Thursday, March 31, 2011

Pecan Mushroom Chicken Fettuccine (Slow Cooker)

Don't let the picture fool you.  It might not look like much, but it sure tastes delicious!  Enjoy!
-2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite size chunks
-about 6 green onions, chopped
-2 garlic cloves, minced
-3 cups fresh mushrooms, sliced
-1 cup chicken broth
-salt and pepper, to taste
-10 oz uncooked fettuccine
-1 cup half and half
-1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
-chopped pecans, for garnish
Place chicken, onion, garlic, mushrooms, broth, salt and pepper in the slow cooker.  Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours.
Add the pasta and half-and-half,  Stir gently.  Cover and cook on low for 1 hour (stir occasionally to make sure that all the pasta gets cooked).  Once the pasta is tender, add the cheese and stir until fully melted.  Garnish with pecans.  Enjoy!
Recipe adapted from Everything slow cooker cookbook.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Fudge Brownies

These brownies are out of this world!  Yes, they're that good!  So moist, fudgy, chocolaty and simply delicious!  Enjoy!
-1 cup butter (softened)
-2/3 cup cocoa powder
-2 1/2 cups  plus 2 Tbs sugar
-2 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
-1/2 tsp baking powder
-1/2 tsp salt
-4 eggs
-1 1/3 cups flour
Preheat oven to 350 F.  Grease and flour 9x13 baking pan.
Mix all of the ingredients, adding the flour last.  Pour mixture into prepared pan.  Bake in preheated oven for 20-30 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.  Enjoy!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Asian Beef

Quick, delicious and inexpensive.  I just love this meal.:)  Enjoy!
-1 lb extra lean ground beef
-2 packages Top Ramen Oriental flavor
-2 cups cut up vegetables
-2 cups water
-1 tsp ground ginger
-4 green onions, diced
-2 Tbs toasted sesame seeds
-1 Tbs soy sauce
Cook beef and season with one packet of the oriental seasoning.  While beef is cooking, cook the noodles and the vegetables in the 2 cups of water.  To the noodles, add the other seasoning packet and ground ginger.  Mix well.  Add cooked beef, green onions, sesame seeds and soy sauce.  Mix well and enjoy!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Piccata Chicken

-2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in half
-1/4 cup flour
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp ground white pepper
-2 Tbs oil
-1/2 cup apple juice
-2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
-2 Tbs lemon juice
-dried parsley leaves
-a handful of capers
Place each chicken breast half between plastic wrap and tenderize it with a meat mallet until about 1/4 inch thick.  Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large saute pan. 
In a shallow bowl, combine flour, salt and white pepper.  Dredge tenderized breast through it, shake excess and place in heated oil.  Cook for about 3 minutes on each side, or until chicken is cooked through.  Remove chicken from pan and cover to keep warm.
In the same pan (with all the juices left), add apple juice and Worcestershire sauce.  Cook for about 1 minute.  Stir in lemon juice, parsley and capers.  Pour sauce over chicken and serve immediately.  Enjoy!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Colorful Vegetable Stroganoff

This is a super light dish.  I served it as main course, but you can serve it as a side with a steak or grilled fish/chicken/pork or something else.  Again, it's a super easy dish, very yummy and very nutritious too.  I love how loaded it is with vegetables.  Yum!  Enjoy!
-1 lb uncooked linguine
-2 cups broccoli florets (fresh or frozen)
-1 (2.25 oz) can sliced olives, drained
-1 cup cottage cheese
-3/4 cup sour cream
-1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
-3 Tbs margarine
-1 medium onion, chopped
-1 garlic clove, minced
-8 oz fresh sliced mushrooms
-2 Tbs flour
-salt and pepper, to taste
-2 cups milk
-1 large tomato, finely diced
Cook linguine as directed on the package, adding the broccoli during the last 5 minutes.  Drain, return to saucepan, and stir in olives.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine, cottage cheese, sour cream and Parmesan cheese.  Stir well and set aside.
Melt the margarine in large saute pan.  Add onion, garlic and mushrooms.  Cook until veggies are tender.  Stir in flour, salt and pepper.  Gradually add milk and cook until mixture is thickened and bubbly, stirring constantly.
Stir about 1 cup hot sauce into cottage cheese mixture. Add this last mixture into the mushroom sauce.  Cook until thoroughly heated, but make sure you don't boil it.  Pour all that over linguine and broccoli.  Toss to mix.  Stir in diced tomatoes.  Serve hot.  Enjoy!
Recipe adapted from the Pillsbury Cookbook.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Pork, Bean and Spinach Soup

Another quick and delicious meal!  If you noticed a trend with my recipes, most of them are ready in about 30 minutes.  I struggle with free time, so being able to provide a yummy meal in a short time for my family, is a huge success for me.  This recipe is definitely a winner.  Enjoy!
-1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
-about 1 lb pork, boneless, trimmed of visible fat, cut into bite size chunks
-salt, to taste
-1 medium onion, chopped
-4 cloves garlic, minced
-2 tsp paprika, smoked is preferred, but if not, regular is just fine
-1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
-1 cup apple juice
-1 (14.5 oz) can petite diced tomatoes, undrained
-4 cups chicken broth
-1 large bag baby spinach
-1 (15 oz) can navy beans, rinsed and drained
Heat oil in large saute pan.  Add chunks of pork. Season with salt and cook until nicely browned.  Remove cooked pork from heat, but leave all the juices in the pan.
To the pan and onion and cook for a couple of minutes.  Then add garlic, paprika and crushed red pepper.  Cook stirring occasionally for about 30 seconds.  Add apple juice and tomatoes with juice.  Stir, scrapping off the browned bits at the bottom of the pan.  Add broth and bring to a boil.  Add spinach and stir until it wilts.  Stir in beans and cooked pork with any juices accumulated.  Simmer for a few minutes.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tilapia Livornese

Livornese is an authentic sauce from southern Italy.  The original recipe asked for red snapper, but since that's almost impossible to find where I am, I used tilapia.   It worked great!  The whole dish was divine!  Enjoy!
-6 (3 oz each) tilapia filets
-1 (14 oz) can Italian stewed tomatoes
-2 garlic cloves, minced
-1/2 onion, thinly sliced
-a handful of kalamata olives, chopped
-a handful of capers
-1/2 cup apple juice
-salt and pepper
In a large saute pan, heat a Tbs olive oil.  Generally season filets with salt and pepper.  Add to hot oil and cook until done, flipping once.  Remove fish from pan and cover with foil to keep warm.
In the same pan, add another Tbs olive oil and add the garlic and onion.  Cook for about 3 minutes.  Add tomatoes with juice, apple juice, olives and capers.  Simmer it for about 5 minutes, breaking up the tomatoes, until forming a smoother sauce.  Spoon mixture on top of fish.  Enjoy!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Broccoli and Beef Calzones

Yummy, yummy, yummy!  That's all I have to say about this recipe!  Try it!  You'll love it!:)
-1 lb extra lean ground beef
-1 (16 oz) package frozen chopped broccoli, thawed
-1 small onion, chopped
-1 cup shredded mozzarella
-1/2 cup sour cream
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp ground pepper
-3 (8 count each) cans refrigerated crescent rolls
-1 egg, beaten
Preheat oven to 375F.
In a large skillet brown beef.  Add onion and cook for about 1 minute.  Add broccoli, cheese, sour cream, salt and pepper.  Cook for about 10 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
On an ungreased baking sheet, arrange 2 crescent rolls together to make a small rectangle.  Repeat with half of the crescents.  Scoop about 3 Tbs of beef and broccoli mixture onto the rectangles.  Once all the filling is used, cover the top of each rectangle with 2 more crescent rolls.  Seal all the seams.  Brush calzones with beaten egg.  Bake in preheated oven for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.  Enjoy!

