Friday, December 23, 2011

.pumpkin pasta sauce. {husband's choice}

I was a bit skeptical of this recipe at first but I had a can of pumpkin that I needed to do something with and I love cream so I decided to give it a try. WOW was I pleasantly surprised. The original recipe can be found here. (love that blog mucho). It was a big hit with the hubby and beyond easy to make. Try it out for yourself :)

1/2 a can of plain pumpkin ( I used a bit more)
1/3 cup of Parmesan cheese
1 1/4 cup of heavy cream
5 fresh sage leaves finely chopped
salt and pepper
1 1/2 tablespoon of butter

Mix all ingredients (except butter) in a small pot and heat on medium until it comes to a boil. Let it boil for three-four minutes stirring constantly. The sauce will become smooth and mixed well. Remove from heat and add your butter. Stir until melted and lightly toss over your favorite pasta. I used Rigatoni pasta. I sprinkled a little Italian cheese blend right over top.

Monday, December 12, 2011

.chocolate pretzel heaven.

This recipe is amazing/delicious/addicting/easy/mouthwatering..I really could go on if needed. I am pretty much obsessed and can not making/eating them. For all those who know me I really do not like sweets or chocolate, but these. omg. writing this post is making me drool. YOU MUST MAKE THESE ASAP!!! And if you don't believe how amazing they are and just want to make a couple check out the microwave friendly version among other adaptations on my friend Alisha's blog CookLoveCraft. There are so many different ways to change this recipe up or use other christmas colored kisses to make it festive. Enjoy!

Pretzel Snaps
Hershey kisses (I used dark chocolate)

Preheat oven to 275. Place pretzels on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Unwrap hershey kisses and place on pretzels. Put in oven for 3 minutes. Gently place second pretzel on top of each hershey kiss and press down softy. Place in refrigerator to cool. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

.shrimp pizza.

We lOVE pizza and it is especially fun when you get to make it yourself by using some of your favorite ingredients. I usually buy ready made pizza dough from trader joe's or fresh and easy. They usually have white, wheat, and some type of garlic herb. I like this dough because it is super fresh and all you need to do is let it sit out for 20 mins or so then make your pizza. Experiment with this recipe by using whatever sauce, meat, and veggies that you like. Below are my favorites, and never forget your glass of wine :) Enjoy!

Pizza dough
Shredded cheese (I like an Italian blend)
Shrimp (I use the frozen like that just needs to be thawed)
Pizza sauce (I used Vodka pasta sauce..yum)
Spinach leaves
Garlic powder (to taste)
Pepper (to taste)
Italian seasoning (to taste)
1 diced tomato

Follow pizza dough directions to prepare dough and preheat oven. Spread out dough on a flat surface and top with your favorite sauce. Top with shrimp, torn spinach leaves, tomatoes, and season with garlic, pepper, and italian seasoning. Then sprinkle on the cheese. Place pizza in oven (preferability on a pizza stone..they are amazing!) and cook according to pizza dough package. Typically 10-12 minutes. Cut up into slices and enjoy!

Friday, December 2, 2011

.hawaiian bbq chicken.

Another Pinterest recipe that was beyond easy AND for the crockpot = double score. This one is super friendly for all and the original recipe can be found here. I also loved that I could put my chicken in frozen (raw meat is not my friend) and it only has 3 ingredients. Enjoy!

4-6 Boneless Chicken Breasts (mine were still frozen!)
1 Bottle Archer Farms Hawaiian Style Barbecue Sauce (from Target)
1 20 oz. can Pineapple Chunks, drained

Spray the inside of your crock pot with cooking spray for an easy cleanup! Place frozen chicken breasts in the crock pot and cover with sauce. Empty can of drained pineapple chunks on top. Cook on High for 2-3 hours or Low for 4-6 hours. Shred chicken with two forks while still in the crock pot so the chicken will be well coated with sauce. Serve over rice.

Monday, November 28, 2011

.mexican pizza. {husband's choice}

Thank you Pinterest for the 100th time. The original recipe can be found here and has amazing step by step pictures.This picture would have looked much better if I added the green onions like the original recipe called for. But of course I was too lazy to go to the store as usual. This recipe was perfect for the hubby because it was designed after his most favoritest meal EVER, Taco Bell's mexican pizza. Honestly, it tastes even better and I know it is much healthier for us both. I have since made this four times. Don't judge. It tasted great with corn tortillas, ground beef, and shredded beef and I'm sure Ill change it up again next time. Try it out for yourself and enjoy!

