Monday, August 22, 2011

Chicken Parmesan Monday

Happy Monday!
I hope everyone had an awesome weekend. Mine was filled with work, work, and more work but that's how I make that money:) It was tiring but worth it. It was not all work but a little bit of fun was thrown into the mix. I attended my friend's daughters birthday party. I know, not fun in the traditional sense but I enjoyed watching all of the kids have fun. Princesses are really big in these parts. Savannah's birthday party came complete with a visit from her favorite princess, Ariel. The girls had fun singing, dancing, and getting the faces painted by Ariel.

I enjoyed my day off today. I had to do some house work but at least I didn't have to go to work:) All day I looked forward to having dinner with the hubby. I decided to make one of his favorites, Chicken Parmigiana. He loved it! I have to say, it came out really well and it was not hard to make. I did not go all the way traditional and I baked the chicken instead of fried it but I think it was just as delicious. I also cheated just a little and did not make my own sauce but jazzed up a jar sauce. Since this was a week night dinner and not a weekend dinner, I did not want to spend all night in the kitchen but wanted some quality time with the hubby. I have not seen him much these past days because of conflicting work schedules. I definitely encourage you to try this recipe out. I promise you will not be disappointed.

Chicken Parmigiana

2 chicken breast butterflied and pounded into 1/2 inch thickness
panko bread crumbs
2 eggs beaten
1/4 c flour
1/2 tsp garlic salt
salt and pepper
2 T olive oil
3 cloves of garlic minced
1/4 c Parmesan cheese plus more for sprinkling on top
1 jar of favorite pasta sauce
2 T basil
1 onion, diced
1/2 c shredded cheese
3/4 lb of favorite pasta

Preheat oven to 400F. Butterfly and pound out chicken.

Mix flour with salt, garlic salt, and pepper. Put it in a Ziploc bag. Make an assembly line of flour, egg, and pinko break crumbs mixed with Parmesan cheese. Place chicken in bag with flour and shake to coat the chicken.

Then dip the chicken in the egg and then the bread crumbs.

 Place chicken on baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes or until cooked through and golden.

In the meantime boil the water and cook the pasta according to the directions. In another pot add olive oil and heat over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for about 2 minutes or until it softens slightly then add the garlic and continue to cook for another 5 minutes.

Add the pasta sauce and basil and cook for about 10 minutes or until sauce is thoroughly heated. Toss the cooked pasta into the sauce until pasta is thoroughly coated.When the chicken is cooked through top with some sauce and then add cheese. Bake until the cheese is melted.

Place pasta on plate and top with the chicken. Garnish with additional Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

I promise this is an easy make and so delicious. I hope you are having a great start to the week.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Five spiced Pork Stirfry with Udon noodles

It's Thursday and I am feeling antsy. The weekend is almost upon us but that unfortunately does not mean much to me. I have to work all weekend:( That's okay I am saving up to not only fix my car but to purchase plane tickets to go home for Thanksgiving. I have already been scoping out the prices and let's just's not going to be cheap. The price we pay for living so far away. Oh well, hopefully we will put away enough money to go home. I miss my family and can't wait to see them.

I have also been feeling the need to shake up our weeknight dinners this week. I am tired of the usual grilled chicken or grilled pork chops. I gave it some thought and we have not had any Asian themed entrees lately. In my pantry I had a package of udon noodles that I have been itching to use. I decided to surf the net for any interesting recipes that showcased pork and udon noodles. I finally found one and just tweaked a little bit for my personal tastes. I must say it turned out better than I could have hoped for. The hubby loved it because it was a little spicy and I rarely make things spicy. He said he definitely would like this again for dinner. Woo hoo! I am always happy to hear him say a recipe is a keeper. If you want a break from monotony give this recipe a try.

Five Spice Pork Stir fry On Udon Noodles
adapted from

1 lb of pork sirloin cut into strips
8 oz udon noodles
2 c of broccoli
3 T 5 spice powder
3 cloves of garlic minced
1/4 c hoisin sauce
1/4 c soy sauce
1/4 c ponzu sauce
1/2 c beef broth
2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp chili paste
2 T sesame oil
2 T of vegetable oil

Heat vegetable oil in a pan over medium high heat. In a large pot add water and salt and bring to a boil. Add the udon noodles and cook for 10 1/2 minutes of until your package direction says. In a bowl place the pork, hoisin sauce, black pepper,2 T of five spice powder, sesame oil and minced garlic. Toss to coat meat completely and let it sit until the oil is hot. Add the meat mixture to the pan and saute for 3 minutes.

Add broccoli and continue to cook for another 2 minutes.

Add the beef broth, ponzu sauce, chili paste, five spice powder and soy sauce and continue to cook until meat is cooked through and the broccoli has softened.

