Tuesday, December 22, 2009

My mini cooking adventure

1/20/2010. I thought I'd write some reviews on how my life has been since the freezer cooking days. I have pretty much used up everything I have made. There is one more bag of beef stew, some sauce for spagetti or something like that....and a few calzones left. I can't believe it lasted this long. It was an awesome experience. Of course, we didn't eat from the foods I made every day. During the holidays, we ate at relatives houses, ate out a few times, and many nights I cooked other things that were not on the list (example, roasted a chicken, steak dinner ect.). But it gave us a LOT of meals. I made mexican pizza's and mexican lasagna's with the mexican mixes. Had rolls with dinner. I made spagetti and meatballs, had meatball subs, beef stew dinners, a few bbq chicken dinners (had to make sides). My husband and enjoyed having the breakfast sandwiches for breakfast a bunch of times and I could go on. I'm very satisfied with how this turned out. I will definitely do it again. Just not sure when LOL. Oh and I loved the blackbean mushroom burgers, will be making those again for sure. My husband didn't like them though. Oh and the pancake mix lasted awhile, myself, husband and kids got a bunch of pancake mornings from it.

12/25 5:30pm. Well today I extended some of my freezer cooking. Made chicken noodle soup, some pasta sauce and meatballs. This is the final end!! LOL. Can't really fit anymore in the freezer anyways, as there was stuff in there before I started this project. Took out one of the Chicken Mexican mixes today and just put together a little tortilla lasagna dish (layers of the torn flour tortillas, the mix and cheese. It's in the oven now. Yum. Kids had some of the chicken noodle soup for supper. Before freezing the meatballs and sauce, husband and I had a meatball sub for lunch. I'm going to sit back and enjoy now. Curious to see how much money it might save (might not have to spend as much the next food shopping trip or two) and curious to see how nice it will feel to not have to cook supper some nights or minimal cooking such as making sides. I should of taking pictures of my chicken soup, sauce and meatballs today, but I didn't. Wasn't even thinking of the camara and had 2 kids to take care of too. Luckily they stayed fairly busy playing with new Christmas toys.

12/24 9:20pm. I'm actually thinking I might extend my freezer cooking a little this weekend. Depending on how the kids are. I may try to sneak in some pasta sauce and meatballs, as well as homemade chicken soup. I have some bones and chicken in the freezer that I keep forgetting about. I'm also thinking some Individual Quiche Muffin freezable recipe that I found. We'll see. It really will depend on how the kids are. Today we ate at my dads house since we spent Christmas Eve over there and tomorrow we are eating at my mother and fatherinlaws and my mothers house for Christmas, so nothing I have put into the freezer has been eating yet, except the breakfast burritos. : ). I doubt I'll do it this weekend, but I found what looks to be a VERY nice recipe for freezable homemade pizza pockets or ham and cheese pockets.

12/24 9:05pm. OK Recipe links:

Beef Stew: I already posted before, see Stew

MeatLoaf Muffins: I also already posted before, see Meatloaf Muffins

Dough for pizza or rolls: I posted before, see Dough

Black Bean Mushroom Burgers. I haven't tried them yet, so I can't give a review yet.
See Black Bean Burgers
Thanks Michele over at browneyedbaker.

Mexican Chicken Black Bean Filling: See Mex Chicken
Thanks kate from stolenmomentscooking.com

Sausage and Egg Breakfast Burritos. Click here.

Zesty Slow Cooker Chicken. See Zesty Chicken

Will get the pancake mix recipe posted later. Thanks to my friend Kelly for giving it to me.

12/23 3:09pm. After a long needed rest, as I got up at 5:30am this morning, I cleaned most of the kitchen and ahhh I'm all done. Final result. Although, I will learn more as I serve if I figured out the servings correctly. Finally, recipe links will be provided later when I have some time after the kids are in bed.

3 servings of bbq chicken
2 pizza doughs
2 sets of rolls
will figure out how much beef stew servings after I serve dinner
12 breakfast burritos
3 mexican chicken fillings
4 blackbean mushroom burgers
4 servings of meatloaf muffins (it actually makes 12, but there small and hubby ate 5 the first night we had them, I had 2 and for lunch one day had 3 of them).
pancake mix enough to last quite awhile
a nice big chocolate log that I will cut and split up for the grandparents Christmas Eve and Christmas.

