Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Lemon Dessert

I've been on vacation for the last week - so weird to eat out (mostly fast food b/c of my kiddos) for every meal. Looking forward to some home cookin' this week!! I am getting excited about this week's menu - and our 4th of July weekend!!

We've been invited to a BBQ/Pool party on the 4th - and I've been asked to make a dessert and an appetizer - so I'm on the look out for some new recipes...

This dessert looks so elegant - so summery, fresh, and delicious! Maybe I'll make these...

Lemon Dessert... from What the Craft?

Fillo Dough - this is found in the freezer section of the grocery store
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup sugar

If this is your first time using Fillo Dough, read the directions on the box. It dries out easily, so you will want to cover it with a damp towel when you are not using it. Take 2 sheets of Fillo Dough, they will be on top of each other, sprinkle it lightly with butter and sugar. Layer 2 more sheets of dough on top of the first two and sprinkle it again with butter and sugar. You will then cut the dough into 6 squares. Spray a cupcake pan with Pam, and press each of the squares into one of the cups. The Fillo dough comes with 2 packages of dough. I usually only use one of the packages, it should make around 36 crusts. Bake at 350 for 5-6 minutes until it is light brown. Watch the time, depending on the oven, you may need more or less time.

Lemon Curd
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
1 cup whipping cream

In the top of a double boiler, beat eggs and sugar. Stir in lemon juice, butter and lemon peel. Cook over simmering water for 15 minutes or until thickened. Let this cool. Refrigerate.

Right before serving the dessert, whip the cream, and stir it into the lemon curd. Spoon a few tablespoons of the lemon mixture into the Fillo cups and top with berries. You will want to serve the dessert soon after filling the cups.


Challah Bread

I got this recipe off of the Sisters Cafe food blog - they have TONS of great recipes! I love homemade bread - and this is such a good one...

Challah Bread... Sisters Cafe
3 T
2 cups warm water
½ c. sugar
1 T salt
½ c. canola oil
7-8 c. flour
4 or 5 large eggs

Add water to mixing bowl. Sprinkle yeast over water. Then sprinkle sugar, then salt. Let proof. Add oil and 3 cups of flour. Mix together. Add eggs. Mix well. Then add 4 cups of flour. Mix. Add more flour as needed – usually 1 ½ to 2 cups more. Hand knead if mixer didn’t knead enough. Let rise at least 1 hour. Separate into 3 large pieces or 36 small rolls. Divide each piece into three more pieces. Roll into snakes and braid together. Let rise for about 1-2 hours or until almost double in size. Then brush with egg wash (1 egg mixed with 1 Tb water) over bread. Sprinkle with poppy seeds or sesame seeds if you want.

Bake at 350° until done (16-18 minutes). Makes 3 loaves

Friday, June 26, 2009

Wasatch Pizza

We are on vaca in SLC right now and got to have Krystal & Co. over for dinner - we ordered pizza from my favorite Utah pizza place - Wasatch Pizza! They have so many fantastic 'designer' pizzas - and even your plain old, plain old pizza's are just better from Wasatch. (Nice that 2 of the contributors of this blog got together and ordered pizza!)
"Wasatch Pizza is simply Salt Lake City's best
gourmet pizza... I can't go anywhere but
Wasatch Pizza for that real hand-made gourmet taste..."

Last night we dined on:

The Grizzly Gulch
Italian sausage, artichoke hearts, feta, mozzerella and pesto (instead of marinara). Yumma.
So, I've got pizza on the brain - then I saw a commercial for Dominos pizza's "American Legends" pizzas - I looked 'em up and WOWSA -

Pacific Veggie Pizza
Roasted red peppers, spinach, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes and black olives with feta and provolone cheeses on a parmesan crust.

California Chicken Bacon Ranch Pizza
Succulent chicken breast, white sauce, smoked bacon and tomatoes on a provolone crust.

Buffalo Chicken Pizza
Tender chicken breast, hot sauce, and onions with provolone and American cheeses on a cheddar crust.

Memphis BBQ Chicken Pizza
Tender chicken breast, BBQ sauce and onions with provolone and cheddar cheeses on a cheddar crust.

Looks good right? I hope someone makes/orders pizza tonight!!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Spinach and Cheese Manicotti

I got this recipe from my sister a couple of years ago for Cheese Manicotti – I just add spinach – gotta get those kiddos big and strong!

I recently re-discovered my blender. I don’t have a food processor (yet) or an immersion blender (yet, yet) but a few months ago, in a pinch – I looked in my ‘small appliance’ cupboard and saw my lonely blender. With the spinach in this recipe, you can chiffonade it but – the fast way is to stick all ingred (except Manicotti and Marinara) in your blender and zing! Or, you could use frozen spinach (which is already chopped up in bite sized pieces).

