Thursday, September 30, 2010

Recipe Reviews!

I have been really behind on writing about all of the recipes that we have been making.  I always like to let people know when it failed or when it was a success.  Here they are:

1.Blender Fudge Pie:  Now the name is really ridiculous. It must have a better name.  It is really good.  The recipe does make 2 pies.  I made one fresh the first night and then I made one cooked it and then froze it wrapped in tinfoil.  That was the best one!!!  It seemed to thicken up a little and have a more refined taste.  Kind of like my jar of last yrs canned apple butter.  Tastes better later.........  If you want something really and I mean really east then by all means make this.  Don't scrimp on the crust though.  I bought Wegmans rolled pie crust and that was yuck, must buy a good one or make a good one.  Here is the link:

2.Homemade Chili Seasoning:  Normally I buy the little packets of seasoning. I realized the other day that I was out and was making turkey chili. Oops, so while searching I came across this recipe and it is wonderful.  I am sure that you have everything in your cupboard to make this.  If you don't have every little spice mix it up. Just don't leave out the main seasonings: like chili powder.  Also you might want to cut the red pepper flakes in 1/2 if you have little tots in the house, it was a tad bit spicy. Here is the recipe and I will add underneath it my recipe for chili that was so easy and delicious.
Sorry I didn't save the link so if this is yours please take credit and thanks for a great keeper.

Chili Seasoning
1/4 cup of flour
4 t chili powder
1 T red pepper flakes
1 T garlic powder
2 t white sugar
2 t cumin
2 t parsley
2 t salt
1 t basil
1/4 t pepper

Mix all together.  I added in my recipe of turkey chili about 3-4 T of this mix.  Just do it to your taste. Save the rest in a baggie or Tupperware.

Turkey Chili:
1 T oil
1/2 diced small onion
1 stalk of celery with leaves, chopped
1 lb. ground turkey
2 cans of chili beans
2 cans of diced tomatoes
3-4 T of chili seasoning
water if you like it thinner

Heat oil in skillet and then add onion and celery.  Cook for 3 minutes on med and then add turkey, breaking up with back of wooden spoon.  When cooked through add your chili beans undrained and your tomatoes undrained.  Add 3-4 T of chili seasoning from above and cook on med for 1/2 hour.  If you like your chili thinner then add a little water.  Your choice.  We like our chili on rice so it is nice when it is thick.

That is all for today. Hope your week has been wonderful and will see you back here Fri for my menu plan.  Take care!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Menu Plan + Apple butter link with additional link to applesauce recipe! ENJOY!

I can't believe it is Friday already, but I am prepared!  It does feel so good to have a menu, grocery list and to come home after the grocery store with exactly what I need for the week.  This week I have decided to do easy and yummy family favorites.  No muss no fuss here. 
Tomorrow we are going apple picking!  We are so excited.  We started this last year with the kids.  Hayride and then picking.  It is lots of fun.  Last year I canned apple butter and it is delicious.  We just opened our last jar and it tastes even better!  I also made applesauce and froze some too.  I really do enjoy making it.  It is not that hard and the kids really enjoy it.  The plan is I am going to do the same things this yr.   I am going to pick a bushel this yr maybe 2.  They really do last a while in the garage when it is chilly. 
So on to my menu plan:

Chicken taco salad with oven crisped corn tortillas
Chili with rice
Apple pork chops
Baked chicken with a salad
C.O.R.N. clean out refrigerator night
Chicken and dumplings
Pork fried rice
Saurkraut and sausage in the crockpot

*Sometimes I don't put my side dishes down.  I will choose that day what I want.  I always have some frozen and fresh veggies and rice and potatoes.  I just do what I feel like.

