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

Monday, January 10, 2011

January 10 - Chicken Pot Pie

I just made one of these with my friend, Katie, and after making it with her, I decided I had to have one of my own! It turned out just the way I expected it and not only did the boy and I enjoy it, but so did Linds - even with all the veggies :) I was so, so happy - we all need more veggies in our diet. Luke boycotted dinner...again...I'm beginning to sound like a broken record, huh?!

I bought regular frozen pie crusts and when I mixed everything together, there was WAY too much filling. I mixed the veggies/chicken and sauce, then divided in two and froze the other half. Now I have another pot pie ready to go (as soon as I buy more crusts!).

Chicken Pot Pie
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cubed
1 cup sliced carrots
3/4 cup frozen green peas
3/4 cup frozen corn
1/2 cup sliced celery
3 medium potatoes
1 bullion cube
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
2/3 cup milk
2 (9 inch) unbaked deep-dish pie crusts

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. In a saucepan, combine chicken, carrots, peas, potatoes and celery. Add bullion cube and water to cover and boil for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, drain and set aside.
  3. In the saucepan over medium heat, cook onions in butter until soft and translucent. Stir in flour, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Slowly stir in chicken broth and milk. Simmer over medium-low heat until thick. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. Place the chicken mixture in bottom pie crust. Pour hot liquid mixture over. Cover with top crust (making a dome on top), seal edges, and cut away excess dough. Make several small slits in the top to allow steam to escape.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Cool for 10 minutes before serving. 

January 8 - Ribs and cornbread!

The boy and I had a serious hankerin for some ribs, so I decided to make them on Saturday since they require a good hour in the morning to prep, crock potting all day, and half-hour in the evening to finish. I only have that free hour in the morning on Tuesdays and Fridays, so making ribs during the week is kinda tough. As usual, they turned out perfectly and he and I ate like crazy! Naturally Luke refused them (although he usually is a fiend...some sort of weird dinner aversion for him lately), and Linds was vomiting all Friday night, so we weren't about to even tempt fate. Luke did, however, eat many pieces of cornbread, so at least he put *something* in his system!

Speaking of cornbread, I did a little something different. It usually calls for buttermilk, which I don't ever keep on hand. There's an easy substitution with vinegar and regular milk, but I needed my laptop to look that one up and it was in the basement...I was too lazy to go downstairs, so I checked my Joy of Cooking to see if it listed it. It did not give me that specific substitution, but it did suggest yogurt instead of the buttermilk. I was curious to see how that turned out, so I figured, what the hell?! The boy doesn't eat it, so worst case scenario, I don't get my cornbread. I'm glad I tried it - it was awesome! AND saved me some calories. I also bought a microwavable sweet potato, cooked it and used the mashed part in the batter rather than grating the uncooked potato. That was also a better alternative because now there was no "crunch" to the bread. This recipe far outweighs the older one I posted!

Slow Cooker Ribs
4 lbs. pork baby back ribs
salt, pepper, minced onion and garlic powder to taste
2 cups Cattleman barbecue sauce
1 cup ketchup (only Heinz in this household!)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 dash of hot sauce

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  2. Season ribs with salt, pepper, minced onion and garlic powder. Place in a shallow baking pan. Brown in oven 15 minutes. Turn over, and brown another 15 minutes; drain fat.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix together the barbecue sauce, ketchup, brown sugar, vinegar, oregano, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce. Place ribs in slow cooker. Pour sauce over ribs, and turn to coat.
  4. Cover, and cook on low 6 to 8 hours, or until ribs are tender.
  5. About 30 minutes before serving, place back in baking pan at 400 degrees F and the sauce will caramelize to the meat.

Sweet Potato Corn Bread
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup low-fat yogurt
1 medium sweet potato, cooked, peeled and mashed

  1. Cook sweet potato and peel.
  2. Preheat oven to 425 F. Spray a 9x9 baking dish.
  3. In a large bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt; set aside. 
  4. In a small bowl, combine egg, buttermilk, sweet potato and softened butter.
  5. Fold liquid mixture into dry mixture and stir until just well blended.
  6. Pour into baking dish and bake 20 minutes, or until the center springs back when lightly pressed with a fingertip.

January 5 - Honey Cashew Chicken

I was looking over some old blog posts and came across the night I made cashew honey chicken. It was a huge hit before, so I figured it would be a sure hit. The boy and I still liked it as much (although this time he liked the beans and not the cashews - totally opposite of before). Linds ate a little, although this was the night before she got sick, so she didn't scarf it down like she did before. Luke? Well, Luke's been boycotting dinners again. ::SIGH:: My favorite part? It's super low-cal (only 190/serving with 4 total servings in the batch - not including the rice). Here's the recipe!

