Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Chili-Rubbed Tilapia with Asparagus and Lemon

Chris made this for the second time tonight and let's just say it's...out of this world good! Not only that, but I have been craving hot spicy cheese dip (for those who know me, this is NOT news! This has been pretty much a daily thing for the last 5 years!), and this rediculously healthy FISH dish has totally satisfied that craving! Weird!!!
It came from here

2 pounds asparagus, tough ends trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1 pound tilapia, Pacific sole or other firm white fish fillets
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons lemon juice

Bring 1 inch of water to a boil in a large saucepan. Put asparagus in a steamer basket, place in the pan, cover and steam until tender-crisp, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a large plate, spreading out to cool.

Combine chili powder, garlic powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt on a plate. Dredge fillets in the spice mixture to coat. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the fish and cook until just opaque in the center, gently turning halfway, 5 to 7 minutes total. Divide among 4 plates. Immediately add lemon juice, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and asparagus to the pan and cook, stirring constantly, until the asparagus is coated and heated through, about 2 minutes. Serve the asparagus with the fish.

Chocolate Marshmallow Peanut butter Brownies

Another one of my own creations...a bit messy, but very good!

Tuscana Soup

My own version...well, it was originally someone else's version, but I've changed it a little here and there over the years to better suit our tastes...and we love it now!

2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup diced onion
6 large baking potatoes, sliced thin (peeled or unpeeled)
12 cups water
6 tsp chicken boullion
1/2 - 1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 kielbasa, or 1 pound spicy Italian sausage, cooked
1 bag frozen chopped kale (10-16 oz?)
1/2 cup heavy cream or half and half
1/2 cup milk

1. Heat oil in large soup pot. When hot, add garlic and onion and saute until onion is translucent.
2. Add sliced potatoes, water, red pepper flakes, and chicken boullion.
3. Simmer at a low boil for about 20 minutes, until potatoes are soft.
4. Slice kielbasa or cook sausage while soup is cooking. Add meat to pot and stir.
5. Add kale and cook until soup is heated through.
6. Add cream and milk and cook until heated again.
7. Add more red pepper, if desired.

Apple Crisp

Another one of Chris' favorites

Pumpkin Muffins

My newest create-a-muffin experiment! They were so moist and flavorful! They are my new favorite muffin!!!

Ingredients:2 to 2 ½ cups grain
2 1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup milk
1/4 cup oil
2 Tbsp unsweetened applesauce
1/2-1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup canned pumpkin

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in large bowl.
3. Add milk, oil, applesauce, and vanilla. Stir until well blended.
4. Mix in pumpkin.
5. Fill GREASED muffin tins about 2/3 full of muffin batter.
6. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.

Beef Stew

Chris' family recipe! It's killer!

Peach Dump Cake

AWESOME!!! Other than REAL, made from scratch peach cobbler, this is Chris' favorite dessert cake I make!

Thai Panang Curry - my way

I tried this new Panang Curry sauce out last night (from a jar...just at the grocery store), and wasn't sure what to do with it...but what I came up with was pretty awesome, and all the kids loved this one too!

Fried Potatoes with the works

When I don't have time to fry up sliced potatoes for breakfast, sometimes we do this shortcut version I made up a while back. It's pretty awesome wake up food!

Quick and Easy Cheesy Enchiladas

I have had this one tucked away in my recipe book for a long time, and was very curious about it...the only complaint was that it took so long to get to this one! They were very good! Here's a link to it.


1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
5 cups diced cooked chicken
20 flour tortillas (6 inches), room temperature
2 cans (10-3/4 ounces each) condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
2 cups (16 ounces) sour cream
1 cup milk
2 cans (4 ounces each) chopped green chilies
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese

1. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, water, onion powder, cumin, salt and pepper until smooth. Stir in chicken.
2. Place 1/4 cup down the center of each tortilla. Roll up and place seam side down in two greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dishes. In a large bowl, combine the soup, sour cream, milk and chilies; pour over enchiladas.
3. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 30-40 minutes or until heated through. Sprinkle with cheese; bake 5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Yield: 10 servings.

Chicken in a Cream Cheese sauce

This was pretty killer! Totally satisfied this weird craving I was having!