Spinach and Cheese Manicotti
1 bag (6 oz) baby spinach
8 oz Manicotti
1 ½ c ricotta cheese
2 c cottage cheese (I actually just to 3 ½ c cottage cheese)
½ c Parmesan
1 ½ c Mozzerella
1 T dried parsley flakes
2 t kosher salt
¼ t pepper
3 to 4 cups marinara sauce

Don’t cook the manicotti. Combine all ingredients except manicotti and sauce. To pipe, put the filling in a small Ziploc bag and cut the corner (using a sandwich sized Ziploc is just easier to manage). Also, another easy tip - I put the Ziploc in a coffee mug and fold the 'zip' part away from the baggie - this way you can spoon the filling into the bag - with no mess! Then just zip and pipe away! Put a little marinara on the bottom of the casserole, fill those babies up, then drown them in marinara. Bake covered at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, uncover, top with mozzarella and bake 10 more minutes.
This makes 2 – 8x8 casseroles or 1 – 9x13 (one to eat and one to freeze - or share!)

Monday, June 22, 2009

Italian Breaded Pork Chops

For Father's Day my hubs always gets to choose the menu. Per his request, I made my 'Potato Crust Quiche' for breakfast and he requested pork chops for dinner. I am no fan of pork chops - probably my least favorite thing on the planet to eat. But - it was Father's Day so I had to oblige. I wanted to try a new recipe that kicks the old 'chop' up - and I found this. I really wish I could remember where I found it - I need to be better about giving credit where it's due! I think that I found it through "Nanny Goat" a while back they had a recipe swap. Nanny Goat is the funnest blog! A recent find - 2 sisters (pretty sure they are Utah based) that have a TON of crafty ideas. Check it out at www.littlenannygoat.blogspot.com

Back to business. I made these and the kids and I were pleasantly surprised how good they were! Hubs even went back for seconds - they were that good. I'll have to get this recipe into the mix again!

Italian Breaded pork chops
4-5 boneless pork chops
1 1/2 cups Italian bread crumbs
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup parsley
2 eggs
2 Tablespoons milk
olive oil
seasoning salt
garlic powder

In a shallow dish whip eggs and milk together. In a second shallow bowl, mix bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, and parsley.
Season each pork chop (both sides) with seasoning salt and garlic powder.
Dip each pork chop in egg mixture then generously coat with bread crumb mixture.
Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Cook pork chops till breading becomes golden (couple min on each side).
Place pork chops in a baking dish and cook for 25 minutes at 325 degrees.

Fast Food Fun

This idea & directions on making it come from this website:


I got the idea from my friend, Aubrey, when she posted them on her blog. I made these for our Father's Day BBQ yesterday and they were such a hit!! What a cute idea for any BBQ party. I added fry sauce made out of frosting to dip your fry cookies in (that's not part of the instructions from the above link).

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Sumer Vegetable Crepes

I copied this from the MSN 'foodie page' I'm sorry I don't have the link - but I copied it word for word - these are so delicious! Seriously. They sound so complicated - but when you read through the entire recipe - you realize these are super easy -and you can totally cater these to your tastes...

Summer Vegetable Crepes
1/3 cup(s) reduced-fat sour cream
1/2 cup(s) chopped fresh chives, divided, plus more for garnish
3 tablespoon(s) low-fat milk
2 teaspoon(s) lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon(s) salt, divided
1 tablespoon(s) extra-virgin olive oil
2 cup(s) chopped zucchini
1 1/4 cup(s) chopped green beans
1 cup(s) fresh corn kernels, (from 1 large ear; see Tip)
1 cup(s) part-skim ricotta cheese
1/2 cup(s) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/4 teaspoon(s) freshly ground pepper
4 9-inch "ready-to-use" crêpes (see Tip)

Stir sour cream, 1/4 cup chives, milk, lemon juice and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a small bowl until combined. Set aside.
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add zucchini, green beans and corn and cook, stirring, until beginning to brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Reduce heat to low; stir in ricotta, Monterey Jack, the remaining 1/4 cup chives, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper. Cook, stirring gently, until the cheese is melted, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.
To roll crêpes, place one on a piece of parchment or wax paper (or leave it on the piece of plastic separating the crêpes in the package). Spoon one-fourth of the vegetable-cheese mixture (about 3/4 cup) down the center of the crêpe. Use the paper (or plastic) to help you gently roll the crêpe around the filling. Place the crêpe seam-side down on a dinner plate. Repeat with the remaining crêpes and filling. Serve each crêpe topped with 2 tablespoons of the reserved sauce and more chives, if desired.
Tips: To remove kernels, stand a cob on its stem end in a bowl and slice them off with a sharp, thin-bladed knife. "Ready-to-use" crêpes are fast and convenient. Look for them in the produce section of the market or near refrigerated tortillas.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Super Sweet Seven Layer Dip

I can't remember where I got this recipe - but man, is it good - and the kids LOVE the presentation and the taste!!