12/23 1:pm. Chocolate Logs or the real name Chocolate Salami is done and in the freezor. It has to freeze for awhile, before I can cut it into pieces. Chicken BBQ portioned out for 2 meals, cooling down so I can put it in the freezer. Beef stew still on the stove. Will serve some for supper tonight. Dough portioned out and in the freezer. I'm so tired right now LOL. I will have to rest a little before cleaning the kitchen.

12/23 12:30am. Ok now at this point I'm wondering how people do this for 2 days straight (I've read blogs about people spending 2 days on freezer cooking). OK...Beef Stew is cooking on the stove. That will take a few hours, but all the work is done. Pancake mix has been made. Water is boiling so I can melt the butter and chocolate for the chocolate logs. Getting ready to take the BBQ chicken out of the crockpot and let it cool off, than I'll put at least 2 to 3 servings into separate freezer bags. I'm almost coming to the end of my project, in the kitchen that is. Of course Kitchen is a mess again. Here are some updated pictures.
The ones wrapped in tin foil are the breakfast tortillas I made last night when I got a head start on the project.

12/23 11:30am. I'm back from the store. I'm thinking I might not make the pasta sauce. I have to make 3 chocolate logs for the Christmas visiting I will be doing (moms, dads, mother/father inlaws. I'm still going to make beef stew and the dry pancake mix.

12/23 11:00am. Dough is made, rising now. Everything else so far has been stored in the freezer except the crock pot bbq chicken. I will post links to recipes later. I cleaned a little, had something to eat. I realized I'm missing quick oats for my pancake recipe. I also decided since all has gone well especially with timing, that I will make some beef stew and a small batch of pasta sauce. So I'm heading to the store real quick to pick up a few things. My second bad news of the day for this project is the meatloaf muffins stuck to the pan and appear to be a little dry : (. I'm thinking when the day comes to eat some, I'll moisten it with something "like bbq sauce for example", and reform them somehow before reheating.

12/23 9:30am
Update: Wow, I'm very pleased. I can't believe what I got done in 45 minutes. First the bad news. My food processor broke : (. I couldn't believe it. Had to use my mini choppers and chop things in batches. Arg.
However, the following is done.
1. Meat Loaf Muffins are cooking in the oven.
2. Mexican Chicken & Black Bean filing has been completed.
3. Black Bean Mushroom burgers are done.

I'm feeling a little tired. I need to clean up a little, and take a break. I will make the dough and pancake mix next. I might even tackle some pasta sauce and beef stew. Here are some pictures so far.

12/23 7:30am
Update: Tried the breakfast sandwich. They are WONDERFUL!!!
Got the BBQ Chicken in the crock pot cooking. Two down.
Will start the rest of the adventure around 9am this morning.


Part I:

Over the course of the last month or so I've been reading some blogs about freezer cooking. They will spend about 1-2 days cooking all day so that they basically don't have to cook for a month. Some of the recipes that seem to be popular for freezer cooking just don't appeal to me. The time involved can be very long and exhausting. I'm pretty busy with Chaunda who is 2 and Chayse who is 3 1/2. Making supper or doing anything can be twice as long if not impossible at times. After further research - I'm starting to realize that the possibilities are endless and I'm finding blogs and recipe sites for freezer cooking that look very delicious. Of course I found these after I came up with what I'm going to make for my mini cooking session.

So about a week ago, I decided I was going to try a mini freezer cooking session. I did some super extra cleaning of the house last week and since Christmas Eve and Christmas is this coming Thursday/Friday - I did my food shopping today instead of toward the end of the week. I will have the house to myself for awhile tomorrow and will make the following.

1. Freezer Breakfast Burritos. (OK...last minute decision tonight, I made these tonight to get them out of the way and to get ahead start)
2. Mexican Chicken & Black Bean filing. Good for 3 meals. Great for taco filliing, served over rice, mexican pizza topping ect.
3. Zesty Slow Cooker Chicken Barbecue

4. Pumpkin Turkey Meatloaf muffins
5. Black Bean Mushroom Burgers
6. Homemade dough for pizza's and rolls
7. Pancake Mix

I was thinking, I would love to make some beef stew and my simple pasta sauce for 2-4 people as well - but feel I should stick to the 7 items above first and than see where I stand. My mini freezer cooking session won't be so mini anymore. I know I have to be careful, because I have read people spending all morning, all afternoon and half the night finishing there cooking sessions.

