Archive for the ‘recipes’ Category

  • Hot Artichoke Pesto Crab Dip

    Date: 2014.04.14 | Category: recipes | Response: 0

    I brought an appetizer to a dinner a few nights ago and decided to make something from what I have on hand… I came up with this recipe using spinach and artichoke dip as my inspiration- and it is YUMMY!

    Hot Artichoke Pesto Crab Dip

    1 8 oz pkg cream cheese or neufchâtel- room temp
    1/4 cup 3 pepper mayonnaise
    1/2 cup prepared pesto (we use the large jar from Costco)
    1 can artichoke hearts- cut into small pieces
    1 can real crab meat
    1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese + more to sprinkle on top

    Mix all ingredients, pour into a baking dish (I used an 8×6 8 cup pyrex) and bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until hot and bubbly.  Serve with crackers or bread.

    I’m seriously such a bad blogger- I snapped this picture before I baked it, but forgot to take another one when it came out all beautiful… just imagine it!

    Leftovers?  We ended up with about half of the dip leftover, so the next night I tossed it with some half and half, diced shrimp and whole grain spaghetti noodles, then baked it for 20 minutes.  Also yummy!

  • Fish and Rice Bowls and Tuscan Chicken with White Beans

    Date: 2013.08.30 | Category: recipes | Response: 1

    I have two new recipes for you!  No pictures, but let me assure you, both of these recipes were excellent and got rave reviews from the fam.  For the rice bowls I combined the basic idea of 2 different recipes to get the flavor I wanted… they turned out so great, and they are super healthy if you go easy on the sour cream and cheese!  The Tuscan Chicken was a Pinterest find and man it turned out yummy!  This one is also very healthy- I thought I had fresh spinach, and then I didn’t, so I subbed in fresh asparagus and it was so good!

    Fish and Rice Bowls

    1 boil in the bag brown rice- prepared
    1 can black beans- rinsed and drained
    1 mango- diced (could substitute peach if you prefer)
    1 bell pepper- diced (we abhor peppers, so we skipped them, but they are so good for you, so add them if you like them!)
    shredded lettuce
    1 jar mango salsa (I used store brand)
    Mexican seasonings
    shredded cheese
    sour cream
    4 tilapia fillets

    Heat oil in skillet.  Season tilapia with Mexican seasonings and  sauté in oil until white and flaky.
    Assemble all ingredients in large bowls and enjoy!

    Serves 4 (or 2 adults and 3 kids)

    Tuscan Chicken with White Beans

    4 slices of bacon, cooked and chopped
    olive oil
    4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
    salt and pepper, to taste
    cheesy garlic (or garlic powder), to taste
    basil, to taste
    1/2 onion, diced
    3 cloves of garlic, minced
    1 15 oz can of Italian diced tomatoes, drained
    1 15 oz can of great northern beans, rinsed & drained
    2 cups of baby spinach (I subbed in about half a pound of fresh asparagus, cut into bite size pieces)

    Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat. Once the bacon is slightly crispy, place it on a paper towel then cut it into bite size pieces. Drain all but 1 tsp of the bacon grease from the skillet. Add 1 tsp olive oil to the bacon grease in the skillet and heat on medium high. Season the chicken with salt, pepper, garlic, and basil, on both sides. Once the skillet is hot, add the seasoned chicken and cook for 5-6 minutes on each side, or until cooked through. Remove the chicken from the skillet, cover with a tin foil tent, and set aside.

    Add the remaining teaspoon of olive oil to the skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, for 4-5 minutes or until tender. Add the minced garlic, and cook stirring continuously for 1 minute. Add the drained diced tomatoes and white beans. Stir and cook for 4-5 minutes. Add the spinach (or asparagus), season with more salt, pepper, and basil, to taste. Pour the juices from the chicken into the pan and mix well. Ladle the beans and spinach onto a serving dish then top with chicken. Serve immediately. Enjoy.

    Serves 4 (or 2 adults and 3 kids)

  • Spinach with Black Beans

    Date: 2012.07.17 | Category: recipes | Response: 0

    I mentioned previously that I struggle with low carb side dishes.  Unfortunately, when it comes to vegetables I don’t typically venture very far beyond frozen corn and peas (although I did develop weird cravings for asparagus during my pregnancy with JT and I still love it!).  So, we’re trying to explore new frontiers and I’m trying to be a little more creative with using vegetables in my cooking.  I’ve been perusing the www for inspiration and pinning like a madwoman to my South Beach board on Pinterest. I decided to make a yummy balsamic glazed salmon for dinner tonight from my South Beach 30 minute cookbook (one of my go to cookbooks) and literally came up with a brand new veggie/bean side dish on the spot.  For someone who doesn’t usually create new recipes out of thin air I was pretty impressed!  Chris said that both the salmon and the spinach with black beans were winners.  Culinary victory!

    Spinach with Black Beans

    1 TBS olive oil
    2 cloves crushed garlic
    1 can black beans (rinsed and drained)
    1 handful of  bacon bits (I use the large Costco bag)
    several handfuls of fresh spinach
    1 dash lemon juice (I get mine in a bottle!)
    2 dashes cheesy garlic

    Heat the olive oil in a skillet, add garlic and bacon bits and cook for 2 minutes.  Add black beans, spinach, lemon and cheesy garlic.  Cook until spinach is wilted and everything is warmed through, tossing several times.  Serve warm.

    yum!

    In other news, this is what my kids are doing as I type up this recipe…

    and James started solids a few weeks ago- so far he loves avocado and banana!  He is so sweet.  If only he’d take a bottle when I’m at work!

  • Spaghetti Squash, Sausage and Kale Gratin

    Date: 2012.07.12 | Category: recipes | Response: 0

    Chris and I decided that it’s time to start losing the baby weight.  Three kids in 4 years has not been kind to either of our waistlines.  Not at all.  So we decided that it’s time to crack the whip and buckle down and get serious and go back on South Beach.  We did the South Beach diet about 6 years ago and we both lost more than 25 pounds fairly easily.  Then we moved and started having babies and slipped back into old habits and convenience foods.  And said yes to chocolate.  And cookies.  And chocolate cookies.  Now it’s time to say goodbye to all that and hello to a healthier lifestyle and way of eating.  Bummer.

    One of the problems we had with South Beach when we did it several years ago is that Chris would much rather have a casserole for dinner than a piece of meat with a veggie on the side, and I always feel like my plate is missing something without a carb as a side dish.  Now that it’s so easy to find recipes online I’ve been looking for easy and yummy meals that will fit the bill- they meet the requirements of the South Beach diet and satisfy my casserole loving man.  I stumbled upon a great blog called Kalyn’s Kitchen, which features hundreds of South Beach friendly recipes.  While perusing her archives I came across this recipe for Spaghetti Squash Gratin and decided that I could add some meat to make it a main dish.  Of course I didn’t have some of her ingredients and I mixed things up to suit our tastes, but we were all VERY pleased with how this turned out- even JT ate a full serving.  This will be going into the regular rotation for sure.  It’s a cheesy, filling, flavorful casserole that tastes much less healthy than it really is!

    Spaghetti Squash, Sausage and Kale Gratin

    1 spaghetti squash
    olive oil
    cheesy garlic (or other seasoning blend)

    1 bunch kale (5-6 cups chopped, you could also use other greens like spinach, collards, or chard.)
    1 pound turkey sausage
    1 large onion, diced (you know I always use frozen diced onion)
    1/2 tsp. dried oregano
    fresh ground black pepper to taste
    1 T minced garlic
    1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
    1/2 cup reduced fat feta
    1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese plus more for topping
    1 egg, beaten
    Preheat your oven to 400º. Wash the spaghetti squash, then carefully cut it in half lengthwise. Scrape out the seeds and the gunk and discard. Line a baking sheet with foil and place the squash halves face up on the baking sheet.  Rub the cut sides of  your squash with olive oil, then sprinkle each side with cheesy garlic.  Pour 1/2 inch of water into the pan around the bottom of the squash and roast for 45 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let cool, then separate into strands with a fork. (Don’t turn your oven off yet!)

    Meanwhile, wash and dry your kale (a paper towel or salad spinner will work). Remove the large stems and dice or shred leaves into small pieces.

    In a large fry pan, brown the turkey sausage- remove most of the grease if there is a lot in your pan.  Then add chopped onion, oregano, and black pepper and saute until onion is softened- 2-3 minutes. Add minced garlic and cook 1 more minute.  Add all of the kale to the pan and cook for 1-2 minutes, tossing regularly until kale is wilted to about half size.

    Gently mix the shredded spaghetti squash into the meat and kale mixture. Toss in the Greek yogurt, feta, Parmesan cheese, and beaten egg. Then pour the whole thing into a 2 or 3 quart baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking oil. Sprinkle the top with more Parmesan cheese.

    Bake for 30-35 minutes at 400º, or until the mixture is bubbling and browned on top. Serve hot and enjoy a creamy tasting, good for you casserole!

    yum!


