Thursday, December 23, 2010

Tuscan Tortellini soup

I made this soup "as written" and it was quite delicious. In the future, I'll omit the bacon (and grease) for olive oil to lighten the calories/fat content and include some italian spices to make up for the flavor loss of the bacon. This would be fabulous with some warm crusty bread with a slathering of butter. Mmmmmmmm.

Tuscan Tortellini Soup

1/4 lb bacon cut in small pieces

2 cloves of garlic

4 cups of fresh spinach, chopped

16 oz. of crushed tomatoes

1 red pepper, diced

1 can of white beans

4 cups chicken broth

8 oz. cheese tortellini

Saute bacon and garlic until bacon is brown. Remove from pan. Cook spinach in pan drippings until wilted. Stir in broth, beans, tomatoes, and pepper and bring to a boil. Stir in pasta and simmer until pasta is al dente.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Sixteen Minute Beef and Bean Burritos with Mexican Rice

Picture courtesy of The Pioneer Woman

I made The Pioneer Woman's beef and bean burritos tonight. It took way longer than 16 minutes but I'm sure that was due to my chaos in the kitchen. The end result was a very yummy burrito. I used ground turkey and couldn't find the Mexican tomato sauce so I used good 'ole enchilada sauce. Other than those two changes, everything else was according to the recipe. I have to say that the Mexican rice I made to go along with the burritos was absolutely delicious. Just like an authentic Mexican restaurant if you ask me.

16 Minute Beef Burritos

2 pounds Ground Beef
½ whole Medium Onion
1 can (7 Ounce) Mexican Tomato Sauce Or Enchilada Sauce
Salt And Pepper, to taste
Cumin, Oregano, Chili Powder, Garlic To Taste
1 can (28 Ounce) Refried Beans
¾ cups Grated Cheddar Cheese
12 whole Burrito-sized Flour Tortillas
Extra Grated Cheese, For Sprinkling
Extra Sauce, For Drizzling
Cilantro Leaves, Optional
Optional Filling Ingredients: Mexican Rice, Sour Cream, Guacamole, Green Chilies, Pico De Gallo

Brown ground beef with onion and season to taste. Pour in sauce and simmer over low heat. Add water if mixture gets too dry.
Heat refried beans in a saucepan. Add cheese and stir in till melted. Keep warm.
Heat tortillas in microwave for one minute.
Spread a small amount of beans on each tortilla. Add meat. Fold over ends, then roll up. Place two burritos on a microwave-safe plate. Drizzle red sauce over the top and sprinkle with more grated cheddar. Microwave for one minute, or until cheese is melted and burritos are very hot. Serve immediately.

Mexican Rice

3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup uncooked long-grain rice
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup tomato sauce
2 cups chicken broth

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and add rice. Cook, stirring constantly, until puffed and golden. While rice is cooking, sprinkle with salt and cumin.
Stir in onions and cook until tender. Stir in tomato sauce and chicken broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Creamy Baked Ziti

OK so I made quite a lot of changes to this recipe but only because I didn't have half the stuff to make BUT this turned out GREAT! I'm not a big fan of baked ziti (who knows why) but I'll make this again to be sure! I added my changes and omissions for your viewing pleasure.

Creamy Baked Ziti

4 cups ziti pasta, uncooked (I used whole wheat, low carb penne)
1 jar (26 oz.) marinara sauce (used another 1/2 jar to make up for lack of diced tomatoes)
1 can (14-1/2 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained (omitted only because I didn't have any)
6 oz. (3/4 of 8-oz. pkg.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, cubed ( I used 8 0z Laughing Cow Cheese in place and it was GREAT!)
3/4 cup BREAKSTONE'S or KNUDSEN Sour Cream (omitted because I don't care for cooked sour cream)
1 pkg. (8 oz.) KRAFT Shredded Mozzarella Cheese (I'd go lighter on this myself. Maybe 1/2 C max)
1/3 cup KRAFT Grated Parmesan Cheese (omitted only because I didn't have any)

HEAT oven to 375ºF.
COOK pasta in large saucepan as directed on package, omitting salt. Remove from pan; drain. Meanwhile, add marinara sauce, tomatoes and cream cheese to same pan; cook on medium heat 5 min. or until cream cheese is melted and mixture is well blended, stirring frequently. Return pasta to pan; mix well.
LAYER half the pasta mixture in 13x9-inch baking dish; cover with layers of sour cream, 1 cup mozzarella and remaining pasta mixture. Top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan.
BAKE 20 min. or until heated through.

Sunday, October 31, 2010


These couldn't be easier to make or more delicious to eat! The whole family loved 'em. Best when warm from the oven but husband says that they microwaved well the next day with his lunch.

1 1/2 C all purpose flour
3/4 tsp salt
3 eggs
1 1/2 C milk
4 Tblsp unsalted butter (I used salted and it turned out fine)

In a large bowl, mix together flour and salt; make a well in center. In another bowl, beat together eggs and milk, then pour into well. Gradually stir egg mixture into flour until batter is consistency of heavy cream yet slightly lumpy; do not over beat. Allow batter to rest for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Place 1 teaspoon butter in each cup of a 12-cup muffin tin or two 6-cup popover tins. Heat in oven until butter melts, about 1 minute. Divide batter among cups, filling each about three-quarters full. Bake until popovers are puffed and golden brown, about 20 minutes. Turn out popovers and serve warm.

I'm baaaack!

I'm back. After a long hiatus while getting the kichen done, I'm finally back. I've got a lot of awesome recipes to share with you too! Let's get this party started!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Plum Chicken Wraps

This was delicious! I loved how low carb it was and light enough for a hot summer night. The flavors were lovely together and I used the raspberry plouts that I found at my local grocery store instead of regular plums. I will certainly make this again!

Plum Chicken Wraps

  • 1 can (8 ounces) unsweetened crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1/3 cup plum sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 cups cubed cooked chicken breast
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/4 cup salted cashews
  • 2 medium fresh plums, sliced
  • 12 Boston or Bibb lettuce leaves
In a large saucepan, combine the pineapple, plum sauce, vinegar and oil. Cook and stir over medium heat for 5 minutes. Stir in the chicken, green onions and cashews; heat through. Remove from the heat; stir in plums. Place 1/3 cup chicken mixture on each lettuce leaf. Fold lettuce over filling.
Yield: 4 servings.

Nutrition Facts: 3 filled wraps equals 298 calories, 8 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 54 mg cholesterol, 237 mg sodium, 32 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 23 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 3 lean meat, 1-1/2 fruit, 1 fat, 1/2 starch.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Sausage & Penne Marinara

OK this was delicious! I've tried some variations on this basic recipe but THIS had everything right where the other's lacked. I used a chicken sausage with spices and cheese in it. I don't know who makes it, but I bought it at Walmart. This warmed up amazing the next day for lunch. I also substituted sweet red peppers for the green peppers. Make this soon!

  • Sausage & Penne Marinara

  • 2-1/2 cups uncooked penne pasta
  • 1 pound Italian sausage links, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 large onion, halved and sliced
  • 1 medium green pepper, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) stewed tomatoes, cut up
  • 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Grated Parmesan cheese, optional
Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook the sausage, onion and green pepper in oil over medium heat until sausage is no longer pink and vegetables are tender. Add the tomatoes, tomato sauce and seasonings; heat through. Drain pasta; toss with tomato mixture. Sprinkle with cheese if desired.
Yield: 6 servings

Nutrition Facts: 1-1/3 cups (calculated without cheese) equals 299 calories, 13 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 30 mg cholesterol, 853 mg sodium, 33 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 14 g protein.

Saturday, June 12, 2010


I've been MIA due to the hellish kitchen re-model we undertook a month ago. I haven't been cooking a fraction of what I should be and it's costing us a fortune to eat out all the time. However, the end of the re-model is in sight and I have an AMAZING new stove to cook my heart out on when we get up and running again.

