Monday, December 31, 2012

Weekly Meal Plan 12/31 - 1/6

Happy New Years Eve!

I have gotten into a groove at home and am starting my meal planning again. It feels good to start getting some of our old routine back while starting new ones!
Kellen is doing fantastic and is changing more and more each day. I feel like this year has given us so much more than I could have imagined.

I hope you all have had a wonderful year and are surrounded by those you love tonight.
Here is to the close of a wonderful 2012, and an even better 2013.

Monday: Beef Tenderloin with Cabernet Mushrooms, Shrimp Scampi and Triple Chocolate Cheesecake
Tuesday: Happy New Year! Bean and Ham Soup
Wednesday: Chicken in a Creamy Chive Sauce and Pasta
Thursday: Out to Dinner with my friend Emily! Ron and Kellen will have a boys night in!
Friday: Out for Dinner
Saturday: Lecker Round Robin in the morning- we are making Breakfast Casserole. The in the evening- Go Pack Go!! Champagne Salmon, Roasted Potatoes and Asparagus
Sunday: Beefy Chili

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Introducing Kellen Michael....

I would like to welcome to newest addition to our family

Kellen Michael

Kellen was born on December 11, 2012 (42 weeks and 2 days) at 10 lbs 4 oz and 23 inches long.

Kellen came home with us on Sunday after spending sometime in the NICU, but is doing great now. Ron and I are loving being parents, and love spending time with our little man.  Blogging will slow a bit, but I will have more delicious posts as we get continue to adjust to this awesome new addition to our family.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Recipe Swap: Pumpkin Pie Dip

It's that time again!

Another Recipe Swap is here. The theme for this swap is blogger's choice. I was assigned the blog Does Not Cook Well With Others.  It was very hard to decide what to make, but I knew I needed something easy and quick considering I could possibly be delivering my son at anytime.  I have been pretty obsessed with pumpkin pie over the past few weeks and have been wanting to try making a dip. I saw a recipe for pumpkin pie dip and decided that now was as good a time as any! I scaled down the sugar because 2 cups seemed like it might be way too sweet for me. I was very happy that I decreased the amount because the sweetness was perfect for me. I actually made this before Thanksgiving and we had it with a few other appetizers. My family loved the flavors (and the extra pumpkin pie fix!). Thank you for a great recipe. Another big thanks to Sarah at A Taste of Home Cooking for organizing the swaps!


2/3 cup pumpkin puree
8 oz reduced fat cream cheese
1 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
Graham Crackers and Fruit for Dipping


Using a hand mixer (or stand, if you choose), mix pumpkin, spices and cream cheese till smooth. Slowly add in sugar. Allow dip to rest in the fridge for about an hour. Serve with graham crackers and sliced fruit.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Rum Vanilla Cranberry Sauce

It is always interesting to see who the cranberry sauce fans are at the table. I am on team cranberry, but I know others who couldn't care less if they saw the little red fruit again. I love trying different variations on homemade cranberry sauce for holiday dinners. Last year, I made a Cabernet cranberry sauce and it was divine. This year, I wanted something a little sweeter. I saw a few recipes online for bourbon cranberry and decided to make my own variation using orange, rum and vanilla.

I apologize for the photo (I was in a hurry). Hope everyone is having an awesome week!

12 oz Fresh Cranberries, Rinsed
1 cup sugar
1 cup Water
1/2 cup Fresh Orange Juice
1 tsp Orange Zest
1/4 cup Rum
1 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract

Place cranberries, water, sugar, orange juice, orange zest, rum and vanilla i a medium sauce pan. Gently stir to evenly mix ingredients. Bring cranberries to a boil and reduce heat and allow them to gently simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and allow them to cool (this can also be done in the fridge if you are crunched for time).

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Libby's Pumpkin Pie

In my opinion no Thanksgiving meal is complete without a pumpkin pie. Towards the end of my pregnancy I have been loving this tasty treat (and even bought a few individual slices from our bakery....). While planning our Thanksgiving menu I realized that I never made pumpkin pie. I wasn't sure where to start as far as recipes go, but decided to use the Libby's Pumpkin Pie recipe. I was very pleased at how easy this recipe is as well- the trickiest part is not spilling any filling when transfering it to the oven!!  Maybe next year I will try with fresh pumpkin for a little challenge.


3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 large eggs
1 15 oz can Libby's 100% pure pumpkin
1 12 oz can evaporated milk
1 unbaked 9-inch (4-cup volume) deep-dish pie shell
Whipped Cream, for topping (optional)


Mix sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger and cloves in small bowl. Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk.

Pour into pie shell.

