Monday, December 20, 2010

The Pioneer Woman's Printer Giveaway

So, if you are a regular reading here at the Hick Chick, I know you know that I really dig The Pioneer Woman.  She is having a nifty little printer giveaway on the cooking section of her blog..... check it out and enter yourself!

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Winner!

We have a winner!  Suburban Prep you are the lucky winner of the Moderation Nation Journal... YEA!

Please contact me at with a mailing address and I will get it out to you ASAP.

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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Hershey's Moderation Nation (and a giveaway!)

So, who doesn't love chocolate?!??!  I mean, it's creamy and delicious and for me it rings a "comfort" bell that nothing else can satisfy.  And you know the saying "everything in moderation", right!

Well, Hershey's believes that motto too and have launched a new website devoted to that purpose called Hershey's Moderation Nation. This is the coolest website ever - on how to enjoy chocolate AND a healthy lifestyle!

It is full of great ideas, tools, and great recipes!  There is an app for your phone that lets you track activity called the "Snack Activity".  Check it out to get motivated!  Also, this website is full about how to do food journal, menu plans, and portion information to get you the help have "everything in moderation".  Pretty cool, huh?

The nice people at MyBlogSpark have provided me with prize pack and we are going to have our first ever giveaway here at Hick Chick!  Are you as excited as I am???

I would show you everything that was in my package of information, but I'm afraid we already ate the York's Peppermint Patties! And KK snagged the Hershey T-shirt and I haven't seen it since! LOL

But we are giving away this nifty little journal for YOU to keep track of your very own journey into the Moderation Nation!

Entering  is easy - just leave a comment here or on Hick Chick WA on Facebook and your are entered!  I will put all your names into a "hat" and draw a winner. You have until 12:00 pm (noon) Pacific Time on November 7, 2010.  In the mean time, why don't you check out the website and find our own way to a chocolate lifestyle.... in moderation!

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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Really Fall

Fall is really upon us..... we had our first frosts this week, it's dark by 6:30.  It's fall for sure.  I'm expecting some fujis to show up on my door step any minute (I have connections from working at an apple orchard for 20 years).  I can't wait to make some applesauce and apple pie filling for the freezer.  I also have an idea for an apple dessert (yes, a dessert from me!  I know - hard to believe!  LOL)

Our week is pretty much just normal.  SS got really sick last weekend spent this whole past week home from school with pneumonia!  She had to get a big ol' painful shot and has been on antibiotics all week too.  I'm happy to report the coughing has subsided, the fever is gone, and she will be at school this week!  I'm sad to report that the extra time momma spent with her sick baby this week, is going to translate to extra nights at work this week.  :(  Such is the way of the world.

Since some of the week was spent getting our baby better - I never got around to trying out my idea for the Newman's Own contest.

It's volleyball tonight.  Our game is here - that means we turn to the crockpot.  I found this Simple Roast Chicken  that will translate very well to a crockpot application.  Dinner when we get home, my idea of a good day!

I'm hopeful we will have enough chicken leftover from Tuesday to make this Chicken Spaghetti.  This version is different from most I've seen with the addition of the bacon, which happens to be in my fridge needing to be used!  Sounds like a good idea to me!

No game tonight, but piano lessons instead.  Piano lessons make me so happy.... I love listening to the girls play!  I bet Christmas songs are going to be starting any week for the recital planned in December.  Last year I was so totally "Jingle Bells"-ed out!  :)  Dinner needs to be easy, and my cooking friends are all recommending this wonderful looking (and easy) Cheeseburger Chowder.  (Scroll down for the chowder).

I stink at making dinner on Friday nights.  I'm tired, it feels like a long week.  Easy - easy is what I always need.  Hopefully my fujis will be here by then and we can make this easy Baked Stuffed Pork Chops  with the fried apples.  This is one pork chop dish I know that is Chickie approved and I don't get sad puppy eyes asking "why aren't they shake n baked?".  LOL

Every week I ask the Chickies what they want on the meal plan.  Sometimes they get a "uh-not so much from me"... I mean, I not making KK's favorite stroganoff every week.  Or making SS spaghetti every week. But this week KK surprised me.... apparently she read a story at school and wanted something they were talking about Welsh Rarebit.  I've heard of Welsh Rarebit..... I remember looking at a recipe in my mom's old, old Betty Crocker cookbook and thinking - what a weird name for cheese sauce on toast!  Here is what Wiki says about its origins. More recently, PW made Welsh Rarebit - I think we will try her version.

SS asked for "STEAK" this week.  What a great kid.  LOL How about a nice marinated London Broil? The forecast is calling for rain right now next Sunday and since I am definitely only a fair weather griller, I think this would translate well to the broiler if needed.

Everybody have a great week.   

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Sunday, October 10, 2010

More of the same!

It happens.  Not everything I put on my meal plan gets made.  Sometimes I'm too tired, sometimes I forget to take out the ingredients, sometimes we get better offers.  LOL  So.... here is a the new week - with a little bit of last week!

I didn't make the Caramelized Red Onion-Feta Burgers two weeks ago.  I know, I know..... they are my recipe after all, but I've made them so many times. LOL But the Chickies are so begging me to make them.  I bought all the ingredients - I guess I have no excuses!

We are going on a favorite route with Shake N Bake pork chops, but going for a different side dish.  Squash season has hit my local fruit stand.... and even though they had lots of different kinds, I went old school with a couple of acorn.  I thought this recipe with apples would go really well with the pork chops.  I'm going to take one of the reviewers advice and slice in half and roast with the apple mixture in the middle rather than the whole boiling and peeling route.

So, I have been entering a few contests lately.  I'm not as prolific as some people, but I have a few ideas swirling around in my head.  Today - I'm trying out an idea I had for Newman's Own Fall Into Flavor contest.  This is my second try.... let's just say the first try - nobody rated it over 3-stars!  I'm hopeful this renovated version goes over better!

KK is off to a volleyball game tonight (out of town), the only game we have this week.  SS and I will have some chicken noodle soup from the freezer.

I never go the tilapia made last week.  Good thing I wanted to try this Broiled Sweet and Tangy Tilapia instead of the regular recipe.  

I think we should have a fair amount of leftovers roaming around for Saturday.

I have never made Cincinnati Chili before.  I thought we'd give it a try and at least try for a 3 or 4-way.  :)

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Sunday, October 3, 2010

Welcome to Busy!

I've got a busy week looking me smack in the face!  Three volleyball games, piano lessons, orthodontist appointments, a wedding, not to mention work and a meeting out of town!  Whew!  I'm long for NEXT Sunday already.

The first of the volleyball games is here tonight.  KK is feeling better from her sinus surgery and gets to play again.  She is very excited and I'm excited to see her improvement over last year.  I "hear" that she has a pretty good serve - I can't wait to see!  We need a pretty quick dinner and SS has been asking for GOOP.  It is what my family always called Creamed Eggs.  Of course, my momma never used a recipe - just made a nice thick white sauce with cut up hard-boiled eggs.  We usually had it over biscuits (which I don't think my mom used a recipe for either), but I'm partial to these Never Fail Biscuits..... and truly - they never fail!

