Saturday, December 19, 2009

Bust out your ugly sweaters and grab some Cream of Crap soup!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Its that time of year...especially in the mid-west. The stores stock the shelves to the ceiling with all varieties of Cream of Crap soup. Mushroom, chicken, celery, etc...Cream of Crap can be incorporated into all kinds of otherwise healthy foods.

But first, to get in the spirit of making "White Trash Bash-worthy" casseroles, you must put on your Ugly Christmas Sweaters....

Alrighty then, now that you are properly dressed, bust out that can opener and prepare to cook a feast of crap for your friends....

Shown here are Green Bean Casserole, Tater-Tot Casserole and Mac N' Cheese with cocktail weenies. An amazing spread for any trashy holiday party.

Green Bean Casserole

2 (15 ounce) cans cut green beans, drained
3/4 cup milk
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 (2.8 ounce) can French fried onions
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). In a medium casserole dish mix together green beans, milk, cream of mushroom soup, and 1/2 of the can of onions.
Bake for 25 minutes in the preheated oven, until heated through and bubbly. Sprinkle remaining onions over the top, and return to the oven for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Tater-Tot Casserole

2 pounds tater tots, thawed
1 (10.5 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 (16 ounce) container sour cream
1 (8 ounce) package sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 dash garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
paprika to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9x13 inch casserole dish.
In a large mixing bowl combine tater tots, soup, onion, sour cream, cheese, garlic powder, seasoning salt and mix well. Transfer to casserole dish. Sprinkle the top with Parmesan cheese (use more or less according to your taste) and paprika.
Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until browned.

Mac N' Cheese with Weenies

1 2/3 cups (about 7 oz.) dry small elbow macaroni, cooked and drained
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 can (12 fl. oz.) evaporated milk
1 cup water
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 cups (8 oz.) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 package cocktail weenies, cut into thirds
Crushed potato chips

Prehead oven to 375° F. Grease 2-quart casserole dish.

Combine cornstarch, salt, mustard and pepper in medium saucepan. Stir in evaporated milk, water, and butter. Cook over medium-heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil. Boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Stir in 1½ cups cheese until melted. Add in chopped cocktail weenies. Add macaroni; mix well. Pour into prepared casserole dish. Top with crushed potato chips.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until cheese is melted and light brown.

And last, but certainly not least....

A dessert that uses Twinkies in the recipe. How great is that????

Strawberry Twinkie Dessert

4 cups sliced fresh strawberries
1 (18.75 ounce) can ready-to-use strawberry glaze
8 Twinkies
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (12 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed

Combine strawberries and glaze in a small bowl.
Slice Twinkies in half lengthwise, and place in a single layer over the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch dish. In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and condensed milk until smooth. Fold in whipped topping, and spread mixture over Twinkies. Spoon berries over cream cheese mixture. Cover and chill 30 minutes or more. Refrigerate leftovers.


Merry Christmas Gift Boxes

This year I decided to whip up a few treats and put them in gift boxes for my girls! All of these recipes are very easy and quick to whip up ahead of time.

White Chocolate Covered Oreos

white chocolate chips

Melt white chocolate chips over low heat. Dip oreos into the chocolate and then place on parchement paper. Sprinkle holiday sprinkles over the cookies and allow to cool.

Chocolate-Marshmallow Pillows

1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker® double chocolate chunk cookie mix
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons water
1 egg
2/3 cup chopped pecans
12 large marshmallows, cut in half

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (6 oz)
1/3 cup whipping cream
1 teaspoon butter or margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, stir cookie mix, oil, water, egg and pecans until soft dough forms.
On ungreased cookie sheets, drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart.
Bake 7 minutes. Remove from oven; immediately press marshmallow half lightly, cut side down, on top of cookie. Bake 1 to 2 minutes longer or just until marshmallows begin to soften. Cool 2 minutes; remove from cookie sheets to cooling racks. Cool completely, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, in 1-quart nonstick saucepan, melt chocolate chips over low heat, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat. Add whipping cream, butter and vanilla; blend well. Stir in powdered sugar until smooth.
Spread frosting over each cooled cookie, covering marshmallow. Let stand until frosting is set.
source: Betty Crocker

White Trash

1 cup Cheerios
1 cup rice Chex
1 cup small pretzels
1 cup mixed nuts
1 cup Peanut M&Ms
12 oz. bag white chocolate chips

Combine cereal, pretzels, M&M's and nuts in bowl; set aside.
Melt vanilla chips over low heat. Pour vanilla mixture over dry mixture and stir to coat.
Pour onto waxed paper and allow to cool. Break up into pieces.

