Monday, 28 February 2011

Easy Pineapple "Gumbo"

I discovered thsi tasty concoction last night while throwing together a bunch of leftovers. I used:

  1. 1 box of rice a roni (rice pilaf) and followed the directions
  2. leftover smoked sausage or kielbasa, chopped
  3. leftover pineapple chutney (pineapple and onions tossed with salt pepper and 1 tsp of hot sauce and heated in the skillet)
  4. raw mushrooms
  5. shredded pepperjack
I made  the rice according to the directions. While that cooked I reheated the sausage and chutney and mushrooms in a skillet. When they were both done I combined them and topped with cheese.

What a perfect way to sneak in five food groups grains, fruit, dairy, veggies and meat!

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Raw Vegetable Amish Casserole

I loved this! But Mike only thought it was "so-so", but he's not as into his vegetable as I am. I can't get enough of them. This meal reminded me of when my Girl Scout troop would go camping. For dinner we would wrap Veggall (sp?), potatoes and hamburger meat in aluminium foil and throw them in the fire to cook. MMMMM!

In a caserole dish, layer cabbage, slice potatoes, onions, zucchini, carrots and more onions. Do that in any order, but start with the cabbage. Salt and pepper between the layers. Optionally, butter the potatoes. On top sprinkle approx. a pound of raw hamburger meat. Cover with foil and bake at 375 for 1.5 hours. Top with lots of cheese before serving!

The only picture I remembered to take was during the layering process

Have you made anything like this?

Friday, 25 February 2011

Friday Favday

Here's what I've been craving over the past week!
Caramel Apple Cake....this sounds llike heaven on a plate
Chocolate Churros...I discovered churros in Ireland and have been wanting to bake them since
Chocoalte Chip PB Biscotti
Homemade Teriyaki Sauce....I love teriyaki flavoring, so it'd be great to be able to whip it up
Baked Potato Pizza...Mandy is brilliant, what else is there to say?
I'm linking up with Finding Joy in My Kitchen

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Go Win Wendesday: Feb 23

Here's what's going on in the giveaway world:

Ends Feb 25th. Win a cute letterpress print.

Ends Feb 28th. Win an Amazon giftcard!

Ends March 3. Win a cute headband and brooch!

Ends Monday. Win two cute headbands!

Ends March 2. Win a pair of pretty earrings!

Ends March 11th. Win tea and a mug.

Ends Feb 25th. Win a scarf

Ends March 4th. Win a CSN gift code.

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Woot Woot!


I have a few reasons to be extra happy this weekend!

1. My husband is feeling better and knows what has been causing him pain and worry. And has a way to ease his pain! Praise God!

2. Our new dining room set came today! We got a really good deal. We bought the table and chairs for $599 and it came with a queen sized mattress and box spring set! It's not the best quality mattress but it sure does beat sleeping on the couch and chair and half. And, we plan on moving my parents old bedroom set up this summer for our guest bedroom. So when that happens we can move the free mattress on to it and buy ourselves a nicer mattress.

3. I've been writing pretty steadily for the local paper and started my training at the grocery store last week.

4. Yesterday was sunny and warm enough that I was able to sit outside and read my FREE subscription to Better Homes and Gardens!

5. I've knocked a few things of of my 101/1001 list lately. The latest item was not as hard as I thought it would be. "Cook 15 new non-dessert recipes." And I did it! Suprisingly, before the similar goal to cook 15 new dessert recipes! You can check out my Kitchen Adventures page to check out the recipes I've tried and liked enough to blog about. A few more should be coming this week! Knocking that goal off my list means I've completed 32 of the goals on the list!

What good things happend to you this week?

Friday, 18 February 2011

What I've Been Eyeing!

Here's a list of posts that caught my attention this week!

Cannoli Pound Cake.....mmmmmm I love cannolis

Gorgeous Handmade Poinsetta Pillows...I want to make these by Christmas

Strawberry Jalepeno Cupcakes....Mike isn't big on sweets but I think he might like these

Parmesan Crackers....these look simple and tasty

Baked Skinny Fries....I think we'll have these for dinner tonight

Fruity Breakfast Burrito....I had my version of these for breakfast this morning...more later

Magic Refrigerator rising as we speak!

I'm linking up with Friday Favorites!

"Chocolate Banana Snackin' Bars"

I made these the other afternoon for us to snack on throughout the week. And they're only 70 calories apiece. My first impulse was to eat one warm out of the oven. And it was incredibly dry and dissapointing, so I bagged them and stuck them in the fridge. Deciding to give them a second chance, I tried another one the next morning and it was incredibly moist! So resist all urges to a hot and fresh one and refrigerate them awhile before diggin' in.


1 cup mashed bananas (3 medium)
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup oil
1/ cup milk
2 large eggs
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salr
1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 cup chocolate chips


Preheat to 350F. Line a baking SHEET with foil and grease/spray.

Beat on medium speed- mashed bananas, sugar, oil, milk, eggs, powder and soda, cinnamon, vanilla and salt in a large bowl. On low speed beat in flour until well combined. Stir in chocolate.

