Bruschetta Appetizer

So it’s been a while since I blogged or even was able to make a full meal for my family. Summer has been really busy for us and with Our work schedules quick meals have been the key. And they haven’t been anything special or worth blogging over but last night after a long day I was able to let my family sit back and relax while I made them not only dinner but an appetizer too. So lets get started.

First we will get into the appetizer. Bruschetta is my favorite. I haven’t made it in a very long time. So long that my boyfriend of 4 1/2 years hasn’t tried my bruschetta yet.

So first here is a pic of the ingredients.

20130908-084439.jpg

4 decent size tomatoes

I tbsp minced garlic (3 cloves if you like to mince your own. I buy already minced garlic.

Handful of chopped basil

1 tbsp of extra Virginia olive oil

1 tsp balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup of olive oil

Salt and pepper

1 French baguette

First lets start off by cutting our tomatoes and basil leaves. You want your tomatoes to be chopped. After you have chopped them put them into a medium size bowl.

20130908-090104.jpg

Now we are going to add our minced garlic.

20130908-090309.jpg

Then you can add your extra Virginia Olive oil, your balsamic vinegar, regular olive oil, and basil leaves.

20130908-090607.jpg20130908-090638.jpg20130908-090620.jpg20130908-090655.jpg

Now that everything is in the bowl sprinkle some salt and pepper to your liking. Stir everything together so it’s all coated and even. Now drain the juice from the mixture into a smaller container.

20130908-091154.jpg

Now take your baguette and slice it up.

20130908-091422.jpg

Next take your bread an lay them out onto a cookie sheet. Next take a pastry brush and brush our oil and vinegar mixture we set aside onto the bread.

20130908-091759.jpg

Now flip over all your pieces of need so the spread is face down on the sheet. Then throw them in the too rack of your oven at 450 degrees for 5 min just to get them toasted.

20130908-092050.jpg

Now when you remove your bread they should look like this.

20130908-092234.jpg

So now all you have to do is spoon the tomato mixture onto your toasted baguettes and enjoy. Voila!!

20130908-092515.jpg

20130908-092606.jpg

20130908-092625.jpg

Crock pot cheesy chicken and rice and artichokes

It’s been a while since I blogged and it feels good to be back to it. We have been so busy lately and we are about to get even busier. Kevin, the kids and I had Kevin’s parents over for dinner. I made artichokes for the first time ever and a cheesy chicken and rice to go with it.
So lets get started with the artichokes. My mom always made artichokes when I was kid and while I always remember her steaming it in a way I never paid close attention to the way she did it. I found a great way to do it in the crockpot and it turned out fabulous.

Ingredients:

Artichokes ( I made 2 but u can make as many as u want that will fit in the Crocker)
White wine
Lemon juice
Salt
Minced garlic
Water

20130701-100009.jpg

First take your artichokes and cut off the stem, then cut off about an inch off the front so you can expose the top of the heart.

20130701-100742.jpg

Stand the artichokes up in your slow cooker.

20130701-101151.jpg

Squeeze your lemon juice over the top of the artichokes.

20130701-101437.jpg

Now drizzle olive oil over the top of the artichokes.

20130701-101626.jpg

Now add your salt and minced garlic to the top of your artichokes. Then take your white wine and pour in about two cups into the bottom of the crockpot and then add water until there is a about an inch of liquid at the base of the crockpot. Then turn your crockpot on high for 3-4 hours and Voila! Yummy artichokes.

20130701-101931.jpg

I mixed up butter and minced garlic
To dip the artichokes in and it was sooooo good.

So now onto the cheesy chicken and rice.

