Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Nacho Average Nachos... my family's current fav!

Nachos without the guilt and ALL the pleasure!
THM- appropriate for {E} or {S} depending on your choice of ingredients... this dish has TONS of wiggle room!
  • 4 whole red bell peppers (or you can use mini tri-color peppers)
  • 1 can refried beans (fat-free for {E} meal) I generally use pinto beans, seasoned and cooked, and skip the mashing
  • 1 pound grass-fed ground beef (can sub ground chicken, turkey or pork OR use leftover rotisserie chicken, deli meat or grilled/sliced steak... you get the idea!  ;-)  Choose lean for {E} setting.)
  • 8 ounces Sharp Cheddar (more or less depending on {S} or {E} setting)
  • 1 light spray extra-virgin olive oil
Clean & cut peppers. I use a spritz of olive oil, in the 9x13, under the peppers & put them in a 400 degree oven. I allow them to start to bake while I warm up the beans & get out the rest of the ingredients. (About 10 minutes) Take out peppers, top with beans & chicken & back in the oven. Bake for about 10 minutes. (Just to warm through) Top with cheese & broil until toasty/crispy!
If you want your peppers to be crisp, be mindful that you don't want your peppers in too long. If you want to eat them with a fork, cook the peppers longer before you top.
Serve with salsa, sour cream and/or guacamole.
Prep Notes
The day of: Make guacamole. Prep salad to go with nachos and don't forget to cook quinoa or rice for the family.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


I get a big, huge bunch of beautiful, organic bananas every week. Sometimes I go nuts and order extra fruit and then I get 2 bunches of bananas. Well... last week my nuttiness got the best of me and I had too many bananas. What is one to do with too many, very ripe bananas?

BANANA BREAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My family doesn't care for bananas (except the Little Man), but they love banana bread. I took my Mom's tried-and-true recipe and switched out the shortening for some yummy butter and it was great.

Mom's Banana Bread

1.5 cups sugar
1/2 cup shortening (I used softened butter)
2 eggs
1 tsp baking soda
5 Tablespoons of milk
2-3 large RIPE mashed bananas
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups of flour
Optional: mix in chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, blueberries, etc... be creative!

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Butter a large loaf pan or put muffin liners into your muffin tin.

Cream together sugar and shortening (butter). Add the beaten eggs. Dissolve the baking soda into the milk. Add milk/soda mixture to the sugar/butter/egg mixture. Add your mashed bananas. (Does anyone else think of The Wiggles when you say "mashed bananas"?) Add salt, vanilla and flour. Mix until combined.

Portion into your buttered baking vessel and cook for about an hour. (Muffins will take less time, but it varies based on your muffin cup size and oven.) When you start to smell it, start monitoring the progress. When you stick a knife into the middle and it comes out clean... take out and enjoy!

I generally double the recipe and I end up with three 4x8 loaves. This time I added peanut butter chips to one loaf, dark chocolate chips to one loaf and left the last plain. Mmmmmmmmmm! Chocolate chip banana bread is my favorite!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Cookies! Cookies! Cookies! COOKIES!!!!

That is what are lives are full of right now! My sweet Dancing Daughter is out to break her cookie record and our house is full of cookies! Ack!

Little Man is completely confounded by the boxes and MAD that he can't get into them! My sweet Hubby is calmly dealing with the mess, but I HAVE to get the cookies out of the house fast.

My dear Mom came this weekend and picked up her many, many boxes and we had a great weekend. I sent her home with a Fruity share of organic produce! That's my new venture...

Annie's Organic Produce Buying Club! I am a coordinator. I receive a shipment once a week, sort it into shares for the members and take care of payments/communication/etc. I. Am. Loving. It! We are getting amazing fruits, veggies and milk! We get one full share a week gratis for my efforts! Yay! I am feeding my Eggs lots of new dishes and using veggies that we wouldn't normally purchase. So far, we have had Butternut Squash, Swiss Chard, Zucchini and Leeks. This past week I made a yummy homemade minestrone! And all the Eggs liked it! Papaw and Grammie Egg even liked it! (Papaw is a staunch Meat-and-potato man so I was PROUD!)

Here is one of the recipes I made this past week! (I will include my notes after the recipe!)

Asparagus and Crimini Mushroom Risotto

(by with my modifications)

  • 1 bunch of asparagus, chopped into one inch pieces
  • 1 cup (or so) of crimini mushrooms, sliced and quartered
  • 3-4 TBSP of Olive Oil, divided
  • One large Yellow Onion, chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup Arborio Rice
  • 3 Cups Vegetable or Chicken Broth
  • 1 Cup Water
  • Fresh Parmesan
  • Salt and Pepper

Chop the asparagus in about 1pieces, discarding the tough ends at the bottom. (To just get rid of the dry ends, hold them in your hand and bend. The bottom part that snaps off is the dry part to toss or use in veggie stock!) Slice the Crimini Mushrooms in quarters. (Don’t wash your mushrooms!!! They soak up water. Wet a paper towel and wipe the dirt off… who knew!)

Heat a medium non-stick pan heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. I always flick a tiny bit of water. When it snaps, your pan is hot enough. Add the mushrooms and sauté for 3-4 minutes. Add the asparagus and a little salt and pepper and sauté with the mushrooms another 4-5 minutes until the asparagus are green and crisp but not overdone. Set aside.

