Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Monday, January 28, 2008

Turkey Noodle Soup.


Best. Soup. Ever. The end.

No, but seriously, I've never liked broth-y soups and I've never even tried chicken noodle soup. This soup though... amazing.

I got the recipe from Elly Says Opa! and it's supposed to be chicken noodle but I had turkey breasts. I also left out the celery (it's hated in this household) and added extra carrots but everything else was perfect.

I'm actually in the process of making another pot for my lunches this week. But this time I'm leaving out the meat and adding a ton of carrots. Yum!



Have I ever mentioned my love of Weight Watchers magazine? I've been buying it since I was 18 because I love the success stories and the recipes usually sound so good. I tend to clip out their recipes and then worry that Spencer won't like them since they're "diet" food but with this one I knew he'd enjoy it.

Mine got a little burnt... I left them in much longer than the recipe says because the tops weren't getting golden so that's the bottoms you see in the picture. They were still awesome though.

I served it with my beloved mexican rice.

from Weight Watchers magazine

Preheat oven to 400. Brown 1/2 pound ground turkey and 1/2 onion, chopped, in a nonstick skillet. Add 1 tablespoon tomato paste, 2 teaspoons chili powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt; cook 2 minutes. Cool. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray. Brush edges of 30 wonton wrappers with egg white. Spoon 1 tablespoon filling into the center of each; fold in half and press to seal. Place empanadas on sheet. Bake 8 minutes.

Daring Bakers Challenge.


This month I participated in my first Daring Bakers challenge. I asked to join back in the middle of December and anxiously awaited that first assignment. I had so much fun and can't wait to see what the next challenge is!

So anyway... this month was hosted by Jen of The Canadian Baker and she chose lemon meringue pie.


The pie was done in three parts: crust, lemon curd, and meringue. There wasn't a particular difficult part about it but it was time consuming and I loved every minute of it.

I didn't expect to like the pie because I always tell myself that I don't like lemons (what kinda person doesn't like lemons?!) and meringue has always sort of scared me, but I really enjoyed this pie. I even had *gasp* two pieces.


Lemon Meringue Pie
From Wanda’s Pie in the Sky by Wanda Beaver

Makes one 10-inch (25 cm) pie

For the Crust:

¾ cup (180 mL) cold butter; cut into ½-inch (1.2 cm) pieces

2 cups (475 mL) all-purpose flour

¼ cup (60 mL) granulated sugar

¼ tsp (1.2 mL) salt

⅓ cup (80 mL) ice water

For the Filling:

2 cups (475 mL) water

1 cup (240 mL) granulated sugar

½ cup (120 mL) cornstarch

5 egg yolks, beaten

¼ cup (60 mL) butter

¾ cup (180 mL) fresh lemon juice

1 tbsp (15 mL) lemon zest

1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla extract

For the Meringue:

5 egg whites, room temperature

½ tsp (2.5 mL) cream of tartar

¼ tsp (1.2 mL) salt

½ tsp (2.5 mL) vanilla extract

¾ cup (180 mL) granulated sugar

For the Crust: Make sure all ingredients are as cold as possible. Using a food processor or pastry cutter and a large bowl, combine the butter, flour, sugar and salt. Process or cut in until the mixture resembles coarse meal and begins to clump together. Sprinkle with water, let rest 30 seconds and then either process very briefly or cut in with about 15 strokes of the pastry cutter, just until the dough begins to stick together and come away from the sides of the bowl. Turn onto a lightly floured work surface and press together to form a disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least 20 minutes.

Allow the dough to warm slightly to room temperature if it is too hard to roll. On a lightly floured board (or countertop) roll the disk to a thickness of ⅛ inch (.3 cm). Cut a circle about 2 inches (5 cm) larger than the pie plate and transfer the pastry into the plate by folding it in half or by rolling it onto the rolling pin. Turn the pastry under, leaving an edge that hangs over the plate about ½ inch (1.2 cm). Flute decoratively. Chill for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Line the crust with foil and fill with metal pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Carefully remove the foil and continue baking for 10 to 15 minutes, until golden. Cool completely before filling.

For the Filling: Bring the water to a boil in a large, heavy saucepan. Remove from the heat and let rest 5 minutes. Whisk the sugar and cornstarch together. Add the mixture gradually to the hot water, whisking until completely incorporated.

