Friday, November 29, 2013

Broccoli Quinoa Casserole

This tastes like chicken broccoli casserole but is a lot more healthy.  The recipe comes from "Eating Well Living Thinner."

3/4 cup quinoa
1 (10 oz) can condensed cream of mushroom or chicken Soup
1/3 cup reduced fat mayonnaise
2 Tb milk
1 1/4 cups reduced fat shredded cheese (cheddar, colby-jack, etc)
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp black pepper
Dash freshly grated nutmeg
2 cups cooked broccoli
Feshly grated Parmesan cheese

  • Rinse 3/4 cup of uncooked quinoa until water runs clear.  Put in a saucepan with 1 1/2 cups water and 1/4 tsp salt and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and cover.  Cook for 18-20 minutes or until fluffy.
  • In a large bowl combine soup, mayonnaise, milk, cheese, sugar, pepper, and nutmeg and mix.  Stir in the quinoa and broccoli.
  • Spoon mixture in a sprayed 9X13 baking dish and sprinkle a few tablespoons of Parmesan cheese on top.  
  • Cook at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Best Shrimp Soup

So, so good.  All the kids gave it a thumbs up.

2 Tb cooking oil
1 onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup rice
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 3/4 tsp salt
1 can diced tomatoes
5 cups water
1 cup coconut milk
1 lb deveined shrimp
1/4 tsp fresh black pepper
1 Tb lemon juice
1/2 cup chopped cilantro

  • In a large pot, heat the oil and stir in the onion, green pepper and garlic.  Cook until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.
  • Pour in the rice, cayenne pepper and salt.  Stir for a couple minutes.
  • In a blender, puree the diced tomatoes.  Pour into the pot along with the water.  Bring to a boil and cook for about 10 minutes.
  • Pour in the coconut milk and bring the soup back to a simmer.  Add the shrimp and simmer for about 5 minutes.  Add the black pepper, lemon juice and cilantro.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Pulled Pork Enchiladas

This has a chipotle taste without too much heat.  We all really liked the flavor of these.

3 1/2 lbs pork roast (I used bone in and I still had plenty of meat)
1 14 oz can chicken broth
1 medium onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tb ground cumin
2 tsp chipotle chile pepper
1 tsp salt
1 10 ounce cans enchilada sauce
1 tablespoon snipped fresh cilantro
1 4 ounce can diced green chile peppers
8 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
whole wheat flour tortillas
Snipped fresh cilantro
1 diced tomato

  • Trim fat from pork. In a 3 1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker combine pork shoulder, broth, onion, garlic, cumin, chipotle chile pepper and salt. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 10 to 11 hours or on high-heat setting for 5 to 6 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Remove pork from slow cooker, reserving cooking liquid. Using two forks, pull meat into coarse strands.*
  • In a large bowl combine pork, 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce, 2 tablespoons of the reserved cooking liquid, and the 1 tablespoon snipped cilantro. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl combine the remaining enchilada sauce, 1/4 cup of the reserved cooking liquid (discard any remaining cooking liquid), and the diced green chile peppers. Spread about 1/2 cup of enchilada-green chile pepper mixture in the bottom of a 3-quart rectangular baking dish; set aside.
  • Divide pork mixture and 1 1/2 cups of the cheese among tortillas.  Place filled tortillas, seam sides down, in the prepared bakingdish (place tortillas close together); top with the remaining enchilada-green chile pepper mixture. Cover with foil; bake for 25 minutes. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Bake, uncovered, about 5 minutes more or until heated through and cheese is softened and starts to brown slightly.
  • Sprinkle with additional snipped cilantro and tomato. If desired, serve with sour cream. Makes 6 servings

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Fresh Peach Pie

You don't have to cook the peaches for this pie, so you keep the yummy, fresh taste.  This is definitely a recipe I will make every summer.

