Showing posts with label Dinner Time. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dinner Time. Show all posts

Sunday, June 21, 2015

BBQ Pulled Pork

After a crazy couple days away from home we were so excited to get home. To sleep in our own bed, use our own stuff but mostly eat real food. I get so tired of eating out when I'm on the road. The hard part is I didn't have much groceries in stock. I was too tired to get back in a car and drive to the store too. I opened my fridge and was so relieved to find some Lloyds pulled pork and Hormel mashed potatoes.
I quickly made up so homemade BBQ sauce, Heated up the pork and mashed potatoes.I added some Parmesan cheese and garlic salt to the poatatoes to make it just that much yummier.  Oddly I had a small salad bag that hadn't gone bad. So I added some cheese and Hormel bacon bits. In the end it was nice to have a home cooked meal after eating out so much, and it didn't take a lot of time or work either.

In the spirit of full-disclosure, I’ve partnered with Hormel Foods as part of the Hormel Foods Extended Family Blogger Program. Throughout the year I’ll be receiving product, coupons, giveaways and promotions. However, no payment was given or expected for posting about the program, and as always, all opinions given here are fully my own.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Mini Pizza Night

We usually do Friday night pizza night. Sometimes we go somewhere out to eat, sometimes we order it, occasionally I even make it. My kids favorite is when they help make it. Well help make their own mini pizza's anyway. They are easy to make and my kids enjoy making their own pizza, plus there is less complaining about what kind to get.

First I use English muffins. I cut them in half and let the kids spoon marinara or pizza sauce on them. Then they can put as much of what kind of cheese I have out on them. Then of course Hormel pepperoni is a must! Usually my kids are ok with just those 2 things on them. You could add just about anything else though. Then I broil them till the cheese is melted and the edges crispy. Super easy but always a crowd pleaser. Plus I am a big fan of kids helping make dinner.

In the spirit of full-disclosure, I’ve partnered with Hormel Foods as part of the Hormel Foods Extended Family Blogger Program. Throughout the year I’ll be receiving product, coupons, giveaways and promotions. However, no payment was given or expected for posting about the program, and as always, all opinions given here are fully my own.

Friday, January 30, 2015

5 Things that NEVER should be re-heated

Growing up I would definitely say my mom was a saver. Nothing in my house went to waste, especially leftovers. My mom can turn some leftover dishes into some pretty awesome meals, who do you think taught me this popular recipe switcheroo? However, she also would save and re-heat everything! Not just about everything, EVERYTHING!!! So I compiled a list of the top 5 things that I think should never even be attempted to be eaten a second time.
5. Scrambled Eggs

Would my youngest eat this re-heated no problem? Sure! Is it just gross and wrong, yes. There is something about re-heating scrambled eggs that just makes them rubbery, less flavorful and just gross! Trust me.

4. Chili Cheese Fries

I use to work at an A&W and loved their chili cheese fries... when eaten fresh. This is something that has to be eaten almost immediately after being made. Just  imagine eating it a day later and reheated in a microwave, its as gross and mushy as it sounds (I promise.)  I want to know if this can even be considered a french fry the next day? 

3. Oatmeal

Have you ever left oatmeal (or cream of wheat for that matter)  out too long and it's gotten that gross film across the top? Imagine eating that throughout the entire dish. I think I'll pass on the slimey leftover hot cereal today, thanks. 

2. Hamburgers

Enough said.
1. Macaroni and Cheese

I don't know what it is about this dish, somehow it's just not the same re-heated. I don't have a problem with other pasta dishes, or even Mac and cheese from scratch, just this one. If there is ever any left over in the pan, it always goes straight to the garbage and not to a tupperware container!

I almost didn't do a bonus this top 5 series but I obviously changed my mind. Besides at this point I almost have to, since every other top 5 has a bonus thought. 

My husband hates soggy bread, he is very sensitive when it comes to wet bread. For example we went to a family members house who served us 2 day old subway sandwiches once, I almost became a widow that day, he seriously almost died. So I will say in our house my husband does not care for not only left over sandwiches but anything that could involve soggy bread, such as enchiladas, burritos, french toast and sometimes even pizza.
What can you not stand re-heated? 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Wholly Guacamole and Nacho Night

I have to say how much I love the Wholly Guacamole cups. I recently went back to work part time and this last week they have come in so handy.

One day at work I needed a healthy pick me up and this creamy cup of goodness and some chips hit the spot! They come in this cute 100 Calorie cups now too. I keep a few at the office and a few in my freezer just in case I have a guacamole craving (which is a lot ;) If you click this link they even have a coupon right now you can print from home.

