Monday, December 31, 2012

Ranch Seasoned Potatoes

I swear I could eat potatoes everyday.  They are so versitile and in the kitchen can be prepared so many different ways; mashed, scalloped, fried, roasted... the list goes on! 

You can eat them for any meal of the day.  I love seasoned potatoes with a big omelette or with a plate of chicken and veggies like we did with these.  

Ok, my mouth is watering...

Ranch Seasoned Potatoes


1 packet Ranch salad dressing and dry seasoning mix
Olive oil cooking spray
1 teaspoon salt


Preheat oven to 425º.

In a large bowl add potatoes and spray lightly with the cooking spray.

Then, add in the Ranch dressing mix and salt. Toss well to coat each potato piece evenly.

Line a baking sheet with foil or spray it with non-stick cooking spray. Pour potatoes onto the baking sheet and spread out potatoes evenly.

Bake in oven until potatoes are cooked through, and edges start to turn very dark brown, approximately 20-25 minutes.

To check to see if they are done, pierce one of the larger pieces of potato with a fork to see if it is soft.

Source: The Girl Who Ate Everything

Friday, December 28, 2012

Baked Potatoes

Baked potatoes are an ideal meal for families whose taste preferences vary.  Also, baked potatoes are very filling and you can load them up with lots of broccoli and say it's healthy!  


Baked Potatoes


4-6 large russett potatoes
sour cream
cheddar cheese, shredded
bacon, crumbled
(anything else that sounds tasty on top of a piping hot potato)


Preheat oven to about 350º.  Wash potatoes and poke holes with a steak knife on all sides.  Coat with olive oil and roll in sea salt.  Bake directly on the rack (I always put an empty cookie sheet down on the rack below to catch juices...think: clean oven).  Cook until fork tender.  About an hour and a half.  The time really depends on how many potatoes you have. 

Once they are done, use a fork to perforate one side and mash it open.  

Load the open potato with your favorite toppings and dig in!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

I keep saying how I don't like to bake, but then these fun recipes find me and I feel compelled.  So, since it's #bakingeverythingwithpumpkinseason.  I thought these would be a good addition to my growing list of treats.  

I wish I was you. 


1 Betty Crocker Super Moist Spice cake mix
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 (15oz) can pumpkin puree
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 container Betty Crocker cream cheese frosting


1. Preheat oven to 350º.  Use baking stone or baking liner on a cookie sheet
2.  In a large bowl, mix the cake mix, butter, pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, eggs and milk.  Mix slowly for abour 30 second until mixed. Then beat for a couple minutes.  Batter will be a bit wet. 
3.  Use a cookie dough scooper to scoop out dollops on to the baking stone.  Try to make them all the same size. 
4.  Bake for about 10-11 minutes.  Let them cool completely. 
5.  Frost a cookie with cream cheese frosting and top with another cookie.  Store in an airtight container and in fridge until ready to eat.  

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Lasagna Spinach Wheels

What is better than saucy noodles stuffed with cheese and spinach? 

These rolls are pretty easy to make and I liked being able to serve them individually. It makes for a prettier plate when serving. 

9 lasagna noodles, cooked
1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and completely drained
1 (15 ounce) container ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasonings
salt and fresh pepper
1 jar spaghetti sauce
9 Tablespoons mozzarella cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 350°. Make sure you drain the spinach well. Combine spinach, ricotta, Parmesan cheese, egg, garlic, Italian seasonings  and salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Pour about 1 cup sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish.
Place a piece of wax paper on the counter and lay out lasagna noodles. Make sure noodles are dry by patting them with a paper towel. Take 1/3 cup of ricotta mixture and spread evenly over a noodle. Roll carefully and place seam side down onto the baking dish. Repeat with remaining noodles.
Ladle sauce over the noodles in the baking dish and top each one with 1 Tablespoon of mozzarella cheese. Cover baking dish tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 40 minutes, or until cheese melts. Makes 9 rolls.

To serve, ladle a little sauce on the plate and top with lasagna roll.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Pizza Pockets

I like to cook. Never will I claim to really know what I'm doing, but I find it relaxing and I love to eat so it's the perfect hobby for me. One thing I forget is that my kids aren't always as excited about trying new recipes as I am. So in tribute to my sweet boys this meal is for them.

Pizza Pockets


1 roll refrigerated pizza dough
marinara or pizza sauce
3-4 Tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 Tablespoon melted butter
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
8-12 ounces mozzerella cheese, cubed
various pizza toppings of your choice: pepperoni, mushrooms, peppers. . .


Preheat oven to 425º.  Use a pizza stone if you have one, otherwise lightly spray a baking dish with cooking spray. 

Unroll the dough on to a lightly floured surface and press into a large rectangle (about 12"x8" Think that a sheet of paper is 8.5"x11").  Cut into 24 squares.  

Place cheese and other toppings into the center of each square.  Gather the sides of each square and pinch closed to create a ball.  Place each ball seam side down on the pizza stone. 

In a small bowl, mix melted butter, garlic powder and Italian seasonings together.  Brush the tops of the dough using a pastry brush.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. 

Bake for about 15-18 minutes or until rolls are golden brown. 

Serve with warm pizza/marinara sauce for dipping. 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Turkey Noodle Soup

Who has a leftover turkey carcass??  

We do! 
(Ew, that sounds morbid)

Turkey noodle soup is a family favorite, thanks to my mother in law.  This year, I didn't make a turkey, but I was given the leftovers to make turkey noodle soup.  With all the options of how to use leftover Thanksgiving food, this is one that is ALWAYS used. 

Turkey Noodle Soup 


Leftover turkey carcass (with some of the left meat pulled off and reserved for later)
Dozen eggs, hard boiled
Soy sauce


In a large roasting pan, fill half way with water.  Salt the water and add the carcass.  Bring water to a boil and then let simmer for about 20 minutes. Be careful not to simmer too long, you don't want any bones softening and falling in your broth.  

Remove the carcass and add the speghetti noodles.  Cook until done.  

Serve noodles and broth with pieces of turkey and sliced eggs on top.  Season with soy sauce. 

Friday, November 23, 2012

Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries

I could not believe how delicious these turned out.  You know you have a winner when you have a crowd of hungry people hovering around you as you are filling the strawberries offering to "taste".  I'm pretty sure my little brother squirted the filling straight into his mouth from the bag...

Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries


1 lb large strawberries
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 - 1/2 cup powdered sugar (depending on how sweet you want it)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 – 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs

1. Rinse strawberries and cut around the top of the strawberry.

Remove the top and clean out with a paring knife, *I used a potato peeler and it worked awesomely! Slice off a tiny bit from the bottoms so the strawberries will stand up on their own. Prep all of the strawberries and set aside.
2. In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla until creamy. Add cream cheese mix to a piping bag or Ziploc with the corner snipped off. Fill the strawberries with cheesecake mixture.
3. Once strawberries are filled, sprinkle or dip the tops with graham cracker crumbs.

If not serving immediately, keep strawberries, filing and crumbs seperate until ready to serve.  Be sure to kee the strawberries and filling refrigerated until serving.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

Talk about yum! At first I was unsure about putting corn in a loaded baked potato soup because who puts corn on an actual baked potato? The corn was just the right amount of sweet to offset all the salty bacon. Go on, celebrate the extra hour of sleep you get this weekend from daylight savings by making this soup!

Thanks for the great recipe Favorite Family Recipes

Loaded Baked Potato Soup


4-6 potatoes (bake in the oven if you have time or in the microwave if you don't), peel and cut into bite-sized cubes
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
2 bullion cubes
salt and pepper to taste
1 clove garlic, minced
6 cup milk
16 oz sour cream
10 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
1 bag of frozen corn
shredded cheese for topping


In a large pot, melt butter on low heat.  Stir in flour and seasonings.  Gradually add milk and turn up heat to medium.  Add garlic.  Bring to a boil and stir frequently until thick.  Remove from heat.  Whisk in sour cream.  Add potatoes, corn and bacon. 
Serve with shredded cheese on top. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Pumpkin Dip

One thing I know...people LOVE dips!  What's better than a themed holiday dip?  This sweet pumpkin dip is a great addition to the dessert table at any Halloween/Fall party!  We used apple slices and graham crackers to dip, but the possibilities are endless!

