Thursday, May 29, 2008

Chicken Puffs****

This is a family favorite that gets four stars from me. I got it from my mom who got the recipe to make for a ward dinner once. My whole family loves it and it is very easy and quick to make. (Plus it is only 10 Weight Watcher Points for one serving if you use reduced fat crescent rolls and reduced fat cream cheese).

1 8 oz package cream cheese
1/4 c. soft butter
1/2 t. garlic salt
1/2 t. salt and pepper
2 cups cooked diced chicken (I often use canned chicken because it is faster and easier, but you can use any cooked chicken you want
1 small can of mushrooms (optional--I don't like mushrooms, so I usually leave them out)
2 cans refrigerated crescent rolls
1 can Campbell's Cream of Chicken & Mushroom Soup
1/3 c. milk
1/8 c. melted butter
1/3 c. bread crumbs

Cream together cream cheese, butter, garlic salt and salt and pepper. Add chicken and mushrooms. Stir well. Place a large tablespoon full of the mixture on each cresent roll and seal the roll around the mixture making a ball. Dip top of each roll in melted butter and bread crumbs. Bake for 20 minutes at 375. Mix soup and milk and warm in microwave. Serve puffs with soup as a gravy. Makes 8 servings of two puffs each.

I served this with steamed broccoli and cauliflower tonight when I made it, but if you want to get fancier you can also serve a jello or other fruit salad as well. I have served this dish for Christmas Day dinner many times because it is easy, but can also be fancy.

Glazed Pork Chops with Asian Flavors

I'd post about my chicken stir fry that I'm making but Ralphie already did. Embarrassing me thoroughly in the process, I might add. So instead I give you this from last night. I had some leftover pork chops in the freezer even though we don't usually eat them or particularly like them (long story). I went looking for a recipe to use them in and so of course I turned to America's Test Kitchen. I've never made a recipe of theirs I didn't like, so of course this gets at least 3 STARS.

And I quote:

If your chops are on the thinner side, check their internal temperature after the initial sear. If they are already at the 140-degree mark, remove them from the skillet and allow them to rest, tented with foil, for 5 minutes, then add the platter juices and glaze ingredients to the skillet and proceed with step 3. If your chops are closer to 1 inch thick, you may need to increase the simmering time in step 2.

Serves 4
1 teaspoon sesame seeds

1/2 cup rice vinegar , plus an additional 2 teaspoons
1/3 cup light brown sugar
3 tablespoons orange juice (I didn't have any around so I used lemon juice)
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard (I didn't have any around and I dislike it so I used about half as much chili paste instead. I used Vietnamese rooster sauce, so the end result was pretty spicy. Vary this as you see fit.)
3 tablespoons mirin (I didn't have any of this so I used about a tablespoon extra rice vinegar and a 1/2 tablespoon extra soy sauce and forged ahead anyway. In retrospect I might skip the extra liquid altogether as the glaze took FOREVER to thicken and I suspect it was the extra liquid I added in place of the mirin.)
1 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger (I was out of this too so I used 1/4 tsp dry ground ginger instead)

4 boneless, center-cut pork loin chops , 5 to 7 ounces each, 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick

Table salt and ground black pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

See Illustrations Below: Message in a Bubble

1. Toast sesame seeds in small dry skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until lightly browned and fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes, set aside in small bowl. (I used pre-toasted sesame seeds I already had on hand for other recipes.) Combine all glaze ingredients except 2 teaspoons rice vinegar in medium bowl; mix thoroughly and set aside. Following illustrations below, trim chops and slash through fat and silver skin with sharp knife, making 2 cuts about 2 inches apart in each chop (do not cut into meat of chops). Pat chops dry with paper towels; season with salt and pepper.

2. Heat oil in heavy-bottomed 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until smoking. Add pork to skillet and cook until well browned, 4 to 6 minutes. Turn chops and cook 1 minute longer; transfer chops to plate and pour off any oil in skillet. (Check internal temperature of thinner chops; see note above.) Return chops to skillet, browned side up, and add glaze mixture; cook over medium heat until center of chops registers 140 degrees on instant-read thermometer, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove skillet from heat; transfer chops to clean platter, tent with foil, and let rest 5 minutes.

3. When chops have rested, add any accumulated juices to skillet and set over medium heat. Simmer, whisking constantly, until glaze is thick and color of dark caramel (heatproof spatula should leave wide trail when dragged through glaze), 2 to 6 minutes. Add remaining rice vinegar and return chops to skillet; turn to coat both sides with glaze. Transfer chops back to platter, browned side up, and spread remaining glaze over chops. Garnish chops with reserved sesame seeds and sesame oil. Serve immediately.

Step-by-Step: Message in a Bubble

NOT YET: Pan surface has just a few small bubbles, and a spatula makes no trails.

JUST RIGHT: Increased bubbles, caramel color, and a spatula just starts to make trails.

TOO LONG: Many large bubbles, ultra-dark glaze, and plenty of exposed pan surface.

Step-by-Step: Prepping Boneless Pork Chops

1. Trim excess fat off each chop with a sharp knife.

2. Cut two slits about 2 inches apart through fat and connective tissue.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Curry Sour Cream Chicken

We had this tonight and it turned out really nicely. I wish I would have had some cilantro on hand for the garnish. But it was fine with everything else.

2 Tbsp olive oil
4 Chicken Breast halves (approx 2 1/2 lbs)
1/2 tsp salt
1 med onion chopped
2 Tbsp water

1/4 cup water
2 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1 cup sour cream

4 cups hot cooked rice


1 drained can of mandarin oranges (the small can)
1/4 cup chopped green onions
2 Tbsp chopped cilantro
1/2 cup flaked coconut
1/4 cup chopped peanuts

Heat oil in skillet. Cook chicken in oil till golden brown - both sides. I added the onion after flipping the chicken over to the next side. Sprinkle salt on chicken and add 2 Tbsp water, heat it to boiling, then reduce heat, cover until chicken no longer pink. Remove chicken and keep warm. Add 1/4 cup water and spices, stirring and scraping up the drippings from chicken and heat to boiling again. Reduce heat to low and stir in sour cream until hot. Pour sauce over chicken and rice. Serve with garnish on top.

Easy BBQ

This makes good summer meal. I really don't like turning on the oven in the summer. You can simmer the sauce with left over shredded roast beef, chicken, pork, or use it with ground beef for sloppy Joe's. This makes enough for about 6 sandwiches. We made this last night with a can of beef from our food storage and it turned out great. We made a macaroni salad to go with and some steamed veggies. This is my adapted version of a Betty Crocker recipe:

1 lb shredded or thinly sliced roast beef
1/4 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper

1 cup ketchup
3 Tbsp white vinegar
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp packed brown sugar
1/4 tsp ground mustard
1/8 tsp black pepper
1 clove garlic chopped, or garlic powder to taste

6 hamburger buns

Heat all ingredients to boiling in a sauce pan over medium high heat. Reduce heat and cover and simmer for about 10 minutes. Serve on hamburger buns.

