Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Chicken Pot, Chicken Pot, Chicken Pot Pieeeeeeeee

Yep, back to cooking just like I promised!  We had some Chicken Pot Pie last night.  Always one of our favorite meals, it's so fast and so easy and if you are on Weight Watchers, something really yummy you can have for just a few points.

Culprits needed:
1/2 cup Miracle Whip
2 Tbsp AP flour
1 tsp chicken buillion or 2 cubes
1/8-1/4 tsp black pepper
3/4 cup milk
1 1/2 cups chopped turkey (I use 12.5 oz can)
14.5 oz can mixed veggies
Tube of crescent rolls (use reduced fat-can't tell the difference at all)

First thing: Take half of the tube of crescent rolls and pop it into the bottom of your pan, like this:

Ok, now pretend that the picture is not blurry!!!
I think I should wear my glasses when I cook and take pics.
Now pop the pan in the oven and start preheating your oven to 375 degrees.  That is the bottom layer of crust and it needs to brown up a bit while you are mixing the remainder of the ingredients.
Next task, dump the chicken and the veggies in a colander and give them a quick rinsse to get that extra salt out of the way and let them sit and drain.  I promise this makes a huge difference because that canned chicken tends to be salty.

Now we are gonna dump everything else in a saucepan and cook on med. heat until it gets nice and thick.  I know I know...sounds like a strange combo of ingredients but I promise you will not regret making this dinner!!   It really does get thick, kind of like white gravy:
Now we are gonna grab that colander and dump the chicken and veggies into the sauce and stir it up really good and keep on stove until veggies and chicken are heated through.

Now while that is heating up go to the oven and grab that pan, use potholders please!
It should look like this:

See nice and golden brown and the mixture should be quite warm so grab it off the stove and dump it in. Then you are going to grab that other half of the crescent rolls and spread those out over the top of the mixture like so:

You can pop it in the oven right now or you can spice it up with a little color.  I like to brush a little egg white on top then sprinkle on some paprika.  Just makes it pretty.'s prettier and now it's just waiting on you to pop it in the oven for about 15-20 minutes.  Everything is already hot and warmed, you are really just waiting for the top layer of crescent rolls to brown up. Then when it's ready you take it out and this is dinner!

Ahhhhh, yummy goodness and dinner is served!!!

now you can add something else to your plate if you want but folks, I cleaned all day yesterday and managed to have a banana with nutella and a handful of pretzels so I was starvin like Marvin and this was good enough for me.  See that... homemade chicken pot pie in less than 30 minutes and none of that extra fat and preservactives those frozen things have. Not to mention the lack of sodium!!!!   Enjoy peeps!!!
Peace, Love and Yummies!!!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Lest you think I ran away.......

I didn't... I just was busy doing other things.  Don't get me wrong I have cooked...just not much exciting.  Let's see if I can catch you up:

Friday night:  Hubby and I invaded my son and his girlfriends plans. We had homemade pizzas and then we all watched the movie Up in Air.  Good movie and very relatable if you have ever traveled extensively for work.

Saturday was so GORGEOUS but really windy!  We made a morning run to Home Depot then home to work.  Hubby mowed the yard while I snagged my son to help me dig holes for new flowers and veggies and such.   We decided to try our hand at container veggies this year.  One pot has cucumbers and bell pepper, another pot has squash (I wanted zucchini but they had none) and another bell pepper.  And this is what they look like beside the shed in the back yard.  I love love love the pots and so glad hubby talked me into spending a little more for these than the others I had picked.  Ok... a lot more but that's a whole other home depot argument to be discussed!
That's also our little red plum tree that we didn't think made it through the winter but he did!! yippeee!!
Now here is a close up of what's in those pots!

and the other side

see those cool yellowish brownish reddish pots!!!!  Love them..thanks hubby!!!
Now on the porch is the tomatoes (which we have the Warden's to thank for this trick..very successful last year)  and one small pot of basil and one small pot with a Mucho Nacho jalepeno pepper plant.

seriously, how can you not buy a plant called Mucho Nacho!!! 
Now... we planted a yellow jessamine which I hope grows and climbs all the way up the porch post!

Hopefully there will be a new hot tub nearby very soon. C'mon other house...SELL!!!
Now, the rose bed was looking a little sparse but hubby thinks three rose bushes are enough. I think NOT but in the meantime we filled with some purple dahlia's.

The pot on the left holds parsley and thyme that made it through the bitter winter! yippppppeeeeee!!!
Now here's the other half of the bed:

And the pot on the right is my mint that also survived. Woohooo...we will have Mint Juleps again this year!!!
Here's the full bed shot from a distance.

