Monday, October 31, 2011

Beefy Baked Ravioli

This is another freezer stock recipe that I got from our friend Kari, and is one of my favorite ways to freeze Ravioli! This way when you thaw it out, it's all ready with the pasta, meat, and sauce! And hooray for one container dinners! 

Beefy Baked Ravioli

- 1 lb ground meat
- 1 package frozen ravioli (25oz)
- 1 jar spaghetti sauce
- 1 can diced tomatoes (drained)
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella
- 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack
- 1 cup shredded parmesan

1. Crumble and brown ground meet in sauce pan (add garlic powder, onion powder, etc)
2. Drain and stir in spaghetti sauce and tomatoes

3. Spread 1/3 of the sauce in the bottom of baking dish
4. Top with half the ravioli, and sprinkle with half the cheese
5. Layer sauce, ravioli, cheese, and sauce again

6. This will take about 6 hours to thaw, and can be baked in the oven at 450 for 30 mins! 

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Cilantro Lime Pesto Chicken

The pesto part of this is super easy to make, and great on top of pasta, chicken, fish, pork, burgers, you name it! 

The recipe is via Newly Woodwards, so I won't re-post the whole recipe! I did make a few tweaks, so I've listed those below! 

1. I used about twice the amount of lime juice, and twice the amount of garlic 
2. When I mixed it in the food processor, it was a little runny, so I added 1/2 a cup of fresh basil leaves
3. Rather than baking the chicken, I put raw chicken in the pans, and topped it with the pesto, and froze it! 

I haven't tried the frozen meals yet, but we did eat the leftover pesto on burgers, and on some leftover pork! 

Friday, October 28, 2011

Beef Stroganoff

This is a simplified version of the Beef Stroganoff my mom used to make when I was little.  This crock pot version is much simpler than the cook all day, oven version, but still wonderful! 

I apologize that I didn't take any photos until the end, but I promise you can't mess this up! 

- 1 1/2 - 2 lbs beef cubes
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 can cream of chicken soup
- 1 can cream of mushroom soup
- 1 can cream of celery soup
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 1/2 cups beef stock
- 8 oz white mushrooms, chopped
- 1 cup sour cream

1. Take cubed beef, and toss with flour to coat. 
2. Lightly brown meat with onion, garlic, salt, and pepper
3. Place meat and onion in bottom of slow cooker
4. Combine remaining ingredients, except sour cream, and pour over meat
5. Cook on low heat for 6 - 8 hours
6. Turn off slow cooker, stir in sour cream, and serve. 

*Note: if you need to reheat, do so over low heat - do not boil. Best served over egg noodles, rice, or mashed potatoes*

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Spanikopita Turkey Meatballs

This is another fill the freezer meal, and is super easy and yummy! You could obviously use beef, turkey, or ground chicken for this.  Also, I used feta cheese, but you could easily swap out any kind of blue, goat, or other crumbled cheese to fit your needs.  I froze these with carrots as well, so it's a whole dinner! 

- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 small onion, minced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 box frozen chopped spinach (thawed)
- 3/4 cup feta cheese (crumbled)
- 1 lb ground meat
- 1 Tbsp McCormick Montreal Steak Seasoning (any grill seasoning will work) 

1. Preheat oven to 400
2. Combine onion and garlic in saute pan
3. Squeeze the liquid out of the spinach, and add to saute pan
4. Cook spinach for 3 - 5 mins, then remove from heat. 
5. Add feta, chicken, grill seasoning, and a liberal splash of evoo to spinach. 
6. Combine all ingredients, and form into 1 1/2 inch meatballs (approx 18) 
7. Place on a nonstick cookie sheet and bake for 10 - 12 mins

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

::Womp:: Photo Challenge Fail

Hooray for finally getting my laptop back tonight, although without a computer, it's pretty much been a photo challenge fail on my part.  I'm hoping to download photos tonight, upload and write blog posts tomorrow, and post later this week! I've only got about 20 days of catching up to do! 

I haven't fallen off the wagon yet, just a broken computer, you know! 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Souperfly - Taco Soup

This is a two-fer, it's part of Souperfly Soup Day AND it's part of stocking Mom's freezer. 

::warning, I only took photos of the beginning, and forgot to take one at the end::

This is a recipe from a friend of mine for Taco Soup.  It's sort of like a mix of tacos and chili, and is incredibly easy! The ingredients are basic, and can absolutely hang out in your pantry until you decide to make it.  I made mine on the stove, but I know it works great in the crock pot for 4 or 6 hours as well. 

1. Combine ground beef and onion in soup pot.  Cook & drain any drippings. 

2.  Add taco seasoning, water, tomatoes, beans, and corn to sauce pot, and mix well. 

3. Bring all ingredients to a boil, and then simmer for 20 - 40 mins.  
To serve, you can add Veleveeta, Cheddar Cheese, green onion, and serve over rice or with tortilla chips! 

This made two freezer containers, and each one will serve 2 - 3 adults.  So, I'd say 4 - 6 servings! 

