Saturday, November 5, 2011

Grampy Brownies


Today is the day.

I have put it off long enough.

I am attempting my Grandfather's "world famous" brownie recipe for the FIRST time!

Have I mentioned I'm nervous?!

This is a big moment.

I need to relax and just do it.

I am not sure if I will end up sharing the recipe but I will share the end results.

Here are 2 ingredients though:

I didn't say it was a healthy recipe!  (It also includes 8...count them....8 eggs!  YIKES!)

I am going to follow the recipe exactly this first time around, then I will see if I can make them in a way so as to not clog any arteries.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Freezer cooking for November

Well folks, Dr. Bob and I have been busy this past weekend prepping our freezer for the coming month.

All last week I was scouring recipe blogs looking for yummy new recipes to try.

I really liked all the recipes we made last month, but it gets old after a while.  You can find all those yummy recipes here and here.

This month we are attempting to make more of a variety (without running out of freezer containers...proving harder than we thought!)

Too make this cooking weekend possible, we did the bulk of our basic shopping at Aldi, meat shopping at Kroger, and 2 quick back-up trips to Publix and a different Kroger (ask Bob about that story, you should get a giggle!).  We ended up spending $182.48 and we got this:

So far we have made:

~ 34 turkey meatballs

~ 7 turkey burgers

~ BBQ chicken calzone (leftover BBQ chicken in the freezer for later use). Dough recipe can be found here.

~ Sloppy turkey joes - in the freezer to be used later

~ 7 or 8 individual containers of turkey chili.  I will have Dr. Bob write up this recipe some time soon.  Sooo good!

~ 4 individual containers of Corny Chicken Bake

~ 8 individual containers of a Creamy Southwestern Chicken Soup.  Basic recipe can be found here but we made some modifications:
              added diced jalapeno to onions while sauteeing, and added about 2 tsp cumin, 1 tbsp paprika, 2 
              tsp garlic powder and 1 tsp cayenne pepper.  Chicken was cooked with garlic, cumin, paprika, 
              cayenne, salt and pepper.  Added a can of black beans with the potatoes.  During the final 
              boil/cook, added about 3/4 cup shredded cheese.  Note: increased all measures (in initial recipe; 
              what's written here was as used) by 50%, to use the full 12 ounce can of evaporated milk

~ 6 individual containers of Buffalo Chicken Lasagna (Good guess Leslie!) (And thanks for the recipe Susan!)

~ 3 turkey and feta quesadilla's (more to be made this week)

~ 6 individual containers of a Deconstructed Burrito Bake: Rice mixed with salsa, can of refried beans, some taco seasoned turkey chili and cheddar cheese- layered in that order and then baked at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted.

~ Teriyaki seasoned chicken - this will be packed with fried rice eventually.  (Our rice cooker died yesterday so we purchased a new one today and have yet to make the rice due to football...ugh!)

~ Cheesy chicken paired with Cheesy potatoes

Still to come:
~ Pierogie lasagna
~ Fried Rice
~ Cheeseburger soup
~ Baked pumpkin ice cream glazed donuts

Here's everything ready for the freezer....look at all those containers.

That's over 40 meals ready to go for this month.  I am so excited about all of the above!  We have been taste testing it all and I can't wait to dig in!

Luckily I found more recipes than we could possibly make this month so we already have a list going for next month.

Any recommendations or suggestions to add to our list??

How was your Halloween?  Did you dress up?

Monday, October 31, 2011

BOO!  Happy Halloween Everyone!

What is it about kids looking like food?!

So cute!

What are you and/or your little ones dressing up as??

Sunday, October 30, 2011

And the winner is...

... Leslie!!!

Currently in the oven - the newly named "Leslie Varney Buffalo Chicken Lasagna"!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

My feet are killing me...

...from spending the last 9 hours cooking. 

There'll be more details coming later, with recipes, pictures, helpful hints (I'll give one away now - make sure your rice cooker hasn't $#!t the bed before you go to make a ton of rice for freezer meals of teriyaki chicken and fried rice).