Return to the heat and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until the mixture comes to a boil. The mixture will be very thick. Add about 1 cup (240 mL) of the hot mixture to the beaten egg yolks, whisking until smooth. Whisking vigorously, add the warmed yolks to the pot and continue cooking, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil. Remove from the heat and stir in butter until incorporated. Add the lemon juice, zest and vanilla, stirring until combined. Pour into the prepared crust. Cover with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming on the surface, and cool to room temperature.

For the Meringue: Preheat the oven to 375ºF (190ºC). Using an electric mixer beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar, salt and vanilla extract until soft peaks form. Add the sugar gradually, beating until it forms stiff, glossy peaks. Pile onto the cooled pie, bringing the meringue all the way over to the edge of the crust to seal it completely. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden. Cool on a rack. Serve within 6 hours to avoid a soggy crust.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

A big thank you!

I want to give a big thanks to Heather at Freebies 4 Mom.

A few days ago I was lucky to be one of the first people to email her about getting a Pledge coupon and rebate. I got them in the mail today and I'm super excited to put them to use!

So go check her website out if you're interested in freebies, samples, coupons, rebates, everything related to saving money on things you buy everyday!

Moonpie Bread Pudding.

It's Mardi Gras time again!

And I actually get to participate this year! Last year I was a week away from giving birth so I decided it probably wasn't the best idea to drag my pregnant ass downtown for the parades. Especially since I was hoping and wishing for a Mardi Gras baby. But this year... oh this year...

For anyone who doesn't know, Mardi Gras was started here. Yes, right here in Mobile, Alabama. According to my free copy of Zalea magazine, in 1866 a man named Joseph Cain dressed himself in Chickasaw "Indian" (in honor of them never being defeated in the just ended war) clothing on Fat Tuesday and decided to call himself Chief Slacabamorinico. He decorated a wagon pulled by a mule and he and his friends went through the streets celebrating in front of the remaining union soldiers.

Now, 142 years later, we honor Joe Cain on the Sunday before Mardi Gras which is, of course, known as Joe Cain day. And throughout the year, you can't go by Joe Cain's grave without seeing beads and black roses surrounding it.


To kick off Mardi Gras, the best friend and I decided to make moonpie bread pudding. Megan saw our local weatherman make it a few days ago and immediately asked if we could attempt it. The recipe was crazy big and I ended up using three big dishes to hold it all. Now I have no idea what to do with all this bread pudding!


Ignore my dirty dish. I learned today that bread pudding isn't fun to clean.


Moonpie Bread Pudding
from the local news website

10 Double Stack Moon Pies, or 15 Regular Moon Pies (any flavor), diced
1 loaf french bread, small diced
15 Eggs
32oz. Whole Milk
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground clove
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 stick butter

In one bowl, combine eggs, milk and seasonings. In a separate bowl, combine bread and moon pies. Pour liquid ingredients over bread and gently fold to combine. Butter baking dishes and divide mixture evenly between the two. Refridgerate for an hour and a half. Cube butter and distribute evenly over top of each dish. Bake in a water bath at 350 degrees uncovered for 45 minutes, or until toothpick stuck in the center comes out clean. Serve with a traditional bread pudding sauce (use your leftover Mardi Gras whiskey!).

I'd like the world to know that banana moonpies still rock my world.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Meal Plan Monday.


I basically sucked at last week's meal plan. I never even got around to the spaghetti or the chicken and rice. I'll get around to them eventually I'm sure.

Monday: Leftovers

Tuesday: Chicken Spaghetti

Wednesday: Empanadas and Mexican rice

Thursday: Cubed steak with gravy and mashed potatoes

Friday: Leftovers.

Saturday: Turkey Noodle Soup.

Sunday: Out.

There's more MPM over at I'm an Organizing Junkie!

Stuffed Shells.


Yes, we like cheese. A lot.

I'm afraid this is going to become a regular dinner in our house. Spencer ate it for lunch and dinner the day I made it and then requested that I make it again soon.

The recipe came from Two Novice Chefs. I used ground turkey and made my own marinara sauce but left everything else the same.

