Monthly Archives: March 2012

Pineapple and Strawberry Smoothie

Both strawberries and pineapples were buy one get one free at the store this week, which is awesome, but now I have a lot of pineapple and strawberries and I have to figure out what to do with all of them before they go bad. This was part of our breakfast yesterday…it’s a great way to use produce and a great way to get a bunch of fruit into your kids (and you) all at once.

6 oz. low-fat vanilla or plain yogurt
1 large banana
1/2 cup chopped pineapple
1/2 cup strawberries
2-3 tbsp. ground flax seed
1/4 cup milk

Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Process until thick and smooth.

Add more milk if it’s too thick.

What did the family think? Only three of us were home when I made these, but we all liked it.

Did I change anything? This isn’t going to come out super cold. Blend some ice in too if you want it colder.

Where did this recipe come from? adapted from a recipe at Annie’s Eats

photo from Kelsey’s Apple a Day

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Filed under After School Snacks, Beverages, Breakfast, Definitely Making it Again, Desserts, Easy, Everybody Ate It, Six Ingredients or Less, Super Easy to Make, Vegetarian

Honey Yogurt Waffles

I use my waffle maker all the time. My husband gave it to me for Christmas about three years ago. I didn’t use it a lot right away, but I use it at least 2-3 times a month now. We love having breakfast for dinner and that usually includes homemade waffles. These honey yogurt waffles were on the menu this week and they were a hit.

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup old-fashioned oats
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/4 cups skim milk
3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/3 cup honey
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Maple syrup or honey-for serving

Melt the butter in the microwave and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together flours, oats, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon.

In another bowl, whisk together the milk, yogurt, honey, eggs and vanilla until smooth. Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and whisk until just combined. Gently fold in the melted butter.

Preheat and lightly grease the waffle iron.

When the waffle iron is hot, pour batter into the wells of the waffle iron. (Fill according to the manufacturer’s instructions).

Close the lid and bake until the waffle is golden and set.

Carefully remove waffle from iron and serve warm with maple syrup or a drizzle of honey.

What did the family think? These were super tasty. We all loved them.

Where did this recipe come from? I got it from Two Peas and Their Pod and they got it from Williams-Sonoma.

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Filed under After School Snacks, Breakfast, Definitely Making it Again, Desserts, Easy, Everybody Ate It, Lent, Vegetarian

Coconut Chicken Satay

I have a child who will not eat chicken. He just won’t. I think it’s a texture thing for him. So you can imagine my delight, shock and surprise when he not only ate this, but did it happily. It was a huge night at our dinner table.

1 lb chicken breasts
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1/2 cup unsweetened whole coconut milk
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon fresh-squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
3 cloves garlic
1/2 fresh jalapeno, seeds & stem removed
1/8 teaspoon chili powder
1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut, lightly toasted (note: I used the broiler to toast it. Watch it closely because it can burn quickly. I learned this the hard way.)

Preheat the oven broiler on high.

Cut the chicken breasts into strips and place them on a foil-lined baking sheet and set aside.

In a food processor or blender puree the peanut butter, coconut milk, lime juice, vinegar, honey, garlic, jalapeno, and chili powder together. Remove ¼ cup of the peanut mixture and drizzle/brush it over the raw chicken strips.

Place chicken under the broiler to cook. After 4 – 5 minutes take the baking sheet out, turn the chicken strips over, drizzle another ¼ cup peanut sauce on top, and cook for 4 or 5 more minutes or until cooked all the way through.

Once the chicken is done take it out, drizzle on the remaining peanut sauce, serve it as extra dipping sauce on the side, or mix it in with some rice to serve on the side. Sprinkle the toasted coconut on top. Serve warm and enjoy!

We had this with brown rice and some fruit on the side.

What did the family think? This wasn’t my husband’s favorite dish ever, but the kids lapped it up.

Did I change anything? The original recipe called for putting the chicken on skewers. I opted not to do that.