Here is the recipe that I had great success with for apple butter.  It also has a link for the applesauce.  I did peel my apples for the applesauce and I did NOT use a special gadget like a sieve to make mine smooth.  It just gradually cooked down and we do like our applesauce just a little chunky.  If I would use something to make smooth I would use an immersion blender.  So easy.  Give it a try.  I think you will love both recipes!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Review on the Escarole with Pink Beans and Ham


Last night I made a new recipe and I wanted to let you know how it turned out.  Once I got home from the grocery store and realized that the recipe said kale and not escarole I just went with the punches.  I saw the kale at the grocery store and thought no that can't be right, it has to be escarole.  I was wrong, but it still turned out really good.  Escarole has the texture of a lettuce, so it did seem to look like I put lettuce in there, but it is a much stronger flavor.  Kale looks to be more substantial and hearty even though I have never tried it.  I have to say that the taste was really great and it was so simple to make.  For you that are on low carb diets this is a perfect meal.  I added baked potatoes to our dinner to make it more filling and in case the kids didn't like the "lettuce" ;)  I would say that I am definately going to make this again.  The longest part of this meal was chopping the ham up and crisping it.  The rest took 5 minutes.  So I would say a prep of 5 minutes and a total cooking time of 10.  Sounds good to me.  How about you?  So here is the recipe:

Braised Kale ( Escarole ) with Pink Beans and Ham
Robin Miller
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup diced lean baked ham,  I used a ham steak.
1 pound kale, chopped  (escarole)
1 (15-ounce) can pink beans, rinsed and drained, I found this in the mexican section, Goya brand.
1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth, I had beef on hand.
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add ham and cook 2 minutes, until golden brown. Add kale, beans and broth, cover and steam 5 minutes, until kale is tender. Season, to taste, with salt and black pepper.
Try it and let me know how you like it!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Late Menu Plan

Greetings everyone!  Sorry to have been so late posting my menu plan but we had quite a full week here in New York.  My mom flew in for a visit and 2 of my 3 children were really sick.  They are pretty much all better,  the parents are still feeling a little down.  I had a wonderful visit with my mom and was sad to see her go.  I know that I have to get out of my funk and start back on my routines.  So here is my menu.  Last menu I put was until Tues so this will pick up today until Fri.  I know that is short but I will then post on Fri for the following week.  Did I lose you?  Hope not, so here it is:

Wed:  Escarole with pink beans and ham
Thurs: Fluffy pancakes with turkey bacon: First cub scout night so I am making it easy!
Fri: Crispy Taco Salad

 I hope you guys have a wonderful couple days and enjoy the fall weather.  I just love autumn.  I think this week I am going to start getting my decorations out.  Do you guys have yours out already?  Well have fun and see you Friday.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Menu Plan Monday! Mom's Coming!

This week I am getting ready for my mother to fly in.  She is getting here late Wed night.  So we shall eat easy foods up until that point.  I am making some of our favorite foods while she is here and 2 new ones.  Hoping I get to them otherwise they will carry over to next weeks plan.  Here it is starting of course from last Fri:

Fri: Pizza
Sat: Wings and Salad
Sunday: Caitlin's Favorite Potato Soup
Mon: Hot Dogs and Mac and Cheese ( Jack's Favorite )
Tues: Friendship Casserole, carried over from last week.
Wed: CORN, Clean Out Refrigerator Night
Thurs: Black Bean Enchiladas with Pumpkin Roll
Fri: Chicken Lasagna Florentine with Garlic Bread
Sat: Date Night, Free Babysitter!
Sunday: Black Bean Soup requested by Mom
Monday: Hearty Beef and Noodles with a Raspberry Tart
Tues: She leaves so I am going to be depressed and not making dinner ;)

Now normally I only post Fri-Fri, but since I have it planned out while she is here I am posting until Tues. 
I have to link some of these recipes because they are delicious!

Black Bean Enchiladas by Sandra Lee Money Saving Meals!

Raspberry Tart is Divine!!!!!!

I hope you guys can try these recipes.  They are phenomenal.  Just a heads up the black bean enchiladas is a round 2 recipe from her Money Saving Meals.  I did not really think the 1st recipe black bean burgers would work.  They were kind of mushy, so I skipped that and used it all for the enchiladas.  I am glad I did, so delicious.  This dish is also easily frozen.
I hope you all have a wonderful week I know I will!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Thrifty + Bonus Crockpot Recipe!

