Barn Studio of Dance

Monday, February 28, 2011

Menu Plan Monday ~ Week of February 28th


Last week was a good week.  I started my diet, managed to get the kitchen cabinets cleaned out and somewhat organized, and Grace slept through the night TWICE!  I sure do miss those nights when she was an infant.  She used to sleep for 12 hours!  That not only gave me 4 hours to myself, but I also managed to get 8 hours of sleep every night! 

I had to switch up the menu plan a bit last week.  Mainly, because I forgot to take the chicken and ham out of the freezer.  So a few changes were needed.    Including, adding Tuna Noodle Casserole to the plan.  I'll post the recipe as soon as I remember where I scribbled down the measurements. 



I loved the Black Bean and Sweet Potato Burritos from last week!  I used the chili that I put in the freezer after the Super Bowl.  It was just a small amount of chili, but after layering it onto the tortilla with some leftover rice, we ended up with 5 wraps.  Two for me, three for Joe.  They were so good, I'm thinking of making a batch of chili, just to use for burritos!  Mmmm!  I paired them with some Butternut Squash Fries.  The fries turned out a bit mushy, even after putting them under the broiler for a bit.  I think I should have let them  sit a bit longer to allow the salt to draw out extra moisture after slicing them before popping into the oven.  Still, the flavor was good (first time eating butternut squash).  I'll be trying this recipe again, hopefully they will turn out better next time!



I tried out my new George Foreman Grill  on Friday night and it worked great for grilling some chicken breast.  I had 5 chicken breasts and I cut them in half since I thought they were too thick for the small grill to handle.  Instead of the Caesar Salad I had originally planned with the chicken, I made some chicken flavored rice with peas and corn.  Since I cooked the whole package of chicken, I packed the leftovers in the fridge for quick lunches or dinners. 

I didn't get to make that Wild Rice Soup.  Our local market only had a tiny, tiny box of wild rice for $4 and I refused to buy it!  I'm hoping I can do better in both quantity and price somewhere else.  I really want to try that soup! 

Here's what's planned for this week: 





  • Monday:  Grilled Chicken Sandwiches.  This is a repeat of last night's dinner.  I needed something quick after an afternoon at the park.  I used my George Foreman Grill to reheat the leftover chicken breast.  After the chicken was heated, I placed it on an Arnold's Sandwich Thins bun with lettuce and chipotle mayo.  Last night, we had this with baby carrots and fruit salad.  Tonight, I'll serve it with Our Favorite Baked Beans

  • Tuesday:  Leftover Spanish Chicken (pictured below), with potatoes and green beans.  I made sure to write down the ingredients as I made this old family recipe.  I'll be sharing this recipe with you very soon!   

  • Wednesday:  Ham, pierogi, steamed veggies.  Like I said up above, I forgot to get the ham out of the freezer last week.  I better remember this week, since I'm really in the mood for pierogi! 

  • Thursday:  Baked Omelet Cups.  Yet another recipe I didn't get to last week.  I planned on adding some leftover ham to the omelets, but since we didn't have the ham last week, I decided to skip the omelet cups too.  Here's hoping we get to them this week! 

  • Friday:  Spaghetti with meat sauce.  Grace loves pasta and can't seem to get enough of it!  Spaghetti is one of her favorites!  Since I have some sauce in the freezer, this will be a quick and easy meal.  I'll make a salad and some garlic bread, too. 

  • Saturday:  Black Bean Soup, quesadillas, salad.  I've been wanting black bean soup for a few weeks now.  Hopefully, I find the time to make it this week.  Any leftover soup, I'll eat for lunches next week!  MMmm! 

  • Sunday:  We have some errands to run, so we'll grab something to eat while we're out.  It's been a while since we went out to eat.  We'll choose someplace family friendly (without a drive-thru)! 

What meals have you planned for this week?  For more menu plans and recipe ideas, check out Menu Plan Monday over at I'm an Organizing Junkie. 

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Spare Bedroom: Man Cave or Mama's Retreat?

