Come see what is on the menu this week! I work toward once a week grocery shopping and fast, easy cooking!!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Last week of 2010

I wasn't able to post this earlier, but here are this weeks recipes.

Monday - Roman-style Chicken
Wednesday - Peach Pork Picante
Friday - Beef tips

Roman-style Chicken

4 skinless chicken breast halves,
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus 1 teaspoon
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus 1 teaspoon
1/4 cup olive oil
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
3 ounces prosciutto, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup white wine
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon fresh oregano leaves
1/2 cup chicken stock
2 tablespoons capers
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

Season the chicken with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
In a heavy, large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
When the oil is hot, cook the chicken until browned on both sides.
Remove from the pan and set aside.

Keeping the same pan over medium heat, add the peppers and prosciutto
and cook until the peppers have browned and the prosciutto is crisp,
about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes,
wine, and herbs. Using a wooden spoon, scrape the browned bits off the
bottom of the pan. Return the chicken to the pan, add the stock, and bring
the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the
chicken is cooked through, about 20 to 30 minutes.

If serving immediately, add the capers and the parsley. Stir to combine and serve.
If making ahead of time, transfer the chicken and sauce to a storage container, cool,
and refrigerate. The next day, reheat the chicken to a simmer over medium heat.
Stir in the capers and the parsley and serve.

Peach Pork Picante

1 pound boneless pork loin, cubed
1 (1 ounce) package taco seasoning mix
1 cup salsa
4 tablespoons peach preserves

1. Season pork with taco seasoning. Heat oil in
a large skillet over medium high heat.
Add seasoned pork and saute until browned, 5 to 7 minutes.
Add salsa and peach preserves and mix well.
Cover skillet and reduce heat.
Let simmer gently for about 10 minutes and serve.


1. Dump all ingredients into a crockpot
2. Stir
3. Cook on low for 6-8hrs

Serve over Egg Noodles

Beef Tips

3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
2 pounds cubed beef stew meat
2 cups water
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 (.75 ounce) packet dry brown gravy
1 cup water

1. In a large skillet heat oil over high heat. Saute the onion until almost translucent.
2. Add the stew meat and cook on high heat until
meat is browned on all sides; about 3 to 5 minutes.
3. Pour 2 cups water, soy sauce, and Worcestershire
sauce into the skillet. Stir in garlic powder, salt and pepper.
Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
4. Meanwhile combine the gravy mix with 1 cup water.
Mix thoroughly and stir into the meat mixture. Bring to a
boil stirring frequently until slightly thickened.


1. In a large skillet heat oil over high heat. Saute the onion until almost translucent.
2. Add the stew meat and cook on high heat until
meat is browned on all sides; about 3 to 5 minutes.
3. Add all ingredients into Crockpot
4. Cook on low for 6-8hrs

Serve over Egg Noodles or rice

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Week before Christmas

We leave for Christmas Holiday soon and giving me the week of Christmas off cooking duty. Until then, I'm in the kitchen!

Sunday - CrockPot Chicken and Dumplings Soup Recipe
Monday - Easy Mexican Casserole
Wednesday - Cranberry Pork Chops

CrockPot Chicken and Dumplings Soup Recipe

The Ingredients.

--3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken (I used frozen thighs)
--1 yellow onion, chopped
--1 cup mushrooms, chopped (I used baby portabellas)
--16 ounces frozen vegetables

--2 cans cream-of-something soup, or combine in a saucepan:
4 T butter
6 T flour (I used Pamela's baking mix)
1 cup milk (I used soy)
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tsp poultry seasoning

--1 can refrigerated biscuits, or one batch drop biscuits

The Directions.

I used a 6.5 quart crockpot. Anything 4 quarts and up will work.
Put the chicken and vegetables into the bottom of the crockpot.
Add the cream-of soups, or your homemade substitute.
Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for 4-5.
I cooked ours on high for 4 hours, and on low for another two.
An hour before serving, shred chicken with two large forks, and drop in the biscuit dough.

