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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Asian Slaw with Ginger Peanut Dressing

First off I need to apologize about how this picture looks of this food. I had my grand daughter here today and I guess I got sidetracked and forgot to take a picture before we ate. So after everything was all packed away, my brain kicked into full gear and I thought "whoops....I forgot:. So after spending all day running around after a 15 month old, I was just too lazy to take the slaw out of the tupperware I had already packed for the hubby tomorrow for work. So now that the explanation is done, let me move on to the food. This is another Pinterest recipe. I am really beginning to wonder if I am ever going to create my own food again. I have been spending so much time on Pinterest and there are so many wonderful recipes, that I can't imagine how long it will take me to cook so many of them that I want to make. This was such a refreshing, light slaw. I know it's supposed to be Fall, but it was 102 degrees here today, so yes I made a nice cold, refreshing SUMMER slaw!! If you like the taste of Oriental chicken salads at restaurants, then you will LOVE this (minus the chicken of course)!
Here is a link to the original recipe site!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Crispy Fried Brussel Sprouts with Honey and Sriracha

This picture might look unappetizing, but I'm not a photographer, I just LOVE to cook. To be honest, I was just too lazy to even think about getting all the sauce off the sides of the bowl etc. I think I have just discovered one of my new favorite vegetable recipes. I love that this dish offers a spicy kick, along with a sweet undertone and a little bit of acidity from the lime. I'm pretty sure that someone that doesn't even like brussel sprouts would like these.
Here is a link to the recipe I found!

Frozen Cappucino Cups

It seems lately that I haven't been creating as many of my own dishes and I've been trying a lot of  new recipes I have found here, there and everywhere on the Internet. This is another idea taken from Pinterest and oh it ever wonderful!!! I made these with the intent of having something small to eat when a sugar craving hits, but now the task will be to just eat one and  not eat the entire making of them ;)
The hubby tried one out tonight and really liked it. Since he is not much a sweet eater, this is saying a lot for him to like this. I can't wait to have one tomorrow night. I am too full from our wonderful dinner to even think about eating one tonight!
I know this picture is terrible of this dessert. The camera broke again and I really needed to pop these back into the freezer quickly to get them solid again after topping them with the cool whip and cookie crumbs. Tomorrow I will try to take a picture of one cut in half so you can see all the yummy goodness....
15 Oreo cookies
2 Tbsp melted butter
1 pt coffee ice cream, softened

1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
cool whip
Oreo cookie crumbs
* you can also top it with chocolate syrup or any other "fixins" you like

Crush oreos in your food processor. Place into a bowl and stir in the melted butter. Mix thoroughly. Place cupcake liners into a muffin tin and place a small amount of cookie mixture into the bottom of each liner. Press down with the back of the spoon until it's flat and evenly pressed down.
In a bowl, place softened ice cream with the cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir and mix well. When it's all mixed, place a small amount of the ice cream mixture on top of the cookie crumb mixture in each cup. Top with cool whip and extra crushed cookie crumbs. Place in freezer until frozen.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Orange Rum Glazed Salmon

Don't you love when you come across a recipe on the Internet and it turns out to be really good? That's how I feel about this one....and trust me I have tried many duds! Red Lobster has a section on their restaurant page that gives free recipes. I got this recipe from that site. I didn't happen to have any snapper, which is what the original recipe calls for, so I tried it on salmon. John loved it, I loved it, so I will definitely be making this one again.
Here is a link to the recipe:

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Jalapeno Cream Cheese Rolls

This is another recipe I found on Pinterest. I cannot tell you how much I love that site! These rolls were super delicious and went very well with my vegetarian enchiladas and spicy asparagus.Yep, I had to keep the "spicy" theme throughout the whole meal. I did modify the amount of rolls the original recipe said to cut these into, as I wanted a little more than just a bite size.  These take only a few minutes to whip up and make for a great tasting bread side dish.
  • 1 package Cream Cheese (8 Ounce Package)
  • 4 ounces, weight Canned, Diced Jalapenos
  • 1 Tablespoon Sugar
  • 8 ounces, weight Tube Refrigerated Crescent Rolls
Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
In a bowl, mix the cream cheese, half the jalapenos ( I used almost the whole jar because I like my food spicy) and the sugar. Mix well with a fork. Set aside. Open crescent rolls and place on a cutting board. Separate them into two rectangles. Pinch together the perforations in each rectangle. Spread  the cream cheese mixture evenly onto the rectangles.Starting with the long side of each rectangle, roll up each rectangle into a "log" Once they are rolled up, cut each "log" into 8 pieces. Place the pieces onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for about 13 minutes until they are golden brown.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Blue Raspberry Chocolate Filled Meringue Cookies

Once again, this is what happens when you wake up at 4:30 AM and your alarm isn't set to go off until 600 AM. You bake!!! I attempted these cookies yesterday from a recipe I found on Pinterest and it didn't work at all. The meringue would never set up and the cookies just came out flat. They did taste good though :)
So this morning I attempted to re-make them since there isn't much to them and they came out much better. I skipped an entire step from the original recipe and added much more cream of tartar than the original recipe called for. I really liked the results. They taste the same as yesterday's batch, which was yummy, but they look a whole lot better!       