Bake in preheated 425° F oven for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350° F; bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours. Serve immediately or refrigerate. Top with whipped cream before serving.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Weekly Meal Plan 11/26 - 12/2

We have officially past the due date! There is a sense of relief not having an impeding day on the calendar. We are not planning on an induction and are waiting on Kellen to decide when he would like to join us. I made a meal plan this week and it is assuming Kellen has not joined us (obviously that will change a few things!).  We had an awesome Thanksgiving, and I was very happy it was not spent in the hospital, but with our family and friends.  I hope everyone is doing well and had a fantastic holiday!

Here is what is on tap (tentatively!):

Monday: Out to El Serape
Tuesday: Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes and Green Beans
Wednesday: Saucy Chops, Leftover Mashed Potatoes and Broccoli
Thursday:  Grilled Brats and Grilled Potatoes
Friday: Out for Dinner
Saturday: Peppnernuts! Dinner with the Leckers
Sunday: Go Pack Go! Beefy Chili....yummy...

Monday, November 19, 2012

Weekly Meal Plan 11/19 - 11/25

Happy Monday and Thanksgiving week!

I am so happy this is a short week.... I find myself getting worn out a little faster and love the extra time with family. Our plans are all pretty up in the air this week because of Kellen, but we still planned some meals. I am really hoping that my guy will hold out till after Friday....but who knows! I am helping my Dad cook on Friday and people have told me that I am nuts. I really enjoy cooking and have cut back a lot this month. I am looking forward to helping my Dad on Friday because we enjoy cooking together so much....maybe all the time walking around will help labor!

Have a wonderful week everyone!!

Monday: Crockpot Hot Beef Sandwiches, American Fries and Green Beans (We will be freezing some)
Tuesday: Out for Dinner with my Parents
Wednesday: Saucy Chops, Mashed Potatoes and Corn
Thursday: Happy Thanksgiving! We are celebrating with Ron's Family today!
Friday: Happy Thanksgiving/ Black Friday! We are celebrating with my Family today and potentially seeing Red Dawn tonight! I am making Mashed Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Green Beans,  Libby's Pumpkin Pie and Dutch Apple Pie
Saturday: Major Downtime = Turkey Pot Pie Pasta
Sunday:  Go Pack Go! Will Kellen make his appearance for the game? If not we will be getting
Indian Take Out

Friday, November 16, 2012

Recipe Swap: Crockpot Golden Pizza Dip

It is time for a Recipe Swap!

The theme for this swap was Game Day. As you know, I love football...mainly the Packers, and always enjoy adding a new recipe to my families game day arsenal. Packer games are a big deal in our family, and Sundays are literally planned around the game. Ron and I also love going to the games (not as much this year!) and are planning on going to the game before Christmas. We usually get there around 8 a.m. to properly celebrate before a noon game. Grill, yard games, drinks, and snacks in tow make for a great day (plus there are always lots of bands around the stadium after the game).

I submitted my recipe for crockpot spinach and artichoke dip. I reciped Golden Pizza Fondue from Kate's Recipe Box.  This recipe originally was given to her by her neighbor after she moved into a new apartment.  I modified the recipe a bit and used a crockpot over a fondue pot. Ron and I really enjoyed this dip (the flavors are very close to pizza!). I think this is a great recipe to add to my families Sunday night spread. Thank you Kate for a delicious new appetizer! Also, thank you to Sarah of A Taste of Home Cooking for hosting our swaps!


1 Tbl minced onion
2 Tbl butter
2 Tbl flour
1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes with no added seasoning, drained
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp oregano
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 cup milk
1/2 lb mild cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 lb mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 Tbl grated parmesan cheese
Bread for Dipping

Saute onion in butter in a medium saucepan until tender. Stir in flour.
Stir in tomatoes. Add basil, oregano and pepper. Cook over medium heat, stirring regularly for five minutes.
Slowly stir in milk.
Add cheese, a little at a time, stirring until melted. Add parmesan cheese.
Pour into crockpot and keep warm. If mixture becomes too thick, stir in a little hot milk.

Monday, November 12, 2012

SRC: Three Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies

Ok, actually 4 counting the chocolate chips!!!

Another Secret Recipe Club has come (and the last before January).

Secret Recipe Club

This month I was assigned Fit Mamma Real Food. I really enjoyed reading her blog because she recently had a little baby! Since Kellen's arrival is literally around the corner all things baby are awesome. I liked reading her natural birth story (hoping to have one myself) I like reading about the experience of other families. Heather also has great recipes on her blog and when I saw 3 ingredient peanut butter cookies I was sold! I had a bag of semisweet chocolate chips in my pantry as well, and figured why not throw them in....who doesn't love chocolate and peanut butter??

Ron and I loved these cookies (I especially loved how easy they are to make)! You can certainly opt out of the chocolate, or replace it with another type of chip. Thank you Heather for a new cookie recipe!


