Sunday, November 27, 2011

Cinnamon Crescent Rolls

On Thanksgiving morning, I wanted to have a special breakfast. I knew we wouldn't eat our Thanksgiving meal until dinnertime. I also thought the girls might want to help. So when I saw this recipe on Pinterest for cinnamon crescent rolls, I had no doubt this was the perfect way to start the day.

And it was.

The girls enjoyed helping me. They helped slather on the cinnamon goodness then roll up the rolls. And of course, they helped me eat them.

I basically followed the recipe on the site above and likely wouldn't change anything. They were just delicious. My favorite part was the cinnamon roll taste without being overly sweet. Like a hint of sweetness.

2 cans crescent rolls (I did use the lower fat ones...figured if I could cut back on fat somewhere, I could eat more :)

1 stick butter softened (I did not set mine out early enough, so I softened it in the is probably better to set it out ahead of time. Mine was pretty soft)

1/2 cup sugar

1 tbsp cinnamon

1/2 cup powdered sugar (for glaze)

1 tsp vanilla (for glaze)

2 tbsp milk (for glaze)

Pre-heat oven to 350.

Beat butter, sugar, and cinnamon. I just had my daughter use a spoon to stir it thoroughly.

Unroll crescent roll triangles. (The original recipe said to use rectangles but I went with the triangles :) Spread a good spoonful of mixture onto the triangle and roll up like you normally would with a crescent roll.

Place rolls on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake for 10-15 minutes.

My rolls did get messy because some of the mixture leaked out. So I did move them to another pan, flipping them, about 10 minutes into the baking to make sure they didn't get soggy.

Meanwhile, mix the glaze.

When rolls are finished, drizzle glaze over them.


We will be making these again.



This Week's Menu...Draft 1

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. We sure did. Loved the family and fun, but of course, the food was incredible too. I have some recipes I cannot wait to share with you. (I know you are just waiting in eager anticipation...) But since I need to get a grocery list going for my dear hubby, I thought I would go ahead and get the menu figured out for the week.

Sunday: Hamburgers, french fries, and milkshakes (My kids call it "Markie Rocketts" after visiting a couple of Johnny Rocketts restaurants...Mark would be my hubby, the chef for tonight's meal...)

Monday: Easy Chicken Taco Casserole (a Pinterest recipe)

Tuesday: Baked Potato Soup, a crusty bread

Wednesday: Mostaccioli, garlic bread, salad

Thursday: On Your Own night

Friday: Pizza "snowballs" (recipe from a friend)

I am undecided about next weekend. After not cooking for four days, I am a bit rusty in this meal planning thing. :)

What is for dinner at your house?


Friday, November 25, 2011

Cheese Filled Breadsticks

Our school does a fundraiser through Schwan's on occasion. I don't typically order through Schwan's (though I like their food), but for a fundraiser, I do. One of my favorite Schwan's foods is a frozen crusty French bread. It is delish. This last time I noticed a new item...cheese filled breadsticks. I ordered a box. My family loved them. LOVED them. However, after two meals, they were gone. And we probably won't have a fundraiser again until the spring. (The links are if you are interested in seeing what I am talking about...I am getting NO kickbacks from Schwan's. :)

Anyway, I have been thinking, "Surely I could make some kind of cheese filled breadstick. It may not be the same but cheese and bread, how can you go wrong? So the Google search began.

Cheese Stuffed Garlic Breadsticks

That looked like a good starting point.

However, that recipe involved making a pizza crust dough.

I didn't have enough time for that.

So I just bought some refrigerated pizza crust dough.

And cheese. Mozzarella string cheese.

Add a little butter and some other minor things, and we were ready to go.

They were a hit.

I will be making them again.

I will probably toy with the recipe. I would love to actually make the dough from scratch one day...not pizza crust even. Like real breadstick dough. (We used these as a side dish for our meatballs and gravy) But in a pinch, using the refrigerated dough worked fine.

1 can refrigerated pizza dough

2 bags of Mozzarella string cheese (I didn't need quite both bags but they don't let you buy one and a half bags at the store. :)

melted butter

1 1/2 tbsp dried Parmesan cheese

1/2 tbsp oregano (I might cut back on that next time)

1/2 tbsp onion powder

1/2 tbsp garlic powder

1 tsp salt

There is also a recipe for a dipping sauce on the original site but we just ate it for bread.