Ingredients:
3 chicken breasts
Onion
Cream of chicken soup
Can Of corn
Bag of cheddar cheese
White rice ( i bought a box of uncle bens steam in bag rice and used two of the bags. )

20130701-102453.jpg

I used to cut up my chicken before cooking it in the crockpot but I learned its so much easier to shred chicken after its cooked so I didn’t cut it this time. I placed all three chicken breasts at the bottom of the crockpot, then I cut up one onion and placed it over the top of the chicken. Then I took my can of cream of chicken soup and spooned it over the top of the onions. Then I set my slow cooker to high for 3 hours and let it cook away.

Right before my slow cooker was finished I cooked the rice. After the rice was cooked I took two forks and shredded the chicken ( i had help from my mother in law with this too. Thank you susan) then I added the rice to the crockpot. Then I drained the juice out of the can of corn and added it as well. Then I took my bag of shredded cheese and added it to the mix as well. With out mixing it all together I let it cook together for 15 min just to let the cheese melt and get the corn warm. After the 15 min I mixed it all together and dished it out.

20130701-103246.jpg

The whole family loved the dinner and I hope your family loves it too.

Picky eater pasta salad

So we hung out by the pool and had friends over for BBQ on Friday. We had a basic hot dog and bratwurst barbecue but I thought I would share our pasta salad I make that our friend Nate had shared with us a while back. It was something that made kevin and I happy because we are very picky eaters.

20130526-132519.jpg

Ingredients are:

1/2 box of medium shell pasta
1/2 box of penne pasta
1/2 box of rotini pasta
1 packet of ranch seasoning
I bottle of ranch dressing
2 cucumbers
1 container of grape or cherry tomatoes

First thing you wanna do is cook your pasta. Boil water, add pasta to boiling water and cook for a few minutes until past is nice and plump and soft. I add a little salt to the pasta and water so they don’t stick together.

While your pasta is cooking you can start the veggies.
Peek the skin off of the cucumbers then slice them. After sliced cut them down again by cutting slices in 4’s.
then take your cherry or grape tomatoes and simply cut them in half.

After your pasta is done. Drain them from the water. Place the pasta in a bowl and let them cool down for a minute.
When your pasta is cool add the bottle of ranch dressing and packet of ranch seasoning to them. Mix it all together. After mixed add your cucumbers and tomatoes. Stir everything so it’s nice and even and then just stuck a serving spoon in It and place on table! Voila!!!

So easy and simple even your picky guests or your picky self as I am will totally enjoy it. Thanks Nate for this awesome recipe that will be added to my collection forever! You have created a monster!!

Easy lunch for the kiddos!

20130517-114815.jpg

So I saw this recipe a while back and my friend from work made it for his little girl and he said it was delicious so I thought I would try it.

Ingredients are:

2 cans of pillsbury grands biscuits.
Block of Colby jack cheese
Pepperoni
Garlic powder
Italian seasoning
Parmesan cheese
1 egg
1 jar of pizza sauce

You first start by flattening out one of the biscuits. Then I placed two pieces of pepperoni down in the middle of the biscuit, then a slice of the cheese and two more pieces of pepperoni on top.
Then you fold the edges of the biscuit over the pepperoni and cheese, then place it in a glass casserole dish.

20130517-115428.jpg

20130517-115510.jpg

After you have them all placed in your dish beat your one egg and brush it over all the biscuits, then sprinkle the garlic powder, Italian seasoning, and Parmesan cheese over the top of it.

Heat the oven to 425 degrees and then cook for about 13 min.

20130517-115822.jpg

20130517-115839.jpg

Your last step is to take your jar of pizza sauce and heat in the microwave for about 20 seconds and serve as a dipping sauce.

They were good but the next time I make them I am going to use mozzarella cheese instead of Colby jack like the recipe calls for. I think the flavor would be so much better. Tell me what you think!!

Chicken and Stuffing

20130516-125321.jpg

Ok so as we were decorating I needed to have dinner cooking so I threw something together in the crockpot. I found this recipe online as well actually as a weight watchers link but it tasted fabulous.

