Sunday, December 4, 2011

2011 has overstayed it's welcome....

I'm so ready for the New Year. Not because I want to make some overzealous, impossible to accomplish goal that will ultimately end up in the "to do pile" of my crazy, unorganized existence, but because this year has been so tumultuous and exhausting. I started 2011 with very high hopes. Hopes that my life was finally taking a turn in the right directions. Hopes that my wishes and dreams would finally be answered and I would be part of a real life, honest to goodness, take it to the bank FAMILY. My entire life, I have dreamed about and wished for ONE thing...that I would live in a FAMILY. I love my dad dearly, but my childhood was far from "normal". My dad spoiled me with whatever I wanted, lavished me with love and affection, but the one thing that was consistantly missing was structure. We never stayed in the same house for more than two years. I never quite new who would be joining us for Thanksgiving dinner, since my dad was fond of the ladies and when one was gone there was another in the wings to take her place. :)
I was single when I had my boys, and I still longed for that feeling of a family unit coming together, enjoying each other, sharing a bond and taking care of one another. When you want something badly enough, you tend to talk yourself into thinking it is there...even when it's not. I refused to give up on that dream, because it was a part of me, engrained deeply into my soul for as long as I could remember. Those of you know me well know that failure is not an option. I do not give up easily, especially when I feel like I am trying to do something positive for my boys.
2011 was "the year" for me...or at least I thought. I had stuck it out, fought for my beliefs, held onto my pride and won. The problem is...I won the battle...not the war. I got my way. I was married. Little did I know, that had absolutely nothing to do with getting my ultimate prize...the one I had been thinking about for 35 years...I was not any closer to having my family. :(
Now, before you say "ooohh" and "aaaahhh" and feel sorry for me, stop. Something very positive came out of that experience. What I started to realize was that I was capable of fulfilling my own dream the whole time. All this time I felt that in order to have that family that I longed for, I needed another component, the missing piece of the puzzle. When in actuality, I had all the pieces of the puzzle the whole time! I was just putting them together the wrong way. SO, with a few small adaptations and some adjustments to my thinking process, I was able to let go of years and years of this crazy belief that a family means a couple, kids, big house, 2 cars, white picket fence and summer trips to Disneyland (although I still plan on taking these lol). FAMILY, my friends, is who you surround yourself with in your darkest hours and in your most joyful moments. FAMILY loves you unconditionally, doesn't judge you, believes in and supports you. FAMILY makes you laugh and reminds you every single day that your life has meaning. My family was with me all the time, always has been, always will be. So I'm saying goodbye to 2011 and with it all my baggage and sadness. I will no longer be searching for my happiness elsewhere, for I am learning to find it within myself and I LOVE that!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Buffalo Chicken soup

chicken (recipe called for thighs but I used dark and light meat)
black beans (drained)
diced tomatoes
1 cup chicken broth
2 tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
I use a can of corn too

cook all of this in crockpot all day and then add 1/4 cup buffalo wing sauce and top with crumbled blue cheese

Sunday, October 23, 2011

So many changes...

Well, it's been a while since I've updated, and I do have some new recipes I want to share...but first thing's first. Most of you know I'm going through a divorce. The boys and I moved out a few weeks ago, and we are adjusting to our new lives and routines. Life is full of lessons, and boy have I learned a few in the past couple years!! Just to clarify, nobody did anything bad to anyone else, and this divorce is not ugly or terribly painful. We just realized, after years of trying to force a square peg into a round hole, that we are not right for each other. We are two people with two very different sets of values and ideas on how a marriage should be. Can't really fault people for being who they are. I have one very important job in this world, and that is to raise two healthy, happy boys who can live their lives feeling secure and confident about who they are. I want my boys' lives to be full of love and laughter, as well as my own, and that just wasn't possible in the environment in which we were living. Marriage has to be a mutual agreement to live your lives a certain way, and unfortunately, we never could come to that agreement. We are on very different pages, and neither of us was willing to compromise our principles when it came to certain things, soooo....we agreed that we were wasting each other's time by continuing to live the way we were living.
Having said all of this...I am boys are fine....and we will always BE fine as long as we have each other.  Our lives together started out with just the three of us, and now we find ourselves back on that path. We share a bond that can never be broken, and there is no limit to what I would do for them. We just take it...DAY BY DAY!

