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Sunday, December 9, 2007

Rice Krispies Treats House

Instead of a Gingerbread the recipe from Rachel Ray and we made it at work with the clients. This was our team's house, which I thought came out good (considering mental health consumers are making it). It was fun, and I recommend that you make smaller houses, and/or use cardboard as supports (the rice krispie treats are heavy), that is why ours was the only roof that did not cave in...we put cardboard underneath it. Here is the recipe:


I am doing a cookie exchange at work, and figured I would make my fave cookie, snickerdoodles.... The original recipe is Mrs. Sigg's snickerdoodles from

The only changes I made were I increased the white sugar to 3 T and ground cinnamon to 3 tsp at the end to roll the cookies in. These were the best snickerdoodles, so soft and yummy!!!!

"unfried" zucchini

Courtesy of Dori at the Foodie Fashionista Blog:

These came out great!!!!! So yummy and I think they would be good also with Horseradish sauce.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Creamy Alfredo and Mushroom Pasta

I used an old CL recipe for the alfredo sauce (below), sauteed mushrooms and added them and Smart Taste Pasta by ronzoni (extra fiber and calcium), put in baking dish and baked with some asiago cheese on top and drizzled a teeny little bit of truffle oil on top with lots of cracked black pepper. It was yum! Such good comfort food.

Cooking Light Pasta with Alfredo Sauce

1 Tbsp butter
2 small cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp flour
1 1/3 C skim milk
2 T low fat cream cheese
1 C grated parmesan cheese
salt and cracked black pepper to taste.
2 C uncooked pasta (I used Smart Taste corkscrews)

Boil pasta according to directions, drain, set aside. Melt butter over med. Cook garlic for about 1 minute and add flour and whisk, cook until slightly browned (about a minute or so). Add milk slowly, keep whisking constantly and cook about 8 minutes (until thickened). Add cream cheese and whisk to melt, cook 2 minutes. Add Parmesan cheese and whisk until melted. Turn off heat. Taste and add salt and pepper. Pour over pasta.

Sauteed Mushrooms

1 container baby bella sliced mushrooms
1 T olive oil
1 clove garlic
1/4 C dry sherry
lots of pepper and a little bit of salt (couple of shakes)

cook garlic over med in olive oil for about a minute and add mushrooms, stir and add sherry, salt and pepper. stir occasionally and cook until all liquid is gone. Take off heat and set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put pasta and alfredo sauce in casserole dish and mix in some of the mushrooms. Sprinkle more mushrooms over top and sprinkle some shredded asiago cheese over top. Cracked black pepper and cover and bake for about 10-15 minutes. Once you dish it out drizzle a teensy little bit of truffle oil over top and mix in. When I say teeny, like a drop or two. Otherwise it can overwhelm your dish.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

lemon garlic chicken

2 T fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
zest of 1 lemon
1/4 c olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Marinate 4 thin sliced chicken breasts in this marinade for about an hour (I use a ziploc bag). Then heat a teeny little bit of olive oil over med heat and saute chicken breasts (take out of bag, discard rest of marinade), for about 5 or 6 minutes on each side. I served with roasted rosemary potatoes. It was so good!!!! Comment please!

Roasted Rosemary Potatoes

serves 2

3 red skinned potatoes, cubed (NOT peeled)
Olive oil (enough to coat)
salt to taste
Pepper to taste
garlic powder (couple of shakes)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Combine potatoes, olive oil, salt and pepper and garlic powder. Put in casserole dish (uncovered) and cook about 45 minutes.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Warms the Cockles

MMMMM....Chili! I love it, this was my first time ever making it, and I am so pleased with the result. I literally poured over chili recipes for the last week, and came up with one that I really love. Hubby loved it too, I made it for the MU/KU game and MU won!!!! Good luck charm! we like it spicy, so adjust seasonings to suit your taste.