  • Homemade Pizza

    Date: 2012.05.30 | Category: recipes | Response: 0

    Chris’ mom used to make homemade pizza for the family when he was growing up and it’s become a family favorite around our house too.  Sometimes we grill it and sometimes we bake it.  I like it both ways- doing individual pizzas on the grill is a bit more labor intensive, but tastes fabulous.  The other night we were having 50 MPH winds so we baked it.  As we were preparing the dough my first inspiration struck- what if we coated the crust with our favorite cheesy garlic?  Um, yum!  We decided to double the recipe so we’d have lots of leftovers (I love cold pizza too!), but we were running low on toppings after we made the first three.  And that’s when the moment of pure genius occurred.  Dessert pizza.  Cause that’s how we roll.

    Pizza

    dough (makes two pizzas)
    2 packets of dry yeast
    2 cups very warm water
    2 tsp sugar
    1 tsp salt
    4 TBS olive oil
    5 cups (a little more or less as needed) flour

    olive oil and garlic cheese sprinkle (or other seasonings- dry ranch mix would be awesome)

    Dissolve yeast in very warm water, add sugar and oil.  Place into Kitchen Aid with 2 cups of flour and salt.  Mix with dough hook, adding remaining flour slowly.  Let dough rest 5 minutes.

    toppings– (pick and choose your favorites!  These are some of ours-)
    pizza sauce or Alfredo sauce
    ham
    pineapple
    sausage
    sliced olives
    sliced mushrooms
    pepperoni
    shredded cooked chicken
    spinach
    Italian Blend or Mozzarella cheese

    Preheat oven to 425º.  Divide dough in half- shape and stretch dough to fit two pans (we use a baking sheet with a Silpat).  Lightly coat dough with oil and then sprinkle with cheesy garlic- flip dough and coat second side.  Top with sauce and toppings.  Bake for 15-20 minutes, rotating cookie sheets half way through.

    OR

    Grill it!  This tutorial changed the way I make my pizza.  It is SO GOOD!  Plus I love having personal pizzas for everyone with their favorite toppings.

    Preheat your grill to medium/hot.  Gather all of your toppings right near the grill.  You need to be prepared to work fast and having a helper is ideal.  Divide your dough into 4 or 5 individual pizzas.  Use your hands to shape the first two or three crusts and liberally coat each one with olive oil.  (Now, we have had a lot of trouble with our dough sinking into the grill, making it impossible to flip- we started using a piece of foil under the first side and are much happier with the results.  I don’t know if our technique is bad or what, but this way just works better for us.  Do as you will.)  Place each crust on the grill and close the lid.  When it’s puffy and ready to flip generously coat the top with olive oil.  Flip your crusts (we remove the foil at this point) and quickly load it up with your favorite toppings without burning your fingers!  Close your lid again and remove from the grill as soon as your cheese starts to melt and the bottom is firm (the second side goes much quicker than the first- don’t let it burn!).  The Our Best Bites tutorial is much better than mine- I recommend reading it before trying this method at home!

    Dessert Pizza

    dough for one pizza
    melted butter
    cinnamon
    sugar
    peanut butter
    melted chocolate

    Take one pizza worth of dough and shape it for your crust.  Coat your dough with melted butter and then a generous amount of cinnamon and sugar on the top and bottom.  Bake at 425º for 15-20 minutes.  Immediately spread with peanut butter and drizzle with chocolate.  Die and go to heaven.  You’re welcome.

    yum!

  • Spinach Alfredo Lasagna

    Date: 2012.05.17 | Category: recipes | Response: 0

    I’ve been avoiding the grocery store this month to help with the budget after an unexpected car repair, so I’ve been trying to use ingredients I already have on hand for dinner. The other night I came up with a winner. I altered the inspiration recipe enough that I’m going to go ahead and call this one an original. It is a super cheesy creamy lasagna that satisfied my craving for an indulgent dinner on Mother’s Day. Even if I did have to cook it myself.

    Spinach Alfredo Lasagna

    8 lasagna noodles (boiled per package instructions)
    2 chicken breasts (cooked and cubed)
    10 oz frozen spinach (thawed and drained)
    2 cloves crushed garlic
    1 can sliced mushrooms
    1 can sliced olives
    Cheesy garlic seasoning
    1 jar Alfredo sauce
    1/3 pkg feta cheese
    2 cups shredded mixed Italian cheese
    2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

    Spread a thin layer of Alfredo sauce in a 9×13 pan.
    Sauté chicken, spinach, garlic, mushrooms and olives with cheesy garlic. Remove from heat and add remaining Alfredo sauce and feta.
    Layer half of your noodles, half of the meat mixture, and half of the cheese in your pan and repeat. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

    Yum!

  • Beef Nacho Casserole

    Date: 2012.05.11 | Category: recipes | Response: 1

    So I forgot to start the crock pot the other day.  Thankfully I hadn’t put anything in it yet- I just completely forgot that I had planned a crock pot meal until about 3:30 in the afternoon.  I have a bunch of pre-cooked ground beef in the freezer (I’ve switched back to doing it in large batches on the stovetop, sometimes I was getting a weird texture from the crock pot that I don’t get on the stove) so I decided to pull out a pound and search online for a new casserole recipe.  I’m pleased to report that I hit upon a winner!  I found it on All Recipes, but of course I altered it a bit!

    Beef Nacho Casserole

    1 pound ground beef
    1 1/2 cups chunky salsa
    2 cups frozen corn
    1 can refried beans (I had half a can left from another recipe but a full can would work just as well!)
    1/2 cup mayo
    1/2 cup ranch dressing
    1 teaspoon fajita seasoning
    2 cups crushed tortilla chips (I used the new Tostitos Garlic and Black Bean chips- YUM!)
    2 cups cheddar cheese

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place ground beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring to crumble, until evenly browned. Drain grease. Remove from the heat, and stir the salsa, corn, beans, mayonnaise, ranch dressing and seasonings into the beef. In a 2 quart casserole dish, layer the ground beef mixture, tortilla chips and cheese twice, ending with cheese on top. Bake for 20 minutes uncovered in the preheated oven, until cheese is melted and dish is thoroughly heated.

    Now if only I were a good blogger who took pictures of my food…

    yum!

  • Dump Cake

    Date: 2012.04.05 | Category: recipes | Response: 1

    When I met my husband he had a few recipes that he wowed me with. Beef stew, pasta roni with chicken, and dump cake. I had never heard of dump cake, but quickly became a fan. It’s a yummy, quick, easy dessert and we always keep the ingredients on hand for dessert emergencies. We’ve learned in the intervening years that you can actually mix things up with your dump cake- so here are our original recipe and a few variations that we’ve tried and enjoyed for your dining pleasure! I like mine warm with ice cream on top.

    Original Dump Cake

    1 can crushed pineapple (do not drain)
    1 can cherry pie filling
    1 yellow cake mix
    1 stick of butter

    Pour the pineapple (with it’s juice) and the cherry pie filling in a 9×13 baking dish. Cover with dry cake mix. Cover with thin slices of butter. Bake at 350º for 45-60 minutes.

    Peach Dump Cake

    1 can sliced peaches (do not drain)
    1 can peach pie filling
    1 yellow cake mix
    1 stick of butter

    Pour both cans of peaches in a 9×13 baking dish. Cover with dry cake mix. Cover with thin slices of butter. Bake at 350º for 45-60 minutes.

    Mix it up a little Dump Cake

    1 can sliced peaches (do not drain)
    1 can peach pie filling
    1 can cherry pie filling
    1 yellow cake mix
    1 stick of butter

    Pour both cans of peaches and the cherry pie filling in a 9×13 baking dish. Cover with dry cake mix. Cover with thin slices of butter. Bake at 350º for 45-60 minutes.

    Cherry Brownies

    1 can cherry pie filling
    1 box brownie mix

    Mix the brownie mix and cherry pie filling. Place in a greased 9×13 pan and bake 30-40 minutes at 350º.

    Chocolate Cherry Cake

    1 chocolate cake mix
    1 can cherry pie filling
    1 package chocolate chips
    1 can diet Coke

    Mix the cake mix, cherry pie filling and diet Coke. Stir in chocolate chips. Place in a greased 9×13 pan and bake 30-40 minutes at 350º.

    yum!

  • Valentine’s Cinnamon Rolls

    Date: 2012.02.14 | Category: recipes | Response: 3

    I saw this cute idea on Pinterest and decided to make them for breakfast for Valentine’s Day this year.  I cheated and bought Pillsbury cinnamon rolls and made those- they still turned out yummy!

    I simply removed the rolls from the exploding tube, partially unrolled each one, and then rerolled it into a heart shape.

    Oops- I forgot to take a picture before I started frosting them!

    Didn’t they turn out pretty?  When they came out of the oven they had flattened enough that it was a little hard to tell they were in the shape of hearts,

    but a quick pinch with my fingers as I was serving them helped a lot!

    Easy, yummy and festive.  Perfect!

    Happy Valentine’s Day!

    yum!

  • Pork and Stuffing with Apples

    Date: 2012.01.30 | Category: recipes | Response: 0

    I tried a new recipe last night that turned out really yummy!

    2 packages prepared stuffing (I used chicken flavor Stove Top)
    4-6 pork chops
    1 chopped apple
    heavy sprinkle of brown sugar
    heavy sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice

    Lightly brown pork chops in a skillet.  Place stuffing in 9×14 baking dish.  Top with pork chops, then apple, then sprinkle with sugar and spices.  Cover with foil and bake at 400º for 30 minutes.  Remove foil and bake and additional 5-10 minutes.

    Yum!

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