Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Ritz + Candy Bars = H.E.A.V.E.N.

OMG. Oh. Em. Gee.

The next time someone asks you to bring a dessert somewhere, do yourself a favor and make these. Seriously. They are the epitome of fast, cheap, and easy. And, holy cow, they are good.

ritz milky way fast cheap and easy

I saw a similar recipe on Pinterest using Rolos … and I thought … ‘Mmm, that would be GOOD’. But, dude, I don’t have Rolos. And I rarely, if ever, buy them. BUT, I did have a bunch of bite sized candy bars that I bought at Costco to bribe my Sunday school class. BINGO!

So … here’s what you need:

ritz candy bars milky way snickers 3 musketeers

Ritz Crackers
A boat load of bite sized candy bars (or Rolos, if you have them)


Heat oven to 250*. Lay a pan full Ritz crackers, salty side down, on a cookie sheet. Place one candy bar on each cracker. Bake in oven for 5 minutes. Place another Ritz cracker, salty side up, on top, and press down to create a ‘sandwich’. Holyfreakingcrap. These are so dang good.

ritz candy bars fast cheap and easy 4

I used Snickers, Milky Way, and Milky Way Midnight … Milky Way is by far my favorite. And for real … ask me to bring a dessert? You’re getting these. Stupid easy. Stupid delicious. WINNING!

ritz candy bars fast cheap and easy 3
ritz candy bars fast cheap and easy 2
ritz candy bars fast cheap and easy 1
ritz milky way fast cheap and easy

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Egg, Bacon, and Cheese Breakfast Burritos

I will take a better picture of the breakfast burrito rolled up … in the morning when I feed my kiddos. For now, here is the recipe:

breakfast burritos fast cheap and easy2

2 cups bacon bits (I used Costco’s precooked bacon bits)

2 dozen eggs

3/4 cup sour cream

1/2 cup cheddar cheese

2 cups cheddar cheese

salt and pepper

frozen uncooked tortillas (but, cooked, of course – I use Tortilla Land from Costco)



Even if you’re using precooked crumbled bacon, you’ll still want to brown it up and get it nice and crispy. Use a stock pot. Once the bacon bits are crispy, add the eggs and salt and pepper. Cook the eggs until they are just almost done. Add the sour cream and stir until it’s well incorporated. Add 1/2 cup cheese and stir. Remove from heat. DO NOT cook the eggs all the way if you are making these to freeze. They’re gonna be reheated and they’ll taste WAY better if the eggs aren’t cooked within an inch of their lives. ;) **The sour cream makes all the difference in the world in this recipe. Do not skip it!

You want the mixture to appear a little ‘wet’, like this:

breakfast burritos fast cheap and easy4

Spoon about 1/2 cup of the mixture onto the center of each cooked tortilla. Sprinkle with cheese. Roll up, tucking in the sides. Store in a snack size bag like this:

breakfast burritos fast cheap and easy 5

And then in a gallon size freezer bag, like this:

homemade frozen burritos 2

To heat from frozen, microwave for 35 seconds on one side, flip it and then another 35 seconds. These usually heat up faster than the beef and bean ones.

Beef, Bean, and Cheese Burritos

First of all, I rarely make these just to eat for dinner … they are dinner … PLUS about 30 more burritos. If I’m gonna be making burritos, I might as well roll dozens at a time and freeze them for easy meals later.

This is one of my favorite recipes. It’s adapted from Pioneer Woman's burrito recipe … just a little more simple.

beef bean and cheese burritos fast cheap and easy

4-5 cups homemade refried beans (if you MUST you can use a few cans of store bought, *cringe*)
1-2 lbs ground beef
1 can red enchilada sauce (I use mild)
cheddar cheese
frozen tortillas (that have been cooked, of course … I use Tortilla Land, from Costco)


Brown the ground beef and season with garlic salt. Add the can of enchilada sauce to the beef and simmer for a few minutes to break up the tough chunks of beef. Add the refried beans (as much or as little as you want). Add a handful of cheddar cheese (not too much). Stir everything until it’s well combined.
Place about 1/2 cup bean mixture in the center of a tortilla, sprinkle with cheddar cheese, and roll up, tucking sides in. Store in snack sized Ziplocs … and then in gallon sized freezer bags. Like this:

breakfast burritos fast cheap and easy 5

And this:

homemade frozen burritos 2

To heat them from frozen, just cook on one side for 45 seconds, flip it over, and cook another 45 seconds. Infinitely better than store bought burritos. And it will cost about $.35/burrito. Verses $1/burrito. Even cheaper if you don’t add the beef!

