Search This Blog

Friday, December 12, 2008

Cheaters Cheese Ball

I needed some kind of protein snack and didn't have much to work with. I had about 1/4 - 1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese. I took about 1/2 or more of a package of cream cheese and smooshed them quickly together. Then added just a bit of garlic powder. This is better than any cheese ball I've ever put together. Mmmm!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Chicken and Noodles w/Mashed Potatoes

This is definitely a country comfort food. Very simple yet amazingly good. I don't have exact measurements for the most part. Sorry:( It's very easy to make though. I am also not going to include how to make mashed potatoes as I figure most people already know how. The thing I learned from my husbands family is don't skimp on the butter when making them. That's where they get a lot of flavor.

Ok here goes.

In a large pot add 3-4 stalks chopped celery and one large chopped onion. Put in 3-4lbs boneless skinless chicken breast - I used frozen and it still came out just fine. Add plenty of water so that when your chicken is cooked through you still have room to add noodles.

Cook chicken through then take out and shred/chop. Add back to the pot and add in freshly ground pepper and chicken bullion/broth powder/soup base to taste. Bring to a boil and add in noodles. Boil till desired tenderness for noodles.

Make a quick thickening of about 2 tablespoons flour and 1/3 cup water (or a bit more). I like my thickening very thick. Pour slowly into pot of simmer noodles, stirring constantly. This will thicken up almost immediately.

Serve chicken and noodles over top of mashed potatoes. Salt each individual serving with sea salt to taste.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Potato and Cabbage Soup

This soup is just lovely! I was amazed at the flavor that came from this. Don't skip any of the ingredients as it's perfect the way it is.

2 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
2 cups cabbage, shredded
3 potatoes, peeled and thickly sliced
6 cups chicken stock, divided
1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup sour cream
salt and pepper, to taste

1. Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat.
2. Add onion, celery, cabbage, salt, and pepper.
3. Partly cover and cook for 10 minutes over a low heat.
4. Add potatoes, chicken stock, and dill.
5. Bring to a boil while stirring periodically.
6. Boil, partly covered, for 20 minutes.
7. Mix the flour with the sour cream in a bowl.
8. Add 1/2 cup of the hot soup stock to bowl, mix well, and pour into soup.
9. Mix well and serve.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Just like BD's Mongolian BBQ

That's what my daughter said anyway. lol! I cooked up one piece of chicken in very small pieces in a skillet with olive oil. While that was cooking I fried up two eggs. When the chicken was cooked through I added in some leftover noodles, some frozen stir fry veggies, soy sauce and about 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic. Cooked that for a bit then added in the egg. The kids loved this! I love what you can do with leftovers.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Oatmeal chocolate chip cake

This is a lovely little snack cake recipe. It's not too sweet, but has just enough sweetness to curb any sweet tooth. This is great without any frosting at all. This is also a borrowed pix but boy is it pretty. You can find it here.

1 3/4 cups boiling water
1 cup oatmeal
1 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
1 cup white sugar
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter or margarine, softened
2 large eggs, beaten
1 3/4 cups flour
1 tbsp. cocoa
1 tsp. soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 (12 oz.) pkg. chocolate chips
3/4 cup walnuts

1. Pour boiling water over oatmeal and let stand 10 minutes.

2. Stir in sugars and margarine until margarine melts.

3. Add eggs and mix well.

4. Stir in flour, salt, cocoa, soda, and salt. Add 1/2 package chocolate chips to batter and pour into greased 9x13-inch pan.

5.Sprinkle the rest of the chips and nuts on top.

6. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Sausage Stir Fry

Ok I used some turkey sausage patties that were frozen and just heated them in the microwave. Sausage stir fry, to me is a little odd. However, my children loved this so I will be making it again.

1/2 pound or less sausage or turkey sausage, cooked
2-3 cups cooked, cold rice
1-2 cups cooked veggies - we used peas, green beans, carrots and onion and microwaved.
4 scrambled eggs
soy sauce

If everything is cooked ahead of time it's easy to throw together. Once everything is cooked separately, do the following.

1. Heat up your skillet on medium/high and use either olive oil or butter in the bottom of the pan. Just enough to keep things from sticking.

2. Add drained veggies, sausage, eggs, and rice. Stir around.

3. Add in desired amount of soy sauce.

4. Cook just till everything is heated through.


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Shepherds Pie

I'm hoping to soon try many different variations. It just depends on what is in the house at the time. Here's my first one. I have had to borrow the pix till I get one of my own:) Here's a link to many shepherd's pie variations.

