Thursday, December 30, 2010

Call for Freezer Recipes

I've been requested to post some freezer recipes on My Inner Chef. I'd like to extend the invitation to all my readers. Please post your favorite freezer recipes in the month of January! I'll be posting mine as well.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Fiesta Corn & Potato Chowder

I've fallen in love with this new food blog. It's called Poor Girl Eats Well & shares great healthy recipes for a budget. Doesn't this chowder look just right for a blustery day like today?

28 oz. sweet corn kernels
1/2 c diced onion
2 large garlic cloves, minced
3 medium red potatoes, diced into 1/2" pieces
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 large jalapeño pepper, finely chopped
2 T olive oil
1 14 oz can chicken or vegetable broth
1 1/2 c milk
1 T thyme
1 T salt
1 t freshly ground black pepper

Heat a large soup pot over medium high heat and add the oil. When hot, add the onions & garlic and sauté until they become fragrant and just begin to turn translucent. Next, add the potatoes, salt, thyme and black pepper, and cook until the potatoes begin to brown slightly. Add the broth and bring to a low boil; simmer for about 5 minutes, until the potatoes soften. Add the corn kernels and the milk and bring back to a low boil.

Remove about 3/4 of the soup mixture and carefully puree in a food processor or with a hand blender until completely smooth. Return the puree to the pot, add the peppers, and bring to a slow simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, ladle into soup bowls, garnish with freshly ground black pepper, and enjoy!

Candy Cane Cookies

Santa may be getting these for Christmas this year. The don't have to frost them! You can use your own sugar cookie recipe, or the one I've provided. It's so fast & easy, you don't even need to refrigerate the dough!

1 1/2 c. sugar
14 T. butter (1 3/4 sticks)
2 eggs
2 t. vanilla
1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
2 1/2 c. flour

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Cream butter & sugar together until light & fluffy. Add eggs & vanilla and mix well.
2. Add baking powder, salt & flour.
3. Divide dough in half & color one half red using 1/2 t. red food coloring. You can also add 1/4 t. peppermint extract if desired.
4. Roll 1 spoonful of plain dough into a 6-inch rope on a lightly floured surface. Repeat, using 1 spoonful red dough. Place ropes side by side; twist together gently. Pinch ends to seal. Curve one end into the "hook" of a candy cane.
5. Transfer onto a baking sheet & cook for 10-12 minutes.

Brownie Reindeer

Here's a fun recipe to try with your kids during the holidays.

1. Prepare boxed brownies according to directions on the package.
2. Add "antlers" by attaching pretzels with chocolate frosting.
3. Add a red m&m with chocolate frosting for the nose & brown m&ms with vanilla frosting for the eyes.

Lionhouse Gingerbread Cake

1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. butter, softened
1 egg
1 c. molasses
1 t. cinnamon
1 t. ginger
1/2 t. cloves
1/2 t. salt
1 1/2 t. baking soda
2 1/2 c. flour
1 c. hot water

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a 9x13 baking dish.
2. Cream sugar & butter until fluffy. Add egg & molasses, mix well.
3. Sift dry ingredients & add to wet ingredients.
4. Add hot water & mix well. (Batter will be thin)
5. Bake for 35-40 minutes. Serve with banana slices & whipped cream.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Acorn Squashed stuffed with Turkey & Wild Rice

Thanks to Heidi for giving me this great recipe from the Weight Watcher's Pantry to Plate cookbook. We loved it!

1/2 c. wild rice
2 small acorn squash, halved & seeded
2 t. olive oil
3/4 lb. ground turkey (I used sausage)
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1/2 bell pepper, chopped (my personal addition)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 t. cinnamon
2 T. chives, chopped
3/4 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
1/4 c. pinenuts, toasted (also my addition)

1. Cook rice. Preheat oven to 400 F. Bake squash, cut side down until tender (30 min). Cool for 10 min. & scoop out the pulp, leaving 1/4" thick shells.
2. While the squash is cooking, brown turkey in a skillet. Add veggies and cook until tender. Stir in cinnamon, salt, pepper & garlic & cook a minute longer.
3. Add chives & squash to veggie/meat mixture. Fill squash shells & cook for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with pine nuts before serving.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Food, INC

I watched Food, INC. last night with my husband. If you know me, you know that I am already very concerned with what my family eats & try my best to feed them healthy meals. I may post a lot of sugary & fattening recipes, but in actuality, I rarely make food like that. This movie just fanned the flame of my slightly granola-ish hippy eating habits. I seriously was dreaming about inhumane chicken coops last night!

