Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Zoo Trip in January?!?!

Ever Do This When You Were a Kid? :-)

You can also see those silly girlz singing "Happy Birthday" to me and my friend, Samantha, here!

What a Crock!

A friend of mine recently had a Crock Pot Party where a bunch of us gals got together and brought a Crock Pot Dish and our recipe to share. All the food was sooo AwEsOmE and at the end of the party, we put together everyone's recipes and made a super cute recipe book! It was so fun hanging out with the girls and now I have lots of new recipes to try out at home! Here's a few pics from our fun night...

And here's a few recipes that were shared...

* Chicken Stroganoff
By Dawn

4 skinless, boneless breasts – cubed (can use frozen which is even easier. After the chicken is finished cooking you just shred it up in the pot.)
1/8 C. margarine
1 pkg. of dry Italian dressing (I used Good Seasons.)
8 oz. cream cheese
1/4 C. sour cream (this can be omitted. It wasn’t in the original recipe. But, I love sour cream and it added a nice touch.)
1 C. of cream of chicken OR cream of mushroom soup. (I used mushroom.)

~ Put chicken, margarine & dry Italian dressing in cooker; mix together and cook on low for 5-6 hours.
~ Add cream cheese and soup. Mix together (shredding the chicken a little) and cook on high 30 minutes until heated through.

* Meat Lover’s Pizza Pasta
By Jen

1 lb. Corkscrew Pasta – cooked and drained (You can use whole wheat if you prefer.)
1.5 lbs. lean ground beef (or turkey) – cooked and drained
1 lb. Italian sausage – cooked and drained (I prefer ground)
2 – 3oz packages of pepperoni
4 – 14 oz. jars pizza sauce
2 – 16 oz. packages of shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 C. chopped green bell pepper
1/2 C. chopped onion
Black olives – chopped

Season to taste with garlic, Italian seasonings, pepper
Mix well and cook on low 4-6 hours or on high 2 hours.

* Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches
By Kim

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 (17.5 oz) bottle buffalo wing sauce, divided... See More
1/2 (1 oz) package dry ranch salad dressing mix
2 TBSP butter
6 hoagie rolls, split lengthwise

1. Place the chicken breasts into a slow cooker, and pour in 3/4 of the wing sauce and the 1/2 pkg of ranch dressing mix. Cover, and cook on low for 6-7 hours.
2. Once the chicken has cooked, add the butter, and shred the meat finely with 2 forks. Pile the meat onto the hoagie rolls, and splash with the remaining buffalo wing sauce to serve.

* Slow Simmering Pork Sandwiches

2-3 lb. pork tenderloin
1/2 cup water... See More
3 Tbsp vinegar
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp ground cumin
3 cups BBQ sauce
6 Kaiser rolls

Put pork in crockpot. Add water, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce and cumin. Cover and cook on low setting for 10-12 hours. Remove meat from cooker; discard cooking liquids. Using 2 forks, pull meat apart. Stir in BBQ sauce. Serve on Kaiser rolls with red onion slices and dill pickles. Leftovers freeze and reheat well.

* Pineapple Chicken
By Michelle

1-1.5 lbs chicken breast
1 can crushed pineapple... See More
1 can pineapple chunks
3/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup brown sugar
3-4 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp paprika

Cube raw chicken, place in crock pot. Add all remaining ingredients and stir. Cook all day on low, or 4 hours on high. Serve with rice.

* Crockpot Chicken Fajitas
By Brandi

I take 6-8 frozen boneless, skinless chicken breasts and put them in a crockpot and cook on high for 5-6 hours. (There is no need to add water because there is plenty of water from the frozen chicken). After it has cooked 5-6 hours I might even take some of the excess water out depending on how much there is. I then shred the chicken using a couple of forks and I add a couple sliced bell peppers and a couple of sliced onions and a packet of taco seasoning and a packet of fajita seasoning. If I don't have the packets of seasonings, I just kind of make my own using cumin, garlic powder, salt and a little ground red pepper.
I then cover the crockpot and cook for another hour. I serve it on soft corn tortillas because they are low in fat and calories, but use any tortilla you like! It makes a ton so you can either half the recipe or we end up eating on it all week. Or I make taco soup with the leftovers the next night, or Mexican lazagna. Enjoy!... See More

** Just a little note: my neighbor enlightened me with this little tip that I'm sure most of you know but I had no idea! Did you know you can freeze bell peppers? I now buy bell peppers when they are on sale, bring them home and slice them up and put them in small ziplock bags and freeze them. Now I always have bell peppers on hand, which is handy for this recipe.

* Drip Beef Sandwiches
By Mandi

3-5 pounds roast
Packet of Au Jus Sauce... See More
Packet of Italian Dressing (dry)
1 can beef broth
1/2 can of water

Mix all of the ingredients together in your crockpot, then add roast. Cook on low for 8 hours.
Serve on sandwich rolls or french bread.

* Crock-pot Cobbler

1 C. flour
1 1/2 C. sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
2 eggs, beaten
2 Tbsp. milk
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
4 C. berries (she used a bag of frozen mixed berries)
1/2 C. water

In a bowl combine flour, half of the divided sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. In a small bowl, combine eggs, milk and oil. Stir this into the dry ingredients until moistened. Grease the crock-pot well and spread the batter evenly on the bottom. In a sauce pan, combine berries, water and the other half of the divided sugar, bring to a boil and remove from heat. Pour into crock-pot and cook on high for 2 hours, then turn off the cooker, uncover and let set for 30 minutes before eating.

* Peanut Butter and Hot Fudge Pudding Cake
By Me ;-)

1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup milk
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup boiling water
vanilla ice cream, hot fudge sauce and nuts, optional

In a medium bowl, combine flour, 1/4 cup sugar and baking powder. Add milk, oil and vanilla; stir until smooth. Mix in peanut butter. Pour into crockpot. In the same mixing bowl, stir together the 1/2 cup sugar and cocoa powder. Gradually stir in boiling water. Pour mixture over batter in crockpot. Do not stir. Cover and cook on high 2 to 3 hours or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream, hot fudge sauce and top with nuts, if desired.

And the winning recipe went to my friend, Nicole...

* Crock-Pot Italian Beef


1 jar of Giardiniera (it’s an Italian-American relish of pickled vegetables in a vinegar or oil. Giardiniera is available as either mild or hot. Hot giardiniera is often referred to as “Hot Mix.” It is typically eaten as an antipasto, or with salads.)
2-3 pound chuck roast

Cook on low heat for about 6-8 hours then shred. Serve on hoagie buns.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

I'm Officially the Big 4-0!

Wow! It's a little hard for me to even say those words! I can't believe I am already 40! It seems like just yesterday I was in high school! Time does fly by when you're having fun! I have such wonderful friends and family that have made this day tolerable, even enjoyable, and it has definitely reminded me of all my many blessings! Here's a few pics from my fun-filled weekend...

2 of my biggest blessings...

and my better half...

Here's my girlz and their girly friends singing "Happy Birthday" to me and my friend, Samantha, who shared birthday week with me...

Thank you, God, for allowing me to celebrate 40 years this weekend! May this song be my prayer to You for the next 40!

Culture Club (Australia) and Art

Monday, January 11, 2010

Date Night With the Girlz

Steve and I recently took the girlz out for our monthly date night. Steve took "A" to a Japanese buffet, which she loved, then went shopping at Target and Hobby Lobby. She even bought "M" a water bottle with her allowance money - I thought that was very sweet!

"M" and I ate at a local Mexican restaurant. As soon as we sat down she told the waiter my birthday was coming up at the end of the week. Thanks a lot, dear! I thought I taught you better than to embarrass your mother :-) So, of course, the wait staff put a sombrero on my head and sang to me.

"M" had to try out the hat, too!

We had a great time and look forward to switching dates next month!

Celebrating Birthdays ;-)

We recently celebrated mine and Steve's birthdays with his family this past weekend. Steve's birthday was January 6th and mine is coming up on the 16th. It's the BIG 4-0 for me! WOW! I sure don't feel 40 but then 40's the new 30, right?! Here's a few pics from our little celebration...

Happy Birthday, Steve!

Steve recently celebrated another birthday. He's a special daddy/hubby and such a blessing to me and the girlz ;-)

Poor Steve. That's what you get when you live in a house full of girlz...

"A" made Steve a pillow and gave him gift cards and expired credit cards she found in our kitchen junk drawer ;-)

"M" crocheted him a scarf...

Happy Birthday, Steve! We luv u!

Crafty Girlz

Thought I'd post a few pics of the girlz crafting here!

They recently taught ME how to crochet. I admit I'm a difficult student but I think I'm actually getting a hang of it. Kind of funny that they were able to teach me because I tried to learn last year from grown ladies but had a total brain freeze :-)

"M" wanted to take a picture of the first thing I ever crocheted ;-)

And here's the girlz scrapbooking...

And here they are crocheting and sewing while we listened to Little House on the Prairie's "The Long Winter" on audio book for school today...

"A's" cute little finished bear ;-)

"M" crocheting a scarf

'09 New Year Pics