Friday, December 21, 2012

Lasagna Soup

Well I'm still pregnant....and BORED!!!  Today I baked two kinds of cookies and decided to make up some dindin.  Baby S - please come soon!!!

This was awesome though :)  It even had a little kick (you are supposed to eat spicy food to get baby moving...)!  We really liked it though - and most likely will be eating it tomorrow for leftovers while we wait!  So I'm glad I have something good to look forward to!  Make it up!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Homemade Ornaments

I had to come up with a fun way to ask Brody's aunt / uncle to be godparents...and this was perfect cause his due date was 12.20.12!!  Figured it would be the perfect way for them to always remember him asking!!  :)  You could do this for any special occasion or just a fun xmas gift!!

Clear glass ornament (from michael's)
Marker pens that write on glass (from michael's)
Fake snow

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Filet of Beef with Mustard Sauce Dijon

I submitted a couple recipes of my own awhile back to the General Store - and I was "submitted"  for one of their cookbooks :)  I'm pretty pumped - as close as I'll ever get to being famous!  Being that I have my recipes in their cookbook, they gave each of the winners the cookbook for free - so I decided to make something from there this week!  (that and I have nothing left to do...Baby S needs to get impatient and come play!)

This meal was the easiest thing EVER - but tasted like it took forever!  It was so great!!  I could have licked the mustard sauce - but the tenderloin was so tasty too!!  Beef tenderloin is kinda pricey...but it's worth it!!

Makes 8 servings - General Store Holiday Cookbook

Beef Ingredients:
3 lb whole beef tenderloin, trimmed
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon pepper

Spread tenderloin with 1/4 cup mustard and sprinkle with pepper.  Fold the thin end of the tenderloin under to create uniform thickness.  Place the tenderloin on a rack in a shallow roasting pan.  Bake in a 425 degree oven for 50-60 minutes, or until meat thermometer reads 140 (rare).

Remove from oven.  Tent with foil and let stand for 10-15 minutes before slicing.

Mustard Sauce Dijon Ingredients:
1/4 cup shallots, finely chopped
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
1 cup beef broth
1/3 cup Dijon mustard
2  tablespoons brandy
1 tablespoon chili sauce

In a medium sauce pan, cook shallots in butter until tender.  Stir in flour.  Cook and stir until flour just begins to brown.  Add beef broth.  Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly.  Cook and stir 1 minute more.  Add mustard, brandy, and chili sauce.  Serve with beef.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Apricot Glazed Pork Loin

I worked from home today, and since Ross has been doing all the cooking / dishes - figured I would treat him to a night off!  This was super easy - you literally throw it all in a crock pot and DONE!  It was super tasty too!  We made this up with some wild good!!

2 lb pork tenderloin
1 lb bag baby carrots
1 medium red onion, thickly sliced
1 cup chicken stock
18 ounce jar apricot preserves
2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 Tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
Salt and pepper, to taste

Place baby carrots and onion slices in the bottom of your slow cooker.

Place your pork tenderloin on top of the carrots and onions and season with salt and pepper.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together stock, apricot preserves, mustard and thyme leaves.  Pour glaze mixture over tenderloin.

Cover and cook on low for 6 hours, or until tender and cooked through.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Herbed Risotta with Chicken and Caramelized Onions

I noticed I've been slacking on my monthly recipes lately...I haven't had much motivation to stand on my feet and cook with all my preggo swelling :)  BUT Ross was nice enough to make this one up for us!  It sort of took longer than we thought - but it was really good!!  For sure make this again - just took longer than 30 min from start to finish (and I found it under "quick fixes").
 6 sisters blog

1½ tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
Pinch of sugar
5 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups water
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
¾ teaspoon salt
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 cups Arborio (medium grain) rice
1 cup dry white wine
2 oz grated Parmesan cheese (about 1 cup)
teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
tablespoons minced fresh parsley
tablespoons minced fresh chives
Ground black pepper

Add 1½ teaspoons of the olive oil to a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the sliced onion and sugar, stirring to coat.  Allow the onion to cook, stirring occasionally, until deep golden brown and caramelized.  Remove the onions to a plate and set aside.  

In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine the chicken broth and water and bring to a simmer.  In the meantime, add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet used to cook the onions set over medium-high heat.  Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper.  Transfer the chicken to the heated skillet and cook, turning once, until each side is a light golden brown.  Remove from the heat and transfer the chicken pieces to the saucepan with the simmering broth mixture.  Let cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 165˚ F or until cooked through (no longer pink).  Remove the chicken from the broth and transfer to the plate with the onions.  

Add 2 tablespoons of the butter to a Dutch oven set over medium heat.  Once melted, add the garlic and cook just until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Add the rice to the pan, stirring to coat.  Cook, stirring frequently, until the grains are translucent around the edges, about 3 minutes.

