Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Year's Favorites 2008

I've decided that the end of every year needs a favorite list. The best of the best recipes I've found so far. These are the ones that have really stood out from the pack- so make sure to try them!
I'm excited for next year's recipes.... I've bought a few new cookbooks and have been in the kitchen testing and tweaking. Start preparing your tastebuds!

Black Bean & Corn Tacos

Chicken Pot Pie

Minestrone Soup

Banana Pancakes

Autumn Fruit Salad

Brownie Cheesecake

Monday, December 29, 2008

All-Day Crockpot Beef

I'm contemplating making a roast. The last attempt went poorly. Perhaps this recipe will be better.

1−1/2 pounds beef roast,
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 package onion soup mix
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon steak sauce
3 carrots, sliced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 yellow onion
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup tomato juice

* Use any cut of beef roast desired.

1. Cut beef roast into serving−sized portions. Use more beef if you need more than 6 servings. Brown beef in a bit of vegetable oil, although you can skip this step if rushed for time.

2. Slice onion and separate into rings. Dice the peeled carrots, dice the celery and slice the peppers into thin strips or circles. Place these into bottom of crockpot. Sprinkle the beef pieces with fresh ground black pepper, minced garlic and the onion soup mix. Place on top of the vegetables.

3. Mix the steak sauce and Worcestershire sauce in a small bowl with about 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup tomato juice. Pour this over the meat.

4. Turn to low, cover and cook for 7−9 hours.

It is not important that you take the meat and vegetables out at a specific amount of time. One or two hours either way usually makes no difference. When ready to serve, dip meat and vegetables out of pot with a slotted spoon. Use the liquid as is or turn crockpot to high and thicken liquid with a little flour or cornstarch.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Rosemary Chicken Salad Sandwiches

Mom made this yesterday- and it was soooo delicious!


  • 3 cups chopped roasted skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 3/4 pound)
  • 1/3 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup plain fat-free yogurt
  • 1/4 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 10 slices whole-grain bread


Combine first 9 ingredients, stirring well. Spread about 2/3 cup of chicken mixture over each of 5 bread slices, and top with remaining bread slices. Cut sandwiches diagonally in half.

Note: Try using Pumpernickel bread- yum yum!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Cherry Cake Stuff

This reminds me of girls' camp. Scrumptious.

2 (21 oz.) cans cherry pie filling
1 pkg. yellow cake mix
1/2 c. melted butter/margarine

Spread pie filling in the bottom of greased slow cooker. Sprinkle dry cake mix powder over the top. Pour melted butter over the top. Cover and cook on high for 2 hrs or on low for 4 hrs.

Makes 10-12 servings

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Ravioli Lasagna

I love this recipe because it has directions if you freeze it!

26-oz jar marinara or pasta sauce
Two 13-oz packages cheese ravioli
1 1/2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

1. Spread 1/2 cup marinara sauce in the bottom of a foil baking pan. Spread 1 package of ravioli in a single layer on sauce. Top with 1 cup of sauce and 1/2 cup mozzarella. Layer the second package of ravioli on top, then 1 cup sauce and 1 cup mozzarella. Cover pan with foil and freeze until ready to use, or bake covered at 400 degrees for 30 minutes, then uncovered for 5 to 10 minutes.

To bake frozen lasagna: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake, covered, for 1 hour. Remove foil and continue baking until cheese is melted and starting to brown, and inside middle is hot, about 25 minutes more.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Black Bean & Corn Tacos

I don't know about you- but I've just about had it with browning beef. So here's an easier alternative!
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup chipotle Salsa (or just regular salsa)
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
  • 1 (16 ounce) package frozen corn, thawed and drained
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Pepper Jack Cheese
  • 12 (6 inch) flour tortillas
  • 1 (1/2 pound) firm-ripe avocado (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Spoon beans into a shallow 2- to 3-quart casserole. Stir in salsa, 1 tablespoon of the lime juice, and cilantro. Top bean mixture with corn, then sprinkle with cheese.
  3. Bake beans and corn in a 400 degree F oven until hot throughout and cheese is melted and bubbling, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, stack tortillas and wrap in foil. Place in the oven until tortillas are warm, about 5 minutes.
  4. While bean mixture and tortillas heat, peel and pit avocado. Cut into thin wedges and arrange wedges on a small serving plate. Sprinkle avocado with remaining lime juice.
  5. To eat tacos, spoon bean and corn mixture into warm tortillas. Offer avocado wedges and additional salsa to add to taste.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Banana Cookies

Want cookies? Maybe chocolate chips don't last long in your house? (like at mine) Try this recipe! I usually have a few extra bananas on hand!

