Eat New Challenge

It’s been a long time. I have taken the word “slacker” to a whole new level. Don’t think I haven’t missed you, I have. The summer got off to a rocky start in my house. Including gall bladder surgery for me, followed by recovery. All with my poor kids being home on their, oh so short, summer break.

We’ve been back to school for over a month now. It’s hard to believe!

With getting back into my groove, I have decided to try something new. First, let me remind everyone that I grocery shop on Fridays, so my menu plans normally cover Friday through the following Thursday. Because weekends are unpredictable (which is allowed for in my planning), I have decided to challenge myself to eat something new for supper each day starting Sunday, going through Thursday!

After scouring my pinned recipes, this is the menu (with links to the recipes) that I plan on preparing for my family.

Sunday – Kentucky Fried Chicken (copycat), Red Lobster biscuits, and jalapeno corn dip

Monday – Corndogs, probably with some green beans and fries, unless something else sparks my interest!

Tuesday – Crock Pot Carnitas (with rice). This is a link to the Pin, the recipe is listed there.

Wednesday – Cuban beef with baked avocado fries

Thursday – Tuscan Tortellini Soup

This week’s dessert – Vanilla Bean Cream Pie, probably will be made on Sunday!

So there you have it! Finally, my Pinterest time has come in handy ūüėČ They all looked sooo delicious! I figure my kids will be the most excited about Monday…and probably Sunday.

I’m looking forward to all the new flavors, and, if this coming week goes well, maybe I’ll give it another try the next week!

Now I challenge you to try something new. Maybe one of the recipes I’m trying out, or another one you’ve had tucked away. If you accept the Eat New Challenge, I’d love to hear from you, leave a comment and let me know the outcome!

Thanks for stopping by! ~Kim~

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Chicken Pot Pie, Anyone?

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My kids have been begging me to buy chicken pot pie.¬† I made the mistake of buying the frozen, pop-in-the-oven pie when I was suffering from morning sickness.¬† It’s salty, processed and of course my kids loved it. I don’t know about you but I try to limit my processed foods as much as I can without going to extremes. I just feel better serving my family food when I know what the ingredients are and how to pronounce them. My answer? If I can make it from scratch I often do.

I remembered making chicken pot pie in the past, but it had been a while.¬† Once I decided to add it to my weekly menu, I started thinking about how to go about making it. I looked through some recipes, suggestions, and tried to recall what I did the last time (because I didn’t write it down, despite my husband’s frequent suggestions any time I make a new recipe). This is the result…

Best Ever Chicken Pot Pie

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2 unbaked pie crusts for 9″ pie plate

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed

2 – 12 oz pkgs frozen mixed vegetables

2 tsp chicken bouillon

1/3 cup chopped onion

1/3 cup butter

1 tsp poultry seasoning

1/4 tsp celery seed

1/3 cup flour

2/3 cup milk

salt and pepper

Heat oven to 425¬į. Put the chicken and one bag of veggies in a pot and fill with water until just covered. Boil for 15 minutes. Drain, reserving 2 cups of broth (to make gravy). Add 2 tsp bouillion to broth, stir and set aside until later.

In a skillet heat butter, add onion, cook about 2 minutes. Add the poultry seasoning and celery seed continue cooking until onion is tender. Stir in flour. Slowly add reserved broth. It will get lumpy, keep stirring, it will get better. Slowly add milk. Continue cooking/stirring until mixture thickens; about 1 minute after mixture begins to boil.

Now you need to mix together the chicken, vegetables (adding the second bag of veggies at this time), and gravy. Add salt and pepper to taste. I used a large mixing bowl for this part; do what works for you!

Pour mixture into the prepared bottom pie crust. Cover with the top crust, seal edges, and cut a slit for steam to escape.

Bake until nicely browned, about 30 minutes. Let it sit for a few minutes, then slice and serve!

A couple of side notes: 1. I used frozen vegetables, but you could substitute any variety fresh or frozen that you prefer. 2. Your favorite pie crust recipe will work great, but if you prefer, you could use frozen crust

And there you have it, a tasty substitute for a frozen food favorite!

Don’t forget to find me on Facebook and Twitter!

I haven’t been able to get in my sewing room for a week now, but I promise an easy sewing project is coming!¬† I am also going to be starting a new quilt for R (my 8 yo), that I can’t wait to share!

What new recipes have you tried?¬† Are you working on any crafty project?¬† I’d love to hear from you!

Mexican Flavor Made Easy

Hi all! Just thought I’d take a few to share an easy Mexican-style dish with you.¬† I mentioned that I made this recipe last week¬†to my Facebook followers, and¬†they requested¬†I share!

This is great to make the night before a busy day. My husband and kids love it, and although we started calling in Mexican Lasagne, it is actually called Mexican Manicotti! I found this years ago in a Taste of Home magazine, and it has been a staple in our home ever since. Here it goes…..

Mexican Manicotti

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 can (16 ounces) refried beans
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 package (8 ounces) uncooked manicotti shells
  • 2-1/2 cups water
  • 1 jar (16 ounces) picante sauce
  • 2 cups (16 ounces) sour cream
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack or Mexican cheese blend
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions
  • Sliced ripe olives, optional (but extra tasty!)

In a large bowl, combine the uncooked beef, beans, chili powder and oregano. Spoon into uncooked manicotti shells.  (I think it would also work to fill a pastry bag and using only the coupler, squirt the mixture into the shells.)  Then arrange in a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. I always have a little of the meat mixture left over that I just spread on top of the shells in the pan.  Next mix together the water and picante sauce and pour over shells. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking,¬†so your dish doesn’t shatter when you place it in the flaming hot oven ūüėČ Cover and bake at 350¬į for 1 hour. Uncover, then spread sour cream over the top. Sprinkle with cheese, onions and olives. Bake¬†until the cheese is melted.¬†¬† It serves¬†about 8 adults.

I have to say, that it doesn’t look very pretty coming out of the oven, but don’t let looks fool you, it tastes really good.¬† I like to serve it with some salsa or a side of guacamole (a great way to sneak in some good-for-you vegetables for the kiddos!).

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do!  Do you have any recipes for great make-ahead meals?

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