Friday, March 18, 2011

French's Crunchy Onion Chicken

This was one of those recipes that you see on the back of a package and think that it deserves a try.  Well, I'm glad I did, because it turned out quite nice.  Enjoy!
-2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips
-1 (3 oz) bag French's French Fried onions or store brand
-2 Tbs flour
-1 egg, beaten
Preheat oven to 400 F.
Crush onions with flour in plastic bag.  Dredge the chicken strips first through the egg then through onion-flour mixture.  Place in baking dish.  Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.  Enjoy!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Colcannon (Irish Mashies)

In honor of St. Patrick's day, here's one of my favorite Irish dishes.  It's super simple and absolutely amazing!  You've got to try it!  Enjoy!
-about 4 lbs potatoes, peeled and cut in large chunks
-1/2 cup milk
-salt, to taste
-1 1/2 onions, finely chopped
-1/4 cup butter
-8 oz shredded cabbage
In large saucepan, boil potatoes until fork tender.  Meanwhile, heat the butter into large saute pan.  Once butter is melted, add the onion and cook for about a minute.  Add the cabbage.  Cover and cook over medium-low heat for about 20 minutes.
Preheat broiler on high.
Drain the potatoes.  Add milk and salt.  Mash with electric mixer until nice and creamy.  Stir in cabbage mixture.  Pour the whole thing into oven safe dish.  Broil for about 6 minutes or until top is browned.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Winter Peach Pie

Simple, quick and delicious.  Although fresh peaches are way better tasting than canned ones, this pie bring out the peach flavor perfectly, allowing us to enjoy peaches even in the dead of the winter.  Enjoy!
-2 (15.25 oz) canned peaches, drained, with juice reserved
-1 (9 inch) deep dish pie crust, unbaked
-2/3 cup sugar
-1 Tbs flour
-2 Tbs margarine
-2 Tbs lemon juice
-1 egg
-1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
-1/3 cup juice from peaches
-whipped cream or ice cream for garnish :)
Preheat oven to 475 F.  Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.  Place pie crust onto lined baking sheet.
Pour the drained peaches into pie crust.
In a large mixing bowl cream together the sugar, margarine, flour and lemon juice.  Add peach juice, cinnamon and egg.  Mix until well combined.  Pour mixture over peaches.  Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes.  Reduce the temperature to 325 F.  Continue baking for 50 more minutes.  Enjoy with whipped cream or ice cream on top.  Yum! :)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Grasshopper Pudding Pie

This pie is absolutely amazing!  Super easy to make (only 6 ingredients too:) and simply delicious!  The mint gives it a nice fresh flavor, while the chocolate...well, chocolate always makes everything better, right?  Enjoy!
-1 Oreo pie crust
-1 1/2 cups cold milk
-1/4 to 1/2 tsp mint extract (I like mine more minty so I used the 1/2 tsp)
-1 package pistachio pudding
-8 oz cool whip, thawed
-1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
Beat milk, extract and pudding with mixer for 2 minutes.  Stir in cool whip and chocolate chips.  Pour mixture into crust.  Cover and freeze for at least 6 hours.   Remove from freezer about 10 minutes before serving to allow it to thaw a little so that you can cut it.  Enjoy!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Boston Cream Pie

Today is one of my favorite days: Pi(e) day!!!!  Yay!  I know, I'm a nerd, but hey, in this case, math is great!  I mean, you get a whole day to indulge in delicious pies.  What's not to like about that?  Make sure you click on the "pie" label on this blog to check out my other yummy pies.:)  Anyway, here's a quick version of the Boston Cream Pie I found here.  To make the whole thing from scratch is too much for me when I am so crammed for time.  This recipe though is super quick.  I tweaked it a bit, and here it is.  Enjoy!
1 (3.4 oz) French vanilla instant pudding
-1 cup + 2 Tbs cold milk, divided
-1 1/2 cups thawed whipped topping
-1/2 yellow cake ***
-1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
-1 Tbs butter
-3/4 cup powdered sugar
***yes, that means just half the cake.  You know how when you bake a cake it usually has two layers?  You just need one for this recipe.
Bake cake and let it cool completely.
Beat pudding mix and 1 cup of milk with mixer for 2 minutes.  Stir in whipped topping.  Let it sit for 5 minutes.
Cut the 1/2 a cake into 2 layers with a serrated knife.
Spread pudding mixture on 1 layer of the cake.  Cover it with the other layer.
Microwave chocolate chips and butter on high for 1 minute.  Stir until chocolate is melted.  Add sugar and remaining milk.  Mix well and spread over cake.  Refrigerate for 1 hour.  Enjoy!