I also splurged and purchased a Vitamix blender/juicer from Costco this weekend. All it took was watching my 6 y/o drink every single thing the Vitamix rep made with more vegetables than this kid has seen in his ENTIRE life. He drank it up faster than she could throw spinach, cabbage, zucchini, mushrooms and fruit in. Holy smokes. That was all it took. Sold. So I'm going to post some smoothie/juice recipes along with the usual ones for your viewing/eating/consuming pleasure. I'm hoping that not only will it get veggies in my little one's diet but it'll help me shed some unwanted pounds in the process.

Stay tuned!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Crockpot Pork Chop Delight

This was really, really good. I'll warn you though, it's a sodium bomb. Since I used the crockpot, I skipped browning the chops in a pan and just seasoned them with seasoned salt and pepper. It was too much salt when you added the onion soup mix and the cream of mushroom soup. Next time, and there WILL be a next time, I'll season the chops with a no salt blend and use the rest of the recipe as is. I served this with mashed potatoes and green beans. Wonderful comfort food.

Pork Chops Delite
recipe courtesy of:

4 pork chops; boneless
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 pkg. dry onion soup mix
1/2 cup beer
salt/pepper to taste

Season pork chops with a no-salt seasoning and some freshly ground pepper. Spray a 5 qt crock pot with nonstick spray. Put seasoned chops into crock pot. Mix remaining ingredients, pour over chops. Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours, depending on thickness of chops.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Strawberry Bread

I used this batter to make muffins and they were DELICIOUS!!

  • Strawberry Bread

  • 3 cups fresh strawberries; 1 cup mashed and 2 cups diced
  • 3 1/8 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2/3 cups vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/4 cups chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Butter and flour two 9 x 5 inch loaf pans. Slice strawberries, and place in medium-sized bowl. Sprinkle lightly with sugar, and set aside while preparing bread mixture. Combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt and baking soda in large bowl: mix well. Blend oil and eggs into strawberries. Add strawberry mixture to flour mixture, blending until dry ingredients are just moistened. Stir in pecans. Divide batter into pans
Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until tester inserted comes out clean. Let cool in pans on wire rack for 10 minutes. Turn loaves out, and cool completely.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Perfect Boiled Egg

In honor of the Easter holiday and the fact that I simply cannot escape the joys (inserted very sarcastically) of coloring Easter eggs, I give you the recipe for a PERFECT boiled egg. Every time. Perfect. Not all boiled egg directions result in a perfect egg. I know this, trust me and the dozen eggs I ruined because they weren't done and I didn't use my perfect egg recipe. Shame on me. Don't be that guy.

The Perfect Boiled Egg

Place a single layer of eggs in large saucepan. Cover with cold water. Bring to a rolling boil. Place cover over pan and turn off burner. Set time for 15 minutes. After time is up, carefully drain pan of hot water and cover eggs with cold water. Let sit in pan in the cold water for 2 minutes. Drain and either eat (semi-warm) or put in refrigerator to eat later once they've thoroughly cooled off.

Enjoy your perfect boiled egg!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Black Bean Veggie Burger

This was soooo good!! The only change I made from the original recipe was to add 1 1/2 carrots instead of the green pepper simply because I didn't have any peppers. I pan fried them with a smidge of olive oil and mmmmmmm....

Black Bean Veggie Burgers

  • 1 (16 ounce) can black beans,
    drained and rinsed
    1/2 green bell pepper, cut into
    2 inch pieces
    1/2 onion, cut into wedges
    3 cloves garlic, peeled
    1 egg
    1 tablespoon chili powder
    1 tablespoon cumin
    1 teaspoon Thai chili sauce or
    hot sauce
    1/2 cup bread crumbs

    If grilling, preheat an outdoor grill for high heat, and lightly oil a sheet of aluminum foil. If baking, preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C), and lightly oil a baking sheet.
    In a medium bowl, mash black beans with a fork until thick and pasty. In a food processor, finely chop bell pepper, onion, and garlic. Then stir into mashed beans.In a small bowl, stir together egg, chili powder, cumin, and chili sauce. Stir the egg mixture into the mashed beans. Mix in bread crumbs until the mixture is sticky and holds together. Divide mixture into four patties.If grilling, place patties on foil, and grill about 8 minutes on each side. If baking, place patties on baking sheet, and bake about 10 minutes on each side.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Pampered Chef Microwave Chicken Fajitas

OK, I realize that this may be limited to those with a Deep Covered Baker from Pampered Chef BUT it was sooo good, sooo fast and sooo easy, I felt I needed to include it here. This recipe is from Pampered Chef so it includes their products in the instructions.