Joe and I have been trying to decide what to do with our spare bedroom.  It started as our guest room for when my nieces slept over or my cousin would come for a visit.  When the sleepovers stopped we used the room as an office.  That didn't work out so well and now the room is just full of junk!  Anything I want to keep out of Grace's reach usually gets shoved into that room.  As Niecy Nash would say, that room is a "hot mess"! 

Now we both have different ideas for the use of that room.  Very different. 

Joe, as the only man in the house, feels he needs a room of his own so he can escape from all things girly.  Shall we say "Man Cave"?  He wants to fill it with manly furniture, a flat screen tv and video games!  I can totally see him sitting back and relaxing this Eames Lounge Chair





For me, I'd love to see the room turned into a quiet and cozy Mama's Retreat.  A room where I can go to hide curl up on this Skyline Furniture - Settee and read a book or watch a movie and forget about the toys scattered across the living room and dining room floors! 





After both of us tried to convince the other that we deserved or needed that room the most, we both agreed that the room will go to Grace.  The guest room-turned-office-turned-junk room will be Grace's new playroom.  It'll be a while, but once we get that room emptied, the walls insulated (that room is COLD!) and paint it a pretty color, we will move Grace's toys out of our living room (and anywhere else she decides to leave them) and into her new playroom! 

I believe this will be the perfect solution for all of us!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Yoplait Original Yogurt Review and Giveaway

****giveaway is closed****

After Joe ended up in the ER last week (we were lucky, it turned out to be nothing serious), we decided that we're both going to start eating healthier. 

We are polar opposites in our eating habits.  The only thing in common is that neither of us are practicing healthy eating. 
  • Joe eats breakfast in the morning (if he has time) and doesn't eat anything for the rest of the day until dinner.  He often works 12 hours or more a day after having nothing but a bowl of cereal or oatmeal to start his morning. 
  • Me?  Well, I tend to just snack all day long.  No real food.  Just snacks.  Crackers.  Cookies.  Chips.  Whatever.  All Day. 
Earlier this month, I started taking some vitamins.  I'm not fond of taking vitamins, they always made me feel sick to my stomach.  But after suffering from the winter blues since just after Christmas, I asked Joe to pick me up some vitamin-D supplements to see if they would help my mood.  While he was at the pharmacy, he also picked up a bottle of women's health vitamins.  So, every night at dinner, I take one of each.  It's a small step, but it's a step in the right direction.  Now to quit the all-day-junk-food-fests and start adding in some healthy meals and snacks to my daily routine. 

Okay, don't get me wrong... it's not all about pizza and french fries or chocolate and cake... we do buy and eat healthy foods.  I just tend to reach for a cookie instead of a carrot!  That's the big problem I need to address.  Choosing healthier snacks. 

Recently, yogurt has become one of my favorite healthy snacks.  Let me start by saying that I am pretty picky when it comes to yogurt.  As a child and most of my adult life, I've had "issues" with dairy products.  Not health issues.  I just didn't care for dairy products at all.  Since I was always pretty finicky about dairy products, it's been an ongoing struggle to get enough calcium into my diet.  So, I'm really excited to have had the opportunity to try the newly reformulated Yoplait Original style yogurt and to tell you about it today: 
Now with two times the amount of calcium of the leading yogurt, that’s 50 percent of the Daily Value in one convenient 6-ounce cup, Yoplait Original yogurt provides women with an easy and delicious way to get the calcium they need. Yoplait Original also contains 50 percent of the Daily Value of vitamin D, which helps with the absorption of calcium. Yoplait is committed to women’s health and is proud to offer a product that has even more of the calcium and vitamin D they need for strong, healthy bodies.






