Friday, December 31, 2010

Greek Seven Layer Dip

Picture and recipe from
Made this yummy appetizer yesterday, loved it! And the best news is that you can print a coupon out for hummus and get it free at Smith's! Woot. Hey maybe there is a market for a recipe blog that is also a deal blog...hmmm. Anyway, this is a fun twist on seven layer dip, and supposedly it is better for you than refried beans, sour cream, and cheese : )
1 8oz package cream cheese, softened ( I used low-fat)
1 tsp dill weed or Greek Seasoning (salt free) - I just used the dill
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 tsp lemon juice
1 1/2 C hummus (really easy to make yourself if you don't want to buy it)
1 c seeded, diced cucumbers
1 c seeded, diced tomatoes
1/2 c chopped Kalamata olives
1/3 c chopped green onions
1/2 c crumbled feta cheese (oh. my. gosh. I totally forgot to put this in mine. That is so lame)
1/8 c minced fresh parsley
With an electric mixer, combine the cream cheese, seasoning, garlic and lemon juice until light and fluffy. Spread in the bottom of a pie plate or a small, shallow baking dish. Then spread a layer of hummus. In order, create layers by sprinkling the cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, onions, Feta, and parsley. Cover with plastic wrap and chill at least two hours. Serve with pita chips, fresh veggies, and/or flatbread.
I have to admit I just shed a tear typing this recipe and realizing I forgot to add feta. So lame. Everyone loved this dip! I was afraid the flavors would be too bold for some, but it got an enthusiastic thumbs up from all! Also, I bought the kalamata olives at an olive bar in the grocery store and five minutes after I put them, in their fancy container (clearly marked $8/lb) Blaine called in from the other room "hey! You weren't saving those olives for anything were you?". He was totally feeding them to our children. Apparently he thinks it is normal for me to buy fancy olives in fancy containers to feed to the riffraff who would probably prefer cheez-its. Sigh. So clearly mark your olives ladies and gents. Maybe lock them up.
And don't forget the feta. Ugh!
Happy New Years!

Bread Dip

Every once in a while when I feel like I am getting too skinny for my own good (haaaahahahahaha) I put some olive oil and salt in a dish and dip bread in it, it's so good! Yesterday though I wanted to ramp up the compexity of my simple little dip. I stumbled across this recipe and I loved it! I couldn't take a picture of it without it looking really weird, so I used the recipe from allrecipes, which also looks kind of weird : )


Olive Oil Bread dip

1/4 cup olive oil
5 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon crushed dried oregano
fresh ground black pepper, to taste
1.Pour the olive oil onto a salad plate. Use a garlic press to press the garlic cloves onto five different spots on the plate. Drizzle the balsamic vinegar over the oil and garlic. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and oregano. Season with black pepper.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Pancakes

We're on this kick at our house to eat a real breakfast most days. This was a yummy one I found through

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup quick cooking oats

1/4 cup brown sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup milk

1 egg, beaten

3/4 cup canned pumpkin

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips


1.Stir together flour, oats, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, and salt in a large bowl. In a separate large bowl, lightly beat together the milk, egg, pumpkin, and oil. Stir flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture, blending just until moistened. (the reviews said to let this sit for 15 minutes for the oats to moisten up. I did and they turned out perfect.)

2.Heat a lightly greased griddle over medium high heat.

3.Pour batter, 1/3 cup at a time, onto the prepared griddle. Make a jack-o-lantern face in each pancake with the chocolate chips. (I didn't make jack o lantern faces. I just added the chocolate chips in the batter right before I cooked them.)  Cook until bubbles appear on the surface, then flip and cook until golden brown on the other side, about 5 minutes per side.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

My New Favorite Healthy Eating Cookbook

My sister introduced this to me. She was ailing (not from cancer), with no appetite - until someone made her something from this cookbook. Every recipe I've tried so far has, like she experienced, been chocker-block full of flavor.

Here is one mmmm recipe I made last week:

Chicken Vegetable Soup with Ginger Meatballs
Serves 4

1 pound ground organic dark-meat turkey or chicken (I used regular ground turkey and it was fine)
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 tsp minced garlic
1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
1/2 tsp sea salt
Pinch of cayenne
1 egg, beaten
1/3 cup uncooked white basmati or jasmine rice

2 TBS extra-virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced small
Sea salt
1 large carrot, peeled and diced small
1 large celery stalk, diced small
2 cloves garlic, mined
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
8 cups Chicken magic Mineral Broth (page 55) - or store-bought organic chicken broth
1/2 cup fresh or frozen sweet peas
1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh basil, finely chopped
1 lime, cut into quarters, for garnish

To make the meatballs:
Line a sheet pan with wax paper. Combine the turkey, ginger, garlic, parsley, salt, cayenne, egg, and rice in a bowl and mix with your hands or a spatula until well combined. Don't overwork the mixture or the meatballs will be tough.

Wet the palms of your hands so the mixture doesn't stick, roll it into 1-inch balls, and place them on the prepared pan.

To make the soup:
Heat the olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat, then add the onion and a pinch of salt and saute until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the carrot, celery, garlic, ginger, and 1/4 tsp of salt and continue sauteing for about 3 minutes.

Pour in 1/2 cup of the broth to deglaze the pot and cook until the liquid is reduced by half. Add the remaining 7 1/2 cups broth and another 1/4 tsp of salt and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to maintain a vigorous simmer, then gently transfer half of the meatballs into the simmering broth. (Refrigerate or freeze the remainder to use later.) Cover and allow the meatballs to simmer for 15 minutes.

Add the peas and cook for 3 minutes more, then stir int he parsley and basil. Serve each bowl garnished with a wedge of lime.

Variation: If you aren't a pea person, use this recipe as an opportunity to get some dark leafy greens into your life. Simply replace the peas with 1 cup of baby spinach leaves.

Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook time: 35 minutes
Storage: Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months

Per Serving: Calories: 210; Total Fat: 7 g; Carbs: 23g; Protein: 15g; Fiber: 3 g; Sodium: 380mg

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Balsamic Chicken Pasta with Fresh Cheese - repost

*picture and recipe credit once again to Perrys Plate

Kayla posted this recipe in October and I kept meaning to get to it but, let's be honest, I have a thing about goat cheese. Finally though I just sucked it up and made it and Oh. My. It was so delicious. Blaine came home from work yesterday and said, "I know I had it for dinner yesterday and lunch today but I am kind of disappointed that you aren't making that pasta again for dinner tonight."

For reals.

