October 30, 2010

Frog Nog

Green Smoothie Recipe
Recipe from Sisters Cafe

2-4 cups spinach
1-2 cups of water (depending how thick you like it)
1-2 bananas (I use 2)
1 heaping cup frozen pineapple chunks
1 cup frozen  peaches
1 Tbsp honey
First  fill blender  with spinach--lots of it! Then add 1-2 cups of  water filling in around the spinach. Pulse to blend into a bright green water.
Next add your bananas, frozen peaches and honey.
Blend together.

Rate It!
Jen:7-for something so healthy, it's not bad.
Kile: did not like
Madee: 5
Destrie: not good

October 27, 2010

Spider Cookies

Red Hots
Twizzler Peel Aparts
Use ingredients to make your spider

Witch Wands and Nutty Ghosts

Ingredients for Witch Wands:
Almond Bark
Large Stick Pretzels
Halloween Sprinkles
Melt almond bark according to package directions.
Dip pretzel half way down in melted almond bark.
Roll in sprinkles.
Allow to set on tin foil that has been sprayed with cooking spray.

Ingredients for Nutty Ghosts:
1 package Nutter Butter Cookies
Almond Bark
Mini Chocolate Chips
Melt almond bark according to package directions.
Dip cookie in melted almond bark.
Put chocolate chip eyes on your ghost.
Allow to set on tin foil that has been sprayed with cooking spray.

Bitesize Carmel Apples

Idea from Serving Up Pink Lemonade

Granny Smith Apples
Pretzel Sticks

Use a melon baller to make small apple circles.
Melt caramels according to package directions.
Insert a pretzel into each apple circle.
Dip in caramel and let set up.

Monster Munch

Recipe by Our Best Bites

1 package Almond Bark (1 lb)
12 C popped popcorn
1 C candy corn
1 C dry roasted, salted peanuts
1/2 C Reeces Pieces

Pop popcorn and place in a large bowl.   Pour peanuts, candy corn, and Reeces pieces on top.  Take a large knife and break up almond bark. Melt according to package directions.
Pour over popcorn mixture.
Stir until everything is well coated and then spread out onto waxed paper, parchment, or foil. Let sit until completely dry and then break up into clumps.

October 25, 2010

Cheesy Fingers

Idea and Photo from Our Best Bites

String Cheese
Almond Slivers
Cream Cheese

Cut string cheese in half. 
Make knuckle lines on the cheese with a knife. 
Secure an almond slice at the top of the string cheese with a little bit of cream cheese.

Candy Corn Pizza

Recipe and Photo from Our Best Bites..
store bought pizza crust
pizza sauce
mozarella cheese
cheddar cheese
Directions: Spread on pizza sauce, make a ring of cheddar cheese around the out side of crust.  Make a circle of mozarella cheese in the middle.  Bake according to package directions.

Mummy Dogs

Recipe and Photo from Our Best Bites.
1 package of hot dogs-cut in half
1 package Pillsbury crescent roll dough
Slice the dough in to thin slices. 
Wrap aound the hot dog.
Bake according to package directions.
Give your mummy mustard eyes.

Menu Planning Monday

This week we will be skipping any menu planning.  We will be busy doing several Halloween activities, so this week will be Halloween Week here on the blog.  I will be posting several ideas that will be super fun for Halloween.  Did I mention that Halloween is my favorite holiday?

October 21, 2010

Crockpot Taco Soup

Recipe adapted slightly from Jamie Cooks it Up

1 pound ground beef
1/2 c. minced onion flakes

salt and pepper
2-  14.5 oz cans diced roasted garlic and onion tomatoes
2-  15 oz cans black beans
2- 15 oz cans kidney beans
2-  15 oz cans corn
2-  8 oz can tomato sauce
1  taco seasoning packet
1 lime, juiced
4 T maple syrup
2 C water

Tortilla chips, sour cream and cheddar cheese
1. Put ground beef, and onion flakes in a  skillet. Sprinkle a bit of salt and pepper over the top and let the meat brown.

2. Add all ingredients (but the toppings) to your crock pot. Stir all ingredients to combine.
4. Cook on low  for 6-7 hours.
*Serve with tortilla chips, sour cream and cheddar cheese.

