Sunday, May 23, 2010


Alright...time to admit the boo boo I made in the kitchen! 

So the other night I decided to slow cook some pork chops and saurkraut.  This is where my overly insane desire to concoct the PERFECT recipes comes in.  I decided to marinate the pork chops in a homemade chipotle mustard marinade.  I took 2 kinds of mustard, used some chipotle seasoning (and a few other secrets) and mixed away.  Of course I always taste the marinades first and I was pretty pleased with the in the pork chops went.  Because of the acidity of the mustard...I didn't marinate them for very long.

Next step...I combined saurkraut, grated valencia orange peel, and diced tomatoes in the slow cooker.  I put the porkchops on the top and turned the cooker on low.  The smell in my house was amazing.  Fast forward 6 hours...(I ran some errands and got stuck at Wal-Mart for almost 2 hours because the lines were insane!!!)  I got home...unplugged the slow cooker (mine has a "warm" setting...but I have found it will continue to cook the meat...and dry it out...)

I made some white cheddar mac and cheese...(organic!!)  and pulled out the pork chops...they smelled awesome...looked really tender...etc.  The saurkraut was amazing....the combo of all the flavors was wonderful!!!  However...the pork chops were sooooooooo dry!  The flavor was GREAT...but neither Adam or I could get past the dryness.  :(

Irritated much?!  I have discovered I am a bit of a perfectionist.  Sure...noone was left hungry that night...but I was so mad. 

Lesson learned?  If you are going to cook pork chops with mustard marinade (high acidic), saurkraut (highly acidic), and tomatoes (highly acidic) NOT let them cook longer than 4 hours depending on the thickness!  I will be most definitely trying the recipe again on a day where I am not stuck running errands. 

Keep plugging away ladies!  It takes time to learn the perfect combination's, cooking time, etc...but its worth it.  Besides...your family will thank you in the long run!!!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Benzene Gas....Warning.

According to a research study, the dashboard, seats and air conditioner emit Benzene, a cancer-causing toxin (carcinogen - take time to observe the smell of heated plastic in your car).

In addition to causing cancer, Benzene poisons your bones, causes anemia and reduces white blood cells.

Prolonged exposure will cause Leukemia, increasing the risk of cancer.

It can also cause miscarriage.

Acceptable Benzene level indoors is 50 mg per sq. ft. A car parked in a garage with windows closed will contain 400-800 mg of Benzene.

If parked outdoors under the sun at a temperature above 60 degrees F, the Benzene level goes up to 2000-4000 mg, 40 times the acceptable level.

People who get into the car, keeping windows closed, will inevitably inhale, in quick succession, excessive amounts of the toxin.

Benzene is a toxin that affects your kidney and liver. What's worse, it is extremely difficult for your body to expel this toxic stuff.

So friends, please open the windows and doors of your car and give time for the deadly interior air to clear out before you enter.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Supreme Chicken Enchilada Casserole

8 flour tortillas, torn
4-6 chicken breasts, cut into strips
1/2 c. chopped onion
1/2 c. green pepper, or to taste, chopped
8 oz. sour cream
1 can cream of mushroom soup
2 c. Monterey Jack, shredded
2 c. Cheddar cheese, shredded
2 cans chili beans, Drained
1 can rotel

Mix sour cream, soup and rotel. Layer ingredients as follows: tortillas, chicken, beans, onions and peppers, soup mixture and 1 cup of each cheese in an 8x8 or 12x10-inch pan. Make a second layer and bake at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes.

****I have also layered spanish rice after the beans!****

Friday, May 14, 2010

Menu for 5/17-5/23

Here are the first 7 Recipes Ladies! I hope you enjoy them. If there are any sure to post a comment and I will answer them the best I can! :) Bon Appetite!