The condition of our nation's food industry really concerns me. More and more people are developing life-altering diseases like diabetes. And the more "advanced" our society gets in the technological world, the lazier we as a people become as we spend increasing amounts of time in front of electronic gadgetry. Childhood obesity is rampant! I don't know about you, but when I was young there were one (maybe two) fat kids in my grade school class. Now I walk into a school & I swear that half of the children are overweight! The cost of insurance & health care is going through the roof & I believe it's because our "healthy habits" are going down the toilet.

Here are a few ways you can change the way the system works. Make your own meals & use as little processed foods as possible, try to buy organic when possible, buy locally grown produce & free range meats. It may cost a little more, but do you really want to be putting ammonia treated beef, arsenic laced turkey, and ethylene ripened tomatoes into your body? Supply & demand! If we refuse to buy unhealthy food & opt for only nutritious food, then grocery stores & food companies have no choice but to provide consumers with what they want.

If you haven't seen this documentary I urge you to take 90 minutes and watch it, maybe while you're walking on your treadmill to counteract the "laziness" factor of movie watching ;). I thought that I knew a lot about where the food we get comes from, but I learned a lot! After watching the movie, I felt a little overwhelmed. After all, I am just one person in a country of 310 million people. How could I possibly solve this HUGE problem? But I realized that it has to start with me...and hopefully with you too.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Turkey Panini

And finally, my personal favorite turkey leftover recipe.

Ciabatta Bread, sliced
Basil Pesto
Havarti Cheese
Turkey Slices
Tomato, sliced
Olive Oil

Spread pesto on bread & layer cheese, turkey & tomato. Drizzle with olive oil & cook over medium heat until cheese has melted.

Turkey & Sweet Potato Quesadilla

I found this recipe on the Food Network's site. Can't wait to try it!

  • 2 cups shredded leftover turkey
  • 1/4 cup salsa (I like tomatillo but whatever you have is fine)
  • 4 large flour tortillas
  • 1/2 cup sweet potatoes, mashed
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 canned chipotle pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 green onion for garnish, sliced


In a large bowl combine leftover turkey and salsa. To construct quesadilla, place one tortilla on work surface and spread with half the mashed sweet potato. Then add half the turkey mixture and half the cheese. Top with tortilla and brush with a bit of canola oil.

In a large skillet over medium high heat add quesadilla oil side down then brush the top with oil. Cook for about 3 minutes until bottom begins to brown and cheese starts to melt. Flip and repeat.

In a small bowl combine mayonnaise, sour cream, lime juice, chipotle, cumin, and cilantro, and season with salt and pepper.

Remove quesadilla from pan, cut into wedges and serve with chipotle dipping sauce. Garnish with green onions.

Mexi Cali Casserole

I'm always looking for ways to use all that leftover turkey I end up having in the fridge! Here's one good recipe that doesn't have those traditional Thanksgiving flavors that you may be sick of by now. :)


  • 1 pound turkey, cubed
  • 1-1/2 cups chopped onions
  • 1/2 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 can (16 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 cup water
  • 2/3 cup uncooked long grain rice
  • 1/3 cup sliced ripe olives
  • 1/2 cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese


  • In a large skillet coated with cooking spray, cook the onions and green pepper over medium heat until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer; Drain. Sprinkle with chili powder and salt. Stir in the turkey, beans, tomatoes, water, rice and olives.
  • Transfer to a 2-1/2-qt. baking dish coated with cooking spray. Cover and bake at 375° for 50-55 minutes or until rice is tender. Uncover; sprinkle with cheese. Bake 5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Yield: 6 servings.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Corn Bread

Here's some yummy corn bread to go with your chili. This is seriously the best corn bread I have ever made!


  • 2/3 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1-2/3 cups milk
  • 2-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 4-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  • In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Combine the eggs and milk. Combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with egg mixture.
  • Pour into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan. Bake at 400° for 22-27 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Crock Pot Chili

This is another America's Test Kitchen favorite. So easy & perfect for a cold snowy day like today!

2 T. canola oil
2 onions, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 c. chili powder
1 T. cumin
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. cayenne
2 lb. ground beef
60 oz. (4 cans) kidney beans, rinsed & drained
28 oz. diced tomatoes
28 oz. tomato sauce

1. Over medium heat, cook onion & bell pepper in oil with spices until tender. Add garlic for 30 seconds. Remove to crock pot.
2. Brown ground beef & add to crock pot with beans, tomatoes & tomato sauce.
3. Cook on low for 6-7 hrs. or on high for 3-4 hrs. Serve with shredded cheese & sliced green onions.