Add the wine and cook, stirring constantly, until fully absorbed, about 2-3 minutes.  Stir 5 cups of hot broth mixture into the rice.  Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until almost all liquid has been absorbed and the rice is just al dente, 16-19 minutes, stirring twice during cooking.
Add ¾ cup of the hot broth mixture to the risotto and stir gently and constantly until the risotto becomes creamy, about 3 minutes.  Stir in the Parmesan.  Remove the pot from the heat, cover and let stand for 5 minutes.  

Meanwhile, shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces.  Stir the shredded chicken and caramelized onions into the risotto with the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, lemon juice, parsley and chives.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  If desired, add up to ½ cup of the remaining broth mixture to add moisture and loosen the texture.  Serve immediately.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Pumpkin Roll Pancakes

I am not a fan of pancakes, but being preggo (and not able to eat sunny side up eggs) - I'm running out of bfast options!  I found this recipe and decided to try it out....AND OMG (yup...I just said that) - these were soooo good!!  I had at least 5 - and am really excited for leftovers.  So it makes you feel awesome cause you just made your bfast from scratch!  (like our g-rents used to make!)

Cream Cheese Whipped Cream

Call me Betty Crocker.....This was SO AMAZING!!!  I could almost "4-finger scrap the bowl" (reference for all my cousins out there...)!!  I want to put this on's so good!!  Try it!

I made this to go with these yummy pancakes!!

4 ounces cream cheese (low fat is fine, no fat free)
4 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup whipping cream (heavy or regular)

First whip the whipping cream until medium peaks form.

Prepare whipped cream by beating cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth and creamy.  Take 1/2 of the whipped cream (that you already whipped) and beat it in until smooth.  Add the rest of the whipped cream and use a spatula to gently fold in (do not beat).  Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Card Holder

Since I'm in my "nesting" phase of pregnancy - figured I would get busy and do the things I know I'll never have time (or care to) do once Baby S is here!  I decided to take all the cards we got from when we found out we were expecting...from the showers....and advice cards and make little books  to save all these special words!  So fun - turned out super cute!

2 pieces cardboard
2 pieces card stock
Hole puncher
2 Metal Rings
Letter stickers

Start by going through all your cards - and organize them in size.  
This way you'll know how big to trim the cardboard.  Then I cut the cardboard to fit the largest card - then cut the card stock and glued that on top of the cardboard.

I hole punched the cardboard and all the cards where I wanted it - then thread that through the metal rings.
Then I wrapped the ribbon around the book - used the two brads to secure the ribbon to the back of the book - and then cut the ribbon to fit the book / bow / knot.  (Whatever you decide to do)

I then used my cricut to create the letters on the front - but scrap booking stickers work too :)
AND then you're DONE!!  It's that simple - and now you have a cute way to present all your post cards / cards / invitations!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

FALL COOKBOOK CLUB -- what what!!  I'm not a huge fan of flavored bread, BUT I thought this recipe looked very fall like - AND turns out, I LOVED IT :) I'm not the best baker (I'll be honest - I don't like to bake...cook, yes....bake, no), so I let the other fellow cookbookers put this together.  It was easy and tasted good - so now I can try to make on my own :)

2 cups all purpose flour (spooned into measuring cup and leveled)
1 cup whole wheat flour (again, don’t scoop!)
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoons nutmeg
1/4 teaspoons ground cloves
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon table salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cup white sugar
6 ounce container vanilla yogurt
3 eggs, slightly beaten
15 ounce can pumpkin puree
1/2 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips (plus a few extra for the top of loaves)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray two 9×5 (or similar sized) loaf pans with nonstick spray and set aside.

Combine flours (after you put your flour in the bowl, just grab a teaspoon or two of it and toss with chocolate chips), cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  Whisk gently to combine and set aside.

In a separate mixing bowl combine brown sugar and white sugar and whisk to combine, breaking up any clumps of brown sugar.  Add yogurt, eggs, pumpkin, oil, and vanilla extract and whisk until smooth.

Slowly add dry ingredients to wet and mix together, being careful to not over mix.  When combined, gently stir in chocolate chips.   Divide batter between loaf pans and sprinkle a few extra chocolate chips on top.  Bake for 50-60 minutes or until a skewer comes out with a few crumbs attached.  All ovens are different, I would set your timer for about 45 minutes and keep an eye on it after that.  Don’t overbake!

Let cool for 10 minutes and then run a sharp knife around edge of pan and remove loaves from pan.

Easy Catalina Chicken

I love recipes that have the word "easy" in them...I don't always believe it - but this was true!  This was super easy, and had a really great taste!  It kinda reminded us of "sweet and sour" chicken!  We made this up with some white rice (then you just take the extra sauce and drizzle it right over that) and Green Beans.....such a complete meal!!  Do it up :)

1 cup Apricot or Apricot-Pineapple Jam (Peach is yummy too)
1 cup Catalina Salad Dressing (Russian works too)
1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 envelope dry onion soup mix (like Lipton)
3-5 lbs chicken (breasts, bone-in/boneless, thighs, tenders, whatever)*
olive oil
*The amount of chicken you use is very flexible.  If you use less, you’ll just have lots of sauce, and if you use more- you’ll have less sauce to spoon over rice, but there’s plenty to cook that much chicken.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Heat a large oven proof skillet or dutch oven to medium-high heat on the stove top.  If you don’t have an oven proof one, you can use any skillet and just transfer your chicken to a baking dish after searing.