Honey Mustard Mozzarella Chicken, Mashed Potatoes and Green Beans (Recipe for Chicken and Potatoes posted on May 14, 2010)

Spicy Tomato & Onion Pork Chops, Mexican Rice and Corn (Recipe for Pork Chops posted on May 14, 2010)

Lemon Pepper Salmon, Balsamic & Romano Asparagus & Wild Rice (Recipe for Salmon and Asparagus posted on May 14, 2010)

Chicken Fettucini w/ Vodka Sauce and Garlic Toast (Recipe posted on May 14, 2010)

Turkey, Black Bean & Corn Chili w/Cornbread (Recipe Posted on April 18, 2010)

Sausage & Bean Ragout and Biscuits (Recipe Posted on April 20, 2010)

Chicken & Cheese Baked Risotto, Rolls (Recipe Posted on April 18, 2010)

Chicken Fettucine w/Vodka Sauce


2 boneless chicken breasts
1 jar vodka sauce
1 can crushed tomatoes, undrained
Mrs. Dash Tomato, Basil, Garlic seasonings


1. Season chicken breasts with Mrs. Dash Seasonings.
2. Slice chicken into slices.
3. In sauce pot combine chicken and crushed tomatoes. Allow to simmer until there is no remaining liquid.
4. Cook pasta according to package directions.
5. Add jar of vodka sauce to sauce pot with chicken and tomatoes.
6. Serve over hot pasta and sprinkle with parmesean or romano cheese.

Lemon Pepper Salmon


Salmon fillets or steaks
1/4 c. lemon juice
1/4 c. olive oil


1. Combine lemon juice and olive oil.
2. drizzle over salmon.
3. Pepper to taste.
4. Broil until fish flakes easily with a fork (about 8 minutes depending on your stove)

Balsamic & Romano Asparagus


1 Bunch fresh asparagus
1/2 c. balsamic vinegar
1/2 c. olive oil
Shredded romano cheese


1. Cut ends of asparagus off.
2. Whisk together balsamic vinegar and olive oil until well blended. Place asparagus into mixture and make sure each spear is well coated.
3. Place asparagus into a deep frying pan and pour mixture over.
4. Allow asparagus to steam on stove for about 5 minutes (or until tender, but firm)
4. Lightly sprinkle romano cheese over top.

Ricotta & Chive Mashed Potatoes


4 Lg potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters
1/2 cup skim ricotta cheese
1/2 cup light sour cream
1/4 chives


1. Boil potatoes until tender
2. In large mixing bowl, combine potatoes, ricotta, sourcream and chives.
3. Mash potatoes until fluffy.

Honey Mustard & Mozzarella Chicken

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
3/4 cup honey
1/2 cup prepared mustard
lemon pepper to taste
4 slices bacon (you CAN use turkey bacon!)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
Place the chicken breast halves in a baking dish, and drizzle evenly with honey and mustard. Sprinkle with lemon pepper.
Bake chicken 25 minutes in the preheated oven. Wrap each chicken breast in 1 slice of bacon and sprinkle evenly with cheese. Continue baking 10 minutes, or until chicken juices run clear, bacon is crisp, and cheese is bubbly.

Spicy Tomato & Onion Pork Chops

4-6 Bone-In or Boneless Pork Chops

1 can condensed tomato soup
1 soup can chicken broth
1 can diced tomatoes with zesty mild green chiles
3 tbsp Mrs. Dash Southwest Chipotle Seasoning
½ cup onion

In a bowl combine all ingredients…stir until well blended.
Place pork chops in slow cooker and pour mixture over top. Cook on low 4-6 hours depending on thickness of porkchops.
Once finished…reserve 2 cups of leftover broth, whisk in ¼ cup of sour cream. Use as gravy.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Menu Ideas! I have been promising weekly menu ideas. Here's the deal. So many of you eat or don't eat different am going to be posting 7 things on your menu per week. You can re-arrange as you wish. I will post 7 recipes each week..however in my house we normally do M-F as recipes...Saturday is normally either bake in the oven pizza or we order out and Sunday is Left-Overs! I generally grocery shop on Sunday afternoons. You can cut down on grocery costs by planning a weekly menu and you can definitely save the time of wondering, "WHAT am I going to make for dinner?!"

