Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Chipotle Tacos and Fiesta Zucchini Corn

I love to experiment when I cook, especially with tacos, trying to make them more healthy and less greasy! and extra tasty. Here's what I came up with! And I love to experiment with a healthy side dish, wasn't sure what to call my Zucchini,corn and black beans.. if you'd call it a relish, or what? But it turned out yummy!

Chipotle Tacos
1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
1/2 medium sized onion, diced
1 heaping teaspoon minced garlic
2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped (you can buy these in a can in the Mexican section in the grocery store, I just use what I need and freeze the rest in a tupperware)They are quite spicy so you defintely don't use the whole can.
1 packet mild taco seasoning (or i used 1 teaspoon Mexican chile powder, 1/2 teaspoon or more ground cumin, 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder)
Salt and pepper to taste
Corn tortillas
Pico de Gallo (see recipe on this blog)
Guacamole (see recipe below)
grated cheese
chopped letuce

Add ground beef, chopped onion and garlic to a medium sized fry brown, and cook until the meat is browned and onion is tender. Add chopped chipotles and taco seasoning, and a dash or two of salt and pepper. Simmer for about 5 to 10 more minutes so the seasonings can blend.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray the corn tortillas on each side with Spray Pam, then lay on oven rack in a single layer. Bake for 1 minute, then flip over and bake for 1 minute more. Remove from oven and put in tortilla warmer or a towel lined casserole dish with a lid, until ready to eat. Don't cook any longer or they'll get too hard, and they will be hard to chew.
To assemble spread guacamole on one side of tortilla, add a spoonful or two of the ground beef, sprinkle on cheese,and lettuce and a spoonfull of Pico de Gallo, fold in half and enjoy! Serve with Fiesta Zucchini Corn! (recipe below)

3 ripe avacados
3 Tablespoons or more of prepared Salsa
1 or 2 Tablespoons lemon or lime juice
Salt and pepper to taste

Remove the pit from the Avacado and spoon from skin into a medium size bowl. Add lemon juice and salt and pepper, mash with potatoe masher. Stir in Salsa and viola, you have yummy guacamole.

Fiesta Zucchinni Corn
1 medium size Zucchinni, diced
1 can corn, drained
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup diced onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 cup diced red pepper(if desired)
2 Tablespoons prepared salsa
Salt and pepper to taste
chipotle powder (if desired) just a dash, this can be spicy

Heat a Tablespoon of olive oil in a medium size fry pan. Saute garlic and onion and red pepper for 2 or 3 minutes, then add zucchini, continue cooking over medium heat until veggetables are tender, add corn,black beans and salsa, heat through. Season with salt and pepper while cooking, and if you want to add a kick add a dash or two of chipotle powder.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Chocolate Marshmellow Cookies

These are the chocolate marshmellow cookies I remember my Grandma Lucy making... I loved going to her house and she'd have a big tupperware container full of them!! Yum......... the memories!!! Oh, and have a glass of milk handy!

Chocolate Marshmellow Cookies

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

18 large Marshmellows, cut in half
Chocolate Frosting, (see recipe below)

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
2. In a large bowl cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add, egg, milk and vanilla, and beat until well combined. Add reserved flour mixture; mix on low speed until combined.
3. Using a Tablespoon, or small cookie scoop, drop dough onto greased cookies sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake until cookies begin to spread a little and become firm, about 8 minutes.
4. Remove cookie sheet from oven, and place marshmellow on the top, cut side down, in the center of each cookie, pressing down lightly. Return to oven and continue baking until marshmallows start to melt, about 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire rack to cool.
5. When cookies are comepletely cool frost with 1 tablespoon frosting over the marshmallow and around the sides, covering marshmallow completely!
Makes about 3 dozen cookies

Chocolate Buttercream frosting
1/4 cup softened butter
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 1/4 cups powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

In a bowl beat butter and cocoa powder until fluffy. Gradually add 1 cup powdered sugar, beating well. Slowly beat in the 2 tablespoons milk and vanilla.
Slowly beat in remaining sugar. Beat in additional milk if needed to make icing spreadable. Whip for a minute or two to make fluffy frosting.