Second volleyball game tonight out of town.  I have a meeting to go to first, then I'll go to the game.  We will just grab something on the way home.  

As I mentioned last week, we started piano lessons again on Wednesday nights.  I just love listening to them practice.  We will have some spaghetti tonight.  Quick and easy and loved by all!
Another volleyball game tonight - out of time again, but I won't be able to make it.  SS & I will have some Famous Dave's Country Roasted Chicken.  I will do the whole marinate think and put in the slow cooker so it will be fall of the bone yummy when we get home.  

I'm usually beat on Friday nights.  Easy, easy, easy is always what I'm looking for.... otherwise, it just doesn't happen and we eat random  cup 'o noodles or something similarly not good.  LOL No this Hudson's Bake Tilapia is easy and TASTY!  The dill sauce is yummy!

Easy is the name of the game.  And my all-time favorite easy dinner, Chicken Thighs Alla Puttenesca.  Seriously if you have not made this.... YOU HAVE TO!  A few weeks ago I got a box of heirloom roma tomatoes from a local veggie/fruit stand and fire-roasted them on my gas grill and froze them.  This will be my inaugural run with those tomatoes. I can't wait!

When I saw this Beef Stew with Dumplings I knew I had to make ASAP!  I can't wait until Sunday to have this making my house just smell amazing!
Have a great week and don't forget to drop by Hick Chick on Facebook to participate on the discussions over there!

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Sunday, September 26, 2010

By Popular Demand

So, a couple of people have asked lately if I would continue to post up my weekly meal plans.  So to that end, we are going to jump back in!  If you are new to Hick Chick - then you'll soon realize that my meal plans are full of what is going on in my life, because that has a direct effect on how "culinary" I am feeling.

September payroll is finished at work. YEA!  I finished last Thursday so I could spend Friday at the hospital with KK.  She had a cyst in her right sinus that had to be drained and removed (GROSS, right? LOL) She is doing very well and she be back to 100% in a week or so.  This week at work I should get to leave at normal time and cooking dinner can be a priority instead of an "here eat these cup o' noodles" or "here eat this sandwich".  Since cooking has been a little weak around here lately, I hadn't been keeping up with The Pioneer Woman very much, but a quick tour of the cooking section found these Fried Round Steaks which I thought would go so good with my friend Cookin' Mama's Grilled Potato Casserole.  I won't grill them, but do them in the oven.  I found some great yellow peppers at my local fruit stand that I will use instead of the green peppers.

KK is playing volleyball again this year and she has an away game Tuesday night, it will be just SS & I.  And what better way to make SS happy than some Easy-Peasy Chicken Legs! She will tell me I'm the best momma in the whole world!

We are doing piano lessons again this year.  SS loves it so much!  Her teacher says she practices more than any of her other students.  I love to hear how much she has improved the past two years.  AND this year, the teacher has decided to do some later evening lessons - so that the older kids who have sports can continue, or in our case, start lessons.  Yep, that's right KK is taking lessons now too.  Our lessons are from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm - so that means we have to leave the house at 6:45 and that means there is plenty of time to make a good dinner before we have to leave.  That makes the momma happy too. :)  I think there will be plenty of time to make Lasagna Roll Ups. Isn't that the prettiest picture that is on Allrecipes?

More volleyball - but here tonight.   So, we will have a yummy quick dinner of my potato soup (no recipe, just the simple version my momma always made) and grilled cheese.  If we have any fresh tomatoes left, you can bet that I'll be having a slice on mine sandwich!

One of my cooking friends shared this Chicken Curry awhile back.  It was so delicious with this homemade Mango Chutney. I scaled it to 1 cup and used it all - it was sooooooooo good.  If you aren't on Facebook (you should be so that you can "like" Hick Chick!! LOL) here is the recipe for the curry:

Chicken Curry Madras
Serves 4
1lb boneless chicken meat, cut into 1/4" strips
2T peanut oil
2 fresh garlic cloves, minced
2T madras curry powder (or favorite curry powder - I used about 1 1/2 T of what was in my cupboard - careful depending what kind you use it can be pretty spicy)
1c half-&-half (I used 2% milk with 2 teaspoons of corn starch - it was still rich and wonderful)
1/2c mango chutney
finely chopped red chili peppers, to taste - (I used a healthy pinch of red chili flakes)
salt, to taste

1) Heat peanut oil in large skillet. When oil is very hot, sauté chicken strips and garlic until golden brown on all sides.
2) Add curry powder and chili peppers and stir quickly.
3) Add half-&-half and chutney. Simmer for a few minutes.
4) Serve over steamed jasmine rice.

Note: Condiments such as crushed peanuts, raisins, grated coconut, chilies, chutneys may be served on the side, depending on individual taste.

All last fall, winter, and spring I spent making Caramelized Red Onion-Feta Burgers in preparation to go to the Pillsbury Bake-off Contest in April.  I made it on average of at least once a week from September to March.  Even though they are tasty little burgers and I want everybody else in the world to make them, they haven't exactly been high on my priority list of things to make.  Really, there are only about 3 things (sloppy joes, spaghetti sauce, and beef stroganoff) that I make the same why every time.  Everything else - I'm always on a quest for something new and better.  So - it is has been awhile since I've made "my burgers" - but SS actually begged me to make them as in "please, momma.... please, please, please".  How could I resist!

One of the things I've been questing to find the perfect recipe for is meatloaf.  Here is the next on my list of ones to try:

Meat Loaf
Serves 6 to 8

2 pounds ground sirloin
¾ cup finely chopped onion
½ cup finely chopped green bell pepper
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1-1/2 cups dry bread crumbs
3 eggs
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
¾ cup marinara sauce (use your favorite brand)
1/3 cup milk
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil or parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons A-1 Steak Sauce
2 splashes of Tabasco
Glaze: 1/2 cup ketchup, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, and 1 teaspoon cider vinegar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In large bowl, combine all except glaze ingredients and mix, preferably with your hands, until very well blended.

Pack meat mixture either into two 9 by 5 by 3 inch loaf pans or mold it into one freeform loaf on large baking sheet. It is important to press and smooth the meat loaf so it keeps shape.

Make the glaze by mixing together ketchup, brown sugar, and vinegar. Using pastry brush, brush top of each meat loaf evenly.

Bake the meat loaves or single large loaf for 55-60 minutes, or until nicely browned outside and cooked through.

Have a great week and be sure and leave me a comment.  I'd love to know that you actually like to ready about my hick life and meal plans!

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Saturday, September 25, 2010

Tuscan Chicken Penne Skillet

I guess you can tell, I haven't been much about blogging lately.  :(  I just keep feeling like..... you guys don't want to here about our same-o, same-o recipes of Shake N' Bake pork chops.  Or that we are having corn on the cob.  Yes, just corn on the cob.  But - September payroll is finished and KK is in volleyball and I"m feeling the need to be "culinary" again - so you might be seeing more of me around these parts.  :)

A few weeks ago I entered the Better Recipe Easy Week Night Meals Weekly Contest and I WON WEEK #4!  How cool is that???!?!?!  I'd love for you to make my Tuscan Chicken Penne Skillet and let me know how you liked it.  It is hearty, low-fat, and DELICIOUS!  It is even Chickie approved!

