Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Playin' a Little Catch Up...

So, the hubby is in the other room, studying for the MCAT. I have already caught up on all things Pinterest [you guys are letting me down, not NEARLY as many pins as I am used to seeing!] and Facebook, have shut down my Skype account so I stop getting updates from work, have made dinner AND cleaned the kitchen, and have already committed to NOT going to the gym (I can't work out after eating dinner... because it WILL make a reappearance on the gym floor, no lie). I could continue to work on thank-you-cards from the wedding, OR catch up on something TV related, but the hubs is so cute concentrating, I'd hate to interrupt him. Hmm, nothing better to do than update the old blog, I guess.

I COULD fill you in on life here in Utah... but I won't. I'll keep you hanging on for that later. What I WILL do, however, is tell you all about some recipes I have tried recently, because I have a total of FOUR, and I am just so amazed at what a little homemaker I've morphed into in such a short amount of time.

... Okay, not really. Most of our nights consist of Mac N' Cheese from the blue box and hot dogs. But I have managed not to burn anything yet! And that in and of itself is an accomplishment, if you ask me.

So for now, I'll leave you with these four recipes. I won't get into any cutesy little stories like I normally would, just because food isn't fun anymore, IT'S LIFE! I have to feed MYSELF these days! Holy crappola! ... now, if only some of you would come and visit me these days. I have recipes!

*Recipe #72: Fiesta Chicken Casserole (as found on Pinterest. I would give credit to the woman who first blogged about it, but the link provided takes me to Twitter. And if you know me, you know homie don't play that TWEETIN' crap)


2 cups chicken breast grilled & cubed 
2 cups medium shell pasta cooked 
2 cups cheddar/jack cheese blend 
1 can of cream of chicken soup 
1 can Rotel 1 can green chilies 
1/2 cup of milk 

*Okay, I guess I do have a SMALL story to tell you about, concerning this recipe. Stephen and I are now what you might call frugal. We literally went to three separate grocery stores to find these ingredients because we were looking for the best price. Next thing you know, I'm going to be one of those crazy COUPON LADIES. Utah ruins people, I tell ya.


1. Mix all of the ingredients together in a large bowl, pour into large baking dish (I think we used a 9x13).

2. Cover with cheese, salt and pepper to taste! Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

- Yeah, that's really it. Super easy. It was good too, although I did get tired of all of the peppers after awhile though. Stephen really seemed to enjoy it, yay me! Oh, and as a side note, when it says to cover with cheese, I think I poured one cup in with the mixture, and then covered it with the other cup. I wanted cheese everywhere. A plethora of cheese!

Dinner that night was being shared with family. So we needed dessert. Bring on...

*Recipe #73: Berry Cobbler (as found on http://livingachangedlife.blogspot.com... very inspirational)


Two 12-oz bags frozen mixed berries (we found some awesome deals on a mix of blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries at Winco, but the lady from the blog says that frozen peaches are delicious too)
1 box white cake mix (no pudding)... oops, we used pudding-laced cake mix. And it was French Vanilla. So sue us.
1 can of diet 7-up or sierra mist (clear soda)


1. Place frozen fruit in a 9x13 baking dish. Add dry cake mix over the top. 

2. Pour soda slowly over cake mix. DO NOT stir the cake mix and the pop - this will give you a 'crust'. If you stir the two, you will have a cake-like topping.

3. Bake 350 for 45-50 min.

Okay, this recipe was good, but a little strange. As I am sure you could figure out, the recipe is supposed to be a berry cobbler substitute for the weight-challenged. I honestly just wanted to try it because it had three ingredients in it, and I am all for easy these days. Be forewarned: if you try this, you will be left with strange chunks of unbaked cake mix on top of the cobbler. It's still good, especially if you COVER it in rich, vanilla ice cream like we did (I am SURE that's not how the blogger intended for us to eat it), but it's really weird to bite into the cobbler, and have a white dust puff up into your face.

Recipe #74: Easy-Peasy Skillet Lasagna (as found on http://nutritionfor.us. I don't know HOW I keep finding these "cooking-that's-good-for-you-websites," really I was just craving a pan of my mom's lasagna, but wanted an easier recipe for it)


1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped (Stephen and I don't like onion that much, so we used half an onion)
1 cup mushrooms, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced (... we opted to use about four tablespoons of garlic powder, because it's what I had on hand. I just sort of added it to the pan until it tasted good)
2 (14.5 oz) cans Italian diced tomatoes, drained
1/4 cup tomato sauce
3 basil leaves, chopped (... AGAIN, this translated to 3 tablespoons of dried basil, because it's what we had)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt (Sea salt is for rich people. We used regular table salt)
1/2 cup skim ricotta cheese
1/2 cup part skim mozzarella cheese
3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
About 6 ounces lasagna noodles, broken into thirds & fully cooked (you'll understand in a second why I underlined that for you all)
2 tablespoons parsley (dried or fresh)

** This was a vegetarian dish to begin with. We added some ground beef.


1. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until softened, about 4 minutes. 
- This is when we also cooked the ground beef. Which Stephen did for me, because I am still scared of cooking meat by myself. After it was cooked off, he drained the grease, and then I got to work.

2. Add garlic and mushrooms and cook until garlic is fragrant, about one minute. Add in diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, basil, salt and pepper. Cook mixture until it thickens up a bit, around 5 minutes.

3. Add noodles to skillet and stir into the mixture well. 
- Okay, I gotta stop you here. So, it was at THIS point I realized that the recipe called for COOKED noodles, and there I stood with hard, uncooked noodles in my hands. MAKE SURE YOU COOK THE NOODLES FIRST. I had to put the skillet of meat and Italian goodness on low until I had cooked the noodles, which took FOR-EV-ER!)

4. Add scoops of ricotta cheese over the noodles; add in mozzarella and Parmesan. Stir in parsley.  Cook about 2 more minutes, or until mixture is thick.

5. Serve immediately with additional basil or parsley.

- Or dump an additional cup of mozzarella cheese on top, like I did. Whoops.

THIS WAS SO GOOD, and the hubby had lunch and dinner covered for the next day. Yes, that is what I call stretching my dollar. Uh-thank-you.

*FINALLY, drum roll please... #75: Andes Mint Cookies (as found on http://www.sixsistersstuff.com... LOVE those women!)


1 Devil's Food Cake Mix
1/2 cup oil
2 eggs
1 package of Andes Mints


1. Mix cake mix, oil, and eggs together. Drop spoonfuls of dough onto baking sheet. 
- Thank goodness I got not one, but TWO cookie scoops from the wedding. What would I do without good friends? ... NOT have uniformly shaped cookies, that's what!

2. Bake at 350 degrees for 6-9 minutes. Don't cook any longer than that! You don't want them to be overdone!

3. Take sheet out of oven and while the cookies are still very hot, place an Andes Mint on top of each cookie. In about 5 minutes, the mint will be melted. Take a spoon and smooth out each mint like frosting.

- I kinda squished the Andes Mint into the cookie, so it would set. And yes, it does spread JUST like frosting once it's melted. AND, believe it or not, these cookies are even better if you put them in the fridge over night like we did. Seriously. Try it. NOW.

So, we really were trying to do a good thing in baking these cookies. The mother of one of my co-workers got into a car wreck last week, so I wanted to bring cookies for him to give to her... unfortunately, he never showed up again to work after the accident, so Stephen and I were forced to eat them while watching the O.C.


ANYWAYS, miss you all. Sending my love from the Great Salt Lake Valley. Don't miss me too much.