Monday, October 25, 2010


My sister sent me the link to this totally obscene dessert that someone came up with. A pumpkin pie baked in a chocolate cake & an apple pie baked in a yellow cake, all covered with butter cream frosting. Oh, and it's 1800 calories a slice! Talk about putting on the holiday pounds...yikes! If you want to read more about this gluttonous confection, go here.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Pumpkin Cake

  • 4 eggs
  • 1-2/3 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 carton of Cool Whip


  • In a bowl, beat eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin. Sift flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt; gradually add to pumpkin mixture and mix well. Pour into an ungreased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes. Cool completely before icing.

White Chili

3 chicken breast halves, cubed
1 c. fully cooked ham, cubed
4 c. water
1 c. chicken stock
2 c. salsa verde
1 onion, chopped
3 (4 oz) cans of fire roasted chiles
3 (16 oz) cans of white beans, rinsed & drained
1 t. cumin
1 t. coriander
1 bay leaf
1/4 t. pepper

1. Boil chicken for 20 min. in water, stock, salsa, onion, chiles & spices.
2. Add ham & beans and simmer for 30 minutes more.
3. Garnish with fresh cilantro & shredded cheddar cheese. Serve with tortilla chips.

German Apple Cake

Always a fall favorite in our house. So good it doesn't need icing or anything!

3 eggs
1 c. canola oil
2 c. sugar
2 c. flour
1 t. salt
2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. baking soda
2 c. apples, peeled & chopped
1 c. nuts (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Beat together eggs & oil. Sift flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon & soda together. Add to egg mixture.
3. Add apples & nuts. Bake in a greased 13x9 pan for 40-50 minutes.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Homemade Baby Food

I never made baby food with Tyler. It just seemed too overwhelming to me, perhaps because he was my first child and I was trying to figure everything else out. This time around, I only give Ethan homemade baby food. It's cheaper, it tastes better (so much better), and you can control the quality of food. I bought these great baby food containers that you can stack in the freezer. And use this website for references and recipes. Here are some great combos for 6-8 month babies.

Peachy Sweet Potatoes
Apples and Carrots
Blueberry, Apple, and Pear Sauce
Bananas and Blueberries
Avocado and Peaches
Apples and Pears
Peaches and Bananas
Bananas, Blueberries and Pears
Apples and Plums
Blueberries and Apples
Pear, Peaches and Apples
Pumpkin, Bananas and Applesauce
Pear, Pumpkin and Peaches
Squash and Sweet Potatoes
Peas and Carrots
Sweet Potato and Carrots
White Potato, Green Beans, and Applesauce
Yellow Squash and Zucchini
Yellow Squash and Peas
Apples and Avocado
Banana and Avocado
Squash, Apple, Sweet Potato
Green Beans with Apples or Pears

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Fruity Baked Oatmeal

I cut the sugar back & added about double the fruit. It was even better the next day!

  • 3 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup fat-free milk
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup chopped peeled tart apple
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh or frozen peaches
  • 1/3 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
  • Additional fat-free milk, optional
  • In a large bowl, combine the oats, brown sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Combine the eggs, milk and butter; add to the dry ingredients. Stir in the apple, peaches and blueberries.
  • Pour into an 8-in. square baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 35-40 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Cut into squares. Serve with milk if desired. Yield: 9 servings.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Slithering Snakewich

Here's a bunch of fun Halloween recipes to make with your kids. Tyler loves this kind of stuff!


  • 1 16-ounce loaf frozen bread dough, thawed
  • 4 ounces sliced mozzarella cheese, diagonally cut in half
  • 4 ounces sliced cheddar cheese, diagonally cut in half
  • 1 3.5-ounce package sliced pepperoni
  • 1 8-ounce can pizza sauce
  • 1/2 cup red, green, and/or yellow sweet pepper strips
  • 1 strip roasted red sweet pepper
  • 2 pimiento-stuffed olives


1. Place thawed bread dough on a lightly floured surface. Roll into a 22-inch long rope. Place on a large greased baking sheet forming a "snaky S" shape. Let rise in a warm place for 1-1/2 to 2 hours or until double in size. Bake in a 350F oven for 20 minutes or until lightly browned and bread sounds hollow when lightly tapped. Remove from baking sheet to a wire rack. Cool to room temperature.

2. Hollow out the center portion of the loaf about 1-inch deep and 1-1/2-inches wide, leaving about 2-inches on each end of the loaf. Layer cheeses down the center of loaf, pressing cheese slices down into the hollowed portion of the loaf. In a medium bowl, stir together the pepperoni and pizza sauce. Spoon atop the cheese. Top with the strips of sweet pepper. Place on a greased baking sheet and bake in 350F oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted.

