Monday, December 22, 2008

Review: Great Harvest Breakfast Casserole

Described tonight as "candy for dinner," my family LOVED this, Liz. Thanks for sharing! I didn't have time to let the bread soak for 8 hours (that was me not planning ahead), but it still turned out really well. MMMMM.

As a side-benefit, I took the leftover sauce and cooked it further to make caramels. Also MMM.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Yummy soup!

Mmmmm, just thinking of it makes my mouth water. Do any of you like the Zuppa Toscana soup at Olive Garden? It is one of my favorite soups. Well, I found the recipe online and tired it out and it was amazing! I got it off of allrecipes and you can print it here.

Here is the recipe:

Zuppa Toscana

1 (16 ounce) package smoked sausage (I used turkey sausage)
2 potatoes, cut into 1/4-inch slices
3/4 cup chopped onion
6 slices bacon
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 cups kale - washed, dried, and shredded
2 tablespoons chicken soup base (I just used a quart of chicken broth)
1 quart water
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).
2. Place sausage links onto a sheet pan and bake for 25 minutes, or until done. Cut links in half lengthwise, then cut at an angle into 1/2-inch slices.
3. Place onions and bacon slices in a large saucepan and cook over medium heat until onions are almost clear. Remove bacon and crumble. Set aside.
4. Add garlic to the onions and cook an additional 1 minute. Add chicken soup base, water, and potatoes, simmer 15 minutes.
5. Add crumbled bacon, sausage, kale, and cream. Simmer 4 minutes and serve.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Request: Sloppy Joe's

Does anyone have any great sloppy joe recipe? Every time I make them, I use a different recipe from the internet, and I keep getting underwhelmed. Does anyone have one they swear by?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thanksgiving snack

I have made this little Thanksgiving handout in the past years. Ibf you want a cute idea, this one is fun! Put the snack in cute little bags with a bow and this attached.


Each ingredient in this snack mix symbolizes something associated with Thanksgiving.

Bugles: shaped as a cornucopia, a horn of plenty.

Pretzels: represent arms folded in thanks & prayer.

Candy Corn: during the first winter, the pilgrims were each allotted only five kernels of corn per day because food was so scarce.

Dried Fruit: Thanksgiving is the celebration of the harvest.

Nuts: seeds represent the potential of a bounteous harvest for the next season if they are planted and well tended.

Have a Happy Harvest Holiday!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

REQUEST: Lentil Dip

Hey Katie,

I saw that you mentioned a killer dip recipe... is that recipe available for sharing?  I'd love to try it if possible.


Thursday, October 30, 2008

5 minute Chocolate Mug Cake

Ok, so I had to try this because I didn't think it was possible to make chocolate cake in 5 minutes. But you can! Wow, a chocolate cake addict could be in trouble with this one! Try it out, it is fun. Play around with it and add things you like (caramel, different flavored chips, etc.) It is great warm with some vanilla ice cream.

4 Tbls. all purpose flour (not self rising)
4 Tbls. sugar
2 Tbls. baking cocoa
1 egg
3 Tbls. milk
3 Tbls. oil (I did less)
3 Tbls. chocolate chips
A splash of vanilla
1 hot cocoa mug

  • Add dry ingredients to mug and mix well.
  • Add the egg and mix well.
  • Pour in the milk and oil, mix well.
  • Add the chocolate chips and vanilla and mix again.
  • Put you mug in the microwave and cook for 2 1/2- 3 minutes at 1000 watts (I cooked on high).
  • The cake will rise over the top of the mug but don't be alarmed!
  • Allow to cool a little, and tip out onto a plate if desired.
  • Serves 2 if you want to feel slightly more virtuous.

Halloween Offerings

Hey all-I've got a few festive and fun Halloween dinners to offer. I'm not sure which I'm going to make tomorrow, but I thought I'd post this today in case anyone's trying to be a cool mom on Halloween. :)

*Oh, disclaimer-these are not intended to be healthy or gourmet in any way. They are intended to win you cool points with your kids, and not be too hard or time consuming to make. You'll be doing other things-painting faces, finding that elusive sword, repositioning the tiara... Ok. Here we go.

Mummy Dogs

  • Some kind of good hot dog or sausage-brat, whatever you like that comes in a general hot dog shape
  • 1 can of refrigerated bread sticks

You can see where we're heading with this-take the breadstick and wrap the lower 2/3 of the hot dog, then leave a space and wrap up the top for his little mummy turban. Bake according to the directions on the bread sticks. When they come out, dot a little ketchup or mustard for the eyes and you're set.

Trick or Treat Turnovers

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 can cheddar cheese soup
  • 2-3 Tbs ketchup
  • Cheese
  • 2 cans refrigerated biscuits

Brown beef with onion and drain. Add soup and ketchup-simmer. Meanwhile, take refrigerated biscuits and flatten. Take your knife and carve out simple pumpkin faces in half of the biscuits. Place some of the meat mixture on the non-carved half, then put cheese on top. Gently place a carved face over the top and pinch edges to seal. If you want to get really tricksy, you can nip out a bit of the biscuit and make a stem at the top. Bake according to the biscuit directions.

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Vegetarian Chili

Vegetarian Chili


- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 Tbsp salt
- 3 stalks celery, chopped
- 2 bell peppers (I used green and orange), chopped
- 1 jalapeño pepper, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 (4 oz) cans chopped green chile peppers, drained
- 2-4 Boca burgers, thawed and crumbled
- 2 (28 oz) cans whole peeled tomatoes, crushed
- Almost 1/4 cup chili powder (probably about 1/6 cup-ish)
- 1 Tbsp ground black pepper
- 1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans, drained
- 1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained
- 1 (15 ounce) can black beans
- 1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn


1. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in the celery, bell peppers, jalapeno pepper, garlic, and green chile peppers. Season with bay leaves, cumin, oregano, and salt. Cook until vegetables are tender. Mix in the vegetarian burger crumbles. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 5 minutes.

2. Put the tomatoes into crock-pot. Season chili powder and pepper. Stir in the kidney beans, garbanzo beans, black beans, and corn. Add vegetable mixture. Cook for 30 minutes on high, then 4 hours on low.

This chili has 31 grams of protein and 20 grams of fiber. Forrest ate the Boca burger with no complaints.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Mexican Style Corn

I got this recipe (is it a recipe?! there are only four ingredients!) off of


*Prepare corn on the cob as usual.
*Spread sour cream on the corn.
*Sprinkle with paprika.
*Roll in grated asiago cheese.

I didn't have any asiago, so I sprinkled grated Parmesan (you know the stuff) and it turned out great. Really delicious. Really easy. Oh, and we had the corn on a stick because it was fun.

Flax Seed Meal--not a recipe

I keep a bag of this flax seed meal in my fridge and add it to random things I am baking or as a topping pretty normally (just as a supplement not as a replacement for anything). Today when I was putting it on my toddlers peanut butter/honey sandwich I noticed it said you could replace flax seed meal for oil/butter/margerine (3:1). Has anyone ever tried this? Totally replacing the butter with the flax seed? I tried making these cookies using 1 1/2 cups flax and 1/4 cup butter--I could not not use any butter in cookies (called for 3/4 c. butter). The cookies still tasted alright--definitely not buttery or smooth, but still good. When the oven buzzer went off for the first batch, I opened the oven, looked at the cookies, and thought maybe I had forgot to turn on the oven; the cookies looked exactly like they did when I put them in. So, that was interesting....
(These are cooked! See they didn't melt--no butter--and spread out. They look pretty unappealing, I realize, but taste alright. Thank goodness for chocolate chips!)