Spread into pan. Bake 15-20 minutes until it passes the toothpick test.

Let cool and then cut lenghtwish into four strips. Cut each strip into ten pieces.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Menu Planning...Thursday

Somehow we've gotten into the habit of almost running out of dinner foods on Wednesdays so that's when I've been doing the grocery shopping and meal planning gets posted after that. So while it's not Monday, it works for us and tends to last us at leat 1.5 weeks and occasionally 3 weeks. I'm exctied about this upcoming meal plan because it holds a lot of new recipes for me to try.

W- Hamburger Helper

Th- Raw Vegetable Amish Casserole (recipe coming)

F Grilled Chicken Sandwiches and Fries (recipe coming)

Sa Leftovers or Perogis

Su Kielbasa and Cabbage or leftovers (recipe coming)

M Pork Stirfry with Broccoli and Pineapple Chutney

Tu Meat and Potato Pasties (recipe to come)

W Cowboy Beans and Sausage (recipe to come)

Th Breakfast with Jimmy Dean SW Skillet....I love those things

F Spaghetti

Sa Leftovers

Sunday Leftovers

M Italian Grilled Chicken

Tu Pork chops...I haven't decided how I want to do these yet.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Valentine's Dinner

I'd planned on having cheddar chicken for dinner last night, but since it was valentine's I wanted to make it a little more special.

Thankfully, Rachel Ray stepped in and on her talk show last week showed me how to butterfly and stuff a chicken breast. Basically, you gently cut the chicken breast open like a book.

I did that and then sauteed onions in butter and then stuffed them into the chicken and then followed the rest of the recipe as usual. I served it with field peas (one of my favorites). Mike had, to my suprise, never had them, but loved them! And I made extra breasts so that we both can have valentine leftovers for lunch today!  As for dessert? Well, Mike's not much of a sweets eater so I sent cookies with him to work!

What did  you do for dinner last night?

Monday, 14 February 2011

Valentine's Day Cards

I mailed out a bunch of homemade Valentine's cards at the end of last week.

K10 loves yellow and the yellow blue combo

Chocolates for Hotglue

Lots of hearts for my mom/dad/sister

Blue and Green are my "little's" favorite colors

A fun, simple card for Lyric

I also made a purple leopard print card for my divaish little cousin and a red, pink and white lacey card for Mike, but of course I forgot to take pictures!

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Love Lesson #1: Love is Patient

(Remember, I picked LOVE to be my 2011 word) I've had a hard time with this lesson lately. I'm not a patient person, but lately I've been unfairly unpatient with Mike. He's had a lot of health problems and trips to the emergency room over the past month. Wanting him to be better quickly, I would jump on the bandwagon with any pills or treatment that any of the myriad of doctors he's seen suggested. Even when he told me he truly felt like a certain set of pills would do him more harm than help. I pushed him to at least purchase the pills, in case he would change his mind. I was tired of the countless visits to the ER and postponed plans. I just wanted my husband back, and I wanted him back now.
After much prayer, on both of our parts, and more ER visits, Mike and I have come to the conclusion that the prescribed medication was not what he needed and that there was a deeper cause to his symptoms.

Slowly, I've been learning to be more patient, with God and with my husband. Somedays it takes a lot not to snap at him or get moody over something that he can't control. But I think it is no coincidence that my Bible study planned lined up to have me reading about Job's wife around the time this started. I've constantly had a reminder in my head that comes out everytime I get the urge to be mean or snotty to my husband when I'm stressed or even sometimes inconvenienced by his health issues. It whispers to me that I don't want to be negative like Job's wife.

It reminds me that I want to be supportive, helpful, loving and patient. That the things going on are not my husbands fault and that his suffering is even greater than mine.

As for a health update, he has an appointment with the GI to check out some things. Other than that I can't say much because he has expressed a wish that I not blog in detail about his health.

Friday, 11 February 2011

ATM Favorite Dessert Snack

We had lots of leftover canned pineapple rings from last week that I've been snacking on. I love to take two of them, put some pieces of my hazelnut Ghiradelli chocolate bar in the the center of the ring and then sprinkle with grated Cheddar cheese. It seems like an odd combination but I love pineapple and choclate and I love pineapple and Cheddar. And the chocolate has nuts in it which helps up the "savoryness" that is associated with the cheese.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Swagbucks Wishlist

The last few things I bought with my Amazon gift cards that I earned on Swagbucks, were items that had been lingering on my wishlist for quite awhile.

The last things I traded my swagbucks gift cards in for were:

1. A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table
2. Wilton Assorted Jewel Mini Cups, 100 Count

3. Wilton Recipe Right 3 Tier Cooling Rack Set

Whats next?

Well, I'd like to get:

1. BonJour Creme Brulee Chef's Culinary Torch with Fuel Gauge, Brushed Aluminum
2. Norpro 6 Piece Porcelain Ramekin Set
3.Sterling Silver Marcasite and Garnet Colored Glass Heart Pendant, 18"

I'm only 900 swagbucks away from knocking the torch off my wishlist! Do you use Swagbucks? What do you cash them in for? If you haven't signed up yet, click here to join.

Monday, 7 February 2011

Getting Creative in the Kitchen!

After we had Bacon Pineapple Burgers for dinner we had a few leftover slices of pineapple and lots of juice left. I wanted to keep the slices for snacking on but I didn't want to throw out, or drink the juice straight up.

So I started to look into cookie recipes. I looked at basic recipes like shortbread, sugar cookies and butter cookies. I couldn't decide the best route for the pineapple cookies I wanted to use, so I sort of combined a butter cookie and sugar cookie recipe, but subsituted most if the sugar for brown sugar and honey, because I thought those flavors would best compliment the pineapple. I then brushed the cookies with a glaze I made from melted butter, honey and brown sugar.

They came out with a nice texture, but didn't have a very pineapple-y taste, but I only used 1/4 cup of the juice because I didn't want them to come out too acidic. But if I make them again, I will probably double the amount of juice and maybe add in some cinnamon and a little bit of milk.

I'll leave you with the recipe I ended up cobbling together but appreciate your suggestions on how to make a better pineapple flavored cookie.

1/2 cup  butter
1 egg
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup regular sugar
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup pineapple juice/syrup from canned pineapples

tablespoon of honey
tablespoon of brown sugar
1/4 cup melted butter

I beat everything in the first set of ingredients together and scooped onto a greased pan and baked about 13 minutes ar 375 F. The recipe made about eighteteen cookies which I brushed with the second set of ingredients once they were mixed together.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Shelly's Chicken Casserole

A very good friend of mine taught me how to make this (several times, I'm a slow learner with a bad memory) and Mike and I both love it.


1 whole chicken or 2 boneless skinless  chicken breasts
8oz sour cream
2 cans cream of chicken (or 1 can cream of chicken, 1 can mushroom)
melted butter
approx 1 cup seasoned bread crumbs or stuffing mixture


Boil and shred the chicken. Combine with sour cream and creams of chicken. In a seperate bowl combine the bread crumbs with melted butter. Layer chicken, crumbs, chicken, crumbs. Finish by pouring approx 2 cups of the broth the chicken boiled in over the casserole. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.

Friday, 4 February 2011

I can't stop bouncing!

I am literally that excited.

My interview this morning with the paper was exciting! I'll be working as a stringer and my first assignment is due next Friday.

Since that's only part time writing and doesn't require me to be in the office I'm still looking for a "day job".
My interview at the Giant Eagle went well. I was told I was "a good fit" and that I should have an official confirmation by Wednesday.

And, when I got home there was a message on the machine for the Girl Scout job I would love love love to have. The message said that the office was closing early today but that they would call back on Tuesday to schedule an interview with me!

Keep me in your prayers please!

What are you excited about today? A new job? A perfected recipe? The Super Bowl?

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Messy, But Yummy!

Last night we had a little taste of summer with bacon pineapple burgers with homemade buns! Because I forgot to reform the patties after they soaked in the marinade, they fell apart some on the grill but still tasted awesome!

Use 1lb ground meat for every four burgers.

Mix meat with three tablespoons of italian dressing and salt and pepper. Form into patties. Press pineapple slices into each patty. Cover with marinade made from 3/4 cup BBQ sauce, 1/4 cup honey 1/4 cup brown sugar and 1 tablespoon pineapple juice. Let soak at least two hours in the fridge. Reshape patties into tight balls and grill to perfection! While you're grilling, cook up some bacon to sit on top.

Now, about those buns! I used this recipe, but my buns didn't come out as neatly as hers did. And they were denser than I'd expected. Maybe, I didn't punch the dough down enough? We were able to use them, and I've been eating the smaller sized leftovers with honey, pb and banana for breakfast and lunch.
going into the oven:

coming out of the oven:

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Job Hunt Updates WITH UPDATES

Yesterday, I had an interview to be a cashier with the Salvation Army.
Today I had an  interview with Ramada Inn for a front desk position.
Tomorrow I have an interview with Giant Eagle

Yesterday afternoon I called human resources for a job I'd applied for last week with the Girl Scouts. I was told I'd hear something by Thursday night, and if not to call back Thursday afternoon or Friday.

Keep your fingers crossed for me...and hopefully by the beginning of next week I will be posting the last update!

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Menu Plan

I went shopping today and here's what we'll be eating over the next week and a half

Tuesday- Broccoli Skillet
Wednesday- Pineapple Burgers  and baked beans
Thursday- Chicken Casserole and some sort of vegetable
Friday- Chile Relleno Casserole or tacos
Saturday- leftovers
Sunday- leftovers or hamburger helper
Monday-  crockpot meatloaf and mashed potatoes
Tuesday- onion stuffed cheddar chicken (racheal ray taught me how!) and some sort of vegetable
Wednesday- Bacon, Eggs and pancakes
Thursday- frozen perogis
Friday- spaghetti
Saturday- leftovers or frozen pizza
Sunday- leftovers or frozen pizza

I'll let you know how it goes!

PS: I have two interviews this week!