Ally's Sweet and Savory Eats: May 2010

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Pay It Forward

Whew...it's been a great weekend already, and I still have a pedicure, dinner with some friends and a Memorial Day barbecue left still to attend!

Friday night was our 1st annual Friday Night Supper Club. It is a group of three girls and I (one couldn't make it this time), who all used to work together. We have since all had babies and are either working part-time or staying at home with our little ones. The idea behind the supper club is to meet quarterly, sans kids, to have some quality GIRL TIME.

Oh, and did I mention it revolves around food? I mean, what gathering would I attend if food wasn't a part of it?


I hosted this first one, and it was centered around my white lasagna. I think it was even better this second time. I substituted the chicken for a little sliced ham...yum! Erica brought a delicious salad filled with fresh greens from her mom's friend's garden, feta cheese, tomato, olives, etc. And Pam, brought some melt in your mouth garlic rolls.

And of course dessert! I made Barefoot Contessa's coconut cupcakes. Can I just say - THE BEST CUPCAKE I'VE EVER EATEN.


There, I said it.

And for the title of this post - Pay it forward. Pam, being the great friend that she is, noticed my "wish list" awhile back and later got this out of her car.


Paula Deen's new set of pots and pans...for me!

I was shocked. Floored. And almost teary. Yes, there are women out there that get teary over new kitchen utensils.

If you didn't know, we were down to one big pot and one small skillet. All of ours were so old, literally things from back in college, and one by one they have been breaking or losing their non-stick surface.

Pam's exact words were, "Sometimes I think you just have to do nice things for nice people." She felt she needed to do this for me.

Well, now I need to pay it forward. I need to pass this niceness on. Hmm....

Friday, May 28, 2010

Barefoot Contessa's Coconut Cupcakes

This morning I am making these...Barefoot Contessa's Coconut Cupcakes with cream cheese frosting.


Anyone had these? I'm hoping they are good, as my girlfriends will be royally disappointed if they are not!

Tonight is Friday Night Supper Club at my house (the rescheduled date), so I've got about a million things on my list to do today - vacuum, dust, pick-up, bake the cupcakes, throw together my White Lasagna, pick up some wine, and take grass clippings to the yard waste dump.

Yeah, that last one was thrown at me this morning, because it just "has to be done today". Today, of all days. Last time it sat in the garage for close to two weeks, but now it has to be done TODAY.

Seriously.

So, that is my post today, short and sweet. Tomorrow we are heading to the lake to do some boating with friends (yea!), sans kids, Sunday I have a date with some girlfriends for dinner out, and Monday we are having some people over for the traditional Memorial Day barbecue.

Busy weekend! Everyone have a nice LONG weekend and enjoy spending time with friends and family.

Toot-a-loo!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Rachael Ray's Frittata Nests

I will admit, I don't often see a recipe on TV, and then make it at home. Not sure why, it just rarely happens.

But, when I was "casually" watching The Rachael Ray Show earlier this week, this recipe stood out at me. Especially when I had a similar meal planned for this week, and it wouldn't take too many changes.

Simple is good.

So, here is my take on Rachel's frittata nests. I made a few substitutions, but you can find the original recipe here. Use hers, or use mine, it's your choice.

You better use mine.

Just kidding.

Rachael Ray's Frittata Nests
6 eggs
1 c. milk
1/2 t. dry mustard
1/2 t. pepper
1/4 lb. shaved, chopped ham
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
2 c. shredded hash browns
1 c. shredded zucchini

Spray 12 muffins tins with cooking spray. Mix together hash browns and zucchini, and place in bottom of muffin tins, pushing some of the mixture to the edges with an indent in the middle. This will make them look like "bird nests". Whisk eggs and all other ingredients and pour into the bird nest wells.

Bake at 375 degrees for 50 min.




We served these with a side of homemade blueberry pancakes, as I had about a cup of blueberries left over from my crunch muffins I made earlier in the week that needed to be used up.

No one complains about blueberry pancakes. At least not in this house. But, feel free to serve them with whatever you like!

As Rachael says these frittata nests would be good for breakfast, lunch, dinner or brunch. I'm thinking a perfect dish for a bridal or baby shower?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Buffalo is Back

Look what made a reappearance last night.


Inside Out Buffalo Hot Wings! With a side of garlic roasted broccoli, of course. Am I the only one who likes to dip my broccoli in the buffalo sauce? I think that might be weird.

If you haven't tried this simple dish yet, you need to. It can easily be throw together the night before and placed in the fridge until you're ready to bake.

So, other than buffalo chicken we've been doing a LOT of this...


Chasing the little man. I swear he gets quicker everyday. He will now take off, see me coming after him, squeal at the top of his lungs, and try to get away.

I should have taken a picture of the umpteen times he traveled his way to the dogs water dish yesterday. Why is it so fascinating?

Thanks to all of you for the fresh salsa recipes. I think I am going to try Biz's baja fresh salsa, and see if it would work for my farmer's market stand. I need to do a trial run of it this week....

Do you prefer your salsa chunky or more smooth? I'm a smooth fan, and I think that is why I am going to love this one.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Blueberry Crunch Muffins

Whoa...it's a steam bath out there. Heat + humidity, makes for one sweaty day. Little man and I even went for an early morning walk yesterday, and that didn't stop the sweat from pouring off me. It feels like summer!

Now, cranking up the oven for these delicious and healthy muffins, might not sound like the thing to do on a steamy day, but trust me, they are worth it! If you do, make them early in the morning or later at night. Definitely not during the heat of the day.

Unless, you enjoy sweat.
I don't.

Oh, and before I get to this recipe, I still need some fresh salsa recipes. I'm trying to find the best one - it just may be yours!

Blueberry Crunch Muffins
2 egg whites
1/4 c. canola oil
2 c. yogurt (I use Stonyfield's Organic French Vanilla)
1/2 c. flax seed
1 c. granola (I use my homemade version)
1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1/3 c. brown sugar
1 1/4 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 c. blueberries
*Dusting berries with a little flour, will help them from not sinking to the bottom of the muffin*


Heat oven to 400 degrees. Grease muffin pan or liners (I've baked them with and without liners, and both turn out fine). Mix wet ingredients first, then add dry ingredients. Gently fold in berries. Bakes 18-20 minutes and immediately remove from pan.


These muffins are moist and a little nutty. You get the crunch of the granola every few bites, along with the juiciness of the blueberry.

Perfect, in my opinion!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Deck Garden Update & Eats

We have a new roof over our heads.

Literally.

My husband and his friends busted their *#$!* working on it this weekend, and let's just say he woke up cursing with calve cramps in the middle of the night and is burnt to a crisp (even with sunscreen!). He said he feels like an old man.

Thankfully little man and I didn't have to partake. But we did enjoy watching (for him), and cooking (for me). Lots of easy meals were made - ultimate egg scramble, blueberry crunch muffins, maidrites, cold meat sandwiches, burgers/brats on the grill, apple taffy pizza, and so much more.

Glad it is done! One project off the list, so many more to go...

I also hadn't done a deck garden update for a long time, so check out the pics below and you can see how it is coming along. Sprouting so far are: cucumbers, onions, jalapenos, tomatoes, cilantro and basil. I still have yet to plant my carrots or zucchini - need to get more pots!


And that brings me to my question of the day. Does anyone have a good fresh salsa recipe? I have a few that friends have sent me some, but I want more to compare.

Not one that is canned, just one with tomatoes, peppers, onions, cilantro, lime, etc. that are all thrown into the food processor, chopped up and call it good? One that stays fresh for a couple of days in the fridge.

I need one! I plan on using it at my Farmer's Market stand. Yep, you heard me, I think I have decided to take the plunge. It only requires me to be there on Wednesdays from 3-5pm (plus set-up and tear down), so I figured what the heck. I have most of my supplies, just looking for those last good recipes.

Help!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Apple Taffy Pizza

Sometimes you have to give credit where credit is due.

An old elementary, middle school, high school friend, and a great friend to this day, starting making this pizza way back when. I stole it from her.

Us girls would always request it, and for some reason I specifically remember her bringing it to the lake. We'd take a couple days and all head out to our friend's cabin on the lake by our hometown. Those were the days - skiing, paddle boating - and trying to "paddle boat" our way around the lake.

We never made it.

But, we would never leave a crumb of this dessert at that cabin. You know, desserts are meant to be eaten up, right?


Apple Taffy Pizza (gluten free!)

