Thursday, December 24


Hey guys.....
so I guess I owe an last entry was Oct 17!!! (yikes)

Well, here goes....
pregnancy......miscarriage (thats the worse part....but now that that is out.....whew)
My husband got year long orders to Iraq.......and the orders just got cancelled.
2 cars have broke down......1 minivan has been purchased.
My father got sick and had surgery.
Choir rehearsals......Christmas concert is over now.

Oh, and did I mention I still have 2 kiddos and a husband. :-)

So please, from the bottom of my heart, forgive me for being absent.

I pray you all have a fabulous Christmas and that you truly experience Christ's love this holiday season.

Merry Christmas,

Saturday, October 17

Sweet Potatoes with Roasted Bananas and Pecans

Sweet Potatoes with Roasted Banana and Pecans

6 lbs sweet potatoes
1 ripe banana (leave the peel on)
1/2 st butter, soft
1/2 c maple syrup
2 T grd cinnamon
2 t pumpkin pie spice
1/2 t salt

1 lb pecans
1/2 c butter unsalted
1 T salt
2 T brown sugar

Poke the potatoes with a fork and bake about 1 hour in a 425 degree oven. Roast the banana with the peel on in a dish for 15 min at the same temp. When cooled, peel the potatoes and banana. Put in a food processor or blender and pulse but leave the potatoes somewhat chunky. Add the butter and maple and puree until your desired smoothness. Add the cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice and salt. Transfer to a baking dish and smooth out.
In a skillet, cook the pecans with the butter over low heat and spinkle in the salt. Stir often for about 5 min. Put the pecans on top of the sweet potatoes and sprinkle the remaining brown sugar. Bake at 300 degrees for about 20 min until heated throughly.

This is very similar to a recipe Tyler Florence did a few years ago on Food Network.

Tuesday, October 13

Hot Ham and Cheese Sands

We have these with Pumpkin Soup in the fall. You can also freeze these for a quick lunch.

Hot Ham and Cheese

8 sandwhich buns
8 slices swiss cheese
1/2 lb sliced ham
1 t poppy seed
1/2 c butter, melted
1/4 c onion, chopped or 4 T dried onions
1 t worcestershire sauce
1/4 c dijon mustard

Assemble ham and cheese onto buns.
Combine poppy seed, butter, onion, worcestershire, and dijon in a small sauce pan. Warm ingredients on med heat until butter has melted. Spead mix on each bun. Wrap in foil. Bake for 15 min at 350 degrees.
If you freeze, freeze before you bake. Bake frozen sands at 300 degrees for 30 min.

Pumpkin Soup with Chili Cran-Apple Relish

This is one of our favorite soups. In fact, today when I mentioned that it's almost pumpkin soup time to my husband, his eye lit up! lol I think this is a Rachel Ray recipe, but we've been making it for a couple years now so I can't remember. Oh, and I know the relish sounds funny, but it totally makes the soup, so don't skip it!!!

Pumpkin Soup with Chili Cran-Apple Relish

1 T olive oil
2 T butter
1 bay leaf
2 celery ribs, finely chopped
1 med yellow onion, finely chopped
Salt and Pepper
3 T flour
2 t poultry seasoning or 2 t ground thyme
2 t hot sauce or to taste
6 c chicken broth
1 can cooked pumpkin puree (28 oz) (you can also you fresh cooked pumpkin)
2 c heavy cream (I have used everything from cream to 1%)
1/2 t nutmeg

1 crisp granny smith apple, finely chopped
1/4 red onion, finely chopped
2 T lemon juice
1/2 c dried sweetened cranberries, chopped
1 t chili powder
2 t honey
1/2 t ground cinnamon

In a soup pot over med-high het, add oil and butter. Add bay, celery, and onion. Season with salt and pepper. Cook 6-7 min until tender. Add flour, poultry seasoning, and hot sauce. Cook flour for a min. Whisk in broth and bring to a bubble. Whisk in pumpkin. Simmer for 10 min. Add cream and nutmeg. Reduce heat to low to keep warm. Serve.

Combine apple, onion, lemon juice, cranberries, chili powder, honey, and cinnamon. Serve pumpkin soup with a few spoonfuls of relish on top.

We have this soup with hot Ham and Cheese Sands.

