Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Taco Soup

Winter is such a great time of year for soup! I love the warmth and comfort of a hot bowl of soup with some yummy bread. Following in Shelley's footsteps, here is my mom's taco soup that she always made for us growing up, and now I love to make too. Plus, soup is so, so easy and relatively quick, once you dump everything in you don't have to worry about it - just let it do its thing and it comes out so yummy!!

Taco Soup

2 lbs ground beef
1 sm onion
1 or 2 small cans of chopped green chilis
1 can pinto beans
1 can lima beans (I leave these out because Jer doesn't like them and use both red and black beans)
1 can red or black beans (depending on which you like better)
1 pkg taco seasoning
1 pkg dry ranch dressing (1 oz.)
3 cans of stewed tomatoes (can substitute one can V-8 juice for one can of tomatoes if you like)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 1/2 cups water

Brown beef in large saucepan with onion, salt and pepper. Drain off extra fat.
Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Simmer for 30 min.
This makes a lot of soup! Enough to freeze leftovers!

Monday, December 15, 2008

This soup is super easy and YUMMY! We have made it three or four times since I found the recipe last month! We like to put parmesan cheese on it!


1 lb ground beef
1 cup diced onion
1 cup julienned carrot
3 stalks celery, chopped (1 cup)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 (14 1/2 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
1 (15 ounce) can red kidney beans (with liquid)
1 (15 ounce) can great northern beans (with liquid)
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (12 ounce) can v-8 vegetable juice
1 teaspoon vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 lb ditali pasta

1Brown beef in a large stock pot over medium heat-drain off fat.
2Add onion, carrot, celery and garlic and saute for 10 minutes.
3Add remaining ingredients, except pasta, and simmer for 1 hour.
4After 50 minutes boil pasta to al dente.
5Drain well.
6Add pasta to the large pot of soup and simmer for 10 minutes.

(I use 3 cans of V-8 low sodium rather then the regular v8 and the tomato soup)

Original recipe found here!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Hawaiian Chicken

My friend shared this recipe. It is easy and yummy!!

Hawaiian Chicken

package of chicken thighs (I usually get a large package)
jar of apricot preserves
bottle of russian dressing
package of dry onion soup

mix soup, preserves and dressing
put over chicken in pan
cover with foil
cook at 350 for a few hours
(take off foil during last 1/2 hour)
serve of rice!

DELICIOUS!!!!! Easy, tasty, freeze whatever is left for another meal! ENJOY!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Cottage Fried Potatoes

This isn't the healthiest recipe, but it's good! I remember my grandma making this when I was a kid. I'll eat potatoes any way they're fixed so if you're like me - enjoy!!
  • 3 tbsp butter or margarine
  • 3 medium potatoes (about 1 lb), thinly sliced
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced and separated into rings (optional! we don't do onions)
1. In a large skillet melt butter. Layer potatoes into skillet. Sprinkle with salt, garlic powder, and pepper. Cook, covered, over medium heat for 8 minutes. Add onion rings now if you're gonna! Cook, uncovered, for 8 to 10 minutes more or until potatoes are tender and browned, turning frequently.

Delicious Ham and Potato Soup

I got this recipe off of All Recipes.com. It was rated very well, so I tried it. It's not my favorite potato soup, but it was very good. Plus it was easier and faster to make.
  • 3 1/2 cups peeled and diced potatoes
  • 1/3 cup diced celery
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup diced cooked ham
  • 3 1/4 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons chicken bouillon granules
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground white or black pepper, or to taste
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  1. Combine the potatoes, celery, onion, ham and water in a stockpot. Bring to a boil, then cook over medium heat until potatoes are tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the chicken bouillon, salt and pepper.
  2. In a separate saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Whisk in flour with a fork, and cook, stirring constantly until thick, about 1 minute. Slowly stir in milk as not to allow lumps to form until all of the milk has been added. Continue stirring over medium-low heat until thick, 4 to 5 minutes.
  3. Stir the milk mixture into the stockpot, and cook soup until heated through. Serve immediately.
Here's the original recipe on All Recipes.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Carmel Apple Pork Chops

So I'm always in the mood to try new things and I found this and we all loved it! I skipped out on the nuts and we only had 2 pork chops, but it was still wonderful. See the original recipe here.

Caramel Apple Pork Chops

4 (3/4 inch) thick pork chops
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons brown sugar
salt and pepper to taste
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tart apples - peeled, cored and sliced
3 tablespoons pecans (optional)

Preheat oven to 175 degrees F (80 degrees C). Place a medium dish in the oven to warm.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brush chops lightly with oil and place in hot pan. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes, turning occasionally, or until done. Transfer to the warm dish, and keep warm in the preheated oven.
In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, salt and pepper, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add butter to skillet, and stir in brown sugar mixture and apples. Cover and cook until apples are just tender. Remove apples with a slotted spoon and arrange on top of chops. Keep warm in the preheated oven.
Continue cooking sauce uncovered in skillet, until thickened slightly. Spoon sauce over apples and chops. Sprinkle with pecans.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Light Chicken & Dumplings

Tortilla strips make the dumplings in this light version of chicken and dumplings.


  • 2 to 3 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked well, shredded or chopped
  • 1 can reduced fat cream of chicken soup
  • 1 can fat free chicken broth
  • 5 flour tortillas, cut into 2-inch squares
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon of celery salt
  • dash leaf thyme


Place chicken, soup and broth in large sauce pan. Bring to boil. Add salt and pepper, celery salt, and thyme. Add tortillas slowly. Keeping the broth mixture at a boil. Lower heat to simmer. Simmer until tortillas are tender (about 20-30 min.). Add additional water or broth, just enough to prevent sticking and to maintain desired consistency.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Tomato and Spinach Pasta Toss

Here's a new recipe we all enjoyed. And I was surprised because I thought everyone would complain about the spinach. I think the key is to start with the fresh kind!

3 cups penne pasta, cooked
1 lb - 1/2 lb of Italian sausage, crumbled and browned (depends on how much you want to use)
1 pkg (6 oz) baby spinach leaves
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano, undrained
1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese
2 tbsp. parmesan cheese

After draining the sausage, add spinach and tomatoes; cook until spinach is wilted, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Add meat and cheese to warm pasta.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Great Grilled Tilapia

Jer made this for me last week. We have a lot of tilapia because of it being on sale at Meijer and we have had the broiled tilapia that Shelley posted on here a few too many times, so we tried this - and it was GREAT!! Here is the original recipe, we didn't make the salsa, just the marinade. Yummy!

2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoon minced fresh parsley (we used dried)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoon dried basil
2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt

4 tilapia fillets

Mix together the marinade ingredients and pour into a resealable plastic bag. Add the tilapia fillets and let marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour. (We only did 1/2 hr and it was still great!) Grill the fillets until the fish is no longer translucent in the center, and flakes easily with a fork, 3 to 4 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the fillets.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Blueberry Sausage Breakfast Cake

Here is another wonderful use of blueberries. I did however use maple sausage and we learned that you can definitely cut back on the sugar. It was really sweet, and a little less sweet would have been better. The sauce at the end isn't necessary, but if you take a lot of the sugar out of the cake, it might work.


2 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 c. butter
3/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 (8 oz.) container dairy sour cream or low-fat sour cream
1 lb. bulk pork sausage, cooked and well drained
1 c. blueberries
1/2 c. chopped pecans (optional)
Blueberry sauce

In a medium mixing bowl stir together flour, baking powder and baking soda; set aside. In a large mixer bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed until fluffy. Add sugars and beat until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating 1 minute after each addition. Add flour mixture and sour cream to egg mixture alternately beating after each addition just until combined. Fold in sausage and berries.
Pour batter into an ungreased 13x9x2 baking pan. Spread batter evenly in pan; sprinkle pecans on top. (At this point, you can cover and chill overnight. In the morning, bake as directed.) Bake in a 350 oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Serve warm with blueberry sauce. Chill leftover cake and sauce. (Chilled blueberry pie filling can be used also.)
In a medium saucepan combine: 2 tbsp. cornstarch
Add: 2 c. fresh or frozen blueberries
Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir 2 minutes more. Stir in:
Cool slightly. Makes 2 cups sauce. Makes 12 to 15 servings.

Find original recipe here.

Blueberry Cream Cheese Dessert

I have had a WONDERFUL over abundance of blueberries lately thanks to the pick-your-own places. So I have been finding ways to use them...here is a great dessert I just made for a picnic...Enjoy the fruits of the season:):)


1 cup chopped pecans1/2 cup butter, melted1 cup flour
8 ounces cream cheese, softened1 cup powdered sugar8 ounces Cool Whip
4 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen1 cup sugar, divided3 tablespoons cornstarch1/4 cup water
Combine crust ingredients; spread in a 9 x 13-inch pan and cook for 15 minutes at 350 F. Cool.
Cream together the cream cheese and powdered sugar. Fold in Cool Whip.
Spread over cooled crust.
Combine 1/2 cup sugar and cornstarch in a saucepan. Add water then 2 cups of the blueberries. Cook over medium heat. stirring constantly, until thickened and translucent. Crush some of the blueberries as they cook.
Remove from heat and add remaining sugar and blueberries. Cool. Spread over cream cheese filling and chill.
Serving Size: 12

See the original recipe here.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Chicken Pesto Sandwiches

This sandwich is so good! Definitely our new favorite!

