Monday, October 27, 2014

Perfect BBQ Chicken

Recently I have been searching the internet for the "best" recipes.  I simply go to Google and type in things like best chicken recipe, best steak marinade, best side dish,  and many others.  I know that everyone has a favorite recipe that they think is the best.  That is what I am looking for.  Tonight we are trying what Kraft Foods calls Perfect Grilled Chicken.  It was perfectly easy and created tasty juicy chicken.

  • 1/4 Cup of BBQ sauce
  • 1/3 Cup Caesar Dressing
  • 1 lb of Chicken Breasts
Combine bbq sauce and dressing in a bowl.  Pour over chicken, covering all sides, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.  Grill until chicken is cooked throughout.

I served with Jalepeno Twice Baked Potatoes and Zucchini.

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Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

We made a stop at one of our favorite local places to get produce, Farmer John's in Leesburg, VA.  We had a list of things we needed for the week.  Zucchini wasn't on the list but they looked OH SO GOOD!  I picked up a couple and quickly came up with some ideas including this yummy bread.  My kids don't like anything green were extremely happy to eat this even though the flakes of zucchini peeked through the deliciousness.

  • 3 Cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 2 teaspoons of Cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon Ginger
  • 1 Cup of White Sugar
  • 1 Cup of Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Cup of Brown Sugar
  • 3 Eggs
  • 2 teaspoons of Vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 -3 Cups of Grated Zucchini (skin on)
  • 1/2  cup of mini chocolate chips

In a medium bowl combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and ginger.  In a separate large bowl cream together with electric mixer the sugars, eggs, vanilla, and vegetable oil.  Next, fold in the zucchini and chocolate chips.  Pour batter into two greased loaf pans.  Bake at 325 for 50-60 minutes.
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Thursday, August 21, 2014

A Visit from the Tooth Fairy...

The Tooth Fairy visited our house last week.  Tucked inside of his Monster Tooth Pillow was a tiny letter from the Tooth Fairy herself.  Along with the letter, she also left Evan some VERY sparkly money! He was SO excited!

FREE Printable Banner Letters

This is a quick way to print a banner at home.  You can print it on any color card stock to make the perfect color combo to compliment the theme!
Simply right click on the letter that you need, save image, and print!

Weekly Menu #6

Pesto Chicken and Pasta
Side Salad

Tequila Lime Shrimp with Cumin Rice
Grilled Veggies

French Onion Salisbury Steak
Buttered Corn on the Cob

BBQ Chicken Potato Skins
Sweet Potato Fries

Pocket Burgers with Crispy Onion Straws
Grilled Veggies

And as always, check out these snacks and desserts to bring an extra big smile to your kiddos face!

Be sure to check out our other weekly menus here.

Follow the Magical Moms on Facebook and Pinterest for weekly menu ideas, crafts, and Disney Magic. 

Loaded Potato Splats!

What to make?  What to make?  The ongoing question for most people.  Today I needed side dish ideas.  I wasn't really up for finding a new recipe to try or making something that maybe just maybe everyone would eat, so I decided to put a very simple spin on an old favorite.  In my house you can't go wrong with anything that is topped with cheese and bacon.  Last year I started making these Flattened Redskin Potatoes and they are GREAT, I can't believe it has taken me until now to make them like this!  SO simple and tasted like I put a lot of thought and effort into it.
  • 6 Medium Redskin Potatoes (skins scrubbed clean)
  • Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 3 Tablespoons Crumbled Real Bacon Bits
  • Salt 
  • Pepper
  • 1/2 Cup Sour Cream
  • 3/4 teaspoon Hidden Valley Ranch Mix
Serves 4-6

Boil potatoes for 8-10 minutes or until they are tender enough to easily insert a fork or knife.  Remove potatoes from water and place on baking sheet.  Gently smash potatoes down with the bottom of a glass.  Lightly drizzle potatoes with olive oil.  Salt and pepper each potato.  Top each potato with bacon and cheese.  Bake at 400 until cheese is melted.  

Combine sour cream and ranch mix and stir until mixed well.  Serve on top of potatoes.  

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Disney Bucket List- Fall 2014

This is our second trip to Disney World in 2014 and the shortest trip we have made as a family.  We will be at the parks for just FOUR days.  I used to think that four days was the perfect amount of time... 4 days/4 parks it should be plenty of time boy was I WRONG.  We plan to pack a ton of stuff into our four days before heading off for a 5 night Disney cruise.  Just as the rest of my Disney bucket lists this is not a Disney "must do" list, this is a list of new things that our family plans to enjoy while we are there.  I don't stress over the list and I have yet to complete everything on one of my lists.  As a Disney Vacation Club owner I plan to visit often and eventually I will cross them all off.  I choose my list by selecting a mix of items that are there for a limited time, the resort that we are staying at, and new things for us to try.

1. Festival of the Fantasy Parade- Earlier this year Disney World started a new afternoon parade called Festival of the Fantasy.  The parade celebrates many of the Fantasy Land characters such as Peter Pan, Captain Hook, Flynn Ryder, Rapunzel, Ariel, Cinderella, Bella, Minnie, Mickey, and many others.

2.  Attend Hollywood Studios FROZEN Summer- I was excited to hear that this limited time only event had been extended that included dates of our vacation.  It includes special events such as a Frozen Sing-a-long, ice skating, treats, parade, and an evening fireworks spectacular.

3.  Bay Lake Tower-  This is our "home" DVC resort, but we have never stayed there as a family.  I stayed there with the kiddos a few years ago and I am excited for all of us to stay.  The proximity to Magic Kingdom make it one of my top places to stay.  Something about being able to walk there makes everything so much easier.

4.  Moma Melrose's Ristaurante Italiano -  I like to try at least one new (to us) table service restaurant while visiting the parks.  This restaurant is located in Hollywood Studios so we have decided to to the Fantasmic Lunch package to guarantee a see for the show with out using a fastpass for it.  Italian food is one that that my kids will definitely eat so it is a perfect choice for my family.

5.  Enchanted Stories with Belle-  Since I have two boys you are probably wondering why I have included this on my list.  I am taking a recommendation from a friend.  She said that it is very interactive and her children LOVED it.  I hear it represents the magic of Disney to the fullest and I want to know more!

6.  Seven Dwarfs Mine Train-  This is the newest ride addition to Magic Kingdom's Fantasyland.  It is a rollercoaster designed for everyone over 38 inches tall that is themed around the beloved Snow White.  It is extremely popular right now since it just opened in the spring so make sure you schedule a fastpass.

7.  Silhouettes of Kids- I am always looking for the perfect souvenir to take home from WDW.  My go to items are a Christmas ornament and lots of great pictures.  This time I plan to have the kids sit for a few minutes at Magic Kingdom to get this keepsake completed.  I am not sure of the price but from what I have read it should be less than $30 for both kids.  I will be sure to update with details like price and location when we return.

8.  Go on a Disney Cruise-  This has been on my BIG bucket list for A LONG TIME!  We actually booked this cruise 18 months ago and the fact that it is so close is giving me butterflies in my stomach.  We chose to do 4 days in the parks and then take a relaxing cruise after.  I am prepared to be WOWed!

9.  Family Picture on the Monorail-  We love all forms of Disney transportation because it means that we are in our happy place, however, the Monorail holds the top spot.  It is a ride all in itself.  I have pictures of my kids on the Monorail but none of the whole family.  Believe it or not, this might be the toughest item on my list.

10.  Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party-  This is a special ticket event that is held select dates in September and October.  It is a Halloween party complete with costumes, trick-or-treating, special character appearances, parades, dance parties, and fireworks.  We are currently working on our costumes and I will share them later.

11.  Mickey Kitchen Sink- Last year we tackled the challenge of the Kitchen Sink at Beaches and Cream at the Boardwalk resort.  This version of the kitchen sink is available at the Magic Kingdom and is is slightly smaller so maybe just maybe we will be able to finish it!

12.  Country Bear Jamboree- There are still 15 of the original attractions from opening day at Walt Disney World.  The Country Bear Jamboree is the last one of the 15 that our family has to do to have completed all of them.  Technically I saw the animatronic show as a kid, but I plan to officially check it off the list with my family.  It is an any height attraction that is one of the last attractions that was actually developed by Walt himself.

13.  Dole Whip-  Many people have a long list of their favorite snacks at WDW.  I bet most lists include this delicious treat.  I have tasted fellow Magical Mom Sherrie's Dole Whip, but this time I plan to enjoy my own.  It has even been suggested to me that I add some rum.  Shhh... don't tell.

I know that this list may seem long and ambitious for a short trip, but I plan to try my best.  I will update you when I return from the world!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Home Organization Binder- Tips and FREE Printables

As I have already said, I am on a major home organization project. With school starting, I need to get us all organized and I need to keep it all straight! I previously posted my 2014-2015 School Year Calendar and Planner Pages, so be sure to visit that post for those free printables and my tips on what binder/notebook system to use.

In addition to needing monthly calendars and planner pages, I added a few more things to my binder to help keep me organized. All files are listed below for you to download and use. I created 5 tabs in my binder-

  • Calendar
  • Planner
  • To-Do List
  • Menus/Grocery
  • Budget

After the tabs, I included folders for each member of the family to stuff misc. paperwork. I also included a recipe folder to hold loose recipe cards I pick up along the way.

Here's to starting the school year off on the right foot!
 To Download, click on each link below:

Monthly Menu Planner

Weekly Menu Plan and Grocery List

To-Do List

2014 Budget Worksheets

FREE 2014-2015 School Year Planner Kit

UPDATED!! And just in time for back to school! This planner set is great for any mom, teacher or student. This year I have added more pages to make a complete planner.

I must admit, I am an organization junkie. But I also like my organization to be stylish. So while I love planners, the standard stuff you can buy already put together just doesn't do it for me. Several years ago I found a few products and websites that changed my life!

The first were Circo products by Levenger. They offered a fully customizable notebook/planner system complete with removable pages, inserts, tabs and folders. You had the flexibility to add and remove pages like a 3-ring binder, but with the flexibility and portability of a standard spiral notebook. I later found that Staples offers a more affordable version called Staples Arc in stores that I recommend because you don't have to order online and they are cheaper.

Yet I still ran into one of the same old problems- their planner pages that they offered just didn't suit my needs either! That is when I found this awesome website called DIY Planner. This website has lots of templates to create just about any planner pages you could imagine, and in lots of different sizes to fit just about any standard planner cover. However, I do find the site and templates a little difficult to navigate. So I just figured I'd share the calendar and planner pages I created for myself and make it a little easier for our readers.

Below area few "must haves" for any organized mom or teacher for this school year. Click on the links below to download the pages.The first is a monthly calendar for the 20145-2015 school year.  You can easily put this into an existing planner, use the Arc system I mentioned above, or keep in a 3-ring binder. Next, I have weekly planner pages for the entire school year. The monthly calendar shows a brief overview, but the weekly planner pages are your true tool to keep everyone in your family on time to events and appointments.They have hourly slots for each day of the week to record appointments, games, practices and events. Finish it off with Notes Pages and a stylish Planner Cover and voila! Super organized for the start of the school year:)

Click on each link below to be taken to the pdf file. Just save on your computer and print.

2013-2014 School Year Calendar

2013-2014 School Year Weekly Planner Pages

Notes Pages

Planner Cover Page

Please stay tuned as I post all of my pictures of my actual family planner notebook with these calendar and planner pages!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Lemonade Stand Sign & Bunting Banner {FREE PRINTABLE}

Summer is coming to an end, and if you are like us, you are probably trying to check items off of your Summer To-Do List. One of the items on our list is to have a Lemonade Stand. My kids have been wanting to have one for years, and 2 of our neighbors are having yard sales this weekend, so I figured it's the perfect weekend to have a Lemonade Stand!

This Free Printable Lemonade Stand Sign and Bunting Banner is perfect for your Lemonade Stand. It is super cute, easy, and did I mention, FREE?

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)


  • 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.
  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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.
  • 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!

  • 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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Honey Nut Crescent Rolls

For several years I have been tearing recipes out of magazines thinking that I will make them someday.  I found this in my recipe folder and it is dated 2005.  Yes, you read that right 2005!  I am proud of myself for making a recipe that I held onto for 9 years!!!!  That is older than my kids!  Anyways... I made these for Easter dinner and they were yummy.  I am not going to lie, they were a little on the sweet side and I don't think that I could eat these very often, but they were a great treat.  I actually cut the amount of filling in half from the original recipe (from Food and Family Winter 2005) because I thought they would be too rich and I was right!  

  • 2 Packages Refrigerated Crescent Roll Dough
  • 4 oz of Cream Cheese- softened
  • 3 Tablespoons of Honey-divided
  • 1/4 cup Sliced Almonds
  • Ground Cinnamon
Makes 16 Rolls

Preheat oven to 375.  Using a mixer, combine cream cheese and 2 tablespoons of honey.  Then stir in sliced almonds.  
Unroll crescent dough into the already perforated triangles.  Place 1/2 tablespoon of cream cheese/honey mixture near the long end of the dough.  Then roll it to the opposite point.  Place on ungreased baking sheet or baking sheet lined with parchment paper, sprinkle with cinnamon, and bake for 12-14 minutes.  Drizzle with remaining honey and serve warm.

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Coriander and Cumin Grilled Pork Medallions

I have decided that I am going to grill more.  I don't mean eat food that was cooked on the grill more often I mean I MYSELF will actually use the grill more often.  I usually pass the job off to someone else like my husband or even my mother-in-law.  Grilling can't be that hard right?!?  Now if someone just teach me how to start it, I will be good to go!
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Coriander
  • 1 teaspoon Minced Garlic
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
  • 1.5 lb Pork Tenderloin
  • 1/8 teaspoon Black Pepper
Serves 6

Cut pork tenderloin in medallion like pieces about 3/4" thick.  In a small bowl combine all ingredients except pork in a small bowl.
  Next, brush mixture on pork pieces.  Let sit for about 15 minutes.
  Grill to internal temperature of at least 145 degrees.
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Friday, April 4, 2014

Cajun Chicken Fettuccini Alfredo

Creamy pasta dishes are one of my favorite comfort foods.  Something about the slightly spicy Cajun flavor mixed with the cheeses puts this recipe at the top of my list.
  • 3 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts (about a pound)
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons of Cajun Seasoning
  • 2 Tablespoons of Butter
  • About a Tablespoon of Olive Oil
  • 1 teaspoon of Minced Garlic (I used the kind from the jar)
  • 1/2 pint of Grape Tomatoes (quartered)
  • 1/4 Cup Dry White Wine
  • 1 Cup Heavy Cream
  • 1 Cup of Shredded Asiago
  • 1 Cup of Shredded Parmesan
  • 1 teaspoon of Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Pepper
  • A couple dashes of Nutmeg
  • 16 oz of Fettuccini (cooked)
Serves 5-6

Pound chicken breasts with rolling pin or meat mallet until it is about 1/2 inch thick.  I place the chicken between two pieces of wax paper or plastic wrap to keep the mess to a minimum.  Next generously sprinkle both sides of chicken breasts with Cajun seasoning.  
Preheat oven to 350.
In a large skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of butter with about a table spoon of olive oil.  When the butter is melted and oil is hot, add the chicken breasts.  Sear the chicken breasts on both sides about 3 minutes on each side.  Remove the chicken from the skillet and place in baking dish.  Next put the chicken in the oven for about 10 minutes to finish cooking it.  When the chicken is cooked throughout, cut it into strips to add to the pasta sauce.
The sauce will be made in the same skillet as the chicken was cooked.  Start by pouring in the white wine to deglaze the pan.  Using a whisk get all of the brown bits to mix in.  Heat for about a minute.  Then add the tomatoes and garlic cook for additional 2 minutes to soften them.  Lower the heat to med-low and stir in heavy cream and additional tablespoon of butter.  Stir constantly as you add the salt, pepper, and nutmeg.  Continue stirring as the sauce begins to thicken. This will take about 5 minutes. At this point the sauce will not be real thick.  It thickens more with the cheese.   Add the grated cheese and stir as it melts.  When sauce is smooth add in pasta  and chicken and toss.  The Cajun seasoning from the chicken will mix in with the sauce to give it a little snap!
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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Brownie Batter Dip

A few months ago I was at a party at a friend's house and she served this fabulous chocolate dip that I new I just HAD to make!  It is so much more than just chocolate, when I learned that the recipe name was Brownie Batter Dip I wanted to lick the entire bowl!!!  My friend served it with graham crackers, strawberries, and marshmallows I have also dipped pretzels, pound cake, and nilla wafers in it.  The recipe is from Life in the Lofthouse blog.  I didn't change the ingredients, but I did reduce the amount of each of the ingredients by half to make a smaller batch.  I was making this for a small group so I did not need the large amount that the full recipe makes.


  • 4 oz of Cream Cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons of Butter
  • 1 1/4 Cups of Powdered Sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons of Milk
  • 2 1/2 Tablespoons of Flour
  • 2 1/2 Tablespoons of Cocoa Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon of Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
  • Mini Chocolate Chips for Garnish (optional)
Cream together butter and cream cheese using an electric mixer.  Add in remaining ingredients (except chocolate chips) and mix.  Place in bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve.  

Chocolate Strawberry Drop Cookies

My friend Tina made these cookies for a cookie exchange back in December.  I finally remembered to ask her for the recipe and I was pleased to know that they are SUPER easy to make!  I love to turn cake mixes into cookie dough.  One of my favorite ways is Rolo Cookies.  The combination of chocolate and strawberries is always delicious, so why not turn it into a cookie!

  • 1 Box of Duncan Hines Strawberry Cake Mix
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/4 Cup Water
  • 1/4 Cup Flour
  • 1/2 Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Cup of Chocolate Chips (I used 3/4 Cup mini chocolate chips because that is what I had on hand)
Makes 2 Dozen Cookies

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Using a mixer blend cake mix, flour, water, egg, and oil.  When they are well combined hand stir in the chocolate chips.  
 Place drops of cookie dough onto baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes.
Let them cool or enjoy them warm!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Sesame Noodles with Chicken

Take out food can be expensive and you just never know exactly what is in it.  This dinner can easily be made in about 30 minutes and pleases my whole family.  As much as I try to get my kiddos to eat all the veggies that my husband and I eat they sometimes just refuse.  The vegetables in this are large enough that even the pickiest eater can pick around them and since my kids like all things pasta this is still a winner!

  • 2 Boneless Chicken Breasts (cut into small cubes)
  • 1 teaspoon of Sesame Oil
  • 1/4 Cup of Soy Sauce
  • 1/2 Tablespoon of Rice Vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons of White Sugar
  • 4 Tablespoons of Canola Oil
  • A couple handfuls of Pea Pods
  • About 10 Mushrooms (sliced)
  • A couple handfuls of Beansprouts
  • 1 box of Angel Hair Pasta
  • 1 teaspoon Minced Garlic
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons of Garlic Chili Sauce (depending on how spicy you want it)
This recipe fed 4 adults and 2 kids

In a small bowl, combine sesame oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, canola oil, minced garlic, and garlic chili sauce.  Pour a little bit of the sauce in a large skillet, add chicken, and cook thoroughly.  Remove chicken from skillet and add pea pods.  I add a little bit of water to the skillet to help the veggies steam a bit.  When the pea pods have cooked for a couple of minutes add the bean sprouts, mushrooms, and about a tablespoon of the sauce.  Return the chicken to the skillet, add remainder of sauce, and heat throughout.  Last add in the cooked angel hair pasta and toss to coat with the sauce.