Thursday, July 31, 2014

Cheesy Spaghetti

Hi friends! I have been saving this recipe for last during recipe week. As I write this, I so badly wish I was actually making it! I found a recipe here that was a slow cooker recipe. I didn't have time to put it in the crockpot so I adapted it for my own needs. And the results are totally sharable!!

Here's what you need:
1 lb your choice of meat-we used ground turkey (ground beef or even chicken would work)
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. black pepper
1 t. sage
1/4 t. cayenne pepper
1 t. oregano
8 oz. spaghetti (about 2/3 of 13.25 box)
1 24 oz. jar spaghetti sauce
1 T basil
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 c. colby and monterey jack cheese

Here's what you do:
Mix together first 6 ingredients in bowl.
Brown ground meat mixture as usual.
Once you get that going, cook spaghetti as your normally would.
Once the meat is cooked, drain as needed. Turn to low and add spaghetti sauce, basil, salt and pepper. Mix well and let simmer.

Once spaghetti is cooked, drain and add to pan. Mix and let simmer for 10-15 minutes. Add cheese, cover 3-5 minutes or until cheese has melted.

That's it; you're done! We liked it so much it only took us two meals to eat it. 
This ends my recipe week. I hope you enjoyed it and have found a new recipe to spice up your weeknight meals. Look for more recipes to come on Tasty Tuesday every week. Have a blessed weekend!!

Sweet Pineapple Chicken

Hi there! Here is another simple recipe coming your way.

Here's what you need:
~2 lbs chicken cut into 1" diced chunks
1 cup pineapple juice (I bought a can of pineapple slices to use for another recipe I will share later and used the juice from that. It gave us just about the right amount.)
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/3 c. soy sauce

Here's what you do:

I defrosted chicken breasts and cut into ~1" cubes. You can also save this step by buying chicken chunks. We always only buy chicken breasts therefore it took me a few extra minutes to do this today. Either way, place the cubed chicken into your crockpot.

In a separate bowl, stir together the remaining three ingredients.

Once the brown sugar has dissolved, pour over chicken. 

Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours.

We paired ours with stir fry veggies and brown rice. Another easy weeknight meal for you!

~2 lbs chicken cut into 1" diced chunks
1 cup pineapple juice
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/3 c. soy sauce

I defrosted chicken breasts and cut into ~1" cubes. You can also save this step by buying chicken chunks. We just always only buy chicken breasts therefore it took me a few extra minutes to do this today, but oh well. Place your cubed chicken into your crockpot.
In a separate bowl, stir together the remaining three ingredients. Once the brown sugar has dissolved, pour over chicken. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours.

And for your added bonus, check out what I have been eating for lunch EVERYDAY this week!! If you know me at all, you know I hate to eat the same thing multiple days in a row. However, I have eaten this salad everyday. I used to make a similar pasta salad, but I saw it had bacon in it so I thought "Why not give it a try? Bacon makes everything better." And it is so true! Try it out for yourselves (I went without the green onions.) You won't be sorry. Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Chicken Burrito Bowl

Hi friends! What are you thinking of recipe week so far? Today I have another scrumptious recipe to share with you. The best part is-you can make the whole thing in the same pan!

Here's what you need:
1 pound or about 4 cups of chicken breasts defrosted and cubed into 1" pieces
3 T. olive oil
1 cup uncooked brown rice
1 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes, drained
1 15 oz. can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. chili powder
1 t. cumin
2 1/2 c. chicken broth
2 cups of cheese (we used Colby and Monterey Jack)
Salt and pepper to taste
Optional: fresh toppings to add-tomatoes, green onions, sour cream, guacamole, cheese, salsa, etc.

Here's what you do:
Begin warming 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan
Season diced chicken with a little salt and pepper.
Add chicken to pan and cook over medium high heat until chicken has started to brown.
Move chicken to one side of the pan. On the other side of the pan add an additional tablespoon of olive oil and sauté uncooked rice for about 2 minutes or until some grains begin to turn golden brown.