Chicken Penne Arrabiata

I made this for dinner today, it was Yummo! I had made it before a couple of years ago for our anniversary,(a romantic candlelight dinner) and I decided to try it again, only I tweaked it a bit. It kind of reminds me of chicken Parmesan but with a twist and a zing!

Chicken Penne Arrabiata
1/2 cup olive oil, (divided)
6 cloves garlic, sliced or minced (I used the minced from a jar, 3 kind of heaping teaspoons)
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (if you don't like it so spicy cut back to 1/2 teaspoon, but I thought 1 tsp. was perfect)
1-(28 ounce) can diced tomatoes (the kind with roasted garlic works good)
1- (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 teaspoon dried basil (can use fresh if you have it, just chop up a handful)
1 teaspoon sugar (I always use when making tomato sauce, helps with the acidity of the tomatoes)
2 cups dried whole grain penne pasta
2 eggs
3/4 cup Italian breadcrumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 pound thin chicken breast cutlets (or boneless skinless chicken tenders work)
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
Parmesan cheese for garnish

1.Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic, and saute for a minute. Add red pepper flakes and saute for another minute. Pour in the diced tomatoes and tomato sauce, and add the basil, sugar, and a dash or two of salt.
2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add Penne pasta, and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente. Drain.
3.In a small bowl, whisk eggs with a fork, add chicken breasts, make sure they are coated well with the egg. In another bowl, combine bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, 1 tsp. salt, and black pepper.
Press chicken breasts into breadcrumb mixture one at a time until completely coated.
4. Heat remaining olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Fry chicken for about 5 minutes per side, or until the coating is a nice dark brown color.
5. Remove chicken, and cut into slices (if using chicken tenders you don't need to slice). Toss the chicken slices into the sauce, and simmer for about 10 minutes. Stir in the cooked penne, simmer for a few more minutes to soak up the flavor. Toss in a cup of mozzarella cheese. Serve. Garnish each serving with a little grated Parmesan to taste.
Serves 4.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

I love these cookies! It doesn't have to be autumn time for me to make them either... Yum!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened
2 cups dark brown sugar, packed (light works too)
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 Tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
12 ounces semi sweet chocolate chunks
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, egg and vanilla with an electric mixer. Add pumpkin and mix well.
In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and pumpkin pie spice.
Combine the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients and mix well.
Add the chocolate chunks and pecans and stir until combined.
Measure 1/4 cup portions and place 2 inches apart on a greased baking sheet. (can line with parchment paper if you want instead of greasing the pan). Bake cookies for 15 to 18 minutes or until they are just beginning to brown slightly around the edges. Cookies will seem undercooked when they come out, but when cool, they will be crispy around the edges and soft in the center.

Makes 2 dozen cookies.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Pasta With the Works

This is one of my all time favorites... it's quick and easy!! I got this when I worked at Albi's and they'd demoed simple recipes out in the store!

Pasta With the Works!

1/2 cup thinly sliced pepperoni
1 medium green pepper, cut into strips
2 cups spaghetti sauce with mushrooms, (I used Ragu chunky Garden style)
1/3 cup olives, sliced
4 cups hot cooked corkscrew pasta (about 3 cups dry)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Grated Parmesan Cheese

In 10-in skillet over medium heat, cook pepperoni and green pepper until pepper is tender-crisp, stirring often.
Stir in Spaghetti sauce and olives. Over medium-high heat, heat to boiling, reduce heat to low, cover and cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
Add noodles and mozzarella cheese, toss to coat. Serve with Parmesan cheese. (And fresh basil if desired)


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Chicken and Vegetables in Thai Peanut Sauce

Tried this recipe out that I found on the Internet. Was pretty good, I tweaked it for my taste though!

Chicken and Vegetables in Thai Peanut Sauce

1 to 2 pounds chicken, cut into thin strips
vegetable or olive oil (to saute with)
2 Tablespoons Sriracha chili sauce (this stuff is way hot, so use less if you don't like things too spicy!) You can find this in the Chinese section of most grocery stores.
juice of 1 lime
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
3 to 4 shakes soy sauce
salt & pepper (to taste)
1 16 ounce package linguine noodles
** Peanut Sauce (see recipe below)
Chopped peanuts (for garnish)

The following are all to taste, add as much or little as you want (I did the ones listed below, then when I warmed up leftovers I steamed a package of stir fry veggies and added to the noodles, use what veggies you want)
-carrots, cut into thin strips
-broccoli florets, cut into bite sized pieces
-green onion
-bean sprouts (I used canned and added at the end of cooking and heated through)

In a large bowl stir together the chicken, sriracha chili sauce,lime, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, salt and pepper. Then Saute in oil, in large skillet until chicken is done. While chicken is cooking , prepare the linguine (to al dente) and make the peanut sauce. After the chicken is cooked, remove from the skillet and keep warm in bowl. Re-oil the skillet, add vegetables and saute until tender crisp. Add the chicken and the bean sprouts to the skillet, stir to heat, then cover and reduce heat to keep warm. Drain noodles and toss with a little olive oil to keep from drying out.
Now there are 2 ways to serve this: 1- mix the sauce with the noodles and TOP with the veggies and chicken OR 2. you can add the noodles and sauce to the skillet with the Chicken and veggies and toss until everything is well coated. Garnish with chopped peanuts.

Peanut Sauce:

1 cup chicken broth
6 Tablespoons creamy peanut butter
2-4 teaspoons Sriracha chili sauce (2 teaspoons is more mild, 4 is hot, I used 2)
3 Tablespoons honey
6 Tablespoons soy sauce
3 Tablespoons fresh minced ginger
4 to 5 cloves garlic, minced

Combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat until sauce becomes smooth and well blended. Sauce will thicken a bit as it cooks.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


I love snickerdoodles!! This is my favorite recipe and I love to put Hershey's Cinnamon Chips in them. (Sometimes they are hard to find though, usually Albertson's or Ridley's have them. Can never find them in Walmart)

1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 cup Hershey's cinnamon chips (opt)

2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

1. In a large bowl cream together the butter and sugars with an electric mixer on high speed. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until smooth.
2. In another bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking soda, and cream of tartar.
3.Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix well.
4. Stir in the cinnamon chips.
5. Preheat oven to 325 degrees while you let the dough rest in the fridge for 30 to 60 minutes.
6. In a small bowl combine the sugar with the cinnamon for the topping.
7. Take about 2 1/2 Tablespoons of the dough and roll into a ball. Roll this dough in the cinnamon/sugar mixture and press it onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
8. Bake the cookies for about 10-12 minutes. The cookies should seem kind of undercooked, but will continue to develop after they are removed from the oven.
You want them to still be kind of gooey, yet firm in the middle.

*I usually double this recipe..... did I mention I love snickerdoodles??

Friday, March 19, 2010

Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup

I got this recipe from a friend at work! She made it for the office at Christmas! It's delicious!

Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup

6 cups water
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 Tablespoon chicken bouillon (or two cubes)
2 cups chopped carrots
2 cups chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 cup evaporated milk (or cream if you don't like the taste of evaporated milk)
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 cups dry egg noodles (*I use Country Pasta Homemade style wide egg noodles)
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup cold water

Bring water to a boil in large pot. Add chicken, bouillon into pot bring back to a boil, reduce heat,cover and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes until chicken is no longer pink in the center. Remove chicken and cut into bite size pieces. Return chicken to broth and add carrots, celery and onion. Cover and cook until tender. Add noodles and cook for 10 minutes or until noodles are tender. Mix cream of chicken soup, evaporated milk and spices together and slowly stir into broth mixture. Whisk flour and cold water together until smooth. Stir into soup and cook until thickened.