Chocolate chip cookies! Just use your favorite recipe.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Quick and Easy Stir Fry

Have I ever mentioned how much I love Trader Joe's? If not, well...I do. A few weeks ago while shopping at TJ's, I bought a pack of fresh Asian Stir Fry veggies in the produce department. Unfortunately, my week got crazy and I didn't get to use them right away. I tossed them in a freezer bag and into the freezer they went... until tonight! I pulled them out and rinsed them off and they were good as new. I also found a frozen chicken breast, frozen beef filet, and frozen fried rice. My freezer is a magical place! I thawed and sliced the beef and chicken and stir fried them first, separately.

Quick and Easy Stir Fry

Trader Joe's Asian Stir Fry Vegetables
Beef or Chicken (about 12 oz. total)
Salt & Pepper
Soy Sauce

Stir fry meat in a small amount of oil over high heat in a large skillet or wok until done. (Season with salt and pepper to taste.) Remove meat from skillet. Next stir fry veggies until crisp tender and add soy sauce while cooking. Serve with rice if desired.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Pumpkin Dessert out the wahzoo!

I picked out a very tasty looking pumpkin dessert recipe to try out for Thanksgiving.

Well...that would have been a great plan, but in the midst of packing all the other dishes I took to thanksgiving, I somehow forgot to pull this one out of the fridge. So now I have two 9"x13" pans of pumpkiny goodness in the fridge. They will most certainly be going to work with me tomorrow for my co-workers to enjoy!

Praline Pumpkin Dessert

1 can (15 oz) pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 box Betty Crocker® SuperMoist® yellow or spice cake mix
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans or walnuts
3/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
Whipped cream, if desired

Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pan). Grease or spray bottom and sides of 13x9-inch pan. In medium bowl, beat pumpkin, milk, eggs, sugar and 4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice with wire whisk until smooth. Pour into pan.
Sprinkle dry cake mix over pumpkin mixture. Sprinkle with pecans. Pour melted butter evenly over top.
Bake 50 to 60 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 30 minutes.
To serve, cut dessert into 4 rows by 3 rows. Serve warm or chilled with dollop of whipped cream sprinkled with pumpkin pie spice. Store covered in refrigerator.

Source: Betty Crocker

Monday, November 16, 2009

Trader Joe's...oh how I love thee...

I can't take credit for finding this recipe. My dear friend Sara introduced me to this delicious dish last week, and I couldn't wait to make it myself!

The beauty of this dish is that it only requires 4 ingredients! All of which should be purchased from Trader Joe's for maximum yumminess. I will never use another pie crust again! This one is amazing!!!!

This will rival any great deep dish pizza, I promise!
Trader Joe's Calzone Pie

1 package TJ's frozen pie crust (thawed)
1 package TJ's frozen fully cooked meat balls (thawed)
1 cup TJ's Tomato Basil Marinara
1 cup TJ's Quattro Fromagio shredded cheese

Thaw and follow directions on pie crust. Thaw and quarter meatballs. Put 2 tbsp of sauce on the pie crust and spread to cover. Add Meatballs and top with remaining sauce and cheese. Continue rest of pie directions for baking, for approx. 15-20 mins at 450 degrees or until top is golden.
Source: Sara Burns

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Best. Chili. Ever.

I love this chili. It definitely isn't a quick meal, but if you have the time, it will pay off. Things go a lot faster if you have a food processor, but if not you will get a chance to work on your knife skills. This recipe will serve a large crowd, or keep you happy all winter with lots of frozen chili in your freezer.

Hoosier Mama Chili

2 pounds ground beef chuck
1 pound hot bulk sausage
3 (15 ounce) cans chili beans in medium heat sauce, drained
1 (15 ounce) can chili beans in spicy sauce
2 (28 ounce) cans diced tomatoes with juice
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1 large yellow onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 7 oz. can diced green chili peppers
1/4 cup real bacon bits
4 teaspoons beef bouillon granules
1 12 oz. beer (I used Fat Tire)
1/4 cup chili powder
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce (I used Vampfire)
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon white sugar

Brown beef and sausage in a skillet, drain fat. Add meat to a pre-heated crock-pot. (A big crock pot!!!) Add everything else listed and stir. Let the chili simmer on low for 4-6 hours (or longer).