Super Sweet 7 Layer Dip
peanut butter (refried beans)
Nutella (even better than guacamole if you ask me!)
Marshmallow Creme (sour cream)
Shredded coconut (grated cheese)
Chocolate chips (black olives)
Salted peanuts (a salty instead of spicy jalepenos)
Gummies (Bears, worms, the sky is the limit. Sounds weird to add those at the end, but they represent all the colors in salsa!)
Nilla Wafers (Tortilla Chips)

The kids pick the gummies (I use worms just for the eewww factor kids love!) off and then scoop away til they lick the plate clean!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Ham and Pesto Pasta

The kiddos were beggin me for pasta the other night. I rummaged in the fridge and came up with this! And can I just tell you that I could squeeze their chubby little faces for askin'!

Cubed Ham
Diced Onions
Cooked Pasta
Pesto Sauce

Put the ham and onion in a pan and fry ‘em up, just til the onions are tender and sweet. Cook pasta separately. Add together and dress. 2 of my kids have allergies, so they had this with pesto sauce. My 4 year old is a total foodie – so she and I had it with the Creamy Basil Dressing I posted below. Ooohhh. And I could’ve added Mozzarella too – but I don’t have any!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Black Bean Burritos

When I said that I was going vegetarian Jen V. emailed me this recipe that she found on allrecipes.com. I made them tonight for dinner and they were SUPER yummy. Thanks so much for sending me this Jen. They were awesome!

2 (10 inch) flour tortillas
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 teaspoon minced jalapeno peppers
3 ounces cream cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Wrap tortillas in foil and place in oven heated to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Bake for 15 minutes or until heated through.
Heat oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Place onion, bell pepper, garlic and jalapenos in skillet, cook for 2 minutes stirring occasionally. Pour beans into skillet, cook 3 minutes stirring.
Cut cream cheese into cubes and add to skillet with salt. Cook for 2 minutes stirring occasionally. Stir cilantro into mixture.
Spoon mixture evenly down center of warmed tortilla and roll tortillas up. Serve immediately.

* I would definitely recommend doubling the recipe for a family. When it called for only two tortillas I thought that it would for sure make more filling than that but it really only made enough for about 2 and 1/2 to 3 burritos depending on how full you stuff them.

BTW - Some of you have asked how the vegetarian thing is going. Thus far it's going great. I don't feel deprived at all and have been eating delicious meals. I have discover hummus to get some protein and I love it.

Spinach Salad

Tonight - we are having the Basil Dressing listed below on Spinach Salad. A fav.

Spinach Salad
1 bunch spinach
1 c thinly sliced mushrooms
1 hard boiled egg, grated
1/2 tsp. fresh dill, or 1/8 tsp dried
2 T Bacon Bits (I love the Hormel ‘real bacon crumbles’)
Traditionally served with poppyseed dressing

While still in a bunch, cut stems from spinach leaves. Wash leaves thoroughly to remove sand or silt. Spin, shake or pat dry to remove moisture.Tear leaves into bite size pieces, place in large bowl along with mushrooms, egg, dill and bacon bits. Dress.

Creamy Basil Dressing

When we lived in SLC, one of our favorite restaurants was the Red Butte Café. So yummy. Their ‘house’ dressing was a Creamy Basil. It. Was. So. Good. Now that I live too far to frequent that joint – I made up my version – an ‘Ode to Red Butte Cafe's Creamy Basil House Dressing’ or 'OTRBC'sCBHD' for short!

Creamy Basil Dressing
½ c sour cream
1 c mayonnaise
½ c milk
1 c pesto
1 T apple cider vinegar
1 t Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste

The dressing will keep in your fridge for 3+ weeks.

Mix all together and voila! I have served this over green salad, spinach salad and I’ve even heated it up in the microwave and used it as a pasta sauce – holy moly. The pesto I use is the Kirkland brand jar of pesto – when I bring it home, I just put a meal size portions into little jam jars and freeze them.

*I LOVE the fresh factor of pesto so I use a lot – you may want to try it ¼ c at a time.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle

I was asked to bring dessert for Thanksgiving a few years ago and wanted to try something new. My hubby and I aren't really big on pumpkin pie but I wanted something with that same kind of fall flavor. I got this from Food Network and it's been a big hit for two years now.

2 (14 ounce) packages gingerbread mix
1 (5.1 ounce) box instant vanilla pudding
1 (30-ounce) can pumpkin pie filling
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 teaspoon cinnamon
1 (12 ounce) container whipped topping
1/2 cup gingersnaps

Bake the gingerbread according to the package directions; cool completely. Meanwhile, prepare the pudding and set aside to set up. Stir the pumpkin pie filling, brown sugar, and cinnamon into the pudding once the pudding is set up. Crumble or cube half of the gingerbread and layer in the bottom of a large bowl or trifle dish. Pour half of the pumpkin mixture over the gingerbread, then add a layer of whipped topping. Repeat with the remaining gingerbread, pudding and whipped topping. Sprinkle the top with crushed gingersnaps. Refrigerate overnight.

