Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Taco Pizza

Taco Pizza
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 envelope taco seasoning mix
  • 2 (8 oz.) cans Pillsbury crescent rolls
  • 1 (16 oz.) can refried beans (I used the jalapeño kind)
  • 2-3 cups shredded cheddar cheese or Mexican blend
  • 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup sliced black olives
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Brown ground beef and drain. Add taco seasoning to the ground beef according to the package directions.
  3. Unroll crescent rolls into rectangles. Place in ungreased 11 1/2 inch x 16 1/2 inch jelly roll pan or cookie sheet. Press dough over the bottom and 1/2 inch up sides to form crust.  Bake at 375 oven for 11 to 13 minutes or just until golden brown.
  4. Microwave beans in a microwave safe bowl for 1 minute.  Carefully spread beans over warm crust creating a thin layer.
  5. Top with cooked beef mixture, sprinkle with cheese followed by tomatoes, black olives and green onion.  Return to oven for 3-6 more minutes until cheese is melted.  Serve immediately.  Makes 12 main dish servings or 48 appetizers.

**NUMMY.  SO easy, not the healthiest with a crescent roll crust, but delicious!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

White Chicken Enchiladas

Chicken enchiladas with green chili sour cream sauce
*These are seriously so so good*
10 soft taco shells
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
3 Tbsp. butter
3 Tbsp. flour
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup sour cream
1 (4 oz) can diced green chillies

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9x13 pan
2. Mix chicken and 1 cup cheese.  Roll up in tortillas and place in pan.
3. In a sauce pan, melt butter, stir in flour and cook 1 minute.  Add broth and whisk until smooth.  Heat over medium heat until thick and bubbly.  
4. Stir in sour cream and chilies.  Do not bring to boil, you don't want curdled sour cream.
5. Pour over enchiladas and top with remaining cheese.
6. Bake 22 min and then under high broil for 3 min to brown the cheese.

**WOW!  These were so easy to make, took about 15 minutes and had the ingredients in the pantry!  Delicious!  Found at http://joyful-mommas-kitchen.blogspot.com/2011/09/white-chicken-enchiladas.html

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Pasta Primavera

- 1 Zucchini sliced
- 1 bunch of Asparagus sliced
- 1 package of sliced Mushroom
- 2-3 diced plum Tomatoes
- 2-3 Garlic Cloves sliced
- 1 pound of Rigatoni Pasta
- 4-5 table spoons of Olive Oil
- Parmesan Cheese
- Salt and fresh ground Black Pepper

To begin, sauté the garlic in the olive oil on medium heat. Add the zucchini, tomatoes, asparagus, and mushrooms. Cook until vegetables are cooked through. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside. Cook pasta as directed. Add pasta to vegetable pan and cook on low for 3-4 minutes or until the pasta and vegetables are mixed well. Add parmesan cheese to taste.

**http://www.carolinemanzo.com/blog/pasta-primavera-love the Real Housewives of New Jersey and Caroline Manzo!  This is a super simple, delicious recipe! 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Peanut Butter Caramel Corn


  • Cooking spray
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/2 cup unpopped popcorn kernels
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup light-colored corn syrup
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • 1. Preheat oven to 250°.
  • 2. Line a jelly-roll pan with parchment paper; coat paper with cooking spray.
  • 3. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add popcorn; cover and cook 4 minutes, shaking pan frequently. When popping slows, remove pan from heat. Let stand until popping stops. Uncover; add almonds.
  • 4. Combine sugar, syrup, butter, and salt in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Add peanut butter and vanilla; stir until smooth. Drizzle over popcorn; toss well. Spread mixture out onto prepared pan. Bake at 250° for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Cool completely.
**I can't believe I forgot to post this recipe!  I made it for the Halloween party and I could not stop eating it!  I actually felt sick to my stomach and still didn't stop.  And, can't wait for an excuse to make it again!

The Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon Rolls

The Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon Rolls

Want to be a Sunday morning hero?  Make these cinnamon rolls.  Seriously.  You'll never go back to rolls from a tube again. 

Ok, maybe you will still make rolls from the tube, since they are so darn convenient, but in my book, if you are going to eat a cinnamon roll, it'd better be amazing.  And I don't think anyone has bitten into a cinnamon roll baked from a tube and groaned in pleasure, "Oh my god, this is AMAZING." 

So if you want that reaction, make these cinnamon rolls.

My dear friend Jenny gave me the Pioneer Woman cookbook for Christmas 2009.  You know how bloggers sometimes say "Oh, reading that blog made me want to have a blog of my own!" or "That blogger inspired me so much."  Well, Pioneer Woman has had the opposite effect on me.  Every time I read her blog, I think 'Geez, why am I blogging again?'  Her blog is awesome - recipes, photos, funny, she's got it all.  Plus, she's pretty.  I mean, she's had four kids and is still smiling.  How many women can say that? 