Serve with fritos, cheese, sour cream, onions...or anything else your heart desires. If you don't want to use a crock pot, you can easily make this in a pot on the stove, just let it simmer as long as you can, the longer the better.

source: adapted from

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Happy Halloween!

If you know me at all, you know that I would never let you down on posting Halloween recipes! I hosted our annual Ghoul's Night and here are the frightful tricks and treats that I served. (Sorry the pictures aren't the best, we were in a hurry to eat!)

Snake Sticks

1 (11 ounce) can refrigerated breadstick dough
1/4 teaspoon butter, melted
herbs or spices, to taste
pimiento, for tongue sliced
black olives, for eyes

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray each skewer with non-stick spray. Wrap each breadstick around the skewer and flatten out the end a bit. You will have to work with the dough a bit, but place 2 black olives on the top for eyes and a small piece of pimiento in the "mouth" for the tongue. Bake on a prepared baking sheet for approximately 20 minutes or until the breadsticks are golden brown. Remove from the oven and immediately brush with the melted butter and sprinkle with the herbs/spices of your choice. Let cool. If desired, slide the skewers off the bread or serve with the skewers in for easy handling.


Green Slime Dip

1 pound pepper jack cheese (shredded or cubed)
1- 4 oz. can diced green chilis
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 8-oz. block cream cheese
Green food coloring

Combine in saucepan and stir over medium heat until smooth.

Source: Lisa Graves, ghoulfriend

Crunchy Worm Salad

2 bags shredded cabbage
3 green onions
1 (3-ounce) package ramen noodles with seasoning pack
1 (6-ounce) package slivered almonds
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons white vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
Black food coloring

Preheat the broiler.
Tear the cabbage and slice the onions, and place in a large salad bowl. Crumble the noodles into a broiler pan, add the almonds, sesame seeds, and broil for 2 minutes, being careful not to scorch the sesame seeds. In a jar with a tight lid, combine the oil, sugar, vinegar, and salt with the contents of the seasoning pack. Cover the jar and shake well to blend the dressing. Pour the dressing over the salad, add the toasted sesame and almond, and toss to combine Toss the ramen noodles with black food coloring for added effect.

Source: Paula Deen

Werewolf Claws

Nonstick vegetable spray
10 chicken cutlets
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups seasoned bread crumbs
1 12-oz. can large pitted black olives, drained
1 head of lettuce

Spray a cookie sheet with the nonstick spray. Slice the cutlets into strips about the width of one bony finger, the more crooked the better.
Place the flour, beaten eggs and bread crumbs into three separate bowls.
Dust the chicken strips with flour, dip them into the eggs, and then roll them in the bread crumbs. You probably won't use all the flour or crumbs.
Place the strips on the cookie sheet and broil about 5 minutes on each side until brown.
To make the fingernails, cut the olives in half lengthwise. Trim the halves into pointy nail shapes, and place one on the end of each chicken strip. Press them into the chicken and, if you need help in making them stick, use some ketchup as glue.
Serve the claws on a head (of lettuce, of course).


Spooky Pasta

1 16 oz. bag of Halloween shaped pasta
1 26 oz. jar of pasta sauce
4 oz. sliced pepperoni (chopped)
2 cups shredded mozzerella cheese

Cook pasta as directed. Mix pasta with sauce and pepperoni. Pour into a casserole dish and top with shredded cheese. Bake at 350 for 20 min or until cheese is melted.

Burried Alive Cupcakes

chocolate cupcakes
chocolate frosting
crushed chocolate cookies
baby doll arms (available at craft stores)

Bake and frost cupcakes. Push a babydoll arm into each cupcake and the top with crushed chocolate cookie crumbs.

Excuses, excuses...

So it is pretty sad that I haven't blogged since June.

But in my defense, I've been busy doing other stuff.
Here is a brief summary of things I've been up to instead of posting new recipes.
Taking Care of Sick Baby....

Having fun with friends...

Attending lots of concerts and shows... Def Leppard, Cheap Trick, Poison, Jimmy Bufftet, NKOTB, No Doubt, Brittney Spears, Billy Joel, Elton John, Beatles Love, Earth Wind & Fire, Chicago, Wicked, Mamma Mia.....

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Utilizing the ol' Microwave

Although microwaves are pretty popular, I rarely use mine. Maybe once a month or so... possibly because I have it on the bottom of a cart in my kitchen out of the way, or possibly because I love my gas range... who knows. Either way, it never occurs to me to use it and I almost took the stove top route when making this dish, but decided to give the microwave a try and follow the instructions. It came out great, and I had time to watch some TiVo'd stuff while it cooked.

