Shrimp Noodle Salad with Peanut Sauce

Alright, well for this week’s challenge, I went to my trusty Rachael Ray magazine and selected a shrimp dish. I was scared and excited. My mouth was watering but my brain was saying, “Oh what have I gotten myself into?!” And then I went for it.

I picked the Shrimp Noodle Salad with Peanut Sauce for the Shrimp dish this week from my magazine.


I’m not even going to post the ingredients to this recipe. This is the first time I have been disappointed with a recipe from the magazine.

I have no idea what I did wrong, I followed the directions, but this recipe was too peanut buttery. I know, you’re thinking, “How can anything have too much peanut butter?” Well, this did. And it bothered me.

I will say that it was better the next day after all the flavors melded together. Still I won’t make this again.

1 out of 5 on the scale. Don’t bother wasting your time with this one.


Stuffed Acorn Squash

Okay, there is another food magazine that I am so thankful I get every month. It’s the Rachael Ray Magazine. If you haven’t looked through this magazine yet, I highly recommend it. In fact, I’ve talked to my husband about giving this magazine subscription to my friends and family for gifts because it has a lot of valuable and helpful information on cooking and such.

With that, the first week of June’s challenge was to make something with acorn squash. Well, I’d never had acorn squash before, so I didn’t know what I was getting myself into.

After talking to the ladies at work, they raved about the stuffed acorn squash they had in the cafeteria at work, I decided I would give it a whirl. After all, it WAS in the Rachael Ray mag.

Stuffed Acorn Squash


This really wasn’t difficult to make. I swear. I really think you should try it at least once too.

But truthfully, on a scale of 1 to 5, I give it a 3. Here is why:

Even though it was good, and VERY filling…it didn’t have as much flavor as I thought it needed.

That’s it. It was good. It was plenty. It was easy. It was healthy. But it lacked in flavor.

If you make it, added some garlic. Add salsa or hot sauce too. Or maybe some red pepper flakes. I don’t know, it just was bland. I would make it again though, just to experiment with spices and seasonings though to see if it is better the next time around.


  • 2 acorn squash
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup couscous
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3/4 pound ground beef, preferably lean chuck or sirloin
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries

June Food Challenges!!!

We know you are excited to figure out what you’re going to cook this month.

Without further ado, here are the June challenges.

June Week 1 (6/1 – 6/7): Acorn Squash

June Week 2 (6/8 – 6/14): Shrimp Dinner

June Week 3 (6/15 – 6/21): Papaya Dessert

June Week 4 (6/22 – 6/28): Sugarless Meal



Dill Steak and Potato Kabobs

Better Homes and Gardens comes to my cooking rescue again. I love their magazine and their website so much, I should just start gifting the subscription to all my friends so they can finally find out why I’m thrilled every month when I get their magazine.

I think I had made kabobs one other time in my life and don’t think I did a great job. I was nervous about this challenge.

So I made the Dill Steak and Potato Kabobs from BHG because with BHG, I usually succeed at making something good.

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I was pleased. Hubby was pleased. All was well on the homefront!

This meal / dish gets a 4 out of 5. It was the way I like a meal, fast, easy, fast clean up, flavorful. Yeah, it was good.

8 whole tiny yellow or red potatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 pound tri-tip steak or top sirloin steak, cut into 1- to 1 1/2-inch cubes
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon dill seeds, crushed
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 medium red onion, cut into 8 wedges


Zesty Slow Cooker Chicken Barbecue

All of my friends know that I love to have barbecues. I love barbecued food. I’m all about cooking on the grill. When we picked to do a slow cooker BBQ, I was hesitant. I thought, “What am I going to make that beats real barbecue cooking?”

I’m so glad I get multiple food magazines because they rescue me every week with something new to make. And the Zesty Slow Cooker Chicken Barbecue was in my All Recipes magazine. I was happy when I found the recipe online so I could add it to my meal planning site easily.


I was surprised how good this was. I know I shouldn’t have been, but I was.

This was scrumptious! It had so much flavor and was enjoyable with every, single bite. I think you should try it at least once just so you can experience some good chicken.

This gets a 4 out of 5 because nothing tops real-on-the-grill chicken, but this is a close second.


Original recipe makes 6 servings

6 frozen skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 (12 ounce) bottle barbeque sauce
1/2 cup Italian salad dressing
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce


Pasta Sauce

I love pasta. It’s a weakness for me. Making a homemade pasta sauce just seemed like it was the right thing for me to do. And I did it.

But sadly, now that I’m posting about it, I have no idea what I did with the recipe. It was good. But not excellent, so I don’t think you’re missing out on much. It’s basic.

So with that, here’s a picture as proof that I DID make the sauce. Obviously it wasn’t good enough to keep the recipe around though.



Curry Dish

The first week of May around my house is usually busy with studying for finals. I don’t have a lot of time to plan meals, let alone cook. I was glad that I had a jar of Maya Kaimal Madras Curry sauce on hand.


I just added this sauce to some cooked chicken and served it with veggies. Next time I’ll add rice to the recipe, but I was trying no carbs that week.


This was really easy to make and great too! I felt like it was healthy and nutritious on top of simple. I’ll be making chicken with this sauce again in the future, just next time I’ll cook rice with it.

I give it a 4 out of 5. Buy the sauce … it’s worth it to try it once.