Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Apple Wild Rice Salad

So after making this dish I learned Scott is not a fan of wild rice. Which shocks me! I love the heartiness of wild rice and think it really brings something extra to a meal! The one thing I'm not particularly fond of--how long it takes to cook! I don't know that I've ever cooked with true wild rice (not from a box), so that was a bit of a shock for me!

Back to the recipe...

I didn't realize how much this recipe makes, but its TEN FREAKING SERVINGS! so I would definitely recommend halving it unless you want a lot of leftovers or are bringing this to a party. I like this idea for a party because it's actually supposed to be served cold! Because I'm terrible at fully reading directions before I start something, I didn't realize how long this would take and we ate it warm. It was still pretty good, but, if you're like Scott and not a wild rice fan, it's most likely not for you!


Apple Wild Rice Salad-adapted from Taste of Home
Total Time: 1 hour + chilling, if desired
Serves 10
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked wild rice
  • 2 gala apples, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons, plus 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 4 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
Cook wild rice according to package directions. Transfer to a large bowl.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, toss apples with two tablespoons orange juice. In a medium bowl, whisk the remaining ingredients together. Add apples to rice, and drizzle dressing, tossing to coat. Refrigerate until chilled, if desired.





Monday, December 30, 2013

Apple Chicken

This is a great chicken recipe for fall or winter! Very hearty and delicious! Also, eat the apples--they just melt in your mouth!


Apple Chicken-adapted from The $5 Dinner Mom Cookbook by Erin Chase
Total Time: 8 hours
Serves 6

  • 1 cup apple juice
  • 6 bone-in chicken thighs
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 2 large gala apples, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
Grease a 5-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Pour in apple juice. Season chicken with salt and pepper, and place in the slow cooker. Place onion quarters around chicken. Place apples, lemon juice and cinnamon over chicken. Cook on low for 8 hours or until chicken is cooked through.


Sunday, December 29, 2013

Bruschetta Pork Chops

Fresh bruschetta is one of our new favorite things. I love how fresh everything tastes, and when you get some nice crunchy bread, and a good balsamic sauce with it, there's nothing better. Because I don't consider myself a huge tomato fan, you'd think that I wouldn't like it, but I can't get enough of this!

The original recipe calls for lamb chops, but, come on, who can afford those these days? The flavors were great, and having fresh tomatoes will make this even better!


Bruschetta Pork Chops-adapted from 30-Minute Dinners by Better Homes and Gardens
Total Time: 20 Minutes
Serves 2

  • 2 pork chops, about 1-inch thick
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1-2 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 green onion, diced
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Sprinkle pork chops to taste with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook pork chops until they begin to brown on both sides and are no longer pink in the middle.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine tomatoes, onion, oregano and vinegar until blended. Add additional salt and pepper to taste. Serve over pork chops.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Recipe Redo: Salad with Green Beans and Peanut Dressing

I decided to try this recipe again. The second time around this turned out great! I love the flavor of the peanut butter. It tastes so fresh, but this makes a lot of salad, so cut it in half if there aren't a lot of you eating! In the original recipe, I didn't write where I found this, so I guess this is an original now??


Salad with Green Beans and Peanut Dressing
Serves 6
Total Time: 15 Minutes

  • 1 bag (16 ounces) frozen french cut green beans
  • 1 head lettuce
  • 1/2 bunch green onions, chopped into 1/4 inch slices
  • 3 tablespoons bottled minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon sliced ginger
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 jar (18 ounce) smooth peanut butter
  • 1-2 cups warm water
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 jar (8.5 ounce) hoisin sauce
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
Thaw green beans in a colander and pat dry to remove excess water. Clean lettuce and cut into bite size pieces if necessary; set aside.

In a food processor, combine the green onions, garlic, ginger, and jalapeno. Process until uniform. Add the oil and process briefly to form a paste.

Transfer paste to a large bowl. Add peanut butter and 1 cup warm water. Add the remaining water, 1 tablespoon or so at a time, if necessary to make dressing a smooth consistency. Whisk in cilantro, hoisin sauce, and soy sauce.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Thai Noodles with Shrimp

I've never made anything before with Thai peanut sauce. Let me tell you, it's totally worth it! It's got a bit of a spice kick to it, but it really steps up the dish! This recipe just has 5 ingredients but it's fantastic and easy to make. It's even good cold the next day!


Thai Noodles with Shrimp-adapted from 5 Ingredient 15 Minute Recipes by Pillsbury
Total Time: 20 Minutes
Serves 4

  • 4 ounces uncooked spaghetti
  • 4 ounces fresh snow peas, cut into thirds
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 pound cooked, deveined, peeled medium shrimp, tails removed
  • 1/2 cup Thai peanut sauce
Cook and drain spaghetti as directed on package. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Sun-Dried Tomato Guacamole

For tacos tonight, I decided to try a new guacamole. To be honest, the base of the guac still came from my favorite, go-to guac, but I switched up a few things. I swapped out the tomatoes and onion in the original, to add sun dried tomatoes, sour cream and tabasco sauce. For me, this was too spicy--pretty sure it was the tabasco, I'm just not a fan. But Scott loved it. Just make sure you dice the tomatoes really small, otherwise they get a little chewy.

Sun-Dried Tomato Guacamole-adapted from Every Day with Rachael Ray
Total Time: 10 Minutes
Serves 6

  • 4 avocados
  • 1 jalapeno, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3 teaspoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 ounces sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon tabasco
Peel and remove the inside of the avocados from the shell into a medium bowl. Mash avocados and stir in the remainder of the ingredients. You can add additional to taste.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Ginger and Soy Chicken Wings

These chicken wings were incredibly easy to make and very easy! The marinade brings a lot of flavor, although it doesn't really look like it while it's marinating. We just really like the ginger, soy and garlic flavors that go into this! Give them a try-they really only take 15 minutes (mine took 12)!


Ginger and Soy Chicken Wings-adapted from Step by Step Cook's Encyclopedia
Total Time 2 hours to overnight
Serves 4

  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, grated
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon sweet chili sauce
  • 2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 pound chicken wings
Mix together the first seven ingredients. Place chicken in a large 9x11 baking pan, pour mixture over and toss to coat. Marinate for at least 2 hours, up to overnight.

Preheat the broiler, and place marinaded chicken on a foil lined broiler pan. Broil for 12-15 minutes or until chicken is thoroughly cooked.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Chicken Taco Soup

One of my best food memories growing up is how much I liked Chili's tortilla soup. Don't ask me why, but it just always sticks in my head! I've been looking for a good taco/tortilla soup recipe and I think I found it! This recipe was super simple, and most of the stuff you will likely have on hand at home! I thought the flavors were fantastic, and you can always use hotter or milder salsa, depending on your taste.



Chicken Taco Soup-adapted from Family.com
Total Time: 30 Minutes
Serves 6

  • 1 pound chicken, cooked and shredded
  • 2 pounds black beans, cooked and drained
  • 2 cups prepared salsa
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • Tortilla chips, cheddar cheese and/or sour cream as a garnish
In a large stock pot, combine all ingredients except garnish and heat over high heat. Bring to a boil and then simmer about 15 minutes, or until flavors are blended. Serve with tortilla chips, cheese and/or sour cream, if desired.

Slow Cooker Stuffing

Stuffing is one of those things that is just necessary for Thanksgiving. I can tell you that I've never really been a fan. My grandmother used to make this crazy, weird stuffing that includes the liver and everything else from the turkey. It was good, but not what most people think of for stuffing. I've also never had a desire to actually STUFF the bird. So this year, with the limited resources of my oven, I decided to try a slow cooker stuffing recipe.

I actually got the idea from my mom, and as I was talking to her Thanksgiving morning, we realized we ended up making the same recipe! She said she just bought a bag of bread crumbs, while I ended up using fresh bread. I think the best thing about that is you can really use whatever kind of bread you have on hand. I bought a french bread loaf earlier in the week, cut it into cubes on Wednesday night and they were nice and dry Thursday morning!

I did read a lot of the reviews on this recipe before making it, and the one thing everyone said was to not add all the chicken broth right away. I'd definitely have to agree! I only added two cups, thinking it was just moist, but by the end of cooking it was very wet. I ended up adding in some additional cornbread breadcrumbs I had on hand, and placing a paper towel under the cover to soak up some of the condensation. That being said, it turned out really tasty!


Slow Cooker Stuffing-adapted from AllRecipes.com
Total Time: 5 hours
Serves 16
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups onion, diced
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 2 tablespoons dried parsley
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, diced
  • 12 cups dry bread cubes
  • 1 teaspoon rotisserie seasoning
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried sage
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Up to 4 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 eggs, beaten
Melt butter in a medium skillet and saute onion, celery and parsley until tender.

In a 6 quart slow cooker, combine vegetable mixture, bread crumbs and seasonings by stirring gently. Slowly pour in broth, about 1/2-1 cup at a time until just moistened. Mix in eggs. Cover and cook on low for at least 4 hours. Check stuffing once an hour and stir. If it is getting dry, add more chicken broth. If too wet, add additional bread crumbs or cubes, and/or place a paper towel between the cover and slow cooker to catch the condensation.


Parmesan Rosemary Mashed Potatoes

Normally when I make mashed potatoes, I just throw in some seasoned pepper, garlic salt, sour cream, cream cheese, cheddar cheese, milk...really whatever I have on hand. For Thanksgiving, I decided to try an actual recipe for mashed potatoes. I thought these ended up fluffy and tasty! As always with mashed potatoes, don't just pour in the entire amount of milk. You'll want to add it gradually so you don't accidentally make them into soup.



Parmesan Rosemary Mashed Potatoes-adapted from Taste of Home
Total Time: 45 Minutes
Serves 12

  • 5 pounds baby red potatoes, peeled (optional) and cubed
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons crushed rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1- 1 1/4 cups whole milk
  • 3 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese
Place potatoes in a large stock pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and cook for 15-30 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender.

Drain; return to pan. Mash potatoes, adding in all other ingredients. Slowly add milk to reach desired consistency.

Turkey Gravy

I made this gravy for Thanksgiving dinner. Next time, I need to be more careful with the flour instead of just throwing in how much the recipe says. This ended up incredibly thick, and I even added a ton of chicken broth to it! The flavors were great though, so I'll still hang onto the recipe!


Turkey Gravy-adapted from Taste of Home
Total Time: 20 minutes
Makes 2 1/2 cups

  • Drippings from roasted turkey
  • 1/2-1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup fat-free milk
  • 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules
  • 1/4 teaspoon rotisserie or poultry seasoning
  • 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
Pour drippings into a 2-cup measuring cup. Add enough broth to the drippings to measure 2 cups. Transfer to a small saucepan and bring to a boil.

In a small bowl, combine flour and milk until smooth. gradually stir into the boiling mixture. Stir in the bouillon granules, and seasoning. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Garlic-Rosemary Turkey & My Thanksgiving Story

This Thanksgiving was the first time we hosted. It was also the first time I've ever made a turkey! For some reason, I was unusually anxious/nervous about hosting Thanksgiving. I knew that everyone said turkey is so easy to make, however, never having made it, there was a lot of pressure! In the end, I made the turkey, gravy, stuffing, mashed potatoes and dinner rolls. And pretty much everything came out really good! The gravy was probably the one downfall, that I'll share in a later post.