My plan so far for tomorrow:

1. take all ingredients out for all recipes. Open any jars that need to be opened. Preheat oven.
2. Get out my food processor and crockpot
3. Put all ingredients for Chicken BBQ in crockpot and turn on.
4. Make the Mexican Chicken and Black Bean filling
5. Make the Black Bean Mushroom Burgers. Maybe try to do #4 and #5 at the same time on different burners.
6. Make the Pumpkin Turkey Meatloaf muffins and put them in the oven.
7. Prepare the pancake mix and make the dough.

I plan on taking some pictures and hopefully blogging about it tomorrow. Of course recipe information/ links will be included : )

Saturday, December 19, 2009

pumpkin turkey meatloaf muffins with cranberry glaze

Here is another recipe that I tried and loved from Cara over at Cara's Cravings. When I saw her recipe for pumpkin turkey meatloaf muffins and the positive reviews she gave, I had to give it a try.

I really enjoyed them. I will definitely make again.

I'm always looking for new ways to cook and serve ground turkey.

pumpkin turkey meatloaf muffins

Monday, December 14, 2009

Anniversary Chicken

This is a die for dish. My friends used to ask me to make it for them over and over when I would have them over for little dinner party's. For some reason it took me a year to make it for my husband and he couldn't believe it. I remember him saying - it's been a YEAR and you haven't made this yet. He absolutely loves it. I have made it for family members as well. It's just soooo good.

I didn't take any pictures "woops", but will post pics some day when I make it again. I guess I was too hungry and wanted to eat it right away LOL.

The recipe:

I sometimes will omit the scallions - only because I don't have them in the house. I also have used many different types of terriakki sauces from kikkomans terriki baste n glaze to just any ole terriaki sauce I might have in the house. It always turns out fantastic.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Pollo Con Salsa Verde (Chicken with Green Sauce)

I made this a few weeks ago. It's one of my favorites and it's definitely on my rotation list.

It's by Bert's Kitchen Witch and I got it from recipezaar.


Sometimes I don't have the green onions and/or the jalapeno in the house. Usually I just use the jarred jalopeno slices if I have it in the house.

I can usually only find green salsa at Hannaford. Market Basket doesn't always seem to carry it. The last time I looked, they had a really hot one that I didn't want.

  1. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and black pepper to taste.
  2. Dredge both sides of chicken through the flour, shaking off excess.
  3. Melt the butter over med heat in a large heavy bottomed pot.
  4. Add the chicken and cook over med-high heat turning once, until both sides are well browned, but chicken is not quite cooked through (about 6-7 minutes per side).
  5. Remove chicken from the pot and keep warm.
  6. Pour the chicken broth into the pot and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot.
  7. Place the green salsa, garlic, jalapeƱo, cilantro, and cumin into the pot; bring to a boil.
  8. Just as the sauce begins to boil, reduce the heat to obtain a slow simmer. Add the chicken breasts back into the sauce and spoon sauce over each piece of chicken.
  9. Continue to cook until chicken is cooked through and tender (about 15 minutes).
  10. Taste the sauce and add more salt and pepper if desired.
  11. Place chicken on a serving platter and spoon sauce over each piece.
  12. Top each piece of chicken with a heaping tablespoon of sour cream and sprinkle some chopped green onion over the sour cream.
Served over rice is the best.

Recipe also found here: Pollo Con Salsa Verde

I do have one confession. When I made this a few weeks ago, I think I cup up some tomatoes I needed to use. I can see I added something in the picture, and I can't quite remember LOL. As long as you stick to most of the ingredients, subtracting a few or adding a few isn't going to hurt the recipe. The green salsa is KEY!!!. Oh and sourcream in the end is always a nice touch to the taste. : )

I'm not going to tonight, but debating on posting a Turkey Meatloaf I made the other day. It was very actually very good, but wasn't sure if it was oh so good post worthy. I'm still thinking about it.

Beef Stew

I haven't made beef stew in a long time. I have made many in the past. I don't remember if any really became OH MY I have to make this one again!!. My dad makes a really good one. He uses the McCormicks Beef Stew packets and adds a lot of other stuff.

Today, I found a great homemade one. It is definitely one that I will make again.

The picture is actually when it was half way done. Some or I should say a lot of the sauce evaporates and of course becomes thicker and oh so tasty. I do think next time, I will add a little more broth though. We had plenty of beef stew juices, but the left overs won't have much. Plus leftovers always seem to suck up the juices in the refrigerator.

I got it from

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Simple pasta sauce for 2-4 people.

I have to admit, nothing beats my mother and mother-in-laws homemade pasta sauce. Yum!!!

I do however have a little version of tomato sauce of my own that takes about an hour and a half and serves 2-4 people.

1 large can of whole tomatoes
teaspoon of honey
package of turkey sausages or any kind of sausage
salt, pepper
1/4 of a red or green pepper if you have it
1/4 of a large sweet onion

throw some olive oil in a pan and cook chopped onions for about 8 minutes. Add chopped red or green pepper if you have it.
throw the turkey sausages in. cook until done. Take them out and put aside. Cut them into bite size pieces. I sometimes leave one sausage in the pot.
add the can of whole tomatoes and squish them.
add honey.
let it all come to a boil
take a hand blender and blend
add salt, pepper, garlic and basil. I sometimes throw in a little red wine if I have it.
let simmer for an hour with cover on most of the way. should leave an opening for the steam to get out. Last 20 minutes or so, add the cut up sausages back in. My husband and I really enjoy this.

For link to see handblender click here:

Crushed Pepper Chicken

I haven't blogged in a little while. Kids keeping me busy and have been too tired. I have been throwing together a lot of quick things, example tonight was pork marinaded in Lawreys Marinade and some couscous mixed with spinache and sundried tomatoes.

Last week I cooked a favorite of ours. I used to work with this young lady named Kelly. I said to her one day, I need a new and easy recipe. She told me about this and it's been on our rotation of recipes ever since. This was a few years ago at least.

wet crushed peppers
chicken (salt and pepper the chicken)
worcestershire sauce
tomato sauce

Put about 3-4 tablespoons of butter in pan and melt.
Add about 3-4 tablespoons of the crushed peppers.
Put chicken into the pan. I use 2-3 chicken breasts cut in half length wise so there on the thinner side.
sprinkle generous amount of cinnamon and some worcestershire sauce on top of the chicken
mix just a little tomato sauce in - just a little - I think 1/4 cup should be good. I don't usually measure.
Cook until done. I usually simmer or cook on low.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Zucchini Noodles with Shrimp and Goat Cheese

I knew when I first saw this recipe that it would be a big hit. I've made dishes in the past with similar ingredients usually with pasta. My husband and I both loved this dish. It came from Cara over at carascravings.
Simple and easy to make. I love simple yet wonderful recipes.

Recipe found here:

I made my greek pasta and shrimp dish recently, so I had about 1/2 lb of shrimp in the freezor. I also bought some goat cheese when I went grocery shopping yesterday...thinking I'd think of something to make that includes goat cheese, such as omelets or this wonderful little chicken or pork dish that I make that uses it. I love goat cheese. I ran out today and got some zucchinni and had my husband pick up some fresh basil. In this dish, I put the cheese in the pan at the end and let it melt and blend with all the ingredients. yummmmm

I can't post a picture of the final product because the pictures came out to blurry. The cheap money I paid for a digital camara lately is probably why.

This will definetely be made again.

I wasn't sure if diced tomatoes meant from a can or diced real tomatoes. I ended up dicing about a cup of roma tomatoes and than filled the cup with some tomato juice from a can of whole tomatoes. I also got a little tired of using my little lemon zester to get the zucchini into strips so after I was half way done, I just used my big cheese grator. It's definitely worth using the zestor for at least half of it. I did use about an oz of goat cheese, although I didn't measure and I think it was a little bit more than an oz. I used 1 small to medium size zucchini. My only regret is the shrimp. I had less than 1/2lb and it would of been even more delightful to have more shrimp in the dish.

My final thought on this is the zucchini. I had prepared the zucchini ahead of time so I wouldn't have to grate or zest the zucchini into strips when it was time to cook. Especially with my 2 yr old and 3 yr old to take care of. After sitting for awhile, the bottom of the bowl had water in it from the zucchini. I didn't end up using all the zucchini as I didn't want it to take over the dish too much and didn't use the water on the bottom of the bowl. I wonder if I should have used my potatoe ricer to drain the water out of the zucchini. Well never the less, this was soooo good and creamy and tasty and oh I could go on.

Thank you sooo much Cara.

