The blogger from the black lagoon.

9 Feb

Well hello there. Yes it has been awhile! Like almost a year. Why you ask? I’m a lazy bum that’s why.

Ha

No seriously. I’ve been super busy. With a young kid that is super crazy and a little one that needs her eyes on me at all times it is hard to even go pee by yourself! But I’m going to try and be better and make the time cause I really miss it.

Update: cooking is a lot easier!! I guess it’s true what they say. The more you practice, the better you will be.

I hate it when they’re right.

I actually like it now (okay maybe like is a strong word, maybe “I don’t throw a temper tantrum when it’s time to start cooking” is a better phrase) which is crazy to me. I fought it tooth and nail and really wanted to just feed my family cereal and frozen pizzas every night, but *sigh* I felt I should do better. Baking is my favorite, but thou shall not live on cookies alone. Enter the crockpot and casseroles.

I will be posting some more recipes soon! So stick around.

Roasted Vegetables and Getting Back in the Swing of Things

25 Jun

This is one of my first posts in a long time. Like a very long time. Like people might have thought I was dead or became a hippie and gave up technology forever.

But no. Just popped out a baby. And if you have more than one you know what I’m saying when I say two is a lot different than one. Like I thought I was tired with one. Ha. HAHA. Girl you had it so good! That’s what I’d like to say to myself then. You could “nap when the baby naps” and shower and probably even eat then. But when you have two, those things seem like luxuries and might be considered neglect if you do them. Haha.

Anyway things have changed a lot. We are even shorter on time and money and trying to use both as wisely as we can.

Enter Aldi grocery stores. Do you hear the angels signing as well? If you do not have one of these stores near you I’m sorry. It has been wonderful getting to know this store. Everything is cheap!! And it’s good quality too. I don’t know how they do it! Well I’ve read some things but still. It has allowed me to provide a lot of produce for cheap for my family. Hence the title. (I bet you thought I forgot why I was even writing this in the first place didn’t you?).

I have been roasting everything! And it’s all good and good for you and easy! Yup easy is my middle name. Wait that came out wrong…..

Anyway vegetables. I’ve done sweet potatoes, kale, squash, zucchini, new potatoes, yellow potatoes, onions, garlic, peppers, broccoli, cabbage. And they are all done about the same way. Cut up the vegetables, toss them in some olive oil, add salt and pepper and spread in one single layer on a nonstick or sprayed baking sheet. Cook for 20-30 minutes or until browned and cooked through at 350-400 degrees. We have this all the time and everyone raves about it and it seriously couldn’t be easier. And I love that I don’t have to stand at the stove. I can just throw them in and go play with the kiddos.

Enjoy!!

Nacho Bake

14 Aug

Now this is a recipe I have been making for years.  Is a crowd pleaser and is just plain yummy.  Healthy…..um no, but yummy yes!  And easy of course.  It combines some of my favorite foods into one.  What could be better?

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Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 box Velveeta Shells Dinner
  • favorite salsa-Joe T.’s is great
  • tortilla chips
  • shredded cheese
  • Taco Bell taco seasoning (this is not usually in with the seasoning packets, but usually on the Mexican isle)
  • 3/4 cup water to mix with seasoning
  • sour cream-to top with if you want

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Brown meat and beginning cooking shells.  Add seasoning and water to meat when browned and let simmer.
  3. Drain pasta and add cheese packet.  
  4. You will layer the meat and shells in small casserole dish.  Spoon on salsa and top with some shredded cheese.  Crunch up some tortilla chips and sprinkle on top.
  5. Cover with foil and bake for 10-15 minutes.  Uncover and bake for 5 more minutes or until chips start to brown.
  6. Serve with sour cream if you want.  (I usually don’t use this)

Source:  Adapted from-http://www.kraftrecipes.com/recipes/velveeta-nacho-bake-90606.aspx

Easy Banana Bread

14 Aug

OK, when it says easy.  I mean EASY!  I love banana bread, but have found soo many that I do not love at all!  They are too nutty, too dry, don’t even taste like banana, and the list goes on.  I came across this recipe on Pinterest and decided it was easy enough to try out, even if it wasn’t very good.  To say the least, my hopes were not very high.  But to my surprise it was sooo good!  When I mixed it in the bowl it smelled sooo good I almost ate it then, but then remembered there were raw eggs in it and that I was pregnant.  I would have to wait.  Boo.  But then it came out and I tried the first warm, crumbly piece and was thrilled!  I had found a yummy, cheap, easy banana bread recipe!!!  Everyone that loved it tried it.  Even the dog who got to benefit from the crumbliness.  Hope you enjoy it like I did!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 box yellow cake mix-preferably a moist one
  • 2 eggs
  • 3-4 very ripe bananas (buy too many bananas and now they are all brown?  PERFECT!)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350.  Spray loaf pan with cooking spray and sprinkle flour on all sides.
  2. Mash up bananas in bowl.  Add cake mix and 2 eggs.  Mix together.
  3. Pour into loaf pan and bake for 35-45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean and top is fully cooked.  (My toothpick came out clean in places, but then noticed some doughy spots where bread splits on top).  

