Saturday, February 25, 2012

Grilled Guacamole & Cheese Sandwich

Let me just tell you how adorable my 3 year old son is.  One day we were out running errands and we stopped for lunch.  Normally his "go-to" lunch is a corn dog, but this place didn't have corn dogs so I asked him if he wanted a "grilled cheese sandwich" and he said, "mom, I'm not a girl."  A little confused I told him I knew he wasn't a girl and asked him again if he wanted a grilled cheese sandwich.  This time he said, "well don't they have a boy cheese sandwich since I'm a boy."  Apparently when I say 'grilled' it sounds like 'girl' to him.  So now, in our house, when our 3 year old is around, we call our 'grilled cheese sandwiches' 'boy cheese sandwiches' instead.

This sandwich is really tasty.  What could be better than melty cheese and creamy guacamole?  Not much, if you ask me.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Sun Dried Tomato Roasted Garlic Pasta

I can tell you right now that one of the very first sections to fill completely up with all 7 recipes will be the pasta section.  I adore pasta, creamy pasta, red sauce pasta, pasta with veggies, etc.  It's comforting, tasty and filling.  A funny little story. . . I shop mostly at Walmart because I live in a tiny town and don't have many options, plus, its cheaper!  I was making one of my weekly visits to Walmart to get groceries.  I was standing in the pasta isle, I was kind of spaced out.  My 9 month old was getting cranky and I couldn't quite concentrate on what I needed to purchase as far as pastas went.  As I stood there I watched about 4 or 5 other shoppers pass by, they quickly grabbed the Walmart brand of pasta and then rushed off again.  Now to the funny part of the story, as I stood there wondering what I needed to buy I kept going over the prices of the pastas. . . did you know that Barilla pasta is cheaper than the Walmart brand?  At least it was at my Walmart (in Cedar City, UT) on the day I was there.  So I bought several different kinds of pasta, all Barilla brand.  Next time you are shopping check to see if your store brand is more expensive.  I think we are just trained to think that because it's a store brand it's cheaper. . . crazy isn't it?

Red Velvet Waffles

And it wasn't even Valentine's Day or Christmas morning when I made these!  They are so easy to make you have no excuse not to make them on a Monday!  My suggestion is. . .the next time you are at the store and cake mixes are on sale buy one of every flavor and use them for something OTHER than making cake :)  For this red velvet cake mix I split it into thirds (make sure you cut the additional ingredients into to thirds as well!).  I used the first 1/3 of the cake mix for my Red Velvet Popcorn and the second 1/3 for these waffles.  The last 1/3 is still in my pantry waiting for another recipe...maybe cookies?

Open Faced Egg Sandwich

Sometimes I am completely at a loss when it comes to breakfast.  My first thought is always something sweet; pancakes, french toast, waffles, etc.  So it's even worse when it comes to something savory for breakfast.  There are a few things that I ALWAYS have in my house, mainly because they are things my 3 year old WILL eat without a fight.  One of those things are avocados, even when they aren't in season I buy them because he will eat them like candy.  This particular morning I had an avocado that was in need of eating soon so I thought. . . and I thought. . . and I thought. . .and this is what I came up with.

Woodsy Vegetable Parmesan Orzo

Is 'woodsy' a word?  When I was trying to think of how to explain the mixture of vegetables in this recipes that was the first word that came to mind.  Maybe 'earthy' would be better?  I don't know!  But I liked 'woodsy' so I went with it.  This recipe was just something I threw together one night for dinner.  I had a mixture of vegetables that I needed to use up from my Bountiful Basket.  If you don't know what Bountiful Basket it is check out the link and see if they are in your area. . .  I promise you will LOVE it.    Back to the recipe. . . this was so surprisingly good when I had the first bite.  Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Coffee Creamer French Toast

I am so darn excited about this recipe, if you can really call it a recipe.  It requires 4 ingredients and one of those ingredients is of course bread!  But first, let me tell you why I'm so excited about it.  Have you been to the coffee creamer isle in your grocery store lately?  There are like a "gazillion" flavors of coffee creamers now-a-days.  Think of all the possibilities this recipe will allow you just by changing one of the ingredients!  SO EXCITED!

Buffalo Chicken Tacos

I am a huge fan of buffalo chicken.  Honestly my favorite is the appetizer from Apple Bee's, the buffalo chicken bites with blue cheese dressing for dipping...yum-e!  So, when I saw a recipe for buffalo chicken tacos my first thought was, "Oh that's going to be so good." and my second thought was, "Why didn't I ever think of that?" (I say this to myself a lot when I see creative things that I wish I had thought of!)  I kept putting off making these tacos because I'm really the only one in the house that likes buffalo chicken.  My hubby likes his chicken wings (or chicken bites) in a sweet sauce, usually like a sweet BBQ.  Finally one night, when my hubby was away for work, I made them.  I only coated the pieces of chicken I was going to eat in the wing sauce, it actually worked out well.  My 3 year old ate chicken bites with ranch dressing, my 13 year old had chicken tacos and I had buffalo chicken tacos!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Grilled Peanut Butter & Banana Sandwich

You know what's really yum-e?  A peanut butter sandwich with sliced bananas on it.  You know what's even better?  Put some butter on both sides of the sandwich and throw it on a hot grill (or grill pan, which is what I use since there is a LOT of snow out there surrounding my grill).  The peanut butter gets all gooey and warm, the bananas get soft and sweet and the bread gets toasted and buttery.  Yup, its practically the best thing on earth!  No wonder Elvis ate it all the time!

Fall Harvest Steel Cut Oats

I know it's not fall, it's the middle of winter!  But this would be tasty anytime of year.  It doesn't take long to prepare, especially if you are like me and prepare oats Sunday night for the whole week.

Celery Soup with Caramelized Apples

Almost a year ago I was introduced to an awesome thing called Bountiful Baskets.  Have you heard of them?  It's wonderful!  Click the link above if you haven't heard about them.  You get fresh produce at a fraction of the price you would pay for it at the store.  I LOVE it!!!

So what does Bountiful Baskets have to do with celery soup?  Well, one week I received two bags of celery.  I'm not a big celery eater, in fact I really don't like it at all.  The texture is not appealing to me.  Usually the only way I will eat it is with peanut butter on it, and even then I'm forcing myself to finish it.  When I received the two bags of celery I was a little disappointed, I really assumed it would go to waste, especially without my hubby here to help eat it.  But then I stumbled onto a recipe for soup, celery soup!  I figured it was worth it to give it a try since either way it would go to waste, either with me not eating it or me using it to make soup and then not liking it.  Surprisingly enough it was so GOOD!  It must've been the pears and the apples that were added to it, or maybe it because I just don't like the text of celery, whatever the reason, this soup was really wonderful!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Caramelized Onion & Almond Quinoa

Quinoa, oh quinoa, where have you been all my life?  Quinoa is my new found best friend.  I love the simplistic-ness (yes I just made that word up) of it.  It blends so well with so many different flavor combinations.  I haven't tried yet, but I bet you could even sweeten it up and make a dessert out of it. (note to self...try this idea SOON!)  Did you know that quinoa is actually a seed?  Here I was thinking it was a grain.  Quinoa is gluten-free and loaded with iron and protein!  And it's considered a "super food," at least on some of the Super Foods lists I have looked at on the web.  If you haven't tried it yet give it a taste.  I found quinoa at my local health food store and they sell it in bulk, which, now that I know I love it, I need to go back and by pounds more of it! :)

Banana Split Milkshake

My 13 year old son is a milkshake fanatic. I'm pretty sure that if I let him, he would make two shakes a day.  Normally he makes a strawberry banana milkshake but the other day he wanted something different so this is what I made for him.  This milkshake was inspired by my favorite Blizzard flavor (banana split) at Dairy Queen, only my 13 year old refused to let me put in pineapple, for some reason!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Red Velvet Popcorn

I started really concentrating on baking, cakes and cupcakes, almost two years ago.  Before that time I had never had red velvet anything.  And truth be told, the first time I tried it I wasn't all that impressed with it.  I didn't really understand what all the craze was about red velvet.  Then, a few weeks ago a friend of mine asked me to make cupcakes for her daughter's upcoming wedding and one of the flavors she wanted was red velvet.  I decided to try out 3 different red velvet recipes and have her sample them to decide which one was the best tasting, after all, I didn't really care for red velvet and wasn't sure what a "good" red velvet cupcake tasted like.  I was pleasantly surprised by how good two of the three recipes were.  I now know what the big deal is about red velvet!  So, in honor of this new found fondness for red velvet I've devoted an entire section of 7 recipes just to red velvet.  The first of those 7 is. . .

Cinnamon French Toast Crunch

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!  What do you make for Valentine's day when your hubby is working in a different state, it's a school day so your 13 year old son isn't there, and the only other person in the house that is going to eat is a 3 year old little boy who normally doesn't really eat much breakfast?  My answer?  French toast, in the shape of hearts of course!  It's hard to tell in that picture but those pieces are shaped as hearts.  Luckily they were a hit with the 3 year old, and even my 9 month old liked them.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Honey Bananas in the Crockpot

After having dinner from the crockpot I decided we should try some dessert as well.  I found this recipe at  I haven't tried many recipes from their site but the few that I have were really tasty so I didn't doubt that this one would be great as well.  And guess what, it didn't disappoint at all.

Raspberry Balsamic Crockpot Chicken

Like everyone else in the world that cooks with chicken, I'm constantly looking for new and exciting ways to prepare it.  So, when I ran across an Onion Rosemary Pork recipe from I immediately thought it would be pretty darn tasty with chicken as well.  With a little tweak here and a little addition there I came up with this very yum-e recipe.  The next time I make it I will add more chicken broth than I did this time.  I've made that addition to the recipe posted here already.  I'm a sucker for lots of extra juice to pour over my rice.

Eggs Poached in Tomatoes

This is a recipe I learned for my step-father, Rocky.  He made it for us when we were visiting him and my mom in Arizona.  I was a little weary about it at first, I'll admit it doesn't look that appetizing when you first see it, but it is so good...just trust me on this!  You'll need some really crusty bread to mop up all the yummy juices, my favorite is sour dough.

Baked Potato Soup

This is a recipe I have been making for years now.  The whole family loves it and requests it often.  I love it because not only does it taste good, but its also a very cheap dinner.  You can't get much cheaper than a bag of potatoes.  Another great thing about this recipe???  I've adapted it from my Cooking Light cookbook so its light in the calorie and fat sections!  Woohoo you can't ask for more than that!

Blueberry Honey Almond Pancakes

Can I be perfectly honest with you guys?  I've never really been a breakfast person.  Truth be told I would prefer to skip breakfast, wait until about 11:00am and have an early lunch.  But lately, since I started doing this blog, I've been having hundreds of breakfast ideas running through my head.  I barely get my eyes fully opened before I'm in the kitchen making something new and exciting for breakfast.  These pancakes were one of those ideas that had me tossing and turning in bed the night before.  As I laid my head down on my pillow to drift off to sleep I had visions of . . . NO, not sugarplums . . . blueberry pancakes, but not just any blueberry pancakes, blueberry pancakes with sliced almonds and sweet honey! YUM-E!  Please try them!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Sweet Potato Enchiladas

One of my favorite happy occurrences is when I have no idea what to cook for dinner, I look around my kitchen, see one main item, have a brainstorm of what to make and then realize I actually have all the ingredients I need to make it!  That's what happened the other night.  I saw the sweet potatoes sitting in my veggie basket and thought, "oh I better use those soon before they go bad, what kind of Mexican dish can I make with them??" (I was CRAVING Mexican food, which is normal for me)  Then I remembered a Pinterest recipe I saw a while ago for a sweet potato enchilada, but of course I didn't pin it so I couldn't find it.  Therefore, I came up with my own recipe.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Super Foods Green Smoothie

Super foods are all the rage right now.  At least that's the sense I'm getting when I read other food blogs.  And I totally get it!  I've been trying to eat at least 6-8 super foods a day and I've been feeling very energized and healthy.  My favorite way to eat (or drink) them is either in a salad or a smoothie.  So here is a great smoothie to have after a workout, loaded with super foods and protein to help recover.

Cinnamon Roll Waffles

Want a very easy breakfast that is quick and tasty? This is it, especially if you like cinnamon rolls.  But let me warn you, one package of cinnamon rolls won't be enough unless you are making them just for yourself.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Shirley Temple Granita

Shirley Temples were one of my favorite drinks when I was a kid.  When I started doing research for this blog I was looking for some different desserts and I stumbled across the granita.  It looked so refreshing and light.  Actually it looked like a great summer dessert, but its currently the middle of winter. . . guess what?  It still tasted wonderful, even with snow on the ground!

Elvis Oats

These are the oats that Elvis would eat if he were still here.  Chocolate, banana and peanut butter. . . does it get much better than that?  I think you need to try this, daily!

Tropical Steel Cut Oats

This little concoction was surprisingly very tasty.  Not that I didn't expect it to be good, but it was better than I had expected, which is always a good thing.  Let's discuss oats for a moment.  Growing up I had a sever dislike for oatmeal.  I couldn't understand why people ate it, it was slimy and just down right tasted like cardboard no matter how much butter and brown sugar I loaded into it.  About 4 or 5 years ago I decided to give it another try, only this time I bought the microwave packets that are already flavored for you (probably loaded with tons of sugar that I don't need).  It wasn't bad, but it wasn't great either.  Honestly, up until about 2 months ago I didn't know the difference between oatmeal and steel cut oats.  I was reading several different blogs that had recipes for either oatmeal or steel cut oats.  After doing a little bit of research on the web I found out that its the way the oats are processed that makes the difference.  I had never tried steel cut oats so I went to the store and bought some.  I have to tell you that I prefer them way more than oatmeal.  If you aren't a big fan of oatmeal you might want to give steel cut oats a try, you might find you love them as much as I do.  And HERE is my secret to preparing them.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Wilted Spinach & Quinoa Salad

There is a lot of talk on the internet about eating "super foods."  I've found several lists online of super foods, they range anywhere from the top 10 to a list of 111.  If you are looking for a recipe loaded with super foods then this is for you.  I actually didn't realize how loaded with super foods this recipe was when I first made it but after researching super foods this morning I thought to myself, "hey, my wilted spinach and quinoa salad is loaded with these super foods!"  Oh, and by the way. . . it's so darn yum-e!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Crazy Nut Green Smoothie

Yummmmm, smoothies!  I have a serious addiction to smoothies right now.  I crave them constantly, breakfast, lunch, mid-afternoon snack, dessert...yum!  And the best part about this addiction?  I really enjoy them with spinach in them.  You might get 14 different recipes of smoothies at the rate I'm going.  One of my favorite tricks for making my smoothies. . . frozen bananas.  I buy a bunch of bananas every time I go to the grocery store, if we don't eat them before they start to brown I peel them, put them in individual freezer bags and pop them into the freezer.  Give it a try, with a frozen banana you don't need to add a lot of ice to make the smoothie. . . well, smooth. :)

Cake Mix Whoopie Pies

It's called a whoopie pie but it more like a stuffed cookie, I'm "filing" it under cookies, I hope everyone is ok with that!  My father-in-law had minor surgery a couple of days ago and my 3 year old son wanted to take him a treat so he would feel better.  I had never made whoopie pies before and thought this would be the perfect chance to try them out.  While we were at the store shopping for ingredients my son saw a box of cake mix for Valentine's Day and "had to have it."  Usually I bake everything from scratch but I know that some people are often in a hurry, don't want to bake from scratch or have a ton of cake mixes in their pantry that they want to use up.  Here is the perfect solution to all of those!  And if you buy pre-made frosting it's even simpler.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Chicken Enchiladas w/White Sauce

Enchiladas have to be one of my favorite foods.  I'm usually pretty boring with mine though, either red or green sauce with chicken and cheese.  But now that I have this blog I have an excuse to try all kinds of new recipes.  I found this one through Pinterest and then tweaked it just a little.  I have these great little ramekins (as you can see from the picture) that I wanted to use for this meal so I layered my enchiladas instead of rolling them, but by all means, roll them if you don't have cute little ramekins like me. :)

My 13 year old son gave this his official seal of approval.  He loves enchiladas with green sauce and then smothers them in sour cream, since this recipes has green chilies and sour cream in the sauce I figured he would love it!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Orzo Parmesan Melody

My hubby has a great time joking around every time I make orzo.  He picks on me by saying, "oh this RICE you made tonight is wonderful."  "I've never had RICE that has so much flavor," etc, etc.  Yes, he is a comedian!  

I love orzo.  To me it has this buttery quality to it, even when you don't add anything to it.  Usually I make it as a side dish to a protein that we are having, but this time I made it as the main course.  Orzo is great because you can add almost anything to it and have a tasty, satisfying meal.

BBQ Style Meatloaf

I was never a fan of meatloaf growing up.  Of course, I don't remember my mom making meatloaf all that often so maybe that's why.  One day while browsing through my Cooking Light cookbook I found a recipe for a meatloaf that sounded pretty tasty, and it was!  After that I decided that maybe meatloaf wasn't as awful as I had originally thought so I started coming up with different combinations.  This is just one of those.

Chai Spiced Steel Cut Oats

I've just recently discovered steel cut oats.  Honestly, I didn't like them at first, but I'd made more than one serving and didn't want to waste them.  I put the leftovers in the fridge and saved them for another morning.  The first morning when I made them they were kind of slimy and I didn't enjoy the texture at all.  Reluctantly, a few mornings later I decided I better eat them before they went bad.  I scooped out a serving, popped them into the microwave to warm them up and added my usual toppings to them.  Imagine how happy I was to find out that after them sitting in the fridge a day they actually changed their texture.  There wasn't anymore sliminess to them and they were wonderful!  So now, when I want steel cut oats I make them the night before and store them in the fridge.  It makes life a lot easier in the morning even if they weren't better after "resting" in the fridge overnight.  Give it a try if you are like me and find oats to be a little slimy after first cooking them.