Thursday, December 10, 2009

Giant Green Salad

I recently had this at a big family dinner.....and loved it!
It's great for winter - you only need fresh lettuce and a pepper.

The recipe is to serve 85 ! :)
In black is the original quantities.
In red is 1/4 of the recipe.

3 T. butter (2 tsp.- 1 T.)
4 cups walnut halves (1 cup)
1/4 cup sugar (1 T.)
4 bunches romaine lettuce (1)
16 cups torn leaf lettuce (4 cups)
6 cups dried cranberries (1 1/2 cups)
4 medium, sweet, yellow peppers (1)
4 cups (16 oz) crumbled feta (1 cup or 4 oz)

4 envelopes Italian salad dressing mix (1)
2 cups vegetable or canola oil (1/2 cup)
1 cup balsamic vinegar (1/4 cup)
3/4 cup water (4 T + 1 tsp)

In heavy skillet, melt butter. Add walnuts. Cover over medium until toasted, about 4 minutes. Sprinkle with sugar; cook and stir for 2-4 minutes or until sugar is melted. Spread on foil to cool.

Meanwhile, combine salad ingredients. In a jar with tight lid, combine dressing ingredients. Shake well. Drizzle over salad and toss to coat. (I only used about 1/2 the dressing.) Sprinkle with sugared walnuts.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Chicken spezzatino ( italian soup-stew)

This is a healthy favorite at our house. It's from Giada Delaurantis's Everyday Italian cookbook.

2 Tbs. olive Oil
2 celery stalks, cut into bite-size pieces
1 carrot, peeled and cut into bite-size pieces
1 small onion, chopped
1 tsp. salt, plus more to taste
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
1 (14 1/2 oz)can chopped tomatoes with their juices
1 (14 oz)can chicken broth
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces
1 Tbs tomato paste
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
2 chicken breasts with ribs ( about 1 1/2 pounds total)
1 (15 oz)can kidney beans ( I like to use the little white canelinni beans)

In a heavy 5 quart sauce pan, heat the oil over a meduim flame. Add the celery, carrot, and onion, and saute until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the salt and pepper. Stir in the tomatoes, broth, basil, tomato paste, bay leaf, and thyme. Add the chicken and press to submerge. Bring the liquid to a simmer gently, uncovered , turning the breasts over and stirring occasionally, until the chicken isalmost cooked through, about 20 minutes. add the beans and simmer until the chicken is cooked through and the liquid has reduced to a stew consistancy, about 10 minutes. Discard teh bay leaf. Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes. Discard the skin and bones and cut the meat into bite size pieces. Return it to the stew and bring to a simmer. Add salt and pepper to taste if needed. I like to top it with parmesean cheese!

* I just use boneless chicken breasts. I also double the batch while I'm at it and freeze the rest

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Sausage Stuffing

Since Thanksgiving is right around the corner, thought I would post my favorite stuffing recipe. I rarely get to make it, unless I go home for Thanksgiving, because my mom-in-law takes care of most everything for Thanksgiving. This one is so yummy, I could eat it alone for dinner. Enjoy!

Sausage Stuffing

1lb. sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
1/2c. Butter
3 cups onion, chopped
2cups celery, chopped
1T fresh sage, chopped
2T fresh parsley, chopped
6 cups plain croutons
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
1/4c. real maple syrup (you don't want mrs. butterworth to be spread on this stuff) ;)
2 cups dried cherries or cranberries
1 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
2 cups chicken stock, plus extra as needed
2 T fresh thyme, chopped
salt and pepper

Saute sausage in a large skillet over medium-high heat until cooked through, crumbling sausage with the back of a spoon, about 10 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Transfer sausage with a slotted spoon to a large bowl. Discard sausage fat in pan. Add butter, onions, and celery to skillet and saute until tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Add to sausage, along with herbs and croutons, mix to combine.
In a medium bowl, combine allspice, maple syrup, cherries, and pecans, and chicken stock. Add to crouton mixture. The mixture should be moist, but not soggy. Add more chicken stock, if necessary. Transfer stuffing to a large baking dish and cover with foil. Bake for 1 hour. Uncover and bake for another 20 minutes, or until top is golden

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Chipotle-Pumpkin Black Bean Soup

 Hey Ladies! We are big fans of soup this time of year at our house. I have been craving pumpkin anything, and decided to try this soup from EveryDay with Rachel Ray Magazine. It was really good! And, super duper easy and quick to throw together. I baked 2 chicken breasts earlier in the day, and shredded them to add to the soup. (Around here, it's not much of a meal unless it has some MEAT.) It was a tad on the spicy side for the kids with a whole chipotle...I think next time I'd use a smidge less of that or at least leave out the seeds. They ate it, I just gave them a bit more  sour cream and tortilla chips to tame it down. I skipped the apple salsa, I'm sure it would've been good, but I just didn't do it. You could also skip the fancy cranberry sour cream and just use a dollop of regular sour cream or plain yogurt. It was good, but an ingredient you don't really have to have. It says it feeds 4, but we had enough for the two of us (we each had two bowls) and the two kids, and we each will have a bowl for lunch tomorrow. Yummy!
  • 4 Servings
  • Prep 10 min


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 large cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped
  • 1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce, finely chopped, 1 tablespoon sauce reserved
  • 1 bottle Mexican beer, such as Negra Modelo
  • One 15-ounce can pure pumpkin puree
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin (1/2 palmful)
  • 2 pinches ground cinnamon
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 cups chicken broth (I only used 2 cups, I like my soup a little on the thick side)
  • One 15-ounce can black beans, drained
  • 1 green apple, finely chopped
  • 1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeño chile, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped cilantro (a generous handful)
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup whole berry cranberry sauce
  • Corn tortilla chips (a couple of generous handfuls), lightly crushed (optional)


  1. In a soup pot, heat the EVOO, 2 turns of the pan, over medium-high heat. Add the yellow onion, garlic and chipotle with its sauce and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add the beer and cook until reduced by half, 3 minutes. Stir in the pumpkin, cumin, cinnamon and salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the chicken broth and beans and simmer for 10 minutes.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the apple, red onion, jalapeño, cilantro and lime juice. In another bowl, combine the sour cream and cranberry sauce.
  3. Serve the soup in bowls and top with the apple salsa, cranberry sour cream and tortilla chips, if using.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Tortellini Sausage Soup

I have a new favorite recipe blog, designed by our friend, Shannon....Our Best Bites! Love all the recipes on it. I've made this soup twice in the last week and we all LOVE it!

Click HERE for the recipe!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Easy Chili Pie

If you're not completely sick of beans after last week's rice and beans fast, this recipe is a perfect fall or winter meal. I got it from a Real Simple magazine a few years ago and it's been a favorite in our house ever since!

1 lb. sweet Italian chicken sausage, casings removed
1 T. chili powder
2 15-oz. cans of kidney beans in sauce (I usually use chili beans instead-not canned chili, just chili beans)
1/2 cup hot salsa
1 8-1/2 oz. box of corn bread mix, plus required ingredients (like Jiffy)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1.) Heat oven to 400 degrees.

2.) Cook sausage over medium heat in an oven-safe skillet (such as cast iron), breaking up the meat until it's no longer pink. Drain the fat.

3.) Add chili powder and cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Add beans and salsa. Heat to boiling.

4.) Meanwhile, prepare corn-bread mix according to the label directions. Stir in cheddar cheese.

5.) Remove chili from heat and spread corn-bread mixture over the chili.

6.) Place skillet in the oven and bake 15-20 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

If you don't have a cast iron or oven-safe skillet, you can also transfer the chili to a casserole dish before it goes into the oven.


Sunday, September 27, 2009

Lentils and Brown Rice

I thought this one looked good too!

Week of Rice and Beans

Hey girls...thought I'd copy and paste the recipes listed on the church website for this week's Rice and Beans fast. It will be interesting feeding kids for the week, I'm doing my best to find some recipes to keep in interesting for my family. I would love to hear some other tips and ideas you all have!

Here's the recipes Summit View posted (I will definitely be trying the sticky rice pancakes for breakfast!

Week of Rice, Beans & Water Recipes

Make beans and rice following directions on item
Spice using one of the following: Tumeric (makes yellow rice), Cumin, Curry, Ceyenne Pepper, Red Pepper Flakes
Black Beans & Rice
1 medium onion
1 TB oil
1 c long grain rice, uncooked
2 c water
Favorite seasonings
1 can black beans
1. Sauté' onion in oil. Add water and rice. Cover and simmer 20 minutes or until rice is cooked.
2. Add seasoning mix & beans and cook until heated through. Mix well.
Red Beans & Curried Rice
1/2 c. dried onions
1 lg. can kidney beans
1 c. water
Red pepper flakes optional
Salt and black pepper
Simmer all ingredients for 15 minutes on very low heat. Serve over curried rice (see below).

Curried Rice
Prepare rice according to package directions. To boiling water add 1-2 tablespoon curry powder, 1/4 cup water and 1/2 cup dried onions.

Congri (Rice & Black Beans)
1 T Olive oil
½ Cup Dried Onions
1/4 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. cumin
1 bay leaf
1 (16 oz.) can black beans, including liquid
1 1/2 c. long grain rice, uncooked
2 1/4 c. water
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vinegar

Mix olive oil, onion, oregano, cumin and bay leaf in pan; sauté for five minutes. Add black beans, including liquid; simmer for three minutes. Add water, salt, vinegar and rice; reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 20 minutes.
Makes about 8 cups.

