Posted in Foodie Pen Pal

Foodie Pen Pal – October Edition

This is my first anniversary of participating in Foodie Pen Pals.  Shania, who lived in New Jersey, sent me my first box.  I remember worrying about her last October because she was in the path of Superstorm Sandy.  Luckily she was fine.  She sent me magnets which is funny because Katie, my partner this month, also sent me magnets.

This time I sent it to and received a fit from Katie, who lives close to Chicago.  For information about what I sent her, please visit her blog.

Here is what she sent me:

Posted in Menu planning

Mom, What’s for dinner? – Week of October 28

Happy Halloween!  This week is another crazy week!  I’m going to be cooking dinner this week, though.  

Monday – ham, French fries, corn

Tuesday – barbecue chicken sandwiches, chips, veggies

Wednesday – chiropractor and parent-teacher conference for the Imaginative One, so I need a quick meal – Pizza.

Thursday – goulash over noodles

Friday – breakfast for dinner

Saturday – soup and biscuits

Posted in Cereal, Halloween, Holiday/Christmas, Peanuts, Recipes, Snacks

Boo Mix (Halloween Snack Mix)

The boys are in Cub Scouts.  We had their annual Halloween party last Thursday.  Someone made this boo mix for some of the snacks being served.  Oh, my goodness, I could not stop eating it.  I even took one of the last two cups of it and ate some on the way home and the remainder the next day.   I did not let any be wasted.

Today I found the recipe, so I made some snack mix for the boys and my lunches.  Both boys tried some after I made it.  They loved it, so each has 5 snack-size bags of the mix for their lunches.  Then our friend stopped by the house and tried it.  He also gave it a thumbs-up!

Boo Mix

adapted from Plain Chicken


Stars of the recipe:

  • 5 c. Golden Grahams
  • 3 c. Cocoa Puffs
  • 2 c. Reese’s Pieces
  • 2 c. peanuts or 1 c. peanuts and 1 c. cashews
  • 3 c. pretzel sticks
  • 11 oz. Bag of white chocolate


  1. Place the first five ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Place the white chocolate in a glass microwaveable bowl.  Melt following the directions on the bag.
  3. Pour the cereal mixture.  (I did a little bit of it at a time.)  Stir until everything is coated.
  4. Spread out onto waxed paper, parchment, or foil.
  5. Let sit until completely dry and break into clumps.
  6. Store in an airtight container.
  7. Enjoy!

Printable Recipe


Posted in breakfast, Cranberries, Crockpot, Ingredients, Oatmeal, Recipes

Cranberry Orange Oatmeal

A few days ago, Tiffany from Eat at Home posted a recipe for cranberry orange oatmeal cooked in the slow cooker.  I’ve attempted to make oatmeal in the slow cooker, and it did not turn out pretty.  Most of it was wasted.

This recipe turned out great because I found a different way to cook the oatmeal in the slow cooker that did not burn or dry out the oatmeal.  The result was creamy oatmeal, so I did not have to add any liquid to it when I heated it up the next day!!!!!!  🙂

Cranberry Orange Oatmeal

adapted from Eat at Home  and the Motherload


Stars of the recipe:

  • 1/2 c, steel-cut oats
  • 1 c. orange juice
  • 1 c. water
  • 1/4 c. sugar (I omitted this.)
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 c, dried cranberries


  1. Find a bowl that is big enough to hold the oatmeal but small enough to fit in the slow cooker.  It also needs to be oven safe.
  2. Spray the bowl with cooking spray and add the ingredients.
  3. Stir!
  4. Place the bowl in the slow cooker.
  5. Pour water around a bowl to create a water bath (an inch high).  Place the lid on the slow cooker.
  6. Turn the slow cooker on low and cook for 6 to 8 hours.
  7. Enjoy!

BTW:  I used a 6-quart slow cooker.

Printable Recipe


Posted in Menu planning

Mom, What’s for dinner? Week of Oct. 21

This week’s a strange week.  I’ve only got to cook dinner 3 times this week – Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday.  So my method for planning those 3 days is this:  Go to my freezer.  Open it up.  What do I have that I need to eat up or cook up.  So it’s no real plan for this week.  

Monday – Hoison chicken with rice and veggie

Tuesday – Open up the freezer and find something to cook or eat up

Wednesday – ZooClues at the Columbus Zoo – Buffet style dinner – Hubby and I; boys are spending the night at the grandparents, so they have a rare treat – Kids’ Cuisines for dinner

Thursday – Open up the freezer and find something to cook or eat up

Friday – Chick Fil A (profits are going towards a mission of our youth group)

Saturday – Hubby is eating at a bonfire, and the boys and I are going to be at the Zoo for Boo at the Zoo

Posted in Chicken, Ingredients, Main Dish, Meat, Recipes

Lemon Chicken

My husband loves getting food from Chinese restaurants in our local mall’s food court. So I decided to recreate one of the dishes he might purchase there. This dish was healthier than what you get at the food court.

He thought it was a sweet and sour dish when it was cooking in the oven. So he was super excited about dinner last night.

The only issue with the dinner was super lemony, but it’s an easy fix. If you love a lemon flavor, add lemon zest and juice.

