Sit down, relax & enjoy my recipes for life!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Freezer Baking Week

Lately, I haven't had much inspiration in the kitchen. It is too hot to cook & I just want to eat!
I decided to do a freezer cooking/baking week. I will start by doubling all dinners for the week and freezing half. Then, I am lucky enough to have a babysitter come over to spend the morning w/ Garrett so I can get some breakfasts and lunches cooked/baked and stashed into the freezer. This will make my life easier for the next couple months while it is sweltering outside and I have no motivation.

Here is my game plan:

Stuffed Pancake Cupcakes
Cranberry Pumpkin Muffins

Pizza Rolls (I've never made these before either, I'm just making up the recipe as I go) =
Pizza Dough x 2
Chicken Taco Wraps
Chicken Taquitos (1st attempt so we'll see how they turn out)

Lasagna Casserole
Bar-B-Q Pulled Pork (for sandwiches)
Pizza Rolls (will freeze the rest for lunches)
Italian Chicken & Veggies Pasta Toss

Hopefully I will have enough time while the babysitter is here to get the bulk of this completed! I will let you know how successful I am :)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

What's for dinner?

I've been so busy lately I haven't made any meal plans, which unfortunately has made for a cranky and stressed mommy around dinner time trying to find something to make for dinner.

But, here's what I did do last week; I did a freezer baking day.
Since I had a full day at home (which is rare) and some extra time and energy, I decided to have a baking day. I had some potatoes hanging out in the pantry that I had no intention of using and we're on the verge of going bad, so I made freezer mashed potatoes, these are yummy and will come in handy later. I also made homemade whole wheat pita bread. They made 8 good sized pitas, I ate a 1/2 at a time, used 2 1/2 and froze the rest.

And for dinner tonight I made my own version of Chicken Tetrazzini served with broccoli and garlic bread! We had company over, they were impressed, it was delicious, it made a lot, and it is toddler friendly; score!

Chicken Tetrazzini
8 oz. Uncooked Spaghetti
1 15oz. Can Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 small Can of Mushrooms (or saute fresh)
1/2 Stick of Butter - Melted
8 oz. Sour Cream (I used fat free)
1-2 Chicken Breasts
1/2-1 Bell Pepper (your preferred color) - chopped or cut into strips
1/2 Onion - Chopped
1/4 tsp Pepper
1/2 tsp Garlic Salt
1/4 tsp Paprika

1/2 cup Cheddar Cheese
Parmesan Cheese

1.) Bake chicken breasts, peppers and onions all together in a little olive oil sprinkled with salt and pepper.
2.) Cook Spaghetti according to package, but break uncooked spaghetti in half before you throw it in the boiling water.
3.) Combine all other ingredients (minus cheeses) in a large bowl and set aside.
4.) When chicken and veggies are cooked, cut chicken into bite sized pieces and chop peppers. Let cool.
5.) Mix together chicken, veggies, and pasta into the sauce. Mix in cheddar cheese.
6.) Pour into a 9x13 baking dish, top with Parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
7.) Enjoy!!!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Children's Museum of Phoenix

On Friday, June 4th we happily were able to go to the FREE first Friday at The Children's Museum of Phoenix sponsored by Target. It was such a great opportunity for us because it was in the evening so Eric was able to go & since it was FREE, we didn't have to fork over all that cash! Plus we saw lots of people there that we knew, which was fun to be able to hang out with them.

Garrett and I have only been once shortly after it opened, he had just turned 1, and was barely walking. This time was a much different experience. He's 2 and able to pretty much do anything! We went in every room & he and daddy had such fun playing w/ all the balls & cars! It was a great family trip & again I was able to cross something else off of my "Summer Challenge" list.

Anyone who knows my son, knows that he LOVES to color, it's probably his favorite thing to do. The museum has an arts & crafts room, so that was a big hit for Garrett.

This was such a cool room, it was a fort building room, with a cool tower and lots of soft big blocks for the kids to build. Amongst this chaos, my son finds the only book in the room and sits down to read. Again, this is the artsy side of my child!

Garrett's legs were a big too short for him to ride his own bike, so he hopped on the back of some random kids and went circling around for about 5 minutes until the kid jumped off, so funny!

Garrett made his own pizza & baked it, this is the final project. He had so much fun "cooking."

I forget was this is called, but basically it's a maze of these hanging foam things. Eric took him in countless times, Garrett loved it!
I highly recommend going to your nearest Children's Museum and spend a few hours, your kids will thank you.

Monday, June 21, 2010

What's for dinner? (Week of 6-20)

I was asked by my cousin, "where are the recipes?" So I decided each week I will try to post a recipe for you :) Enjoy!

