Monday, November 4, 2013

Coconut Shrimp Curry

This one was DELICIOUS!!!

    For the shrimp marinade (you can also use shrimp right out of the bag):
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 1 lemon)
  • 1-2 pounds large or extra-large shrimp, peeled and deveined
    For the sauce:
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 medium red or yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger, from about a 1-inch peeled piece of ginger
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can coconut milk, light or regular
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Hot cooked rice for serving, if desired
  1. For the simple shrimp marinade, toss the shrimp with the salt, pepper, cayenne and lemon juice in a resealable large bag or in a bowl. Refrigerate for 15-20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium-sized pot, heat the canola oil over medium heat until rippling and hot. Add the onion and cook for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the pepper, ginger, salt, garlic, coriander, turmeric and curry powder. Continue cooking over medium heat, stirring often, until the mixture is very fragrant and the onion is soft and translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Add the undrained tomatoes to the pot and cook, stirring and scraping up the browned bits from the bottom, for about 1 minute. Increase the heat to medium-high and simmer for 5-10 minutes, stirring often. Add the coconut milk, stirring to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil and add the shrimp and any accumulated juices from the marinade. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook until the shrimp are curled, lightly pink and cooked through, about 2-4 minutes. Stir in the cilantro. Serve over hot, cooked rice, if desired.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Scott's Festival Chili

We had this Halloween Night.  Yum!


  • 2 C onions -- chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves -- minced
  • 1/2 C water
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 C prepared Mexicann-style red salsa
  • 2 red and/or green bell peppers -- chopped
  • 2 15-ounce cans black beans -- drained and rinsed
  • 1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes -- with juices
  • 1 11-ounce package frozen corn kernels
  • salt to taste
  • Tabasco or other hot pepper sauce to taste


In a covered soup pot, cook the onions and garlic in the water on high heat, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes. Add the cumin and coriander and stir on high heat for a minute. Stir in the salsa and bell peppers, lower the heat, cover, and simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the black beans and tomatoes; simmer for 10 minutes. Add the corn and continue to cook for 10 minutes. Add salt and Tabasco to taste.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Kristen's Spaghetti and Meatballs

My friend Kristen made this on our trip to Chelan, and it was delicious!
Here's the recipe with her notes:

Aunt Doris Spaghetti and meatballs

1.5lbs hamburger (I don't use hamburger usually. I'll use combination of spicy chicken sausage and pork and add fennel and anise seeds to make it more "sausagy" if not using sausage. any combination ground meat works if you add spice)
1 C parmesan (I use the bagged shredded stuff from trader joes)
2TB oregano (I use heaping TBS of oregano & parsley and add Basil too)
2TB sugar (I use probably half)
2 tsp salt
2TB parsley
1/4 tsp red pepper (I use more)
1.5 C breadcrumbs (I use the Italian variety)
2 eggs
1/2 onion diced (or more)
2 cloves garlic (I use a lot more !!!)
salt and pepper

Bake balls 15-20 min at 350

1 lg can 28oz tomatoes (crushed)
1 lg can or two small cans tomato paste
3 cans tomato sauce
1/2 can water (or more-eyeball it)
2 tb sugar (I use less)
6TBS parsley
3TBSs oregano
1/2 tsp red pepper

I add onion and garlic to this too. Just sauté it in some olive oil before adding all the cans.
Simmer sauce for couple hours. add water if needed. I don't like it too thick but not runny either
Add the meatballs last half hour or more if you want.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Cincinnati Chili


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons sweet paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef chuck
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 6-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons chopped unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon cider or red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 12 ounces cooked spaghetti
  • 1 19-ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 pound grated cheddar cheese
  • Oyster crackers, for serving


Heat the oil in a medium Dutch oven or heavy pot over medium heat. Add half the chopped onions and the garlic and cook until soft, stirring, about 5 minutes. Add the chili powder, paprika, cumin, allspice, coriander, cinnamon, cayenne and cloves. Cook, stirring, until fragrant. Add the beef and cook the mixture, stirring, until the beef is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon salt.
Add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, bay leaf and 1 1/2 cups water; simmer the mixture, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until slightly thicker. Add the chocolate, vinegar and Worcestershire and cook until the mixture is thickened but still soupy, about 15 more minutes.
Discard the bay leaf and season the chili with the freshly ground pepper. Divide the spaghetti among bowls and top with the chili, beans, remaining onion and cheddar. Serve with the oyster crackers.

