Sunday, February 28, 2010

Crispy Chicken Strips


Did you stock up on yummy tortilla chips too? And now you're stuck with 6 bags of crumbly crushed chips that nobody will eat? Don't throw them out - make crispy chicken strips!

I made a whole pan full of these crunchy, crispy yummies and froze half. Most tortilla chips are pretty salty on their own, so I didn't even add any seasoning. The lemon juice really helps keep the chicken tender while you bake, I couldn't really taste the lemon, but it made the chicken soft. Low fat, practical and delicious!

Husband Rating: 4 stars

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
6 Tbsp (3/4 cup) butter, melted
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 1/2 cups crushed tortilla chips
1/3 cup flour

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice chicken into long, thin strips. (My Albertsons chicken breasts were pretty fat, so I cut them in half both ways, if you need to pound them out to be an even thickness go for it.) Place flour in a shallow dish. In another dish combine melted butter and lemon juice. Pour tortilla chips into a large ziploc bag, run over with a rolling pin to make tortilla chips finely crushes and even sizes. Place chicken in flour dish and lightly cover then submerge in butter lemon juice mixture. Toss chicken into ziploc bag, shake to coat. Layer on a lightly greased baking sheet and bake for 17-20 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink and coating is golden.
Serve with cucumber stacks, carrots and your favorite dipping sauce.

Freezer Instructions: Place cooled chicken into a ziploc bag, label and date. To reheat microwave for 1-2 minutes or warm in skillet. Use within 2 months.

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Taco Salad


Remember the great super bowl deal where we all stocked up on tortilla chips and dip? Well, weeks later and all I'm left with is 6 bags with the crumbly chips at the bottom. After such a sweet deal can I just throw them away *gasp* and be wasteful? Recipes to the rescue, using those chip crumbles at the bottom of the bag.


Husband actually really enjoyed this meal and requested it for lunch the same week. Ta da! It's delicious with your stockpile ranch dressing, nacho cheese, guacamole and sour cream, or you can be like my husband and smother it in Frank's hot sauce. Delicious!

Husband Rating: 5 stars

6 oz. ground beef
3 Tbsp. onion, diced
1 Tbsp. Taco Seasoning
1 bag of your favorite salad (I like romaine!)
1 roma tomato, diced
1/2 can of olives, sliced
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated
1 1/2 cups crushed tortilla chips (I just dump in the crumbles from the bottom of the bag)
Ranch or your favorite dressing

In a skillet over medium heat cook ground beef. Add onions and taco seasoning. In a large bowl layer lettuce, tomatoes, olives, ground beef, chips and cheese. Toss well. Drizzle with ranch dressing and serve.

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Asparagus Alfredo


Yes, it is not a typo, I made asparagus. Husband has issues with most green vegetables and I told him all he had to do was taste it, then he could officially say he hates asparagus. While I was sauteing the asparagus with garlic and onion in a little bit of butter he came in the kitchen wondering what smelled so good. It was perfectly cooked, just a touch of crunch, and delicious in this creamy alfredo. I threw some grilled chicken on the side so he wouldn't be scared of this vegetarian meal, but next time we're going meatless! Hooray for asparagus and hubby trying something new!

Husband Rating: 4 stars

10 asparagus stalks (or 1/2 lb.) , cut into 2 inch pieces

12 oz fettuccine noodles

1/2 cup half-and-half

3/4 cup milk

2 Tbsp. butter

1 clove garlic, minced

2 Tbsp. onion, diced

1 1/2 cups shredded Parmesan cheese

Salt and Pepper to taste

Grilled chicken, optional

Cook the fettuccine according to package directions. In a large skillet saute onion, garlic and asparagus in butter until tender. Add half-and-half, milk and 1 cup of Parmesan cheese. Cook and stir until cheese is melted and sauce is smooth. Add salt and pepper. (Sauce will be runny, it will thicken as you toss it with the starchy noodles.) Drain noodles and toss with sauce. Garnish with remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese.

For the grilled chicken, I sliced one chicken breast into thin strips. I tossed it in a pan with a tiny drizzle of olive oil. Over medium heat I cooked it until no longer pink and seasoned with Cajun Seasoning, hence the "blackened" look. Yum!


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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Free 8x10 photo today!

I'm one of those Walgreens dorks who can't wait for the ad every week. This week I got a Gillete razor for 99 cents and a pack of Trident Layers Gum (yummy, I might add) for 24 cents.

Today is FREE 8x10 photo day. They usually have one free photo event per month. A few months ago I even got a photo dvd of our wedding, sweet! Anyway, you can order it online and have it shipped (extra $) or just pick it up in the store. Here is the link to order, just enter "freephoto" when you check out and you're on your way!

I went a little overboard and made a collage in my design program of my baby, made the size 8x10 and in an hour or so I can pick up my free photo.

I heart Walgreens

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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Coupon Heads Up!

I've added a fabulous new feature to my blog that I hope you will use!

If you look down here on my sidebar you will see coupon links from coupons.com.


Coupons.com is the best place for printing coupons. They have a great selections from grocery, meals, treats, medicine, toys, diapers, shampoo and everything else. The cool thing is, when you do your online couponing you print directly from my site! Use the arrows to scroll through the coupons and select the ones you want to print. Every time you print coupons here, you are supporting my site!


So print away coupon friends, and support your local housewives:)post signature

Apple Cinnamon German Pancake

I wish I would have taken a better picture of this, because this photo just doesn't represent the deliciousness! We've always been german pancake fans, easy to whip up and soooo yummy. We usually goop on the syrup, but I decided to go for something a little different this time. I had 3 apples sitting in my fruit basket that were reaching the end of their life, I had to do something! This turned out so delicious, we didn't use a drop of syrup and it was still rich and filling. I can't wait to try this with peaches!!

Husband Rating: 5 stars

Pancake:

6 eggs

1 cup milk

1/2 tsp. salt

1 cup flour

1/2 tsp. vanilla

2 Tbsp. butter

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place 2 Tbsp. of butter in a 13x9 baking dish inside the oven while preheating to melt the butter. When butter is melted, rotate pan so it covers the bottom. In a bowl beat eggs and milk. Add salt, vanilla and flour. Whisk until smooth. Pour into pan and bake for 20 minutes.

Filling:

3 apples, peeled and sliced

3 Tbsp. butter

2 Tbsp. sugar

In a skillet over medium heat, stir together sugar, butter and apples until tender. Spoon into the center of the german pancake. Cut and serve. Dust with powdered sugar if desired.

P.S. Funny note, a few hours after dinner husband put a piece in the microwave and warmed it up. He put on a big scoop of vanilla ice cream. When I gave him a weird look he said it reminded him of homemade apple pie, hehe.


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Sunday, February 21, 2010

Buffalo Chicken Fingers



This recipe is super easy to double or triple if you have a crowd coming over. I like to dip these in ranch with celery on the side, but any yummy sauce will do! Husband usually sneaks in a dash or two of Frank's Hot Sauce, yum!

Husband Rating: 5 stars

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/3 cup flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 egg
1 tsp. onion salt
1/4 tsp. garlic salt
1 tsp. chili powder
Oil for frying

Slice chicken into strips, about 8 strips per piece.
In a bowl beat egg with a fork. In a separate bowl
combine flour, salt, pepper, onion salt, garlic powder
and chili powder. Dip chicken into egg and then coat
with the flour mixture. Fry in 1/2 inch oil until golden
brown, about 4-5 minutes on each side.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Thai Beef Ribbons and Creamy Red Potatoes



I even impressed my mother-in-law with this recipe, so you know it must be delicious! If you own metal skewers, perfect, if not purchase wooden skewers. They are about $2.50 for 100 skewers. Make sure you soak your skewers in water for about 30 minutes before you broil them. Mine turned black anyway, as you can see in the picture. To make cleanup a snap line your broil pan with foil.

Husband Rating: 5 starts
Mother-in-law Approved Recipe

4 beef flank steaks
2 tsp. ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
2/3 cup teriyaki sauce
1 TB vegetable oil
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. sesame seeds
15-20 wooden skewers

Slice steak into long, thin strips. In a bowl combine ginger, teriyaki sauce, garlic, oil and red pepper flakes. Add steak and turn to coat. Let steak sit in marinade for at least 15 minutes. Thread each piece of steak onto a soaked skewer accordion style. Line beef ribbons up on broiler pan, about 3-4 inches from the heat. Broil 2-3 minutes on each side. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.

Creamy Red Potatoes

8 red potatoes
3-4 TB milk
4 oz. cream cheese
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1/2 tsp. parsley flakes

Scrub potatoes and chop in quarters. Place in pan cover with water. Turn on high until water boils, then reduce to medium heat. Cook for 15 minutes or until potatoes are soft. Drain water. Mash in milk, cream cheese and garlic salt. Add more milk if potatoes are too dry. Sprinkle with parsley.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Sweet n Sour Chicken



This is another one of those recipes that I used every year while teaching high school Home Ec. I'm not to crazy about the whole sweet and sour thing, but my students raved about it. This recipe is so easy and you can't mess up (I promise, if sophomore boys more concerned about flirting with senior girls could make this meal a success- you can too!) You can purchase bags of frozen Asian vegetables, these are convenient, but I have a picky husband so I'm sticking to the recipe here. This recipe is easy to double or triple, this makes about 2-3 servings.

