Monday, December 19, 2011

My Memories Giveaway!

Are you a big fan of scrapbooking? Do you take a lot of pictures or love to make recipe cards to keep track of your favorite recipes? I've found the greatest software that you can use to make awesome collages of pictures, recipe cards, scrapbook albums, and more! The software is called My Memories Suite and you can find it at

Here is an example of one of the awesome layouts that I made using this product! It was very easy to use, has great layouts, clipart, and fonts. They also offer tons of great add ons for purchase on their website. My favorite part was that it was simple to export my completed project to a jpeg format to share it with you all!

Just think of all the awesome things that you could do with your very own FREE copy of this software! My memories has given me a copy that I can give away to one of my lucky readers! See below for instructions on how to enter!

The giveaway begins today and ends at 8pm on December 23rd, 2011. You can get up to four entries into the giveaway by using the methods listed below.

1. Visit the My Memories website, look at the digital paper packs and then come back here and leave a comment telling me which one is your favorite. (One Contest Entry)

2. Follow My Memories on Facebook, leave a comment here letting me know that you are following them. (one extra entry)

3. Follow The My Memories Blog, leave a comment here letting me know you signed up to follow the blog. (one extra entry)

4. Follow My Memories on Twitter. Leave a comment to let me know you are doing so, please include your twitter name. (one extra entry)

Love the software so much that you want to buy a copy right this very moment? Follow this link and use coupon code STMMMS90012 at checkout!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Autumn Three Bean Apple Chicken Sausage Soup

It's been quite some time since I posted any new recipes, but now that life is starting to settle down a bit for me, I really want to start keeping track of my recipes and blogging again. Autumn is almost here, and for those of you who didn't know, it's my FAVORITE time of the year! I love all the flavors of fall, the hearty soups, and the delicious baked goods!

Anyway, this soup was absolutely delicious and I will definitely be making it again!

Autumn Three Bean Apple Chicken Sausage Soup

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 medium sweet or yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 small carrots, diced
  • 1 red or yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 4 links chicken apple sausage
  • 1/2 cup baby lima beans
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon italian seasoning
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 can (15 ounces) Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
  • Shredded Cheddar (optional)


Heat the olive oil and butter in a dutch oven over medium-low heat. Saute the onion and garlic until tender. Add carrots, bell pepper, celery, and sausage; cook until sausage is slightly browned. Add lima beans, salt, pepper, italian seasoning, and chicken broth. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes. Add drained and rinsed beans; simmer uncovered for 15 more minutes. If desired, top with shredded cheddar.

Friday, February 25, 2011

March Shopping Trip

I stuck right to my list of things I needed for cooking the planned meals and I did really well I think. Luckily, I chose a lot of recipes that I already had ingredients on hand for so I could clean out my pantry a little bit.

My grand total was $213.64. Here's a list of what I got:

10.5lb Pork Loin
7lbs ground beef
7lbs boneless chicken breast
14lbs whole chickens

1 lb honey ham

9 Green Peppers
6 Vidalia Onions
1lb baby spinach
10lb Russet Potatoes
5lb Gold Potatoes
3lbs Mushrooms
1 pkg celery

2lbs Butter
2 32oz Ricotta Cheese
12 Cups Mozzarella Cheese
3 Quarts half and half
3lbs Cheddar Cheese
6 cups shredded parmesan
2 Dozen Eggs
2pkg Cream Cheese
1 pint Sour Cream

200 sq ft. foil
Plastic Wrap
Chili Powder
Minced Garlic
Baking Powder
8 jars Pasta Sauce
2 pkg manicotti shells
Rice Vinegar
Old Fashioned Oats
2 -Italian Bread Crumbs
3 pkg Flour Tortillas
8 Cans Kidney Beans
4 Cans Black Beans
Tabasco Sauce
10lbs Flour

March Meal Plan

This week I planned our meals for the entire month. I've found that we spend much less on food when we shop/cook once a month. I usually do this with a friend, but this time around I've decided to try it on my own and see how it goes. I've currently got a cast on my right hand, so it should be interesting if nothing else!

Without further's what I'll be making on my cooking day:

Mango-Cranberry Chicken - 4 Meals
Chicken A La King - 4 Meals
Salisbury Meatballs - 6 Meals
Raging Garlic Pork Stir fry - 4 Meals
Baked Manicotti - 4 Meals
Veggie Lasagna - 4 Meals
Veggie & Black Bean Chili - 4 Meals

Breakfast Burritos - 20 total (hubby's breakfast)
Granola - Triple Batch
Corn Muffins - 4 Dozen
Pumpkin Choc Chip Muffins - 4 Dozen

Garlic Mashed Potatoes - 4 Batches
Cheddar Biscuits - 8 Batches

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Butternut Squash Pasta

Since giving up meat, finding dinner recipes that everyone in my house can enjoy has been quite difficult. My husband is a big meat eater, and well...he wasn't really thrilled at the idea of me going vegetarian on him. However, he's found most of the recipes I'm making to be quite satisfying, despite the lack of meat. I have to say that I was actually a little scared to make this because I absolutely despise butternut squash, but after trying it I was completely blown away. Not only was it healthy, it was absolutely delicious. My kids were completely convinced that this was good ol' mac and cheese and they devoured it! This recipe will definitely be added to our favorites list!

Butternut Squash Pasta
- Adapted from Finding Joy in My Kitchen

1 Box Rotini Pasta
3 Cups Butternut Squash, mashed
1 T Olive Oil
2 T minced garlic
2 T whole wheat flour
2 C milk (I used 1%)
1 Bag Frozen peas
1 Cup Cheddar Cheese
1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese


Cook pasta according to directions. Drain and return to pot, set aside.

Heat olive oil and garlic in pan over medium heat, about three minutes or until garlic is golden. In a bowl, whisk together milk and flour. Pour milk mixture into the pan slowly, stirring constantly as you pour it in. Add mashed/pureed squash to the pan and stir until combined. Bring mixture to a boil and then turn down to a simmer, allowing the sauce to thicken. Once sauce is thicked, stire in frozen peas and simmer for another 5-10 minutes until peas are cooked through.

Pour sauce mixture into the pot of drained pasta. Add cheddar and parmesan cheeses and stir until cheese has melted. Serve.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Pasta Stuffed Peppers

Since giving up meat, I've come up with some pretty interesting recipes. I've done lots of searching online and in cookbooks at the library to come up with some great ways to keep our menu plan fun and interesting. One of my new favorite books is "One Dish Vegetarian Meals" by Robin Robertson. I got the idea for Pasta Stuffed Peppers from her book, I changed it a little bit but overall it was absolutely delicious. In fact, it was one of the best vegetarian recipes I've had so far! I'm a big fan of spicy food so I kicked them up a little bit. If you want less heat, you can omit the crushed red pepper or cut it in half.

P.S. I was totally skeptical about raisins in stuffed peppers but I feel like they actually "made" the meal. I was totally surprised at how delicious it was with the raisins.

Pasta Stuffed Peppers - Adapted from One Dish Vegetarian Meals

  • 8oz small pasta (they recommend ditalini, but I used tiny chili mac noodles), cooked
  • 6 Large Green Peppers (or pepper of your choice)
  • 2Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Small Onion, minced
  • 1 Garlic Clove, minced
  • 1 14.5oz Can Italian Style Diced Tomatoes, Drained
  • 1/4 Cup Raisins
  • 1tsp Italian Seasoning
  • 1/4tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1/2tsp Salt
  • 1/2tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/2 Cup Italian Style Breadcrumbs (I used whole wheat)
  • 1/2 Cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese

Preheat oven to 375 Degrees.

Cut tops off of the peppers and remove seeds, place in the bottom of a 9x13 casserole dish with 1/2 inch water in the bottom, set aside.

Heat 1Tbsp of oil in a large skillet. Add onions and cook until soft and slightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, tomatoes, raisins, italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Simmer over low heat for 10-15 minutes. Mix pasta with tomato mixture in a large bowl (or in the skillet if you have room).

In a small bowl, combine bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, and 1Tbsp of olive oil. Mix with a fork, set aside.

Stuff the peppers with the pasta/tomato mixture and top with bread crumb mixture. Cover casserole dish with foil and place in the oven for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove the foil and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes or until topping is slightly browned.

I'm BACK...and I've got some interesting news!

I've been out of the food blogging world for a few months now, and I'm finally in a place where I can start writing and sharing with you all again! So, you want to know what I've been up to for the past few months?

Well, my first reason for my "leave of absence" is that I decided to go back to school at night. I've been taking some very hard courses and needed the time to concentrate on my school work as well as spend time with my kids and work my full time job. I also recently opened my own online shop and began selling my hand-knit and crocheted items. It's been quite a busy few months, but I'm on a break from school this semester and I'm very excited to get back to blogging!

On to the interesting news! At the end of December, I decided to make a big change in the way my family eats. I gave up meat on December 31st and have not missed it one bit. My husband and daughter still eat meat, but my son the "picky eater" and myself have been meat free since the start of 2011. son has been without meat basically his whole life as he refuses to even try it... just picks it up and throws it on the floor (gotta love 2 year olds).

I'm really excited to share some of my new found recipes with all of you. In fact, I'll be posting my first ever vegetarian recipe later tonight!


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