Pumpkin Dip


  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 cup frozen whipped cream, thawed
  • Apples or cinnamon graham crackers

  • Directions
1.  In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth. 

2.  Add in pumpkin, sour cream, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and ginger.  Mix well. 

3.  Fold in whipped cream.

4.  Serve with apples and graham crackers. 

*To make it extra fancy, gut a small pumpkin and serve the dip inside. 

Halloween Ghost Cookies

I know, Halloween is tomorrow.  So it's a bit late for these guys to make an apperance this year, but aren't they cute?!  Our family had an annual Halloween Party a couple of weeks ago and I was asked to bring dessert.  These little cookies were a cintch to make and my 6-year-old enjoyed putting the eyes on.  Notice the eyes on the ghost in the middle...they're rolling down the front.  

*These are great because Nutter Butters already have a natural ghost shape.  OOoooOOOooo!

Halloween Ghost Cookies


1-2 boxes of Nutter Butters
Mini chocolate chips
Almond Bark

Melt the almond bark according to the directions and dip the Nutter Butters in.  Let sit on wax paper and place the chocolate chips on as eyes.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Chicken Burrito Filling

After I made this I seriously had a dream about it. I woke up at 3:00 AM and wanted a burrito with this filling. My mouth was watering. I made it knowing my husband wouldn't eat it because of the peppers so I got to enjoy it entirely myself. My plan was to freeze most of them to use as emergency work lunches, but I think I ate one everyday until they were gone. I CANNOT wait to make this again!

Thank you Mel for ANOTHER delicious meal! 

Chicken Burrito Filling

1 cup cooked rice, warm or at room temperature (I used Brown Rice)
1 cup cooked, chicken (I cheated and used the packaged fajita chicken in the bag)
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/8 cup onion, finely chopped
1/2  green pepper, diced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
juice of 1 lime
1/2 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
2 cups shredded cheese (I use a combination of Monterey jack and sharp cheddar)
Sour cream (optional)
6 burrito-sized flour tortillas
Mix rice together with chili powder, cumin and garlic salt. Add remaining ingredients except for cheese and sour cream. Sprinkle cheese over tortillas, leaving 1/2-inch border around edges, then arrange chicken and rice mixture down the center of each tortilla. 
Dollop little bits of sour cream over the cheese before arranging chicken and rice mixture down the center – it makes the wraps delightfully creamy.) 
I made a few of these and put in the freezer...not that it did any good.  I ate them all in the first week. 
*This is how Mel does it...but I couldn't be bothered with taking the time to do it: 
Roll stuffed tortillas, leaving edges open and slightly flatten the wraps with the palm of your hand. Spray seam-side of the wrap lightly with cooking spray.
Heat a large non-stick skillet (or griddle) over medium heat for 1 minute. Arrange wraps, seam-side down, in pan or griddle and cook until golden brown and crisp, about 2-3 minutes per side. Cooking them seam-side down first helps seal the long edge so they don’t fall apart. Transfer to a plate and repeat with remaining wraps. Serve warm.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Oreo Cheesecake Bars

I've never been a big baker.  In my opinion, it's pretty boring.  But I find that the older my kids get, the more I want to create yummy treats for birthdays, holidays and other similar celebrations.  My baby turned one last month and I found these treats on Annie's Eats.  She's simply amazing.  She's a little intimidating.  I mean, these women really exsist?!  

Oreo Cheesecake Bars

23 Oreo cookies
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted

12 oz cream cheese, room temperature
6 Tbsp sugar
6 Tbsp sour cream, room temperature
1/2 tsp vanilla extract 
1/4 tsp salt
1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
12 Oreo cookies, roughly chopped

Preheat the oven to 325º. 
Line an 8x8 inch baking dish with foil. 

