Friday, October 29, 2010

Quesadilla Style Burritos

I don't know why but when you take your burrito and toast it on the stove it makes it taste so much more fattening. I love it and so does my hubby. This recipe is nothing fancy but we sure enjoy it and its easy and fast.

1 can of pinto beans or refried beans
1 lb of hamburger
1/2 cup of salsa
1/4-1/2 cup of frozen corn
Grated Cheese

Brown hamburger and drain off grease. Add pinto beans, salsa, and corn and heat until warm. Spread a couple of spoonfuls of mixture onto half of a tortilla top with cheese and salsa and then grill on both sides then top with sour cream.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Focaccia Bread

As all of you know, I am a bread lover. My mom says I have always been this way, so why change things now. This recipe  is probably the easiest yeast bread I have ever made. It is tender and delicious and best of all it only has to rise ONCE!  It originally comes from Prudence Pennywise. We typically eat it as a side dish for dinner and then I make incredible sandwiches with it the next day. YUMMY!

Rosemary Focaccia
  • 2 teaspoons rapid rise yeast (I use SAF)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm water 
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper 
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, chopped, or 1 tablespoon fresh (I used dry- or I leave it out which I almost prefer!)
  • 3 cups flour (I did all white) For Top:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup to 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese (sometimes I smother it in cheddar cheese and it is wonderful!)
  1. In a large bowl, combine yeast, sugar, water, olive oil, pepper, salt, rosemary and half of the flour. Stir with a wooden spoon. (Alternately, if you have a free standing mixer, put in all of the flour and let the machine do the work. I used my Kitchen Aid)
  2. Work in the remaining flour, using your hands and kneading when necessary. Knead dough for five minutes. Cover and let rise for one hour. (The dough can be made up to 24 hours in advance. Cover with saran wrap and store in fridge.)
  3. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Press dough into a 12 inch circle. Don’t worry about being perfect; you’re going for rustic Italian here.
  4. Press the dough all over with your fingertips to make indentations. Cover dough with olive oil, cheese, rosemary and black pepper. Bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until puffed and golden brown. Cut into wedges and serve

Monday, October 25, 2010

Asian Noodle Salad

This summer my sister-in-law made us a really yummy salad.  I loved it!  She said it was from Pioneer Woman so I went looking for it.  I changed quite a few things, but it's all good!

 I'm not quite as adventuresome as Jana or the Pioneer Woman - here's what I used:
1 pound linguine noodles (cooked)
 purple cabbage
baby spinach
various colors of bell peppers

The amount of vegetables depends on how many veggies you use.  Really, whatever you like and is in your fridge is good!

The Dressing:

Juice from 1 Lime
8 Tablespoons Olive Oil
8 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
2 Tablespoons Sesame Oil
⅓ cups Brown Sugar
2 Tablespoons Fresh Ginger Chopped
2 cloves Garlic Chopped
Chopped Cilantro

I know Jana added chicken to hers and made it more filling.  The secret is to add the dressing to each serving so everyone gets as much as they like and then the salad saves well if you don't eat it all.  We loved it!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Italian Brown Rice Pasta Salad

I was so excited to find brown rice pasta at Trader Joes. I also found a very healthy Braggs Organic Vinagrette made with olive oil at Whole Foods recently. We had friends over for a BBQ I made a pasta salad. It was delicious and you couldn't even tell it was a different pasta. The dressing was lighter tasting but it really brought out the taste of vegetables and cheese. It's gluten free and low in sodium! You could make a main dish by adding diced chicken.

1 lb. package of brown rice spiral pasta
2-3 small cans of sliced olives drained
3 tomatoes diced
1 -2 green or red pepper diced
1 bunch green onion chopped
3/4 cups fresh grated parmesan
1 cup Braggs Organic Italian Vinagrette
salt and pepper to taste

Cook pasta according to directions on package. Rinse in cold water. Mix in large bowl with vegetables and dressing. Add cheese right before serving and add more dressing if needed.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Beef and Mushroom Stew

This is a recipe that I got off of and of course I changed a couple of things but we really liked it and thought it was even better the second day. Dave said that I could definitely make it again.