In an effort to further educate women about the importance of maintaining strong, healthy bones through an active lifestyle and a diet rich in calcium, Yoplait is partnering with TV host and celebrity mom Nancy O’Dell on a one million cup giveaway of Yoplait Original yogurt, beginning December 13th. Visit Yoplait on Facebook to sign up for your free cup and make a personal commitment to meeting your calcium needs each day. While you’re there, take a moment to enjoy daily calcium tips from Registered Dietitian Katherine Brooking and healthy lifestyle advice from Nancy O’Dell.                                  ~MyBlogSpark
I picked up 2 cups of the Yoplait Original yogurt earlier this week and I loved it!  So creamy and flavorful!  Yoplait Original yogurt is available in a variety of flavors, Frech Vanilla is flavor of choice.  Mmmm!  I ate one container along with bowl of fruit salad for breakfast one morning and used the other in my Coconut Banana Smoothie that I enjoyed for breakfast yesterday. 

Yoplait Original is a hit and will be a regular item on my grocery list! 

Yoplait recently sent me this great Yoplait Original Yogurt gift pack through MyBlogSpark!


Yoplait (through MyBlogSpark) recently sent me this great gift package! 

Here is what was included in the Yoplait Original Yogurt gift pack:
  • Coupon for a free cup of Yoplait Original Yogurt
  • Yoplait Original duffel bag
  • speed rope
  • sport towel
  • water bottle
*This coupon offer for Yoplait yogurt is not valid in some states, including California, Idaho, Louisiana, Minnesota, New Jersey, Nevada, North Dakota and Tennessee.




Would you like a chance to win a gift package like the one shown above?  You would?  Great!  I'll tell you how you can enter in just a second! 

First, I want to remind you to Visit Yoplait on Facebook to “Like” the brand, and get your free cup of Yoplait Original yogurt by pledging your commitment to consuming more of the calcium you need.

Also, be sure to “Follow” Yoplait on Twitter to keep up with the latest news from Yoplait.

Okay, so back to the giveaway!  ***Giveaway is closed***

Here's how you enter: 
  • Mandatory Entry:  Leave a comment on this post telling me how you plan to incorporate more calcium in your diet and how Yoplait can help.  ***Please include your email address so I can contact you if you win***


  • Extra Entry:  Follow this blog via Google Friend Connect and leave a comment on this post letting me know you are a new follower.  (Already following via GFC, leave a comment)  ***Please include your email address so I can contact you if you win***


  • Extra Entry:  Follow Under the Big Oak Tree on Facebook and leave a comment on this post letting me know you are or already do. (Please provide your Facebook profile name)  ***Please include your email address so I can contact you if you win***


  • Extra Entry:  Follow @TheBigOakTree on Twitter and leave a comment on this post letting me know you are or already do.  (Please provide your twitter handle)  ***Please include your email address so I can contact you if you win***


  • Extra Entry:  Subscribe to this blog via email. (use the buttons at the top of the right sidebar) All email subscriptions should be confirmed in order to be counted.  Leave a comment on this post letting me know you are or already do.  ***Please include your email address so I can contact you if you win***


  • Extra Entry:  Since I'm trying to lose weight, I figured this would be a great way to get you all to share your weightloss tips with me!  Leave a comment telling me your best weightloss tips!  Keep in mind, I'm a beginner and won't be running any marathons anytime soon!  ***Please include your email address so I can contact you if you win*** 


Giveaway rules:
  • Mandatory entries must be completed first in order for your extra entries to be counted. 
  • Giveaway will end at 10:00pm on Thursday, March 3rd
  • Winner will be chosen by random.org and will be contacted by email.  Winner will have 48 hours to contact me to claim their Yoplait Originals gift pack. 
  • This giveaway is open to US residents only. 


Disclosure:
  • I was not monetarily compensated for this review.
  • All opinions and thoughts are my own and true.
  • The items included in the gift package sent to me and for the giveaway were provided by Yoplait through MyBlogSpark. 

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Coconut Banana Smoothie

Today is day four of my latest weightloss journey.  With my past attempts to lose weight and get healthy, I've gotten bored (or should I say, distracted....by chocolate cake?) after a few weeks and fell back to my old eating habits.  So, this time, I want to keep from getting bored and also not feel as if I'm being deprived. 

I'm trying to add more fruits and veggies to my daily routine.  After chomping on carrot and celery sticks for a few days, I'm starting to get bored.  Already! 