Get another larger, non-stick pan ready. Heat the rest of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté for about 7 minutes, or until the onion softens. Meanwhile, in a medium sauce pan combine broth and water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat just slightly keep warm over low heat. Add the garlic and rice together with the onion and sauté about 1-2 minutes.

When your broth is hot and you’ve sautéed the onion, garlic and rice, add 1/2 cup of the broth to the rice, onion and garlic mixture. Gently and continuously stir the rice until the broth is mostly absorbed. (DO NOT LEAVE YOUR RISOTTO ALONE! It doesn’t play well by itself!) Once the broth is absorbed add another 1/2 cup and repeat. Keep repeating the adding and the stirring until all the broth is gone. This *should* take about 30 minutes (if it takes you two and a half hours, your heat is too low.) Try out a couple pieces of rice. If they are still a little tough you can add a bit more water and stir it in. When you feel good about the consistency of the risotto add the mushroom/asparagus combo, the juice of half of a lemon and the chopped dill. (I forgot the lemon and didn’t have the dill… it was still amazing!) Cook on medium for 3-5 minutes while still occasionally stirring. Salt and Pepper to taste. Top it off with a little Parm to your liking!

The whole crew LOVED it. I actually doubled the broth, water and rice so I would have plenty for leftovers! I used half with the asparagus and mushrooms, but I made spinach risotto with the other half! Easy-peasy! I put a HUGE bunch of clean, dry baby spinach in a bowl and dumped the hot risotto on top. The heat wilted the spinach and both my Little Man and Dancing Daughter preferred it! Success!

Well... it only took me 3 days to finish this post. lol Here is hoping I can get better about this whole blogging thing!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

I am back...

or at least I will be! lol

I need to sit down and organize a real 'catch up' post, but in the mean time... I haven't forgotten my poor blog!

See you soon!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Friday, March 25, 2011

Friday Five- my likes for this week

I am taking a page out of a friend's book (blog?) and I am going to give this "Friday Five" a whirl to see if I like it...

1. Knock on wood... we are all healthy!
  • Little Man has been given a clean bill of health.We only have to give him 4 more breathing treatments! Dancing Daughter is currently not suffering from allergies! Hubby is on meds to relieve him of his ear infection! Finally, I am healthy too!

2. Panera Steak and Vermont Cheddar Panini
  • If you haven't had one, run... don't walk to your nearest Panera and get one! I enjoyed mine with a lovely caesar salad! It was fan-tab-u-lous!!!!!

3. My mini van for traveling to see my family in GA.
  • I am neck deep at packing to leave in the morning. (I know... it's the middle of the night, but that is what I do!) I would be dreading trying to fit all of the stuff we need for 2 adults and 2 kids into my previous car (Camry), but now I will just leisurely load it all into my van without too much trouble! Yay!

4. My camera working again!
  • After several years of lots of use my SD card DIED! Fortunately, I was able to get the 400 pictures off the card, but I didn't have a back-up. I ordered 2 so now it is working AND I have a spare. I can't STAND being without my camera!

5. Finding great deals online, receiving those packages and great money-saving websites!
  • Got a Ju Ju Be bag called a Be Quick for $7.50 (regular $15)! Love it!
  • Amazon Mom- Free 2 day shipping! Need I say more?
  • moolala- E-mealz subscription for a year for $12!
  • Mamapedia- Family Fun magazine for $5!
  • BeCentsAble- this blog let me know where I could get a subscription to Parents Magazine for $1! Woo hoo!
  • For Publix shoppers... love this site and there are several others. Feel free to comment below if you want me to share them!
Anyway, that is my story and I am sticking to it!

I will try to post some more coherent, interesting posts this coming week. I. Am. Exhausted. Hopefully, I can get some rest this weekend!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Crock Pot Chicken and Brown Rice REVIEWED

Ok... confession time! I was sooooo wrong about having all of the necessary ingredients for my meal. Ooops! I was so busy being proud of myself that I didn't go check. What was I missing you might ask? The stinkin' brown rice! It wouldn't be so bad, but we always have brown rice coming out of our ears. Today when I went to the fridge, this is all I found...

Sad, isn't it? So I got over that hurdle with a near-hissy fit and a quick trip to Publix. Then I got down to business.

I altered the recipe to suit us in the following ways:
  • I used a 6 quart Crock Pot because that is what I have.
  • I added chopped carrots b/c I can't stand monochromatic food.
  • I changed the seasoning because I didn't have paprika and don't have any recipes that need it so I used lemon pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper.
  • I added a splash more chicken broth because of the extra veggie.
  • I used chicken breast cutlets because that's what was in the freezer,but I am sure this would work with any cuts.
Survey says:
  • It needed a little more liquid because there were some grains of rice on the very top that were a little... uh... al dente. ;-)
  • It should not be stirred a lot as it causes the rice to become a little more mushy/risotto-like.
  • Flavor was great. We LOVE lemon pepper with chicken.
  • Hubby enjoyed and the Dancing Daughter cleaned her plate quickly. (A quick plate-cleaning is how we know she likes a food.)
To sum it up, it will go into our family rotation of meals!!! I recommend this, but play around with it and tailor it to suit your family's preferences. Oh, how about... Mexican: salsa mixed in... or Italian: chopped tomatoes and basil... or you get the idea.

¡Buen provecho!