Summer Salad

Summer Salad

After a very enjoyable trip to our local farmer’s market this past Saturday, I had this bag full of gorgeous, ripe tomatoes.  I was thinking of how to best use them when it hit me…nothing goes better with tomatoes than more tomatoes! So why not make a salad that features them as the main ingredient?  It was knock-your-socks-off good!  You cannot beat the flavor of garden-fresh tomatoes, and if you have a farmer’s market in your area, I encourage you to shop there.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that the prices are similar to, if not better than the grocery store.  So it’s CENTSIBLE and you’re supporting your local farmers!

Summer Salad

4 large tomatoes, chopped
5 green onions, diced
1 (15 oz) can corn, drained
1/2 cup feta cheese
1 Tbsp Raita Yogurt mix*
1 Tbsp Balsamic vinegar
2 tsp olive oil
Salt to taste (about 1/4 tsp)

In a large bowl combine all ingredients.  Toss and serve.

*Raita Yogurt mix is a spice blend created by Kurry King.  It features ground cumin, ground fennel, and onion powder along with other herbs and spices.  You can substitute these spices, but the blend was so good I would recommend buying it.

Apple Crisp

Apple Crisp

Fall is my absolute favorite season…it has the best weather, the best holidays, and of course the best food!  I know it’s still a few months away, but I was needing a Fall fix to tide me over so I’m sharing my mom’s recipe for Apple Crisp.  When I was visiting my parents on Sunday, my mom got out her Better Homes and Gardens Jr Cookbook that she has had since she was a child.  She still uses the same recipe to make this delicious treat, and I’ve never had better!

Apple Crisp
3 medium-size apples
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
3/4 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened.
Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease an 8-inch round pan with a bit of butter.  Peel and core apples.  Slice thin and place in round pan.  Mix oats, sugar, and flour.  Mix butter in with your fingers.  Mixture will be crumbly.  Cover apples with mixture and bake for about 35 minutes.

*If you like, you can add cinnamon and nutmeg to the mixture.  Probably about 1/2 tsp of each would be perfect.
**Also, if you’re pressed for time, you can use a can of apple pie filling instead of of fresh apples and cut the baking time down to 20-25 minutes.

Check it out; the original recipe.

Black Bean Corn Salsa

Black Bean Corn Salsa

During the peak of summer, when temperatures are soaring and makeup melts off your face every time you even look outside, you may not feel like standing over a hot stove.  This simple salsa keeps your house cool and your belly full…you can use it as a dip, roll it up in some tortillas with a little sour cream and cheese, jazz up a salad, or grab a spoon and just dig in!

Black Bean Corn Salsa

1 (15 oz) can corn, drained
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup red onion, diced
1/3 cup red pepper, diced (I usually use a whole jalapeno, seeded and diced, but I didn’t have one this time and the red pepper was very delicious in it’s place)
1 lime
2 tsp vegetable oil
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chipotle powder (this adds heat so you can add less if you’re not a fan of spicy foods)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
salt and pepper to taste
In a large bowl combine corn, black beans, red onion, and red pepper.  Cut the lime in half and squeeze the juice over the vegetables.  Add vegetable oil, cumin, chipotle powder, fresh cilantro, salt, and pepper.  Toss to combine.  Refrigerate until needed (it is better if you make it a few hours before you eat it so all of the flavors have a chance to combine).

Slow Cooker Parmesan Honey Pork Roast

Slow Cooker Parmesan Honey Pork Roast

So I have a confession….this is the first time in my life that I have cooked pork.  I mean, sure I’ve cooked bacon and heated up hot dogs, but actual pork roasts, chops, or ribs I have never ventured to try. We never really cooked with pork in my house growing up so I’ve always been a bit uncertain about it.  Well after seeing how inexpensive it was, and finding this delicious recipe on Six Sister’s Stuff, I had to give it a try.  It was amazing!!  The pork was fall apart tender and the sauce was so flavorful!  It was excellent with a side of mashed potatoes.

Slow Cooker Parmesan Honey Pork Roast

Ingredients:

1 (2-3 pound) boneless pork roast
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup honey
3 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp dried basil
2 tsp oregano
1 tsp thyme
2 Tbsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1/4 cup cold water

Spray slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray. Place roast in slow cooker. In a small bowl, combine the cheese, honey, soy sauce, basil, oregano, thyme, garlic, Dijon mustard, oil and salt; pour over pork. Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours or until a meat thermometer reads 160°.
Remove meat to a serving platter; keep warm. Skim fat from cooking juices; transfer to a small saucepan. Bring liquid to a boil. Combine cornstarch and water until smooth. Gradually stir into pan. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Slice roast; serve with gravy.