So, yeah, back to my question: Have you totally replaced fats with flax seed meal? How did it turn out? Do you have a recipe to share?

**Tangent** I just got a cookie dough scoop and love it! Made dropping the cookie dough super easy to drop and it was fast; I totally recommend getting one if you don't have one already. I got mine at BB&B.

Cheese Enchilada Chowder

Did I already post this? I thought I had, but I couldn't find it using the search feature. Apologies if it is a duplicate. 

Cheese Enchilada Chowder 
(recipe from B-to-the-Weed)

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can diced tomatoes
10 oz. frozen corn (or more if you like)
1/2 c. chopped onion
1/2 c. chopped bell pepper (whichever color you like...I have used fresh or frozen)
1 large can enchilada sauce
1 can cream of chicken
2 c. milk

Combine all ingredients in crock pot, except for cheese. Cook on low for 6-8 hours, or high for 3-4. Add cheese to individual servings. Also, I like a dollop of sour cream. 

Serve with chips & guacamole, cornbread, whatever.

The last time I made this I added a can of chickpeas, too. Really good. 

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Baked Potato Soup


This is very creamy and yummy.    It makes 8 servings.  When I tried this I only made it for 6 servings and we had enough for another nights dinner plus a few lunches.  When we warmed it up we added buttermilk to it and that made it even yummier.  Try it you will love it.


9 medium Potatoes
2/3 cup Butter
7 cups Milk
2/3 cup Flour
1 teaspoon Salt
4 Green onions
1 1/4 cups Cheese shredded
1/2 teaspoon Pepper
1 cup Sour cream
12 Bacon strips cooked crispy and crumbled

Bake potatoes for 30 minutes, cut into 1 inch chuncks. Melt butter in pot, add milk, slowly mix in flour. Add remaining ingredients. If needs to be thickened, mix water and flour together then add to soup. Simmer for at least one hour before serving.

Black Bean Veggie Burgers

To give credit where credit is due, I got this recipe at Link here. I made this last week, and they were fan-tas-tic. Loved them.

1 (16oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 green pepper, cut into 2-inch pieces
1/2 onion, cut into wedges
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 egg
1T cumin
1/2 c bread crumbs
1 T chili powder (optional)
1 t Thai chili sauce or hot sauce (optional)

1. if grilling, preheat an outdoor grill for high heat and lightly oil a sheet of aluminum foil. If baking, preheat oven to 375 degrees (F) and lightly oil a baking sheet.

2. In a medium bowl, mash black beans until thick and pasty.

3. In a food processor, finely chop bell pepper, onion, and garlic. Stir into mashed beans.

4. In a small bowl, stir together egg, cumin, chili powder (opt) and chili sauce (opt).

5. Stir the egg mixture into the mashed beans. Mix in bread crumbs until the mixture is sticky and holds together. Divide mixture into 6 patties.

6. If grilling, place patties on foil, and grill about 8 minutes on each side. If baking, place patties on baking sheet, and bake about 10 minutes on each side.

I cooked mine on an electric griddle, at 375 degrees for 10 minutes on each side.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Fettucine Alfredo with Chicken

I made this tonight....DELICIOUS. It comes from this month's Kraft Food & Family magazine. (It's free, which is always good...and always has a few good recipe nuggets in there).

Note: Their recipe is for 1/2 lb of pasta...but I cooked the whole box of fettucine (1lb), so I doubled the ingredients when I made it tonight.

For 1/2 lb of fettucine (uncooked):

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
1 1/4 cup chicken broth
4 t flour
4 oz cream cheese
3 T parmasean cheese
1/4 t garlic powder
1/4 t pepper

1. Cook pasta as directed
2. cut chicken into chunks and cook in large, nonstick skillet.
3. Remove chicken from skillet.
4. In the same skillet, mix broth and flour, then add cream cheese, parmasean cheese, garlic powder and pepper. Stir constantly until thickened.
5. Stir in chicken.
6. Mix pasta and sauce mixture in large bowl....sprinkle with parmasean cheese.

Another note: I only used 1 chicken breast and it was PLENTY....even with doubling the recipe. I had some chicken already cooked that I just shredded and added at the end.


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Granola Bars (A.K.A. glorified rice crispies)

This is a revealing recipe. It changes all you think you know about granola bars. It will change the way you think when you call someone a "granola". Anyway, with that disclaimer I would also like to add that this is a very dynamic recipe. You can change it however you want and still get decent results.

Part 1: The sticky stuff

1/2 C. Peanut Butter or other nut butter
1/4 C. Karo Syrup
1/4 C. Brown Sugar
4 lg. Marshmallows
1 t. vanilla (add a bit later)

If you grease up all of your cooking stuff before you do this, it makes cleanup much easier. Make sure you at least do the bowl you mix the sticky stuff in though. Without marshmallows and vanilla, nuke it in your microwave 1 minute. While it's melting follow part 2. Mix thoroughly when done add marshmallows and nuke 1 minute more. When done, add vanilla. (Although I forgot this once and nobody noticed.)

Part 2: The Filling stuff.

2 C. Regular Oats*
1 1/2 C. Crispy Rice Cereal
1/4 C. Chocolate Chips

Mix everything together and press into a 9 in. pan. Allow to cool. Cut into bars. As long as you have 3.75 C. of stuff, it really doesn't matter what you put in your granola bars. Other ideas include but are not limited to: rasins, cranberries, other dried fruit, ground flaxseed, flaked rye, cheerios, other cereal. (I used Oats, Golden Puff cereal, flaxseed, cranberries, and chocolate chips in the ones I made for Tori's birthday party.)

Makes about 2-12 bars. :)

*I would recommend using this much oats every time you make it though.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Whole Wheat (Quick) Bread

Since I'm bread-stupid, this was the perfect thing to use my wheat. I can't make a loaf of yeast bread to save my life...but THIS worked well.... I served it with honey butter and it was fan-TAS-tic.

Whole Wheat Quick Bread

1 egg, beaten
2 cups buttermilk*
2 T molasses or honey
2 T butter, melted
2 cups whole wheat flour**
1 t baking soda
1 t salt
1 t baking powder

In a bowl, combine egg, buttermilk, molasses (or honey), and butter. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, and baking powder. Stir well; add to first mixture and mix well. Pour into a greased loaf pan. Bake at 400 degrees for about 45-50 minutes, until lightly brown. Cool slightly, then turn out of the pan onto a wire rack. Slice while warm. Makes one loaf. 

*I used regular milk.

**After I mixed the ingredients together, the mixture seemed a little watery, so I added an extra half cup of flour and it was great. I don't think my wheat grinder made a fine enough grind.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Play Dough

This was my Grandma's recipe. It's the only recipe I use.


1 cup Water
1 cup Flour
1/2 cup Salt
2 tablespoons Oil
2 teaspoons Cream of tarter
Food coloring

Mix together in pan and cook on medium heat until it pulls away from the side and forms a ball.
Store in a jar or ziploc baggie in a cool place when not in use.

Helen Larson


Sorry to be such a nag...

Does anyone have a good play-dough recipe? There are approximately 7 million recipes online, and very few "reviews."

Anybody? Anybody?

P.S. Thanks for the gluten-free comments. I'm going to make that mexican lasagna...for US! It looks so great--and I'd seen it on an episode of "Everyday Food," so now I know it has good reviews!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Wanted: Gluten-Free

I visit teach a sister in my ward who's whole family (with the exception of 1 of their children) has Celiac Disease.

