oatmeal alternative

Since we’re not 100% sure yet whether or not Baby Girl likes it when I have dairy, I’ve been staying away from my typical cereal breakfast in the mornings.

I’ve been trying to eat oatmeal… trying is the operative word there…I have decided that I just can’t do it. I can’t eat the stuff. I have gone through spurts where I’ve liked it, and even posted about it… but the stark reality is…I STRONGLY dislike it.

But it’s healthy I rationalize to myself… and it’s cheap… and it’s filling… so many positives, but I can’t do it.

So a few days ago I started looking up other ways to incorporate oats into my breakfast in as healthy a way as possible. I ran across this recipe for Banana Oatmeal Breakfast Bars. Just made them tonight, had a little taste and these are yummy!

Plus…. it’s only 1/2 c. of brown sugar for the whole 9×13 pan, 3 bananas and no oil or milk. That rates as a pretty healthy breakfast in my book!


five ingredients or less- wfmw

I know the Five Ingredients or Less edition of Works for Me Wednesday is coming up tomorrow at Rocks in my Dryer…. and today I am on top of my game! My recipe for Mini Sausage Breakfast Pizzas is listed below. These are great because you can make them, freeze them and pop them out for anybody at anytime for breakfast… or lunch… or dinner… or a snack! So here it is, coming in at a very feasible 4 ingredients…..

  1. 1 lb. sausage, cooked and drained well (I usually rinse mine with hot water real good)
  2. 2 jars (5 oz. each) American cheese spread (this is hard to find sometimes… but it’s out there)
  3. 1/4 c. softened margarine
  4. 12 english muffins, split

Beat cheese and butter together. Stir in sausage. Spread on muffin halves. Freeze open faced on a cookie sheet. Once frozen, store in gallon size freezer bags. To cook: From Frozen- 450 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Once Thawed- 425 degrees for 8-10 minutes.

I didn’t say they were healthy… but mmmmm they’re good!

update on my freezer meals

So last week I made Swiss Chicken as a freezer prep meal for when the baby arrives! I froze each chicken breast on a piece of tinfoil on a pan and then when they were frozen wrapped them up real good. No picture, but they turned out GREAT!

This week I made Chicken Tetrazzini (I think I have spelled this about 5 different ways…. but this is the right way according to dictionary.com). I made three of them in tinfoil lined round cake pans and once they froze I popped them out of the cake pans, wrapped them and stacked them in my freezer.

YAY! Two weeks down and I am on track! Recipes are below:

Swiss Chicken

1 can cream of chicken soup and 1/4 c milk, mix
1/2 stick of margarine, melted
place 3 chicken breasts (I used 4) on a pammed piece of aluminum foil on a cookie sheet. Place slices of swiss cheese on top. Spoon soup mixture over each breast. Sprinkle with 2 c herb stuffing mix (the crumbly kind not the cubes). Drizzle with butter. (I decided to wait and will drizzle with butter once they thaw right before cooking. 
Bake 350, 50 – 60 mn, uncovered.

Chicken Tetrazzini

  • 1 whole chicken, cook and save broth
  • 1/2 c. margarine
  • 1/2 c. plain flour
  • 1/2 c. chicken broth (from what you just boiled)
  • 2 1/2 c. milk
  • 8 oz. velveeta type cheese
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • green pepper, finely chopped (optional)
  • 8 oz. spaghetti
  • 4 oz. grated cheese (I used cheddar)

Cook noodles in broth from chicken. Drain. Using a large pot melt butter and saute onions and peppers. Add flour to make a paste and slowly add broth until smooth. Add milk and both cheeses. Mix until melted and be careful this is easy to burn! Add chopped chicken and cooked noodles. Pam a 9×13 pan or larger (or split into separate containers for freezing). Top with buttered cracker crumbs (1 sleeve Ritz type crackers and 3/4 stick of butter).

Cook uncovered at 375 for 30 minutes or at 350 for 45 minutes if casserole is cold. If frozen, thaw completely before cooking!

works for me wednesdays- yummy summer supper

One of Jon’s grads gave us this recipe so I can take no credit. We ate it for lunch AND dinner yesterday.  When it’s 100 degrees out (in early June…. and I’m pregnant!) cool meals like this are NEEDED so this definitely works for me! Check out Rocks in my Dryer for more WFMW tips!

1 head of lettuce (I used Iceberg from Aldi)
1 lb. of ground meat (I used already browned ground beef from the freezer, I don’t think it was quite a pound. I would also try this with Aldi’s ground turkey)
2 C of shredded cheddar cheese (didn’t use quite this much)
1 bag of Nacho Cheese Doritos’s (crushed)-(I used the Aldi brand and that worked fine
Tomatoes (amount as desired, I used one container of grape tomatoes, halved)
Creamy Italian dressing (Ranch can be used as well… that’s what we used yesterday)
Then just mix it all together. Here are some other notes:
Let the ground meat cool before adding it to the salad and strain it well.
Don’t crush the chips too much and add them shortly before mixing (they can get soggy quickly).
When adding the salad dressing, add about half the bottle first and then continue to add as desired.
I mixed up a big bowl of this at lunch with just the meat, cheese, lettuce and tomato and then put what we would eat for lunch in a smaller bowl and added doritos and ranch. Then I did the same thing for dinner so that the doritos wouldn’t get mushy. We still have leftovers.

This would be really good for a potluck because it makes a lot. I think next time I would probably just halve the recipe and maybe even freeze the rest of the doritos to use another time to spread it out.

Let me know if you like or if you have other cool summer meals!

parmesan garlic bread…yum

So this is a great thing… I mix up all the ingredients, set it on the counter, and by dinner time the butter is softened and it can be mixed and spread on your choice of bread. The recipe calls for a loaf of French bread, but I’ve used it on leftover hoagie rolls, hamburger buns, plain bread, etc. Also, since there’s just two of us I have mixed up some and kept it in the fridge for a few days and used it to make individual toast at several different meals. So… without further ado…

  • 1/3 c. softened margarine or butter
  • 1/4 c. parmesan cheese
  • 1 garlic clove, minced (I’ve also used garlic powder)
  • 1 t. dried basil
  • Loaf of French bread, halved lengthwise

Mix first four ingredients well. Spread on bread. Lay open face on a baking sheet and broil until browned to your liking.  Super easy and good!

super easy chicken parm

This is what we had for lunch today, it was super easy and a definite “do-again.” It came from a recipe my sister got at a wedding shower.

  • 6 chicken breasts (I just used about 3 and cut them into strips)
  • 1 jar marinara sauce (I used Aldi’s brand)
  • 6 T. parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/2 c. mozzerella

Spray a 9×13 pan with cooking spray. Pour in sauce and stir in 4 T. parmesan cheese. Add chicken, turn to coat both sides. Cook, covered, in 375 oven for about 30 minutes (that’s how long it took with the chicken cut into strips). Remove and sprinkle with remaining 2 T. of parmesan and mozzerella (I just had a cheese blend that I sprinkled on top since we didn’t have mozzerella on hand). Cook for another 5 minutes or so until cheese is melted. Serve over pasta.

Like I said, I only used 3 breasts, so I sort of eyed the amounts and adjusted accordingly and it worked out fine. Definitely didn’t have to be an exact science. Also, I got everything ready before church and just stuck it in the oven when we got back which worked out well.

works for me wednesday: my favorite smoothie

I heart smoothies. Seriously, I think I could live off of them… except in the winter. But it’s the perfect time of year for smoothies now and when I want one, I want it quick. No cutting up different fruits, no trying to add the right amount of ice, no no, takes way too long.

My latest favorite is the “Fiesta,” named such because it is made with Aldi’s Fit n’ Active brand of frozen fruit called the “Fiesta Blend”… so not so creative on my part. Anyway, this bag of frozen fruitiness has mango, papaya, strawberries, and pineapple. Chunk some in the blender add some OJ and ta-da, smoothie is served! It’s quick and oh so delicious. Then of course I usually end up leaving the blender sitting in the sink because cleaning it is the not so quick or delicious part. If anyone has tips on how how to easily and quickly clean the blender please send that my way. (and I must shamefully admit that I have tried the leave it in the sink until “someone else” gets to it approach)