Friday, January 28, 2011

Fan Friday-Taco Braid

1/ In a skillet, brown 1lb of ground meat. Season with your favorite taco seasoning.
When meat is just cooked through add half of a small onion and let cook a few minutes. Adding the onion now keeps it slightly crunchy.
Rinse and drain 1- 15oz can of black beans. Add to meat.
Drain 1 can of rotel tomatoes. Add to meat.
Heat til mixture is hot through out.

2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (makes clean up easy). Roll out 1 package of crescent roll onto baking sheet. Mend the perforations.

3. Cut crescent sheet on both sides 1inch apart. A pizza cutter works well

4. Put cooked meat mixture in center of cut crescent sheet

5. Put 2 cups of grated cheddar cheese on top of meat mixture

6. Fold crescent strips over meat mixture and press the strips together to seal the braid.

7. Bake in 350° oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown

8. Let sit for 5-10minutes to allow the Taco Braid to set.

Serve and enjoy.
Thank you so much Christy K. for sharing this yummy and easy recipe with us!

I must say that I made this last night for dinner and it was so good!  I made it using the dough recipe that I use for everything and I added a "sauce" at the bottom made by mixing 1/2 cup salsa (pureed in the food processor) and 1/2 can of vegetarian refried beans.  I layered this on the bottom then added the meat on top and braided the bread closed.   I didn't have any black beans so I skipped that part and I honestly forgot to add the cheese inside haha.  It was super yummy and a big hit in our home.  Kinda like a taco pizza calzone.  We topped it with our usual taco topping favorites including salsa, tomatoes, lettuce, sour cream, shredded cheese and avocados.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Snow Ice Cream

I must give credit to Dionna at Code Name: Mama for giving me this idea.  I have seen snow ice cream referenced more than once this past week and was curious how to make it.  If you refer to the above link Dionna has several variations of the recipe.  I kinda combined a few of them together and came up with the following 2 variations.  So if its snowing where you are set out a large mixing bowl to collect some as it falls.  If there is snow on the ground, make sure its clean and fill up a bowl.  You will need about 1 large mixing bowl (approximately 1 gallon) for each recipe.

The first is a chocolate variation and was by far my favorite.  Dionna nailed it right on the head when she said it reminded her of a Dairy Queen Frosty, that's exactly what it tastes like and its the same consistency too.

What You Will Need:
1 14 oz can unsweetened condensed milk
1 packet
 of hot chocolate mix (or a couple Tblsp cocoa powder or chocolate syrup should work too)
1/4 cup sugar
1 teasp vanilla

To Make:
Add all ingredients into bowl with snow and mix until well combined.  I let my oldest help me with this, he loved it.

The second kind I tried was a peach variation.  This reminded me of a peach yogurt smoothie, so good!

What You Will Need:
1 can peaches
1 14 oz can unsweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup sugar
1 teasp vanilla

To Make:
Empty out peaches, juice and all, into a smaller mixing bowl.  Cut peach slices into bite sized pieces.
Add peaches (juice and all) into snow.  Add rest of ingredients until well combined.  I needed slightly more than 1 large mixing bowl of snow for this variations, probably because I added the peach juice and the milk.

Eat and enjoy.

Name That Recipe Contest and Giveaway!

Today we have a special post for y'all! I am going to post a recipe below that has no name.  Its something my mom had me make one evening when I was low on ingredients and time.  Now if you are counting calories, this might not be the chicken dish for you, but it sure is yummy and simple and quick!

But what makes this post special is that it isn't just a recipe this time, its a contest and a giveaway!  This is where our lovely readers come in.  We want YOU to name this recipe!  Something fun, or quirky, or whatever!  Be creative!  And then Tanya, Christy, and I will each pick our personal favorite and will submit those to to pick the final winner.


Our giveaway is sponsored by a fabulous small business called Shannon's Accessories.  Check out her adorable selection of things of the little (or big!) girls in your life!  You can also find her on Facebook by clicking HERE.  Thank you Shannon!  Our winner will receive this super cute headband!

SO.. without further ado.. Here is the recipe we need you to name!


