Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Bean Burrito Casserole

Bean Burrito Casserole (compliments of

6 frozen bean and cheese burritos
1 (10.5 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken or cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup sour cream
1 (4 ounce) can diced green chile peppers, drained
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1 medium tomato, chopped (optional)
1 avocados - peeled, pitted and sliced (optional)
1 (2.25 ounce) can sliced black olives, drained (optional)
1/2 cup salsa (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Place the burritos in a row across the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. In a medium bowl, stir together the cream of chicken soup, sour cream and chile peppers. Spread evenly over the top of the burritos. Sprinkle with shredded cheese. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until cheese is slightly browned and burritos are heated through. Serve with tomato, avocado, olives and salsa.

Amy's Mexican Soup

Amy's Mexican Soup (compliments of

4 (6 ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 (28 ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, drained
1 (10 ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chile peppers
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh garlic
1 (32 fluid ounce) container chicken broth
1 (14.5 ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 (14.5 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
cayenne pepper to taste
chili powder to taste
Cheddar cheese, shredded
sour cream, for topping

Preheat the oven broiler. Arrange chicken breasts in a large pan, and broil 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove chicken, allow to cool, then shred.
In a food processor or blender, puree the drained whole tomatoes and diced tomatoes.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in onion and garlic; cook until onion is soft and translucent. Stir in chicken broth and pureed tomatoes. Add shredded chicken, kidney beans, and black beans. Season with cayenne pepper and chili powder. Bring to a boil; then cover, leaving the lid slightly ajar, and simmer 2 hours. Ladle into bowls, and top with cheese and dollops of sour cream.

Servings Per Recipe: 12
Calories: 289
Total Fat: 14.7g
Cholesterol: 60mg
Sodium: 908mg
Total Carbs: 17.2g
Dietary Fiber: 5.7g
Protein: 22.5g

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Bbq Buffalo Burger with Mango Ketchup and Red Slaw

Bbq Buffalo Burger with Mango Ketchup and Red Slaw (compliments of

1 pound buffalo meat, finely ground (I would substitute ground beef or ground turkey)
1 cup bbq sauce (Mesa) or your favorite brand
Salt and pepper

Divide the meat into fourths and shape into burgers. Brush on both sides with the bbq sauce and season with salt and pepper to taste. Grill for 3 to 4 minutes on each side.

Mango Ketchup:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1 mango, peeled and coarsely chopped
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
Pinch of ground cloves
1 habanero pepper, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Use side burner or grill top. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Add onions and garlic and cook until soft. Add mango and cook for 5 minutes, or until soft. Add cinnamon, allspice, cloves and habanero and cook an additional 2 minutes. Place the mango mixture in a food processor and add the vinegar and honey. Process until smooth.
Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve cold or at room temperature.

1/2 large head red cabbage, finely shredded, divided
1 cup rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
Salt and freshly ground pepper
8 slices rye bread

Place vinegar and oil in a small saucepan and bring to a boil Place 3/4 of the cabbage in a large bowl and add the hot vinegar mixture and stir well. Add the caraway seed and season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix together all ingredients and season with salt and pepper to taste. Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour, until wilted. Just before serving, add the remaining raw cabbage.

Pasta with Tomato and Peas

Pasta with Tomato and Peas (compliments of

1 pound linguine
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 shallots, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 carrot, diced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
5 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 1/2 cups frozen peas, thawed
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1/4 cup grated Romano

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain the pasta, reserving 2 cups of the pasta water.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Add the shallots, garlic, carrots, salt, and pepper. Cook until tender, about 8 minutes. Add the tomato paste and 1/2 cup of the hot pasta water. Stir to melt the tomato paste and create a sauce, adding more pasta water if necessary. Stir in the oregano, thyme, and parsley. Gently fold in the cooked pasta, peas, and the cheeses, adding more reserved pasta water if necessary. Transfer to a platter and serve immediately.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Turkey Chili-Topped Turkey Chili Burgers with Red Pepper Slaw and Funky Fries

Turkey Chili-Topped Turkey Chili Burgers with Red Pepper Slaw and Funky Fries

1 (16 to 20 ounce) sack extra-crispy style frozen potato fries
1/4 cup chili powder
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons grill seasoning (recommended: McCormick Montreal Seasoning)
1/4 cup vegetable oil, divided
2 to 2 1/4 pounds ground turkey breast, 2 packages
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, eyeball it
1 cup tomato sauce, 1 (8-ounce) can
3 red bell peppers, 1/4 of 1 pepper finely chopped, remaining peppers thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, divided
2 tablespoons hot sauce, divided
1/3 pound, 6-ounce chunk, Cheddar or smoked Cheddar cut into 1/4-inch dice
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar, eyeball it
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt, divided
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
4 cups shredded red cabbage, 1 sack, available in produce department
Coarse black pepper
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup curly parsley, a couple of handfuls of leaves, finely chopped
4 soft burger rolls

Preheat oven to the temperature listed on the sack of fries.
Preheat a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Combine chili powder, cumin and grill seasoning in a small bowl. Add a tablespoon of vegetable oil, 1 turn of the pan, to a skillet and half of the turkey. Break up the turkey with the back of a wooded spoon. Season the turkey with half of the spice mixture. Break up and brown turkey a couple of minutes, then add half of the finely chopped onion and cook another couple of minutes. When onions are translucent, add Worcestershire sauce and tomato sauce, adjust seasonings and simmer the chili sauce over low heat until ready to serve.

While chili sauce is working, make the burgers. Place the remaining turkey in a bowl and add the remaining spice mixture, half of the remaining chopped onions, the 1/4 red bell pepper that's chopped, 2 cloves of chopped garlic and about a tablespoon of hot sauce. Combine the chili burger mixture and incorporate the diced cheese. Form 4 (1-inch thick) patties. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add a tablespoon of vegetable oil, 1 turn of the pan, then the burgers. Cook the burgers 6 minutes on each side.

When you place the burgers in the pan, the timing is right to add the fries to the preheated oven.

While everything is moving forward, throw together the slaw salad. In the bottom of a medium bowl, combine 1 tablespoon hot sauce – just eyeball it, with about 3 tablespoons vinegar, 1 tablespoon sugar and 1 teaspoon salt. Add the red pepper strips, red onion and red cabbage to the bowl and toss to combine. Add some pepper, to taste.

Chop the last 2 cloves of garlic. Add about a teaspoon of salt to garlic and using the flat of your knife blade, mash the garlic and salt into paste. Place the paste in a small bowl with 3 tablespoons butter, cut into chunks. Melt the butter and paste together on high in the microwave 20 seconds or so. Remove the fries from the oven and toss with melted butter and lots of parsley and adjust seasoning to your taste.

Separate burger rolls. Pile chili-cheese burgers on the bun bottoms. Top with scoops of chili sauce and a spoonful of the remaining finely chopped raw onions. Set bun tops in place and serve the burgers with piles of red pepper slaw and funky fries.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Portobello Lasagna Rollups

Portobello Lasagna Rollups (compliments of

12 whole-wheat lasagna noodles (about 3/4 pound)
2 teaspoons olive oil
12 ounces portobello mushrooms, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 cups Easy Tomato Sauce, recipe follows, or store bought marinara sauce
1 (15-ounce) container part-skim ricotta cheese
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 egg, lightly beaten
Freshly ground black pepper
Pinch ground nutmeg
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
3 ounces grated part-skim mozzarella cheese (about 2/3 cup)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Cook the noodles al dente according to the directions on the package. Drain them well and spread them out onto aluminum foil or waxed paper to prevent them from sticking.

Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and all the liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Season with 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Stir in 1 1/2 cups of the tomato sauce and simmer for 2 minutes. In a medium bowl combine the ricotta cheese, spinach, egg, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, a few turns of pepper, and nutmeg.

Spread 1 cup of tomato sauce on the bottom of a 9 by 12-inch baking dish. Spread about 2 tablespoons of the ricotta mixture onto a lasagna noodle. Top with about 1 1/2 tablespoons of the mushroom mixture, roll the noodle and place it into the baking dish. Repeat with the remaining noodles. Spread the remaining 1 1/2 cups of sauce over the lasagna rolls. Top with grated cheeses, cover loosely with foil, and bake for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake for 15 minutes more.

Easy Tomato Sauce:
1 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 (28-ounce) cans whole tomatoes, drained, tomatoes chopped
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper

In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes longer. Add the remaining ingredients and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Yield: 6 servings

Nutrition Information
Per Serving Calories 497
Carbohydrates 56 g
Total fat 18 g
Saturated fat 7.4 g
Protein 26 g
Fiber 12 g
Sodium 1108 mg

Monday, April 02, 2007

Turkey Meatballs with Quick And Spicy Tomato Sauce and Whole-Wheat Spaghetti

Turkey Meatballs with Quick And Spicy Tomato Sauce and Whole-Wheat Spaghetti (compliments of

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 (28-ounce) can crushed fire-roasted tomatoes, liquid included
1 teaspoon finely minced canned chipotle en adobo and sauce, or more to taste
2 teaspoons chopped oregano leaves
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1/4 cup torn fresh basil leaves

Cooking spray
1 pound ground turkey meat
1 slice fresh whole-wheat bread, crusts removed, pulsed into crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
1/2 cup finely grated carrot
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 large cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves, plus more for garnish
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper

1 box (16 ounces) whole-wheat spaghetti

Fill a large stockpot with water and bring to a boil for pasta.
Make Sauce:
In a 4-quart saucepan heat the oil over medium heat. Saute the onions until translucent, about 3 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add tomato paste, tomatoes, chipotles, oregano, rosemary, and salt. Bring all the ingredients to a low boil, reduce heat and cook for approximately 15 minutes, until liquid has evaporated slightly. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. While sauce is cooking, make meatballs.

Preheat the broiler. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Combine the turkey with all other ingredients in a large work bowl. Form into 2 1/2 -inch balls and place on a baking sheet. Broil for 10 minutes, or until browned and almost entirely cooked through.

Meanwhile, remove rosemary sprig from sauce and add fresh basil. Add the meatballs to the sauce, cover, and cook additional 10 minutes, or until sauce has slightly thickened and meatballs have absorbed some of the sauce. While the meatballs are cooking, cook the whole-wheat spaghetti according to package directions.

Drain the pasta and return it to the pot. Add the sauce and meatballs, toss and heat through over medium heat. Divide evenly among 4 pasta bowls and garnish with parsley and 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan.

Yield: 6 servings (1 serving equals about 1 1/3 cups pasta and sauce, plus 2 meatballs

Nutrition Information
Nutritional Analysis per Serving
Calories 332
Carbohydrates 39 grams
Total Fat 10 grams
Saturated Fat 3 grams
Protein 23 grams
Fiber 8 grams
Sodium 568 milligrams

Mexican Meat-zza: Mexican Deep-Dish Pan Pizza

Mexican Meat-zza: Mexican Deep-Dish Pan Pizza (compliments of 30 minute meals,

2 boxes corn muffin mix, 8 1/2 ounces each (recommended: Jiffy)
2 eggs
4 tablespoons melted butter
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup frozen corn kernels
Extra-virgin olive oil or, vegetable oil, for drizzling

2 tablespoons extra-virgin or vegetable oil, 2 turns of the pan
1 pound ground beef
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons cayenne sauce
2 1/2 cups (10-ounce sack from dairy aisle) shredded Cheddar or jack cheese
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1 small can, 2 1/4 ounces sliced chillies or jalapenos, drained
2 scallions, chopped
2 small vine ripe tomatoes, seeded and diced
2 tablespoons drained sliced green olives (salad olives)
1 to 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves, optional garnish
Mild to medium taco sauce to pass at table, 1 cup

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Mix together 2 packages muffin mix with 2 eggs, 4 tablespoons melted butter (melt in microwave 30 seconds), 1 1/2 cups milk and frozen corn kernels. Wipe a nonstick skillet with a little extra or vegetable oil and pour in the muffin mix. Use a large skillet, 10 to 12 inch. Choose a pan with oven safe handle or, double-wrap handle with foil to protect it in the oven. Place pan in oven and bake 12 to 15 minutes in center of the oven until light golden in color.

Brown the meat over medium high heat in a second skillet in extra or vegetable oil, 2 turns of the pan. Add onions and spices and cook meat 5 minutes more.

Remove cornbread from oven and top with meat, cheese, and veggies. Add pan back to oven and cook 5 minutes more to melt cheese. Garnish with cilantro, optional. Cut into 8 wedges and serve the deep dish pan pizza from the skillet. Pass taco sauce at the table to sprinkle on top.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Red Wine Beef Stew with Potatoes and Green Beans

Red Wine Beef Stew with Potatoes and Green Beans (compliments of

2 pounds beef chuck for stew, cut into 1-inch cubes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons butter
4 medium carrots, peeled, halved and cut into 1-inch chunks
3 small onions, diced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans reduced-sodium beef or chicken broth
2 cups dry red wine
1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
3 sprigs fresh rosemary
2 medium russet or Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
2 handfuls green beans, ends trimmed

Season the beef cubes lightly with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter in a heavy 6-quart pot over medium heat. As soon as the butter starts to turn brown, add half the beef and raise the heat to high. At first, the beef will give off some liquid, but once that evaporates, the beef will start to brown. Cook, turning the beef cubes on all sides until the pieces are as evenly browned as possible, about 5 or 6 minutes after the water has boiled off. If the pan starts to get too brown at any point, just turn down the heat a little. Scoop the beef into a bowl and brown the rest of the beef the same way using the remaining butter.

Scoop out the second batch of beef, then add the carrots and onions and raise the heat to medium-high. Cook until the onion starts to turn translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the flour until it has been worked into the veggies and you can’t see it any more. Pour in the chicken broth, wine, and crushed tomatoes, and toss in the rosemary. Slide the beef back into the pot and bring the liquid to a boil.

Turn down the heat so the liquid is just breaking a gentle simmer. Partially cover the pot and cook 50 minutes. Stir the stew several times while simmering so it cooks evenly and nothing sticks to the bottom.