3. Make a slit in the front of the loaf and insert a roasted red pepper strip for a tongue; insert two pimento stuffed olives with toothpicks for eyes. Makes 8 servings.

Jack-o-Lantern Sloppy Joe Pie


  • 1-1/2 pounds lean ground beef (90% lean)
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1/2 cup chili sauce
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 sheet refrigerated pie pastry
  • 1 egg
  • Orange paste food coloring


  • In a large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. In a small bowl, combine the flour, salsa and chili sauce until blended; stir into skillet. Add the corn, chilies and brown sugar.
  • Transfer to a deep-dish 9-in. pie plate. Unroll pastry; place over filling. With a sharp knife, cut out a face to resemble a jack-o'-lantern; flute edges. Beat egg and food coloring; brush over pastry.
  • Bake at 450° for 9-11 minutes or until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Yield: 6 servings.

Eyeball Taco Salad


  • 2-1/2 pounds lean ground beef (90% lean)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1 envelope taco seasoning
  • 1 package (12-1/2 ounces) nacho tortilla chips, crushed
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
  • 4 cups torn iceberg lettuce
  • 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 10 slices tomato, halved
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
  • 10 whole pitted ripe olives, halved


  • In a Dutch oven, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Stir in the water, tomato sauce and taco seasoning. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes.
  • Place tortilla chips in a greased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan; sprinkle with Monterey Jack cheese. Spread meat mixture over top; sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Bake at 325° for 25-30 minutes or until bubbly.
  • Top with lettuce and onion. Cut into ten 5-in. x 3-in. pieces. On each piece, arrange two tomato slices for eyes; top each with a dollop of sour cream and an olive half. Yield: 10 servings.

Spider Snacks

  • 1 12-ounce package chunk white tuna in water, drained
  • 1/4 cup fat-free mayonnaise
  • 3 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, finely diced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 12 slices whole-wheat bread, crusts cut off
  • 48 mini pretzel sticks, broken in half
  • 24 raisins, flattened
  • 2 baby carrots, thinly sliced and cut into triangular "fangs," optional
  1. Place tuna in a small bowl and mash with a fork until no large chunks are left.
  2. Add mayonnaise, green onions, celery, salt and pepper, mixing well to combine.
  3. Cut bread slices in half.
  4. Press a piece of bread into an ice-cream scooper to make the rounded body of the spider.
  5. Fill with tuna mixture.
  6. Place another piece of bread over the tuna to cover, and press around the edge of the ice cream scooper to cut away excess bread to make spider body bottom. Unmold and set aside. Repeat using all bread and tuna.
  7. Place spiders on a plate and decorate with pretzel stick legs, raisin eyes, and carrot fangs.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Garlic Shrimp Pasta

8 oz. angel hair pasta
1 c. fresh basil leaves
1 1/2 c. cherry tomatoes, halved
1 T. olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 1/2 lb. shrimp
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 t. red pepper flakes
3/4 c. chicken stock
2 T. butter
2 T. fresh parsley
1 T. lemon juice
Salt & Pepper

1. While pasta is cooking, saute onion in olive oil. Add shrimp, salt & pepper, cook until pink.
2. Add garlic & red pepper, cook for 30 seconds. Then add tomatoes, basil, stock, butter & parsley. Cook for 2 minutes.
3. Drain pasta & add to shrimp mixture with lemon juice. Toss to coast & serve immediately.

**This is also great with cilantro instead of basil!**

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


I love soup & am so excited that the weather is cooling off again. I like that I can make enough soup to last a couple of meals & that it usually gets better with time. But minestrone isn't typically a soup that tastes better the next day. The noodles get too soggy & it's just not as good as the first time. So I've made a little change: Quinoa instead of noodles.

1 lb. Italian sausage
1 bell pepper, diced
1/2 onion, diced
3 celery stalks, diced
2 large carrots, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 t. parsley
1 t. basil
1 t. oregano
1 t. garlic powder
1 cans (15 oz) diced tomatoes
2 cans (8 oz) tomato sauce
1 can (15 oz) kidney beans, rinsed
1 can (15 oz) garbanzo beans, rinsed
1 c. water
1 c. quinoa
1 c. frozen green beans
Parmesan Cheese, grated

1. Brown sausage in a large pot. Add veggies & cook for 5 minutes longer.
2. Stir in garlic & herbs & cook for 30 seconds, until fragrant.
3. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, beans & water. Simmer until carrots are almost tender (about 15 minutes)
4. Stir in quinoa & green beans and simmer for 20 minutes more. Garnish with parmesan.