Back to the cookbook, I've often flipped through it, noting to myself the recipes I'd like to try (migas, anyone?), but these cinnamon rolls are actually the very first recipe I've made from this cookbook.  And it's a keeper.

Here is the original Pioneer Woman post, with step-by-step photos.  Note that her original recipe makes SEVEN pie plates of cinnamon rolls.  I halved the recipe below to a more managable three plates plus a couple I baked individually in ramekins.

The Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon Rolls
Make three pie plates, or about 18-20 cinnamon rolls.  One for breakfast, one for nibbling or giveaway, and one for the freezer in my book. I made the dough the night before, then stored it in the fridge, taking it out the next morning and letting it sit on the counter for about 20 mins before rolling it out.  Worked like a charm. 

2 cups Whole Milk
1/2 cup Vegetable Oil
1/2 cup Sugar
1 package Active Dry Yeast
4 cups (Plus 1/2 Cup Extra, Separated) All-purpose Flour
1/2 teaspoon (heaping) Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon (scant) Baking Soda
2 teaspoons Salt

1 cup (yup, 2 whole sticks) butter, melted
1 cup sugar
Generous Sprinkling Of Cinnamon

1 lb. Powdered Sugar
1 teaspoon Maple Flavoring (I skipped this and just added a few Tablespoons maple syrup, reducing the milk a little)
1/4 cups Milk
2 Tablespoons Melted Butter
2 Tablespoons Brewed Coffee

Mix the milk, vegetable oil and sugar in a pan. Scald the mixture (heat until just before the boiling point). Turn off heat and leave to cool 45 minutes to 1 hour. When the mixture is lukewarm to warm, but NOT hot, sprinkle yeast on top. Let this sit for a minute. Then add 4 cups of all-purpose flour. Stir mixture together. Cover and let rise for at least an hour.

After rising for at least an hour, add 1/2 cup more of flour, the baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir mixture together. (At this point, you could cover the dough and put it in the fridge until you need it – overnight or even a day or two, if necessary. Just keep your eye on it and if it starts to overflow out of the pan, just punch it down).

When ready to prepare rolls: Take half the dough and form a rough rectangle. Then roll the dough thin, maintaining a general rectangular shape. Drizzle 1/2 to 1 cup melted butter over the dough. Now sprinkle 1 cup of sugar over the butter followed by a generous sprinkling of cinnamon. Add as much additional butter and sugar as you dare. 

Now, starting at the opposite end, begin rolling the dough in a neat line toward you. Keep the roll relatively tight as you go. Next, pinch the seam of the roll to seal it.

Spread 1 tablespoon of melted butter in a seven inch round foil cake or pie pan. Then begin cutting the rolls approximately 1 inch thick and laying them in the buttered pans. Let the rolls rise for 20 to 30 minutes, then bake at 375 degrees until light golden brown, about 15 to 18 minutes.  Note that the rolls are going to look like they are drowning when you first pull them from the oven with so much melty syrup in the bottom of the pie plate, but trust me, that's the good stuff. 

For the frosting, mix together all ingredients listed and stir well until smooth. It should be thick but pourable. Taste and adjust as needed. Generously drizzle over the warm rolls.

**WOW.  Very sweet, could've gone without all the frosting, but it's delicious!

Creamy Sausage and Tomato Pasta

Source: Wylie Tidwell
Makes 4-6 servings

4-5 Italian sausages (about 1 pound) found in the fresh meat department (I used spicy turkey Italian sausage; I really think a spicy sausage adds a lot of flavor)
1 cup chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (16 ounce) can Italian style diced tomatoes
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 cup heavy cream
5-6 big leaves of fresh basil, chopped
12 ounces penne pasta (get a 16 ounce box and use 3/4 of it)
grated Parmesan for topping

1) Cook the pasta in salted water al dente, according to package directions.
2) While pasta is cooking, brown the sausages and cut them into slices - little circles (I actually removed the casings and then browned and crumbled the sausages like you would ground beef).
3) Add the onions and garlic to the sausage and saute for a couple of minutes.
4) Pour in the entire can of diced tomatoes and the tomato sauce and heat through.
5) Pour in the cream and heat through. The longer you cook the sauce the thicker it will get so simmer it until it is the consistency you want.
6) Add the fresh basil and let it simmer for a few minutes.
7) Finally, mix the sausage sauce with the pasta and serve. Top each serving with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. Serve with crusty garlic bread.

** From http://www.the-girl-who-ate-everything.com.  Another delicious recipe!  Very simple, creamy and everyone liked! 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Chicken Chili

2-3 lbs frozen chicken breasts
1 can corn, drained
30 oz Northern Beans, drained
15 oz chicken broth
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 c. salsa
2 tsp cumin

Mix all ingredients in crockpot.  Cook for 8-10 hours.  Shred chicken and enjoy! 

