The Hungry Man Mexican Style Fiesta

I recently decided to branch out a little and purchase a Hungry Man Mexican Style Fiesta – I mean guys, it’s over 1 lb of food for just three bucks. This particular meal includes three beef enchiladas, smothered in chili sauce and cheese with Mexican Style rice and authentic refried beans. It also includes a coconut flavored pudding!

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I cooked my Hungry Man in my microwave oven, but if you’re a conventional oven sort of person, no worries – there are instructions for that. Be sure to remove the film from the pudding, but leave it over the refried beans and enchiladas. Then, microwave on high for 5 minutes. Pull back the film (but don’t destroy it!) and stir the beans. Give the enchiladas a little push around too, so they don’t end up stuck to the bottom. Put the film back on, and microwave on high for 2 minutes. Let it stand in the microwave for 1 more minute (hang in there – you’ll be eating soon!!) and then remove all the film before you eat it.

This platter is so huge, I had to share it with my hubby. It would be great as a last minute party food. I wish I had it around when we hosted an Olympics opening ceremonies party. Everyone brought food from different countries, and I would’ve NAILED IT with this one for Mexico.

Enjoy your 1-pounder, y’all!

The Grasshopper

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Are you putting up your Christmas decorations soon?? Well, you should make these. A few years ago, these amazing Grasshoppers became a bit of a tree decorating tradition for my mom and me. So naturally, when she came to visit for Thanksgiving, and then we transitioned the house from Fall to Christmas, we broke out the blender. HELLO!!!

Grasshoppers

Blend together one shot of creme de menthe, one shot of creme de cacao, and a LOT of vanilla ice cream. We almost filled up the vitamix with ice cream. Once you blend them, give it a taste. You can liquor it up a little bit extra if you want! They really look prettiest in a martini glass drizzled with chocolate syrup, but let’s be real – martini glasses don’t hold a lot.

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Mini Chicken Pot Pies

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Literally saw one of those Pillsbury commercials for these mini pot pies, and then made them for a Thanksgiving potluck. They were SO EASY.

Mini Chicken Pot Pies

Ingredients

Package of 8 Grands biscuits
1 cup chicken, cooked and diced
2 cups frozen vegetables, thawed (corn, carrots, peas, green beans)
1 can cream of chicken soup

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees

2. Combine chicken, vegetables, and soup in a bowl – mix well.

3. Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray. Use a rolling pin to flatten each biscuit, and then press each one into the tins.

4. Fill each biscuit with the filling, and then pull the edges of the biscuits over the filling as much as you can.

5. Bake for 20-22 minutes, and enjoy!

 

Brussell Sprouts with Cranberries

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These brussell sprouts are the perfect side dish for Thanksgiving or pretty much any holiday dinner party you have coming up. They are festive and pretty and DELICIOUS. I actually tripled the recipe below, as I was bringing it to a pot luck with 20 people or so. If you’re just making it for your family, I’d stick with the recipe asis. I had to cook it in two batches, and it filled up my rectangular Le Creuset baking dish.

For the record, several people told me that I officially made them like brussell sprouts for the first time. SUCCESS.

Please forgive the very fast iPhone photo taken the day after I actually made these amazing brussell sprouts. I truly regret not taking photos as I was cooking and right after they came off the stovetop. Oh well! Doesn’t change the deliciousness of this recipe.

Okay, here you go!

Pan-Seared Brussell Sprouts with Cranberries
from: Rachel Schultz

Ingredients

1 pound brussels sprouts, de-stemed and halved
2/3 cup fresh cranberries
1/3 cup gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
1/3 cup pecans
1/2 cup barley
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Olive oil
Salt & pepper

Directions

1. Prepare barley according to package instructions.
2. Heat brussels sprouts, cranberries, and olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.
3. Season with salt & pepper. Cook for 8-10 minutes.
4. Add balsamic vinegar and maple syrup. Stir to coat and remove from heat.
5. Toss barley, sprouts, cranberries, and pecans in a large bowl. Top with gorgonzola.

Vitamix!

Christmas has come early for us this year! Mom went ahead and ordered us an early Christmas present, something I’ve been wanting for a long time…a beautiful, top of the line Vitamix blender.

IT’S AMAZING!

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I’ve only used it a few times so far, but it makes the smoothest smoothies of all time. I can’t wait to use it for soups and other goodies all winter long.

In honor of my new toy, I’m reposting my favorite Pumpkin Pie Protein Shake recipe for you. Enjoy!

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Pumpkin Pie Protein Shake

Ingredients:
1/2 frozen banana (I pre-slice my bananas before freezing for easy blending)
1/2 cup pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling – just plain pumpkin)
1 cup milk of your choice (I use plain almond milk to keep calories and sugar down)
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1-inch piece of ginger, roughly chopped
Very generous dashes of cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice

Blend it all together, and enjoy!

 

Chicken Noodle Soup

For some reason, traveling between Florida and Ohio caused me to come down with a major cold. I had no voice for about a day and a half, and now, when I think it’s just about over, I’m having coughing fits at night and headaches in the morning. Major bummer, but ’tis the season!

As you may be experiencing something similar, I am hear to bring you my very tasty and so-simple-you-can-cook-it-while-you’re-sick Chicken Noodle soup.

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Chicken Noodle Soup (for your soul. makes a lot.)

Ingredients

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

3 cloves of garlic, minced

2 celery stalks, chopped

1 large (or several baby) carrot, chopped

2 quarts chicken stock, low sodium

8 oz egg noodles (I use No Yolks)

1 1/2 cups cooked chicken breast, chopped

Seasonings to taste: salt, pepper, basil, parsley, paprika, red pepper flakes, and hot sauce (my hubby likes to doctor it up with the spicy ones)

Directions

1. Coat the bottom of a large soup pot with oil. Add the onion, garlic, celery, and carrot. Cook for about five minutes, when the veggies are softening but not browned.

2. Pour in the chicken stock and bring it to a boil.

3. Add in noodles and reduce to a simmer for about five minutes.

4. Add chicken, and continue to simmer as you add the seasonings.

Doesn’t get much simpler than that! I like to let it simmer a little while just to get all the flavors melded. The noodles will soak up a lot of the stock, but that’s what makes it all so TASTY. Enjoy, and feel better!

 

Halloween Puppy Chow

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Okay, first things first: Do you call it puppy chow or muddy buddies?? I had never even heard of muddy buddies until last week…

Now that we have THAT out of the way, please, enjoy…

This recipe that I stole from over here at A Southern Fairy Tale is a great twist on classic puppy chow. Instead of peanut butter, it uses nutella (genius). But I must admit, I used a jar of nutella, and then a huge glob of peanut butter too. Everything else though, I followed the recipe.

For candy add ins, I actually found s’mores candy corns and they were AWESOME. I also threw in some regular candy corn, an “autumn mix” which included pumpkins and such, and then a bag of Candy Corn M&Ms.

I was pretty confident upon purchasing them that “Candy Corn M&Ms” were simply m&ms in candy corn colors. This was a false assumption. They actually have like, a  candy corn filling. And with all the other candy corns in the mix, it was just a bit too much. A bag of regular ol’ m&ms would have been perfect here. Alas, it looks pretty!

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