Monday, August 31, 2015

Menu Plan Monday - August 31, 2015

Menu Plan Monday on Jul 27, 2015 | My week of meals, grocery list, and how much I'm spending on these delicious treats! #menuplan #groceries

It's 9pm on this Monday evening and I am going to do the quite horrible, always awful...posting a half-finished post. Sorry, folks. I had every intention of getting it up today and scheduling one more post - nope, didn't happen. I monitored a Secret Recipe Club themed reveal [our first one - tailgating foods!], did up the meal plan for the whole month [I was supposed to do that Saturday], made my grocery list, grocery shopped, and then the rest of my day consisted of feeding, diapering, cuddling a baby and running the big kids to and from school. And cooking dinner and eating it. *phew* I promise to finish this with links and grocery list and how much I spent tomorrow!

Banana Streusel Muffins // Olive Garden Parmesan Crusted Prosciutto Tortellini
bananas, chopped almonds // red onion, creole seasoning, proscuitto (2), pancetta, tortellini, heavy cream, sharp cheddar, breadsticks

Doritos Taco Salad 
lettuce, tomato (2), Doritos, ground beef (2), mild cheddar, sour cream

Blueberry Breakfast Quinoa // Oktoberfest Chicken Chili
blueberries, sliced almonds // onion, Great Northern beans (2), can of corn, Rotel, green chillies, chicken

Steak, Potatoes, & Broccoli [no recipes here - just wingin' it]
steak, potatoes (2), broccoli

French Bread Pizzas
Garlic bread, pepperoni, bacon bits, mozzarella cheese

Coconut Crusted Stuffed French Toast // Peanut Butter Crunch S'mores Bars // Maple Cream
bread, cream of coconut, coconut flakes // mini Reese's // maple syrup, heavy cream

Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls
onion, cabbage, ground beef (2), tomato (2)

Update 9/1 - :/ I can't find my receipt. 
I know it was around $167 including snacks, milk, creamer, and breakfast.


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Monday, August 24, 2015

Blackberry Chocolate Chip Ice Cream #SecretRecipeClub

It's time again for Secret Recipe Club reveal day for my group, Group D! What is Secret Recipe Club? It's a bunch of food bloggers separated into four groups that post once a month on a designated Monday. Each month, we are paired with another foodie from our group secretly (hence the name). We then pick a recipe (or two or more) from that blog and make it. On our reveal day, we reveal whose blog we had and what recipe(s) we chose all at the same time. It's like a Secret Santa every month, but with food and blogs! It's a great deal of fun :)

This month I was assigned to Group D (and Secret Recipe Club) newbie, Amber of Caleigh's Kitchen. Amber & her husband, Doug, live in Texas - as she states, so far east that they go to Louisiana for a good meal. Her blog name came from her very adorable Border Collie/Australian Shepherd mix pup, Caleigh, who is always in the kitchen with Amber. And everywhere else, too! Not only does Amber have an adorable pup, but also a super cute 3 year old, Kirkley. All together, the four of them are just so cute!!

I went a little broad with my recipe hunting this time and I picked out four recipes to choose my final recipe from: Smokey Poblano Salsa...errr, chili! Her post had me cracking up about the salsa. And the roasted ingredients...YUM! Then there's Honey Glazed Sweet Skillet Cornbread because I have recently had two cornbread was basically yellow cake with a tiny bit of that cornmeal grit and the other was raw no matter how much I cooked it :/ Deer Camp Cabbage just looked too good NOT to try and I will be trying it very soon.

Blackberry Chocolate Chip Ice Cream | A fabulous frozen treat featuring blackberries that is perfect for the hot summer days #SecretRecipeClub #blackberry #icecream

In the end, the blackberry ice cream won out. I have been trying to make more ice cream this summer because last September, Nick bought me an ice cream maker attachment for my KitchenAid and I already feel guilty enough about never having used the pasta attachment he got me years ago for Christmas...or the meat grinder attachment he got me this year for Christmas. Oopsies. Lately, our berries at Kroger have been on point, so I knew I wanted to make the ice cream out of the four recipes. I tried with no success to get mine the lovely purple (even mashed the berries), but at best, it got a slight greyish purple color. I added some mini semisweet chocolate chips in there as well. Next time I make it, I want to try and make a blackberry "syrup" - basically cook down the blackberries with the sugar and lemon and refrigerate it and make this a swirl ice cream. Possibly with no chocolate chips.

