Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bars

I got the recipe for these Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bars from here-> http://tjstestkitchen.blogspot.com/2012/06/pumpkin-cream-cheese-bars.html

A few simple ingredients make a very tasty Fall treat!

In one bowl mix angel food cake mix, a can of pumpkin, 3/4 cup water, and...ha!  as I type this I notice the recipe says 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, I most definitely used a 1/2 tablespoon!  Oh well, if I made it again I would use that much because they turned out great!

In another bowl mix the softened cream cheese with a little bit of water. 

Put 1/2 the pumpkin mix in a sprayed pan, then 1/2 the cream cheese, then the second half of the pumpkin, then the last of the cream cheese.  Make figure eights with a knife to mix it up a bit (makes a pretty pattern too- more so in the link than in mine...).

I had friends over for Fall drinks and to watch Hocus Pocus and made these and everyone liked them!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Mini Pizzas

I LOVED doing this because I can have multiple types of pizza in one meal without spending money on different pizzas and having a bunch of leftovers.  It's also great because I can have exactly what I like and not have to compromise with someone else on the toppings and such, each person can make their own.

I bought the refridgerated pizza dough that comes in the cardboard tubes (like Pillsbury, but I used a different brand). Put foil on a pan and spray it (I didn't spray the first time I did this and the pizzas were difficult to get off).  Take a handful of dough and shape into a flat circle.  Add your ingredients and bake at the temp directed on the dough package directions.  If you are putting any meat on the pizza make sure you cook it prior to putting it on the pizza.

I made 3 different types of pizza when I did this.
This first one is mozzarella cheese, ricotta cheese, avocado, peppers, onions, tomatoes, mushrooms, oregano, and basil
 This 2nd one is onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and feta cheese
And my 3rd one is eggplant, goat cheese, tomato, onion, mushrooms, oregano, pepper, and garlic


Monday, October 15, 2012

Muffin Tin Eggs

I remembered seeing an idea for this on pinterest a long time ago and so tried this out the other day.  I sprayed the tin. I had ricotta cheese, goat cheese, mozzarella, and feta, onions, tomatoes, peppers, avocado, mushrooms, eggplant, and artichoke hearts.  In each muffic section I added various combinations of those ingredients.  You could use anything you wanted including already cooked meat.

Then I added one beaten egg to each muffin section.  I broke an egg into my small liquid measuring cup and beat it in there with a fork because then it was very easy and mess free to pour.  I then added seasonings.

(Side Note: Look what happened when I tried to crack this egg!  This has definitely never happened to me before!)

I baked for 10 minutes (until the tops start to turn a little brown).

Then I enjoyed the end results!  These are also freezable if you wanted to make a bunch at once and have easy breakfasts!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Mini S'mores

This is fun for indoors!  When you're craving a s'more and the weather isn't good for bonfires or if you're indoor camping.  Mini marshmallow on a toothpick roasted over a candle.

 I used Scooby Snacks for the graham cracker.  You could also just break a regular graham cracker down to size, or use teddy grahams.

Thursday, October 4, 2012


Nothing special about this, probably can't even consider it cooking but it's simple and tasty.  Lime chips, avocado, tomato, onion, and peppers with shredded cheddar cheese and cilantro.  Put in oven until cheese is melted and serve with salsa.  Of course could do any combo of things, add chicken, jalapenos, sour cream, etc.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Roasted Acorn Squash with Chili Vinaigrette

I absolutely loved this and it was great with my fish tacos!  I got the recipe from here-

The only thing I did differently is that after I cut the squash lengthwise I then cut those pieces in half and instead of using actual chili peppers I just used chili powder.  The sauce is delicious and I think I would make it to put on other things too, but on the acorn squash it is definitely really good!!!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Fish Tacos

No recipe for this one so no links, just me telling you what I did.

I rubbed a lime on tilapia fillets and lightly salted and peppered them then filleted them.

I boiled corn on the cob.

In a bowl I cut up tomatoes, onion, peppers, avocado, chedar cheese and cilantro. 

I cut the corn off the cob and added it to the bowl and shredded the tilapia with a fork and added it to the bowl as well.

I added fresh lime juice and chili powder and mixed it all together.

Served it in soft taco shells with verde salsa.

Pretty easy and very tasty! 
(you will see tasty looking acorn squash in this pic too, that will be next post)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Acorn Squash Slices

I love yummly.com!  I type in an ingredient, or multiple ingredients I have and it gives me recipes for those things.  From my Green Bean Delivery I ordered 2 acorn squash, but I've never made acorn squash so I found this recipe on yummly- http://www.yummly.com/recipe/Acorn-Squash-Slices-Allrecipes.

