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!!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Gnocchi with Roasted Shrimp, Asparagus, and Pesto

I made this last night from a recipe from Cooking Light. It was very easy and quick...and delicious!! It fed 4 adults and cost less than $10. I hope you enjoy and would love your feedback.

2 quarts plus 1 tablespoon water, divided
1 package (16 ounce) vacuum packed gnocchi (such as Vigo)
4 Cups (1 inch) slices asparagus (about 1 pound)
1 pound peeled and deveined large shrimp
2 T Pesto
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 425. Place asparagus on baking sheet with olive oil and salt and pepper...roast for about 15 min. Add shrimp to baking sheet with asparagus; cook 5 more minutes or until shrimp are done. While shrimp and asparagus are roasting, bring 2 quarts water to a boil in a Dutch oven. Add gnocchi to pot; cook 4 minutes or until done (gnocchi will rise to surface). Remove gnocchi with a slotted spoon; place in a large bowl.  Add shrimp and asparagus to gnocchi. Add salt to taste and add pesto and cheese to shrimp mixture; toss to coat. Serve immediately.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Citrus Chicken Salad

I love simple salads...all throughout the year. This really seems like a summer salad but with the warmer weather this weekend, I thought it would be perfect! Its simple and quick to put together and taste great. This came directly from the Publix Apron Meals. The total cost was about $10 (the black sesame seeds cost about $3, but we will use those in another recipe so the cost spreads out). This is great with a good french bread. I hope you enjoy and would love your feedback!

2–3 grapefruit
1/2 cup lemon curd
1 teaspoon black sesame seeds (optional)
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (1 3/4 lb) 
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 tablespoons water
1/2 of a (4–5-oz) bag spring mix salad blend

  • Cut grapefruit in half; remove grapefruit sections.
  • Squeeze the grapefruit membranes for juice (about 1 1/3 cups).
  1. Whisk lemon curd into grapefruit juice until smooth; whisk in sesame seeds and garlic.
  2. Preheat large sauté pan on medium-high 2–3 minutes. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Place oil in pan then add chicken (wash hands); cook 3–4 minutes on each side or until browned.
  3. Reduce heat on chicken to medium. Add 2 tablespoons water; cover and cook 4–5 minutes or until 165°F.
  4. Arrange spring mix on serving platter. Slice chicken; arrange grapefruit and chicken over spring mix. Drizzle with dressing and serve.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Week 3 Menu and shopping list

I wasn't a huge fan of the items on sale at Publix or Kroger this week, but I did end up finding some amazing recipes that I'm very excited to try. Like I do each week I cook a different protein each night...I get tired of the same ole' same ole'...ya know? Some of the recipes are a staple in my kitchen and a few are brand new. The shrimp and asparagus were both on sale this week at Publix as were the bacon and muchrooms for the quiche. All of the other proteins were on sale as well...I kept my weekly groceries under $100 and I got a lot of other items that aren't part of the dinner menu!! I hope you enjoy these as much as we do!!

Gnocchi with Roasted Shrimp, Asparagus, and Pesto
Pork Tenderloin on Cornmeal Biscuits (w/cranberry chutney)
Bacon and Mushroom Quiche
Chicken Sate with Peanut Sauce
Winter Chili

Shopping List
Asparagus (one bunch)
Onion (2 small)
1 lime
Evaporated Milk
2 cans kidney beans
2 large cans of diced tomatoes
1 packet of chili seasoning
1 can whole berry cranberry sauce
1 lg can crushed pineapple
Gnocchi (typically on the pasta isle)
Jiffy cornbread mix
jar of pesto
long skewers for chicken sate
swiss cheese
toppings for chili: cheddar cheese, sour cream, chips
1 pound shrimp
pork tenderloin
chicken cutlets
ground beef
brown sugar
soy sauce
ground ginger
peanut butter
4 eggs

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Tilapia with Lemon Herb Butter

One of my favorite things to do to certain proteins and breads is make a compound butter to liven up the meal. A good cinnamon butter or vanilla honey butter on bread and Pesto butter Or lemon herb butter on fish and grilled chicken. This is an easy fix to add tons of flavor. This is a very simple, healthy (despite butter being on it), and inexpensive meal...costing about $9. I served this with rice and steamed broccoli. It's one my recipes that I put together.

