Friday, October 31, 2008

Beef Stew

Remember how cold it was last Wednesday? Didn't it actually get to 32 that morning? This is my favorite beef stew. It isn't very gravy like but it is delicious. The recipe is courtesy of Kraft.

Perfect Winter Beef Stew
"With only a few simple ingredients, this foolproof hearty dish is guaranteed to become a favorite winter staple."
Serving Size : 8 Preparation Time :0:15 Total time: 2 hours

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
3/4 cup Italian Salad Dressing
2 lb. Chuck Roast -- cubed
4 Slices Bacon -- chopped
3 cups mushrooms -- sliced
1 medium onion -- chopped
6 Medium Carrots -- sliced
4 Medium potatoes -- peeled, cut into large chunks (about 4 cups)
1 can Canned Tomatoes -- diced, undrained
14 1/2 ounces water
1 teaspoons Beef Bouillon

POUR dressing over meat in large resealable plastic bag. Seal bag; turn to evenly coat meat with dressing. Refrigerate 30 min. to marinate. Meanwhile, cook bacon in large saucepan on medium heat 5 min. or until crisp, stirring occasionally. Remove bacon from saucepan; drain drippings.

ADD mushrooms and onions to same saucepan; cook on medium-high heat 10 min. or until tender, stirring occasionally. Remove meat from marinade; discard marinade. Add meat, carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, broth and bacon to saucepan; stir.

BRING to boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 1 hour 15 min. Uncover; simmer an additional 15 min. or until meat is cooked through and sauce is thickened, stirring occasionally.

"10 Cups"

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Per Serving: 443 Calories; 30g Fat (61.1% calories from fat); 22g Protein; 22g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 68mg Cholesterol; 334mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1/2 Grain(Starch); 2 1/2 Lean Meat; 1 1/2 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 4 Fat.

NOTES : Jazz It Up
Add 1/2 tsp. dried thyme leaves with the broth for extra flavor.

Prepare as directed, using Light Italian Reduced Fat Dressing.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

This recipe is from I LOVE pumpkin seeds, and these are delicious! Hopefully I'm not posting this too late and a few of you will be carving pumpkins tonight to save some seeds!

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

1 1/2 Tbsp butter, melted

1/2-1 tsp salt

1/8-1/4 tsp garlic salt

2 tsp worcestershire sauce

2 C pumpkin seeds, cleaned and rinsed

Preheat oven 275 degrees. Combine all ingredients; mix well. Place in greased, shallow baking dish. (I use a cookie sheet) Bake for 1 hr, stirring occasionally.

** Keep an eye on them after 30-40 minutes. Because cooking times will vary depending on how you like them... I like them crispy!! And I always do taste tests while they're cooking to make sure they end up just right! :) They can burn easily if you don't keep an eye on them too.


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Chicken Capri

My sister is doing the South Beach Diet and tried this recipe the other day and said it was really good. So much so that her kids even ate it! I'm going to give it a shot after I go to the store, but here you go....

Chicken Capri

1 Cup Reduced fat ricotta cheese
1/2 t. dried oregano
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
Mix this together and set aside.

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 t. garlic powder\
2 T. olive oil
1 Cup crushed tomatoes (blended for those picky kids like James and Ashley)
4 slices mozzerella cheese
Sprinkle garlic powder on chicken. Heat the oil in a large skillet. Cook the chicken for about 12 minutes per side. Place chicken in baking dish and allow to cool.
preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spoon 1/4 c. of the cheese mixture and 1/4 c. tomatoes onto each chicken breast. Top with 1 slice mozz. cheese. Bake for 20 minutes.
Oh also the can of tomatoes that I used said Chili ready. So they must have had chili powder in it, It added a little extra flavor. But you don't have to use that i just thought i'd give ya another idea to sprinkle in chili powder.