Monday, October 12

Molten Chocolate Cake

Molten Chocolate Cake

4 squares Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate
1/2 c butter
1 c powdered sugar
2 eggs
2 egg yolk
6 T flour

425 degrees. Butter 4 custard cups or souffle dishes. Place on a baking sheet.
Microwave chocolate and 1/2 cup butter in a bowl on High for 1 min. or until butter is melted. Stir with a wire whisk until chocolate is melted. Stir in sugar until blended. Whisk in eggs and egg yolks. Stir in flour. Divide batter between the custard cups.
Bake 13-14 min or until sides are firm and center is soft. Let stand 1 min. Run a small knife around cakes to loosen. Invert cakes onto dessert dish. Top with a dusting of powdered sugar, whip cream, or vanilla ice cream.

Almond Chicken

Almond Chicken

This is an easy 30 min meal that comes together using one skillet!

8 boneless skinless chicken thighs
1/4 c Zesty Italian Dressing (I like this homemade Italian dressing)
1 c chicken broth

2 c green beans, cleaned, trimmed, halved
1 c minute rice, uncooked
1/4 c sliced almonds

Toss chicken with dressing. Add chicken and dressing in a large skillet on med-high heat. Cook 4 min per side until browned. Add broth and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 10 min. Add beans and cook for another 5 min or until chicken is done.
Remove the chicken. Add rice and almonds. Remove from the heat and cover. Let stand 5 min. Serve the chicken over the rice and beans.

Pumpkin Pie Bars

Pumpkin Pie Bars

1 1/3 c flour
1/2 c brown sugar
3/4 c granulated sugar
3/4 c cold butter
1 c oats
1/2 c pecans, chopped
8oz cream cheese, soft
3 eggs
1 can (15oz) pumpkin
1 T pumpkin pie spice

350 degrees. Mix flour, brown sugar and 1/4 c granulated sugar. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or fork until it resembles course crumbs. Stir in oats and pecans. Reserve 1 cup or oat mix. Press other mixture onto bottom of sprayed 9 x 13 pan. Bake for 15 min.

Beat cream cheese, remaining 1/2 cup sugar, eggs, pumpkin, and pumpkin pie spice. Pour over crust and sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture.

Bake 25 min. Cool completely. Cut into 24 bars.

Hot Beef Kabobs

This recipe came straight from Guam.

20 oz flank steak, cut into 1/2 in cubes
1 lb mushrooms
2 onions, cut in 1/2 in cubes

1/2 c soy sauce
1/2 c salad oil
1/2 t sesame oil
2 T toasted sesame seeds
2 T brown sugar
1 T minced cilantro
1 T minced garlic
1 T minced ginger
1/4 t white pepper
1 t red chili pepper flakes

Combine Marinade. Marinade steak for at least 45 min and then skewer ingredients. Grill each side for 2 1/2 min and serve with teriyake glaze.

Teriyaki Glaze
1 c soy sauce
1/2 c mirin (sweet cooking rice wine)
1/2 c water
1/4 c brown sugar
1 1/2 t minced garlic
1 1/2 t minced ginger
1 T cornstarch
2 T water
In a small saucepan, combine all ingredients except cornstarch and water. Bring to boil.
Blend cornstarch and 2 T water to make a paste. Add to the sauce. Reduce heat and simmer until thickened.

Pumpkin Spice Cake

Pumpkin Spice Cake

1 cup unsalted butter, soft
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 t pumpkin pie spice
4 lg eggs
2 cups flour
1 1/2 t baking soda
1 t salt
1 1/2 cups pureed pumpkin
1 T fresh lemon juice
1/2 c chopped pecans (opt)

1/4 cup unsalted butter, soft
1 t finely grated lemon zest
1/2 t pumpkin pie spice
8 oz cream cheese, soft
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 c pureed pumpkin
3 T minced crystallized ginger

350 degree. Cream butter, sugar, and pumpkin pie spice until fluffy. Add eggs, and beat after each one. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Add the flour mix to the creamed butter alternating with the pumpkin and lemon juice. Stir in pecans. Spread in a prepared 9 x 13 pan. Bake 30-35 min or until done. Allow cake to cool before frosting.

Cream butter, pumpkin pie spice, and lemon zest. Blend in cream cheese and pumpkin. Add sugar and beat until smooth.

*Recipe uses 1 15oz can of pumpkin. Reserve 1/4 cup for the frosting.