One night we had tacos for dinner and it was a great compliment to them. I used turkey meat for the taco meet, diced some tomatoes, cut up some lettuce and shredded some cheese. Then I just threw the corn tortillas on the griddle and added my Wholly Guacamole. It was a great healthy family meal. 

Then the next day for lunch I had some taquitos in the freezer and this made that quick meal that much better. The possibilities for this Wholly Guacamole cups are endless!

Then we had one of my favorites last night- nachos! I took the leftover taco meat and toppings and opened a jar of Chi Chi's Salsa Con Queso and Voila- yummy quick nachos. This is great cause no matter what you have on hand it makes a great meal. As long as you have chips and the queso you can add, green onions, beans, lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, guacamole, meat, sour cream, the list goes on and on. I always keep a jar in my pantry for when I need a quick meal. So next time you are at the store grab a jar or 2 of Chi Chi's Salsa Con Queso for a fun family build your own nacho night!

In the spirit of full-disclosure, I’ve partnered with Hormel Foods as part of the Hormel Foods Extended Family Blogger Program. Throughout the year I’ll be receiving product, coupons, giveaways and promotions. However, no payment was given or expected for posting about the program, and as always, all opinions given here are fully my own.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Recipe- Teriyaki Pulled Pork Rice Bowls

With me going back to work part time I have started to try and make more crock pot meals. This was one I kind of made up on the fly the other night, and my husband loved it. I opened my freezer to find a lovely  HORMEL ®   ALWAYS TENDER ® Teriyaki Pork Tenderloin. I threw it in the crockpot, covered it in water and let it sit on low for at least 8 hours. (You could do high for 4 hours as well.)  When I got home I cooked some rice and made some stir fry with what vegetables I had in my freezer. next time I will make sure to have better stir fry worth vegetables, but here is the basic recipe.

Hormel ®   always tender  t eriyaki pork tenderloin 
1 Cup rice
1/2 C  Teriyaki Sauce
1 TB Soy Sauce
1 tsp Garlic
1 tsp Ginger
dash Salt
1 tsp Brown Sugar
Bag frozen stiry fry vegetables

Slow cook the pork tenderloin till it easily shreds on its own.
Cook the rice
Mix the teriyaki sauce, soy sauce garlic, ginger, salt and brown sugar in a bowl and set aside
Saute the vegetables in a little olive oil, when cooked then add the sauce and let them simmer om medium heat for a few minutes. Then you can build your own teriyaki bowl. Yumm!! Super easy and yummy!

In the spirit of full-disclosure, I’ve partnered with Hormel Foods as part of the Hormel Foods Extended Family Blogger Program. Throughout the year I’ll be receiving product, coupons, giveaways and promotions. However, no payment was given or expected for posting about the program, and as always, all opinions given here are fully my own.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Easy Dinner Idea- Pasta

This post is going to start different than planned. It was going to be about how angel hair pasta cooks fastest, and how to keep some spaghetti (or other pasta sauce) on hand can help make a fast dinner. In the end I think it's about how chaos can even sneak a few points in there too sometimes!
Yesterday was a long day. So when I was making my quick pasta dinner I grabbed a jar that Hormel sent me to review. I saw pictures of tomatoes and garlic with the words thick and chunky on it, and assumed pasta sauce. I even decided to try my new app and make my first gif to go along with this pasta dinner post. After I poured it in the pot I thought, something is off about this pasta sauce. Sure enough that's because it's not pasta sauce, It's salsa! Good thing I caught it, cause that would have been some weird pasta!

So as a side note I will review Chi Chi's salsa and let you know what I think. I might try it in a yummy recipe, let me know if you have a good one to try!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Easy Dinner Ideas- Anything Covered In Syrup

The title says it all. Usually when I need something fast that I know all my kids will like I go with Breakfast for dinner. Anything my kids can put syrup on is never a fail in my home. Pancakes, waffles, french toast or even scones. Yup I once told my kids scones were pancake balls so to this day they cover them in syrup.

I think french toast is one of my favorites. Granted I like to make my french toast with texas toast. This is something I had to actually make a habit of keeping in my pantry just so I could make french toast in a pinch. My favorite thing to add to the toast is a syrup I got from a friend a few years ago that she called Magic Syrup. This is how you make magic syrup.
Magic Syrup:
In a saucepan melt 1 cube of butter; add 3/4 Cup of sugar and 1/2 cup of buttermilk. I don't usually have buttermilk on hand even though it is cheap and lasts a long time. It's OK if you don't just do milk and about a half a Tablespoon of white vinegar. Boil this then add 1 teaspoon of vanilla and 1 teaspoon of baking soda.
My kids love to scoop out the bubbles onto their toast. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Easy Dinner Ideas- Hot Dogs or Chili Dogs

