Froggy Gets Dressed

Maria and I went to the library a few weeks ago and came home with the book, Froggy Gets Dressed, by Jonathan London. 

It was just a random book that I thought looked appropriate for her age.  She LOVES this book. Not looking forward to returning it.  I think it was about a week before she pretty much knew it cover to cover!  Love hearing her reading the book to herself or with Chad. 

So I highly recommend* checking it out for your toddler-preschooler. I’m looking forward to reading more Froggy books with her.

*I will warn you that in the story his mother tells him to back to bed and he instead gets up and goes outside 3x… there was one negative review about that on amazon.com, but in the end he learns his lesson and I don’t think we can blame Maria’s not listening to this book.

Chicken Macaroni Bake

I had this recipe set aside to try. Chad is always up for a good hotdish (or casserole as you may call it).

Last week I made a turkey breast in the crockpot, so I used the leftovers for this instead of chicken. It was delicious!! Total comfort food and easy to prepare ahead of time. I’m not so sure about what is involved with buttered bread crumbs, so I just crumbled some Ritz crackers over the top.

Chicken (or Turkey) Macaroni Bake

1/4 cup Onions, chopped
2 Tablespoons butter or margarine
1/4 cup milk
10.5 ounces cream of chicken soup
1 1/2 cups chicken (or Turkey), cooked & cubed
4 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded
8 ounces pasta, any variety, cooked
1/8 cup buttered bread crumbs or Ritz cracker crumbs

Prepare pasta according to package directions. Brown onion in butter. Stir in soup, chicken, milk, and 3/4 cups cheese; heat until cheese melts. Blend sauce with cooked noodles; pour into buttered baking dish. Mix the remaining cheese and bread (cracker) crumbs and place on top. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until hot.

Steel Cut Oats in the Crockpot

I love Steel Cut Oats, but I just don’t have the patience to cook them in the morning.  But for Christmas, I received a 1.5 quart crockpot (and used it 3 times so far), so it’s the perfect size for a batch, and provides leftovers for a few days as well!  Maria LOVES oatmeal right now, so it’s perfect!

I started with the recipe that I found via Google at Mommy’s Kitchen.  She suggests trying a double boiler method with the crockpot, but I had success with my crockpot and clean up was not a hassle.  But I wouldn’t attempt this in a bigger crockpot as it may overcook. If you don’t have a small one, try her double boiler method.  I know other people who cook theirs this way too.

Steel Cut Oats

Steel Cut Oats in the Crockpot

1 cup steel cut oats
4 cups water
1/2 cup milk
1 – fresh apple (chopped)
1/4 cup brown sugar*
1 – tbsp butter
1/2 – tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon*

Measure out one cup of steel cut oats. Pour that into the crockpot. Add the four cups of water, milk, brown sugar, vanilla, butter, apple and cinnamon sugar.
Place the lid on your crock pot. Set on low and go to bed!

*I will probably play around with the amounts next time to make it a bit sweeter…

Weeknight Ravioli Bake

I made this recipe last week. We all though it was delicious, but especially Maria!   And it reheated really well too!

Very easy to put together too!!  Probably easier than cooking ravioli and sauce separately. The store only had one bag of cheese ravioli, so I made it with one bag of cheese and one bag of chicken ravioli.

Weeknight Ravioli Bake

1 jar (26 oz.) spaghetti sauce
1 can  (14-1/2 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2 cup water
2 pkg.  (1 lb. each) frozen cheese ravioli
1 pkg. (8 oz.) Shredded Italian Three Cheese Blend
2 Tbsp. Grated Parmesan Cheese

HEAT oven to 400ºF.

MIX spaghetti sauce, tomatoes and water; spoon 1 cup onto bottom of 13×9-inch baking dish.

LAYER half the ravioli and 1 cup shredded cheese over sauce. Top with remaining ravioli and sauce mixture. Sprinkle with remaining shredded cheese; cover.

BAKE 30 min.; uncover. Bake 15 min. or until ravioli is tender and heated through. Sprinkle with Parmesan. Let stand 10 min.

Easy Yogurt Popsicles

I made some frozen yogurt popsicles for Maria this weekend and she loves them! And I love them because they are a great healthy treat for her!

Frozen Yogurt Popsicles

Vanilla Yogurt
Mixed Berries (or fruit of choice)

  1. Put both ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Pour into popsicle molds* (or use paper cups with popsicle sticks)
  3. Put in freezer for several hours until frozen.
  4. If there is extra, pour it in a cup and enjoy! Maria was a big fan of that too!

*My mother was kind enough to give me the Tupperware ones we had growing up and they work really well! (Thanks, Mom!)

Broiled Pizza Burgers

We had hamburgers late last week one night, and had leftover buns. Now I hate to waste food, but I also don’t really have a lot of success using bread that I’ve frozen, so I like to figure out how to use up buns. Often it’s sloppy joes. Occasionally Tuna Melts.  This week, I went on a quest for a pizza burger recipe.

I found this one at allrecipes.com. I did change it up a little based on my preferences (I prefer not to eat American/processed cheese and not a big fan of tomatoes) and reviews. I substituted mozzarella, a can of pureed tomatoes, and some extra seasoning, plus I didn’t need the corn starch to thicken.

Chad raved, Maria ate it, and I thought they were good! Definitely a keeper for a quick worknight meal.

Broiled Pizza Burgers

1 pound ground beef
1 tablespoon chopped onion
1 can diced pureed tomatoes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon pizza seasoning (or Italian)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon onion salt
10 slices mozzarella cheese*
4 hamburger buns, split

  1. In a large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Sprinkle with cornstarch. Stir in the tomatoes, oregano, salt and onion salt. Cook, uncovered, for 5 minutes or until slightly thickened. Add six cheese slices; cook and stir until cheese is melted and blended.
  2. Place hamburger buns cut side up on a baking sheet; spoon about 1/4 cup meat mixture onto each bun half. Cut remaining cheese slices in half diagonally; place over meat mixture. Broil 6-8 in. from the heat for 4 minutes or until cheese is melted.

*I actually only used 6 and then 1 cup of shredded mozzarella – provolone would be good too!

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