Beef Pot Pie

Mmm. One of my favorite things to do with leftover roast. Beef. Pot. Pie.

beef pot pie fast cheap and easy2

Here’s what you need:

beef pot pie fast cheap and easy1

1 – 1 1/2 cups roast (if you don’t have leftover roast, I suppose you could use ground beef)

1 cup diced potatoes (just use your leftovers)

1 cup peas and carrots

2 prepared pie crusts (the kind that come rolled up)

beef bouillon, milk, and cornstarch (to make some gravy)



Dissolve 3 bouillon cubes in 1/2 cup water. Bring to a simmer. Add 1 TBS cornstarch to 1 cup cold milk. Whisk milk mixture into boiling/simmering bouillon mixture. Whisk to prevent any lumps from forming. Add roast, potatoes, peas, and carrots. Heat through.

Grease a pie pan and unroll one pie crust onto bottom of pie pan. Pour the beef gravy mixture on top of the pie crust. Unroll a second pie crust on top and tuck the edges under. Cut a few slits on top of the pie crust to vent. Bake at 425* for 20 minutes.

* This serves about 5-6 people. If you have a bigger family, double the filling … the pie should be able to hold it.

beef pot pie fast cheap and easy3

When it comes out of the oven, just rub a little salted butter around on the crust. You’re going to love this one! YUM.

3 Packet Roast

There’s a recipe circulating among Pinterest for a 3 packet roast … that one calls for a packet of brown gravy. Dude. I neeeeeever buy brown gravy mix. Like, never. So, I modified the recipe to include onion soup mix instead, since I usually have that in stock. Verdict? This recipe is DELICIOUS. Probably the best roast I’ve ever had.

And, check it: That roast is frozen rock solid. I took the plastic wrap off and rinsed it off … and that was it. LOVING this recipe.

3 packet roast fast cheap and easy1

1 pkg Italian Seasoning

1 pkg Ranch Dressing

1 pkg Onion Soup mix

1 nice big roast



Mix the three seasoning packets with 1/2 cup water. Pour over [a frozen] roast. Cook on HIGH in the crockpot for at least 8 hours. On HIGH. Don’t start this at noon and expect it to be done for dinner. Start it first thing in the morning. Unless your roast is defrosted … then it probably won’t take as long.

For the last 1 1/2 hours, I threw in a big bag of baby carrots and about 8 quartered potatoes. When it was all finished, I made some gravy out of the broth … with milk and cornstarch. Major. Yum. Y’all.

3 packet roast fast cheap and easy 2

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Recycled Chicken Tortilla Soup

I know. It doesn’t sound awesome, but trust me … it’s awesome.

Ever made some super delicious tacos before? Like … maybe CafĂ© Rio tacos? And you have some leftovers, but not enough for a whole ‘nother meal? Well … try this:

chicken tortilla soup fast cheap and easy 1

Leftover rice

Leftover taco meat (chicken, pork, beef – WHATEVER you have!)

1 can black beans

1 can enchilada sauce

2 cans green chilies

1 can cream of chicken soup

1 can olives

chicken bouillon

4 cups water



In a stock pot, combine water and bouillon until dissolved. Stir in cream of chicken soup. Add the enchilada sauce. Drain the black beans and add to the pot. Add the green chilies and olives. Cook until well heated. Then add the leftover rice and taco meat. Cook just a couple minutes longer, until everything is heated throughout. Serve with tortilla chips.

Boom … a whole ‘nother meal!

chicken tortilla soup fast cheap and easy

Recycled Chicken Tortilla Soup … what you serve the night after you serve tacos! HAHA!

Oatmeal Cream Pies

These puppies put Little Debbie to shame. For reals.

oatmeal cream pies fast cheap and easy 11 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tbsp. honey
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups quick cooking oats


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream together butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, honey and vanilla and beat until incorporated.

