Monday, April 28, 2014

Menu Plan Monday

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Another week of yumminess ahead...although I'm dreading my bill because I'm getting a ton of chicken (I estimate at least $20 worth if I get two big packages) and then steak too. Lots of fresh produce....*sigh* I cannot wait for Southern living where things aren't nearly as expensive. As always, I'll update with how much I spent when I get home and have everything unpacked!

{Monday}
Chicken with Bacon-y Brussel Sprouts // Cinnamon Churro Muddy Buddies
Bacon bits, chicken breasts, onion (1)*, brussel sprouts // Chex cereal*, cinnamon chips, vanilla chips, sugar (I'm out!)

{Tuesday}
Secret Recipe Club recipe // Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
maple flavoring (ooh mysterious!) // Quinoa*, onion (1), green bell pepper (2), ground beef, tomato sauce (15 oz), shredded cheddar cheese

{Wednesday}
Chicken Parmesan Soup
chicken breasts, onion (1), diced tomatoes (28 oz), tomato paste, shredded parmigiano reggiano

{Thursday}
Salted Caramel Mocha Donuts // Steak with Asparagus and Carrots
brown sugar (almost out), egg (1) // steaks (3 or 4), asparagus, baby carrots

{Friday}
Tostada Pizza // Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars with Pretzel Crust
ground turkey, green chillies, taco seasoning packet, diced tomatoes (14/15 oz), refried beans, cilantro // unsalted butter, pretzel sticks, egg (2)

{Saturday}
Spinach, Ham, & Hashbrown Quiche // Chicken & Salsa Verde Quinoa Bowl // Pecan Pie Milkshake
egg (5), ham, potatoes*, spinach, shredded Monterey jack cheese // salsa verde, chicken breasts, quinoa* // vanilla ice cream, pecan pie? (going to see if there is a Edwards has a single serve), whipped cream (aerosol type)

{Sunday}
Leftovers

{Additional Recipes}
Chicken Caesar Wraps // DIY Flour Tortillas
romaine lettuce, chicken breast, parmesan cheese, croutons, roma tomato // nothing needed - I have it all on hand

Total spent: $117.98
Very excited about how little I spent this week! This includes bananas, a gallon and a half of milk, two 4-packs of yogurt, 2 International Delight creamers, milkshake straws, gallon Ziploc bags, a gallon of distilled water, and 1 lb. mini sweet peppers. Without my extras, I would have spent $95.54.

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Secret Recipe Club: Banana Nut Bread

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www.secretrecipeclub.com

It's time for Secret Recipe Club once again :) For those who haven't heard of Secret Recipe Club, it's a large group of bloggers who each month are assigned another SRC member's blog secretly, make a recipe from their blog, and post it for reveal day. It's so much fun to see who got your blog and what recipe they decided to make. If you are interested in joining, go check out this page and get put on the waiting list! We've had a lot of newbies lately, so I don't think the wait is too long :)

This month I was assigned to The More Than Occasional Baker written by Ros (The Baking Addict!). She has a lot of really great sweets on her blog and it made it extremely difficult to choose what to make. However, I am preparing for a move in a few months and trying to use stuff that I have on hand. I had 3 bananas about to go bad and, of course, all the other staples to make some delicious banana bread. Every once in a while, I will crave banana bread hard. I love baking it and my whole house smelling like banana bread. *sigh* So Ros' Banana Nut Bread was just perfect for what I really really wanted.

Banana Nut Bread | A simple banana bread with lots of pecans and sprinkled with sugar #recipe #delicious

I am incredibly excited to debut my first pictures of "spring" and using my new vinyl backdrops from Swanky Backdrops. I so so so love when it's springtime here in nearly-Canada New York - because we actually get sunshine. These pictures make me very proud and are taken right smack dab in the middle of my living room with nothing else but the plate of bread sitting on the backdrop :)

Banana Nut Bread | A simple banana bread with lots of pecans and sprinkled with sugar #recipe #delicious

My minor adjustments were just converting over from metric to standard and a little less pecans, but still more than the original that Ros adapted :)

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Cheesy Spinach & Bacon Nacho Dip

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Cheesy Spinach & Bacon Nacho Dip | A crowd-pleaser, perfect for any occasion! #recipe #appetizer #bacon

One of my favorite things to make when we have friends over is cheese dip. It's seriously the best! I really wanted to try this queso because it has spinach and bacon in it and those are two of my favorite things. It was really really good. I mean why wouldn't it be? It's CHEESE DIP!!! Bring it on!

