Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Chicken and Dumplings

The other week when I was grocery shopping I accidentally grabbed cream of celery instead of cream of chicken. I have never used cream of celery and had no idea what to do with it. I searched high and low on the internet to find a good recipe to use it in. I came across this chicken and dumplings recipe and it was delicious! It was incredibly simple and only has four ingredients, (though many reviews I read people adjusted by adding more things, but I thought it was delicious the way it is).
6 boneless, skinless chicken breast
2 cans cream of celery
salt and pepper
1 pkg refrigerated biscuit dough

In a large pot over high heat, combine the chicken with enough water to cover, and boil for 15-20 minutes. Drain some of the water, reserving 3 cups in the pot. Remove chicken and allow to cool, then pull it apart into bite size pieces, return to pot. Reduce heat to medium, and add the cans of cream of celery. Season with salt and pepper. Pull biscuit dough into pieces, and add to the soup. Simmer over medium heat for 7-8 minutes, or until dough is cooked through. Serves 4.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

California Rolls

I love sushi! I could eat sushi every day. Honestly I could! For my birthday my husband bought me a sushi rolling mat, so I had to try it out. Even if you don't have a rolling mat you can make sushi too. And I didn't use raw fish. I used imitation crab, avocado and cucumber. It was delicious. It tasted like regular California Rolls, but weren't as pretty as a professionals. Rice Ingredients:

3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups uncooked Japanese medium-grain rice*

3 cups water

Sushi Ingredients

3 sheets or sushi nori (seaweed in big squares)**
1 large cucumber

1 avocado

Fresh lemon juice

imitation crab sticks

* Only use Japanese rice in sushi making. It is a medium-grained rice and gets sticky when it is cooked. Long-grained American rice will not work because it is drier and doesn't stick together.

** Sheets of thin seaweed which is pressed and dried. As a general rule of thumb – good Nori is very dark green, almost black in color.

Making sushi rice:

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine rice vinegar, sugar, and salt. Heat mixture just until the sugar dissolves (do not let it boil). Remove from heat and let cool until ready to use.
Start preparing the rice approximately 2 hours before you want to make the sushi rolls. Wash rice, stirring with your hand, until water runs clear. Place rice in a saucepan with water; soak 30 minutes. Drain rice in colander and transfer to a heavy pot or rice cooker; add 4 cups water. NOTE: To improve the texture of the rice, after rinsing, let the rice drain 30 minutes in the refrigerator before cooking (put the strainer with the rice in a large bowl to catch the water). If you don't have a rice cooker, place rice and water into a large heavy saucepan over medium-high heat; bring just to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. Turn off heat and let rice rest, covered, for 15 additional minutes. When rice is done cooking and resting, transfer to a large bowl; loosen rice grains gently with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon by cutting and folding (do not stir, as this will crush the rice). NOTE: Either use the rice soon after preparing it, or cover it with a damp cloth to keep it moist. Do not refrigerate the cooked rice. Sprinkle the cooled rice vinegar mixture over the rice, mixing together as you sprinkle (add enough dressing to coat the rice but not make it damp - you may not need to use all the vinegar dressing). Spread the hot rice on top of a large sheet of aluminum foil and let cool.

Preparing sushi ingredients:

Wash, peel, and seed cucumber. Slice in half lengthwise, then cut into long, slender strips.
Cut the avocados in half lengthwise, then remove the pit; cut each section in half again (lengthwise), and carefully remove the peel. Cut the section in long slender strips. Sprinkle the sliced avocado with lemon juice to keep from discoloring. If you are using snow, crab, remove the crab meat from the thicker portion of the legs and cut in half lengthwise. If you are using imitation crab sticks, remove the plastic wrapping and cut each in half lengthwise. Place the cucumber slices, avocado slice, and crab slices on a plate; cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until you are ready to use.

Rolling Sushi:

Lay the bamboo sushi rolling mat on a cutting board with bamboo strips going horizontally from you. Place a sheet of plastic wrap on top of the bamboo mat (shiny side down). Place the nori on top of the plastic wrap . Spread a thin layer, 3/4 to 1 cup, of rice over 3/4 of the nori leaving approximately one inch of uncovered nori at each end Note: It helps to wet your fingers with cold water when you are patting the rice onto the nori. Arrange strips of avocado and cucumber along the center of the rice; top with crab meat. Lacing your fingers on the ingredients, carefully bring the bottom end of the rolling mat and the plastic wrap up and over the ingredients (tucking the end of the nori to start a roll). Pull back the rolling mat and plastic wrap, as necessary, so it does not get rolled into the sushi. NOTE: Roll tightly with firm pressure. Continue rolling the sushi and pulling back the rolling mat and plastic wrap, as necessary, until you have approximately 1 to 2 inches of the top of the nori showing. Rub a small amount of cold water on the edge of the nori and bring the nori around so that it completes the sushi roll. Gently squeeze the rolling mat around the sushi roll until it is firm and forms an even roll (be carefuly not to squeeze too hard, as you may crush the ingredients or squeezed them out). Wrap the plastic wrap around the roll and set aside until ready to cut. Refrigerate or for longer storage. Repeat with remaining nori sheets to make additional rolls.

Cutting sushi rolls:

Place rolls on a flat cutting board and remove plastic wrap. Using a sharp knife, slice the sushi roll first down the middle. From there you can cut it into 6ths or 8ths, whichever you prefer (wet the knife between each cut to make it easier to cut and keep the rice from sticking to the knife). Turn the cut California rolls on end and arrange on a serving platter. Serve with wasabi, soy sauce, and pickled ginger. Always serve sushi rolls at room temperature.

Salmon & Bok Choy

I discovered this recipe from a blog I read. I really like bok choy but dont' find many recipes calling for it. The lime in the sauce is a great addition and a little bit of salt on salmon makes it taste so good. It really doesn't need anything but a little salt and pepper to make it taste amazing. It was so easy to make!

