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9.28.2012

Weekend Potluck #36


   Wow, this week went by fast. Thank heavens! I'm looking forward to tonight because I have my Book Club meeting. We'll be eating dinner at Olive Garden (*jumps up and down*) I love that place! And we'll be discussing our book for September, "Beautiful Disaster" by Jaime McGuire.

   I LOVED the book. I was hooked instantly. It reminded me of something I would've read in high school. It took me back to that place of being young.. falling in-love.. and making dumb choices. It was so good! ha  I'm excited to see what the other girls thought of it. :)


  AND I'm excited to see what everyone brings this week to the Potluck party! Hope you all enjoy your weekend!!

Now, let's take a quick peek back at last week...


The recipe with the most clicks was ~



Hamburger Steaks with Brown Gravy

Recipes that caught our attention ~




Caramel Apple Milky Way Cheesecake Bars

Easy Meatball Bake

Easy Meatball Bake by Confessions of a Semi-Domesticated Mama

 


Your hostesses ~

Remember that when you link up, it shows on all SIX blogs. Plus…

We TWEET. We PIN. We LIKE.

Linky Guidelines: If you wish to be a featured recipe or for us to promote your recipe either on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest, you MUST follow these instructions.
  1. Please link up to your exact post and not the main page to your blog.
  2. LINK BACK HERE from your post so that others can find the fun. (Need help linking back? Read this or watch this great instructional video.) You can use the button below or a direct link within your post.
When you are kind enough to follow our guidelines, we work hard to get you as much exposure as possible so that your time here is well invested. We want this to be a fun and rewarding experience for everyone!

9.26.2012

Taco Salads


  I'm surprised I haven't posted this delicious Taco Salad on my blog until now. It is one of our most favorite dinners. Soooo easy to throw together and so yummy. My family LOVES this salad!

  I bet a lot of you already have this recipe, or one similar. This is my favorite version! All it consists of is a bed of iceburg lettuce.. crunchy nacho cheese Doritos.. taco meat.. topped off with all your favorite taco toppings!

 This is a perfect meal to make on a busy weeknight, your whole family will devour!


Taco Salads
Serves 4-5

1 pound lean ground beef
1 (1.25 ounce) package taco seasoning
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1/2 water
1-2 heads chopped Iceburg lettuce
1 large bag nacho cheese Doritos tortilla chips

Toppings: shredded cheese, sour cream, salsa, olives, Catalina dressing


Directions: In a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown and crumble ground beef. Drain grease.

Add taco seasoning, black beans, tomato sauce and water to the ground beef. Stir to combine and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer on low heat for 10-15 minutes, or until mixture is thoroughly heated and thickened slightly. Remove from heat.

On 4 individual plates, add the chopped lettuce and 1/2 - 1 cup of crushed Dorito chips. Divide meat mixture over each bed of lettuce and chips. Top with all your favorite taco toppings, and enjoy!



9.24.2012

Menu Plan Monday #22

   Good Monday morning! *Yaaaawn* Hope you all had a great weekend! I'm keepin' it short and sweet this morning (cause I'm still half asleep) so here's the Menu for the week....




Monday
(Leftovers from last night's dinner)



Tuesday
*Taco Salads*



Wednesday
*Chicken Pockets*
green salad



Thursday
Shepherd's Baked Potatoes
veggie



Friday
~Kitchen's Closed~
Book club!



Saturday
Taco Pizza
caesar salads



Sunday
*Beef Enchiladas*
*Mexican Rice*
beans

9.21.2012

Weekend Potluck #35




 
   I know I sound like a broken record, but I'm gonna say it again anyway....THANK YOU to all you amazing food bloggers that link up your recipes every week! I'm sure I can say this on behalf of my Weekend Potluck co-hosts, we appreciate you ALL, taking the time to link up the delicious recipes you make!

   My hubby and I have been so busy lately, that I am really looking forward to spending a nice, quiet weekend at home, with just our kiddos. I have NO plans, but only to make some home cooked meals, play with my kiddos, and have our family movie night! Bring on the weekend!! Woohoo! :)



Now, let's take a quick peek back at last week...


The recipe with the most clicks was ~




Easy Apple Cake
Easy Apple Cake by A Little Bit Crunchy


Recipes that caught our attention ~





Beef and Cream-Cheesy Crescents
Beef and Cream-Cheesy Crescents by Full Hands, Full Hearts






Cheeseburger Balls
Cheeseburger Balls by Crafty Home Improvement (Mis)Adventures


Your hostesses ~

Remember that when you link up, it shows on all SIX blogs. Plus…

We TWEET. We PIN. We LIKE.

Linky Guidelines: If you wish to be a featured recipe or for us to promote your recipe either on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest, you MUST follow these instructions.
  1. Please link up to your exact post and not the main page to your blog.
  2. LINK BACK HERE from your post so that others can find the fun. (Need help linking back? Read this or watch this great instructional video.) You can use the button below or a direct link within your post.
When you are kind enough to follow our guidelines, we work hard to get you as much exposure as possible so that your time here is well invested. We want this to be a fun and rewarding experience for everyone!

9.19.2012

Crock Pot Lemon Chicken



  This chicken is so flavorful! It's one of the yummiest things I've made in my crock pot, lately. Lemon chicken with a hint of Italian seasonings. Mmmmm so good!

  I decided to pan fry it first to get a nice brown coating, and then threw it in my crock pot with some Italian seasoning, lemon juice and chicken broth. As it cooked, it filled my house with an amazing lemon scent!

  We ate it with a pasta salad and veggie, and everyone loved it! Kelsey said, "Mom, this chicken is the best! Can you make it again tomorrow?"  :)


** Updated 9/20/12-  I originally posted that you should cook the chicken for 6 hours. That's too long! Only cook it in the crock pot for 3- 3 1/2 hours! The chicken is already half-way cooked in the pan, so only cooking it in the crock pot for 4 hours should be plenty of time!**

Crock Pot Lemon Chicken


1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3-4 Large boneless, skinless Chicken breasts, cut into 3rds
1/4 cup butter
1 packet Good Seasons Italian dressing/seasoning mix
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup chicken broth
salt and pepper

Directions: Rinse the chicken pieces with water, and then lightly coat them in the flour. Set aside.
Plug in crock pot and turn setting to Low heat.

Heat 2 Tablespoons of butter in a large non-stick skillet, over medium-high heat. When butter is melted, add half of the flour-coated chicken pieces. (You don't want to over-crowd the pan, so you'll cook the chicken in two batches) Season with salt and pepper. Cook chicken for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown,on each side.

(You're not cooking the chicken all the way, just getting a golden-brown crust)

Remove chicken from skillet and place in crock pot.

Add the 2 remaining tablespoons of butter in skillet, and cook the remaining flour-coated chicken pieces on each side for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown. Remove chicken from skillet and place in crock pot.

Sprinkle the Italian dressing/seasoning mix evenly over the chicken. Pour the lemon juice and chicken broth over the tops. Cover with lid, and cook on low heat for 3 hours.

Either serve chicken pieces whole or shredded, with the lemon sauce/broth. Enjoy!

















9.17.2012

Menu Plan Monday #21

   It's been a few weeks since I've posted a menu plan, so I thought I would today. :) We have been busy bee's lately, so I am looking forward to chillin' at home this week and making us some yummy meals!

   My hubby and I have been running and getting back in the groove of exercising. Last week I ran 10 miles total, and I'm pretty dang proud of myself  :)  I love running for so many reasons, but I think the biggest reason is how it makes me feel.

  So with exercise, comes healthy eating. Or healthy-er eating, I should say. There's just no way I could ever live without cheese... or chocolate.. or a cocktail every once in a while. I am a girl who loves her food! :) Here's what I'm making this week.....



Monday
Oriental Chicken Salads



Tuesday
Baked Chicken Fingers
Sweet potato french fries
carrot sticks



Wednesday
Grilled steaks
side salads



Thursday
Strawberry Chicken Salads



Friday
~Kitchen's Closed~
Date night ♥



Saturday
~Kitchen's Closed~
Take out!



Sunday
Chicken and Rice Skillet*
veggie



9.14.2012

Happy 2nd Blogiversary to Life as a Lofthouse! and Weekend Potluck #35

  Today marks the 2 year anniversary of this lil' food blog of mine!! So today, along with the Weekend Potluck party, I thought I would share the very first recipe I posted back on September 14, 2010. The recipe was Three Cheese Stuffed Shells, and has always been a family favorite of ours!

                                     (Isn't that picture just precious? All blurry and fuzzy! : /  ha)


   It makes me so happy and honored for each of you to take the time to visit my blog... leave comments...or let me know when you've tried a recipe. It truly means the world to me. Thanks for all of your support the past 2 years!




Now, let's take a quick peek back at last week...

                      The recipe with the most clicks was ~

Chocolate Wacky Cake with Fudge Frosting
                            Chocolate Wacky Cake with Fudge Frosting by A Kitchen Addiction




                        Recipes that caught our attention ~

Bacon Avocado Tomato Pasta
                                               Bacon Avocado Tomato Pasta by Newlyweds





Crab Rangoon Dip
                                                Crab Rangoon Dip by A Lil Country Sugar



Your hostesses ~

Remember that when you link up, it shows on all SIX blogs. Plus…

We TWEET. We PIN. We LIKE.

Linky Guidelines: If you wish to be a featured recipe or for us to promote your recipe either on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest, you MUST follow these instructions.
  1. Please link up to your exact post and not the main page to your blog.
  2. LINK BACK HERE from your post so that others can find the fun. (Need help linking back? Read this or watch this great instructional video.) You can use the button below or a direct link within your post.
When you are kind enough to follow our guidelines, we work hard to get you as much exposure as possible so that your time here is well invested. We want this to be a fun and rewarding experience for everyone!

9.12.2012

Tomato Basil Soup and Grilled Mozzarella Sandwiches


  This soup is the bomb. It has amazing flavor, and is so comforting. The only thing I thought would make it even better.....


Grilled cheeeeese.


Mozzarella grilled cheese..... to be exact.

Heaven.

On.

Earth.

Dip these babies in that tomato soup, and you will be a happy camper, my friends.

DELISH!


Tomato Basil Soup
Recipe adapted from: The Novice Chef

2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
3 (14 ounce) cans Hunt's Fire Roasted tomatoes
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup half and half
20 fresh basil leaves, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste


Directions: In a heavy bottomed pot, over medium-high heat, pour in the olive oil and saute onion until translucent. Add chopped garlic. Saute with onion another 2 minutes.

Add the cans of fire roasted tomatoes (including the juice) to the pan and cover for about 15 minutes, stirring as needed. Add the chicken stock, and half & half. Bring to a simmer. Cook uncovered, for another 10 minutes or until it thickens slightly.

Stir in the chopped fresh basil and salt and pepper. Lower heat to medium-low and cook another 5 minutes.

Using an immerison blender (or carefully transfer hot soup to a blender) and puree soup until there are no large chunks. Serve immediately with grilled cheese or warm french bread! ENJOY!



Grilled Mozzarella Sandwiches
Recipe adapted from: Martha Stewart

1 pound fresh whole milk Mozzarella, cut into thin slices
8 (1/2 inch thick) firm white sandwich bread slices
2 large eggs
1/2 cup half and half
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon course salt
pinch of ground nutmeg
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter


Directions: Place 2-4 slices of mozzarella on 4 pieces of bread. Top with other pieces of bread to form sandwiches.

In a wide shallow bowl, whisk the eggs. Add the half & half, thyme, salt and nutmeg. Whisk well to combine.

In a large nonstick pan, heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon butter and cook until sizzling stops.

Dip 2 of the sandwiches into the egg mixture, turning to coat. Place sandwiches in the pan and cook until golden brown on the first side ( about 2 minutes). Flip over and brown on the other side.

Transfer sandwiches to a platter and repeat process with other 2 sandwiches.

Cut sandwiches in half, and serve immediately.


9.10.2012

Caramel Apple Pound Cake



This was the best cake I've ever eaten.


Hands down.


A warm apple cake drenched in buttery, gooey caramel sauce....  Holeeeee cow! SO good!


   I love that this cake screams Fall. I have been patiently waiting for Fall to arrive. We're still soaring in the high 90's here in So. Utah, and I can't take it anymore! I am so ready for cool crisp air, to wear some jeans, and decorate my house for Halloween! (which I'm going to do next weekend anyway...)

  

   So if you're like me, then whip up this delicious delight as soon as possible. Serve it with some vanilla ice cream and you will NOT be disappointed!



Caramel Apple Pound Cake
Recipe source: Served up with Love

2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 large eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons apple pie spice
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 medium Red apples, peeled and finely chopped (2 cups)

Caramel Glaze:

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons milk


Directions:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 12-cup fluted tube cake pan.

In a large bowl, add the granulated sugar, oil, vanilla and eggs. With an electric hand mixer, beat on medium speed until light and fluffy.

Gradually beat in flour, apple pie spice, salt and baking soda until just combined. Stir in apple pieces.
Pour mixture into prepared pan. Bake for 55-65 minutes, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Let cake cool in pan for 15 minutes, and then invert onto a cooling rack.

For Caramel Glaze:  Place all glaze ingredients in a medium saucepan, over medium-high heat. Stir until butter melts, and then comes to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly; remove from heat. Spoon glaze all over the warm cake.

Cut cake into slices and serve with vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!♥


9.07.2012

Weekend Potluck #34


   How was everyone's week? Hopefully, awesome! Mine was. Aside from finally feeling better after being sick for 10 days, I started working out again. :)   I forgot how good it feels to get your sweat on and your heart pumpin'.

   I went running with my friend last night. We only ran 2 miles, but boy it felt nice. Afterwards, I came home, took a shower, and fell asleep so fast..... and slept like a baby.

   I am really looking forward to getting in shape again. Not only for the number on the scale to go down, but for the way it makes me feel. Nothing feels better than feeling fit!

   Anyhooooo...  let's talk food now! What are you bringin' to the party this week??




Now, let's take a quick peek back at last week...



                       The recipe with the most views was~


Tailgating Food
                          Tailgating Food by The Domestically Impaired Guide to the Retro Kitchen Arts



                        Recipes that caught our attention ~

Smothered Pork Chops

Smothered Pork Chops by My Biscuits Are Burning
Almond Joy Bars

Almond Joy Bars by Flavors By Four

 


Your hostesses ~

Remember that when you link up, it shows on all SIX blogs. Plus…

We TWEET. We PIN. We LIKE.

Linky Guidelines: If you wish to be a featured recipe or for us to promote your recipe either on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest, you MUST follow these instructions.
  1. Please link up to your exact post and not the main page to your blog.
  2. LINK BACK HERE from your post so that others can find the fun. (Need help linking back? Read this or watch this great instructional video.) You can use the button below or a direct link within your post.
When you are kind enough to follow our guidelines, we work hard to get you as much exposure as possible so that your time here is well invested. We want this to be a fun and rewarding experience for everyone!

9.05.2012

Ranch Roasted Potatoes


     These Ranch Roasted Potatoes are packed full of flavor! They were crispy on the outside, soft in the inside, and mouth-watering good! Your house will smell amazing as they cook.

   They're a perfect side to go a long with any meat. Beef, pork chops, chicken. I made ours with BBQ chicken, and it was a big hit with my family!


Ranch Roasted Potatoes

2 lbs russet or red potatoes, quartered
1 (1 ounce) packet Hidden Valley Ranch dressing/ seasoning mix
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Directions: Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Line a baking sheet with foil, then spray with non-stick spray. Set aside.

Place the cut potatoes into a large bowl. Sprinkle with Ranch seasoning, and then pour the oil over the top. Toss to coat the seasoning and oil all over the potatoes. Pour potatoes onto the prepared baking sheet. Spread out evenly into a single layer.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until potatoes are brown and crisp. Serve!







9.03.2012

King Ranch Mac & Cheese





   Macaroni and cheese is one of those comfort foods most everyone loves. Maybe because it reminds us of being kids. Or maybe because it's cheesy covered pasta, which is the most comforting food I can think of.

   I love that Macaroni and cheese is a dish you can eat year-round. There are so many different varieties out there, but this King Ranch version is highest in my book. It's filled with chicken, sour cream, and different spices, that make it so amazing!



King Ranch Mac & Cheese
Recipe adapted from: Southern Living via My Recipes
Makes 6-8 servings

8 ounces Elbow pasta
1 (10 oz) can Rotel tomatoes (undrained)
1/4 cup white Onion, chopped very fine
8 ounces Velveeta processed cheese
2 1/2 cups cooked chicken, cubed or shredded
1 ( 10.75 oz) can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese


Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large pot of water, boil noodles according to package directions. Drain water. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, add Rotel tomatoes, chopped onion and Velveeta cheese. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly until cheese is melted.

In a large bowl, add cooked chicken, cream of chicken soup, sour cream, chili powder, and cumin. Mix to combine. Slowly add in melted Velveeta mixture, and the cooked noodles. Stir to combine.

Pour mixture into a 9x13 baking dish. Top with shredded cheddar cheese. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.