Banana Sour Cream Bread

"Sour cream gives enough tangy bite to take the edge off this banana bread 's sweetness. Dusting the baking pans with cinnamon sugar gives these small four loaves a gentle spice undertone. This is the best banana bread I've ever made! "

Banana Sour Cream Bread

2 tablespoons white sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons butter
1-1/2 cups white sugar
1 large egg or 2 small
3 very ripe bananas, mashed
1 (8-ounce) container sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon banana flavoring (this makes it extra good)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup chopped walnuts or sllivered almonds(optional)


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (150 degrees C). Grease two 7x3 inch loaf pans. In a small bowl, stir together 2 TBsp.white sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Dust pans lightly with cinnamon and sugar mixture.
2. In a large bowl, cream butter and 1-1/2 cups sugar. Mix in eggs, mashed bananas, sour cream, vanilla and cinnamon. Mix in salt, baking soda and flour. **Stir in nuts. Divide into prepared pans.
3. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

**OR instead of adding nuts to the batter, I like to sprinkle slivered almonds or chopped pecans on the top of each loaf before baking! Looks pretty!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas

I love enchilada's. You can make this with the red enchilada sauce too, I just usually do the green chile sauce with chicken, and the red with hamburger. Can substitue the chicken for shredded beef or hamburger.

Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas

1 or 2 Tablespoons oil
1/2 cup diced onion
1 or 2 cloves garlic, minced
*3 to 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
1 small can diced green chile's
2 small cans green chile enchilada sauce
Corn Tortilla's
Monterey Jack cheese, sliced into thin strips and about 1 cup grated for topping.
Olives, sliced

In large fry pan, heat 1 to 2 Tablespoons oil. Saute onion till crispy tender, add garlic and saute a minute longer. Add shredded chicken and can of green chilies, and 1/4 cup enchilada sauce (or more) and heat through.
Heat Enchilada sauce in a small fry pan. Spray a 9 x 13 inch casserole dish with pam. Dip a corn tortilla into hot enchilada sauce for a minute to soften. (I do one at a time, they tend to fall apart when warmed in sauce too long) Place in casserole dish, add spoonfull of chicken, a strip of cheese, and a few slice olives, roll and scoot to edge of pan. Continue until your meat is used up, or run out of room in the casserole dish.
Drizzle the remaining enchilada sauce over the enchilada's. Sprinkle with rest of sliced olives, (or as many as you want) and the grated cheese. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes or until hot and cheese is bubbly.
Serve with Mexican rice and re-fried beans. (I like Rosarita re-fries) MMMMmmmmm!

**I cook my chicken just covered in water with a couple of boullion cubes, a piece of onion and some garlic and salt and pepper. This makes great chicken broth to have on hand for the Mexican rice, or soups. Can keep frozen in a tupperware until needed.

Mexican Rice

I learned how to make this rice when we first got married from Jim's Mom. I make it all the time with tacos, enchilada's, tamales, etc.... Yum!

Mexican Rice
2 Tablespoons oil
1 cup regular long grain rice (not the quickcooking kind)
1 8-ounce can tomatoe sauce
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup chopped onion (more if desired)
salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a medium sized saucepan until hot. Add uncooked rice, stir to coat with oil and cook until it starts to turn brown. Add onions and cook a minute or two. Mix the tomatoe sauce and chicken broth together and pour into rice. Add a little salt and pepper (can finish seasoning to taste when done) Stir. Bring to boil, turn heat down to medium low and simmer with lid on for 25 minutes.

**a small can of diced green chili's is good in this too if you like. Just add when adding the tomatoe sauce.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies

This recipe came from AllRecipes.com. They are so close to the Girl Scout oatmeal peanut butter cookies that you will hardly know the difference! Yum!

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar 1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup quick cooking oats
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
2 1/2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

1. In a large bowl, cream together 1/2 cup butter or margarine, 1/2 cup peanut butter, white sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla. Add egg and beat well.
2. In another bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add these dry ingredients to the creamed mixture. Stir. Add oatmeal and stir.
3. Drop by teaspoons onto greased baking sheet, and press each mound down with a fork to form 1/4 inch thick cookies. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 10 minutes, or until cookies are a light brown.
4. To Make Filling: Cream 3 tablespoons butter or margarine with the confectioners' sugar, 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter, and the cream. Spread filling onto half of the cooled cookies, then top with the other half to form sandwiches.