For those of you that get my posts directly to your'll be getting lots and lots of recipes. I have a file overflowing with recipes. I need, no, I have to get organized. So, here they come to blogland. Just wanted to warn ya. :)

Saturday, October 10


Fuji, red delicious, golden, Jonathan, jonagold, braeburn.....the list goes on and on. We all have our favorites. I love a good Fuji but we recently bought some jonagolds at the Applejack Festival that are absolutely delicious. I've noticed my apple taste buds have changed over the years. I can remember loving every bite of a granny smith and now my mouth puckers at the thought of that super sour fruit. And then there is the question of what type of apple do you use for pies, or jams, or salads. I found this list of types and what they are best for. I think it's a great list. Take a look below at some yummy apple recipes from blogs and sites. Enjoy!


Apple Spinach Salad

Tuna, Apple, Raisin Salad

Classic Waldorf Salad

Mixed Greens with Apples, Blue Cheese, and Walnuts (This one is calling my name)!!

Apple Carrot Slaw


Baked Apple Wedges

Apple Struesel Bars

Apple Bread

Caramel Apple Crisp

Friday, October 9

Award Winning Cornbread

This Cornbread recipe is the easiest you'll find and in my opinion it is the most delicious! Try it once and let me know what you think. I can almost guarentee you'll come back to this one!

Award Winning Cornbread

2 boxes Jiffy cornbread mix
2 eggs
1 can of Cream Corn

Pour into an 8 x 8 pan. (you can use a larger pan, however it will not be as moist. I only make it in this size.) Pre-heat the oven to 350. Cook for 20-30 min until the center is done and the top is starting to brown.

You can add cheese, green chilis, green onions, spices to this and not screw it up! My kiddos eat this up with honey!

Thursday, October 8

Chilli Chicken Verde

Chilli Chicken Verde

I made this last year for a Chilli contest at my husbands didn't win....but the ladies have been asking for recipe almost daily I guess it wasn't too bad. ha ha ha.
This soup is delicious and one of my fall favorites. It is my MIL's recipe and makes a ton. It freezes really well too. Enjoy!

2 lbs cooked chicken breast or one whole chicken cooked (don't not add skin or bones)
-shred or cube and set aside

2 green peppers, chopped
2 bunches green onion, sliced
1/4 cup finely chopped garlic (or to taste)
4 tsp cumin
4 tsp oregano

-Saute all until soft

1 (11oz) can tomitillos or 1/4 lb fresh tomitillos chopped small
(If using fresh, saute with peppers,onion, and garlic)

2 cans white beans
3 cans large white beans
1 large can white hominy (opt)
1 (27oz) large can green chilis
-Add to soup. DO NOT DRAIN ANY CANS.

4 chicken bouillon cubes

-Add chicken. Add water to make the consistancy you like. I usually add 3-4 cups. Bring to a simmer for about 10 min and then turn off.

1 bunch of cilantro at the very end. (opt)

Monday, October 5

Review and Giveaway

My friend, Nicole, just did a review and is doing a giveaway for Once-a-Month-Meals Family Favorites Cookbook. See her at Mom Saves Money to read her review and enter to win!

Sunday, September 27

Breakfast Casserole

I love anything I can make in advance. This is one of those. do the work the night before and put it in the oven in the morning. Perfect for a Saturday/Sunday breakfast. The only thing you have to do is plan a little. :) Enjoy!

8 oz Ciabatta bread cut into 1 inch cubes
1 lb turkey sausage
1/2 c chopped green onion
1 1/4 c milk
1 c shredded sharp cheddar cheese
6 large eggs
2 Tbl chopped fresh parsley

Preheat 400 degrees. Spread bread in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast about 8 min. Cook turkey sausage in pan over med heat until done. About 6 min. Crumble. Combine sausage, bread, and onions in a large bowl. Combine milk, eggs, and cheese in a seperate bowl. Add egg mix to bread mix and toss till coated. Spoon mix in a 2 quart baking dish. Cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.

Preheat 350. Uncover casserole and bake for 5o min or until set and lightly brown. Sprinkle with parsley and serve. Should serve around 6.

Tuesday, September 22

What's for dinner?

Today I'm attempting corned beef in the crockpot. I've only actually made corned beef once and I used my pressur cooker. It was good, but I'm still not totally comfortable knowing when stuff is done (or overdone in my case) using that method.
My husband loves corned beef hash (the stuff in the can is super yucky, IMO) and reuben sandwiches, so I thought I'd treat him. I got the potatoes out to clean and throw in the pot when that all to familiar smell came from the bag. You know the one......musty.....dirty.....a little wet. UGG. potatoes for the hash. Guess we're making ruebens. lol. Here is what I did.

