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Zuppa Tuscana Soup (Olive Garden CopyCat) Recipe

zuppa tuscana 2ps label

Zuppa Tuscana soup from the Olive Garden is my absolute favorite soup in the world. However, packing up my family of 6 every time I am craving it, is just not feasible.  Thank goodness I have discovered this amazing copycat recipe. Not only is this soup everything I hoped for but it is even better! I love that I can add extra Kale and Potatoes to make it a bit more hardy. Add some freshly grated Parmesan cheese and this soup is simply divine!

Zuppa Tuscana Soup (Olive Garden CopyCat) Recipe
Author: 
Cuisine: Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 1 pound Italian sausage
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 large white onion, diced
  • 3 large Russet potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 4 slices bacon chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups Water
  • 1 cup Heavy cream (I use 2% for less fat)
  • 3 cups Kale, washed and roughly chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Parmigiana Cheese
Instructions
  1. In a medium skillet, saute the Italian sausage with the red pepper flakes. (If you want your soup to be more spicy use “hot” Italian Sausage and add 1½ tsp of red pepper flakes)
  2. In a large pot, saute the bacon. When the bacon is half way cooked, add the onions and garlic. Saute until the onions are tender (about 5 minutes).
  3. Add the chicken broth and water and bring to a boil.
  4. Add the potatoes and cook until soft, about 10 minutes.
  5. Add in the heavy cream and sausage and cook until the soup is heated.
  6. Stir in the chopped kale. Season with salt and pepper. Serve hot.
  7. Grate some fresh parmigiana cheese atop and enjoy :)

 zuppa tuscana pinterest

 

 

Sweet and Spicy Chili Recipe (stovetop or crockpot)

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We are trying to eat down our freezer and pantry stockpile right now so I decided to see what I had to make for lunch and this is what I came up with…Sweet and Spicy Chili, Corn Bread and fresh salad!!!! YUMMY!!!

Just in case you are curious of my own personal recipe here it is…just for YOU!!!

Sweet and Spicy Chili Recipe
Prep. 5 min Cook Time: 45 min

  • 1 lb ground beef (today I did ground beef only)
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 5 cloves chopped garlic
  • 1 diced jalapeno pepper
  • 2 tsp jalapeno juice
  • 1-2 cans kidney beans (we don’t really like beans so I only use 1 can)
  • 2 cans Italian Tomatoes
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 3 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar or honey
  • 1 tsp tabasco
  • Optional toppings: Cheese, sour cream, green onion, corn bread crumble.
Directions:
  1. Saute onions and garlic in a pan with olive oil. Add ground beef and turkey. Cook until browned.
  2. Add Italian tomatoes, tomato sauce, jalapenos, kidney beans, chili powder, cumin, brown sugar/honey, and tabasco. Let all ingredients simmer for about 30-40 minutes.
  3. Serve with cheddar cheese, sour cream, and corn bread crumble!!! Delicious!!!!

***You can do this same recipe in the crockpot…just brown your meat with onions and garlic. Add all ingredients to the crock pot and cook on high for 4-6 hours!

My Favorite Fall Recipe for Chicken Cordon Bleu and Italian Hash!

 

Chicken Cordon Bleu and Italian Hash

Ingredients: 

  • 4-5 halved chicken breasts, pounded as thin as possible
  • 3 cups bread crumbs
  • 8 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 5 slices Prochutta Ham, or ham of choice
  • 1-2 cups grated Gruyere Cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 cups flour
  • Olive Oil
  • Kosher Salt and Pepper
Directions:
  1. Take a sheet of plastic wrap and loosely wrap chicken breast. Pound out chicken breasts until thin (approximately twice the original size. Keep wrapped in plastic wrap.)
  2. Mix flour, pinch of salt and pepper in bowl.
  3. Mix together in a seperate bowl, bread crumbs, three sprigs of thyme (pull leaves off sprigs) minced garlic, and butter. Add a pinch of salt and pepper to mixture.
  4. In another bowl mix eggs and milk. Add a pinch of salt and pepper to mixture.
  5. Take chicken out of plastic wrap and place one piece of thinly sliced prosciutto ham and sprinkle about 2 tbsp worth of gruyere cheese. Take the edge of the plastic wrap and begin to pull back to roll chicken, twist the sides of the plastic wrap until chicken is rolled tightly into a cylinder. Repeat for all pieces of chicken.
  6. Place chicken cylinders on a plate and let sit in the fridge for about 20 minutes.
  7. Take chicken out of the fridge and unroll cylinders (it should hold its shape nicely) Coat chicken in flour, roll in egg mixture (make sure all the flour is covered). Next coat chicken in bread mixture evenly. Repeat all steps until all of the chicken is done. Place chicken in a oven safe pan, sprinkle olive oil over the top of the chicken to help brown and place in the oven for 25 minutes at 350 degrees.
  8. Optional: Serve with Cranberry Chutney (3 cups cranberries, 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup sugar) Cook down in sauce pan.
Prep. Time: 40 minutes                   Cook Time: 25 minutes                      Difficulty: Medium
italian hash

