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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Chicken Ceasar Pasta Salad

It's summertime and it's been so very HOT already ... so I'm leaning back on some of my all time favorite salads to save my butt and keep me cool.

This is like my FAVORITE salad to make ... well, I suppose it's really in the top 5, I love my steak salad too ... and the Olive-Y Garden Salad, and the Cabbage Salad ...

Anyways ... this is ONE of my favorite salads, hows that?

And if you already have the chicken cooked and pasta left over, it's a no brainer!




Here's what you need:

Head of romaine lettuce, trimmed, washed and torn/cut into bite size pieces (if you were smart, you've already checked out the foodsaver tip!)
1 grilled chicken breast (I generally use a leftover one) cut into bite size pieces
a little bit of pasta, rigatoni or penne work best (cooked)
sprinkle of fresh Parmesan cheese
Cesar Dressing (I prefer Kens Light Cesar)
Croutons

It's so easy. Dump all in large bowl. Mix well to coat evenly. Serve.

See that picture? That is made up of ALL leftovers ... the chicken was grilled for dinner a few nights ago, the salad stuff is ALWAYS prepped and ready to go ...  I mean really, this is P E R F E C T.

Give it a try ... I think you'll be surprised (especially if it's all leftovers!) ...

Monday, June 24, 2013

Chicken Inspired BLT Salad

So I had this recipe pinned for a few days, not months like some of the others ... and decided to make it at the last minute the other night ... I'm pretty glad I did, and so is Hubby!


It's easy, and really, REALLY tasty!

And surprisingly, I had everything on hand, even the fresh basil (I suppose you could use dried if you had to) ...

1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tbs (give or take) fresh basil chopped
Boneless, skinless chicken breast (I used almost 2 lbs, 4 fat pieces)
Additional basil for topping salad

Mix together everything and let the chicken mix and mingle for a bit in the fridge. AND if you remember, set aside 2 tbs of marinade and set aside for later ... I forgot. I had to make a small batch after the fact.



Grab some lettuce and chop it up. Add this to a large platter.



Slice or dice a tomato or two. Leave these on the cutting board. I like mine diced.

Cook up 2 slices of bacon for each chicken breast you have (I cheat, I always have the ready cooked bacon strips on hand so it's NOT a big deal for me). Chop the bacon. Set bacon next to the tomato.


Cook chicken by preferred method. For me, it's the grill. Of course. Allow to cool a little, and then cut up into bite size pieces.



Add chicken to the lettuce.



Add tomatoes to the chicken.


Top chicken with the bacon.


Drizzle the 2 tbs of reserve marinade over all. sprinkle with a little bit of extra basil.

Serve it up.

Personally, I don't think 2 tbs is going to be enough so I would probably stick with my defective plan and make a small batch up after the fact.

The chicken was GOOD and flavorful. I wouldn't recommend letting it marinade more than an hour ... somehow I think it would just overtake the tenderness of the meat.

This was REAL good and Hubby wants me to make it again. Did I already say that? It really is! I had the leftover chicken served with some more salad stuff ... yummmmm.


Looking forward to linking up with some of these great blog parties ... go check them out!

Mop It Up Monday, Mangia Monday, Creative Monday, Melt In Your Mouth Monday, Dinner Time Recipes, Show Me What You Got, Made By You Monday, Hunk of Meat Monday, On The Menu Monday, Meatless Monday, What’d You Do This Weekend, On The Menu Monday, Marvelous Mess, Mix and Mingle, Making It Cuter, Motivated Monday, Mealtime Monday, Whats In The Gunny Sack, Makin You Crave Monday, Clever Chick, I Gotta Try That Mondays, Creative Corner Blog Hop, Monday Mania, Make Your Own Monday, Mix it Up MondayTempt My Tummy, Memories, Tuesday At The Table, Tasty Tuesday, How To Tuesday, Tuesday Timeout, Handmade Tuesday, Totally Tasty Tuesday, Frugal Tip Tuesday, Teach Me Tuesdays, Tuesday Talent Show, Teach Me Tuesdays, Tiny Tip Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Penny Pinching Party, The Gathering Spot, Anti-Procrastination Tuesdays, Kitchen Tip Tuesdays, Domestically Divine Tuesday, Frugal Tuesday TipShow Me What Ya Got, Show Me What You Got, What We Wore/Read/Made, What's Cooking Wednesday, Its a Party!, Show and Tell, Recipe Swap, Works For Me Wednesday, Sugar and Spice, Wheat Free Wednesday, Whatever Goes Wednesday, Wednesday Whatsits, Work It Wednesday, Homemade By You, Lil Luna Link Party, Whole Food Wednesdays, Whatcha Whipped Up, Healthy 2Day Wednesday, Hearth and Soul, Super Link PartyThrifty Thursday, Full Plate Thursday, Crafty Thursday Obsessions, Frugal Food Thursday, Thursdays Treasures, Somewhat Simple, Showcase Your Talent, Simple Lives ThursdayShow Your Stuff, Foodie Friday, Get Real Frugal Friday, Frugal Fridays, Food on Friday, Freakin Did It Friday, Friday Link Party, Anything Goes, Dwell on Fridays, Friday Foodfight, Foodie Friday, Simple Living Foodie Friday, InspirationsWeekend Wander, Simply Delicious Saturday, Weekly Roundup, Feature Yourself Saturday, I Gotta Create, Show and Tell Saturday, Strut Your Stuff Saturday, Saturday Link & Greet, Saturday Show & Tell, Super Saturday Show & Tell, Say G'day Saturday, Not Bad Sunday, Potluck Party, Sunday Showcase, Savory Sunday, Sundae Scoop

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Week 26 Menu Plan - Using What We Have

Yeah, I admit it, last week's plan really wasn't spot on ... I mean, heck, who was I kidding?

I knew the week could turn out to be busy AND I also knew that Hubby would be home ... so here's the truth:
Sunday: chicken thighs and wedge salad
Monday: leftovers
Tuesday: crock pot ranch pork (which hubby could NOT find the lid so he added a bunch of liquid and they were just so so)
Wednesday: ordered pizza at 9:30pm from the pool (yes, seriously)
Thursday: popcorn ...
and Friday: burgers and dogs on the grill. With a bunch of girlfriends. And too much beer, bourbon and vodka. Yes. That's the truth.
Saturday was a night for recuperating and movies (aka, lazy) so we ordered chinese. For delivery.

Anyways.

This week needs to be better. That's all I can say! The grocery store shop during the week wasn't so very bad either, Publix $100 on Sunday and $30 on Friday. Monday was lots of beer and fruity stuff ... Friday was 'some' beer and hot dog, hamburger buns.

Then of course, there was the Costco trip on Sunday. AGAIN! But this time, I went by myself which is so much more practical. I had my list in hand and stayed focused! Honestly. As Hubby is entering Week 3 of unemployment, I MUST stay on track! 

I also need to hit up the Fresh Market on Tuesday since it's the last week of the B1G1F ground sirloin and market style bacon ...

Ok, enough rambling ... here's what I'm looking to make this week!

Sunday - Chicken Inspired BLT Salad ... already had everything in the house before the big Costco trip ... lots of leftover chicken and salad stuff for the week too ... (watch for recipe this week!)


Monday - Crock pot night - Hubby wants to make Italian Beef ... so Italian Beef it is ... had beef in freezer and picked up the rolls at Costco

Tuesday - Chicken Caesar Salad ... chicken in freezer



Wednesday - I'd like to go out but really should count on staying in ... leftovers?

Thursday - Thai Inspired Shrimp Salad ... shrimp in freezer


Friday - Blackened Chicken Sandwiches (burgers/dogs for those who don't chicken) ... chicken/dogs in freezer ... may need to pick up buns



Saturday - Maybe snapper ... it's Hubby's choice tonight ... I have a couple of packages of snapper in freezer that I don't want to go to waste

So, what are YOU planning for the week?


Linking up with some of these great blog hops ... go check them out! Organizing JunkieMenu PlanOn The Menu,Whats on the Menu


Costco Time

Again ... I know, wasn't I just there?? Yes, yes, I was ... but I had a few things that must come from Costco ... us loyal Costco fans are the worse, trust me ...

What was so very important?

Baby Romaine.

Yes. BABY ROMAINE.

And a few other things :-)

6 pk romaine lettuce $3.99
5 pk baby romaine $3.99 (yeah, the price went down!)
12 pk torta sandwich rolls (for Monday dinner and lunches for the Boy) $5.99
Fresh pepperoni pizza $8.99 less $3 (for the Boy Sunday nights dinner)
5 lbs tomatoes $6.79
gallon whole milk $3.39
gallon 2% milk $3.39
twin pk fresh mozzarella $7.79
1/2 gallon sweet and spicy pickles $5.49 (Hubby said they are a little TOO sweet)
Pomegranate juice $8.99 less $2.25
Mrs. Dash $4.49
2 pkgs (1 lb each) cooked bacon $12.99 each
10 lbs chicken breast (frozen) $22.99
mini babybel cheese $9.99
2 2lb precooked steak strips $12.99 each
3 lb frozen mixed berries $11.89
8 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs $16.08
Celery sticks $3.99
String cheese $9.49
4 lbs organic ground beef $16.99
4 1/4 lbs eye round roasts $18.61
3.25 lbs skirt steaks $25.41
Chicken sausage with bacon and shrooms (3 lbs) $13.49
4 pk Off bug spray $13.99 less $3.00
twin pk Total Effects face moisturizer $32.99

Grand total was $302.91 less $72.43 rebate coupon ... for a total of $233.31.  Guess we better be eating in this week!


Saturday, June 22, 2013

Make Your Own - Ranch Dressing


It's time for another MAKE YOUR OWN post!

Well, ok, so it's not from scratch.

And it's probably not all that better for you  ... I KNOW it's not grain free, no need to remind me.

But, it is something, that when I make it, people KNOW that I went above and beyond just opening another bottle from the pantry to serve up some ranch dressing.

PLUS ... I make it a little thinner ... and it's GREAT on top of a wedge salad ...

Here's how I do it ...

1 cup of plain greek yogurt
3/4 cup to 1 cup milk, up to you as to how thin or thick you want it
1 packet of ranch dressing, not the dip stuff, the DRESSING stuff (see, mine says salad dressing and DIP mix. This is fine!)

NO, I did not read the ingredients ... I know it's not good, don't tell me!

Add 1/2 cup milk and the powder to jar, lid it and shake it like you mean it! Add the yogurt, lid it and shake some more. Add more milk and shake til you have a consistency that you like.

Lid it up, put in the fridge for at least an hour. Shake well, again, before using.

This is my preferred dressing for the wedge salads ... go ahead and give it a try!

Looking forward to linking up with some of these great blog parties! Go check them out!


Mop It Up Monday, Mangia Monday, Creative Monday, Melt In Your Mouth Monday, Dinner Time Recipes, Show Me What You Got, Made By You Monday, Hunk of Meat Monday, On The Menu Monday, Meatless Monday, What’d You Do This Weekend, On The Menu Monday, Marvelous Mess, Mix and Mingle, Making It Cuter, Motivated Monday, Mealtime Monday, Whats In The Gunny Sack, Makin You Crave Monday, Clever Chick, I Gotta Try That Mondays, Creative Corner Blog Hop, Monday Mania, Make Your Own Monday, Mix it Up Monday, Tempt My Tummy, Memories, Tuesday At The Table, Tasty Tuesday, How To Tuesday, Tuesday Timeout, Handmade Tuesday, Totally Tasty Tuesday, Frugal Tip Tuesday, Teach Me Tuesdays, Tuesday Talent Show, Teach Me Tuesdays, Tiny Tip Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Penny Pinching Party, The Gathering Spot, Anti-Procrastination Tuesdays, Kitchen Tip Tuesdays, Domestically Divine Tuesday, Frugal Tuesday Tip, Show Me What Ya Got, Show Me What You Got, What We Wore/Read/Made, What's Cooking Wednesday, Its a Party!, Show and Tell, Recipe Swap, Works For Me Wednesday, Sugar and Spice, Wheat Free Wednesday, Whatever Goes Wednesday, Wednesday Whatsits, Work It Wednesday, Homemade By You, Lil Luna Link Party, Whole Food Wednesdays, Whatcha Whipped Up, Healthy 2Day Wednesday, Hearth and Soul, Super Link Party, Thrifty Thursday, Full Plate Thursday, Crafty Thursday Obsessions, Frugal Food Thursday, Thursdays Treasures, Somewhat Simple, Showcase Your Talent, Simple Lives Thursday, Show Your Stuff, Foodie Friday, Get Real Frugal Friday, Frugal Fridays, Food on Friday, Freakin Did It Friday, Friday Link Party, Anything Goes, Dwell on Fridays, Friday Foodfight, Foodie Friday, Simple Living Foodie Friday, Inspirations, Weekend Wander, Simply Delicious Saturday, Weekly Roundup, Feature Yourself Saturday, I Gotta Create, Show and Tell Saturday, Strut Your Stuff Saturday, Saturday Link & Greet, Saturday Show & Tell, Super Saturday Show & Tell, Say G'day Saturday, Not Bad Sunday, Potluck Party, Sunday Showcase, Savory Sunday, Sundae Scoop



Thursday, June 20, 2013

Ranch Pork Chops, Crock Pot Style






I had this recipe pinned for a little while and decided to give it a try one day when I knew I'd have a full day of fun at the office ...

We didn't eat it that night, Hubby took a little pity on me and took me out (nice guy!) so the following night, we reheated this with some mashed potatoes and whew ... it was very very tasty!

Those items above? That's all you need in addition to the pork chops.  Seriously.

One packet of ranch dressing
One can of cream of chicken soup
1 tsp fresh garlic chopped
black pepper



You are chopping your garlic in mass quantities, right?


I mean really. All you do is spray the crockpot with spray, toss in the chop. Mix up the balance of ingredients in small bowl and spread over the chops.

Go ahead and toss in any chopped onions you see in the fridge ...


Put a lid on the crockpot and make yet another mental note to find a new handle to replace the broken one ...



Set the timer to low as long as it goes. In my case, it was 10 hours, which, sorry, it was NOT going to cook THAT long ...


Come home and marvel at the fact that a mere 10 to 15 minutes that morning created THIS ... a meal worthy of cloth napkins and fine china ... 

Yes, really. It's pretty damn good! Go ahead and give it a shot! (PS ... no, there was NO green stuff on my plate, or Hubby's either ... I took a small break from forcing veggies on myself!)

Linking up with some of these great bloghops: Hearth and Soul, Super Link PartyUltimate Recipe SwapThrifty ThursdayFull Plate ThursdayFrugal Food ThursdaySomewhat SimpleShowcase Your TalentSimple Lives ThursdayShow Your StuffFoodie FridayFrugal FridaysFood on FridayFreakin Did It FridayAnything GoesDwell on FridaysFriday FoodfightFoodie FridaySimple Living Foodie FridayInspirationsWeekend WanderSimply Delicious SaturdayWeekly RoundupFeature Yourself SaturdayI Gotta CreateStrut Your Stuff SaturdaySaturday Link& amp; GreetSaturday Show & TellSay G'day SaturdayNot Bad SundayPotluck PartySunday ShowcaseSavory SundaySundae ScoopMop It Up MondayMangia MondayCreative MondayMelt In Your Mouth MondayShow Me What You GotMade By You MondayHunk of Meat MondayMeatless MondayMarvelous MessMix and MingleMaking It CuterMotivated MondayMealtime MondayWhats In The Gunny SackMakin You Crave MondayClever ChickI Gotta Try That MondaysCreative Corner Blog HopMonday ManiaMake Your Own MondayMix it Up Monday, Tempt My TummyTuesday At The TableTasty TuesdayTuesday TimeoutHandmade TuesdayTotally Tasty TuesdayFrugal Tip TuesdayTuesday Talent ShowTeach Me TuesdaysTiny Tip TuesdayFat TuesdayPenny Pinching PartyThe Gathering SpotAnti-Procrastination TuesdaysKitchen Tip TuesdaysDomestically Divine TuesdayFrugal Tuesday TipShow Me What Ya GotShow Me What You GotWhat's Cooking WednesdayIts a Party!Show and TellRecipe SwapWorks For Me WednesdaySugar and SpiceWheat Free WednesdayWhatever Goes WednesdayWednesday WhatsitsWork It WednesdayHomemade By YouLil Luna Link PartyWhole Foods WednesdayWhole Food WednesdaysWhatcha Whipped UpHealthy 2Day Wednesday