Pinto Beans and Cornbread

This is what we're eating tonight. Batten down the hatches!

Step by step instructions with photos are on this site:

which, I guess you'll need to copy and paste into your browser. For the beans you just need pinto beans, salt, pepper, and bacon (or a ham hock, etc).

Very healthy and economical ... and ... you can use your food storage.
Oh! And pretty tasty as far as beans go. My husband says only 2 stars if you're comparing it to steak and potatoes. But, it's 3 stars if you're talking comparing to beans. The cornbread is 4 stars.

Bacon Wrapped Chicken Kabobs ***

Bacon Wrapped Chicken Kabobs

1/4 C Soy Sauce
1/4 C Cider Vinegar
2T honey
2T oil
2 Green onions minced

Chicken cubes
Green or Red Pepper
Cherry tomatoes

Cut chicken into cubes and marinade in the soy sauce/vinegar/honey/oil/green onion mixture for 1-2 hours. Boil bacon for 5 minutes (this prevents burning on the grill). Wrap the chicken cubes with half slice of bacon and put on skewer, add other kabob items as desired (something really yummy is to wrap a piece of chicken AND pineapple together in the bacon). Cook on grill for 15 minutes-- be careful, they overcook quickly so keep an eye on them. Be sure to boil the bacon first!

This is a very easy and delicious grill recipe. Blaine's not home tonight so I am not serving it with anything else, though I imagine some rice (with teriyaki sauce?) would be good or noodles or whatever. Very yum.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Taco Soup II

We had taco soup for dinner too! My recipe is almost identical to Gretchen's. I hope you don't mind me posting mine as well. :-)

Taco Soup

1+ lbs ground turkey or beef
Medium yellow onion, diced
1 packet of taco seasoning
1 can of diced mild green chiles
1 can whole kernel corn
1 can diced tomatoes (I like to use the Mexican style for this recipe)
1 can kidney beans
1 can black beans

Brown ground meat with diced onion in a skillet. Drain fat and add packet of taco seasoning. I usually add about ¼ cup of water. Simmer. Meanwhile, in a soup pot, combine all of the canned ingredients. Add meat and onions to soup pot and simmer. Add enough water for desired consistency. We prefer ours thick like chili.

Garnish with shredded Mexican cheese, sour cream, and tortilla chips. Cornbread with honey butter is also good with this soup.

3 stars

Taco Soup

I got this recipe from a very old friend back when we were roommates in college. I'd give this 3 stars.

This is the kind of recipe you can always have the ingredients for around the house. It's basically a long list of canned goods, so it's great for creating and cycling food storage.

1 lb ground beef (I know this isn't a can of something, but I always have some ground beef in my freezer)
1 small onion, diced (again, I know not a can but onions keep FOREVER in the fridge, so I always keep some around - I'm sure you could use dehydrated onions from food storage if you were so inclined)
1 can whole kernel corn (about 15 oz size and include the juice)
1 can pinto or black beans (about 15 oz size and include the juice) (the recipe originally said pinto but I've come to prefer black beans in this and I'm sure you could use soaked dry beans of either kind from your food storage, I've just never tried...yet!)
1 can crushed or diced tomatoes (about 15 oz size and include the juice) (again, the recipe originally said crushed but I've always used diced because we already have them around for other recipes)
1 can tomato sauce (about 15 oz size)
1 small can diced green chilies (about 4 oz)
1 pkg or about 1/4 cup taco seasoning (I buy this in bulk or you could be cool like Kristi and make your own!)

For preparation you have 2 choices:

Regular Prep -
Brown the thawed meat and diced onions in a large pot, then add remaining ingredients and cook until heated through, allowing ingredients some time to simmer.

Crock Pot Prep (the way I usually do it) -
Now here's where I get a little unorthodox. Crock pot recipes always tell you to brown your meat first, which basically defeats the entire point of crock pot cooking if you ask me. Maybe it's supposedly to protect against food poisoning or whatever, but we've never gotten sick. Or maybe it's to improve the flavor, but I've never noticed a difference. So if you want, go ahead and thaw your meat then brown it and the onion first and dirty that extra pan, then put it in the crock pot. Otherwise, try it my super lazy way and be done with dinner prep early in the day so you don't have to think about dinner during that horrid twilight zone in the evening when the kids are terrible and you're beat. You don't even have to remember to thaw beef this way! Stick your tube of frozen beef into the crock pot (with it turned on) while you chop your onions and collect your cans. By the time you're done, the outside of the meat should be thawed enough to slit the wrapper and squeeze the meat out easily into the crock pot. Then dump in all the other ingredients (no need to stir yet) and leave the crock pot turned on for about an hour. Then open up your crock pot and stir. The thawed beef will mix into the soup (scrape the sides of the lump of frozen meat if need be). Depending on how frozen your beef was and how high you turn the heat on your crock pot you may have to go back a couple times. And if you forget, and leave some of the meat until the clump has started cooking, just use a wooden spoon and cut up the chunk of meat right there in the pot. I don't even know how long I leave this, but once it's simmering nicely, you should be good.

We like to serve this with tortilla chips either on the side for dipping or crushed in your bowl and
a dollop of sour cream on top.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Health-Concious Lasagne **

I am currently doing Weight Watchers, so I am always looking for ways to make the dishes I like to eat work for my diet (and still have my family eat it). Yesterday we were having the missionaries over for dinner, so I made lasagne (I had to make something I could prepare ahead of time and then just put in the oven). I learned how to put this lasagna together from my college roommate Ali (not really a recipe) and I usually load it with cheese and sauce and don't really pay attention to quantities, but since I am watching my points, I really paid attention to quantities this time (and so I could post the recipe for all of you). Here it is:

1 package whole wheat lasagna noodles
1 lb extra lean ground beef
1/2 onion - chopped
1 clove of garlic - finely chopped
1 jar 4 cheese pasta sauce (HEB in Texas has a really good 4 cheese pasta sauce)
1 15 oz. container of fat-free ricotta cheese
4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
(optional) 1/2 can of pitted black olives sliced
(optional) sliced mushrooms

Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions (you might be able to just put the uncooked noodles in and they will soften while it is baking, but I have never tried it with whole wheat noodles, so I don't know if that will work). Drain, rinse and set aside. Brown ground beef with with chopped onions and garlic. In the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan, spread a thin layer of pasta sauce, then layer four lasagna noodles. Next spread half of the container of ricotta cheese on the noodles. Put half of the ground beef mixture on top of that. Then put half of the remaining sauce on top of that. Put about half of the parmesan cheese on the sauce, then about half of the mozzarella cheese on top of that. Then layer four lasagna noodles on top of the cheese. Repeat all of the layering reserving about 1/3 cup of mozzarella cheese and a Tablespoon of parmesan cheese for the top. On top of the last layer of noodles put the remaining parmesan and mozzarella cheese and also the 1/4 cup of cheddar cheese. I usually add sliced olives to the top, but didn't have time yesterday. You can also add sliced mushrooms to the top (I just don't like them so I usually don't add them).

Cover with tin foil and bake at 350 for about an hour (until sauce is bubbling and cheese on top is melted).

I would usually give my lasagna 3 stars, but I usually put more cheese and sauce in and don't use fat-free ricotta cheese, so I would give this version just 2 stars. If you don't care about points, add more cheese and sauce.

I served it with a green salad full of lots of different veggies and garlic bread and fruit.

(For those of you who are curious, I calculated it to have about 11 points per serving if it is divided into 8 servings--so a smaller serving would be fewer points).

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Kristi's Krazy Salsa

Lunch 5/24

Blaine and I have tinkered around with making our own salsa ever since we've been married. I made a pretty good one today.

1 large can diced tomatoes, drained
1/2 large onion, chopped
fistful of cilantro (like 1/4 cup full or something)
Juice from half a lime (or just....lime juice or lemon juice)
2 teaspoons of chili powder (or more!)
2 nacho jalepenos (like those slices you put on nachos)
1/4 C green pepper, sliced
1 tsp minced garlic

Put all ingredients in the blender and pulse until nicely combined, if you blend too much your salsa will be to juicy. Also, you may want to put all the other stuff beneath the tomatoes, since the other ingredients take longer to blend (chop or whatever).

Four stars!

Crepes ****

Breakfast 5/24



  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted


  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and the eggs. Gradually add in the milk and water, stirring to combine. Add the salt and butter; beat until smooth.
  2. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each crepe. Tilt the pan with a circular motion so that the batter coats the surface evenly.
  3. Cook the crepe for about 2 minutes, until the bottom is light brown. Loosen with a spatula, turn and cook the other side. Serve hot.

Comments: These were very easy and very delicious! I added some vanilla in the batter, which was nice. Then we served with strawberry jam, whip cream, or butter and powdered sugar (I think Blaine even had one with peanut butter on it). Very easy breakfast with very satisfying results (Gwen is still talking about how much she loved breakfast).

Four stars!

Friday, May 23, 2008

wheat bread

Wondering what to do with all that wheat you have stored up? Here is a great recipe for bread, Thought I would share. It is the easiest one I have found and we love the bread. You can find dough enhancer and Wheat Gluten at a health food store... I just made this for the first time and it was really good, i have never loved wheat bread but this recipe was delicious
4 c. warm water
1 Tbsp. salt
1/3 c. Olive Oil
1/3 c. Honey
1 1/2 Tbsp. Dough enhancer
2 Tbsp. Yeast
7 c. Wheat flour
1/2 c. Wheat gluten
1/4 c. ground flax seed (optional)

Preheat oven to 170
Put ingredients into bowl in order. You can use a bread machine just
mixing or kitchaid mixer or just knead by hand for 12 minutes, if dough is too sticky just add a little more flour.
Make into loaves and put into greased bread pans. Turn off oven and
put loaves in for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes leave loaves in oven-turn heat to 325 for 35 minutes.
Makes 3-4 Loaves


We had this for dinner last night and it was awesome. Seriously, better than Olive Garden. If you don't make it tonight you will be sad. It's not too complicated, but read the directions carefully. Click the link below to go to the eatbetteramerica website for the recipe.

Yummy Sauce

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Crunchy Chicken Strips

Courtesy of Betty Crocker:

2 tbsp butter melted
1 tbsp milk
1 tbsp chopped chives or parsley
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 cups of cornflakes crushed (1 cup)
3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley or 2 tsp of parsley flakes
1/2 tsp paprika
1 3/4 lbs chicken breast cut into strips
2 tbsp butter melted

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Grease 13x9 inch baking pan. Mix melted butter, milk, chives, salt and garlic in one bowl. Mix cornflakes, parsley, and paprika in another bowl. Dip chicken strips one by one into milk mixture, then coat in cornflake mixture. Place in pan. Drizzle with remaining butter. Bake uncovered 20 to 25 minutes. (We cut back on parsley and garlic and added flaked coconut to the cornflakes for variety last night and they turned out really tasty.)

Creamy Potato Salad

Potato salad is great side dish for summer. I made this last night since it was a hot day and I didn't want to have the oven on any longer than I had to. Growing up I hated potato salad, but I really like this recipe.

2 lbs or 6 med potatoes peeled and diced
1 1/2 cups mayo
1 tbsp white vinegar or lemon juice
1 tbsp yellow mustard (I use a teaspoon)
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp dried parsley flakes
2 med stalks celery diced
1/4 cup diced green onions
2 mashed hard boiled eggs

Boil potatoes, hard boil eggs and let cool. Mash eggs. Mix mashed eggs, mayo, vinegar, mustard, salt, pepper, parsley in large glass or plastic bowl. Add potatoes, celery, and onion. Sprinkle with paprika. Cover and refrigerate until serving time.

Blender Whole Wheat Pancakes

Breakfast May 22

I love this recipe because a) it's really good and b) it allows you to use your whole wheat without having a wheat grinder.

1 C whole wheat kernels
1 C milk (or 1 C water and 1/3 C dry milk)
2 Tbs Oil
2 eggs
2 Tbs honey
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder

Put 1 C whole wheat kernels and 1 C milk in blender. Blend 3 minutes. Add eggs, oil, honey and salt, blend for 30 seconds. And baking powder and pulse three times. Make pancakes immediately.

Serve with syrup or peanut butter or just butter or jam, or whatever. The good news also is that Gwen will eat PBandJ pancakes for lunch if we have these around. Sweet.

Three stars.

P.S. I have several variations of this recipe and can't really tell the difference. I think you can get away with just using one egg though. I'll have to see what my other recipe says.

Steak Marinade

Wednesday May 21

I ran into some serious T-Bone steaks for $3.99/lb. Awesome.

Recipe From: Bassett Family cookbook

Pretty much equal parts liquid smoke, Worcestershire, and A1 (I used about 1/3 C of each). Poke holes in steaks, mix ingredients together, put everything in a baggie and marinade for 30-60 minutes. Then season with your favorite seasoning salt. They were yummy.

