Thursday, August 30, 2007


Sorry, gang, it's leftovers at the Knightly house tonight. That's actually another upside to the crockpot lasagna from last night. Yes, we're having it again tonight, but it should be gone after tonight. Whenever I make regular lasagna, we eat it for lunch and dinner for probably three straight days. Or I end up throwing a lot of it out because we're so tired of it. This seemed to make a good amount for a smaller group.

Tomorrow night we're having some friends over for dinner and doing our usual grilled pizzas. I'm making four--BBQ chicken, margherita, canadian bacon and pineapple, and one other that I haven't decided on. If you have any suggestions, let me know. Since I'm doing cb&p, I'd like one more that's not traditional. So far my fall back is pepperoni, and I'd like something more creative. Let me know if you have any topping combination ideas!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007


The crockpot lasagna was really good!! I will never do lasagna the "old" way again. This was so easy, especially since the only real cooking involved was browning the meat.

Crockpot Lasagna

Okay, I've given in and decided to have lasagna this week after all. I had all the stuff and nothing else on my menu for the week sounded good for tonight. It's really too hot here to eat, but I guess we must.

As I've said before, I love my crockpot. I can't remember if I've made lasagna in it before or not. I kind of think I have, but I can't remember when it would have been. This recipe is from the "Fix It and Forget It Slow Cooker Cookbook." It's a must-have if you own a crockpot. I also have the "Light" version but some of the stuff in there is weird.

Crockpot Lasagna (technical name is Violette's Lasgna)
8 lasagna noodles, uncooked
1 lb. ground beef
1 tsp Italian seasoning
28-oz jar spaghetti sauce
1/3 cup water
4-oz can sliced mushrooms
15 oz. ricotta cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Break noodles. Place half in bottom of greased slow cooker. Brown ground beef and drain. Stir in Italian seasoning. Spread half over noodles in slow cooker. Layer half of sauce and water, half of mushrooms, half of ricotta cheese, and half of mozzarella over beef. Repeat layers. Cover. Cook on Low for 5 hours.


I used ground turkey because there was some in the inside freezer. I didn't want to brave the inferno I call my garage to get out ground beef. I also added in some onion and garlic when I was browning the meat. And I skipped the canned mushrooms. For one thing, canned mushrooms are weird to me. For another, the sauce I had was "mushroom and green pepper" so I figured I was okay.

I love that dinner is cooking away while I do my chores this afternoon. Of course, I still need to clean up the kitchen after assembling it. I think that is my least favorite chore...dishes and cleaning the kitchen. The ironic part is I hate having a messy kitchen. I forgot to run my dishwasher early in the day yesterday, so there wasn't room in it last night for our dinner dishes, so not only are there lasagna dishes to clean (okay, just the skillet from the turkey meat), but there are dishes from last night.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Baked Tilapia

Okay, once again I'm late in posting. This was because I had no idea what to make for dinner until about 4:45 when I called my husband and asked if he wanted lasagna or fish. After our binge weekend we're both trying to drop a couple pounds that we gained, so we went with the fish. I had bought some tilapia a few weeks ago at the grocery and had it in the freezer. I found an easy recipe for it and dinner was set! This was our first time having tilapia, and it was pretty good.

Baked Tilapia
1 sprays cooking spray
20 oz raw tilapia, four 5 oz fillets
1/2 tsp table salt
1/4 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp garlic herb seasoning, salt-free

Preheat broiler. Coat a shallow roasting pan with cooking spray. Season both sides of fish with salt and pepper. Transfer fish to prepared pan and drizzle with lemon juice; sprinkle garlic herb seasoning over top. Broil until fish is fork-tender, about 5 minutes.