Sunday - (Father's Day) Chicken Fried Steak, Mashed Potatoes & Green Beans @ a friend's house
Monday - Leftover Cabbage Burgers w/ Salad
Tuesday - Leftover Jambalaya (Martha Stewart Living recipe)
Wednesday - Bar-B-Que Chicken Quesadillas w/ Salad
Thursday - Cheeseburger Macaroni W/ Green Beans
Friday - Sesame Peanut Noodles w/ Asian Veggies
Saturday - Dinner out at Persian Room to celebrate Eric's B-Day w/ friends

Baked Oatmeal w/ Blueberries
Yield 8-12 serving
1 cup applesauce (can sub. oil or butter)
2 Tbsp Oil
1 cup sugar
4 eggs
6 cups oats
4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 cups milk
1 Cup fruit of choice (diced apple, strawberry, or blueberries~experiment)

1.) Preheat oven 375 degrees
2.) Combine ingredients in order listed & pour into a greased 9x13 pan.
3.) Bake for 30-40 min.
4.) Serve w/ butter, brown sugar & milk if you like

*This is a great dish to prepare the night before and refrigerate and make the next morning.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

San Diego, Sea World & Friends

Over Memorial Day weekend we decided to take Garrett to Sea World for his birthday. Some of our friends decided to join us which made it that much better! Not to mention I got to cross off another thing off of my "Summer Challenge" list.

The drive was six hours from Phoenix to San Diego, with 1 stop in Yuma to eat lunch and let Garrett get out some energy in the play area. Garrett only cried one time because he was tired and then he fell asleep. I was so proud of him!

We met up with some friends that night for dinner in downtown San Diego at The Old Spaghetti Factory. While we waited for our table we watched the street performers. Garrett was LOVING it and decided to go dance and then another little girl joined him. They were the hit of the street for 20 full minutes!

Our hotel room was really nice and roomy and even had a balcony. Garrett enjoyed the "hotel life".

Here are the sweet seals barking and begging for food.

We were waiting to see Shamu in the show "Believe". It was such an amazing show, these whales are so beautiful & Garrett was mesmerized.

Here is Eric holding a star fish for Garrett to touch. Garrett was trying to pick them up and was squeezing them a bit too hard, so daddy took over :)

At Sea World they have a whole Sesame Street playland area, "The Bay of Play." All the kids were having a fantastic time.

Jacey, Garrett & Alyssa taking a break.

Our happy family!

On Sunday we drove to Brea, CA to go visit our friends. They hosted a Bar-B-Que for all of us and tons of people came. It was so great to see everyone. Unfortunately I hardly took any pictures while we were there.

Jon & Eric taking a break from pool volleyball w/ all the guys.

Jacey & Garrett playing in the pool.

It was such a wonderful vacation and so glad that we did it. California is always a great place to visit!

Monday, June 14, 2010

What's for dinner? (week of 6-13-10)

It's my husband's birthday on Friday so I have planned a week full of his favorites!

Sunday - Red Chili Beef Burritos w/ Refried Beans
Monday - Baked Potato Bar
Tuesday - Chicken Ranch Pizza w/ Homemade Crust & Fresh Green Beans
Wednesday - Sweet & Sour Chicken w/ Asian Veggies
Thursday - Red Robin : for Eric's Free Birthday Burger
Friday - Cabbage Burgers w/ Roasted Potatoes & Apple Pie
Saturday - Jumbalaya

Lunches: Turkey & Avacado Wraps w/ Fresh Fruit
Bean & Cheese Burritos w/ Fresh Fruit

Desserts: Apricot-Honey Sponge Cake
Apple Pie

If you need more meal planning inspiration, please visit I'm An Organizing Junkie for her Meal Plam Mondays!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

What's for dinner? (week of 5-23-10)

Sunday - Angel Hair Pasta w/ Roasted Tomatoes and Cannellini Beans
Monday - Broccoli & Bacon Strata
Tuesday - Crockpot: Indonesian Chicken over Rice (didn't make it last week)
Wednesday - Italian Sausage Calzones w/ my homemade pizza dough
Thursday - Tacos @ my parents house for a family dinner
Friday - San Diego: Possible dinner on the Beach!
Saturday - Sea World!

We are taking Garrett to San Diego & Sea World for his birthday for Memorial weekend (post to come)!

*I have linked this meal plan to I'm an Organizing Junkie for her Meal Plan Monday, check it out!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Imagination Avenue

Last week I took Garrett to my parents house to spend some time with them and to stay over night. I decided while I was there I would cross something off my Summer Challenge list and take him to Imagination Avenue. I had never heard of this place until I saw it on another blog. I was wishing I had known about it sooner.

Garrett had such a great time playing in all the different little rooms. I wasn't as impressed with it as I thought I would be, however. It was a little small, and each individual room would only allow for 2-3 children. But, Garrett could have stayed all day & that's what counts. It gave us something to do together and he was so happy he didn't want to leave even after 2 hours of fun.

He "baked" me some sweets and sat down to "eat" them with me.

He loved telling me the shape of each cookie cutter.

He had so much fun in the "grocery store" taking out every item and placing them into the cart. He told me what each fruit and vegetable was. He's so smart he actually knew 90% of them!

He was making me a hot dog & hamburger w/ "dip" (ketchup).

He was talking into the walkie-talkie to his "gramma". He must have thought it was a telephone.
All in all it was a great time. The next time we go I would love to do a playdate, because the children keep themselves busy and the adults basically just sit around watching. Would be a great chance for the mommies to actually talk!