Archive for July 2012

Crockpot Pesto Ravioli

July 30, 2012

Sometimes I wish I could talk to my newly married self 5 years ago. Seriously. If I had known back then you could cook pasta in the Crockpot I would have been ALL OVER that! Wait, not just pasta, FROZEN pasta! Though, I'm not sure they had slow cooker liners back then. I don't want to live in a world without slow cooker liners, how about you?

This dinner is a true family pleaser. The addition of the pesto just takes the flavor to a whole new level. Paul thought it tasted, "restaurant quality." And since he manages one, I personally feel he is highly qualified to make that kind of a judgement. :)

Crockpot Pesto Ravioli

24 oz jar pasta sauce
25 oz frozen ravioli
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup pesto
1 cup shredded mozzarella, divided
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided

In a medium bowl, combine ricotta, pesto, and 1/2 cup parmesan.

Spread 1 cup spaghetti sauce on bottom of Crockpot. Place 1/2 of the frozen ravioli on top of the sauce.

Spread 1/2 of the ricotta mix on the ravioli. Top ricotta with 1/2 cup mozzarella. Repeat layers again (1 cup sauce, remaining frozen ravioli, remaining ricotta, remaining mozzarella).

Spread rest of sauce over top. Cook on low for 3 hours. Remove lid and add sprinkle 1/4 cup parmesan. Replace lid and cook an additional 30 minutes on low.

Here are some more of my favorite Crockpot recipes:

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Menu Plan Monday ~ 7/30 Party Week!

What a special week we have planned! One year ago tomorrow we welcomed our 2nd miracle into this world, Wesley Mark. I can't believe it's been a year already! Of course we have special dinner and dessert planned for tomorrow night. And then Saturday is the big party, yay!
Last week I posted Wesley's one year photoshoot we took at the park and also his party invitations. You better bet I'll be posting all about his adorable party!
Despite all the planning and running around, the family still has to eat lol! So here's my plan:

Grilled Stuffed Burritos

Birthday dinner out!

Baked Dijon Chicken & steamed veg

Oven Tacos

Skinny Baked Broccoli Mac & Cheese

Party Time! Grilled hotdogs, baked beans, cole slaw, and strawberry salad, YUM!

Leftover party food (probably for a few days!)

~cut up veggies & dressing
~chips & salsa
~french toast
I hope you have an exciting week, too! I'm linking up at Menu Plan Monday, Stone Gable, and Scraps of Life.

Friday Favorites - Broccoli

July 27, 2012

We are broccoli fanatics in this house. Anytime I'm perusing the grocery ads and I see that broccoli is on sale, it goes on the list. We love it mostly as a snack, raw, with a cup of light dressing to dip. Over the last two weeks I must have gone overboard because we are now left with almost two bags full of cut broccoli florets that I scored at Target pretty cheap. What to do, what to do... Here are some Semi Homemade Mom recipes with broccoli:

Layered Summer Pasta Salad

Broccoli & Cheddar Twice Baked Potatoes

Spinoccoli Pizza

But I think I'm in the mood to try something new. Here are some of my favorite pins that call for broccoli:

Crockpot Broccoli Cheese Casserole - Crockpot Ladies

Orange Sauced Broccoli & Peppers - BHG

Source: via Kelly on Pinterest

Broccoli Cheddar Biscuit Cups - Cooking with My Kid

Skinny Baked Broccoli Mac & Cheese - Six Sisters Stuff

Broccoli Cheddar Soup - Pocket Change Gourmet

Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole - Once A Month Mom

Yum, I have lots to choose from! Linking up to: Finding Joy in My Kitchen and Pinteresting Wednesday.

First Birthday Photoshoot & Invitations

July 24, 2012

A BIG way we save money in this family is with photography. My dad used to be a wedding photographer almost 30 years ago, back when the biggest expense was developing the film. How far we've come! Paul bought me a Canon DSLR camera when I was pregnant with Silas over 3 years ago and since then I've practiced A LOT. I think the biggest thing I've learned was how to shoot in manual mode and adjust the ISO setting (LOVE this tutorial). Other than that, it's all luck and post-editing in Photoshop!

A few weeks ago I decided to dress Wesley up cute and make a first attempt at some 12 month old pics at our local park. To my surprise, they turned out great. Here are some of my favorites:

Can't resist an adorable hiney shot! :)

And of course a couple with big brother.

Isn't he the cutest?

Did you notice that Wesley is wearing a dark blue Polo sweater vest? Yeah... totally scored that at a local thrift store for $1.50!!!

Anyway, I was thrilled that I didn't need a 2nd or 3rd attempt at pictures so I took the deep blue and green from the photos to use in the invitations, and subsequently the party. 

I put this together using Photoshop, but you could do something very similar on Pic Monkey. Or make it even easier and just upload the picture to Shutterfly or Snapfish and choose a card they have already premade. I needed them printed fairly quickly so I just went through Walmart!

So grand total:

         First birthday photo session- FREE
         First birthday invitations- approx. $15 for prints
         Envelopes- FREE (already had on hand)

So how about you. Have you had success with your own "photoshoot"? Any tips or tricks you'd like to share?

Linking up to: Show and Tell, The Mommy Club, Show Off Your Stuff, Cast Party Wednesday, Wow Me Wednesday, Women Living Well, Uncommonly Yours, Creations by Kara, Lil Luna, Sugar and Spice, Link it up Wednesday, Something Swanky, I Made This, Thrifty Thursday, Somewhat Simple, Timeout Thursday, Things I've Done Thursday, Pin It Thursday.

Menu Plan 7/23 - 5 Ingredients or Less!

July 23, 2012

Well it's 2 weeks now until Wesley's big first birthday party bash! I feel pretty proud of myself that I've done a lot of things ahead of time. I'm the worlds most successful procrastinator, so this is amazing for me! Though I think at this point I need to gather all the things I've bought and take inventory so I'm not buying double. As far as menu planning is concerned, easy and under 5 ingredients is my mantra for the next two weeks! Here's what's on our menu board this week:

Leftovers (they are taking over the fridge!!)

Chicken Mozzarella Sammies, steamed veggie

Breakfast Sausage Pasta (just spaghetti sauce, pasta, and cut up sausage links, a childhood favorite of mine!)

Grilled Cheeseburger Wraps (ok so this has more than 5 ingredients, but I always have them in the pantry)

Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken

Breakfast- Cereal Buffet

Dinner- Easy Shrimp Scampish, rice

Breakfast- Cereal Buffet

Dinner- Crockpot Shredded Chicken Sammies


~cut up veggies & dip


~mac & cheese

~salsa & chips

~frozen pizza (great deal on them at Target this week!)

Every week I look forward to browsing other menu plans to give me some fresh ideas. Check out where I link up at Menu Plan Monday, Stone Gable,  and Scraps of Life if you'd like some more inspiration, too! Have a great week!

But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, for he has been good to me.

Psalm 13:5-6