Crust: 2 eggs, 2 cups peanut butter, 1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar

Filling: 1 block of cream cheese, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 t. vanilla, 1/2 cup peanut butter

Topping: 1 sliced granny smith apple, peanuts, caramel, cinnamon, 7-Up or lemon juice

Mix ingredients for the crust and press down in a 9x13 pan. Traditionally, this is put on a pizza stone or pan (hence, Apple Taffy Pizza), but I have a zillion hungry boys at my house today, and they could care less what shape it is, so I went the easy route that fits better in my fridge. Bake this crust at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

Mix filling ingredients together. When crust is completely cool, spread cream cheese mixture on crust. Then layer apples (best to leave them soaking in lemon juice or 7-Up for awhile, to keep them from browning), and sprinkle on cinnamon, peanuts and drizzle with caramel.

Keep in the fridge, as this dish is best eaten cold. You can easily make a day ahead of time, as it keeps well for a few days.










How about that for a dessert?

Well, I need to get moving - boys arriving, still need to make a batch of blueberry muffins, vacuum, and oh yeah, make sure the little man isn't getting into EVERYTHING while I'm trying to accomplish this.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

4 Cheese Baked Macaroni

As I've said before, I only have one friend (that I know of) that doesn't like mac-n-cheese. The shame.

There is something about the cheesy goodness that just makes your day that much better. Although, I would not recommend eating this everyday...


4 Cheese Baked Macaroni
1/2 lb. whole wheat macaroni
3 T. unsalted butter
3 T. flour
1/2 t. pepper
2 1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. sour cream
1/2 c. shaved parmesan
1 c. shredded cheddar
1/2 c. crumbled bleu cheese
1 c. cubed 2% Velveeta

In a pot cook macaroni until al dente. In a large saucepan, melt butter. Sift in flour and stir with a whisk for a few minutes, until smooth and bubbling (this eliminates the flour taste). Gradually pour in milk, while whisking, and bring up to a simmer, add pepper. Add cheese and sour cream and stir until melted. Mix with cooked noodles and pour into baking dishes.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until bubbly.


As you see, I set aside two ramekins for the next night's dinner. Can't beat mac-n-cheese two nights in a row! And of course, you can substitute any cheeses your little heart desires.

In other happenings, we are getting ready to put a new roof on our house this weekend - BY OURSELVES. We have a group of friends coming over to help and I've been instructed to be on standby for any "errand runs" and meal prep.

I'm going to have many hungry boys to feed! Thankfully we are going the easy route with cold meat sandwiches, burgers on the grill, maidrites, and of course a few home baked sweets by myself.

Which reminds me - tune in tomorrow for Apple Taffy Pizza!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Tips on Healthy Snack Prep

Good morning!

I love this time of year, but really does the sun NEED to come up at 5:30am? I woke up thinking it was at least 7:00...but low and behold it was 5:45....ugh.

Before I get to my healthy snack prep tips, did anyone hear of Panera's latest idea? They opened a regular old Panera Bread (same food, same prices, etc.), but here's the kicker - you pay what you can. Whether that be a penny or a $20 bill. I know!

Their idea is that many people will overpay, which in return will help offset the ones who under pay. I think this is a great idea. This location was in Missouri...let's hope the next location is one state north:) Not only will this help someone who is struggling, but it also gives reason for some with an overflowing wallet to help a good cause.

Your thoughts?

Now, I'm guessing each and every one of you has a cupboard or pantry section in your kitchen devoted to "snacks". Especially if you have kids. My sister's pantry is a kid's dream, she has snacks available for them all the time.

And maybe the occasional sister that drops by.







Here are some easy tips to follow, whether you have kids or not...

  • Prepare snacks ahead of time - when you come home from the grocery store, prep all snacks for the week as you put things away.
  • Cut and wash all produce first thing - then place in baggies (or better yet containers!) in individual sized portions.
  • Assemble sweet and salty snacks for the week - you never know what you'll be in the mood for come Wednesday!
  • Dedicate a drawer in your fridge just for snacks, so your not searching past the leftovers for a quick bite.

Snack Ideas

  • Trail mix - mix together your favorite cereal, nuts, marshmallows, and chocolate chips for a sweet and savory bite.
  • Cut up veggies - personally I don't think it is wrong to eat your veggies with a little salad dressing on the side, at least your eating your veggies!
  • Fruit and yogurt - mix cut up apples, kiwi, and oranges into some yogurt with a dash of cinnamon. This will keep in the fridge for a couple days.
  • Assemble sliced cheese, ham, and your favorite cracker for a quick "crackwich".
  • And my personal favorite - take a slice of ham spread with a little cream cheese and pop a pickle in the middle, otherwise known as a pickle roll-up.

