It Expired When?!

Well…crap.

I had such awesome ideas for tonight’s meal! I was even going to do a before and after video to accompany it. The before video was naively uploaded before I had an after video. Total rookie mistake there… (the video is uploaded onto the JOABC FB and Insta pages)

Unfortunately, awesomeness was not meant to be. Here’s the story:

First off, I started off much later than usual. With piano practice, preschool orientation, and our first day of blended home school, we were running behind on time and energy once dinner rolled around. Luckily, on Saturday we had an amazing (albeit a little dry) roast and I saved a little to make BBQ Stuffed Potatoes.

However, I did not check the expiration date on the barbecue sauce until I was WELL into cooking. We are talking about completely and utterly ruined the potato stuffing. The sauce expired in September 2016!

I mean…COME ON! Really?! How in the world has this barbecue sauce been hiding in the back of my pantry for that long? I just noticed it a week ago and patted myself on the back for having a good, easy staple sitting on the pantry shelf. I’m just going to assume it magically appeared. There’s no other explanation…

Luckily, a little quick thinking with a half pack of bacon and a half block of sharp cheddar cheese saved our meal tonight.

Whew! I definitely deserved those few extra double stuffed Oreos I sneaked after my kids went to bed!

 

Print Recipe
Oven Baked Potato
This delicious potato is crispy on the outside with fluffy goodness on the inside! Finish with your favorite toppings to make this a go-to and simple meal. Also, absolutely no foil is needed in this recipe! This serving size can easily be adjusted to feed as few or as many friends/family as needed.
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 60 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 60 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450.
  2. Wash and dry potatoes thoroughly. Make a few holes in the potato with a fork to release steam during baking.
  3. Put the potatoes directly on the oven rack for 45 minutes.
  4. After 45 minutes, remove the potatoes (use an oven mitt or tongs!!!) and brush thoroughly with oil and put a small pinch of salt on each side of the potato.
  5. Return the potatoes to the oven for another 15 minutes.
  6. Once the potatoes are done cooking, they should be slightly crispy on the outside, but slightly "soft" to the touch when removed from the oven.
  7. Slice open, fill with toppings, and enjoy!
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One Pan Chicken Dinner

Print Recipe
One Pan Chicken Dinner
This easy recipe only messes up on pan and is easy on the wallet.
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 60 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 60 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 X 13 glass baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Wash and dice red potatoes and put on one side of the dish.
  3. Line chicken down the middle of the dish (if it's thick, butterfly first and then place in dish)
  4. Pour entire bag of frozen green beans down the open side of the dish.
  5. Sprinkle Italian seasoning over entire dish.
  6. Place small pieces of butter over entire dish.
  7. Cover with foil and place in the oven for 60 minutes. Chicken is done when it is no longer pink inside and the juices run clear when the chicken is cut.
  8. Serve and enjoy!
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Forgotten Food Medley

Apologies for missing yesterday’s post! I had a severe case of the Mondays or something, so I’m posting today to make up for it.

This past Sunday night I was running low on EVERYTHING. It was so late by the time that I got started that I literally only had two choices: find something I could prepare quickly in the pantry or go out and grab food. My children had already decided we were having Zaxby’s and were excited. Not today kids, not today. I decided to go the unpopular route and chose to make something at home.

I quickly searched for foods that were floating around the pantry, fridge, and freezer. I manged to find a few questionable carrots, a very small bag of broccoli, an almost empty bag of rice, and a can of cream of chicken. It was like a medley of the forgotten foods! (sorry for the crappy picture. It was an afterthought.)

First, I started the instant rice on the stove. I prefer “normal” rice, but, like I stated, it was late!

As the rice was cooking, I prepared the can of cream of chicken.

I used the microwave to steam broccoli and carrots separately and then mixed them together. (They could have been steamed together, but I was busy deciding whether or not I wanted to chance the carrots.)

Once my forgotten foods were finished, I tossed everything into one pot, mixed it together, and served with fresh green beans I had made earlier that day for a family gathering.

