{Good Eats} Kitchen Tip for Leftovers

What do you do with your leftovers?  Do you panic to use them up the same week?  Sometimes I plan out the week and make sure I’m cooking enough chicken or steak for later in the week to simplify my life.  But other times I know we wont be around to eat it, or that I’ve got a busy week the following week.

Simple solution, a freezer Ziplock.  Just prep the leftovers however it’s easiest for you. I prefer to chop things up. That way I’m able to throw the frozen meat into just about any dish (Like Crockpot Chicken Bowls).  Or let it defrost overnight to use.  Trust me, this is a great time saving shortcut!

And we all need a little more time in the day!

{Good Eats} Baking Soda + Cookies = BFFs

How many of you have entered The Switch & Save Challenge? Seriously, we’re talking about $25,000 and SOMEONE IS GOING TO WIN IT, might as well be you! (or me) ok YOU, all about YOU!!

The next few weeks we’ve got Baking Soda to talk about.  Makes sense right? Arm & Hammer project?  We may not have known about the Spinbrush, or Laundry Detergent, or Dryer Sheets, but we KNOW about the Baking Soda.

And I bet I know a few more things about Baking Soda than you do…

Continue reading “{Good Eats} Baking Soda + Cookies = BFFs”

{Good Eats} Sunday brunch, never a bad idea

Getting friends together doesn’t need to be back braking.  It’s not always easy to do. Schedules can be a pain in the arse…but when you get actually get together, it’s always so worth it.  A few weeks back I invited 4 families (8 adults, 7 kids, 2 babies) to join us for Sunday Brunch.  Why Sunday Brunch?

1. Least likely to interrupt most nap times.

2. We live in Southern California and the weather outside is beautiful.

3. The kids could all swim and play in the backyard while we visited.

4. It’s the last day of the weekend so you have time to relax ahead of time, or prep the day before.

5. Because brunch food is TASTY.

Then I asked each family to bring something (dividing and conquering makes it more fun for everyone!).  The assignments were:

– cut fruit of some form (she went with a beautiful and delicious fruit salad).

– donut holes for the kids

– Clamato Juice and Orange Juice to make Bloody Marys and Mimosas. Then I assigned a dad to be bartender and another mom to help serve.

I was taking care of the Eggs, Baked French Toast, and Chicken Sausage “Dogs”. Now that may sound complicated but here you go:

The Pioneer Woman’s Baked French Toast is out of this world delicious. You make it the night before (it will take you about 15 minutes), then all you need to do is pop it in the oven the morning of. (I’m a glutton for punishment. I double the crumble topping, then serve with whipped cream and syrup).

And this egg dish will take you 15 minutes to prepare the day of (if you want to speed things up, grate the cheese and save in a Ziplock, and then and put all the dry ingredients in another Ziplock ready to mix.) Serve it with fresh or jarred salsa.

Both dishes bake at the same temp for the same time.

I made some bacon to make the house smell really good as people walked in. And wrapped Aidells mini chicken apple sausages in biscuit dough (think pigs in a blanket) for brunch hot dogs.

Now why did I think donut holes and mini brunch hot dogs would be important?  So that the kids could visit at their own little table enjoying fun finger food and each others company.

The morning was so nice. The kids played well, the food was all yummy, the cleanup was easy and best of all, everyone was able to get a good visit in!

Sunday Brunch ~ it’s a good thing for everyone!

{Good Eats} Oh the ice cream goodness of it all!

{Giveaway now closed. Winner notified by email. Congrats Leanne!}

(Photo Credit: Dine & Dish)

Have you all heard of eCreamery??  I had not until I read a post on Dine & Dish for Buttered Caramel ice cream. And another post (and fab photo!) of the Cocoa Bean flavoring.  I didn’t even need to get to the second post, I immediately went to  eCreamery and ordered the Buttered Caramel to try it for myself. People YOU NEED TO ORDER THIS!!

{For the record, eCreamery has no idea who I am. Just a simple customer in love with their product, and ready to shout it to the world!}

I love to make ice cream with the girls. We always follow simple recipes that can be prepared in about 5 minutes flat, then into the ice cream maker it goes for 25 minutes.  The “good news” for us, is all the treats we add into the ice cream in those last 5 minutes.

