Saturday, October 3, 2015

Kielbasa and Cabbage Dinner

Years ago I came across this recipe somewhere and have been making it ever since.  I was doing a low carb diet and basically only eating meat and veggies so this was the perfect meal when I found it.  It can't get any easier than this either which is always nice!  The best part is that the kiddo will eat this and doesn't even bat an eyelash that he is eating cabbage because it has such a good flavor.  It is always nice when he will eat a veggie without fighting me on it.  
You will need:
1 package Kielbasa Sausage
1 red onion
2 bags of cole slaw mix (no dressing!)
1/4 cup of water
Celery seeds (optional)

• Cut the sausage into small pieces and then cut them in half
• Place the cole slaw mix, onions and chopped sausage into a greased casserole dish.  I usually use a 9x13 inch pan but if you were making more or less you can use a different size pan.   
• Drizzle your water over the top of the mixture and then add your salt, pepper and celery seeds if you are using them.
• Bake at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes or until the sausage is browned and the cabbage is soft.
• Serve and enjoy!

When I make mine I do not use celery seeds but just the salt and pepper and sometimes a little garlic.
If you didn't want to use the cole slaw mix just buy a head or two of cabbage and chop it up finely and add that instead. 
 I usually mix mine up while it's baking so that it cooks evenly.
 Now that I'm no longer doing a low card diet I usually serve this with mashed potatoes but you could serve it just as it is and you have a whole meal!
Yummy in the tummy!  So easy and so good which is always a great combo.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

. . . BBQ Chicken Salad and Ramen Noodle Crunchies. . .

It has been a long time since I posted on my blog!  I got out of the habit of doing much of it this summer and haven't gotten back in the swing of things but this salad was good enough that I knew I had to blog about it!  

I get salads at restaurants all the time for my main meal but for some reason I tend to not make them at home that often and I don't know why because they are so simple and very filling!  I make them as a side dish but hardly ever for our main course.  This salad changed that and will for sure have it on repeat!

I know that it looks like there are a lot of ingredients but it's basically just salad toppings.  There is very little to prepare other than your chicken, corn on the cob and the ramen noodle crunchies.  All those things are very easy and can be done in advance and kept in the fridge until you are ready to use them. 
 You will need:
Chicken Breast or Chicken Tenders, frozen or fresh but make sure they are defrosted
BBQ Sauce
Raspberry Vinagarette
1 package Ramen Noodles Chicken Flavor
4 Tbls. Butter
Corn on the cob
Fresh Mushrooms
Frozen Peas
Bacon, chopped
Hard boiled eggs, chopped
Cheese of your choice
Dressing of your choice
*I highly recommend Sweet Vidalia Onion, Ranch or Raspberry Vinagarette
 To make your Ramen Noodle "croutons":
Break up the dry ramen noodles into fine pieces.  Lay out on a baking dish and sprinkle the seasoning packet over them.  You can also add in some chopped pecans or almonds to this. Cut butter into small pieces and drop around the baking dish.  Bake on 350 for until they are golden brown and crunchy and the butter is all melted.  Stir them up so that all the noodles are coated in the seasoning.  Let cool so you can add them to your salad for a nice crunch and added flavor.  Yummy!
 To make the Chicken:
Mix BBQ Sauce and Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing together in a bowl.  Pour over your Chicken Breasts/Tenders and let it marinate overnight or all day.  If you don't have time to do that it's ok it will still flavor the chicken when you bake it or grill it.  I don't have exact measurements on the BBQ Sauce and Raspberry Vinaigrette because it would depend on the amount of chicken you are using.  You will want more BBQ Sauce than Vinaigrette.  The Raspberry flavor is just to add a zing so don't overwhelm it with a large amount of dressing.  

Put the chicken in a baking dish and cover with your sauce from the marinade.  Bake the chicken on 400 until it is cooked through.  You can also grill the chicken which adds to the flavor.  Brush the sauce on it as you grill to keep it moist and flavorful.

Prepare your corn on the cob as you normally would--microwave, grill or stovetop in boiling water.  Once it is cooked through let it cool so you can take the corn off the cob without burning yourself. 

