Mother’s Day Grilled Chicken Salad

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This is my MOST FAVORITE meal. And when your kiddos help make it for Mother’s Day…it is even more fantastic. Hey…and the men get to grill!!

 

1/2 boneless chicken marinaded breast (per person)

1 1/4 c salad greens (per person)

1/4 c washed & sliced strawberries (per person)

poppy seed dressing

sliced almonds or chopped pecans

 

Marinade:

1/2 cup lime juice (lemon is okay if lime is unavailable)

2 tsp thyme

1/2 cup honey

2 TBS olive oil

 

Grill chicken until fully cooked, but not dried out. Meanwhile, put tossed green salad on individual plates (bagged salad works fine) and add sliced strawberries. Then, slice grilled chicken in strips and lay on salad. Top with dressing and sprinkle with almonds OR pecans.

Monster Cookie Makeover

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We LOVE monster cookies and now we can have them without the guilt! And seriously after having these, we may never go back to the original. They’re YUMMY! They’re flourless, so you could make them totally gluten-free with a few tweaks.

Enjoy!

 

1/4 cup melted butter

1/4 cup Baking Blend (either Truvia or Stevia)

1/4 cup Brown Sugar Blend (either Truvia or Stevia)

3/4 cup Natural Peanut Butter

1 tsp vanilla

2 eggs

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

2 1/4 cup Oatmeal

1/4 cup dark chocolate baking m&ms

1/4 cup chocolate chips

 

Pre-heat oven to 350

Melt butter and add to baking blend and brown sugar blend in large mixing bowl

Add peanut butter, vanilla and eggs and mix until blends are dissolved

Add salt, baking soda and oatmeal and stir until dough forms

Mix in candy and chocolate chips

Drop by the tablespoon on a cookie sheet

Bake 8-9 minutes or until edges get lightly browned

Cool 2 minutes or until set and transfer to cooling rack

 

Super Simple NOT-so-Sloppy Joes

 

21ef09cd-197e-4612-8fed-46585c5be50bYou may have made our Super Simple Sloppy Joes before, but there’s a way you can make them be “not-so-sloppy” Joes! This is SO GREAT!

The Inside:

4 pounds ground beef

1 tsp onion powder

1 (14oz) bottle of ketchup

1 cup water

1/2 cup celery (I skip)

1/4 cup lemon juice

2 TBS brown sugar

1 TBS salt

1 TBS Worcestershire sauce

2 tsp vinegar

1/2 tsp dry mustard (or regular).

The Outside:

2 (8 ounce) cans refrigerated crescent dinner rolls

1 egg, beaten

1/2 – 1 cup Panko bread crumbs

The Inside:

  1. Brown ground beef (this is where I sprinkle on a little onion powder) until all meat is cooked. Drain off excess fat.
  2. Add all other INSIDE ingredients. Simmer covered 30 minutes.

The Outside:

Heat oven to 375.

Take crescent rolls and unroll dough; separate into rectangles. (not triangles!) Press perforations to seal. Place a couple tablespoons of joes on the center of each square. Fold dough over, forming triangles. Press edges together to seal. With fork, poke small holes in tops for steam to escape.

Place on un-greased cookie sheet. Brush with egg then pat panko crumbs onto dough.

Bake 11 to 18 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet. Serve warm.

Chocolate Covered Banana Bars

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If you get tired of making banana bread and need something else to do with those aging bananas, I’ve got the solution. These are moist & yummy bars that can feed your entire office. ENJOY!

 

1 1/2 cups sugar

1/2 cup (1 stick) softened butter

2 eggs

1 cup sour cream

3 large ripe bananas (mashed)

2 tsp vanilla

2 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

2 cups chocolate chips

1 tub chocolate frosting

 

In large mixing bowl, cream together sugar and butter until light and fluffy.

Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in 1 cup sour cream until well blended. Add bananas and vanilla. Mix well.

Mix together flour, soda and salt. Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture and stir until thoroughly combined.

Fold in chocolate chips.

Spread into greased and floured sheet cake or jelly roll pan.

Bake in preheated 375-degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until center springs back when touched. Cool then frost.

Stuffed Acorn Squash

IMG_20180402_191817I’ve been trying something that I know others have had great success with. Avoiding sugar and pasta, etc. I tried this recipe and just fell in love with it. I wasn’t going to pass it on because it’s “diet food” but it’s so delicious, I had to!

Ingredients

  • 1 large acorn squash
  • 1 lb LEAN ground beef
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1/2 sweet pepper (I used Enjoya…my new favorite!)
  • 1 apple, any variety
  • 2 slices bacon
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • Honey

Directions

Preheat oven to 375º. Line a baking sheet or dish with parchment paper,

Cut the squash in half and scoop the seeds out. Place on the baking sheet and roast until the flesh is tender, approximately 45 minutes. Remove and allow to cool to the touch.

