Great pages! Makes me want to return to Disney World!
Grilling season is here. Here is a chicken and corn recipe that is easy to prepare and ready to eat in minutes.
Easy Grilled Chicken Breasts
Lightly drizzle oil on each chicken breast. Sprinkle both sides of chicken pieces with seasoned salt. Grill 5-6 minutes on each side.
Grilled Corn on the Cob
Remove husks and silk from corn. Preheat grill to 400F. While grill is preheating, pull off enough pieces of aluminum foil to wrap the ears of corn. Stack them on top of each other to wrap each ear after prepping. Smother ear of corn, one at a time, with butter. Sprinkle with seasoned salt. Wrap and twist ends so corn can steam. Place on grill and cook 10-15 minutes, turning at least once during cooking. Remove from grill, let sit for a few minutes before handling.
Perfection! This chicken was moist and the seasoned salt give just a little flavor to otherwise bland breast meat. The corn was perfectly cooked, and could have used a touch more salt, but I didn't add more. Note: My corn had been in the refrigerator and required 15 minutes to cook. Check for tender kernels after 10 minutes so you don't overcook and destroy the flavor.
It's Cinco de Mayo, May 5th. I don't usually do anything special for the 5th of May, but we had taco pizza on our minds while we were grocery shopping over the weekend. When I realized that Cinco de Mayo was in the coming week, I made sure to make the pizza then.
Brown ground beef, drain if necessary. Sprinkle seasoning and pour in water. Stir and cook until sauce thickens. Spread cheese sauce on pizza crust in place of sauce. Top with layer of seasoned taco meat. Add toppings: green pepper, onions, tomato, mushrooms, black olives. Spread layer of lettuce on top of the veggies and top with shredded cheese. Bake 8-10 minutes in preheated 425F oven.
This was the first time making my taco pizza that I put the lettuce on before baking. I figured topping it with the cheese would protect it from burning or wilting, and it remained crispy. The pound of taco meat provides a thick layer. You might want to eat with a fork to keep all the toppings in place.
I made two Pampered Chef recipes tonight, one old favorite that I switched up and a new recipe I had recently. The Farmer's Omelet Casserole is based on an old Pampered Chef classic, Confetti Egg Strata. This is a favorite breakfast dish that I like to prepare Christmas Eve and cook Christmas morning. Tonight I changed up some of the ingredients and reduced it by a third.
Farmer's Omelet Casserole
Heat oil and butter in skillet over medium heat. Saute onions and green pepper until onion is translucent. Add potatoes, ham and mushrooms. Saute until potatoes begin to brown. Pour mixture into greased casserole dish or quiche pan. Mix milk and eggs, season with pepper. Pour over ham and potatos. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 375F for 35-40 minutes, until eggs are set and edges begin to brown.
I had this dip for the first time earlier this week at a Pampered Chef home show. It is yum-my! And easy to make.
Hot Artichoke Dip
Combine artichokes, spinach, sour cream and mayonnaise in a large bowl. Add parmesan cheese and garlic. Mix well. Spoon into small casserole dish (8x8). Bake 20-25 minutes at 375F. Serve with crackers, tortilla chips or bread.
The first time I made a ham in the slow cooker I used a boneless quarter, and everyone liked the flavor from apple juice and brown sugar. The recipe I had used was found online, and I must have thrown it in the recycling by mistake before recording it. I tried to replicate it without the list of ingredients or measurements, and it just wasn't the same. I searched again, and I think I found the recipe I used originally (and modified). I'm trying it again with a 6 pound bone-in ham butt that we bought on sale before Easter.
Slow Cooker Ham
Place ham in 5-quart (or larger) slow cooker. Press the brown sugar onto the ham. Stir the cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger into the apple juice. Pour juice over ham (dissolving most of the brown sugar packed on the ham). The juice should fill the stoneware to about 2 inches from the top. Cover and cook on low 8-10 hours or high for 4-8. Cut into thin slices. Place slices back in juices, or drizzle some of the juices on the ham slices when serving.
The original recipe calls for whole cloves and ground cloves. I don't like the smell or taste of cloves, so I omitted both from my recipe.
Easter Sunday. The in-laws met us at Old Country Buffet for an "early" lunch...at 11:30. Later in the afternoon I wasnted a snack of mozzarella sticks, so I went to Super Walmart to get marinara dipping sauce. I found a nice loaf of French bread on the reduced price rack at the back of the store for $0.90. I immediately thought of French Bread pizza, a quick meal for the evening, though Husband was still stuffed from his lunch. Kraft shredded cheese was on sale for $2 and I found the cutest mini pepperoni from Hormel that were simply too cute not to buy. They are about the size of a dime. I though the shelf tag said $2.98, but I could be mistaken. They scanned $3.18 for the 6 oz Snac Pac, which has 6-1 oz snack size packs in the pouch. I'm calling this DIY, because everyone can customize their pizza with the toppings they want without fighting over what should and should not be added.
DIY French Bread Pizza
Cut loaf of bread in half, then split each half into to 2 slices for 4 pizza "crusts". Brush each slice of bread with oil and sprinkle with garlic. Spread 3-4 tablespoons of sauce on each piece of bread. Top each with 1/3 cup cheese. Add favorite toppings. Bake at 375F for 10 minutes.
This pizza cost less than $4 and was ready in 20 minutes with a little prep work (chopping pepper, slicing, oiling the bread, assembly). It tasted just as good as the Stouffer's in the red box, which would have been about $6 for 2 boxes containing 2 pieces each, and my pizza had bigger pieces of bread. Oh, and this cheese blend melted beautifully - looks good, huh?
Saw a similar recipe online, then made this my way.
Pork Chops with Apples and Sweet Potatoes
Cut the sweet potatoes into evenly sized chunks, about 1 to 1.5 inches. Place potatoes in bottom of slow cooker stoneware. Cut apples into thin wedges (use a wedger and cut those segments in half). Layer apples on top of sweet potatoes. Sprinkle lemon juice over apples to prevent browning. Add cranberries on top of apples. Sprinkle with cinnamon and brown sugar. Season pork chops with salt, pepper and garlic. Lightly brown pork chops in a hot skillet with the oil. Set pork chops on top of apples and potatoes. Layer slices of onions on top. Drizzle with apple juice. Set slow cooker on low, cook 6-8 hours. Remove pork chops. Stir apples, cranberries, onions and sweet potatoes before serving.
Thumbs up on the apples and sweet potatoes, though I think a tart apple would have been a better choice than the Macintosh. The pork chops take on an odd flavor from the apples/apple juice. They weren't as tender as I would have thought and were still kind of bland, though sort of apple-y. I ended up dipping in barbecue sauce. The yams were tender to the bite, but still firm enough to pick up with a fork without falling to pieces.
I roasted a whole turkey Sunday, and it wasn't Thanksgiving or Christmas! Of course there were leftovers, so Monday we had turkey barbecue sandwiches. I heated the leftover turkey in the slow cooker for about 4-5 hours on low in a half can of chicken broth. After 4 hours I mixed in ketchup and mustard (I didn't measure, but about 1 1/2 cups ketchup and 3/4 cup mustard to about 2 lbs of shredded turkey) and a little bit of relish (about 2 tablespoons, and left it cook for another hour before serving on Kaiser rolls. I paired the turkey sandwiches with a macaroni salad recipe that I aquired a few years ago from a message board for Disney fans. This is half the original, which will feed a crowd for your summer picnics. Even half the recipe was more than enough to feed a small crowd. It filled my 8 cup Pampered Chef Classic Batter Bowl!
Cook macaroni 8-10 minutes in boiling water. Drain, set aside to cool. In a (very) large bowl mix together the Miracle Whip, mayonnaise, mustard, sugar, vinegar and seasoned salt. Stir egg, onion, celery and relish into mayo mixture. Pour over macaroni (or as I did, stir the macaroni into the mayo mixture). Stir gently. Cover and chill at least 2 hours, or overnight for best flavor.
This tastes similar to the "Amish Macaroni Salad" they sell at Giant. I could probably do without the onions or not as much as I added (maybe I added more than 1/2 a medium since I had a larger onion to work with), and maybe cut back the mustard just a little bit. Very good, and the flavors intensify the longer it chills.
Pork Fried Rice
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large skillet. Cook eggs until set, remove from pan, set aside. Heat 2 tablespoons oil, saute onion until transluscent. Stir in pork, peas and carrots and mushrooms. Remove from heat, set aside. Add 2 tablespoons oil to skillet, stir fry rice. Add onion/pork mixture to rice. Stir in soy sauce, remove from heat. Top with scrambled eggs.
I was out of soy sauce so I used about 1 tablespoon of Tastefully Simple's Bayou Bourbon Glaze, the same glazed I coated chicken breasts with for this meal.
Easy recipe found at allrecipes.com.
Teriyaki Pork Tenderloin
Mix soy sauce, oil, garlic, ginger, brown sugar and pepper in small bowl. Place tenderloin in 1- or 2- gallon resealable plastic bag. Pour in marinade and seal bag. Refrigerate 8 hours or ovenight. Bake, uncovered, in a pan coated with non-stick spray at 425F for 30 minutes, or when meat thermometer registers 160F. Drizzle some of the cooking juices over the served pork.
I was going to make this the same day, but by dinner time we weren't very hungry. I left the pork marinate overnight, turning a few times to distribute the marinade, and put it in the slow cooker the following morning and cooked it on low for 8 hours. Depending on your stoneware, the tenderloins will need to be cut in half in order to fit. While the marinade smelled wonderful when I took the meat out of the plastic bag, the finished product doesn't seem to have all of that flavor. Still, it was good and very tender from slow cooking.
A little something I put together when I couldn't find just the right recipe.
Smokey Bacon Stuffed Mushrooms
Cook bacon, drain and chop into tiny pieces. Mix bacon into cream cheese, along with mozzarella and tomato blend and Parmesan cheese. Fill mushroom caps with one tablespoon of the cream cheese mixture, pressing firmly to fill the cap. Sprinkle with bread crumbs. Bake 20 minutes at 375F.
Got the idea from Cook This, Not That. It is similar to the focaccia sandwich sold at the pizzeria in the shopping center where I work.
Italian Panini (per sandwich)
Heat George Foreman grill, panini press or grill pan. Brush oil on bread slices. Top oiled side of one slice with mozzarella cheese, ham, salami and provolone cheese, then lettuce and tomato. Top with second slice of bread, oiled side down. Press top down slightly, gently brush with oil. Place on "grill", heat 3-4 minutes (on each side if using grill pan or skillet), or until cheese is melted. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese before serving.
I picked up this recipe from AllRecipes.com, submitted by RC2STEP.
In large mixing bowl, combine ground meat, minced mushrooms, bread crumbs, Onion & Chive, Spaghetti Blend, ketchup and eggs. Mix well. Press firmly into loaf pan. Bake at 350F for 1 hour 30 minutes or until done (160F ).
Well, not togther!
Sunday morning and I don't know what to make for dinner. I had a good run for a number of weeks, planning menus in advance and knowing what needed to be prepped the night before, but I've run out of steam - and ideas. The guys decided I could keep it simple tonight and make hot dogs and tater tots, since I'll be at work for five hours this afternoon. (hot dogs are not my idea of a Sunday dinner, but it makes them happy). I'm making baked beans in the slow cooker while I'm gone. This is half of this recipe that I altered (without chili sauce and a little more brown sugar and tomato paste) for a picnic last summer. I didn't have molasses on hand when I made my original recipe...which was still good, but molasses makes them so much better!
Slow Cooker Baked Beans
Pour beans into 2 quart slow cooker. Combine remaining ingredients in a bowl and stir into beans. Cover, cook on low 6-8 or high for 3-4 hours.
I had three very ripe bananas on the tree that either needed to be used or discarded. I decided to use them, but didn't want an ordinary banana bread. I found a Banana Walnut Oat Bread recipe for the slow cooker, but don't have a loaf pan that fits my stoneware, and I can't add walnuts 1) because I don't have any on hand and 2) some I will share it with may have allergies to walnuts. Here is my version, using regular sugar (and including the walnuts, if desired).
Banana Oat Bread
Beat butter and sugar in a large bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, while continuing to mix the butter and sugar. Then add the bananas. In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients, except the walnuts. While mixing, slowly add the dry ingredients to the banana mixture. Mix until just combined. Add walnuts. Pour batter into greased loaf pan (8x4 is best if you want the bread to rise above the edge of the pan). Bake at 350F for 1 hour, or until tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes. Remove bread from pan and move to rack to allow cooling to continue. Serve warmed or cooled.
A co-worker brought some leftovers from a local restaurant for lunch yesterday. Her pasta smelled so good! I was inspired to make my own pasta and chicken dish.
In slow cooker, drizzle olive oil to coat bottom of stoneware. Pour in lemon juice. Add garlic, parsley and Italian seasoning. Mix wine and broth, pour into slow cooker. Add cut up chicken and vegetables. Stir to coat. Set cooker on low and cook for 8-10 hours on low. Prepare pasta according to package directions. Drain. Stir pasta into chicken and vegetables. Serve, topping with grated parmesan cheese.
My oops, I forgot to add the vegetables to the crock-pot before leaving for work this morning, or at the very least had them thawing in the fridge from the night before. I quickly heated the veggies in the microwave for 3 minutes, The garlic flavor was mild, and I think more liquid (wine/broth) could have been added initially to better coat the pasta, but I didn't want the chicken swimming in liquid. This could also be made on the stove top. See my shrimp scampi recipe for similar directions.
Or tacos. You choose the wrapping, whether soft or crunchy.
Carnitas (Shredded Pork) Burritos
Combine spices and seasonings in a small bowl. Rub on pork loin. Place pork loin in slow cooker. Pour in broth, careful not to wash away the rub from the roast. Set cooker on low and cook for 8-10 hours. Pull pork apart with two forks. Warm tortillas per package directions. Top tortillas with pork, cheese, lettuce and salsa. Roll and serve.
Because I used seasoning blends for the onion and garlic, additional salt, onion and garlic may be needed, but don't add until the pork is cooked so you don't over-do it. I also made yellow rice, but the pork and toppings were plenty filling. Husband didn't have a burrito, but mixed the pork, toppings and rice in a bowl.
I feel good about this one. So good, I even submitted it to the Wildtree website....they only had one other beef recipe on their website using their Asian Ginger-Plum Dressing & Marinade, and that was as simple as pouring the whole bottle of marinade over flank steak for hours. I wanted a little more out of my marinade and didn't want to use the entire bottle in one dish so I added a few other ingredients to make something unique.
Asian Beef and Green Beans
Combine Asian Ginger-Plum Dressing/Marinade, hoisin sauce, sugar and broth in a small bowl. Place beef roast in slow cooker. Arrange green beans around the roast. Pour marinade over beef and beans. Set slow cooker on low for 8-10 hours. Cut or pull apart beef on serving platter, drizzle with juices in the slow cooker. Serve with white rice.
You may want to thicken the remaining juices with cornstarch or flour before drizzling over the finished beef and rice. Oddly, I like the green beans best in this meal. I'm usually disappointed with mushy, boring beans, but these absorbed a lot of the marinade, more than the beef it seemed.
A month ago I made chicken quarters (whole legs or thigh and leg) in the slow cooker. This time I omitted the water and garlic for a simpler version that is equally as tasty.
Slow Cooker Whole Chicken Legs
Stir the flour and Rotisserie blend in a shallow dish. Coat chicken legs with flour mixture. Roll three pieces of foil (each about 12 inches square) into a log shape to support chicken and keep from soaking in drippings. Place two chicken legs on top of foil, then top with other two legs. Cover and cook on low 8-10 hours. Use caution pulling legs from slow cooker, they will be extremely tender!
This chicken is very tender and flavorful. Because it's the dark portions I also found it to be too greasy for my liking (and diet).
So, we had meatball sandwiches tonight....frozen meatballs and jarred pasta sauce on steak rolls so no recipe tonight, but a few days ago I whipped up some dip for Husband because the Helluva Good Bacon Horseradish dip he wanted wasn't on the grocery store shelf.
Zippy Horseradish Bacon Dip
Make your own horseradish mustard by combining 3 parts prepared horseradish and 1 part Dijon mustard if you don't have prepared available. Cook bacon until crispy, crumble in to tiny bits. Reserve 1-2 tablespoons of the bacon dripping. Mix all ingredients including bacon drippings in a small bowl. Serve with crackers or pretzels.
Husband says it has "bite". I suggest starting with 2 tablespoons of the horseradish mustard and adding more to your liking, or increasing the amount of mayo and sour cream to cut the heat of the horseradish. I cooked the bacon in the microwave for 3 minutes and it was crispy, but no drippings. Husband thinks that would have been a good addition so I noted it in the directions.
Getting it done the way I want tonight. Sometimes we have our "shepherd's pie" as separate parts of an entree, something our school used to call "hamburger and gravy" with mashed potatoes and peas on the side.
Heat oil over medium heat. Stir in garlic. Cook ground turkey in the oil until no longer pink. Drain, if necessary. Sprinkle with Worcestershire and minced onion. Transfer to casserole. Layer vegetables and cheese on top of meat. Top with mashed potatoes. Sprinkle with paprika. Bake, uncovered, at 375F for 20 minutes. Serve with gravy.
In an attempt to find something new to do with pork, I searched and found a Jamaican recipe for the slow cooker by Elizabeth Kelly for the Knoxville Healthy Food Examiner. I used a lot of my direct-seller seasoning blends in my rub.
Jamaican Pork Tenderloin
Pour broth into slow cooker. In a small bowl combine all spices until blended. Rub spice mixture over tenderloin until covered on all sides. Place tenderloin in slow cooker. Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours.
My pork tenderloin was still pretty much frozen, so I popped in in the microwave to thaw for about 10 minutes (on the auto-defrost setting). I set the cooker on high for 5 hours, then reduced it to low for another 4 so I would be sure it would cook all they way and be tender throughout, which usually isn't a problem with tenderloin portions. I served the tenderloin with yellow rice and peas. I didn't like the cloves in this dish, and possibly the allspice. Cloves have a distinct scent and even though just a small amount is used, it overpowers all the other spices. Everyone else complained it was spicy, but I couldn't get past the cloves to sense any spice from the cinnamon or red pepper flakes.
I used a great recipe after Christmas to make a ham in the slow cooker. I can't find the recipe I modified, so I had to wing it when I put this together.
Slow Cooker Glazed Ham
Place ham in slow cooker. Mix apple juice, brown sugar, clove and mustard. Pour over ham. Set on low and cook 8-10 hours.
This version didn't have enough brown sugar, and I could have done without the clove (the smell is a turn off for me). A better recipe for ham in the slow cooker can be found on May 1, 2011.
I based this stuffed shells on this recipe found at simplyrecipes.com.
Sausage and Spinach Stuffed Shells
Prepare pasta according to package directions, drain and rinse in cold water. Set aside. Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage, breaking up into smaller pieces. Cook until no longer pink. Remove from heat. Lightly beat egg in large bowl. Mix in minced garlic, onion and chive blend, Italian seasoning, ricotta, spinach, Parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, salt, pepper and sausage. Spread 1/2 jar of sauce in bottom of extra-large baking dish or split between two smaller dishes. Fill each pasta shell with about 2 tablespoons of the ricotta, spinach and sausage mixture (a scoop works great for this!). At this point you could also freeze the shells to heat at a later date. Arrange stuffed pasta on top of sauce. Pour remaining sauce over the shells. Cover dish(es) with foil. Bake for 30 minutes at 375F. Remove foil and bake additional 10 minutes. Sprinkle with Parmesan.
My dish is about the size of a lasagne pan (bigger than 13x9). I set aside about 10-12 filled shells with about 1/2 jar of sauce in a container that I froze and gave away a few days later, so I had about 18-20 stuffed shells in my casserole. On the second occasion I made this, I completed about 40 stuffed shells. I also topped the shells with about 3/4 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese.
Since I forgot to pull the pork loin out of the freezer last night, I was left to scramble with tonight's meal. I swapped the honey mustard pork with Friday's corn chowder and had it in the slow cooker quickly before getting ready for work this morning.
Peel and cut potatoes into bite sized pieces, place in slow cooker. Add corn. Cook bacon and crumble or chop into pieces (2 minutes in the microwave). Add bacon and onion to the slow cooker. Stir. Pour in broth and half and half. Season with salt and pepper. Cover, cook on low 8-10 hours.
Pour broth and half and half over corn mixture after stirring or use thawed corn, otherwise the liquid causes the corn to freeze up into a solid pile of kernels. I had to let the cooker warm up for a few minutes in order to stir it up. As a fan of corn pie also, chopped hard boiled eggs and pastry dough would be excellent additions to the pot, but I'm not sure they would hold up during a whole day of cooking.