Tomato Florentine Soup - YUM

I must be low on, something, whatever it is tomatoes have in them because I normally don't like tomato soup but I have tried several recipes lately because I crave it. This one was my favorite, I really liked the flavor. I just added the pasta ( I used mini shells) to the soup about 15 minutes before serving instead of cooking separately and it turned out just fine. I maybe wouldn't add the sugar, and maybe would want to add crushed red pepper flakes or chili powder next time.

  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans chicken broth
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can chopped stewed tomatoes
  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can tomato-vegetable juice cocktail
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed tomato soup
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg
  • salt to taste
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup cooked macaroni
  1. Combine broth, tomatoes, juice, and soup in a saucepan with a wire whisk over medium heat. Add sugar, spinach, nutmeg, and salt and pepper to taste, without thawing spinach. Allow to heat gently 20 minutes on medium-low until spinach is tender. Keep hot without letting it boil.
  2. Add cooked pasta and cook for 10 minutes longer.

Mexican Pasta

Very easy and fast and uses mostly food storage. Can't go wrong with that. Blaine loved it, I thought it was okay, but Gwen scarfed it down. We topped with cheese and sour cream.

  • 1/2 pound seashell pasta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onions, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup sweet corn kernels
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can peeled and diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup salsa
  • 1/4 cup sliced black olives
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons taco seasoning mix
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
  2. While pasta is cooking, heat olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Cook onions and pepper in oil until lightly browned, 10 minutes. Stir in corn and heat through. Stir in black beans, tomatoes, salsa, olives, taco seasoning and salt and pepper and cook until thoroughly heated, 5 minutes.
  3. Toss sauce with cooked pasta and serve.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Quick Whole Wheat Bread

This bread recipe is so simple and easy that you can mix it up before your oven preheats!

Quick Whole Wheat Bread

3 c whole wheat flour
4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 c milk
3/4 c honey or sugar
1 tsp vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. Combine dry ingredients. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
3. Spray large loaf pan with cooking spray. Pour dough into pan.
4. Bake for one hour at 325 degrees.
5. Makes one large loaf.

This bread comes out tasting slightly sweet. I love that flavor, but if you want your bread to taste less sweet, just cut down on the amount of honey/sugar. I use a little bit of both (honey and sugar) when I make it. Also, you should check the bread before an hour because ovens vary.

3 stars

Monday, October 27, 2008

BBQ Ribs ****

This is by far my husbands favorite meal. I actually don't mind making it either, it is pretty simple and they come out so tender and delicious!

1 Rack of Pork back ribs ( boneless work too, I prefer with the bone)
2 or 3 bottles of BBQ sauce, any kind

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. brown meat on both sides and sprinkle with salt and pepper. put in 9 x 13 pan (you may have to cut the ribs to get them to fit) and just pour on the BBQ sauce to completely cover ribs. Cover with tin foil. cook for 3 1/2 hours, Flip over ribs halfway through and take foil off for the last half hour. Enjoy!

First of all I need to tell you how to buy a good set of ribs. I like Albertson's meat, and I would die before I would eat meat from Walmart, but I also found out that back ribs are much more tender than spare ribs.I buy the Hormel prepackaged ones, but just ask your meat cutter man which ones are the best. I usually make this fast, so I don't brown it and I don't turn it halfway through because I am usually gone while it is cooking. Sometimes I don't even take off the foil for the last half hour. I always make this with baked potatoes so I just wrap up a few potatoes in foil and cook them with the ribs for the whole time, and heat up some corn right when we get home.(It doesn't hurt it to cook for a little longer too if you are not home) So basically you have a full meal with very little prep. We had this yesterday after church and it was sooo good. Your husband will be licking his fingers for days. I wouldn't splurge on fancy BBQ sauce either, it all tastes the same on this for some reason.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Russian Tea Cakes

Again, too lazy to type out the recipe tonight. I followed the recipe exactly and wouldn't change anything after having made them. My only suggestion is to roll the cookies in powdered sugar twice as the author suggested.
4 stars

General Tso's Tofu: Tastes like chicken :0)