1 cup natural peanut butter (I used Skippy Creamy Natural)
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Using a hand mixer, mix peanut butter and sugar till fluffy. Add the egg. Finally gently fold in chocolate chips. On a non stick cookie sheet (I used a slip mat), evenly space the cookies. Use a fork to press the cookies down. Bake in the oven for 6-10 minutes depending on the cookie size (I baked 15 cookies for 9 1/2 minutes- mine were a little large due to the chips). Allow cookies to cool for 10-15 minutes on a wire rack.

Weekly Meal Plan 11/12 - 11/18

Happy Monday! No Kellen yet..... Truth be told I have not felt in a bug hurry to have him. I figure he will come when he is ready. Luckily, I have not had a lot of discomfort (which I attribute to staying active and strong) and that could be why I haven't felt like I am "done" being pregnant. However, we are super excited to meet the little guy. I find myself wondering who he will look like and what he will be like. 

This week is pretty mellow. We are trying to keep things pretty low key with our activities and meals. Unfortunately, that means you may not see too many exciting things coming from my kitchen.... However, this week we have a few yummy dinners on the menu that are old favorites, and we are trying out a new chicken place on Wednesday.

Hope everyone had a nice weekend!

Here is what is on tap: 

Monday: Clam Chowder and Crusty Bread
Tuesday: Tater Tot Casserole and Green Beans
Wednesday: Out for Chicken at Redwood (It is suppose to be awesome)
Thursday: Beef Tacos, Rice and Beans
Friday: Out to Dinner
Saturday: Movie Day with my SIL and dinner with family to follow
Sunday: Go Pack Go! Chili...yummy!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Weekly Meal Plan 11/5 - 11/11

Happy Monday! I can't believe it is three weeks (give or take) till Kellen is My doula sent me a message last night to let me know as of today she is officially "on call". It feels great to almost be at the end, but there aree some nerves. I have to say that the third trimester has been my favorite. When I first found out I was pregnant everyone told me the first and third were the worst, and second was the best. For me, second was the worst, followed by first and third is my favorite by leaps and bounds.  I feel great mentally and physically. I also feel the most ready to meet Kellen and excited to bring him into our lives. My work and my family have started baby pools for fun. I like seeing what other people think because I feel so clueless as to when he will arrive...however I put my money on November 27th if anyone was wondering. 

This week is pretty busy, but we have a few different yummy dinners planned (and some dinners out).  Hope everyone is doing well! Don't forget to vote tomorrow!!

Here is what is on tap:

Monday: Chicken Dumpling Soup and Bread
Tuesday: Out for Pizza
Wednesday: Grilled Pork Chops with Onion Blue Cheese Sauce, Roasted Red Potatoes and Broccoli
Thursday: Saucy Chops,  Mashed Potatoes and Green Beans
Friday: Out to Dinner with My Doula and Ron....Indian Food Yummy!
Saturday: Appleton for Dinner
Sunday: 3 Cheese Lasagna with Meat Sauce, Garlic Bread and Salad

Treats: Golden Pizza Fondue and 3 Ingredients Peanut Butter Cookies

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween: Stuffed Jack O'Lanterns

Happy Halloween!

6 Orange Bell Peppers, seeds removed and tops reserved
1 1/2 lb Lean Ground Beef
1 Box Uncle Ben's Original Rice Recipe
8 oz Tomato sauce
1 cup Cheddar Cheese

Cook rice according to package instructions. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Brown beef in a large rimmed skillet. Once it is cooked add tomato sauce and allow the mixture to simmer for 10 minutes. Add rice and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Remove from heat while peppers are prepared.  While the filling is cooking prepare the peppers. Using a small sharp knife, make cuts to replicate a jack o'lantern face, or any other desire shape. Stuff the peppers with the beef mixture and arrange in a casserole dish. Top with cheddar cheese.

Bake the peppers for 45-55 minutes, or until peppers are soft. Remove from oven and top with the "stems".

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Deep Dish Apple Cranberry Crumble

As you know October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Last year I participated in Jen's, author of Beantown Baker, Power of Pink Challenge. This year i wanted to participate again because I feel the cause is very important. My aunt is a breast cancer survivor and I know there are many other families who have seen how difficult this disease is.

Jen's Power of Pink Challenge gets us to think about breast cancer awareness and express that with our posts. The rules of the challenge are simple. The food must be PINK.  Last year I made beet and kale risotto. This year I decided to go the sweet route and make a crumble. I saw fresh cranberries starting to fill up the shelves at my supermarket, and decided an apple cranberry crumble would be perfect. This recipe is very easy to put together and is delicious. I love the sweet apples paired with the tart cranberries- a perfect fall dessert. Challenge submissions can be entered until midnight on October 31st- check out Jen's blog for details if you would like to participate.


12 oz fresh cranberries
6 apples (we use macintosh), peeled & cubed
Juice from 1/2 lemon
1 cup sugar
1 Tbl cinnamon

1/2 stick butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup all purpose flour (almond flour would be delicious to make it gluten free)


Preheat over to 375 degrees.