**This is an excellent recipe from Stefanie Popa!  SO easy, virtually no prep and delicious!  I used a can of pinto beans and a can of kidney beans; any beans should work. 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Monkey Squares

1 ½ cups sugar
1 cup sour cream
½ cup butter, softened
2 eggs
1 ¾ cups (3 or 4) ripe bananas, mashed
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt
½ cup chopped walnuts (optional)
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease and flour 10x15 jelly roll pan. Beat first four ingredients until creamy. Blend in bananas and vanilla one minute. Add dry ingredients and blend one minute. Stir in nuts and spread in pan. Bake 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown. Cool and frost with Browned Butter Frosting (recipe below).

Banana bread option: instead of spreading into jelly roll pan, this recipe will make about two regular loaves of banana bread, or about four small loaves. Regular loaves bake about 45 minutes at 350 degrees. Small loaves will bake about 25 minutes on 350.

Browned Butter Frosting
½ cup butter
4 cups powdered sugar
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
about 3 tablespoons milk or half and half

Heat butter in saucepan over medium heat past the melting point until it boiling, and a delicate brown. Remove from the heat and immediately add the remaining ingredients. This should be thicker than a glaze and thinner than frosting. Using a spatula smooth over the top of the Monkey Squares immediately. The frosting will be easier to spread once it's on the warm bread.
**Another from that girl who eats everything-maybe you should just start following her blog!  She's amazing!:)  The frosting recipe makes A LOT.  Kadon isn't a huge fan of frosting, so I quartered this recipe and there is still enough to satisfy us frosting-lovers.  AH-MAZING.  Melt in your mouth-such a good recipe!

Creamy Ham and Potato Soup

3 1/2 cups peeled and diced potatoes
1/3 cup diced celery
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup carrot, diced (optional)
1 cup diced cooked ham (buy a ham steak in the deli section)
3 1/4 chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon ground white or black pepper, or to taste
5 tablespoons butter
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups milk

Note: I added some carrots that I had and Becky said she adds a can of corn too which would be good.

1.Combine the potatoes, celery, onion, carrot, ham and chicken broth in a stockpot. Bring to a boil, then cook over medium heat until potatoes are tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the salt and pepper.

2.In a separate saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Whisk in flour with a fork, and cook, stirring constantly until thick, about 1 minute. Slowly stir in milk so that lumps don't form and until all of the milk has been added. Continue stirring over medium-low heat until thick, 4 to 5 minutes.

3.Stir the milk mixture into the stockpot, and cook soup until heated through.

4. Top with cheddar cheese, chives, and bacon if desired. Serve immediately.
5. Makes 6 servings

**Another goodie from http://www.the-girl-who-ate-everything.com/2010/10/ham-and-potato-soup.html!  Delicious soup!  Hardly took any time at all besides chopping veggies!  Will definitely make again.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Stuffed Pizza Rolls

Look at the gooey inside.

Stuffed Pizza Rolls

Source: adapted slightly from  OurBestBites
1 roll refrigerated pizza dough
marinara/pizza sauce
3 Tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 Tablespoon melted butter
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
8-12 ounces mozzerella cheese, diced or grated (diced is the least messy to use when stuffing the rolls)
Pizza toppings of your choice: ie, ham and pineapple, pepperoni slices, sausage, etc.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees and lightly spray a baking dish or large pie plate.

Unroll pizza onto a lightly floured surface and press into a 12" X 8" rectangle. Cut rectangle into 24 squares. Place pepperoni and cheese (or desired toppings) into the center of each square. Gather the sides of each square up and pinch closed to create a ball. Place each ball seam side down in the baking dish.

When all of your dough squares have cheese and toppings on them, carefully lift up each square and wrap the dough around the toppings. Pinch to make sure each ball is sealed shut and then place them seam side down in a lightly sprayed pie pan (or similar sized dish).

In a small ramekin stir melted butter, garlic powder, and Italian seasonings together. Brush tops of rolls with melted butter mixture using a pastry brush. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese evenly over rolls.
Bake for 15-18 minutes or until rolls are golden brown.

Serve with warm pizza sauce for dipping.
**Delicious, very easy!  Mine didn't look as good as these pictures are, however!  Taken from http://www.the-girl-who-ate-everything.com/2010/01/stuffed-pizza-rolls.html

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Baked Cinnamon Chips and Caramel Toffee Dip

I made these to go with this.
Baked Cinnamon Chips and Caramel Toffee Fruit Dip. 
The chips were easy to make; made about 15-20 tortillas in about 2 hours, which was a fairly large bowl full.  The toffee dip was better with apples than with the chips.  Definitely, check these recipes out!