I think this is one of those dishes that just about anyone would like. I mean, the shells are like a bunch of tiny lasagnas. Or something.

Apricot Lambchops and Mushroom Orzo.

I've gotten in this really bad habit of not eating what I cook which is why there hasn't been a blog spot in a few days. I just get so tired of looking at whatever I'm cooking so by the end, I don't even want to taste it.

I decided to post this even though I didn't try to lambchops. Spencer said they were amazing and had no problem eating both of the lambchops that I made. I did try the orzo and I didn't like it at all. I think it could be good with a little doctoring but I doubt I try it again.


The lambchop recipe came from Cooking Light. I used two big lamchops instead of 8 but left the sauce the same because I didn't feel like dealing with it. The sauce ended up being just enough for the bigger chops.

The orzo recipe came from a lovely book called America's Favorite Brand Name Old-Fashioned Favorites. Oh yeah, it's one of those. You know... a bunch of brands get together and put out a cookbook so you'll use their product in the recipes. But I had really good luck with this book once so I figured I'd have another success.

No such luck. It was super bland. I ended up adding a ton of salt and pepper at the end just to make it edible. I must say that Spencer loved it and ate all the leftovers for lunch the next day. But he's a weirdo.

So that's my disclaimer on this recipe.

Mushroom Orzo
from America's Favorite Brand Name Old-Fashioned Favorites

2 tablespoons butter
1 clover garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups uncooked orzo
1 envelope Lipton Onion Soup Mix
3 1/4 cups water
6 ounces white mushrooms, sliced

In a 3-quart heavy saucepan, melt butter over medium heat and cook garlic with orzo, stirring constantly, 2 1/2 minutes or until golden. Stir in onion soup mix blended with water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, 10 minutes. Add mushrooms; do not stir. Simmer, covered, 10 minutes. Place in serving bowl. Let stand 10 minutes.

Thursday, January 17, 2008


This recipe has been circulating around my parenting board so it was only a matter of time before I tried it. I'll admit... I didn't expect to like it. Beans and meat are generally too... thick(?) for me. But it was really good! We won't discuss how many I ate last night...



1 pkg tortilla wraps
1 lb boneless chicken (I used ground turkey)
1 small can goya tomato sauce
1 pkg shredded mexican cheese blend
1 can red kidney beans (Used refried)
1 can corn (I still can't stomach left out)
1 pkg Sazon (Left out because I'm not really sure what it is)
1 tbsp Adobo

Slice chicken into thin strips. Put chicken, tomato sauce, beans, corn, sazon, adobo in fry pan. Cook about 20 minutes until chicken is done. Warm up tortillas and put filling in tortilla and add cheese. Fold and roll and put in baking pan. Use toothpicks to hold together if needed. Sprinkle rest of cheese on top. Bake 350 for 30-35 minutes. Serve with rice and sour cream.

I made the amazing Mexican rice to go with it. I think the burritos would actually be good with the rice mixed into the beans and chicken. I may try that one day.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Meal Plan Monday.


I look forward to Meal Plan Monday every week now. I do all my shopping on Sunday afternoon/night so MPM forces me to sit down and plan my week a little bit.

Monday: Spencer will have leftover Cheesy Chicken Fondue Casserole. I'll have a Lean Cuisine or cereal.

Tuesday: Stuffed Shells and Olive Cheese Bread

Wednesday: Apricot Lambchops, orzo, and a salad.

Thursday: Buritos and mexican rice.

Friday: Zesty Spaghetti.

Saturday: Out.

Sunday: Chicken and rice.

For more MPM, check out I'm an Organizing Junkie.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

More Pioneer Woman Recipes.

I guess this week was Pioneer Woman week for me because today's dinner was recipe number 3 from her.


My crappy picture does not do The Marlboro Man Sandwich justice. Spencer was practically pulled the plate away as I was trying to take a picture. So why didn't I just take a picture of my sandwich? Because I chose to pile the steak and onion on a place and eat it with my fingers. I did. And it was amazing.


This one is her Chicken Spaghetti. As soon as Spencer took his first bite, he told me he would like to eat this atleast once a month. I'm not a casserole person but I think I, too, could eat this once a month.