In a large bowl, mix cranberries, apples, sugar, lemon juice and cinnamon.  Gently pour the filling into a large rimmed baking dish.

In a medium bowl, cream butter and sugar. Gently add flour and stir to create clumps (or crumbles!). Top the apple and cranberry mixture with the crumble.

Bake uncovered for 45 minutes. The sides will be bubbly and topping will begin to brown.

(Serves 8-10)

Monday, October 29, 2012

Weekly Meal Plan 10/29 - 11/4

Happy Monday! 

I can tell that fall is upon us and winter is creeping in slowly! It was really chilly this weekend and the leaves have all left the trees around our house. I don' think I have ever been so excited for fall and Thanksgiving because I am so excited because our little boy will be here!! Eeekk!!

We have a pretty laid back week and lots of yummy things to eat!  I am really excited about Halloween this year because I have a pretty funny costume- I am a magic 8 ball....hehe... It is also our first Halloween in our house, and after years of apartment dwelling we get to hand out candy! 

Also sending good vibes and safe wishes to my friends on the East Coast!

Here is what is on tap:

Monday:  Tuna Melt Casserole and Salad
Tuesday:  Chorizo Chicken Bake, Rice and Salad
Wednesday: Happy Halloween! Mummy Hot Dogs and Mac & Cheese w/ Salad
Thursday: Slow Cooker BBQ Pot Roast, Cheddar Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans
Friday:  Out to dinner with my parents!
Saturday: Out to for Pizza and a Movie
Sunday:  Go Pack Go! Crockpot Golden Pizza Fondue and Scalloped Potatoes & Ham

Treats: I am making a Spinach Dip Mummy for Ron's work potluck and 3 Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies for SRC

Friday, October 26, 2012

Pioneer Woman's Beef Enchiladas

Enchiladas are my favorite entree to order when we go out for Mexican food. I think my all time favorite is chicken with mole sauce, but beef with red sauce is a close second! I saw Pioneer Woman making this enchilada recipe on her show and it looked delicious! Ron does not like enchiladas as much as I do, but it never hurts to try a new recipe. I find enchiladas to be a bit messy and time intensive, but totally worth it in the end. This recipe takes a little while, but the flavors are delicious! Ron loved this recipe which was shocking to me. I left out the olives originally used in the filling because I prefer to top mine after they cook.....and eat all the olives out of the can....sigh... The method of cooking the sauce is great because it does not taste so "pre-prepared" and has more richness in flavor. This recipe is rich, delicious and worth the extra time to put together!

We are planning a trip to the Zoo Boo this weekend and a Halloween themed dinner on Sunday! Hope everyone is having a great week!


1 Tbl Canola Oil
1 Tbl All-purpose Flour
1 can (28 oz) Red Enchilada  Sauce
2 cups Chicken Stock
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Ground Black Pepper
2 Tbl Chopped Cilantro
1 lb Ground Beef
1 Medium Onion, Finely Diced
2 cans (4 oz) Diced Green Chilies
1/2 tspSalt
12-14 Corn Tortillas
1/2 cup Canola Oil
3 cups Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1 cup Chopped Green Onions
1/2 cup Chopped Cilantro
Sour Cream


In a large saucepan over medium heat, add oil and flour and whisk together to make a paste, cooking for one minute. Pour in the red sauce, chicken broth, cilantro, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 30-45 minutes. While the sauce simmers, brown the meat with onions in a skillet. Drain off fat. Stir in 2 cans diced green chilies and seasoned salt. Set aside.

When the sauce is done simmering heat canola oil in a small skillet over medium heat. One by one, using tongs, fry tortillas in oil until soft, not crisp – about 30 seconds per side. Remove to a paper—towel lined plate. Repeat until all tortillas have been fried.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour ½ cup red sauce in bottom of baking pan. Spread to even out. Dip each tortilla into red sauce, then remove to work surface. Spoon meat, a little grated cheese and green onions in the center of tortilla. Roll up and place, seam down, in baking pan. Repeat until pan is filled. Pour extra red sauce over enchiladas. Top with remaining cheddar cheese and green onions.

Bake for 25 minutes or until bubbly. Sprinkle cilantro over enchiladas and serve with sour cream.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Pumpkin Oatmeal Raisin Chocolate Chip Cookies

  The theme for this month's Improv Cooking Challenge was Oatmeal and Raisin.  However, I did not make it before the cut off! I am trying to take it easy and the choice between relaxing and baking 2 dozen cookies was not hard on last week. I still had all the ingredients and decided on a variation of this recipe from My Baking Addiction. I cut the recipe in half and used raisins and chocolate chips. I loved the flavors of these cookies and all the goodies they were stuffed with! I brought these work work since Ron is not a pumpkin fan, and eating 2 dozen myself did not seem like the greatest idea. The cookies went over very well and were gone very fast! I am a better cook than baker, but the recipe was easy to follow and adapt (plus it made great cookies!)