Husband Rating: 4 stars

1 large boneless chicken breast
2 carrots, sliced
2 TB onion, sliced
1 1/2 tsp. vegetable oil
3 TB cornstarch
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 can 8 oz. pineapple (chunks, not crushed)
1/3 cup pineapple juice (save from can above, don't drain!)
2 TB lemon juice
2 TB soy sauce
1/4 of a green pepper, sliced
3 TB ketchup
3 TB sugar
1 cup chicken broth
2 cups hot, cooked rice

In a skillet over medium heat cook chicken, onion, carrot and green pepper in oil until veggies are tender and chicken is no longer pink. In a bowl stir together sugar, cornstarch, pepper, pineapple juice and chicken broth until smooth. Whisk in soy sauce, lemon juice and ketchup. Pour over chicken in skillet and stir together. Add pineapple chunks. Bring to a boil and stir for 3 minutes. Serve over warm rice.

Date Night (from the change jar)


Yes, you heard correctly, it's time for DATE NIGHT FROM THE CHANGE JAR!

And this one is so cheap, you really could bring the kids.

Here's the scoop: All Southeast Idaho Wendy's Restaurants are celebrating their 40th anniversary.

They're offering value hamburgers, cheeseburgers, fries and drinks for just 40 cents!!

The deal only runs from 4-8 pm. Yep, you guessed it, we're having Wendy's for dinner! They are going to run this offer on a Thursday evening, once per month, for the entire year.


Thanks Wendy's, we love family outings and dates from the change jar!post signature

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Baked Spinach Chicken Parmesan



Muchas gracias to Kristi for introducing me to this delightful recipe. I don't throw creamy sauces in the oven very often so I was quite nervous about how it turn out. Wowee, this is one of those recipes that made my husband fall in love with me all over again. I served it over fettuccine noodles, his favorite. I can't wait to make this again, it was perfect in every bite. I used two large chicken breasts and cut them in half, so it made 4 servings. I baked this easily in an 8x8 glass dish. I do need to note that personally, I think canned and frozen spinach is disgusting, smells and oozes. I only use fresh spinach, it was delicious in this recipe. You will feel like a chef at Olive Garden when you present this outstanding dish!

Husband Rating: 5 stars

2 large boneless chicken breasts halved, or 4 small

1/3 cup + 1 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese

1/4 tsp. Italian Seasoning

1 clove garlic

3 Tbsp. onion, diced

1 Tbsp. butter

1 Tbsp. flour

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup sour cream

1 cup fresh spinach, washed and chopped

Additional Parmesan cheese or roma tomato for garnish

8 oz fettuccine noodles, or your favorite

Preheat oven to 350. In a shallow dish combine Parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning. Roll chicken into Parmesan mixture and arrange in baking dish. In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Saute onion and garlic until tender. Stir in flour. Whisk in milk and sour cream, stir until bubbly and smooth. Stir in 1 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese and chopped spinach. Pour over chicken. Bake, uncovered, for 35 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Halfway through baking, cook noodles according to package directions. Spoon chicken and sauce over noodles, garnish and serve.

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BBQ Chicken Sandwich


It doesn't get any easier than this! If you have leftover chicken, tossing in BBQ sauce makes the perfect meal. Confession time: I've even used canned chicken for this recipe. I like to buy lots of chicken when it's cheap (like $1.88/lb this week at Albertsons) and cook it, shred it, then freeze it. For my easy shredded chicken directions click here. I'm pretty easy to please when it comes to BBQ sauce, fancy or store-brand satisfies me. I always give it a dash of black pepper and let it do its thing. Toasting the bun makes these even yummier, and serve with some crunchy veggies or fries.

Husband Rating: 4 stars

6 hamburger buns

2 cups cooked, shredded chicken

1/2 cup (approx.) BBQ sauce


Over medium heat, stir together chicken and BBQ sauce until hot. Toast buns. Spoon chicken over buns and serve.

(See, I told it you it was easy!)

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Saturday, February 13, 2010

Valentine Party

Especially now that I have a little one I want holidays to be more special. I've been thinking a lot about traditions that I want to establish. I don't want every holiday to end with my son getting a stack of presents and a pile of candy though, I want something more.

For Valentines we've come up with some ideas and we're ready to paaarty! We're hosting our party on Monday the 15th, since that day seemed to work better for everyone we invited.

For the menu we're having Crockpot Lasagna (my mom's making it, she says it's amazing and will pass along the recipe) and I'm using my 2 coupons for free Papa Murphey pizza. I'm throwing together a salad, homemade breadsticks and some type of chocolate gooey dessert.

Now, here's the part I'm most excited about - Be Mine Boxes. I printed out these boxes on card stock and decorated them with each person's name. I put a piece of red paper through the paper shredder and crinkled it at the bottom.