Fast and Easy Chicken Fajitas

3 to 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1-2 Bell Peppers (red and green)
1 large Onion
1 small lime or ½ lime
2 Tblsp Taco seasoning
6-inch Flour Tortillas

Sour Cream
Shredded Cheese

Fill the Mini Baker with the 6-inch tortillas, cover with foil, and put in a 250 degree oven to warm. Or put the Mini Baker in the microwave covered with a damp paper towel for @ 30-45 seconds to warm.

Slice the bell peppers with the Ultimate Mandoline or the Forged Cutlery Knives. Slice the onion with Apple Wedger. Put onions and bell peppers in the bottom of the Deep Covered Baker, sprinkle with 1 Tablespoon of taco seasoning. Add the raw chicken on top of the peppers and onions (leave a little space between the chicken breasts), squeeze lime over the chicken using the Citrus Press and then sprinkle with another Tablespoon. Cover with the lid and microwave for 15 minutes.

When the chicken is done (cut into a piece or check with the Pocket Thermometer to make sure it is done), cut it up in the baker using the Salad Choppers. Put on tortillas and enjoy!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Easy Grilled Teriyaki Chicken

This chicken was DELICIOUS! I marinated it for 24 hours and grilled it out on the grill one beautiful spring evening. It turned out soooo juicy, tender and had so much flavor! I will make this again and again.

Easy Grilled Teriyaki Chicken

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 cup teriyaki sauce
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
2 teaspoons sesame oil

Place chicken, teriyaki sauce, lemon juice, garlic, and sesame oil in a large resealable plastic bag. Seal bag, and shake to coat. Place in refrigerator for 24 hours, turning every so often. Preheat grill for high heat. Lightly oil the grill grate. Remove chicken from bag, discarding any remaining marinade. Grill for 6 to 8 minutes each side, or until juices run clear.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

  • Now I'm not a HUGE soup fan and I tend to steer away from soup recipes BUT this looked sooooo good that I felt I just had to try it. I'm so glad I did. This was YUMMY!! Loved how low fat it is and how you can just add whatever you want to this recipe and it'll turn out delicious (think black beans). I think this will be even BETTER the next day.

  • Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

  • 1 pound shredded, cooked chicken
  • 1 (15 ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, mashed
  • 1 (10 ounce) can enchilada sauce
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chile peppers
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 (10 ounce) package frozen corn
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 7 corn tortillas
  • vegetable oil
Place chicken, tomatoes, enchilada sauce, onion, green chiles, and garlic into a slow cooker. Pour in water and chicken broth, and season with cumin, chili powder, salt, pepper, and bay leaf. Stir in corn and cilantro. Cover, and cook on Low setting for 6 to 8.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) or on High setting for 3 to 4 hours.
Lightly brush both sides of tortillas with oil. Cut tortillas into strips, then spread on a baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven until crisp, about 10 to 15 minutes. To serve, sprinkle tortilla strips over soup.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

BEST Turkey Burgers EVER!

You MUST try these. EVERYONE who's eaten them LOVED them. Even turkey burger haters. You'd never miss the red meat in these babies.

Best Turkey Burgers

1 lb. ground turkey
1/2 C crumbled feta cheese (I use a whole small container, say 6 oz)
1/4 C chopped mild banana pepper rings (find these with the pickles in your grocery store)
2 Tblsp greek seasoning (I use Pampered Chef Greek Rub but if you don't have something similar, substitute oregano, garlic powder, onion powder and salt)

Combine all ingredients. Let mixture marinate in refrigerator for a couple hours. Form mixture into patties. Grill or pan fry as desired. The recommended internal temperature for turkey is 170 deg. F.