Teriyaki Chicken Burgers

These are Yummy Burgers, I got the recipe off of Top Secret Recipes, it's a clone for Red Robin's Teriyaki Chicken Burgers. Can also make with hamburger to create Red Robins Banzai Burgers (See note at bottom of recipe) I make these with potato Wedge Fries. Yummo!!

Teriyaki Chicken Burgers

Teriyaki Marinade
1 3/4 cups water
1 cup soy sauce
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Make Marinade by combining all the ingredients in a small saucepan over medium/high heat. Bring mixture to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until sauce slightly thickens. Cover and chill marinade in the refrigerator for at least 30minutes. (This makes plenty of marinade for this recipe, only use what you need and put rest of marinade in a jar or Tupperware and use later at another time).

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
8 canned pineapple slices (rings)
4 slices provolone cheese (or Swiss is good too)
4 sesame seed hamburger buns (or whatever kind you like)
4 tomato slices (if desired)

--Pound chicken breasts with kitchen mallet so that they are about 1/2 inch thick. Put chicken breast in Ziploc baggie and pour about 1/2 cup marinade in with them. Gently mush around in the baggie so the marinade is distributed around the chicken. Set in Fridge for at least 4 hours.
--Put your pineapple rings in another container with a lid, pour enough teriyaki marinade to cover pineapple rings. (Can reuse the marinade used for the pineapple,I save in jar with other marinade. Don't reuse the marinade on the chicken) Cover the pineapple with the lid and let set in fridge with chicken.
--When you are ready to make the sandwiches, heat grill or BBQ to medium heat. Start grilling your chicken first. Cook the chicken 6 to 8 minutes per side or until it's done. When you flip the chicken add the pineapple slices to the grill. The pineapple will take less time to cook-- about 3 or 4 minutes per side. You'll know the pineapple slices are done when they have nice grill marks on each side. Be care full not to burn the chicken or the pineapple. The Teriyaki contains sugar, which may char if grilled too long.
--While the chicken and pineapple are grilling toast the buns. I open the buns and place on cookie sheet, add 1 slice of cheese to each bun, and broil in oven for about 2 minutes, or until cheese is melty and other plain bun is toasty.
--Build your sandwich by spreading side of bun without cheese with mayo. Stack the chicken , arrange the tomato slices on next, then two slices of pineapple, and a couple of lettuce leaves.
Serve with potato wedge fries or Orieda Steak Fries are yummy too!
Serves 4

**Can make with hamburger, just form into patties, pour a little teryaki marinade into the bottom of a Tupperware container with lid. Place patties in Tupperware and cover with more marinade. Let sit for 4 hours. When you go to cook patties, they might be falling apart a little from the marinade.. just pick them up and reform into patties best you can and then place on hot grill. Cook for about 5 minutes per side or until your desired doneness. Add Pineapple rings when you flip the burgers. Assemble just like the chicken burgers.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Katy's Vegetable Beef Soup

I LOVE this soup, Katy brought it over when I first got home from the hospital after my surgery!! I finally remembered to get her recipe!! It's just a good hearty soup!

Katy's Vegetable Beef Soup

1 lb of roast beef or hamburger **see note below
1/2 onion, diced
2 (10.5 oz)cans beef broth
2 cups of water
1 1/2 cups of diced tomatoes or 1 can of tomatoes
2 carrots, sliced
2 stalks celery, sliced
4 potatoes, diced
1 tsp taco seasoning (more or less)
salt and pepper
1 bay leaf

Combine all ingredients in a large soup pot and cook uncovered until veggies are tender. Serve with homemade bread!! Yummmy!!

**I put a pot roast in the crock pot first thing in the morning, seasoned with salt, pepper, and onion powder, and added a 1 to 2 cups water with a couple of boullion cubes, and 1 bayleaf. I let this cook all day, then about 4 it was ready to cut the roast into bite size pieces and I used the broth in the soup!

*Also, add frozen corn, peas, and/ or green beans for more vegetables if desired.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Pepper Steak

This is one of my all time favorite recipes!

Pepper Steak and Rice

1 1/2 pounds sirloin steak, cut into 1/4 inch thick strips
1 Tablespoon paprika
2 cloves minced garlic
2 Tablespoons Butter
1 medium onion, sliced thin strips
2 green peppers (can use red, I do one of each) Sliced into thin strips
2 large tomatoes sliced (**or you can use 1 can tomatoes)
1 can sliced mushrooms
1 cup beef broth
2 Tablespoons Cornstarch
2 Tablespoons Soy sauce

3 cups hot cooked rice

Sprinkle steak with paprika and let set for several minutes.
Melt butter in skillet, add garlic and let cook for 1 minute. Then add steak and cook until brown. Then add onion, peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms and beef broth, bring to a boil. Turn down to medium/low heat; cover and let simmer for 15 minutes.
Blend cornstarch and soysauce with a 1/4 cup water in small bowl.
Stir into steak and cook a couple minutes longer until juice is thickened.
Serve over hot rice. Enjoy!

**if using canned tomatoes I drain the juice and have that be part of my beef broth,so that it measures 1 cup.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Santa Fe Chicken Soup

This soup is yummy! It's out of my Eating for Life Book by Bill Phillips.

Santa Fe Chicken Soup
Spicy chicken in green chili broth with crisp tortilla strips, salsa and sour cream.
Servings: 4
Preparation Time: 55 minutes

1/3 cup brown rice (uncooked)
4 portions chicken breast (about 1 lb)
1 lime, halved
2 tsp taco seasoning
6 corn tortillas
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
½ onion, chopped
1 can (4 oz) diced green chilies
6 cups fat-free, reduced-sodium chicken broth
4 Tbsp salsa
¼ cup fat-free sour cream
2 Tbsp cilantro, chopped


Cook brown rice according to its package directions. While the rice is cooking, place chicken breasts in a shallow dish; cover with lime juice, and lightly coat both sides with taco seasoning. Then place chicken on a hot grill and cook for approximately 6 minutes on each side. Let the chicken cool slightly, then cut it into strips and set aside.
Preheat oven to 350° F and cut corn tortillas into ½-inch strips, then place them on a baking sheet. Bake for about 15 minutes or until they are crispy, then set aside.
While the tortilla strips are baking, heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add garlic and onion; sauté until the onion is transparent, about 8 minutes.
Add cooked rice to the pot and sauté for 3 minutes. Add green chilies and sauté for 2 more minutes. Then pour fat-free chicken broth into the mixture and bring it to a boil. Add sliced chicken and reduce heat to low. Simmer for about 25 minutes.
Place a few baked tortilla strips in the bottom of bowls, and spoon about a fourth of the soup into each. Garnish each bowl with a few more tortilla strips, a spoonful of salsa, fat-free sour cream and cilantro. Serve and enjoy!

Asian Beef Stir-Fry

This is one of my favorite lighter recipes. It's out of our Eating for Life Book by Bill Phillips.

Asian Beef Stir-Fry
Peppered steak strips with oriental-style vegetables and noodles
Servings: 4
Preparation Time: 30 minutes

4 portions spaghetti (about 8 oz uncooked) I use the whole grain spaghetti
4 portions lean steak (about 1 lb)
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, sliced
4 celery stalks, sliced
1 head napa cabbage, shredded
½ cup lite soy sauce


Prepare spaghetti according to its package directions; drain and set aside.
While the spaghetti is cooking, slice steak lengthwise into 2-inch strips. Cut crosswise into 1/8-inch-thick slices.
Lightly coat a large skillet or wok with cooking spray. Over medium-high heat, stir-fry red pepper flakes and garlic for 1 minute.
Add the steak strips to the skillet, stir-fry just until no longer pink, approximately 2 minutes. Remove the steak from skillet and set aside.
Lightly recoat the skillet with cooking spray. Stir-fry onion and celery until tender, approximately 5 minutes. Add cabbage and cook until crisp-tender, approximately 2 more minutes.
Return steak to the skillet. Add cooked spaghetti and lite soy sauce; mix gently and heat thoroughly.
Divide into 4 portions, serve and enjoy!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Almost famous breadsticks

I love this recipe that was in my Food network magazine. It makes wonderful bread sticks that I like to dip in the Alfredo and marinara sauces I've posted below! Yum!!!

