Sharing our food successes and failures, new recipes and old favorites
...and throwing in some great money-saving deals here and there!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

September 26 - BFD

Today was a BFD - and, yes, in more ways than one! We spent the morning shopping around for home improvement stuff, bought a new TV for the basement, picked out the paint color and (most likely) the actual bar we're going to put in our remodeled dining room (it's turning into a swanky wine bar, complete with a black jack table), and managed to do all of that with only a few minor melt-downs (and I'm not mentioning ANY names of who was and was not melting down). Accomplishing that, with two kiddos in tow, early on a Sunday morning is a big f***ing deal.

The other BFD? Breakfast for dinner, of course! Since the boy isn't a big pancake/waffle person, I decided to "meat up" this dinner with bacon and sausage, did a side of cheesy hashbrowns, made some scrambled eggs, and had donut holes for dessert (they were leftover after being used this morning as a bribery tool). You can't go wrong with BFD, and although Luke refused to eat anything but bacon, it was a hit.

Little Pink Turtle Online Fiesta!

Good friends of mine own their own hair accessory business and I'm hosting an online fiesta for them! Make sure you use the special checkout code (see the info below) so you get a 10% discount on your order. Their stuff is super cute AND the most durable I've ever used (way better than all that massed produced stuff). They are the only bows and clips that will actually stick in Miss L's hair.

If you have any questions, want a recommendation, or anything else, PLEASE let me know! Also, make sure you share this with all of your family and friends so everyone can take advantage of the discount. if there are no girls you need to shop for, the Rissers always accept donations ;-) (Just kidding!) Happy shopping!

You’re invited to an online “Little Pink Turtle” Party!

During the week of September 26th through October 3rd you are invited to shop with a 10% discount! Just enter the discount code “ERICA" during checkout. It’s that easy!

The Little Pink Turtle offers a unique selection of hair accessories for your girls, toddlers and babies at reasonable prices. With a growing selection of bows, clips, headbands, beanie, caps, hair bow holders and pacifier clips, your baby is sure to stand out!  No girls in the family? The Little Pink Turtle also offers unique baby gifts and birthday presents! Custom orders can also be taken for uniforms, birthdays, or any outfit you would like to match.

Visit our website for more information and

Come party with the Pink Turtle!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

September Munchin Mamas!

Thursday is September's Munchin' Mamas meeting - woot, woot! I loooove these get-togethers because I always leave with a full belly, tons of delicious leftovers, and recipes to add to my collection. This month's theme is "30-minute meals" since school has started and we all need as much time as we can get outside of the kitchen. I'm making one of my favorite quick meals - mixed-up enchiladas! It's so easy to make and tastes sooooo delicious. Make sure to serve it up over rice.

Mixed-up Enchiladas
1 - 2 lbs. ground beef
1/2 small onion
Salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste
1 can enchilada sauce
1 small can chopped green chilies
1 can cream of mushroom soup
10 corn tortillas, crushed
1 - 2 cups cheddar cheese

  1. Brown ground beef. Add salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste.
  2. When complete, add green chilies, enchilada sauce and cream of mushroom soup. Mix well.
  3. Add corn tortillas, cover and simmer 10 minutes.
  4. Cover with cheese and let melt.
  5. Serve after a few minutes over rice.

I also whipped up a quick dessert of Rice Krispie treats because I had some of the cereal to use up. I told Linds we were making them and she asked if we could make them a special color. Last time I made them we did green ones (remember this post?), but today she requested pink. So without further ado - our pink Rice Krispies treats!

Rice Krispies Treats
3 tablespoons butter
10 oz. bag mini-marshmallows
6 cups Rice Krispies
12 drops red food coloring
4 drops blue food coloring

  1. Melt butter on low in large saucepan.
  2. Once melted, pour in marshmallows; add food coloring once marshmallows are creamy.
  3. Mix in Rice Krispies.
  4. Spread into a greased 9 x 13 pan/baking dish. Use wax paper to flatten top.
  5. Let cool for about an hour.