Next, add baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Slowly add the flour into the butter mixture and mix until uniform. Then, stir in the oats until evenly distributed. Transfer dough to a large mixing bowl (so you can use your mixer bowl for the frosting) and chill in refrigerator for 15 minutes.

Remove dough from refrigerator and drop by tablespoons onto baking sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes just until the edges start to brown; do not over cook. The cookies will seem moist in the middle but they will set up. Once you pull them out of the oven, leave them on the cookie sheet for about 5 minutes before transferring them to paper towels or a cooling rack to cool completely. Once cool, on the underside of one cookie spread the marshmallow frosting (recipe below) and top with another cookie. Store in an airtight container. WARNING: These are better a few hours later … so, if you can make them a few hours in advance and leave them to ‘set up’, that is the best!

Marshmallow Frosting

oatmeal cream pies marshmallow frosting fast cheap and easy
2 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 tsp. vanilla


In a double boiler, add egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar and heat over simmering water. Whisking frequently, heat until egg whites become very frothy and sugar is dissolved, takes about 8 minutes. Carefully add egg mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer with whisk attachment. Whisk on high speed for several minutes until egg mixture will hold stiff peaks and is light in texture. Carefully fold in vanilla. Add frosting to cookie and then top with another cookie.

These are so good, you’ll never go back to store bought. Pinky promise!

Pigs in a Blanket

I realize this post might cost me some friends. I’m prepared for that. But, a mom’s gotta do what a mom’s gotta do. This is one of those ‘when dad’s at work’ kind of ‘meals’.

pigs in a blanket fast cheap and easy 1

In case you’ve been living on another planet … here’s what you need:

pigs in a blanket fast cheap and easy 2

Refrigerator crescent rolls

Little Smokies



Roll the crescent dough out flat, and using a pizza cutter, cut it into thin strips about 2 inches long. Wrap a strip of dough around each ‘pig’ and repeat a thousand more times. Do yourself a favor and make WAY more than you need. So that you can freeze them and heat them up easier the next time you’re feeling lazy because your husband is gone and you’ve had the kids all day. You’ll thank yourself later.

Bake at 350 degrees for 16-18 minutes. Go crazy and serve them with ketchup and mustard.

This is how I do fast, cheap, and easy:

pigs in a blanket fast cheap and easy 3

Bam. A freezer meal. ;)


This recipe is for crack … also known as white chocolate popcorn. You will love me and hate me, all at once.

white chocolate popcorn fast cheap and easy

This two ingredient recipe qualifies itself for the ‘stupid easy’ title. Here’s what you need:

white chocolate popcorn fast cheap and easy 1

3 bags microwave popcorn (I prefer the 94% fat free kind with this recipe – pay no attention to the picture)

1 pkg Almond Bark



Break the Almond Bark into cubes and melt in the microwave in 1 minute intervals, stirring in between, until completely melted and smooth. Pop all three bags of popcorn and REMOVE THE KERNELS from the popcorn. Please. Remove the kernels. You will lose friends if you don’t. Then drizzle, or just DUMP, the white chocolate on top and toss it all around until it’s coated. Then dump it out onto wax paper and spread it out thin to ‘dry’ or set. Once it’s dry, break it up into fist sized clumps and enjoy. I can’t tell you how long it keeps for … because we never have any left the next day. It is crack. In legal form. :D

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Creamy Italian Chicken

Two words for you, my friends: FROZEN CHICKEN

creamy italian crockpot chicken

Unless I say otherwise, my meals contain completely and totally FROZEN meats.


Here’s what you need:

creamy italian crockpot chicken2

3-4 chicken breasts

2 cans cream of chicken soup

1 block cream cheese

1 pkg Italian dressing mix



Here’s the hard part … throw it all in the crockpot and cook on low for 7-8 hours, or on high for 3-4 hours. Once it’s done, shred up the chicken and serve over noodles, rice, mashed potatoes … whatever you want. SO EASY! And seriously, so unbelievably delicious. My little boy actually licked his plate off. Not joking.

This makes enough to serve maybe 6 adults, depending on how hungry they are. Just FYI.

20 minute Beef Stroganoff

You know I don’t slave over meals. This one is no different. And it is seriously so delicious. I pinky swear. No one will believe it only took 20 minutes to make, start to finish.

beef stroganoff

Here’s what you need:

beef stroganoff2

1/2-1 pound ultra lean ground beef (I used 1/2 lb)

1 pkg onion soup mix

1 cup sour cream

1/3 cup milk (no, you don’t have to use Almond milk, that’s just what we use around here)

egg noodles



In a skillet, brown ground beef; season with garlic salt. When beef is browned, sprinkle onion soup mix on top and mix until well coated. Pour in milk and stir. Add sour cream and stir until it melts into a creamy sauce. Allow mixture to come to a simmering boil for a minute or two … just long enough to soften the onions in the soup mix. Serve over cooked egg noodles. We had ours with a side of peas. My kids mixed their peas into everything and ate it like a casserole. Start to finish: maybe 20 minutes of cook time. Maybe.

This is a small recipe. Just enough for my little family of 4. Keep that in mind when preparing it for your families. :D

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

How to: Be Fast, Cheap, and Easy

So. If you haven’t figure out by now, I’m not trying to win any culinary awards here. I’m just not. I’m trying to develop my children’s taste buds … and force them into eating new things that I make at home. Not necessarily from scratch. ‘Ain’t nobody got time for dat!’

how to be fast cheap and easy

So. Here’s a few tips on being Fast, Cheap, and Easy:

1. Try new condiments: Every week when you grocery shop, grab a couple new condiments you haven’t used before. Condiments are {mostly} cheap. Don’t be afraid to try new things. Most salad dressings make GREAT marinades.

2. Keep your pantry well stocked with your favorite condiments and flavor packets: You like the Ranch Chicken? NEVER GO WITHOUT RANCH MIX! You love the Apricot Chicken? Always stock apricot preserves, onion soup, and Russian dressing. You get the idea.

3. Don’t fuss about thawing your meat. Just don’t. I don’t. Rarely, if ever, do I make a meal that doesn’t start with totally frozen meat. The Ranch chicken? 100% frozen chicken went into that crock pot … 6 hours later, I guarantee, it will not be frozen. No matter how frozen it was when it went in. Just remember to start your dinner in the morning and suddenly, frozen meat is your best good friend. ;)

4. Stock your freezer with frozen vegetables: broccoli, snap peas, peas & carrots, peas, stir fry peppers and onions, whatever. The only thing worse than running out of your favorite mixes and condiments … is not having any veggies on hand to use.

5. When you have the time, double your recipe and freeze for later, when you don’t have the time. Cookies, casseroles, burritos, muffins, pancakes, waffles, etc. It works for anything.

6. Waste not, want not: Recycle your meals. Today’s pot roast dinner is tomorrow’s beef stew. Today’s leftover enchiladas become tomorrow’s enchilada soup. Think outside the box, and don’t be afraid to stock up on disposable tin foil casserole dishes (at Costco) to freeze your leftovers in casserole form. Do yourself a favor … cook once, for three meals. Got old bananas? Make a couple dozen banana muffins. Once they’re cooled, freeze them in individual sandwich bags and them put them in a gallon sized freezer bag and store them for up to 2 months in your freezer.

7. Make a menu plan a week ahead of time: this will help you use this week’s leftovers in next week’s dishes … and allows you to ‘get everything on your list’ during the first trip to the grocery store. PS- You can freeze this week’s leftovers until you have time for them next week. It’s what Ziploc was invented for. I swear.

8. Shop the meat sales. Walmart almost NEVER has good deals on meat. Don’t kid yourself. Check the ads. Make the effort. That roast for $20 at Walmart could be $10 at the local grocery store. Pay attention. When sales hit, stock up.

9. Serve meat IN the dish, not AS the dish. Never serve chicken breasts for dinner … otherwise, you’re stuck using an entire breast for each person. Instead, limit your meals to 1/2 breast per person, shred the meat up, and put it IN a dish. Not AS the dish. Get it? Try to eat at least 1-2 dinners a week that are totally meatless.

