Monday, March 19, 2012

Menu plan

Finally able to update my blog. Enjoy my menu plan for this week. Check out Organize Junkie for more ideas!

: Parmesan Crusted Chicken

Tuesday:Mini Lasagna

Wednesday:Pork Sandwiches

Thurday:Baked Chicken Alfredo

: Baked Shrimp Scampi

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Rainbow Pancakes

In honor of St. Patty's day I made rainbow pancakes for breakfast and then the kids and I had fun with the leprechauns.

Rainbow pancakes

pancake mix with ingredients to make - or make your own!
food coloring


1. make pancake batter according to box directions
2. divide pancake batter evenly into 6 bowls ( I made one batch at a time and divided the batter each time)
3. add a few drops of food coloring to each bowl to reach desired color and stir well
4. heat griddle
6. pour batter on to griddle (one color at a time) and cook until bubbles start to form on the pancake - flip pancake over and continue cooking until done
7. repeat process for each color

Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage

Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage


  • 4 large carrots, peeled and cut into matchstick pieces
  • 10 baby red potatoes, quartered
  • 1 onion, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 (4 pound) corned beef brisket with spice packet
  • 6 ounces beer
  • 1/2 head cabbage, coarsely chopped


  1. Place the carrots, potatoes, and onion into the bottom of a slow cooker, pour in the water, and place the brisket on top of the vegetables. Pour the beer over the brisket. Sprinkle on the spices from the packet, cover, and set the cooker on High.
  2. Cook the brisket for about 8 hours. An hour before serving, stir in the cabbage and cook for 1 more hour

Review: This tasted good. I have never made corned beef and cabbage any other way. Overall a good recipe.

30 Minute Tuna Noodle Casserole

30 Minute Tuna Noodle Casserole

serves 5

5 cups cooked pasta- I recommend rotini or egg noodles

2 cans tuna, drained and flaked with a fork

2 cups peas, fresh or frozen

2 cans condensed cream of mushroom soup

1 cup milk

½ cup grated parmesan cheese

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 cup finely crushed french fried onions (optional)

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Combine the pasta, tuna, and peas in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the soup, milk, cheese, garlic powder, and pepper, and pour over the top of the pasta mixture. Stir to combine and pour into a greased casserole dish. Bake, covered with foil, for 20 minutes. Remove the foil, sprinkle the french fried onions evenly over the top and bake uncovered for an additional 5 minutes.

Review: New family favorite! My kids loved this recipe, it tasted creamy and the french fried onion added an extra crunchy!

Bacon Cheese Potatoes (Slow Cooked)

Bacon Cheese Potatoes (Slow Cooked)

  • 1/4 pound bacon, diced
  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • 4 medium potatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 pound cheddar cheese, thinly sliced
  • salt and pepper
  • butter
  • Green Onions (optional)
  1. Line crockpot with foil, leaving enough to cover the potatoes when finished.
  2. Layer half each of the bacon, onions, potatoes and cheese in crockpot. Season to taste and dot with butter.
  3. Repeat layers of bacon, onions, potatoes and cheese. Dot with butter.
  4. Cover with remaining foil.
  5. Cover and cook on low for 10-12 hours.
Review:Simple PERFECTION!

Slow cooker cilantro lime chicken

Slow cooker cilantro lime chicken

In a slow cooker, mix together:

One 24-ounce jar medium or mild salsa

Juice from one lime

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

One 1.25-oz. package taco seasoning

2 jalapeno peppers, finely chopped (optional)

Add 4-6 boneless chicken breast halves (completely defrosted) to the slow cooker and coat with the salsa mixture. Cover and cook on Low for 6 hours.

Serve the chicken with the salsa mixture spooned over the top. If you're feeling crazy, throw a dollup of sour cream on top with some crushed tortilla chips.

Review: This was very flavorful. Our chicken was tender so we shredded it and made tacos.

Gotta go find my Snuggie!

Man pleasing chicken

Man pleasing chicken

  • Chicken thighs- 1 package
  • Dijon mustard- 1/2 cup
  • Maple syrup- 1/4 cup
  • Rice wine vinegar- 1 tablespoon

To make this chicken, which you should absolutely do immediately, preheat your oven to 450ºF. Then, mix together 1/2 cup of dijon mustard, 1/4 cup of maple syrup, and 1 tablespoon of rice wine vinegar.

Put a 1.5 pound package of chicken thighs into an oven-proof baking dish. I used boneless, skinless thighs. Six came in my package, which made enough to serve 3 people. Then, salt and pepper the thighs. Pour your maple mustard mixture over them, turning the thighs in the mixture so they are fully coated.

Put the chicken thighs into the oven, and let them bake for 40 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 165ºF. Baste the tops of the chicken with more sauce half way through. I find that a meat thermometer is essential in cooking because it allows me to check for doneness without cutting into the meat and losing its precious juices. Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes before serving. Plate the chicken, making sure to spoon some extra sauce over the top. Sprinkle over some fresh rosemary.

Review: This was good, but not great . It had a ton of flavor but the mustard was a little overpowering for my taste buds.

Mini Chicken Alfredo shells

Mini Chicken Alfredo Shells
Makes 12 servings of 24 shells

24 dry jumbo pasta shells, (about 6 oz.)
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 lb. boneless, skinless, chicken breast halves, seasoned with salt and pepper

1 1/2 c. heavy cream
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 stick unsalted butter (8 Tbsp.)
1 1/2 c. grated Parmesan, divided
2 tsp. black pepper
4 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley, divided

Preheat broiler with rack 5 inches from element. Spray two 24-cup mini muffin tins with nonstick spray; set aside. Bring a large post of salted water to a boil.

