It was a busy week for my kiddos. One set was celebrating Catholic Schools week (I need to remember later to head down for the Parent Appreciation Assembly.) Their week was filled with spirit type events, extra buddy time, no homework and this morning the two youngest were volunteering to hand out burritos to the parents dropping kids off. Got mine - delish - along with a chorus of "Thank You's" and sign waving as I drove out of the parking lot.
The other set was celebrating Make-A-Wish week. They "adopt" a Make-A-Wish child and fundraisers are held all week to support the child's wish with the remainder of funds going to the program. Last year the high school raised $15,000. As of yesterday afternoon, they had $9,000 and still had today's money-raising opportunities, along with the Saturday Color Fusion dance to collect from.
We attended a Financial Aid information meeting last night, so tax prep and FAFSA are on the agenda this weekend. You know, getting funding shouldn't be this difficult. It's truly ridiculous. And I'll just leave it at that.
On to something more fun. . .cooking, meal planning, eating. If you're looking to warm up from all the cold and snow or looking for something quick to pull together so you can go play, there should be something here for you.
I've had this Slow Cooker Tomato Basil Parmesan Soup on my board for a long time. I made it on In-Law Monday and did a stove top version instead. It was good, but the flavors were more subdued than I expected, which may have developed better in the slow cooker, or even the next day. Looking at the instructions for this vs. what I used, there are some differences in cooking, not ingredients. It makes me wonder if I've pinned the recipe twice, but by different bloggers; I'll have to compare. In any case it was good - thick and creamy, and I'd make it again. I served this with these Butter Dipped Biscuits (my go-to biscuit) split and layered with turkey, bacon and swiss toasted up under the broiler.
I had plans for a dessert, but not the ingredients, so I punted and picked this Cranberry Almond Cake. I love almond. Paired with tart cranberries and crunchy almonds and it was perfect. A really good, moist cake. It would be great in the morning with coffee or brunch.
I was looking for a good after-school snack (or morning grab-and-go) and these Cinnamon Granola Bars became the ticket because I had it all on hand. They aren't the traditional chewy unbaked bars, but they're soft and good and filling. They didn't make enough to last long in this house, but I'd make them again and cut them up into squares, instead of bars - you know portion control.
Salsa Verde Beef Tacos was made for a Friday In-Law dinner, and it was really good. Super simple to dump in the slow cooker and lots of flavor when it came out. I served it with avocados, lime, tomatoes and shredded lettuce.
We are watching our niece once a week, so I'm trying to go a little more kid friendly when she's here. I made this Ham & Cheese Skillet for her first evening with us. She's a good eater when her cousins are with her, but put an adult at the table and something happens - she slows to a crawl and then stops. Until we sat down, she was chowing away. It was creamy and warm. It doesn't have a traditional roux-based cheese sauce, instead it uses cream cheese. Next time I think I'll mix the cheddar with another sharp cheese, just to up the cheesiness - it's plenty gooey.
This Slow Cooker Enchilada Quinoa was made the following week our niece was here. Because we ended up feeding her parents when they came to get her the week before, I doubled the recipe planning to do the same this time. The recipe said it served four, we'd be nine, so doubling seemed like the right thing to do. Ah, yeah, we had a T.O.N. Seriously, I could have fed 12 and probably still had leftovers. The flavor was good; diced avocado, lettuce and sour cream to topped it. I served tortilla chips and everyone ate it like a dip. We warmed up leftovers in flour tortillas - and yes, there's still more left! Next time - no doubling!
I love this Chicken Pot Pie, and so does my family. When I found this Creamy Chicken Pot Pie Soup with Parmesan Drop Biscuits, of course I had to try it. Dang, it was good. All the creamy, richness I love about the pie and the biscuits provided that pastry crunch. It was good and it didn't last.
I've been meaning to make granola for a long time. It's one of those pantry staples that seems crazy to spend money on. Most recipes have coconut oil, which I have yet to make a pantry staple, but will soon, since that seems to be a regular ingredient in the recipes I pin. This Cranberry Walnut Granola called for Walnut Oil, which I didn't have either, but after buying it and then making the granola, I think you could substitute canola oil in a pinch. You could probably substitute whatever you had on hand, except maybe olive because its flavor isn't as neutral. I had run out of cranberries, but I've got tons of dried cherries, so I used them instead. We flew through this batch. It went on yogurt and cottage cheese. It was eaten by the handful. I'd have had it for cereal this morning, but it was gone (plus I had that burrito), so I'll be making up another batch today.
I've got some must-do's on my list, so I'd best get to it.