Friday, April 30, 2010

Herbed Lemon Chicken-recipe

When my friend Melanie visited us in Utah, she made this yummy chicken for us. Ever since then, I have been after her to send me the recipe and she couldn't find it anywhere! So I finally got an email a couple of weeks ago from her...she found it!  Yay! This is quite peppery so if you don't like pepper, you might want to use a regular lemon seasoning instead of the lemon pepper.  But Jeremy and I love this...and so do the kids (although I scraped off some of the seasoning from their pieces). I hope you enjoy it!

Herbed Lemon Chicken

WW- Makes 4 servings @ 3 points per serving

2 Tbsp. Ms. Dash Lemon Pepper seasoning
1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
12 ounces of boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
½ medium lemon
1 c. low sodium chicken broth

1. On a large plate, combine lemon pepper seasoning and flour; pat chicken Dry and roll in mixture.
2. Heat butter in large skillet; add chicken And brown on both sides (about 3 minutes each side).
3. Meanwhile; remove zest from lemon; squeeze juice from lemon and mix zest and juice w/chicken broth.
4. Pour over chicken , cover and cook for 15 minutes. Remove lid and cook for a further five minutes or until juices run clear. (I kept the lid on until it was cooked...took about 20-25 minutes for me.) Serve immediately. The juice is so yummy poured over veggies and quinoa (or rice). :)

Thanks Melanie!!!!
Happy cooking & eating!

Friday, April 23, 2010

New tote bag

Sewing fun projects is addicting!!  There are so many cool tutorials out there in the big wide world of bloggers. I came across this one and had to try it.  I used fabrics from my stash but had to go out to buy the key rings.  This is a really cool bag.  I can see it being great for day trips out with the kids or instead of a diaper bag.  Problem is, I don't want to load it up yet because I don't want it to get all dirty from carrying it around everywhere! LOL  (Anyone else have a hard time using new things???)

Anyhow, here's my cool new tote bag. 

I couldn't figure out how to get a good photo of the inside. But notice all the neat pocket space?  There are several spots in there...on the side you can't see, there's room for a magazine or other large item. On the other side, there is a pocket for sunglasses, a couple of book sized items and pens.  There's even a keychain holder in there! I told you this was a fun bag. :)

I have stayed up way past my bedtime for several nights now so I must head off to bed. :) Someone please remind me to go to bed early tomorrow. LOL (Oh, and I didn't make the bag tonight, it was a couple of nights ago...tonight I stayed up baking breads, muffins, etc. to stock the freezer since we are having some cooler weather. Anyhow...good night!)
Happy sewing!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Porcupine Meatballs

Yum! Who doesn't love meatballs?? These are great alone or with a gravy or dipping sauce(maybe ketchup or BBQ sauce).  Since they have rice in them, you don't really need rice or potatoes on the side...just a nice big salad or other veggie. (Ok, who am I kidding...we had mashed potatoes with them but some bread would be good, too. LOL)

Porcupine Meatballs
WW- 5 meatballs (recipe makes 25 total)
7 points using 90% beef, 6 points if using 95% beef

1 lb ground beef (90 % or better)
2 cups fully cooked rice (I used brown rice)
1 cup shredded lowfat cheese (I used Kraft 2%)
1 tsp Italian seasoning
½ tsp each garlic powder, salt, pepper
Directions: Combine all ingredients and roll into meatballs. Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes or until fully cooked.

Source- I got this recipe here but I made a couple of changes.  I felt like 3 cups of rice was too much so I made them with 2 cups and 3/4 lb ground beef.  But everyone wanted another meatball or two so this time I upped the recipe to 1 lb and kept the other things the same.  I am not sure about adding more rice to stretch it to more meatballs.  You could try that. I also chose to use 2% shredded cheese to lower the points.  Feel free to experiment with spices and cheeses. :)

Happy eating!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Cuban black beans and rice - recipe

I have no idea if these are really "Cuban" black beans.  I don't think I have ever had real Cuban food.  But, it doesn't really matter all that much because we like them whether they are authentic or not. :) This is yummy and filling. 

Cuban Black Beans and Rice

WW-Beans = 5 points a cup
(Rice extra points

1 lb. (2 cups dry) Black Beans (or 2 cans drained and rinsed)
4 slices bacon (or turkey bacon), cooked & chopped
2-3 cups Chicken Stock
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 medium Onion, peeled &chopped
2 cloves Garlic, peeled, mashed and minced
¼ Bell Pepper, chopped (or more)( any color…I like red)
1 cup Celery, finely chopped
2 Tablespoons distilled White Vinegar
1 Bay Leaf (or ½ of a leaf if yours is strong…or leave it out)
1 medium Tomato, cored, seeded and chopped
Salt and ground Black Pepper to taste

*Sort rinse and drain a 1 pound package of dry black beans (2 cups). Add the beans to a large pot and cover with 6 to 8 cups of cold water. Bring the pot of beans and water to a rolling boil, stirring frequently. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 1½-2 hours until the beans are very tender. Add more water as needed Drain the beans and set aside.

*In the pot that you used to cook the beans, heat the olive oil. Add the bacon, onion, celery and pepper into the hot oil. Cook, stirring constantly until onion is translucent.

