Month: January 2017

Taste Test Tuesday 1/31/17

I’ve been pinning a lot of recipes that are on the lighter side lately.   Desserts can be so tasteless when you try to make them a lighter version.  I have to say these Weight Watchers inspired Lemon Cupcakes are pretty good.  They don’t taste like cardboard, there isn’t a bad aftertaste and they are very moist even with omitting the oil and the eggs. With 3 simple ingredients that makes them even better.




Three Ingredient Lemon Cake Muffins


1 box lemon cake mix

1 cup water

1 100 calorie lemon flavored yogurt


Line 2 muffin/cupcake tins with cupcake liners and fill 1/2 full.   Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 15-22 minutes.






The Best Flank Steak Marinade

January 30, 2017

In my opinion this is hands down the best flank steak marinade EVER.  So tender so juicy so amazing!   Luckily even when it’s cold my husband will still grill, so we had this yesterday for dinner.   Give this a try and I bet it’ll become your favorite as well.

1 Beef flank steak (1 pound)

3 Garlic cloves,minced

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/4 cup soy sauce

1 tbsp brown sugar

1/2 tsp Pepper

1 tbsp oil (vegetable or olive)

2 tbsp Water


(We doubled the marinade since we had two and wanted to have some leftovers.)

















Happy Monday!


Tuesday Takes

Tried some new recipes this weekend and all were good!  Love when that happens.  One needs a little tweaking in my opinion so I won’t share until I can get it to where I like it.

First The Country Cook’s  Chicken Stew.  I pinned this in December to try and couldn’t wait on this one,  it was on the top of my list.


Look at all the hearty goodness in that ladle !

Here’s how I did her recipe:

Country Cook’s Chicken Stew

1 tbsp olive oil

1 medium onion finely diced

1 cup chopped carrots

1 cup chopped celery

2 cloves garlic minced

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1/2 tsp dried thyme

2 32 oz cartons chicken broth low sodium

1 12 oz package Reames Frozen Egg Noodles

1  cups 1 %  milk

1/2 cup half and half

1/4 cup corn starch

chopped cooked chicken breast

1 cup frozen peas

(I added frozen Lima beans and corn because the boys were out-of-town and my girl doesn’t like peas)

In a large pot, over medium-high heat, add olive oil. Saute the onion, carrots and celery for about 5 minutes .  Then add in the minced garlic and cook for an additional minute. Season with salt, pepper and thyme.  Add both cartons of chicken broth and bring  to a boil.  Then add your noodles and let simmer over medium-heat for 10 minutes.  Next add your chicken and frozen veggies and simmer for another 10 minutes.  In a bowl, whisk together milk and cornstarch until smooth.  Pour milk mixture into pot and stir well.  Bring mixture up to a gentle boil to thicken.

SO SO GOOD!!  You’ve gotta try it!   My daughter and her friend were my guinea pigs on Sunday and they both loved it too.  My daughter ate it again for lunch Monday and my son ate the rest when he got home from Florida and he gave it a thumbs up too.  You know it’s good when leftovers are just as good.

Next for dinner I wanted to do something in the crock-pot and I typed in the search engine on Pinterest boneless skinless chicken thighs in crock-pot.  This was the first recipe to come up,  Honey- Garlic Slow Cooker Chicken Thighs.  This was super good too.  My daughter and I really liked it and my husband ate this on Monday for his dinner when they got back from Florida and he said it was really good too.  Momma was 2-2 this weekend on the new recipes she tried.

Honey Garlic Slow Cooker Chicken Thighs


I forgot to get a picture after they were completely done.  I snapped this while they were in the crock-pot cooking, they smelled so GOOD!

2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs

1/2 cup soy sauce

1/2 cup ketchup

1/3 cup honey

3 cloves garlic minced

1 teaspoon dried basil

Place chicken in crock-pot and mix together remaining ingredients pour over the top and cook on low 6 hours or until chicken is done. I think mine were probably done around the 5 hour mark.  Will watch more closely next time and see.  These were so tender and so flavorful.