Cuban Black Beans and Rice

1 lb. dry black beans
8 c. water
½ Cup Chopped Onion
2 T Chopped Garlic
1/2 c. olive oil
3 bay leaves
1 tbsp. salt
1/2 c. vinegar

Wash beans thoroughly and soak in four cups of water overnight. Keep the water for cooking and add 4 more cups of water.

Combine all ingredients except vinegar. Cook on stove with low heat until beans are tender and the liquid has thickened. Takes 3-5 hours. Serve over rice with vinegar.

Sticky Rice Pancakes
Make sticky rice by increasing water amount by one-third (cook otherwise according to package directions).
Refrigerate overnight. In the morning form into patties or cakes. Pan-fry in oil.

Some of my own thoughts:

I was chatting with Lisa at church this morning. She said her kids love to munch on Chickpeas (aka Garbanzo beans) right out of the can for a snack. I have also seen this recipe that I want to try this week for munchies (I think I will try cinnamon instead of "spicy" for the kids):

Spicy Roasted Chickpeas

After making a few batches, I want to stress how important it is to pat dry the chickpeas after draining and rinsing them; the goal is to get a good crunch to the chickpeas, and they will not achieve it if they are damp.

1 15-ounce can chickpeas
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
1/2 teaspoon spice of your choice (I am keen on curry powder, chipotle chile powder or garam masala)

Preheat the oven to 375F.

Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Transfer to a large dry dish towel and pat dry.

In a medium bowl toss the chickpeas with the olive oil, salt and spices of your choice. Toss to coat, then spread in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet.

Roast for 34-38 minutes, checking them frequently in the last 10 minutes (you want them crunchy, not burnt :)). Makes about 1 and 1/2 cups.

Here's another that I found that I'm going to try: (I will substitute black beans or some the cashews and maybe skip the raisins/currants.)

Indian Rice Pilaf
Brown Rice Pilaf with Indian Spices & Cashews

If you think you don;t like brown rice, my guess is that you haven't tried long-grain brown rice. It's light and fluffy, takes less time to cook than the short-grain varieties, and, because it is relatively pale in color once cooked, you can serve it to small children and significant others without notice or complaint. The rice here turns a brilliant shade of yellow thanks to the addition of the turmeric.

2 tablespoons canola oil, divided use
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 and 1/4 cups brown long grain rice
2 and 1/2 cups vegetable broth or water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
3/4 cup cashews
1/2 cup currants or chopped raisins

Heat 2 teaspoons of the oil in a medium saucepan or covered skillet. Add the spices and sauté for 15-30 seconds until fragrant. Add the rice; cook and stir 1 minute. Stir in the water or broth, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until liquid is completely absorbed, about 35-40 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a large skillet. Add the onions and sauté for 10-12 minutes until browned.

Remove covered pan with the rice from heat and let sit 10 minutes; uncover and fluff with fork. Transfer to a large bowl, add the currants, cashews and onions and toss to combine. Season to taste with salt & pepper. Makes 6 servings.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Blueberry Bran Muffins

These are very yummy and healthy muffins!

1 & 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour or unbleached flour
3/4 cup oat bran or wheat bran
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup vanilla or lemon nonfat yogurt
2 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4-1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
I also add 1-2 tablespoons of flax meal

1) Combine the flour, bran, sugar, baking soda, and baking powder, and stir to mix well. Add the yogurt, egg whites, and vanilla extract, and stir just until the dry ingredients are moistened. Fold in the blueberries.

2) Coat muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray, or use muffin cups, and fill 3/4 full with the batter. Bake at 350 degrees for 16-18 minutes, or just until a wooden toothpick comes out clean.

3) Remove the muffin tin from the oven and allow it to sit for 5 minutes before removing the muffins. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Kid's Favorite Cornflake Chicken

Sometimes we make things and forget about them, even if they are great. Seems to be happening to me a lot lately! Benjamin reminded me of a recipe I used to make. Cornflake Chicken! All the kids, and adults gobbled it up. I used chicken tenderloins bc it was easy to defrost and they were already in small pieces, but you could use breasts cut up or any cut of meat, really.