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Sunday, August 22, 2010

My Meal Plan Return!

I'm back!  I didn't really mean to take the summer off from meal planning/blogging - but I was feeling pretty uninspired for awhile.  I felt like I was making very redundant meal plans and was just being "zzzzzzzzzzz'sville" for everybody!

But - I've decided I'm much happier with a plan - so hear we go again!  School is starting this week and I have so many new recipes I want to develop and new recipes I want to try - I need a place to keep myself straight!   I hope you all will remember to go over to my Facebook Hick Chick WA fan page and "like" me - I have been very faithful over there talking about what's for dinner.  

Monday - I decided to jump back in meal planning this week because I'm going to be having dinner out - at least 3 days this week.  Tonight the Chickies and I are going  to Ellensburg to have dinner/visit with my "oldest   friend" (not in age - but in we've been friends since I was 3 years old!).  I'm thrilled that somebody who was my very first friend is my friend some 39 or so years later!  We are going to check out the Ellensburg Pasta Company.  The Chickies and I will also hit the Fred Meyer for (hopefully) so great back-to-school deals!

Tuesday - Okay... I promised to start blogging again - whether or not we are having exciting dinners or not.  And here it is.......... Shake N Bake pork chops.  "zzzzzzzzzzzzz"  LOL But it is such a favorite around here.  It jazz up the world - if I can get some fresh corn on the cob - I'd try to make creamed corn.  

Wednesday - The last "official" day of summer.  School starts tomorrow.  Where did my summer go?? Please give it back!  LOL I couple of weeks ago I got some wonderful anaheim chiles at a local fruit stand and turned them into a double batch of this awesome green chile enchilada sauce.  This stuff is all kinds of yummy!  I'm going to use it in the easy Green Chile Enchilada casserole.

Thursday - First day of school!  Another family favorite - Sloppy Joe's.  This is my all-time favorite recipe for sloppy joes.  It is the "it" recipe for me.  If I tried another recipe - I'm sure we'd have a riot in my kitchen!

Friday - Easy easy is always my mantra on Fridays.  I'm always worn out form the week and if it isn't super-easy - I won't get made!  This Jamaican-Spiced Chicken Thighs. I'll start them marinating in the morning and grill them 'em up! 

Saturday-Sunday - I'm going to a seminar this weekend.  I won't have time for any great cooking.  :(  

I'm glad to be back!  Leave me a comment and tell me what you've been up to this summer!

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Monday, May 31, 2010

Average Everyday Meal Plan

Yep... that's pretty much the story of the day.  This is just an average week.  Little league.   Work.  Not much else.  :)

Monday - It's Memorial Day!  Bless all that have served our Country - in the past and currently.  I didn't get around to that Beer Butt Chicken on Saturday, but it smellin' awesome on the grill as we speak!  I have some corn soaking for Grilled Corn on the Cob.  Plain strawberries and whipped cream for dessert.

Tuesday - Back to work.  And little league.  What's the spell?  Crockpot!  LOL KK loves stroganoff - she is very fond of this Hamburger Stroganoff, but I wanted a crockpot version and decided on this version.  

Wednesday - My friend HoneyB (aka Shelby) - made this Shoyo Chicken look so good on her blog last week, it was just impossible not to get it on my meal plan this week!  She makes everything look great!

Thursday - More work.  More little league.  What's that spell?  MORE CROCKPOT!  LOL I was looking for something different and non-mexicany do to with my pork roast.  This South Shore Pork Roast looked interesting.  

Friday - I'm ALWAYS a slacker on Friday's.  I didn't make Sloppy Joes last week.  The Chickies were not happy.  I'll try to do better this week!  

Saturday - Wednesday of last week was not a good grilling day.  The Indian Tandoori Chicken did not get made - but I'm determined.  I really want to make it!

Sunday - All winter long I was perfecting my Sassy Chicken Noodle Soup recipe...... and I think I finally got it right.  And then I quit making it every week.  Apparently that has made SS very sad.  "Momma - how come we don't have your special chicken noodle soup anymore?"  What's a Momma to do - except make it for her even if it 75 degrees outside, right?

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Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Final Stretch to Summer!

This time of year can get crazy with the Chickies.... trying to finish up year-end activities, little league, and longing for summer vacation just to get here!  I was extremely busy at work last week, and again regretted not having a meal plan!  Here's to a better week!

Monday - I found some cube steaks in my freezer, but really wasn't feeling the Chicken Fried Steak love - these Easy Minute Steaks seemed like a good choice for something different - I will probably do a can of cream of mushroom too ('cuz I"m a sucker for a creamy-ish gravy), mashed potatoes, will make a perfect comfort food dinner!

Tuesday - We are starting into have little league games every Tuesday and Thursday through the end of June - so my crockpot will be getting a work-out!  I scored some of those little pork roasts at Costco - they are 2-3 lbs. each and you get for for $16 or so!  I use them for everything.... I also have a jar of La Victoria Salsa Verde in my fridge that is only missing a couple of tablespoons - it seemed like the perfect use called for in this Chile Verde recipe plus I do have a giant pack of Costco tortillas that need to be used up too! (I will do it in the crockpot even though the recipe doesn't say to do that.)

Wednesday - I'm hoping that the weather is wrong and Wednesday will be a good grilling night!  I've been wanting to try this Tandoori  Chicken for awhile

Thursday - Crockpot is out again tonight.  I really like the sounds of Tuscan Pasta Chicken Crock Pot. I'll do the spaghetti separately when we get home.

Friday- As I've said before, I really have to have easy and yummy on Fridays or I never get it made.  So, I'm turning to the Chickies favorite Sloppy Joes.  They always earn me lots of "Momma - you are the bestest cook!" comments! :)

Saturday - I still have a couple (or um... like 5) whole chickens in the freezer.  And again... I'm hoping for a good grill day - but if not a good all just do a beer-butt chicken in the oven instead. 

Sunday - KK said we haven't had meatloaf in a really long time.  So, we will try out this recipe that is next on my list (quest) for the world's perfect meatloaf.  :)  If I'm feeling extra culinary - I might make PW's Basic Macaroni and Cheese too!

Have a great week!

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Monday, May 10, 2010

Lesson Learned

Did you notice I didn't post a meal plan last week?  Well, let me tell you - it was a lesson well learned.  I had one sketched out on a piece of paper along with my grocery list..... which is how I meal plan.  I make a list of my meals each day, looking at my schedule, and make a grocery list off of that.  BUT, I never got around to making it "official" and going "official" grocery shopping.  Boy, did I regret that when Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday rolled around and I had an IDEA of what I wanted for dinner..... but not the ingredients.  Then I end up in the store - buying things I don't need or want!  So..... to avoid another week like that:

Monday - Easing back into meal planning with the easy stuff.... Shake 'n Bake pork chops and PW's Baked Lemon Pasta.  KK especially likes that pasta, as she is a huge fan of the lemony things.  I usually use orzo. 