That window has a matching size one on the far right of the house and is my breakfast area. Now...don't you think it needs a few more rose bushes! Imagine the smell in the kitchen when the windows are open. :0)
And last but certainly not least, we are trying strawberries this year.  Yes, we had to hang them on the fence as the dog likes them as much as the Mere!!!  Hopefully the dog will save some for Mere.

and there are two total...hoping the lower basket isn't too low!

Now for the best part of the day.  I have Christmas money saved that I wanted rockers from Cracker Barrell so off we went to FINALLY get them and here they are on the porch!

I'm so sorry we didn't get a picture of us getting them home because it was the Beverly Hillbilly's!!  Jed and Ellie Mae driving in my convertible, top down with two rocking chairs in the back with winds up to 50 mph on Saturday.  That was funny!!!!!!  Hubby asked me to please slow down at 60mph on the interstate because he wasn't sure he could hang on, we did lose a fabric reusable grocery bag in the travel but thankfully no scratches on the car.
Soooooo, as you can see I was busy Saturday even though I wasn't cooking. We went to dinner at Chuck and SuePoo's and had chicken fajitas with fixins' and lemon squares from the Pioneer Woman.  I turned SuePoo onto that site and she loves it too!! I'm making the lemon squares on Sunday they were yummy.
I only made black beans, refried beans and some rice to take over so nothing worthy of a photo.  We also watched another Oscar contender movie: The Hurt Locker, also very good somewhat depressing.

Sunday:  My sweet boy decided to head back to Waco early so he could watch the Baylor Bears with his buds.  Have I mentioned my escalating hatred for Duke basketball???  I digress.... we just unthawed some burger patties and hubby grilled them up and I found a bag of frozen corn in the freezer and a partial bag of frozen hashbrowns.  Tadaa  dinner is served.
I had planned to make dinner last night but hubby came home and we ran to the rock place to pick out the stones for the front flower bed work to occur on Saturday so he wonderfully suggested Papa Murphy's pizza!  I love pizza, could eat it everyday so I happily agreed and we'll have the Chicken Pot Pie tonight!  Adios peeps...gotta clean today!

Peace, Love and Yummies!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Italian Vegetable Ragout with Couscous and Baked Tilapia

I know I know.... you think just because I can't say Italian without using Brad Pitt's voice that I picked dinner with Italian in it.....not really, just a fun coincidence.   Let's do it"

4 small Zucchini, thinly sliced
1 onion coursely chopped
2 (14 1/2 oz) cans Italian style stewed tomatoes, undrained
1 (16 oz) can chickpeas (garbonzo), drained
1 tsp dried Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Couscous, cooked without oil or fat

First I'm going to explain per recipe, then afterward I'll tell you what I'll do different next time!
Combine zucchini and next 6 ingredients in a large skillet. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.   Uncover and simmer until most of liquid evaporates.  Arrange over top of couscous and serve.
Now....... I like my onions to cook a bit more so next time I think I will warm a little olive oil in the pan and then toss the onions in and cook until tender then add the other ingredients.  It was a little too "fresh oniony" for me but otherwise delish!!

Now the fish....which I totally went off the cuff on. They were on sale at Sprouts and I thought I would celebrate the Fish on Friday on Thursday  :0)

Yes, the wine was necessary.  Not for the dinner but for me  :0)
Take a little oil, I use Grapeseed.  Let me  digress and explain grapeseed oil as it was explained to me by the lovely fish guys at Central Market.  Grapeseed oil is a lot like olive oil but has a higher smoke point and almost zero flavor, a great alternate when you don't want that olive oil flavor, like when cooking fish.
Ok....I put a little oil in the pan and then flip the fish over in it to coat so it wouldn't stick.  Then I ground some fresh black pepper and added the juice of two lemons so it looked like this:

Then I popped it in the oven on broil for about 5 minutes each side and tada..... dinner is served!!!
Next time hubby has requested we grill the problemo dear. You just get right out there and fire that grill up!

quite yummy and lots of good healthy veggies and fish!  Now...time for Wii fit, maybe since it's Friday I'll get a different instructor!

Peace, love and yummies guys!!!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Italian Beef and Fruit n Cake

Italian Beef...not sure why I call it that, it's not really Italian but waaaayyyy more fun to say if you have seen Inglorious Bastards and say it the way Brad Pitt does in the movie!!  I tail yon   hahaha  

Moving on.....

This is sooooo easy, you dump it all in the crock pot and then drool on yourself waiting to eat it!  Seriously it's that yummy and easy!

Here we go:
Italian Beef in the Crock Pot
Roast ( I think mine was a sirloin tip roast but whatever you prefer works) and I throw mine in the crock pot completely frozen
1 Tbsp salt  (yes it's alot but you can slack off a bit but not too much)
1 Tbsp pepper
1 Tbsp mustard seed
1 Tbsp italian seasoning
2 Tbsp Worchestershire sauce
some perpperocini peppers
1/2 cup beef broth or water

Put the roast in the crock pot (yes frozen or not) then dump everything else in. put the lid on that baby and put the power on low and let it do it's thing (at least 7-8 hrs pls)
When you are ready to eat it will literally shred to pieces and you make yourself a sandwhich like this and happiness will abound!

