Thursday, May 21, 2015

Smoothie Bags for the Freezer

Summertime is here, and the heat is kicking in way earlier than usual ... we've already had a few 100 degree days that broke previous records from over 80 years ago! I'm also starting to get more in to the meal prep program and reducing my actual hands on time for stuff during the work week ...

Which leads me to ... frozen yogurt to the rescue! No, not the kind that resembles ice cream, that is NOT what I'm talking about.

What I AM talking about is frozen yogurt CUBES for smoothies and such.

Uh huh.


Makes life so much easier.

And then, to make things even better, you just cut up your fruit and add them to little bags too ...


And just like that, you have Smoothie Bags. Awesome! Feel free to use recycled ziploc bags. (don't worry, raw chicken NEVER saw this bag ... it was an overestimation of how many bags I needed for freezing)

So...it's not a big deal to do ... but you do have to make an effort ...

Take your yogurt (personally, I've started going with PLAIN yogurt) and dish it into the ice cube trays.

Smooth out the top if you are OCD, or just leave as I do.


Freeze. Once frozen, pop them out of the trays into ziploc bags and toss in the freezer.

When ready to use in a smoothie, toss a few cubes (I use 3 to 1 cup milk/juice) and add the frozen fruit along with the milk. No need to add ice! NOTE: Be sure to PEEL the bananas before you freeze ... I also cut mine in to 4 to 5 pieces to give my blender a little break ...

Whip it up and seriously enjoy. I love easy tips like this.  With summertime here, this is PERFECT.

Looking forward to sharing with some of these great parties ... make sure you check them out! Wake Up Wednesday,  Instagram Blog Hop, Pin Worthy Wednesday, Wake Up Wednesday, Hump Day Happenings, Wednesday Roundup, My Stay At Home Adventures, Wonderful WednesdayHearth & SoulFluster Buster Creative Muster,  Show Me What Ya GotWhat's Cooking WednesdayIts a Party!Works For Me WednesdaySugar and Spice, Hump Day Happenings, Waste Not Want Not,  Wake Up WednesdayWhatever Goes WednesdayWednesday WhatsitsReal FunWork It WednesdayLovely Ladies, Weekly CreativeDomestic SuperheroAll Things ThursdayThe Weekly CreativeTogether on Tuesday, Tasty ThursdayFull Plate ThursdayCreate It ThursdayFabulously Frugal ThursdayCrafty Thursday Obsessions, Thrifty Thursday,  Showcase Your TalentThink Tank ThursdaySimple Lives Thursday, What To Do Thursday, No Rules Weekend Bloghop, Foodie Friday, Fabulous FridayGet Real Frugal FridayFrugal FridaysFreakin Did It Friday, Pure Blog LoveFeature FridayThe Pin JunkieFreedom FridayFriday FavoriteFoodie Friday, A peek into my paradiseWeekend SocialFoodie Friends FridayCelebrate It!,  Weekend RetreatWhat’s Shakin Weekend PotluckGet Him Feed Anything Goes,  Lil Luna Link PartyFoodie Friday, Foodie Friends Friday, Weekend PotluckTGI Friday Friday with FriendsSimple Living Foodie FridayInspirationsWeekend Wander,  Saturday Night Fever, A Bouquet of TalentThe Party BunchShow Off Saturday, I Gotta CreateShow Off WeekendShow Stopper SaturdaySweet and SavoryThe Weekend CreativeWeekend PotluckWill Cook For SmilesStrut Your Stuff Saturday,  Super Saturday Show & TellSunday Features,  Potluck PartySunday ShowcaseSnickerdoodle SundaySundae ScoopSuper SundayMop It Up MondayMerry MondayCreative MondayThe ScoopMelt In Your Mouth Monday, Pinch of JoyPin It Party,  Made By You MondayHunk of Meat Monday,  What’d You Do This Weekend,  Making It CuterTime To Sparkle, Inspire Me MondayMealtime MondayTime To SparkleMakin You Crave MondayClever Chick, Motivational Monday,  Mix it Up Monday,  Save Money MondayMonday Funday, Anything Goes Monday, Making Monday, Lou Lou GirlsInspire Me Monday, Marvelous MondayIn and Out of the Kitchen, MemoriesTasty TuesdaysTuesdays At Our HomeHow To TuesdayHandmade TuesdayMaking a HomeShow Me The GoodsTotally Tasty TuesdayAll My Bloggie Friends, Retro Repin (Pinterest linkup) Share Your Stuff TuesdayTuesday Talent ShowFat TuesdayPenny Pinching PartyThe Gathering SpotAnti-Procrastination Tuesdays, Tasty Tuesdays, Two Cup Tuesday, Create, Link, Inspire, The Makers, Wow Me Wednesday, Create and Shareloa, Best of the Weekend