So far, there's been meatballs, turkey burgers, a new taco casserole concoction (because of the need to not waste too much of the rice that didn't survive the attempt at regular stove top cooking), chili, BBQ chicken calzone, cheesy chicken, chicken with cornbread stuffing.  That doesn't include the sloppy joes still simmering in the slow cooker or the teriyaki chicken in the skillet, or the rice pudding that is an attempt to salvage even more of the aforementioned rice.

Total casualties for the day - rice (started with 2 cups uncooked), the rice cooker, the OXO "slap chop" thingy (Thanks, cheap plastic for breaking so the spring could go BOOOOOIIIIINNNNNNGGGGGG), and a thumb knuckle from a knife washing incident. 

Time for a glass of wine.

Dr. Bob out.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Menu needed

Dr. Bob and I are getting ready to plan out another big freezer cooking day so we have meals for the majority of next month.  While all of our food was delicious this month, we want to take a break from some of can only eat so much mac&cheese and chicken&rice soup!  We are looking for some new things to try out and would like to hear what some of your favorite recipes are!

I am pretty sure we are going to make a turkey chili of sorts, baked potato soup, and I just found an interesting chicken spaghetti casserole.  

What do you recommend?!

Friday, October 21, 2011

An apple a day....

....tastes delicious!  :-)

Apple picking has been a long time fall tradition for me.  It was a little bittersweet this year though.  I have had a tradition with two of my very dear friends since we were in college where we would have an apple picking weekend in a place I deemed "Cow Town."  Really it is in Washington County, NY not too far from Lake George.

Here we are in 2003 at the orchard.

Please don't judge my TERRIBLE haircut!  
I was trying to grow it out after some horrific trims!

And here we are enjoying some yummy treats from our harvest.

Fast forward to 2009 where we are all married and keeping the tradition alive!

There were even 2 little ones joining in the festivities!

Man I miss those days!

I was absolutely going to make sure that the tradition lived on even if I couldn't be with my favorite apple pickers.  I guess this guy will have to do:  :-P

Apple picking farms aren't as common in GA as they are in NY so we had to drive an hour and a half to find the first one.  It was a bit more commercialized than I am used to, but it had what we were looking for and that's all that mattered!

So we brought our dozens of apples home, scrubbed them clean,

 and got to baking!

We ended up making:

2 apple crisps (not pictured):

Recipe comes straight off my old Hick's Apple Orchard picking bags:

Peel and slice 4 or 5 large apples into a baking dish.  Sprinkle with a crumb topping of 1/2 cup flour, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup butter, 1 tsp cinnamon.  Bake at 350 degrees for 1/2 hour. Serve warm with whipped cream.

Note: I often find that the amount of butter in this recipe is too much for the flour, sugar, and cinnamon amounts so I will often double the amounts of sugar, flour, and cinnamon...because really, the crisp is all about the topping!

apple dumplings (too yummy to remember to take a picture and I highly recommend you giving this recipe a shot!),

3-4 apple breads (it is a zucchini bread recipe but they give you the option of making it into an apple bread), 3-4 apple cranberry breads (follow the same directions as the apple bread and add some cranberries),

apple sauce,

Recipe: (I will warn you, it's a typical Dr. Bob recipe...Megg you can start cringing now!)

Chop apples, put them in a pot with a little water on the bottom, add sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg (and cranberries if desired; use whole berry canned sauce).  Cook until softened enough to mash.  Taste and adjust spices.

apple chips.  They totally didn't work out for me which is sad because I was excited to give them a try.  I think I cut them too thin because everyone else that has tried the recipe has had great success.  I will have to give them another go next year.

Pre-baking disaster
And 5-6 bags of apple slices all seasoned up and frozen ready for a fresh apple pie or crisp on those dark, dreary days of February.

Cut apples into desired size as you would for a pie or crisp.  Measure them out to fit in your baking dish.  Put in freezer bag.  Add a hearty "splash" of lemon juice (helps apples not to brown in freezing process), cinnamon and sugar.  Mix so that all slices are covered.  Pop in freezer.

We specifically made some breads for the freezer so that we could enjoy them in the months to come, so we wrapped them in paper towels and put them in freezer bags.  We will eventually take them out of the freezer, let them thaw on the counter and then enjoy as we would had they just come out of the oven.  Yum!