Meanwhile, dice the apple, pepper and onion. Cut  bacon into pieces. (I actually use scissors)

In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon. Add the onion and pepper and cook for 5-10 minutes. Add the apple and cook for another 5-10 minutes. Add the ground beef and brown. (I use super lean, so I don’t need to drain…use your best judgement) Add all spices and stir to combine.

Scoop out some of the flesh of the squash and mix into the beef.

Fill the squash shells with the beef mixture. Drizzle with a touch of honey.

Return to the 375º oven and bake another 15 minutes until everything is heated through.

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Frosted Cauliflower with Peas

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This recipe came from one of my FAVORITE cooks, Deanna House! I’m not sure when we tried this for the first time, because I’m SURE I would’ve turned my nose up at it, but I actually CRAVE it now! It is SO EASY and it is done in the microwave, since your oven is being used for so many other things during those family gatherings. Seriously, try this. You’ll LOVE it!

 

1 medium head whole cauliflower

1 (10-ounce) package frozen peas

1/2 cup reduced-fat salad dressing or mayonnaise

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon prepared mustard

2/3 cup grated sharp Cheddar cheese

Paprika

 

  1. Remove leaves and wood base from cauliflower, leaving cauliflower whole.
  2. Wash until running cold water. Shake off some of the water. Leave some droplets remaining.
  3. Place cauliflower on 8 to 10 inch round microwave-safe plate. Cover with vented plastic wrap.
  4. Microwave on Full Power 6-7 minutes per pound. (A guideline to remember is that 1 small head of cauliflower weights about 1 pound.) Set aside and leave covered while you cook peas and heat the salad dressing mixture.
  5. Cook peas according to microwave directions on package. Set aside while finishing the cauliflower.
  6. In 2-cup microwave-safe measurer, mix salad dressing, salt and mustard. Microwave on Full Power 30 seconds to blend flavors.
  7. Remove plastic wrap from cauliflower. Spread salad dressing mixture over cauliflower. Sprinkle with grated Cheddar cheese. Microwave on Full Power 45-75 seconds on Full Power to melt cheese.
  8. Sprinkle cheese, covered cauliflower with paprika.
  9. Surround the cauliflower with peas.

Spring Pretzel Bites

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These are so SPRINGY and SO cute! They’ll look great at your Easter buffet! (oh, and the kiddos will LOVE to help make these!)

 

Windowpane Pretzels

White Melting Wafers

Pastel M&Ms

 

On a paper plate arrange 7 or 8 pretzels.

Place a melting wafer in the center of the pretzel.

Microwave and heat them until the wafer just starts to melt. (soft to the touch and melted enough to press a M&M down into it but not running off the pretzel.) About 45 seconds.

Using pastel M&M’s, place an M&M in the center of the melted wafer and surround with 6 M&Ms of a different color with the “M” side down.

Let them harden for a couple hours before storing them in an air-tight container.

Irish Shepherd’s Pie

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Just about everywhere we went in Ireland, Shepherd’s Pie was on the menu. Yum. It’s so good! And PERFECT for St. Patty’s Day!

 

4 servings of mashed potatoes (yes, prepared from a box)

2 TBSP sour cream

1 pound ground beef (or ground lamb)

1/4 cup chopped onion

1 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp garlic powder

2 TBSP fresh parsley

1 cup cooked peas

1/2-1 cup shredded cheese

 

 

Brown ground beef (or lamb) with onion and spices

Prepare mashed potatoes and mix in sour cream

Cook peas

Layer beef, peas then potatoes in 8×8 or 9×9 casserole dish.

Bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Top with cheese. Bake another 15 minutes.

Pistachio Chocolate Chip Cookies

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These tasty cookies whip up quickly and work great for your kid’s St. Patty’s day  school party or to be the holiday hero at the office.

 

2 eggs

2 sticks butter

2 3oz pkgs (instant) pistachio nut pudding

2 cups flour

1 tsp. baking soda

12oz bag mini morsels chocolate chips

 

Preheat oven to 350. Cream together first 3 ingredients until smooth. Add flour and baking soda. Fold in chocolate chips. Drop by teaspoonfuls (about 1 inch apart) onto un-greased baking sheet. Bake for 12 minutes.

 

Tomato, Basil & Broccoli Chicken

tomato basil broccoli chickenThis recipe comes from long-time friends of ours. We had this at their house and I said I MUST have the recipe. She showed me the box of Rice-A-Roni! I couldn’t believe it came from there. We’re not sure if it is still featured on the box, so here you go! ENJOY! (and it is easy, too!)

 

One  6.9-ounce package RICE-A-RONI® Chicken Flavor

1 teaspoon dried basil

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

2 cups broccoli florets

1 medium tomato, seeded, chopped

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

 

 

  1. In large skillet, prepare Rice-A-Roni mix as package directs, adding basil with water.
  2. Top with chicken; bring mixture to a boil.
  3. Cover; reduce heat. Simmer 15 minutes.
  4. Top with broccoli and tomato.
  5. Cover; continue cooking 5 minutes or until most of liquid is absorbed.
  6. Sprinkle with cheese; let stand covered a few minutes before serving.