This week has been a bit exhausting for me. I am not at the point of ready to have Kellen, but I feel myself slowing down a lot.  I know how important it is to take it easy, but it is hard for someone like me who is always on the go. Good thing there are lots of scary Halloween movies on t.v. to keep me busy and things to organize (and cookies the bake!). 


1 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cups old-fashioned oats
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup (1 sticks) butter; softened
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup pure pumpkin puree
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with a silicone mat or parchment paper.

 Combine flour, oats, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and salt in medium bowl. Beat butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar in large mixer bowl until light and fluffy.

 Add pumpkin, egg and vanilla extract; mix well. Add flour mixture; stir until all ingredients are incorporated. Fold in chocolate chips and raisins.

 Drop by rounded tablespoons onto prepared baking sheets.

Bake for 12-14 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. Store in airtight containers.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Weekly Meal Plan 10/22 - 10/28

Happy Monday! We had our baby shower thrown by Ron's family this weekend and it was wonderful! I feel very showered with love after the past two weekends! my co-workers are throwing a baby/wedding (another co-worker is getting married) potluck tomorrow...yummy! I finally am checking things off my list before Kellen arrives and I am really starting to understand why the nesting is important to settle nerves. The only major thing left to get is his bedding and I plan on ordering that tomorrow night....then the waiting game officially begins. This week is pretty mellow, but this weekend we have lots of fun plans! Hope everyone is having a great week!

Here is what is on tap:

Monday: Pioneer Woman's Beef Enchiladas, Rice and Black Beans
Tuesday:  Blue Cheese and Spinach Stuffed Chicken, Roasted Potatoes and Green Beans
Wednesday: Spaghetti with Meat Sauce, Garlic Bread and Salad
Thursday: White Beans, Turkey Sausage and Rice
Friday: Out to Dinner with our friends Kayla and Zak!
Saturday: We are going to the Zoo Boo with my sister and brother in law and our nephews and niece! We will probably grab dinner after since we want to do the haunted hay ride! Perhaps Scalloped Potatoes and Ham.....
Sunday: Go Pack Go! Halloween Dinner with My Family. Jack O Lartern Stuffed Peppers! My sister is making a veggie and dessert!

Treats: Cranberry Apple Crumble  for 5th Annual Power of Pink Challenge and Halloween Bundt Cake

Friday, October 19, 2012

Recipe Swap: Warm Apple Crisp with Oat Topping

Happy Friday and Happy Recipe Swap!

The theme for this swap was blogger's choice. I was assigned Hezzi-D's Books and Cooks. Hezzi-D's has a fantastic variety of delicious looking recipes. I had some apples I needed to use and found a round-up post for apple recipe! I ultimately decided on her recipe for Warm Apple Crisp with Oat Topping. I love any type of apple dessert- especially a crisp! This recipe was really easy and the flavors were stop on for fall. I made a few changes with the sugar and omitted the lemon juice. I loved the flavors of the topping on this dessert. The oats give a bit of chew and work great with the tender apples.
Thank you Hezzi-D for a delicious fall treat! 

6 cups apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup water
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg

For oat topping:
3/4 cup oats
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
3 Tbl butter, melted

Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees.

Place the sliced apples in the bottom of an 8 x 8 baking dish.  Sprinkled with sugars, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

     In a small bowl combine the ingredients for the topping.  Mix well until the mixture is crumbly.  Sprinkle over top of the apple mixture in the baking dish.

  Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the apple filling is bubbling and the top is golden brown.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

SRC: Beer Cheddar Risotto

It is the October Secret Recipe Club Reveal!

Secret Recipe Club

I received Sarah's Kitchen for my assignment. Sarah is English and originally from Kent, but has been living in Texas with her husband for close to a decade. She has tons of great recipes on her blog, and it was difficult to pick just one! I finally settled on Beer Cheddar Risotto because it seemed like the perfect flavors for Wisconsin! I love making risotto and this recipe is very easy. The beer flavor is not very strong, but the cheddar flavor is rich and delicious. Next time I think I will add a little extra beer over chicken stock. I also decreased the recipe size since it is just Ron and I.  I served this with pork tenderloin and it was delicious! Thank you Sarah for a fantastic new recipe!

How 'bout them Packers? I say it is about time!