Monday, June 6, 2011

A few more recipes....Italian style!! :)

I love the eggplant parmesan and eggplant lasagna!  If you like eggplant you will love these, because they add something different to the diet rather than fish, chicken, salad, blah blah blah lol

Eggplant parmesan

Peel an eggplant and slice into 1/4 inch slices
dip in eggwhites and then in lowfat parmesan cheese and garlic powder (mixed together)
bake for 20-25 minutes until crispy
cover with marinara (I use the low sugar Prego brand) and bake a little longer to warm sauce

Eggplant lasagna (this takes a little longer to make but is worth it cuz you have meals for the week once you do it)

Slice the eggplant the same way and bake on a cookie sheet for 5 minutes
spray bottom of baking dish with pam
mix 1 container of FF cottage cheese with two eggs (yolks and all) and pepper
cook ground turkey in marinara sauce (season how you like..I add onion, bell pepper and garlic to mine)
put meat/sauce mixture as bottom layer in the baking dish
eggplant slices are the next layer
put a layer of fresh spinach
cottage cheese mixture next and top with LF parmesan cheese
repeat layers
cover and bake for 45-1 hour

This is yummy and very filling!

Sausage and pasta (cycle 3)

Get turkey or chicken sausage links (I love the Johnsonville spicy chicken sausage), slice it up and brown in olive oil in a big pan
add whatever veggies you like...the more the better because they work as "fillers".  I use mushrooms, bell pepper, onion and zucchini.  Brown sausage and veggies together.
Add 2 cans diced tomatoes (I like the Italian style)
simmer together

serve over any whole grain pasta
top with LF parmesan if you like

Some yummy salads salads are a staple of cycle 1, and I still try to eat salad a few times a week even now, so here are a couple favs of mine:

Greek Salad
red leaf or romaine lettuce
artichoke hearts
red onion
low fat feta cheese
add grilled chicken if you want or turkey pepperoni (which is ok on c3)
I use a salad spritzer which is a balsalmic vinegarette, but you can use olive oil and balsalmic vinegar as well

My version of a chef's salad!
green onion
hard boiled eggs
fat free cheese
butterball turkey breast
salad spritzer ranch flavor

Taco salad
ground turkey or shredded chicken breast with taco seasoning and green chilis (ortega canned)
FF cheese
FF sour cream

Couscous salad (ok on C2)
1 box far east couscous cooked in chicken brother instead of water (try to find whole grain)
dressing is 1/4 cup olive oil and 1/4 cup balsalmic vinegar
mix in dressing while still may have to break up the clumps
add whatever you like...I like cucumber, cherry tomatoes, red onion, edamame (sp?), grilled chicken, FF feta cheese.

This is a great salad to take to a bbq or potluck, because you will have something you know you can eat there! :)

What I've learned about food.

The #1 thing that I've learned about food through this diet is that it is wayyyy too important to me. Food consumes my life...still.  I'm working on that though, and I have seen improvement.  Before, I would never turn down a food I liked, because I felt like I would be depriving myself of something that I deserved. Now I know that what I deserve is to be healthy and in control of my life, which means I CHOOSE when I want to eat something and when I don't, and it doesn't have anything to do with my happiness...or at least it shouldn't.

I have also learned that food can be satisfying in small quanities. I don't need 4 pieces of pizza to be full.  I don't need 2 helpings of spaghetti to be content. I listen to my body now, and when it tells me I'm done...I'm done.

Catching up!