Tuesday - KK's softball team is making up for a game that got canceled last week due to the 65 mph winds we had here (uh... yeah, that wasn't much fun - thanks for asking!  LOL).  SS is starting into Little League practice - so as you guessed, not rest for the wicked!  And of course, that means I'm pulling out the crockpot.  I have no less than 7 whole chickens in the freezer right now (uh... yeah, I do have a problem - thanks for asking! LOL). So we will marinate it overnight in my favorite chicken marinade and set it in the crockpot pot tomorrow morning on top of some potatoes in tinfoil.  Don't forget to use the groovy slow cooker liners from Reynolds.... they are AWESOME! 

Wednesday - We are going to ramp up into the unknown on Wednesday with a Chicken Curry dish.  It calls for a mango chutney, which I couldn't find in my store.... but did find this Mango Chutney recipe that I'm going to scale to 1 cup to use in the dish.  I just happened to have 1/2 a bag of frozen mango's that need a home too.... 

Thursday - Today is SS's 11th birthday!  How did my baby get to be 11????? Who said that could happen?  LOL She has Little League practice tonight.... but I'm making her what she requested:  Mexican Lasagna.  She requests it all the time, but I rarely make - I thought it was OKAY before, but she loved it... enough to request it for her birthday dinner!  I think it is the refried beans she likes so much... she is a sucker for squished beans!  LOL

Friday - So, you may have noticed that a cake was missing from SS's birthday dinner?  Well... never fear - I'm not a terrible mother, I'm just saving it for tonight when she has her little friend's over for a sleepover!  I'm making this (probably on Thursday night so it has time to get yummy for Friday) Yellow Cake with Fudge Frosting.  Isn't that picture just insane?  It makes my mouth start to water just looking at it!! Plus we are having a copy-cat version of White Castle Sliders.  We don't have White Castle around here.... but I hear they are pretty yummy little sliders and I hope all the little girls think they are cool!

Saturday - Since we will have a plethora of little hungry mouths to feed on Saturday morning.... I might just actually have to make a breakfast that involves more than just cold milk and bag 'o cereal.  LOL My mom used to make a dish similar to this.... but never used exact measurements, so I can't say if this is really like it or not.  We called it Goop and it was a staple of our weekend breakfasts.  SS requested it for her sleepover breakfast and I'll make Never Fail Biscuits to serve it over.

Sunday - We are out of spaghetti sauce and chicken stock!  That will never do.  We'll make a day of having big ol' pots of goodness simmering on the stove.  I think we'll just have spaghetti since it'll be easy!  :)

Have a wonderful week and I promise to not let my meal plans slide anymore!  (uh.. yeah, for my sake more than your- thanks for bringing it up! LOL)

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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Meal Plan Redux

My meal plan is peppered with things you might have seen before on my meal plans, but they have never actually gotten made due to various reasons.  (Mostly life!  LOL)

Monday- This is a new recipe/food for me.  I have never been a big fan of hotdogs.... but everybody seems to love brats.  I found some and this recipe for Beer Brats on AR.  It seems like a pretty standard recipe.  I'll report back if we are brat fans or not!

Tuesday - You saw these Thai Noodles just last week on the meal plan.   But Wednesday turned out to be a crazy night in our world and my friend, "Gem" offered me posole!  She makes the best posole and since Mrs. S. had dental work anyway - I didn't want to make it and her not to enjoy it!  It was the point!  LOL

Wednesday - I found some leftover Southern Pulled Pork from a few weeks ago in the freezer.  I really liked that BBQ sauce a lot

Thursday -   I had this Red Lentil Curry on the meal plan awhile back but couldn't find the curry paste.  I finally found some and my prized red lentils are going to be so good!

Friday - Shelby aka Grumpy's Honeybunch is a tad bit obsessed with Steamy Kitchen Ground Beef with Bejing Sauce. I made it before and while it is VERY GOOD and I'm making it again (which does say a lot in my world), it is mostly because I have the black bean sauce that I want to use up!  LOL

Saturday - I had this groovy looking stuffed pork chop casserole on the meal plan a few weeks ago, but it never got made and looks to good to give up on!

Sunday - I was hanging out over on Eating Ect. (she has so many gorgeous pics and great ideas!) and saw this unique looking Braised BBQ Chicken recipe that starts on the grill and ends in the even.  All I can say is I can't wait to try this with those chicken thighs in my freezer!

Everybody have a great week!

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Sunday, April 18, 2010

Another Week - Another Meal Plan

Well, here are are - back into the swing.... almost literally as KK is in the thick of her middle school softball season!  The weather has gotten warmer (I have the watery eyes, drippy nose, and sneezes to prove it!).

Monday - It is softball game night!  What does the busy mom do???  Say it all together now..... CROCK POT!   I've made a few recipes from A Year of Slow Cooking and had good success - and wanted do an enchilada recipe.... and of course she came through!  She used the darn EVERY SINGLE DAY FOR A YEAR!  Best part is that it will be done when we roll in.... no muss, no fuss!

Tuesday - I am going to be starting up my Excel class at the high school again.  This leaves us a very short window to get dinner on the table.  I've tried a couple of times to just wait to have dinner until I get home, but that just doesn't work so well for me!  LOL A good teacher is not somebody who is grumpy 'cuz they are so hungry all they want to do is gnaw there arm off.  I found this yummy looking Artichoke Chicken Parmesan Orzo dish and immediately knew it was going on the meal plan.  No bookmarking needed!

Wednesday - Awhile ago Mrs. S. mentioned her love of Thai food to me, specifically she mentioned that these Thai Noodles looked particularly tasty. I'm gonna go ahead a make a double recipe so I can share with her for lunch on Thursday!  Let's see if she is reading my blog these days and knows this is on her horizon!  :)

Thursday - I really liked Hudson's Bake Tilapia, so I'm not going to search for something different this time.  The week is winding down and I know I'll want to keep it simple by Thursday!  

Friday - SS has informed that we have not had spaghetti and meatballs "for a long time".  So, if you have yet to try my favorite spaghetti sauce you need to do it!  Last time a made a big batch - I pureed the veggies before their saute, it made a great smoother sauce with a great texture.  I will do that from now on.  Don't forget the meatballs.  Just let 'em simmer in the sauce, gives a great taste to both the sauce and meatballs.

Saturday - I'm hopeful that our wonderful weather is going to hold out.  I scored some rib eye steaks for a great price - so I'm gonna fire up the grill! I know this recipe says it is for a london broil - but the rub is my absolute favorite on steaks of any kind!  

Sunday - If you have never made braised short ribs I have to insist that you do so ASAP!! They are so good - your whole house smells awesome.  I really love them with the mashed potatoes, more so than the polenta.  Except - I did have some wonderful polenta in Orlando at one of the meals and it was amazing..... it made me want to try again!

Everybody have a wonderful week!  And on a side note - even though I didn't win the Pillsbury Bake-off Contest, my entire experience was amazing.  A lot of that has to do with the out-pouring of love and support I received.  A giant thanks to anybody and everybody who was a part of that!  AND I was reminded in a big way this week, that things happen the way they are suppose too.  :)

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Friday, April 16, 2010

And the winner is..........