10. Make your own convenience freezer items: breakfast burritos, frozen burritos, quesadillas, cookie dough, etc. Try making 4 dozen pancakes while the kids are at school. Let them cool. Freeze them in a big Ziploc. Bam. Pancakes on a school morning in 30 seconds flat. Goodbye expensive Egg-O Waffles. Again. Think outside the normal. Get creative. Be resourceful. You can do this.

Butter Pecan White Chocolate Chip Cake with Caramel Buttercream Frosting


Get ready.

It’s pure sin. And. I can’t guarantee you will classify it as fast, cheap, AND easy … but it’s worth any extra love you have to put into it. I pinky swear.

butter pecan white chocolate chip cake with caramel buttercream frosting icing

Here’s what you need:

butter pecan white chocolate chip cake with caramel buttercream frosting icing 2


Butter Pecan cake mix, prepared according to box

1 cup white chocolate chips



1 1/4 cups firmly packed dark brown sugar

1 1/4 cups evaporated milk (you can use fresh cream if you have it)

1/2 cup light corn syrup

1/4 teaspoon salt

4 large eggs

1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly softened

2 teaspoons vanilla extract


Directions for the cake:

Prepare cake according to cake mix box … adding one cup of white chocolate chips. Bake in two 8” round or 9x9 pans … I baked mine in a single layer because I was short on time, but wished later that it had been a double decker cake. Allow cake(s) to cool completely.

For the frosting:

In medium saucepan, combine the sugar, evaporated milk (or cream), corn syrup, and salt. Place the pan over medium-high heat and cook, stirring constantly, just until the sugar is dissolved. Stop stirring, and increase the heat to high.

Meanwhile, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, begin beating the eggs at medium speed while the syrup cooks to the correct temperature. After the syrup mixture has boiled for about 1 minute, increase the speed of the mixer to high. Continue to cook the sugar syrup for another 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and with the mixer off, immediately pour about 1/4 cup of the hot syrup over the beaten eggs. Beat at high speed until blended, about 10 seconds, to temper the eggs. Turn the mixer off and add another 1/4 cup syrup. Continue this process until all of the syrup mixture has been mixed in. Continue to beat the mixture on high for about 5-7 minutes until it’s cooled. The mixture will still be very runny. No worry. You haven’t messed it up.

Once the mixture has cooled, add the slightly softened butter, 2 TBS at a time until all 4 sticks have been added. Once all of the butter has been added, add in the vanilla and increase the speed to medium-high. Continue to beat/whip the frosting for another 4-5 minutes. Until it becomes light, fluffy, and shiny.

Frost completely cooled cake(s) and serve at room temperature. I promise. This is the most decadent frosting ever. You must try it.  

caramel buttercream icing frosting

No words can accurately described the lusciousness. To quote my brother: “I love you and hate you all at the same time.”

So delicious.

Crescent Roll Sopapillas

Here comes the definition of fast, cheap, and easy:

crescent roll sopapillas

Refrigerator crescent rolls

Cinnamon & Sugar

Oil for cooking (I only use Olive oil in everything, even baking, at my house)



Bust open a can of crescent rolls. Roll them out flat and cut them into triangles. In a skillet, heat some cooking oil (a few TBS) on medium heat. You don’t want to deep fry these. Just pan fry them … and, don’t cook them too hot, either. I cooked them on level 4 (medium-medium low heat) on my gas stove. Anyway, cook 2-3 minutes on each side. Drain on paper towels. When they are cooled, roll them in cinnamon sugar. My kids INHALED these. Waaaaay cheaper than taking them to the donut shop.

Perfect Peanut Butter Cookies

I’m not lying. These are the best peanut butter cookies. Ever. No arguments.

peanut butter cookies

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup peanut butter (I always use crunchy)
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cups flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

Thoroughly cream butter, peanut butter, sugars, egg, and vanilla. Sift together dry ingredients; blend into creamed mixture. Shape into 1-inch balls (I used a Pampered Chef scoop); roll in granulated sugar. Place 2 inches apart on greased cookie sheet (who really ever bakes on ungreased no matter HOW greasy the dough is?). Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. No more no less. Do not overcook ... take them out when they are barely golden. Makes about 30 cookies.