Karen's soon to be famous Spicy Two Bean Chili

2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 med. Mayan Sweet Onion, chopped (use any sweet onion)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 lbs 95% lean ground beef
1tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp cumin
1 1/2 Tbsp Chili Powder
1/2 tsp ground oregano
2 tsp Cayenne
sprinkle of cinnamon
2 bay leaves
3 Jalepenos, sliced (not seeded)
1 (29 oz) can crushed tomatoes
1 (29 oz) can tomato sauce
2 tsp tomato paste
pinch of sugar
1 can Great Northern Beans, rinsed and drained
2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 bottle dark beer (i used Sam Adams Boston Ale) minus 2 swigs ( ;
salt and pepper to taste
Red Pepper Flakes and Cholula hot sauce to taste (any hot sauce will do, I like this one)

Saute onions over med heat in olive oil until translucent (about 8 min). Add garlic and saute another minute. Add beef and brown the meat over med high. (about 10 or so minutes). Add all spices except bay leaves and stir. Add bay leaves, sugar, Jalepenos, tomatoes, tomato sauce and beans and bring to simmer. Add beer. Remember to take two swigs---you earned it! Allow to simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour covered. Discard bay leaves. Taste and add salt and pepper, hot sauce and other seasonings to suit your taste. I put it in a crock pot and kept it on warm for about 2 hours. Serve with shredded colby jack cheese, sour cream and sliced jalepenos. I served it over a little bit of macaroni elbows. It is even better the second day.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Three Mushroom Soup

This soup is so great!!! I got the original recipe from Wegmans which I will post here, and I will post any changes I made (in orange). I cannot believe that this soup is only 180 calories per cup!!!! So healthy. It calls for heavy cream, but it is very little compared to how many cups it makes. The original recipe makes 12 1/2 cups, so I halved it best I could. We had it with a nice salad....

Three-Mushroom Soup

yield 12 1/2 cups

2tsp and 6 Tbsp butter, divided ( I subbed 1 Tbsp butter with 1 Tbsp canola oil)
2 pkgs (8oz) baby portabella mushrooms (baby bella), reserve 1 Cup
1 med sweet onion, chopped, I used Mayan Sweet (it called for 8oz of prechopped onion that they sell)
3 Shallots, Chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced (I would use more next time, was not enough)
2 pkg (5 oz) shitake mushrooms
1 pkg (3.5 oz) oyster mushrooms
1/2 C dry sherry (my addition)
6 Tbsp. flour
1 Carton (32 oz) Vegetable Stock (I would reserve 2 cups and add if too thick later)
1 Bay leaf
2 sprigs fresh thyme ( I used about a tsp dried)
salt and pepper to taste (I needed a lot of salt)
1/2 pint (8oz) heavy cream
Black Truffle Oil (for drizzling)**dont omit this, it is very necessary, I added a teeny bit to the soup too

1. Add 2 tsp butter to saute pan on MEDIUM. Add reserved cup of mushrooms. Cook, stirring, 3-5 minutes until browned and tender. Set aside for garnish.

2. Melt remaining 6 Tbsp butter in stockpot on MEDIUM. Add onions, shallots and cook, stirring 4 minutes until soft. Add garlic and cook another minute or so (do not brown).

3. Add remaining mushrooms. Cook, stirring, about 5 minutes, until softened (I add dry sherry with the mushrooms). Add flour. Cook, stirring 2-3 minutes until thickened.

4. Add stock, bay leaf and fresh thyme. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to simmer on MEDIUM about 20 minutes uncovered. Season to taste with salt and pepper (I needed a lot of both). Remove bay leaf and thyme sprigs.

5. Lower heat and puree soup with immersion blender (love mine!). Stir in heavy cream. Adjust seasonings if necessary. ***I added some truffle oil here, maybe a tsp.

6. Ladle into soup bowls. Top each with a drizzle of black truffle oil and reserved mushrooms.

180 calories per cup!!!!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Macaroni and Cheese with Jalepenos!!!

Muy Caliente! I have been wanting mac and cheese so bad lately and hubby likes spicy things, so do I, and I thought Jalepenos would be great, and they were. This is a really great mac and cheese recipe without the Jalepenos too (if I do say so)...I am the mac and cheese queen so I usually just put it together, this time I measured everything so I could put it in the blog...

Mac and Cheese Muy Caliente!