Okay, third times the charm. I hope. This is the third time I've attempted to write this entry. Somehow I'm clicking on something and losing the page, erasing what I've typed. This is a variation of Shrimp Scampi V at allrecipes.com
Prepare pasta according to package directions, drain. Melt butter over medium heat. Add garlic and shrimp, stir constantly, cook 3-5 minutes. Stir in mushrooms and broccoli. Stir in pepper and wine, bring to boil and cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Mix shrimp with pasta in serving bowl. Serve immediately.
If I make this again I will reduce the butter to 1/4 cup. There was more than enough in the pan. I used frozen broccoli, cooking it in the microwave for a few minutes to soften. The original recipe adds paremesan and parsley. I forgot to put that on top.
From A Year of Slow Cooking blog.
Spread olive oil on bottom of slow cooker. Lay 3 slices of bacon in the stoneware. Add sliced onion and garlic. Put the meat on top of the onion and garlic, sprinkle with dried spices and herbs. Toss the meat to distribute the spices to all sides. Add tomato paste. Lay the other 3 slices of bacon on top of the meat, and place the carrots in the pot. Pour wine over the whole thing. Cover and let cook on low for 8-9 hours, high for 4-5, or until meat has reached desired tenderness. If you are using a roast, you may want to flip the meat about an hour before serving so more liquid is absorbed into the meat. You can also cut the meat into chunks and return to the pot, if you would like more moisture to absorb.
Serve with whipped mashed potatoes, and a ladle full of crock juices.
Found this on the Taste of Home message board.
Chicken Bacon Ranch Pizza
Cook bacon until crisp. Drain most of drippings, cook chicken. Mix mayo and ranch dressing, spread on crust. Top with cut up chicken and crumbled bacon. Layer vegetables and top with cheese. Bake at 400F for 13-15 minutes, until cheese it melted.
My intent was to cook a bottom round roast in the crock pot all day, make mashed potatoes and pop it all in the oven as "Shepherds Pie". Well, I got the roast part right. Husband was home today, so I asked him to make mashed potatoes. He did, about two hours early, and put them in a casserole not realizing what my plan was for dinner. I place the refrigerated potatoes in the oven while it preheated (so not to crack the Corning French White bowl) and when I thought the potatoes were browning on top pulled it out of the oven.....only the potatoes were no longer thick, but now like a puree soup. Bah, while all the elements were represented, it was not the Shepherds Pie I was looking forward to having. Therefore, no recipe tonight and no photo of the soupy potatoes.
This dish is based on Rachael Ray's Teriyaki Pork Chops with Pineapple and Peppers. This version uses chicken breasts instead, since I thought the pork version I made previously reminded me of the jars of Chicken Tonight Sweet and Sour cooking sauce.
Teriyaki Chicken with Pineapple and Peppers
Combine soy sauce, vinegar, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, ginger and garlic together in a small bowl to make teriyaki sauce. Chop bell peppers, add to bottom of slow cooker. Place chicken breasts on top of peppers. Season chicken with salt and pepper (careful with salt if your broth is already seasoned). Pour broth and teriyaki sauce over chicken and peppers. Spoon pineapple around the chicken, along with any juices. Sprinkle two tablespoons of brown sugar over the chicken and pineapple. Set slow cooker on low for 8 hours. Serve with rice.
Oh Yum!! This was really good with chicken. When I got home from work I pulled the chicken out and cut it up, into bite- sized pieces. This is fairly easy because the chicken is so moist and tender it just pulls apart. I put the chicken back in the slow cooker for about 15 minutes, just to warm it up again and coat with the sauce. A definite must-make-again meal....Husband refilled his dish at least one time, maybe twice or even three while I ran an errand.
We had this with leftover mac n cheese. I was scouring the 'net for something new to do with pork and I found this on the Kitchen Monster blog. I made half of it since the roast I had was slightly under 2 pounds.
BBQ Pulled Pork
Add everything except meat and onions to slow cooker. Whisk together. Add meat, toss to coat. Top with onions.Cook on high 2 hours, then reduce to low for 7 hours (or low for about 10 hours). Shred pork with two forks and stir into sauce to thoroughly coat.
Wow, Husband couldn't seem to tell me often enough how much he liked Paula Deen's Creamy Macaroni and Cheese. I had made it on the stovetop and it was really good. I do believe I used a whole 1 lb box of elbow macaroni at the beginning of February, and I thought 2 cups of uncooked just didn't look like enough pasta for all of the cheese sauce. I used an entire 16 oz box of macaroni this time as well, and set it in the slow cooker. It's also important to note that you must let the cheese and butter fully incorporate and melt before adding to the cold milk and eggs. Add a little of the milk, egg, cheese soup and sour cream mixture to the warm melted cheese to temper it so it doesn't turn out lumpy or like scrambled eggs.
Followed Paua's directions for cooking in the slow cooker, and found than anything longer than 2 hours on low is too long. I had Husband continue stirring every 30 minutes, adding milk if he felt it was to dry. By the time I ws home from working and ready to eat, the cheese sauce was not longer creamy. When I make this again I will keep it on the stove top or pop it in the oven.
Repeat of a new favorite, Rachael Ray's Barbecued Chili. My version available via the following link.
Had a fight with dinner last night. I think it ended in a draw. The Sweet and Spicy Beef recipe in Cook This, Not That looked good and fairly simple to prepare. Directions say when the oil is "screaming hot" to add whites of green onions and minced garlic to the pan and cook for 30 seconds. My oil must have been beyond screaming, and my garlic and onions promptly burned and were rendered unusable in my dish. Brother helped stir the dehydrated onions and garlic in fresh oil while I finished chopping up the mushrooms and slicing the steak. He thinks I should have everything prepped ahead of time for the stir-fry.
Sweet and Spicy Beef
In larger shallow dish, stir together soy sauce and cornstarch with a fork. Add the steak, toss to coat, and let sit for 10 minutes. Heat the oil in a wok or large saute pan over high heat. When the wok is screaming hot, add the scallion whites and the garlic and cook for 30 seconds, until fragrant but not browned. Add the mushrooms and green beans and stir-fry for 3 to 4 minutes, using a metal spatula to keep the vegetables in near-constant motion. Add the beef, along with the soy sauce, and continue to stir-fry for 3 minutes, until the beef is fully browned on the outside. Stir in the hoisin and chili sauce and cook until the sauce lightly clings to the surface of the meat and vegetables. Garnish with scallion greens.
I didn't bother to photograph the final dish because it looked so terrible when it was done. Where it went wrong: I didn't slice the steak (NY strip) ahead of time and the mixture of soy sauce and cornstarch (I had flour) was thick, like a paste. I used more than the 1/2 tablespoon of oil and it must have been heating (dial at 6 out of 9) for too long. The onions and garlic burned and left the kitchen a smoky mess for quite a while afterwards. My eyes burned the rest of the night. I didn't have fresh green beans, so I quickly drained a can rather than trying frozen (ill prepared and not enough for this dish). I didn't add the chili sauce because the hoisin had enough kick for our tastes. Despite it's rich, dark color from the Hoisin sauce, most everyone liked the flavor. I'll have to try it again, when I'm better prepared to stir-fry.
Taking advantage of another recipe from the Cook This, Not That book that I got for Christmas. I used their recipe and popped it in the crock-pot, though it doesn't look like it would take long to make on the stove top. It's nice to come home and dinner is ready.
Baked Potato Soup
Heat a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook for about 5 minutes, until crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon and reserve. Discard all but a thin film of bacon fat. Add scallion whites and garlic to the pot and cook for a minute or two, until fragrant and the scallions are translucent. Add the flour and stir to coat the ingredients. Pour in the stock, whisking to prevent any lumps from forming. Remove the peel from one of the potatoes, chop and add to the pot. Use a potato masher to smash the potatointo the broth. Cube the other potato, leaving the peel on and add to the soup, along with the half and half. Season with salt and pepper. Turn the heat all the way down and simmer 5-10 minutes. When ready to serve, ladle into bowls and garnish with bacon, scallion greens and a bit of cheese.
I was out of half and half, so I substituted with 1/4 cup sour cream and 1/4 cup of milk. I also put the fried bacon in the slow cooker, not using it as a garnish. The gang would have preferred a creamier soup, so I mashed another baked potato (cooked in the microwave in just minutes) and whisked a 1/4 cup flour into some of the broth. The flavor was good, but we still would have preferred a creamier soup.
I have been craving Mexican/Tex-Mex a lot in the past few weeks. I can't seem to get enough burrito or taco to satisfy that craving, so we've been having a Mexican style meal at least once a week or every other. The family thinks I've lost my mind, but they have enjoyed it. This is a quick way to have your tacos on a busy weeknight....use tortillas that can be warmed quickly in the microwave rather than hard taco shells that need to go into a preheated oven for 5-7 minutes to save time. Other than chopping a tomato (which most everyone ignored and used salsa instead), the lettuce and cheese were packaged and already prepped.
Slow Cooker Taco Meat
Soak onions in 2 tablespoons of water. In large bowl (or slow cooker stoneware), gently toss ground meat with taco seasoning and flour. When onions are softened, squeeze out excess water and add to meat mixture. Transfer to slow cooker if mixed in bowl. Stir in 1/3 cup of water. Cook on high 2 hours, mixing/chopping occasionally. Reduce to low for 4 hours. Remove lid for final 30 minutes. Serve on warm tortillas on taco shells with favorite toppings.
I set the slow cooker on low and left it cook all day (8-9 hours) and removed the lid while I prepared the taco shells/tortillas and toppings. I think this method makes the meat taste a little milder than when sauteed on the stovetop using the same "mild" seasoning packet.
The recipe looked simple enough, but I'll leave the stuffed chicken to the folks at Barber Foods. I followed the Cook This, Not That recipe for Chicken Cordon Bleu.
Chicken Cordon Bleu
Preheat oven to 450F. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Lay two slices of ham and one slice of cheese across each breast. Roll tightly. Place flour, egg and bread crumbs in separate shallow bowls. Work with one breast at a time, dipping first in flour to lightly coat, then egg and immediately in the bread crumbs. Make sure chicken is evenly coated with bread crumbs. Arrange chicken on baking sheet and bake 15-18 minutes, until chicken is firm to the touch and cooked through, and the bread crumbs are brown and crunchy.
I knew I should have had cutlets to roll up, but chicken breasts were on sale. I didn't pound them thin enough so I cooked them an extra 10 minutes, which pretty much cooked away all of the cheese though the chicken was now cooked through. It was just too much for me to rush preparing after a busy shift (though a short one) at the part-time job, although it really didn't take long to prepare.