Each guest has been instructed to bring an item for everyone that will fit in their box. After dinner we'll open our little boxes and see what we got. The only rule is, it has to fit in the box.

Here are some ideas: A quarter or dollar bill, a piece of gum, tootsie rolls, love notes, Hershey's kisses, peanut butter cup, lip gloss, IOU coupons, gift certificates, mini candy bars, lifesavers, and much more!

I'm excited to see what creative ideas people come up with!

I've included a blank box pattern so you can decorate your own. I'm imagining this as a long-lasting tradition. When my little guy is older he can decorate his own box and hopefully look forward to Valentine's Day every year.


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Friday, February 12, 2010

Sassarella Boutique

Need a new, super-cute tote? Sheena at Sassarella Boutique is giving away this beauty:

It's easy to enter, visit the Blog for details. Visit the Website to order any of her cute (and cheap!) items. Keep your eye on her growing inventory, she's always adding something new!

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Want tuna for 10 cents?


Look what I got for $1.06 today at Albertsons. Woot woot!

How do you feel about a can of tuna for 10 cents? I know, I can't pass up this deal either.

Albertsons has Bumble Bee tuna on sale for 50 cents per can. If you go here you can print a coupon for $1 off 5 cans. Hit back on your browser and you can print it twice. Albertsons has doublers in their weekly add, I don't get the paper so I'm just grabbing one at the store.

Here's the scenario:

-Buy 10 cans of tuna - total $5

-Use two $1/5 coupons - total $3

-Double the $1 off coupons - total $1

$1 for 10 cans of tuna, that's 10 cents each, take THAT Walmart!!

I also grabbed the $1/2 boxes of Ronzoni smart taste pasta from here. They are on sale for $1 at Albertsons, so if you use the coupon and a doubler = FREE 2 boxes


Just a side note: I have a "junk" email account that I use to register with companies. Free, easy, and it doesn't junk up my regular account.

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Thursday, February 4, 2010

Mozzarella Sticks



On Christmas Eve we decided to give these a try. They are so delicious at restaurants and I wanted to see if we could reproduce the taste. Wow!!! These were so gooey and delicious. We fried ours, but I bet you could bake them and still have excellent results, I will try that next time. A 16 oz. brick of cheese made 20 sticks. Serve with a marinara sauce. Wouldn't these be fun for your next party?

Husband Rating: 5 stars

1/2 cup bread crumbs

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

2 eggs

1/2 tsp. garlic salt

16 oz mozzarella cheese

Oil for frying

Slice brick of cheese into 20 equal strips. In a shallow bowl beat eggs. In another bowl stir together the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese and garlic salt to blend. Dip the cheese in the egg mixture, then dip into the bread crumb mixture. Pat with your fingers to get the crumbs to stick. Place the cheese sticks on a baking sheet. Repeat the dipping process in the egg and breading mixture to coat the cheese a second time. Cover and freeze for at least 2 hours, but not more than 2 days. Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Fry the cheese until golden brown, about 1 minute on each side. Serve with marinara sauce.

Here's what the cheese looks like right before I put it in the freezer:

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Soft Tacos



Mmm, soft tacos. This recipe is so easy to throw together and husband always enjoys. You can have fun with the toppings too; like if I have leftovers olives, green onions, guacamole, salsa or nacho cheese you can always dump it on top. I like to warm my tortillas up on a skillet so they are warm and crispy, versus the soggy microwave variety. I have pre-portioned chunks of ground beef in my freezer, so I just grab them out and put them right in the pan to cook. This meal requires no forethought - love that! And seriously, who doesn't love a soft taco?

Husband Rating: 4 stars

8 oz. ground beef
6 tortillas
2 Tbsp. taco seasoning
2 Tbsp. diced onion
Toppings: Lettuce, sour cream, diced tomatoes, grated cheese, salsa, etc.

Cook ground beef in a skillet over medium heat. Drain any grease. Stir in diced onion and taco seasoning. If dry, add 1 Tbsp. of water. Place a spoonful of taco meat in the center of a warmed tortilla and layer with toppings. Roll and serve.

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Monday, February 1, 2010

Sharing

We are moving in 2 months. I keep looking around my little office wondering what to keep and what to get rid of. I'm in major spring-cleaning-de-clutter-garbage mode. I'm sick of moving things that we don't use, but I hate getting rid of things that I might need. I would love to reduce my cluttery office to 3 or 4 super cute totes.

In the meantime, I've been making some printables for primary. On Sunday I taught the children about how Jesus Christ is our older brother, and He is the Son of God. That makes us royal children of God. This is was our coloring activity, the children drew on jewels and shapes.

Several weeks ago I needed dice for the children to roll during a game. All the dice I had were tiny, I wanted something big and visible. I made this cutie pie, the instructions are attached. I printed it on cardstock, cut and folded and vuualah!


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