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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Easy Strawberry Shortcake

1 Can Butter Biscuits
1 Quart Strawberries sliced
1/2 Cup + 2 Tsp White Sugar
1 Pint Heavy Cream

These are so easy, and yes I used canned biscuits because I was feeling lazy!

Slice your strawberries about an hour before you would like to use them. Put 1/2 cup (or more if you like) sugar on top, mix around (they will love you for this) and cover and put in the refrigerator. Then take a metal mixing bowl and put it in the fridge (for your whipped cream later).

Bake your biscuits according to package directions.

To make your Whipped Cream, take your bowl out of the fridge (this will help with your whipped cream). Put 2 tsp sugar in the bowl, add your pint of cream, whip on low for 2 minutes then turn your speed up to medium until medium-stiff peaks form.

To assemble, pull biscuits in half. Take the bottom of one and spoon strawberries on top. Add a dollop of whipped cream, add the top of the biscuit, add more whipped cream and put a cherry *ahem* I mean strawberry on top.

And then, get a fork, sit down and enjoy the yummy goodness that goes into your mouth.

Then finish the rest for the other people that will be eating with you too.

Have a great day and God Bless.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Garlic Bread Biscuits

2 Cups Pioneer Baking Mix
2/3 Cup Milk
1/3 Cup Oil
2 Cloves Minced Garlic

Sometimes I am just not in the mood to make biscuits, meaning putting them in balls ( I don't typically roll them out, I'm more of a drop biscuit kinda girl) and all that. So instead I decided to make it into more of a bread by cooking it in a pan.

Preheat oven to 375*

In a bowl mix together baking mix and milk, using a fork stir until combined.
Spray the bottom of your pan (I used 6 x 9) with Cooking Spray and add the dough to the pan. Spread out so it is evenly distributed.

In a small pot heat 1/3 cup oil over medium low heat. In the mean time mince up 2 cloves of garlic.
Once the oil is warm drop the garlic in and stir for 1-2 minutes until it is smells flavorful. Remove from heat and pour evenly over your dough. Spread it out so that the garlic is easily distributed.

Pop in the oven for about 10-12 minutes or until the top and sides start to brown slightly.

Cut and serve!

This turned out really nicely, nice and light with a great garlic flavor and SO EASY. I'll definitely be making this again.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Healthy Chicken Parmesan BBQ Style

6 - Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
1 Egg , beaten
1/4 cup Milk
1 tsp Black Pepper
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1 1/2 Cup Flaxseed Meal
Barbecue Sauce
Mozzarella Cheese

Ok so many of you have asked for a healthier chicken parm recipe, so here it is. By using Flaxseed Meal you are giving yourselves good fat and taking out a bunch of carbs. By cooking it in the oven and using the broiler at the beginning you take out the frying aspect of normal Chicken Parmesan.

In a small bowl combine your egg, milk, pepper and garlic and beat well. Put your flaxseed meal in a larger seperate bowl.

Start by taking a fork (this will keep your fingers clean!) Take one piece of chicken and dredge it in your egg mixture. Then transfer to the second bowl and cover in flaxseed meal. Place in a 9 x 13 Glass Dish covered in aluminum foil and sprayed with cooking spray. Continue until you have finished all pieces. Then spray pieces with cooking spray.

Turn the oven to a High Broil and then place in the oven (middle/bottom), don't put it too close to the top or you WILL set off the WAY TO SENSITIVE fire alarm multiple times. So don't do that, ok?

Allow them to broil for 3-5 minutes then flip and broil again for 3-5 minutes.

Turn the oven to Bake at 350 and cook for 10-15 minutes more. Check your thickest piece to make sure that it is cooked through.

Remove them from the oven and place 1 Tbsp of BBQ sauce on top and top with Mozzarella Cheese.

Now just remember, flaxseed is NOT going to taste like breadcrumbs. It tastes good, it's just not bread so it's going to taste different. But we really liked it!

Have a great Saturday and God Bless!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Cost of Food

Have you ever checked out the Hillbilly Housewife? If not, you should go, now. She has a whole bunch of ways to save money on things. She sends out great e-mails if you are on her list.

One that I got today had a link showing how much it costs to feed a family or individuals a "Nutritious Diet" in 4 categories: Thrifty, Low-Cost, Moderate Cost and Liberal.

Right now, hubby and I fall just under the Thrify because if you average our monthly out to weekly we would be at $75, the thrifty plan for two people ages 19-50 is $77.50 a week.

