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!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Sesame Noodles


Ingredients

  • 12 ounces whole wheat spaghetti or soba noodles
  • 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
  • 3 Tablespoons Canola Oil
  • 4 whole Green Onions, Sliced Thin
  • Sesame Seeds (optional)

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 with sesame seeds

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Caprese Pasta with Grilled Chicken

Here's another great recipe from How Sweet It Is...Its just delicious!!! I love caprese salads so when I saw a pasta dish with the same name....OH YEAH!!! And I even used whole wheat noodles and tomatoes from my garden. 


Ingredients



1 pound whole wheat pasta (noodles such as penne work best)
1 cup of your favorite pasta/tomato sauce
1/3 cup heavy cream or half and half
1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese + more for garnish
4 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into cubes
1 pint of grape tomatoes (I cut some in half and left some whole)
1 bunch of fresh basil leaves
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Boil water and cook pasta according to directions.
While pasta is cooking, heat tomato sauce over low heat in a large saucepan. Once warm, stir in heavy cream and grated parmesan. Once pasta is done cooking, drain and dump into the sauce, mixing to coat and turning off heat. Fold in mozzarella cubes and tomatoes, then chop 3-4 fresh basil leaves and add them in too. Once combined, spray a baking dish with non-stick spray and pour the entire pasta mixture into the dish. Top with fresh mozzarella rounds. Bake for 25 minutes, or until cheese is golden and bubbly.
Top with additional fresh basil and grated cheese. Serve with garlic bread. You can also add in chicken, steak or seafood for some protein.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Whiskey Peach BBQ Chicken

I love The Pioneer Woman...she is fantastic! She is like the all-time best food blogger...or something like that. She just got her own show on the Food Network that premiers next weekend. Anyways, she makes some fantastic food. I browse her recipes and save them on my iPad and will cook them all at some point. I did come across a BBQ chicken recipe that caught my eye. Anysort of meat that has a whiskey sauce is great to me :-) This one was slow cooked in BBQ sauce, Jack Daniels, peach preserves, and onion. YUM!!! I did make mine with chicken thighs; however, next time I will do skinless, bone-in chicken breasts...you could also do this is a crock pot. Either way is great!


Ingredients

  • 12 whole Chicken Thighs, Bone-in, Skin-on
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1 whole Yellow Onion, Diced
  • 1-½ cup Whiskey
  • 12 ounces, fluid Barbecue Sauce
  • 1 jar Peach Preserves
  • ½ cups Water
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
  • 4 cloves Garlic, Peeled
  • 3 whole Green Onions, Sliced Thin

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Heat oil and butter in a heavy pot over medium-high heat. Place chicken thighs, four at a time, in the pot, skin side down. Brown both sides, then remove to a plate and repeat until all chicken is browned.
Pour off half the grease, then return pan to stove. Add onions to pan and stir, cooking for 2 minutes. Pour whiskey into the pot, being very careful if you’re using an open flame. Stir and scrape the bottom of the pan, allowing whiskey to reduce for a minute or two. Pour in barbecue sauce, peach preserves, water, and Worcestershire sauce. Throw in garlic cloves. Stir until combined, then return chicken to the pot, skin side up. Cover and put pot in oven.
Cook for 1 1/2 hours, then remove from oven.
Serve pieces of chicken over a big pile of smashed potatoes. Sprinkle sliced green onions over the top.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Chicken Enchiladas

I love Mexican food...its one of my favorite foods to eat! I do have a hard time making it at home and it tasting like a restaurant. I have tried many different chicken enchilada recipes and they have been good, but not great. One of my new food blogs reads, How Sweet It Is, has this recipe on their blog and I tried it the other day...GREAT!!!! Its easy and delicious. You can make a lot and freeze some to cook later or you can serve a lot of people. I doubled the recipe and made 12 enchiladas but took 8 to a friends house who had surgery. I actually made mine with whole wheat tortillas to add a little extra fiber :-)

Ingredients
1 T butter
1 can Rotel tomatoes and green chilies, drained
1 (8oz) pkg cream cheese
2 cups chopped cooked chicken
8 8" tortillas
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese (* pepperjack would be good too)
1/2 cup whipping cream

Preheat oven to 350. Spray 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray. Melt butter in large skillet, add Rotel and sauté 1 min. Stir in cream cheese and let melt. Add chicken and cook, stirring for 2 min. Spoon 2-3 tablespoons of chicken mixture down center of each tortilla. Roll up and place seam side down in baking dish. Sprinkle with cheese and drizzle cream over entire dish. Cover with foil and bake for 30 min. Take foil off and cook another 15 min or until top is golden. ENJOY!!!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Millionaire Shortbread

OMG!!!! That's really all I can say about these. Claire Robinson on the food network made these the other day and said they were addicting...she was right!!! They do take a little of time because you want to let them chill in the fridge first, but its SO worth it! Really if you think about it, anything that has shortbread, caramel, and chocolate HAS to be good. And for those who can't have regular chocolate, white chocolate could work too! I halved the recipe because I didn't need 2 pans of this sitting around (well it wouldn't be sitting around for long and then Jillian Michaels would kick my butt extra hard tomorrow)!!! Anyways, you HAVE to make this for your next dinner party or potluck or weekday dessert.