4 egg whites
1 cup sugar
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp flavoring ( I used raspberry, but you can choose any flavor)
Food coloring (as little or as much as you would like to produce a color of your choice)

 Heat oven to 175 degrees.
In a mixer, blend the egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar until stiff peaks form. This takes quite awhile, but be patient. After stiff peaks have formed, stir in flavoring and food coloring.
Line a cookie sheet (you will probably need 2 cookie sheets) with parchment paper. Place a single chocolate chip (for each cookie) approximately 2 inches apart on parchment paper. Insert a star tip into a decorating bag. Fill the bag with meringue and pipe it over each chocolate chip to form stars. Bake at 175 degrees for an hour and a half. Remove from oven and let cool.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Chicken Enchilada Soup

I adapted this recipe from a recipe I found on Pinterest. I must admit that Pinterest could easily take the place as my new found second love haha! Just kidding. God first, then my hubby, then family and friends...then Pinterest? ;)
Even though it's not quite fall yet and I usually wait until then to make soups, I decided to try this one out today. I gave it a quick sample and oh my goodness, I loved it! It was super easy and basically I just threw all the ingredients into a crock pot after I got off of work. (Yes I'm blessed to be home super early everyday from work). It took about 3 hours in the crock pot, but it's still on high at this point and I'm sure the tastes can only get better as it sits in there warming for longer. So I will just let it go until dinner time tonight and then voila...a super easy and tasty meal ♥

3 cups chicken broth
4 skinless, chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ancho chili powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
3 large jalapeno peppers, chopped
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 large onion, diced
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (12 oz) bag frozen corn
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
8 oz cotija cheese, crumbled
 2-3 oz pepper jack cheese, grated
2-3 oz sharp cheddar cheese, grated
* for a garnish:
chopped cilantro
extra cojita cheese, crumbled
You can add tortilla chips if you would like

 Place all ingredients (except garnish) into your crock pot. Make sure to use already cooked and shredded chicken. Turn the crock pot onto high and leave for a few hours. I am cooking mine about 5 hours today! I'm sure it can only taste better the longer it cooks!

Butterfinger Candy

This was quite possibly the easiest candy I have ever made. I'm sorry the picture is so bad, but I actually forgot to take a picture of all the candy, until there was only one piece left at work. So hence the horrible picture of an amazing tasting candy! I wish I had thought to cut it open  so you could see the beautiful orange "butterfinger" like center. These take almost no time at all and are so easy that anyone could do it!!
1 (13 oz) bag candy corn
1 cup peanut butter
1 bag Milk chocolate chips

Melt the candy corn in the microwave, stirring every 15 seconds. Keep stirring each time  you check it because it gets hard quickly. When it's all done melting, quickly stir in the peanut butter. Make sure you stir thoroughly and you may even need to use a fork or the back of your spoon to break up any "hard spots" in the candy corn from it setting up too quickly. Line a square pan with parchment paper (leave enough out on the sides to be able to pull out the whole candy piece as one sheet). Press the candy down into the parchment paper lined pan. Spread out the best you can. Chill for awhile until it's thoroughly cooled down. Cut into squares. (These are pretty rich and sweet, so smaller squares work better). Melt your milk chocolate chips in the microwave, also stirring every 20 seconds or so. These burn quickly before they actually lose their shape, so stir a lot each time you check it. Dip squares into the melted milk chocolate and lay on a wax paper lined cookie sheet. Place in  the refrigerator until they are cooled down and set up!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Chicken and Pesto Stuffed Shells

If you read my earlier post today, then you will know that I almost didn't leave enough pesto sauce to make tonight's dinner. ;) Well I did have enough and it actually turned out to be pretty tasty! I will definitely be making this one again. You could always substitute store bought pesto sauce, but hey, I grow so much basil in my garden, that I cannot justify not making it myself.
16 jumbo pasta shells
4oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan + 1/4 cup for topping
3 tablespoons Pesto sauce
2 cups shredded, cooked chicken
small handful of sun dried tomatoes, chopped
2 cloves minced garlic
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
enough butter melted to moisten the bread crumbs(maybe 1/8 cup)

In a large pot over high heat, boil water and cook the jumbo shells for 12 minutes or until "al dente". Drain the pasta and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients, except the 1/4 cup of cheese for the topping. Fill the pasta shells with the filling and place in a greased baking dish.  Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of cheese over filled shells. 

