Gooey (Baked) Grilled Cheese

There is nothing better than a hot cup of soup on a cold day. However, with a hungry hubby and two teenage boys, soup alone is rarely enough to fill their hungry tummies. We took a trip recently and for dinner one night I made my chili soup. I chose this sandwich to go with it because A: I LOVE grilled cheese and B: I could bake all the sandwiches in the oven at the same time. After serving them my oldest said it was the best sandwich ever and promptly asked for another one!

Ingredients:
1 loaf of French bread cut into thick slices
Land O’ Lakes Saute Express Garlic & Herb
Alouette Soft Cheese (or any other soft cheese) Garlic & Herb
Sliced Muenster
Sliced Cheddar
Sliced Ham
Spinach
Red onion, sliced

Directions:
1. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray.
2. Spread the Saute Expressions on one side of four pieces of the French bread and place them on the baking sheet.
3. Spread the other side of the same pieces of bread with the Alouette cheese.
4. Layer the bread with two slices of cheddar, followed by two slices of ham, two slices of red onion, 3-4 pieces of spinach, and two slices of Muenster.
5. Spread a second piece of bread with the Alouette cheese on one side, and place it on top.
6. Spread the Saute Express on the outside of the top piece.
7. Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes, flipping the sandwiches one time, until the cheeses are melted.

I like this recipe a lot because using the Saute Express spread on the outside helps make the bread brown just like frying it in the pan. This sandwich was a perfect combination of crispy bread and melty cheese. Enjoy!

Check out other recipes here:

Menu Plan Monday 1/26/15

Has the January chill set in for you yet? Down here in Florida we’ve had a few cold days, and this week looks to be our coldest yet! So, I’m focusing on warm, comfort food style recipes for our menu.

Monday: Creamy Herb Chicken

Tuesday: Enchilada Casserole

Wednesday: Pork Ragu

Thursday: Chicken Chili

Friday: Spaghetti

I hope you are warm and dry wherever you are! If you like, check out this post about my top 10 most popular recipes in 2014! Thanks for stopping by for Menu Plan Monday!

Top 10 Recipes of 2014

It’s no secret that my recipe posts are frequently among my most viewed on my blog. So, to wrap up the year, I decided to post a list of my top-viewed recipe posts of 2014. I think I am going to add these into my rotation for the next couple of weeks!

1. Simple Calzone : I made this when I had a craving for calzones but didn’t want to pay for a restaurant meal. Easy and quick, you can also customize the recipe with your own toppings!

2. Pork Tacos: Regular visitors know that I have a slight obsession with my crock pot. This easy recipe makes the house smell so good!

3. Easy Chicken Quesadillas : Another restaurant-inspired recipe that cooks up fast. Serve it with a side of salsa and you are good to go!

4. Taco-Style Stuffed Shells: This is a great casserole-style dish that can easily feed a large crowd!

5. Empanadas: These tasty treats are great as an appetizer or finger food for a party!

6. Quick Chicken Tamales: I love this recipe because I can cheat and use a rotisserie chicken from the store. Less work for me is always nice at the end of a long day!

7. Easy Pork Casserole:  A one-dish meal that is perfect for a busy weeknight!

8. Pork Verde : Another crock pot favorite of mine, you can serve this pork as tacos, or eat it over rice.

9. Squash Casserole: A tasty and diet-friendly low-carb meal!

10. Easy Chicken Parm Casserole: This recipe uses croutons as a topping and has lots of yummy cheese on top!

I notice that a lot of my top recipes are one-dish or crock pot meals, which tells me that a lot of  you are busy, just like I am and we all want food that tastes good but doesn’t take a lot of time to make. I love sharing and finding new recipes online, and I look forward to adding a lot more to my list this year!

Creamy Herb Chicken (Crock Pot Recipe)

So this is one of the easiest recipes I have ever made, and it was really, really yummy. The best part about it is the fact that it requires only a few ingredients and your crock pot does the cooking for you!

Ingredients:

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 can cream of chicken soup

1 cup milk

1 packet garlic and herb sauce mix

1 tsp. thyme

1 tsp. parsley

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Place the chicken in the crock pot and season with salt and pepper.

2. In a bowl, mix together the sauce mix, soup, parsley, and thyme.

3. Pour the mixture over the chicken and cover and cook on low for 5 hours.

4. Serve over pasta.

This chicken was so moist and delicious, my whole family loved it!

Check out other great recipes at Lisa’s link up here:

Menu Plan Monday 1/12/15

This is an exciting week for me! My family and I are taking a special weekend trip to the mountains to go skiing and see snow! Being from Florida, my kids have NEVER seen snow before, and I have only seen it once. The place we are staying has a kitchen, so I am bringing my crock pot along to make dinner so we don’t have to spend money on eating out. Here’s what’s for dinner at our house this week:

Monday: Red Wine Seared Pork with Lemon Parmesan Broccoli

Tuesday: Asparagus Chicken

Wednesday: Spanish Rice (crock pot recipe)

Thursday: Chili Soup

Friday: Crock Pot Chicken and Dumplings

Thanks for stopping by for Menu Plan Monday! Have a fabulous week!