While pan is heating, place jam, Catalina dressing, cider vinegar, and 1/2 of the onion soup packet (just eyeball it) in a bowl and stir to combine.  Set sauce aside.  Sprinkle remaining onion soup mix onto chicken pieces and pat on all sides with clean hands.

Drizzle olive oil into hot pan to coat bottom of pan.  Place chicken pieces in and cook without moving for 2 minutes.  Flip chicken to other side and cook for 2 more minutes.  Pour sauce over chicken and spread out evenly over chicken pieces.

Place pan in oven, uncovered and cook until chicken registers 165 on a meat thermometer.  Different parts of the chicken will vary in time so gauge according to what you are using.  boneless skinless breasts usually take about 20-30 minutes.

Remove from oven and let cool at least 10 minutes.  Serve chicken and sauce over hot white rice.  Serving size varies according to how much chicken you make, but serves a bunch!

Green Beans with Balsamic Butter

Had cookbook tonight...the last one for awhile!  :(  Figured I would take a break to get a hang of the whole mother thing!  BUT it was a great night!!  We made some yummy treats!  These beans were really good - just a twist on your typical green beans!!
OBB Cookbook – serves 8

2 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed
1/4 cup salted butter
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
3 green onions, chopped (the entire thing)
2 cloves garlic, minced

Combine the onions, garlic, and vinegar in a small saucepan. Cook on medium, stirring frequently, for 5-7 minutes or until most of the vinegar is reduced into a thick syrup and has been absorbed by the green onions. Remove from heat and set aside.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. While the water is coming to a boil, combine the vinegar/onion mixture and the butter. Set aside.

When the water begins to boil, add the green beans. Cook for 3-5 minutes or until the beans float to the top and are bright green. Drain. Toss in the balsamic butter and serve immediately.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Kim's Baby Shower - Jungle Themed

Kimmy's shower was themed around "Wild for Baby J", so we followed a jungle theme!  Check out how cute stuff turned out!! :)
 For each of our food - we did a play on "jungle names...." 

and I had to come with a good presentation of the food I was in charge of :)

and I had to come with a good presentation of her gift....I mean check out Linda's work on the left!!

Restaurant-Style Ranch Dressing

Helped host Kimmy's baby shower this week, and I had to make something new so I could blog :) We already had the food menu figured out, SO I decided to find a new recipe to make Ranch dressing to go with veggies!  This was so yummy I could have licked it!!  Might be my new go-to for when I make home-made fries....

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Twice Baked Butternut Squash

It's Halloween - and figured I would make up a festive meal while I wait to hand out candy to like the 2 people that came tonight :)  I thought this was pretty good, but Ross had like 2 bites and said the cheese was too it was a bust.

If you are going to make it - to save some time, bake the squash the night before and it will save a lot of time!

1 large butternut squash1 tablespoon olive oil2 medium shallots1/2 cup quinoa1 cup water1/2 cup gorgonzola cheese, plus extra for toppingpinch of salt

Preheat oven to 400˚. Slice butternut squash in half and scoop out seeds. Place each half cut side down in a 9×13 pan and pour 1/2″ of water in the bottom. Place in oven and bake until tender, about 45-60 minutes. Once done, remove and set aside.

Rinse quinoa and set aside. In a medium pan heat olive oil over medium low heat. Dice shallots, add to oil, and saute until shallots are fragrant. Stir in quinoa and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer at let cook until water is absorbed, 12-15 minutes.

While quinoa cooks, scoop out butternut squash, leaving a 1/4″-1/2″ on the sides and bottom. Drain water from pan and return butternut squash to the pan, cut side up.

Mash butternut squash and stir in gorgonzola cheese. Once quinoa is done, add it to the butternut squash. Taste and add salt if need be.

Scoop filling evenly into butternut squash halves. Sprinkle with gorgonzola cheese and return to oven. Let bake for 10-15 minutes or until cheese has melted and the tops begin to brown. Remove from oven, cut eat half in half, and serve.

Evenly spread filling back into butternut squash.

Prego halloween costumes

When I was prego I searched and searched for pregnant Halloween costumes and found I thought I would share :)

1. Gum Ball Machine and her nickle

2. Bumpy Road with her Truck Driver

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Apple Sauce

We went to an apple orchard a couple weeks back, and I got motivated to make my own applesauce.  This couldn't be easier!!  I don't know why I thought it would be hard.....We made up a couple batches - and it took a total of 30 minutes!  Now we have breakfast for a month :)
optional: Sugar

Core and slice apples.  Put into a big pot (no need to peel).