**The quinoa will thicken the soup slightly**

Monday, October 4, 2010

Warm Italiano Spread

I saw this recipe on Kraft foods a few months ago & finally tried it. Super easy & tasty.

1 pkg. (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Neufchatel Cheese
1/4 cup pesto
1 plum tomato, chopped
1/4 cup KRAFT Finely Shredded Italian* Five Cheese Blend
TRISCUIT Cracked Pepper & Olive Oil Crackers


HEAT grill to medium heat. Place unwrapped Neufchatel cheese on 8-inch square sheet of heavy-duty foil; top with pesto, tomatoes and shredded cheese.

PLACE foil on grill; cover with lid. Grill 8 to 10 min. or until shredded cheese is melted and Neufchatel is softened, but still holding its shape.

TRANSFER foil to platter. Serve spread with crackers.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Peachy Blueberry Crisp

1 qt. peaches, drained & sliced
1 c. frozen blueberries
2 T. OJ
2 T. brown sugar
1 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. nutmeg
1 c. Honey Bunches of Oats with Almonds

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Combine oj, sugar, cinnamon & nutmeg. Pour over fruit & place in a baking dish.
3. Crush cereal & sprinkle over fruit mixture. Bake for 30 minutes.

**Serve this with whipped cream or ice cream**

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Buttermilk Syrup

1 c. sugar
1/3 c. buttermilk
1 T. butter
1 T. corn syrup
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. vanilla

1. Boil sugar, buttermilk, butter and corn syrup until it changes color, about 5 minutes.
2. Take off heat and add soda and vanilla. Syrup will thicken when cool.

Bops (Stack Pancakes)

3 eggs
1 c. flour
2 c. milk
1 T. oil
1/2 t. salt
3 T. butter

1. Preheat over to 375 degrees. Grease three 9-inch pie plates.
2. Beat eggs until pale and thick. Add flour, milk, oil and salt and mix until incorporated.
3. Add 1 c. batter to each pie plate and bake, switching plate positions halfway through, until puffy and brown, about 25 minutes.
3. Spread 1 T. butter on each pancake, then stack them and cut into wedges.

Apple Pancakes

1 c. all purpose flour
1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. cornmeal
4 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
2 T. sugar
4 eggs
2 c. buttermilk
1 T. canola oil
2 apples, peeled & cut into 1/2" pieces

1. Whisk the flours, cornmeal, baking powder, soda, sugar & salt in a large bowl.
2. Beat the eggs, buttermilk & oil in another bowl.
3. Stir the egg mixture and apples into the flour mixture until just combined.
4. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat & cook pancakes for 5 minutes per side.

Baby Cakes

My sister sent me a bunch of new pancake recipes. Pancakes are Tyler's favorite food, so we make them all the time. These little cakes have a silky smooth texture & were a big hit in our house!

1/2 c. flour
2 t. sugar
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. nutmeg
6 large eggs, separated
1 c. sour cream

1. Whip the egg whites until they form soft peaks.
2. Whisk the egg yolks & sour cream together until smooth.
3. Combine the flour, sugar, salt & nutmeg. Add this to the yolk mixture & stir until just combined.
4. Fold in the egg whites.
5. Cook on a greased griddle or frying pan over medium heat for 5 minutes per side.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Chocolate Chocolate Cookies

Tyler requests these chocolate chocolate cookies at least once a week. I'm such a mean mom and don't make them quite that often! If you're in a hurry, these cookies are great! So easy, even my 3-year old remembers all the ingredients!

1 box chocolate cake mix
2 eggs
1 stick butter, melted
1 c. chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix cake mix, eggs & butter together.
3. Stir in chocolate chips.
4. Bake for 12 minutes.

**You can make endless varieties with this combination! Like spice cake mix, with orange zest & craisins for the holidays!**

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Fettuccine Alfredo

We like to serve this with grilled chicken or shrimp. It's one of my favorite meals to take to people.

1 T. Olive Oil
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 T. dried basil
1 1/2 c. heavy cream
2 T. unsalted butter
Salt & pepper
3/4 c. Parmesan cheese, grated
1/8 t. nutmeg
1 pkg. fettuccine, cooked


Saute onion in olive oil until tender. Add garlic & basil and cook for 30 seconds more.

Bring the heavy cream and the butter to a simmer in a 3- to 4-quart saucepan over medium heat, reduce the heat to low and simmer gently until the mixture reduces to 2/3 cup, 12 to 15 minutes.

Add the pasta, Parmesan, salt, pepper and nutmeg to the cream mixture. Cook over low heat, tossing the pasta with tongs to combine, until the cheese is melted & the sauce coats the pasta. Serve immediately.

