Monday, December 21, 2009

Taco Soup

This was a big hit here last night, so I thought I'd share!

1 lb of Ground Lean Turkey (you can use hamburger or shredded chicken, also)
1 Medium Onion
1 pkg Taco Mix
1 can Kidney beans (do not drain)
1 can Black Beans (do not drain)
1 can Corn (do not drain)
1 can Diced Tomatoes

Brown your meat and onions. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Then simmer until you are ready to eat.

For Garnishes:
Sliced Olives
Sour Cream
Corn Chips

Monday, December 7, 2009

Easy Southwestern skillet dinner

1 lb gr. beef
1 jar salsa
2 cups uncooked wagon wheel pasta (I only had rotini kind and still used it, so I doubt it's that important. )
1/2 cup sour cream (although I think I used more too.)

Brown ground beef. Drain.

Stir in 1 cup water, salsa, pasta, teaspoon of salt. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low.

Cover and simmer about 10 mins, stirring occasionally, until pasta is tender. Stir in sour cream, cook just til hot.

Top off with tortilla chips!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Hamburger soup

Yes, I've fallen out of the blog-o-sphere lately. Sorry about that. But I just had to share this amazing recipe with ya'll. I made a double batch last night, hoping to freeze some, but I doubt there will even be enough left for leftovers tomorrow.

I got it from my friend Linda Pope. Enjoy!!!

1 lb ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 c.each carrots and celery, chopped
2 c. potatoes, chopped
2 c. water with 1 beef bouillon cube
1 qt tomato juice
salt and pepper

Brown beef and onion. Put in a pot along with carrots, celery, potatoes, water and bouillon. Simmer until tender. Add tomato juice, salt and pepper to taste.

Easy, right? And soooo yummy. I substituted some tomato juice with diced tomatoes and it was still wonderful.

Friday, October 30, 2009

apple caramel dip

I found this awhile back online... have no idea where, but oh so glad I did.

Apple Caramel Dip

block of cream cheese or two, room temperature
container caramel apple dip (sold in produce)
package of Heath bits (by chocolate chips)
red and green apples

Spread cream cheese into thinish rectangle. (I use almost two blocks)

Top with container of caramel apple dip. I warm it in the microwave for maybe 30 minutes or so.

Sprinkle with about 1 cup of Heath bits.

Surround with alternating red and green apples.

Easy peasy. :)


Because you can't post a Naan recipe without a Hummus recipe, right? I got this one from MckMama. It is cut and paste from her post word for word, so go check out her blog for more details.


1 16 oz can of chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans)

the liquid from said can of chickpeas

4 tablespoons lemon juice (or lime if you want to get crazy)

1 1/2 tablespoons tahini (sesame seed paste: unless you're really crafty, you'll probably just want to buy rather than make this)

2 crushed garlic cloves

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

2 tablespoons olive oil

Dump all of the ingredients into your blender. Or set them in nicely, whichever you'd rather. Blend into a nice paste. Serve immediately with fresh, warm or toasted pita bread, as a spread on a sandwich (I especially love it with tomatoes and cucumbers on toast with fresh basil) or cover and refrigerate.

I use hummus for our MSC almost exclusively as a dip for fresh veggies. They love it and will eat insane amounts of fresh carrots simply for the love of the hummus.


This Indian bread is divine with hummus. I should probably put that recipe up too, eh? ;o)

I got the recipe from so I linked the name to it. Go to the link to see hints and tips for making it.


Prep Time: 30 Min
Cook Time: 7 Min
Ready In: 3 Hrs

Original Recipe Yield 14 servings

1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1/4 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1 egg, beaten
2 teaspoons salt
4 1/2 cups bread flour
2 teaspoons minced garlic (optional)
1/4 cup butter, melted
1.In a large bowl, dissolve 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 for 6 to 8 minutes on a lightly floured surface, or until smooth. Place dough in a well oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and set aside to rise. Let it rise 1 hour, until the dough has doubled in volume.
2.Punch down dough, and knead in garlic. Pinch off small handfuls of dough about the size of a golf ball. Roll into balls, and place on a tray. Cover with a towel, and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
3.During the second rising, preheat grill to high heat.
4.At grill side, roll one ball of dough out into a thin circle. Lightly oil grill. Place dough on grill, and cook for 2 to 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, another 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from grill, and continue the process until all the naan has been prepared.
Nutritional Information
Amount Per Serving Calories: 211 Total Fat: 4.5g Cholesterol: 24mg

Thursday, October 29, 2009

'Tis the season

Okay ladies! I'm putting out a recipe call! I would love some new pumpkin recipes! Bars, cookies, cupcakes, pies, pancakes, I love them all. Do you have any delicious pumpkin recipes to share?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Pumpkin dip

I got this from my friend Nickie's blog (the same Nickie with the awesome sticky bun recipe) and she said I could put it on here. One of the reasons fall is my favorite season is because I love all things pumpkin. Pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin pie... and now I'm adding pumpkin dip. Oh for yum!

2 8oz cream cheese
1 16 oz can pumpkin
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
powder sugar
Mix/Beat all ingredients together.
Add Powder sugar to your taste of liking.
It will make 4 Cups of dip!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

White Chicken Chili

Also easy to do in the crockpot but it really takes no time at all on the stove...

2 cups of cooked shredded or cubed leftover chicken
2 or 3 cans of great northern beans (you can use dried if you want to mess with them; it just takes longer).
2 cans chopped green chiles
4 cloves of minced garlic
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 cups of chicken broth (use less or more depending on how thick you like your chili)
salt, pepper, garlic powder, cumin, and parsley to taste
2 T olive oil
1 cup corn kernels
1 pkg cream cheese, cut into cubes (low fat is fine)
1 cup cooked white rice (optional - but we love it - definitely thickens it up)

Start off by sauteeing the onions and garlic in the olive oil. Add the chicken (if you use raw, then cook it through). Add the green chiles, chicken broth, corn, and bring to a simmer. Stir in the cream cheese cubes until melted. Stir in the rice and season to taste. My mom always adds coriander but I never seem to have any so I mostly use cumin.

