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?