Stir the potatoes into the stew, cover the pot completely, and cook until the potatoes and beef are tender, stirring occasionally, about another 45 minutes. Add the beans and cook for another 5 minutes until the green beans turn bright green and are cooked through but still have a nice snap to them.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Beef and Broccoli Stir-Fry with Peanut Noodles

Beef and Broccoli Stir-Fry with Peanut Noodles (compliments of

6 ounces peanut butter
6 ounces hot water
1 teaspoon chili flakes
2 teaspoons sesame oil
8 tablespoons soy sauce
1 box spaghetti
1 teaspoon garlic powder
12 ounces beef, sliced on the bias
1 head broccoli
4 tablespoons sweet and sour sauce

In a bowl combine the peanut butter, water, chili flakes, sesame oil and 4 tablespoons of soy sauce. Mix well. Boil the spaghetti and drain. Toss the spaghetti with the peanut sauce and serve. Marinate the beef with the garlic powder and the soy sauce and let stand 1/2 hour. Blanch and shuck the head of broccoli. Saute in wok with sweet and sour sauce and the marinated beef. Serve when beef is thoroughly cooked.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Pepperoni, Pasta, and Vegetable Casserole

Pepperoni, Pasta, and Vegetable Casserole (compliments of

Kosher salt
1 pound spaghetti
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups milk
1/4 cup cream cheese
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 pinch ground nutmeg
Freshly ground black pepper
2 cups grated Monterey Jack (about 7 ounces)
1 (16-ounce) box frozen broccoli, or 1 pound fresh broccoli, lightly cooked
1 (10-ounce) bag frozen peas
8 ounces pepperoni, diced

Preheat the broiler.
Bring a large pot of cold water to a boil over high heat and salt it generously. Add the spaghetti and boil, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large Dutch oven or deep stove-top casserole dish over medium heat. Scatter the flour over the butter and mix with a wooden spoon into a paste. Continue stirring in a figure "8", making sure to get into the corners of the pan, until the paste puffs slightly and lightens in color, about 1 minute. Off the heat gradually whisk the milk into the paste. Return to medium-high heat and whisk until thickened, then simmer, stirring occasionally until the sauce has the consistency of heavy cream, about 8 to 10 minutes. Whisk in the cream cheese, Worcestershire sauce, and nutmeg. Season with salt, pepper.

Reduce heat to low and whisk 1 cup Monterey Jack. Stir in the broccoli, peas, pepperoni and spaghetti, and heat until warmed through.

Top casserole with the remaining 1 cup cheese; transfer to the broiler, and cook casserole until brown and bubbly. Cool slightly and serve.

Tex-Mex Gooey Casserole

Tex-Mex Gooey Casserole (compliments of

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups chopped onions
1 pound ground beef
1 pound diced stew meat
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup tomato paste
4 cups peeled, seeded, and chopped tomatoes
3 cups beef stock
10 flour tortillas
2 cups grated Medium Cheddar cheese
2 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 9 by 9 by 2-inch square baking dish. In a large skillet, heat the oil. When the oil is hot, add the onions and saute for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the ground beef and continue to cook for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the diced meat and continue to cook for 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic, chili powder, and cumin. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the tomato paste. Stir in the tomatoes and stock. Simmer the mixture for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and cool. Spoon a couple of tablespoons of the chili mixture on the bottom of the prepared pan. Lay two tortillas on top of the chili mixture. Sprinkle the top of the tortillas with the Cheddar and Jack cheese. Repeat the layering process until all of the chili, tortillas and cheese are used. (The final layer should be cheese) Place the pan in the oven and bake until the cheese has melted, about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool slightly before slicing.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Primavera Orzo

Primavera Orzo (compliments of 30 minute meals)

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 shallots, chopped
1 small zucchini, chopped
1 cup shredded carrots, chopped
1 teaspoon curry powder
3 cups chicken stock
1 cup orzo pasta
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley, a handful
1 cup frozen peas
Salt and pepper

Heat a medium skillet over medium high heat. Add extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan in a slow stream. Add garlic, shallots, zucchini and carrots. Saute 5 minutes. Add curry, chicken broth and bring to a boil. Add orzo and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to medium. Cook, stirring occasionally until pasta absorbs the liquid and is al dente in texture, 10 minutes. Uncover and stir in cheese, parsley and peas. Season with salt and pepper, to your taste.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Sloppy Joes

Sloppy Joes (compliments of Ellie Krieger,

1 pound extra-lean ground beef
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, minced
1 red pepper, diced
1 can small red beans or pinto beans, preferably low sodium drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups no-salt-added tomato sauce
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon molasses
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon mustard powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
8 whole-wheat burger buns

Brown the meat and the onion in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat for 5 minutes, breaking up the meat into crumbles as it cooks. Pour the drippings out of the pan and discard. Add the garlic, jalapeno, and red pepper and cook 5 minutes more, stirring occasionally. Stir in the rest of the ingredients, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 5 minutes more. Place a half-cup scoop of the mixture onto each bun and serve.

Nutritional Information per Serving (8)
Calories 248
Carbohydrates 37 grams
Total Fat 4 grams
Saturated Fat 1.1 gram
Protein 18 grams
Fiber 7 grams
Sodium 535 milligrams

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Dill Potato Salad

Dill Potato Salad (compliments of

7 cups chopped new potatoes
1 (8 ounce) container sour cream
2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill weed
1 teaspoon dried parsley
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until tender but still firm, about 15 minutes. Drain, cool, peel and chill. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl combine sour cream, dill, parsley, Dijon, salt and pepper. Pour dressing over potatoes and toss gently. Chill before serving.

Servings Per Recipe: 6
Calories: 230
Total Fat: 8.6g
Cholesterol: 17mg
Sodium: 347mg
Total Carbs: 35.1g
Dietary Fiber: 3g
Protein: 4.6g

Chunky Tomato Potato Soup

Chunky Tomato Potato Soup (compliments of

2 tablespoons butter
2 onions, chopped
4 cups peeled, cubed potatoes
1 1/2 cups chopped celery
1 1/2 cups chopped carrots
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
2 cups milk
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 (14.5 ounce) can tomatoes
1 1/4 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons tomato paste
salt and pepper to taste

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat, and cook the onions until tender. Mix in the potatoes, celery, carrots, and garlic. Season with Italian seasoning. Pour in milk, gradually stir in cornstarch, and bring to a boil. Mix in tomatoes, broth, and tomato paste. Return to boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Servings Per Recipe: 8

Calories: 166
Total Fat: 4.6g
Cholesterol: 13mg
Sodium: 406mg
Total Carbs: 27.1g
Dietary Fiber: 4.4g
Protein: 5.4g

Broccoli and Cheese Soup

Broccoli and Cheese Soup (compliments of

Cooking spray
1 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 (16-ounce) package broccoli florets
2 1/2 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
8 ounces light processed cheese, cubed (such as Velveeta Light)

Heat a large nonstick saucepan coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; saute 3 minutes or until tender. Add broth and broccoli. Bring broccoli mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium; cook 10 minutes. Combine milk and flour, stirring with a whisk until well blended. Add milk mixture to broccoli mixture. Cook 5 minutes or until slightly thick, stirring constantly. Stir in pepper. Remove from heat; add cheese, stirring until cheese melts. Place one-third of the soup in a blender or food processor, and process until smooth. Return pureed soup mixture to pan.

Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1 1/3 cups)

CALORIES 203 (28% from fat)
FAT 6.3g (sat 4g,mono 1.8g,poly 0.4g)
SODIUM 897mg
FIBER 2.9g
IRON 1.2mg

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Cheesy Stuffed Potatoes

Cheesy Stuffed Potatoes (compliments of

6 medium baking potatoes
1 tsp reduced-calorie margarine
1/4 cup 1% milk
2 tbsp lowfat cream cheese
3 tbsp fat free sour cream
3 tbsp chopped fresh chives
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup shredded lowfat cheddar

Remove the skin off the top of each cooled, baked potato. Carefully remove the flesh of the potatoes and place in a medium sized bowl. (Be sure to keep the shells!) Mash slightly using a potato masher. Add margarine, milk, cream cheese and sour cream. Mash thoroughly until the potatoes are nice and smoother, and there are no lumps in the mixture. Stir in black pepper and chives. Carefully return the mixture to the potato shells. Place the potatoes on a baking sheet, and top them with the shredded cheddar. Return the potatoes to the oven and bake at 350*F for 20-25 minutes. Serve.