Almost Famous Bread sticks

1 package active dry yeast
4 1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 Tablespoons butter, softened
2 Tablespoons sugar
1/2 tablespoon salt

For the topping:
3 Tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
pinch of dried oregano

To make the dough:
Place 1/4 cup warm water in the bowl of a mixer; sprinkle in the yeast and the sugar. Whisk to mix, and set aside until foamy, about 5 minutes.
Add the flour, butter, salt and 1 1/4 cups plus 2 Tablespoons warm water, mix with the paddle hook until a slightly sticky dough forms, about 5 minutes.
Knead the dough by hand on a floured surface until smooth and soft, about 3 more minutes. Roll into a 2 foot long log; cut into 16 equal size pieces. Knead each piece slightly and shape into a 7 inch long bread stick. arrange 2 inches apart on a parchment-lined or greased baking sheet. Cover with a cloth; let rise in a warm spot until almost doubled, about 45 minutes.
Preheat the over to 400 degrees.
Brush the bread sticks with 1 1/2 Tablespoons of the butter and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Bake until lightly golden, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile combine the remaing 1/4 teaspoon salt salt with the garlic powder and oregano. Brush the warm breadsticks with the reamaing 1 1/2 Tbsp melted butter and sprinkle with the flavored salt.


Alfredo Sauce

This Alfredo sauce tastes alot like Olive Gardens. I like to dip bread sticks in it or use for Chicken fettuccine.

Alfredo Sauce
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 Tablespoon minced garlic (about 3 cloves)
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic to the butter and cook for 1 minute, then whisk in the cream, salt, pepper, and cheese. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to medium/low heat and simmer uncovered for 12 to 15 minutes or until thick, stirring often. (Don't simmer at too high of heat or it will separate)

*Hint- I love using the minced garlic you can get in jars found in the produce department of most grocery stores. It's so convenient!

Marinara Sauce

This is a good Marinara sauce you can use for anything. I especially like to dip bread sticks in it or use it for a Baked ziti. Mmmmmmm

Marinara Sauce
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup diced onion
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic (1 1/2 cloves)
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
3/4 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning

Head olive oil in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and saute for 1 to 2 minutes or until the garlic begins to turn light brown. Stir in crushed tomatoes, and then add the remaining ingredients. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 25 minutes, stirring often.

Makes 3 cups

How to Make Winger's Asphalt Pie

MMMMM I love this pie.. especially the crust. Finally figured out how to make it pretty close to Winger's.

Winger's Asphalt Pie

Things You'll Need:

2 cups fine to moderately coarse crushed Oreos
4 Tablespoons melted butter
1/2 gallon mint chocolate chip ice cream (or any flavor of ice cream, I did Cookies and Cream and was just as yummy)
Caramel sauce
Hot Fudge sauce
1 can Ready Whip whipped cream
1 cup coarsely crushed Oreo cookies

To make Crust: (While making crust allow the ice cream to soften)
lightly butter the bottom of a 9 inch pie pan. Drizzle a small amount of hot fudge sauce and caramel sauce on the bottom of the pan. In a small bowl, mix together the 2cups Oreo crumbs and melted butter. Press the mixture into the pie pan, making sure the bottom of the pan is evenly covered with the crumb mixture, and up the sides.

Scoop the ice cream into the pie crust. I do it by spoonfuls, and press down a little while adding until the ice cream has completely filled the pie crust. (if necessary, microwave the container of ice cream for 10 to 15 seconds at a time to soften as you go)
Spread ice cream around with a spatula to spread evenly. Put in freezer, allow to freeze for about 4 hours before serving.

Before serving, drizzle the top with more fudge sauce, caramel sauce, I do an edge of whipped cream, and sprinkle the 1 cup of coarsely chopped cookies on the top. Cut into pieces and serve, can add more whipped cream around the sides of pie to get the restaurant effect.


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Yummilicious Meatloaf

This is how I make my meatloaf, it's a combination of 3 different recipes that I've tried. I put the best of all 3 together.

