Wednesday, December 1, 2010

White Chocolate Mousse Pie

  We recently found out my husband has Type 2 Diabetes. It has been like learning to cook all over again- knowing what he can & cannot eat. There has been more than a few times I have been scratching my head come dinner time ! And my hubby LOVES some sweets- so i had to come up with something to take care of his sweet tooth . I got this recipe from a friend of mine who also has a diabetic husband. And it is sooooo easy!

White Chocolate Mousse Pie-

you'll need : 2 pie crusts, 1 bar of cream cheese ( i used reduced fat)  , 1 container sugar free Cool Whip, 2 boxes sugar free instant Jello White Chocolate pudding, 2 cups milk ( i used 1% milk).

here's what you do :
Melt cream cheese in a microwaveable bowl for 1 minute.  Stir. Add 1/2 cup milk, then add the boxes of pudding & the remaining milk. Using  a mixer, mix for 2 minutes. Then fold in the Cool Whip. Once blended, pour into pie crusts & refridgerate for atleast an hour.

Enjoy :-)


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Thanksgiving with the Family.....

What do you remember most about Thanksgivings past ? I always remember when i was younger we would always go to my grandparents house- and there was always a house full of people & the best food EVER! As I've always said- my grandmother & mother were the best cooks- and those times with them I'll always treasure. There are foods that just take me back to those times, and today I want to share one of those foods with you.....

Granny's Cornbread Dressing:

you'll need : 1 pan of baked cornbread in a 13x9 pan , 3 cans Cream of Chicken soup, 3 cans chicken broth, 1 can Cream of Celery soup, 2 cups chopped onion, 16 slices of bread (torn), Sage to taste.

here's what you do: Crumble cornbread in a VERY large bowl. Add bread , onions & sage. Heat soups and pour over bread mixture. Stir & mash with a potato masher. Pour into a VERY large roasting pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 1  1/2 to 2 hours.

AND you can't forget the Giblet Gravy to top it off!!

Giblet Gravy-

you'll need : 3 cups chicken broth, 1/4 cup all purpose flour, 1 can Cream of Chicken soup,  1/2 to 3/4 cup chopped chicken or turkey , 3 hard boiled eggs (chopped ) , pepper to taste.

here's what you do : Mix broth & flour until smooth. Stir in remaining ingredients . Cook until hot & thick.

** I hope you all  enjoy a wonderful thanksgiving with your families! Enjoy the little things that mean so much :-)  ****


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Sweet Potato Casserole

Thanksgiving is FAST approaching! What are you thankful for ? One thing you can be thankful for is some good homemade cooking - say, for instance -a Sweet Potato Casserole? This recipe I got from my husband's grandmother- and it does wonders for any holiday dinner !

Sweet Potato Casserole:

 you'll need : 3 cups cooked sweet potatoes (mashed), 1 cup sugar , 1/2 cup margarine, 2 eggs (beaten), 1/2 tsp vanilla, 1/3 cup milk.

*Mix all of the above ingredients and put in a baking dish. THEN...the topping...

you'll need : 1 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup flour, 1/3 cup margarine, 1 cup chopped pecans.

*Mix these ingredients well & sprinkle on top . Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 min.

YUM !!!
  Enjoy :-)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Mexican Shepherd's Pie

This is one of those quick & easy recipes- just like I like !  And best of all, its something DIFFERENT ! I'll admit every once in a while I get in a "cooking funk " - where I feel like I'm cooking the same things over & over again. That's when you just want something that you've never had before. And you should have seen my husband's face when i told him what we were having for dinner- it was not pretty! But amazingly, he tried it- and actually liked it !

Mexican Shepherd's Pie-
  here's what you need :
1 pound ground beef, 1/2 cup sliced green onions, 1 cup thick & chunky salsa,
1 1/2 tsp. chili powder,  3/4 tsp. cumin, 1 can of Mexicorn (11 oz.- drained), 1 pouch of Betty Crockers loaded mashed potatoes (from a 6.1 oz box) , 1 1/3 cups water, 2 tbsp. butter, 1 cup milk,  1/2 cup shredded cheese, 1 medium tomato ( cut into wedges), Tortilla chips.

here's what you do : 
In a 10 inch skillet, cook the ground beef and a 1/4 of the onions over medium heat, for about 7 minutes or until beef is thoroughly cooked , then drain.  Stir in the salsa, chili powder, and cumin. Spoon corn evenly over the beef mixture in the skillet. Cover & cook over low heat until its thoroughly heated.
In the meantime, in a 2 quart saucepan, heat water & butter to boiling. Remove from heat & stir in milk & the pouch of potatoes just until blended. Let stand for about  a minute , fluff with a fork.
Spoon the potatoes over the corn in the skillet & spread evenly. Sprinkle with cheese and remaining green onions. Cover & cook over low heat for about 5 minutes more. Then top with the tomato wedges, and garnish with tortilla chips around the outside edge of the skillet.

** Makes 4 servings. (1 1/2 cups each)
*  wanna make it a little healthier  ? Try using ground turkey instead of beef, use reduced fat cheese, and lowfat milk .

Enjoy :-)


Sunday, July 25, 2010

Something new, something sweet....

Sorry I have been off the blog "train" for almost a month- where does the time go? Did you miss me ? What can I say- life has gotten in the way! To beg your forgiveness- i bring you something sweet ....

Brownie Shortcake-

you'll need : 1 box (19.5 oz ) brownie mix
                     1 container (16 oz) sour cream- divided
                     1 cup of thawed Cool Whip
                     1 tbsp. powdered sugar
                     1 tsp. vanilla
                     3 cups of cut up strawberries & peeled kiwi

here's what you do :  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare the brownie mix as directed on the box.
                                  Then stir in 1/2 of the sour cream. Spoon this mixture into a greased & floured 9
                                  inch round cake pan.  Bake for 45 minutes, cool for 10 minutes. Remove from the
                                  pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Mix remaining sour cream, Cool Whip,
                                  sugar & vanilla. Cut brownie horizontally in half. Place bottom half on a plate,
                                  spread with half of the sour cream mixture. Cover with top of brownie, remaining
                                  sour cream mixture, and fruit. Store in refridgerator until ready to serve.

YUM :-)


Wednesday, June 30, 2010

What to do when you can't find Suddenly Salad....

I went to the grocery store yesterday, had a craving for Suddenly Salad (you know- the box pasta salad mix from Betty Crocker?) . But Kroger had none, no- not one. So, i thought I'd improvise & make my own . There's no exact measurements on this- you just have to wing it ;-) But I'll warn you- my version has a couple of add-ons.....
First, i went over to the pasta aisle & grabbed some Kroger brand rainbow colored rotini, grabbed a can of black olives, moseyed over to the produce section for portabella mushrooms & tomatoes . I was thinking of what to use for seasoning....  italian dressing packet mix! (its on the same aisle as condiments- with the Hidden Valley Ranch dip mixes).  So I took all of my ingredients home. First thing I did was cook the pasta according to the package directions. Once i rinsed, drained, & cooled it- i mixed in the mushrooms & black olives. Then i covered the bowl & put it in the fridge. Next I prepared the italian dressing mix (which according to the directions- you'll need to have some oil & vinager on hand). It was shaken & stirred- then it sat in the fridge overnight to "gel" so to speak. This morning , I got up ready to mix it up. Opened up the bowl, poured the dressing over the pasta . Then I added some Italian Seasoning, salt & pepper, parmesan cheese. Stirred all of it up well. Then i sliced a tomato up for the topping. And believe it or not- it was actually pretty good! I took it to work to share with my co-workers - and it was all gone in a few minutes :-)

Enjoy :-)


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Soooooooo Sweet !!!

It's late at get a hankering for something sweet.... but what ? Here's a couple or recipes for some sweetness when ice cream just won't do ...!


YOU'LL NEED :  4 packages canned biscuits, 2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/2 cup margarine, 1/4 cup sugar.

HERE'S WHAT YOU DO : Quarter biscuuits into fourths. Roll into balls. Roll in 1/4 cup sugar  and 2 tsp. cinnamon. Put into a greased bundt pan. Melt 1/2 cup margarine and 1/4 cup sugar. Pour over top . Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.


YOU'LL NEED : 1 cup chopped pecans, 1/2 cup butter (melted), 3 large eggs, 1 box yellow cake mix, 1- 8oz. brick cream cheese (softened), 1-16 oz. package powdered sugar.

HERE'S WHAT YOU DO: Combine pecans, butter, 1 egg, and cake mix- stirring until well blended ; press in the bottom of a lightly greased 9x13 pan.Set aside.  Combine remaining 2 eggs, cream cheese, and powdered sugar in a large mixing bowl ; beat at medium speed with a mixer until smooth. Pour cream cheese mixture over cake mix layer. Bake at 325 degrees for 40 minutes or until cream cheese mixture is set. Let cool completely, then cut into sqaures.

Enjoy :-)


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Three Cheese Macaroni

I LOVE Macaroni & Cheese ! Wheather it be out of a box, or from scratch- LOVE it!  I just found this new recipe, cooked it one night when we had some friends over- soooooo good & very cheeeeeeesy !

Three Cheese Macaroni-
 you'll need : 12 ounces dried elbow macaroni, 1 1/2 cups milk, 1/4 cup melted butter, 1/2 tsp. ground white pepper, 1/4 tsp. salt, 8 ounces shredded cheddar cheese, 8 ounces cubed American cheese, 2 ounces mozzarella  cheese (shredded), 20 Ritz crackers (crushed).

here's what you do : preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook macaroni according to package directions; drain & return to pot. Add milk, melted cheese, pepper & salt. Stir in the cheeses. Transfer to a greased 2 quart casserole dish. Bake , uncovered for 15 minutes. Stir mixture. Sprinkle with crushed crackers. Bake 5 minutes more. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Enjoy ;-)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

It's HOT outside, and I'm thirsty!!!

If you've been outside lately in our neck of the woods, you would swear its August- instead of May. We've seen a few 90 degree marks, and the humidity- WHEW! And there is nothing better when its hot out than something cold to drink! Today I'm sharing a couple of my favorite punch recipes...

