Friday, June 10, 2011

June Menu Dinner Plan

Since it's already the 10th, I'll just start with today :)

June 10- Spaghetti, cheesy garlic bread, salad (also making pinto beans in pressure cooker)

11-Quiche, french bread, Salad

12- Double Decker Taco's (homemade), Salsa & chips

13- Ham & Potato Frittata, Broccoli

14- Grilled Chicken, mashed potatoes, cheesy noodles, corn, broccoli

15- Chicken Fajitas, Rice

16- Bacon Cheeseburgers*, Fries, baby Carrots w/ranch

17- Fajita Nacho's (use leftover meat), Salsa & chips

18- Eat Out (Evan's special weekend)

19- Eat out (possibly) or Freezer Quiche OR Freezer Chicken pot pie

20- Chili, grilled cheese, baby carrots w/ranch

21- Spinach Quiche, Italian Bread*, salad

22- Leftovers

23- Taco Bake (freezer)

24- Cheese & Pepperoni Pizza*

25- Evan's Birthday Party (to be determined later)

26- Pizza Casserole, Salad

27- Homemade Vegetable Soup, Cheesy Roll-ups

28- Spaghetti, garlic bread*, salad

29- Evan's Birthday dinner-Homemade chicken nuggets, mac 'n cheese, corn (out of the mouth of babes, LOL!)

30- Spicy Chicken Sandwiches*, Fries, Baby carrots w/ ranch

*need to make something extra that requires time
Homemade breads (June 16,21,24,28)
Sauce (June 24)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Homemade Refried Beans

My husband LOVES Mexican food! I think he could eat it all day long :) So his love of this type of food inspired me to create this recipe! I found a few off the internet and mixed them and the results were great! These are the closest beans to a Mexican Restaurant that I've ever eaten! He kept asking me were they healthy?? I said healthier than the restaurant, this scared him and he kept probing till I fessed up what was actually in them. The secret is bacon grease! Now stay with me, if you just threw up in your mouth, kindly exit out of the page, if you're thinking yummy, then you're my kind of reader :-)

I recently purchased a WolfGang Puck Pressure Cooker (review to come shortly!) and I did a small bag of dry pinto beans in there in 15 minutes! I kid you not, that quick! I was SO impressed! Anyway, you know I tend to ramble.... I had leftover pintos and didn't want to waste them so I've been wanting to make my DH some bean burritoes since he loves Taco Bell's. I will post a tutorial on those later, I made some the other day, but forgot to take a picture of the finished product, guess I could grab it out of the freezer and do it :)

On to the recipe:
-Cooked Pinto Beans (just use leftovers, but not from the can)
-1 tsp chili powder
-1/2 tsp cumin
-1/2 tsp oregano
-4 dashes garlic powder (now don't go crazy)
-couple shakes of hot sauce
-1/4 cup butter
-bacon grease (I didn't measure it out, just what was leftover from a lb of cooked bacon) not even 1/2 small teacup.

I'm sorry, I hate when people post recipes and don't have accurate measurements, I think that is the baker in me! When baking you have to be exact! So accept my apologies :)

Melt the butter and bacon grease, add pinto beans and mash up well. Dh likes a little bean texture in his so I just leave it kinda lumpy, do as you want with yours! Then add the seasoning. Do not add all the bean water, just discard that. combine well, then add some cheddar cheese and you'll be in hog heaven :-)


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Fresh Blueberry Muffins

We recently stumbled onto an amazing deal. I bought 36 pints of blueberries for $8!! Unbelievable, I know!!! I made a few dozen muffins, used some in banana/blueberry bread (recipe coming soon!) and froze the rest. The kids love eating them frozen, yes, frozen solid with nothing on them! The baby gets mad because I can't give them to him (choking hazard), but if you run hot water over them they thaw out literally in seconds!

Nothing can beat the taste of fresh blueberries in any baked item! The sad little muffin mix you buy in a box/pouch, should be outlawed! It's horrible and tastes all chemically (yes I have issues with chemically tasting artificial foods!). Nothing beats the taste of a real blueberry, nothing. Can you tell I really LOVE Blueberry muffins? LOL! I just recently found out Justin (aka baby) loves these also, he picks these over the chocolate ones (cocoa banana muffins).

I found this yummy recipe on my favorite website, It calls for a streusel topping. I leave this out, since the kids just eat 'em plain, my body doesn't need the extra calories! Feel free to add it to yours and just savor the moment of that first bite :-)


1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 egg, beaten
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup butter or margarine


In a mixing bowl, cream sugar and butter. Add egg; mix well. Combine flour, baking powder and salt; add to the creamed mixture alternately with milk. Stir in vanilla. Fold in blueberries. Fill 12 greased or paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. In a small bowl, combine sugar, flour and cinnamon; cut in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over muffins. Bake at 375 degrees F for 25-30 minutes or until browned.

*TIP* to keep your blueberries from sinking to the bottom, coat them with flour before adding them to your mixture!

Homemade Strawberry Pie

I haven't had a delicious strawberry pie since I was pregnant with my 3rd son! So that was 5 years ago! I don't know why but I think it's because I ate them so much I made myself sick of them! It is possible :)
Anyway, in between those 5 years I did try one at Frisch's Big Boy, it was so disgusting! The glaze tasted all chemically, YUCK! I have a thing with things tasting chemically. I don't even know if that is a real word or not, LOL! Anyway, here is the recipe to make your own strawberry glaze and I promise you the only thing you'll be tasting is pure yumminess!!

-6 cups fresh strawberries, divided
-3/4 cup water
-3/4 to 1 cup sugar
-3 Tbls Cornstarch
-5 drops red food coloring (optional)

Measure 1 cup berries and puree in blender (I used a food processor) In pot add purred berries and water, bring to a boil, simmer for 2 minutes. Sieve berry mixture (I didn't do that, but thought I would include it here) In a saucepan combine sugar and cornstarch, stir in sieved berry mixture. cook and stir over med heat till glaze has thickened. Stir in food coloring (optional) Let COOL

Spread about 1/3 cup glaze over bottom and sides of a pie shell. Arrange half of halved strawberries, stem end down, in shell, spoon remaining glaze over berries, cover each berry, repeat, chill at least 3-4 hours.

Or you can do like me and just half the strawberries, dump some glaze over 'em and mix it all up and dump in the pie crust, LOL! I always say my food doesn't look that attractive, but the mouth and tummy doesn't care :)

This recipe makes a generous portion of glaze, I filled a regular pie crust and a graham cracker one and still have a container full of strawberries and glaze leftover!

I hope you take the time to make your own glaze, it's so worth it!!


Saturday, June 4, 2011

Cleaning Challenge, starts June 6th!

If anybody is interested in this and doesn't have the money to buy the book, ($4.99) please contact me immediately so we can get you your book for the challenge!


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

GIVEAWAY: Carmex Moisture Plus lip balm

I'm always looking for new lip balms to try and break my habit of Chap Stick, yes I'm addicted to that stuff and have been for many, many years now :(

I got to review and try out CARMEX lip balms and really like them! So now I have some for you to try out too! I have 2 brand new, sealed, CARMEX, Moisture Plus ultra hydrating lip balm. In sheer pink tint and sheer peach tint. They both have Sunscreen/SPF 15, so get your lips summer ready!! LOL!

The only requirement I have is that you be a follower of this blog. To enter GIVEAWAY just leave a comment to let me know your name and e-mail address. Giveaway ends Monday, June 6th. Good luck!!


Starting a new cleaning challenge, please join me!!

I stumbled on an e-book that I think is worth sharing. It's called 31 Days to Clean. I bought it for my Nook for $4.99. Not that it matters, but this is only the 2nd book I've ever bought for my Nook (yes I'm that cheap and picky!) What I really loved about the ideal of this e-book was that it has challenges to do. I'm desperately searching for something to click with me and I think this may just be the thing! Just today the author has released free downloads for daily challenges now, so I will be beginning this on Monday and I hope some of you will join me! Here is the website that tells you all the information about the book.

You can get the book on your Nook, Kindle or download to your computer, so no waiting for the book to arrive in the mail, it's instant, gotta love that!

I bought this book yesterday and my house is already cleaner! What I loved the most was it was written by a real Mom that still has little kids in the house and basically hates to clean. Hey wait, that's me too! LOL! So I can totally relate! I'm super excited to start the daily challenges this Monday, June 6th. I'm going to keep a link on my sidebar if anyone is interested!
Happy Cleaning!!


Sandwich Bread

This is my new favorite bread! It's great with sandwiches, or my kids like to eat it by itself :-)
Honey Oatmeal Bread
-1 cup water
-1 Tbls Vegetable Oil
-1/4 cup honey (if you spray your cup with Pam before adding the honey, it will just slide right off of there!)
-1 tsp salt
-1/2 cup rolled oats
-2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
-1 tsp active dry yeast
-2 tsp vital wheat gluten (you can leave out if you don't have it, it helps the bread bake higher and nicer)

*Put in bread machine, set for dough cycle. Trust me, you don't want to bake it in the machine, use your oven because you can taste a difference! I recently made it and baked it in the machine, my kids wouldn't even eat it. My mother-in-law was here at the time and said it was very good. Fortunately I have one of the good MIL's and she says everything I fix is good, LOL! Just take my word for it, use your oven!

Oh, guess you need to know what to do in the oven?? Yes, I get sidetracked easily! Anyway, pre-heat oven to 350 degrees, take dough out of bread machine, knead just a couple of times, throw in a greased bread pan and cover and let rise till doubled, usually around 45 minutes. Bake about 20 minutes.

Hamburger buns

Hamburger or Hot Dog Buns

-1 1/4 cup milk
-1 large egg
-6 Tablespoons vegetable oil
-3 Tablespoon sugar, or honey
-4 cups all-purpose flour
-1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon vital wheat gluten (if you don't have this, leave out)
-2 teaspoons salt
-2 1/2 teaspoons yeast

-Place all ingredients in bread machine pan according to manufacturer’s instructions. Program for “dough.” When done, divide into 12 equal portions. *Form each portion into a flat round for hamburger buns or a thin loaf for hot dog buns. Cover loosely with a clean kitchen towel and allow to rest for 30 minutes. Pre-heat oven to 375°F. Bake for 15-22 minutes, until lightly browned.

My oven runs hot, so it usually takes less than 15 minutes for these to bake.

*Note* In order to get the Kaiser shape that I did my buns in, you need to do your dough like a pretzel, tucking the sides in, and then let rise and bake as normal. If you need help on this, just let me know :)

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