Well it's Tuesday and I need to have dinner ready since we get home late. Today is a little more stressful because we have only one car. :(  So as soon as Gerald gets home, I have to run to Eva's school and pick her up from after school care, then run her up to Racine for her class (about a 30 min drive!)  I wanted something different than what I had planned and saw this.  Thank goodness for Kraft Food!!

 Prep Time: 5 min Total Time: 30 min Makes: 4 servings

What You Need!
8 boneless skinless chicken thighs (about 3/4 lb.)
1/4 cup  KRAFT Zesty Italian Dressing
1 cup chicken broth
2 cups  fresh green beans, trimmed, halved
1 cup instant white rice, uncooked
1/4 cup  PLANTERS Sliced Almonds
Make It!

COOK chicken in dressing in large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat 4 min. on each side or until evenly browned.

ADD broth; bring to boil. Cover; simmer 5 min. Add beans; cook 5 min. or until chicken is done (165ºF). Remove chicken; cover to keep warm.

STIR rice and nuts into beans. Remove from heat; cover. Let stand 5 min.; fluff rice. Serve with chicken.

I kept a portion of the rice and beans seperate for Eva and I didn't put the almonds on it for the kids (I tried once before and they were horrified, lol)

Macaroni Monday!!! lol, how many different ways can you make it? Well, if you go to kraftfoods.com and type in macaroni & cheese, you will come up with 242!! Well, there's only 52 Monday's in a year, so I've got plenty of choices! While scrolling through these recipes, I saw salmon mac & cheese, which sounded good, but since we had Tuna Noodle Casserole yesterday, I decided to make Salmon Patties to go with the mac & cheese. Add some yummy jello, and we're all set!

1 can (14 3/4 oz.) salmon
1/2 med. onion, chopped
2 eggs
1 tsp. ground pepper
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 whole pkg. saltine crackers, crushed

Empty 1 can salmon and juice into large mixing bowl (remove bones). Add 2 eggs. Add lemon juice. Stir mixture well. Add onion, pepper, crackers. Stir.Form into patties 3/4 to 1 inch thick. Set aside on plate or wax paper (make 5-6 patties). Let set 5 minutes.
In large frying pan heat 1/2 inch cooking oil to med. high temperature. Do not skimp on oil. When oil is hot place patties in pan and cook 4-5 minutes per side. Make sure patties get cooked all way through. Center should not be cold.
What I did different:  I used Montreal Steak Seasoning instead of the spices. I made them mini size using the medium Pampered Chef scoop. Lastly, I baked them in a 475 degree oven for 7 min's on a heavily sprayed pan, then flipped them over and cooked for 5 more min's.  They did end up a little dry, but we dunked them in tater sauce and they were fine.  Some recipes I saw had mayo in them and I might try this to see if they stay moist.  Enjoy!

Prep Time: 15 min Total Time: 4 hr Makes: 9 servings, one square each

What You Need!
1-1/2 cups boiling water
1 pkg.  (8-serving size) or 2 pkg. (4-serving size each) JELL-O Strawberry Flavor Sugar Free Gelatin
ice cubes
1 cup  cold water
1-1/2 cups thawed COOL WHIP Sugar Free Whipped Topping, divided
Make It!

STIR boiling water into dry gelatin mix in large bowl at least 2 min. until completely dissolved. Add enough ice to cold water to measure 1-1/2 cups. Add to gelatin; stir until ice is completely melted. Remove 1-1/2 cups of the gelatin; set aside on counter. Refrigerate remaining gelatin 30 min. or until slightly thickened.

ADD 3/4 cup of the whipped topping to chilled thickened gelatin; stir with wire whisk until well blended. Pour into 8-inch square dish. Refrigerate 15 min. or until gelatin mixture is set but not firm. Carefully pour reserved gelatin over creamy layer in dish.

REFRIGERATE 3 hours or until firm. Cut into squares to serve. Top each serving with a dollop of the remaining 3/4 cup whipped topping.

This was a HIT with the kids.  I cut them into 2" x 2" squares for easy eating.