Yesterday, I had the chance to chat online with my cousin LisaLou.  Talking to her reminded me the super -yummy smoothies that she would make for breakfast when she would visit us for a weekend.  It'll be a while before I can enjoy a smoothie made by LisaLou, since she just moved to another country.  So, this morning, I decided to dig out my blender and make myself a smoothie for breakfast. 

I misplaced LisaLou's smoothie recipe but I think the smoothie I made today came pretty close to her concoction! 



Coconut Banana Smoothie For One

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 banana, sliced and frozen
  • 6 oz. vanilla yogurt
  • 1/2 c. fat free milk
  • 2 Tbs. cream of coconut
  • dash of coconut extract
Directions:
  • Add all ingredients to blender and blend until smooth. 
Notes: 
  • I like to add strawberries to my smoothies, but I didn't have any today.  Pineapple would be tasty too! 
  • Switch up the yogurt or extract flavors for a variety for smoothie flavors! 
  • In the summer, I like to crush some ice into the smoothie while blending.  I like my drinks super-cold.  During the winter, the frozen banana is enough to make a cold treat. 


I'm so glad that I whipped this up this morning!  Such a creamy and healthy breakfast...tastes like dessert!!!  I see more smoothies in my future!  Thanks, LisaLou, for the inspiration!  (xoxo, miss you!)


I'll be sharing this recipe with the following blog carnivals and linkies:

Monday, February 21, 2011

Menu Plan Monday ~ Monday, February 21st


Good Morning, Friends! 

I'm back with a new menu plan, after taking last week off from both menu planning and blogging.  Last week was a really long and stressful week.  Menu Planning would have made things slightly easier, but since the stressful factors began over the weekend, I just didn't have it in me to even think about meals for the week.  Luckily, there were enough leftovers from the week before, plus some frozen chicken fingers that Joe picked up on a whim when he saw they were on sale. 

Not only am I back to menu planning, I'm also back to trying to eat healthier and control my portions in order to lose some weight.  If you notice my Weightloss tab above, I didn't get very far the last time I started to diet.  Sigh.  I'm even back to my starting weight.  I really want to change my eating habits but lack the will-power to avoid temptation.  Part of last week's stress was health related.  Joe's health.  After a trip to the ER and several tests, we found out he was fine, but it was still scary.  Considering he is healthier than I am, I decided I needed to do something.  I don't want to end up in the ER.  In my prayers last night, I asked God to give the strength needed to get healthy so I can live to see my daughter grow up. 

So, I'll be checking out some blogs for healthy recipes for meals and SNACKS (since I tend to snack a lot) and weightloss tips.  If you want to share your tips or recipes, share them in the comments!  I'll check them out! 

Here's my menu for this week: 

  • Monday:  Navy Bean & Ham Soup.   I made this soup over the holidays using the ham bone leftover from Christmas.  We still had so much food in the fridge, that the soup went right into the freezer after cooling.  I don't even remember how I made it.  I'm guessing I followed the recipe on the bag of beans and most likely added extra vegetables.  Biscuits and salad will be served on the side. 

  • Tuesday:  Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad.  I love salad with chicken added.  I rarely make them though.  Grilling while chasing after Grace is a hassle to me, so I avoid it.  While at Walmart last week, I saw a George Foreman Grill on the clearance rack for $8.  It's just the mini one, but I'm sure it will be perfect for a chicken breast or two.  I'll serve some garlic bread sticks or Texas toast on the side.

  • Wednesday:  Ham, Pierogi, asparagus.  We still have a lot of ham in the freezer from Christmas.  I figure with Easter being just around the corner, I'd better use up the Christmas ham before we have to store the leftover Easter ham!  Salad and carrot sticks will be served on the side. 

  • Thursday:  Black Bean and Sweet Potato Burritos, using some leftover Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili from the freezer.  In addition to some toppings for the burritos (sour cream, shredded cheese), I'll serve iceberg lettuce wedges with dressing. 