The secret of the easiness of my turkey, was using these Reynolds Oven Bags.  My mom swears by them, and I know that my grandma always made her pot roast with them too. I had never used these before either, but, let me tell you, it will change your life. I know I never made a turkey before, but I've seen what a mess they can make. Using these bags keeps everything in one place and helps to ensure that it stays moist instead of drying out.

Overall, this turkey stayed moist, the flavor of the rosemary and lemon kept it tasty! I also loved putting the garlic under the skin. This was incredibly easy and I'd definitely make it again.

The lemon and garlic all prepped

Before shot!

And after. I totally forgot to take a picture before Scott started carving!

Garlic-Rosemary Turkey-adapted from Simple & Delicious
Total Time 2 1/2 hours
Serves 10
  • 1 whole turkey (10-12 pounds)
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • 2 large lemons, halved
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons dried rosemary, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon rubbed sage
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut eight small slits in turkey skin. stuff garlic cloves in each slit. Squeeze two lemon halves inside the turkey; stuff in turkey. Squeeze remaining lemon over outside of turkey and discard lemon halves. Brush turkey with canola oil and season with rosemary and sage.

Place turkey in roasting pan, or follow directions for Oven Bags. Roast 2-2 1/2 hours or until a thermometer inserted reaches 180 degrees. If only roasting, baste occasionally with drippings.

Remove turkey from oven. Let stand 20 minutes before carving.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Finally Sign

I saw this picture on Pinterest and knew I wanted to do something similar for our engagement photos! I originally looked online at places like Etsy, but they were going to be about $30 prior to shipping. Then I decided to take a trip to Michaels and see what I could find. I got almost everything I needed for about $20! Below are some of my favorite pictures from the engagement session!




Finally Sign
  • Wood plaque
  • Paint color of your choice (I obviously used yellow)
  • Bride and groom scrapbook appliques
  • Glitter scrapbook letters
  • Tacky glue
Paint the wood plaque, two coats. Once dry, lay out the letters and appliques to be spaced evenly. Glue on and press to hold.


Microwave Cleaner

As soon as I did this trick, I couldn't believe that I had gone my ENTIRE college career not knowing this! It was so incredibly easy to clean my microwave! And shamefully, it was really dirty. But it really does come off right away after just 5 minutes!


Microwave Cleaner-from Adventures of a Semper Fi Family

  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 1 cup water
In a microwave safe bowl, combine water and vinegar. Place in microwave and heat for 5 minutes. Carefully remove bowl and wipe down microwave with a damp cloth.

Shower Cleaner

Tilex is something my parents have always used in their showers. To be honest, I always thought that was crap.  However, as soon as I moved into my first apartment and tried cleaning a shower without it, I realized how much soap scum sucked. I then bought my own Tilex. Thanks to Pinterest I found a do-it-yourself recipe that really doesn't cost much of anything. I think it works great, if not better than the original! It's super easy too, no time at all!


Homemade Shower Cleaner

  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon dish soap
  • 3 1/2 cups water
Mix all ingredients together in a spray bottle and spray after every shower.

Mod Podge Photo Display

I've decided that I want to share my other trying-to-be crafty/do-it-yourselfer stuff that I try from Pinterest. Just want to let ya'll know that I do more than just cook! I made this photo thing (I really don't know what to call it) over a year ago. I simply bought square wood tiles (you could also use ceramic tiles), mod podge, glue, your favorite pictures and ribbon to put it all together!




Mod Podge Photo Display adapted from Treasury of Memories

  • 4 (or more) of your favorite photos
  • 4 (or as many as you have pictures) square tiles
  • Fabric glue
  • Paint brushes or foam
  • Large ribbon
Cut your photos to the size of the tiles. Cover with mod podge to hold and let dry. Once dry, evenly space across a large length of ribbon. Nail to your favorite wall.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Mini Cheeseburger Pies

I recently went to the Taste of Home Cooking School at the Waukesha County Expo. This is the fourth time I've gone to one of these shows! They're a little repetitive, a little cheesy, but you still get some great food tips, cookbooks and other swag that makes it totally worth it! This recipe was one of the ones that was demoed. I almost didn't make it, but it smelled so good when she made it, and Scott seems to like things made with Bisquick!

These were incredibly good! They were moist, but so easy to just pop in your mouth! I used ground turkey instead of ground beef as that was what I had on hand. I didn't have any tomatoes or sliced pickles (totally thought I did though), but they really just need some ketchup or ranch! These are perfect for those nights that you just don't know what to make. I don't know about you, but I usually have pancake mix and some form of ground beef on hand! I also think these would be great with Italian sausage next time!


Mini Cheeseburger Pies-adapted from Taste of Home Cooking School, Fall 2013
Total Time:  45 Minutes
Serves 6

  • 1 pound ground beef or turkey
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 cup shredded cheese
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup pancake mix
  • 2 eggs
  • Ketchup, mustard, tomatoes, pickles, optional for garnish
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Spray 12-tin muffin cups with baking spray.

In a large skillet, cook beef, garlic and onion over medium heat until browned, about 7 minutes. Drain. Stir in Worcestershire sauce and garlic salt.

In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, pancake mix and eggs until blended. Spoon scant 1 tablespoon of mixture into bottom of each muffin tin. Top with 1/4 cup of the burger mixture, and a sprinkling of cheddar cheese. Spoon 1 tablespoon baking mixture onto the burger in each tin.