Sue Compton with her Mini Ice Cream Cookie Cups!  I only talked to Sue briefly at the Bake-off when she was expressing concern as we were lined up for the Grand March that her ice cream would stay frozen correctly.  My guess is that it did just fine!

Congratulations to Sue!

My experience being a Pillsbury Bake-off Finalist..... well, it was simply amazing.  From the minute I found out until I was drowning my sorrow in the plethera of desserts offered for at the Awards Ceremony Dinner!  LOL

If have found a couple of other food bloggers who have wonderful photographs and recaps of the event from their point of view.

Carrots N Cake has quite a few posts about the event... worth looking at them at for some wonderful pictures of the event.  I'm including the link to the one that has me laughing and showing my dish to Ali Wentworth.(yes, that Ali Wentworth from OPRAH!).

Joy the Baker has a great post that includes a picture of my finished product (all the way on the bottom).  SO COOL!

In case you missed Oprah on Wednesday, here is the You Tube of the segment that aired.  Look to the left of the screen when they are talking to "Tony"..... that is me busily finishing my 3rd recipe! (I turned number 2 into the judges, but I'm all about feeding people and wanted to have a "sample" available!  LOL)

Here is a very interesting blog post from one of the judges.  I'm feeling very zen about their decision and I'm already anxiously awaiting the opening of the entry period for the 2012 Pillsbury Bake-off Contest!  :)

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Sunday, April 11, 2010

Living La Vegan Loca? (Guest Post)

So, when this posts - I will be in the middle of all the wonderfulness in Orlando.  As a special treat, I asked my friend - Gina Ventola, if you she'd like to do a guest post on her experience in feeding her family vegan over Lent this year.  I hope you enjoy this and give her recipes a try!  xxoo Susie aka Hick Chick

Living La Vegan Loca?                                                                                 Gina Ventola
For the second year in a row, my husband and I gave up animal products for Lent.  That meant no meat, cheese, milk, butter, eggs, etc from Ash Wednesday to Easter.  You can imagine the impact on my carnivore, Atkins-devotee husband.  However, he chose to join me in this and I would like to share our experience with you.
This type of fast, sometimes known as the “Daniel Fast” originated in the Bible:
“…Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. Then compare our appearance with that of the young men who eat the royal food, and treat your servants in accordance with what you see."                       Daniel 1:12,13
Through the wonderful advancement of technology, we now have a lot more vegan options than in biblical times.  There are many good sources of plant-based protein.  My preferred choices are mushrooms, lentils, tofu and beans.  While we are on the subject of beans, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the “methane elevation syndrome” side effect.  Rinsing beans before using can dramatically reduce this. There are many cultures who enjoy a vegetarian/vegan diet.  For me, it never seemed like deprivation when eating different cuisines versus not having meat.  I love texture but let’s face it, beans are very soft.  If you have beans several nights in a row, it can get bland and boring.  To combat this, I developed some recipes to break up the monotony. Spices are a true friend to the vegetarian/vegan cook.  For my recipes, I always list spices “to taste”.  What may be tasty to me may be flaming hot to others so I recommend adding a little and then tasting.
To be honest, eating this way for an extended period of time would be very tiresome to me.  While I have tremendous respect for my vegetarian/vegan friends, it is definitely not a life choice for me.  However, I do enjoy vegetable-based meals and plan on incorporating them into my diet more often.
For the record, I am having steak and eggs for breakfast on Easter! Oh, did I mention that we also gave up sugar???
(This recipe was inspired by a “skillet” dish made popular at a chain restaurant)
2 cans black beans, rinsed
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 c. water
2 lbs. potatoes, peeled and diced
1/3 c. parsley, chopped finely (optional)
3 T. olive oil, divided
salt, to taste
black pepper, to taste
cumin, to taste
chili powder, to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In a medium bowl, combine potatoes, salt, parsley and 2 T. of olive oil.  Once fully coated, pour the contents onto a sheet pan and bake for 20-25 minutes. 
While the potatoes are roasting, preheat a skillet on medium heat.  Once pan is heated, add remaining 1 T. of olive oil.  Add onions, garlic and salt and stir gently.  Once onions are softened, add black beans, chili powder, cumin and water.  Add more water, if needed to give a little more moisture.  Reduce to simmer while potatoes finish.  Once the potatoes are slightly brown on top, remove from oven.  When serving, keep the potatoes and beans separate until plated then serve black beans over potatoes.
Serves 2 – 4 people
1 can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
½ jar salsa
1 ½ c. brown rice, prepared
Combine in skillet, heat then serve
Serves 2 – 4 people
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 stalk celery, sliced
1 carrot, shredded
1 lb. button mushrooms, cleaned
2 c. tomato sauce
½ red wine
1 T. olive oil
Oregano, to taste
Basil, to taste
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
Preheat a large sauce pan on medium heat.  Add olive oil, onion, garlic and salt.  Once onion is softened, add celery and carrots.  Place mushrooms in a food processor and pulse until they have the appearance of hamburger.  (Be careful not to over-pulse or you will have mushroom soup).  Add mushrooms into saucepan along with red wine.  Once the red wine has almost evaporated, add tomato sauce, oregano, basic, salt and pepper.  Bring to boil then reduce to simmer.  Allow to simmer for about 20 minutes.
Serve with your favorite pasta – ours is linguine.
Serves 2 – 4 people

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Thursday, April 8, 2010

Hours Away!

We are less than 90 hours away from the 44th Pillsbury Bake-off Contest!  So many exciting things have happened to me over the last 7 months since I found out I was a finalist - I thought it I'd round up all the things one more time for my loyal following.  (I have an exciting guest post lined up for when I'm gone next week, so be sure and stay tuned for that!!)

It all started a year ago... on an innocent day when I happened along a post by HoneyB (you know HoneyB from Grumpy's Honeybunch fame!) about the Pillsbury Bake-off Contest.  I thought... hmmmmm... could I make up a recipe of my very own?  Could I do that?  So, I made a plan. I had an idea........ I got a sinus infection, and never got my my idea made.  But I thought.... what the heck and sent my burger idea off to Pillsbury anyway. 

Months went by - and I never really gave my  recipe much thought at all.  The Chickies and I had a wonderful summer.  And then... on the first day of September I had a phone call that changed it all...... I was a Bake-off Contest Finalist!  

First I got this wonderful little article in my local paper!  Then a bigger, local-ish paper ran an article.  I thought, WOW!  my 15 minutes is so cool!  THEN - this little piece ran on the FRONT PAGE OF THE LA TIMES.  Followed by the Seattle Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Tri-City Herald, and The Yakima Herald. 

There were a few radio interviews..... which were super fun and then we graduated to TV!  We had the fun times at KHQ  followed by the entertaining interview with KEPR-TV and Jordan's Adventures.

My adventure is going to be wrapping up soon with the actual Bake-off Contest at The Hilton Bonnet Creek.  We have received news that instead of announcing the winner at the Bake-off Contest, they will whisk away the 4-category winners to Chicago where the winner will be announced LIVE on Oprah's show Wednesday, April 14, 2010.  Set your DVR's NOW!  

Thank you for all your support and enthusiasm that you've shown me throughout this adventure.  Be sure to be my fan on Facebook (Hick Chick WA) where I will posting updates throughout the trip.  

