Friday, December 2, 2016

quinoa chicken parmesan soup

I went into making this soup with high hopes but a little reservation.  Quinoa with a parmesan flare?  I wasn't sure.  I am SO glad I made this soup because it's terrific!  I will be making this one again and again.  I am excited about the leftovers because it made a huge amount. (Sorry, bad picture.  It looks delicious and smells divine in real life.)

quinoa chicken parmesan soup (adapted from the sister's cafe
2 giant frozen chicken breasts from Costco
1 cup quinoa
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
1 (24 ounce) can Hunts garlic and herb flavored spaghetti sauce
1 (14.5) ounce can petite diced tomatoes
6 cups chicken broth
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese plus more for sprinkling

Spray your slow cooker with nonstick spray.
Place frozen chicken breasts into slow cooker.
Rinse quinoa and add it along with the Italian seasoning, oregano, garlic, onion, spaghetti sauce, petite tomatoes and chicken broth.
Cook on High for 6-7 hours.
Remove the chicken and shred then add it back to the soup.
Season with salt and pepper.  Stir in Parmesan and allow to melt.
Top with more Parmesan and fresh basil if you'd like.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

woodland animals baby shower

My daughter was invited by a friend to help prep for a baby shower and my daughter had a blast helping.  You can see why!  I asked for some pictures because I knew something fantastic was happening and I knew I should file away these ideas.  I love the woodland creatures theme.  My daughter's favorite part was helping with the hedgehog dip.  Super cute!  One day...

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

pumpkin chocolate chip blondie bars

Halloween was so fun!!  I love the brilliant fall colors, the boo-ing, the treat deliveries, the pumpkins (oh how I love the pumpkins in all their varieties!), the lit candles in sweet and spicy fragrances, jack-o-lanterns, costumes, downtown trick-or-treating, trunk-or-treating, the primary Halloween party and neighborhood trick-or-treating.  Endless fun.
Our friends Stephanie and Brent delivered these delicious goodies.  The pumpkin bars were so moist and delicious I asked for the recipe.  This recipe will replace the one I already had. :)

pumpkin chocolate chip blondie bars (Stephanie)

6 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
1/2 cup pumpkin
3/4 cup-1 cup all purpose flour (I usually do about 3/4 cup + 2 tbs)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Set oven to 350, spray 8x8 square dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together. Stir in egg, vanilla and pumpkin. Pour in all dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Spread dough evenly into prepared baking dish. (I usually sprinkle the top with chocolate chips too). Bake 15-20 minutes (check with toothpick). 

Sunday, October 23, 2016

cinnamon roll cupcakes

My daughter asked me to pick up some refrigerated cinnamon rolls but wouldn't say why.  This is why.  We are all in awe.  She saw these cinnamon roll cupcakes somewhere and can't recall where but she remembered exactly how to make them.  They're easy and they're gorgeous!   Now she's going to put a few into cellophane baggies with a pretty ribbon and give them to a few people she's been thinking about.

cinnamon roll cupcakes (my daughter)
makes 20
2 tubes refrigerated cinnamon rolls with icing (we used Trader Joe's brand, 5 rolls in each tube)
1 package yellow cake mix, batter prepared according to directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line muffin tins with paper liners.  Fill each liner 1/3 of the way full with cake batter.
Slice each cinnamon roll in half, lengthwise.  Place a slice of cinnamon roll on top of the cake batter.  You will need to squish them in a bit.
Bake at 350 degrees for 2o minutes.  Let cool then drizzle with the icing provided with the cinnamon rolls.

Monday, October 17, 2016

store bought faorite: OPA greek yogurt salad dressing- kalamata feta

If you've lost your teenage metabolism but love a good salad try this salad dressing!  I opened it so my kids and I could dip some cucumbers into it as a side dish.  It was a big hit and none of us noticed it was a lighter dressing.  Chunks of feta cheese!!

OPA greek yogurt salad dressing- kalamata feta
Big chunks of feta cheese and diced kalamata olives.  Only 4.5 grams of fat per serving.  That's my style. 

Friday, October 14, 2016

stormtrooper party favor

This is the stormtrooper party favor minus the blue mylar star balloon that will be attached.  What's the party?  We're going to watch Star Wars Episode 7 outside.  On a big screen.  Probably not under the stars because of the "storm" that we're having but we'll be outside nonetheless.  Hopefully we'll get a little rain, thunder and lightening to add to the affect.

stormtrooper cupcakes

My birthday kid's treats were out of this world.  Every time I turned around we had a need for more treats.  Classroom treats, birthday day treats, birthday party treats, etc.  The stormtropper cupcakes were so fun and I am grateful for the pics online because I'd have never thought to make them and they were so easy thanks to these pens at Amazon.  They are for the birthday party.
The dirt which was requested for the actual birthday day was made with chocolate mousse instead of pudding because I refused to go to the store for 1 item, pudding, so I made chocolate mousse. What a difference!  I also used chocolate Oreo cookies instead of the regular kind.  Never make dirt with pudding when you can make it with mousse.
And I made layered mint brownies for classroom treats.
No more sugar for a while, please!!!!

stormtrooper cupcakes
Make some white cupcakes according to package directions.  Prepare stormtropper marshmallows using Bakerpan food coloring markers from  Ice the cupcakes and put a marshmallow on each one.

For party favors I am going to put a cupcake in a cellophane bag and pour some cute outer space sugar candies I found at the store into the bag so they settle at the bottom.  I'll attach a star shaped mylar balloon to the cellophane bag and tie it with a cute blue and white baker's twine I found at Michael's.  Easy, easy, easy!!