Thursday, September 27, 2012

Buffalo Chicken Tortilla Pizza

I love when I find new ways to use leftovers.  Especially, when it's something simple!  

Last week, I made Crock Pot Shredded Buffalo Chicken and we loved it!  We used it to make Buffalo Chicken Wraps, but also considered how wonderful it would be on a nice, crisp roll.  

Since we enjoy Buffalo Chicken Pizza from our local take out place, I knew I wanted to reserve some of the shredded chicken to use for homemade pizza.  Although, my idea of homemade pizza is a store-bought crust covered in our choice of toppings.  

Since we didn't have a pizza crust, but I was still in the mood for pizza, I decided to use a tortilla as the base.  Mmm!  It was soooo good!  

Buffalo Chicken Tortilla Pizza

  • 1 large tortilla
  • 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 -1/2 cup Shredded Buffalo Chicken, heated
  • Frank's Buffalo Wing Sauce, to taste
Cooking Directions
  1. Place tortilla in a frying pan or skillet.
  2. Cover with shredded cheese.
  3. Spread the chicken on top of the cheese.
  4. Drizzle Frank's Buffalo Wing Sauce over pizza, as much or as little as you like!
  5. Heat over medium heat until cheese is melted and tortilla is crisp.

This was a quick and simple meal!  Perfect for busy nights or a quick snack!  I'll definitely be making this again!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Crock Pot Shredded Buffalo Chicken

Last week, I had chicken in the fridge that I almost forgot about.  Usually, I just put the pack of boneless chicken breast right into the freezer as soon as we get home from the store.  This time I didn't for some reason.  Probably because I couldn't fit another thing in the freezer at that moment.

When I finally remembered it was at the bottom of the fridge, I knew I had to cook it right away.  I also knew I wanted to cook it in the crock pot.  I just didn't know what I wanted to make with it.  I ruled out the to go-to chicken breast recipes I've made throughout the summer since I had just recent made Zesty Shredded BBQ Chicken (in fact, there are 2 containers of it in the freezer) and was out of the balsamic vinegar needed for Crock Pot Balsamic Chicken.

I remembered seeing a recipe for buffalo chicken over at Debbi Does Dinner Healthy and Low Calorie a while back.  After looking it up, I saw that I was missing an ingredient.  The packet of ranch dressing mix.  To be honest, that packet of ranch dressing mix is what has kept me from trying the recipe before now.  I just wasn't convinced I would like it.

Anyway, I decided to just see how it would turn out without the powdered dressing mix.  Making this a 2-ingredient, throw it in the crock pot recipe!

Crock Pot Shredded Buffalo Chicken 

  • 3 - 3 1/2 lbs. boneless chicken breast 
  • 1 cup Frank's Buffalo Chicken Sauce
  • Place chicken on bottom of crock pot. 
  • Pour sauce over top.  
  • Cover and cook on low for 7 hours.  
  • Remove chicken and shred with 2 forks.  
  • Add back into the sauce and stir.  
  • Allow to cook for one hour, more.  
  • Serve.  
So easy, right?  And sooooo good!  All the deliciousness of Buffalo Wings without the hassle of picking the meat of the bones!  

I made this using the mild flavor Buffalo Sauce and brought a bottle of the hot Buffalo Sauce to the table, in case either of us wanted to add a little heat to our meal!  

We used this easy, shredded chicken as a filling for wraps.  Some lettuce, some chicken, a little hot sauce.  Mmm!  I also think this would be great topping a baked potato!  Mmm!  

This was so delicious and so easy!  I can't wait to make it again!  

Monday, September 24, 2012

Menu Plan Monday 2012 ~ Week of September 24th

Wow!  Last week's menu plan was a bust!  We had such a busy week last week that I almost can't even begin to tell you what we ate, because it's all a blur!  This week is starting to look the same.  Lots of running around and quick meals.

I did, finally make Hamburger Stew last week.  I just have to try to remember how I made it!  It's one of those recipes that I make a little different each time!

I also made some Shredded Buffalo Chicken in the crock pot late in the week.  It replaced the Taco Chicken Chili that I originally planned to make.  The chicken was fabulous!  I could have eaten the whole batch right out of the crock pot!  I'm glad I didn't because now there are leftovers for us to enjoy this week!