¼ cup lemon juice
3 cups fresh sliced peaches
1 cup sugar - divided
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons Butter
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon vanilla or almond flavoring (I prefer vanilla)

  • Toss the lemon juice and peaches with 1/2 cup sugar.   Allow the mix to sit for one hour in the refrigerator. 
  • Drain fruit and save one cup of the juice.  If there isn't 1 cup of juice, add enough water or juice to make 1 cup. (If I need to, I use peach nectar or apple juice.) 
  • In a sauce pan melt butter and cornstarch to make a rough. 
  • Add the juice, ½ cup sugar, salt, and flavoring. 
  • With a wire whisk, blend until well mixed.  Bring to a boil stirring until thick. 
  • Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly; about 5-10 minutes. 
  • Add the fruit and pour into a 10" cooked pie shell. Chill for 3 hours or overnight.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Pumpkin and Black Bean Curry

If you like curry you will like this recipe.  It's really healthy and my kids actually all ate it.  I thought it would be good to add meat to it next time.

1 onion, chopped
3 cups vegetable stock
1 (14oz) can diced tomatoes in juice
1 (15oz) can black beans, drained
2 (15oz) cans pumpkin puree
1 cup cream
1 Tb curry powder
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1/8-1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
 -1/4 is all my kids could stand
20 blades of fresh chives, chopped

  • Saute onion in some oil for about 5 minutes.  Add broth, tomatoes, beans, and pumpkin.  Stir and bring soup to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to low and stir in cream, curry, cumin, cayenne, and salt to taste.
  • Simmer 5 minutes, garnish with chives and serve over rice.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

End of Summer Vegetable Bake

My favorite vegetable dish...ever.

1 head of cauliflower, broken into florets
1 bunch of broccoli, broken into florets
1 Tb butter
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
3/4 tsp dried basil
3/4 tsp dried oregano
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp hot pepper sauce
4 eggs
1/3 cup half and half
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cups Swiss cheese, divided

  • Cook cauliflower and broccoli in a small amount of water until crisp-tender (8-10 min.)  Drain.
  • In large skillet, saute onion and garlic in butter until tender.  Stir in tomatoes, seasonings, cauliflower and broccoli.  Cook, uncovered until heated through (about 4 min.) stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat.
  • In a large bowl, beat eggs and half and half.  Stir in 1 cup of Swiss cheese, Parmesan cheese and vegetable mixture.
  • Transfer to a greased 2 qt. baking dish.  Sprinkle with remaining Swiss cheese and bake uncovered at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

Saturday, September 14, 2013


1-2 large tomatoes, chopped
1 large clove garlic
1 Tb fresh basil
1 Tb fresh oregano
1 Tb olive oil
1 Tb red wine vinegar
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Fresh ground pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and serve over toasted french bread.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Black Bean and Corn Salsa

1 bag of frozen corn, thawed under running water
a can of black beans
1 avocado, diced
three or four tomatoes, diced
a bunch of cilantro, diced
a packet of Italian seasoning dressing
the juice of a lime
a bunch of green onions, sliced
1-2 jalapeños, diced (optional)

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and refrigerate or serve immediately.

Monday, July 29, 2013


Lumpia are Filipino egg rolls.  I haven't been able to find lumpia wrappers yet, so I buy regular egg roll  wrappers.  They still taste great.  I always make a double batch and freeze half of the rolls (before they are fried) to eat later.

1 lb ground pork
1 lb ground chicken
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 cup onion
1 cup green onion
1 cup carrots, diced
2 cups cabbage, sliced thin
2 tsp salt
2 tsp pepper
2 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp garlic powder
2 pkg of egg roll wrappers or lumpia wrappers
oil for frying

  • Cook pork and chicken, drain (leave a thin layer in pan) and set aside.
  • In the same pan, sauté garlic and onion for 2 minutes.  Stir in carrots, green onions, cabbage, and meat. Season with the salt, pepper, garlic powder and soy sauce.  Remove from heat and set aside until cool enough to handle.
  • Place about 3 Tb. of filling diagonally from one corner of the wrapper to the other, leaving a 1 1/2 inch space at both ends.  Fold the side along the length of the filling over the filling.  Tuck in both ends and roll neatly.  Keep the roll tight as you assemble.  Moisten the other side of the wrapper with water to seal the edge.
  • Put those you don't want to eat now in a freezer bag and stick in the freezer.  Cook the rest in oil that is 1/2 inch deep for 1-2 minutes a side until all sides are golden brown.  Drain on paper towels and serve immediately.

