Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Gingerbread Pancackes

This is another Holiday tradition for our family. I think every year I will make powdered sugar frosting to go with them and they are never around long enough. My 6 year-old son requested that I make them "everyday on Saturday." I think that means he liked them.

1c plus 2 T flour
1/3 c fine cornmeal
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp salt
2 eggs
3/4 c sour cream
3/4 c milk
1/4 c vegetable oil
1 1/2 T molasses
1/2 tsp vanilla

Sift flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt into a large bowl, you'll be adding the wet stuff in a minute. In a separate bowl whisk the eggs until frothy. Then whisk in the sour cream, milk, oil , molasses, and vanilla. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and add the liquid. Whisk batter until just combined. Set aside for 5 minutes. Heat a large skillet or your griddle, make sure to coat the surface with oil or nonstick spray. Cook each side until golden brown. Serve with butter and maple syrup, and applesauce. I've never tried it with applesauce, but I'm sure it's good.

*When I made these last weekend I substituted applesauce for the 1/4c oil and they were great, no one knew the difference and we saved a couple calories. Small victories!

Steve at Lunch

I thought all of you faithful followers should be rewarded by seeing just how Steve spends lunch time. Granted the day before this photo he had a fabulous lunch of Venison loin and mashed potatoes that he brought home untouched *growl* and today this is what he gets :)

Stay tuned gingerbread pancakes coming soon!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Apple Crisp

I have recently canned a MILLION apples. Everything from applesauce to apple rings and apple pie filling. My favorite had to be the apple pie filling because I use it to make apple crisp. I'll give the recipe for the pie filling and you can "jar" it or you might be able to figure out how to just make enough for one apple crisp.

7 qts peeled, cored, and sliced apples
4 1/2 c sugar OR 3 1/2 c white sugar 1c brown sugar (we used the option with the brown sugar)
1 c cornstarch
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
10 c water
3 Tbs lemon juice

Make syrup, combine sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg and water, add lemon juice. Cook syrup until thick. Pour a little syrup int eh bottom of the jars. Fill jars with apples and really smoosh them in, leaving 1 in head space. Fill remaining space with syrup taking care to get all the bubbles out. Place lids and rings on. Process for 40 minutes in hot water. Let the jars sit in the bath for a while before you move them so they can seal properly.
*Note: Processing time is for 5000 ft. Please adjust to your altitude.

Apple Crisp

1 jar apple pie filling
8 graham crackers crushed (the squares, not the big ones)
3/4 c brown sugar
1/2 c oats (not instant)
1/2 c flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 stick butter

Place apples in a baking dish. Combine all remaining ingredients until coarse in texture and butter is evenly distributed. Sprinkle over the apples and bake at 350 for 30 mins.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Dutch Oven Lasagna

Dutch ovens are among the greatest inventions ever created. They are so versatile and make food so yummy. I took a dutch oven cooking class awhile back and learned a lot. FYI NEVER use foil when cooking with your dutch oven.

1 lb ground beef
1 onion
lasagna noodles UNCOOKED
2 cups Mozzarella cheese
1 large jar spaghetti sauce
1 container Ricotta cheese
1 soda can size of V8

Preheat your oven to 350. Cook ground beef and onion in the dutch oven on the stove. Remove meat mixture and set aside. Break your lasagna noodles to form a layer. Pour about half of the vegetable juice on top, then dollop the ricotta, half the meat and half the cheese, then pour sauce on top of that. then you will layer more noodles and more juice, ricotta, meat, cheese, sauce. Then put the dutch oven in the oven and let cook for about an hour. You can test it to see if it's done by poking a knife through the center. If the noodles give lots of resistance, you know it's not done.

*I love lasagna this way, it's different and super good. You could also make this on a campfire, super easy. Just remember to add about 12 coals to the top of your oven.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Red Candy Apples

This was the first time I tried this. It was totally out of desperation. It was the morning of my son's preschool Halloween party. I had NO candy. Just a bunch of leftover apples. I looked this up online and found I had everything. I held my breath as I started. I have heard horror stories. Amazingly enough there were no incidents. I think the trick is to be patient, don't try to rush it! Another important note: you need a candy thermometer, it's a must with this.

8-10 apples washed dried and stemmed
  1. Corn syrup (1/2 cup)
    • Use light corn syrup if you want to color your coating.
  2. Sugar (2 cups)
  3. Water (3/4 cup)
  4. Food coloring (if desired), (1/2 tsp)
Prep: Butter a cookie sheet. Put sticks in the bottom of your apples.

Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan. Start to heat over medium-high heat, stay on the lower side of medium. Stir to dissolve sugar. You want all the sugar to dissolve before it starts to boil.

Once it's dissolved bring to a low boil. Keep it at the same heat, it will continue to get hotter. DO NO STIR!! Just let it go by itself. I kept coming back to make sure it wasn't morphing into a red monster or boiling all over my stove, it was fine.

Keep an eye on your thermometer and take the candy to 290 that's a soft crunch stage. Once it gets there take the candy off the heat and roll your apples around to coat and set on the cookie sheet to cool. They are ready to eat in just a couple minutes. Seriously they are beautiful and look impressive. Good luck!

*If you want to take it up one, right after you roll in hot candy you can roll the apples in nuts, candy, crunched up cookies, really anything that you think would taste good with your apple.
Recipe found on

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Dinner in a Pumpkin

This is a seasonal favorite in our house. Every October we break it out. Steve loves it. The meat mixture is infused with the taste of the pumpkin while it cooks in the oven. So fun and so good. My only beef is the water chestnuts. I wish I could think of something else to use, just for a little variety. I don't mind them but something else might be fun too, what do you think?

1 large pumpkin large enough to fit the following:
1 onion, chopped
1 lb ground beef, cooked
2 Tbs soy sauce
2 Tbs brown sugar
1- 4oz can mushrooms (optional)
1 can cream of mushroom or cream of chicken soup
2 cups cooked rice
1- 8oz can sliced water chestnuts

Clean out your pumpkin and move your oven rack down. Start the rice. Heat a skillet and saute onion for 5 minutes and brown the beef. Combine cooked meat with all other ingredients and mix well, let heat through and fill up your pumpkin. Bake at 375 30 mins to 1 hour.

* The longer this cooks the softer the pumpkin will get. I like it a little soft but not to where it falls apart. I'm not gonna lie I've had gooey pumpkin on the bottom of my oven before so put it on a cookie sheet to bake!

Potato Bacon Soup

I have never been a huge fan of the potato soup but this one I liked. It may have had something to do with using home grown taters. It was super easy and there was just enough leftover for Steve's lunch.

1 large potato grated (the original recipe called for frozen hash browns)
1 can cream of celery soup
1 1/2 c water
1 1/2 c milk
1 small onion finely chopped
5 slices bacon
1-2 c cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Mix soup, milk, and water in a pot. Add has browns and onions. Just a side note, when this starts to warm it smells amazing. Let simmer for about 20 minutes. Cook the bacon to almost burnt. Drain and crumble into small pieces. Serve soup topped with cheese and bacon crumbles. Super yummy! yummy

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Peanut Butter Quesadilla

I know, I know it sounds gross. It even sounds gross to me, but nonetheless, this is an MD original with my son being my inspiration. Here is the story: I rarely buy bread form the store, I make my own. Needless to say it's never around for more than a day and half, kind of hard to keep up. So when we are in a bind for some carbs we turn to tortillas. It's basically the same thing right? My son is not a fan of cheese (I know, how is this possible, I have even questioned where he came from). So he doesn't like the quesadillas I make the other kids, I make it with peanut butter. He always likes a little jam on the side for dipping. Try it out maybe you'll be surprised, Ive yet to be so adventurous.

1 whole wheat tortilla (white will do fine too)
peanut butter
jam (we like strawberry)

Heat a skillet big enough for your tortilla to lay flat over medium heat. Butter one side of the tortilla. Place butter side down in the skillet. CAREFULLY apply peanut butter to half of the tortilla. I always get spooked and end up dolloping, it works fine cause it's gets gooey anyway. Allow to cook for 1-2 minutes. Then flip the none peanut butter half over the peanut butter and check to make sure it's to the desired crunchy and golden-ness. Serve it up on a plate with some jam for dipping on the side.

*A word of caution, the peanut butter will be a little warm so proceed carefully :)

Friday, October 16, 2009

De-lish Biscuits

Last night we had breakfast for dinner. Breakfast food has to be one of my favorite types of food. Maybe it's because a lot of it is hard to mess up. Like pancakes, eggs and toast... all pretty easy. Believe it or not these biscuits are easy too. I have tried many times to make fantastic biscuits and every time I have failed. I've made good ones but never fantastic... until last night, SUCCESS! The recipe is courtesy of my good friend Alton Brown and the Food Network website.

Southern Biscuits
  • 2 cups flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons shortening
  • 1 cup buttermilk, chilled


Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Using your fingertips, rub butter and shortening into dry ingredients until mixture looks like crumbs. (The faster the better, you don't want the fats to melt.) Make a well in the center and pour in the chilled buttermilk. Stir just until the dough comes together. The dough will be very sticky.

Turn dough onto floured surface, dust top with flour and gently fold dough over on itself 5 or 6 times. Press into a 1-inch thick round. Cut out biscuits with a 2-inch cutter, being sure to push straight down through the dough. Place biscuits on baking sheet so that they just touch. Reform scrap dough, working it as little as possible and continue cutting. (Biscuits from the second pass will not be quite as light as those from the first, but hey, that's life.)

Bake until biscuits are tall and light gold on top, 15 to 20 minutes.

*Try putting a little homemade strawberry jam on a warm one, you will think you're in heaven.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Hawaiian Haycstacks

This is a Utah staple. My mom was here visiting and saw this on the school lunch menu, she said "Hawaiian Haystacks?!" Like what the heck? I was introduced to this delicacy my freshman year at USU, thanks to my roomie, Kim. I have seen this done a million different ways but of course I like mine the best. It just so happens it's Kim's way too.

2-3 chicken breasts cooked and chopped (or you can use canned chicken, blah)
1 1/2 c rice
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 large tomato chopped
1 can olives sliced
2 c cheese (cheddar is my favorite)
1 can pineapple tidbits drained
1 bag chow mien noodles

Cook rice in 3 cups boiling water. You may want to add a bullion cube for a little extra flavor (that's a secret of mine so hush!). Cook on low for 20 mins, perfect rice 99% of the time. Mix the cream of chicken soup with a can of milk or water. Bring to a simmer. Now, to assemble (Steve always gets confused at this part): Chow mien noodles, rice, chicken, cheese, gravy, then the toppings like the olives, tomatoes, and pineapple. There are a bunch of other things you could use as toppings. Feel free to suggest some, I'm always up for something new.

*This makes GREAT leftovers, especially for lunch ;)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Candied Butternut Squash

I am a big fan of vegetables and all sorts of things that are good for you. However, I HATE sweet potatoes. They are full of great vitamins and such. Since I always miss out on the candied yams and sweet potato casserole I decided to make it out of butternut squash. It's just a better flavor for me. This one Steve really liked, I think it may have to do with the brown sugar.

  • 1 2 1/4-pound butternut squash, halved, seeded, peeled, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
Preheat oven to 375°F. Place squash in 9x12-inch glass baking dish. Drizzle with butter; toss to coat. Blend sugar, cinnamon, salt, pepper and cloves in small bowl; mix into squash. Bake until squash is tender and syrup bubbles thickly in dish, stirring gently every 15 minutes, about 50 minutes total.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

French Onion Pizza

Steve tasted this one and said it might just be "wow" pizza. He said for sure I would have to make it again. I got the idea for this one off of Rachael Ray's daytime talk show. I never got the official recipe so I don't know how close it is to the real thing.

1 large onion halved and sliced
1 c plain yogurt OR sour cream
1/2 envelope onion soup mix
2 c mozzarella cheese
1 recipe of pizza dough or refrigerated pizza dough

Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a skillet over medium-low heat, add onions and let caramelize for 5-10 minutes. The onions should turn brown but not burn, they should be tender but not mushy. In the meantime roll out your dough and bake for about half the time as the directions call for.

While dough cooks mix yogurt and half of the onion soup mix in a small bowl. (I had to use a little less than half the envelope, I thought it was too strong). Spread the mixture over the dough.

Put the onions on top and cover with cheese. Finish up the baking time. Remember to let it sit for about 5 minutes after it's all done, that will help everything set.

*I used the yogurt kind of out of desperation. I had nothing for dinner and this was on the menu but I had no sour cream. I've heard it's a good low fat substitute for sour cream. I think it worked great!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


I love me some eggplant. This is another garden recipe. Most of the ratatouille recipes I found online were soups. I'm sure they are good but in the summer soup is just not what I want. This one is light and still hearty enough to fill you up.

2 cups eggplant peeled and cubed
1 yellow squash or zucchini cut in half lengthwise and thinly sliced
1- 7 1/2 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 small onion finely chopped
2 cloves garlic finely chopped
2 T olive oil
2 T water, white wine or broth
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 c shredded mozzarella or Swiss cheese
In a large skillet heat the oil over medium and add all ingredients except cheese. Bring to a boil then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until veggies are tender. Then uncover and simmer for another 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with cheese.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Easy Peasy Pasta Salad

This is the easiest pasta salad in the world and it tastes good too. I'm not really a fan of the Mayonnaise goopey stuff, I like a little more on the light side with stuff I can actually taste. This salad can have a million different ingredients. I guess mushrooms would be good, if you like that kind of thing, I personally think they are gross.

1 lb Rotoni pasta (spiral shape) cooked & drained
2 handfuls cherry tomatoes quartered OR 1 large tomato diced
1 can olives sliced
1-1 1/2 c Zesty Italian dressing
1 small container feta cheese

When pasta has been drained allow to cool for about 10 minutes. Add tomatoes, olives, and dressing, toss well to combine. Then add the cheese. If you add the cheese while the pasta is still hot it will melt and get creamy, it's still yummy but it's not really a salad then.

*Like I said you can dress this up in countless ways. One of y favorites is to replace the olives with cucumbers. Another thing you can do is use goat cheese. This is a great alternative if you have a milk allergy.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Bow Tie Pasta

This is a great freezer meal. There is almost no cooking involved if you just want to prepare it and freeze it. My family loves this one. I promise it does NOT taste like tuna. Steve was even fooled the first time and just the other day my oldest son believed it was chicken. I don't want to hear of anyone skipping this cause they don't like tuna, just try it!

8 ounces bow tie pasta
1 (10.75 ounce) can of cream of chicken soup
1 (12 ounce) can of evaporated milk
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup shredded Monterrey Jack Cheese
6 slices of American Cheese (I cut it back to 4 and it was still good)
1 can tuna - drained
1 cup frozen peas
1/2 pack Ritz crackers

Cook pasta in salted water for 2 minutes less than the shortest time recommended on the package. Mix together soup, milk and onion. Break American Cheese into small pieces. Stir in cheese, tuna, peas and bow ties. Place in gallon freezer bag. Label and freeze.

To serve: Thaw. Place in greased baking dish. Stir. Top with buttered bread or cracker crumbs. Bake uncovered for 45 minutes at 350 degrees.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Super Easy, Fancy Lunch

Today Steve was treated like a king. He was allowed to take the most scrumptious, delicious, most desired lunch of all time! People all over the world strive to obtain it's goodness. The best thing is, it was so easy to make that I could have done it in my sleep. Notice I said I could have done it, Steve could not *wink*. What is it you say? Well I don't know if I should say for fear he will be mugged in the parking lot and tripped in the lunch room. But I will go against better judgement and spill the beans. The best lunch in the universe: RAMEN, chicken flavor!

I'm totally kidding. We are scrapping the bottom of the barrel this week. I suggested to Steve he take Ramen and he said he doesn't like it. He was going to try and get lunch for $1.50, uh ok. He finally decided it wasn't a bad idea. When I came into the kitchen he was reading the instructions on how to make it! I ask you my friends, really do I need to worry that he doesn't even know how to make Ramen noodles?!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

A New Addition

I just wanted to point out that I have added a new search tool to the left side bar. I hope this will help you find specific recipes you are searching for. One day I might make a cookbook, oh to dream :)

The Best Salsa

Here is the long awaited salsa recipe. I use this recipe for canning salsa. I'm sure you can scale it down if you just want a snack but you would have to play with it. I am currently working on some modifications. I will keep you updated as things change.

To make 10 pints

28 cups tomatoes chopped (blanched and skinned)
4 large onions chopped fine
1 green pepper chopped fine
4 jalapenos chopped (remove seeds and wear gloves)
*just a note here the last time I made it I replaced one jalapeno with two Serrano, it added a little more heat
2 Tbs salt
3 Tbs cilantro chopped
3 Tbs cumin
2 Tbs garlic powder
1 Tbs lemon juice per pint (add this to the bottles as you fill them)

Combine all ingredients and simmer for 1-1 1/2 hours. Follow all the normal canning procedures. Put in warm bottles and process for 40 minutes. Processing time is for my altitude, which is over 4,000 ft, adjust up or down depending on yours.

*If you're not sure what normal canning procedure is I would be glad to elaborate it's not hard but there are a lot of steps and it could take a while to explain.

Monday, August 24, 2009


This will be more of a Mary's lunch. Steve told me he doesn't like Couscous. And I'm not sure we can still be friends because it's one of my all time favorite foods. It's super easy and fast. You can dress it up a thousand different ways. After all, it's just pasta but little itty bitty bits of it. Here is one of my favorite ways.

1 1/4 c couscous in a bowl
1 1/2 c boiling water or broth
two handfuls of cherry tomatoes
1/2 package frozen spinach thawed and drained
1/2 container feta cheese (small container)

Place tomatoes on a pan and drizzle with olive oil and salt. Roast at 400 for 30 minutes. Thaw spinach in the microwave and wring out in a kitchen towel. Bring Broth or water to a boil. Pour on top of couscous, cover the bowl and let it rest for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes remove cover and fluff couscous. Toss with tomatoes, spinach and feta.

*I ate this hot and cold. Steve took one bite and made a gross face. The next day I finished it off. maybe I'm not too upset he doesn't like it, I did get to eat the entire thing myself :)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Believe it or not Steve actually enjoys this one. The first time I made it he wanted seconds of "the meat stuff". I said "you mean the eggplant." He was surprised that's what it was. So now we grow our oun eggplants just so we can have this dish in the summer. Everything in it is from our garden, it's such a great feeling to feed your family from less than a quarter acre of land, haha!

1 medium eggplant peeled and sliced into 1/2 inch slices
2 eggs beaten in shallow dish
1/2 c Italian bread crumbs
1/2 c canola oil
1/2 container Feta cheese
1 large tomato sliced
1 large onion cut in half and sliced
1 c mozzarella
drizzle of olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Make a breading station for the eggplant. Egg in one dish, bread crumbs in the other. Heat the canola oil over medium heat. Dip eggplant in the egg and then coat with bread crumbs. Cook in hot oil 2-3 minutes on each side. Drain on paper towels.

Discard oil and add a little olive oil and saute onions for 5 minutes.

Arrange eggplant slices in the bottom of a baking dish. Layer onions on top, then sprinkle the feta and then layer the tomato slices, salt and pepper to taste, drizzle lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Bake at 350 for 30 mins.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Kalua Pork

This has got to be the most flavor for the least work in my book. I could eat this every day all day long, I LOVE it! It has been compared to the Luau pork made in Hawaii. I don't know about that but it's still to die for.

1 pork roast
liquid smoke
salt and pepper

Seriously that's it! You put the pork roast in your crock pot and cook for 4-6 hours. Sprinkle the salt and pepper to coat the roast and then your liquid smoke. I usually douse it with liquid smoke a couple times. Be careful though you don't want it to be too strong. I would suggest using the liquid smoke in another recipe first so you are familiar with how strong it is.

If I had to guess on the measurement I wold say no more than 1/4 cup, and that would be pushing it. Try 3 tablespoons. Shred the pork ans serve over rice.

*I have been told the roast to use is the picnic roast that is all tied up when you buy it. I just use whatever and it still tastes good.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Teriyaki BBQ Meatloaf

I do not like meatloaf. I don't think I have ever personally cooked it. I have been known to eat it, but have never really craved or enjoyed it. This recipe sounded interesting so I took it for a whirl and was quite pleased with the outcome.

1 lb ground beef
1 sm. onion finely chopped (or grated)
2 slices bread torn into small pieces
1 egg beaten
1 T mayonnaise
1/4 c milk
1/4 c Teriyaki sauce
2 T sugar
1 T powdered ginger

Mix all ingredients. Line a cookie sheet with foil and form 4 individual loaves. Bake at 350 for 30 mins.

* I did change some things about the original recipe. I used Teriyaki sauce instead of soy sauce. I think maybe next time I will leave out the sugar cause the sauce was sweet enough. Don't tell Steve ;) This would also be a very easy recipe to double, just don't double to onion. Last thing, I formed it into individual loaves so every one got the caramelized parts that are so yummy. You don't have to do this, if you want just put it in a loaf pan and cook for about an hour.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Mostly Green Curry Chicken Over Coconut Jasmine Rice

This is one of my all time favorites! Have I said that before? Anyway I guess the concept escaped me until I had real Thia food. Now I get how it's suppose to taste and suppose to be like, divine! I made a couple modifications to Rachael Ray's recipe mostly because I just didn't have the stuff on hand. Here is my version:

1 1/2 c chicken broth
1- 13 1/2 oz can coconut milk
1 c jasmine rice
3 Tbs vegetable oil
2 chicken breasts cut into bite sized pieces
1 green bell pepper sliced thin
1 medium onion sliced thin
1 c frozen peas
1 3-inch piece of grated ginger (I used powdered and just kept going til it tasted good)

In a sauce pot start 1 c chicken broth with 1/4 c coconut milk to boil. Add Jasmine rice and cook for 15-18 mins or until tender. Turn heat off and let sit until ready to serve.

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat with 2 Tbs oil and add chicken pieces. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Brown chicken on all sides then remove from pan.

Add last Tbs oil and add the onions, and green pepper. Cook just until the vegetables start to get tender. Then add the rest of the coconut milk and 1/2 c chicken broth. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and let simmer for about 5 minutes. Add chicken back in and simmer for another 2 minutes. Add peas and let simmer just long enough to heat them through.

Serve over coconut rice. Try not to gorge.

*This is sooooo good. I love it cause you can make it more spicy or less, depending on what you like. There were other things in Rachael's recipe that I left out but I'm sure they would only improve the flavor. Like garlic, what couldn't garlic improve?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Sloppy Steves

Of course, instead of sloppy Joes. Most Sloppy Joes are more on the spicy side than the sweet side. Ours are on the sweet side. Most of these measurements are guesses. If it turns out gross for you let me know and I will make it again being careful to measure everything.

1lb hamburger
8 oz tomato sauce
1/4 c brown sugar
2 tbs ketchup
1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 tbs mustard (the spicy kind would give a nice kick)

Brown the meat, drain if needed. Return to pan and add the rest of the ingredients stirring to combine. Let simmer for at least 5 minutes to allow thickening. Serve on toasted buns.

Friday, July 24, 2009

More Veggies?

During the summer I find it easier to sneak those wretched vegetables into food Steve will eat. This is a variation of an earlier recipe. It was originally stuffed and rolled in lasagna noddles. This time I layered it and baked it.

1 large zucchini cut length-wise and chopped
1 jar roasted red peppers (reserve a little less than half the jar to make a sauce)
6 lasagna noddles cooked and drained
1 pint cottage cheese
1 small onion

While noodles work heat a large skillet over medium heat with a drizzle of olive oil. Add the zucchini and onion. Cook for about 6 minutes or until tender and beginning to turn transparent. Mix cottage cheese and 3/4 C chopped red peppers in a large bowl. When the zucchini is done add it to the cheese mixture. Take the reserved red peppers and put it in a blender or food processor to make a sauce.
Layer the noddles in an 8x8 baking dish. Place half of the cheese mixture on top of the first layer of noddles. Place another layer of noddles, then cheese mixture, finish with the pepper sauce. Dollop it around and spread it for even coverage, it will be a very think layer. bake at 350 for 30 mins.
This is a great summer time dinner. It's light and tasty. I almost hate recipes like this cause I find myself stuffing my face more than usual.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Pasta Salad

This one was just one I threw together, so I guess you could call this an MD Original :) I'm still working on those marinade and rub suggestions. We are having a BBQ this weekend so keep an eye out.

1/2 package elbow macaroni cooked and drained
1 good handful of sun-dried tomatoes
1/2 c Parmesan Cheese grated
drizzle of olive oil
salt and pepper to taste.

While pasta is still warm toss with cheese, oil, and tomatoes. I used dehydrated tomatoes from last year's harvest but you could use the kind packed in oil, just ease up on the drizzle.

*I was surprised at how yummy this was. I had a hard time letting Steve take it.

Monday, July 13, 2009

My Apologies

I want to apologize for my laziness. It's summer and I'm not experimenting much with food. It's mostly hamburgers and chicken on the grill. I will be gone for the next week on vacation (woot!) so there won't be any new posts for about a week and a half. I do solemnly swear there will be more delicious recipes to come. Please stay tuned :)

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Ceasar Lettuce Wraps

I had to take a picture or you wouldn't believe it! Yes Steve ate lettuce! He didn't like it enough to take it for lunch and he didn't eat enough to fill up but he did eat it. Baby steps right?

1 bunch Romaine lettuce
1 Rotisserie chicken
1/4 C light Mayonnaise
1 clove garlic, crushed
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1/2 C grated Parmesan
2 tsp. Worcestershire
1 tsp black pepper
3 Tbs olive oil

Cut the bottom off the lettuce, rinse and let drain while you make the filling.
Put mayo, garlic, lemon zest and juice, cheese, Worchestire, and pepper into a food processor (or blender) and turn on. Stream the olive oil through the top. When combined well spoon out to a bowl.
Separate the chicken into pieces like you would for a salad. To assemble take a piece of lettuce and put some dressing in the middle then chicken on top. Fold like a taco and enjoy!

*recipe from Rachael Ray's Cooking 'Round the Clock

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Mortal Sin

There are few words to describe the deliciousness of this dessert. Mortal sin is very accurate. You may just have to repent after you have eaten it. Tiffany and Julie, if you would like to change your order from chocolate zucchini bread to this just give me a heads up :)

3/4 c melted margarine
2/3 c evaporated milk
1 pkg German chocolate cake mix
1 12 oz pkg semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 pkg caramels

Mix cake mix with melted margarine and 1/3 c evaporated milk. Spread half of the batter in a 9x13 pan. Bake at 350 for 8 mins.

While batter cooks melt caramels and the other 1/3 c evaporated milk over medium heat, stir constantly. Pour over slightly cooled cake. Sprinkle caramel with chocolate chips and dollop remaining batter on top of chocolate chips. Do not spread. Bake at 350 for another 20 mins. Let cool before cutting into bars.

*The awesome thing about this recipe is that everything is perfectly timed. As soon as the caramels are finished melting the cake has cooled for a couple minutes. And it definitely has a great wow factor we all like.

Brandi's Enchaladas

My friend Brandi gave me this recipe years ago and it's always been a favorite of Steve's.

2-4 chicken breasts cooked and shredded (you can use more if you want your enchiladas more full)
1 1/2 C shredded cheddar
1 block cream cheese
1 container sour cream
1 package dry enchilada mix
1 can cream of chicken
burrito size tortillas

Mix chicken, cheese, cream cheese, 1/2 of the sour cream and 1/2 of the enchilada mix. Wrap chicken mixture in tortillas and place in a 9x13 baking dish.
Mix cream of chicken soup, other half of sour cream and enchilada mix with 1 can full of milk. Pour sauce over wrapped tortillas. Bake uncovered at 350 for 30 mins.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Taco Seasoning

I made tacos tonight and I had browned the hamburger and realized I had no taco seasoning packets. I jumped right online and found this recipe for homemade taco seasoning. It was really good. It gave just enough spice and heat. The cool thing is you can make a huge batch and store it in an airtight container.



  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper


  1. In a small bowl, mix together chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper flakes, oregano, paprika, cumin, salt and pepper. Store in an airtight container.
I use a full batch to season 1 lb of hamburger.

*This recipe was found on

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Monte Cristos

I just recently found out what a Monte Cristo sandwich is. the best I cant describe is it's a sandwich dipped in egg mixture and cooked kind of like french toast. It is one of my favorites and it's so versatile.

6 slices of bread (for 3 sammies)
Dijon Mustard
lunch meat- turkey, Ham
sliced cheese I like provolone
2 eggs
1/4 C milk

Heat a large skillet or griddle. Mix eggs and milk, season with salt and pepper. Lay out bread on work surface and spread mayonnaise and Dijon on 3 slices bread. Then top with meat and cheese. you can even add some cranberry sauce, it's so delicious. Press each sandwich firmly and dip in egg mixture and put in the hot griddle. Let cook for 3-5 minutes on each side, or until the egg is golden brown.

I serve this with homemade chips. I slice the potatoes into rounds instead of fries. I toss with a little olive oil and bake at 400 for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. They turn out so good, you get some crispy ones with some squishy ones, a perfect mix.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Lamb Ribs

This was my first time ever cooking lamb. Can I just say, damn! It was good. I found these little lamb ribs on sale at the store. I got online and looked for a glaze that was close to a glaze I've had before. this is what I came up with. It wasn't as good as the original glaze I've had but still it threw me for a loop.

6 lamb ribs

1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp pepper
1/3 c olive oil
1 Tbs honey
2 tbs soy sauce
1 clove mince garlic

Combine everything except for ribs in a bowl and mix well. Reserve 1/4 of the glaze for after they are cooked. Marinate the ribs over night if possible or for a couple hours. Heat a large skillet over med-high heat (very important) You don't want it too hot or the glaze will burn and the inside will still be raw. Cook 3-5 mins on each side, longer for more done. Plate the ribs up and drizzle the extra glaze. i served with some blue cheese to dip in. Amazingly enough my kids loved them. Another winner!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Spaghetti Lasagna

I'm so sorry it's been so long between posts. My family has been sick and I've been worn out. I do have some new recipes but to pace myself I will just post one new one today.

1/2 lb linguine
1 lb ground beef
1 small container Ricotta (cottage cheese would work too)
2 C spaghetti sauce
1-2 cups mozzarella cheese

Start water for pasta. Brown ground beef, drain if necessary, add spaghetti sauce, let simmer until pasta is done and drained. Put pasta back in the pot it cooked in and add the Ricotta. Add the hamburger mixture on to and stir to combine well. Put in a baking dish and cover with cheese. If you are in a hurry, placed under a broiler and melt cheese on top. if you have time cook at 350 for 25 mins or until bubbly and cheese is melted.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Tonight we had a super simple dinner of spaghetti. Steve likes it when we have bread to dip in the sauce. I never have enough time to make bread and I'm such a penny pincher I'm not going to buy it! So this recipe was a life saver and I'm disappointed I didn't try it sooner. The family I got it from has nicknamed them Banana Slugs. They really do look like them when you put them on the pan to cook, that's how you know you did it right :)

Combine in mixing bowl and let sit:
1 Tbs yeast
1 1/2 warm water
2 Tbs sugar

Mix in different bowl:
3 C flour
1/4 C Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. garlic salt

Add flour to yeast mixture. Stir until dough is sticky but still workable. Let rest for 10 minutes. Melt 1 cube of butter in a shallow pan (I use a pie plate). Pinch off about a golf ball (maybe a touch bigger) size dough ball. Roll to about 4 inches long and roll in melted butter. Place all the bread sticks on a pan so they touch. You can sprinkle with a little more garlic salt and Parmesan. Let rise for 10-30 minutes. Bake at 475 for about 10 minutes.

*I just want to let you know these were the fluffiest things ever. I'm trying to watch my girlish figure but you'd think I'd laced these with drugs the way I couldn't stop scarfing them down! Also I used my kitchen mixer to mix the dough. It was way easy and I didn't get my hands all doughy.

A Good Standby

I have a little secret to share with you. I have stand by dinners! Those days when I don't post a new delicious recipe, you think I'm busy. But no I'm just (a) too lazy to find and make a new recipe or (b) we are in between pay days and a grocery trip is not happening. During these times this is one fall back dinner I often go to. One week I swear we had this or spaghetti every night. Needless to say we boycotted it for a while.

2 chicken breasts
instant mashed potatoes
frozen corn
seasoning of your choice

Heat a skillet over medium heat with a drizzle of olive oil. This is the secret to making good chicken on the stove. Cook it on a lower heart rather than a high heat. If you cook it on high it will crisp the outside too much and leave the inside still raw. The chicken should sizzle when it's put in the pan but not smoke too much. sprinkle seasoning of your choice. I like Cavender's or Montreal, or just good 'ol seasoned salt. When chicken is done just turn the pan off so it stays hot then make your mashed potatoes and heat your corn. Voila! You have a delicious dinner in no time!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

BBQ Burgers

I have adapted this one from a Rachael Ray recipe. It's like putting BBQ sauce on your burger but the flavor is infused with the meat. Steve loves these. Unfortunately there is never any leftovers for lunch the next day. I love to serve this with oven and carrot fries (for those watching that girlish figure).

1 lb hamburger
1-2 Tbs. ketchup or tomato paste
1 Tbs. liquid smoke
1 Tbs Worcestershire
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. grill seasoning
1/2 cup brown sugar
salt and pepper to taste

Throw the meat in a bowl with all the ingredients and mix. Form into patties and grill or cook indoors. To add another level top with cheese.

*Just a side note here: If you use ketchup instead of tomato paste it may make cause the patties to want to crumble. I don't want you to loose the burgers in your grill. So if you are planning on cooking outside, use tomato paste. Also, the amounts are guesses I always just throw everything in and eyeball it.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Chocolate Almond Zucchini Bread

I usually don't do desserts but it's Casey's birthday, so I'll do this one. This was a maiden voyage on this recipe. I almost never send one of those to work with Steve, but it was tested and found worthy of the coworkers. I hope you like it.

3 eggs
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup sugar
1 cup oil (I substituted apple sauce)
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate OR 4 Tbs cocoa powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
2 c flour
2 c grated zucchini
1 c chopped almonds

Beat eggs until smooth and lemon colored. Add sugars and oil. Melt chocolate and stir with he vanilla and zucchini then stir into the egg mixture. Stir in dry ingredients then add almonds. Grease two loaf pans and divide the batter evenly. Bake at 375 for 50-60 minutes. Cool and turn out. Can also be frosted with a whipped cream cheese and orange zest frosting.

Mexican Lasaagna

I was sure I wouldn't like this one. I mean come on Mexican Lasagna? How versatile can we be, really? But come to fine out it's pretty good and I think I'll add it to our list of "regulars".