Cook shells in boiling water until al dente, 12-15 minutes; drain and rinse under cold water.

Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add chicken and saute until cooked through, 8-9 minutes per side; cool slightly, then chop into small pieces.

Warm cream and garlic in a large saucepan over medium-low heat until steaming. Whisk in butter until melted. Add 1 c. Parmesan, 2 tsp. pepper, and 2 Tbsp. parsley. Increase heat to medium-high and simmer until reduced to 1 cup, about 10 minutes. Stir in chicken and remove from heat.

Fill each shell with 1 heaping Tbsp. chicken mixture. Stagger filled shells, open ends up, in every other muffin tin well to prevent them from sticking to each other. Sprinkle shells with remaining 1/2 c. Parmesan.

Broil shells until sauce bubbles and Parmesan melts and is golden, about 2 minutes. Garnish shells with remaining 2 Tbsp. parsley

Review: This was a great recipe. I would serve it next time as an appetizer. I did use canned chicken to make this recipe speedy!

Stuffed Chicken Marsala

Stuffed Chicken Marsala

recipe adapted from Olive Garden Kitchen

Cheese Stuffing
1/2 cup smoked shredded cheese (provolone or gouda)

8-oz package mozzarella cheese, shredded

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

1/2 cup breadcrumbs

1 tsp fresh garlic, minced

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, crushed

2 Tbsp sun-dried tomato, chopped (drain first if in oil)

1/3 cup green onions, thinly sliced

3/4 cup sour cream (6 oz)
1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper


1/2 large red small onion, finely chopped

1-2 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups Marsala wine

1 cup heavy cream

1 8oz container of cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced

Salt and pepper to taste

2 lbs skinless, boneless chicken breasts

4 fl oz olive oil for frying

2 cups all-purpose flour

Review: This recipe was good, even though I was a little scared to try it at first. I thought it was going to be hard and time consuming. It surprisingly was easier then anticapted and only took 15 minutes to prepare! It tasted great. Just remember that the wine you use makes a difference in the results you get! No cooking wine.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Chicken Parmesan Meatloaf

Chicken Parmesan Meatloaf
original Joelen recipe
1 lb ground chicken (ground turkey can be substituted)

1 egg

1/4 cup breadcrumbs

1/2 teaspoon dried basil

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1-2 cloves garlic, finely minced

1 small onion, grated

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup pasta sauce (homemade or store bought)

1/2 cup shredded Italian cheese blend

minced parsley for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a loaf pan with cooking spray, set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the ground chicken, egg, breadcrumbs, thyme, oregano, basil, garlic, onion, salt, pepper and Parmesan cheese. To not over handle the mixture otherwise it will get tough. Place the mixture in the greased loaf pan and form into a loaf. Top the meatloaf with pasta sauce.

Place filled loaf pan on a baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 40-45 minutes. Remove the meatloaf from the oven and sprinkle the top with the remaining shredded cheese. Place the meatloaf back in the oven and bake until the cheese is melted.

Remove the meatloaf from the oven and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes before serving/slicing. Garnish with parsley if desired.

* To make ahead/freezer meal - Prepare the meatloaf mixture as directed and place in a disposable loaf pan. Cover and freeze.** When ready to prepare and serve, defrost the meatloaf completely and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Top with pasta sauce and place filled loaf pan on a baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven for 40-45 minutes. Remove the meatloaf from the oven and sprinkle the top with the remaining shredded cheese. Place the meatloaf back in the oven and bake until the cheese is melted. Remove the meatloaf from the oven and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes before serving/slicing. Garnish with parsley if desired.

** Alternately, you can top the meatloaf with pasta sauce before freezing and then bake from frozen, uncovered for 55-60 minutes on a baking sheet. Remove the meatloaf from the oven and sprinkle the top with the remaining shredded cheese. Place the meatloaf back in the oven and bake until the cheese is melted. Remove the meatloaf from the oven and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes before serving/slicing. Garnish with parsley if desired.

Review: I did not make this a freezer meal but I am sure it would taste great as well. The chicken was full of flavor and tasted great with species and seasoning! So far i have only attempted to cook with ground chicken a few times but I love this recipe

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Tuna Patties

Tuna Patties Recipe


  • 2 6-ounce cans tuna
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup white bread torn into small pieces
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp water (or liquid from the cans of tuna)
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh chives, green onions, or shallots
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • A couple squirts of Crystal hot sauce or tabasco
  • 1 raw egg
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon butter


1 Drain the liquid from the tuna cans. If you are using tuna packed in water, reserve a tablespoon of the tuna water, and add a teaspoon of olive oil to the tuna mixture in the next step.

2 In a medium bowl, mix together the tuna, mustard, torn white bread, lemon zest, lemon juice, water, parsley, chives, and hot sauce. Sprinkle on salt and freshly ground black pepper. Taste the mixture before adding the egg to see if it needs more seasoning to your taste. Mix in the egg.

3 Divide the mixture into 4 parts. With each part, form into a ball and then flatten into a patty. Place onto a wax paper lined tray and chill for an hour. (You can skip the chilling if you want, chilling just helps the patties stay together when you cook them.)

4 Heat the olive oil and a little butter (for taste) in a cast iron or stick-free skillet on medium high. Gently place the patties in the pan, and cook until nicely browned, 3-4 minutes on each side.

Serve with wedges of lemon. You can also serve with tarter sauce on slider buns for a tuna burger.

Yield: Makes 4 patties.

Review: These tasted great, they were simple to prepare and had great flavor.