Anyway, I wanted to do crazy things like add mushrooms to it but I was scared to do that on the first go around. But since my husband now craves this daily I'll get to that real soon for sure : )

Balsamic Chicken Pasta with Fresh Cheese
from: Kayla and Perrys Plate

8 oz Linguine (I used fettuccine)
1 whole Red Bell Pepper, Julienned
2 Tbs Balsamic Vinegar
3 whol Garlic Cloves, Minced
1/2 t Salt
1/4 t Coarsely Ground Black Pepper
6 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 C Fresh Basil Leaves, Thinly Sliced, Divided (I can guarantee I didn't have a whole cup and therefore I did not divide them, I just mixed all in with the dressing, I am sure the pasta would only be better with more basil, but don't sweat it if your tiny (yet very expensive) package of basil doesn't make a whole cup)
2 cups Shredded, Cooked Chicken (I cooked mine on the george foreman with salt and pepper, you could easily omit the chicken though and still have an awesome dish!)
1 cup Small Fresh Mozzarella Balls, Haved OR Regular Mozzarella Cut into 3/4 inch cubes (is it just me or are mozzarella balls gross? I used a brick-- way happy with the result)
1/2 C Goat Cheese Crumbles- I bet I used less than this, just because I had a tiny taste of the goat cheese before I put it in the pasta and about yacked. I am not sure what magical thing happens to the cheese when you toss it around with all of these other ingredients, but all of the sudden it not only becomes tolerable but very, very, VERY good.

Cook pasta according to package directions, drain. Saute bell pepper in a small skillet over medium heat until limp, about 10 minutes (or half that in my case)

Meanwhile, whisk vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper in a small bowl; slowly whisk in oil. Stir in 1/2 C of basil

Place pasta, chicken, cooked peppers, mozzarella, goat cheese, and remianing basil in a large bowl. Pour dressing over top and toss to coat.

Serves 4.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Parmesan-Garlic Tilapia Sticks

Photo and Recipe from

So I didn't tell my kids that these were fish, and I am pretty sure they thought it was chicken, but regardless, they loved it! I made these on a night when I was going to be gone for dinner but Blaine was going to be home with the kids and they were a major hit.

I don't know why no one has told me about panko bread crumbs before, but they are awesome. It's kind of like getting to eat fried food without actually frying it. They cost slightly more than regular bread crumbs but give the food a completely different taste/texture. I can't wait to try them again

Parmesan-Garlic Tilapia Sticks
by Natalie @

1 lb tilapia or any other firm, white fish such as cod
1 egg
1/4 C buttermilk (we used regular milk and it was fine)
3 cloves garlic, pressed
1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
A couple big pinches of salt and pepper
Dipping sauce - Natalie suggested marinara, we used ranch, certainly you could make up your own dipping sauce. Whatever tickles your fancy.

Preheat oven to 425 dgs. Cut fish into 1/2-inch strips and sprinkle a little salt on both sides.

In a small shallow bowl whisk together the egg, buttermilk and pressed garlic. In another shallow bowl combine the bread crumbs, cheese, and a big pinch of salt and pepper.

Dip the fish sticks into the wet mixture, letting the excess liquid drip off, then coat in braed crumb mixture. Lay on a baking sheet and repeat with remaining fish sticks. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork. If you want them golden brown, broil them for the last minute of baking time.

Serve with sauce of your choice

Makes 3-4 servings

Monday, December 6, 2010

Linguine with Clam Sauce

What a perfect way to break a fast, we loved this fast, easy and very tasty pasta!

Recipe and Photo from: Annie's Eats

Linguine with Clam Sauce

12 oz linguine pasta
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp unsalted butter
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 (6.5 oz) cans minced clams, juices reserved
1/2 c heavy cream (or half and half)
Salt and pepper
Grated Parmesan, for serving

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook pasta according to the package directions until al dente. Drain will

Meanwhile, in a large skillet or saucepan, heat the olive oil and butter over medium high heat until the butter is completely melted. Add the garlic to the pan and saute until golden and fragrant, about one minute. Add the reserved clam juice to the pain, bring to a simmer, and reduce by about half. With the heat on medium-low, stir in the clams and the heavy cream. Season the sauce to taste with salt and pepper.

Portion the pasta into warmed serving bowls. Spoon some of the sauce over the pasta and top with grated Parmesan, if desired. Serve immediately.

A few notes from me :

I sauteed some mushrooms in a little butter and oilve oil and added on top of the pasta as well, yum.

Also what I loved about this recipe was that you could actually do the sauce prep while the pasta was cooking. Usually I have to prepare sauces before hand, but truly you can make the sauce in the 9 minutes it takes to cook the pasta

Also though....if you cook the pasta and have a little bit of work left to do with the sauce (I decided last minute about the mushrooms) and you strain the pasta and put the strainer so it is hanging on the top of the pot and you put the pot back on the stove. Well. Just make sure that you turned the burner off. Yeah my strainer totally melted all over my pan. On the bright side I now have a stock pot/strainer combo, with a nice side of melted plastic carcinogens. Sigh.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Chicken Enchiladas


1 (16 ounce) can refried beans
10 (8 inch) flour tortillas
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1 cup sour cream
3 cups cubed cooked chicken
3 cups shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
1 (14.5 ounce) can enchilada sauce
1/4 cup sliced green onions
1/4 cup sliced ripe olives
1 small can diced green chilies
Shredded lettuce

1.Spread about 2 tablespoons of beans on each tortilla. Combine soup and sour cream; stir in chicken. Spoon 1/3 to 1/2 cup down the center of each tortilla; top with 1 tablespoon cheese. Roll up and place seam side down in a greased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking dish. Pour enchilada sauce over top; sprinkle with onions, olives and remaining cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees F for 35 minutes or until heated through. Just before serving, sprinkle lettuce around enchiladas if desired.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Grilled Malibu Chicken

*Picture credit to Perrys' Plate!

Sad times at the Bassett house in June when we moved to our new place, we tried to have some family over for a bbq and it turned out that wrapping our grill in plastic wrap, shipping it across the country and then keeping it stored for a year somehow broke it. It was a sad, lonely, bbqless summer. The good news is that you get to know your neighbors real fast when on your second day living in your new place you have to go door to door with a plateful of raw meat asking to borrow a grill. Oh yeah, that's how friends are made.

Anyway, I've learned to work with my George Foreman and I have one of these on my Christmas list, so hopefully the sob story won't continue much longer.

I made this Malibu Chicken from Perrys' Plate on Sunday, it was delicious, mmmmm. Perfect easy meal.

PS I hope you appreciate the recipes I put on here, because somehow copy and paste is disabled on our computer so I painstakingly retype each recipe, by hand, for you.

Grilled Mailbu Chicken
From Perrys Plate via Patio Dadio BBQ via Tasty Kitchen...please someone repost this on their blog so I can be added to the geneology of the recipe.

6 boneless/skinless chicken breasts
2 T Montreal Steak Seasoning, or BBQ seasoning
12 slices deli thin ham (thin)
6 slices canned pineapple
6 slices swiss cheese
1/2 c pineapple juice (from the can)
4T butter, melted
1 T plain yellow mustard
1T honey
1 T molasses ( I used brown sugar)
2 tsp worcestershire sauce
1 t chili powder

Season both sides of each breast with the BBQ/Montreal Steak seasoning, cover and refrigerate at least an hour (whoops, I did not cover or refrigerate and still tasted fine!)