Please note: Do not criss cross the fork tines on these cookies. That’s why they’re so chewy and perfect … they aren’t dried out from being pressed down. :D Just stick the unflattened dough balls right on the cookie sheet and bake.
True story: Any time I make this, I 4x the batch. It makes 8 dozen cookies. I ball them all out onto a cookie sheet, freeze the balls, then throw them into a Ziploc bag.

peanut butter cookies 2

Bam. Fresh cookies within 10 minutes whenever I want.

Creamy Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce

Here’s the deal. I’ll share all my recipes (more like short cuts and secrets) with you if you promise not to laugh at me. I’m not a chef. I’m desperate. ;)

Anyway. Here’s last night’s dinner:

creamy tomato pasta sauce

I sauted up some spinach and cheese ravioli (frozen, from Costco), and cooked up some meatballs (also frozen from Costco, I know. I KNOW.). And made some yummy sauce. And called it good.

Here’s what you need for the sauce:

creamy tomato pasta sauce 2

Your favorite pasta sauce

1/2 cup – 1 cup sour cream (depending on how creamy you like it … mine was creamier than it appears in the picture)

1 tsp Lawry’s garlic salt

1 tsp sugar (not pictured)



Combine all 4 ingredients in a stock pot … heat through … bam. Delicious creamy pasta sauce that was totally effortless. I use this for baked ziti, spaghetti and meatballs, lasagna, stuffed shells, etc. It’s my favorite pasta sauce. And, I’m partial to Classico. Just my personal preference.

Turkey Roll Ups

I’ve posted before about Life as a Lofthouse. I love her. She cooks like me. Doesn’t fuss about having all 32 ingredients … takes short cuts … improvises. I can appreciate that. I ain’t not chef. If anything, I’m the most unappreciated short order cook most days.

Anyway, this recipe comes from Life as a Lofthouse. My compliments to her. My kids LOVED it.

turkey roll ups

Here’s what you need:

turkey roll ups 2

Roll Ups:

2 boxes turkey flavored stuffing mix (I prefer Stove Top), prepared according to box
1-2 lbs of good quality sliced turkey breast (I found this at Costco, it was delicious)


1 1/2  TBS bouillon (I prefer Better than Bouillon)
1 cup water
1 1/2 cups milk
2-3 TBS cornstarch


Prepare the stuffing according to the instructions on the box. Set aside.

Prepare gravy by bringing bouillon and water to a boil. Combine cold milk and cornstarch in a separate cup/dish/bowl. Once the cornstarch has dissolved and the bouillon mixture is boiling, pour the milk mixture into it, whisking to prevent any lumping. Boil another 2-3 minutes until thickened. Taste and salt and pepper to your liking.

Boil up some frozen peas. Just do it. Make your kids eat green. It’s good for them.

Warm up the sliced turkey breast (I used the microwave, GASP!). Take 2 slices of turkey breast and fill them with stuffing mix and roll up. Ladle gravy on top and serve with peas.

Start to finish? MAYBE 20 minutes. If you’re super easy, don’t even bother rolling them up. HAHA.
Here’s what I did with my leftovers:

turkey casserole

Stuffing on bottom

Then diced up turkey on top of that

Then peas

And gravy on top

I covered it with plastic wrap and the fitted lid that came with the dish and stuck it in the freezer. It will be dinner in a couple weeks. Bam.

Smothered Burritos

These are so stupid easy. As long as you’ve already done your prep work.

smothered burritos

Remember when I posted about homemade frozen burritos that were dirt cheap and actually healthy? Yeah. Did you make some? If not: do it now. You can thank me later.

Now. For the rest of y’all … take your homemade frozen burritos …

homemade frozen burritos 2

… and pull them out of the freezer. Ready? Here we go.