The simple ingredients are:

1 pound of chicken
1 box of stuffing
1 can of cream of chicken soup
1 cup of chicken broth
1/2 cup of water

I cut the chicken into cubes and layered it on the bottom of the crockpot. Then I added my chicken broth.

In a separate bowl I mixed my water and chicken soup and stuffing. After it was mixed I added it to the top of the chicken. Put the crockpot on high for 3 hours and voila!!!! Again I was so busy decorating I didn’t take a pic of the results but it looked just like stuffing and some chicken. Mmmmmmmm.
Enjoy!!

Cake Decorating 101

20130516-121829.jpg

So I am a total amateur when it comes to baking but I’m even more inexperienced when it comes to decorating so I asked my amazing friend Tam over to give me a tutorial. She does so many awesome things for holidays and birthdays. Her niece and nephews always have the coolest cakes and cupcakes! When she arrives with a toolbox like box full of all her decorating tools I was in awe!!

A couple days before we did this I went and bought a magazine at the grocery store randomly while we were shopping. It not only has all these cool cake ideas but it also has recipes for different cakes and frosting to make from scratch. I’ll never buy a box mix again!!

20130516-122513.jpg

20130516-122532.jpg

20130516-122524.jpg

When we first started decorating we hit a little snag with our frosting. It was coming out to creamy and when decorating you need it to be pretty thick. So thanks to the wonderful google Tam jumped on her phone and found out that you can add powdered sugar to a frosting mix to make it a little thicker.

20130516-123141.jpg

I didn’t take a picture of our practice cake because I forgot too but to paint a picture for you it was a white frosted cake and we had practiced decorating it with teal and purple frosting. Because it was so thin and we hasn’t fixed the consistency yet it looked a lot like a dr. Seuss cake. But after we got the frosting where we wanted it Tam fixed the cake right up and even have it some “Blog” rights!!

20130516-123551.jpg

I fixed up a fresh cake and practiced some lettering.

20130516-123853.jpg

I thank you Tam for all your help. You really did teach me a lot. The kids and Kevin thank you too. I’ll be making a lot more treats for them 🙂

Mmmmmmm Tea!!

So I have been trying to perfect some of Starbucks most popular recipes and I have failed horrendously. That’s one thing I will have to leave to the pros. But one recipe I have perfected is their Tazo Iced Tea Lemonades. So if you are a fan of them just like Kevin and I are your going to love this!!!

ImageI found the Tazo teas at Safeway. I’m sure you can get them at any major grocery store. My favorite is the passion tea and Kevin loves the black tea. They also have the green tea flavor if that is your favorite. And any kind of Lemonade will work. Our favorite is the Simply Lemonade. It’s in the same refrigerator as the Milk and Orange Juice.

Each box comes with 6 tea bags. For the best results I use 2 bags for every gallon of water. So for the Black Tea I put 4 tea bags in a 2 gallon jug and filled it with water. Then for my passion tea I put 2 tea bags in a 1 gallon jug and filled it with water. Then I set the two jugs outside my front door in the sun for 4 hours. You can leave it out for about 4-6 hours but in the Arizona sun 4 hours is plenty for me.

photo 14

There’s a little tea missing from the jugs because we have already enjoyed a cup or two 🙂

No while your tea is Steeping you can prepare the final ingredient. We are going to make some Simple Syrup, and it really is Simple. All you have to do is boil sugar and water. The basic measurements are for every 1 cup of water you use you add 1 cup of sugar. See Simple! I made two cups worth so I got out my pot and poured 2 cups of water into is and 2 cups of sugar and i turned up the heat! As the water is boiling you need to gradually stir the sugar/water mixture until all the sugar is dissolved. After you have a completely liquid substance you can turn off the heat and place your bowling water into heat safe container, I used a small carafe , And then you put it in the refrigerator to cool and Voila you have simple syrup.

photo 15

So after your tea is done steeping bring it inside. Now the fun Part… Making our big glass of Iced Tea Lemonade. It doesn’t matter How much you want at the moment. It can be a big glass or a small glass but the measurements are always the same.