Combine the butter, pineapple juice, mustard, honey, molasses, worcestershire sauce and chili powder in a medium mixing bowl and whisk until smooth, set asaide.

Prepare your grill for two zone cooking (direct and indirect) at medium-high heat (about 400 dgs) . Or if that last sentence makes you panic, turn on your grill pan to medium high heat. Or plug in the George Foreman

Quickly grill one side of each braest and each pineapple ring over direct heat until they are seared and have nice grill marks (doesn't happen in the George Foreman, sorry peeps), about two minutes. Flip each breast and ring, brush with the sauce, and cook another two minutes.

Move the chicken to the indirect part of the grill (or a not so hot part of your pan) and brush the top of each with sauce. Top each braest with two slices of ham and drizzle the ham with the sauce. Put a slice of cheese on them and a pineapple ring on each braest and drizzle again with the sauce. Continue cooking with the grill lid down (or cover with aluminum foil) until the intermnal temperature reaches 160dgs, about ten mninutes.

Serve with another drizzle of sauce.

* I have raw chicken issues so I divided my sauce in two bowls, one to use to drizzle the raw breasts and stuff and one to serve the chicken with. Do what makes you happy.

Artichoke Parmesan Stuffing

I LOVE stuffing. With a deep and abiding love. It's kind of weird because I hate soggy bread. Anyways, I nominated myself to make the stuffing this year for Thanksgiving and it turned out really well and left me wondering why I don't make stuffing as a side dish more often. I's easy, it's tasty and...yeah..mmmmmm

Recipe from Our Best Bites

1 pound mushrooms, cleaned, ends trimmed and sliced or chopped
1 tablespoon butter
2 onions, chopped
1 cup diced celery
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2-2 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 loaf (1lb) sourdough bread, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 jars (6oz each) marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 1/2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary leaves or 3/4 tsp dried
salt and pepper
1 large egg, lightly beaten

Toast chpped bread in a 400 dg oven until lightly toasted, about 10 minutes

In a frying pan over high heat, cook mushrooms, onions, celery and garlic stirring often, until vegetables are tender and lightly browned, about ten minutes. Pour into a large bowl. Add a bit of broth to pan ( a few tablespoons) and stir to scrape up browned bits. Add to bowl.

Pour two cups broth into bowl and add bread, artichoke hearts, parmesan and spices/herbs, mix well. Salt and pepper to taste. Add beaten egg and mix into stuffing.

Preheat oven to 350 dgs and spoon stuffing into a 9 x13 casserole pan. For moist stuffing, cover with foil or for crusty stuffing (yes, please) do not cover. Bake until hot or lightly browned, about 50 minutes.

Can make up to one day ahead-- make stuffing, put in dish, cover and chill. Allow one hour to bake.


Monday, November 22, 2010

Mall Pretzels

We made these last night and they were so yummy! they tasted just like the Pretzel maker ones, except i didn't have any salt like theirs so we made the cinnamon ones.
Here is the link if you want to read the reviews, they gave some good tips

Mall Pretzels

recipe image
Rated: rating
Submitted By: Jeannie Yee
Photo By: Allrecipes
Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Cook Time: 20 Minutes

Ready In: 3 Hours
Servings: 12
"Those big, soft pretzels rolled in coarse salt are yours to bake at home with basic bread ingredients you probably already have in your pantry."
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/8 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F
/45 degrees C)
3 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup bread flour
2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45
degrees C)
2 tablespoons baking soda
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons coarse kosher salt
1. In a large mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast, brown sugar and salt in 1 1/2 cups warm water. Stir in flour, and knead dough on a floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, and turn to coat the surface. Cover, and let rise for one hour.
2. Combine 2 cups warm water and baking soda in an 8 inch square pan.
3. After dough has risen, cut into 12 pieces. Roll each piece into a 3 foot rope, pencil thin or thinner. Twist into a pretzel shape, and dip into the baking soda solution. Place on parchment covered cookie sheets, and let rise 15 to 20 minutes.
4. Bake at 450 degrees F (230 degrees C) for 8 to 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Brush with melted butter, and sprinkle with coarse salt, garlic salt or cinnamon sugar.

Tips from Reviews-
-Knead dough until it is smooth and looses elasticity.
- i didn't really roll mine, it was more holding it in the air and stretching it out.
- after you dip the pretzel in the water, dab on a paper towel for a half a second to get off excess water
- bake on upper middle rack so the bottoms won't burn.
- I didn't use parchment paper, just sprayed my cookie sheets real well and they were fine.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Fall Popcorn

Okay, if we are incorporating ease of preparation into the ranking scale -- this is the best treat ever. So easy. So---inexpensive! So plentiful. So good. Don't make it though, because I will be giving you some for Christmas, or making it at the next function we are at together!

Recipe from Perrys Plate
1/4 C unpopped popcorn kernels (though I would argue you could use up to 1/2 C and be fine)
4 Tbs Butter
2 Tbs Brown Sugar
1 t pumpkin pie spice
two dashes of salt (mighty dashes)
Pop kernels with your hot air popper. While they are popping melt your butter, add the sugar and spice and salt. When popcorn is ready drizzle sugary mixture over the popcorn and toss to coat.
I had my doubts, but I really really loved this.

Sugar Coated Pecans

Well making these little goodies was far easier than I had imagined, and the result was awesome! These would make great neighborgifts, holiday snacks, or a great addition to a yummy salad!

Recipe adapted slightly from

2 egg whites
1 T vanilla
1 lb pecan halves (or almonds!)
1 C white sugar
3/4 t salt
1 t ground cinnamon

whip together the egg whites and vanilla until frothy. Through the nuts in and toss to coat. In a seperate bowl mix together the sugar, salt and cinnamon. When mixed add to the nut/frothy egg white mixture. Toss all around to get them coated. Place on a greased baking sheet and bake on 250 dgs for one hour, stirring every fifteen minutes.


Monday, November 15, 2010


I just accidentally posted on my other blog a post that was meant for here, and my computer is dumb and is not letting me copy and paste. And I am so lazy and tired and I want to go take a nap, so until further notice...please see my "how to make an awesome salad" over on The Little Things.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Winger Chili

We had our ward Halloween party last weekend. Boy Howdy, there was a LOT of chili. I looked for a crockpot with a familiar name on it. See, I don't love chili. But I did love THIS chili, made by my neighbor Steph. It warmed my soul. I have no picture, sorry dudes. Use the Turkey Sausage, that's what made this chili outstanding!

Winger Chili

3 cans tomatoes, pureed

3 cans tomato sauce

1lb ground beef, browned (or turkey sausage)

1 can black beans

1 can kidney beans

1/3-1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2-1 tsp basil

1/2-1 tsp oregano

1/4 tsp pepper

1/2 medium onion, diced

3-4 Tbs chili powder

Cook in crockpot, or on stove until hot (about 30 minutes after boiling).

The turkey sausage recipe below is what we use entirely in place of ground beef. It's really yummy!

Homemade Turkey Sausage

3 lbs. lean ground turkey

2 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon crushed fennel

5 dashes crushed red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon basil

1 or 2 sprigs parsley, finely chopped or 1 teaspoon dried

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon crushed rosemary

1 teaspoon sage

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

½ teaspoon garlic powder

Start browning sausage, add spices, and cook until turkey is done. We love to use this in place of pork sausage. Can use in stuffing, on pizza, in spaghetti, in eggs, etc.

Creamy Orzo Pasta

I got ten free bricks of cream cheese. That's a big deal in Utah because cream cheese here is TWO DOLLARS (almost) a loaf. Gag me. Anyways I pleaded for recipes from friends and family and Janssen pointed me to this creamy orzo pasta recipe and we loved it!

  • Creamy Orzo with Chicken, Mushrooms and Red Peppers
  • from Mel's Kitchen Cafe
  • *Note: this pasta is best served immediately as it tends to get less creamy as it sits at room temperature – so serve warm right as it finishes cooking! (Incidentally, it heated up just fine the next day in the microwave on low power.)
  • *Serves 4
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    2 average-sized chicken breasts (about 1 to 1 ½ pounds), cut into chunks
    2 red bell peppers, cut into ½-inch pieces
    8 ounces white button mushrooms, quartered
    1 teaspoon dried thyme
    3 cloves garlic, finely minced
    1 pound orzo pasta
    8 ounces cream cheese, softened (can use 1/3 less fat cream cheese)
    1 cup reserved pasta water
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon pepper
    ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
    3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
    Squeeze of fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the orzo and cook according to package directions until tender. When the orzo is ready, reserve 1 cup of the pasta water (ladling it into a small bowl is my method) and then drain the orzo and set aside.
  • While the orzo cooks, in a large nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Add the chicken to the hot oil and brown on all sides. When nicely browned (but not all the way cooked through), add the peppers, mushrooms and thyme. Stir and let cook for about 5 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and the mushrooms and peppers have softened and browned and most of the liquid has evaporated. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • In the skillet over medium heat, add the softened cream cheese (if you forgot to let the cream cheese soften at room temperature, no worries! Pop it in the microwave for one minute on 40% power) in bite sized chunks and stir so that the cream cheese melts and coats the chicken and vegetables. Add the reserved pasta water and bring to a simmer. Add ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Stir. Add the orzo, Parmesan, lemon juice and fresh parsley. Stir to combine and heat through. Garnish with additional Parmesan and parsley.

Lemon and Garlic Chicken Marinade

I got this marinade recipe from Mel's Kitchen Cafe. It's really awesome. I love it. You can use it with so many recipes and it is so stinkin easy.

  • Juice of 1 lemon, approximately 3 tablespoons
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic, about 2 medium cloves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 pound chicken breasts (I usually cut really thick chicken breasts down to thin them out and make the pieces a little smaller so they absorb the marinade better)

Combine all marinade ingredients. Place chicken in a ziploc bag and pour marinade over chicken. Seal bag and place in fridge overnight. Grill (or cook in frying pan). Serve with sides of your choice or cut into bite sized pieces and add to desired recipe (I’ll be sharing a few with you soon). Note: If you cut your chicken into smaller, bite-sized pieces and then marinate it, you can get away with only letting it marinate for 5 or 6 hours instead of overnight

Seriously. Eat it plain. Use in the Broccoli and Bowtie Pasta recipe I just posted. Use in the Chicken Gyro recipe. Use it however you want, it's gooooood.

Broccoli and Bowties (REPOST)

I posted this recipe two years ago and thought it could use a repost a) because I took such an amazing picture of it ( *cough * *cough* *choke*) but mostly b) it's one of my absolute favorite meals of all time.

My neighbor made this for me when I was dying of morning sickness with Ivy. It's perfectly light, has a wonderful flavor and is easy to prepare. You should make some! The pinenuts, while a splurge, really make the meal you just need a teeny tiny package, so splurge away and thank me later!

Broccoli and Bow Ties
Recipe from : Awesome neighbor Cheryl

Kosher Salt (or regular if you don't have Kosher)
8 C broccoli florets ( I always just use however the heck much I want/have)
1 lb farfalle (bow tie) pasta
2T unsalted butter
2T Olive Oil
1 t minced garlic
1 lemon, zested (I used to skip this, but don't, it really adds lots of flavor)
1/2 t freshly ground black pepper
1T freshly squeezed lemon juice (or more....mmmm)
1/4 C toasted pignolis (pine nuts)
Freshly Grated Parmesan

Cook the broccoli for 3 minutes in a large pot of boiling salted water. Remove the broccoli from the water with a slotted spoon. Place in a large bowl and set aside.

In the same water, cook the bow-tie pasta according to package directions, about 12 minutes. Drain well and add to the broccoli.

Meanwhile in a small saute pan, heat the butter and oil and cook the garlic and lemon zest over medium-low heat for 1 minute. Off the heat, add 1 t salt, the pepper and the lemon juice and pour this over the broccoli and pasta. Toss well. Season to taste, sprinkle with the pignolis and cheese and serve!

To toast pignolis place them in a dray saute pan over medium low heat and cook, tossing often until they start to turn brown. Don't walk away, don't think you will remember to check on them in twenty seconds. Stand there and stir them. To quote Janssen, "unless you like the salty taste of tears in your pasta"(well, she said soup), seriously though nothing ruins this meal faster than burning your pinenuts that you spent FIVE dollars on. Just don't walk away.

Anyway, I love this meal, and the good news is, if you need to beef it up for your dinner group or family function or meat loving husband, I have an awesome chicken marinade for you. Just cook up some of that marinaded chicken and toss it with this pasta and you are set!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Black Bean Soup with Cilantro-Lime Sour Cream

Thanks Janssen for recommending this great recipe from It's So Tasty Too. We left out the leeks because WHAT are they anyways? Other than that I followed the recipe and loved it, especially with the lime sour cream. Yum! We served with cornbread and an awesome salad that Katie brought and that I will try to obtain the recipe for ASAP!

The other good news about this soup is that I actually did the whole "soak beans overnight" business. I was so darn proud. And in the interest of my arteries I drained about half of the bacon drippings (because dang I had a LOT of bacon drippings), still tasted wonderful!

1 (16 oz.) package dried black beans (about 2 1/2 cups) or 5 cans (15 oz.) black beans
1 lb. bacon, chopped
3/4 cup finely chopped celery
3/4 cup finely chopped onion
3/4 cup finely chopped carrots
3/4 cup finely chopped leeks
6 cups canned chicken broth
1 large tomato, chopped
1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 1/2 tablespoons garlic, minced
1 jalapeno chili, minced, seeds removed
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar (I used sherry)
2 teaspoons ground cumin

Cilantro-Lime Sour Cream:
3/4 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Place beans in a large bowl. Add enough water to cover by 3 inches. Let stand overnight. Drain and rinse well. Cook bacon in heavy large pot over medium heat until done, about 8 minutes. Do not drain drippings. Add beans, chicken broth, tomato, cilantro, parsley, garlic, jalapeno, sherry or vinegar and cumin. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer soup until beans are very tender, stirring occasionally, about 2 hours.

