Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Best Pasta EVER!

Things I love about my new favorite dish:

  1. Its has 4 ingredients
  2. It's 4 points for 1 cup (and fills you up!)
  3. It was way easy!
  4. It's delicious!
I saw a recipe close to this one on Pinterest not too long ago, but forgot to Pin it!  So here it made up version, which knocked my socks off on this chilly March Sunday.

You will need only 4 ingredients:

I just happen to have all of these in my house today.

You will also need a deep saute pan's my Rachel Ray Cookware (which I LOVE!).  I used the 3 qt. saute pan:

Now you're ready to cook!  Put 2 cups of chicken broth, one can of diced tomatoes, 2 tbsp of Fat Free Creamer and 2 cups of whole wheat pasta in your pan.  Bring it to a steady boil and cover, stirring so the pasta does not stick every once and a while.  I believe it took about 12 - 15 minutes for the pasta to cook (al dente).  With about 5 minutes left, take the cover off to let the moisture out and let it thicken up...yess I said thicken, with only 2 tbsp of cream this will be a creamy pasta!  

Here's the breakdown:
2 cups of Fat Free Chicken Broth - 0 points
1 can of Petite Diced Tomatoes in Olive Oil & Garlic - 0 points
2 tbsp of Fat Free Half and Half - 0 points
Whole Wheat Ziti - 4 points per cup (cooked)

So yes, my friends, that's a cup of delicious pasta for......drumroll please.............4 points!
You should get a little over 4 portions from this recipe.  I pre-measured them and put them in Rubbermaid containers for lunches this week...Goodbye 7 point SmartOnes, hello yummy homemade goodness at a fraction of the price!!!

I forgot the best part.  I've been known for loading up on the Parmesan Cheese, and with this recipe I didn't even miss it!  Did you hear that?? I didn't miss cheese. Someone write that down.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

It's A....

The gender reveal for an expecting Mom and Dad is an exciting time! Whether you find out ahead of time, or decide to wait, there are many creative and adorable ways to share the happy news with friends and family.  Some couples going as far as having a Gender Reveal Party (I'm totally doing this, any excuse to have a party right??).  Here are just a few of my favorites from Pinterest:

Made these for my friends Amanda and Bob - they worked out for the most part.  Gotta make sure you have a lot of icing in the middle.  They said their parents had to bite a few times to get to the pink frosting! Baby Lily expected in April!

Make your appointment with sj.bridgeman photography to capture this idea found here

Or better yet, make your baby shower the place where everyone gets to find out! 
(if you can keep it in that long, that takes will power!)

Before I go let me give a shout out to two of my favorite people Maria & Jeff Brett on the news of Baby Brett debuting this August! They were the inspiration for this you guys!!!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

"I Found This...IT'S MINE!"

No, that quote is not from one of my students, it's from my husband.
When I told him I'd be sharing this recipe he kindly reminded, "and don't you take the credit for this one...I found it."  So here it is...Matt's Casserole.

This yummy casserole has many of "Matt's Favorites" in it (those of you that know him can attest to his limited palate, so the fact that we found something that didn't need to be altered is a miracle!)
Additionally, when you know these 2 ingredients are know its going to be GOOD!

You will need:
1 packet of Shake and Bake (any flavor)
1 box of Chicken Rice-A-Roni (made it once with the cheesy kind and it was horrible, don't substitute!)
2 boneless, skinless Chicken Breasts 
1 cup of milk
1 cup of shredded cheese (YOUR CHOICE!)

First, prepare the Rice-A-Roni according to the microwave directions in a large casserole dish.  Before cooking the rice cut up your 2 Chicken Breasts into cubes and plop them into the casserole dish.  Yes...put them in there raw...I know it's weird but just do it. Also, preheat the oven at 350 (Sorry for not having a picture of this step...didn't think of putting this on the blog until Step 2!)

After the Rice/Chicken Mixture is done in the Microwave mix in 1 cup of milk, top with cheese and then sprinkle the shake and bake on top.

Pop it in the oven for 15 minutes, prepare a vegetable side if you wish and dinner is ready!  It's so good, and really easy! Enjoy! 

Monday, January 23, 2012


These things will change your life...4 packs available at Sams for $12.  Use them on EVERYTHING (except your skin of course, but if it was safe I'd totally do it)!
Dirty Microwave? Try this concoction..
Add 1/2 white vinegar to 2 cups of warm water

Let it run for 5 minutes, then wipe the inside using the Vinegar and Water mixture

All Clean!
Last but not least, one I tried for the first time this weekend.  I had a few cookie sheets that had seen better days.  Then I stumbled across this tip on Pinterest.  Here's the link to making your old baking sheets come to life!
Tip: I used a Brillo Pad in addition to the baking soda and peroxide, it worked wonders!
Happy Cleaning!

Sunday, January 22, 2012


Meat has never been more tender, soup has never been more flavorful and dinner has never been Crock Pot is my BFF! Get ready ladies, this is not your Grandma's Slow Cooker, there are hundreds of sites devoted to easy and delicious recipes that your whole family will love.

Here's my baby!  Perfect for traveling to parties too!
The Crock Pot is perfect for the "domestically challenged" because you really cannot screw it up.  The key is to get all of your goodies in the Pot right before you leave for work (Sometimes if I have room in the fridge I will prep it the night before so I can just pop it in the base and go).  The typical work day is 8 hours so setting your Pot on low before you leave will ensure your house will be smelling wonderfully as you walk in tired from a long day at work.  Is there really anything worse than being tired and having to whip up dinner for 2, 4, 6 or in some families 8? No there is NOT! Let your Crock Pot save the day!

Usually I get my recipes from Pinterest but if you're not signed up the absolute best site for Crock Pot Cooking is Crockin' Girls I'll leave you with some of my favorite links to get you going...

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken  A favorite for any night of the week in my house, perfect for tacos, quesadillas, on top of a salad or even a panini!

French Dip Sandwiches   Amazing Flavor and SO EASY

Creamy Chicken and Broccoli   Perfect over rice

Happy Crockin' !

(Funny Story: Thank goodness I preview before I publish these posts...there were a few sentences recommending you use your Cock Pot...dear heavens.)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Narrowing It Down

Picking paint to me is like going to the Dentist - Love the outcome, hate what you have to go through to get there.  Walking into Sherwin Williams and seeing this... me instant anxiety.

But check it out ladies and gents!  A site I stumbled upon DesignSeeds gives you lovely color combinations to inspire room design, wedding color themes, showers and birthdays too!  Way less intimidating than the 5 billion choices at Sherwin Williams!

Here's the palette I'm working with for a friends baby shower in March.  They're having a girl and naming her Lily, these colors just scream in my brain when I hear that name:

Choosing a color palatte has never been so sweet...

Easy Monkey Bread

Warning: This recipe is full of sugar, calories, fat and deliciousness!

Every Christmas morning my husband and I visit our friends, The DeMarcos.  Not sure when we actually started this tradition, but it has to be at least 4 years or so.  Mrs. D always has warm Monkey Bread waiting for us when we arrive...something I look forward to more than presents!  This year I planned to make my own (INSERT EPIC FAIL, thanks Pinterest).  After ChristmasMonkeyBreadGate 2011, I tried again on New Years Eve...SUCCESS!  The recipe below called for making your own dough (YEAH RIGHT!) so I "Sandra Lee'ed" it up and chose Pillsbury Biscuits.  Here's the how to:

You will need:
2 cans of Pillsbury Biscuits
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt

Follow this process 

Here's my final product, hope yours is just as yummy!