PW's Alfredo Pasta



  • 1 pound Fettuccine Noodles
  • 1 stick Butter
  • 1 cup Heavy Cream
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese

Preparation Instructions

Cook pasta according to package directions.
In a saucepan or skillet, warm butter and cream. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Grate Parmesan cheese and place half of it into a large serving bowl. Pour warm butter/cream mixture over the top.
Drain pasta and immediately pour it into the bowl.
Toss a couple of times, then sprinkle in the other half of the Parmesan.
Toss to combine, thinning with pasta water if necessary.
Serve immediately as a main course or accompaniment to meat or salad.

Crockpot Chicken Tacos


Place 6 boneless chicken thighs in the crockpot.  Cover with 1 can of diced tomatoes and 1-2 Tablespoons taco seasoning, to taste.
Cook on high for 6-7 hours.  Shred chicken with a fork and inside tortillas with condiments.

Fried Green Tomatoes

4 large green tomatoes
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup bread crumbs
2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 quart vegetable oil for frying
1.Slice tomatoes 1/2 inch thick. Discard the ends.
2.Whisk eggs and milk together in a medium-size bowl. Scoop flour onto a plate. Mix cornmeal, bread crumbs and salt and pepper on another plate. Dip tomatoes into flour to coat. Then dip the tomatoes into milk and egg mixture. Dredge in breadcrumbs to completely coat.
3.In a large skillet, pour vegetable oil (enough so that there is 1/2 inch of oil in the pan) and heat over a medium heat. Place tomatoes into the frying pan in batches of 4 or 5, depending on the size of your skillet. Do not crowd the tomatoes, they should not touch each other. When the tomatoes are browned, flip and fry them on the other side. Drain them on paper towels.

Hamburger Noodle Bake



  • 5 cups uncooked egg noodles
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped green pepper
  • 2 cans (10-3/4 ounces each) condensed tomato soup, undiluted
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup chili sauce
  • 1-1/2 cups soft bread crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted


  • Preheat oven to 350°. Cook noodles according to package
  • directions until al dente; drain. In a large skillet, cook the beef,
  • onion and green pepper over medium-high heat for 10-12 minutes or
  • until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the noodles, soup,
  • cheese, water and chili sauce. Transfer to two greased 8-in.-square
  • baking dishes.
  • Toss bread crumbs and butter; sprinkle over casseroles. Bake,
  • uncovered, 35-40 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown. Yield:
  • 2 casseroles (4 servings each).

Slow Cooker Cheesy Chicken and Rice

1 cup rice
2.5 cups hot water
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup (can use cream of celery if like more celery taste)
1lb chicken breasts- each cut in 1/2
1 package dry onion soup mix

Mix all ingredients except chicken together in slow cooker. Place chicken breasts on top. Sprinkle with a little paprika (1/2 tsp or so) and cook high for 3-4 hrs or low for 6-8hrs until Chicken is done. The rice is suppose to be a little sticky with this meal. Sever it up with a side of veggies (or throw some broccoli in to cook with it!) and you've got a great meal.

Again this meal can go in the oven too. Place in baking dish and cover with foil. Bake 375* for 2 hrs.

Popover Chicken



    • 1 whole chicken, cut up
    • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
    • 3 eggs
    • 1 1/2 cups milk
    • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
    • 1 1/2 cups flour
    • 3/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon each of: dried tarragon, thyme, basil
    • 10 3/4 ounces cream of chicken soup
    • 1/3 cup milk
    • 4 ounces sliced mushrooms
    • 2 tablespoons snipped parsley


  1. Brown chicken pieces in the 2 T. oil; season with a little salt and pepper.
  2. Place chicken pieces in a well greased 13x9 baking dish.
  3. In mixing bowl beat eggs; blend in the 1 1/2 cups milk and the 1 T. oil.
  4. Stir together flour, salt, and spices.
  5. Add to egg mixture; beat till smooth.
  6. Pour over chicken.
  7. Bake, uncovered, at 350 till done, 55 to 60 minutes.
  8. Meanwhile, in saucepan stir together soup, the 1/3 cup milk, mushrooms and parsley.
  9. Heat through, stirring occasionally.
  10. Pass the sauce with chicken.

Classic Wedge Salad

You will need:
1 head iceburg lettuce
1 large tomato, sliced into wedges
1 cucumber, peeled and sliced
other ideas: curled carrots, beets, radishes, etc
Blue cheese dressing
Slice lettuce into wedges (obviously).  Arrange on individual salad plates with veggies on the top/side.  Drizzle dressing over the top in somewhat artistic manor.  This salad is simple but looks impressive.  Great for a dinner party!