Thursday, March 10, 2011


This is another one of my childhood's favorites.  Sooo yummy!  It's like eating a burger and fries with a fork.:)  Enjoy!
-1 lb ground pork
-1 lb lean ground beef
-1 small onion, finely chopped
-about 4 lbs potatoes
-vegetable oil for frying
-lots of paper towels to take the grease off :)
-salt and pepper to taste
-2 eggs, beaten
Preheat oven at 350 F.
Spray a large saute pan with PAM.  Heat it up.  Add chopped onion, ground pork and ground beef and cook until meat is no longer pink.  Season with salt and pepper.  Remove from heat.
While meat is cooking, peel the potatoes and slice them in rounds about 1/4 inch thick.  Fry them in batches in hot oil.  Drain VERY well on paper towels.  Season them with salt.
In a 9x13 pan, place one layer of fried potatoes on the bottom.  Cover with half the meat mixture.  Repeat layers.  Add about 1/4 cup water to the beaten eggs.  Pour egg mixture on top of casserole.  Place in preheated oven and bake for about 20 minutes.  Serve immediately.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Growing up I always looked forward to March 9.  Every single year, on March 9 we had macinici.  It was such a treat!  I haven't had them in a few years and I was craving them quite a bit.  Luckily they're super easy to make.  I used the special tool to shape the dough like little 8s, but don't worry if you don't have one.  You can just cut the dough any shape you want to.  There are MANY versions of making them.  This is the one I had while growing up.  There's a little legend behind this recipe.  You can read more about it here.  Meanwhile, enjoy!:)
For the dough:
-1 cup water
-a pinch of salt
-about 2 1/2 cups flour
For the rest of the recipe:
-10 cups water
-1 1/2 cups sugar
-1/2 Tbs rum essence
-the zest of a lemon
-crushed pecans or walnuts
Preheat oven to 350.  Line a couple of cookie sheets with parchment paper.  Mix dough ingredients.  With a rolling pin, roll the dough onto a floured surface until about 1/4 inch thick (maybe a bit thinner).  Lightly flour dough and cut into shapes.  Re-shape the remaining dough into a ball, spread it out and cut it again.  Repeat until there's no more left, or so little that can't be used anymore.  It makes a lot of macinici.
Place shaped pasta onto prepared sheets.  Cook in preheated oven for about 5 minutes (do not brown them!)  They're only supposed to get a bit dry.
In a large pot bring the 10 cups of water to a boil.  Add pasta and cook for about 20 minutes.  Add sugar and mix until completely dissolved.  Remove pot from heat and add lemon zest and rum essence.  Pour desired amount into bowl and top with a little cinnamon and crushed nuts.  It is delicious either cold or warm.  Enjoy!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Steak and Potato Soup

This is sooo unique and yummy!  It is what is says: steak and potatoes!  Yum!  It went really well with my yummy hot rolls.   Enjoy!
-2 Tbs canola oil
-1 lb sirloin steak, cut into small chunks
-salt and pepper, to taste
-1 large onion, chopped
-2 large baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
-1/2 lb green beans, ends trimmed (do not use canned beans)
-2 cups water
-4 cups chicken broth
-2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
In a large sauce pan, heat oil.  Season steak chunks with salt and pepper.  Add steak to hot oil and cook until browned.  Remove steak from heat onto a plate.
Reduce heat and add onion.  Cook until translucent.  Add water, broth, potatoes and beans.  Season with salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.  Stir in steak and any juices, and Worcestershire sauce.  Enjoy!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Chicken a la King

This was a quick to make dish.  I added some canned corn to it (not pictured) and that made it even better, so I'll include that in the recipe.  Enjoy!
-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into small chunks
-salt and pepper
-2 Tbs canola oil, divided
-8 oz sliced mushrooms
-1 large green bell pepper, diced
-1 cup apple juice or white grape juice
-1 cup chicken broth
-1 cup milk
-1 (4oz) jar diced pimientos, drained
-4-5 green onions, diced
-1 can corn, drained
Heat 1 Tbs of the oil in a large saute pan.  Generously season the chicken chunks with salt and pepper.  Add them to the hot oil and cook until lightly browned.  Remove chicken form pan.
Reduce heat to medium and add remaining Tbs of oil.  Add mushrooms, bell pepper, salt and pepper.  Cook until mushrooms are softened and begin to brown.  Pour in juice and bring to a boil. 
In a separate bowl, whisk together the broth, milk and flour.  Stir until smooth.  Add mixture to mushrooms.  Bring to a simmer, stirring often.  Add pimientos and chicken.  Simmer for about 10 minutes.  Stir in green onions and corn.  Serve over warm pasta.  Enjoy!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Barbeque Meatloaf

I have been scared of meatloaf for a loooong time because last time (and only time) I had it, it was really bad.  I mean, it was beyond bland.  It was yucky.  So, I have been avoiding it like a plague for the longest time.  Well, I was once watching Bobby Flay's throwdown show and he made meatloaf.  While I wasn't crazy about his, the competitor's meatloaf looked pretty good.  I couldn't get his recipe, but I found this one, which is Paula Deen's ( I adapted it a little).  Let me tell you: this meatloaf changed my opinion!  Yes, meatloaf can be delicious and so was this one!  Enjoy!
-1 1/2 lbs extra lean ground beef
-1 cup Italian style breadcrumbs
-1 onion, diced
-1 egg, lightly beaten
-1 1/2 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp pepper
-1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
-3 Tbs vinegar (white)
-3 Tbs brown sugar
-2 Tbs Dijon mustard
-2 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Mix together beef, breadcrumbs, onion, egg, salt, pepper and 1/2 cup of tomato sauce.  Form this mixture into a loaf and place it on a cookie sheet.  Stir together remaining ingredients and pour over meatloaf.  Bake for 1 hour, basting every 15 minutes with the pan juices.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


This is a really quick recipe with tasty results.  It reminds me of the homemade doughnuts my mom used to make when I grew up.  Of course, I had to make these after my kids watched The Princess and the Frog, even if I'm a couple of years late! lol  But better late than never, right?  Enjoy!
-3/4 cup warm water
-1 packet active dry yeast
-1/4 cup sugar, plus a pinch
-pinch of salt
-1 large egg
-1/2 cup evaporated milk
-4 cups flour
-2 Tbs vegetable shortening
-vegetable oil for frying
-powdered sugar for dusting
Mix yeast, water and pinch of sugar in large mixing bowl.  Let sit for 10 minutes, or until yeast is foamy.  Add the 1/4 cup sugar, pinch of salt, egg, and evaporated milk.  Mix well.  Add half the flour and stir until well combined.  Add shortening, then gradually the rest of the flour.  The dough should be fairly firm.  Transfer dough to a greased bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise in warm spot for 3-4 hours or until doubled in bulk.
Turn dough onto slightly floured surface.  Using a rolling pin, stretch dough until about 1/4 inch thick.  Cut in desired shapes (I cut mine in circles).  Heat oil in large frying pan or deep fryer.  Fry beignets until golden brown.  Set to drain on paper towels.  Generously sprinkle them with powdered sugar.  Enjoy!
Recipe adapted from Tyler Florence.


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