Sunday, September 13, 2015

"Game Nights"

A couple more ideas for those crazy busy week nights - taken from this very site!

Runnin' UTE Tailgate Chili - aside from browning the meat - it's another dump, dump, dump leave in the crock pot kinda meal. This recipe does make a lot though - so I use my 6.5 quart stock pot. If you don't have a huge crock pot - just cut the recipe in half.

We had it the night I made it with shredded cheese and sour cream, another night we had it over quick microwaved hot dogs and yet another night we had it on top of tortilla chips with shredded cheese on top!!

Mizithra and Brown Butter Pasta - this is one of my fav go to pasta recipes. Pasta in general is fast and easy. When I know I'm going to be short on time, I make the pasta al-dente before hand - drizzle it with a bit of olive oil and stick it in the fridge. When dinner time rolls around, the kids can choose whatever sauce they want (from a jar - alfredo, marinara, pesto) and heat the sauce and the pasta up in their own individual bowls. One of my kids favorite way to eat pasta is with a little pat of butter on top and reheated - so simple!!

Microwave Salmon - stay with me here. I know it sounds crazy - BUT I learned this trick from my brother in law who LIVED in SEATTLE for over a decade. I buy the frozen salmon steaks at Costco - throw them in a sink of cold water for a few minutes to thaw and then microwave them. Nothing could be easier! I usually make 2 extra steaks to use for lunches or another dinner and make Tuna Puff Sandwiches just substituting the tuna with salmon.

Cafe Rio Pork - so this is one of my favorite foods ever. I serve it as a salad, in tacos, in burritos, on hamburger buns… oh the possibilities!

Stay tuned! I'll be trying a bunch of new "game night" recipes again this week!!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Hawaiian Crock Pot Chicken

A "game night" recipe. I am going to try a bunch of recipes I've seen on Pinterest - I'm going to post them all - the good and the bad and I'll review each one starting with Hawaiian Chicken.

This was a cinch to make - dump, dump, dump - turn the crock on. My kind of recipe. Mixed reviews here. My kids (ages 3-12) liked it. My husband said it was 'good', I ate it because I was starving. Personally, I didn't really like it - BUT I don't like sweets - and this is sweet - so take that with a grain of salt (haha - salt!)

An awesome tip I've used forever - but haven't shared before (I don't think) is that when I use the crock pot and the recipe calls for chicken, I generally just throw frozen chicken in and make this one alteration - set the crock pot on HIGH for the first hour - then go by the directions in the recipe. GENIUS!!

So… not the best picture - but because I was running around all day and would be coaching soccer while most of the family ate - I took a picture as I ran out the door - and not when it was served up nicely on a plate :)

Hawaiian Crock Pot Chicken
BBQ sauce - your favorite - the whole bottle (20 oz)
20 oz can pineapples (crushed, chunked or rings - I used chunked bc some of the kids like to eat the pineapple and some don't)
4-6 chicken breasts

Throw it all in the pot. Just make sure the chicken is covered by the sauce. Cook on low for 6 hours - or on high for 3 hours.

I usually shred the chicken - to make it go a little further and to avoid left overs - about 20 minutes before serving - then put the shredded chicken back in the sauce until we're ready. This fed all 6 of us.

Serve with Sweet Jasmine Rice (if you're really in a time crunch - I've heard those microwaveable rice packets aren't too bad…)

Breakfast Bake

Boy howdy do I love a good breakfast. My husband it the breakfast KING - when he is home he spoils us with omelets, waffles, pancakes, fried eggs, scrambled eggs - THE WORKS!

BUT - when he's not home we usually settle for cereal and once in a while I'll bust something delicious out - like this little number… I didn't have a recipe just whipped it up and DANG!

Breakfast Bake
1/2 - 3/4 bag frozen hash browns (diced or shredded)
Deli ham diced in bite sized pieces
7 Eggs
1 c Milk
1/2 t mustard powder
Salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste
Cheese - I used shredded cheddar

Mix eggs, milk and seasonings together - set aside.

In a 9x13" casserole dish, spray with PAM and line with hash browns. Sprinkle with ham and cheese then pour egg mixture over the top.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until a knife comes out clean.

Back to School Breakfast Ideas

I took a loooooong break from blogging - I've been busy moving out of state - living with my in laws while waiting to find and close on a new house - and now that we are finally here and mostly unpacked - I'm BACK!

3 of my kids started school, dance, soccer, scouts, tennis, etc. a couple of weeks ago and we are BUSY!! I am going to do a few posts on "game nights" those nights that you are running all over the place and you don't have time to make a meal at dinner time - and everyone needs to eat - but not all at the same time - you know those nights? Stay tuned...

I have found a couple of solutions to having your kids eat a hearty breakfast THEMSELVES without making a mess!!

1. Einstein Bros. Bagels has a deal running right now where you can get a bakers dozen of bagels for $6 every Monday. Six dollars people!! I buy a big tub of plain cream cheese at Costco (which I also use in many dinners and appetizers) and make sure not to buy any "gourmet" bagels so I can stick to $6 flat.

2. Green Monster Smoothies!! These are super delicious - the kids AND the parents love them! I make a big batch and freeze them in single servings.

3. Make ahead Breakfast Burritos!!! These are sheer genius. I can get 10-12 per batch!

Breakfast Burritos
12 tortillas
10 eggs
1/2 - 3/4 bag frozen shredded hash browns
16 oz package Jimmy Dean sausage 
1 medium onion, diced
Shredded cheddar cheese
Salt, pepper & garlic powder to taste

Cook the sausage (with the onion) and the hash browns according to the package directions - don't forget to season the hash browns. So far, I have just used scrambled my eggs. I add a splash of milk, salt, pepper and a little garlic powder. 

I put the ingredients into an "assembly line" and have my kids make their own. I stand at the end of the assembly line listening to them ooh and aaah over just how delicious breakfast will be every morning and then I fold the burritos and wrap them in saran wrap. They mark the burritos with their initials and stick them in a designated section in the refrigerator.

In the morning, they remove the saran wrap and wrap it in a paper towel. Microwave for 60 seconds! They eat them with ketchup, salsa, sriracha or tabasco, my daughter even eats hers with sour cream.

You can also freeze these - but since these have run out before Friday every week - we're sticking with the fridge.

*Make these your own!! Ham, bacon, spicy sausage, chicken sausage, pepper jack cheese - tons of options! 


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