Saturday, April 20, 2013


This recipe came from Allrecipes but Jess and I decided we would make changes next time we made them.  This is what we will do next time.

4 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast meat - cut into chunks
1 (10.75 ounce) cancondensed cream of chicken soup
1 1/4 cups sour cream
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1 tablespoon butter
1 onion, chopped
2 (4 ounce) can chopped green chilies, drained
2 (1.25 ounce) package mild taco seasoning mix
1 bunch green onions, chopped, divided
2 cup water
2 teaspoon lime juice
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
10-12 (12 inch) flour tortillas
4 cups Cheddar cheese, shredded, divided
1 (10 oz) can enchilada sauce
1 (6 ounce) can sliced black olives

  • Place the chicken in a large pot and add water to cover. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the chicken pieces are no longer pink, about 10 minutes. Shred chicken by placing two forks back to back and pulling meat apart. Set the shredded chicken aside. Meanwhile, combine the cream of chicken soup, sour cream, and chili powder in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, then turn off the heat and cover to keep warm.
  • Heat the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in the onion; cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the shredded chicken, chopped green chilies, taco seasoning, half of the bunch of chopped green onion, and water. Allow to simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the lime juice, onion powder, and garlic powder; simmer for an additional 10 minutes.
  • Preheat an oven to 350 degrees.  Spread some of the soup mixture on the bottom of 2 9x13 inch baking dishes.  Stir in the rest of the mixture into the skillet with the chicken mixture.
  • Fill each tortilla with chicken mixture. Sprinkle Cheddar cheese over the chicken filling before folding the tortillas, reserving half of the shredded cheese for topping the enchiladas. Fold tortillas over the filling and place seam-side down in the prepared pan.
  • Pour enchilada sauce evenly over the enchiladas. Cover with the remaining 1 1/2 cups of Cheddar cheese. Sprinkle the reserved chopped green onions and the sliced olives on top of the cheese. Bake in the preheated oven until filling is heated through and the cheese is melted and bubbling, about 25 minutes.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Sugar Cookies

1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
4 tsp baking powder
pinch salt
6 cups flour

  • Cream together all ingredients except flour.  Add flour and chill 1 hour.
  • Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes.

8 oz. cream cheese
1/2 cup butter
2 tsp vanilla
4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
food coloring

Friday, April 5, 2013

Sweet and Sour Chicken

This tastes pretty similar to the restaurant sweet and sour.  The only difference is the color of the sauce.  You can add some orange food coloring to it to make it look like the original.

1 (8 ounce) can pineapple chunks, drained (juice reserved)
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 3/4 cups water, divided
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast - cut into 1 inch cubes
2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 egg
1 1/2 cups water
1 quart vegetable oil for frying
1 green bell pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces

  • Sprinkle chicken pieces generously with salt and pepper to season.
  • In a saucepan, combine 1 1/2 cups water, sugar, vinegar, and reserved pineapple juice. Heat to boiling. Turn off heat. In a separate bowl, combine 1/4 cup cornstarch and 1/4 cup water and stir to combine. Slowly stir into saucepan. Continue stirring until mixture thickens.
  • Combine flour, 2 tablespoons oil, 2 tablespoons cornstarch, salt, white pepper, and egg. Add 1 1/2 cups water gradually to make a thick batter. Stir to blend thoroughly. Add chicken pieces, and stir until chicken is well coated.
  • Heat oil in skillet to 350 degrees. Fry chicken pieces in hot oil for 10 minutes, or until golden. Remove chicken, and drain on paper towels.
  • When ready to serve, layer green peppers, pineapple chunks, and cooked chicken pieces on a platter. Pour hot sweet and sour sauce over top.  Serve over rice.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Monkey Butter

This is a no pectin jelly/spread recipe.  Because of this, it is very versatile.  You can add or subtract from the recipe and not effect it to much.  The spread is also a good one for pancakes or waffles.