1 pound ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 1/4 cup instant mashed potatoes
1/4 block of cream cheese cubed
2 tablespoons beef soup base - adjust amount to your liking
4 tablespoons water

1. Brown ground beef and onions. Make sure to season well with pepper.
2. While meat is browning, place carrots and a bit of water in a bowl and microwave for 4-5 minutes till desired tenderness.
3. Drain meat if needed and add in 2 cups water, and soup base. Bring to a simmer and then thicken with a medium thick water and flour mixture. Add in cooked, drained carrots and keep warm.
4. Boil 1 1/4 cups water and 4 tablespoons butter. Take off heat.
5. Add in potatoes, cream cheese and enough milk till you get your desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper.
6. Pour meat mixture into greased casserole dish.
7. Spread potatoes on top.
8. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes.

Like I mentioned above, there are so many variations. I would have liked to have used fresh mashed potatoes but time did not permit tonight. Look for more variations to come. Next time I hope to have frozen peas I can add in.

Easy Chicken Alfredo

This is one of those meals that is not only versatile, but great for days when you just don't have much time to cook.

4-5 boneless, skinless chicken breast - yes you can use frozen chicken
1 can Bertolli alfredo sauce - every alfredo sauce is not created equal

1. Place chicken in crockpot.
2. Pour alfredeo sauce on top. Put a little water in the jar, close lid and swish around. Pour this on top as well.
3. Set crockpot on low and cook for 4-6 hours.
4. When chicken is cooked through, shred and take off fat. Put chicken back in crockpot.
5. Serve on top a bed of cooked fettucini noodles and sprinkled with freshly grated parm. cheese.

*Add 1 tablespoon prepared pesto to the crockpot with the sauce.
*Add freshly crushed cloves garlic.
*Add crushed red pepper for a kick.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Granny's Chicken Soup

I got this lovely recipe online and made it last night. Don't expect it to taste like chicken noodle soup but more like a garden vegetable soup. The flavor is lovely. After it's done just de-bone the chicken and use for other recipes. The flavor of the chicken when it's done is fantastic!

Here's the actual article that I copied and pasted from another online site.
Down through the ages, home-made chicken soup has been valued and appreciated for it’s soothing and healing qualities when it comes to colds and the flu. I decided to investigate what it is about chicken soup that makes the ailing patient feel better. Here’s what I came up with-
‘All research agrees that chicken soup helps break up congestion and eases the flow of nasal secretions. Many say it also inhibits white blood cells that trigger the inflammatory response (causing sore throats and the production of phlegm.) Chicken contains an amino acid called cysteine- released when you make the soup. This amino acid thins mucus in the lungs, aiding in the healing process.’
When combined with nutrient rich veggies, home-made chicken soup can definitely help the healing process in those who fall prey to colds or the flu !

1- 5 pound organic stewing chicken
3 large onions
4 cloves garlic
1 large sweet potato
3 parsnips
2 turnips
10 large carrots
6 stalks of celery
1 bunch parsley
Hot pepper flakes- a few
1 teaspoon celery seed

Clean the chicken, put it in a large pot, and cover with cold water- about 3 - 4 quarts. Bring to a boil.

Add onions, garlic, celery, parsley, sweet potato, parsnips, turnips, and carrots. Boil about 1 1/2 hours.

Add the parsley celery and hot pepper flakes. Cook about 45 min longer.

Remove the chicken (not used further for the soup- only for the stock).

Add Sea Salt or Crystal Salt and black pepper to taste.

Healing benefits of ingredients:
1. Onions - contain protein, calcium, sulfur, vitamin A, B complex, C and E. They contain sulfur compounds and have anti-inflammatory effects. Like garlic, onions have the antibiotic oil- allicin, which gives them their pungent flavor.
2. Garlic - has powerful antibiotic, antiviral and antifungal properties . Is being used for boosting the immune system, lowering blood pressure, assisting in treatment of heart disease, and cancer and lowering cholesterol.
3. Sweet potato - excellent source of vitamin A (beta-carotene), vitamin C ,manganese, copper, dietary fiber, vitamin B6, potassium and iron. Having significant antioxidant capacities, they stabilize blood sugar levels and lower insulin resistance.
4. Parsnips - a good source of the antioxidants vitamin C and vitamin E, which help to boost the immune system, plus they’re a good source of fibre, which protects against colon cancer and helps maintain healthy bowels. Parsnips are a good to reduce high blood pressure, because they have a high potassium content.
5. Turnips - are rich in beta-carotene and protect mucous membranes (especially in the lungs and intestinal tract) from cancer and free-radical damage. Also high in vitamin C, indoles, calcium and other minerals.
6. Carrots - Carrots, one of the routine vegetable ingredients found in chicken soup, are the best natural source of beta-carotene. The body takes that beta-carotene and converts it to vitamin A. Vitamin A helps prevent and fight off infections by enhancing the actions of white blood cells that destroy harmful bacteria and viruses.
7. Celery - carminative, diuretic, tonic, nervine. Used to promote restfulness and sleep, celery is also excellent for relieving rheumatism and gout. Its high magnesium and iron content is invaluable as a food for blood cells. Because of its anitspasmodic properties, celery is good for all lund conditions, including asthma and bronchitis.
8. Parsley - contains two components that provide unique health benefits - 1. volatile oils-including myristicin, limonene, eugenol, and alpha-thujene. 2. flavonoids- including apiin, apigenin, crisoeriol, and luteolin. The activity of parsley's volatile oils qualifies it as a "chemoprotective" food- a food that can neutralize particular types of carcinogens (like benzopyrenes from cigarette and charcoal grill smoke).
9. Sea Salt - natural balance of sodium, magnesium and potassium- helps to lower blood pressure and promote good health. Mineral salts create electrolytes, the sparks of life- carry electrical currents to cells throughout the body. Electrolytes are necessary for enzyme production. Enzymes are responsible for breaking down food, absorbing nutrients, muscle function, hormone production, etc. Electrolytes and enzymes are linked to healthy immune function, proper regulation of bodily fluids, and adrenal health.
10. Black pepper - contains volatile oils, alkaloids, proteins and minerals. It has the following healing actions: circulatory stimulant, diuretic, cerebral stimulant, reduces infection, diaphoretic (induces sweating), astringent (tightens mucous membranes) and stimulates sinuses to drain.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Baked Apples