1 bag of baby carrots
some sliced celery
a hunk o corned beef
the little spice packet that comes with the beef
1 1/2 cups water

I'll update with a pic later.

Monday, September 21

Faith Deployed Giveaway

One of the many things I'm working on right now is getting a military ministry for wives up and going for our area. So, I've been scouring the Internet in search of great books, ideas, resources, and so on. I came across Faith Deployed. It looks great! So of course, I'm trying to win it! :) You can try too. Click on the link to sign up for this giveaway.
Oh, and if your interested in the military ministry for the Omaha area.....check us out here. One Hope Omaha.

Saturday, September 19

Pirate Cake

Ok, this may not look like a pirate cake, but for some reason I had
a hard time finding gold coins to put in the center. Next best option was
rolos. :) The cake is blood red velvet made in a bundt pan with chocolate
Italian Buttercream frosting.
The recipe is the same from the Princess Cake except with no strawberries and we added
1/2 cup melted cooled semi sweet chocolate, 1 tsp vanilla, 1 Tbl cooled coffee.
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Friday, September 18

Princess Cake

Claire's birthday is in August and Caleb's birthday is in October.
S0, for now, while they are young, we celebrate their birthdays together.
This year our theme was a Princess' and a Pirate's Party. Here is Claire's princess cake.
It's a vanilla cake made in a bundt pan. The frosting is an Italian Buttercream frosting. The recipe comes from Warren Brown of Cakelove. We modified the technique but not the ingredients.

Italian Buttercream

1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
5 egg whites
4 sticks butter, cut into Tbl at room temp

-In a metal bowl over med heat. Beat egg whites with sugar. With a clean hand, we stir (with our hand) until the sugar has dissolved. (I know it sounds odd....but it works) Make sure not to let the whites scramble. With a mixer, whip the whites with a wire whisk on high. Mix until stiff peaks. Continue beating until the bowl reaches room temperature. It will be thick and glossy. Beat in the butter a Tbl at a time. The butter will deflate the frosting. Now is the fun part. Mix in your flavorings! For the princess cake, we pulsed strawberrries in the blender. If the frosting seperates, keep beating it. It will come back together.

This recipe is delicious, however, the next time I make this....I will experiment with less butter.

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Friday, September 11

so I'm a wife......a mom....semi student....driver....cook...

I think most of you that read or follow my blog are just like extraordinaire! With that title come overwhelming responsibility.....and that's where I've been the last two weeks. If I can just be transparent with you guys, I have been so overwhelmed with household work, taking my kiddos to school, dance, going to a class myself, and just trying to stretch myself in all the areas that desire me or need me. whew. So, I'm workin or getting caught up and getting a handle on how life is for us right now. I've committed to myself to take time everyday to spend time in my Bible and prayer and that alone has brought more peace in my heart. With that said, this is the prayer I'm offering up today:

Lord, I ask that my extended family members will know and experience Your wisdom each day. May they find that wisdom is more precious than rubies, and godly understanding better than gold. Nothing they desire on earth can compare with knowing You and following Your ways. Some of them are far from You, Lord. I pray they would learn the ways of Your wisdom, the pleasantness of Your paths, and the peace that You bring.

(from Power Prayers for Women by Jackie M Johnson)

Tuesday, August 25

Tuesdays Tip

A good and yummy way to store pineapple is to cut it into bite sized chunks, store them in a plastic or glass container with orange or pineapple juice to cover. The juice will help keep the pineapple fresh longer and if you use OJ, the pineapple will take in some of that flavor! :)

Monday, August 24


Are your tomatoes coming in full force? Ours are coming.....but even if we didn't have a garden I love tomatoes and would buy them just to make the following recipes! Salsas.....oven dried tomatoes, sauces, stuffed......YUM! Here is a collection of yummy tomato recipes from great blogs and recipe sites! Add your own if you'd like. :)




Monday, August 17

Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies

They may not look the prettiest but they are yummy! :)

Combine the wet:
3/4 cup apple sauce
1/2 stk soft butter
3/4 cup honey
2 tsp vanilla
1 egg 1 egg white

Combine the dry:
1 cup wheat flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour (or you could use all whole wheat)
1 cup oats (old fashion, rolled)
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

Add dry to wet slowly. Mix in 12 oz chocolate. Drop 2-3 Tbl size cookies on a sheet. (or whatever size you like) Bake at 350 for 10-14 or until golden and done. (time may vary depending on the size you chose)

The Lunchbox

Is it just me or did the summer just fly by! School started yesterday for alot of the surrounding area. That lunches. seems to be hit and miss, I loved school lunches when I was a kid, but, I look at some of the things they serve now and think, "no wonder childhood obesity is crazy in this country." When I worked at an elementary a few years ago, I was shocked at some of the things they served.....but here is the real kicker.....I was even more shocked at what the parents sent with the kids!!!! I remember one kid brought two containers of chocolate milk, a PB & J, and a swiss miss EVERYDAY! Another child....a lunchable, two bags of chips, a little debbie, and a soda!!! What is it going to take for us to wake up and stop feeding our precious children junk! (I'm a sucker for junk food too.....but moderation and self control is the key) Ok....taking a breather and stepping down to the good part. Here are some great ideas for the lunchbox:

Kids love to dip!

How about packing a lunchbox with dips and dippable foods.
*apple slices with almond butter or yogurt.
*carrots, celery, crackers with hummus or a seseme dressing

Bite sized items
*cheese cubes
*cherry tomatoes
*snap peas

*top yogurt or cottage cheese with
toasted coconut

*cut a kiwi in half, wrap with plastic wrap and let them scoop out the center with a spoon
*healthy chocolate chip cookies
*dried fruit

Main dish
try using multigrain bagel, flatbread, tortillas, pita
roll filling in a tortilla and cut every 1-2 in. secure with a toothpick if needed
*Mini meatballs with rice or pasta

For more ideas:
The Visual
The Healthy Lunchbox
Laptop Lunches

Friday, August 14

$1 Subs at Jimmy Johns today (Bellevue,NE)

Just got word of this fantastic deal. It's customer appreciation day today at Jimmy Johns (Harlan location: end of 370 and galvin) and you can get $1 subs from 11-3. You have to order inside but thats the only rule! Yummy!

Thursday, August 13


This is my daughter, Claire, holding her zucchini "bat."
Is your garden overflowing with zucchini? Mine is! My zucchini beast, I mean plant, has pretty much taken over a section of my garden. So, here are a plethora of zucchini recipes. Add yours if you'd like.

You can even eat the flower from the zucchini plant

If this is not can buy a book!!! The Classic Zucchini Cookbook

And of course I could never forget.......the beloved Zucchini Bread Recipe or how about 20!

Monday, August 10

Aug Meals Month at a glance

I'm planning my meals for the whole month for August. (yes I know, it's the 10th...but I guess I'll have a head start on September) :)

I have a few reasons for doing it this way.
1. We are working on actually staying on budget this month.
2. School starts soon and I want to make the most of this month.
3. I have some house projects that really need to be finished so I want meal time to be easy.
4. I'm working on a few meal planning projects. :) (more to come soon!)

With these reasons in mind I've decided to roll up my sleeves, tie my hair back and make 15 meals that I can freeze. The rest of the meals are somewhat easy to throw together with few ingredients. So, here is the list. I'll add links/pictures to the recipes after we make em. Have a yummy month!

Freezer Meals

Twisted Meatballs
Monterey Chicken Soup
Italian Minestrone
Balsamic Chicken
Chicken Marsala
Feta Burgers
Honey Lime Chicken
Stuffed Flank Steak
Parmesan Garlic Chicken
Pineapple Lemon Chicken
Sausage Penne w/ Tomatoes & Cheese
Border Chicken Enchiladas
Oven BBQ Pork Roast
Twice Baked Potatoes

Frozen Sides

Italian Veggie Medley
Baked Beans
Mashed Potatoes
Green Chili Rice Bake

Additional Easy Meals (not freezer)

Quesadillas (freezer friendly)
Pizza Wraps (freezer friendly)
Zucchini Boats
Hippie Burittos (these are already in my freezer)
Breakfast (we'll do this 4 times this month)

Tuesday, August 4

Date Night ~ Wheatfields

For date night last week we ended up at Wheatfields at Shadow Lake. (Omaha) It was really good. We had never been but had heard good things. We sat outside (it was a beautiful evening). Service was great. Their menu was huge and took us forever to order.