Lemon Chicken
Lemon Chicken

Lemon Chicken

Stars of the recipe:

  • 1 lb. thinly cut chicken breast, chicken breasts pounded thinly, or chicken thighs pounded thin (If you are going to pound out the chicken, place wax paper on a cutting board and then the chicken.  Place another piece of wax paper on top of the chicken. Using a heavy skillet, pound the chicken until it’s about a 1/2 inch thick. Hint:  An inch is from the tip of your thumb to the knuckle. So a 1/2 inch would be to the end of your thumbnail.)
  • 1/4 c lemon juice
  • 1/4 to 1/2 c, bread crumbs or panko
  • Optional:  1 Tbsp. lemon zest and additional lemon juice
  • 8 x 8 square dish sprayed with cooking spray


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a bowl big enough to dredge the chicken in, place the lemon juice. In another bowl big enough to dredge the chicken in, place the bread crumbs or panko.
  3. First, dredge the chicken in lemon juice and then dredge the chicken in the bread crumbs or panko.
  4. Place in the cooking dish.
  5. Continue with the remainder of the chicken pieces. If you want it lemony, top it with more lemon juice and zest.
  6. Bake in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes.
  7. Enjoy with rice!

Printable Recipe

Posted in Randomness

What I pack for breakfast, snack, & lunch October 15



For a snack on my way home, I’ll either have


That is I’ll eat it if I’m hungry.

I also have either a small handful of almonds or chocolate covered raisins between groups of students.

Posted in Chickpeas, Chocolate, Dessert, Dips, Gluten Free, Ingredients, Recipes

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip

With chocolate cats ready to be dunked
With chocolate cats ready to be dunked
With chocolate cats ready to be dunked

I love chocolate chip cookies.  Actually, I like most cookies.  You might say cookies are my weakness!  I mean dessert weakness.  This dip reminds me of a chocolate chip cookie. Best of all, you don’t have to bake cookies to get deliciousness.  🙂

Now the question is, what should I dip into this yumminess!  I’ve been dipping chocolate cat cookies from Trader Joe’s.  Tomorrow I’m going to try dipping my sliced apples in the dip.  That sounds absolutely divine.

Side note:  Have you ever had someone obsessed with your food choices.  I eat in my classroom and have limited time to eat.  Today I was running late getting to eat because I had to print some papers and then talk to two other teachers.  I was finishing my lunch when my four students came for social studies.  They were intrigued by what I was eating.  They would have been shocked to find out what was in the dip.  (My students have seen my lunches many times.  Fortunately, most of the time, it’s something fairly healthy.  This way, I can be a good role model for them.  One is concerned that I don’t eat a lot of meat.  I eat meat, but it depends on my mood whether I eat a lot of meat or not.)

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip

adapted from Chocolate Covered Katie

Stars of the recipe:

  • 1-1/2 c. chickpeas or white beans (1 ca
    , drained and rinsed very well)
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 c. nut butter of choice – I used almond butter.
  • up to 1/4 c. of milk
  • 2/3 c. brown sugar
  • 1/3 c. chocolate chips
  • 2 to 3 tsp. oats


  1. Add the ingredients except for chocolate chips and milk to a good food processor.
  2. Blend the ingredients – streaming into milk until desired considency.
  3. Remove from food processor cup.  Mix in chocolate chips.
  4. Put in the fridge overnight.
  5. Enjoy with apples, graham crackers, or just eat by the spoonful!

Printable Recipe

Happy Eating,

Posted in Crockpot, Ingredients, Main Dish, Meat, Recipes, Roast

Easy Slow Cooker Pot Roast

Mmm!  Comfort food makes you feel good inside.  Pot roast is one of those foods.  As I was coming up with this week’s menu, I decided pot roast should be one of our dinners.  The interesting thing was we had a pot roast for our dinner at my in-law’s last night.  The difference was how we prepared the roast.  The side dishes were different also.

I’ve made this recipe for over 10 years.  It is super easy and delicious.  After we have a roast for dinner, another night during the week, I make a hash (minus eggs) with the leftover roast.  Yum!

Even though I like making baked potatoes cooked in the slow cooker, I’m not a fan of potatoes cooked with roast.  We had buttered noodles with our roast.

Easy Slow Cooker Pot Roast

Stars of the recipe:

  • roast (size depends on the needs of your family)
  • 30 oz. can of tomato sauce
  • optional:  russet potatoes peeled and cut into chunks, onions cut into chunks, carrots peeled and cut into strips


  1. Place roast into the bottom of the slow cooker.
  2. If placing vegetables, place them on top of the roast.
  3. Pour tomato sauce over the roast.
  4. Cook for 3 to 5 hours on high or 6 to 8 hours on low.
  5. Enjoy!

Printable Recipe

Posted in Menu planning

Mom, What’s for dinner? – Week of October 14

Here are my plans for dinner:

Monday – pot roast, butter noodles, and veggies

Tuesday – lemon chicken (if the recipe works, I’ll post it here) with rice

Wednesday – homemade taco hamburger helper (if the recipe is good, I’ll post it here)

Thursday – pot roast hash

Friday – pretzel chicken tenders, mac, and cheese, veggies

Saturday  – Harvest bean soup