Number of Servings: 6
Fat: 1.9 g
Carbohydrates: 38.8g
Calories: 194.8
Protein: 6.7g

Monday, January 22, 2007

Classic Layered Salad

Classic Layered Salad (compliments of

1/2 cup light mayonnaise
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 large ripe tomato, cut into 8 wedges
4 cups torn iceberg lettuce
2 cups small cauliflower florets
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
1 tablespoon bottled real bacon bits

Combine first 5 ingredients; stir well with a whisk. Arrange tomato wedges in bottom of a 2-quart serving bowl. Top with lettuce and cauliflower. Spread the mayonnaise mixture over cauliflower. Top with onion and bacon bits. Cover with plastic wrap, and chill 8 hours or overnight. Toss gently before serving.

Yield: 7 servings (serving size: 1 cup)
Fat: 6.5 g
Carbohydrates: 6.7g
Calories: 89.5
Protein: 2.2g

Greek Breakfast Wraps

compliments of

Greek Breakfast Wraps

1 cup hard boiled egg, chopped
1 cup red peppers, chopped
1 thin slice of onions, raw
1 oz feta cheese
100 grams jumbo black olives
3 tbsp fat free mayonnaise
1 tsp oregano, ground
1 thin slice red ripe tomato
Small whole-wheat pita,(4" dia)

Combine all ingredients except black olives, onion slices, and tomato slices in a covered container. Refrigerate for later use. When you want a wrap put 1/3 of the filling on a warm pita and add slices of onion, tomato and black olives. Add a leaf of lettuce if you want a more salad-like wrap.

Number of Servings: 3
Fat: 10.4 g
Carbohydrates: 24.1g
Calories: 223.9
Protein: 10.6g

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Crockpot Heaven

all recipes compliments of cammi-pea (

Cajun Chicken with Rice
* 6-8 chicken tenders or 4-6 chicken breasts
* 1 can crushed tomatoes
* 1 can tomato paste
* 1/2 C chopped red bell pepper
* 1/4 C minced onion
* 3 tsp. minced garlic
* 1 1/2 tsp. Cajun season

Place chicken in the crock-pot. Combine remaining ingredients in a bowl and pour over chicken. Cook on low for 6-8+ hours. Serve over rice.

Crock Pot Pork
* 5-6 boneless pork chops
* 2 cans cream mushroom soup
* 1-2 cans cream chicken soup
* sliced potatoes and carrots

Add all ingredients in crock-pot. Cook on high for 3 hours and then on low for 3 hours. Serve over rice.

Cheesy Bacon Potato Soup
* 5 Cups water
* 4 chicken bouillon cubes
* 6-8 potatoes (peeled and chopped into pieces)

Cook on low for 4-5 hours.

* 6 slices of bacon (cooked and chopped)
* 1 can evaporated milk
* Grated cheddar cheese (1 cup or more depending on your preference)

After cooking potatoes on low, add cooked/chopped bacon, evaporated milk and grated cheddar cheese. Stir into crock-pot and cook for another 1/2 hour until the cheese melts.
Serve in bread bowls or with homemade bread.

Basil Chicken
* 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
* 1/2 teaspoon pepper
* 1 tsp dried basil
* 1 can cream of celery soup
* 1/2 green pepper, sliced

Place chicken breasts in slow cooker. Sprinkle with pepper and basil. Spread soup on top of chicken. Arrange slices of green pepper on top of soup. Cover and cook on low 6 to 8 hours or high 4 hours. Serve over pasta.

Creamy Black Bean Salsa Chicken
* 2-4 chicken breasts
* 1 C chicken broth
* 1 C salsa
* 1 can corn (drained)
* 1 can black beans (drained)
* 1 pkg taco seasoning
* 1/2 C sour cream
* 1 C grated cheddar cheese

Place chicken in crock, pour broth, salsa, corn, beans and taco seasoning over chicken. Cook for 6-8 hours on low. Remove chicken with slotted spoon and place on plate or serving tray. Stir in sour cream and cheese. Shred chicken with 2 forks and return to crock-pot. Mix well and serve with warm tortillas and Spanish rice.

Mexican Chicken

Mexican Chicken (compliments of Paula Dean,

Vegetable oil cooking spray
1 (10 3/4-ounce) can cream of chicken soup
1 (10 3/4-ounce) can cheddar cheese soup
1 (10 3/4-ounce) can cream of mushroom soup
1 (10-ounce) can tomatoes
1 whole chicken, cooked, boned, and chopped or 4 cups leftover cooked chicken
Unsalted butter, for greasing pan
1 (11 1/2-ounce) package flour tortillas
2 cups shredded Cheddar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 13 by-9-inch pan with the cooking spray.
In a large bowl, stir together the 3 kinds of soup and the tomatoes. Stir in the chicken. Layer the tortillas and the chicken mixture in the pan, beginning and ending with tortillas. Sprinkle the cheese over the casserole and bake for 30 minutes.

Sczechuan Noodles

Sczechuan Noodles (compliments of barefoot contessa,

6 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 cup fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup tahini (sesame paste)
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1/2 cup good soy sauce
1/4 cup dry sherry
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
1/4 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon hot chili oil
2 tablespoons dark sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 pound spaghetti
1 red bell pepper, julienned
1 yellow bell pepper, julienned
4 scallions, sliced diagonally (white and green parts)

Place the garlic and ginger in a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the vegetable oil, tahini, peanut butter, soy sauce, sherry, sherry vinegar, honey, chili oil, sesame oil, and ground peppers. Puree the sauce.
Add a splash of oil to a large pot of boiling salted water and cook the spaghetti al dente. Drain the pasta in a colander, place it in a large bowl, and while still warm, toss with 3/4 of the sauce. Add the red and yellow bell peppers and scallions; toss well. Serve warm or at room temperature. The remaining sauce may be added, as needed, to moisten the pasta.

Spicy Sausage Meatloaf Patties with Italian Barbecue Sauce

Spicy Sausage Meatloaf Patties with Italian Barbecue Sauce (compliments of 30 minute meals,

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus some for drizzling
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 large onion, chopped and divided
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 cup shredded carrots
Salt and pepper, for seasoning, plus coarse black pepper for finishing sauce
1/2 pound ground beef
3/4 pound bulk hot sausage
3/4 pound ground sweet sausage
1 egg
3/4 cup bread crumbs, 3 generous handfuls, Italian or plain
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano or Romano, a couple of handfuls
1/8 pound pancetta, 4 slices, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
Splash red wine
1/2 cup beef stock
1 can petite diced tomatoes or stewed tomatoes
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons hot sauce
Serving suggestion: green salad

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Heat a small skillet over medium heat with 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil. When the oil is hot, saute the red pepper, half the onions, celery and carrots together, 5 minutes, season with salt and pepper then remove to a plate to cool.

Mix ground beef and sausages with egg, bread crumbs, cheese, and cooled vegetables. Form 4 large oval shaped patties no more than 1 1/4 inches thick then drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil. Place in the oven on a cookie sheet and bake 17 to 18 minutes, until cooked through.

Heat a medium sauce pot over medium high heat. Add a drizzle of EVOO to the pan and the pancetta. Let the pancetta crisp up a bit and render fat, then add onions and garlic and cook until tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Add a splash of red wine to deglaze the pan. Stir in the beef stock and tomatoes and season sauce heavily with coarse black pepper. Add Worcestershire and hot sauce and reduce heat to warm.

