Archive for August, 2009

Menu Mondays

August 31, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Sunday: Prep day:

  • Cook chicken for chicken noodle soup
  • Cook bacon for open-faced sandwiches
  • Chop/prep all veggies and fruits
  • Make healthy eggplant parm-a-asanga, simply because I can (and hope it comes out okay and I can take it for lunch this upcoming week)
  • Make homemade bread for DH

Monday: steak, pasta, corn on the cob

Tuesday: open-faced sandwiches with bechamel, chips and salad

Wednesday: homemade chicken noodle soup, garlic cheddar biscuits

Thursday: turkey burgers, creamy parmesan orzo, steamed broccoli

Friday: leftover soup and biscuits


Garlic Parmesan Orzo

August 29, 2009

IMG_1349This had great flavor, but I wanted it to be a little more “creamy” — I may tweak it next time I make it!

Garlic Parmesan Orzo


2 cups uncooked orzo pasta

3 tsp minced garlic

1/2 cup butter, cubed

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

1/4 cup milk

2 tbsp minced fresh parsley

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper


– Cook orzo according to package directions, and drain

– In a large skillet, sauce garlic in butter until tender, then add orzo, parmesan, milk, parsley, salt and pepper

– Cook and stir until heated through

Crockpot Smothered Chicken

August 29, 2009


Success! A crockpot chicken recipe (besides chicken noodle soup) that DH and I actually like!

For some reason, we have problems finding chicken recipes we actually enjoy in the crockpot…no idea why.

This one was super-tasty — DH even emailed me at work on his lunchbreak (at home) and said “What’s in the crockpot? It smells amazing!”

Smothered Chicken

(The Novice Chef)

4 whole boneless skinless chicken breasts
12 ounces Mushrooms — fresh (I used 8 oz)
1 can 98% fat-free Cream of mushroom soup
1 can 98% fat-free Cream of chicken soup
1 can French Onion Soup
1/2 large onion
1 clove garlic

salt and pepper to taste


You can make this on the stovetop – for those instructions, see the novice chef link above

– For the crockpot: place your chicken breasts in the bottom of the crockpot, layer your onions and mushrooms on top of the chicken, then both cream-based soups, and the french onion on top

– Cook on low 8 hours.

– Serve over rice, noodles, bread — whatever! 🙂

Pillsbury Giveaway Winners

August 28, 2009

Thanks to those who entered!

Winners are….


#1 and #2!

Tiffany and Laura, please email me ( your mailing addresses so I can get your prize packs out to you 🙂

Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes

August 25, 2009


Just a variation on the usual old mashed potatoes. I made these to go with DH’s meatloaf last week, and he really liked them!

I lightened them up a bit, but they were still a serious loaded potato!

Sour Cream Potatoes

(Real Simple Magazine)

4 pounds red potatoes (about 8), halved
kosher salt and black pepper
2 cups sour cream (I used light)
1/2 cup milk (I used 1%)
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter (I only used 2 and couldn’t tell the difference)
2 scallions, chopped


Place the potatoes in a large pot.

– Add cold water to cover and bring to a boil.

– Add 2 teaspoons salt, reduce heat, and simmer until tender, 15 to 18 minutes.

– Drain the potatoes and return them to the pot.

– Add the sour cream, milk, butter, scallions, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and mash.

– Transfer to a heatproof bowl, cover, and set over a pot of simmering water to keep warm, up to 1 hour.

Menu Mondays

August 24, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

I loooooove prepping Sundays. Ahh…..

Saturday: made sugar cookie bars for a get-together

Sunday: Prep day:

  • Made DH bread for the week
  • Chopped and cleaned all veggies for the week
  • Made healthy chicken tenders for lunches this week

Monday: steak, pasta, steamed broccoli

Tuesday: BBQ grilled pork ribs, corn on the cob, creamy parmesan orzo

Wednesday: on my own — DH going to a baseball game with co-workers

Thursday: smothered chicken in the crockpot, steamed rice, steamed green beans

Friday: salmon filets over salad

Lean Chicken Tenders

August 23, 2009


I saw this recipe in my most recent copy of Oxygen Magazine (women’s fitness magazine).

I love chicken fingers, so I made these to take for a couple of my lunches this week! They look delicious — I haven’t eaten any yet, though!