Crush Oreos with a food processor until finely ground.  Add in the melted butter and pulse until the cookie crumbs are moistened. Transfer the mixture to the lined pan.  Press the crumbs into an even layer over the bottom of the pan.  Bake for 10 minutes, the set aside.  Leave oven on. 

Add cream cheese to a bowl and beat on medium-high speed until light and smooth.  Mix in the sugar until well combined. Blend in sour cream, vanilla and salt.  Beat in the egg and yolk on medium high speed until incorporated.  Be sure to scrape the bowl.  Stir in the chopped Oreos with a rubber spatula.

Pour the cheesecake batter over the prepared crust, smooth the top with a spatula.  Bake for about 40 minutes, until the cheesecake is set around the edges but slightly wobbly in the center. 

Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for about 1 hour to room temperature.  Cover the pan and refrigerate until well chilled, about 3 hours.  

To cut the bars, pull the cake from the pan by lifting the foil up out of the pan.  Place on cutting board, peel away the foil and slice into bars. 
*Clean the knife blade between each slice to keep the edges neat. 
Keep refrigerate until ready to serve. 

Monday, October 8, 2012

Parmesan Chicken with Pasta Rags

A tasty dish that combines the yummy flavors, of breaded chicken with pasta and veggies.  It's a recipe I gathered from a church cookbook.  I love the name because that's exactly what the noodles look like, little pasta rags.  

3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon butter
1/2 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

8 oz uncooked lasagna noodles, broken into 2-inch pieces
1/4 c olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
9 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained
1/2 tsp. seasoned salt
1 cup cherry tomates, sliced
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh basil


Heat oven to 475º.

In a shallow microwave bowl, stir together 3 cloves of garlic, 1/2 tsp seasoned salt 3 Tablespoons oil and the butter. Microwave until the butter is melted.  Stir together

In another shallow bowl stir together bread crumbs and grated cheese.

Coat chicken with butter solution and then with the crumb mixture. 

Place in an ungreased casserole dish and bake about 20 minutes until chicken is cooked through.  

Meanwhile, cook lasagna noodle pieces until tender.  Drain and cover to keep warm.  

In a large skillet, heat 1/4 cup oil over medium-high heat.  Add 1 clove of garlic and cook until fragrent.   Stir in spinach and seasoned salt.  Cook until spinach is cooked.  Add cooked noodles, tomates and chopped basil.  Cook for a couple of minutes until hot.  

Serve pasta mixture with chicken and sprinkle with some Parmesan cheese. 

*It would be great with some Alfredo sauce tossed together as well. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Cheesy Chicken Pasta

Wow.  This is good.  It is filling, cheesy, creamy, mushroom-y and chicken-y.  I got this recipe from Our Best Bites and they have it listed as a freezer meal.  That's what I planned to do...except there wasn't any leftovers!  Maybe next time.  

Cheesy Chicken Pasta


6 Tablespoons butter
salt and pepper, for seasoning
1 pound penne pasta
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, havled
1/2 cup, plus 2 Tablepsoons flour
6 garlic cloves, minced
6 cups, whole milk
10 ounces mushrooms, chopped
1 cup sliced, oil packed sun dried tomatoes (optional)
1 cup, mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 1/2 cup fresh Parmesan cheese 


In a large pan, boil the pasta until tender.  Drain, add a drizzle of olive oil, toss and set aside.  

While the pasta is boiling, heat oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet.  Season chicken with salt and pepper, cook 3-5 minutes on each side until cooked through.  Slice chicken and dice into small pieces.  Set aside.  

While the pan is still in the hot, toss the mushrooms in and saute until golden brown.  Add oil as needed.  

Using the same pot you cooked the pasta in, melt butter over medium heat and add flour and garlic.  Cook, whisking about 1 minute.  While whisking constantly, gradually add the milk, bring to a simmer.  Keep whisking frequently as the sauce thickens.  Add mushrooms and tomatoes.  Cook about 1 minute.  Remove pan from heat and gradually stir in mozzarella and 1/2 cup of the Parmesan cheese.  