From here on out I will be posting 7 ideas...and if the recipe's aren't already posted then I will post those...and if they are...I will tell you where to find them. Also...I will be posting side ideas for your meals. :) You of course do not have to follow my menu's to the letter. :) However, I challenge you to print out a weekly menu, shop from that weekly menu, and see what happens. I think you will be SHOCKED at the money you save, the stress you reduce, and the enjoyment you get from cooking!

You can expect the menu's to be posted on Friday of each week for the following week. Basically 7 ideas to run you Monday-Sunday. :)

If you have ANY thing you want to see let me know. If you want more chicken recipes...let me know. If you want more beef recipes...let me know. :)

Hope you guys enjoy!

Now is the Time to Switch

Alright ladies...we all love the ease of use of disposable diapers...but, at what cost?

First off...diapers are expensive! The average cost of diapers for one child from birth to potty trained is around $2,000! The average cost per disposable diaper is roughly 22 cents. That is one LARGE sum of money! Lets not even LOOK at wipees!

Alright...secondly. I don't know how many people are aware that Pampers re-invented their diapers. The Pamper Swaddlers and Pampers Cruisers contain "Dry Max" which is supposedly a thinner, more absorbent diaper. I myself have tried the diapers and I will tell you...they definitely do not sag. is the trade off. Within about 3 days of my oldest daughter wearing them we noticed small pin like dots along the area where her leg meets her pubic area. Flash forward a day...and she looks like she was downright burned. Googled it...and over 6,000 other parents have complained of the same thing. Many of these parents have taken their children to the doctor and they were diagnosed with......wait for it....CHEMICAL BURNS! Absolutely appalling...but not entirely surprising. What do you think MAKES these paper products so absorbent? CHEMICALS! Chemicals that are activated by your child's URINE.

Okay, so maybe that isn't enough to convince you. Maybe you say..."OH...but I am SO not into switching to cloth diapers!" Well...I urge you to check out this mama's site. She can explain the cloth diapering process...etc. If that STILL isn't enough...then PLEASE mommas...switch to an eco-friendly disposable. I would hate in 10 years for the phrase "Soft as a babys bottom" to be ruined by unnecessary chemicals.

At first the cost looks scary...but keep in will never purchase another diaper again. These awesome diapers fit from 7-40 lbs or so!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Southwest Beef Stew

A bunch of people have asked for my Southwest Beef Stew Recipe...and first of all I need to admit that the original recipe came from Sandra Lee's Semi-Homemade SlowCooker Recipe 2 book. However, I switch it up almost I will give you all some of the ideas I normally use!

1 lb beef stew meat cut into bite size pieces
1 can of diced potatoes (you can use more or less OR dice your own potatoes if you choose)
1 can of whole kernel corn
1 can of tomato soup
1 cup of beef broth
1 cup of beer (if we don't have any beer on hand...I just substitute with 1 extra cup of beef broth)
1 can of tomato paste
1 16 oz jar of Chunk Salsa (tonight I used Pace Blackbean and Fireroasted corn salsa!)
salt and pepper to taste.

In a 5 qt slow cooker add stew meat and salt/pepper to taste. Add 1 can of drained diced potatoes, 1 can of drained whole kernel corn, and chunky salsa.

In a mixing bowl combine tomato soup, beef broth, beer and tomato paste. Whisk until blended well.

Pour mixing bowl contents into slow cooker and stir to combine.

Cook on low for 8-10 hours!

****I have added in hot sauce for an extra kick...and have also even used a small amount of chili seasonings. You can also add diced green chiles if you like a little extra bite!****

Monday, May 3, 2010

Cute & Eco-Friendly!

Hey ladies! As you all know...I am on a quest to switch to all things natural, organic, eco-friendly...etc. Well...I have found a great website that is dedicated to just that! I have already placed an order with the website...and I am extremely excited about future orders. They have awesome customer service!

Check them out ladies!

Franklin Goose - Organic Baby Store