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Flat bread pizzas


I had these flat breads in the freezer that were picked up from Costco a while ago ... I bought them with the intention of making just this, Flat Bread Pizzas ...

We've been making these for the past few weeks and they are a huge hit ... I've made them in the oven but they do taste way better on the grill so do it that way if you can!


These are my favorite ... Margharita Pizzas ... and it so simple and don't require another trip to the store to pick up anything additional!

Here's what you need to make these yummy bites:

3 to 5 flat breads (depends on how many you are feeding, figure one per person)
one roma tomato for each flat bread (or 2 if they are smallish)
shredded mozzarella cheese
handful of basil leaves, torn
1/4 cup of olive oil
generous tbs of fresh chopped garlic
super generous sprinkle, and then some, of italian seasoning

Ready?

Grab yourself a baking sheet and lay out the flat breads. 

Mix the oil, garlic and italian seasoning in a small bowl. Brush the flat breads with the oil, being generous and making sure you get some of the garlic on the bread too.

Top with cheese, making sure to spread out evenly. Remember the cheese is going to melt and spread so try and do a light, even layer.

Top cheese with the tomato slices.  Drizzle or brush the tomato slices with more olive oil and garlic.

Place in oven at 350 OR grill on medium heat til cheese is melted and the bottom is crispy. Sprinkle with the basil leaves a few minutes before serving. The basil will shrink up once it gets heated.


I grab one of my big cutting boards and just transfer the flat breads on to the board, letting it cool a little and then cutting down the center long way and then cut into 3 parts, for a total of 6 pieces per flat bread ... enjoy!


Monday, May 18, 2015

Chopped Steaks with Mushroom Gravy

I've made this a few times in the past year, but nowhere near as often as I should since it taste so yummy ...



And believe it or not, it qualified as Pantry Challenge friendly in that I have everything on hand to make it ... sweet!

Here's how I do it:

2 1/2 lbs of ground beef (umm, 90/10 is what I used because it's what I had)
2 egg, beaten
2 shallot, chopped or 1/4 onion chopped smallish
2 clove garlic, chopped smallish
6 tbs parsley chopped
1 tsp ground mustard
3 tbs panko or bread crumbs
1/4 c plus a dash  flour
2 tbs oil
2 tbs butter
salt  and pepper to taste

Then you need this to make the gravy (this made tons of gravy which was good with the egg noodles):

4 tbs butter
3 8 oz package of shrooms, sliced (or 3 cans small cans (4 oz) shrooms)
3/4 onion, chopped small
1/2 tsp thyme
1/4 c flour
4 c (or 1 carton) beef broth
salt and pepper

Whew. Sounds like a lot, but its not really.

Preheat oven to 350.

Combine everything EXCEPT the oil and butter for the patties. Pat gently to form 10 patties.


Heat the butter and the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Cook the patties for 2 to 3 minutes on each side and then place in a baking dish.



Drain the skillet of any liquid. NOW it's time to make the gravy...yummm...we love gravy!  Add butter and reduce the heat to medium. When butter is melted, add the shrooms, onions and thyme. Cook til shrooms are soft.


Sprinkle the shrooms with flour and stir up. Let the shrooms cook for a couple minutes and then add 1/2 cup broth. Swirl around to make sure everything is loose in the pan and coated. Umm...don't do like me and stir. Just let the flour sit on top of the shrooms for a few minutes.  I also added a splash of white wine just because I had some open, and hey its a good thing!

 Honestly, I am NOT a big wine drinker but this stuff is what I like to have hanging around, you know, just in case!

