Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Southwest Beef and Bell Pepper Skillet

This is a kraft recipe from here.  We loved this!  Very different and really good:)  I made a loaf of rye garlic pull apart bread and there was a small portion left of the skillet meal plus some bread so it was plenty of food for all 6 of us:)

what you need
1 lb. Extra-lean ground beef
1 can  (14-1/2 oz.) beef broth
1 can (10 oz.) diced tomatoes and green chiles, undrained
1   each large green and yellow pepper, cut into thin strips, then halved
2 cups Instant white rice, uncooked
1-1/2 cups  KRAFT Shredded Colby & Monterey Jack Cheeses
make it
BROWN meat in large ovenproof skillet. Stir in broth and tomatoes; bring to boil.
ADD peppers and rice; stir. Cover; simmer on low heat 5 min. or until rice is tender.
HEAT broiler. Top rice mixture with cheese; broil 2 to 3 min. or until melted.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Menu plan Aug. 27-Sept. 2nd

Friday August 27th
Garlic Bread
Caramelita bars

Saturday August 28th
Layered Pasta Salad

Sunday August 29th
Homemade Pizza night:)

Monday August 30th
Southwest Beef and Bell Pepper Skillet
Iced brownies

Tuesday August 31st
Popeyes fried chicken

Wednesday September 1st


Thursday September 2nd
Spicy Chicken Lasagna Roll-Ups (minus the spice hee)
Green beans
Garlic pull apart bread

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Chocolate Popsicles

I've had my eye out for popsicle molds and finally found some I liked at Marshalls!  They are on Amazon for $10.40 right now(but I paid $7 hee)  See after the recipe for my price breakdown of making these at home...

I also have a set from Tupperware but they're quite tiny.  Those are perfect for the toddler and preschooler in the house though:)  I used cocoa since it's what I had on hand but these would be divine with a dutch or bittersweet chocolate!    Hunter wants to make these on his night to choose/cook dinner:)

This recipe comes from The Prudent Homemaker

1 1/2 cups sugar
3 Tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup cocoa powder OR 3 oz unsweetened or bittersweet chocolate
3 cups  whole milk ( or 1 12 oz. can evaporated milk plus 1 1/2 cups water)
3 eggs yolks, slightly beaten
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp butter 
In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch, salt, cocoa powder and milk.
Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and begins to boil. Boil one minute. Remove from heat.
Slowly add pudding mixture to egg yolks.
Return pudding to pan. Add vanilla and butter. Boil for one minute.
Let mixture cool slightly. Fill popsicle molds and freeze until frozen solid (about 3 hours).
Makes 8 popsicles, depending on the size of your molds. 

Price break down
Cocoa--2 cups in a normal 8 ounce container at $4.39= 1.10 for the 1/2 cup used
Sugar--9 cups in a 4 pound bag at $1.99=33 cents for the 1 1/2 cup used
Milk--16 cups in a gallon at $2.38=45 cents for 3 cups
Eggs-12 for 1.09= 27 cents for 3 eggs plus you can use the egg whites later
For the rest I'll figure 25 cents to make it easy but it would be less than that if you buy in bulk.

So for $2.40 or less you can make 9 chocolate popsicles with REAL chocolate!  Plus it's just fun to make it yourself:)  I don't buy these but from looking at pricebooks online you normally get 12 Fudgesicles for $3.99(and a long list of ingredients I can't pronounce).

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

TVP Bean Burritos

I wasn't sure about this but we LOVED it!  Instead of oil I used bacon grease that I'd had leftover and stored in the fridge.  Also I cooked a pound of beans and used them all.  There ended up not being a picture because as soon as it was done I had kids at the table and when I turned around the boys had finished it all!  It looked like beans burritos ;o)

Thanks Hillbilly Housewife!

  • 1 cup plain or unflavored TVP granules
  • 3 tablespoons dry onion
  • 2 tablespoons dry bell pepper (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 beef bouillon cubes
Combine the TVP and all of the other ingredients in a resealable plastic container. I like to use zip-lock bags. Label and Seal and the container. Store on the pantry shelf. This is enough for 1 package of mix. Make several at a time for the most convenience.
To Prepare:
  • 1 package TVP & Bean Burrito Mix
  • 1-1/2 cups tap water
  • 15 ounce can refried beans, or 2 cups cooked pinto beans, mashed with a fork or potato masher (they needn’t be smooth)
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 8 or 10 flour tortillas
In a skillet combine the Mix and tap water. Stir the mixture over medium heat until it boils. Reduce the heat to low, so the mixture only simmers. Add the refried beans, or mashed pinto beans and the oil. Simmer the mixture for about 10 minutes, or until it thickens up to a good consistency. Spread the filling onto heated tortillas. Add salsa, sour cream, cheese, sprouts, guacamole and anything else that suits your fancy. These are quite good, and very easy. Makes 4 or 5 servings.

Bloomin' Onion

As a rule we do not fry at home...but I really wanted a bloomin' onion and I really didn't want to drag the kids to a restaurant and pay the money to eat out so we decided to try it at home.  Mom had also given us some fish so we had fried fish(and french fries).  This recipe came straight from foodnetwork.com and was exactly like the breading I craved!  You can find the full recipe here.

Texas Ranch House Beans

These were a great side dish!  I did them in the crockpot and the onions didn't cook very well so I'd do that differently somehow next time.  They were just sweet enough and really good!

Texas Ranch House Beans
1 lb pintos 1 c. chili sauce
2 onions sliced 1 clove garlic chopped
1/2 lb bacon cubed 2 TB brown sugar packed
salt & pepper to taste 1 qt beer (I used chicken broth)
Rinse & drain beans. Brown bacon, then add all ingredients.
Pressure cook for 30 min. This could be done in a crockpot or in the oven or stove top as well. adjust times

Chili sauce
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 2 Tbs. brown sugar
  • 1 Tbs. vinegar
  • dash of cloves
  • 1 minced garlic 
  • 1 Tbs. chili powder
Simmer together for 5 minutes.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Menu plan

I am trying for a two week menu plan so I can just run to the store after a week for milk and whatever produce we may need.  

BBQ brisket sandwiches and baked potatoes
French Onion Soup
Mom's chili over rice
Hot dogs in the crockpot with garlic pull apart bread
Texas Ranch House Beans w/ rice
Fried fish (new) and blooming onions (new) and kernel corn
Chicken Asparagus Casserole with basmati rice
TVP Bean Burritos

Sweet N Sour Meatloaf with mashed potatoes n green beans
Mexican brown rice and pintos
Lasagna, corn on the cob and garlic bread
Homemade pizza--pepperoni and cheese

Mac n Cheese with hot dogs
Grilled cheese and soup
Noodles and sauce
Tuna salad sandwiches

Blueberry muffins
Persimmon muffins
Banana bread or muffins

Saturday, August 07, 2010


I got this recipe for "Chantal's New York Cheesecake" from allrecipes.  The only change I made was that I had graham cracker crumbs and I added in a little sugar to the graham crust.  This was AWESOME!!!  Mine cracked like crazy and I followed the directions to a T so not sure why that was but it tasted so good nobody cared!


  • 15 graham crackers, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 4 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9 inch springform pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix graham cracker crumbs with melted butter. Press onto bottom of springform pan.
  3. In a large bowl, mix cream cheese with sugar until smooth. Blend in milk, and then mix in the eggs one at a time, mixing just enough to incorporate. Mix in sour cream, vanilla and flour until smooth. Pour filling into prepared crust.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour. Turn the oven off, and let cake cool in oven with the door closed for 5 to 6 hours; this prevents cracking. Chill in refrigerator until serving.