(If you use canned beans, which is perfectly fine!, then just simmer for an hour.)

If you have an immersion blender, process until slightly chunky puree forms. Return soup to pot. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (If you don't have an immersion blender, for Heaven's sake, go out and treat yourself to one - they are amazing! In the meantime, working in batches, transfer soup to a blender and process until slightly chunky and pureed.) Ladle soup into bowls. Place dollop of sour cream mixture atop soup.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Balsamic Chicken

I feel duty bound to share this recipe. It was amazingly good. I used chicken I canned a few months ago and fusilli pasta. It was perfect. Although, I think the recipe could support more veggies so next time I'll reduce the pasta a bit and maybe throw in some chopped up cauliflower or asparagus or something.

Balsamic Chicken with Fresh Cheese

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Pumpkin Oat Pancakes

We're on a pancake kick around here lately. They're easy, filling, and lend themselves well to our whole foods rules.

Pumpkin Oat Pancakes
(adapted from here)

Wet Ingredients:
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 cup buttermilk*
1 egg white
1 whole egg
1 T oil
1 T honey
1 t vanilla
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/3 cup lowfat or skim milk**

Dry Ingredients:
Very scant 1 cup whole wheat flour (I used white whole wheat from King Arthur)
2 T wheat germ
1 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
dash nutmeg

In a large bowl, combine the oats and buttermilk. Let the mixture sit for 15 minutes to soften the oats. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine all the dry ingredients.

Add the remaining wet ingredients to the oats and milk. Stir in the dry ingredients. Drop by 1/4 cup-fulls on to a greased griddle. Flip when undersides are golden brown (the tops didn't really bubble much for me, so keep an eye on them). Enjoy!

*If you don't have buttermilk, put 1 tablespoon of distilled white vinegar in a measuring cup then add enough milk to make one cup. Let sit for 5 minutes. Alternatively, you can also use a mixture of half milk and half plain yogurt.
**I ended up adding substantially more milk. 1/3 cup makes for really THICK pancakes that were having trouble cooking all the way through. I probably added another half cup.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

New mexico green chile breakfast burritos

These were sooo good! 4 stars! i will give one tip though, if you use fresh green chili's bought from the mexican on the side of the road, don't put too many on because they are really really really hot! i think next time i will try just some canned green chili's, we actually didn't even put hardly any green chili on it because it was so hot, so i am not sure if we got the full effect, but even serving them how we did they were amazing! we made this for dinner with a side of chipotle flavored rice cooked in chicken broth and everyone loved it!

Taken from here is the link if you want to read the reviews, it got 5 out of 5 stars on the website.

New Mexico Green Chile Breakfast Burritos
recipe image
Rated: rating
Submitted By: applejedi1
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 30 Minutes

Ready In: 40 Minutes
Servings: 6
"A hearty recipe for a style of breakfast burrito found in every eatery, taco stand, and gas station around Santa Fe, made with the famous green chiles from Hatch, New Mexico."
4 potatoes, shredded
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (8 ounce) container frozen Hatch, New
Mexico green chile peppers
1/2 cup chicken broth
12 strips bacon

1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon onion powder
salt and pepper to taste
6 (10 inch) flour tortillas
butter flavored cooking spray
12 extra large eggs, beaten
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1. Place the shredded potatoes in a bowl, cover with water, and set aside. Bring the onion, garlic, green chiles, and chicken broth to a boil in a saucepan over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer until the sauce thickens; turn off the heat.
2. Meanwhile, place the strips of bacon on paper towels on a microwave-safe plate, and cook on High until crisp, about 1 minute per strip; set aside.
3. Heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Drain the potatoes, and add to the skillet. Spoon hot oil over the potatoes; sprinkle with the onion powder, salt, and pepper. Flip the potatoes occasionally, but let them fry until crispy bits form and the potatoes are cooked through, about 15 minutes.
4. Place the tortillas between two damp paper towels. Microwave on High until warm, about 30 seconds.
5. Spray a separate skillet with butter flavored cooking spray and cook the eggs over medium heat, whisking them continuously until the eggs are completely set; turn off the heat.
6. Lay a tortilla flat in front of you. Place some potatoes, scrambled egg, and a strip of bacon on the lower third, leaving about an inch of room from the bottom, and about 1-1/2 inches on the left and right clear for folding the burrito. Spoon on a little of the green chile sauce, and sprinkle with Cheddar cheese.
7. Fold the left and right edges into the middle about 1-1/2 to 2 inches. Take the bottom edge closest to you with the stuffing and pick it up, pulling it OVER the filling, while keeping the sides in place until that edge now touches the tortilla about 7/8 of the way up to the top edge. Check to see that the sides are still tucked well. If they aren't slide them in a bit now that you have the filling covered. Finish by tucking the bottom flap that you pulled over the filling UNDER the filling a bit to seal it, then continue rolling the burrito up to the top edge, forming a tight cylinder. Let it rest

New Mexico Green Chile Breakfast Burritos (continued) 2 of 2
Directions: (continued)
seam-side down, and it will stay nice and tight. Repeat with remaining ingredients.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Stuffed Pizza Rolls

They're like pizza....but more fun.

And you have to decide if that is worth it to you. On the particular day that I made the stuffed pizza rolls it wasn't worth it to me. It wound up being an emotional breakdown, and my kids didn't really think the pizza rolls were that fun. BUT that being said you could do it a lot easier than I did...I made my own roll dough, made my own sauce and had to chop up ham (which I somehow got ham instead of canadian bacon...?), plus I had PMS. But in the end they were delicious and "fun" and the options for different fillings/dipping sauces are endless.

* a good tip for pizza is that if you use a block of mozzerella instead of preshredded your cheese will melt better. Again, I only had shredded which made it a big fat mess : )

BUT They were delicious, Blaine loved them, and for Pete's Sake they were FUN!
Got this recipe from
Stuffed Pizza Rolls

1 roll refrigerated pizza dough (or make your own)

pizza sauce (or make your own)

2T grated parmesan cheese

1T olive oil or melted butter

1/2 t garlic powder

1t dried italian seasoning

mozzerella cheese

pizza toppings of your choice: ie, ham and pineapple, pepperoni, sausage, etc.

Preheat the oven to the heat specified on the pizza dough package (usually abt 400dgs).

Unroll your pizza dough onto a lightly floured surface. Pat or roll the dough so it is about 8". Cut the dough into about 24 squares with a pizza cutter (again, if I had a pizza cutter this thing would have been easier...just sayin).

