November 18, 2014

banana bread

If I told you that I made this banana bread with pancake mix, would you believe me? Or maybe people have been making banana bread with pancake mix for years and years and I'm just late to the party. I had some overly ripe bananas and instead of freezing them (I usually slice them up, throw them into baggies, and freeze for smoothies) I decided to make banana bread. With some Krusteaz pancake mix that I had in the pantry. I found this recipe online and decided to give it a try, if it totally flopped, I would pretend it never happened.

I'm happy to report that it turned out delicious! Even better than I expected and may even be my favorite banana bread that I've ever made. And is there anything better than the smell of banana bread baking in the oven? So if you have some pancake mix and a few ripe bananas, give this one a try, I think you'll love it!

Banana Bread 
Recipe adapted via Krusteaz

2 eggs
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup mashed banana
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups Krusteaz pancake mix (I used Light & Fluffy)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a medium bowl, mix together eggs, sugar, and water.
3. In another medium bowl, mix together bananas, oil, and vanilla. Add pancake mix. Mix well.
4. Add the banana into the batter.
5. Spoon the mixture into a loaf pan and bake for 39 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

August 14, 2014

baked ritz cracker chicken parmesan

Last night I had baked chicken parmesan on the menu which is one of our favorite dinners. I make it so much that this is the 3rd time that I'm posting about it on my blog (first two times are here and here). This time is different though--I didn't think it was possible but I found an even better substitute for the usual Italian breadcrumbs that I use for the coating, which actually came by accident. I thought I had breadcrumbs but I didn't realize I was out and so, I needed to find a quick substitute. The only crumbly ingredient I had was Ritz crackers, which made perfect sense for chicken parmesan since I've used them for all sorts of other baked chicken recipes. I just never thought crackers and tomato sauce went together but boy was I wrong!

Side note: Using Ritz crackers in place of the breadcrumbs does add quite a few more calories but they make the chicken so much crunchier and to me, is totally worth it :) 

Baked Ritz Cracker Chicken Parmesan
Recipe via Skinnytaste, this version adapted by me

4 (8 oz.) chicken breast halves, sliced in half
1 sleeve of Ritz crackers, crumbled (I use a Ziploc baggie and just smash them with my hands)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

2 tbsp butter, melted
3/4 cup reduced fat mozzarella cheese (I used sliced mozzarella for this because I already had it in the fridge) 
1 cup marinara 
cooking spray

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spray a large baking sheet lightly with spray.
2. Combine breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese in a bowl. Melt the butter in another bowl. Lightly brush the butter onto the chicken, then dip into breadcrumb mixture.  Place on baking sheet and repeat with the remaining chicken.
3. Lightly spray a little more cooking oil on top and bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Turn chicken over, bake another 5 minutes. Remove from oven, spoon sauce over chicken and top with shredded cheese. Bake 5 more minutes or until cheese is melted. 

August 10, 2014

chicken enchilada pasta


This is one of those recipes that looks much better on Pinterest than it does in my picture. It's rich and creamy and was so easy to throw together after a long day at work. Although Beth suggests it, I didn't use her homemade enchilada sauce but I'm definitely going to give that a try next time. Hope you make this one, you'll love it!

Chicken Enchilada Pasta
Recipe via Budget Bytes

2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. chicken breast
1 cup enchilada sauce
1/2 cup sour cream
12 oz. uncooked pasta
1 cup Monterrey jack cheese, shredded
 2-3 whole green onions, sliced

1. Cook the onion and garlic in a large skillet over medium heat with vegetable oil until soft and transparent. Meanwhile, slice the chicken into thin strips. Add the chicken to the skillet and cook until no longer pink,.
2. Warm up the canned enchilada sauce. Whisk in the sour cream. Set aside.
3. Cook the pasta according to the package directions and then drain well in a colander. Combine the pasta, sauce, and chicken mixture either in the skillet or in the pasta cooking pot. Taste to see if you want more salt or other seasonings. Sprinkle with shredded cheese and and sliced green onions. Serve warm.

June 30, 2014

crunchy asian slaw

Hello & happy almost 4th of July! I wanted to share a recipe with my weekly meal plan today because we actually ate it twice this weekend and I figured it would also be perfect to share for the upcoming holiday weekend! It's a recipe I've shared before on the blog but it was due for an update--partly because the ingredients have changed slightly and partly because there aren't any pictures with the old post. For some reason, all of the pictures from the beginning of my blog were removed and I can't figure out how to get them back. So! Here's what we're having for dinner this week (make sure you go link up with Organizing Junkie to share yours) as well as the recipe for one of my favorite side dishes--crunchy Asian slaw.

