Thursday, February 28, 2013

Five Reasons I know that My Husband Secretly Loves Disney

5.  He understands all the terminology.  He knows all of the basics like Table Service VS Quick Service, Park Hopper, Snack Credits,  the different modes of transportation, and the different types of resorts.  I am proud of him, he knows what rides are at which parks and the names of the shows and parades.  He hasn't quite grasped all of the abbreviations that Sherrie and I use, but I am sure he will soon.
4.  He owns a Perry the Platypus Pillow Pet.  Our boys LOVE Phineas and Ferb so my husband and I watch it WAY more than we would like to.  The show is adorable and we definitely reference it often.    He bought the Pillow Pet on our last vacation and when he brought it up to the cashier I assumed he was buying it for one of the boys and I questioned why he was buying only one.  He looked at me funny and said "this is for me."  I just laughed.
3.  He owns more than one Disney t-shirt.  By more than one I mean two and by Disney I really mean Star Wars.  I am sure that if I asked him to wear matching family shirts he would, but we will just save that for the kids.

Crispy Crunchy Oven Baked Tacos

Tacos are a Lewis family favorite so I am always looking for a way to change them up a bit.  We generally have soft tacos so the crunchy taco variation is always my favorite!

  • 1 lb ground beef (or turkey)
  • 1/2  cup diced onion
  • 1 small can of diced green chilies 
  • 2 teaspoons of taco seasoning
  • 4 oz of tomato sauce
  • Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • Refried Beans- its hard for me to gauge this one because we are not huge refried bean fans.  I would say that I used about 1/3 of a 16-ounce can
  • 8-10 Crunchy Taco shells- I like the Old El Paso "stand and stuff" because they stand up on their own.

Taco Stuffers:
  • More Cheddar Cheese
  • Diced Tomatoes
  • Lettuce
  • Sour Cream
  • Black Olives
  • Salsa

In skillet brown ground beef and onion and drain.  Next, add in green chilies, tomato sauce, refried beans, and taco seasoning.  Mix well and heat through.

Preheat oven to 400.  Fill taco shells with meat mixture, top with cheddar cheese, and place in oven safe baking dish.  Bake for 8-10 minutes or until cheese is melted.  

Top with your favorite taco stuffers and ENJOY!  My personal favorite combination is lettuce, sour cream, salsa, and black olives!

This recipe was featured in Two Magical Moms March Menu Madness.  Check out the entire menu and try out some of our other YUMMY recipes!

Creamy Corny Rice

This is a creamy rice dish that has just enough spice!  My family likes to scoop it up with tortilla chips, put in on their tacos or burritos, or just eat it with a fork!  

  • 1 Cup uncooked Long Grain Rice
  • 14 ounces of Chicken Broth
  • 1 1/2 Cups Shredded Pepper Jack Cheese (divided)
  • 3/4 Cup Sour Cream
  • 1 Cup Corn (frozen or canned)
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1- 4 ounce can of diced green chili peppers
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro (if you look closely at the picture my cilantro is in the shape of an ice cube.  I took advice from a friend and froze some left over herbs)

First combine rice and chicken broth is pot.  Bring to a rolling boil and then let it sit.  Be sure to let it sit for 20 minutes to absorb all of the liquid.  Next preheat the oven to 350.  Combine all ingredients in 1.5 quart baking then add in rice and top with remaining pepper jack cheese.  Bake for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted.  I have found that the baking time is less when I use can corn instead of frozen corn.  This is a great side dish to serve with any Mexican inspired dish.  I served mine with the Crispy Crunchy Oven Baked Tacos.  

This recipe was featured in Two Magical Moms March Menu Madness.  Check out the entire menu and try out some of our other YUMMY recipes!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Magical Mom's March Menu Madness

Now there is a tongue twister for you!  Every month I put together a menu for the following month.  It really helps me to stay organized.  I know that if I don't have something planned, we will spend way too much time (and money) trying to figure out what to have for dinner only to order take out of some sort.  Putting the menu together helps me keep track of how often we have something, but most importantly it helps me make my weekly grocery shopping list.  I challenge myself to put one new recipe in each week.  I use my friends, family, other blogs, cook books for inspiration.  Sherrie and I often bounce things off of each other.  I love that she can try a new recipe and tell me what she would do differently and vice versa.  I also like to add in a few things that I can make double of and freeze it to use for lunches, later in the month, or the following month.  I will explain my freezer cooking and preparation later.  First I gather all of my supplies to the kitchen island. I have two good old fashioned recipe boxes, a couple of cookbooks (including the latest from The Chew), my ipad, and a file folder with previous menus and ideas.  The second thing I do is ask my family for requests.  Next, I break down the main dishes into categories: Beef, Poultry, Pork, Fish, and Pasta.  Since I usually get only a few requests from my very indecisive family(another reason the menu is a must!) , I have to look back at previous menus, search the internet, talk to Sherrie (of course), and inevitably there are always a couple of things that I don't make from the prior month's menu because of scouts, sports, or other commitments.  Lastly, I just start filling in trying to make sure that like menu items are spaced apart enough.
I have included links to most of the recipes.  I will try to get caught up with the older ones and I will definitely add in the new ones along the way!
March 2013

Two- Step Perogies and onions,
Caesar Salad
Sautéed Mushrooms,
Puff & Stuff Chicken,
Steamed Broccoli