Three stars!

Corn Bread

This goes great with the following Lentil Soup recipe!

The original recipe is made in an 8x8 pan, but I always double the recipe and make a whole 9x13 pan. Marshall's family eats leftover/slightly stale corn bread in the morning kinda like cereal in a bowl with milk/cream. Apparently it's very southern. Sounded weird to me at first but now I LOVE IT!!!

Corn Bread

2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups corn meal
1/2 cup sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 cups milk
1/2 cup oil
2 eggs

Heat oven to 400˚F. Grease 9x13 pan. Combine dry ingredients. Stir in milk, oil, and egg, mixing just until dry ingredients are moistened. Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Lentil Soup


I got this from the package of HEB lentils.

3-4 slices bacon, chopped
1 medium onion, diced
1 1/2 cups carrots, diced
4 cloves garlic
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes with juice
1 lb bag lentils (2 cups dry)
1 tsp italian herb blend
4 chicken bouillon cubes
8 cups water

Fry bacon in bottom of large stockpot. Add onions, carrots, and garlic and stir-fry over medium high heat until onions are golden brown (about 8 min). Add tomatoes, lentils, italian seasoning, bouillon, and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 35 min or until lentils are tender.

We serve this with cornbread!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Pain au Chocolat

A rather non-authentic French pastry that's great for breakfast or dessert. I lost the recipe for this long ago, so I'm kind of approximating. It's pretty hard to screw up though. I'd say this baby merits 4 stars.

1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
3 Hershey chocolate bars broken along the lines (or whatever chocolate you have laying around. I've used chocolate chips in a pinch)
1 egg white, beaten
butter for greasing the cookie sheet
powdered sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease cookie sheet with butter (or line with parchment paper). Unfold puff pastry on lightly floured cutting board. Dust with flour. Roll out slightly with a rolling pin.

Cut puff pastry as follows (more or got really complicated as I tried to write it out so I decided a diagram was probably preferable to my confusing instructions):

Each pastry piece should be about as wide as a piece of the broken chocolate bar is long.

Brush each piece with the beaten egg white and place a square of chocolate about 1/2 inch from the end of the pastry piece. Roll it up into a log, using your fingers to squish the end into kind of a seal. Leave the sides open. Place the log seal side down on the cookie sheet. Repeat with each pastry rectangle.

Brush tops of each log with egg white then pop them in the oven until the tops start browning. In my oven it's usually about 12 minutes. I'd say check on them at 10 and then just keep an eye on them.

Dust with powdered sugar and enjoy!

*I made this once with a macadamia nut chocolate bar and it was amazing. If I had more time tonight I would have added sliced almonds to the chocolate but I was running late. But I'm pretty sure it would have been the best thing I had ever tasted.

Chicken Stir Fry ****

Chicken Stir Fry

(This is actually Gretchen's recipe. Some one whom I love almost as much as the food she makes. This dish is healthy, light, and takes about 30 minutes from start to finish. A great “Oh crap it’s 5:30 and I’m eating skittles because I’m hungry” kind of meal.)

2 chicken breasts, cubed
4 Tbs. soy sauce
sesame oil
2 Tbs. chili garlic sauce (vary depending on how spicy you like it- find it in Asian foods section of grocery store)
1 lb. package frozen stir fry vegetables
1 Tbs. brown sugar
garlic salt to taste
4 Tbs. corn starch

1. Cook chicken in large frying pan on high heat with 2 Tbs. soy sauce and a little sesame oil until almost dried out. Add chili garlic sauce and cook an additional 1 minutes.
2. Add frozen vegetables. Stir fry on high heat until vegetables are mostly thawed. As you stir fry, add brown sugar, remaining soy sauce, and garlic salt to taste.
3. Cook until vegetables reach desired level of doneness. Stir in lemon juice. While stirring, add corn starch mixed with a little water. Cook about 1-2 minutes, until sauce thickens. Serve over rice. Makes about 3-4 servings.

Cheesy Chicken And Rice

Cheesy Chicken and Rice ****

(This is a recipe that I made up after tasting my sister's similar version of it. A family favorite. In fact, when Erin was little she would say “Chicken and rice!” when she meant “I love you.” )
½ onions chopped
1 cup celery chopped
2 cubes chicken bullion
3 cups water
1 ½ cups uncooked rice
2 chicken breasts cubed
1 can cream of chicken
1 ½ grated Colby jack cheese

In large skillet melt butter, add onions and celery. Sauté. Add water, bullion cubes and rice and allow to simmer for 7-10 min or until rice is cooked. In small sauce pan cook cubed chicken, add cream of chicken soup and melt in cheese. Add chicken mixture to rice and stir slowly. Heat through and serve.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Easy Chicken Bake

This is one I used to make in college. I was being lazy and I had all the ingredients so this is what we had tonight for dinner. It's right on the Stove Top Stuffing box. But you can buy generic, save a little bit of money and still use this recipe, right?

1 lb of chicken breast diced
1 6 oz box of stuffing (chicken or herb flavor)
1 can of cream of chicken soup
1/3 cup sour cream
1 bag frozen mixed veggies, thawed and drained

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix diced chicken, soup, sour cream, and veggies in the bottom of 9x13 baking dish. Make stuffing according to directions. Spread stuffing on top of mixture. Put in the oven uncovered for about 30 minutes or until chicken is done and soup is bubbling on the sides of pan. Let cool a bit and enjoy. It's nothing fancy, but its tasty enough and filling and easy on days when you don't have much time.

Broccoli Chicken Casserole

3 stars

I'm sure everyone has a recipe just like this, but to me this is unique because it's really the only casserole I make. I like that it's vegetabley (too few veggies is one of my biggest casserole gripes) and it's got a nice sour quality with lemon juice and sour cream. I'm such a sucker for sour...

I got this recipe from my best friend in college.

Broccoli Chicken Casserole

1 lb frozen broccoli (I buy broccoli florets in the huge bags, so I'm not sure how much I use - enough to cover the bottom of the pan nicely)
2 chicken breasts, cooked and cubed (I cook all of the precooked chicken I need for the week on the George Foreman grill)
1 11ish oz can condensed cream of chicken soup
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream
1-2 Tbsp lemon juice (who am I kidding, I always "accidentally" overfill the Tablespoon)
1/4 tsp. paprika or curry powder (whatever suits your fancy)
1-2 cups grated cheddar cheese
optional: sliced almonds


Place broccoli in bottom of 13”x9” pan. Put chicken over broccoli. In separate bowl, mix sauce: soup, milk, sour cream, lemon, seasoning, and almonds (optional). Pour sauce over top then sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 350˚F for 30-45 min. Serve over rice.

Monday, May 19, 2008


May 19


Hummus usually calls for Tahini, which I don't really know what it is but I recall Janssen having a heck of a time finding it a while back and then saying it was quite expensive. I did a search for hummus without tahini and decided to give it a shot. I was surprised how easy it was to make! And just a plug (my granolaness is prepared...) hummus makes a great dip for carrots, or for anything that you would normally dip in ranch. It is an acquired taste, but once you acquire the taste you'll crave it, a lot.

  • 1 can chickpeas, drained
  • 1 lemon, juice of (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Put ingredients in blender. Blend till smooth. Chill in fridge and eat within three days.

    Comments: This was a little too lemony for my tastes (which is saying something, I LOVE lemon). I used 1/4 cup lemon juice instead of juice from a lemon so maybe that was my problem. I would recommend cutting the lemon juice in half. Also, I did not have crushed red pepper flakes, so I used some chili powder and cumin. I had to add some water while I was blending it because I wanted a really smooth hummus and it wasn't happening. I added about 1/3 cup (totally guessing).

    I would say this is 2 stars, but it has potential. Does anyone have a good hummus recipe or ideas for tweaking this one?

    Greek Chicken Pasta

    May 19 Greek Chicken Pasta



    • 1 pound uncooked pasta
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
    • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
    • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast meat - cut into bite-size pieces
    • 1 (14 ounce) can marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
    • 1 large tomato, chopped
    • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
    • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
    • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
    • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • 2 lemons, wedged, for garnish


    1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook pasta in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente; drain.
    2. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and onion, and saute for 2 minutes. Stir in the chicken. Cook, stirring occasionally, until chicken is no longer pink and the juices run clear, about 5 to 6 minutes.
    3. Reduce heat to medium-low, and add the artichoke hearts, tomato, feta cheese, parsley, lemon juice, oregano and cooked pasta. Stir until heated through, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat, season to taste with salt and pepper, and garnish with lemon wedges.

    Comments: This recipe was really good with a few modifications. I would recommend adding the juice from the artichoke hearts into the sauce, and also adding lots of purple onions. If you put in as much pasta as they tell you to you may just want to add a little more of everything. I put in two tomatoes but still wish there were more (this may be a good recipe to use canned tomatoes in), and definitely more onion and even more artichoke hearts. The pasta to other stuff ratio was just too high, but the bites that had the other stuff were pretty darn good! Also, keep your salt and pepper shaker handy. Oh and of course, I added mushrooms in the beginning a few minutes after adding all of the chicken. And, almost forgot, didn't have feta so I used gargonzola, which was fine-- may have preferred the feta though.

    Three stars

    Served with: Hummus and whole wheat pita bread


    Okay for the sake of keeping things organized, I am trying to figure out how to do the "labels" thing. So when you type a post if you could label it with one, two or three categories it fits under, then hopefully sometime soon I will figure out how to make the index appear on the blog. Thanks! I am so excited to see the contributions come rolling in, this is going to make my meal planning so much easier and better. I already have enough new recipes to keep me busy for a while and I am sad I can't try them for at least nine more days because I just went grocery shopping, dang!

    Thanks everyone, this is awesome!!

    Cafe Rio Barbacoa Pork Salad

    This is for Kristi, who is living way too far away from the nearest Cafe Rio. It's pretty darn close to the original. You have to start cooking the meat the night before, but if you make enough, you can freeze it and pull it out to reheat and serve any time you like. We serve it with hot rice, too, so factor in time to have that prepared, too. And enjoy.

    Source: Park 5th Ward Relief Society

    The dressing:

    1 pkg. Hidden Valley Buttermilk Ranch packet
    1 C. buttermilk
    1 C. mayonaise
    2 tomatillos
    1 clove minced garlic
    1/3 bunch cilantro
    1/2 tsp. lime juice
    1 small jalepeno pepper

    Mix all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Stick in the fridge to chill.

    The meat:
    Pork (I used a bone-in pork shoulder because it's economical, but also a little disgusting to me because it has some skin and some bones. Use whatever pork you want.)
    Coke (a couple cans to a liter bottle, depending how much you want to use)
    1 bottle of honey barbeque sauce

    Put the pork in a crockpot. Pour the whole bottle of barbeque sauce over the pork, and then pour in the Coke until the meat is covered. I used a couple of cans, but it depends on how much meat you're cooking. Let it cook overnight or until the meat falls apart. Then pull out the meat and shred it.

    To serve:
    You can do this however you want. We put a tortilla in a biggish bowl. Put in the shredded meat, some hot rice, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, black beans, crunchy tortilla strips. Then pour on the dressing. MMMmmm! You can also put another sprig of cilantro on top for garnish if you want to.

    Sunday, May 18, 2008

    Black Beans & Rice

    I try to make one or two vegetarian dishes a week and this is a favorite. This recipe is from Maryann Crook who was in our old ward in Arizona. We absolutely love it because it's flavorful, filling, easy to make, reheats well, and is economical.

    2 (14 1/2 oz) cans black beans (I like the Bush's brand best and I rinse and drain before adding)
    1 (12 oz) can stewed tomoatoes (I sometimes substitute diced)
    1 medium onion, chopped
    1 bell pepper, chopped
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1 Tbsp. olive oil
    Saffron yellow rice (I buy the Mahatma brand in the yellow package)
    Green onions, chopped

    Saute onion, bell pepper, and garlic in olive oil. Add black beans and stewed tomatoes. Let simmer for 15 minutes. Add prepared rice. Garnish with green onion.

    I also like to serve this with shredded cheese, sour cream, and tortilla chips.

    Holly's Chicken and Brown Rice Soup

    This is my sister Holly's recipe. It's a tasty, healthy, and easy family dinner.

    2 c carrots, chopped
    2 c celery, chopped
    1 medium onion, diced
    1 tsp garlic, minced
    2 cans chicken, drained (fresh works too)
    1 c brown rice
    chicken broth (I used 3 cans)
    1 bay leaf
    1/2 tbsp poultry seasoning
    extra virgin olive oil
    salt & pepper

    Cook brown rice (1 c rice to 2 1/2 c water or broth for approximately 45 minutes). Heat a soup pot with extra virgin olive oil. Add veggies and seasonings and cook until tender. Add chicken, rice, and chicken broth. Salt and pepper to taste and simmer.

    Serve with rolls, or bread and butter, and a green salad.

    I give this recipe 3 stars.

    (I often post recipes on our family blog; hope it's not redundant to post them again here!)

    Angel Chicken

    I'm finally just starting to get some real use out of the crockpot I got as a wedding present. I'm kind of kicking myself for not busting it out more often before now! I got this recipe from Becky, a fabulous girl in my ward who always seems to have the best recipes. It's in our regular dinner rotation (it's fast becoming a Sunday night staple since I don't really like cooking on Sundays). Aaron would probably rate it 4 stars (he would marry it) but it's not that fancy, so probably more like a 2.5 star from me.

    6 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
    1/2 C. melted butter
    1 Pkg. Good Seasons Italian salad dressing mix
    1 can cream of mushroom soup (I've used cream of whatever was on hand and it always turns out fine)
    1/2 C. chicken broth
    4 oz. cream cheese
    pinch of dried onion
    1/4 tsp. ground garlic

    Cut chicken breast into fourths, so the flavor can be absorbed into all the pieces. (boneless center-cut pork chops are also good). Place all ingredients in crock pot. Cook on low for 4-6 hours (I cook it for 4ish hours on the 10-hour low setting..make sense?).

    We eat it with sticky rice, but it would also be good over pasta. I served it with rice-a-roni once (oh how I love that stuff) and thought it was awesome. But Aaron is a rice snob and we always go back to his fancy Japanese sticky rice.

    Chicken and Black Bean Enchilada Casserole **

    May 18 - Chicken and Black Bean Enchilada Casserole
    From :


    * 2 cups diced chicken breast meat
    * 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
    * 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
    * 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
    * 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
    * 1 (4.5 ounce) can diced green chile peppers, drained
    * 1 (10 ounce) can red enchilada sauce
    * 8 (6 inch) corn tortillas
    * 2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese
    * 1 (8 ounce) container sour cream


    1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
    2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat, and spray with vegetable cooking spray. Saute chicken with cumin and coriander until chicken is cooked through. Transfer to a medium bowl. Stir in the cilantro, black beans, and green chile peppers.
    3. Spread half of the enchilada sauce over the bottom of an 11x7 inch baking dish. Place 4 tortillas over the sauce, overlapping if necessary. Spoon half of the chicken mixture over the tortillas, and sprinkle with half of the cheese and half of the sour cream. Spoon the remaining enchilada sauce over the cheese, and make another layer of tortillas. Layer the remaining chicken mixture over the tortillas. Cover dish with a lid or aluminum foil.
    4. Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove the cover, and sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top and dot with sour cream. Continue cooking, uncovered, for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, or until cheese melts. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

    Comments: This is a good and easy meal, all the taste of enchiladas without all of the hard work. You may want to slightly warm the corn tortillas before putting them in the casserole, but don't "warm" them too much (like I did) or they'll be a little ...crunchy.

    Served with: Cornbread with honeybutter; Brazilian Lemonade, and a little salsa dip thing that I will post later.

    Two and a half stars. Pretty good but I don't crave it constantly or anything ;)

    Brazilian Lemonade ****

    We served this with our Mexican dinner tonight. So easy. So good.

    Recipe from: Ralphie

    Brazilian Lemonade (Um, yah!)

    2 limes, cut off the ends and cut into chunks
    3 TBSP of Sweetened Condensed Milk

    1/3 cup of sugar
    2 cups of water.

    1. Blend all the above ingredients for 5 seconds.
    2. Add an additional 1 cup of water and blend again for 3 seconds.
    3. Strain and serve over crushed ice. (Or you can add the ice along with the cup of water.)
    Just a tip, you have to cut off the ends of the limes, and blend it for only
    8 seconds or it will become bitter.

    Comments: This is so easy and so good. Really a fun way to spice up your dinner. Instead of adding the additional cup of water I added half a cup of water and a bunch of ice.

    For how easy and good this is I say FOUR stars.

    Yakimochi Ice Cream

    We had this dessert at Gyu Kaku in Waikiki a couple weeks ago and it was amazing. We decided to recreate it for our Asian dinner party on Friday. Some people were a little weirded out by the mochi (it might be an acquired taste) but everyone agreed that it was quite fancy. Most people really liked it. Three stars.

    Vanilla ice cream (we like Breyer's vanilla bean)
    Maple syrup (splurge on the good stuff)
    Mochi*, cut into small pieces about the size of a small piece of gum (think Orbit gum)

    Place the pieces of mochi on the grill or a frying pan on the stove at medium heat. Let cook until they start to turn golden brown and puff up like marshmallows. Serve with vanilla ice cream and drizzle the whole shebang with maple syrup.

    *Confession: I didn't make our mochi and have never had occasion to. A Japanese friend of my family always gives us tons at the start of every year. But there are excellent recipes all over the web. It's pretty easy to make. You can buy mochi flour at any Asian market. And you might be able to buy pre-made mochi at Asian markets, but I haven't checked.


    This always goes over well. It's one of my all time favorite foods. Everyone loved it at our dinner party on Friday and in my family we are required to bring it to all major family dinners. Whether or not it goes with the meal is irrelevant because we're required to bring it anyway. Also, you can sneak pretty much whatever vegetables you want in there and the meat isn't really required if you're looking for a vegetarian option. Three and a half stars.

    1 package won ton wrappers
    1 tablespoon sesame oil
    2 tablespoons soy sauce
    2 cups chopped cabbage
    1/4 cup chopped onion
    2 cloves garlic, chopped
    1/4 cup chopped carrot
    1/2 pound ground pork
    1 egg
    1 tablespoon vegetable oil
    1/4 cup water

    Heat sesame oil and soy sauce in a large skillet over medium high heat. Mix in cabbage, onion, garlic and carrot. Cook and stir until cabbage is limp. Mix in ground pork and egg. Cook until pork is evenly brown and egg is no longer runny. The filling can be a little bland, so salt, pepper, garlic powder, ginger, etc. to taste.

    Place approximately 1 tablespoon of the cabbage and pork mixture in the center of each wrapper. Fold wrappers in half over filling, and seal edges with moistened fingers.

    Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
    Cook gyoza approximately 1 minute per side, until lightly browned. Pour water into skillet and reduce heat. Cover and allow gyoza to steam until the water is gone.

    Mix 1/4 cup soy sauce and 2 tablespoons rice vinegar for dipping sauce. Serve with hot rice.

    Serve with: sticky rice, Korean BBQ chicken, edamame

    May 16 - Breakfast for Dinner

    Blueberry Scones - FOUR STARS

    So I know that having breakfast foods for dinner isn't exactly groundbreaking, but I just thought I'd put a plug in for it. It's so hard with work and school and just life in general to have a nice breakfast, but I LOVE breakfast foods. So at least every other week we have our favorite breakfast foods for dinner. Friday night it was blueberry scones and scrambled eggs with cheese:

    Not the best photo, sorry.