2 C uncooked elbow macaroni (I used Ronzoni Smart Taste to be healthy)

2 T butter
2 T flour
2 C milk (I used 1%)
4 oz Velveeta, cubed (makes it so creamy)
8 oz pkg Colby Jack, shredded (I find this melts the nicest)
salt to taste
2-3 large Jalepenos, sliced thin (more or less or none---all to your taste), plus a few slices for decorating the top

While making the sauce, Boil pasta according to directions on box, drain and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter over med heat and once melted add flour to make a roux. Cook roux until a golden color (whisking continuously) and until no flour smell remains. Slowly add milk, whisking constantly. Simmer milk until mixture coats a spoon. Add velveeta and stir until melted. Take off heat and add colby jack --reserve 3/4 C for sprinkling on top--(important to turn off heat, because if you leave the heat on the cheese can curdle--too hot). Stir until melted and add salt to taste. Keep on low. Saute Jalepenos in a pan for a few min until slightly tender. Add to cheese sauce. Add drained macaroni and stir. Put mac and cheese in casserole dish and sprinkle remaining cheese on top. Layer a few more sliced Jalepenos on top to make it look pretty. Cover and place in preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes. Please comment if you make it and tell me how it comes out!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

My take on Pumpkin Pie Dip

ok, so I made the pumpkin dip (link to original recipe below) and I made some changes...the dip is FABULOUS! Even hubby liked it, he does not even like pumpkin stuff. Serve it with Gingersnaps and you will not be disappointed! Here is the original recipe with my changes in orange:

Pumpkin Pie Dip (Original recipe from

1 8 oz pkg of Cream Cheese, softened (I used low fat cream cheese--cannot notice the difference)
2 C Confectioners sugar (I used 1 3/4 C Confectioners sugar and 1/2 C light brown sugar)
1 15 oz can solid pack pumpkin--not pumpkin pie filling
1 T pumpkin pie spice (heaping Tablespoon, use more if needed)
1 T ground cinnamon (I liked more, I used approx 1 1/2 T--use the 1 T and taste)
1 tsp frozen orange juice concentrate (I omitted this, it seemed like a waste)

Combine Cream Cheese with sugars (I used KA mixer) until smooth. If you are afraid it will be too sweet, add 1 1/2 C confectioners sugar and 1/2 C brown sugar and taste, that is what I did. Scrape down bowl and add spices (add 1 T of each, blend and then taste, add more if needed--I like it spicy). What you have right now would make a great spiced cream cheese if you do not care for pumpkin. Slowly add pumpkin and stir until well blended. I omitted the OJ concentrate because I thought it sounded gross and was a waste to just use a tsp. Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving. Serve with Gingersnaps and/or graham crackers.

Pumpkin Pie Dip

OK, so I went to a sex toy party the other night and there was this yummy Pumpkin Dip (which was like the filling to a pumpkin pie and it was served with gingersnaps. It was out of this world!!!! So here is a recipe I found on, I have not tried it yet, but plan to this week and then I will post pictures and any changes I make:

the picture with the dip in the pumpkin is from the recipe on allrecipes***

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip

I went to a sex toy party last night and figured, a bunch of girls would love a recipe like this (and they did---the host hid the dip, so she could have it to herself)
***I forgot to do this last night, so I am giving credit to where I got the recipe ( : Thanks Chelley***I got it from Melissa's Magic in the Kitchen Blog ( who I believe got it from Chelley's blog)

1/2 C (1 stick) butter
1/3 C light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 8 oz package low fat cream cheese
1/2 C confectioners sugar
3/4 C mini chocolate chips (I used reg. size milk choc chips, but I think heath chips would be good too)

In small saucepan, melt the butter with the brown sugar over med heat. Stirl continuously until the brown sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract and set aside to cool. Beat Cream Cheese and confectioners sugar for 1 minute. Slowly beat in cooled butter mixture and beat another minute. stir in choc chips and Pour into pie plate and refridgerate. Garnish with more chips. Serve with Nilla Wafers. Let stand at least 3o minutes before serving.

roasted pears with creme brulee ice cream (ben and jerrys)

I had some pears and was craving something fall like, so I made this recipe up....