What a perfect way to ring in fall. It's even healthy!


8 large rome apples, washed & cored
1/3 cup granola cereal - I didn't use this with mine.
1/3 cup raisins
1/3 cup slivered almond
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 fresh lemon rind, grated
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup honey
1 cup apple juice or cider
4 tablespoons butter
whipping cream, chilled or softly whipped

1.Peel off one strip around the center of each apple.
2.Slice a thin piece off the bottom of each and place them almost touching in an oven proof dish.
3.Combine the granola,raisins, nuts,cinnamon nutmeg and lemon peel.
4.Toss to mix well.
5.Divide the filling among the centers of the apples, pack the filling down lightly.
6.In a saucepan combine the lemon juice, honey, apple juice& butter.
7.Bring to a bubbly simmer about 5 minutes.
8.Pour over the apples.
9.Cover with foil and bake 350F degrees for 30 minutes.
10.Uncover the apples and continue baking for about another 30 minutes, basting frequently with the juice.
11.Cool to almost room temp serve with the cream

Tuna Noodle Casserole

I had this growing up at home as well as at my aunts when I lived with her a short time. I fused the two together and came up with this. Tuna haters even like this one. This makes a large amount and will need to be made in a large pan. I would estimate this will feed 8 people well if you have a salad and bread on the side.

1 16oz box macaroni noodles
2-3 cans tuna - depending on how much you want in there.
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
2 Tablespoons butter
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon seasoned salt (optional if you want to salt after it's done)
freshly ground pepper
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 package seasoned croutons
1 small package frozen peas

1. Cook noodles according to the directions on the package.
2. When noodles are almost entirely cooked, add in the frozen peas and heat through.
3. Drain noodles and peas.
4. Put noodles and peas back in pan and add in mushroom soup, milk, butter, and seasonings.
5. Pour this mixture into a greased casserole dish.
6. Top with croutons and cheese.
7. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Hummus is a cold bean dip. It's very nutritious, especially if you soak your beans and don't cook them. They'll still have a lovely texture but won't have a lot of the nutrients cooked out. This is a dip that orginated in the middle east and you can still find it in middle eastern restaurants all over the U.S. There are many recipes for hummus - this is just one we use. Another we like omits the roasted red pepper, adds a bit more lemon and some cumin. We like to dip pita's, vegetables and kashi crackers in our hummus. We experimented a bit with what we liked in our hummus. Here's what Lyshie and I came up with.

1 can garbanzo beans - drained - reserve juice if desired
1 1/2 - 2 lemons cut in half
1-2 garlic cloves
2-4 Tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup tahini
1/4 roasted red pepper - or one large piece of it from a jar
salt to taste

In food processor, process beans well.

Add in freshly squeezed juice from lemons, garlic, tahini and roasted red pepper. Blend well.

Add olive oil to desired consistency - you might want to add a bit of water or reserved garbanzo bean juice.

Lastly, slowly salt till desired flavor.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Basil Chicken Dumpling Casserole

While still living at my parents home and still in high school, I received the Taste of Home magazines. This is one of the first recipes I made from it. The basil totally makes the dish. Anytime I make this for someone, I get raving compliments. This is a wonderful fall/winter comfort food. As you can see in the pix above, I didn't just have peas - I had mixed veggies so that's what I used. Everyone loved it:)


* 1/2 cup chopped onion
* 1/2 cup chopped celery
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* 1/4 cup butter or margarine
* 1/2 cup flour
* 2 teaspoons sugar
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon dried basil
* 1/2 teaspoon pepper
* 4 cups chicken broth
* 1 (10 ounce) package frozen green peas
* 4 cups cubed cooked chicken


* 2 cups buttermilk biscuit mix
* 2 teaspoons dried basil
* 2/3 cup milk


1.In a large saucepan, saute onion,selery and garlic in butter until tender.
2.Add flour, sugar, salt, basil, pepper and broth.
3.Bring to a boil, stirring.
4.Cook and stir for 1 minute.
5.Reduce heat.
6.Add peas and cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
7.Stir in chicken.
8.Pour into a greased 13 in X 9 in X 2 in baking dish.
9.For dumplings combine biscuit mix and basil in a bowl.
10.Stir in milk with a fork until moistened.
11.Drop by TBS onto hot casserole.
12.(12 dumplings) Bake, uncovered, at 350*F for 30 minutes.
13. Cover and bake for 10 minutes longer, or until dumplings are done.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Greek Chicken and Potatoes

While this dish is not very colorful - it was incredibly yummy. So very simple to make to.

1 package chicken - 3-4lbs?
4-5 pealed and cut potatoes (not too thick)
4-6 tablespoons butter
olive oil
1 lemon quartered

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Drizzle olive oil on the bottom of casserole dish, then lay potatoes and chicken on the bottom - making sure chicken is in a single layer.

Cut butter into pieces and place all around chicken.

Drizzle chicken with freshly squeezed lemon - then place lemons in the baking dish.

Sprinkle liberally with oregano and then season with salt and pepper.

Bake for 1 hour or till chicken runs clear and potatoes are tender.

A big thanks to Stephenie on for this yummy recipe!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Bars

These are yummy! Dh wanted his with ice cream on the top.

1 cup softened butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla
1 1/4 cup peanut butter
2 eggs
2 cups flour
2 cups old fashioned oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups baking chips

Beat butter, sugars and vanilla till well creamed - about 4 minutes.

Add in peanut butter and mix till blended.

Add eggs and mix till blended.

Next add oats, flour and baking soda, a little at a time till combined.

Stir in chocolate chips and pour into a greased 13x9 pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25-35 mins or till just set.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Old Fashioned Vegetable Soup

I modified this recipe from one that was online. The one I made it after did not call for the tomato paste or the bullion - both of which give this soup it's flavor. I totally forgot to precook barley and add it in. I will definately do that next time. I would recommend salting individual bowls once this is finished cooking as the vegetables can really soak up the salt. Also, this makes a lot. I would guess you could serve 8 people with this recipe. Just make sure to have some good bread and butter and maybe even some homemade applesauce on the side:)

1-2lbs ground beef
2 quarts water or tomato juice
4 diced potatoes
1/2 head cabbage - thinly chopped
1 diced onion
1/2 pound frozen green beans
1/2 pound frozen peas
1 can corn - drained
1 can tomatoes
6oz tomato paste
1/2 - 1 Tablespoon beef bullion

Cook beef and onions. Drain any excess grease.

Add rest of ingredients in a large pot. Bring to a boil and simmer for 30-45 minutes.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Shredded Italian Beef Sandwiches and Fried Sweet Potatoes

I made some honey wheat rolls for the beef sandwiches. Big mistake. They need something less sweet and dense. The rolls on their own are amazing as is the beef. Next time I'll need a lighter, non-sweetened bun. We used monterey jack cheese slices on the beef which was oh so yummy! Sorry about the blurry picture - I was in a hurry to eat. lol.

Honey What Rolls

1 cup warm milk
1 beaten egg - preferably at room temp
2 Tablespoons butter, softened
1/4 cup honey
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 3/4 cup unbleached flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons yeast

Place ingredients in bread machine and start dough setting. This usually takes 1-2 hours depending on the bread machine.

When dough cycled is finished, divide up into as many balls as you like.

Place them on a baking stone and flatten down a bit. Let rise covered till doubled.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes.

Fried Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes
coconut oil - I used refined since I was frying
sea salt

Cook sweet potatoes till slightly tender but still a little hard.

Warm up oil in pan and fry sliced, partially cooked potatoes. Make sure to get them nice and golden.

Remove and place on paper towels to remove excess grease.

Season with sea salt.

**Note** The thinner you slices these, the more like fries they'll be. Mine were pretty thick so they were very soft in the middle. Still very good though.

Italian Shredded Beef

5lbs roast
1 package italian dressing mix
3 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon onion powder (I didn't have so I didn't use it)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder.

Mix water and seasonings together. Place roast in crockpot and dumb mixture over meat. Cook in crockpot over low for 8 hours if thawed or on high for 8 hours if frozen.