OH. MY. WOW. The Buttered Caramel flavoring is out of this world!  We’ve made it 3 times now. The first time we followed their Superbly Simple Ice Cream Recipe, then added chopped Twix Bars. The second time, we added a sleeve or Oreos. And the third time ~ the award winner, gonna die from the yumminess….a sleeve of Oreos and the leftover buttercream from our cupcakes.

Die, I tell ya from the goodness of it all!!

I have yet to try the other 2 flavors but “I. Will. Find. Out” (name that movie???) because ice cream will never be the same. The flavoring added a wonderful depth to the ice cream, and I don’t know whether it’s something in the flavoring itself, or just the combination of the cream, half & half, flavoring and salt, but the texture was so smooth and perfectly out of this world, delicious.

Piper was kind of a fan. As in, couldn’t get enough of it all. And this was just the first time we made it…

Seriously, you need to try it!

In fact, I really, really think you need to try it. I don’t exactly have a giveaway budget, in fact I don’t have one at all.  But I’ll give up a few lattes to send a lucky person a flavoring of their choice.  Just comment below and let me know which one you want to try. Giveaway closes at midnight, PST Monday July 25th.

Now you must excuse me while Pipe and I go polish off a pint…or four.

{Giveaway totally sponsored by me and the insane person I will be next week as I refrain from buying lattes…..}

{Good Eats} Salad Dressing 101

I’m addicted to making salads ever since returning from my Dole Adventure! I’m still on such a high from all that we learned about Dole as a company, their farmers and their produce.  So much so that they thought they should film my craziness…. (DONT LAUGH, that means you too, Honey!)

Continue reading “{Good Eats} Salad Dressing 101”

{Good Eats} Zucchini Bread, hello AWESOMENESS!

Oh HELLO AWESOMENESS!

This Zucchini Bread has made my whole week!  We seriously have so much squash in our garden (I think I might have mentioned this yesterday…) that I’m giving it away, baking up a storm and searching out every possible way to eat it (that also doesn’t make us cringe at the thought of eating one.more.zucchini!).

I found this recipe on the Food Network from Paula Deen.  Now Paula is DEFINITELY not known for her overly healthy meals, more for butter and sugar and oh.so.fabulous southern food deliciousness.  So when I saw this recipe, I knew it would not be the healthiest bread we could make, but it would taste DARN GOOD!

The sweet, the spices, the moist with the crunch of the crust…the nutty flavor (without crunching into nuts), and the salty melted butter…oh.my.goodness!

That being said, there were quite a few suggestions in the comments for substituting applesauce, and using agave nectar. I will definitely try playing around with it a bit to see what we like over at the Coady House.  But until then, we will happily be munching away at this SUPER EASY, SUPER SCRUMPTIOUS bread! (and I will not tell you about the 4 muffins I have consumed while writing this post either…)


Few changes I did:

1. Addie and I made this together today (fun summer project to do with the kids). I ended up filling 12 muffin tins with paper liners (baked 25 minutes), and then splitting the rest between 2 loaf pans (baked 45 minutes).  Please note, I also bake using a convection oven, so a little faster than the norm.

2. I love the flavor nuts give to baked good, but I hate biting into a nut. Does that make sense??  Crazy, I know. I used my food processor to finely chop the walnuts, placed them to the side, then grated the zucchini in the food processor and set it aside to make my life a little easier….

3. We called this “Zucchini Cake” in our house instead of bread…which it kinda is…but anything with the word “cake” attached is deemed worthy of eating no matter if there is a green veggie baked inside.

Go here for the full recipe for the Zucchini Bread.

Enjoy!!!!

{Good Eats} A Squash Wonderland

Oh My! Do we have squash growing in Our Garden!!

This is what I harvested yesterday. Can I just say that this is what I could pick EVERY DAY!?!?  Our Garden has gone CRAZY!! I’m starting to look like the Zucchini Lady. If you stop by our house, I’ll most likely send you home with one (or 5) too! Which means I’ve been on the hunt for lots of good squash recipes.

There are a few that have become FAVORITES for our family from last year.

Zucchini Carbonara is so easy and so good! And the Littles think the squash is pasta too. Bonus!

A reader shared this family recipe for squash cakes last year, and I DIE every time I make it. So easy and SOOOO delicious! Nice little mid afternoon snack, or an appetizer.

Source: myrecipes.com via Kristen on Pinterest

I saw these Zucchini Oven Chips on Dine & Dish’s Pinterest board recently and knew it would have to be added to the “gotta try it” recipes.  I think I little homemade ranch dressing would round these out quite well. Don’t you?