September 22 - Slow cooker whole chicken

After last night's dinner fiasco, I figured I'd tempt fate and try cooking an entire chicken (I mean the WHOLE bird) tonight. I've never done the whole thing, but how much different can it be cooking one in a crockpot than cooking a few "chicken boobies" (thank you, Christy, for my new chicken phrase!)? And, thankfully, it wasn't!

It was a BOGO free sale on whole chickens at Acme and all of their chickens were a solid 6 lbs. I figured $12 for 12 pounds of chicken wasn't a bad deal at all. I let the little guy cook all day in the crockpot and added some carrots 2/3 of the way through cook time. Served all of it over some jasmine rice and voila! - delicious meal. The prep was simple - skin the bird, rinse it off, pat it dry and plop it in the crockpot. Mix up the marinade and pour it in (I had to double the amounts since my bird was 6 lbs.), set it on low, and let it cook all day. It took me about 15 minutes to put together this morning and that was it for the rest of the meal.

Kathy's Delicious Whole Slow Cooker Chicken
1 (3 pound) whole chicken, skin removed
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons minced garlic

  1. Remove skin from chicken, and empty inner cavity of contents within. Pat chicken dry with a paper towel, and place inside the slow cooker.
  2. In a bowl, stir together the chicken broth, soy sauce, olive oil, honey, Worcestershire sauce, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, sesame oil, and minced garlic. Pour mixture over chicken, and cover.
  3. Cook chicken on low setting for 8 hours, or 4 hours on high setting. 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

September 21 - Blue Cheese Beef Roast

Tonight's dinner made me cry. Literally. Not in the good, "oh God, this is so delicious" way - but in the, "oh God, this should have been done over an hour ago, my kids are screaming from hunger and need baths and sleep, and I think I'm going to gnaw off my arm if I don't eat something" way. It was the final disaster in the series of crap that went on throughout the day and I think I just finally lost it by the time 7:00 hit and we were all still waiting for it to finish.

I grossly underestimated the time this stupid roast was going to need to cook, so when I pulled it out a little after 6 p.m. and expected it to be sliced and served and the damn thing was still raw inside, I just collapsed mentally. And let me tell you - it sucked. I figured I could give it until 6:30 and it should be ready (which isn't a big deal since that's when the boy gets home and we could eat as a family). Pulled it out and guess what? Still not cooked. We took the kids up, bathed and PJed them, came back down at 7 p.m. and the ends were finally ready enough to eat. Nevermind the green beans were done 45 minutes earlier or the potatoes were so done they became least the meat was finally cooked! Grrrrrr.

And the worst part? It wasn't even that great. I mean, it was decent...but it wasn't enough to make up for the fact that everyone (including myself) was melting down by the time the plates were on the table. The tension was so bad, in fact, that I mixed a stiff drink (grapefruit vodka and grapefruit juice) to enjoy during the meal. Yes, it sounds like I'm overreacting to a so-so meal...but like I said, it was the final crappy straw in a frustrating day.

I'll post the recipe, but I tell you what - I refuse to cook this again. The effort and agony put into it was SO not worth it! Maybe you can make it better - and if you do, please let me know.

Blue Cheese Beef Tenderloin
1 (3 pound) whole beef tenderloin
1/2 cup teriyaki sauce
1/2 cup red wine
2 cloves garlic, chopped
4 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
1/3 cup mayonnaise
2/3 cup sour cream
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

  1. Place beef in a shallow dish. Combine teriyaki sauce, red wine and garlic; pour over beef. Allow beef to marinate in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).
  3. Place tenderloin on broiler pan, and cook in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C), and cook for 30 to 40 more minutes (or an hour and a half?!?!?!?!?), or to desired doneness. Allow to set for 10 minutes before slicing.
  4. In a saucepan over low heat, combine blue cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream and Worcestershire sauce. Stir until smooth; serve over sliced tenderloin. 
And here's the recipe to my FAVORITE potatoes!!