Cover and cook on high for another hour.
The bisquits are done when you can insert a knife and it comes out clean.
They will be spongey and will brown a bit on the sides and top.

Serve in bowls, with a biscuit or two per person.

Easy Mexican Casserole

"Ground beef, salsa and chili beans are layered with tortilla
chips and sour cream and topped with melted cheese in this tasty dish."

1 pound lean ground beef
2 cups salsa
1 (16 ounce) can chili beans, drained
3 cups tortilla chips, crushed
2 cups sour cream
1 (2 ounce) can sliced black olives,drained
1/2 cup chopped green onion
1/2 cup chopped fresh tomato
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook ground beef until no longer pink.
Stir in salsa, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed.
Stir in beans, and heat through.
3. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray.
Spread crushed tortilla chips in dish, and then spoon beef mixture over chips.
Spread sour cream over beef, and sprinkle olives, green onion, and tomato over the sour cream.
Top with Cheddar cheese.
4. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.

Cranberry Pork Chops

"Sweet orange marmalade enhances the flavor of the tart cranberries
in this wonderful dish. For a more intense flavor, use 1/4 cup dried
cranberries or cherries instead of fresh or frozen cranberries and do not chop."

1/3 cup fresh or frozen cranberries, chopped
2 tablespoons orange marmalade
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
2 pork chops
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons honey

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Generously grease a 9x9 inch glass baking dish.
2. In a bowl, mix cranberries, marmalade, and cloves.
Make a pocket in each pork chop by cutting into pork toward the bone;
fill pockets with cranberry mixture.
3. Place the pork chops in prepared baking pan. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Spoon 1 tablespoon honey over each chop. Bake uncovered about 45 minutes or until
pork is no longer pink in the center.

If you like oranges this dish was a hit last night! I didn’t stuff the chops (too much work for me),
but put the mixture on top of the chops and baked them (I mixed the honey in with the cranberry mixture).
I also used the dried cranberries and it turned out GREAT!! Made it with stove top stuffing and corn.

My pork chops were pretty thick (1 inch butterfly chops and 45 min was perfect),
so if you go with the thinner ones, you might want to reduce the cooking time.

Starting New Year Resolutions Early

Well, Now that the kids eat what we eat, I plan on cooking 3-4x a week. So, I'm back at it and no time to start like the present.

Monday - Easy Chicken With Potatoes
Tuesday - Chesapeake Bay Pork Chops
Thursday - Grilled Chicken Curry

Chesapeake Bay Pork Chops
"Boneless pork chops are marinated with seafood seasoning and apple cider vinegar and grilled to perfection! These turned out amazing"

1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon seafood seasoning (such
as Old Bay®)
2 cloves minced garlic
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 lime, juiced
cracked black pepper to taste
8 boneless pork chops, 1/2 inch thick

1. Whisk together the vegetable oil, apple cider vinegar, seafood seasoning, minced garlic, basil, lime juice, and black pepper in a bowl, and pour into a resealable plastic bag. Add the pork chops, coat with the marinade, squeeze out excess air, and seal the bag. Marinate in the refrigerator for 4 to 6 hours, flipping periodically.
2. Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat, and lightly oil the grate. Remove the pork chops from the bags. Discard excess marinade.
3. Grill until the pork is no longer pink in the center, 5 to 7 minutes per side. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read 160 degrees F (70 degrees C).
---I ended up baking them and they turned out great that way too.

Easy Chicken With Potatoes

Italian seasoned chicken with potatoes, cooked in the slow cooker.


4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1/2 cup Italian salad dressing
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning (or mix basil, oregano, crushed red pepper, and garlic powder to equal same)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
4 to 6 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges or thick slices

Place chicken in bottom of Crock Pot. Sprinkle with half of the Italian dressing, spices, and the grated cheese. Put the potatoes on top or around the chicken. Sprinkle with the rest of the dressing, spices, and cheese.
Cook on low for about 6-8 hours, or until the chicken is done and potatoes are tender.

Grilled chicken curry:

Cooking spray
6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, about 5 ounces each
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons curry powder
2 teaspoons turmeric powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
Olive oil, as needed to loosen
For peanut dipping sauce:
1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk
3 tablespoons peanut butter
1 lime, juiced
2 tablespoons brown sugar
For the chicken:
Heat a stove-top grill pan or griddle with cooking spray to medium-high heat.
Season both sides of chicken with salt and black pepper and set aside.
In a small bowl, combine lime juice, curry powder, turmeric, cumin and olive oil, as needed to loosen mixture.
Mix well with a spoon and brush mixture all over both sides of chicken.
Place chicken on hot pan and cook 3 to 5 minutes per side, or until cooked through.
Remove from heat and place on plate.

For the dipping sauce:
While the chicken is cooking, in a small saucepan, combine coconut milk, peanut butter,
lime juice, and sugar. Set pan over medium heat and bring to a simmer, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Spinach, Meatballs, and Pastina Recipes

Baby's Souffle of Spinach
16 oz fresh or frozen spinach (if using frozen, please drain excess liquid prior to using.)
1/3 ricotta or cottage cheese
2 egg yolks (increase if mix is too runny)
pinch of garlic and basil

Combine all ingredients and spoon into a lightly oiled (we always use olive oil.) baking dish or muffin tray. I’m going to use a tiny muffin tray. It will be a great bite snack/finger food for the kids.
Bake at 375 F for 15 minutes or until golden and springy to the touch.
You may wish to insert a toothpick and then withdraw it to check that the insides are

Cheesy Beef Meatballs
Ground beef
Chopped onion
Chopped carrot
Canned Diced tomatoes
Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Egg Yolk (1-2)
Breadcrumbs if needed

Saute Onion and carrots in butter. Heat tomatoes though. Puree sauted onions/carrots and tomatoes. Mix beef, cooled puree, yolks, and cheese together. Use small scoop and place on baking sheet. Bake 350F for 20 min.

Chicken Vegetable Pasta
Chopped Zucchini
Chopped Carrotsa
Chicken/Ground Turkey

Chop vegetables very small and sauté in butter until very soft, in butter. Cook Chicken/Turkey with Garlic and Basil. Cook Pastina of choice with NO SALT in the water. Combine all ingredients.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Tofu creamed spinach

A great healthy, protein packed creamed spinach!

Tofu Creamed Spinach


1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 small onion, minced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 packaged frozen spinach chopped

1 (12 ounce) package silken tofu

1/2 (4oz) cream cheese – into chunks


salt and pepper to taste



Heat butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in onion and garlic; cook until soft and translucent, but not brown. Add spinach; cook, stirring frequently. Melt cheese.


Stir in tofu, nutmeg, salt, and pepper into spinach. Cook until warmed through.


Adjust seasonings, if desired, and serve.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Chicken Devine


Chicken Devine

Baked Chicken Thighs

De-bone Baked chicken
Saute in butter: Onions and mushrooms
Add broccoli and cook until tender
Add Chicken and chop in the processor to a desired consistency.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Chicken and Apples


I modified a recipe for the kids!

Apple Chicken


  • chicken
  • 2 chopped apple
  • 1/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoon Italian-style dried bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, for garnish


  1. In food processor chop apples and set aside
  2. In food processor chop cheese
  3. In food processor chop chicken (already cooked), butter, parsley and water
  4. Combine all in big bowl
  5. spoon into icecube trays and freeze.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Yogurt - Crockpot

Ok, so YoBaby Yogurt is CRAZY EXPENSIVE!!! I am delving into the world of making my own yogurt in the crockpot. Not only will I save money, but I can control the sugar my kids are getting (ie NONE, except fruit I put in).

CrockPot Yogurt
The Ingredients.

--8 cups (half-gallon) of whole milk--pasteurized and homogenized is fine, but do NOT use ultra-pasteurized. (Debbie recommends starting with whole milk until you get the hang of yogurt-making)

--1/2 cup store-bought natural, live/active culture plain yogurt (you need to have a starter. Once you have made your own, you can use that as a starter)

--frozen/fresh fruit for flavoring

--thick bath towel

The Directions.

This takes a while. Make your yogurt on a weekend day when you are home to monitor.

I used a 6 quart crockpot.

Plug in your crockpot and turn to low. Add an entire half gallon of milk. Cover and cook on low for 2 1/2 hours.

Unplug your crockpot. Leave the cover on, and let it sit for 3 hours.

When 3 hours have passed, scoop out 2 cups of the warmish milk and put it in a bowl. Whisk in 1/2 cup of store-bought live/active culture yogurt. Then dump the bowl contents back into the crockpot. Stir to combine. ---I also add 1/2 cup of powdered dry milk to "thinken" the yogourt! Or you can use 1 packet of unflavored gelatin

Put the lid back on your crockpot. Keep it unplugged, and wrap a heavy bath towel all the way around the crock for insulation.

Go to bed, or let it sit for 8 hours.

In the morning, the yogurt will have thickened---it's not as thick as store-bought yogurt, but has the consistency of low-fat plain yogurt.

Blend in batches with your favorite fruit. I did mango, strawberry, and blueberry. When you blend in the fruit, bubbles will form and might bother you. They aren't a big deal, and will settle eventually.

Chill in a plastic container(s) in the refrigerator. Your fresh yogurt will last 7-10 days. Save 1/2 cup as a starter to make a new batch.

You can achieve a Greek-style yogurt by lining a colander with a coffee liner and letting the liquid drip out of the left over plain yogurt. It comes out this as sour cream!

More information can be found:


One 6-pack of yo-baby is $6.50 (24 ounces)

One gallon of almost totally organic milk is $3.00 (128 ounces)

One gallon of yobaby would be $34.67 or 10 times what it cost you to make it, more or less.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Great Fathers Day Recipes

Slow Cooker Carnitas

2 pounds pork shoulder
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (about 1 large orange)
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (about 1 large lime)
7 cloves garlic (whole intact)
1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon cumin
1/2 cup beef broth
corn tortillas
sour cream, salsa, sliced avocado (optional)

The Directions.

Use a 6 quart slow cooker. In a small bowl, combine the salt and cumin. Rub mixture all over the pork, then plop into the slow cooker. Add whole garlic cloves. Squeeze on the citrus, and pour the beef broth evenly over the top.

Cook on low for 8-10 hours, or until the pork shreds quite easily with a fork. If your meat is still fully intact after 8 hours, remove and cut into chunks, then return to the crock and flip to high for about an hour or two.
Shred meat fully and serve on warmed corn tortillas with desired toppings.


Breakfast Casserole

Prep this the night before for an easy breakfast or brunch. Find turkey sausage in the freezer section of the supermarket with other breakfast meats.

Cooking spray
12 ounces turkey breakfast sausage
2 cups 1% low-fat milk
2 cups egg substitute
1 teaspoon dry mustard
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
3 large eggs
16 (1-ounce) slices white bread
1 cup (4 ounces) finely shredded reduced-fat extrasharp cheddar cheese
1/4 teaspoon paprika

1. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add sausage to pan; cook 5 minutes or until browned, stirring and breaking sausage to crumble. Remove from heat; cool.

2. Combine milk and next 6 ingredients (through eggs) in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk.

3. Trim crusts from bread. Cut bread into 1-inch cubes. Add bread cubes, sausage, and cheddar cheese to milk mixture, stirring to combine. Pour bread mixture into a 13 x 9–inch baking or 3-quart casserole dish coated with cooking spray, spreading egg mixture evenly in baking dish. Cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.

4. Preheat oven to 350°.

5. Remove casserole from refrigerator; let stand 30 minutes. Sprinkle casserole evenly with paprika. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until set and lightly browned. Let stand 10 minutes.

All about the babies!

Well, I have been majorly slacking on the Adult Meals front. So I am going to focus on the Babies and their food, and secondary will be what I make for us...which soon will be the same!!!

My kids are fantastic are a few of the dishes they have had.