Microwave Green Chile-Chicken Risotto

2 Tbs butter
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1 cup arborio rice
1 (14 oz.) fat free low sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 cup water (divided)
1 (4.5 oz.) can green chilies, drained
1 1/2 cup chopped roasted chicken
1 cup shredded reduced-fat shredded cheddar cheese
2 Tbs water
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Combine the butter, onion, rice, brother and 3/4 cup water in a 2-quart microwavable dish. Cover with plastic wrap, and vent.

Microwave on high for 15 min. Stir in remaining 3/4 cup water, cover and microwave on high for 5 minutes.

Stir green chiles and chicken into rice and let stand for 5 min. Uncover and stir in cheese, 2 TBS water, salt and cilantro.

Source: Cooking Light

Monday, June 1, 2009

Keep your baking soda handy!!!

So tonight I was preparing these yummy Chicken-Pepper Tostadas for dinner. Everything was going just swimmingly. Veggies and chicken were sauteed and I was toasting the corn tortillas under the broiler as directed... and then bam! The tostadas caught on fire...guess my broiler was set a little to high! Luckily I have baking soda handy, and after tossing a handful at the flames, my tortillas were extinguished. However, they were not salvageable. So I tossed a few more in the toaster, and voila! Crunchy little tortillas, flame-free!

Chicken-Pepper Tostadas

4 6 in. corn tortillas
cooking spray
12 oz. frozen pepper stir-fry
12 oz. chicken breast tenders, chopped
2 1/2 tsp. Mexican seasoning
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
1 cup shredded reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese

Preheat broiler. Place tortillas on baking sheet; lightly coat each tortilla with cooking spray. Broil 4 to 5 minutes or until crisp (or in my case, until your oven catches fire).

Place pepper stir-fry in a colander and rinse under cold water until thawed. Drain and pat dry.
Coat a large skilled with cooking spray; place over medium-high heat. Add peppers and saute for 4 min. Add chicken and seasonings and saute until done.

Top each tortilla with 1/2 cup of chicken mixture and 1/4 cup cheese. Broil for 1 minute or until cheese melts. (or microwave for a few seconds if your oven is now covered in baking soda.)

Source: Cooking Light

Faster than delivery!

This past Sunday, my friend Sara and I made plans to watch the MTV Movie Awards. We could basically care less about the awards, we were watching just to see the teaser trailer of the next movie in the Twilight saga, called New Moon. The trailer, complete with vampires, werewolves, and hot steamy kisses was awesome! Now we just have to wait until November to see the movie...

So for dinner I tried out another Cooking Light Superfast Supper recipe, and it was delish!

Chicken-Pesto Pizza
1 10oz. can refrigerated pizza dough (I used thin crust)
1 lb. chicken breast tenderloins, chopped
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
3 Tbs. Commercial pesto
2 Cups shredded skim mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 400. Unroll dough onto a greased cookie sheet and bake for 9 minutes.
Sprinkle chicken with Italian seasoning and saute in a skillet over medium-high heat until done.
Spread pesto over baked crust, top with cooked chicken, and sprinkle with cheese. Bake for an additional 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

No-Cook Fast Supper

My new favorite cook book is the Cooking Light Super Fast Suppers cookbook. I'm sure you will soon come to find a lot of recipes from this cookbook on my blog, as everything is fast, healthy, and looks delicious.

The first recipe I tried came out great, and will be a staple for summer time eating in our house.

Crunchy Picante Salad
6 cups preshredded lettuce
5 cups baked tortilla chips (broken in to bite-sized pizza)
1 cup pincante sauce
1/2 cup shredded low fat cheddar cheese
1 (15 oz.) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 (2.25 oz.) can sliced ripe olives, drained
1 ripe avocado, peeled and chopped
1 large lime, quartered
1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Place 1.5 cups of lettuce on each of 4 plates; top evenly with chips. Spoon picante sauce evenly over chips; top evenly with cheese, beans, olives, and avocado. Squeeze lime quarter over each salad. Top each salad with 2 tablespoons of sour cream and cilantro.
Source: Cooking Light

Back in the day...

Back in the day of wonderful college years... I spent a summer waitressing at a wonderful little Mexican restaurant called Tortilla Flat. Unfortunately, the restaurant is no longer there, but the delicious food lives on! My favorite dish on the menu was Chipotle Chicken with Spinach in Cream Sauce served over rice. While this recipe isn't exactly how it was made at the restaurant, it tastes almost identical! It is also much faster to make this way, and is a quick and healthy dinner.