Defrost your frozen peas in a bowl of cold water.  Chop all your other veggies to prepare for the salad.  Crumble your bacon.
 To make the salad:
Place the lettuce in bowls and then add all of your toppings.  For ours  I just put all the toppings in bowls and let everyone create their own salad.  Top with Sweet Vidalia Onion Dressing or Raspberry Vinaigrette.  You could also use Ranch or even Honey Mustard but I can only speak for the first two because that is what we have used on ours.  I buy the Ken's Brand for most of our dressings. 
Dig in and enjoy this delicious salad!  I was shocked that even our son gobbles this salad up and he says he doesn't like salad so that is saying something!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Impossibly Easy Peach Pie from Grandma

This is a recipe I posted a couple years ago but I have updated it and thought I'd re-share because honestly it's too good not to!

It's hard to believe that summer is soon coming to an end but while it is still hot and steamy this is a fantastic dessert to use up those great summer peaches you probably have around!  This pie is from my grandmother and it's so simple to make!  She calls it Crumbly Peach Pie but after making it I changed that up a bit and named it "Impossibly Easy Peach Pie" because for years when she made it I always assumed it was a difficult one to make because of the amazing flavor but...nope, it's easy as "pie"!  I am guaranteeing you will enjoy this pie!

Impossibly Easy Peach Pie
Pie Crust:
2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
¾ Cup Crisco
1 tsp. Salt
3T. Ice Water
Cut shortening into flour with a pastry blender very thoroughly.  Add 3 Tablespoons ice water and mix with a fork into a large ball of dough.  Divide into 2 balls, wrap in wax paper and place in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes before rolling for crust.  Once crust is rolled out place in a pie plate.  Bake for 10 minutes on 450 degrees weighting the crust with pie weights or forks.  Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes before filling.

Peach Pie:
1 Cup Sugar
½ Cup Flour
⅛ tsp. Nutmeg
Mix the above ingredients and cut in ½ Cup Cold Butter until crumbly.  Sprinkle half the crumbs in the bottom of your prepared crust.  Peel and cut 3 to 4 large peaches in half.  Fresh peaches are best in this recipe.  Place the peaches cut side down on the crumbs then cover with the remaining crumb mixture.  Sprinkle with 2 to 3 tablespoons of water and bake in a 450 degree oven for 10 minutes then reduce the heat to 350 degrees and bake for about 30 minutes.  Cool and serve with ice cream or cool whip.
• Gather your ingredients for the pie crust and the peach pie
• Prepare pie crust by cutting the Crisco into the salt and flour mixture then add ice water and form into a large dough ball.  Place in refrigerator for about 30 minutes before rolling it out
• Place your dough onto a pastry cloth or floured surface and roll out to fit a 9 inch pie plate
• Place rolled dough into a pie plate and flute the edges.  Weight the crust with pie weights or forks and bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes.  Remove to cool before filling

• Combine the sugar, flour and nutmeg together in a large bowl
• Cut cold butter into the flour mixture until you have blended it well and you have "crumbs"
• Peel and slice peaches in half
• Cover the entire crust with crumbs, reserving some for the topping

• Place peaches cut side down on top of the crumbs then use the remaining crumbs to top the rest of the peaches.  Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of water and bake as recipe instructs

 Easy as PIE!
 Yummy in the tummy!
Recently someone tried this pie for the first time and he said it was so good that when he died he wanted it buried with him.  Now that is a rave AND unique review if I have ever heard one!

Satisfaction guaranteed!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

. . . Family Room Tour . . .

I don't think I've ever done a room tour on my blog but our family room is my favorite room in the house so I thought I'd share!  I wanted it to be very colorful because I knew it would be where we spent most of our time and when I think of color I think of fun!  We never use our living room so this is the central gathering spot where we all spend our time.  The walls haven't changed color in a long time but we've recently updated the carpet and furniture and some of the decor.  I'm always changing something or I get bored.

I love that this room is so open and bright with the morning light coming in the windows!  
The artwork on the walls is one of my favorite things and came from Target years ago.

 This bowling pin was a thrift store find that I'm obsessed with.  I passed it up a couple times thinking it was probably a silly purchase but couldn't get it out of my head.  I went back to the shop a third time and it was still there so I figured it must be a sign that it was meant to be mine!  My dad saw it and just loved it so I got one for him for Father's Day and he couldn't be happier!

When we moved into our house this 2 story family room really intimidated me because I had no idea how to fill the wall space without spending a fortune on huge artwork.  That was before Pinterest became popular so it was a challenge I had to work on without the help of my favorite addiction.  How did we survive without Pinterest?  I found a couple cool plates and picked them up and then when we finished painting the idea came to me and I started hitting the clearance sales, garage sales and even gathering a few from my grandmother's basement.  I had these shelves from when I was a kid and just painted them to coordinate with the room and then my mom and I spent hours laying out the design and hanging the plates.  It was a great way to decorate this big wall on a budget but still bring in a lot of color.  These plates have received many compliments over the years and still remain something I love about this room.
There is something I just love about blue and yellow so it only seems right that I would pick out blue furniture.  This is from La-Z-Boy and we have been very pleased with it and how well it cleans up.  The colorful throw pillows were made by my mom and the quilt was made by my grandmother.