Whole Wheat or regular Tortillas – 4 tortillas (2 pieces for each pizza)
Canola Oil – very small amount to glaze both sides of the tortilla
Refried Beans – 1 (1 pound) can
Water – 1/4 cup
Onion – 1 small (diced)
Paprika – 1 tsp
Black Pepper – 1/4 tsp (or omit – you don’t really need it)
Ortega Taco Seasoning – 1 tsp
Scallions – 1 bunch (chopped)
Jalapeno – 1/2 a jalapeno (deseeded & finely chopped) -i omited
Tomato – 1 (chopped)
Salsa – enough to spread over the pizza
Mexican Cheese Blend – enough to cover the pizza
Sour Cream Reduced Fat – 1 dollop (optional)

1. Preheat the oven at 400 degrees. Line a tray with foil.
2. Place 2 tortillas on a flat surface and lightly glaze/brush both sides of the tortilla with Canola Oil. Place both tortillas on the foil tray.
3. Once the oven preheats, place the tortillas in the oven for 10 minutes – 5 minutes on each side so they crisp up. You can add multiple tortillas if you have room.
4. In the meantime, make the beans. Empty the contents of the refried beans into a small pot. Add a 1/4 cup of water.
Place the pot over a stove on low-heat.
5. In the meantime, chop an onion. Add the onion to the beans. Add the seasonings – paprika, black pepper, and taco seasoning. I don’t think you will need salt. Mix. Wait a couple minutes and once heated thru, turn off the stove.
6. In the meantime, chop the veggies.
7. Check on the tortillas. DON’T TURN OFF THE STOVE. See how they are crispy once baked.
8. Spread a couple dollops of beans over the tortilla. Top off with very little salsa. Spread. Top the salsa with the second piece of tortilla. Spread salsa again – very little.
9. Top with scallions and tomatoes. Add just about 1/2 to 1 tsp of deseeded jalapeno – see how much you can handle.
Top with cheese, make sure you get the sides.
10. Using a flat ladle place the Mexican Tortilla Pizza on the foiled tray. Put into the oven for 12 minutes.
11. Top off with a dollop of Sour Cream (reduced fat) and some Hot Taco Bell Sauce, just cause it's awesome!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

.chicken & spinach pasta bake.

Thank you Pinterest once again for providing me with wonderful, simple, and delicious meals. Original recipe can be found here. Made this one for the sis-in-law and it was a big hit with both her and the hubby. Try it out for yourself and enjoy!

8 oz uncooked rigatoni
1 T olive oil
1 c chopped onion
1 (10 oz) pack frozen spinach, thawed
3 c cubed, cooked chicken breasts
1 (14 oz) can Italian-style diced tomatoes, drained
1 (8 oz) container Philadelphia chive & onion cream cheese
½ t salt, ½ t pepper
1½ c shredded mozzarella cheese

Prepare rigatoni according to pkg directions. Spread oil on bottom of 11x17 in baking dish; add onion in a single layer. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes or just until tender. Transfer onion to large bowl, set aside.

Drain chopped spinach well, pressing between paper towels. Stir in rigatoni, spinach, chicken, & next 4 ingredients into onion in bowl. Spoon mixture into dish & sprinkle evenly with shredded mozzarella cheese. Bake covered at 375 for 30 minutes; uncover & bake 15 more minutes or until bubbly.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

.cheesy chicken & rice bake.

This recipe is beyond yum enjoyable for all. I found this recipe on my love Pinterest. The original recipe is from Tasty Kitchen. SO not only did I find a wonderful recipe on Pinterest but I also found another lovely website to go to for even more tasty ideas. I made this meal twice in one week, yes it was that good. The second time was for a potluck at work and it sure was a crowd pleaser. Try it out for yourself and enjoy!

2 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
4 cups Cooked Brown Rice (i used half brown and half not able to 100% commit to brown yet)
¾ cups Frozen Corn
15 ounces, fluid Can Black Beans, Drained And Rinsed
1 cup Plain Greek Yogurt (or Sour Cream) ~i used sour cream
4 ounces, fluid Can Green Chilis
½ cups Salsa
1 cup Low-fat Cheddar Cheese, Plus More For Topping ( I used a mexican cheese blend)
2 Tablespoons Fresh Cilantro For Garnish

Preheat oven to 350F. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except for cilantro and mix thoroughly to combine. Make sure the yogurt and cheese are stirred in throughout the entire bowl. Season with salt and pepper if desired. Transfer to an oven-safe dish and top with extra cheese if you would like. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until heated through. Garnish with chopped cilantro.
To make this process easier, I always have cooked chicken on hand, and use Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice. If you have those two things, this can be throw together in a matter of minutes! It can also easily be made ahead of time and reheated.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

.orzo pasta salad.

This recipe is pure bliss and just makes you feel heathy from the inside out. My mom got this recipe from a friend at work and it would be perfect as a side dish or even as a main meal, like we did by putting it on a bed of salad. Enjoy!

Orzo pasta – 2 cups
Cucumber – chopped
Tomato – chopped or cherry tomatoes cut in half or quarters
Crumbled goat cheese – also work with crumbled feta
Tuna- I used tuna but works with boiled or grilled shrimp too

3 fresh lemon squeezed and also grated lemon peal
2 cloves of garlic : grated
Extra Virgin Olive oil
Salt and Pepper
Dill (dry or fresh)
¾ table spoon of soy sauce (lite sodium so it) just a splash so it doesn’t over whelm
*equal parts lemon juice vs Olive oil*

Boil orzo pasta in salted water to “al dente”…. Drain pasta
Drizzle a little bit of white truffle oil or olive oil (so the pasta doesn’t stick together and soaks up the truffle oil aroma)
Once pasta cools down add the chopped vegetables of your choice and tuna and toss in dressing
Chill in the fridge. Before serving toss with arugula

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

.bbq-cheddar-crusted chicken.

I found this recipe on Best Foods website. I had no idea how many great chicken recipes they have to offer. So yum. I know the picture is not the most flattering but it really did taste great. {however, I am guilty of using a bit less mayo than the recipe calls for..I like the website but still am not a mayo fan..haha}

1/2 cup Hellmann's® or Best Foods® Real Mayonnaise
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese (about 1 oz.)
2 Tbsp. barbecue sauce
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 1-1/4 lbs.)
4 tsp. Italian seasoned dry bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 425°.
Combine Hellmann's® or Best Foods® Real Mayonnaise, cheese and barbecue sauce in medium bowl. Arrange chicken on baking sheet. Evenly top with mayonnaise mixture, then sprinkle with bread crumbs.
Bake 20 minutes or until chicken is thoroughly cooked.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

.stuffed zucchini.

wow. wow. wow. Not only were these super fun to make they were easy and healthy! I found them on my new love Pinterest. {original recipe found here.} For all those that do not yet know what Pinterest is, please check it out. Email me and ill send you an invite. Pinterest has helped me come up with so many amazing and unique recipe ideas that are just plain yummy. Enjoy!

1 tbsp sour cream
1/4 to 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp curry powder
1/2 tomato
1 tsp thyme
2 zucchinis
1 onion
Optional: bacon (I used bacon bits)

Preheat your oven to 400 (200C). Give the zucchini a good scrub.Slice them in half length-ways. Spoon out the guts. Just take it out (leave about 1/2 an inch in) until you end up with boat like shells. Now give the zucchini pulp a good chop, also chop a small onion and 1/2 a tomato while you’re at it. I’m only using half a tomato (more for color than flavor, really) otherwise things will become too wet. Sautee the onions in one tbsp oil or butter.When the onions are almost done, add 1/4 tsp curry powder and cook everything for an additional 30 seconds. No longer or the curry powder will turn bitter. When they’re done, transfer them to a big bowl. Now this is completely optional. If you want to stick with a vegetable dish, fine, just leave the bacon out. I personally like the crunch and saltiness it gives, so I cook a few slices and let them drain on a paper towel.Now (in no particular order), add 1 tsp dried thyme, 1/4 to 1/2 tsp salt, 1 heaping tbsp sour cream, a good pinch of pepper, the zucchini pulp, the tomato and crumble the bacon in as well. Lightly butter a baking dish and put the zucchini boats in. Grab a spoon and fill the shells with the mix. Sprinkle some aged cheese on top.Put them in a preheated oven, give them about 20 minutes and then turn on the grill until the top is golden brown. Sprinkle some coarsely chopped curly leaf parsley (the most underrated herb there is) on top and you’re done.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

.angel chicken. {husband's choice}

This is a recipe that I could seriously eat at least once a week. It is beyond easy, quick, and also falls under the heartburn friendly category (which has been impossible to follow). Try it out for yourself and you will wonder where this recipe has been your entire life. I like serving it over rice because we LOVE rice, but it can also be served over your favorite pasta. Enjoy!

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 8oz. pkg, baby bella mushrooms
1 can of condensed golden mushroom soup
1 stick of butter
1 pkg. dry italian salad dressing mix (i couldn't find so just added some dry italian seasoning)
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 of an 8oz. tub of cream cheese with chives & onion
rice or pasta

Melt butter in a saucepan and add the italian salad dressing packet. Stir in the soup, chicken broth, and cream cheese until it combines and melts. Place mushrooms on the bottom of the crock-pot and place the chicken breasts on top. Pour the sauce mix on top of the chicken. Cover with lid and cook on low for 4-5 hrs. Serve over pasta or rice and enjoy!

Monday, October 17, 2011

.cool whip cookies.

This recipe was taught to by my lovely and fabulous friend Tara. Now since I am not a baker..I might have made a few mistakes. Word to the wise = this dough is very sticky if you cool it in the fridge for a bit it makes life much easier. Maybe if I had known this I wouldn't have had to put the rest of the batter in a bread pan..which in turn did actually make a lovely cookie cake if there is such a thing. Long story short this recipe is beyond yummy and you MUST try it out for yourself. Enjoy!

1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
2 eggs
1 (18.25 ounce) package lemon cake mix
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar for decoration

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease baking sheets.
Beat together the whipped topping and eggs together. Add the lemon cake mix and continue to mix. Dough will be thick.
Drop by teaspoonfuls into a bowl of confectioners' sugar and roll to coat. Place cookies on the prepared baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 8-10 minutes.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

.veggie pot pie.

So..I might just be obsessed with everything pot pie. Something about a warm pie coming out of the oven makes my heart go pitter patter. It all started with the original chicken pot pie then I was introduced to a curry pot pie. And with that I decided to make up my own. I introduce to all my faithful readers the veggie pot pie! Ingredients can vary. I basically used a combo of all leftover bags of frozen veggies in my freezer then topped it with some cheese..because who doesn't like cheese?! Get creative, try it out for yourself and enjoy!

3 cups of mixed veggies (I used corn, peas, carrots, spinach, asparagus, pearl onions)
1/2 cup shredded cheese
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
2/3 cup milk
2 (9 inch) unbaked pie crusts

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C.)
In a saucepan, combine veggies. Add water to cover and boil for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, drain and set aside.
In the saucepan over medium heat, cook onions in butter until soft and translucent. Stir in flour, salt, pepper, and celery seed. Slowly stir in chicken broth and milk. Simmer over medium-low heat until thick. Remove from heat and set aside.
Place the veggie mixture in bottom pie crust. Pour hot liquid mixture over. Cover with top crust, seal edges, and cut away excess dough. Make several small slits in the top to allow steam to escape.
Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Cool for 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

.bbq ribs. {husband's choice}

These are the most amazing ribs ever. I usually don't like to work for my food but since this recipe is slow cooked in the crockpot the meat literally falls off the bones. yum. I have always been afraid of cooking ribs but when I came across this recipe from Elizabeth Ann's Recipe Box {if you have a sweet tooth you must check her out} I just knew I had to try it out for myself. I changed the recipe a bit by taking out the applesauce...mostly because I did not feel like making a trip to the store, and they still turned out great. Our new favorite meal by far and I love it because there is little to no work involved :) Try it out for yourself and enjoy!

1 medium yellow onion
1 rack (2.5 lbs) pork spare ribs
18 oz bbq sauce
1 c apple sauce (I omitted)
1/2 c water (I omitted)
salt and pepper to taste

Thinly slice the onion and place it in the bottom of the slow cooker. Cut the ribs into two rib portions. Season with salt and pepper. Arrange half of the ribs in on top of the onion in the slow cooker. Cover with half of the BBQ sauce. Place the rest of the ribs on top and cover with the rest of the BBQ sauce. Pour the apple sauce and water (or whatever liquid you are using) in around the edges of the ribs so it fills in the spaces between meat without washing off all of the BBQ sauce. Secure the lid tightly on the slow cooker, turn on low heat and let cook for 8 hours. When the ribs are done, carefully remove them from the pot. They will be very tender and can fall apart easily so lift gently. Fish out the onions and serve on top of the ribs. The left over liquid in the slow cooker can be simmered in a pot over medium low heat until reduced and thickened. The thickened sauce can then be served as a gravy over the ribs.

Monday, September 26, 2011

.grilled cheese with a twist.

This is my all-time favorite way to eat grilled cheese...besides the fact that I was raised thinking that this was actually how you made grilled cheese. I was sure surprised when ordered it in a restaurant and it did not come with sugar on top. Whoops. Anywho, try it out for yourself and see what you think. Kids would be sure to love it. Enjoy!

Ingredients {serves 4}
4 slices white or wheat bread
3 tablespoons butter, divided
2 slices Cheddar cheese

Preheat skillet over medium heat. Generously butter one side of a slice of bread. Place bread butter-side-down onto skillet bottom and add 1 slice of cheese. Butter a second slice of bread on one side and place butter-side-up on top of sandwich. Grill until lightly browned and flip over; continue grilling until cheese is melted. Repeat with remaining 2 slices of bread, butter and slice of cheese.

Monday, September 19, 2011

.crockpot chicken.

This is one of the easiest recipes EVER. I have always wanted to make a whole chicken but was so intimidated by the thought of it. I decided it wouldn't be so overwhelming if I was able to toss it in the crockpot {love} and it worked out quite nicely if I do say so myself. The only part that was a bit traumatizing to me was the skinning of the chicken. Not the most attractive part of the recipe but I survived and so will you. The seasoning can also be easily altered to your individual preferences. I just opened up my spice cabinet and tossed stuff in :) This is the perfect meal when you are too lazy to cook but still want to eat something delicious and healthy. Enjoy.

1 whole chicken
1 yellow onion, sliced
5 cloves of garlic, minced
seasoning salt
chili powder

Skin and clean whole chicken. Turn crockpot on low and place onions on the bottom of crockpot. Place chicken on top of onions. Rub chicken with garlic inside and out. Season with spices of choice. Cook on low for 4-5 hours until done. Serve with rice and veggies and enjoy!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

.veggie medley.

This BEYOND amazing recipe was taught to me by my friend Valerie. For someone who I usually poke fun at for not cooking this was probably one of the best side dishes to a meal EVER. I seriously made it twice in one week and even ate it cold. Another perk to this recipe is that it can easily be adapted to your individual preferences by adding or omitting veggies. I added some feta on top the second time and it was also delicious. Try it out for yourself and enjoy!

Ingredients {add as much or as little of each ingredient that you prefer}
Chopped onion or pearl onions
Corn (I didn't have any so its not pictured)
Diced tomatoes (I used a can)
feta (optional)
Lemon Pepper
Vegetable seasoning (From costo, but you could use whatever seasoning you prefer)
Olive Oil

Chop all ingredients and add to a medium saucepan. Cook on medium-high heat for 10-12 minutes or until veggies are soft. Season with lemon pepper and vegetable seasoning. Top with feta if desired and enjoy!

Monday, September 12, 2011

.grilled burrito.

This meal takes it back to the basics. The hubby made this burrito for himself and I thought I would share it with others, especially great for kids. The best thing about burritos is that you can add whatever you do or do not have already stocked in your fridge..and when you grill it..omg. yum.

chopped chicken or beef (I like to season it with taco mix)
cheese of choice

Heat tortilla and add ingredients. (be careful not to fill burrito too much or it will not close nicely) Grill until golden brown and enjoy!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

.twice baked sweet potatoes.

Another amazing recipe from the mother-in-law. SO easy, delicious, and looks pretty impressive as well. It can easily be made vegetarian without the chicken. Try it out for yourself!

Ingredients (serves 4)
4 sweet potatoes, dark ones are better
2 T butter
1/2 t pepper
1/2 t salt
1 t crushed garlic
1 1/4 cups grated Manchego Cheese (5oz)
2 chicken breasts, grilled with garlic powder
1 can mushrooms
onion, chopped

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prick potatoes. Place on foil lined baking sheet. Bake 1 hour till tender. Let cool 20 mins. Slit potato skin lengthwise, stopping about 1' from each end. Scoop out most of flesh into a large mixing bowl, leaving 1/4' thick shell. Place shells on clean baking sheet. Add butter, garlic, salt and pepper to potato flesh. Mix with beater. Fold in Manchego cheese, chicken, mushrooms, and onions. Bake at 350 for 30 min till hot in center. Serve with your favorite salad and enjoy!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

.peach sherbet & raspberry dessert.

As I have said before I am not a fan of dessert but this one is just so refreshing especially perfect for this extra warm weather we are having {currently 105 thats hot!} Also, this dessert takes almost no time to prepare which is even more perfect for the lazy person I am :) This is yet another recipe from my time up north visiting the in-laws. Enjoy!

peach sherbet
chocolate syrup

Scoop peach sherbet into a cup or bowl. Top with raspberries and chocolate syrup. Repeat and enjoy!

Monday, August 22, 2011

.taco salad. {husband's choice}

Here is yet another amazing recipe from my mother-in-law. My hubby used to love this recipe when he was growing up, so it was so nice to recreate a favorite from his childhood. And...omg I am so in love with it as well. As summer is winding down I feel like I could eat salad all day long {luckily we had tons of leftovers}. Try it out for yourself and enjoy!

lettuce (chopped)
tomatoes (chopped)
cheddar cheese, grated (I used a mixed mexican blend that was already grated)
jack cheese, grated
taco sauce
ground beef/turkey
kidney beans
avocado (diced)
tortilla chips (crushed)
onion (diced)
thousand island dressing
taco seasoning (I added this to the meat)

Cook ground beef until brown. Add onion and taco seasoning if desired. Let cool. Add all ingredients in a large salad bowl, mix up and enjoy!

Friday, August 19, 2011

.best salad EVER.

So...I am finally back from several weeks of vacation. I have not posted in forever, but fear not I have many new recipes ready to be blogged! On our vacation to Lake Havasu this wonderful salad recipe was shared with me and now I am hooked! And by hooked I mean I am eating this very salad at least every other day and have not got sick of it yet. {knock on wood} Try it out for yourself and enjoy!

dried cranberries
glazed pecans
feta cheese
Newman's Raspberry & Walnut dresssing

Chop lettuce and tomato. Add in all the rest of the ingredients. Mix with salad dressing and enjoy!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

.chicken curry pot pie. {100th post!!!}

WOOO!!! Made it to 100 posts!!! What a wonderful time to introduce this tasty recipe was introduced to me by my friend Nicole. She is a fabulous wife and one of the many who inspired me to cook, without even knowing it! She always finds the most amazing recipes online. Thank you SO much for sharing them! Anyways..I love trader joes and this recipes is 100% trader joes and o so simple to make. Check it out and enjoy. Also, check out the other recipes trader's has to offer here.

1 package TJ's Gourmet Pie Crust, prepared through step 2 for double crust pie
1 cup TJ's Organic Foursome Vegetables
1/2 cup TJ's Pearl Onions
2 tablespoons TJ's Flour
1 bottle TJ's Thai Yellow Curry Sauce
1 1/2 cups TJ's Just Chicken

Preheat oven to 400ยบ. Microwave Organic Foursome and pearl onions for 1 minute on high. Mix flour with curry sauce. Add vegetables, chicken and curry sauce mixture to bottom pie crust in pan – spread evenly. Top with pie crust. Seal and trim off excess pie crust. Cut vent holes. Bake for 40 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes. Recipe Credit: Trader Joe's 2011 HiiP Recipe Showdown Winner - Linda Wang.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

.meatball & spinach calzone.

Remember this post. I have been so busy this month and instead of trying new recipes I have decided to change up the old ones. Add meatballs instead of chicken and a brand new meal is born. Enjoy!

1 tube (10 ounces) refrigerated pizza crust
1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
Meatballs, chopped

On a lightly floured surface, roll pizza dough into a 14-in. x10-in. rectangle. In a large bowl, combine the spinach, cheese, onion, meatballs and garlic; spoon over dough to within 1 in. of edges. Roll up jelly-roll style, starting with long side; tucks ends under and pinch seam to seal.

Place seam side down on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400 for 25-27 minutes or until golden brown. Cut into slices.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

.thai red curry. {the lazy man version}

As the heat of a summer in southern california is giving me a great tan it is also making me far lazier than I have been in a long time. I have absolutely no energy to spend hours in the kitchen making meals or using the stove which would make our apt even hotter than necessary. SO...I have instead resourcefully discovered lots of meals I can "half" make..This is the first of many more to come. Back to the basics and keeping it simple. BTW the hubby loved it! Found this jar at Fresh & Easy and just followed the directions on the jar. Enjoy!

1 jar of Thai red curry sauce
1 red bell pepper cut into strips
1 green bell pepper cut into strips
chicken or meat of choice

Follow directions on jar. Simple as that! Serve over rice.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

.mashed potatoes.

These are the wonderful mashed potatoes that I served with the chicken marsala. I love baked potatoes but the hubby is partial to mashed potatoes and after almost a year and a half of marriage I decided to make them for him. I had no idea how simple this recipe really is and super yummy. (helped that I added some cream..yum) This recipe was so great I made it again the following week..and accidently made 6 lbs of mashed potatoes, so needless to say we will be taking a break from anything potato for awhile. Enjoy!

Ingredients {serves 6}
6 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/2 cup warm milk (I added some yummy cream)
1/4 cup butter or margarine
3/4 teaspoon salt
Dash pepper

Place potatoes in a saucepan and cover with water. Cover and bring to a boil; cook for 20-25 minutes or until very tender. Drain well. Add milk, butter, salt and pepper; mash until light and fluffy.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

.chicken marsala.

This recipe was introduced to me by my good friend Megan and adapted with a recipe from my favorite This pictures does not do this recipe justice. It really did taste much better than my picture looks! Such a simple meal that I made for company and it was a big hit! Also, made it with homemade mashed potatoes (recipe coming soon). Try it out for yourself and enjoy!

Ingredients (serves 4)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour for coating
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - pounded 1/4 inch thick
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup Marsala wine
1/4 cup cooking sherry

In a shallow dish or bowl, mix together the flour, salt, pepper and oregano. Coat chicken pieces in flour mixture.
In a large skillet, melt butter in oil over medium heat. Place chicken in the pan, and lightly brown. Turn over chicken pieces, and add mushrooms. Pour in wine and sherry. Cover skillet; simmer chicken 10 minutes, turning once, until no longer pink and juices run clear.

Friday, June 24, 2011

.lemon poppy seed bread.

This recipe is AMAZING and from a favorite website of mine Annie's Eats. The original recipe made muffins..but I am a bit lazy and tossing it all in a loaf pan seemed so much easier and was great to have as a grab and go breakfast. Try it out for yourself! make it with the glaze because it was so very tasty. Enjoy!

Yield: about 12 muffins
For the muffins:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp. poppy seeds
1¼ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
Zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup yogurt (plain or vanilla)

For the glaze (optional):
½ cup confectioners’ sugar
1-2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Line a muffin pan with paper liners. Combine the flour, poppy seeds, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Stir briefly to combine. In a mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, blending well after each addition. Mix in the lemon zest and the vanilla extract. With the mixer on low speed, mix in the dry ingredients in two additions alternating with the yogurt, beating each addition just until incorporated.

Divide the batter between the prepared liners, filling each about two-thirds full. Bake 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

While the muffins are still warm, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and lemon juice in a small bowl to make the glaze. Drizzle a small amount of the glaze over each muffin. Let the glaze set before serving.

Friday, June 17, 2011


I love cheese. I love pasta. I love cream. Now only if all of these things were amazingly good for me we would be in business. This meal is my "im too lazy to cook" recipe. It is so simple and I almost always have ready made ravioli in the freezer. Did you know that you can buy packages of refrigerated ravioli and just toss it in the freezer and it lasts practically forever?! As for the sauce I heat up some simple marinara sauce and toss some heavy cream in for that extra bit of awesomeness. Try it out for yourself and enjoy!

1 package of refrigerated or frozen ravioli of your choice
Pasta sauce of your choice
Heavy cream (optional)
Parmesan cheese for topping

Bring a pot of water to boil. Add ravioli and cook according to package directions. Heat up sauce in saucepan for 5 mins, add cream and cook for an additional 2 mins. Top ravioli with sauce and cheese. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

.chocolate chip kisses.

The non-baker in me combined with my baking friend Teresa made these amazing delights. So fun and they did not last very long in our house after we made them..note to self, careful when you press the kiss in, they melt quickly and can look like a pile of chocolate instead of a kiss..but I don't think many people will actually complain about a pile of chocolate on there make these and enjoy!

1 18oz. package of refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom (didn't have so I didn't use)
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
32 unwrapped milk chocolate kisses ( I used peanut butter cups too..tasted wonderful, but did not look as cute)
powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 375. In a large ziplock bag place all ingredients and knead dough until all ingredients are combined. Shape dough into 1-inch balls, place 2 inches apart on a ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until edges are light brown. Immediately press a kiss into the center of each cookie. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool. Sift powdered sugar over cooked cookies. Enjoy!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

.treasure box.

If you have never heard of Treasure Box you MUST check it out!!! I was introduced recently to Treasure Box and now we are hooked and trying to get everyone we know to do the same. There mission is to provide families and individuals with a substantial box of grocery store quality food retailing between $60-$85 for just $32 each. The Treasure Box cultivates relationships with more than 500 major food manufacturers across the country to purchase and provide top quality, nutritious food at sizeable volume discounts to the general public. Ordering and pick up is so simple and we were able to find a site 1/2 mile away from our house. Amazing food (helps that we are the least picky eaters ever) at an amazing price. Really has helped us keep to our monthly budget. Try it out for yourself and let me know what you think!

Each Treasure Box contains between 21-25 pounds of high quality, frozen foods, including chicken, pork, beef, or seafood, as well as vegetables, fruit, a side dish and a dessert. One Treasure Box is enough food to nutritiously feed a family of four lunch and dinner for almost a week or a senior citizen for nearly a month. They also have several different boxes to choose from according to your needs (This is Bella investigating our treasure box for the month of behind in posting I know)

Thursday, June 2, 2011

.meatball sandwiches. {husband's choice}

Let me start by saying that these meatballs from Trader Joe's are my new favorite meal addition! They are so unbelievably tasty, simple, healthy and affordable how could you go wrong?! In my attempt to focus on simple meals in the next few months I thought I would try them out in a meatball sandwich. This meal took hardly any time at all the the hubby loved it!!! Meals like these help me remember that a fabulous meal can be simple too. Enjoy!

4-5 meatballs per sandwich1 French baguette
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 (14 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce
4 slices provolone cheese

Bake meatballs according to package instructions. Meanwhile, cut the baguette in half lengthwise, and remove some of the bread from the inside to make a well for the meatballs. Slip the baguette into the oven during the last 5 minutes of the meatball's time, or until lightly toasted. While the bread toasts, warm the spaghetti sauce in a saucepan over medium heat and add garlic powder. When the meatballs are done, use a slotted spoon to transfer them to the sauce. Spoon onto the baguette and top with slices of provolone cheese. Return to the oven for 2 to 3 minutes to melt the cheese. Cool slightly, cut into servings, and enjoy!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

.shrimp pad thai.

I found this recipe in Cooking Light. I love pad thai and was super excited to be able to make this dish at home. While this recipe was delicious and healthy, it did not taste like the pad thai from my favorite restaurant. My expectations were a bit high I know, make this recipe, enjoy it (clearly it was good because we had no leftovers at all), but understand that it just might not taste 100% like your favorite restaurant quality. Enjoy!

8 ounces uncooked flat rice noodles (pad Thai noodles)
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon Sriracha or chili garlic sauce
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup (2-inch) green onion pieces
8 ounces peeled and deveined large shrimp
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup fresh bean sprouts
1/4 cup chopped unsalted dry-roasted peanuts
3 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil

1. Cook noodles according to package directions; drain.
2. While water comes to a boil, combine sugar and next 4 ingredients (through Sriracha) in a small bowl.
3. Heat a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion pieces, shrimp, and garlic; stir-fry 2 minutes or until shrimp is almost done. Add cooked noodles; toss to combine. Stir in sauce; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly to combine. Arrange about 1 cup noodle mixture on each of 4 plates; top each serving with 1/4 cup bean sprouts, 1 tablespoon peanuts, and 2 teaspoons basil.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

.the most important meal.

So the concept of eating breakfast is pretty new to me. I know and understand that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, I have known this for some time now, but have I actually done it? That would be a big NO! In my new attempt for the healthier me I decided I want to eat breakfast everyday and workout 1-3 times a week. Now the working out part is coming a little slower but the breakfast part is going quite well. Don't get me wrong, it was a very difficult habit to form, but now I think Im pro status. This is my favorite meal, A simple breakfast sandwich. Enjoy!

1 egg
baby greens, or baby spinach
sliced tomato
italian seasoning
hot sauce (if desired)

Heat a pan over medium-high heat. Toast bread in toaster oven. Cook egg according to desired preference ( I like over medium). When done assemble sandwich and enjoy!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

.beef quesadillas.

Another fabulous recipe from Real Simple. I found this recipe at my friend Teresa' house and just had to make it! Try it for yourself and this one would be kid friendly!!!

2 tablespoons plus 4 teaspoons canola oil
12 ounces ground beef
pinch cayenne pepper
kosher salt and black pepper
4 8-inch flour tortillas
6 ounces Monterey Jack, grated (1 1⁄2 cups)
1 cup frozen corn, thawed (side dish)

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to soften, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the beef, cayenne, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Cook, breaking up the beef with a spoon, until no longer pink, 3 to 5 minutes more.
Heat broiler. Brush one side of each tortilla with 1 teaspoon of the remaining oil. Place 2 tortillas, oiled-side down, on a foil-lined baking sheet. Top with the beef mixture, Monterey Jack, and remaining tortillas (oiled-side up). Broil until crisp and the cheese melts, 1 to 2 minutes per side.
Meanwhile toss corn, with salt and black pepper. Cut the quesadillas into wedges and serve with the salad.

Friday, May 13, 2011

.raspberry crisp.

I have been told by several people that frequent my blog that I need to add more deserts...however, all that know me personally know that I am not a huge dessert person. Which is actually a understatement because I really do not like dessert at all. (don't hate me!) I was browsing through The Pioneer Woman I came across this recipe, and it looked AMAZING. I made this for dessert for my mom on mother's day and it was a big hit! I plan on making this again with blueberries, because raspberry seeds drive the hubby crazy. Try this simple recipe out for yourself. Enjoy!

2-½ cups Raspberries
1 Tablespoon (Heaping) Corn Starch
⅔ cups Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 cup All-purpose Flour
¼ cups Sugar
¼ cups Brown Sugar
⅓ cups Oats
¼ cups Pecans, Chopped (i didn't add)
Dash Of Salt
¾ sticks Butter, Cut Into Small Pieces
Whipped Cream Or Vanilla Ice Cream, For Serving

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium bowl, combine (rinsed) raspberries, corn starch, 2/3 cups sugar, and vanilla. Stir and set aside.
In a separate bowl (or food processor) combine flour, 1/4 cup sugar, brown sugar, oats, pecans, dash of salt, and butter pieces. Cut together with a pastry cutter (or pulse in food processor) until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Add berry mixture to a small baking dish or pie pan. Sprinkle topping mixture all over the top. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until topping is golden brown.
Allow to sit for ten minutes before serving. Scoop out with a spoon and top with sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.