This is super fast if you use canned beans (I buy GV brand) and leftover chicken.

Optional: Serve with shredded cheese and sour cream on top!

Crockpot Split Pea Soup

Easy and cheap... this made a lot for us so I froze half of it for later. :)

2 16 oz bags of dried split peas
1 pkg of kielbasa sausage, diced (I usually buy the turkey stuff - cheap and healthy)
1 lg yellow onion, diced
2 cups of carrots, diced (I shredded in the mini-processor instead)
3 cloves of garlic, minced (also used the mini-processor here. Love that thing!)
Salt, pepper, and chicken bouillon to taste
8-9 cups of water

Wash peas in hot water and add all ingredients to the crockpot. The original recipe I splurged on called for 1 bag of peas and 6 cups of water, but 8-9 cups is all my big crockpot would hold - I ended up with a thick soup, which is how I like it anyway. You could always halve the recipe and use less water.

Cook on high for about 4 hours (I started stirring it after 3 hours to help peas mush up) until peas are mushy. Serve with cornbread. Some people like to drizzle olive oil on top... :)

I think I spent around $5...

Sunday, October 18, 2009

White Cheddar Fondue

I looked and I can't find where Brad got this recipe from, so I can't give out the credit for it. But I love it. A lot. It is fabulous with a baguette. We usually have it with steak and asparagus because they also taste good in the fondue. :o)

Cheddar Cheese Fondue
4 Servings

2 Tbs butter or margarine
3 Tbs flour
2 cups milk
1 lb. ripe WHITE cheddar cheese, finely diced

Melt butter/margarine in fondue pot. Add flour, stirring until smooth. Add milk very slowly, stirring constantly. Add salt to taste. Add paprika and nutmeg to taste.

Cook for 3-4 minutes over low heat. Add cheese a bit at a time, making sure it melts before adding more.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Sticky buns

I got this from my friend Nickie. I think I will make it our new traditional birthday breakfast treat. Yum-my.

1 pkg frozen rolls (about 20-24)
1 small pkg butterscotch pudding (non-instant)
1 c nuts, chopped
1 c brown sugar
3/4 tsp cinnamon
6 T butter, melted

Put chopped nuts in bottom of a large greased bunt pan. Put frozen rolls on top of nuts. Mix pudding, cinnamon, and brown sugar and sprinkle on top of rolls. Drizzle butter over all. Cover with towel and leave overnight. Bake in the morning at 350 for 30-40 minutes, covering with foil after 20). Release immediately from pan.

A few thoughts of mine: 1) I used some rolls that I made and froze and it still worked great. I also used instant vanilla pudding because I didn't have any other on hand and it still was yummy, though the butterscotch might give it a more caramel taste. Also, I forgot to tip the pan over immediately and it pretty much stuck in the pan. Be sure to get them out quick!

Super yummy, super fast, and do easy to just pop in the oven in the morning. Give it a try!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

cheesy stuffed shells

Just wanted to share the recipe from dinner tonight. It was loaded with veggies (zucchini, carrots, celery, tomatoes, spinach) and included tofu for the protein. It was yummy and my kids ate it up.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Tortillas and sopaipillas

We just made these tonight and it just made me miss New Mexico so much. I would have loved some green chili. But alas, I can't make that. Here are some yummy recipes for some good NM food!

This is from this website. It also has a link for some tools to make the tortillas. Bonus!

Flour Tortilla Recipe
3 cups unbleached flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
4-6 Tbsp. vegetable shortening or lard
about 1 1/4 cups warm water

Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl.

Add vegetable shortening or lard. Or use a combination of half lard, half shortening.
Use a fork or a pastry cutter to cut in the shortening or just do it the old fashioned
way and use your hands.

Next add warm water a little at a time until your dough is soft and not sticky. You do
not need very hot water.

Knead the dough for a few minutes.

Now you will pull off pieces of dough to form about 12 small dough balls. Let them
rest for at least 10 minutes, longer if you like.

This is a good time to heat up the comal. You will want to set it at medium to high
heat. If it is too hot the tortillas will cook too fast.

Now you can roll out the dough with your tortilla rolling pin or palote. It is a good
idea to dust each ball with a little flour just before you roll them out. Lay the palote
in the center of the dough ball and roll up, center and roll down. It is good to lift the
dough and turn it. Again, rolling pin in the center and roll. Roll them out fairly thin.

Lay your tortilla on the hot comal. It takes just a few seconds to cook. Flip to the other
side. When they are done it should have lots of nice brown speckles. Place them in a
towel. If you would like you can use a tortilla warmer to keep them warm longer.
They are ready to be served!

If you need any of the equipment to make flour tortillas, try our authentic tortilla kit.

It is well worth the effort to make homemade tortillas! Enjoy!

Sopaipillas (I got this from a church cookbook. It is by Ida Peabody)

6 c flour
2 1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 c canola oil
1 pkg dry yeast
2 tbsp sugar
1 c warm water

Stir sugar into warm water. Add yeast and let stand until it bubbles. Add salt and baking powder to flour. Make a well in the flour mixture. Add oil and yeast mixture. Add enough warm water to make firm dough. Let rise for 30 minutes or more. Shape dough into balls. Roll and cut into any shape you like. Deep fry in hot canola oil. Drain on paper towels. Eat with powdered sugar or honey. Makes about 24.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Lentil Soup

prep:25 min cook:20 min

1 c dry lentils rinsed and drained
1 c chopped green pepper
1 c sliced carrots (2 medium)
1/2 c chopped onion (1 medium)
2 t instant chicken bouillon granules
1/2 t dried sage, crushed
1/8 t ground red pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 oz fully cooked smoked sausage links quartered and sliced

Directions: In a large pot mix all but sausage and add 5 cups of water. Bring to boiling, reduce heat. Cover and simmer 20-25 minutes until veggies and lentils are tender. Stir in sausage and heat through.

Makes about 7 cups (5 main dish servings)

267 calories per serving, 11 g total fat

My thoughts: I prefer using ground sausage. I just brown it after I get the soup going and then add it when it is browned for the remainder of the time. It just seems to go farther since the pieces are smaller. I'd rather get a lot of bites with a little sausage than a few with a lot of sausage. And some ground sausage varieties have great seasoning too. I don't put in the pepper because my boys don't like spice, but I put red pepper flakes in my own bowl. And if you really want the flavor to pop, don't be afraid to add a tiny bit of salt and lots of pepper. :)

It can be frozen, but it cooks pretty fast from scratch too. You can have the veggies frozen and pre-chopped to make it even faster.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Blackberry Cream Pie

We had a huge bag of frozen blackberries from out trip to the orchards, so I wanted to make a pie with them. I found this recipe and we made it last week when my parents were here. It was wonderful! We just did a lattice top instead of a crumb topping. I wonder if it is freezable....

***Update*** We followed the recipe this time and it was sooooo good. Forget the lattice and just follow the directions. :o)

1 (9 inch) pie crust, unbaked
4 c. fresh or 16 oz. frozen blackberries
1 c. sugar
1 c. sour cream
3 tbsp. flour
1/4 tsp. salt


1/4 c. bread crumbs
2 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. melted butter

Put blackberries in pie crust. Cream together next 4 ingredients and pour over blackberries. Combine topping ingredients and sprinkle over pie. Bake at 375 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes. Delicious served with vanilla ice cream.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Chicken (or beef) Tortilla Casserole

This is super easy and freezes well. I made it for Darrica last week, so she can tell you if it's any good. ;o) I grew up eating it and it was a family fave. There are two versions - chicken or beef (ground or shredded).

I usually cook without measuring, so bear with me! lol...

You will need:
Tortilla chips (I use the white corn - doesn't matter - leftover, stale, it's all good)
cooked shredded or cubed chicken - leftover is fine - about 1 1/2 cups (substitute beef if you want to!)
1 can cream of chicken soup (or cream of mushroom for the beef version)
1 can drained rotel tomatoes (if you don't want the spicy kick, use regular diced canned tomatoes)
1 small bag (approx 8 oz) frozen mixed vegatables - pop 'em in the microwave to thaw. Yes, you can use fresh if you've got the time, but I would steam them first since it doesn't cook long. Any veggies are ok but I like the carrots, peas, and corn mix.
Shredded cheese
Salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste.

Crush tortilla chips into the bottom of a 9x13 inch pan. Crush enough to cover the bottom.

In a bowl, mix chicken, cream soup, drained tomatoes, steamed veggies, and 1/2 cup of cheese. Add salt, pepper, and garlic to taste. Spoon over chips.

Cover with more shredded cheese and more crushed tortilla chips.

Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.

Freezer alert: If you want to freeze it do so before adding the final layer of tortilla chips on top. You can do it when you are ready to bake it. That way they stay crispy.

This recipe easily doubles and is great with leftovers.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Mozzarella Stuffing Chicken

Soooo, in looking for recipes I could double and freeze, I found this one (copied below) at Kelly's Recipes (author of Kelly's Korner).

Mozzarella Stuffing Chicken

4 large skinless boneless chicken breasts
4 slices Mozzarella or Swiss cheese
1 can Cream of Chicken soup
1/4 cup white cooking wine
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup herb-flavored crushed up Pepperidge Farm stuffing mix
1/2 stick butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place uncooked chicken in shallow buttered casserole dish. Layer cheese on top. Mix soup, wine, salt, pepper; pour over cheese. Sprinkle stuffing mix on top and drizzle with melted butter. Bake uncovered for 1 hour.

Her recipe calls for either Mozzarella or Swiss cheese, so I used Mozzarella knowing that my kiddos would eat what I didn't use for the recipe (Swiss is too smelly for them-LOL). I also substituted the white cooking wine with chicken broth. And with the next batch, I will add a bit more than 1 cup of crushed stuffing mix (I *heart* stuffing) just to bulk up the 'gravy'.

IT WAS DELICIOUS! BOTH of my currently very picky eaters gladly ate ALL of it (this is huge). Kelly mentioned in her post that she prepared the recipe as directed and froze it raw before her daughter was born and it was just as delicious....I'm definitely adding this recipe to my baby preparation freezer meal list.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Pizza dough

Since a certain someone didn't have a great outcome with her pizza dough tonight *wink*, I thought I would post the recipe I's so easy that I, a novice dough maker, can usually obtain a good result (using my Kitchen Aid--not sure how it would work with a bread maker).

1 pkg active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1/2 t. salt
2 t. olive oil
2 1/2-3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Dissolve yeast in warm water in warmed mixer bowl. Add salt, olive oil and 2 1/2 cups flour. Attach bowl and dough hook to mixer. Turn to speed 2 and mix about 1 minute.

Continuing on speed 2, add remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, and mix about 2 minutes or until dough clings to hook and cleans the side of the bowl. Kneed on speed 2 about 2 minutes longer (I don't add any more flour, unless it's absolutely necessary).

Place dough in a greased bowl, turning to grease the top. Let rise in warm place, free from draft (I turn my oven on as low as it will go--250--for a couple of minutes, turn it off, and place my dough inside the warm oven, uncovered) for about an hour or until doubled in bulk. Punch dough down.