Cornflake Chicken
2 Tbsp butter + 1/4-1/2 c butter
1/2 c crushed corn flakes cereal, maybe a little more
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1.5 lbs cut up chicken in strips or tenderloins

Heat oven to 400. Melt 2 Tbsp butter in 9 x 13 pan. Take out when melted to make sure it doesn't burn. Crush corn flakes. I put enough to fill a ziplock sandwich bag. Zip the bag, with air pushed out , crush with rolling pin. Mix flakes, paprika, salt and pepper. Melt 1/4 c butter in bowl, melt more as needed. Dip chicken in butter, then roll in corn flake mixture. Place in 9 x 13 pan. Bake on 400 for about 20 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken. Test frequently so they don't dry out. Don't turn, otherwise the corn flakes fall off. Serve with BBQ, ranch, ketchup, etc.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Zucchini Side

Made this with dinner tonight and it was so stinkin yummy.  

Zucchini sliced and then sliced again in halves.  
Red Bell pepper chunks
1 garlic clove, crushed or chopped
olive oil
chopped fresh basil
fresh parmesan

Saute  olive oil and garlic for a couple minutes and then add zucchini, red bell pepper.  Finish with fresh basil and parmesan.  Sprinkle with lots of kosher salt and pepper.  So good.  

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Is anyone still looking at this blog? :-)
If you are, you're in for a treat.....
and a way to use up all of that zucchini your neighbor keeps giving you.
I found this recipe at,
but then of course I changed it up again.
It is delicious gluten-free......
even my friends ate it,
but feel free to just use regular flour.

3 eggs
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup oil (I used 1/3 canola and coconut for the rest)
2 cups zucchini, grated
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp xanthum gum (only if you use gluten free flour-otherwise leave it out!)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup cocoa
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 spoonful of sour cream. (because I cut the amount of sugar in half, you should add a little more "liquid". I just take a regular spoon and scoop out some light sour cream. Very exact I know! Just do'll be ok.)

Mix all ingredients together and bake in a 9x13 in cake pan (sprayed) for 25-35 minutes at 350 or until toothpick comes out clean. Frost with favorite chocolate frosting. The first time I baked it for 30. My oven time is always right in the middle. The toothpick was clean, but the center of my cake was not done. You might want to go just a couple minutes longer than a clean toothpick.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Cowboy Beans

I recently took these beans to a party and was asked several times for the recipe. It makes quite a bit, but I often double it for a really big crowd. I've even froze the left overs before and that works ok. If I double it, I don't always double all of the meat. So there's no science here, just dump in some beans and heat 'em up. And.....I never said they were good for you.....just yummy!

Cowboy Beans

Mix the following together in the bottom of the crock-pot
1/2 c. ketchup
2 T. vinegar
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 t. salt
1 t. dry mustard

In skillet combine:
1 lb hamburger
1 c. chopped onion
1 lb. cooked, chopped bacon
Drain and put in crock-pot

1 qrt pork and beans
1 can kidney beans (drained)
1 can butter or navy beans (drained)

Mix together and heat on low 5-8 hours.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Cheesy Beef and Rice

Just to give credit where credit is due,
I found this at

It was a great meal to put together earlier in the day, then pop in the oven on busy night.
We all really liked it!

1 cup long grain brown rice
1 lb ground beef
3 T. minced onion, or fresh chopped onion
1/2 t. garlic powder
sea salt, to taste
1 cup sour cream (light worked great)
1/3 cup milk
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Boil two cups of water. Stir in rice. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes.
Brown ground beef with onion and garlic powder. Mix with rice and salt well. Stir in sour cream and milk. Spread into a casserole dish. Sprinkle cheese on top. Cover well and freeze.

To bake: Thaw casserole. Place uncovered in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes, or until bubbly.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Better for You Molasses Cookies

My girls really liked these and Steve said they're "pretty good".

3/4 c. molasses
1/4 c. honey
2 T. brown sugar
1 egg

Mix: then add:

2 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
2 t. soda
2 heaping T. milled flax seed
2 t. ginger
1/2 t cloves
1/4 t. salt

Have Quality Control test the dough

Roll dough into balls. Roll into sugar if desired.
(I just dipped the tops in sugar. Sometimes if you roll them, the sugar on the bottom burns)

Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes
Place them immediately onto a dish towel to keep them from getting crispy on the edges.

Posted by Picasa

Monday, April 20, 2009

THE Granola Bar recipe you have been looking for!

I have been on a quest for the perfect granola bar recipe for about a year and tried many. I found this one, and I'm DONE searching! It's perfect! Meredith shared it at Great Ideas Day, too. SO good, your kids won't even know it's not the Quaker chewy kind. Using the regular version of the recipe, I figured it cost me $1.12 to make 12 bars.

Homemade Cliff Bars (no bake!) from

There is plenty of room for variation here, so let your mind and tastebuds run wild. I have a few variation ideas to get you started. And yes, you can definitely double this recipe and press into a 13x9-inch pan instead of an 8-inch pan.