Take meat out and shred. Place back in crockpot for about 15 minutes.

Spoon with a slotted spoon onto buns.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Chicken Bundles

These are very yummy! My mom told me how she ate them at my sil's house. I"m not sure if this recipe is exact, but this is how I make them. Very easy, especially if you have leftover chicken.

3 oz cream cheese
3 Tablespoons melted butter
2 cups cooked, chopped chicken
1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper
2 Tablespoons milk
1 Tablespoon chopped onion
1 8oz can refrigerated crescent rolls

Place all ingredients except crescent rolls into a mixer (I use the kitchenaid) and mix well.

Open up the rolls and spoon mixture into 2 triangles - don't separate into triangles. Instead, pinch the creases together before placing the filling in the middle. Pull up top left corner, then bottom right and pinch together. Do the same with the two remaining corners and try to pinch all together so no filling oozes out.

Bake on un-greased cookie sheet at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

Hearty Vegetable Soup

I got this lovely recipe as well as the pix off of recipezaar and tweaked it a bit. There are a few things I would/did change. First of all, it needs some garlic. Salt needs to be added after cooking for each individual taste. I'm thinking a great alternative would be to add some diced tomatoes and cut down on the water a bit. All in all this is a good vegetable soup. Oh yes, I would also add some kind of bullion or broth powder. If not, it lacks flavor.

3/4 cup pearl barley
11 cups vegetable (or beef) stock - divided
2 tablespoons oil
1-2 chopped onions
1/2 - 1 chopped large zucchini
2-3 chopped carrots
1-2 cups thinly sliced mushrooms
1-2 stalks chopped celery (I didn't use this time)
fresh ground pepper

Place 3 cups of the stock and the barley in a saucepan. Bring to boil then cover and simmer for 1 hour - or till liquid is absorbed.

Approx. 1/2 hour after barley has simmered, place oil and chopped veggies in skillet. Cook till mushrooms are nicely cooked and shrunken. Add remaining stock and pepper - simmer for at least 30 minutes uncovered.

Add in the barley and simmer for about 5 minutes longer (I skipped this step).

Let each person salt to their taste.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Raw Oatmeal

The above picture was taken from here. Isn't it lovely!!!

We had something similar to this last year. My daughter and I actually prefer it to cooked oatmeal. Plus, you make it ahead of time which means instant breakfast. Here's the recipe. You can skip the kefir or yogurt all together and just up your juice a bit.

1/2 cup rolled (thick) oats
1/4 cup kefir or 1/8 cup vanilla yogurt (stoneyfield)
1/4 cup apple juice or cider
2 Tablespoons almonds whole or chopped
2 Tablespoons raisins, gogi berries, craisins,etc...

Mix all together and cover. Keep in fridge overnight and eat in the morning.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Tuna Salad

Yesterday for lunch we couldn't figure out what to make . We ended up getting a can of tongul tuna (actually 2) out of the cupboard and mixing in some olive oil based mayo and sweet pickle relish. We placed it on a bed of spinach and tomatoes that were drizzled with a bit of olive oil and apple cider vinegar. Yum!

My Husband's Pizza Making Skills!

While not feeling well the other day, I had started the pizza dough in my bread machine for my dh. He said he would gladly make us some pizza. Now I made the same old pizza dough recipe and had made the same old sauce that I keep in the freezer. However, Matt's pizza was way better. I have no idea what he did different. From now on, he'll make the pizza. lol.

Check in older posts for the dough and sauce recipe. You won't be sorry.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Gnocchi with 'French Toast'

We did this for school not too long ago. Here's the recipes for what we made.

Gnocchi with homemade sauce. We also made italian style French Toast. While the gnocchi was the most time consuming part of this meal, it was very fun.

Sagano's - Japanese Restaurant

So can I just say I will never again mistake Japanese food being like Chinese. This was my first experience and it was wonderful!

I'm in love! We went to a room that had a grill in it. I ended up getting Hibachi Chicken.

We started out with a chicken broth based soup with mushrooms and a few other unrecognizable things in it. I could have eaten that all night.

Next was a basic salad of iceberg lettuce with cabbage, onion and a slice of tomato. I'm not sure what the dressing was but it was very thin and a brown color. The flavor was out of this world!

Next "the man" cooking for us grilled veggies and noodles separately. The noodles had some kind of sauce. Both amazing! He also gave us each two kinds of sauce to dip our food in. One was a orange type color and was creamy. I loved it. The next was more watery and a brownish red. Didn't like that as well.

Next he grilled our fried rice and chicken.

This had to have been the most enjoyable restarant experience I've had in a long time. If you're ever in Michigan in the Flint area, check out Sagano's.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


I altered the recipe I found online a bit. It was a huge hit for the kids and for my husband as well. They went nuts on it. My 2 year old son asked for 4 helpings. lol. The best part about this is that if you have a family of 5 or less, there's plenty of leftovers.

1 can meijer organic traditional pasta sauce
1 can meijer organic roasted garlic pasta sauce
1 diced onion
1 lb ground beef - we use free range so it doesn't really cook down.
1/2 cup water
16oz package mostoccioli noodles
1 12oz package mozzarella cheese - shredded
freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1. Brown ground beef with onion and grind fresh pepper into the meat.

2. While meat is browning, start water boiling for noodles. Prepare according to the directions on the package.

3. When meat is cooked through, pour both cans of sauce and 1/2 cup water into skillet. Simmer for 10 minutes.

4. When noodles are done cooking, drain and pour into sauce mixture. Mix together well.

5. Pour noodles into a greased casserole dish and sprinkle a thin layer of freshly grated parm. cheese on top.

6. Top with mozz. cheese and bake at 375 degrees for about 20-25 minutes.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Chicken Taco's

I got this recipe from Deb off of These were fabulous! My husband said that it was good enough to even eat on his own or in a chicken chili. He really, really loved this as did we all. You'll see two pictures above. The one with the lettuce on it was his. He said I needed a picture of his on the site because it was "prettier". lol! Here's the recipe.

1 lb frozen boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 can tomatoes and chili's
1 packet taco seasoning

Place chicken in crock pot.

Mix together tomatoes and taco seasoning and dump over chicken.

Cover with lid and cook for 8 hours. The directions I had said cook on high for 8 hours. My crockpot cooks very fast so I only had to cook on low for 4 1/2 hours.

Serve with your regular taco toppings and enjoy! And once again Deb, thanks so much for the amazing recipe! This is definately a keeper for our family.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Burgers and Asparagus

The key to a good burger is a few things.

Good meat - we get ours from Turtlebee Farms in Michigan. I can't say enough good things about this business. They are such a wonderful family. We LOVE their honey as well. To contact Tim and Kathy at Turtlebee Farms click here.

Grilled buns - This is definately key.

Good cheese - not that american cheese slices stuff. I mean real cheese. I had muenster and cheddar on mine while dh has pepperjack.

Those are the main things for a good burger. Anything else can follow. Today I made carmelized onions to go on the top of the burgers. They are so simple to make. I have some refined coconut oil (flavorless) that I put in the bottom of my skillet followed by thinly sliced onion. You just cook that on medium/low heat till it browns up good.

We also picked some yummy tomatoes from the garden. Delicious!

On to the asparagus. In my opinion this is the only way to eat it. Here's how you make it.

Lemon Asparagus
Fresh or frozen asparagus
Olive oil

Put spears into a pan and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Grill till desired doneness.

Remove onto serving platter and squeeze fresh lemon juice on the top.

This is absolutely fantastic. I hope you enjoy this meal as much as I do.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Salad with Chicken

I didn't want to say Chicken Salad because once I do people think of chopped chicken with a mayo base that you put on bread. Anyway, we are up to our ears in cherry tomatoes and had to use them up. Ok maybe not that many, but we still always have tomatoes to use up. Here's what we put on our salad for lunch.

Salad fixings:
cherry tomatoes
chicken strips
hard boiled eggs
cheddar cheese
and i put tater tots on mine.

Yes that's what I said, tater tots. When visiting a relative in Pennsylvania they made a salad for us. It had all the regular salad fixings including chicken. The one thing that threw us back was that they put french fries on the salad. Oddly enough it was very good. So, having leftover tater tots I decided to heat them on the stove with some olive oil and put them on my salad. It was very yummy.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Granola Bars - Our Favorite!!

These are bar-none our favorite granola bar. Not only are they yummy but they are pretty healthy too. Just make sure to mix ingredients well, pat down hard and not overbake:)

4 cups oatmeal
2 cups unbleached flour
1-2 tablespoons flax meal, oat bran or wheat germ (optional)
1/4 cup raw agave nectar (or sugar)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup olive or coconut oil
3/4 cup honey
chocolate chips

Mix dry ingredients first, then add wet ingredients. Make sure to stir very well till everything is totally combined.

Pour into a greased cake pan and press down firmly to make sure bars stay together after they are baked.

Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes or till the top is puffy and soft. Do not brown or they will turn out hard.

Cut while still warm.

Easy, Peasy Guacamole

This guacamole has gotten raving reviews everywhere we go. The awesome thing is it's so simple to make!

Mash 1 avocado and mix in 1 Tablespoon organic salsa (we use Meijer). I sometimes like to add in some fresh lemon juice as well.

Serve with fresh tortilla chips. Mmmm!!!