**Save a little of the cooking water from the pasta pot to thin out the sauce if necessary**

Monday, September 6, 2010

Thai Peanut Stirfry

Probably the best stir fry that I've come up with to date. It. Was. Delicious.

1/2 c. peanut sauce
1/2 c. teriyaki sauce
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 T. canola oil
3 chicken breasts, thinly sliced
1 onion, diced
2 carrots, peeled & sliced
3 stalks celery, sliced
1 bell pepper, diced
1 small head bok choy, chopped
8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
1 c. snow peas
6 scallions, sliced
1/2 c. thai basil
2 c. brown rice

1. Combine peanut sauce, teriyaki sauce & garlic in a small bowl. Set aside.
2. In a large pan or wok, cook chicken in oil until cooked through. Remove & set aside.
3. Cook onion, carrots, celery & bell pepper for 3-4 minutes.
4. Add mushrooms & snow peas and cook for 2 minutes.
5. Add mushrooms, bok choy, chicken & sauce. Cook for 1 minute more.
6. Stir in scallions & thai basil. Serve with brown rice.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tamale Pie

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 T. ground cumin
  • 1 t. salt
  • 3 T. chili powder
  • 1/4 t. pepper
  • 1 T. sugar
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can diced tomatoes with mild green chilies, undrained
  • 1 can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 2 cans tomato sauce
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
  • 1 package corn bread/muffin mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup shredded cheese
  • Sour cream and additional minced fresh cilantro, optional
  • In a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Transfer to a 4-qt. slow cooker; stir in the beans, tomatoes, corn, tomato sauce, onions, cilantro, cumin, salt, chili powder, sugar and pepper. . Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until heated through.
  • In a small bowl, combine muffin mix and eggs; spoon over meat mixture. Cover and cook 1 hour longer or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
  • Sprinkle with cheese; cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Serve with sour cream and additional cilantro if desired. Yield: 8 servings.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Picnic Pasta Salad

A quick & easy recipe from Eat Better America...with a few additions of course :)

1 pkg. bow-tie pasta, cooked
1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
1 c. Italian dressing
1 T. fresh basil, chopped
1 t. fresh oregano, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 c. mushrooms, sliced
1 red bell pepper, diced
5 Roma tomatoes, diced
1 cucumber, diced
1 medium red onion, diced
1 can sliced olives
8 oz. grated Parmesan cheese

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Tomato & Mozzarella Salad

We made this tonight for a family BBQ. It's always a favorite. Simple & delicious!

4 c. cherry tomatoes
8 oz. fresh mozzarella
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 t. kosher salt
1/2 c. basil leaves, chopped

**It's best when it's fresh. So don't make it too far in advance & try to finish what you make the same day**

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Simple Peach Cobbler

2 (16 oz.) cans peach slices w/juice
1 pkg. Pillsbury yellow cake mix
1 stick butter, cubed

Lay peaches and juice in bottom of a baking dish. Sprinkle dry cake mix on top of peaches. Dot with the butter. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until cobbler is golden. Serve warm with ice cream.

**I like to use Pillsbury brand because it has pudding in the cake mix & helps the cobbler set up better**

Red Velvet Cupcakes w/Cream Cheese Frosting

Don't these just look oh-so-tasty? I've got to try this recipe out! Got it from this great blog.

red velvet cupcakes
1 package of german chocolate cake mix
1 small package (3.4 oz) of vanilla instant pudding mix
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup water
1, 1-oz bottle of red food coloring
3 large eggs
1 cup miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips

1. preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. mix cake mix, pudding mix, sour cream, oil, water, food coloring & eggs in a large mixing bowl until well mixed.

3. using a spoon, fold in the mini chocolate chips.

4. fill your cupcake pan, or cupcake liners 2/3 of the way full.

5. place pans in the oven & bake approximately 18+ minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean, or the cupcakes “springs back” when lightly pressed.

6. cool for approximately 15 minutes before frosting.

* more concerned with how red your cupcakes are, as opposed to the chocolate-ness of the cake? start with a white or yellow cake mix instead.

cream cheese frosting
1, 8-oz package cream cheese
1 stick of softened butter
1 tsp. vanilla
4+ cups of powdered sugar

1. mix cream cheese, butter & vanilla with an electric mixer until smooth & well combined.

2. slowly add powdered sugar, one cup at a time, until desired taste achieved. be sure to scrape down the side of bowl with a spatula.

3. once well combined, beat for an additional minute or so, until everything is creamy & fluffy.