1 cup brown rice
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon finely grated peeled fresh ginger
4 teaspoons canola or peanut oil
4 salmon fillets (4 to 5 ounces each)
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 head bok choy (1 1/2 pounds), cored and chopped

Cook rice according to package instructions. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine soy sauce, lime juice, ginger, and agave, if using. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 2 teaspoons oil over medium-high. Season salmon with salt and pepper and cook until opaque throughout, 1 to 3 minutes per side; transfer to a plate. Wipe skillet clean with a paper towel.In same skillet, heat 2 teaspoons oil over medium. Add garlic and bok choy; season with salt and pepper. Cook, tossing, until bok choy is bright green, about 3 minutes. Serve salmon and bok choy with rice and soy-lime sauce.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Lemon Garlic Tilapia

My Dad came into town on business and typically he takes us out to dinner when he is here. Except this time it was a Sunday, we don't go out on Sundays, and I wanted to make dinner for him. I think I've only cooked for him one other time. He is usually up for anything and I know he doesn't get Tilapia regularly. This dish was delicious! I made some lemon rice to go with it and from Trader Joe's a frozen bag of vegetables in a balsamic buttery sauce. Yum! Tilapia is a really mild fish, and takes on the taste of the seasonings you use.

(photo courtesy of allrecipes.com)

4 tilapia fillets
3 T lemon juice
1 T butter, melted
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 t parsley
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a baking dish with cooking spray. Rinse fillets under cool water, and pat dry with paper towels. Place fillets in baking dish. Pour lemon juice over fillets, then drizzle butter on top. Sprinkle with garlic, parsley, and salt and pepper. Bake in preheated oven until the fish is white and flakes when pulled apart with a fork, about 25 minutes.

Lemon Rice

2 cups chicken broth
1 cup white rice
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons melted margarine

In a two-quart baking dish, mix together all ingredients except the broccoli. Bake at 325° F for 50–60 minutes until tender.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Alfredo Sauce

I love Fettuccine Alfredo, but I never make it mostly because I think the jars of Alfredo sauce are more on the pricey side. I'm a cheap-o when it comes to grocery shopping. Why spend money on a name brand when you can by generic? Unfortunately, not all generic brands are good. So we go without. I discovered this recipe for Alfredo sauce and it's delicious and so quick and easy. And I bet you have all the ingredients sitting in your cupboard or fridge. 1/2 c butter
1 8 oz pkg cream cheese
2 t garlic powder
2 c milk
6 oz grated Parmesan cheese
black pepper to taste
salt to taste
oregano to taste
basil to taste

Melt butter in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Add cream cheese and garlic powder, stirring with wire whisk until smooth. Add milk, a little at a time, whisking to smooth out lumps. Stir in Parmesan and seasonings. Remove from heat when sauce reaches desired consistency. Sauce will thicken rapidly, thin with milk if cooked too long. Toss with hot pasta to serve.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Sloppy Joes

Whenever I hear sloppy joes, I think of the SNL skit with Adam Sandler singing, "slop, slop, sloppy joes." Anyone else? No? Nevermind. I typically don't enjoy sloppy joes. It reminds me of a child's food, but then again whose to say I can't enjoy simple foods. However, I don't think I've ever had homemade sloppy joes. I normally have Manwich or the likes. So if you typically snub sloppy joes, first try this recipe. It was so yummy! It had a nice sweet taste. I actually doubled the recipe because I like mine, "extra sloppy" (billy madison? anyone?)

1 lb ground beef
1/4 c chopped onion
1 t garlic powder
2 t mustard
1 1/2 c ketchup
6 t brown sugar
salt to taste
black pepper to taste

In a medium skillet over medium heat, brown the ground beef and onion; drain off liquids. Stir in garlic powder, salt, pepper, mustard, ketchup and brown sugar; mix thoroughly. Reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Stir Fry with Szechwan Sauce

I used to make stir fry a lot with using the sauce in a jar from the grocery store. I didn't really like the taste so I stopped making stir fry all together. Until a few months ago I came across this recipe for a Szechwan sauce. It makes stir fries delicious! It's spicy, so it's not for the weak! I made it with shrimp, but you can do any type of meat, and I use a frozen bag of mixed vegetables. You can usually find a bag that is specific for stir fries. Either serve with rice or noodles. 3 T olive oil
red chili peppers
2 t ginger
2 t garlic
5 T sugar
5 T ketchup
5 T vinegar

Mix all the ingredients together. I use a seasoning of red chili peppers and I put about a teaspoon in, but depending on how spicy you want it add more or less. When making it into a stir fry cook your vegetables and meat and toward the end add the sauce and let it simmer with the vegetables and meat.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Corn Chowder

A few weeks back I attended a church activity and they instructed us on how to make corn chowder. The original idea was to serve it in a pumpkin or instead of bowls us acorn squash that's been cooked, but I did neither of those. I typically don't like corn but I really like this corn chowder and it's so simple to make and it makes a lot. 1 pint cream
1/2 lb bacon
2 cans creamed corn
2 cans corn (or a frozen bag)
2-3 potatoes
Cajun seasoning
salt and pepper

Peel and cut potatoes into small cubes. Place in a pot with water covering the potatoes. Bring to a boil and boil for 15 minutes. Meanwhile cook bacon and chop. Drain half of the water. In a crock pot add all ingredients and potato water and season to taste. Let cook for 3 hours.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Flourless Chocolate Cookies

A friend of mine just had her first baby, so I offered to make her dinner one night. Enter the tricky problem, she has a gluten allergy and cannot eat pretty much most of my good recipes. Well I headed to Trader Joe's because their aisle are full of gluten free products. Dinner was planned, but I had to include a dessert, that's the best part. Luckily while I was visiting in Utah I was browsing a magazine and came across this recipe for flour less chocolate cookies. I went ahead and made them and guess what?! They are yummy! I really enjoyed them. The only problem was I put the dough on wax paper and they stuck, horribly stuck to the wax paper. My suggestion, grease the cookie sheet and skip the wax paper.

3 c powder sugar
2/3 c Dutch process cocoa powder
1/2 t coarse salt
5 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
4 large egg whites
1 1/2 c chopped nuts

preheat oven to 325. in a large bowl whisk together sugar, cocoa, and salt. Stir in chocolate and nuts. Add egg whites and stir just until incorporated (do not over mix). Drop dough onto two parchment lined rimmed baking sheet. Bake 25 minutes.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Rice with Roasted Shrimp

week 2/day 4
This recipe was good but it could have been better. It calls for arborio rice, but since I have a lot of long grain white rice I decided I'd just use that. Which it worked but I would eliminate the white wine (or the white wine vinegar I substituted with). I think a green vegetable along the side would make this meal even better. And a warning, when you bite into a grape tomato that's been in the oven, it's VERY hot.