1 lb ground beef
1 small onion chopped
1 can olives sliced
1 pkg taco seasoning
3 cups tomato sauce (3 cans)
1 container cottage cheese
1 1/2 c sour cream
1 pkg tortilla chips
1 lb grated cheese (Monterrey jack or cheddar)
1 lb frozen corn

Brown ground beef and add onions, olives, taco seasoning and tomato sauce. Let simmer. Combine cottage cheese and sour cream, set aside. Crush chips and line the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish, like a crust. Cover chips with half of the meat mixture and then dollop and gently spread the cottage cheese mixture, then sprinkle with half the cheese. Repeat layers ending with cheese. Bake at 375 for 25 minutes. Let sit for about 10 minutes before serving.

*Steve didn't like to olives but I did so I left them in. I'm sure you could add something like a can of chilies to liven it up too. But of course it's green so that's a no go for Steve.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


This one is easy and I'm sure it's way cheaper and better for you than the one they sell at the leading pizza places.

Refrigerated or home made pizza dough
pizza sauce
toppings (my favorites are sausage, roasted red peppers, onions and olives)

To make the filling I used I removed to casing from the Italian sausage and crumbled like hamburger. When it was all cooked I removed it from the skillet leaving the drippings. I added the onions and cooked on low til tender.

To make calzones:
Take a little dough (about the size of a baseball), enough to make a circle, roll out to about a single size pizza. Put sauce one the whole thing and toppings only on half. Fold non topping half over toppings and seal the edge. I like to use a little rolling pinch method for sealing the dough. Cook at 400 for 15-20 minutes. You can be creative as you want with this. leave it as simple or dress it up as much as you want.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Chicken Italiano

This is a good crock pot recipe. I was fortunate enough to get this one going for diner lat night before my world exploded. My youngest son had a fever all day and it progressively was getting worse through the day. It was so nice to know dinner was taken care of.

2 chicken breasts
1 envelope french onion soup mix
1-2 c stewed tomatoes (I'm guessing cause I used the tomatoes I canned last year and I used about half a quart)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 can water or milk
2 cups cooked rice

Place chicken breasts in crock pot. Sprinkle with soup mix. Mix tomatoes and mushroom soup with water or milk and pour over the top. Cook on high for 4 hours. Shred or coarsely chop the chicken and serve over rice.

*There is an oven option. Prepare as above except in a baking dish, cover with foil and cook at 375 for 2 hours.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Sandwich Roll-Up

I've done it!! I have found one that Steve loves! He took one bite and said "Ok this is my new favorite." WooHoo!! It is the best feeling in the world to hear those words. My ultimate goal is to be like Marie Barone from Everybody Loves Raymond, except without the passive aggressive-ness.
*This recipe came from my neighbor Becky. Thanks Becky!

1 lb frozen and thawed bread dough or you can use homemade
lunch meat any flavor
grated cheese (I actually used sliced and it was fine)
1/4 c mayonnaise
1 tsp. Mustard
1 egg for egg wash

optional toppings:

Roll your dough out to 12x18 and top with overlapping meat. Be sure to leave about half inch border. Mix mustard and mayo, spread over the meat. Then layer cheese on top of the meat. If you want the tomatoes and olives place them in the middle. Lightly brush the border with water so it's good and sticky. Then fold into thirds. Fold one third over the middle and then fold the other half to the middle. Pinch ends together and tuck under so there is minimum leakage. Place seam side down on a cookie sheet and brush with egg. Make three diagonal slits in the top and bake at 350 for 35-40 mins.

*You can also sprinkle the bread with some Parmesan cheese before baking.
*I love this one cause it can be different every time.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Cinco De Mayo

We have a Cinco De Mayo party every year with our neighborhood. This year I helped make the tamales. It was super good times, and super yummy, but I'm not going to share that recipe with you for the simple reason, it is very long and very involved. I did make some black beans and rice. It was pretty good. I have to say I impressed myself a little.

1 can black beans drained
1 cup rice
1 chicken bullion cube
1 pint salsa (I prefer the homemade variety)

To cook rice bring 2 cups water to a boil, add rice and the bullion cube cook for 20 mins. Heat the beans and salsa in a pot big enough to fit the rice too. When rice is done add to beans and combine well. Serve warm. A squeeze of lemon or lime really brings the flavor home.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Kids' Spaghetti

This one is one is one of my trusty stand-bys. I love it because it's easy and tasty and the leftovers are great for lunch. I think Steve even had seconds tonight.

1 lb ground beef or chopped chicken
1/2 lb spaghetti
1 can cream of chicken
1 can tomato soup
1 cup cheese ( I would go with an orange variety)

Cook ground beef and start pasta water. When beef is no longer pink add both the soups undiluted and mix well. When noodles are done mix with beef soup mixture, place in a baking dish and top with shredded cheese. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.

*You could also cheat on this one and just put it under the broiler for a couple minutes to just melt the cheese.

Beefy Mac Bake

This is a new one I decided to give a whirl. It was ok definitely not a 10 but it will do for a quick fix.

1 lb ground beef
2 C shredded cheese
1 container ricotta cheese
1 jar spaghetti sauce
2 carrots chopped
1 small onion chopped
half package of elbow macaroni

Start water for noodles. Saute carrots and onions til soft. Add ground beef and brown with veggies. Add sauce and let simmer for 10 minutes. When noodles are done put half in a small baking dish and layer the beef mixture on top. Then spread a little ricotta then cheese then repeat layers ending with cheese. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.

*The recipe called for using sour cream instead of ricotta. Try that for a nice change. Maybe if I had done that I would have liked it a little more.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Oven Baked Chimichangas A.K.A Burrito Pillows

My friends know I love Mexican food, more specifically Mexican restaurant food. However it's pretty fatty. This one lets me have my Mexican and eat it too. Granted nothing takes the place of deep fried goodness but this satisfies the craving.

2 chicken breasts cooked and shredded
1 can black beans- drained
1 C frozen corn
1/2 C salsa
2 C cheese
1 T cumin
1/2 T oregano
1 small onion chopped
four tortillas ( I use the big mama burrito size)
1 T butter- melted

Combine first 8 ingredients and spoon in the middle of the tortilla. Sometimes I leave out the cheese and just put a little separate on the top, as long as all the filling gets in there it doesn't really matter what order. Fold in edges and roll up. Place in a 9x13 dish. When you've made as many as you can I usually get about 6. Brush tops with the butter. Bake at 400 for 25-30 mins.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Burgers and ummm fries?

Last night we had Steve's all time favorite, burgers. Hands down he will always pick a burger if you give him a choice. I usually do my oven fries. Yesterday was a huge carb day for me. I'm trying to watch the girlish figure so I try and limit the carbs I take in. So instead of doing all fries I decided to try carrot fries. I was pleasantly surprised.

2-3 Carrots peeled and cut into sticks
toss with a drizzle of olive oil
salt, pepper and any other seasonings to taste

preheat oven to 400. Toss the carrots with oil and place on the same pan as your potato fries. Cook for 30 mins then season to your liking. I was very pleased with how these came out. I actually had a hard time stopping myself from eating them all, acutally I think I did eat all the carrot ones, oops!

Thursday, April 30, 2009


This one is a pretty good staple. It's super easy and I think it's pretty tasty. I found that I easily had everything on hand and then some so I added some stuff and took stuff out of the recipe I had, I hope you like my version.

1 lb ground beef
1 can cream of chicken (or mushroom)
1/2 C sour cream
1 C tomato sauce
Sprinkle of garlic powder
sprinkle of onion powder
1/2 package egg noodles cooked

Start water for noodles. Heat large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown beef and drain if necessary. Add soup, tomato sauce, sour cream, garlic powder and onion powder. Bring to a bubble for 5 minutes and toss with noodles.

*You could also add a chopped onion and cook it with the meat. If you did this omit the onion powder.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Chicken Piccata Toss

This has been one of my all time favorites. Last night Steve had three helpings last night, I guess it's a winner.
*thanks, yet again to Rachael Ray

1 lb penne rigate
2 T olive oil
1 lb chicken tenders (I use cut up chicken breasts)
2 T butter
4 cloves garlic finely chopped
1 small onion chopped
2 T flour
1/2 C white wine (I use extra chicken stock with a little white wine vinegar)
juice of 1 lemon
1 C chicken broth
3 T capers drained and rinsed (found in the aisle with the fancy olives and salad dressing)

Start water for noodles. Heat large skillet over medium-high heat, add 1 T of the oil and add chicken. Let it brown about 5-6 mins on each side. Remove chicken from pan and set aside. Return skillet to heat and add butter and remaining T oil. Add garlic, onion, cook for three minutes. Whisk in the flour and cook for another minute or so. Add the wine and whisk together, let it reduce a little and add the lemon juice and the broth. When sauce comes to a bubble add the chicken back in. I like to cut mine into chunks. When noodles are done toss with chicken sauce and serve.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Spanish Beef and Rice

This is also from Rachael Ray's 30 min meals 2. I have altered it a little. She suggests to keep leftovers and make stuffed peppers, I just use it for more tortillas.