Add the udon noodles and toss to coat in sauce.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Strawberry Banana Blueberry Smoothie

Happy Humpday everyone!
For me it was especially wonderful because I did not have to work and I was able to spend some time with my friends. Yeah! Always a good time. I love spending time with them. Makes my week, that much brighter.

In the last couple of weeks, pretty much all of the kids around here have returned back to school. No more summer vacation. You know what that means, summer is almost over and with it all the wonderful fresh fruit. I guess that means I need to not take the fruit for granted and eat as much of it as possible and also freeze some for those lean winter months when they are hard to come by. Today, I was very much in the mood for something refreshing, fruity, and also good for me.

I also wanted something cool because it has been so unbearably hot here. I decided to make myself and the hubby a yummy smoothie. I must admit, I think I may have got my husband a little addicted to these drinks. He never really asked for them until I started making them regularly. Now, he asks for specific fruit combinations:) At least I am doing something right and getting him to eat more fruits and veggies. He can't have all sugar, all of the time.  I find that the more fresh fruits and veggies I use to cook with or prepare the more the hubby will consume them. That is always a good thing. I am sure you guys have also come up with some great smoothie combinations as well this summer. I previously froze some fruit just for the purpose of later making smoothies with them. I also do it so I don't have to put as much ice in because the fruit is already frozen.  I hope you will give this a try.

Strawberry Banana Blueberry Smoothie

1 c strawberries
1 banana
1 c blueberry
3/4 strawberry yogurt
3/4 c almond milk
2 T of honey
1 c of ice

Add all ingredients into the blender and blend. Pour into your favorite glasses and finish with a bendy straw. Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Cheeseburger Meatloaf

Greetings and Salutations everyone!
I hope everything is going well today. I can't complain. I had a great day at work and I am off tomorrow. You know what that means..... Girl's Day!!! Yeah! I have been missing out on my girl time. Now that our car is fixed, I can go and do what I want:) That's always good news. I also got to spent some time in the kitchen. That always puts a smile on my face and also relieves stress. That's a good thing.

My hubby has been wanting some comfort food lately in the form of meatloaf. You may say meatloaf?Really? What can I say? The hubby likes the loaf.  I try to at least mix it up for him. I don't make a plain loaf but a cheeseburger meatloaf. He loves it and I do to. It is so easy to make and it tastes sooo good. How can you not like meat and cheese together? Think of a burger without the bun and the best thing about this recipe is that you can customize it to your taste.

I hope you give this recipe a try. This recipe has quite a few things going for it. It's easy, delicious, and it also does not cost very much to make.

Cheeseburger Meatloaf
Melissa DeWees

2 lb lean ground beef
1 - 8oz block of your favorite cheese, diced
3/4 c bread crumbs
1  onion, diced
1 egg
1 T Worcestershire sauce
1/2 c ketchup
1 T pepper
1 T and 1 tsp of season salt
2 tsp onion powder
1 T garlic powder

Preheat oven to 400F and spray your loaf pan with nonstick spray and set aside. In a large bowl combine all the ingredients and mix thoroughly. Make sure you get the seasoning distributed evenly. Place in loaf pan and smooth out surface.

 I like to sprinkle a little extra season salt on top. Cover with foil and bake for 1 hr and 15 minutes. After and hour remove from oven and drain some of the excess fat. Uncover for the last 15 minutes to brown the top. Let cool for a few minutes before cutting. Enjoy!


I hope you had a great day:)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Blueberry and raspberry Muffin Mishap

Happy Monday everyone!
I hope you had a wonderful weekend. Mine was okay, nothing special just work, work, and more work. You know...the fun stuff. That's okay, I need the money. I have noticed that my mood has been getting more and more edgy due to the fact I have not been able to play in the kitchen as much as I would like. You know what that means...unhappy wife, unhappy husband. Not to worry though, I have already made it up to him. How you ask? I have been making some of his favorites today in the kitchen. Woo hoo!

First on the agenda today was chicken salad. My hubby really enjoys those wraps for lunch. I am surprised he is still into them and hasn't requested a change. That's good for me. Less work in guessing what to make him for lunch:) After I finished the chicken salad, it was on the muffins. He really enjoys his muffins for breakfast! I decided to make raspberry and blueberry muffins this week to change it up a bit. I have to say this did not go as well as I had hoped. I was out of muffin liners and figured it would not be a big deal. I just had to spray the muffin tins with nonstick spray. I wish it was that easy! My muffins stuck to the side of the tin and I had to pry them out. Why????? I think I narrowed it down to 2 causes. Either I did not spray the tins well enough or I did not bake them long enough. Either way the stuck to the sides. They went from looking like this:

Pretty huh?

To looking like this:

All was not lost, I still managed to salvage most of them and they tasted good.