    So right, what I'm really touting here are the blueberry scones. Can I give something five stars? I looked at this recipe and thought, "It's sounds good but how great can they be? The ingredients are simple." But my sister raved about them so I gave them a try. I can live and die in these scones. My sister got the recipe from America's Test Kitchen (the source of all my best recipes):

    Blueberry Scones

    It is important to work the dough as little as possible—work quickly and knead and fold the dough only the number of times called for. The butter should be frozen solid before grating. In hot or humid environments, chill the flour mixture and workbowls before use. While the recipe calls for 2 whole sticks of butter, only 10 tablespoons are actually used (see step 1). If fresh berries are unavailable, an equal amount of frozen berries (do not defrost) can be substituted. An equal amount of raspberries, blackberries, or strawberries can be used in place of the blueberries. Cut larger berries into 1/4- to 1/2-inch pieces before incorporating. Refrigerate or freeze leftover scones, wrapped in foil, in an airtight container. To serve, remove foil and place scones on a baking sheet in a 375-degree oven. Heat until warmed through and recrisped, 8 to 10 minutes if refrigerated, 16 to 20 minutes if frozen. See final step for information on making the scone dough in advance.

    Makes 8
    16 tablespoons unsalted butter (2 sticks), frozen whole (see note above)
    1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries (about 7 1/2 ounces), picked over (see note)
    1/2 cup whole milk
    1/2 cup sour cream
    2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (10 ounces), plus additional for work surface
    1/2 cup sugar (3 1/2 ounces), plus 1 tablespoon for sprinkling
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    1/4 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon table salt
    1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

    1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Score and remove half of wrapper from each stick of frozen butter. Following photo at left, grate unwrapped ends on large holes of box grater (you should grate total of 8 tablespoons). Place grated butter in freezer until needed. Melt 2 tablespoons of remaining ungrated butter and set aside. Save remaining 6 tablespoons butter for another use. Place blueberries in freezer until needed.

    2. Whisk together milk and sour cream in medium bowl; refrigerate until needed. Whisk flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and lemon zest in medium bowl. Add frozen butter to flour mixture and toss with fingers until thoroughly coated.

    3. Add milk mixture to flour mixture; fold with spatula until just combined. With rubber spatula, transfer dough to liberally floured work surface. Dust surface of dough with flour; with floured hands, knead dough 6 to 8 times, until it just holds together in ragged ball, adding flour as needed to prevent sticking.

    4. Roll dough into approximate 12-inch square. Following illustrations, fold dough into thirds like a business letter, using bench scraper or metal spatula to release dough if it sticks to countertop. Lift short ends of dough and fold into thirds again to form approximate 4-inch square. Transfer dough to plate lightly dusted with flour and chill in freezer 5 minutes.

    5. Transfer dough to floured work surface and roll into approximate 12-inch square again. Sprinkle blueberries evenly over surface of dough, then press down so they are slightly embedded in dough. Using bench scraper or thin metal spatula, loosen dough from work surface. Roll dough, pressing to form tight log. Lay seam-side down and press log into 12 by 4-inch rectangle. Using sharp, floured knife, cut rectangle crosswise into 4 equal rectangles. Cut each rectangle diagonally to form 2 triangles and transfer to parchment-lined baking sheet.

    6. Brush tops with melted butter and sprinkle with remaining tablespoon sugar. Bake until tops and bottoms are golden brown, 18 to 25 minutes. Transfer to wire rack and let cool 10 minutes before serving.

    To Make Ahead:
    After placing the scones on the baking sheet, either refrigerate them overnight or freeze. When ready to bake, for refrigerated scones, heat oven to 425 degrees and follow directions in step 6. For frozen scones, heat oven to 375 degrees, follow directions in step 6, and extend cooking time to 25 to 30 minutes.

    Step-by-Step: Grating Butter

    Use the wrapper to hold the frozen butter while grating it on the large holes of a box grater. Grate 4 tablespoons from each stick of butter.

    Step-by-Step: Folding and Shaping the Scones

    1. Fold dough into thirds (like a business letter).

    2. Fold in ends of dough to form 4-inch square. Chill dough.

    3. Reroll dough into 12-inch square. Press berries into dough.

    4. Roll dough into jellyroll-like log to incorporate blueberries.

    5. Lay log seam-side down and press into even 12 by 4-inch rectangle.

    6. Cut dough into 8 triangular pieces.

    PS - Sorry if some of this is hard to read. I was too lazy to do much more than cut and paste. Highlight, copy, and paste into a text document if need be!

    Korean BBQ Chicken

    My husband was born and raised in Hawaii and served his mission in Japan, which means we eat a LOT of Asian food. On Friday we had a few couples from our ward over for an Asian barbeque and this chicken went over really well. It's one of our favorites. I think I'd give it 3 stars.

    1 cup white sugar
    1 cup soy sauce
    1 cup water
    1 teaspoon onion powder
    1 teaspoon ground ginger
    2 cloves minced garlic
    4 tsp hot chili paste (optional)

    In a medium saucepan over high heat, whisk together all ingredients except chili paste. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat, cool, and whisk in chili paste. Place chicken in mixture. Cover and let marinate in the fridge for at least 4 hours before preparing chicken as desired (we like it grilled).

    Serve with: sticky rice and edamame, maybe some gyoza or yakisoba as well if you're being fancy.

    Caribbean Salsa Chicken

    This is one I discovered a while ago, and now orange marmalade is a staple at our house. Forget all the instructions. Just skip the oil and throw the rest of the ingredients in a crockpot. Let it cook until the chicken falls apart - mix it up, then pour it over your rice. I just bought some mango marmalade this week to try instead of orange. Mango sounds a little more caribbean to me - I'll let you know how it tastes.

    Saturday, May 17, 2008

    May 16/17 Strawberry Whipped Sensation **

    I got this recipe from:

    • 4 cups fresh strawberries, divided
    • 1 can (14 oz.) EAGLE BRAND® Sweetened Condensed Milk
    • 1/4 cup lemon juice
    • 1 tub (8 oz.) COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, thawed, divided
    • 8 OREO Chocolate Sandwich Cookies, finely chopped
    • 1 Tbsp. butter, melted

  • LINE 9x5-inch loaf pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over sides of pan. Mash 2 cups of the strawberries in large bowl. Add condensed milk, juice and 2 cups of the whipped topping; mix well. Pour into prepared pan.
  • MIX chopped cookies and butter. Spoon over whipped topping mixture. Cover with ends of foil and gently press cookie mixture into whipped topping mixture. Freeze 6 hours or until firm.
  • INVERT dessert onto serving plate when ready to serve; remove pan and foil. Spread remaining whipped topping onto top and sides of dessert. Slice remaining 2 cups strawberries; arrange over dessert. Store leftovers in freezer.