I cut one squash into slices and placed in a greased baking dish.
Melted a tablespoon of butter.
Mixed the butter with 3/8 cup of maple syrup.
Poured the butter/syrup over the slices.
And sprinkled with pecans.

I would give it 4 stars.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Honey Mustard Chicken

I get Green Bean Delivery which is an awesome thing in some parts of Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky and I get fresh produce delivered to my door every other week.  This week I got a butternut squash.  I haven't had it since I was young so I was excited to try it again.  I had some chicken breasts in the fridge so got out this cookbook:

I looked through their chicken recipes and was inspired by their one for honey mustard chicken.  This recipe was for chicken thighs though and called for whole grain mustard & clear honey.  I used chicken breast and used mustard powder instead and honey I got from Brown County that has the honeycomb in it.
I just used 1 Tbsp. honey and mixed in 1 Tbsp. mustard powder for 1 chicken breast.
I added a little bit of salt & pepper.  I used a spoon to pour and spread the mix over the chicken and then baked it.  1/2 way through baking I scooped up the sauce that had gone to the bottom of the pan and spread it back on the chicken.
For the squash I cut it in 1/2, added some salt and pepper, put it on a baking sheet covered in aluminum foil and baked at 345 for about 45 minutes (until I could put a fork through the long end) per the directions of my mama!  Added butter and more salt & pepper to eat :)

Both the chicken and the yellow squash were great!!!  I'd be interested to try the actual recipe in the book for the mustard chicken someday...

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Rice Krispie Treat Snake

My friend Heidi loves snakes and last night was her 30th birthday.  I found a snake strawberry shortcake on pinterest but it seemed too complicated and I couldn't afford to spend time on it and it maybe not turn out right so I searched for something else.

I found the idea for a rice krispie treat snake here- http://www.ricekrispies.ca/cgi-bin/rk_ca_2007/recipe.pl?id=12

I used mini marshmallows melted with butter, added vanilla and rice krispies. I sprayed olive oil on my hands and put spoonfulls on a pan one at a time and gradually molded them into a snake shape.  I used peanut butter to stick reeses pieces on it for the stripes, mini chocolate chips for the eyes, and fruit by the foot for the tongue.  .

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Spicy Roasted Eggplant with Tomatoes and Cilantro

Yummly.com is a great website if you have not yet discovered it.  You can just type ingredients and it gives you recipes with those ingredients.  Have some stuff at home, but don't know what to make with it?  Just type it into Yummly and you'll have multiple options! 

That is how I found this recipe for spicy roasted eggplant with tomatoes and cilantro- http://www.yummly.com/recipe/Spicy-Roasted-Eggplant-With-Tomatoes-And-Cilantro-Epicurious

I was planning to make a Middle Eastern dish for an Iraqi family I know around Christmas time, but I ended up getting sick and not being able to.  Now I had eggplant, tomatoes, cilantro, & onions, but didn't want to make a difficult meal...so what could I do with them before they went bad?  I took them with me to my mom's house where I was going for Christmas break and put the ingredients into yummly and found this great recipe that I made when my brother and sis-in-law got there.

Full recipe is in the link- here's an overview:

Roast the eggplant.
Mash the pulp.
Saute onions.
Add 3 Tbsp ginger.
Add chopped tomatoes, cumin, paprika, coriander, & cayenne pepper.
Add eggplant & stir until thickened.
Remove from heat and stir in fresh cilantro.
Serve over rice (at least that's what I did).

If you follow the recipe, this is a spicy dish!  It would be easy to adjust your seasoning amounts to make it less spicy (or more) to your tastes though.

Monday, July 9, 2012


I love making smoothies.  Very tasty and a great way to get a lot of good stuff in you without even realizing it!  I don't have a regular protocol for my smoothies, it really just depends on what I have and/or what I remember to put in them.  I try to add spinach to all smoothies if I have it (very healthy and I promise you don't even notice) and flax seed.  I cut a bunch of bananas in half and have them frozen that I use sometimes (my bananas were always going brown before I used them all so I really like this!).  Sometimes I use a mixture of fruit and sometimes just one fruit.

This smoothie had 1/2 cup spinach, 1/2 cup blueberries, 1/2 cup black raspberries, 1/2 cup milk, 1 Tbsp flax seed, 1 Tbsp almond butter, 1 Tbsp honey, and 1/2 cup ice.  This was good but for my own taste preference I prefer a little less almond butter.  This is when I was counting weight watchers points so that's why I have measurements for everything.  Usually now I don't measure.