Raspberry and Blueberry Muffins

2 c all purpose flour
1 c sugar
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 salt
1/2 c butter, melted
3/4 c almond milk
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 c blueberries
3/4 c raspberries

Preheat oven to 350F and line or spray muffin tins.
Mix together flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt and set aside. In another bowl mix together melted butter, almond milk, egg, and vanilla. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients but do not over combine. Gently fold in the berries. Divide evenly between muffin tins. Bake for about 25- 30 minutes. Enjoy!

I hope everyone is have a great day:)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

BBQ Country Style Ribs

Happy Thursday everyone!
I have been feeling a little better this week but it is still very hectic. My husband and his friend will be replacing the clutch this weekend so the car will no longer be broken. Woo hoo! One less thing to worry about.

I may have mentioned that my beautiful niece is staying with us this week. I have been very grateful for the rides and also the company she provides. She used to live with us her freshman year of college and I miss her sometimes. Yeah, I have another person to cook for!

Last night, I wanted to use the country style ribs I purchased a while ago. I am so glad I did! They were very delicious. I got three thumbs up. They were very easy and no fuss. I recommend this recipe whole heartedly.

BBQ Country Style Ribs

10 country ribs
4 cloves of minced garlic
1/2 can of coke
1/2 c of water
onion powder
1 bottle of favorite bbq sauce

Preheat oven to 330F and spray a baking pan with nonstick spray. I used a deep baking pan that I sometimes make lasagna in so there was plenty of room. Rub all of the ribs with minced garlic and liberally sprinkle salt, pepper, and onion powder over them on both sides.

 Pour the coke and water in the bottom of the pan and seal with aluminum foil.

Cook for two hours flipping the ribs after an hour. After two hours, drain all the juice and top both sides of the ribs bbq sauce. Seal the dish again with foil and cook for an additional hour. Enjoy with your favorite sides:)

I hope you are having a great day!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Cinnamon Sugar Waffles

Greetings and Salutations all! I hope everyone had a great weekend filled with fun and laughter. I on the other hand had a stressful weekend. I think I may have mentioned once upon a time that my beloved car has some issues and needs to be fixed. In the meantime I have been driving my husband's jeep. Then it happened. On the way to dinner Saturday night, an aweful screeching sound started. I asked my husband what could it be....The answer was not good. The poor jeep needs a new clutch. Now both of cars are out of commission. This means I have no way to get to work. No work, no money, no money, no fixed car. This stressed me out. I did not sleep well at all. Then my beautiful niece agreed to stay at my house this week so I could ride with her to and from town. Did I ever mention I live in the boonies and it is a good 38 miles to work one way? No one is going to volunteer to carpool with me when I live so far out of the way. This is why I love my family. They are always there to help us and each other whenever needed. Thank you so much Nikki! I love you.

In honor of my week turning around from aweful to manageable I thought I would start off with what I want to deem the breakfast of champions. What does that consist of you ask? How about waffles, bacon, and eggs and to wash it all down, orange juice. I love waffles and I recently received a waffle iron from my hubby. We have been eating waffles made from a boxed mixture but they have not been as tasty as I would have liked. This morning I was watching Food Network, my favorite channel, and saw a recipe on Down Home with the Neely's that looked promising. I made the batter according to their recipe and let's just say....this is now my go to recipe unless I find or create one. They were so good. The only thing that I would do differently is to cook the waffles a little longer so they get a little crispier on the outside while stay moist and fluffy on the inside. If you like waffles, you will like this recipe.

Cinnamon Sugar Waffles
the Neelys

2 c all purpose flour
3 T sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
2 c whole milk (I used almond milk)
2 large eggs
6 T butter melted and cooled
cinnamon and powder sugar for dusting

Preheat waffle iron according to manufacturer's instruction. In a large bowl mix flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt and set aside. In another bowl mix milk, eggs and butter together. Combine wet ingredients with dry ingredients and be careful not to over mix.

Depending on your waffle iron put 1/4 to 1/2 c of batter in the middle of the iron and close the lid. Cook for 3 -5 minutes or until golden brown. Dust with cinnamon and powder sugar if desired and enjoy!

Why don't you make some bacon to go with it?

And some eggs:)

I like mine with lots of butter:)

Breakfast of Champions
I hope you are having a great Monday.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Blueberry Muffin

 This week has been awesome so far. I had my anniversary and also got to spend time with the hubby and my friends. I just learned one of my good friends is expecting. I am so happy for her and her hubby. They have been trying for a while and now it has finally happened. Love you guys:)

On to other business. lol:) You guys know I love a good muffin for breakfast. In fact I make a new batch every week for mine and my husband's breakfast. Well, this week I was experimenting in the kitchen, you know, in search of the ultimate recipe. I came up with a new variation on the blueberry muffin recipe. How was it you ask? Well, I am getting closer to the ultimate muffin but I still have a little more tweaking. Don't get me wrong, it was good just not perfection. That's not to say I don't recommend them because I do. Really, how can you go wrong with blueberries in any dessert or breakfast item.