4. using a pastry bag or ziplock bag, smother your cupcakes in mounds of yummy & delicious frosting.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Louisiana Red Beans and Rice

This is a great meal if you're in a hurry. Just throw all the ingredients in the crock pot and forget about it! If you replace uncooked rice for a can of beans, it would really be a one pot wonder!


  • 4 cans (16 ounces each) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 package (14 ounces) smoked turkey sausage, sliced
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 3 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 medium green pepper, chopped
  • 1 small sweet red pepper, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • Hot cooked rice


  • In a 4-qt. slow cooker, combine the first 11 ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or until heated through. Stir before serving. Discard bay leaf.
  • Sprinkle each serving with onions. Serve with rice. Yield: 9 servings.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Chicken Mole Ole

I love my Taste of Home magazine! And I love to use my crock pot in the summer. It doesn't heat up your house the same as the oven or stove top. I was a little nervous about this recipe (since I'd never had mole before & was apprehensive about cooking with chocolate), but it was delicious! Glad I made enough for leftovers. :)


  • 2 dried ancho chilies ( I didn't have these)
  • 1-1/2 pounds tomatillos, husks removed, halved
  • 2 medium onions, sliced, divided
  • 1 serrano pepper, halved and seeded
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 3 pounds bone-in chicken breast halves, skin removed
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin, divided
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded cheddar-Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro


  • Place chilies in a small bowl. Cover with boiling water; let stand for 20 minutes. Drain. Remove stems and seeds. Coarsely chop; set aside. Place the tomatillos, 1 onion, serrano pepper and garlic in a greased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan. Bake, uncovered, at 400° for 10-15 minutes or until tender, stirring once.
  • In a large skillet, brown chicken in oil. Transfer to a 4-qt. slow cooker. In the same skillet, saute remaining onion until tender. Add 1 teaspoon cumin, chili powder, pepper, cinnamon, cloves and hydrated chilies; cook 1 minute longer. Discard cloves.
  • Place almonds in a food processor; cover and process until ground. Add spiced onion mixture and chocolate; cover and process until blended. Transfer to a small bowl.
  • Place the tomatillo mixture, lime juice, salt and remaining cumin in food processor; cover and process until chopped. Stir into almond mixture. Pour over chicken. Cover and cook on low for 4 to 5 hours or until chicken is tender. Sprinkle each serving with cheese and cilantro. Yield: 6 servings.
**I had a hard time getting the sauce to be "smooth" so I recommend blending it again AFTER it has finished cooking**

Monday, August 9, 2010

Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff

2 lb. sirloin, cut into strips
2 T. canola oil
1 c. beef broth
1 envelope beef stroganoff seasoning
8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
1 onion, diced
2 t. ground mustard
1 t. garlic powder
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 c. sour cream
Egg Noodles

1. Brown beef in oil. Transfer to crock pot.
2. Mix together broth, stroganoff seasoning, mustard, mushroom soup & garlic powder. Pour into crock pot.
3. Add mushrooms & onion. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Strawberries & Cream Pie

This is a great easy dessert recipe for the summer...especially if you have lots of berries lying around. :) I used raspberries instead of strawberries, and it was delicious!

1 c. chocolate chips
3 t. shortening
1 graham cracker crust
1 pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. sour cream
1 t. vanilla
1 tub cool whip, thawed
2 c. fresh strawberries, halved

1. Combine chocolate chips & shortening in a bowl & melt in the microwave. Pour 3/4 of mixture into the bottom of the crust & refrigerate until firm.
2. Beat the cream cheese, sugar, sour cream & vanilla until smooth. Fold in cool whip. Pour onto crust & refrigerate for 1 hour.
3. Arrange strawberries over pie. Microwave the chocolate (again), and drizzle over pie. Refrigerate until pie is set (overnight).

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Too Much Chocolate Cake

Now this looks like the kind of cake my husband would love! Go here for the recipe!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Peanut Butter Granola

Mix together:
8 c. 7-grain cereal
1 c. brown sugar
8 oz. wide coconut
8 oz. pecans, chopped

1/2 c. water
1/2 c. oil
1/2 c. honey
1/2 c. peanut butter (I use the freshly ground kind from the health food store)
Remove from heat and add:
2 t. vanilla

1. Add liquid to dry ingredients, & mix well. Spread on 2 cookie sheets & bake for 2 hours at 200 degrees. Add 8 oz. of banana chips after baking.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Caribbean Shrimp & Rice

1 t. canola oil
1 onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 t. oregano
1 1/2 t. cumin
1/2 t. red pepper flakes
1/2 t. salt
3/4 c. orange juice
2 T. tomato paste
1/4 c. green olives, sliced
1 lb. shrimp, peeled
1 T. lemon juice
3 green onions, sliced
2 T. fresh parsley
1 c. frozen peas

1. Saute onion, celery & bell pepper in oil until tender.
2. Add garlic, oregano, cumin, red pepper & salt. Cook 30 seconds.
3. Stir in OJ, tomato paste & olives. Simmer for a couple minutes.
4. Add shrimp & cook until pink.
5. Turn off heat & stir in lemon juice, green onions, parsley & peas.
6. Serve over brown rice.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Shredded Beef au Jus

If you like french dip sammies, you'll like this recipe from Taste of Home magazine.

