Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Mickey Sunglasses


We are counting down the days to our very first Disney Cruise.  I have taken on the challenge of participating in the Fish Extender Gift exchange on board the ship.  We have 20 cabins in our group with a variety of ages and some with kids and some without.  As soon as I saw these  polka dot sunglasses at my local Target I knew that they would be perfect for all of the Disney Gals in the group.  With a price tag of just $1, I bought all that they had and then went to the next Target looking for more!

The sunglasses were incredibly easy to assemble and took no time at all! For under $25 dollars, I have 20 FE gifts that are practical, fun, and Disneyfied! (Probably not a word, but I am still going with it)

Materials:

  • Red Gems
  • Sunglasses
  • Super Glue
  • Tweezers

Who is going on a Disney Cruise? WE ARE!

In just about 60 days the Lewis Family will embark on their very first Disney Cruise.  Scott and I have cruised with other cruise lines before, but we are SUPER excited to take the kids on this adventure. We started planning this cruise almost 18 months ago and I cannot believe that it is right around the corner.  The remainder of summer vacation and getting ready to head back to school are sure to help us pass the time.

I like to think of myself as a Disney expert.  I keep up with all of the news and follow and read lots of sites for updates and ideas.  However, this Disney Cruising thing was all new to me.  It is like learning a totally different theme park inside and out.  Lots of the terminology was the same and of course the magical things that are available are similar, but the amount of information can be overwhelming. Anyways.... I have learned a lot and I plan on sharing it with you!

Oh and I forgot to mention we are also doing 5 days at the parks before the cruise.  This means that I have double planning duty!!!!  I am doing my best... less than 60 days!  Before this I had never heard of Fish Extenders, Door Decorating, Pixie Dusting, Pirate Nights, and dozens of others.  I know, I know.... what the heck is a fish extender?  I thought the exact same thing. I will save that for another day.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Summer Steak

We have started off summer (okay I know it's not technically summer yet, but June means summer to me) and are cooking on the grill multiple times a week.  I have scoured the internet for marinade recipes for chicken, steak, and pork.  A variation of this one was ALL over pinterest.  It didn't give exact measurements but this is what I used and I think that it turned out GREAT!  I am super excited for summer and all of the delicious cooking that goes along with it.
Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup steak sauce (I used A1)
  • 1/2 cup Italian dressing (I used Kraft Zesty Italian)
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • 2 tbs soy sauce
  • 2 tbs Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard
  • 4- 8oz Steaks (I used Sirloin)
Serves 4

Combine all ingredients in small bowl and whisk together.  Pour over steaks and marinate for about an hour.  Grill to desired temperature.  

Crispy Ranch Chicken

The kiddos may have finished school ten days ago, but I myself just finished yesterday. I am officially back! Those classes kicked my butt!   I know that I have slacked a little for the last few months, hopefully I can make up for it!  I have still been crafting, cooking, and creating I just haven't had time to blog about it all.  Life. Is. Crazy.  I am ready for summer vacation and FUN FUN FUN!
Ingredients:

  • 1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt 
  • 1/8 teaspoon Pepper
  • 2/3 Cup Panko Crumbs
  • 1 Tablespoon Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/2 Cup Ranch Salad Dressing
  • 4 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • About 3 Chicken Breasts
Serves 4-5

First I pounded the chicken breasts to about a half inch thick and then I cut them into thirds.  My chicken breasts were pretty big, so you may only be able to cut them in half.  Next, combine all of the dry ingredients on a large plate and place the ranch dressing in a shallow bowl. 
One piece at a time, dip the chicken into the ranch dressing and flip to cover then dip to coat each side with the panko mixture.  Heat the olive oil in a large skillet.  
Cook chicken for about 8 minutes per side or until chicken is cooked through and golden brown.  Remove chicken from skillet and place on paper towel for about a minute and then serve.  

I served with Spicy Potato Wedges and Steamed Asparagus.


Friday, May 30, 2014

Saucy Grilled Pork


Until about a year ago I thought that cooking pork on the grill was weird, but after trying a few recipes suggested by some friends I quickly changed my mind.  This recipe could be done with pork chops but I think that pork tenderloin is much more likely to be tender and juicy.  This recipe was adapted from one that I made a long time ago that used most of these ingredients to create a rub for a whole pork tenderloin.  I decided to turn it into a marinade and slice into pieces for less cook time.  I made the entire meal on the grill which made for a super easy clean up!  I made green beans and potatoes in foil packs- no additional pots and pans!

Ingredients:
  • 1 lb Pork Tenderloin cut into Medallion pieces
  • 1 Tablespoon Honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon Paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 Cup Catilina Dressing
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chili Powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon Dried Thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dried Mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Olive Oil
Serves 4

In a small bowl combine all ingredients except pork and mix well.
Take each piece of pork and give it a gentle pound with your fist to slightly flatten it.  Pour marinade mixture over pork and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
 Preheat grill.  Sear each side of the meat.  Then grill until desired internal temp.  Mine took about 5 mins on each side. 

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Easy Cheesy Broccoli and Rice

A few months ago I posted a recipe for Broccoli and Cheddar rice that we all enjoyed, but I came across a different recipe that said you could make it ahead of time.  Anything that I can make ahead of time is a winner in my book.  I tweaked the original recipe a bit.  Believe it or not I actually reduced the amount of cheese!  I also eliminated the Ritz cracker topping because my husband finds crumb topping (except the sweet stuff on top of muffins) to be completely unnecessary.  I liked the large chunks of broccoli in this (vs. little tiny pieces) because it actually made me feel like I was eating a vegetable.
Ingredients:
  • 2 Cups Minute Brown Rice
  • 1 (14.5 oz) Can of Chicken Broth
  • 3 Cups of  Broccoli
  • 6 oz of Velveeta Cheese (cubed)
  • Pepper to Taste
Serves 6

Bring chicken broth and broccoli to a boil.  Add rice, stir, and reduce heat to low.  Cover and cook for 6 minutes.  Turn of heat, add Velveeta cubes, stir, and cover for additional 5 minutes.  Stir to mix cheese throughout.  Add pepper to taste and Enjoy!

The original recipe says to cover and refrigerate if you are making it ahead of time.  I only made mine about an hour a head of time so I just left it covered on the counter and reheated it on the stove.  I will post an update when I actually make it a day in advance.

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Friday, April 25, 2014

Balsamic Grilled Sirloin


Throwing together a marinade can be as simple as looking through your refrigerator and pantry and throwing things together which is exactly what I did here.  Sometimes they get rave reviews from the family and other times I just toss the paper that I wrote down the ingredients and measurements on and we forget about it.  This one was a little different from most other marinades that I make because I don't think I have ever made one with balsamic vinegar.  I am glad I gave it a try because it added a different flavor to set it apart from the others and we all loved it!

Ingredients:
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 4 Tablespoons Italian Dressing
  • 1 teaspoon Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon Mustard
  • 2 Tablespoons A1 Sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cracked Black Pepper
  • 4 Sirloin Steaks (about 6 oz each)
serves 4

Combine all ingredients, except steaks, in a small bowl.  Whisk ingredients.  Pour mixture over steaks and let marinade for about 30 minutes.  Grill steaks to desired temperature.  
You can serve steak whole or slice across the grain and serve over rice.  I served with Paprika and Parsley Roasted Potatoes and Steamed Asparagus.

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