Thursday, October 27, 2011

{white chocolate orange cookies}

My friend Brook showed up on my doorstep with these cookies one lovely evening, and I've been thanking her ever since.  :)  They are my new favorite cookie, and I love them just as much substituting the orange for lemon or lime.  They are divine!!!

White Chocolate Orange Cookies

1 c. butter
½ c. white sugar
½ c. brown sugar
1 egg
2 ¼ c. flour
¾ t. baking soda
½ t. salt
2 T. grated orange peel (about 2 large oranges)
1 ½-2 c. white chocolate chips

Mix butter and sugar until creamy.  Beat in egg.  Add the rest of the dry ingredients and mix.  When you get a dough consistency, mix in the orange peel and chocolate by hand.  Bake 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees.  Cool on a wire rack.

*You can substitute lemon or lime instead of the orange.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

{south of the border sandwiches}

This sandwich is TO DIE FOR good.  It has so many of my favorites flavors, textures, and ingredients in it, and I love it.  I also love it for a couple of other reasons--my kids will eat it (at least the turkey and cheese), and it's super fast and easy.  I served it with homemade oven fries, and two days later, I'm still craving it!  The sauce is absolutely divine--I used light mayo and sour cream to make it more figure friendly--and I even dipped my fries in it.  YUM! Emma and I are eating gluten free, so I just used a loaf of homemade gluten-free bread, and it was delicious!

 South of the Border Sandwiches

1 loaf French bread, cut into 3/4" thick slices
½ cup olives, chopped
½ teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup lite mayonnaise
1/3 cup nonfat sour cream
1/3 cup green onions, chopped
1 pound sliced turkey
2 medium tomatoes, thinly sliced
2 ripe avocados, sliced
¾ cup cheddar cheese, shredded
¾ cup pepper jack or Monterey Jack cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a bowl, combine olives, chili powder, cumin, and salt; set aside 2 Tablespoons of this mixture. Add the mayonnaise, sour cream, and green onions to the remaining olive mixture.

Place bread on an ungreased baking sheet and spread 1 Tablespoon of the mayonnaise mixture on each slice. Top with slices of turkey and tomatoes. Spread with another Tablespoon of mayonnaise mixture (I didn't add this because I didn't think it needed it). Top with avocados and cheeses. Sprinkle with the reserved 2 Tablespoons of olive mixture. Bake @ 350 for 15 min. Makes 8-10 servings.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

{northern cornbread}

Wow!  It's been a long time since I've posted a recipe!  I just finished completely re-doing my recipe binder(s), and I am thrilled.  I discovered a few long lost recipes, got rid of recipes we didn't like or didn't use, and added a ton of new favorites. 

Today I'm sharing an old favorite.  It's definitely chili weather, and it's something our family loves and eats often.  The perfect complement to chili is cornbread, and I am forced to choose between two wonderful choices--Southern Cornbread (in right side column), and Northern Cornbread.

Northern Cornbread is a little more cake-y and sweet, and very delicious.  Serve it warm with butter, or dip it in your chili--either way, you will want more!

Northern Cornbread
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Whisk together:
1 ¼ c. cornmeal
¾ c. flour
4 T. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt

Whisk in separate bowl:
2 large eggs
2/3 c. milk
2/3 c. buttermilk

Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir just until moistened. Fold in 2-3 T. butter or oil.  Bake for 20-25 minutes in a 9x9 square pan, or 10-12 minutes in a 12-cup muffin tin.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

{salsa and black bean tacos}

One of my family's favorite meals is Salsa and Black Bean Pasta.  It is so yummy, and super easy, so we have it pretty often.  This week though, we had already had a lot of pasta, and the kids were wanting something a little different.  I already had this planned for the menu, so I switched it up and turned it into a taco.  The kids loved it, and it's perfect for summer! With only 4 ingredients, it's super easy and takes less than 30 minutes from start to finish. 

Fresh Salsa and Black Bean Tacos

1 lb. ground beef
1 lb. fresh salsa 
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
salt and pepper to taste
corn tortillas OR taco shells

In a large skillet, brown the ground beef, then drain if necessary.  Add the fresh salsa ( get mine at our local grocery store deli) and black beans; heat through. I like making my own taco shells out of corn tortillas.  They really are quick and easy, and I love the taste of them.  Just heat a little oil in the bottom of a large skillet, then place the tortillas in the oil until they are lightly browned.  Remove from oil with tongs, and drain on paper towels.  You can either eat them like a tostada (make them a little crisper), or fold them in half like a taco.  You could certainly use taco shells though!  Fill your taco shell with the meat mixture, then top with your favorite toppings.  We like cheese, tomatoes, cilantro, green onion, lettuce and avocado.  YUM!


Thursday, April 21, 2011

{lemon garlic chicken...crockpot recipe!}

My husband has an allrecipes app on his iphone that I just love, and he found this recipe a few days ago. It is SO yummy, and was a huge hit with everyone. I am in love with anything crockpot--the perfect way to cook on a busy day!


1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
2 T. butter
1/4 c. water
3 T. fresh lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. chicken bouillon granules
1 tsp. chopped fresh parsley
1 package cream cheese (you can use 1/3 less fat or fat free)

1. In a bowl, mix the oregano, salt, and pepper. Rub the mixture into chicken. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Brown chicken in butter for 3 to 5 minutes on each side. Place chicken in a slow cooker.

2. In the same skillet, mix the water, lemon juice, garlic, and bouillon. Bring the mixture to boil. Pour over the chicken in the slow cooker.

3. Cover, and cook on High for 3 hours, or Low for 6 hours. Add the parsley to the slow cooker 15 to 30 minutes before the end of the cook time.

4. About 15 minutes before you're ready to serve, remove the chicken and place on a serving platter. Add the cream to cheese to the juice in the crockpot, and whisk until smooth.

Ladle the sauce over rice or pasta, then place your chicken on top!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

{disappearing brownies}

My cute piano students gave me this recipe, after they tempted me during our last lesson by telling me all about them. They didn't disappoint--they are SO yummy! It's not your traditional brownie, using butterscotch instead of cocoa to flavor them, but it still has chocolate chips in them for all the chocolate lovers! I'm sorry I don't have a picture...they disappeared before I could. :)

One other note---I doubled the recipe, and used a 9x13 pan. I didn't alter the cook time.

Disappearing Brownies

1/2 c.butterscotch chips
1/4 c. butter
1/3 c. packed brown sugar
3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. salt
1 c. miniature marshmallows
1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 c. chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

In a medium microwave-safe bowl, microwave butterscotch chips and butter on high for 30-45 seconds or until smooth when stirred. Stir in brown sugar; cool slightly. Add flour, egg, baking powder, vanilla, and salt; mix well. Fold in marshmallows, chocolate chips, and nuts. Spread batter into a greased 9-inch square baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until center is almost set.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

{black bean & cilantro wraps}

This is my new favorite go-to lunch. It's super fast, easy, and I always have the ingredients on hand. It's also low in calories, but high in taste!

Black Bean & Cilantro Wraps

corn tortilla
black beans, rinsed and drained
tomatoes, chopped
cilantro, chopped
shredded cheese (I use low-fat mozzarella)

Layer the beans, cilantro, and cheese on top of the corn tortilla. Place in your oven or toaster oven until the cheese is melted and the tortilla is a little crisp. Remove from oven, sprinkle with tomatoes, roll up, and enjoy!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

{peanut butter chocolate popcorn}

This recipe was created purely by accident. I really wanted to make white chocolate covered popcorn, mixed toffee bits, but a trip to the food storage pantry proved there to be no white chocolate chips. (which was a surprise to me...hmmmm)

So I improvised, and a new favorite was born!


10-15 cups popped popcorn
1 bag peanut butter chips
1/2 bag chocolate chips

Place popcorn in large bowl. Melt the peanut butter chips in a glass bowl in the microwave, making sure to stir every 30 seconds. The chips will hold its shape even when completely soft, so check often to avoid burning. Pour the melted chips over the popcorn, and mix well, making sure to coat all the popcorn. I actually used my hands--it worked much better than just a spoon. Spread the popcorn out on a cookie sheet covered in aluminum foil.

Melt the chocolate chips in another glass bowl, following the same method. Spoon into a sandwich bag (or piping bag), then cut the tip of one corner. Pipe the chocolate over the top of the peanut butter popcorn. Let cool for an hour or so, until the chocolate sets.


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

{cinnamon roll pancake sauce}

My friend Angela gave me this recipe a few months ago, and to say I LOVE it is an understatement. It goes perfectly on pancakes, French toast, waffles, and German Pancakes (one of our family favorites). It is so delicious!

Cinnamon Roll Pancake Sauce

Melt ¼ c. butter

¾ c. brown sugar
2 T. half and half or milk
1 T. ground cinnamon (I cut this in half)
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ground cloves

Microwave until bubbly (1-1 ½ min)

1 T.vhalf and half or milk
1 T. flour

Whisk until well blended

{smooshy smooshy}

My friend Emily gave me this recipe, and named it, quite appropriately, in my opinion! It's yummy, and quite irresistible.

Smooshy Smooshy

Mix in a large bowl:
1 box Golden Grahams
1 box Chex
3 c. shredded coconut
2 c. sliced almonds

Boil for 3 minutes:
2 c. sugar
3 c. white Karo syrup
2 1/2 sticks of butter (nope, not a typo!)

My changes: I omitted the almonds, and added honey roasted peanuts instead. I also added M&Ms for a little chocolate!

Remove from heat and add 2 tsp. vanilla. Pour over cereal mix and stir until cereal is well coated. Spread on 2 cookie sheets until cool. Store in a covered container.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

{classic french onion soup}

Do you love onions? I do.

Classic French Onion Soup

1/2 T. butter
4 medium onions, sliced
2 T. flour
1/8 tsp. sugar
5 c. low-sodium beef broth
1/2 tsp. thyme
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp. pepper
4 slices French bread, toasted
1 clove garlic, split lengthwise
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese

Melt butter in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat. Stir in sliced onions and saute until golden, about 8-10 minutes. Sprinkle with flour and sugar; cook 5 minutes longer, stirring constantly. Raise heat to medium high and add beef broth, thyme, bay leaf, and pepper. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer, covered loosely, for 30 minutes. Remove and discard the bay leaf.

Preheat broiler. Rub the toasted pieces of French bread with the cut edge of the garlic clove and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Divide soup evenly among four individual bowls (make certain they are flameproof). Place a piece of bread, cheese side up, in each bowl. Set bowls under broiler, 4-6 inches from heat, and broil about 2 minutes or until cheese is golden brown.

*You can also toast the bread and cheese ahead of time, and place on top of the soup right before serving.

Calories per serving: 203
Total Fat: 3 grams
Protein: 19 grams
Carbs: 25 grams

{porcupine meatballs}

It's not often that I find a meal that every single person in our family likes and will eat, but this is one of them! It was given to me by my friend Melissa, and I'm so glad! Like she suggested, I serve it with broccoli and monkey bread--so yummy and easy!

Porcupine Meatballs

1 box Beef Rice-a-Roni
1 lb. lean hamburger
1 egg

Put aside the seasoning packet, and mix together the rice, hamburger, and egg. Shape into balls, and brown over medium heat in a large skillet. Mix 2 1/2 c. water with the seasoning packet, and pour over meatballs. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 18 minutes.

{yummy cheese ball}

I love this recipe! It came from my friend Erica, and it's now a family favorite!

Cheese Ball

2 packages cream cheese
1 dry ranch dressing packet
1/2 c. shredded cheese
1 c. chopped pecans

Mix together the first three ingredients, and form into a large ball. Roll in the nuts, and refrigerate until time to serve. Serve with crackers!

{crockpot lasagne}

Fast and easy!

Crockpot Lasagne

8 Lasagne noodles, uncooked
1 lb. ground beef
28 oz. spaghetti sauce
1/3 c. water
15 oz. ricotta cheese
2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese

1. Break noodles, and place half in the bottom of a crock pot sprayed with cooking spray.

2. Brown ground beef in saucepan, drain, then spread over the noodles.

3. Mix the sauce and water together, then layer half of it over the ground beef, followed by half of the ricotta and mozzarella cheeses. Repeat the layers.

4. Cook on low for 5 hours, or until done.