I'm too lazy to type out the recipe tonight. I followed the directions from RecipeZaar exactly and it was delicious. (There are more pictures on my blog if you'd find it helpful.)
4 stars

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Turkey or chicken casserole (3 1/2 stars)

Preheat oven to 375
Spray 9 x 13 pan with some non stick cooking spray and add:
1st layer about 2 cups cooked rice (optional)
2nd layer cooked cut up turkey or seasoned chicken
Cover with grated cheese and dried or fresh onions
3rd layer fresh steamed or frozen broccoli
4th layer Mix together:
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1/4 tsp lemon juice (optional)
3/4 cup sour cream
5th layer Cover with stuffing ( make as directed on box or just add some water to it)
Bake uncovered for 45 minutes

This recipe is really good if you have leftover turkey, if not I just make it with chicken seasoned with season-all and a little Mrs. dash's chipotle flavoring (really great seasoning, if you don't have it you should!) I add lots of cheese too, I love cheese. It is too much work to make up the stuffing in a pan so i just add water to it. I actually only bake it for like 38 minutes too... by the way my husband really dislikes casseroles and this is one he actually likes. This makes probably 8 servings or so, so I usually do an 8 x 8 pan and just do half of everything. very yummy though and filling.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Santa Fe Veggie Wrap

Another great one from Jessica, thank you! Seriously, we loved this. Blaine was so impressed that he could like something vegetarian so well, and for those meataholics out there, I am sure you could add some grilled chicken if you want! Four stars for sure, easy and delicious. The pepperjack is a must. I didn't have jicama, but I've had it before and it is yummy so it would be fun to add, but don't shy away just because you don't have any. Oh and I didn't have wheat tortillas, just white and they were dandy (the kind from Costco where you just buy the dough and cook them up yourself, so good!).

Santa Fe Vegetable Wrap

Santa Fe Vegetable Wrap

Serves 2
This recipe, from The Whole Foods Market Cookbook, is an explosion of traditional Southwest flavors and textures. If you want to add a little heat, try mixing a teaspoon of chipotle chili in adobo sauce to the cream cheese before spreading it on the tortilla. Serve these with a bit of tomato salsa and sour cream or plain yogurt on the side for dipping.


1 (12-inch) whole wheat tortilla, any flavor
1 1/2 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
3 leaves red or green leaf lettuce
4 slices pepper jack cheese
4 thin slices tomato
1/2 avocado, thinly sliced
4 thin slices red onion
1/2 cup thinly sliced jicama
1/4 cup fresh or frozen and thawed sweet corn
1/2 cup cooked black beans, rinsed and drained

Spread tortilla with cream cheese. Place 2 lettuce leaves over the cream cheese. Layer the pepper jack cheese on top, then layer the tomatoes, avocados, onions and jicama over the cheese. Spoon corn and black beans evenly over the top. Top with the remaining lettuce leaf and roll up tightly. Slice in half diagonally and serve.

Teriyaki Chicken Stir-fry

I am new to this blog and am so excited! You guys all have some great recipes:) I have made this recipe many times! We had it last night and I still love it. I only add 1/4 C. soy sauce and whatever veggies I have. It is easy and delicious.

1 pound chicken breasts, cut in strips
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup baby carrots, cut in halves
1 cup fresh broccoli, cut in bite-size pieces
2 celery stalks, cut up
1 cup fresh zucchini, sliced
2 cups plus 1/2 cup water
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp flour
Cooked rice

Cook vegetables in simmering water until crisp-tender. Cook chicken strips in a separate pan in oil, using salt and pepper to season. When chicken is cooked, add 2 cups water, the sugar and soy sauce. Mix until sugar is dissolved. After both chicken and vegetables are cooked, drain vegetables and transfer them to the chicken and soy sauce mixture. Bring to a boil, then simmer. Take 1/2 cup water, add flour and stir until flour is dissolved. Add to the simmering chicken and vegetable mixture. Simmer and stir occasionally for 5-10 minutes. Serve over rice.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies - easy!

We made these for family night tonight and they turned out great. I halfed the recipe and still had over two dozen cookies. They turn out kind of like little cakes moreso than cookies and very delicious! Enjoy!

  • 1 cup shortening
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the shortening and white sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Stir in the vanilla and pumpkin until well blended. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg; stir into the pumpkin mixture. Mix in the chocolate chips. Stir in the walnuts if desired. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheets.
  3. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, until edges begin to brown. Allow to cool for a few minutes on the baking sheets before removing to wire racks to cool completely.


Remember to tag your recipes with some keywords, and I think it would be cool if we list our name as one of the keywords so we can look up recipes by person. Thanks! I am excited to have lots of new contributors!
Nothing much new around here, but I've revisited some old favorites (blender whole wheat pancakes, coconut lime chicken, crepes, etc!).

Friday, October 17, 2008

Crockpot Lasagna

This recipe is SO simple:

12 Lasagna noodles, uncooked
1 pound ground beef, browned, drained
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 jar spaghetti sauce (28-ounces)
1/4 cup water
1 carton (16 oz) cottage cheese (I used a little more, because I love cottage cheese!!)
2 cups mozzarella cheese, grated

Brown and drain ground beef and add Italian seasoning. Grease slow cooker. Put 1/4 cup sauce in the bottom of the slow cooker. Break noodles in half. Layer noodles, sauce, cottage cheese, beef mixture, mozzarella cheese, and water. Cover and cook on low heat 4-5 hours. DO NOT cook longer than 5 hours. Makes 6-8 servings. Enjoy!!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Peppered tomato and bacon linguine

We had this for dinner tonight and it was really really good! With a few modifications though it could have been even better!

  • 1/2 pound peppered bacon, crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons chopped green onion
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 (16 ounce) package linguine pasta
  • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, reserving drippings, and set aside.
  2. Saute green onion and garlic in bacon drippings over medium heat for one minute. Stir in tomatoes, basil, salt and ground black pepper; simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
  4. Toss hot pasta with sauce and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Okay so. I cooked a whole pound of bacon and ate like half, so that's a good start : ) Then I drained most of the drippings, you don't need like a whole vat of bacon grease. I doubled the ingredients in the sauce and still we didn't have enough sauce. . . . so I've spent a while thinking about it and I think the solution would be that before you simmer for five minutes I would blend up half of the sauce. It was really chunky with all the tomatoes, but I like a real saucy pasta. So if I had it all to do over again I would blend half or more of the sauce and then simmer. Or add tomato sauce or something to make it more of a saucy sauce.

I served with a spinach salad and some sourdough bread broiled with parm cheese on top. DELISH.

Six week bran muffins

I made these today and I think they are quite delicious for how healthy they are ; ) I got the recipe from, the original recipe makes like a million (I am not joking) muffins. I guess the batter keeps in the fridge for six weeks so you can make fresh muffins every couple days or whatever. I scaled it back and it made about 24 muffins.

  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 cup whole bran cereal
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1-1/2 cups white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups whole bran cereal
  1. In a large bowl, add boiling water to the first cup of bran cereal, cool.
  2. Cream shortening or margarine, sugar, eggs, and buttermilk together. Add to bran mixture. Stir in flour, baking soda, and salt. Fold in the 2 cups of bran cereal. Stir only until moistened.
  3. Bake in a preheated 425 degree F (220 degree C) oven for 20 to 25 minutes.

I added a splash of vanilla and a little molasses (because really, when else am I going to use molasses). Someone also suggested topping with nuts or course sugar so they look fancy, I added some chopped nuts on top and it was great!

Enjoy! And then enjoy again for six weeks!

Buttermilk made easy

If you are tired of buying buttermilk for one recipe and then wondering what to do with the rest, I have a product for you!

