Monday Menu – A few of my favorite things

Almost more than cooking and baking I love finding some kitchen tools, gadgets, pans, and bakeware to use or not use if it’s too pretty. I decided that there is more to tasty recipes than just the recipes and pictures of the delicious food.

You see without some of the tools & cookware I wouldn’t be able to make stuff… right? So, I thought that I’d share a few of my favorite things with all of you. The options out there are endless really and you can get any number of gadgets and cookware from really rock bottom cheap stuff  (like what we all got when we first were out on our own) all the way up to elite lines of products that we all drool over and dream of one day owning.

One of the gadgets that I absolutely love and can not live without anymore is the mix & chop tool from The Pampered Chef. This thing is awesome! Seriously, I have no idea how I ever managed breaking up ground beef as it cooked or stirring up frozen orange juice before!

mixchop

It can be used in so many ways, but honestly I use it mostly when I’m cooking ground beef or ground turkey for spaghetti sauce or something like that. It breaks the meat up perfectly every time and I love that because I hate huge chunks in my sauce. Funny thing… I only got this because a friend of mine was having a Pampered Chef party and I always feel obligated to buy something at those home parties. I thought that it was kinda cool and that it might be useful… oh, little did I know how I’d love it.

When I first started blogging I entered a giveaway and won it! It was the first giveaway that I had ever won and was so excited because it was a $150 gift card… I can’t remember to where but I used it for some Rachael Ray cookware. I got a few things because 1) I needed the pan and 2) because the others looked really cool.

RRbubble RR Pan

Okay, so on the left we have the the bubble and brown stoneware bake set and over there on the right we have 6qt non-stick saute pan. Of course, I have them both in the blue but I couldn’t find a picture of the pan in blue. That pan is a staple and I use it almost every single time I cook. It’s perfect when you have a large family like I do and you’re cooking dinner… I can fit 5 -6 small chicken breasts in there and still have room leftover.

The stoneware baking pans are great for casseroles or using them as serving dishes. Those two I rarely use for some reason… maybe because  I’m lazy and don’t want to wash another dish. The only thing that I don’t like about them is the handles and that’s because I tend to overfill them and the food oozes out over the edge when I bake it.

What are some of your favorite gadgets or cookware?

Is there something that is your go to kitchen accessory that you can’t live without?

Monday Menu – Mini BBQ Meatloaves

I’m back!!

I’d love to say that I’m happy to be back but that’s a lie. I loved Florida and all the sun & warm weather… I am happy to get back into the swing of this blogging thing though. I feel like I’ve been gone forever even though it’s only been a week… I haven’t opened my reader yet and am a bit worried what that’ll look like!

My original idea for today’s post was going to be sharing some of the delicious food I had while at Disney and the recipes for them. I was told by our waiter that the recipes for all the food we had and for most of the other Disney restaurants were available on the website but I have yet to find them. So that’ll have to wait for another post I suppose.

We got back and first thing I had to do was (not unpack… the suitcase is still sitting by the back door) hit up the grocery store because my kids expected to eat breakfast and all that the next day. It was a pretty nice shopping trip since I was able to go all alone… it’s the little things in life that make it special.

Anyway, this recipe is so simple and delicious that I had to share it with you. Oh, I should tell you that I didn’t create this one on my own. It’s all courtesy of the Taste of Home magazine that I was reading in the urgent care office while waiting for them to look at my daughter’s pink eye and give us a prescription (that’s another story).

mini bbq meatloaves

Monday Menu – Mini BBQ Meatloaves

Ingredients

  • 1 box of Stove Top stuffing - any flavor you like will work
  • 1 C water
  • 2 Tbsp hickory smoked bbq sauce or whatever kind you have on hand
  • 1 lb ground beef - I used a 96/4 blend
  • 1/4 - 1/2 lb ground pork - this wasn't in the orignal recipe but I always add it to my lean ground beef
  • 1 C shredded cheddar cheese
  • Other things that I threw in because I like them...
  • pepper
  • dried onions
  • garlic

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl mix the stuffing, water, bbq sauce and any extras you want to throw in together. Mix in the ground beef and pork if you're using it.
  2. Scoop 1/3 cup into each of 12 ungreased muffin cups.
  3. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes in a pre-heated 375 degree oven.
  4. Top each little meat loaf with the shredded cheese and put them back in the oven for a few minutes until the cheese is melted.
http://www.withjustabitofmagic.com/monday-menu-mini-bbq-meatloaves

mini bbq meatloaves ingredients mini bbq meatloaves in pan
I wasn’t sure how the stuffing would turn out in mixed in with the meat but you could hardly tell that it was in there and it was delicious! Everyone loved it…. even Andrew who usually refuses to eat any kind of stuffing. He even told me that he was hungry and wanted another one!

I think that I’ll give this a try with some ground turkey and leave out the bbq sauce and cheese and then top them with some gravy. It’ll be like Thanksgiving made super simple!

Mini bbq meatloaves are perfect for a busy night because they really don’t take much more than 30 – 40 minutes from beginning to end. Beat that Rachael Ray!

What is your go to, super fast dinner?

Monday Menu – Meal Planning

I’ll be honest with you… I suck at meal planning on a regular basis. I’m really terrible at it for some reason, but when I do sit down and come up with a meal plan for the week it’s amazing. I go to the store with a complete list of everything that we need for the week, coupons (if I find the right ones), and I usually stick with my list and don’t over spend.

Something else that I noticed when I do meal planning is that I tend to make fewer trips to the store throughout the week, I spend less money, and we eat a little a healthier. Oh… and my husbands favorite result of meal planning… no leftovers. He’s not the biggest fan of them and will usually do what he can to avoid them.

So in an effort to help me with this meal planning, saving money, and no leftover thing I joined the eMeals Blogger program. I have to say that’s it’s pretty awesome too.

eMeals - Easy Meals for Busy People!
Here are few of the dinners from the most recent plan that they sent me.

  • Marinated Pork Tenderloin with Wild Rice Salad
  • Tomato Lentil Soup with a Baby Salad Greens with Apples, Goat Cheese and Pecans
  • Roasted Chicken with Sweet Potatoes, Black Bean and Corn Salad

It seems that every week there is also salmon in my meal plan but I skip that and substitute chicken or something because it’s one fish that I don’t like at all. For lack of bette words… it’s too fishy.

When I signed up I selected the clean eating plan but there are several other choices you can choose from such as; classic, natural & organic, paleo, gluten free, and simple gourmet. In addition to the type of meal plan you also select your family size and in some cases the store you would shop at. Once you have that done (it’s super simple really) you get your weekly meal plan emailed to you along with the recipes and the complete shopping list. Meal planning made easy!

You can change the meal plan that you get if you decide to try something new or if you don’t like the one you’ve been trying. There are plans for breakfast, lunch, and dinner (the one I currently get) that you can subscribe to as well as the ability to add multiple dinner plans. You can also check out some of their sample meal plans before you make your final decision which one you want. I’m sure that you’ll join after looking at all of them too because eMeals makes it so easy to figure out what’s for dinner and helps you stick with your plan.

Slowly… ever so slowly I’m doing better at meal planning and making sure that what we have as leftovers are things that heat up well or can be used in other ways.

Make Time For Family - eMeals Blog

If you are interested in joining the Blogger Network, use my blog name, With Just a Bit of Magic, in the “How did you hear about us” field.

Disclosure: I am a part of the eMeals Blogger Network. This is not a compensated post, though there are affiliate links included.

Lime Grilled Chicken ~ A Guest Post!

Welcome to another Monday and another great recipe (Have you caught on to a theme yet?)! Today I asked Jen from The Misadventures of Mrs. B to share with all of you a great recipe since I was in Chicago all weekend at Bloggy Bootcamp (read… I wouldn’t have time to get a post together). She quickly responded to me when I asked her to guest post and I was so thrilled. So a huge thank you to Jen!

This recipe looks pretty tasty and of course easy! Oh, and I love anything with avocado!

I hope you all enjoy it!