Stir in black beans, canned tomatoes, chicken broth, garlic powder, chili powder and cumin.

Bring to a simmer, cover, and reduce heat to low.
Cook for about 20 minutes or until rice is tender.
Season with additional salt and pepper as needed.

Sprinkle with cheese, recover and let set for 2-3 minutes without heat to melt cheese.

If you have it, garnish with fresh toppings. I did not have any so we just ate it as is. We paired ours with some strawberries for a fresh summery meal. We had enough for leftovers, but only one meal because it was so tasty! I am sure it would have made a great lunch over tortilla chips or in a wrap as well. Let me know what you think. See you again tomorrow friends!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014


Welcome back! Have you tried out those bars yet I showed you yesterday? You will never question my credibility for choosing recipes after you do! Today on the menu I am showing you a tasty calzone. I made this for the Super Bowl a couple years back and pulled it out of the arsenal last week to share with Matt. It was a great party food as well as an amazing weeknight meal.

Here's what you need:
pizza dough (if you want to make this homemade-go for it! I am all about the quick and easy so I bought mine)
1 jar of pizza sauce
pizza toppings of your choice (The first one I made had: pepperoni, Canadian bacon, and sausage, this time I did pepperoni and bell peppers)
seasoning: I added Italian seasoning, Oregano, and a little Parmesan cheese. I recommend those or something similar

Here's what you do:

Get out the largest pan or cookie sheet you have! Roll out your pizza dough. Next, put your pizza sauce across the middle 1/3 of your pizza dough. I used the whole jar. I definitely didn't need to use the whole thing, but it worked out fine!

Then put on your toppings-I did the seasoning first, then the meat and veggies followed by the cheese. 
Next cut the dough into strips approximately 3/4" apart until you are just about to the toppings. I used a pair of kitchen scissors which worked best for me. A knife would work, too. 

Then I braided the top. Fold each one over as far as you can. It should stretch a little. You will see mine is definitely not perfect, and this is not the first time I made it. It still tastes great. I cut it up right away so no one saw the top except for you right now!

Then I topped it with some more seasonings including the Parmesan cheese. Bake in oven at 375° for 25-30 min. You can also follow the directions it says on your pizza crust, but you may need to cook it a little longer. Tip: If it says to cook the crust for a few minutes before putting the toppings on to make sure it gets done, don't! I did that the first time. It is really difficult to fold the crust over the toppings.

We paired it with some broccoli florets and called it a Tasty Tuesday!


pizza crust
1 jar pizza sauce
pizza toppings (pepperoni and bell peppers for us)
seasoning: Italian, Oregano and Parmesan cheese

Spread pizza crust onto large cookie sheet. Dump pizza sauce onto middle 1/3 of pizza crust. Add a little seasoning if you wish. Layer on your pizza toppings followed by the cheese. Cut the two sides of crust into 3/4" strips until just before you reach the toppings. Braid the pieces over the top of your calzone. Make sure you get each piece over as far as you can-it should stretch a little. Bake in oven at 375° for 25-30 minutes. Cut with your pizza wheel or knife and enjoy!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Chicken Pesto

Happy Monday friends! I hope you all had a great weekend! I had such a good time blogging everyday the past two weeks I thought I would continue again this week! I can't promise this will continue for the rest of time, but I can do it this week! Since I am now home studying for my boards I have some extra time to try out new recipes. Coming to you this week are all new recipes I have been testing out. Let me know what you think! Today we are starting with a super simple, very tasty chicken pesto.

Here's what you need:
Chicken (we used about 5 breasts which was enough for us. You could add a couple more for a big family and still have enough sauce to cover everything. Or use twice as many thighs)
6 oz-ish jar of pesto (the one I bought was a little over 6 0z)
1 package Ranch seasoning package (not the same one I used to make the Veggie dip, the one next to it on the shelf)
1/2 c. chicken broth (Don't worry I will feature more recipes this week to help you use the whole box!)