*the recipe calls for 2 boxes of gingerbread mix but I have found that one is plenty

Potato Corn Chowder

I know that it's June and you would normally be thinking about some good BBQ but, with all the rain lately I was reminded of my favorite soup recipe. I got this recipe from Food Network about 2 years ago and it's a family favorite at my house. I always make this soup on the first day that we get snow.

2 tablespoons butter
1 onion diced
2 garlic cloves minced
1/4 cup flour
6 cups vegetable broth
2 cups heavy cream
2 good size potatoes peeled and diced
2 1/2 cups corn

Heat the butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until the onion is good and soft, about 8 to 10 minutes. Dust the veggies with the flour and stir to coat everything well. Pour in the vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Add the cream and potatoes, bring to a boil and boil hard for about 10 minutes, until the potatoes break down. Add the corn and continue to boil until the corn is cooked. Salt and pepper to taste.

*you can also put some crumbled bacon on top.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Jen’s Baby Back Ribs

My Mother-in-law LOVES baby back ribs. Like a crazy person. A few years ago, I whipped out these babies and she thought they were the bees knees.

Hubs and I like our ribs grilled. But, when I want to make something special for my him – without him having to do all the work – I make these. Puts a smile on his face everytime.

Jen’s Baby Back Ribs
3 racks (about 1 lb each) pork baby back ribs, each cut in half
BBQ Sauce:
1 c ketchup
¼ c apple cider vinegar
3 T dark brown sugar (you can also use light)
3 T Worcestershire sauce
1 t liquid smoke
½ t salt
Put ribs in a large pot with enough water to cover them. Bring water to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 1 hour or until ribs are fork tender. Mix all sauce ingredients together in a med sauce pan and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered, stirring often, for 30 minutes or until slightly thickened. Heat broiler. Line broiler or cookie sheet with foil for easy cleanup. Place ribs, meat side down, brush with ½ the sauce and broil 4 – 5 inches from heat source for 6 – 7 minutes with the over door slightly ajar. Turn ribs over, brush with remaining sauce and broil again for 6 – 7 minutes longer or until edges are slightly charred.

*If you don’t have a ‘broiler’ set the temp to 550 degrees and leave the oven door cracked open – same time requirements.

Mike’s Deli Famous Eggplant Parmigiana

My friend made Eggplant Parmigiana yesterday – and I thought about how I haven’t made that in so long! I use this recipe that I found on Food Network’s ‘Throwdown with Bobby Flay’ he went up against Mike from Mike’s Deli (in NYC) he won the Throwdown with it! This recipe seems a little tricky (b/c of the frying step) but it’s not I use my dutch oven with just a little oil – I do the eggplant a few at a time – and DON’T forget the lid!!

Mike’s Deli Famous Eggplant Parmigiana
2 large eggplants
4 eggs
Bread crumbs
1 qt. marinara sauce
8 oz. sliced DRY mozzarella
4 oz. grated Romano

Preheat oven to 350 and heat oil in a large pan, dutch oven or deep-fryer. Peel the eggplant and slice into ¼” thick slices. Coat each side of the eggplant with the flour.

In a separate bowl beat 4 eggs and dip the eggplant into the egg to coat both sides. Then take your bread crumbs and do the same to coat each side.
Once the oil is hot, put the eggplant in the hot oil and fry until golden brown. If using a deep fryer also leave in for a about 2 to 3 minutes each.
Once all of the eggplant has been fried, get a 9x13” casserole dish and start layering by adding the marinara sauce to the bottom of the pan, then the eggplant, more sauce, mozzarella, Romano, and continue to layer until you have reached the top of the pan. Top off with sauce, mozzarella and grated Romano. Place the eggplant into the oven and cook for 20 – 25 minutes.

*Instead of the Romano, I just use the grated Parmesan cheese I have in my fridge at all times!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Recipe Contest

Yahoo! My recipe was chosen as a finalist in the "Summer Recipe Contest 2009" on I didn't sign up for this's http://www.shellystout.blogspot.com/ blog! Yippe! She chose my Caribbean Salad Recipe - yeah! She also chose another recipe called "Rio Sweet Pork" which I am certain is similar to my "Cafe Rio Pork Salad" recipe - yum. That girl has taste! She has some really awesome prizes - cross your fingers for me!!