1/2 small onion, diced
1 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoons olive oil
1 cups Arborio rice
1/2 bottle of beer
24 oz of chicken stock
2/3 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1/8 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
1/8 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
Black Pepper, to taste


Place chicken stock in a medium saucepan. Bring  to a simmer (do not boil). Keep warm over low-medium heat.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoons olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter to pan; swirl to coat. Add onions and cook for 3 minutes and add garlic. Stir in rice, and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring constantly. Increase heat to medium and add beer. Add 1/2 cup stock and cook 3-5 minutes or until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly.  Continue adding remaining stock, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion of stock is absorbed before adding the next. Right before you serve the risotto, stir in the cheese and season with black pepper. 

Weekly Meal Plan 10/15 - 10/21

Happy Monday! Our weekend baby shower was absolutely wonderful, and we were truly showered with tons of love and gifts for to organize them all! We have another coming up this weekend and I am very excited. My Chicago family will also be attending and we will be having dinner after the shower. This we are also having our friends Emily and Kyle over for dinner. Emily and I lived together for a few years while I lived in Madison, and she moved here after she got married. She and Kyle are hysterical and a blast to hangout with! Hope everyone is having a great week!

Here is what is on tap:

Monday: Beef Tacos, Rice and Black Beans
Tuesday: Grilled Italian Pork Tenderloin, Twice Baked Potatoes and Broccoli
Wednesday: Spaghetti with Meat Sauce (I am making extra to freeze for easy meals once Kellen gets here)
Thursday: Dinner with Emily and Kyle! We are hosting and making Grilled Drunken Pork Chops and Cheesy Potatoes
Friday: Out for Dinner
Saturday: Baby Shower Part Duex. My Sister-in-Law and Mother-in-Law are throwing a shower for Kellen and I....we are so blessed to have such great people in our lives. We are going to have dinner with my aunt and cousins later in the evening.
Sunday: GO PACK GO! Crockpot Clam Chowder and Assorted Sandwiches

Treats: Pumpkin Oatmeal Raisin Cookies and Warm Apple Crisp with Oat Topping

Friday, October 12, 2012

Pumpkin Pie Crescents Rolls

 Pumpkin pie is an interesting dessert. People either love it and countdown the time until fall arrives. OR people despise it. I happen to love it, and my husband hates it.... This means MORE FOR ME (it also means I make an apple pie as well)!  Anyways, I saw this recipe on Pilsbury's website and decided that I needed to give it a try. I modified the recipe to my tastes by taking out the nuts and using brown sugar (I also did not use 4 packages of rolls). These lovely rolls definitely satisfy any pumpkin pie craving! In addition to being yummy they are really easy to put together!

In baby news, this weekend is my shower with my Mom's friend and my friend Amanda. I am really excited and can't wait to see everyone. A lot of my Nicky's co-workers are coming and I miss have been missing them lately! It is suppose to be crappy outside so after the shower we are having the grandparents over to eat chili and relax at our house (maybe a mini cloth diaper 101 will be in store as well....)!


1 (4 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/8 cup sweetened condensed Milk
1 tsp all-purpose flour
1 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
2 (8 oz.) packages refrigerated crescent rolls
1/2 cup Brown Sugar


Preheat oven to 375°F.
 Mix cream cheese, pumpkin, sweetened condensed milk, flour and spices in large bowl until combined and smooth.

Unroll crescent rolls; separate and lay flat. Spread 1 1/2 tablespoons pumpkin mixture evenly over uncooked dough and roll into crescent shape.

Sprinkle tops of rolls with brown sugar. Place on baking sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes or until slightly golden brown.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Crockpot Italian Chicken with Sundried Tomatoes

I love my crockpot....and I love finding new crockpot dishes for Ron and I. I saw Crockpot Italian Chicken from Sing For Your Supper on Pinterest and thought it looked delicious. Since becoming pregnant chicken has not been high on my list, but I have been trying to work it into meals because it is much healthier than beef and pork. the original call for the sauce to be thickened over the stovetop, but I skipped this step due to general laziness (why lie?).  I loved the flavors of the chicken and the sundried tomatoes. Ron thought there were too many tomatoes, but I really like tomatoes and found it a perfect amount. we served our chicken over mashed potatoes, but rice or pasta would work as well.

Tonight we tour a potential daycare for Kellen.... just thinking about it makes my checkbook cry! we considered a private residence care provider, but ultimately decided on a daycare. 

Hope everyone is staying warm (it's getting cold here) and having a great week!