 I like to be thrifty sometimes.  I get a little chuckle when I know that I have saved us some money.  It's fun and rewarding.  Today I have made homemade chicken noodle soup.  I spent alot of time on it.  I started with a whole bird.  I have extra chicken for a really yummy chicken pot pie or chicken n dumplings now too.  I feel good when I have extra things in my freezer.  I also cut some extra celery and onions and put them in freezer bags for my soups in the winter.  It really didn't take me any extra time or dirty anymore dishes and it used up some veggies that might of fallen into the black hole.  I was already using those ingredients in my soup.  I also had some fresh cherry tomatoes from my garden that have been eyeballing me.  So I washed and froze them whole.  I read online that you can do that with small tomatoes.  Another thing I did is make an extra broth from the bones of my chicken.  Now you are probably thinking that is gross. Have any of you made it before? Let me know.  I have not tried it because it went in the freezer for my next batch of soup.  I read about bone broth in a book about fibromyalgia.  It said it is extremely healthy for you.  We shall see ;).  I baked banana bread today because some sad looking bananas were peeking at me.  And the last thing I did was make bread pudding.  I was a busy mom but did I forget to mention that my kids went back to school today.  Oh I forgot to mention that part earlier.  Sorry.  I did take my little pumpkin for a nice long walk today too.  What did you do today?  Did you tackle being thrifty just for the fun of it?  Let me know your ways of being thrifty.  Lets be the nifty thrifty's!

Here is a delicious crock pot recipe for you.  Take care!

Black Bean Soup with Crab and Andouille Sausage
Thanks, Robin Miller


2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, drained
4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1/2 pound diced andouille sausage, I use kielbasa or polish sausage
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced celery
1/2 cup diced carrots
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 bay leaves
Salt and ground black pepper

2 cups lump crabmeat, picked for shells and cartilage
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves


In a slow cooker, combine beans, broth, tomatoes, sausage, onion, celery, carrots, cumin, bay leaves, and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and black pepper. Mix well. Cover and cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours or on HIGH for 3 to 4 hours.
Season, to taste, with salt and black pepper. Ladle into bowls and garnish with crab and cilantro.

I do not add the crab.  This is a delicious soup without that addition. 

Monday, September 6, 2010

Menu Plan Monday Sept. 6

I can't believe it is here already, Labor Day.  Back to school in this neck of the woods this week too.  I have made an easy and inexpensive menu plan for this week.  Here it is....

Fri:  Pizza, bought from the store fresh.
Sat: Steaks and baked potatoes
Sun: Hamburgers and green beans
Mon: Hot dogs and gourmet potatoes with strawberry nilla dessert
Tues: Friendship casserole
Wed: Homemade chicken noodle soup and fresh baked bread
Thurs: CORN  clean out refrigerator night

I hope you guys have a wonderful blessed week.  Take care.....

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Quick Pot Sticker Soup

O.K. by now you are figuring out that I am all about yummy, quick and hopefully inexpensive meals.  Well here is another one that my family likes.  I know this is a soup and some of you think that is just for fall and winter, it is almost fall here guys!  Here it is:

Pot Sticker Soup

2 large boxed containers of chicken broth ( about 8 cups )
1 tsp of fresh grated ginger
1 small clove of minced fresh garlic
1 -2 TBSP soy sauce
1 bag of frozen pot stickers
Veggies:  this is your choice here.  Here are some suggestions if you want to add veggies
Celery, thin sliced carrots, zucchini, bean sprouts......

Boil the chicken broth then add in ginger, garlic and soy sauce.  If you are adding veggies the time for cooking them depends on when they will be tender.  So add them in and then account for the time of the pot stickers in your veggie total.  Look on your pot sticker bag and see how long it takes them to cook.  Normally I just boil them until they float.  The biggest time factor would be if you added carrots.  They would take longer.  Once your pot stickers float then the soup is done.  You could serve this with whole grain bread and butter.This is a 15 minute meal.  Hope you enjoy......