  • Comments: In some of the reviews they said this dessert was too sweet, so I really really cut back on the sweetened condensed milk, like I think I put in 1/8 of a cup. And now reading over the recipe I totally forgot the lemon juice and also totally forgot the butter to mix with the oreos, which totally resolves my only complaint which was that the crust was pretty crumbly. This was a really tasty and easy dessert but you have to think about it way ahead of time, which I am not good at. I also used all of my strawberries in the middle layer, so I topped with oreos instead of strawberries, that was a good choice!

    Two and a half stars!

    May 17 - Portabella Pitas

    I got this recipe from: My brain ;) I didn't serve it with anything, it's the weekend!

    Portabella mushrooms are a great replacement for meat. We learned this during our weight watchers stint and, even though we are not dieting anymore, we still love them! Seriously, substitute them for hamburger patties and dress as a hamburger or here is my recipe for Portabella pitas

    1 pkg whole wheat pitas
    1 green pepper
    1 purple onion
    3 portabella mushroom caps
    salt/pepper/Worcestershire sauce/ olive oil (optional)
    Swiss cheese

    Rub olive oil, worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper onto mushroom cap. Let sit about 5 minutes. Slice onion and green pepper. Grill mushrooms about 3 minutes on each side, grill onions and peppers as well. Meanwhile be toasting your pitas, or just warming them up. During the last minute of grilling you can place a slice of swiss over the mushroom cap to melt. Put all the fixins in the pita, add may if you want (Blaine makes fancy mayo with italian spices in it and stuff).

    It is also easy to just make this in a frying pan, which is what I normally do (I just slice the mushroom caps), but we just got a grill - - so everything has to be grilled at our house!.

    It's easy, fast and really yummy!

    Two and a half stars!

    May 16 2008 - Papa Johns

    Well last night we had a YW party. We ordered Papa John's which is definitely the best pizza in the world. So I have no recipe but I do have a helpful hint. Websites like often have coupon codes for pizza places that you can use if you order online. So last night with our purchase of a large pizza we got a second large pizza for only $1, thanks to the coupon code "gamefly". Check it out !

    Friday, May 16, 2008

    Star Scale

    4 stars **** = Amazing. Will be served when I have guests over and want to impress them.

    3 stars *** = REALLY good. Look forward to nights when this is served. Must add to rotation.

    2 stars ** = Pretty good. Don't mind eating it. May put it on regular rotation, may not.

    1 Star * = meh.

    0 Stars = Ewwww

    -1 Star -* = What is this, poison?

    And of course you can give half stars if it falls between categories.

    Also, you should leave a comment if you try someone else's recipe. That would be nice of you. Unless it gets a -1 star, then it would be really kind of mean and maybe you should keep your dang opinions to yourself, jerk.


    So I'm joining this blog. But I'll tell you right now it's more to read about what great cooks you all are than anything. I'm not an adventurous cook, so try to post some easy recipes for me every once in a while. If I posted my menu every night you'd just laugh at me. I will try to contribute one of my favorites every once in a while, but it won't be anything regular. I'll enjoy reading yours though!!!

    Hudson's Baked Tilapia with Dill Sauce ***

    May 14, 2008 Hudson's Baked Tilapia with Dill Sauce
    Recipe from:

    • 4 (4 ounce) fillets tilapia
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning, or to taste
    • 1 lemon, thinly sliced

    • SAUCE:

    • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
    • 1/2 cup sour cream
    • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
    • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

    1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.
    2. Season the tilapia fillets with salt, pepper and Cajun seasoning on both sides. Arrange the seasoned fillets in a single layer in the baking dish. Place a layer of lemon slices over the fish fillets. I usually use about 2 slices on each piece so that it covers most of the surface of the fish.
    3. Bake uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until fish flakes easily with a fork.
    4. While the fish is baking, mix together the mayonnaise, sour cream, garlic powder, lemon juice and dill in a small bowl. Serve with tilapia.
    Comments: I didn't have fresh lemon so I dabbled with lemon juice. This fish turned out fantastic, I loved it! If you don't have "Cajun Seasoning" I totally recommend getting some. I have tried it on a lot of recipes lately and I really like it. I tried making my own, not the same. This was a fast recipe with delicious results, and pretty good for you (if you hold back on the sauce)

    Served with: I made spaghetti noodles mixed with butter, parmesan cheese, italian spices, salt and pepper and a drizzle of olive oil all mixed together--it was awesome. I also made steamed broccoli drizzled with lemon juice, salt and pepper.

    Three stars!

    Chicken in coconut lime sauce ***

    May 15 2008 - Chicken in a coconut lime sauce
    Recipe from:


    1 Can unsweetened coconut milk (found in the Asian section, by the soy sauce).
    2 jalapeño chiles (or some jalapeño slices from a jar)
    1 Tbs fresh lime juice
    1/2 tsp salt

    In a saucepan bring coconut milk to a gentle simmer; cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened and reduced to about half a cup.

    Meanwhile, cook the jalapeños on grill until blackened.

    In blender, mix coconut milk, lime juice, salt and jalapeños and blend until smooth.

    Rub chicken with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill until cooked through.

    Serve over rice and sauce spooned over top.

    Comments: I added a ton of fresh mushrooms (just throw them to grill with the chicken), I also add cilantro to the coconut milk mixture. I always forget, but I think the sauce should be doubled. Oh and I always add way more lime juice than what is called for. The timing on this one is always tricky for me. My chicken is always cold by the time the sauce and everything is ready. I will need to work on it.

    Served with: Steamed green beans. I really wanted to have some citrus with it but I haven't been shopping in a few weeks (almost three-- go me!). So I think some sort of orange based salad or fruit bowl or something would go good, but I didn't have the stuff on hand.

    Rating: Going on Janssen's thought that a standing ovation should only be given ten times in a lifetime--- based on four stars I would give this recipe (with said modifications) a three. It is very easy to make and very delicious. If I were careless with my four star ratings this would get one :).


    I am constantly looking for good ideas of what to have for dinner. I thought this could be a place where I could post good recipes I find and hopefully where you could post good recipes you find. Or actually they don't even have to be good; Every day (or week) I am going to post the recipes that I made for dinner and rate them, put how I thought they could have been better etc. I invite you to do the same. If you would like to contribute let me know! We'll see how it goes. If it totally flops, then eh...oh well!

    Let's see. On all your recipes put where you go the recipe from, what you served it with and of course, your star rating and whatever thoughts you had.

    Only put recipes that you made within the last week on here. Even if you have great recipes in a recipe book somewhere, this is literally supposed to be "what I had for dinner last night" kind of stuff. I am putting a couple from the last week on here to get us started. Anyway, hope you will contribute if you want to. If not I will try hard to not be offended.