Yummilicious Meatloaf

1 1/2 to 2 pounds ground beef
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs or Ritz cracker crumbs (3/4 cup if using 2-lbs beef)
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 envelope Lipton Onion Soup Mix
2 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup ketchup
2 Tablespoons Steak Sauce

Glaze for topping:
1/2 cup ketchup
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Dash of Worcestershire Sauce
Dash of Hot Pepper Sauce ( I like Louisianna Hot Sauce)
1 Tablespoon of honey
Combine in small bowl and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Slightly combine beef, bread crumbs, cheese, and onion soup mix in a large bowl. Whisk the eggs, ketchup and steak sauce together in a bowl, then mix into the meat mixture until it's all combined. (if mixture seems dry, add a little water).
Mold the meat into a loaf shape on cookie sheet that has been sprayed with pam.

Bake for 10 minutes, then spread the glaze over the top and sides of meatloaf. Continue baking for about 40 to 45 more minutes. Let stand for about 5 minutes before serving.

Garlic Mashed potatoes

I absolutely love Garlic Mashed potates.. I've finally figured out how to make them as good as the restaurants. The key is to roast your garlic first... I went to youtube and typed in how to roast garlic, there are many videos. But I will try to explain it here too!! Yum!

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

1 whole bulb roasted garlic (roast ahead of time)

4 or 5 medium sized potatoes (can use regular idaho potatoes but red potatoes are best)
2 or 3 heaping Tablespoons Sour cream
1/2 cube Butter
Milk (approx. 1/2 cup)
Salt and pepper to taste

To roast garlic, cut the pointy end of the whole bulb of garlic off (appox. 1/2 inch, you want to expose the top of all the cloves) Then set the garlic on a sheet of aluminum foil. Drizzle a good amount of olive oil on the cut side and sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Crinkle up the sides of the foil to enclose the garlic and roast in 350 degree oven for 40 minutes. Let cool.

Peel and wash potatoes (I don't bother peeling red potatoes). Cut and place in pan, cover with water and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Bring to boil and simmer until tender (about 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the size of the pieces)
Drain off water, add butter, sourcream , and squeeze out the roasted garlic. (should just pinch right out of the skins.) Mash with potatoe masher. Warm the milk and add about half, then mix with electric mixer until smooth. May need to add more milk as you're mixing till you get right consistency.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Mexican Chorizo and Potatoes

We used to cook with Mexican pork Chorizo all the time when we lived in Albuquerque. Decided to make breakfast burritos with it the other day!! Yum!!

Chorizo and Potatoes

1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
10 ounces Mexican pork chorizo, casing removed
1 Small onion, diced
3 to 4 diced red potatoes (depending on size)
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chorizo and cook, breaking up the clumps, until dry and crisp, takes about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chorizo to a paper towel, to absorb the extra grease. Drain all but 1 Tbsp. of fat from the pan. ( I found some of the chorizo I get to not be to fatty, so then I had to add another drizzle of oil). Add the onions and the diced potatoes, saute untio tender and golden brown. Stir in the chorizo and season with salt and pepper. Some chorizo is salty so be careful when seasoning.

I like to serve this in a large flour tortilla with scrambled egg and cheese. Yummy breakfast burritos!

Pico de Gallo

I loved this recipe... got it from the show Mexican made Easy on the Food Network. Jim loves it!

Pico de Gallo

1 1/2 pounds yellow or red tomatoes, seeded and chopped (taking the seeds and pulp out will make it so it isn't so runny)
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 serrano chiles*, seeded and minced
Pinch kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
Add all the ingredients to a medium bowl, and toss to combine. Cover and chill until ready to serve. This salsa can be made 4 hours ahead. This is great on taco's and burrito's or where ever you like salsa!

*Serrano chile's are a little smaller and hotter than jalpeno chile's. Use which you like best. Jim likes the serrano's so that it what I used.

Corn Dip

  I made this recipe on the 4th of July, I got the original from the Pioneer woman but tweaked it a bit. I cut the recipe in half, added Wal...