2 T olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 c rice
1 c dry white wine (or white wine vinegar or disregard)
Kosher salt
Black pepper
1 lb frozen peeled deveined shrimp
2 pints grape tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, sliced

Heat oven to 400. Heat 1 T of oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook the onion until soft. Add the rice and wine and cook, stirring, until the wine is absorbed. Add 2 c water and salt and pepper. Simmer, covered, over low heat until the water is absorbed and rice is tender, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, on a rimmed baking sheet, toss the shrimp, tomatoes, thyme, garlic and remaining oil and salt and pepper. Roast until the shrimp are cooked through, 15-20 minutes. Serve over rice. Serves 2.

Steak with Potato-Parsnip Mash

week 2/day 3
This was your basic steak and potato meal with a slight variation. I have never had parsnip before. Basically I think it taste like a carrot. It looks like a carrot only white, but it was a nice addition to the mashed potatoes. We added some grated cheese on top and it made it delicious. Why is cheese so good? It was super quick and easy to make. Perfect for a busy day.1/2 lb Yukon potatoes, cut into 2 inch pieces
1/2 lb parsnip, cut into 1 inch pieces
kosher salt
black pepper
1/2 c milk
2 T butter
1 T olive oil
1 1/2 lbs sirloin steak

Place potatoes and parsnip in a large pot. Cover with cold water an bring to a boil. Add 2 t salt, reduce heat, and simmer until tender, 15-18 minutes. Drain and return to pot. Mash with milk, butter, salt and pepper. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season steak with salt and pepper. Cook to desired doneness, 4-6 minutes per side for medium rare. Serve with potato-parsnip mash. Serves 4.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Pork Chops and Garlicky Broccoli

week 2/day2
I was brave enough to have pork chops again. Every time I hear the words "pork chop" I think back to when my parents wouldn't let my sister leave the table until she ate her pork chop. btw she hates pork. Anyways, this was a quick fix dinner. I didn't think the broccoli was very garlicky. If you want it more add 2 more cloves of garlic. Otherwise it's a really simple meal when you are running low on time.1 c white rice
3 T olive oil
4 pork chops (original recipe called for bone-in, I used boneless)
kosher salt
black pepper
1 bunch broccoli, cut into florets
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 T soy sauce

Heat oven to 400. Cook the rice according to package directions. Meanwhile, heat 1 T of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season the pork with salt and pepper to taste and cook until browned on both sides. Transfer to a baking dish and place in oven let cook about 20 minutes or until cooked through. Meanwhile, heat the remaining olive oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add the broccoli, garlic, soy sauce and 1/3 c water. Cook covered, until broccoli is tender. Serve with pork and rice. Serves 4.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Chicken Posole

week 2/day 1
I love Mexican food. LOVE IT! The husband, not so much! But with following the Real Simple menu for a month we ate it. I really liked chicken posole. Definitely a meal for a cool day (which was not yesterday). I made some adaptions to the chicken. The recipe called for shredded rotisserie chicken, which would have been a lot easier, but my way was cheaper. I took about six chicken breasts and thawed them. Then seasoned with red pepper and oregano, wrapped in three different tin foil packets and baked at 450 for about 30 minutes. Then I used a fork to shred the chicken. Yum! Chicken posole has a nice spiciness to it and the lime added some good flavor. 1 T olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
Kosher salt
black pepper
32 oz chicken broth
1 can 28 oz diced tomatoes
1/4 crushed red pepper
2 cups shredded chicken
1 can hominy, rinsed (you can find hominy in the Mexican aisle and it comes in a 29 oz can, at least that's all I found, and I used the whole can)
1 lime, cut into wedges

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and 1/4 t of salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and beginning to brown, 10-12 minutes. Add the broth, tomatoes and pepper and bring to a boil. Stir in the chicken and hominy and simmer until heated through. Serve with lime. Serves 4.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Roasted Pork with Brussels Sprouts and Apricots

week 1/day 4
I took a chance with this recipe. I don't like pork and I have never had Brussels sprouts but have not heard good things about them. I took a greater risk by having dinner guest over for dinner. However everyone really enjoyed it. My mother-in-law said the Brussels sprouts were the best she's ever had, the apricot was great with them. The corn and cornbread (batter left over from the night before) were a great addition to the meal.
2 T olive oil
1 1/4 lb pork tenderloin
Kosher salt
black pepper
12 oz Brussels sprouts, thinly sliced
1/4 c dried apricots, chopped

Heat oven to 400. Heat 1 T of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season the pork with 1/2 t salt and 1/4 t pepper and cook, turning occasionally, until browned, 6-8 minutes. Transfer pork to a baking dish and place in the oven and roast until cooked through, 10-12 minutes. Rest before slicing. Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the Brussels sprouts, apricots, 1/2 t salt and 1/4 t pepper and cook, tossing until the Brussels sprouts are just tender. Serve with the pork. Serves 6.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Spicy Orange Glazed Drumsticks with Green Beans

week 1/day 3
The only suggestion I have for this, is it needed more of an orange flavor and it definitely wasn't spicy. Besides that it was really good. It's a keeper. I've been racking my brain on how I can make it have a more orange flavor. I would suggest doubling the orange sauce and to put the sauce on again right after you take it out of the oven. I made the cornbread from scratch and it was a great, easy recipe. This is most definitely a kid friendly meal.

1/4 c orange marmalade
1/2 t chili-garlic sauce
8 chicken drumsticks
Kosher salt
black pepper

Heat oven to 400. In a small bowl, mix the marmalade and chili-garlic sauce. Season the chicken with 1/2 t salt and 1/4 t pepper. Roast on a foil-lined baking sheet until cooked through, 35-40 minutes, brushing with the marmalade mixture during the last 10 minutes of cooking. Serves 4.


1 c all-purpose flour
1 c yellow cornmeal
2/3 c white sugar
1 t salt
3 1/2 t baking powder
1 egg
1 c milk
1/3 c vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 400. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients and mix well. Pour batter into a muffin pan or a lightly greased 9 inch round cake pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Serves 12.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Beef and Bok Choy Stir Fry

Week 1/Day 2
Another success! We are two for two. Again this was a simple, quick dinner. This was the first time I've use flank steak. I'm still learning the many different cuts of meat and this was a new one for me. I got it London broil and wasn't quite sure how to cut it so it ended up in pieces instead of strips. Nonetheless it was delicious. The sauce had a strong ginger taste, which I liked. I'll definitely be using it again.