It didn't end up being a complete carbless meal though LOL. I made a batch of my pizza/calzone/rolls dough and made some rolls to go with it. Pizza dough recipe.
I posted and raved about this dough recipe in an earlier post on my site.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Homemade Tortilla chips

I can't believe how easy it is to make home made tortilla chips. Cut corn tortilla's into fourths and fry in oil for approximately 4 minutes. Turn them about 1/2 way. I found 3 to 3 1/2 minutes worked better for me. Take them out, put them on paper towels and throw into a bowl. Sprinkle with salt.

They are great and work the best when making a nacho supreme snack. They are strong and hold everything really well - aka they don't break.

I got this idea from Nick at his macheesmo site. Thanks Nick. I didn't quite follow how he made the nacho supreme. I just followed his advise on making homemade Tortilla chips. I just put the following in order on mine. Guacamole, ground turkey, cheese, salsa, and sour cream. I found the ground turkey stuck really well on top of the Guacamole and heard salsa can make chips less soggy if not put as one of the last ingredients. I did cook the ground turkey with a little taco seasoning on the stove first. It would be best if the guacamole, salsa and sourcream were warmed up a little before making, but I didn't do that. It was put into the oven at 350 for about 7 minutes. The cheese melts fast, so keep checking.

Homemade tortilla chips can be found here:

Friday, October 16, 2009

Slow Cooker Cranberry Roast

Wow I'm slacking this week with pictures. So busy at supper time especially with the kids. I have been making this meal for many years now. My husband loves it. It's so easy. I found the 7 bone chuck roast comes out the best!!!. All you need is the 7 bone chuck steak, can of jellied or whole cranberries and a package of lipton onion soup mix. My friend Sue tried this tonight for the first time and her and her family loved it.

I got this recipe years ago off allrecipes.com. Sometimes I make the gravy by thickening the juices as explained - but usually we just use the juices right from the crockpot. I have many tnt recipes from allrecipes.com. I love that site especially with all the reviews you can read.

Recipe link: Slow Cooker Cranberry Roast.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

ground turkey tacos

This is one of our favorite taco meals. Simple, but good.
I've made it many times. Serve it with sour cream, salsa and shredded cheese.

3/4 to 1 pound ground turkey
3 green onions including the tops sliced
1 package (1 ounce size) dry taco spices and seasonings
a little water
A whole bunch spinach
2 carrots peeled and shredded

Cook and serve on tortilla's or pita rounds. I usually start cooking the turkey, than I move it to the sides of the pan and start cooking the carrots and onions. I let that cook and than I throw in the spinach and cook that for a few minutes. I mix it all together and than I add the taco seasoning and some water.

It wasn't quite done yet, but here it is in the pan almost ready to be made into yummy tacos. Sorry for the lack of pictures in the last couple blogs. Stay tuned for our very favorite Slow Cooker Cranberry 7 bone chuck roast meal. I will be making it tomorrow.

Simplest Roast Chicken

I did already post a Roast Chicken recipe on my blog, but thought I'd give this a try. I got it from Thibeault's Table blog. She got it from Barbara Kafka's "Roasting, A simple Art" Cookbook. I read rave reviews about it on her site as well as other sites.

It's basically high heat method of roasting. 500 degree oven, 1 hour and done.

See here for more details. My husband and I loved it. My husband said it was one of his favorite chicken meals. Served it with mashed potatoes, peas and gravy. I do sometimes brine my bird before cooking, I bet it would come out even better if I did. Sorry no pictures for this one. I did not have time.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

French Omelette

I feel silly blogging about an omelette, I mean how hard can it be? I never thought my omelettes were anything special, good - but not great.

Until I came across Julia Childs video on making a French Omelette. I even went searching at Walmart for just the right pan that would do the job as she explains. I love my omelets now. LOL

This one has sharp cheddar cheese that I shredded, diced ham and a few cut up mushroom pieces. Onions and possibly a few other items should be cooked ahead of time, but most everything else will just cook from the heat of the omelette. The video stops after Julia shows a french omelette with no fillings, but these are just added right after you let it set a little and after the first initial shakes of the pan. The ovens have obviously changed since than as I could never use the highest setting on my stove or it will burn in seconds lol, but I did have it as high as I thought it should be knowing my stove.

Her video:
Maybe next omelette creation will be spanish, its made with potatoes, oil, onions, and eggs and is very!!! different and made differently from the French omelette.


Sunday, October 11, 2009

Marys Greek Pasta and Shrimp dish

Here is the long overdue Greek Pasta and Shrimp dish that I created years ago. It's one of my husbands favorite meals and many family members and friends have had this. It serves two, but its easy to make more for more servings. Actually this always gives us a little left overs, but not much. I don't usually measure with this recipe, so it was hard trying to figure out exacts.