My family LOVED it. It was so good for being so simple!

 

On a side note, this would also be wonderful with some grilled chicken thrown in. I may try that next time, but if you are searching for quick and simple meal, this is the way to go!

Were we hungry or did I just totally rock that one out on a whim?

I think I’ll choose the latter option!

(Sorry for the lack of quality pictures. I was just not on my game Sunday night!)

Print Recipe
Rice and Veggie Mix
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Cook rice according to package directions.
  2. While rice is cooking, prepare cream of chicken according to can directions.
  3. Steam broccoli and carrots by your preferred method (microwave or stovetop).
  4. Once all the food is cooked, mix together in medium-large pot.
  5. Serve with a side or bread.
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Rice and Veggie Mix

Print Recipe
Rice and Veggie Mix
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Cook rice according to package directions.
  2. While rice is cooking, prepare cream of chicken according to can directions.
  3. Steam broccoli and carrots by your preferred method (microwave or stovetop).
  4. Once all the food is cooked, mix together in medium-large pot.
  5. Serve with a side or bread.
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Cumin, Where Art Thou?

It’s taco night! Nope, just kidding.

This was the quote that sent rage through my house. My kids went straight from pleasant to demonic and it just so happens my husband was out of town. They don’t handle change very well anyhow, but when you take away their taco dreams and they are already hangry. No, just no.

Obviously, my minions are taco FANATICS. I make my tacos with a homemade seasoning mix to go into the ground beef. I also add in refried beans and my kids love it. They don’t even realize they are eating the beans, but it’s my secret way of stretching the taco filling and getting some sort of extra protein into their tummies.

The reason my dinner plans changed? As soon as I started rummaging through my spice cabinet, I realized I was missing cumin. At this moment, cumin and I are NOT on good terms.

I had to figure out something to feed the kids so I made Cheeseburger Macaroni. I don’t know if it’s an actual recipe I got somewhere or not, so I’ll improvise and type something up below. I usually make this when I have no plans and need something quick.

Here are the necessary ingredients:

I started by boiling the macaroni noodles. I didn’t/don’t have a measurement for this. I have always cooked the entire box and my husband takes any leftovers to work for lunch for a few days.

While the noodles were boiling, I browned the ground beef and onion together in a skillet on medium/high heat. 

Once the noodles were soft and the meat properly browned, I drained both and combined them in a large pot. On a side note, make sure the pot is LARGE. If not, this happens:

I could barely move the spoon. I ended up needing to move the mixture to a large skillet, but that was almost too small as well.  Next time I prepare Cheeseburger Macaroni, I will make sure my big pots are clean….

The cheese mixture needed to be watched and stirred constantly. For this reason alone, I always do the sauce last. First, I warmed up a 1/2 cup of milk on the stove until it was right at boiling (I also threw in a big pinch of salt and pepper).

Next, I mixed in a (generous) cup of shredded sharp cheddar cheese. It is very important that the cup of cheese is put into the milk in 3 or 4 handfuls. After throwing in a “handful”,  I whisked the cheese until it was completely melted before adding the next handful.

If you throw all the cheese in at once, it tends to clump (I know this from experience!) Also, it’s gross to get a big clump of cheese in your meal!

Once the cheese sauce was fully melted, I poured it over the noodle and meat mixture and stirred until combined.

I mixed it on the stove top eye that I was using to cook the food. It was turned off at that point, but it was still warm so it helped the sauce mix in better and kept everything hot. If you do the same, just be careful that it doesn’t burn!

Here it is! My two big kids ate it and my youngest complained. She’s a threenager so her judgement is skewed.