So that was our apple adventure for 2011.  All this apple talk is making me crave some apple bread.  It might have to happen soon!

What are you favorite apple recipes??

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Freezer Cooking ~ Part 2

Hey Kids,
Sorry Part 2 is a bit delayed. I was going to write it up yesterday but spent most of my day fighting with our cable company. They have been nothing but hassle since we moved down here. It been frustrating. But I think we are set (for the time being) so I am glad that is out of the way. So due to all of that, I figured I should hold off on writing this up until I was in a better space! :-)

Before I get into all the yummy deliciousness that took place, I will mention that I was asked to make a little something extra for my book club taking place Sunday evening. So Bob was kind enough to whip up a delicious pot of Baked Potato Soup. It never disappoints!

Alright, Sunday consisted of enchiladas, orange chicken, apple crisp, apple dumplings, the 2nd pizza of the weekend, and some buffalo baked chicken. I don't have pictures of all dishes, but I will have recipes/descriptions:

1. Enchiladas - BAM! The sauce came from, you got it, Emeril Lagasse via the Food Network and can be found here. And the recipe/how to put it all together came from Recipe Girl and can be found here. Broken record warning - obviously we used ground turkey rather than ground beef, but you can use whichever you choose. This recipe is easy and delicious.

And here is the end result:

*Side note - we made a double batch of the sauce because we like it "saucy" in "The Bob's" household. We used all the sauce we wanted and froze the rest for next time.

After all the enchilada's cooled, we put some brown rice (that we steamed in our Rice Cooker) in the bottom of our storage containers and then placed 2 enchiladas on top of the rice. These were then placed in the freezer.
We used small soft tortilla which allowed us to make 14 enchiladas = 7 frozen meals.

2. Orange Chicken - This recipe came from "The Everything Healthy Slow Cooker Cookbook" (which if you are looking for some great crock pot recipes, this is the book for you!)

2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
2 tablespoons spiced ginger preserves
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 large orange, sliced into 1/8 inch - thick slices
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 3/4 pound)

1. Whisk together the soy sauce, preserves, and juice in a small bowl.
2. Arrange the orange slices along the bottom of a 4-quart slow cooker. Top with the chicken breasts. Pour the sauce over the chicken. Cook for 3 hours on low or until the chicken is thoroughly cooked.

Per Serving
Calories: 170| Fat: 2.5g| Sodium: 560mg| Carbs: 10g| Fiber: 1g| Protein: 26g

Okay so thoughts on this recipe - I will admit I was not a fan of this recipe. Try as we might, we were unable to find the spiced ginger preserves. We used sweet orange preserves which ended up making it too sweet/orange-y. Dr. Bob thought it was too orange-y as well and wished he had added some more soy sauce and a little chili or sesame oil to round out the flavors.

We will most likely not make this recipe again -- Can't be perfect all the time right?! ;-)

3. Apple crisp - I am actually going to be a tease here and not give you the recipe yet because I intend to do a post full of apple recipes (soon, I promise). I will say that it was delish and my book club members that tried it, quite enjoyed it.

*Random side note - one book club gal actually skipped over it because she thought someone put beef (yes I said beef) on top of the apples and she doesn't eat meat. First of all gross, and second of all - who would do that?! Oh well!

4. Apple dumplings - Tease againq. Stay tuned!

5. Pizza - I was informed that because we were not going out to watch the Lions (Dr. Bob's team) play, he needed some football food so he kindly requested "delicious pizza." How could I turn him down?? If you missed it on Friday, you can find the recipe here.

6. Baked Buffalo Chicken - We were looking for some other football munchy food so we cut up some chicken, pan fried/simmered it in the buffalo sauce. We dipped it in some ranch. Yum!

I would ultimately like to get chicken *on* the pizza but we always seem to cook the chicken after the pizza goes in the oven. We will get there eventually.

That sums up our afternoon of cooking this past Sunday. Quite productive. We actually could not freeze everything we made over this weekend because our 2 freezers became over filled. So we made sure to plan our meals accordingly this week.