Ingredients

1 stick of cold butter, cut into pieces
1 cup flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt

1 can sweetened condensed milk (14 oz)
1 T butter

1/3 lb semi sweet or dark chocolate

Shortbread: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter or coat with cooking spray 1 (8in) square pan. Place flour, sugar, and salt in food processor and pulse once. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles peas. If you don't have a food processor, use either two knives cutting the butter into the flour or a pastry cutter. Press shortbread mixture into pan and bake until golden brown around edges, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool COMPLETELY.

Caramel: In a heavy bottom saucepan, combine milk and butter. Slowly bring the mixture to a boil and stir CONTINUOUSLY. This will burn if its too hot or you don't keep stirring...I burnt the first pan :-) Continue stirring for about 10 min or until a caramel color...it will get thicker. Spread over cooled shortbread. Cool to room temperature.

Chocolate: Melt chocolate in microwave in 30 second intervals until completely melted. Poor over caramel. Put in refrigerator and let cool completely. Cut into squares and serve at room temperature!!!

Creamy Corn Salad

Summer is known for corn, tomatoes, peaches...everything fresh! I seem to buy an abundance of fresh fruits and veggies and sometimes can't figure out what to do with them all. This was the case this week when I had tons of corn and tomatoes. Instead of snacking on chips or cookies, I would prefer something a little healthier. I decided that a cold corn salad would be good. Its super easy and can even be made with canned corn. I sort of looked at a few recipes and made it my own.

Ingredients

4 cobs of corn, cut kernels into bowl
2 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
1/4 cup mayonaise
salt and pepper to taste
1 T fresh dill (optional)

Cut kernels off of cobs and mix with remaining ingredients. You may need to add more salt and pepper after it sits for a while. I also added a splash of rice vinegar to give a little added flavor.

Parmesan Crusted Salmon

One thing that I enjoy doing is reading food blogs, food magazines, cookbooks, and anything food. I really like finding different ways to cook some of my favorite foods. How Sweet Eats is a food blog that I just recently found and they have some really fantastic recipes. This salmon recipe was fantastic, healthy, and quick...serve it up with some roasted veggies and brown rice and call it a meal. I did change up the name because I think I would use parmesan cheese versus asiago (that they used).

Ingredients

1 lb salmon
1/4 cup plain greek yogurt
1 T dried parsley (or fresh)
3 T grated parmesan cheese
1/2 T chopped garlic
1 T chopped shallot
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400

Sprinkle salmon with salt and pepper. In a bowl, mix yogurt, parsley, cheese, garlic, and shallot. Spread over top of salmon. Bake until fish flakes...about 15 min.

** Spray bottom of baking dish with cooking spray to keep salmon from sticking

Mascarpone and Lemon Gnocchi...with scallops

As you know I sort of love the Food Network!! I don't get to watch my favorite cooking shows nearly as much as I'd like due to my little loves, but occasionally I'll watch a little while they nap. I watched Giada the other day, who by the way is one of my favorite chefs, and she was making "Mascarpone and Lemon Gnocchi". I love gnocchi but I've never had the courage to make it...until now. This was a light little dumpling with a fresh lemon flavor and a mix of parmesan cheese.  The original recipe called for a sauce of olive oil and basil. I didn't think I would like that very much so I browned some butter and tossed the gnocchi in that afterwards...added a nice nutty flavor.

I decided to serve it with pan seared scallops and roasted asparagus...it was delicious. The recipe calls for quite a bit of parmesan cheese...I think next time I may cut back a little bit (I adjusted the recipe below to reflect less cheese). Don't get me wrong...I LOVE parmesan cheese, but it was almost over powering. Anyways, I hope you enjoy!!!