Spread dough onto greased pan. Add toppings as desired. Bake at 450 for 15-20 minutes.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Tacos in Pasta Shells

We had this last night and it was so yummy! And we actually had plenty for leftovers as well!

box of jumbo pasta shells
1 lb ground beef (although I could have probably used a bit more)
package cream cheese with chives, softened
teaspoon of chili powder
tablespoon melted butter
cup taco sauce (I just poured the whole bottle.)
shredded cheddar
shredded monterey jack (I think I just used one kind.)
crushed tortilla chips
sour cream

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Cook pasta shells, rinse and drain.

3. Brown ground beef, drain.

4. Reduce heat to medium, add cream cheese and chili powder - let simmer for 5 mins.

5. Toss shells with melted butter, then fill with beef mixture

6. Arrange filled shells in a 13x9 pan. Pour Taco sauce over and cover with foil .

7. Bake for 15 mins.

8. Uncover, top with cheese and crushed chips and bake for another 15 mins.

9. Serve with sour cream and Enjoy!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

freezer-friendly casseroles

Hey Jess... Here are some dishes that we enjoy. I apologize for them all (but one) having pasta. It's got me curious now about casseroles I can make without noodles!

Here are a couple recipes from Pioneer Woman that we love:
Chicken Spaghetti

This is probably my favorite:
Baked Spaghetti

The picture looks a little um, weird but this is a good casserole too:
King Ranch Chicken Casserole

I miss this one. It has egg noodles and egg in it so I don't make it anymore. :)
Noodle and Spinach Casserole

Call for Freezer Meals

We're only 13 short weeks away from adding yet another little person to our family, so I'm trying to prepare as much as I can now (while I have the energy) so that when I'm huge and tired, I can just relax a little bit. Part of my prep work is to start freezing meals...the last thing I want to worry about is cooking dinner in the midst of keeping a very active 3YO and 19month old occupied while caring for a newborn.

I've never done Once-A-Month-Cooking, so this whole process of cooking ahead of time is a little overwhelming...but I'm willing to give it a 'go'.

Sooo, if you have a great freezer-friendly meal (or two), please, please, please post them.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Jo's Rosemary Bread

Jo's Rosemary Bread
1 cup water
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
2 1/2 cups bread flour
1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast

Place ingredients in the pan of the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select white bread cycle; press Start.

I like to sometimes take it out and shape it into a flat round shape (not as flat as a pizza... but like the ciabatta you see at Panera), cook in oven and cut into long, thin pieces. Then dip it in olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Yum.

Friday, August 14, 2009


Are there any other contributors on here that want their name listed on the side? Let me know!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Wheat Dinner Roll Dough for Bread Machine

Ingredients: (9 rolls)

Water 80 deg f   3/4 c

oil  1 tbsp

brown sugar 2 tbsp

Salt  1/2  tsp

dry milk 1 tbsp.

Bread Flour    1  1/4 c

whole wheat flour 1 c

Active dry yeast (1 1/2 tbsp) or Bread Machine yeast (1 tsp)


Program: Dough


1) Place on lightly floured surface.  Divide into pieces and shape.

2) Place in a greased baking pan.  Cover and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until double in size.

3) Bake at 350 deg F for 25-30 min or until done.


I’ve made this one and frozen the rolls after baking.  Works great!!

Recipe call!

Okay ladies, I need some recipes posted, please. I am looking for a tried and true bread-machine roll recipe that is freezable. Anyone? Anyone? Go ahead and post them as a new post so I can find them later. THANKS!!!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Edamame (soy beans in the pod)

I read a long time ago on someone’s blog (I cannot remember whose), that Edamame was a perfect finger food for kids. I had never had Edamame, so I thought we would try it.

The food itself is extremely healthy and if you buy the frozen type in the pod, you only have to defrost it to eat it. This makes it a super easy and simple snack or side for any meal.

Tonight, I reintroduced Edamame to my boys. Bert liked it last time we had it, so I reminded him of this and showed him how to pop open the pod to expose the seed. In my opinion, Edamame have a nutty flavor, and Bert likes nuts…So, I made sure to remind him that they taste like nuts. He started eating them right away.




As you can see, he liked the Edamame. Please excuse my “shirtless” boys at the dinner table. I didn’t notice until they had already gotten dinner underway.

Ernie is not a fan of anything un-fruit-like. He still had fun learning how to open the Edamame. The green soybeans never once crossed his lips. He did get a math lesson in though…


Perfectly lined up and counted to 5! So, apparently Edamame doubles as a wonderful math manipulative.

In this household, 50% is passing when it comes to food. If I can get one kid to like it and eat it, I have succeeded! (kind of reminiscent of the Texas TAKS math test—well, I think they have to have a 65% or something…at one time it was 55% though).

You all have a wonderful day, and let me know how your kids like Edamame!


Darn Good Green Beans

I’ve been doing these A LA Ozuna style the last couple of times I have made them.  My in-laws make their beans similarly to these.  I have stumbled onto their secret.


Fresh green beans (however many your family eats…I usually do a couple handfuls for me and my husband.  The boys eat carrots)

1/4 c.  Onion (a couple thinly sliced rings chopped up)

2 Tbsp.  Bacon Grease (you could cook some bacon or just use the grease that you have saved from cooking bacon, either way it’s yummy)

1 Tomato diced

mushrooms (1/2 basket chopped)




Heat pan to medium high.  Add bacon grease, onion, and chopped green beans.  Salt to taste.  Cover.  Let cook for a bit, stirring occasionally.  After green beans and onion have cooked down a little (become a little soft), add mushrooms and tomato.  Salt again.  Pepper. Cover.  When beans are cooked but still have a bite to them, and when tomato has cooked down, they are done.

Check the seasoning…add more salt/pepper if needed.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Chicken Ole'

I got this in an email forever ago. My kids actually ate seconds and thirds. Whoa.

Chicken Olé

From the Kitchen of: Chris
Source: MasterCook

You might want to double this because it is never enough.