Roll out the pizza dough. I rolled it out on a cookie sheet. Then I used a knife cut it in half. I then just took the string cheese and rolled it until it was covered to get an idea what size "rectangle" to use. I pinched the ends, put it on the cookie sheet, and then did the same with the rest.

Does that make sense?

I then brushed them with melted butter and sprinkled with the garlic/Parmesan/oregano/salt topping.

Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes (or until top is golden brown).


They were yummy.

But then again, it is bread and cheese. How do you really go wrong?


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Dijon Chicken Linguine

Yes, another Pinterest recipe. This was just another photo (not mine, the one on the original site) that just made my mouth water. I was determined to try this. As usual, I made modifications to fit our family. The picture above is not that pretty but it really is good stuff. I only had a little bit left over. Only one child objected to it which I expected. It has a hint of "mustard" taste, which she can detect in trace amounts. :)

Dijon Chicken Linguine
Linguine (The original recipe called for fresh linguine cooked...I just used my usual boxed linguine made with whole grains cooked)

Chicken (original recipe called for 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts; I just used tenderloins, enough to fit my large skillet)

1 cup mushrooms (original recipe calls for chanterelle. I could NOT find these anywhere. So I just used some mushroom pieces/sliced out of a jar. I know, I know, not the same thing. But in a time crunch, I do what I can :)

3 Tbsp olive oil

4 cloves garlic minced

salt and pepper

1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds

For sauce:
4 oz white cooking wine

2 cups heavy whipping cream (which is the same as 1 pint)

3 Tbsp Dijon mustard

salt and pepper to season (I skipped that...I felt like we had enough already)

Season the chicken breasts/tenderloins with salt and pepper. Of course, I used the freshly ground sea salt and the freshly ground peppercorn pepper.

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken to pan along with garlic. Fry until the chicken is completely cooked.

Remove chicken from the pan and keep warm in the oven. (I just threw them in a glass dish and set the oven to a low temp to keep warm)

Add the white cooking wine to the pan. Simmer until it is reduced by half.

Then add the heavy whipping cream, Dijon mustard, and salt and pepper.

Simmer until the sauce thickens. I don't think I did a very good job on this step. We were hungry and ready to eat. So mine was still pretty runny.

Add the mushrooms and the chicken to the sauce. Simmer for an additional 2 minutes.

Serve over hot linguine and top with slivered almonds which give it a little crunch.


I served it with a salad and rolls.

Happy cooking!

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Weekly Menu...or Part of It

Here is our weekly menu. Since we aren't eating out, I am having to get creative...

Sunday: grilled pork tenderloin, roasted baby bakers (potatoes), garlic bread sticks
Monday: dijon chicken linguine (Pinterest, carried over from last week since I ended up making the garlicky shrimp instead...yum!), salad, rolls
Tuesday: meatballs in gravy over rice, salad or veggies/Ranch, and cheese stuffed breadsticks (pumpkin muffins for breakfast)
Wednesday: homemade personal pizzas, turkey sugar cookies
Thursday: breakfast- cinnamon crescent rolls (Pinterest), pumpkin cake for dessert. We are having a BIG family meal that day so I won't list all of the many foods we will enjoy. Turkey is one of them though.
Friday: Appetizer day (with family) I am contributing peanut butter dip with apples and cream cheese topped with a tangy chipotle sauce and Wheat Thin crackers. Not together. Two different appetizers. :)
Saturday: I have no idea. I can't think past that turkey on Thursday. :)

What is for dinner at your house this week?


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Grilled Cheese Rolls

Once again, not the prettiest picture.

But looks aren't everything.

The other day when I made the tomato tortellini soup, I wanted a little side dish.

I had seen these grilled cheese rolls on Pinterest.

As I read through the recipe, I thought, "Why have I never thought of that?"

I don't really have an answer.

I just know they were a big hit and I will make them again.

These are basically a different way to make grilled cheese sandwiches.

bread (we use whole wheat white), crusts cut off
cheese (whatever kind you want; I just used American cheese slices

Take the bread slices (with the crusts cut off) and flatten with a rolling pin.