Serve meatloaves with Italian barbecue sauce on top and green salad alongside

BBQ Chicken Burgers with Slaw

BBQ Chicken Burgers with Slaw (compliments of 30 minute meals,

1 tablespoon butter, cut into pieces
1 small red onion, 1/2 finely chopped, 1/2 thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, eyeball it
1 tablespoon hot sauce, eyeball it
1 1/4 pounds ground chicken
1 tablespoons grill seasoning (recommended: McCormick brand) a palm full
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons honey, eyeball it
1 lemon, juiced
3 rounded tablespoons sweet pickle relish
2 cups shredded cabbage mix
Salt and pepper
4 cornmeal Keiser rolls, split

In a small skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add chopped onions, garlic and tomato paste and sweat them for 5 minutes to soften and sweeten. Sprinkle in sugar and remove from heat. Cool in a bowl, 5 minutes. Add tomato paste, Worcestershire, hot sauce to bowl and combine. Add chicken to the bowl then grill seasoning and combine the burgers well to evenly distribute the flavors and form 4 patties. Wash up.
Heat 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, a turn of the pan, in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook patties 6 minutes on each side.

Combine the honey, lemon juice, and remaining extra-virgin olive oil in a bowl. Add relish, cabbage mix and sliced onions and season with salt and pepper. Toss the slaw to coat and reserve.

Serve burgers on bun bottoms topped with slaw and bun tops.

Taco Soup

Taco Soup (compliments of Paula Dean,

2 pounds ground beef
2 cups diced onions
2 (15 1/2-ounce) cans pinto beans
1 (15 1/2-ounce) can pink kidney beans
1 (15 1/4-ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can Mexican-style stewed tomatoes
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can tomatoes with chiles
2 (4 1/2-ounce) cans diced green chiles
1 (4.6-ounce) can black olives, drained and sliced, optional
1/2 cup green olives, sliced, optional
1 (1 1/4-ounce) package taco seasoning mix
1 (1-ounce) package ranch salad dressing mix
Corn chips, for serving
Sour cream, for garnish
Grated cheese, for garnish
Chopped green onions, for garnish
Pickled jalapenos, for garnish

Brown the ground beef and onions in a large skillet; drain the excess fat, then transfer the browned beef and onions to a large slow cooker or a stockpot. Add the beans, corn, tomatoes, green chiles, black olives, green olives, taco seasoning, and ranch dressing mix, and cook in a slow cooker on low for 6 to 8 hours or simmer over low heat for about 1 hour in a pot on the stove. To serve, place a few corn chips in each bowl and ladle soup over them. Top with sour cream, cheese, green onions and jalapenos.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Cats and dogs galore....

More cuties......
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Chicken Stew

Chicken Stew (compliments of everyday italian,

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 stalks celery, cut into bite-size pieces
1 carrot, peeled, cut into bite-size pieces
1 small onion, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can chopped tomatoes
1 (14-ounce) can low-salt chicken broth
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
2 chicken breast with ribs (about 1 1/2 pounds total)
1 (15-ounce) can organic kidney beans, drained (rinsed if not organic)
Serving suggestion: crusty bread

Heat the oil in a heavy 5 1/2-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the celery, carrot, and onion. Saute the vegetables until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in the tomatoes with their juices, chicken broth, basil, tomato paste, bay leaf, and thyme. Add the chicken breasts; press to submerge.
Bring the cooking liquid to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer gently uncovered until the chicken is almost cooked through, turning the chicken breasts over and stirring the mixture occasionally, about 25 minutes. Using tongs, transfer the chicken breasts to a work surface and cool for 5 minutes. Discard the bay leaf. Add the kidney beans to the pot and simmer until the liquid has reduced into a stew consistency, about 10 minutes.

Discard the skin and bones from the chicken breasts. Shred or cut the chicken into bite- size pieces. Return the chicken meat to the stew. Bring the stew just to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Ladle the stew into serving bowls and serve with the bread.

Super Quick Minestrone

Super Quick Minestrone (compliments of Easy Entertaining,

1 cup (4 ounces) tubetti pasta, or other small pasta shape
Extra-virgin olive oil
6 cups chicken stock
1/4 pound pancetta, cut into 3 pieces
6 medium garlic cloves, each cut in 1/2 lengthwise
2 cups finely chopped yellow onions (2 small onions)
1 cup small-diced celery (2 medium stalks)
1 cup small-diced carrots (2 to 3 medium carrots)
1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary or thyme leaves
1 (14-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes
4 cups small-diced zucchini (green/yellow) (5 small zucchini)
2 cups small-diced, peeled russet potatoes (1 large russet)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions until al dente. Drain and transfer the pasta to a baking sheet. Toss the pasta with a little olive oil to prevent sticking.
In a large saucepan over medium heat, warm the chicken stock.

In another large saucepan over high heat, heat 1/4 cup oil. When the oil is hot but not smoking, add the pancetta and cook until it begins to brown, 3 to 4 minutes, turning occasionally. Add the garlic and cook until it begins to brown, about 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Lower the heat to medium and add the onions, celery, and carrots.
Cook until the vegetables are soft, 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent browning. Add the chopped herbs. Raise the heat to high. Add the beans, tomatoes, zucchini, and potatoes. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Then bring it down to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender, 12 to 15 minutes, skimming any foam off the top of the soup. Season generously with pepper. Add salt, to taste. Just a few minutes before serving, add the cooked tubetti pasta. Serve warm with Parmesan and olive oil passed at the table.

Cooking notes: Add the cooked pasta just before serving. If it sits in the soup too long, it develops a flabby texture. Tubetti (little hollow tubes) are the classic pasta for minestrone, but you could substitute another small shape of pasta.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Shelter Pets....

I have decided to volunteer some of my free time and photograph animals available for adoption at a few of the local shelters....

Here are a few pictures I took today for Guardian Angel Animal Rescue. They were having an adoption show in the front of Canton's Pet Smart.

Shania - You can see more info about Shania here.

Lucky - You can see more info about Lucky here.

Cain - You can see more info about Cain here.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Hot Apple Cider with Rum

Hot Apple Cider with Rum (compliments of Emeril,

1 apple
2 teaspoons whole cloves
1 orange, thinly sliced
2 quarts apple cider
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon allspice
Pinch grated nutmeg
1 cup dark rum
Cinnamon sticks, garnish

Stud the apple with the cloves. In a medium pot, combine the studded apple and remaining ingredients except the rum. Slowly bring to a simmer over low heat. Simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the rum. Discard the apple. Ladle into mugs and garnish each with a cinnamon stick. Serve immediately.

look, I'm getting better....


Also ran an auto color and peta's color pop.

One day soon, someone will want me to take their picture.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

exploring my creative side

just to get everyone into the fall mood....(from the apple tree in our backyard)

Crab and Ricotta Cannelloni

Crab and Ricotta Cannelloni (compliments of everyday italian,

1 box (8 ounces) cannelloni or manicotti pasta (about 12 shells)
1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
3/4 cup grated Parmesan, plus 1/4 cup for sprinkling
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1 pound lump crabmeat
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
Bechamel Sauce, recipe follows

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta.

In a large bowl, mix together ricotta, 3/4 cup Parmesan, egg yolk, basil, crab, salt, and pepper.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Fill the cannelloni with the crab mixture and place in a buttered baking dish. Top the filled cannelloni with the Bechamel Sauce and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan cheese. Bake until bubbly and the top is golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes. Serve immediately.

Bechamel Sauce:
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups whole milk, warmed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk until smooth, about 2 minutes. Gradually add the warm milk, whisking constantly, until the sauce is thick, smooth, and creamy, about 10 minutes (do not allow the sauce to boil). Remove from the heat and stir in the salt, pepper, and nutmeg. (The sauce can be made up to 3 days ahead. Cool and then cover and refrigerate.)

Yield: about 4 cups

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Smoked Turkey Baked Chimichangas

Smoked Turkey Baked Chimichangas (compliments of 30 minute meals,

1 pound thickly sliced smoked turkey from deli counter, chopped
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 cups shredded slaw cabbage, available in produce department
1 to 2 chipotles in adobo sauce, available with Mexican and Spanish foods in market -- use 1 for moderate heat, 2 for extra hot chimichangas
1 cup tomato sauce
3 scallions, chopped
Salt and pepper
4 (12-inch) flour tortillas
1 1/2 cups, 6 ounces, shredded sharp cheddar, smoked white cheddar or Pepper Jack cheese
2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
1 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves or flat-leaf parsley
1 vine ripe orange or yellow tomato, seeded and finely chopped

Preheat your toaster oven to 400 degrees F or high.

Place turkey in a bowl and season with chili powder. Add shredded cabbage, chipotles in adobo, tomato sauce, scallions. Toss filling to combine and season with salt and pepper. Place tortillas in a kitchen towel and set in microwave. Microwave on high for 1 minute. To build, place a generous handful of cheese near one edge of the tortilla. Pile 1/4 of your filling in the tortilla. Tuck sides up and roll tortilla tightly. Repeat to make 4 large stuffed tortilla wraps. Brush the toaster oven baking tray with vegetable or olive oil. Brush the wraps with oil and bake until deep golden all over, 15 to 17 minutes. Top with sour cream, cilantro or parsley and chopped orange or yellow tomato, as garnishes.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Moussaka - A Greek Casserole

Moussaka - greek casserole (compliments of weight watchers)

1 medium eggplant(s), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
1 tsp table salt
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 pound lean ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
1 medium garlic clove, finely chopped
8 oz canned tomato sauce
1/3 cup wine, red
1 tsp dried parsley
1/8 tsp dried oregano
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1 large egg white, beaten
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Place eggplant slices in a colander; sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and let stand 15 minutes.
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; sauté eggplant until lightly browned, about 1 1/2 minutes on each side. Drain on paper towels; set aside.
In the same skillet, sauté beef, onion and garlic until beef is brown and onion is tender, about 4 minutes; drain off fat. Stir in 1/2 cup of tomato sauce, wine, parsley, remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt, oregano and cinnamon; simmer for 10 minutes.
Stir 1/4 cup of beef mixture into egg white; return to skillet, mix well. Cook 1 minute.

Pour remaining 1/2 cup of tomato sauce into bottom of 9 X 13-inch baking dish. Place 1/2 of eggplant slices on top of sauce, then spoon on beef mixture; top with remaining eggplant slices and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake until cheese is browned and bubbly, about 30 minutes. Slice into 6 pieces and serve.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

French Onion Soup

Crockpot French Onion Soup (compliments of cammi-pea,

2 Tbsp butter, melted
3 onions, sliced and separated into rings
1 package gravy mix
3 cups water
4 slices French bread, cubed
4 slices Swiss Cheese

Place the sliced onions in the slow cooker. Pour in the butter and mix thoroughly. Stir in the bread and add the water and gravy mix. Stir well. Cover cook on Low for 10 to 18 hours or on High for 4 to 5 hours. Cover with Swiss cheese before serving.

Monday, August 28, 2006

favours of cooking....

compliments of

Italian Meringue Kisses (makes about 400)

2 2/3 cups sugar
9 large egg whites
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons plus 2 1/4 teaspoons coffee extract
2 teaspoons chocolate extract
12 ounces best-quality bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons canola oil
2 teaspoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder

1. Preheat oven to 175°. Bring sugar and 2/3 cup water to a boil in a small saucepan. Swirl pan to dissolve sugar. Wash down sides with a wet pastry brush to prevent crystals from forming. Boil until syrup registers 238°on a candy thermometer.

2. Put egg whites into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment; beat on low until foamy. Add cream of tartar. Raise speed to medium-high. Beat until stiff (but not dry) peaks form.

3. With mixer running, slowly pour in hot sugar syrup. Raise speed to high. Beat until cooled, about 10 minutes. Place one-third of meringue in each of 2 bowls. Fold vanilla into 1 bowl. Fold 3 tablespoons coffee extract into other bowl. Sift cocoa over the mixer bowl; add chocolate extract and remaining 2 1/4 teaspoons coffee extract, and beat on high speed until combined.

4. Transfer each batch to a separate pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain round tip (such as Ateco #806). Pipe 1-inch kisses onto baking sheets lined with parchment, spacing about 3/4 inch apart. Bake until hard to the touch but not browned, 5 hours or overnight .Transfer kisses to wire racks; let cool completely. Kisses can be stored in airtight containers up to 1 week.

5. Melt chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Stir in oil. Dip bottoms of kisses in melted chocolate; transfer to baking sheets lined with parchment paper to set, about 1 hour.

Mexican Pork Chops

Mexican Pork Chops (compliments of **Carrie**,

6 Pork Chops
1 ½ C. water
¾ C. long grain rice, uncooked
8 oz. Tomato sauce
2 Tbsp. Taco seasoning mix
1 med. Green pepper, chopped
1 C. shredded cheddar cheese

Brown pork chops in large skillet with oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper if desired. Mix rice, water, tomato sauce, and taco seasoning and stir well. Cool chops and spread rice mixture in sprayed 9x13 container. Arrange chops over rice, and sprinkle pepper over chops. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for one hour. Top with cheese and bake an additional 15 minutes.

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Chicken Enchilada Casserole (compliments of

1 cup loose-pack frozen corn
3/4 cup water
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 tsp chicken bouillon granules
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 cup low-fat sour cream
2 Tbsps nonfat dry milk powder
1 Tbsp flour
1 1/2 cups chopped cooked chicken or turkey
1 - 8oz low-sodium tomato sauce
1 - 4oz can diced green chilie peppers, drained (may substitute canned jalapeno peppers, rinsed, seeded & chopped if you like it hot)
1/2 tsp ground coriander
nonstick spray
8 - 6" corn tortillas
1/2 cup shredded low-fat cheese
2 Tbsps snipped cilantro or parsley (optional)

In a medium saucepan stir together corn, water, onion, bouillon granules, garlic & cayenne. Bring to boil and reduce heat. Cover and simmer 3 minutes or until onion is tender. Do NOT drain.

In a small mixing bowl stir together sour cream, nonfat dry milk powder, and flour; add to onion mixture. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat; stir in chopped up chicken. Set aside.

In another small bowl stir together tomato sauce, green chili peppers, and coriander. Set aside.

Spray (8x8x2 or 10x6x2) baking dish with nonstick spray. Lay half of the tortillas in the baking dish, overlapping as necessary. Top with chicken filling. Place remaining tortillas on top of chicken filling. Top with tomato sauce.

Bake, covered, at 350 for 20-25 minutes or unitl heated through. Sprinkle with cheese and cilantro. Allow to stand about 5 minutes before serving.

4 servings

Per serving
371 calories
10g fat
48mg cholesterol
5g fiber
48g carbs
536mg sodium
25g protein

Simple Turkey Soup

Crockpot Simple Turkey Soup (compliments of cammi-pea,

2 lbs. ground turkey, cooked and drained
1 can (28 oz) whole tomatoes, undrained
2 cans (14 oz) beef broth
1 bag (16 oz) frozen mixed soup vegetables (such as carrots, beans, okra, corn or onion)
1/2 C uncooked barley
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp ground coriander
black pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in slow cooker. Add water to cover. Cover; cook on HIGH 3 to 4 hours or until barley and vegetables are tender. *TIP* Try adding other frozen or canned vegetables or diced potatoes and extra carrots. Sliced, diced or stewed tomatoes can be substituted for the whole tomatoes.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Cheddar Cheese Chicken

Crockpot Cheddar Cheese Chicken (compliments of Cammi-pea,

6 chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)
salt and pepper, to taste
garlic powder, to taste
2 cans condensed cream of chicken soup (can use the Healthy Request from Campbells)
1 can condensed cheddar cheese soup

Rinse chicken and sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Mix undiluted soup and pour over chicken in a crock-pot. Cook on low all day (6 to 8 hours). Serve over rice or noodles.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Grilled Peanut Butter, Jelly and Banana Sandwich

Grilled Peanut Butter, Jelly and Banana Sandwich (compliments of Food 911,

8 slices good quality white bread
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup peanut butter, smooth or crunchy
1/2 cup grape jelly
2 ripe bananas, sliced

Butter the bread slices on 1 side with butter and place them butter side down. Spread 4 slices with peanut butter and top with the banana slices. Spread the remaining slices with jelly and put them, jelly side down, on top of the bananas. Press them gently to flatten them slightly.

Place each sandwich on a preheated panini press and grill until the bread is toasted, about 5 minutes. Alternately, preheat a dry cast iron or non stick pan. Place the sandwich in the pan and weight it down with another pan or a clean brick wrapped in foil. Grill 5 minutes, turn the sandwich over, re-weight it, and grill for another 5 minutes. Serve immediately.

Peach French Toast Bake

Peach French Toast Bake (compliments of ellie krieger,

Cooking spray
1 large whole-wheat baguette (about 8 ounces)
4 whole eggs
4 egg whites
1 cup low fat milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 cups sliced peaches, fresh or frozen
1/2 lemon, juiced about 1 1/2 tablespoons
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Spray a 9 by 13-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Slice the baguette into 1/2-inch slices and arrange the slices in a single layer in the baking pan. Whisk together the eggs, egg whites, milk and vanilla. Pour the egg mixture over the bread in the pan. In a medium bowl, toss peaches with the lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of the brown sugar. Scatter the peach slices evenly on top of the bread. Combine the remaining brown sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over the top. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Uncover and bake for 40 minutes.

Serving suggestion: Top with a dollop of vanilla yogurt, a drizzle of maple syrup and a side of Canadian bacon.

Nutritional Analysis - per Serving
Calories 263
Total fat 5 grams
Saturated fat 1.3 grams
Protein 12 grams
Carbohydrates 42 grams
Fiber 3 grams

digital artist, you ask

the BIBLE of digital scrapbooking tutorials, you seek - a resounding applause goes to Michelle of Scrapability.

oh, and the answer to my question.....not today, but perhaps someday.

Friday, August 18, 2006

organizational dreams

I only wish my bookshelves looked this clean and pristine.....

(the image is from Kolo - it advertises their new line of cortina albums)


In other news.....

Check out this blog - Jessica Sprague - from the same lady who puts together the photoshop friday threads! Awesome :) She has recently moved from her home here on blogger - click here for her previous work.

Fettucini Alfredo

Fettucini Alfredo (compliments of

1 1/2 cups nonfat evaporated milk
10 cloves garlic
1 pound dry fettuccine pasta
1/2 cup nonfat milk
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons lowfat cream cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Combine 1 1/2 cup evaporated milk and garlic cloves in a pan, heat and simmer until garlic is soft (about 15-20 minutes). Milk will reduce a little. In a blender, puree milk and garlic mixture with cream cheese until smooth. Return mixture to pan and add 1/2 cup nonfat milk and cornstarch. Heat to simmer. Sauce will thicken slightly. Add 1/4 cup parmesan cheese. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain. Toss sauce with cooked pasta. Season with salt and pepper and serve with parsley sprinkled on top. Serve remaining parmesan cheese separately.

Servings Per Recipe: 8

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 291
Total Fat: 4g
Cholesterol: 9mg
Sodium: 195mg
Total Carbs: 49.6g
Dietary Fiber: 2g
Protein: 15g

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Pineapple Daquiri Sundaes

Pineapple Daquiri Sundaes (compliments of Cammi-pea,

1 pineapple, cored, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch chunks
1/2 C dark rum
1/2 C sugar
3 tbsp lime juice
Peel of 2 limes, cut in long strands
1 tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot
Vanilla ice cream
Fresh raspberries and mint leaves (optional)

Place pineapple, rum, sugar, lime juice, peel and cornstarch in slow cooker; mix well. Cover; cook on HIGH 3 to 4 hours. Serve hot over ice cream. Sprinkle with raspberries and mint leaves, if desired. *TIP* Substitute 1 can (20 oz) crushed pineapple (drained) for fresh pineapple. Cook on HIGH 3 hours. For a variation, serve sauce over pound cake instead of ice cream.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Chicken Tortellini Soup

Chicken Tortellini Soup (compliments of **Carrie**,

1 cup Carrots, sliced thin
½ cup Chopped onion
½ cup Celery, sliced thin
1 cup cooked cubed chicken breast
6 cup Reduced fat chicken broth
1 cup Cheese filled tortellini, dried and uncooked
½ Tsp Dried thyme
¼ Tsp Black pepper
1 Bay leaf
2 Tbsp Parsley

Bring broth to a boil, add carrots, onion, celery, thyme, black pepper, and bay leaf. Cover, simmer over medium heat for 15 minutes. Add chicken, pasta and parsley. Continue cook over medium heat until pasta is cooked.

Fresh Asparagus and Beef Stir-Fry

Fresh Asparagus and Beef Stir-Fry (compliments of

2 tsps unsalted butter
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into strips
1 lb lean beef strips
9 oz sugar snap peas
1 1/2 lbs fresh asparagus, ends trimmed, cut into 2 inch pieces
1/4 cup chicken stock
2 Tbsps lemon juice
1/4 cup peanuts, chopped

Melt butter in a heavy nonstick skilletover medium heat. Saute red pepper, beef, snap peas and asparagus 4-5 minutes. Add stock and cook another 2 minutes or until vegetables are tender and liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve sprinkled with peanuts.

Makes 4 servings.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The reality of t-shirts

It can't get much better than this....

or perhaps this???

I love internet window shopping....

Crockpot Teriyaki Pineapple Chicken

Teriyaki Pineapple Chicken (compliments of Cammi-pea,

4-6 chicken breasts or tenderloins
1 can pineapple chunks
1 bottle Lawry's Teriyaki marinade

Place chicken in crock-pot, pour marinade on top. Drain half the juice from the pineapple and pour remaining juice and pineapple chunks into crock-pot. Cook on low 4-6 hours.

Serve over rice.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Orange Chicken Fingers

Orange Chicken Fingers (compliments of

1 lb skinless chicken breasts
1 1/2 tbsp Dijon Mustard
1 1/2 tbsp frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
1/2 tbsp honey
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp pepper
salt to taste

1. Cut chicken crosswise into 3/4 inch wide strips. Shisk together mustard, Orange juice, honey, sesame oil and pepper in medium bowl until smooth. Add the chicken toss to combine. Let marinate in fridge 15 minutes.

2. Meanwhile prepare grill, or preheat broiler. Remove chicken strips from marinade discard remaining marinade. Grill or broil 2-3 min per side until no longer pink. Season with salt and serve.

4 servings
per serving 174 calories, 4g fart, 10 carbs.

Veggie Tortilla Roll Up

A healthy lunch recipe (compliments of

Veggie Tortilla Roll Up

4 whole wheat tortillas
6 tablespoons nonfat cream cheese
2 cups shredded romaine lettuce or fresh spinach
1 cup diced tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped cucumber
1/4 cup diced green chilies
1/4 cup sliced black olives
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup chopped bell pepper (red, green, orange, yellow, or a mixture of these.