Avocado Treatment for Frizzy Hair

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I’m one of those people with the good fortune to have curly hair, and most of the time I love it.  But these summer months are hard for us curly haired folks.  The humidity plus the scorching heat creates a frizzy, dry mess that is usually pulled back in a ponytail or tucked up under a hat.  I went in search of a CENTSIBLE solution that would tame that frizz and leave my hair soft and fabulous!  I was a little skeptical about this treatment, but after trying it, I was so impressed with the results that I threw all of my hats…well…back in the closet.  I mean, let’s not get carried away…we all still have bad hair days, right ladies?

Avocado Hair Treatment

Wash your hair as you normally would, but skip the conditioner.  Towel dry your hair, and apply this mixture:

1/2 of an avocado, finely mashed

2 Tbsp mayonnaise

I started at the tips of my hair and worked my way to the scalp (if your scalp is oily be careful not to apply the mixture directly on your scalp).  Turn your head upside down and wrap a plastic bag around your hair, then wrap it in a towel (you could skip the bag if you don’t mind having avocado and mayo on your towel).  Let it soak in for 15 minutes, then rinse out with cool water.  Style as usual and enjoy your lustrous, shiny, frizz-free locks!  Use every 2 weeks.

*Just a side note: if you hate the smell of mayo, leave it out and just use avocado…the smell was pretty strong and the mayo only serves to moisturize so you can leave it out if it bothers you

Adapted from Woman’s Day

Inside Out S’mores

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There are so many things to love about summer: fresh fruits and veggies, relaxing by the pool, and nights around a campfire sharing stories and eating those sweet, gooey s’mores.  Who doesn’t love that soft, melty chocolate or the crisp-on-the-outside, gooey-on-the-inside amazingness of those roasted marshmallows?  Unfortunately, these are rare treats, unless you live in a tent or are desperate enough to toast up some marshmallows over your gas stove…and let’s face it we’ve all been tempted.  Well, the next time you’re craving s’mores and there are no campfires to be found, try whipping up a batch of these.  They’re simple and quick, and best of all, you don’t have to worry that your husband will walk in to find you standing in front of the stove, holding a skewered marshmallow with a look of quiet desperation on your face.

Inside Out S’mores

1/4 cup butter
10 oz marshmallow creme
4 cups crushed graham crackers
10 oz semi sweet bakers chocolate
15 mini marshmallows, cut in half

Melt butter in a saucepan over low heat.

Stir in marshmallow creme until fully blended.  Remove from heat.

Add crushed graham crackers and stir until thoroughly combined.  Mixture should be sticky and able to be shaped into balls.

Using your hands, shape 1 inch balls, forming each ball around a mini marshmallow half.  Place balls in freezer for about 10 minutes.

In a double boiler, over med-high heat melt bakers chocolate.  Remove from heat.

Remove balls from freezer and drop, one at a time into melted chocolate, turning to coat.

Place on wax paper and allow to cool.


Store in a cool, dry place…if you have any left to store.

DIY Jewelry Cleaner

DIY Jewelry Cleaner

There are not very many things more exciting than when the love of your life drops to his knee, asks you those four simple words you’ve been waiting to hear, and presents you with a gorgeous, sparkling diamond ring.  You want to show it to everybody and they all exclaim over how beautiful it is, and how much it shines when it catches the light.  Well it’s been five wonderful years since the love of my life gave me that amazing ring, and lately it hasn’t been sparkling as much as it used to.  So I set out to find a solution that would restore it’s luster while staying CENTSIBLE.  Well, I am happy to report that this solution cost me absolutely nothing!  It’s made from ingredients that almost everyone will have in their kitchen, and it is so easy!

DIY Jewelry Cleaner

1 TBS Salt
1 TBS Baking Soda
1 TBS Liquid Dish Soap
1 Cup Water
1 Piece Aluminum Foil

Small bowl

Step 1 – Heat the water in the microwave for about 2 minutes.

Step 2 – Cover the bottom of a small bowl with the aluminum foil.

Step 3 – Pour the hot water into the bowl. Add the salt, baking soda, and liquid dish soap to the water. Stir together gently.

Step 4 – Place jewelry on the top of the foil and let sit for 5 to 10 minutes. Rinse with cool water and dry with a soft cloth. Discard solution after each use.

Before                                                              After – although it did clean the diamonds too, the biggest difference I could see was the band, it looked almost brand new

Before                                                             After

Enjoy proudly displaying your ring to anyone who will look and bask in their ooos and aaahs over it’s sparkle and luster, all the while smiling to yourself because you know that the secret is simply a few kitchen ingredients.

Adapted from Pinching Your Pennies

 

3 Cheese Chicken Zucchini Bake

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Okay so I know casseroles are not generally thought of as fabulous but I’m pretty sure this one will change your mind! It’s not only CENTSIBLE it’s downright delectable!! This casserole is anything but a bore…it’s full of flavorful feta, garlic, and gorgeous color!! Hope you’re ready to impress girls…because this one’s sure to “squash” the competition!!! (ok that was a lil cheesy…oh dear I did it again). Grab your aprons girls and go have some fun!!

