Saturday, December 31, 2011

Chicken Caesar Sandwiches (or why reading labels is important)

So I saw this recipe on a couple blogs and I knew I was going to try it. Okay, really I saw the recipe and I had some chicken breasts and didn't know what to do with it. There we go. I only had a pound of chicken breasts so I went to the store to get another pound and some slider bread, came home and started cooking. I cooked this on high because it was now 2pm and I didn't feel like eating at 7-8pm.

Around 530pm, the chicken was done. I went into the pantry and went to take out the dressing. Well...this is why READING LABELS IS IMPORTANT! I had Italian dressing...NOT Caesar. So I stood there contemplating on what to do. Do I run to Fred Meyer (which is literally right near my house) or do I just use it the italian dressing and see what it tastes like? After about 10 minutes of thinking and Other Chef convincing me otherwise, I went to Fred Meyer.

THERE I had yet another dilemma. Do I buy creamy caesar or just straight caesar? So I stood there for another 5 minutes contemplating that in my head. Did the recipe call for regular or creamy? Would it make that big of a difference? I just...don't...know. I ended up buying some creamy caesar and a bottle of Moscato for New Years Eve and headed home.

Went home, dumped in the dressing and the cheese, put it back on for 30 minutes and then served. Little Man is always critical of my cooking. Well any ones really. I have to warn people ahead of time that its not their cooking, I assure them. Its that he is SO DANG PICKY. I had him try a fork full and of course, he was like Oh I don't know about this Momma. Really? Really son?? So I told him tough cookies. He's gonna try it on a sandwich. You know what...Little Man ate two sandwiches. That's what I thought! Momma 1 Little Man 0.

The link to this deliciousness can be found here. For those that don't want to go to the link, the recipe is below!

 It really is amazing and we will be eating this again! I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Oh deliciousness!

Tell me this doesn't just look delish? So easy to make too!

Recipe that I used:

Slow Cooker Chicken Caesar Sandwiches
adapted from Betty Crocker 

2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 bottle of your favorite Caesar Dressing (I used Brianna's Asiago Caesar) OR 1 (10 oz) can cream of chicken soup plus one packet Caesar Dressing mix

1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
2 cups shredded romaine lettuce
12 french hamburger buns or buns of your choice (about 2 1/2 inch)

1.  Place chicken in a 3-4 quart slow cooker, cover and cook on low heat for 6-7 hours.
2.  Remove chicken from cooker using a slotted spoon.  Place on a cutting board and pull chicken into shreds.
3.  Place chicken back in the cooker and pour dressing (or cream of chicken plus dressing packet), Parmesan cheese, parsley, and pepper over the top.  I only used about 3/4 of the bottle of dressing.  Stir until mixed evenly. Cover and cook on high heat for 30-35 minutes or until mixture is hot.  
4.  Spoon 1/4 cup mixture onto lettuce in each bun and serve! 

Chickbands Winners!!

Thank to you all that entered my giveaway for the Chickbands giveaway! 

The winners are!!! 

Amy with comment #7

Clarinda with comment #12


Nicole D with comment #18

Congrats to all the winners!! Contact me within 48 hours at soljerster AT gmail DOT com with your email addresses so I can contact Kara at Chickbands! 

Stick around because I have many more giveaways lined up for the very near future!! 

Friday, December 30, 2011

Unhealthy Weakness

Eating out.

This is honestly the worst freaking weakness I have. It really is.

You'd think that.

I have actually done extremely well with cutting back on the Starbucks. I haven't had a Starbucks coffee since November (before Thanksgiving I might add) so why is it so hard with the cutting back eating out? I will tell you why. Because it's so damn convenient! Last thing I want to do every single day is make a meal, then clean up, etc etc. Gets tiring day after day.

BUT I need to start cooking more. Not just for the sake of my ass but also for the sake of the blog. Because I miss cooking! I miss having delicious food making my house smell AMAZING! I actually miss cooking.

Dang, I actually do. Is that normal??

What are some of your weaknesses? What do you do to help cut back on them?

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

First off, Merry Christmas!!! I hope that your day was filled with everything you wanted and also filled with laughter, family and love! 

Being away from family for the holidays has always been hard for me. I grew up with a rather large family so when it was only three of us, that was hard to get used to. I haven't been home with my family since 2004.

Yeah. Long time.

But today, as I sat in my jammies at noon, folding laundry, watching A Christmas Story for the 3rd time today...I realized I kinda like it. I hate missing them. Don't get me wrong at all. But the fact that I can do what I want, when I want kinda nice. No hustle and bustle to get from one house to the next. No having to get ready to go immediately after breakfast. Just a relaxing, laid back Christmas with the family.

And that is what I think Christmas is all about.

Merry Christmas!!! 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Just a Single Picture.

I made PW's Ultimate Club Sandwiches the other day..this is now my 3rd time making them. And I swear, they are even more amazing each time. 

You know you want one of these....

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Chickbands Review and Giveaway!!!

I am most definetly NOT a headband person. Then again, I am not really any type of person besides blow dry, straighten and go kind of person. 

Enter Chickbands. 

I am IN LOVE. Seriously. And I am not just saying that because she had made a Buckeyes one, no. Not at all ;-P

 I love them because of how versatile they are. You can wear them at the gym or honestly out and about.
Totally taken off guard but kinda like this!! LOL 
LOVE the glitter bands!!! 

 And yes, true to what Kara said, they DO NOT SLIP. I wore my Chickband (the OSU one) out and about all day and not once did it leave its spot. SCORE! Cute, practical, versatile and adorable. What more can you ask for...seriously :D AND they are great for kids. Kara puts them on her girls and they do NOT slip. I don't know about you guys but I remember as a little girl hating to not be able to run around at recess without my hair going amiss. 

Kara at Chickbands wants THREE of you to be able to enjoy these as well!! Yet another reason she is completely awesome!! 

Here's how you win! 