1 (7 ounce) can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
2 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts 1 cup reduced-fat sour cream
10 ounces baby spinach, rinsed
1/2 cup chicken broth
salt to taste

Combine chopped chile peppers with 2 tablespoons sour cream. Mix together and spread mixture over chicken breasts. Sprinkle lightly with salt to taste, cover and marinate in refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

Place marinated chicken in an ungreased 9x13 inch baking dish and broil for about 5 minutes (rack should be about 6 inches from the top.) Pour 1 cup sour cream around edges of chicken and turn over chicken breasts. Broil for an additional 5 minutes. Sour cream should be lightly brown on the edges. Move breasts into a separate dish and cover to keep warm. Set aside.

Pour leftover broiled sour cream into a medium saucepan over high heat. Add spinach, broth and salt to taste. Boil for about 1 minute until all melted and mixed together. Pour mixture over chicken breasts and serve.

Serve over Spanish rice if desired.


Saturday, May 30, 2009

Tag!!! I'm it!!!

I was recently tagged by Allie of Zimmerman Shenanigans to complete this fun little questionarrie....

8 Things I'm Looking Forward To:

1. Dancing at my wedding
2. Going on another cruise with the girls
3. Summer flowers blooming in my yard
4. Hanging out at the Five Seasons pool w/ my new membership
5. Having a fun long weekend when Andrea comes to visit in June
6. Making strawberry shortcakes with the 7 lbs of strawberries I picked today w/Ali and Lisa
7. Posting my pile of recipes and photos I have save up, but have been slacking!
8. All of the fun summer movies, concerts, and events that Indy has to offer

8 Things I Did Yesterday:

1. Went to Work
2. Had our weekly Friday lunch at El Rodeo w/ my coworker Beth
3. Got a phone call that something was available that hadn't been before, and it made my day!
4. Drank a lot of delicious German beer. (Spaten Lager)
5. Had some brat n' kraut balls in the bier garten at the Rathskeller
6. Listened to the zee most beee-U-tee-ful music in dee vurld (aka Polka Boy)
7. Saw some very daring fashion choices.
8. Spent what felt like hours driving around looking for parking downtown.

8 Things I Would Like to Do:

1. Repaint the house
2. Fisnish the basement (very doubtful)
3. Take a cruise around the Greek Isles
4. Spend more time in Europe and Great Britain
5. Buy a boat
6. Buy a lakehouse for my boat
7. Put a pool in at the lakehouse
8. Build a swim up tiki bar in my pool

8 Shows I watch:

1. Brothers & Sisters
2. Desperate Housewives
3. 90210
4. One Tree Hill
5. Grey's Anatomy
6. Private Practice
7. How I Met Your Mother
8. Medium

Now I tag the following people:

1. Sara Burns
2. Julie Albert
3. Becca Carpenter
4. Jen Saxe
5. Michelle Shorter

Monday, May 18, 2009

Dos baked potatoes!

I love twice baked potatoes, but they aren't always the healthiest. This recipe provides just enough cheesy creaminess, but also throws in some healthier ingredients. These were a great side dish to baked fish.

Twice Baked Mexican Potatoes

3 medium baked potatoes
1/2 cup canned black beans
1 tsp taco seasoning mix
3 TBS fat-free creamer
1/4 cup low fat sour cream
1/4 cup 2% shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup diced tomato
1/4 cup diced onion
salt & pepper to taste

Bake potatoes (whatever method you prefer). Scoop out inside of potatoes into a large bowl. Mash with a fork to break up potatoes. Add all other ingredients and mix to combine. Scoop mixture back into potato skins and bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes.

Source: adapted from Hungry Girl

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Southwestern Surprise!

I've had everything on hand to make this for a few weeks now, it is a great pantry meal! I'm also looking forward to freezing about 3/4ths of the recipe, as it makes a ton! I served this with some Tastefully Simple Bountiful Beer Bread (so good!).

Southwestern Surprise

4 oz. cooked extra-lean ground beef, drained
One 16oz package of frozen sweet corn kernels
Two 15oz cans pinto beans, rinsed & drained
One 15oz can black beans, rinsed & drained
Three 14.5oz cans no-salt-added diced tomatoes
One 14.5oz can Italian-style diced tomatoes
1 envelope ranch dip/dressing mix
1 envelope taco seasoning mix
1/4 cup minced onions
salt & pepper to taste

Pour all ingredients into a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to low and simmer for 15 minutes.

12 servings - per serving: 168 cals, 1g fat, 702mg sodium, 6.5g fiber, 6g sugars, 9g protein

Source: Hungry Girl

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Strawberries & Cream Croissants

Baby steps back into the kitchen.... Since I've been on vacation, I haven't even made it to the grocery. Luckily I did have a few things on hand to throw together for a breakfast treat. Check your fridge and you just might have everything you need to make these tasty treats!

Strawberries & Cream Croissants

1 package croissant rolls
8 teaspoons cream cheese (I used low fat)
8 teaspoons strawberry jelly (I used low sugar)

Unroll croissants as directed on package. At the larger part of the triangle, place 1 teaspoon of cream cheese and one teaspoon of strawberry jelly. Roll as directed and place on a greased cookie sheet. Bake as directed. Enjoy!

Source: Me!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Bienvenidos a Miami!

Greetings from sunny South Beach!
My friend Sara and I arrived this afternoon after an uneventful day of travel. After checking into our hotel and walking around the area a bit we settled on a yummy and very authentic Italian restaurant for dinner. Also because we both love the movie the Goonies, and the name of the restaurant was Fratelli la Bufala, so we figured that was a good sign.

One thing we noticed is how dog friendly the city is. There were dogs at the restaurant at dinner, and also inside a CVS we stopped into for some bottled water. Cute!

Miami is beautiful at night with all of the art deco buildings lit up in neon. South Beach is like the Las Vegas of Florida, kinda like Tulsa is the Paris of Oklahoma. (Friends episode reference)

After wandering back to the hotel, we sat by the pool with some fruity drinks and listened to the live music playing at the hotel's restaurant.

Now we are exhausted and heading to bed. Tomorrow we set sail on our Carnival Cruise!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

I know...I'm slacking.

I know I haven't posted anything in a while. I will resume posting more frequently (I hope) after I get back from my vacation next week.

Until then, I'll be packing, sipping tropical drinks on a cruise, and then unpacking! :)

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Make Ahead Pizza Pasta

This recipe is adapted from one my friend Jolene posted on her facebook page. It looked super yummy, so I adapted it based on what I already had on hand and also to make a large batch and freeze some. Turns out it made so much that I cooked one 8x8 pan for dinner the first night and froze 2 more 8x8 pans. I've already tried one of the frozen batches as I didn't want to post this recipe until making sure it worked, and it was just as great the second time around.

Penne Pizza Pasta

2 lbs of ground sausage (I used 1 hot, & 1 mild)
2 jars spaghetti sauce
16 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded
8 oz cheddar cheese, shredded
8 oz chopped fresh mushrooms
1 lg bell pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 pkg pepperoni slices (cut into pepperoni slices into 4ths)
1 tsp italian seasoning
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 boxes dreamfields penne (or 26 oz. of other penne pasta)

In a large skillet, brown the sausage and onions. Next add veggies, seasonings, and sauce, and allow to simmer while cooking pasta. Cook pasta as directed on box, drain, and add to the sauce mixture. In a large bowl, blend shredded cheeses. Fill 3 8x8 pans half full with pasta mixture. Next top each pan with a cup of the shredded cheese mixture. Top of each pan evenly with the remaining pasta, and then the remaining cheese. cover and Freeze 2 pans for later.

Bake in oven at 350 degrees until cheese melts.

When preparing frozen pans, allow to thaw overnight and then bake at 350 for about 45 min, or until warmed through.

Source: adapted from Jolene Howard's recipe

Happy Birthdays!

Last Sunday it was my time to host girls night. Since it was so nice outside, I did some burgers on the grill and some of the famous Mac-n-Cheese. It was also going to be the last girls night before the literal Birthday of Court's baby, and the last girls night before Ali finally enters her 30's! To celebrate both joyous occasions, I decided to make a cake. I searched for great recipes for cakes, fillings, and icings...but decided to be lazy and get help from Betty. (Crocker that is!)

Yummy Birthday Cake

1 box of Devil's Food Cake (you'll need eggs & oil)
1 jar Chocolate Frosting
1 jar Buttercream Frosting
1 pint of Strawberries

Cook cake as directed on box for 2 9" round pans. After cake has cooled, slice each cake horizontally to create 4 layers. Frost the bottom 3 layers with chocolate icing on the tops only. After assembling the layers, frost the entire cake with buttercream frosting and decorate with strawberry halves.

Source: Me

Welcome Drake Holden G. born at 6:53AM on Thursday, March 26!!!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Happy St. Patty's Day...Again!

With the gigantic pile of corned beef left over from yesterday's post, I decided to throw together one of my favorite sandwiches for dinner.

Reuben Sandwich

2 slices Marbled Rye bread
Corned Beef Brisket
2 slices swiss cheese
Thousand Island Dressing

Butter bread slices. On the other side of each piece of bread spread thousand island dressing and top with swiss cheese slices. Add corned beef and sauerkraut to one slice and press sandwich together. Grill over medium heat on both sides until golden brown.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day

I couldn't pass up a chance to make a Irish themed dinner! I love Ruben Sandwiches, so I had already put that on this week's menu, and thought why not make my own corned beef the day before. I found this very highly rated recipe and loved that it used a crock pot.

Corned Beef & Cabbage

1 medium onion, cut into wedges
4 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 pound baby carrots
3 cups water
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 1/2 pounds corned beef brisket with spice packet, cut in half
1 small head cabbage, cut into wedges

Place the onion, potatoes and carrots in a 5-qt. slow cooker. Combine water, garlic, bay leaf, sugar, vinegar, pepper and contents of spice packet; pour over the vegetables. Top with brisket and cabbage. Cover and cook on low for 8-9 hours or until the meat and vegetables are tender. Remove bay leaf before serving.


Opa! Indeed!

I love Greek food, and when I saw this simple recipe for Chicken Gyros, I knew I had to try it. I love regular lamb gyros, but I'm short on lamb and a spit for the yard, so I figured a chicken breast substitution would be a little easier to prepare.

Chicken Gyros

1 lbs chicken breast
4 cloves garlic, minced
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tsp. red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 heaping Tbsp. plain yogurt
1 Tbsp. dried oregano
salt and pepper
sliced tomatoes
sliced red onions
4 (pocketless) pitas
feta cheese

Whisk together the garlic, lemon juice, vinegar, oil, yogurt, and oregano in a bowl. Add the chicken and rub the marinade in. Cover and refrigerate for about an hour.
Preheat the grill pan. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides, and then grill until cooked through, about 5 minutes per side, depending what size/type chicken you are using. Allow the chicken to rest for a few minutes before slicing into strips.
Meanwhile, warm your pitas. Top the pita with the chicken, tzatziki (see recipe below), tomatoes, onions, and feta.

Tzatziki Sauce

16 oz. Fage Yogurt (or other plain yogurt)
1 regular cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
2 garlic cloves minced
1 tsp white wine vinegar
salt & pepper
squeeze of fresh lemon juice
drizzle of extra virgin olive oil

Combine and allow to refridgerate for at least 30 min. before serving.

Source: Adapted from

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Happy Mardi Gras!

In honor of Mardi Gras, I thought I would post one of my favorite cajun-creole recipes! Luckily for me, we have a great little restaurant, called Yats, nearby. And even luckier, the owner gave the recipe for his famous Chili Cheese Etouffee to a local fundraising cookbook.

Yat's Chili Cheese Etouffee

1 stick butter
1/2 cup flour
1 cup chopped green onions, plus more to garnish
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced bell peppers
1 cup diced onions
2 tsp. minced onion
1 cup Rotel Original diced tomatoes or petite dice tomatoes with green chilies
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1 TBS tomato paste
1 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. white pepper
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
3 cups chicken stock
3 cups shredded aged cheddar
8 oz. half-and-half or heavy cream
1 tsp. chili powder
Pinch ground coriander
Pinch groun cumin
Pinch ground cloves
Dash Lea and Perrins Worcestershire sauce
Dash Tobasco sauce
1 pound cooked crawfish, shrimp, or chicken
Cooked white rice, to serve
Dry sherry, to garnish

1. Make a roux by heating the butter in a heavy skillet over medium heat and then blending in the flour, consistently stirring and scraping the bottom of the skillet. Cook until the roux is a golden color.
2. Add the green onions, celery, bell peppers, onions, garlic and tomatoes and cook until the onions have browned.
3. Add the thyme, tomato paste, basil and peppers (black, white, cayenne).
4. Add the stock, bring to a boil and simmer until the mixture becomes thick.
5. Add the cheese, half-and-half, chili powder, coriander, cumin, cloves, Lea and Peririns and Tabasco and stir until the cheese and half-and-half are blended in well.
6. Gently stir in the crawfish, shrimp, and/or chicken and serve over fluffy white rice. Garnish with chopped green onions and drizzle with dry sherry.