Sunday - Burgers on the grill, roasted red potatoes, crunchy Asian slaw
Monday - Turkey, cream cheese, and pesto stuffed shells, broccoli, rolls
Tuesday - Tacos and rice
Wednesday - Spaghetti and meatballs, salad, garlic knots
Thursday - Chicken, black bean, and salsa bake

And now, for the Asian slaw recipe. I first had this several years ago at my husband's Aunt Sylvia's house. It was so good and when she shared the recipe with me, I couldn't believe how easy it was! I've been making it as a side dish to go with hamburgers & hot dogs ever since and it's always a hit. My sister in law makes it now too and this weekend, she brought it to my in-laws for a cookout and then last night, I made it to go along with burgers on the grill and roasted red potatoes. Give it a try this weekend for your 4th of July celebration, it will go great with barbecue, burgers, hot dogs, grilled chicken, you name it! Hope you enjoy :)

from dinner on Saturday night - thank you Lindsay for letting me take a picture of the slaw you made!

Crunchy Asian Slaw
Recipe via Aunt Sylvia/Allrecipes

1 (3 ounce) package beef flavor Ramen noodles with seasoning packet
1 (3 ounce) package roasted sunflower seed kernels
1 (3 ounce) package sliced almonds
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 cup bottled oil and vinegar salad dressing (I use Kraft light)
1/2 cup white sugar
1 (16 ounce) package broccoli slaw mix

1. Crush the Ramen noodles in a bowl, and stir in the beef seasoning packet, sunflower seeds, almonds, green onions, oil and vinegar dressing, and sugar, mixing until the sugar is dissolved.
2. Place the coleslaw mix into a large salad bowl, pour the dressing mixture over, and toss lightly to combine well. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.

June 27, 2014

dorito taco salad

I haven't had this salad in YEARS so I was super excited about it being on the menu this week. It seems like such a weird combo with the Doritos & Catalina dressing but the flavors are perfect together. And the best part is, everyone in my family loves it. Hope you give this one a try!

Dorito Taco Salad
Recipe via Emily's Bites

1 lb lean ground beef
1 packet reduced sodium taco seasoning
1 head of iceberg lettuce, chopped into bite sized pieces
1 large tomato, diced
4 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
4 oz nacho cheese Doritos, broken up a bit into bite sized pieces
1 cup light Catalina (I used Kraft Lite Catalina)

Directions: Brown the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat, breaking it up into pieces with a wooden spoon. Add the packet of taco seasoning and stir until well coated. Set aside. In a large serving bowl, combine the lettuce, tomatoes, cheese and ground beef. When ready to serve, add the Doritos and dressing and toss to coat.

June 22, 2014

crock pot dr. pepper pot roast

Happy official summer! It's been awhile since I've planned a weekly menu, let alone cooked and shared an actual meal on my blog so today's post is a recipe to share {and a yummy one, at that} and this week's menu. It can be hard to stay in a routine of cooking but it's really taken a toll on our wallets & waistlines lately so I knew I needed to get back into the habit of cooking most day of the week. Between work and our boys' really busy baseball schedules, I have to make meals that are easy to throw together & that everyone in the family will eat. Here's what we're having this week, the recipe for the crock pot Dr. Pepper roast is below!

Sunday ~ Crock pot Dr. Pepper roast, mashed potatoes, broccoli
Monday ~ California club sandwiches, fruit, chips
Tuesday ~ Doritos taco salad
Wednesday ~ Baked chicken parmesan, whole wheat pasta, broccoli
Thursday ~ Leftovers
Friday ~ Honey-lime grilled chicken, roasted red potatoes, corn on the cob

Crock Pot Dr. Pepper Pot Roast 
Recipe via my friends Robbie & Keri who found the recipe here

3-4 lb pot roast (or shoulder roast)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
2 cans cream of potato soup
1 can diet Dr. Pepper (I used diet)
1 package Lipton onion soup mix
Carrots, onions, potatoes, cut into large chunks

Add all ingredients to the crock pot. I add it in this order: roast, onion soup mix, cream of potato/mushroom soup (I mix them together in a small bowl before pouring in), can of diet Dr. Pepper, and then I put the carrots, potatoes, and onions around the edge. Cook on Low for 6-8 hours or until roast is fully cooked.

Make sure to link up with Organizing Junkie to share your weekly meal plan!

March 25, 2014

baked paprika-parmesan chicken

If you're stuck in a boring chicken rut, then you'll love this chicken! It's really easy to prepare and you probably have everything you need to make it for dinner tonight! The coating comes out really crispy and flavorful, we loved it. Hope you give it a try!

Baked Paprika-Parmesan Chicken
Recipe via here

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
2 teaspoons paprika
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons milk
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a shallow baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Combine flour, parmesan, paprika, salt, and pepper in a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg and milk. Dip the chicken in the egg, then dredge in the flour mixture. Place in the baking dish, and pour the melted butter evenly over the chicken. Bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes in the preheated oven, until the cheese has browned, and the chicken has cooked.
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