Friday, October 2, 2015

Weekly Line Up - 10/2-10/8

Busy week again! The hubby's brother and his family are moving this weekend, so we will be having extra company for meals while they are packing, cleaning and moving. Fall is in the air and we are running with football, cub scouts and other fun events that our family is a part of. That means that I am definitely busting out my crock pot a lot more. Love that thing!

Friday - Burgers/Brats, *Broccoli Salad
Saturday - Stroganoff
Sunday - *Ranch Chicken Fajita Bowls
Monday - Eggs/Toast
Tuesday - ECFE
Wednesday - Taco Chicken Bowl
Thursday - *Pumpkin Waffles

Extras: *Gluten Free Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

* - New Recipe

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Zucchini Brownies

I had a couple of zucchini sitting on my counter and I needed to use them up. Now, what better way to use up zucchini, but to find a sweet chocolatey brownie recipe! :) These were super tasty. While the frosting didn't hard set the way that the recipe said it would, it was still delicious and I have been eating on this pan for the past week! It pairs very well with ice cream after a night of sweaty volleyball in an non-airconditioned gym!

Zucchini Brownies
(Recipe found at

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups shredded zucchini (1 large or 2 small zucchinis)
3-5 tablespoons water

3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 350. Line a 9x13" baking pan with foil and spray with cooking spray. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
Using an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together the oil, sugar, and vanilla until well combined. Add the dry ingredients and stir. Fold in the zucchini. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes so the batter can absorb the moisture from the zucchini. Then, if your mixture is still very powdery, add up to 5 tablespoons water (start with 1 tablespoon and work up from there, stirring well after each addition). The batter will be very thick but shouldn't be powdery. (It partially depends on how wet your zucchini is!) The dough is super thick, like cookie dough. Do not add too much water! I actually didn't need to use any extra water when I made these. Spread in prepared pan.
Bake 25-30 minutes until the brownies spring back when gently touched. To make the frosting: Whisk butter, cocoa, salt, and powdered sugar. Whisk in milk and vanilla. Spread over cooled brownies. Cut into squares and chill to semi-set. The frosting hardens slightly on the top but stays wet and gooey underneath. These brownies are best stored in an airtight container and eaten within 2 days. Chill them to make them last an extra day.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Stuffed French Bread

This was a delicious and EASY meal to throw together. There was definitely not any leftovers with this hearty meal, everyone kept going back for seconds and thirds! It was very tasty and filling.

Stuffed French Bread
(Recipe found at via Pinterest)

1 loaf french bread
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 can cream of mushroom soup (or cream of everything soup mix)
1 tablespoons milk (or more if needed - I didn't need any)
1 tablespoon mustard
salt and pepper, to taste
1 1/2-2 cups shredded cheese

Preheat the oven to 350. Slice french bread in half (lengthwise), scoop the center of each half and crumble it in a large bowl. Place the halves of bread onto a baking sheet and set aside. In a large skillet place 1 tablespoon of olive oil and ground beef and cook over medium-high heat until the beef is browned, stirring occasionally. Add chopped onion, chopped celery and minced garlic and cook a few minutes until the vegetable is tender. Add soup, mustard, salt and pepper to taste and cook for at least 5 minutes. If the mixture is too thick add a little milk. Add cooked beef mixture to the bread and stir to combine. Spread the mixture in the center of one half of the french bread. Spread shredded cheese in the center of other half of the french bread. and place the bread carefuly back on top of first half. Bake 10-15 minutes (until the cheese is melted). If you don’t want to brown the bread too much or to become too crispy, cover with aluminium foil. Let it cool 5-10 minutes before slicing.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Lemon and Garlic Dump Chicken

I love freezer meals, even if I don't cook the recipe using the freezer option! :) I whipped this up and threw it straight into the crockpot, but I know that next time I will probably be making a double batch and freezing one of them for future use. The kids weren't too sure about this recipe the first time around, but they LOVED it cold as leftovers for lunch the next day. Who knew?? I thought it was pretty tasty, although I think that I would like it even better on the grill instead of in the crockpot. I just love the crispness that the grill gives chicken!