Aunt Betty’s Chicken Noodle Soup,
Ham and Cheese Calzone x2 to Freeze)
Crab Cakes,

Best Darn Pork BBQ,
Connie's Coleslaw
Simple Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese
Lazy Lasagna (x2 to Freeze),
Garlic Bread

Veggies and Dip
Grilled Chicken,
Crispy Parmesan Potatoes,
Rosemary pull apart bread

Cindy’s Baked Spaghetti,
Mushroom Swiss Burgers,
Garlic Herb Potato Wedges
Family Movie Night
Cheese Pizza,


Cucumber Salad
Maple Dijon Chicken,
Steamed Broccoli

Mashed Potatoes
Cheesecake Factory Shrimp Scampi Pasta
Broccoli Cheese Soup
31 Easter

Brunch Menu Still to be Determined.
Turkey Breast,

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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Green (Cilantro Lime) Chicken Burritos

I know, I know who wants to eat GREEN chicken.  Doesn't everyone want to go green?  When you look at the picture you are going to be even less likely to want to eat it.  I am actually tempted to not post any of the pictures that I took.  They are DEFINITELY GREEN!  I will be serving this on St. Patrick's Day for sure!
  • 3 chicken breasts cut into strips
  • Burrito size Tortillas
  • 1 cup fresh Cilantro (stems removed)
  • about 15 Almonds
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 tablespoons Minced Garlic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Lime Juice
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/4 cup of Chicken Broth
  • 1  teaspoon salt
Burritos stuffers:
  • lettuce
  • sour cream
  • diced tomatoes
  • cheese
  • salsa
  • rice

First I placed the almonds into the food processor to finely chop them.  I used the Nutribullet.  Then I added in the rest of the marinade ingredients and blended until a nice bright green cilantro pesto was formed.

I then combined the chicken with the marinade and let it sit in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.  Then I sprayed my skillet with non-stick cooking spray and cooked the chicken thoroughly.  Once the chicken was done I stuffed a burrito for each person with their favorite stuffers.  I like mine with lettuce, cheese, sour cream, and salsa.
As I dumped it into the pan, I thought to myself there is no way my family was going to eat this.  Well I was wrong, the taste was so good they quickly got over the fact that they were eating green chicken!

This recipe was featured in Two Magical Moms March Menu Madness.  Check out the entire menu and try out some of our other YUMMY recipes!

Creamy Garlic Ranch Pork Chops and Garlic Mashed Potatoes

This is by far one of the easiest recipes that I have EVER made!  If you are hungry for comfort food but are short on time, give this recipe a try.

  • 4-6 pork chops (I usually buy boneless ones that are about 1" thick and cut them in half length wise to cut  down on cooking time)
  • 1 packet of Hidden Valley Ranch seasoning mix
  • 1 can Cream of chicken soup
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

First combine Ranch packet, garlic, and cream of  chicken soup in slow cooker, then add in pork chops and stir together.  You don't need to add any additional liquid to the slow cooker the meat will create enough juices.
Cook on LOW for 3-4 hours depending on thickness of pork chops.  Mine took about 3 hours and they were about 1/2 inch thick.  Serve with Garlic mashed potatoes,  the gravy that will be created in the slow cooker is delicious!

This recipe was featured in Two Magical Moms March Menu Madness and our Appetizing April Menu.  Check out the menus and try out some of our other YUMMY recipes!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Perfect Picnic Chicken Salad

I decided to take the night off from cooking on Friday. I still needed to run to the grocery store for a few items so I picked up a rotisserie chicken from Wegmans prepared foods section. We ate half of it for dinner and I used the other half to make chicken salad for lunch on Saturday.

  • 1/3 cup mayo
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons sweet relish
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 hard boiled egg diced (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • pepper to taste
  • 1/2 rotisserie chicken cubed
 ***makes enough for 4 sandwiches**
Mix all ingredients, except egg, together in a bowl. After they are all mixed together add in the diced hard boiled egg. I do this last because I don't want it to get smashed.

Serve chicken salad on croissant or toasted whole wheat bread. This is perfect for lunch or GREAT on a hot summer night when you don't want to eat hot food. BTW I think that the chicken salad is SO much better when it sits for a few hours in the fridge. The flavors mix together nicely!

This recipe was featured in Two Magical Moms March Menu Madness.  Check out the entire menu and try out some of our other YUMMY recipes!

Grandma's Green Beans

 I had made a big breakfast for my family this morning and there was a couple of pieces of bacon left over so I decided to throw them in the fridge until dinner time to make these Green Beans.  I have only ever made this dish for a large group, but I am going to scale it back a lot so that I can make it for just my family.  This sweet and salty side dish goes great with just about anything, especially BBQ!
  • 1 can French style green beans (drained)

  • 2 slices of bacon 

  • 1 1/4 teaspoons Soy Sauce

  • 1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar

  • 1/4 Teaspoon Garlic Salt

  • 1 Tablespoon Butter

Preheat oven to 350.  I usually make these when I already have the oven on for something else so I just throw them in at whatever temp the oven is already set to. Combine all ingredients in an oven safe bowl and bake for about 20 minutes stirring them halfway through.  

I served them with the Maple Dijon Chicken and Broccoli and Cheese Rice (recipe to come soon!)

This recipe was featured in Two Magical Moms March Menu Madness and our 30 Days of Dinners June Menu.  Make sure to check out all of the other great recipes the menus!

Green Beans are a family favorite veggie so I make them often...