Taco Soup
1 lb ground beef
1 small diced onion
1 package taco seasoning
1 cup water
2 cans petite diced tomatoes with jalapenos (14 - 15oz cans)
2 cans chili beans (15 oz)
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed (15oz)
1 can creamed corn (15 oz)

- Crumble & Cook beef and onion in sauce pan
- Drain any drippings
- Add the remaining ingredients to sauce pan
- Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer 20 - 40 mins
- Eat :) 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Mission: Fill the Freezer

With everything going on with my Mom, I've been trying to be as proactive as possible over the last few weeks.  We're keeping fingers crossed that Mom will continue to feel well, and that with all of her friends and family, there will be plenty of helping hands.  So far, Mom has only missed 1 day of work (Chemo Session 1), but as of Monday (October 17) Dad has been switched to mandatory 6 days a week, 12 hour shifts. 

I made sure I remembered how to use my Dad's lawnmower, I've got all the directions, doctor information, and details memorized, but my mind kept coming back to food.  If Mom wasn't feeling well, and Dad was at work 9am - 9pm, were they going to be eating Subway for dinner?  Uh, not my parents.  My mom and dad both love to cook, and eat (haha), so it has become my personal mission to fill their freezer - and it's a big old, stand alone freezer.  With a little help from some friends, armed with great recipes, and a little more than $100, I am well on my way.  I need to edit some photos, but I've already made 8 different recipes, and 2 dinners of each - so we're at 16 dinners, for two people! Plus, I pre-scooped and froze some peanut butter cookie and chocolate chip cookie dough, so they can just grab a few balls of dough and throw them on a sheet pan!

I'm hoping to finish some food posts in the next week or two, and hope some of you will enjoy the same recipes, whether you're stocking a freezer or not!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Photo Challenge: days 5 - 9

Day 5: High Angle
From the top of the 2 story escalator at the Hilton Orlando for our Hampton Conference 

Day 6: Low Angle
On the Autumn level with our cutie pie god daughter! 

Day 7: Fruit
(This is pathetic, but there was zero fruit in our house) So, I remembered from 4th grade health class, that a tomato is a fruit.  Here is my exceptionally sad, partially dead, tomato plant 

Day 8: Bad Habit
Merrymead Ice Cream - I could really eat this entire half gallon in one sitting.  Okay, Okay, maybe two sittings! It is absolutely a downfall though, as it's obviously sitting on my counter in this photo, ready to be eaten! 

Day 9: Someone You Love
My husband and My God daughter.  I know it's two people, but it's just an even larger amount of love! 

 See you next week~ 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Photo Challenge: day four

Oh, how I Love Traveling (note: sarcasm).  I'm really not a very good traveler, which I know is ridiculous considering that I run a hotel, but such is life.  I'm in Orlando this week for Hampton's Stand Out Conference, so I at least get to enjoy some great weather (and drink the Hampton Kool-Aid).  This awesome field of green is Green Cupcakes from Vera Bradley, and is the savior for my curling iron.  Well, more accurately it's the savior for my clothes so they don't get ruined by a hot curling iron!

Blackberry camera
Also, can I please tell you how upset I was that they retired this pattern? idiots.

Photo Challenge: day three

So, only the third day of this challenge and I've already chosen an old photo twice! As soon as I saw the prompt for today though, this picture was the first thing that came to mind.  I really do love Maine, and this lighthouse is one of the iconic things about Acadia National Park. The pretty blue of the sky just sets off the clouds and makes me smile (sometimes simple is better, right?)

Nikon (July 2011)

Photo Challenge: day two

Outfit of the day for today was easy, thanks to some chilly fall weather in PA! I will admit that these cheap Target jeans are my favorite pair ever in fit, length, and color! I tried to class it up a bit with my J Crew sweater, but really I was just cold :)

blackberry camera

Monday, October 3, 2011

do you know?

**EDIT** This is the most comprehensive website that I have found to date with regard to the ribbon colors and their meanings.  I just wanted to put it out there ase a great resource.

Now, for the real reason behind this post.  I know that everyone suffers their own trials and tribulations throughout life.  Some more publicly than others, some more severe than others.  I have to admit that one of Kevin's favorite fundraisers/organizations is Livestrong.  I'd say that the Livestrong logo is one of the more well known logos when it comes to cancer, fundraising, and support.  We both have these bracelets, although Kevin has given several away to residents at work, friends, and family - so he's probably on his third or fourth.
via Childrens Austin

Do you know what this symbol stands for? 

via US Dept of Education
Autism Awareness - another one that I think I see relatively frequently, and most people understand.

How about this one? 

via Flag and Banner

The Yellow Ribbon Project for our armed forces - thank god for this organization, and I'll admit, it's one that hits home for me on a daily basis. 

But, do you know what this stands for? 
via American Kids
It's a gold ribbon, for childhood cancer. 

Do you know what this stands for? 

via Penn State Mont Alto
It's the Penn State THON logo - FTK (For The Kids)  

How about this one? 
via lccure

Lung Cancer.

While all of these symbols may not mean something to you, I'm willing to bet that they mean something to the person that has one pinned to their shirt, a magnet on their car, or tattooed on their arm.  If there is a symbol that's important to you, leave me a link below - I'd love to do a post recognizing all of the symbols (even though I know that's next to impossible). 

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Photo Challenge: day one

day one: self portrait

This isn't the most technically perfect photo, and I know the composition and color could both be better, but I think this is a great portrayal of me! The photo is from a friends bachelorette party in July, and is taken in a reflection in the mirror in the hotel's elevator.