I made this Paula Deen corn dish last night as side with "barbecued" pork that I slow cooked in Wicked Good Slow Cooker Sauce from Wildtree.
In a large bowl, stir together two cans of corn, muffin mix, sour cream and butter. Pour into greased 9x13 baking dish. Bake 40-45 minutes at 350F, or until golden brown. Top with shredded cheese and return to oven for 5 minutes until cheese is melted.
I messed up and used a whole 16 oz container of sour cream. It turned out ok, and I had no idea that it was actually a little too "runny". It must be a regional thing to put cheese on corn. I thought it was weird so I only put a little on top. We didn't care for it. I will try this again with the right amount of sour cream and skip the cheddar on top...not many corn dishes this family will turn down.
Not in the same night of course. I didn't get around to posting last night's lasagna dinner, so I'll add it here along with the beer burgers from tonight. The sausage & spinach lasagna is based on the Lasagna Rolls recipe in Cook This, Not That. I didn't want to deal with rolling up the noodles, so I made it the traditional way. The beer burgers are a slight twist on Rachael Ray's Smokey Beer Burgers with Ceamy Mustard Sauce. The difference is that I use a sharp cheddar instead of smoked gouda cheese, and we just top as usual with ketchup, mustard and/or mayonnaise.
Sausage & Spinach Lasagna
Prepare noodles according to package directions. While pasta cooks, brown the sausage in a large skillet over medium heat, until cooked through. Add spinach, pepper flakes and nutmeg. Cook until the spinach is warmed through. Season with salt and pper. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Combine with ricotta cheese in a large bowl.
Spread a thin layer of marinara on the bottom of a 13x9 baking dish. Lay 3 noodles across the pan. Spread a third of the sausage/spinach/ricotta mixture on the noodles. Top with 1/3 of the mozzarella cheese. Repeat layering noodles, spinach mixture and mozzarella, ending with spinach mixture. Top with last three noodles. Pour remainder of sauce over the lasagna. Sprinkle remaining mozzarella cheese over the top and cover with foil. Bake 30 minutes at 400F. Carefully remove foil and continue baking for 10 more minutes.
This was good, but probably a little too much spinach for our liking. I used oven-ready noodles, but didn't have enough sauce to fully cover them - therefore the uncovered portions of the noodles were uncooked and inedible. I also had a problem when I removed the foil - it pulled the cheese off the middle of the lasagna. I had a little leftover and was able to fill in the spot where it was bare. The cheese on top of mine is rather brown and crispy. I made this in the afternoon and reheated it later for dinner.
Place meat in bowl and add cheese. Grate onion over bowl, reserving some chopped onion for topping. Add spices to meat. Add garlic, parsley, Worcestershire sauce and beer. Form into 4 patties. Drizzle olive oil on each then grill 4-7 minutes on each side, until desired done-ness is achieved.
We usually make slider sized burgers and serve them on dinner rolls, shown above. I use about 1/3 cup meat for each patty, about the size of a large meatball. Be sure to press down the middle of the patty so it doesn't plump up while cooking. This time I used the George Forman grill and it was a better alternative to using the grill pan and trying to flip the burgers to cook the second side.
The slow cooker is indispensible for days when I work, especially those weekend afternoons when I'm gone in the middle of the day and know I will likely be exhausted when I get home.
Slow Cooker Chicken Quarters
Lay a piece of foil across a baking sheet. Place chicken quarters on foil, sprinkle each with a teaspoon of Rotisserie blend then sprinkle the poultry seasoning. Position chicken in slow cooker. Drop in the garlic cloves and carefully pour the water in the bottom of the slow cooker. Cook on high for 7 hours.
I placed a disposable tart tin in the bottom of the slow cooker to keep the chicken more upright rather than piled on top of each other. Chicken is very tender, remove carefully from slow cooker.
Prepared mashed potatoes. While potatoes boil, heat oil and margarine in large skillet over medium high heat. Saute onions and celery until translucent and onions begin to caramelize, stirring often to prevent sticking. Toss in bread cubes and continue stirring until bread is lightly toasted and golden brown. Stir bread, onion and celery mixture into the mashed potatoes. Refrigerate overnight (for flavors to come together). Transfer to slow cooker, no need to "mash" the potatoes into the slow cooker, but you want to spread it across the stoneware. Sprinkle top with paprika. Partially cover (cock the lid or prop with wooden spoon to allow steam to escape) and cook on low 7 hours. Serve with gravy, if desired.
I make mashed potatoes with about 1/4 cup milk and a couple of tablespoons of margarine. You want to potatoes to be a little on the "loose" side, otherwise the mixture will be dry from the addition of the bread. Potato filling is a traditional holiday dish here in central Pennsylvania. For holidays, the potato filling is transferred to a casserole dish and baked in the oven for about an hour, until the top is golden and kind of crusty.
I've never made French onion soup, let alone eat it. I have been craving it, and I don't know why. I made this Betty Crocker recipe in the slow cooker, cutting it in half for the two of us who will consume it.
Slow Cooker French Onion Soup
Caramelize onions and melted butter in 2 quart slow cooker, on high for 30 minutes or until onions brown along the edges. Mix flour, sugar and pepper. Stir flour mixture, Worcestershire sauce and broth into onions. Cover and cook on low 7-9 hours, or until onions are very tender. Lightly butter bread and top with mozzarella cheese. Toast in 350F oven for 8 minutes, until cheese is thoroughly melted. Spoon soup into mug or bowl, carefully drop in cheese toast.
The soup was good. I read some reviews about this recipe that the onions didn't caramelize like they should in the slow cooker, some cooks did that step on the stovetop. Husband pointed out that the onions weren't quite soft enough (it cooked about 10 hours), which probably backs up with those reviews. He also said I sliced the onions too thin, that they should be thick slices. Rookie mistake, I guess.
Roast Beef Crescent Pinwheels
Spray foil lined baking sheet with cooking spray. Unroll crescent dough in rectangle, press seams closed. Spread thin layer of horseradish-mustard on dough. Top with slices of roast beef and then cheese along lenth of dough. Roll dough and toppings from short end into a log. Cut into eight slices and lay flat on baking sheet. Bake at 350F for 15 minutes.
The crisp of a toasty crescent roll, a little saltiness in the roast beef, the nuttiness of cheese and a little bite from the mustard make a great sandwich combination. This would be a great sports party snack and would be equally tasty with cheddar cheese instead of Swiss, or make with ham and cheese.
Last night we kept it simple, grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup. I opted for a tuna melt since I had tomato soup for lunch. Tonight I made NY strip steaks and Rachael Ray's Double-Crazy Crisp Oven Fries. I seasoned the steaks with Seasoned Salt and Everyday Grillin Seasoning from Tastefully Simple. Our side was these oven fries.
Double Crisp Oven Fries
Preheat oven to 400F. Arrange wire rack over baking sheet. Cut each potato into thin fries lengthwise, about 1/4 inch wide. In large bowl, coat fries with olive oil. Arrange fries in single layer on baking sheet without crowding. Roast in oven for 30 minutes. Combine seasonings in ramekin. Remove fries and increase oven to 425F. Toss fries in bowl with seasonings. Return to oven and bake 15-20 minutes, until crisp and golden brown.
I like these fries much better than the Cheese Fries I made 2/1/11. The seasoning blend was richer, and I probably could have used a little less chili powder, but they were good the way I proportioned the seasonings.
This looks pretty tasty in the Cook This, Not That book. Thought I'd give it a try since there were few ingredients, and a simple recipe to follow.
Place the chicken breasts on a cutting board, cover with plastic wrap and use a meat mallet or heavy-bottomed pant to pound the chicken into 1/2 inch thick cutlets. Season with thyme or rosemary and a healthy sprinkle of salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large cast-iron skillet or oven-safe pan over medium high heat. When hot, add chicken and coook for 3 to 4 minutes, until a nice crust has developed on the surface of the chicken, then flip and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes. Remove and reserve the chicken.
Preheat the broiler. In the same pan, add onions, olives, garlic and red pepper flakes. Saute until the onions have begun to lightly caramelize, about 5 minutes, then add the tomatoes. Cook another 3 minutes, then slide the chicken back into the pan. Divide the mozzarella between the chicken breasts, then place the whole pan into the oven. Broil for 3 to 4 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbling. Serve the chicken with a generous scoop of the spicy red sauce.
I used two chicken breasts, about a pound, and cut them in half and served over spaghetti. The chicken turned out tender and juicy. I diced the onions rather than sliced, omitted the olives and cut back on the red pepper flake (and it still had a little heat in spots). The sauce was bleh. If I was to make again I would use a jar of our favorite jarred pasta sauce. Use caution when adding the tomatoes to the hot pan. Mine began spritzing everywhere and I had to move the pan while I reduced the heat.
Super Bowl XLV is on TV tonight. We're not having a party, and are attending one either, but I decided we should have some "super bowl" food on the menu tonight. We had sloppy joes, which here in Pennsylvania Dutch Country we call "barbecue", and macaroni salad. I would have made my own macaroni salad if had the time, but I didn't so I bought some premade at the grocery store.
Barbecue (Sloppy Joes)
lLightly brown ground beef in large skillet or dutch oven. Add onions and cook meat until no longer pink. Stir in ketcheup, mustard and brown sugar.
I don't know if these are the exact measurements for the ketchup, mustard and brown sugar. We have always eye-balled and tasted the sauce to know it was just right.
You can't make teriyaki pork without teriyaki sauce. I scoured the pantry for the ingredients I needed, and found I didn't have teriyaki sauce. what's a girl to do? Consult your local search engine. A quick "google" and I found an easy recipe to use in place of prepared teriyaki sauce. This dish is based on Rachael Ray's Teriyaki Pork Chops with Pineapple and Peppers. My version uses the pork tenderloin I had in the freezer and crushed pineapple I had in the pantry and is made in the slow cooker rather than on the stove top.
Teriyaki Pork with Pineapple and Peppers
Combine soy sauce, vinegar, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, ginger and garlic together in a small bowl to make teriyaki sauce. Chop bell peppers, add to bottom of slow cooker. Place pork loin on top of peppers (cut in half if needed). Season pork with salt and pepper. Pour broth and teriyaki sauce over pork. Spoon pineapple around the pork, along with any juices. Sprinkle two tablespoons of brown sugar over the pork and pineapple. Set slow cooker on low for 8 hours. Serve with rice.
no photo of this one. The guys got started on this before I got home from work. The pork was infused with pineapple and pepper flavor. This recipe tasted a lot like the Chicken Tonight Sweet n Sour sauce I used to buy. This dish could easily be made with chicken.