Place cheese and desired toppings on each square (not the sauce!) are making dough ball things so you can dip them in the sauce later : ) Just place enough toppings on each square so you have enough dough left to make a ball. When all of your dough squares have cheese and toppings on, carefully lift up each sqaure and wrap the dough around the toppings. Pinch to make sure each ball is sealed shut and then place them seam side down in a lightly sprayed pie pan (or similar dish).

Brush the tops of the dough balls with olive oil or melted butter, then sprinkle with garlic and italian seasonings and top with parmesan cheese (or in lieu of all that you can use garlic bread seasoning).

Cook for 15-20 minutes until golden brown on top. You may want to check after 10 minutes since cooking times will vary!

Serve with your warm pizza sauce, and relish in how fun of a mom you are.

I am so fun. For the love, use refrigerated dough and a pizza slicer and a block of mozzerella, you will be happier : ) And maybe wait till you are not having PMS.

Pizza Sauce!

You may have noticed that I am a saucy person. I can't get enough sauce! It's especially true with pizza. If I am ever the one to call and order our family pizza I order it with extra sauce, and then Blaine doesn't speak to me the rest of the night (I married a not saucy person, the shame!). Anyway, I made some stuffed pizza rolls a few weeks ago and made my own sauce to go with them and it was SO easy and SO tasty !

Pizza Sauce


1 6oz can tomato paste

6oz water (use the empty tomato paste can)

3 Tbs garlic bread seasoning

1 Tbsp sugar or honey (I used sugar!)

3/4 t onion powder

1/4 t red pepper flakes

Empty tomato paste into a bowl and add water a few tablespoons at a time, stirring continuously until combined. Add remaining ingredients, stir to combine, and allow to stand until ready to use.


Monday, September 20, 2010

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

This is another recipe i got from Ali, but since she is really bad at posting her recipes i guess i will just have to post this one for her :)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

For Meatballs:
1 1/2 pounds Hamburger
3/4 cup oatmeal
2 eggs
1/2 cup onion chopped
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp salt
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
Dash of Pepper

1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup vinegar ( I used White)
2 tsp. Mustard
1/2 cup BBQ sauce
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

Mix all 8 ingredients for Meatballs together and shape into medium sized balls. Cover bottom of a 10 x 15 pan with sauce. Place meatballs in Pan. Cover with remaining sauce. Bake at 350 degrees for 25- 30 min. We served this with rice, but i am sure it would be good with potatoes too. makes 6 servings. Yum. 4 stars

Monday, September 13, 2010

Simple Sesame Noodles

This is the first recipe I've tried from Pioneer Woman. It was so easy and really good.

I did some things differently like:
Used half the amount of oil in the sauce. It was still moist and yummy.
Cut up some chicken into bite size peices, browned it in a pan with oil, splash of soy sauce, and crushed red pepper flakes. Served on top of noodles with green onions, cilantro, and fresh red pepper. Yum!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Sweet and Spicy chicken Sandwiches

Last time i made this Justin didn't love it but this time I made it a little hotter with medium Salsa and he loved it! This is worth making just because it takes like 5 min to prepare. i would give it 3 1/2 stars

Sweet and Spicy Chicken Sandwiches

Chicken tenders uncooked (about 10-12, just cover the bottom of the pan with them)
1 bottle Salsa ( i used Pace Medium Salsa)
1 Cup Brown Sugar
Some rolls or bread
shredded cheese (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Place Chicken in a 9 x 13 pan sprayed with non stick cooking spray.(it is better if they are thawed so there isn't excess water). pour salsa over the top and sprinkle brown sugar over that (I used a little less than a cup so it wasn't so sweet). Cook chicken in oven for 1 hr and 15 min. Shred chicken and put back in the oven for an additional 10 min. Serve on hard rolls or bread (I did it once on Rhodes rolls and i thought they were too soggy with it), add some shredded cheddar cheese on top of chicken. ENJOY!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Healthy Eating

My husband and have I committed to 3 months of drastically healthier eating. We're doing as much un-processed organic whole food as we can. We had resigned ourselves to some pretty cruddy meals but, one week in, we've actually eaten pretty well.

We had this roasted vegetable pasta sauce on homemade pasta on Sunday. I blended it up because that was the only way I could bring myself to eat it (I am super picky about veggies). It was quite good and made a TON. I froze the leftovers in 1 1/2 cup portions. It made an appearance later in the week as pizza sauce on whole wheat pizza dough topped with fresh mozzarella, artichoke hearts and spinach. And next week I'm going to use it in this lasagna.

On Monday I sauteed some onion, garlic, chopped asparagus and spinach in little butter. I tossed it with the leftover homemade pasta from Sunday night and it was probably my favorite meal of the week. 

On Wednesday I made this gnocci (but subbed half the flour with whole wheat). It also turned out really yummy. I topped it with this pesto.

On Thursday we tried out these mashed potato and roasted vegetable enchiladas. I used real potatoes instead of instant and a red bell pepper instead of the mushrooms. I also added some onion and garlic to the veggie mix and followed the reviewers advice by seasoning it all with some cumin. I also used these tortillas and the enchilada sauce from this recipe. We were pretty worried about how these would go but they were super good. My husband in particular loooved them.

Kristi's whole wheat blender pancakes have made several appearances. My sister is visiting and she said she normally doesn't like whole wheat stuff but she loves the pancakes as much as I do. We've been topping them with frozen berries I cook down with a little bit of honey on the stove. So yummy!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Chicken in Garlic Sauce

I found this recipe on iVillage, and thought it was not only simple, only used one dish, and tasted pretty good. it paired perfectly with Crash Hot Potatoes.


15 garlic cloves, unpeeled (didn't have any, so I used dehydrated minced garlic, seemed fine)
1 TBsp butter
1 cup apple juice
4 chicken breasts, with skin and bone (I used boneless/skinless, but I think I'll try bone-in next time. Plus, bone-in is usually cheaper and I never have good recipes to use it with.)
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 TBsp chopped thyme (I used dehydrated and decreased amount)


-Preheat the oven to 350 degress. Parcook the unpeeled garlic cloves in boiling salt water for 4 minutes. Drain, rinse under cold, running water and peel. Set aside. (I skipped this, since I didn't use fresh)

-Heat the oil and butter in a shallow flameproof casserole over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, skin side down, and cook for about 4 minutes, or until the skin is deep golden brown. Turn over, add the apple juice, garlic cloves, and bay leaf, then bring to a simmer. Cover and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until chicken shows no sign of pink when pierced with a knife.

-Using slotted spoon, transfer chicken and half of garlic cloves to a deep platter and keep warm. SKim fat form the cooking juices, then bring to a boil over high heat. Cook, crushing the garlic into the sauce with a spoon about 5 minutes, or until thickened.

-Add the cream and cook for 1 minute longer. Season with salt and pepper. Return the chicken to the casserole and baste. Sprinkle with the thyme and serve immediately.

The only thing I will do different next time is let the sauce cook down longer, I would have liked it thicker.