Cashew Honey Chicken
1 package PERDUE® SHORT CUTS® Carved Chicken Breast, Honey Roasted, 6 oz.
1 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 box (9 ounces) frozen cut green beans, thawed
1/3 cup cashews

  1. In small bowl, whisk together broth, soy sauce, brown sugar, cornstarch and ginger. 
  2. In large nonstick skillet, stirring frequently, bring broth mixture to a boil over medium-high heat.
  3. Add chicken and green beans and heat, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes.
  4. Sprinkle with cashews and serve, if desired, over hot rice.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Free Enfamil!

This one's for all the mamas out there...while I never formula-fed either of my kiddos, I know lots and lots of parents who would only feed their babies Enfamil. Click on the photo below and it will take you to Enfamil's site (yes, this is 100% legit) and you'll be able to print a certificate for a free sample of Enfamil!

A *ton* of new coupons!!

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January 3 - Garlic Cheese Chicken Roll-ups

I came across this recipe on and with only 5 ingredients it surely looked like a keeper! Well, the boy thought it was pretty good, I enjoyed it, but Luke? Definitely not. Lindsay? She gagged on it so badly she had to spit hers in the trashcan. Needless to say we won't be making this again anytime soon (or if we do, it will be on a night when the kids are eating something else!).

Garlic Chicken Cheese Roll-ups
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 cup dried bread crumbs, seasoned
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 (7 ounce) package garlic cheese spread (I used Rondele's light spread)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Pound chicken breasts until thinned out. 
  3. In a shallow dish or bowl mix together bread crumbs and cheese. Dip one side of each breast into melted butter or margarine, then into crumb/cheese mixture. 
  4. Place a dollop of cheese spread at one end of each chicken breast, on the side of the breast not dipped in the mixture. Roll up each breast and secure with toothpicks.
  5. Place rollups in a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking dish and drizzle any remaining butter or margarine over all. Bake in the preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until cooked through and juices run clear.

Monday, January 3, 2011

January 2 - Pasta w/ Meat Sauce

Vacation has finally come to an end (and it's about damn time!) sad as it is to see it go, I definitely look forward to some routine in my life. I figured since Monday was the first day back, Sunday dinners should be back in order. I decided to make a HUGE vat of spaghetti meat sauce so we'd have lots for future meals. It was lots of fun! Linds helped make it with me while the boys played downstairs and watched football. It was a strangely stereotypical division of labor (which if you know me, you know that's not how I normally am), but it was a great time nonetheless.

My little helper:

I'm also trying to incorporate more veggies in my of  my resolutions for this I roasted some broccoli to go with it. And, finally, after Lindsay's party, we were left with two double packages of hot dog rolls, so I used them to make some garlic bread. Naturally, the broccoli was not a hit, but everything else was. Here are the recipes!

Spaghetti Tomato/Meat Sauce
1 (28 ounce) can stewed tomatoes
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1/2 pound lean ground beef
1/2 pound ground sausage
2 yellow onions, chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 tablespoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste

  1. Blend the stewed tomatoes and crushed tomatoes in a blender.
  2. In a large pot, brown the ground beef with the onions and garlic. 
  3. Pour in tomatoes, and reduce heat. 
  4. Add sugar, basil, oregano, salt and pepper, and cover. 
  5. Simmer about 45 minutes. Serve warm over pasta of your choice.
 Roasted Garlic Lemon Broccoli
2 heads broccoli, separated into florets
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, toss broccoli florets with the extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, pepper and garlic. Spread the broccoli out in an even layer on a baking sheet.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven until florets are tender enough to pierce the stems with a fork, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove and transfer to a serving platter. Squeeze lemon juice liberally over the broccoli before serving for a refreshing, tangy finish. 

Garlic Hot Dog Buns
6 hot dog buns, split in half
5 tablespoons butter, softened
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste

  1. Preheat the broiler.
  2. In a small bowl, mix butter, olive oil, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper. Spread the mixture evenly on the bread slices.
  3. On a medium baking sheet, arrange the slices evenly and broil 5 minutes, or until slightly brown. Check frequently so they do not burn. 