1 and 1/4 cups crisp rice cereal (e.g., Rice Krispies)
1 cup uncooked quick-cooking oats
3 tablespoons ground flaxseed (flaxseed meal)don't overdo the flax, it makes them crumbly
1/4 cup finely chopped dried fruit (e.g., raisins, dried cranberries, dried cherries, etc.)
1/4 cup finely chopped nuts (preferably roasted or toasted)
1/4 cup brown rice syrup (or honey, maple syrup, or light molasses)-I use honey, and maybe a tablespoon more than this calls for...
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1/3 cup nut butter (e.g., peanut, almond, cashew, soynut)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Optional: 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Combine the rice cereal, oats, flaxseed meal, dried fruit, and nuts in a large bowl.

Bring the syrup and brown sugar to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring constantly; remove from heat. Stir in nut butter and vanilla until blended.

Pour nut butter mixture over cereal mixture, stirring until coated (mixture will be stiff). Press mixture firmly into an 8-inch square pan (sprayed with nonstick cooking spray) using a large square of wax paper. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Cut into 12 bars. (Wrap bars tightly in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator).

Nutrition per serving (1 bar):
Calories 228; Fat 7.4g (poly 2.3g, mono 4.1g, sat 0.9g); Protein 10.8g; Cholesterol 5mg; Carbohydrate 34.3g; Sodium 156mg)
(Note: I did the nutrition analysis using Diet Analysis Plus 7.0.1)

Chocolate Chip Cookie
Replace the dried fruit with an equal amount of semisweet miniature chocolate chips (or carob chips). Combine the cereal mixture with the syrup mixture, then let the combined mixture stand 10 minutes before adding the chips.

Peanut Butter Cookie
Use chopped dates for the dried fruit and dry roasted peanuts for the nuts. Use honey, or half honey-half molasses for the syrup and peanut butter for the nut butter.

Will You Cherry Me?
Use chopped dried tart cherries for the fruit and lightly salted roasted almonds for the nuts. Use any nut butter (almond butter is great, but I know, very expensive, and add 1/4 teaspoon almond extract.

Apple Pie
Use chopped dried apples for the fruit and rice syrup or honey for the syrup. Be sure to add the cinnamon option, and use toasted walnuts or pecans for the nuts.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Chicken Chow Mein

I can't believe that I have not posted this yet. It is one of my favorites. This is how I discovered that my son loves sugar snap peas. I also like that you use Chinese egg noodles instead of Yakisoba. I got this from my baby food cookbook called, "First Meals." I love the cute presentations of food in there and with my kids, it is how you present it sometimes.

1 large chicken breast (I use about 3 Costco)
1/4 lb fine Chinese egg noodles (found in the asian section, I use the whole bag)
1 Tbsp veg. oil
1 1/2 Tbsp sesame oil
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
1 1/3 cups shiitake mushrooms
1 1/4 cups sugar snap peas
1/2 small red pepper, cut into thin strips
1/2 cup baby sweet corn, cut into quarters
4 green onions, finely sliced
1 cup zucchini
1 cup bean sprouts (I don't use these)

2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp sake (I just use more soy sauce)
1 Tbsp soft brown sugar
(If using more chicken, double the marinade)

Mix together the ingredients for the marinade and marinate the chicken for 10 minutes. Strain and reserve the marinade. Cook the noodles in boiling, lightly salted water according to the instructions on the package, then set aside.
Heat the heat vegatable oil in a wok or frying pan and stir-fry the chicken for 5-6 minutes and set aside.
Heat the sesame oil in the wok. Add the garlic and stir-fry for a few seconds. Add the shiitake mushrooms, sugar-snap peas , red pepper, and baby corn and cook for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the green onions, zucchini, and bean sprouts and continue to cook for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the chicken and noodles together with the reserved marinade. Stir-fry for 1-2 minutes or until the noodles are completely heated through.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Best Ever Banana Bread

Mix together these ingredients first:
3-4 (I usually use 4) very ripe bananas (think brown and spotty on the counter that no one wants to eat - you can also freeze the entire banana and pull out 4 and set them on the counter until they frost and then turn black - just cut off an end with your kitchen scissors and slide the banana "goo" into the bowl)
1/2 cup healthy oil (I use EVOO but you could use another type of oil, too)
3/4 cup 100% maple syrup (not the Aunt Jemima variety)- (*if you don't have real maple syrup you can add 1 cups of sugar but increase the water to 6 TBSP)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla (real is best)
3 TBSP water
Once blended in mixer add the following mixed together dry ingredients:
2 cups flour (I use all-purpose but you could try whole wheat or another variety)
1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 t. baking soda
Once blended you can add 1/2 c. nuts (pecans or walnuts) if you like or, as I do, a small handful of chocolate chips.
Spray two normal loaf pans with non-stick cooking spray and bake your 2 loaves at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Tamara's Healthy Cookies