They've had a lot of needs lately for meals, and I'm pretty sure they're getting tired of chicken and rice and/or mexican food. =)

Any ideas?

(side note: Has anyone ever experimented with rice flour/oat flour/non-gluten flours?)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

REVIEW: Zucchini Yogurt Multigrain Muffins

SO GOOD. So moist and super yummy, even the next day. Plus Connor loves them, and he hates almost all vegetables. Very healthy as well - lots of protein and fiber.

Thanks, Slish!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Honey Curry Chicken

Super easy, super good, and pretty healthy too!

1 whole chicken, cut into pieces (or 8 drumsticks)
1/4 c. butter, melted
1/2 c. honey
1/4 c. prepared mustard
1 t. salt
1 t. curry

1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Place chicken pieces in a shallow baking pan, skin side up.
3. Combine the melted butter, honey, mustard, salt and curry powder and pour the mixture over the chicken.
4. Cover in foil.
5. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes and then remove the foil.
6. Cook an additional 30 minutes uncovered.
** Baste the chicken every 15-20 minutes with pan drippings, until the chicken is nicely browned and tender and the juices run clear.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Zucchini Yogurt Multigrain Muffins

I had a lot of zucchini that I needed to use up and I found this recipe on These were SO healthy and SO delicious. Super moist. These were eaten up by my family- by super picky eaters as well.


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup oat flour (I just ground some oats in a blender)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)
  • 1/2 cup raisins (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Lightly grease 24 muffin cups.
  2. In a bowl, sift together the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, oat flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg. In a separate bowl, beat together eggs, vegetable oil, applesauce, yogurt, sugar, honey, and vanilla. Mix the flour mixture into the egg mixture. Fold in the zucchini, carrots, pecans, and raisins. Scoop into the prepared muffin cups.
  3. Bake 18 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Telestial Kitchen Shout-Outs

So, while I have been happy to be a member of this blog, I haven't really used it. I've been spoiled living with my dad who loves to cook, and I have let him. But, in the next week or so I'm moving out, and am now in need of some kick-butt recipes. The sheer volume of our recipes is slightly overwhelming at the moment, so I was wondering if you could let me know some of your favorite recipes that you have found from this site that you think I should try. Let the shout-outs begin!!

Thanks :)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Wheat Berry Parfait

Here is one of the many things you can do with wheat berries (shown PW style):

Yum, doesn't that look good

Here are your ingredients:

Fresh blueberries. You can use what ever fruit you want, these just looked good.

Fresh Bananas. Again you could use what ever kind of fruit you would like.

Yogurt, whatever flavor you like. I used strawberry.

These are wheat berries. They taste better then they look.

O.k. here's how to put it all together (not PW style).

1. Put some wheat berries in a cup or what ever you have that will work.
2. Put some yogurt on top of the wheat berries
3. Put in some fruit on top of the yogurt
4. Repeat
5. Enjoy.

My kids like this so much they saved what they couldn't eat for their snacks later that day.

Wheat Berries

Have you ever wondered what you can do with all that wheat you have stored? It's not just for grinding. Here is a recipe that uses whole wheat kernels.

1 cup of wheat kernels
2-3 cups of water

Put the ingredients together in a crockpot and cook overnight on low. In the morning you have a nice hot breakfast. I like to put honey and milk on my wheat berries. One of my kids likes them with sugar and cinnamon. This is a hot cereal. Like oatmeal.

I usually have leftover wheat berries and there are a few things you can do with them. I will post those recipes later.

Try them you just might like them.

Warning: If you are not used to eating whole grains please don't have these for breakfast every morning. Work into it slowly. (Wheat can do a number on your system).

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Zucchini Cakes

I am talking Zuchinni Cakes like crab cakes, not zuchinni cake like carrot cake. You know what I'm saying? I know a lot of us follow P-Dub's blog, so some of you maybe have already tried these...but, if you haven't, give them a try. This recipe is so easy to make and really good! There are step-by-step instructions and photos on P-Dub's blog, so I am going to have you click over there rather than type it out. Here's the link--try them out!

White Chicken Chili--Review

The White Chicken Chili recipe posted by "JackJen" is so delicious. And totally easy. I used the pre-cooked chicken breast strips by Kirkland Signature (Costco refrig. section) instead of cooking up the chicken myself. So much of the recipe is open up a can and dump it in. For next time, I would maybe not add the cayenne or as much as the chilies. It wasn't too hot for me (and I am a total wuss), but my two year old thought it was a little spicy.
And the best part of any recipe--there are leftovers and I thought the chili was better a few days later. Oh, and I dumped in some leftover corn after the first night--still delish!
Yummy! Thanks for sharing.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Broccoli Salad

This salad is yummy! My kids didn't like it much, but I think it's because of the onion. This is a great salad for potlucks.

1 pound Broccoli
1/3 cup Red onion chopped
1/2 cup Monterey jack cheese grated or Swiss Cheese
3 strips Bacon cooked and crumbled
4 tablespoons Lite Miracle Whip or Mayonnasie
1/2 cup Skim milk
2 tablespoons Vinegar

Chop broccoli into small, bitesize pieces. Combine broccoli, onion, bacon, and cheese in a large bowl. Mix dressing separately. Pour dressing over broccoli mixture. Let salad chill for at least 1 hour before serving so flavors will blend.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Chocolate Caramel Bars

I got this recipe from The Essential Mormon Cookbook, which is a veritable treasure trove of deliciousness. Truth be told, the next time I make this recipe, I might try cutting the sugar in half, but other than that, it's the perfect recipe for a sweets fix.

1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons melted butter

1 (14oz) bag of caramels (about 48)
1/2 cup whipping cream (I used half-and-half)
1 (12oz) pkg chocolate chips (I only used 1/3 bag, because we're not huge chocolate chip fans at our house)

In large bowl, combine first six ingredients to form a crumbly mixture. Unwrap caramels and put them in saucepan with whipping cream over low heat. Sprinkle half of crumbly mixture into 9x13 pan. Bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes. Sprinkle chocolate chips over baked mixture and top with melted caramel mixture. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Make a day ahead or several hours ahead to allow time for caramel to set. Makes 2 dozen bars. (I put mine in the fridge...I think they're best cold).

Friday, June 27, 2008

cafe rio-ish chicken salad and burrito

- 4 chicken breasts
- 1 can coke
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 2 small cans of diced green chiles
- 1 8oz can of tomato sauce
- 1 tsp chili powder
- ½ tsp cumin

Put everything in crock-pot. Cook on high for 2 hours, and then cook on low for 2 hours. I usually turn off the crock pot and let it sit for 2 hours, and then shred the chicken. My crock pot cooks things fast, so you might need to adjust cooking time.


- burrito size tortillas
black beans
- cheddar cheese
- green chile enchilada sauce (if you want it “enchilada style”)
- tomatoes diced
- avocado

Heat the black beans. Put the chicken, black beans, and cheese in the tortilla. Roll it up and heat for 30 seconds in microwave. Top with enchilada sauce, more cheese, avocado, and tomato.

- burrito size tortillas
- black beans
- frozen corn or canned corn
- lettuce
- bell pepper (red or green)
- tomatoes
- avocado
- salsa
- cheddar cheese
- sour cream
- ranch dressing or Cafe Rio Creamy Tomatillo Dressing*

Preheat oven to 425°F. Crumple four large sheets of foil to make four 3-inch balls; place on baking sheet. Place 1 tortilla on top of each ball; spray tortilla with cooking spray. Bake 6 min. or until tortillas are golden brown. (Tortillas will drape over balls as they bake.) If you have tortilla molds you can use them instead of the foil balls (duh).