Pizza Balls

3 cans Pillsbury Buttermilk Biscuits (10 per can), 56 pepperoni slices, block of Colby cheese, 1 beaten egg, Parmesan, Italian seasoning, Garlic powder, 1 jar pizza sauce…

Cut the block of cheese into 28 squares. Flatten a biscuit out and stack pepperoni and cheese on top. Gather up the edges of the biscuit. Line up the rolls in a greased 9×13 in. pan.

Brush with beaten egg. Sprinkle with parmesan, Italian seasoning& garlic powder. Bake at 425°F for 18-20 minutes. Use pizza sauce or marinara for dipping.

Sweet & Saucy Chicken (in the slow cooker)

This one was delicious!!


  • 1 broiler/fryer chicken (4 pounds), cut up and skin removed
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup white vinegar
  • 1/3 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon dried minced onion
  • 1 teaspoon prepared mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Hot cooked rice or egg noodles, optional


  • Place chicken in a 3-qt. slow cooker. In a small saucepan, combine
  • brown sugar and flour. Stir in the water, vinegar and soy sauce. Add
  • the ketchup, onion, mustard, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Bring
  • to a boil; cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until thickened.
  • Pour over chicken. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until
  • chicken juices run clear. Serve with rice or noodles if desired.
  • Yield: 6 servings.

Inexpensive Eats

I've been trying to watch our grocery budget around here.  So I've been searching the net, cookbooks etc to compile a list of uber-economical meals.  Here's what I've come up with so far:
3.  Breakfast-for-dinner
4.  Quesadillas with veggies or chicken
5.  Pasta with homemade marinara or mushroom cream sauce
6.  Tacos with black beans or refried beans and Mexican rice
7.  Potato Soup
8.  Stir fry with tofu
9.  Bean chili
10. Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup  :)
Anyone else want to share their favorite inexpensive meals???

Kristine's Mexican Rice



  • 2ripe tomatoes (about 12 ounces), cored and quartered
  • 1bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • 2cups basmati or white rice
  • 1/3cup canola oil
  • 4cloves garlic , minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 4 teaspoons)
  • 2cups low-sodium chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
  • 1tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 1/2teaspoons table salt
  • 1/2cup minced fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1lime , cut into wedges for serving (I'd skip this for Saturday, but include it in case you make this again : ))


  1. 1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Process tomatoes and onion in food processor until smooth and thoroughly pureed, about 15 seconds, scraping down bowl if necessary. Transfer mixture to liquid measuring cup; you should have 2 cups (if necessary, spoon off excess so that volume equals 2 cups). 
  2. 2. Place rice in large fine-mesh strainer and rinse under cold running water until water runs clear, about 1 1/2 minutes. Shake rice vigorously in strainer to remove all excess water.
  3. 3. Heat oil in heavy-bottomed ovensafe 12-inch straight-sided sauté pan or Dutch oven with tight-fitting lid over medium-high heat, 1 to 2 minutes. Drop 3 or 4 grains rice in oil; if grains sizzle, oil is ready. Add rice and fry, stirring frequently, until rice is light golden and translucent, 6 to 8 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, add garlic; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 1/2 minutes. Stir in pureed tomatoes and onions ( and bell pepper), chicken broth, tomato paste, and salt; increase heat to medium-high and bring to boil. Cover pan and transfer to oven; bake until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender, 30 to 35 minutes, stirring well after 15 minutes.
  4. 4. Stir in cilantro. Serve immediately, passing lime wedges separately.

Mexican Beans

This was a simple, cheap, and delicious meal. 
First I cooked up a 1 lb bag of dry beans using Suzi's "crockpot bean recipe." 
Once cooked, I drained the beans and put them in a large saucepan.  I added:
1 can diced tomatoes (with juices)
1/2 diced onion (previously sauted with butter and garlic)
optional: 1 small can of diced green chiles
Simmer beans on stovetop for 15-20 minutes.
Then, in individual bowls, place a handful of fritos, a large scoop of the beans, and sprinkle with shredded cheddar.  Put bowl in microwave for a few seconds to melt the cheese.  Top with sour cream.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Leotagail's Rice Salad with Balsamic Dressing

1/2 cup diced peeled avocado
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 cups cooked white rice
  • 1 cup chopped seeded plum tomato
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro

    1. Add the first 6 ingredients to a bowl; toss gently to combine.
    2. Add in remaining ingredients; toss well.
    3. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

    Saturday, August 17, 2013

    Quinoa and cheese

    We tried this last night and really enjoyed it.  This was a super basic version, and I'm excited to mix up the cheeses or add-ins for other recipes.  I'm thinking of a blue cheese and bacon and sundried tomato version, or with green chilies and corn for a mexican side dish.