Add 1/2 cup water (yes, only 1/2-1 cup water....for real....I had to call my mom 2x to make sure!) - and bring to a boil, then turn low.

Stir occasionally so that none of the apples start to burn, and wait till apples begin to get mushy.

Then run apples through sieve (this fancy apple making tool!)

Once in container - add some cinnamon to taste.  If sauce is super bitter, add a bit of sugar.

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Turkey Chili

AMAZING!!!!  I'm really tempted to only write that, because it was that good!!  Don't be scared of this recipe....I kinda was cause it had a lot of really random stuff in it, but it was SO GOOD!!  I can't wait to eat more of this for lunch today too!!

It makes a lot, so you can either cut it in half - or freeze it like us!  Now we'll be eating like champs when Baby S is here :)  It also was really easy to make - I just prepared everything the night before, and then threw the crock pot in the fridge...woke up this am - and turned it on, and came home to the best dinner ever!!

Makes 16 cups: OBB Cookbook

1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, diced (any color)
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 bell pepper, diced
1-2 jalapenos, minced
20 oz ground turkey breast
8 oz mushrooms, minced (about 2 heaping cups)
2 teaspoons cumin
2  teaspoons kosher salt
½  teaspoons pepper
1  teaspoon oregano
1  teaspoon chili powder
1 1/2  teaspoons smoked paprika
1 1/2 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into 1/2 inch cubes
28 oz can tomatoes (not drained)
2 (15 oz) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
32 oz beef broth (one box/carton)
15 oz can pumpkin puree (make sure you’re not using pumpkin pie filling :)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
optional: sour cream, sliced avocado, chopped cilantro or green onion, and fresh lime juice for serving

Heat a large skillet to medium-high heat.  Add 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil and add onion, garlic, bell pepper, and jalapenos.  Saute for about 5 minutes, until veggies are tender and fragrant.  Add to slow cooker.

In same skillet, heat remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil.  Add turkey and mushrooms and stir to combine.  Sprinkle in cumin, salt, pepper, oregano, chili powder and smoked paprika.  (note: the meat will taste very seasoned when done.  Keep in mind these seasonings are not to flavor just the meat, they will season the entire pot of chili, so they are intentionally strong!)  Add turkey mixture to slow cooker.

Add sweet potatoes, tomatoes, beans, broth, pumpkin, cinnamon, and cocoa powder to slow cooker and stir til combine.  Place lid on pot and cook for  4-6 hours on high, or 8-10 on low.   Slow-cookers vary greatly in temperature and cooking times, but really, the important thing to note is if the sweet potatoes are tender.

When done, turn off heat and let chili sit with lid off for 10-15 minutes to thicken.  Season with additional salt to taste before serving.  If desired, serve with sour cream, sliced avocados, and a small squirt of fresh lime juice, and any other toppings desired.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Apple Crack Dessert

So someone at cookbook tonight said their "favorite thing to eat was apples...." - really?!  :)  We had someone else say "dessert" - so I figured I would team them up.  This was so good we ate most of it BEFORE we ate dinner!!  Perfect treat for FALL too!!

1 block cream cheese, (room temperature)
4 Tablespoons confectioners sugar
Caramel sundae sauce
Mini chocolate chips
Crushed heath bar
Granny Smith Apples, (sliced & soaking in lemon juice/water until ready to serve)

Beat the cream cheese and powdered sugar until slightly fluffy.

Spread the cream cheese mixture onto a serving platter.

Top with caramel sauce, mini chocolate chips & crushed heath bar - and EAT!!

Real Taco Pie

Lots of peeps at cookbook have a "thing" for taco's - so I tried to find a new way to prepare their favorite treat!  This was pretty was a twist on your typical taco.  We had some good ideas of making the crust out of crushed doritos the next time...

1/4 cup butter
2/3 cup milk
1 package taco seasoning mix (1 1/4 oz)
2 1/2 cups mashed potato flakes
1lb ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup BBQ sauce
1 cup shredded lettuce
1 medium tomato, chopped
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar (4oz)
Sour cream

Preheat oven to 350.

In a medium sauce pan, melt butter.  Add milk and 2 tablespoons taco seasoning mix.  Remove from heat and stir in potato flakes until incorporated.  Press mixture over bottom and sides of 10" pan.

In a medium skillet, cook beef and onions until beef is browned and onions are tender.  Drain off fat - and stir in remaining taco seasoning mix and BBQ sauce.  Cook while stirring until bubbly, then pour into prepared potato crust.

Bake uncovered in oven for 30-35 minutes.  Let cool for 5 minutes, and top with cheddar cheese, lettuce, and tomatoes.  Cut into squares and serve with sour cream.