Mixed Fruit Punch Recipe
You'll need : 1-46 oz. can pineapple juice, 1 cup orange juice, 2/3 cup lemon juice, 1 1/2 tbsp. lime juice, 1 cup sugar, 1 -2 liter bottle chilled ginger ale, 1 - l liter chilled club soda, 1 cup strawberries (quartered), 1 thin sliced lemon, 1 thin sliced lime.
Here's what you do :  Combine the first 5 ingredients, stirring until sugar dissolves. Cover & chill for atleast 4 hours. Stir in ginger ale & remaining ingredients.

Sangria Punch
You'll need: 3/4 cup lemonade flavor drink mix, 1 quart cranberry juice cocktail, 1 cup cold orange juice, 1 tbsp. lime juice, 3 cups cold club soda, 2 medium oranges (sliced), 2 mediun limes (sliced).
Here's what you do : Empty drink mix into a large pitcher. Add cranberry juice, orange juice, & lime juice- stir until drink mix is dissolved. Refridgerate until ready to serve. Stir in club soda & fruit . Serve over ice cubes in tall glasses.

Enjoy !!


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Easy Sides to Share

Looking for a side dish to go with that yummy main coarse? Look no further! And they are veggie related - so it's good for you ;-)

*Broccoli Casserole*
YOU'LL NEED  : 1 -10 oz boxfrozen chopped broccoli, 1 med. grated onion, 1 can cream of mushroom soup, 1 small jar of sliced mushrooms, 1- 8 oz. jar of Cheez Whiz, 1 1/3 cup cooked rice, 1/2 cup butter,
HERE'S WHAT YOU DO : Cook the broccoli & onions according to the directions on the broccoli box. Cook the rice separately. Then mix all of the ingredients , pour into a baking dish thats coated with cooking spray. Then bake at 350 degrees for 30 min.
YUM !!

*Corn Casserole*
YOU'LL NEED  :  1- 16oz. can whole corn, 1-16 oz. can creamed corn, 1 stick butter, 1 -16oz. tub of sour cream, 1 box of Jiffy cornbread mix.
HERE'S WHAT YOU DO : Melt butter in a glass dish. In a mixing bowl , pour box of Jiffy mix- then add in the sour cream. Mix well. Add both cans of corn (include the "liquid" from the cans of corn). Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

Enjoy :-)


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Create-A-Pasta !!

As a lot of you probably already know- I love pasta. I could eat it daily , and be perfectly ok with that ! As we were eating dinner last night (yep, it was pasta), I had a thought for todays post. I used to love eating at Romano's Macaroni Grill, before they closed the one in our area. One of my favorite things there was the "build your own pasta" - i loved the idea of personalizing my pasta. And today, I'm gonna help you to personalize YOUR pasta! Choose from the following :

Pick a Pasta: Ziti, Rigatoni, Bowtie (my personal fave!), Elbow Macaroni, Fettucine, Linguine, Angel Hair

Pick a sauce: ** Garlic Alfredo- you'll need: half a brick of cream cheese (cubed), 1 cup milk, 1/3 cup grated Parmesan Cheese, 1/2 stick butter, 1/2 tsp. garlic powder.
Combine all of these ingredients in a saucepan on medium heat. Stir until cream cheese is melted & mixture is well blended. Add to hot pasta  ;-)

** Cheddar Cheese Sauce-  you'll need: 3 tbsp. butter, 3 tbsp. flour, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/8 tsp. white pepper (black pepper is ok to use if you can't find white), 1 1/2 cups milk, 1 cup grated Cheddar cheese.
Melt butter, remove from heat. Stir in the flour & seasonings. Gradually add milk, stirring until well mixed. Cook over low heat , stirring constantly until thick & smooth. Cook for 5 minutes longer then add cheese. Stir until smooth & well blended. Serve over pasta ;-)

** Marinara Sauce- you'll need : 1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
1 sm. onion( diced), 2-3 cloves garlic, 1 tbsp. fresh parsley (or dry), 2 tbsp. olive oil, 6-8 leaves fresh basil (or dry), Salt and pepper to taste.
Lightly saute onions and garlic in oil. Add tomatoes, parsley, salt, and pepper. Simmer about 5 minutes; add basil. Add to pasta!

Now the fun stuff- Toppings !!
Choose your toppings-veggies: mushrooms, olives (black or green), broccoli, carrots, califlower, onions.
  meats: chicken, sausage, ground beef.
seafood : shrimp, clams, crabmeat, mussels, scallops

Ta-dah! Now have fun & make your own designer pasta ;-)

** tip- when doing veggies, add them to your pasta boiling water for the last 3 minutes of the cooking time- then drain. Makes veggies tender !
** cook pasta according to package directions

Enjoy !!!!


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Cheesy Chicken & Salsa Skillet

My friend/coworker requested a easy chicken recipe . This is courtesy of wonderful Kraft Food & Family !!  Cooks in 30 minutes- fast & easy! I personally leave the green peppers out - not a pepper fan!  This one is for you, Tara !!!

Cheesy Chicken & Salsa Skillet-
  you'll need : 2 cups multi-grain penne pasta (uncooked) , 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts (cut into bite size pieces), 1 1/4 cups salsa , 1 cup frozen corn (thawed) , 1 large green pepper (cut into thin strips), 1 cup shredded mexican-style cheese.

**Cook pasta as directed on package. Grab a large non-stick skillet sprayed with cooking spray . Heat over medium heat. Add chicken, cook & stir for 2 min.  Stir in salsa, corn & peppers. Bring to a boil. Simmer for about 10 minutes or until chicken is completely cooked. Drain pasta, add to chicken mixture, & mix lightly. Sprinkle with cheese & let sit for a minute until cheese melts .

Enjoy :-)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Blueberry Crunch Cake

This is a quick & easy dessert if you need something in a jiffy  ! This a recipe my Mom passed down to me. She was the best cook I know ! And now I'm gonna share it with you - my foodie friends :-)

Blueberry Crunch Cake -
You'll  need :  a large can of crushed pineapple, 3 cups blueberries, 3/4 cup sugar, 1 box of yellow cake mix, 1 cup of chopped nuts (your choice- i use pecans myself!) , 1/4 cup sugar, 1 1/2 sticks melted margarine.

** Grease a 9x13 inch pan. Layer ingredients in the order listed. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes. While baking :After 25 minutes in the oven, cut into cake for juice to rise, then finish baking.

** Enjoy with a big glass of milk or a cup of coffee !!!


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Taco Salad Bowls

It's Taco night! Wanna spice it up a little ? Try this recipe- you even make your own edible salad bowls! Found this one in the Kraft Food & Family magazine- I'm a fan :-)

Taco Salad Bowls-
  you'll need :  4 flour tortillas (8 inch), 1 Tbsp. chili powder( divided), 3/4 lb. extra-lean ground beef ,1 cup  carrot sticks, 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp. salsa , 2 tbsp. light Mayonnaise, 4 cups torn salad greens ,1 large tomato (chopped),  1/2 cup  Mexican Style 2% Milk Finely Shredded Four Cheese, 1/4 cup chopped  cilantro.

* Heat oven to 425 degrees. CRUMPLE 4 large sheets of foil to make 4 (3-inch) balls; place on baking sheet. Place 1 tortilla over each ball; spray with cooking spray. Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. chili powder. Bake 6 to 8 min. or until tortillas are golden brown. (Tortillas will drape over balls as they bake.)

Meanwhile, brown meat with carrots and remaining chili powder in large nonstick skillet on medium heat, stirring occasionally. Add 1/2 cup salsa; cook 2 min. or until heated through, stirring occasionally.
Mix mayo and remaining salsa in large bowl. Add salad greens and tomatoes; toss to coat. Fill shells with greens mixture, meat mixture, cheese, and cilantro.

Try this with a Margarita ;-)



Thursday, April 8, 2010

Ham & Cheese Rollups

 These days, when i go to the grocery store- I try to get the most for my money, but at the same time make sure to get things that can put together a great meal ! It requires some menu planning, pantry browsing,  a study of the grocery store ads ( I am a big fan of Kroger!) and some coupon collecting! 
Try this recipe- its quick, inexpensive , feeds a family of 4 - and your family will love it!

Ham & Cheese Roll ups:
  you'll need : 2 tbsp olive oil (divided ) , 4 flour tortillas (10 inch),  1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (divided), 1/4 lb. sliced deli ham, 1/4 lb sliced provolone cheese , 1/4 lb. sliced hard salami , 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese.   * Marinara sauce if desired.

** Brush 1 tbsp. olive oil on one side of the tortillas. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese . Layer tortillas with ham, provolone cheese, salami & mozzarella cheese. Fold in the sides of the tortilla & roll up. Place seam side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (love this stuff!) . Brush with remaining oil & sprinkle with remaining Paremsan cheese. Bake at 425 degrees for 9-12 minutes. Serve with Marinara sauce if desired. 

What can I serve as a side with this ???
  potato chips, french fries, a side salad.....

Enjoy !!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Tex Mex beef & potatoes

Does anyone love casseroles as much as I do ? Whats not to love- its a meal all in one dish ! This awesome dish is courtesy of Kraft- I LOVE their Food & Family Magazine ! Food that is good , simple & the whole family will enjoy. It used to be a free magazine that would come in the mail, but now they are charging for it. It's a bummer, but still worth the money! Check out their website at

Tex Mex beef & potatoes -
You'll need:  1 pound ground beef , 1 onion (chopped) ,  1 package of taco seasoning mix, 1/2 cup water,  4 cups frozen cubed hash browns,  1 (10 oz)  frozen corn,  8 oz. Velveeta (cubed).

*Heat oven to 350 degrees. Brown meat & onions in a skillet, then drain. Return to skillet. Stir in taco mix and water.  Add potatoes, corn & Velveeta; mix well.  Spoon into a 13x9 baking dish & cover.  Bake for 20 min. Stir. Uncover. Bake for 15 more minutes.