Italian Potato and Bacon Hash

Ingredients:

  •  3-4 cups brussels sprouts
  • 1 red onion or 1 cup red pearl onion
  • 3-4 cups fingerling potatoes (you can also use red or yellow potatoes instead)
  • 4-6 slices bacon
  • 5 sprigs whole fresh thyme
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cans chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • Salt and pepper

Directions: 

  1. Cut bacon into small pieces. Drizzle olive oil on the bottom of the pan, place bacon pieces and whole thyme sprigs in pan. Cook bacon until crispy.
  2. Take cooked bacon and thyme and put aside. Use the drippings from the pan to cook veggies.
  3. While bacon is cooking, cut brussels sprouts in halves, chop onion into large pieces (or onion pearls in halves) cut potatoes into like size pieces.
  4. Place brussels sprouts, onion, and potatoes in pan with bacon drippings. Add a pinch of salt, pepper, and a sprinkle of a little sugar over veggies. Stir constantly.
  5. Once the veggies have cooked down are are softening (about 15 minutes), add chicken broth.
  6. Once broth has cooked down and veggies are nice and soft. Add balsamic vinegar and sprinkle a little more sugar. Add bacon bits (make sure to remove thyme sprigs) and let simmer until caramelized.
  7. Serve with Chicken Cordon Bleu and Cranberry Chutney!!!
Prep. Time: 10 minutes                   Cook Time: 45 minutes                      Difficulty: Easy-Medium 

Weekly Meal Plan…Yummy Shredded Chicken Enchiladas, HOT soup and BBQ Pork and Chicken Pot Pie!

Photo Credit

Shredded Chicken Enchiladas

Ingredients:

3 cups cooked shredded chicken
Salt and pepper
2 tsp cumin powder
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp Mexican Spice Blend (or fajita/taco mix)
1 cup onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (28-ounce) can stewed tomatoes
2 cups sour cream
1 can Cream of Chicken Soup
8 corn tortillas
1 cup shredded Cheddar and Jack cheeses
Garnish: chopped cilantro leaves, chopped scallions, sour cream, olives

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Saute onions and garlic in olive oil, once onions are transparent add cooked shredded chicken. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. In a sauce pan combine Cream of Chicken soup, sour cream, stewed tomatoes, cumin, garlic powder, chili powder and Mexican spices. Add 1/2 cup of sauce mixture to Chicken. Cook over low heat for 5 minutes.
  4. Pour 1 cup of sauce in the bottom of a glass casserole dish. Place 1 tortilla at a time in dish, pour equal amounts of chicken mixture in tortillas and roll closed. Repeat for each tortilla.
  5. Slather tortillas with remaining sauce mixture. Cover with cheese.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes.

Prep. Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 30 minutes Difficulty: Easy

 

Country Style BBQ Pork

Ingredients:

  • 3-5 pounds Pork Shoulder Country Ribs (best deal at Price Chopper this week)
  • 1 bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce
  • 4 cloves garlic, whole
  • Salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Place pork in a large pot of water with 3 cloves of garlic and boil for approximately 45 minutes.
  3. Drain water and place pork in a baking dish and slather generously with BBQ sauce. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes.

Prep. Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 45 minutes Difficulty: Easy 

Cabbage and Kielbasa Soup

Ingredients:

    • 1 1/2 cup diced Kielbasa
    • 1 head of cabbage chopped
    • 2 cans of Chicken broth (or 2 cubes chicken bouillon)
    • 2 cups of water
    • 2-3 tbsp Butter
    • Salt and Pepper
    • 1 finely chopped onion
    • 1 clove diced garlic
Directions:
  1. Drizzle 2 tbsp Olive Oil in a Dutch Oven. Saute chopped Kielbasa until browned. Saute Finely chop 1 onion and garlic until almost translucent. Add chopped cabbage and saute until soft.
  2. Add Chicken broth and water to mixture. Bring to a boil. Let simmer for approximately 10 minutes.
Prep Time: 10 min                      Cook Time: 20 min                         Difficulty: easy

 

Homemade Chicken Pot Pie

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • 1 cup sliced celery
  • 1/2 cup onion
  • 3 garlic clove minced
  • 1 cup frozen peas and or corn
  • 2 cups cooked, diced chicken breast
  • 1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 homemade or store bought pie crusts

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. In 1-2 tbsp butter Saute carrots, onions, and celery until soft.
  3. In a bowl combine the mixed vegetables, chicken, cream of chicken soup and milk. Pour mixture into one of the pie crusts and then top with the second crust.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

Weekly Meal 11/5 – 11/10…Butternut Squash Soup, Chicken Pot Pie, Lemon Chicken, BBQ Pork, and Cream of Mushroom Soup!!!

 

Homemade Chicken Pot Pie

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. In 1-2 tbsp butter Saute carrots, onions, and celery until soft.
  3. In a bowl combine the mixed vegetables, chicken, cream of chicken soup and milk. Pour mixture into one of the pie crusts and then top with the second crust.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

 

Country Style BBQ Pork

Ingredients:

  • 3-5 pounds Pork Shoulder Country Ribs (best deal at Price Chopper this week)
  • 1 bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce
  • 4 cloves garlic, whole
  • Salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Place pork in a large pot of water with 3 cloves of garlic and boil for approximately 45 minutes.
  3. Drain water and place pork in a baking dish and slather generously with BBQ sauce. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes.

Prep. Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 45 minutes Difficulty: Easy 

Cream of Mushroom Soup

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 cups sliced fresh mushrooms, portabella tastes best!
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans chicken broth
  • 1 cup half-and-half cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper

Directions

  1. In a large saucepan, saute onion in butter until tender and transparent.  Add mushrooms and saute until tender. Add flour to create a rue.
  2. Stir broth into the mushroom mixture. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Reduce heat.
  3. Stir in the cream, salt and pepper. Simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes, stirring often.

Lemon Chicken

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken breast or chicken tenders
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose unbleached flour
  • Coarse salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon white or rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice (or 1 cup lemon curd)
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth or stock
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced or 20 blades fresh chives, finely chopped (optional)

Directions

  1. Coat the chunked chicken lightly in flour, seasoned with a little salt. Heat a large skillet or a wok-shaped nonstick pan over high heat. Stir fry chicken until golden, 3 or 4 minutes. Remove chicken from the pan and return pan to heat. Reduce heat to medium.
  2. Add a splash of vinegar to the pan and let it evaporate. Add stock or broth to the pan and scrape up any drippings with a whisk. Add lemon juice to broth and whisk to combine. Add chicken back to the pan and simmer for 1 to 2 minutes to thicken sauce and finish cooking chicken pieces through. Remove the pan from heat, add the scallions or chives and zest, and toss chicken pieces well to combine zest and scallions or chives evenly throughout the sauce.
Prep Time: 5 minutes                                                   Cook Time: 25 minutes  

Savory Butternut Squash Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 Butternut Squash, chopped
  • 2 Sweet Potatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Carrots, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Celery, chopped
  • 2 cups Chicken Broth
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3/4 cup Butter
  • 3 tbsp fresh Sage, diced
  • 3 tbsp Seasoning blend (approx. 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp chili powder, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp black pepper, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp fennel, 1 tsp coriander…blended finely together)
  • 1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/4 cup dark Molasses
  • 3 tbsp white sugar
  • 1/2 cup cream or milk (optional)
Directions:
  1. Pre-Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cut squash, sweet potatoes, and carrots into 1 inch pieces. Meanwhile melt butter over medium heat, and add Balsamic Vinegar, molasses, sugar, and sage to melted butter.
  3. Add diced veggies to sauce mixture. Season with your special seasoning blend, salt and pepper. (if you don’t have all of the spices for the seasoning blend, the most important flavors are cumin, chili powder and cinnamon)
  4. Saute Veggies in mixture for about 2 minutes or until evenly coated. Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 30 minutes or until tender.
  5. Pour 1/2 cup olive oil into a dutch oven, saute onions and celery with the cinnamon stick, salt and pepper. Once tender, remove cinnamon stick and add chicken broth.
  6. Take squash mixture out of the oven and add to the dutch oven. Let simmer for 15 minutes (or until flavors are well combined).
  7. This step is optional…you can chose to serve it hardy as is or ladle veggies and broth mixture into a blender add a dash (1/4 cup) cream and blend. Repeat until all the soup is blended.
Prep Time: 10 min                      Cook Time: 30 min                         Difficulty: Medium

Weekly Meal Plan!!! Soup, Salad, Pasta and more yumminess!!!