Don't forget to check in for my guest, Miss Gina, who is going to tell us about her adventures in going vegan for Lent.

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Saturday, April 3, 2010

TV Debut!

I was on the KHQ-6 Saturday morning news with another Pillsbury Bake-off Finalist Joan Cossette.  It was great FUN, if not a little nerve-wracking for two minutes of time!  LOL  Here are few photos of the fun:

Here I was standing outside the studio waiting for the security to let us in.... we had to push a little button and wait for them to answer.  It was all very "James Bond".  Okay... not really - but you couldn't just open the door and go in!

Here is Joan and I in front of the giant orange wall in the KHQ-6 studios.  It was a very large orange wall!  Joan is the sweetest thing ever, even she did make me feel kinda short!  bwahahahahah

 I had to frantically assemble my recipe for the interview.... I washed the lettuce, sliced the tomatoes, and heated up the pre-made patties & red-onions in my hotel room!  That was something!

Caramelized Red Onion-Feta Burgers ready for their TV debut!

My "infamous" Chickies and I along with Joan and her cute, cute daughter!

 And here its.... the interview going LIVE!  I don't think they are going have a link of the actual interview, but it was so much fun!

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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Welcome to the Final Countdown!

It is less than two weeks until I leave for the Pillsbury Bake-off Contest!  I also have my very first TV interview with KEPR-TV from Pasco, WA this Friday.  I'm so excited - my TV debut! :)  But, as you know, dinner must still get on the table and my need to make new recipes is never-ending! It is spring break - so that eases all the activities somewhat - but there is all the pesky housecleaning that must be down in anticipation of a TV crew!

Monday - Did you see this Lemon-Pepper Shrimp?  Doesn't it look amazing?!!?  Lady has so might fine stuff over there!  I bought shrimp just in anticipation of making this lemony-shrimpy-peppery goodness! 

Tuesday - Did you see this Crockpot Swiss Steak?  Doesn't it look like comfort food at it's best?  Colleen is veritable fountain of amazing recipes!  I bought some round steak just for this tomato-y goodness!

Wednesday - Did you see this Easy Baked Stuffed Pork Chops? Isn't that an ingenious way to "stuff" pork chops?  Katy really is the sweetest soul and some wonderful stories & recipes.  I am risking the wrath of the Chickies in doing something besides Shake N' Bake for pork chops to try this recipe!

Thursday - I've decided to enter a couple of other recipe contests.  Let's just say tonight's dinner is a test run of an idea I have.  I'll have to keep to it to myself for now....... It's sorta ruining the theme of my week, but you'll have to forgive me!

Friday - Did you see this Caramelized Red Onion-Feta Burger?  Are you tired of seeing it on my blog yet?  Well, Hick Chick must practice!  And feed her Chickies.  And today - prepare it for a TV crew!  So, here it is again! :)

Saturday - My shoe quest to wear to Florida has gone awry.  A mall must enter my life.  And if have to drive 70 miles to find shoes, I think I deserve a nice dinner out too!

Sunday - Happy Easter!!  My Chickies love ham.  I'm pretty "eh" about plain cooked ham.  But to make them happy..... I bought one.  However, potatoes & cheese make ME happy, so this Cheesy Potato Casserole will also be in attendance as well as this Pineapple Casserole which is a wonderful complement to ham.  Mrs. S. declared it a necessary compliment to the Easter ham dinner last year.

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Friday, March 26, 2010

Caramelized Red Onion-Feta Burgers

I took a couple of pictures today of my two practice runs of the Burger!

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Sunday, March 21, 2010

It's Exciting & Busy!

It is getting closer to the Bake-off Contest, 3 weeks tomorrow to the actual contest and less than that until I leave for Orlando!  Things around here are getting busy too, as I prepare to go along with the start of spring.  KK has softball games, I'm still giving an Excel class and I have gotta do something about all the gray hair running amok!  LOL

Monday - A pretty easy day in the 'hood.  No after work/school activities planned.  :)  I didn't get the Oven-Fried Catfish made last week - since it as easy night it shouldn't be a problem!

Tuesday - Let the busy begin!  I should have enough time between getting home and having to go get KK from practice and getting back for the Excel class to make this simple Chicken with Mushrooms & Balsamic Cream Sauce.  Does that look yummy!?!?!  

Wednesday - I'm off to get my hair done!  It has been months since I had my hair done - I am so beyond ready! LOL When I asked KK what they wanted to have - she said "salad".  So - they are having salad.  With whatever they want on it.

Thursday - KK has her first middle school softball game tonight!  I hope the weather is nice (i.e. not windy) and we can enjoy the game!  I am going to bring out the good 'ol crockpot and make one of the easiest recipes ever from A Year of Slow Cooking - Lazy Chicken.  It is good (I'll use my homemade marinara) and easy.  I usually melt a little mozzarella over the top and serve over whatever pasta is hanging out in the pantry.

Friday - I'm taking Friday and Monday off work to hang a little with the Chickies during spring break and get ready for the Pillsbury.  And that means Caramelized Red Onion-Feta Burgers!  Also, a chocolate mousse has been requested.  I have a mix I got from a Dove Chocolate party - but I might get crazy and look for a recipe since I'm gonna be home!

Saturday - SS had an assignment in class that required her to right a letter for product or business.  She decided to write her letter to our favorite sushi place - Tsunami Sushi. We love that place and all the staff and they have moved to super-star status with us because SS received a $25 gift certificate in response to her letter! Way to go SS!  So, we are off to the movies and to use our gift certificate!  YUM!

Sunday - At this point, less than 2 weeks to go! Guess what I'm making AGAIN

Have a great first week of spring!

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Menu Planner

I made an awesome "Hick Chick Menu Planner".  It makes keeping your week's menu, where your recipes are from, and your shopping list in one convenient place!  I love it - I hope you do to!

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Sunday, March 14, 2010

Let's Be Healthier!

With only a month to go until the Pillsbury Bake-off contest - I'm thinking about the clothes I need/want to wear for the festivities.  I have gained a few pounds since my diligence of counting points through the spring/summer/fall of last year.  I wanted this week to be a little lighter/healthier to try to get a couple of those pounds back off!

Monday - I really liked the Chicken Tikka Masala. It was super tasty and a little spicy.  I think we will have it will some roasted asparagus and white rice.

Tuesday - I am going to be giving an Excel class at the high school for the next couple of weeks on Tuesday nights.  I have a short window of time to get home, make dinner, go pick-up KK from softball, bring her home, and get back to the school by 6:00 pm.  But, if I don't eat before 7:30 - I know I'm going to be way too hungry.  Here's my answer tonight:  Taco Salad.  I'm going to make up a batch of homemade taco seasoning from my cooking friend Lady, brown some ground beef, slice and avocado.  Serve up with some green salsa and light sour cream, plus some homemade chips (just sliced tortillas baked with some kosher salt), drained black beans, and black olives.  I think the Chickies will even dig it!