Mac n cheese comes in a box. Well, in this house is does. I've only made homemade macaroni and cheese one time, otherwise the blue or yellow deluxe mac n cheese has been a staple in this house.
I wanted a mac n cheese I could put in the slow cooker. I found Paula Deen's recipe and added it to my menu, and rescheduled it for a week later when something else came up. But I didn't make it in the slow cooker. Paula's recipe is slow cooked for three hours, and most days that will not fit my schedule. I made it on the stove top and it turned out perfectly.
Paula Deen's Creamy Macaroni and Cheese
Boil macaroni in a 2 quart saucepan in plenty of water until tender, about 7 minutes. Drain. In a medium saucepan, mix butter and cheese. Stir until the cheese melts. In a slow cooker, combine cheese/butter mixture and add the eggs, sour cream, soup, salt, milk, mustard and pepper and stir well. Then add drained macaroni and stir again. Set the slow cooker on low setting and cook for 3 hours, stirring occasionally.
I didn't have eggs or milk in the house when I started boiling the macaroni (was planning to shop tomorrow). The grocery store is just a mile away, so while I got started Husband ran out and got them. Meanwhile I started working on the sauce, with all the other ingredients using the same 3 quart saucepan for the sauce that I used to boil the macaroni (and left sitting in the collander until it was needed again). I kept the stove top burner on low, stirring often to keep the mixture from sticking. It turned out just fine. I didn't have the 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese, but had Mexican blend in the fridge and added that in to make the 2 1/2 cups. There was a little tang, and I'm not sure if it was the Mexican cheese or the sour cream or the mustard.
I was planning to make Chicken Pizzaioli, from Cook This, Not That, but I over-exerted myself shoveling about an inch of slushy ice off the front walk this morning. I just didn't have the energy to stand up in front of the stove to cook. The guys agreed on spaghetti, and husband did the cooking...plain spaghetti and jarred sauce. I did make the garlic bread. :) I was going to make Joe Corbi's Cheez-Bread, until I realized that I didn't order that product and need to find the other customer who has my cheese-filled Pretzel Logs.
Mix margarine and garlic blend in small bowl. Spread garlic butter on each piece of split rolls (I cut each half in half again for 8 pieces). Sprinkle each with cheese and a pinch of spghetti seasoning.
Place on top rack of oven and broil until cheese is melted and lightly browned.
A little taste of the Cook This, Not That book.
Beef & Beer
Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat. Season roast with salt and pepper. Add beef to pan and sear on all sides until nicely browned, about 10 minutes. Transfer beef to slow cooker. Add vinegar, onions and beer to the pan, scraping up any bits of beef clinging to the bottom.
Pour onions and beer over beef. Add stock, Worcestershire and bay leaves. If liquid doesn't cover all of most of beef, add more beer. Cook on low 6 hours or 4 hours on high. If adding mushrooms, do so during the last hour of cooking. Discard bay leaves. Serve with vegetables and a ladle of juices.
Preheat oven to 425F. Toss potatoes with oil, chili powder, paprika, salt and pepper. Spread out on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, until deep brown and crispy. Top with cheese, bacon and scallions and return to oven. Bake until cheese is fully melted and beginning to brown.
The beef was okay, not really that special. I had a 2 lb roast on hand, so I cut the onions back to two from five and kept the liquids the same as above. I also substituted the stock with broth and about a cup of water to cover the roast. I didn't have any bay leaves, so those were omitted.
The fries were okay. I found these "mini" russets at the grocery store, on sale for $1 for a 3 lb bag. They are the perfect size for cutting fries! I used 5, cut them last night and soaked them in water overnight in the fridge. Rinse and drain well, pat dry with paper towel before seasoning. I substituted the 1/4 teaspoon of smoked paprika with a 1/2 teaspoon of regular paprika. The cheese melted beautifully, but the fries were then in clumps as we tried to serve and eat them. Maybe the potatoes weren't crispy enough to grab the cheese well. The fries were not crisp, but tender.
Tonight's pizza is Joe Corbi's. We love their pizza kits. I made two of the pepperoni pizzas and added a little chopped green bell pepper and mushrooms to about half of one of the pizzas. That hit the spot.
Tomorrow night: Beef n Beer and Cheese Fries from Cook This, Not That.
A great meal from bettycrocker.com.
Pork Burrito Bowls
Place pork in 3 to 4 quart slow cooker, remove netting or string if necessary. Pour beans around pork. Sprinkle dry taco seasoning over pork. Pour chilies over beans. Cover, cook on low 8-10 hours. 45 minutes before serving, prepare rice as directed on package using water and butter. Remove pork from cooker and shred with two forks. Return pork to cooker and gently stir with beans. To serve: spoon about 1 cup rice into each serving bowl. Top with 1/2 cup pork mixture, 1/4 cup cheese, 1/4 cup lettuce and 1 tablespoon salsa. Serves 9.
I used a 2.4 lb pork loin instead of a shoulder roast and purchased 1 box of Goya yellow rice (unseasoned) instead of the Spanish rice mixes in the original recipe, following package instructions. Very good meal, mild in flavor in spite of the chilies, taco seasoning and salsa.
One of my favorite TV programs is Food Network's Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. During one of those episodes Guy Fieri visited The Dining Car in Philadelphia, PA. The chicken croquettes made by Chef Larry looked so-o good! I jumped on the Food Network website and copied the recipe. I cheated and used canned, fat-free chicken gravy rather using the recipe that follows.
Chef Larry's Chicken Croquettes
Heat milk and stock, add pepper, parsley and salt. In separate pot melt butter and add celery. Stir in flour and cook 3 minutes. Pour in hot milk and stock. Stir until thick and smooth. Fold in chicken. Cool.
Shape 3 oz portions of croquette batter in cone shape and place on wax paper lined tray. Make egg wash from eggs, milk and salt. Dip croquettes in the egg wash then flour, let stand a few minutes. Dip croquettes in egg wash again and then roll in bread crumbs. Pour oil in large skillet, enough to go halfway up the sides of the croquettes. Heat over medium heat, shallow fry croquettes until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes on each side. Drain on paper towels.
Melt butter, add stock. Stir in flour, parsley, pepper and salt. Stir constantly, until thickened. Serve over croquettes and mashed potatoes.
I used a 3 tablespoon sized scoop from Pampered Chef to portion the croquettes, and made 23 of them. I placed 6 at a time in the hot oil so not to drop the temperature too much. When they were turned and lightly browned, I added 6 more to the pan.
Oh my, these were yummy!, though two were enough for my plate, daughter and my brother each had three. I know they were good, because husband started with three and returned for four more and daughter went back for another one!
Thursday is my "night off". The guys are bowling and usually it's just my daughter and me and I get take out. Hence, no Thursday post.
I got the Cook This, Not That book for Christmas. I really want to try the recipe for Chili-Glazed Salmon on page 282, but I don't have the specialty ingredients needed. Instead, I used the Wicked Good Slow Cooker Sauce from Wildtree. I was so anxious to bite into my salmon that I almost forgot to take a picture to include here. Hope you don't mind seeing my almost devoured fish on my plate in the photo that follows the recipe.
"Wicked Good" Salmon
Preheat oven to 425F. Spray baking dish with cooking spray. Lay salmon in bottom of dish. Mix slow cooker sauce and brown sugar in a small bowl, brush on salmon. Bake 10-20 minutes depending on thickness of fish. Salmon should flake easily under slight pressure when done.
I served with Bush's Grillin' Beans Bourbon and Brown Sugar baked beans. Steamed green beans are probably the healthier side, but husband doesn't like frozen green beans and I don't like canned French-style green beans, so I opted for the baked beans, which are similar in flavor to the salmon with the slow cooker sauce.
Warm soup for a cold and snowy day. Best of all, it slow cooks all day, just a little prep work beforehand and let it go in the slow cooker on low. I based this off of Taste of Home's version of this soup.
Southwestern Chicken Soup
Saute chicken in oil until lightly browned. Transfer to slow cooker. Stir in remaining ingredients. Cover, and cook on low for 7-8 hours. Stir before serving. Sprinkle with shredded cheddar cheese and serve with tortilla chips (in the bottom of the bowl).
I used breast tenders and left them whole, thinking they might fall apart during cooking. While they did get pull-apart tender, they didn't fall apart, a fork or spoon is required. I made it previously using the packaged pre-cooked strips available in the meat department at the supermarket. (no prep-work!).
I added mini penne pasta for a little more body. My pasta cooked all day and turned to mush (not a good thing). It soaked up a lot of broth, which made this pot of "soup" good for dipping with tortilla chips. If you choose to add pasta, don't add it until the last hour of cooking.
A week of home-cooked meals, with the exception of Thursday when the guys have bowling league. This is the fifth day using a menu that's been planned in advance.
Someone had mentioned making cabbage rolls during lunch the other day, without the labor of boiling the cabbage leaves and rolling them up. I was intrigued so I set out to find a recipe online and found Cabbage Roll Casserole at allrecipes.com. The original says it serves 12, so I cut most of the ingredients in half to serve the four of us. My recipe follows. The original can be found at allrecipes.com, by BUCHKO.
Cabbage Roll Casserole
Preheat oven to 350F. Brown ground beef over medium high heat until redness is gone, drain. Prepare rice with water, according to package directions. Combine tomato sauce, onion, cabbage and rice in a large bowl. Add meat and mix together. Pour into 9x13 baking dish. Pour broth over mixture and bake for 45 minutes.
I was confused by the addition of the broth, after pouring all of the other ingredients into the baking dish. I think the original recipe adds UNcooked rice with the sauce and cabbage. It also requires one hour and thirty minutes to completely bake, in order to cook the rice. ;)
I don't have a 9x13 baking dish that isn't a metal cake pan, so I used a round "quiche" dish, which was a little too small for the whole batch. I also had half-full 1.5 quart dish. The recipe sounded good, looked good, but just wasn't something we ooh'd and aah'd over. The husband thinks it needed more tomato sauce. I think I probably could have used less cabbage. Plenty leftover for husband to take for lunch.
Monday has sort of become our pizza night, usually from the freezer. This time I decided we should make our own. I set out the toppings and let everyone create their own specialty.