My only beef with the casserole was the "veggies". I can't stand the texture of peppers or onions so it was too much for me. I used only half an onion and half a bell pepper but it still made my stomach turn when I'd crunch into one. So next time I'll either leave them out completely or saute them a little before adding them.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

BBQ Chicken Pizza.

Spencer and I ate this entire pizza. Within 15 minutes. I'm not even joking. It made me start thinking about what I'm going to have to do once Landon starts eating everything we do. Am I going to make two pizza? Or give up on my homemade pizzas and start ordering the biggest pizza I can find? Geez. Why do boys eat so much?


Growing up we didn't eat a lot of pizza but when we did we'd get the BBQ chicken pizza from Papa John's with the pineapple. Mmm. So good, but I don't know if they have it anymore. I decided to make something similar tonight, minus the pineapple because I didn't know if Spencer would pitch a fit about it.


BBQ Chicken Pizza

refrigerated pizza crust
2 cups cooked and shredded chicken
1 cup BBQ sauce
1 cup mozzarella
thinly sliced red onions (I only put it on Spencer's part)

Prebake the pizza crust according to package instructions.

Spread a light layer of BBQ sauce over crust. Mix the rest of the sauce with the chicken. Spread over crust. Add onions. Sprinkle mozzarella over top. Bake 8 - 10 more minutes until crust in browned and cheese is melted.

Wordless Wednesday.

Just a cute picture.

Wordless Wednesday.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Baked Ziti and Olive Cheese Bread.

My new goal is to update my blog on the nights I actually cook instead of waiting until I have time to do an entire week at once. So far, so good.

I made my baked ziti tonight. It was just as good as the first time I made it. I really love the sour cream and provolone... it's a nice change from the super heavy ricotta mixture that I put in my lasagna. Spencer ate two huge plates, and blamed it on the fact that Landon was helping him eat it. My eyes are rolling incase you were wondering.


I made olive cheese bread to go with it. You'll notice that mine's not nearly as pretty as Ree's, partly because Ree is just amazing and everything she does is perfect. But partly because Spencer and I both hate green olives. And Spencer would like you to know that he especially hates green olives stuffed with pimentos. Once again, my eyes are rolling. I also forgot to add the green onions which I specifically bought for this. Urgh... don't you hate when that happens? $1.18 down the drain.


Okay, so I obviously made it using only black olives but it turned out delicious. I'm not a huge fan of black olives because they have a weird metallic taste that kinda freaks me out but I couldn't really stop myself from eating this. I ended up freezing half (using Ree's instructions) and I wish I had gone ahead and baked the whole thing.

Be prepared for more Pioneer Woman recipes this week. I've got atleast once more coming, maybe two if we run out of leftovers. If you get a chance, go read Ree's entire cooking blog. And then read every page of her personal blog. Amazing I tell you.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Meal Plan Monday.


Last week I managed to follow (I just typed "follar". Is living in Alabama finally getting to me..?) my meal plan almost exactly. I didn't make the pork roast and ended up throwing out the meat. I had pulled it out of the freezer to use half for the pulled pork and then we went out to eat the next day so I was too scared to use the roast after that. Kind of sucks because I really love those huge pork tenderloins. Oh well, I'll catch them next time they're on sale.

This week I'm making a bunch of casserole-ish dishes. I think it's because the weather's cooler and I'm craving comfort foods. I also bought some pumpkin butter so I'm hoping to make some fun muffins this week. We'll see if that actually gets done.

Monday: Baked Ziti and Olive Cheese Bread

Tuesday: Leftovers/cereal

Wednesday: Honey BBQ Pizza

Thursday: Cubed Steak Sandwiches

Friday: Lisa's Cheesy Chicken Fondue Casserole

Saturday: Leftovers.

Sunday: Out.

For more MPM, head over to I'm an Organizing Junkie!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Macaroni and Cheese.

I tried a new mac & cheese recipe tonight. Spencer loves the one I make but I'm kinda over it.


I am not a huge fan of this one. It tastes like the frozen Stouffer's ones I used to buy when Spencer would be out of town. I like those and everything, but it's not what I was going for. I also didn't like the bread crumb topping. It got soggy! I prefer the crushed up crackers that I put on my regular macaroni and cheese.