12 corn tortillas, torn into pieces
2 lbs. cooked chicken, coarsely chopped
103/4 oz. can cream of chicken soup
103/4 oz. can cream of mushroom soup
7 oz. can green chili salsa
8 oz. sour cream
1 tbsp. onion, grated
11/2 c. Cheddar cheese, grated

Lightly grease sides and bottom of Crockery Pot.

In a separate bowl, mix together the soups, salsa, sour cream and onion.

In a Crockery Pot, arrange alternate layers of the tortillas, chicken pieces and soup mixture, ending with soup mixture on top.

Cover and cook on low 4 - 5 hours.

Sprinkle with Cheddar and cook for another 20 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Parmesan-Crusted Pork Chops

You guys can thank me later. This is SOOOOO good. And super fast and super easy. Here is the link:
Parmesan-Crusted Pork Chops
Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis
Prep Time:
15 min
Cook Time:
12 min
4 servings
2 large eggs
1 cup dried Italian-style bread crumbs
3/4 cups freshly grated Parmesan
4 (1/2 to 3/4-inch thick) center-cut pork loin chops (each about 10 to 12 ounces)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 tablespoons olive oil
Lemon wedges, for serving

Whisk the eggs in a pie plate to blend. Place the bread crumbs in another pie plate. Place the cheese in a third pie plate. Sprinkle the pork chops generously with salt and pepper. Coat the chops completely with the cheese, patting to adhere. Dip the chops into the eggs, then coat completely with the bread crumbs, patting to adhere. Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a very large skillet over medium heat. Add pork chops, in batches if necessary, and cook until golden brown and the center reaches 150 degrees, about 6 minutes per side. Transfer the chops to plates and serve with lemon wedges.
Copyright 2009 Television Food Network G.P., All Rights Reserved

Monday, June 15, 2009

Tangy Hummus

This is definitely not traditional, but it didn’t matter to me because I have never had more than a bite of hummus in my lifetime, so I didn’t have any expectations.  Without knowing what it should taste like, I created this.


2 cups Cooked chickpeas (garbanzo beans)

2-3 tbsp. miracle whip

Juice of 1 lemon

6-10 basil leaves, chopped

1-2 tbsp. salsa (I used the salsa I prepared here)

Salt & Pepper to taste


Mix all ingredients in food processor and process until smooth.

I have been eating this with Fritos and as a condiment on my turkey sandwich instead of mayo.  I think it would taste good on crackers, veggies or anything else that one would eat hummus with.  Please let me know if you like it!!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Salsa Recipe

What you need:

couple tbsp olive oil

1-28 oz can of Diced Tomatoes

1-28 oz can of Rotel tomatoes with chiles

1 onion chopped

4-5 cloves of garlic minced

4 jalapenos with seeds minced

fresh cilantro (handful chopped)



Heat olive oil in stock pot.  Add onion, garlic, jalapeno, and tomatoes.  Cook down for about 5-8 minutes.  Add cilantro.  Put into blender and blend down until it is the consistency you want.  This allowed me to freeze about 5 containers of salsa. 

Caution: This is spicy!!

New Blog!

I have gotten inspired to start my own cooking/household shopping blog.  Please come visit:

Friday, June 12, 2009

Spicy Gouda Potato Bake

I made this one today with some leftover bacon and chicken that I had in the fridge.  It turned out pretty good!


Here is what you need:

  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp Flour
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2-3 Jalapenos (no seeds—I used 4 with no seeds and it was a little spicy)
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cup smoked gouda cheese (this could really be altered either by increasing/decreasing amount or using another cheese—I like the smoky flavor that smoked gouda provides.)
  • 1 cup bacon bits (you could alter the amount here too—I had some leftover from making extra bacon bits a week ago)
  • 1 cup cooked chicken cubed (optional-I was cleaning out my fridge leftovers)
  • 4 baking potatoes (sliced thinly)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • cheddar cheese (optional)


Here are the instructions:

  1. Melt butter in pan on medium heat.  Add garlic and flour and make a paste.  Add broth and wisk well until all lumps are gone.  Add gouda cheese, jalapeno, bacon, salt and pepper.  Let cook for about 5-10 minutes. Stir every couple minutes.  Don’t let it boil or stick to the bottom.
  2. While the mixture is cooking, get your casserole dish ready by spraying it with nonstick spray.  Then line your pan with a first layer of thinly sliced potatoes.  Follow that with a layer of chicken.
  3. Once cheese sauce has thickened a little, add milk to it and stir a little more.  Let it cook for another 5 minutes.  Pour some over the potatoes.  You want this mixture to last for at least 3 layers, so don’t use it all. 
  4. Follow up by adding another layer of potatoes, then chicken, then sauce.  Repeat a third time.
  5. Put the last bit of potatoes on top, and slide into a preheated 350 degree oven.  Bake about 40 minutes.
  6. Take out, if potatoes are done, then you can put a layer of cheddar cheese on top and put back in for another 5 minutes until melted.
  7. Cool about 5-10 minutes to set and serve.  Makes about 9  servings.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


I need help ladies! As you may have read, my stove fills my house with an awful stench and is unusable. The repair guy isn't coming for a few days and money is sparse. Anyone have recipes that use crock pots, microwaves or don't require cooking? We sold our grill in MI so that isn't an option. HELP! Please post lots of recipes. I need help!!!!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Pan Fried Pork Chops with Mushroom Gravy and Oven Potatoes

I made this the other night and scored an 8 out of 10 from the husband.  This score is almost unheard of sense it seems only Emeril himself could get a 10.  (yeah, I have never seen a 9 either)  I think this is a testament to his pickiness, but I am sure you will hear more of that as I post more recipes.  ;)

You will need:

For the Pork Chops

2 Pork Chops (prefer bone-in)

a couple tablespoons olive oil

McCormick Grill Mates Montreal Steak Seasoning



2 tbsp flour

2 tbsp butter (I used reduced calorie sticks)

1 cup beef broth (you could use chicken or pork)

fresh mushrooms sliced

For the Potatoes

3 Potatoes

1/4 package Lipton Onion Soup Mix

A couple tablespoons of olive oil



Cooking instructions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line a square casserole dish with foil (for easy cleanup).  Peel and chop potatoes into bite size pieces.  Put into dish.  Add a couple tbsp. olive oil, salt, pepper, and 1/4 package of Lipton Onion Soup Mix.  Mix to coat.  Bake until potatoes are fork tender.  (you could leave the skin on too)

Heat a skillet to Med-High and add a couple tablespoons olive oil.  Season pork chops with McCormick seasoning, salt and pepper.  Put seasoned side down in hot oil.  Season other side of pork chops.  Cook till browned and turn.  Cook for another couple minutes until pink is gone and second side is browned.  Take pork chops out of skillet and let them rest on a plate.  Turn heat down to Medium.  Add butter and flour.  Mix to make a thick paste.  Wisk in broth until the flour/butter mixture is completely blended and lump-free.  Really scrape the bottom of the pan and get all the bits and pieces from cooking the pork chops—it adds lots of flavor.  Add chopped mushrooms.  Turn down gravy to Low heat and let simmer with a lid on it.  After about 10 minutes, return the pork chops and let them simmer for another 5 minutes before serving. (warning: my cooking times are an estimate—use your judgment)

I served my Pork Chops and Potatoes with Salad.  You can get more creative.  This took me about 30 minutes start to finish.  It is important to start the potatoes first because they will cook longer.  Also keep in mind that you can decrease their cooking time by chopping them into smaller pieces.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Tomatillo Avocado Salsa

Tomatillo Avocado Salsa:
1 lb tomatillos, husked, rinsed and roughly chopped
1 Avocado, peeled, chopped
3/4 c fresh cilantro leaves
1 Serrano chili, chopped
2 Tbs Fresh lime juice
1 tsp salt
Place all ingredients in a small food processor or blender and puree. Serve with tortilla chips or chicken. Makes about 2 cups.

This is so good. I made it last night for the first time. I put it on top or our chicken and then sprinkled the chicken with some 2% Mexican cheese blend. Yum!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Beer Bread

3 cups self-rising flour
¾ cup sugar
12 ounce can beer, not cold

Preheat oven to 350*

Mix together all ingredients and pour into buttered loaf pan.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Check halfway through to see if you need to cover with foil if browning too quickly.

Cut a slit down the middle before the bread hardens and pour melted butter all over top.

Corn Casserole

This is a yummy side to serve with mexican food!

½ cup margarine, melted
15 ounce can whole kernal corn, drained
14.75 ounce can creamed corn
8.5 ounce package dry cornbread mix


Preheat oven to 350*

In large bowl, combine melted margarine, corn, creamed corn & cornbread mix.

Transfer to 9 x 13 baking dish. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until center is set and top is light golden brown. Let cool 5 minutes before serving.

Dried Cherry Scones

2 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup chilled butter, cut into pieces
1 egg
2/3 cup whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup dried cherries
Egg wash, 1 egg and 1 teaspoon water, beaten
Sugar, for sprinkling
1 bag sliced almonds, for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 325*

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Work in butter with fingers.

Combine wet ingredients and mix into dry just until moistened. Add cherries. Mixture will be very sticky. Turn onto floured surface and knead 5 times with floured hands. Pat out to ½ inch thick and cut into triangles or circles.

Brush tops with egg wash. Sprinkle with sugar and almonds generously (make sure they are pushed down into the dough to where they will stay).

Place on greased baking sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes.

Strawberry Pretzel Salad

2 cups crushed pretzels
1 ½ sticks butter, melted
¼ cup & ¾ cup sugar
8 ounce container cream cheese
8 ounce container cool whip
6 ounce package strawberry jell-o
2 (10 ounce) packages frozen strawberries (I've also used fresh)

Preheat oven to 350*

Mix pretzels, butter and ¼ cup sugar. Press in bottom of 9 x 13 pan and bake for 10 minutes. Cool completely.

Mix ¾ cup sugar and cream together and fold in cool whip. Spread onto the cooled pretzel crust. Refrigerate until set.

Dissolve jell-o into 2 cups of boiling water and allow to cool slightly. Pour over the cool whip mixture. Add strawberries. Refrigerate until set, at least 4 hours.

****Could also add 1 (8 ounce) can of crushed pineapple with the strawberries.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

I got this from Reader's Digest. I am telling you ladies, I am totally in love with it. But my kids didn't like it at all. I went a little crazy with the lime juice though. :o) It really is yummy.

You Will Need

3 corn tortillas (6 inches each), cut into 1/4-inch strips

4 tsp. olive oil, divided

1/4 tsp. salt

3/4 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch chunks

1 large onion, chopped

5 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth

1 lb. red potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1 cup frozen corn

1 can (4 1/2 oz.) chopped green chilies

1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro

1/4 tsp. pepper

3 tbs. lime juice

What to Do

1. In large resealable plastic bag, combine tortilla strips, 1 tsp. oil, and salt. Seal bag and shake to coat. Arrange tortilla strips on ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 400°F for 8 to 10 minutes or until crisp, turning once. Remove to paper towels to cool.

2. In large saucepan, sauté chicken in remaining oil until lightly browned. Add onion; cook, stirring frequently, until onion is tender. Add broth and potatoes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 10 minutes. Add corn, chilies, cilantro, and pepper, and heat through. Stir in lime juice. Top each serving with tortilla strips.

Yield: 6 servings ($1.62 per serving)

-- M. M., Traverse City, Michigan

Nutrition Facts: One serving (1 1/2 cups) equals 221 calories, 4 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 33 mg cholesterol, 757 mg sodium, 27 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber, 19 g protein.

Mexican casserole

From Darrica
Mexican casserole

2lb hamburger meat
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can of green chilies
1 can of enchilada sauce
1 8oz package of cheddar cheese.
1 8oz package of colby cheese
6 corn tortillas

Brown hamburger meat, drain. add salt and pepper to taste. add soups,sauce,and green chilies mix well and heat until bubbly. Line pyrexs dish with 3 corn tortillas cut in half. pour half of meat mixture over this. cover with colby cheese. cut the last 3 tortillas and layer over cheese pour remaining meat mixture over this and top with shredded cheddar cheese heat in oven till melted.

Taco casserole

From Trisha
Here's a super easy and cheap taco casserole that we like:

1 pound ground beef
1 large can refried beans
1 pkg taco seasoning
1 cup or so cheese shreds
2 pkgs cornbread mix

Make cornbread batter according to directions. Brown ground beef with taco seasoning. Drain fat. Spread beans along bottom of a 9x13 casserole dish. Layer ground beef and then cheese. Pour corn bread batter over the top. Bake at 425 for about 10 to 15 min. until cornbread is done. Then add whatever toppings you like or have on hand.,.. lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, salsa, guacamole.

Super Easy Three Bean Turkey Chili

From Ginny
Here is my fabulous Three Bean Turkey Chili recipe. I got the base recipe from Kraft Food and Family magazine, but I have changed it up a bit.

1 can Pinto Beans, drained
1 can Black Beans, drained
1 can Red Kidney Beans, drained
1 can Sweet Corn, drained
1 16oz jar salsa (mild or medium depending on your taste)
2 cans Diced Tomatoes, undrained
16 oz Lean Ground Turkey
1 tsp Cumin (or to taste)
1 tsp Chili Powder (or to taste)

Super easy...cook the ground turkey separately and then dump in everything else with the turkey and let it simmer. You'll need a very large pot. This could serve an army. It is ready when it is to the temperature of your liking! We top it with 2% cheese and light sour cream. Kody throws on guacamole sometimes as well. It is super yummy and easy. No mixing bowls required! You can make this without the meat as well.

Tomato Basil Soup

From Cindi
1 jar tomato basil spaghetti sauce (any brand you like)
1/4 cup half & half
1/4 cup chicken broth (I usually add about half cup to make it go farther)

* optional: chicken breast, boiled & shreddedBoil chicken, set aside, combine rest of ingredients and let "stew" 15 or so minutes then shred chicken and throw back in until warm!

Tastes yummy with Farm Rich mozarella bites and salad : )

Chicken Makhani (Butter Chicken)

I'm only posting it for Avi. I only dream of having these kinds of recipes. :o)

So, unfortunately, because there are 1,000 spices we use in Indian cooking, I would have a tendency to just mix everything together…and everything would taste the same. So, my cheat sheet recipe book is called Complete Indian Cooking.” (On Amazon, there are used versions of the book for $6!)

This book totally gets my Indian approval if you are looking for an Indian cookbook. It has vegetarian dishes, lamb dishes, desserts, appetizers...and very large, colorful pictures of the food. Okay, moving on…:o)

Ingredients for Chicken Makhani
1.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts (cut into 2 inch pieces)
Vegetable oil

3 large red chilies, seeded and chopped
4 garlic cloves (I use garlic paste)
2 teaspoons cumin seeds crushed
1 teaspoon garam masala
0.5 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro
4 tablespoons lemon juice (fresh is always best)
.75 cup plain yogurt
(Note--I've been able to find all of these spices at regular grocery stores, by the way. :-D)

3 lbs ripe tomatoes, quartered
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup heavy whipping cream

Marinade - Place the ingredients in a food processor (I use a blender) briefly to produce a paste. Transfer the marinade into a nonmetallic bowl with the chicken. Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours. (I never do that because I don’t have time, by the way, but you can.)

Sauce - While the chicken is marinading, place the tomatoes into a large saucepan and cook them gently with no added water for about 20 minutes, until they are tender. Rub them through a fine strainer into a clean saucepan. Simmer the tomato pulp on medium heat for about 50 minutes, stirring occasionally until it is thick and reduced. Stir in the butter, stir often, and let it cook for a further 30 minutes. Stir in the cream and heat it through. Taste and adjust the amount of salt if necessary. Put aside.

Heat oil in a large pan, pour chicken into pan and cook on high heat. Add the tomato sauce to the pan and cook until chicken is cooked through. Serve with a swirl of cream and cilantro sprig to garnish. You can serve it with rice or naan.

Notes about this recipe--just as the book states perfectly, I tend to spice the food that I cook a lot more than what they recommend and I never use measuring spoons. I add in chilli powder, some red peppers, more cilantro and garam masala…so, have fun with it! :-D Also, I usually double the recipe... (Click here if you want to see a picture of the finished product and my messy kitchen.)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Cooking, Korean Style

Yes I'm cheating - I copied this from my blog, by request! :)

Every once in a while I get the kick to cook Korean food. I used to do so frequently, before I got married and while I hosted international students. After marrying Minsu, that all changed because honestly Minsu is such a much better Korean cook than I am that I mostly gave it up (he encourages me to cook it more, but I just don't feel I can compare to his outstanding food). Now that he's in med school, he doesn't have time for it either, so occasionally I hope for the best and give it a try!

This is Kimchi Chigae (Stew). It is SUPER easy to make (like most Korean food) but the trick is in the seasoning. Ingredients are kimchi, water, tuna (in oil), onion, and Korean spices (basically a little beef bullion, a dash of sesame oil, and a dash of soy sauce. You can add a half tsp of gochujang (red pepper paste) to make it even better. Finally, at the end, you add slices of tofu and let it sit for about 10 minutes.