French Bread Pizza
Bake bread according to package directions, 350F for 25 minutes. Cool 5 minutes. Cut into thirds, then slice each piece in half horizontally. Top with sauce, cheese, meat and veggies. Bake at 425F for 6-8 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
I brushed the bread with Tastefully Simple's Basil and Balsamic dipping oil, and sprinkled it with a pinch of garlic salt, parmesan cheese and Wildtree's Spaghetti Sauce Seasoning before baking. To cut fat, I used turkey pepperoni, turkey sausage (2-3 breakfast links, thawed), and reduced fat cheese.
A favorite dish of ours is Bourbon Chicken from the Chinese food kiosk at the mall. Tonight I attempted to make my own with recipes I found online for Bourbon Chicken at food.com and Pork Fried Rice at about.com.
Heat oil in skillet. Add chicken and cook until lightly browned. remove chicken from pan. Add remaining ingredients, heat over medium heat until well mixed and dissolved. Add chicken and bring to hard boil. Reduce heat, simmer for 20 minutes. Serve over hot rice.
Pork Fried Rice
Lightly beat eggs with salt and pepper. Preheat wok or heavy frying pan over medium heat. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of oil, swirling around the pan to entire surface is covered. Add eggs, rotating the pan so beaten eggs cover the pan. Cook until firm, remove and cut into strips.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in the pan on medium-high. When the oil is hot, add shredded cabbage and diced pork. Stir-fry briefly, season with salt if desired. Remove from pan.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in the pan over medium heat. When oil is hot, add rice. Fry the rice, stirring continually to separate grains. Add pork and cabbage back to the pan with the rice. Stir in the soy sauce and oyster sauce. Stir in green onion. Remove pork fried rice from pan and lay strips of egg on top and serve.
I didn't have oyster sauce for the fried rice, so it was omitted. I used some pork pulled from the roast I made the night before and prepared the rice earlier in the day (the recipe recommends using previously cooked rice, 2-3 days old). I also added one diced carrot and about a cup of diced mushrooms, stir-frying the carrots and mushrooms after cooking the egg, then adding the cabbage and pork. I also chose to scramble my eggs and stir them into the rice, rather than using as garnish as suggested above.
If I make this again, I will not add the crushed red pepper to the bourbon chicken. It was a little too spicy, in comparison to our China Max's version. Overall not bad, but there is more than enough fried rice, and I'll be having it for lunch tomorrow.
I vow to never again make my own coleslaw, unless I happen to have a larger food processor in my kitchen. I didn't have a mishap with cabbage flingng out through the chute, but when I had to empty the bowl shredded cabbage would go flying from the machine parts that need to be removed in order to empty it, scattering across my work surface. Despite the mess, the coleslaw turned out well. I was worried I wouldn't have enough pork to feed all of four of us. The roast I had on hand was just over 1.5 lbs, I thought I had at least 2 lbs. Obviously, I wasn't expecting any leftovers. The roast I had made about 6 sandwiches, using half the following recipe. The full recipe, below, will easily serve a group.
Pulled Pork Sandwiches
Place roast in slow cooker, cut in pieces to fit if necessary. Add beef broth. Combine vinegar, Worcestershire sauce and brown sugar. Pour over roast. Cover and cook on low 10-12 hours. (smaller roasts 8-10 hours on low). Remove roast from slow cooker and shred with a fork. Drain broth into saucepan and return pork to slow cooker. Thicken broth on medium heat by adding 1 teaspoon of flour per cup of liquid. Pour over pork and stir. Keep pork warm until serving. Serve on kaiser rolls with or without barbecue sauce.
I only eat one kind of coleslaw, and it comes in a styrofoam container from a fast food chain. I found a "copycat" recipe online at food.com by Sharlene-W. I cut the recipe in half and it was still more than enough for the four of us (only two had some and there is still a lot leftover). The following is half the original recipe.
Finely dice cabbage and carrots in food processor. (I also put the onion in the food processor) Pour into large bowl and stir in onions. Combine remaining ingredients in food processor with regular blade, or using a hand mixer, until smooth. Pour over vegetable mixture and mix thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate several hours or overnight before serving.
My brother thought the pork needed a little salt. I used a low-sodium broth and didn't add any other salt. If you choose a low-sodium broth, taste test first and add salt as desired. I felt the coleslaw could use a little more vinegar, but when my husband sampled it I had to pry it from his hands (in other words, he was pleased). After sitting in the fridge for 4 hours, the flavors came together nicely, but I still think it needs a little more acid to be like the original.
Ok, I don't know why is called barbecued chili, but I taste tested it this morning to make sure the seasonings were balanced and it wasn't like barbecue at all. It had a nice flavor, a little spicy but definitely not too much. Normally, when I make chili, it consists of ground beef, kidney beans and jarred tomato sauce. This is the first time I followed an actual recipe to make chili. This is Rachael Ray's recipe, one that I included in a scrapbook of Rachael Ray recipes that I gave for a Christmas gift. I based my recipe of RR's and made it in the slow cooker rather than on the stove top.
Rachael Ray's Barbecued Chili
Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add bacon and cook for 3 minutes to render fat, remove to paper towel-lined plate and reserve. Add turkey to pan drippings and brown. Season with Worcestershire sauce, add onions and garlic, season with pepper. Cook a couple of minutes more to soften the veggies. Add the chili powder and paprika, then the reserved bacon. Stir in beer. Reduce for a minute then transfer to slow cooker. Combine vinegar, brown sugar and soup. Add broth, soup mixture, tomatoes and beans to slow cooker. Stir into chili. Set on low and cook 8 hours. Serve with cornbread or tortilla chips. Top with shredded cheddar cheese and/or sour cream, if desired. Prep time: 20 minutes. Cook time: 8 hours in slow cooker, 30-60 minutes on the stove top Serves: 4
This spices intensified during cooking, not hot but a good bite. I recommend topping with sour cream to cut the heat. Turkey bacon is very lean, so the oil helps it not to stick to the pan. I don't think I would use oil with regular bacon that is more fatty and would produce enough drippings on its own. I also forgot that I had onions in the pantry, so I omitted them. I didn't miss the onion, and probably would have picked around them in the bowl.
So, the first dish I'm posting is a grilled chicken salad I created for dinner tonight. I had the idea of a grilled chicken breast in creamy italian dressing on a bed of lettuce greens. I searched online for further recipes to help me improve upon my idea for a filling meal. Here is the final dish.
Grilled Chicken Salad with Pasta Italian
Boil pasta according to package instructions, drain. Cook bacon in large skillet on medium heat, drain on paper towels. Saute mushrooms and green pepper in same skillet as bacon, adding olive or grapeseed oil as needed. (My bacon was very lean and left no drippings). Transfer to large bowl. Mix pasta, mushrooms, green peppers and tomatoes with dressing. Keep warm, if desired. Add 1-2 tablespoons of oil to the pan and saute cutlets for about 2-4 minutes on each side, until no longer pink. Slice into thin strips.
Divide the salad mix among 4 large dinner plates. Top with greens with pasta mixture. Layer 2 slices of bacon, broken in half or crumbled and top with chicken. Sprinkle cheese on each. Serves 4.
I chopped the mushrooms and pepper pretty small because some of us aren't big fans of them. They were hardly noticable. My brother cleaned his plate in no time. His only "complaint" was there wasn't enough chicken. He could have eaten a whole breast.
This was quite filling. My daughter and I could not finish the whole plate. I packed half of my away for lunch or dinner another day. Would I make it again? Maybe. It would probably be great a great meal in the summertime. You could even substitute the Italian dressing with Ranch, and you could buy the short-cut chicken and bacon that is already cooked. You could also leave the vegetables raw, add in sliced red onion and sliced black olives.
I have been collecting recipes of late, some for my own use, and others for two scrapbook recipe albums I gave as Christmas gifts. I was intending to convert my favorite recipes to Rolodex size cards. I've been adding recipes to the MS Word document constantly, having yet to print any of them of use a die cutter to make them into Rolodex cards When I need a recipe I just open the document and work from the computer screen.
So in an effort to try new things, and enjoy old favorites, I have this brainy idea to share some of our favorite recipes with the world on the internet. I have been keeping track of our menu this month, and to remind myself what is worthy of repeating I will write those thoughts here, because there simply won't be enough room on a Rolodex card for all of that information. I hope you find something new to cook for dinner in your house.
The ice storm has passed and this morning the road conditions were not as bad as expected. I went to work (late) so I didn't get to scrap. Oh well. Someday I will break into it again.
I'm prepared. I stopped at AC Moore on the way home to pick up adhesive. I got a 3-pk so I won't run out during tomorrow's ice storm. I'm ready to scrap some pages. Post images when they are complete.
Wow, since October I have not posted a scrapbook page. I didn't think it had been so long and now that the holidays are over I need to get back at it. I still have a lot of Disney pictures to scrap from 2007, and all of the ones from Universal Studios too. Plus I've added other pictures over the years, I have no room left in my photo box for more prints, so I have to make room for photos I will print this year. I need motivation.
My husband gave me a sizeable gift card for Michaels as a Christmas gift. Perhaps some new supplies will get the scrapbook mojo flowing. I definitely need to stock up on adhesive, and maybe some papers, definitely cardstock and maybe some punches. I need to make a date for myself to shop.
I think I have finally completed some pages. I thought this was still missing something, but I don't know what that is. I thought about adding twine, but haven't gone out to buy any, so I'm calling this a finished layout.
I took time to drive an hour out to Flower and Craft Warehouse this morning before work. I had a 20% off entire purchase coupon that had to be used. ;) I thought I would stock up on paper, because last time I was there I found lots of great stuff. This time, not so much.
They moved and redesigned the scrapbook department. There are at least 5 aisle of products. I like that their paper and stickers are organized by theme, but sometimes it makes it more difficult to find what your looking for than if sorted by brand or color.
I had a note of the layouts I was working on, hoping to find papers or embellishments to go with them. I didn't find much at all. I got some two-sided patterned paper and coordinating cardstock for a Typhoon Lagoon layout and Coredinations glitter paper for the Storybook Breakfast layout. Other than that, my trip was pretty much a bust. I didn't see any of the Basic Grey papers that had before, but there was an aisle dedicated to American Crafts. I won't be rushing to head back, unless I know they get new merchandise.
I attended my first crop last Friday. It was with an old high school classmate who is a consultant for a direct-seller of scrapbook products. Other than her, I didn't know anyone. The only thing I felt I had in common with them was scrapbooking. It was a rather productive evening. I put half of the pictures in my daughters school album and laid down the pictures for a Wilderness Lodge/Whispering Canyon two page spread. I still need to add finishing touches to the WL pages and need the middle school-high school stickers to continue the school album.
