Sunday, March 31, 2013

3 Ingredient Pineapple Cake

Happy Easter!

We had an exhausting day....but look at this face:

He was filthy...when Coop is outside, even if he doesn't touch the dirt with his hand..he somehow still manages to get a dirtstash. His upper lip is a magnet to dirt. One of life's great wonders. 

Last night, I made a super-easy cake...a 3 ingredient, egg free cake. It's the easiest cake I've ever made. It's good. It's very would have been fantastic with whipped cream. I tried to make a coconut whipped cream doing the whole can of coconut milk in the fridge over night method that's all over pinterest. It didn't work...for my cans of milk. They never separated and the whole can was whippy already...that just collapsed if you touched it. So no whipped cream for us.

So here it's...

3 Ingredient Pineapple Cake

1 20-oz can crushed pineapple, undrained
2 cups self-rising flour
1 cup white sugar

Preheat oven to 350. Mix all ingredients and pour into 9 inch round or square cake pan. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes.

Dig in!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Cool As A Cucumber Salad

Good Friday....and it is a Good Friday.

What are you Easter plans? We are egg hunting at my aunt's and lunch at my grandma's. We will have a busy, fun-filled day. I look forward to Cooper spending time with his little cousins...4 under 3 all together! Yay!

You know I have a thing for the produce stand, and one of my produce stand finds was this lovely, seedless cucumber...

I've seen these in the grocery stores, but always refused to pay 3 bucks for them, yes...3 bucks. 2 bucks if you are lucky. I bought it for 99 cents at the product stand!! Woot!

I also bought this lovely dill plant....

I haven't had much luck growing dill in the past, so I plan on doing a bit of research before planting it in the ground. 

WELL, I combined these 2 lovely ingredients, and turned into a delicious cucumber salad!


Cool As A Cucumber Salad

1/4 of a red onion, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons rice vinegar 
1 seedless cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
Salt and Pepper
1 to 2 tablespoons fresh chopped dill

Place cucumber slices in a colander and toss with a good shake of salt, spread out a bit and let drain for 10 minutes. 

Meanwhile, toss onions in a bowl with vinegar. 

Pat dry cucumbers, toss with onions, salt, pepper and dill. 

Chill for about an hour before serving.

Dig in!!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Garlic Butter Crescent Rolls

Hello yummy crescent rolls, so glad you decided to join our dinner table last night. Sorry we had to devour you so quickly....

We had I - Talian pierogies last night. 50 cool points if you know what movie I am referring to when I say it
I - Talian....

Italian pierogies are basically a box of pierogies layered with tomato sauce and canned tomatoes and baked. Yum.

I had a can of Immaculate Crescent rolls in the fridge and decided to dress em up...

First...melt a couple of tablespoons of butter. I used the stovetop because I hate melting butter in the microwave. Mix in a couple shakes of garlic powder. 

Unroll your crescents onto a cookie sheet and divide into triangles. Are you crescents always wonky like mine seem to be when you open them? I had to piece together a few triangles...

Roll them up and bake according to package directions. I didn't brush the outside of the crescent, but you could if you wanted. If you don't, you don't have greasy crescents when you touch's all nicely contained on the inside. 

These go make sure you grab at least 2 to start with...

Garlic Crescent Rolls

1 can crescent rolls, I recommend artificial crap and taste GREAT
3 to 4 tablespoons butter
Couple shakes of garlic salt

Preheat oven to temperature on package directions. 

Melt butter over stove or in microwave and add garlic. 

Unroll crescents and divide into triangles. 

Brush with garlic butter, roll up and bake according to package directions!

Dig in!

Monday, March 25, 2013

March Goodies Box

I signed up for a Goodies Box subscription a few months ago and received my first box on Friday.

I am new to subscription boxes but have been looking for a good one for a few months now..and by good, I mean not 20 bucks a month plus shipping. Goodies Box is only 7 bucks a month...including shipping. I read a few reviews online, and they were all good. This is a fairly new box, so there aren't any long term subscribers yet.

Other reviews showed pictures of boxes crammed with 'goodies'...this month wasn't so 'crammed'...but it was good stuff.

They come in a pretty box...

Each month has a theme...this month's was Rise and Shine...