  • 1 boneless beef chuck roast (3 pounds)
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons beef bouillon granules
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
  • 8 hamburger buns, split
  • Cut roast in half and place in a 4- or 5-qt. slow cooker. Combine the water, bouillon granules and seasonings; pour over the beef.
  • Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until meat is tender. Remove beef; cool slightly. Meanwhile, skim fat from the cooking liquid.
  • Shred meat with two forks; return to the cooking liquid and heat through. Using a slotted spoon, place 1/2 cup on each bun. Serve with additional cooking liquid on the side.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Sun-dried Tomato Pesto Pasta

1 box rotini pasta
1 T. butter
3 T. olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 eggplant, peeled & diced
8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
Salt & pepper
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 c. flour
1 c. chicken stock
1/4 c. sun-dried tomato pesto
2 tomatoes, diced
2 T. fresh parsley or basil
1/2 c. parmesan cheese

1. Boil water & cook pasta. While pasta is cooking, prepare the "sauce"
2. Saute onion in butter & olive oil for 3 minutes.
3. Add eggplant & mushrooms, salt & pepper. Cook for 3 more minutes.
4. Stir in garlic & flour, cook for 1 minute.
5. Add stock & pesto.
6. Stir in pasta, tomatoes, herbs & cheese.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Zucchini Bran Banana Bread

1 c. sugar
2 T. margarine
1 egg
3 bananas
2 c. zucchini
1 T. milk
1/2 c. bran
1/2 c. nuts
1 c. white flour
1/2 c. wheat flour
1 t. baking soda
1 t. baking powder
1 t. salt

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Grilled Glazed Drummies

Love this tasty recipe from this month's Taste of Home magazine!

1 c. ketchup
1/3 c. soy sauce
4 t. honey
3/4 t. ground ginger
1/2 t. garlic powder
3 lbs. chicken drummettes

1. Mix the first 5 ingredients to make your marinade. Add it to the chicken & refrigerate for at least 4 hrs.
2. Grill over medium heat for 15-20 minutes.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Easy Chicken Tacos

This is a perfect meal for one of those days that you only have 5 minutes. Throw it in the crock pot and forget about it until dinner time! Super easy & super tasty!

4 frozen chicken breasts
2 c. salsa
2 T. honey

Place the frozen chicken breasts in the crock pot. Cover with the salsa & honey. Cook all day on low. Prior to serving, use to forks to shred the chicken, in the sauce.

Healthy Pasta

Whatever kind of whole wheat pasta your family likes
1 Green pepper
2 tomatoes
1 can of olives
1 small onion
1/2 of a Kilbasa Sausage
Parmesan Cheese

1. Cook however much pasta you need to feed your family.
2. Dice up half of the Kilbasa sausage
3. Chop up gr. pepper, onion,tomatoes and olives. Dice up Garlic.
4. Add sausage, gr. pepper and onion to pan. Saute until soft (about 5 min)
5. Add tomatoes. Saute couple minutes. Add olives and garlic. Saute another minute or two. Add dried basil at the end to taste.
6. Drain pasta, add veggie meat mix to noodles. Sprinkle with olive oil and cheese.

Asian Cabbage Salad

Depending on how many you are feeding will depend on how much of each ingredient you use, but here are the ingredients:
Bell Pepper
Grated Carrots
Brown Rice

Asian Dressing (I used this one that I found on You can use whatever you like. I liked this one because it had olive oil and honey.
• 3 cloves garlic, minced
• 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger root
• 3/4 cup olive oil
• 1/3 cup rice vinegar
• 1/2 cup soy sauce
• 3 tablespoons honey
• 1/4 cup water

1. In a 1 pint glass jar or larger, combine the garlic, ginger, olive oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce, honey, and water. Cover the jar with a tight fitting lid, and shake well. Remove lid, and heat jar in the microwave for 1 minute just to dissolve the honey. Let cool, and shake well before serving. Store covered in the refrigerator.

Mix all the ingredients and add dressing to your liking. Delicious!!!