Have you tried any of the recipes we have posted? If so, which ones?

If you haven't but want to try one - which one(s)?

Monday, October 3, 2011

Freezer Cooking ~ Part 1

We here in the "Bob's" household has been tracking our food spending the past 2 months. It was started for 2 reasons:

1. To get an idea of what our food budget should be in our new city.
2. Give us the wake up call that we often spend too much money on food when there are just 2 mouths to feed.

It has been working. I am not going to give out numbers or anything but we have had some good conversations figuring out ways to cut back on groceries, portion sizes, how often we eat out, and other changes we can make.

Now before we really start talking about the changes, we should talk about our "eating out" habits. Like many of you know, we are social beings. We like to meet people. We like to make friends. Right now we are establishing our social circles in our new city. We are feeling people out. We are seeing if we like them and we're weeding out "the crazies." Obviously we are not going to invite complete strangers to our home until we have met and vetted them. This means we have to meet people in public places and this often revolves around food. Hence our pretty big "eating out" bill the past few months (however we have become excellent deal finders for restaurants). Hopefully that will decline in the coming months as we have been making friends and starting to have people over for meals rather than always going out to eat.

Okay enough of that, onto the good stuff!

Our plan for the month of October is to pick 6 or 7 meals, make them all at the same time and then freeze them in individual sized containers so that we have meals ready to go throughout the month. We wanted a variety so that we weren't sick of eating the same thing for 5 meals in a row. We have done a similar concept in the past but we did not make such the variety. So we did a BIG grocery shopping trip Friday after Dr. Bob got out of work and then we got to work.

Part 1 took part Friday night and we made the following:

Recipe #1: Southwest Rollups. I got this recipe from Money Saving Mom who does this same concept of cooking for the freezer. She has 3 little ones so she spreads the cooking out where she tries to do an hour of cooking a day where it is purposely made for future meals. Plus her blog has a team that helps comb the web for daily deals, coupons, etc. Check her out if you have the chance.

I prepped 14 roll ups with refried beans, chicken (from a roasted chicken found in my deli section), salsa, and cheese. Super EASY recipe. I will absolutely make this recipe again however I may add a bit more chicken next time. I only used 2 cups because that is all I had left after snacking on some of it before I got started (oops! I was starving though and dinner wasn't ready yet!). Next time I will make sure to have the recommended 4 cups.
I will also remember to warm the wraps in the microwave briefly so it is easier to roll them up and I won't end up with 2 busting open (hence the ones in the container).
And I am even able to be a bit "greener" and reuse my bags that the wraps originally came in.
Recipe #2: Chicken and Rice Soup. Dr. Bob developed this recipe by taking a few recipes and melding them altogether. Here is his "off the cuff" recipe (Megg, I know you love these!)

~ 6 cups of chicken broth;
~ 3 cups of cooked rice that has been steamed off in the rice cooker;
~ a pack of chicken that is diced, pan cooked, and seasoned (salt, pepper, oregano, garlic);
~ a cup of finely diced onion;
~ a cup of finely diced carrots;

Cook on low for about 3 hours in a cock pot. (We used a 5 quart crock pot for this recipe)

If you like your vege's soft rather than crispy combine all of the above, minus the chicken, on low for 2-3 hours. Then add chicken and keep on low for an additional 30 minutes to an hour.

Make sure to keep an eye on the soup. If the rice starts to get too soft or the broth looks too "starchy," it is time to shut the crock pot off.

Then package in individual containers, let cool, and freeze.
Recipe #3: Homemade pizza! While all of this yummy cooking was going on we had to eat some sort of dinner.

I have been wanting to find a good pizza crust recipe for a LONG time and I have finally been successful...YAY! I got the recipe from Ready, Set, Simplify. And you can find the recipe here. It is actually from I am a fan of this site. (Hint: always make sure to read the reviews of a recipe you are going to make because they have some helpful tips on what to add, how to tweak the recipe a bit, etc).

This pizza recipe has become a BIG fan favorite quickly.
Man, I'm drooling again just looking at this picture.

So that was our Friday night. We ended up with 7 helpings of Southwest Rollups, 8 servings of soup, and a big, delicious pizza!

Stay tuned for Part 2....lots more deliciousness to come!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Football = Sunday Funday!

Dr Bob loves football. I love beating my family members in our family fantasy football league!

We have found some great new friends in the area that love football and food. They have the NFL super extravagant, premium edition, no holds bar network package. We love to cook. We are a match made in heaven.

We went to their place for the 2nd weekend of football and brought all necessary items to have an out of this world "Day of Football."

Here is a what we brought all packaged up and ready to go: 1 small cooler, 1 reusable bag filled with necessary items (including a crockpot), and my crocheting bag (very important that I stay semi interested and focused for the day).

Our new pals had a tradition for their previous Sunday Fundays in Wisconsin of ordering Chinese for the first round of munching. Seeing as it was going to take a little while to get our stuff up and going, we figured we would carry on the tradition.

**Side note - one of the biggest shocks moving down here has been the lack of "strip mall cheap chinese places"!! Can you believe it?! They were EVERYWHERE in the 518! We have finally found a few good places though thankfully!
While our tummies were digesting lunch and the next round was cooking, we had a good time watching the games and playing with the pooches (Jake and Wrigley). Clearly Jake thinks he is a lap dog. I could believe how long he stay wrapped around Mike on the couch. It was pretty hilarious and pathetic at the same time.
Wrigley was getting a little mouthy so (and I quote) "It's time to get the dog drunk" was stated. He settled down a bit. Lol. Obviously Jake wanted in on the action too.
Okay enough football and hanging out talk, let's get to the good stuff....or should I say delicious stuff?!

We first introduced Mike and Jillian to our Buffalo Chicken bites: (Ready to go in the oven)
We got this recipe idea out of a little cookbook (Pillsbury Crescents - biscuits & more) that you can find while waiting to check out at the grocery store. Dr. Bob L.O.V.E.S these things...I think we own 3 or 4. The recipe is super easy and super delicious.

1 package of crescent rolls
1 roasted chicken (we get it from the deli section in the grocery store)
Some Buffalo wing sauce
Cheese (we use cheddar, but you can use any really)

~ Shred the roasted chicken into small chunks. (We have found that it is easiest to this while the chicken is still warm.)
~ Mix in buffalo wing sauce to taste.

(We did these 2 steps the night before so the sauce could marinate, but this is not a necessity.)

~ Unroll crescent rolls.
~ Put a spoonful of the chicken/sauce mixture in the largest part of the roll.
~ Add a bit of cheese
~ Roll up roll making sure it is as closed up as possible.
~ Follow baking instructions on the crescent roll packaging.
~ Enjoy!

This can be made in various combinations. We have made this with BBQ sauce and pork. Marinara would be yummy. I would love to try it with teriyaki and chicken. The ideas are endless!

And feel free to have something to dip these suckers into such as ranch or blue cheese. We kept them plain this time but have done it in the past.

Next, we found some bratwurst on sale so Dr Bob pan fried them in beer and then let them simmer for a good long time.
I don't eat them but I heard they were delish! (If you have more questions about these suckers, let me know and I will have Dr Bob address them.

Crock pot Mac n' Cheese....need I say more?!
This recipe came out of another grocery check out line cookbook called "Slow Cooker Recipe Book."

Serving Size: 7
Per Serving: 170 cal, 17 g pro, 15 g carb, 0 g fiber, 4.5 g fat, 2.5 g sat fat, 400 mg sodium.

2.5 cups fat-free milk
3 cups shredded or cubed low-fat cheddar cheese
1 large egg, beaten
1 tsp salt
8 oz elbow macaroni (about 1/2 box), cooked al dente

1. Combine milk, cheese, egg, and salt in a 4 quart or larger slow cooker. Add ground black pepper to taste.
2. Cover. Cook on high 30 minutes. Add macaroni and stir. Cover and cook on low 2 hours longer. Serve sprinkled with grated parmesan cheese, if desired.

We will often make a double batch because it goes quickly in this house and it is a great side dish for lunches and dinners! Also very easy to freeze and reheat.

Finally, we couldn't forget about an Erin favorite: Turkey Chili Dip!
I actually forgot to take a pic right after it came out of the oven so here it is somewhat devoured. There were no leftovers of this sucker!

A friend brought this wonderful recipe into my life a few years ago and I can't say thank you enough! I truly <3 this recipe!

1 packet of cream cheese
1 can of Hormel's chili (I prefer turkey chili obv)
Cheese (any type is acceptable except the super duper healthy stuff - I ended up causing a small oven fire once because the healthy cheese wasn't melting and it caught on fire when I put it on broil...never again. Somethings are just not meant to be healthy!) ;-)

~ Layer the cream cheese on the bottom
~ Add chili (I like to season with some salt and pepper)
~ Add desired amount of cheese
~ Cook at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until cheese has melted.

*Make sure to let this cool off before digging in. It is hard to resist it but your intact taste buds will thank you!

So that is what we made up for our "Sunday Funday" event. It was a pretty awesome day all around, if I do say so myself!

Towards the end of the second game, Ms. Jillian prepared an awesome dessert which included a cake mix, butter cream cheese and a little bit of amazing. Not quite sure what it was made of, but I know it tasted really yummy!

So that about wraps it all up. Fun friends, fun food, fun times!

Do you watch football? If yes, by choice or by force?

What do you munch on while it is on?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Homemade Baked Potato Soup

I love baked, mashed, fried, twice baked, scalloped, any kind of potatoes. So when I found out you could make it in soup form, I was all in.

(Full disclosure here - there are 2 mainstays on my bucket list: 1. drive a Zamboni and 2. pick a potato in Idaho...that is how much I love potatoes!)

This recipe comes, yet again, from The Frugal Girl and you can find it here. It is absolutely delicious.

The only change that I made was pretty obvious if you know me, we left out the bacon.

(I prefer only chicken and turkey as my proteins of choice...this dates back to early on in the high school years and I have chosen to not go back...much to the dismay of my steak loving family and my pork loving husband)

Like I said, the hubby is a BIG proponent of bacon considering his latest purchase:

The funniest part about this bacon salt that he found at a great new store we discovered (Cost Plus World Market) that it is Kosher....meaning no little piggies were harmed in the process of making this condiment. I think this is hilarious!

But he loves me and has realized that it isn't going to happen. At least not anytime soon. We have made it in the past where he will prepare bacon and add it as he makes himself a bowl but not this time. We had other cooking things in mind. (Tune in later for that)

We made a pretty decent sized batch so after the soup was cooled, we portioned them into appropriate individual sized meals and stuck 2 in the deep freezer while 4 stuck around for meals this week.

A perfect meal as the weather starts to get cooler. I know it isn't as cool as some places where you live, but it is no longer 90 degrees on a daily basis and for that, I am thankful.

Reader Questions:
How do you prefer your potatoes?

What are some of your favorite fall cooking recipes?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

2 Reasons

There are 2 reasons why our apartment smells fan-bloody-tastic....

1 & 2
This is my homemade bread that I love to make. It is so yummy and delicious.

We try not to keep too much bread in the house but I can't help it with this. When I make it I will usually find ways to eat one loaf fresh (well at least before it goes bad that is) and then I slice the other one and pop it in the freezer to use as needed.

I got the recipe from The Frugal Girl (love her and almost every single one of her recipes!) You can find it here.

I make 2 slight modifications to the recipe. I like to use 1/2 white flour and 1/2 whole wheat flour (if I have it in the house) to make it a touch healthier. I also add 2 tablespoons of flax seed to give some extra fiber and healthy oils.

I am drooling just looking at this picture ;-)

The Frugal Girl does have a recipe for Whole Wheat Bread so if that tickle's your fancy you can find the recipe here.

Reader Question:
Have you made bread from scratch? If so, what recipe do you use??

This is why.....

..........we haven't been around lately. Our fridge has been pretty bare.

But not to worry, we just did a massive shopping trip that included 3 stores to make sure we got the best possible deals! We should be stocked up for a LONG time to come. And we have lots of delicious meals plans.

