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Monday, January 31, 2011

A little Pasta, A little Sweets & of course Treat for the Puppy!

I bring to you some special food we had this week! Of course a treat that everyone liked!
We start with a yummy dinner! Alex is my my go to recipe girl!
Ma, What's for dinner?
1 lb ground chicken
2 cloves minced garlic
8 oz canned petite diced tomatoes undrained
8 oz canned tomato sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp cracked pepper
8 lasagna noodles, cooked al dente
1 beaten egg
2 cups ricotta cheese
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 cup frozen spinach, thawed and well drained
2 cups shredded mozzarella
1 tbsp dried parsley
1/4 cup shredded or grated Parmesan
Thoroughly cook the ground chicken in a large skillet. Add the tomatoes, sauce, garlic, spices, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
Combine the egg, ricotta, and parmesan.
Using a glass or cookie cutter that is close to the size of the muffin cups, cut 3 circles out of each noodle for a total of 24 circles. Place 1 noodle circle in each muffin cup. Layer meat sauce, ricotta mixture, and shredded mozzarella. Repeat. Top with a bit of parsley and grated Parmesan. Cover loosely with a piece of foil that has been sprayed with oil and bake at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 5 minutes to brown on top. Let the “cupcakes” sit for at least 10 minutes for easier removal.
ALEXIS NOTES: I used ground turkey, it calls for 8 noodles but I got 4 circles out of one so you could get away with using only 6. I used poor man ricotta (cottage cheese run threw food processor). I added the spinach to the ricotta mixture and even skipped the mozzarella.
Treat for my friends at work:

  • 1 (12 ounce) package NESTLE® TOLL HOUSE® Premier White Morsels
  • 24 hard peppermint candies

  1. LINE baking sheet with waxed paper.
  2. MICROWAVE morsels in medium, microwave-safe bowl on MEDIUM-HIGH (70 percent) power for 1 minute; stir. Microwave at additional 10- to 20-second intervals, stirring until smooth.
  3. PLACE peppermint candies in heavy-duty plastic bag. Crush candies using rolling pin or other heavy object. While holding strainer over melted morsels, pour crushed candy into strainer. Shake to release all small candy pieces; reserve larger candy pieces. Stir morsel-peppermint mixture.
  4. SPREAD mixture to desired thickness on prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle with reserved candy pieces; press in lightly. Let stand for about 1 hour or until firm. Break into pieces. Store in airtight container at room temperature.

ALEXIS NOTES: Have left over peppermint candies this is a GREAT way to give it a new look.
Remember to keep an eye on the chocolate in the microwave. Remember I burned it!
And can't forget the puppy! A great lady commented on a dog biscuit I made and I hopped over to her site to find an amazing dog biscuit site.

1 medium Sweet Potato (peeled, baked and mashed, makes approximately 1 cup)
2 Eggs
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 cup Wheat Germ
1 1/4 cups Whole Wheat Flour
Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.
In a large bowl, combine the mashed sweet potatoes, eggs, cinnamon, vanilla extract and wheat germ. Gradually blend in the wheat flour. Knead dough into ball and roll onto a floured surface 1/4 inch thick. Cut with cookie cutter of your choice and place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until edges brown.
Cool and refrigerate.
ALEXIS NOTES: I couldn't find a snail cookie cutter in my bin for the life of me, so it was the bone cutter again. Note to myself next time I need to smash my sweet potato better (Well I used a yam). I picked up Wheat Germ in the bulk section. I kept mine on the chewy side for the puppy but when he gets older I'll make them more crispy.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Manic Monday Meals ~ Happy Birthday Rick (Yikes 35)

Oh yes today is Rick's 35th birthday, I was trying to find a recipe that was a simple one that I did in honor of my "Can't you just make a simple meal" guy but no luck. Sorry dude I don't do just a simple meal. Enjoy! Happy Birthday hun, it's been one heck of a past year with TONS of ups and downs and I'm happy to say we came out on the better side. Love ya.
Start w/ Breakfast
by I ate that
1 cup all pur­pose flour
1 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. brown sugar
2 tsp. bak­ing pow­der
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. nut­meg
1 egg, beaten
3/4 cup + 2 tsp. milk
1 tbsp. cook­ing oil
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp. creamy peanut but­ter
1 ripe banana, sliced thin
In a medium mix­ing bowl, mix all dry ingredients. In a separates bowl, mix egg milk and oil until well combined and then pour into dry ingre­di­ents and add peanut butter. Stir until all dry ingre­di­ents are mixed in. Add banana and mash with a fork until it is well combined. Scoop batter in 1/4 cup serv­ings onto a buttered, pre­heated grid­dle, and cook until done (2 – 3 minutes per side).
ALEXIS NOTES: I used whole wheat flour, sugar substitute and doubled :).
For Dinner!
by The Pursuit of Happiness
• 1 lb ground turkey
• 1 egg
• 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, diced
• 1/3 cup breadcrumbs
• 1 T minced garlic
• 1 T Italian seasoning
• 1 jar spaghetti sauce
Preheat the over to 350 degrees. Combine the turkey, breadcrumbs, egg, garlic, and seasoning in a bowl. Cut mozzarella cheese into small chunks. Flatten a small amount of meat in your hand and place a piece of mozzarella cheese inside. Form the meatball around the cheese. Make sure all of the cheese is covered by meat so the cheese doesn't come out while it's cooking. Place meatballs on a greased baking pan and cook for 30 minutes. Quickly take the dish out of the oven after it has cooked for 30 minutes. Pour the jar of spaghetti sauce on top and put the pan back in the oven for another 5 minutes.
ALEXIS NOTES: I only had cheese sticks which don't melt well, I suggest you don't use it.