 This chest needs painted again but this was a curbside find which my son and husband are appalled by but we sure have gotten serious use out of it.  Inside we keep tons of video games and game accessories so it isn't right out in the open.  The pepsi crate I picked up at a flea market after begging the man to sell it to me.  He was using it as a display but I loved it and wasn't taking no for an answer so finally I wore him down.  I have made it into a charging station of sorts because of the open slats at the bottom.  I just run our cords up through the slats and plug in our devices.  It also serves as storage for my son's stuff.

This little table was another thrift store find.  I think I'm going to paint it but I haven't decided on what color so for now it is staying white.  
The window treatments were made by my grandmother and I.  I can't get enough of circles so when I saw that fabric I knew it would be perfect for this colorful room.

Don't mind the outlet in this photo other than to know it's a USB outlet we recently put in several of the rooms of our house and we are completely obsessed with them!  Easy to do and they work great for just plugging in your devices and still have 2 outlets free.

To add some more pops of color I painted blocks of color on two of the walls as you can see here.  Clearly I should have straightened up those candles that are in the stars.  Just pretend you didn't notice how crooked they are.
My husband works in aviation so when my mom found these airplane book ends she immediately bought them for him.  They don't have any books in them now but they go well with the transportation artwork above the fireplace.

This is my favorite little corner.  I curl up in the corner of the loveseat and watch tv or read and everyone knows that is mom's spot.  Maggie thought she needed in the picture too and who am I to say no to her?

These lamps were a recent find at Target.  I had been wanting to brighten up the lamps in this room but just hadn't found the right look so when I was cruising Target I found these and knew they were perfect.  It took 4 Target stores to finally get both of them but it was worth the running around trying to find them.

This small wall is at the bottom of our steps and divides up the kitchen and dining room from the family room.  I picked up the plates at Target, the Love artwork from Christmas Tree Shop and the Flower artwork from Hobby Lobby.
This ottoman opens up for storage and we keep extra pillows and blankets in it for sleepovers my son has.  It also serves as Charley's favorite spot to hang out when we are in here.

These lanterns are from a local gift shop and have my favorite flameless candle in them...Luminara.  They look so incredibly real!  If you haven't seen them or tried them you should.
The wooden crate in the corner is from La-Z-Boy and stores blankets in it.  The candle holders are from a flea market and I painted them white to make them pop.

Thanks for stopping by!  Now I'm off to curl up in my favorite spot to read a book on this rainy day.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Picture Perfect School Year Teacher Gift

Another school year is done and I feel like we just got started.  We have had another great year with great teachers but I am ready for a break from homework and projects and early mornings.  

Every time I need a teacher gift I try to come up with something new and unique but that isn't always easy to do.  This year was our first year in middle school and we had a great experience considering the massive amounts of anxiety that the school year was started with.  That being said this tag really sums up how we feel about both the school year and the wonderful group of teachers we had--it truly was a "Picture Perfect" year!

Everyone loves a movie night and if they don't then someone they know will so this is a gift that will no doubt get used and it is very easy to put together!

 I gathered up some Movie Theater candy in the dollar section and of course a movie night wouldn't be complete without some popcorn.  I had planned on using popcorn buckets but since my son is way too cool to have mom walk in with him to help carry everything I decided to just bag everything up.  We have 7 teachers so there was no way he would carry a big box filled with teacher gifts.  He is at the age where he doesn't want any attention drawn to him.  As it turns out it worked out really well just bagging the treats in a clear cello bag.

 I created a simple tag and printed those out and used my corner rounder to round the corners and then punched a hole in each corner so they could be tied to the bag.

  Since we have 7 teachers I decided to just do 1 movie code for each teacher.  When you go to you can purchase a group of codes and give them to one person or divide them up.  I chose to divide them up.  I saved the image of the gift card on the Redbox website and printed that on the front of a card and then printed the movie code on the inside of the folded card so they will be able to hang onto it easily.
**That is not a valid code in the photo above.