Kristen from Dine & Dish also shared this pin for Courgette Fritters & Feta. That sure look tempting!  Of course I need to turn my brain on to “weigh” the ingredients, but those fritters look worth it!

I had another reader share this recipe for Chili Beef Stuffed Zucchini which I still have to try, but it definitely looks like something both the Punks and Hubs would really like!

So now it’s your turn. What fun squash recipes to you like to make? Any family secrets up your sleeve, or favorites you’ve pulled from a magazine? Would love to hear!

{Good Eats} What we ate last week…

Instead of sharing a meal plan for “What to Eat”, I’ve decided to try sharing “What we Ate”.

Reason being, our life is ALWAYS CHANGING, and sometimes I make decisions or tweaks to a recipe based on what’s in the fridge at the time, or maybe there were more leftovers than I had thought I would have. Whatever the reason, each week it’s always a bit of a game. I for one, would like to remember what worked so maybe I can incorporate into another week.

So let’s try working backwards and see how this goes….

MONDAY:
Turnip Soup ~ made it on Sunday to reheat on Monday (Pureed and used Chicken Stock)
Baguette Croutons ~ baked leftover bread with herb butter, @ 350 while soup heated
Garden Salad ~ Spring Mix, Broccoli, Green Onion, Rotisserie Chicken, Ramon Noodles & Walnuts ~ YUM!

Grilled Peaches with leftover Baked French Toast Crumble {from Father’s Day Brunch} & whipped cream

{Punks ~ Annie’s Organic Shells & Cheese, with peaches}

TUESDAY:
Mom had a work event, and dinner with a girlfriend

{Punks & Hubs ~ In-N-Out picnic on the front lawn {treat for them + no messy house = treat for me}


WEDNESDAY:
Stuffed Peppers ~ tried a new recipe, wasn’t a favorite.
Garden Salad ~ Spring Mix, Blue Cheese, Green Onions, leftover grilled Flank Steak (from the weekend), onion crunchies from Costco ~ YUM!

{Punks ~ Grilled Flank Steak & Rice ~ leftovers from the weekend. Strawberries from the garden}

THURSDAY:
Mom & Dad ~ Date Night ~ Used a gift card and enjoyed Bandera.
Grilled Artichoke (one of our faves!)
Hubs = Beef Tip Sandwich
Me = Roasted Chicken and Peanut Coleslaw,
Dessert = Oreo Ice Cream Sandwich

{Punks ~ Buttered Pasta with Parmesan and grated Zucchini}

FRIDAY:
Fried Chicken
and Zucchini
Maui Rolls with Honey Butter


SATURDAY:
Out ~ Bonfire on the beach

SUNDAY:
Homemade Cheese Pizza (mostly for the Punks)
Grilled Chicken with Peach Salsa
Grilled Zucchini

As always, you can find this meal plan also posted on the Planner page.

Your turn! What did your family eat? Did you have a favorite meal?  Would love to hear…please share!

{Good Eats} RIDICULOUSLY good cookies!

I don’t even know what to say about these cookies, except that they are RIDICULOUSLY GOOD! I was in a bit of a cookie rut.  I’m not gonna lie, normally my cookies get some pretty positive reviews…however, I think the last 2 or 3 (12….) times I just kept missing the mark. Stupid things like doubling half the recipe and not the other half, using Tablespoons instead of teaspoons of salt, miss measuring the brown sugar….I mean this has gone on and on and on. I was certain my brain was telling me YOU SHOULD NOT BE EATING COOKIES, therefore I WILL MAKE IT IMPOSSIBLE for you to bake them.

But Sunday I had to give it a go again.  Jenny over at Picky Palate is pretty much a dessert goddess.  If it is coming out of her kitchen you just know it’s going to be good.  I had seen her Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookie weeks ago and it’s been haunting me to bake it.

Then last week Jenny did a post on ALL of the stuffed cookies she has come up with this year. HELLO!?!?  Now HOW am I supposed to resist THAT I ask you!?!?

But I’m lazy.

And with the track record I’ve had, I just figure “STUFFED” was not something I should attempt. These days, I would likely set the oven on fire. So instead I planned to just throw a sleeve of Oreos in the mixer and cut back the chocolate chips to 1/2 of what Jenny suggests.

But then…..

Yep, you know there had to be a “But then…..”

I was getting all the ingredients set up when Hubs walks in the kitchen.

