Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Goat Cheese and Roasted Pablano Guacomole

It has been quite some time since we had a taco night at our house, so when tacos went on the menu a few weeks ago it was definitely due time.  Our typical taco night consist of tacos with various toppings as well as salsa, guacomole and cheese dip.  The guacomole I make is my "go to" recipe that is a staple in every taco night.  Typically I don't stray from this recipe.  Why?  Because you just don't fix something that isn't broke.  Right?  Right!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Weekly Meal Plan

Menu for January 29- February 4, 2012

Buffalo Chicken Chowder (not a repeat from last week...just didn't get to make it)
Apple, bacon and gouda pizza (not a repeat, wasn't able to make it)
Sloppy joes
We will be with family over the weekend so we'll play the meals by ear!

Other cooking/baking: sweet and salty cookies

Have a great week!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Daring Baker's January Challenge

A new year, a new challenge!  That's right, it's time once again to share another fun, exciting and challenging Daring Baker's project.  This time around Audax Artifex was our January 2012 Daring Bakers’ host. Aud worked tirelessly to master light and fluffy scones (a/k/a biscuits) to help us create delicious and perfect batches in our own kitchens!

That's right, this time around we conquered light and fluffy scones.  These biscuit like pastries are known as scones in the rest of the world, but they are actually like our normal biscuits here in the U.S.  Who would have known?  If you're like me, then you probably had no idea that our biscuits could be served interchangeably as scones in other areas of the world.  To me, it's interesting to think about how food terms change from one society and region to the next.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Chicken Pot Pie Turnovers

When I think of old-fashioned, down home, comfort food there are a few things that come to mind.  Chicken pot pie is one of those things.  Chicken pot pie is, in my opinion, one of the ultimate comfort foods.  It's a one pot meal that has been around for generations, it's a classic and it's a dish that I think most of us have grown up eating.  I love the classic chicken pot pie with the flaky crust, assortment of vegetables, and hearty pieces of chicken.

This chicken pot pie turnover, takes this classic dish and transforms it into individual servings that are great for a meal on the run.  It has everything you expect from a classic chicken pot pie; flaky crust, a multitude of vegetables, and chicken.  This version makes it into a meal that is not only time saving but perfect for a weeknight meal.  I love the fact that I can still serve my family a healthy, well rounded, and flavorful meal that didn't take hours to prepare.  The next time you're craving a classic comfort food but you're short on time try these turnovers.  They'll be a regular on your menu. 

Chicken Pot Pie Turnovers

Monday, January 23, 2012

Buffalo Chicken Tacos

I can't tell you how excited I am to share this recipe with you!  When I came across this recipe on Nicole's blog (Prevention RD), it took me all of 2 seconds to decide that I was making these.  They went on the menu for the the next week!  You see, at my house we are slightly obsessed with buffalo chicken.  Whether it's hot wings, sandwiches, chili, dip (a recipe is coming soon), or anything else involving buffalo chicken you can count us in!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Weekly Meal Plan

Menu for January 22-28, 2012

Tacos, roasted poblano guacomole and queso blanco
Chicken with creamy chive sauce, creamy celery root and potato mash and garlic bread
Buffalo chicken chowder
Apple, bacon and gouda pizza
Out to eat

Friday, January 20, 2012

Brownie Pie

By now, I'm sure you are all aware and addicted to Pinterest.  For those of you who have not heard of this new, very addicting, site let me tell you a little bit about it.  It is a virtual pin board that will help you keep track of DIY projects, recipes, clothing, and elements of your dream home and everything in between.  As I have said it is very addicting and it doesn't take long to real you in.  It is, however, very handy.  It keeps all of your interests in one place that can be accessed from anywhere there is internet.  This is not only convenient, but it helps eliminate frustration as well as the need to print out page after page of instructions, ideas, or recipes that you want to keep on hand, in a safe place, only to find that when you are ready for it you have lost it.  I can't tell you how many times I've gone to make a recipe only to find out that I can't find the recipe, let alone remember what website I found it on.  Those days are over, Pinterest is one of my new best friends, along with Google reader, I have everything in a centralized location and at my fingertips no matter where I am!  Okay, enough about my new found addiction, hobby, I mean virtual bulliten board.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Pork Tenderloin with Balsamic Cranberry Sauce

What can I say about cranberries?  There really isn't enough good to say about them.  I love cranberries and my love for them goes way back to my childhood.  I loved them then and I have a passion for them now.  I gravitate towards recipes that include cranberries and I'm always trying to create and write new recipes that incorporate cranberries.  There is just something so delicious about the sweet and tart flavor they have.  They compliment so many different types of food, and they work with both sweet and savory dishes.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Tucker's 2nd Birthday

I can't believe my baby boy is 2.  We celebrated his second birthday a few weeks ago.  Where has the time gone?  Honestly, he's not a baby anymore, but a tornado of a toddler who is on the go all the time.  He definitely keeps us busy!  He has brought us so much joy over the past two years.  Celebrating his birthday was truly a magical occassion, not only for Spencer and myself but our family and friends as well.  We love this little guy so much!

This year has been all about cars.  Give him a car, or anything with wheels, and he's a happy little camper.  Any car will make him happy but if it's a car from the Car's movie he's in heaven!  This year, when planning his party it didn't take me long to determine that Disney Car's would be the perfect theme.  This past year has raced by, having a theme all about racing was the perfect fit!  We watch the Car's movie (or Car's moonie as Tucker says), literally everyday.  Since this movie and these characters are a staple in our everyday life right now I couldn't imagine not including them in his birthday celebration.