Spencer loved it, of course, because what doesn't he like? He did comment that the mustard flavor was a little strong but it didn't stop him from eating an entire plate full.

Macaroni and Cheese

16 ounces macaroni, cooked and drained
1/4 cup butter
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
4 ounces cream cheese
salt & pepper to taste
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1 cup seasoned bread crumbs (I used probably 1/2 cup, maybe less.)
2 tablespoons butter

Preheat oven to 400.

Melt butter in a large saucepan. Whisk in flour and cook one minute. Add milk, cream cheese, salt, pepper, and dijon mustard. Cook until slightly thickened. Add cheese and stir until melted. Stir in macaroni.

Pour into a 2 quart casserole dish. Spread bread crumbs over top and dot with butter. Bake for 20 minutes or until bubbly.

Lemon and Herb Roasted Chicken.

I got a roaster oven for Christmas so it was time to test it out. I joined the Yahoo group Nesco Roasting because I had no idea what to do with it. I wanted to make a whole chicken since it seemed to be the simplest idea but even after reading all the group emails and going through their recipes, I had no ideas. I finally turned to AllRecipes.

It turned out pretty good. It just had a hint of lemon which was nice because I'm not a huge lemon fan. Spencer just assumed I'd put lemon pepper on it. I ended up shredding the majority of the chicken for a dinner next week.

This is definitely how I'll be making all my chicken from now on. The meat was so tender! I tried to pull a leg off and the bone came right out of the meat, leaving everything else intact. I will never, ever boil a chicken again.


Lemon and Herb Roasted Chicken
from AllRecipes

3 - 4 pound chicken
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
1 tablespoon dried thyme
sprinkle of crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon Lawry's seasoning salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 lemons
2 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat oven to 350.

Combine all seasonings and set aside. Rinse and dry chicken. Rub 1/2 the seasoning inside the chicken and 1/2 outside. Place chicken in roasting pan.

Squeeze the juice from two lemons and combine with olive oil. Drizzle over top of chicken.

Roast for 1 1/2 hours or until juice run clear.

Spencer's Half Birthday.

Spencer turned 22 1/2 on December 29. It took him long enough. I mean, geez, I was 22 1/2 for ten whole days before he finally got there. In honor of his half birthday, my slow cooker was kind enough to make his alltime favorite meal: stroganoff.

I'd never ever heard of stroganoff before Spencer. I guess my family is full of freaks or something because we just didn't eat that kind of stuff. I'd tried to make it once before for him and it sucked. It was awful! But I had to give it another try for him.


It turned out really good! I'm shocked that I liked it. And I'm even more shocked that Spencer said it was better than his mom's!

Beef Stroganoff

1 1/2 pounds chuck roast, in cubes
2 cans golden mushroom soup
1/2 cup onion, minced
1 tablespoon worchestershire
1/2 cup beef broth
1/2 pack Lipton onion soup mix
salt & pepper to taste
can mushroom pieces
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
4 ounces cream cheese
1 tablespoon sour cream

Combine meat, soup, onion, worchestershire, beef broth, onion soup mix, and seasonings in slow cooker. Cook on low for 6 hours. About 30 minutes before serving, stir in cream cheese and sour cream. Serve over hot egg noodles.


I also made him a carrot cake, which he claims is his favorite cake. I say he claims that it's his favorite because shortly after taking his first bite he asked me if there were real carrots in carrot cake. Yup. He did.

I used this recipe from AllRecipes and it turned out perfect! The only change I made was using walnuts instead of pecans in the actual cake, and I didn't use any nuts in the frosting.

I think Spencer enjoyed his half birthday, even though he thinks I'm a weirdo for even acknowledging it. I just look for excuses to celebrate I guess.


Resolution #1: Get rid of unnecessary clutter.


Landon and I hate phonebooks. We think they are nothing but a waste of space. So he will demonstrate the proper way to dispose of a phonebook if you live somewhere that doesn't recycle. *cough* South Alabama. *cough*


Make sure you have all important numbers written down. Okay, done?


Rip those pages out!


Keep tearing.


Just like that.


The final and most important step, you must cry when your mommy takes the phonebook away from you.

Wordless Wednesday.


More Wordless Wednesday?

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year!


That looks kinda like fireworks, right?