1 c rice
1 T olive oil
1 lb flank steak, thinly sliced
kosher salt
black pepper
4 heads baby bok choy, quartered
1/4 c soy sauce
2 T rice vinegar
1 T ginger
1 T brown sugar

Cook the rice according to the package directions. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat. Season the streak with 1/4 t each salt and pepper and cook, turning often, until cooked through, 3-4 minutes. Transfer the steak to a plate. Whip out the skillet. Add the bok choy and 1/4 c water and simmer, covered, until tender, 2-3 minutes. Meanwhile, in a bowl, mix the soy sauce, vinegar, ginger and sugar. Add to the bok choy in the skillet and bring to a boil. Add the steak and any accumulated juices and cook, tossing, until heated through, 1-2 minutes. Serve over rice. Serves about 4.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Tilapia with Bell Peppers and Olives

Week 1/ Day 1
It's official we've kicked off our month of ALL NEW recipes. First up was fish. I was a little nervous for this because I really only like salmon. I figured this could go two ways a) good b) horribly bad. Luckily it was the first. It was good. We both liked it, well minus the olives for dearest husband. It didn't have an overly fishy taste. Really it took on the taste of the other ingredients. I recommend this to anyone who is looking for a fish entree. I reduced the amount of bell peppers and onion because two peppers and a whole onion would be way too much for us. I used a half of each and since I had sliced green olives I used what I had. I will probably make it again. Especially since Tilapia was cheap!

2 T olive oil
2 tilapia fillets
kosher salt
black pepper
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 onion, thinly sliced
1/2 c pitted green olives
1/2 c parsley
2 T fresh lime juice

Heat 1 T of oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Season fish with 1/4 t each salt and pepper and cook until opaque throughout, 4-5 minutes per side. Meanwhile, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a second skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the peppers and onion, stirring frequently, until tender, 8-10 minutes. Stir in olives, parsley and lime juice. Serve with fish.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

A Menu For a Month

...starting next week I will be following the dinner menu schedule that Real Simple has put together for a month, minus a week I'm in Utah. I will post EVERYTHING on ...In My Cupboard... so that you all can try it too. I will do my best at keeping it up to date. Forgive me if I don't get it up the day after, I have a active 6 month old that thinks he needs to roll, crawl, scoot all over the place.
There are only a few meals I won't make because they include goat cheese or gnocchi (I had a bad experience with that). I will find substitutes for those. The magazine provides five meals for four weeks. The greatest thing about this they lay out my grocery list. To not think about a grocery list for four weeks will rock! Stay tuned...

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Grilled Salmon

Okay, technically, I didn't grill this. We don't have a grill. If you'd like to donate one to us I would be happy to take it. So I used the trusty oven. (Though if you have a grill, grill it). As you can tell we love Salmon in this family. Other fishes are too fishy and don't taste as good. This is very similar to this recipe, but it has a lemony taste to it. 1 1/2 lb salmon fillets
lemon pepper
garlic powder
1/3 c soy sauce
1/3 c brown sugar
1/3 c water
1/4 c vegetable oil

Season salmon fillets with lemon pepper, garlic and salt. In small bowl stir together soy sauce, brown sugar, water and vegetable oil until sugar is dissolved. Place fish in plastic bag and pour mixture over the fillets. Refrigerate for one hour. Preheat grill to medium heat. Lightly oil grill grates. Place salmon on grill. Cook for 6-8 minutes per side. OR preheat oven to 450. Lightly grease baking sheet. Cook salmon for 15 minutes. Serve with vegetables or rice.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Misson Complete

I guess I've completely my mission to find the best cookie, because the husband told me that these triple chocolate chip cookies are the perfect cookie. Seriously, go make them! You won't be disappointed.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


I searched high and low for a meatless meal that I know my husband would eat. It's really starting to become a real challenge. I stumbled across this recipe and it looked really good. Then I discovered that it had a lot of cheese on it, and I recently discovered I'm lactose intolerant. No meat and no cheese in a meal. What can you eat? None the less I went a head and made the meal. Half with a lot of cheese, half with a sprinkle of cheese. I really enjoyed this meal. So did said husband, for being meatless.

1 T olive oil
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 chopped onion
2 c peeled and chopped eggplant
2 c chopped zucchini
1 chopped green bell pepper
1 can diced tomatoes
1 T basil
1 T parsley
1/2 t salt
1/8 t black pepper
8 0z frozen cheese ravioli (I didn't use frozen but a bag and followed the directions on the bag)
3/4 c shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 2 1/2 quart baking dish with cooking spray. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook and stir garlic, onion and eggplant until vegetables are soft. Stir in zucchini, bell pepper, tomatoes, basil, parsley, salt and black pepper, bring to a boil and stir frequently. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until vegetables are tender. Cook ravioli according to directions on package. Spread cooked ravioli in a layer on the bottom of the baking dish. Spoon vegetables over the ravioli and sprinkle with cheese. Bake in oven for about 20 minutes, or until cheese is bubbling. Serves 6

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Chicken Pot Pie

I've always wanted to make a chicken pot pie. I really like chicken pot pie, mostly the crust. Every time I think of chicken pot pie I think of Marie Calendar's frozen chicken pot pies, which honestly aren't good and I don't know why I think of those. This recipe was delicious. I used a frozen bag of vegetables, frozen peas and fresh celery. I also made my own pie crust, which can be a little tricky and if you aren't up to it don't feel ashamed using prepackage crust.

(photo courtesy of allrecipe.com)


1 c shortening
2 1/2 c all-purpose flour
1 t salt
1 c cold water

Mix shortening, flour, and salt together with a fork or a pastry blender until very crumbly. Add as much water as needed to hold together, and mix lightly with a fork.
Roll gently, one crust at a time, on a floured pastry cloth, to about an inch larger than pie plate. Fold carefully in half. Lift to pie plate, and unfold. Fit into pan. Makes 2 pie crust.


