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Who am I? Wife. Mother of 2. "Newbie" to fitness. Personal Trainer-in-training. Lover of health. Fitness. Religion. Family. Gluten and refined sugar intolerant. Welcome to my journey. Learn with me.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


It is always fun to do some classic repeats for dinners! There is no use having favorites if you only get to have them once! Here are the dinners we have repeated this month that are already located on this blog. You can find them at the following addresses:

ENCHILADA CASSEROLE: http://shaylaskitchen.blogspot.com/2008/10/enchilada-casserole.html

CHICKEN CORDON BLEU PASTA: http://shaylaskitchen.blogspot.com/2008/12/chicken-cordon-bleu-pasta.html

PINEAPPLE MEATBALLS: http://shaylaskitchen.blogspot.com/2008/12/pineapple-meatballs.html

SKILLET ENCHILADAS: http://shaylaskitchen.blogspot.com/2009/05/skillet-enchiladas.html

Happy eating!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Chicken Cajun with a Chile Cream Sauce

I subscribed to all sorts of different recipe places that send me new recipes daily. If I think I would ever attempt to make it, or if it sounds good, I save it. This is one of those recipes, courtesy of Campbell's Kitchen! I had cayenne pepper, cumin, curry, and coriander all on hand... but no cajun. It is a bit pricey at some places so if you don't already have it, watch out for that! This is a tasty meal that we really enjoyed!

From Campbell’s Kitchen

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
2 tsp. Creole or Cajun seasoning
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 can (10 3/4 oz.) Campbell's® Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup
1/2 cup water
1 can (4 oz.) chopped green chiles
1 tsp. lime juice
1/4 cup sour cream
Hot cooked regular long-grain white rice

Season chicken with Creole seasoning. Heat oil in skillet. Add chicken and cook until browned. Add soup, water, chiles and lime juice. Heat to a boil. Cook over low heat 5 min. or until done. Stir in sour cream and heat through. Serve over rice. Serves 4.

*I don't like to deal with bulky chicken breasts so I cut mine up. I find it helps get an even flavor too. We also like things spicy so I added a bit of cayenne pepper to my final sauce - tasty!

Monte Cristo Sandwiches

I stumbled across this recipe on a blog and now I can't find it again except in my recipe compilation! But this was FANTASTIC! I have never had a Monte Cristo Sandwich before (nor had Jake) and we LOVED this. After using whole wheat bread I could only get down one sandwich before being super full and Jake only got down 2! He spent the whole evening talking about how amazing these sandwiches were! Try them! They are fabulous!


2 eggs
1/4 c. maple syrup
4 slices of bread
cream cheese
2-3 slices deli black forest ham
2-3 slices deli turkey
2 slices Swiss cheese'
powdered sugar
Raspberry Jam (or any jam you like)

Mix eggs and maple syrup together with a fork and pour in a shallow dish. Dip the bread in the egg (make sure the bread is well-covered with the egg mixture) and cook on a griddle or in a frying pan (as if you were making French toast). Spread a good amount of cream cheese on half of the toasts. On the same toasts, add half of the ham and turkey and a slice of Swiss cheese. Top each sandwich with the remaining toasts. Turn the griddle to a low heat and add the sandwiches. Warm each sandwich until cheese is melted. Remove from heat and sprinkle each sandwich with powdered sugar. Cut into halves or fourths and serve with raspberry jam. Yield = 2 sandwiches.

*I didn't want to spend a lot of money on meat so we just got the Land of Frost meats and they were still great! Also, if you warm up your jam a little bit it is really tasty!

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

I was feeling down the other day and I decided to get outside of myself and bake some cookies for my sweet husband! He requested Chocolate Chip Cookies and I just added a bit more Chocolate to help improve my mood even more. :-) We went to Mom and Dad Bentley's house that evening to celebrate our brother Henry's 12th birthday and served the SUPER MOIST cookies with Mom Bentley's homemade ice cream! I made 24 cookies and they were GONE by the time I had finished my small bowl of ice cream! I think they were inhaled! The picture and recipe are courtesy of Allrecipes.com. They went too fast for me to get a picture! For the original link go here.