Pour in the remaining broth slowly, while stirring. Make sure you are getting the browned bits off the bottom (hubby calls this magic stuff). Let simmer on medium low for about 10 minutes, stir frequently.

Pour the gravy over the steaks in the baking dish and cover with foil. Bake dish in the oven for 30 minutes (give or take 5 minutes) til cooked through.

I served, again, with buttered egg noodles because that's what I had on hand ... but this would be really good with mashed potatoes!

Go ahead and put this on the menu plan ASAP ... you won't be sorry!

*NOTES: the first time I made this, I said I would definitely add more salt and pepper ... and maybe chop up the shallots a little more as mine were a little chunky.  I strongly recommend both as I did the same thing the 2nd time around.

Quick tip for ahead of meal preparation: mix the meat and form in to balls, stick in the fridge until closer to dinner time ... when ready to cook, just flatten them out in to patties.

Looking forward to sharing with some of these great parties ... make sure you check them out! Wake Up Wednesday,  Instagram Blog Hop, Pin Worthy Wednesday, Wake Up Wednesday, Hump Day Happenings, Wednesday Roundup, My Stay At Home Adventures, Wonderful WednesdayHearth & SoulFluster Buster Creative Muster,  Show Me What Ya GotWhat's Cooking WednesdayIts a Party!Works For Me WednesdaySugar and Spice, Hump Day Happenings, Waste Not Want Not,  Wake Up WednesdayWhatever Goes WednesdayWednesday WhatsitsReal FunWork It WednesdayLovely Ladies, Weekly CreativeDomestic SuperheroAll Things ThursdayThe Weekly CreativeTogether on Tuesday, Tasty ThursdayFull Plate ThursdayCreate It ThursdayFabulously Frugal ThursdayCrafty Thursday Obsessions, Thrifty Thursday,  Showcase Your TalentThink Tank ThursdaySimple Lives Thursday, What To Do Thursday, No Rules Weekend Bloghop, Foodie Friday, Fabulous FridayGet Real Frugal FridayFrugal FridaysFreakin Did It Friday, Pure Blog LoveFeature FridayThe Pin JunkieFreedom FridayFriday FavoriteFoodie Friday, A peek into my paradiseWeekend SocialFoodie Friends FridayCelebrate It!,  Weekend RetreatWhat’s Shakin Weekend PotluckGet Him Feed Anything Goes,  Lil Luna Link PartyFoodie Friday, Foodie Friends Friday, Weekend PotluckTGI Friday Friday with FriendsSimple Living Foodie FridayInspirationsWeekend Wander,  Saturday Night Fever, A Bouquet of TalentThe Party BunchShow Off Saturday, I Gotta CreateShow Off WeekendShow Stopper SaturdaySweet and SavoryThe Weekend CreativeWeekend PotluckWill Cook For SmilesStrut Your Stuff Saturday,  Super Saturday Show & TellSunday Features,  Potluck PartySunday ShowcaseSnickerdoodle SundaySundae ScoopSuper SundayMop It Up MondayMerry MondayCreative MondayThe ScoopMelt In Your Mouth Monday, Pinch of JoyPin It Party,  Made By You MondayHunk of Meat Monday,  What’d You Do This Weekend,  Making It CuterTime To Sparkle, Inspire Me MondayMealtime MondayTime To SparkleMakin You Crave MondayClever Chick, Motivational Monday,  Mix it Up Monday,  Save Money MondayMonday Funday, Anything Goes Monday, Making Monday, Lou Lou GirlsInspire Me Monday, Marvelous MondayIn and Out of the Kitchen, MemoriesTasty TuesdaysTuesdays At Our HomeHow To TuesdayHandmade TuesdayMaking a HomeShow Me The GoodsTotally Tasty TuesdayAll My Bloggie Friends, Retro Repin (Pinterest linkup) Share Your Stuff TuesdayTuesday Talent ShowFat TuesdayPenny Pinching PartyThe Gathering SpotAnti-Procrastination Tuesdays, Tasty Tuesdays, Two Cup Tuesday, Create, Link, Inspire, The Makers, Wow Me Wednesday, Create and Shareloa, Best of the Weekend