I don't have a fondue pot yet, so I like to do mine in the crockpot and then keep it on warm once it's melted down and smooth.

Cheesy Spinach & Bacon Nacho Dip | A crowd-pleaser, perfect for any occasion! #recipe #appetizer #bacon

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Southwestern Chicken Casserole

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Southwestern Chicken Casserole | www.fantasticalsharing.com | #casserole #rice #chicken #recipe

Nowadays, this isn't something that I would typically gravitate towards making. I very rarely will make something that has cream of anything soup plus carb-heavy and lots of cans of foods...just not my style. I'm not saying these foods can't be delicious, but it's rare that I make this type of food anymore. I did have it saved on my Pinterest boards and really wanted to try it out.

I was pleasantly surprised at how delicious it was and it also made a ton of food. I filled up my biggest tupperware container with leftover casserole and froze it for a quick meal down the road. Everyone gobbled it right up too!



Southwestern Chicken Casserole | www.fantasticalsharing.com | #casserole #rice #chicken #recipe

When I make it again, I am going to try and modify it with more fresh ingredients. I personally have become accustomed to the thought that "fresh tastes better". I also would like to split this up between two casserole dishes. It was overflowing in my 9x13x2-inch pan.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Menu Plan Monday

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Here is this week's menu and grocery list - keeping track of this on the blog (again) is really helping keep track of what I have on hand and using it and how much I'm spending. Nick and I just went over our budget last week and revamped it, so I'm curious to see how much I can get our grocery bill to come down.
* - have on hand

{Monday}
Roasted Red Pepper & Asparagus Quinoa // Wild Blueberry Lemon Quick Bread
quinoa*, asparagus, roasted red peppers*, chicken tenders* // sour cream*, eggs (3), lemon, olive oil, blackberries 

{Tuesday}
Strawberry Coconut Baked Oatmeal // Walking Tacos
strawberries, egg (1), coconut, coconut milk // Fritos, ground beef (1), taco seasoning, red bell pepper, green bell pepper, onion*, can of diced tomatoes, Monterey jack cheese

{Wednesday}
Latitude-48 Loaded Baked Potato Soup
pototoes (3), leeks, carrots*, red bell pepper, Monterey jack cheese (4 cups), IPA beer*, sour cream, bacon bits

{Thursday}
Goober Muffins // Baked Turkey Meatball Subs
bananas (2), eggs (2), sour cream, chocolate covered peanuts // onion*, garlic, spinach, ground turkey (2.5), eggs (2), pasta sauce, sub rolls, mozzarella

{Friday}
Jalapeno Bacon Cheddar Cheese Burgers
ground beef (2), jalapeno, onion, egg (1), hamburger buns, bacon, sharp cheddar cheese (sliced)

{Saturday}
Hashbrown Quiche // Crockpot Chicken & Potatoes // Cheesecake Burritos
Italian sausage, onion, roasted red peppers, gouda, hashbrown shreds, eggs (6), heavy cream, hot sauce, roma tomato (2), Parmesan cheese*, sour cream // chicken breast, red potatoes, garlic and herb marinade, broccoli (side) // cream cheese, flour tortillas (small), strawberrries

{Sunday}
Leftovers

Total Spent: $182.65
I would have spent $136.43 this week (ouch) not including my salad mixes for lunch, peaches (3 for $4.98) and navel oranges for Nick, k-cups, 1 1/2 gallons of milk, 3 creamers (if I don't get 3, we run out), lunch meat, bread, and a gallon of water. I cannot get over how expensive some yellow peaches were :/ Even the berries were way cheaper! My goal is to only spend about $140 on groceries each week. So I definitely went over my budget!


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Friday, April 18, 2014

Fantastical Friday

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First up, I have to put out my link up announcement once again, just in case anyone missed it or forgot :) My buddies, Melissa and Amber, and I are doing a link up on May 2nd. All you have to do if you want to participate is make a blog post containing your photo an hour pictures - link back to one of the hosts - and then add your post to the link up on one of our blogs. We tried to keep it really simple and stress-free. I need to get my pictures uploaded and ready to go in order! Very excited about it!


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Brown Butter Snickerdoodle Popcorn

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Brown Butter Snickerdoodle Popcorn | www.fantasticalsharing.com | #popcorn #cinnamon #brownbutter


Typically, we eat popcorn about once a week. On our Friday or Saturday movie nights, of course! Since we've been microwave-free for almost two years now, it's nice to make a variety of different popcorn. This is a really simple recipe that isn't overwhelmingly sweet.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Jalapeno Coins

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Sometimes you look in the mirror and you don't recognize yourself...