Chicken, Artichoke and Bacon Pizza

Ingredients:

3-4 slices of bacon, cut into bite size pieces
1 cup cooked chicken, chopped into bite size pieces
1/2 cup onion, chopped into thin strings
3/4 cup artichoke hearts, roughly chopped
1 cup parmigiana cheese
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
2 tbsp olive oil
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
Pizza dough (made from scratch or pre-made)

Directions:

  1. Pre-Heat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Make pizza dough or lay out pre-made pizza dough.
  3. Cook diced bacon over medium heat until crispy. Then cook chicken and onions in the rendered bacon fat.
  4. Mix olive oil and minced garlic in a bowl and spread around entire pizza. Mix the parmigiana and mozzarella cheese in a bowl and cover the pizza with half of the mixture.
  5. Add cooked chicken, bacon and onions on top as well as the chopped artichokes.
  6. Cover with the remaining cheese mixture.

Prep. Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 25 minutes Difficulty: Easy

Shredded Chicken Enchiladas

Ingredients:

3 cups cooked shredded chicken
Salt and pepper
2 tsp cumin powder
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp Mexican Spice Blend (or fajita/taco mix)
1 cup onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (28-ounce) can stewed tomatoes
2 cups sour cream
1 can Cream of Chicken Soup
8 corn tortillas
1 cup shredded Cheddar and Jack cheeses
Garnish: chopped cilantro leaves, chopped scallions, sour cream, olives

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Saute onions and garlic in olive oil, once onions are transparent add cooked shredded chicken. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. In a sauce pan combine Cream of Chicken soup, sour cream, stewed tomatoes, cumin, garlic powder, chili powder and Mexican spices. Add 1/2 cup of sauce mixture to Chicken. Cook over low heat for 5 minutes.
  4. Pour 1 cup of sauce in the bottom of a glass casserole dish. Place 1 tortilla at a time in dish, pour equal amounts of chicken mixture in tortillas and roll closed. Repeat for each tortilla.
  5. Slather tortillas with remaining sauce mixture. Cover with cheese.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes.

Prep. Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 30 minutes Difficulty: Easy

Angel’s Primavera Pasta Salad

Ingredients:

1 Chicken Breast
Sweet Colored Peppers
Red Onion or Sweet Walla Walla Onion
Olives
Roma Tomatoes
Fresh Sweet Basil
Lemon
Italian Salad Dressing
Parmesan Cheese
Noodle of choice (I recommend bow tie, spiral or mini penne)

Directions:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook your pasta until soft.
  2. Split chicken breast in half and season with salt and pepper (and/or poultry seasoning) and rub with 1/4 cup Lemon juice. Saute or grill for approximately 5 min or until cooked throughout.
  3. Cut colored peppers and tomatoes in 1/4 inch pieces. Dice onions finely. Now roughly chop basil and add to boil with veggies.
  4. Zest one Lemon and the squeeze approximately 2 tbsp of juice from that lemon. Mix all of the veggies, lemon, lemon zest and olives together in a boil. Add cooked noodles to all of the veggies.
  5. Shred cooked chicken with two forks. Add to bowl with veggies and pasta.
  6. Add 1 cup of your favorite Italian Salad dressing and stir well.
  7. Top with Parmesan Cheese.
  8. Place in the refrigerator and serve chilled.

Prep Time: 10 min Cook Time: 10 min Difficulty: Easy

Cream of Mushroom Soup

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 cups sliced fresh mushrooms, portabella tastes best! (great price at Costco or Safeway)
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans chicken broth
  • 1 cup half-and-half cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper

Directions

  1. In a large saucepan, saute onion in butter until tender and transparent.  Add mushrooms and saute until tender. Add flour to create a rue.
  2. Stir broth into the mushroom mixture. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Reduce heat.
  3. Stir in the cream, salt and pepper. Simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes, stirring often.

 

Chicken Apple Arugula Feta Cheese Salad

(yes my kids will eat this!) 
Ingredients

  •  Olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, peeled and sliced
  • 1 1/2 lb skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • Salt
  • 1 tart green apple, thinly sliced
  • Baby arugula leaves (spinach or spring mix will work as well if you want a cheaper alternative)
  • 1/4 cup candied pecans or walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup Feta cheese – broken up into little pieces
  • Lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Heat stick-free frying pan to medium heat. Add a tablespoon of olive oil and lightly sauté the shallot slices until translucent. Remove from pan. Add another tablespoon of olive oil and cook the chicken breast pieces, stirring occasionally, until just cooked through – 5 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle some salt on the chicken while you are cooking it. Remove from pan and chill.
  2. When chicken has cooled, toss together in a serving bowl the shallots, chicken, sliced green apple, arugula, pecans/walnuts and feta cheese. Dress with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.

Yummy Meal Plan This Week!!! Excited for ALL my dinners this week!!!