1. Follow my blog and comment that you did (1 entry)
2. Follow Chickbands Facebook page and comment, tell her that I sent you and comment that you did (1 entry)
3. Comment below which chickband you would choose if you won! (1 entry)
4. Share this giveaway on your Facebook, blog or Twitter and comment that you did (possible 3 entries, each place shared is one comment please!) 

Good luck and I can't wait to see the winners! The winners will be selected on December 31st at 12PM PST!!!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Giveaway Preview....

Tomorrow I am setting up another giveaway. Here's just a preview. Can you guess what it is??

Its not normal to be it?

So today we went to South Sound Running (which if you are ever in this area, CHECK THEM OUT! Best store ever!!!) because Other Chef needed some new running shoes. He has been wearing his Asics for about a year now and they were in dire need of replacement. We walked in and 25 minutes later, we were out. Bam. Done.

Look at these Brooks beauties!!! 
So that brings me to my it wrong to be jealous?? I am not jealous he got Brooks, oh no. I love, no...ADORE, my Saucony's. I am jealous it took him only 25 minutes! My shoe buying experience was a fiasco. No other word to describe it really. It took me three different stores before I finally checked out South Sound Running and now I will never go back. Not to mention the pain, the confusion and the money spent! Maybe I should have just gone to SSR to begin with....

What are your running shoes? What brands do you stick with? Which do you use for trail and road? 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

What I realized tonight...

So I realized four things tonight.

1. I missed cooking. I missed trying out new recipes. I missed screwing it up and then hating it and then hating myself because I screwed up. Oh yes, all of that happened tonight! 

2. Any soup that isn't cut and dry (meaning, just add this and go) I screw up. Oh yes, the last two soups I tried, screwed up. So I think, for the time being, those are being put on the back burner. At least just for a minute. I suck at making sure I keep an eye on it. I suck at making sure I don't burn it. Oh yes, all of this happened tonight! 

3. I have a very sensitive taste bud to nutmeg and thyme. I didn't use thyme tonight but any recipe that calls for it, I kinda cringe. And when I do use it, I use very little of it. I just can't do it. Tonights recipe called for Nutmeg. Yeah...I cringed. That is all I tasted. So yeah, that is kind of a problem!! 

4. Cooking a recipe with a laptop/tablet/smartphone/etc is amazing. I used to have to write it down OR literally run from the kitchen to the office to see what I needed to do next. Let's just say, that made cooking really really tedious and boring. Never again! 

Tonight I decided to make Broccoli Cheddar Soup. Of course, I used PW's recipe because come on, I love her stuff. And I botched it. I didn't pay attention to the soup and cooked it too high (still learning what is too high and too low for my pots and pans) so the bottom burned. There wasn't near enough salt added. Then the nutmeg. Oh man, the nutmeg. That is ALLLL I tasted. And it totally ruined it for me. Mind you, Other Chef and Little Man loved me. But for me, I think its that blasted nutmeg. 

Dang it. I really wanted to love that soup :( 

Monday, December 12, 2011

Roast Chicken

How do you make this:

Look like this?

Well its quite simple actually!! 

This is what the roasting pan should look like before you cook:
Rosemary (fresh) and a full lemon with the nubs chopped off.

With the chicken, just butter it down. ALL OVER! Make sure your hands are nice and buttery. Then put some kosher salt (YES kosher salt is AMAZING!) all over it. If you like your skin crispy and salty, then add as much as you want! If not, then don't. Just measure out the salt as you see fit! Then you want to stuff the chicken with 5 WHOLE cloves of garlic, rosemary (cut them in half, we used 1.5 boxes) and then a WHOLE lemon. Just shove it all inside. Roast it for 2 hours in the oven at 375 degrees (or until done) and voila. Dinner is served! 

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Our Christmas Tree

Merry Christmas!!! 

Holidays can be SO depressing!

This past January, I lost my Grandma. Next to my mother, she was the most important and influential person in my life. Although I did miss the memos that she tried to send to me. Like the one that woman take care of the house while the men work. Umm no. Or the cooking constantly (all four meals, the man never does)...yeah that has JUST started in this house. OR the most important one from her...never go to bed with a sink full of dishes. Yeah I think I am guilty of this every single night! 

This is the first year that I am without her for Christmas. I live on the other side of the country now from my family but this year...I can't even call her. I won't hear her laugh. I won't hear her telling her how much I mean to her. I have nothing this year. I didn't think it would have affected me as much as it has, but it has. I hope that morning as we open our presents, she is there. I hope that she is there as she watches me tackle cooking my first ham. I hope shes there to watch her Angel (Little Man) open his gifts. 

Thinking about all of that though, makes me smile. Because for the first time in 8 years, it will be the closest shes been to me for Christmas.

Are you missing anyone for the holidays this year? 

Friday, December 09, 2011

Running Divas Giveaway!!!

The winner of the Running Divas tank and shorts is!!!

Nicole with the comment:

I'm following their FB

Congrats! Please contact me within 48 hours at soljerster at gmail dot com with your address so I can get this out to you!

Thank you to all that entered and shared!! Hang tight because I will be having another giveaway here VERY soon!!! 

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Need the "must have" running tunes!!!

So my readers know that my computer died. Had to be replaced.

What my readers don't know is that my external hard drive hasn't been hooked up in almost 3 years.

Or that my iTunes is now completely brand new.

Which means I almost lost about a grand worth of music.

I say ALMOST because this time I was smart enough to move it to my iPod. I think I had this impending feel of doom and that is what made me decide to it. Mind you, this was THREE years worth of music I have downloaded.

Three days after I did died.

Epic. Sad. Face.

So with me getting back into running, I need tunes. I used to have an iPod Nano but I sold it when I got my Classic. Now...anyone who has a classic can attest that this thing is MASSIVELY huge and heavy. I didn't even think that I could use an armband with it. I just figured it was too big. Yeah I was wrong! You CAN use an armband with this hunk of metal. (And I strongly advice it because running with it in your front pocket of your jacket is really really really dumb. Not only will you get an iPod bruise on your hip/leg BUT you run the risk of it flying out of your unzipped pocket and hitting the ground WHILE ripping your earbuds out of your ears. True Story.) So I checked the prices at Target one day and was like The armband was 30$ but an iPod Shuffle is only 46$? And I can clip it onto my shirt?? WHAT?!? Since when were the iPod Shuffles under 100$?? Can you tell I do NOT keep up with Apple prices in the slighest?