This little buddy costs like $3 or $4 and can sit in your fridge for months (how many months? not sure, I've been using mine for at least six and it still is good). You just add it to the dry ingredients that you are using and mix in the amount of water it says on the back. I just barely realized it is supposed to be water you mix in instead of milk, but hey, it always turned out alright. Anyway, if you cook with buttermilk even once in a while this is way worth the investment, much cheaper than regular buttermilk.

Two Bean Tamale Pie

This is a really good recipe that can be made mostly from food storage. It's great when you haven't been to the store for a while : ) It's not like my very favorite but it is a go to often in our house and it's pretty good!

1 C chopped green pepper (easily omitted if the one you have in the fridge is rotten like mine was last night, ew).
1/2 C chopped onion
2 cloves minced garlic
1T cooking oil
1 can kidney beans
1 can pinto beans
1 can or 6 oz veggie juice (V8)
1 can diced green chiles
1 t chile powder
1/2 t cumin
1 pkg corn muffin mix
1/2 C cheddar cheese
1/4 cup cilantro or parsley

Grease a square baking dish and set aside. In skillet cook sweet pepper, onion and garlic in hot oil until tender. Stir in beans, veggie juice, chile peppers, chili powder and cumin and heat through. Spoon mixture into prepared dish.

Prepare corn muffin mix according to package directions, add cheese and cilantro, stirring until just combined. Bake uncovered in a 400 dg oven for 25 minutes. Serve with sour cream and salsa.

White Bread, easy!

Six months ago I was afraid of making bread. Now it has been about six weeks since I have bought store bread because I have a goal to only make my own (except sour dough, that takes TEN days to make, I'm not crazy). This bread recipe is easy and delicious.

5 3/4 - 6 1/4 C all-purpose flour
1 pkg active dry yeast
2 1/4 C milk or buttermilk
2 T sugar
1 T butter, margarine or shortening
1 1/2 tsp salt

Proof the yeast with warm water and a little sugar. Mix with 2 1/2 C of the flour. Set aside. In pan heat and stir milk, sugar, butter and salt until just warm and butter almost melts. Add milk mixture to flour mixture. Beat with an electric mixer on low to medium speed for thirty seconds, then on high speed for three minutes.

Then mix in as much of the remaining flour as you can and knead for about 7 minutes till it is a moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic. Shape into a ball and place in lightly greased bowl, turn once so the other side is lightly greased. Cover and let rise in warm place for about 45-60 minutes, or until double in size.

Punch dough down and turn out on lightly floured surface, divide in half. Cover and let rest for ten minutes (what a silly step).

Lightly grease two medium loaf pans.

Shape dough halves into loaves and place in pans, cover and let rize until nearly double in size 30-40 minutes.
Then bake at 375 oven for about 40 minutes.

Immediately remove bread from pans and cool on wire racks.

This bread slices easily for sandwiches. Love it.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Nikki's Cream of Cheddar Cheese & Vegetable Soup

1 c (2 sticks) butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 c celery, finely chopped
1 c carrots, finely chopped
1 medium zucchini, finely chopped
2/3 c flour
6 c chicken stock (I used vegetable)
1 c whipping cream
1/2 lb Sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
Salt and finely ground white pepper
Croutons for garnish
Finely chopped parsley for garnish

Melt butter in 4 quart saucepan over low heat; add vegetables and saute until tender, but not brown, about 15 minutes. Add flour and cook roux, stirring constantly. Add chicken stock, whisking into roux until smooth. Cool slightly. Transfer to blender in batches and puree until creamy, about 30 seconds. Return to saucepan and gradually add cream and cheese. Stir over medium heat until cheese has melted. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with garnished croutons and parsley.

Love this! 4 stars.