Source: Joe Vuskovich, owner of Yats

Monday, February 23, 2009

Super Easy, Quick & Cheesy!

I was first introduced to this easy recipe by my friend Ali, back in the olden days of our downtown apartment living. This is a quick and easy weeknight meal!

Quick & Easy Quesadillas

6 Flour Tortillas
1 can diced tomatoes w/ chilies
Shredded Mexican Blend Cheese
1 lb cooked and diced chicken

Place cooked chicken in a large skillet and add can of tomatoes. Cook over medium high heat until the liquid has evaporated. Place tortilla in an oiled griddle over medium high heat and top with a thin layer of cheese, then cover half with a layer of the chicken & tomato mixture. Fold in half and cook on both sides for a minute or so until tortilla is crisp and cheese is melted. Serve with salsa and sour cream if desired.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Livin' the Dream

Ok, not really...but things could always be worse. My boyfriend, Scott, bought a bicycle shop last week, so this past weekend I spent about 20 hours painting and cleaning. I was so sore last night I didn't know if I'd be able to get out of bed today...but I made it! I really need to go to the grocery, but since I'm still very tired, I thought I'd see what I could make with ingredients I already had...and it turned into a comfy pasta bake. (I've been lowing carbs, so I used Dreamfields pasta, which I give 2 thumbs up!)

Lower Carb Pasta Bake

1 box Dreamfields spaghetti (13.25 oz)
1 lb ground turkey (or beef)
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tsp. minced garlic cloves
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
salt & pepper to taste
26 oz jar of spaghetti sauce
4 oz. cream cheese
12 oz. shredded Italian cheese blend (I like Trader Joe's)

Pre-heat oven to 375. Cook pasta as directed on the box. Meanwhile, brown the turkey and onions. Add the seasonings, garlic, and cream cheese and mix well until cheese has melted. Next add the spaghetti sauce and simmer until pasta is finished cooking. Drain pasta and add to sauce mixture, mix to combine.

Pour pasta mixture into a prepared 9x13 pan and top with shredded cheese. Bake at 375 for about 15 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Ol' Switcheroo!

Wow. I love lasagna as much as Garfield, but I try not to eat a lot of pasta. I'd always heard you could substitute zucchini slices for lasagna noodles, but was a bit skeptical. Not anymore! I may never make "normal" lasagna again! This is awesome. Feel free to use any lasagna recipe you like, and just substitute the pasta with zucchini.

Zucchini Lasagna

2 1/2 cups zucchini, sliced 1/4 inch thick (about 3 medium)
1 lb lean ground beef
1/2 cup onion, chopped
2 small tomatoes, cut up
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 cup water
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 egg
1 cup low fat cottage cheese
2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded

Cook zucchini until tender, drain and set aside. Fry meat and onions until meat is brown and onions are tender; drain fat. Add next 8 ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered 10 minutes or until reduced to 2 cups. In small bowl slightly beat egg. Add cottage cheese, and half of shredded cheese. In (2-qt.) baking pan arrange half of the meat mixture. Top with half of the zucchini and all the cottage cheese mixture. Top with remaining meat and zucchini. Bake uncovered at 375 degrees F for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake 10 minutes longer. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
Source: adapted from

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


It started snowing last night, and didn't stop until it dumped over a foot of snow here in Indy. Luckily I had my work laptop with me at home, and opted to work from the sofa today. Scott took full advantage of his day off by sleeping in until almost 11, so I thought I'd make a breakfast casserole to surprise him. One of my favorite recipes on this blog is another awesome breakfast casserole, and while this one is great, I don't know if it surpasses the other one. I think next time I might make a combo of the two.

Sausage & Egg Casserole

3/4 pound ground pork sausage
1 tablespoon butter
4 green onions, chopped
1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
10 eggs, beaten
1 (16 ounce) container low-fat cottage cheese
1 pound Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
2 (4 ounce) cans diced green chile peppers, drained
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup butter, melted

Place sausage in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until evenly brown. Drain, and set aside. Melt butter in skillet, and cook and stir the green onions and mushrooms until tender. In a large bowl, mix the eggs, cottage cheese, Monterey Jack cheese, and chiles. Stir in the sausage, green onions, and mushrooms. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish. In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Blend in the melted butter. Stir the flour mixture into the egg mixture. Pour into the prepared baking dish. Bake 40 to 50 minutes in the preheated oven, or until lightly brown. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.