Since we have a few family events going on this weekend, I'm not going to plan a full menu for the week:

  • Shredded Buffalo Chicken Tortilla Pizzas, salad.  After three, very busy days in a row, this was just the kind of simple meal I needed!  I'll share the details on this dinner later in the week!  

  • Soup, Texas Toast Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, Salad.  We have 2 shelves full of canned soups in our pantry.  As much as I love to cook (and eat) homemade soup, I think I'll rely on some of the canned soup to make this meal a little easier!  
  • Chicken Pot Pie, salad.  This meal will probably take the most effort to prepare this week, but even then, it's still on the easy side.  And oh-so-delicious!  

Now that you know what we're eating this week, let us know in the comments what's for dinner at your house this week! Or, if you need more menu planning inspiration? Follow me over to Menu Plan Monday hosted by I'm an Organizing Junkie! Or, if you like what you see here, you can check out my past menu plans.

You can also find this week's menu plan linked to On the Menu Monday hosted by Yvonne at Stone Gable.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Hearty Vegetable Bean Soup in the Crock Pot

I came across this recipe for Hearty Vegetable Soup while looking for easy and healthy dinner options last week.  Since I had most of the ingredients on hand, I decided to prepare the soup last week even though I already had the meals for the week planned out.  What can I say?  I'm easily swayed by easy soup recipes!  Especially, crock pot recipes!

As usual, I made a few changes.  I wasn't sure how I'd like allspice in the soup, so I left that out.  An easy decision, since I didn't have any in the spice rack!

Hearty Vegetable Bean Soup in the Crock Pot 


  • yellow onion, diced 
  • 2 carrots, sliced into 1" pieces
  • 2 white potatoes, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced 
  • 1 tsp. bottled minced garlic 
  • 4 cups chicken broth 
  • 16 oz. bag, frozen mixed vegetables (corn, peas, green beans, lima beans) 
  • 1 can fire-roasted tomatoes with garlic 
  • 1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can cannelini beans, rinsed and drained 
  • 1 bay leaf 
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 Tbs. Italian Seasoning
  • Combine all ingredients in crock pot and cook on low for 8 hours or until carrots and potatoes are tender.  

  • The original recipe stated the cooking time to be 8 hours on low.  My crock pot usually cooks faster, but this time it took the full 8 hours.  Probably because I added my vegetables while they were still frozen.  Using thawed vegetables or cooking on a higher temperature would probably speed up the cooking time a bit.  
  • This made 6 hearty bowls of soup.  You could probably stretch the recipe further, making it a thinner soup by adding more broth.  Small pasta and/or shredded chicken or even ground beef would be a good addition as well.  

How easy is that?!  I love when it doesn't matter what order you add the ingredients to the crock pot!  I really enjoyed this soup.  It reminded me of a minestrone soup but without the pasta.  I'm sure this recipe will be appearing in more than a few of our menu plans during the fall and winter months!  

I've linked this recipe post to the following blog carnivals and linky parties:

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Menu Plan Monday 2012 ~ Week of September 17th

Our busy week and a couple of last minute menu changes caused us to barely follow last week's menu plan.  Instead of Hamburger Stew, I made a very hearty vegetable soup and Spaghetti with Tomato Sauce was replaced with Chili Macaroni.  Both were excellent choices!  Mmmm!

I'm planning another easy menu this week(hopefully one I will stick to).  Grace and I are feeling a bit under the weather, probably from too much excitement from last week...or maybe just because of the change in the weather.

Take a look at what we'll be enjoying this week:

  • Hearty Vegetable Bean Soup (a crock pot recipe), toast.  While Chicken Noodle or Chicken Rice Soup would be the preferred soup to eat while feeling sick, already-made-and-in-the-fridge-soup of any variety is a welcome option when it's the cook that's feeling sick!  

  • Crock Pot Chicken Taco Chili over rice.  We picked up some chicken breast on sale this week and I decided that I should use it in a new recipe, rather than our usual stand-by chicken recipes!  

  • Hamburger Stew.  I WILL make this at some point this week!  I precooked the ground beef, so now there's really no excuse for me not to make it now!  

  • Lima Beans and Ham over Rice.  I've been wanting to try this recipe from The Southern Lady Cooks all summer long and for one reason or another I kept putting it off.  I really want this to be the week I actually make it!  

  • Chicken Corn Chowder is the main reason I look forward to the fall weather!  I'll serve this along with a salad and crackers.  