5 ripe bananas
1 (20 oz) can crushed pineapple
1/4 cup coconut
1/2 can coconut milk
3 cups sugar
3 Tb lemon juice

  • Add all ingredients in a large saucepan.  Stirring often, heat to boiling and then turn down to a simmer.  Continue cooking until the sauce gets thick.
  • Process the jars in a water bath canner for 10 minutes (or more depending on your altitude.)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

I have tried through the years to make a good chocolate chip cookie and have failed every time.  They were either flat and greasy or cakey, but never that perfect in between.
My friend Melanie gave me this recipe and I tried it with success!  I am so excited...but not as much as my family.  They finally get chocolate chip cookies again.

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp hot water
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups chocolate chips (I used half peanut butter chips and half chocolate)
1 cup walnuts (optional)

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  • Cream butter and both sugars until smooth.  Beat in eggs one at a time, then stir in vanilla.
  • Dissolve baking soda in hot water.  Add to batter with the salt.  Stir in flour, chocolate chips and nuts.
  • Drop by large spoonfuls onto ungreased pans.
  • Bake for 11 minutes in preheated oven.

Friday, March 15, 2013


Why haven't I made crepes before?  My kids thought they were eating a bit of heaven.  We filled them with strawberries, bananas and whipped cream.  We also had chocolate pudding and peanut butter for our non-fruit lovers.

2 eggs
1 cup milk
2/3 cup flour
pinch salt

  • In a blender, process all ingredients until smooth.  
  • Heat a skillet and spray with vegetable oil.  Pour about 1/4 cup of batter into the pan and tilt it so it covers the whole pan.  Flip the crepe after a minute or so until golden brown.  

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Crock Pot Italian Tortellini

This tastes like a fancy spaghetti.  The kids loved it.

1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 pound Italian sausage, casings removed
1 (16 ounce) jar marinara sauce
1 (4.5 ounce) can sliced mushrooms
1 (9 ounce) package of frigerated tortellini
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1 (14.5 ounce) can Italian-style diced tomatoes, undrained

  • Crumble the ground beef and Italian sausage into a large skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until browned. Drain.
  • Combine the ground meats, marinara sauce, mushrooms, and tomatoes in a slow cooker. Cover, and cook on LOW heat for 7 to 8 hours.
  • Stir in the tortellini, and sprinkle the mozzarella and cheddar cheese over the top. Cover and cook for 15 more minutes on LOW, or until the tortellini is tender.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Pork and Black Beans over Rice

This was a big hit with everyone.  There is something really great about beans and meat over rice.  There are never left overs when we make it.

1 1/2 pounds pork tenderloin
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
1 large red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
3 (15 ounce) cans black beans
1 (16 ounce) jar salsa
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons chili powder

  • Combine pork tenderloin, onion, red pepper, black beans, salsa, chicken broth, oregano, cumin, and chili powder in a slow cooker. Set to Low and cook for 8 to 10 hours.
  • Break up pieces of cooked pork to thicken the chili before serving.
  • Serve over rice.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Upstate Minestrone Soup

1 lb Italian sausage
1 Tb olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup carrots, sliced
1 tsp dried basil
2 small zucchini, sliced
1 (15oz) can diced tomatoes
2 cans beef broth
4 cups shredded cabbage
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 (15 oz) can great northern beans, undrained

  • Slice sausage and brown in saucepan.  Add onion, garlic, carrots, and basil.  Cook for 5 minutes.
  • Add tomatoes with liquid, beef broth, cabbage, zucchini, salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil, reduce and simmer covered for 1 hour.
  • Add beans with liquid.  Cook another 20 minutes

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease and flour muffin pan or use paper liners.
  2. Mix sugar, oil, eggs. Add pumpkin and water. In separate bowl mix together the baking flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices and salt.. Add wet mixture and stir in chocolate chips.
  3. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full with batter. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes.