Wednesday, May 27, 2015

#Share a Coke sweet Macy girl found this coolest ever Coke with my name on it {with just a small spelling error, I'm Ta-bath-a..but, I like never see my name on stuff} that I drank after it had been in a cooler with rock salt for a good little while.  Sometimes there is NO substitute for a cold, fully caffeinated, fully sugared Coca Cola Classic. {haha, I am so giving my age away with the Classic remark}

Nice job, Coke.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Menu Plan Monday 5/25/15

Happy Birthday Nanner!

Tanner and Jesse 2015 Birthday Fun

This is my oldest son's birthday week and he is celebrating and sharing the day with our nation's holiday, Memorial Day.  We typically spend the day eating lots of grilled picnic food, swimming, sunning, and funning (games, trampolines, painting and did I mention eating and enjoying an adult beverage?)

However, the true meaning of Memorial Day is remembering those that have served and lost their lives in defense of our country. There are only two words that describe the meaning of Memorial Day..

Image result for the real meaning of memorial day

I am sending my second boy, Ty, off to camp for the entire summer on Thursday this week.  He was blessed to obtain a position as youth counselor at Warren Willis United Methodist Camp after years of dreaming of doing just that.  He has been spending a week there since he was ten years old and it is fantastic to see him realize a childhood dream.  He is so excited (Mom is too, but I'm going to miss my little brat)!
Since it is Tanner's birthday week though, most of the meals are going to focus on what he likes.....Ty has coerced me in to cooking for him each week and dropping off food at camp so he will just have to make do for his last week at home. I'll be cooking up some party foods too for those sun filled days this weekend.

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I'm making this queso dip for our poolside celebration and adding ground meat to the mix for a homemade version of the famous velveeta dip.  This is so much better.  Craveable!

Image result for pictures of taco rings
A Taco Ring was also requested.  I really have no recipe for this I just kind of wing it depending on the cheese that I have in the frig and how many crescent rolls I have.  I will say that it typically all gets eaten!

A chocolate trifle has been requested by Tanner as his birthday cake....he truly loves this bowl of "stuff", and it's his birthday right?  Super simple non recipe.  Devil's Food cake cooked and cooled, chocolate pudding (I usually make chocolate and vanilla mixed), cool whip, and heath bits or crushed bars.  Layer the ingredients in a clear glass bowl, finishing with cool whip and garnished with small amounts of the cake and heath bars.
To Do:  Make everything in the morning.

Image result for birthday cake pictures


(The birthday boy's favorite)
Garlic Bread
To Do:  Run to the store for a rotisserie chicken, turkey or chicken, cheese, and other bogo deals.  Kiss my boy for his birthday xoxo.  Make macaroni salad, turkey burgers, and sandwich rolls.  Heck, I might even do the weekend laundry but I know definitely I'll be reading the House of Night series.

Grilled Italian Turkey Burgers Recipe
Grilled Italian Turkey Burgers
Italian Sandwich Rolls
Mom's Macaroni Salad
To Do: Put pork in the frig.

Ultimate Grilled Pork Chop Recipe
Ultimate Grilled Pork Chops
Green Veggie
To Do:  Wrap potatoes for the crock pot or grate cheese (I hate to grate cheese!) for macaroni and cheese.  Or nothing at all since Ty leaves for camp tomorrow.

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Loaded Baked Potatoes
Green Salad

Baked Macaroni and Cheese
Sauteed Okra
Green Salad
To Do:  Nothing! Tomorrow is Friday but...if I don't cook on Thursday I will carry forward what I didn't make then.


