Saturday, January 29, 2011

Bacon-Crab Mushroom Caps

These stuffed mushrooms were so good that I had to steal this picture and the recipe from my sister-in-law. She made these for our New Year's Eve family get-together. Everyone gobbled them up and they didn't last long.

My sister-in-law left out the crabmeat and they were delicious without it. If you like crab then add it in! I'm sure they would be good with it too!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Robot Party

I wanted to share some pictures from my son's 4th birthday party. He wanted a Robot party so I ordered some supplies from The Oriental Trading Company, started saving my empty soup and formula cans, gathered some random nuts, bolts, and hinges, and got creative using my hot glue gun. There are lots of great ideas all over the internet that got my creative juices flowing.

For example, I made this utensil holder out of soup cans, a big formula can, and some colored electrical tape. Isn't he cute? The red and blue plastic forks and spoons are essentially the robot's "hair".

All the food even had a robot theme to it. Here's what we served:

Computer Chips - Potato Chips
Memory Cells - Cheese Puffs
Nuts and Bolts - homemade Chex Mix (recipe below)
Robot Energy - Fruit and Veggie Trays
Battery Cells - M&M's
Machine Oil - Juice Boxes
Fuel Cake - Cupcakes
Robot Pizza - Pizza

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Royal Icing

Below is the royal icing recipe that I used for Carson's birthday cookies. I followed Bridget's step by step instructions from Bake at 350. She makes some of the cutest sugar cookies! I love checking her food blog each week to see her new creations. I would consider her a master at cookie decorating. While mine don't even compare to hers, I'm sure that with each attempt, mine will get better and better. You know what they say..."Practice Makes Perfect!"


Monday, January 24, 2011

Vanilla-Almond Sugar Cookies

My baby boy turned 4 last week! In honor of his birthday, the two of us made sugar cookies in the shape of "4" for him to take to school. He loves rolling out the dough and helping with the cutouts. He's quite a good little helper!

I have a new favorite sugar cookie recipe. I tried Bridget's recipe over at Bake At 350. They turned out fabulous! The dough came together really nice, they baked up perfectly, and they are yummy! This is going to be my new go-to recipe when I have to make sugar cookies in the future.

Tomorrow I will post the icing recipe.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Quinoa and Black Beans

A friend of mine posted a link to this recipe on her Facebook page saying how good it was. After reading the name of it I was intrigued. I didn't even know how to pronounce it let alone know what it was!

Quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) is a grain that comes from the Andes Mountains of South America. Quinoa's origins are truly ancient. It was one of the three staple foods, along with corn and potatoes, of the Inca civilization. The quinoa seed is high in protein, calcium and iron, a relatively good source of vitamin E and several of the B vitamins. It contains an almost perfect balance of all eight essential amino acids needed for tissue development in humans. It also contains more protein than any other grain; an average of 16.2 percent, compared with 7.5 percent for rice, 9.9 percent for millet, and 14 percent for wheat. Some varieties of quinoa are more than 20 percent protein.

Sounds healthy, right? So I wanted to cook it and see if it tasted any good!

The results? I loved it! It was full of flavor and reminded me of my favorite pre-packaged Cuban black beans and rice that I've made several times only this dish is a lot healthier. I ate it as my main course but it would be a great side dish as well. It was very easy to make. In fact, the hardest part is finding quinoa in the grocery store. After several minutes of looking, and 2 aisles later, I found a little container of it across from the pasta section in Meijer. For you locals, I heard that Kroger sells it also.

You can add many other things to this dish if you like. I enjoyed my quinoa with some fresh lime squeezed on top. My husband added ham and a sunny-side up egg to his.

Thanks Cyndi for this great find! I will definitely make this dish again!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Barbecue Chili with Corn

I needed something quick to cook for dinner last night and I had already went to the store earlier in the week to purchase the ingredients for this recipe. It came together really easy and the subtle taste of BBQ was a nice change to other chilis I am used to eating.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Potato-Topped Mini Meatloaves

I thought these looked mighty tasty so I gave them a try for dinner the other night. While they don't rank quite as high as my Mini Meatloaf Recipe that I posted back in February, they were still really good. I love what a great presentation they make too. They look so fancy on the plate but yet they were so easy to make!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Crockpot Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

I've been in the mood for okra lately. A friend of ours from the Ivory Coast makes this amazing African okra dish. She made it for us several times when we used to live by them in Indiana. Now that we are in Michigan, I miss her amazing cooking. (I should have gotten her recipe and watched her make it before we moved! :) So I searched the internet for okra recipes and found this.