  • Leftovers!  

Now that you know what we're eating this week, let us know in the comments what's for dinner at your house this week! Or, if you need more menu planning inspiration? Follow me over to Menu Plan Monday hosted by I'm an Organizing Junkie! Or, if you like what you see here, you can check out my past menu plans.

You can also find this week's menu plan linked to On the Menu Monday hosted by Yvonne at Stone Gable.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Batgirl Costume Review ~ Just in time for Halloween

Grace is all about costumes and dress up.  She is also a huge fan of super heroes and loves to run around the house wearing her "super cape"!  Super capes make you run faster, right?

So, I was really excited to be picked to do a review on a Batman costume of my choice.  Thanks to Wholesale Costume Club, I was able to add something new and a little different to her already very-girly dress up station!  While I chose a Batgirl Costume for Grace, the costume club offers a wide variety of sizes and styles, so there's something for everyone in the family!  Perfect if you have a Halloween Party to attend this year!

I always worry about sizing when ordering costumes for Grace.  The size chart was helpful in suggesting that costumes tend to run small.  Grace's size fell right in the middle of the size small range.  Knowing that I planning to add this to her dress-up station, I wanted this to be something Grace could grow into and use for a longer period of time, I ordered her a medium.

Grace was very excited when the package arrived.  She excitedly shouted "Super Hero!" loudly when she peeked inside the box!  We then sat on the floor and removed the costume from the package.  She "oohed and ahhed" over Batgirl's dress with attached cape, and all of the accessories:  mask, boot covers, cuffs and of course a belt!

With the bigger size and the quality of the costume itself, Grace should get lots of super-hero play time out of this costume, although, I will most likely have to replace the plastic mask that was included (the only flimsy part of the costume) since that's been played with the most already!

Thank you Wholesale Costume Club and for the opportunity to review the Batgirl Costume.


I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Wordless Wednesday ~ Just a simple photo today

Last week, I shared photos of what happens when Grace is left alone for a moment.  The messes she creates frustrates me beyond words!

But when Grace is twirling around the living room, playing music in her room when she's supposed to be asleep, or when she's posing for pictures she just melts my heart and chases away the frustration...if only for a few seconds until she dumps crayons all over the floor!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Menu Plan Monday 2012 ~ Week of September 10th

What a beautiful day it is today!  I am excited to have the windows open to let in some fresh air!  While I love the cool air from the air conditioner, I am sick and tired of the constant noise!  I'll be really happy when it's time to take the air conditioners out of the windows, not to be seen again until next summer!

I think Grace is ready for fall, too!  We went outside for a bit on Friday and Grace found a small pile of leaves.  When I say SMALL pile, I mean just about 10 leaves!  But she played with them for about 20 minutes, throwing them up in the air and crunching them under her feet!

The rain changed our plans for the weekend and I ended up rearranging my kitchen a bit.  Reorganizing cabinet and clearing off shelves.  I'm looking forward to getting the Halloween decorations down from the attic and decorating for fall.  I'm only about half way finished because I get distracted easily!  I hope to be finished the organizational part tonight, then I can get decorating tomorrow!

Again, this week, I'll be preparing a bunch of easy meals.  Leftovers and quick, one-pot meals will make clean up after dinner much easier!  Allowing me to focus on other things that need to get done around here instead!

  • Monday:  Leftovers.  I made a large crock pot of Zesty Crock Pot BBQ Chicken on Saturday and there was a lot left over.  We'll have bbq chicken sandwiches for tonight's dinner and freeze the rest for one night next week!  

  • Tuesday:  Hamburger Stew.  We didn't get around to serving this last week.  We had a couple nights where we just wen't in the mood for dinner.  PB&J sandwiches or cereal always works on those nights we just want something small.  After I'm finished cleaning up the kitchen tonight, I'll chop all the veggies I need for this meal.  I'll share the recipe with you soon!  I'll serve this with bread and salad.  

  • Wednesday:  Hamburgers, salad topped with Aurora Natural Salad Fixin's.  We've been trying to stay away from fast food the past several weeks.  Mainly because we've been spending too much money at the drive-thru windows and pizza delivery.  To satisfy our junk-food cravings (mainly mine), I like to make some fast food options at home.  The salad will be a nice change to the greasy fries we normally enjoy with our burgers!  

  • Thursday:  Spaghetti with Tomato Sauce, garlic bread, salad.  I tried making this sauce in the crock pot a couple of months ago and was not pleased with the results at all.  I'll make it on the stove this time and freeze the leftover sauce for a few weeks from now.

  • Friday:  Bacon, Potato & Egg Skillet.  The weekends have been too busy to have a nice big breakfast, so instead, I'll make one of our favorite breakfast meals for dinner!  Mmmm!  

  • Saturday / Sunday:  I think the weekend will consist of either burgers or leftovers.  

See?  I told you I was keeping it easy this week!  

Now that you know what we're eating this week, let us know in the comments what's for dinner at your house this week! Or, if you need more menu planning inspiration? Follow me over to Menu Plan Monday hosted by I'm an Organizing Junkie! Or, if you like what you see here, you can check out my past menu plans.

You can also find this week's menu plan linked to On the Menu Monday hosted by Yvonne at Stone Gable.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Lily's Princess and the Pea Birthday Party

A couple of weeks ago, our little friend Lily turned five.  Lily's mom, Merry, hosted an afternoon party for the birthday girl and invited a bunch of little girls (and their brothers)!

When it came time to choose a theme for the party, Merry decided on a Princess and the Pea theme since Lily is really interested in fairy tales right now.  She says that Lily is always looking at the princess book list that the library provides.

Merry also says:
"I feel like the days that little girls are interested in the princesses are becoming shorter. There's so many other toys that are competing for their attention like the monster high girls and Barbie. So I wanted to mark this time in her life by celebrating with a princess party. While she's still thinking magically and still thinks the princesses are real."

The night before the party, while Princess Lily slept, Merry put a very large pea under the bed!  Merry tells me that the next morning, Lily was so excited about the party that she didn't notice the pea until after breakfast and presents!

Here's a photo of Princess Lily holding the large Pea throw pillow purchased from Land of Nod.  Merry hid the pea again and asked the kids to find it as part of the scavenger hunt activity.

Merry set up a dress up station for the girls to try on different dresses and crowns!

There were Princess and the Pea coloring pages and a wand making station. Both, with lots of markers!
(The cardboard wands can be found online at Oriental Trading.)

Merry filled a jar with green pearlescent gumballs* and asked the kids to guess how many "peas" were in the jar!  There was also a tattoo station, an obstacle course and lots and lots of toys to keep the kids occupied!

Instead of birthday cake or cupcakes, the kids had Pea inspired cake pops.  She took a short cut after watching this video and used donut holes for the cake pops.  She melted a bag of white chocolate discs with about 1/4 bag of green discs for dipping the cake pops, then drew little pea faces using cake decorating gel.

Note from Merry:
"If I had to do it again I would probably try to use green food coloring instead of the colored discs. I thought that green was a little dull. We kept calling it Squidward green."
Note from Alison:
"I can't help but think these would be cute for a baby shower!"  Pea on a Stick...get it?!  

Merry also started to make a few gumball pea necklaces for the girls, but in the end, these didn't make the final cut.  She used edible markers to draw the faces, then strung them on satin cords.

Now, I want to tell you about my favorite detail of the party!  Something every little princess needs!  A fairy garden! Complete with a frog prince!  I can't wait to make Grace a fairy garden next spring!

Happy Birthday, Lily!  I hope you had a wonderful day, sweetheart!  Thanks so much for including us in your special day!  Merry, thanks for allowing me to share your wonderful party ideas here!

*The link for the gumballs is an affiliate link.  If you make a purchase from the followed link, I will receive a small compensation.

You can find this post linked to the following blog carnivals and linky parties:

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Wordless Wednesday ~ My Little Mess Maker

Grace is rarely out of my eyesight, but the few occasions throughout the day that she is (like when I have to go to the bathroom, or put the trash out, or do laundry) it always looks like a disaster has struck in just a minute or two!

I've mentioned before that Grace likes to have everything out.  For some reason, she likes anything that's in a box or container to be dumped out.  Maybe she feels she has to set them free?  I don't know.  When I ask her she simply says: "sitause"  (because).

I wish I could say that she only does that with her toys, but sadly, it's with almost anything.  Her books, the contents of my purse, the laundry basket filled with clean clothes!  In just a matter of seconds she can wreck the place!