  • Friday:  Breakfast for dinner.  I'm considering making some Baked Omelet Cups like the ones I saw over at Mom Getting Fit!  The individual omelet cups will be perfect for portion control!  I'll be sure to let you know how they turned out!  I'll probably serve some sort of veggie on the side, maybe some steamed broccoli, with a salad. 

  • Saturday:  Slow-Cooker Wild Rice Soup.  We love Chicken Rice Soup, so when I saw this recipe over the weekend, I decided to add it to this week's menu plan.  I love wild rice, but we don't eat it regularly.  We tend to stick with white rice.  I figure this is an easy enough recipe to start with to add some new rices to our meal plans.  Bread and salad will also be served along with the soup. 

  • Sunday:  Spanish Chicken.  This is an old "recipe" that my Mom made when we were kids.  There's no true recipe for this dish, which is why I haven't shared it with you yet.  Sundays are sometimes pretty busy for us, so I may not actually get to making this, but if I do, I'll be sure to write down the recipe as I make it! 
Click the logo above to visit this week's Menu Plan Monday over at I'm an Organizing Junkie. 

Monday, February 14, 2011

Le Creuset Mortar & Pestle Set

Over the years, I've acquired many, many kitchen gadgets.  I'm a sucker for items that claim to make my life in the kitchen easier!  When I was still working, dinner was either QUICK and EASY or TAKE OUT!  So, I was always mesmerized by those early morning infomercials for things like the Ove Gloves, Salad Shooters, and George Forman Grills.  While I at least showed some restraint, Joe often came home with gadgets that are now collecting dust in our basement. 

Now, with limited space (not to mention money) I'm pickier about what we purchase for the house.  I just don't have room for things that we'll only use once or twice a year.  I'm not even really tempted by those infomercials anymore. 

Before my friend Lisa moved many states away, we used to go window shopping at the mall several times a month.  These days, we window shop together online.  Sharing links and emails for things we want to add to our wish lists. 

Last year, Lisa surprised me with this:


Le Creuset Mortar & Pestle Set


Isn't it pretty?  I love it!  Not only does it look great on the shelf in my kitchen, I love it for grinding spices.  It also comes in handy when I need some oatmeal ground into a powder for adding to recipes such as Lisa's Old-Fashioned Meatloaf.

Today is the day of the I LOVE My Favorite Kitchen Gadget Party over at Happier Than A Pig In Mud.  Check it out to see more fun gadget posts, or even join in with a post of your own! 


Happy Valentine's Day!



Happy
Valentine's
Day!  



Tuesday, February 8, 2011

S'mores Bars

When we were kids, my parents would pack up the van and take us all camping on the weekends during the spring and summer.  I wasn't even a year old when my parents took me on my first camping trip. 

Of course, toasting marshmallows was always (and still is) the best part of a camping trip.  I loved eating burnt and melty marshmallows until my belly hurt!  (Still do!) 

As much as I enjoy marshmallows over the campfire, can you believe that I never ate a S'more until I was an adult?!  I'm not sure why or how that happened, but it's true! 

After not camping for a few years (late teens/early twenties), I met Joe and was happy that he also enjoyed camping and we started taking trips several times a year.  It seemed easier (and more important) to get out into the woods and camp when we lived in our apartment in the city.  Now that we are homeowners (in the country) we haven't been able to get away.  Seems that either Joe is working on the weekends or we have something to do around the house. 

Grace loves the outdoors and nature (especially leaves), so I am sure she would love camping.  Hopefully soon, we'll be able to take her on her first camping trip and show her how to toast some marshmallows!

Until then, I'll be making S'mores in the oven, thanks to a S'mores Dessert recipe posted by Jennifer over at Home Matters.   Be sure to click the link to see Jennifer's photos, her S'mores look nicer stacked on a serving platter than mine! 