Heat black beans and corn.

Create your salad: I usually put the hot stuff on bottom (chicken, beans, corn), and then all the veggies topped with the salsa, cheese, sour cream, and dressing.

*Cafe Rio Creamy Tomatillo Dressing (one of the many recipes circulating):
- 1 c mayo (full fat not light)
- 1 c cilantro
- 1/2 t cayenne pepper
- 1 pkg Hidden Valley Ranch Buttermilk Recipe Dressing Mix
- 1/2 c buttermilk
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 3 tomatillos (quartered)

Mix all ingredients in blender until well blended. Chill before serving.

lemon drop cupcakes

Got this one from kraftfoods. I made two changes: I only added 2/3 of the powdered sugar to the frosting. 16oz was way too much. I just tasted the frosting and stopped adding powdered sugar when I liked it. I topped them with Lemon Heads instead of lemon zest.

Prep Time:

10 min
Total Time:
1 hr 34 min
24 servings, one cupcake each
1 pkg. (2-layer size) white cake mix
1 pkg. (4-serving) JELL-O Lemon Flavor Instant Pudding & Pie Filling
1 cup water
4 egg whites
2 Tbsp. oil
1 pkg. (16 oz.) powdered sugar (way too much, only add a little more than a cup - my opinion)
1 pkg. (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened
2 Tbsp. lemon juice

PREHEAT oven to 350ºF. Beat cake mix, dry pudding mix, water, egg whites and oil in large bowl with electric mixer on low speed until moistened. (Batter will be thick.) Beat on medium speed 2 min. Spoon batter evenly into 24 paper-lined 2-1/2-inch muffin cups.

BAKE 21 to 24 min. or until wooden toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 min.; remove to wire racks. Cool completely.

MEANWHILE, beat sugar, cream cheese, butter and juice with electric mixer on low speed until well blended. Frost cupcakes.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies

I got this recipe from some magazine, but I can't remember which. I doubled it to use up some oats and it fit just fine in my KitchenAid mixer, even though it seems like it might not.

1 stick butter

1 cup dark brown sugar (regular worked fine for me)

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 cup pureed fresh or canned pumpkin

2 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

1 cup flour

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

3 cups rolled oats (I used the quick-cooking kind)

6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips (not in the original recipe, but I think it makes them even better)

Heat oven to 350. Beat together butter and sugars. Add pumpkin, eggs, and vanilla; beat. Mix in combined flours, baking soda, and spices, then stir in oats. Drop rounded tablespoonfuls onto greased cookie sheets. Bake 10-12 minutes. Let cool.

I was out of butter, so I used the vegetable shortening substitution (1 cup butter or margarine = 1 cup shortening + 6 teaspoons water). I couldn't tell a major difference in the cookies compared to the first time I made them. I think they could use a little bit more spice, but they definitely have a pumpkin flavor. And I prefer the chocolate chips in them because they compliment the pumpkin and spice flavor so nicely.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Chicken Gyros

I really can't remember where I got this recipe, I think it was from here. They are Delicious and very easy!!

Chicken Gyros

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/4" strips
2 Tbsp. finely chopped dill
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 large onion, thinly sliced
a few tablespoons olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper

For serving:
Tzatziki (recipe follows)
8-10 small pitas
fresh lemon juice

(I place everything in a gallon-size freezer bag to let it marinate.)

Let the chicken marinate anywhere from 1/2 hour to overnight. (I usually let it marinate for 2-3 hours.)

Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add a little olive oil. Saute the chicken and onions until chicken is cooked through. (I sometimes remove the chicken pieces and let the onions cook a little longer.)

To serve--place some of the chicken on the pita, top with tzatziki and a little fresh lemon juice. Fold up and enjoy!

Tzatziki (Yogurt Dill Sauce)

1 large container Greek Yogurt
1/2 seedless cucumber, grated and drained (see note and picture below)
2-3 Tbsp. fresh dill, finely chopped
4 scallions, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed through a garlic press
1-2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
a drizzle of olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper--to taste

Combine all the ingredients and chill for several hours to allow flavors to meld. Yields about 2 1/2 cups.

(I prepare it at the same time as the chicken marinade.)

Note: Cucumbers are so full of water that it is necessary to let them drain in a sieve before using in the yogurt sauce. You may even notice up to 1/4 cup liquid in the bowl after draining.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Ham and Potato Bake

{courtesy of Betty Crocker's Good And Easy Cookbook}

I have spent a long time mocking recipes like these...{classic toddler-esque reaction of "I don't like it" without even trying it}...but you know what? I tried it and I'M SOLD. Couldn't get enough of this one. Yum Yum Yum. I'll never mock a recipe again.

1 package (1 lb 4 ounces) shredded or cubed hash browns
1 cup fully cooked ham, diced
1 can (11 oz) condensed cheddar cheese soup
4 eggs
1/2 cup milk

1. Grease 9x13 casserole dish
2. in large bowl, mix soup, eggs and milk. Add potatoes and mix well. Optional: add a handful or two of shredded cheddar. I thought what the hay and threw it in.
3. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until top is light brown and center is set.

EXCELLENT for a brunch, I think. I threw in a bag of frozen broccoli so I wouldn't feel guilty about feeding this to my family for dinner. I'm sure you could add ANY vegetable.......

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Virgin Mint Julep

My sister in-law, Shara, gave me her AMAZING recipe for this drink. And not only is she a real born-and-bred Southern girl, but she's also a KENTUCKY girl--so she knows her mint juleps. I personally tasted this when I was down there two weeks ago, and I can attest: it'll brighten up ANY party!

Virgin Mint Julep

4-5 mint sprigs
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups cold water
3/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup pineapple juice
1 1/2 qt ginger ale
Thinly-sliced lemon slices (for garnish)

Rinse the mint and discard the stems. Place sugar, water lemon juice, pineapple juice in a medium-sized bowl, mix, and stir in the mint leaves. Allow to stand for 30 minutes.

Fill a large pitcher with ice cubes. Strain the liquid over the ice. Add the ginger ale and lemon slices and serve. Definitely a Southern party favorite! Thanks, Shara!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Lemon Ricotta Cookies with Lemon Glaze

Another Giada de Laurentiis recipe. These are de-licious!

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 (15-ounce) container whole milk ricotta cheese
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 lemon, zested

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 lemon, zested

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In the large bowl combine the butter and the sugar. Using an electric mixer beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating until incorporated. Add the ricotta cheese, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Beat to combine. Stir in the dry ingredients.

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Spoon the dough (about 2 tablespoons for each cookie) onto the baking sheets. Bake for 15 minutes, until slightly golden at the edges. Remove from the oven and let the cookies rest on the baking sheet for 20 minutes.

Combine the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a small bowl and stir until smooth. Spoon about 1/2-teaspoon onto each cookie and use the back of the spoon to gently spread. Let the glaze harden for about 2 hours.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Tofu Satay with Peanut Sauce

Are you a fan of delicious flavor?

This is the BEST recipe I've tried in a long time. The dish tasted like something you would get at a Thai restaurant. The peanut sauce is phenomenal; I've tried probably half a dozen peanut sauce recipes in the past, and never really liked any of them. This one is far and away the best I've tried. If you're not a tofu-lover, you could do the exact same recipe with chicken instead of tofu (just increase the cooking time a bit).