Since invitations really set the stage for any event, I wanted to find some that were perfect for the racing day event. I was thinking something along the lines of pit passes, wrist bands or something else you might find at the race track.  Then I came across these ticket invitations and I knew they would be perfect.  Nothing sets the tone for a race party better than your very own race ticket with all access clearance! 

Food is also a very important part of any celebration, so after finding the invitations the food planning was next on my list.  Since the party was mid afternoon, I decided to keep the menu light.  We had light finger foods as well as cake and a few other sweet treats.  Last year I went all out and made tons of food, literally enough to feed an army, and I had so many leftovers.  Lesson learned, this year I planned a menu that was equally delicious as last years but on a smaller scale.

The savory food included:
nugget tray from Chic-fil-a
mini, hot ham and cheese sliders (recipe to come)
sausage, cheese and cracker tray. 

For the sweets:
chocolate covered bananas (oil dipsticks)
chewy frosted sugar cookies
Cookies-n-Cream cake (recipe to come)

I couldn't resist making Tucker his own, personal cake.  This was a 6 inch cookies-n-cream cake covered in "dirt" (crushed gold and chocolate oreo cookies) and completed with Lightening McQueen and a Route 66 sign.

I chose cookies-n-cream cake not only because it's delicious but I thought it fit into the theme perfectly.  The bits of cookie flecs throughout the cake resemebled pieces of asphalt and dirct fromt he race track.  It was just one more element that help tie everything together.

Mini cookies-n-cream cupcakes
*Each person got to take a little piece of asphalt from the race track home with them!  The cupcakes were topped with half of an oreo, which I thought resembled asphalt that would be thrown around at the race track.

How I love this sweet little boy.
He couldn't wait until we got home to speed around on his own, personal race car!

Vendor Information:

Invitation design:  Pgioda via Ebay, they were very easy to work with I couldn't be happier with the invitations
Party decor: Party City (balloons)
Party decor: The Dollar Tree (table clothes, plates, napkins, utensils, serving platters)
Party decor: Bed, Bath and Beyond (Gas pump drink dispenser)
Cars characters: Target, Toy's R Us, and Wal-Mart
Car's Pit Crew Shirt: Sears
Food: Chic-fil-a, nugget tray
Location: Bryant Fire Department

Thank you:
A special thanks to the Bryant Fire Department for allowing us to have Tucker's birthday party at your fire station (Red's house).  Thank you to all of the firefighters for all your help with the party, you made his day so special and you helped out more than you know.  Your help and involvment in Tucker's party was truly appreciated and made Tucker's day so special.  Thanks for all you do and for your service.  God Bless You!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Sweet and Spicy Candied Pecans

When I think of candied pecans, I automatically think of those little booths that are set up at the outlet malls with various varieties and flavors of pecans, almonds and other nuts.  I always buy a bag, or two...I mean it's necessary to stock up when the opportuinty presents itself!   If you have been following my blog for any length of time you know that I am a huge fan of the sweet and salty flavor combinations.  These pecans are yet another treat that combine my two favorite flavor profiles.  There is just something magical about these sweet, little sugar coated candies...I mean pecans!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Weekly Meal Plan

Menu for January 8-15, 2012

Loaded nachos
Pasta with mushroom-sausage ragu, salad and garlic bread
Slow cooker tomato soup and grilled cheese
Kettle chip encrusted chicken and roasted vegetables
Out to eat

Have a great week!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Pantry Organization

Do you ever find yourself walking into your pantry, looking around, cringing and then walking out in frustration?  Frustration of not being able to find anything.  Frustration of clutter, unorganization, and pure chaos?  I know I have found myself in this situation many times, not just with my pantry either.  Let's face it, we all have good intentions of keeping everything neat and tidy and in it's own special place.  But even with the best of intentions we don't always succeed because, well, life happens.  With the new year, I decided to start things off by getting everything back in place.

There are many new recipes and techniques I want to attempt this year and I thought it would be much easier to accomplish with a clean and organized pantry where I can easily access the items I need.  I have had every intention of cleaning out and reorganizing my pantry but I honestly just haven't gotten around to it, until now.  I am so happy with how it turned out.  It's amazing how much difference some time, cleaning and organization make.  Now there won't be anymore boxes, packeges or bags of stuff being pushed to the back of the shelves and forgotten forever. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

From Scratch Green Bean Casserole

I have long been a fan of green bean casserole.  For as long as I can remember the green bean casserole with the cream soups have been a staple at every Thanksgiving and Christmas meal.  Now while there is absolutely nothing wrong with that version of green bean casserole (it is popular for a reason, right?), it is always nice to try a new spin on a classic.  That's exactly what this casserole is, a new spin on a traditional classic.  Since this dish holds a special place in my heart I literally jumped for joy when the opportunity presented itself for me to make this version of green bean casserole for Christmas.  I have been eyeing this recipe for quite some time so I was very excited to finally have a reason to make it.

This version of green bean casserole is slightly different than the one I have made before.  The previous version not only called for a homemade cream of mushroom soup, but for homemade fried onions as well.  This recipe, however, utilizes the classic canned fried onions, which I am very fond of, but paired them with a buttery, seasoned bread crumb mixture.  Spreading this buttery, fried onion mixture on top of fresh, crispy-tender grean beans tossed in a creamy, homemade mushroom soup is the epitome of deliciousness. 

Monday, January 2, 2012

Weekly Meal Plan

Happy New Year!  As sad as I am to see 2011 come to an end, I can't help but be excited about what 2012 has in store!  I hope 2011 was terrific for you and I hope 2012 holds tons of new and exciting adventures for you! 

Menu for January 1-7, 2012

Black eyed peas, parmesan baked brussel sprouts, brown sugar glazed ham, and corn bread.  Brownie pie for dessert.
Tomato herb soup
Oven "fried" chicken with roasted vegetables
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