Monday, February 13, 2017

Puff Pastry Pizza

As I've mentioned before in a previous post years ago (Ha! yup. I said years cause I'm terrible about blogging) my family LOVES pizza. We're currently living in TLF (military lodging) for a few weeks while we wait to move into the house we will be renting for the next few years and boy do I miss my Kitchen Aid Mixer.  Every Friday night in our house is pizza night and I make my own dough from scratch. Its super easy to make and budget friendly. Since I'm missing my mixer I've been looking at different dough alternatives. Ive tried them all and nothing can compare to the taste of homemade dough. That's till I tried Puff Pastry. Its buttery, flaky, crispy and so pretty once its baked. I think I'm going to be making it a lot more this way. 

Here are the two pizza's I made

Prosciutto, Fig Preserves and Blue Cheese

  • Frozen Puff Pastry (1/2 sheet) 
  • Jig Preserves
  • Deli Proscutto 
  • Blue Cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Thaw the puff pastry (according to the package directions) unfold from paper and cut in half (you can get two pizzas out of 1 pastry sheet). Down the middle of the pastry spoon fig preserves, sprinkle just a little blue cheese and then top with a few strips of prosciutto. Bake for 20-25 mins then enjoy!

Pesto, Mozzarella and Tomato

  • Frozen Puff Pastry (1/2 sheet)
  • Pesto (Homemade is best but store bought will do)
  • Fresh Mozzarella 
  • Cherry Tomatoes 
  • Balsamic Vinegar (optional for drizzling at the end)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Thaw the puff pastry (according to the package directions) unfold from paper and cut in half (you can get two pizzas out of 1 pastry sheet). Down the middle of the pastry spoon pesto then add mozzarella and sliced tomatoes. Bake for 20-25 mins. Once done sprinkle with fresh or dried basil and drizzle with Balsamic vinegar and enjoy!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Menu Planning & The Budget

How to create a grocery budget and stick to it! 

I go grocery shopping once a week. Well, let me back up. At the first of the month my husband and I we have a budget meeting to go over all this months bills and we set budgets for everything. (He most of the time. Him=Nerd  Me=Free Spirit...  If you don't get it Check out Dave Ramsey FPU.)  Groceries, toiletries, eating out, entertainment, clothing all have their own categories. Once we have a budget amount set for the month I create my weekly menu.  My monthly grocery budget for 2 adults and 1 child is between $500 -$600 per month. I know that may seem like a big budget, but I do make almost everything from scratch so buying up all the basic kitchen ingredients could sometimes be a little costly. I write down all the ingredients that I need for those meals and then anything else that I may need to replaced in the pantry. Once I have my list I STICK TO IT!!! 

I shop mostly at Kroger’s, Sam’s Club and the Base Commissary. I buy majority of my produce from Sam’s Club. We eat so much fruit/veggies that its just cheaper to buy them all in bulk from Sam’s. Currently I’m shopping at Kroger’s for just about every thing else. I LOVE Kroger’s. The prices are fantastic and they have a really nice selection of meat and produce. (I’m NOT getting paid to promote Kroger’s by the way. I just like this store.)  

My shopping cart is a mixture of organic and non-organic items. I'm finding that the area we currently live in doesn't carry a lot organic items so I just make due with what my stores have. 

Coupons... I don't use very many coupons. But I do like to check online at before I go out to see if there are any that I could use. I also clip the digital Kroger coupons and load them onto my store card for additional savings. 

Weekly Menu Plan...
I list out the days of the week and I just throw in some dinner ideas for each day. Sometimes I’ll ask my husband if there’s something that he wants for dinner this week. Its usually no but then mid-week he’ll tell me something and I’ll just throw that on the menu for the following week. If we happen to go out to eat or to a friends house spontaneously for dinner then that days meal just gets rolled over to the next day. When I menu plan I try and plan some of my meals that make good LEFTOVERS!!! Can I get can Amen for leftovers?!?!


S- Spaghetti & Meatballs
M- Leftovers Spaghetti & Meatballs 
T- Fit Men Cook Chicken Enchilada Casserole (recipe here)
W- Leftover Enchilada Casserole
T- Tuna Sliders, Caesar Salad 
F- Homemade Pizza
S- Sweet Potato Burgers (recipe here)
S- Crock Pot Roast Beef & Salad

We have homemade Pizza EVERY FRIDAY. I know that may seem overkill but I like to give the people what they want. If they want to eat pizza every Friday fine by me.  It's a house favorite and inexpensive to make. I use deli pepperoni  (The BEST, get it shaved. 1/4 lb. will be enough for 2 pizzas) and make my own pizza dough. You can find that recipe here in one of my previous blog posts.

My 3-year-old makes her own pizza too. It’s a good mother/daughter bonding moment. 

Lunch Meal Prep...

I meal plan my husbands lunches every week. It’s a good time saver for me. I pick a meal from and that’s his lunch for the entire week. Check out my Instagram Moweeks to see a few of my previous meal prep pictures. 

My lunch every week is either leftovers from the night before or I'll have a sandwich or salad. 

I hope that you find some of this information helpful and useful for when you make your weekly menu and go shopping. 

Friday, August 14, 2015

Chicken Gyros with Cucumber Greek Yogurt Sauce


About at week ago I received an email from the social media team at Chobani Greek Yogurt! How cool is that?!?! I thought it was spam at first till I stated reading it and they are challenging everyone to create a healthy recipe that is #madewithchobani and share it on your social media! So if YOU have a good recipe to share please do and make sure to #madewithchobani. I'd love to see what others have come up with. 

It wasn't hard for me to come up with one because I cook with Greek yogurt all the time. Anytime a recipe calls for mayonnaise or sour cream I substitute it for Greek yogurt and never notice a difference in taste.

Try Chobani Greek Yogurt next time you’re having chili, tacos, desserts, or making a dip! For more fun and healthy recipe ideas visit their website here.

I'm all about the quick weeknight dinner meals and today for dinner I made Chicken Gyros with a cucumber Greek yogurt sauce. Now, I know this isn't the traditional way gyros are made, but my family loves these and it only takes me 15-20 minutes to put on the table from start to finish. How bout that for a quick weeknight meal?!

Cucumber Greek Yogurt Sauce

1 1/2 Chobani Plain Greek Yogurt
1/4 cup chopped cucumber (peeled and seedless)
1 garlic clove minced (I love garlic so I used 2)
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 or 2 dashes Sriracha sauce (optional)
Salt, pepper and dill to taste

Combine all ingredients and store in fridge.

While the Yogurt sauce is in the fridge; grill or sauté a well-seasoned chicken breast (to your liking) and chop the tomatoes and cucumbers.

Once the chicken is done just assemble your gyros with pita bread, fresh veggies and top with the cucumber yogurt sauce. That's it! 

(Note: You can substitute chicken for pork or steak! And the more veggies you load in the better! I love making this for dinner and even my picky 2 year old eats her entire plate.)


Thursday, June 18, 2015

Arugula Pesto Pasta with Homemade Pesto Sauce

I love a quick and easy weeknight meal. And this one is pretty much a regular in my house. I originally found this recipe for Arugula Pesto Pasta from an old Trader Joe's cookbook. Don't you just love Trader Joe's?! I'm still bitter that there isn't one close by me, but don't even get me started on that. As soon as I run into one I promise I'm buying up the whole store. Any who...This is such a forgiving meal I've made it with different types of pasta shells, sausage brands, and even store bought pesto. After I learned how to make pesto I'll never buy it again. Nothing beats a good fresh homemade pesto sauce.

Pesto Sauce:

3 cups Fresh Basil (or fresh spinach/parsley) Note: I've used half basil/parsley or spinach/parsley and it's still good.
1/2 cup toasted Pine Nuts (or slivered almonds/walnuts)
1/2 fresh grated Parmesan Cheese
1 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3-4 cloves of garlic
Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Combine all ingredients in food processor or blender and blend until well combined.

What's good about pesto is you could freeze it in ice cube trays and use at a later date. Pesto is excellent on grilled meat, pizza, bruschetta just about anything to add flavor. 

Arugula Pesto Pasta:

12 oz (1/2 bag or box) Pasta (any type of pasta shell will do)
1 (16 oz) pkg. of Chicken or Turkey Sausage (any fully cooked brand sausage)
3-4 heaping Tbsp. Pesto Sauce
3.5 oz (1/2 bag) Arugula
Fresh Grated Parmesan Cheese

  • Cook pasta according to package directions. 
  • While pasta is cooking slice the sausage and pan-fry in lightly oiled pan till browned. 
  • Once pasta is cooked drain. Add cooked pasta into pan that sausage was cooked in. 
  • Add pesto sauce until pasta is well coated then add arugula. The heat from the pasta will slightly wilt the arugula. 
  • Toss all ingredients until well combined and serve with fresh Parmesan Cheese.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Kentucky Derby Bunco Party

I recently hosted my first ever Bunco Party!!! I was super excited. I love hosting gatherings at my house and decorating. Since my bunco party was held in May I decided on a Kentucky Derby theme. I found on Hostess with the Mostess site a ton of Kentucky Derby printables and for FREE (Ya girl likes free) downloaded a few that I liked and had them printed at The UPS Store for only $5.00.