    Here is the basic cheddar recipe (which we enjoyed with hot sauce on top):

    2 tsp olive oil
    1 onion, diced
    1 1/2 cups dry quinoa
    2 cloves minced garlic
    3 cups chicken broth
    seasoning salt
    2 eggs
    1 cup milk
    1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar, plus a little more for the top


    • In a skillet heat olive oil, and then saute onions until soft.
    • Stir in quinoa and garlic and cook 3 or 4 minutes.
    • Add chicken broth, and season with salt and seasoning salt.  Bring to a boil.
    • Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook 15 minutes, (or length according to your quinoa directions.)
    • Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes.
    • Whisk together eggs and milk in a large bowl.  Stir in quinoa and cheese.  Pour into a greased 9x13.
    • Bake at 350 until it starts browning around the edges, 30-45 minutes.

    Hummingbird nectar recipe

    My mom gave us a hummingbird feeder, and I stopped at the store to buy the nectar and was shocked by the price.  I did a little google search and found that it is simply sugar water.  (All the bird sites say to not use any coloring, as it may harm birds, and isn't needed to attract them.)

    So to fill your feeder, boil 2 cups water and then whisk in 1/2 cup sugar until dissolved.  Let cool, and then fill up your feeder.  We have had a huge gathering of hummingbirds since we did this last week.  (Unfortunately, the quickest way to make them disappear is to grab a camera.)

    Monday, April 8, 2013

    Asparagus and Couscous salad

    I based this off a recipe I found in the Bob's Red Mill Cookbook.  I borrowed it from the library, but I highly recommend it.  It is loaded with healthy recipes, using fun different grains, for all different occasions.  The recipes all seemed doable, though, and not daunting with a giant list of foods I've never heard of. 

    1# fresh asparagus, ends snapped off and broken into smaller pieces
    1 cup dried couscous (I had Bob's Red Mill tricolor pearl couscous)
    Feta cheese

    2 Tbl white wine vinegar
    2 tsp olive oil
    1/4 cup snipped chives
    1/4 tsp kosher salt
    1/4 tsp pepper

    Boil water, and cook asparagus 2-4 minutes, or until crisp-tender.  Drain the asparagus and then plunge into ice water.

    Meanwhile, cook the couscous according to directions.

    Also, whisk together the dressing ingredients.

    Toss couscous, asparagus, some feta and the dressing together in a large bowl and serve.  
    We ate this warm the first day, and cold the second.

    Kit Kat Cake

    I made this for Easter, but it would be super easy to replicate for any other occasion, switching up the candy type in the top.  It is especially handy to make if you aren't super confident in your frosting skills, as none of the frosting will show up! 

    All you do is bake two round cakes.  Stack and frost them.  Line the outside with kit-kats (I think I used 22 sets of 2,) and then fill the middle with candy.  Voila!  

    Wednesday, March 20, 2013

    Buffalo Chicken Lasagna

    This was in the Taste of Home magazine a few months ago.  If you like buffalo/blue cheese combo, this is such a good dish!  This kids picked at it, but I was expecting that one.  Here is the original recipe. 

    I originally prepped and assembled this on a Saturday, thinking to just heat it up after church on a Sunday.  But then we had to change plans, so I ended up putting it in the freezer for almost a month, and it did thaw and heat up well.

    Photo from Taste of Home

    • 1 tablespoon canola oil
    • 1-1/2 pounds ground chicken
    • 1 small onion, chopped
    • 1 celery rib, finely chopped
    • 1 large carrot, grated
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, drained
    • 1 bottle (12 ounces) buffalo wing sauce
    • 1/2 cup water
    • 1-1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
    • 9 lasagna noodles
    • 1 carton (15 ounces) ricotta cheese
    • 1-3/4 cups (7 ounces) crumbled blue cheese, divided
    • 1/2 cup minced Italian flat leaf parsley
    • 1 egg, lightly beaten
    • 3 cups (12 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
    • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded white cheddar cheese


    • In a Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Add the chicken, onion, celery and carrot; cook and stir until meat is no longer pink and vegetables are tender. Add garlic; cook 2 minutes longer. Stir in the tomatoes, wing sauce, water, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1 hour.
    • Meanwhile, cook noodles according to package directions; drain. (I just use the "no-cook" noodles)
    • In a small bowl, mix the ricotta cheese, 3/4 cup blue cheese, parsley and egg.
    • Spread 1-1/2 cups sauce into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Layer with three noodles, 1-1/2 cups sauce, 2/3 cup ricotta mixture, 1 cup mozzarella cheese, 2/3 cup cheddar cheese and 1/3 cup blue cheese. Repeat layers twice.
    • Bake, covered, at 350° for 20 minutes. Uncover; bake 20-25 minutes longer or until bubbly and cheese is melted. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

    Lasagna Soup

    Photo from Elly Says Opa
    This was super good.  I made it on a Saturday (except for the noodles) and then warmed it up after church when we had some friends over.  We really enjoyed it a lot, and the leftovers were even better the next few days.  The recipe was from a blog called Elly Says Opa.  (I read about it from another blog, but can't remember which.)

    2 tsp. olive oil
    1.5 lbs. Italian sausage, casings removed (I used turkey sausage, a combo of mild & hot)
    2 medium onions, diced
    5 cloves garlic, minced
    2 tsp. dried oregano
    1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
    2 Tbsp. tomato paste
    1 (28 oz.) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
    2 bay leaves
    1 qt. chicken broth
    2 cups beef broth

    8 oz. dry mafalda, fusili, gemelli or other curly pasta

    1/3 cup finely chopped basil

    8 oz. ricotta
    1/2 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
    1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

    freshly ground black pepper

    Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or stockpot over medium heat. Add sausage, crumbling as you stir, and brown (about 3-5 minutes). Add onions and cook until softened. Stir in garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes, and tomato paste. Cook for about 2-3 minutes or until fragrant and the tomato paste starts to turn a little brown.

    Add the diced tomatoes, bay leaves, chicken broth and beef broth; stir to combine. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 20-30 minutes. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. (Alternatively, you can reduce the amount of broth by a little, and cook the noodles separately, adding them to individual bowls before serving.) Season the soup to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and stir in the basil.

    While the pasta is cooking, combine the ricotta, Parmesan, mozzarella, and pepper in a medium bowl.

    To serve, place a large dollop of the cheese mixture in each soup bowl, and ladle the hot soup over the cheese mixture.

    Eggplant Dip

    I've been really bad about posting recipes recently, even though I've been trying a lot of new recipes.  I actually remembered to take a picture of this one, but it looked like greyish goop, so I'll spare you.  It was super yummy, though!  The kids all even enjoyed it.

    3 medium eggplants
    2 Tbl, plus 1/4 cup olive oil
    4 cloves garlic, minced
    1 1/2 cups feta cheese
    1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
    S&P to taste

    Preheat oven to 400.  Brush eggplants with olive oil and pierce them with a fork.  Roast in the oven until the skins are brown and the eggplants are soft, about 30 minutes.   Cool slightly, peel, and cut into chunks.

    Place eggplants, garlic, feta, walnuts and olive oil into the food processor.  Process until only a few chunks are left.  Season with S&P.

    Sweet Potato Chocolate Chip Muffins

    This recipe is from the blog The Frugal Girl, which I love, love love.  It may be my favorite blog from someone I don't personally know.  I was reading a blog entry she wrote about how she needed to use up an extra sweet potato, and I thought "Hey, I do, too!"  They taste very similar to pumpkin bread.  I made half with chocolate chips and half without.  The chocolate batch disappeared first, but all the kids liked the regular batch, as well.

    Photo from The Frugal Girl

    4 eggs
    2 cups sugar
    16 oz. mashed sweet potato (without butter, salt, or milk)
    3/4 cup milk
    3/4 cup oil
    2 cups all-purpose flour
    1 cup whole wheat flour
    2 teaspoons baking soda
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 package chocolate chips

    In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs, sugar, pumpkin, milk, and oil until smooth. In a separate bowl, whisk dry ingredients together. Add dry ingredients to liquid ingredients, and stir just until combined. Fold in chocolate chips. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups 3/4 full. Bake 16-20 minutes at 350 degrees.  Makes 36.

    (I actually made these into two loafs, baked at 350 until they looked done.  :)

    Chicken, asparagus, goat cheese pasta

    This recipe originated from a blog called Smitten Kitchen.  I found it with a google search for asparagus and goat cheese.  The only thing I changed from the original recipe was to toss in some rotisserie chicken shreds.

    Photo from Smitten Kitchen

    1 pound spiral-shaped pasta
    1 pound slender asparagus spears, trimmed, cut into 1- to 1 1/2-inch pieces
    1/4 cup olive oil
    1 lemon (1 Tbl grated peel plus all the juice)
    2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon
    1 5- to 5 1/2-ounce log soft fresh goat cheese (Costco always has this at a great price)

    Cook your pasta in a large pot of well-salted water until it is almost tender, or about three minutes shy of what the package suggests. Add asparagus and cook until firm-tender, another two to three minutes. Drain both pasta and asparagus together, reserving one cup of pasta water.