Bake 20-30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool for about 5 minutes. With a spoon or thin knife, loosen sides of muffins from the pan and serve with garnishes, if desired.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Hungarian Chicken

You'll want to try this chicken. It's super easy to make, even though it does take about an hour to finish cooking. The sauce, however. Let me tell you. This was the best thing about this meal! It was flavorful and added so much to the chicken! I didn't serve with buttered noodles as part of the recipe (I'm trying to not eat as much carbs), but I can only imagine it's delicious!


Hungarian Chicken-adapted from "Shortcuts Recipe Cards" by Taste of Home
Total Time 1 hour
Serves 4
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 bone-in chicken breasts
  • 1/4 cup butter, divided
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2/3 cup tomato juice
  • 2 tablespoons Hungarian paprika
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2/3 cup chicken broth
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
Combine flour, pepper, and 1 teaspoon salt in a large plastic bag. Shake chicken in flour mixture until well coated.

In a large skillet, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat and saute onion until tender. Set aside.

In the same skillet, melt remaining butter. Brown chicken on all sides. Combine tomato juice, paprika, sugar and 1 teaspoon salt and pour over chicken. Add bay leaf, broth and reserved onion. Simmer ,covered, on low heat for 45 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Place chicken on a platter and keep warm. Stir sour cream into tomato mixture until heated through. Serve immediately over chicken. 

Chili Con Queso Dip

I had some leftover Velveeta from the Broccoli and Pork Rice Bowl that I wanted to use up, and I love cheese dip. This recipe really spoke to me since it had a little more to it than just Rotel and cheese. It was easy, but really had that extra something with the cream cheese added to it! I just heated it up according to the directions and then keep in a slow cooker on low, stirring every once in awhile.


January 2015
I made this again, but instead of doing it on the stove first, I just threw everything into the slow cooker. It seems to take a bit longer to get everything melted, but it all works the same in the end!


Chili Con Queso Dip-adapted from Taste of Home
Total Time: 15 Minutes
Serves 12

  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can diced tomatoes with green chiles
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 ounces fat free cream cheese, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 6 ounces Velveeta, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried clinatro
  • Tortilla chips
Drain both cans tomatoes, reserving the liquid. Measure out 1/3 cup of the liquid and reserve or throw away the remainder.

In a large skillet, heat canola oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until tender. Add cream cheese and stir until melted. Stir in velveeta, tomatoes, chili powder and cilantro until smooth. Serve with chips

Three Ingredient Brownies

These brownies were just another recipe that I decided to make yesterday because I had things on hand and time to spare. Overall, they were fine, but not my favorite brownies. They were a bit bland. I'd prefer to have them be more moist and rich.

Three Ingredient Brownies-adapted from Real Mom Kitchen
Total Time: 20 Minutes
Makes 16 bars

  • 1 1/4 cup hazelnut spread
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients until well combined. Pour into a lightly greased 8x8 inch baking pan. Bake for 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Peanut Butter Cup Rice Krispies

Yesterday, I kind of went on a baking spree. To make the Peanut Butter Cup Banana Bread, I accidentally bought way too many peanut butter cups. Instead of just stuffing my face with all of them (which I really do not want to do), I decided to make more food to share with others. These were definitely the best of the night! Super easy and just a great twist on regular rice krispie treats, which are, in and of themselves, amazing.


Peanut Butter Cup Rice Krispie Treats-adapted from Real Mom Kitchen
Total Time: 15 Minutes
Makes 16 bars
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup corn syrup
  • 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups rice krispies
  • 6 bite sized peanut butter cups (or 3 regular size), chopped
In a large saucepan, combine the sugar and corn syrup and bring to a boil over medium heat. Once boiling, remove from heat and stir in peanut butter until smooth. Carefully stir in rice krispies and peanut butter cups. Spoon into an 8x8 baking dish and cool before serving.

Peanut Butter Cup Banana Bread

I made this recipe yesterday for a gathering of some friends. Scott said this was the first bread that he didn't feel the need to put butter on! It is definitely sweet,  so good at the same time.

The recipe originally called for peanut butter instead of hazelnut spread (i.e. Nutella), so you could definitely switch it back if thats what you have on hand. I just had the hazelnut spread and didn't know what else I would make with it.

This also took me a very long time to cook in the oven. I'm not sure if it's my oven or if I filled the bread pan too full (very good possibility). So, it's a minimum of an hour recipe!

Peanut Butter Cup Banana Bread-adapted from The Daily Smash
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Serves 12

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 cup hazelnut spread
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 egg
  • 8 ounces peanut butter cups
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together sugars, flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, combine bananas, hazelnut spread, oil and egg. Slowly, mix dry ingredients with wet ingredients just until combined.

Place peanut butter cups in a food processor, and pulse, just until chopped up. Fold into batter mixture. Spoon mixture into a greased bread pan. Bake for about an hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let sit in pan for at least 10 minutes before cutting.

Hawaiian Meatballs

When Scott first saw this recipe, he was very nervous. To him, meatballs and pineapple do not go together. To be honest, this ended up great! We had them for dinner with rice on the side, but they could easily be made for an appetizer for a party. I think next time I might just use a mixed variety of bell peppers as we don't particularly like green pepper. I did, as usual for slow cooker recipes, make this the night before and put it in the fridge before cooking. It still turned out great! Scott shared this with his coworkers the day after and they loved it as well!



Hawaiian Meatballs-adapated from "Slow Cooker Recipe Cards" by Taste of Home
Total Time: 6 hours
Serves 8
  • 20 ounce can diced pineapple, undrained
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 28 ounces frozen, fully cooked meatballs
  • 2 green peppers, diced
  • 10 ounces maraschino cherries, drained
  • 2 cups cooked white rice, optional
Drain pineapple, reserving juice in a 2-cup measuring cup. Add enough water to measure 2 cups total.

In a small pan, combine brown sugar and cornstarch. Gradually stir in the pineapple juice mixture until smooth. Stir in vinegar. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.

In a 4 quart slow cooker, combine the meatballs, pepper and pineapple chunks. Pour juice mixture on top. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or until heated through and peppers are tender. Add the cherries during the last 30 minutes of cooking. Serve with rice if desired.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Broccoli Pork Rice Bowl

This recipe was supposed to be made with chicken, and definitely could still be used with your favorite protein. However, I accidentally took the pork chops out of the freezer thinking they were chicken breasts (I made the mistake of putting them in an unmarked bag).

I added some cayenne pepper and garlic salt to the original recipe for additional flavor. If you aren't a fan of either, play around with your favorite spices! You could also add your favorite veggies to the dish, much like a stir fry.


Broccoli Pork Rice Bowl-adapted from "Reader's Top Rated Recipes" by Cooking Light
Total Time: 30 Minutes
Serves 4

  • 3 cups broccoli, fresh or frozen
  • 1 cup white rice
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 8 ounces boneless pork chops, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 ounces Velveeta cheese, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt, to taste
Steam broccoli for about 5 minutes, or according to package directions. Also, cook rice according to package directions.

Meanwhile heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add pork and cook about 5 minutes, until pork is cooked through. Add onions, cheese, cayenne and garlic salt and stir, just until cheese begins to melt. Stir in rice and broccoli. Continue to mix together until well blended and cheese i s melted.

Dr. Pepper Pot Roast

I've always seen lots of recipes online for Dr. Pepper pot roast but never got around to eating it. I grew up eating pot roast so anytime I see roast recipes I know I'm going to make them...one day. This ended up being so flavorful yet so moist. Even the next day! Being able to just put this in the slow cooker during the day makes it so easy! I just used a bag of mixed fruit, but you could certainly use more plums or apricots, whatever suits your fancy!


Dr. Pepper Pot Roast-adapted from "Semi-Homemade Cooking 2" by Sandra Lee
Total Time: 8 hours
Serves 8
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned pepper
  • 3 small onions, sliced
  • 4-pound pork rump roast
  • 2 teaspoons ground cloves
  • 2 sticks cinnamon
  • 1 whole bay leaf
  • 12-ounces Diet Dr. Pepper
  • 8 ounces mixed dried fruit, such as prunes and apricots

Season roast with salt & pepper. In a heavy skillet, brown meat over medium-high heat.

In a 4-quart slow cooker, place sliced onions, and place browned roast on top of onions. Season with cloves, cinnamon sticks and bay leaf. Top with Diet Dr. Pepper and fruit. Cook on high 3 to 4 hours, or on low 8-9 hours or until roast is cooked and tender.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Salmon with Potatoes, Asparagus and Lemon-Dill-Caper Sauce

This recipe was really delicious and easy to put together an entire meal in one dish! Just give it about 30-45 minutes to cook thoroughly and you have dinner ready to go! Also, the trick is to put these items in a cold oven that you're preheating as you cook-it's meant to be that way :)


Salmon with Potatoes, Asparagus and Lemon-Dill Caper Sauce-adapted from Perfect One-Dish Dinners by Pam Anderson
Serves 6
Total Time 45 Minutes

  • 2 1/2-3 pounds salmon filets
  • 5 tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 2 pounds baby red potatoes, quartered
  • 2 bunches asparagus, trimmed
  • 1/8 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/8 cup dill weed
  • 1/4 cup capers plus 2 teaspoons caper juice
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 6 tablespoons canola oil
Coat salmon filets with two tablespoons canola oil and a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper, and place on a foil lined baking sheet. Toss potatoes with another tow tablespoons canola oil and sprinkling of salt and pepper and set on another baking sheet. Toss asparagus with remaining one tablespoon canola oil, salt and pepper and set aside.

Adjust oven racks to lowest and upper-middle positions. Place potatoes on bottom rack and salmon on top rack of a cold oven, then preheat to 400 degrees. Roast until salmon is opaque, about 25 minutes, and potatoes are golden brown, about 30 minutes. 

Transfer salmon to a plate, and add asparagus to the original salmon sheet and cook about 5 to 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix parsley, dill, capers, juice, green onion and remaining canola oil in a small bowl. Serve over salmon.

Picante Pot Roast with Couscous

This is a really quick dinner recipe that can be made with precooked pot roast, for those nights you just don't want to take a long time cooking dinner. The addition of salsa to the pot roast really gives it an extra kick!


Picante Pot Roast with Couscous-adapted from New Cookbook by Better Homes and Gardens
Total Time: 20 Minutes
Serves 4

  • 16-17 ounce package refrigerated cooked beef pot roast with juices
  • 8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup prepared salsa
  • 1 cup quick-cooking couscous
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoned pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Sour cream, for serving
Transfer liquid from pot roast package into a large skillet; add mushrooms and salsa. Cut pot roast into 1-inch pieces and add to skillet. Bring to boiling and then reduce the heat. Simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook couscous according to package directions. Add garlic salt, seasoned pepper and cayenne pepper to taste.

Spoon pot roast mixture over couscous and serve with sour cream.

Beef Tenderloin

For some reason when I came to this dish I was very nervous I wasn't going to make this right. I honestly don't know why as this was so incredibly easy. This was also probably one of the best dishes I've ever made.

Beef tenderloin is one of those dishes you don't want to over cook, however, I almost made this too rare. But in those cases, you can always throw it back in the oven. The original recipe was a bit on the salty side, so I will likely cut that in half next time, but I will be making this again!