**Check regularly because I am a big believer on not just setting it and forgetting it.  All ovens are different and some cook slower/faster than others.  My bread was complete about 40 minutes and was sooo moist.  You do not want dry bread!!

Source:  Adapted from-http://www.artsyfartsymama.com/2011/11/easy-banana-bread.html

Sour Cream Enchiladas

8 Aug

This was seriously yummy and while I was making it, I got kinda excited!  It was also a big hit with my friends.  It had enough leftovers for another night, they were okay, but not near as good as the first time.

Sorry the picture is kinda blurry.  I had to hurry and take it and get out of the way before it was devoured.

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Ingredients:

  • 16 oz. sour cream
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 tbsp. fresh chopped cilantro or 1/2-1 tbsp. of dried
  • 2 1/2 cups cooked shredded chicken breasts (I used 3 medium chicken breasts)
  • 1 can Rotel
  • 7-8 tortillas
  • Monterrey Jack and Colby cheese blend
  • 1 can diced green chilies

Directions:

  1. In a saucepan, mix sour cream, soup, and cilantro.  Watch and stir closely.  Do not turn up heat more than 2-3 or it might bubble out or burn.
  2. Combine chicken, Rotel, and green chilies in saute pan and heat for a few minutes.
  3. Warm tortillas until flexible.
  4. Spray 8×11 dish with cooking spray.
  5. Fill each tortilla with about 2 tbsp. or so of chicken mixture and top with a little bit of cheese and place seam side down in dish.
  6. Spread sour cream mixture on top.  Sprinkle cheese on top.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes until bubbly and cheese is melted.

Source:  Adapted from-http://skinnymom.com/2012/05/11/skinny-sour-cream-enchiladas/

Easy Ice Cream Cake

8 Aug

Oh.  My.  Goodness.  This was so awesome and sooo easy!!  It was a big hit and everyone I had over loved it!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tbsp. powdered sugar
  • 6 ice cream sandwiches (or enough for 2 layers, depending on pan)
  • candy bar, chocolate chips, other topping

Directions:

  1. Line 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 in METAL loaf pan with wax paper to make for easy removal.
  2. In a large bowl (needs to be large to allow enough air to come in to thicken, otherwise you will be beating all day), beat cream and sugar until stiff peaks form.  I like a whisk and I find it works best.  Hold bowl at angle and beat for maybe 5-10 minutes.
  3. In the bottom of the pan, arrange sandwiches in one layer, cutting as needed.  Spread half of whipped cream on top and repeat another layer of sandwiches.
  4. On top, sprinkle with your choice of topping.  My favorite is snickers.
  5. Freeze for at least a few hours or a day before serving.  Gently pull up on wax paper sides to place on plate to serve.

Source:  Adapted from-http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/easy-ice-cream-cake-10000001817861/index.html

Tuna Casserole

31 Jul

Now, I know this sounds weird.  I almost hate calling it that because people usually cringe when they hear that name.  Kind of like fruit cake or something.  But there is always a reason why I try new recipes and usually it has to do with a surplus of ingredients in my pantry or fridge.  I like to use what I have and only buy what I need.  Cuts down on waste and your grocery bill.  So as you might have guess, I have a surplus of canned tuna because my awesome mom likes to bring us food spontaneously from Costco.  We call her the chicken fairy.  Anyway I thought I would get creative with the use of the tuna and not just do tuna sandwiches.  So I searched for a long time for a casserole that did not sound like complete vomit, because honestly, a lot of them do.  So here is the one I used.

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Ingredients:

  • box of pasta, cooked
  • 2 cans of tuna, drained
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 lg. container of French’s fried onions

Directions:

  1. Preheat over to 350 degrees.
  2. Coat a 9×13 dish with cooking spray.
  3. Combine pasta, tuna, and soup.  Mix well and top with Cheddar cheese.
  4. Bake for 25 minutes or until bubbly.  Sprinkle with fried onions and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes.

So the recipe I adapted this from called for 1 can of tuna and my man likes meat so I added 2 cans of tuna.  Good thing I did.  It needed it.  And use good tuna if you have it.  I had some low quality tuna and it could have tasted better.  Also, if I make this again I think I would add two cans of soup.  Might even change it to another kind of soup like golden mushroom or something like that.  I liked it, it was not terrible.  I even got some more, but it was not my favorite.  I think with the changes I mentioned above it might be better.  Also, this is not a good recipe to bring to work and heat up in the microwave.  The onions got mushy my husband said.  It does make plenty to have for left overs another night which is great for the budget, but for sure heat in the oven.

Source: Adapted from-http://allrecipes.com/recipe/easy-tuna-casserole/

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