Interesting stuff, so check it out and see where you fall!

Look for a healthy Chicken Parmesan Recipe tomorrow (hopefully).

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Free Pace Salsa

Check out this coupon for PACE that I found on the Thrifty Mama Site via the Freebie Blogger.
These are great ways to stay within your budget.

I will for sure be using these. This should allow you to get your pace for FREE!

Go to the site, the coupons will print when you click the link from Thrifty Mama. It will take about a minute to print. You can print anywhere from 10-15 depending on what you are running for your browser.

God Bless and Have a great day!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Oatmeal Scotchies and Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

1/2 Cup Butter softened
1/2 Cup packed Light brown sugar
1 egg
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 cup oats
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup milk
1/3 Cup Butterscotch Chips (use a 1/2 if just making 1 kind )
1/3 Cup Raisins (use a 1/2 if just making 1 kind )

*adapted from my Old Fashioned Cookies Book*

Preheat Oven to 350*

Beat Butter and sugar in a large bowl at medium speed until creamy, add egg and blend lightly.

Mix flour, oats and baking powder into another bowl. Stir in flour mixture and milk into the egg mixture alternating, starting and ending with the flour mixture.

Split Dough in half into two bowls. Well you don't have to do this, but hubby doesn't like butterscotch. I LOVE butterscotch. So I made him oatmeal raisin and myself oatmeal scotchies).

Stir in your chips or raisins.

Drop by rounded teaspoon onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 12-15 minutes until lightly golden brown.

This made about 2 1/2 dozen.

These aren't my normal recipe, I think I like my other one better but, that's what I get for trying another one. They are still good, but I like mine a little more oatmealy and a little more gooey.
Have a great monday and God Bless!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Peanut Butter Cookies

1/2 Cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 Cup white sugar
3/4 Cups Peanut butter (creamy)
1/2 Cup butter (1 stick)
3 Tablespoons milk
1 Tablespoon Vanilla
1 egg
1 3/4 Cups all purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
Green Decorating sugar
**adapted from my Old Fashioned Cookies Book ***

Makes 2 Dozen Cookies

Heat oven to 375*

In a large bowl combine brown sugar, white sugar, peanut butter, butter, milk and vanilla. Mix at medium speed until well blended. Add your egg and mix until just combined.

Add flour, baking soda and salt while mixing on low speed.

Roll 1 tbsp of mix into a ball and place on a foiled baking sheet.
Continue until you have finished all the dough. Leave 1 1/2 inches apart on cookie sheet. With a fork press down with a criss cross pattern.

Then shake some decorating sugar on top (it was close to St. Patty's day). You don't NEED the sugar. ;)

Bake one sheet at a time for 7-9 minutes. Don't do like I did and FORGET that they were in there for your 2nd tray. It will make you sad. But it will make you happy that putting them in the microwave for 30 seconds makes them edible.

Enjoy, have a great Saturday and God Bless!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Corned Beef and Hash


1 Corned Beef Roast (2.5 lbs)
2 Russet Potatoes (chopped small)
1 Large Yellow Onion (Chopped Small)
1 Tbsp Black Pepper
1/2 Stick Butter
1/4 Cup Whipping Cream

Heat your oven to 300*, place roast wrapped in aluminum foil in a baking dish. Cook 1 Hour per pound or until fork tender. I cooked mine 3 Hours. After letting it rest for 15+ shave off the fatty side (well that's what I do) I'm grossed out by fat, so I just lop it off. Then cut it into bite sized pieces for the hash.

Heat a BIG skillet and put your potatoes in there, covered with water. Cover, bring to a boil, then turn to medium low and cook for 5-6 minutes. Then drain.

Wipe out the pan, then add 1/2 stick butter and melt. Add the onions and cook 5 minutes. Then add the potatoes, pepper, cream and corned beef and mix it all up. Continue to cook on medium, covered for 10 minutes each side to brown it all up nice.

Pair with Green Beer and serve!

Hubby and I really enjoyed this, it's a nice meal to have once a year.

Happy St. Patrick's Day and God Bless.

Monday, March 16, 2009

What would you like to see?

Ok followers, here's your chance, tell me what you'd like to see me make!
I'm always up for trying new things and staying frugal so leave a comment and give me some ideas!

