Foodie Pen Pal – October Edition

This is my one year 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 to and received from Katie who lives close to Chicago.  For information about what I sent her, please visit her blog.

Here is what she sent me:

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 then parent teacher conference for the Imaginative One so I need a quick meal – Pizza

Thursday – ghoulash over noodles

Friday – breakfast for dinner

Saturday – soup and biscuits

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 decided to make some of the snack mix for the boys and my lunches.  Both boys tried some after I made it.  They both loved it so each of them 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

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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

Steps:

  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

Cranberry Orange Oatmeal

A couple of 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 that 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

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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

Steps:

  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 the 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

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 up 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 are having a rare treat – Kids’ Cuisines for dinner

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

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

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

Lemon Chicken

My husband loves getting food from the Chinese food 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.

When it was cooking in the oven, he thought it was a sweet and sour dish.  So he was super excited for dinner last night.

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

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Lemon Chicken
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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

Steps:

  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 really lemony, top with more lemon juice and lemon zest.
  6. Bake in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes.
  7. Enjoy with rice!

Printable Recipe

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

Breakfast

 

Lunch:

 

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

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Or

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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.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip

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With chocolate cats ready to be dunked
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With chocolate cats ready to be dunked
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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, you don’t have to bake cookies to get the 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 a 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 in for social studies.  They were intrigued with 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 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 can, 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

Steps:

  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,
Traci

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 pot roast for our dinner at my in-laws 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 roast for dinner, another night during the week I make a hash (minus eggs) with the left over roast.  Yum!

Even though I like making baked potatoes cooked in the slow cooker, I’m not a fan of potatoes cooked with the 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

Steps:

  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

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

Here’s 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

 

My Favorite Disney Picture

So my family has decided we are going to Walt Disney World in the beginning of April.  Yesterday we hunted for the pictures we took during our last trip to Disney in 2009 when the boys were 3 and 5.  We finally located the majority of the pictures.  There was 1 picture I really wanted to find because it is hilarious.  I was taking a picture of the German Pavilion in Epcot.  When I looked at the picture later, there was a teenager in the middle of the picture and his expression is like “Just take my picture already.”  It looks like I was taking a picture of him instead of the German pavilion.  

Here’s the picture:

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