Fall Harvest Chowder

1/2 Pound ground beef, browned and drained
1/2 cup Chopped Onion or 1/4 cup minced onion
4 cups water
1 cup Diced Celery
1 cup cubed potatoes
1 28 oz can Diced tomatoes
1 8 oz can tomato puree
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp crushed bay leaves
1 1/2 tsp Italian Seasonings

Combine all ingredients in a greased crock pot. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours. for a thicker soup cook on low for 8-10 hours. makes 8-10 servings.
*Now I alter this recipe just a little bit, i put in less celery and carrots and a lot more potatoes. I also put in a ton more salt- I love salty tomato taste, so I put like a Tbs. of salt in. I love this soup, and i eat leftovers for days- it makes a ton! very yummy in a bread bowl or just eaten with rolls

Lentil Soup

This recipe is from, with some changes. I started this around 11am this morning and just transferred it to the crock pot once the lentils were softened. I'm typing it out the way I made it. Even though it's still warm out, the sky is cloudy so I am just pretending that it's fall. :0)

1 onion, chopped
1/4 c olive oil
3-4 carrots, diced
3-4 stalks of celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp dried oregano
2 bay leaves
2 tsp dried basil
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
2 c dried lentils, rinsed and drained (I used one cup of brown and one cup of green, for color)
8 c water/vegetable broth (whatever amount of each to reach 8 c)
3/4 c fresh spinach, rinsed and thinly sliced (you could actually put a lot more spinach in this)
2 Tbsp lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
Grated parm cheese to garnish

1. In a large soup pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, celery, garlic, and freshly ground black pepper. Saute until onions and vegetables are tender. Add herbs and cook for two more minutes.
2. Stir in lentils, and add tomatoes, and liquid (broth & water). Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for at least one hour (mine took much longer before the lentils were soft).
3. When ready to serve, stir in spinach and cook until it wilts. Stir in lemon juice, and season to taste with salt and more pepper. I like parm cheese as a garnish.This makes a huge pot of soup. Next time, I'll probably make half as much.

3 stars

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Feta and Bacon Stuffed Chicken Breasts

What's not to love here? Bacon, feta...mmmm. Blaine said this was really good! I had a bite and my piece of chicken was kinda weird, so I stuck with baked potatoes, but our guests seemed to enjoy them as did our ever-so-picky daugther, so it must be good!

Feta and Bacon Stuffed Chicken Breasts

8 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons lemon juice
4 cloves crushed garlic
1 tablespoon dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
4 slices feta cheese
4 slices bacon, fried and drained

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
In a small bowl combine the oil, lemon juice, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper. Mix together. Place chicken in a 9x13 inch baking dish and pour oil mixture over chicken.
Stuff each chicken breast with 1 slice feta cheese and 1 slice bacon. Secure open sides with toothpicks.
Bake uncovered at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 to 35 minutes.

I marinated the chicken in the sauce for about an hour and a half before cooking. I also layed an extra halfway cooked piece of bacon on top of each breast for extra calories flavor. I cooked a little longer than stated (7 minutes?) because I am paranoid about raw chicken.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Food Storage Friday

My goal is to learn how to use the things we have in our food storage, so I decided today that every Friday I'm going to try something in that genre. The husband seems a little disappointed in the plan, but he'll thank me later when we actually know how to use this stuff.

This recipe is from a lady (Leslie Probert) that presented a class on food storage at Education Week.

Puerto Rican Beans and Rice

3 1/2 c. soaked and cooked dry black beans (or 2 cans of black beans undrained)
1 T. dried green pepper
1 T. dried onion
2 T ketchup
1/2 T olive oil
1 t. oregano
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 t. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt (none if using canned beans)
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
hot cooked rice

Put beans and all ingredients in a pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer for 20 minutes uncovered. Serve over rice. 4-5 servings

My review of this recipe is that for what it is (beans and rice), it's pretty good. Not gourmet, but good enough that if you were in need of using your food storage, you wouldn't be sad to have this one night. 3 stars.

Muenster Chicken (How appropriate for Halloween)

Just in case it's not glaringly obvious by now, I did my weekly planning from Jessica's blog so that is where this recipe came from. I didn't have any but Blaine said it was really good!

Kelly Chicken
by Colleen Kelley (another winner, thanks Colleen!)