Lemon and Garlic Dump Chicken
(Recipe found at via Pinterest)

1–2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon parsley flakes
2 tablespoon lemon juice
4-6 chicken breasts (or 8 to 10 chicken tenders)

Place all ingredients into a 1-gallon freezer bag. After sealing the bag, turn the bag over several times until everything is combined and the chicken is well coated. Freeze flat. To prepare, thaw chicken. Pour chicken and marinade into a baking dish, turn chicken to coat. Bake at 350 for 35 minutes, outside on the barbecue grill, until no longer pink inside, or place the frozen chicken in the crockpot and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Chicken and Spinach Pasta Bake

This was a super easy recipe to throw together and bake. My son wanted to help with supper this night, so I put him to work mixing everything together. He tried cutting the chicken and although it took a lot longer than I hoped (mom had a lot of patience that night) he did a great job and he was proud that he was able to help me put together supper. This has now prompted me to have the kids help with whatever meal they pick for the week. Last year we started letting them each have one meal a week to pick whatever they wanted for supper. This year I am expanding it to mean that they have to help cook whatever meal it is that they want to have. Hopefully it gets them to love being in the kitchen as much as their mom! Or at least get them to know their way around the kitchen a bit!

Chicken and Spinach Pasta Bake
(Recipe found at via Pinterest)

8 ounces uncooked rigatoni
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
10 ounces frozen spinach, thawed
3 cups cubed, cooked chicken breasts
1 (14 ounces) can italian-style diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (8 ounces) container chive & onion cream cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Prepare rigatoni according to package directions. Spread oil on bottom of 11×7 in baking dish; add onion in a single layer. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes or just until tender.
Transfer onion to large bowl, set aside. Drain chopped spinach well, pressing between paper towels. Stir in rigatoni, spinach, chicken, tomatoes, cream cheese, salt and pepper into onion in bowl. Spoon mixture into dish & sprinkle evenly with shredded mozzarella cheese. Bake covered at 375 for 30 minutes. Uncover & bake 15 more minutes or until bubbly.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Pie Iron Calzones

We used this recipe when we went on our big camping vacation to Canada this summer and it couldn't have been easier... The poor hubs ends up sitting over the fire the entire time, which isn't super enjoyable for him, but these were totally worth all the grumping and groaning that he did! The kids AND adults raved about how wonderful these tasted and they didn't require a ton of prep work... Perfect for a camping meal!

Pie Iron Calzones
(Recipe found at via Pinterest)

pre-made pizza dough in a tube (one tube yields 3 calzones)
pizza sauce
shredded cheese
Other toppings of your choice
cooking spray
pizza sauce, for dipping

Spray cooking spray on both sides of the pie iron. Cut rectangle of dough into three even pieces and place one piece on the pie iron. Spread pizza sauce. Add cheese. Add pepperoni. Fold over the remaining dough to cover your calzone. With your fingers pinch the edges of the dough together before putting the top of the pie iron on. Cook over hot coals until warm and crisp. Time depends on how hot your coals are. Flip pie iron over and continue cooking second side. Serve with pizza sauce for dipping, if desired.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Raspberry Chocolate Squares

This recipe had me at raspberry and chocolate! Two of my favorite flavors combined together!! It was super yummy and I loved the chocolate glaze over the top. Make sure you store it in the fridge and you can savor it for a while! Although there are a lot of steps to this recipe, it is pretty simple. Make sure that you leave enough time for all the "cooling" phases that you have to do!

Raspberry Chocolate Squares
(Recipe found at

1 cup flour
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoon milk
1 cup white chocolate chips
2 ounces semi-sweet baking chocolate squares
1 tablespoon shortening

Preheat oven to 375. In a bowl combine flour and powdered sugar. Cut in butter; mix well. Press mixture into a 9 inch square baking dish. Bake for 15-17 minutes or until lightly brown. Allow to cool completely. Spread jam evenly over cooled crust. In a separate bowl, beat cream cheese and milk together until smooth; set aside. In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the white chocolate chips and add to the cream cheese mixture; beat until smooth. Spread evenly over raspberry mixture. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours Cut chocolate squares into small pieces and melt with shortening in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly. Spread over white chocolate layer. Cool completely before cutting into small squares. Store in the fridge.