And, as a special treat, we made chocolate milkshakes for dessert. Those were simple - chocolate ice cream, milk, and a little sprinkle of Nestle chocolate powder. I added a bit of Papa Kaminski's Kahlua to mine which made it even better ;-)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Target Deals

There are some GREAT Target deals out there that I wanted to share with you! Plus, take advantage of the free shipping below on millions of items.

Free Singer Sewing Machine Case with purchase of this Singer Touch & Sew Sewing Machine

Spend $20 On Select Hasbro Games, Get Free Toy Via Mail

Purchase 2 select Dr. Seuss Books for $10

Get Free Samples at

Target's Printable Grocery Coupons

Clearance - Save 10-75% Off On Last-Chance Finds

Free Starbucks

If you're anything like me, you're a sucker for a cup of coffee made by someone else...for some reason, my brew just doesn't taste as good no matter if I use the same beans or not. If I'm out and about, I'm known to splurge on Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts if the opportunity presents itself. I didn't realize, however, Starbucks has a rewards program, so of course I signed up and wanted to share the offer with you, too :) Just click the image below to sign up (all of the perks are listed below). Enjoy!

Welcome Level Perks (1-4 stars)

- Free drink on your birthday

Green Level Perks (5 stars +)

- All Welcome Level perks
- Free syrups and milk options for your beverage
- Free refills for brewed coffee or tea
- Free Tall (12 fl oz) beverage of your choice with whole bean purchase
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Gold Level Perks (30 stars+)

- All Welcome and Green Level perks
- Free beverage with every 15 stars you earn
- Special Customized Gold Level card
- Personalized offers and coupons

Free Recipe e-Books

I haven't posted these in awhile, so you might want to check them out! They usually have great recipes.



Best of 2010 & our contest winner!

Congratulations to Courtney Z. for winning our end of the year contest! She correctly guessed two of the three top meals and wins a 60-minute photography session with Kristina Hall Photography. I'll e-mail you soon to give you details and give you Kristi's information :) Thanks everyone for playing!

And, for the results! I'll count them down, so in third place we have...

Ham & Cheese Loaf!
First, unroll the refrigerated pizza crust on a baking sheet.

Second, lay down some slices of provolone (or your favorite cheese).

Third, place about a dozen slices of ham deli meat down.

Fourth, top with some shredded cheddar cheese (I was out, so I used Mexican cheese).And, last of all, roll the long side up, pinching the seam after it is in roll form.

Tuck ends under and bake for 35 minutes at 350. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

In second place...

Best. Steaks. Ever.
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon concentrated lemon juice (or 1/3 cup of fresh lemon juice)
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes

  1. Place all ingredients in a large Ziploc bag. Knead bag to mix ingredients.
  2. Place steaks inside bag and marinate for up to 8 hours (I did 4 hours and they were perfect).
  3. Feel free to use some of the marinade on your veggies - it tastes great! Have I mentioned that?!

and *finally*...our NUMBER ONE most sought after recipe...

Cornbread Enchilada Casserole
1 small can diced green chiles (4 oz i think)
1/2 cup of your favorite salsa
3 to 4 chopped scallions (I used 1/4 cup onion)
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can corn with red & green peppers, drained
1 (10 oz.) can enchilada sauce
1/2 cup egg substitute (I used 2 eggs)
1 (8.5 oz) package corn muffin mix
2 Tblsp chopped roasted red bell pepper
1 1/2 cups (6 oz) shredded Mexican cheese
for garnish - sour cream, fresh cilantro

  1. Place salsa, scallions, chicken, beans, corn, half the chilies, and enchilada sauce into the cooker; stir well. Cover with lid and cook on LOW for 4 hours.
  2. Combine the other half of the chiles, corn muffin mix, egg substitute, and chopped red pepper in a bowl. Spoon batter evenly over the bean mixture in the cooker. Cover and cook 1 hour until the crust is done.
  3. Sprinkle the cheese over the corn bread, turn off the crockpot and let it sit 5 minutes until the cheese melts. Top each serving with a tablespoon of sour cream and additional cilantro, optional. Makes about 6 servings (unless you're me, then it's like 3...haha!).

I found some of those recipes to be surprising (really? the ham and cheese loaf got that many hits?), but thinking back those were all unanimous hits in our house at one point or another. As we hit 2011 I've been deciding what I want to do with this blog, and I think I'm going to keep it going. I'm trying to incorporate some more vegetarian dishes (which we never have enough of), more fish/seafood meals, and less casserole dishes in favor of more healthy fare (although I won't lie - we'll definitely still have many of them). And as always, if you have inspiration, send it my way...I'm always looking for more :) Happy New Year, dear readers! xoxox
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