4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/4 lb)
1/4 cup sundried tomatoes, roughly chopped
1/3 cup bottled Italian salad dressing (I used Kraft Zesty Italian)
1/3 cup water
salt and pepper, to taste


Place all ingredients into the crockpot. Cook on low for 8 hours. Roughly shred chicken and serve.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Weekly Meal Plan 10/8 to 10/14

Happy Monday! We had a relaxing weekend, saw Taken2 (I liked it a lot) and watched the Packers attempt to play football with a few friends. It was nice to have a weekend with nothing before a few weekends of activities begins. This coming Saturday it my baby shower and I am excited and nervous. I am not a person who like being celebrated at a party, but I am happy (and lucky) I have people in my life who would throw a party for Kellen and I. However, I always get a little bit on anxiety about these types of things...silly, I know. Kellen's room is coming along great! We finished hanging a few things on his wall, and are just waiting till after the shower to finish up his space. It is strange to feel that this is a person's room...almost like a new roommate, but BETTER! This we have a lot on out plate: tour of the daycare, breast feeding class, workout class, dinner with my girlfriends, my shower and the Packer game (who can forget this!) so a lot of the meals are quick and easy! I am going back and trying (for a third time) another pork and potatoes recipe... I hope this one is a winner.  I hope everyone has a great week!

Here is what is on tap: 

Monday: Grilled Pumpkin Chicken, Beer Cheddar Risotto and Salad
Tuesday: Darn Good Roast, Mashed Potatoes and Green Beans
Wednesday: Crockpot Pork and Potatoes and Salad
Thursday: Penne with Meaty Vodka Sauce and Salad
Friday: Out for Dinner w/ My Girlfriends....we are also going to play cosmic bingo!
Saturday: Baby Shower thrown by my Mom's friends and my friend Amanda. I am so happy they are doing this for us. We will have family in town for the shower and are planning on having dinner with them in the evening.
Sunday: Go Pack Go! Crockpot Clam Chowder (Ron and I are going to see a movie before the game. His request is Sinister...spooky..)

Treats: Pumpkin Raisin Oatmeal Cookies (for Improv)

Friday, October 5, 2012

Recipe Swap: Sausage Cheese Puffs

Good Morning! Another Recipe Swap has come and the theme is breakfast!

Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. I have never been a cereal or piece of toast kind of gal.... I love having over easy eggs for breakfast, hasbrowns and some fruit. Yum! I was really excited about this theme and submitted my recipe for greek scramble with lemony hollandaise and I received Sausage Cheese Puffs from Cara of The Boys Made Me Do It.  I actually made these for the Packer game on Sunday and they were a big hit. I increased the amount of buttermilk to 2/3 cup because my puffs were a bit dry. These would be perfect for breakfast alongside a runny egg! Thank you Cara for the fantastic recipe- great way to start our morning!

1/2 pound sausage
1 1/2 cups biscuit/baking mix (I used gluten free Bisquick)
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
2/3 cup buttermilk
Butter, melted

In a skillet, cook and crumble sausage until no longer pink; drain grease. In a bowl, combine biscuit mix and cheese; stir in sausage. Add buttermilk and toss with a fork until just moistened. Scoop onto ungreased baking sheets placed 2 inches apart. Bake at 400 degrees F for 12-15 minutes or until puffed and golden brown. Brush with melted butter after coming out of oven and let cool.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Cheesy Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Potatoes

I have posted my friend Brittanie's awesome buffalo chicken dip recipe before and always rave about it because it is so yummy! The other day I was thinking about different variations of game day foods and thought how awesome this would be in a potato. I debated doing this on the grill, but decided against it when it started to rain. I thought this was a cross between a potato skin and buffalo chicken which, in my book, are both delicious. The size of your potatoes may impact how much dip you have left (if any), but please don't be shy about piling it into the potatoes because is cooks down when heated. I think you could easily serve these as appetizers by adjusting the potato size or cutting them in half.

Out Doula Emily came for a visit last night and I am still so happy we decided to work with her. She is wonderful and she just got married this past weekend! Busy lady! We meet with her again at 37 weeks to go over more information. For now we are working on different breathing and finding our comfort zone within different labor positions. Right now I am finding it all very interesting and know when the time comes we will be doing what is best for us, but my opinion has always been the more prepared they better!


3 Large Baking Potatoes
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles


Bake potatoes till tender and set aside to cool.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Slice potatoes in half and scoop out the insides (we like the use the "guts for breakfast potatoes the next morning).  Divide buffalo chicken mixture evenly into the potatoes (you may have a little leftover depending on your potato size). Evenly divide cheddar cheese on top of the potatoes and finish with blue cheese crumbles.

Place potatoes on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. When 20 minutes has passed turn oven to broil for 2-3 minutes (make sure to keep an eye on the potatoes so they do not burn) to brown the tops.

Remove from oven and serve.

Monday, October 1, 2012

SRC: Bangers and Mash for Daniel

As you know I recently started participating in the Secret Recipe Club and have really enjoyed meeting new people and trying new recipe. A few weeks ago I received an e-mail from April regarding a fellow blogger and club member Daniel Saraga of The Haggis and the Herring. Daniel passed away suddenly on September 14th. His wife wrote a beautiful post about him and I imagine only touch on the type of individual he was. In Daniel's memory,  April and our hostesses asked us to make a dish from his blog as way to pay our respects to him. 