In my opinion, when done right, it is absolutely delicious! It has a spicy, sour taste. However, it's not nearly as spicy as raw kimchi - the secret is to cook it to get rid of some of the spiciness. YUM. Of course, it is served with a side of rice.

Next, I made kim-bap (literally: seaweed-rice). It's like Korean sushi, but it's all cooked - no raw stuff! :o) In my opinion, it is much more flavorful than Japanese sushi. It is one of the more challenging recipes because of the time spent slicing, cooking, and rolling.

I started off with slicing and cooking everything in long strips - turkey sausage, crab sticks, egg, and spinach - and I used store-bought pickled daikon (like a radish but not hot). I added a little sesame oil and salt to the rice and mixed it well (as opposed to Japanese style sushi, which adds a sugar / vinegar mix to the rice). In the background is the kim, or dried seaweed for the wrapper. They sell a special kim for kim-bap, but I didn't have it so I used regular kim. The disadvantage is that it splits easily, so I had to be really careful when rolling it.

To get started, I thinly spread rice onto the kim sheet, then put a single strip (more or less - you want to keep a balanced flavor) of each ingredient. I placed everything on top of saran wrap for rolling purposes since I don't have a sushi mat. I dip my finger in water and dab it along the margin to make a "glue" and then put it on the plate seam-side down.

You have to eat it all the same day, you know! I hope you're hungry, Minsu!

This is what it looks like sliced (Minsu got to do the honors)... not a great picture, but you get the idea. :o)
Note: You can make GREAT "Americanized" sushi substituting well-drained tuna mixed with mayo, salt & pepper, then layering strips of cream cheese and avocado and rolling up! YUM, YUM....

Beef Runza's

2 packages of crescent rolls
1 lb ground beef
1 square block of Velveeta cheese
1 can of rotel
(you can also add onions, seasoning, whatever else you think might work - I'm plain jane, so I haven't really experimented with anything else.)

Brown ground beef.
Add Velveeta cheese and rotel.
Stir until it's all melted and mixed together.

Roll out the crescent rolls. (You will probably need 2 pans for this - and there is enough meat for 2 packages.)
Put the meat mixutre in the rolls and roll it up.

Bake for however long the crescent roll package says. (I think it was 13 minutes?)

These are really good!! We ate these the other night and I had leftovers for lunch. :)

Saturday, April 4, 2009

French Potato Salad

Out on the grill, tonight is beer and braut night at our house.  We have brautwurst, German purple cabbage, saurkraut and potato salad.  This recipe is a big hit when I serve it.  I've modified the recipe from "The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook" by Ina Garten.

1 pound small white boiling potatoes
1 pound small red boiling potatoes (I usually omit the white and use 2 pounds red)
2 Tbsp chicken stock
3 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp kosher salt
3/4 tsp ground black pepper
10 Tbsp EVOO
1/4 cup green onions (white and green parts)
2 Tbsp minced fresh dill
2 Tbsp minced flat leaf parsley
2 Tbsp chiffonade of basil leaves

Note:  I've used dried herbs in the past and the taste is fine, but fresh is better.

Boil potatoes in salted water 20-30 minutes, until they are just cooked through.  Drain in a colander and place a towel over the potatoes to allow them to steam for 10 more minutes.  when they are cool enough to handle, cut them in large bite sized pieces.  Toss gently with the chicken stock.

Meanwhile, combine the vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper, EVOO, onions and herbs.  Whisk together.

Pour the vinaigrette over the potatoes.  Toss and serve warm or at room temperature.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Lemon chicken with veggies

This is an easy, go-to, Thursday night meal at our house.  I've modified it from the book "mom-a-licious" by Domenica Catelli (a pretty good one).  You don't have to add an additional side dish. It's a one dish meal.  Enjoy!

1 pound chicken tenders (or boneless, skinless breast cut into 1 inch strips)
2-3 Tbsp minced garlic
2-3 cups vegetables of you choice, cut into small bite sized pieces (sweet potatoes, celery, carrots, broccoli, etc. - we usually use sweet potato and broccoli)
2 Tbsp EVOO
1 lemon, juiced
2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated
pinch salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Place chicken, garlic and veggies in a 9X13 baking dish.  (I like to steam the veggies for a few minutes in the microwave before I add them to the dish.)
Drizzle with lemon juice and EVOO.  Mix in the salt and pepper.
Top with the Parmesan cheese and bake 20-25 minutes.
Serve and Enjoy! 

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Ritz poppyseed chicken

This is one of my faves! I think there are also a lot of variations on this, so you may have already known about this one -

boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 16 oz sour cream
poppyseeds (I never measure, just shake them in)
1 sleeve of Ritz crackers
1 stick of butter

1. Boil the chicken.
2. Shred it into smaller pieces.
3. Mix chicken with the cream of chicken soups and sour cream.
4. Melt the butter and drizzle butter over the top.
5. Crumble up the ritz crackers and put on top.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes (although I did 30 mins last night, I'm thinking it could have stayed in a little longer too.)

We had this last night and the best part is - leftovers for tonight!

so, have you heard about this one? Do you have a different variation?

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Recipe blogs!

If you have a great recipe blog that you like and want it posted on the side - then feel free to leave a comment. I'm sure there are tons more that I have no idea about.

Monday, March 30, 2009


2 eggs, beaten
1 ½ cups milk
1 cup flour
1 tbsp cooking oil
2 tbsp sugar

Combine eggs, milk, flour, oil, and sugar; beat until mixed well. Heat a lightly greased 6 in skillet. Spoon in 2 tbsp of the batter; lift and tilt skillet to spread batter. Return to heat until lightly brown. Some people only cook one side. I like both done. It is up to you!

Makes 18 crepes

NOTES: This is a really versatile recipe that we just love. Whenever we went to people’s houses for dinner in France, this was frequently the dessert. It is great with ice cream, puddings, fruits, peanut butter, or fudge. BON APPETIT!