S'mores Bars

Ingredients: 
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 12 graham cracker sheets
  • 3 cups mini marshmallows
  • 4 Hershey bars
Directions: 
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Line cookie sheet with foil and arrange graham crackers in a single layer (I used 14 since I had a little more space on my cookie sheet).
  • Melt butter and brown sugar over medium heat until sugar has dissolved. 
  • Pour over the graham crackers (I used a silicone basting brush to spread the butter/sugar mixture evenly over the crackers).
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 5 minutes. 
  • Now would be a good time to break up those Hershey Bars (I used a couple of hand fulls of chocolate chips leftover from Christmas)
  • Remove crackers from oven and sprinkle with marshmallows and chocolate.
  • Return to oven and bake for another 3-4 minutes until marshmallows are puffy and chocolate starts to become melty. 
  • For a toasty marshmallow look, put under broiler just a bit...not too long, you don't want to burn them! 
  • Allow to cool completely before cutting into small pieces (a pizza cutter made cutting those sticky marshmallows really easy). 
These were really good!  A perfect substitute for the real thing!  I served them for dessert on Super Bowl Sunday.  I wanted to serve them when they were still warm, but I knew that I would forget once we all started eating and visiting and watching those commercials!  My nephews popped their S'mores Bars into the microwave for a few seconds to warm them up a bit! 

Note:  I used too many marshmallows.  My measuring cup was in the dishwasher so I estimated 3 cups.  I don't estimate well, so the result was a lot of marshmallows!  Not really a bad thing! ;)  Mmmmm!

Here's where I'm sharing this recipe: 

Menu Plan Monday ~ Week of February 7th ~ Another late edition

Here I am with another late edition of Menu Plan Monday.  Sunday, we had friends over to watch the Superbowl.  I spent most of Saturday and Sunday preparing food and tidying up the house.  By the time our guests left (shortly after half-time and dessert), I just didn't have the energy to post this week's menu plan (or even try to put together a menu).  Monday was errand day, so that's why I'm posting late (again) this week. 

As usual, I made too much food.  But with 2 big men with hearty appetites and 3 teenage boys watching the game (plus us girls) I didn't want to take any chances on running out of food! 



Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili

In the middle of the week, Joe requested that I make two types of chili for game day:  Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili and Chipotle Turkey Chili in addition to a batch of enchiladas.  I made 2 boxes of Jiffy cornbread and some rice to serve along with the chili.  Our friends brought wings from our favorite local place and some homemade deviled eggs (Joe's favorite).


Chipotle Turkey Chili

We also snacked on a veggie tray and some chips and dip.  Dessert was a store-bought ice cream cake and some S'mores Bars that I made following a recipe that I saw on Jennifer's blog, Home Matters



S'mores Bars



Grace really enjoyed having guests for dinner and even watched a bit of the game! 



Paying close attention to the game! 



Since I made too much food, this week will be all about the leftovers!  Not only will that make it an easy week for me, it should also keep us from the grocery store this week! 


  • Monday:  Black Bean & Sweet Potato Chili over cornbread, fresh carrot sticks and ranch dressing.  I love having veggies leftover when I make a vegetable tray.  It makes it so much easier to make a healthy snack or side-dish decision when they are prepped and ready for eating!  

  • Tuesday:  Breakfast for Dinner.  Sausage, eggs and hashbrown casserole.  We never got around the the breakfast for dinner that I scheduled last week.  Since I already shredded the cheese for the hashbrown casserole, we need to make that this week.  Not a problem since we LOVE it! 

  • Wednesday:  Spaghetti, meatballs, garlic bread.  Last week, I found myself needing something quick for dinner after an afternoon out with my parents.  I found some frozen meatballs in the freezer, threw them in the crock pot with some sauce and had meatball sandwiches for dinner.  We still have some leftover meatballs, so boil up some pasta  and hopefully finish up those meatballs. 

  • Thursday:  Chipotle Turkey Chili over rice.  Mmmm!  My favorite!  I could eat this every night of the week and never be tired of it!  But instead, whatever is left of this chili after this meal, will go into the freezer for another week. 

  • Friday:  Hot dogs, Our Favorite Baked Beans, baked potatoes.  There was a sale on potatoes last week.  I'm going to make some potato soup with 5lbs of the potatoes and the rest will be for side dishes (mashed, baked, fried).