Now, I'm not even really sure why I'm posting this recipe because I did it totally different. It's hot in Phoenix in the summer. My house gets hot in the summer. I don't like using the broiler in the summer in Phoenix because it's hot. Have I emphasized enough that it's hot? So I did it in a skillet on top of the stove. I used a little olive oil instead of the cooking spray. Sprinkled the fish with salt and pepper and also added a little spice blend I have from Pasta & Co that's basically like Italian seasoning. After my pan was hot, I put the fish in, seasoned side down, and cooked it for probably 5 minutes per side. I forgot all about the lemon juice, but since I really wasn't following the recipe in the first place, I figured that wasn't a big deal. Although the husband did say some lemon on it would have been nice. Oh well, next time.

With it we had that creamy parmesan orzo I made awhile back, only I was out of parmesan so I used mozzarella instead. And instead of basil I used the same seasoning I put on the fish. I have to say, I liked it better this way. So, all in all, it was a really good dinner. The boy didn't really like the fish, but he's 18 months old so I didn't really expect him to.

Chicken Stir Fry

After our mini-vacation this weekend, I had a hard time getting back into the swing of things yesterday and forgot to post my recipe! We ate and drank like royalty this weekend and are now paying the price, weight-wise. In fact I need to rethink what we're having tonight. It was going to be lasagna, but I think that's going to have to wait.

Chicken stir fry is one of the dinners we have pretty often because it's cheap and easy. Plus I had all the stuff on hand for it which worked out since I was trying to save money on groceries again this week.

Chicken Stir Fry
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 bag frozen stir fry vegetables
1/2 to 2/3 cup teriyaki sauce
cornstarch for thickening, if desired

Slice chicken breast into bite size pieces, saute in skillet or wok. Once cooked, add bag of veggies, cover to help veggies cook faster. Add in sauce, stir to coat, let cook together for a few minutes. If you like a thicker sauce, mix in some cornstarch. Serve over rice.


That's it! I buy a big thing of Yoshida's Teriyaki Sauce at Costco, so that's what I use. I added some cornstarch last night and really liked it. I also put a little sesame oil in the skillet before cooking the chicken, give it a little extra flavor. Like I said, I love making this because it's fast and cheap. The veggies are usually $1 to $1.50 at my grocery, and since I always have chicken, teriyaki sauce, and rice on hand, it's super cheap.

Gotta go revamp my dinner plan for the week to come up with something better for us than lasagna tonight. I'll be back later today!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Shrimp Dip

No dinner tonight at the Knightly house, I'm going to a girl's night at my friend Gina's house. Everyone's supposed to bring a bottle of wine and an appetizer. I've gone back and forth with what appetizer to take, but I think I've finally decided on my grandma's shrimp dip. It's so good. When I was single, I used to make it some nights for dinner.

Shrimp Dip
1 can Cream of Shrimp soup
1 block cream cheese
1/3 cup chopped green onions

Combine all ingredients in a microwave safe dish. Microwave for a couple minutes, stir. Continue to microwave if not heated through. Serve with potato chips.


Honestly I'm not sure how long to microwave it for. I put it in for a couple minutes, stir, do a couple more minutes, stir. Just until it's hot. And I like to eat it with Wavy Lays. Sometimes it can be hard to find Cream of Shrimp soup, but I have always found it at Walmart. Normally it's on the top shelf of the Campbell's soups, with all the other ones that people hardly ever buy. My friend Brooke has made this before and added in extra shrimpies. I think I may do that tonight. Oh man, I'm so excited to have this dip. I kind of hope no one eats it so I can bring it all home and gorge on it alone! :)

Have a good weekend, all! The husband and I are having a date night at a swanky Scottsdale resort tomorrow night, so no dinner cooking for me! And I think Sunday we're having dinner at my grandma's, so I'll see you guys next week!

Thursday, August 23, 2007


Quote from my husband while eating dinner: "Wow...this pasta is an A+!"

So I guess it was a winner. It was really, really good. The feta melted a little and made the sauce a little creamy. I think green onions in it would have been weird, so I'll stick with regular onions next time I make it. John and I each had seconds, and Will even liked it. All in all, a big hit!

Never mind!

