Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Chicken Parmigiana

I love italian food and this is no exception. This Chicken Parmigiana was amazing and the leftovers were even better. This recipe is from

4 whole(up to 6) boneless chicken breasts pounded flat
1/2 cup flour
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tbs butter
4 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cups wine (white or red)
3 cans (14.5 oz) crushed tomatoes
2 tbs sugar
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsely
1 cup parmesean cheese (freshly grated is best)
1 lb thin linguine

Mix flour, salt, and pepper together on a large plate. Dredge flattened chicken breasts flour mixture. Set aside.

At this time, you can start a pot of water for your past. Cook linguine until al dente.

Heat olive oil and butter together in a large skillet over medium heat. When butter is melted and oil/butter mixture is hot, fry chicken breasts until nice and golden brown on each side, about 2 to 3 minutes per side.

Without cleaining skillet, add onions and garlice and gently stir for 2 minutes. Pour in wine and scrape the bottom of the pan, getting all the flavorful bits off the bottom. Allow wine to cook down until reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Pour crushed tomatoes and stir to combine. Add sugar and more salt and pepper to taste. Allow to cook for 30 minutes. Toward the end of the cooking time, add chopped parsley and give sauce a final stir.

Carefully lay chicken breast on top of the sauce and completely cover them in grated parmesean. Place lid on skillet and reduce heat to low. Allow to simmer until cheese is melted and chicken is thoroughly heated. Add mor cheese to taste.

Place cooked noodles on a palte and cover with sauce. Place chicken breast on top and sprinkle with more parsley and serve immediatley.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Denver Cheesecake

AKA my birthday cake today!  I don't usually have a birthday cake, but decided to do a cheesecake this year.  This recipe is from my sister, Trina.  It's a lot of cream cheese and you need to plan ahead, but it is SO GOOD!

1 12-ounce box of vanilla wafers, crushed
6 Tblsps of butter, melted

40 oz cream cheese, softened (5- 8 oz packages)  Neufchatel cheese (1/3 less fat) works great
1 3/4 cups sugar
3 Tblsps flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp vanilla
6 eggs
1/4 cup heavy cream

In a small bowl, mix together wafer crumbs and butter.  Press into the bottom and half-way up the sides of a 10 inch spring form pan.  Chill while preparing filling.

In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth.  Add sugar, flour, salt, lemon zest, and vanilla.  Beat well.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each one.  Blend in cream.  Pour into crust.  Bake at 500 degrees for 10 minutes and then at 225 degrees for an additional 70-80 minutes.  Filling will be almost set.  Cool at room temperature.  Regfrigerate for 8 hours or overnight before serving.

I used frozen mixed berries in Danish Dessert for the topping.  I used some left over lemon zest, heavy whipping cream, vanilla, and sugar to make the whipped cream for the top.  Yummy!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Wisconsin Cauliflower Soup

I found this soup on Pinterest and it is from I made a few changes which I put in the directions below but I thought that it was yummy and you can get your kids to eat cauliflower! Enjoy.

2 tablespoon butter or margarine

1 medium onion, chopped

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups milk**

1 1/2 cups water**

1 can (13 3/4 to 14 1/2 ounces) chicken broth

1 head (2 1/2 pounds) cauliflower, cut into 1-inch chunks

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

1 cup Pepper Jack cheese, shredded

**Can substitute 1 can {12 oz} evaporated milk and 2 cups water for the 2 cups milk and 1 1/2 cups water.In a large saucepan, melt margarine or butter over medium heat. Add onion and cook until golden, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Whisk in flour and salt. Gradually stir in milk, chicken broth, and water.
Add cauliflower and heat to boiling over high heat. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer until cauliflower is tender, about 15 minutes.
In blender (with center part of blender cover removed to allow steam to escape), blend cauliflower mixture at low speed in small batches until very smooth. {Don't let this step deter you from making the soup! Blending it is really easy and so worth the extra 3 minutes. The most annoying part are the added dishes!} For this step I used my hand blender and it was quick and easy.
Return cauliflower mixture to saucepan; heat over medium heat until hot, stirring occasionally. Remove saucepan from heat; stir in mustard and 1 1/2 cups cheese until melted and smooth. Serve soup with remaining cheese as a garnish. I just put all the cheese in the soup and didn't garnish it. I also added some chopped ham and it turned out really yummy!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Lasagna Soup

I love lasagna and this soup is no different. It was delicious and I will definitively be making it again. The recipe is adapted from Paula Deen's.