Ingredients
  • 1 Cup mascarpone, at room temperature (8 ounces)
  • 1 Large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 Large egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2 Large lemons, zested
  • 3/4 Cup grated Parmesan 
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 3/4 Cup all purpose flour, plus extra for forming the gnocchi
  • 1/2 Cup grated Parmesan, for serving

Directions
  1. For the gnocchi: In a large bowl, combine the mascarpone, egg, egg yolk, nutmeg, lemon zest, Parmesan, and salt. Using a hand mixer, beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Gradually beat in 3/4 cup flour until the mixture forms a soft dough.
  2. Sprinkle a pie pan or rimmed baking sheet with flour. Using 2 small spoons, drop 1 teaspoon sized pieces of dough into the pie pan. Shake the pan gently to cover the dough with flour. Gently roll the pieces of dough into oval shapes.
  3. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a simmer. In batches, carefully add the gnocchi. The gnocchi should sink and then float to the top. As soon as the gnocchi begin to float, cook for 5 to 6 minutes. Drain and place in a large serving bowl.
  4. For the sauce: In a small saucepan, brown 4 T of butter...toss gnocchi in butter before serving.
  5. Add the cheese to the gnocchi and gently toss until coated.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Coconut Curry Shrimp

 I have never made a curry dish before but saw this one on 5 Ingredient Fix (Food Network) and thought that I'd give it a try. It was delicious!!! I followed the recipe pretty much exactly except I added 2 garlic cloves, minced. You could use chicken if you don't like shrimp or have an allergy. I served it over jasmine rice and it was a very fulfilling and inexpensive dish! ENJOY!!!


Ingredients:

1 can unsweetened coconut milk
1 T fresh lime juice
1 T curry powder
2 tsp minced ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
salt and pepper to taste
lime wedges, for serving
jasmine rice

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Baked Spinach

I'm not sure where this recipe came from to be honest...I think my aunt but I'm not sure. Who cares...its FANTASTIC!!! I've served it before to people who hate spinach and they love it...I've also served it to my kids and they love it!! It's very easy and inexpensive. I've used 2 boxes of chopped spinach but I've also used 1 box of chopped spinach and 1 box of frozen creamed spinach...both turned out great. I always add a little garlic powder. ENJOY!!!

2 packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 16oz pkg small curd cottage cheese
1 egg
2 T sour cream
3 T melted butter
3/4 cup parmesan cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste
Mozzarella cheese (optional topping)

Thaw and drain spinach (make sure all water is squeezed out). Combine remaining ingredients and put in a 9X9 baking dish. If you are using cheese, sprinkle over top. Bake on 375 for 35 minutes. Let stand for 5 min after baking to set.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Drunken Pork Tenderloin

This is one of my all time favorite meals. Originally the recipe came from Atkins Park Tavern in Vickery; however, they closed down and published their recipe.  Waylin and I had our rehearsal dinner here and this was one of the favorites!!!! I still serve it just like they did with cheese grits and steamed broccoli. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do :-)

Ingredients
  • 3/4 Cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 Cup Bourbon
  • 1/2 Cup teriyaki sauce
  • 1/2 Cup teriyaki glaze
  • 1/2 Cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 3/4 Cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3 shallots, minced
  • 1/2 Cup heavy cream
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary
  • 1 1/2 lb pork tenderloin, cleaned, cut into 1/2 inch piece, pounded out to 1/4 inch
  • 1 Tbsp Olive oil

Directions
  1. Mix chicken broth, teriyaki glaze and sauce, rosemary, shallot, bourbon, brown sugar, and soy sauce until incorporated. Place olive oil in sauté pan on medium high heat. Carefully place pork slices in oil for one minute. Turn. Cook one minute. Add sauce mixture to pan, reduce for two minutes. Add cream and reduce for one minute. Remove pork to serving dish or plate and pour sauce over. * Serve with grits

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Linguine with scallops, tomatoes, and fresh basil


Kroger was having a sale on bay scallops so I picked some up not knowing what I'd do with them. On the back of the package there was a recipe that sounded good...I tweaked it a little. The final dish had a slight hint of seafood from the scallops and was very fresh because of the lemon, tomato, and basil. It was great!

Ingredients
1 lb bay scallops (small scallops)
2 T garlic with sun dried tomato (Publix sells this in the fresh produce section)
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup white wine
3 T salted butter
2 small tomatoes, diced
1/2 lb linguine, cooked

Sauté scallops in garlic and 1 T olive oil. After 2 min add the juice of the lemon, wine, and butter. Once scallops are cooked and sauce is reduced, about 3 min, add tomatoes and cooked pasta. Mix until heated through. Serve with chopped basil and Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!!!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Fresh Lime Margarita

Fresh Lime Margarita
1 1/2 cups gold tequila
3/4 cup Triple Sec
3/4 cup fresh lime juice
4 tablespoons sugar
8 cups crushed ice
2 tablespoons kosher salt
6 lime wedges

Combine tequila, triple sec, lime juice, and 2 tablespoons sugar in large pitcher; stir to dissolve sugar. Add crushed ice. Mix salt and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar in shallow bowl. Moisten rim of 6 Margarita glasses with lime wedge. Holding each glass upside down, dip rim into sugar-salt mixture. Pour Margarita into glasses. Garnish with lime wedges.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Herb Roasted Chicken with a Mushroom Cream Sauce

So yummy!!!! This is something that I derived from about 4 different recipes and made it into one...its easy! I actually used a whole chicken but it would be easier to use SKIN ON and BONE IN chicken breasts. You want to put the herbs between the skin and the breast meat to really give the chicken some flavor. I had all of these herbs in my garden but use what you like. I had a lot of yellow squash that I needed to make so I made a squash casserole to serve along side and some yummy bread. Its a crowd pleaser...you could make this for a dinner party as well and it would be a hit.

Ingredients
1 whole fryer chicken OR 4 skin on, bone in chicken breasts
1 T chopped rosemary
1T chopped thyme
1T chopped basil
1T chopped parsley
2 t olive oil
1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper
1 pint of mushrooms
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 cup cream
2 T dijon mustard
1/2 T chopped tarragon (optional)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Rinse and pat dry chicken. Separate the skin from the meat by working your fingers under the skin until you've created a pocket to put herbs. In a small bowl mix herbs together with oil, salt, and pepper. Put herb mixture under the skin and spread around on the meat so its distributed evenly. Put some vegetable oil on top of chicken and sprinkle with salt and pepper (the oil will help crisp up the skin). Place on baking sheet and in the oven for about 40 min or until done.
Remove chicken from oven and let rest for 10 minutes (so you let all of the juices redistribute throughout the meat). While the chicken is resting put 1 T butter in saucepan with mushrooms. Cook mushrooms about 8 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed and mushrooms are starting to brown. Add wine and mustard and stir for 1 min. Add cream and let thicken for about 3 minutes. Add tarragon right before removing from heat. Serve mushroom cream sauce over chicken. ENJOY!!!!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Gnocchi with Sausage and Spinach

I know its been over a month since I've posted a new recipe...sorry about that. April was quite a busy month with vacation, Easter, and lovely weather. I have been cooking and making all sort of new recipes. I want to share this one with you that I made last week. It was great! If you aren't a fan of gnocchi you can use any pasta as well...rigatoni would be great. I also added much more spinach than the recipe calls for. I used 2 bags of spinach since I love it! Go easy on the salt...between the sausage and Parm thats plenty. Add a kick by using some hot sausage, if you like that sort of thing. Anyways, this recipe came from Real Simple magazine. ENJOY!!!!




Ingredients
  • 2 9 ounce refrigerated gnocchi or one 17.5 ounce package shelf stable gnocchi
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 Medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 pound Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 5 ounce bag baby spinach
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3/4 Cup (3 ounces) grated Parmesan, plus more for garnishing

Directions
  1. Cook the gnocchi according to the package directions, reserving 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the sausage and cook, crumbling it with a spoon, until browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic, spinach, salt, and pepper and cook, tossing frequently, until the spinach wilts, about 3 minutes. Add the drained gnocchi, the reserved cooking liquid, and the Parmesan and toss. Divide among individual bowls and sprinkle with additional Parmesan.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Spinach and Black Bean Lasagna

I have made this a couple of times now and it is great every time. Even though there is no meat in the dish, the black beans act as the protein and do a very good job. I've made it with and without the cilantro and really I couldn't tell a difference. It takes a  little bit of time to prepare, but well worth it! I hope you enjoy! 



Ingredients

  • 2  large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1  (15-ounce) container ricotta cheese
  • 1  (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained
  • 1/4  cup  chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
  • 4  cups  (16 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese with peppers, divided
  • 2  (16-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1  (2-pound, 13-ounce) jar pasta sauce
  • 1/2  teaspoon  ground cumin
  • 9  precooked lasagna noodles
  • Garnish: chopped fresh cilantro

Preparation

Stir together first 5 ingredients and 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese; set aside.
Mash beans with a potato masher or fork in a large bowl; stir in pasta sauce and cumin. Spread one-third of bean mixture on bottom of a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish.
Layer with 3 noodles, half of spinach mixture, and 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese; repeat layers. Spread with one-third bean mixture; top with remaining 3 noodles and remaining bean mixture.
Bake, covered, at 350° for 1 hour; uncover and top with remaining Monterey Jack cheese. Bake 5 more minutes or until cheese melts. Garnish, if desired.

** Recipe and picture from Southern Living magazi