Rob settled on this. It's an open faced beef sandwich with asparagus and a cream sauce. It was super yummy. Look at those portions!!!!!
I ordered the salmon with a hollandaise sauce. The mashed potatoes were some of the best I've ever had. With these portions, you can bet we had to skip dessert. BUT, the bakery section looked absolutely beautiful! This would be a great place to go with the girlfriends for dessert after a movie! (hint, hint....whose with me???)

Monday, August 3

Monday Meal Plan

The plan for the week:
(recipes and pictures to come throughout the week)

Turkey burgers with cranberry spread (trying something new and quite adventurous)

Honey Lemon Chicken

Cowboy Beans

Sweet Potato Waffles (I make a bunch and freeze)

We're going out of town on Friday so our meals are cut short. Have a great week!

Grilled Turdey...oh...I mean turkey Burgers with cranberry spread

OK, so normally I would delete this from the meal plan and pretend it never happened....but this week....I wanted you see that I too have dinner's that flop. Yesterday in Sunday school we talked about how we put on this facade of perfection when really we are just human and it's not right for us to portray that quality when Jesus Christ was the only perfect being ever to walk this earth.

So, here I am taking off my mask (and vowing never to make this again) :)

Turkey Burgers with Cranberry Spread
Sounds decent but the texture was......well....weird. Not that great of flavor either. And a big thumbs down to cranberry spread too. It was edible, don't get me wrong.....we ate it (well, rob and I did....the way)...but I'm putting it away in the mental file cabinet, "Do Not Make Again."

Here is the recipe if you really feel led to try it. If you love it....Great :)

Turkey Burgers

1 1/2 lbs ground turkey
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp Worcestershire
1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
1/4 tsp salt

Combine turkey, onion, mustard, Worcestershire, seasonings. Cover and refrigerate for 30 min. (maybe this is where I went wrong, I made into patties and then refrigerated). Grill over med heat until no longer pink. Warm buns and spread with cranberry spread (recipe below) Add lettuce and pickle and serve.

Cranberry Spread

4 oz cream cheese at room temp
2 Tbl whole berry cranberry sauce
1 tsp orange zest
Mix together until well blended.
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Sunday, August 2

Enchiladas Blanco

4-6 boneless, skinless chicken thights (cooked in the same way as the above recipe)
1 can green chilis
3 scallions, sliced
1 package cream cheese (I use fat free)
2 Tbl sour cream (I use light)
1 package frozen spinach, thawed and drained
1 package tortillas
1 1/2 cup monteray jack cheese (or pepperjack)
2 cups heavy cream
3 garlic cloves crushed

Combine cooked chicken, drained green chilies, softened cream cheese, sour cream, and spinach together.
Heat the heavy cream and crushed garlic gently until it reaches a simmer. Remove the garlic. Add 1/2-1 cup of cream to the bottom of a 9 x 9 pan. Take the cream off the heat. Add shredded cheese to hot cream and stir to melt.
Microwave tortillas until soft and pliable (30 sec intervals). Fill tortillas with chicken mix and place in the pan seam side down. Cover with white sauce. Cook at 350 for 20 min until hot throughout and bubbly.
Garnish with cilantro and chopped black olives.

*I've wanted to add roasted garlic to this dish but haven't yet. Let me know if anyone tries this and how it turns out.

Saturday, August 1

Oven dried tomatoes (sundried tomatoes)

2 pints cherry tomatoes, cut in half
3 tablespoons chopped basil
2 tablespoons chopped oregano
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper

Cut tomatoes in half. Toss with herbs, garlic, and oil. Spread on parchment covered baking sheet.
Cook for one hour in a 225 degree oven. Turn off oven and let tomatoes sit in warm oven overnight. Can store in jar in fridge for
2-3 weeks. Can cover with olive oil to store. Can freeze.

Use in pasta, sandwhiches, salads, pizzas, or just to snack on.
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Cola Pork Chops

Cola Pork Chops

1/2 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
4 bone-in rib or center-cut pork chops, about an inch thick
4 tsp veg oil
1 cup cola
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup ketchup

Combine the five-spice powder, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper in a small bowl. Season chops with spice mixture. Heat 2 Tbl oil in a large skillet over med-high heat. Add chops and cook until well browned. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
Whisk cola, brown sugar, and ketchup in a med bowl. Add to skillet and simmer until slightly thickened, about 3 min. Return chops with any juices back to skillet and simmer another 1-2 minutes. Transfer chops and glaze to platter and serve.

Friday, July 31

Disclaimer: I'm Complaining :(

So after a morning spent with my kiddos at the library, I decide to drive through somewhere and treat them to some lunch. The closest place was Hardee's and I knew they would have a salad for me. Now, I don't visit Hardee's too fact....I honestly can't remember the last time I went there......and now I remember why!

I order this:
....A Southwest Chicken Salad.
Looks good, huh. Notice the vibrant green lettuce....the juicy red tomatoes.....the cheese peeking out under a load of chicken. Don't forget the best part.....a southwest dressing to boot. Here's what Hardee's says about their delicious creation:

"A spicy chicken fillet served on a bed of shredded lettuce with diced tomatoes, shredded cheddar, red and yellow onions and a zesty Santa Fe sauce, all in a crispy flour tortilla bowl."

I asked to substitute the breaded chicken for some grilled chicken. They said sure, with an extra charge. I thought.....I hate that....but I'll try it.

This is what I got:

Overcooked tortilla bowl, a heaping of shredded ice burg lettuce, a couple red onion, tomatoes that weren't ripe, and a few pieces of chicken. No cheese, no dressing, throw presentation out the window!
Here is the real kicker.......I paid $4.29 PLUS an extra $1.25 for grilled chicken. WHAT!!! I don't know about you guys, but ice burg lettuce is on sale for .68 cents where I shop.

I'm not normally a complainer (I'm the one who usually calls and compliments afterward) and my expectations are not high for fast food.....but seriously! I'm e-mailing the company. I'll let you know how it goes.

Stir Fried Shrimp

3 scallions, white minced and green thinly sliced
2 tsp chili-garlic sauce
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 Tbl veg oil
1 lb extra-large shrimp, peeled and deveined (21-25 per lb)
1 lb asparagus, trimmed and cut 1 1/2 pieces
1/4 c oyster sauce
1 Tbl toasted sesame seeds

Combine scallion whites, chili-garlic, ginger, and 1 tsp of the sesame oil in a bowl. Set aside. Heat veg oil over high heat until just smoking. Add shrimp and cook until just opaque. (about 30 sec) Push shrimp to sides of pan and add scallion mix to center. Cook about 30 sec. Stir mix into shrimp and then set aside in a large bowl. Reduce heat to med. Add asparagus and 1/2 c water. Cover and cook 3 min. Uncover and simmer until crisp tender. (about 2 min) Add oyster sauce and shrimp back to pan until shrimp are fully cooked and sauce has thickened. (about 1 min) Stir in sesame seeds and remaining sesame oil. Garnish with green scallions.

Family Friday ~ Listen

I find myself so caught up in what I'm doing at the moment that I often react negatively to my kiddos or don't completely listen to what they have to say. I too often nod my head and say, "uh huh," not fully hearing their requests or statements. (this is not easy for me to admit)
I came across Proverbs 17:6 which says, "Grandchildren are the crowning glory of the aged;
parents are the pride of their children." It made me ask myself, am I conducting/instructing so that my children are or will be proud that I am their mom? Tough question.

One thing I do know is that I can listen better. Honestly, I could use the little breaks anyway. So, I'm challenging myself to listen better to them, read with them to encourage them to listen, and also listen to things together. Here are a few things I think are great....they are very different from each other but still great.

(purchasing this one helps kids in Africa impacted by AIDS/HIV)

Adventures in Odyssey presents original audio stories brought to life by actors who make you feel like part of the experience. These fictional, character-building dramas are created by an award-winning team that uses storytelling to teach lasting truths. Maybe that's why over 20 million products have been distributed worldwide.

So dust off your imagination and join the kids in Odyssey for inspiring adventures that are flat-out fun!

Thursday, July 30

Feta Burgers

(I read somewhere on the internet that if you put your thumbprint in the center of the patti, they will not puff up when you grill em. For the record.......not true. Sorry, ours still puffed up. The good news, they cooked evenly and quickly and I'll continue with the thumb print for that reason.) :)

1 lb lean ground beef
1/4 feta cheese (I used reduced fat)
1 tbsp parsley
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp dried basil
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp montreal seasoning, minced
Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste

Wednesday, July 29

Parmesan Garlic Chicken

6 chicken breasts
1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 envelope dry garlic and herb salad dressing mix (or italian)
2 garlic cloves minced
1/2 cup olive oil.