Step 1) Cook some brown rice. Steam some vegetables (I used broccoli and carrots).

Step 2) Prepare the tofu. Cut a block of extra-firm tofu into 1-inch cubes. Put them in a bowl with a cut-up red bell pepper. Marinate them for 15-20 minutes in a mixture of 2 T. soy sauce and 2 T. sesame oil.

Step 3) Make the peanut sauce. No cooking necessary. Just place the following ingredients into your blender or food processor and whir them up: 3/4 c. coconut milk, 1/2 c. peanut butter, 2 minced garlic cloves, 1 1/2 t. curry powder, 1 1/2 T. brown sugar, 1 T. fresh lime juice, 1 T. canola oil, 1 1/2 T. soy sauce.

Step 4) Pour 1/3 of the peanut sauce mixture over the tofu and red peppers. Spread the mixture, single-layered, into a baking dish. Bake 20-25 minutes in a 450-degree oven.

Step 5) Assemble. Brown rice plus steamed veggies plus baked tofu plus extra peanut sauce poured over the top. Top with crushed peanuts, if you like!

I'm not even messing around. This is so good.

Wheat Pancakes

Wheat Pancakes

1 1/2 c. whole wheat berries (wheat straight from the bag, NOT flour)
1 1/2 c. milk
2 eggs
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 c. oil (You can substitute applesauce for the oil with no problems)
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp soda
3 Tbsp. brown sugar

Soak wheat in one cup milk for about 5 minutes. Blend.
Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Cook on griddle.

To thicken: add more wheat berries or flour.
To thin batter: add more milk.
You can add cinnamon, etc. for more flavor.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Spinach Pasta Chicken Salad

Recipe given to me from BWeed (who recommended involving a lawyer to sort out who gets the leftovers...and it is that good).

Spinach Pasta Chicken Salad
1/2 C. oil
1/2 C. sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sesame oil
3 Tbs soy sauce
2 Tbs seasoned oregano rice vinegar
1/2 tsp sesame seed oil
1 tsp grated fresh garlic

1 sm package baby spinach
1 package bowtie pasta (cooked, drained, and cooled)
2-4 Tbs sesame seeds
1/2 C. sunflower seeds
1 can sliced water chestnuts
1 C. sprouts
3 chicken breasts (cooked, seasoned heavily with lemon pepper and cut into bite-sized pieces)

Mix dressing ingredients together, set aside. In large bowl, combine salad ingredients. Add dressing to salad and mix together. Enjoy.

**I topped each serving with a few chow mein noodles**
**I used olive oil instead of sesame oil (b/c I didn't have any)...still tasted great**
**I used 1/2 tsp of jarred minced garlic instead of grated fresh**
**I couldn't find seasoned oregano rice vinegar, so I used seasoned rice vinegar**

Friday, May 9, 2008

Maca-tofu-roni and Cheese

I am aware that I am opening myself up to more mocking from Chris by posting this, but I can't resist: I'm thrilled with this recipe! I made it with whole-wheat rotini so it was the healthiest mac 'n' cheese I've ever had, nearly as quick and easy as the stuff in a box, and pretty yummy too.

10 to 12 ounces elbow macaroni (or other short pasta shape such as cavatappi)
12.3-ounce package silken tofu
2 tablespoons nonhydrogenated margarine
1 1/2 cups firmly packed grated sharp cheddar cheese
Salt to taste

Cook the macaroni in plenty of rapidly simmering water until al dente, then drain.

Meanwhile, puree the tofu until perfectly smooth in a food processor or blender. Transfer to a medium sauce pan and add the margarine and cheese. Slowly bring to a gentle simmer (NOT a boil), stirring often, then cook over low heat until the cheese is thoroughly melted.

Combine the cooked macaroni and sauce in a serving container and stir together. Season with salt to taste and serve at once.

VARIATION 1: For a little more kick, add any of the following you like to the sauce: 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, 2 t. cayenne pepper, a dash of hot sauce, 1 t. dry mustard, or a few twists of black pepper.

VARIATION 2: Top with seasoned breadcrumbs and bake in a casserole dish at 400 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the top is golden and crusty.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Alfredo Pasta Pie with Toasted French Bread Crust

Recipe from BWeed

16 oz. package spaghetti, cooked and drained
18 (-ish) thin slices French bread
1 C. shredded white cheese (recipe calls for swiss, I used mozzarella)
2 Tbs. fresh basil or 2 tsp. dried basil
1 jar alfredo sauce
3 roma tomatoes, diced
Parmesan cheese

Butter bread. Place bread butter-side up in a 9x13, going up the sides of the pan. Bake about 10 minutes at 350º or until slightly golden. Mix cheese with alfredo sauce, add basil, then toss with pasta. Spoon into baked crust. Sprinkle tomatoes over the top. Lightly press ingredients down into crust. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. bake 15-20 minutes or until hot.

Sweet Love Pasta Pie

Recipe from BWeed

16 oz. tube pasta
22 oz. marinara sauce
2 c mozzarella
1/2 c Parmesan cheese
bread crumbs

Cream Sauce Ingredients:
1 Tbs butter
1 1/2 c cream
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/3 c Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside in large mixing bowl. Cook cream sauce by melting the butter and cream together, stirring often and watching carefully. When cream mixture boils, stir in nutmeg and Parmesan cheese. Reduce heat and cook 3 more minutes, stirring. Add cream mixture to pasta, then add marinara sauce. Add mozzarella cheese to the noodle mixture and stir well. Pour into greased/sprayed 9x13 pan. Sprinkle the top with a bit more nutmeg, then sprinkle with break crumbs and 1/2 c of parmesan cheese. Bake 25 minutes at 375º.

More Deceptively Deliciousness

Just tried this one out on a friend's recommendation, so good. I have heard it works well with strawberry or raspberry preserves as well.

-Nonstick cooking spray
-2 cups old-fashioned oats
-1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
-1/2 cup sugar
-1/2 tsp. cinnamon
-1/4 tsp. baking powder
-1/4 tsp. salt
-1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
-3/4 cup Balance trans-fat-free soft tub margarine spread, chilled
-1 cup low-sugar blueberry preserves (I used strawberry, yum.)
-1/2 cup spinach puree

Preheat oven to 375°. Coat an 8" x 8" baking pan with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, combine oats, flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, salt and vanilla and stir to mix well. Add the margarine and cut it quickly into dry ingredients with two knives until the mixture resembles coarse meal and is no longer powdery. Do not overmix—bits of margarine will still be visible.

Set aside about half of the oat mixture; press the rest firmly into the pan. Bake until lightly browned at the edges (but not fully baked), 13 to 15 minutes. Meanwhile, mix the preserves with the spinach puree in a small bowl.

Spread blueberry mixture over the partially baked oat layer, then sprinkle with reserved oat mixture. Bake until topping is slightly browned, 20 to 25 minutes. Set the pan on a rack to cool completely before cutting into 12 bars. (You have to let them cool completely, so the spinach flavor can disappear.)

-Prep: No prep at all for baby spinach. For mature spinach, fold leaves in half lengthwise with the stem outside, then strip the stem off the leaf.
-Cook: Steam for 30 to 40 seconds, or cook in a skillet with 1 tablespoon of water for about 90 seconds, or just until wilted.
-Puree: In a food processor or blender for about 2 minutes, until smooth and creamy.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Couscous Salad with Tomato and Mint

So in an attempt to cook with less salt, I have a goal of trying one new fresh herb every week. This week the herb was mint, which has always scared me...I've tasted some dishes with mint that were really bad. Anyway, this couscous salad (from the Food Network website) was my first mint attempt (I made it for lunch today) and I thought it was great! The method of boiling the couscous water gave really great flavor, and I ended up loving the combination of parsley and mint.