1 cup healthy oil (i.e. olive, walnut, grapeseed - I used EVOO)
1 - 1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana (or unsweetened applesauce)
1 - 1 1/2 cup honey or agave
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
3 cups whole wheat flour (I used 2 1/2 cups and added 1/2 cup all purpose flour because I ran out of whole wheat flour - but you could use all whole wheat flour - you might try using whole wheat pastry flour for a lighter cookie, but I didn't)
2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. sea salt (I used regular salt)
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
6 cups rolled oats (not quick cooking)
1-2 cups walnuts (I ommitted this and used shredded dry coconut from the bulk bins at Fred Meyers - I don't care for nuts)
2 cups raisins or craisins (I used craisins from Costco which probably do have some sugar in them)
For a sweeter treat add 1- 1 1/2 cups "chips" - I used semi-sweet but you could use white or dark or carob chips, too.

Scoop with a tablespoon onto a greased cookie sheet - flatten cookie - I used my fingers - it is pretty sticky - you could use a glass dipped in flour, too - dip between each cookie -

Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes. This makes approximately 60 cookies so you can half this recipe if that is too many. These freeze well and are very filling and satisfying - you could also probably make these into bars by pressing the dough into a Texas sheetcake pan and cutting into bars -- I might try experimenting with adding some protein powder to them, too...

Monday, March 16, 2009

Sushi night

Thought I could get some help from some friends about sushi. Sorry if you don't like it, please don't respond. For those that do, I am having a sushi night at my house with my husbands family. We are all making sushi and bringing our creations to share. I need votes on what is a favorite type. I was thinking about making:
-spicy tuna
-california roll
-candy roll
-shrimp and avacado roll

Any other favorites out there? Let me know. Thanks Amber

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Cooking blog

hey girls,

I've been having so much fun finding recipes on one of my new favorite cooking blogs, Picky Palate. She has such great, easy recipes that are perfect for everyday or entertaining. She is creative, uses great flavor combinations, and is fun to read. Not only that but her blog was designed by our very own eightcrazy!

So if you want a little of this... BBQ Chicken Salad Stack

or this.....White Chocolate Raspberry Blondies

or this...Girl Scout Thin Mint Cookie Cheesecake Cups

Go check her out!


Thursday, March 12, 2009

Honey Oatmeal Cookies - uses no refined sugars!

I have been looking for some recipes where I could substitute honey for refined sugar and came across some on this website. Appropriately named! I tried this last night and the kids all like them. At first I skipped the step of putting the raisins in the hot tea, but then I realized it was pulling sweetness from the raisins to put in the recipe. Good idea! The first batch I omitted it and they weren't sweet enough. I did in the second batch and they were just right. I didn't put the raisins in the cookies, because my kids would turn their noses at them. I just used the sweetness from them. Give it a try!

Honey Oatmeal Cookies

* 1/2 cup hot tea
* 1 cup raisins
* 2 cups flour (I used a 1/4 to 1/2 c more more bc my cookies were a little flat)
* 1-1/2 cups quick cooking rolled oats
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
* 1/2 cup shortening (I used coconut oil)
* 1/2 cup butter or margarine
* 3/4 cup honey
* 1 egg
* 1 teaspoon vanilla
* 1/2 to 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
* 1 package (6 oz.) chocolate chips, optional


Pour tea over raisins; let stand at least 15 minutes. Combine flour, oats, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg. Mix thoroughly; set aside. Cream shortening and butter; gradually add honey until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Drain raisins; reserve 1/4 cup liquid. Alternately add flour mixture and reserved raisin liquid. Stir in nuts, raisins and chocolate chips. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350°F about 12 minutes or until browned. Let stand one minute on cookie sheet; remove and cool on rack. Store in airtight container.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Whole Wheat Flax 'n Apple Muffins

My family really likes these muffins and they're pretty healthy.

If you haven't had milled flax seed before, buy a box and put some in anything and everything you bake. No one will know it's there, and it's really good for you.

1/4 cup milled flax seed
3/4 cup whole wheat graham flour (I just used whole wheat)
3/4 cup white flour
1/2 cup sugar (I used brown)
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 egg, beaten
1 1/2 cups finely chopped apples
3 Tbsp. oil
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup chopped nuts
(next time Steve says to add cinnamon!)