Mix cheese, garlic, and dressing pack. Dip chicken in olive oil and coat with cheese mix. Place on baking dish and cook at 400 degrees for 45-60 minutes.

Tuesday, July 28

Tuesdays Tip ~ Enhance Chocolate Cake

We all are in a rush and sometimes have to just pick up a box cake mix. (check out my box cake mix recipe on Wednesday) When using a chocolate cake mix,
Add cooled prepared coffee in place of water. Coffee is a natural chocolate enhancer!

Monday, July 27

Monday Meal Plan

Here's what's cookin at our house this week:
Parmesan Chicken
Feta Burgers


Enchiladas Blanco

Cola Pork Chops

Stir Fry Shrimp

Leftovers/Eat out


Nicole is gving away coupons (300) on Mom Saves Money!! Sign up ends WEDNESDAY July 29.

Sunday, July 26

SONday Dinner ~ Honey Pecan Chicken

(Mt. Soledad San Diego,CA)

Colossians 1:16-17


Honey Pecan Chicken
6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
2 Tbl butter
1 Tbl shallots, minced
1 c OJ
1/4 c whiskey
1 c whipping cream
2 T honey
1 T cider vinegar
1/4 t salt
1/8 t pepper
1/2 c olive oil
2 t fresh thyme, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 t salt
1/4 t pepper
1/2 c pecans, chopped
1/4 c flour
Olive oil
Mix the marinade ingredients and let chicken marinade up to 24 hours in a freezer bag. (could freeze at this point until ready to use)
Melt butter in med saucepan over low heat. Saute shallots. Add OJ and whiskey and turn heat u to med. Let liquid reduce by half. Add cream and cook until slightly thickened. Add honey, vinegar, salt and pepper. Cool. (can freeze until ready to use)
Place pecans and flour together in a big shallow dish. Dredge chicken so that they are coated. Pan fry chicken in olive oil until no longer pink inside. Re heat thawed sauce on low heat until warmed. Serve chicken individually and serve sauce over chicken.

Saturday, July 25

Seasonal Saturday ~ Farmers Market

Crustless Cherry Crumble

Crustless Cherry Crumble

We served this at a bbq last weekend. It was very yummy. The crumb topping was a little much but still good. We served it with homemade whipped cream. :)

3 heaping cups pitted, halved sweet cherries (Fresh cherries work best. Do not use canned cherry pie filling; it is much too wet.)
1/2 cup self-rising flour1 tablespoon shortening
1/8 teaspoon salt, optional
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 batch crumb topping (recipe below)
In a medium bowl, lightly mix with a fork flour, salt and shortening until a uniform, soft-crumbed mixture forms. It will look like very coarse meal. With a whisk, mix in cinnamon and brown sugar to combine. Add milk, eggs and extract, beating thoroughly to create a smooth batter. Pour batter over cherries in dish. Sprinkle crumb topping over entire surface of filling to cover it. Place on center rack of oven on a cookie sheet to catch any drips. Bake for at least 40 minutes, or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean. For a firmer, less moist texture, continue to bake an additional 10-15 minutes, until the edges are very brown (check every five minutes). Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes before refrigerating. Pie will set best when fully cold, but can be enjoyed while still warm. For those who prefer a more cake-like texture, reduce milk to 1/3 cup or use only 1 egg. Serves 6-8.
Crumb Topping
1 cup all-purpose flour (next time I'll use 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup brown sugar
½ stick (4 tablespoons) firm butter or margarine, coarsely cubed
1/2 cup chopped almonds (or nut of your choice) (I used walnuts)

In a large bowl, combine flour and sugar. Lightly rub and toss butter and dry ingredients between your palms until a uniform, soft-crumbed mixture forms. Handle as little as possible. It will look like very coarse meal. Add almonds, tossing lightly just to distribute evenly.

This recipe came from The Well Seasoned Cook

Friday, July 24

Explore as a family

We have the perfect opportunity to explore as a family this weekend. Here, Mutal of Omaha is putting on Wild About Omaha and has a ton of things to do as a family for FREE! :)

There is everything from The Durham Museum and the Botanical Gardens to the Henry-Doorly Zoo and a Baseball Game on Saturday. Did I mention for FREE!