Blackberry Chocolate Chip Ice Cream | A fabulous frozen treat featuring blackberries that is perfect for the hot summer days #SecretRecipeClub #blackberry #icecream

Regardless of the color it turned out, it's still an incredibly tasty ice cream. It's smooth and the right amount of fruity. I also really enjoyed the mini chocolate chips. They complimented the blackberry perfectly!

Blackberry Chocolate Chip Ice Cream | A fabulous frozen treat featuring blackberries that is perfect for the hot summer days #SecretRecipeClub #blackberry #icecream

Thank you, Amber, for a perfectly summer frozen treat - we cannot wait to try the chili, cornbread, and cabbage!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Menu Plan Monday - August 17, 2015

Menu Plan Monday on Jul 27, 2015 | My week of meals, grocery list, and how much I'm spending on these delicious treats! #menuplan #groceries 

These MPMs kind of get later and later each week. Oops. I'm too lazy to change it around, but I didn't plan correctly and will be switching today's pork dinner to Sunday and making the Caesar Chicken Wraps tonight. We have a Parent Information Night at the school at 6pm, so I can't make anything incredible elaborate. I also cannot find my receipt from shopping earlier today, so no price update. :(

Herb Roasted Pork Tenderloin (cookbook)
celery root, parsnips, carrots, zucchini, cornmeal*, chicken bouillon, pork tenderloin, herbes de Provence, apricot preserves*

Sticky Pecan Mini Buns // Quinoa Enchilada Casserole
milk, butter (2 sticks), 1 cup pecans* // quinoa, enchilada sauce, green chillies, corn, black beans, cilantro, shredded cheddar, shredded mozzarella, guacamole*, roma tomato

Pudding Milkshake // Easy Italian Sausage Soup
milk, white chocolate pudding (3.4 oz), banana, strawberries // Italian sausage (2), beef broth (3), Italian tomatoes (2), carrots, Great northern beans (2), zucchini (2), baby spinach

Wendy's Spicy Chicken Sandwich
cayenne, onion powder, thin chicken breasts, hamburger buns, lettuce, tomato

Extra Cheese Pizza
pizza sauce, sliced mozzarella, shredded mozzarella, Parmesan*, basil*

Fried Oreos // Pesto Chicken Salad // Chicken Kale Caesar Wraps // Peanut Butter Crunch S'mores Bars // Secret Recipe Club recipe
Oreos, Bisquick*, eggs (2), milk // chicken breasts, Greek yogurt, pesto*, onion, red bell pepper, celery, sourdough bread, lettuce, tomato, cheese, bacon // kale, carrots, chicken, Parmesan*, Caesar dressing*, tortillas* // graham crackers, mini marshmallows, butter, peanut butter*, Rice Krispies*, mini peanut butter cups // milk, eggs (4), heavy cream*, blackberries, lemon


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Sunday, August 16, 2015

M&M Chocolate Chunk Cookies #SundaySupper

M&M Chocolate Chunk Cookies | The perfect after school snack! #cookies #backtoschool #SundaySupper #recipe

It's the most wonderful time of the year!!!! No, not Christmas time....BACK TO SCHOOL! Woo! I love my big kids dearly, but after a summer of being kind of cooped up (with Nick about to switch jobs, we weren't trying to spend money we may have needed) and being told constantly to shush because the baby was sleeping...I think they were just as ready as I was for them to go back to school.

Today's theme for the Sunday Supper Movement was perfectly timed - my kids just finished their first week of school. I am looking forward to finding great lunchbox ideas, snacks, quick dinners, and more!  Thanks to D.B. of Crazy Foodie Stunts and Caroline of Caroline's Cooking for hosting the event!

I decided to share a sweets recipe that can realistically be a snack after school or a treat in the lunchbox as well. My kids love it when I make cookies and love love love to grab one for snack. I like them because I can grab them when I am starving and it's not time to eat whatever meal is next. They keep for longer than cake or muffins or brownies and there's always a surplus!

M&M Chocolate Chunk Cookies | The perfect after school snack! #cookies #backtoschool #SundaySupper #recipe

When I want to try a new cookie recipe, I most often turn to Sally of Sally's Baking Addiction. This girl has the BEST cookie recipes. Every one of her recipes I've tried were a huge success. I wanted to try her "Best Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever" recipe because with a name like that - they are bound to be good. And they are! Most of Sally's cookies are soft cookie recipes and I am a soft cookie fan. I like it even better if they keep soft and chewy, instead of turn crunchy after a day or two.