Caribbean Salad

1/4 c Grey Poupon mustard (the smooth kind)
1/4 c Honey
1 c Mayonnaise
1 T Sesame seed oil
1 1/2 T apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 t lime juice
1 1/2 T sugar
Blend all together, cover and chill. I make this a little ahead so the flavors have time to mesh. I usually double the recipe - it keeps for about a month.

Lettuce (I use romain)
Black beans
Tortilla chips
Mandarin oranges
Pineapple chunks
Your favorite teriyaki sauce (mine is Yoshidas)
pico de gallo (or like tonight - I just used fresh salsa and drained the juice out of it)
and I add cucumber

Marinate the chicken in Teriyaki sauce for atleast 2 hours - grill and cube. Add all other components - and try not to drool before you take your first bite.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Cheesy Ham and Broccoli Crescent Braid

I saw this recipe on My Kitchen Cafe (link on the side bar) and couldn't resist! It sounded so delicious - and I just happened to have those ingred in my fridge! I made it for dinner last night and wowsa...

Cheesy Ham and Broccoli Crescent Braid
1 1/2 cups cooked ham, diced
1 cup fresh broccoli florets, cut into bite-size pieces
1 T dried parsley
2 T Dijon mustard
2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
1 8 oz Pillsbury Crescent Recipe Creations

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine ham, broccoli, parsley, mustard and cheese. Stir well. Unroll the crescent roll dough and arrange flat on an 11X17 baking sheet. Using a knife or scissors, cut 1 inch wide strips in towards the center, starting on the long sides. There should be a solid strip about 3 inches wide down the center, with the cut strips forming a fringe down each side. Spread the filling along the center strip (it will be piled high but the strips will reach over the mound of filling when it is braided). Fold the side strips over filling, alternating strips from each side and pressing them into the dough on the opposite side, forming a braid. Pinch or twist to seal.Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes until deep golden brown. Cut into slices and serve immediately.

*I eliminated the parsley (was in a hurry) and didn’t have Swiss cheese – so I used Cheddar and added diced onion – so good – and simple! The kiddo's macked this!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Chicken Enchiladas

It seems like we have a lot of Mexican recipes already, but this is a new / different take on enchiladas I got from my Mother-in-Law, April. Hope you enjoy them as much as we did!

Enchiladas Suisse

1 onion, finely chopped
1/8 teaspoon Lawry's Garlic Powder w Parsley (I used fresh garlic 1 teaspoon chopped and fresh chopped parsley)
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 package (1.58oz.) Lawry's Enchilada Sauce Mix
1 can (6oz.) tomato paste
3 cups water
1 small can (4 oz.) fire roasted diced green chilies
3 cups cooked, shredded chicken
Salt and Pepper, to taste
3 chicken bouillon cubes
2 cups heavy cream
12 flour tortillas
2 cups (1/2 lb.) grated Monterey Jack cheese

In a large skillet, sauté onion and garlic and parsley in vegetable oil until onion is tender.
In a saucepan, combine Enchilada Sauce Mix, tomato paste and water; blend thoroughly. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 2 cups prepared Enchilada Sauce, green chilies and shredded chicken to onion; simmer 5 minutes.
Pour remaining Enchilada Sauce in bottom of 13x9x2-inch baking dish; set aside. Meanwhile, combine bouillon cubes and heavy cream; heat until bouillon cubes dissolve; keep warm.
To assemble enchiladas, soften tortillas by dipping into hot cream mixture. Place 1/3 cup chicken on each tortilla and roll up. Place seam 350-degreeon sauce in baking dish. Pour remaining cream mixture over enchiladas and top with grated cheese.
Bake in 350 degree oven 25 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Makes 6 to 8 servings

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Cottage Cheese Chicken Enchiladas

So, if you haven't figured it out by now, (my last 3 posts!) I have a 3lb. tub of cottage cheese that will go bad in a few days. So, I've done everything I can possibly to do use it up - mission accomplished!!

Cottage Cheese Chicken Enchiladas
1 T vegetable oil
2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - boiled and shredded
1/2 c chopped onion
1 7 oz can chopped green chile peppers
1 1 oz package taco seasoning mix
1/2 c sour cream
2 c cottage cheese
1 t salt
1 pinch ground black pepper
12 6” corn tortillas
2 c shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 10 oz can red enchilada sauce

Heat oil in medium skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken, onion and green chile peppers and saute until browned, then add taco seasoning and prepare meat mixture according to package directions.

Seperately, in a medium bowl mix sour cream with cottage cheese and season with salt and pepper; stir until well blended.

In each tortilla place a spoonful of meat mixture, a spoonful of cheese mixture and a bit of shredded cheese. Roll tortillas and place in a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking dish. Top with any remaining meat and cheese mixture, enchilada sauce and remaining shredded cheese. Bake for 30 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

*Instead of enchilada sauce - I used cream of chicken soup - because of the little ones in my house! Also - this makes about 10 enchiladas. I made 2 casseroles with this recipe. One for dinner tonight and one to freeze for a lazy day.