Banner from Target Clearance section for $2.50

Horses from toy section at the Dollar Store add a coat of spray paint and Voila!

I also made a few placemats. Bought the fabric from Hobby Lobby for about $6.95 a yard.  I followed this tutorial here for my placemats. Super easy to make.

My Derby Fascinator headband. Like my model? ;) Totally forgot to take a picture of my self with it on, but it turned out really cute. Followed this tutorial. Bought all my supplies from Hobby Lobby as well. I love that place. 

And now onto the good stuff.... FOOD :) 
I made Mini Hot Browns, Sweet Tea and White Wine Julep. Everyone else brought a dish to share.
Mini Hot Browns
Sweet Tea
Wine Julep in the makings

Hot Brown Recipe:

Mornay Sauce:

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
Pinch of ground pepper
Pinch of nutmeg
1/2 cup grated swiss cheese

Kentucky Hot Brown Bites:

1 can refrigerated crescent rolls
1 cup finely chopped turkey
1 cup mornay sauce
2 slices bacon, chopped
1 tomato, diced
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Mornay Sauce:
Melt butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in flour, and cook, stirring constantly, about 1 minute. (Do not let mixture brown.) Add milk, whisking constantly. Bring to a low boil, and cook, stirring constantly, about 2 minutes more. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Remove from heat, and stir in cheese.  Allow to cool slightly.

Bites:Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a small bowl combine finely chopped turkey and mornay sauce.
Lightly spray a mini muffin pan with non stick cooking spray.
Unroll crescent rolls and press dough into one large rectangle. Cut rectangle into 12 squares. Press dough squares into muffin cups and shape up around the edges.
Fill each muffin cup with some of the turkey mixture. Top each bite with some diced tomato, bacon and parmesan cheese.
Bake 13-15 minutes or until lightly browned 

Overall I'd say it was a success. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and that's all the matters. Thanks for stopping by :)


Friday, May 15, 2015

French Breakfast Puff

Ahhhh... How could I ever forget about the French Breakfast Puff?! I learned how to make these in my 6th grade Home Economic Class. Actually it’s the first thing I learned how to make ever. And hey, if my 11-year self could make these then surely anyone can.

Soft, sweet, and delicate pastry perfectly pared with a nice cup of coffee or tea. Quick and easy to whip together with simple staple ingredients sure to please.  Make these for breakfast ASAP! J 

Makes 9 muffins

1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter
1 egg
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 cup milk
For the topping:
6 Tbsp. butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, nutmeg and salt. Set aside.
Cream together the sugar, butter and egg in a mixer. Add sifted flour mixture to the creamed mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition.
Fill greased muffin tins. Bake at 350 for 20 to 25 minutes.

For the topping:
Mix together the cinnamon and sugar.
Remove muffins from the pan while they are still warm, and immediately dip them in the melted butter. Then roll the butter-covered muffin in the cinnamon sugar mixture. Serve warm.


Monday, April 27, 2015

The Perfect 6" White Cake

My two year old calls cake “Birthday Party”.  I think that’s the cutest thing I’ve ever heard, but then just about every other thing she says is cute to me. HA! So I made her a “Birthday Party” and we sang to her lambie and she blew out the candle.  

I hit the mean streets of Pinterest for the perfect 6” white cake and I couldn’t decide which one to use so I combined a few recipes and I think I have a winner here. 

The frosting I swear is the best cake frosting I’ve ever made. It’s a combination of milk, flour and granulated sugar. Sounded weird to me but I will ONLY make this type of frosting for now on. 

Now, without further ado I present to you..... BIRTHDAY PARTY!!!  

White Cake

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons cake flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 egg whites, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 6-inch round cake pan with butter and flour, then line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In the bowl of your mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg whites and vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture in thirds, alternating with the milk, mixing well and scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl after each addition. Pour the batter in your prepared baking pan. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes on wire rack before removing cakes from pans to cool completely.


1 cup milk
5 tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup butter (room temperature)
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar (not powdered sugar)

In a medium saucepan, whisk one cup of milk with 5 tablespoons of flour. Heat over medium until the mixture begins to sputter, whisking constantly. Continue to stir as the mixture thickens. It should be as thick as cake batter. Once thickened stir in 2 teaspoons vanilla extract and set aside to cool COMPLETELY.

Now, in your stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat 1 cup of butter  with 1 cup of granulated sugar until light, fluffy, and white in color, about 3 solid minutes of beating on medium-high speed. You want the sugar to be totally incorporated into the butter. Then add the cooled milk/flour mixture to the butter/sugar mixture. Beat for about 1 minute on high speed, scraping down the bowl halfway, until they are smooth and well blended. Your frosting will be light and fluffy as whipped cream.