  • Saturday:  leftover buffet.  If we somehow manage to finish all of the leftovers by Saturday, then I will make some Tuna Noodle Casserole (another meal carried over from last week). 

  • Sunday:  Chinese food is our usual go-to take out for special occasions.  Since Valentine's Day is on Monday, we'll most likely "celebrate" on Sunday.  It's been a few months since we've ordered Chinese.....I wonder what I'll choose!  I'm also thinking of picking up a few Red Velvet Cupcakes for dessert from a cute little place in our town.  I've been wanting an excuse to check it out since it's opened recently. 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Pasta with Easy Tomato Bacon Sauce

This is a yummy pasta sauce that is a step away from the traditional tomato and meat sauce that we normally eat.


I read about this recipe on the Parents Magazine website. I was hooked as soon as I read the first ingredient: BACON! MMmmm! I knew I had to make this recipe.





Easy Tomato-Bacon Pasta Sauce


Ingredients:
  • 1/2 lb. bacon, diced
  • 28oz. diced tomatoes, with juice
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • several dashes crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 lb. (or more) of your favorite pasta, cooked
Directions: 
  • Cook diced bacon on medium heat until cooked through, but not crisp. 
  • Drain bacon on paper towels, set aside. 
  • Discard drippings. DO NOT WIPE OUT THE PAN!  
  • Turn heat up to medium-high.
  • Add tomatoes (with juice) and seasonings to the pan, stir.
  • Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove from heat, add peas, sour cream and drained bacon.
  • Pour over your favorite cooked pasta and serve. 
Notes: 
  • I rarely follow a recipe as it's written, this is one of the few exceptions.  Although, I did add some crushed red pepper flakes for an extra kick! 

We really love this recipe!  It's quick and easy!  Frugal too, if there's a sale on bacon! 

This post can also be found on my other blog, My Vintage Kitchen.

I'll be linking this post to the following blog carnivals: 

Wordless Wednesday ~ Ice Storm

Anyone that knows me in real life, knows how much I hate the icy weather.  The winter after Joe and I were married, I slipped and fell on the ice on my way to work.  After spending nearly 2 hours sprawled on the sidewalk in slush and ice, I finally made it to the hospital to find out that I broke my leg in 4 places!  Needless to say, I stay in if there's ice on the ground.  I don't even walk out to the mailbox. 

Joe is working today.  Knowing that he is out in this weather worries me and causes a lot of anxiety. I won't feel better until he is home and off of the icy roads. 

All of that said, I can still appreciate the beauty of the ice on the trees.  Here are a couple of pictures I took this morning from the safety of my dry back porch:





Okay, time for some cocoa!  Stay warm, friends!

You can find this post linked to the following blog hops: 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Menu Plan Monday ~ Week of Jan 30th ~ a day late

Last week was a blur.  The days passed by so quickly that on Thursday, I was completely amazed that the weekend was almost here.  As usual, we didn't have big plans for the weekend.  Joe managed to pick up some extra hours at work over the weekend.  That will be a big help in getting caught up on some bills next month.

I had to make a few changes to last weeks menu plan, mainly because (again) I made too much food for our small family.  And since I am determined to empty my chest freezer, I decided we would just eat a lot of leftovers rather than add them to my still-full freezer!  So a couple of meals from the menu plan were skipped.

I'm a day late for menu planning, but still wanted to get this posted. 
  • Monday:  Chicken Noodle Soup
  • Tuesday:  Breakfast
  • Wednesday:  Easy Tomato-Bacon Sauce over pasta
  • Thursday:  Black Bean Soup
  • Friday:  Leftovers
  • Saturday:  Tuna Noodle Casserole
  • Sunday:  Super Bowl (still undecided)
I'll be sharing the recipes from this week with you soon!  I've made the Tomato Bacon Sauce before, but didn't take a picture yet.  And I have a picture of the Tuna Noodle Casserole, but I never wrote down the recipe!  So, this week, I'll force myself to take care of those details so I can finally share those recipes here. 

I hope everyone has a great week!
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