Ain't it cute? (Ignore the extremely unfeminine hand and the crap on the floor...this is Other Chef's truck.
Now I am sure that I can somehow move my music from my Classic to my new iTunes and onto my Shuffle but dear God, that sounds like a heck of a lot of work. Not to mention that Other Chef came back from a deployment with 3 500GB externals filled with music. So help me fill this thing up with the "must haves" of working out!!

Monday, December 05, 2011


Coffee pot brewing its first pot this morning!
I used to have an obsession with coffee. Well let me rephrase that, not just coffee but Starbucks to be exact. In high school I used to be go Arabica (a coffee place that used to be on the East Coast) every morning. When we were transferred to WA, my obsession only got worse. There is literally (just looked this up so no joke) 10 Starbucks within a 2.5 mile radius of my home. The closest is about a minutes drive from my driveway to their drive thru. I have to pass it everyday when I leave my house. EVERY. DAY! Then I read about how many calories were in my favorite coffee.

That's when the brakes screeched on my obsession.

525 calories in my favorite coffee. Holy. Jeez. WOW.

Since I am working out and trying to get back to my prebaby weight (yes I realize he's 6 but whatevs) I am limited to 1300 calories a day. Working out obviously gains me more but yeah...1300. So one coffee, BEFORE breakfast, leaves me with 775 calories for the rest of the day. NO WAY.

Now I homebrew. I have been giving my coffee pot a massive workout. I am actually waiting for the day that I press brew and nothing happens. You will all hear a massive scream from your various points around the world. Never fear. That is just me having a meltdown because my favorite ever kitchen appliance has finally died. (This things going on 7 years old...its coming!)

What is your obsession food or drink related?

Saturday, December 03, 2011


Okay, I was going to hold this in until I started the training BUT....

My Friend N and I are running the St Paddy's Day 5k this year!!!

I am so excited. This is my first official 5k. I registered already and am ready to go! I start training on Monday and man am I excited. I mean nervous. I mean ecstatic. I mean...AHHHHH! I can't wait! And to be able to do this with someone who has become so close to me...score! Main (well used to be now) Chef will be with the kids while we do it. When we asked if he wanted to go to too he said "Nah, I run triple marathons. In under an hour. On my video games." Really?? *rolls eyes*

 Its downtown, starts at 7am....

Dang. I am going to be before 530am and it won't be for shopping.


Thanksgiving post!

So it pains me to say this BUT every year for the last 7 years, when I made Thanksgiving dinner it was normally just one of those precooked dinners that you get from Safeway. But to anyone that has been following my blog, you know that I also just recently started cooking and trying to expand my skills. Well this year, I decided to cook my own dinner...all of it. And so I did.

The turkey was going to be my hardest challenge. I have never cooked one before. I was horrified thinking that I was going to screw it up and all of us would end up with food poisioning (yes, worst case scenario always in my head!!!). I didn't know what brining was so I didn't even bother to do that but I did find a link on PW's site that I did follow (which can be found here ). I didn't stuff my turkey either. My grandmother used to do that all the time and ugh, I hate mushy stuffing. So no go on this one! The only spices I used were kosher salt, pepper and stuffed that thing full of minced garlic. I used so much in fact, I was being asked how much did I use cause the smell was strong. Meh, whatever. It came out DELICIOUS! When I had to baste it, like she says with the butter, I used a stick of butter with lemon juice. Man, my mouth is watering just thinking about it.

It started like this....

And then to this....

And then this!!!

I also made some DELICIOUS green bean casserole (my secret is using cans of cream of mushroom AND chicken...delicious), Main Cook made some delicious sweet potatoes (recipe WILL be coming soon), mashed potatoes, Turkey Stuffing, Cranberry sauce (just out of can, nothing special), turkey gravy (out of jar, again, nothing special) and my pumpkin pie.

My very first EVER homemade pumpkin pie...still working on the crust!

Dinner...was..sooo...good! And the good news one was sick or got sick and everyone walked away from the table stuffed to the gills. That my friend is awesome!

Thanksgiving Dinner with some Moscato...ready to eat!!

Friday, December 02, 2011

Running Divas Review and Giveaway!!

So I got my computer the other day...back joining the land of the interwebz. Honestly, you never really realize how much you miss having your own computer until you are having to share. Sucks. Majorly.

Thanksgiving came and went, man was it a good time (I will post about that in a seperate post). Day before Thanksgiving though...I got a box in the mail. It was from Running Divas who was kind enough to send me some items to giveaway!!

I took the items out of the box and was instantly impressed with how lightweight AND soft they were. Seriously. I have never felt something this soft before (without using a ton of fabric softener and then you run the risk of feeling that nasty softener feel...yuck). The other thing that caught my eye was how cute the sayings were. The long sleeve brown tee says "Mile after Mile after Mile, etc" all the way down the side and on the back it says "Marathon is a concept by which we measure pain". And the cool thing about the sayings is that you can customize it. Anything you want on any piece of clothing, you can get. How cool is that?  Marc and Aeron did a great job with these items and I can't wait to share them with you!

These are the two pieces that I am giving away:

You know you want them! The back of the tank says "its who we are its what we do"

Here's what you do!!

1. Follow my blog and comment that you did! (1 entry)
2. Follow Running Divas Facebook Page and comment that you did, tell them I sent you!(1 entry)
3. Share this giveaway on your blog, Facebook or by Twitter (possible 3 entries) and comment you did.

Make sure you do one comment for each thing that you do!! Thanks!

This giveaway will close on the 9th at 10AM. Will mail the item priority! I will be using to pick a winner!!

Good luck and I can't wait to see who the winner is!!! 

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Quick Post!

My new computer is in and I am IN LOVE! I am about to head out to go eat dinner so be looking out for a new blog entry (longer) later tonight!! Giveaway is being set up tomorrow!! WOOT!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Some news!!

So I have a giveaway coming up. Oh first one!! The makers of an awesome clothing company was nice enough to send me a box and I can't wait to set it all up for you guys to win!! The catch is, I can't do this until my computer gets here. It shipped today SOOO hopefully within the next week we can get this going! YAY! So the blog will be slow until then as the laptop doesn't have a media card reader like mine did AND I can't find the cords. So just sit tight and I hope you are as anxious as I am!!

Christina, the first thing I thought of this morning was emailing you and sharing the news! How goofy am I???

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Today, as I cook dinner for my family, I remember to give thanks to those men who have sacrificed their lives for US. Not just their country, but for US. To ensure that WE have something to be thankful for. I am thankful for my wonderful friends. I am thankful for my loving family. I am thankful that in this trying economy, we are still doing okay. I am thankful for the Little Man who totally runs me ragged but makes me smile each and every day. I have so much to be thankful for.

Today the menu is consisting of:

13lb Roasted Turkey
Green Bean Casserole
Sweet Potatoes
Mashed Potatoes
Turkey Stuffing
Turkey Gravy
Pumpkin Pie
Sparkling Apple Cider

Oh yes, lots of food for only 3 people but man oh man, are leftovers amazing! Post and pictures to follow later!!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Roast Beast!!!

Yes, totally had a breath of the Grinch there for a minute. So each payday (we get paid twice a month) I scope out Tasty Kitchen, PW and some of the blogs for new recipes to try. Well I decided instead of only scanning twice a month and then pulling my hair out trying to make my menu, I have sat and just saved a ton of links. Now will be the fun part of trying to organize it all! But anyway, we eat a lot of meat in this house. Its mostly chicken but I am always up for some beef recipes. Making a roast is always new to me, never really made it and the times I have...well yeah. Not so good. So I found this recipe on TK and it seemed so simple and actually looks really delicious. I have never had the soups it calls for so I honestly had NO idea what it was going to taste like.

I got everything together, seared the meat and then put it in the dish. (Does anyone else only use Pyrex dishes??) Then put it in the oven.

This is where my "blonde" moment kicked in.

See, I have this habit of preheating like you are supposed to but also accidentally turning off the oven. Don't ask me why but I literally have to catch myself doing it. Apparently though, this was not one of those times I caught myself.

Wednesday nights are AWANA nights for Little Man. So I had it all timed out that dinner would be ready in PLENTY of time for him to eat before church. Yeah...that didn't work out. 2.5 hours goes by, I am playing my nerd game and I hear from the kitchen "Umm...the stove is turned off." I race into the kitchen and I am like WHAT?!? Sure as heck, the roast has been sitting in the oven for 2.5 hours...not cooking. Yes, I said that right. NOT COOKING. Mind you, it is now 600pm. I got Ethan something else to eat and started the oven up...again. NOT happy at this point.

Around 815, it was done. At this point, I am not even hungry. I grabbed a bag of salt and vinegar chips and vegge'd. Oh yes, so healthy right? Thursday night we had dinner at a friends house (made her PW's chicken spaghetti, there were NO leftovers at all), Friday night we had a friends going away BBQ so this delicious roast wasn't even eaten until Saturday night. I have what I am thinking is pneumonia (Doc appt tomorrow morning so I will know then) so the other chef made the sides (rice with beef gravy...McCormick rocks!) and I ate it in bed on Saturday. Hence why there are no pictures to show for this delicious roast.

Definetly DEFINETLY make this. You will not be disappointed, it is AMAZING.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Crock Pots ARE Amazing!

So the other night I made Crock Pot Cube Steak with Mushroom Gravy . And I wish I could have walked around saying I AM THE GREATEST COOK ALIVE!! Okay okay, I did. It was AH-MAZ-ING! Literally. I know this girl in real life and I am wondering why I never had this recipe! I cooked it on high for 5 hours and it was really so tender it was falling off with the touch of a fork. Honestly, TRY THIS RECIPE!! You will not be disappointed, it was amazing. And I CAN NOT WAIT to make this again :D

This picture honestly does this NO justice. I served it with stuffing and corn :D

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Family Recipe Time

So this recipe, my Grams would make it. And my Mom made it growing up. And now I am making it with my family. So yes, I would say its a family recipe :D This recipe is not only delicious but it has all the ingredients that one SHOULD love...turkey breast, stuffing and gravy. Like if that doesn't make you think of Thanksgiving, I don't know what will!

Last night I couldn't decide what to cook and then I remembered that I had some deli turkey breast in the fridge. Honestly, its rare that I had it. Not that I don't eat or buy deli meat but because it normally doesn't last longer then a day in this house. You want the sliced turkey to be a tad thick. Not overly thick but enough that you can roll it with something inside.

That being said...let's get down to the recipe :D

Okay, so you want a pound of sliced turkey breast (see paragraph above about that). Depending on the cut, you might want more then that. I have half a pound, cut kinda thickly and it only made 5 rollups. So next time, I will get the full pound so I can have some leftovers. You also can use either an 8x8 or a 9x13 pan. Just depends on what you have on hand (or clean at the moment).

First you want to cook the stuffing according to the package. I always use turkey stuffing because..well its Turkey Rollups so yeah. BUT I have developed a love for cornbread stuffing lately. Not sure if that will taste the same or not! So if you try something else, let me know what it tastes like! Once the stuffing is done, take one slice of turkey breast, put some stuffing in the center and roll it up. Repeat until you have used all the stuffing. Now you should be putting the rollups directly into the dish but I shouldn't have to tell you that step ;-P Once all the rollups are in the dish and everything is set, take a jar of turkey gravy (I use the Heinz) and pour it all over the top. I always buy two jars just in case but last night, I only needed one :D. Put the dish filled with goodness into a preheated 375 oven and cook for 45 minutes. Serve with a veggie and voila. Dinner is served! (Disclaimer: I did NOT take any pictures as I was too busy devouring my food!)

Turkey Rollups

1/2-1 1/2 pound of sliced turkey breast (want it thick enough to be able to roll stuffing inside)
1 package of stuffing
1-2 jars of Heinz Turkey Gravy

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Cook stuffing according to package.
3. Take 1 slice of turkey breast and add some stuffing to the middle. Roll it up and place it in the pan roll side down. Repeat until all stuffing is gone.
4. Pour jar of turkey gravy over the rollups.
5. Cook in over for 45 minutes.


Monday, November 07, 2011

Homemade Mac and Cheese!!!

Little Man is obsessed with Mac and Cheese. And I don't mean the good homemade kind. I am talking the out of a box Kraft mac and cheese. Even then, its not even the good kind. Its the standard Kraft. The only box mac and cheese I can eat is the Thick and Creamy (insert some kind of sick innuendo here..)

Anytime I make Mac and Cheese (which if Little Man had his way, it WOULD be everyday), I try and make a new recipe. The first time I ever made homemade, I didn't know what words like "rue" meant. Like what is that?!? So that ended up horribly, I threw it in the garbage and tried again the next day. It came out alright. Not the best cheese but meh. It was something new.

I found this recipe betcha, Tasty Kitchen. (Slight obsession with that site, not gonna lie) It was super good and very delicious, not as creamy as that picture makes it look but meh, who cares. My son two bowls of it so to me, it was a success. Not sure if I will make it again though. Velvetta and me just aren't friends so meh, who knows. But definitely worth the try for all you cooks out there!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Lack of Posting...

I know my lack of posting is annoying. Trust me...I know. It is to me too! But I promise that I will be posting a TON more in the upcoming days!! I PROMISE!!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Sometimes you can't fake it!

It's been awhile since I last posted, I know this. Been super busy lately and finally got started on the cooking once again. Literally, these last couple weeks I feel like all we do is eat out. I feel like I am running nonstop lately and I think that is it honestly. By the end of the day, the last thing I want to do is cook but gotta do it. It's healthier!

But besides that, last week I decided to make this. It says in the recipe to marinate the chicken overnight...PLEASE FOLLOW THESE INSTRUCTIONS!! I did not. I figured oh well, I can just smother in ranch while cooking and all will be right in the world. 


I don't know about you but sweet peas smothered in ranch? Yeah not so good. So please please please, follow the instructions. Because let me tell you, this was a cooking disaster at my house!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Whats new in my cooking world!

Honestly...not much.

Cooking has kinda taken a slow pace as of late. The beginning of the "sick" season has hit us hard. I have been sick off and on for about a month now. Now I just have this horrible cough I am trying hard to get rid of. Kinda scared to be running at the gym for fear they will think I am spreading the bubonic plague. True story.

So a couple Thursday's ago, I went to my friend N's for dinner. She made a Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe that she found on Tasty Kitchen. Let me just was bland. And I know N's food is not bland. But this...was just...bland. Like no flavor whatsoever. She even added MORE spice to the food then what was necessary. Nope. Bland. I am one of THOSE people. I love flavor. If its not making my taste buds fall in love, it ain't happening. And apparently, it wasn't happening all the way around that table. So needless to say, we will NOT be cooking this again..ever. And if either of us do, its going to be changed a LOT.

The tortilla soup....

The following Thursday (actually, just last Thursday) I cooked dinner for them. I made PW's Pasta Alla Marlboro Man. Holy delicious. Literally. I didn't see a single person NOT get up for seconds. Its been extremely cold around here lately. Of course rainy as well so let's add that into the bone chill factor. This food is the perfect just comfort food. Its definetly man friendly with all the amount of meat that is involved as well. Totally gonna be honest, that recipe is probably a meal I could eat once a week if I could. Not gonna lie :D

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Creamy Portabella Pot Roast

So this blog entry has no pictures. I was so frustrated in the end that I said screw it. Maybe I will take a picture when I have some leftovers tomorrow...maybe.

The other morning, I decided to start my pot roast. Mind you, I didn't start it until 930. It says to let cook for 8 to 10 hours. Yikes. Add in to the fact that I had to leave to pick up my son from school before 1020 and you can see we have an issue. I propped my Tab up and got down to business.

Only...I didn't read the recipe. And this is where the fiasco starts.

I seared the meat, stuck it in the crock pot and got down to slicing and dicing the veggies. I didn't cube the potatoes, I sliced them up (thin). I also didn't use yukon gold, I used red potatoes. The reason being is that my brand new bag of potatoes (or so I thought to be brand new) were bad. Nice huh? Reason like 9 million why the commissary at this base just sucks. So anyway, I chopped up all the veggies and realized crock pot isn't that big. Like I am seriously wanting a bigger one (hint hint, nudge nudge). So I had to downsize the veggies big time because there just wasn't enough room. But anyway, I make the sauce and pour it in and I am like Hmm...that wasn't a lot. Like 1 cup of cooking wine and 1 can of soup. Hmm. Not really that much for all the ingredients BUT I will try my luck!

Then I read the recipe. Yeah...didn't do it right. I didn't mix the veggies together with the sauce. And I didn't put half the veggies on the bottom with the meat on top.

That sets in the panic.

I had like four people telling me to add some water, it won't hurt anything plus it will prevent the meat from drying out. Drying out meat could cause crock pot to crack. If my crock pot cracked, you would have one sad panda over here. So I added less then a cup.

Big. Mistake. At least, I think so.

Around 6pm, the meat was floating there was so much liquid. Add into the fact that the potatoes were still hard. Its been cooking for 8 hours by this point! I was like What is going on?!? So I cooked it for another hour.

Its not 7pm. Little Man is hungry, I am hungry. I said forget it and we ate. The potatoes were still a little firm. The meat was a tad tough. But overall, it was good. I honestly just don't know if I will cook it again. Or at least not until I get a bigger crock pot. (hint hint nudge nudge)

The recipe can be found here. (yes Tasty Kitchen is amazing).

Saturday, October 01, 2011

A picture blog!