1 c. butter
2 c. sugar
1 tea. vanilla
1 c. mashed bananas
3 1/2 c. flour
2 tea. baking powder
1/2 tea. salt

Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla together. Add bananas and use mixer until smooth. In separate bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. In small amounts, pour the flour mixture into the banana mix until fully combined.
Spoon onto baking sheet and bake at 375 for 10 mins.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Easy Ziti

1 lb. italian sausage
1 c. chopped onion
1 c. sliced bell pepper
1 jar (Prego) 3 Cheese Pasta Sauce
4 1/2 c. hot, cooked penne

In skillet, over med-high heat, cook sausage, onion, and pepper until sausage isn't pink and pour off fat.
Add pasta sauce, heat to a boil, serve over penne.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Dad's Eggnog

Any of you who really know my Dad probably already know about the eggnog concoction. But it is yummy. So I thought I would share it with the rest of the world.

2 parts eggnog
1 parts 7-up (only 7-up will do- Sierra Mist and Sprite are different)

Pour eggnog first, then slowly add 7-up. (watch out, there is foam)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Autumn Fruit Salad


2 red delicious apples
1 sliced banana
1 Granny Smith apple
2 Bartlett pears
1/2 pound red grapes
1/2 cup almond slivers -- toasted
1 cup vanilla yogurt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon apple cider


1. Wash and core apples and pears, peeling if desired. Cut into one inch chunks.

2. Slice bananas 1/2" thick. Wash grapes and cut in half.

3. Combine fruits and almonds in salad bowl.

4. Mix yogurt with spices and cider. Pour over fruit salad and stir to coat fruits evenly. Chill.

Note: You could add raisins, or any number of nuts to this as well! Yum!

Boca Tacos

I know it sounds silly- but this is the ultimate lazy meal- and I admit to making it for myself way too often than I would care to realize.

2 Boca Burgers
2 tortillas- taco size
shredded cheese

Microwave the Boca Burgers as directed, chop it up with a fork a bit, and make your taco! I love the Boca because you don't have to dirty-up a pan with the browning. Just zap and yum!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Banana Bread

4 tbl. margarine
1/4 c. unsweetened applesauce
2 eggs
2 tbl. milk
3/4 c. brown sugar
1 c. mashed bananas
1 3/4 c. flour
2 tea. baking powder
1/2 tea. baking soda
1/4 tea. salt

Mix together and pour into greased bread pan. Bake at 350 for 55 mins.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Taco Topped Potatoes

4 med-lrg potatoes
1 lb. ground beef
1 pkg. taco seasoning
shredded cheese
chopped tomato
sliced green onions
sour cream

Wash potatoes and wrap them in aluminum foil and pierce with fork for ventilation. Place on a cookie sheet lined with foil. Bake them in the oven at 425 for about one hour.
(or you can microwave them if you wish)

Brown the beef, drain the fat, and add taco seasoning. Mix well. Pour onto potatoes, top with cheese, tomatoes, green onions and sour cream.

Note: You may also find tubs of ground beef in taco sauce in the refrigerated meat section of your grocery store.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Creamy Turkey & Broccoli Cobbler

1 can (10 3/4 oz) condensed cream of chicken soup
1 cup milk
6 cups frozen broccoli florets, thawed
3 1/2 cups cubed cooked turkey breast (about 1 lb)
2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (8 oz)
1 can (12 oz) refrigerated buttermilk biscuits

1. Heat oven to 375°F. Spray 13x9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish with cooking spray. In
12-inch skillet, mix soup and milk until well blended. Stir in thawed broccoli, turkey and cheese. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture is hot and bubbly. Pour into baking dish.
2. Separate dough into 10 biscuits; arrange on hot turkey mixture.
3. Bake uncovered 20 to 28 minutes or until biscuits are deep golden brown.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Turkey Nachos

3 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 cups cooked turkey, coarsely chopped
salt, to taste
black pepper, to taste
1 10 ounce package large tortilla chips
I can refried beans
2 cups shredded Monterrey jack cheese (or Cheddar cheese)
2 cups salsa
sour cream

Heat oven to 425°F.

Whisk together lime juice, olive oil, cumin and garlic powder; toss with turkey in a small bowl and season with salt and pepper.

Make a layer of tortilla chips to cover the bottom of a large 12 to 14-inch round or oval baking dish. Evenly spoon refried beans over chips. Top with turkey and sprinkle with 1 cup shredded cheese.

Make another layer of tortilla chips. Spoon half the salsa evenly over chips. Top with remaining cup of cheese.

Bake nachos 15-20 minutes or until heated through and cheese melts and begins to bubble.

Serve hot with remaining salsa, sour cream and cilantro, if desired.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Turkey Tortilla Soup


3 6-inch corn tortillas, cut in strips
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 cup purchased red or green salsa
2 14-ounces cans reduced sodium chicken broth
2 cups cubed cooked turkey (12 ounces)
1 large zucchini, coarsely chopped
Lime wedges (optional)
Sour cream and cilantro (optional)


1. In a large skillet cook tortilla strips in hot oil until crisp; remove with slotted spoon and drain on paper toweling.