Ready, GO!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

How to Hard Boil Eggs

12 Large Eggs

Ok now if I was thinking when I was doing this I would have taken a picture of a pretty hard-boiled egg, but I was making food for my hubby to take on his trip so clearly I was not thinking. So no, I don't have a picture.

Here are some tricks for how to hard boil an egg.

1. Eggs should be at room temperature. This is so when you put them into hot boiling water that they don't crack (hopefully)
2. Bring water to a boil (enough to cover all the eggs once they are in there)
3. Using 2 spoons, put the egg in between and slowly lower and place (not drop) your eggs into the water.
4. Continue to boil on a heat of 8/9 for 12 minutes
5. Drain out the hot water into the sink
6. Run Cold water over top and allow to sit for 3 minutes or so in the pan.
7. Drain that water, put more cold water in and then place in the refrigerator for at least 10 minutes.

(this was a very sad moment because see the egg by the handle that is turned the opposite way? Well it decided it didn't like what was going on, so it jumped into the sink and into the garbage disposal before I could catch him, good bye little egg)

Now here is how to peel an egg, which used to be a big pain in the rear until I figured out how to do it.
1. Take your egg and crack it onto a plate (long ways) then roll it around until it is all cracked (see video 1)
2. Then pull on one side of the shell while holding the other side. This should peel off a big chunk, then continue to pull off the egg shell, it should come off in a wrapping fashion (see video 2)

Then you are all done!

Look for some egg salad later in the week!

Have a great Monday and God Bless!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Kick'n Pork Loin

3 lb Pork Loin
Weber- Kick'n Chicken Seasoning
1 Cup Chicken Stock

Thursday is typically crockpot night as you know. I took my pork loin. Cut it in half and placed it in the crock pot. Then I put 1/3 Cup seasoning onto the top of the loin. Then add 1 Cup Chicken Stock.

Cook on Low for 6-7 hours.

Have a great day and God Bless! Look for some St. Patty's day recipes and fun stuff over the next week!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Dilly Porkchops

6 Pork Chops
1/2 Cup Canola Oil
1 T Season Salt
1 tsp Dill Weed

These turned out simply fabulous and were SO easy.

I used my grill pan (which I heart). I pre-heated it up to 8 so that I could sear the chops.

Combine oil and spices in a bowl. Put all the pork chops in there and get 'em nice and coated.
Then place in the hot pan and sear for about 5 minutes each side. They should be a nice color and have some nice grill marks by the time you flip them. Then turn the heat down to medium and cook for another 10 minutes or so.

That's it. Now c'mon could it REALLY get any easier than that?

These really blew me away, I forget how much I like dill and with the pork it was just right. Searing makes the juices stay in the meat so these were very very moist. Hubby was equally impressed with how they came out.

So for those of you looking for a simple recipe. There is one!

Have a great night and God Bless!

Creamy Potato and Bean Soup

3 Medium Red Potatoes- Chopped
2 Carrots- Sliced
3 Cloves Garlic- Minced
1 Medium Onion- Sliced
3 Tbsp Canola Oil
1 -16 oz Can- Diced Tomatoes
1- 10 oz Can- Original Rotel (Tomatoes and green chilies)
1 Can Red Kidney Beans (Rinsed)
1 1/2 Tbsp Black Pepper
1 Tsp Salt
7 Cups Chicken Broth ( I used a leftover piece of chicken and boiled it to death, it worked ;) )
1 Cup Milk
1 Tbsp Cornstarch
Sour Cream to top.

Makes:5-6 large bowls

So since I've been fighting off a cold, I came home today from work and decided I wanted to make a homemade soup. It hit the spot. had some good spice to it and was creamy but not thick (If you want to make it thicker add more cornstarch).

Chop, Slice and Dice all of your fresh ingredients.

Put a Large Saucepot over Medium heat. Add the Canola oil and then add your onions to the pot. When they start to get slightly translucent add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then add your carrots and potatoes and mix all together allowing them to be coated in the oil. Then add your pepper and salt.
Now add your chicken stock, tomatoes, rotel and kidney beans and cook for about 45 minutes until potatoes and carrots are tender. Then dissolve 1 Tbsp Cornstarch into 1 Cup of milk and stir until combined. Take your pot off of the burner and add the Cornstarch/Milk and stir together. Put the pot back on the heat and bring back to a boil. Stir it up again.

turn it down to low until you are ready to serve. Add a dollop of sour cream when serving.