This smoothie was simply strawberries, milk, flax seed, almond butter, honey, and ice.

Like I said, my smoothies just depend on what I have at the moment and what I remember to put in them.  These are the only ones I have pics of but I've also used mangos, blueberries, the frozen bananas, red raspberries, peaches, etc.

Sunday, July 8, 2012


Got this general idea from the Simple Foods for Busy Families book as well.  I use plain greek yogurt and from there the ingredients vary.
This one included honey, cereal flakes, almond slices, flax seed, sunflower seeds, and tangelos.

This one has vanilla extract, honey, cereal flakes, almond slices, walnuts, pecans, banana chips, and raspberries.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Unique Grilled Cheese

You won't find this grilled cheese sandwich on any kids' menu!  Mixed greens, goat cheese, and strawberries.  I also added a tiny bit of a walnut balsamic vinaigrette.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Parmesan Crusted Chicken & Mashed Potatoes

I got this recipe from weight watchers- http://www.food.com/recipe/weight-watchers-parmesan-chicken-cutlets-185342.  If you are doing weight watchers it is only 4 points, if not, it still tastes good!

You mix parmesan cheese with Italian bread crumbs, paprika, garlic powder, pepper, & dried parsley.  I don't have dried parsley so I used fresh from my "garden" (I live in an apartment, but have some herbs & veggies growing in containers on my balcany).

Dip your chicken breasts in the mix so they are covered and bake.

I made this recipe with mashed potatoes (no picture).  I peeled my potatoes and boiled them along with a clove or 2 of garlic.  Once they were super soft I added some garlic infused oil and mixed & mashed.  Switched everything to a mixing bowl and added milk and used an electic mixer to mash everything.  I then added a dollop of sour cream and mixed a little more.  The sour cream made them taste extra great!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Sage Chicken Bonus

Here is a bonus to the Sage Chicken Breast recipe I posted yesterday.  I had leftover sauce and saved it and today I steamed broccoli, warmed up the sauce, and poured the sauce over the broccoli when I was ready to serve.  Seemed to be a good way to use up the extra sauce!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Sage Chicken Breast & Parmesan Balsamic Roasted Green Beans and Mushrooms

Tonight I made a delicious dinner!  I took a pic of my meat and side dish together so this post is a 2-in-1 deal ;-). 

I'm attempting a little container gardening on the balcony of my apartment and one of the things I am growing is sage. 

I also have a bunch of chicken breasts in my freezer from a Market Day order thanks to my mom so I did a little Pinterest search and found this recipe for Sage Chicken Breasts.  My pictures never turn out as well as the pictures beside the recipes, but as long as it still tastes good, who cares, right?

An hour before I wanted to start cooking I salted and peppered my breasts, my chicken breasts that is... and marinated them in the fridge in a mixture of garlic infused olive oil, lemon juice, and sage leaves.

After an hour I put 4 Tbsp of butter and 3 of garlic infused olive oil into a pan on medium heat.  Once it started to bubble I added the chicken breasts (save sage leaves and marinade sauce) and cooked them on one side.  The recipe says to cook for 8, but my chicken breasts were really thin so it didn't take that long.  Just watch them and make sure they don't start to burn. 

Once one side was cooked I flipped them over and put the sage leaves in the butter oil in the pan (not on the chicken).  When the sage leaves turn dark green/brown take them out and put them on a paper towel (or a few as they are pretty oily).  As they dry the will get crispy.

When your chicken is cooked through remove the chicken from the pan and add the marinade to the pan stirring it for around a minute.

Serve the chicken with some spoonfulls of the sauce and the sage leaves sprinkled over.

For my side dish I used another Pinterest find- http://www.kalynskitchen.com/2009/01/recipe-for-roasted-green-beans-with.html.  I trimmed my green beans and cut them in bite size pieces.  I cut my mushrooms in 1/2" slices.  I mixed together garlic infused olive oil and balsamic vinegar and poured it over the mushrooms and green beans in a bowl (ok, that's not true, I seperately poured them over, then mixed everything together b/c I forgot to the oil & vinegar together first, it still worked fine!).  Then I spread out the beans & mushrooms on a baking sheet and baked them in the oven.  Bake until green beans are crispy and mushroom juices have evaporated.  When done serve seasoned with salt and pepper and sprinked with parmesan cheese. 