Linking up at:

Twinkly Tuesday with Mummascribbles

Nap Time Creations Create Link Inspire

Two Cup Tuesdays

Inspire Me Mondays

Hearth and Soul Link Up


Tuesday Takes

What’s the saying?  Plans are made to be broken? No. That’s rules.  I do know one thing in my house plans are made to be changed.   Swoosh…. that’s the sound of my Menu Plan Monday being tossed out the window.  I should have known better, it’s not a big deal really, and I most definitely am used to this by now.   I grew up in a home where my parents rarely changed a plan.  Notice I didn’t say never because again you know that saying “never say never”.    My mom would put a menu for the week on the side of the fridge that we could always go to and see what was for dinner.  That menu plan did not change.  I don’t ever remember a time when it did.  It could have but hey I was a kid.  My job back then was just to show up and eat. Even on vacations my parents had a plan for where and/ or what we’d be eating on what nights.  Whether it be dinner out, subs, or pizza ordered in or my mom cooking a meal.   Fast forward to my home with my husband and my own family.  I can’t tell you how many times I’d get a call from him asking either “would you be OK if I did this?”  or “what’s on the menu tonight because I’m in the mood for take out and I’ll pick some up.”  That my friends would have NEVER happened in my household growing up.   Oops I said never didn’t I?  Well I feel pretty confident in that never.  OH and the first time we vacationed with my parents and my husband wanted to get pizza instead of going out on Tuesday?  Well it didn’t go over well but we all survived.   With all that said my plan (yes I see the irony) from now on is on Mondays to do Monday Might Make This Week.  No pressure just options for dinner that I can have when like today I get a call from the husband asking, “hey do you mind if me and the boys leave for Florida tonight instead?” and the text reminder of back to school night this Thursday. How’d I miss that one?

So today instead  of sharing the recipe for what I had planned for dinner I will share from last week a few recipes I had pinned and I finally tried.  Three of the four items on this plate were from those pins.



Easy Garlic Parmesan Knots were a huge hit with my son.  We all liked them but he really liked them.

Easy Garlic Parmesan Knots

1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

2 tablespoons Kraft Grated Parmesan Cheese

3/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon dried parsley flakes

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 (16-ounce) tube refrigerated buttermilk biscuits

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a small bowl, whisk together butter, Parmesan, garlic powder, oregano, parsley and salt; set aside. Halve each of the 8 biscuits, making 16 pieces. Roll each piece into a 5-inch rope, about 1/2-inch thick, and tie into a knot, tucking the ends. Place knots onto the prepared baking sheet and brush each knot with  butter mixture.  Place into oven and bake until golden brown, about 8-10 minutes.

The Parmesan Basil Orzo was mine and my daughter’s  favorite, but also liked by all four of us.  It has been requested that I make this again soon.

Parmesan Basil Orzo

2 Tbsp butter

1 1/2 cups orzo

3 cups chicken broth

1/2 tsp garlic powder

3/4 cup Sargento Shredded Parmesan Cheese

2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil – (I used dried basil I just sprinkled it in didn’t measure)

salt and pepper to taste

In a large skillet, combine butter and orzo.  Sauté over medium heat until orzo is golden brown, stirring frequently.    Stir in the broth and garlic powder, dried basil, salt and pepper and bring to a boil.  Cover and reduce heat to low.  Simmer 20 minutes or until orzo is tender and almost all the broth has been absorbed. Remove from the heat, stir in the Parmesan cheese until melted and combined.

Best Ever Roasted Asparagus

1 bunch of asparagus

3-4 Tbsp. olive oil

sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 425º .  Rinse the asparagus and dry them off with a paper towel.  Cut off about an inch at the bottom of the stalks and spread asparagus on a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil. Drizzle with the olive oil and toss. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper toss again. Place the asparagus is in a single layer on the sheet and place in oven. Roast for about 10 minutes. Asparagus with be browned on the outside and have a crispness to them.
* These were perfect with just the salt and pepper.  Next time I may try some other seasonings.   I love asparagus but I’ve never made it at home.  Not sure why I waited so long!  It was so easy.  Both the kids tried it for the first time and like it, the husband passed on trying.