2-3 large portabella mushrooms
3 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup kalmata olives
3 tablespoons of kalmata olive juice
feta cheese
1/2 lb to 3/4 lb medium size shrimp.
salt,pepper, paprika
olive oil
1/2 lb spaghetti


*before following instructions below, start boiling water so you can throw the pasta in once the water is boiling.

1. heat butter in pan.
2. add olive oil - a few tablespoons
3. break mushrooms into bite size pieces and throw into pan.
4. add salt, pepper and paprika. if using garlic powder, add this too.
5. cook for a good 12 minutes
6. Add olives, the juice from the olives and lemon juice. Olives should be broken into pieces before measuring. You can add more too if you wish. Of course juice from real lemons would be great, but I didn't have real lemons in the house.
7. Let cook for a few minutes. If using real garlic, throw a little water in the pan and add the garlic. Actually if pan seems a little dry, add about 1/4 cup of water anyways.
8. add the shrimp. If precooked - only let cook 3 minutes. If the shrimp isn't cooked, cook for about 8 minutes. You can throw in about 1/2 tablespoon of lemon juice on the shrimp and toss some paprika over them too.
9. drain pasta. Throw pasta back into pan it was cooked in. Add an extra tablespoon or two of olive oil, extra virgin that is.
10. Add the shrimp/mushroom mixture.
11. Add lots of feta cheese - mix and enjoy

This is the basic recipe. I sometimes add spinache and have even added quartered cherry tomatoes. We love the basic recipe so I did that today.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Street Tacos

You would think that with all the recipes I've collected and tried over the years that I wouldn't always be on the lookout for new ones LOL.

I thought I'd try a different way to serve taco's. I think I still love the American ground beef, seasoned with one of those taco envelopes, sour cream, tomatoes, lettuce, cheese, taco sauce the best. : )

But, I tried these simple street tacos and served it with a refried bean dip and Corn Chips. The dip was refried beans, sourcream and salsa mixed together. I wanted to make an avocado dip, but the avocados were not ripe yet.

I got the idea for the tacos from Kate over at aspoonfulofthyme blog. They first had these taco's in Rosarito, Mexico and I have heard it's pretty common to buy street taco's all over Mexico.

It is just thinly sliced skirt steak, seasoned, cooked and served with fresh cilantro, onions, and salsa. All served on warm tortilla's. I've also read resources recommending marinading skirt steak before cooking.

Thank you Kate for the idea. See
here for her nice description/experience with street tacos.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Yogurt Waffles and homemade Blueberry syrup

Last night I was looking online for a healthy version of homemade waffles. I came across this and gave it a try this morning. They were pretty good. Unfortanately, I only had white flour, but don't see any reason why whole wheat flour will make any differences in taste. I will definitely try it with the whole wheat flour the next time. I like the fact that it has yogurt and oatbran in it. I love oatbran and I use it a lot. The picture didn't come out that great - dang camara. ; )

Recipe found here:

I also made a quick version of homemade blueberry syrup using fresh blueberries. You can get all fancy with this using sterile jars, mesh strainers ect. I didn't get all fancy though - too time consuming with kiddos around.

Homemade Blueberry Syrup

* 1 cup sugar or try 1/2 cup of frozen concentrated fruit juice (grape, peach, apple or mixed)
* 1 cup water
* 12 oz. blueberries (either fresh or frozen)
* 2 tbsp honey
* The juice of 1/2 lemon

Combine sugar and water in a 3 quart saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally until sugar is completely dissolved. Add blueberries and honey. Increase heat to medium and bring to a simmer for approximately 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low, stir in lemon juice and allow to reduce for approximately 10 minutes. Remove from heat.

Syrup may be served warm or at room temperature. It will thicken noticeably the cooler it becomes.

If desired, strain out blueberries using a fine wire-mesh strainer before serving.

Note* you might have to simmer longer if you want it thicker. You can always try blending it all when done/cooled and than put back on stove, bring to boil and simmer to thicken.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Spicy Orange Chicken over Fried Rice

This Spicy Orange Chicken over Fried Rice comes from Rebekah over at workingwifedinners blog. I found it about 6 months ago.