 

Top 10 Posts of 2014

 

I love reviewing my blog stats at the end of the year. It gives me so much insight into what my readers like most. This year, as usual, most of my top posts were recipes, but there were a few reviews and other homeschool related posts on the list as well. Take a look at my top ten posts for 2014:

 

1. Simple Calzone : This recipe has over 1,300 views total!

2. Chicken Soup : One of my favorite go-to dinners on a cold night!

3. Analytical Grammar Review : A lot of people stopped by to check out my review of this great grammar program!

4. The Olympics are Here! : This post included a bunch of resources to use in your schooling for a study of the Olympics.

5. Pork Tacos : This was my top crock pot recipe for the year!

6. Empanadas : These tasty treats are one of my kids favorite snacks!

7. Our Top Curriculum Choices : We all know homeschool moms can never get enough info on curriculum!

8. Easy Chicken Quesadillas : This recipe is just so simple and so good!

9. Taco Style Stuffed Shells : A great one-dish meal!

10. The Westing Game : My post about resources to use with one of our favorite books!

So there you have it, my most-viewed posts from last year! I am already excited to see what happens this year. Thanks for stopping by!

Red Wine Seared Pork

I  love cooking. And I love a nice glass of wine. So, cooking with wine? What could be better?  I made this tasty dish one night and my hubby immediately told me to add it to our regular rotation! It’s a good think it’s pretty easy to cook.

Ingredients:

4 bone-in pork chops

1 1/2 cups red wine (I just used the Cabernet that was on sale at the store)

3 tbsp. butter

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 bay leaf

salt and pepper to taste

1 whole garlic bulb (peeled)

1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

1/2 cup beef broth

Directions:

1.  Season the chops with salt and pepper and melt two tablespoons of the butter with the olive oil in a large skillet.

2. Place chops in the skillet and sear for a few minutes on each side until browned.

3. Remove the chops from the skillet and add the garlic cloves.

4.  Cook while stirring, until cloves are browned.

5. Add the red wine and bay leaf and stir, cooking until the sauce thickens.

6. Return the chops to the pan and add the beef broth. Cook on both sides until cooked through.

7. Add the balsamic vinegar and cook for two minutes more.

Serve the chops topped with the sauce from the pan and enjoy! We had this with some sauteed squash, baked potatoes, and a side salad. It was delicious! Thanks for stopping by. Check out more recipes here:

Menu Plan Monday 1/5/15

 

Happy New Year!  You know, I almost wrote 2014 for the date in my title! I wonder how long it is going to take for me to get it right on my checks!! I hope you all had a wonderful New Year’s holiday. Here’s what’s for dinner out our house this week:

Monday: Grilled steak, potatoes, and  spicy black-eyed peas

Tuesday: Stuffed Peppers

Wednesday: Chili Soup with grilled cheese sandwiches

Thursday: Beef Burgundy

Friday: Harvest Pork

Thanks for stopping by for Menu Plan Monday! I wish you all the best in the new year!

Our Word 2015: Fearless

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, of love, and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7

“The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life, of whom shall I be afraid?” Ps. 27:1

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous hand.”  Is. 41:10

Like many homeschool moms, I spent time during the break trying to tie up loose ends and decide on a focus for the coming year. This is kind of a big one. Since we follow a traditional schedule, we are halfway through this year and it brought quite a few changes. The biggest of these was my oldest started taking dual enrollment classes at the local community college and he took his first PSATs. Making the move to dual enrollment brought home to me just how little time I have left with him, and I have to admit, the list of  things I know we need to accomplish in the next year and  a half is pretty intimidating.

He will begin his senior year this fall. He will graduate next year. I have to get his transcripts ready. He needs to take his SATs! I am SO not ready for this!! Sigh…and that’s when it happens. Every time I start to think about this part of our homeschool journey, my chest gets tight, my breathing feels constricted, and I start to panic. Those nasty little voices in my head start to whisper “you can’t do this”, “you are going to fail him”, “what if I did something wrong and he can’t go to college?”, etc. etc. By the time it’s all over, I am full of doubt and scared to death.

In the past, I would probably have let this fear grip me and paralyze me, at least for a while. But I want this year to be different. I do not want to let fear take control of my life and our homeschool. I believe that when we react out of fear we retreat in defeat to a place far away from where God wants us. Fear is satan’s strategy for keeping me from achieving God’s will in my life, and I don’t want to let him win. So this year, I chose the word Fearless as our word for 2015.

Instead of being afraid, I want to cling to the promises God has made to me in His word. I remember being told that fear is the opposite of faith. When you think about it like that, it makes a big difference. Every time I let fear take over, I am distancing myself from my faith in the Lord. I know that He is big enough to handle my problems, but in my humanness, I become short sighted. I see only the problems and none of the possibilities. I forget that each challenge and difficulty is another opportunity for God to reveal His glory and deepen our faith. When my children see God work in our lives, it opens their eyes to Him. Instead of rushing to panic, I want to show my boys that I trust in the Lord with all my heart, and I will not allow fear to run my life!

So this year, I am going to forge ahead, believing that God is with me on every step. I am going to trust him to provide what we need for my older son to finish school and graduate. I am going to believe that He will give me what I need to get those transcripts done and prepare him for the SAT and ACT. Mostly, I am going to trust that the Lord already has a plan for my children, and that He is going to equip me to prepare them for that plan. No more cowering, no more doubts, just moving ahead in faith to tackle what seems like Mount Everest. I will see you at the top!