Friday, May 30, 2008

It's Fabulous

Molly is WAY into High School Musical 2 and thinks that everything is "fabulous." Troy is "fabulous"- not cute, I am "fabulous", and last night's dinner was "fabulous!"
This is a recipe out of the Kraft magazine that I doctored up a bit.

Zesty Shrimp and Pasta

8 oz. package linguine, uncooked
3/4 cup Sun-dried tomatoe vinagrette dressing
2 cups sliced mushrooms
3 scallions sliced
1 can (14oz.) marinated artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
1 lb. uncooked cleaned large shrimp
1 Tbsp. chopped parsley (fresh)
1/2 cup sundried tomatoes cut into small pieces
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Cook pasta as directed on package.

Meanwhile, heat 1/2 cup dressing in large skillet on medium heat. Stir in mushrooms, scallions, artichokes, and sun-dried tomatoes. Cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add shrimp and parsley; cook 2 minutes or until shrimp are pink and vegetables tender, stirring occasionally.

Drain pasta and return to pot. Add shrimp mixture, remaining 1/4 cup dressing, toss lightly.
Sprinkle with cheese!

Variations: subsitute broccoli or red pepper for any of the veggies or add them too!
Makes 6 - 1 cup servings

Sunday, May 25, 2008

A Festival!

As nurses food is a big part of working a holiday weekend. The term "festival" has been coined as the word to have a potluck lunch. Well today was a Festival Day! It was a French Dip Sandwich festival. I offered to make the meat, which was probably the easiest part. It was super delicious, so here is the recipe for all those who requested it. This is truely one of the easiest things ever!!!! It works great for potlucks, taking dinner to the neighbors, camping (if you have electricity), and scrapbook crops! If you are lucky there will even be leftovers because it tastes better the next day!

French Dip Sandwiches

3lb. Rump Roast (trim off the fat)
1 can beef consumme
1 packet Au Jus seasoning
1 packet Good Seasons Italian Dressing
2 cans water

Combine in crockpot and cook on low 6-8 hours. Shred meat and serve on crusty buns (we like ciabatta rolls) with provolone cheese. Use the liquid to dip sandwich in.

*Stock up on rump roasts when they go on sale. $1.99/lb or less is a good price!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Me, Soccer Mom?

Well Molly is in her 3rd week of county rec soccer. She absolutely loves it, and frankly so do I. I love soccer and am so happy she love's to play too. Games are Monday's at 5:30p.m. what a dumb time! The dads rush from work, and most of the kids haven't eaten yet and are famished as they attempt to run after the ball. Watching them is so funny. Poor coach, really how do you herd helium balloons? 3 year old/helium balloons...what's the difference. Our game yesterday was probably the best the team did over all but the worst Molly has done. I can't really blame her, being sick has really run her down. She was at the game in all her attitude.

Well usually after the game we just grab a little Shivers or McDonalds but we've been trying to cut back. I found this great quick and easy recipe while searching for "diet" recipes several years ago. My hubby really likes this one too!

Southwestern Pork Chops

serves 4 185 calories/serving

1 Tbsp. olive oil

4 pork rib chops

1 cup salsa

1/2 tsp. cumin

1/4 cup shredded cheese

Heat oil on medium high heat. Season pork with salt and pepper. Brown in hot oil 2 minutes on each side. Add salsa and cumin. Turn heat down to medium low and simmer 6-7 minutes until cooked. sprinkle with cheese.

Serve with rice.

Chicken works well too. Start to finish 15 minutes!

What a Week!

Well 10 days later and Molly is finally feeling better. 5 days of high fever then 5 of low fever. We also spent the weekend at my parents' cabin in Woodland. It was great we had some friends up and did some fishing. The kids had more fun finding the worms to fish with than actually fishing! We had the best chicken brother the griller, partially responsible. It was nice to be away in the mountains while it was sssooo hot here in the city!

Thyme Lime Chicken

2 Tbsp. butter

2 Tbsp. olive oil

2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice

1 Tbsp. minced fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 tsp. lime zest

1 garlic clove

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

4-6 chicken breasts

In a small saucepan melt butter in olive oil; add lime juice, thyme, lime peel, garlic, salt, and pepper. Brush on chicken. Broil basting frequently 6-7 inches from the heat for 15-20 minutes on each side.

My directions:

mix all ingredients (melt butter) and let chicken marinate in mix. Grill on the BBQ.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Just a Quickie

Well, I was up most of the night with a sick little girl. Not really sure what's up, just a really high fever for the past couple of days. We went to the Doc today negative strep, etc. Luckily this afternoon she seems to be feeling better. Those events prompted yet another quick and easy crockpot recipe. What would we ever do without the crockpot.

Italian Crockpot Chicken
4-6 chicken breasts
1 can cream of chicken
1 8ounce cream cheese
1 packet good seasons Italian dressing mix

Combine all ingredients in crock. Cook on low heat about 8 hours. Serve over pasta, rice, or baked potatoes.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

For the Healthy...

or those who desire to be!

For those of you who don't know I am training to run a 5K. Now that it is in the open, there is no turning back. I found a running schedule called "From Couch Potato to 5K".

I am on week 4 of a 9 week schedule. I can now run 5 minutes...doesn't sound like much but I am thrilled with my progress. Week 1 was running 90 seconds and walking 2 minutes for 30minutes, I didn't ever think I would make it this far. Next week will be a challenge, 20minutes, really???? Well in my attempts to exercise I have tried eating healthier, although you wouldn't guess it with the recipes so far. Here is a good lunch idea I got out of a Weight Watchers cookbook.

Corn and Black Bean Lettuce Bundles
1 (19oz.) can black beans
1/2 cup corn kernels
1/2 red bell pepper
4 green onions sliced
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 garlic clove - minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 head Boston lettuce - cleaned and separated into leaves

1. In medium bowl combine all ingredients except lettuce. Refrigerate covered at least 1 hour to let flavors blend.

2. Fill lettuce leaves with 1/3 cup mixture and roll up like a burrito.

Makes 8 bundles

Per 2 bundles...166 cal, 4 g fat, 29 g carb, 4 g fiber, 11 g protein
WW points 3 points

The bean mixture is really good with tortilla chips too!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Alright, today started off like any super mom would hope. I was out the door at 6:30a.m. met a friend, and walked 31/2 miles in under an hour. When I got home breakfast was on the table, the hubby ready for work, and the kid eating. WOW that never happens before 9:00a.m.! I had hopes of granduer for the day, thinking hey lets ride Trax downtown and look at the flowers on Temple Square (since I was too cheap to pay $10 to go to the Tulip Festival at Thanksgiving Point). Before the fun though I had to figure out what to take my sweet neighbor who just had her hip replaced. I thought I could put a roast in the crockpot (meat and veggies all in one) and whip up a batch of oatmeal raisin cookies. The roast was in the crockpot and cookies baked, all before 9:00a.m.....doing good! Right??? Wrong!
The cookies didn't do too well. I don't really prefer oatmeal raisin but "no chocolate" was requested so I made the batch of cookies up until the chocolate chips get added and took out a cup or so and added some cinnamon and raisins and put them in the oven to bake. Well on the way out of the oven I burned my hand and dropped the pan, making the cookies paper thin and not very appealing. The rest of the batch is mmmmm good, too bad it all had chocolate. Oh well! Plan B - Luckily I had an unused pie crust, some pudding and bananas. Banana cream pie!
The roast smells delectable and it is as my husband said "one of his top 5!"
So as for our plan, about 9:30 the neighbor comes over to play! I knew she had school at 12:00 so I thought I could get ready and then we could go. Well by the time the little one was done playing at 12:00 I had barely gotten ready and was exhausted. Too my relief she wanted to play "princess" with her "friends". I thought hmm good time for a break for me. The house was finally picked up, the laundry folded and put away, dinner cooking, and Molly playing! I got out the laptop, put it in the bedroom and pulled up the past 2 episodes of Grey's Anatomy I had missed. It was so "not me" to sit, watch TV, drink a diet coke, and ignore my child for 2 hours. Well now that it is almost 4:00p.m. and I didn't do what I had intended but sometimes a little "me " time is the recipe to being more productive. I think it is turning into a 3 diet Coke day but oh well! Probably a little TMI but here are the recipes!

I stumbled across this roast recipe in a Paula Deen cookbook.
Spiced Beef with Dumplings

One 3lb. boneless chuck roast
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
One 16 ounce can tomatoes
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup red wine
2 teaspoons beef granules
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 cloves garlic minced
6 whole cloves (I don't use, so I guess my version isn't spiced)
1 package (8 count) refrigerated biscuits
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
1/4 cup cold water
2 tablespoons cornstarch

Trim the excess fat from roast. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Brown roast on all sides. Add tomatoes, water, wine, bouillon, salt, pepper, garlic, and cloves. Cover and cook slowly 2-3 hours until tender. Place biscuits on top of roast and sprinkle with parsley. Cover tightly and steam dumplings for 10-15 minutes, giving pot an occasional shake. Remove meat and dumplings to a platter. Make the gravy by mixing the water and cornstarch. Stir into boiling broth, continue to stir the water and cornstarch. Stir until thick. If the broth doesn't need thickening serve as is.

My Way: After browning the roast I put it in the crockpot with the rest of the ingredients (through the cloves, although I omit them). Cook on low 6 hours. Add some cut up potatoes and carrots and add those. I bake the biscuits on the side and don't usually have to thicken any gravy. It is soooo tasty!

Sunday, May 4, 2008


Making treats is a favorite past time, eating them more so. Here are a is one of my favorite sweet snacks - Sweet Chex Mix. I am not allowed to show up to a scrapbooking weekend without it. It is probably my most requested recipe.

Sweet Chex Mix

1 (11 ounce) box Golden Grahams
4 cups corn chex
4 cups rice or wheat chex
2 cups coconut
1 cup slivered almonds

Mix together in a large bowl.

1 cup sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 stick butter

Mix sugar, corn syrup, and butter in saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil for 3 minutes. Pour over cereal mixture and stir to coat. Spread out on wax paper to cool.
(The longer it boils the more crunchy it becomes. At 3 minutes it is perfectly gooey!)

BEWARE: Once you take a bite you will be addicted!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

mmmm!!!! that looks good!

So after a fun filled day wrangling kids at the Children's Discovery Gateway we decided lunch at the California Pizza Kitchen sounded good. I love pizza and won't ever turn down an opportunity to have pizza, so I orderd the BBQ chicken pizza. It was tasty, but my friend ordered wisely and got the BBQ chop chicken salad. It looked sssooooo good!!! It inspired dinner for the night. I have this recipe from an awesome cookbook called "Favorites". I use this cookbook at least once a week. Everything in it is delicious!

BBQ Chicken Chop Salad

2 boneless skinsless chicken breasts
1 cup barbeque sauce

Marinate chicken in sauce, then bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Chop into pieces and refrigerate.

1/2 head iceberg lettuce, chopped
1/2 head Romaine lettuce, chopped
3-4 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1 jicama, peeled and diced
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup frozen sweet corn, thawed
1 avacado, chopped
1/2 pound Monterey Jack cheese, grated

Combine chicken in a large salad bowl with salad ingredients and toss. Serve with tortilla chips and a lime wedge.

For the dressing mix equal parts Ranch dressing and BBQ sauce.

The really great thing about this salad is that the men I have served it for eat it and actually enjoy it!