Sunday, December 27, 2009

Homemade Pizza

Sometimes I come across a recipe that is so good I feel it is a shame not to share it with someone. Here is my newest one: Homemade Pizza

This is SO good. And you can make whatever kind of pizza you like. I’ve posted the recipe for this dough before with another pizza. It is so easy in a breadmaker. If you don’t have a breadmaker you would have to knead it by hand, but I’m telling you it’s worth it.

Pizza Dough
1 C warm water (95-105 degrees)
¼ C olive oil
2 T honey
3 ½ C flour (sometimes I use both white and wheat mixed, but I don’t really like just wheat)
½ tsp salt
2 T yeast (2 packets rapid-rise)

You put everything in the breadmaker in this order, making a little well in the flour for the yeast so it doesn’t touch the water yet. Then you set you breadmaker to the ‘dough’ setting and you start it. Mine takes 1 ½ hours to rise and what-not. Here are some instructions if you don’t have a breadmaker:

Once you have the dough made, let it cool a little and then roll it out on a floured countertop and put it on your pizza pan that has been sprinkled with cornmeal. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Then add your toppings and bake for another 10-12 or until cooked through.

Another problem I had was the sauce. I hate store-bought pizza sauce so I tried a few different ones and I came up with this.

Pizza Sauce
½ onion, minced (sometimes I add more)
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T olive oil
16 oz tomato sauce
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp dried oregano leaves
1 tsp dried basil leaves
½ tsp salt

Sautee onions and garlic in oil until cooked through. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 15-20 minutes (or as long as it takes to get everything else ready). The original recipe called for a can of tomato paste, but I think it is way too rich with that so I leave it out. The sauce is a little runny, but I like it.

Then you can put whatever toppings you like. I usually use sausage (cook in frying pan while waiting for crust to cook and sauce to simmer), pepperoni, green peppers, mushrooms, mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese.

I had a veggie pizza at Firehouse that was really good so I thought I would try something like that last time. I still put some sausage and pepperoni, just not very much. Then I piled it high with red and green bell peppers, mushrooms, and zucchini. It was really good. The pizza I had at the restaurant had tiny pieces of Canadian bacon or something on it and that was the only meat. It gave it a nice flavor. I might try that sometime.

I’ve also had this Garlic Ranch Chicken Pizza on this crust and it was also incredible. chopped the tomatoes small, though. And I use rotisserie chicken because it’s easy and really, really good. Mmm.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Sugared and Spiced Nuts

Want a sweet holiday treat that is sooo easy (but fattening... a good fat though, haha)?

Spiced Nuts

1/2 c sugar
1/2 tsp of: nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves (I didn't have cloves, so I used a 1/4 tsp of all spice)
1/4 tsp salt
8 oz of mixed nuts (I used unsalted whole pecans and whole walnuts; and I used about 1 1/2 cups)
1 egg white

Pre-heat oven to 350 (I had to do my oven at 325). Mix sugar, spices and salt in a bowl and set aside. Toss egg white with nuts until coated. Than toss in sugar and spice mixture. Stir evenly, than pour evenly across baking sheet. Bake 15 minutes (I baked mine 10 minutes; my oven is a convection oven) than break apart with a metal spatula and put back in oven for 5 minutes to dry out (I broke mine up than did 4 minutes, than broke them up and spread them out again and did another 4 minutes). Than, allow to cool for a minute, and than put on to a cool surface to cool and harden.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Amy's Sweet & Spicy Cilantro Lime Chili

Amy's Sweet & Spicy Cilantro Lime Chili

1 tbls olive oil

Green pepper

Yellow Onion

3 Tomatoes (medium, or 2 large)

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 lb extra lean ground beef, browned

1/4 c beef broth

1 can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 can tomato sauce, 8 oz

1 can diced tomatoes (15 oz can)

1/2 cup habanero bbq sauce (or your choice of spicy bbq sauce)

(*option - use a packaged chili seasoning in replacement of following seasonings, like McCormicks chili seasoning packet)


2 tbls chili powder

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp dried basil

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp garlic salt or powder

1/4 tsp coriander

pinch cayenne pepper (*optional)

Sea salt & fresh ground pepper; to your taste preference

1 tbls honey

1/2 tbls fresh lime juice (about 1 lime)

1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Cheddar cheese, freshly shredded (about 1-2 cups)

Heat 1 tbls olive oil in a large sauce pan on medium heat. Rough chop green pepper, sweet yellow onion, and put in pan once oil is hot, but not too hot. While sauteing, chop 2-3 tomatoes and 3 cloves garlic, and add to mixture. Let saute for 10 minutes or until onions are translucent. While mixture is sauteing, cook brown beef on medium heat (I salt my beef a little while its cooking). Once browned, add beef to mixture as well as 1/4 cup beef broth.

Bring to a boil, than cook uncovered on low until moisture is almost gone, about 10 minutes. Than add: 1 can red kidney beans, 1 can pinto beans, and 1 can black beans, 1 can tomato sauce, and 1 can tomatoes. Stir in 1/4 cup habanero bbq sauce, 2 tbls chili powder, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp dried basil, 1/4 tsp coriander, pinch of cayenne pepper, salt and pepper (or after bbq sauce, stir in package of chili seasoning). Heat through and let simmer about 10-15 minutes, than remove from heat and stir in 1 tbls honey, 1/2 tbls fresh lime juice, and fresh cilnantro.

Shred cheddar cheese for topping. You can also have sour cream, oyster crackers, chopped green onions, minced white or red onion, etc. for toppings. Enjoy!!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Green Salad Medley

(Not the jello salad- that recipe is posted before this; I'm referring to the green lettuce salad ;)

We made this today for Samantha's baby blessing. It turned out really good! I sort of made it up as I went, so I've tried to recreate it. The proportions don't have to be exact.

Green Salad Medley Recipe

(*These proportions are for a large group -about 30 people)


Romaine Lettuce, 1-2 heads (depending on size; 2 if small, 1 if big)

Baby spinach, about 6 cups

Mixed greens, 4-6 cups

-Gently toss greens together

Salad Topping Mixture:

Sliced gala apple,1 -sliced thin and small

Yellow bell pepper sliced, 1

Shredded Carrot, 2

Yellow onion, 1, sliced thin

Dried cranberries, 3/4 cup

Lemon juice (fresh squeezed), 1 tbls

Agave nectar (or honey), 1/2 tbls

Salt & Pepper, 1/2 tsp each

Thyme, 1/2 tsp

Paprika, 1/4 tsp

Tumeric, pinch

-Stir ingredients together in separate a bowl; let chill for 15-30 minutes before serving

Gently Toss into salad, and than add:

Strawberries, sliced, 1 cup

Feta cheese, 2/3 cup

Candied sliced almonds, 3/4 cup -*add at very end, right before dressing

Gently Toss once, than add:

Raspberry Orange Herb Vinaigrette Salad Dressing: *Let dressing chill first, about 20-30 minutes

Orange Juice, 1/3 cup

Lemon Juice, 3 tbls

Raspberries, 1/3 cup

Canola Oil, 3 tbls

Apple Cider Vin, 3 tbls

Red Wine Vin, 2 tbls

Sugar, 1/4 cup (or less if needed;... taste to test before adding more,?)

Garlic, 2 cloves, pressed

Chopped fresh cilantro, 2 tbls

Chopped fresh parsley, 2 tbls

Sea Salt & Pepper (fresh ground) -about 1 tsp each

Paprika, 1/2 tsp

Sweet Paprika, dash

Tumeric, pinch (or 1/4 tsp)

Gently toss into salad until coated evenly (pour first half of dressing than toss and pour other to half).

Puke Salad

Nice name right?
Its a type of jello pudding salad...

Whisk 1 small pkg of pistachio pudding with 1 can crushed pineapple. Then add container of thawed frozen whipped topping, 1 can drained pineapple tidbits, 1-2 cans drained mandarin oranges, 1-2 cups marshmallows, 1-2 sliced bananas, 1 container cottage cheese, etc... You can use any flavor or pudding-vanilla, lemon--and any variety of canned or fresh fruit.

(*See picture on next post)

Friday, October 16, 2009

Cranberry-Nut Couscous Salad

Cranberry-Nut Couscous Salad

Prep: 25 min + chilling

1 package (10 oz) plain couscous (I used whole wheat couscous with mine)
1 cup dried cranberries
3/4 chopped green onions
3/4 chopped sweet yellow or red pepper
3/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
(*I added about 1/2 of a tomato, diced)
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper

*You can also try using quinoa (pronounced "keen-waw") instead of couscous. It has a lighter flavor, but its still good. Plus, its a really healthy whole grain.
(pictured with quinoa)

Prepare couscous according to package. Transfer to large bowl; fluff with a fork. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes or until chilled
Stir in cranberries, onions, yellow pepper and almonds. In a small separate bowl whisk the lemon juice, oil, paprika, salt and pepper; pour over salad and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate until serving. Yeild: 14 servings

Nutrition Facts: 1/2 cup equals 170 calories, 7 g fat (1 g sat. fat), 0 cholesterol, 45 mg sodium, 25 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 4 g protein.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Mashed Cauliflower

I don't know if anyone watches 'Biggest Loser', but Jillian mentioned using cauliflower instead of potatoes for "mashed potatoes". Its a great alternative because its without all the starch of potatoes. I made it the next day, and I loved it!!

Cook cauliflower, drain. Blend with plain, unsweetened soymilk (or milk of your choice), sea salt & pepper, and about 1 tsp olive oil, in a blender (or food processor, or kitchen aid, etc.). Add fresh, chopped chives if you want, and voila!

One head of cauliflower serves about 4 people.
About 3/4 cup of milk per head of cauliflower, if you want to make more.

Thursday, October 1, 2009


1 can Mexican Stewed Tomatoes
½ can chopped Green Chilies
3 green onions
Cilantro (maybe 2 T or more)
1 jalapeno
1 clove garlic
½ tsp garlic salt
½ tsp cumin
½ Tbl worcestershire sauce
Juice of half a lime
3-4 fresh garden tomatoes

In a food processor, combine all ingredients EXCEPT the fresh tomatoes. I cut the onions and pepper into smaller pieces. If you want it spicy, leave most of the seeds in the jalapeno. If you don’t want it spicy, you can leave it out I guess. Or just remove all the seeds and the white insides. It’s really not that spicy that way. You could use a milder pepper as well. But I like it hot! Chop until you are sure the garlic and pepper are chopped small. I usually let my food processor run for quite awhile. I’ve never had a problem with it blending my salsa too thin. Pour mixture into a bowl. Peel tomatoes and chop small (with a knife, not in the processor). Add together and chill.

This recipe is halved, if you can’t tell. If you have a larger food processor you can double this recipe and make it easier. ½ Tablespoon is equal to 1 ½ tsp if you don’t have a ½ T measuring spoon.

I got this recipe out of a cookbook but I changed it a lot so I guess that makes it mine :) Maybe I should call it ‘Joanie’s Awesome Salsa’. The only thing I don’t like is that it calls for canned tomatoes but I don’t know how to get that flavor from scratch. And I put a lot of fresh tomatoes in as well.

Monday, September 21, 2009

My Mom's Brownies

I remember a time in my life when I was content to eat Brownies made from a box. I actually remember thinking, "what's the point of going through the trouble of making them from scratch when the box ones are so good?"

Well, I have now realized that crazy thinking was only because it had been so long since I had these. I couldn't count the number of times I helped my mom make these when I was growing up. She had the recipe memorized, which was a good thing because the actually recipe was faded so much it was illegible. Now I get to enjoy them with my kids. (My mom usually added walnuts to hers, but I hate nuts in them so I don't even know how much she added.)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Thai Chicken and Coconut Soup

  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. Cooking Oil
  • 1/2 small onion (chopped)
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne
  • 1 quart canned low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups (about a can) unsweetended coconut milk
  • 3 tsp. Fish sauce or soy sauce
  • 2 strips (3-inch long) lime zest
  • 1/2 lb. egg fettuccine
  • 1 lb. boneless (skinless chicken breasts (about 3) cubed
  • 2 Tbsp. lime juice
  • 3 Tbsp. chopped cilantro (optional)

In a large pot, heat the cooking oil over moderately low heat. Add the onion and cook (about 5 minutes). Add the garlic, coriander, ginger, black pepper, and cayenne; cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.

Add the broth, coconut milk, fish sauce, salt and lime zest. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 10 minutes.

Cook fettuccine until just done (about 12 minutes). Drain.

Saute chicken

Add the chicken to the soup and simmer until just done (1 1/2 minutes). Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the fettuccine, lime juice and cilantro (if using). Serve the soup in bowls with a fork and spoon.

Baked Ziti with Prosciutto & Peas

  • 1/2 lb. ziti, penne or other tubular pasta
  • 1 pkg. Alfredo Sauce Mix
  • 2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
  • 3/4 cup frozen peas
  • 1/4 lb. prosciutto chopped (domestic is fine)
  • 1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs

Preheat an oven to 425 degrees.

Cook pasta about 2 minutes less than the package instructions. Drain and rinse under cold running water. Set aside

Follow directions on Alfredo sauce mix. Stir in cheese, peas and prosciutto. Stir the pasta into the sauce and toss to combine.

Transfer the pasta and sauce to a casserole dish. Sprinkle with the bread crumbs. Bake until bread crumbs are golden and the sauce is bubbling, about 20 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Pasta Annalisa

  • 16 oz. Farfalle pasta
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3-4 chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, crushed or garlic slat
  • 1 Tbsp. pepper
  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 1 lb bacon, crumpled
  • 1/2 c. shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 (12 oz) Lawry's Mesquite marinade with lime juice

Cook bacon in the oven (400 degrees, convection). Way less messy. Time varies (watch it) usually around 30 minutes. Allow to cool and then crumple.

Crock pot chicken and bottle of marinade on low for 6 hours. Pull marinated chicken out of the juices, allow to cool a little bit, and shred. Set this aside. About a half hour before serving, boil the pasta. In a small saucepan, melt butter, add garlic, whipping cream, pepper, Parmesan cheese, and crumpled bacon. Whisk together on low heat for 3-4 minutes. In a large bowl, pour over cooked, drained pasta, add chicken and stir through. Sprinkles a little bit more shredded Parmesan cheese on top.

Poulet Bon Femme (AKA White Grape Chicken)

  • 6 boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 can cream of celery soup
  • 1 cup cheese grated (Colby Jack or Mozzarella)
  • 3/4 cup white grape juice

Mix the soups, cheese and juice together. Place chicken in casserole dish. Pour sauce over chicken. Cover and bake at 325 degrees for 3 hours. Take cover off last 30 minutes of cooking. Serve over rice.

A friend from Arizona gave me this recipe. It is simple and good.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Bored of the Same Old Lunch?

I got so sick of eating plain lunchmeat sandwiches for lunch. So I thought of some other ideas.

Chicken Quesadilla
I use Rotisserie chicken from the store
Tostitos Queso Dip
Pepperjack cheese
Cheddar cheese
You can also add:
green onions

This isn't your everyday sandwhich...
Find the recipe here.

Another idea a ham and cheese salad. I use ham lunchmeat (or if I have some left-over ham from dinner sometime) and both mozzarella and cheddar cheese. I LOVE the onion vinagarette salad dressing from Sam's Club on that salad. You could also use chicken (rotisserie again) and ranch. Add carrots and celery and red pepper if you'd like.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Easy Steak Kabobs

1 lb sirloin steaks

1 medium bell pepper (an color)

16 medium mushrooms

1 tsp dried dill weed (or 1 T fresh chopped)

1 Tbl lemon juice

1 Tbl olive oil

1 Tbl honey mustard

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

Preheat grill. Cut beef and pepper into 1-inch pieces. Cut mushrooms in half. On each of eight metal skewers, alternately thread beef, pepper, and mushrooms, leaving 1/4 inch space between each piece. In a small bowl, mix remaining ingredients. Brush on kabobs and grill 15-18 minutes, turning every 3-4 minutes, until beef is cooked to desired doneness. Easy and yummy!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Hawaiian Haystacks

I think most people already have some renditition of this recipe. I think we used gravy when I was growing up. But we've been enjoying this recently. The best part is it is really kid friendly. Dylan, who just turned one, LOVES it and eats all of it. I love that I can make one meal now instead of three. (Most of the time, at least)
Hawaiian Haystacks

2 cans cream of chicken soup

1 C chicken broth

2 C chicken, cooked and diced

Rice, cooked (we usually make 2 cups raw, which makes 4 cups, I think)

Any or all of the following:

Grated cheddar cheese

Chinese rice noodles (La Choy brand)

Bell peppers (any color, raw or cooked if you like)


Peas (cooked)

Slivered almonds (toasted)

Chopped pineapple

Mix the soup, broth and chicken together in saucepan and simmer a few minutes. Cook rice and any toppings that need to be cooked. Serve chicken mixture over rice and top with toppings. It's great as leftovers as well.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Buttermilk Blueberry Pancakes

Buttermilk Pancakes

1 egg
1 C buttermilk
*2 T shortening (I don't put this in)
3/4 C flour (or more if you like thicker pancakes) (I use whole wheat flour)
1 T sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
Blueberries (as much as you like) or chocolate chips or anything you like.

Mix together and cook on a skillet or whatever. Yeilds 10 small pancakes. These are really easy and really good.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Baked Sweet Potato Fries

This is one of our favorite things to make!  My 16 month old son Dax even eats them, as well as my husband.  They are healthy and delicious!!  Enjoy!
*The nice thing about making this is that the spices can vary.  You could simply use salt & pepper and they'd still be delicious! 

Baked Sweet Potato Fries

3-4 Sweet Potatoes, chopped into french fry size (peeling is optional)
1/4 cup olive oil (or canola oil -I've never tried, but it would work)
1-2 tsp chile powder
1/4 tsp cumin powder (*optional)
1/4 tsp paprika (*optional)
1/4 tsp coriander (*optional)
Pinch of cayanne pepper (1/4 tsp)
Dried rosemary sprigs (1 tbls -*optional; I leave out because kids probably won't like them)
Sea Salt & Pepper

Pre-heat oven to 400.  Place chopped sweet potatoes in mixing bowl and stir in olive oil.  Mix all your spices together, and sprinkle half of the spice mixture in the bowl, stir until pretty evenly coated.  Sprinkle rosemary sprigs across baking sheet.  Then spread fries evenly on a baking sheet and sprinkle remainder of spice mixture evenly across the top.  
Bake for about 30 minutes, until top starts to look golden brown.  *Be careful not to overcook or burn.  
Serve with ranch, or fry sauce.

Fry Sauce -stir together:
Light mayonnaise (or light canola oil mayonnaise)
Ketchup (or agave nectar ketchup)
1/2 tsp chile powder
Salt & pepper

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Recipe Link

Hello Everyone,

I heard about a blog that is doing 365 days worth of crockpot meals. Some of them look really good.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Poppy Seed Bread

  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 1/8 Cup Salad Oil
  • 2 1/4 Cup Sugar
  • 1 1/2 Cup Milk
  • 3 Cups Flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Almond Flavor
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Butter Flavor
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Vanilla Flavor
  • 1 1/2 Tbs. Poppy seeds

Beat eggs, oil and sugar. Sift flour, salt and baking powder together. Add alternately with milk to eggs mixture. Add flavorings and poppy seeds. Bake at 350 for 1 hour.

Glaze (Mix together):

  • 1 /4 Cup Orange Juice
  • 3/4 Cup Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. Butter Flavor
  • 1/2 tsp. Almond Flavor
  • 1/2 tsp. Vanilla Flavor

Spoon over cool bread

Applesauce Cookies

My favorite cookies.
  • 1 Cup Shortening
  • 3/4 Cup Sugar
  • 3 Eggs
  • 2 Cups Applesauce (about 1 can)
  • 1 tsp. Cloves
  • 2 tsp. Soda
  • 1 tsp. Nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. Allspice
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1/2 Cup Quick Oats
  • 2 3/4 Cup Flour
  • Chocolate Chips

Mix together and bake at 375 for 10 min.

Irish Soda Bread

  • 3 Cups Flour
  • 3 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1 Tbs. Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 1 1/2 Cups Buttermilk
  • 1 Tbs. Butter (Melted) - Use on top of cooked bread

Shift dry ingredients together in a bowl. Add the buttermilk and mix with a fork until blended. Turn dough onto a floured board and knead lightly until smooth (make a ball). Flatten dough and with a knife score the top (1/4 inch.).

Bake at 375 for 30 min.

Breakfast Coffee Cake

I made this last weekend and thought of you Joanie.

  • 1 1/2 Cup Flour
  • 3/4 cup Sugar
  • 3 tsp. Baking Powder
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 4 Tbs. Shortening
  • 1/2 Cup Milk
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 tsp Vanilla

Topping: Put in middle of batter and on top

  • 3/4 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 2 Tbs. Butter
  • 1 Tbs. Flour

Bake 25-35 min. at 375

Oriental Chicken Salad

  • 3 Cups Chicken, cooked and cubed (I grill and put teriyaki sauce on)
  • 6 Cups Shredded Lettuce
  • 6 Green Onions, sliced
  • 1 Can sliced water chestnuts
  • 1 Cup Celery, sliced diagonally
  • 4 Sweet Pickles, sliced
  • 13 oz. Can Chow Mien Noodles


  • 1/2 Cup Mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbs. Sesame or Peanut Oil
  • 2 Tbs. Red or White Vinegar
  • 2 Tbs. White Corn Syrup
  • 1 Tbs. Soy Sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. Ground Ginger

Add to salad just before serving. Top with 3 Tbs. sesame seeds.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Stuffed French Bread Pizzas

I adapted this from Rachel Ray's recipe. I love her. Is anyone against cooking with sausage? If you are, you are missing out. It is so good. I usually half this recipe, or just add whatever amount looks good.

Is there anything better than sausage, peppers and onions?

Oh! Yeah! Sausage, peppers, onions and cheese!

Stuffed French Bread Pizzas
1 (2 foot long) loaf French bread
1 pound sweet Italian sausage
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 small red bell pepper, seeded and chopped (I added half red and half green)
1 small onion, chopped
2 large cloves garlic, chopped
2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped (or 1 can of diced tomatoes)
Salt and pepper
1 1/2 cups part skim ricotta
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 stick pepperoni, chopped
shredded mozzarella
dried oregano
crushed red pepper flakes

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Split bread lengthwise and remove some of the inner bread to make room for all the filling. Cut in half across, making 4 shells for pizzas.

Heat a skillet over medium high flame and brown sausage in extra-virgin olive oil. Brown and crumble sausage. Add red bell pepper, onion and garlic. Cook 3 to 5 minutes. Remove mixture from heat and season with a pinch of salt and black pepper, to your taste.

Transfer to a bowl. Combine sausage and veggies with ricotta, Parmesan, and pepperoni. Fill bread shells and top with mounded mozzarella cheese. Place in hot oven on cookie sheet and bake until cheese melts and bubbles and bread is super crisp, about 10 to 12 minutes. Top pizzas with oregano and hot pepper flakes.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Foolproof Chocolate Cake Cookies

This is a quick and easy cookie recipe, and very good.

1 (18.5 oz) package chocolate cake mix
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, stir together the cake mix and baking powder. Add eggs and oil, then mix until well blended. Stir in chocolate chips or other choice of additions (chooped nuts, toffee bits, etc.) Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto cookie sheet.

Bake for 8-10 minutes. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for five minutes before removing to a wire rack. Cool completely.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Mexican Roll-ups


1cup sour cream
1/2 can cream of chicken soup
1/4 cup chopped olives
2 tsp. taco seasoning
1 cup grated cheese (whatever you have on hand)
1/2 cup salsa
2 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken


1 cup sour cream
1/2 can cream of chicken soup
1 1/2 tsp taco seasoning
3/4 cups grated cheese

Put filling muxture in flour tortillas, roll up, and place in lightly greased baking dish. Spread topping mixture over the top of the roll-ups. Bake uncovered 375 for 30 minutes.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Caramel Popcorn

2 ¼ C. brown sugar
1 C. karo syrup
1 can sweetened condensed milk
½ C. butter

Bring ingredients to a boil, stirring constantly. Cook to soft ball stage (about five minutes).

Remove caramel from the stove and pour over the popcorn, mixing it well. It makes about two large bowls of popcorn.

Note: I always sift the popcorn beforehand to make sure there aren’t any kernels that could chip someone’s teeth.

This caramel is also excellent over puffed wheat, which you can buy unsweetened in large bags.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Sweet 'N Sour Sirloin Stir-Fry

This recipe is from Rachel Ray's 30 Minute Meals. I haven't been able to find frozen edamame, but you can put whatever veggies in that you like.

Sweet 'N Sour Sirloin Stir-Fry

1 1/2 pound piece sirloin, 1-inch thick

3 tablespoons vegetable, peanut or canola oil

2 large red bell peppers, seeded and sliced

1 large green bell pepper, seeded and sliced

1 bunch scallions, cut into 2 to 3-inch pieces on angle, greens and whites

2 cups shelled frozen edamame

3 tablespoons brown sugar

3 tablespoons soy sauce

1/4 cup yellow mustard

1/4 cup ketchup

Pop the meat in the freezer for a few minutes to stiffen it up for slicing.

Halve the steak lengthwise then very thinly slice the meat. Heat the oil in a very large skillet over high heat. When oil wafts smoke and ripples, add the meat and stir-fry until caramelized 3 minutes. Add peppers and stir-fry 2 minutes then add in scallions and edamame for 2 minutes more. Stir together the sugar, soy, mustard and ketchup and pour over stir-fry the last minute of cooking. Season, to taste, if necessary.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Curried Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie

I halved this recipe (the original recipe is below). The website I got it off of was making (2), (1) to eat and (1) to freeze.
  • 5 medium sweet potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 pounds ground turkey or chicken
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 can (14 oz) chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 pounds carrots (peeled & chopped)
  • 1 1/2 pounds parsnips (peeled & chopped)
  • 1 medium onion (chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 package (10 oz) frozen peas
  • 1 cup milk (warmed)
  • 2 tablespoons butter

Pierce potatoes all over with fork. Cook in microwave on high for 15 - 17 minutes or until potatoes are tender when pierced with fork, turning potatoes over once; set aside.