2. In a large saucepan combine salsa and chicken broth; bring to boiling over medium-high heat. Add turkey and zucchini; heat through. Serve in bowls topped with tortilla strips, lime wedges, and cilantro. Makes 4 servings.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Pumpkin Bread

I have extra pumpkin leftover from the pancakes. So here's a bread recipe. Mostly just for me- but if you have extra pumpkin lying around- go for it!

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup pumpkin purée*
1/2 cup olive oil
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1 Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Sift together the flour, salt, sugar, and baking soda.

2 Mix the pumpkin, oil, eggs, 1/4 cup of water, and spices together, then combine with the dry ingredients, but do not mix too thoroughly. Stir in the nuts.

3 Pour into a well-buttered 9x5x3 inch loaf pan. Bake 50-60 minutes until a thin skewer poked in the very center of the loaf comes out clean. Turn out of the pan and let cool on a rack.

Makes one loaf. Can easily double the recipe.

Italian Turkey Wrap

I'm already thinking about all the leftover turkey. So for the next few days, I'm posting some scrumptious turkey options!


* 1 large (10-inch/25-cm) flour tortilla, regular or flavored
* 1 tbsp. (15 mL) mayonnaise
* 1 tbsp. (15 mL) grated Parmesan cheese
* handfull coursely diced turkey
* 1 tbsp. (15 mL) chopped red onion
* 1/4 cup (50 mL) baby spinach leaves
* 1 oz. (28 g) sliced Provolone, Swiss or Cheddar cheese
* 2 thin slices tomato
* salt and pepper to taste

1. In a small bowl, stir together mayonnaise and Parmesan cheese. Spread over tortilla to within 1/2 inch (1 cm) of the edges. Top with sliced turkey, red onion, spinach, sliced cheese and tomato slices, layered in the order listed in a row along the center one-third of the tortilla. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper to taste.
2. Roll the tortilla up tightly to enclose the filling, then cut in half crosswise. Eat immediately or wrap both halves in plastic wrap and pack in a lunch bag.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Chicken Enchiladas

Another family favorite. Splurge on some really good green chile sauce- it's worth it!

Corn tortillas
Diced chicken breasts
Shredded Monterrey Jack Cheese
Green Chile Sauce
Veggie Oil
..... and of course- sliced black olives!

Fry corn tortillas in a bit of veggie oil. Very lightly- you don't want tortilla chips! Roll chicken, cheese, and some sauce into each tortilla, placing them in a row in a greased casserole dish. You can fit around 6-8 in there. Then sprinkle the whole thing with cheese and the rest of the sauce- and the black olives. Pop in the oven at 350 for 35 minutes.

Note: browned ground beef can be substituted for chicken

Monday, November 17, 2008

Finger Foods Vol. 1

So these recipes are from this month's Parents mag. Sorry if you've already seen it. But I loved these ideas for the kids and thought I would share them! Coming up with healthy dinners and lunches for the kids are always the hardest!

Polenta Flowers
Cut a log of refrigerated Polenta into slices. Use a cookie cutter to make flower shapes of the slices if you'd like. Arrange on a parchment paper- lined baking sheet, brush with a little olive oil, and sprinkle with finely shredded parmesan cheese. Bake at 450 for 10 minutes. Serve with a bit of tomato sauce for a dip.

Crunchy Fish Triangles
Cut 1/2 lb. Tilapia into triangles. Pour a few tablespoons of milk into a bowl, dip filets in milk, and then in a mixture of 1/3 c. unseasoned dry bread crumbs and 1 teaspoon dry ranch salad dressing mix. Arrange the triangles on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and spritz them with some cooking oil. Bake at 450 for 8-10 mins.

Cheesy Bruchetta Toast
Slice a 1/2 lb. baguette and arrange on a baking sheet. Bake at 450 for 6-8 mins until toasted, turning once. In a small bowl, stir together two seeded and chopped roma tomatoes, teaspoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon fresh basil, salt and pepper. Spoon mix onto each bread slice, sprinkle with shredded mozzerella cheese. Return to over and bake 2 mins. Until cheese is melted.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Strawberry Pie

Having a craving for Marie Calendar's strawberry pie, I made this. It wasn't exactly it, but good in its own way.

1/3 c. water
1 c. sugar
1 oz. unflavored gelatin
1/3 c. water
6 c. strawberries- halved
1 9-in. graham cracker crust

Mix 1/3 c. water in mixing bowl- add sugar, then mix well. Add gelatin over the top and let stand for 1 minute.
Pour other 1/3 c. water in a pan and bring to boil. Pour boiling water over gelatin mixture and mix until dissolved.
Place in refrigerator for 20 mins. Stir mixture frequently.
Toss with prepared berries and add to pie crust. Chill until completely set.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Tater Tot Casserole

1/2 pound ground beef
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
10 3/4 fluid ounces milk
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 (14.5 ounce) can French style green beans
1/2 (32 ounce) package tater tots

Preheat oven to 375. In a large skillet over high heat, brown the ground beef and drain fat.
Stir in cream of mushroom soup, milk, garlic salt and green beans.
Pour the mixture into a 9x9 casserole dish and layer with the tater tots. Bake in preheated oven for about 30 minutes, or until tater tots are browned and crispy.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Choucroute Garnie

This is the silliest recipe in the world. I thought they were kidding! Read through- it's very entertaining!

Families in Alsace generally eat choucroute garnie during the wintertime, because it’s such a hearty, filling dish. I’ve adapted the recipe to make it quicker and easier—calling for store-bought sauerkraut instead of the homemade kind, for instance, and suggesting peanut oil as a substitute for duck or goose fat, which may be less accessible. I always serve two or three types of mustard with the choucroute—a hot Dijon, a grainy Pommery and often a tarragon-flavored mustard as well.



  1. 1/3 cup kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
  2. 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  3. 3 pounds pork back ribs or baby back ribs, cut into 3 sections
  4. 6 pounds sauerkraut (in plastic bags), drained
  5. 1/4 cup duck or goose fat or peanut oil
  6. 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  7. 4 large garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  8. 20 juniper berries
  9. 3 large bay leaves
  10. 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
  11. 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  12. 3 cups chicken stock
  13. 1 1/2 cups Riesling or Pinot Gris
  14. 2 pounds Polish kielbasa, skinned and cut into 2-inch pieces
  15. 10 skinless hot dogs
  16. One 2-pound piece of boneless boiled ham (3 to 4 inches wide), sliced 1/4 inch thick
  17. 2 pounds medium potatoes (about 10), peeled
  18. Assorted mustards, for serving


  1. In a large, sturdy, resealable plastic bag, combine the 1/3 cup of kosher salt with the sugar. Add the pork ribs; shake well to thoroughly coat the ribs with the seasonings. Seal the bag and refrigerate the ribs overnight or for up to 24 hours.
  2. The next day, preheat the oven to 300°. Rinse the sauerkraut in cold water and squeeze dry. Set a large roasting pan over 2 burners on high heat and melt the duck fat. Add the onion and garlic and cook over moderately low heat, stirring, until softened, about 7 minutes. Stir in the sauerkraut, juniper berries, bay leaves, caraway seeds, black pepper, stock and wine and bring to a rolling boil over high heat.
  3. Meanwhile, rinse the pork ribs under cold water and pat dry. Nestle the pork ribs in the sauerkraut and bring back to a boil over moderately high heat. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 1 1/2 hours.
  4. Remove the pork ribs from the sauerkraut. Cut down in between the ribs. Return the ribs to the sauerkraut and nestle in the kielbasa, hot dogs and ham. Cover and bake until the meats are hot, about 25 minutes. Discard the bay leaves.
  5. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, cover the potatoes with cold water, add salt and bring to a boil over high heat; cook the potatoes until tender when pierced. Drain the potatoes and cover to keep warm.
  6. To serve, mound the hot sauerkraut in the center of very hot dinner plates and partially tuck in the pork ribs and the kielbasa. Arrange the hot dogs and ham around the sauerkraut. Alternatively, pile the sauerkraut on a large heated platter and garnish with the meats. Serve the choucroute with the boiled potatoes and assorted mustards.
Maybe it's just me- but what are juniper berries? And caraway seeds? I would have thought it to be a bird. Caraway bird? And then in the middle of all this hoity-toity un-grocery store thing- there's hot dogs! Really?! Hot dogs!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Brownie Cheesecake

I know, I'm sorry for putting up two cheesecake recipes in less than a week- but the pregnant lady has requested chocolate cheesecake for the shower! (and don't get all embarrassed, Laura! I'm happy to do it!) So I needed a recipe. And this little delight is what I found. Sounds easy enough!

16 oz Cream Cheese, Softened
8 oz (1 Pk) Brownie Mix
1/2 cup Sugar
2 Large Eggs
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 c Milk Chocolate Chips, Melted

1. Grease bottom of 9-inch springform pan.

2. Prepare the brownie mix as directed on package. Pour batter into pan, bake for 15 minutes at 350F.

3. Combine sugar, vanilla, and cream cheese. Mix on medium speed with an electric mixer until well blended. Add eggs, one at a
time, mixing well after each addition. Pour cheese mixture over brownie layer.

3. Spoon melted chocolate over the cream cheese mixture, then cut through with a knife for a marble effect.

4. Bake at 350F for 35 minutes. Loosen cake from rim of pan; cool before removing rim of pan. Chill.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Chicken Pot Pie

Laura gave me this recipe. I tried it out on my Dad yesterday- with stunning results! He said I needed to pass this along to my Mom- so here you go, happy cooking!

10 oz. frozen peas & carrots- or any veggie mix
1/3 c. butter
1/3 c. flour
1/3 c. chopped onion
1/2 tea. salt
1/2 tea. pepper
1 3/4 c. chicken broth (the whole can seems to work too)
2/3 c. milk
3-4 diced chicken breasts
pre-made 2-crust pastry

Quickly throw chicken pieces into a greased skillet and cook through, then set aside. Rinse veggies and drain. In large saucepan, melt butter over med. heat. Stir in flour, onions, salt, & pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until bubbly. Remove from heat. Stir in broth and milk. Heat to boiling. Boil and stir 1 minute. Stir in chicken and veggies.
Heat oven to 425.
Roll pastry into 13" square. Ease into the bottom of a 9x9 pan. Pour chicken mix into pan.
Roll remaining dough into a 11" square and place over the top of chicken. Cut lines in top to vent. Bake 35 mins.

Idea! Serve and then top with ketchup- so yummy!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Eggnog Cheesecake

... Could it be?! My two favorite things combined into one?! I'm trying to lose weight- but I'm so making this tonight....

Crust: (or just use a premade graham crust)
1 cup Graham cracker crumbs
1/4 tsp. Ground nutmeg
1/4 cup Sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted

1 envelope unflavored gelatin
8 oz Cream cheese, softened
1 cup Eggnog
1/4 cup Sugar
1/4 cup Cold water
1 cup Whipping cream


1. Combine crumbs, nutmeg, sugar, nutmeg and butter; press onto bottom of 9-inch springform pan.

2. Soften gelatin in water; stir over low heat until dissolved. Combine cream cheese and sugar, at
medium speed on electric mixer until well blended. Gradually add eggnog and gelatin, mixing until well blended.

3. Chill until slightly thickened then fold in whipped cream. Pour into crust; refrigerate until firm.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Beefy Chili Mac

No- Chili Mac is not a box of Kraft mixed with some canned chili. Ewww...

1 1/2 c. uncooked elbow macaroni (about 6 oz.)
1 lb. ground beef
1 can spicy chili beans- undrained
1 can diced zesty style tomatoes- undrained
1/4 tea. salt
1/4 tea. pepper
1 c. shredded cheese

Cook macaroni as directed. Drain & put aside in saucepan. In a skillet, cook ground beef over med-high heat for 5-7 mins. Drain. Reduce heat to med. Stir in macaroni, beans, tomatoes, salt, and pepper. Cook 3-5 mins. Sprinkle with cheese and serve.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Speedy Philly Sandwiches

I know, this may be considered a travesty by those who are big philly-aficionados. But it's easy and tastes oh so yummy!

Hoagie Rolls
Sliced Roast Beef
Sliced onion
Sliced green bell pepper
Swiss cheese slices

In a small skillet, sautee onion and bell peppers with a few drops of cooking oil. Sprinkle pepper on top. Pile on one side of hoagie bun, top with a slice of cheese, and then stack roast beef on top. Toast in a toaster oven until warm and melty. Put the top of the bun on and enjoy!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Breakfast Potato Casserole

24 oz. frozen shredded potatoes (thawed)
1/2 c. melted butter
1 c. shredded monterrey jack cheese
2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
6 eggs
1 tea. salt
2c. evaporated milk
(pour canned milk into measuring cup, and add regular milk to make 2 cups)

Put thawed potatoes into a 9x13 pan & drizzle butter on top. Bake at 400 for 25 mins.
Spread cheeses on top of potatoes.
Stir together eggs, salt, and milk. Pour over potatoes & cheese. Bake at 350 for 50-60 mins.

I know, this is a lot more time consuming than normal- but it makes a gigantic pan of breakfast for the week- and it's so totally delicious!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Crock Pot Lasagna

Yay! No cooking those huge lasagna noodles!

12 lasagna noodles- uncooked
2 lb. ground beef, browned & drained
1 1/2 tea. italian seasoning
1 jar (28 oz.) spaghetti sauce
1/4 cup water
1 carton (16 oz.) cottage cheese
2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese

Put half noodles in crock pot, break to fit. Stir italian seasoning into meat & spread half meat mix over noodles. Then pour the water, 1/2 sauce on top, 1/2 cottage cheese, 1/2 shredded cheese. Repeat the layers in that order. Cover & cook on low for 4-5 hrs. Do not cook more than 5 hrs.

makes 6-8 servings

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Fruit Salad w/ Banana Glaze

Best fruit salad ever!

8 c. fruit- ideas: strawberries, mango, peaches, blueberries, pineapple chunks, cantaloupe, etc. (basically whatever you've got on hand)
2 medium bananas
8 0z. lemon yogurt
2 tbl. sugar
2 tea. lemon juice

In a blender, add yogurt, bananas, sugar, & lemon juice. Blend & refrigerate. Cut up all the fruit, and pour the glaze on top. Store in an air-tight container in the fridge.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Pumpkin Pancakes

Jen gave me the idea to hunt for a recipe for pumpkin pancakes. I have had these at Mimi's before- and they were heavenly! So season-appropriate!

In large bowl mix:
2 c. flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. brown sugar, packed
1 tsp. cinnamon

In small bowl, mix:
2 eggs
1 1/2 c. skim milk
2 tbsp. oil
1/2 c. canned pumpkin

Add small bowl mixture to large bowl. Stir just until moistened. Heat griddle, brush lightly with oil. Pour batter by 1/4 cup onto hot griddle. Makes 16 pancakes.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Caramel Apples

Ok, this is a revelation to me- caramel apples aren't hard to make! They seem so difficult and time consuming! But I made some today- and they aren't! Here's the formula:

craft sticks- like popsicle sticks
6 medium fuji apples
1 tbsp. and 2 tsp. milk
12 oz. caramels- they are soft and square (about 42 individuals)
decorations- like sprinkles, candy corn, etc.

Remove the stem from each washed apple. Spray a baking pan. Jam a craft stick into the top of the apple.
Unwrap the caramels (this is the hardest part) and place in a bowl. Add the milk and microwave for 1 minute. Stir and then return to microwave for another minute. Allow melted caramel to cool briefly.
Dip apples in melted caramel until coated evenly and allow excess to drip off. Decorate quickly and place on baking sheet. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes.

Creamy Skillet Chicken

1 can cream of chicken soup
1 c. water
3/4 c. uncooked rice
2 c. cooked, diced chicken
2 c. thawed (but previously frozen) mixed- vegetable medley
(try broccoli, corn, and peppers)

Whisk soup & water in a non-stick skillet. Heat 2-3 mins.
Stir in rice, cover and reduce heat to low for 20 mins.
Add chicken and veggies, and heat 3-4 minutes.

4 servings

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Pita Tostadas

This is such an easy dinner! And yes, I do have a fondness for pitas.

1 can refried beans
diced red onion
chopped green bell pepper
1 small can sliced black olives
1 small can diced green chiles
shredded cheese
shredded lettuce
sour cream

Arrange pitas on baking sheet. Spread beans evenly. Top with onion, pepper, olives, and green chiles. Bake at 425 for 8 minutes. As soon as they come out of the oven, sprinkle cheese on top. Then add salsa, sour cream, and lettuce.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Red Potatoes & Ham

Warning: this is a bit less than "healthy", but of course, ridiculously yummy.... and don't forget it's a slow cooker recipe.

2 lbs. red potatoes, quartered
2 c. cooked ham- in chunks
1 can cream of potato soup
1 envelope dry ranch dressing
8 oz. cream cheese- softened

Put potatoes and ham in slow cooker. Mix soup and ranch in separate bowl, then pour over potatoes and ham, stir until well combined. Cover and cook on low setting for 8 hrs. Add cream cheese during last hour. Stir before serving.

Note: throw in some frozen vegetables with the potatoes while you're at it. I particularly like broccoli!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Cake Mix Cookies

1/3 c. cooking oil
2 eggs
1 box devil's food cake mix

Combine and scoop into small balls on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for about 10 minutes.

Tip: Use aluminum foil on your cookie sheets so you don't have to wash them. Saves so much time!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Southwestern Wraps

OMG- I have missed these so much! There was a tiny little place at UNLV that used to sell these. I still crave them, so I re-created it to the best of my ability. Laura and I really liked the finished product!

Burrito or larger sized flour tortillas
1/2 head of romaine lettuce, chopped
3/4 c. black beans- rinsed
1/2 c. kernel corn- rinsed
1 tomato- diced
1 small can sliced black olives
shredded cheese
jalapenos (optional)
cooked chicken- plain- diced (optional)
chipotle ranch salad dressing (or just regular ranch)

Mix up above ingredients like a salad. Pour on the dressing and salsa to taste. Pile onto the middle of the tortilla, tuck in the ends and roll tightly like a burrito. Slice down the center for your wrap. Mmmm!

Makes about 4 medium-sized wraps

Friday, October 24, 2008

Healthy Banana Pancakes

These are more for my kids, I make 'em and freeze 'em in advance. Then toast 'em in the morning. But they taste good to grown ups too! Make sure you mash the banana pretty finely with the tines of a fork- or use a food processor.

2 c. flour - you can do all white, or whole wheat, or half & half
2 tbl. sugar
2 tbl. flaxseed meal
4 tea. baking powder
1/2 tea. salt
2 eggs
2 c. milk
4 tbl. cooking oil
1 1/2 -ish mashed banana

Mix wet and dry ingredients separately then combine in large bowl until moist, beat on low- batter will be lumpy.
Pour in 1/4 c. portions onto a hot griddle, flip when bubbles appear in the middle

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Country Skillet Supper

1 lb. ground beef
1/2 c. chopped onion
1/8 tea. garlic powder
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can condensed beef broth
1 can diced tomatoes
1 c. sliced zucchini
1/2 tea. Italian seasoning
1 1/2 c. uncooked corkscrew pasta

In large skillet, cook beef, onion, & garlic powder until brown. Drain off fat, add soup, broth, tomatoes, zucchini, & italian seasoning. Heat to boil, then add pasta. Reduce to a simmer- cook 15 minutes stirring often until pasta is done.

Note: Optional sliced black olives to top.

Monday, October 20, 2008

My Mom's Mexican Casserole

...this was a staple growing up, and a bonus- the husband likes it too!

6 corn tortillas
1 1/2 lb. ground beef- browned
1 onion, diced- browned with beef
salt & pepper
chili powder
1 can kernel corn
2 small cans tomato sauce
sliced black olives
2 c. shredded cheese

Mix meat, dash of salt & pepper, chili powder, corn, olives, & tomato sauce. In a greased 13x9 pan, layer corn tortillas, meat mix, & cheese. Repeat about twice.
Bake at 325 for 30 minutes.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

No Soy Stir Fry

...because the husband doesn't like soy sauce...

3 c. water
5 cubes chicken bouillon
2 c. rice
2 tbl. cooking oil
1 lb. chicken breast (opt)
4 c. assorted veggies (ie: bell peppers, celery, carrots, onion, snow peas, water chestnuts)
2 tea. cornstarch
1/2 tea. garlic powder
1/4 tea. ground ginger

Bring 2 c. water and 3 bouillon cubes to a boil and add rice. Cook until rice is done. Set aside
In skillet, heat 1 tbl. oil and add chicken. Cook until chicken isn't pink. Remove chicken and add veggies, cook for 5-10 minutes and add chicken back in.
In separate bowl combine 1 c. water, 2 bouillon cubes, ginger, cornstarch, garlic powder and 1 tbl. oil. Pour over veggies & simmer for 5 minutes, until thick. Serve over rice.

Serves 4

Friday, October 17, 2008

Ham & Asparagus Pasta

4 c. dry bowtie pasta
10 oz. frozen asparagus (or broccoli)
8 oz. cubed ham
8 oz. chive & onion cream cheese, softened
1/3 c. milk

In large pot, cook pasta. Add veggies the last 5 minutes and then the ham for the last minute or two. Drain. In smaller saucepan, heat cream cheese and stir in milk until thick and saucy. Pour over pasta and serve.

Serves 4

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Chili for Dummies

This is cheap and easy chili- no frills, just goodness!

1 lb. ground beef
1 packet chili seasoning mix
1 can diced tomatoes
4-8 oz. water (depending on how soupy you want it)
1 can black beans, drained
1 can kidney beans, drained
1 small can sliced black olives

Brown meat & drain. (May I suggest browning the meat in the bottom of your soon-to-be chili pot? Saves on dishes!) Add chili packet and mix well. In a large pot combine the meat, tomatoes, beans, olives and water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 mins. Serve with shredded cheese & sour cream, and cornbread on the side!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Husband thought he didn't like cornbread. Well, turns out his family does not add heaps of sugar in their cornbread. Having successfully converted a non-cornbreader, I can safely say this recipe is tasty.

2 c. yellow cornmeal
1 c. flour
1 tbl. baking powder
2/3 c. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 egg
1 1/4 c. milk
3 tbl. cooking oil

Mix wet & dry ingredients separately, then combine and pour into a greased 9x9 pan. Bake at 400 for 20-25 mins.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Pita Pizzas

These are great for kids and parties! So easy, I could eat one every day. I make singles in our toaster oven for lunch sometimes.

pizza sauce
mozzarella cheese- shredded
toppings- pepperoni, ham, chicken, olives, onion, green pepper, pineapple chunks, mushrooms, etc.

Preheat oven to 350, make up your own pita pizza and arrange them on cookie trays. Cook in the oven for 10 mins, until cheese is melted and golden.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Italian Burger Melt

1 lb. ground beef (or frozen beef patties for the lazies- like me)
1 can condensed tomato soup
1 tea. Italian seasoning (or more to taste)
1/4 c. water
1 slices mozzarella cheese
4 buns, toasted

Shape beef into 4 patties (skip this if you do frozen patties). In skillet on medium-high heat, cook patties until browned. Set aside and pour off the fat. Add soup, water, & italian seasoning. Add patties, cover & cook 10 minutes. Melt cheese on top and serve on toasted buns.

Makes 4 burgers

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Homemade Mac & Cheese

...because powdered cheese creeps me out. I had to look for a good recipe, and maybe I'm the only dummy who does that. But here it is, and the kids love it.

