Saturday, April 30, 2011

Chicken Enchiladas

Thanks to my friend Cooking Mimi I tried a wonderful dish tonight. My family loved every bite...and there was NO leftovers! Best part, it was so easy!


1 lb ground beef (I used 3 chicken breasts instead)

1 medium white onion, chopped into very small pieces
1 14oz can refried beans
1 28oz can red enchilada sauce
2 cups cheese
12-16 tortillas
salt to taste


Brown your ground beef and onion that has been salted over medium heat until meat is cooked and onion is translucent. Add beans and heat through. Remove skillet from heat and add one cup of shredded cheese and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread a thin layer of sauce in the bottom of two 9” x 13” baking dishes and pour the rest into  a sauce pan wide enough for the tortillas to fit into. Heat the sauce until warm and place one tortilla in the sauce until softened. Spoon a little of the filling on the tortilla then roll up. Repeat until all tortillas and filling are used. Place seam side down in baking dish.

Cover with foil and bake 20-25 minutes or until bubbly. Remove from the oven and add the reserved cup of cheese and bake, uncovered, for 5-10 minutes or until cheese has melted and begins to brown.

Don't forget to stop over and say hello to Cooking Mimi and tell her I sent you!

Cookin' Mimi 

Don't forget about the "Strawberry Linky" Party still going on! Ends on May 1st!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Strawberry Waffles

Thank you all for joining the "Strawberry Linky Party!" Its not to late--its still open until Sunday! I knew this one recipe I was going to make right away. Its a "lazy" day here, so a perfect morning to make....


2 1/2 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 tablespoon sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 1/4 cups milk
3/4 cup vegetables
3/4 to 1 cup chopped strawberries

Sift together the flour, salt and baking powder in a medium bowl.  In another medium bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs, milk and veg oil. Slowly whisk in the dry mix into the wet mix bowl until well blended. Gently stir in chopped strawberries. Cook accordingly to waffle iron.

Top with finely chopped strawberries and bananas and a small drizzle of maple syrup.

This make about 8 waffles. I made all of them, then froze the remaining waffles and when you are ready to eat them, pop them in a toaster! My kids LOVED these--its a must try!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Calling all Strawberries! **LINKY**


At the commissary, the strawberries were on for 99 cents a pack--and I got a bunch of packs! But now what do I do?? It would be easy for me to just start googleing or food blog search it...but I thought this would be a great opportunity for my wonderful viewers to get their input!

Please make sure you are a follower via GFC and grab my button as you share as pass on this linky (but not necessary if you don't want to)! Enter as many times as you would like, as long as you don't repeat the recipe. This linky will close on May 1st (Sunday)--I want to be able to use the recipes before the strawberries go bad =) I will show my favorites and feature the recipes and the blog it came from when I try it!

Link away! Please pass the word around!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Cowboy Cake

A friend of mine's son is turning 6 and she was worried about the cake--I told her to relax, and let me do it--it took a load of her shoulder immediately! So I got free-reign on this cake. This is how it came out...

I like it just plain....but the lettering needed to be added
Its still adorable...and Micah LOVED it. Huge hit!

For a little surprise, I made these cookies. I had left over icing, sugar cookies, and a few pieces of candy.
She thought they were hilarious and perfect for the parents =)

I had such a blast doing this--I'm not a baker, but I love designing! My friend insisted on paying me--but I insisted not (and I'm more stubborn). I did this for fun and it helped her out. I don't mind doing this--as long as its not money out of my pocket.

Funny part was when my son saw this, he thought it was for him--he had a party a week ago, and thought he was gettin another one. HAHA Poor guy--I guess I should make a few to have around the house to make my family happy!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Corn Casserole

This is one of my "classics" and one I don't need a "recipe card" for. Its easy, simple and amazing delicious. I learned to cook this in college before I even knew how to cook anything else. My Aunt was the one who introduced me. I would cook this dish, and only this dish, and eat it for lunch the whole week. Its a perfect leftover--and sometimes its best as a leftovers (if it isn't entirely consumed during the meal--which happens!). Its very versatile, and easy to double for large clouds. I especially like to make it around "holidays" and I'll defiantly make it for Easter lunch.