3 cups (about 1 1/2 pints) cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
2 kirby cucumbers, seeded, and diced
1 lemon, juiced
3 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/2 cups instant couscous (a 10-ounce box)
2 cups water
2 wide strips lemon zest
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Pinch cayenne
1/2 cup torn mint leaves, stems saved
1/2 cup roughly chopped flat leaf parsley, stems saved
3 scallions (white and green), chopped
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts, optional

Toss the tomatoes, cucumbers, and lemon juice in a bowl with 2 teaspoons of the salt. Set aside.

Put the couscous into a large bowl. Bring the water, lemon zest, 3 tablespoons of the oil, the remaining salt, cayenne, and herb stems to a boil over high heat. Pour the liquid over the couscous, stir to separate any clumps. Cover with a lid, plate, or plastic wrap, set aside for 5 minutes. Remove the zest and herb stems and fluff with a fork.

Add the tomato mixture, scallions, mint, parsley, and pine nuts. Drizzle the remaining oil over the salad, toss and serve.

Pasta with Red Pepper-Feta Sauce

This one is Elie Krieger. And wow...YUM. Really tangy and delicious and easy.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 to 3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1 (16-ounce) jar roasted red peppers, drained and chopped
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken stock or vegetable stock
1 cup crumbled feta cheese or a 6-ounce block
1 pound whole-wheat fettuccine
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

Heat the oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Saute onion and garlic until soft, about 10 minutes. Add roasted peppers and saute until heated through. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Place mixture in the bowl of a food processor with stock and all but 2 tablespoons of the feta. Process until combined and smooth, about 30 seconds. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta water. Toss pasta with sauce, adding pasta water by the tablespoon, if needed. Sauce should cling nicely to pasta. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Divide among pasta bowls. Sprinkle with parsley and remaining feta cheese.

Basil Chicken Hash

An Ina Garten recipe. My husband loved this. I just did the whole thing in one pan, instead of two like the recipe recommends.

2 whole (4 split) chicken breasts, bone-in, skin-on
16 basil leaves
Olive Oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
2 pounds boiling potatoes, peeled and large diced
2 red onions, chopped
2 red bell peppers, large diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon tomato paste
4 minced scallions, white and green parts
1/4 cup chopped fresh leaf parsley
Sour cream, Cheddar and sliced lemons, for serving

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the chicken breasts on a baking sheet. Loosen the skin from the meat with your fingers, leaving one side attached. Place 4 basil leaves under the skin of each chicken breast. Pull the skin over as much of the meat as possible so the chicken won't dry out. With your hands, rub each piece with olive oil and sprinkle very generously with salt and pepper. Bake the chicken for 35 to 40 minutes, until the skin is lightly browned and the chicken is just cooked through. Set aside until cool enough to handle, then remove the meat from the bones. Cut the chicken in large dice pieces and set aside.

Melt 4 tablespoons of the butter in a large saute pan. Add the potatoes and onions, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and saute over medium heat for about 10 minutes, until evenly browned and cooked through.

In a separate saute pan, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the red peppers, garlic, thyme, paprika, tomato paste, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and saute over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until the edges of the peppers are seared.

Add the chicken and the pepper mixture to the potatoes and heat through. Add the scallions and parsley, toss together and place on a serving platter.

Vegetarian Meatloaf (with lentils) Lentil Log

Note: This is a response to the request for lentil recipes. I actually haven't tried this one yet, but it's on my to-make list. It's a Giada de Laurentiis recipe (credit where credit is due, right?) If anyone else tries it first, let me know how it goes!

Checca Sauce:
1 pint cherry tomatoes (about 2 cups, or 12 ounces), halved
3 scallions (white and pale green parts only), coarsely chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
8 fresh basil leaves
3 tablespoons olive oil
Pinch salt
Pinch freshly ground black pepper

Lentil Loaf:
3/4 cup lentils (about 5 ounces)
3 cups reduced-sodium vegetable broth
1 cup uncooked short-grain brown rice, rinsed well
1/2 cup finely chopped white onion
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1 celery rib, sliced
1/2 cup frozen corn kernels
2 tablespoons butter, divided
10 ounces fresh baby spinach leaves (about 4 cups)
1 1/2 cups cubed whole milk mozzarella cheese, divided (about 8 ounces total)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus 2 tablespoons
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tomato, sliced

For the Checca Sauce:

Combine the cherry tomatoes, scallions, garlic, basil, and oil in a processor. Pulse the tomatoes until they are coarsely chopped, being careful not to puree. Set aside. Season the sauce with salt and pepper.

For the Lentil Loaf:

Place the lentils in a large saucepan of cold water. Bring the water just to a boil over high heat. Carefully drain the boiling water and rinse the lentils. Meanwhile, in a heavy large saucepan over medium heat, bring the broth to a boil. Add the rice and return the liquid to a boil. Decrease the heat to low, cover the rice, and gently simmer without stirring for 10 minutes. Stir in the lentils, onion, carrot, and celery. Cover and continue cooking without stirring until the rice and lentils are tender and the liquid is absorbed, about 30 minutes longer. Turn off the heat. Sprinkle the corn over the rice and lentils and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Uncover and fluff the rice with a fork. Cover and let stand for 5 more minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Spread 1 tablespoon of the butter over a 10 by 4 1/2 by 3-inch loaf pan. In a heavy, large skillet, cook the spinach over medium heat until the spinach wilts, about 3 minutes. Drain and squeeze the excess liquid from the spinach. Transfer the spinach to a work surface and coarsely chop.

In a large bowl, gently mix the lentil mixture, spinach, 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese, eggs, 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese, basil, salt, pepper, and half of the checca sauce. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan. Arrange the sliced tomatoes in a row over the lentil mixture. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese and 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese. Dot the top with the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter.

Bake uncovered until the loaf is heated through and the topping is melted and starting to brown, about 30 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes. Slice the loaf into 2-inch slices, arrange on plates, and serve with the remaining checca sauce.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Lentil Tacos

I was totally a non-believer, but I made these tonight, and they are actually pretty darn good.

Recipe from


1 cup finely chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon canola oil
1 cup dried lentils, rinsed
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 cup salsa
12 taco shells
1 1/2 cups shredded lettuce
1 cup chopped fresh tomato
1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
6 tablespoons sour cream


In a large nonstick skillet, saute the onion and garlic in oil until tender. Add the lentils, chili powder, cumin and oregano; cook and stir for 1 minute. Add broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Uncover; cook for 6-8 minutes or until mixture is thickened. Mash lentils slightly.
Stir in salsa. Spoon about 1/4 cup lentil mixture into each taco shell. Top with lettuce, tomato, cheese and sour cream.

Monday, April 21, 2008

what can you do with a lentil?

Recipe ideas wanted for the lowly lentil. I love them in soups and my mom has a killer dip recipe, but what else can you do with them?

Friday, April 18, 2008

Goldfish Chicken

I am so embarrassed to post this. But I'm trying to empty our pantry and freezer, so this worked out nicely for our Costco box of goldfish that my son now refuses to eat. Also, Chris commented that it was "really good," and then I told him what it was made of. He still ate it, though.

