Monday, January 12, 2015

Week of December 29th, 2014

*One Pot Mexican Skillet Pasta- This was AWESOME. Every family should make this :)

Copy Cat Orange Chicken- Mark picked this week of recipes and I have to admit I wasn't excited about this recipe. I couldn't remember it and it didn't sound that great. But then we made it. And I remembered why I originally rated it 5 stars. SOOOO yummy.

Wet Burritos- A Mark menu wouldn't be complete without something beany and cheesy

Baked Potato Soup- Don't make this without doubling or tripling. You will not have enough. It's that good.

Balsalmic Grilled Chicken Salad- We did salad bar with the kids this night and I put out a ton of toppings in little bowls- carrots, snap peas, tomatoes, corn, sunflower seeds, chow mein noodles, etc. I thought it would be funny to put mini marshmallows out as a joke. The kids did not know it was a joke and when I told them I was just being silly and they couldn't actually put them on their salad, my oldest child started crying. Joke Fail.

*=new recipe

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Week of December 22nd, 2014

Costco Pizza

Bacon/cheddar burgers (mix from Double D meats)

*Kalua Pork- this was crazy easy (3 ingredients) and actually tasted like slow smoked meat. I was a little skeptical of the recipe and wondered if the liquid smoke flavor would take fake but it was really, really good. This would be a great thing to make for a summer party with a taco bar spread. It feeds a lot of people!

Christmas Eve dinner at my sister's

*Creamy Spinach Gratin- Very good and tons of flavor but TONS of work. If I didn't have to microwave each of the 5 boxes of spinach individually to defrost, then squeeze each one in a towel, then make a rue, etc I might think about making it again. Maybe I should have just left them in the fridge over night...just a thought.

*Sweet Potato Casserole- I loved the addition of the orange flavor and that it was completely pureed until smooth

*Mel's Kitchen Cafe Slow Cooker Chili- I think my dad's chili is better but this was nice for a quick throw in the crockpot meal. I used chunks of stew meat rather than ground beef.

*Cinnamon Roll Cake- for Jesus' birthday party!

* = new recipe

Monday, December 29, 2014

Review: The Skinnytaste Cookbook: Light on Calories, Big on Flavor

I recently had the opportunity to review the new Skinnytaste Cookbook through blogging for books. I jumped at the opportunity because I have seen skinnytaste recipes being pinned all over Pinterest and I was interested in seeing was all the buzz was about. The book is written by Gina Homolka who is the creator of skinnytaste.com. 

The cookbook itself is laid out beautifully with big, colorful pictures and sections organized by type of recipe. There were over one hundred recipes to chose from and quite a lot of variety.

Now onto the recipes...I was very curious to find out if a cookbook that many people use to lose weight would actually have recipes full of flavor. Here was my menu for the week: 

Slow-Cooker Picadillo- I picked this one because it looked quick and inexpensive and an easy dish to use leftovers later. I served it originally as tacos with a cabbage slaw and then leftovers as a taco salad and quesadilla. There were a few different spices in the recipe so I thought there would be more flavor than there was. I was thankful that it wasn't too spicy because my kids gobbled it up but it could have used a couple dashes of hot sauce. 

Crockpot Santa Fe Chicken- This was a super fast soup to throw together in the morning and have simmer all day in the slow cooker. I have to admit that we added cheese and avocado to the top when we ate it which kind of defeats the "skinny" recipe but the soup had a lot of flavor on it's own. 

Bangin' Good Shrimp- This was a copycat recipe of Bonefish Grill's Bang Bang shrimp and was really tasty.

Fettuccine Alfredo with Chicken and Broccoli- this is Gina's most requested recipe makeover on her blog. Everyone knows that the regular fettuccine alfredo is full of calories but this slimmed down version was still very, very good. This was my favorite meal of the week for sure. 

Slow-cooker Jerk Chicken Tacos which is very similar to these pork tacos- Lots of flavor. I couldn't find jerk seasoning in the grocery store so I made my own blend using this recipe.

Coconut Panna Cotta similar to this panna cotta recipe- this dessert was my favorite recipe I tried from the cookbook. I love panna cotta and I couldn't believe how creamy and smooth this was! It wasn't missing the heavy cream at all!

PB&J Overnight Oats in a jar similar to these oats with the addition of grapes and PB&J

If someone is trying to lose weight but still enjoy food, I would definitely recommend this cookbook. Some of the recipes require a bit of prep work but that is usually the case if you are going to have good tasting, fresh food. I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Week of December 8th, 2014

Angela and I swapped menus this week. I love swapping menus with her because I make dishes I might not have picked on my own and every time I cook I think of my dear friend!

Apple Sausage Pot Pie - I used chicken apple sausage for this and LOVED the cheddar biscuit topping. We enjoyed serving this to company.


Slow Cooker Cajun Chicken Spaghetti - Mark loved this but I felt like the can of fire roasted tomatoes gave it a burnt flavor. I think it would be been great with regular diced tomatoes.


Hoisin Pork Noodles -This especially reminded me to Angela since she loves her asian food :) I renamed this Asian stack-up because it's like a taco salad where you can just add whatever you want. Super kid friendly. We just let them add whatever they wanted to their stack-up (they had to chose at least one veggie). 5 stars


Salmon and Feta Quiche - I think I would have liked this more if I used fresh salmon. The salmon in the pouch tasted too much like tuna for me.


Butternut Harvest Stew - Also a home run for company. I used a pork tenderloin.


Overnight Egg Sandwiches - 5 Stars. I made these in the morning and served them for dinner. SOOO yummy

Banana Oat Breakfast Muffins- It's not everyday you get to make muffins in a blender. I loved Angela's idea of only putting a couple of chocolate chips in the top of the muffin. Still seems like a "choc-lick" muffin to my kids!


Sweet Potato Spice Cake- this was as good as Angela said it would be. It didn't taste very much like sweet potato- just a wonderfully moist spice cake.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Week of November 24th and December 1st

We used a groupon to try out the meal delivery service Hello Fresh. Although, it isn't something we can fit into our budget normally for our family of 7, it was really fun to have a break from menu planning, grocery shopping, etc. And the meals were awesome! We had shrimp linguine, steak and brussel sprout stir fry, sauteed chicken with mushrooms and mashed potatoes, mustard crusted trout, caramelized onion shepherd's pie and creamy chicken penne. If you want to give it a try, use my unique promo code for $40 off your first box: 3STHAG. They deliver nationwide!

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