Tag Archives: cheese

Kid Swap

My friend, Hollie, had a brilliant idea…

Take turns swapping the kids and celebrate Valentine’s Day sans midgets!

GREAT idea.

Jay and I celebrated last night and the Sullivan kiddos will come spend a few hours with us tonight.

We went to Saturday evening Mass and then came home to prepare a Pioneer Woman Valentine’s dinner:

Filet with onion and blue cheese sauce
Twice Baked Potatoes
Bread Pudding with Bailey’s Irish Cream sauce

Talk about a meat and potatoes meal. Veggies were NOWHERE to be found on this table tonight.

Personally I don’t like to prepare steaks at home…I always screw them up. I think cooking steaks is a science and it makes me WAY nervous. But we were trying to save some dough and decided to stay in. I substituted PW’s ribeye recipe with some filets. I told the butcher to say a prayer for me that I wouldn’t massacre them. They turned out OK, but the onion blue cheese sauce was simply out of this world and oh SO easy to make.

I’m telling you, the sauce was divine!

I’ve also not been able to successfully graduate from the school of bread pudding…not too sure why…it’s NOT that difficult.

I attempted PW’s sourdough bread pudding and substituted some almond extract for a portion of the vanilla and added sliced almonds on the top rather than the pecans she calls for. I also used Bailey’s Irish Creme Coffee liquor in place of the Jack Daniel’s for the sauce. Both substitutions worked out nicely and the pudding had a very distinct, but not overpowering, almond flavor.

We were so stuffed from our hearty, stick-to-your-ribs dinner that we just sampled the dessert, but are looking forward to enjoying it again this evening.

Happy Valentine’s Day!


Eat Meatloaf!

People either like meatloaf or don’t like meatloaf.


I finally found one and burned all my previous meatloaf recipes.

Ina Garten knows how to do meatloaf. Here is her recipe.

Moist.(I don’t like this word, but in the meatloaf world, this is a good thing). Flavorful. Delicious.

Please don’t let the picture below be a turn off. Ina is a fan of free forming her meatloafs…..I prefer a loaf pan, but this thing would never fit in my loaf pan in a million years. But, it’s g-o-o-d and equally yummy the next day on a sandwich with a little TJ’s Wasabi Mayo!

You may want to consider cutting this recipe in half, because, um….5 pounds of ground turkey is A LOT! I used about 2.5 pounds of ground turkey in the meatloaf below:

Instead of topping with plain ketchup, I mix regular yellow mustard, ketchup & brown sugar and slather on the top before baking.

I served it along with this Sonoma Salad which is always a hit:

1 bag Butter Lettuce, Spring Mix, Baby Spinach, etc.

Half of a large Fugi apple, chopped

Bleu cheese, gorgonzola or goat cheese

Craisins, raisins or both

Candied walnuts, chopped (I like Emerald~Original)

Marie’s Poppy Seed Dressing (in the short bottle in the refrigerated section)

(Salad courtesy of Melanie Corona! Thanks, Mel!)


It was 2:50 this afternoon and it dawned on me that I had NO idea what I was serving for dinner tonight! I’ve been trying to cut back and eat early so I can go running and do my evening workouts, but, ahem, I still need to feed my husband and children, right? Oops!

Hmmm, what do I have on-hand that I can whip up? I’ve been overloading Jay with ground turkey for the past several nights so I pulled out the frozen chicken tenders, found a small can of corn, some black beans and a jar of Trader Joe’s pineapple salsa in the pantry! Throw all this in a crock pot, put on low for about 3 hours and you have a yummy filling for some soft flour tortillas!

I don’t even know what to call this recipe other than GOOD & EASY….maybe I’ll just call it “Good & Easy Southwestern Crock Pot Chicken”. Jay jokingly says that anything with black beans and corn is “southwestern”, so there you have it!

I do need to run to the store and get the tortillas and shredded cheese. I like to use the small fajita size flour tortillas for these tacos, but of course you could make burritos out of the filling or use crispy corn shells. I prefer mine topped with a little shredded cheese, light sour cream, an avocado slice, cilantro and a squeeze of lime!

So…..if you’re ever in a bind, keep this stuff in your cupboards and you can whip up dinner in a jiffy:

I used about 6 little tenderloins…after about 3 hours on low, you’ll be able to shred the chicken with 2 forks, mix it up and let it warm through for a bit. Then you’re ready to load up your tortillas and GRUB!

This is what the mixture looks like after you shred the chicken:

This is what your taco/burrito looks like all assembled:

And this is what it looks like after you’ve taken a couple bites and are in love:

One more thing…I suggest draining the corn and draining and rinsing the beans. It turns out too runny otherwise.