4 (6 oz.) tilapia fillets
4 all purpose flour for dusting
1/2 butter, softened (1/2 stick)
1 cloves garlic, minced
1 Lemon, use half of juice and all of zest
1 Tbsp minced chives
2 Tbsps chopped fresh parsley
2 salt and pepper
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard

Soften butter. Add lemon juice of half of a large lemon, all the zest, garlic, parsley, chives, mustard, salt, and pepper. Mix well...I put mine in a food processor but you can finely mince everything and stir. Put in dish and put back into refrigerator. Salt and pepper tilapia filet. Dust with flour and pan sear over medium heat in 1 T butter and 1 T olive oil until golden brown on both sides (about 3-4 min on each). Remove from pan to serving plate and put Lemon Herb Butter on top (about 1 T) immediately. You can serve this with rice, grits, potatoes...your choice.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Beef in a red wine sauce

Here is a great weeknight meal for those busy working moms. Throw it in the crockpot in the morning and it'll be ready when you get home. If you were making this on the weekend or had some extra time you can sear the meat in a hot skillet before putting it in the crockpot, but you can skip that if you'd like.I found this recipe in Southern Living magazine. Like most of my dinners, this too cost about $12. Enjoy!!!


3 pounds boneless beef chuck roast, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 Medium onion, sliced
1 pound fresh mushrooms, halved
1 package (1.61 ounce) brown gravy mix
1 (10 1/2 ounce) can beef broth
1 Cup red wine
2 tablespoon tomato paste
1 bay leaf
Hot cooked egg noodles or rice
Garnish: chopped fresh parsley

Place first 3 ingredients in a 6 quart slow cooker.
Whisk together gravy mix and next 3 ingredients; pour evenly over beef and vegetables. Add bay leaf.
Cover and cook on HIGH 6 hours. Remove and discard bay leaf. Serve over noodles. Garnish, if desired

Monday, January 24, 2011

Cider Pork Chops with Sauteed Apples

You may realize that this recipe was originally called "Cider Brined..." Well I made it over the weekend and really could not tell any difference in flavor from the brine. I actually just adds extra time and steps so I changed it up a bit. You still sear the pork chops and then make a sauce out of apple cider, mustard, and a few other things...drizzle that over the pork chops with the sautéed apples. I served mine with Pepper Jack Grits (bc I needed to get rid of the cheese) but stuffing, roasted sweet potatoes, or rice would all be tasty too. This recipe served 6 (1 chop per person) and cost about

3/4 cups apple cider
6 bone in pork chops, each 3/4 to 1 in. thick
3 tablespoon butter
3/4 Cup chicken stock
2 tablespoon whole grain mustard
1 Cup Sour cream
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 Apples, granny smith
2 Tbsps light brown sugar
1 Tsp apple cider vinegar

Melt 2 tbsp. butter in a large frying pan over medium high heat. Add pork chops (you may need to do this in 2 batches) and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, or until well browned. Flip chops and cook another 3 to 4 minutes, until fully cooked. Place on an oven proof plate and put in a 200 degree oven to keep warm.
3. Meanwhile, pour 3/4 cup cider into the hot frying pan, scraping pan with a wooden spoon to dislodge browned bits. Add the chicken stock, turn the heat to high, and boil until liquid is reduced to about 1/2 cup, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in remaining 1 tbsp. butter and the mustard. When sauce is no longer bubbling, stir in sour cream. Season with remaining 1/2 tsp. salt and the pepper. Remove the pork from oven and spoon a generous amount of sauce over each chop. Serve topped with sauteed apples.
Sauté apples in saucepan with 2 T butter, 1 T brown sugar, 1T apple cider vinegar, and pinch of salt. Cook until tender.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Mexican Chicken Soup

I absolutely LOVE this soup! It is so fresh and delicious. I love making it with the whole chicken, but if you are short on time or need to make it quick use a rotisserie chicken from the deli department of the grocery store. You still shred the chicken and add it to some chicken broth. Either way is great! The reason I used the whole chicken was because it was on sale for $6. This recipe cost about $12 and it is 6 good servings of soup. I served it with cornbread muffins...you could use tortilla chips or tortillas as well. ENJOY!!!
1 whole chickens (about 5 pounds)
4 carrots, halved crosswise
1 Large yellow onion, halved
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 1/2 Cups long grain white rice
1 Can golden sweet corn
1 Can (12 ounce) can black beans, drained
1 Can (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, with juice
1/2 Tsp each cumin, chili powder, and garlic powder
3 limes, halved...use juice
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 avocados
1/2 Cup fresh cilantro leaves
1 Cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Rinse the chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Place the chicken, carrots, onion, and salt in a 12 quart pot. Add enough cold water (about 6-8 cups) to cover. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer gently, uncovered, for 1 hour. Skim off any foam that appears. Transfer the chicken to plates; let cool. Remove and discard the carrots and onion. Add the rice, corn, black beans, tomato and lime juice to the broth and simmer for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, shred the chicken meat, discarding the skin and bones. Add the meat and pepper to the broth and heat for 3 minutes. Scoop the avocados into individual bowls and ladle the soup over the top. Sprinkle with the cilantro and Monterey Jack cheese and squeeze on the limes.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Week 2 Menus and Shopping List

So it's Thursday and Publix publishes their weekly ad specials and its going to be a tasty week!! This weeks meals cost approximately $85. I REALLY try not to spend more than $7 or $8 for the protein for each day since these contribute to most of the cost...as does the produce. Keep in mind I like to cook healthy, quick, and fairly inexpensive meals. So here it is:

Mexican Tortilla Soup
Beef in a red wine sauce
Pan seared Tilapia with a lemon herb butter
Cider brined Pork chops with sauteed apples
Citrus Chicken Salad with french bread

I was inspired by the weather for most of these, but also both pork chops and apples were on sale (99 CENTS FOR APPLES!!!) so the cider brined pork chops were perfect. You will need to let the pork chops sit in the apple cider for at least 5 hours, so the day you are going to cook these...throw them in a good resealable bag in the morning and they will be waiting for you at dinnertime! Some of these also share the same ingredients such as the whole grain or dijon mustard is in 3 of the recipes. Stay tuned tomorrow for the first recipe ...ENJOY!!!

Apple cider
french bread (for the salad...you may pick up later in week)
2 lemons
2 limes
a single bunch of parsley (and chives if you'd like)
2 onions
2 bulbs of garlic
2 avocados (or more...its for the chicken soup)
* cilantro for the soup IF you like cilantro...I do not
3 apples
1 pound of mushrooms
salad mix
Can of grapefruit (or 'citrus salad' in the canned fruits isle)
1 can of beef broth
1 container of chicken broth (the large carton)
sour cream
egg noodles ( i bought the whole grain ones to be a little healthier)
1 packet of brown gravy
tomato paste
whole grain or dijon mustard
white rice
black sesame seeds
bay leaves
Red wine (Publix has Barefoot Cab for $5 a bottle)
whole chicken (on sale at Publix...5lb for $5.99)
beef chuck (on sale at Publix...already cut into chunks)
tilapia filets (on sale at Publix...1 per person)
chicken breast (on sale at Publix...Purdue)
pork chops (boneless...on sale at Publix)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Asian Lettuce Wraps

This is a great weeknight go-to meal that is healthy and quick to make. I found this recipe on Food Network but tweaked it a little bit to my liking...feel free to do the same. The original recipe didn't have any peanut butter or brown sugar and it didn't have any extra veggies. I like cold, crisp, fresh vegetables on my lettuce wrap (carrots, bell peppers, cabbage). Most of the ingredients you probably have, except for maybe the fresh ginger and hoisin sauce. I estimate this recipe to be around $10 and it serves quite a bit. You can always have this as an appetizer for a party as well. Its good to serve with whole wheat spaghetti with a little soy sauce, brown sugar mix.

2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 pound ground turkey
A 2 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/3 Cup hoisin sauce
1/4 Cup chopped peanuts
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp creamy peanut butter
2 Tsps brown sugar
Diced carrots and red pepper

1 head Boston lettuce, leaves separated, cleaned and dried. In a skillet over medium high heat, add the vegetable oil and saute turkey until brown. Stir in ginger, scallions, garlic, soy sauce, red pepper flakes, peanut butter, brown sugar and hoisin and cook for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the peanuts. Season with salt and pepper and serve warm wrapped in lettuce cups. Add carrots and red pepper.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Sweet and Tangy Pork Chops

So I wasn't too sure about this recipe at first. It sounded a little strange to me...beer and ketchup. I gave it a try last night and it was very tasty!! It fits the description of my type of recipes; quick, fairly healthy, and inexpensive. I got this recipe from Taste of Home, which I love most of the recipes that I find on their website and in the cook books. You could actually make this with regular boneless pork chops if you'd like...you are basically braising the meat so it stays pretty tender. This recipe makes 2-3 servings so double it if you need more. My estimate of cost is basically only the pork chops which are about $7. You probably have most of the other ingredients already at home...and if you don't want to use the beer just add more beef broth. ENJOY!!

  • 2 bone in center cut pork loin chops (7 each)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Dash pepper
  • 1/4 Cup beer
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/4 Cup reduced sodium beef broth

  1. Sprinkle pork chops with salt and pepper. In a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, brown chops for 3 minutes on each side.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the beer, broth, ketchup and brown sugar. Pour over pork; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 10 15 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 160. Simmer sauce until reduced to 1/2 cup, about another 5 minutes. Serve with pork chops. Yield: 2 servings.
  3. If at the end of the cooking time the sauce is not as thick as you would like, mix a little corn starch(1 teaspoon) and water (1 Tablespoon) in separate bowl and add to broth. You can also add 1 T butter to make sauce a little richer.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Beef and Cheese Manicotti or Shells

I am a sucker for Italian food! I love any sort of pasta with really any sauce and the flavors of Italy. I got this recipe from Food Network and Giada. She's classic Italian so I figured it would be a hit. This is a great recipe to feed about 6-7 at one sitting or a small family who likes left overs. Its great served with a simple salad. It might look like a lot of work, but really its not. I made it last night and it took me about 20 min in prep time and it bakes for about 35 min.  I had some requests asking about the cost of the meals. I can estimate that this meal would cost about $15-$18 total.

4 teaspoons olive oil
1 Medium onion, coarsely chopped
1 pound ground beef
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
14 package (8 ounce manicotti
1 (15 ounce) container whole milk ricotta
3 Cups shredded mozzarella
1 Cup grated Parmesan
2 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 Cups marinara sauce
2 tablespoon butter, cut into pieces

Heat a heavy medium skillet over medium heat. Add 1 teaspoon of the olive oil, onion and ground beef. Season with salt and pepper. Saute until the meat browns and the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, and cool.
Brush 1 teaspoon of oil over a large baking sheet. Cook the manicotti in a large pot of boiling salted water until slightly softened, but still very firm to the bite, about 4 to 6 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the manicotti from the pot to the oiled baking sheet and cool.
Meanwhile, combine the ricotta, 1 1/2 to 2 cups mozzarella cheese, 1/2 cup Parmesan, and parsley. Add the garlic, salt, and pepper to taste, and mix. Stir the cooled meat mixture into the cheese mixture.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Brush the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil over a 13 by 9 by 2 inch glass baking dish. Spoon 1 1/2 cups of the marinara sauce over the bottom of the prepared dish. Fill the manicotti with the cheese meat mixture. Arrange the stuffed pasta in a single layer in the prepared dish and spoon the remaining sauce over.
Sprinkle the remaining 1 1/2 cups of mozzarella cheese, then the remaining 1/2 cup of Parmesan over the stuffed pasta. Dot entire dish with the butter pieces. Bake the manicotti uncovered until heated through and the sauce bubbles on the sides of the dish, about 30 to 35 minutes. Let the manicotti stand 5 minutes and serve.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Shrimp and Grits

Shrimp and Grits

  • 6 Slices of bacon, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deviened
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 Old Bay Seasoning, to taste
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 3/4 Cup low sodium chicken stock
  • 1/2 Cup heavy cream
  • quick cooking grits
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Ounces Velveeta cheese