Yummy meal I had tonight for sure!!!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Scrambled Eggs

Mixing different ingredients with scrambled eggs is one of my favorite things to do because it's easy, tasty, and even I don't need a recipe to do it.  I'm often surprised because when I post pics of my scrambled eggs creations on facebook they are often my food pics that get the most "likes" and comments.

Here are 5 scrambled eggs creations I have done:

The Spicy Scramble:
Scramble eggs and add pepper and tomatoes.  Once cooked turn off burner and mix in shredded habenero cheese and cilantro while dish is still hot.  Serve with salsa.

Veggies, Herbs, & Feta Scramble:
Depending on the veggies I'm using I sometimes sautee some of them alone first then add the eggs to scramble.  Sometimes I just first add the veggies right in with the eggs as I scramble them.  For this specific picture I sauteed broccoli, mushrooms, and onions in a skillet.  I then added the mixed up eggs to the pan along with tomatoes, spinach, garlic chives, thyme, rosemary, and oregano.  Once cooked I turned off the burner and mixed in feta cheese.

Veggies, Herbs, & Feta Scramble In A Wrap:
Basically the same as the one above it but this time I used some different veggies.  This one consisted of onions, asparagus, snow peas, broccoli, shitake mushrooms, green peppers, rosemary, thyme, oregano, and feta cheese added after the burner is off.  The main difference here is that I then served it in a spinach wrap.  Yummy!

Colby Scramble

Scramble egges with onions, spinach, tomatoes, and add colby jack cheese

Naked Quiche:
This was inspired by the book Simple Food for Busy Families.

There are a variety of combinations you could use to make a naked quiche so get creative.  The main thing is to preheat oven to 375 degrees, spray (butter, grease, oil, whatever you do) a pie pan.  Whisk eggs, milk, and the spices you want to use together.  Put whatever other ingredients (veggies, meats, cheeses) you are using in the pie pan and pour the egg mixture over them.  Feel free to add extra spices to the top if you so desire.  Cook until it is set and lightly browned on the top (approx 30-50 minutes).
For mine I used mushrooms, peppers, onions, rosemary, oregano, and feta cheese.  It was a simple way to use the veggies I had.  I'm looking forward to making other variations of this in the future!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Beef Tenderloin with Brandied Mushrooms

The Earth Bound Cook has been a great cookbook to me.  I have made multiple things from it and all have been absolutely amazing!

For the past 2 Easters my mom has come to my house and I have cooked the Easter meal.  Our family tradition was to have leg of lamb on Easter, but that's a lot for just two people and lamb leftovers aren't very good so I went to my cookbooks to find something else.  I made a menu of options for my mom and for the main course she chose Tenderloin of Beef with Brandied Mushrooms from this cookbook.  For exact recipe click the title or the pic of the cookbook and buy it!  Cheap price for great recipes!

If you are going to make this, you have to remember to plan ahead.  One or two days before having the meal you must get the meat ready which includes rubbing it in olive oil and pepper, covering it in tarragon leaves, and wrapping in tightly in plastic wrap.  Leave it in the fridge until a couple hours before cooking it.

I also make the brandied mushrooms one day ahead of time.  I have a hard time cooking multiple things at once and timing everything to be ready at the same time so doing as much ahead of time when I have multiple dishes helps a lot.

To make the brandied mushrooms you soften dried mushrooms.  I used a combo of shitake and porcini.

Save the soaking liquid! and chop up the mushrooms.  Then you heat chicken stock & the soaking liquid.

In a skillet soften shallots and fresh cremini mushrooms in butter.  Add the rest of the mushrooms and some garlic.  Finally you get to add the brandy and also some red wine :)

Once you have cooked that to the point that liquid has mostly evaporated you add the mixture of the soaking liquid and stock and some balsamic vinegar.  The first time I made this I did everything and tasted it and thought "oh, that's good" and then realized I'd forgotten the balsamic vinegar.  It is only 1 teaspoon, but that made all the difference, it went from "oh, that's good" to "oh my gosh!  that's amazing!"

After adding those things add creme fraiche.  True confession, I'd never heard of that until making this.  The cookbook provides a recipe for making your own and the first year I made it that's what I did, this past Easter I just bought some from the store.  Also add some chopped up tarragon and your brandied mushrooms are complete!

The day of remove the wrapping from the beef and the tarragon leaves and cook to your taste preference (Mom and I like rare).  Reheat the brandied mushrooms (if you made them the day before) and serve over the meat.

The first time I made this my mom said it was the best meal she'd ever had, and her mom was a GREAT cook so that is a compliment!