Lean Chicken Bites

(Oxygen Magazine)

*Makes 2 servings

Cooking spray

2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, raw

1/4 cup egg whites

1/2 cup instant oats

1/4 cup sliced almonds, crushed

1 tbsp italian seasoning

sea salt and ground pepper to taste


– Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F

– Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray

– Cut the chicken into strips

– Pour egg whites over the chicken strips to coat

– In a blender (I used my magic bullet!) combine oats, almonds, and seasonings

– Place chicken strips in a large ziplock bag with the oat mixture and shake

– Remove chicken from bag, and place on baking sheet

– Bake 20 minutes

Nutritional Breakdown:

Calories: 270

Total Fats: 8g

Saturated Fat: 1g

Trans Fat: 0g

Cholesterol: 80 mg

Sodium: 140 mg

Total Carbohydrates: 11g

Dietary Fiber: 3g

Sugars: 1g

Protein: 40g

*Iron: 2mg

“Healthified” Dipping Sauce

2 tbsp greek yogurt, plain

low fat ranch dressing

hot taco sauce

– In a bowl, mix all ingredients together and serve

Calories: 60

Total Fats: 4g

Saturated Fat: 0g

Trans Fat: 0g

Cholesterol: 5mg

Sodium: 290 mg

Total Carbohydrates: 4g

Dietary Fiber: 0g

Sugars: 2g

Protein: 2g

*Iron: <.5mg

Sugar Cookie Bars

August 23, 2009


These “cookies” made their way around the blog-o-sphere several months back, but, at the time, I had no justification to make an entire jelly roll pan full of cookies….and no desire to add 10 pounds in doing so.

We had a get-together to go to Saturday, so I made these.

I also discovered my jelly roll pan isn’t standard sized…so my bars were THICK.

I’d say they were only so-so the day I made them, but for whatever reason, they were AWESOME the next day! I’d make them again, but in a larger pan so they’re not as thick, and, I’d make them a day before…they taste better after sitting overnight!

Sugar Cookie Bars

(Anissa’s Kitchen)

1 cup butter; room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
5 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp soda


Cream butter and sugar until fluffy.

– Add eggs, one at a time, mixing after each egg.

– Add vanilla & mix well.

– In a separate bowl combine flour, salt & soda & stir with a whisk to combine.

– Add to wet mixture and mix just until combined.

– Spread on a greased jelly roll pan (use a 13 x 18 pan).

– Bake at 375 degrees for 10-15 min, until light golden brown or until a toothpick comes out clean.

– Cool completely and frost.

1/2 cup butter; room temperature
1/2 cup shortening
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt
4 cups powdered sugar
5 Tbsp milk
food coloring (if desired)


For frosting combine butter and shortening until smooth and creamy.

– Add vanilla and salt.

– Add powdered sugar in 1-2 cup increments until combined, then add milk & mix until smooth and spreading consistency.

-Spread over cooled cookie.

I’m kind of a geek…(Giveaway)

August 23, 2009

I’m kind of a Pillsbury geek. I love making things from scratch, but there’s just something about how Pillsbury lays out their website and their cookbooks that just draws me in. I have no idea why, but I am constantly browsing recipes at haha

That being said – I’ve been voting on pairings for this year’s Pillsbury Bakeoff. Every week at there is a new pairing to vote on. It’s so much fun!

Voting continues through October 1st. Check it out 🙂

Onto the Giveaway….

Thanks to the gracious ladies at MyBlogSpark, two of my readers will be receiving a prize pack!


It includes:

  • A glossy magazine chock full of past Pillsbury Bake-off winning recipes (with tons of pictures!!)
  • A cute Pillsbury Dough-Boy doll — he even giggles when you squeeze him! (Thus totally freaking out my dog…but nonetheless)

I received one of these prize packs as well, and I’m really loving the magazine. It’s got a lot of fun recipes in it!

To enter, leave a comment below — it can be anything, but if you want a topic, let me know… what was the last dish you made to take to a picnic?

Comments will be taken until Thursday, August 27th, and two winners will be drawn then and announced!

Have fun!

Menu Mondays

August 17, 2009

Prep days on the weekend are my lifesaver. Seriously. Without them, we’d never eat before 10pm during the week!

Menu Plan MondaySunday: Prep day….

  • Made flax coconut french toast for breakfast — yum!
  • Southern Peach Cobbler (since DH got me a bushel of peaches!)
  • Froze the rest of the ripe peaches for later use
  • Made bread for DH’s lunches
  • Prepped broccoli, green beans, corn on the cob, and asparagus for the week
  • Had the in-laws over for grilled steaks, foil packet potatoes, salad, asparagus and green beans — oh! and the cobbler

Monday: Garlic Lemon Shrimp with Orzo and Broccoli

Tuesday: Meatloaf, mashed sour cream potatoes, green beans

Wednesday: grilled pork chops, rice pilaf, summer squash

Thursday: meatloaf leftovers

Friday: No plan right now — we’ll see!