Monday, April 30, 2012

Baked Ziti

1 lb box ziti pasta, uncooked
1 onion, chopped
1 lb lean ground beef
2 (26 ounce) jars spaghetti sauce
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup Kraft Grated Three Cheese Blend (you can substitute Parmesan)
1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese

  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.  Add ziti pasta, and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes; drain.
  2. In a large skillet, brown onion and ground beef over medium heat.
  3. Add spaghetti sauce, and simmer 15 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 F.Butter a 9 X 13 inch baking dish
  5. Layer as follows: 1/2 of the ziti, ricotta cheese, 1/2 sauce mixture, remaining ziti, mozzarella cheese and remaining sauce mixture.
  6. Top with grated 3 cheese blend.
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until cheeses are melted.
  8. Served with salad and rolls

I am cutting this recipe in half so that we're not eating pasta for a month!!! With half of the recipe I fed 6 adults and 1 baby.  Everyone enjoyed it!!!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Mexican Chicken

This recipe also came from

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 jar salsa
1 (16 ounce) package Monterey Jack Cheese

In a 9 X 13 pan, cover the chicken breasts with the salsa. Cover with foil, bake at 350 for 25 minutes. Uncover and bake for 25 minutes longer. Cover each chicken breast with Monterey Jack cheese. bake for 5-10 minutes or until cheese is melted.

This is what I did:
I ended up using sliced up chicken because it was on sale when I went to the store. The cheese I used in the Netherlands is cheddar (shredded by me) and jong belegen (shredded by me).  I preheat the oven to 400 F and bake the chicken 25 minutes.  Uncover chicken and add cheese, bake for another 5-10 minutes until the cheese is melted. I don't have time to wait for an hour for the chicken to cook and I have made chicken in the oven so many times I know it doesn't have to take so long!!!

It says to serve this with white rice and tortilla chips.  I used tortilla chips and served it with a spinach salad. Delicious actually and I think next time if I use sliced chicken again we will put them in tortilla shells, it tasted a lot like an enchilada!!!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Chessy Scrambled Eggs in the Microwave

Jackson usually wakes up in the morning so hungry that I can't even put him down for a second without him throwing a fit, so I am always looking for things that are super easy that are not donuts!  These eggs are perfect!!!

All you need is a microwave safe bowl
1 egg
1/2 a cheese slice

Beat egg into the bowl for 10 seconds, then tear up your cheese slice and microwave for 30 seconds.  Stir and microwave an additional 30 seconds or until your egg is fully cooked. Taaadaaa done, and guess what you can make this recipe using only 1 hand!!! I do it all the time!

Another great way to make an egg for say a sausage egg and cheese mcmuffin is to use a round small microwavable bowl. Put the egg in the bowl and carefully break yoke. You do not need to beat the egg for this recipe.  Microwave 30 seconds or until the egg is cooked until your liking!  Place a slice of cheese on top let sit for maybe another 30 seconds and then place on your toasted english muffin!   EASY!!!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Delicious Fruit Dip

I had this dip at a baby shower here in the Netherlands and had to make it again.  It is super easy with only 2 ingredients. My measurements to Americans are going to be a little off but I am going to try to be helpful so this is just as easy for you.

1 package of regular Philadelphia Cream Cheese (in the US an 8 oz package- here there is only one size)

1 jar of Fluff (in the US a jar of Marshmallow fluff about the size of a regular jar of peanut butter, I'm not exactly sure how big that is but the jar here looks identical to a PB jar)

Mix the entire contents of each together. Serve cool with strawberry, pineapple or your favorite fruit!  Delicious and super easy! What kid doesn't love to dip things :)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Baked Pesto Chicken with pasta and Zucchini

This recipe comes from a website I discovered called
It really is a great website with lots of food ideas and even a 6 week meal planner!  Love it.  I just wish I could follow a 6 week meal plan. Not all the recipes they have are toddler friendly and to be honest some of them we wouldn't like so I am going to try and make a few from each week for our new recipes of the week :)

Baked Pesto Chicken:
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup basil pesto
2 plum tomatoes
shredded mozzarella cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Cover cookie sheet with foil.
  2. Put pesto and chicken in bowl.  Toss until chicken is covered.
  3. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
  4. Place slices of tomato on top of chicken and sprinkle with cheese.
  5. Bake another 3-5 minutes.
  6. Serve with a box of angel hair pasta and herbs and French bread.
We used rotini noodles with garlic and butter.  Rotini is much easier for little hands to pick up!! No bread for us, we get enough of that during the day!

I'm serving this with zucchini.  Jackson has not has this as a solid food but really loved the puree so we will see...
This is how I make it:
1 zucchini
2-3 tbps olive oil
Italian seasoning

Cut the zucchini into thin slices, sprinkle with Italian seasoning and saute in the 2-3 tbsps of olive oil over medium heat about 7-8 minutes or until it has reached your desired tenderness.

Jackson chowed down on the zucchini, it was a huge hit.  The chicken was amazing! We loved it, another one to add to the books!!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Chicken Quesadillas

We always have half a package of tortillas left over from something so I decided to not let them go to waste this time!  We just made a really simple chicken quesadilla. All I used was:

Cooked Chicken
Diced Tomatoes
Sour cream (for dipping)

Ideally we would be using a quesadillla maker so when you flip it over food doesn't come flying out. But we don't have one here. Place a small amount of butter on a large skillet. With your quesadilla already assembled place on the skillet until the first side is slightly brown and a little crisp.  Flip (carefully) and heat until slightly brown. 

Again these are a great finger food, I made Jackson's with cheese only and the chicken on the side.  He ate both right up!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Cookie Cutter Pizza

Jackson loves anything he can pick up with his hands right now so I thought why not make our pizza into bite size pieces that are fun shapes too.  If you have seen pictures Jackson is always in the cupboard with the cookie cutters, throwing them around so I'm sure he will like to help out with this as well.

I am just using a box mix for the pizza crust and the sauce is included.  We will put on Salami and mozeralla shredded cheese.  Just use your favorite homemade or even frozen pizza and cut into fun shapes for your little one to enjoy :)

It may be hard to tell but we have a moon and a star here!  I think this was the first time Jackson actually at the pizza I gave him!!!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Roast Beef Brushetta

This recipe is from a Betty Crocker Cookbook that I have back home. I think it is called Quick and Easy Recipes. I can make it without a recipe now so I don't know exact measurements but will give it a shot. 

1 french baguette, thinly sliced into about 30 pieces
2 tbsp olive oil for brushing onto bread
1 package chive and onion cream cheese.
1/2 lb roast beef
5 roma tomatoes, thinly sliced
3-5 green onions, chopped

Preheat oven to 350. Brush both sides of your bread slices with olive oil and place on a cookie sheet. Bake for around 5 minutes, until slightly crisp.  Remove from oven and let cool for 5-10 minutes.

Spread a generous amount of cream cheese on each piece of bread (remember you have to make the whole package last for 30 slices of bread), then place a small slice of roast beef on top of the cream cheese, next comes the tomatoes, and then finally the green onions. 

I have not been able to find roast beef here so I used salami instead. This has always been a hit when I have served it before!!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Honey-Glazed Carrots

This recipe comes from Cooking Light-first foods again.  I am not a fan of cooked carrots but actually really liked this!!! Very simple to make and Jackson seriously chowed down on these carrots.  I'm pretty sure he ate about a cup of carrots!!!

1 1/2 quarts waer
5 cups thinly sliced carrots
3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
2 tbsp honey
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp grated orange rind
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper

1 Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan.  Add carrots; cook for 20 minutes or until tender. Drain well. Place carrots, parsley, and remaining indgredients in a large bowl; toss gently.  8 adult servings 1/2 cup

I didn't have any parsely and I didn't use pepper but really the orange rind and honey really made this recipe yummy!! A nice sweet and citrus flavor to go along with our veggies. I did about a 1/2 recipe because I was just making these for Jackson.  Next time I will make it for the whole fam :)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Artichoke Pasta

My roommate in college made this once and I loved it!  It has been in my top recipes since then. 

I chose to include brocoli and chicken this time.  This is pre-oven
Still pre-oven with tomatoes and cheddar cheese on top
12 oz pasta- we use shells (wagon wheels this time, out of shells)
9 oz marinated artichoke hearts drained and chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup shredded parmesean
1 3/4 cup shredded cheddar
2 tbsp fresh thyme
1 clove garlic
2 lbs tomatoes, freshly sliced

Cook pasta according to directions. Drain.  Add artichokes, oil, cream, thyme, garlic, half of the parmesean, 1 1/4 cup cheddar.  Mix well

Spread into a baking dish (9X13).  Arrange tomatoes on top and sprinkle remaining cheese on top.  Broil 6 minutes or until cheese browns.

If I am in a hurry (which I usually am) I just chop up the tomatoes and throw them in the mix.  This can be a one pot dish that way!!

I also love to throw a little brocolli and/or chicken in. Just mix it up every once in a while!
You can also use sour cream or even greek yogurt instead of heavy cream. I have to say I don't generally have all the fresh spices on hand so I used dried.  A little variation never hurt!

I decided to make this in advance while Jackson is sleeping and will just throw it in the oven when I'm ready to get dinner going.  It took me less than 45 minutes to do everything (which included taking a break for a bowl of cereal, washing dishes since my DW is broken, and a little chit chat on the phone with my Grandma and Grandpa) I'm sure it would have taken less than 30 minutes otherwise!!!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Chicken Satay Wraps

This recipe comes from an old cookbook back home, I have had it for a very long time so who knows what it is called. It is a quick easy recipe that has always been a hit for us!

2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp creamy peanut butter
2 green onions, chopped
1 tsp soy sauce
1/4 tsp pepper
2 cups sliced cooked chicken
1 cup coleslaw mix (or regular lettuce if you forgot coleslaw mix)
4 flour tortillas (8 inches), warm

Serves 4
After you have cooked the chicken, in a large bowl, whisk the oil, peanut butter, onions, soy sauce and pepper until combined.  Add chicken and toss to coat. Sprinkle 1/4 cup coleslaw mix over each tortilla; top with chicken mix.  Roll up tightly

Jackson must not have been into chicken tonight but otherwise these were great!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Oven Roasted Green Beans

So we're on the hunt for veggies that Jackson will eat not in their pureed form.  Fruits have not been a problem at all, but I suppose veggies are harder because as parents we are not eating as many vegetables as we should be.  I found the recipe for these green beans in my babyfood cookbook called Cooking Light, First Foods.

We're having brats on the grill with oven roasted green beans and grapes.

Oven Roasted Green Beans Recipe
1 pound green beans, trimmed
2 tsps extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 425.
2. Place a jelly-roll pan in oven for 10 minutes. Place beans in a large bowl.  Drizzle with oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Toss well to coat.   Arrange green bean mixture in a single layer on preheated baking sheet. Bake at 425 for 8 minutes or until crisp tender. 

To be honest, I have no clue what a jelly roll pan is, even if I did I'm sure I don't have one here!  I did however preheat the pan I was using while I baked the buns for our brats and then used the same pan for the green beans. 

I can't believe I am saying this but these were a HIT!  Not only with Jackson but with Josh too.  Josh said he would eat them any time and prior to this he did not like green beans!! Jackson chowed down too.  My cookbook said to serve kids 3-5 beans, well Jackson took down more like 8-10!  We will definitely be having these again and it's so easy to just throw them in the oven, probably even faster than boiling or steaming!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Mexican Stuffed Shells

So I LOVE LOVE Pinterest.  Any chance I get I am searching for new recipes and decorating ideas for our house when I get back home.  I came across this next recipe there, which then led me to another great blog.

Let me tell you I am no food stylist/photographer like she is, but I at least try and give you the general idea of what my dinner turned out like.  Her website is really amazing and I have found lots of other recipes to try so stayed tuned for more :)


Ingredients:1 pound ground beef (or ground turkey)1 package low-sodium taco seasoning
4 ounces cream cheese
20 jumbo pasta shells
1 1/2 cups salsa
1 cup taco sauce
1 cup cheddar cheese
1 cup Monterrey jack cheese
For toppings:
3 green onions
Sour cream
Preheat oven to 350°.

In a pan brown the ground beef; add taco seasoning and prepare according to package directions. Add cream cheese, cover and simmer until cheese is melted. Stir together and mix well. Set aside and cool completely.

While ground beef is cooking, cook the pasta shells according to package directions; drain. Set shells out individually on cutting board or baking sheet so that they don’t stick together.

Pour salsa on bottom of a 9×13 baking dish. Stuff each shell with 1-2 tablespoons of the meat mixture. Place shells in 9×13 pan open side up. Evenly cover shells with taco sauce. Cover dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, add shredded cheese and bake for 10-15 more minutes with the foil removed. Top with green onions or olives if desired. Serve with sour cream and/or more salsa.

Nothing about this recipe is hard but it does take a long time to prepare everything and then bake for 45 minutes. It is a make ahead of time recipe or make on the weekend type!! It was delicious, but may not be exactly toddler friendly.  Salsa and taco sauce are just a little spicy for Jackson still.  Still really yummy and fun for a change!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Football Turnovers

This recipe came from Once a Month Moms again:
·         1 9-inch refrigerated pie crusts
·         1/4 pound lean ground beef
·         4 ounces pasta sauce

·         2 tablespoons mozzarella cheese, shredded


In a skillet brown ground beef until cooked through. Drain. Return to pan, add pasta sauce and simmer for 5 minutes. Allow mixture to cool.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut 4-inch circles from pie crust, rerolling dough as necessary. Top each circle with 1 tablespoon of filling and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of cheese. Moisten the edges with water and fold in half and press edges to seal. Crimp edges with a fork. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until golden brown.

Here is what I did: I followed all the directions except I bought a tube of croissants instead of pie crust. They were already in the shape of triangles so I just scooped a little more mixture into each one and folded over and pressed edges to seal. The croissants here are delicious, light and flaky making this a delicious dinner!!!

Poor Jackson is pretty much too miserable to sit and eat, his poor bum is covered in chicken pox, so he didn't really eat any but Josh and I thought this was really good. 

Time wise it really is easy! Maybe 15 minutes of prep work and then it only took 15 minutes in the oven for the rolls I used! Yum!!!

Freezing Directions:
Do not preheat the oven, follow directions as listed above but BEFORE baking, flash freeze turnovers until solid. Once frozen, transfer turnovers to gallon freezer bags. To serve: Thaw. Bake turnovers at 375 degrees for 25 minutes until golden brown.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Sausage, Mushroom & Tomato Pasta

This recipe says 10 min prep time and 15 minutes of cook time.

400g penne
1 tbsp olive or sunflower oil
454g pack good-quality sausages , cut into chunky pieces
250g chunky chestnut mushrooms , halved
500g pack cherry tomatoes
2 sprigs rosemary , leaves roughly chopped
handful flat-leaf parsley , chopped

Cook pasta according to pack instructions. Heat the oil in a deep frying pan, then fry the sausages and mushrooms for 5 mins until golden. Add the tomatoes and cook for about another 3 mins on a high heat until the tomatoes pop and start to form a sauce. Season to taste, then add the herbs and drained pasta and stir well.

This was actually very easy to make less than 1/2 hour and I even made it with a sick baby clinging on to me. So it couldn't have been too bad!!!

Jackson didn't have it, just plain noodles with butter and parmesean but Josh and I both liked it.  We would just change our choice of sausage for next time!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Once a Month Mom

Before I was complaining about how there are all kinds of baby food recipes out there and I was having a hard time finding toddler food. Well you won't hear me complaining about not having resources anymore. I have found so many fun things to try that I have maybe overwhelmed myself and am trying to figure out how to organize it all.

I think I'm going to start a binder of recipes, and try to do a monthly meal planner. This way I have all my recipes and menu in one place. I am definitely a person who needs to see my recipe on paper and not on the computer.

I told you before I'm not one that can make all my meals for the month and freeze them.  Pretty impossible here with my mini dorm fridge freezer!  But in my new obsession with finding new recipes and trying new things I have come across a great website!  I signed up for their emails and am loving it!!!

Every day I get an email that has at least one recipe in it, usually more!  I may not make all of them but it gives me lots of inspiration to try more than one new recipe each week!! Today I even got a meal plan for the week.  All of which would be new recipes for us!  They all looked great for us!!! I think it might be my next weeks meal plan!