In a small bowl, melt the butter in the microwave and stir in Panko bread crumbs. Sprinkle all over the top of the shells and then bake at 350 degrees, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until shells are bubbling hot and cheese melts.

Basil Pesto

Let me first admit that I could sit down and eat this entire making  of pesto sauce with a spoon. Who needs pasta when this tastes so good by itself? Secondly I admit that I did continue to taste this, under the guise of taste testing of course, to make sure I had it right! ;)
So....luckily I had some left to use in my stuffed shells I am making tonight for dinner. (I will post the recipe for those also, after I get a picture of it tonight)
2 cups basil leaves, packed down
1/2 cup grated fresh parmesan cheese
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts
3 garlic cloves, minced
Salt/Pepper to taste

In your food processor, pulse the pine nuts and basil a few times. Add the garlic a pulse a bit more. Slowly add the olive oil while the food processor is running. (Stream it in continually while the food processor is going) Turn off the processor and scrape down the sides. Run again for just a few seconds to mix it all up. Add the grated parmesan and mix again until thoroughly blended. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with pasta or you can put it over chicken or anything else that sounds good!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Peanut Butter Filled Chocolate Cookies

I don't think I know anyone that doesn't like the combination of peanut butter and chocolate! It's a classic that always makes me happy. Today I made these cookies for a church ministry tomorrow. Hopefully it will make people there happy also :)
1½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
½ cup granulated sugar (plus more for dipping)
½ cup packed brown sugar
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup creamy peanut butter, divided
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
¾ cup powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 375˚F.
Stir together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.  Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the sugar, butter and 1/4 cup of the peanut butter until light and smooth.  Add in the vanilla and egg, beating one at a time to combine.  Gradually stir in the flour mixture.  Set dough aside.
To make the filling, cream together the powdered sugar and remaining 3/4 cup of peanut butter until smooth.
To assemble the cookies, spoon a generous tablespoon of chocolate cookie dough and flatten into a circle with your hands.  Scoop a small amount of peanut butter filling mixture and place in the center of the chocolate dough.  Wrap the chocolate dough around the peanut butter filling, pinching ends together to seal.  Roll the cookie in between hands to smooth into a ball.  Roll into a bowl of sugar and place on the cookie sheet.
Use the bottom of a glass to slightly flatten the cookies.  Bake for 7 to 9 minutes.  Do not over bake.  Let cool on wire rack.

Lasagna Cups

My mom always taught me not to play with my food, but making this version of lasagna in a cup felt kind of like playing with my food. Sssshhhh don't tell my mom ;)
This wasn't necessarily as easy as making regular lasagna in a pan, but it also makes for great single servings to store in the freezer for work lunches. These would be great to make for a party, or for when a pot luck at work calls for more "single serve" style food.

*Makes 11 lasagna cups

for the sauce-
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 large onion
1/4 lb lean ground beef, cooked and drained
1/4 lb hot italian sausage, cooked and crumbled
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1 small zucchini, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-6 oz. can tomato paste
1-8 oz. can tomato sauce ( plus 1/2 can water)
14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon dried basil
1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon sugar
salt & pepper to taste

for the cheese filling-
1-10 oz. tub Philadelphia Italian Herb & Cheese Cooking Cream
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese,
3/4 pound mozzarella cheese, grated & divided
1/3 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 egg

1 box lasagna noodles ( I use whole wheat)

Parmesan cheese for the top along with the extra mozzarella

For the sauce- heat olive oil over medium heat and saute onions, pepper, zucchini and garlic for about 5 minutes. Stir in cooked ground beef and tomato paste and mix together. Stir in remaining sauce ingredients and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to low and cook 30 minutes.

For the cheese filling- stir all ingredients together excluding half of the grated mozzarella cheese. Set aside.

For the pasta- Bring large pot of salted water to boil. Cook pasta sheets 2 minutes less than package directions and drain.Rinse with cold water and place pasta on greased baking sheet until you are ready to put together the lasagna cups.

For assembly- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut out 11 large squares of parchment paper. Line 11 jumbo muffin tins with the squares. They won't stay down on their own, but don't fret, the pasta will help "weigh them down" so they will stay. Line the edges of the muffin tins with 1 lasagna noodle.  The lasagna noodle will overlap itself about 2 inches. Spoon about 1/2- 1 tablespoon of sauce into the bottom of each cup into the center of the noodle lined muffin tin holes.  Next cut the rest of the noodles into quarters and press one of these pieces of pasta into the bottom of each cup,  on top of the sauce. Top the noodle square you just placed at the bottom with a generous tablespoon of sauce. Then place a generous tablespoon of cheese filling on top of the sauce.  Repeat this pasta-sauce-cheese layering one more time being sure to press out any air bubbles. Top these lasagna cups off with a 3rd piece of pasta, more sauce and the remaining mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle parmesan cheese all over the top of the mozzarella. Bake for 25-30 minutes.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Jalapeno Popper Grilled Cheese