Sweet and Spicy Chili Recipe

Prep. 5 min Cook Time: 45 min

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 5 cloves chopped garlic
  • 1 diced jalapeno pepper
  • 2 tsp jalapeno juice
  • 1-2 cans kidney beans (we don’t really like beans so I only use 1 can)
  • 2 cans Italian Tomatoes
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 3 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar or honey
  • 1 tsp tabasco
  • Optional toppings: Cheese, sour cream, green onion, corn bread crumble.
Directions:
  1. Saute onions and garlic in a pan with olive oil. Add ground beef and turkey. Cook until browned.
  2. Add Italian tomatoes, tomato sauce, jalapenos, kidney beans, chili powder, cumin, brown sugar/honey, and tabasco. Let all ingredients simmer for about 30-40 minutes.
  3. Serve with cheddar cheese, sour cream, and corn bread crumble!!! Delicious!!!!

“Stockpile” Cheesy Chicken Penne

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 box penne pasta
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 8 ounces each), halved horizontally
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
  • 6 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 6 cups whole milk (I cheat and use coconut milk, b/c it thickens well with less fat, plus I can get it for free often)
  • 10 ounces white or mini portabella mushrooms, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup sliced oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded provolone (6 ounces) or a mixed shredded cheese mix is fine
  • 1 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan (about 6 ounces)
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 400. Butter two shallow 2-quart baking dishes. If you’re going to freeze one, use a disposable foil pan.  In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta 3 minutes short of al dente; drain pasta and set aside.
  2. While pasta is boiling, heat oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Season chicken with salt and pepper; cook until opaque throughout, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Halve each piece lengthwise, then thinly slice crosswise.  While chicken pan is still hot, toss the mushrooms in and saute until golden brown (3-4 minutes).  Use a little extra olive oil if needed.
  3. In a 5-quart Dutch oven or heavy pot , melt butter over medium. Add flour and garlic; cook, whisking, 1 minute (to make a rue). While whisking constantly, gradually add milk; bring to a simmer.  Keep whisking frequently as sauce thickens, about 1 minute more. Add mushrooms and tomatoes; cook 1 minute. Take the pan off the heat and and gradually stir in provolone and 1/2 cup Parmesan.
  4. Add chicken and pasta to pot; season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide pasta mixture between baking dishes.  If freezing, place remaining Parmesan cheese in a zip-top baggie.  If cooking, sprinkle on top.
  5. Bake, uncovered, until top is golden and bubbling, about 25 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
  6. Freezer instructions: To freeze, prepare through step 4 and then let pasta cool.  Cover pan well with plastic wrap.  Place extra cheese in baggie (for topping) on top and then cover entire pan well with foil.  Freeze for up to 3 months.  To bake, preheat oven to 400.  Remove foil and plastic from pan and set cheese baggie aside.  Place foil back on pan and bake for about 1 1/2 hours.  Remove foil, stir pasta, and top with cheese.  Return pan to oven and bake for an additional 15 minutes or until mixture is hot and bubbly throughout. :)
Lasagna Soup (slow cooker recipe)
Ingredients
  • 1 package Italian sausage, cut into bite-sized pieces (remove casings)
  • 1 large onions, diced
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbsp fresh or dried oregano
  • 1 (6 oz) can tomato paste (optional, I don’t use tomato paste)
  • 2 (15 oz) cans petite diced tomatoes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups rotini pasta
  • 1 cup container Ricotta cheese, for topping (optional)
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, for topping (optional)
 Directions
  1. In a large slow cooker, combine the sausage, onion, garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes, tomato paste, diced tomatoes, bat leaves, and broth.
  2. Cook on low for 8-9 hours.
  3. During the last 30 minutes of cooking, add in pasta.
  4. When ready to serve, preheat broiler. Dish up soup into oven-proof bowls.
  5. Top each bowl with a spoonful of ricotta and a sprinkling of shredded mozzarella.
  6. Place under broiler for 3-5 minutes or until cheese is hot and melted.

Pineapple Chicken Burritos

  • 3 cups shredded or chopped chicken breasts
  • 1/2 finely chopped fresh pineapple
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups medium salsa
  • 2-3 cups cooked rice
  • 10-12 burrito sized flour tortillas
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar/monterry jack blend
  • 1 can green chili sauce (optional)
  1. Place the chicken in the crock pot and top with the pineapple, beans, and salsa. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.
  2. Remove the chicken and shred. Mix the chicken back into the crock pot with the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Mix in the cooked rice.
  4. Use half of the mixture to fill 5-6 of the burrito tortillas.  Allow the other half of the mixture to cool.
  5. Place the 5-6 burritos in a 9×13 pan.
  6. Top with 1 cup of the shredded cheese and place under the broiler on the middle rack until the cheese is nice and melted.  Eat and Enjoy :)
  7. With the remaining ingredients…assemble into a disposable aluminum baking pan to freeze for another meal!

Country Style BBQ Pork

Ingredients:
3-5 pounds Pork Shoulder Country Ribs
1 bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce
4 cloves garlic, whole
Salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Place pork in a large pot of water with 3 cloves of garlic and boil for approximately 45 minutes.
  3. Drain water and place pork in a baking dish and slather generously with BBQ sauce. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes.

Prep. Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 45 minutes Difficulty: Easy

 

How far can you stretch $3.00??? I fed a total of 14+ people with only one $3 chicken!!!

Do you make Chicken Noodle Soup for your family when someone is feeling sick? I do!!! It’s one of our favorite meals….and definitely one of the cheapest!!!

Last week HyVee had Whole Fryer Chickens for only $0.59/lb…so of course I stocked up! I picked up 4 whole chickens! I thought I would share with you the awesomeness of what you can do with a $3 chicken…

First Meal: Roasted Chicken with Potatoes and Carrots…YUM!
(I fed 8 kids and 2 adults this night!!!)

Second Meal: Chicken Noodle Soup…made from the scraps of chicken left over from the night before
(I fed my family of 6!!!)

Third Use: Chicken Stock…take the bones and empty carcass from the previous two meals and make your own much healthier version of chicken broth!!! Use it the next time you make Chicken Noodle Soup!!!

Weekly Meal Plan Starting 10/8…Feeding a family on a $40 a week budget!!!

Roast Chicken with Carrots and Potatoes 

Ingredients

  • 1 Whole Chicken (Price Chopper, $1.19/lb)
  • 3-5 Cloves of Garlic
  • 1/2  Onion, large chop
  • Salt, Pepper and Garlic Powder
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 tbsp Butter
  • 4-5 sprigs of thyme (optional)
  • 2 cups yellow or red potato
  • 2 cups carrots (Baby carrots whole or 1/4 inch chopped carrot)
Directions
  1.  Rub Chicken with  Olive Oil and butter mixture and season raw Chicken with salt, pepper and garlic powder (my favorite Chicken Seasoning is Johnny’s!)
  2. Place Chicken in a roasting pan or dutch oven with 1 sliced onion, 4-5 cloves of garlic and 4-5 sprigs of Thyme (optional). Do NOT add any water to the bottom of the pan!
  3. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 2 hours. After 2 hours add the potato and carrots along side the chicken.
  4. Cook for another 45 minutes or until veggies are tender and chicken is golden brown.

Shopping List:

Whole Fryer Chicken (I bought mine at HyVee on Friday when they were on sale for $0.59/lb….actually I bought 4!!!)
Potatoes
Onion
Garlic
Carrots 


Photo Credit

Italian Tomato and Vegetable Soup

Ingredients

  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 (14 ounce) can Italian tomatoes, large chop
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen sweet whole kernel corn
  • 1 1/2 cups carrots, chopped
  • 5 stalks celery hearts, chopped
  • 1 small zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 2-3 cloves fresh garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup mushroom, chopped (optional)
  • 1 cup lentil (optional)

Directions

  1. In a dash of olive oil or butter saute carrots, zucchini, garlic, onion, mushrooms, and celery. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
  2. In a separate pot…mix broth, Italian tomatoes and water…bring to a boil.
  3. Add vegetables to liquid mixture…also add corn and lentils (optional). Let simmer for 15 minutes (in order to allow flavors to combine)
    ***I add a dash of Balsamic to bring out the sweetness in the veggies as well!!!
  4. Serve and enjoy!!!
Shopping List
Italian Tomatoes (Hen House only $0.09 each after coupon…go HERE to see deal)
Vegetable or Chicken broth (or bouillon)
Zucchini
Carrot
Celery
Frozen or canned corn
Onion
Garlic

Mushroom (optional) 
Lentil (optional) 

Brown Sugar, Balsamic and Peach Pork Loin (slow cooker) 

Ingredients:

    • 1 boneless pork loin roast (or pork chops will work as well), 2-3 pounds
    • 2 clove garlic, halved
    • salt and pepper
    • garlic powder
    • 1 1/3 cups brown sugar, divided
    • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
    • 3 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
    • 1 peach sliced into 1/2 inch wedges
    • 2 apricots finely sliced

Directions:

  1. Sprinkle with garlic powder, salt and pepper, then prick the roast all over with a fork or skewer.
  2. In a cup or bowl, combine 1 cup of the brown sugar, the mustard, and vinegar. Rub all over the roast.
  3. Place roast in the slow cooker with garlic cloves. Cover and cook on LOW for 4 hours.
  4. Take the remaining 1/3 cup brown sugar; Spread over the top of the roast. Place finely diced peaches and apricots over atop the roast. Cover and continue cooking on LOW for 1 hour longer.

Prep Time:  5 min       Cook Time:   5 hours       Difficulty:   Easy

***I don’t keep dijon mustard around so I use 1/2 tsp of regular mustard, 1/2 tsp spicy mustard, and 1/2 tsp honey.

Shopping List:

Pork Loin or Pork Chops, Price Chopper only $1.89/lb until Tuesday Oct  9th
Apricots
Peaches
Balsamic
Dijon Mustard (or honey and any other mustard you like) 

Corn Chowder

Ingredients:

2 cups frozen corn
2-3 stalks of celery, chopped
1 cup finely chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup Sweet Red Pepper
1 cup potatoes, chopped
1/2 cup carrot, chopped
5 slices of bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 pint 2% milk or Coconut milk (unflavored)
1/2 cup butter
3 tbsp flour
Sour cream (optional)
Cheddar Cheese (optional)

Directions:

  1. Saute diced bacon over medium heat until just before crispy; remove bacon and place on a paper towel. Add onion, celery, carrots, fresh corn (if you are using frozen corn DO NOT add yet), red pepper, and garlic to the pan with the rendered bacon fat and saute until tender and onions are translucent. Add a pinch of salt and pepper.
  2. Meanwhile boil potatoes until soft. (poke with a fork)
  3. Add approximately 1/2 cup butter and 3 tbsp flour to the veggies to make a roux.
  4. Add cream slowly. Stirring continuously.
  5. Add potatoes, diced cooked bacon (reserve some bacon for the topping) If you are using frozen corn this is were you would add the corn.
  6. Let simmer. Stirring for approximately 30 minutes. Season to taste.
  7. Serve with sour cream, cheddar cheese, and of course more diced bacon!!!

Prep. Time: 20 min Cook Time: 45 min Difficulty: Easy-Medium

Shopping List:

Frozen or canned corn
1-2 Potatoes
Celery
Colored Bell Pepper (optional)
Onion
Garlic
2% Milk or Coconut Milk
Bacon
Sour Cream (optional)
Cheese (optional)

 

Weekly Meal Plan…some of my favorite recipes this week!!!

Hawaiian Meatballs, Rice and Sauteed veggies with Pineapple

Ingredients

  • 1 cup fresh pineapple, finely diced
  • 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 lb ground turkey
  • 1/4 cup red pepper, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup onion, finely diced
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tsp ginger (or fresh garlic)
  • 1 tbsp corn starch
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 cups rice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
Directions
  1. Get your rice started in the rice cooker.
  2. Take the ground turkey and ground beef…mix them together with your hands or kitchen aid mixer. Add egg, finely diced red pepper, onion, pineapple and 2 tbsp of brown sugar to the meat mixture (make sure the veggies are cut very finely).
  3. Put 1/2 cup brown sugar into a separate bowl. Roll the meat mixture  into 1 inch balls, then roll the meatballs lightly in the brown sugar and place aside on a plate.
  4. In a separate pan combine soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger and 1/4 cup diced pineapple (optional) and turn heat to medium…bring mixture to a simmer. In a small bowl mix cold water and corn starch together…pour corn starch mixture into the soy sauce…mix well. The corn starch will thicken to make your perfect teriyaki sauce, let simmer for about 5 more minutes…and remove from heat. :)
  5. In a frying pan heat oil up…don’t place meatballs in until oil is HOT. Brown meatballs on all sides (this takes about 3 minutes). Place browned meatballs into a casserole dish. Pour half of the teriyaki sauce over meatballs and bake for 30 minutes.
Shopping List:
  1. Fresh pineapple
  2. 1/2 lb ground beef
  3. 1/2 lb ground turkey
  4. red pepper
  5. onion
  6. 1 egg
  7. brown sugar
  8. olive oil
  9. soy sauce
  10. ginger (or fresh garlic)
  11. corn starch
  12. rice

BBQ Country Style Pork, Cesar Salad, Mashed Cabbage

Ingredients:

  • 3-5 pounds Pork Shoulder Country Ribs
  • 1 bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 4 cloves garlic, whole
  • Salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Place pork in a large pot of water with 3 cloves of garlic and boil for approximately 45 minutes.
  3. Make your BBQ sauce (yes I said make your sauce) pour the entire bottle of BBQ sauce (I like Sweet Baby Rays), brown sugar, and vinegar into a bowl and mix.
  4. Drain water and place pork in a baking dish and slather generously with BBQ sauce. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes.
Shopping List:
  1. 3-5 pounds Pork Shoulder Country Ribs
  2. 1 bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce
  3. brown sugar
  4. apple cider vinegar
  5. garlic

Potatoes, Sausage and Cabbage (slow cooker recipe)

Ingredients

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 8-10 small red potatoes and/or finger link potatoes (you can leave whole if they are small)
  • 1 1/2 cups sausage, diced
  • 1 large head of cabbage
  • 1 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/4 cup of chicken broth (you can use water if you don’t have chicken broth)
Directions
  1. Place the onion and potatoes at the bottom of the crock pot…you can leave the potatoes whole…however if the potatoes are larger cut them into halves.
  2. Cut the sausage and place it on top of the potatoes and onions.
  3. Pour 1/4 cup of chicken broth or water on top of everything.Make sure to add a little salt and pepper as well :)
  4. Turn the crock pot on high for about 4 hours or 7 hours on low.
Shopping List:
  1. 1 medium onion
  2. 8-10 small red potatoes and/or finger link potatoes
  3. Italian sausage (Price Chopper)
  4. 1 large head of cabbage
  5. Chicken broth/bouillon (optional)

Ham Bone Soup with White Beans 

Ingredients:

  • 1 ham bone, with some meat still on it
  • 1 cup ham, chopped
  • 3 cans chicken broth
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 cups northern white beans
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 3 large carrots, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp butter

Directions:

  1. In a large pot or dutch oven pour 3 cans of chicken broth, 1 cup water and beans. Bring to a boil, then turn off heat and let sit for 1 hour.
  2. Turn to low heat and place ham bone into the pot with the beans. Add 1-2 cups water and simmer for another 2 hours.
  3. Cut sweet potatoes into 1 inch bite size pieces. Place a separate pot and bring to a boil. Cook for 3-5 minutes. (Long enough to soften potatoes but not fully cooked). Strain water and set aside.
  4. Saute onions, garlic, carrots, celery and sweet potatoes in butter with salt and pepper.
  5. Remove ham bone from the pot and scrape off any remaining ham. Chop ham and place in the saute pan with veggies. Saute for about 1 minute, then combine all ingredients into the large pot with the beans.
  6. Add 1 more cup water or chicken broth at this time if needed. Let cook for at least another hour.
  7. Serve hot and delicious!
Prep Time:   15 minutes                Cook Time: 4+ hours                  Difficulty: Easy-Medium

Shopping List:
  • Ham, bone-in
  • Northern white bean, dried
  • Celery
  • Carrots
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Onion
  • 3 cans Chicken Broth

Chicken Enchilada Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can corn, drained
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes (14.5 oz)
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 packet enchilada sauce (I used 2 tbsp taco seasoning…since I buy in bulk at Costco)
  • 1 can Chicken Broth
  • 2 cans ( 10 3/4 oz) cream of chicken soup
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3-4 boneless chicken breasts (I used boneless chicken thighs)
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • 2 tbsp juice of a lime
  • 1-2 chili peppers diced, optional if you want spice
  • Optional Toppings: Cheese, Sour Cream, Avocado, tortilla chips (see below)

Tortilla Chip Strips

Take 3-4 corn tortillas and slice them into long strips. Meanwhile heat up 1 cup of vegetable  oil…once the oil is HOT…place 6-8 strips of tortillas into oil…cook until crispy (about 3 minutes). Remove strips with a slotted spoon and lay out on paper towel!

Directions:
  1. Place corn, diced tomatoes, drained/washed black beans, onions, and garlic into the crock pot.
  2. Put raw chicken atop of mixture. In a pan mix cream of chicken, milk, chicken broth, and enchilada seasoning (or taco seasoning) heat on low until mixed well. Once warmed pour atop the chicken and mixture. Turn the crock pot on high and cook for 4 hours or 7 hours on low heat.
  3. Before serving your soup mix in lime juice and cilantro to soup…for some yummy extra flavor!!!
Shopping List:
  1. 1 can black beans
  2. 1 can corn
  3. 2 cans diced tomatoes (14.5 oz)
  4. onion
  5. garlic
  6. 1 packet enchilada sauce (I used 2 tbsp taco seasoning…since I buy in bulk at Costco)
  7. 1 can Chicken Broth
  8. 2 cans ( 10 3/4 oz) cream of chicken soup
  9. milk
  10. 3-4 boneless chicken breasts (I used boneless chicken thighs)
  11. fresh cilantro
  12. lime
  13. 1-2 chili peppers (optional)
  14. Optional Toppings: Cheese, Sour Cream, Avocado, tortilla chips