 -1 boneless skinless chicken breast per person
 -shredded cheddar cheese
 - crackers (I used Ritz)
- salt and pepper


- Pound out your chicken breast so its an even thickness

- Season with salt and pepper

- Add some mayo to a bowl
- Add a little shredded cheddar to the mayo and stir it together

- Crush some crackers into another bowl and season the cracker crumbs with salt and pepper.

- Spread some of the mayo mixture onto one side of the breast.

- Sprinkle cracker crumbs on generously and press down with hand to make sure they are good and stuck.

-Flip chicken over (I put it right on my nonstick cookie sheet) and repeat.

-Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes, until chicken is fully cooked.

Enjoy and put on your thinkin' caps and NAME THAT RECIPE :o)

- Jess K.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Mexican Ratatouille?

This is another one of the dishes I grew up with, well kind of...
There is a Spanish name for 2 dishes made in a similar fashion..  If you omit the Pasilla peppers then it is called "calabazitas con queso" If you Omit the "calabazitas" (meaning the squash) it would be called "Rajas con queso", I love both and one day I asked myself why can't they both be together? I mean they're made the same way pretty much.. and so I did.

The dish which is nameless in English  and maybe in Spanish too, is sort of a Mexican ratatouille, it consists of  zucchini or any squash you might want to use, (please feel free to experiment with this recipe!) tomatoes, garlic, onions (If you like them), Corn, the peppers (If you'd like.. I advice to use them as it gives it a nice smokey favor and really blackening them is not as hard or intimidating as it seems) and I top it all with cheese!

*If you want a figure friendly version top it off with Mozzarella cheese (It looks pretty with the melted round slices on top)  and keep it vegetarian. 

*If you need meat in it I would suggest cubed or shredded chicken (skip the cheese)  Or Italian sausage and keep the cheese!.

As with all the recipes here get creative you do not have to recreate this 100%  Use what you like and feel comfortable with!  Have some fun!


3 Pasilla peppers
4 Italian zucchini squash
4 Roma tomatoes
1 can of corn
1 small can of tomato sauce
minced, or powdered garlic.
Cheese (any melting cheese you'd like)
salt and pepper to taste.

Start by blackening the peppers (If you have an electric stove I am not sure if it will work unless you grill them)  After they are black meaning the skin is burned quickly place them inside a towel so they "sweat" and set them aside.

(excuse my black drip pans I need new ones  he he)

In a large pan, add a bit of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, some minced Garlic and Onions (if you are using them)
Cut the zucchini in half lenght wise and then chop into pieces, add to the oil with the garlic, if using garlic powder then you would add the powder to the zucchini.
I found a great way to have minced garlic handy I am in love with this as it is so finely minced it can blend in butter or any other sauces..

It is important you add the ingredients in that particular order as  you don't want  overcooked veggies.. If you are adding meat of course you would cook the meat in the garlic and onions first before adding the zucchini.

While that is cooking cut up the Roma tomatoes  in big chunks and add  them to the zucchini.
Take the peppers and with some running water remove the blackened skin, if there is some still left don't worry.  Cut the tops off and throw them away along with the seeds and cut what is left into strips and add them to the pot.

Drain your can off corn and add it to the pot along with the tomato sauce and 1/4 cup of water. Let it simmer for 3 minutes stir it, and add your cheese cover and simmer for 2 more minutes and you are done!
Easy right?

You can play with this, I eat bowls of it by itself but you can add meat..  you can serve over pasta and  you have yourself a complete meal!  I top it with a bit of Parmesan and sour cream .


Thursday, January 13, 2011

Banana French Toast

I don't think I can really call this a recipe... It is pretty much just adding bananas to the french toast recipe I use.  French Toast is a super easy, super affordable, and definitely not only for breakfast!  And you probably have all the ingredients on hand all the time, so its a good quick go to item.

Ingredients (serves 2-3, but easily doubled or tripled!)
(all measurements are approximate.. You can't mess this up y'all!)

4-6 pieces of bread
1-2 tbsp butter
2 eggs
1 1/2-2 cups of milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp sugar
2 bananas cut into slices


-Heat a large skillet over medium heat.

-Whisk together your eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon.