1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cubed
1 c sliced carrots
1 c frozen green peas
1/2 c sliced celery
1/3 c butter
1/3 c chopped onion
1/3 c all-purpose flour
1/2 t salt
1/4 t black pepper
1 3/4 c chicken broth
2/3 c milk
2 (9 inch) unbaked pie crusts

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C.)
In a saucepan, combine chicken, carrots, peas, and celery. Add water to cover and boil for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, drain and set aside. In the saucepan over medium heat, cook onions in butter until soft and translucent. Stir in flour, salt, pepper, and celery seed. Slowly stir in chicken broth and milk. Simmer over medium-low heat until thick. Remove from heat and set aside. Place the chicken mixture in bottom pie crust. Pour hot liquid mixture over. Cover with top crust, seal edges, and cut away excess dough. Make several small slits in the top to allow steam to escape. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies

One of my favorite things to make is chocolate chip cookies. I always use the Nestle Tollhouse recipe but I make my own adjustments to what I think will make them better. So far I've discovered using half butter (real, unsalted butter) and half shortening plus a teaspoon of baking powder. Ever since I was younger and made cookies for my brother I was always on a mission to have the best chocolate chip cookies. This time around I made it with three types of chocolate chips; semi-sweet, white, and milk chocolate. They turned out really good! Everyone who likes a different type of chocolate will be satisfied with one cookie.
2 1/4 c all purpose flour
1 t baking soda
1 t baking powder
1 t salt
1/2 c butter, softened (very important it's only soft)
1/2 c shortening
3/4 c sugar
3/4 c packed brown sugar
1 t vanilla
2 eggs
1/2 c milk chocolate chips
1/4 c white chocolate chips
1/4 c semi-sweet chocolate chips (or you can do it in any variation, we prefer milk chocolate)

Preheat oven to 375 and spray cookie sheets with cooking oil. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl. In a larger bowl beat butter, shortening, sugar, brown sugar and vanilla until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop by tablespoon. Bake for 11 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool on wire racks.

For High Altitude: Increase flour to 2 1/2 cups. Add 2 t water to flour and reduce both sugars to 2/3 cup each.

*You can wrap dough in plastic wrap and then again in foil and freeze. Then let thaw to make cookies for another day.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Lasgana Cassarole

When I had my little boy back in February we got this delicious meal from a friend one evening. It was really good and what I think of comfort food. Just what I needed after having a baby. I got the recipe a while back but never got around to making it, as you can see it makes a lot of food for just two people. The only problem I ran into is no grocery store in the area sells provolone cheese in block form. So I bought deli slices and used my magic bullet blender to shred the cheese. It's really simple to make and it's great for left overs, which we'll be having all week. Warning: it's definitely not low on fat! But high on taste. 1 lb ground beef
onion flakes (to taste)
8 oz shredded provolone
8 oz shredded mozzarella
4 oz shredded Parmesan
1 c sour cream
1 lb rotini noodles
jar of marinara sauce (I used Trader Joe's)

Cook noodles. Cook beef and onion until done then add marinara sauce and simmer for 20 minutes. Mix noodles with beef and marinara. Take 1/2 of noodle/beef mixture and spread in a 9x13 pan. Spread 1/2 c sour cream, then 1/2 provolone, mozzarella and Parmesan. Sprinkle with parsley.. Repeat steps one more time. Cover and bake at 350 for 40 minutes. Uncover the last 10 minutes to make a little crispy. Serves 6-8.

tip: you can half the recipe for smaller servings

Friday, July 31, 2009

Balsamic-Glazed Salmon

I'm still on my search for finding delicious salmon recipes. Without having a grill I often find myself at a dead end. I keep coming across recipes using a cedar plank to cook the salmon on the grill, but I always have to skip over them because I can't put a cedar plank in the oven. This recipe was very good. It has a distinct taste, due to the balsamic vinegar. It was quite and easy to do, which is always a winner.

4 salmon fillets
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 T white wine vinegar
1 T honey
1/3 c balsamic vinegar
4 t mustard
salt and pepper to taste
1 T oregano

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with tin foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Over medium heat cook and stir garlic, white wine, honey, balsamic vinegar, mustard and salt and pepper. Simmer uncovered for about 3 minutes. Arrange salmon fillets on baking sheet and brush with balsamic glaze and sprinkle with oregano. Bake for 12 minutes, or until flesh flakes. Brush fillets with some glaze and serve over rice.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Caramel Apple Pork Chops

It's like apple pie for dinner! I'll admit I do not enjoy pork chops. I don't enjoy pork unless it's slathered in BBQ sauce or some kind of sauce that masks the taste. But my husband does enjoy pork chops and I'm sure he is getting sick of chicken, salmon and meatless. I sucked it up and made this recipe. Now for you other pork chop haters, and I know you are out there, you can substitute the chops for chicken. But the apple part of the dinner was delicious.
4 thick pork chops
1 t olive oil
2 T brown sugar
salt and pepper to taste
1/8 t cinnamon
18 t nutmeg
2 T unsalted butter
2 tart apples (I used Pink Lady Apples), chopped

Preheat oven to 175 degrees and place a medium dish in the oven to warm. Heat a large skillet on medium-high heat. Brush chops with oil and place in hot pan. Cook for 5-6 minutes turning occasionally, until done. Transfer to warm dish and keep in preheated oven. In a small bowl combine all ingredients except butter and apples. Add butter to skillet and stir in mixture and apples. Cover and cook, until apples are just tender. Pour over chops and serve.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Maple Glazed Salmon with Pineapple

This was a delicious salmon recipe. I'm yet to find one that I don't enjoy. We absolutely love salmon in this family. I probably could eat it everyday, okay maybe not every day but at least twice a week. This was super easy to make and while the recipe says it takes 40 minutes it really can be done in under 30 minutes. I always made some adjustments to the recipe, which worked out for the better.

1/2 c maple syrup (I just used Mrs. Butterworth, that's all I have)
2 T mustard
4 6 oz salmon fillets
1 1/2 t kosher salt
1/2 t black pepper
whole fresh pineapple
1 jalapeno, chopped finely
2 c cooked rice

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Meanwhile whisk together maple syrup and mustard over medium heat, bring to boil. Simmer until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and set aside. Place salmon on foil lined baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper. Slice the peel from the pineapple and cut into chunks. Scatter pineapple and jalapeno around salmon. Brush with half syrup mixture. Bake for about 15 minutes or until salmon is done. Serve with rice and drizzle remaining sauce over rice. Serves 4.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


We must really like the South because it seems we are having a lot of food originated from the South. This time we had some delicious jambalaya. It's very similar to the gumbo I make. It's definitely not for the weak. It's has a kick to it, it's so spicy it makes my husband's nose run. If you don't like a lot of spice you can eliminate the Cajun seasoning and do less of the other seasonings. Serve it over some rice.

1/2 lb skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 lb andouille chicken sausage, sliced
1 can diced tomatoes with juice
1 large onion, chopped
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
1 c chopped celery
1 c chicken broth
2 t dried oregano
2 t dried parsley
2 t Cajun seasoning
1 t cayenne pepper
1/2 t dried thyme
1 lb shrimp

In a slow cooker mix all ingredients except the shrimp. Cover and cook for 7-8 hours on Low or 2-4 hours on High. Stir in shrimp for last 30 minutes.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Chicken Florentine & Pasta

This was a delicious and easy meal to make. I was able to do most of the work ahead of time and then just pop it into the oven when I was ready for dinner. I served it with some rotini pasta but any type of pasta would work great with it.

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast
1/4 c butter
3 t minced garlic
1 T lemon juice
2 c fresh spinach
1 T Italian seasoning
1/2 c half and half
1/2 c grated Parmesan cheese
1 can cream of mushroom
2/3 c bacon bits
2 c shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350. Place the chicken breast on a baking sheet, bake of 25 minutes or until no longer pink. Remove from heat and set aside. Increase oven to 400 degrees. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in garlic, lemon juice, cream of mushroom, Italian seasoning, half and half and Parmesan cheese. Stir constantly. Arrange spinach over bottom a 9x9 baking dish. Cover the spinach with half of the mixture. Arrange chicken in pan and cover with remaining sauce and mozzarella cheese. Bake 20-25 minutes until bubbly and lightly browned.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Old Bay Shrimp Fest

My husband's grandparents live right on the beach in North Carolina near the boarder of South Carolina, so whenever we go we eat good Southern food. Well we are heading there at the end of Summer and I'm looking forward to the fresh shrimp and crab! To get us ready I made this shrimp fest, just like good ol' Southern cookin. It was delicious. I was originally going to make hush puppies to go with, but I didn't find the corn meal and I didn't have time to shop around so instead I grab a box of Trader Joe's cornbread. Best decision! If you haven't tried it I highly recommend that! And in place of vegetable oil use applesauce, in fact do that with any cornbread recipe. But if you are in the mood for some Southern style cooking, try this, you will be satisfied! You can usually find Old Bay seasoning and the meat and seafood counter in the grocery store and I eliminated the beer.

1/2 C Old Bay Seasoning
2 T salt
4 quarts water
1 can beer
8 red potatoes, quartered
8 ears fresh corn, broken in half
4 pounds large shrimp in shells

In a large pot, bring Old Bay, salt, water and beer to boil. Add potatoes and cook for 8 minutes. Add corn and boil for 7 minutes. Add shrimp for about 4 minutes. Drain cooking liquid and pour contents into a large bowl. Serves 8.

For a real fun way of eating it. Dump contents onto a new paper covered table and just eat off the table.

Special K Cookies

Once a month at my husband's work they have a Friday Birthday treat day. Every other month my husband brings treats. Well at about 9:00 at night the night before he tells me he needs to so he throws some frozen cookie dough in the oven, forgets to set the timer and burns them. It's now 9:30 and we still need to whip something up and all I can think about it taking a shower and going to bed. Then I remembered I had a box of Special K cereal in storage and some peanut butter. My Mom would always make these cookies. They are delicious and incredibly easy to make.

1/2 c sugar
1 c corn syrup
1 c brown sugar
pinch of salt
2 t vanilla
1 1/2 c peanut butter
5 c Special K cereal

In a medium saucepan combine sugar, corn syrup, brown sugar and salt and bring to a boil. Add vanilla and peanut butter and blend together until smooth. In a large mixing bowl mix the peanut butter mixture with the cereal until cereal is covered. Lay out wax paper and drop scoops of peanut butter cereal in tablespoon sizes. Let cool and they will become firm. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Angel's Pasta

It's getting to be a challenge to find vegetarian meals that I know my husband will eat. I try to focus on a lot of vegetables and usually pasta because those are pretty basic and enjoyable. This one turned out really good. I had some left over sliced olives in the fridge so I added that to the mix and it was great. Instead of mozzarella I would try feta cheese. I really enjoy cooking without meat some times because the meals take very little time to make.

8 oz angel hair pasta (I used thin spaghetti)
1 T crushed garlic
1 T olive oil
2 zucchini, sliced
salt and pepper to taste
3 tomatoes, chopped
12 leaves fresh basil
4 oz shredded mozzarella

Bring a larger pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente; drain. Meanwhile, heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Pour in oil and saute garlic until golden. Stir in zucchini, salt and pepper. Saute 2 minutes, then mix in tomatoes and cook a few minutes more. Chop basil and add to vegetables right before mixing with pasta. Combine pasta and vegetables. Serve topped with mozzarella. Serves 6.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Cupcake Bites

A while back I was talking with my sister in law and she was telling me about these cupcake bites her friend gave as wedding favors. She was there to help and told me about how you do it. Well I was intrigued by this concept. Cake rolled into balls and coated with candy? That must be good. And how hard could it be? So I set out for the challenge and I found the exact recipe. Since it's July 4th and we have a BBQ to attend I'll break them out there and impress. Let me tell you it's pretty easy, except when it comes to the dipping the cake in a candy coating and getting it to look seamless. Needless they turned out pretty good. I used vanilla flavored candy melts, but I'm sure chocolate flavored would taste yummy.1 box cake mix (cook as directed on box for 13x9 cake)
1 16 oz can frosting
1-3 pkg candy melts (Micheal's or any craft store carries this, it's by Wilton), it's for the cupcake bottoms and coating
Candy Cup mold

After cake is cooked and cooled completely, crumble into a large bowl. (The texture should be fine/fluffy).
Using a spoon mix thoroughly with frosting. Roll mixture into quarter size balls (make sure they are smaller in diameter than that of your candy molds) and lay on wax paper covered cookie sheet. Chill in freezer for a few minutes, until slightly firm, but NOT frozen. Melt one color of candy melts in microwave, according to package directions.

Using a frosting bag squeeze each mold cavity about half way. Place one of rolled balls into it until the force causes the candy to push up and fill around the sides of the ball. Stop pushing once the chocolate reaches the top edge.

Place the mold tray filled with cupcakes in the freezer for a few minutes to let the candy set. Remove and then gently pull on the cake ball top to release from candy mold. Holding the bottom of the cupcake, dip the top into another color of melted candy. Decorate if you want. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Sweet and Sour Chicken

My Mom made this meal frequently when I was growing up and now it's become a favorite in my household. It's the prefect mixture of sweet and sour. I've had many different type of sweet and sour chicken and this is by far my favorite. Make sure you cover the chicken well with the cornstarch and that it gets crispy when cooking in the wok. Also make sure you using a glass baking dish.

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast
1 egg
vegetable oil

Cut chicken in to 1 inch strips. In a wok or a frying pan pour enough oil that will cover chicken. Dip chicken in beaten egg then cornstarch. Cook in wok, until golden crispy. Remove and place on a paper towels to absorb excess oil. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a glass baking pan pour chicken and sauce* in pan. Cook for 1 hour turning every 15 minutes.


3/4 c sugar
4 T ketchup
1/2 C white vinegar
1 T soy sauce
1/2 t garlic powder
(I often double the sauce)

In a saucepan over heat mix all ingredients together until sugar is dissolved.

Part Time Vegetarians

I discovered this website when searching for reusable swim diapers for my four month old. I love this website and just the other day there was an article on part time vegetarians. Before I had even read this I established it into our weekly menu. It really does cut cost and we are eating way more fresh produce then we ever have. Following this allows us to eat fish, shrimp and red meat more regularly. I also feel better not always eating meat. I've now upped it to two nights a week. And my husband doesn't complain, too much. I'll get him converted eventually. I encourage everyone to become par time vegetarians as well. You'll notice the difference, especially in your grocery bill.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Soy and Ginger Ribeye

Sunday dinners have always been a "special" meal for the week. Growing up it was usually a roast. This Sunday I decided to do a special dinner and made this soy and ginger ribeye recipe. Again this is probably so much better on the grill, but seeing as we don't have a grill I opted for the stove instead. It really didn't take any time, except preparing the marinade ahead of time so that the meat could, well you know, marinade. I paired it with some sweet potato fries, which I declared on Sunday that I enjoy so much more than regular fries. It was a delicious meal. The meat was very tender, but that also depends on where you buy your meat. I'm a huge fan of Trader Joe's, inexpensive and great selection. (If you have one near by seriously shop there you won't go into a chain grocery store again.) And don't forget to add corn since it's that time of the season!

1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup real maple syrup
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1/2 cup Sprite
4 (10 ounce) beef rib eye steaks

In a medium size mixing bowl, combine soy sauce, maple syrup, garlic, ginger root, sesame oil, and hot sauce; mix well to blend. Now add Sprite, and stir lightly to mix.
Place steaks in a casserole dish, and pour marinade over. Using a fork, punch holes in steaks so that the marinade penetrates into the steaks. Turn steaks over, and repeat punching holes. Cover with clear wrap or foil, and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or longer. You can also refrigerate and marinate overnight. Grilling: Prepare and preheat barbecue to high heat. Place steaks directly on grill and sear one side for about 15 seconds. Turn steaks over and cook for about 5 minutes, then turn over and cook for another 5 minutes for medium-rare, depending on thickness. Stove: Add a little olive oil to pan and let heat up on medium heat. Place meat in pan and good for about 5 minutes on each side. Test for doneness by cutting into the middle of the steak.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Turkey Meatloaf

I'm not a fan of hamburger and Keith has made comments how he loves meatloaf but I've never made it since I can't eat hamburger. So, a compromise...Turkey Meatloaf. I ate it and actually enjoyed it and Keith loved it.

2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 cup chopped onion             
3 cloves garlic, minced             
1 lb Lean Ground Turkey             
1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs            
1 egg             
3/4 cup ketchup, divided             
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce             
3/4 teaspoon salt             
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 

Heat oven to 350ºF. Melt butter in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer mixture to a large bowl; cool 5 minutes. Add turkey, breadcrumbs, egg, 1/4 cup ketchup, Worcestershire, salt and pepper to onion mixture; mix well. Pack into an 8- x 4-inch loaf pan. Spread remaining 1/2 cup ketchup over top. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until no longer pink in center and internal temperature of loaf reaches 165ºF. Let stand at room temperature 5 minutes before slicing. 

Makes 5 servings.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Simple Salmon

This is one of our favorite recipes for Salmon. It's incredible simple but so tasty. I bake it in the oven, but I really like it when it's done on the grill. This is the way I ate Salmon growing up and my parents always cooked it on the grill. So if you have a grill go ahead and do it on the grill, just make sure you have fish holders (not sure of the real name) so the fish doesn't fall through the grates. Add a wedge of lemon to it and it's delicious.
1 lb salmon
seasoned salt
lemon, cut in wedges

Season salmon with seasoned salt to taste and a dash of dill. (The dill reduces the fishy smell and taste). Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a baking sheet either use cooking spray or olive oil to prevent salmon from sticking. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Or until opaque. Serve with rice and broccoli. Squeeze the lemon over the salmon.

Tip: Fish continues cooking even after it's been removed from the oven or grill.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Chicken Roll-Ups

This is one of my husband's favorite meals. I'd consider it his comfort food. They are super easy to make and can even be made ahead of time. It's a pretty cheap meal too. This is probably a meal the rotates more frequently in our menu line up. When ever I make these my husband likes to sneak some of the dough from the crescent rolls, I find it disgusting, but he loves it and I love him so I let him usually sneak some dough. I will usually add some rice if I'm feeding a lot of people.

4 boneless skinless chicken breast
8 oz pkg of cream cheese
4 T margarine
2 c bread crumbs
salt and pepper
1 pkg Pillsbury 8 crescent rolls
can of cream of chicken
1/2 can of milk

Cook chicken all the way through (I used the tin foil method, but anyway gets the job done). Cut into small chunks. Mix together cream cheese, 2 T margarine and chicken. Salt and pepper to taste. In two bowls melt the other 2 T of margarine and in the other bowl pour the bread crumbs. In each roll wrap about 2 T of cream cheese mixture. Fold and then dip in margarine then bread crumbs. Place on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees. For 20 minutes or until golden brown. Heat cream of chicken and milk to make a gravy. Serves 4.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Chewy Caramel Popcorn

The other day I was having a conversation about caramel popcorn with my friend and we were both wanting it right then. Well we never made it. So I jumped at the opportunity to make it for a ladies night I attended. It was a "Chicks & Chocolate" theme but I decided someone is going to want caramel too. Besides caramel and chocolate go together, second in line to peanut butter and chocolate. I got this recipe back in a foods class from high school and it is the best one I've ever had. I don't like hard caramel popcorn, but this is chewy and so good. There was a ton left over so I've been munching on it, which can't be good for my semi-diet I'm on.

1 3 oz microwave popcorn (I used butter, but I'm sure it would taste good with extra butter or air pop 4 cups)
3/4 c brown sugar
6 T margarine
2 T light corn syrup
1/4 t salt
1/4 t baking soda
1/4 t vanilla

Pop popcorn according to directions. In a saucepan combine brown sugar, margarine, corn syrup and salt and melt. Bring to a boil, stir constantly. Let sit on heat for 5 minutes. Take off heat and add baking soda and vanilla. Pour over popcorn. Let cool. Enjoy!