From Allrecipes.com

1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup white sugar
1 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). In large bowl, beat butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt; stir into the butter mixture until well blended. Mix in the chocolate chips and walnuts. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or just until set. Cool slightly on the cookie sheets before transferring to wire racks to cool completely. Yield = 24 cookies

Bubble Pizza

This great recipe is from a blog on the web that is no longer available! Luckily, I snagged this classic recipe before that could happen. This is a regular at our house. It is so quick, easy, and versatile and Jake especially loves it, even as left overs.


1 jar pizza/tomato sauce OR *your own pizza sauce recipe
2 cups Mozzerella cheese
2 tubes buttermilk biscuits
Sausage, pepperoni, chicken, mushrooms, spinach, olives, onions, any pizza topping you love.

1. Open the two tubes of biscuits and cut the individual biscuits into quarters. Place in bowl and set aside.
2. Open or make your pizza sauce. Stir in with biscuits being sure to coat all of the pieces.
3. Add toppings, NOT CHEESE. Mix well.
4. Pour mixture into a GREASED 9x13 pan (Pyrex is best).
5. Cook at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
6. Remove and sprinkle cheese over the top. You may not need all two cups (we didn't).
7. Bake another 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. Serve.

*Classic Pizza Sauce (adjusted particularly for this recipe)

1 can tomato sauce
1 can tomato paste
1/4 tsp. Ground sweet basil
1/4 tsp. Oregano
1 1/2 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. Sugar
1/4 + 1/8 tsp. Garlic powder

Mix all ingredients together.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Shredded Barbecue Chicken

This recipe, courtesy of Recipezaar, was a really great, really easy, quick to pull together recipe. (I used the stove top directions.) My sweet Jake said that the flavor wasn't "wow" enough for him but I really enjoyed it and thought the flavor was perfect. It really is simple so what do you have to lose? Regrettably, I don't have a picture! Sorry! The original recipe, including nutritional information, is located here.

From Recipezaar

4 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
1 1/2 cups
3 tablespoons
brown sugar
1 tablespoon
Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon
soy sauce
1 tablespoon
apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon
crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon
garlic powder
8 buns

CROCKPOT DIRECTIONS: Place chicken breast in the crockpot and cook on high about 3 hours. Stir together all the sauce ingredients. Add the shredded chicken and heat. Serve on buns. (If you want the chicken to be moister you need to cook it on low for 8 – 10 hours.)

STOVETOP DIRECTIONS: Boil the chicken in water on the stove. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, combine the rest of the ingredients. Heat thoroughly, stirring occasionally. Once the chicken is done, shred it with a fork and add to the sauce. Heat through. Serve on buns.

Dunford Potato Salad

This is the famous Dunford Potato Salad that is requested at every party we ever go to. (My mom's maiden name is Dunford.) Unfortunately, there really isn't an "official" recipe... so here is the best I can offer!


6 medium red potatoes, cubed
4 eggs, hard boiled, cut horizontally, vertically, and then sideways (in your hand...)
1 1/2 - 2 cups Mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons Mustard
3 - 4 tablespoons Celery seed

Boil the potatoes until they are tender and then cut into cubes. Place in a bowl and fold in the cut hard boiled eggs. Sprinkle with celery seed. In a separate bowl mix together mayonnaise and mustard. Pour into potato and egg mixture and fold until everything is well combined. Serve immediately or chilled.

*Okay, that is a general idea of the recipe but here is what you look for: 1) Make sure that the eggs are present but not overwhelming. 2) When mixing the mayonnaise and mustard you should be able to taste the mustard slightly, but not too much. The mixture should be faintly yellow, and you should make enough of it to coat the potatoes and eggs very well. 3) The celery seed needs to be uniform in consistency throughout the whole salad. If you need to add more, don't be shy!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

General Tso's Chicken

WOW WOW WOW!!! Jake and I are huge fans of chinese food and General Tso's Chicken is Jake's favorite Chinese dish. The verdict? We both LOVED this chicken! There is nothing that I like more when it comes to food than well seasoned chicken and this was phenomenal. Forget paying $30+ for an overpriced Chinese restaurant dish. This recipe was BETTER than any General Tso's Chicken I have gotten anywhere and it was SO easy to make with ingredients I already had on hand! (Okay, so the green onions aren't USUALLY something I just keep stored in my refrigerator, but they were there this time!) Try it! You won't be disappointed!