Place ONE slice of cheese on top.

Roll the bread up.

Place the bread in a skillet with melted butter in it.

Roll the "rolls" on occasion to butter and brown on all sides.

Cook on medium heat until cheese is melted.

Yes, that is it.

Simple. But good.

I don't know if I will ever make a grilled cheese sandwich again.

These are so much faster since I can cook several at once in a skillet.

Yum, yum.

Happy cooking!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Tomato Tortellini Soup

This is a Pinterest recipe. When I saw the picture (not MY picture but the picture on Pinterest the original poster took), I knew I wanted to try this. Here is the original link. As usual, I used the recipe as a guide though I changed a few things to fit our family.

Oh, ironically at one time I would have turned my nose up at the word "tomato". I still cannot sit down and eat a tomato. Or even tomato chunks. And I still eat spaghetti tomato sauce. But I use tomato sauce/paste in cooking. And in this recipe, the tomato soup is just one doesn't give it a strong tomato flavor, just a little taste...

1 package (9 oz) refrigerated cheese tortellini (I went for the big package which was 20 oz) to give a little more for my family. However, next time I think I would stick with the smaller package, just for cost's sake.

2 cans tomato soup (the original recipe calls for reduced sodium...I just used regular tomato soup)

2 cups vegetable broth (I could only find one kind of vegetable broth at our grocery store, and it was organic and really I went with beef broth)

2 cups milk (recipe specifies 2 percent, we only use 1 percent)

2 cups half and half (I would have used fat free but I think I accidentally grabbed the regular)

1/2 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes (I did NOT add family would have balked)

1 tsp onion powder (or for us, minced onion)

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp basil

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese (and more later to top off soup if wanted)

We also added 1 pound ground beef (browned) to add a little more to the soup and make it go further...

Cook tortellini according to package directions (which basically involves boiling in water).

Meanwhile, add all of the other ingredients but the cheese to a Dutch oven. Okay, I do NOT have a Dutch oven. Maybe I need to ask for one for Christmas. I used my crockpot instead. My only regret is that I wish I had had more time to let it heat before we ate. It was nice and warm but not steaming hot like I would have preferred. That is my fault, not the recipe's. Anyway, drain the tortellini when tender and add to the soup. Add in cheese. Heat through.

I did add extra Parmesan on top. It just looked pretty. And of course I love Parmesan.

I served this with Grilled Cheese Rolls (also Pinterest).

It was good.

Only one child completely balked.

I will make this again.


Saturday, November 12, 2011

This Week's Menu (as of today...)

Saturday: Spaghetti (plain noodles with Parmesan on top), fruit smoothies...can you tell the boys are at a Hogs game?
Sunday: Breakfast- Pumpkin Muffins, Lunch- eating last time for a month! (More below)
Monday: Crockpot Chicken Dip
Tuesday: On Your Own Night (School event)
Wednesday: Tomato and cheese tortellini soup, grilled cheese rolls (Pinterest)
Thursday: Sloppy joes, sweet potato fries
Friday: Grilled Pork Tenderloin, potatoes
Saturday: Dijon Chicken Linguine (Pinterest recipe)

We have made a decision to not eat out for the next month, putting the money aside we would normally spend to donate to others in need. We really do that more than this one time, but we wanted to show the kids that we can sacrifice...and not eating out for them is a sacrifice. :) So I guess I am going to have to be extra good with the menu this next month. And I need to learn how to make a really good pizza since that is what we will likely miss the most!


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Parmigiano Panko Herb Encrusted Chicken

After discovering the yumminess (yes, that is a word, at least in my world :) of panko with the garlicky baked shrimp, I knew I wanted to use it again. So when a recipe on Pinterest used the words Parmigiano and panko in the title, I was ready to cook.

Parmigiano Panko Herb Encrusted Chicken

The original recipe (link above) is listed though like always, I made adjustments to fit our family and our pantry. :)

4-6 chicken breasts (The recipe calls for chicken breasts, then involves flattening them with a mallet. However, due to time constraints, I went the easy route. Chicken tenderloins. They are just the right size. And they cook quickly. Plus there was some with a discount since its "due date" was just about here)

olive oil (I totally used this. I LOVE olive oil)

panko flakes (I used the measurement. I just poured some in a ziplock bag)

1 /2 cups Parmigiano cheese grated (I didn't really measure. I just grated some and added it to the ziplock)

2 tbsp dried basil


If you use the chicken breasts, flatten with a mallet.

