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Recipe Box: Muffin Meat Loaf

I love finding recipes that are tasty and lower in “points”. This month for Surprise Recipe Swap, I was partnered with Marlene of She has a great collection of recipes and they all look delicious. After looking over her numerous recipes I decided to make her Individual Meatloaf Muffins. Not only did they sound yummy but I knew they would freeze well for future meals. An added bonus was that I had everything on hand so it was an easy task to whip them up for dinner. You can read her recipe here.

Individual Meatloaf Muffins

serves 6

5 Personal Points per serving

1/2 cup finely chopped carrot
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 cup ketchup
1 cup crushed panko
1  pound 90/10 ground beef

1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons prepared mustard
1/4 cup BBQ sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350°

In a medium bowl, combine 1/4 cup ketchup, chopped carrots, oregano, and panko. Gently fold in the ground beef.

Combine ingredients in a large bowl.

Combine ingredients in a large bowl.

In a separate bowl combine the ketchup, BBQ sauce, mustard, brown sugar and salt and pepper.  Set aside. Spoon the meat mixture into 6 muffin cups coated with cooking spray. Top each with the topping mixture.

Ready for the oven!

Ready for the oven!

Bake for 25 minutes. Delicious served with mashed potatoes.

Individual Meatloaf Muffins

Individual Meatloaf Muffins

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Recipe Box: Bruschetta Chicken Bake

While I’ve been helping my daughter out with her new baby boy and her 22-month daughter I’ve been doing a lot of cooking for them. A friend of mine gave this recipe to me quite some time ago. This was the first time I’ve gotten around to making it and it was a great success. I will definitely be making it again! It takes no time at all to put together. I actually put the dinner together during a quiet time and kept it in the fridge until I was ready to cook it.

Bruschetta Chicken Bake

1.5 pounds of skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cubed
1 tsp salt
1 (15 oz) can of diced tomatoes, undrained
½ cup water
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 (6 oz) box of chicken flavored dry stuffing mix
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 Tbsp Italian seasoning

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 9×13 glass-baking dish with cooking spray. Toss the cubed chicken with the salt in a large bowl. Place the chicken in a layer in the bottom of the baking dish.

Place cubed chicken in the bottom of the pan.

Place cubed chicken in the bottom of the pan.

Stir together the tomatoes; water, garlic and stuffing mix in a large bowl.

Stuffing mix.

Stuffing mix.

Sprinkle the cheese over the chicken, then the Italian seasoning.

Spread the cheese over the chicken.

Spread the cheese over the chicken.

Spread the stuffing mix on top. (Whoops, I almost forgot to add the Italian seasoning!)

Spread stuffing mix over the chicken.

Spread stuffing mix over the chicken.

Bake uncovered until the chicken cubes have turned white and are no longer pink in the center, about 30 minutes.

The meal was delicious and enjoyed by all!

Bruschetta Chicken Bake

Bruschetta Chicken Bake

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Recipe Box: The Soup Doctor’s Egg Drop Soup

You may have heard of the Cake Doctor before, a series of cookbooks where every recipe is based on a boxed cake mix. My husband is the Soup Doctor! He can take a plain package of Ramen Noodles and turn it into an amazing egg drop soup with just a few simple ingredients. Perfect for those lunch or dinners where you just want a quick, delicious meal.

On The Home Front Egg Drop Soup

On The Home Front Egg Drop Soup Ingredients

The Soup Doctor’s Egg Drop Soup

One package of ramen noodles (follow basic directions on back of package).

The doctor’s additions:

one egg
1 heaping tsp garlic, chopped
1 heaping tsp ginger, chopped
2 scallions finely chopped
2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 Tbsp sesame oil
¼ tsp black pepper
6-12 drops of chili oil to suit taste

This recipe feeds two but you can easily double the amounts to feed 4. These amounts are approximate as my husband doesn’t measure from bottles.
Chop equal amounts of garlic and ginger, roughly a heaping teaspoon each and set aside.IMG_1133

Chop equal amounts of ginger and garlic

Chop equal amounts of ginger and garlic


Trim and finely chop two scallions.

Chop 2 scallions.

Chop 2 scallions.

Boil 2 cups of water, and drop in one large egg. Stir quickly with a fork to break up yolk.

Add egg to boiling water.

Add egg to boiling water.

Add the ramen noodle seasoning packet and stir to dissolve.

Add ramen noodles to boiling water.

Add ramen noodles to boiling water.

Then add garlic, ginger, scallions, and noodles. Once the noodles begin to soften add the soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, black pepper, and chili oil. Turn down heat to simmer. Cook noodles until done – about 2 mins.
Serve hot and enjoy!

Soup, Prudent Living

Egg Drop Soup

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Recipe Box: Penne and Chicken with Vodka Sauce

I have been very blessed to have children that love to cook. My oldest daughter made this delicious dinner for us when she was visiting recently. It was an adaptation of a Weight Watchers recipe she had found online. The original recipe did not include chicken. I imagine it would freeze well but it did not last long enough for us to try!

Penne and Chicken with Vodka Sauce

1 Tbsp butter
½ cup chopped shallots
2 medium cloves of garlic, minced
2 Tbsp parsley, minced
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
3 Tbsp tomato paste
2 oz vodka
1/8  tsp salt for cooking pasta
12 oz uncooked penne (I used whole wheat)
½ cup heavy whipping cream
20 leaves of fresh basil cut into ribbons
1-2 pound of boneless chicken, cut into cubes

In a large skillet cook the chicken in 1 tablespoon of butter until well done.

chicken, prudent living

Sauté chicken until done.