Garlic Red Potatoes

2 pounds red potatoes, quartered
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1 lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese


  1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Place potatoes in an 8x8 inch baking dish.
  3. In a small bowl combine melted butter, garlic, salt and lemon juice; pour over potatoes and stir to coat. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over potatoes.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 60 minutes (or until golden brown).

September 20 - Crab cakes, corn, mashed potatoes

Acme had a great sale on crab meat and I had a couple of $2 off coupons, so I picked up a bunch of crab meat and decided to make some seafood! I knew the kiddos wouldn't eat them (although I swear Linds scarfed them down before, but maybe I'm imagining that?), so I made them nuggets. It was funny looking at their nuggets, mashed taters and corn...totally reminded me of an elementary school lunch!

Everything came out really well, but it never fails - my cakes always fall apart when I try to flip them. I think I need to form them earlier and pop 'em in the fridge for a couple hours before hand just to firm them up. Regardless, they still tasted fantastic!

Crab Cakes
8oz. Phillips crab meat
1/2 tsp. seafood seasoning
1 egg
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/8 tsp. dry mustard
1 Tbsp. mayonnaise
1/2 tsp. lemon juice
1.5 tsp. mustard
1.5 tsp. melted butter
1/2 tsp. parsley flakes
1/4 c. breadcrumbs

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except for crab meat. 
  2. Gently fold in the crab meat, being careful not to break up the lumps. 
  3. Shape into cakes. 
  4. Pan fry until golden brown.
I didn't take any photos since I was a little embarrassed about the floppiness of the cake. You know what they  look like though!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

September 19 - Restaurant Fest!

The 31st annual Restaurant Fest in West Chester was today, so a few of my mamas and I decided to go. I've never been...and now I know I'll never miss it! We had a BLAST! There were over 50 restaurants from the area and hundreds of craft vendors that lined Gay Street and some of the side streets nearby. It was hella packed, but the crowds were definitely worth it. All of the restaurants offered different dishes from appetizers through desserts, and there were so many different flavors that every palate left satisfied.

We started the day off with shots at Kildare's (they let us use their bathroom, so we felt we just HAD to give them some business?!), then went booth to booth sampling everything from reuben egg rolls, to sausage/spinach/crab stuffed mushroom caps, seafood crepes, chicken satay, hawaiin chicken skewers, "up cakes" (upside down cupcakes...more frosting coverage...brilliant!), kettle corn...the list goes on. We spent some time in the "beer garden" where they served a few different brews and some pinots (both red and white). Naturally we had to add a shot of Jameson to the mix at Landmark, too. It was a fab time with fun friends! Below we all hopped on one of the motorcycles they were raffling off. When Linds saw the picture later, she told me, "mommy - you HAVE to buy a motorcycle so I can ride on it like you, Miss Christy and Miss Sarah!" Suuuuure, kid... ;-)


After looking through all of the delicious veggies we got from Vollmecke Farms, I realized we had all the ingredients to make a really kick ass salsa. I never made my own, so I looked up some other recipes, but threw together my own little thing. I pulsed the stuff individually in the food processor so it was good and chopped up and did a lot of draining, but man, when that was finished - well, let's just say jarred stuff will NEVER be as good. I was amazed how delicious it was and how well I did with no recipe (you know me - I just *have* to have something to go off of when I cook).
I used about a dozen cherry tomatoes, an onion, a green pepper, 2 cloves of garlic, 2 jalapeƱo peppers, 1 habanero pepper, a splash of red wine vinegar, a drizzle of EVOO, a little sugar, a little salt and some cilantro. It had a GREAT kick to it after you swallowed it, but a sweet tang to it, too. I brought it over to a dinner party we had with some friends and came home without any left. I was happy it was a hit (but super bummed not to have any to much on today!).

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Veggies Galore!

Thanks to my fabulous neighbors friends, Joy and Kortney, we got to go pick up another share from Vollmecke Farms this summer! The two are enjoying a vacation in the Grand Canyon, so we reap the benefits of them missing pick-up.

This time around we got tons of great fruits, veggies and spices! Our loot included:
  • 1 quart cherry tomatoes
  • 1 quart tomatoes
  • 2 onions
  • 1 bulb of garlic
  • 1 green pepper
  • 2 jalapeƱo peppers
  • 1 habanero pepper
  • 1 basket of beets
  • 1 bag of green beans
  • 2 buttercup squash
  • 1 basket of potatoes
  • 1 bag of apples
  • Basil (both regular and Thai)
I can't even begin to imagine all of the possibilities of what we can do with this stuff! I already used the cherry tomatoes, onion, some garlic, and all of the peppers in a salsa. A lot of the other stuff will go with our meals for the next week or two (they must have known I had TONS of potatoes in the works). I'm a little excited about the beets, too - I've never had them (except with pickled eggs), so I want to try doing something a little fun with them. I contemplated making another pie with the apples, but after eating 3/4 of the last one by myself, I think it's in my best interest (as well as my thighs' best interest?!) to just snack on them plain :)

Thank you again, Joy and Kortney! <3

Friday, September 17, 2010 70% off deal!

This is an incredible deal and only good through Sunday...use the code SPORK to get your discount! Weekly Promo Offer 300 x 250

Free recipes!

I found some more free recipes to share...
  • 27 Terrific After School Snack Recipes Free eCookbook Click Here 
  • Free eCookbook – 19 Best Ever Grilled Chicken Recipes, featuring 27 pages of healthy, delicious grilled chicken recipes. Click Here
  • Free eCookbook - 42 Easy Gluten-Free Recipes, featuring over 55 pages of spectacular gluten-free recipes. Click Here
  • Free eCookbook – The Ultimate List of Healthy Snacks: 40 Healthy Snack Recipes, featuring 48 pages of Healthy recipes. Click Here
  • Mr. Food Let’s Get Grilling eCookbook Click Here
  • Incredible Dessert Recipes Click Here
  • Free eCookbook – 29 Tasty, Easy Breakfast Recipes Click Here

Grocery shopping time

I desperately need to restock the pantry and get back into my bulk shopping trips (which will be SO much easier with Linds in preschool and only having to take Luke with me!). There were some great meat deals at Giant and Acme over the next day or two, so I'll probably have to schlep them both with me - but they shouldn't take long, so no big deal. I made my meal list, so here's what we'll be eating over the next two weeks (and after looking back over it, I must be craving Mexican and potatoes?!):
  • Mixed-up Enchiladas (a super easy under 30-minute meal that I'm making for September's Munchin Mamas meeting...the theme? Under 30 minute meals. I'm stoked to get some new quick recipes to put on the roster.)
  • Blue cheese beef tenderloin, roasted garlic red potatoes and green beans
  • Slow cooker whole chicken (I've never cooked an entire chicken myself, so this should be fun), jasmine rice and braised carrots
  • Crab cakes, mashed potatoes and corn
  • Chicken fajitas and black beans
  • Chicken enchiladas (these Velveeta/cream cheese things that I'm not too fond of, but the boy begs for it, so I relent once or twice a year)
  • Beer-glazed ham, au gratin potatoes and peas
  • Baked potato soup and rosemary bread
  • Tortellini and salad (and probably some of the leftover rosemary bread)
  • BFD (breakfast for dinner!) - eggs, hashbrowns, sausage, bacon, etc.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

September 16 - Baked Ziti

Our MOMS Club has been growing exponentially lately - not just with new members, but with so many new babies! We have this program called "Helping Hands" so that when one of the mamas has a new baby, she can sign up for meal delivery. This is such a huge success that after I had Luke, I had 6 weeks of meals coming in 3 days a week. And all of them were big enough for leftovers on the off-days. It's so amazing how this group of women comes together to lend support to each other - and I'm grateful to not only be a recipient of their efforts, but also a participant!