Have a great week!
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Friday, May 22, 2015

Things my blog won't pull up in a self directed search, Weekly Recipe Review

I've noticed that I always have problems looking up some of the recipes I post even when I type the name exactly as I typed it in the original post.  Huh?  I'm not sure why this is but I know that I want to make Cheesy Bacon Lentils again and again so....I'm typing the name without and with the link so I can find it again when I'm ready to soak 'em up.  Soaking the lentils prior to cooking made the biggest difference in the tenderness of them and also eased the digestibility. That is a an A+ positive for me.  Here are the changes that I made which made me love, love, love this dish.  Honestly, no one was home to eat and I didn't share with my boys that this simple dish was de-licious but let me tell you when I returned home from working a weekend morning, over half of the leftovers had disappeared.  Hmmm....I halved the recipe so next time I'll make the full amount so leftovers will be guaranteed.  I don't want to misplace this one and I definitely don't want to search my own blog to find this recipe since we know my flair for improvisation.  For this one, I want the proportions right.  

I'm pretty sure if you've read my blog over the last couple of weeks then you know I'm in love with this salad too! This spinach salad with strawberries and mandarin oranges is seriously so delicious.

I liked this Steak Lover's Meatloaf but my kids prefer the one I normally make....I dunked mine in ketchup and the flavor profile was complete.  Maybe I'll tweak this one a bit and add some of the red stuff to the mix.  Definitely one to attempt to adjust to our family's tastes.

My Grandmother's recipe for blueberry cobbler (known as Doobee or Granny's Doobee in our part of the is one that has stood the test of time and using "homemade" self rising flour worked out fantastic.  I don't think I've made one this good in years.  The recipe is simply as follows:
Mix 1 cup self rising flour, 1 cup whole milk or half and half, and 3/4 cup sugar in a mixing bowl. Melt 1 stick of butter in an approximate 8x8 dish or oval equivalent in the oven (that should be pre heating to 350).  Remove the pan from the oven and pour the batter on the top of the butter (don't worry it won't look like it's distributed evenly and that is a tongue twister :).  Using 2 cups of frozen or fresh berries with the desired amount of sugar sprinkled over and allowed to macerate (good word, huh? Do this prior to making the batter).  Put the fruit on top of the batter evenly distributing (you can use more fruit or less depending on your preference of fruit to cake ratio). Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 55 minutes or until golden (possibly a little darker) brown.  This picture is horrible and we've eaten over half of it...sorry.

Let's see, the next thing I made was the Cheesy Party Burgers that I found on Kevin and Amanda's site.  They were absolutely delicious and even held up really well when I packed them in my lunch for the next day.  This recipe will be in my repertoire (another good word, huh?) for get togethers or shindigs as we call them around here.  I didn't use the Rotel tomatoes replacing them with chopped grape tomatoes (I was worried the dish would be soggy).  I also used a mix of white american slices and plain 'ole american yellow (unnatural orange) cheese slices.  Simple to make and tastes great, especially if you like the sweet/savory thing.

Oh my word, this Thai Pizza was fantastic and even though it required a few more steps than I like to do during the week (I hate grating anything and this one required cheese and carrots to be done). You truly could do all of the prep work on the weekend when you have the time.  You could even make the peanut sauce a few days in advance, just remember to take it out of the frig to allow it to soften up before attempting to spread on the crust.  Speaking of crust, I purchased a thin crust (Aldi brand...which is great)  but you could absolutely make your own if you desire and even pre bake it and freeze to make for a quicker meal.  Regardless of how you get there, make this recipe if you like Thai inspired dishes.

Regardless of the picture you see below, this Ravioli with Italian sausage in a white wine sauce is one of our family favorites.  I change a few of the ingredients (add more meat for my carnivores, basically I double it) and make a little more sauce to make it more appealing to my family but this Publix Apron's recipe is a keeper.

My picture

Publix's picture

That's it for my recipe review this week.  Since this is Memorial Day Weekend and Tan's Birthday Weekend, I'll be cooking some other things (not quite so exoctic or for that matter healthy).  Stay tuned for next week's review.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Menu Plan Monday 5/18/2015 and Weekly Recipe Review

These are the beautiful flowers I was given for Mother's Day from my oldest son's girlfriend, Jesse, and they've stayed this fresh and pretty since last Sunday.  Flowers brighten a room so much don't you think?  
I know I've said this recently, but I have been cooking a lot of good stuff!  I'm not certain if it's inspiration {or that someone is eating my creations} or the luck of picking great recipes to try.  Shoot, it may just be that I've been hungry lol.  Whatever it is, I'm enjoying the creativity of cooking on a daily basis which is something I haven't done in quite some time. {due to surgery, a picky eater, and no one home to eat}

I will say my favorite thing that I made all of last week is this salad from Good Cheap Eats.  I have exceptionally good luck with the recipes I find on this site.  I know that the success of the recipe typically has a lot to do with the fact that your tastes {culinary} are similar.  Regardless look at the result..yum.
I didn't have any avocado...we ate them earlier in the week..and I didn't have strawberry jam....I used homemade cherry.... even so it was delicious!! I'm going to be making this weekly throughout the summer and I might even use it as a main course adding the suggested chicken for the top.

I skipped this recipe last week because the kids made a delicious dinner for me on Sunday {Mother's Day}..... so I'll carry it forward to this week.  I'm working over this weekend {really early} which means that I do a large amount of prep work for the menu at home since otherwise {if I went out somewhere} I would be sleep deprived.  Also a two hour special of When Calls the Heart is airing on the Hallmark channel on Saturday.....and yes I'm a geek and I'm totally planning my weekend around this.

Instead of adding the chicken to the salad {my most favorite ever...right now}, I decided to make this recipe instead as I have a hard time convincing my youngest that baby spinach is a viable option versus romaine {which is his one and only favorite for salads}.   We enjoyed this immensely and in fact when my oldest son said he was eating with his girlfriend's family.... and then I sent him pictures of the finished dish.  He quickly decided to come home and eat...that sure makes this "cooker" smile.

The other dish I made last week that stood out was a pesto pasta with ham sausage which one kid loved and the other kid thought was so-so.  I thought it was really tasty but depending on who is home at the time will determine whether or not I make it again. There wasn't a true recipe just one of my many pasta jumbles that I put together with bits and pieces from the frig. I bought the ham sausage when it was BOGO never having tried it before and everyone seems to like the flavor.  I just hope I can find it again.

We also made Maw Maw's Hamburger Surprise without the bacon {I forgot} and a family favorite of ours, Ham and Gruyere Quiche {I used ham sausage, swiss, and green onions}   We enjoyed them both and will frequently make some sort of rendition of these in the not so distant future.  Oh and I loved, loved, loved Mom's Macaroni Salad and will make this one my go to picnic food.

Here is what I'm planning for the next week, using what I have in my frig with again minimal shopping required...Yay!

Hummus Sesame Noodles
Grilled Chicken  or this marinade
Grilled Broccoli
To Do: Work, make blueberry cobbler using homemade self rising flour, put meatloaf in the frig, lay in the sun at Mamaw's, cook bacon, finish up any extra laundry.

Easy potato skins recipe via These potato rounds are topped with cheddar cheese, crumbled bacon bits and taste great topped with a little sour cream!
Easy Potato Skins or Baked Potatoes
Green Veggie
To Do:  nothing, pizza tomorrow

Roasted Garlic Margherita French Bread Pizza 
Thai Chicken Pizza on
I might use this dough.
Green Salad {it depends on which pizza I make}
To Do:  I honestly don't know.

Here are some of my ideas for the rest of the week.

These Cheesy Party Burgers are so fun! Great to serve to a crowd or just to make dinner fun. Perfect for parties because you can make them the night before and cook the next day. If you want to start the party, make these Cheesy Party Burgers!!

BBQ Chicken Pinwheel Bake

Baked Double Crunch Honey Garlic Chicken

Seriously I think that is enough...have a good week...sunshine and sunflowers for all.
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Friday, May 15, 2015

Third Time!

Yummy still 👍👌

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Second Day In a Row

This salad is so yummy I'm having it a third time for lunch tomorrow!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Happy Mother's Day

Best dinner ever!  We ate too quickly to photograph our plates but...grilled ribeyes, roasted fingerling potatoes with pesto, and grilled baby artichokes with lemon basil aioli.  My eldest son is quite the imaginative cook. He started preparing on Friday for this and it was absolutely delicious. Thanks you more than you know!