In a skillet (deep) or fryer, add olive oil. Heat on medium heat.

Mix together the Panko, Parmigiano, basil, salt/pepper. Put in a dish and dip chicken to coat both sides. (I was in a hurry. I put it all in a gallon ziplock and threw the chicken in and shook away. :)

Place chicken in hot oil (don't overcrowd) in the skillet or fryer. Fry to a golden brown color, about three minutes each side.

Let it rest before eating.

It did not disappoint. My kids LOVED it. And it was easy. That was my favorite part. :)


Sunday, November 6, 2011

This Week's Menu (Or So I Think)

Here is the week's menu. I have even done all the shopping through Saturday. Or at least I think I have. That is always subject to change too. :)

Sunday: Tostadas and Salsa. Yes, that was on the menu for last night but I hadn't thought about the Razorback game. My kids want to know where their tostadas are. So it is in the crockpot already, simmering away.
Monday: "Square" ham/cheese sandwiches, fruit, chips (Part of us have to be at a play tomorrow night, so I went the easy route)
Tuesday: Panko encrusted chicken breasts (a Pinterest recipe), Cheesy mashed potato bake, carrots/snap peas and Ranch, garlic bread (carried over from last week)
Wednesday: Baked Potato Soup, French Bread and olive oil
Thursday: On Your Own
Friday: Undecided. We have a couple events that night so I am not sure what we will do, where we will go, etc.

So, what is for dinner at your house?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Slow Cooker Jambalaya

Not long ago, our oldest son said he really wanted some jambalaya. I have never made that so I am not sure where the request came from. However, if you knew this son and his eating habits, that request would have surprised you. Even a year again, he likely wouldn't have touched rice, shrimp, or tomatoes. Jambalaya (our version) has all three!

Not long after the request was made, a slow cooker jambalaya recipe appeared on Pinterest. I was intrigued; the picture of it made it look delicious.

So knowing it was going to be quite a bit cooler today, I planned to make it. I ran home at lunch, threw the ingredients in the slow cooker, and came home several hours later to a most wonderful smell. Jambalaya.

Here is the link to the original recipe. I stuck fairly close to it since this was my first time to make it, though I had to alter a couple things due to lack of supplies...

1 lb chicken breasts cut into 1 inch cubes. When I say chicken breasts, I always mean skinless and boneless unless I specify otherwise. Oh, and I really haven't figured out how to cute it into cubes. I just use scissors and cut it into small chunks. :)
1 lb smoked turkey sausage, sliced
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes with juice (don't drain). Confession: I didn't check to see if I had enough diced tomatoes. I didn't. Luckily I had a can of mild Rotel which is mostly tomatoes. I used it too.
2 tbsp dried minced onion flakes
1 cup chicken broth (Note: I really used closer to 2 since that was the container it was in; I hated to waste any.)
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp dried parsley
2 tsp minced garlic
2 tsp Cajun seasoning
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp dried thyme

Optional: shrimp. I really wanted shrimp in mine. However, I accidentally grabbed a bag of the frozen COOKED shrimp when I meant to get the frozen RAW shrimp. The cooked shrimp worked okay but I would have preferred the raw to let it "cook" in the seasonings.

white rice or instant rice (I used white long grain enriched; I believe I made 6 servings)
Note: The directions on the original call say to add celery which was not in the ingredients list, so I have no idea how much. However, my family would shun them anyway, so I did not add any.

In a slow cooker (and of course, I used a liner), mix the chicken, sausage, tomatoes with juice, onion, garlic, and broth. Season with oregano, parsley, Cajun seasoning, cayenne pepper, and thyme.

Cover and cook 7-8 hours on low or 3-4 hours on High.

If you are adding shrimp, add it about 30 minutes before eating. Shrimp cooks quickly.

Mix in cooked rice for about 15 minutes to warm through.

Enjoy! (We had cornbread muffins with it)