2 anjou pears, ripe, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 tsp of lemon juice
2 T butter, melted
2 T light brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Toss pears with melted butter, and all other ingredients in a baking dish. Cover and bake for about 15 minutes, stirring several times. I served this over Ben and Jerry's Creme Brulee Ice Cream.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Ice Box Cake

Here is a very old fashioned recipe for an easy dessert that is yummy! I think I got the original from
but I think it called for Chocolate pudding and I had to tweak the measurements a little bit to fit a large pan.

Ice Box Cake
3 pkg french vanilla pudding mix (instant) or flavor of your choice
3 C milk (cold) I used 1 %
12 oz container of Lite Cool Whip (separated into 8 oz and 4 oz) Thawed
1 16 oz pkg graham crackers

Mix pudding mix and milk with hand mixer for 2 minutes and then mix in 8 oz of cool whip. In a 9X13 pan layer graham crackers on the bottom (use broken pieces to fill in gaps). Layer pudding mixture on top. Complete layers with graham crackers and pudding mixture. Last layer should be graham crackers and then 4 oz of cool whip topping. Refridgerate for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.

My Impossible Pie!!!! Mexican?????

I think I am going to ask for suggestions to name this---I looked at a million different "impossible pies" on and figured what would work for me and what I wanted to include. Thank god this blog makes me write things down because it really came out so good!!!! And was sooooo easy!

Karen's Impossible Pie

1 C frozen white corn, cooked
2 large shallots, chopped fine
3 Jalepenos, sliced
1 1/2 C cooked chicken (chopped)--great way to use leftover rotisserie chicken
1 can Goya black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 C salsa
1 C shredded colby jack cheese
1/2 C bisquick
1/2 C milk (I used 1%)
2 eggs
low fat sour cream (for topping once cooked)

Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease 9inch pie plate. Layer corn, shallots, jalepenos, black beans and chicken. Sprinkle cheese on top. Mix Bisquick, milk and eggs and pour over chicken mixture. top with Salsa of your choice. Bake 40 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes before cutting. serves 6. Spoon low fat sour cream on top before serving---otherwise it may be a little dry.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

creamy pesto with tortellini and chicken

I make this everytime I make pesto for paninis, you can use any pasta you like, and pesto sauce (I have a great recipe in my blog), and fat free half and half.....

Creamy Pesto Pasta with Chicken

Pasta of your choice (I used cheese tortellini)--amt you want
Homemade Pesto (recipe in blog)--amt you want
Land O Lakes Fat Free half and half (just enough to thin out the pesto)
Chicken breast from Rotisserie (I used about 1/2 the breast I pulled from the rotisserie chicken)
Fresh mozzerella, cubed (optional)
chopped tomatoes (optional)

Boil tortellini or pasta per directions and drain. Add pesto to pot and ff 1/2 and 1/2 and whisk. Add tortellini and heated, chopped rotisserie chicken, and stir over med heat until all heated through. So yummy. I topped it with Fresh Mozzerella, and sometimes add chopped tomatoes

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Garlic Mashed

Garlic Mashed Potatoes!!!

I have no idea of measurements, just estimating:

about 7 red skinned potatoes, cut into cubes (dont peel)

2 T butter

3 or 4 cloves garlic, minced

fat free half and half

1% milk

Boil potatoes with skin on until tender (about 20 minutes, may be a little more), and drain. Saute garlic in butter over med heat for a minute or so and then add potatoes and about 1/2 C fat free half and half and mash with potato masher, add more milk if needed to get it to the consistency you like. Add salt and pepper to taste

London Broil with Mushroom Sherry Cream Sauce

I cannot really take credit for the London Broil, because I bought it at Costco---I highly recommend it, it is all marinated and already fully cooked you just need to put it in the oven for 21 min. per lb and it is so tender and yummy! It comes with this au jus sauce, and I incorporate that into my Mushroom Sherry Cream Sauce--it is yum-o on top of the London Broil (or any steak)
Mushroom Sherry Cream Sauce (these are approximations I never measure)

2 cloves garlic, minced (or more if you like)
pkg sliced baby bella mushrooms (can use sliced white too)
lots of fresh cracked black pepper
1/2 C or so of Dry Sherry
au jus sauce drained from london broil pkg (you can omit this, just use a little salt and increase amt of sherry just a tad)
just a bit of Heavy Cream (to taste--I think maybe about a 1/3 cup (dont want it too liquidy)

Saute garlic in evoo for about a minute over med and add mushrooms, and stir well, add sherry and au jus and Pepper, cook until most of the liquid is cooked off and mushrooms are thouroughly cooked (increase heat if it is not boiling)
take off heat and add cream and let sit a little bit so it can thicken. Pour over steak.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Crockpot Bruchetta-Feta Chicken

This is a recipe that I made up, it was semi inspired by salsa chicken in a crockpot. This comes out so moist! I ended up using chicken tenders and it came out fine too. I also started using crockpot liners which are a godsend!

Crockpot Bruchetta-Feta Chicken

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
approx 2 C prepared Bruchetta (I used Costco's Hannah Brand)
A couple of glugs of white wine
Sliced feta cheese ( slice as thin as you can from the block of feta) enough to cover the top of the bruchetta.

Place chicken in bottom of crock and season with a little salt and pepper. Spoon bruchetta topping over chicken, using enough to cover it. Pour a couple of glugs of white wine (or approx 1/2 c) over it and cook on high for 3 hours. A half hour before the dish is done, place sliced feta on top of bruchetta and continue cooking. The bruchetta makes a great sauce with the wine and oil, etc. This would be great over pasta.

Funfetti Cookies

I made the funfetti cookies that everyone always talks about---they came out great and were so easy!!! This basic formula would work with any cookie mix, I am going to try lemon next. I got the recipe off the side of the box.

Cake Cookies

1 box cake mix
1/3 C canola oil
2 eggs (I used 3 by mistake and added a little flour and they were fine)

Mix all ingredients together and drop by spoonfuls onto baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for about 9 minutes. Leave on the tray for one minute and transfer to rack to cool. Frost them if you like.

Here is a low cal version that I found on Trisha's One Tiny Pink Kitchen Blog that looked great!
1 box cake mix
1/2 c applesauce
1/2 c eggbeaters
Follow directions above (except it looks like she cooked them for about 12 minutes). Watch them closely after 9 ( : 1 ww point per cookie.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Oreo Truffles

I made these the other day, and wow! They were so good---hubby is eating too many and they are almost gone! The original recipe is from Recipe Zaar. any changes I made are in blue. Here are pictures of them before and after dipping in chocolate. Next time I make these I am going to use the mint oreos!

1 lb Oreo cookies (3 sleeves) keep about 4 or 5 aside to crush to top truffles.
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (I used 1 tsp)
1 lb milk chocolate

Using a food processor, grind cookies to a fine powder. I just put them in a lg. ziploc bag and crushed them with a rolling pin
With a mixer (I used KA mixer), blend cookie powder, cream cheese and vanilla extract until thoroughly mixed (there should be no white traces of cream cheese).
Roll into small balls and place on wax-lined cookie sheet.
Refrigerate for 45 minutes.
Line two cookie sheets with wax paper.
In double-boiler, melt milk chocolate.
Dip balls and coat thoroughly.
With slotted spoon, lift balls out of chocolate and let excess chocolate drip off. Crush cookies that you set aside and sprinkle on top of truffles while chocolate is still melty.
Place on wax-paper-lined cookie sheet. Let cool (put in fridge).
Store in airtight container, in refrigerator.

Lemon Garlic Chicken

I had some leftover chicken and decided to make some lemon garlic chicken (I just threw this together, so measurements are approx)

Lemon Garlic Chicken (serves 2)

2 skinless boneless chicken breasts

asiago cheese, grated.


2 cloves garlic, minced

juice of 2 or 3 lemons

zest of 1 lemon

2-3 Tbsp of EVOO

Place all ingredients for marinade bowl and whisk, and then place in large ziploc bag. Put chicken breasts in bag and marinade for at least 15 minutes or up to an hour (much more and lemon juice will start "cooking" the chicken. Either cook on grill or in pan. While still hot sprinkle some asiago cheese on top so it melts.

Pizza Quesadillas

These were good-and pretty easy--I used fresh mozzerella and it did not work out well---to milky and the water/milk just leaked out the sides, I would use reg sliced mozz from the deli next time:

Pepperoni Pizza Quesadillas (serves 2)

3 (8 inch) tortillas (I used south beach wraps, very healthy---but use whatever)

some sliced pepperoni (I used low fat)

sliced Mozzerella cheese (how ever much you want)(dont use fresh==see above)

tomato or vodka sauce for dipping(we used our leftover vodka sauce)

EVOO (I have a mister and highly recommend that for quesadillas)

Asiago cheese for sprinkling on top

heat oven to 200 to keep made quesadillas warm. Assemble quesadillas---lay tortilla flat and on one half place mozzerella cheese slices (or shredded) and place pepperoni slices on top and fold over tortilla, set aside. Make the other two and then spray olive oil on pan and heat on med, spray first side of quesadilla and put a little sprinkle of salt and cook in the pan over med until browned and then oil and brown the other side (make sure all cheese is melted inside) and keep warm in oven. Repeat with other two quesadillas. When finished sprinkle asiago cheese on top of each pizzadilla and place some pepperoni and broil until cheese is melted. Serve with warm sauce on the side for dipping.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Zuppanitz (soup of nothing)

This is a polish soup that my grandmother used to make and we have always made. Great to use up extra veggies you have on hand--it is also called garbage soup, because you can use all the veggies that are kind of old that you would otherwise throw away. It is a great soup for a cold night with a grilled cheese! The picture has a dumpling in it.

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 stalks celery, chopped finely
3 large new potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
7 cups water
5 vegetable bouillon cubes
5 whole allspice
2 pinches thyme
3 bay leaves
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour

add oil to stock pot over medium heat.
add chopped onion and celery.
heat over medium heat for about 5 mins (or until tender).
add water and bouillion cubes.
add all veggies and spices.
cook about 20-30 mins until all veggies are very soft.
in small pan, melt butter and slowly add flour and stir until golden brown. Slowly add some of the broth from your soup and stir to make a rew. Add this mixture to the soup and either mash with a potato masher OR for a smoother, creamier soup use an immersion blender.

Creamy Tomato Mac and Cheese

This recipe is the one my Dad always made for me growing up and it is still my fave! It is VERY easy! It makes it's own sauce

Creamy Tomato Mac and Cheese

1 Can Campbell's Tomato Soup
1 Can (use soup can) milk (any kind but skim, I use 1 %--whole works best)
2 C dry elbow Macaroni
an 8 oz. block of Colby Jack, shredded **Do not use white cheddar, it clumps**

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Boil macaroni in salted water for about 8-10 minutes, drain. While pasta is cooking whisk together tomato soup and milk in a casserole dish and add most of cheese (just save enough for sprinkling on the top). Add macaroni and mix, sprinkle remainder cheese on top. I usually sprinkle some sea salt on top. Bake covered for 30 minutes and then take the cover off and broil until top is golden. You may need salt on the mac once it's done, it is not very salty at all.

God Bless Registries!!!!

We got a very belated wedding gift the other day....A 6 bottle Wine Fridge!!! So excited!! It is a Cuisenart from Williams Sonoma, so far it is great and only uses as much energy as a 100 watt lightbulb. I love it!!!

Pasta Meal!

Well, tonight it was Pasta Night and we had cheese tortellini with vodka sauce, steamed broccolini with garlic butter sauce, leftover mushroom chicken and a pizza roll with garlic compound butter (also used the compound butter for broccolini). The Vodka sauce makes a lot of sauce!!! You may have some extra. And it is spicy! Decrease red pepper flakes if you like it mild.

Cheese Tortellini with Vodka Sauce

Cheese Tortellini (we used Costco, not sure how much---3 cups or so)

Vodka Sauce: looked at a bunch of recipes and made this one up from what I liked from each

1/2 C Vodka

1 T red pepper flakes

**Soak red pepper flakes in vodka for 1 hour

2T Fresh Basil, chiffonade


2 cloves garlic, minced (more if you like it really garlicky)

1 lg can crushed tomatoes (28oz I think)

1 T tomato paste (I use the tube)

1 C heavy cream

1 C romano cheese, grated very fine

1/2 stick of butter, cut into cubes

Saute EVOO and garlic for about a minute or so, be careful not to burn garlic. Add tomatoes, tomato paste and vodka/pepper mixture from above. Simmer for about 30 minutes. Add cheese, cream and butter. Cook on low 10 more minutes or so (make sure all butter is melted). Serve over pasta with fresh basil

Garlic Compound Butter (from )

1 cup butter, softened
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground paprika

In a small bowl, combine softened butter, minced garlic and parmesan cheese. Season with garlic salt, Italian seasoning, pepper and paprika. Mix until smooth. Place in wax paper and roll up so it is a long roll of butter and then refrigerate. It makes it easy to slice little pieces off.

Pizza Rolls (I cheated on this one)

1 can pizza dough (Pillsbury)

Olive Oil

Sea Salt

Roll out dough and cut with pizza cutter into squares and roll into balls (doesnt have to be perfect) and then place on greased cookie sheet and spray with olive oil (I have a mister) and sprinkle a little sea salt on them. Bake for about 15-18 minutes on 400 degrees. These are so great!!

I am a fake pumpkin bread maker!

Ok, Ok, I know you all are busy making homemade pumpkin EVERYTHING! But I was feeling very lazy tonight and just bought a Pillsbury Quickbread mix...for Pumpkin is surprisingly yummy!!!!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Crockpot Mushroom Chicken

I made this last night for dinner and it was so great! I got the original recipe from a great website called: but I modified it a bit (I never follow a recipe). Those modifications are in bold. The only thing I would do differently next time is use an extra pkg of mushrooms. I served it with roasted sweet potatoes and steamed green beans.

Mushroom Chicken in a Crockpot

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts (I used 2 large chix breasts and they equaled about 1lb total)

1 pkg chicken gravy mix (the powdered kind)

1 C White Wine (I used dry sherry, and used half to saute the mushrooms and 1/2 in the crock)

1 can cream of mushroom soup (I used cream of chicken)

8 oz cream cheese (I used 6 oz of low fat cream cheese)

1 pkg sliced mushrooms (use two!!!)

1-2 cloves garlic


garlic powder and onion powder (your pref--I used a couple of shakes of each)

Saute garlic 1 min in EVOO and add mushrooms and saute another minute, add 1/2 C dry sherry and salt and pepper and cook until there is very little liquid left. In the meantime, place chicken breasts in the bottom of crock and season with salt and pepper, onion and garlic powder and sprinkle dry gravy mix over chicken breasts (I only used about 1/2 the pkg), turn heat off of mushroom mixture and add can of cream of chicken soup and 1/2 c dry sherry and whisk until combined. Pour over chicken and set crock on high for 3 hours. In the last 1/2 hour add cream cheese, cubed and recover and cook for remainder. When done check the chicken for doneness and remove from crock. Whisk sauce together and serve over chicken.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Girl's Night

I had a girl's night Saturday---it was so fun---the menu was "crack dip", spinach dip in the bread bowl, cheese, pepperoni and crackers, chips and salsa, roasted red pepper and feta hummus with pita chips, white bean and tomato bruchetta, and key lime cheese ball with graham crackers. A friend brought cake (I love cake) and there was lots of wine!!!

Crack dip aka Buffalo Chicken Dip

I got this recipe from many sources, but Im going to reference this blog:

I made a few adaptations. I made this for a girl's night and they loved it and my co workers loved it Monday too!

Buffalo Chicken Dip

4 C cooked shredded chicken (I used the breast meat of a rotisserie chicken)

8 oz buffalo wing sauce

16 oz low fat cream cheese, softened

8 oz ranch dressing (I used Hidden Valley Buttermilk Ranch)

8 oz crumbled blue cheese

8 oz shredded low fat cheddar and monterey jack cheese blend

Mix all ingredients except for 1/2 of the shredded cheese. Put in casserole dish, and sprinkle remaining cheese on top. Bake at 325 for 35 minutes covered with foil and then take foil off and broil another few minutes until all cheese on top is melted. Serve with tortilla chips, celery and bagel chips