Friday, October 31, 2008

Potato Soup

This recipe was givin to me by my lovely and beautiful cousin Loren from Tennessee.

This is her...isn't she sooo cute!

There are two food groups that I absolutely love...Cookies and Soup! (I'll love brownies more if Rookie Cookie sends me free brownies). Everyone loved this. It was super easy and I threw it all in the crockpot and left it. 8-10 hours later we were eating yummy Potato Soup.

Potato Soup
8 cups coarsely chopped & peeled potatoes
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 bacon crisped, drained and crumbled
1 8oz pkg cream cheese, softened
3 14.5 oz cans low-sodium chicken broth, I use the big cartons so 1 & 1/2 of the big cartons.
1 10.75 oz can cream of chicken soup
1/4 tsp pepper

In a 4qt or bigger crock pot, stir together the potatoes and onions. Stir in bacon. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese, chicken broth, cream of chicken soup, and the pepper. Add the mixture to the crock pot.
Cover and cook the soup on low heat for 8-10 hours or on high heat for 4-5 hours. Once done, take a masher and mash up the potatoes a gives it a thicker consistency. I don't use any salt while I'm cooking and just add it later. This one you have to add ALOT of salt too because there are so many poatotes in it, it just sucks up the salt.
Makes 8 servings.


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Strip Show (Buffalo Style)

Got this recipe from the Rachael Ray magazine. I never was a fan of hers...all the EVOO's and YUM-O's got on my nerves, but of course, I totally use her lingo now. I'm such a follower. You have to get her has great stuff in it.

Buffalo Style Chicken Strips

Boneless Skinless Chicken Tenderloins
Salt and Pepper
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Melted Butter
Hot Pepper sauce
Blue Cheese

Preheat oven to 425. Mix breadcrumbs, salt and pepper in a bowl. Beat eggs in a seperate bowl. Coat chicken in the crumbs, then in the egg, then back in the crumbs.

If you can't tell, that's Sydney hand...she helped me make this. In fact, she pretty much did it all. I love that she likes to cook.

In a hot skillet, cook the chicken in the olive oil turning once, until golden, about 5 minutes.

Transfer chicken to a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes.

Combine butter and hot sauce

Drizzle the spicy sauce over the chicken and top with crumbled blue cheese. Serve with celery sticks.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Mediterranean Turkey Meatball Pita

We got this recipe from a Cooking Light magazine over 10 years ago. We love easy. I have in the past made my own Tzatziki sauce but Trader Joe's sells a version that is just as good...easy...and cheap.

Turkey Meatball Pita

1 1/4 pounds Ground Turkey Breast
1/4 cup finely diced onion
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried parsley
1 clove minced garlic
1 tsp dill (optional)
1 tsp lemon juice (optional)

3 pita breads, cut in half (other mediterranean flat bread or Nani Bread)

Homemade Tzatziki sauce:
1/2 cup nonfat plain yogurt or greek yogurt
1/2 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and finely chopped
2 tsp fresh dill
1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/8 tsp black pepper

Combine turkey meatball ingredients, mix well. Shape into balls. Using non-stick skillet coated with non-stick cooking spray or a little olive oil, cook meatballs about 10 minutes or until brown and no longer pink in the center. Combine sauce ingredients if making home made.

I also like to add hummus on mine as well. The spicy hummus sauce at Trader Joe's is divine!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Chevre Chaud by Crystal Leitner

Crystal wrote:

Okay, so I'm not even really sure what a tartlet is, but it just sounds fancy... so I was inspired, well not inspired more like wanting to reproduce the feta cheese w/caramelized onions that they sell at Trader Joe's. This is so easy to make and makes great hor dourves for guests.

So here is my recipe for Goat Cheese Tartlets.

Carmelized Onions
1 large onion
Olive Oil
Brown sugar
White sugar
Balsamic Vinegar

1 box of Pastry Sheets (They sell these at in the frozen section of Trader Joe's or any grocery store).
Your favorite type of Goat Cheese
Mini muffin pan
Cookie Cutter (optional)

Okay first cook the caramelized onions, this takes a bit of time because you need to let them cook slowly. You can also do this ahead of time and refridgerate.