Everyone's Favorite Salad

My dear friend and alternative practitioner came over awhile ago and we made this salad.

chopped avocado
chopped tomatoes
red onion
spinach (I used romaine this time)
pine nuts

For the dressing she used olive oil, lemon juice and garlic. This time I just used olive oil and apple cider vinegar.

This was such a lovely and refreshing salad. We made some tuna salad and I ate that with it. So yummy! You can also see how beautiful it looks.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


This is so yummy! This is my favorite dish to get at the local Middle Eastern restaurant. I will have to say that after making this for the first time I would make twice the amount of caramelized onions and only puree some of them. I'm making the changes in the recipe below so you don't have to. Please forgive the horrible pix - the lighting was so wrong.

1 cup lentils
1/3 cup rice
3 1/2 cups water
2 large onions
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil or coconut oil
salt and pepper to taste

Put lentils, rice and water in saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cover. Cook for about 50 mins or till rice and lentils are tender.

Meanwhile, slice your onions and put them in a skillet with oil. Cook over medium/low heat till carmelized. This will take about 35 minutes or so. Stir occasionally.

When onions are done, blender all but 1/4 - 1/3 cup. Mix in with cooked lentils and rice and season with salt and pepper and cook for 5 more minutes. When serving, serve remaining onions on the top.

The rice and lentils should not have any liquid in them. If they get done too quickly like mine did, just drain out water.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Coconut Milk Ice Cream

I was told about this ice cream from a dear friend, Mindy Wade. I was looking for a dairy and soy free dessert. Not wanting either one is very hard to find. She told me about this coconut milk ice cream and I thought I'd get a pint while at Whole Foods. To my surprise it was not only on sale, but the flavor was lovely! My son and I both loved it very much. We got the coconut flavored ice cream which had flakes of coconut in it. Mmm! I'm hoping that each time we make the trip down to Whole Foods, we can get a new flavor to try.

You can visit their online site here to see what they offer as well as get money saving coupons. A pint on sale cost $3.99.

Green Smoothie

I've been on a lot of sites lately that tell of the importance of green smoothies. Today we had our first one; Jon and I. It was flat leaf parsley and frozen banana with just a bit of water. It actually tastes quite good. Now if I could just find a cheap Blendtec or Vitamix....

Below are some links about green smoothies.

Green Smoothie Day 1:
Handful of parsley and frozen banana with a little water.

Day 2:
Handful parsley, frozen banana, 3 romaine leaves and a little water.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Steel Cut Oatmeal

This is by far the best oatmeal recipe out there. I love how the oats smell as you're toasting them. We add agave nectar, organic cinnamon and strawberries to our oatmeal.

Steel Cut Oatmeal
Recipe courtesy Alton Brown
Show: Good Eats
Episode: Oat Cuisine
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup steel cut oats
3 cups boiling water
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon low-fat buttermilk
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

In a large saucepot, melt the butter and add the oats. Stir for 2 minutes to toast. Add the boiling water and reduce heat to a simmer. Keep at a low simmer for 25 minutes, without stirring.

Combine the milk and half of the buttermilk with the oatmeal. Stir gently to combine and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Spoon into a serving bowl and top with remaining buttermilk, brown sugar, and cinnamon.

Heavenly Whole Wheat Potato Bread

I got this recipe here at recipezaar.

1 1/8 cup warm water
4 Tablespoons butter cut into pieces
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup unbleached flour (not white whole wheat)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 Tablespoons sugar (honey or agave)
1/4 cup dry instant potato flakes
1 1/2 teaspoons yeast

Place all ingredients in bread machine in the order listed. Set for a basic bread. This makes a 1 1/2 pound loaf size.

Oven Baked Chicken

I just found the yummiest recipe today and altered it based on our own taste and ingredients we had on hand. Suffice to say, my husband thought this was the best chicken I have ever made. The crust is very yummy and the inside is very moist. Sorry the pix is so dark. I had no idea it’d turn out that bad.

Mandi’s Oven Baked Chicken
2/3 cup italian bread crumbs
2/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon ground sea salt
1/8 teaspoon (or more) fresh ground pepper
3lbs of chicken - I used boneless breasts
5 tablespoons butter
3 freshly minced garlic cloves

In small pan heat butter and garlic just till the butter is melted and turn off heat.

In a small bowl mix crumbs, cheese, salt and pepper.

Heat your oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or foil). Lightly spray with olive oil (or pam).

Next, dredge chicken first in butter and garlic mixture, then the crumbs. Make sure to pat crumb mixture into chicken so it stays on well. Lay chicken in a single layer on your baking sheet. When you have finished coating all your chicken, mix butter and crumb mixture and sprinkle on top of chicken.

Bake for approx. 1 hour or till chicken is done and juice runs clear.