Cheesy Stuffed Shells


1 16oz container of low fat cottage cheese
1 10oz pkg. frozen chopped spinach (for our family we omit the spinach)
1 c. mozzarella cheese
1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
20 jumbo pasta shells, cooked, drained
1 26oz jar of spaghetti sauce
1 large tomato chopped


Heat oven to 400. Mix cottage cheese, spinach, 1/2 c. mozzarella, Parmesan, and Italian seasoning, spoon into shells. Mix sauce and tomatoes spoon 1/2 into 9x13 dish. Add filled shells, top with remaining sauce. Cover and bake 25 min. Top with remaining cheese and bake uncovered for 2 min.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

California Rolls, yum!

*Photo from

When I lived in Austin once in a while (okay well, once) we had a pre-birth (of Ivy) party and Gretchen made these yummy California Rolls. I thought I didn't like oriental type food until I had these. I ate about ten, which is saying something since when I made them last night Blaine could only eat about four (they are super filling). My rolls didn't turn out looking as pretty as Gretchen's did, but they tasted great and were surprisingly easy to make!

Japanese Sushi Rice (Vinegar Flavored Rice)

by Gretchen Smith

Note: Sushi simply means “cold rice.” This recipe for sushi rice said it was specifically for Maki-zushi (California roll style sushi) but can be used for other sushi.



2 ½ cups short grain rice (short grain or medium grain important so it will stick together, I usually use Calrose rice)

2 ½ cups water

2 ½ inch strip of konbu (I don't usually bother with this – I can't really tell a difference if it is left out) Konbu is a long dark brown to grayish-black seaweed, sometimes simply called kelp. The seaweed is sun-dried and folded into sheets. Konbu has a natural white-powder covering that delivers flavor. Therefore, the surface should be lightly wiped off, not washed.

Vinegar Dressing:

4 Tbsp. + 2 tsp. plain rice vinegar

2 Tbsp. sugar

1 ½ tsp. salt


1. Cook the rice the same as you would normally would (rice cooker or stovetop). The only difference is that you add the konbu and boil it together with the rice. The konbu should be removed as soon as the water reaches a vigorous boil. Take the konbu out quickly so the lid can be replaced as soon as possible.

2. In a separate bowl, mix the ingredients to make the vinegar dressing, making sure the salt and sugar are fully dissolved.

3. After turning the heat off for the rice, allow the rice to steam an additional 10 minutes, then empty into a large, flat pan or tray. (If you're not a perfectionist, a very big will do just fine.)

4. Sprinkle the vinegar dressing over the rice. While using a fan or blow dryer on cool setting, mix the rice in a cutting motion (to keep from mashing the rice grains) with a wet wood or plastic spatula. Quickly cooling the rice gives it a glossy texture.

Serves 4 people

Japanese Maki-zushi (California Roll Style Sushi)

by Gretchen Smith

Note: A variety of fillings can be used for sushi, so feel free to experiment. The following is a list of the ingredients I usually use because they are more traditional and easier to find and prepare.

5 sheets toasted nori (dried seaweed)

3 eggs

1 tablespoon sugar

soy sauce


imitation crab (I use the “leg style” kind that comes rolled in plastic and separates into long thin little strips)

To prepare ingredients for center of rolls:

1. Beat egg with 1 tablespoon sugar and a dash of soy sauce. Cook egg like one large pancake. Cut into ½ inch wide strips.

2. Cut up the cucumber into ¼ strips, removing the seeds.

3. Separate the crab strips in half.

To make the rolls:

1. Place nori shiny side down. Spread 1/5 sushi rice on nori evenly over the nori, leaving 1 inch uncovered at the top.

2. Place ingredients in horizontal strips on sushi rice closer to the bottom than the top. Moisten fingers in vinegar water and run along the exposed leading edge. Roll the nori into a roll.

3. Using sharp knife cut roll into slices. Wipe knife with wet cloth after each cut to keep it from sticking to rice inside the roll.

4. Serve with soy sauce, wasabi, ginger, and toasted sesame seeds, if desired.

Other possible fillings:

- dried Chinese black mushrooms, softened, cut into strips, cooked into soy sauce and sugar

- boiled spinach w/ soy sauce

- daikon or radish sprouts

- pink powder/flakes made with sugar and fish (I forget what this is called)

- cream cheese

* When I made them I used avacado, cucumber, and imitation crab for the filling, and then I added some cream cheese should do that, just cut it in to thin strips and roll it up with your rolls.


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Savory Spiral Stuffed Rolls

These were very easy and very delicious!
Savory Spiral Stuffed Rolls
*Makes 12-16 Rolls
1 recipe roll dough (that yields about 12 rolls) I used this recipe for roll dough
12 oz cream cheese, softened (let's be honest, I only used 8 oz)
1/4 C (1/2stick) butter, softened
2 C chopped ham (leftover ham or deli ham works great - I used deli)
1 1/2 C finely chopped broccoli
2 C shredded cheese (used cheddar)
1 C freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 C finely chopped green onions
Follow the recipe for your roll dough until the dough has risen. Punch down the dough and roll the dough out into a large rectangle about 1/2 inch thick.
In a small bowl, cream together the butter and cream cheese. Spread the rolled out dough with the butter/ cream cheese mixture. Top with ham, broccoli, cheese, parmesan cheese and green onions. Roll the dough up (think like cinnamon rolls), pinching the seam to seal (hint, that step is important, I kind of forgot and that was a mistake). Slice the roll into about 1 inch segments. Place the rolls on a lightly greased baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Let the rolls rise until nearly doubled and bake at 350 dgs for about 20 minutes, until lightly browned and bubbly. [Note: I thought I was special and didn't need to let the rolls rise a second time, not so! Let them rise and life will be better - the second batch that had to rise turned out a lot better).
This was great and delicious and easy, just remember to start early enough so your dough can rise twice before you are hoping to eat!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Grilled Chicken with Lemon and Basil Pasta

We had this for dinner tonight and it was a hit with every single family member. That means it's a keeper. And because I'm super lazy, you only get the hyperlink.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Magic in the Middle Cookies

Magic in the Middle Cookies

MMMMM! I took these cookies to a family function and got rave reviews all night. And more importantly, people thought it was kind of magical how I got the peanut buttery filling in the cookie. These were actually really easy to make and really fun to make with kids helping. Gwen made all of the middle peanut butter portion herself and it kept her busy while I was able to get more of the the technical work done.

