Saturday, March 30, 2013

Salsa Chicken

If you haven't noticed, we tend to make quite a lot of Mexican inspired dishes! We really love all of the flavors that are in Mexican food and it helps to change up the standard chicken recipes in our house. This dish is inspired by the Tufano Salsa Dip. I love the dip so much, I just had to figure out a way to make it into a main course! This is super easy and yummy!

  • Chicken Breasts
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 block cream Cheese
  • 1 can of black beans and 1 can corn
Mix salsa, taco seasoning and soup together in crock pot and place chicken breasts on top of the mixture. Try to submerge the chicken or scoop some of the mixture on top of the chicken. Cook on low 4-5 hours or until chicken is thoroughly cooked. Carefully remove the chicken breasts and add the cream cheese. Stir until melted and well blended. Add the corn and black beans. Return the chicken and cook another 20-30 minutes. 

We served with Brown Cilantro Rice from our Chipotle Barbacoa recipe, or you can serve in tortillas.

This recipe was featured on our Appetizing April Menu. Check out the entire April menu for a variety of dinner ideas!

Mexican Chopped Salad (also gluten free)

I love a chopped salad. I love all the bite size pieces of lettuce and fixins, avoids smearing dressing all over my lips and cheeks while trying to shove too big of pieces of lettuce into my mouth! When trying to eat healthier, the trick is to use a lot of flavor and spices to make up for the fat, salt and sugar. Experimenting with Mexican flavors is perfect when trying new healthy foods. This salad does just that, and doesn't skimp on the flavor. The best part is the dressing and baked tortilla strips! Makes you feel like you're really indulging, but the dressing is made with fat-free greek yogurt andthe tortilla strips are baked.


  • 1/2 cup fat free Greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup low fat milk (1% or 2%)
  • 1 Tbsp. ranch packet seasoning
  • 1/2 Tbsp. taco seasoning
  • Dash of lime juice
  • Optional- small can diced jalapeƱos 
Mix above ingredients in small bowl and chill for 30 minutes.

Baked Tortilla Chips:

Take 2 corn tortillas and cut with a pizza roller into strips. Place in single layer on baking sheet, spray with nonstick cooking spray and sprinkle with salt. Bake at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until crispy.

For the Salad:
  • Romain lettuce
  • Vine tomatoes
  • Red onion
  • Avocado
  • Boiled egg
  • Turkey bacon bits
Chop all ingredients, including the lettuce into small (1/4 inch) pieces. You can add or subtract ingredients for your preference. Use the amount of each item that you like.


I used a chicken breast I already had cooked from another night, but you can use a raw one as well. Cut into strips and season with taco seasoning, chili powder or cumin. I also add a dash of cayenne pepper to make it spicy. Grill on stovetop until cooked thoroughly. You may need to cut some more once finished cooking to achieve the bite size chopped pieces.

Mix all ingredients together except tortilla chips and toss with dressing. Add tortilla chips to the top and serve. Enjoy!

Gluten Free Bacon, Onion and Garlic Pizza

This recipe is an adapted one from Udi's website. Their website calls for what I think is a ridiculous amount of cheese, onions and bacon. This recipe is so delicious and just a little bit spicy, know one will even know it is a healthy meal! Using uncured bacon greatly reduces the sodium and sugar content of the bacon. You can substitute uncured turkey bacon for even less fat.


  •  1 Udi’s Gluten Free Pizza Crust
  •  1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
  •  1/3 cup thinly sliced Vidalia onion
  •  Dash kosher salt
  •  1 tsp. minced garlic
  •  1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  •  3 strips uncured, gluten free bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  •  Dash of crushed red pepper flakes (more depending on your spice preference)
  • 3 thinly sliced fresh basil leaves

Heat the olive oil in a skillet and add onions. Stir to cover onions in oil and cook over medium heat for about 15 minutes or until nicely browned.

Add the vinegar and garlic and remove from heat. Meanwhile cut the bacon into 1/2 inch pieces and cook until crispy in another skillet.

Brush the pizza crust with olive oil and sprinkle cheese, red pepper and basil.

Then top with onion mixture and bacon. Bake at 424 degrees for 5-7 minutes or until cheese is lightly browned.

This recipe was featured on the Marvelous May Menu, be sure to check out the rest of the May Menu.

Friday, March 29, 2013

5 Things to do With all the Plastic Easter Eggs

If you are anything like me you always find yourself wondering what to do with the plastic eggs after the egg hunt is over.    Here are some of my favorite ideas for my little guys.
  1. Word Families
  2. Match upper case with lower case letter
  3. Solve addition or subtraction problem and match with correct answer
  4. Identify number of dots on egg and match with correct numeral
  5. Make patterns
All you need are some plastic eggs and a permanent marker to create fun learning tools for your little one.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

{after dark} Easter Egg Hunt

The Henderson kids and Lewis kids are getting together for spring break for some fun!  There is sure to be some later than normal bedtimes so we have planned an after dark Easter Egg hunt.  Fill each Easter egg with an activated glow stick.  I used the bracelet size because they fit best in the small eggs.  This size can often be found in the dollar section at the front of Target and at the checkout at Micheal's Crafts.  For even brighter eggs put a blinking LED ring or ball inside.  Then send the kids out with a flashlight and a bucket to find the glowing eggs.  It will be one egg hunt they will never forget.

Whiskey Steak

  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Rosemary
  • Juice of 1/2  lemon
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons A1
  • 2 Tablespoons of Whiskey
  • Steaks- your favorite cut
Combine all ingredients except steak and mix well.  Pour mixture over steak and let it marinade about 30 minutes.  Then grill steaks to desired temperature.
I served with Oven Roasted Asparagus, Loaded Twice Baked Potatoes, and Mushrooms.

This recipe was featured on our Appetizing April Menu. Check out the entire April menu for a variety of dinner ideas!

Loaded Twice Baked Potatoes

Potatoes are a very versatile side dish.  I like this particular recipe because it can be made ahead of time.  I have made these several times when we are having people over for dinner because I can make them earlier in the day and put them in the refrigerator.  Then I  put them in the oven when the rest of dinner is almost ready.  You just need to adjust the cooking time accordingly.  Cold potatoes will take longer in the oven then semi-warm potatoes.   

  • 4-5 Russet Potatoes
  • 2 Tablespoons sour cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon Minced Garlic
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons Real Bacon Bits
  • About a 1/3 Cup of Shredded Chedder Cheese
  • chives
  • 2 Tablespoons of Butter
Cook potatoes in microwave until you can stick a knife in them easily.  Let cool for a few minutes (unless your hands are made of steel).  Cut the tops off of the potatoes. 
Scoop the insides of the potatoes out into a bowl.  Make sure to keep the skins intact.
Combine the potatoes with the garlic, salt, pepper, bacon, cheese, butter, sour cream, and chives.
Smash with potato masher and fill potato skins with mixture.
Preheat oven to 375.  Bake for about 10 minutes, remove from oven and top with additional cheese, bacon, and chives.  Return potatoes to oven and bake for another 5 minutes.

This recipe was featured on our Appetizing April Menu. Check out the entire April menu for a variety of dinner ideas!

Oven Roasted Asparagus

Whenever we have asparagus for dinner I always think about the fact that when I first met Scott he didn't eat anything green other than green beans.  Now I can get him to try almost anything and he LOVES asparagus!
  • Asparagus
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
Preheat oven to 400.  Place asparagus on baking sheet, lightly brush with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Bake for 8-10 minutes.

This recipe was featured on our Appetizing April Menu and our 30 Days of Dinners June Menu, Make sure to check out all of the other great recipes on the menus.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Honey Grilled Pineapple

We have had a couple of nice days here lately so we have been taking advantage of being able to use the grill.  I will admit, I was hesitant to try this out but it is DELICIOUS!

  • Pineapple
  • Dash of Tobasco Sauce
  • 3 tablespoons Butter
  • 1 teaspoon Honey

Cut pineapple into large spear pieces.  Melt butter in the microwave. Pour melted butter, honey, and Tobasco Sauce into ziploc bag.  Place pineapple in bag and marinate pineapple for about 20 minutes.

Place each pineapple spear on a metal skewer and grill about 2 minutes on each side.

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!

This recipe was featured on the Marvelous May Menu and our 30 Days of Dinners June Menu, Make sure to check out all of the other great recipes on menus!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Easter Peeps S'mores


The Henderson and Lewis kids have spent much of their Spring Break together.  They have building forts and tents throughout the house.  Last night they asked for s'mores so the Magical Moms decided to make some festive treats. 
  • Graham Crackers
  • Peeps or other marshmallow
  • Chocolate bar or chocolate kisses
Place chocolate on top of graham cracker and microwave for 15-20 seconds.  Add Peep or marshmallow and microwave for additional 10-15 seconds.  Top with another graham cracker and enjoy!

Tufano Salsa Dip

 The Tufano family holds a very special place in our hearts. Lucy, Tracy and Sherrie all met the exact same day while working together at Bath and Body Works and we have been friends ever since. Lucy often had us over to her house for get togethers. She always made sure to have snacks for everyone. This salsa dip was something that we could always expect her to serve. It is something that you can throw together very quickly and it tastes SO good!
  • 1 Block of Cream Cheese
  • 3/4 Cup Chi-Chi's Salsa (I am usually not a stickler about brands but with this it is a MUST!)
  • 1 Cup Shredded Cheese (cheddar or Mexican blend)
  • Tortilla Chips (my kids really like it with pretzels)

With mixer blend together cream cheese and salsa. Add in 1/4 cup shredded cheese. Blend. Pour dip into serving bowl and top with remaining cheese.

Cinnamon Roll Waffles

This is a very simple breakfast that is sure to get great reviews from your family. I can't take credit for  coming up with this idea I have seen it on Pinterest several times.  Our family LOVES the Mickey Waffles served at the Walt Disney World Resort so when we need our Mickey breakfast fix we make these. Too bad no characters come to our table for pictures!


  • Tube of Cinnamon Rolls
  • Waffle Iron
  • Cooking Spray

Spray Waffle Iron with Cooking Spray. Place 3 (we choose 3 at a time because it resembles one of our favorite characters) cinnamon rolls in a waffle iron cook about 2 minutes.  Repeat until your bellies are full!

Serve with icing drizzled on top.

Tracy's Taco Pie

We have always called this dish "taco pie" because it is made in a pie dish,but after making it this time and actually taking a picture of it I realize that we should call it "taco pile" because it doesn't always come out looking like a pretty piece of pie.  My family doesn't care though they eat it up every time!

  • 1 lb of Ground beef or Ground Turkey
  • 1/2 cupQueso
  • Taco Seasoning
  • 3-4 Burrito size Flour Tortillas
  • 1 1/2 cups Shredded Cheddar
  • Lettuce
  • Sour Cream
  • Tomatoes

Brown ground beef and drain.  Put back in skillet and cook with taco seasoning directions as indicated on seasoning (including water).  Once that is done add in the queso and mix well.
Preheat oven to 350.  Next, in a greased 9 inch pie plate place one of the flour tortillas.  Add a layer of ground beef and shredded cheese.  Repeat until all layers are complete.
Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes.  Let stand for a couple minutes then serve.
We served this with the Tufano Salsa Dip and Tortilla chips.

This recipe was featured on our Appetizing April Menu. Check out the entire April menu for a variety of dinner ideas!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Spice Organization

With all of the new recipes that the Magical Moms have been trying we have been accumulating lots of additional spices.  Tracy decided to hang a closet organizer inside the pantry door.  She still has a cabinet dedicated to the larger spice containers, but this created extra space and allowed for things to look much more organized.  Who knows, maybe she will need to get one for the other door if she keeps cooking this much!

The organizer was purchased from simply stashed.  It is the Accessory Stash in Chocolate Geo.  The organizer is hung with two 3M hooks.  Each hook will hold up to 3 lbs.

Magical Munchkins in the Kitchen

Last night while Sherrie and Tracy were preparing dinner, the kiddos were all sitting around the kitchen table and Nathan said "this is just like watching a cooking show on TV!"  The Magical Moms are not the only ones that enjoy cooking.  Today we took the Magical Munchkins to a Kids in the Kitchen class where they made fruit and yogurt parfaits and Peeps Bouquets.