Goldfish Chicken
1 lb of chicken tender cutlets
1 cup sour cream (fat-free yogurt works too)
3 cups of Goldfish, crushed
1 cup of margarine, melted

1. Dredge the chicken through the sour cream/yogurt.
2. Roll in crushed Goldfish.
3. Place in baking dish with melted margarine.
4. Turn over carefully so both side of chicken get coated with margarine.
5. Place in a preheated 375 degree oven and bake for 40 mins.
Makes 4 servings

Thursday, April 17, 2008

White Chicken Chili

I worked for the Marriott School at BYU for a couple of years and they had all of the faculty and staff submit recipes for a cookbook...I found this one this week, and it was FANTASTIC.

This recipe came from Linda Rich...I can't remember what department she worked in, but let's give credit where credit is due.

1 lb boneless/skinless chicken (cut in cubes or shredded)*
1 medium onion, chopped
1 1/2 t. garlic powder
1 T vegetable oil
3 (15oz) cans white cannellini beans
1 (14 1/2 oz) can chicken broth
1 (4oz) can chopped green chilies
1 t salt
1 t ground cumin
1 t dried oregano
1/2 t pepper
1/4 t cayenne powder (optional)
1 c sour cream
1/2 c whipping cream OR evaporated milk

1. In a large saucepan, saute chicken, onion, and garlic powder in oil until chicken is no longer pink.

2. Add beans, broth, chilies and seasonings. Bring to boil.

3. Reduce heat and summer, uncovered, for 30 minutes.

4. Remove from heat and stir in sour cream and whipping cream or evaporated milk. Serve immediately.

*I took two chicken breasts and cooked them in the crockpot overnight...then I took them out and shredded them...eliminating step 1 above. I just threw all of the ingredients into the crock pot, cooked on low all day, and skipped to step 4 when it was time to serve.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Chicken with Grape Sauce

by Michael Chiarello

4 bone-in chicken breast halves
Gray salt
2 tablespoons fennel seeds, toasted and ground (or just use whatever kind of poultry seasoning you like)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup sliced shallots
1 tablespoon freshly chopped rosemary leaves, plus sprigs for garnish
2 cups grape juice
2 cups chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup halved seedless red grapes

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Season the chicken with gray salt and fennel spice, pressing the spice into the chicken breasts.

In a deep-sided oven-proof skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the chicken, skin side down, and saute for 3 minutes to brown. Place the pan in the oven, uncovered, for 10 minutes.

Remove from the oven and turn the chicken over and place skin side up on a baking sheet. Return chicken to the oven until cooked through, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the pieces to a platter.

Using the same pan used for the chicken, add the shallot to the fat in the pan. Add salt and pepper, cook for 2 minutes. Add the chopped rosemary and let sweat for 1 minute, then add the grape juice. Reduce by half and add the chicken stock. Reduce the sauce by half again, for about 1 cup of sauce. Add the grapes and cook just to heat through, about 1 minute.

Spoon the grapes and sauce over the chicken and garnish with sprigs of fresh rosemary.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Baked Zitti

(By Rachel Ray)


3 garlic cloves
1 (28oz) can diced tomatoes
1 (14oz) can crushed tomatoes
1 lb Zitti noodles
3 T Butter
3 TB Flour
3 Cups Milk
1/2 cup Asiago cheese **
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese**
1 cup cubed Mozzarella cheese

** I get the Parmesan blend (which includes Asiago and other cheeses) that comes in those shakers, and add a full cup.


1. Start cooking noodles. Remove when slightly chewy.
2. Saute garlic for 2 minutes.
3. To garlic, add tomatoes, salt and pepper to taste. Simmer 10 minutes.
4. Add 1/4 TB Basil and simmer another 10 minutes
5. To create a white sauce, heat a separate pan and melt butter and whisk in flour, salt, pepper and a sprinkle of Nutmeg. Whisk in milk and bring to a bubble. Stir constantly and don't let sauce stick to bottom of pan. Cook 4 minutes, or until thickened.
6. In a casserole dish, mix noodles and tomato sauce. Press down slightly with wooden spoon.
7. Poor white sauce over the top BUT DO NOT MIX.
8. Sprinkle with Parmesan and Asiago cheeses and then top with Mozzarella chunks.
9. Broil on Low until cheese on top is melted and slightly browned. (approx 7 minutes). If broiled on High, watch carefully, remove after approx 3 minutes.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Salmon with Cucumber and Cream Sauce

2 x 2 pound Salmon fillets, 1" thick
2 tbl Butter melted
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tbl Chopped chives
2 cup Whipping cream
2 med Cucumbers peeled, seeded, and cubed
Juice of 2 or 3 lemons

Method:Place salmon fillets in greased baking dish. Brush butter onto the salmon and season with salt and pepper. Top with chives. Pour cream into baking dish. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 50 minutes, or until fish begins to flake. (Thinner fillets may require less time.)
Remove fillets from the oven and add lemon juice and cucumber. Baste the salmon well and return the dish to the oven, uncovered, for an additional 15 minutes.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Cottage Cakes with Applesauce

Courtesy of Bethany Weed

1 1/2 c. cottage cheese
4 eggs, beaten
4 T. brown sugar
4 T. butter, melted
1/2 c. + 4 T. flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt

Drain cottage cheese. In medium bowl, mix cottage cheese, eggs, brown sugar, and butter. In separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt. Stir in dry ingredients until combined. Heat griddle over medium heat. Use cooking spray/melt butter to grease griddle. Drop batter onto hot griddle. Cook about 2-4 minutes each side. Serve with applesauce or light powdered sugar.

***These are basically pancakes with cottage cheese in them. Soooo good. I know some people do not like cottage cheese, but it's not really noticeable in the finished product.***
***I had no idea how to "drain cottage cheese"; I put it in a colander, lightly rinsed it, and then let it drain. Seemed to work***
***I rarely do the separate-bowl-for-dry-ingredients thing. I added them all to the wet ingredients one after the other, and then stirred them in together***
***I used a frying pan, not a griddle, because I hate washing my griddle***
***This recipe would probably only fill two, maybe three, might want to double it***

Check 'em out.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

REVIEW: Albacore Enchiladas

Remember when Liz posted these?

Yeah---the leftovers are sitting in tupperwares in the fridge, and I'm doing everything in my power to resist eating all of them.


Thanks for posting, Liz. My two year-old used the word "delicious" for the very first time tonight, and it was on YOUR food!

Scratch Brownies

I've FINALLY found a brownie recipe that's better than a box. (And I LOOOOOVE box brownies).


1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup cocoa
1/4 teaspoon baking powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1. Stir together sugar, melted butter, vanilla, eggs, and salt. Set aside.
2. In a separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa, and baking powder.
3. Combine wet and dry ingredients until smooth.
4. Spread evenly in a greased 9" square or round pan.
5. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes. (My oven took about 22).

Friday, March 28, 2008

Applesauce Oatmeal Muffins

I made these the other day. They were pretty yummy. The recipe says not to use instant oatmeal. I did anyway, but I only soaked the oats for as long as it took to mix the dry ingredients. Also when I make these again I will mix the cinnamon and sugar into the dry ingredients instead of putting it on top.