Chicken Pesto Sandwiches

1/4 cup basil pesto (such as Classico)
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
olive oil
chicken breasts (3 or 4)
salt and pepper to taste
french bread (I bought some at wal-mart that was crusted with red peppers on the top - very good)
bottled roasted red bell peppers

Combine pesto and mayonnaise in a small bowl, stirring to blend.

Sprinkle chicken with pepper and salt. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken, and cook for 3 minutes on each side or until done. Remove chicken to cutting board, and cool slightly. Cut chicken lengthwise into thin slices.

Cut bread in half horizontally. Place bread, cut sides up, on a baking sheet. Broil 3 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove bread from pan. Spread pesto mixture evenly over cut sides of bread. Arrange the chicken slices evenly over bottom half. Sprinkle cheese on top. Return to broiler until cheese is melted. Top with red peppers and cover with top half of bread. Cut into individual sandwiches.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Easy Pasta Skillet

This is like baked pasta, but you do it on the stovetop instead of in the oven. Easier and quicker! But, just as good.

1 lb. ground beef (I often only use 1/2 lb and don't really notice a difference)
2 1/2 C Water
3 C mostaccioli or penne pasta
1 Jar (28 oz.) spaghetti sauce
1 package shredded Italian cheese

Brown ground beef with salt and pepper, drain and then add water. Bring to a boil, add pasta, reduce heat and cover. Simmer 15 min. Add sauce stir thoroughly. Heat back to "boil", then add 1 cup cheese and stir. Top with remaining cheese, cover to melt cheese. Serves 6.

Crockpot White Chili

So simple and easy! Using the crockpot is great for summer!

1 Lg. jar of Great Northern Beans (40-45oz.)
1 Lg. jar of salsa (16 oz.)
1 Lg. can of chicken (in a can like tuna)
1 Tbsp. groud cumin

Combine ingredients in a crock pot and stir.
Cook for 4-5 hours on low.
Top with shredded mozzarella cheese.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Frozen Yogurt Popsicles

We love making popsicles because it's so much fun to do together and you can make them super healthy. Here's one of our favorite popsicle recipes:

2 cups plain lowfat yogurt
2 cups frozen berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, or cherries) thawed for 1 minute in the microwave
1/2 to 3/4 cup confectioner's sugar

Combine the fruit, yogurt, and sugar in a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze.

Any of you have another good popsicle recipe?

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Broiled Tilapia Parmesan

We are trying to add more fish in our diet-I have always hated fish. This recipe was AWESOME! I even wanted seconds. Frozen Tilapia has been on sale at Meijer lately, buy on package get one free, meaning the fish will only cost you about $3.50.

Broiled Tilapia Parmesan

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup butter, softened
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon celery salt
2 pounds tilapia fillets

Preheat your oven's broiler. Grease a broiling pan or line pan with aluminum foil.
In a small bowl, mix together the Parmesan cheese, butter, mayonnaise and lemon juice. Season with dried basil, pepper, onion powder and celery salt. Mix well and set aside.
Arrange fillets in a single layer on the prepared pan. Broil a few inches from the heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the fillets over and broil for a couple more minutes. Remove the fillets from the oven and cover them with the Parmesan cheese mixture on the top side. Broil for 2 more minutes or until the topping is browned and fish flakes easily with a fork. Be careful not to over cook the fish.

Roasted Artichoke and Spinach Dip

This stuff is amazing! Yes, there are simpler recipes, but after you make this, you won't want to go back!! It is fabulous!

Roasted Artichoke and Spinach Dip

2 (14 oz) cans of premium artichoke hearts
3 Tbsp olive oil
salt and ground black pepper
16 oz. baby spinach leaves
1 medium onion, minced
2 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1/4 c. mayonnaise
4 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/2 c. assorted cheeses, grated (I used pecorino, parmesan, asiago, mozzarella, and fontina)
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp minced thyme leaves
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese, grated

-Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and line baking sheet with foil.
-Toss drained artichokes with 1 Tbsp oil, ½ tsp salt and ¼ tsp ground black pepper.
-Spread out over the baking sheet and roast, stirring occasionally. Until browned at the edges, about 25 minutes.
-Let the artichoke cool and chop coarse.
-Meanwhile heat 1 Tbsp oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium high heat until just shimmering.
-Sauté spinach until wilted and drain thoroughly and transfer.
-Add the remaining 1 Tbsp oil to pan and add the onion.
-Cook for until softened, about 5 -7 mins.
-Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds..
-Transfer to bowl with spinach.
-Stir in mayo, cream cheese, cheeses, lemon juice, thyme, and cayenne until uniform.
-Add more cheese as needed! (oink! oink!)
-Gently fold in artichokes and season with salt and pepper to taste.
-Transfer mixture to large baking dish and sprinkle with parmesan.
(Here you can cover and refrigerate up to three days if needed)
-Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
-Bake dip uncovered until hot throughout and top is golden brown, about 20-25 mins.
-Let cool at least 5 mins before serving.

Original recipe here.

Applesauce, Bran, and Oatmeal Muffins

These are super addictive, gone by the end of the day in my house. And they are SO good for you, especially if you use wheat flour. I have also put walnuts and dried cherries instead of raisins. I am going to try fresh blueberries too!

Applesauce, Bran, and Oatmeal Muffins
from Cooking Light

1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour (I used Wheat Flour)
1 c. quick-cooking oats
3/4 c. wheat bran
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c. raisins
1 c. applesauce
1/2 c. fat-free milk
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 Tbsp light-colored corn syrup
1 large egg
Cooking spray

-Preheat oven to 375°.
-Combine flour and the next 7 ingredients (flour through salt) in a medium bowl.
-Stir in raisins; make a well in center of mixture.
-Combine applesauce and next 4 ingredients (applesauce through egg); stir well with a whisk.
-Add to flour mixture, stirring just until moist.
-Spoon the batter into 12 muffin cups coated with cooking spray.
-Bake at 375° for 18 minutes or until the muffins spring back when touched lightly in center.
-Remove muffins from pans immediately; cool on a wire rack.

Crock Pot Cream Cheese Chicken

All right ladies, summer is here! Let's share some new recipes!

I made this for dinner tonight and thought it was SO simple and SO delicious!

Crock Pot Cream Cheese Chicken

--1 can cream-of-something soup
--1/2 cup chicken broth
--frozen chicken pieces
--packet of Italian salad dressing mix
--2 cloves minced garlic
--block of cream cheese (to add later)

Put everything except for the cream cheese into the crockpot. Cook on low for 6 hours, or until the chicken is cooked through and begins to shred. Shred the chicken with two large forks, and mix in the block of cream cheese. Switch the crock to high and cook for another 30 minutes, or until the cream cheese is fully melted.
Serve over pasta or rice or couscous.

Original Recipe here

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Yummy Nachos

1 lb. ground beef
pkg. of taco seasoning
1 can red kidney beans
1 cup water
1 cup (or so) of salsa
1 cup (or so) of shredded cheese (I used Monterey Jack)

Cook beef, drain. Put back in pan along with everything but the cheese. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes or so. Remove from heat. Add cheese and stir until melted.

Spoon over tortilla chips and add all the yummy things you can find: lettuce, tomato, sour cream, more cheese, salsa....enjoy!

Friday, April 11, 2008

This is one of our favorite new recipes. We have eaten it over rice and couscous-you could also eat it on pita bread or pasta. We have decided it tastes better after it sits for a while, so you might want to cook it during the day and then reheat it for dinner. YUMMY!

Tuscan Vegetable Ragout

2 tsp. olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch slices
1 14.5-oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained (I like the basil/garlic kind)
2 15.5-oz. cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 15-oz. can artichoke hearts, coarsely chopped
2 Tbs. coarsely chopped Kalamata olives (I omitted these)
1 Tbs. capers, coarsely chopped (found by the pickles)
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Heat oil in large pot over medium heat. Add garlic and zucchini, cover and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, beans and artichoke hearts, and cook until vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.
Add olives, capers and half the basil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve sprinkled with remaining basil.

Original recipe found here!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Crunchy Fruity Granola

This blog was in desperate need for a photo. So here's the first!
And here's one of the wonderful recipes we made this week at Princess Pack:

Crunchy Fruity Granola

3 cups rolled oats
2 cups combined seeds and/or chopped nuts (we used pecans)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup oil
1/2 cup honey
1 tbsp. vanilla
1 cup assorted dried fruit (we made half with and half without)

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees and spray baking sheet with nonstick spray
2. Combine oats, seeds, nuts, salt, and brown sugar in large bowl.
3. Combine oil, honey, and vanilla in 2 cup liquid measuring cup and pour into dry ingredients.
4. Mix thoroughly and spread on prepared tray.
5. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden. (stir once half way through)
6. Cool for 10 minutes on tray and add fruit.
7. Transfer to bowl while still warm. (this way it won't be hard to break apart later)

Monday, March 31, 2008

Baked Dijon Salmon

Baked Dijon Salmon

I just made this tonight and it was super easy and tasty. Enjoy!

1/4 cup butter, melted
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
4 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
4 (4 ounce) fillets salmon
salt and pepper to taste
1 lemon, for garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
In a small bowl, stir together butter, mustard, and honey. Set aside. In another bowl, mix together bread crumbs, pecans, and parsley.
Brush each salmon fillet lightly with honey mustard mixture, and sprinkle the tops of the fillets with the bread crumb mixture.
Bake salmon 12 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until it flakes easily with a fork. Season with salt and pepper, and garnish with a wedge of lemon.

Click here for original recipe

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Lemon Cake

I love anything made with lemon. I always keep a bottle of lemon juice in the refrigerator just in case I might have a craving for lemon bars, lemonade, or lemon cookies. Here's my favorite lemon cake. I have one baking in the oven right now! And I'm very excited!

Lemon Cake

1 box yellow cake mix
3 oz. box lemon Jello, dry
3/4 c. water
3/4 c. veg. oil
4 eggs (add 1 at a time, mix well after each)
Bake in a greased 9x13 or tube pan (which is my favorite way) at 350 for 30-35 minutes.
When cake is done and still warm, punch holes in it and frost with:
2 c. powdered sugar and 6 tbsp. of lemon juice

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Crockpot White Chili

This is cooking in my crock pot for dinner. I doubled it to freeze some-it smells delicious!

Crockpot White Chili

-16 oz bag of frozen white corn
--2 cans of White Beans
--1 4 oz can of green chilies
--1/2 chopped white onion
--2 minced cloves garlic
--1 cup vegetable broth
--juice from one lemon
--1 1/2 t cumin
--1/2 t Italian seasoning
--salt and pepper to taste
--mozzarella cheese (optional)

Put everything in crockpot except cheese!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Thai Lettuce Wraps

1 c. raw 10-min. instant brown rice
2 tsp. oil
1 lb. lean ground turkey
3/4 c. sliced scallions
4 tbsp. peanut sauce
2 tbsp. lite soy sauce
1 tbsp. minced garlic
1 tbsp. lime juice
12 large whole leaves from 2 head boston bib lettuce
2 c. thinly sliced cucumber
1 c. shredded carrots
1/2 c. cilantro
garnish w/ lime wedges

1. Cook rice as pkg. directs.  Let stand, covered, while preparing remaining ingredients.
2. Heat oil in lg. nonstick skillet over medium-high hetat.  Add turkey and breaking up meat w/ wooden spoon, cook 5-6 min. Add 1/4 c. scallions, 1 tbsp. peanut sauce and lite soy sauce and the minced garlic.  Cook 2 min. more, stir in rice.  Remove from heat.
3. Dipping Sauce:  Mix remaining 3 tbsp. peanut sauce, t tbsp. soy, the lime juice and 1 tbsp. water.
4. Arrange all fun stuff on serving platter, spoon turkey and veggies onto lettuce and dip in awesome sauce!!


Lauren's Guacomole

4 avocados
3 tbsp. finely chopped onion
2 finely chopped garlic cloves
2 1/2 tbsp. chopped cilantro
lime juice
1 tsp. salt

Blend avocados and add other ingredients by hand.  Add lime per your preference!!

Confetti Corn Quesadillas

1 c. fresh corn kernels (or a can)
1 c. grated zucchini, squeezed dry
1/4 c. chopped cilantro
1 jalapeno pepper, optional
1 1/2 c. drained and rinshed canned black beans (15 oz. can)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground pepper
1 tsp. chili powder
2 c. shredded monterey jack
8 lg. flour tortillas
2 tbsp. vegetable oil

1- In large bowl gently toss corn, zucchini, cilantro, jalapeno, beans, s&p, and chili powder.  Stir in cheese.
2-Heat oven to 200.  Put about 1/3 c. of filling on half of each tortilla spreading to edges then folding the other half over it.
3-In lg. nonstick frying pan, heat 1/2 bbsp. oil over med heat and add 2 of the quesadillas and cook each for 2 min. per side, until the cheese melts.  Transfer to baking sheet and keep them warm in theoven while preparing the others!  Serves 4-6!  Serve w/ salsa, sour cream, guac!

shelley's broccoli salad

1 c. mayo
2 tbsp vinegar
1/4 c. sugar

2 bunches broccoli
12 strips bacon
1/2 onion, diced
1/2 c. raisins, golden
1/4 c. sunflower seeds

Shell adds extra sugar and less bacon : )

Monday, March 17, 2008

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

These are so so so yummy, we make them (and give them away!) almost every week!

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

In large bowl, beat butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt; stir into the butter mixture until well blended. Mix in the chocolate chips and walnuts. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or just until set. Cool slightly on the cookie sheets before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Spring Chicken Pasta Salad

I had lunch with a friend the other day and she made this AMAZING pasta chicken salad. It was very light and refreshing. Perfect for spring:) YIPPEE! And as it turns out, its super easy!

Combine the following and chill overnight:
3 cups cubed, cooked chicken. I add a little garlic salt and black pepper.
2/3 C mayo or salad dressing
2 Tbsp minced onion
2 tsp salt
4 Tbsp lemon juice

1 can mandarin oranges
1-2 C green grapes, halved as preferred
1/4 C slivered almonds
1 lb. elbow macaroni, cooked
Garlic salt to taste.

Chill and serve with optional parmesean cheese. Makes enough to serve an army! :-)

Beef Stroganoff

I have been looking for a good Beef Stroganoff recipe that didn't include a lot of 'cream of soups' since Noah can't have it and I finally found one I love. Aaron even went back for seconds:)

3 lb. beef round steak, 1/2 inch thick
1/2 cup flour
2 teaspoons salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp dry mustard
2 medium onions, sliced thin
1/4 cup flour8 oz sliced mushrooms
1 can condensed beef broth (10.5 oz)
3 tablespoons dry white wine
1 1/2 cup sour cream

Trim all excess fat from steak and cut into 3 inch strips about 1/2 inch wide. Combine 1/2 cup flour, salt, peppers and dry mustard. Toss with the steak strips to coat. Place coated strips in a crock pot; stir in onion rings and mushrooms.Add beef broth and wine, stir. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours.Before serving, mix the sour cream with 1/4 cup of flour then stir into the crock pot. Serve with rice or noodles.

Check out the original recipe here

Thursday, March 13, 2008


Here is the recipe for our favorite granola. We make it about once a week. It is a HUGE batch, but keeps well. Delicious plain or over yogurt. YUMMYY!!


8 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cups wheat germ
1 1/2 cups oat bran
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup finely chopped almonds
1 cup finely chopped pecans
1 cup finely chopped walnuts
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
3/4 cup honey
1 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups raisins or sweetened dried cranberries

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment or aluminum foil.

Combine the oats, wheat germ, oat bran, sunflower seeds, almonds, pecans, and walnuts in a large bowl. Stir together the salt, brown sugar, maple syrup, honey, oil, cinnamon, and vanilla in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then pour over the dry ingredients, and stir to coat. Spread the mixture out evenly on the baking sheets.

Bake in the preheated oven until crispy and toasted, about 20 minutes. Stir once halfway through. Cool, then stir in the raisins or cranberries before storing in an airtight container.

Chicken Enchiladas

Here is the recipe for the Enchaladias I would make for small group. One batch makes a lot. I would click the link to the recipe at the bottom and look at some of the reviews. I usually leave out the 1/2 cup of water (it is already somewhat soupy). It is not super simple, but I think it just tastes so much better!!!!!

Chicken Enchiladas

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 onion, chopped
1/2 pint sour cream
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/3 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
8 (10 inch) flour tortillas
1 (12 ounce) jar taco sauce
3/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

In a medium, non-stick skillet over medium heat, cook chicken until no longer pink and juices run clear. Drain excess fat. Cube the chicken and return it to the skillet. Add the onion, sour cream, Cheddar cheese, parsley, oregano and ground black pepper. Heat until cheese melts. Stir in salt, tomato sauce, water, chili powder, green pepper and garlic.

Roll even amounts of the mixture in the tortillas. Arrange in a 9x13 inch baking dish. Cover with taco sauce and 3/4 cup Cheddar cheese. Bake uncovered in the preheated oven 20 minutes. Cool 10 minutes before serving.

For original posting, click here!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Cincinnati Style Chili

This chili is Jer's favorite thing that I make. It is actually a recipe that my mom came up with herself to copy the Cincinnati style chili that she loved. Cincinnati style means that you serve it over spaghetti - it really is good, just try it! And it's super easy too!