Well, it's Sunday and I usually make a big dinner today. But Gerald's choir is having a performance today at St. Rita's church, so I'll just whip up something quick, like Tuna Noodle Casserole with blueberry muffins (from a mix, lol)
I read a post on Facebook from a friend recently and realized that not everybody knows about Fly Lady!!! If you don't, go to: www.flylady.com.  The big thing that I learned from her is: just 15 minutes.  Yup yup. When I look at how messy my kitchen or my living room, etc is, instead of becoming overwhelmed, I just say to myself, "What can I do in 15 minutes?"  Put things away, straighten things up, throw things away - ding! There's the timer and it's now time to walk away. No, it will not be done. No, it will not be perfect. But a little bit everyday helps more than doing nothing at all. Hey, I got 4 kids (5 if you count hubby!) Trying to clean the house right now is like shoveling while it's snowing out!! And I've got better things to do. hmmm, I wonder if my crops are done!

PS. eeeek! Somehow or another, I forgot to buy potato chips for the top of the tuna noodle casserole!! My hubby said, "shame on you, that's the best part!!" sigh Old age? or the kids? Probably both! lol
It's Saturday and we usually have pizza. I decided today to make it from scratch, since the kids only eat cheese pizza. Plus, I wanted an in between crust - not thin, not thick. Found a recipe that looked like what I wanted and tried it out.  What I like about this recipe is that it's enough dough for an 11 x 17" pan, aka. a cookie sheet!! Whoo hoo! Made it up and it was awesome!! And I am thankful for my heavy duty Kitchen Aid mixer. It kneaded the dough for 10 minutes without a problem. I made half of the pizza with bbq pork, green peppers, and cheese; the other half with just cheese.  Everybody said, "YUMMMM".  I'm going to make this dough again and freeze it so I have it on hand. Enjoy!

Sicilian Thick Crust
(makes a 17 1/2" X 11 1/2" Pizza)
4 cups All−Purpose flour
1 tsp salt
4 tbsps oil
2 pkgs. dry yeast
1 1/2 cups of warm water (105F)

Mix yeast, 1/2 cup flour, and 1/2 cup water in a bowl covered with
plastic wrap. Let rise for 15 minutes.
Stir to deflate. Mix 2 cups of remaining flour with salt, 1 cup cool
tap water, and oil. Add yeast mixture. Mix in remaining flour.
Knead 15 minutes on a floured surface (10 minutes in a machine) until
smooth. Place dough in bowl dusted with flour and cover with plastic
wrap. Let rise until doubled (1 to 2 hours). Punch dough down and
put in ziploc bag in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Preheat oven to 500F.
Remove dough from refrigerator when ready to shape into crust.
Punch down dough thoroughly and roll out dough on a floured surface.
Lightly oil (olive) a 17 1/2" X 11 1/2" X 3/4" pan. Place dough in pan
and push to stretch evenly leaving a lip up against sides of pan.
Let rest for 10−15 minutes (while you prepare toppings). Stretch out
dough again (it will have receded) and place desired toppings.
Cook in center of oven until crust is golden brown. (about 12 min's)
Sunday, beginning of the week. We all got to church early for a change, but probably because of Daylight Savings time. Eva is FINALLY better and excited to go to school on Monday. I didn't get a chance to go grocery shopping on Friday, so we went today. It was a beautiful Fall day, so I just made an easy dinner. And it was a HIT!!! Everybody (except Eva) had seconds!!

Cheesy au Gratin Potatoes with Ham

6    medium boiling or baking potatoes (2 lb)
1/4   cup butter or margarine
1   medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)  (I didn't use them)
1lb    ham, chopped into bite size pieces
1    tablespoon Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
1/4    teaspoon pepper
2    cups milk
2    cups shredded natural sharp Cheddar cheese (8 oz)
1/4    cup Progresso® dry bread crumbs (any flavor)
1.    Heat oven to 375ºF.
2.    Scrub potatoes but do not peel. Cut into 1/8-inch slices to measure about 4 cups.
3.    Stir in milk and 1 1/2 cups of the cheese. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute.
4.    Spread potatoes and ham  into ungreased 1 1/2-quart casserole. Pour cheese sauce over potatoes.
5    Bake uncovered 1 hour. Mix remaining cheese and the bread crumbs; sprinkle over potatoes. Sprinkle with paprika. Bake uncovered 15 to 20 minutes longer or until top is brown and bubbly.

-- I did both of these: I didn't peel the potatoes and I added garlic powder to each layer --

Health Twist
**Not only does using unpeeled potatoes save you time, but you get more nutrition as well. Much of a potato’s fiber and vitamins are found in or directly under the peel.
Add another flavor dimension to this creamy side dish by using garlic butter instead of regular butter.

I served it with homemade rolls.  For desert, I made brownies and served it with a little ice cream.