 As you can see I just folded the card so they only see the Redbox image through the bag but then when they open it they will have the code and it's a business card size so it can be put in their wallet until they are ready to use it and hopefully it won't get lost.  These movie codes can be redeemed at a kiosk or online and they don't expire.
 Bag everything up and tie up the bag with a little ribbon or twine and attach your tag.  

 Movie Night in a bag!  A great gift for the whole family.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Seasoned Shrimp Cocktail

Every year when we go to the beach we can't wait to buy fresh shrimp!  It just tastes so much better when it's fresh off the boat.  Well, in our area there is a business that sets up shop at the Farmer's Market every other week and they have freshly caught seafood from the coast including shrimp!  A few weeks back we picked up a couple pounds of shrimp and then I went on Pinterest to see what new recipes I could come up with. I am so glad I found this one from Joyful Healthy Eats because it is so delicious!  It can be served both hot or cold as shrimp cocktail.  We have done it both ways and it's always fabulous but I personally love it hot. 

The recipe is also very easy so that is another plus and of course it is fast because shrimp just takes a few minutes to prepare.  My kind of meal!
I used the basic recipe from Joyful Healthy Eats but I amped up all the flavors by adding extra of each spice.  The first time I didn't do that and it was great but I felt like it could have been seasoned a bit more so ever since the first time making it I have really kicked it up by adding a little extra of each spice. I also try to make it up ahead and toss the shrimp in it and then stick it in the fridge and this makes a big difference on flavor as well. The recipe below does not include extra spices so just use the basic recipe and heap them up a bit.

You will need:
2 lbs. of Shrimp, peeled and deveined
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
4 tablespoons of olive oil
½ teaspoon of red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon of dry basil
salt & pepper
If you want to make homemade Cocktail Sauce it is very simple as well!  It just takes ½ cup of ketchup and 2 heaping tablespoons of horseradish.  Mix it together and you are good to go.  I usually add a squeeze or two of lemon juice as well.
If you are making the shrimp right away and not putting it in the fridge first then go ahead and preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  
In a large bowl, toss shrimp, garlic cloves, red pepper flakes, dry basil, salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Toss until all coated.  Spread shrimp out in a single layer on a baking sheet.  Bake for 8-10 minutes.
Remove and eat hot or let it cool a little while and serve it as shrimp cocktail.  When I serve this as shrimp cocktail I like to put it in the fridge for a couple hours so it's good and cold.

This shrimp is so good with all those yummy spices.

Dip it in your homemade cocktail sauce and enjoy!
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Buffalo Chicken Pasta Casserole

Don't you love the smell of wing sauce?  I know I do but I don't eat wings because I just can't bring myself to eat meat from a bone.  I do love pasta though so this mixes a couple awesome flavors to make an incredibly pleasing casserole.  It even is a hit with my picky eater so that makes me happy. I am sure if you like Wings or the flavor of Wings you will really enjoy this recipe!

I have made this a couple times now and each time it is a hit!  My mom actually came across this recipe and she made it for Super Bowl and it was gobbled up immediately.  Then I made it and the guys loved it and so did I so I now have added it to my favorite meals category.
• • •
You will need:
3 Cups shredded cooked chicken
1/3 Cup Frank's Wing Sauce
1/3 Cup Ranch dressing
6 to 8 ounces Egg noodles or pasta of your choice
1 14oz Jar of Alfredo sauce
1/4 Cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 Cup shredded cheddar cheese divided
6 slices of Provolone cheese for top
Optional: Blue Cheese crumbles
 Prepare your noodles and drain. Also prepare your chicken--shredded or chunks of chicken work well in this recipe.  Place your Wing sauce, Ranch dressing, Alredo sauce, 1/4 cup cheddar cheese and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese in a bowl and mix well.  *If you are using Blue Cheese add it to the casserole instead of just on top or if you have some that like it and some that don't just serve it on the side.  Add chicken and combine.  Add in prepared and drained noodles and make sure everything is well coated in your sauce mixture.
Pour into a greased casserole dish and top with remaining cheddar and provolone cheeses.  I use my food processor and chop up my slices of Provolone but you wouldn't have to do this step.  Bake at 350 for about 20 to 30 minutes until bubbly and browned on top.
Serve with some chopped green onions, a salad and some fresh bread and you are all set.  Add a little extra wing sauce if you want a bit more of a kick!

As you can tell from the photos I have made this several times and each time it is a hit!  The photo above was made with chunks of chicken instead of shredded chicken and parsley instead of green onions.  Either way has been a hit with us!
What's not to love--pasta, wing sauce, cheese and chicken!


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