Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Baked Sweet & Sour Chicken

Who doesn't love anything fried? Raise your hand...

I don't see any hands...

See, I know that we all "love" fried foods, but in reality, they're just really bad for your health. So what to do, what to do?

Don't forsake frying things, and it doesn't mean you have to give up all the really tasty things. I still "fry" foods, sparingly. I just have a hard time "deep frying" foods. 

Plus, I hate making a mess of my stove, yeah I know~~I'm weird like that, ahem!

But, just take another quality, actually it's better because YOU made it, with all the sweet & tangy goodness you expect when ordering out.

It does have a "short" fry session, using a minimal amount of oil, and baking it allows the sauce to get thick and sticky almost and adheres to the chicken with a delicious coating. 

I think the cornstarch dredge is what really makes it light and the egg coats it in a way you would normally attribute the deep-frying would. 

So, hey! This  is actually healthy food...shhhhh, don't tell anyone.

You know you want to make this. Cuz it is just way too good not to.

Ultimate Buffalo Chicken Pasta

This easy slow cooker recipe....

Yes, you read right...

Slow Cooker Recipe, is way up there on flavor and creaminess. 

So easy to assemble and then just walk away. My family gobbled it up and even though I did have some leftover, it makes a lot, I was amazed at how creamy it was even reheated!!

This is definitely another keeper going in the rotation. 

Waking up this morning to it being 4F, this meal is right up the comfort food alley and we are more than happy to come home to this delicious dinner!!

See, over the top creaminess! You know you want to make this one!!

Recipe is adapted from:Busy Crock Pot Mom

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup-Skinny Version

It’s amazing how quickly the weather can change in North Iowa.
Yesterday it was in the 50’s and today they are forecasting snow and when you walk outside it is COLD!!

We’re talking mittens and hat cold here folks. Yep! That must be why people in this area of the US live so long.

You can’t be a sissy and live in this environment. They grow hardy folk up here.

Thank goodness for down coats and fleece. Whoever created fleece, I’d like to shake your hand. We have fleece gloves, hats, sweaters, vests, blankets, pants, socks and even scarves. What in the world would we do without fleece??

Ahem! Getting away from the weather, lets give a big shout out to our neighbors up in Minnesota and thank them for perpetrating the American Indian harvest of Wild Rice.

We can also than them for contributing the “Chicken and Wild Rice” soup craze to all of us, and with that I give you my version.

It’s delicious, it’s thick and creamy and chock full of tender chicken and wild rice. And, because I don’t use the copious amounts of Heavy Cream most recipes call for, it in no way affects how thick and creamy this recipe is. I actually think my version is healthier and that means you can have TWO helpings!!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Everyday Riches and Rewards

This past 2 months have been a whirlwind of activity, with 2 teens at home, their work and sport schedules, both parents are employed full-time and having one adorable pet.

Needless to say, we aren't much different than millions of families in the US. 

But at times, it takes reflection, to unravel how busy our lives are and to find the daily rewards and richness that are there. 

Our second oldest daughter is a senior this here come senior pictures, senior prom, college visitations, etc, etc. 
She is planning on becoming a Medical Doctor specializing in Neonatal Medicine.
As I wonder what happened to make that precious little girl grow up so fast, she is on the cusp of beginning her life at college. Say what!!!

#3 Red head

Mcki at 17

Our oldest daughter is engaged to be married to one of the nicest guys in the world, they are busy planning this epic day and in less than a year I gain another son!!

Jordan(#2 red head) and Steven
Yes, my oldest girl is a goof, like her mom. 

And our son, Tyler, the first born, is in graduate school near Boston. 
We have lost him to the East Coast and to a wonderful girl named Chantal. 
Together they'll travel the world.

 Tyler-#1 red head

Our youngest daughter is an awesome, talented volleyball player as well as an astute student (major requirement in our home!). Following her games and tournaments have filled our lives for 5 years now. 

She is a sophomore in high school and is on the varsity team for volleyball-quite a feat for this town, where volleyball is held in an almost reverent status. (We are the reigning Conference champs for 10 consecutive years and have gone through Regional to State for the past 4 years). So...needless to say these up and coming girls had very big shoes to fill.

And fill it they did, doing a spectacular job of continuing the tradition. 

This Picture shows their absolute joy in defeating a tough opponent.                          Photo courtesy of Kelly Gau Studios
Photo courtesy of Albert Lea Tribune
 Excellent blocking skills!
Photo courtesy of Albert Lea Tribune
 Yes, I am a little partial to #18!!
Photo courtesy of Albert Lea Tribune

Madison-out of uniform

We are so proud of all the girls that participated, the many fans, friends and family that came and supported them in their quest. 

Photo courtesy of Kelly Gau Studios
 They fought hard until the end and finally it did come to an end, against a team ranked second in the state. This picture speaks volumes to me about the team and "family" atmosphere these girls shared this season, even with the anguish of defeat on their faces, they are coming together.

So in retrospect, I realize that no matter what happens in our lives, it is always possible to find the richness and rewards given to us on a daily basis. 

Because of this we are able to go on and face each and every day....
and I am so very thankful for the richness and rewards given to me by my children and loving husband, I am one lucky girl. 


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Midwest Chow Mein

I posted the original recipe for this over a year ago.....

It is such a hit with my family, that it is requested year round. 

Added bonus for me, it not only cooks in one pot, is chock full of veggies and

wait for it......

It takes less than 20 minutes to make!!!


Say What???

I know, the title is a little twisted. but, it's the closest thing to how I made a standard American-Chinese dish more mainstream Midwest. Up here in Northern Iowa, there aren't many Oriental restaurants to choose from and in the town where I live, pop., 2200, there are zip, zero, zilch. 

So when I get a craving for Asian American-Chinese food, fast, I have to adapt. Which is what I did when I came up with this dish. It can be made in a snap and will satisfy even the most picky person. All of my kids gobble it up whenever I make it. 
The beauty of this recipe is that it can be made with any variety of ground meat or TVP, even tofu, and the vegetables can be whatever you have in the freezer or canned ( I mean, come on...who doesn't eat corn). 

And, big bonus, IF.....operative word here, if there happen to be any leftovers, they are delicious cold as a salad. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Cottage Pie-A Prince of a Pie

It was all over the news a while ago that Prince William's favorite dish was a Cottage Pie.

Similar to a Shepherd's Pie, just a name variation.

But really, who doesn't love meat simmered in a flavorful gravy topped by fluffy mashed potatoes?

Behold the beloved......

Friday, November 1, 2013

Corny Macaroni & Cheese

Epic Mommy Adventures

 This creamy, cheesy Macaroni & Cheese is kicked up a notch by the addition of corn.'s made in the slow cooker!

Yes, you read that right, the SLOW COOKER.

You dump all the ingredients in, stir, put the lid on and walk away. 

4 hours later you have ooey-gooey corny, cheesy goodness.

The noodles are tender, the cheese is melted and every bite is a little piece of heaven. 

Mile High Banana Cream Pie

Folks-this one is so SUPER EASY and SO GOOD!

You'll be wondering "why did I never make a pie like this?" over and over.

It's not for anyone counting calories, but it is for everyone who loves a luscious, rich, creamy dessert.


wait for it....

It's not cooked!!!!
(The only things that's actually "cooked" is the graham cracker crust).