Bob already made a BBQ pork roast in the slow cooker last night that he thinks he can get about 6 or 7 meals out of it. Tonight's agenda is Shepherd's Pie....I'm so excited!

So my plan for today is to bake some home made bread and prep the potatoes for tonight. If I am really feeling motivated, maybe I will clean and cut the 4 packs of chicken we got on sale so they can be readied for freezing.

Check back soon for an update on what we have been cooking!

Do you grocery shop weekly or stock up and see how long it lasts?

Sunday, August 28, 2011


Our sweet tooths got the better of us at the grocery store yesterday so we went to visit that horribly mean area of the store - the bakery!

Dr. Bob was excited because he finally found a "mini" egg custard pie. Up until now he has only found large ones. He has avoided buying them because that is not my type of dessert, so I would not help him eat it. It is never a good idea to have that large of a dessert in our house!

I got this:
Whoever thought about dipping cheesecake into chocolate was a GENIUS! It is a HUGE piece of cheesecake so I am trying to pace myself but this thing is unbelievably heavenly!

Reader Questions:
Do you ever get sucked into the bakery section of the grocery store?

If so, what types of "yummy delishiousness'" catch your eye?

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Quick and easy

No, this isn’t going to be a dirty post :)

The Mrs. & I were looking for something different. Pasta has been getting boring, even with some delicious homemade meatballs or amazing homemade chicken parmesan (more about those another time).

So…we had a bunch of pasta from a recent BJs trip, and picked up some chicken when it was on sale at Kroger this week. Here’s where the quick part comes in – we also picked up a small jar of pre-made pesto. This has been one of the things I’ve wanted to try to make from scratch, but I also wanted Mrs. Bob to try it first before we invested time, effort and mess in making it.

Here’s what you need:

Boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces

Basic spices (or my “use it in everything” spice starter)

Balsamic vinegar

Olive oil



Boil the pasta, like you normally would.

While the water is coming to a boil, heat about a teaspoon of olive oil in a fry pan over medium heat. Add the chicken (we did about 16 ounces of uncooked chicken – this will give you about 12 ounces of cooked chicken), making sure the pieces are broken apart. Sprinkle with spices (salt, pepper, garlic, etc.), and dribble about ½ teaspoon balsamic vinegar. Let the chicken cook, undisturbed, for a while, until the bottom is cooked and starting to brown. Flip the chicken pieces, let cook on the other side until cooked through. Stir around when it’s finishing cooking, to make sure the spices and reduced balsamic are mixed.

After you drain the pasta, heat about 2 tablespoons pesto in another fry pan, add about 4-5 ounces cooked pasta and about 3-4 ounces of cooked chicken. Stir it around a bunch, until it’s all mixed together and heated through. Remove to a bowl, sprinkle with parmesan cheese, and serve immediately.

This is a great, quick meal to make, and it is easy to measure out nicely portion-controlled servings. If you use whole wheat pasta (we usually get Barilla whole wheat at BJs), the serving size I described above (depending on the type of pesto), will be about a 450-500 calorie, very satisfying dinner.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


I know this has nothing to do with cooking and that we haven't blogged any yummy recipes lately but I have to share the love.....

Niki over at Debt Free by Thirty has just accomplished her goal of paying off her debt, celebrating her 1st Blogaversary, and having her 1st give-away. Boy is it a big day!

I am envious of their family having paid off over $14,000 in a year. They are now consumer debt free and going to work on paying off things like their car and building a huge emergency fund. Good for them! I have enjoyed reading her posts and watching her progress. It has helped DrBob and I think about what we need to do and put plans in place.

Congrats Niki!

I promise we will be back with some great posts soon! (I actually have one that I wanted to put up yesterday but ran out of time. Who knows, maybe you will get 2 posts today!)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Slow cooker madness

Woke up this morning with a desire to get stuff cleared out of the fridge. We’ve been doing a lot of shopping for things we need and stocking up on non-perishable items (just wish BJ’s was a bit closer, but oh well); this led to a drawer full of chicken in the fridge and a bunch of random stuff calling my name. So, I decided to seriously overwork our little 3 quart slow cooker.