I haven't made a scrap related purchase in months. I went in to AC Moore a few weeks ago to look at paper. It wasn't on sale and I was really looking for inspiration for a recipe project.
I'm going to my first crop tomorrow night. I needed to buy adhesive, just so I wouldn't run out. I pulled up the AC Moore ad, nothing worth running there to buy. Looked up the Michaels ad, and much to my delight, Slice products are 40% off this week. I made my shopping list and headed there right after work.
I purchased my much desired Bon Appetit Design Card. I can't wait to use it! I bought a pack of black/white cardstock and an adhesive runner. I also found some $1 stamps - on sale for 1/2 price! I spent $40, but I haven't treated myself to new supplies in quite a while.
Anxious to begin working on my album tomorrow night. I have all of my daughters pictures from birth through high school (i.e. school pictures) that are all lined up in an album with DCWV Grade School and High School papers, along with some Pocketful of Posies. Time to get them adhered and embellished.
Next is my recipe project. I spent my vacation, a few weeks ago, typing all of my favorite recipes in a document to print out. I want to make a Rolodex version. I have the Sizzix/Ellison die to cut the cards, but it would be a pain to line up the die with the text....Well, the Bon Appetit card has similar cards! I have a Rolodex card punch (somewhere). There is an example on the booklet that comes with the card - it is such a darling recipe page! I may change my mind on the format.
Off to pack my bag!
since I last scrapbooked. I thought I would find time to make some pages while I was on vacation the week before Labor Day, but never made any. I started typing up my recipes to later print on Rolodex style cards. I haven't decided yet exactly how I will make them. I'll post when they are finished.
While meeting the challenge theme for 2Peas, I used too many pictures on my paper layout to add my pages to Weekly Challenge #41 at MouseScrappers. Not thrilled with the paper layout, I hurried to do this one digitally later in the evening. I'm not completely satisfied, but I'm still learning.
Disney Challenge #10 at 2Peas
Quote: "Here we experience the story of our country's past... the colorful drama of frontier America in the exciting days of the covered wagon and the stage coach, the advent of the railroad and the romantic riverboat. Frontierland is a tribute to the faith, courage and ingenuity of the pioneers who blazed the trails across America." - Walt Disney
Participating in another MouseScrappers.com challenge. Weekly Challenge #40 involved following a "recipe" of elements to use in layouts. The challenge: use 4 or more papers, 1 alpha and a new font, a hidden Mickey, odd number of photos, 3 or more staples/fasteners and 3 or more strings/ribbons.
Another Animal Kingdom Layout. This is Pangani Forest Exploration Trail in Africa. I was having a little trouble with paper selection. The last Bazzill I have in brown just wasn't right and the patterned paper I had didn't seem to be "the one" for these pictures. Interesting fact: The patterned paper I used is the same paper I used on a Pangani layout that I created last year.
I don't foresee doing this past the free trial period, create digital pages with Photo Shop elements. The program requires so much memory - can't do anything else while it's open and even upon closing everything else lags.
Here is an old pic in a new way.
I saw a challenge at MouseScrappers.com. Sahlink posted a free digital scrapbook kit to be used for Weekly Challenge #39. I loved some of the elements she put in the kit and downloaded easily. But alas, I don't have digital scrapbooking software on my computer.
I searched online for a freebie, found one and installed it while we went out to pick up dinner. I opened the software and it wouldn't allow me to use the files I had stored. Off to Google/Bing some more and try Photo Shop Elements.
Finally, after hours of downloads and remembering how to add layers, I had a completed project.
Yay! Two layouts completed in only a few days for Disney Challenge #9 at TwoPeasinaBucket.com.
Journaling text (handwritten): The Tree of Life, located in the Oasis, is the icon of Disney's Animal Kingdom. Carved by 20 artists, it showcases over 320 animals around its 50 ft. wide trunk, roots & branches. How many creatures can you find in these photos? An owl, a lobster, a lion, horse & beaver.
I'm jumping in the 2010 Disney Challenge a little late this year. They are already up to Challenge #9 and I am starting to work on pages for our 2007 vacation at Walt Disney World
I'm ready...I think. I've decided to begin scrapping our 2007 Disney vacation with Kilimanjaro Safaris. It is on the list of Disney Challenge #9 at Two Peas. I didn't take as many pics on the safari this trip because I had pretty many from the year before.
I hope I'm making the right choice with my patterned paper selection. I've decided to use Cosmo Cricket Mr. Campy: Nature Walk Want S'more. Photos coming soon.
Now that my Sea World album is finished, I'm ready to move on to my next project. I'm pretty sure it will be of our 2007 Disney trip. I'm toying with the idea of using only black cardstock as matting in this album, and I'm debating on using a collection of papers (even though I still have some Disney themed papers on hand.)
Another project I would like to start is a recipe album, whether 6x6, 6x8, 8x8 or large Rolodex size. I haven't come up with any concrete ideas on what I would do.
I also want to put all of my daughters photos in album. I put some together for her 16th birthday and wanted to make another for her high school graduation, but it never came to be. I have all of the pictures loose in an album with some papers from the Die Cuts With a View Grade School and High School stacks. I just haven't gotten around to arranging and adhering. I'd like to be more creative with the layouts, but again I have no creative thoughts on what to do.
Well, it's Memorial Day weekend. Have a safe and memorable unofficial beginning to Summer and remember those who have and still do serve our Great Land so we may enjoy our freedoms. God Bless America.
I have finally closed the album for Sea World. It seems I've been working on it since I don't know when. I bought more paper a couple of weekends ago and DH got me the Fonts Slice Design Card for my birthday, both have helped me wrap up these last few pages when I felt road-blocked.
Wow, it's been too long since I've stepped away from scrapping my Sea World album! Three long months have passed since I posted my completed pages. All it took to get motivated again - buying a few pieces of patterned paper and cardstock - nothing like retail therapy to spark the creative juices. Three or four layouts to go and I'll be finished with the album. I'll post the remaining pages when I'm done. Thanks for stopping by - see you again soon.
On Sun. & Mon. of Presidents' Day weekend the Slice products were 40% off. I went to Michaels and finally got another Design Card, Noteworthy. This is what I had been waiting for to finish up the Sea World pages I had created. I have half the album finished now.
We had 13 inches of snow when we woke up this morning. I could have gone to work at 2:30 but was given the option not to, so I chose not to. I stayed home, kept warm and added two more pages to my SeaWorld album. I'm still having a hard time choosing the paper to use on my layouts with these pictures. I want to be all blue, maybe some accents of yellow and red, but with the selection I have on hand it is getting harder to make the photos come together in a way that makes me think "yeah, that's it. perfect!". Maybe I've just depleted my stock of the best papers. I need to make a shopping trip to AC Moore. Open stock paper is 40% off starting tomorrow. Maybe I can find some Basic Grey and Bazzill that coordinate. Any chance they have a new selection to choose from?
I started working on my SeaWorld album at the beginning of the year. I have only made 6 pages so far. I don't know if it's that I switched to 8.5x11 format, using an all blue color scheme, or lack of product that is causing me to create so slowly.
I haven't scanned the new pages yet because I was hoping to get a new Design Card for my new Slice machine. I want to create some titles with a font other than what I have. Meanwhile I will keep plugging away.
Five layouts in the book needing titles:
I went to Flower & Craft Warehouse in Blue Ball today to spend the gift card I got for Christmas. They have an awesome selection of patterned paper, including a variety of Basic Grey which is not as plentiful at AC Moore or Michaels, and the prices are lower - .65-.70 a sheet. They also have lots of Bazzill - textured, in 8.5x11 and 12x12, Bling, die cut, and Dotted Swiss, priced .15 (for small die cut)-.45 for 12x12. I spent much of the $20 on paper for my Sea World album, and just one bottle of Stickles (Frosted Lace), a Sea World sticker sheet and two small spools of ribbon.
I spent some gift card money today, Jan. 1, 2010. I was given a gift card for Michaels, TJ Maxx and AC Moore as Christmas gifts.
The first stop was Michaels. I was hoping they would have Slice Design Cards on sale. I was going to get one if they were on sale. (I ordered a Slice from Joann.com yesterday. It should be here in about a week.) I also got an 8.5x11 album. The albums were 40% off, so about $6. I think I will give this size a try for my SeaWorld album. I don't know that 12x12 would make much sense for this day-trip. I used a 50% off coupon to buy the Threading Water border punch I've been wanting. I also got a couple packs of navy blue flowers (for the SW album, which will be all blue, I think). I saved some of the GC so I can come back for a Design Card when they are on sale.
Then I went to TJ Maxx. I traded my daughter a mall GC for her TJM GC, so I have two to spend. I found a nice side table in a deep stain, very sleek design. It was the perfect size to place in the living room as a work table for when I scrap. As I continued wandering about the store I came across another side table that was $10 less than the dark one. It's not the most attractive design, but it will serve it's purpose and can be repainted. It was just $15! It was the uppermost piece of a 3pc nesting set, each priced individually. It's the perfect size for working from the sofa or desk chair.
I went to AC Moore and walked out with nothing. There weren't any sales on scrapbook supplies and I didn't want to pay full price for anything (I didn't bring a coupon). Their selection looks the same as it has looked for a while now. It's time for something new.
Tomorrow I may try Flower and Craft Warehouse, if there is time after lunch with my cousin's girls. I will post if I find goodies. I don't think they have sales or coupons too often, but they have Stickles and lots of Bazzill cardstock, and a wider variety of patterned papers than I find at Michael's or AC Moore.
Time to organize the scrap supplies. It's hard to work out of shoeboxes, storage totes and baskets. I went to Walmart and bought some Sterlite organizer drawers to start getting the scrap stuff neat and tidy.
I saw this posted on TwoPeasinaBucket.com and made a few to give as gifts. Super easy to make, and inexpensive.
I made these to hang on our Christmas stockings, which are identical. I'm a little disappointed with my stamping. Only one of the four is centered properly, two are close, and one is off because I mis-aligned my first stamp.
The album has been completed. At some point I may go back to add journaling, but all of the photos are on pages.
Page 61 this year
Page 62 and done
Page 60 for the year, YAY!!
page 59 in 2009...almost there
I haven't scrapped in a while, more than 2 months since I last posted, but I really want to finish this album before the end of the year. I pulled out some photos for Pangani Forest Exporation Trail and soon realized why I had put the supplies away for so long. A trip to AC Moore was needed, for paper to suit the photos.
Lucky for me, AC Moore had paper on sale for 40% off. I spent less than $9, which pleased me. I would have liked to buy cardstock, but the color selection of Bazzill was the same as always, and couldn't find a shade of green to match the patterned paper I chose for this layout. I did have a 12x12 piece of spruce green in my stash that seems to work well (at least in the dim lighting it looks good).
All that's left is a title and I will be able to photograph the page for posting. Now, how will I upload said image if the hard-drive on my computer just crashed? Hmm...may need DH's computer.
Page 58 for 2009...almost done!
I felt this page had too much "white space", that it needed something more to be complete. I had forgotten that I bought these American Traditions Grape DDL APH GLTR rub-ons on clearance. They are a perfect match. I also added a touch of Crystal Stickles to the dot above the I.
Page 57 in 2009
Thoughts on Michael's shopping trip earlier today.
I had time to kill so I decided to check out Michaels. I haven't been there in a while and hoped to snag some clearance deals and they had open stock paper on sale at 30% off.
I ended up buying paper and one Mickey Mouse sticker that was on clearance, and therefore not 25% off with the character stickers. My bill was over $11 - for 13 pieces of 12x12 patterned paper (reg. .79-.99), 1 pc of 12x12 patterned paper that was on clearance for .47 and 4 pc of Bazzill cardstock (reg. 69). So now I'm wondering, why do I continue to buy this open stock paper, when even the sale price is not that cheap? Okay, now most of what I picked up today was double-sided, but even so it is quite costly to make paper layouts.
I should just invest in the paper pads, because I would surely spend less (even at regular price) on one stack/pad for more sheets than I bought on sale.
A simple layout of some sites around Disney (MGM) Studios.
Page #54 in 2009
I created this layout of Splash Mountain for the DIS Paper Layout Challenge #27. Thanks PrincessNancy96, because this certainly was challenging to me. I had the toughest time finding pictures that I had already printed for my Disney albumto fit the page map. She insisted that we use the circle for our title/journaling; the rest of the page was for us to interpret.
Comcast fixed our sign-in properties, so I'm back to working as myself to update my pages. I've been looking at these photos, with these papers, for days. I finally decided I had nothing better to work with in my stash so I assembled the pages yesterday. They will be the last for a few days as I will be taking a mini-vacation the rest of the week.
Pages 52 & 53
These pages document the journey from Philadelphia Int'l airport to Orlando Int'l airport and getting around Walt Disney World resort (without a car). I inserted these pages behind my title page in the album.
So, Comcast is merging ID's and passwords at their .net and .com websites so users will have just one ID and password for both sites. In doing so, they have somehow switched my PWP with DH's. This has been a problem since my last blog entry and I've been unable to access my PWP for editing, except that I discovered the reversal Friday night, and they have yet to fix the error. I'm presently signed in with DH ID and password in order to access my PWP.
Pages 48 & 49 Backlot Tour & Catastrophe Canyon
Pages 50 & 51 Sparkling Sensation (Spectromagic Parade)
Page 47 in 2009
Well, I didn't actually get to see the parade, at least not like I would have liked. We were finishing our lunch at Crystal Palace when the parade passed from Frontierland to Main Street USA. Steve had finished his meal and I was paying the check, so he grabbed the camera and did his best to get some photos.
I'm no artist and can't draw a face, so Mickey will remain a mere silhouette in shorts, shoes and gloves.
Page 46 this year
Pages 44 & 45 for 2009
Pages 42 & 43, using a BasicGrey PageMap for DIS challenge #26. I found this very easy to work with and really like my finished layouts.
My version of the sketch
Pages 40 & 41 for 2009
Page 39 in '09.
I had the hardest time finding paper in my stash to make this page come together. With no scrapbooking money to spend, I was forced to dig through my scraps until I matched up pieces that would work. Patterned paper is from DCWV, Green Stack.
Page #38 in 2009
So, I am the host for the newest Paper Layout Challenge on the DIS. My challenge is to use scraps for your layout. Everything on this page is from my stash.
My mom has been telling me about Flower & Craft Warehouse in Blue Ball, PA for a while. I finally had an opportunity to go check it out with her. They have a whole room dedicated to scrapbooking. I used restraint and spent less than $20 on some new goodies. I had my list of Disney layouts with me so I had an idea of what I needed to purchase without going overboard.
I picked up paper for Indiana Jones (Karen Foster's Navigation and ColorMates Med. Creamy Mocha cardstock and the camel die-cut sticker) and Mission:Space (Bo Bunny Grease Monkey Gears and Rivets and the space shuttle die-cut sticker).
The Disney-esque papers are Creative Imaginations Magic and Magic Circles; the stickers are Reminisce Dream Vacation. They had lots of Sizzix dies and Stickles! (can't find those in the craft chains around here). The paper and stickers are organized by theme, which was a little odd to me, but yet it made sense if you were shopping for a particular layout.
I was so glad to see ColorMates cardstock. I used to get this line at Rag Shop before they went out of business. The have Bazzill too, so both of my favorites are available in one location. I also got some Bazzill Just the Edge III. I bought the Lemon Drop pack and Mom got a different assortment in white and shared half the pack with me. She's making her first layout after seeing a framed display piece and realizing how relatively simple it was to make.
I will definitely make a return trip now that I know exactly where to find it.
I "won" the last challenge on the DIS. I was selected by random drawing of two participants, so I get to host the next challenge. I had a number of ideas swirling, so I made a poll that ends Sunday Aug. 2nd to get an idea of what will interest others.
I will post the new challenge later in the afternoon on Sunday. I think I know what it will be, pretty much settled on an idea today, but we'll see if the poll changes that decision. I haven't decided if I will create a Disney layout for this challenge.
#36-37 for 2009 completed
I hooked on to a DISboards' challenge that ends in a couple of days. The challenge was this PageMap by Becky Fleck.
my version, the right side of the two page layout below.
#35 for 2009 completed July 25th
I was stopping at the Dollar Tree closest to home on my way home from work, doing my part to stimulate the economy :D. I figured while I was there that I'd run in to Joann in the same shopping center to see if any new scapbooking product had been stocked or if they had anything on sale. Well, they had some new open stock papers, I bought 1 pc for .59 and a piece of cardstock to go with it, and I saw a newer DCWV paper stack that I didn't see the last time I was there (end of May/beg. of June). There was a 30% off embellishments sale, but I didn't see anything I needed in the entire 3 rows of scrap stuff available in our tiny Joann store. I did get 4 packs of medium creative tags for a Christmas project. They were on clearance for .97 each and I have enough tags to make 5 projects.
The trip was nearly a bust, until I turned the aisle to the tools area. I was ecstatic to find of the Xyron 500 Create-a-Sticker on clearance for 19.97. It was about half-price. They had 4 left, and I didn't want to let it go for fear they would sell out if I held out for a better price. I now have 3 Xyrons in my "toolbox" - the 500, a 250 and the 150-X.
#34 for 2009 completed July 23rd
Have you ever had one of those days? Well I've had one of those weeks. Actually today went more smoothly than Monday through Wednesday, that was until I got home from Joann and decided to get working on this layout.
It all started going downhill when I crushed the new pieces of patterned paper and cardstock in the trunk as I tried to close it. It was a sign that I shouldn't work on a layout tonight, but I did anyway. Arranging the photos still didn't seem to be working. I think that's why I didn't put this page together back when the challenge was posted in January. I finally trimmed the photos and cut mats to fit. I played with the placement and tried to add adhesive to hold the photos in place so I wouldn't have to recreate the layout after turning them over to apply the tape runner. That's when the adhesive started to misbehave - maybe it's too warm - it was kind of gooey as I drew the runner across the cardstock making a mess. The photos stuck instantly and I needed to lift them to make a proper arrangement - now I have extra adhesive on the only piece of patterned paper I have, a little bit tore, but it's hidden.
Once I got all of the adhesive cleaned up and added the stickers I was done. I uploaded the pics I took of the new page, noting the battery low indicator was on the view-finder once again. This camera (Kodak C340) eats batteries. I went back to add the Mickey shape and took more photos. There wasn't enough juice in the batteries (rechargables) to download the photos, so I resorted to using the generic AA's from Dollar Tree. (they'll last as long as the rechargables)
There's nothing exciting going on here and it actually doesn't look too bad considering my frustrations.
#33 for 2009 completed July 21st
I searched the 2peas gallery for inspiration. I found a 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by wsapooh. Here's my version for Living Seas.
#32 in 2009, July 20th
Once I got going with this it didn't take long to finish. It took me a week to develop a plan, and find some inspiration. .99 at Michaels for a piece of patterned paper and the layout was completed within 24 hours.
I thought I would go on a mini-shopping spree with the Michaels 20% off coupon valid 4-8pm tonight, but I took the wrong coupon with me and the selection wasn't so great. I spent less than $8 for one sheet of 12x12 patterned paper that wasn't on sale and 2 alphabet stickers on clearance for 2.99 each.
I bought this paper by Creative Imaginations for the Stitch layout.
I'll be working on the layout this evening.
Here are the drafts of the two layouts I'm working on.
Stitch. This is a meet & greet at Disney Hollywood Studios. I was considering adding the title "Alien Encounter", referring to the attraction "Stitch's Great Escape" replaced at the Magic Kingdom
The Living Seas....The Finding Nemo attraction was still under constrction during this trip, so I'll probably want to keep the Living Seas as the title. I don't think I'll do too much with this page. The colors look a little yellow here (low light, no flash and a quick enhancement with the camera's software).
Ahhh!! I could just scream I'm so aggravated with trying to do this. I knew how with the old PWP. Well, I managed to load the images here, now if I can just link back to this blog post. Wish me luck!
I did it! Thanks for stopping by!
For the latest 2peas challenge (2009 #12), I'm working on a Stitch layout. I have red hibiscus patterned paper like this and blue chipboard alphas spelling out S-T-I-T-C-H. I'm thinking of adding something with texture, like bamboo - but I'm completely stumped, having not scrapped in over a month. I was thinking of matting the photos in a yellow, to pick up on the color of Stitch's lei. These images are not the actual photos I will be scrapping - imagine them cropped in close around DD and Stitch and oriented portrait 4x6.
Before long it will be very cold and we will want to snuggle under warm blankets. This evening was fairly mild and last night's heavy rain has moved off shore. It's been many years since we have gone to Christmas Village. Since the weather was cooperative tonight, I decided to take Sam and a couple of friends-before the holiday crowds and freezing cold air.