About Me

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I am a stay at home mother of two young children and love making healthy meals for my family! I love fitness, playing tennis, cooking and traveling. Most of all I love spending time with my family!!! I hope you enjoy making these recipes for your family as well!!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Tortellini and Smoked Sausage Soup

Well Fall has officially shown its pretty face around here!! The trees are all sorts of beautiful colors, the college football season is over halfway done, and the weather has gotten cold. There's nothing better than a hot bowl of soup on a cold Fall day. I've always liked minestrone soup but wanted a different type of soup with veggies. This is a recipe for a tortellini and smoked sausage soup which is just delicious...and the best part is that per 1 cup serving its only about 190 calories!!! I used turkey smoked sausage and cheese tortellini which helped to keep down calories. You should try this over the next few cold months to warm your soul!!

2 cans Italian diced tomatoes
1 10.5 oz French Onion Soup
1 14 oz can green beans, drained
1 14 oz can beef broth
3 cans of water (I used the beef broth can)
1 T minced garlic
1 pkg turkey smoked sausage, cut into small bite-size pieces
1 bag frozen cheese tortellini
Baby spinach, optional
Parmesan cheese

In a large stockpot put first 8 ingredients. Bring to a simmer and let cook for 15 min. Add tortellini and let cook until pasta is floating. Remove from heat. Place baby spinach into bowl and ladle soup over. The heat will wilt the leaves. Garnish with Parmesan Cheese!

Friday, November 2, 2012

French Onion Soup

French Onion Soup is one of my favorites!! Its just so warming and delicious...I just love it! Some people think it may be hard to make but its actually very easy. The only 'difficult' part could be the slow cookng of the onions which is just time consuming (about 30 min). Other than that...super easy! I hope you try this for your family during these cold months...I know I'll make it more than a few times. ENJOY!!

4 large sweet onions, thinly sliced
2 T butter
2 T olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme (or use 1 T fresh thyme)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 boxes of beef broth
1/4 cup white wine
1 bay leaf
4 slices of swiss cheese
French Bread, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds and toasted (optional to toast)

In a large stock pot melt the butter and oil together. Add the onions, salt, and thyme. Cook over medium low heat for about 30 minutes, stirring occassionally. You want the onions to become very soft and translucent...starting to get a nice golden color. Once your onions are cooked add the wine. Let that simmer for 2 minutes and then add both containers of beef broth and the bay leaf. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Ladle soup into a oven safe bowl. Top with 2 slices of bread and 1 slice of cheese. Put under the broiler of your oven to melt the cheese. Now you are ready to serve!!
  • Tuesday, October 23, 2012

    Brown Sugar and Mustard Glazed Salmon

    Its been a while since I've had salmon...that's weird because everyone in my family loves it (including my 2 and 4 year old)! I picked some up at the store the other day and wasn't sure what I wanted to do with it. I checked in my pantry to see what I had and figured a brown sugar/mustard glaze would be perfect! I've made this many times and its great...served with some grits and a vegetable. Heres what I did...I hope you enjoy!


    1 large filet of salmon (about 1 pound)
    3 T brown sugar
    1 T honey
    2 T butter
    2 T dijon mustard
    2 T soy sauce
    2 T oil
    1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

    Heat broiler to high. In a saucepan mix brown sugar, honey, and butter. Melt and let simmer for only 1 minute just to get the sugar melted. Remove from heat and whisk in mustard, soy sauce, oil, and ginger. Let cool. Place salmon on a aluminum foil covered baking sheet. Brush salmon with sauce and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place under the broiler. After about 3 minutes brush more sauce over salmon. You want to keep an eye on the salmon so it doesn't burn (due to the sugar). You need to broil it for about 6 minutes or until salmon flakes easily. You can drizzle a little more sauce over the top before serving. Enjoy!!!

    Image from Creative Culinary (once I cut my salmon it fell apart so it wasnt photo worthy :)

    Spaghetti Squash with Basil and Parmesan

    I get so tired of making the same side/veggies for my family. I love trying new things! This is a recipe that I came up with because I love the flavor of basil and I know that spaghetti squash has a very mild squash flavor. I hope you enjoy!!

    1 spaghetti squash
    Olive oil/salt/pepper...just enough to sprinkle over squash
    2 T butter
    1 T pesto
    1/4 cup parmesan cheese

    Preheat oven to 425.

    Microwave spaghetti squash for 1 minute. Cut top and bottom off and then cut spaghetti squash in half. Remove seeds from inside squash. Place cut side up on a baking dish and sprinkle with olive oil/salt/pepper. Roast in oven for 20 minutes.

    When you remove squash from the oven let sit to cool off so you can handle. Meanwhile melt butter in saucepan and add pesto. Cook for about 2 minutes over medium heat. Scrap the insides of the squash into the spaghetti like strings...add to saucepan. Saute squash with the butter and pesto. Add parmesan cheese. Serve with parsley!

    Friday, October 19, 2012

    Balsamic Pork with Spaghetti Squash

    This was an unplanned meal...sort of. I went to the grocery store around noon because I knew I didn't have anything for dinner and saw a nice pork loin. I grabbed it and headed home. Around 3 I realized I had no idea what to do with it so I started searching (like I typically do). Pork loin is best when slow cooked so its not tough. I searched slow cooker pork loin and found one that sounded pretty good...I gave it a shot with my own twists. I served it with roasted potatoes and spaghetti squash...it was a hit!

    1 pork loin
    3/4 cup brown sugar
    1 T balsamic vinegar
    1 teaspoon dijon mustard
    1 teaspoon cinnamon
    1/2 teaspoon S&P
    Apple cider or apple juice


    In a small bowl combine the sugar, vinegar, mustard, cinnamon and salt/pepper. Spray your slow cooker with cooking spray. Rub the pork loin with sugar/vinegar mixture. Set in a cold slow cooker and pour 1 cup cider around pork. Set your slow cooker on high for 4 hours. After the 4 hours, I wanted to carmelize the sugars on the pork to add a nice crunch to the outside. I set it under the broiler for just a few minutes until crisp.

    In a saucepan pour 1 cup apple cider/juice and simmer for about 10 minutes or until thickened/reduced. Add a little cinnamon and salt. Serve over pork.

    Gnocchi with Chicken, Marinara, and Ricotta

    I was a little hesitant about this recipe because I don't overly LOVE ricotta cheese...its ok in small amounts but not like a whole mouthful...blah! I did change the original up and added roasted chicken and mozzarella cheese. It turned out super fabulous and was fairy quick. I did roast the chicken while the gnocchi were cooking and then just a short time under the broiler to get the brown crunchy cheese....OMG SO GOOD!!!! I love brown crunchy cheese...not so much the name of it but the taste is yum. Here you go and hope you enjoy!

    1 package of gnocchi (either whole wheat or regular), cooked in salted water until they float
    2 roasted chicken breast (seasoned with S&P, olive oil and roasted at 375 for 20 min)
    1/2 jar your favorite marinara sauce
    1/2 16 oz container ricotta cheese (you can use part skim to reduce calories)
    4 slices mozzarella cheese


    Preheat broiler.

    Once gnocchi are cooked spread them on the bottom of a greases 8x8 baking dish. In a mixing bowl combine the ricotta cheese and marinara sauce. Spread mixture over gnocchi. Sprinkle with special seasoning (salt, pepper, and garlic powder) and parmesan cheese. Place the slices of cheese over the top. Put under broiler and watch until cheese is golden. WATCH because it can burn quickly. ENJOY!!!!

    Monday, October 15, 2012

    Turkey Sausage with White Beans and Spinach

    Italian Sausage with White Beans and Spinach

    This may sound like an odd combo and the picture really doesn't do it justice but this was SUPER TASTY!!! The spiciness of the sausage with the creaminess of the white beans served over wilted spinach...healthy AND inexpensive! My kids even ate it and liked it. Its packed full of protein and vitamins from the spinach and red peppers. I actually served min over a little bit of bowtie pasta but thats totally an option. I hope you try this soon!

    1 package mild Italian turkey sausage
    1 roasted red pepper (in the jar), diced
    1 shallot, minced
    1 clove garlic, minced
    1 can white cannellini beans (or great northern beans)
    1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
    1/4 cup evaporated milk
    1/4 cup chicken broth
    Fresh spinach
    Pasta of your choice (optional...I chose bowtie but penne would be good too), cooked

    In a large saucepan, saute shallot and garlic for only about 2 minutes. Add sausage (remove casing) and cook until no longer pink. Drain. In same saucepan add sausage/onion/garlic back to pan and add red pepper, beans, cheese, milk, and broth. Heat through for about 4 minutes and sauce is thickened. Serve over a bed of fresh spinach and pasta and the heat will wilt the spinach just enough!!