Guacamole Mixed Up

I try to add extras into my food - my little ones really need all that good nutrition! So, I came up with a recipe for guacamole that adds a bit more veggie & calcium for those little bones!


1 c cottage cheese
2 avocados - peeled, pitted, and mashed
1 4 oz can diced green chilies
salt and pepper to taste

I had 'small curd' cottage cheese - so I used (my neighbors) immersion blender to whip it into a creamy consistency - to make it more appealing - and so the kiddos (and hubs) are clueless...

Summer Recipe Contest

This cute stay at home Mama (super creative/crafty/awesome) is having a recipe contest! Yahoo! Click on the link below for details:
Submit your recipes before June 11, 2009. On June 12th, She'll announce my top five recipes that I will try. Then I will get cookin’ and let my family be the judge. On June 22th I will announce the WINNERS!

Light Chicken Enchiladas

Light Chicken Enchiladas:

1 Med. Onion
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. oil (veg)
3 cloves garlic minced or pressed (about 1 tbsp)
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 large can enchilada sauce
1 cup water
1 lb. boneless skinless Chicken breasts
8 oz. light shredded cheddar cheese (2 cups)
1 (4 oz. can) pickled jalapeno chilies, drained and chopped
½ cup minced fresh cilantro leaves
12 (6 inch) soft corn tortillas

Preheat oven to 400. Combine onion, oil, and salt in large saucepan. Cover and cook over medium-low heat, stirring often until onion has softened. Stir in garlic and cumin. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in enchilada sauce and water. Simmer and cook until slightly thickened.
Nestle chicken into sauce. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook until thickest part is no longer pink. (10-12 min). Transfer chicken to plate; set aside to cool. Strain sauce through med. Mesh strainer into medium bowl, pressing on onions to extract as much liquid as possible; discard onion. Season sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
Once chicken is cool enough to handle, shred into bite-sized pieces. Toss together shredded chicken, ½ cup of enchilada sauce, 1 cup cheddar cheese, jalapeños, and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Stack tortillas on a microwave safe plate, cover with plastic wrap, and microwave on high until warm and pliable, 40-60 seconds. Spread warm tortillas out over clean work space. Place ¼ cup of mixture evenly down center of each tortilla. Tightly roll each tortilla around filling and lay seam-side down in 13x9 baking dish.
Lightly spray tops of enchilada with nonstick cooking spray. Pour 1 cup of remaining sauce over enchiladas to coat thoroughly. Sprinkle remaining cup cheddar down center of enchiladas. Cover with foil and bake until heated through, 20-25 min.

*I don’t use jalapeños and they are still great.
**I use a zip-lock gallon bag instead of a plate and plastic wrap, works great.

Chicken Vesuvio

This is one of my favorite easy chicken recipes:
1 pack of bone in, skin on, chicken. (Either breasts or thighs or both)
Salt and pepper
Oregan and Thyme
5 or 6 small potatoes (red or yellow)
frozen (or canned) artichoke hearts
2 Tbs. butter
Gralic (chopped fine) I use the stuff in the jar
Chicken Stock/and or White Wine

*salt and pepper both sides (breasts and thighs with skin)
*Sear both sides golden in hot pant coated in olive oil (start skin side down)
*Half small red potatoes (Quarter larger potatoes)
*remove chicken and brown/golden potatoes
*Chop garlic and add when potatoes are near golden (2-3 cloves)
*salt, oregano, thyme added
*Add wine (1/2 cup) and chicken stock (1 c) when potatoes are golden
*scrap bottom of pan for good stuff
*replace chicken skin side up
*bake in oven (covered) at 450 for about 20 min.
*remove chicken and potatoes
*add defrosted artichoke hearts and 2 tablespoons of butter
*bring to very fast simmer for about 1 min.
*Pour over chicken and potatoes

Monday, June 8, 2009

Cottage Potatoes

Dinner tonight – Krystals Teriyaki Lime Chicken, Cottage Potatoes and green salad (not pictured). This is the second time we’ve made the chicken – in a month – it is sooo good. The Cottage Potatoes recipe is my altered version of Paula Deen’s recipe of the same name. When my hubs came in from the grill he said “we have a serious problem here” what? We ran out of propane? The chicken got scorched? What? “now I’m gonna want to put bacon on everything I eat.” Cottage Potatoes
5 potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 small onion, chopped
1 1/2 c cottage cheese
Chives, diced
1 cup sour cream
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
Salt & pepper to taste

Place potatoes in a large pot of water and boil until tender when pierced with a fork.
Preheat oven to 350. Butter a 9x3 inch casserole dish. In a large mixing bowl, combine potatoes, onion, chives, cottage cheese, and sour cream. Transfer mixture to the prepared casserole dish. Top with Cheddar cheese. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes.