Let me start out by saying I am not a huge hot dog fan. I don't eat them very often, but if I do I like them 3 different ways. Grilled, in central park with mustard or with Hormel Chili. Since I don't have time to bust out the grill, and I'm not in New York, then that means its time to bust out the chili dog.
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Hot dogs are one of my kids favorite things to eat. They are super easy to cook as well, whether you boil them or use the microwave they don't take very long at all. Although my kids just like to dip theirs in ketchup Dad and I like ours with Hormel chili. Dad likes his hot dog  in a bun with cheese and jalapenos, I sometimes like mine just like my kids- plain on a plate, no bun. Either way adding the chili elevates the usual hot dog into something more hearty and tasty for my husband and I.

Another thing I like to do if my eyes are bigger than my stomach and I heat up too much chili is make Cheese and Hormel Chili Dip. Which can also be great if you are going to a Halloween party this week and need to bring a dish to share. You can get the easy recipe here. Next time I suggest  dipping bell peppers in it.
What else do you like to put Hormel Chili on?
In the spirit of full-disclosure, I’ve partnered with Hormel Foods as part of the Hormel Foods Extended Family Blogger Program. Throughout the year I’ll be receiving product, coupons, giveaways and promotions. However, no payment was given or expected for posting about the program, and as always, all opinions given here are fully my own 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Easy Dinner Ideas- Fajitas into Tortilla Soup

I don't know about you but this is going to be a crazy week for me. I have 1 child having surgery, practices, Halloween activities, church responsibilities and other time consuming things going on.  I like to have a few go to recipes that I can go to when having a day (or in this case a week) that I need a quick dinner using ingredients on hand. Sometimes the hard balance with this is healthy dinner vs. quick dinners. Several days this week I am going to post some of the things I make for my family in a pinch and how I like to make them more mommy and daddy approved.
Since yesterday I had some time to cook and prep for the week I decided to make fajitas for dinner. Diced some yummy bell peppers that have been awesomely priced, added some chicken and made fajitas. Fajitas with a wheat tortilla and some non fat plain greek yogurt makes it  a win for me. Chicken, cheese and tortillas made it a win for my kids.

Then tonight we are using the leftovers to make a crockpot tortilla soup. I threw the leftover fajitas in the crock pot and added about a cup of chicken broth, black beans, kidney beans, corn, diced peppers and a can of enchilada sauce. My husband likes to eat his with tortilla chips, while my kids mix their soup with sour cream. Depending on the diced peppers and/or enchilada sauce it can come out a little spicy.  Another nice thing is sometimes if I have a ton left over I freeze the soup, then next time I'm in a pinch again all I need to do is reheat and serve.
This is one of my favorite use of leftovers into a different recipe. What's yours? I would love to know. Comment, tweet or facebook me yours. Maybe I'll share it with everyone :)

Sunday, September 28, 2014

How to Make Taco Night That Much Better!

Taco night is one of our favorites. Since I'm Hispanic I grew up eating and learning to cook a lot of Hispanic dishes. When we first got married the only thing I really knew how to cook was Mexican food. Then when we went out to eat my husband would ask, "What are you craving?" I would innocently respond, "Umm, Mexican food?!" So here are a few tips that can help make your taco dinner a little yummier.

First off don't skimp on the taco seasoning! I don't buy taco seasoning packets; I buy my taco seasoning in bulk from Costco. This way I am not limited to the amount in a packet and can add plenty of seasoning. 

 Another little thing that can add some flavor is cilantro. I like to cut up cilantro with some green onions and mix them up. This adds a little freshness to your taco. Cilantro is kind of my food cowbell so to speak, EVERYTHING could use a little more cilantro.
 Next use corn tortillas. I never buy those hard shell, pre-made taco shells, that is nada bueno en mi casa ;) My roomate and I use to fry ours in oil when we made them. I did that until I started having kids, now it is faster and healthier just to heat them up on my griddle.
Don't forget yummy fresh produce! I have so many tomatoes from my garden I have been thinking of as many meals as possible to add tomato too. Then I suggest a good salsa. Store bought or from scratch I like chunky and flavorful salsa. I was nervous when Hormel sent me some salsa to review because I am kind of picky about my salsas, but we loved it! You can even see the onions and cilantro chunks in it. And no cilantro in your salsa and fresh on top is not too much cilantro!!! Next time you can't decide what salsa to try give Herdez Salsa Casera a try.
 Last but not least a good taco needs avocado or guacamole. Where I live avocados aren't always cheap. I prefer fresh avocados, but when they aren't a good price or ripe then try Wholly Guacamole. My blogging friend Utah Moms Life says one of her kids only eats his tacos with cheese and Wholly Guacamole. She taught me that you can freeze them. So last time they were on sale I bought several and froze them. It was a nice addition one time when I was low on groceries and literally only had tortillas, meat and cheese on hand. I was so grateful to have those in my freezer to make dinner  that much better. Now Wholly Guacamole has these mini 100 calorie cups you buy as well. They are great for on the go or when just needed to add a little to your meal and not wanting a whole lot. I put 2 in the freezer I will let you know how those hold up in the freezer in the future.