Meanwhile in skillet heat 1 tablespoon oil on medium until hot. Add turkey; sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook 5-6 min. or until no longer pink, stirring and breaking up turkey with side of spoon.

Stir flour and curry powder into turkey in skillet; cook 1 min. stirring. Add broth and heat to boiling. Cook 1 minute or until mixture thickens slightly. divide turkey mixture between two 2 1/2 or 3 quart baking dishes and spread evenly.

Preheat oven to 375. Wipe skillet dry. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to skillet and heat on medium until hot. Add carrots, parsnips, and onion and cook, covered, about 15 min. or until vegetables are browned and tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in ginger, frozen peas, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Divide vegetable mixture between casseroles, spreading evenly over turkey mixture.

when cool enough to handle, cut potatoes in half and scoop flesh from skins into large bowl. With potato masher, coarsely mash potatoes. Stir in milk, butter, and 1 teaspoon salt; mash until well blended. Spread over casseroles mixture.

Bake (1) shepherd's pie, uncover, 35-40 min or until top is browned. Meanwhile, prepare second casserole for freezing.

Caribbean Pork Casserole

  • 4 green onions
  • 2 pork tenderloins (about 3/4 pound each, cut into 1-inch-thick slices)
  • 2 tablespoons peeled, minced gingerroot
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme (or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne) - optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 3 medium sweet potatoes (peeled and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices)
  • 1 large red pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 can (15-16 oz) pineapple chunks in their own juice

Preheat oven to 425. Mince onions. In bowl, toss 1/2 minced green onions with pork slices, ginger, soy sauce, Worcestershire, thyme, ground red pepper and allspice. Cover pork and marinate 30 minutes.

In a shallow 6-quart casserole, toss sweet potatoes, red pepper, remaining green onions and 1 tablespoon vegetable oil. Bake, uncovered for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook pork until browned in 1 tablespoon hot vegetable oil. Pour pineapple chunks with their juice into skillet. Pour pineapple mixture, pork slices and any remaining marinade over vegetables in roasting pan.

Bake casserole uncovered 30 minutes longer or until pork and vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally.

This makes a lot! You could half the receipe, or count on lots of leftovers.

Creamy Chicken Noddle Soup

  • 1 Store-bought roasted chicken
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 4 cans (14 oz ) chicken broth
  • 2 cans condensed cream of mushroom soup w/ roasted garlic
  • 2 tsp. soup herbs (tarragon, basil, Italian seasonings)
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 2 cups egg noodles - cooked

Remove skin from chicken and shred meat from the bone. place chicken, onion, celery & carrots in a 4 qt. slow cooker. Stir in broth, soup and spices. Season to taste with salt & pepper. Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 8-9 hours. When soup is done stir in cooked egg noodles and heat through.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Garden Chicken Pizza

This recipe came from Brooke's ward cookbook.

Garden Chicken Pizza

Pizza dough (I made mine in my breadmaker and it was wonderful. Recipe below. I do not recommend the Pillsbury refrigerated dough unless you don’t mind it tasting like crescent rolls.)
2 chicken breasts, cut in strips
4 slices bacon, chopped
1 tsp minced garlic
½ tsp dried oregano
½ cup chopped green onions
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
½ cup Alfredo sauce, or more if you like (I used Bertolli)
½ red bell pepper

Grease a 12 in pizza pan. Press dough onto pan and bake at 400 for 8 minutes. Meanwhile, sauté the bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring continually, until the bacon is crisp, about 2 minutes. Drain the bacon, set aside. Add the chicken and garlic to the skillet. Saute the mixture, stirring continually, until the chicken is cooked through, about 3 minutes. Stir in the oregano. Sprinkle 1 cup cheese on top of baked pizza crust. Arrange bacon, green onions, bell pepper, chicken mixture and alfredo sauce on top of the cheese. Top with remaining cheese. Bake until the cheese is meted and crust is golden brown, 8-10 minutes.

*And this is how I changed it a little. I used cornmeal instead of greasing the pan. But I also used a baking stone so I don't know if it would work as well on another pan. I hate cutting up raw chicken and I hate cooking bacon when it’s chopped because it sticks to each other. So I cooked the bacon whole and then cut it up. And I just cooked 4 chicken tenders and added the garlic at the end. Then I chopped them bite size and sprinkled some oregano on them. I just cut up green onions and red pepper strips until it looked like what I wanted. My dough was really thick (and delicious, seriously Kylee at all her crust) so I used a little extra cheese and sauce.

Basic Pizza Dough

These exact instructions are at You can also see his instructions on rolling out the dough at

3 1/2 cups flour
1 cup warm water
2 tablespoons yeast
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
To Mix Dough in a Bread Machine:

Throw all the ingredients in, set to dough only setting, push start and walk away. That's it! No work, no hassle. If you don't work for something is it really worth having? In this case, you bet!

This dough can also be made in advance and refrigerated for a day or so, or even frozen. Be sure to let the dough come to room temperature before using.