Hot Caramel Apple Cider

Recipe by Our Best Bites
1/2 gallon apple cider (64 oz or 8 C)
1/2 C orange juice, fresh squeezed or good quality bottled like Simply Orange
1 orange
8 cloves
2 cinnamon sticks (if yours are more than a year old- buy new ones!!)
1/4 t ground allspice
1/3 C jarred caramel sauce* more to taste if needed
optional: caramel flavored syrup
sweetened whipped cream (or from a can is fine!)
*For a delicious twist, substitute maple syrup for the caramel sauce in this recipe.
Pour 8 cups of apple cider into a large stock pot on the stove pot. Set heat to medium-high. Add orange juice, cinnamon sticks, and allspice.
Thoroughly wash your orange and then gently stab the whole cloves into it. If you find it hard to do that without destroying the cloves, use a toothpick to poke little hole first and then insert the cloves.  (If you are doubling the recipe, you can still just use one orange, just double the number of cloves you poke into it).
Gently drop the whole orange into the pot. Bring cider to a boil and then reduce heat to a low simmer. Simmer on low for 60 minutes and longer if you wish. If you’re keeping the pot on the stove for an extended period, keep an eye on the orange. If at any time it splits open, remove it from the pot. If the white pith is exposed it will add a bitter taste to your cider. If you’re going to have the pot warming for hours on end, take out the orange. After you’ve simmered for an hour, add caramel sauce and stir to combine and dissolve. Add more caramel to taste if needed.
When ready to serve, ladle into mugs, top with whipped cream, and give it a drizzle of caramel and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

**This was delicious!  Such a wonderful fall recipe.  Doubled it for the Halloween party; about 20 adults and we had extra.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Pumpkin Chili

  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • -1 large onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans kidney beans, drained
  • 1 (46 fluid ounce) can tomato juice
  • 1 (28 ounce) can peeled and diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/4 cup white sugar


  1. In a large pot over medium heat, cook beef until brown; drain. Stir in onion and bell pepper and cook 5 minutes. Stir in beans, tomato juice, diced tomatoes and pumpkin puree. Season with pumpkin pie spice, chili powder and sugar. Simmer 1 hour.

Nutritional Information open nutritional information

Amount Per Serving  Calories: 409 | Total Fat: 16.4g | Cholesterol: 69mg

 **We threw a Halloween party yesterday and served some great, festive foods!  Here's the first one; I was reluctant to try, but it was a hit!  A good chili for kids, if they don't like spicy as this is sweet. More recipes to come!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Tomato-Basil Chicken and Cashew-Rice Pilaf

1 T. Butter
1/2 c. finely chopped onion
1 can (14 oz.) Italian seasoned tomatoes (if not already cut up, coarsely chopped)
1/2 c. julienned FRESH basil leaves
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1/2 c. heavy whipping cream

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Heat butter in skillet. Add onion and cook over medium heat until translucent, 5 min. Increase heat to high; add tomatoes and cook until liquid is almost evaporated, 5-10 min. Add cream and bring to boil; boil until slightly thickened, approx 3 min. Stir in basil, salt and pepper. Arrange chicken in shallow baking dish; pour sauce on top. Bake for 20-25 min.(Serves 4)

by Stephanie Jensen

1/4 c. butter
1/3 c. finely chopped onion
1 c. uncooked regular long grain rice
2 c. chicken broth
1/2 - 1 tsp salt
1/2 c. cashews, coarsely chopped
1/4 c. chopped FRESH parsley

In large saucepan, melt butter. Sauté onion until soft. Add rice; stir until coated. Stir in broth and salt. Cover; simmer 24-30 minutes until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed. Stir in cashews and parsley.(Serves 4)

****AMAZING!!!!!!  We loved this recipe and it was SO fast and easy to make!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

Put a generous dallop of the cream cheese mixture in the middle of the batter. I put mine a little too high on a couple and the cream cheese poked out the top. Oops.
For the topping, you are supposed to cut in the butter with a pastry blender. I usually start doing it that way then end up mixing it with my hands. Just make sure you pop it back in the fridge if you use your hands because it's supposed to be cold.

Source: Annie's Eats
Makes 24 muffins
Print Recipe

For the filling:
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar

For the muffins:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 large eggs
2 cups sugar
2 cups pumpkin puree (see Note)
1¼ cups vegetable oil

For the topping:
½ cup sugar
5 tablespoons flour
1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

Note: A standard sized can of pumpkin is 15 ounces, just shy of 2 cups (16 ounces). You could open another can if you want and freeze the extra or just use one can which is what I did. The amount is so little I don't think it makes a difference in the final product.

To prepare the filling, combine the cream cheese and powdered sugar in a medium bowl and mix well until blended and smooth. Transfer the mixture to a piece of plastic wrap and shape into a log about 1½-inches in diameter. Smooth the plastic wrap tightly around the log, and reinforce with a piece of foil. Transfer to the freezer and chill until at least slightly firm, at least 2 hours. The mixture will still be somewhat soft but firmer.

To make the muffins, preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Line muffin pans with paper liners. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, pumpkin pie spice, salt and baking soda; whisk to blend. In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the eggs, sugar, pumpkin puree and oil. Mix on medium-low speed until blended. With the mixer on low speed, add in the dry ingredients, mixing just until incorporated.

To make the topping, combine the sugar, flour and cinnamon in a small bowl; whisk to blend. Add in the butter pieces and cut into the dry ingredients with a pastry blender or two forks until the mixture is coarse and crumbly. I always get inpatient here and mix it together with my hands so that it looks like the texture of wet sand. I know you aren't supposed to do it this way but I'm impatient. Transfer to the refrigerator to chill until ready to use.

To assemble the muffins, fill each muffin well with a small amount of batter, just enough to cover the bottom of the liner (1-2 tablespoons). Slice the log of cream cheese filling into 24 equal pieces. Place a slice of the cream cheese mixture into each muffin well. You want to put the cream cheese lower than you think because it will rise a lot during the baking process. Divide the remaining batter among the muffin cups, placing on top of the cream cheese to cover completely. Sprinkle a small amount of the topping mixture over each of the muffin wells.

Bake for 20-25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before serving. I like them warm, cold, and room temperature.

**Another recipe from The Girl Who Ate Everything!  LOVE these!  They are pretty time consuming, but well worth it!  Delicious!  

Italian Sausage Soup with Cheese Tortellini

adapted from Allrecipes

1 pound Italian sausage (I usually use Jimmy Dean so I don't have to deal with removing the casing)
1 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
5 cups beef broth
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup red cooking wine
2 (14.5 ounce) cans Italian diced tomatoes
1 cup thinly sliced or diced carrots
1/2 tablespoon packed fresh basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups green beans or sliced zucchini
8 ounces fresh tortellini pasta (can be found by the cheese...I used Buitoni)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1. In a large pot, brown sausage. Remove sausage and drain.

2. Saute onions and garlic in drippings. Stir in beef broth, water, wine, tomatoes, carrots, basil, oregano, tomato sauce, and sausage. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.

3. Skim fat from the soup. Stir in beans and parsley. Simmer covered for 30 minutes. Add tortellini during the last 10 minutes. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese on top of each serving.  Serve with warm garlic bread.

*Just be aware that if you save this soup for leftovers the pasta tends to drink up the broth so the result is a really thick soup if you eat it the next day.

**Made this tonight-Owen and I loved, Mr.I-hate-vegetables (Parker) didn't!  Made a lot!  Taken from http://www.the-girl-who-ate-everything.com/2011/01/italian-sausage-soup-with-cheese.html.  LOVE her recipes!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Chicken Tostadas and Avocado Dressing

Photo: John Autry and Randy Mayor; Styling: Cindy Barr

Top chicken tostadas with a creamy, homemade avocado and sour cream dressing.

Nutritional Information
Amount per serving
  • Calories: 428
  • Fat: 20g
  • Saturated fat: 4.1g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 10.8g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 3.6g
  • Protein: 39.2g
  • Carbohydrate: 24.2g
  • Fiber: 20g
  • Cholesterol: 109mg
  • Iron: 2mg
  • Sodium: 658mg
  • Calcium: 96mg


  • 2 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 ripe peeled avocado
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • 4 (6-inch) flour tortillas
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, minced
  • 2 cups shredded skinless, boneless rotisserie chicken breast
  • 1 cup shredded iceberg lettuce
  • 1/2 cup chopped tomato
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) crumbled queso fresco


  • 1. Combine the first 7 ingredients in a food processor, and process until smooth.
  • 2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 3/4 teaspoon oil to pan. Cook 1 tortilla 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Repeat procedure with 2 1/4 teaspoons oil and remaining tortillas.
  • 3. Add remaining oil to pan. Add garlic and jalapeño; sauté 1 1/2 minutes. Add chicken; cook 2 minutes. Place 1 tortilla on each of 4 plates; top each tortilla with 1/2 cup chicken mixture, 1/4 cup lettuce, 2 tablespoons tomato, and 1 tablespoon cheese. Top each serving with 3 tablespoons dressing.
**I tried this a couple weeks ago on a night that Kadon was working.  I knew the boys wouldn't appreciate the avocado dressing, so I left it out and we all loved the tostados!  But, I will definitely try the dressing next time!

Berry Salad

1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
walnuts or pecans

We LOVE this salad that my friend Stefanie introduced us to!  Add as much or little berries or nuts as you wish.  I've also added shredded chicken or grilled chicken breast for a delicious lunch! 

Poppyseed Dressing

1/3 c. white sugar
2 T white vinegar
3/4 c. mayo
1 T poppyseeds
1/4 c. milk

Mix ingredients together and serve chilled.  Makes a lot; lasts about 2 weeks in refrigerator. 

Friday, April 8, 2011

Carrot Cake with Toasted Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting

Carrot Cake with Toasted Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

YIELD: 12 servings (serving size: 1 piece)
  • Cake:
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour (about 3 1/3 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 (2 1/2-ounce) jar carrot baby food
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/4 cups finely grated carrot (about 4 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • Cooking spray
  • Frosting:
  • 1/3 cup (3 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tablespoon butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup flaked sweetened coconut, toasted (DIDN'T USE)
  • Preheat oven to 325°.
  • To prepare cake, lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (through salt) in a food processor; pulse 6 times or until well blended. Place flour mixture in a large bowl. Combine granulated sugar, canola oil, baby food, and eggs; stir with a whisk. Add to flour mixture; stir just until moist. Stir in grated carrot and raisins. Spoon batter into an 8-inch square baking pan coated with cooking spray.
  • Bake at 325° for 40 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack.
  • To prepare frosting, combine cheese and butter in a large bowl. Beat with a mixer at high speed until creamy. Gradually add powdered sugar and vanilla, beating at low speed until smooth (do not overbeat). Spread over cake; sprinkle with coconut. Cover and chill.
**I made this cake a while back, and had good notes written on the recipe!  Quick, easy, had most ingredients in the pantry, and very moist!  Doesn't taste "light!"

Nutritional Information

  • Amount per serving
  • Calories: 262
  • Calories from fat: 30%
  • Fat: 8.8g
  • Saturated fat: 2.7g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 3.6g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 1.6g
  • Protein: 3.2g
  • Carbohydrate: 44.1g
  • Fiber: 1.2g
  • Cholesterol: 44mg
  • Iron: 0.9mg
  • Sodium: 201mg
  • Calcium: 47mg

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Steak and Pepper Tacos

4 servings Prep: 20 minutes Cook: 25 minutes View Nutrition Facts


  • 1  pound  flank or hanger steak
  •     Juice of 1 lime, plus lime wedges for serving
  • 1  teaspoon  kosher salt
  • 2    garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/2  teaspoon  mild chile powder
  • 3  teaspoons  vegetable oil
  • 1/2    red onion, sliced
  • 3    bell peppers, 1 each red, yellow and orange, thinly sliced
  • 1/2  cup  fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • 8    small corn tortillas, warmed
  • 1/2    avocado, sliced
  • 1/4  cup  grated low-fat Monterey Jack
  • 1/4  cup  salsa verde or 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2  tablespoons  sliced pickled jalapenos
  •     Reduced-fat sour cream (optional)


Marinate the steak in the lime juice, salt, garlic and chile powder in a sealed plastic bag for 20 to 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat a large cast-iron skillet over high heat for 5 minutes. Add 2 teaspoons of the vegetable oil to the pan. Add the red onion and bell peppers; cook, tossing frequently, for 5 minutes. Add the corn and continue to cook until the peppers are charred and soft, about 3 more minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a bowl and keep warm.
Wipe the skillet with a paper towel and heat for another minute. Add the remaining teaspoon of vegetable oil. Remove the steak from the marinade and pat dry with paper towels. Lay the steak in the pan, reduce heat to medium-high, and cook about 8 minutes for medium-rare, turning once halfway through. Transfer to a board and let rest for 5 minutes. 4. Slice the steak across the grain and arrange on a platter with the peppers and lime wedges. Make tacos with the warm tortillas, avocado, Monterey Jack, salsa, jalapenos and, if desired, sour cream.

**Awesome recipe!  Easy, but a little challenge keeping everything hot before serving!  Delicious!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Pasta Pomodoro

2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp. fresh oregano
1 (15 oz) can crushed tomatoes
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1/2 lb spaghetti or linguine
Basil leaves
1/4 c. grated Grana Padano (or any other hard Italian cheese) 

1.  Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add garlic and saute until golden brown, 2 minutes.  
2.  Add tomatoes.  Simmer over very low heat for 30 mnutes, adding water by the 1/4 c. to keep sauce from becoming too thick.
3.  Season with salt and pepper and reserve. 
4.  Cook pasta in a large pot of heavily salted boiling water; reserve 1 cup pasta cooking water.  
5.  Add pasta to reserved tomato sauce in saucepan and finish cooking pasta, 2-3 minutes, adding 1/4 c. pasta water to moisten if necessary.
6.  Divide among 4 plates and garnish with basil leaves and grated cheese. 