Rate It!
Jen: 9-so good! The syrup and lime juice gave it great flavor!
Kile: 9
Kiley: 8
Madee: 9.5
Destrie: good

October 19, 2010




1 package Maple-flavored Jimmy Dean pork sausage ( can use regular)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
½ cup fine bread crumbs
½ cup coarsely grated peeled tart baking apple
1 cup grated sharp Cheddar cheese 
½ cup dijon mustard
¼ cup tomato sauce
¼ cup maple syrup
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
1. Combine sausage, egg, breadcrumbs, apple and cheese in a large mixing bowl; stir well. Shape into 4 dozen (1-inch) balls. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook in batches of 12 or 24, turning frequently until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Drain if desired, then return to skillet.
2. In a small bowl, combine mustard, tomato sauce, maple syrup and vinegar. Pour over sausage balls. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Transfer to slow cooker; serve hot with toothpicks.
Yield: 4 dozen
Rate It!
Jen: 6.5
Kile:  6
Kiley: 6.5
Madee: 6.5
Destrie: good- he asked for seconds!

Neopolitan Potatoes



  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 7 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil, divided
  • 6 cups thinly sliced red potatoes
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained

Directions:In a bowl, combine the first seven ingredients; set aside. Grease a shallow 2-1/2-qt. baking dish with 1 tablespoon oil. Place a  row of the potatoes and tomatoes in dish. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons oil; sprinkle with a third of the cheese mixture. Repeat layers twice. Cover and bake at 350 degrees F for 55-65 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. 

Rate It!

Jen: 7

Kile: 6

Kiley: 7

Madee: 6.5

Destrie: good

October 18, 2010

Chicken Wraps

Chicken-precooked and shredded (about 2 cups)
2 cups Mexican Style Shredded Four Cheese
2  tomatoes, chopped
6 Tbsp. Zesty Italian Dressing
2  tsp. chili powder
*Combine above ingredients.

8 flour tortillas (8 inch)
Spread mixture on a flour tortilla.
Roll up like a burrito.
Cook on an indoor grill until cheese is melted and filling is heated.

Rate It!
Jen: 7.5
Kile: 8.5
Kiley: 7.5
Madee: 8
Desstrie: good

Recipe adapted from Kraft Food and Family Magazine

October 17, 2010

Menu Planning Monday

Monday: Chicken Wraps

Tuesday: Apple Cheddar Sausage Meatballs with  Dijon Balsamic Glaze/Neopolitan Potatoes

Wednesday: Crockpot Taco Soup

Thursday: Salmon with Noodles

October 12, 2010

Ground Beef Tip

When I have some time, I like to cook several pounds of hamburger, and then divide it in to 1 lb. portions and freeze.  On busy nights- dinner can come together in a snap- just take the precooked hamburger out of the freezer, thaw in microwave for a few minutes and add to whatever hamburger dish you are making.  Some suggestions are, spaghetti, tacos, beef stroganoff, nacho's, taco salads- and the list can go on and on.

October 11, 2010

Menu Planning Monday

Monday: Dinner Out for Kile's Birthday!!

Tuesday: Sandwiches on Hard Rolls, Veggies/ Dip, Watermelon

Wednesday: Tossed Salad with Rotisserie Chicken

Thursday: Breakfast Burritos

October 10, 2010

Baked Potato Soup

Recipe and Photo by Our Best Bites

2 Tbs butter
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 C flour
4 1/2 C low-fat or skim milk
1 14oz can chicken broth
4 medium baking potatoes (about 2 1/2 pounds) baked*
2 C grated cheddar (or sharp cheddar) cheese, divided
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 1/2 C  light sour cream, divided
1/2 C chopped green onions, divided
8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled, divided

*don't have time to bake potatoes in the oven?  Just pierce them with a fork a few times and then pop them in the microwave.  Cook in 5 minute intervals until a knife easily pierces through them.  It usually takes 5-10 minutes.  To bake in the oven, pierce each potato with a fork and place directly on oven rack.  Bake at 375 for 45-60 minutes.

Melt butter in a stock pot over medium heat.  Add garlic and saute for 30-60 seconds until fragrant.  Add flour to pan.  Slowly add milk a little at a time while whisking constantly to eliminate lumps.  Whisk until smooth and then add chicken broth.  Bring soup just to a simmer and heat until thickened, stirring often, about 5 minutes.