And for dessert:

by One Crazy Cookie

1 cup butter, softened
2 cups flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups chocolate chips, divided
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1/3 cup jam (raspberry or blackberry)

Heat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9 x13 pan. Beat butter until creamy. Add flour, sugar and salt and mix until crumbly. Press 2 cups of the mixture in the bottom of the baking pan. Reserve the rest. Bake for 10 -12 minutes until golden brown edges. Microwave 1 cup chocolate chips and condensed milk on high for 1 minute. Stir until chips are melted. Pour over the crust. Drop teaspoonfuls of jam over crumb mixture. Sprinkle with the remaining cup of chocolate chips. Bake 25-30 minutes until the center is set.

ALEXIS NOTES: I used whole wheat flour, I was out of chocolate chips (I know I'm nuts) so I switched out with Nutella.

Happy Monday I hope you find something you may enjoy!!!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Must Watch Thursday .... A little dash of EVERYTHING

As you all know I'm totally addicted to Fringe and I've made it to Season 2 on DVD (I'm almost caught up to what is on TV now). This show is amazing with it's special effects, humor and mystery's. I promise if you haven't seen this yet you need to check it out!

Back for its sophomore season, this supernatural drama from executive producer J.J. Abrams ("Lost") stars Anna Torv as Olivia Dunham, a gifted FBI agent tasked with heading up the investigation of a series of paranormal events coined "the Pattern." Also returning are series regulars Joshua Jackson as charismatic renaissance man Peter Bishop, John Noble as his mad scientist father, Walter, and Lance Reddick as Dunham's boss, Agent Broyles.
One of my favorite shows has been cancelled. I was so worried when it was picked up by a new station but I had hope. It lost a bit of the pull to the show but it still was great. I'm so glad they ended it right, I hate when they just end shows with out giving you closer. That is when they need to take a look to Mash on how it is done :). All I have to say I've been watching Housewives of B.H. (which if you know me your shocked because I hate those shows, Rick is the only one that watches. But I'm all about the Kelsy & Camille thing I'm snoopy :).) So on the HOBH they had the "Real" Allison at a dinner and I was SHOCKED this character I love was based on this woman. All I'm going to say is I'll stick with my gal Patricia Arquette's version.

While using her powerful psychic abilities to assist Det. Scanlon (David Cubitt) in solving perplexing police investigations, Allison (Patricia Arquette) confronts tough new challenges at home with her husband, Joe (Jake Weber), and their three children. In the seventh season of this supernatural mystery series, Allison temporarily swaps personalities with her daughter Bridgette (Maria Lark) and starts seeing strange symbols above people's heads.
Everyone said how great this movie and book is, maybe I just need to read the book :(. Maybe it was so hyped up by everyone that when I finally watched I just couldn't get it. I really tried, even twice to sit and watch this movie but I just couldn't. I hope you may like this because Julia Roberts is one of my fav's and I feel bad I don't like her movie.

Julia Roberts stars in this adaptation of Elizabeth Gilbert's best-selling memoir about coping with a depressing divorce. After deciding to reshape her life, Liz (Roberts) travels the world in search of direction. She heads to Italy, India and Bali, indulging in delicious cuisine while seeking the true meaning of self-love, family, friendship and forgiveness. Along the way, she meets a bevy of characters and, possibly, her true love.
I picked this one up for Rick thinking he would love it, but even the funny was lost on him. Usually he tells me I'm to rough on movies and I need to laugh more. Well ha ... He said he didn't really enjoy this one either.

While an elite pair of New York City cops (Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Samuel L. Jackson) nabs headlines for their amazing heroics, fellow boys in blue Allen (Will Ferrell) and Terry (Mark Wahlberg) toil in obscurity as lowly desk jockeys, until a big break finally gives them a chance to tackle real police work. Rob Riggle, Eva Mendes, Michael Keaton and Steve Coogan co-star in this action-packed comedy directed by Adam McKay.
I guess I should have learned I've never really enjoyed any Anjgelina Jolie movie but I thought I would give it a try, yup I should have just said no. I'm sorry if you have liked this movie but I just couldn't get into it.

After she's accused of being a Russian sleeper spy, rogue CIA agent Evelyn Salt (Angelina Jolie) goes on the run, using every tactic, accent and disguise she knows to elude her pursuers, clear her name and protect her husband. Her supervisor, Winter (Liev Schreiber), buys her story, while counterintelligence officer Peabody (Chiwetel Ejiofor) decidedly does not and will do anything to stop her in this fast-paced, intrigue-filled spy adventure.
The boys loved this movie so much they called my mom and asked her to go out and buy it. They actually have sat down and watched the whole thing which for them is hard to believe. Cute movie that even a adult would like.