Remove and keep warm. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to the package directions and drain. Heat a large skillet over medium low heat. Add butter, shallots and garlic and sauté until the shallots start to caramelize.

prudent living

Saute garlic and shallots.

Add parsley, salt and pepper and stir.

recipes, chicken

Add the parsley.

Add the tomato paste and mix to form a paste. Cook for about 5 minutes stirring occasionally.

chicken, prudent living

Add the chicken and stir to coat.

Add the vodka; continue stirring for about five minutes more. Add cream to the tomato sauce, reduce heat and simmer for about 3 minutes. Add the cooked chicken and stir until well coated. Add pasta to the sauce and mix to coat, top with the basil and serve.

chicken prudent living

Chicken Penne with Vodka Sauce

Makes about 6 servings.

chicken, prudent living

Good to the last bite!


Linked to: WeekendWonder , FoodieFriendsFriday,NotYourOrdianryRecipe, RattlebridgeFarm, SimplySweetHome, FoodieFriday, FoodOnFridays, JustWingingIt, WeekendKitchenCreations, FreedomeFridays, TheWeekendPotluck, SassyLittleLady, CheeriosAndLattes, CrumbsAndChaos, TutusAndTeaParties, ChurchSupper, TheCreativeHomeAcreHop, IAmAddictedToRecipes, MakeAheadMealsForBusyMoms, MrsHappyHomemaker, FlourMeWithLove, TheDedicatedHouse, TheChickenChick, OurDelightfulHome, CountrifiedHicks, TheGatheringSpot, NapTimeCreations, HearthAndSoulHop, BlessedWithGrace, InsideBruCrewLife, 33ShadesOfGreen, FatTuesday, LoveBakesGoodCakes, AnnesFunnyFarm, TuesdaysTable, TotallyTastyTuesdays, BizzyBakes, KellyTheKitchenKop, WeAreThatFamily, DJsSugarShack, ThisChickCooksWonderfulFoodWedneday, AdornedFromAbove, HousewivesOfRiverton, semiHomemadeMom, FullPlateThursday, KatherinesCorner, SevenAlive, TheBusyBees, BloomDesigns, TheBrambleberyCottage, FutureExpat

Prudent Pantry: Cultured Foods Made At Home

What is a cultured food? “Cultured” essentially means fermented – the chemical process of breaking a complicated substance down into simpler parts, usually with the help of bacteria, yeasts or fungi. Some of the more common fermented foods are yogurt and sauerkraut.

There are many reasons to eat fermented foods. They improve digestion. Fermenting our foods before we eat them is like partially digesting them before we consume them. Fermented foods restore the proper balance of bacteria in the gut. Eating fermented food helps us to absorb the nutrients we’re consuming. Fermenting food helps us to preserve it for longer periods of time. Milk will go bad in the fridge but yogurt lasts a lot longer. Fermenting food often increases the flavor and is inexpensive.

You can purchase yogurt in the store, but did you know it is very easy to make at home? You don’t need any special equipment. You need milk and culture. I purchased my culture from You don’t need to use raw milk, you just do not want to use the ultra pasteurized milk.

homemade yogurt

Only two ingredients needed.

Here are the simple directions. Pour ½ gallon of cold milk into a heavy stainless pot for heating. Heat the milk to 185 degrees and then hold it there for 10-20 minutes.

temperature, yogurt, prudent living

Hold the mixture at 185 degrees.

This will prepare the whey proteins, which are largely responsible for the thickening of the yogurt body. Set the milk pot directly on the burner and begin heating with careful stirring to prevent the scorching of the milk. Cool the milk as quickly as possible to your target temperature for inoculating the yogurt (116 degrees F). When the milk reaches the proper temperature for inoculation, it is time to add the direct set yogurt culture. The culture will be a mix of Streptococcus thermophiles and Lactobacillus bulgaricus plus and probiotic additions the culture may contain.

Incubate the cultured milk for the required time. This can be done easily by pouring your cultured milk into containers and placing those containers inside an insulated cooler.

yogurt, culture

Milk was poured into two quart jars.

Pour warm water (116 degrees F) into the cooler so that your container lids are just an inch or so above the water line. This “water bath” will maintain the temperature so that the appropriate bacteria will thrive and populate.

making yogurt, yogurt, prudent living

Cultured milk in cooler, water up to lids

Place the cover on the cooler. The time of incubation is about 8-10 hours for most yogurt cultures.

Place the cover on the cooler.

Place the cover on the cooler.

Place the yogurt in the refrigerator when the incubation is complete.

I inoculated my milk, poured it into glass jars and placed them into my cooler. I added the warm water, put the lid on the cooler and let it sit on the counter for 10 hours. Before going to bed I placed the yogurt in the fridge. In the morning I had two containers of plain yogurt ready to enjoy! I have always preferred flavored yogurt but I find this yogurt to be delicious. If you want, feel free to add fruit to flavor it yourself.


Homemade Yogurt

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Recipe Box: Sausage and Lentil Soup

I am not a big fan of leftovers – however, if I can combine leftovers together and make a new meal I am all for it. Several weeks ago I made a large batch of Lentil Soup. I put some aside in the freezer.

soup, prudent living

Lentil Soup

Last week I made a Sausage Lentil Casserole for dinner.


Sausage and Lentils

It was delicious. One of my favorite soups is to combine the leftover Sausage Lentil Casserole with some of the Lentil Soup.

prudent living

Combining leftovers!

Viola a new soup – Sausage Lentil Soup. Quick, easy and delicious and uses up two of the leftovers on hand! Serve with a salad and some bread and you have a perfect dinner.


Sausage and Lentil Soup

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