First task – BBQ chicken. No real recipe here. Just put some BBQ sauce on the bottom of the slow cooker, add a boneless chicken breast, more sauce, more chicken, until the slow cooker was about ¾ full. I let this go on low for about 3 hours, at which point the chicken was amazingly tender and moist, even though the internal temperature was about 180 degrees. A quick shred later, back in the sauce, and finished it for another half hour.
Side note: this is going to go great with the sweet Vidalia onion coleslaw that I made.

Next up – after cleaning the slow cooker, I basically repeated the BBQ chicken, except with salsa. This is currently being made into refried bean/chicken/cheese quesadillas as I type.

Finally – after another cleaning of the slow cooker, in went 2 cans of light red kidney beans, 4 strips of cooked bacon, half cup of ketchup, quarter cup of brown sugar, half cup of maple syrup, 1 cup of water, and about 2 tablespoons of mustard. That’s cooking on high for the next four hours.

Can’t wait for tomorrow’s lunch – BBQ chicken, coleslaw and “baked” beans.

Once the slow cooker is done, I’m gonna let it rest…at least for a little while.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Melt in your mouth min muffins

Today's amazingly yummy treat comes to us via Little House on the Prairie Living. Dr. Bob found the recipe and proceeded to do what he does best when it comes to baking, "Baby, you should try making this recipe!"

But it sounded too good not to try.

You can find the recipe here. The recipe makes 24 mini muffins.

The only things I added were:

1.) 2 tablespoons of flax seeds to make it a smidge healthier
See the flax seeds....
And 2.) cinnamon to the topping because just the sugar wasn't enough for me. I am definitely a cinnamon and sugar type of gal.Don't they look delicious?!

I actually made something along these lines for the day my nephew was born (to have something for people to munch on while visiting) and while that recipe was good - this one was a lot better and quicker! I will absolutely use this one again.

Like I said, it is beyond simple and quick. I think it took me 45 minutes from pulling out the ingredients to being completely cleaned up.

Little bits of heaven!

Give the recipe a try and let me know what you think!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Soft Pretzel Bites

Dr. Bob found this recipe on the website "Crepes of Wrath."

Go there.

Make recipe.

Love it.

That is all!


Thursday, July 28, 2011

Blueberry fun - Part 1

Mmmmm, don't they look delicious?!

A couple of new friends and I decided to go blueberry picking last week. It was a lot of fun...however we seemed to have picked the HOTTEST day ever to pick blueberries! Good grief, the sweat was dripping off us.
Luckily we got a good amount of berries in a short amount of time. I couldn't wait to get home and try some yummy new recipes.

Now, I am not going to lie, I am not a huge fan of blueberries on their own. But I am all about including them with other fruits or baking them into awesome baked goods/desserts.

Hence why we are here today:

I found this recipe for blueberry muffins on It made only 6 muffins so I followed the commenters advice under the recipe and doubled it. I also made a few changes again per the commenters advice. Here they are:


  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg - I used less nutmeg
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil - I used 1/4 cup of oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • *I added 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • *I also added 2 tablespoons of flax seed (always good to get some extra Omega 3's and dietary fiber!)

This ended up making 12 large muffins and 12 mini muffins.

Now I also have to warn you about how long to bake these bad boys! The recipe calls for 25-27 minutes at 375 degrees. I planned to check on the little guys after 20 minutes and this is what they looked like:
YIKES were they crispy! I know we are still getting used to cooking in a new oven and this sucker gets pretty hot, pretty quickly...but make sure to keep an eye on the little guys. I think they would have been fine at 15 minutes.

We can't always perfect the recipe the first time around now can we?? ;-)

The regular size muffins came out really pretty great.
And pretty tasty.

The other blueberry recipe I found was this Blueberry Loaf Cake on as well. This one came out phenomenally!
The only change I made was to up the amount of blueberries from 1 cup to 1 and 1/2 cups.
So those were my blueberry concoctions from last week. Dr. Bob had free range over the rest of the blueberries and trust me - he put them to good use.

He is going to be posting a Blueberry fun - Part 2 soon so stay tuned!

Reader Question:
What is your favorite blueberry recipe to make??