What are your go-to healthy snacks?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Garlic Cheese Toasts

If you didn't read yesterday's post...I'm still looking for some good book recommendations!

Now, on to today. Little man decided to start talking at 4:49am, then again at 5:45am, at which point I figured my day would be starting. Low and behold, he finally fell back asleep until 7:15am! I guess all he really wanted was a pacificer and his stuffed monkey to cuddle with:) If only that would work on adults.

I'm sharing a simple side dish with you today...what am I kidding, it's not really even a side dish, but it does nicely accompany any pasta dish. Pre-warning, it's NOT healthy, but one slice can't hurt you. I originally got this recipe from my sister-in-law, but had to adapt it a little the other day to what I had on hand.

I recommend, slathering this spread on a nice thick french bread loaf, but as you will see all I had was regular bread and Earthgrains sandwich thins. Turned out pretty good though! (We had company that is why there is so much!)


Garlic Cheese Toasts
1 loaf french bread (pre-cut 3/4 of the way though - makes for easier pulling apart when done)
1/2 c. mayo
1/2 c. unsalted butter, softened
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 c. shaved parmesan
1 T. parsley
1 t. garlic salt

Pre-cut the french bread (if using a loaf) or simply use regular bread or buns. Combine all ingredients and slather on bread. Place on baking sheet or foil and place in the oven on broil. Keep you eye on the oven, this can burn easily! Remove from oven once mixture is bubbling and bread has turned golden brown.



Sorry, for the lack of good pictures, but trust me this bread is really good. I did have the husband venture out for a good french loaf at the store but they were all out. The tragedy.

Why is a pasta dish always better with a side of crusty garlic bread?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Winner of Giada de Laurentiis Pasta Giveaway!


I guess it does pay to comment first on posts...because guess who won the Giadi de Laurentiis pasta package?


Out of 68 enteries, random.org, produced # 1. Ann send, me an email at sweetandsavoryfood@hotmail.com with your shipping information and I'll send your package this week!

Well, today is filled with cleaning, laundry, a Sam's Club run, and hopefully there is time in there to finish my book, Second Time Around. A good little, fun read. Four friends inherit money ($250,000) from a friend who passes away, and each go on their own adventure of using that money for their dream job. What would you do with $250,000?

Any other good book recommendations? Next up, I'm taking Kristen's advice, from Change of Pace, and reading Bread Alone. So, after that I'll need one!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

BLTs, al fresco, burgers and more!

***Last chance to enter my Giada de Laurentiis GIVEAWAY! Winner will be announced tomorrow morning***

So, I thought I'd pop in quick to show some of my eats over the last few days. Between a garage sale, the husband's long work hours, and things around the house, our eats have been a little random, but good!

Let me start with the best damn BLT this side of the Mississippi, from the Java Creek Cafe. My sister picked these up for us, and let me just say, I will always put guacamole on my BLT's from here on out. Why didn't I think of this?


We also tried for the first time, al fresco sausages, buffalo style to be exact. Yum! We love grilling brats, so this was a nice, healthier alternative. I've also been eyeing their spinach/feta combo. Has anyone else tried these?


Last night's dinner were our bleu cheese and mushroom turkey burgers, on a sandwich thin (on sale for $1.88 at the local Hy-Vees!), 4 cheese baked macaroni (recipe to come!) and fresh strawberries.


Which upon discovery this morning were completely gone, except for one. This always happens, if my husband really likes something, it's game on, and I'm usually left one with measly little piece, and in this case one pitiful (yet juicy) strawberry.

Stay tuned this week for:
  • 4 Cheese Baked Macaroni
  • Garlic Cheese Toasts
  • Tips on healthy snack prep
  • Apple Taffy Pizza

Enjoy your Sunday night folks! So much to watch tonight....finales of Survivor, Desperate Housewives and Brothers & Sisters...what is a girl to do?

Friday, May 14, 2010

Giada de Laurentiis Pasta Giveaway!


I've been "unplugged" as they call it for the past couple of days, but wanted to "plug" back in quickly for a GIVEAWAY!

If you are a watcher of the Food Network, or even The Today Show, you'll see lots of Giada de Laurentiis. She is known for her Italian cooking and simple, clean recipes. Giada has started her own cookware and food line at Target.