Where did this recipe come from? I got it from 100 Days of Real Food and they got it from the National Chicken Cooking Contest’s Chicken Cookbook.

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Filed under Chicken, Definitely Making it Again, Everybody Ate It

Ravioli Lasagna

Yep, that’s right, another pasta dish. We do love our pasta around here and this one was no exception. Yum!

1 pound ground beef, turkey or chicken
1 jar (28 ounces) spaghetti sauce
1 package (25 ounces) frozen ravioli
1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese

In a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain.

In a greased 2-1/2-qt. baking dish, layer a third of the spaghetti sauce, half of the ravioli and beef and 1/2 cup cheese; repeat layers. Top with remaining sauce and cheese.

Cover and bake at 400° for 40-45 minutes or until heated through.

What did the family think? They loved it and it made enough for lunches the next day, too.

Where did this recipe come from? Taste of Home

photo from Campbell Kitchen

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Filed under Definitely Making it Again, Easy, Everybody Ate It, Italian, Six Ingredients or Less

Clean Eating Fajitas

I came across this site recently and fell in love with so many of their recipes. This is the first one I have tried; I just tweaked it a bit to fit our family.

1 tsp. olive oil
1 large bell pepper, sliced thin lengthwise
1 lb.boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced thin lengthwise
1/2 large red onion, slice thin
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
Flour tortillas
Garnish with shredded cheese, guacamole, sour cream, salsa, etc.

Heat olive oil over medium high heat and add chicken. When chicken is almost cooked through add peppers, onions and spices.

Serve on tortillas with garnishes.

What did the family think? Hubby and I liked these. The boys usually have cheese quesadillas when we have fajitas.

Did I change anything? The recipe above is how I made it. I wish I would have added the juice of a lime to it though. Next time…

Where did this recipe come from? The Gracious Pantry

photo from Mexican Food Recipes

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Filed under Chicken, Definitely Making it Again, Easy, Mexican

CrockPot Macaroni and Cheese

Full disclosure…this is NOT health food. As I was making this I was thinking to myself that this might be something that Paula Dean might make…butter, cheese, milk…and oh so good. Also, just a heads up, this makes a lot of mac and cheese.

1 (16 oz.) pkg. macaroni
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 (13 oz.) can evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups milk
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup melted butter

Cook macaroni following package directions. Drain well.

Grease bottom and sides of 3 1/2 to 5-quart crockpot.

Toss hot macaroni in slow cooker with the vegetable oil then add all remaining ingredients. Stir gently to combine then cover and cook on LOW for 3 to 4 hours, stirring occasionally.

What did the family think? Yum!

Where did this recipe come from

photo from


Filed under Easy, Everybody Ate It, Lent, Make Ahead of Time, Side Dish, Super Easy to Make, Vegetarian

Easy Lasagna Skillet

Everyone in our house loved this recipe and I feel like that hasn’t happened in a really long time. This was also super, duper easy which was also awesome.

1 lb. lean ground beef
1 jar (24 oz.) spaghetti sauce
2 1/2 cups water
12 lasagna noodles, broken
1 tub (10 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Tomato & Basil Cooking Creme

Brown meat in a deep large nonstick skillet; drain.

Stir in spaghetti sauce and water. Bring to boil. Stir in noodles; cover. Simmer on medium-low heat 18 to 20 min. or until noodles are tender, stirring occasionally.

Stir in cooking creme. Remove from heat. Let stand covered for 3 minutes.

What did the family think? Everyone loved this and most of us went back for seconds.

Did I change anything? The original recipe called for some chopped green and red peppers. I left those out. Next time I might add some chopped zucchini or some spinach though. Also, I have a feeling that any sort of macaroni/penne-type noodle would probably work just fine.

Where did this recipe come from? The back of the carton of the tomato and basil cooking creme

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Filed under Definitely Making it Again, Easy, Everybody Ate It, Italian, Six Ingredients or Less, Super Easy to Make

The Weekly Meal Plan: How I Grocery Shop

I have had several people ask me recently how I plan for grocery shopping or if I plan at all. I do have a plan, I wouldn’t call it a budget so much, but definitely a list and a plan. Here’s how it works…

Usually on Saturdays I scour the internet and my cookbooks looking for recipes that sound like something we might like to eat. These might include dinner ideas, snack ideas, breakfast, side dish or dessert ideas. Then I take a piece of paper and I start making a list of all the things I know we need just off the top of my head. The list usually starts with milk, soy milk, bananas and Kashi. I then begin to add the items I need based on the recipes I’ve decided to try for the week.

On the other side of the piece of paper I write down the menu for each dinner meal we are going to have that week. I don’t assign a day to each meal, but I generally plan for four meals (Sunday-Wednesday) with the main dish and a side or two. Then on Sunday we head to our favorite local grocery store and pick up everything on the list.

Why do I only plan through Wednesday? Well, I used to buy the entire week’s worth of groceries on Sunday, but I usually ended up having to go back sometime during the week to pick up something. There was also the problem of meat and some fruits and veggies not being very fresh by the end of the week.

I solved that problem by only buying things for Sunday through Wednesday, then on Thursday I go to our grocery store that’s just down the street (not my favorite place to shop, but it’s close and convenient) with a new (and much shorter) list and pick up things that we’ve run out of (usually milk, soy milk and bananas) as well as things we need for dinner on Thursday and Friday, lunch stuff for the weekend and anything else we need. We usually go out to dinner on Saturdays.

photo from Family Shopping Bag

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Slow Cooker Tikka Masala

We love Indian food in our house, even the kids, so I knew this would be a hit. I think my favorite thing about this whole recipe though (besides the awesome aroma that fills your house as it cooks) was the crunchy cool contrast of the cucumbers. Yum!

1 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic chopped
2 T tomato paste
2 teaspoons garam masala (or you can make your own by combining 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon coriander, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves, 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg, and a dash of cayenne)
1-1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1/2 English cucumber, halved and thinly sliced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 cup basmati rice (or other long-grain white rice-I used arborio)
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup heavy cream (optional)

Combine tomatoes, onion, garlic, tomato paste, garam masala, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker. Place the chicken on top of the veggies, cover and cook until the chicken is tender (low for 7 to 8 hours or high 3 to 4 hours).

In a small bowl, toss the cucumber and cilantro with lemon juice and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate.

Twenty minutes before serving, cook the rice according to package directions.

Just before serving, stir the cream (if using) into the chicken tikka masala. Serve over rice with the cucumber relish on the side.

What did the family think? I would have liked for it to have been a little more spicy. Hubby and I liked it though, we just wanted it to have more vavoom. Our oldest tried it, but he’s not a big fan of dark meat.

Where did this recipe come from? I got it from Half-Assed Kitchen and they got it from Real Simple

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Filed under Chicken, Make Ahead of Time, Super Easy to Make

Glazed Carrot Coins

I am always trying to think of ways to get my kids to eat more of a variety of veggies. They will eat salad day after day after day, and although that is awesome, a little variety would be nice, too. My kids are not totally opposed to carrots, although when they do eat them, they are usually raw. Cooked carrots have usually been met with a groan or two. That was not the case tonight.

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons orange juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 medium carrots, cut into 1/2-inch slices

In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in the brown sugar, orange juice, salt, ginger and cinnamon. Add the carrots; cover and cook for 20-25 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally.

What did the family think? 3/4 of our family liked these. My oldest even said, “Wow! These are really good!”

Did I change anything? I used baby carrots instead of carrots coins. I already had them in the refrigerator so there was no need to buy even more carrots.

Where did this recipe come from? Taste of Home

photo from

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Filed under Definitely Making it Again, Easy, Side Dish, Super Easy to Make, Vegetarian