Add chicken and pasta to the pot and season with salt and pepper.  

Serve to a crowd!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Slow Cooker Maple Glazed Meatballs

There is something so comforting about meatballs.  The sauce these are cooked in adds so much sweet flavor to them that a little goes a long way.  My family loves these served over rice.  It's such an easy meal to put together (as long as you plan a head of time to allow cooking). And to make it even easier, try the Ready Rice that cooks in the microwave for 90 seconds.  These orange bags have become a staple in our house. 

Recipe used from CrockPot Best Loved Slow Cooker Recipes  

Slow Cooker Maple Glazed Meatballs

1 1/2 cups ketchup
1 cup maple-flavored syrup
1/3 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
1 Tablespoon quick-cooking tapioca
1 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon dry mustard
32 oz frozen fully cooked meatballs
1 20oz can pineapple chunks in juice, drained


Combine ketchup, syrup, soy sauce, tapioca, allspice and mustard in crock-pot. 

Carefully stir in meatballs and pineapple into ketchup mixture

Cover and cook on LOW for 5 hours or until meatballs are heated through.  Stir before serving. 

*Serve over rice on on cocktail picks to be served as appetizers

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Grilled Teriyaki Chicken with Pineapple

I used to grill my chicken by simply sprinkling it with some good 'ol Johnny's Seasoning Salt.  It's good and everything, but recently, I've really tried to add some variety of flavors to my chicken.  This marinade was pretty simple to make and it tasted great!  

*Recipe came from Mel's Kitchen Cafe

Grilled Teriyaki Chicken with Pineapple

6 boneless chicken breasts
6 oz pineapple juice
1/2 c soy sauce
1 Tablespoon molasses
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 canola or olive oil
3 Tablespoons cider vinegar
1 teaspoon garlic powder

Pineapple rings for grilling

In a small bowl, combine the pineapple juice, soy sauce, molasses, brown sugar, oil, vinegar and garlic powder.  Whisk to combine.  Place the chicken in a large ziplock bag and pour the marinade over the chicken.  Seal and let marinate for 6-8 hours.  

Grill chicken over medium-hight heat for 6-7 minutes on each side, until it is cooked through.  Before chicken is finished, add the pineapple rings to the grill for about 2 minutes each side. Transfer the chicken to a plate and tent foil over the top.  Let sit for 5 minutes.  Slice chicken and serve with pineapple over rice.  

Sunday, September 2, 2012

BBQ Chicken Salad and Dressing

I've hesitated posting this dish soley because of the picture.  It's just not good enough to illustrate how BOMB-DIGGITY this salad is!  My plan is make it again soon....take a new it.  But, try to look past the picture.  Close your eyes.  (Wait now you can't read!  Open your eyes!)  This salad is so sweet and tangy...and filling.  The combination of the BBQ chicken and the dressing makes it a tasty, satisfying treat with every bite.  

Oh, and I got this reciepe from the Favorite Family Recipes  site who got it from Mel's Kitchen Cafe.  

This dish gets around.

BBQ Chicken Salad


Chicken and Salad
3 cups chicken, cooked, shredded
2 cups BBQ sauce
1/2 head iceberg lettuce, chopped
2 romaine hearts, chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1 1/2 cup frozen corn, thawed
1 can black beans, risned and drained
4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
4 ounces, monterey jack cheese, shredded

Creamy BBQ Cilantro Lime Dressing
1 cup mayonaise
1/3 cup milk
1/3 cup buttermilk
2 Tablespoons cilantro, chopped finely
1 Tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon, sugar
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4-1/2 cup BBQ sauce


Salad: Combine the cooked chicken and BBQ sauce in a medium bowl.  Refrigerate until ready to use. In another large bowl, mix together iceberg, romaine, onion, cilantro, corn, beans and cheese.  

Do not toss the dressing in because your leftovers may get soggy.  I suggest tossing the salad with dressing immediatly before an individual serving. 