*Add chicken stock or broth until these ingredients are covered. Add bay leaf, vinegar, and tomato. Bring this mixture to a boil, stirring frequently. Lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

*Add in the drained beans. Add in more chicken stock or broth until bean and seasoning mixture is covered. Add some salt and pepper (or other spices) to taste. Simmer for 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Keep covered. Remove the bay leaf and discard it. Serve beans over rice. We like to add some chopped cilantro, green onions and lots of hot sauce (I like Frank's). Yum!

Happy eating!

Monday, April 19, 2010

More sewing projects-wrist pin cushion and pillowcase

I'm thinking I need to add "sews" to my blog name. LOL
Here are a couple of small projects I made over the weekend. I have wanted to make a new wrist pin cushion for a long time.  I used this tutorial and it was really easy! I added some plastic inside of the band part under the cushion to keep the pins from poking me (I cut an old credit card in half). It works perfectly and it is sooo much more comfortable and cute than my old wrist pin cushion (which was given to me when I was around 10 by one of my grandmothers...they both gave me sewing kits the same year for Christmas!). I used scraps of fabric from my apron project.

I also made Abby a new pillowcase. Fun! I sewed French seams so that there wouldn't be any raw edges. This was my first time sewing this type of fact, I don't think I had even heard of it before! Here's a link to a video I watched to learn how.  I made my seams a bit smaller than she does, though (a scant 1/4 inch then a generous 1/4 inch).  
Abby loves her new pillowcase! I used scraps of fabric plus part of the top sheet that came with her toddler bed set.  Both she and Joshua have hated using that top your kids like it? Mine prefer the regular bottom sheet and a blanket. So instead of just having it sit unused in the closet, I decided to make a pillowcase with it (I still have more of it for another project). The lighting was poor since it was about midnight when I took this.  It's really much cuter than it looks. :)

I hope you are having a great Monday!!! What are you working on??
(I also have a fun project I made for my sister for her birthday...but I can't share it yet! I will have to remember to post after she opens it. :) )

Happy sewing!

Menu Planning Monday

I think I forgot to post my menu last week...sorry!  I am doing it first thing today so I don't forget again. :) I created my menu last night and we are trying a few new recipes this week.  It's always more fun for me if I get to try new things. :) I have a couple of these recipes that I want to share with you so I will add them when I get a chance.

Tuesday- Chicken salad *new*
Wednesday- Porcupine meatballs, mashed potatoes, gravy and green beans
Thursday- Pasta (with sauce from the freezer)
Friday- Hearty Lentil Stew*new* (we are supposed to have a couple of chilly days!)
Saturday- BBQ chicken pizza, salad
Sunday- Steak fajitas, beans and tortillas

What do you typically fix for breakfasts and lunches?
We are going to try a couple of new things for breakfast this week....Blueberry breakfast crisp and Warm and nutty cinnamon quinoa.  But usually, our go-to's are cereal, oatmeal (Abby's FAVORITE thing), corn "mush" (this is a new one for us...but similar to malt-o-meal...Joshua loves this one), and breakfast burritos. The kids love add-ins so we like to add dried fruit, bluberries, nuts, ground flax seed (and of course a little brown sugar to our hot cereals).

For lunches, it varies.  Sometimes it's leftovers.  Other common things on our lunch menu include sandwiches, eggs and toast, soup, grilled cheese, quesadillas, bean & cheese burritos and wraps. Then we add a little fruit and/or veggie on the side.

I'd love to hear about your go-to breakfast and lunch items!!!
For more menu ideas, go to
Happy eating!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Cream of celery soup - recipe

Here's a low point soup that is tasty and filling.  I love to have a cup of a low point veggie soup in the afternoon when the tummy rumbles hit. I have a few others I will share as soon as I get a chance.
Cream of celery soup

Cream of Celery Soup
WW points per cup-1.25
Servings: 4 (one cup each serving)
2 1/2 cup fat-free chicken broth
1 small potato, peeled and diced
2 tsp olive oil
4 large stalk celery, diced
1 cup onion, diced (about 1 small onion)
2 clove garlic clove, minced
Directions: Saute onion in olive oil for a few minutes until soft. Add garlic and cook for another minute or two. Add broth, celery and potato and bring to a boil. Turn to low, add lid and simmer for 25-30 minutes or until vegetables are soft. Blend soup in blender or with an immersion blender until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Enjoy!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The early bird...

...catches the scrappy bug! I woke up early and finished two pages this morning. These are both lifts of members of The Scraproom for challenges.
I know my mom is going to kill me for posting this one...but I think the photo is sweet and needs to be shared. Love you, mom. (Don't be mad!)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Curried Lentils - recipe

Here is one of our regular meatless meals. I got the basic recipe for this from Nicole.  Here is how I make it....mostly...I taste and add depending on my mood and the curry powder I have.  Curry powders are all so different.  Some are mild, some are spicy, some are a little sweet.  I have added a bit of cumin before and even some hot red curry paste.  Make this to suit your taste preferences.