I got this recipe and the picture from

Chocolate Dough
1 1/2 cups (6 3/8 ounces) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (1 1/2 ounces) unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar (plus extra for dredging)
1/2 cup (3 3/4 ) brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk

Peanut butter filling
3/4 cup peanut butter, crunchy or smooth, your choice
3/4 cup (3 ounces) confectioners’ sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease (or line with parchment) two baking sheets.
2. To make the dough: In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.
3. In another medium-sized mixing bowl, beat together the sugars, butter, and peanut butter until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and the egg, beating to combine, then stir in the dry ingredients, blending well.
5. To make the filling: In a small bowl, stir together the peanut butter and confectioners sugar until smooth.
6. With floured hands or a teaspoon scoop, roll the filling into 26 one-inch balls.
7. To shape the cookies: Scoop 1 tablespoon of the dough (a lump about the size of a walnut), make an indentation in the center with your finger and place one of the peanut butter balls into the indentation.
8. Bring the cookie dough up and over the filling, pressing the edges together cover the center; roll the cookie in the palms of your hand to smooth it out. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling.
10. Roll each rounded cookie in granulated sugar, and place on the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches between cookies.
11. Grease the bottom of a drinking glass, and use it to flatten each cookie to about 1/2-inch thick.
12. Bake the cookies for 7 to 9 minutes, or until they’re set and you can smell chocolate. Remove them from the oven, and cool on a rack.

PS If you ever want to buy me a gift, you could buy my a cookie cooling rack. Thanks in advance.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Grilled Swiss with Avocado and Tomato

Since returning home from Disneyland where the Dole Whips flowed like water and the Monte Cristo Sandwiches were aplenty....we've decided to try to be healthier. So tonight I cracked open my trusty "Weight Watchers All-Time Favorites" cookbook and tried this recipe, I loved it!

2 Tbs low fat mayo
8 slices multigrain bread
4 slices low fat swiss cheese
1/2 avocado, pitted, peeled, and thinly sliced
2 carrots, shredded
2 cups alfalfa sprouts
1 tomato cut in 8 slices

* Spread 1 1/2 t mayo on each of the four bread slices; layer with one slice of swiss cheese, on fourth of the avocado, on fourth of the carrots, one half cup of the alfalfa sprouts and two tomato slices. Cover with remaining four pieces of bread.

* Set a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Lightly spray both sides of each sandwich with nonstick spray; place in the skillet. Cook, covered, turning once, until the cheese is melted and the bread well toasted, about four minutes.

* Devour

*4 WW Points


I didn't have the alfalfa sprouts or carrots on mine--kudos to you if you keep alfalfa sprouts lying about. Also I used a prepackaged guacamole (that I scored at Costco for cheap!) instead of the avocado.

Very yummy, VERY fast and all made even better with my multigrain bountiful basket bread!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Lettuce Wraps - AWESOME!

So, um....this dinner was amazing. A-MAZ-ING. A big thanks to April Orgill who pointed me to the recipe on This version has been modified to incorporate reviewers suggestions.

I won't be spending the money on PF Changs lettuce wraps again, I can make them at home!

3 Tbs Canola Oil
1 Tbs minced fresh ginger root
1 1/4 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into bite size pieces
1 can water chestnuts, diced
3/4 cup chopped mushrooms
4 Tbs rice vinegar
4 Tbs teriyaki sauce
1/2 t garlic powder
red pepper flakes to taste
1 1/2 C shredded carrots
1/2 C chopped green onion
1/3 C toasted and sliced almonds
12 leaves of iceberg lettuce.

Heat 1 Tbs oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add ginger, water chestnuts, mushrooms and chicken and saute until cooked through, about 7-10 minutes. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together remaining 2 Tbs oil, vinegar, teriyaki sauce, garlic and red pepper flakes.. Add chicken mixture, carrot, green onion and almonds to the sauce, toss together.

To serve spoon 1/12 of the mixture on to the center of each lettuce leaf, roll up leaf around filling and serve.

* In the interest of full disclosure - I used leftover chicken from a rotisserie chicken so I still sauteed it all in the oil, but only for like...three minutes
** also, I loved using my Bosch/food processor and used it to process the mushrooms and carrots on the smallest slicing option.

***Um, these seriously are really good. You should make them

**** My pictures are crappy because I use my iphone. I will make a concerted effort to take amazing pictures with my DSLR in the future.

***** The more adventurous cherry lovers among you may want to try the original recipe found here


Salmon Foil Packets

This recipe comes from the kitchen of Jeannie McCulloch. And if it comes from the kitchen of J.M. you know it's going to be good!

Salmon Fillets cut into portions
Red Onions
Lemon Juice
Favorite spices (I used lemon pepper and basil)

Cut several squares of tinfoil. Put on the salmon fillet skin side down, rub with spice of choice, top with tomatoes and red onions, put on a dash of lemon juice and a dribble of EVOO. Wrap up the packet, place on baking sheet and cook for about 25 minutes on 350.

Very delicious and flexible recipe...I was tempted to throw in some Feta cheese last night too, but didn't. Yum!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Finnish Pasty

Here is a tutorial I made for my brother who wanted to learn how to cook our old family favorite recipe. It is called pasty and my great grandmother used to make it and we continue to make it as a family.
We always make it for special occasions.

I read "What's Cooking" but rarely contribute.  I thought I would share this recipe for you all.

I normally dice my onions for the recipe, but my brother wanted them big so he could pick them off if he wanted. 

Click HERE to see the recipe.

My husband likes this with ketchup or BBQ sauce, although I only eat it with butter and salt.  It is a simple recipe, but has good ol' meat and potato flavor.

Best Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo Ever

Aaron made this for me while we were dating and it sealed the deal. For real. We had it for Father's Day dinner last night with homemade pasta and I remembered WHY it made me decide to marry him. Not exactly waistline friendly but sooo goooood. It's good special occasion food.

For the chicken:
2-3 8oz boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips or cubes
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine oil, garlic, salt and pepper and marinate the chicken for at least half an hour (but longer is better). Drain marinade and grill (or saute) until cooked through. Be careful not to overcook as the chicken will spend a bit of time cooking in the sauce.

For the sauce:
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T olive oil
1/4 cup white cooking wine
3 cups heavy cream
4-6 oz parmesan cheese, freshly grated
Salt and pepper to taste

Place cooked chicken in a saucepan. Add olive oil, garlic, wine, cream and parmesan. Reduce in pan over medium heat (this takes a while, like 20-30 minutes). Salt and pepper to taste, toss with pasta.

Generously serves 4.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Avacado Feta Salsa - Repost

I am coming to accept that no respectable recipe blog posts recipes without pictures. And also I have an iphone which makes posting pictures a zillion times easier. So, I commit to no longer post recipes without pictures, and as I make recipes that were on the site before I will repost them with the picture. They will not be cute pictures. Sorry. Go look at Ralphie's blog after you are here to get your cute picture fix.

This salsa sure is a crowd pleaser! And if you are buying feta anywhere besides Costco you are paying way too much - - they have a big old block of it for cheap!

Avacado Feta Salsa
  • 1-2 tomatoes chopped
  • 1 ripe avocado - peeled, pitted and chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon snipped fresh cilantro (I used more about 1/3 C)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano ( I used dry!)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red or white wine vinegar (used red)
  • 4 ounces crumbled feta cheese
Mix all ingredients together and chill for up to 6 hours. Yum!