This turned out very nicely, hubby ate 2 big bowls and I had a nice big one as well. The rotel added some nice heat (which helped my stuffy nose ;) ) and the sour cream gave it a creamy texture and make the heat nice and smooth. Definitely worth giving a try!

Have a great day and God Bless!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Homemade Macaroni and Cheese

I'll be the first one to tell you that I've never like homemade mac and cheese. I'd prefer the stuff in the blue box any day. Well until this day. This was great and was super easy. For the basic recipe I used this from the food network and then made my changes from there. It turned out great!

Truth be told I was a bit under the weather the day I planned to make this so my dear hubby told me I was not going to do the cooking (I've got a wonderful man I know!) So he was gracious enough to let me sit next to him in the kitchen and let him know the steps to making the mac and cheese!
He did great and it's nice to cook with him.

1 1/2 bags of pasta ( we used penne and tri colored noodles)
2 Tbsp Butter
2 Tbsp Flour
2 Cups Milk
2 Cups + 1/2 Cup Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1/3 Cup Parmesan Cheese
1 tsp Black Pepper
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Onion Powder
1/2 cup Sour Cream

Serves: 8-10 as a side, 6 as a meal.

Preheat oven to 350*

Boil your pasta for about 10 minutes so it is cooked just slightly less than Al Dente since you are going to put it into the oven later. Then drain it and toss it with a few tablespoons of butter in the pan so that it doens't stick together. You will thank me later.

In a medium sauce pan, melt your butter over medium heat. When melted add your flour to make a roux (see picture below). Once it is golden brown add your 2 cups of milk. Cook on medium until it starts to become thick, this will take a while (6+ minutes) but you have to keep stirring so yummy stuff doesn't get stuck to the bottom of your pan. This will not make you happy if this happens.
Now you are going to add your seasonings while it is thickening. Add your pepper, onion powder, salt and garlic powder (you can add whatever you like, this was what we decided to add). And keep stirring.

Yup, keep stirring I said. This is my dear hubby, still stirring, and stirring. He's looking like he's having fun huh? He was ;)
Ok now you aren't done stirring yet. Once it is starting to get thicker you are going to add your 2 cups of cheese, 1/2 Cup of Sour Cream and your 1/3 Cup of Parmesan. It's ok to drool, we were about there at this point. I'm saying to him that I think I'll actually like this homemade mac and cheese, sweet.

(hubby wanted his hand in the picture with the finished cheese sauce)

Now you are going to spray the bottom of a 13 x 9 glass pan and dump your buttered pasta in there. Now pour that beautiful sauce on top and toss so that it is coated with cheese. Now stick it in the oven, but really 5-10 min is all you need. No more or you will start to have a dry, sticky mac and cheese and who likes that?
Pull it out when it's done and top with your last 1/2 cup of Sharp Cheddar and voila. You're done!
We took this to a pot luck dinner and got lots of great comments on it and even I the blue box loving mac and cheese lady liked it. It's definitely a keeper and so easy that we will definitely make again.

Hope you are having a great weekend and God Bless!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

How to Blanche Broccoli

How to Blanche Broccoli ....or any vegetable for that matter.

This is such an easy thing to do and produces wonderfully tender yet crisp vegetables.

This will also help to keep many of the vitamins and minerals in the vegetables, which is part of what we are looking for right?

Ok now you will probably think that I'm weird after I type this but broccoli is one of my favorite foods, it's definitely in my top 10. I could eat it almost every day. Not. Kidding. I love it. Ok, now onto the cooking.

Start with a medium sized pot filled halfway to two-thirds with water. Add some salt, about 1 tsp.

Now, cover and allow to boil, and I mean boil, hard. So walk away and come back when you hear the steam. This is not the kind where you push down on the lid to get it to boil quicker. This is a nice rolling boil. It should look like this.

Now before it gets to that beautiful boil, take your broccoli and cut it into florets. if there are some bigger ones and you would like them smaller then just cut them in half. It's really up to you. These are mine.

Now, it's time to put them into the water. Just drop them in and push them down so that they are all in the water. Since that's what's cooking it you are going to need to get it all covered.

Now cook for only 1-2 minutes. No more. You don't want the water to turn green which means that all of those wonderful vitamins and minerals are escaping into the water that you will throw away. And that is bad. You can tell when it is time to take them out when they turn a vibrant green.

Then, remove them from the heat and pour into strainer. Shake off excess water.

To finish, I usually just top with Salt and Pepper. Or with some butter depending on my mood.

Have a great day and God Bless!