Dressing: Combine all ingredients together and whisk to combine.  Refrigerate until ready to serve. 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Green Chili Enchiladas

I. love. enchiladas.  These are sooo creamy and cheesy. I think I ate them for 3 meals a day for 3 days straight.  But, I felt I had to since my husband won't eat anything with chilies.  I couldn't let it go to waste after all.  Oh Yes, I knew that before I made them....yes, I planned on eating the entire pan by myself all along.
Make these for yourself soon!

Green Chili Enchiladas

1 large can green chili enchilada sauce
2 c chicken, cooked and shredded
2 c jack/cheddar cheese blend, shredded, reserve 1/2 cup for topping
1 small can green chilies
1 can cream of chicken soup
8 oz. sour cream
12 flour tortillas

Preheat oven to 350º

Pour some of the enchilada sauce onto a plate and dip a tortilla in it, both sides.  Place tortilla in a greased 9x13 pan and fill with some chicken, and cheese.  Roll closed. Repeat for all tortillas. 

In a seperate bowl, mix the green chilies, soup and sour cream.  Pour over the tops of the tortillas. Drizzle the remaining enchilada sauce over the top and sprinkle with the reserved cheese.  

Bake for 30-40 minutes. 

*Don't forget to eat with your favorite salsa on top!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Homemade Baby Food

I'm not Mrs Organic or Whole Food Fanatic, but I have always made my own baby food.  I've done it for a few reasons.  First, I feel more comfortable if I'm the one preparing my child's first foods.  This way, I know exactly what is going in to their tiny tummies.  Secondly, I quickly discovered that store bought baby food is EXPENSIVE!!  I can make three times as much for the same price of a few of those little containers.  Typically, they are about .50 each.  Thirdly, I can portion it out.  I can choose to do one, two or even three cubes at a time.  Less waste. 

Gotta love that!

Homemade Baby Food


Any fruit of veggie you plan to feed your little tot. 


Steam your choice of food until very soft.  Place in a food processor with some of the water used to steam and puree until a smooth consistency. Depending on the food choice, you may decide to peel first.

Portion out in ice cube trays and freeze.  Once frozen, transfer to ziplock bags and store in freezer until needed. 

*Be aware, some foods are not suppossed to be fed to an infant.  Check with a trusted source or your pediatrician as to which foods are good to start with. 

*I try to get fresh foods when I can.  Occasionally, I'll buy frozen.  I try to check the ingredients to make sure there isn't added salt. 

*If you choose a food with skin, it may be harder to get a smoooooth texture.  Notice the pictures of the peas I made.  

*Some foods I regularly make are:

Sweet potatoes (without skins) (These I cook in the microwave)
Green Beans
Pumpkin (this is the easiest!  I just buy it already pureed in the can NOT PUMPKIN PIE MIX!)
Bananas (Don't steam these, just mash up once they are good and ripe)

*I typically don't season these foods.  I like my babies to get just the basic foods so I can monitor an allergic reaction.  SOmetimes I'll add cinnamon to the bananas or sweet potatoes.  I almost ALWAYS serve with baby cereal. 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Tomatillo Salsa

Um, YUM!  

While helping out my sister and her husband's family during their family reunion I somehow ended up making this salsa.  I had never made this before and I was following a recipe from my sister's friend. Because usually when I make salsa, it's a BIG batch, so when the time came to chop peppers, I absentmindedly chopped up WAY too many for this little bowl.  

You know, auto pilot.  

It was HOT!  But dang, was it good.  So...beware, if you don't like it hot, go easy on the peppers.  

Tomatillo Salsa


1.5 lbs tomatillos
1/4 cup cilantro, minced
1 bunch green onions, chopped
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1-2 jalepeno and serano peppers
1/2 cup water

Peel and thoroughly rinse tomatillos.  Cut into halves and place in a food processor.  Add cilantro, green onions, salt, pepper and peppers.  Blend together.  Add water a little bit at a time until desired consistency.  Blending each time to thoroughly mix.  (You may have leftover water)

*It's recommended to control the heat of your salsa to add a small amount of peppers at a time and taste until desired heat is reached.  