1 Lb. chicken breasts (cut into 1" pieces)
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. "lite" soy sauce
1/4 c. unsweetened pineapple juice
1/4 c. white distilled vinegar
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp. fresh ginger, finely grated
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp. cornstarch, mixed with 3 Tbsp. water
4 green onions, sliced

Dredge chicken in flour and fry in oil over medium heat (in a wok or a skillet) until golden brown and crispy. Drain excess oil. Sprinkle cayenne over the chicken and keep warm on low heat. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, combine sauce ingredients (sugar, soy sauce, pineapple juice, vinegar, garlic, and ginger) and heat gently. When sauce is smooth and sugar has dissolved, SLOWLY add cornstarch mixture and stir constantly until sauce has thickened to desired thickness. Pour sauce in the wok (or skillet) and stir to coat chicken. Stir in green onion and hot red pepper flakes (optional, but we LOVED the extra kick). Remove from heat and serve.

*NOTE: I cut some of the chicken into small strips for variety and they cooked beautifully. I also didn't have "lite" soy sauce so I used regular soy sauce at just under 1/4 cup. I don't like dealing with fresh ingredients either so I just sprinkled about 1/2 tsp - 1 tsp. of minced garlic in the sauce and used 1/2 tsp. ground ginger.

The Easiest Taco Salad

Okay, let's be real here. How many newleyweds (or oldyweds) with kids have money in abudance AND a lot of time on their hands? I will be amazed if anyone says they do! After a long day of looking after a newborns needs, cleaning house, working out, and teaching piano lessons, I don't have a lot of energy or motivation to put together long recipes with lengthy ingredient lists and obscure ingredients! SO! For all of you in the same boat with me: this is one of our favorite go-to recipes for those nights when we're hungry and want something RIGHT NOW! (Without resorting to fast food.) It takes, at most, 10 minutes to get ready from start to finish and is SO versatile that you can add just about whatever you want to it. The ingredients below are the BAREST OF BARE BASICS to give you a wonderfully tasting recipe at very little cost.


1 lb. ground beef
1 packet favorite taco seasoning
1 package iceburg lettuce (with the carrots and cabbage included)
2-4 Tbsp. favorite Ranch dressing

Brown ground beef; drain. Mix in water and contents of taco seasoning packet according to directions on the back of the package. Toss with lettuce and ranch dressing. Serve.

*No. I'm not kidding. That is seriously all there is to it. I like to add some variety now and again with shredded cheddar cheese, tomato, crushed tortilla chips, salsa, corn, etc., etc., etc. Whatever you want to add - throw it in! But what is listed above is really all you NEED! Enjoy! :-)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Sticky Fingers like Wingers!

Yummy! Who doesn't like Wingers Original Sauce? I found this recipe on the internet (can't remember where) and we really enjoy it. I like to double my sauce so that we have some to dip the finished chicken in to. This is really great served with a baked potato! Picture courtesy of this site: FAVORITE FAMILY RECIPES


1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
1 Tbsp. honey
2 tsp. hot sauce (more or less as desired)
2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
12 - 16 oz. box frozen breaded chicken tenders

In a saucepan over low heat, combine all ingredients, except chicken. Warm sauce, stirring occasionally, while you cook the chicken. Prepare chicken as directed on package in the oven. Toss chicken in sauce and remove with a slotted spoon to a cookie sheet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 5 - 7 minutes, or until sauce thickens and becomes sticky.

*Make sure that you use chicken with a crunchy exterior. If you use chicken like chicken nuggets, the breading will just soak up the sauce. It is good to use chicken nugget type chicken if you want to have the sticky fingers on top of a salad.