Chicken with Leek, carrot and peas

2lb chicken thighs with bone
6-8 already purade carrot cubes
5 already purade greenbean (I didn't feel like making peas since i already had the greenbeans made)
and about 2/3 cup of diced leaks (white part only)

Pasta with Butternut Squash and Tomatoes

1 small butternut squash (8 ounces chopped) (so easy to roast - cut in half, place cut side down with a little bit of water on bottom of pan, bake 45-60 min @350)
1 1/2 Tbl tiny star pasta
1 Tbl unsalted butter (this sounds huge!! I will be cutting this back)
2 medium tomatoes (8oz) peeled, seeded and chopped (I will be using diced canned and then rinse through a strainer)
1/4 c graded cheddar cheese
2 Tbs milk

Chicken with Zucchini/Yellow Squash and Basil

I think you can figure that one out... :)

Today they will be having Sweet Potato Fries!!

I have sliced 3 Sweet Potatoes
In a zip lock back mix:
Olive Oil
Ground Cloves
Black pepper

Bake at 350F for 30 minutes!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Finally Back to Cooking!

Monday - Cranberry Pork Chops

Tuesday - Bucatini in Summery Pork Ragu

Thursday - Enchilada Verde

Cranberry Pork Chops


Pork Chops

1/3 cup dried cranberries

2 T orange marmalade

1/8 tsp ground cloves

2 T honey



Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Generously grease a 9x9 inch glass baking dish

In a bowl, mix cranberries, marmalade, and cloves. Place the mixture either inside a butterflied porkchop or on top.

Place the pork chops in prepared baking pan. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon 1 tablespoon honey over each chop. Bake uncovered about 45 minutes or until pork is no longer pink in the center.

Bucatini in Summery Pork Ragu

1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 large yellow onion, minced
(I usually cut the onion in half and then in half again (2 quarters) then I use the side slots of a box grater to make thin slices of onion quickly and they are thin enough that they dissolve in the sauce as it cooks)
16 basil leaves (slice them into ribbons) or dried basil ~ 1 tsp
1 pound ground pork
3/4 cup dry white wine (or red, what ever is in the fridge)
1 14oz can of plum tomatoes, diced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound pasta (any kind of pasta – great with linguini/Fettuccini to penne too)

Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a deep 10-inch sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, onion, and basil and cook 5 minutes.

Add the pork and cook until lightly browned all over, stirring often, about 10 minutes; this step is important--if you rush and the pork is not sufficiently browned, the ragu will taste weak. Add the wine and then, after 5 minutes, the tomatoes, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and the pepper. Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until the pork is tender You may need to add a bit of water if it evaporates in order to prevent scorching.

Bring 5 quarts of water to a boil. Add the pasta and salt to the water, and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water.

If the sauce is too thick add some of the reserved pasta cooking water. Add to pasta, sprinkle with the cheese, and serve hot. Serves 4

Enchiladas de Pollo-

3 cups water
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 black peppercorns
1 onion, quartered
1 bay leaf
1 pound skinless chicken breast halves

--- or 1 rotisserie chicken

3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided
3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded reduced-fat extra-sharp cheddar cheese, divided
1/2 cup chopped onion

2 can salsa verde
8 (6-inch) corn tortillas

To prepare filling, place first 6 ingredients in a Dutch oven; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 45 minutes. Remove chicken from cooking liquid; cool. Remove chicken from bones; rough chop in food processor. Reserve broth for another use.
Preheat oven to 375°.

Combine chicken, 1/2 cup each Monterey Jack and cheddar cheeses, and 1/2 cup onion in a bowl; set aside.

To prepare tortillas, microwave a couple at a time in a damp cloth until soft. Spoon 1/2 cup filling in center of tortilla; roll tightly, and place in an 11 x 7-inch baking dish. Repeat procedure with remaining tortillas and filling.

Pour sauce over enchiladas. Cover and bake at 375° for 20 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle with 1/4 cup each Monterey Jack and cheddar. Bake an additional 5 minutes or until cheeses melt. Top with sour cream.