-Dip each side of the bread into the mixture and place into hot skillet. I can get 2-3 pieces in at a time.

-Add the banana slices to the side that has not hit the hot pan yet.

- After you lightly brown the first side, flip carefully.  The bananas will use the egg mixture like a glue and will stay on the bread well.

-When both sides are golden, remove from pan and finish the other slices.

-Add some warmed up maple syrup and a side of bacon or sausage or corned beef hash!

-Jess K.

Guest Post: Rebecca from One More Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

We are excited to have an awesome guest blog from Rebecca at One More Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest
She has a wonderfully easy sounding recipe for Steak Soup which is a family favorite in her house.

Rebecca is the mother to 2 beautiful little girls, ages 6 months old and 5 years old. She is a stay at home mom right now and new to the blogging world. She enjoys making new recipes and spending time with her family.

Ingredients:1.5-2 lbs ground beef
1 can stewed tomatoes (or I used fire roasted diced tomatoes, whatever you have in the cabinet)
1 can beef broth
2 beef bouillon cubes
1 bag of frozen mixed vegetables (peas, carrots, green beans, corn)
salt and pepper


In a large stock pot brown off ground beef and drain
add can of broth, tomatoes, frozen vegetables, 2 bouillon cubes and a half can of water.
let simmer and stir occasionally until veggies are soft
add salt and pepper to taste

Total cook time was approximately 40 minutes.

* We serve with shredded sharp cheddar cheese, a dollop of sour cream and crackers for me, tortilla chips for my guy

** In my case the hamburger was still completely frozen, so I added it to the stock pot with a little bit of water covered with a lid on medium high, this only took about 5-7 minutes to ground up. I prefer not to nuke raw meat as it causes it to have a weird texture.
While the soup was simmering I was able to give my daughter a bath and braid her hair.

Tip from 3 Moms:
If not making a soup and you find yourself with frozen meat that needs to be cooked soon submerge it fully in a bowl of lukewarm water.  Place something on top to keep it fully submerged if need be.  You can even use hot water for an even faster thaw.  Depending upon the size and cut of the meat as well as the water temperature it will thaw in about an hour.

Monday, January 10, 2011

4 Ingredient Buffalo Chicken Pasta

1-2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces.

1 bottle or jar of blue cheese dressing ( I used about 1/2 the bottle, but you may want more)

2-4 tbsp of buffalo sauce or wing sauce or something like Franks Red Hot, or more if you like it hot!

1 lbs of pasta, like penne or radiatore

1. Cook pasta, drain, and set aside.

2. Cut up chicken into bite size pieces, and roll in flour, or don't, its all good.

3. Brown chicken in some oil and butter.

4. Set chicken aside, and wipe the pan clean.

5. Add chicken back into wiped out pan and add the buffalo sauce.

6.Cook for 2 minutes then add the pasta.

7. Add blue cheese dressing, start with 1/3 of a bottle and go from there..

You could probably use ranch dressing if blue cheese isn't your thing.. If you do try it with ranch, leave a comment and let us know how it was!

- Jessica K.

Grandma's Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Grandma's broccoli cheddar soup
Guest Post by Chrystal Armbruster

1-2 head broccoli,chopped (you could use the already chopped stuff a bag or 2 would do)
4 oz baby carrots cut in quarters
1 can cheddar cheese soup
8 oz milk
1 onion
tbs flour
1/2 stick butter
shredded cheddar-optional.

Boil carrots and broccoli. Dice up onion and fry in 1/2 stick butter when they begin looking caramelized add tbs flour. and stir this will look thick. Once the broccoli and carrots are soft drain.

While keeping the vegetables in the drainer use your large pot (that's still warm from boiling) and add 1 can cheese soup 1 can milk whisk. Add in broccoli carrots and onion.Garnish with cheddar cheese.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Taco Pizza

I have been in a pizzay (is that a word? haha) mood lately. I have been making a lot of my own pizzas, crust and all. I must say I much prefer my pizzas over any take out or frozen too! I think (hope) my family agrees. No one has complained at least.

