Homemade Cheez-It Crackers

I’ve been wanting to try this Homemade Cheez-It Crackers recipe for awhile! It was very easy to make and didn’t take me very long.

The dough. . .

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The dough rolled out.. I also poked holes in the dough to make them look more like the real thing: IMG_3085

Right out of the oven:

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They are actually really tasty!!

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Ingredients

1 cup flour

4 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small squares

1 (8-ounce) bag grated extra-sharp 2% Cheddar cheese (I had a cheddar/Monterrey jack mix and added Parmesan)

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (I didn’t have any so I used chili powder)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients in food processor, and pulse until crumbly.

Add cold water, a tablespoon at a time, until dough comes together. Form into ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.

Place dough between two pieces of plastic wrap or parchment paper, and roll out to 1/8 inch thickness. Transfer to parchment-lined baking sheet, and, using pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut into 1 inch squares.

Sprinkle with kosher salt and bake for 25 minutes. Test for crispiness; crackers may take a few minutes more to finish crisping.

Remove from oven when crisp and just starting to brown. Let cool and serve.

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April 1- April13

Week 1:

April 1: Leftovers from Easter Dinner    

April 2: Family Dinner

April 3: Better than Chipotle Bowl   (see note 1 below)

April 4: leftovers

April 5:  Steve and I had Nuggets.. Kids had Bananas, Yogurt, Bread, Granola Bars. More like a snack-y dinner!

April 6: leftovers

Week 2:

April 7: Oven Fajitas (see note 2 below)    

April 8: leftovers, possibly Grilled Cheese and apple slices for kids.

April 9: Cereal and Fruit and Cheese.

April 10: Zucchini, Black Bean and Rice Skillet (see note 3 below)

April 11: leftovers

April 12: Vegetable Pot Pie (see note 4 below)

April 13: Pasta with Zucchini, Tomatoes and Creamy Lemon Yogurt Sauce (see note 5 below) 

I also hope to try: No Bake Choc. Chip Granola Bars  for snacks (see note 6 below) and this Oreo Ice Cream Cake (see note 7 below) for Steve’s birthday.

Side Notes:

1. This was very easy to prepare. Chopping the veggies took the most time, but it wasn’t hard. I didn’t add the jalapeno or cilantro since the littles would be eating it. I thought it was pretty good. Very much like a hearty salsa. Next time I would add more lime juice, lime zest and salt to give more flavor. Stevie ate this on a pita. 

2. Steve really liked this meal. Very simple to make– just chopping vegetables and chicken. We thought the spice mixture was good– but it was missing something to give it more of a kick. Not sure what I would change next time, but Steve said to def make it again. 

3. I’ve made this before.. and it is a great meal. Steve and Stevie loved it.. hopefully Blythe will enjoy it too. It’s very simple, but has great flavor

4. Never tried this before, will update.

5. Never tried this before, will update.

6. These were very easy to make!! They stayed together pretty well.. they came out more like squares when I cut them but I think I made them too thin. Next time I would use a smaller baking dish. Great taste though!

7. I’ve made ice cream cake before, but this is a new recipe, can’t wait to try it!

Recipe || Chili Chicken Casserole

This recipes is from Steve’s mom, who got this recipe while living in Lancaster. It is Steve’s favorite.  I’ve adapted it a little to what Steve prefers. . .

Chili Chicken Casserole

Chili Chicken Casserole

Ingredients

tortilla chips, slightly crushed

1 lb chicken, cooked and cubed

1 small onion

1-2 garlic cloves

1 15-oz. can tomato sauce

1 17-oz. can corn, drained and rinsed

1 15-1/2 oz. can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 15-1/2 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed

3 T. chili powder

1/4 t. crushed red pepper flakes

1 t. black pepper

1 T. each basil, parsley

2 c. Mexican cheese

Directions

Spray 9 x 13 pan with cooking spray. Line pan with chips.

Saute chicken with onion and garlic.

In a large mixing bowl, combine tomato sauce, corn, beans, and spices with chicken. Spread on top of chips.

Bake casserole @ 350 degrees for 30 min. or longer if made ahead and refrigerated.

Spread cheese on top of casserole after removing from oven.