My box included: 

A full sized bottle of Alo Water - It was interesting. I've always seen aloe water's in the store, but wasn't exactly drawn to them. It was watermelon peach. Pretty good flavor, but it does have aloe pulp in it..which is strange. Not exactly like drinking OJ with pulp...

Ola! Granola - Very yummy. Mine was vanilla almond flavor. I had it this morning dry..the almonds were amazing. 

Richland Orchards Greek Yogurt Granola Bar - I haven't had it yet, will get back to you. But it looks good!

BelVita Breakfast Biscuits - We already buy these, so nothing new. They are really good!

Bonne Maman Strawberry Preserves - FANTASTIC. The jar was so itty bitty...we each got a sampling on yesterday's breakfast toast. YUM. 

Erin Baker's Breakfast Cookie - Again, very good. We had the PB flavor one. Kevin and I shared it. 

Jovan's All Natural Instant Breakfast - I made it for Cooper, he wasn't very impressed....

Fig Newton - Blah...I don't care for Fig Newton's. Kevin ate it. 

All in all...the box was good. I was thinking we would get more organic/all natural stuff...BelVita and Fig Newton don't really fit into those categories. By the way...when I first was on the hunt for BelVita Breakfast Cookies...I had to ask where they were. I got a lot of funny looks, people thought I was asking for Velveeta Breakfast Cookies...gag and lol. 

I will keep getting this box, for a few months at least....and post the reviews here. Try it out yourself, 7 bucks isn't bad! You do have to apply for an invitation. I only had to wait about a week for mine, but didn't get my box for almost 2 months. 

Saturday, March 23, 2013

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood...

Happy Saturday!

We have had a good day...we went to a chicken swap this morning! I am in the process of getting chickens...a very slow process at the moment. I have to build a coop and pen before buying the chicks! We saw some big turkeys and got to hold baby sweet. I cannot wait to have our backyard chickens!

We joined my dad and stepmom for dinner tonight where Coop impressed them by counting to 30. He taught himself this...I have a crazy smart kid. He teaches himself stuff all the time. Watch out world.

Who loved Mr Rogers as a kid? I did. I cried when the show every day. I also teared up at the end of Lassie. I was an emotional kid...

This is fun

Anyway...Until next time!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Creamy, Crunchy, Oh-So-Yummy...Coleslaw oven will be arriving anytime in the next 5 hours. YAY! I hate the waiting around...we have a 5 hour..yes a 5 hour..window of when it will arrive. But YAY!

I did discover I was able to use the stovetop on the old that helped along the way, though I was crazy nervous about using it.

Last month I started frequenting 2 of our local produce stands. I have fallen in love. You can buy some amazing produce. I hate buying produce in the grocery store, it's never fully ripe and is expensive. Last week, I spent 11 dollars on a ton of produce at the stands, I late did the math and found out I would have spend 33 dollars on the same things at our local grocery store. I was in shock! So, if you have a local produce stand..get out there! I know they aren't there year round in all states, we are very luck to be in the south and in warmer weather. I also know they aren't as cheap in other states as well, but give it a try! And....


It's a strawberry onion. You can read about them in this article. Farmers grow them around the edges of the strawberry fields for extra money. Thy are FANTASTIC. I will look forward to strawberry season now, for this onion. Oh yum. They are sweet and don't kill my eyes like other onions when I cut them. 

Cooper was fascinated with the big onion and even wanted to play with it. Crazy kid. He asked daily for me to cook it. Yesterday, I did. I sauteed it up and we had it over my crazy dinner creation last night...leftover vegetarian baked beans mixed with brown rice and soy sauce. Sounds crazy, but it worked. Was so good. Try it!

I also made some ah-amazing coleslaw. I love making different types of coleslaw. You can make them super healthy with vinegar and oil...or the not so healthy, mayo. I made this one with vegan-mayo so it helps with the calories, a bit. It does have ramen in it, an rumor has it you can find whole-wheat ramen in some stores. I haven't been so lucky. It's so good, I devoured this plate after taking a picture of it and went back for a 2nd. I had to make myself not go back for a third...

Creamy, Crunchy, Oh-So-Yummy...Coleslaw

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 packs ramen, discard seasoning
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup mayo
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon soy sauce
Hot sauce to taste
Half a bag of shredded coleslaw mix...about 3 cups

Heat oil in skillet over medium. Crush half a pack of ramen and toast for 2 minutes. Add almonds and toast until golden. Be careful not to burn!

Boil about 3 cups of water and add rest of ramen. Boil for 2 minutes, drain and rinse with cold water. Add to a large mixing bowl with coleslaw mix. 

Meanwhile, whisk together mayo, vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce, and hot sauce. Combine with noodles and coleslaw. Top with toasted ramen and almonds. 

Dig in!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Southwest Veggie Soup with Rice

Several years back, I went for lunch with a friend at Chili's and got their soup and salad lunch. I tried their Southwest Veg Soup. It was SO GOOD! Sadly, it's no longer on the menu. I stumbled across a copycat recipe recently and thought I would give it a try. I added a bit extra to it to bulk it up a bit. It wasn't as spicy as the Chili's version, but it was good! Coop had 2 bowls and Kevin even liked it. He's not a big soup person, so I was surprised!

Southwest Veggie Soup

8 cups vegetable broth
14 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can white kidney beans, undrained
1 cup frozen corn
1 cup frozen green beans
1 small green pepper, diced
1 small onion, diced
1 14 oz can tomato sauce
1 small zucchini, chopped
Handful of spinach
1 to 2 cups cooked brown rice

Mix broth, beans, tomatoes, corn, green beans, green pepper, onion, tomato sauce and zucchini in a soup pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and simmer for 45 minutes, until peppers, onion and zucchini are tender. Add in spinach and rice. Simmer until spinach is tender, 2 to 3 minutes. 

Dig in!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Things Moms Say

Yesterday, I had to utter the words:

"Don't ride your bicycle in the bathroom, there's not enough room"

This is my life now.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Rainy Day 3-Bean Chicken Slow Cooker Chili

We woke up to a rainy day. Cool and rainy. Perfect chili weather. We have very few chili weather days left, so I thought we would take advantage.

This turned out WAY better then I thought it would. I figure it would be good, but it was fantastic. I look forward to leftovers for lunch tomorrow...

Normally, when you see non-ground chicken in chili, it's a white or green chili. I thought I would try something different and try it in a tomato based chili.

And another fun thing I tried was adding refried beans along with the other beans to the sauce. This thickened it...and made it more this pot of chili will last us for days...

I normally serve chili over cornbread, but with the still broken oven...that was out. Or I do corn chips on top. Out of those. But, you can try them at get back to me. We topped ours with a little cheese and sour cream...yum.

I do recommend a larger crock for this...I used my 5 quart and it JUST fit... ya go...

Rainy Day 3-Bean Chicken Chili in the Slow Cooker

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken...I used breasts but thighs would work well too
1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
1 medium sized onion, chopped
1 pack 1.25 ounce chili mix
29 ounces total canned tomato sauce
1 can diced tomatoes with green peppers, onions and celery
1 16-oz can refried beans
1 16-oz can black beans, undrained
1 16-oz can pinto beans, undrained
1 16-oz can chili beans sauce, undrained

Dice up chicken and place into bottom of crock.

Meanwhile, saute onion in oil until just softened. Add to crock. 

Add rest of ingredients, stir to combine. 

Cook on high for 1 to 2 hours (until it's really simmering) an reduce to low for 4 to 5 more. Until chicken is cooked. 

Dig in!!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Sunday, Lazy Sunday....

I find it extremely hard to get motivated and do ANYTHING on Sunday...I want to sleep in and watch Netflix all day. I don't want to cook. I don't want to clean.

The time changed last night, that doesn't help...

I hope everyone had a great weekend! We visited the produce stand yesterday, picked up some strawberries, blueberries, tomatoes, avocados and a yellow honeydew..a new one to me.

I attempted a new crock pot recipe last night, it took around 10 hours to cook so we ended up eating frozen burritos and chips and salsa for dinner. We'll see how it reheats tonight...

To continue with the randomness of this post...I love this picture:

When I was a 4 year old...I had a crush on Michael J Fox (No, I did not turn out to be a boy crazy teen). I thought he was so cute. This picture reminds me of my first 'love'. 

Dreamy, I know. I wonder if Kevin would approve of this blown up to poster size and taped to our bedroom wall...?

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Slow Cooker Cheesecake

Bad things were discovered last night....bad, bad things.