Blend dry ingredients together in a bowl. In separate bowl; combine egg, oil and milk. Add dry ingredients to egg mixtures until just blended. Fold in apples and nuts. Batter will be thick. Fill wee-greased muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake at 400 for 18-20 minutes.

yield: 12 muffins.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Thanks Girlies

I just wanted to say thanks to all of you who post on here. I must admit that I have not been very good at using the recipes but of only posting them. I am making myself use the blog this week for my weekly dinner menu. It is a lot more easy than thumbing thru my gazillion cook books. Thanks for creating my dinner menu for the week.

Quick Turkey Roll ups

This dish is great for a quick, cheap and kid-friendly lunch or dinner. It's sort of like a poor man's turkey dinner!

Turkey deli-meat (I used the very inexpensive kind and it worked fine)
3 C prepared stuffing
1 can cream of chicken soup mixed with 3/4 C water
cheddar cheese

place stuffing in turkey and roll up. Place seam side down in baking dish. (I used an 8x8) Pour soup mixed with water over top. Top with cheese. Cover and cook or freeze. Thaw and bake covered on 350 for 30 min.

7 Can Dinner

This soup recipe makes a lot, freezes well and tastes SO good!

1 lb ground beef, browned
3 cans Minestrone soup
2 cans ranch beans
1 can Rotel tomatoes
1 can diced tomatoes

Add all to a crock pot and cook on low 6 hours.

Cream Cheese Chicken

This is an easy and really delicious crock pot meal a friend gave me. You're gonna love it! I was told it freezes well too.

4 frozen chicken breasts
2 T melted butter
salt and pepper to taste
2 T dry zesty Italian salad dressing
1 can cream of chicken soup
8 oz. cream cheese cut into 1" cubes
1 T onion, chopped

Place chicken in bottom of crock pot, pout butter and seasonings over chicken. Cook on low 6 hours. 1 hour prior to serving, heat soup, cream cheese and onion in saucepan until smooth. Pour over chicken and continue cooking for 45 min-1 hour. Serve over egg noodles or rice.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Cornflake crusted Halibut

I made this the other night for dinner. The kids loved it and it was super easy to make. I got it from Cooking Light.

1 C fat-free milk
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
2 C Cornflakes, finely crushed
1/4 C all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black peper
2 Tbsp olive oil
4 (6-ounce) halibut fillets
Lemon wedges

To pepare fish, combine milk and egg white in a shallow dish, stirring well with a whisk. Combine cornflakes, flour, salt and pepper in a shallow dish. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Dip fish in milk mixture; dredge in cornflake mixture. Add fish to pan; cook 4 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness. Serve with lemon wedges.

I also served with tarter sauce. I made homemade steak fries and added a salad and fruit and was done. Easy.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Yummyness...tortilla soup and cumin cheddar biscuits

One of my new favorite recipes is this Tortilla Soup recipe from America's Test Kitchen cookbook. (The big fat red one, got mine at costco). This baby is full of great tasty recipes, and many are easy to follow.

Sidebar TIP: I'm trying to cut corners on the ol' grocery bill. I've been picking up whole chickens lately, pretty cheap (about $3 a peice). On a day that I know I'm going to be home, I cook up a whole chicken. For my family of 4, we can get about 3 meals out of one chicken. I use some that night for dinner, I shred up the rest and divide it into a couple of zip top baggies and freeze it. I also LOVE to use chicken broth in recipes. Another way I 've been able to cut back on the old grocery bill is to use the "carcass" of the chicken after I take all the meat off. I use a few carrots, a few stalks of celery and an onion coarsly chopped, and the chicken bones...fill up my pot with water to cover it all up (pretty full pot) and simmer for about an hour. Then I strain the veggies and chicken out of the broth, and freeze the broth in one and 4 cup portions. So, I'm using one $3 chicken for 3-4 meals. Not too bad!

BAck to the recipes!

Tortilla Soup
Prep: 25 min total time 55 min Serves 4 adults (hearty serving)...

Layering is the key in serving it!

1tbsp veg. oil (I use olive)
1 onion minced
1 jalepeno, seeded and minced
1 tbsp chili powder
2 garlic cloves
8 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 lb boneless chicken breast (I use my pre- shredded chicken, making it even quicker)
2 tbsp fresh lime juice (I used a squeezie bottle, it was what I had)
5 oz crushed tortilla chips
3 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
2 ripe avocados, pitted and cut into 1/2 inch chunks
1/2 C fresh cilantro leaves ( I like mine chopped a bit)
( I like to top it with a dollop of sour cream and shredded cheese also)

Heat the oil in a large dutch oven or soup pot. add onion, jalapeno, chili powder and garlic. Coo til onion is soft, about 5 min. Stir in the broth and bring to simmer. Add teh chicken and simmer partially covered until no longer pink, about 15 minutes.

Remove the chicken from broth, and set aside to cool. Continue to simmer broth for 10 minutes. Meanwhile shred the chicken.

Remove broth from heat and stir in lime juice. divide ortions of the totilla chips, chicken, tomatoes, and avocado among individual bowls. ladle the broth over each bowl and sprinkle with cilantro leaves. I like to add a dollop of sour cream and shredded cheese also.

It's really flavorful but not too spicy for kids. Mine love it. (Chip soup, what's not to love!)

NOW, I have a hard time eating soup, without a tasty bread to dunk in it....just the way I was raised. However, with a mexican type soup, it's a little trickier! I found this quick and easy recipe today for biscuits with several of which, cumin and cheddar...PERFECT for mexi flavored soups! And, it's whole wheat to boot, which I'm a big fan of. Darn good biscuits! And, be sure to check out this blog. I found it yesterday, and have already fallen in love with 3 recipes from it. Tasty, Healthy recipes! It's great! She has been on food network competitions and is an award winning cook...good stuff.

Whole Grain Buttermilk Biscuits (with Variations) from

3 cups white whole wheat flour (or all-purpose flour)
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 and 1/2 cups low-fat buttermilk

Preheat oven to 425°F.

In a large bowl whisk the flour, baking powder, sugar, baking soda and salt. Cut in the butter with fingertips or a pastry blender until mixture resembles fresh breadcrumbs. Add buttermilk, stirring with a fork until just until moistened.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead lightly 4 times. Roll dough to a 3/4-inch thickness and cut with a 2 1/2-inch biscuit cutter. Place on a baking sheet. Bake 12-13 minutes or until golden. Makes 12 biscuits.

Nutrition per Serving (1 biscuit):
Calories 173; Fat 5.2g (poly 0.3g, mono 1.4g, sat 3.1g); Protein 4.9g; Cholesterol 14mg; Carbohydrate 28.6g; Fiber 1.8; Sodium 382mg)
(Note: I did the nutrition analysis using Diet Analysis Plus 7.0.1)

The All-in-One: (pictured above--perfect for lunch!) Prepare as directed, stiring in 2/3 cup finely chopped ham, 1/2 cup shredded sharp Parmesan cheese, and 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves along with the buttermilk.

Chive Biscuits: Prepare as directed, stirring in 1/2 cup minced chives along with the buttermilk.

Cheddar-Cumin: Prepare as directed, adding 2 teaspoons ground cumin to the dry ingredients and stirring in 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese along with the buttermilk.

Rosemary-Olive Oil: Prepare as directed, adding 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary leaves to the dry ingredients. Lightly brush tops of the cut biscuits with olive oil just before baking.

Feta-Dill: Prepare as directed, adding 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill (or 2 teaspoons dried), 3/4 cup crumbled feta along with the buttermilk, and (optional) 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

The best turkey chili ever

This chili is sooo good. It's healthy, but taste like comfort food - my husband loves it! I made this for Super Bowl yesterday, it's always a hit at any gathering.

3 Tbs. Olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 Tbs salt
2 Tsp chili powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1 TBS tomato paste
1 chipotle chili en adobo, coarsely chopped, with 1 TBS sauce
1 Lb ground turkey
1 12oz. Mexican lager-style beer
1 14 1/2 oz. can whole peeled tomato with their juices
1 15 1/2 oz. can kidney or pinto beans ( I like pinto beans)
Sour cream, jack cheese, scallions, cilantro, tortilla chips for garnish

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the onion, garlic, salt, chili powder, and oregano and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 3 min. Stir in the tomato paste and the chipotle chile and sauce; cook 1 minute more. Add the turkey, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, and cook until the meat loses its raw color, about 3 minutes. Add the beer and simmer until reduced by about half, about 8 minutes. Add the tomatoes - crushing them through your fingers into the skillet - along with their juices and the beans; bring to a boil. Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until thick, about 10 minutes. Ladle into bowls and serve with garnish of your choice. Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Double Chocolate cookies

So, it's snowing again and I've got the whole day with my kids, I think I'll make cookies! these are really good.

1/4 C. butter
1/4 C. granulated sugar
1/2 C. brown Sugar
1/4 C. canola oil
1 egg
1Tsp vanilla
1 C. flour
1/4 C. cocoa powder
1/4 Tsp salt
2/3 C. chocolate chips (mix different kinds if you want)

Mash with a fork the butter and sugars. Then, beat the oil and eggs in. Add vanilla. In a medium bowl, sift the flour, cocoa, and salt. Combine with the butter mixture. Add chocolate chips. scoop heaping teaspoon size onto cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 12 minutes. Let sit on sheet for about a minute and then transfer to a cooling rack. They might not seem done, but when they cool they will be a little crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. Kind of like a brownie and who doesn't like brownies!