I love Target, as most women do, and now Giada has products there as well! Even better.

One lucky reader will win a Giada de Laurentiis pasta package! Which includes:

  • one box of whole wheat penne rigate
  • one box of orzo
  • one bottle of parmesan garlic vinaigrette

The perfect ingredients to throw a pasta party! With a nice side salad, of course.

Here's how to enter:

  1. Leave a comment telling me your favorite pasta dish.
  2. Become a follower of Sweet & Savory on your Google Reader.
  3. Become a follower of Sweet & Savory on Facebook.
  4. Post this giveaway on your blog, or spread the word on Facebook.

Four chances to win! Each chance gives a separate entry. Contest ends at 7 a.m. on Monday, May 17th. The winner will be chosen randomly on Monday morning.

Have a great Friday everyone!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Snicker Salad

Yesterday, as I was rambling on and on about my White Lasagna (which got many great reviews, thanks!), I had multiple people mention the white square plates I served it on.

I received that set for a wedding gift back when we got married in 2006. It is not the set we use for everyday use, I consider them a little nicer, so frankly I only get them out when we have company (or I need a nice picture!).

I'm not sure if they are still in stock, but they are from the Younkers department store, which I'm pretty sure is just a Midwest chain. I did find this one, somewhat similar, one sale for $5.24!
Today, I thought I'd share one of the over-the-top-indulgent salads we had at our Mother's Day barbecue on Sunday. My sister made it, and I'm sure most of you have had it, but I'm guessing there are still some folks out there that haven't had Snicker Salad. Beware - it is not healthy!

It's technically a fruit salad, but has chopped up Snickers bars in it....so I would consider it more of a dessert. A good dessert. An, I-can't-stop-eating-this-dessert.

Only serve it at parties, as if it sits in your fridge, you'll get fat really, really fast.


Snicker Salad
8 oz. instant vanilla pudding
1 c. milk
3-4 granny smith apples, chopped
4 Snickers bars, chopped
16 oz. Cool Whip

Mix pudding packet with milk, and whisk until combined. Add apples and Snickers bars. Fold in Cool Whip. Let sit in fridge for at least an hour before serving to get chilled.

I'll be out the rest of the day today and back later on Friday...but stay tuned, it's GIVEAWAY time!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

White Lasagna

I've been promising this recipe for about a week now, and here it is! At our house, we are just traditional lasagna people (i.e. Brown Bottle Lasagna), but my husband's cousin made this for him last year while he was staying with them for work one week. And when the husband comes home talking about a recipe, I know it has got to be good. He's not exactly a foodie.

So I asked her for the recipe LAST YEAR, and I just got around to making it. But, I will be making it again and again, as it is a keeper.

White Lasagna
4 T. butter
4 T. flour
2 t. lemon juice
1/4 t. red pepper flakes
1 t. parsley
1 t. garlic salt
1/4 c. parmesan cheese
2 c. milk or half and half
1 carton button mushrooms, cleaned and chopped
2 cooked chicken breasts, shredded (I used leftover chicken from this)
1 lb. mozzarella cheese
16 oz. ricotta cheese
1 box lasagna noodles (I used the no boil kind)
*You can also add any veggies to this...I added some broccoli that needed to be eaten up*

In a large saucepan on LOW heat, melt butter, and add flour. Whisk this mixture for a few minutes and it will become your roux. Slowly stir is milk or half and half and lemon juice, continue whisking for 4 minutes. After this starts to thicken a bit, add in mushrooms, chicken and all seasonings.

In a separate bowl mix ricotta cheese and parmesan cheese. I opted to also add a little garlic salt to this mixture as well.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 9x13 pan with cooking spray. Line bottom of pan with small amount of white sauce, then start layering - noodles, ricotta, white sauce, mozzarella cheese, until layered to the top of the pan. Bake for 40 minutes or until bubbly and brown.



Clearly, I did not like my portion.

This is another dish you can make the day before and keep in the fridge, or easily double the recipe and freeze one pan for later.

Yum...like I said it is a keeper.

As for our day, it is about as dreary as it can get outside. So, it is a perfect time to price all my items for my garage sale. Yep - my sister and I are having one later this week.

I LOVE GARAGE SALES. I know many people hate them, and I just can't understand why? Crazy people fighting for your stuff, bargaining to bring your price down by a quarter, and you get the profit? Sounds like a good time to me.