Curried lentils and potatoes

WW – 4 servings @ 5 pts each
1 onion chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup light coconut milk (or more broth if you prefer...but it really doesn't make it taste like coconut...just adds more depth to the flavor)
2.5 cups chicken broth
1 Cup Lentils
1TBS Curry (or more)
2 potatoes peeled and cut in chunks
salt and pepper to taste (add other spices such as cumin or red curry to your taste preferences)
Optional Items:
sour cream, cilantro, green onions

1. Chop and fry up an onion in a big soup pot with a little cooking spray (I usually add a little olive oil for some healthy fat). Once it is soft and golden, add garlic and cook for one more minute.
2. Wash and pick over lentils. Add lentils, curry powder, coconut milk and broth to the soup pot.
3. Bring to a boil and then cook on med-low for about 10-15 minutes, until lentils start to soften.
4. Bury potatoes under lentils. Put the lid on and simmer without disturbing for ten minutes.
5. Check to see if it's getting too dry, add water or broth if needed. Stir gently and continue to cook until potatoes and lentils are tender.
6. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
This is a thick stew not a soup so if it's soupy take of the lid and keep cooking. Serve on top of rice with sour cream, chopped cilantro and green onions (extra points for the rice and sour cream).

I hope you like this.  We have it a couple times a month...Jer really loves curry!

Cast iron skillet baked potatoes - recipe

I have a feeling that I will be making a lot of potatoes in my new cast iron skillet in many different ways.  This is a super easy and basic recipe that you can use instead of having plain old baked potatoes. This gives the potatoes a yummy golden crunchy top. 

Cast Iron Skillet Baked Potatoes
WW points- 2 points for each potato half
4 medium sized baking potatoes (I used russet but I am sure almost any kind would be good)
4 tsp oil (I used olive oil)
Seasoning to taste (I used Old World Central from the Spice House.  It is similar to a seasoning salt but much better. :) Use any sort of seasoning you like that will go well with what you are eating.)

1. Scrub and dry your potatoes. Cut them in half lengthwise.
2. Add oil to a COLD cast iron skillet. 
3. Sprinkle whatever seasonings you are using evenly over the oil.  I didn't measure this.  I just sprinkled til it looked like there was enough.  I might even add more next time.
4. Place your potatoes, cut side down, in your pan.
5. Put your cold skillet into your cold oven and set it to 400 degrees.  After about 15 minutes, turn it down to 350 and cook for another 30-45 minutes until a fork goes easily into the potatoes.
6. Serve with sour cream, cheese, chili....or just eat plain alongside your main dish.  So yummy!


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Hello new friend!

I have a new friend. Here she is...
I picked this out for part of my birthday present from my parents. I have always wanted a cast iron skillet... but I am so intimidated by it now!  I don't know why.  I have been busy looking up tips to care for her and cook with her.  I have seasoned her once in the oven with some shortening but I have yet to cook with her.

I hope you will leave me some recipes/links/tips to help me get over this fear. :)

Here are a few I plan on trying soon...
Breakfast potatoes (so basic and yummy...but I wonder if they are even better in an iron skillet!!??)

Help!  Do you cook with a cast iron skillet?  Do you use it daily or just for special recipes?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Quilted table runner

I found this great tutorial last week on how to make a quilted table runner.
I decided to use some scraps that I have had for a very long time to decorate my table for Easter.  (One of the fabrics has an Easter Bunny on it.) The other side is just a simple floral for spring. This was the first time I have ever tried to "quilt" anything and it was fun.  It took a little longer to do all of the actual quilting than I expected, but I am happy with the results. I have to admit that I forgot to iron between adding the strips and I still think it turned out fine.  I don't think I would have enjoyed it as much if I actually had to stop each strip, go into the other room and iron it. The batting I used had a bit of stick to it so it held the strips down a bit while I worked. But if it hadn't I am sure I would have needed to use an iron. is my first quilted project. :) 

I hope you'll try something new soon, too!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Menu Planning Monday

Forgot to post last week! Here is our menu for this week. As always, I reserve the right to make changes to fit my mood for the day. LOL
Monday- Leftovers
Tuesday- Curried lentils with potatoes, rice and roasted cauliflower
Wednesday- Crockpot chicken taco chili over baked potatoes
Thursday- Angel hair pasta with alfredo sauce, sauteed mushrooms and grape tomotoes, salad and bread
Friday- Orange chicken, rice and broccoli
Saturday- Burritos with taco style lentils and rice
Sunday- Chicken & Dumplings (Depends on the weather actually...if it's warm by then, I might change my mind.)
See for more menu planning ideas!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

New sketches and a challenge

Happy April Fools Day!!  Are you one to play tricks on people?  I have never been too fond of practical jokes so I rarely do. :)  Instead, I have some fun new sketches for you today.  I have not had a chance to create layouts for these yet but I will share when I create some. 

I am also hosting the Got Sketches challenge on The ScrapRoom message board April 1-14 so hop on over to join us if you use these sketches.  Here are two new single page sketches-

Here is the second sketch made into a double page sketch for those of you who like creating double page layouts.
I would love to see your layouts using any of these sketches so I hope you will link up your pages in the comment section here.
Happy Scrapping!!!

My lovely blog visitors