2 C beef stock
1 C rice
1 T olive oil
1 lb ground beef
salt and pepper to taste
2 cloves garlic finely chopped
1 large onion chopped
1 green pepper finely chopped
1 T Worcestershire sauce
1 C tomato sauce
1/4 tsp ground cloves
2 tsp cumin

Bring beef stock to a boil in a sauce pan, add rice, cover and let cook for 20 mins.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil and beef, let cook for 2-3 minutes and add onion, garlic, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce. Cook for 5-7 minutes until veggies are tender. Add tomato sauce, cumin, and cloves. Bring to a bubble and turn heat to low.

Combine cooked rice with meat mixture. We put it on a tortilla with cheese. It would be a super carb fest with rice AND a tortilla. Great for athletes but maybe not so great for "occasionally golfs Steve". You could also just eat it by itself. I think it would be good with a salad, if you are on speaking terms with greens.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Chicken Tetrazzini

I'm sorry to all my faithful readers (haha). Between Steve's surgery and his birthday I haven't cooked much int he last week. I did try this one out and loved it. It's a great alternative to the high fat of Cream of Chicken soup casseroles. Hope you like it too.
*This is from Rachael Ray's 30 min meals 2.

Chicken and sauce:

2 C chicken stock
2-4 chicken breasts
2 medium shallots or one small onion chopped
1 T olive oil
2T butter
2T flour
1 C dry white wine (I use extra chicken stock with a splash of white wine vinegar)
1/2 heavy cream
pinch of nutmeg
salt and pepper

1/2 package egg noodles
1/2 C plain bread crumbs
1/4 C Parmesan cheese
2 oz almonds

Bring chicken stock to a boil and add chicken breasts, return to a boil, reduce heat, cover and let simmer for 8 minutes, or until chicken is cooked.

In a skillet heat oil and butter saute onions for about 3 minutes. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minutes more. Whisk in the wine (or stock) add heavy cream. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Bring to a bubble and keep on low til it gets nice and thick.

Cook egg noodles. If you want mushrooms it says to saute them in a skillet with 2T butter until tender, add it to the chicken mixture. When noodles are done toss everything together. Top with cheese, and bread crumbs. Place under a broiler for about 2-3 minutes (don't leave!) when it's nice and brown remove from broiler and sprinkle the almonds on top.

*When I was making this it was really easy despite the list of ingredients, it looks long but it's mostly stuff you have on hand anyway. It would be great to make a double batch, which is what my friend Rach suggests and freeze it for another meal. She makes a Divine Divan with the leftovers. Maybe I'll try that one next.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

My Big Fat Musaka

I have been told this isn't a traditional Moussaka but it's still good. We lovingly refer to it as moose-kaka. Traditionally it's made with ground lamb and that's hard to come by here in the states. We just have to settle for good 'ol ground beef. I was worried that Steve wouldn't like this but he had two helpings.
*This recipe came from Joe, thanks!

1 lb. Ground beef
1/2 C onion chopped
2-3 med. potatoes peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 tomato diced
1 handful of baby carrots or 2 carrots peeled and diced
1 container feta cheese
plain yogurt
2 eggs
garlic salt

Brown beef and onion. Season with salt pepper and garlic salt to your taste. In a large pot boil potatoes and carrots for about 20 mins or until tender. Drain potatoes and carrots and add to the meat mixture along with the feta cheese and tomato.
Mix about 1 1/2 c of yogurt with the eggs. The batter should be slightly thinner than pancake batter.
Place half of the meat mixture in the bottom of a loaf pan then 1/3 of the yogurt batter. Then the rest of the meat mixture and cover the top with yogurt batter. Place on a cookie sheet just in case it's bubbles over and bake at 350 for 45 mins to 1 hour. The top should be golden brown. Let sit about 5-10 mins before serving.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Salisbury Steak

This is the first time I've made this and I guarantee it won't be the last. Steve said he liked dinners like this. Well of course he does, it's meat and potatoes! Who doesn't like dinners like that?!

1 1/2- 2 lbs round steak cut into strips
1 can golden mushroom soup
1 can cream of mushroom
1/2 can of water
1 envelope french onion soup mix
salt and pepper to taste.

Heat skillet over med-high heat. Season steak and put in skillet seasoned side down, season this side and let sear for 3-4 minutes, flip it and sear the other side. While steak is searing mix soups in a crockpot. Add meat and stir to combine. Let it go for 6-8 hours so the meat gets super tender, no knives needed. Serve over egg noodles or mashed potatoes. Remember the salad for your veggies ;)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


This is about the easiest thing in the WHOLE world. I know I could make my own Pesto but I haven't made it there yet. For now I just buy it where the spaghetti sauce is and it's pretty tasty.

1 jar pesto sauce
1 lb angel hair pasta

It gets a little tricky here, pay attention. Cook the noodles for 5-6 minutes drain and add most of the jar of pesto to the warm noodles and toss. DONE!
I like to serve this with my cheesy bread and a salad, it's great!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Green Curry Chicken Over Coconut Jasmine Rice

This recipe was adapted from Rachael Ray's "Mostly" Green Curry Chicken Over Coconut Jasmine Rice. I leave some stuff out that she has listed in her recipe. I will give you my version cause it's my favorite in the whole world! I love coconut milk and the flavor is to DIE for! Kay enough chit chat-

1 1/2 C chicken stock
1- 13 1/2oz can of coconut milk
1 C Jasmine rice (it's usually in the ethnic foods aisle)
2 Chicken breasts cut into bite size pieces
1 green pepper chopped
1 yellow onion
3 garlic cloves smashed and chopped
2 cups broccoli (I use frozen)
zest and juice of 1 lime
grated ginger
1/4 c fresh cilantro chopped
1 c frozen peas

In a sauce pan combine 1 c chicken stock and 1/4 c coconut milk, add the rice and bring to a simmer, cover and let cook for 15-18 minutes. Keep covered until ready to serve.

While rice cooks heat a large skillet and add vegetable oil, and chicken. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Brown the chicken and add green peppers, onions, garlic, broccoli. Cook until vegetables start to soften about 4-5 minutes. Add the rest of the coconut milk and 1/2 cup chicken stock, stir to combine well. Add peas, lime and lime zest and let simmer til warmed through. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Place rice in the bottom of a serving dish and pour chicken over top. Sprinkle with cilantro.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Flaming Tacos

I know I have a large following of people who look up to me as a fantastic cook... Ok I can't keep a straight face :) I too have goof ups in the kitchen. I will share my recipe and the goof up, don't laugh!


1lb Ground beef
1 envelope taco seasoning
12 hard taco shells
1-2 C shredded cheese
toppings for tacos ie: salsa, sour cream, lettuce, whatever you like.

Brown ground beef in a skillet and drain if necessary. Add seasoning and 3/4 cup water, let simmer for 10 minutes. While meat simmers preheat broiler, and get the taco shells and sprinkle a little cheese in the bottom of each. Place under broiler for 45 seconds or until cheese melts. Why do this you say? It not only melts the cheese to make it delicious it makes the shells more crunchy. I have yet to find a perfect taco shell right out of the package. This helps it to taste fresh.

The Goof Up:

So I'm going about the recipe as directed above. I have the taco shells in the oven and I make the mistake of turning around to put a dish in the sink. Then I opened the door to retrieve the shells, yeah don't worry they are FLAMING! ON FIRE!! The sad thing is I thought for half a second that I should get my camera so I could post pictures. Luckily Steve was pulling into the garage, I ran out and said "I don't know what to do!" he told me to get the baking soda (duh I should have known that) By the time I got back out he had already blown it out, birthday cake style. Sadly they were not salvageable. I did not reattempt to put new ones in the oven, maybe next time. I hope this makes you feel better about your kitchen blunders, it happens to the best of us, happy

P.S. Be careful out there!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Roast n' Toast

Steve has requested that I figure this one out because his Grandpa Day would eat it. I think it's cute that he wants to be like his Grandpa. It's pretty easy to make and it's a great way to use leftovers.

Leftover roast
4 pieces of toast buttered
1-2 Tbs cornstarch

Place the roast in a skillet over medium heat. let the fat and gravy render out a little. If you need more gravy mix cornstarch with a little water, pour in with meat. If you use 1 Tbs cornstarch add about 1 cup of water. Season to taste. I like to add quite a bit of pepper. Bring to a boil. Let it simmer til the gravy thickens.
Spoon warm meat mixture over toast.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


I told a friend I would send this to her... but since I have taken a vacation form cooking fancy food I thought I would offer it to all of you (all 2 of you).

I love risotto. It's made from a special kind of rice that will make it's own creamy sauce without cream. There are countless ways to dress it up. you can add peas or broccoli, mushrooms, if you roll that way (blah!), I like to put Parmesan cheese in mine with some broccoli. I have also put butternut squash in and that one is FANTASTIC!