Wednesday - I'm very lucky that my Chickies aren't that picky really.  They love seafood, including fish.  One of their favorites is Oven-Fried Catfish, and I've been meaning to try Lady's Homemade Tartar Sauce too.  I originally intended to have Quinoa with Mushrooms and Spinach, but couldn't find the Quinoa.  :(  Maybe we'll have some baked sweet potato fries instead.

Thursday - One of my old favorites that I haven't made in a long time is Chicken Bruschetta Bake from Kraft foods.  I was resistant to try the recipe for a long time - because I was leery of what tomatoes would do to the stuffing mix - but is is really good and tasty.   I struggle at sides for dishes like this though.... probably the ever popular Lemon Garlic Broccoli and I've been on a big cottage cheese kick too lately.

Friday - Last Friday I didn't make the casserole made, but the Chickies weren't home - but in all honesty, by the time Friday gets here..... it has to be Chicken Thighs all Puttanesca.  It is so easy and so good. 

Saturday - I didn't get the Caramelized Red-Onion Feta Burgers made last week either.  I need to make them!!! I need to practice! 

Sunday - I'm going to be all culinary today...... after a busy week, this sounds like it will be so good on a Sunday afternoon.  Southern Pulled Pork mixed up with a homemade BBQ sauce (I have yet to find a homemade sauce I like as much as a store bought cheap brand - but I keep questing!) served over baked potatoes.  If I'm feeling extra ambitious some coleslaw too.... probably not the Best Coleslaw Ever 'cuz it makes a lot.  We'll see what the day brings us.

Have great week and if you haven't already make sure to skip over to Facebook and become a fan of HICK CHICK WA - we have a "Dinner Ideas" post every day, drop by and tell us what's cooking in your kitchen! 

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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

More Reviews

Lemon Dill Salmon - *****
That Dishy knows here salmon.  YUM!

Cube Steak Parmigiana - **** 
A solid 4-star recipe in our world.  I used my favorite sauce instead of what was listed.   

Baked Lemon Chicken - ***** 
This is one of KK's all time favorite recipes.  You know it has to be good to get made more than twice in our world!  I usually double the sauce (we love sauce) and use thighs and/or legs instead of breasts.  It makes me drool just to think about it!

Mexican Chili Pie - *** 1/2 
I'm giving it a 3 1/2 star rating because SS LOVED it.  She is the pickiest of all of us - and she had two giant servings.  I personally thought it was a little bland and dry - and thought the cheddar in the cornbread was a waste, since I really couldn't even tell it was there!

Carrot Casserole - *** 1/2 
I really wanted to love it more.  There is still some in the fridge, never a good sign in my world.

Pantry-Shelf Salmon Chowder - **** 1/2 
This was very good for starting with canned soups.  I didn't realize that it only made 4-1 cup servings (uh... we are hungrier than that for dinner!) so I doubled everything except the salmon ('cuz I only had one can).  It was still had lots of nice salmon chunks.  Both the Chickies slurped it right down without compliant!

Orange Rice Pilaf - *** 1/2 
It had a nice orange undertone.  I still like Herbed Rice better, it won't get made again.

Orange Herb Roasted Chicken - ****
KK said she could really taste the orange in the chicken - I don't notice an over-powering flavor.  I think we enjoy lemon for our citrus more than orange on chicken.

Spicy White Chili - ****
Uh... I didn't find this spicy at all!  And... stirring in the cheese did not give me a cheesy experience at all.  Next time I will just add it on the top of my bowl.  Who I am I kidding... a solid 4-star still isn't enough to make me give up my search!

Roasted Salmon with Balsamic Glaze - *****+
Okay... this sauce/glazed rocked my world.  So simple (I used Splenda) and so very good.  It got on my asparagus (YUMMMMMMMM) and even got on my cottage cheese, which was amazing too!  If I wasn't trying to instill good manners in the Chickies I would have so licked my plate!

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Sunday, March 7, 2010

Spring is Coming!

The past few days have been beautiful around here!  Over on my Facebook Fan page people are pulling out the grill for making dinner all over the country.  Everyday on HICK CHICK WA on Facebook we will be having a dinner post.  Skip on over there, become a fan, and post what you are making.  Also, if you are looking for a recipe for something in particular - I'd be happy to help out if I can!  Just post what you are looking for and I'll see if I can't find a few recipes.

Now... on to our week. KK is starting softball this week.  It just seems like we finished basketball!  SS is going to be in the talent show on Thursday - it will be a busy week around here, but what else is new right? :)

Monday - I found this Roasted Salmon with Balsamic Glaze.  Doesn't it sound good - I have some nice salmon fillets and I love balsamic.  I'm hoping to find some asparagus on sale.  mmmmmmmmm......

Tuesday - This Inside Out Ravioli has been in my AR recipe box for eons!  It looks easy & yummy - time it gets to be made!

Wednesday - KK's request of the week. Any guesses?  Nope, not stroganoff this time.... you guessed it - shake 'n bake pork chops.  We had this Green Beans with Cherry Tomatoes for our Christmas Eve dinner.  It was so good.... I hope I can find some reasonable green beans and not outrageously priced cherry tomatoes!

Thursday - I am going to try PW's version of chicken fried steak and gravy.  It isn't up on her website - but is in her cookbook (which my chickies gave me for Christmas!).  I'll post the recipe when I do a review.

Friday - You know my Friday story, right.  It has to be easy and I have to love it or chances are I'm going to be a loser and not get it made.  I really enjoyed the Greek Chicken Casserole from Paula Deen.  Since I have all the ingredients on hand (and my feta needs to goooooooooooo) it seems a good time to redo.

Saturday - SS's request this week:  Caramelized Red Onion-Feta Burgers (you gotta love that kid!).  And it is less than a month away - I need to practice, practice, practice!

Sunday - If you haven't been to Grumpy's Honeybunch's blog.  You are missing out!  Shelby is a great cook AND baker (unlike yours truly who isn't such a great baker!).  Did you see her photo for Ground Beef with Beijing Sauce?  It was enough to send me scurrying over to the Steamy Kitchen for the recipe. I'm hopeful to find the ground bean sauce so I can make it.  It looks so yummy!

I hope each of you find a piece of spring this week!

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Sunday, February 28, 2010

Taste of Home Cooking

Back when I was just starting to love cooking - I subscribed to the some of the Taste of Home cooking magazines.  I learned lots of different tips & cooking ideas from real people.  The photos are always lovely.  I finally had to quit subscribing when all the magazines & cookbooks threatened to take over my life!

Saturday morning when I was thinking about making my grocery list and meal planning for the week, I didn't feel like sitting up at my desk to do the planning and since our laptop is sick right now (the battery charger broken and we are waiting for a new one to arrive)...... I said to "KK bring me a cookbook, anyone - I don't care which one."  She said which one has "lemony chicken" in it?  That would be "Best of Country Cooking 1998", one her favorite chicken recipes.  I decided to do a recipe from the cookbook for every night this week!

Monday - Baked Lemon Chicken has been a favorite of KK's since I first made it 2-3 years ago.  She loves lemon chicken and the sauce on this is very good.  I usually use thighs and legs with this instead of breasts - cooking time is longer but ohhhh.... soo... juicy! I will serve it with our new super favorite rice dish.