From this (the insides)....

To having the sauce laid on top....

To a wicked delicious chicken pot pie!!!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Grilled Peanut Butter and Honey Sammiches

Lunch is always kinda boring around here. Nothing fancy. Just leftovers or whatever is easy to cook. I noticed that when I started this blog, it was all dinners. No lunches or breakfasts. I think I need to change that. So I tried these and really, like the ham and cheese sandwiches, why didn't I ever think to make these before? So easy and so dang delicious. My son loved it. So I have a feeling I will be making these quite often.

The recipe for these can be found here.

Friday, September 23, 2011

New Update with some Old Ones...

I have only one thing to say really about why I have not updated at all...

Sick. As. A. Dog.

Ugh! I am hoping that this cold is gone by next week so I can start cooking like I have been and start working out again :(

Tonight for dinner I making the chicken pot pie that I made a couple weeks ago. Easy enough and for some reason, I am really craving it.

First night of this 2 week section, we just had a rotisserie chicken. Store bought. Nothing crazy. The next day I put some delicious beef tips in the crockpot. Oh...My...Goodness. This recipe was amazing. And so quick. AND SO EASY! I let it cook all day and then I made a thing of rice and vioila. Dinner. I mean really, nom nom freaking nom!!!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Chicken Spaghetti Revamped?

So I have a  friend named A, she lives in Mississippi. We have never officially met but we talk constantly on the phone, on FB, etc etc. I love her to death!

Anyway, to get back on track...she would hear me say I was making chicken spaghetti (recipe I normally make can be found Pioneer Woman's Chicken Spaghetti) and she told me that she herself has her own recipe that she makes. She asked for the link to PWs so I sent it to her and she goes Oh yeah, mine is a lot simpler then that!

This was months ago. This was when the blog wasn't even a glimmer in my eye! So now that I am doing the blog, I was like You know, let's try A's recipe out. She gave it to me and man, its really simple. Like...insanely simple actually. (Recipe will be at the end of this blog entry)

The neighbor child was over once again so I asked if she wanted some dinner, she said sure. I started the chicken and just smothered it in Tony Chacere's. Probably not the smartest thing to do but meh. It was probably the best tasting chicken I have had in a long time so I might even make that with a couple sides, who knows.

The key though, the KEY, is to make sure that you don't have the chicken sitting out while cooking the spaghetti and the soups. The reasoning is simple. You will eat it. Seriously. You will stand there melting the cheese and munching on chicken. Told you, probably the best chicken I have ever tasted. I wasn't kidding.

But proud to admit, it was a hit in the house. Even Little Man ate it and that says a lot cause he is SOOO picky! Neighbor child (again with not saying names) loved it too. In fact the other night when she came by to get boxes (they moved **sniffles**) the girl who lived two doors down said "She told me that we need to come eat your cooking." That's right...I am awesome.

Told you, munch munch munch....

Nom Nom Nom!!!

Eat up!
Recipe courtesy of A: (Love you girlie!)

  • 4 whole Chicken Breasts
  • Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning, To Taste
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter
  • 2 cans 28 Oz. Ro*tel Tomatoes
  • 2 cans (10.5 Oz) Cream Of Mushroom Soup
  • 1 block 32 Oz Velvetta Cheese Loaf
  • 1 pound Spaghetti (whole Package)
 1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and line a cooking pan with tin foil.
2. Lay the chicken breasts on the foil lined pan. Rub a stick of butter on the chicken to give it a nice coating. Then season chicken with Creole seasoning. Season to taste. Put chicken in the oven and cook until golden brown and done.
3. Bring a pot of water to boil. Cook spaghetti until done (al dente, according to package instructions). Drain.
4. Chop up the Velveeta block into squares.
5. Add cans of tomatoes and mushroom soup into a saucepan and bring them to a simmer. Add in cheese. Stir and cook until cheese is melted then remove the pan from heat.
6. Cut chicken breasts into bite size squares.
7. Add chicken into the cheese sauce once cheese is melted.
8. Serve the sauce over the pasta and enjoy.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Chicken Bacon Bake

Most definitely starting to notice a trend here, a trend of eating chicken. If I didn't love steak so much, I'd cut beef completely out of my diet. But this isn't an entry about me and my diet....

I found this recipe on Tasty Kitchen and oh man, did this look gooooood! And its so simple, it really is. Little Man is extremely picky when it comes to eating so I have to make sure that I choose foods that he will eat as well. Now mind you with that battle, I normally lose. Go Mom! Not.

So I did the usual of taking a package of chicken out the night before and sticking it in fridge. Next morning took it out and let it thaw out all day (still frozen, good to know my freezer REALLY works). I used 4 breasts for this and not the three like the recipe asks for but honestly, I doubt it matters.

That afternoon I decided I had enough of waiting and went to buy an electric griddle. I saw a couple on Amazon and found the one with the 5 star review. Yeah...well not sure why this one got 5 stars cause mine didn't work. At all. It heated and then just quit. Not VERY happy about it. But anyway, so I ended up having to cook the bacon in my skillet was well. Fun...not.

Overall, it wasn't bad. I actually kinda liked it. I used Grey Poupon Dijon Mustard and Jack Daniels BBQ for the sauce. Definitely good flavors to mix :D And I don't know about you, but I like my bacon extra crispy. I can't stand tasting any type of fat on anything, including bacon. Barf.

The chicken smothered in BBQ and mustard sauce. Nom.

Another view.

Nom Nom Nom. Chicken, sauce, bacon and mozz cheese over mashed potatoes.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

9/11...Time to Reflect a bit...

So I interrupt your cooking schedule to talk about 9/11...

Such a surreal day. Literally. I remember talking to my Grams and my Mother and they knew exactly what they were doing when like JFK and Elvis died. My Grandma remembered D Day. My Grandma remembered seeing the Holocaust pictures for the first time. And you hope that you never have to have a "moment" like that. A moment that you will never forget ever in your life.