I haven't posted in here for a while, but now that it's summer vacation I hope to be a little more consistant. :)

Update on my weight loss:  I'm down 15lbs!!  I'm on cycle 3 of the 17 day diet and loving it!  I feel great, and I rarely have "bad" cravings anymore.  It's so true that sugar is an addiction!  The less you have, the less you want it, and the better you feel.

I weigh 154 now, which is the lowest weight I've been in about 4 years. I'm mad at myself for getting rid of all my size 8 and 9's, thinking "I'm never going to be THIS small again!"  Oh well, if not having clothes small enough is my biggest worry...I'm in good shape. lol

I have found some recipes that I really like on this diet, so I'll share a few of them on here for those of you who are interested.  Keep watching...

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Day 4 of the diet

I'm still hanging in there!! It hasn't been too difficult really.  My biggest challenge came last night.  It was DJ's birthday, so we made cupcakes (didn't even lick a finger), and he wanted breakfast burritos for dinner...which is a joyful mixture of potatoes, sausage, eggs and cheese all wrapped in a tortilla.  I dutifully cooked that dinner for my family and prepared for myself a tilapia filet and some broccoli. 

I suppose tomorrow will be equally as hard, because we are taking the entire 9th grade on a field trip, and we are feeding them pizza and snacks all day.  I plan to pack some acceptable snacks in a backpack...maybe a chicken breast for lunch.

My motivation is the scale.  I lost 3lbs in 3days.  If I can continue at this pace I won't be tempted to cheat! 

Monday, April 25, 2011

17 day diet

Ok...for those of you who are trying this diet, here is my menu for this week.  I'm looking for ideas or suggestions as well.  If you have tried something  you really like let me know...

I'm replacing coffee with green tea in the mornings.

Breakfast is a grapefruit (one of my two servings of fruit for the day) or greek yogurt with some berries or two hard boiled eggs.

Lunch will be a salad (lettuce, cucumber, carrots, red pepper and green onions) with olive oil and balsamic vinegar for dressing or tuna in lettuce wraps or cut up fresh veggies and hard boiled eggs (if I didn't have them for breakfast) Crystal light or green tea to drink.

snack: other fruit serving if before 2pm.  Veggies if not.

Dinner:  turkey burger, chicken breast or tilapia or salmon filet with some veggies.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

My Dad

This month is crazy for me!!  We have four kids doing a total of five sports. Every 9th grade student is responsible for a huge Renaissance project and paper, and we take them all on a field trip to the Renaissance Faire. It's DJ's birthday.

I'm grateful to be so busy right now, because if I wasn't I think I'd drive myself crazy worrying about my dad.  He is still having health issues related to his pacemaker.  Next week, he is traveling to Salt Lake City to have a procedure done called an Abilation (sp?).  Apparently, if this works he could feel better than he has in years.  If not...I'm not sure he'll be able to continue working like he does.  Those of you who know my dad know that this will kill him....slowly.  He works harder than anyone I know.  He works hard because his joy is found in visiting his grandchildren, and in providing things for them that they wouldn't otherwise have.  He loves to take them on special outings...camping, fishing, riding the 4-wheeler, etc.  He gets so much pleasure in coming to Boise and taking all of us out to eat!  These are the things he lives for, and he told me once without those things his life wouldn't mean a thing.

Growing old is a part of life, and it's something I'm sure my dad knows he has to accept and adjust to, but he's just not ready...we're not ready.  He still has so much to many lessons to teach. 

Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers, because I'm not sure I have the strength to do what I need to do in life without him by my side.

Ham and Potato soup

3 1/2 cups peeled and diced potatoes
1/3 cup diced celery
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup diced cooked ham
3 1/4 cups water
2 tbsp chicken bouillon granules
1/2 tspn salt
1/2 tspn pepper
5 tbsp butter
5 tbsp flour
2 cups milk

combine the potatoes, celery, onion, ham and water in a pot.  Bring to a boil, then cook over medium heat until potatoes are tender.  Stir in chicken bouillon, salt and pepper.  In a separate saucepan melt butter and whisk in flour with a fork, stirring constantly until thick, about one minute.  slowly stir in milk so lumps don't form. continue stirring over medium-low heat 4-5 minutes. stir the milk mixture into the pot with potatoes until heated through.  serve immediately.

Chicken Tortilla soup

You will need:

chicken broth (I like the kind in the carton)
white meat chicken...I use fresh chicken breasts and I boiled them and shredded the meat before adding it to the soup, but you can even used the canned chicken!
1 jar salso
diced tomatoes (I used the kind with green chilis)
corn (frozen or canned)
black beans (drained and rinsed)
fresh cilantro is optional

Combine ingredients and heat!  It's super easy and delicious.  Top with crumbled tortilla chips and shredded cheese.

Monday, February 7, 2011


I'm getting married today at 11:30.  What do brides do on the morning of their wedding day??  Trip to the spa?  Brunch with the bridesmaids?  Hours upon hours of hair and make up to ensure everything is PERFECT on the "big day"???

BZZZZZ..wrong.  I woke up at 6:30, woke kids up, loaded and started the dishwaser, began a load of towels and sheets, took four kids to two different schools, went and got a coffee, came home and switched my clothes to the drier, picked up the basement a little after yesterday's Superbowl party, and now I'm Facebooking before I have to fold the towels.

Todd is sleeping.  Guess he's not your typical "bundle of nerves" kinda groom on his wedding day. lol 

The funny thing is I am perfectly content about all of this. This is my life, and I wouldn't change one thing about it.  I guess, to me, getting married is just the final step in this journey we've been taking for the past six years. It's not going to change anything about the way we live our lives. It might add some legal/financial security to our already conjoined lives and bank accounts, but other than that I doubt much will be affected.

They say life is all about timing.  I completely agree with this.  Those who know Todd know that he drags his feet with pretty much everything he does.  I once saw him take 15 minutes to pick out deoderant.  Who does that??  Back and forth to the deoderant aisle...trying to smell it through the little plastic barrier under the lid...Axe or Adidas....hmmmm....this decision could affect my life greatly....what to do.....JESUS JUST BUY THEM BOTH!!!  lol

Todd and I are very different in that way.  I act first and ask questions later. Not a lot of forethought goes into my decisions, as evidenced by some of my more noticable blunders in life. I have learned something from Todd though....that it's ok to think things through and do it on MY time once in a while. I don't have to do things just because "everyone else is doing it" or "so and so thinks I should do it" or "what if they are upset with me for not making a decision", because ultimately it's MY life that's being affected.

I think Todd has learned a few things from me as well. It's ok to make a mistake, and if you do something that you regret later SO WHAT!  If you take chances you WILL be disappointed every now and then, but it's a helluva lot better than never taking chances at all and waking up one day to regret all of the wonderful things you let pass you by.

I think we compliment each other in this way.  Life is a journey, and I am happy to be sharing mine with someone that, after six years, still makes me laugh, teaches me things, surprises me and understands me.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

A little out of practice!

Today I have been hanging out with my little princess, Breanna! We are having a blast! There have been tea-parties, sing-alongs, more Elmo and Dora than I need to see in a day and lots of catch aka "throw and chase" with the ping pong balls!  I am getting pretty good at deciphering her language too...that really helps with her frustration levels!

Hard to believe I did this completely by myself...TWICE! lol  I had the routines down, let me tell ya!  I could do homework, clean the house, shower, cook dinner, get laundry done, grocery shop, etc. etc. etc. and I didn't even miss a beat!  Today I feel like I can't watch Breanna and do ANYTHING else!! I already owe DJ three dollars!!  "Keep an eye on Bre while I run upstairs" and "D can you please watch Dora with Bre?" and then there is the infamous, "D go get Bre's cup/bottle/binky/fill in the blank"

Honestly though, we are having such a blast with her.  We NEVER get little girls around here, and she has had us all laughing our butts off with her cute lil' self!!  Thanks Brad and Di!! Hope you are winning thousands!!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