To Mix Dough by Hand:

Pour warm water into a bowl. The water should be about 85 to 115° F. Test it with your hand. It should feel very warm, but comfortable. Add the honey and salt. Mix by and hand (or any other method) until well blended. Add the yeast and mix some more. Let this mixture sit for about 5 minutes. Add 1 cup of flour and the olive oil and mix until well blended. Add the rest of the flour (and any other additions) and mix well. The dough should turn into a ball. If the dough does not ball up because it's too dry, add water one tablespoon at a time until it does. If your mixture is more like a batter, add flour one tablespoon at a time. Adding water or flour as needed to get the right consistency will assure you always get a perfect dough. Just remember to do it in small amounts.

Once the dough is balled up, place the ball on a floured board and knead for about a minute. This builds the gluten which helps the dough to rise and become fluffy when cooked. Place the dough in a plastic grocery bag or a covered bowl and store in a warm, dry area to rise.

After about 45 minutes the dough should have about doubled in size. Show it who's boss and punch it down. That's right, give it a good smack so it deflates. Let it rise for another hour to an hour and a half. The dough is now ready to be rolled out. You can punch the dough down one more time if you want and wait another hour or two before rolling out. The choice is yours.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Enchilada Pie

I got this recipe from Brooke. Thanks, Brooke!

Enchilada Pie
1lb Ground beef
½ tsp salt
½ medium onion, chopped
1 sm can green chilies
½ can tomato soup
1 10 oz can enchilada sauce
½ C water
6 flour tortillas
1 C cheddar cheese, shredded
1 C mozzarella cheese, shredded

Brown beef with salt and onion. Add chilies, soup, enchilada sauce and water. Simmer for 5 minutes.
In a pie pan, layer:
2 tortillas
2 tortillas
2 tortillas
Bake at 350 for 30-45 min. Slice like a pie and top with sour cream, olives, lettuce, tomatoes, salsa, guacamole, etc.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Chicken Puffs

This recipe is from my neighbor. It is a family favorite of theirs.

3 cups cooked diced chicken
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 1/2 cups crushed cornflakes
1 stick butter; melted
1 container (4-8 oz) cream cheese, softened. Preferably garden vegetable flavor. Low fat variety tastes the same. If you use plain cream cheese, then add some herb flavors to it.
2 pkgs of pillsbury refrigerated crescent roll dough. Depending on the size of your family, this recipe can be cut in half.

Combine chicken and softened cream cheese in bowl. Put corn flakes in separate small bowl. Put butter in a separate bowl as well. Roll out crescent rolls with small rolling pin. Scoop about 1.5 Tbsp of chicken/cream cheese mixture into middle of crescent roll. Wrap crescent roll around chicken mixture, closing the seams. Dip top of your uncooked "puff" into melted butter, then into the corn flakes. Set on ungreased cookie sheet. Repeat until all of your ingredients are gone. Cook puffs for approx. 20-22 minutes at 350. Meanwhile, cook cream of chicken soup according to soup directions. Serve puffs with cream of chicken soup "sauce" poured over the puffs.

Creamy Chicken

6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
4 oz cream cheese
1 envelope italian dressing mix (any brand, but Good Seasons is great)

Place the breasts on the bottom of your crockpot. Mix the soup, cheese and seasonings and pour over the chicken. Cook on low for 5-6 hours and serve over rice. Note: low fat varieties of soup and cream cheese work just as well.

Crockpot Lasagna

This is a friends recipe that I received awhile back ago. I make things, but I never remember to take a picture. So, if any of you make this and remember to take a picture, feel free to post pictures.

Layer ingredients until deisired amount
Layer 1 - dry lasagna noodles (broken to fit)
Layer 2 - spaghetti sauce with meat (1 lb. hamburger browned with onion, spaghetti seasoning, 3-4 cans tomato sauce, or a jar of spaghetti sauce)
Layer 3 - 2-3 cups cottage cheese, or ricotta mixed with 2 beaten eggs and 1 T. parsley flakes
Layer 4 - grated mozzarella, parmesan, and cheddar cheeses
Cook on high for 1 hour, turn down to low. Total time 4 hours. If you have a medium setting, cook on medium the total time.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Cafe Rio Follow Up

Here are some pictures of the Cafe Rio meal. Meat recipe below. Brooke says you can use pork or beef. Cafe Rio uses pork. I don't eat at Cafe Rio very often, but the sweet pork salad is very popular. This meat recipe works for the salad too and the ranch dressing recipe would be the salad dressing. FYI: This makes enough food to feed 8 people, I would say (but I had three people's share :)


Cilantro-Lime Ranch

I came across another blog that had a recipe for the full sweet pork sald. It is Favorite Family Recipes. She has a different recipe for the pork, which I might try next time just to see the difference. I used her recipe for the rice and beans.

Cilantro-Lime Rice

Beans (I used less tomato juice than the recipe calls for, but next time I might just add an extra can of beans and use all the juice)

And here was my taco, or I would call it a burrito, all finished and delicious.

There were so many flavor combinations, and they all went together really well. I would recommend the burrito sized tortillas, since there is so much to pack into it. It seems like a lot of work, but I spread it out throughout the day. I put the pork in the crockpot in the morning, and mixed the ranch a couple hours later. Then I just made the rice and beans right before we ate. It's amazingly wonderful!