Another night of "no cooking" cooking? Yes please! Even though the temps have dropped into the 90's it's still too hot for me. I am yearning for the cold weather and the hearty food that goes along with it. Hurry up fall and winter. Well, not that we really get a fall or a winter much in Southern California, but I long for the days of summer to go far, far away!!
Sourdough Bread
Cream Cheese
Pepper Jack Cheese, shredded
Cheddar, Cheese, shredded
Crushed Tortilla Chips
Whole canned jalapenos (or green chilies)

Butter the outsides of two slices of bread. Layer the grilled cheese ingredients in any order or amount that you would like on the unbuttered side of the bread. Grill in a skillet or a panini press until golden.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Italian Kabobs

When it's 104 degrees outside, what do you do for dinner? You cook without cooking haha! I will never think it possible to dislike cooking, but I can tell you that when it's this hot, the thought of standing over a hot stove, makes my skin crawl. So tonight's dinner came from that skin crawling dislike of heating up even the stove top during this weather. You could substitute any meat's, cheeses or veges that you like, but I just decided to stick with the italian theme.
*My daughter drizzled Italian dressing over hers which made for a nice taste addition!
Wooden Skewers
Genoa Salami
Pepperoni slices
Marinated Artichoke hearts
Fresh Mozzarella cheese
Tomato chunks
Green olives

Thread your favorite meat's cheeses, olives etc onto the skewer!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Sausage, Rice and Vege Mix

Today our air conditioning went KAPOOT! It's over 100 degrees outside and it's now sweltering inside. Thank the Lord for ceiling fans. Now I just have to figure out how to install one in my kitchen, so it's not so hot while I'm cooking. I'm thinking pizza delivery just might work out fine this week! ;)
This was a very simple, no muss, no fuss kind of meal. I prepared it earlier in the day and then just quickly heated it up tonight when we were ready to eat.

 Then I made a nice Caprese salad to go on the side. It  was amazing considering that the tomatoes and the basil were picked fresh from my backyard garden today. Now I just need to learn how to make mozzarella. ;)
For the Sausage dinner:
  • 8 ounces low-fat kielbasa, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 2 medium zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Hot sauce, such as Tabasco, to taste
  1. Cook kielbasa in a large nonstick skillet over high heat, turning from time to time, until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
  2. Add oil to the pan. Add onions, zucchini, bell pepper, jalapenos, garlic, cumin, oregano and salt; cook, stirring, until the onions are tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in rice, beans and water; cook, stirring, until heated through, about 4 minutes. Add the reserved kielbasa and season with hot sauce. Serve hot.
For Caprese Salad:
Slice fresh tomatoes and place a slice of fresh mozzarella on the top of each tomato slice. Top with fresh basil. Drizzle olive oil over it and season with salt and pepper.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Pretzel Bites

Who doesn't love pretzels when they are dunked in butter and rolled in flavors? I know I do.Thiis recipe isn't exactly "pretzels" but it's close enough when you are in a hurry and want to make a quick snack.
Here is a link to the recipe which I found on "Pinterest" which has become my new obsession!!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Salted Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Bark

Salt? Chocolate? Caramel? Pretzels? Put them all together and you have one simply amazing, great tasting candy bark. Of course I love anything that combines salty and sweet. Why not tantalize all your taste buds at once? ;)

Before it was broken into bark
After the bark was broken up and ready to take to work   

2 cubes butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 bag mini pretzels
12 oz bag semi sweet chocolate chips
Sea Salt

* NOTE- I did this on a fairly large cookie sheet. I think next time I will use a smaller one so the bark will actually come out thicker.

Line a cookie sheet with foil. Spray with Pam. Lay out a single layer of pretzels on the foil. Set aside. On the stovetop, melt 2 cubes of butter. After it's melted, stir in 1 cup of brown sugar.  Continue to stir, breaking up the brown sugar clumps. Bring this mixture to a slow gentle, simmer. You do NOT want this to be at a rolling boil. Simmer this for approx. 3 minutes. It should be a golden brown color now.  Pour over the pretzels as evenly as you possibly can. You can spread it if you have to, but this is hard work, as the pretzels begin to move, and I wouldn't sweat it because it melts together in the oven. Heat the oven to 400 degrees and bake the mixture for 6 minutes. While this is baking, melt your chocolate chips either in the microwave (be careful it's easy to burn them) or in a double boiler. Pour the melted chips (by going up and down the bark) as evenly as you can (again, it's very hard to spread). Sprinkle sea salt all over the top.  Put the cookie sheet in the refrigerator (you might want to wait just a few min for it to cool down a bit) for approx. 1 hour until the bark is hardened and ready to break apart.