8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I only used 3)
1 egg
3/4 c milk
2 c bread crumbs, seasoned with fresh garlic
12 oz fresh mushrooms, sliced
8 slices Muenster cheese
4 tsp flour
1 1/2 c beef broth

Cut each chicken breast into 3 pieces. Beat egg and add milk. Soak the chicken in the egg mixture for 3 hours. Shake chicken in bread crumbs and let sit for 1/2 hour. Brown chicken pieces in a hot skillet with olive oil, browning both sides. Place in a 9x13 inch baking dish (I used a smaller one because I was cooking less chicken). Cover chicken with sliced mushrooms and Muenster cheese. Mix beef broth and flour until smooth. Pour over chicken. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes. Serves 8.

Oh and please, I didn't even look at the recipe until I was like ready to eat. So none of this soaking for three hours and sitting for half an hour business. I soaked for approximately two seconds and let sit about one second (while I moved from the bread crumbs to the pan) and it turned out great. It may have been better with the soaking, not sure.

Monday, October 6, 2008


Come take the poll!

I know it seems like a weird poll, but I am just curious about your "eating foods prepared with wine" tendencies. I know people are kind of all over the board with this one which is why I put a poll instead of asking for comments, so you can be all anonymous and stuff.

Personally, I guess I just don't know. When we went to the melting pot, after much reassurance that the alcohol all "cooks off" we placed our order. . . I think every single option had wine in it. But then I wanted to make a recipe that called for beer battered fish and I was all in angst. : ) Anyway, just curious about all of your thoughts on the topic.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Asparagus Cashew Rice Pilaf

Another recipe from Jessica Krohn ( We made this tonight and I thought it was de-lish. Very easy to prepare and very good to eat. Loved the cashews! I didn't change anything except I had to add some extra broth/water to make sure the rice didn't burn.

Asparagus Cashew Rice Pilaf

This was a complete dinner for us. I'm trying out more vegetarian recipes and this is a nice one because you've got your veggies, grains, and some extra protein from the cashews in one dish. Recipe from I made a couple of adjustments and will write out the recipe as I made it.

1/8 c butter
2 ounces uncooked spaghetti, broken (I used whole wheat)
1/2 onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/4 c uncooked jasmine rice
1 1/4 c vegetable broth
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2 inch pieces
1/2 c cashew halves

1) Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Increase heat to medium and stir in spaghetti, cooking until coated with the melted butter and lightly browned.
2) Stir onion and garlic into the saucepan, and cook about 2 minutes, until tender. Stir in jasmine rice, and cook about 5 minutes. Pour in vegetable broth. Season mixture with salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil, cover, and cook 20 minutes, until rice is tender and liquid has been absorbed.
3) Steam asparagus until tender but firm.
4) Mix asparagus and cashew halves into the rice mixture and serve warm.

California Grilled Veggie Sandwhich

This was a simple, yummy dinner we made the other day. I couldn't find focaccia bread at the store, but I think it would have been awesome to have it! I got this recipe from Jessica Krohn ( Thanks Jessica!

California Grilled Veggie Sandwich
For a smoky and sumputuous veggie-filled grilled sandwich, try this easy recipe. All it takes is some veggies, focaccia bread, lemon-mayonnaise dressing, and crumbled feta.

1/4 cup mayonnaise
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/8 cup olive oil
1 cup sliced red bell peppers
1 small zucchini, sliced
1 red onion, sliced
1 small yellow squash, sliced
2 (4-x6-inch) focaccia bread
pieces, split horizontally
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

1. In a bowl, mix the mayonnaise, minced garlic, and lemon juice. Set aside in the refrigerator.
2. Preheat the grill for high heat.
3. Brush vegetables with olive oil on each side. Brush grate with oil. Place bell peppers and zucchini closest to the middle of the grill, and set onion and squash pieces around them. Cook for about 3 minutes, turn, and cook for another 3 minutes. The peppers may take a bit longer. Remove from grill, and set aside.
4. Spread some of the mayonnaise mixture on the cut sides of the bread, and sprinkle each one with feta cheese. Place on the grill cheese side up, and cover with lid for 2 to 3 minutes. This will warm the bread, and slightly melt the cheese. Watch carefully so the bottoms don't burn. Remove from grill, and layer with the vegetables. Enjoy as open faced grilled sandwiches.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Homemade Macaroni and Cheese

Here's what we had for dinner last night. Prep time is about 30 minutes. Baking also 30 minutes so start one hour before you want to eat. I like meals that bake because I can do the prep whenever my baby is asleep.

* Exported from MasterCook *

Homemade Mac and Cheese
"Few Foods have the universal kid appeal of macaroni and cheese from a box. But make it from scratch, with extra-sharp Cheddar, and the dish becomes a rich, creamy treat that appeals to the whole family."

Recipe By :Emily Page
Serving Size : 10 Preparation Time :0:30

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
2 cups elbow macaroni
1/4 cup water
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
2 cans evaporated skim milk
12 oz. extra sharp cheddar cheese -- shredded
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tsp dijon mustard
3/8 tsp pepper
3 slices bread
1 clove garlic
1/2 cup parmesan cheese -- grated
2 tbsp butter or margarine

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees

2. Cook pasta to box directions, drain put in large bowl. Stir in water, set aside.

3. Melt butter in saucepan over low heat. Sprinkle in flour and stir constantly until it browns slightly. (About 2 minutes)

4. Whisk in milk and reduce heat to low. Melt in cheese and add salt.

5. Pour pasta in a sprayed 9x13 baking casserole dish, and pour cheese sauce on top.

6. In separate bowl, toss bread, garlic salt, butter and Parmesan cheese together. Crumble on top of mac and cheese casserole.

7. Bake at 375 for 20-30 minutes until hot and bubbly
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 181 Calories; 8g Fat (37.7% calories from fat); 8g Protein; 20g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 21mg Cholesterol; 352mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 0 Vegetable; 1/2 Non-Fat Milk; 1 1/2 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates.

NOTES : With its bread crumb topping and cheesy sauce, our casserole is a master of disguise when it comes to sneaking veggies into your child's diet. Just stir 1 to 2 cups of broccoli florets, frozen peas, or sliced peppers into the boiling noodles about one minute before they reach al dente, then drain both and combine with the sauce before baking.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Chocolate Cinnamon Pound Cake

I say Chocolate Cinnamon instead of Chocolate banana because people who don't like bananas will probably still like the cake. The bananas just add moistness not really flavor. I got this recipe for Janssen. She and Ralphie I think like it more than I did, but I thought it was a fun twist and pretty darn good, and an excellent way to use those bananas you have sitting around. Good luck finding cinnamon chips. : )

Chocolate Banana Pound Cake

(1 bundt cake)

2 ripe bananas
1 package plain German chocolate cake mix (psh, don't give me grief about using a cake mix)
¾ cup buttermilk
½ cup oil
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup cinnamon chips

Glaze:½ cup sugar
5 Tbsp butter
¼ cup milk
3 Tbsp cocoa powder (unsweetened)
2/3 cup cinnamon chips
1 tsp vanilla

Heat oven to 350. Peel bananas and place them in a large mixingbowl. With the electric mixer on low speed, blend them until mashed. Add the cake mix, buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Blend on low speed for 1 minute. Scrape the bowl with a spatula and beat 2 more minutes on medium speed. Fold in the cinnamon chips, making sure theyare well-distributed. Bake until cake springs back when pressed with finger (38-40 minutes). Let cool completely.

Meanwhile, place sugar, butter and milk for glaze in a small saucepan and stir over medium heat until it boils. Still stirring, let it boil for 1 minute and remove pan from heat. Stir in cocoa powder, cinnamon chips and vanilla until the cinnamon chips are melted and the glaze is smooth. Stir and let cool for a few minutes until it thickens a little. When cake is cool, drizzle over the top. Save extra glaze in fridge and eat like fudge.