Beef Tenderloin-adapted from The Pioneer Woman Cooks by Ree Drummond
Total Time: 35 Minutes
Serves 4-5

  • 3-4 pound whole beef tenderloin
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
Heat oven to 450 degrees. Trim the excess fat from the tenderloin as desired. 

In a medium bowl, combine salt, pepper, sugar and 1/4 cup olive oil. Use a basting brush to cover the tenderloin with the mixture.

Heat a heavy skillet over high heat and add the butter. Sear the tenderloin, about 1-1 1/2 minutes on each side, until brown.

Place the meat on a roasting pan with a rack and place in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the beef is 125 degrees for medium rare. Let the meat set for about 10 minutes-it will continue cooking slightly. Slice the meat into serving pieces.

Swiss Steak

So I must confess-this might not be the best review of this recipe. I accidentally screwed up the timer on the slow cooker, so when I came home dinner wasn't really cooked. I kept cooking it on low and had egg sandwiches for dinner instead. I then warmed this up for dinner the next night. The flavors and taste were fine, but it wasn't something I really need to make again. If someone makes it right the first time, please let me know!


Swiss Steak-adapted from New Slow Cooker Meals by Betty Crocker
Total Time: 9 hours
Serves 6

  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless beef round steak
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 6 baby red potatoes, cut into fourths
  • 1 1/2 cups baby carrots
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano, undrained
  • 12 ounces beef gravy
Cut beef into 6 serving pieces. Spray a large skillet with cooking spreay and heat over medium-high heat. Sprinkle beef with seasoned salt and cook for about 8 minutes, turning once, until brown. 

Layer potatoes, carrots, beef and onion in a 4-quart slow cooker. Pour tomatoes and gravy over top.

Cover and cook on low heat 7-9 hours or until beef and vegetables are tender.

Shrimp and Noodle Stir Fry

Shrimp stir fry isn't something I make very often, but now I'm thinking I should. The flavors in this recipe were great, after I added some soy sauce to it. The noodles also give it just a little something extra over using rice.

As a few people mentioned on my Facebook post, you can make this with any kind of protein. Chicken, shrimp, spicy sausage-whatever you have on hand or are craving at the time! Adding in additional veggies is one of my favorite things about stir fries too!


Shrimp and Noodle Stir Fry-adapted from Every Day with Rachael Ray
Total Time: 30 Minutes
Serves 4

  • 8 ounces rice noodles
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 4 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup carrots, cut into matchsticks
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
Cook rice noodles according to package directions. Drain, rinse and transfer to a large bowl.

In a small, heatproof bowl, combine the green onion, garlic, ginger, seasoned pepper and garlic salt. In a large skillet, heat 3 tablespoons canola oil. Carefully mix the hot oil into the green onion mixture; reserve the skillet and set bowl aside.

Add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil to the skillet and heat over medium high heat. Add the shrimp and soy sauce and cook for 1 minute. Add the carrots, bell pepper and broccoli to the skillet and toss until cooked through. 

Toss the stir fry into the noodles, and add reserved green onion mixture and stir until well combined.

Parmesan Crusted Fish

I'm not sure if I've said this before, but I love Rachael Ray! Everything I've made from her magazine or website has turned out absolutely fantastic. Her recipes are easy to follow, which is an added bonus! I'm pretty sure this fish really called for grated parmesan from a jar, however, I had fresh shredded parmesan on hand so that's what I used instead. And let me tell you, it was totally worth it! The flavor of this fish was amazing, and it was a quick and easy dish!



Parmesan Crusted Fish-adapted from Rachael Ray
Total Time: 25 Minutes
Serves 4

  • 3/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
  • 1 teaspoon lemon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 4 swai or other whitefish filets
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a shallow dish, mix parmesan cheese, paprika and parsley. Season fish with the lemon pepper and garlic salt. Dredge filets in the cheese mixture and place on a foil lined baking sheet. Bake for about 15 minutes or until fish is flakey.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Honey-Garlic Glazed Pork Chops

For some reason, I always remember, every time I make pork, that the first time I made it that he hates pork because it's dry and flavorless. Lets just say he isn't saying that anymore! The pork had a great breading on it, and the glaze was AMAZING! It was sweet but tangy at the same time. It was very easy to make as well, and I'd definitely recommend it to anyone!


Honey-Garlic Glazed Pork Chops-adapted from Rock Recipes
Total Time: 30 Minutes
Serves 4
Pork Chops
  • 4 boneless pork loin chops
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 tablespoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground thyme
  • 1 teaspoon ground sage
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • Canola oil for frying
Honey Garlic Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper
In a shallow bowl, combine all dry ingredients for the pork chops. In another shallow bowl whisk egg and water together. Season the pork chops with salt and pepper to taste, then dip the chops in the flour and spice mixture. Dip the chop into the eggwash and then a final time into the flour and spice mix, pressing the mix into the pork to get it to stick.

Heat a skillet over medium heat with about a half inch of canola oil covering the bottom. Fry pork chops for about 4 or 5 minutes per side until golden brown and crispy.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan add canola oil and garlic and heat over medium heat to soften garlic, but do not let it brown. Add the additional sauce ingredients and simmer together for 5-10 minutes, remove from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes. Serve over cooked pork chops.

Crispy Fish with Lemon Garlic Sauce

Truth be told, I had this blog post done and ready to post about a week ago. But somehow, Blogger deleted it. I'm not happy about that. Just sayin'.

Anyway, this was HANDS DOWN the best fish recipe I've made to date. The fish was nice and crispy, but flavorful and flaky at the same time. The sauce was also perfect, but I'm a fan of garlic anything. It's so easy, and if you have kids you can  cut them into strips for homemade "fish sticks." The original recipe also tells how to freeze these beforehand, which I'll post the instructions for as well.