Hey, everyone! I’m happy to be visiting with Jackie today, and to be sharing a super easy and delicious
chicken recipe with you.

Yeah. Chicken. Yawn, snore. I get it. It’s been done to death.

But chicken doesn’t have to be boring. Especially in the summertime when fresh, zesty flavors are what
it’s all about. And when it comes to flavor, you can’t get much better than garlic, minced onion, lots of
lime juice and cilantro. That boring old chicken never had it so good.

Serve it over rice or in a tortilla with some pico de gallo and avocado and I swear you’ll think there’s a
fiesta happening in your mouth. Which kinda makes me giggle, to be honest. You could also add it to
your favorite pasta salad. Either way, be prepared for all the rave reviews you’ll receive because this
chicken is stupid good. I swear, I wasn’t prepared for how well it would be received. Something tells me
I’ll need to add it to my regular meal rotation.

You’d better jump on this recipe fast if you wanna catch that summery feeling. After all, it’s almost
autumn, when soups and stews come back into fashion.

Let’s live it up while we can!

Fiesta Chicken

3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed of fat and pounded to ¼ inch thickness

Juice of 3 limes (plus zest if you feel so inclined)

½ cup red onion, minced

3 cloves of garlic, minced

¼ – ½ cup olive oil (eyeball it, you may need more to coat chicken better)

1 tablespoon salt

2 teaspoons black pepper

1 tablespoon dried cilantro (or handful fresh cilantro, chopped)

Pinch of red pepper flakes

Place chicken in a large bowl. Mix all other ingredients in a small bowl and pour over chicken, tossing
to coat. Cover and marinate in fridge for at least 3 hours or overnight if so desired. Stir or flip chicken
occasionally to marinate on all sides.

Marinating Chicken

When it’s time to cook chicken, remove from bowl and discard leftover marinade. Grilling is best of
course, but you can use a grill pan indoors (which I did) or pan fry until juices run clear.

Serve over rice/pasta or as filling for tacos or burritos.

Lime Grilled Chicken

A recipe from my favorite Food Network star!

I have to admit that I love Food Network…. a lot. On a rainy day you can find me curled up on the couch watching that channel all day long. Oh…. and there’s also the new channel from the people who created Food Network… the Food Channel. I love watching all the great food that they create and often rush off to my computer to look up all the great recipes so I can make them.

Paula Deen is one of my favorites! I think I’ve finally found the one person who loves butter more than me! The following recipe is one of my families favorites from her show. It’s one that she makes with her son Bobby… hence the name Bobby’s Goulash.

Bobby’s Goulash

Ingredients

2 pounds lean ground beef
2 large yellow onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
3 cups water
2 (15-ounce) cans tomato sauce
2 (15-ounce) cans diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
3 bay leaves
3 tablespoons soy sauce (I’ve used Worcestershire sauce instead)
1 tablespoon House Seasoning, recipe follows (I’ve never made this but used garlic powder, pepper, onion powder)
1 tablespoon seasoned salt
2 cups elbow macaroni, uncooked (I’ve always used cavatapi)

Directions

In a Dutch oven, saute the ground beef over medium-high heat until no pink remains. Break up the meat while sauteing. Spoon off any grease (I drain it in a colander). Add the onions and garlic to the pot and saute until they are tender, about 5 minutes. Add 3 cups water, along with the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, Italian seasoning, bay leaves, soy sauce, House Seasoning, and seasoned salt. Stir well. Place a lid on the pot and allow this to cook for 15 to 20 minutes (I’ve missed this step and just added the macaroni here & it was fine).  Add the elbow macaroni, stir well, return the lid to the pot, and simmer for about 30 minutes. Turn off the heat, remove the bay leaves, and allow the mixture to sit about 30 minutes more before serving (I’ve skipped this step too on occasion and it’s been fine).

Like I said my family loves this and it makes great leftovers! You can use ground turkey if you prefer or a mix of turkey & beef or even leave out the meat if you’d like a vegetarian version of it (but why?).

Try this and let me know what you & your family think!