While it was nothing like the African dish, it was still very good. My preschooler was not a fan of it and informed me that it was "big people's food" but my husband and I both really liked it! I will definitely make it again.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Lazygirl's Ground Turkey Stroganoff

This recipe came to me through one of those email Recipe Exchanges. I don't know about you guys but I never have any luck with those. The way it works is you are supposed to email a recipe to the person whose name is in position 1 (even if you don't know them). After you've sent your recipe to the person in position 1, you are supposed to copy the letter into a new email, move position 2's name to the top and put your name in position 2. Then you send the email to 20 friends. If it works properly, you are supposed to get 36 recipes. I've NEVER had any success with it and have stopped participating in them; however, I was lucky enough to get this easy and yummy recipe out of the experience.

I love the name of this recipe and it proves just how simple and fast it is to make. It reminds me on some of those Hamburger Helper mixes you can buy only much better. I've made this several times for my family already. If you have a big family, you'll want to double the recipe. We barely have any leftovers when I make this for my hubby, preschooler, and myself.

Thanks for sharing this recipe with me Carol!!!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Chicken Parmesan

It's been awhile since I've made this recipe. So long that I almost forgot how good it was! The chicken was so tender and I served it over linguine.

The first time I had it was at a company potluck lunch. After my first bite, I had to ask for the recipe! It is surprisingly easy to make and everyone will think that you cooked for hours once they sit down to eat it.

The only change I make to this recipe is doubling the sauce. I normally use a 24 oz. jar of pasta sauce and that sometimes is still not enough because we like to put a generous amount on our pasta.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Rosemary Chicken Pockets

A friend of mine just recently joined the blogging bandwagon. She has a new site called Hanging On By A Thread. (Click the link to go to her site.) I just love her new blog and I check it every day for updates. K is such a crafty person. She loves to sew, refurbish old furniture, and even cook. In fact K and her two little girls have Mother/Daughter Cooking Day every Wednesday. I just adore that!

Here's the first recipe she posted to her new blog and I wanted to give it a try. The outcome??? These are AWESOME! Loved them!!! They remind me of kolaches from The Kolache Factory. I will definitely be making these again.

I was a little hesitant to use canned chicken but too lazy to venture out into the cold to buy some fresh chicken or even a rotisserie chicken. Let me just add, that these little guys are amazing even with canned chicken. They are so quick and easy to make too. Thanks for sharing this recipe with me K!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Roasted Chickpeas

While surfing different food blogs this afternoon I became very intrigued by several Roasted Chickpea recipes. They all raved about how it is such a healthy snack and loaded with lots of fiber as well as taste. I even found an article called "15 More Ways to Flavor Roasted Chickpeas". I jumped on the boat and wanted to try some myself. I had two cans of chickpeas that have been in my pantry for about a year and were dying to be used up (I bought them a long time ago wanting to make my own hummus but never got around to it).

I made two different kinds, one sweet and one salty and the recipes are posted below. I definitely favored the salty one and had fun munching on it. They say you really need to eat them up the same day or else they will lose some of their crunch the following day. Have you ever had CornNuts? That's exactly what they remind me of!

Thursday, January 6, 2011


I had to make 6 dozen cookies for my preschooler's Christmas program. It was postponed twice due to snow so the actual performance was actually after the holidays. I searched my recipe box for just the right cookie recipe.

This is a snickerdoodle recipe that my mom used to make all the time when we were kids. I believe it was one of the first recipes that I copied when I got my very own recipe box a long time ago. These are always a big hit and I'm sure all the 3 and 4 year olds will gobble them up after they are done singing their adorable songs on stage tonight.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Here's a SUPER EASY appetizer that I made for our New Year's Eve party this year. It just requires 3 ingredients: grape jelly, chili sauce, and frozen meatballs. The chili sauce is tangy, sweet, and tart all at the same time and full of spices. The grape jelly adds sweetness and flavor and the result is a wonderful and quick sweet and sour sauce. These were a big hit and it seriously doesn't get any easier than this!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Golden Pork with Cinnamon Apples

I had some Granny Smith apples in my refrigerator that needed to be used up so I tried this new recipe. I just love using my crock pot. There's nothing better than throwing in some ingredients in the morning and having a tender, tasty dinner that night with little work!

This recipe was a pleasant surprise. The sweet and tart flavors of the apples went really well with the pork. My whole family liked it.