1 lb ground turkey
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 (32 ounce) box chicken broth
2 (14.5 ounce) can petite diced tomatoes
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cup broken lasagna noodles
2/3 cup sour cream
1 (5 ounce) package grated Parmesan cheese

In a large pot, combine ground turkey, onion, and garlic. Cook over medium-high heat for 8 to 10 minutes until turkey is browned and crumbles. Drain.

Stir in brown sugar, broth, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, italian seasoning, and salt. Bring to boil over medium high heat; reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Add noodles, and simmer until noodles are tender. Stir in Parmesan cheese and sour cream, then enjoy.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Peanut Butter Bars

I made these for Anna Elise's baptism and they are SO GOOD!  Everyone loved them.  They are pretty rich so I cut them into really small bars, but I'd like to see you try and only eat one!

The recipe is from Our Best Bites:

1 cup  butter at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 cups brown sugar
1  1/2 cups peanut butter
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoons table salt
3 cups all purpose flour
3 cups quick oats

4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup boiling water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a rimmed cookie sheet (jelly roll pan) with non-stick spray and set aside.
Cream butter and sugars for 2-3 minutes, until light and fluffy.  Add  peanut butter and vanilla and beat until combined.  Add eggs, one at a time and beat between each addition. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt and add mixture to dough.  Beat to combine.  Add oats and mix until incorporated.  Press dough into prepared pan into a flat layer.  Bake for about 10-12 minutes.  The center should be puffed and set, but still soft. (Mine took a couple minutes longer to bake, it still almost looked doughy, but it's suppose to)
While crust is baking, prepare frosting.  Whisk together powdered sugar, cocoa powder and salt.  Add butter, boiling water, and vanilla.  Beat until smooth and glossy.
When cookie crust is done baking, drizzle about 3/4 cups melted (just nuke it in the microwave) peanut butter on top and then spread on frosting while everything is still warm.  Let cool and cut into squares to serve. 
I made mine ahead and froze them and they were just as good defrosted as they were fresh!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Creamy Ham and Potato Soup

I Love soup! While I don’t fully enjoy the yucky weather outside I am thankful for the opportunity it brings to make warm, yummy dinners and gooey cobblers.

This soup from The Girl Who Ate Everything is quick, easy and delicious! I have made it using leftover pork roast instead of ham and it was fantastic!


Creamy Ham and Potato Soup

3 1/2 cups peeled and diced potatoes
1/3 cup diced celery
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup carrot, diced
1 cup frozen corn
1 cup diced cooked ham (buy a ham steak in the deli section)
3 1/4 chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon ground white or black pepper, or to taste
5 tablespoons butter
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups milk

Combine the potatoes, celery, onion, carrot, ham and chicken broth in a stockpot. Bring to a boil, then cook over medium heat until potatoes are tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the salt and pepper and corn.

In a separate saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Whisk in flour with a fork, and cook, stirring constantly until thick, about 1 minute. Slowly stir in milk so that lumps don't form and until all of the milk has been added. Continue stirring over medium-low heat until thick, 4 to 5 minutes.

Stir the milk mixture into the stockpot, slowly stir to combine. 

Top with cheddar cheese, chives, and bacon if desired. Serve immediately.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Cheesy Chicken in Poblano Sauce

I saw this on the Rachael Ray Show and thought that it sounded good and also easy. It was yummy! I would fix it again. I served it on rice but I think it would work on pasta or with nothing. Enjoy!

2 to 3 medium poblano peppers, seeded and stemmed, chopped
1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
A small handful cilantro leaves, plus a few leaves for garnish
Salt and pepper
4 tablespoons butter, divided
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
1/2 cup heavy cream or Mexican crema
1 tablespoon EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 pieces boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 1/2 cups shredded Manchego cheese (I used Monterey Jack)
1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil
Thinly sliced red onions, for garnish, (I didn't do this)

Yields: 4

In a blender or food processor, combine peppers with stock, onions, garlic, cilantro, salt and pepper, purée. In a saucepot over medium heat, melt 3 tablespoons butter. Whisk in flour; add milk and cream, and raise heat a bit. Add poblano purée and simmer to thicken and cook sauce, 20-25 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375°F.

Heat a tablespoon of EVOO in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 remaining tablespoon butter and melt. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper, and brown 3-4 minutes on each side. Transfer to casserole dish, spread poblano sauce over the top and cover with cheese. Bake 15-20 minutes, depending on size of chicken pieces – it should be brown and bubbly on top.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Baked Potato Soup

So this soup was amazing. I think Marshall ate 3 bowls of it. Super Easy too. I adapted this recipe from Enjoy!

4 baking potatoes
2/3 cups all-purpose flour
6 cups 2% milk (I used non fat)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup sour cream
3/4 cup chopped green onion
6 slices of bacon

Pierce potatoes with a fork; bake at 400 for 1 hour or until tender. Cool. Peel potatoes; coarsely mash.

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Place flour in a large Dutch oven; gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk until blended. Cook over medium heat until thick and bubbly (about 8 minutes). Add mashed potatoes. 3/4 cup cheese. salt. and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, stirring until cheese melts.

Remove from heat.

Stir in sour cream and 1/2 cup onion. Cook over low heat 10 minutes or until thoroughly heated (do not boil). Top soups with a little cheese, green onion, and bacon.

Mike's Cream Cheese Pumpkin Bars

My favorite pumpkin desseret was posted here by Jana last fall.  However Mike's favorite pumpkin desseret are these pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting.  It used to be a family recipe from his aunt, but over the years I've modified it and it's now our recipe!  We made them for the church Trunk or Treat last night because it makes a lot!

3 c pumpkin
2 c flour
2 c sugar
4 eggs
1/2 c oil
1/2 c apple sauce
2 tsp soda
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Mix all ingredients well.  Place in a greased cookie sheet (jelly roll pan). Bake at 350 for 25 minutes. 

6 ounces cream cheese
1/4 c butter, softened
1 c powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Beat until creamy and spread on the bars when cooled.  I like to spinkle nutmeg on top for a little more flavor!  I think pumpkin pie spice would be good as well (in or on the bars).

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Whole Wheat Oatmeal Bread

It is no secret that I LOVE bread! And despite my long list of go to recipes I am always looking for something new to try. When I saw this recipe from Tracey’s Culinary Adventures I knew that I had to make it…NOW. Incredible! That’s all there is to say about this moist, hearty, tender loaf of goodness! What is even more incredible is that it stayed moist for a few days which is almost impossible with homemade bread. (It must be all of the oil!)
Go ahead, give it a whirl. Your family will thank you even if your thighs don’t!
Whole Wheat Oatmeal Bread

1 1/2 cups rolled oats (I used quick)
1 cup boiling water
1/4 cup room temperature water
4 tablespoons Honey
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 1/2 cups buttermilk, at room temperature
        (the second time I made this I used powdered milk and it    
       worked fine. I have a bunch expiring in my storage!)
1/2 cup  oil (I did reduce it a few Tbs. the second time and while it
               was still good, it wasn’t quite as moist…)
2 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt

Add 1 1/4 cups of the oats to a medium heatproof bowl. Pour the boiling water over them and stir to combine. Let sit, uncovered, for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the soaked oats, room temperature water, honey, yeast, buttermilk, oil, both flours and the salt. Mix until a rough dough comes together, then switch to the dough hook and knead on low speed for about 10 minutes.
When the dough is ready it will have a satiny finish, but it will still be somewhat wet and will cling to the dough hook (if necessary, you can add slightly more flour to the dough).
Spray a large bowl with nonstick cooking spray then add the dough, turning to coat. Cover and let rise for 1 hour, or until just about doubled in size.

Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and press down to release excess air bubbles. Shape the dough into a 12x6-inch rectangle, with a long side facing you. Fold the sides in so they meet in the middle, then roll the dough into a log, starting with the end closest to you. Pinch the dough closed at the seam.
Spray a 10-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray. Add the dough to the pan, seam side down, pressing it into the corners. (I made one 9 inch loaf and one mini and it turned out great!)

Let sit for about 30 minutes, or until the loaf rises just over the top of the pan. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 F. Bake the bread for 50-60 minutes, or until the top is a nice deep golden brown.  Transfer the pan to a wire rack and turn the bread out. Let cool completely before slicing.

They MUST be kidding about the last part! Who can wait that long? Not me! Slice it warm and enjoy!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Mozzarella Sticks

These were a hit with everyone in our family. I got the recipe from, I changed it up a bit though.
16 pieces string cheese, removed from wrappers
1/2 cup flour
2 eggs
3 tbs milk
2 cups panko bread crumbs
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
Canola oil, for frying
Slice the string cheese in half.
Place the flour in a small bowl. In another separate bowl, combine the bread crumbs with the salt and pepper, stir to combine. In a shallow dish, whisk the eggs with the milk to combine.
To assemble, one by one, dust the cheese in the flour, tapping the excess off. Next, dip the cheese in the egg mixture, covering completely. Then lastly, roll the cheese in the panko crumb mixture. Gently remove and place on a baking sheet. Place the sheet in a freezer for 20 – 30 minutes to flash freeze sticks.
To cook, I heated my deep fryer to 350 degrees and cook them for 2 minutes. We dipped them in marinara sauce. I served them with the corn dog bites that was posted by Sally, here the link for those

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Pumpkin Roll

The pumpkin roll was good. I got it from
1/4 cup powdered sugar (to sprinkle on towel)

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup pure pumpkin puree
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
6 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 375° F. Grease 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan; line with wax paper. Grease and flour paper. Sprinkle a thin, cotton kitchen towel with powdered sugar.
Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt in small bowl; set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat eggs and granulated sugar until thick. Beat in pumpkin. Stir in flour mixture. Spread evenly into prepared pan. Sprinkle with walnuts.
Bake in preheated oven 13 to 15 minutes or until top of cake springs back when touched. Immediately loosen and turn cake onto prepared towel. Carefully peel off wax paper. Roll up cake and towel together, starting with narrow end. Cool on wire rack.
To make the cream cheese filling: combine cream cheese, powdered sugar, butter and vanilla extract in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until smooth. Carefully unroll cake. Spread cream cheese mixture over cake. Reroll cake. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Sweet Potato Soup

It's finally soup weather!  Yeah!  I have a versatile Sweet  Potato Soup that is so good in a couple of ways!  Tonight we added some spice, peanut butter and coconut milk so it had a Thai taste.  It's also good with cinnamon, nutmeg, and cream for an almost pumpking pie taste.  Here is the recipe with several options.

2-3 sweet potatoes (raw, peeled and cubed)
1 Tbl butter
1/2 onion coursely chopped
1-2 cloves garlic cousely chopped
3 cups chicken stock or broth
1/4 - 1/2 cup peanut butter depending on the flavor you want
1 cup milk, cream, buttermilk, or coconut milk
Thai spices: 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, 2 Tbl grated fresh ginger root, 2 Tbl lime juice
Pumpkin spices: 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp nutmeg,  1/4 tsp ground ginger

Melt butter over medium heat and saute onion and garlic until softened.  Add sweet potatoes, chicken stock, and spices.  Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for about 15-20 minutes until the sweet potatoes are soft.  Add milk.  Puree the soup using an immersion blender or in a regular blender. 

Serve with lime sour cream or Lingon Berry sauce from Ikea as a garnish.  Peanuts are also good sprinkled on top.  Emjoy!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Grandma Johnson's Scones

I don't have a Grandma Johnson but these scones are really good. I usually put chocolate chips in half of them. We just eat them plain, no need for butter or jam.

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 egg

  1. In a small bowl, blend the sour cream and baking soda, and set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a large baking sheet.
  3. In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, cream of tartar, and salt. Cut in the butter. Stir the sour cream mixture and egg into the flour mixture until just moistened. Mix in the raisins.
  4. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead briefly. Roll or pat dough into a 3/4 inch thick round. Cut into 12 wedges, and place them 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet.
  5. Bake 12 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, until golden brown on the bottom.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Naan Bread

I made Betsy's Butter chicken and decided that I needed some bread to go with it. I have been wanting to make this bread for quite a while. It isn't the greatest picture but the bread was delicious. I would do it again. This is what I did. I found this recipe at

1 TB yeast
1 cup warm water
1/4 cup sugar
3 Tb. milk
1 egg
2 tsp. salt
4 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup butter, melted

In my mixer bowl I dissolved the yeast in warm water. Let stand about 10 minutes, until frothy. Stir in sugar, milk, egg, salt, and enough flour to make a soft dough. Knead until smooth. Place dough in a well oiled bowl, cover and let rise 1 hour or until doubled in size.
Punch down dough and pinch off small handfuls of dough about the size of a golf ball. Roll into balls and place on a tray. Cover and let rise until doubled about 1/2 an hour.

Roll the balls of dough out into a thin circle. Lightly oil pre heated grill. Place dough on grill and cook for 2-3 minutes or until puffy and lightly browned. Brush uncooked side with butter and turn over. Brush cooked side with butter and cook until browned. Remove from grill and continue until all the balls have been cooked. I have to tell you that I had a hard time getting the bar b que at the right temperature but it was worth the work. They were so yummy. I am going to try to make them in my pannini maker next time and I wonder if a George Foreman would also work. Anyway, experiment and enjoy.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Corn Cakes with tomato and avocado salsa

I got this recipe from and it was super yummy. The only thing I would change is to add some sugar to the corn cake recipe. I just used frozen corn instead of fresh and it still tasted delicious.

2 cups of corn

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup cornmeal (If you can only find cornmeal mix, skip the baking powder.)

1/4 cup diced red onion

1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

2 tablespoons well-shaken buttermilk

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Canola oil, for frying

Chopped Tomato and Avocado Salsa (recipe follows)

Preheat oven to 200 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with a brown paper bag.

Cut the corn from the cobs into a large bowl, and scrape the stripped cobs with the back of the knife (or a spoon) to release the juices into the bowl.

Place 2 cups of the corn kernels into a food processor, and pulse several times, until the corn is slightly pureed but still chunky. Scrape into the bowl with the remaining corn kernels.

Add flour, cornmeal, onion, basil, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pepper to the corn. Stir to mix.

Add the eggs, buttermilk and butter, and stir just to combine. (Do not overmix.)

Place a large skillet over medium heat. Add just enough canola oil to barely cover the bottom, and heat until sizzling hot.

One heaping tablespoon at a time, scoop the batter into the skillet. Cooking in batches of 4 to 5 to avoid overcrowding, fry the cakes 1 to 2 minutes per side, until golden brown.

Drain on the lined baking sheet, and place in the oven to keep warm while cooking the remaining corn cakes. Serve warm topped with a heap of Chopped Tomato and Avocado Salsa.

Chopped Tomato and Avocado Salsa

Makes about 2 cups

1 large tomato, cored and chopped

1 scallion, trimmed and minced

1/2 jalapeno pepper, cored, seeded and diced

1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil

1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro

1 garlic clove, minced

Juice of 1/2 lime

1 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 1/2 teaspoons white wine vinegar

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

1 avocado, peeled, pitted and diced

Place all of the ingredients (except the avocado) in a bowl, and stir to mix. Refrigerate in an airtight container until ready to serve, for up to 2 days.

Just before serving, add the avocado, and mix gently.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Zucchini Blueberry Streusel Bread

I don’t even have a garden and I still have zucchini coming out my ears! I love it! We have been eating zucchini everything. I LOVE zucchini fries, I enjoyed baked zucchini with mozzarella, I eat enough zucchini bread to gain at few pounds at least, I pan fry it with garlic as a simple side dish and this year my zucchini obsession lead me to make zucchini soup (which was actually pretty yummy!)

And just when I thought I could eat no more zucchini I found this recipe for blueberry zucchini bread and I knew I had to try it. I changed a few things and it turned out INCREDIBLE!  The zucchini makes the bread moist, the blueberries add incredible nuggets of flavor and the streusel tops it off perfectly. I have eaten an entire loaf myself! YUMMY!


Zucchini Blueberry Streusel Bread

3 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup applesauce
3 tsp. vanilla extract
1  3/4 cups white sugar
3 cups shredded zucchini
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 Tbs. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 pint fresh blueberries (I used frozen and it turned out great!)

1/3 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. flour
1/4 c. oatmeal
1/4 tsp. salt
3 Tbs. cold butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease 4 mini-loaf pans.

In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, oil,applesauce, vanilla, and sugar. Fold in the zucchini.

Combine flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon and mix lightly into batter. Gently fold in the blueberries. Transfer to the prepared mini-loaf pans.

To make streusel combine all dry ingredients and mix. Cut in butter until mixture resembles small crumbs. Sprinkle over batter in pans.

Bake 50 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a knife inserted in the center of a loaf comes out clean. Cool 20 minutes in pans, then turn out onto wire racks to cool completely.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Black Bean and Corn Salsa

I have had this recipe for years, it is one of my favorite summer time snacks. It is effortless to make and stays deliciously fresh for days! (well minus the avocado) Enjoy the last few days of sunny weather, grab some chips and dig in!


Black Bean and Corn Salsa

2 15oz. cans of black beans
1 avocado, diced
1/3 c. lime juice
1 sm. Red pepper, diced
1/4 c. olive oil
2 med. Tomatoes, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
6 green onions, finely chopped
1 tsp. sea salt
1 hot chili pepper, minced (optional)
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
½ c. coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
1 ½ c. corn

Combine lime juice, oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Set aside

Combine all other ingredients and pour sauce over until well coated.  If making ahead, do not add avocado until ready to serve.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Spaghetti Sauce

This is for anyone of you out there that doesn't know what to do with all those tomatoes growing out in your garden. This is homemade spaghetti sauce. I can't take credit for the recipe, I got it from my nephew's wife Brittany and it is delicious. I made it last year and made two batches of it this year. I have changed a couple of things. We plan to eat it on pasta but also as soup with grilled cheese sandwiches and really if you just had some garlic bread it would be great to dip it in. It is yummy and has lots of veggies in it so it is good for you and also your kids.

1 1/2 gallons of blended tomatoes
3 large onion, finely chopped
2 small zucchini, chopped or grated
1 cup chopped mushrooms
3 grated carrots
3 cans of tomato paste
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, if I don't have it I just add some dried.
1 TB. dried oregano
5 cloves garlic
4 beef bouillon cube, or equivalent( like "Better than Bouillon")
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
1 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 - 1 red pepper finely diced (or any color you want)
1/3 cup olive oil

Blend/ chop all the ingredients and add to a large stockpot, with a thick bottom. I actually used my two crock pots and they were full but then I didn't have to stir it.

Simmer about 3 hours on medium heat stirring regularly. You want a very gentle simmer. When it starts to thicken, you will know it is ready. In my crock pot I just let it cook on high all day and only had to stir it occasionally.

When it is done allow it to cool off. I then used my hand blender and blended it one more time to make it really smooth with no chunks. I don't like chunks and this hides everything from your kids. Then scoop it into your zip lock bags. I lay all the bags on my jelly roll pan and put them in the freezer. When they are frozen you can stack them flat and they don't take up much space.

Enjoy and change anything you like. I love this recipe Brittany!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Breakfast Casserole

Excuse the bad picture, I was having some issues with my camera.

4 cups frozen hashbrowns
1 1/2 cups cottage cheese
3 cups cheese
1 lb bacon, cooked and choppped
1 onion, chopped
12 eggs

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 9x13 pan. Beat eggs for a bit. Through everything in the pan and mix it together. Reserve some cheese to put on top. Cook for 40 minutes or until the egg is firm.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Chili's Southwest Eggrolls

So Marshall and I went to Chili's and couple of days ago with a gift card we got as a wedding present. I have been to Chili's maybe twice in my life, but Marshall has been several. As soon as we sat down he said that we were going to order their Southwest Eggrollls, so we did. And they were amazing. When we got home we decided to look up a copy cat recipe and we found one, and they were just as good as Chili's, this recipe is adapted from

1/2 chicken breast
1 tablesppon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons minced red pepper
2 tablespoons minced green onions
1/3 cup corn
1/4 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
3 cups spinach
2 tablespoons diced canned jalapeno peppers
1/2 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon salt 1 dash cayenne pepper
3/4 cup shredded Monterrey jack cheese
5 7-inch flour tortillas

Dipping sauce
1/4 cup smashed fresh avocados(about half of an avocado)
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tablesppon buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoons white vinegar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon dried parsley
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
1 dash dried dill weed
1 dash garlic powder
1 dash pepper

1. Preheat barbecue grill to high heat. ( I cooked my chicken on a george forman)

2. Rub the chicken breast with some vegetable oil then grill it on the barbecue for 4 to 5 minutes per side or until done.

3. Lightly salt and pepper each side of the chicken while it cooks.

4. Set chicken aside until it cools down enough to handle.

5. Preheat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a medium-size skillet over medium-high heat.

6. Add the red pepper and onion to the pan and sauté for a couple minutes until tender.

7. Dice the cooked chicken into small cubes and add it to the pan.

8. Add the corn, black beans, spinach, jalapeno peppers, parsley, cumin, chili powder, salt, and cayenne pepper to the pan.

9. Cook for another 4 minutes.

10. Stir well so that the spinach separates and is incorporated into the mixture.

11. Remove the pan from the heat and add the cheese.

12. Stir until the cheese is melted.

13. Wrap the tortillas in a moist cloth and microwave on high temperature for 1 1/2 minutes or until hot.

14. Spoon approximately one-fifth of the mixture into the center of a tortilla.

15. Fold in the ends and then roll the tortilla over the mixture.

16. Roll the tortilla very tight, then pierce with a toothpick to hold together.

17. Repeat with the remaining ingredients until you have five eggrolls.

18. Arrange the eggrolls on a plate, cover the plate with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 4 hours.

19. Overnight is best.(I think overnight or all day is necessary)

20. While the eggrolls freeze prepare the avocado-ranch dipping sauce by combining all of the ingredients in a small bowl.

