Recipes and Table Decor Idea

Looking to mix it up a little more in the kitchen?

Every Friday I plan on sharing a few of the recipes my family ate throughout the previous week. I will give you the inside "scoop" on what worked and what didn't. Some dishes may have been sides, lunch, or for dinner. These were all made by us this past week or weekend, and I've also included a few photos of some of the dishes.
Some weeks I may include just 2 or 3 recipes, and other weeks I will try to give more.

Just so you know...

1) For all of my dairy, meat and eggs, you can assume I used organic/cage free/vegetarian need to repeat those words a hundred times in each recipe. For my fruits and vegetables, I also buy organic anytime I can (about 90% of the time). You can decide for yourself if you want to do the same, or not. At least either way, you won't have to read the word "organic" over and over. ;)
2) All of these meals are estimated to feed 4 people. You can adjust according to the number of people you want to feed.
3) My 2 kids eat what we eat...I don't cook separate meals for them.
4) I encourage you to read labels before buying. Try to buy items with just a few ingredients, and things you can readily own/make in your own kitchen. If the list looks like a bunch of chemicals, skip it.

For this Foodie Friday post, below you will find the following 3 recipes.
1) Spinach & Mozzarella Salad (prep time: 10 minutes, cook time: 0 minutes)
2) Homemade Crock Pot Chicken Noodle Soup (prep time 20 minutes, cook time 2 1/2 hrs)
3) Homemade Sweet Potato Fries (prep time 10 minutes, cook time 25 minutes)

1) Spinach & Mozzarella Salad

  Ingredients: Fresh spinach, walnuts, dried cranberries, mozzarella, extra virgin olive oil, black pepper, mushrooms, tomatoes.
After all ingredients are washed, slice your mushrooms, shred some mozzarella, and slice your tomatoes. Simply combine all ingredients in a bowl, sprinkle cracked pepper on top, and add a drizzle of olive oil. You'd be surprised at how yummy a salad is without salad dressing all over it, and quality extra virgin olive oil is also very yummy. Save your EVOO for dipping and sauces, while using regular olive oil for cooking.
Feel free to add any other salad ingredients you love.
2) Homemade Crock Pot Chicken Noodle Soup
Ingredients: Chicken broth (I used 2 32 oz cartons of Organic chicken broth), carrots (I used about 20 baby carrots),  1 cup sliced mushrooms, 3 chopped celery stalks, 1 bag of egg noodles, fresh chicken cut into chunks, any herbs you like (I used rosemary).
I suggest you buy crock pot liners ASAP. If you've never used them, you'll ask yourself why you hadn't sooner. Line your crock pot (don't turn it on yet) and pour the chicken broth in. Add your baby carrots, herbs, set it on high and put the lid on. Let cook for about 40 minutes and add your celery, mushrooms and chicken if you haven't cooked it already. (If you precooked your chicken already, you can add it towards the end of the soup.) Cook another hour on high and take a peek through the lid...chicken should be cooked should have a good amount of broth vs. veggies. Feel free to lower heat on your crock pot and let simmer while you cook your egg noddles. We used whole wheat egg noodles, and you can cook them just like you would spaghetti. Drain and add to your soup. Check your baby carrots for "doneness"..leave on low setting until you are ready to eat. 
We also served this with some bread that I broiled with minced garlic and butter on top.
3) Homemade Sweet Potato Fries

Ingredients: 2 big sweet potatoes, 1/4-1/2 cup honey, 1 tbs. cinnamon, pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Get a cookie sheet lined with foil and a thin layer of olive oil to prevent sticking.
Wash, peel and slice your potatoes into sticks/fries however large/thick or thin you want them to be. The thicker you make them, the longer you should cook them. I cut ours to be like steak fries.

In a bowl, pour your honey and microwave until it just starts to become warm/thin.

In another bowl, combine your potato fries, warmed honey, cinnamon and stir until all fries are coated. Pour out onto greased pan and in a single layer. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt...the sweet and salty tastes together are a hit. Cook for 20-25 minutes or until done how you like.

My kids love these!

I hope you decide to make one of the recipes I shared above. They are all very easy, and you can enjoy them as a family.

If you want to decorate your table with a pretty centerpiece, try finding a jar and your preferred color of paint. Coat the inside of the jar with the paint and let dry. Add whatever flowers you like...I like baby's breath which can be dried and still looks pretty. (NOTE: Don't add water because the paint will ruin..only use flowers you don't mind to have dry out.)

Use different colors of paint for different jars, and change them out periodically. 
PINK works great for Valentines day!

Come back next week and I'll share a little more about the bouquet medallion I made for these jars.
Thank you for reading, and Id love to have you as a GFC & Facebook follower;)