Wanchai Orange Chicken... boo!

I suppose everyone has an off night when it comes to cooking - a night where just nothing comes out the way you wanted or expected it to, whether it be a new recipe that didn't turn out right, or a quick and easy meal you thought you'd try to save some time. I've fallen into the latter category this week! 


Cream Cheese Party Dip

This has been around in my family for quite some time. I can't tell you how many times my mom and I have been asked to write out the recipe on the spot after someone tried it!

I made this for my best friend's baby shower (doubled it even) and it disappeared, I did the same thing for a casual potluck wedding party and even though I ran out of crackers, people were scooping it up on to veggies, chips, and whatever else they could find. And just recently I made it for Girls Night In with the neighbors! 

Around my house, this was classic Christmas Eve fare. I grew up having a love hate/relationship with it because while it tastes unbelievable, I have a strong aversion to crunching into onions. So, I used to sit there and pick all the onions out of it and then spread it on my crackers. Now, I just throw my onion in the food processor and turn it super mushy, problem solved!! 
So here is what you need:


Menu Plan Monday

This week isn't going to be very interesting in the cooking department. Hubby is headed off for a conference on the other side of the continent and with him gone, frozen pizzas/meals will come into play! Especially with my night classes, it is just a bit easier to throw on a pizza instead of expecting the 13 year old of the house to operate the crockpot and remember to turn it off, and so on and so on... Excuses, excuses. Frozen pizzas were on sale this week anyway, and there were tons of coupons, so without further ado, my menu for the week:



You can't go wrong with these nachos!! My family and I used to eat at this tiny little Mexican restaurant on the corner, we started going right when they opened, they served everything on paper plates and had plastic silverware, but the food.... oh my! I've never been able to find anything like it again.

Before they closed down, my mom begged the owner to tell her how to make the shredded beef he used in his Nachos, Chimichangas, and Burritos. He laughed and told her, "just throw it in a slow cooker with some salsa and jalapeƱos all day, it'll fall apart!"

And so she did. And now I do too! And soon, I bet you will as well.

So here is what you need:



I'd really like to enjoy meatloaf. Really, I would. I just don't. When my mom used to make meatloaf as a child, I would have hot dogs or a frozen dinner instead, I hated it and refused to eat it. (And I was an incredibly spoiled only child).

So, I haven't tried a bite of meatloaf since I was probably 8 or 9 years old. My old college roommates loved it, and on nights when they cooked it, they reinforced my spoiled nature by making me a chicken breast instead. But, I ate meatloaf last night.


Cashew Chicken

So, have I mentioned we love Asian food at our house?? Funny thing is, I used to hate trying new things, the only thing I would get from a chinese take out was those fried up little chicken pieces with sweet n sour. And now I eat something different every week - heck I even MAKE it!

With a little help though! Thanks to the packets I've found (and will be telling you more about soon) I'm able to cook up some seriously delicious food that gets raved about. Last night my boys (hubby and stepson) were actually dancing around the house singing "we're having cashew chicken!!" (over and over and over again). The dog joined in on the singing. It was insane. It was hilarious. It is definitely a good life!

This is the third Wanchai Ferry kit we've tried, and while all of them have been good, this one takes the cake, not only for taste but because it is seriously easy and gets to the table faster than I can load a dishwasher (maybe I'm a little slow in that area..)


Crockpot Chicken and Dumplins

I just recently discovered Crockpot Wednesday's over at Dining with Debbie! I love to use my Crock Pot and since I have class at night on Mon and Wed it is pretty much the only way my family gets a home cooked dinner. Yesterday I made this delicious meal and you can read how to make it for yourself below or you can click here to skip my rambling and go to the printable version.

This meal does not use a packet, but it does use cans! Cans are kind of similar to packets right? Just open them, dump them in, and toss them (into your recycling bin - unless you are trying to hide the cream of mushroom evidence from a very picky 13 year old who HATES mushrooms, in which case you wrap it in dirty paper towels and put it at the bottom of the trash can - the Earth will forgive me).

So here's what you need for this meal...


My First Menu Plan Monday!

I read so many great recipes and menu plans from the links I find on the Menu Plan Monday blog!! I have been lurking for the past few months, but I'm ready to join in the fun, finally. I normally plan my menus out for a month, some people call me crazy but it takes less work to sit down for an hour once a month and hash it all out then to stress about it every week. But for this blog I'll tone it down and just go week by week.

I'll be the first to admit that I don't always stick to this plan, but I do try!


What To Do With Your Leftover Chili

Two options are at the top of my head for the leftover chili...


Chili Appetizer Dip

I'm not taking pictures of this one because, well I'm not making it. If I make it, I'll eat it, and I don't have any parties to take it to, so for this you will have to use your imagination!


Chili Made EASY!

For the first recipe, one of my favorite meals... Chili!!!

This is so easy and so good you will smack yourself for not making it sooner. You can print this out minus my comments and pictures here.

Here is our friend the packet: