Thursday, December 18, 2008

Crockpot Chicken Tacos

I can't remember what website I got this off of, it may have been from the recipe exchange email, so I'm sorry that I can't give the credit to the person it is due.

I made this tonight and my husband was so impressed, I almost wanted to make him think I had slaved over it for hours. But the truth is that it took about 5 minutes to throw everything in the crockpot. Super simple and yummy! What more can you ask for?

Crockpot Chicken Tacos
2-3 Chicken Breasts (I used 6 frozen Chicken Tenders)
1 Can Chicken Broth
1 Pkg Taco Seasoning
1 Cup Salsa
1 Can Corn (I drained them)
1 Can Black Beans, drained

Place in crockpot and cook 3-4 hours on HIGH. Shread chicken (I used a fork and a wooden spoon and didn't have to take them out of the crockpot). Serve with cheese and sour cream on tortillas. It is really runny, so you may want to use a slotted spoon to scoop it out. The recipe I have says they sometimes just eat it like soup. I'm considering adding diced tomatoes to it next time.

On a side note, that is my new crockpot ^ and this v is what happened to my old one.

We got this little crockpot as a wedding gift and it worked well for our little family. It's hard to fit a very big roast in it, and I halved most of the recipes I used, but it was only the two of us. Then I left the lid a little too close to the burner and it melted. I don't think they make the plastic lids anymore, or so I've heard. And I figured we needed a bigger one for our growing family anyway. So I got a 6 quart one as a Christmas present to me. I love crockpots!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Aussie Chicken

2lbs. chicken breasts
8 slices of bacon
1 cup colby jack cheese

Put 2 lbs. of chicken breasts in a bag and shake with 2 tsp. seasoned salt.
Place bacon over breasts and cook at 350 F for 20 mintues (or until done). Take it out of oven and pour following sauce over each piece. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake until cheese is melted. (1/2 cup of mushrooms is optional, and it's really good served with baby carrots in a light butter and brown sugar sauce.)
Aussie Chicken Sauce:
2/3 c. mayo
1/2 c. light corn syrup
1/3 c. honey
mustard to taste (I use about 1-2 tbsp.)
1Tbsp. parsley
1 Tbsp. onion flakes

I also serve this with steamed rice with corn and peas and carrots in it. You can buy the microwaveable kind and steam it in the bag. It's good, but for a family of four you need 2 bags.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Shrimp Tacos

I tried this recipe (from my mother-in-law) last night. I really liked it. I think it might taste okay with chicken, too.

Mint Lime Sauce:
2T chopped fresh mint leaves (I leave these out)
1 C plain nonfat yogurt (I used sour cream)
Zest of 1 lime
Freshly ground pepper

1 T lime juice
½ t chili powder
Salt & pepper

1 lb large raw shrimp (peeled and deveined)
Marinade for 15 minutes
Cook shrimp in skillet until pink, cut into small pieces

Corn Salsa:
1 C corn kernels
1 C seeded & diced tomatoes
½ avocado
2 scallions
½ t jalapeno
1 T lime juice
Salt & pepper

Shredded lettuce
Corn (or flour) tortillas
Serve shrimp, salsa, lettuce and cream in tortillas.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Thanks for inviting me, Joanie!

2 1/2 cups white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
3 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
16 oz cooked or canned pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
1 cup oil
4 eggs, beaten lightly
2/3 cup water
1 cup semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two (9x5 inch) loaf pans or three (8x4 inch) loaf pans.Mix flours, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt together in a large bowl; set aside.Mix pumpkin, oil, eggs, and 2/3 cup water together and stir into dry ingredients. Stir in chocolate chips. Place batter in prepared pans.Bake 60 or 70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Broccoli Salad

5 cups fresh broccoli florets
½ cup raisins
½ cup sunflower seeds
½ cup cooked, crumbled bacon
¼ cup red onion, chopped
Optional: 1 cup of frozen peas, thawed

1 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
2 tablespoons vinegar
½ cup sugar
2 tablespoons milk
salt and pepper to taste

Combine broccoli florets, raisins, sunflower seeds, crumbled bacon, chopped onion, and peas in a large serving bowl. In a separate bowl or large cup, whisk together mayonnaise, vinegar and sugar. Add dressing to the salad and toss to mix well; chill thoroughly before serving.

Serves 4 to 6

I love recipes that use fresh vegetables! I use light mayonnaise and usually add more broccoli than the recipe calls for.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Lettuce Wraps

This is from a recipe I had for PF Changs lettuce wraps that I changed a bit.

1 tsp cornstarch
2 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp water
salt and pepper
1 T canola oil

1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken, cubed

4 T canola oil
½ C carrots, chopped
½ C celery, chopped
1 tsp fresh minced ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 green onions, minced
1 (8 oz) can water chestnuts, minced

Iceberg lettuce

Cooking Sauce:
1 tbsp hoisin sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp oyster sauce
2 tbsp water (or a little more)
1 tsp. sesame oil
1 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. Cornstarch

Marinade chicken for 15 minutes. Mix cooking sauce in bowl. Add 2 T canola oil to stir fry skillet and heat up. Stir fry chicken for 3-4 minutes until cooked. Set aside. Add 2 T oil to skillet and stir fry carrots and celery for a few minutes. Add ginger, garlic and green onions, stir fry for another minute. Add water chestnuts and cook another minute. Add chicken again and cooking sauce until thickened and hot. Serve in lettuce.
(Optional: 1 package cellophane Chinese rice noodles, prepared according to package and 1 (8 oz) can bamboo shoots, minced)

I halved the recipe, except for the cooking sauce and I used most of that. It was a little strong, though so I would either use more water or the normal amount of cooking sauce.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Spinach Salad

Everyone that's ever had this salad tells me how much they love it. In fact, everytime we get together with Ryan's family, they ask me to bring this salad. You'd think we would get sick of it, but not yet!
Yummy Spinach Salad
  • Spinach (1 bag)
  • Celery (2-3 ribs)
  • Green Onions (2, use white and green parts)
  • Cheddar Cheese
  • Bacon (4)
  • Homemade French Dressing (see below)

This will make enough for 4-8 people, depending on the serving size. There is more than enough dressing, so don't dump it all on. You can change it up and use more veggies and less bacon if you want.

French Dressing:

  • 3 T sugar
  • 3 T white vinegar
  • 1/4 C Ketchup
  • 1/4 C Olive Oil
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • Salt & Pepper

Wisk together and serve! This doesn't last very long in the fridge. It gets all thick and grainy so use it up quick.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Easy Crockpot Chili

I make this a lot because I keep the ingredients on hand all the time. It's good for how easy it is.

Easy Crockpot Chili

2 lbs ground beef
1 ½ tsp salt
2 ½ tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
2 cans diced tomatoes
2 cans red kidney beans (drained)
¾ C water

In skillet, brown beef and drain grease. Add seasonings and cook for a few more minutes on med or low. Add to slow cooker along with tomatoes, beans and water. Stir. Cook on low 7-8 hours. Serve with cheese and fritos if you like

Friday, October 24, 2008

Chocolate White Chocolate Chunk Cookies

These are our favorite cookies!

½ lb (2 cubes) unsalted butter, at room temp
1 C brown sugar
1 C sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs at room temp
2/3 C cocoa
Sift and add:
2 C flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
Fold in:
1 ½ lbs white chocolate chunks (or one bag chips)

Bake at 350 for 8-10 min depending on size. They won’t really look done. I like them less done than over done and I make big cookies and put them in for 10 minutes.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Walking Taco

This is like a seven layer dip, but I don't do seven layers.

  • Beans (black beans or refried, I like the low fat seasoned refried, chili-lime I think)
  • Sour Cream
  • Taco Seasoning
  • Salsa
  • Cheddar Cheese
  • Tortilla Chips

I usually use black beans and I mash them up in a frying pan and cook them a little, adding some chili powder, garlic salt and cumin. If you use refried, you don't have to cook them or do anything to them. Spread on the bottom of a 8x8 pan, or other small dish. Mix sour cream with taco seasoning in a bowl. I use a lot of sour cream and maybe half the seasoning packet. I like a pretty thick layer of sour cream since it's the best layer. Spread over beans. Spread a thinner layer of salsa next and top with shredded cheese. Optional layers: smashed avocados (after beans, before sour cream), olives and green onions on top of cheese, or anything else you want. Dip chips and enjoy!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Chicken Pot Pie


Chicken Pot Pie
1 pie crust
3 chicken breasts
5 red potatoes
2 can Cream of Chicken soup
1 bag frozen peas and carrots - thawed
1 sweet onion - diced

1. Heat oven to 450
2. Heat two large pans of water - these are for the chicken and potatoes
*I usually add some chicken bullion to the water for taste
3. Trim fat from chicken and dice the potatoes, then add to the boiling water, separately of course
**You can also grill or saute' the chicken - as long as it's cooked
4. Cook the bottom of the pie crust first, in the oven. Just follow the directions on the back of the pie crust box for a "one crust pie" - I cook mine for 9 minutes. Make sure you set the timer. After cooking, turn the oven down to 400 to cook the pie
*this isn't a one crust pie of course but I do not like having a soggy pie bottom. you'll add the top crust later.
5. saute the onion in butter until it is translucent and tender - it can even be a little golden
*if you do not like onions than dice them large enough you can pick them out or small enough you can swallow them whole, but do not leave them out entirely. they add wonderful flavor
6. when the chicken is done shred it into bite size pieces
7. the potatoes are done when they break apart by being stabbed with a fork - strain them
8. combine the shredded chicken, potatoes, peas and carrots, onions and the 2 cans of Cream of Chicken soup in a large bowl
9. pour the glorious mixture into the already-cooked pie crust
10. now add the top crust and trim to fit the pie plate.
11. whisk the egg in a small bowl and baste over the top crust
*the egg is strickly for cosmetic purposes, it helps the pie keep it's color and provides a shine when cooked
12. make 4 slits in the top of the pie with a knife to provide steam release while the pie is baking
13. bake for 40 minutes and then let the pie cool for a few minutes on top of the stove
14. serve!

Turkey Meatballs with Linguine


I *borrowed* this recipe from "Everyday Italian" but it is easily one of my favorite dishes.

Turkey Meatballs

3 TBSP olive oil
2 oz pancetta, finely diced
1/2 yellow onion, finely diced
1 lb ground turkey
1/2 C freshly grated Romano cheese
1/4 C fresh flat leaf (Italian) parsley
1/4 C plain bread crumbs
1/4 C chopped sun-dried tomatoes
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp black pepper

Sauce and Noodles
1lb linguine
1/8 C extra-virgin olive oil
1 can whole tomatoes - cut into pieces with kitchen scissors
2 garlic cloves - smashed
1/4 C chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
1 can tomato paste
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp dried basil

To Make the Meatballs (do this first)
1. Preheat oven to 450

2. Heat olive oil in a medium, heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook for 2 minutes. Add the onion and continue to cook until the pancetta is crisp and the onion is tender, about 4 minutes more. Remove from the heat.

3. In a large bowl, combine the pancetta/onion mixture with the remaining meatball ingredients and stir to combine.

4. Form the turkey mixture into balls about 2 inches in diameter, using about 2 TBSP for each, and place on a foil-lined and greased baking sheet.

5. Bake for 20 minutes


6. In a medium saucepan, warm the 1/8 C of olive oil over medium heat. Add the tomatoes (with their juices), tomato paste, smashed garlic cloves, parsley, basil, salt, and pepper and simmer...

7. Add the cooked meatballs and let the sauce hang out on the stove until your pasta is done cooking

PS - I'd discard the garlic cloves before serving

Friday, October 10, 2008

Salmon with Lemon Caper Sauce

½ C water
2 tsp. lemon juice
1/8 tsp. chicken broth granules
2 thawed salmon fillets
1 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. capers
pepper (to taste)
parsley (to taste)

1) ½ C water, 2 tsp. lemon juice, 1/8 tsp. chicken broth granules. Bring to boil in skillet.

2) Reduce heat and add 2 thawed salmon fillets. Cover and simmer 4-5 minutes on each side or until done (should flake when poked with fork).

3) Remove salmon from pan. Keep warm.

4) Boil remaining liquid in pan until it reduces to ¼ C.

5) Whisk 1 Tbsp. butter, stir in 1 Tbsp. capers. Spoon sauce over fish. Season with pepper and sprinkle with parsley.

6) Can be served on bed of cooked noodles or rice.

This is my my favorite salmon recipe.

Salmon Soy Lime Marinade

¼ C olive oil
3 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. lime juice
2 scallions, chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2 tsp fresh ginger

The above amount is for 2 fillets. They only need to be marinated for 20 minutes or less. In a pan on the stove, simmer 4-5 minutes on each side or until done (should flake when poked with fork). Be sure not to overcook them.

Note: I rarely measure the ingredients exactly and just prepare it to taste.

Pumpkin Cheesecake

(Joanie's picture)

3 packages cream cheese
2 graham cracker crusts
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3 eggs
1 C canned pumpkin
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
dash ground cloves

Beat cream cheese, ¾ C sugar and vanilla until well blended. Add eggs 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition. Reserve 1 ½ C plain batter. Stir remaining ¼ C sugar, pumpkin, and spices into remaining batter. Spoon ½ of pumpkin batter over crust. Top with spoonfuls of ½ of reserved batter. Repeat layers. Cut with knife for marble effect.

Bake at 325 degrees for 55 minutes or until center is set. Refrigerate 4 hours.

I've actually made a lot of different kinds of cheesecake and this is my very favorite. I haven't tried making it in a springform pan yet but I think it would work nicely.

Lemon Pie

Boil until clear:
2 ½ C water
1 ¾ C sugar
2 T (heaping) corn starch
2 T (heaping) flour

Mix together and then gradually add to the hot mixture above, stirring constantly:
4 egg yolks
½ C lemon juice

You have to boil the first mixture long enough or the pie won't set up properly. Make sure to perfectly separate the egg yolks from the rest of the egg, as any imperfections will show.

My Grandma Benson's recipe, and the best lemon pie I've had.

Chocolate Mousse Pie

9-inch baked pastry shell
14-oz. can condensed milk (not evaporated)
2/3 C. water
1 (4 servings) pkg. chocolate pudding mix (not instant)
1 (1 oz.) square unsweetened chocolate
2 C. (1 pint) whipping cream, stiffly whipped

1) In lg. saucepan, combine condensed milk, water & pudding mix; mix well.

2) Add chocolate. Over medium heat, cook & stir rapidly until chocolate melts and mixture thickens.

3) Remove from heat; beat until smooth.

4) Cool. Chill thoroughly; stir.

5) Fold in whipped cream.

6) Pour into prepared pastry shell.

Chill 4 hours until set.

8 servings

This recipe is from one of my favorite movies, The Waitress, and it's delicious.

Buttermilk Bran Muffins

1 ½ c. All-Bran (Original)
1 c. buttermilk
1 egg
1 c. light brown sugar
1/3 c. canola oil
1 large apple, shredded (including skin)

½ c. white flour
¾ c. whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon

rolled oats

1) Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

2) Combine first set of ingredients and let stand for 10 minutes.

3) Combine second set of ingredients and make a well in the center.

4) Add the first mixture to the second, stirring only enough to dampen the flour. Batter should be lumpy.

5) Spray muffin tins with vegetable spray and fill with batter. Top with rolled oats.

6) Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes.

I found a recipe online for buttermilk bran muffins and altered it so that it would have a lot more fiber but still be delicious (I didn’t cut the sugar). Don’t skimp on the apple – if you don’t have a large one, use 1 and ½ small or medium apples. You can easily add nuts or raisins or whatever you like to them. They’re fast, easy, and delicious. The baking time in Step 6 is what works at sea level, so it may need to be changed slightly for other places.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Chicken Tortilla Soup

This is another of Rachel Ray's recipes. It is probably my absolute favorite of hers. She makes things look easy when you watch her do it. It might not look like the easiest, but it's not too hard, and worth it.

Tortilla Soup

1 lb chicken breasts or tenders
Salt & pepper
1 onion
2 small zucchini
3-4 cloves garlic
1 red bell pepper
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp poultry seasoning
1 chipotle in adobo, chopped very small (comes in a can in the Mexican aisle, use one and freeze the rest for the next time)
1 small can tomato sauce
1 (28 oz) or 2 small cans stewed tomatoes (recommend Hunt’s or Kroger brand)
3 C chicken broth
1 small can corn (or large if you like lots)

Serve with: Sour cream, cheddar cheese and crushed up tortilla chips.

Drizzle some EVOO & salt & pepper on chicken and grill. Then cut into small pieces. (If you don’t have a grill, just cut into chunks and sauté it in the pot first.) Add EVOO to pot and sauté onion, zucchini for a minute. Then add garlic & pepper and seasonings. Cook until veggies are tenders. Add chipotle and chicken. Saute for a few minutes… the longer you cook the chipotle in there, the hotter it gets. So if you don’t want it flaming, add the tomatoes and broth pretty soon. I take out the stewed tomatoes and chop them smaller because they come in big slices. Add their juice along with them. You can add more chicken broth if you like more liquid. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for a few minutes.

Cheese Soup

It's time to break out the soup recipes...

From Better Homes & Garden’s Cookbook

½ C chopped carrot
½ C sliced celery
½ C chopped red bell pepper
¼ C thinly sliced green onions
1 C water
3 C milk
1/3 C flour
½ tsp instant chicken bouillon granules
¼ tsp pepper
1 ½ C (6 oz) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 ½ C (6 oz) shredded American cheese

Add veggies and water to saucepan, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Do not drain. Combine 1 C milk with flour in small bowl. Add with remaining 2 C milk to pan along with seasonings. Heat until thickened and add cheese. Heat until melted and serve. Yields 5 ½ C.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Indian Butter Chicken

If you love Indian food, this is to die for. It is my favorite thing I've ever made. Try it, you'll like it!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Another Recipe Blog

I found another recipe blog that looked like it had some good recipes.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is my Mom's recipe. I always love her cookies!
  • 1 c. crisco
  • 1 c. brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 c flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 c. rolled oats
  • 1 c. quick oats
  • Desired amount of chocolate chips (1 cup?) -*I also add walnuts sometimes

Pre-heat oven to 350. Cream crisco and sugar. Add 2 eggs, beat well then add vanilla. Separately stir together flour, salt and baking soda. Mix flour mixture slowly into batter. Add all oats and chocolate chips, barely mix. Scoop spoonfuls onto baking sheet and bake for 10-13 minutes at 350 degrees. Makes about 40 (?).

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Italian Sausage Lasagna

This is the best lasagna I've ever had. It takes a bit of work so I don't usually bother halfiing the recipe, it's not worth all the work unless you have enough for lots of leftovers. Seriously, so good!

½ of a 1 lb box lasagna noodles
1 lb mild Italian ground sausage
½ lb ground beef
1 C chopped onion
2 cloves garlic
28 oz can diced tomatoes
2 (6 oz) cans tomato paste
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp salt
1 ½ tsp dried basil leaves
¼ tsp black pepper
15 oz ricotta cheese
1 egg, beaten
1 T dried parsley flakes
½ tsp salt
4 C (1 lb) mozzarella cheese
¾ C parmesan cheese

Prepare noodles according to package.

In large skillet, combine sausage, beef onion & garlic. Cook & drain. Stir in next 6 ingredients. Bring to boil, reduce heat & simmer 20 minutes (or so, just until the rest is ready to layer).

In medium bowl, blend ricotta cheese, egg, parsley & ½ tsp salt.

Spoon 1 ½ C meat sauce into 9x13 pan. Layer ½ noodles, ½ meat sauce, ½ ricotta mix, ½ mozzarella & ½ parmesan. Repeat layers. Cover. Bake @ 375 for 25 minutes. Uncover & bake 20 minutes longer. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting (or not, either way).

Maple Pecan Glazed Salmon

4 T maple syrup (sometimes I use a little more)
1 ½ T soy sauce
¼ tsp horseradish
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1 lb salmon fillets
½ C pecan halves (or you can coarsely chop them and sprinkle them on top)

Preheat oven to 450. Mix first 4 ingredients together. Place salmon in a greased, shallow baking dish. Pour glaze over fish and top with pecan halves. Bake 15-17 minutes or until the fish flakes easily.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Baked Oatmeal

2 cups whole oats
2 cup skim milk (or soy milk)
1 tsp best quality vanilla
1 grated apple, peel
1/4 cup slivered almonds
4 tbls maple syrup -optional *I use agave nectar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 cup your choice dried fruit (like dried cranberries, raisins, dates, apricots, etc.)
Cooking spray

Pre-heat oven to 400. Coat a baking dish (9x13?) with cooking spray. Combine all ingredients in a bowl, then pour into baking dish.
Bake for about 40 minutes and serve.

Hearty Italian Soup

  • 2 Cans (14 oz) Chicken Broth (I just buy the 32 oz carton)
  • 1 Medium Zucchini
  • 1 Yellow Squash
  • 1 Can (16 oz) White Beans
  • 1/2 Cup Pizza Sauce
  • 1/2 Cup Pepperoni (Cut into strips)
  • 2 Cups Cheese Tortellinis (I just buy the small package and use the whole thing)

Cook Tortellini per directions and set aside.

Combine broth with zucchini and squash - simmer and cook for 3 minutes. Stir in beans, pizza sauce and pepperoni and cook for 5 minutes. Add Tortellini at the last minute.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


This is a recipe I got out of a grilling cookbook. I make this about twice a month. I usually have all this stuff on hand so it's a good go-to recipe, except you have to remember to make the marinade 8 hours in advance (sometimes I only do it 6 hours if I forget.)

Fajita Marinade:

¼ C vegetable oil (olive oil)
¼ C red wine vinegar
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp dried oregano leaves
1 tsp chili powder
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp salt¼ tsp pepper

Marinate 1-2 lbs steak or chicken for 8-24 hours. Grill. Serve with sauteed peppers and onions on tortillas with cheese, sour cream and salsa.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Rachel's Monte Cristo Sandwiches

This sandwich is SO good. Say goodbye to the plain old turkey sandwich. This was on the same episode as the Black Bean Stoup. I make these for myself all the time. The recipe is for 4 sandwiches

8 slices white sandwich bread (I use whole wheat, thick bread is better)
1/2 cup hot pepper jelly (you can get it at Smith's or Albertson's or somewhere)
8 slices honey baked ham, from the deli counter
8 slices pepper jack cheese, from the deli counter
8 slices smoked turkey, from the deli counter
2 eggs, beaten
2 tsp hot sauce (I don't use this)
Splash of milk
1 tablespoon butter (or cooking spray)

Spread bread with a light layer of pepper jelly, chili sauce, salsa, or taco sauce. Build sandwiches using 2 slices each of ham, cheese and turkey per sandwich. Beat eggs with milk and 2 teaspoons hot sauce and season the eggs with a little salt. Heat a griddle pan or nonstick skillet over medium heat. Melt butter in skillet. Dip each sandwich in egg coating and cook 3 to 4 minutes on each side to melt cheese and warm the meats through.

I try to get the turkey and ham she specifies, but mostly just use whatever. I sometimes use just ham if I'm out of turkery. I love pepperjack cheese, and the pepper jelly is so good too. I use one egg, and that's enough if you are making two sandwiches too. And I just use cooking spray on the pan. Cut sandwich in half diagnolly to maximize enjoyment.

Black Bean "Stoup"

If anybody watches Rachel Ray, you will know what a stoup is. It's thicker than a soup, thinner than a stew. This is so healthy and so good. I usually make the whole recipe and eat it all myself since Ryan isn't a big fan (he doesn't like black beans). I love the flavors in this soup. I got this recipe off of a 30 minute meals episode and love it.

2 tablespoons extra- virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 ribs celery with greens, chopped small
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
1 fresh bay leaf or 1 large dried bay leaf
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
3 (15-ounce) cans black beans
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
Salt and pepper
2 to 3 tablespoons hot sauce (tobasco)
1 quart chicken or vegetable stock
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
Sour cream

Heat a medium soup pot over medium high heat. Add 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil to the hot pot, then onion, celery, garlic, jalapeno, and bay leaf. Cook 3 to 4 minutes, then add red peppers and continue to cook. Drain 2 cans of beans and add them. Use a fork to mash up the beans in the remaining can. Stir the mashed beans into the pot and season with cumin, coriander, salt and pepper and hot sauce. Add stock and tomatoes to the stoup and bring to a bubble. Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes over low heat. Add the lime juice. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Ladle up black bean soup and top with sour cream and scallions.

That is Rachel's instructions. When I make it, I cut all the veggies really small, like the size of the beans. I cook the celery by itself for a few minutes because I like it to be really cooked. Then I add the onion for a minute, then the other veggies and bay leaf. I don't usually have limes on hand so I skip the lime juice, and I never bother cutting up the green onions to top it with, although I think that would be really good. I use lots of tobasco and lots of sour cream (not as healthy, but still good). It's really good heated up so I recommend making the whole pot. Enjoy!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Pesto Bacon Wrapped Chicken

(looks sort of like this -not my picture)

*This recipe is one I sort of created, so at least you'll understand why my instructions aren't very professional. You can use other alternatives, like instead of low sodium Turkey Bacon you can use the real thing (yummy!). You can make your own pesto sauce, or buy the already made kind. To make this dish even lighter try to buy a pesto sauce that is not too high in fat (or make your own), don't use too much cheese (or at all if you prefer), and use a lower-fat, low-sodium turkey bacon. The tenderloins work nicely for appetizers. You can pound the chicken out first to make rolling easier depending on how thick the breasts are, OR cut breast in half. (I try to buy the thin chicken breasts for this recipe).

I like this recipe because it makes for an easy, fast, delicious entree that (most) everyone will enjoy! It goes great with garlic bread and any variety of pasta.

Prep time: 10 minutes, cook time: 30 minutes.

  • Chicken Breasts, uncooked (or tenderloins)
  • Pesto sauce

  • Turkey Bacon

  • Parmesan cheese -fresh, grated (or mozzarella)

  • Olive oil cooking spray

  • Sea Salt & Pepper

Pre-heat oven to 375. Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish (or appropriate size needed) with olive oil/cooking spray. Take chicken and lay each breast out in pan (tongs work good for moving chicken around). Plop a spoonful of pesto sauce on each chicken breast. *Be careful not to touch chicken with spoon that you are re-dipping in the pesto sauce. Then spread the pesto across chicken, on both sides. Then sprinkle the up side of chicken with cheese.

Proceed by rolling each piece of chicken as tight as possible (cheese inside) -wash hands immediately after handling chicken and be very careful what you touch. Then take out one bacon strip per chicken breast and proceed to wrap the chicken with the bacon, like you are wrapping it to keep it closed- not the same direction as the chicken was rolled (its hard to explain). Then sprinkle the top with cheese, and season with sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes, or until the chicken is thoroughly cooked and cheese is bubbly.

*You can also roll the chicken in bread crumbs before cooking.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Sausage Stroganoff

Even if you don't use sausage much, you should try this dish. It's very rich and heavy so probably not a good dish if you're already feeling fat, but it is amazing. I got this recipe from my mother-in-law. I don't come up with recipes on my own so I feel like I need to give credit where it's due. Although I'm guessing she got it somewhere else.

Sausage Stroganoff

1 lb ground sausage (I just use Jimmy Dean)
1 onion, minced
1 red pepper, chopped
3 ripe tomatoes, peeled and diced
12 oz spinach fettucini (I use whole grain egg noodles)
6 oz of the following cheese sauce: (makes a lot! Read below)
1 ½ lb cream cheese
1 C sour cream
1 T minced garlic
1 t fennel seed
¼ - ½ t crushed red pepper flakes
3 T minced fresh parsley
3 T minced fresh basil
splash of milk

I use a food processor for the cheese sauce. Add as much milk as it takes to get it blended. I usually make 1/3 of the cheese sauce, so it’s just one package of cream cheese. I don’t know how many ounces that is, but I use it all. I also don’t use fennel seed and I use a little dried parsley and basil since it’s hard to get in the winter.

Cook the noodles according to the package. Brown the sausage adding the onion and pepper near the end. Add the cheese sauce and simmer for a minute. Add tomatoes and simmer a minute more.
Serve over noodles.

Ranch Parmesan Chicken

I will try to remember to take a picture and add it the next time I make this dish. I can't call it mine because I got it from my roommate Whitney freshman year.

Ranch Parmesan Chicken
Chicken tenderloins or breasts
1/2 C Ranch Dressing
1/2 C Sour Cream
1/2 C Italian flavored bread crumbs
1/2 C Grated Parmesan cheese
Melted butter

I don't know the exact measurements on this, they don't really matter. I use tenderloins and make 2-3 tenderloins per person (and 1 for children). Mix ranch and sour cream in a bowl. Mix bread crumbs and parmesan in a bowl. Lay chicken on paper towel to dry. Dip chicken in ranch mix until coated, then in parmesan mix. Place in greased baking dish. Drizzle melted butter over chicken (the more, the tastier, but less healthy). Bake at 350 for 25-35 minutes depending on if you used tenderloins or breasts, just until the chicken is cooked through (obviously). Very easy and yummy!

Amy's Chicken Enchiladas

Amy’s Chicken Enchiladas:

1 large can enchilada sauce (we buy green and red sauce)
White or whole wheat tortillas (preferably soft ones) about 8-10 (or corn tortillas)
Choice of shredded cheese -Cheddar, mozzarella, or mexican mixture.
Chicken breasts -or use cooked, rotisserie chicken
Chicken broth, 3 cups (or vegetable broth) for boiling chicken
Canned, diced tomatoes -drained
Canned, diced green chilies -drained (there are even canned tomatoes with green chillies)
1 tsp. Chili powder
Salt & pepper for taste

*Onions, peppers, and/or black beans are optional
*You can use salsa instead of canned tomatoes and green chilies

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Then boil chicken in broth, you can even add some enchilada sauce. While chicken is boiling heat the canned tomatoes and green chilies in a sauce pan -you can even add chopped onions, black beans, and/or your choice of peppers, it doesn't matter. Once the chicken is cooked through, drain it. (I shred my chicken by hand, so it needs to slightly cool down). Then stir the shredded chicken in with the tomato and green chili mixture. Then stir in teaspoon of chili powder, and season with salt and pepper. Tip: Before you put the mixture in the tortillas try draining it so you don't get soggy tortillas.

Then take a 9 X 13 glass baking dish and proceed to spoon one tortilla a time with the chicken mixture, spoon some enchilada sauce over chicken, sprinkle some cheese inside, then gently, but tightly wrap the tortilla like a burrito. Repeat until the pan is full of burritos (makes around 8). Then spoon enchilada sauce over the top. For Shawn and I, I pour red sauce over half and green sauce on the other half so we can each have our favorite. Then sprinkle lots of the shredded cheese all across the top.

Then bake about 20 minutes uncovered, and then 10 minutes or so covered (if needed -I'm not exactly sure how long I cook them). Take them out when the cheese looks nice and bubbly, but not burnt or crunchy. Then serve with sour cream, salsa, hot sauce, and lettuce, or whatever you want!