I didn't think about "pictures" when I stuck my fork in it to test its doneness. Ooops =)

1 stick unsalted butter, melted
8oz sour cream
1 can cream corn
1 can whole kernel corn, drained
1 box jiffy corn muffin mix

Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl, then pour in into a 9x9 or 9x13 GREASED pan. Cook on 375 degrees for 45 to 1 hour.

Try lesser time with larger (9x13) pan. If doubling, make sure the "batter" isn't more than 1 1/2 inches high. However, nothing in this dish is "harmful" if not cooked all the way--so if the center is a bit gooey--eat up anyway! Also, if doubling, only add an extra 30 min. I sometimes like cooking it longer until the edges are really browned--it makes for a few crunchy bites! Make sure your pan is greased. Just trust me on this one. Just keep an eye on it in the oven and look for the brown edges and the center isn't "jiggly" when you move it.

I will be at my parents all weekend for the Easter holiday, so I won't be posting until Monday. I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend, and please remember the reason for the season.

Jesus had no servants, yet they called Him Master.Had no degree, yet they called Him Teacher.Had no medicines, yet they called Him Healer.Had no army, yet kings feared Him.He won no military battles, yet He conquered the world.He committed no crime, yet they crucified Him.He was buried in a tomb, yet He lives today.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Crock-pot: BBQ Pork Ribs

This is a delicious crock-pot recipe that fills your house with a sweet BBQ smell. I love the ingredients, but the best part is that you use your own BBQ sauce..and then add a bit more. Make sure you cook it for NO MORE than 8 hours. Too much is dissolved if cooked much longer. Anyway, here it is!...


2 racks pork baby back ribs (about 4 1/2lbs)
1 1/2 teaspoons pepper
2 1/2 cups BBQ sauce
3/4 cup cherry preserves (A MUST!)

1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, minced

Cut ribs into serving-size pieces; sprinkle with pepper. Place in a crock-pot.

Combine remaining ingredients; pour over meat.

Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until meat is tender.

Serve with the same flavor BBQ sauce you used to cook with. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Wordless Wednesday


My son wanted spaghetti for his birthday dinner. I said ABSOLUTELY.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Grilled Shrimp Pitas with Basil Aioli

A delicious and easy recipe from Pampered Chef's "Make it Fresh, Make it Healthy" cookbook.


1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
1 lemon, divided
3 tablespoons light mayonnaise
3 garlic cloves, pressed, divided
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons olive oil
8 oz medium uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails removed
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
2 pita pocket bread rounds, cut in half
2 plum tomatoes
2 cups fresh baby spinach leaves
1/2 small cantaloupe, thinly sliced

Finely chop basil. Zest lemon to measure 1 teaspoon. Juice lemon to measure 1 teaspoon. For Aioli, combine basil, zest, mayonnaise and one of the pressed garlic cloves in small bowl; mix well and set aside.

For Vinaigrette, combine lemon juice, sugar and salt in small bowl. Slowly add oil, whisking until well blended. Set Aside.

Combine shrimp, black pepper, and remaining pressed garlic in a medium bowl; mix well. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat for 5 minutes. Spray with olive oil. Place 2 of the pita halves in pan, top with a heavy press and cook for 20-30 seconds or until grill marks appear. Turn pitas over and repeat. Wrap in foil to keep warm.

Add shrimp to pan, top with press and cook 2-3 minutes or until shrimp are opaque (do not turn shrimp). Add shrimp to aioli, mix well.

Meanwhile, slice tomatoes crosswise. Combine spinach and vinaigrette in small colander; toss gently.

To assemble, fill pita halves with spinach, tomatoes and shrimp; serve with cantaloupe slices.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Angry Bird Birthday

My son turned 5 this month! (how times flies!) And the joy of technology has finally reached the birthday party zone for us. My son wanted an "Angry Bird" birthday party. And this isn't some easy decoration theme I can pick up at walmart--not at all! So I spent all week working on this.