Here is the salad I made with the leftovers.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Mountain Dew Dumplings

I googled "mountain dew recipes" one day and came across this one. It was only fitting for my family since my husband loves mountain dew so much. It is delicious!
2 cans crescent rolls
2-3 firm apples, peeled & cored, cut into 6 or 8 slices each
1 1/2 C. sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
2 sticks butter (don't use margarine)
1 (12-oz )can Mountain Dew
Preheat oven to 350°
Place one apple slice in each triangle of dough.
Roll up large end to small.
Place all rolled apple slices in 9 x 13 pan.
Melt butter in small pan, add cinnamon & sugar.
Pour mixture over dumplings, and pour Mountain Dew around dumplings.
Bake 45 min.
Makes 18 dumplings
Serve with ice cream, and pour some of the leftover sauce over it.

Cafe Rio Tacos

Cafe Rio Meat
3 lbs roast
1 c dark brown sugar (I use light, I haven't been able to taste a difference)
1 c worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. powdered ginger (only if you have it)
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. chili powder
2 T minced onions

Cook in a crock pot all day on low. 1 hour before serving shred meat and discard juice.
Add 1 c brown sugar
1 c red enchilada sauce (get a good brand, it makes a difference)

1 ranch dressing packet
1/2 c buttermilk
1/2 c sour cream
1 c mayo
2 tomatillos
1 japapeno, cut in half lengthwise and remove seeds
1/2 bunch cilantro
1 clove garlic
juice of 1 lime
Mix in blender and refrigerate 1 hour
You can leave the dressing out if you don't feel like making it. The meat and other toppings itself make it just as good.

Flour tortillas
Top each tortilla with:
fresh lime juice
green enchilada sauce
strips of chips
black beans
Pick and choose what you feel like putting on your taco. Enjoy!
Thanks Joanie for motivating me to post this:)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Wild Rice and Tofu Soup

*First, I know this recipe may sound a little out there and weird (unless you are a tofu lover; I am not, but in this soup, or miso soup, I definitely am!), but it is actually really, really good! Its super healthy, very filling, loaded with nutrition, and definitely worth making. My husband is not a "soup" kind of guy, but he loves this soup! Its my favorite thing to make.
**One tip would be to plan ahead when you make this and soak your beans over night. I have been using the canned kind, which are fine, but your intestinal track may not agree with the mixture of beans, tofu, onions, etc., so soaking the beans helps a lot!

Wild Rice and Tofu Soup

1 cup Wehani rice or other wild rice variety
4 tbsp best quality olive oil
1 cup carrots, peeled and diced
1 cup parsnips, peeled and diced (*I don't always use these, but they are good if you do)
1 cup sweet Vidalia onion, diced (*or red onion (?), but I use any onion, white, yellow, or red)
6 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock (*I like mine thick, so I only use 3-4 cups)
3 cups low-fat, plain soy milk
1 garlic clove
1 cup white kidney beans
1 cup kidney beans
1 cup black beans
1 cup regular tofu
sea salt & black pepper, to taste

1. Cook rice according to package directions (*TIP to speed up cooking time, add uncooked rice to the stock at the beginning. Or use planned leftovers)
2. Meanwhile, saute carrots, parsnips, and onion in olive oil.
3. In large pot place sauteed vegetables, poultry stock, soy milk. Add garlic, beans and tofu. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add cooked rice and stir until blended. Season with salt and pepper. Number of Servings: 4

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Chicken Cacciatore Subs

I don't know if my pictures even look appetizing, but whatever. This is another Rachel Ray recipe. I usually use 4 or 5 chicken tenderloins and only 2-3 sub rolls for my family. But I still use all of the rest of the ingredients. I use chicken stock instead of wine, and lately I haven't been using mushrooms because they are kind of expensive and I don't love them so I just leave them out. But when I do use mushrooms, I only use one cap. I also never have provolone cheese so I just use whatever I have, either cheddar, mont jack, or mozzarella. I use a little dried parsley leaves, or just leave them out. If you don't toast your rolls first, they will get really soggy. It's a messy meal, but really good.
Chicken Cacciatore Subs

4 pieces boneless skinless chicken breast, 6 to 8 ounces each
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling, plus 2 tablespoons
Grill seasoning blend, or salt and pepper
4 sub rolls, split
2 cloves garlic, cracked away from skins
1 teaspoon red crushed pepper flakes
2 large portobello mushroom caps, sliced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and sliced
1 large onion, white or brown skinned, sliced
1 teaspoon dried oregano, 1/3 palm full
1/2 cup dry red wine or stock -- chicken or beef flavor
1 (14-ounce) can, crushed tomatoes
2 to 3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/3 pound deli sliced provolone

Heat a grill pan or large skillet. Drizzle chicken with oil, to cover,and season with grill seasoning blend or salt and pepper. Grill or pan-fry 6 minutes on each side.

Heat broiler, lightly toast rolls on cookie sheet and remove.

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add 2 tablespoons oil, garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, mushrooms, peppers, onions and oregano. Saute veggies and season with salt and pepper. Cook 5 minutes, then deglaze the pan with wine or stock. Pick up tasty bits off the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon or heat safe spatula. Add tomatoes and parsley to the sauce. Slice chicken breasts on an angle and set into sauce. Pile chicken and veggies into sub rolls and cover with sliced provolone. Melt cheese under hot broiler. Serve.