So next time you make tacos for dinner try one of this little tweaks to enhance your taco's flavor. Enjoy!

In the spirit of full-disclosure, I’ve partnered with Hormel Foods as part of the Hormel Foods Extended Family Blogger Program. Throughout the year I’ll be receiving product, coupons, giveaways and promotions. However, no payment was given or expected for posting about the program, and as always, all opinions given here are fully my own 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Easy Dinner Bowtie Pasta Using Leftovers

Now that school  is back in session its time to get on some better schedules and routines. It also means busier days. That's why I like recipes that everyone in my family likes that are quick to make, filling and use things I almost always have on hand. This is one of my favorites because I often throw in whatever left over proteins I have left over from prior meals. My favorite is chicken and Hormel pepperoni. Sometimes we eat it just plain, or sprinkle it with real bacon crumbles. Today I tried it with Hormels cubed boneless ham, and it was so good. My husband said he likes it better than when I do pepperoni. This ham is great to have around because I can throw it on a salad real quick, or my girls will snack on it, sometimes they even dip it in ketchup and eat it for part of their lunch. 

Here is my pasta recipe. Please remember I don't usually measure and sometimes just add random things depending on my mood or what I have. So I tried really hard to pay attention to how I actually made it.

Bowtie Pasta Dinner
Bouillon cubes
Bowtie Pasta
Heavy Cream (or half and half)
Italian seasoning
Corn Starch
Shredded Italian Cheese or Parmesan and mozzarella cheese.
Optional: ham, chicken cooked and cut, cut up pepperoni, etc

First I boil a pot off water with 1-2 chicken bullion cubes.  Then when its boiling I add bowtie pasta. Obviously you could use any pasta, but this one seems to be a family favorite.

Then when the pasta is about 75% cooked I drain most of the liquid and add a pint (or so) of heavy cream. I have used half and half before, but heavy cream seems to be best. At this point I lower the stove to medium and stir it often so the milk doesn't coddle. Also add 1-2 T of Italian seasoning.

Then I take 2 Tablespoons of corn starch and mix it in a separate bowl of water. This makes it smooth, versus pouring it straight in and getting all lumpy. Then I add this and my choice protein to the mixture. This time I did Hormels cubed ham.  Stir frequently till the pasta has absorbed most of the liquid and has thickened. 

Once you remove it from the heat add a bag of Italian shredded cheese, or a mixture of parmesan and mozzarella cheese. This is one of the few meals all 6 people in my family enjoy, so we make it often. Enjoy!

In the spirit of full-disclosure, I’ve partnered with Hormel Foods as part of the Hormel Foods Extended Family Blogger Program. Throughout the year I’ll be receiving product, coupons, giveaways and promotions. However, no payment was given or expected for posting about the program, and as always, all opinions given here are fully my own 

Friday, September 20, 2013

Friday Night, Family Night

Friday night we usually do one of two things if not both. Usually it's our pizza night and our movie night. Pizza night may sound boring but it's really not. Sometimes we order it, make it from scratch, do frozen pizza's or the kids can make their own mini pizza's. If my kids are lucky once in a while we go to an all you can eat pizza buffet.

Today we decided to try Pizza Hut's big dinner box, for only $20.00. This thing is huge. Seriously, it's almost as big as my 2 year old!

Pizza is usually something everyone in my house enjoys. Only problem is my 4 year old daughter isn't a huge pizza fan. That is why this was perfect for our family. It comes with 2, 1 topping pizza's, breadsticks and you choose between wings, pasta or stuffed pizza rollers. I chose the creamy chicken alfredo pasta. That way I didn't have to watch her dip perfectlty good pizza in ketchup. That is how she eats everything, with ketchup.
My 2 pizza eaters were thrilled. My son got to have his cheese pizza. He's a picky eater and hates when I make him pick off the good stuff. Adrianna also prefers cheese pizza but will eat any kind of pizza really.

Then dad and I paid an extra couple bucks for a nice supreme pizza. The dough was cooked all the way through which made my husband very happy. He hates pizza that is doughy. I also had leftover pasta the next day for lunch. The pasta was way better than I had anticipated it to be. The chicken was well seasoned, and the sauce was very creamy. I actually really liked it! Next time I want to try the stuffed pizza rollers with it. I have heard they are way yummy!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

I Love Zupas!

I will never forget the first time I ate at Café Zupas. It was a magical and addicting moment. A place with yummy and healthy food? How did I not know about this place sooner? That was when they only had 2 places open. Now they have over 19! One of which is opening this weekend. I was invited to join there new store in a VIP dinner party. Being thrilled to receive an invitation is an understatement.

My husband and I went and tried 1 of their 3 new items on the menu. They have a Mediterranean turkey sandwich, pistachio crème brule, and a pomegranate spinach salad that looks refreshing! We tried there pistachio crème brule, which is delicious. It has that nice creamy subtle pistachio flavor with some berries on top for some sweet bursts. I loved it. If you want to try it this Thursday through Saturday, July 11th-13th, at their new West Valley location they are giving free dessert with every dine in meal.
I loved their nice large seating of their new store. Lots of room for sitting. Plus their new menu is big, bright, and has pictures of the food. They are 1 of 3 stores with a window into the kitchen. This way you can see there are no microwaves and may even be lucky enough to watch the chefs prepare the food, if you get there early enough ;) Go visit there new location at 2927 South 5600 West, West Valley City, UT   this Saturday the 13th for lots of fun festivities. If you are feeling lucky here is some of what they have planned:


It’s no celebration without dessert! You’ll receive one free dessert with every meal purchase (must dine-in to be eligible).

    Come early and claim your place in line. The first 50 people will get their entire food purchase at 50% off!

    Yes- you read that right! Every customer that comes through our line will be entered to win free food for an entire year (a $520 Cafe Zupas gift certificate)! That’s enough to eat at Cafe Zupas every week for a year!

    In addition to our drawing for a year, we’ll also be giving away a $25 gift card every 15 minutes! When you order your food, you will become part of a drawing that will take place every 15-minutes. While you sit back, relax, and enjoy your food, we’ll announce the winners for your group!

  • Not sure what to try? I have a hard time choosing myself. My favorite soup is also their number 2 most sold soup, and that is the tomato basil. I have always loved tomato soup. I have had my fair share of tomato soups from several places, and hands down they have the best. However, their #1 most sold soup is the chicken enchilada soup. It is so rich and full of flavor, I recommend at least tasting it next time your in line. Simply because they let you do that. That's right, they let you sample the soups.
    My husband with his favorite- Lobster Bisque

    Café Zupas is my favorite place to eat. I know I am always getting healthy fresh food, that fills any craving! If you can't make their grand opening in West Valley don't sweat it! They have several locations all over Utah, and also in Arizona and Nevada! Be sure to follow them on Facebook or Twitter to stay up to date on what great deals and promotions they have.

    Tuesday, April 23, 2013

    Quinoa Mexican Haystacks

    A long time ago I found a recipe on pinterest, that my family enjoyed. The best part was that it had quinoa in it which has lots of proetin. Plus it's a nice meatless dish which I try to do at least twice a week. When I went to make it a second time I couldn't find my original recipe. So after a few different attempts here is my final recipe of what we call Mexican Haystacks.

    Mexican Haystacks
    2 Cups Quinoa
    1/4 C Onion Diced
    Garlic 1-2 Cloves
    2 Cans of Black Beans
    1/4 C Chopped Cilantro
    Chili powder
    Lime Juice
    Rinse the quinoa and add it to approx 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and let simmer till cooked. Or follow the cooking instructions on the box. It's done when the quinoa has absorbed the water and is tender. I like to add lots of water and drain the extra once cooked. I prefer that over burnt.
    Then add the onion to some oil in a pan and cook till till softened. Then I use my handy garlic press and add the garlic. After 2-3 minutes I add the black beans and 1/2 cup of water (or chicken stock.) Usually most recipes say to rinse their beans- I don't. I may drain some of the liquid on the top, but I just throw the whole thing in there. Then I add the spices and chopped cilantro. I like it spicy and I like cumin so I probably do a lot. You probably only need 1/4 -1/2 tsp. Let the beans simmer for approx 15 minutes and add some lime juice.

    Then we layer our bowls with the quinoa, then the black bean mixture, and then any of the following:
    Diced Tomatoes
    Salsa or Pico De Gayo
    Shredded Cheese
     Sour Cream (or plain Greek yogurt works)
    More Cilantro
    Green Onions
    Enjoy this yummy healthy family favorite. Keep in mind Cinco De Mayo is right around the corner.

    Friday, April 12, 2013

    Husband's Favorite Salmon Dish

    Today I made my husbands favorite fish recipe and thought I would share.
    Let me start out by saying when my husband and I first got married, he did not like fish very much. He only ate Halibut and fish taco's from Wahoo's. To get my husband to eat salmon I started with this recipe. Now he will eat salmon prepared just about any way. I adapted and combined this recipe from an old pampered chef recipe with another I got offline. I have included the basic recipe with some variations I used depending on what's in my pantry. I am one of those people who rarley measure and wing it quite often. Especially with recipes I cook often like this one.

    Husband's Favorite Salmon
    1/2 Cup of Apple Cider Vinegar
    1/2 Cup Honey
    Salt & Pepper
    Olive Oil
    Drizzle some oil on the salmon and add some salt & pepper. Then I usually reduce the vinegar by about  half.  I micorwave it for a minute or two usually. Then whisk in the honey, and micorwave it another minute. Keep an eye on it , cause it's a mess if it overflows or over cooks. (If it's too stinky for you then you can avoid heating it up if you want.)
    Drizzle 1/3 -1/2 of it on the salmon. Bake or broil the salmon till salmon is cooked and flakes easily with a fork. Then add the rest of the mixture on the salmon. if you have some left over you can add salt, pepper, and olive oil and make a dressing with is as well.
    Some variations I have tried and are yummy. Sometimes I use a bbq seasoning or chipotle seasoning or rub on the salmon.  I have added ginger and dried mustard to the cider/honey mixture. I have also added dijon mustard with and with out the ginger. If you don't reduce it you can use a white wine or apple juice too.
    I hope that makes sense, because like I said I don't always measure and I mix it up from time to time.
    In the picture I have an easy salad as well. I got this recipe from Relish. I won a free membership and am trying it out. This was one of the first recipes I tried from it.
    Balsamic Feta and Bacon Salad
    4 bacon slices
    4 cups mixed baby greens
    1/2 red onion , sliced
    1 red bell pepper , cored and sliced
    1/4 cup prepared balsamic vinaigrette dressing
    1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
    1/4 cup chopped walnuts

    Cook the bacon until crisp. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate, let cool, and crumble.
    Combine the greens, onion and red pepper in a salad bowl and toss with enough dressing to coat. Top greens with feta, nuts and bacon crumbles and serve.

    Happy cooking everyone!

    Wednesday, April 3, 2013

    Wacky Wednesday 4/3

    Pasta is suppose to be cooked till al dente right? How do you know when that is? Simple, you see if when thrown it sticks to the wall. if you throw it to the wall and it sticks then it is al dente. At least that's what my father taught me, and what I am now teaching my kids. Check out our video on making sure dinner was ready.

    It's hump day and we all need a little wacky moment to boost us to Friday. Write up about your wacky and crazy fun reminder and link up your blog post. Then hop around and read about others wacky Wednesdays. Just don't forget to link back to my blog.

    Friday, March 29, 2013

    My Time Saving Tips

    I've decided to share some of my tips and tricks on life. Sometimes they are going to be tips to save on time, money or just to save us some sanity. Ultimately I have some I have picked up along the way from friends, family, articles, or personal experiences.
    Queen of Chaos's Time Savings Tips
    1. One way to save time cooking is to double up. It's just as easy to cook two lbs of ground beef as it is one. Then freeze the other half cooked. Now it's ready to add to any sauce or recipe without the mess and time of cooking. Plus if you freeze it spread out on a cookie sheet, then put it in a freezer bag it won't be stuck in a big glob. This works with lots of things actually. Like:
                   Lasagna- Make 2 freeze 1
                   Soup/Chili- One for your crock pot, 1 for a freezer bag
                   Shredded pork/chicken/roast (for tacos, enchilada's,bbq sandwich's etc.)
                   Baked Ziti- Make 1 in a pyrex dish the other in a foil one from the $1 store
                   Stuffed Shells
                   Chicken Dishes
                   Waffles/Pancakes (I put wax paper in between each one)
                   Vegtebles- when they go on sale I dice extra and freeze some (i.e bellpeppers)
    I think you get the idea. Basically if you are taking the time to make 1, make 2 which are perfect for one of those days. (You know the kind of day I'm talking about ;)
    2. Park by the cart return. I know this is a simple silly one but it helps me a lot. My husband use to drive up and down to find the closest parking spot possible. In the end I would still walk farther to return the cart. Now that I have kids I hate leaving kids in the car while I return the cart. So I purposefully park by the cart return.
    3.Rubber band socks together. Anyone that read this post knows I don't like folding laundry. My Grandpa has been trying to get me rubber band my socks together for years! I finally did it and it does save time matching socks. Even if a few don't get rubber banded together it's that mush easier to find it's match on those few.
    4. Pre- pour my breakfast protein shake. I know I can't be the only one that has had such a busy morning that lunch time rolls around before you realize you haven't eaten anything yet! So if I know I have lots to do in the morning I pour my milk, banana, and protein powder into my magic bullet cup the night before. Then when I wake up all I need to do is add 2 ice cubs and blend it super fast. Then I can drink it while I feed the kids.
    5. Use ice cube trays for more than just ice. I use mine to freeze extra cream of wheat, baby food or even grated ginger.  Need to use a half a lemon and don't want the other one to go bad? Squeeze the juice in an ice cube tray and freeze it. I even did sauerkraut once, who uses the whole jar before it goes bad? Now I  just defrost a cube or 2 when Grandpa comes over for hot dogs.
    Bonus- I know this is on every time saving list, but keep a planner. I keep a day planner and write out my meals for the week in it. Granted sometimes I move the meals around thru the week, but I make sure in advance I have everything I need. That way on busy days I know to use one of those freezer meals from above.
    What time savings things do you do that are helpful?

    Thursday, February 21, 2013

    Desert Star Playhouse Giveaway

    Several years ago my husband and I were introduced to a fabulous place called the Desert Star Playhouse. The Desert Star Playhouse produces family friendly comedic musicals. It is very family friendly (for children over 8ish) and has yummy food too. It is one of Steven and my favorite date nights because we get food and a show. We have purchased season passes several times and it really is the best bang for your buck. With the way our schedules are we usually get to see a show around Valentines day, in the spring, my birthday (June), our anniversary (August), Steven's birthday (October) and a Christmas date. Since our season pass is payed for in advance all we have to pay for is the sitter and how much we want to spend on food. Sometimes it's just ice cream, other times it's pizza and smoothies.
    We did so much moving around the past few years that it had been a little while since our last show there. Recently we went and saw Kicking the Hobbit, Bored of the Rings. We LOVED it, it even made it to my favorite top 5 shows I have seen there. Here is a brief synopsis from their website on the show...
        Science Fiction geek Walter gets a “Dear John” from his fiance because he spends too much time fantasizing about "Star Wars" and "Lord of the Rings." Now Walter must journey to Middle-Earth with a zany band of misfits to return balance to the the world...and his girlfriend. Come along on this hilarious adventure to find out if Walter can defeat the Dark Lord Sharon and become a hero to couch potatoes everywhere.

    Walter was played by Corey Brandenburger who is a regular there and is very funny. He did an awesome job. As someone who loves all types of theater one of the things I look for, especially here, is when the actors push the others. Sometimes they try to break the others out of character, as the audience sits back and watches them go on tangents or the other cast members try to hold straight faces. Corey is good at filling in those moments and has perfect comedic timing. Another cast member  was thrilled to see was Kerstin Davis. She was in several of the first shows we saw and I just loved her and the characters she portrayed. Then with all the moving around we did the few shows we saw she wasn't in. When I saw it was her I turned to my husband to remind him she was one of my favorites. She is fun and comfortable going off script, plus I love some of the voices she does thru the show. She choreographeed the show as well, adding to her talent pool.

    Gollum was played by Mary Parker Williams who not only is the veteran at the Desert Star but the assistant director. She makes some of the best faces and nails her double personality character. Dog the Bounty Hunter was played by Bryan Dayley. My husband and I agree it was so fun to see him in this role (he also nailed his accent) since we remember his very first performance at the Desert Star. He has come a long way and has made it onto our list of favorites.  The ensemble as a whole did an excellent job together. There were a few new faces like Jeff Jensen who impressed us with his singing in the Olio, and George Anderson who was equally as funny to watch. Carli Christoffersen played Bilbo and is very talented. We have seen her a few times before and I always look forward to when she sings a solo in the Olio at the end of the show.

    The best part is you don't have to be familiar with whatever movies they are doing a parody of in order to enjoy yourself. You get a good laugh every time. The Hobbit plays at the Desert Star till March 23rd. With only a month left don't be afraid to get you tickets a head of time, they tend to sell out. I have always had a pleasant and helpful experince with the box office, even when having to move dates around. If you have to make changes to your ticket dates, Desert Star is very accommodating in helping you find another night to attend or giving you a credit until you can figure it out. The sooner you book the better seats you get too. Call their box office at 801-266-2600, and get ready to pee your pants from laughing so hard!
    The Desert Star has also donated two tickets to their show Kicking the Hobbit. Please leave a comment below to be entered in the drawing. For more entries share this post on Facebook, Twitter, or on your own blog. Leave additional comments for each share. Giveaway closes on Monday, February 25th at 11:59 MST. Winner will be picked at random thru Winner will be announced the following day.  Good Luck!