Wanton Chinese Chicken Salad

I LOVE this recipe, so I thought you guys would like it too!

1 Head of Lettuce
1/2 pkg of Silvered Almonds (We like to candy them. Mix with water and sugar until coated.)
1-2 lbs of chicken, cooked and shredded
1/2 pkg wantons (fried in oil until golden brown and crushed up)
1/2 pkg chinese noodles
Little green onions to taste
1 can of mandarin oranges


1/4 c. sugar
2 tsp Accent Salt
1 tsp black pepper
2 tsp salt
1/2 c. vegetable oil
1/3 c. rice vinegar

When you are ready to serve, mix all ingredients together. Mix well! It is really good, but only last a couple of hours because the lettuce and wantons will go soggy.

Mac and Cheese

I loved this mac n' cheese when I was pregnant with my boys. It is a tad healthier than plain ole' Southern style gooey scrumptionous!!

1 box elbows or whatever pasta you have in your pantry (I never have elbows)
Chicken Broth, Organic (add enough broth to measure two inches above pasta)
2 c. Ricotta Cheese, whole milk, all natural
8 oz. Colby Jack, shredded
dash nutmeg
4 turns of sea salt grinder
1 tbsp butter
1/4 c. wheat germ
1/4 c. grated Parmesan
1/4 c. bread crumbs
1 tsp sundried tomato paste
1/4 tsp. lemon juice

-Cook pasta in chicken broth, drain when fully cooked (should not be a lot of broth to drain)
-Meanwhile in a saucepan add ricotta, melt with a some milk. Add colby, nutmeg sea salt. Sauce should be pretty thick but definitely a sauce. DO NOT BOIL!
-In a separate bowl, melt butter; add wheat germ and next four ingredients. (This is the crumb topping.)
-In 9x11 greased pan, add cooked pasta, cover with cheese sauce and mix slightly, enough to cover evenly.
-Add crumb topping evenly over entire pan
-Cook for 20 minutes at 350.
-Let rest for 10 minutes on trivet before serving.

If you want the recipe that sticks to your butt, let me know! There's lots of butter and velveeta! How could that be bad for you right?

Stuffed Shells Florentine

Hi all, Jen requested I post this shells recipe. It freezes easily for quick meals later.

1/2 package frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed to remove as much water as possible.
1 box jumbo shells, cooked just enough to open - let cool on cookie racks on wax paper
1 large container ricotta cheese, whole milk, all natural I like Polly-O
1 egg, slightly beaten
handful grated parmasean
1/2 c potato flakes
16 oz. shredded mozzerella, whole milk, a good mozz will squish a bit when squeezed. It should not be hard.
4 good grinds of sea salt
dash of nutmeg
1 tsp garlic powder

-Mix together all ingredients (except for shells).
-When shells are cool enough to handle, fill with mall cookie/ice cream scoop
-Place in greased 9x11 pan with 1 1/2 cups of your favorite tomato sauce on the bottom of pan
-Place filled shells in pan
-Cover all shells completely with sauce and add some more mozzerella on top if desired.
-Cover with foil and bake at 450 for 40 minutes.
-Remove foil and bake for a final 10 minutes.
-Remove from oven and let rest on a trivet (allows bottom to cool as well) for 10 minutes.

-If freezing for later use, do not cook. Cover pan with plastic wrap and foil and freeze for up to 3 months, cook for 2 hours, unless thawed.

Score Bar Cake

I got this recipe from my sister, Brit. Every time I make it for a BBQ or party, people ask for the recipe, and there are never leftovers! The first time I saw it – and tried it – I said to my sister ‘this must’ve taken you forever!’ Surprisingly – it is simple and quick.

Score Bar Cake
1 box devils food cake mix
8 – 10 Score bars divided

Prepare cake mix per directions on box. When the cake is done, let cool for a few minutes on a wire rack. After 10 minutes or so, flip pans upside down to expel the cake. Leave on a wire rack until completely cool. Wrap the 2 (9x9) rounds in saran wrap and put in freezer. Leave for 30 minutes or so. The cooled cake just makes the next step easier. Remove wrapping. Slice rounds in half. You will end up with 4 rounds. Alternate layers with whipped cream mixture. When cake is assembled, sprinkle remaining candy bars (crushed on top). Keep refrigerated.

Whipped Topping
Whipped topping
1 pint heavy whipping cream
1/3 c powdered sugar
6 crushed Score bars

Whip one pint of heavy cream until pretty stiff (peaks). Add 1/3 c powdered sugar and a splash of vanilla. Continue whipping until combined. Add 6 crushed Score bars.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Steak Wraps

So, plans change. Instead of lasagne, my hubs was craving steak - so we mixed it up. These were delicious - and so easy - you can substitute any meat or even beans into these...