21. Preheat 4-6 cups of oil to 375 degrees.

22. Deep fry the eggrolls in the hot oil for 12-15 minutes and remove to paper towels or a rack to drain for about 2 minutes. (I think they only need like 10 or 11 minutes)

23. Slice each eggroll diagonally lengthwise and arrange on a plate around a small bowl of the dipping sauce.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Creamy Penne Bake

I love broccoli and pasta with a cream sauce, so when I found this recipe at Mels Kitchen Cafe I knew I needed to give it a try. I have used both smoked and regular mozzarella and while the smoked adds an incredible flavor regular mozzarella works perfectly in a pinch. I did reduce the amount of sundried tomatoes. I think a small amount adds flavor while too many overpowered the dish.  The creaminess of the pasta with a crunch from the topping makes this incredible!


Creamy Penne Bake

3/4 cup bread crumbs
2 tablespoons butter, melted

1 bunch broccoli (about 1 ½ pounds), stalks cut off, florets trimmed into 1-inch pieces
12 ounces penne pasta (I have used both veggie and wheat and you cannot tell)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, minced
6 medium garlic cloves, finely minced or pressed through a garlic press
¼ cup all-purpose flour
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 ½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 3), trimmed and cut into bite-size pieces
3 ounces smoked mozzarella, shredded
4 oz. sundried tomatoes, diced (if you are not a fan leave them out, I have tried both ways and the dish can hold its own without.)

In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs and butter and set aside. Lightly grease a 9X13-inch baking dish and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and make sure the oven rack is placed in the middle of the oven. In a large pot, bring the water for the pasta to a boil. Stir in one tablespoon salt and the broccoli. The broccoli cooks quickly so stay close! Cook the broccoli for 1 minute, until it is bright green. Quickly remove the broccoli with a slotted spoon to a plate. Return the water to a boil and add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 1-2 minutes less than how you would eat it normally (it will cook a bit more in the oven while baking). Drain the pasta in a colander and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Leave it in the colander and set it aside.

While pasta is cooking, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat until shimmering in a large saucepan. Add the onion and cook until softened and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic; cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add the flour, salt and pepper, and cook, stirring constantly, until golden, about 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the broth and cream; bring to a simmer, whisking often. Add the chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, until cooked through, about 6-7 minutes. Stir in the sun-dried tomatoes and smoked mozzarella.

Add the cooked pasta and broccoli to the sauce; stir to combine. Transfer the pasta mixture to the prepared baking dish and sprinkle with the bread crumb topping. Bake until the casserole is bubbling and the crumbs are lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Serve immediately.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Cashew Chicken

I made this tonight and everyone gobbled it up!  It's adapted from a recipe on Rasa Malysia's website.

1.5 pounds boneless & skinless chicken breast (cut into small cubes)
1 cup cashews
1 large green bell pepper (cut into small square pieces)
1/2 onion (cut into small square pieces)
1/4-1/2 tsp ginger

2 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoon corn starch
1 teaspoon water

1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1.5 teaspoon soy sauce
6 tablespoons water
6 dashes white pepper powder
2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Marinate the chicken meat with the baking soda for 15-20 minutes and then rinse the chicken thoroughly. (this tenderizes the chicken)
  2. Pat the chicken meat dry with paper towels and then marinate with the cornstarch and water for 15 minutes.
  3. Mix the sauce together and set aside.
  4. Heat up a large, deep frying pan (or a wok if you have one, I don't) with 1 tablespoon of cooking oil and stir-fry the chicken meat until the color turns white or half-cooked.  Set aside.
  5. Add another 1 tablespoon of cooking oil into the pan and add in the bell peppers, onions, and ginger.
  6. Stir-fry 2-3 minutes and add the chicken back in.
  7. Add the cashews and do a few quick stirs.
  8. Add in the sauce and stir continuously until the chicken meat is cooked and well coated with the sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste
Serve with rice.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Sloppy Maple - BBQ Turkey Joes

I have to admit that I am a Sloppy Joe fan but not out of the can kind. I like mine made from scratch. I am always on the look out for a new one to try. This one is my latest.

