Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Home Made Junior Mints

The Menu:
Home Made Junior Mints

The Original Recipe:
Don't ask questions. Just make these. You will not be sorry.

Home Made Junior Mints

3 oz. cream cheese (I used Neufchatel)
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp. peppermint extract
3/4 bag of Hershey's dark chocolate chips

Mix cream cheese (make sure it's room temperature), powdered sugar and peppermint extract. It will be dough like and maybe even a bit crumbly. Shape into small round balls and flatten with palms (they will look like Jr. Mints). Place on cookie sheet covered with wax paper. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Melt chocolate on stove until smooth. Using toothpick stab mint in center and dip in chocolate to cover, tap on edge of pan if to thick. Refrigerate on wax paper until hardened. Enjoy!

*Junior Mints are my absolute favorite candy! These are sooo good. I can definitely sub. these for the real thing and not be disappointed!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Sloppy Joe Seasoning Mix (Gift Jars)

The Menu:
Sloppy Joe Seasoning Mix

The Original Recipe:
I made a small home made gift this year for some friends. I know I would love it if I had Sloppy Joe seasoning mix all ready made up so that I could just throw it together with some ground beef and Ketchup. I mix mine up every time we have sloppy joes, but these will be so handy for them! I am excited for them to try these!

other Home Made Christmas Gifts...

Sloppy Joe Seasoning Mix (make 3 half-pint jars)

2 cups Chili Powder
1/4 cup paprika
3 tbls. dry ground mustard
1 tbls. cumin
1 tbls. onion powder
2 tsp. garlic powder
5 tsp. beef bullion
2 tsp. McKormick montreal seasoning (optional)
2 tsp. pepper
(You can add salt, but I leave it out in order for them to add their own)

Mix seasonings together. Store in airtight container.

*(You can test the taste by mixing some seasoning with some ketchup and heat through in the microwave. If it taste like sloppy joes then you are go to go! If you think it needs something else, then by all means, add that too! I had my husband taste this, and he picked up right away that it was sloppy joes. I was impressed!)

Instructions:

1 lb. ground beef
2 tbls. sloppy joe seasoning mix
3/4 cup ketchup

Brown ground beef in pan, add seasoning and ketchup. Stir to heat through. Serve on buns.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Weekly Supper Planning

The Menu:
Weekly Supper Planning

I just cannot keep up anymore. I have fallen behind on my blog, making new recipes, and just cooking in general! My schedule has changed for me since all of my kids are now in school this year. I have become so unorganized! I have been a stay-at-home mom for 10 years, and now that all the kids are in school, I have just let everything go. No more routines or schedules in the daytime. I have finally learned to relax a bit. Yay for the people around me, but boo for my household chores and duties. Yikes! I have also ventured into a part-time job recently, too, so I am going to try and do at least one crock-pot meal a week. Now, let's see how I prioritize my life with no kids at home and working part-time! I completely understand how you have little to no time to cook (nor do you want to) if you work. On the days I have been working, we have had grilled cheese and tomato soup, or something simple like that. Who wants to cook when you have been on your feet all day long? I really need to keep this meal planning going so that I can get out my crockpot and use it on those long work days. Ok, so here is a quick meal plan.


Monday- Creamy Orzo with Ham and Peas

Tuesday- Tuna Noodle Casserole

Wednesday- Chicken Spaghetti (I am going to try and turn this into a crockpot recipe. I am going to cook the chicken breasts with the soup, pimentos, green chilies, onion and s&p in the crockpot. When I get home I will add the sour cream and stir to heat through while the noodles cook on the stove (and the oven preheats). I will then mix everything together, pour in a 13x9 baking dish, cover with cheese and bake until cheese is melted. Sounds like a plan to me!).

Thursday- Roast with potatoes and carrots (in which I will be doing this in the crockpot)

Friday- Baked Penne Pasta with a side of green beans

The weekend will consist of some type of Pork Chops. I am not sure how I want to make them yet. I have contemplated between these two: Smothered Pork Chops or Ranch PorkChops and Rice and some type of veggie on the side. Then I also bought some Chicken legs and thighs to make one of my kids favorite meals Butter Baked Chicken with a noodle side dish and a veggie of course.

I am also hosting a Christmas party for our Ladies Book Group for Church. I am not making to much since we decided it should be a potluck. I usually make some sort of soup, but again, with working I am not in the mood to go all out, so I am making something simple and actually not that holidayish, but it will taste good!
Tortilla Appetizers, and my home made strawberry rhubarb sauce mixed with diced jalapenos poured over cream cheese. We use crackers to dip. Yummy. I had also made Chewy Molasses Ginger Cookies to go along with their presents, but we kind of ate them all. The party was delayed from last Friday to this coming Friday, so I didn't want the cookies to sit there for over a week. If I can manage to find time I will make more for them. These are the BEST holiday cookies you will ever eat!

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Ravioli with Sauteed Butternut Squash and Thyme

The Menu:
Ravioli with Sauteed Butternut Squash and Thyme


The Original Recipe:
I have had this in my "to-try" file for awhile now. I have mixed emotions with recipes like this only because, I think that I will love it, but I know my kids won't. I hate preparing 2 meals for one supper in order to try a recipe I know I will like. This recipe, however, was more uncomplicated than I had thought. I decided to make beef raviolis in a red sauce (I used my canned pizza sauce) for the kids, and then I made this dish for my husband and myself. Even though I did make 2 different meals, it was simple. I used prepackaged raviolis and just boiled them. This recipe came together so fast. I am blogging about it right after finishing my plateful, too. It was DELICOUS! This is the kind of meal I could eat at every supper time. It was quick to make and the taste was off the charts! I just wish the kids would try it! :)
*I did change a few things, but my notes will follow.


Ravioli with Sauteed Butternut Squash and Thyme Recipe

from Woman's Day Magazine Oct 2011, posted by Michelle (MMmom)

2 Tbsp olive oil

1/2 medium butternut squash (about 1 lb), peeled and cut into 1/2-in. pieces

Kosher salt and pepper

2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced (used 3 large)

1 Tbsp small fresh thyme sprigs

1 16-oz pkg cheese ravioli (fresh or frozen)

1/4 cup grated Parmesan (1 oz) (or can use blue cheese for a kick!)


Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the squash, season with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme and cook, uncovered, tossing occasionally, until the squash is tender and beginning to brown, 2 to 3 minutes more.

Meanwhile, cook the ravioli according to package directions. Transfer the ravioli to plates, top with the squash mixture and sprinkle with the Parmesan.

 *NOTES: You can also add a broth & milk to make the mixture more "saucy." Make sure you use your pasta water in order to give it a thickness for the sauce. (I used a cube of vegetable bullion with 1/2 cup pasta water and 1/2 cup milk).