Steak Wraps
Cooked steak, thinly sliced (we grill ours)
Tomatoes, diced
Onion, diced
Avocado, diced
Cheddar cheese, shredded
Tomatillo Ranch Dressing (or whatever you please)

You could also add bell peppers, or green chilis - just whatever you like! We heated the tortillas up with a little butter on the stove top - for that extra crunch. Layer and add your preferences right down the middle of the tortilla, drizzle with dressing (of your choice - even plain old sour cream would work) wrap and munch. You could even use more veggies than steak and make this into a salad! Delicioso!!

Friday, June 5, 2009


Sorry I haven't posted in a bit. My hubs was out of town most of the week - which means left overs, pizza, pasta and fruit for my little ones. Tonight we had hambergers, fresh fruit and a BLT salad. Yum. And I've planned for tomorrow night to have the 'Chicken Lasagne' I already posted! Maybe I'll have to post my garlic cheesy bread recipe tomorrow... hmmmm.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

7 Quick Summer Recipes Under $3 a Serving

I saw this article on MSN today – it’s a good one! These recipes look so yummy – and most of them are Vegetarian friendly! Check it out – wonder which one I’ll make first?

Monday, June 1, 2009

Pesto Calzones

I have a bunch of Feta and Mozzarella that need to get used up – I hate throwing food away! So, I whipped this little baby up. Turned out really good! Can someone please give me some 'food' photog tips? This looked so much more appetizing than it looks here...

Pesto Calzones
Pizza dough (ready made or home made - hubs asked me nicely to make them whole wheat - I had to oblige...)
Pesto sauce (I use Costco’s premade but you could also make it from a ‘dry packet’ in the spice aisle)
Feta, crumbled
Mozzarella Cheese, shredded
Tomatoes, sliced
Pine Nuts

I throw corn meal down on the pan and then set the dough on it. Pat the dough out in a circle like you would with a pizza (I put a little EVOO in my hands to make it easy). Put all ingredients on half the dough, starting with the pesto and ending with the cheeses. Fold the dough over and 'crimp' with a fork. This helps the leakage factor. Cut a few slits in the top of the calzones so they can steam out. Bake at 425 for 15 minutes. This is a good one to cater to your personal tastes. Hubs and I had this one, but the kiddos had theirs with Mozz, Cheddar and Pepperoni. Another fun one for the kids - they can get as crazy as they want!

Mmmmm... I just thought - you could totally make this with premade 'biscuit' dough. Then it would be all light and airy and flakey.... ummm hmmmm...

Flip Flop Cake

I saw this cake on Better Homes & Gardens website www.bhg.com/recipes They have a ton of cute ideas. We went to a BBQ and the kids wanted to make something special for their friends. Aside from cutting the 'shape' the kids did everything else all by themselves! They had a blast. Not the prettiest flips I've ever seen - but yummy!

The original recipe is posted below. I made a few adjustments. Instead of ice cream, I used Cool Whip and sliced strawberries (b/c my kids don't like ice cream... I know!) And I just winged it on the flip flop shape. After they were decorated, I put the cake in the freezer - to help the Cool Whip set until we were ready to eat!
Flip Flop Cake
1 10-3/4oz frozen pound cake, thawed
3/4 to 1 c desired-flavor ice cream
1/2 of an 8oz carton frozen whipped dessert topping, thawed
Pull-apart licorice twists
Bright-color candy wafers and/or round candies
Graham cracker crumbs (optional)
1. Halve pound cake horizontally. Using a serrated knife, cut off the rounded top of the cake so each layer will be level. Cut each half into a flip-flop shape*. Place ice cream in a small bowl and stir to soften. Spread softened ice cream over one of the cakes. Top with second cake. Place ice cream-filled cake on a baking sheet. Cover and freeze until firm (2 to 3 hours). Spread with whipped topping.
2. To decorate, cut the ends of two twists at a diagonal. Insert a toothpick on the underside of each twist. Arrange the two twists with the cut ends together to form a V-shape, inserting toothpicks in cake to hold the twists in place as straps. Arrange candy wafers around base of flip-flop to decorate. Cover cake loosely and freeze until serving time. Serve on a platter sprinkled with graham cracker crumbs as sand, if desired. Makes 6 servings. *They used ‘sprees’ like polka dots to deco too – super cute.
3. Tip: To cut flip-flop shape, trace the bottom of a child-size flip-flop (needs to be 7 to 7 1/2 inches long) on a piece of paper. Cut out shape. Place paper, clean side down, on a piece of clean cardboard or sturdy paper; trace shape. Cut out shape. Place cardboard shape on top of one cake half and use a small sharp knife to cut around shape and through cake. Repeat with other cake half.
4. Cake for 12: For a larger crowd, double recipe and make a pair of flip-flop cakes.


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