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

7-Layer Bean Dip

This is the easiest dip to make and everyone loves it.  If you can operate a can opener, you can make this dip. 

I've seen it made by mixing taco seasoning into the sour cream to add another flavor, but I prefer it as is.  I like the taste of sour cream.

Also, if you can, try to make it with homemade guacamole.  It'll take this dip up a notch. But, store-bought is good too.   

7-Layer Bean Dip


1 can refried beans
1 container sour cream
1 container guacamole (or homemade)
2 cups, shredded cheddar cheese
1-2 tomatoes, chopped
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 can sliced olives

In a glass casserole dish, layer each ingredient in order, beginning with the beans.  

*Serve with tortilla chips or pita bread.  

Friday, August 3, 2012

Broccoli and Potato Soup

It may be 115º outside, but when the thought of soup sounds good, it doesn't matter how hot it is outside!  This soup is very creamy and rich.  A little goes a long way, I ended up freezing about half the batch because we just weren't going to eat it all.  Can't wait for the cooler months to hit so I can defrost my leftovers!

Broccoli and Potato Soup

2 tsp oil
1/2 c white onion, chopped
5 russett potatoes, cubed
6 chicken bouillon cubes
4 tsp salt
2 8oz packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 c flour
4 c milk
4 c broccoli, chopped


In a large pot saute onions in oil.  Once onions are soft, add potatoes, bouillon cubes, salt and fill with enough water to cover the potatoes.  Cover and bring to a boil.  Simmer until potatoes are tender.  

In a bowl, blend cream cheese with flour until smooth.  Beat in milk until smooth.  Add to the potato pot, slowly.  Pour in broccoli.  Stir frequently.  Boil until thick and broccoli is tender. Salt and pepper to taste. 

*When I make this again, I'll be chopping the broccoli a little smaller. 

Friday, July 27, 2012

Broccoli and Beef

If you like broccoli and beef, you must try this recipe.  Every bite bursts with flavor.  Be careful not to overcook the meat...the juicier the better.

Broccoli and Beef


1 Tablespoon rice wine vinagar
2 Tablespoons low-sodium chicken broth
5 Tablespoons oyster sauce
2 Tablespoons light brown sugar
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
2 teaspoons cornstarch

Beef and Broccoli:
3 Tablespoons soy sauce
1-2 lbs flank staeak, cut into 2-inch wide strips with the grain, the sliced across the grain in to 1/4 inch-thick slices
6 garlic cloves, pressed
1 inch piece fresh ginger, minced
1 1/2 lbs fresh broccoli, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/3 cup water
3 medium scallions, sliced

In a medium bowl, combie beef and soy sauce.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 10 minutes or up to 1 hour.  Meanwhile, whisk the sauce ingredients together. Set aside.

In another small bowl, combine garlic, ginger and 1 teaspoon peanut oil.  Set aside. 

Heat 1-2 teaspoons oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot.  Add half the beef and break up clumps.  Cook, without stirring, for about 1 minute, then stir and cook until beef is browned around edges and cooked through.  About 1-2 minutes.  
*Don't overcook the meat (cook just barely so the meat stays tender)  

Transfer the beef to a bowl and cover with foil. 

Heat another 1-2 teaspoons of oil and repeat with the remaining beef. 

Add 1 tablespoon oil to the same, now empty, skillet.  Heat until hot and add broccoli and cook for 30 seconds; add water, cover pan and lower heat to medium.  Steam broccoli until tender-crisp, about 2 minutes. 

Push broccoli to the sides of the skillet and add the garlic/ginger mixture.  Cook, mashing the mixture with a spoon, until fragrant, about 20 seconds.  Stir the mixture into the broccoli.  

Add the beef back to the skillet and toss to combine. 

Whisk the sauce to recombine and add to the skillet.  Cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce is thickened and evenly distributed, about 1-2 minutes.  

Transfer to a serving platter, sprinkle with scallions and serve on top of rice.