Then 9/11/01 happened. I had just started my junior year of high school. All our schools are on the same campus and we had Home Ec in the middle school. First period for me was Home Ec. I remember my old History teach Mrs Bottesch came in and told Mrs McMutrie (sp?) that the WTC had been hit. They were unclear at this time what happened but that she should turn on the news. So she did. Me, in my total ignorance, was like "Isn't that where the Stock Exchange is?" I think Triv was like "no, thats the NYSE building." Yeah, I felt dumb. And we stood there watching this. We didn't know what was going on, all we knew was that a plane had hit a tower. Thinking it was an accident. And I remember someone saying "We see smoke coming from the DC area, can we confirm what is going on there?"

Then we saw the second plane hit. And the shock, fear, terror, could be felt throughout the classroom. Something, someone, was attacking us. Why? What is going on? What is this?

Class ended and we headed back to the high school. All the teachers were in the cafeteria watching it on the TV. It seemed that all the students were just glued to the TV. Some were crying, NO ONE understood what was going on.

I went to my 2nd period of the day which was Japanese. Mrs Mitchell said no classes, we were watching the news. So we did. I remember Joey, big tall Joey, just stand there in shock. We all were. For the first time since we were in K, all of us were stunned silent.

And then the tower fell. That's when my tears fell. All those people. Not enough time. Why? WHAT WAS GOING ON?!?

I will never forget Mr Valentic, my history teacher. He stood there and just kept shaking his head. I never saw him shed a tear but I think he was holding that in. He finally turned to look at us and said to us "From this moment on, none of your lives will ever be the same. Ever. You may not know it now, but it won't."

How true he was. I married a man who is Active Duty military. His cousin was KIA in 2004. I have grown to know countless military families from all over the world. Off the top of my head, I can say I know about 8 people who have died in Afghanistan or Iraq. And countless more that I might not have known personally but I knew their friends. And I watched their tears and tried to help as much as I could.

I will never know what its like to fly and not have tightened security. So many things that we count as norm know, on 9/10/01, they were not.

But our country has shown that no matter what, that didn't break us. Instead we banded together and "fought" the pain and the tears. We became a whole and not someone here or there. Our hearts still ache for those affected and who are still being affected by 9/11.

Even if we didn't know someone personally who was killed on 9/11, our hearts still ached the same for all of them. Their families. Their children. Just for them. The people of United 93 will forever be named heroes. The countless firefights and police officers and contractors who worked countless hours digging and finding/saving people...heroes.

We love them all for what they did. We love people we may never meet. And we love them because in the dead end face of terror, they did what they had to do. And they did it with no questions asked. That is what a true hero is to me.

It was so easy, even I could do it!!!

Ha. Ha. Yes I know. Cracking jokes at my expense. Ha. Ha.

But really, have you ever made a recipe or seen one and you are like Why haven't I done this before? Yeah that is how I felt with this one.

One afternoon, all the neighborhood kids were hanging out around my house at lunch time playing with Little Man. So in true Mom fashion, since I was making lunch already, I asked the kids if they wanted to try it. Of course I was told YES all across the board.

Really simple like I said before. Take some ham sandwich meat and a package of the crescent rolls. Unroll them, lay some ham slices on there and some cheese. Roll them up, pop them in the oven and voila. Delicious and I am actually craving some now.

Too bad I am out of crescent rolls.....

Recipe is here.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Sometimes, your way is the best way!!

Sooo this blog is all about trying new things and getting out of my comfort zone right? Right. And that is what I did!!

I make a tater tot casserole that my family loves. Like nom nom nom loves. Its simple, its easy and the leftovers seem to be better then when it was fresh! Not gonna lie, its a Duggar family recipe. I tried it cause it sounded good and we love it. We add some spices and do our own twist to it, but its still good. I can't even begin to tell you how many people have been like Ewww tater tot casserole?!? That is nasty. "Have you tried?" "" So how do you know something is nasty? Exaaaactly, you don't :-P

I saw this recipe on Tasty Kitchen and was like Hmm...that doesn't look all that bad. Again, trying new things. Getting out of comfort zone here! And it seemed like my Moms. My Mother makes the BEST tater tot casserole and I've been asking her for years for the recipe. STILL WAITING MOM!!! But anyway back to the recipe at hand.

It was fairly simple BUT the only complaint I had was there was just too many veggies. Like an overthrow of onion and green beans. Not enough salt. Which are all easy fixes! I just..I don't know. I guess this is one recipe that I will continue to make on my own!!!

Saturday, September 03, 2011

My first Pie adventure!!!

So for those that have been following along, I have never been the one to cook. I mean I did cook here or there but it was either something easy or something out of a box. Never homemade. So cooking stuff that is "out of my element" is really new to me.

I saw this recipe for a Chicken Pot Pie on Tasty Kitchen. I have seen various ones before and they always just seemed really complicated so I would take the "easy" road and say forget it. This one is incredibly simple. The only spices you use are salt and pepper. Easy! Now of course if you wanna make your own crust, then that would take some time. But again, taking the easy way this time so I bought the awesome premade Pillsbury crust.

While cooking, my son likes to stand on the step stool and watch everything I do. He even helps me get stuff out of the fridge. He calls himself my "Taste Tester". Such a food critics already and he's only 5. If something needs more salt, he tells me. If it needs more of something else, he tells me. Course he will try and tell me to put like cinnamon on something that definetly does not (nor would you want to) need it but still, its awesome. It's a time that my Little Man is mine. No cartoons or toys. Nothing. Just Mommy and Little Man time. And I adore this time that he still cares what Mommy is doing and not "Mom, I'm hungry and gotta run, when's dinner?"

I got everything in the pot to boil and I called my Aunt. We ended up talking for about an hour, just catching up on life and reminiscing about things. She told me that Grams would be proud of me. I said "Oh?" She said "She tried for years to get you to start cooking with her and you just wouldn't. Now look at ya!" I told her I didn't know how well it would come out because I have never done this before. And she said "Never know what you can do until you try it!" So true Aunt J. So true.