The chicken on the plate is just a bone in roasted chicken breast brushed with a mixture of a Lipton’s Garlic and Herb Recipe Soup & Dip Mix  packet , water and olive oil.  So good so easy! My local grocery stores stopped carrying this.  The only place I could find it was Walmart.  Last time I went there wasn’t any on the shelf.  Amazon to the rescue!

Hope you have a great Tuesday.  I know I plan on it.  (wink wink)

~ Andrea

Linking with:

Twinkly Tuesdays

Two Cup Tuesday

Totally Terrific Tuesdays

Turn It Up Tuesday

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Lou Lou Girls Fabulous Party

Hearth and Soul Link Party

Coffee and Conversation

Wine’d Down Wednesdays

Menu Plan Monday

Menu for week of January 9 2017

Monday ~ Corn and Crab Soup


Found this gem in one of my Best of Southern Living Books

1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup flour

2 cups chicken broth

2 cups Land O’ Lakes Half and Half

1 pound lump crab meat

1 (11 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon pepper

Old Bay Seasoning to taste ( we like a lot!)

Melt butter in kettle over low heat; add flour stirring until mixture is smooth. Cook 1 minute stirring constantly.  Gradually add broth and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until thickened.  Stir in remaining ingredients, cover and reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes.  Sprinkle with more Old Bay before serving.

Tuesday ~ Mom’s Macaroni and Beef

Wednesday ~ Trying Thick and Creamy Chicken Noodle Stew (can’t wait!)

Thursday ~ Trying Creamy Shrimp and Mushroom Pasta (since the boys will be gone)

Friday ~  Breaded Ranch Chicken

Satuday ~ Dinner out

Sunday ~  Lemon Garlic Chicken Thighs

Tweeked my back yesterday so hoping to stay on track with the menu!

Happy Monday all and stay warm it didn’t get out of the 20’s here today in VA!



Linking with Meatless Monday


Inspire Me Monday at Create With Joy

Inspire Me Monday

Moonlight and Mason Jars Link Party

Crock-Pot French Dip Sandwiches

Monday was just plain blah outside and it was my day to take all the Christmas decor down so I knew by the time dinner rolled around I wasn’t going to be up for putting together a meal.  For me that’s when I know it’s time to pull out the trusty crock-pot. There are so many recipes out there for french dip so I’ve taken bits and pieces from different ones to make it my own.



2-3 pound chuck roast
onion sliced thin
14 ounce can beef broth
10 1/2 ounce can Campbell’s French Onion Soup
2 cloves garlic minced
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper
provolone cheese
Season the roast with salt and pepper and sear on both sides.  This is why I love my Ninja Crock-pot I can do this step right in the crock-pot, no need to mess up a pan.  Add the onion, French Onion Soup , can of beef broth, garlic, and Worcestershire sauce and cook on low 5-6 hours.   Shred the beef and serve on your choice of bread, we like a hoagie roll, with provolone and for my daughter and myself we add sautéed mushrooms.
Our side tonight was broccoli and Parmesan baked potato halves.
Parmesan Baked Potato Halves
6 small potatoes scrubbed, skin left on, & sliced in half
(I used red potatoes this time)
1/4 cup butter
Kraft Grated Parmesan Cheese
garlic powder
any other seasonings you want!
Preheat oven to 400 degrees while the oven is preheating I add the butter to the 9×13 pan and melt it that way.  Sprinkle Parmesan cheese and whatever seasonings you are using over the melted butter.  Place your potatoes sliced side down in butter mixture and bake 40-45 minutes.  Allow to cool 5 minutes so mixture will stick to potatoes before serving.