1 lb. gr. beef
1 can (15 oz.) Brooks Chili Hot Beans
2 cups tomato juice or V-8 juice (I use V-8)
1/2 -3/4 tsp ground cumin
dash cinnamon, dash tabasco (I sprinkle these around the pot a few times)
salt and pepper to taste
cheddar cheese

Fry ground beef with salt, pepper and onion powder (or diced onions if you like them, we don't)
In a large sauce pan combine browned gr. beef, chili beans, V-8 juice, and spices. Let simmer for about a 1/2 hour.
Serve over spaghetti and top with shredded cheddar cheese.

*Just a side note - lately I've been doubling the recipe except for the gr. beef, and only adding 3 cups of V-8 juice. You can't tell that there is any less meat and it's cheaper and makes lots extra for leftovers or freezing or topping baked potatoes! Mmmmm...

Monday, March 10, 2008

Cheesy Mostaccioli

I made this yesterday for Chloe's family birthday party. It was easy, yummy, and cheap! I made it ahead and when it was almost dinnertime, I stuck it in the oven. I served it with fresh green beans, rolls, and fruit salad. Everyone seemed to enjoy it - even the kids.

Cheesy Mostaccioli (although you can use any type of noodle you like, of course!)

1 pkg (1 lb) mostaccioli
1 lb ground beef
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 jar pasta sauce
1 can cheddar cheese soup
2 cups (or more) mozzarella cheese

Cook the pasta in water. Brown the beef. Add any seasoning you like, including the Italian seasoning. Mix sauce and soup in large bowl. Add the beef and pasta and 1 cup of mozzarella to bowl. Put in 9x13 pan. Bake 35-40 minutes. Remove from oven and put remaining mozzarella on top. Put back in oven until cheese is melted.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

I think we all can find some good recipes on here

She is cooking in her crockpot EVERY DAY this year, blogging the recipe, how it went, etc. I found a whole bunch of yummy stuff!!!


Thursday, March 6, 2008

Alice Springs Chicken (from Outback)

This is by far one of my favorite meals. In fact, I have this every year for my birthday. I just made it at home and it was so easy and so yummy!
1 cup Dijon mustard
1 cup honey
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 teaspoon lemon juice
4-6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 cups sliced mushrooms
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
12 slices bacon , cooked
3 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese
2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley

1 With an electric mixer combine the mustard, honey, and 1 Tbsp oil, and lemon juice for 1 minute.
2 Pour 1/2 mixture over chicken in a gallon ziplock to marinate in fridge 2-24 hours.
3 Chill remaining marinade to serve with chicken.
4 After marinating chicken, preheat oven to 375°F Put remaining oil in frying pan. Heat and sear chicken on both sides.
5 Transfer chicken to oven safe pan and brush with marinade.
6 Meanwhile in frying pan add butter and saute mushrooms.
7 Season chicken breasts with salt and peppers.
8 Stack bacon across each breast, spoon mushrooms on each breast and then approx 1/3- 1/2 cup cheese on each.
9 Cover pan with foil and bake 7-10 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Sprinkle with parsley and serve with honey mustard marinade.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Oat Bars

This is a favroite snack recipe of ours. I usually add some raisons and walnuts. You could add anything!!

Easy Pleasin’ Oat Bars

2 cups ground oats (blend quick oats in food processor)
1 cup quick oats
1/2 t sea salt
1/4 t cinnamon
1/4 pure maple syrup
1/3 honey
1/4 milk
2 T canola oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients. Add the wet ingredients into the dry mixtures, stirring until well combined. Transfer the mixture to a lightly oiled 8 x 8 or 8 x 12 baking dish and press down until it’s evenly distributed. Using a sharp knife, cut to mark out the bars before you bake them to make it easier to fully cut and remove the bars once baked. Bake for 19-21 minutes, then remove and let cool in pan. Once cool, use a sharp knife to fully cut the bars, then remove with spatula.

Once again, recipe taken from Happy Foody!!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Chicken Taco Soup

We make this ALL the time. Easy, healthy, delicious!

Chicken Taco Soup

32 oz chicken broth
2 cans (15oz) chili beans
1 can Great Northern Beans
1 can Mexican style tomatoes
1 can diced tomatoes and green chilies
2 cans white corn
2 packages of Lawry's (or any type) Chicken Taco spices and seasoning
1.5 lbs boneless chicken breasts (I usually throw in the frozen ones from Meijer)

Throw everything in the crock pot
Close to dinner, take out chicken, shread, put back in.

Top with cheese, cilantro, etc.