    Meanwhile, combine olive oil, lemon peel, tarragon and cheese in a large bowl, breaking up the goat cheese as you put it in. Add hot pasta and asparagus to bowl, along with a couple slashes of the pasta water. Toss until smoothly combined, adding more pasta water if needed.

    Stir in shredded chicken.

     Season generously with salt and pepper, and lemon juice.

    Sweet and Tangy Lemon Chicken

    3 to 4 pounds chicken parts (I used frozen legs and a few breast halves)
    1 (6-ounce) box Lemon Jello powder
    3 tablespoons melted butter
    1 tablespoon prepared Dijon mustard
    1 tablespoon dried minced onion flakes (or one tiny onion, finely diced)


    Use a 4 to 6 quart slow cooker. My chicken was frozen solid, too. If you have thawed chicken, shave about 90 minutes off of the cooking time.
    Place the chicken into your slow cooker. In a small mixing bowl, combine the jello powder, melted butter, dijon mustard, and onion flakes. Stir together to make a paste. This isn't liquidy at all--- it's sort of a combo between paste and playdough. Smear this onto your chicken the best you can.
    Cover, and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. I cooked our chicken on low for exactly 7 hours, then kept it on the warm setting for another 2 hours.

    I thought this one was very tasty.  The kids weren't totally in love though.

    Wednesday, March 13, 2013

    Slow Cooker Ham & Cheese Hashbrown bake

    2lbs shredded frozen hash browns
    1 stick melted butter
    1 tsp salt
    1/4 tsp pepper
    1/2 c. chopped onion (I cooked it first in some butter so it was soft)
    1 can cream of chicken soup
    1 cup milk
    1 cup sour cream
    2 cups fully cooked diced ham ( I just used deli meat and sliced it up)
    2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

    Spray crock pot with non-stick cooking spray. Mix everything together in a large bowl, transfer it to your crock pot. This makes a lot so plan to use about a 6qt size slow cooker or so. Place on med/low heat for 8hrs or high for 4hrs. You could also bake it in your oven for one hour at 375 degrees. We had this for dinner but it could also be served for breakfast!!

    Tuesday, March 5, 2013

    Creamy Slow Cooker Beef & Noodles

    --2 lbs stew meat

    --2 T butter
    --1 T worcestershire sauce

    --1 T black pepper

    --2 T dried minced onion

    --1/4 cup beef broth

    --1/2 t kosher salt

    --1 t herbs de provence

    --1/4 cup milk

    --1/2 block of cream cheese
    Mix together all ingredients except cream cheese and milk in your slow cooker.  Cook on low for a long time, at least 8 hours.  This makes the beef very tender.  Before serving, stir in cream cheese until incorprated.  Serve over noodles.

    Salmon / Fish Recipes

    Last week we had steelhead trout for dinner.  I decided to try my two favorite salmon recipes, and they turned out great. 

    Recipe #1:  A thin layer of mayonaise, then sprinkle garlic powder and dill on top. Tastes a lot like ranch.

    Recipe #2: This one is more like a glaze.  Pour on a thin layer of honey, then sprinkle brown sugar on top.

    Bake in the oven at 350 for about half an hour.

    Friday, March 1, 2013

    Easy Cinnamon Bread

    1/3 cup white sugar
    2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    2 cups all-purpose flour
    1 tablespoon baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 cup white sugar
    1 egg, beaten
    1 cup milk
    1/3 cup vegetable oil

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan.
    In large bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt and 1 cup sugar. Add egg, milk, and oil to flour mixture. Pour half of the batter into your pan.  Then sprinkle a generous layer of white sugar and cinnamon.  Top with the other half of the batter.  Bake for 45+ minutes or until done.

    Tuesday, January 29, 2013

    Chicken Enchilada Pasta

    1 rotisserie chicken, shredded
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    2 garlic cloves, minced
    1 medium onion, diced
    1 red pepper, diced
    1 can diced green chiles (4 oz)
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    2 teaspoon chili powder
    1 teaspoon cumin
    2 cans green chili enchilada sauce (10 oz, each)
    2/3 cups red enchilada sauce
    2 cups shredded cheese (any kind)
    1 cup sour cream
    Penne pasta
    Topping Ideas
    Green Onions
    Black Olives
    Sour Cream
    1. Shred chicken (I recommend doing this earlier in the day, or even the day before to save time, as well as chopping the veggies).
    2. Boil pasta according to package. Heat olive oil in a deep skillet and cook onions for 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and red pepper and cook for another 3-5 minutes.
    3. Add cooked chicken, green chiles, cumin, chili powder, salt, and enchilada sauces. Let sauce simmer for about 8-10 minutes.
    4. Add cheese and stir until the cheese is melted and heated through. Slowly add the sour cream, but DO NOT bring to a boil (so as not to curdle the sour cream). Stir until sour cream is well mixed and heated through.
    5. Drain pasta and add to the skillet with the cheese sauce; mix well. Serve and garnish with desired toppings.

    Homemade Crock Pot Mac N Cheese


    • 1 package (16 ounces) elbow macaroni
    • 1/2 cup butter, melted
    • 2 eggs, beaten
    • 4 cups (16 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese, divided
    • 1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
    • 1 can (10-3/4 ounces) condensed cheddar cheese soup, undiluted
    • 1 cup 2% milk
    • 1/2 cup bread crumbs


    • Cook macaroni according to package directions; drain. Place in a
    • 5-qt. slow cooker; add butter. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, 3
    • cups cheese, evaporated milk, soup and 2% milk. Pour over macaroni
    • mixture and stir to combine. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours.
    • Sprinkle with remaining cheese and bread crumbs. Cover and cook 15 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.

    Curried Rice with Shrimp

    Another winner from "Family Feasts for $75 a Week"


    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 large onion, finely chopped
    • 2 carrots, thinly sliced
    • 2 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
    • 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 2 teaspoons curry powder
    • 1 cup uncooked long-grain white rice
    • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
    • 1 pound medium-size shrimp, peeled and deveined
    • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil or 2 teaspoons dried


    1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat until hot. Add onion, carrots, and potatoes; cook, stirring occasionally, until they start to soften, 6 to 8 minutes. If vegetables begin to stick, add a little slosh of chicken broth to skillet.
    2. Add garlic and curry powder; cook, stirring until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add rice, broth, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.
    3. Add shrimp; stir, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until shrimp are opaque and rice is tender, another 5 to 7 minutes. Sprinkle with basil and serve.

    Thursday, January 17, 2013

    Crockpot Italian Chicken

    Crockpot Italian Chicken
    4 chicken breasts
    1 packet Zesty Italian dressing seasoning
    8 oz. cream cheese (softened)
    1 can cream of chicken soup
    1 can milk (can adjust soup/milk ratio for desired thickness)
    2 tablespoons of garlic powder

    1 package of pasta (cook separately and toss with other ingredients from crock pot)

    Cook on low for 7-8 hours.
    If sauce is too thick, add a little milk.
    Add pasta to chicken and toss

    Asian Marinated Chicken

    1/2 cup soy sauce
    1/4 cup dark brown sugar
    3 Tbs peeled and finely chopped fresh ginger, from 1 ( 3 - 4 ") piece
    4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
    2 tsp toasted sesame oil
    1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
    2 tsp garlic chili sauce *optional
    3 Lbs bone-in, skin-on,chicken thighs, drumsticks, and breasts, combination of all three

    Whisk all of the marinade ingredients together and pour into a 9X13 broiler proof baking dish. Lay chicken pieces in a single layer on top of marinade and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours, turning chicken at least once during that time. Remove chicken from refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes. Place oven rack in the middle and heat oven to 475 degrees. Turn all chicken pieces skin side up in the dish. Bake for 40 minutes or until chicken is starting to turn dark brown in color. Set the oven to broil and roast until the skin is nice and crisped, about 3 minutes. Serve with sauce on the side.

    Mexican Stuffed Shells

    I made a double batch of this and froze one.
    16-20 jumbo pasta shells (20 will fill a 9x13 baking dish)
    1 lb. lean ground beef
    1 can (16 oz.) refried beans
    1 cup (4 oz.) shredded cheddar cheese, divided
    2 tbsp. chili powder
    1½ cups (12 oz. bottle) taco sauce or salsa, divided
    ¼ cup sliced green onions
    Light sour cream (optional)

    1. Prepare pasta shells according to package directions, then drain. (I always prepare a few extra in case some break while being filled.) After cooking, either toss with a little oil (to prevent sticking), or set out on a baking sheet, separated, while they wait to be filled.

    2. Cook beef in large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until no longer pink. Drain. Add beans, ¾ cup cheese and chili powder; mix well.

    3. Spread ¼ cup taco sauce over bottom of each of two 8-inch square baking dishes (or ½ cup sauce in an 9x13 pan). Fill pasta shells with beef mixture (about 3 tbsp. each, which equals one large cookie scoop). Place 8-10 shells in each baking dish, filled side up. Spoon remaining taco sauce over shells. Cover one baking dish with plastic wrap, then wrap with foil. Label and freeze for up to 2 months.

    4. Cover remaining baking dish with foil. Bake at 350º for 40-45 minutes or until heated through. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Serve with green onions and sour cream.

    To bake frozen shells: Place baking dish in the refrigerator overnight. Preheat oven to 375º. Remove foil & plastic wrap; recover with foil. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until heated through. Top the same way as above.

    PW's Chicken Parmesan

    The sauce on this one is amazing!!
    • 4 whole (up To 6) Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, Trimmed And Pounded Flat
    • 1/2 cup All-purpose Flour
    • Salt And Pepper, to taste
    • 1/2 cup Olive Oil
    • 2 Tablespoons Butter
    • 1 whole Medium Onion, Chopped
    • 4 cloves Garlic, Minced
    • 3/4 cups Wine (white Or Red Is Fine)
    • 3 cans (14.5 Oz.) Crushed Tomatoes
    • 2 Tablespoons Sugar
    • 1/4 cube Chopped Fresh Parsley
    • 1 cup Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
    • 1 pound Thin Linguine

    Preparation Instructions

    Mix flour, salt, and pepper together on a large plate.
    Dredge flattened chicken breasts in flour mixture. Set aside.
    At this time, you can start a pot of water for your pasta. Cook linguine until al dente.
    Heat olive oil and butter together in a large skillet over medium heat. When butter is melted and oil/butter mixture is hot, fry chicken breasts until nice and golden brown on each side, about 2 to 3 minutes per side.
    Remove chicken breasts from the skillet and keep warm.
    Without cleaning skillet, add onions and garlic and gently stir for 2 minutes. Pour in wine and scrape the bottom of the pan, getting all the flavorful bits off the bottom. Allow wine to cook down until reduced by half, about 2 minutes.
    Pour in crushed tomatoes and stir to combine. Add sugar and more salt and pepper to taste. Allow to cook for 30 minutes. Toward the end of cooking time, add chopped parsley and give sauce a final stir.
    Carefully lay chicken breasts on top of the sauce and completely cover them in grated Parmesan. Place lid on skillet and reduce heat to low. Allow to simmer until cheese is melted and chicken is thoroughly heated. Add more cheese to taste.
    Place cooked noodles on a plate and cover with sauce. Place chicken breast on top and sprinkle with more parsley. Serve immediately.

    Kung Pao Chicken W/ Sesame Noodles

    Kung Pao Chicken (from Mary Ostyn!!)
    1 pound skinless, boneless chicken
    breast halves - cut into chunks
    2 tablespoons white wine
    2 tablespoons soy sauce
    2 tablespoons sesame oil, divided
    2 tablespoons cornstarch, dissolved in 2
    tablespoons water
    1 ounce hot chile paste
    1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
    2 teaspoons brown sugar
    4 green onions, chopped
    1 tablespoon chopped garlic
    1 (8 ounce) can water chestnuts
    4 ounces chopped peanuts
    1.To Make Marinade: Combine 1 tablespoon wine, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon cornstarch/water mixture and mix together. Place chicken pieces in a glass dish or bowl and add marinade. Toss to coat. Cover dish and place in refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
    2.To Make Sauce: In a small bowl combine 1 tablespoon wine, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon oil, 1 tablespoon cornstarch/water mixture, chili paste, vinegar and sugar. Mix together and add green onion, garlic, water chestnuts and peanuts. In a medium skillet, heat sauce slowly until aromatic.
    3Meanwhile, remove chicken from marinade and saute in a large skillet until meat is white and juices run clear. When sauce is aromatic, add sauteed chicken to it and let simmer together until sauce thickens.

    Pioneer Woman's Sesame Noodles:


    • 12 ounces, fluid Thin Noodles, Cooked And Drained
    • ¼ cups Soy Sauce
    • 2 Tablespoons Sugar
    • 4 cloves Garlic, Minced
    • 2 Tablespoons Rice Vinegar
    • 3 Tablespoons Pure Sesame Oil
    • ½ teaspoons Hot Chili Oil
    • 4 Tablespoons Canola Oil
    • 4 whole Green Onions, Sliced Thin

    Preparation Instructions

    Whisk all ingredients (except noodles and green onions) together in a bowl. Taste and adjust ingredients as needed.
    Pour sauce over warm noodles and toss to coat.
    Sprinkle with green onions and toss.