My good friend, Jody (a fellow Munchin Mama), just had her second little girl, so I signed up to bring her dinner. Her family loves pasta, so even though I try not to make it (such an easy, go-to meal...I like to try to give something that others won't bring, too), I decided to go with the baked ziti staple.

I've posted this recipe a thousand times, I'm sure, but honestly, it's so easy and delicious, I'll post it again. It came from my mother-in-law...and even though I love to alter recipes to my taste, I've never had to touch this one. It's just perfect as is! I usually serve it up with salad and garlic crescent rolls (or some other bread).

Baked Ziti
1 lb ziti noodles
1 lb ground sausage
1/2 lb ground beef
3 cups mozzarella cheese
3 cups marinara/spaghetti sauce
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. Cook ziti in boiling water; drain.
  3. Brown meats; drain off fat.
  4. In a large baking dish, layer ziti, meat, cheese and sauce; repeat until everything has been used.
  5. Top with Parmesan cheese.
  6. Bake about 30 - 40 minutes until bubbly.

September 15 - Garlic Ranch Chicken

I had 2 chicken breasts left in my freezer and by the time I defrosted them, I had an hour for dinner - not quite enough time to marinade and I was in no mood to grill. I checked around my cupboards and found all the stuff for garlic ranch chicken, and knowing it's one of the boy's favorites, figured it would be eaten by all with no complaint. And honestly, after listening to the kids scream and fight all day, I couldn't handle any bitching or moaning about what was being served up!

I had been craving some sweet potatoes lately, so I picked up a couple at the store and mashed those up with a little butter and brown sugar. The kiddos devoured them (Linds actually stole the last few bites off of Luke's plate), and I got my sweet potato fix. I also picked up some salad mix and served that, too, knowing the boy wouldn't eat the veggies and would need something more than just chicken.

I also cut up the chicken into smaller nugget-size pieces figuring I might be able to mask them as "new" chicken nuggets to the kids. It worked for the most part (well that and the bribe of going to the park post-dinner if all the chicken was eaten off their plates).

Garlic Ranch Chicken
4 boneless chicken breasts
1/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 T ranch salad dressing mix
1/8 tsp pepper
1 T olive oil
1 T butter

  1. Flatten chicken slightly; set aside. 
  2. In a shallow bowl, combine milk and garlic. In another shallow bowl, combine the flour, salad dressing mix and pepper. 
  3. Dip chicken in milk mixture, then coat with flour mixture. 
  4. In a large skillet, cook chicken in oil and butter over medium heat for 6-8 minutes on each side or until juices run clear. 
Yield: 4 servings. 1 chicken breast is 264 calories and 12 g fat. This is a great "quick" dinner - under 30 minutes for prep and cook.

What?! A month has gone by?!

Okay, so judging from my last entry, I haven't cooked in an entire month. And, as much as I'd like to say that's such a stretch and I've just been remiss in posting my stuff...I think it's actually quite accurate. Ugh! I guess with the end of summer/start of school, I've just been in a cooking funk and really haven't done much at all food-wise. For the most part, it's been going back and forth between grilled chicken, hamburgers and take out.

I still need to grocery shop to restock the pantry, but Luke and I made a Wegmans run when Linds was at school yesterday for enough stuff for yesterday's and today's dinners (and for a meal I'm making for one of the mamas). Walking back into Wegmans was like greeting an old friend! I haven't been there in ages. My grocery runs consist of truckin up to Triple Fresh (a small grocery store a mile up the road that has most of the staples at stupidly inflated prices) or digging into the depths of the freezer.

I only have 3.5 months left of 2010, so I'm going to make a much better effort in keeping this more up-to-date and trying out some new stuff. I'm SO sick of everything I've been eating lately, so I want to change it all up (oh won't the boy just LOVE this?!?).
Related Posts with Thumbnails