  1. Coarsely chop bacon and cook in skillet over medium heat until crispy; remove and set aside to drain. Season shrimp with Old Bay to your liking; add oil to pan and cook shrimp over medium heat until cooked through, about 4 min. Remove from pan to keep from over cooking. Add shallot to pan and cook until tender. Add flour; stir for 30 seconds to cook our raw flavor. Add chicken stock; let simmer until thickened. Add shrimp into pan; include any juices on plate. Add cream and let cook 1 more min. Serve over cheese grits with bacon on top.
  2. Grits: Cook grits according to package instructions; during the last min add butter and cheese. Let sit with heat off for 3-4 min to allow to thicken. Serve in bowl with shrimp topping.
Being from the South, shrimp and grits are one of my favorite meals! I have made many different SNG recipes; however, I've made this one my own. You can add mushroom or use chorizo (spicy sausage) instead of bacon if you'd like, but I like mine plain.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Balsamic Chicken with Tomato and Feta by Betty Crocker

  • 1 lb Chicken breast, pounded thin (or cutlets)
  • 1/3 Cup Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing
  • 1 Tomato. Sliced thin
  • 1 Feta cheese

  1. Preheat broiler to med-high. Use chicken cutlets or pound chicken thin, place in bowl with vinaigrette and let sit for 20 minutes. Place chicken on broiler pan and cook under broiler for 8-10 min, turn chicken over and do the same until chicken is cooked. During the last 4 minutes top chicken with tomato slices and feta cheese. Cheese should be browned when you take it out.

Weekly Menu 1

Well we've been snowed in here in Atlanta for 3 days now; so I haven't been able to get to grocery store and buy groceries for this weekly menu. I like to have a different protein each day so that is what I have done for this menu (based on sale items at Publix).

Balsamic Chicken with Tomatoes and Feta
Shrimp and Grits
Beef and cheese shells
Asian lettuce wraps
Sweet and Tangy Pork chops

Balsamic Chicken:
Feta cheese
Chicken breast (skinless/boneless)
Balsamic dressing
Shrimp and Grits
1 pound of shrimp
Low sodium chicken broth
heavy cream
items you may already have: Old bay, flour, cheese for grits, butter
Beef and Cheese Shells
1 pound of ground beef
1 small onion
Ricotta cheese
Mozzarella cheese
marinara sauce
Shells (or if you’d rather use manicotti, you can use manicotti)
Sweet and Tangy Pork chops
Bone in pork loin chops
beef broth or beer
Asian lettuce wraps
1 pound ground turkey
Fresh ginger
Hoisin sauce
low sodium soy sauce
brown sugar
peanut butter
chopped peanuts
iceburg lettuce or bibb lettuce
carrott and red pepper to garnish 


Monday, January 10, 2011

The Beginning

I'll first tell you a little about myself...I am a stay at home mom of two little kids, a 21/2 little girl and a 6 month old little boy, with a love for cooking. I've always loved it but when I was younger didn't ever cook. I always watched. Once I got married and actually had someone to cook for daily I began trying new recipes and tweaking them to our liking. I have collected recipes over the past few years from magazines, cookbooks, family members, and tv shows. I store them in a HUGE white binder. I'm totally scared that something will happen to this binder and all my recipes will be 'poof' gone! I would freak out!!! My husband got me the ipad for Christmas this year and put a fantastic app on there to store all of my recipes. Its great!!! I'm still in the process of putting my 'white binder' recipes in so I will have them all in one place. I've got quite a bit more to enter though.

I'm sort of obsessed with The Food Network. My husband jokes that the TV is making him fat because we watch cooking shows a lot and it makes him hungry. I just find cooking therapudic and relaxing. Anyways, I always like to share my recipes with friends and family in hopes it makes them as happy as it does me!

Since I've stayed home from working to take care of the kiddos, I've wanted to save money on different things...including groceries. I typically shop at our local Publix who publishes their weekly ads online. Each week I look to see whats on sale and decide on our weekly meals based on that. With that being said, I've had numerous requests/comments that I should start a food blog. I've thought about it for a while but with two little kids it will be tough; BUT, now that I have my ipad it will be much easier. My thought of doing a food blog with a menu for the week, shopping list, and recipes came into play. And that's how "Cooking with Jamie" was born. I'd also love for you to share recipes with me...like I said I love trying new things!!!