I made a few changes and an oops. I used kosher salt and I must have added too much cause its a tad salty but not a turn your nose up salty. But its definitely there. The changes I made were I added sharp cheddar instead of mild. I love sharp cheddar. I think I use it for pretty much everything! And I used Cream of chicken AND mushroom instead of just chicken soup. Overall, this dish was amazing. And I will definitely be making it again :D

I leave you with some pictures of my fine work and the recipe will follow. Enjoy!

Recipe I used:

Friday, September 02, 2011

One of my favorites....

Last night for dinner I made lil cheesy meatloaves (recipe will be at the end of this blog post). Definetly a fave in this house. And it is sooo delicious. I add a tad more salt then the recipe calls for and I also throw in some garlic. Gives the meatloaves a kick.

Really I add garlic because I was "yelled" at when I didn't add it. "Garlic is love! Don't you want love in your food?" Yeah Yeah, get over it. :-P

Well I was on the phone with a dear friend of mine, gabbing to B about random stuff. I just received some distressing news about an EFriend of mine, mind was just NOT where it should have been.

Well mind not focused+cooking=Not gonna happen right!

And no it did not. I added too much oats. I didn't add enough salt AND I didn't chop up half an onion.

Go me!!

Little Man was like OH YEAH! No onion! So of course he ate it right up. So I guess we know who will eat the leftovers and who won't! :D

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Kitchen Gadgets and What's to Come!

Who doesn't love kitchen gadgets? I am kinda obsessed with them, not gonna lie.

Recently I got two new "gadgets". One is the Rachel Ray EVOO storage container. I love it. And I love it because of how unique looking it is. This buddy I got for free using our debt rewards through our bank but you can get it on Amazon for like 20$.

Second "gadget" I bought was a new spice rack. I am slowly getting rid of the blonde wood accessories I had in my kitchen and replacing them with modern black, red or brushed copper accessories. I love how awesome the containers look! This is the Old Thompson Orbit Spice Rack. It rocks.

And what is coming up for Pioneer Apron is:

Lil Cheesy Meatloaves, mashed potatoes and green beans (recipe from Tasty Kitchen)
Indiana Pudding Bowls, Ham and Cheese crescent rolls and Chicken Pot Pie (all but Indiana Pudding Bowls from Tasty Kitchen)
Mushroom and Mozzarella Stuffed Chicken Breasts, Mashed potatoes, Corn (Recipe from Tasty Kitchen)
Tater Tot Casserole (new recipe from Tasty Kitchen)
Chicken Bacon Bake with Mashed (recipe from Tasty Kitchen)
Pasta with Whiskey, Wine and Mushrooms (recipe from Pioneer Woman) *this recipe might change*
Sour Cream Meatballs, rice and steamed veggies (recipe from Tasty Kitchen)
Portabella Pot Roast (recipe from Tasty Kitchen, might take the spot of PWs recipe, not sure)
Cheesy Stuffed Shells (recipe from Tasty Kitchen)
Chicken Spaghetti (new recipe from my friend A.S.)
Rotissere Chicken with Corn Casserole (CC from PW site)

Should be a jam packed recipe blog here soon and I hope you all love em :D

Friday, August 26, 2011

Chicken Diva Time!!!

I have always seen Chicken Divan recipes and honestly, have always been afraid to make it.

I mean what's NOT there to love. We have chicken, mushrooms, broccoli and rice. That's it. Then you make a sauce or do like I do and follow a recipe.

The recipe I got was from Tasty Kitchen. That website is seriously becoming my crack (next to reading! and Amazon :D). I found this recipe (there will be a link posted at the end of this blog) and finally decided to make it.

I was going to cook it yesterday for dinner but being it was 85 outside and there is no AC in this house, I decided that making dinner in the oven was just going to be horrible. Mind you, I decided this after the chicken was done and so was the rice. So I put those in storage containers and went and got Popeyes (kinda defeats the purpose of healthy eating but psh).

So today, decided to cook. It was 82 today but awesome breeze. So opened the windows and got down to it. Now I cheated and used a bag of streamed broccoli. Not sure if this has any bearing on the issue with it (that I will discuss later) but I suggest following said recipe and using fresh. I mixed it all together, started putting it together and popped it in the oven. Easy peasey. Took me maybe minutes for prep (since rice and chicken were already done).

Oven goes off, let it stand for five minutes and bam, serve it up!

First bite...delicious. I can taste the garlic but its not that much. Just enough to say Hello! Then I bite into a piece with broccoli.

And my taste for this chicken divan is ruined.

The broccoli is mushy. Hence the problem with frozen vs fresh. Next time, IF I make it again, it will be fresh broccoli. No more cheating.

See, I broke out the nice camera to give you guys some good pictures :D
Recipe for those wondering:

Wednesday, August 24, 2011



Mushroom and Swiss sliders and I...

We don't mix.


That is all.

(For the awesome recipe, head over to PW's site and look for Mushroom and Swiss Sliders under her cooking tab)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Steak Bites...nom nom nom!!

I have always wondered what was the proper way to cook steak bites. (For those that don't know, steak bites is basically just stew meat OR if you don't want all the fat, like I don't, buy beef tips) I would try and experiment with random stuff but it was just...well meh. We would eat it but we would always be like Hmm, what is missing?

When I first found PW's site, I found her steak bites recipe. And it's so simple! Seriously. Salt, Pepper and Butter.


That's it?

Yup, that's it. And they are sooooooooooooo good. Yes, they deserve that many O's. And you can eat these alone or with some sides. Really, they are kinda verastile.

Or you can be like me and sit at your computer eating them like they are pieces of candy BUT you can't share that with anyone else!

Taken with the baby camera, the beef tips with all the fat cut off.
You can't see it but this was after I added the salt and the pepper. I use the Kosher salt. Seriously, LOVE kosher salt. Why wasn't I aware of this before?
Mmmmm, cooking. I like my meat medium rare but of course, its your personal choice!
And dinner is served. I normally cook some corn and some mashed. NOM NOM NOM!

And for those that are interested, here is the link to the recipe!!

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