1 1/2 lbs. ground turkey

1 onion chopped

1 tsp. poultry seasoning

Salt and pepper

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 clove garlic, pressed

1 cup tomato sauce

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

3 Tbs. soy sauce

2 Tbs. cider vinegar

2 Tbs. brown sugar

1 Tbs. Dijon mustard

8 soft hamburger buns, my favorite are the potato ones

You can garnish it with cheese, any kind, chopped pickles. We like ours plain.

In a large skillet brown the ground turkey with the poultry seasoning, salt and pepper. Cook until browned, then stir in the pepper, onion and garlic and cook until tender. In a bowl combine the tomato sauce, maple syrup, soy sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, and mustard. Pour the sauce over the meat and simmer for a few minutes. Serve it on the rolls with the toppings. Enjoy!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Molten Chocolate-Nutella Pudding Cakes

1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 tsp. baking powder
4 oz. semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
8 Tbsp. butter, cut into pieces
4 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
6 Tbsp. Nutella

Peheat oven to 350. Mist 6 6 oz. ramekins with cooking spray. Place a roasting pan in oven; pour in 1/2 inch of hot water. In a bowl, whisk flour, cocoa and baking powder.
Combine chopped chocolate and butter in a microwave safe bowl; cook on high, stirring once or twice, until almost melted. Stir until smooth.
In a bowl, with a mixer on medium high, beat eggs, vanilla, sugar and salt until pale yellow, about 5 miinutes. Beat in melted chocolate mixture. Stir in flour mixture. Spool half of batter into ramekins. Drop 1 tbsp. of Nutella into center of each. Cover with remaining batter.
Transfer ramekins to roasting pan. Bake until cakes have risen and are cracked on top, about 30 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes and serve warm with whipped cream.
If you want something rich and chocolatey this is the dessert for you. They were yummy. I found this recipe in my All You magazine.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Cream Cheese Filled Cookies

These cookies were SO good. I got the recipe from

1/3 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup shortening
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

8 oz cream cheese, softened
2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
(I halved the filling recipe and it was just enough.)

3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips melted

In a large bowl cream the butter, shortening, and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in egg and vanilla, beat again.
Mix in flour, baking powder and salt. Refrigerate for 2 hours.
I used my cookie scoop and then pressed them down a bit.
Bake at 375 for 11-13 minutes. Immediately after removing them from the oven make an indention in the middle with the back of a wooden spoon.
Beat cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Spread on cookies.
For the chocolate topping I put the chocolate chips in a Ziploc bag and put in the microwave. Heated in 30 second increments until it was melted enough and drizzle the cookies. Enjoy. Keep in fridge.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Beef and Mushroom Tacos with Avocados

1 lb. ground beef (I used ground turkey)

1 onion, thinly sliced or chopped

1 jalapeno pepper, stemmed, seeded and finely chopped (you can use more if you want)

Salt and pepper

2 avocados, cubed

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

8 ounces sliced mushrooms

1 clove garlic, sliced or pressed

8 small flour tortillas

In a large skillet cook beef, onions, jalapenos. Season with salt and pepper. When done remove from pan. In same skillet cook mushrooms and garlic with a little bit of butter or olive oil if needed. When done put meat mixture back into pan and combine.

In a bowl combine the avocado with the lime juice.

Brown the tortillas or warm them up.

This is a super quick supper and really good. Besides layering the meat mixture and the avocados we put sour cream, cheese and salsa on ours. They are yummy! I got the recipe out of the Everyday with Rachael Ray Magazine and changed it up a little bit.


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Butterfinger, Milky Way Chocolate Chunk Cookies

I really need to come up with a better name for these amazing cookies!  I found them at  Picky Palate . The cookie base is incredibly tender, the Butterfinger melts leaving chunks of  peanut butter goodness, and the milky way adds gooey chocolate spots that are out of this world. Seriously they are AMAZING!


Butterfinger, Milky Way Chocolate Chunk Cookies

2 sticks softened butter
3/4 Cup brown sugar
3/4 Cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 Cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
6 mini Butterfinger (fun size) or 1 1/2 full size candy bars
6 mini milky ways quartered or 1 full size candy bar
1/2 Cup chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a stand or electric mixer, beat butter and sugars until well combined. Slowly add in eggs and vanilla until well mixed.

2. Place flour, baking soda and salt into a large bowl; mix to combine. Slowly add to wet ingredients along with the candy bars and chocolate chips until just combined. With a medium cookie scoop, scoop dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet about 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake for 9-11 minutes or until done to your liking. I take them out right at 9 minutes for a softer cookie. Let cool for 5-7 minutes on baking sheet to set up. Transfer to a cooling rack to finish cooling.