1 c. dry macaroni elbows (or any other type of fun pasta)
1 tbl. butter
1 tbl. flour
dash of pepper
3/4 c. milk
1 1/2 c. shredded cheese

Cook mac in unsalted water for about 10 mins. Drain & return to saucepan. In med. saucepan, melt butter & stir in flour & pepper. Add milk and stir until thickened Pour sauce over macaroni & add cheese. Cook over low heat for 3-5 mins. stirring frequently. Let stand to cool.

Makes 3-4 kid sized servings.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Black Bean Salsa

This is my go-to salsa recipe, and it makes a heap- so basically I can have it all week for lunch!

2 cans sweet kernel corn
2 cans black beans
1-2 chopped tomatoes
1 chopped onion
1 packet taco seasoning
2 tea. cumin
chili powder (opt)
juice of 2 limes
cilantro- chopped
1 small can sliced black olives
1 small can diced jalapeño (optional)

Combine and chill, then serve with tortilla chips.

8-12 servings

Cool Cucumber Dip

1 1/2 c. finely diced cucumber
2 c. plain yogurt
1/2 c. chopped parsley
Pita Chips (for dipping)

Combine & refrigerate. Serve cold.

6-8 servings

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Slow Cooker Burrito Bake

Clearly, I'm not a professional food photographer. But I swear it tastes great!

1 lb. ground beef
1 envelope taco seasoning
1 medium onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 can black beans, with liquid
1 can pinto beans, with liquid
2 (10 oz.) cans tomatoes & green chiles, drained
10 medium flour tortillas, torn into pieces
4 c. grated cheddar cheese

Brown beef and drain. Stir in taco seasoning. Layer one-third of each ingredient starting with beef in the order listed above. into a greased 4 1/2 to 6-qt. slow cooker. Repeat layers twice more, cover and cook 6-8 hrs. on low or 3-4 hrs. on high.

Makes 8 servings

Note: top with salsa and sour cream.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Kielbasa Potato Skillet

We had this for dinner last night, so we have a picture! Although I made a double batch, so it's huge!

1 tbl. butter
1 c. chopped onion
1 c. sliced bell pepper
1 lb. diced red potatoes
1/4 tea. pepper
6 oz. lean turkey kielbasa, sliced
1 1/2 c. frozen broccoli
1/2 c. shredded cheese

Melt butter in skillet on medium heat. Add potatoes & pepper. Cook 10 mins. Add kielbasa, broccoli, onion, & bell pepper. Cover & cook for 8-10 mins. stirring frequently. Remove from heat and sprinkle with cheese. Let cheese melt for a minute and serve.

Makes 3 servings

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Minestrone Soup

1 tea. cooking oil
1 c. chopped onion, celery, green bell pepper, zucchini, red potatoes, & carrots
1/4 c. sliced black olives
28 oz. diced tomatoes (you can do fresh or canned)
6 c. water
2 tea. salt
2 tea. worcestershire sauce
1/4 tea. pepper
2 bay leaves
1 can kidney beans
1/2 c. cooked macaroni elbows

In large pot add chopped veggies, olives, oil, water, salt, worcestershire sauce, pepper, tomatoes & bay leaves. Stir until well combined. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 1 hour. Add kidney beans & macaroni, then simmer for 30 mins.

Serves 8-10

Note: low-fat, and safe for diabetics

Monday, October 6, 2008

Heavenly Chocolate Squares

Bonus- dessert!

30 Chocolate graham crackers
2 (8 0z.) softened cream cheese
3 c. milk
3 pkg. Instant chocolate pudding
1 tub (8 oz.) Whipped topping, thawed

Arrange 15 graham squares on the bottom of a greased 13x9 pan. Beat cream cheese in bowl with mixer until smooth. Gradually add 1 c. milk. Add remaining milk and pudding mix. Beat on low speed for 2 mins. Gently stir in whipped topping. Spread half the pudding mix over graham squares. Add remaining grahams on top, then adding the last layer of pudding mix. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. Cut into squares and serve- you can add more whipped topping to garnish.

Makes 18 servings

Southwest Fettuccine

9 oz. uncooked fettuccine noodles
1 can diced tomatoes with green chiles
1 green bell pepper- cut into strips
Black olives, sliced (to taste)
Southwest seasoned chicken (optional)
Shredded cheese- cheddar, monterrey jack, etc.
Sour cream

Sautee bell pepper in skillet with small bit of cooking oil. (add optional chicken as well) Cook fettuccine as directed & Drain. Combine tomatoes, chicken, bell pepper, and olives in skillet & cook over medium high until heated through. Pour tomato mixture over fettuccine. Sprinkle servings with cheese and a dollop of sour cream.

Note: you can also used pre-cooked noodles for less mess.

Feeds 2-3