Take your glass and fill it halfway with the tea of your choice.

Then take your lemonade and fill your cup 3/4 way full.

So now your cup should be 3/4 way full. Add 1oz of your simple syrup.

Add ice and stir.

Now drink it up. Mmmmmmmmmmm!!!!

After I made it I was skeptical that it wouldn’t taste like the Tea from Starbucks because I had failed with all the Coffee Recipes but when i tasted the tea I couldn’t believe that i had made an exact replica. This will save us money this summer. I will still be visiting Starbucks for my favorite coffee but as for the Tea I have it at home now. Enjoy!!!!! xoxoxo Meeechele

Dinner with Great Friends/Family!

Image

Last night Kevin, the kids and I had our Dear friends over for dinner. I made Crock pot Cheese Tortellini and it was a hit. Everyone loved it.

Image

Before we get into how to make our main course I wanna tell you about a few of the snacks I made before we ate. One of my favorite things to make is something My Aunt Trisha made for me years ago. Its called Lemon Pepper Cucumbers and its so simple to make. The only two ingredients are in the title. What you do is take a cucumber and skin it, then slice it and put it in a bowl and sprinkle Lemon Pepper all over it. Simply shake it to mix it up and Viola!!! Last night i skinned and sliced 4 cucumbers.

Image

The second tasty treat is something I saw online and made it for the first time last night and it was delicious. Its called Crispy Edamame. Again this was so simple and so good.

Image

Ingredients are:

1 Package of frozen shelled edamame (12 oz bag)

Olive Oil

Small Bag of Grated Parmesan Cheese

Salt and Pepper (Those are the little Skulls in the picture)

First you Preheat your oven to 400 Degrees F. Place the edamame in a colander to rinse and thaw then drain.

Image

Spread the edamame on a baking sheet then drizzle the olive oil over the top. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over evenly and the add the salt and pepper over all of it.

Bake in the oven for 15 minutes until the cheese is melted and a little golden.

Image

This is your finished product. After it cools just take a spatula and put the edamame in a bowl and use your hands to break it apart and serve.

Image

And now onto the main course mmmmmmmmm!! Crock pot Cheese Toretllini Keep in mind that in the picture I have a double portion size that i made last night so the ingredients I am going to list is only for a single portion which is plenty for a family. I just made double because we had a group over.

Image

Ingredients are:

1 bag of Cheese Tortellini (19oz) I froze it when i bought it

1 Bag of fresh spinach (5 or 6oz bag)

2 cans of Italian Style diced tomatoes (14.5oz cans)

1 block of Cream Cheese (8oz)

1 pound of Sausage, I used a basil pesto flavor from Safeway

4 cups of chicken broth

First you brown the Sausage and then put all the ingredients together in the crock pot. No certain order at all. When you get to the cream cheese break it into chunks so it will melt faster and more evenly. I cooked it on low for 3 hours then on high for 1 more hour. Stir it every now and then just to make sure your cream cheese is melting.

Image

Doesnt that look delicious. I hope you all enjoy it. After you try it let me know what you think.

Thanks for checking it out xoxoxoxo Meeechele

Image

My Awesome Inspiration!

My Awesome Inspiration!

Hello everyone and welcome to my Blog. I want to start this blog with a picture of my inspiration to start this blog. That is a picture of my mom and I and my Aunts and Cousins from Colorado. The girls next to me in the stripes is my sole inspiration for this blog. She has her own blog that I absolutely love reading. I love to cook and make special treats for my family and I have lots of friends that always ask about how to make them and I figured this is a good way to show them. I also love doing a lot of DIY projects at home and I thought I could share those with you as well. I am going to make my first post tomorrow. I have some great friends and their families coming over for dinner so I will post our festivities tomorrow for you all. I hope you stick around and enjoy my blog! See you all soon 🙂

Xoxo Meeechele