These particular cookies I made with M&Ms and chocolate chunks instead of just chocolate chips, as per Sally's suggestion. You build them up tall and they turn out perfectly round, perfectly puffy, perfectly soft & chewy, and perfectly PERFECT. I just cannot express how incredible these cookies are. They are by far the best chocolate chip cookies I've made. And the whole family loved them too. The kids were begging to eat these for snack & dessert...and they may have asked for breakfast too ;)

Friday, August 14, 2015

Fantastical Friday: Life Lately

It's been a crazy last few weeks and I have had so much trouble keeping recipes coming. I have plenty of pictures and recipes ready to type up, just not actually drafted so I can post them. It's not necessarily that I've been mega busy. It's mostly been the typical errands in the week - grocery shopping and allergy shots. However, this little chunker butt...

He's a full-time job, for sure. It's fine really - just look at that face! He's taken an interest to the keyboard, so if I try and type holding him, he likes to add in his side of the story. So blogging has to happen during naptime and often during naptime, I am trying to clean or eat.

School started this week for the big kids, so it's just Mason and I during the day while Cami & Matt are at school. So bear with me here as I get back into the swing of things and get a good routine going. :)


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Thursday, August 13, 2015

DIY Hamburger Helper: Italian Style

As a kid, the one night I dreaded dinner was Hamburger Helper night. Sorry HH fans...I just can't. I'm a firm believer that a box of HH could feed one or two people tops. I think you're better off fixing a copycat like this one because you can make so much more (and easily double the recipe) and it tastes leaps and bounds better. This recipe was easily a keeper because it had spinach with it and we looooove spinach or kale in pasta dishes!

A side note: I am working on writing the recipe directions and ingredients more clearly. I stumbled upon an article (I don't have the link, unfortunately) and realized how lazy I've been with them. So hopefully, the recipes will be easier to read and follow. :)

Wednesday, August 05, 2015


Beefaroni | Simple and ready in under 30 minutes - and kid-approved! #easyrecipe #recipe #beef #pasta #kidfriendly #backtoschool

I'm doing a horrible job of keeping up with the blog lately and I do apologize. I about drives me nuts that my posts are sporadic and not on the right days consistently. I've been doing a lot of Secret Recipe Club behind the scenes preparing for Aug/Sept and doing my mod duties in a Goodreads group (which now consists of contacting Indie/self published authors and arrange readers to review their books). I also baked cookies on Monday - go me! Mason is teething a bit, so he is a bit fussy and wanting to be held and snuggled a lot. Poor guy. But he's also discovered that paper and the keyboard are cool and wants to grab at anything. He actually snatched and threw one of my measuring glasses on the ground on Monday...and it broke :/ He's lucky he's so cute!

So with all that going on, I still have to get at least one recipe posted for the week or I'll lose my mind completely. This recipe is one I made at the beginning of the school year last kids have their open house tomorrow. TOMORROW. School starts next Tuesday. OOF.

School starting means it's about to get crazy hectic at the house as I try and manage a baby with two school age kids, dropping them off and picking them up (we live too close for a bus, but too far for them to walk on their own, plus it's hilly)'s my first time having to do this, so I'm a little nervous, but Mason is really good with going with the flow - I hope that works in our favor.

Hectic day = easy dinner. I hate coming home and hoping to make something quickly only to realize that I planned something extremely elaborate. This is NOT an elaborate dish. It is made in two pots in under 30 minutes. It's flavorful. It reminds me of my childhood. My mom made "goulash" and it was incredibly similar to this. She always made it on busy nights too. :)

Monday, August 03, 2015

Menu Plan Monday - August 3, 2015

Menu Plan Monday on Jul 27, 2015 | My week of meals, grocery list, and how much I'm spending on these delicious treats! #menuplan #groceries

Today has been a very typical Monday. It's been kinda rough, but I did get to exercise, watch "I Am Cait" (OBSESSED), make cookies, and prepare dinner for today and prepare some for tomorrow's dinner. I'm hoping to update how much I spent tomorrow. If I remember...and if I get time because I have NO scheduled posts :S Uh oh!

So here is what we are having this week to eat: