Happy Birthday to meeee!

So yesterday was my 24th birthday. Maybe not a special age to anyone else, but to me every age is special because I have such a great family and group of friends that make sure of that :-). It is also a personal milestone of mine. I am now 24, and do NOT have three kids under the age of 5 (MOM) haha!

That being said, I am a little disappointed. I mean ONLY 67 “Happy Birthday”‘s on Facebook?!?!?!

Totally kidding. That was a lot of birthday wishes evenly scattered throughout my otherwise hectic day. I think it is the only reason I got through the day without unraveling. Thank you all so much for thinking of me yesterday. It really meant more than you could ever know :-).

Okay. So maybe the world didn’t ACTUALLY revolve around me… but the feeling was nice ;-).

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Snow….

…it sucks, I’m sick of it, and I am ready for spring.

Apparently the groundhog did not see his shadow, which means early spring. Did anyone think that maybe he didn’t see his shadow because he probably couldn’t even see his little paws through the SNOW falling down? I mean seriously, give the poor thing a break! Let him sleep and be warm….

I am by no means a groundhog rights activist, I’m just saying… how would you like it if someone woke you up and dragged you out of your house today to ask if you can see your shadow? I’m pretty sure if someone did that to me, they would be missing some teeth… again, just sayin’. 😉

I know I live in NY and all, but I blame that on my parents… pretty much every winter. Then, the rest of the seasons, I am grateful. I mean, WHAT WERE THEY THINKING? Moving back to NY from TEXAS? The only snow I remember during my time living in TX, evaporated about 3 or 4 feet above my head. And i don’t mean melted into rain… I mean, EVAPORATED…disappeared… gone. Ah, the good old days….

If they hadn’t moved, I wouldn’t have met my husband though, and had these uber gorgeous kids, or the friends that I have now. So for that, I am grateful.

I am also grateful that one of my best friends lives right upstairs, so I can go bother her keep her company on days like today (haha!).

So sip some hot cocoa for me (I’m all out, and by no means going to the store today), snuggle up with your little ones, and wait for Spring (poor groundhog)….

I’m sooo excited!

….and I just can’t hide it!

Thank you to my sister in law, Brandy, for showing me this site!

I really strive to do the things that I have learned from Dave Ramsey. We are on our way to being out of debt, and are paying cash instead of credit, or going without anything more than a need. Now, though I always strive to pare down the grocery bill, E-mealz has made it ten times easier AND has given me a whole new resource for dinner ideas and, therefore, regular blogging. It is all priced out for my choice store (Walmart) so I know going in how much I will spend for dinners.

Also, special thanks to my Mom for buying me my first 6 months of subscription! I am so excited to see what new meals we will be trying, and I will likely be throwing in some of my own recipes randomly when I come across something my picky eaters won’t eat.

So come with me on this journey! And remind me to post lots of pictures (I am so forgetful!) 😉

Chick-Chick-ChickEEEEENNNNN!!!!

Dinner last night was… well… I’m not sure what to call it. I kinda threw it together (I’m getting good at that). But I can tell you it was garlicky, cheesy, crispy chicken goodness, and in my book, that is called HEAVEN!

So here it is!

Grab some chicken breast, and let’s go!

Here’s what you need:

Chicken

BUTTER

Panko bread crumbs

Flour

Milk

Garlic Powder

Season salt

Parmesan Cheese

Cheddar Cheese

*Measurements will depend on the amount of chicken, just eyeball it*

1. Preheat your oven to 350, and ready your broiler pan (yes, i am kind of obsessed with it right now, but it really keeps the chicken crispy)

2. Sautee your breadcrumbs in some melted butter with season salt (about 1/4 tsp per cup of breadcrumbs) and garlic powder (to taste) until lightly browned. Move them to a plate.

3. Add parmesan cheese to the breadcrumbs, and mix well

3. Dip your chicken in flour, then milk, then breadcrumbs and put on your pan.

4. Bake for 35 minutes, then sprinkle with cheddar (or whatever cheese you so desire- this would make great chicken parm) and bake for another 10 minutes.

 

Doesn’t it look AMAZING?

 

I served it with Linguine and home-made Alfredo Sauce, and Green Beans. Here is hubby’s plate:

 

 

Be sure that when you put the linguine on the plate, you do it all messy like I did and get it on both the chicken and the green beans. You’ll thank me later ;-).

 

As always, ENJOY!

 

Kitchen DISASTER!!!

Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating. It wasn’t a total disaster, but it sure felt like it. But first:

Did ya miss me? huh? huh?!?!

Well the crickets did, anyway.

Ok, kitchen disaster. I will NEVER buy meatloaf mix from Price Rite again. I mean, NEVER. Their meat (with the exception of the Perdue chicken) scares my husband and I, and this meatloaf tasted funny. So if you make this with ground beef or a meatloaf mix that you can trust, then it will taste fine.

Let me start by saying, I have only EVER made meatloaf in a loaf pan… seemed like common sense to me. It’s the only way I have ever seen it made, and every recipe has told me to do so. Lately, however, my meatloaf has been too moist (if that’s even possible…it is) and falls apart, so it is basically a pile of broken up ground beef with ketchup…YUCK! I wandered around the interweb, and found a new way that was sure to drain all that grease… a BROILER PAN! I know, I know, not as exciting to you. I guess you had to be there. I always wondered what the purpose of that pan under my oven was for. NOW I know.

Let me also say, that I just kind of threw stuff together (I’m good like that), so I will try to give you the best measurements I possibly can.

Oh, and one more thing, I could not change the batteries in my camera quick enough to get a pic before the throngs of hungry people in my family (I starve them, I know) attacked it all. So…. no pictures. I know, unacceptable. I will do better next time :-).

 

MEATLOAF

1 1/4 lbs meatloaf mix (or ground beef, or whatever you make your meatloaf with)

4 slices bread (i used wheat, but I have heard white is better- i don’t buy white bread)

1/2 cup milk

2 eggs

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

1/2 tsp season salt (not sure exactly, but it was about that… just season with everything to your tastebuds content)

1/4 tsp salt

black pepper, to taste

Parsley (you can use fresh, i did not have any handy, so i just sprinkled some dry until it looked pretty haha!)

1. Soak the bread in the milk

2. Beat the eggs and add them in along with all the other ingredients

3. Blend well, then form into a loaf shape and put on your broiler pan

4. Make a sauce with about 2/3 cup of ketchup, and 1/4 cup of brown sugar (or your topping of choice)

5. Spread half the sauce over the top of the loaf

6. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes

7. Take out, spread on the rest of the sauce and bake for another 15 mins.

8. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE take your meatloaf’s temperature before you eat it! It should be at LEAST 160 degrees. I don’t want you to get sick 😦

 

I served this with steamed broccoli and Fannie Farmers Mac & Cheese. YUMMY!

Burrrrrritos!!

Go ahead… just TRY to say it without rolling the R’s. Betcha can’t do it now. I know I can’t without thinking about it haha! My high school Spanish teacher (La Bruja) would be so proud.

And guess what?

I made….

my own….

TORTILLAS!

I was pretty impressed with myself, which is pretty easy to do, since I never give myself enough credit for my abilities 😉

^That link ^up there^the one that says “TORTILLAS!” ? Yeah, that’s the recipe haha!

And this is one cooking :

“Nobody’s perfect!, I gotta work it! Again and again ’til I get it right….”

Why the heck is Hannah Montana in my head? UGH!

 

This is the finished product:

 

I made them bigger after that first one so they could hold the filling. That first one was a wimp.

I turned it into a Caeli-size mexican pizza 🙂

 

The Beef, Bean and Cheese Burritos were something I sort of threw together, so bear with me as I have no real measurements. Here we go….

First I browned roughly two pounds of ground beef with a small chopped onion.

Then I drained the fat because I don’t want to die tonight.

Then I seasoned it with taco seasoning (to taste), and a 7oz can of enchilada sauce.

Then, in a separate pan, I heated up 2- 15oz cans of refried beans to get them nice and soft.

 

Next, I sprinkled *ahem* DUMPED a good size handful of cheddar cheese and stirred it in til it melted.

We are cheese enthusiasts in this house. (Really, who isn’t? If you said “me”….LIAR!)

 

Time to assemble! I plopped some of the bean mix onto those lovely homemade tortillas.

I know what it looks like, I try not to think about it.

 

Followed by the beef mixture…

Again, I know.

 

Then I rolled them up, put them on some yellow rice and poured some enchilada sauce over top.

Then I dumped on some more cheese, which brings me to Elecia’s Rule of Thumb #2: When making anything cheese topped: If you can see the actual meal underneath the cheese…. you have done something terribly wrong and should be ashamed of yourself.

Now that that’s out of the way…. top it with sour cream if you love your spouse (Today, I decided I love mine ;-))

And, as always, ENJOY!

(By the way, I became fully aware while typing this that I had more measurements for ingredients than I originally thought. However, I am too lazy to scroll aaaall the way back up to fix that part… so deal with it! HA!)

 

 

 

My latest Kitchen Experiments in the last 24 hours

So, I apologize, I forgot to post last night after dinner. I took the pics and everything, but ended up having to make a store run after putting the kids to bed.

Dinner last night was Stuffed Shells with Meaty Tomato Sauce (Pioneer Woman’s recipe, of course- I promise I will have recipes from different sites this coming week haha!). The cheese in the shells was sooooo creamy (I wonder if that was because I forgot the egg?). Here are the pics:

Yes, that is burnt cheese on the pan. No, I did not scrape it off before taking the picture *gasp!*. I insist on keeping it real 😉

 

Do you see that cheese oozing out? HEAVEN! Elecia’s Basic Rule of Thumb #1: When making anything cheese-filled: If it doesn’t ooze… you have done something terribly wrong and should be ashamed of yourself!

 

That was last night. I also baked a (boxed- GASP!) cake for my mom so it could cool and I could make it look like this in the morning:

 

 

I have to say, I was pretty proud of myself. I have not been able to frost a cake before today. It always came out so lumpy and tore the cake apart before… like the frosting was mostly cake crumbs…my own little Cake Genocide, so to speak. But not today! Today, I conquered the frosting!

 

And now, my most favorite sweet of the day…. No-Bake Oatmeal cookies! So easy a caveman…. never mind… I don’t want Geico to come knocking my door down saying I stole their pitch…

 

Are you drooling yet? Thank GOD my stepfather took them all… or I would be unable to walk. I love chocolate and peanut butter together, and cannot control myself…. it’s a problem I have… so sue me!

Enjoy the recipes!

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