Are you a garage sale lover or hater?

Monday, May 10, 2010

Cooking with Kids: Ice Cream Dessert

I hope everyone had a wonderful Mother's Day yesterday! Little man and I spent the day at my sister's house with family (husband had to work - boo!). We watched my nephew's baseball games in the afternoon and headed back for a barbecue afterwards.

Here are some samplings - my dinner plate and dessert plate. You can never have too much food right? Burger with pepper jack cheese, dill pickles and mustard, potato salad, deviled egg and baked beans. Then my dessert plate (I know!) - ice cream sandwich dessert, jello pretzel salad and Snicker salad (recipe to come!).
















I was so stuffed driving home. Uncomfortably stuffed. It wasn't good, but so worth it as it was going in my mouth!

My nephew and I also had the chance to throw together an easy ice cream dessert. If this kid doesn't turn out to be a professional athlete, he might just be a chef. I've never met a kid who loves to cook so much and eats ANYTHING. He is not picky. He'll eat you out of house and home, and won't be choosy about what he eats!

Next time you have little ones around try out these simple and easy dessert.


Ice Cream Sandwich Dessert
1 box ice cream sandwiches
1 large tub whipped cream
1 bottle caramel topping
2 candy bars, crushed

In a large 9x13 pan, lay ice cream sandwiches on bottom on pan and drizzle with caramel. Spread whipped cream on top of sandwiches, drizzle with more caramel and top with crushed candy bar of your choice. Freeze for at least one hour before eating.


Yum! It was a hit. A great dessert to make for the upcoming hot summer days.

What is your go to dessert in the summer?

Friday, May 7, 2010

Random Products & Winnings

Do you ever just wake up crabby? I did this morning. I think it is the rain that woke me up in the middle of the night, and then the thunderstorms that rolled in this morning waking up the little man. Ugh.

I love storms, but I love my sleep much, much more.

No, over the top recipe for you today folks. Sorry. But I do have two products that I won through random giveaways that I thought I'd share. Oh - and in case you are wondering...Friday Night Supper Club had to be postponed for tonight (boo), so no girls night for me. But, I still will be throwing together my new recipe for White Chicken Lasagna, as I had all the ingredients ready. So stay tuned!

So, first awhile back I won a Wrap-n-Mat wrap. For those that have never heard of this, it is simply a plastic/mesh wrap that goes around sandwiches or other snacks when you are traveling or packing your lunch for work. It takes away the need for plastic wrap or plastic baggies. I've wrapped up my husband's sandwich in it everyday, and I've gotten no complaints.


Check out Wrap-n-Mat if you are interested in getting your own!

I also recently won a bottle of GroOrganic basil garlic olive oil from Marla over at Family Fresh Cooking. Yum! This has yet to be put to use, I just seem to be waiting for the perfect time. Any suggestions? Also, she's hosting a chocolate giveaway today!


And finally, to all those that voted for me in the Little Remedies Mom Blogging Contest - I came in 19th place! Didn't win the grand prize, but I did win a butt load of other goodies. Thanks so much for voting.

Remember if you ever need my vote for something, hit me up.

So, that's a wrap (ha!). Don't forget Mother's Day is this weekend, and in my opinion that includes all grandmothers, mothers, aunts, nieces, cousins, etc. Basically all the women in your life!

How are you celebrating Mother's Day?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Taco Fiesta Time

I will admit, I asked the husband if he wanted "go out" for Cinco de Mayo yesterday, but I was turned down. The excuses came flying - I'm tired, I need to mow the lawn, blah, blah, blah.

Just kidding - the excuses are true, but he's great. And actually when I have the fixins' for tacos at home, why spend the money to go out, right?

Although, I really wanted a margarita.

On ice, no salt.

What is your favorite type of margarita?

So, I threw together some turkey tacos. We are eating a lot more ground turkey these days compared to ground beef. I find it tastes the same, it's healthier, and generally costs about the same, so why not?

Turkey Tacos
1 lb. ground turkey
1/4 c. sour cream

Toppings - shredded cheese, tomato, lettuce, more salsa - whatever you want!


I have mentioned here before how I HATE the taste of pre-packaged taco seasonings. Not to mention they are filled with ingredients I cannot pronounce and oodles of sodium. Therefore I skip that step and just dump some hot salsa and some cool sour cream into the meat and call it good.