Here's what you do:
Combine pesto, ranch seasoning and chicken broth into a bowl.

Stir until all ingredients are combined.

Place chicken into the crockpot. Pour seasoning mixture over chicken.

Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours.

That's it! You're done!! Enjoy! We paired ours with some mashed potatoes and broccoli. It was so delicious and super simple!! Matt loves our crockpot recipes. I made enough to have for leftovers later in the week as well as for most of our lunches. Usually we make chicken in the crockpot on Sunday for Matt's lunches. Last week I made this on Monday and he was able to use it on his wraps and salads all week. It was a nice flavor change up! Let me know how else you use it!

Before I go, today is a very special day to one of my very best friends.


It's her birthday!!!! She is AMAZINGLY talented, and for all you sewers out there she puts up quite a few tutorials on her blog Rose Gold and Red Clover. Or you can just go read about her life! In honor of her, I am posting this BONUS recipe I tried out last night that I found on one of my very favorite bloggers' websites: mix and match mama. They are Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Neiman Marcus Bars

I cannot say enough good things about them! Very simple and oh so yummy! You will forget about eating healthy for a little while with these. But it's okay, because it's Angela's birthday and we need to honor her! You have been warned-it is tough saying no to these. Enjoy, friends!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Pacific Northwest Vakay Day 9

Day 9: Well friends here we are, at the end. We definitely went out with a bang on this trip. We hit three national parks and three states. Is that a record? I don't know. Are we crazy? I think so. 
We woke up in Yellowstone after a cold night of camping and drove into Grand Tetons National Park. 

I might have been looking forward to this park the most, and it did not disappoint.

The clouds were in our way at the beginning of the day. We were hoping they would clear up soon. We saw SSOOO many people on our trip and most were taking pictures with their ipads. We think it looks kind of ridiculous because they are bigger than any camera, but they may take relaly good pictures. Matt decided to join in on the fun!

Shortly after, the clouds began to clear, and what we saw was spectacular! 

The water was so clear in the morning the reflection of the mountains was unreal. 

The mountains look pretty spectacular on their own though too, don't you think?

Then we took a beautiful stroll around the lake.

The mountains were still gorgeously reflecting in the water. 

We saw some fellow Arizonans taking a kayak trip down the river. It was a gorgeous day for it!

Look at this crazy looking tree we found!

Then we took a drive through the park and were able to get this incredible view!

We drove out of the park and were able to see this. I can see why people call this their favorite national park.

We left Tetons and headed through Jackson. It is the just about the cutest town ever! Then we drove, and we drove, and we drove. We passed a few signs of other national parks, but we didn't think we would have time to stop. However, we kept seeing signs for Bryce Canyon over and over again, much more often than any of the others. Then we saw the sign for the entrance to Bryce Canyon. I remember my Grandma Mark telling me Bryce Canyon is one the coolest places she has ever been so I have always wanted to check it out. It was almost sunset, but we decided to go ahead and check it out. We are so glad we did!

We checked out a couple of view points and fell in love. We will definitely be back there soon!!

Stopping at Bryce Canyon set us back a little bit, but we were still ahead of schedule overall. We stayed the night in Utah and headed back the next day. I'm so glad we did because we had some beautiful views of Arizona on our morning drive. 

I thought I would end my segment of our road trip with the highlights of our trip:
Best dinner: Bridges in Vancouver
Best day: Day 5-Squamish, BC with sea to sky gondola

I so hope you have enjoyed reading about our road trip. It will be a great way for us to look back and remember it. Again, a huge thank you to all of our friends and family for the amazing tips and tricks that helped make this one amazing trip. Make sure you come back next week to Mad Wife Skillz for recipe week! I will feature a new recipe everyday!! Don't forget you can follow me by entering your email under the tab "Follow My Blog". You will be sent an email every time I publish a new post. Hope you all have a great weekend! :)