Tuesday - This Mexican Chili Pie caught my eye.  It looks simple for a random Tuesday night along with a good salad.

Wednesday - I still have a couple of my little boneless pork roasts from Costco in the freezer and this little rendition of Herbed Pork Roast sounds like a good use of it.  I will cook it in my fancy new crockpot with the temperature gauge to instead of roasting in the oven.  I hope it works!

Thursday - I love a good casserole - but sadly I think I ignore side-dish casseroles way too much. I think this Carrot Casserole will go pretty good with some baked tilipia.

Friday - Usually by the time Friday's roll around - I have to really really really like what I have on the meal plan or it is has to be super-duper easy or we end up eating random things.  I am hoping this Pantry Shelf Salmon Chowder is going to fit both of my needs for Friday dinner!

Saturday - KK is going to be gone all day to a field trip for young woman to a nearby college about different career choices.  She is looking forward to the astrology, pre-flight (navigation & flight plans), and design your dream house seminars.  I hope she has a great day and comes back full of ideas of what she might like to do someday!  While she is gone, SS will hold down the fort and make some roasted chickens and Orange Rice Pilaf .

Sunday - To finish off our week from the Taste of Home cookbook from 1998 (when KK was only 1 and SS was still a few months away from making her appearance) I decided I need a good white chicken chili in my repertoire - I've tried a few in the past, but nothing memorable.  Maybe this Spicy White Chili will be the one to become my favorite!

I hope everybody is has a great week - whatever the world is bringing your way!

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Thursday, February 25, 2010

My Bad

I just wasn't feeling the meal plan love this past weekend.  Which, as we cruise into Thursday, I highly regret!  I've learned my lesson - no more just "winging" (and not the good kind dipped in spicy sauce!) it for me.  I'll be back on Sunday with a great new plan of action for next week.

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Monday, February 15, 2010

Time Flies!

WOW.... February is zipping by!  I am going to be really busy this week at work, so we are keeping it simply and easy this week, plus maybe a little healthier?  I'm feel the effects of the potato chips I've been buying lately - we need a little more veggies with our dinners!

Monday - I didn't get to town with the chickies yesterday, but made it today.  All of our belly's are full of sushi and we are a happy family.  :)

Tuesday - Back to reality.  KK has her last basketball game of the season and I hope we are going to be having a victory dinner!  She loves just a plain chicken breast grilled up with a ton 'o garlic, some boxed noodles, and some broccoli.  To up that veggie intake we might have some canned peas too. ;)

Wednesday - Piano lessons per usual.  SS is going to ask her piano teacher if she can learn the "Star Spangled Banner".   She loves the piano and I love hearing her progress!  We never got to those potatoes that are their last stand last week, so it is potato soup and grilled cheese.  SS was really happy to see this and said "We REALLY get to have it this week, right?"  LOL

Thursday- Another quick and easy favorite for us... Sloppy Joe's.  SS's request this week.... she loves her some joes.  :)

Friday - I am happy to report that I'm a proud new of owner of a slow cooker (whew!).  It's that a fancy looking thing?  I had a coupon for 15% off at overstock so it made the total price with shipping less than $50!  The one that just quit working, only after 3 years, was close to $100!!  I hope we are going to have a happy, long life together.  LOL It's inaugural voyage will be with Italian Beef in Bucket.  Usually skip the mixed veggies and just go for pepperocini rings (that way you don't have to dig out stems!!).  PW had a similar recipe around for her Superbowl eats, but I think I will stick to the one with the dressing mix.  I love me some italian dressing mix!  LOL

Saturday - Okay.  I really, really, really have to make spaghetti sauce.  I am totally out.  The chicken are so ohhhhh very lonely without their saucy pals to hang out with in freezer!

Sunday - I'm sure we are going have ton 'o pepperocini beef left from Friday (after all.... it was a 5 lb. roast I got for only $10 - score!).  You know what the best use of that leftover beef is...... burritos!  I will cook up a big batch of pintos, mix in the leftover beef, put in a tortilla, a little shredded cheddar, wrap the whole thing up and call us a happy!  YUM!  That roast is so big - I bet we will have leftovers of this too.  I'll just throw this in the freezer with the spaghetti sauce and chickens for some random Wednesday night to come!

I hope all my friends who are suppose to live in a warmer climate than me finally get some good weather!

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Sunday, February 14, 2010

Chicken Noodle Soup

I spent the day making more of my "Sassy Chicken Noodle Soup".  KK snapped this picture.  I think you get some of the best pictures when you aren't even trying!

Are you guys tired of my blue bowl yet?  LOL

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Friday, February 12, 2010

Dulce de Leche

My cooking friend, Dishy loves Dulce de Leche.... you must check out her posts about different recipes and the uses she has for the finished product.

I wanted to give it a try and wanting to live a little bit on the wild side - I decided to go with the unopened can method.  Check out A Year of Slow Cooking and her recipe (and disclaimers!!) about making it in the crockpot.  I put a slow cooker liner in my crockpot just in case the cans wanted to leave rust rings.  It worked like a charm!

All I can say this stuff is deadly to a diet!!! Make it at your own risk (both to caramel on your ceiling and bulges on your hips!)

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Monday, February 8, 2010

Mid-Winter Break!

YEA!!  It's a four-day week for me this week, and only a 3-day school week for the Chickies.  PLUS, a four-day weekend!  YEA!

Monday - I have some cube steaks that need to be eaten and instead of just the same old chicken-fried steak, I thought something different for us like Cube Steak Parmigiana might be good.  I'll use my homemade sauce instead of what is listed.  I think the Chickies will like it!

Tuesday - KK requested the Hamburger Stroganoff.  It is her favorite thing currently.  I'm not sure how it replaced the shake n' bake pork chops, but she loves this stuff!

Wednesday - Piano lesson day!  I have a few potatoes that are starting to go south, so I figured potato soup and grilled cheese.  Simple and easy and well-loved by all!

Thursday - I found a bag of chicken hind quarters on sale for $4.99 (a ten-lb. bag).... I need an intervention for buying chicken on sale!  I swear I have 6 or 7 whole chickens, these hindquarters, PLUS a huge bag of boneless, skinless breasts.  At any rate, Simply Great Chicken will be a great use of those hindquarters.  I'm also in lurrrrrrrvvvvvveeeeee with Dishy's Herbed Rice Pilaf. I've made it a few times, added different veggies on their last stand in the fridge and the Chickies love it too!  A very nice side dish to any meal.

Friday - I thought we'd try something different for us..... PIZZA!  I'm not a huge fan of pizza.  GASP! SHOCK! HORROR!  I will be home on Friday and might try my hand a making a pizza dough.... recommendations on a easy yeast dough would be appreciated.  I will make Easy Pizza Sauce and have go for basic pepperoni.

Saturday - Shamefully hanging my head.  I still haven't made tilapia with baked lemon pasta.  I need to make it or the lemons I bought specifically for this will have had a wasted life.  Poor lemons, we can't do that to them!

Sunday - Valentine's Day!  I don't know what we are gonna do - I thought and thought and thought about what I wanted to make - nothing was jumping out of me.  I might just take my Chickies out for dinner.  :)

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