As a general rule we don't eat lettuce on our sandwhich but you can. My hubby just thought the picture looked nicer with lettuce  :0)   I'm also adding the pic without the lettuce because I think you can see how the beef shreds up a bit more.  The potatoes were the Alexia brand- Parmesan, garlic something and they were really yummy.  You can have anything you like with your sandwiches, sometimes we just have chips!

Now...time for dessert!!!
So I went to Sprout's yesterday (it was double ad Wednesday you know!)
and they had blackberries for 88 cents and strawberries for 1.47  BINGO
So I took them home and cut them up and poured some Triple Sec and sugar over them so they looked like this........

then I put them in the fridge to macerate....I love that word, it sounds weird....but anyway they hung out in the fridge till we were ready which was technically halfway through Survivor last night then we fixed em up and had this for dessert while the Heroes were sending James home....;0(

Just Angel food cake (store bought at Sprout's) with some berries and a bit of whipped cream from the can, cuz it's fun!

Peace, Love and Yummies !!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

no pics...just dinner

well, in an effort to enjoy the 75 degree sunshine yesterday I avoided going to the grocery and washed the dog and my's gonna rain today.  Oh well.....surely another beautiful spring day is coming.   In my effort to avoid the grocery I managed to dig up some grub for dinner to which my sweet hubby proclaimed to be one of the best we've had in awhile.  I'm so lucky...he LOVES leftovers.   I found half a package of hot dogs in the freezer along with an almost full jar of kraut in the fridge.  Sooooo there it was...dinner. Kraut and weiners, black eyed peas, green beans and biscuits.  Apparently kraut and weiners must be a Kentucky thing or maybe it was just our house any case my hubby loved it and we finished off those black eyed peas in the fridge.  Speaking of dinner... I need to go get it in the crock pot because rain or not on my clean car I must go to the grocery today or at least Sprouts to get fresh veggies and fruit.   
I promise to have pictures tomorrow, besides LOST was on last night and I was way to psyched about watching it to think about pictures and such.  

Peace, love and yummies folks!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Black Eyed Peas w/Ham and Cornbread!! wooo hoo

This is a southern supper folks!!!  Not one of Janie's but mine and Southern Livings  :0)

BE Peas
16 oz package dried black eyed peas
4 cups water (plus additional as needed)
1 medium onion (chopped)
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3/4 teaspoon salt
ham, ham cubes, ham hock....whatever you feel
Jalepeno peppers  ( really...cut the seeds if you don't want heat but this adds the perfect kick to the peas)

Peas and ham ready for their friends!!
Add your spices and chop up that onion and jalepeno

if you do not have one of these from Pampered are working way too hard!! Check it...

Less than 1 minute to do and then do the jalepeno

We like ours a little spicy so I left the seeds
Now throw everything in the pot!

Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for at least an hour or until peas are tender. Not gonnna lie...I usually cook mine around 4 hours at least.  Hard peas=gross!

When those peas are ready it's time for the cornbread!

DO NOT FAINT--- the bacon grease has returned! 
Add about 2 Tbsp bacon grease, crisco, veg. oil to the iron skillet  (the bacon grease is really worth it!) Put this in the oven and let the oven be preheating to 450 degrees.  The grease is going to get really hot so be careful
Now in a bowl mix your dry ingredients:

1 cup cornmeal
1 Tbsp AP flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
Combine those in bowl and mix with wisk then make a well in the center.  In another bowl- mix together 1 egg and 1 cup buttermilk.  Pour into center of dry ingredients and mix until moistened.  Then carefully pour into hot skillet!!

Now put that back in the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown... Like this!

Now put it all together like this and call the troops to the table!!

sooo good you will slap yo' mamma! 

Peace, love and yummies folks!

Monday, March 22, 2010

An amazing thought

I just posted this to my facebook page and felt so inspired by it that I wanted to post it on my blog.  If you are reading this.... thank you from the bottom of my heart for thinking I might say something you would want to hear. :0)

I got this in an email today from a mailing list I belong to. I won't go into the mailing list as it's a rather controversial website and book. I feel fortunate that I can subscribe to certain theories and never once believe that it alters my faith in God. I can subscribe to the belief that there are "secrets" in this world and how I choose to uncover them or how much I believe they can come true don't have to contradict my faith, in fact, I choose to believe it only strengthens it. In any case the email is below. I only wish I could say I do this every day, talk about a resolution to make!

Write down all the great things about everyone you know. Make a huge list of all the wonderful things about you. Compliment people wherever you go. Praise every single thing you see. Be a ray of sunshine to everyone you meet, and make their day better for having seen you. Say "Thank you" at every turn. Walk, talk, think, and breathe appreciation and gratitude.

When you do this, your outer life will change to reflect your inner state of being.

May the joy be with you,

Red Velvet Birthday Cake

so we celebrated Court's bday a little early this past weekend and I think after several attempts I've finally found a red velvet cake that I am happy with.    Enjoy folks, it was yummy!

Cast of Cake Characters:
2  1/2 cups AP flour 
2 cups sugar
2 Tbsp cocoa
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups oil
1 cup buttermilk
1 Tbsp vinegar
1 tsp vanilla  (drop or two of almond extract if you have it)
1 oz bottle red food coloring  (supposed to use two but that's just tooo red for me)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Grease and flour two 8 inch cake pans
Lightly stir eggs in a bowl with a wire whisk then add remaining wet ingredients, stir to combine
Stir all dry ingredients in mixing bowl  ( I sifted everything)
Then add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix on med high for about one minute until combined.
See  that is really red enough for me but hey....should you choose, add the other bottle.  By the way, she did ask if I could make it purple next year!  :0)
Now pour into prepared pans and drop pans on counter to release bubbles.

Pop those babies in the oven and  for about 30 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.
As you can see, I don't grease and flour pans. Personally I have better luck with a little crisco on the parchment paper.  If you saw the prune cake, you know I have cake sticking issues.  this works for me
Cool warm cakes about 10 minutes in the pan then remove from pan and cool completely.  You can make the frosting now

Frosting cast of characters:
8 oz cream cheese: room temp
2 sticks butter: room temp  (don't give me grief...just do it!)
1 tsp vanilla
6 cups confectioner's sugar ( I sifted)

Now it's time to whip that butter and cream cheese until nice and fluffy, then add the vanilla.  Add the sugar slowly in batches and scrape down sides as you go.   Now frost that little beauty and enjoy!!!  We did!!

By the way, the final cake ended up with more sprinkles and candles...I don't know what happened to those pictures!!!
I thought I would add another pic....just to tempt you a little more!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

I didn't stop cooking....I just took a break

Our youngest gave up meat for I didn't do a ton of cooking this weekend. She likes soup so she had vegetable, and mac n cheese kids meals and then Sunday I did cook a late lunch.  Fish sticks...if you have not tried the fish sticks from the Schwann's man you don't know what you are missing! fish sticks ever! She didn't eat those, she had Boca "chicken" and green peas and mashed potatoes and biscuits and more mac and cheese.  Hubby and I ate out twice which is rare for us.  We had Christina's mexican on Friday night on the way back from the airport.  YUMMMMMMMMOOOOOOO I'm sorry for all of you who do not live around here, you seriously have no idea what you are missing.  Then Saturday night we joined friends at the new German restaurant in Roanoke.  It is clean, sleek and modern looking and decorated with soccer. Food....once again YUUMMMMMOOOO!!  It was loud and fun with a live band and polka music and singing and all kinds of craziness.  Just the things the big chain restaurants try to give you but don't quite get there.  We are all about the locally owned restaurants.  If you are ever this way and want tons of choices of great local food...head over to downtown Roanoke. You won't be disappointed. 

Last night we just had tomato basil soup with butternut squash ravioli and some garlic bread made from bread slices. Nothing fancy yet quite good.  I think we need to grill is sooooooooooo beautiful outside!! 

Say something nice to someone who doesn't deserve it today. peace, love and yummies!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Happy Friday!! it's cake today!

Okay, it really is cake....and yes it has prunes but tell everyone it's spice cake.  :0)  Hey, worked for me...for a little while anyway.

It's really not bad and prunes are dried plums and those are good for you's the new thing in cake!!!

See how pretty!!!  I did that on purpose.....  please try to avoid prolonged staring at the cake. Yes, we had a slight mishap coming out of the pan but the powdered sugar covers up most of the damage.

Here's what you need:
3 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 cup wesson oil
1 tsp each: nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon
1 cup chopped prunes
2 cups AP flour
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp baking soda

Mix eggs, sugar and oil and beat well.  Add milk and baking soda and mix well.

Add spices and flour slowly then what that is mixed add the prunes.

I should have chopped mine smaller... I might have kept my secret longer  :0)
Pour into loaf pan (or be a rebel like me and use a bundt pan) and bake at 350 for 45 mins or until pick comes out clean.

Now, let it cool and ask it very nicely to come out of the pan.  Apparently I didn't ask nicely......

Ta Da!!!  
Now you are on the cutting edge of nutrition...haven't you heard DRIED PLUMS are cool again!
Peace, love and yummies people!

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