Perfect, in my opinion!

I didn't get my margarita last night, but I did have my eyes set on an ice cold beer sitting in the fridge....but after dinner clean-up, baby feeding, picking up, I completely forgot, and pretty soon it was 9:00 p.m.

Maybe next time.

Today, I need to get my White Chicken Lasagna (new recipe!) made for tomorrow's Friday Night Supper Club. I'm thinking I'll have more time today to make it, than tomorrow, and that will give it time to have all the flavors mesh...yum!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

3 Ingredient Peanut Butter Bars

It's mid-week, ready for the weekend yet?

I am...actually I'm looking forward to Friday. I am hosting our first Friday Night Supper Club at my house. Three other girlfriends and I will be having a "girls night" in, all centered around a themed dinner. Should be tons of fun!

Of course I'll report all the details...you won't miss out.

Last night was my yummy Bleu Cheese & Mushroom Turkey Burgers on the grill. If you haven't made these yet, you need to. Quite possibly one of the best burgers around. Add to that a side of cottage cheese and a salad, made this meal complete!

So, the other night we had a friend over for dinner and I wanted something sweet for after, but after scanning our cupboards (which are getting bare!) I honestly didn't see anything I could make. But then it dawned on me. When in a pinch, I usually throw together my flourless pb & chocolate chip cookies.

Well, no chocolate chips.

So, I improvised and made these 3 Ingredient Peanut Butter Bars. My original recipe even calls for baking soda, but I didn't even add that (forgot!) and they still turned out great! They are ooey, gooey, good.


3 Ingredient Peanut Butter Bars
1 c. all natural, creamy peanut butter
1 egg
3/4 c. brown sugar

Mix all ingredients together and spread in a greased 8x8 baking dish (or a heart shaped pan like me!). Bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 min. Let edges get brown, as the middle will need a little extra baking time, insert toothpick to make sure middle is done. Let cool before cutting into bars.


These are soft, chewy and gooey! The perfect bar in my opinion.


Oh, lastly I wanted to thank Lori for giving me the Sunshine Award! Lori nominated me as one of her 12 favorite bloggers that bring sunshine to her day. Ah...how nice.

Here are 12 bloggers that bring sunshine to me - check out their blogs! Meg at Be Fit, Be Full, Autumn at Good Eats Girl, Julie at Peanut Butter Fingers, Kristen at Change of Pace, Diana at A Little Bit of Spain in Iowa, Jessica at Jessica's Garden, Dayna and Julie at Better than Burgers, Taylor at Greens and Chocolate, Beth at Dining and Dishing, Krista at Krista's Kravings, Christina at Dinner at Christinas, and Jessica at How Sweet It Is.

Pass it on girls! It only took me 15 painstaking minutes to link all your blogs....so, come on:)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Homemade Pizza Sauce

I will never buy jarred pizza sauce again.

Why? When this is so simple?

You all know my LOVE for all things pizza. I'm not picky - thin crust, Chicago style, whatever toppings I receive, I eat. I even loved those dreaded, full of crap, frozen pizza rolls in college. I know...

Last night was pizza night at our house. About mid-afternoon I realized I didn't have any sauce...um, need that right? So, when I made my trip downtown (and by downtown I mean, 3 blocks from my house, to a one-street downtown) I stopped at the grocery store.

My eyes hit a can of all-natural tomato sauce (.47 cents!) and I thought, that is all I really need right? And then just add some spices? So, that is what I bought. I don't remember the last time I went into the store with one thing in mind, and actually only came out carrying that one thing.

For me, that is a victory.

Homemade Pizza Sauce
1 16 oz. can Hunt's All Natural tomato sauce
1/4 c. shaved parmesan
1/2 t. basil
1 t. parsley
1/2 t. garlic salt


Mix all ingredients together and spread on pizza crust. Or, do like me and mix up ahead of time and store in the fridge until needed. I'm thinking, the longer it sits the better the flavor?

This pizza was good - Canadian bacon, mushrooms and cheese. Heavenly. But, I really don't make a bad pizza folks. Just sayin'.

Today is beautiful here, a little breezy, but a high in the lower 80's! Hooray! I'm sure little man and I will get a long walk in, and I need to head to the library again to work on my secret project...any idea what that could be? It's a project that may never take off, but I'm plugging away anyway.