I'll show some of the details!


I used the "Pampered Chef Cake-in-a-bowl" method for the big red bird. I have no idea how to use fondant--so everything is icing/candy. All the beaks are starbursts, eyes are M&Ms, pig noses and crowns are laffy taffy, red birds eyebrows are twizzlers, and the tail are feathers (the only non-edible thing)


I never got a great shot of all the balloons--but they all have angry bird faces or the pigs faces. They were SO funny--and easy! I just used construction paper and 2-sided tape. Make sure the balloons are pretty big, otherwise the weight of the paper will keep them from floating.


I had these setting out for the kids to do as soon as they arrived. That way they'll be dry by the time they leave. They are craft visors, large googly eyes, and a package of craft feathers (all colors) and adhere them with elmer's glue.
These visors make for really cute photos!

We also did a "Play Angry Birds!" area. I made the birds and pigs out of pom-poms and foam paper. This took me all day! Then I got regular plastic drinking cups, stack up in fun ways with pigs around them, and the kids get to throw the birds at the cup to knock them over! Talk about funny....the adults wanted to play too! And when you were done, you got an "golden egg" (Easter egg with candy in it!)


For the "Party favors" I made bags with 3 colorful cups, 4 birds (different colors) and 1 pig, 2 mini eggs with candy and a few pieces of candy floating around in the bag. I wrote a "Thank You" note on the cups inside. This way all the kids could play when they got home!

I hoped this gives you plenty of details to throw you own "Angry Bird" party! If anyone want more details about one specific thing, let me know!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

DK Challenge: Edible Bowls


Renata of Testado, Provado & Aprovado! was our Daring Cooks’ April 2011 hostess. Renata challenged us to think “outside the plate” and create our own edible containers! Prizes are being awarded to the most creative edible container and filling, so vote on your favorite from April 17th to May 16th at!

What a fun challenge this was! And I've found more examples all month long of other things in edible bowls, and I've put them on the bottom of this post.


SS Soup in the SS shell bowl, lined with the SS strings
Here is the soup recipe I used:

1/2 spaghetti squash baked in an oven
Butter or olive oil
1 large chopped onion
4 minced garlic cloves
1 tablespoon of minced ginger
1 teaspoon of curry powder
6 cups of either vegetable or chicken stock
Salt and ground pepper

Bake the spaghetti squash in a pre-heated oven at 350 degrees F for almost 40 minutes and scoop it out once it has cooled.

In a sauce pan add some butter or olive oil on medium flame and add the onions. Cook the onions till they soften, then add the ginger, garlic, and curry powder. Stir it for about 2 minutes.

Puree the squash in a blender and add it to the sauce pan along with the vegetable or chicken stock. Stir it continuously for about 10 minutes.

Season the soup with salt and ground pepper, serve it with some grated spaghetti squash.


Tuna in Celery Boats

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Southern Meal: Fried Catfish, Black-eyed peas and Cornbread


On of my favorite meals--grew up on this down in East Texas, so making this brings back so many memories! I do shorten up the recipe though--I actually don't have enough time to cook all day. =) This is also really fun for my kids--they love helping me cook (and clean) and this is a great one for them to lend a hand.

I use any box of fish-fry. This one is Zatarain's Wonderful Fish fry. It creates a wonderful crispy crust! (and you just follow the recipe and directions on the back of the box!)

This is my son helping me--dipping the cat fish nuggets in egg/milk wash, then in the fish fry batter. He then puts in on a plate.

...and I did everything with the hot oil and fryin them up.


I made with this the black-eyed peas. Again, get a bag of dried black-eyed peas and follow the instructions. These take about 2 hours--so be prepared ahead of time.

Same with the cornbread. I just used a box of "Jiffy Corn muffin" mix and followed the instructions. This takes about 30 minutes. So be prepared. I also like throwing in a can of corn (drained) and change up the texture every once-in-a-while!

My son enjoying his southern meal!

Need a CHEAP and delicious meal? Try this one!

And I need to brag a little...guess what ELSE he does?

Wordless Wednesday

Who's side are YOU on?

I made these for my son's birthday party on Saturday. I'm still cracking up over these Angry Birds!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Chicken Cacciatore


Mix together in a small bowl:
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
Cut in small 1-inch cubes
1 lb skinless, boneless chicken breasts
Coat chicken with flour mixture.
Heat in large skillet over medium high heat:
2 tablespoons olive oil
Add chicken and cook and stir for 5 minutes until lightly browned. Remove chicken from skillet.
Heat in same skillet:
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 oz thinly sliced fresh mushrooms
1 medium onion, coursely chopped
1 medium green bell pepper, cut into thin strips
Cook and stir for 5 minutes, or until tender.

Stir in:
14 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
8 oz can tomato sauce
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon crushed majoram
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves

1/2 teaspoon crushed rosemary leaves
1/2 teaspoon thyme leaves
Bring to boil, frequently stirring.
Return chicken to skillet, cover and cook for 5 minutes.
Serve over cooked pasta or rice.


My kids love helping me cook, and this is a great dish for them to lend a helping hand. Of course, be careful around the heat!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Chicken Marsala


In a small bowl, mix together:
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tsp marjoram leaves
1 teaspoon minced onions
1/2 teaspoon course ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup flour
Reserve 1 tablespoon of flour mixture.

Coat with remaining flour mixture:
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

In a large skillet over med-high heat
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Add chicken and cook for 3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.Remove from heat.

In hot skillet, add and cook for 5 minutes or until tender
8 ounce sliced mushrooms

Mix in and heat to a boil
1/2 cup chicken broth
3/4 cup Marsala wine
1 tablespoon butter

1 teaspoon basil dry leaves
Cook for 2 minutes or until sauce is slightly thickened.

Spoon sauce over chicken, sprinkle over top
3/4 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
and serve warm.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

BBQ Pulled Pork

Another delicious seasoning packet that I highly recommend. And its made with the slow cooker! You can cook it either on LOW for 8 hours, or HIGH for 4 hours. I suggest doing the LOW for 8 hours--it gets more of the "pulled pork" taste and look, and the juices are more like a sauce. The HIGH setting keeps it pretty chunky and not so stringy, and the juice isn't thickened.


I forgot to put it in in the morning, so this is the chunkier pork. HIGH for 4 Hours.
Get a 3lb pork shoulder roast, mix the seasoning with ketchup, brown sugar and apple cider and throw it in the crock pot and your done! Couldn't be any easier than THAT!

Perfect served on buns with a side of tater tots and corn on the cob!

I know this has been a really boring week--but life got crazy, and I haven't had much more time than that. Sometimes its good to have these meals on hand for just like times like this. I promise it'll get better! Promise! I have some great meals coming--and you don't wanna to miss out!

This is what I have been the way...Its part of the Corps of Engineers Spouses events during this big HOORAH--GO ENGINEERS (aka ENFORCE) week. I got to ride in a 113 vehicle (personnel transporter)

In case of a roll-over.....just roll with it! (says our driver)
I just thought this was a really funny picture, and I wanted to share it with all my wonderful readers. Things like this make me love being part of the Military family even more. =)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Zesty Italian Corn-on-the-Cob

Continuing on with the "packaged seasoning" week....

This is the perfect side dish for the summer BBQ!


Melt a whole stick of UNsalted butter, pour the package in and stir. Then pour over the bowl of corn and you're done!

This is a perfect way to spice up the corn and change the boring routine!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Apple & Sage Pork Chops

Its been all about easy and cheap this month. We bought a new car, so I'm trying to prove to my husband that good food can be cheap too! So I've been showing some of my favorite seasoning-in-a-pack, few ingredients meals, slow cooker dishes and so on. And so it will continue for a bit more!


Just add the Pork chops, apple juice, apples and onions and you've got it made. This was so incredibly easy, I was amazed. Sure, I had all these seasonings in my pantry, but I didn't need to measure and waste all that time trying to do so. AWESOMENESS. Time is valuable!

Serve with mashed potatoes and a side of veggies
I love all the pretty colors of the spices!
This is defiantly a must-try. So-try it! Did I mention it was only $0.87? Even better!

Finger-licking GOOD!

Monday, April 4, 2011

German-Style Pork Roast

I love going down the isle at the commissary that's for "foreign" food. Nothing can beat the real thing, but this German "seasoning" pack was pretty darn good. We love German food in this house, so I try to do it pretty often.


Pretty simple. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a dutch oven, brown the pork around all the sides in some oil. Remove the meat, then add water and seasoning packet. Bring it to a boil, then add the meat back into it, cover and put in the oven for an hour. And woooola!

Mine isn't as PRETTY as the package, but the taste is to die for!!

I like these knodels. I make them more often than not--and the kids LOVE them. So easy to make!

Soak the packages in salted water for 15 min, then boil for 15. Remove, and run them under cold water. Remove them from their pouches and serve. All done!

What a delicious meal!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Ultimate Block Part 2011

WOW, this is totally new to me! Thank Maranda (Jolts & Jollies) for leading me to this PARTY!

Well folks...I'll start at the beginning....

In August 1982.... ok, just kidding. Thats a little to far, don't ya think?

My name is Carolyn, and I married a Military man almost 8 years ago. We married and now have 2 beautiful red-headed children (Girl 6 and Boy 4). We currently live in Missouri, but that changes often. We have lived in 7 different states and 12 different places (I think...its hard to keep track...).

Kayla -- 6 (almost 7) years old

Jacob -- 5 years old
I haven't always loved to cook, it wasn't until my husband was deployed that its was just me and the kids (babies at the time) and I wanted to find something to put my creative juices into. So that was the beginning!

Now, I have been cooking for YEARS, and following blogs for YEARS, but not until recently I got inspired to start my own blog. My challenge is to find new ways to cook, with [sometimes very limited commissary] ingredients and still be healthy for the family. My kids aren't picky eaters since I exposed them to so many different foods.

I like cooking more than baking. Why? Because no one in this house will help me finish eating the things I bake, and now my butt is growing. =)

I love to review products, and try to do a few giveaways. Depends on the mood! I would love for you to follow--you never know what you might learn or want to try!

I'm also a big follower of God. So please so nasty comments or profanity. It would be greatly appreciated.


I hosted a Pampered Chef party, so I made a bunch for goodies to snack on from their selection of recipes. I came across this one in their "Season's Best" book, and was amazingly surprised to how good it was!


1/4 cup dry roasted peanuts, crushed
3 cups mini pretzel twists, coarsely crushed, divided
3 cups crisp rice cereal
3/4 cup butter, divided
1 bag mini marshmallows
1/2 light corn syrup
1 bag peanut butter morsels
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate morsels

In a large bowl, mix together the crushed peanuts, 2 2/3 cup mini pretzels (reserve 1/3 cup for top) and rice cerel.

Place 6 tablespoons of butter in a microwave safe bowl, and microwave on HIGH for 60-90 minutes, or until melted. Add marshmallows and microwave on HIGH for 60-90 seconds. Stir until marshmallows and completely melted. Immediately add marshmallow mix in mixing bowl with nuts, pretzels and cereal.

Spread evenly and firmly press mixture onto a jelly roll pan that has been greased.

Combine 2 tablespoons of the butter and half of the corn syrup in microwave-safe bowl, and microwave on HIGH for 60-90 seconds or until melted. Stir in peanut-butter morsels, and mix until melted. Mixture will be stiff. Spread over crust.

For ganache, place remaining butter and corn syrup in bowl, microwave on HIGH 60-90 seconds, until melted. Stir in chocolate morsels' mix until smooth. Spread ganache evenly over peanut butter mixture.

Sprinkle with peanuts and reserved pretzels.

Place in freezer for 5-10 minutes or until set.

Cut into squares or desired shapes.

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