My life as a Mother and Teacher. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Not Your Traditional Zucchini Casserole

I bought zucchini a few days ago because well its the end of summer and I wanted zucchini again before the fresh vegetable went obsolete (except for the occasional teeny tiny one the grocery store would have that had a million dents and brown marks in it making you think they had just found it in the back somewhere and decided to put it out thinking no one would realize its January and there aren't any fresh vegetable gardens anywhere near you) 

Well I was hoarding these zucchini for the perfect side dish...well it never popped into my head so it was getting to the point where I was either going to have to cook them one of the normal ways I always do (grill, fry, roast, etc.) because if I didn't they would turn into molded mush in the fridge in a few days.  No one wants molded mush for dinner.  So I was throwing a dinner together because the hubby said he was getting tired of pot pie.  Well I wanted pot pie...so my heart wasn't into this dinner.  It's Thursday and my first week back at school with students so of course I was tired and not really in the mood to cook.  Well miraculously I came up with what I'm sure is a recipe that is already out there because I feel like I've pinned something similar on pinterest but it was surprisingly delicious and felt like I really put some thought and effort into it.  So here is the recipe:

3 medium zucchini, sliced thinly
extra virgin olive oil
half a sleeve of Ritz crackers, crushed
salt and pepper to taste

In a bowl put the olive oil, salt and pepper and zucchini and toss to coat each piece.  This will ensure evenly cooked zucchini (I didn't do this but thinking it might be more evenly cooked if I had and the salt and pepper would distribute evenly too).  Then in a lightly oiled casserole dish (less than an 8 inch) stack and place the zucchini slices in rolls like you would crackers.  You should have about 3-4 rolls of tightly packed zucchini slices.  You should mostly see the edges and not the centers of the zucchini.  Then sprinkle a little bit of salt and pepper on top then add the crushed Ritz crackers to the top.  Dot with butter and bake at 350-375 for about 30 minutes or until the zucchini is tender.  The baking time will also depend on how thin and even your zucchini slices are.

This was a very easy recipe. I sliced the zucchini by hand just because I didn't feel like digging out my mandolin slicer.  You could use either.  If you've ever had deep fried or pan fried zucchini this will remind you of that.  The crunchiness of the cracker topping gives it the feeling of having been deep fried or pan fried but I think it is a lot healthier with the olive oil and without the breading.  Just a little bit of the crunchy topping goes a long way.  I hope you really enjoy this recipe and I'm sure you can add spices or flavored butters to enhance the flavor of the zucchini.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Chicken Pot Pie

As I'm adding this recipe my mouth is watering at the thought of eating this again.  I love chicken pot pie and usually I just put some veges in a dish with some shredded chicken and some cream of chicken soup and a little milk then top with some canned biscuits.  Let me tell you I was fooling myself thinking that was the "right" way to make chicken pot pie.  If this is how you make chicken pot pie you need to try this recipe and let me know what you think!  One day I might be adventurous enough (and have enough time) to make fresh dough for the top but until then the puff pastry works pretty well!  I hope you enjoy!


1 lb boneless chicken breast

3 ½ cups of chicken broth

½ cup whipping cream

15 oz can of sliced carrots

15 oz can of diced potatoes

1 medium onion diced

4 T butter

4 T flour

1 sheet of puff pastry, thawed

Chicken or beef bouillon or base

Extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste



Put chicken on aluminum foil lined pan.  Sprinkle with olive oil salt and pepper and bake at 375 until done about 20 minutes.  In a pan on top of the stove add a little olive oil and onions and salt and pepper to taste and sauté onions until translucent.  Add butter, melt then add flour and begin your rue.  Once flour is incorporated add in broth and bouillon cubes or base.  Bring up to a boil and simmer until thickened.  Add whipping cream and stir to combine.  Once chicken is done cube and add into sauce along with carrots and potatoes and any other vegetable you would like to use.  Pour in greased baking dish.  Brush edges of dish with egg wash and placed puff pastry on top sticking edges of to dish.  Brush top of puff pastry with egg wash and sprinkle some salt and pepper on top then place in oven for about 20-30 minutes at 375.  If the puff pastry begins to brown too fast you can bring oven down to 350.  Serve when crust is golden brown and filling is hot and bubbly.







Cheesy Bread

This is great alongside pasta or by itself.  Reminds me a little of Little Caesars cheesy bread.


Frozen or fresh pizza dough

Swiss cheese, thinly sliced

Parmesan cheese, shaker style is fine

Fresh Mozzarella cheese

Italian Seasoning

Ranch Dressing



Stretch out dough onto a sheet pan greased with Extra Virgin Olive Oil.  Pour ranch dressing onto dough and smooth out to the edges.  Sprinkle with a little parmesan cheese.  Layer swiss cheese down then dot with the fresh mozzarella.  Sprinkle more parmesan cheese then sprinkle Italian seasoning on top.  Bake at 400 until edges are browned and cheese is bubbly.


Alice Springs Chicken (my version)

Yummy!  This recipe is not too difficult but it is so flavorful and delicious.  You can really substitute any of the ingredients and build your own cheesy topped goodness.  I think I might try it dipped in ranch dressing next.  I also added fresh spinach to the top after cooking just to add some green to the plate. 

Boneless Chicken Thighs or Breast
Honey Mustard sauce or anything similar
Cheese (any kind you like or combination)
Bacon (or if you are pressed for time bacon pieces from the salad dressing aisle)
Salt and Pepper to taste
Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Salt and pepper chicken and sear on both sides in a little olive oil in a frying pan.  After searing on each side dip in honey mustard sauce (both sides).  Then set in a greased baking pan.  Saute mushrooms in frying pan and salt and pepper to taste until cooked through.  Layer mushrooms on top of chicken then top with cheeses (I used mozzarella, cheddar and swiss).  Then sprinkle bacon over top.  Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked completely.  Be careful not to cook chicken too long so that it doesn't dry out.

Also I have some extra chicken and I plan on using it for quesadillas later on in the week!  Two meals in one is definitely my friend!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Update on the babes

A few months ago cash started saying the s word so we tried to get him to stop by threatening and spankings but he wouldn't stop.  I researched online and found a parent who gave their child "bad juice" (vinegar) so I decided to try it.  It must work because Cash hasn't said a bad word since.  He just says "___________said a bad word".   He does call us out from time to time with words "stupid" and "dumb".   I guess this will prove to be a good thing in a couple of years!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Copy Cat Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana

1 lb italian sausage
2 large russent potatoes
1 large onion, chopped
1/4 cup of bacon bits
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups kale or 2 cups swiss chard, chopped
16 ounces chicken broth
1 quart water
1 cup heavy whipping cream

     Brown sausage links in pan or cook in oven at 350 for 25 minutes or until done.  Cut links in half lengthwise, then dice into 1/2 inch slices.  Place cooked sausage, broth, water, garlic, potatoes, and onion in slow cooker.       Cover.  Cook on high for 3-4 hours until potatoes are cooked and soft.  Optional, Mash potatoes a bit with a potato masher for texture.
     Add the Kale.  Return the lid for 10 minutes and then add the whipping cream.  May need to add salt and pepper to taste.

This was delicious with a slice of baked bread or by itself!

I froze half of this mixture for another meal:
Directions for freezing:

add all ingredients execpt potatoes, whipping cream and bacon bits.

Freeze for 3-4 months in a ziplock bag.

Defrost in fridge the night before serving.  Add to crock pot the contents in bag and potatoes for 3-4 hours then add kale.  For the last 10 minutes add whipping cream and then serve with bread or by itself.  This was amazing!!!

Monday, September 10, 2012

The babes...September 2012

Well my children are getting way too big way too fast!  I don't know where the time goes.  Cash is going to be 3 in January and Camdyn will be 2 in April.  We decided to put Cash in preschool at a nearby church.  It is only two days a week for 2.5 hours.  I am happy and excited for him but I'm also nervous.  I'm so afraid he will hit another kid or that another kid will bully him.  He is used to playing with his sister and a couple of cousins, but he isn't used to playing with new kids.  The teachers seem wonderful and the are very reassuring.  I know Cash will have a wonderful time once he gets used to it.  Cash is also talking really well now.  He knows all kinds of equipment names like backhoe, bulldozer, big truck, tractor, school bus and train.  He also copies everything other people say...even bad words.  Camdyn talks too.  She says bow, momma, dada, nana, pawpaw, ba, baba, papa, cheese, bite (vitamins), choo choo.  They both love riding in anything with dada, pawpaw or granddaddy whether its a mower bulldozer or dump truck.  They fight all the time over toys food just about anything. 

We went to the museum of life and sciences the week before school started and the kids loved it.  They played in the sand, dug for dinosaur bones, rode the train, played music with the pots and hanging metal, and played in the mist.  I definitely want to take then back soon. Todd and I went in a trip to Indianapolis Indiana for his Dixie Chopper meeting. We have had a great time so far. We stayed at the marriott in downtown. I've enjoyed getting to meet other dealers that Todd knows and a few new people. We toured the factory today and believe it it not it was very interesting. We are on our way back to the airport and depending on how much time we have left we may get to do some shopping. I know I am ready to get back home to my babies that is for sure!