1. Spread each tortilla with 1 1/2 tablespoons of cream cheese.
2. Top tortillas with equal amounts of vegetables. Roll up tightly to enclose filling.

Makes 4 servings. 1 tortilla roll per serving.

Nutrition information per serving:
Calories 144, Carbs 25 g, Protein 8 g, Total Fat 3 g, Saturated Fat 1 g, Cholesterol 2 mg, Sodium 386 mg, Dietary Fiber 5 g.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Simple Tomato Sauce

compliments of Everyday Italian....

Simple Tomato Sauce:
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
2 (32-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
4 to 6 basil leaves
2 dried bay leaves
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, optional

In a large casserole pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until soft and translucent, about 2 minutes. Add celery and carrot and season with salt and pepper. Saute until all the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, basil, and bay leaves and reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot and simmer for 1 hour or until thick. Remove bay leaves and taste for seasoning. If sauce tastes too acidic, add unsalted butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, to round out the flavor.

Pour half the tomato sauce into the bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth. Continue with remaining tomato sauce.

If not using all the sauce, allow it to cool completely and then pour 1 to 2 cup portions into plastic freezer bags. Freeze for up to 6 months.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

for all the little souls

who only begin to touch our lives....

The American Child Photographers Charity Guild

Erin Drallos, a photographer from Clarkston (MI), founded a non-profit association called the American Child Photographers Charity Guild in 2004, an organization that is dedicated to children in need and their families. The service is free to the family, provides families in need with wonderful memories of their precious children and it is such a worthwhile cause.

If interested in participating as a photographer or know a family in need, please do not hesitate to pass along this information and visit the website.

Erin's work can also be previewed here.

Crab and Corn Chowda-Mac

compliments of 30 minute meals....

Crab and Corn Chowda-Mac

1 box large shell pasta
1 tablespoon vegetable oil, 1 turn of the pan
3 slices bacon, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped, with greens
1/2 small red bell pepper, chopped
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup milk
2 cups shredded sharp white Cheddar
1 (6-ounce) tub lump fresh crabmeat, flaked
1 cup frozen corn kernels
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
Couple pinches cayenne pepper
3 tablespoons chopped or snipped fresh chives

Bring pasta water to boil and salt it. Cook pasta to al dente.

While pasta cooks, heat a large, deep skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Add extra-virgin olive oil to pan with the bacon. Cook bacon 3 minutes. Add onions and celery and cook 3 minutes more. Add bell pepper and cook another minute or two. Add flour and cook 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in stock, then milk. When milk bubbles, add crab and corn to heat through, another minute. Stir in cheese, thyme and cayenne pepper. Melt cheese into sauce. Drain pasta and toss with cheese, crab and corn sauce. Adjust seasoning. Ladle in bowls and garnish with chives.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Quick Gnocchi with Tomato Sauce

this one comes from 30 minute's a quick 'gnocchi' with tomato sauce

8 slices day old, good quality Italian bread
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 3 turns of the pan
2 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups (2-ounce cans) tomato sauce
3 small plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
Several fresh basil leaves, torn
2 cups shredded mozzarella, smoked mozzarella or provolone cheese

Preheat broiler.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Chop bread into bite size pieces. Add extra-virgin olive oil, butter and garlic to the skillet. Melt butter into oil then add the bread. Season the bread with salt and pepper. Toss and cook the bread 7 to 8 minutes then add the tomato sauce and fresh tomatoes. Turn to coat and warm the tomato sauce, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the bread gnocchi and tomatoes from heat and transfer to a casserole dish, top with basil then cover the dish with cheese. Place the casserole under the broiler and cook 2 to 3 minutes, until the cheese browns and bubbles. Serve immediately.

for the kids....

its play time!! The creators of Zolo have devised a series of toys that are educational and aid in certain developmental skills. Kushies come in a variety of styles, colors, and although they tend to be on the expensive side of the spectrum, I only have one thought....I don't have any kids, so it's much easier to rationalize spending mondo amounts of money on toys for my friend's children.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Antipasto Salad

from everyday italian ... antipasto salad, what a perfect summer dinner

Red Wine Vinaigrette:
1 bunch fresh basil, stemmed and leaves chopped (about 2 cups)
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Antipasto Salad:
1 pound fusilli pasta
1/2 cup hard salami, cut into strips (about 3 ounces)
1/2 cup smoked turkey, cut into strips (about 3 ounces)
1/4 cup provolone cheese, cut into strips
1/4 cup grated Asiago cheese
2 tablespoons green olives, halved and pitted
2 tablespoons roasted red peppers, cut into strips
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

In a blender, add the basil, vinegar, garlic, mustard, salt and pepper. Blend until the herbs are finely chopped. With the machine running, drizzle in the olive oil until the dressing is smooth.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta.

In a large bowl, toss together the cooked pasta with the remaining salad ingredients. Drizzle with dressing and toss to coat. Serve.


fun times with photoshop....

Always wonder how graphic designers manage to astound us with their photo editing skills?? Well wonder no more....Jessica Sprague has started a blog (Photoshop Friday) in order to enlighten the average person on how to create masterpieces from ordinary photos.

New threads appear every friday and contain very detailed instructions on how to turn your boring photos into images you would see Pottery Barn use a sample photos.

Technology is a grand thing......

Thursday, June 22, 2006

get the creative juices flowing...

Always wondered how people get those great little quotes or saying 'painted' onto their walls? Well wonder no more.....and it's an [O] thing suggests

Wonderful Graffiti

There are tons of ideas to choose from.....or if you are feeling impulsive, create your own. The best part.....when you become tired of it (if you ever do), its completely removable.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Shining crystal clear

.....and that's a (diamond studded) [O] thing!!

Available from Divine Diamonds (the kind that won't break your pocketbook), this ring is engraved ah to represent an available and happy woman and can even been worn by married ladies to portray their attached and happy status.

Either way, I can't think of any single or married lady who wouldn't enjoy a diamond ring.


I'm not really sure what my problem is lately, but I am having the darndest time trying to remember to pay my bills. And I think that Pottery Barn has the solution for me.

Talk about a wall-size calendar! Forget post-it notes....I'm moving on to the big league, folks!

tuesday tuesday tuesday

Alright, so I'm behind again. Who knew keeping this updating would be challenging? Certainly not me. Anyways, here's another and that's an [O] thing....

Looking for a personalized gift, but you are tired of a simple monogram? Look no further, the creators of Sticks and Stones have created a great personalized keepsake that can be hung anywhere in your home.

Friday, June 16, 2006

A little behind....

Been a long week..... :(

Anyways, promised to keep and that's an [O] thing going....I believe these were featured in both Oprah's magazine as well as Real Simple.

The together book binds pictures you have already developed, but haven't had time to organize into photo albums. For around $30 (before shipping), you can create an album of 100 (or less, but you must have at least 25) pictures for a keepsake or gift that is modern, yet classic. Who wouldn't enjoy receiving a completed album??

Monday, June 12, 2006

And that's an [O] thing!

Sorta like Martha's, "...and that's a good thing." I've decide to find one quote, website, item, page, music selection....something that I'm enjoying for the day and share it with you.

For today - A solar powered home address plaque ... and that's an [O] thing!

Sorta celebrity status

We're celebrities!!

Visit our photographer's website to see some of our wedding photos highlighted in their gallery.

My Wedding Photographer

Friday, November 04, 2005


We're married!!
October 22, 2005