**Absolutely simple and delicious!  Wonderful recipe and had everything in the pantry.  (I just used Parmesan since I was using things from the pantry.)

Friday, April 1, 2011

Four Cheese with Bacon

1 lb cavatappi
6 slices bacon, diced
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
2 cups 2% milk
1/2 tsp onion flakes
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 lb sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup shredded colby-jack cheese (4oz)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (4oz)
8 slices Kraft Deli Deluxe American cheese
1.  Heat oven to 350.  Coat a 3-qt broiler safe baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.  Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to boiling.  
2.  Cook cavatappi 8 minutes in boiling water, then drain.  Meanwhile, in med-size saucepan, cook bacon over medium until crisp, 6 minutes.  Transfer to paper towels.  Carefully pour off drippings, returning 2 tablespoons to pan.  Add butter.
3.  Whisk in flour until smooth.  In a thin stream, whisk in milk.  Stir in oinion flakes, salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil over med-high heat, then reduce heat and simmer 2 minutes.  In large bowl, toss together cheddar, colby-jack and mozzarella.  
4.  Remove milk mixture from heat; whisk in American cheese and 1 1/4 c. cheddar mixture.  Toss bacon pieces with remaining cheddar cheese.
5.  In pasta pot, combine cooked pasta and cheese sauce.  Pour half into prepared dish.  Sprinkle with a generous cup of the bacon-cheese mixture.  Repeat layering.  
6.  Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.  Increase oven temp to broil and broil 3 minutes until top is lightly browning.  Cool slightly before serving. 

12 servings, 404 calories, 21 g fat.

**Awesome!  Great recipe to freeze for later! 

Chocolate Pecan Pie

1 (8oz) package 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup hazelnut spread (Nutella)
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup pecans, chopped/crushed
1 prepared piecrust (I used graham cracker, also could use OREO if you want it REALLY chocolaty!)
1 cup whipped topping
2 Tbsp. mini chocolate chips

1.  Heat oven to 325.
2.  In large bowl, combine cream cheese, hazelnut spread, and 1/4 c. sugar.  Beat on medium for 3 minutes or until well blended.  Add egg and 1/4 c. pecans and beat until blended.  Pour into prepared piecrust.  
3.  Bake at 325 for about 30 minutes or until center is just set.  Remove pie from oven and cool completely on wire rack.  
4.  Once pie is cooled, spread whipped topping over pie, and sprinkle with remaining pecans and chocolate chips.  

**This was a wonderfully easy recipe that really satisfies a chocolate craving! 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos with Café Rio Lime Cilantro Rice

Recipe by OurBestBites.com

1/3 cup (3 oz) cream cheese
1/4 cup green salsa
1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
3 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
2 Tablespoons sliced green onions
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 cup grated pepperjack cheese
about 12 small corn or flour tortillas (we liked flour better)
kosher salt
cooking spray

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly coat with cooking spray.

Heat cream cheese in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds so it's soft and easy to stir. Add green salsa, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, onion powder and garlic powder and mix well. Add cilantro, green onions, chicken and pepperjack cheese and combine well.

You can prepare up to this step ahead of time. Just keep the mixture in the fridge.

The corn tortillas are harder to roll without cracking. For the corn tortillas: work with a few tortillas at a time and heat in the microwave until they are soft enough to roll without cracking. It helps to place them between damp paper towels. Usually 20-30 seconds will do it. If you find yours are cracking when you roll them or come unrolled right away, just try heating them longer and try the paper towel thing.

Place 3 Tablespoons of chicken mixture on the lower third of a tortilla, keeping it about 1/2 inch from the edges.
Then roll it up as tight as you can.
Place seam side down on the baking sheet. Lay all of the taquitos on the baking sheet and make sure they are not touching each other. Spray the tops lightly with cooking spray or an oil mister and sprinkle some kosher salt on top.

Place pan in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until crisp and the ends start to get golden brown. Makes around 12 taquitos.

Cilantro Lime Rice

(Double this for large crowd)

2 Tb. Butter
pepper to taste
1 ¼ rice
juice and zest 1 large or 2 small limes
2 ¼ cups chicken broth
2 Tb. chopped cilantro
¾ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. cumin

In a skillet melt butter with rice, add liquid, and other ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and cook for 20 minutes.