Jalapeno Popper Dip

Cookbook Clubs theme tonight was "Favorite Eats" - so did a combo of someone saying "appetizers" and "anything with jalapenos" to come up with this yummy treat!  Let's just say it was so good, we ran out of are going to need double the amount of bread they have listed below...but this tasted equally amazing with Ripple potato chips :)

2 (8-oz) packages cream cheese, softened (light works great)
1 cup mayonnaise (light also works here, but DON’T use Miracle Whip!)
1 cup Parmesan cheese
2 cloves garlic, pressed or finely minced
4oz can fire roasted green chilies
4oz can diced jalapeno peppers, drained
8oz bacon, cooked and crumbled
1-2 sourdough baguettes, sliced, and/or crackers

Preheat oven to 350.

If using bacon, reserve 2-3 Tbs and sprinkle on top of dip before baking.  (We just baked the bacon in the oven - throw it on a cookie sheet, lined with foil - and put at 400 for about 15 minutes....DONE!)

Combine cream cheese, mayo, parmesan, and garlic and stir until smooth.  Add jalapenos and green chilies.  If using bacon, stir in remaining bacon.

Spread dip into a 9 pie plate or a small baking dish.  Sprinkle with remaining bacon if using.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until dip is bubbly and golden brown.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Saucy Hot Dogs

This was a total Ross meal...he always tries to get me to eat brats....hotdogs....but that's not something I can blog :)  SO I found something I could blog!!  This was really good!!  Didn't take much time to prepare, and it got me to eat a hot dog (well a high-quality dog!).  DO it up!

OBB Cookbook

3 slices bacon
1 medium onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 bottle chili sauce (like Heinz, not like Sriracha)
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
1 1/2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup apple juice
8 high-quality hot dogs
8 hot dog buns
Desired toppings (like shredded cheese and chopped onions)

In a large skillet, fry the bacon over medium heat until the bacon is crisp. Drain the bacon on a paper towel, leaving the drippings in the pan. Add the onion and garlic to the drippings and saute until the onions are tender and fragrant.

Add the chili sauce, brown sugar, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, crumbled bacon, and apple juice and bring to a boil. Add the hot dogs and cook for 5-10 minutes until the sauce is thickened and the hot dogs are hot. Either serve immediately or transfer to a slow cooker set to the low setting. Serve with shredded cheese and chopped onions.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Cream Cheese and Pesto Stuffed Chicken

We made THE-BEST-MEAL-EVER tonight!  We teamed these AMAZING (and so simple)! chicken breasts with brown rice, and Roasted Butternut Squash with Pecans, Dried Cherries, and Blue Cheese.  It was filed immediately into our Sodahl favs!  It was just so simple and great!!  
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 egg white
1/2 cup plain dry breadcrumbs
2 teaspoons olive oil 
4 tablespoons reduced-fat cream cheese
1 tablespoon basil pesto (
Fresh ground pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.

Combine cream cheese, pesto and pepper in a small bowl with a fork.

Cut a horizontal slit along the thin, long edge of a chicken breast half, nearly through to the opposite side. Open up each breast and place one-fourth of the filling in the center. Close the breast over the filling, pressing the edges firmly together to seal. Repeat with the remaining chicken breasts and filling.

Lightly beat egg white with a fork in a medium bowl. Place breadcrumbs in a shallow glass dish. Hold each chicken breast half together and dip in the egg white, then dredge in the breadcrumbs. (Discard leftovers.)

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken breasts; cook until browned on one side, about 2 minutes. Place the chicken, browned-side up, on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until the chicken is no longer pink in the center or until an instant-read thermometer registers 170°F, about 20 minutes.

Roasted Butternut Squash with Pecans, Dried Cherries, and Blue Cheese

YUM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I literally LICKED the bowl tonight.  We made the best meal ever tonight - another Sodahl fav!!!  We made this with Cream Cheese and Pesto Stuffed Chicken  and brown rice.  Everything was SO great!!  I could eat this every day this fall, and never get bored.  So so so so so so good!!

A tip: dried cherries were kinda expensive, so I just bought Craisins -cherry flavored, and those worked perfect!


1 lb butternut squash, cubes
1 red onion, sliced
pinch of dried sage
about 1 T. olive oil
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup dried cherries
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 400.

Arrange the squash cubes and sliced red onions in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Season with salt, pepper, and sage, drizzle with olive oil. Roast for 15 minutes.

Scatter pecans over the top and roast for another 5 minutes. Remove squash from oven and toss with dried cherries and blue cheese. Adjust seasoning to taste.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Month-by-Month Onesies

We have lots of baby showers in the next couple of months, and I found the perfect gift!!  These month-by-month onesies couldn't have been easier!!  (and look how cutie they are!).

3 (0-3 month) onesies
3 (3-6 month) onesies
3 (6-9 month) onesies
3 (12 month) onesies
Month-by-Month Printables
Iron on transfer paper

Print templates on transfer paper. (They will be mirror images.)

Cut out designs, leaving a small white border around each. Place the first month's design face down on the front of the smallest size shirt.

Using a dry iron on the hottest setting, iron the back of the design with firm pressure for 30 seconds. Turn iron halfway through so tip of soleplate is facing opposite direction.

Peel off transfer paper immediately. Stretch design outward in direction of fabric grain.

Repeat for each month, ironing the designs onto the appropriate size shirts.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Baby Registry

So if you haven't been able to tell from my blog - I'm in my "nesting" phase of pregnancy :)  It's all been super fun - and every time we get something done, it makes us that much more excited to meet our little one!!  The one part that was a little overwhelming - and I didn't really want to even start was "Registering"....(yeah I just said that I didn't want to start!)

It isn't like wedding registering where you know exactly what you want and what you need....Ross and I walked into Babies R Us, and pretty much walked right back out.  It's so overwhelming...there is so much crap those places tell you "that you have to have".  AND I don't even know what half the stuff is!!!

SO I got smart and organized.  I created a spreadsheet (yup - I run my life with spreadsheets) - and I emailed all the moms I know for their advice.  I compiled all their advice - from what I "need" to what brands of "xxx" I should quantities I really would need.  All their advice is on the tab "Registry Reviews" - and I have it separated out by "Baby Area" & by "Mommy"  :)  THEN - I made another tab "Registry Checklist" where I consolidated what I needed when I got to Babies R US / Target (and categorized that by "Baby Area" to make it more slick).

Then when Ross and I (and my mom and I) went back into Babies R Us / Target - it made it SUPER easy and FUN to register!!  Thought I would share my goods, so all moms-to-be can have fun with the process too!!  ENJOY!

The key to awesomeness:  Baby Registry

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Butternut Squash Pizza

Chef Ross in the house tonight....had a LONG / ROUGH day at work today, so it was awesome to come home and have dindin ready.  We had to hit up new parent class tonight, so this was a quick fix (I'm told) - and it was really good!  Guess what Ross said though......"um - it would taste really good with some meat on it."  :)  It was a good choice for a quick, fall feast!

1 small butternut squash (about a pound, but you will likely have leftover squash)
Olive oil
Kosher salt
2 cloves garlic
Ricotta cheese
a few sprigs thyme, leaves removed
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
10-15 sage leaves
Canola oil for frying
Pizza Crust

Preheat the oven to 400ºF.

Remove the skin: Slice the top of the squash about 1/2-inch under the stem to create a flat edge. Repeat with the other end. Cut crosswise through the squash just above the bulb — cutting the squash into two pieces makes the peeling process easier. Note: I made only one pizza, so I only peeled the longer portion (the non bulb portion) of the butternut squash. Stand the squash (whichever piece you want to peel first) upright and, being careful not to slice off your fingers, run your knife down the sides of the squash removing the peel along the way. Repeat with bulb portion if desired. After peeling the bulb portion, cut it in half, scoop out seeds and discard. Cut the peeled squash crosswise into 1/4-inch thick slices.

Place the slices of squash on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, season with kosher salt to taste, toss to coat, redistribute onto sheet in one layer and place in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until fork tender.

Meanwhile, peel and finely chop the garlic and add it to about 1/4 cup of olive oil. Brush dough with the garlic olive oil. (I spooned some of the oil into the center of the dough and then, using the back of my spoon, spread it over the dough to coat evenly.) Spread a thin layer of fresh ricotta over the garlic oil. Sprinkle with fresh thyme to taste. Top with baked squash slices. Top with grated Parmigiano. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, fry the sage. The sage leaves should take no longer than 5 seconds in hot oil to crisp up. I didn’t use a thermometer or a deep fryer, so it was a trial and error process, but I found that frying the leaves one at a time in a small sauté pan filled with a layer of canola oil worked well ultimately. I had to take the pan off the heat every so often, but once I got the hang of it, it was a simple process and well worth the effort — the crispy sage adds a really nice flavor.

Remove the pizza from the oven and top with the crispy sage. Yum!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Hamburger Spiral Noodle Casserole

Rossy is heading home from traveling all week, so figured I would give him a home cooked meal!  This was really yummy, but almost too cheesy.  I would either use a different kind of cheese (instead of the Velveeta), or use about 1/2 the amount.  Other than that - yummy!
Makes 8 servings: General Store Cookbook

1 1/2 lb hamburger
3 cups rotini macaroni noodles
2 (8 oz) cans tomato sauce
1 cup sour cream
3 oz cream cheese
1 1/2 cups shredded Velveeta cheese
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon sugar

In a large skillet, brown the hamburger, onion, garlic salt, pepper, and salt.  Pour off grease, add tomato sauce and sugar.  Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.  Stir periodically.

Add 3 quarts of water to a pan, and bring to a boil.  Add the noodles and cook for 5-7 minutes until soft; drain.

Blend in sour cream and cream cheese.  Add hamburger mixture and stir all together.  Put into 9x13 inch glass pan and top with shredded cheese.  Cover foil and bake at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes.  Remove cover the last 15 minutes to allow cheese to melt and lightly brown.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Daddy-To-Be Survival Kit

I am so excited to see Ross be a dad - he is going to be amazing!  He was hunting this weekend, so I put together a little Survival Kit for him :)  This was so fun to make - and he really liked it!!  Plus it's all stuff he can use!!  :)

Diaper Bag (I have a Coach one - but wanted Ross to have his very own bag...)
Latex Gloves (he has never changed a diaper...hehe)
Mask (again - doesn't know what he is getting into here...hehe)
Hand Sanitizer
Snuggle Binkie
Coors Light (fit perfectly in the diaper bags bottle carrier)
I love my daddy frame
I love my daddy pacifier
Nine Months DVD
Children's book about daddy's
Go the F..k to Sleep (probably the funniest book out there!)
Lullaby Cd (made up of all the artists Ross actually likes...found these under iTunes under "Lullaby Renditions")

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Closet Dividers

Baby S has the most organized closet EVER!!  I'm jealous :)  I made up these cutie closet dividers for their closet - helps me out cause I have NO idea by looking at an outfit how old they will be in to wear it!  haha  So excited for our little one to be here :)

Closet Dividers - Container Store $.99 each
Card stock

Cut the cardstock to fit the dividers - throw some stickers on there = organized cutie closet!!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

4 Bean Chili

This is the PERFECT weather for CHILI!!  I am obsessed with fall (if you haven't noticed) - and being preggers right now is perfect cause I can get away with sweatpants every day :)  Figured I would make up a batch of chili for us to munch on all week...froze the rest of it for another fall day!!

5 – 6 cloves garlic, minced
1 large white or red onion, diced
1 jalapeño, minced
1 can dark kidney beans, rinsed
1 can light kidney beans, rinsed
1 can black beans, rinsed
1 can navy beans, rinsed
1 can tomato paste
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
1 lb raw ground turkey, beef or cubed chicken
Optional:  1 cup frozen corn, added just before serving
Adjust seasoning to taste:
1 – 2 tsp ground cumin
1 – 2 tsp ground red chili powder (2T if you like spicy)
1 tsp ground cayenne pepper (2T if you like spicy)
Fresh chopped cilantro for topping

Layer in crock pot starting with onions, garlic and jalapeño.  Next add beans, tomatoes and paste, and spices.  Stir in raw meat last, meats cook faster than vegetables, so don’t be afraid to put it in raw.  Cook on low setting all day.   Stir in frozen corn about 5 – 10 minutes before serving. 

Top with shredded cheese, cilantro and/or sour cream, and serve with a side of corn bread

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Outback Steakhouse Alice Springs Chicken

Ahhhh heaven in your mouth!!!  Probably not the most healthy meal, BUT it's so good you don't even care!! It actually was easy prep - and yet, makes it taste like it took forever!!  We made up a side of Honey Mustard Sauce to go with - and it hit the spot!!

6 sisters blog

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded to 1/2 inch thickness
seasoning salt
6 slices bacon, cut in half
1/4 cup mustard
1/3 cup honey
2 tablespoons mayo
1/2 tablespoon dried onion flakes
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
2 cups shredded Colby/Jack cheese

Sprinkle and rub the chicken breasts with seasoning salt.  Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Cook bacon in a large skillet until crisp.

In a small bowl, mix the mustard, honey, mayo and dried onion flakes.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Place chicken in the skillet and saute for 3 to 5 minutes per side, or until browned.  Move chicken to an 11x7 inch or 9x9 inch pan.

Apply the honey mustard to each breast, then layer with mushrooms, bacon, and shredded cheese.

Bake in a 350° oven for 20-25 minutes, or until cheese is melted and chicken is done.

Serve with Honey Mustard Sauce.

Honey Mustard Sauce

I could lick this bowl's that good!!  Made this to go with Outback Steakhouse Alice Springs Chicken - YUMMY!!!

1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons prepared yellow mustard
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon dried onion flakes
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice

Mix the mayo, yellow mustard, Dijon mustard, honey, onion flakes and lemon juice together in a bowl. Cover and chill in refrigerator overnight.

Grilled Chicken & Berry Salad

Ahhh this salad was so refreshing!!  I love all the berries!!  We omitted the chicken since we were having a main chicken dish tonight, but this was still really filling.  So good - and so pretty!!
Makes 8 side dishes or 4 main: OBB Cookbook

1/2 head Romaine lettuce, washed and chopped into bite-sized pieces
6-8 oz baby spinach
12-16 oz chicken, marinated, grilled, and sliced
8 oz strawberries, sliced
8 oz blueberries
4 oz crumbled Feta or shredded fresh Parmesan cheese
1 cup sliced almonds, toasted
Berry Poppy Seed Dressing to taste

For serving a large crowd, toss all the salad ingredients in a large serving bowl and add dressing to taste. For individual servings, arrange ingredients on plates and serve the dressing on the side.

Berry Poppy Seed Vinaigrette

This makes a lot - but it was really tasty!  Don't mind the amount of oil you put in this bad boy, cause it's offset by the yummy berries :)  We made this with Grilled Chicken Berry Salad - delicious!
OBB Cookbook
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 cup honey (or sugar)
1-2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon grated onion
1 teaspoon kosher or other coarse salt
About 10 cracks of freshly ground black pepper
1 cup raspberries, blackberries, or strawberries
2/3 cups canola oil
1 1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds

Combine the vinegar, honey, garlic, onion, salt, pepper, and berries in the jar of a blender. Blend until smooth and then, with the blender running, add the oil in a steady stream. Turn off the blender and whisk in the poppy seeds. If possible, refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Pit Beef Sandwiches

Got back from camping and was so glad we had this meal on the menu!  Didn't feel like doing much, and this was QUICK - and DELICIOUS!!  So yeah - don't have much else to add except for MAKE THIS!!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Eggs on Toast with Creamy Spinach Sauce

One downfall of being preggers is that I can't have raw egg...and let me tell you - all I crave for bfast these days is over easy eggs!!!!!  So I went on a hunt for a breakfast sandwich that I can eat...and found this - just made my eggs over hard!  This was good, but didn't really hit the spot...I'll have to make it again once Baby S is here, and see if it tastes better....I think I was just pouting cause I couldn't have an over easy egg :)
OBB Cookbook: Serves 2

½ teaspoon extra virgin olive oil (plus cooking spray as needed)
1 cup sliced brown mushrooms
2 cups loosely packed spinach, chopped
1 ounce low fat or fat free cream cheese
2-4 tablespoon skim milk
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
⅛ teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt (more as needed)
2-3 cracks cracks pepper (more as needed)
2 eggs
2 slices whole grain bread
1 tomato, sliced
optional: 2 tablespoons low-fat crumbled Feta Cheese, parsley

Heat a medium skillet to medium-high heat.  Add olive oil and mushrooms and cook 3-5 minutes, until golden brown.  If needed, add cooking spray during cooking process.  While mushrooms are cooking, place cream cheese in a small, microwave-safe bowl.  Warm in 20 second intervals until melted and can be stirred smooth.  Add, garlic, onion, oregano, salt and pepper.  Add milk a little at a time and whisk until smooth, heating more if necessary until you have a nice sauce consistency.

When mushrooms are done, add chopped spinach to pan with mushrooms and stir just until wilted; it should just take a few seconds.  Add cream cheese mixture and stir until combined and heated through.  Remove mixture from pan and keep covered in a bowl.  Wipe pan clean and heat to medium-high heat.  Spray pan with cooking spray and crack 2 eggs into pan.  Sprinkle eggs with salt and pepper and cook until desired doneness.  (You can cook your eggs sunny-side up, or over easy, or poach them.)

Toast bread in toaster and top each with a couple of tomato slices (if desired, you can quickly warm tomatoes in hot pan).  Spoon spinach mixture over each serving and top with egg.  Sprinkle with feta and parsley if desired.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Greek Chicken with Angel Hair Pasta

Mom and Daughter day!  Since N-Ron was nice enough to come with me to register for Baby S, figured I could make her a yummy meal before :)  This was quick prep - and tasted pretty good!  It wasn't "amazing", but a quick and yummy twist on your typical pasta.

1 lb angel hair pasta, uncooked
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts - cut in to bite size pieces
2 cups red onion, chopped
1 cup yellow bell pepper, chopped
6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 cup dried oregano
14.5oz can diced tomatoes (Italian Style)
3/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled

Cook pasta according to directions, omitting salt and fats.

Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add chicken to pan.  Saute 3 minutes on each side.  Add onion and next 5 ingredients (through tomatoes) to pan and stir well.

Cover, reduce heat and simmer 25 minutes or until chicken is done.  Remove from heat.

Pour chicken mixture over pasta and sprinkle with feta.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Grilled Brown Sugar Pork Chops

Date night in the house -- woot woot!!  We are trying to get as many of these in as we can before Baby S makes their debut :)  We made up our dinner tonight - so we could like talk forever under candlelight (hehe - kidding!)....but for real - we used team work to get this nice meal prepared - and YUMMY it was!!  We made this up with rice and Green Beans with Oregano - and it was PERFECT!!
Makes 6 servings: General Store Cookbook

1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup apple juice
4 tablespoons veggie oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons corn starch
1/2 cup water
6 boneless pork chops
salt and pepper

Heat an outdoor grill to a high heat.  In a small sauce pan, combine brown sugar, apple juice, oil, soy sauce, ginger, salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil.

Combine water and corn starch in a small bowl, and whisk into brown sugar mixture.  Stir until thick.

Brush grate lightly with oil before placing pork chops on grill.  Cook over hot coals 10-12 minutes, turning once.  Brush with sauce just before removing chops form grill.  Serve with remaining sauce.