I absolutely love this meal. I try to do as much as I can ahead of time to make it easier come time for cooking. I used 1 egg instead of egg whites and just used shredded carrot for the veggie in the rice stir fry. I didn't have green pepper and husband isn't a huge fan of green, so I used red. If I'm lazy or don't have much time, I'll just serve the chicken over cooked rice. Real ginger is best, but if you have to use ground ginger, than use between 1/4 and 1/2 of a teaspoon.

I'm not entirely sure what it means by chilli, but I just use chilli sauce, the kind some people use for kielbasa in a crockpot recipe. I would say this recipe isn't spicy as in hot to your mouth spicy. It definitely has more flavor in it if you use real ginger. I should probably find out what it means when it calls for chili.

I will continue to make this again and again. The chicken came out so tender. Of course you don't want to cook it for too long and risk over cooking the chicken. The last step calls for cooking/simmering the chicken in the sauce mixture until done. Any time you finish chicken by simmering it in a liquid combination, chances are your chicken will come out juicy.

Recipe found here:

Spicy Orange Chicken over Fried Rice

Thanks Rebekah!!!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Chocolate Hazelnut Pear Cake.

The first time I made this cake, it was for valentines day. I made it exactly as it was instructed by Deborah over at italianfoodforever. Which includes pouring a hot yummy pear compote over each piece witha dollop of homemade whipped cream on top. However, this time, I made it in my tiara pan for my dads birthday dinner. This puts a nice indent in the middle of the cake for things like strawberries, fruit ect. So most of the pear compote juice was drained and the pear mixture from the pan was placed in the middle. I was afraid that too much juice would soak the cake and ruin it. I cut the powdered sugar down to 1/4 cup for the creamed frosting on top. I thought 1/2 cup was too sweet, but 1/4 cup was perfect. It was refrigerated until ready to serve. The family devoured this cake!!!! They loved it.

Chocolate Hazelnut Pear Cake derived from
Chocolate Hazelnut Cake With Pear Compote

Roast Chicken

Today was my dads birthday dinner. Roast Chicken, mashed potatoes, carrots, gravy, homemade rolls and a special chocolate hazelnut pear cake. I will write more about this cake in a separate category.

Although roasting a chicken is pretty easy and I have done it many ways, I can't stop going back to the guidelines posted by the wonderful young couple over at Boston Chef. I actually have a few recipe's from there site that I have made many times.

The chicken sat in a brine solution for 6-8 hours, than filled with lemon slices and garlic, brushed with melted butter, and salted. More details on how it was done over at Boston Chef Roasted Chicken.

What did I do different? Well I chopped up about 1/4 cup of carrots, celery and onion in my mini chopper and put that on the bottom of the pan. I also filled the pan with probably a good 1/2 inch of water and than place the chicken on top of that. I also put in carrot chunks into the pan so the carrots would cook along side the chicken. Here it is all ready to be put into the oven.

I used the same recipe located at my site under homemade pizza for the rolls. I added some oregeno and garlic powder to the mix though. You can use that recipe for pizza, rolls, and calzones. It was so good. Too bad I didn't take a picture of the rolls just coming out of the oven. I did take a picture of the dough rising oh so nicely.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

homemade pizza

As with a bunch of my recipes, I have many successful pizza dough recipes. I recently found this one and it's my new favorite. It comes from Mari over at Once Upon a Plate. Thank you so much Mari.

Pizza dough recipe

I actually made the dough a couple weeks ago, took it out of the freezer this morning.
I made two pizza's. A sauce, cheese and ham one. I also made a greek one, which consisted of feta cheese, kalmata olives and Alfredo sauce. I only took a picture of the sauce and cheese one since I was veryyy hungry and started gobbling the greek one right away. The ham slid to one side too. : )

I actually owe it to my brother Kenny for teaching me how to make pizza dough. All dough recipes are fairly similar. I just so happen to find this one recently and really liked it. I will post other pizza dough recipes, such as my brothers at another time. I think I have 3 all together. Years ago when my brother got a new KitchenAide mixer, he gave me his old one. Its great, thanks Ken for such a wonderful kitchen tool. I used it to make this pizza dough. I let it knead longer than the recipe called for. I also let it rise, since I used a regular dry active yeast packet.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Chilli and Corn Bread

Today I made homemade Chilli and corn bread. I would of bought the Jiffy corn bread, but I wasn't making another trip to the store. I do have a good recipe for cornbread that I hve made for Thanksgiving. It includes stuffing and I think it was a little involving. So instead I found this easy one and it came out great. Corn Bread Recipe.

I have tried making many different Chilli recipes. For some reason, everytime I make chilli, I try a different recipe. A few I've made more than once. I saw an interesting recipe in a Penzey's spice magazine I get in the mail. I get them because I ordered spices from them in the past. It includes baking beef short ribs bone in and sausage in the oven before putting into the pot of chilli. However, it also included a spice called Chilli 9000, which I didn't have. So I followed the recipe and used McCormicks chilli package instead. I did end up adding some extra caynene and some hot paprika that I had when it was almost done. I like it hot. The McCormicks chilli packages come in original, mild and hot. The recipe didn't include kidney beans, so I also added these. I like beans in my chilli.

2.5 lbs beef short ribs, bone in
2 lbs italian sausage. You can use hot if you want. If you happen to find Chorizo sausage - that's suppose to be a nice hot mexican sausage.
1 large onion minced
1 tsp minced garlic
14.5 oz cans of crushed tomatoes
14.5 oz cans of diced tomatoes
14.5 oz cans of pureed tomatoes
4 cups water
salt to taste
McKormicks chilli seasoning packet.
1 can of kidney beans. dont drain - it adds flavor. add more if you like a lot of beans.

Note, recipe actually calls for two 14.5oz cans of crushed, diced and pureed tomatoes. I accidently didn't' see this. It still came out great. Nice and thick. If you would rather it more soupy - than add more of the tomatoes or include 2 cans each. I would also add more beans if your adding more tomatoes. You'll get more servings too. I used less sausage than it called for, because it seemed like a bit much. No wonder LOL

  1. preheat oven to 375
  2. wash and pat dry the ribs. rub with salt and pepper. Place in foiled lined baking pan. Bake for 1/2 hour.
  3. take casings off sausage and add to pan when 1/2 hour is done. cook for another 1/2 hour.
  4. take meat out of the oven and place meat in large stock pot and add all the ingredients.
  5. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer 2 hours. I keep the lid on most of the way. I leave it open a little so it doesn't boil over. It also helps thicken up the sauce.
  6. 1/2 hour before its done take out short ribs and sausage and cut into bite size pieces. Put them back into the pot. Discard the bone. You can also add some fresh cilantro at the end. I added a little mozzerella cheese in my bowl. : )

Monday, September 21, 2009

apple pie

I'm not a big baker, but occasionally I will bake goodies. A few weeks ago, I chose to make a Strawberry Rhubarb Pie using Lori's Rhubarb pie recipe over at allthesplatters. I just replaced some of the rhubarb ingredients with strawberries. I made my first homemade pie crust for that pie. She provides a wonderful pie crust recipe. Thank you for making my first pie crust experience stress free. : )

So today, I used the same pie crust with one small addition (about 2 teaspoons of sugar) to make an apple pie. I took the kids apple picking yesterday, so I thought a homemade apple pie was in order. I served it with vanilla icecream and it sooo good.

Lori's pie crust recipe:
Make sure you double the crust recipe shown. I feel safer doing one, and than the other. probably more work, but I just feel safer that way.

The apple pie recipe comes from thibeaultstablerecipes.
She also has a very similar pie crust recipe. I love the simplicity in Lori's pie crust recipe. I can't believe how easy it is to make a pie crust.

I'm pretty busy taking care of my 3 and 2 year old, so only had time for one picture.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

chuck roast

I'm sure a lot of people are familiar with this simple way to cook a chuck roast. So simple yet sooo delicious. The best part, no need to make gravy. It's automatically made for you.

The packet to the right has a 2.5 chuck roast with a can of cream of mushroom soup and a package of dry onion soup mix. All tightly wrapped in tin foil.

The packet to the left has sliced potatoes and carrots. Some olive oil, salt, pepper and thyme.

Water thrown into the bottom of the pan and a few orange slices thrown into the mix. I threw them in because - well I felt like being different.

It was cooked in the oven on 350 for a good 2 hours.
I took the tinfoil off and threw everything back into the same pan before serving.

Note* I absolutely loved this, husband loved the chuck roast, but said there was some flavor in the potatoes and carrots he wasn't use to. Although cooked in a separate packet, at the end it was thrown into the pan with all the lovely juices. I don't know if it was the orange flavor or the thyme. We've had and enjoyed orange chicken before and there was only one orange sliced up in there.