1 qt stock of your choice- I use chicken most of the time
2 C Arborio rice (in the store it may be packaged as risotto rice)
2 tbs olive oil
1 tbs butter

Heat the stock in a large pot over medium-high. You may want to add a cup or two of extra water. You want to keep this liquid warm, but not at a boil. Add butter and oil to a large skillet. Add rice and let cook for 2-3 minutes stirring to coat the rice. Then add about half of the liquid, turn the heat down to low just to maintain a simmer, keep uncovered. When the liquid has been absorbed add a little more about a cup at a time. Wait til it is absorbed then add a little more. It will take close to 20 minutes for the rice to cook completely.

Don't worry too much about getting too much liquid, you add it slowly so you'll know if it is getting too saturated, this is not likely to happen though, it's very "thirsty" rice.

*A couple more ideas for stir-ins: spinach, shredded zucchini, green onions, basil, sun ripened tomatoes, the possibilities are endless!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Enchilada casserole

I made this one up all by myself! I'm hoping I can come up with a better name for it. Cause it's not really enchiladas at all... I don't know I'll have to think about it.

1 lb ground beef
1 can pinto beans
1 onion chopped
1 can cream of chicken
1 can Enchilada sauce
1 1/2 C crushed tortilla chips
1 C frozen corn
shredded cheese

Heat large skillet over medium-high heat with a Tbs oil. Add onions and let cook for 2-3 minutes. Add ground beef and cook until no longer pink. Turn the heat to low and add soup and sauce. Stir til well combined. Remove from heat and stir in 1 C of the chips and the corn. Place mixture in a 9x13 baking dish and top with cheese and remainder of the chips. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

*I think this would also be great if you added a small can of green chilies. It would also be good with a dollop of sour cream.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Cheese toast

I love cheese toast, as most people do. I have been trying unsuccessfully to recreate "Wow Bread" this is the closest I've been able to come.

1 C finely shredded Dubliner Cheese (Parmesan and any other hard cheese will work)
6-8 slices french bread
garlic powder

Heat a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Put cheese on a plate. Butter bread on one side and place butter side down on the cheese so that cheese sticks to the butter. Butter the other side of the bread while it's in the cheese. Sprinkle with garlic powder. Place cheese side down in the skillet. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side until brown and crispy.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

St. Patrick's Feast

Every St. Patrick's day we have the traditional corned beef, cabbage and potatoes. I could definitely eat this more thank once a year. It's so easy and yummy.

Corned Beef
I just get the packaged corned beef from the store. It already has all the seasonings, it's ready to go. I just throw it in the crock pot and put enough water in to come up about half way up the sides of the meat. Let it go for about 4-6 hours.

Cabbage and Potatoes:
2 potatoes (not green) cut into chunks
1/2 head of cabbage chopped

Put potatoes in a skillet that has a top put enough water in to cover, or almost over the potatoes. Cook for 10 minutes and add cabbage. Cover and let cabbage steam 10 minutes while potatoes finish cooking. When done remove lid and let the extra liquid cook off. Serve with plenty of butter and salt.

To finish off this meal in true St. Patrick's fashion we drink green ginger ale. I figure it's still green ale without being beer :)

Pierogi and Spicy Beet Salsa

First of all sorry I'm slacking. Recipes have kind of been the last thing on my mind lately. Anyway I love this one, it's from Rachael Ray. FYI I have only been able to find the Pierogi at Wal-Mart (ugh) But it's a big bag and of course it's the lowest price, "Always". Also this is the recipe that opened my world up to the divinity of beets. I LOVE beets and I have this recipe to thank for it. Just try it! If you don't like it do what Steve does, ketchup *wretch*.

3 Tbs butter softened
1 (16-19 ounce) package frozen potato filled pierogi
1 15 oz can sliced beets drained and chopped
1 small red onion finely chopped
juice of 1 lime
hot sauce
1/4 C chopped parsley
1/4 C cilantro
1/4 C sour cream
salt and pepper

Spread butter on the bottom of a skillet. Arrange pierogi in the pan in a single layer. Add 1 C water to the pan cover and place over medium heat. Cook for 8 minutes. Remove lid and let any liquid cook off. When all the water cooks off the pierogi will start to "stick" and brown in the butter. When the dumplings are nice and crisp and brown remove to a serving platter.

While the pierogi cook throw together the beet salsa. Combine beets, red onion, lime juice, hot sauce, parsley, cilantro, sour cream and a little salt and pepper.

Serve the pierogi topped with salsa...or ketchup.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Irish Eggs

On of our favorites days is coming up. Since I married a Leprechaun we have to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. I found this recipe in a Rachael Ray cookbook (FYI that's where most of them come from). I'm not one for soft eggs, I like mine very well done. The cream in this makes that impossible but it was delicious!

1/3 C heavy cream
8 eggs
1/2 lb Irish cheese (I used Dubliner, it's Steve's fav.)
2 tbs Irish butter or regular butter cut into bits

Heat medium skillet over medium heat, add butter. Wisk eggs, cream and add salt and pepper. Pour eggs into the skillet and cook slowly. When they are still a little runny add half of the cheese, stir and add the other half. Cook until done and serve.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Stuffed Crust Pizza

As you know I love eat out food. What I don't like is paying for it (I'm the biggest penny pincher) or thinking about what is in it. Steve loves Pizza Hut's Stuffed Crust pizza I have figured a way to make my own for WAY cheaper than they sell it. I was pretty darn proud of myself. Steve even said it was good pizza, that's pretty hard to do, it seems like if you can dream it, it's been on a pizza.

5-6 pieces of string cheese, halved long wise
pizza crust
pizza sauce
desired toppings

I would prefer you use the pizza crust recipe I gave you but I guess you could use a prepared one... Roll out the dough in a circle about 2 inches bigger than you want it. Roll the cheese pieces in the edges, make sure to seal the edges. Then put the sauce and toppings on. Bake at 400 for 15 mins and you have your own stuffed crust pizza, fantastic!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Penne with Cauliflower Sauce

All I can say is.. LOVED IT! Of course Steve wasn't the biggest fan. It was kind of hard to hide the cauliflower, oh well. Did I mention that I loved it, don't tell anyone but I ate three helpings.

1 lb penne rigate
1/4 cup olive oil
3 garlic cloves sliced
1 red onion chopped
1 head of cauliflower cored and chopped
1 C chicken stock
4 sprigs of fresh rosemary (I used a tsp of dried)
3/4 C Parmesan cheese
Black pepper

Bring pasta water to a boil. You will need a ladle or two of the cooking water.

While the pasta works prepare the sauce. Heat oil over medium heat and add garlic cloves, cook for 3 minutes, then remove and discard garlic. Add onion and cook for 5 minutes. Then add cauliflower, chicken stock and rosemary. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Uncover and add the little bit of pasta water. Mash the cauliflower with a potato masher.

Combine pasta and cauliflower, toss to combine, add cheese and toss again. Season with salt and pepper to taste, serve.

Chili and Cornbread

This is my kind of soul food. Last night was a perfect night for a hot bowl of chili, it was rainy and snowy out but inside it smelt like home. I always think about my mom when I cook chili. I think I make mine the same way and it's so good.

2 cans of chili beans (we like Bush's the best)
2 (or 1 large) cans of diced tomatoes
1 onion chopped
1 green pepper chopped
2 cloves garlic finely chopped
1 lb ground beef (or turkey)
1/2-1 tbs cumin
1/2 tbs chili powder

Brown ground beef, drain if needed. Add onions, peppers and garlic, saute for a couple minutes.

Add beans, and tomatoes. I always add about a bean can of water. Then add seasonings and bring to a boil. turn the heat down to a simmer. Let simmer uncovered for at least 30 minutes, an hour would be better, after an hour if you're still not ready to eat just turn it way down and cover it.


1/2 C melted butter
2/3 C sugar
2 eggs
1 C buttermilk
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 C flour
1 C cornmeal
1/2 tsp salt

Combine butter, sugar, and eggs, mix well. Add buttermilk, and baking soda. Combine with flour cornmeal and salt. Bake at 350 for 30 mins. Cool for 5-10 mins and serve with butter.

*If you don't have butter milk you can add 1 Tbs lemon juice to milk and it will sour in about 5 minutes. Sounds gross but it works so well.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Lemon Spaghetti

This is a new one. I have never made it before. It turned out pretty good. It's one of those that is light and refreshing. The garlic and the red pepper give it the slightest kick.

1 lb spaghetti
3 tbs olive oil
4 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (I think I used 1/4)
zest and juice of two lemons
3/4 C heavy cream
1 C grated parmesan cheese
handful of fresh chopped parsley

Bring pasta water to a boil, salt and drop the pasta in.

Heat a large, deep skillet over low heat and add oil, garlic, red pepper, and lemon zest.

When pasta has been cooking for about 5 minutes add a ladle of cooking water to the garlic mix. then add lemon juice and cream. Don't freak out when the cream curdles a little bit, it's ok. Turn the heat up a little and bring to a bubble.

Drain pasta and add sauce. Toss so the spaghetti can absorb the sauce, add about half of the cheese, and parsley toss again. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.

*I did this one with a chicken breast and it was a really nice, easy dinner. It made my house smell good too. I guess it's only good if you like the smell of garlic though.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

My Dark Secret

I have a confession to make... I don't admit this to many people, just my closest friends. I love white trash food! That's right I LOVE it! Ramen is great, I crave mac and cheese from a box, and don't even get my started on Spam. That's right people I have ingested Spam (numerous times) and lived to tell the tale.
Steve goes on business trips every now and then. They are just short over nighters. I like to use that time to make something that he just doesn't appreciate. Yes, Yes I will usually go for the tofu or totally vegetarian but sometimes I like to trash it up. Steve isn't a huge fan of mac and cheese, even when I make homemade cheese sauce, whatever! So this last time I decided to really go all out. I made a classic, mac and cheese with hot dogs. To make it a little more gourmet I grilled the turkey dogs before I added them to the mac and cheese. It was fabulous!
I hope this doesn't skew your view of me too much, hey I'm human too! Just keep in mind I don't eat like this all the time it's a total guilty pleasure. I promise there will be more exciting yummy recipes to come this week.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Swiss Turkey Burgers with Onions

As you know Steve LOVES hamburgers. He is leaving for a business trip in the morning so because I love him I made turkey burgers for dinner. It was only after the first bite when he said "Mmmm these are good" did he know it was turkey. I also made my famous oven fries.

1 lb ground turkey
1/2-1 Tbs grill seasoning
plain bread crumbs (you may not need these)
1 onion sliced
4-6 slices of Swiss cheese
4 buns

Combine turkey, salt , and spices, the amounts above are just guesses. I always season to taste unless I'm baking or have never made the dish before. The bread crumbs would be added now too, but only add them if your turkey is having trouble staying together, this helps to soak up some moisture.
Heat a Tbs oil in a small nonstick pan over medium heat and add onions. Let them caramelize while burgers work.
Cook burgers on a griddle or grill. 5-6 minutes each side. Be sure the burgers are cook all the way through, it's poultry, I don't want any sickies!
When done place cheese on the burgers and cover with foil, let stand until cheese is gooey and melty. Serve topped with onions. I personally like the spicy brown mustard on this one, no ketchup please.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Sliced Chili-Rubbed Flank Steak with Spicy Rice

I'm branching out a little more this go 'round. I have picked some new recipes for the next couple of weeks. This one I got out of a Rachel Ray cookbook. It's originally called Mexican Surf and Turf. It calls for shrimp and I don't like shrimp so I made a couple changes. The rice is not spicy hot, it just has spices. Steve said "mmmm this IS good" when he took the first bite, so we have a winner?

1 1/2 Grill seasoning
1 Tbs chili powder
Zest of 1 Lime
2-2 1/4 lb Flank Steak (I used a Flat iron steak and it was still yummy, honestly I don't know the difference)
2 Tbs Butter
1 1/2 C long grain rice
1 Onion chopped
1/2 red bell pepper chopped
1 jalapeno diced (I used a Serrano, less heat)
3 cups chicken stock
2 Tbs tomato paste
1-2 avocados
1/2 C crumbled white Mexican cheese (I used goat cheese, feta is probably too feet-ish for this dish)

Combine grill seasoning, chili powder and zest, rub both sides of steak and let sit for 10 mins while you prepare rice and allow grill to heat.
In medium sauce pan melt butter and add onion, peppers, and rice to toast. Add stock and bring to a boil. Stir in tomato paste and let cook for about 20 mins. Add fresh cilantro just before serving.
When grill is hot place steak on and let cook for 7-8 mins on the first side and 5-6 on the second, for medium done-ness. Let the meat rest for a couple of minutes before slicing.
For the rice: put in a serving dish and top with avocados and sprinkle with cheese.

This is so super yummy, perfect for summer and using the grill. I used my griddle and it worked out fine. I really wish we would have taken a picture of this one, it was really colorful, but we were hungry and couldn't wait. If you want to see just how pretty it is catch Steve at lunch :)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

BBQ Ribs

This has to be Steve's favorite, hands down. It's super easy 'cause it's made in the crock pot. And it makes your house smell so yummy!

1-1.5 lbs country style ribs (you can use boneless or bone-in. I like boneless.)
*if you go to 2lbs, double the sauce
1 C tomato sauce (you can substitute Ketchup)
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/2 C brown sugar
1/2 C honey
1/4 C spicy brown mustard
2 Tbs Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 tsp Liquid Smoke
2 C cooked rice

Cook ribs for 4+ hours on high. Drain and add all the remaining ingredients. Turn the ribs to coat in the sauce. Cook for another couple of hours on low. Serve over rice. I would say the "secret ingredient" is the Liquid smoke, it's just not same same with out it. A great side dish for this is cornbread. I have a great recipe for that too! We'll save that for another day.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

2 New Recipes

I have two recipes for you today. One is from dinner last night and the other one is from TK, enjoy!

Chicken Casserole

This one is a staple in our house. I ALWAYS have the basics for this one. I sometimes have a little extra stuff to put in and other times a little less. So basically it turns our different every time. Here's what I did last night and it was darn good.

2-3 chicken breasts
2 cups cooked rice
1 can cream of chicken, or mushroom, whatever yo ulike
1/2 can of milk
10 Ritz crackers
1/4 C melted butter, maybe a little less, I just used whatever was left of the stick

1. Start the rice cooking
2. Brown and dice chicken
3. Combine soup and milk in a 9x9 baking dish
4. Combine chicken and rice in baking dish and mix well. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
5. Crumble crackers and sprinkle over teh top. Drizzle melted butter on crumbs.
6. Bake at 350 for 35-40 mins.

TK's Salad

As sophisticated and refined as you think you pallet is I can guarantee it's nothing compared to my three year old. He created a dish last night that is out of this world. Salad with Ranch dressing, sprinkled with Kix. Although he usually loves salad he decided the Kix dipped in Ranch was way better than the salad itself. I guess it's a good thing the Marshmallow Mateys weren't on the counter.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Who doesn't love pizza? It's so versatile. You can top it with whatever you want. This is for the crust. You should feel pretty special because I'm pretty tight lipped about this one. My BFF Mark developed this recipe from lots of trial and error. It can be made by hand or with a mixer, such as a Bosch (I heart my Bosch). I love this recipe, I'm all about eating the foods I love but I love more knowing the quality of ingredients that goes into my food. This is also WAY cheaper than even buying a $5 pizza.

2 C hot water
2 Tbs yeast
2 Tbs Italian seasoning
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
4+ C flour

1. Combine water and yeast in mixing bowl and let sit while you combine Italian seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and sugar.
2. If doing this by hand place 2 cups of flour in a sifter with seasonings on top, sift into yeast mixture. If using a mixer just dump it all and turn on the mixer.
3. After a slurry is made add two more cups of flour, again if doing this by hand use a sifter, it makes it easier to mix. This will take a little arm strength, but it's worth it.
4. Mix dough until no linger sticky, you may have to add up to a cup more flour
5. Cover and let rise for about 30 mins. I set it on top of my stove that is preheating.
6. Divide dough into two equal parts. Sprinkle work surface and rolling pin with flour. Roll out and top with sauce, cheese and toppings of your liking. Cook at 400 for 14 mins.

* A few tips: Sprinkle cooking pan with cornmeal to prevent sticking. You can leave out the seasonings just be sure to still add the salt and sugar. I usually make one pizza and use the other dough for bread sticks.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Spinach, Chicken and Cheese Goodness

As we all know Steve and vegetables do not get a long, it must have been a name calling fight (and he says girls have drama). I happen to have a very good relationship with them. I especially love spinach. I think it's cause I watched a lot of Popeye when I was little. Whether or not Steve wants to admit it I could beat him up :) This is a dish I got from a cooking contest in my last ward. I have made a few changes and it's become one of my favorites. Although Steve will eat it he often leaves a pile of luscious green on his plate.

2-3 Chicken breasts cooked, seasoned and cubed
1 lb frozen spinach, fresh works too
2 cups mozzarella or monetary cheese shredded or cubed (any white cheese that melts)
2-3 cups cooked rice

1. Cook chicken in a large skillet with generous seasoning. When done remove from pan and cube.
2. If using frozen spinach thaw in the microwave for 5 mins. Squeeze in a kitchen towel to remove excess water.
3. Combine chicken and spinach in the skillet and heat til warmed through.
4. Add cheese a handful at a time. Stir until it starts to melt, add the next handful.
5. Serve over rice.