LIfe is so unfair sometimes

Today my 14 year old son is going to his first funeral. This is a part of growing up and dealing with the more difficult aspects of reality, so I am fine with it.  However, no matter how "natural" and "real" death may be, the death of a child before a parent is just not right. Kamron is going to the funeral of his friend's sister, who died unexpectedly at 24. This family has been wonderful to Kam, and he really wants to be there for his friend and show his support, but there is this small part of me that is aching at the thought of him exposed to this cruel and unexplainable "aspect of reality".  As I was talking to him this morning about what he can expect, I told him that the hardest part of going to a funeral is not thinking about the person who passed, but seeing the overwhelming pain and sadness left behind in those who loved them the most. I told him to be prepared for that, because I can think of no greater heartache than that of a parent who has lost a child.  I have known this sadness almost my entire life...secondhand of course.  I remember my grandma telling me at a very young age that when my mother died it changed her forever.  Again, in high school when a very close friend's brother died, I watched their mother change before my eyes...almost disappearing inside herself.  Everyday is a struggle for someone who has lost a child, because you have to find reasons to stay alive when all you really want to do is be with your baby. It is a cruel existance if you ask me, and the people who are living it, and enduring that pain everyday, are stronger than the rest of us could ever even hope to be.

RIP Aubri Jo Chance and many prayers to the Bilyeu/Chance families.

Spanish Rice

A friend gave me this recipe and said I could share it on here!  I can't wait to try it.


1 cup rice
...1 lb. hamburger
1 onion size of egg
2 cups diced celery
2 tsp barbecue spice mix
1 can tomato sauce (no. 303 can)
1 green pepper

Rice in boiling water, bring to boil, set aside. DO NOT STIR RICE, keep well covered
for an hour. Saute onion, celery and green pepper till done or clear. Brown meat in
separate pan, then mix together. Add tomato sauce and simmer till rice is done. Mix all together and bake one hour in slow oven. (325 degrees).

Be sure to cook the rice until done. Sometimes setting it aside as stated, it does not get cooked through so check to be sure.

We always make a double or triple batch as this heats up well for left overs or lunches. Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Today I served root beer floats to my classes.  They earned it, and I was happy to do something nice for them to reward their hard work.  However, I have to say I was a bit annoyed with the bad manners of some of them. :(

For the most part, my kids were very thankful and appreciative; saying thank-you and cleaning up after themselves.  There were a few, however, that don't seem to know the meaning of the word "polite".  I wonder what some of the parents would say had they seen the rude behaviors that I witnessed.

To start off, there were a few that complained about what I was giving them.  I heard, "I hate root beer", "do you have any other kind of ice cream besides vanilla??" and even, "You should have asked us what we wanted". 

Then there were those who spilled and didn't even bother cleaning up after themselves!  I had plenty of napkins and even wet wipes, but they chose to just leave it for the next person to take care of. 

Like I said...the majority of my kids are awesome, and they were genuinely appreciative.  It's just too bad that a few "rotten apples" have to spoil the bunch!


Chuck roast (I use two but I like to freeze a pan of enchiladas too)
beef broth
Ortega green chiles (in the can)
tortillas (flour or corn, I use both)
cheese (Cheddar and Jack)
red enchilada sauce

I cook the roast in the crockpot with the beef broth, chopped cilantro and chopped onions all day (1 hour on high and 6-8 hours on low)  It will shred easily when it's done.  I shred it and put it back in the juices on warm while I prepare the rest of the items.  I pour enchilada sauce into a baking dish that is large enough to dip the tortillas in.  I warm my tortillas prior to rolling them.  This keeps them from coming open or tearing.  You can use a tortilla warmer or just the stove top if you don't have one.  After warming the tortilla, I dip it into the sauce and lay it in a baking dish (the one I'm going to use to cook them) while I fill with shredded beef mixture and top with cheese.  Then, I roll the enchiladas and lay them side by side till the pan is full.  I pour more sauce on top of the rolled enchiladas (because we like them saucier) and then top with more cheese.  I also top with black olives, but that's a personal choice. I cover the pans with foil and heat for around 45 minutes at 375.

For shredded chicken enchiladas the process is very similar, except I boil the chicken breasts in a pan of water and shred them.  Once the meat is shredded, I put it back in the pan with green chile sauce, cilantro and green onions and let the mixture simmer.  I also use the green enchilada sauce and flour tortillas only when rolling them.  I usually only use Monterey Jack cheese for these, but I'm sure cheddar would be great too. 

Both of these are yummy and a big hit in our house!   It's quite a lot of work though, so that's why it's good to freeze some if you are going to go through all the work to make them!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Chile Rellanos (sp??)

6-12 large, roasted and peeled chiles (Anaheim or Poblano are the ones I've used)
3-6 large eggs (approx. 1 egg for 2 chiles)
1/4 cup flour
Brick of cheese cut into 1/4 inch thick rectangles as long as the chile (I use Monterey Jack)
Deep fryer or a large pan with 2 inches of oil

Roast and peel the chiles.
Slice them about halfway down, scrape the seeds and membrane out, trying not to tear the chile.
Place a slice in the chile, but make sure the edges still come together.
Coat the chiles with flour.
Batter:  Mix 3-6 egg whites until stiff. Fold in the yolks and some salt and pepper.
Dip the chiles in the batter and then put into the hot oil.  Cook until they are a crisp, golden brown.
Remove the excess oil with a paper towel.

These are delicious!

This chili is DA BOMB!!!

onion soup mix
1/4 cup bacon grease
2lbs round steak
2lbs sirloin steak
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp pepper
1 can tomato paste (6oz)
1 can tomato sauce (8oz)
2 tsp unsweetened cocoa
1 cup coke or pepsi
1 tbsp hot sauce (I use Tobasco)
3-4 cans of beans undrained (I use black, pinto and kidney)
2 lg cans refried beans

Prepare the soup and set aside 1 1/2 cups
cut steak into small pieces and brown in bacon grease
pour in soup and let simmer for around 10 min
stir in salt, chili powder, cumin, pepper, beans, tom paste and tom sauce
bring to a boil
cover and simmer for 1-2 hours stirring occasionally
stir in cocoa, coke/pepsi and hot sauce
simmer 30 more minutes

Todd likes ground beef in his chili, so I usually add around 1 1/2 lbs ground beef with the steak and brown in the bacon grease. It's good that way too, but I like with just the steak better.

I usually double this recipe, because there are a lot of us, and we like to have the chili for leftovers or freeze some for later.

MLK day

I think it's important on 3 day weekends to try and keep in perspective WHY we are home in our PJ's at 1:00 pm, watching Lifetime movies and making mental lists of all the things we SHOULD be doing with this extra down time.

So as I was talking to DJ about the Rev. Dr. King, and listening to him tell me all of his wonderful accomplishments he learned about in school, I made sure he knows that we have a lot to be thankful for in our family.  I told him there was a time when Black people and White people were really not supposed to love each other and have children together, and because of MLK, I was able to have a child with his father and now I have him!  After thinking about this for a moment...DJ said, "Well I guess I have 3 reasons to be grateful to MLK. First, that you are my mom, Second, that I can use whatever drinking fountain I want, and Third, I don't have to go to school today!" 

That pretty much sums it up!  :)

Date Night

Funny how this whole "date night" concept changes as we get older.  First of all, movies are picked based on the times they are shown.  There is NO WAY I am making it past 11 at the movie theater...that's a given.  Where we are eating dictates which theater we are going to, which in turn dictates the time, so basically food controls our entire night.  Surprised?  I'm not. 

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Adding one to my crockpot post!

Pot Roast

Chuck Roast
1 lg bottle V8 juice
fresh garlic
fresh jalapenos

Cook roast and veggies in V8 juice on high for 1 hour and on low for 6-8 hours. Add finely chopped garlic, jalapenos and cilantro for last two hours.  This pot roast has a "kick" to it that makes it unique from others I've tried.

Crockpot recipes I can't live without!!

French Dips are a household favorite around here and SOOOOO easy!

Chuck Roast (I usually do two, because we have a lot of mouths to feed!)
Onion soup mix
your favorite seasonings
2 pkg aus jus
your favorite rolls or buns (we use sourdough hoagie rolls)

Follow the directions on the soup mix packet and put in the crockpot on high.  Add roast(s) seasoned to your liking.  I use seasoned salt, garlic salt and garlic pepper.  Cook on high 1 hour, and then turn to low and cook 6-8 hours.  Take roasts out of crockpot and shred with two forks (it will just fall apart at this point), removing fat.  I then put the meat back in the soup mix and let it simmer while preparing the aus jus and grilling some onions for the french dips.  You can warm your rolls up in the oven, add cheese if you want, and then pile with tender roast beef and dip in the aus jus!  You won't be dissapointed!

Pulled Pork

1 14 oz can beef broth
3lbs boneless pork ribs
1 bottle bbq sauce

Pour broth into slow cooker
add ribs (seasoned)
cook on high 4 hours
shred the pork and put back into crockpot (drain the broth first) on low with the bbq sauce.  Simmer until hot.
Serve on rolls or buns.

Roasted whole chicken
Whole chickens (I do two at a time so I can use the leftover chicken for something else)
wash inside and out and rub with olive oil
Season to your liking
I add a half of an onion to the cavity
make three small tin foil balls and place them on the bottom of your crockpot so the chickens will not stick to the bottom
cook on high 1 hr and low for 8-10 more

Side salad and appetizer recipes I love!

Chinese Chicken Salad

2 heads cabbage or lettuce
1 bunch green onions
4 chicken breasts (shredded)
2/3 c slivered almonds
6 tbsp sesame seeds
2 pkg ramen noodles

4 tbsp sugar
2/3 cup sesame salad oil (olive oil works too)
1/2 rice vinegar
1/2 tsp pepper
2 flavor packets from ramen noodles

Brown almonds in 3 tbsp butter.  Remove and brown sesame seeds.  Set aside.
Make dressing.  Mix all ingredients together and refridgerate.  Chop lettuce and green onion.  Add almonds and sesame seeds when cool.  Mix lightly.  Right before serving, crumble noodles and mix through salad.  Add dressing a little at a time and mix gently.

This salad is a hit at any function.  Advice:  Don't try to save.  The noodles get soft and the lettuce gets soggy.  Nasty!

Italian Pasta Salad
2 boxes multi-colored rotini pasta
1 bottle Italian dressing of your choice
Salad supreme seasoning
Pepperoni (I use turkey pepperoni)
Cheese (I use cheddar and mozzarella)
red bell pepper
green bell pepper
red onion
black olives

Cook pasta and rinse well with cold water.  Finely chop vegetables and pepperoni.  Cut cheese into small squares. Mix everything together with dressing and season generously with salad supreme and pepper. Chill 1 hour before serving.

Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms
3 hot Italian sausages, casings removed
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp garlic powder
8 oz cream cheese (room temp)
1 large egg yolk
olive oil
24-38 mushrooms (depending on size) cleaned and stemmed

Mix all ingrediants together and rub mushrooms with olive oil. Cook until heated all the way through.

Crack in a crockpot!
1lb ground turkey
Frank's hot sauce
1 pkg Ranch dip
1 container sour cream
1 8oz pkg cream cheese

Brown ground turkey, drain and put in crockpot with other ingredients.  Just add hot sauce to taste.  Cook on low until creamy.  Serve with chips.  My favorite is the Fritos Scoops!  Beware: This is addicting!!


I decided to jump on board the 21st century and give blogging a try.  I am hoping to use it as a way to share things with those who are close to me; things like favorite recipes, poems, anecdotes and vents!  I'm learning as a go, so be patient with me, and please let me know if I should do something differently.