Thursday, February 26, 2015

Cherry Chocolate Blondie

Chewy, tasty and delicious – a special treat for an after school snack, these cherry chocolate blondies are a hit! 

Cherry Chocolate Blondie – Adapted from Averie Cooks


  • 1/4 C butter, melted
  • 1/4 applesauce
  • 1 C brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 C white whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 C dried cherries (we LOVE these)
  • 1 C dark chocolate chips


In a large bowl, combine 1/4 C (half a stick) of butter, melted, with 1/4 C applesauce and 1 C brown sugar.  Stir to combine. 

Add in 1 egg, 2 tsp. vanilla, 1 C white whole wheat flour and 1/2 tsp. salt.  Stir well. 

Pour in 1 C dried cherries and 1 C dark chocolate chips. 

Pour/scoop the batter into a lightly greased 8x8 inch baking pan. 

Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center of the blondie comes out clean. 


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Beef and Barley Soup

Honestly, we don’t eat a lot of red meat around here.  We’re not big fans, but occasionally, it does taste good, especially in a soup.  Paired with barley, this veggie-filled beef soup is perfect for a chilly winter day. 

Vegetable and Barley Soup – Adapted from Good Cheap Eats


  • 1/2 lb. stew beef, cubed into small bite-sized pieces
  • 1 1/2 C sliced carrots
  • 1/4 C diced celery
  • 1/4 C diced onion
  • 1/2 C barley (not quick cook)
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 4 C chicken broth
  • 1 tsp. herbs de Provence seasoning
  • 1/2 C peas, frozen
  • salt and pepper, to taste


Begin by browning the beef on all sides in the bottom of your stockpot.  Add in carrots, celery and onion, sautéing for about 5 minutes. 

Add in the barley and bell pepper and sauté another 2-3 minutes until barley is slightly toasted. 

Pour in the diced tomatoes, chicken broth and tomato sauce.  Stir well. 

Stir in the herbs de Provence seasoning and salt and pepper.  Reduce the soup to a simmer and simmer, covered for 15-20 minutes.  Stir occasionally. 

Add in the frozen peas, and continue simmering for 10 minutes. 

Remove from the heat and serve warm. 


Sunday, February 22, 2015

Menu Plan–Feb. 22

Thank you for all your sweet welcome messages for our little girl!  I was overwhelmed by all your lovely comments both here on the blog and on our Facebook page!  Thanks for all the love. 

Our little girl is one month old today!  I can’t believe how fast time is flying by.  She’s doing super well, and has brought so much joy into our lives. 


Frog Prince went back to work part time last week, and I realized how hard it is to accomplish much of anything with a newborn!!  I was very excited to have made homemade pizza on Friday night. 

I tried a new dessert recipe that looked fantastic … total flop.  Really.  But, on the plus side, it’s good chocolate soup! Just keeping it real.

Here’s what’s on the menu this week:

Whole Wheat Waffles, Apple Topping
To do: Thaw lasagna, measure out dry ingredients for bread sticks

Breakfast Burritos (freezer; new)
Veggie Lasagna (freezer), Olive Garden Bread Sticks (bread machine)
To do: Thaw chicken, make cookies

Orange Cranberry Muffins (freezer)
Cheesecake Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies (Life Group Dessert)

Waffles and Apple Topping
Rotisserie Chicken in the Crockpot, Crockpot Baked Potatoes
To do: Make broth

Granola with dried cherries
Chicken Noodle Soup with Homemade Noodles
To do: make rice, dice extra celery and carrots for soup

Oatmeal with Apples
Chicken Cheddar and Rice Soup
To do: nothing


Menu Plan Monday is hosted at Organizing Junkie - stop by for hundreds of menus

Find more great menus at OrgJunkie’s Menu Plan Monday!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Tuscan Chicken Skillet

This skillet dinner combines wonderful flavors and textures together for an easy and hearty dinner. 

I loved how simple it was to make, and the use of the chicken and beans together. 

Tuscan Chicken Skillet – Adapted from The Wanderlust Kitchen


  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 lb chicken breasts, cut into 4-inch pieces or tender-sized portions
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1 T minced onion
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. parsley
  • 12 oz. baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 C cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 can (15oz) Cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • salt and pepper, as needed


In a large skillet, heat the olive oil until warmed.  Add in the chicken pieces and season with oregano, salt and pepper.  Cook until browned on each side. 

Add in mushrooms, sliced, and sauté them with the chicken for 3-5 minutes, or until the moisture they release in cooking has evaporated.  Then, add in the beans, diced tomatoes, and sliced cherry tomatoes.  Season with parsley.  

Cover and cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 10-15 minutes.  At this point, the sauce will have largely evaporated.  Check to make sure the internal temperature of the chicken has reached 180 degrees.  Then, remove from the heat. 

Serve warm, garnished with parsley. 


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