Slice your onions into thin rings.

To a small saute pan add butter & olive oil. Melt the butter on low heat.
Add your onions, some white sugar and brown sugar, just add a little you can always add more if it's not sweet enough. Let the onions cook down slowly. When they are cooked down, add about a tablespoon of good balsamic vinegar. Cook down the onions more until there is no liquid and the edges are beggining to caramelize.

Once that happens, they are done.

To prepare the tartlets: Heat oven according to the pastry dough directions.Prepare your pastry dough on a flat surface. I use a zig-zagged edged cookie cutter to cut out the shapes, (you can also cut out squares if you do not have a cookie cutter).

Place the pastry individually into the mini muffin pan. Push down the center so they make little cups.

Add goat cheese to each cup and top it off with the caramalized onions.

Bake for about 10-15 minutes until they are puffed golden brown! Eat them while they are warm!

(Thanks Crystal for your recipe!)

BTW, these were served at a baby shower not too long ago and they were a hit, they are fun to make and fun to eat.

Monday, October 27, 2008

gavin's yummy and good for you VitaShake

My son Gavin loves these. I'm glad he does. I notice that they really help him focus and I know that he's getting great nutrition from the whole food that Sunrider provides. I created this recipe for him years ago and to this day he still loves it. My kids will actually pick a shake over any other's a mom's dream. Try this out...I'm sure you'll love it.

Chocolate Vanilla Vitashake

1 cup vanilla rice milk
1 package cocoa vitashake
1 package quinary
5 squirts of sunnecter or sunny dew
1 frozen banana

Place all ingredients in blender and churn until everything is blended well. If you decide to add ice, then use a fresh banana, not frozen or you will have to eat it with a spoon.

Jaime's notes: I love to freeze bananas...we use them for everything. Rule of thumb-peel them before you freeze them. The peel is a nightmare to get off once the banana is frozen.

I love to pour my shake into a tall clear glass. I just love all drinks in clear glasses...there's just something about it.

The boys like theirs in a little cup with a lid and a straw. I love these ones I got from the zoo. Perfect size.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Kim's Favorite Turkey Burgers w/ Tomato Cucumber Salad

I got this recipe out of the cookbook that my sister-in-law Kim headed up. It's entitled May I Have Your Recipe? It's a collection of family and friends' recipes. I love it and have it open on my counter every single day. This recipe is Kim's recipe and it's called "My Favorite Turkey Burger". We loved it. It was super yummy and really easy. I served it with a tomato cucumber salad. I got this recipe from the blog Dish on Delish (which I think she got it from the blog Rookie Cookie). Try both these recipes was all so yummy and good for you.

Side Note: I told Luke that it was a giant meatball and he was excited to eat the giant meatball. I just cut it up for him and Dylan. They gobbled it up.

3/4 lb ground skinless turkey breast

2 scallions or 1/2 onion, minced (I used green onions)

1 t soy sauce

1 t ketchup

1/4 t garlic powder

4 whole wheat hamburger buns, split and toasted

Combine the first 6 ingredients in a large bowl. Form into burgers. Grill until cooked thru, about 7 minutes each side. Easy to cook on stovetop, as well.

I added lettuce, tomato, avocado and turkey bacon. I also added a dollop of barbecue sauce....pretty tasty. You can also add cheese if you like.

Tomato Cucumber Salad

This is pretty much a free for all. You can put anything you like in this. Tonight I added tomato, cucumber, fresh basil and after I took the pic, I decided at the last minute to add mozzarella. (Hint: cut up string cheese into bite size pieces...very easy).

Then add a splash of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, rice wine vinegar, oregano, sea salt and crushed black pepper. Serve chilled. Pretty easy! I might add red onion next time.

I got that fresh organic basil plant at Fresh and Easy...2.99...I use it all the time.

Just pluck off the leaves as you need them.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Easy and Yummy Banana Muffins

Look at the film on my coffee...I guess that would be the toxins from the creamer I put in my coffee that Matt always talks about. Sorry Matt, not ready to give up my toxins...just yet.

So Tina stayed the night and I made her homemade banana muffins this morning. This recipe was given to me by Tammy Lyttle. It was soooo easy and so yummy. In two of the muffins, I added strawberries (you can see the strawberry in the muffin that is cut up) ...holy moly...YUMMY!

I even made mini muffins for the little boys.

Banana Loaf/Muffin Recipe

Geez, that vanilla bottle looks gross.

1 cup butter (it called for margarine..but I'm not a fan)
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
6 large ripe bananas (I only had worked)
splash of milk
1 t vanilla
4 cups flour
2 t baking soda
pinch of salt
nuts (optional...i didn't add them as dylan can't have them)

Cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs, smashed bananas, milk and vanilla...mix well. Add flour, baking soda and salt. Bake in a preheated oven at 300 deg. I had to guess on the time because it didn't say on the recipe...(thanks Tammy!)...the mini muffins, I baked for 22 minutes but they were a little on the brown side so I would probably say around 20 minutes. The larger muffins I baked for 35 minutes. They turned out perfect. Add strawberries to the batter for strawberry banana muffins...Good God, they were awesome!

I know Dylan loved them!

Friday, October 24, 2008

sisters will play while family's away

So my whole family (other than Tina) is in Mexico. Tina and I were feeling a little left out so I invited her over for dinner. I looked to see what might sound good in my pantry or refrigerator and I had just bought some pesto from Fresh and Easy so I thought I would make her a chicken pesto pasta dish. (side note: I got this pesto for 2 bucks and change...and it wasn't even great is that!). I looked around on the blogs and found a few I liked but I doctored this one up to my I think I can offically say this is my first recipe that I "created". Of course I used store bought pesto...I haven't ventured out and made homemade pesto yet....but I will...someday. Also, I realized a little later that I hadn't planned for dessert so I checked the ole trusty pantry again. I found a box of brownies. Let me tell you, there are few things in this life that are just beyond Divine...and a box of brownies is one them. I hate homemade from scratch brownies. I think they're gross...they are thick and dense and you can never get the chocolate right. And for less than 2 bucks and 28-30 minutes later, you are devouring yummy gooey brownies. Well I wanted to try something different and on the side of the box was this recipe for Peanut Butter Brownies...I think they called them Ball Park Brownies or something...eewwww, sounds like a hot dog. I thought I would try it out. YUMMY! This was definitely semi-homemade cooking at its finest. They were delish and remember, only serve brownies with real vanilla bean ice cream. Oh, and before I forget, I also decided to make these little parmesan crisps that I had saw on another blog, as well. They were so easy and sooooo yummy! You gotta make ''ll be hooked. So here's my dinner tonight...Chicken Penne with Cream Pesto Sauce, Ceasar Salad with Parmesan Crisps, Naan Bread (love this stuff) and Peanut Butter Brownies with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream...bon appetite!

Chicken Penne Pesto

Cheap, huh???

Homemade Pesto or Store Bought
Half pint of heavy cream
1 cup peas (I use frozen)
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 cup sun dried tomatoes
2 large grilled chicken breast sliced
1 lb penne pasta
Boil pasta according to directions on package
Grill your chicken (we love to marinade our chicken in either Newman's Own or Bernsteins Italian dressing with the juice of one's the best marinade ever), when chicken is done, thinly slice and set aside.
In large skillet on medium heat simmer pesto and heavy cream for 5 minutes
Add peas, mushrooms and sun dried tomatoes. Let simmer for about 15 minutes until peas and mushrooms are cooked thru. Add chicken and mix around until well coated.
Serve the pesto mixture of the penne pasta.

Parmesan Crisps

Spray cookie sheet with oil. Make little grated parmesan piles all over cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 8 minutes. Youl could eat these things like chips...they are so good. Excuse the rust marks on my cookie sheet, I need to get to IKEA and get me some more...they have the absolute best cookie sheets.

Naan Bread
(Very addicting...get em at Trader Joe's...frozen or fresh)

Brush with melted butter and place in 350 degree oven and heat thru...about 10 minutes

Peanut Butter Brownies

1 package of Brownies...any kind will do...I really like Betty Crocker but Duncan Hines was on sale
1/2 cup oil (I use canola)
2 eggs
Mix the brownie mix together...set aside

3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/3 cup butter (it called for margarine..but I'm not a fan)
1/3 cup sugar
2 T flour
2 eggs
Beat together peanut butter and butter. Add sugar and flour, mix well. Add eggs, mix well.
Grease a 13x9 pan. Pour half the brownie mix into the pan, then spread the peanut butter mixture over the top. This was kinda hard and mine sorta got swirled in.

Then add the remaining brownie mixture. Cook in a 350 deg preheated oven for 30 minutes.

Even Scott and Luke enjoyed the meal!

How do you plan your meals for the week?

How do you plan your weekly meals? I love to watch the Food Network and I love getting awesome recipes from their website and I usually try at least 1-2 new recipes a week. Sometimes, however, I have absolutely no idea what to put on my grocery list (I guess this is why Jaime and I created this blog). So, from mom to mom, or wife to wife, how do you do it? Please feel free to share your ideas on getting your grocery list going.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Homemade Tomato Soup

So today I'm in my pantry putt-in around trying to find something to make...soup preferably (not feeling to hot today). I figure out that I have all the right ingredients for a tomato soup recipe I found at Rookie Cookie blog (by the way, I love that blog). There are a few things I would might try differently next time...I might add something to it to make it spicy or I could add some sun dried tomatoes in there as well, to give it more chewy and chunky bits. This soup is absolutely delicious and very healthy.

1 (14-ounce) can chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 stalk celery, diced
1 small carrot, diced
1 yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chicken broth
1 bay leaf
2 T butter
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Strain the chopped canned tomatoes, RESERVING THE JUICES, and spread onto a baking sheet, season with salt and pepper, to taste, drizzle with 1/8 to 1/4 cup of olive oil and roast until caramelized, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a saucepan, heat remaining olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the celery, carrot, onion and garlic, cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the roasted chopped canned tomatoes, reserved tomato juices, chicken broth, bay leaf and butter. Simmer until vegetables are very tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Add basil. Once it's done, wait about 5 minutes. Pour into a blender (or use a handheld immersion blender) and puree until smooth.

Jen's Chicken Florentine w/ Bow Tie Pasta

Here is my recipe for Chicken Florentine, it's delicous and perfect for the upcoming chilly nights because it fills your home with such amazing fragrances from the chicken and spinach and curry. It has a great blend of spices and condiments that you should already have in your home. If you don't have the ingredients, please feel free to use "store brand items", I do and it works out fine!

Another great tip is when making this, go to the Dollar Store and buy aluminum
cooking pans with lids, makes clean up a breeze and also, you can make two servings, eat one for dinner and freeze the other for a meeting night, etc.

2 packages of frozen spinach
4 large chicken breasts, cook and shred (keep the broth)
2 cans of GOOD cream of mushroom soup
1 cup of MAYO
1 cup of Sour Cream (Albertsons brand)
2 cups of grated sharp Cheddar Cheese
2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice (I buy one lemon to make the juice)
1 teapsoon of curry powder
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup of chicken broth (I use the broth from the chicken I cook)
1/2 cup of parmesan cheese
1/2 cup of bread crumbs (Albertsons brand)
butter (Albertsons brand)
bowtie pasta or your favorite pasta

I start by cooking the chicken breast until done and then after cooling, shred the chicken.

Take your spinach and microwave on full power for 2 minutes, until thawed. Drain the spinach and put into a large bowl. If you don't have a cheese cloth to drain the extra liquids from the spinach, use a small clean towel to drain.

In a medium bowl, combine the soup, mayonnaise, sour cream, cheddar cheese, lemon juice, curry powder, salt and pepper, to taste, and broth. Mix together to make a thick sauce. Pour the sauce over the spinach and chicken. Now mix all ingredients together.

Place the mixture into a casserole dish or 2 (9-inch) square disposable aluminum foil pans that have been sprayed with vegetable oil cooking spray. Pat down evenly and smooth with a spatula. Combine the Parmesan and bread crumbs and sprinkle over the top. Dot with the butter.

Cook at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until bubbly.
While dish is cooking, cook your bow tie pasta or favorite pasta to eat with the Florentine.

Dinner Recipes