These things being:
How EASY and stress free it is to make cheesecake in the crock pot/slow cooker
How DELICIOUS the cheesecake is

I was busy pinning some new recipes last week and I stumbled across THIS post at A Year Of Slow Cooking. I had to try it.

I bought all of the ingredients, found ramekins to fit the 2 crock pots...and BAM...last night, we ate warm cheesecake because I couldn't wait for it to cool. We are in trouble...pounds will be gained.

Here are a few pictures to show you how I had to use several small ramekins for our cheesecakes. And I had to do it in batches...I still had 2 ramekins that wouldn't fit it so they are currently coming to room temp before I put them in for their bake. Stephanie used one big casserole dish, but I am assuming she also used a 7 quart slow cooker, I don't have one that large.

If you use the small ones, it took mine about 1 1/2 hours to almost set and I just turned off the cooker at that point and let them sit in the warm water to finish up.

So go over to A Year of Slow Cooking for the RECIPE!

And I do suggest making it in individual hopes it will help you NOT to eat the whole casserole dish...I wanted to eat another pot for breakfast.

Easy-Peasey Meal #2 - Chili Mac (Vegetarian)

Ah...Macaroni and Cheese, the ultimate comfort food...

Even if it's the box kind, it's still a comfort food, right?

A couple of years ago, a friend introduced me to this 'recipe' I am going to post below. Very simple. Boxed Mac N Cheese with a can of chili beans in sauce. YUM. Filling. Cheap! I make this for Kevin's lunch, he can get 2 big lunches out of it. You can also add some diced up tomatoes if you want, make it a 'complete' meal...

Easy-Peasey Meal #2 - Chili Mac

1 box/bag Macaroni and Cheese kit of choice ( I think the 4 cheese Homestyle is the best)
A good shake of garlic salt or powder
1 can of chili beans in sauce

Cook Macaroni and cheese according to directions on package. If using the Homestyle kind, do the good shake of garlic during the butter melting step. If using something else, be creative, you decide. :)

Mix in beans, heat until beans are warm!

Dig in!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Old Fashioned Chicken Stew With Dumplings

Finally warming up...a bit. It's got me in an un-motivated funk. Come on warm weather!

Coop and I did spend some time outside yesterday, checked on our little tomato plant that I was sure was dead. It's been pretty neglected for 2 weeks now. BUT...we were surprised, 3 little tomatoes are growing!!

I am always behind on the starting seedlings timeline...I was supposed to start veggies last month, but I started sunflowers and morning glorys...

SO we will see how they do when I plant seeds this weekend. Florida is a funny climate, you never know. 

Anyway...on to today's recipe. Last night we had a yummy crock pot/slow cooker...whatever you call it in your house...meal. It was adapted from a Taste of Home magazine submission. 

Old Fashioned Chicken Stew with Dumplings (Who doesn't like a dumpling?)

1 pound to 1 1/2 pound cut up raw chicken (I used tenderloins)
1 medium sweet onion, chopped
1 large potato, peeled and diced into 1/2 inch hunks
2 large carrots, sliced
2 celery ribs, sliced
1 teaspoon salt (I actually ended up using more because I used low sodium chicken broth)
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
Pinch of ground thyme
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
32 ounces chicken broth
1/3 cup cold water
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup frozen corn kernels 
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 cup bisquick
1/3 cup milk

Put chicken, onion, potato, carrots, celery, salt, poultry seasoning, thyme, pepper and chicken broth in crock pot. Cook on low 5 to 7 hours, until veggies are tender and chicken is no longer raw. Add peas and corn to crock pot. Mix cold water and corn starch and add to crock pot. Stir. Let it simmer 20 to 30 minutes to thicken slightly. Mix bisquick and milk to form a soft dough. Drop by tablespoon full into broth. Simmer 30 minutes more, until toothpick (or steak knife in my case) inserted into dumpling comes out clean. 

Dig in!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffin Mix Bread For The Bread Machine

It's STILL COLD...I know, not as cold as you Northern States are experiencing...but I can't get warm!

Tonight, I tried a couple new recipes, one was a flop (Fiesta Turkey Soup) and the other was a success!

I was given a bread machine a couple years ago by my dear friend, Michele. After a few flops ( I think I was using old yeast), I gave up for a while but broke it back out last fall and had success! I've made English Muffin bread, cinnamon bread, and a few different white sandwich breads.

I came across this recipe a few weeks ago in a copy of Bread Machines for Dummies. I am not a dummie...but I love this series of books...

You can use any muffin mix in this recipe, I plan trying blueberry next. This bed was sooo good. Would be excellent for a quick breakfast, it pretty much became our dinner after the flop soup. The bread is a perfect cross of white bread and a muffin. Holds together like a bread, but has the texture of a muffin.

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffin Mix Bread

(For a 1 1/2 pound loaf)

1 cup + 2 tablespoons water
1 package (6 to 8 ounces) muffin mix
1 tablespoon vital wheat gluten
2 cups bread flour
1 tablespoon bread machine yeast/fast acting yeast

Place all ingredients in order listed into bread machine. 

Select fast cycle (my machine doesn't have fast cycle, so I selected the quick bread cycle and just checked it 30 minutes before the time was was done. Just keep an eye on your bread!)

Let it cool on a cooking rack to prevent condensation from making bread soggy!


Saturday, March 2, 2013

Super Awesome Knock-Your-Socks-Off Zucchini Casserole

Happy Saturday Night!

It's cold in Florida...currently 46 degrees. But for some reason , I still want some chocolate ice cream. Last Saturday night it was warm and we were sitting at picnic tables enjoying waffle cones. Craziness.

Anyway...this recipe has been hanging out in the archives of my computer/note card stash since Thanksgiving. I should have shared it much sooner, it's MAGIC I tell ya, but lack of a good picture of it has kept me from doing so. So please, just trust me when I tell you it's amazing.

Here's a picture of it sitting on a plate....

And here's a picture of it sitting on my parent's stove with other side dish's on the left back corner of the stove...

It's a zucchini casserole, but not the standard mixed with cream-of-something soup and bread crumb kind...this one takes A LOT of prep and it's so worth it. Take it your next family function or pot luck and people will be BEGGING you for the recipe.

Remember to allow time for at least an hour, especially if you doubled it like I did. I am lucky enough to have a food processor with a grater plate, so that saved a ton of time for me. You grate almost every ingredient in the casserole.

Anyway...the first thing you need to do is coarsely grate 1 1/2 pounds zucchini. Place in a colander and mix with some salt. I placed a plate on top of the colander, topped with some cans to squeeze out the moisture. Every once in a while I would press down on the top of them to help remove more.

Squeeze it between your hands too to help get our more moisture. Don't stress if you see a lot of water when you start mixing everything together. I did too, tried to scoop some out, but ended up just leaving it and hoping for the best. It came out great. 

While this is happening, saute your onions and mushrooms. (Notice my candle, I was trying the burn a candle to help keep onions from making your cry trick)'s time to grate the potatoes, mix em with the eggs and seasoning. I don't have a picture of that...what I do have a picture of is some cheese...Gruyere cheese to be exact. You'll have to grate this stuff too. 

Now you'll mix together everything, minus some of the cheese to put on the top. Spread it out in a casserole dish, sprinkle with cheese and bake! Remember, mine was doubled, so yours won't need a pan this large. 

I also didn't get a picture of it out of the oven because we were LATE for lunch at that point...

So again, it's SO GOOD...make it, love it, brag about it...

Super Awesome Knock-Your-Socks-Off Zucchini Casserole

1 1/2 pounds zucchini
2 teaspoons coarse salt
2 medium onions
2 ounces baby bell mushrooms, wiped clean and sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
12 ounces baking potatoes
3 large eggs, well beaten
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
Pinch of ground red pepper
1/2 cup grated Gruyere cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon olive oil

Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 10x8 baking dish. 

Coarsely grate zucchini, remove to colander, stir with salt and drain for 30 minutes. Press between hands or use plate to crate a press in the colander, draining as much liquid as possible. 

Meanwhile, thinly slice onions an saute in 2 tablespoons of olive oil along with mushrooms and 1/2 teaspoon of salt until onions are soft, but not browned, about 20 minutes. 

Meanwhile, peel and grate potatoes. Put potatoes in bowl and immediately stir in eggs, black and red pepper. Stir in drained zucchini, onion mixture half of the cheese and scrap into casserole dish. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and drizzle with olive oil. 

Cover with foil and bake until set, about 1 hour. Remove foil to brown the top. Let stand for at least 20 minutes before serving. 

Dig in, because there won't be leftovers....