You will need:

Frozen burritos(please use homemade, pretty please)
Jar of your favorite salsa
Monterrey Jack cheese (about a cup)


Cook your frozen burritos in the microwave until they are thawed … not screaming hot and exploding with cheesy goodness … just until they’re thawed. Placed them in a greased casserole dish, lined up like enchiladas. Dump your favorite salsa on top (like it were enchilada sauce). Then coat the top with Monterrey Jack cheese. Bake in the oven at 350* until the cheese is bubbly and starts to brown. If it’s taking too long for you, flip it to broil for about 30 seconds at the end and that cheese will brown up nicely. Just watch it closely. See? That was like 5 minutes to prepare (assuming you’ve done the previous prep work on a cold rainy day when you had nothing better to do but roll burritos, anyway). Easiest. Dinner. Ever. Especially if you’re super fast, cheap, and easy and opt for store bought frozen burritos. But remember: I don’t really condone that nonsense. ;)

Yes. You’ll notice there is chicken in my salsa … I had thrown a few chicken breasts in the crockpot with salsa to cook all day. What the heck … go crazy!! I highly recommend it!!!! ;)

Loaded Mashed Potatoes

Holy cow. These were delicious.

loaded mashed potatoes

Here’s what you need …

loaded mashed potatoes 2

8 lbs russet potatoes, peeled and diced

1 cup sour cream

1 cup cheddar cheese (+ some extra for the top)

1 cup cooked, crumbled bacon

1/4 cup finely sliced green onions

1 block cream cheese, NOT PICTURED (whoops)

salt and pepper



Peel and dice potatoes to be boiled. Throw them in a pot of water and cook until tender (same as regular mashed potatoes). In the meantime, cook up a pound of bacon and crumble it up (or used already cooked/crumbed bacon – be smart!). Also, slice up the green onions. When the potatoes are done, strain them and remove all water. Then, add the cream cheese and sour cream. Smash the heck out them them. Salt and pepper to taste, like normal mashed potatoes. Then, add in the cheese, bacon bits, and green onions. Once everything is mixed up, dump the pot in a big casserole dish, sprinkle with a little more cheddar cheese and bake at 350 for about 10 minutes.

All the deliciousness of loaded baked potatoes … minus the potato skin!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Frozen Hot Chocolate

frozen hot chocolate

Every year, I receive LOTS of hot chocolate mix from my students. It is THE perfect Christmas time gift. Although I love a good cup of hot chocolate … what I love even more is frozen hot chocolate. And if I’ve got mint chocolate hot chocolate mix on hand … I’m golden.

frozen hot chocolate4

4 packets of hot chocolate mix (whatever flavor you prefer … I LOVE mint!)

3 cups milk (I used Almond milk … just use whatever you have)

2 cups ice cubes (give or take a few cubes)

Whipped Cream (if you’ve got it)



Pour milk into blender. Then add hot chocolate mix. Turn the blender on medium speed until mix and milk are fully combined. Then add ice, one cube at a time until desired consistency is reached. Serve it up with whipped cream, chocolate syrup, mini marshmallows, chocolate shavings, etc. Whatever you’ve got! Today, drank it straight … because we didn’t have any toppings. STILL super delicious.

** Basically, you add 1 packet per cup of milk … plus ‘one to grow on’. The extra packet takes into account the ice that you’re adding. If you have 5 packets of mix, use 4 cups milk. You get the idea?

frozen hot chocolate2

Mmmmmm. MINT chocolate. My FAVORITE. So delicious.

frozen hot chocolate3

Homemade Frozen Burritos

homemade frozen burritos 1

Uncooked flour tortillas (I get mine at Costco)
Homemade refried beans(you HAVE to make your own … you have no idea!)
Cheddar cheese


Begin by cooking ALL of your tortillas. I know it’s a pain to cook them, but please please please trust me. These freeze SO well in comparison to other tortillas. Then, spoon about 1/3 cup of beans onto the center of each tortilla. Sprinkle with cheese and roll up, making sure to tuck the sides in. To store, place each burrito in a snack size ziploc bag, and then place all of the wrapped burritos into a large freezer ziploc bag, like the picture below.

homemade frozen burritos 2

When you’re ready to eat one, just pop it in the microwave for 45 seconds, then flip it, then 45 seconds more. We may or may not eat these for dinner every third night when my husband is on shift. ;)

*You can add ground beef/taco meat to yours to change it up. I also like to buy a few bottles of Taco Bell Mild Sauce and drizzle some of that inside each burrito before I roll it up. MAJOR yum.