Once soup is thickened, turn heat down to medium-low.  Cut potatoes in half length-wise and use a spoon to scoop out potato flesh into the pot.  Use a wooden spoon to smash potatoes, breaking up large clumps.  Add 1 1/2 C grated cheese and salt and pepper and stir until cheese is melted.  Remove pan from heat and stir in 3/4 C sour cream, 1/4 C green onions, and 4 strips of the crumbled bacon.  Add additional salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into bowls and top with each serving with the remaining sour cream, onions, cheese, and bacon.
Rate It!
Jen: 8
Kile: 7
Kiley: 7.5
Madee: 8.5
Destrie: good

October 7, 2010

Maple Salmon


Recipe from Allrecipes


*makes 4 servings

  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 pound salmon
  1. In a small bowl, mix the maple syrup, soy sauce, garlic, garlic salt, and pepper.
  2. Place salmon in a shallow glass baking dish, and coat with the maple syrup mixture. Cover the dish, and marinate salmon in the refrigerator 30 minutes, turning once (never marinade salmon more than 30 minutes.)
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  4. Place the baking dish in the preheated oven, and bake salmon uncovered 20 minutes, or until easily flaked with a fork.

Nutritional Information open nutritional information

Amount Per Serving  Calories: 265    Total Fat: 12.4g

Oh ya, we are back  on the "healthy boat" and will be trying to fit this healthy food back into our lives...yay : /

Rate It! (This rating is for the glaze-as everyone we are not a fan of salmon.) 
Jen: 8
Kile: 8
*the kids had cereal for dinner...and were happy to do so!

October 6, 2010

Fresh Peach Dessert

*Recipe from our friend Mary

**Take cream cheese out of fridge 1st thing & let it soften to room temp.**

Peach Layer

2 cups water
2 Tbsp. corn starch
1 cup sugar
Boil until thick (about 15-20 minutes on med. to med.-high); stir (w/whisk) often. Add 3 oz. package peach jello; dissolve into thickened, boiled mix. Refrigerate until "set" (cooled and thickened some...not "set" like finished jello)...can put in freezer to speed up this process.

Add: 4cups thinly sliced peaches to the thickened jello mixture.

Graham Crust

Combine 2 1/2 cups (1 plastic pack = 1 1/4 c. crumbs) finely crushed graham crackers, 6 Tbsp. powdered sugar, 1 cube melted margarine.

Creamy Layer

Cream together 8 oz. softened cream cheese & 1/2 cup powdered sugar (in a bowl by hand with a spoon or fork is fine). Make up 2 envelopes of Dream Whip (as directed on packaging). Fold cream cheese mix & dream whip together.

Layer in 9x13 pan: 1/2 graham mixture, then jello & peach mixture, cream mixture. Top with rest of graham crust. ENJOY!!

Rate It!
Jen: 9.5 - this is soooo good!!
Kiley: 8.5
Madee: 8
Destrie: good!

October 5, 2010

Quick and Easy Spaghetti Sauce

 I had never made spaghetti sauce before and I was out of our usual stuff, so I whipped up a batch of this.  It is a chunky sauce and tastes very fresh- unlike our usual bottled stuff.

Recipe adapted from Allrecipes


  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves crushed garlic
  •   2 (14.5 ounce) cans diced tomatoes with roasted garlic and onion
  • 4 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  •  1 can tomato  sauce
  •   Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1/2 pound cooked ground beef

Add oil to pan.  Saute onions and garlic for 3-5 minutes.
Add remainder of ingredients except ground beef-simmer for 20 minutes.
Add cooked ground beef and simmer another 10 minutes.
Rate It!
Jen: 7.5
Kile: 6
Kiley: 7.5
Madee: 7
Destrie: good

October 4, 2010

Menu Planning Monday

Monday: Dinner out
Tuesday: Spaghetti with Tossed Salad and Ranch
Wednesday: Chicken, Baked Potatoes, Veggies
Thursday: Salmon and Roasted Veggies

Look for a peach dessert from our friend Mary that I will be posting later on in the week- my parents brought us fresh peaches, so I have to make this recipe that I hear is delicious!