Wednesday, October 17, 2012

RECIPE - Chicken Spaghetti

I made the best chicken spaghetti yesterday, according to my family of critics.  I have made this dish ever since I can remember.  It was one of our favorites growing up and when my mother became a single parent when I was 12, I took over the task most of the time.  She always made it with cream of mushroom soup and velveeta cheese.  I have played with it over the years with the help of ideas from other people.  I do believe I have concocted the correct amount of ingredients from all recipes to come up with a GREAT combination.  Here is how it goes (I don't have EXACT amounts.  I grew up in a southern kitchen.  There was never any measuring utensils around):

2 chicken thigh/leg combo...whatever that's called (it's what I had on hand but I'm sure breasts would work just as well but make sure it has the skin on it) skinned and diced or shredded
1 large block of low fat velveeta -cubed (I have used mexican velveeta and it is great)
1 can low fat cream of mushroom
1 can low fat cream of chicken
1 can rotel (any heat that you like)
1 cup fat free sour cream or greek yogurt
1 onion
1 cup half and half
1 tbsp butter
1 16oz pkg of whole wheat spaghetti
salt and pepper to taste

Boil chicken (mine was frozen so I boiled it for about an hour) in a large pot of water.  Remove chicken from water and bring to a boil.  Add spaghetti.  While spaghetti is cooking, cut up onion and put in a microwave bowl.  Add butter and microwave until onions are tender.  In another large pot, add soups, velveeta, sour cream, rotel, chicken, and half and half.  Cook on medium heat, stirring very regularly until cheese is almost completely melted.  When onions are softened, add to soup mixture.  Drain spaghetti and add to soup mix and combine all ingredients until spaghetti is coated.  Put in 13X9 casserole dish and bake for about 30 minutes or until velveeta is complete melted and top is browned.  Let sit for about 10 minutes and eat with a salad.  It is mmmm mmm good.

This is not my picture (didn't really think to take that picture darn it), but it is what it resembles:

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Lunchbox ideas - 10/10/2012

Today, my Honey started his new job.  This job was a Godsend and we are so very thankful.  Now I will be the maker of his lunch as well.  They all have different lunches for tomorrow.  What the heck was I thinking.  Anyway, here we go.

Reygan's Lunch
Meatball sub casserole (leftovers)- recipe found (of course) on Pinterest and here:
Dinner salad - lettuce, spinach, shredded carrots, shredded cheese, tomatoes, and bell pepper
Fruit salad - oranges, apples, and grapes
Animal Cracker mix - animal crackers, semi sweet choco chips, almonds, and banana chips
The only difference with Eryn's was the main part (she was not a HUGE fan of the casserole like the rest of the family was.  She had a grilled sandwich that consisted of turkey, cheese, and tomato.

Bryan's lunch:
meatballs - left out of the casserole
refridgerator pickles - recipe found on pinterest
grapes and apples
Animal cracker mix

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

LUNCHBOX IDEAS - 10/09/2012

I took a day off yesterday from making lunches.  It was quite nice!!  My girls and I went to the Texas State Fair and had a great time.  While we were gone my wonderful HONEY made the girls lunches.  They had peanut butter and crackers, cheddar cheese, and grapes.  Even though they love my lunches, their lunch today was a good, simple variety.  I'm back today, so here is what they are getting tomorrow:

"confetti" mac and cheese - I took a store bought package of mac and cheese.  I put the fresh brocolli and carrots in with the macaroni until they were soft.  I drained them and added the cheese and cut up fresh spinach and smoked sausage.  The girls LOVE this.  It was something I was afraid they wouldn't like last time, so I didn't save the extra I had left over.  This time I did :)
grapes and watermellon for Reygan
grapes, apple slices, and cantaloup for Eryn
dessert mix - animal crackers, banana chips, semi sweet choco chips, and almonds

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Review of Pinterest Recipe - Apple Oatmeal Crisp

I also made this today.  I had alot of apples about to go bad if not eaten soon, so I made this and am going to make "fried" apples tomorrow.  This recipe is WAY too dry.  It would be so much better made with the fried apple recipe.  instead of layering it with apples, layer it with the fried apples and then bake it.  It would make it more like a crisp instead of dry yuckiness.  Here is the recipe:

recipe image
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup butter, melted
3 cups apples - peeled, cored
and chopped
1/2 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease an 8-inch square pan.
2. In a large bowl, combine brown sugar, oats, flour and butter. Mix until crumbly. Place half of crumb mixture in pan. Spread the apples evenly over crumb mixture. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon and top with remaining crumb mixture.
3. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes, or until golden brown.

Review Pinterest recipe - Green Chili Cornbread

We had pinto beans tonight and I needed an awesome cornbread recipe to go along with them.  My Honey makes the most amazing pot of beans and I make the cornbread.  It's usually just plain ole cornbread, but I wanted to make a wow one this time.  I found one on Pinterest that looked really good.  It is found here:

This cornbread beats all other cornbreads.  I did make a couple additions.  I added about 1/2 cup extra cheese (mixture of cheddar and pepper jack).  I also added 2 chopped fresh jalepenos with the fresh Hatch chilis.  I only had some fresh corn on the cob, so i cut off the corn and it made it so much better.  Gave it a little more sweetness.  I only used about 1/8 cup of Splenda instead of the sugar.  One more little change I made because it is what I had on hand is instead of sour cream, I had some homemade ranch.  I used a cup of the ranch and only used 1 1/4 cup of milk.  I might add some onions next time.  You must try this for your next cornbread needs.
Green Chile Cornbread


  • 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp cornmeal
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) softened unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups milk
  • 2 cups of chopped, roasted green chiles (Anaheim or Hatch) (2 7-ounce cans of whole green chiles, drained, chopped)
  • 1 cup corn (frozen is fine)
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese (4 ounces)


1 Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease a 8x12 inch baking dish.
2 In a large bowl mix the cornmeal, flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. In a separate bowl, beat the softened butter and sugar. Beat the sour cream and eggs to the butter sugar mixture. Add the milk and the dry ingredients, a third at a time and alternating wet/dry. Mix in the green chiles, corn, and shredded cheese. Pour mixture into prepared baking dish.
3 Bake for 35 minutes, until top is browned, the center springs back when pressed down, and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool almost completely before serving.
Makes about 12 serving pieces.

Pinterest recipe review - Pumpkin Bread with Salted Caramel Drizzled Pumpkin butter Cream

This was the most moist, flavorfull any kind of bread I've ever had.  Instead of all of the different spices it called for, I used a tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice (which, of course is all of those spices together).  I did mess up on the frosting because I'm thinking I used too much butter, but the bread itself is good enough without it.  I found the recipe on Pinterest and here:
Here it is:

For the Bread
1 C all-purpose flour
3/4 C white whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp allspice
1/8 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
2 eggs
3/4 C brown sugar
1/4 C granulated sugar substitute
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 C low-fat plain yogurt
2 tbsp canola oil
1 1/4 C pumpkin puree

For the Frosting
1/4 C butter, softened
2 tbsp pumpkin puree
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 C confectioner’s sugar, sifted
2 tsp milk
For the Caramel Drizzle
3 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp water
1 tbsp butter
1/4 tsp salt


1. Preheat oven 325. Grease and flour a 9×5 loaf pan.

2. Whisk together flours, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves, salt, baking soda, and baking powder until well-combined. Set aside.

3. In a separate bowl, using an electric or stand mixer, beat eggs until creamy. Beat in brown sugar and sugar substitute on medium speed for one minute. Add in vanilla, yogurt and oil. Beat until well-combined.

4. Add flour mixture and pumpkin, beat until just combined. Scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.

5. Spread batter into prepared loaf pan. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow bread to cool in pan for 10 minutes before removing it to cool completely on a wire rack.

6. While bread is cooling, begin preparing the frosting. Cream together butter and pumpkin puree. Add in cinnamon and vanilla and beat until creamy. Slowly add confectioner’s sugar and milk. Beat until well-combined and creamy. Spread frosting over the top of the cooled bread.

7. In a small saucepan, stir together brown sugar and water. Dissolve sugar over medium-high heat.

8. Continue heating until caramel turns dark brown and starts to boil, making sure to stir constantly to avoid burning. Add butter and salt. Stir to combine and remove from heat. Continue stirring for another 1-2 minutes to cool the caramel somewhat before drizzling over the top of the frosting.

9. Slice bread and serve! Store leftovers in the refrigerator.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

LUNCHBOX IDEAS - 10/04/2012

Tomorrow's lunch is, again, tricked up leftovers from what we had for dinner.  Dinner was pot roast, carrots, and mashed potatoes, so I did a little rearranging and came up with the following:

Grilled pork pot roast and cheese on a southwest tortilla - George forman's are the best!!
Loaded potato patties - I had about 2 cups of mashed potatoes left over so I added about 1 cup of italian bread crumbs, 1 cup of pepper jack and cheddar shredded cheese, 1/4 cup of green onions, and 1 egg.  Mixed it all together, made it in to patties, and put it in a hot skillet with about 1tbsp of oil.  Cooked it for about 3-4 minutes on both sides until they were firm and brown.
homemade crockpot applesauce - recipe found on pinterest (easier than you would imagine and freezable)
cantaloup (my youngest daughter does not like cantaloup - crazy I know - so she got grapes)
animal crackers

My oldest daughter is a little skeptical about the wrap, but I do believe it will be awesome. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Lunchbox ideas - 10/03/2012

Just an interesting side note.  I put up a pumpkin today.  Cut it in half...dug out the seeds and strings...put some cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and splenda in the middle...covered it in a shallow pan and put it in a 375 degree oven for 1 1/2 hours.  One pumpkin is the equivalent of 11 cans of canned pumpkin.  Yum.  Can't wait for the pies, breads, and pumpkin rolls.
Anyway, lunch tomorrow is gonna be yummy.  Wraps have become their favorites.  So, there is one in there for tomorrow.

Turkey or ham wrap (according to the girl) - includes guacamole, tomato, meat, and cheese on a southwest tortilla (made in our local HEB) - rolled it up and put it on the george kinda like a melt
fruit salad - 1 pkg sugar free banana, cheesecake, or vanilla pudding, bowl of sugar free coolwhip, 8oz vanilla greek yogurt, 1/2 cup milk.  Whip all this together until smooth.  I added blueberries, grapes, orange chunks, bananas, and smashed up walnuts.
veggies and dip - brocolli, carrots, bell pepper, cherry tomatoes with honey mustard dip

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Recipe - Tweeked Elvis Cookies

Tweeked Elvis Cookies

1 Cup butter - softened
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar or 1 cup splenda brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup splenda
1 1/2 cups peanut butter
2tsp vanilla extract
3 very ripe bananas (the riper they are the sweeter they are)
1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup semi sweet choco chips
1/2 cup peanut butter chips
1/2 cup walnuts


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a baking sheet.
  2. Stir together the butter, brown sugar, white sugar, peanut butter, and vanilla in a bowl. Mash the bananas into the mixture until there are few lumps. Sift together the flour and baking powder in a separate bowl; add to the banana mixture and stir until thoroughly incorporated.  Fold in chips and walnuts.  Drop rounded tablespoons of mixture onto the prepared baking sheet.
  3. Bake in preheated oven until lightly brown and firm, about 15 minutes.

Lunchbox ideas - 10/02/2012

Today is boring.  The girls are going to have mostly leftovers.  Didn't have to do much except throw some frozen cookie dough I made last week in the oven.

cheese pizza
salad - lettuce, shredded carrots, brocolli, bell pepper, grape
elvis cookies - recipe on pinterest and here on my blog

Monday, October 1, 2012

Lunchbox idea - 10/02/2012

Today was a busy day so I am so thankful for my honey.  He had dinner ready when I got home and all I had to do was eat and then get the girls to see their dad at the nursing home.  We had tacos, so I decided to use the leftover taco meat for "soft tacos".

soft tacos - taco meat, sour cream, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese.  put all ingredients on corn tortilla then place another on top.  place on george forman grill and grill until golden brown.
salad - brocolli, bell pepper, lettuce, carrots,  cherry tomatoes
fruit - watermellon and grapes
dessert-animal crackers, banana chips, semi sweet choco chips