I knew I wanted to participate and wanted to find a recipe that brought a a fond memory to mind. I ultimatly decided to make Bangers and Mash. When I was younger I took two trips to England with my family. We stayed in an old farm house and an old manor in sourthern England. I have such great memories of these trips and remember eating this dish at a pub. Daniel created a delicious recipe for this comforting dish! The only changes I made was to grill the sausages and I leftout the mustard (sniff) because Ron is allergic (I am sure it is even better with the mustard...sorry Ron).  We loved the flavors of this dinner and the gravy was fantastic with the red wine.

Daniel- thank you for introducing us to such a delicious recipe. I hope our appriciation for your dedication to blogging and cooking can be seen by our tribute.

5 sausages

4-6 large potatoes, peeled and quartered
dash sea salt
1/2 cup milk
2 tbsp margarine
dash nutmeg

Gravy for bangers
2 tbsp oil
2 onions, thinly sliced
1 tbsp flour
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1/2 cup red wine
1 cup chicken stock
dash Worcestershire sauce


Grill on medium heat until sausage is cooked completly thru.

For mash
Boil potatoes until soft.
Drain water and add salt, milk, margarine and nutmeg and mash with a mixter or potato masher until smooth.

For gravy for bangers
In a deep pan, heat oil on medium and add onions.
Continue to fry onions until they begin to brown.
Sprinkle flour on onions, stir, then add  red wine, chicken, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper.
Continue stirring until sauce thickens. 

Weekly Meal Plan 10/1 - 10/7

Whew...that game was a squeaker...AND the real question is when are the REAL refs coming back?? Sour grapes...I know....

This weekend was pretty low key, but fun! Our cousins were in town for the game and we had a fantastic dinner with them and their friends. We also had a few friends over for the Packer game last night. I was very happy that my friend Katie's husband Pete yells at the t.v. as much as my husband! This is week we don't have a lot on our agenda (I have been trying to slow us down as D-day get closer), but our Doula is coming over on Wednesday! I am also hoping that Ron and I can go see Taken 2 on Friday night- loved the first one.

Here is what is on tap:

Monday: Italian Chicken, Mashed Potatoes and Broccoli (Carry over from last night- we had brats)
Tuesday: Out to Dinner with Workout Guru Eydie at El Serape!
Wednesday: Tatertot Casserole and Green Beans (Our Doula is coming for a visit....I will have Pumpkin Pie Crescents!)
Thursday:  Tacos, Rice and Beans
Friday: Out to Dinner
Saturday: Grilled Beer Brats, Grill Potatoes and Cauliflower
Sunday: Go PACK Go!! Crockpot Hot Beef Sandwiches and Grill Potatoes/ Veggies
Treats: Pumpkin Pie Crescents, Dutch Caramel Apple Pie and Caramel Apple Cider Cookies

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Penne A'La Betsy

The lighting in my house just ok, and if we don't have dinner ready pretty early natural lighting is out. However, I am not going to spend money on lighting and don't really have the time at this point in my life to really be too concerned. The only thing I can do is tell you that this photo does not do this pasta justice! This recipe comes from Pioneer Woman and is wonderfully simple. Ron has been on a shrimp kick lately and I have had this recipe for awhile but had yet to make it. I subbed in 2% milk for the heavy cream and reduced the amount to lighten the recipe since there was already butter involved. I also have the sauce a little extra time to thicken because of the milk substitution.

I have to share a funny story with you about baby clothes. We received this adorable coverall from a friend as an early shower gift because she will be out of town. The friend was my trainer when I showed horses and I adore this outfit. However, it had the most hysterical tag on it: "For the child's safety the garment should fit snugly. This garment it not flame resistant. Loose fitting garment is more likely to catch on fire".

Good thing I have another outfit in mind to use as Kellen's flame suit.


1 lb Penne Pasta (we used gluten free)
1 lb Cooked Shrimp
2 Tablespoons Butter
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1/2 cup White Wine
1 can Tomato Sauce (8 Oz)
3/4 cup 2% milk
 2 Tbl Chopped Fresh Parsley
2 Tbl Chopped Fresh Basil
Salt To Taste
Pepper To Taste


Cook the penne pasta according to package instructions.

Peel, devein and rinse 1 pound of cooked shrimp.  Chop the shrimp into bite –sized pieces and set aside.

In a large skillet heat 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the garlic and onion and sauté, stirring occasionally. After the garlic and onions have cooked for about 5 minutes add the wine. Let the wine evaporate for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.

Now add an 8-ounce can of tomato sauce. Stir well until combined. Add milk and stir. Turn heat down to low and let simmer for about 5 minutes.

Next, chop the herbs and set aside. Now add the chopped shrimp back into the tomato cream sauce. Stir and add salt and pepper to taste. Throw in the herbs and stir until combined. Finally, add the cooked penne pasta and stir to coat evenly.