Hubs: “Bummer, there were some kids selling candy bars out of a cooler, and I didn’t have any cash on me.”

Me: “What?  Where did they go?  I’ve got cash!!”

And out Miss Piper and I went running to the neighbor’s house to catch them on their route.  We scored 6 beautiful Caramello Bars!!!  That would be little pockets of caramel wrapped in milk chocolate. Oh YUM!

NOW I was going to have to make stuffed cookies.

I followed Jenny’s recipe making the following changes:

  1. I used 1/2 the chocolates chips (using only milk chocolate chips)
  2. I threw a sleeve of Oreos in the mixer. Just let the mixer break em up.
  3. I placed a scoop of cookie dough on my parchment lined cookie sheet, then placed a Caramello square on top of the dough, placed my second scoop of dough on top of the Caramello square, then pushed down the sides just a bit to seal.
  4. I baked mine 9-10 minutes. I also baked single scoop (unstuffed) cookies along side the big daddies. They baked in the same time without issue. Figured smaller cookies were better for the little Punks around here.

And YES, that is caramel DRIPPING down the cookie….oh.my.goodness.  RIDICULOUSLY GOOD!!! Enjoy!

(I also froze some of the little ones to add to ice cream later this week…just sayin’…)

{Good Eats} What to eat ~ Week of June 13th

Well last week’s meal plan turned out pretty well.  Maybe I’m getting my kitchen groove back again??  Sure hope so!!

This week I needed to focus a bit on using up things in the Vegetable Garden as it’s starting to come into it’s own now.  I’ve been on the hunt for new recipes to try out and to tweak for our family’s tastes.

While the current meal plan can still be found on the Planner page, I’m going to start posting it on the main page as well.  I always look around me to find inspiration for anything that I do.  I check in each week with This Week for Dinner and Food for My Family…and have always loved reading not only their plans, but also the comments readers leave with their own weekly menus. Just the twist on how someone formulates their plan is fun to me. And I would LOVE to hear from you too!!

I’ve also stressed out a bit in the passed (what me stress??? NEVER!?) if I have not had a recipe link to give you of exactly what we are eating.  But the truth is, sometimes I’m winging it, sometimes I’ve adapted something from a favorite chef, sometimes my plan has gone to Hades in a hand basket.

But my favorite part of a meal plan, is coming up with the plan. (AND hoping that it tastes good!). It’s a bit of a game for me to figure out how to use up the leftovers I think I’ll have, or come up with a plan to use up an entire head of Napa Cabbage, etc.  So even if I can’t give you an exact recipe, maybe the plan alone will help inspire you when you’re planning for your own family?? Maybe? Hope so!

MONDAY:
Zucchini Quiche & Salad. (Trying out a new recipe with our garden zucchini…a little nervous as we have 8 very ambitious squash and zucchini plants. I’m going to need A LOT of good recipes this summer! This one requires 4 cups of zucchini, so I’m on the right track!)

TUESDAY:
Grilled Flank Steak, simple garden salad & Turnip Puree. (Trying another new recipe with garden turnips…Grandpa planted a few and I need to find some easy recipes for them as well. I love to combine with potatoes or carrots, but just have not been in the mood lately….)

WEDNESDAY:
Ground Turkey Shepherd’s Pie using leftover Turnip Puree for topping (sure hope we like it the first night!!) I’m hoping that I can use the leftovers in place of mashed potatoes. I also like that I can throw in leftover veggies (or a bag from the freezer) to get a few more “good things” into our dinner.  More of a fall dinner, put throw a salad or fruit on the side and no one will care it’s summer!

THURSDAY:
Out! Date Night ~ Our 8 year first date anniversary!

FRIDAY:
Fried Rice
using leftover flank steak in place of the shrimp. This is my FAVORITE “go-to” Fried Rice recipe! We usually gobble it up with little Costco Egg Rolls.

SATURDAY:
Crispy Fish Tacos with Chili Mayo ~ we made these last week with Halibut and loved them! Doing it again this weekend with Mahi-Mahi.  Figure it’s good to try and get a bit of fish into our menu. The Chili Mayo has a great kick to it. Funny as it was too much on it’s own, but in the taco – AWESOME!  We served ours wrapped in flour tortillas instead of corn. We’re rebels like that.  Honestly, this was SO EASY to make and super yummy!

SUNDAY:
Something fun for Dad…stay tuned! I’m thinking something with short ribs…

Your turn!  Would love to hear what your planning!! Have a great week!