Monday, September 26, 2011

Easy Taco Salad

 I got this recipe from a friend of mine long ago. She was a very health conscious person and whenever a recipe called for ground beef, she would use ground turkey. That was the first time I'd ever tried ground turkey. It is great for this recipe because it is leaner, less fat to remove, and you can't tell the difference too much in taste. 

So here is my recipe:
1 pound ground turkey fried up and drained, then mix with 1 taco seasoning packet, a little water, 
add in 1 small can green chili salsa or regular mild salsa. Simmer till reduced. 

Put together salad made up of.....
1 small head of iceberg or romaine lettuce chopped into bite size pieces
1 can of drained kidney beans
1-2 small cut up tomatoes
3/4 to 1 cup cheddar cheese grated
1 1/2 cups Doritos Nacho Cheese variety crushed into bite size pieces
black olives optional

Kraft Catalina Dressing (pour over just before serving to taste, about 1/2 cup) It is just as good with the reduced calorie variety of dressing. 

kidney beans drained....

cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, I ran out of olives....OOPS! 

Taco meat.....leave this separated till right before mixing up the dressing or it wilts the lettuce.....

Easy ingredients for a yummy taco salad....

I've used both varieties....I can barely tell the go for the Low Cal! 

Yummy and pretty healthy too! Sometimes I add olives to it for more color, sometimes a diced avocado if I have one. Yummy! 

Perfect with a side of cornbread muffins! Yum! 

Dreamy Lemon Cheesecake Bars

 I had some lemons I wanted to use up...and it was an afternoon when I was I thought of making some really luscious lemon bars.....using some cream cheese.  Here is a great recipe. I got it from my favorite recipe website called all from a poster named Counseljul.

A little sugar.....a little flour.....

This is what the crust looks like before baking.....

The secret is lemon zest...I added it to both the middle and top layers.....
The recipe has 3 easy layers. The whole thing takes about 15 minutes to whip together. It is to DIE FOR delicious! The middle layer is kind of lemon puddingish...and the top layer is cheesecake with lemon.  It's light and can be cut into small squares like cookies for a crowd.  Here is the recipe...but I cut everything in half since we only have 2 of us to eat these fattening things! And we are a couple of  (If you want the 9 x 13 recipe go to the link HERE for the basic recipe at All

  • 3/4 of a cube of  unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 3/4 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cups white sugar
  • 1/2  tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice and a bit of zest

  • I added a bit of lemon zest to the last, cheesecake layer too and added a teaspoon of lemon juice. I like my stuff LEMONY! 

  • Blend first 3 ingredients together and press into a 
  • 9 x 9 pan for the crust. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes until just golden. 

  • Then mix the middle 5 ingredients for the lemon pudding middle layer. Pour over warm crust when it comes out of the oven. 

  • Then mix up last 3-4 ingredients, (adding some lemon zest and juice is optional). Then pour it over the middle layer. It's kind of thick...smooth it on top. Bake for 30 minutes more. 
  • Here is what it looks like baked....mmmm..... 

After baking...I halved the recipe and it would easily make  12 luscious, rich squares
They are really rich so this piece was way too can cut quite a few from this recipe....
I shoulda taken a side view of the layers. They are pretty. We ate it warm and it was so rich! I liked it better cooled the next day with kind of a crusty bottom layer like a cookie. It would be a great dessert anytime.

 For having people over for dinner this is better than lemon meringue pie.  Add some whipped cream to the top if you serve it hot like I did.
These people all thought my lemon bars were dreamy...

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Mickey Mouse Pancakes, or Teddy Bear Pancakes?

My grand kids stayed overnight this past weekend and we sure had a lot of fun. They loved the new grand kid's bedroom we made up for them with red iron bunk beds and lots of fun toys everywhere. We thought we would have BOY grandbabies. That's why it has a construction and car and truck theme. Who knew we'd instead get 4 girls grandbabies from 3 of our kids?

Notice the bear at the breakfast table (Megan's guest) for Mickey Mouse Pancakes? Well
They kinda look like Teddy Bear Pancakes too......mix or match....whateva....
Bruce searching for the tennis ball....
Now you are probably asking yourself, "Why did she decorate the grandkid's room like a construction zone when she has all girls?"  And I would answer you... I don't freakin know...I thought they'd all be boys. Go figure.  I had 3 boys..... (plus I loved this rug from Tarjay). snicker...
Meg loves the top bunk for some reason, Marisa loved all the puppets on the bottom with her...I'm almost finished with this floor to ceiling green chalkboard for them....another half done summer project....Arg! .

 Megan loved the tennis racket, but doggie Bruce kept fighting her for the tennis ball.
Looks like Bruce found the tennis ball and won't give it back...

We made some pancakes in the morning with blueberry eyes and chocolate chip smiles. They weren't BEAR pancakes like my husband thought. They are supposed to be Mickey! Jeesh!

Blueberry eyes and nose, chocolate chip smile on Mickey Mouse Pancakes....or Teddy Bear pancake.....:D
They were hilarious in the jacuzzi.  "Let's dive!" as I'm saying to John, "I really don't want to get my hair wet".  SPLASH!  John, "awww, that's too bad!" as he is trying to suffocate a laugh. Oh well. It was sure fun. They are such cute little munchkins.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Chocolate Bundt Cake

It was my oldest son's birthday and I know he loves chocolate cakes. So I made this delicious recipe I found on All  It is the best bundt cake recipe EVER! It turns out real dense and rich.

The recipe for this gorgeous cake...... It's HERE. Basically it's a chocolate cake mix with some sour cream, 4 eggs, and a pudding mix added to the 1/2 cup water. So easy. And it calls for 2 cups of chocolate chips but I never put that many in. Usually a cup is all I add. And if you run out of pudding mixes, a small box will do.

After spraying pam on the bundt pan and baking it up, I mix up a batch of cream cheese icing. My recipe is 1 brick of 8 ounces cream cheese room temperature, and I dump it in my mixer. Then I add a half cube of butter and about 1 1/2 cups of confectioner's sugar, a teaspoon of lemon juice and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla.
Piping the cream cheese icing on the cake....

Chocolate Bundt easy! 

Mix it up and then put it in a pastry or zip lock baggie and cut the end off one corner to pipe the icing.
I just make lines going from the outside to the inside all around the cake. I topped this one off with an eyeball superball and a squishy skeleton I got at Walmart for $1.29 each.
Walmart always has cute toys I can use for cake decs...

Walmart also had these 10 packs of plastic skeletons I put around the outside of the cake. They were $1.29 too. Amazing! Kids would love these for party favors.

I just used a zip lock baggie to pipe the icing on the cake....just snip an edge with scissors. 

 It turned out so cute! I love Halloween decorations!  My son said, "Hey mom, it's a Halloween cake for my birthday!"  Do you think he thinks I'm weird? Ya maybe.....
You squeeze the skeleton head and the eyes pop out like big bugs! 

Chocolate Bundt Cake...yummy! 

Yeah.....I couldn't help myself.  hehe.  It was a fun party.
Okay Jeff looks rather scary here with the giant hunting knife his dad got him. Look at my poor
granddaughter eyeing the size of it! Oh my! 

Here he is with his favorite present. It looks like a giant machete! EEK! (just don't put a Freddy mask on and go out with that on Halloween night, OKAY?)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Easy Fajitas

Yummy and easy fajitas....takes about 15 minutes to make! 

I had 2 frozen chicken breast that were kinda tiny in my freezer leftover from one of those mega bags of chicken from Costco. And I decided I'd make some easy fajitas. These are so quick and yummy and healthy too.

Fajitas....mix your chicken and veggies with a packet of seasoning...that's the lazy way.....

Just grill your chicken (or if you are in a rush, just cut it up and saute the pieces in a little olive oil in a fry pan). Spray Pam on an onion and a green pepper and grill those too. (or if you are lazy, just slice them and saute them in a different pan in some oil.) When both the chicken and the peppers and onions are done slice it all up and put it together in one of the pans with a packet of Lawry's Fajita Seasoning mix.

Fry up some onions and green pepper....or better yet,  grill them! 

It calls for a little water.  Then just let it simmer for a few minutes.  That's it! I add diced, fresh tomatoes, some cilantro, sour cream and grated cheese on flour tortillas warmed up in the microwave.

Add some tomatoes, cheese, and cilantro....maybe some sour cream? Guacamole? MMMMMM

You could add some homemade guacamole to it and that would make it perfect!  If you prefer your own seasoning, I'd add garlic seasoning, coriander and cumin with some pepper.

Ya wanna bite? 

If I wasn't so lazy I'd have had some guacamole with my chips! But salsa was a good 2nd best.
Mucho delicioso! Fajitas are soooooo easy. I always wonder why people get them in a restaurant. It's like ordering peanut butter and jelly or grilled cheese!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

How About a Picnic? Picnic Baskets

 I got this cute picnic basket for my daughter in law for her birthday. I think it is so cute!
I found matching plates, glasses and a cute candle to pack inside

Red, White and Blue....great for a patriotic holiday, right? 

They are you've gotta have candle I right? Yes I am.....

And everything is non-breakable! Yay! 

And it should keep their stuff real COOL! 

It fits so cute inside! 

And did I mention my daughter made me a party in a pan with her Cricut Machine?  I love that thing! 

Yeah, it will be great for fill up with stuff...or drinks...or something fun!   Speaking of BBQ...I'm hungry again! 

Now let's eat!  Yeah! That's what I'm talkin about! 


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