When park rangers capture ambitious, head-of-the-pack wolf pup Kate (Hayden Panettiere) and happy-go-lucky wolf pup Humphrey (Justin Long), the two wind up in a strange land hundreds of miles from home and must find their way back. As they battle bears, porcupines and each other on their journey, they discover they're falling in love. This animated film also features the voices of Christina Ricci and Dennis Hopper.
You know the first one was just ok to me I liked it but didn't totally love it. This one I really enjoyed, I think I needed to laugh and this did it for me. The boys didn't sit threw the whole thing, but mom did so that is good :).

When Nanny McPhee (Emma Thompson) arrives at the Green farm, she uses her blend of magic and discipline to help frazzled Mrs. Green (Maggie Gyllenhaal) run things while her husband's off fighting in World War II -- and to help the Green kids deal with their nasty cousins. Soon motorcycles start flying and statues come alive as everyone learns important lessons. Maggie Smith and Rhys Ifans co-star in this sequel to the 2005 film.

We watched this at the movie night at the school, I haven't laughed that loud in a long time. This movie was cute and funny even an adult would want to sit threw.

Villainous Gru (Steve Carell) lives up to his reputation as a despicable, deplorable and downright unlikable guy when he hatches a plan to steal the moon from the sky. But he has a tough time staying on task after three orphans land in his care. Julie Andrews voices the role of Gru's malevolent mom, and Jason Segel, Kristen Wiig and Will Arnett round out the ensemble cast in this comic tale that earned a Golden Globe nod for Best Animated Feature.
Ok HOLY cow is all I can say about this work out. The next day I could barely walk the next day. I LOVE my kettle bell (which I picked up at Walmart - the one she has is pretty spendy). It's about 30 minutes but she really does change it up so it goes by fast. I promise to stick with it and do it every other day.

Inspirational fitness trainer Jillian Michaels ("The Biggest Loser") presents an intensive total-body workout program designed to sculpt lean muscle and burn fat in a hurry, using hand weights and Michaels's innovative exercise sequences. Two half-hour routines feature proven-effective moves designed to yield major results in just a few weeks. Also included is an easy-to-follow tutorial on using kettlebell weights.
This work out on the instant Netflix Wii was not too bad it was pretty simple to follow and I did 2 at a time which was a nice work out. I think I'll keep it on there for the time I need to a pick me up.

Who says exercise can't make a difference in the body when it's not prolonged and sustained? The producers of the popular 10 Minute Solution series beg to differ, and they've designed five separate regimens that can be done in less time than it takes to brew a pot of coffee. Beginners can work the shoulders, glutes, abs, arms and thighs separately, settle in for a short but productive stretch, or put together varied combinations.

With dancing being the craze now and me not having money to buy the game for the Wii and I thought heck I'll just use the Instant Download for the Wii. Well I'm sorry to say this one even being 15 minutes didn't keep my interested or wanting to do the steps. I felt like I was in a bad 80's work out video. UGH

Dance the inches away and get energized with this high-energy, low-impact aerobic workout from fitness expert and bodybuilder Lydia Haskell. You'll burn calories and fat with Haskell's dance routine, which features fun, easy-to-follow choreographed movements. Perfect for busy people on the go, this 15-minute express program will have you kicking up your heels as you shape and firm your body and boost your metabolism.
Garfield has always been a favorite of mine when I was young and now the boys have found it and love it. Again you got to love the Instant download (Netflix Wii) to bring this classic to life for the boys.

When an alien menace and her army of undead minions threaten to enslave the world -- and worse, disrupt Garfield's cookout -- the courageous cat shakes off his lethargy and heads up a team of comic-strip superheroes to save the day. But when the going gets tough and his pals are imperiled by the otherworldly forces, will Garfield prove he's up to the challenge -- or is it too late for the well-fed feline to change his slothful stripes?
Hammer + Bop the builder mean amazing fun at our house. Another one Cole found on the Instant download on the Wii. Almost an hour and the boys are happy :).

As Bob the Builder tackles projects around the team's new home of Fixham Harbor, Spud and Scrambler scour the entire town to track down hidden treasure -- Pirate Brickbeard's Golden Hammer -- in this feature-length special of the beloved PBS series. Children will love to join in this fun, computer-animated adventure as the gang follows Brickbeard's clues and meets new friends such as Scratch, a rookie digger.

The boys found this on the instant download (Wii) and LOVE it, now me not so much my favorite but heck if they like it and want to watch it over and over I'm for it!!!

Charlie (Jerry O'Connell) and Louis (Anthony Anderson), two longtime friends from Brooklyn, are bothersome to mob kingpin Sal (Christopher Walken), who's Charlie's stepdad. So Sal sends the hapless duo to Australia to deliver $100,000 -- which they accidentally give to a renegade kangaroo. Afraid of their fate if they fail in their task, they're forced to chase the runaway 'roo and find the money, even if it means heading deep into the Outback.

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