Print Recipe
Cheeseburger Macaroni
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
people
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
people
Recipe Notes
  1. Bring LARGE pot of water to a boil and add macaroni noodles.
  2. While water is boiling, brown ground beef and onion in a separate skillet.
  3. Drain water and meat/onion mixture and combine in large pot.
  4. Bring milk to a boil and turn heat down to medium.
  5. Add in cheese one handful at a time and stir until melted before adding next handful.
  6. Once cheese sauce is melted completely, pour over meat and noodle mixture and mix well.
  7. Serve and enjoy.
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Cheeseburger Macaroni

Print Recipe
Cheeseburger Macaroni
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
people
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
people
Recipe Notes
  1. Bring LARGE pot of water to a boil and add macaroni noodles.
  2. While water is boiling, brown ground beef and onion in a separate skillet.
  3. Drain water and meat/onion mixture and combine in large pot.
  4. Bring milk to a boil and turn heat down to medium.
  5. Add in cheese one handful at a time and stir until melted before adding next handful.
  6. Once cheese sauce is melted completely, pour over meat and noodle mixture and mix well.
  7. Serve and enjoy.
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Flour Power

Today,  my 10 year old daughter, Andrea, and I made an oldie, but goodie! We made homemade from scratch biscuits!

Andrea has never made biscuits before so she was excited. Plus, she had a tooth pulled this morning so she was a feeling little loopy. I probably should have done a video with this one. It would have been AFV gold!

This recipe is so easy and only has these five ingredients:

Andrea started out by measuring the flour. Somehow, she created a flour explosion on the counter. I’m not even sure how she managed to fling it into the places she did, but it. was. everywhere. Flour reminds me of glitter in the way that it finds obscure places to hide for years and it sticks to your body like glue. I had to suppress my urge to take over and let her keep going. She smiled at me all wonky (she was still numb on one side) and got back to work.

Once she got all the dry and wet ingredients added and mixed, she needed to knead the dough. I have no clue where she learned how to do it, but she knew exactly what to do.

Next, we moved on to rolling out the dough. Ugh. This was painful to watch. I cleaned the counter really well before we started, but I put down wax paper for her to put the dough on. She started rolling it out and it was slip-sliding everywhere. She got mad, rolled really hard and the entire paper flung off of the counter. There was a matrix type moment when she went to grab the paper and the roller pin levitated in the air while she re-positioned and got everything back into place. I’m not exactly 100% sure what happened as it was stupid fast, but I stood there dumbfounded and vowed to find out how she does this kitchen magic!

I think Andrea was most excited about cutting out hearts and stars for her and her siblings. I gave her the cookie(biscuit) cutters and she got to work. The dough should have been thicker, but we were so hungry at this point I just wanted to get these in the oven. After she cut a few, I took over and finished up since she was asking to eat the dough. Kids can be gross! We are just going to blame the tooth extraction and move on.

The biscuits cooked quickly and evenly and my smoke detector only went off twice so it was a great morning! (*I’ll explain the smoke detector below) Here is the finished product with grape jam/jelly.

I wanted to share a few other topping ideas we like!

  • butter and brown sugar
  • butter and cinnamon/sugar
  • syrup
  • honey
  • any flavor jelly or jam

*Smoke Detector story- For some strange reason, my smoke detector goes off any time the oven is at 400 degrees or higher.  The smoke detector is clear across the room and I’ll never understand it, but it is super sensitive. Good for emergencies, but bad for cooking. You just sort of get used to it. My husband yells “Dinner’s Ready!” every time the oven sets the smoke detector off.

Homemade from Scratch Biscuits

  • 2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 3 tsp Baking Powder
  • 2/3 Cup Milk
  • 1/4 Cup Oil
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. In a bowl, stir together flour, salt, and baking powder.
  3. In a separate small bowl, mix together milk and oil.
  4. Add milk mixture to dry ingredients and stir until flour is moistened.
  5. Knead the dough 5-6 times.
  6. Spread dough onto floured surface and pat or roll out. Needs to be around 1/4 in thick.
  7. Use cookie cutters or a glass to cut out dough.
  8. Place the dough on a cookie sheet and cook for 8-10 minutes until golden brown.
  9. Serve with favorite topping.