 **This meal came from the same blogger as the Crockpot Italian Chicken-awesome recipes!!!  We all loved both of these recipes; they were both simple, fast, and delicious!
Here is the blog they came from if you'd like to check out more of her recipes!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Crockpot Italian Chicken

4 chicken breasts
1 packet dry Zesty Italian dressing (Regular is fine but I like zesty better. Sometimes I use a packet and a half.)
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
1-2 cans cream of chicken soup (depending how cream cheesy you want it)

Place the chicken in a crockpot and sprinkle Italian dressing over it. Combine cream cheese and cream of chicken soup in a small pot over low heat and pour over chicken. Cook on low for at least 4 hours. You can leave it in there all day. If you feel the sauce is too thick you can thin it to your preferred consistency with a little milk. Serve over pasta or rice. 

**I found this recipe on this blog:  http://www.the-girl-who-ate-everything.com/2009/07/crockpot-italian-chicken.html.  OH MY GOSH.  Easiest recipe!  Kids loved it; they actually told me I was the best cook in the world:) 

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Banana Snack Cake

Ingredients: (what I used)
1 cup white sugar (3/4 cup)
1 cup butter
2 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk (1/2 cup skim milk)
1 cup mashed bananas
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup quick cooking oats (1 cup old fashioned oats)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (1/2 cup sliced almonds)
1/2 cup flaked coconut (3/4 cup flaked coconut)
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (1 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9x13 inch pan. In a medium bowl, mix flour, oats, baking soda and salt together and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well with each addition. Mix in buttermilk, bananas and vanilla. Add flour mixture and mix well. Finally, fold in the nuts, coconut and 1 cup of the chocolate chips.

3. Pour batter into 9x13 inch pan. Sprinkle top with remaining 1 cup of chocolate chips. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes, (mine took about 45 minutes) or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.

4. Enjoy

**This is SO delicious!  I served it at playgroup and it was a hit!  I'd maybe use fewer chocolate chips, but there weren't any complaints!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Roast Beef Wrap with Horseradish Slaw


1/4 cup sour cream
1 Tablespoon prepared horseradish
1 cup coleslaw mix
2 10 inch tortillas
2 cups spinach leaves
6 ounces sliced roast beef
4 ounces sliced deli cheddar cheese

In a medium bowl, combine sour cream and horseradish. Fold in the coleslaw mix. Dividing evenly, top two tortillas with spinach, roast beef, and cheddar. Roll up tightly, folding in the sides.

Wrap and refrigerate for up to one day. Makes two tortillas.

This is tasty and fast! A little spicy for the kids, but Jensen picked the meat and cheese out of it! Great side to a soup!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Mushroom and Sausage Ragu with Polenta

Mushroom and Sausage Ragu with Polenta


  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 8 ounces hot turkey Italian sausage
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 pound cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 1/2 cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup uncooked polenta
  • 4 ounces 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
  • 1 tablespoon butter


1. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons oil to pan; swirl to coat. Remove sausage from casings. Add sausage to pan; sauté 3 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Remove sausage from pan.

2. Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion; sauté 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add mushrooms; sauté 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in sausage, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and tomatoes; bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium; simmer gently for 15 minutes.

3. Bring broth and 1 1/2 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add polenta, stirring well. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer 20 minutes or until thick, stirring occasionally. Stir in remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt, cheese, and butter. Serve with sausage mixture.

Nutritional Information

18.7g (sat 8.4g,mono 8.5g,poly 1.4g)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Cool, Creamy Chocolate Dessert

Cool, Creamy Chocolate Dessert

You can make this up to one day ahead, but spread the remaining whipped topping mixture over the chocolate pudding layer right before serving.

Yield: 15 servings (serving size: 1 piece)


  • Crust:
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (about 5 1/2 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 6 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped pecans, toasted
  • Cooking spray
  • Filling:
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) fat-free cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (8-ounce) carton frozen reduced-calorie whipped topping, thawed and divided
  • 3 cups 1% low-fat milk
  • 2 (3.9-ounce) packages chocolate instant pudding mix
  • Unsweetened cocoa (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 325°.

2. To prepare crust, lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and 1/4 cup sugar in a food processor; pulse 2 times or until combined. Add butter; pulse 10 times or until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in pecans. Firmly press mixture into bottom of a 13 x 9–inch baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 325° for 20 minutes or until crust is lightly browned. Cool completely.

3. To prepare filling, place 1 cup sugar and cream cheeses in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until fluffy. Fold in half of whipped topping. Spread cream cheese mixture on cooled crust. Cover loosely; refrigerate 1 hour.

4. Combine milk and pudding mix in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed for 2 minutes. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour or until pudding is set. Spread the pudding mixture over cream cheese layer. Spread remaining half of thawed whipped topping over pudding layer. Cover and chill for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with cocoa, if desired. Cut into 15 pieces.

Nutritional Information

Calories:268 (34% from fat)
Fat:10.2g (sat 6.3g,mono 2.2g,poly 0.7g)
**This was an awesome, easy, "makeover" recipe from Cooking Light that I made last night. I think it was about 20 servings, so great for a crowd!