It makes a HUGE pot and we always have extras to freeze too! Enjoy!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Chicken and Noodles

I know everyone has their own recipe for this, but this one is super simple! It is originally from Sara Bowyer

Chicken and Noodles

One whole chicken, cut up
bag of Reames Egg Noodles (in frozen section)
some carrots cut up
4T of Chicken base
salt and pepper

-put chicken in pot, cover with water, boil till cooked
-pull chicken out to cool; put carrots, noodles and chicken base in water
-shred chicken and add to pot
-cook as little (when noodles and carrots are cooked) or as long (hours!) as you want on low/med-low

YUMMY! It is cooking as I type this!

Baked Potato Soup

Here's another family favorite. I think I'll make it this week. I usually double it because it's so yummy.

Baked Potato Soup
from The Pampered Chef

4 med. baked potatoes
2 slices bacon
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1/2 cup gr. onions with tops, thinly sliced
1 can (14.5 oz) chicken broth
1 1/2 cups milk
1 garlic clove, pressed
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. gr. black pepper
1 cup light sour cream
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

1. Remove skins from baked potatoes. In bowl, coarsely mash potatoes with a potato masher.
2. In a large pot, cook bacon over med heat until crisp. Remove bacon to paper towel to drain; crumble and set aside. Discard all but 1/2 tsp. drippings in pot. You will be using this pot for the soup.
3. Meanwhile, chop celery and slice green onions. Add broth, milk, mashed potatoes, celery, onions, garlic, salt, and black pepper to drippings in pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 10 minutes.
4. Stir in sour cream and reserved bacon. Serve in bowls and sprinkle cheddar cheese over each.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Chicken Casserole

1 box long grain wild rice
1 lb. chicken
1 cup sour cream
3/4 cup mayo
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 pkg. shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350.
Follow instructions for rice....and cook chicken alongside. Cube the cooked chicken. Take a 9x13 casserole dish and spread the rice on the bottom of this dish when the rice is done (the rice takes about 20 min. to prepare). Put the chicken over top of the rice across the full dish. Mix your soup\mayo\sour cream really well and spread that over top the chicken\rice mixture. Sprinkle as much of the pkg. of cheese as you want over top. Bake for 20 min. or until cheese is fabulous looking.....walah!

Rosemary Chicken

1 package of boneless chicken thighs
1 or 2 boneless chicken breasts
1 sprig of fresh rosemary
olive oil
kosher salt
three cheese bread crumbs (or seasoned)
6 red potatoes
romano cheese

THIS IS SO EASY AND SOOOOOO GOOD. The problem is: I have no exact m'ments for the ingredients... So, do this "to taste"... it always turns out so yummy!

Preheat oven to 350.
Take a 9x13 casserole dish. Quarter your Red Potatoes. Put your Chicken in the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle kosher salt (go wild) over top of the chicken. Add your potatoes in b\w the chicken. Add about 1 in. of water over top the ingredients. Sprinkle your bread crumbs. Sprinkle Romano cheese over top of that. A little drizzle of olive oil and S&P... Trim as much rosemary as you want and decorate the top of the dish (it is pretty). Throw in the oven for 1.5 - 2 hours! Amazing! Goes well with French Bread Rolls and Extra Fine Green Beans. And a bottle of white wine : ) ENJOY!

Stuffed Shells

Here's one from a old church cookbook. I've been making this favorite since we were married:

Stuffed Shells

1 egg
1 pkg. cream cheese (softened)
16 oz. cottage cheese
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1 tsp. basil
1/8 tsp. pepper
a bit of onion (I usually just use 1/2 tsp. of onion powder)
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

1 lb. large shells, cooked
1 lb. ground round, browned and drained
1 jar of pasta sauce
1 cup (or more) mozzarella cheese, shredded

Cook shells, rinse in cold water. Mix together filling. Fill shells. Lay in bottom of 9x13 pan. Top with sauce. Bake 20 minutes, 350 degrees. Top with mozzarella cheese. Bake additional 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Avacado Feta Salsa

Yeah, I am the first one!

Avacado Feta Salsa

2 plum tomatoes
1 avocado, chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 T snipped fresh parsley
1 T snipped fresh oregano
1 T olive oil
1 T red or white wine vinegar
4 oz. feta cheese, coarsely crumbled
In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients except feta cheese. Stir gently to mix. Gently stir in feta cheese. Cover and chill for 2 hours or up to 6 hours. Serve with tortilla chips, pitas, or homemade bread. Makes 12 (1/4 cup) servings.

This recipe was found at this link.