Homemade Pizza

Matthew loves my homemade pizza which is great because it’s not only healthier than most others you can purchase, but it’s cheaper as well. Everyone in our house now knows that Friday is pizza night and they all look forward to it.

My pizza dough recipe makes 2 - 14 inch round pizza’s. We only use one and freeze the other for the next week. I take the frozen dough out and let thaw in the fridge for two days. The day I’m ready to use it, I let lay out on the counter covered till it warms to room temp, then roll out. The sauce recipe I use makes enough for at least 4 pizzas. I put the rest in baggies and place in the freezer for future use. These can easily be thawed on the stove-top or in the microwave.


Bread Machine Wheat Pizza Dough
1 1/3 cups water
2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups unbleached flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons yeast
1 tablespoon honey

Place ingredients in bread machine according to your machine’s instructions. Start dough cycle which will take anywhere from 1-2 1/2 hours for most machines.

When dough cycle is complete, divide into two equal portions and roll out to fit your pan. You will need to lightly flour your surface to roll out.

Place on baking stone or a lightly greased pizza pan and drizzle lightly with olive oil. Top with sauce and your favorite toppings.

Bake at 450 degrees for about 10-12 minutes.

Pizza Sauce
1(15 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons italian seasoning
2-3 cloves garlic,minced
salt & pepper

The recipe I got this from said to cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes or so. I’ve never done this. I just mix it up and place directly on the pizza dough. This can be frozen and keeps very well.

Pistachio Chicken Salad

I love this salad, however I do not at all like the dressing. Here's the full recipe though.

From the South Beach Diet book:

1/2 cup pistachio nuts, finely ground
1/2 + 1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp + 1 pinch freshly ground pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts halves
2 TBSP coconut oil
1/ cup diced sweet white onion
1 head romaine lettuce

1 tsp grated sweet white onion
1 large, ripe avocado, peeled and pitted
3 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
3 TBSP lime juice
1 TBSP water

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix nuts in a pie plate with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper. Press the chicken into the mixture. Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a skillet and cook the coated breasts 2 minutes on each side. Place the breasts in a baking dish and bake for 15 minutes or until done. Heat the remaining oil in a skillet over high heat. Add the diced onion and the remaining salt and pepper. Cook until onion is browned. Line four plates with the lettuce. Slice the chicken breasts and arrange on breast on top of each salad. Sprinkle the onion on top of that. Serve with the dressing

Dressing: Puree all ingredients in a blender till smooth.

Healthier Roast

This has to be my favorite roast by far!

New! Easy, Healthy Roast!

I just found this recipe online and tweaked it a bit.
1 roast
1 onion sliced
1 package baby carrots
4 smashed garlic cloves
evoo (extra virgin olive oil)
fresh ground pepper
fresh ground sea salt
dried thyme

Season both sides of meat with pepper and salt.

Drizzle a warm pan with olive oil and brown meat on both sides, putting in the onion and garlic after you’ve flipped the roast once.

Drizzle the bottom of your baking dish with olive oil and place the roast inside with the onions and garlic around the dish. Pepper roast again.

Pour in bag of carrots and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and thyme.

Cover with parchment paper and seal well. Bake for about 3 hours or till cooked through and tender.

Bok Choy

Just within the past few months we've been eating bok choy. Before I had heard of it but had no clue what it was. We make it very simply. If you're looking for a way to get calcium - here it is!

Bok Choy
Chopped up stalk and leaves (separately)
soy sauce
olive oil

Put a little olive oil in the bottom of your saucepan and heat on medium.

Put in chopped up stalks and cook for a bit till desired tenderness - we like ours a little crunchy.

Add in the leaves till they get wilty and also add in a few splashes of soy sauce.

It's that easy! This is a lovely side dish that the kids and I love.

Falafel with Tahini Sauce

Ok so I cheated on the Falafel by using a mix. If you want a recipe for falafel, check here.

The recipe for the sauce was also found at the above site but I paired it down.

Tahini Sauce
1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup water
parsley (optional)

Mix all together and enjoy on your Falafel. Many recipes call for the falafel to be placed on pita bread and spread with the sauce. I like to skip the bread all-together. I definitely like to have the sauce with the falafel instead of eating it plain.

We paired this with hummus and dates.

Monday, August 18, 2008

El Rancho Chicken

I got this recipe from Very lovely site.

3 cups cooked, cubed chicken
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can tomatoes and chili's
1 chopped pepper
1 chopped onion
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
pepper to taste
shredded cheddar cheese

Put all ingredients except cheese and tortilla's in the crockpot and cook on low for 5-7 hours. Serve in tortilla's with cheese.

We've always liked this but I find it's a bit soupy. I think next time I'll drain the tomatoes.