This is just part of the email they sent! I love to be able to see pictures of the food, otherwise I may not ever try it!  If you're interested here is the website:
Monday -
  • Toddler Lunch – hot dogs, corn, mandarin oranges

    Toddler Chicken Bites
  • Snacks – pumpkin muffins, Turkey & Cheese Rollups
  • Dinner – Ribeye steak, grilled asparagus
Tuesday -
Wednesday -
  • Toddler Lunch – scrambled eggs, pancakes, banana slices
  • Snacks – crackers & peanut butter, Fruity Breakfast Burritos
  • Dinner – Pizza Meatloaf, lettuce salad
Thursday -
Friday -
Saturday – Lunch – Out for lunch
Dinner – Sausage Stuffed Loaf, cottage cheese with pineapples
Sunday – Lunch – Easter – Spiral Cut Ham, rolls, green bean casserole, jello salad
Dinner – Burgers on the grill, fresh frozen sweet corn

Pretty Great huh?!?!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Broccoli & Cheddar Cheese Nuggets

1 16-oz Package frozen broccoli, cooked, drained, and chopped
1 cup Seasoned bread crumbs (you could try using baby cereal if you want)
 1 ½ cups Shredded cheddar cheese ( use real cheese and not a "processed cheese food" product. Try tomato & basil cheddar.)
3 Large eggs or 5 egg yolks
Preheat oven to 375
  1. Lightly coat a baking sheet with olive oil and set aside.
  2. Combine all remaining ingredients and mix well.
  3. Shape mixture into nuggets or fun shapes such as squares or squigglies etc..and place on baking tray. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, turn nuggets over after 15 minutes. Serve warm. Be sure to crumble these if your baby needs.
 I can't seem to remember where I found this recipe but it is great :) Jackson ate these right up and we liked them too.  We ate them as a little appetizer.
For the recipe I used crackers that are the equivalent of Club in the US, instead of bread crumbs and just plain cheddar (shredded by me) , and 3 large eggs.
It only took a few minutes to prep everything while the broccoli cooked.  I made them into basically small hamburger patties but next time I will get more adventurous on the shapes! That will make them even more fun as Jackson gets older!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Hard Boiled Easter Eggs

Hard Boiled Eggs

I just googled how to make them and there is of course a million different ways but here is what I did.  I took my entire carton of eggs.  That is 10 here in the Netherlands instead of 12 like back in the states and placed them in a single layer in the bottom of a pan.

Cover them with water about 1 inch higher than the eggs.

The recipe I had said to cover and bring to a boil... I did this but others say you don't have to cover while bringing to a boil.

As soon as the water comes to a full boil.  Remove from heat and leave covered for 15-17 minutes.  I did 16 minutes with my little egg timer. Egg timer haha!!

Then drain immediately and cover with cold water until completely cooled.  Drain.  Refrigerate.

I bought a kit for coloring the eggs so no helpful tips here, but there were fun to make!  I myself am not a huge hard boiled eggs fan but I suppose I can eat a few since they're so pretty!!

Buttery Garlic Chicken and Creamed Corn

Buttery Garlic Chicken

This chicken recipe is very easy.  If you have time to wait 40 minutes for it to get done baking then it is great.  Hardly any prep work!!

Makes 4 servings

2 eggs, beaten
1 cup round buttery crackers, crushed
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup butter, sliced

1. Place eggs in a shallow bowl; set aside.
2. Mix cracker crumbs and garlic salt in a separate bowl; set aside.
3. Dip chicken in eggs and then coat in crumb mixture. Arrange in an ungreased 13" x 9" baking pan; dot
with butter.
4. Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes or until juices run clear when chicken is pierced with a fork.

I only had to cook it 33 minutes and it was so juicy and tender!  This recipe was a huge hit!!! Both Josh and I loved it and Jackson ate 1/2 a chicken breast which is almost unheard of so I think that tells you we give it 3 thumbs up here!!

Creamed Corn

Makes 4 servings

1 cup canned corn
1/2 teaspoon milk
2 tablespoons sugar
2 slices bacon, crisply cooked, crumbled and drippings reserved
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup water
Salt and pepper to taste

1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine corn and milk; add sugar.
2. Place corn mixture and bacon drippings in a large skillet.
3. In a measuring cup, mix flour and water together; blend until smooth. Add enough additional water to
the measuring cup to equal one cup.
4. Add flour mixture to corn and stir over medium heat until mixture is thick; salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes.
I didn't use the bacon, salt or pepper in this recipe otherwise everything is the same as above.

This was not our favorite but may be great for kids to eat corn.  We like corn as is, so it was just too much to have the creamed corn.  It was pretty much Jackson's 1st time with corn so him not loving it is not based on this recipe, it was just new to him so of course it came back out!