Enjoy :-)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Tuna Caesar Wraps

Last week I blogged about Caesar burgers- how about this week we keep the Caesar theme going with Tuna Caesar Wraps !  This recipe is a fuss- free one, but it will cost you about 2 hours of wait time- so be prepared ! It's worth the wait :-)

Tuna Caesar Wraps-
  you'll need : 1 (6 oz) can tuna in water (drained & flaked),  1 small red onion (sliced thin & separated), 1/2 cup shredded carrot,  1/2 green bell pepper (cut into strips), 1/4 cup Caesar dressing,  4 (8 inch) flour tortillas, 8 Romaine lettuce leaves (torn),  small can of black olives, 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese.

Here's what you do :  Mix together first 5 ingredients ;  cover & chill for 2 hours. Drain.  Top your tortillas evenly with lettuce, tuna mixture, olives & cheese.  Roll up & serve.

Whats good with it ? :  Potato chips !

Its Okay to Omit : I personally leave out the onions & bell peppers on mine (hubby hates onions, i hate peppers!) - but it is REALLY good like that! Just depends on your preferences....

Enjoy !!!!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Its Grillin' Time !

One thing I love about it getting warmer outside- being able to grill out! My husband LOVES to grill- so its a no brainer for me: he cooks outside & I don't destroy the kitchen ! And there is nothing better than a good burger or some grilled corn-on-the-cob for that matter :-)

Caesar Burgers-
you'll need : 1 pound ground beef, 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (divided) , 2 cloves garlic (minced), 4 Mozzarella cheese slices , 2 cups torn Romaine lettuce, 6 tbsp Caesar dressing (divided), 4 hamburger buns( split).

* Preheat the grill to medium heat. Mix meat , 3 tbsp of the Parmesan cheese, and the garlic. Shape into 4 patties. Grill for 6 min. on each side, or until burgers are cooked throughout (160 degrees F) . Top with cheese slices. Continue grilling for 1 min. or until cheese is melted. Toss lettuce with 2 tbsp dressing and reminder of Parmesan cheese. Spoon evenly onto the bottom bun halves, top with patties and remaining 4 tbsp. dressing. Cover with bun tops.

Grilled corn on the cob-
This recipe has no exact science to it! Just something I came up with to make the corn more interesting !
* Prepare the corn - pulling off husk & silks. Lay corn on a piece of aluminum foil. Spread butter evenly over corn. Then sprinkle with Parmesan cheese , garlic salt, & pepper. Roll corn up in aluminum foil & grill for around 30 minutes or so.


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff Stew

This recipe I'm sharing with you today is courtesy of Betty Crocker. To get some really good recipes delivered straight to your email inbox - go to and sign up ! Easy right ?
We actually tried this recipe today- highly recommend it!

Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff Stew-

You'll need :
1 medium onion (chopped), 1 clove garlic (finely chopped) , 1 pound beef tips (1/2 inch pieces), 4 cans (10 oz) cream of mushroom soup, 1/2 cup water, 2 1/2 cups uncooked wide egg noodles (4 oz), 1 cup sour cream, 2 tbsp parsley (if desired).

Line your slow cooker with one of the Reynolds Wrap Slow Cooker Liners - less cleanup !
Layer onion, garlic & beef tips in slow cooker. Then pour the soup & water over the beef. Cover; cook on low for 7 hours. Then stir in noodles into the mixture . Increase the heat setting to high . Cover & cook 30 minutes more. Then stir in sour cream. Garnish with parsley if desired.

* To save time, I use minced garlic in a jar , and I buy the beef stew tips already cut up in the grocery store.
* To save some fat & calories- I used fat free sour cream and low-fat cream of mushroom soup.

Serve with hot rolls & enjoy !!!!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Tortellini Primavera with Pesto Sauce

You might notice that alot of my recipes are pasta recipes- i love pasta! It's my weekness ! Maybe I have a little Italian in me :-)

Tortellini Primavera with Pesto sauce-

you'll need :
1 (9 oz) package cheese tortellini, 1 (16 oz) package frozen broccoli stir fry vegetables, 1 (8 oz) container sour cream, 2 tbsp. pesto sauce ( i use Classico Traditional Pesto- you can find it on your grocers' pasta sauce aisle) , 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, 1/8 tsp. pepper.

* Cook tortellini & vegetables in boiling water for 5-7 minutes. Drain & return to pan. Combine sour cream, pesto, salt - stir well. Stir sour cream mixture into pasta mixture. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese & pepper. Serve immediently.
Excellent with breadsticks :-)


Thursday, February 25, 2010

Easy Cheesy Ball

You know, there are times when I wonder - is anyone reading my blog ? I hope so ! I hope that if you like what you see, you'll leave me a comment and let me know about it! I have decided to only post once a week now- things have been busy lately, so I decided to scale it back a little ( really its that I'm getting older & slower !). Anyway- lets get on with the food :-)

This recipe is a great one for a party or get-together of any kind and SUPER easy. I like to call it my Easy Cheesy Ball ....

You'll need: 2 (8 oz) pkgs, cream cheese , 1 pkg. Ranch dressing mix, 2 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans.

Mash cream cheese together. Mix dressing mix & cheddar cheese into cream cheese. Mix well. Shape into a ball & roll into chopped pecans. Refridgerate overnight (cover with some plastic wrap). Serve with crackers of your choice.

Enjoy ! :-)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

A salad from the Garden....

Is there anyone that does NOT love Olive Garden ? Italian food is AWESOME , and Olive Garden is one of the best- good food & affordable!! I personally love the salad the best, and this recipe I'm sharing with you today is one I found a few years back, and it is pretty darn close to Olive Garden's recipe. Toss up a batch of it tonite!!

Salad Mix-
you'll need : 1 bag of American Blend from Dole salad, 4 slices of red onion, 6 black olives, 2-4 banana peppers, 1/2 cup croutons, 1 small tomato (quatered), Parmesan cheese.

Salad prep : Chill one salad bowl in the freezer for 30 min. Place bag of salad in the bowl. Add onions, olives, peppers, croutons, & tomatoes. Sprinkle with Parmesan Cheese. Top with dressing (recipe below)

Salad Dressing :
you'll need : 1/2 cup mayonaise, 1/3 cup white vinegar, 1 tsp. vegetable oil, 2 tbsp. corn syrup, 2 tbsp. Parmesan cheese, 2 tbsp. Romano cheese, 1/4 tsp. garlic salt, 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning, 1/2 tsp Parsley flakes, 1 tbsp. lemon juice.

Dressing Prep: Mix all ingredients in a blender until well mixed.

Enjoy ;-)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentines Day !

Happy heart day everyone! Be sure to spend lots of quality time with your sweetie today!!
In a perfect world, we would be going to my favorite restaurant tonite for dinner- The Melting Pot. Its a fondue restaurant that is awesome, but very expensive. So, since this is not a perfect world- and money is tight- we are doing fondue at home for our Valentine's dinner !

Swiss Cheese Fondue -
You'll need : 3 tbsp. butter, 3 tbsp. floor, 1 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. pepper, 1/4 tsp. garlic salt, dash of nutmeg, 3 cups milk, 2 (8 oz) packages of swiss cheese, 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce.

In a fondue pot, melt butter over medium heat- then stir in the next 5 ingredients. Add milk gradually & cook until sauce is smooth & thick. Lower heat and add cheese by the handfulls, stirring until cheese is melted after each addition. Stir in Worcestershire sauce.

What you can dip into cheese fondue : any breads, apples( granny smith apples work best), veggies, smoked sausage.
Spear item of your choice with a fondue fork- dip , eat & enjoy !!!!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Snow (Day) Cream !!!

Today was a beautiful snowy day! It's just not something we see much of in these parts- we just get excited about it! And so much fun to play in it. When I was younger , my Mom would make snow cream for us when we had that rare snow day. So today- in honor of snow day- we have ....

Snow Cream-
* you'll need : 1 cup milk, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 tsp. vanilla , about 3 quarts of snow.
Blend milk, sugar & vanilla .Stir in snow to make an ice cream consistency.

add some Nestle Quik for chocolate flavor . Add some fruit. Use your imagination.....

*Just make sure the snow is clean ! Collect snow from the middle or top - not from the bottom.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Tortellini Shrimp Caesar Salad

OK- I got a little engrossed in the Super Bowl and spending time with friends- that i forgot the Sunday post - wooops ! This recipe is another quick & easy meal that is delicious! Even my picky husband will eat it- and he loves it! Give it a try.....

Tortellini Shrimp Caesar Salad-

You'll need : 2 cups frozen breaded popcorn shrimp, 1 (9 oz) package of refridgerated cheese tortellini, 8 cups torn romaine lettuce, 1 medium tomato (chopped), 1/2 cup Caesar salad dressing.

**Prepare shrimp & tortellini according to package directions. In a large bowl, combine romaine lettuce & tomato ; drizzle with dressing & toss to coat. Drain tortellini ; toss with salad. Top with shrimp.

**** You can always switch this up by using different meats, seafood or different dressing.
Enjoy :-)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Ham & Grits Casserole

Being a southern girl- I love my grits ! With butter, with cheese, and of course a lot of salt (which i'm sure is not good for you, but I'm a salt-a-holic...). This recipe today has all of those things - AND its a Weight Watcher recipe! You won't know it to taste it though. I fixed this for our dinner last night- always get a compliment from the hubby!

Ham & Grits Casserole-
you'll need : 4 cups water, 1/4 teaspoon salt (i usually add more !) , 1 cup uncooked quick-cooking grits, 1 cup chopped lean ham, 3 tbsp. reduced calorie margarine, 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce, 1 -8 oz. carton egg substitute, cooking spray, 1/2 cup shredded reduced fat cheese.

** Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bring 4 cups of water to a boil ; stir in grits. Cover grits , reduce heat , and simmer for 5 min. Remove from heat and add ham, margarine, & Worcestershire sauce- stir until margarine melts. Add egg substitute & stir. Add cheese & stir. Spoon into a 11x7 baking dish that is coated with cooking spray. Bake uncovered for 45-50 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.
** Good with some biscuits !!!

Now for the Weight Watchers numbers for those that are interested:
8 servings. 1 serving is 3/4 cup.
4 points per serving. 166 calories, 5.3 grams fat, 1 gram fiber.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Ham & Cheese Quiche

Have I mentioned I love to watch Food Network ? Soooooo many great ideas, sooooo many great recipes !!! I saw this recipe on Semi-Homemade with Sandra Lee. It's a great recipe for breakfast, but its also good for dinner too ! The potatoes really make this recipe stand out from your standard quiche.....