Last week, as we were getting ready to leave the house, Grace made a couple of large messes that really stressed me out!  We were waiting for our friends to pick us up to go to a party (more about that in a future post) and I was trying to gather everything we would need for the outing and place it in the driveway.  You know, to make things easier for myself.  Um, yeah.  That plan backfired.

First, it was this mess:

You may remember past Wordless Wednesday photos that I shared of Grace emptying my cabinet of plastic storage containers so she could climb in the cabinet herself.  Since then, I've moved the plastic containers to a different cabinet in the kitchen, now she just pulls them out for the heck of it.

I knew I didn't have time to clean them up before our friends arrived, so I just decided that I would deal with them when we returned home.

And then, when I came in from taking our last bag out to the driveway, I walked in to see this:

Powdered sugar.  Almost an entire bag. THIS, I had to clean up before we left.  There was no way I could leave sugar all over the kitchen floor!  Especially, with the dog home.  I don't even know what would happen if she licked all of that up!

So, I ran to get the vacuum cleaner and quick picked up as much of it as I could.  Just as I unplugged the vacuum, our friends pulled into the driveway!

Note:  I've been using Photo Bucket lately to edit my photos, but the site was down for the past few days for maintenance.  I decided to give picmonkey a try for today's photos.  I like photobucket more, probably because I am more familiar with the site, but I think this poloroid option from picmonkey is lots of fun!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Menu Plan Monday 2012 ~ Week of September 3rd

Wow!  Another late edition of Menu Plan Monday this week!  I've been having difficulty in finding the spare time to sit down to blog.  I did well earlier in the summer by forcing myself to stay up and "work" 'til the wee hours of morning in order to get some pre-scheduled posts written.  But all of those scheduled posts have been used.  I have many idea and un-finished posts to work on, so it's not really a matter of writer's block or anything it's more just a matter for finding the time! I think it's time for me to work the night shift again!  I promise you, I'll be posting more regularly very soon!  

Even though I said I was over the summer and ready for fall, I really do think that this summer passed very quickly.  Especially the last few weeks.

I spent most of the past several weeks clearing out the basement and while I'm pretty sure I surpassed my goal of clearing out 500 items, there's still so much more that needs to go before we can work on Grace's play area in the basement; a project I'd like to have finished before winter.

September is already looking like a busy month for us, with lots to do in the next few weekends. We're looking forward to play dates,  apple picking, family get-togethers and even a Keurig Vue House Party!  Have I mentioned how much we love the fall?!

Although, I put my crock pot to good use this summer, that's nothing compared to the work out it and my cast iron dutch oven  will be getting this fall and winter!  I am so excited to start preparing our favorite soups, stews, chili, and casseroles!

Take a look at what we'll be enjoying this week:

  • Chicken, fried zucchini, corn on the cob.  We originally planned on grilled chicken for dinner tonight, but after being out in the rain a few times today, Joe thinks we should have "shake & bake" instead of him having to do the grilling.  He doesn't know it yet, but the corn will need to cooked outside!  

  • Hamburgers, grilled potatoes, homemade zucchini pickles (recipe coming soon),corn on the cob.  We'll be using up the last few burgers in the freezer for this meal.  Even though, I'm craving fall and winter dishes, I never get tired of burgers!   

  • Enchiladas.  We didn't get around to making these last week and I sure did miss them!  I love how easy and versatile enchiladas can be, perfect for a busy night!  

  • Hamburger Stew.  This is one of our favorite dinners and if I shared the recipe here before, I couldn't find the link at quick glance.  I'll look further and be sure to share it here after I snap a photo of the prepared stew!  

  • Zesty Crock Pot BBQ Chicken Sandwiches, Grilled Potatoes, green beans.  This shredded chicken recipe has been our go-to meal of the summer!  I love how easy is it to throw together!  I also love how far this recipe stretches once the chicken is shredded!  

  • Leftovers!  As always, I'm sure there will be leftovers from most of the meals planned this week.  That works for me!  I could use a couple of no-cooking nights so I can focus on other things that need to get done around the never-ending piles of laundry on the basement floor!  

Now that you know what we're eating this week, let us know in the comments what's for dinner at your house this week! Or, if you need more menu planning inspiration? Follow me over to Menu Plan Monday hosted by I'm an Organizing Junkie! Or, if you like what you see here, you can check out my past menu plans.

You can also find this week's menu plan linked to On the Menu Monday hosted by Yvonne at Stone Gable.

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