Saturday, January 30, 2010

Carol's Chicken Salad

Carol, I love you. This is the BEST chicken salad I've ever had. The water chestnuts (which I wasn't too sure of) totally added a wonderful crunch. I prefer to use red grapes and the only thing I skip is the cheese. I prefer my chicken salad without it but that's just me. Cheese or no cheese, this is da bomb.

Carol’s Chicken Salad

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 tablespoon lemon juice

3 cups diced, cooked chicken breast meat

1/2 cup finely chopped celery

1/2 cup chopped green onions

1 (8 ounce) can water chestnuts, drained and chopped

1 1/2 cups diced Swiss cheese

1 1/2 cups halved green grapes

In a medium bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, salt, poultry seasoning, onion powder, garlic powder, pepper, and lemon juice.

In a large bowl, toss together the chicken, celery, green onions, water chestnuts, Swiss cheese, and grapes. Add the mayonnaise mixture, and stir to coat. Chill until serving

Monday, January 25, 2010

Crockpot Sloppy Joes

These ain't yer typical sloppy joes folks. These here joes are sooo much better. Perfect for potlucks too. My co-workers can attest to that!

Crockpot Sloppy Joes

3lbs. ground beef or turkey
1 lg. onion, chopped
1 med. green pepper, chopped
1 bottle of chili sauce
3 Tblsp Worcestershire sauce
3 Tblsp brown sugar
1 small can tomato paste

Brown meat with onion and pepper. Drain. Mix with other ingredients in the crockpot. Cook on low at least 4 hours for best results. Stir occasionally.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Apple Cinnamon Streusel Cheesecake

This was good but not great. It cannot compare to the Bailey's White Chocolate Cheesecake I made around Christmas but this was much less work too. I personally think the sweetened condensed milk actually made this too sweet. I'm not sure I'd make it again.

Apple Cinnamon Streusel Cheesecake

1 cup old-fashioned oats
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup butter or margarine,melted
3 packages(8 oz. each) cream cheese,softened
1 can(14 oz.)sweetened condensed milk
3 eggs
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoon vanilla
1 can(21 oz,)apple pie filling

Heat oven to 325 degrees.In small bowl,mix oats,flour,brown sugar and butter until crumbly,reserve 1/2 cup for topping.Press remaining oat mixture in bottom of ungreased 9-inch springform pan.

In large bowl,beat cream cheese with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth.Beat in milk,eggs,cinnamon and vanilla,scraping bowl once,until well blended.Pour onto crust in pan.

Bake 55 to 65 minutes or until set.Cool on cooling rack about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile,in 8-inch nonstick skillet,heat reserved 1/2 cup oat mixture over medium-low heat 2 to 3 minutes,stirring occasionally,until lightly toasted.Spread apple pie filling over partially cooled cheesecake.Sprinkle toasted oat mixture on top.Cool 1 1/2 hours.Refrigerate 4 hours or over night.Run spatula along side of cheesecake to loosen,remove side of pan.Store in refrigerator.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Slow cooked sweet 'n' sour pork

This was good and it warmed up well. I used boneless pork chops because they were B1G1 free. I also used about 1/3C of flour with the paprika when I coated the chops to brown them up. Makes the sauce a bit thicker too. Very good, I'd make again.

Slow Cooked Sweet 'n' Sour Pork
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1-1/2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1-1/2 pounds boneless pork loin roast, cut into 1-inch strips
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 can (20 ounces) unsweetened pineapple chunks
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium green pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • Hot cooked rice, optional

  • Place paprika in a large resealable plastic bag. Add pork, a few pieces at a time, and shake to coat. In a nonstick skillet, brown pork in oil in batches over medium-high heat. Transfer to a 3-qt. slow cooker.
  • Drain pineapple, reserving juice; refrigerate the pineapple. Add the pineapple juice, onion, green pepper, vinegar, brown sugar, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce and salt to slow cooker; mix well. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until meat is tender.
  • Combine cornstarch and water until smooth; stir into pork mixture. Add pineapple. Cover and cook 30 minutes longer or until sauce is thickened. Serve over rice if desired. Yield: 6 servings.