1 (1 1/2 lb.) chuck pot roast, cut into 1 inch pieces
ground black pepper
1/4 cup flour
2 T. olive oil
1 can French Onion Soup
1 cup beef broth
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 t. Italian seasoning, crushed
8 oz. mushrooms, cut in half
3 medium carrots, sliced (I used the baby carrots and just put in a bunch)
1 medium onion, cubed
5-6 red potatoes cut in half

Put the pepper in the flour and coat the meat. Brown the meat in the oil in a frying pan on medium heat.
Put the beef in the crock pot and add the rest of the ingredients and stir.
Cover and cook on low for 10-12 hours until your meat falls apart. It really does take this long.
It is a very easy recipe and so delicious!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Homemade Popsicles

Okay, I know its not Summer anymore but I found a recipe from Best Bites and I had to try it. Excuse our pathetic Popsicles, I searched high and low for Popsicles molds and they do not sell them right now. So we compromised and used cups and plastic knives.

Lemon-Raspberry Cheesecake Popsicle

1 pkg of cheesecake pudding made
1/2 cup of raspberrys
2 tsp lemon zest

Mix it all together and freeze it in the freezer. They were yummy. I always to try Mint Oreo. 1 pkg of chocolate pudding made, crushed oreos, a bit of mint extract.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Speedy Sausage and Ricotta calzones

I found the original recipe from That's my home website (, but I changed it quite a bit so here is what I did. Also, I did take a picture but we can't find the cord to download it so we will keep looking and hopefully we will have a picture before the end of the day.

1 pound hot Italian sausage (I prefer Jimmy Dean's)
2 cups ricotta cheese
1 handful grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
fresh black pepper
2 tubes prepared pizza dough (I just used my favorite pizza dough recipe instead)
2-3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
2 cloves of garlic
2 cups marinara or pizza sauce

Preheat oven to 400ºF.

Brown sausage and drain on a paper towel lined plate. Combine sausage with ricotta, parsley, garlic, Parmesan, nutmeg, pepper, and mozarella. Roll out doughs and halve cross-wise. Place a dough rectangle on a nonstick cookie sheet. Pile a mound of filling on half of the total area.

Fold dough over and pinch edges to seal. The result is a rectangular turnover.

Bake calzones 15 minutes or until golden all over. Serve calzones with warm tomato, marinara, or pizza sauce for dipping.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Potato-Sour Cream Biscuits

I found these on a blog a LONG time ago on a blog and despite my efforts to find the said blog I cannot. Sorry.
If you like biscuits you will love these, they are moist and fluffy. A great alternative to yeast rolls.

Potato-Sour Cream Biscuits
8 ounces cubed peeled Yukon Gold potato (or leftover mashed potatoes)
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup sour cream
2 Tablespoons butter, cut into smaller pieces
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour (about 7-3/4 ounces)
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Place potato in a medium saucepan; cover with water.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender; drain.  Return potato to pan.  Add buttermilk, sour cream and butter to pan; mash with a potato masher until smooth. (I have also simply used leftover mashed potatoes, it works great! Make sure you still use the other ingredients, maybe reduce the buttermilk a bit.)

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Add potato mixture and stir just until moist.  Do not over stir.  Turn the dough onto a slightly floured surface; knead lightly about 5 or 6 times, be careful not to over work the dough.

Pat dough to a 3/4-inch thickness.  Cut with a 2-inch biscuit cutter.  Place biscuits 2-inches apart on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray or covered in parchment paper.  Bake at 450 degrees for 14 minutes or until lightly browned. 
Serve warm smothered in butter, jam and honey.  Yum.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Caramel Apples

Please excuse the pictures...

The kids helped me make caramel apples earlier this week.  Very fun and easy - but a little messy.

6 apples
1 15 ounce package of caramels - unwrapped
2 TBLspoons cream or milk

candy or topping of your choice

Put the caramels and milk in a microwave safe bowl.  Heat for 2-3 minutes, stopping to stir a couple of times.  When it's runny and smooth dip the apples.  You need to work fast to dip as many apples as you can before the caramel cools down.  You may need to heat up the caramel again to finish up the last few.  After the apples are dipped perhaps a second person can twist the apple and give it a half minute to cool and harden
just a bit and then roll in your favorite topping.  Careful, if the caramel is too hot it may melt the chocolate of your topping.  Also the caramel may run down the apple a bit - but these are asthetic problems - it still tastes good!   When the apples are done place on a well buttered cookie sheet so they don't stick.  We used chopped Reese's P-nut Butter Cups.  It's great with other candy bars or Oreo cookies or anything!  I also melted chocolate chips to drizzle over the top, but I overheated it... To eat, cut it in quarters. Have Fun!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Fabulous Green Beans

This is another recipe from Taste of Home and they really are fabulous!!! I tend to get excited about a really good vegetable since I try to eat so many of them.

1 lb. fresh or frozen green beans
1/4 cup butter, cubed
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. grated lemon peel

Place beans in a steamer basket; place in a large saucepan over 1 inch of water. Bring to a boil cover and steam for 8-10 minutes or until crisp tender.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat the remaining ingredients until butter is melted. Transfer beans to a serving bowl with butter mixture and toss to coat.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Beans and Rice

I got this recipe off The Sisters Cafe blog. I have always wanted to try beans and rice. It is a southern dish. In our family we are all about carbs and let me tell you this dish is loaded with them. The actual title is red beans and rice but I have never liked red beans, hence the first substitution with a few others to follow. Here it is.

3 cans of pinto beans (or red beans if you want to follow the real recipe)
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
1 pkg. Polska Kielbasa, I used turkey, way less fat!(slice it up)
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic
1/2 red pepper, chopped, (or green pepper is what the real recipe calls for)
2 dashes Tabasco sauce
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 Tb. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. Cajun spice

Drain most of the liquid off the beans. Place all ingredients directly into the crock pot - no need to saute veggies with sausage. Add 3/4 cup water. Cook on low for 3-5 hours. Serve with white or brown rice. I made it with white rice but next time I am going to try brown.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Lime Basil Stuffed Chicken

So I was craving something creamy and just good the other night and was going through my pantry, fridge, and freezer just trying to figure out what I wanted when I came up with this idea and so I tried it and I actually really enjoyed it so I hope everyone else does too.

4 chicken breasts
8 slices of deli ham
12 slices havarti cheese
basil leaves
2 tbs olive oil
1 can cream of chicken
1/4 cup of lime juice (don't be stingy on this)
1/4 tsp of pepper
2 tbs mayonnaise

First you cut the chicken breast like you would a sub sandwich leaving one edge connected then put 2 slices of ham in each chicken breast and then pile on 2 slices of Havarti cheese and then 4-6 basil leaves and then role up the chicken breasts and tooth pick together. Then cook over low heat with olive oil covered. I would say cook the first side for about 7 minutes and then flip depending on the size of your chicken breasts and cook an additional 7 minutes. While the chicken is cooking mix the cream of chicken, lime juice, pepper, and mayonnaise in a separate bowl. I also added about 8 chopped basil leaves to the mixture and 4 slices of Havarti cheese broken up to it. When the chicken is just about done poor the sauce on top of the chicken and put the lid back on and let it simmer for another 5 to 7 minutes. And then enjoy by itself, or on top of rice or pasta.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Chicken Taco Soup

Love this soup! I found it at but i made a few changes.
half an onion, chopped finely
1 (16 oz.) can pinto beans
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained
1 c. frozen corn
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
2 (10 oz.) cans diced tomatoes with green chiles
1 (1.25 oz.) package taco seasoning
2 chicken breasts, thawed or frozen

Stir onion, beans, corn, tomato sauce, dice tomatoes, and taco sauce into a slow cooker. Lay the chicken breast on top of the mixture, pressing down slightly so that it gets covered by other ingredients. Set slow cooker to low heat, cover, and cook for 3-4 hours on high if your chicken is frozen. May take 4-5 hours on low if your chicken is thawed.

Remove chicken breasts from the soup and shred. Stir shredded chicken back into the soup.

Top with shredded cheese, sour cream, and crushed tortilla chips.