2 medium zucchini

2 yellow summer squash

1lb chicken breast tenders

2 Tb extra virgin olive oil

1/2 c chopped onion

8 cloves chopped garlic ( trust me there is no such thing as too much garlic!!)

2 tsp  thyme

1tsp better than bullion paste (chicken flavor) or salt

4 eggs

3/4 C  sour cream

1 C  crumbled herbed feta cheese

3/4 C fresh parmesan cheese

2 Tb lemon juice

fresh cracked pepper (its some much better) Sautee chicken breast in olive oil until golden brown , season with salt and pepper as you sautee. Set aside.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees and spray a  casserole dish with nonstick spray.  Slice the squash into 1/4″ slices. Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan.  Add the squash, onion, garlic, thyme, and the better than bullion.  Sautee just until the squash is  slightly tender.  Be sure you dont overcook cook or it will be mushy after it bakes! Remove from the heat. Beat together the eggs, sour cream, feta, parmesean, and lemon juice in a medium sized bowl.  Place half of the squash into the bottom of the casserole dish. Add a layer of chicken breast on top of squash. Now throw on some fresh ground pepper, then spread 1/2 of the egg mixture over the top.  Repeat with remaining squash and egg mixture. Finish the top by sprinkling a handful of jack cheese over it! Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the mixture is bubbling and golden brown.  Enjoy your awesome creation!!

Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas

I’m always looking for great casserole recipes because they are so easy to throw together and just toss in the oven while I take care of other things…dishes, vacuuming, manicures…you get the idea.  I’ve tried a few different chicken enchilada recipes and always thought they were either too dry or sort of flavorless.  This recipe solved all of those problems!  It had lots of delicious, creamy sauce and the flavor was amazing!

Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas

1 can (18.5 oz) Progresso® Traditional Chicken and Cheese Enchilada Soup
1 can (10 oz) Old El Paso® hot or mild enchilada sauce
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
2 cups shredded cheddar/monterey jack blend (8 oz)
1 medium tomato, diced
10 flour or corn tortillas (6 inches)
2 medium green onions, thinly sliced
  1. Heat oven to 350°F. In medium bowl, stir together soup and enchilada sauce. Spread 1 cup soup mixture in ungreased 11×7-inch baking dish.
  2. In large bowl, mix 1 cup soup mixture with chicken and 1 cup of the cheese; reserve remaining soup mixture. On microwavable plate, stack tortillas and cover with paper towel; heat on High 1 minute to soften. Place 1/4 cup chicken mixture along middle of each tortilla. Top mixture with diced tomatoes.  Roll up and place seam sides down in baking dish with sauce.
  3. Pour remaining soup mixture over enchiladas. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup cheese. Sprinkle green onions on top. Bake about 30 minutes or until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbly around edges.

Adapted from Betty Crocker

Classy Corn Dogs and Cheesy Jalapeno Mashed Potatoes

What girl doesn’t love summer? Sunglasses pushed back in our hair, different sundress for each day of the week, and of course our favorite pair of sandals lying by the front door… honestly it doesn’t get much better! Some of the funnest days I’ve ever had were spent at the summer fair…and nothing quite says summer like a corn dog right?? But these girls are a bit too sophisticated for just any old corn dog…so we gotta to find a way to dress our old friend up a bit. I mean a corn dog is CENTSIBLE for a low budget , but we need to make him fashionable enough to join us in the high life!

Classy Corn dog
Ingredients:
Italian sausage 1c flour 1c corn meal fine ground 1Tb baking powder 3Tb sugar 1egg 3/4-1c milk (batter should be thick) Bake sausage at 400* for 25 min. Mix all ingredients,  Insert sticks in sausage. Dip in batter and deep fry them just until they are golden brown ( your sausage will already be fully cooked because we baked them) You can use a large sauce pan. Be careful and have fun girls!!!
I had a lot of fun with mine! I even dipped, and fried string cheese also!
I served my corn dogs with a side of:
Bacon Jalapeno Mashed Potatoes
6 large red potatoes
half a stick of butter
2 tbsps whipping cream
4 strips of bacon
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
half a cup sour cream
4 cloves garlic chopped
2 jalapenos chopped
salt to tase
Cut potatoes in fourths, place in saucepan, cover in water and boil until tender. Meanwhile, cook bacon, crumble and set aside. Sautee garlic and jalapenos in 1 tbsp butter just until tender. When potatoes are tender drain water and place in mixing bowl, add remaining butter, whipping cream, sour cream, and salt. Mix until smooth. Now add the garlic and jalapenos and crumbled bacon!! Mix just until combined… try not to eat them all!