It seems I've been doing this a lot lately when it comes to my time in the kitchen.

I'm not really a beer drinker. I like some beers, but it's not my first choice of any type of beverage. I am hooked on beer foods though. [insert meme: BEER BATTER ALL THE THINGS!!!!] It's crazy. I also invested in a little deep fryer that also can be a steamer and a pot-shaped slow cooker - it's pretty awesome [see it on Amazon]. Once upon a time, I said I would never get one because I remember how messy they were from the Fry Daddy my family had when I was a kid. But so far, it's amazingly easy to clean and take care of. I kept the container that the oil came from and use a measuring cup to pour it back into that container. It's surprisingly easy to keep everything clean and not greasy all over.

These beer battered jalapeno slices are so addictive. I couldn't make them fast enough!

Jalapeno Coins | Beer battered and fried - you can't go wrong with this spicy treat! #recipe

Monday, April 14, 2014

Menu Plan Monday

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{Monday}
Bacon-Wrapped Chicken // Are You Kidding Me Cake
Fresh sage, chicken tenderloins, bacon // golden vanilla cake mix*, blueberry pie filling*, 3 eggs

{Tuesday}
Raspberry Blueberry Banana Muffins // Taco Mac & Cheese
whole wheat flour*, honey*, banana, 2 eggs, applesauce*, blueberries*, raspberries // elbow macaroni*, shredded cheddar cheese, 1 lb. ground beef, taco seasoning*, 1 tomato, cilantro, green onions

{Wednesday}
Crockpot Chicken & Corn Chowder with Garlic Bread Bowls
2 cans cream of celery soup (have 1), frozen corn, 2 cans cream-style corn, chicken breasts, 2 potatoes, carrots, 1 onion, fresh parsley, evaporated milk*, shredded cheddar cheese, 1 egg

{Thursday}
Omelet Sandwiches // Asian Turkey Meatballs Over Pasta
whole wheat bagels, Canadian bacon, sliced extra sharp cheddar cheese*, 6 eggs, spinach, green bell pepper // 1 lb. turkey, 1 egg, broccoli, red bell pepper, snap peas, 2 chicken Ramen packets, crushed red pepper flakes

{Friday}
Garlic Lover's Pizza
1 tomato, 16 oz. fresh mozzarella

{Saturday}
Carrot Cake Cinnamon Rolls // 3-Envelope Pot Roast // Vanilla Bean Frappe
1 egg, all-purpose flour, 8 oz. cream cheese* // brown gravy packet, ranch dressing packet*, onion soup packet*, 3 potatoes, 1 onion, baby carrots, beef roast // vanilla bean ice cream

{Sunday}
Leftovers

Total spent: $155.71
Not including my lunch for the week, the kids' lunch for the week (spring break), 
yogurts and granola for snack, milk, and creamer, my total would have been $95.32




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Friday, April 11, 2014

Fantastical Friday

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I am declaring myself the Test Taker Beast...because I quite honestly have been beasting so many tests/exams lately. Monday, I took yet another Praxis exam (my fourth) and I was lucky enough to see my score immediately after finishing. I came home and checked my score versus what I needed for the state of TN and I passed! I logged into my Praxis account and found out I also passed my third Praxis that I took back in March :) Yesterday I took one of my class finals and passed it too. I'm very excited that my accelerated path is continuing to be successful.

I didn't upload any pics from my daughter's field trip last week, but I finally got one to sum it all up...this is the sugar shack where they boil the sap. Snow and ice all around :/

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Italian Pesto Chicken

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Italian Pesto Chicken | A sublime stuffed chicken #recipe featuring pesto and mozzarella!

Stuffed chicken is probably one of my least favorite foods to actually make, but the outcomes are so good that I can't help but put them on my menu plan quite often. I've also recently started obsessing over pesto. This Italian Pesto Chicken was such a sublime recipe and I can't wait to make it again!

The filling is just to die for! It really is! The tomatoes on top really add to the dish and I couldn't see this dish being as successful without them.

Italian Pesto Chicken | A sublime stuffed chicken #recipe featuring pesto and mozzarella!


Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Laughing Cow Spaghetti Pie

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The best baked spaghetti you'll ever try - using #LaughingCow Sundried Tomato, Basil, and Mozzarella cheese! #recipe


I have had this particular recipe saved for over 2 years and I finally got the courage to make it. I'm not sure what I expected of the Laughing Cow cheese, but it's AWESOME! I completely love it. The original spaghetti pie recipe on LC's site contains their French Onion cheese, but I didn't really think that sounded as appetizing as the Sun-dried Tomato, Basil, and Mozzarella cheese.

I was so right! The LC I used was the bombdiggity - yes, I went 90s there. It was one of the very best, if not THE best, baked spaghetti recipes I've ever tried.

Monday, April 07, 2014

Menu Plan Monday

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It has been over two years since my last Menu Plan Monday, but I decided to bring it back. This go-around I'm going to also include my grocery list - this is sort of a way to keep track of what I need and have on hand. We're moving in a few months and I really need all the accountability I can get for keeping track of grocery shopping (see my apparent water packet hoarding) and also how much I'm spending. I've never really budgeted while grocery shopping and I need to start. After I get back from shopping today, I'm going to include how much it cost me to get all of this.

I haven't included all the staples that I have like flour, sugar, yeast, etc. An asterisk (*) denotes something that I do happen to have on hand.

{Monday}
Slow Cooker BBQ Beer Pulled Pork // Blueberry Cheesecake Cookies
2 lb pork shoulder, 18 oz bbq sauce*, 1 yellow onion, 12 oz beer*, hamburger buns // 2 boxes Jiffy blueberry muffin mix, 4 oz cream cheese*, 1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips*

{Tuesday}
Chocolate Mint Donuts // Taco Stuffed Zucchini Boats
2/3 cup sour cream*, 2/3 cup buttermilk, 1 cup Andes mint chips*, 1 cup dark chocolate chips* // 4 medium zucchinis, 1/2 cup salsa*, 1 lb turkey, 1/2 small onion*, 2 Tbsp bell pepper, 4 oz tomato sauce, 1/2 cup Mexican cheese, 1/4 cup cilantro

{Wednesday}
Garlic Bread Bowls // Cream Cheese Chicken Chili
1 can black beans*, 1 can corn*, 1 can Rotel, 1 pkg Ranch dressing mix*, 2 chicken breasts* 

{Thursday}
Strawberry Cheese Danish // Copycat Popeye's Chicken
1 can crescent rolls*, 8 oz strawberry preserves* // 1 qt buttermilk*, 2 pkg chicken tenderloins, fries

{Friday}
Bacon Double Cheeseburger Grilled Cheese Sandwiches // Twix Caramel Popcorn
1 lb bacon, 1 yellow onion, 1 lb ground beef, bread, cheddar cheese slices, mozzarella cheese slices, lettuce*, 1 roma tomato* // 5 cups popcorn*, 20 fun-size Twix bars, 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips*

{Saturday}
Blueberry Cream Cheese Coffeecake // Rotisserie Style Chicken // Caramel Coffee Shakes
1 cup blueberries* // 1 whole chicken, fresh herbs, 3 baking potatoes, 1 bunch asparagus // 3 scoops vanilla bean ice cream*

{Sunday}
Leftovers

Total Spent: $138.62
That includes my preprepared salads for lunch, 2 boxes of cereal for breakfast, eggs, English muffins, a pack of gum, toilet paper, paper towels, a bunch of yogurt (22 of them!), and a dust pan. All of those were extra. Without all the extra stuff, I calculated my total to be $88.68 to feed a family of four for a week :)
 
 
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Friday, April 04, 2014

Fantastical Friday

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It's been quite a hectic week and next week will be even crazier. This week was full of doctor appointments for me and I'm not done yet. Monday, I went to see about getting my eczema and asthma treated, but apparently having symptoms and my mom and son both having asthma isn't enough proof that I have it, so I'm hoping the allergist will listen to me. I'm not impressed with the quality of care we get on base at all. :/ Yesterday, I went to the dentist for my cleaning - I LOVE my dentist's office. They are amazing. Tomorrow, it's off to the eye doctor. *phew*

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Beer-Candied Bacon

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Check out this man-friendly #recipe for Beer-Candied Bacon - paired a honey weiss with cherrywood smoked thick-cut #bacon

Two staples in Nick's diet that I don't think will ever disappear are bacon and beer. Now he's a little snooty when it comes to beer and prefers homebrews or craft beers. He loves Leinenkegels and Sam Adams in particular. Honestly, I prefer Leinenkugel's over Sam Adams - because they have the Summer Shandy (lemony beer) and the Honey Weiss. The latter is what I chose to use in this man-friendly recipe for candied bacon. It was the perfect beer (in my opinion) for the recipe and it went really well with Hormel's newer thick-cut bacon. I used the cherrywood, although next time, I think I want to go with the pecanwood :)

Check out this man-friendly #recipe for Beer-Candied Bacon - paired a honey weiss with cherrywood smoked thick-cut #bacon