Monday, September 30, 2013

Simple and Yummy Fruit Smoothies

I have been making these smoothies for a long time as an easy and delicious sweet treat, but it occurred to me that I've never shared the recipe. My kids love them, and they are SO easy! I recently switched from using regular yogurt to greek yogurt to add a little extra protein. I'm always looking for ways to make sure the vegetarian in the house is getting all her protein and vitamins, and while there is still plenty of sugary sweetness in this treat, it is mostly from the natural fruit and fruit juice sugars, so I feel a little better about than rather than processed sugars.


  • 1 Cup Vanilla Greek Yogurt
  • 1 2/3 Cup No Sugar Added Frozen Fruit (my fav is Dole diced pineapple and mango or peach)
  • 1/3 Cup 100% Fruit Juice (I like either apple, grape or pineapple)


  1. Add all ingredients to the blender and push the button...voila! SO EASY!
  2. You can add extra juice if you prefer a thinner smoothie or more fruit if you prefer an even thicker version. 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Lasagna Casserole

Yes, I know my sis just posted a lasagna recipe recently, but here's another variation! I mean, who doesn't love lasagna? and who doesn't love a quick, easy meal? These recipes combine both, so give them both a try! The original recipe for this "casserole" added meat and onions to the sauce layer, but since I have a vegetarian in the house and the majority of my family does not care for onions, I made it without, and it was still delicious! This recipe can also be made in advance and frozen or refrigerated until ready to bake and serve. Next time, I think I might make a double batch, serve one right away, and freeze the other for later.

  • 16oz box rotini pasta
  • 6 cups pasta sauce (your favorite jarred sauce or homemade recipe)
  • 2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

  1. Boil pasta according to directions on package.
  2. Combine ricotta cheese, 2 eggs and 1 1/2 cups of shredded mozzarella.
  3. Pour 1/3 of the pasta sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish.
  4. Layer 1/2 of the rotini on top of the sauce.
  5. Spread 1/2 of ricotta mixture over the pasta layer.
  6. Repeat steps 3-5.
  7. Top with remaining 1/3 of pasta sauce and 1/2 cup shredded mozarella.
  8. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Best Cleaner EVER!

Forget that product which claims to scrub softly.  Or any other scouring cleaner on the shelves at your local store.  This might be the only one you will ever need!

Pour some baking soda in a bowl - add enough hydrogen peroxide to make a paste.  And to go work!

Here's my stove before cleaning. 
Side by side: the left has been cleaned - the right has not
And after!
It also took some old coffee and juice stains out of my counter top without having to resort to using a bleach cleaner. 

My only complaint/warning about using this cleaner is that it does leave a residue after unless you do a lot of wiping to rinse off. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Simple Weeknight Lasagna

My family loves lasagna. The problem is that it's not exactly an easy week night dinner.  Too much work.  Takes too long to prepare.

Fortunately for them (and for me) I have found a solution we can all be happy with:
Ravioli Lasagna!

Three ingredients:  
Pasta sauce (I made up an easy tomato and meat sauce, but you could also use a jarred sauce if you prefer) Frozen cheese filled ravioli
Shredded mozzarella cheese

Put a little sauce in the bottom of your pan, make a layer of ravioli, more sauce, a layer of mozzarella, another layer of raviolis, the rest of the sauce, and the rest of the cheese.  

Bake in a 400 degree oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Simple week night lasagna!  

shhh... don't tell my family - but I also chopped up some baby spinach and added it to the sauce.  Extra veggies!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Supreme Monkey Bread

We ate so much Monkey Bread while I was growing up I'm surprised I never turned into a monkey! I even think it was the first thing I was allowed to make without supervision, because it isn't technical and the only danger is the hot oven. It is SO easy and SOOOO delicious and obviously timeless. This recipe is the same old Monkey Bread but better (if that is even possible) only because of one added ingredient!! Perfect for that weekend breakfast or brunch treat.

3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
4 cans refrigerated biscuits
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), melted
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
Maple syrup

1. Spray a bundt cake pan with cooking spray.
2.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
3.  Mix sugar and cinnamon in a gallons size ziplock bag. Cut each biscuit into quarters and add to bag. Shake the bag to coat the biscuit pieces.
4.  Squirt some maple syrup in the bundt pan and swirl it to coat sides and bottom then place biscuit pieces in pan.

5.  Mix melted butter and brown sugar together and pour over the biscuits in the pan.

6.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes.Cool about 5 minutes and then turn upside down. This is best served warm from the oven. Cut a slice and put on a plate or you can pick at it like a monkey as the name indicates.

Sorry about half of it missing. I couldn't get a picture before it got attacked. Ha! Ha! It's that good!!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Fall Festive-tini

Every month my husband and I try a new alcoholic beverage that we've never had before and we call it Drink of the Month. It's a good way to try new drinks and it's also fun! This month it was his turn and he decided we needed a drink to welcome some cooler weather.  This is a variation of an apple martini with a fall twist. What better cold weather beverage than apple cider? YUM!!


3 oz. vodka
3 oz. peach schnapps  (we used peach brandy because we already had it)
3 1/2 apple cider
3 oz. ginger ale
1 apple (for garnish)

Put ice cubes in a cocktail shaker then add the vodka, peach schnapps, apple cider, and ginger ale. Cover and shake. Make sure to pause and take the lid off slowly to allow the carbonated air out a few times during the shaking process and when you're done. Strain into a martini glass and garnish with an apple slice!

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