Taco pizza is a fun spin on a traditional pizza using a salsa/bean combo in place of the normal tomato sauce. It can be topped with any sort of toppings you like and associate with tacos, I will list what we use in our home.

What You Will Need:
Dough to use for crust (click here for the dough recipe I use)
0.5-1 lb (depending on taste) hamburger
1 cup shredded cheese
1 cup salsa
1 can refried beans
black olives
fresh tomatoes (to top)
sour cream

Step 1: Prepare the crust-
I use the same dough recipe for everything I make from dinner rolls to bread to cinnamon rolls, etc.  The link for this recipe is above.  You can also buy prepackaged pizza dough mixes or an already made crust-in which case you can skip this step.
Once dough is ready roll out on a lightly floured surface.  Roll a little larger than the pan you will be using, you want the dough to hang over slightly.
Before placing dough on pizza pan lightly oil pan (I use olive oil) and lightly sprinkle with yellow corn meal (optional).
Place dough on pan.
Roll up over hanging edges to create the crust.
Lightly brush the edges with more olive oil (optional-helps crust to brown nicely).

Step 2: Prep Sauce and Toppings-
Take 1 cup of salsa and puree until smooth (this is optional, I like a smooth sauce).
In a large mixing bowl combine salsa with 1/2 can of refried beans.
Spread on top of pizza crust.
Cook hamburger and drain grease.
Add some taco seasonings (you can use a packet or click here to learn how to make your own)  I honestly do not even premake my own taco seasoning anymore.  Now that I know what spices to use I just add in my own to the meat until I like the way it tastes.  The spices you need are Chili Powder, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Cumin and Paprika.  I do about 3 palm fulls (as Rachael Ray would say, about 1 Tblsp) of the chili powder and 1 palm full of the rest.

all ready to go in the oven
Step 3: Build and cook pizza-
Once hamburger is done place on top of pizza "sauce"
Add 1 cup of cheese (more if you like) and black olives
Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until crust is done.

Serve with desired toppings.  This may vary from person to person.  My hubby tops his with more salsa, black olives and fresh tomatoes.  I like fresh tomatoes and lettuce, sour cream and avocados.  Our kids eat the slices as is.


Thursday, January 6, 2011

Cinnamon Rolls.

I have to admit, I love me some regular old Pillsbury cinnamon rolls in the can you have to "pop" open... But.. I like controlling the ingredients my family eats, so I made my first batch of homemade cinnamon rolls..  This is the recipe I use for homemade cinnamon rolls.. and it made soo many, I froze half of them.. We will see how good they defrost!


  • 1/2 c. very warm water

  • 1 T. sugar

  • 2 T. yeast

  • 1/2 c. melted butter

  • 2 eggs

  • 2 t. salt

  • 1/2 c. sugar

  • 1 1/2 c. warm milk

  • 5 1/2 c. flour

  • butter

  • brown sugar

  • sugar

  • cinnamon

  • Icing
    • butter
    • vanilla
    • milk
    • powdered sugar
    1. Combine water, 1 T. sugar and yeast.  Set aside for 5-15 minutes to activate.
    2. Mix 1/2 c. sugar, melted butter, eggs, and salt.  Add yeast mixture.
    3. Stir in warm milk.
    4. Add 5 cups flour, 1-2 cups at a time.
    5. Knead dough on a well-floured surface, adding flour as necessary, until dough isn’t sticky.
    6. Let rise until double in a clean, oiled bowl.
    7. Punch down risen dough.  Separate into two pieces.
    8. Roll out dough in a large rectangle.  Spread with softened butter.  Sprinkle liberally with brown sugar, white sugar, and cinnamon.
    9. Roll dough.   Cut into about 12 (1-inch) rolls.  Place in 9×13 pan.  Let rise until double.
    10. Bake at 350° for 20-22 minutes. 

  • For icing, melt butter (about 2 T.).  Add 1 tsp. vanilla and 2 T. milk.  Sift powdered sugar into mixture and stir well.  I never measure this.  You can absolutely use more of any ingredient.  Spread icing while hot.

  • They were good!  They were my first try and I think I have some room for improvement.  I think I needed to let the dough rise longer, but I am a but impatient.. just ask my poor husband :o)
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