Crispy Fish with Lemon Garlic Sauce-adapted from Once Upon a Chef
Total Time: 30 Minutes
Serves 4
Fish
  • 2 pounds tilapia or other white fish fillets
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups panko
  • 1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon pepper
  • Olive oil for frying
Lemon Garlic Sauce

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt 
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon pepper

Set up three large, shallow bowls in an assembly line. Put flour in the first bowl; beaten eggs in the second; and panko in the third.
Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Dredge fish in flour mixture, shaking excess into bowl so just a light coating remains; dip in eggs and turn to coat evenly; then dredge in panko, turning several times to coat evenly.  Set breaded fish on baking sheet and season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until ready to cook (this can be done several hours ahead of time).
Heat olive oil in large, non-stick saute pan over medium heat. When pan is hot, place first batch of fish and cook until first side is golden brown, about 2-3 minutes. Flip and continue cooking until done, about 2 minutes more. Transfer fish to plate with paper towels and let sit for a minute to drain any excess oil. Remove any brown bits out of pan, add more oil if necessary and continue to cook in batches until done. 
Meanwhile, mix mayonnaise, garlic and lemon juice in a small bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste.
If you want to freeze the breaded tilapia, lay them in a single layer and wrap well with aluminum foil. Place in a freezer bag in the freezer.  When you’re ready to make them, simply defrost them enough so they’ll lay flat in the pan and cook as directed above.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

30 Clove Garlic Chicken

When I told Scott I was making a 30 clove garlic chicken he was very scared. It's a LOT of garlic! I have to tell you, peeling that much garlic was one of the worst things I have ever done. I think I almost prefer peeling potatoes, and I hate peeling potatoes! Next time I make this, I want to try this way of peeling garlic. We'll see if it works!

As standard with slow cooker chicken recipes, the chicken ended up very tender! The garlic seemed to caramelize and create this just amazing flavor. And make sure you eat some of the cloves too (trust me)! This can be made with anywhere between 20-40 cloves of garlic, whatever you have on hand (it's a great pantry meal). I might try this next time with a whole chicken!


30 Clove Garlic Chicken-adapted from Make it Fast, Cook it Slow by Stephanie O'Dea
Total Time:  6 Hours
Serves 6

  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 to 4 pounds of chicken
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 20 to 40 garlic cloves, peeled, but in tact 
Spray the inside of a 6-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Place onion on the bottom of the stoneware, with chicken on top. Sprinkle the chicken with the remainder of ingredients. Cook on low for 6-8 hours, or until chicken is cooked through and tender.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Benedictine Dip

My friend Katie makes the best cucumber dip. I haven't tried making it myself, but it is just so good. As I was making this recipe, I was thinking, "I wonder if this will taste like Katie's?" It totally did, although, it was different (and I think even a little better). The cayenne brings just enough extra heat that is cooled down by the cucumber pieces! It is also very easy to make. I always serve this type of dip with Wheat Thins, but you could use whatever recipe you choose!


Benedictine Dip-adapted from Fresh Home Magazine
Total Time: 5 Minutes
Serves 8

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1 tablespoon parsley
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3/4 cup cucumber, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup green onion, finely chopped
  • Box of wheat thins, or other crackers
In a small bowl, mix all ingredients except cucumber, green onion and crackers until smooth. Stir in cucumber and onion. Chill and serve with crackers.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Pad Thai Chicken Salad

Thanks to this recipe, I think my new favorite is adding some noodles to a salad. I just gives it some extra oompf! The flavors of this were great and it was overall pretty easy to make.




Pad Thai Chicken Salad-adapted from Good Housekeeping
Total Time: 35 Minutes
Serves 6

  • 7 ounces vermicelli rice noodles
  • 1 pound chicken breast
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cup mixed greens
  • 1 green onion, diced
  • 1 cups shredded carrots
  • 5 radishes, sliced into half-moons
  • 1/3 cup chopped roasted salted peanuts
Cook noodles according to package directions, then drain and rinse with cold water.

Season chicken with salt and pepper. Cook, over medium heat, in a large skillet, about 6 minutes, or until center is no longer pink. Let cool, then dice into bite size pieces

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together lime juice, fish sauce, brown sugar, canola oil, cider vinegar and salt. In a large bowl, combine all cooked ingredients and veggies. Then toss to coat with dressing.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Try Again: Cheesy Bacon Potatoes

So this recipe did not go well. I didn't give myself enough time to do it as the recipe stated. So this is more of a try-again recipe. We ended up throwing the potatoes in the oven to finish cooking. The cheese got a little over cooked, but the flavors were definitely there! If any of you try this, let me know how it goes!

Cheesy Bacon Potatoes-adapated from Stock Piling Moms
Total Time: 4 Hours
Serves 6

  • 1/4 pound bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 green onion, diced
  • 6-8 red potatoes, quartered
  • 8 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 tablespoons butter
Cook bacon over medium heat in a skillet until crispy. Meanwhile, line a 5-quart slow cooker with tin foil, having enough to cover the potatoes with once placed inside. Place half of the bacon, onion, potatoes and cheese in the bottom of the slow cooker. Season with half salt and pepper, and dot with 2 tablespoons butter. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Cover potatoes fully with foil to keep in steam. Cook on low for 4-6 hours or until potatoes are tender.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Greek Pasta Salad

Greek pasta salad i just one of those things. Just awesomely delicious. This recipe was simple and I loved the vinaigrette!

Greek Pasta Salad-adapted from Daydream Kitchen
Total Time 30 Minutes
Serves 6

Pasta Salad

  • 6 ounces pasta of choice
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup kalamata olives, sliced
  • 1 cup cucumber, diced
  • 1/2 cup red onion, diced
  • 4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
Dressing
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon basil
Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and cool. Place in a large bowl and stir in additional pasta salad ingredients.

Meanwhile, whisk together all dressing ingredients. Pour over pasta salad ingredients and toss to coat.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Nonburger Burgers

The only time I remember having a veggie burger is from when I was a kid. It was one of those crappy, frozen patties that tastes like cardboard. And this was likely before 2002. Since I've been trying to eat more healthy and try new foods, I've seen a lot of great recipes for kale burgers, black bean burgers, and many others! I (obviously) haven't gotten around to making any of these, but now I can say I have!

The flavor of these burgers was absolutely amazing! I think they were a bit dry, but I'm guessing that comes with the territory. Adding just a bit of ranch (or buffalo ranch) added some great moisture and even more flavor to it. I'd definitely make this again!


Nonbuger Burgers-adapted from Food Network
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Serves 4

  • 2 ounces olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons black olives
  • 2 tablespoons red pepper, diced
  • 1 teaspoon jalapeno, diced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoons artichoke hearts, chopped
  • 4 ounces cooked black beans
  • 4 ounces cooked chickpeas
  • 4 ounces cooked white beans
  • 6 ounces rolled oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground sage
  • 2 tablespoons seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 4 burger buns
  • 4 slices cheese
Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute all vegetables except beans until translucent.

In a large bowl, mix beans with vegetables and mix thoroughly. Add in all other dry ingredients and egg and mix well. Then pulse the mixture in a food processor until you can form into patties. Form into patties and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.

Saute in a skillet over medium heat with 1 teaspoon oil until darkened on both sides. Serve with cheese, bun and burger fixings.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Sausage and Chicken Cassoulet

I can safely say I've never  made a cassoulet before. And I can also say I was greatly surprised by this dish! It was flavorful, yet relatively easy to make! The only down fall is that it takes about an hour to fully cook everything, but for a Sunday night dish it would be perfect! There's plenty to feed the family and it's definitely hearty!


Sausage and Chicken Cassoulet-adapted from Best One Dish Meals by Pillsbury
Total Time: 1 hour
Serves 4

  • 4 slices bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 4 bone-in chicken thighs
  • 1 cup matchstick carrots
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 6 ounces Polish sausage, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 2 cans (15 ounces each) great northern beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes with roasted garlic, undrained
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove from heat and set aside, leaving grease in pan to cook chicken.

Add chicken to skillet and cook about 4 minutes, turning once, until it starts to brown. Add spices and vegetables to skill and cook another 3 minutes, until vegetables start to brown.

In an ungreased 13x9 inch baking dish, mix sausage, beans, tomatoes, bacon, carrots and onion. Top with chicken thighs.

Cover pan with foil and bake about 45 minutes or until chicken is thoroughly cooked and vegetables are tender.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Little Smokies

I made these for watching football and the fights last week. It's pretty much your standard recipe, but still tasty!


Little Smokies-adapted from More Make it Fast, Cook it Slow by Stephanie O'Dea
Total Time: 4 hours
Serves 8

  • 28 ounces little smokies sausages
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1 1/2 cups barbecue sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup brown sugar
Grease the inside of a 4-quart slow cooker. Combine all ingredients and mix well. Cook on low for 4 hours, or high for 2 hours, until sausages are warm throughout.


Sunday, October 27, 2013

Artichoke, Edamame and Asparagus Salad

I made a mistake when I bought the ingredients for this recipe. For some reason, I didn't think to grab the shelled edamame from the freezer section. This made it a bit harder to eat as you can't really eat the shells, but you could still tell the flavors that were there and I'd definitely make this again.



Artichoke, Edamame, and Asparagus Salad-adapted from Health Magazine
Total Time: 15 Minutes
Serves 4

  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 14-ounce can artichokes, quartered and drained
  • 1 cup frozen shelled edamame
  • 1 pound medium asparagus, trimmed and cut diagonally into pieces
In a salad bowl, combine garlic, oil, lemon juice, oregano, salt and pepper; whisk well. Add artichokes and toss gently. Set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the edamame and cook for 2 minutes. Add asparagus and cook until asparagus and edamame are crisp-tender, another 2 minutes. Rinse under cold water and drain well.

Add asparagus and edamame to artichoke mixture and toss to coat.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Salsa Quesadillas

This is a very simple, quick recipe to make when you just don't feel like cooking. We have a quesadilla maker, so just put the ingredients together in there, however, I did put the recipe from the book that discusses how to make this in a skillet.

I do have to admit the absolute fail I did while making Scott's quesadilla. I definitely forgot to put the additional tortilla on top and closed the quesadilla maker. Let's just say, it was a mess to clean up. You could add additional ingredients or meats to this as you choose-really make it your own!


Salsa Quesadillas-adapted from Meals Made Easy by Real Simple
Total Time: 15 Minutes
Serves 2

  • 4 8-inch tortillas
  • 1 cup shredded taco cheese
  • 8 ounce jar chunky store-bought salsa
  • 1 green onion, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil, per quesadilla
Lay one tortilla on a flat surface and place half the salsa, cheese and onion in the middle, leaving a 1-inch border. Place in quesadilla maker with second tortilla on top and cook for recommended cooking time.

If using a skillet, heat 1 teaspoon oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Place tortilla with ingredients on the skillet, with second tortilla covering. Cook about 2 minutes per side, or until cheese is melted and tortillas are golden and crisp.

Cut tortillas into slices and serve with sour cream, guacamole, or additional salsa.

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