A yummy way to start the day with very little fat and lots of flavor!
Yields: 12 Servings


1 cup old fashion rolled oats (not instant)
1 cup non-fat milk
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 egg whites
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. sugar
raisins or nuts

Soak the oats in milk for about one hour.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Spray muffin pan with cooking spray.
Combine the oat mixture with the applesauce and egg whites, and mix until combined.
In a separate bowl measure and whisk the dry ingredients together.
Add wet ingredients to dry and mix until just combined. Add nuts or raisins if desired.
Do not over mix the batter or the muffins will be tough. Spoon muffin mixture into muffin pan.
Combine the cinnamon and sugar and top each muffin with some of the mixture.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until done.
Remove from pan, cool and enjoy.
These can be frozen and reheated in the microwave for a quick breakfast.

Ham Ricotta Rolls-ups

O.k. I made these up last night so I figured I needed to write the recipe down before I forgot it.
These all started because I had cresent roll dough, ham, and ricotta cheese I needed to use up, so I figured I would put them together. The filling is very similar to the filling in Lisa's spinach calzones. Oh and as a disclaimer, I didn't measure anything. Sorry.


Ricotta Cheese (about half a container)
Mozzarella Cheese (to taste)
1 egg white
Frozen Spinach- a handful (Thawed)
Italian Seasoning-to taste
Garlic Powder-to taste
Ham-(chopped into small cubes)
2 cans refrigerator crescent roll dough
Italian Seasoned Bread Crumbs

Mix the first seven ingredients. Unroll the crescent dough and lay out the triangles. Put the filling on the triangle and wrap them up. Take the wrapped up rolls and dip them into the bread crumbs. Cook at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Enjoy.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Spinach - Artichoke Soup 2

One more recipe for Spinach Artichoke soup. This saves me the search when I get home. I like that even though this recipe calls for 2 pounds of butter, it still claims to be 1 serving. Get hungry, people.

Title: Spinach - Artichoke Soup
Yield: 1 Servings


2 lb butter; unsalted
1 lb yellow onion; medium diced
4 c flour
1 ga half and half
2 ts white pepper
3 tb tabasco sauce
6 oz chicken base
3 c sour cream
2 c packed parmasean cheese
1 as needed vit.d milk;
-(approx 1 gallon)
1 lb spinach; cooked
14 c canned artichokes
2 tb balsamic vinegar
1 tb sherry


1. In a large stock pot add butter & melt, then add onion and saute for 5

2. add flour & stir well for 8 minutes. (this will be a thick paste) (roux)

3. You must cook this soup on a low-medium heat from this point on or you
will burn it, also make sure to stir very often.

4. add half n half, sour cream, salt, pepper, tabasco, & chicken base. Keep

5. add milk as needed as it thickens (it should be same consistency of a
cream soup when finished)

6. Now add your parmasean cheese, keep cooking on low, when the "starchy"
taste from the flour is gone the soup is finished. This will take approx. 2

7. To finish soup add vinegar and sherry , adjust seasoning as necessary.

Spinach and Artichoke Soup

Liz and I had the best Spinach Artichoke soup in Chicago, so we looked up recipes online. Here is what we found. Haven't made it yet.

Spinach and Artichoke Soup
3 cups chopped onions
1 pound salted butter
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup chopped garlic
3 cups flour
1 quart water
1 gallon heavy cream
1 bag fresh baby spinach
1 can artichoke hearts
¼ cup lemon juice
4 cups grated Parmesan cheese
3 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons chicken base (powdered bouillon)
3 cups grated mozzarella cheese (pre-grated cooks better)
2 tablespoons Tabasco®

1. Add olive oil to kettle and heat.
2. When heated, add onions, butter, and garlic. Sauté until onions are translucent. Then add flour and mix thoroughly.
3. Add water slowly and stir until smooth.
4. Add heavy cream, seasonings, sugar, salt, lemon juice, and chicken base; mix until smooth.
5. Once all is heated, add artichoke hearts and spinach; then add Parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese. Simmer until all ingredients are mixed and hot.
6. Let simmer for 15 minutes. Then cool and store in 1-gallon chub bags.
7. Then place chub bags in ice bath until cool; store in cooler.
8. Always label, date, and rotate.

Easter Dinner a la Michael Chiarello

For our Easter dinner, I literally ripped off an entire episode of Michael Chiarello's Food Network show. It's a lot of recipes, so I'm not going to post them all... but I'll put up the links in case you're feeling adventurous. It took a long time to prepare everything, but it was all really delicious.

-White Bean Waffles with Asparagus-Leek Ragout (pictured above).

(On the show Michael made some individual baked egg dish, but we had a lot of people eating so I just made a big pan of scrambled eggs with thyme and we used that to top off the waffles instead.)

-Brunch Panzanella

(The thing that made the brunch panzanella especially delicious was the balsamic strawberries. Wow! I'd never had strawberries with balsamic vinegar before, but they were so delicious. They're easy to make: I sliced up two cartons of strawberries, then mixed them with 1/4 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, and a pinch of salt. That's it! YUM!)

Chocolate Cupcakes: Theme and Variation

I had to make a lot of cupcakes this weekend, for two different events. So I used two boxes of chocolate cake mix and made two different kinds of cupcakes.

To make the star-shaped chocolate-coconut cupcakes, I used these star-shaped foil baking cups that I found at the dollar store (they're made by Reynolds and they have stars, hearts and other box of cake mix makes 24 star-shaped cupcakes, or you can use them to make brownies or cookies or whatever). I filled them with the chocolate cake batter then pressed a coconut-filled Hershey's Kiss down into the center of each one. When they were baked, I topped them with a dollop of chocolate frosting, another coconut Kiss, and a sprinkling of toasted coconut.

To make the chocolate-peanut cupcakes, I used foil baking cups. I filled each one with chocolate cake batter, then pressed a mini peanut butter cup into each. After baking them I topped them with homemade peanut butter icing (surprisingly easy and yummy) and half a peanut butter cup.

Peanut Butter Icing:

3 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup peanut butter
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Just beat the cream cheese and peanut butter with an electric mixer, then beat in the powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla.

Lentil, Garbanzo Bean and Tomato Salad... and a Mistake

First I'll give you the original (very simple) recipe... then I'll tell you what I ended up making after I managed to mess everything up :)

2 1/2 cups water
1 cup lentils
2 large carrots, peeled, diced
1 bay leaf
1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 basket cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup chopped fresh parsley (I used basil and thyme instead)
4 green onions, chopped (I only used 2)
4 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper

Combine water, lentils, carrots and bay leaf in saucepan. Bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until lentils are just tender, about 25 minutes. Drain; transfer to large bowl. Cool. Mix all remaining ingredients into lentils. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared four hours ahead; cover and refrigerate.)

* * *

Sounds simple enough, right? Well, this is what I did. For the first step, I substituted ingredients that I had on hand: red lentils (not realizing they are softer and smaller than regular lentils), red potatoes instead of carrots, and chopped fresh basil and thyme instead of the bay leaf. After 15 minutes I picked up the lid to check on the lentils and they were MUSH. Apparently the red lentils cook more quickly...

So instead of lentils, I popped some quinoa in the rice cooker (no risk of overcooking it that way), then mixed the cooked quinoa with all the other recipe ingredients. It came out DELICIOUS. Really, I can't imagine that the lentils would be as good as the quinoa because it was fantastic. I also thought that the basil and thyme made all the difference.

But I didn't want to waste the lentil-potato mush, so I added olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper and mixed everything together well...and I had it for lunch. It was actually quite delicious--it tasted like a combination of mashed potatoes and hummus. Let's call it: Herbed Red Lentil-Potato Mash. You should try it :)