Saturday, January 31, 2009

January 31, 2009

Today is Riley's 3rd birthday party! We have some friends and family joining us today for that. On the menu is:

Artichoke Dip

1 cup mayo
1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 can artichoke hearts

Combine all ingredients (mash the artichoke hearts up a little) and mix well, pour into baking dish and bake 20 minutes (or until lightly browned) at 350 degrees.

Serve with Ritz crackers.

Fruit and Cheese Kabobs

red grapes
green grapes
apples, cut into chunks
strawberries, sliced thick
cheese cubes

Thread fruit and cheese onto sticks. Refrigerate until ready to serve.


8 oz. cream cheese
1/2 stick butter
1 cup powdered sugar
2 lg. boxes instant vanilla pudding
3 1/2 cups milk
12 oz Cool Whip
1 pkg. Oreos

Crush Oreos.

Cream together: cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar.

In separate bowl, combine milk and pudding. Mix with hand-mixer until blended and thickened. Mix into cream cheese mixture. Fold in Cool Whip.

Begin layering, starting with cookies on bottom. Embellish with worms. Or for our construction theme today, I used gummy tools.

Refrigerate overnight if possible.

(A huge thank you to my mother-in-law who saved the day on the Dirt. I bought Cook and Serve pudding and it just wasn't working out. She put it together and made the day!)

The Cake
by Paige's Bakehouse

Cream Cheese with Raspberry Chipotle

Cover a brick of cream cheese with Rasberry Chipotle sauce and serve with Wheat Thins. Once you start, you can't stop...


I bought some frozen Tombstone Pepperoni pizzas and cut them into rectangles. They were gobbled up by adults and kids alike! I've never bought a frozen pizza in my life until now. My friend Greta informed me that she's tried them all and Tombstone were the best!!

Tempting Taco Cheese Ball
by Tastefully Simple

All I had to do to this one was mix with cream cheese, refrigerate two hours, and put into a serving dish. You can also form into a ball. I served with Sesame Blue corn chips.

Pasta Salad

tri color rotini pasta
black olives

Cook pasta, drain. Add chopped veggies and top with your favorite Italian dressing. I used Paul Newman's Sun Dried Tomato vinaigrette.

January 30, 2009

Tonight we are having a family celebration for my mother-in-law's birthday and I'm not cooking--Pappadeux is!! I don't think I've been there since high school and I'm looking forward to it.

Riley's having Chick-Fil-a with Mimi and G. He'll be thrilled!!

Friday, January 30, 2009

January 29, 2009

I needed a quick fix for dinner so that I could attend Family Science Night at school (Our class project won 2nd place--Toothpaste: Solid or Liquid?) My standby:


tostada shells
refried beans
sour cream
black olives

Spread the shell with refried beans and sprinkle with cheese. Broil 3-6 minutes, until cheese is melted and bubbly. Remove from broiler and top as desired. Riley eats the tomatoes, avocado, and olives off of the top and then eats the chalupa!

I'm always prepared to make this--I never know when something might pop up.

Guess I'll have to make what I planned for tonight next week.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

January 28, 2009

Tuna Cornbread Cakes

1 6 oz. pkg buttermilk cornbread mix (I used Martha White White Cornbread Mix)
2/3 cup milk
2 T. mayo
NOT 3 green onions, thinly sliced
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 T chopped fresh parsley
1 t. Old Bay seasoning
1 t Worcestershire sauce
2 5 oz. pouches of herb and garlic flavored light tuna chunks
3 T butter
3 T vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 425. Stir together cornbread mix and 2/3 cup milk. Pour batter into lightly greased 8 inch square pan.

Bake at 425 for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire rack 5 minutes or just until warm.

Stir together mayo and next 5 ingredients in a large bowl.

Crumble cornbread to equal 2 cups (more than half of cornbread, but not all of it). Fold cornbread crumbs and tuna into mayo mixture until well blended. Shape tuna mixture into 8 3 1/2 inch patties.

**I used my Pampered Chef large scoop to scoop and then flattened in skillet with spatula! Less mess!**

Melt 3 T butter and veg oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. (I used 2 T butter and 2 T vegetable oil.) Add tuna patties and cook, in batches, 3 minutes on each side (or until golden brown); drain on paper towels.

Serve with Lemon Aioli. I served with tartar sauce.
Makes 4 servings (2 each); using the scoop, I made about 12 cakes.