Cashew Chicken

Cashew Chicken
10 3/4 oz can of Campbell's Cream of Mushroom
1/3 cup of Milk
1 4 oz can of sliced mushrooms
2 cups of baby carrots
1/2 cup of whole cashews
2 Diced up Chicken Breasts
Optional: 1 cup of sliced celery
Combine Cream of Mushroom and 1/3 cup of milk in slow cooker, mix well. Chop baby carrots in half. Add mushrooms, baby carrots and celery to crock pot, mix well. Place diced up chicken into crock pot, mix well. Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours. Add cashews approx. 30 minutes prior to serving. Serve over brown rice with a side of steamed broccoli.
Serves 3-4 adults

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


A super easy meal that tastes delicious is Haystacks. This is on our weekly rotation.

1 8 oz. can of pineapple tidbits
1 2.25 oz. can of sliced olives
chow mein noodles
1 12.5 oz. can of chunk chicken (or 1-2 diced up and cooked chicken breasts)
1 10 oz. can of cream of chicken
1/3 cup of milk
grated cheddar cheese
1 cup of rice

optional toppings: diced celery, diced tomatoes

Cook rice using your preferred method. About 5-10 minutes before rice is done heat cream of chicken, chunk chicken and milk in sauce pan on stove pan just until warm.

Serve sauce and toppings over desired amount of rice.

Banana Bread

I mentioned previously how I had 13 bananas in my freezer waiting to be put into banana bread. Which I did. 2 large loaves and 3 mini loaves later here it is. It's a simple recipe. No yeast. No waiting for bread to raise. I only made a few alteration to the original recipe, as I do to most recipes. And it's a prefect turn out. It's important that you have enough bananas otherwise it will end up a little dry and make sure to wrap the bread when are done or it will dry out.

2 c all-purpose flour
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/4 t cinnamon
1/8 t nutmeg
1/4 t salt
2 eggs
1 1/2 c mashed bananas (5 medium)
1 c sugar
1/4 c cooking oil
1/4 c melted butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottom of one 9x5x3 or 7 1/2x3 1/2x2 loaf pan; set aside. Combine flour, baking, powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Mix together. In a medium bowl combine eggs, bananas, sugar, oil and butter. Add egg mixture all at once to flour mixture. Stir just until moistened (batter should be lumpy). Spoon batter into prepared pan(s). Bake for 55-60 minutes for larger pan, or 40-45 minutes for smaller pan, or until toothpick comes out clean in the center. Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan. To keep wrap in plastic wrap and again in tin foil.

Monday, June 22, 2009


When I was about a week away from delivery we tried everything possible that could induce labor, including spicy food. We have a Cajun restaurant in town that we went to and I got some spicy food and gumbo. It was delicious gumbo, but looked disgusting. I decided to make my own gumbo that would look and taste delicious. Needless, none of the spicy food helped induce labor but I found a new favorite recipe for us. It always makes enough for dinner and plenty for left overs. I recently discovered chicken sausage and replaced that instead of pork sausage and it's much better.

1 lb Italian sausage links, sliced
1 lb uncooked, peeled and deveined shrimp
3 T vegetable oil
1 red pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 t dried thyme
1/2 t garlic powder
1/2 t cayenne pepper
3 c chicken broth
2/3 c uncooked rice
1 can diced tomatoes, undrained (I used a fresh tomatoe this time and it was just as good)

In a large pot brown sausage in oil. Meanwhile in a crockpot combine all other ingredients except shrimp. Add sausage to crockpot. Cook on low for 3-4 hours. Add shrimp. Cook for another hour or two. Gumbo should be thick. Serves 12.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Banana-Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

I buy bananas almost every time I go to the store but they usually end up brown before I can eat them all. So what do I do? I throw them in the freezer until I have time to make banana bread. Well this time it got a little out of hand. I had THIRTEEN, 13, bananas sitting in my freezer taking up precious freezer space and not getting put into banana bread, much to my husband's dismay. Well I set out to make banana bread, but after I doubled the recipe and had 2 large loafs and 3 small loafs I still had 3 bananas waiting to be put in something. Then I came across this recipe in Cooking Light. I already enjoy oatmeal chocolate chip cookies so why not add a little banana. And the nice thing is it reduces the butter and sugar in the recipe so I don't feel as guilty eating one. One cookies has 115 calories and only 3.6 g of fat.

1/2 c mashed banana (about 1 medium)
1/2 c packed brown sugar
1/4 cu softened butter
1/4 sugar
1 t vanilla extract
1 egg
1 1/4 c flour
2 c oats
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1/2 c chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl, beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Add egg, beat well. In a medium bowl combine flour, oats, baking soda, and salt. Stir. Add flour mixture to banana mixture beat until well blended. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop batter by tablespoon onto greased cookie sheet. Bake for 18 minutes or until golden. cool on pans. Enjoy! Yields: 2 dozen Serving size: 1 cookie

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Lemon Asparagus Chicken

I'm a huge fan of the crock pot. It makes it so easy to cook, especially when I have a little one at home who doesn't always allow me to spend an hour whipping something up. Most of the time it takes less than 10 minutes to throw everything into the pot and turn it on. One of our favorites is Lemon Asparagus Chicken.

1 10 3/4 oz can of Campbell's Cream of Asparagus
2 Medium Sized Lemons
2 Chicken Breasts

Combine Cream of Asparagus and juice from 2 lemons in crock pot, mix well. Place chicken into crock pot. Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours. Serve chicken and cream sauce over whole wheat thin spaghetti with a side of asparagus.

Serves 2

Sweet and Spicy Chicken

This is a nice take on baked chicken. It definitely is more spicy than sweet but it's enjoyable. I love recipes that requires little preparation and I can just cook it in the oven. I gives me time to spend with my little baby. Plus with the summer around the corner (yes around the corner because it seems like it just keeps raining) it's great to just pop it in the oven and go do what you enjoy. Just don't leave the house with the oven on. The original recipe called for a whole chicken but I used some chicken breast. Serve with some pasta, rice or vegetables.

1 T olive oil
1 T chili powder
1 T brown sugar
1 t dried oregano
3/4 t kosher salt
1/4 t pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast

Heat oven 400 degrees. In a small bowl, combine the oil, chili powder, sugar, oregano, salt and pepper. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Place the chicken in a roasting pan and rub with the spice mixture. Roast until cooked through, 45-50 minutes. Server hot, room temperature, or chilled.