This recipe was very easy to make and I have been enjoying them all week and so has the hubby. I hope you will give them a try.

Blueberry Muffins
Melissa DeWees

3 c all purpose flour
1 T cinnamon
2 T baking powder
1 tsp all spice
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
3/4 c applesauce
1 1/2 c almond milk
1 1/4 sugar
1/4 brown sugar
1/2 c sour cream
1 1/2 c blueberries

Preheat oven to 400F and line 16 muffin tins. In a large bowl mix together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and salt and set aside.

In another bowl combine egg, applesauce, almond milk, sour cream, sugar, and brown sugar.
Add the wet mixture to the dry and stir until combined. Gently fold in the blueberries and divide the batter among the muffin tins.

 Top with turbinado sugar if desired. Bake for 22-25 minutes. Let cool on wire rack. Enjoy!
I hope you are having a great week:)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Happy Anniversary and Crab stuffed Mushrooms

Today is my 10th wedding anniversary and I just want to say how much I love my hubby. It has been a great 10 years and I hope for a gajillion more with him. That's not to say it has always been easy but I think facing obstacles in a relationship makes you stronger. It takes hard work to make a good marriage but it is so worth it. I could not imagine being with anyone else. My hubby supports me in everything I do even if he doesn't always agree with my decisions. I  know I can count on him. So here's to many more years of happiness. I love you baby!

My husband gave a an awesome present for our anniversary. I have been wanting a new camera for a while and I finally got one! I am so excited and grateful for it. Thanks honey! You do listen to me. Hopefully my pictures will improve:) We will see.

I decided to make a little appetizer for us tonight since it is such a special night. We are going to dinner this weekend because my husband worked all day and has to be up early in the morning. I wanted our night to be special so I thought I would go the extra mile and make more than just an entree. I remembered when we first started dating we went to dinner and had some wonderful stuffed mushrooms. I wanted him to remember too! I searched all over for a recipe and finally decided on one from Paula Deen. Let's just say.....delicious:)

They were so easy to make and the hubby liked them too! I think next time I will get the lump crab meat instead of the canned. I bet it would taste better or if we had fresh seafood here they would taste even better. I miss going crabbing for my own:( Anyway, I definitely will make these again.

Crab Stuffed Mushrooms
adapted from Paula Deen

1 c of crab meat
1/2 c cream cheese
1/2 c parsley leaves chopped
1/2 c green onion chopped
4 T Parmesan cheese
2 portobello mushrooms or 10 white mushrooms (I used 6 small portobellos meant for stuffing)
1/2 c bread crumbs (I used panko)
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder (or to your preference)
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 375F. Combine crab meat, cream cheese, parsley, green onions, and Parmesan cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste and garlic powder. Fill mushroom with mixture and top with bread crumbs.

Spray tops with cooking spray to help brown. Bake for 20 minutes or until filling is melted and hot. Enjoy!

I hope everyone is having a great day!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Shepherd's Pie

Happy Monday everyone!
I trust everyone has had a great weekend doing things they love:) I had a good weekend. I had to work but I still was able to spend time with my hubby. We did not do much but anytime I get with him makes me happy. We are about to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary tomorrow. I cannot believe it! Time has flown by and before you know it we will have been together for 50! Or so it will feel like. We are going out to dinner to celebrate the big day, I just do not know where yet.

I made some comfort food for us this weekend because it reminds me of our life together. There is no one I would rather spend my life with than the hubby. What speaks of home to me you ask? Well, one of the dishes I love is Shepherd's Pie. I know some of y'all are saying huh? But think about it. It combines 3 of my favorite things....meat, potatoes, and vegetables. What more can you need?And it is also so easy to make. Which is another reason to love it. For those of you whom have never tried this dish, you should. I bet you will like it and may become one of your comfort dishes.

Shepherd's Pie
Melissa DeWees

1 lb ground beef
1 onion diced
3 cloves of garlic minced
2 T season salt
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
2 T olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
2 c of mixed vegetables
3-4 c of mashed potatoes
1 c of beef broth
3 T of flour
8 oz of favorite cheese

Preheat oven to 400F and spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray and set aside. Heat up olive oil over medium heat and add diced onion and a pinch of salt and pepper. Saute until softened.
Add garlic and saute for another minute.
Add ground beef, season salt, onion powder, and garlic powder and cook until beef is browned. Drain out excess fat.

Add the flour and cook for about 3 minutes so the raw flour taste disappears.

Add the beef broth to make a gravy. Add the vegetables and cook for about 5 minutes.

Put mixture in the bottom of the baking dish and smooth out.

Next layer the mashed potatoes and smooth out. Top with cheese and cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes or until nice and hot.
Let cool for about 5 minutes and enjoy!
Doesn't that look good?

How about that?

I hope you have a great day!