From Southern Living

Parmesan Spaghetti Squash

1 spaghetti squash, about 3 pounds
2 T water
3 t. butter
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Truffle oil, or a pinch of ground nutmeg (optional)
NO chopped fresh chives (for garnish)

Wash squash; pierce 10-15 times with a fork. Cook squash in a pot of lightly salted boiling water until soft to the touch, about 30-35 minutes. Drain. Cut squash in half lengthwise and let cool briefly. Remove seeds. Using fork, scrape squash into strands. Transfer squash into medium saute pan.

Addd 2 T water to the pan and set over medium heat. Cook until squash is tender, about 2 minutes. Add the butter and cheese; toss until the butter melts. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving dish and drizzle lightly with truffle oil or nutmeg, if desired. Garnish with chives. Serves 6.

From Austin American Statesman via The San Francisco Cronicle

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

January 27, 2009

Waiting for "Winter Storm 2009," (ha!) we stayed warm with leftover Southwestern Veggie Soup.

I love leftovers because:

*I get to spend more time with my family instead of just listening to Russ and Riley play in the living room while I cook and clean up afterwards. Riley and I actually played with a a Christmas gift for the first time last night--we built a city (on Rock and Roll). Sorry, I got carried away....

*It cleans out the refrigerator!

*So many things are better the next day.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

January 26, 2009

Spicy Orange Beef

1 3 1/2 ounce bag boil-in-bag brown rice (I used 2)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. bottled minced garlic
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
1 lb. boneless sirloin steak, cut into 1/4 inch strips
1/2 tsp. grated orange rind
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1 T cornstarch
2 T low sodium soy sauce
1 tsp. dark sesame oil
NOT 3/4 cup slices of green onion

Cook rice according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Combine rice and salt, tossing well.

Combine garlic, pepper, and beef, tossing well.

Combine rind, juice, cornstarch, and beef, tossing well.

Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add beef mixture and NOT onions; saute 2 minutes. Add juice mixture; cook 2 minutes or until sauce thickens, stirring frequently. Serve beef mixture over rice.

*A side of sliced cucumbers dresssed with rice vinegar and a pinch of sugar offers a good balance to this meal.

Recipe from Cooking Light, August 2005

January 25, 2009

Riley's 3rd birthday!


Sausage, Egg, and Cheese Biscuits

1 lb breakfast sausage
1 dozen eggs
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup grated cheese biscuits
2 cans Grands biscuits

Cook sausage; drain and rinse. Add eggs and scramble until still soft. Add soup and cheese. Mix well; salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Half each biscuit and cut in half. Press down each half into a muffin cup, as if lining muffin cup with biscuit. Fill with egg mixture and bake at 400 degrees for approximately 15 minutes or until biscuits are done.

I halved for our family of 3 and we had leftovers.
Tina brought these to me when we had Riley and they freeze well too--make the whole batch and freeze extras for breakfast on the go.


We had his grandparents over for Chicken Pot Pie. It was a hit with all ages, from 3 to 89!

In between all of this cooking, Riley and I managed to whip up some confetti cupcakes (thank you Betty Crocker) with chocolate icing (right out of a tub) and sprinkles for him to take to school!

Monday, January 26, 2009

January 24, 2009

The high today was in the 40s, so it was a great day for soup. We really needed something to keep us warm--the sun did it yesterday, the high was 80 degrees.

Chili's Southwestern Vegetable Soup

6 cups chicken broth
1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes, with juice
1 cup water
1 cup canned dark red kidney beans, with liquid
1 cup frozen yellow corn
1 cup frozen cut green beans (I used mixed vegetables)
1 4 ounce can diced green chilies
NOT 1/2 cup diced Spanish onion (I used 3 cloves garlic instead)
1/2 cup tomato sauce
6 corn tortillas, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
dash garlic powder

Garnish: grated cheddar/jack cheese and corn tortilla chips

Combine all the soup ingredients in a large saucepan or soup pot over high heat. Be sure to mince the corn tortillas into small pieces with a sharp knife before adding them to the soup.

Bring soup to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 45 minutes to an hour, or until the soup has thickened and the tortilla pieces have mostly dissolved.

Sprinkle with grated cheese and crumbled tortilla chips.
Makes 6 servings.

(Recipe from