Cooking Light's Chicken and Corn Chowder

This was awesome!
I added some cheddar cheese and bacon on top...and how could you go wrong there?
Super quick and very tasty!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Broccoli, Bacon & Onion Salad

This is SO good!!!!


3 bunches broccoli (heads only)
1 lb. bacon
1 med. red onion
1 c. raisins


1 c. mayonnaise
1/2 c. sugar
2 tbsp. vinegar

Wash broccoli heads, cut into florets. Cook and chop bacon and chopped red onion. Stir mayonnaise, sugar and vinegar together until well blended. Combine dressing with first four ingredients and let marinate and chill in refrigerator for several hours or overnight.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Rosemary Au Gratin Potatoes

Another great recipe from Taste of Home!!!
I didn't feel like peeling and dicing potatoes, so I just thawed out a bag of frozen hash browns! I'll have to remember that tip!!!

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups half and half
1 Tbsp fresh minced rosemary or 1 tsp dried rosemary, crushed
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
3 pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/8 inch slices
2/3 cup grated parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in flour until smooth. Gradually add the cream. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat. Stir in rosemary, garlic, salt, pepper, and potatoes.
2. Transfer to a greased 9x13 pan (I used a non-greased stoneware baker!). Cover and bake for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake 10-15 minutes longer or until potatoes are tender.

*NOTE: Since I thawed my potatoes in the microwave they were already a bit warm, and I wanted them cooked faster, so I left them uncovered and cooked for about 20-30 minutes at about 400 degrees. I added the cheese during the last 5-10 minutes or so so it didn't burn. It worked perfectly.

Chicken with Rosemary Butter Sauce

I got this from one of my Taste of Home cookbooks. It looked really good but it was AWESOME! Sorry the picture turned out blurry...but take my word it was really really good!
And I paired it with these potatoes...another awesome new recipe!

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (I sliced mine so it cooked faster)
4 Tbsp butter, divided
1/2 cup white wine (or you could use chicken broth)
1/2 cup heavy cream (I used half and half)
1 Tbsp minced fresh rosemary

1. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook chicken in 1 Tbsp butter for 4-5 minutes on each side or until juices run clear. Remove and keep warm.
2. Add wine to the pan; cook over medium-low heat, stirring to loosen browned bits from pan. Add cream and bring to a boil.
3. Reduce heat; cook and stir until slightly thickened. Stir in rosemary and remaining butter until blended. Serve sauce with chicken.

Blueberry Peach Pancakes (eggless!)

I NEVER make breakfast food for dinner...but for some reason the other night I really didn't feel like cooking dinner, but the idea of cooking breakfast didn't seem so bad, so I made fruity pancakes and bacon!

I used the eggless pancake recipe I have already posted...originally from this website, but I made a much larger batch and made some additions.

This time I decided to make them even more healthy by adding lots of fresh blueberries and nectarines (I didn't have fresh I hate the fuzz!). They were SO good and the kids LOVED them!

I also tried out a little of our new White Whole Wheat Flour I just bought...supposedly it has all the nutrition of whole wheat flour but it's lighter and less nutty flavor. It wasn't even noticeable so I'll add more next time!

2 cups white flour
1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
2 1/2 tsp sugar
2 1/2 tsp cinnamon
5 tsp baking powder
2 1/2 cup milk
2 1/2 Tbsp vegetable/canola oil
2 1/2 Tbsp water
2 1/2 tsp vanilla
5 Tbsp butter
2 large nectarines, diced
3/4 cup fresh blueberries

1. Combine dry ingredients and mix slightly. Add milk, oil, water, and vanilla. Whisk together until just combined. Be careful not to over mix - it should still be slightly lumpy. Set aside to rest for a few minutes.
2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat until hot. While pan is heating, add butter. As soon as the butter is melted, add melted butter to pancake batter.
3. Return pan to stove and stir butter into batter.
4. When pan is hot, with a measuring cup or ladle, pour 1/4 cup of batter into the skillet for each pancake.
5. Cook until bubbles form on the surface. Carefully flip pancakes with turner/spatula and cook until golden brown.

I also made a blueberry/peach syrup mixture that was also very tasty and again added more fruit for us!

1/2 cup lite maple syrup (we use the fake stuff)
1/2 - 1 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 - 1 cup diced peaches in juice (canned) - I actually used some peach pie filling to use it up!

1. Put maple syrup in large sauce pan over medium high heat. Once it gets warm add blueberries and peaches and heat just until it gets hot all the way through.

SUPER Simple Eggless donuts

I bought a 4-pack of small refrigerator biscuits from Pillsbury the other day and was so excited to try a recipe for donuts using them! Julie can't have eggs so I'm always looking for ways we can eat the things we love without eggs in them! Of course Julie's last eczema outbreak was b/c I stupidly gave her a donut without thinking that it had eggs in it! :-(
Anyway, these were super simple, the kids were able to make them (they are ages 5 and 2) and they had a blast! AND, you can control/monitor the amount of sugar in them!
The best part about these donuts is that they weren't REAL sweet like most donuts are...but they were definitely sweet enough and they felt like a real treat!

1 small can of Pillsbury 10 biscuits (homestyle I think they are called...not buttermilk)
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup cinnamon and sugar (I made my own mix)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Flatten out each biscuit a bit (I just pressed it between my palms a little).
3. Using a small circle cookie cutter, cut a hole in the middle of each donut.
4. Dip one side of each donut (and donut hole) into the melted butter, then into the cinnamon and sugar mixture.
5. Place donuts sugar side up on a large stone or baking sheet.
6. Bake for about 10-15 minutes or until they appear fully cooked but not yet brown.

Super Simple Guacamole

Chris said this is his favorite version of guacamole...and we've tried MANY! This one was super simple!

2 ripe avocados
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2-3 Tbsp lime juice
1 medium tomato, diced (I remove all the seeds and the slimy part around the seeds)

1. Cut avocado in half, remove pit, and slice long ways and then short ways so there are small squares cut but still in the peel.
2. Scoop the avocado squares out of the peel and put into a large bowl. Smash them with a fork (I actually used a pastry blender this time and that worked nicely).
3. Add garlic salt, pepper, and lime juice, and tomato. Blend together well.

Best Asparagus Ever

I just came up with this idea as I was cutting up asparagus to cook the other night. I was going to just steam it and add a little salt, but I decided to saute it instead and it turned out AWESOME!

1 bunch THIN asparagus
2-3 Tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste

1. Trim bottoms off of asparagus. Cut each stalk into about 3 pieces.
2. In large saute pan, heat olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper until very hot. Add asaparagus. Cook for about 5-10 minutes until crisp-tender, stirring occasionally.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Cheesecake Factory Louisiana Chicken Pasta

Want to try this one too! Got it from here

Cheesecake Factory® Louisiana Chicken Pasta
Menu Description:
Parmesan Crusted Chicken Served Over Pasta with Mushrooms, Peppers and Onions in a Spicy New Orleans Sauce.
Cajun Sauce:
1 tablespoon butter
1 small yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 small red bell pepper, chopped
3/4 small red onion, chopped
3 whole garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 1/4 pints whipping cream
1 cup low-salt chicken broth
4 tablespoons fresh basil, thinly sliced
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
salt and pepper
1 package bow-tie pasta
4 tablespoons (approx) vegetable/olive oil
6 skinless boneless chicken breast halves
3/4 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons flour

Additional grated Parmesan Cheese

Cajun Sauce:
Heat a large heavy skillet over medium heat and melt butter. Add bell peppers (yellow and red), mushrooms and onion and saute about 3-4 minutes. Cooking vegetables to a tender-crisp texture.

Add garlic and crushed red peppers and saute about 1-2 minutes more.

Add whipping cream and chicken stock. Simmer until sauce regains temperature and begins to thicken slightly, about 5 minutes.

Add basil and 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese to sauce and season sauce to taste with salt and pepper, stirring to mix well. Reduce heat to low and simmer. Sauce will reduce and thicken.

The Chicken:
Wash and drain chicken breasts. Pound until very thin, to about 1/4 inch thick.

Mix bread crumbs, flour, and Parmesan cheese together. Place milk in dish for dipping.

Dip chicken in bread crumb mixture and then in milk and then back in breadcrumbs.

Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. When oil is hot add chicken and cook until golden, crisp, and cooked through. Add more oil as needed. Remove and drain chicken. Keep warm.

Cook bow-tie pasta following package directions,
Drain pasta and return to pot. Add sauce and toss to coat.

Place pasta with sauce on plate, and top with chicken breast.
Serve with additional Parmesan to add separately.

Serves 6

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Taste of Home's Oatmeal Mix Packets

Gonna try this very soon too! It's make your own instant oatmeal packets!

Taste of Home

I got this recipe from the Taste of Home Quick Cooking magazine.

* 1/2 cup powdered nondairy creamer

* 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar

* 1/3 cup packed brown sugar

* 1/2 teaspoon salt

* 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

* 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Additional Ingredients (for each additional batch)

* 2/3 cup quick-cooking oats

* 1/3 to 1/2 cup boiling water

* Brown sugar, optional

In a bowl, combine the first seven ingredients; mix well. Store in an airtight container in a cool dry place for up to 6 months. YIELD: 9 batches (about 1 cup total).

To prepare oatmeal: In a bowl, combine oats and 2 tablespoons oatmeal spice mix. Add enough boiling water until oatmeal is desired consistency. Sprinkle with brown sugar if desired. Yield: 1 serving

BoneFish Grill's Bang Bang Shrimp

Yet another recipe I just found:


1 pound of shrimp, peeled
1/2 to 1 cup mayonnaise
Thai Sweet Chili Sauce to taste
a few drops of Tuong of Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce (Sriracha is very hot, if you like it hot add more)

1. Coat the shrimp with cornstarch; set aside.
2. To make the sauce combine the mayonnaise, chili sauce, hot sauce.
3. Deep fat fry the shrimp until crunchy and light brown. Don’t overcook. Drain the shrimp on paper towels.
4. Put the shrimp in a bowl and then stir in the sauce. Enjoy.

You can buy the Thai Sweet Chili Sauce at Walmart in the Asian Section.

Crock Pot Chicken and Veggies

Here's another one I just found and want to try!!!
I found this recipe here

Crock-pot Whole Chicken with Vegetables


1 whole chicken (note, make sure the size you buy fits in your crockpot)
black pepper
red pepper flakes
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp butter
10 red potatoes, cut in half
1/4 of a medium onion, sliced
8 oz baby carrots
1.5 cups water


1. Remove chicken from packaging and take out gizzards. Rinse chicken thoroughly and place in crock pot. Using a butter knife, spread the butter over the chicken. Be sure to get the legs and wings as well as the breast. Sprinkle a generous amount of the spices over the chicken and then drizzle the honey on top.

2. Add the vegetables to the crockpot. Cook on low for 10 hours.

Cherry Vanilla Oatmeal

This was very good! Lots of flavor from the cherries and jam, but not too sweet...the kids loved it too, but it took a while to convince them to eat it!
It's from food network

1 3/4 cups water
1 cup Old Fashioned Oats, or Quick Cooking Oats
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup dried cherries
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons cherry jam, or to taste
1/4 cup 1 percent low-fat milk, plus more to taste

1. Put water, oats, salt and cherries into a medium sized saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes for Old Fashioned Oats, or 1 minute for Quick Cooking Oats. Remove from heat.
2. Stir in the vanilla extract and cherry jam.
3. Put into serving bowls and pour 2 tablespoons of milk over each bow

Friday, September 4, 2009

Homemade Sausage

In an effort to cut out needless sugar from our diet, we made this homemade sausage for breakfast this morning (who would have thought there was so much sugar in prepared spicy sausage?).
It was so good! And it was nice knowing it was fresh and had no preservatives or added stuff at all!
Super simple too!
This recipe came from here

1 pound ground pork
1/2 tsp. coarse salt or sea salt
1/2 tsp. rubbed sage
1/3 tsp. summer savory
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
2/3 tsp. ground marjoram
1/3 tsp. ground red pepper flakes

1. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Make sure to distribute the spices evenly through the meat.
2. Shape into patties of the desired size.
3. Fry in a hot skillet until browned and cooked through.