Ham & Cheese Quiche -
you'll need :
2 red potatoes (cubed), 1 tbsp dried rosemary, 1 cup cubed ham, 1 -9 inch premade pie shell in foil pan, 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, 3 eggs, 1 cup milk, 1 tsp all-purpose seasoning.

* Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place rosemary & potatoes in a microwave bowl and cover with a damp paper towel. Then microwave for 2 minutes. Then cover bottom of pie crust with potatoes, ham & cheese. Place on a cookie sheet & set aside.
In a medium bowl - whisk together eggs, milk, & seasoning and pour into pie shell. Bake for 40 minutes or until eggs have set.

Enjoy :-)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Nacho Chicken

Well, its 11:10 at night- WAY past my bedtime- but i remebered it was Wednesday: time for my next post ! I try my very best to remember to do my posts on Sundays & Wednesdays. I've done pretty good so far to keep up ! But I know there will come a day when it won't be like that- call it " getting older". But tonite's post will be a quick & simple one (cause I'm tired & ready to go to bed - LOL)

Nacho Chicken-
you'll need : 2 tbsp mayonaise, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp dried Italian seasoning, 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, 3/4 cup crushed Doritoes tortilla chips, 1 tbsp. butter (melted).

Combine the first 3 ingredients & spread on both sides of chicken. Dredge chicken in crushed chips. Place chicken on a baking sheet. Drizzle with butter. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until chicken is done throughout.
This recipe makes 2 servings- double it up if you need more.
Enjoy :-)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Meat Loaf With Cheese

When I was growing up , my mom used to make meat loaf. The traditional meat loaf- with ketchup. And it was always great! Did I mention my Mom was a GREAT cook? But then I found this meat loaf recipe a few years back- and it has NO ketchup! Wasn't sure what to think of that...but I tried it- and it was just as good. Instead it uses one of my most favorite ingredients- CHEESE. And a warning about this recipe- it makes ALOT. I cook just for me & my husband , so I "half" the recipe- works out good! FYI- this is a Venezuela dish- Enjoy!!

Meat Loaf with Cheese-
you'll need : 2 lbs. ground beef, 4 eggs, 1 tsp. pepper, 1 tsp. garlic salt, 1 tsp. salt, 1 1/2 cups bread crumbs, 2 tbsp. "57" sauce, 1 tbsp. canola oil, 2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce, 2 cups grated cheese.

Mix all ingredients. Put into a greased loaf pan and bake for 50 minutes at 350 degrees.

Side Dish Possibilities: serve with a tossed salad, or some mashed potatoes- and even some Asiago cheese bread (which you can now buy at Walmart!).

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Hearty sausage & hash browns

This recipe would be good any time of the day: breakfast , lunch , or dinner ! I just got this recipe a few weeks ago , but its so good - I've already fixed it twice! I tweeked it a bit and added a little chopped onion for extra flavor (don't tell my husband that!).

Hearty Sausage & Hash Browns- :
you'll need : 4 cups frozen cubed hash browns, 1/3 cup canola oil, 1/4 pound sliced smoked sausage (i used turkey sausage), 2 cups shredded cheese.

In a large skillet, cook potatoes in oil until potatoes are golden brown . Stir in sausage, heat through. Remove from heat; top with cheese. Cover & let stand for 5 min. or until cheese is melted.


Sunday, January 17, 2010

Creamed Chicken & Biscuits

Dinner in 20 minutes- absolutely ! This recipe you can whip up in no time- and its not costly! And this beats take out after a busy day at work....

Creamed Chicken & Biscuits-
you'll need : 2 cups chopped cooked chicken ( i use Perdue Short Cuts), 1/2 cup milk, 1/2 tsp poultry seasoning, 1/4 tsp. pepper, 1 can of cream of chicken soup(undiluted), 1 pkg (10 oz) frozen mixed vegetables, 1 bag of frozen biscuits ( i use Pillsbury)- only use 5 or 6 biscuits.

Combine first 6 ingredients in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat 10 -15 minutes or until thoroughly heated- stir often.
Bake biscuits according to package directions.
Split hot biscuits in half ; spoon chicken mixture over hot biscuits and serve.


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Taco Beef & Noodle Skillet

Anyone who knows me knows that I like my cooking simple & easy- no complicated ingredients, no long drawn -out dishes, and no "destroying the kitchen". Well, that last one happens most of the time when I'm cooking anyway- but you get my drift. Who's got time to be in the kitchen for 2 or 3 hours ? Nobody I know of! Get in- get out- get on with life :-)
This recipe is perfect for that ! One skillet is all you use- and its ready in 40 minutes !

Taco Beef & Noodle Skillet-
you'll need : 1 pound lean ground beef, 1 pkg taco seasoning mix, 2 cups water, 1 pkg. macaroni & cheese dinner, 1/3 cup sour cream, 1 large tomato (chopped), 1 cup shredded lettuce, 1 cup tortilla chips (broken up).

** Brown meat in a large skillet on medium heat until no longer pink ; drain. Add seasoning mix, water & macaroni ; mix lightly. Reduce heat to med-low and cover. Simmer for about 7 minutes. Stir in sour cream and cheese sauce mix until well blended. Top with tomatoes, lettuce & tortilla chips. Enjoy !

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Three bean taco chili / Mexican cheese cornbread

It is perfect chili weather ! With it freezing outside, nothing like something warm & hearty to do the trick! This recipe makes a huge amount- any leftovers can be frozen for up to three months. I made this last night for my scrapbooking buddies - and every bit of it was eat! And it is very inexpensive to make. And the mexican cheese cornbread is the perfect side!

Three Bean Taco Chili-
you'll need : 2 lbs ground beef, 2 cups water, 1 (16oz) can refried beans (i used fat free ones in mine) , 1 (16 oz. ) can kidney beans (rinsed & drained) , 1 (15 1/2 oz) can chili beans (undrained) , 1 (15 1/4 oz) can whole kernel corn (drained) , 1 (14 1/2 oz) can stewed tomatoes (mexican variety if you can find it) , 1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce , 1 cup chunky salsa, 1 envelope of taco seasoning, 1 (2 1/4 oz) can sliced black olived (drained), 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese .

** In a dutch oven, cook beef until no longer pink & drain. Stir in all other ingredients (except cheese). Bring to a boil, reduce heat & simmer -uncovered - for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese & serve. Makes 9 servings.

Mexican Cheese Cornbread-
you'll need: 1 pkg. of Jiffy cornbread mix, 1 tsp. dried minced onion, 1/2 tsp. ground cumin, 2 eggs, 1/3 cup milk, 2 tbsp. butter (melted & divided) , 3/4 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend (divided).

** In a small bowl, combine Jiffy mix, onion & cumin. In another bowl, whisk eggs , milk, and 1 tbsp of the butter- then stir it in with the dry mixture. Stir until moistened. Add 1/2 cup of the cheese to the mixture. Transfer into a greased 8 inch square baking dish. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Brush with remaining butter & sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake for 4 minutes longer - or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Serve warm.


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Vinaigrette Pasta Salad

Ok, I will admit it- i am a pasta-a-holic ! Pasta is my favorite food group. It is a food group right ? The recipe I'm sharing today is an old favorite. Sometimes I will double the recipe, take it to work & eat off it all week....good stuff. Especially good with some crackers & a Diet Coke :-)

Vinagrette Pasta Salad:
You'll need : 8 oz. bowtie pasta, 1 cucumber (thinly sliced), 1 cup sliced mushrooms, 1/4 cup sliced green onions, 1 tomato (chopped), 1 small can sliced black olives.
For the dressing you'll need : 3 tbsp. vegetable oil, 3 tbsp. white wine vinegar, 1 tsp dried parsley, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp dried oregano, 1/8 tsp. hot sauce.

** Combine all of the Dressing ingredients in a small bowl & whisk until well blended. Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, rinse with cold water & place pasta in a large bowl. Add cucumber, mushrooms,onions, tomato, and olives to pasta & toss lightly. Pour dressing over pasta mixture, toss lightly. Chill in fridge until ready to serve.
** Add some parmesan cheese when serving for extra flavor !

Enjoy :-)

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Happy New Year !!!

Happy New Year everyone! Did everyone have some black eyed peas & collard/turnip greens on New Years Day ? I wanted some black eyed peas, but not really a greens fan. Maybe a substitute of some boiled cabbage.... Either way, I didn't fix any of that. I always heard when I was growing up that you were supposed to eat both on New Years day: the greens represented money & the black eyed peas represented change. And that if you did eat these things, you'd have plenty of both. Maybe this is why I have no money :-)

Today I want to tell you about a different lasagna- an onion lasagna. I had to "tweek" the original recipe, because I didn't want it to be overwhelming onion. My husband is not an onion fan , so I had to make it a little different. I will give you the original recipe, and put in parenthesis what I did different....

Onion Lasagna-

You'll need: 1 pound ground beef ( i use lean ground beef), 1 jar roasted garlic parmesan spaghetti sauce (i used regular four cheese sauce), 1 egg, 1 cup 4 % cottage cheese, 1 cup French onion dip, 1 jar Italian Sausage & garlic spaghetti sauce , 12 no-cook lasagna noodles (Barilla makes these), 3 cups mozzarella cheese (I used half mozzarella/ half cheddar). I added some mushrooms to it also for an extra "something".

**In a Dutch oven , cook beef until no longer pink ; drain. Stir in the roasted garlic parmesan spaghetti sauce. In a separate bowl, combine the egg, cottage cheese & onion dip.
Spread 1 cup of the Italian sausage & garlic sauce into a greased 13 x 9 baking dish. Top with four noodles. Layer with half of cottage cheese mixture, half of beef mixture, and 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers. Top with remaining noodles, sauce, & cheese.
Cover & bake at 375 degrees for 50 min. Then uncover & bake for 5-10 min. longer or until cheese has melted. Let stand for 15 min. before cutting. This recipe makes 12 servings. Excellent with some garlic bread :-)