Friday, March 12, 2010

Another First...OAMC

So I decided to try my hand at Once A Month Cooking.  I LOVE to cook, but with my work schedule and a hubby who's clueless in the kitchen (clueless might be an understatement), having some frozen meals to pop in the oven sounded like a splendid idea to me.  And something Matt might even be able to handle.  (I'm PRETTY sure he knows how to turn the oven on now.)

Last night I made a menu of meals I wanted to make for the month and then made a grocery list of all the items I didn't have.  I headed to the grocery store this morning (coupons in hand) and got everything I needed for $101.34.  That also included laundry detergent, cleaning supplies, tissues, hand soap, etc so I don't think that was too bad considering these meals should last us close to a month. 

It was truly an all afternoon process and I didn't get 2 of the things made, but I'm planning on finishing those off tonight.  Here's the things on my menu of meals and links to the recipes I used:

Southwest Chicken with Chipotle Cream
King Ranch Chicken Casserole
Peach Dump Chicken
Creamy Lasagna  **this recipe was from my sister so I don't have a link**
Potato Pierogie Lasagna
Banana Bread
Breakfast Burritos

I still have to make the Pierogie Lasagna and Breakfast Burritos tonight, but here are pix of the others.
Creamy Lasagna (ready to go into the freezer)
King Ranch Chicken Casserole (can you tell I love black olives?)
Southwest Chicken with Chipotle Cream (got covered with shredded cheese before going into the freezer)
Peach Dump Chicken (obv still marinating)
Sour Cream Banana Bread (by FAR the BEST BEST BEST banana bread EVER!!)
I want to eat this stuff every day of my life!!!  If you like banana bread, you HAVE to check out this recipe!  Seriously the most moist, sweet, delish banana bread I've ever eaten!  I even love the ends of the loaf, it's that good!!!  I will never use another banana bread recipe again!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Yum in the Tum

I adore cooking!  I love trying new recipes and, of course enjoying my creations!  Tonight I tried a new recipe that I've been wanting to try for awhile.  It's a basic crescent roll "ring" that can be filled with many different things.  Tonight I made a "Cheesy Chicken Broccoli Ring."  It was soooooo deeeeelish!  I had 2 helpings...I couldn't resist.  The great thing about these "ring" recipes is that you could pretty much fill it with anything you wanted.  You could even make it sweet and a dessert ring instead of savory.  Some other variations I'm wanting to try are a Taco Ring, Cherry Cheesecake Ring and a Chicken Club Ring.  Here's the recipe I used tonight:

1 1/2 c. cooked chicken or 1 lg can of chicken
1 c. chopped broccoli (I used frozen)
1/4 c. chopped onion
1 1/2 c. shredded cheese
3/4 c. cream of broccoli soup
S&P to taste
2 tubes of refrigerated crescent rolls

Preheat oven to 350.  Lay out crescent roll triangles to make a "ring" or "sun" shape with the points pointing out.  (I used a round baking stone, which really works well.)  Mix all of the other ingredients together.  Spoon filling around the inside of the ring.  Fold the points over the top of the filling and tuck down tightly.  Bake for 35-40 min until bubbly and golden brown. 

**The original recipe also called for 1/2 c. chopped red bell pepper and 1/2 c. chopped spinach.  I didn't have either one of these on hand.  It also called for 3/4 c. cream of chicken soup, but again, I was out of that, so I used the cream of broccoli because it's what we had.**

This will be a staple recipe in our house!  Matt is out tonight at the Big Ten bball tourney, so I was the only one home to eat this.  I'm sure he'll like it when he gets home though too!  Hopefully it reheats well.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

29, the Sequel

Doomsday has finally come.  It had been slowly creeping up on me for quite some time now, but it showed up a lot sooner than I was ready for.  Today is the dreaded 30th birthday for me.  UGHHHHHH!

When you're 21, 22....even 23, you're so excited for your birthday to come.  To turn another year older, maybe even wiser.  You want the whole world to know it's your special day.  You want a million friends to get together and celebrate.  Go out, eat, drink, party.  I'm here to confirm that is definitely NOT the case when you turn 30!  I'd rather just have no one remember that this year I enter a new decade.  It's still nice to hear "happy birthday" from family and friends, but I could do without the 30 part.  I prefer to call this new year "29, the Sequel."  YIKES!  

30 just sounds like a whole new level of responsibility and maturity.  Not that I don't consider myself responsible and mature, but 30 sounds like I should be doing something differently.  Have most things figured out in life.  I feel far from that.  Anyway, enough rambling about this dreaded day of mine.  Here's a  photo of myself today to remember this day by.  

All in all, I really have had a good day.  It's nearly 70 degrees today (the warmest of the year so far) and sunny.  I had a great lunch with Matt, my mom and Richard.  And Matt even went with me to buy a new MAC lipstick after lunch.  I'm about to go take a walk around the neighborhood with Mimi and Matt.  I guess I'm truly blessed and love my life, even if it has taken me 30 years to get to this point.  Good things are always worth the wait.