Game Day Favorites:Recipe Swap

January 27, 2011 · Posted in Recipe Swap · View Comments 

Ready for the Super Bowl?  Speaking of games, almost as important as who wins the big game is what to bring to the party. This time of year brings numerous opportunities to spend time with family, friends and the joys of entertaining. I thought it might be kind of fun to get some moms and dads together to share some of their Game Day Favorite recipes by hosting a recipe swap.

 Today’s Recipe Swap, we’ll be sharing a collection of Game Day Favorite recipes that you’ll be excited to serve your guests. Two of the recipes I’m sharing today are my family’s top recipes for the game: Touchdown Taco Dip and Jerk Chicken Nachos!!

Touchdown Taco Dip:

1 (9 ounce) can bean dip
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon taco seasoning mix
1 garlic clove, pressed
1/4 cup (1 ounce) shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 medium tomato, seeded and diced (about 1/2 cup)
2 green onions with tops, thinly sliced
1/4 cup pitted ripe olives, sliced
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
Additional sour cream (optional)
Tortilla chips


Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Using small mix ‘n scraper spread bean dip over bottom of small oval baker. In classic batter bowl, combine cream cheese, sour cream and taco seasoning mix. Press garlic over cream cheese mixture in batter bowl using garlic press; mix well.

Spread cream cheese mixture evenly over bean dip. Grate Cheddar cheese over top using deluxe cheese grater. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until cheese is melted.

To prepare toppings: Remove stem from tomato using cook’s corer. Dice tomato and thinly slice green onions using utility knife. Slice olives using egg slicer plus. Finely chop cilantro using pizza cutter. Sprinkle tomato, onions, olives and cilantro over dip. Garnish with additional sour cream, if desired. Serve with tortilla chips.

Jerk Chicken Nachos:


6 cups of tortilla chips
3 cups diced or shredded cooked chicken
2 cups of shredded cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese blend
2 tablespoons of Jamaican Jerk Rub (keep them separated)
1 small yellow or red bell pepper (I like to us a combination of the two)
1 small lime
2 tablespoons of fresh snipped cilantro
¼ of a cup of sour cream and 1 teaspoon additional Jamaican Jerk Rub


Preheat oven to 425°F.

 Arrange the tortilla chips in a slightly overlapping layer on the Large Round Stone.
In a mixing bowl, combine the chicken, the cheese and 1 tablespoon of the Jamaican jerk rub. Mix together gently. Sprinkle the chicken rub cheese mixture evenly over the 6 cups of tortilla chips. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Then remove it from the oven to a cooling rack.

While the chicken and chips are in the oven, dice the bell peppers with a knife. Then slice the lime in half(across). You should now juice half of the lime, using a Citrus Press, into the bowl and add the remaining Jamaican jerk rub and bell pepper to it, then mix well.
Snip the cilantro using Kitchen Shears.Slice the remaining lime half. Cut the slices in half.
Spoon the bell pepper mixture over the nachos and sprinkle evenly with cilantro. If desired, combine sour cream and additional jerk rub in a resealable plastic bag. Trim the corner of the bag to allow the sour cream to flow through. Spread the sour cream mixture over the chicken nachos and garnish it with lime slices.

How about you? What’s your family’s Game Day Favorites. There’s bound to be something you enjoy when you are watching the game. Today’s the day to share it!

To participate in Game Day Favorites Recipe Swap, Post your recipe on your blog. Please mention in your post. Then, come back here to add your link to Mr. Linky below. 


If you don’t have a blog, simply tell us about your recipe in the comments section.

Busy Moms Cook:Game Day Favorites Recipe Swap

January 26, 2011 · Posted in Recipe Swap · View Comments 

The recipe swap is tomorrow. Our topic is Game Day Favorites. What is a favorite recipe your family enjoys on Game Day? Even if you don’t watch football, you may find an appetizer or recipe for your next party or get together. Post the recipe on your blog then brink a link back here. Share the love of cooking!

Meal Plans For Moms:The Pantry Rummage

January 24, 2011 · Posted in Menus · View Comments 


Over the weekend I was challenged with the ingredients I had left in the pantry. While I still had some chicken and hamburger in the freezer, my pantry ingredients were starting to dwindle. 

My first challenge was running out of milk sooner than I had anticipated. This is one of the reasons I like  the idea of having a box of powdered milk on hand.  I just mix up a pitcher and chill in the refrigerator and you can’t tell the difference.  I’ll be making a trip to the grocery store on Tuesday to re-stock.

Our freezer is stocked with juice for the week that I picked up at the grocery store on my last shopping trip.  It’s always a good idea to check the end of the freezer aisle for items that are on clearance. You can find juice, breakfast items, pastries and other items at great reasonable prices. 

With the ingredients left in the pantry and freezer, I was able to create a reasonable meal plan for the week.

Here’s my plan for this week




How is your meal planning going for the week? Any challenges?

Healthy Snack Ideas:Baked Tortilla Chips

January 23, 2011 · Posted in Recipes · View Comments 

Getting ready to watch the playoffs? When you’re craving a snack, these chips are simple, delicious and healthy!

Baked Tortilla Chips


1 package tortillas (8-10 count)


Preheat oven to 400° F. 

Using a Pizza Cutter cut each tortilla into 8 wedges; arrange half of tortilla wedges in single layer on flat Baking Stone. Bake 8-12 minutes or until edges are lightly browned and crisp.  Remove from Baking Stone; cool completely.  Repeat with remaining tortilla wedges.

Cook’s Note: Baking times do vary depending on oven temperatures. Recommend checking tortillas throughout cooking for first time making. A variety of tortillas would be perfect for making your own tortilla chips! Sprinkle with a little salt, your favorite seasoning, garlic, cheese or just eat plain with your favorite salsa.

Yield:  64 chips

Cakes On A Stick:How To Make Cake Pops

January 22, 2011 · Posted in Desserts, Kids In The Kitchen · View Comments 

I was thrilled to find this fun kitchen item at our thrift store and couldn’t wait to make something fun. These are cute and fun treats your kids can help make and they’ll just love eating them off the stick. Here’s an easy and basic recipe for these fun treats!

 Cakes On A Stick


2 1/2 cups cake mix
2 large eggs
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup oil
1 can store bought frosting
1 cup sprinkles, chopped nuts, ice cream toppings, small candies or gummi candies


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spray pop form with non stick spray.

With an electric mixter, beat the water, eggs and oil for 30 seconds on low, then turn to high and beat for an additional 2 minutes.

Place 2 heaping Tablespoons of cake batter into each form.

Bake for approximately 12 minutes or till cooked through. Remove cakes from oven and invert immediately onto a cooling rack. Repeat with remaining cake bater.

When the cakes have completely cooled, you may stick the pops in them and continue to decorate.

Place the store bought frosting with lid and foil completely removed in the microwave on high for 30-45 seconds depending on the power of your microwave. Carefully remove from the microwave, stir well.

Place sprinkles, candies or nuts on a plate. Dip eack cake on a stick into the frosting, hold over for a few seconds for excess to drip off. Then press pop each side into sprinkle and place on a wax paper line tray to dry or onto a cooling rack.

Saturday Chat With Mom:Moms Connect On Facebook

January 22, 2011 · Posted in Improving Family Life · View Comments 


Moms Connect On Facebook

 Sharing your experience of motherhood and family life with others on Facebook seems to be the “in” thing to do these days. Some people use it to connect with friends, new and old, or family members, while others use it primarily for social networking to build their business.  Personally, I love going to my Facebook page and sharing my kitchen and cooking adventures, advice and encouragement with other busy moms and their families while learning some new ideas from the people in the group along the way.  Plus, on my personal Facebook page, I’ve re-connected with family, old friends, co-workers and met some great people here in our community.

Do you Connect with other Busy Moms or Mom Groups on Facebook?

And if you do, what are some of your favorite groups that you find advice or share advice from your active participation on facebook? If you don’t, what keeps you away from it all?

Not a Fan yet? Would you like to join our growing Family Cooking Club? Share recipes and tips with others? Join the Family Meals Matter Cooking Club on Facebook, we’d love to have you!

Our Family Movie Night!

January 21, 2011 · Posted in Improving Family Life · View Comments 

One of the things that we love to do as a family is to watch movies.  Make Pizza, Chili, Tacos or  something that’s really simple and quick. It’s usually a weekly event. It’s extremely rare that we go to the movie theatre. We watch movies at home and we have a little ritual that goes on.

  1. Popcorn bag in microwave,theater style is best.
  2. Kids grabs their bags of popcorn and pour into their popcorn bowl.
  3. Set the movie to play.
  4. Somebody has to go to the bathroom in the middle of the movie. Usually at the best part. Press pause.
  5. Enjoy a great flick and laugh and cry together.
  6. Fun memories are made.

What are your family movie rituals?

Simple Recipe Starters

January 20, 2011 · Posted in Kitchen Tips · View Comments 

Recipe starters are everyday items that can be used to prepare a variety of your meals from a simply stocked cupboard or refrigerator. Here are some ideas:

Healthy fats and oils, such as olive oil and canola oil. (There are also specialty oils like peanut, sesame, or truffle oil that add great flavor to your meals.)

Vinegars such as balsalmic, red wime and rice vinegar.

Reduced-fat, reduced-sodium broths, including chicken, beef and vegetable.

Canned cream soups, such as low-fat, reduced-sodium varieties of cream of mushroom, celery or chicken.

Add these to your grocery list the next time you go shopping and you will be able to create some delicious meals for your family.

5 Quick Main Ingredients For Busy Weeknight Meals

January 19, 2011 · Posted in Menus · View Comments 

Today, I’m over at Eccentric WAHM, sharing quick and easy meal ideas with simple main ingredients that can be found right in your pantry, freezer and refrigerator. I haven’t posted on Eccentric WAHM in a while , so I was thrilled to share these ideas on the blog. From the post:

“You can make meals that are easy, delicious and even healthy for your family, no matter how much- or how little-time you have. By learning a few simple techniques, you can have your dinner on the table faster. The meals we create for our family do not have to look fancy or contain a lot of expensive ingredients. A meal can be created with simple ingredients, a little bit of passion and a love.”

Pop on over to the post to see what these quick meals are and to share your own ideas in the comments section.

Meal Plans For Busy Moms:Spaghetti Beef Stroganoff

January 18, 2011 · Posted in Beef · View Comments 

This is a delicious re-vamp of an all time classic family favorite.  Egg noodles are the typical pasta used in this dish, however, when looking in the pantry I found regular spaghetti noodles that served the same purpose. When we talk about meal planning and making meals ahead of time, I often freeze the sauce and then when I need it, thaw, heat, and before serving, and then add the sour cream. Good for those last minute meal ideas! I prefer to serve the Stroganoff with noodles, but it can also be served with rice or potatoes.

Spaghetti Stroganoff


1 pound boneless, tender round steak cut into 1/8 strips
1 clove garlic, pressed
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 pound mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup  warm water
1 10-ounce can Cream of Chicken soup, undiluted
2 beef bouillon cubes
1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar or red wine
1 cup sour cream
1 cup cooked peas
Chopped parsley, chives or green onions


Rub round steak with garlic. Cut meat into 1/8-inch strips by 2 1/2 inches long.

In a small mixing bowl, stir tpogether flour, salt and pepper. Toss meat strips in flour mixture, coating well.

In a large skillet with lid, heat butter. In hot butter, brown meat strips, stirring frequently to brown evenly. Add onion and mushrooms and cook 5 minutes, or until golden.

Add water and chicken soup, red wine vinegar stirring to blend. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer 1-1 1/2 hours over very low heat.

Just before serving, stir in sour cream and peas. Heat just to boiling point.

Pour into a serving dish, sprinkle with chopped parsley, chives or green onions.

Just before s

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