time! I think we'll have to do another themed night sometime.


Here's a picture of everything on the table. We used our folding table to kep the food on to give us more room at the dining room table. Sorry for so much foil in the picture but we had to keep everything covered while other things were cooking to keep them warm.




Here we are about to enjoy our meal! We took two pictures so that my husband and I could both be in a picture.

If you want to create your own Disney themed night, I highly recommend checking out AllEars.net's Disney Recipe page.


Happy Eating!
God bless,
Amanda

Happy 4th of July!

I hope you all have a wonderful 4th!

Enjoy your family and friends and take time to think about what an amazing thing history can be! As well as, appreciate those who have served our country so that we can remain the land of the free!

God bless,
Amanda

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Bargain Meal of the Week- Food Lion

Bargain Meal of the Week

Click on the image to go find your Bargain Meal of the Week!


Welcome to the Bargain Meal of the Week. I am enjoying this and hope you all are too. Check out even more great recipes and bargains at $5 Dinners!

Food Lion's ad is available online so be sure to check your local ad.

Using
chicken breasts on sale for $2.45/lb
Bird's Eye frozen Veggies B1G1F (broccoli) ($1.25 a bag)
yellow onions 3lb bag $1.99
Kraft shredded cheese 8oz for $1.99

Chicken Divan

Chicken Divan
3-4 cups cooked chicken, cubed
20 oz frozen broccoli
7 oz fresh mushrooms
8 oz cheddar, shredded
2 Tbsp onion, minced (I use dry minced)
2 Tbsp butter
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup parmesan cheese


Cook broccoli according to directions. In cooking pan, saute mushrooms and onions with butter. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add broth and bring to a boil. Add the cream and boil on med high heat and gradually whisk in mayo. Let it cook for about 4-5 mins until thickened. In a greased 13x9 pan, mix chicken broccoli and cheeses. Pour mushroom sauce over the broccoli mixture and then stir with spoon till well mixed. Sprinkle with cheese if desired. Bake at 350 for 30 mins, covered with tinfoil. Uncover and bake another 10 mins to brown on top.



Come back next week to see what meals I find for Food Lion!
God bless,
Amanda

Fiesta Salad


I made a double recipe of this for our Ladies Home Fellowship last night. We get together once a month and usually have a themed get together. Last night it was hawaiian cruise. Our host, Wendy, did an awesome job turning her back deck into a cruise deck for us. The slight breeze made me really feel like we were in Hawaii. Well, at least I can pretend! :)

Once the sun went down it was totally awesome with lights and candles. Had a great time!

Here's how to make this yummy recipe.

Fiesta Salad

2 cups of corn (last night I used fresh and sauteed it a bit, you can use canned, frozen, etc.)
1 avocado, diced
4 roma tomatoes, diced
1 small vidalia or red onion diced
1/2 tsp lime zest
juice of half a lime
handful of cilantro, chopped
4-6 tbsp of ranch dressing (just use what you want for your desired creaminess)
can of black beans, rinsed and drained
salt and pepper to taste

Just combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix together well.

This yummy and simple recipe definitely Works For Me!

I'm also linking the to Grocery Cart Challenge Recipe Swap.