March 17-March 31

For this two-week meal plan. . I’m feeling pretty brave and it has a lot of new recipes to try.

March 17: Chili Chicken Casserole (doubled per Steve’s request, see note 1 below)
March 18: leftovers
March 19: Family dinner
March 20: Tuscan Sausage Soup (see note 2 below)
March 21: leftovers
March 22: Chicken Nuggets and Apple Slices
March 23: Pot Roast (see note 3 below)

March 24: Steve brought home Wendy’s for us and the kids had scrambled eggs and yogurt for dinner.
March 25: Basil Tomato Garlic Pasta (see note 4 below)
March 26: leftovers
March 27: Nuggets & Annie’s Mac and Cheese
March 28:  Lazy Sunday Casserole (see note 5 below)
March 29: leftovers
March 30: Papa Johns Pizza

March 31:  Easter with family

I  made this Fresh Strawberry Yogurt Cake (see note 6 below)

and hope to try Nutella Stuffed Brown Butter and Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies.  (see note 7 below)

Side Notes:

1. This recipe is from Steve’s Mom and it is one of his favorite meals.

2. This recipe was a hit with both kids. I really liked it too! It wasn’t as hard as I thought. The most time consuming was chopping up the carrots and onions.. but really not hard. You could prep those ingredients the night before etc. I also cut this recipe in half– since it serves 12..and that would be too much for our family of four. But def a keeper in my book!

3.  This recipe was a hit with Steve..but the kids didn’t care for it as much. Stevie ate it, but Blythe only took a few bites. But I would certainly make this again, hopefully the kids will grow to love it. 

4. This was a HUGE hit with the kids. Steve didn’t get to try it b/c he’s working late. But I would make this again– very easy and great flavor!

5. This was very easy to make. I’d def make again.. Stevie Jr didn’t care for it– but Blythe liked it a lot! I thought it was delicious– but wished there was more “sauce” so I might add more chicken broth..or balsamic vinegar next time. Steve also loved it and said we should add it to the meal rotation. 🙂 

6. The Strawberry Yogurt Cake was a huge hit with Steve. He said it’s the type of cake to make when we have company over our house. It was a lot of work, but worth it since he liked it so much!

7. Ok, so these cookies were good.. but I’m not sure they were worth all the work. They were super rich..one cookie is totally enough. I ended up freezing half the dough to make another time. The nutella was a nice touch and made the cookies moist in the center. If I made again– I would use less chocolate chips than the recipe called for. So bottom line.. they were good, but a lot of work. 🙂

March 3-March 16

Sunday March 3:  Cheesey BBQ Casserole
Monday March 4: Leftovers
Tuesday March 5: Family Dinner
Wednesday March 6: Stromboli (see note 1 below)
Thursday March 7: Pizza Hut for my birthday dinner
Friday March 8: Spaghetti Pie (see note 2 below)
Saturday March 9: Chicken Nuggets (see note 3 below)

Sunday March 10: Leftovers (Care Group Dinner)
Monday March 11: Turkey, Apple, Cheese Quesadillas (see note 4 below)
Tuesday March 12: Family Dinner
Wednesday March 13: Peanut Butter & Jelly and Blueberries
Thursday March 14: Hot Chicken Salad (see note 5 below)
Friday March 15: Take-Out (Steve brought home Wendy’s)
Saturday March 16: Leftovers

I also tried a new muffin recipe: Orange Muffins (see note 6 below)

Side Notes: 

1. The Stromboli recipe is one that my sister gave me. I will try to post that some time. 

2. The Spaghetti Pie was NOT a hit in this house. The only people that didn’t mind it were Blythe and me! So I will NOT be making this one again. 

3. Chicken Nuggets are from Costco. They are Mickey Mouse Chicken nuggets.. Steve and the kids love them!

4. For the Quesadilla’s I added mustard and red onion on mine.. I grilled them in olive oil on medium heat. 

5. The Hot Chicken Salad was good but a few changes I would make: 

a. use a smaller pan, 9 x 13 was too large for the amount of food that actually resulted.

b. I would try to use greek yogurt instead of the mayo next time, to make it more healthy and not as greasy. 

6. The Orange Muffins were good, but more like cake than a muffin. I’m not sure they were worth all the work it took.