    Thursday, February 14, 2013

    Happy Valentines Day

    As many know and more are figuring out, I love holidays. I try to make them special for my kids. Starting last night we had an early pizza night and got heart shaped pizzas for dinner. Today the kids awoke to a valentine surprise waiting for them. Even my husband got a fun card and a movie.
    The hardest part for me was waking up early to make my kids a special breakfast. I am not a morning person so mom being awake before them is just as surprising as not having cold cereal for breakfast.
    I found a cute and yummy recipe on Pinterest for red velvet crepes.
    The recipe is added at the end of the post. Kid tested and approved by all!

    We got Krispie Kreme Dounuts and went out to dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings. Overall it was a good day. Now I am ready to go to bed and crash! A whole day with no nap is hard on a mommy with a three month old.
    Here is the recipe for breakfast. I forgot marscapone cheese, so I used cool whip instead and it was just as yummy! If you have extra crepes like I did you can freeze them in between wax papers.

    Red Velvet Crêpes (click here for direct link to original recipe)


    Red Velvet Crepes
    (Makes about 24, 8″ crepes)
    Ingredients: – 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    - 1 teaspoon baking powder
    - 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    - 1/4 teaspoon salt
    - 3 tablespoons sugar
    - 2 cups butter milk
    - 1 1/4 cup whole or lowfat milk
    - 1 large egg
    - 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    - 1 1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder, sifted
    - 1 tablespoon red food color gel
    - 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
    + 2 tablespoons cooking oil (for pan)
    *Update: Because the buttermilk lends to the acidity of this batter, do not substitute the baking soda for extra baking powder. If you add more baking powder, and omit the baking soda, you’ll end up with a heavy and dense crepe. In order to activate the baking soda, it requires an acidic substance, which the buttermilk provides. Double-acting baking powder (likely, this is what you have in your kitchen) is activated by heat and an acidic element, and in this case, baking soda does the trick. Enough with the chemistry lesson– just don’t make substitutes if you want light and fluffy crepes; the recipe is balanced to account for ingredient properties.
    Mascarpone Cream Filling- 500 mL heavy cream
    - 300 gr mascarpone cheese
    - 1/2 cup icing sugar
    - 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    - zest of 1 orange (optional, but adds nice tang)
    + 1/2 cup raspberry jam (optional, for filling crepes)
    Chocolate Ganache Topping- 75 gr bittersweet chocolate
    - 75 mL heavy cream
    - 1 tablespoon sugar

    For the Mascarpone Filling:
    1. Using a mixer, mix mascarpone cheese, 1/4 cup sugar, and vanilla until soft and fluffy. Set aside.
    2. Whip cream and remaining sugar to a stiff peak. Carefully fold into the mascarpone cheese until combined. Refrigerate until ready to use.

    For Chocolate Ganche Sauce
    1. Place chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set aside. In a small sauce pan, heat cream and sugar to a rolling boil. Remove from heat, and pour over chocolate. Carefully mix until homogenous, and set aside until ready to use. If the ganache sets, re-melt the chocolate over a double boiler.

    Red Velvet Crepes 1. In a large bowl stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. Set aside.
    2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, milk, egg, sugar, melted butter, vanilla extract and food coloring. Whisk until combined.

    3. Pour the liquid ingredients into the mixing bowl with the dry ingredients, and stir with a wooden spoon until the dry ingredients are combined. The batter will be a little runny (think soup). If you find that the batter is too thick and pancake like, add more milk (regular). Make sure the batter is clear of lumps.
    4. With a pastry brush, brush the surface of large (non-stick) skillet with cooking oil. Heat it over medium heat. Test skillet after a couple of minutes by drizzling a few few drops of water onto the cooking surface. If the drops sizzle and evaporate, the surface is hot enough.
    5. Turn the heat down to medium. For each crepe, spoon or ladle about 1/4 cup of the batter into the center of the skillet. Holding onto the handle of the pan, remove it from the heat and swirl the pan so the batter coats the bottom of the pan. You want to make the coating as thin as possible. If you have holes in the crepe, go ahead and add more batter to the pan to cover them. Return to heat.
    6. As the batter cooks, it will dry and lose its shine (~ 2 minutes). Once this happens, use a non-metal spatula and carefully flip the crepe over. Finish cooking the crepe on the other side (~ 45 seconds).
    7. Gently slide the cooked crepe onto an ovenproof plate, and keep the finished crepes warm in an oven set at 195 degrees.
    Assembling the Crepes:
    - If using raspberry jam, place a small amount the center of the crepe. Pipe mascarpone cream filling, and carefully roll.

    - Drizzle with chocolate ganache sauce and dust with icing sugar.