When I was making lunch yesterday I realized we had a ton of leftovers in the fridge, so that's what we ended up having for dinner last night. It worked out great since we had to leave at 6:00 for the baseball game. So I think tonight will be the Greek Spaghetti.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Greek Spaghetti with Tomatoes and Feta

More feta tonight! We're actually going to the Diamondbacks game tonight, but we're going to eat before we go. Well, the husband and I are anyway--kids eat free on Wednesdays at the ballpark, so Will's getting a corn dog once we're there. This is another new recipe. I was looking at vegetarian pasta dishes on the Cooking Light website over the weekend and thought this looked good, plus I had everything on hand for it.

Greek Spaghetti with Tomatoes and Feta
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 large garlic clove, minced
3 cups diced tomato
1/2 cup sliced green onions
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, divided
2 tablespoons lemon juice
4 cups hot cooked thin spaghetti (about 8 ounces uncooked pasta)
1 cup (4 ounces) crumbled feta cheese, divided
Freshly ground pepper
Lemon slices (optional)
Green onions (optional)

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oregano and garlic; sauté 30 seconds. Add tomatoes, green onions, 2 tablespoons parsley, and lemon juice; cook 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

Combine tomato mixture, spaghetti, and 3/4 cup cheese; toss gently. Top with remaining cheese and parsley, and serve with pepper. Garnish with lemon slices and green onions, if desired.


I just realized I don't have green onions, but I'll just use regular I guess. I'm also using canned diced tomatoes instead of cutting up my own. What can I say, I'm lazy and it was a lot cheaper. :)

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


The chicken was decent, although it took a lot longer to cook than the 20-25 minutes listed on the recipe. I would say it was more like 35-40. I took some pieces out after 35 minutes because they were done, but the other pieces went another seven minutes. The flavor was good, and I guess that's what matters most. All in all, it was good but I don't know if it's one I'd add in to my rotation.

We ended up having roasted potatoes with it which were really good. I always forget about that recipe, but I love the potatoes when I make them.

Lemon Feta Chicken

Another new recipe for us! I was browsing through a cooking magazine I had to see what was in there and noticed this recipe. Sounds super easy which I always like!

Lemon Feta Chicken
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (4 ounces each)
2-3 Tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 to 1/2 tsp pepper

Place chicken in a 9x13 baking dish coated with nonstick cooking spray. Pour lemon juice over chicken; sprinkle with feta cheese, oregano, and pepper. Bake uncovered at 400 for 20-25 minutes or until chicken juices run clear.


I hope it's not too lemony as I'm not a big lemon fan, but I have everything on hand to make it. Not sure what we're going to have with it...maybe baked potato and broccoli.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Tortilla Pie

Okay, back on track!! Tonight we're having Tortilla Pie. It's so yummy, one of our favorites! A lot of the ingredients are things I always have on hand, so it's easy to make and fast. It's on the cover of a cook book I have hanging on the wall of my kitchen, so it's one I don't forget about either since I walk by it a bazillion times a day!

Tortilla Pie
1 (16 ounce) can refried beans
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
8 (8-inch) flour tortillas
1 cup chunky salsa, divided
2 (4 or 6 ounce) cartons guacamole
1 (8 ounce) package shredded Mexican cheese blend

Combine first three ingredients, stirring well. Place one tortilla in a lightly greased 9-inch cake pan; spread with half of bean mixture and top with another tortilla. Spread with 1/2 cup salsa and top with another tortilla. Spread with half of guacamole and top with another tortilla. Sprinkle with half of cheese and top with another tortilla.

Repeat layers with remaining ingredients except cheese. Pan will be full. Cover and bake at 350 for 20 minutes; uncover and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake, uncovered, 3-5 more minutes. Cut into wedges to serve. Garnish with sour cream, salsa, and guacamole if desired.


Now, the first time I made this I added in some taco meat, too. It was good but it definitely made the pie a lot thicker. I also used a cake pan (per the recipe) the first time I made it, but every time since then I've used a springform pan. Much easier I think. My tortillas are a little big for the springform pan, so I have to trim them around the edges a little, but no big deal. Also, instead of using chili powder and cumin, I use taco seasoning. I buy it in the big thing at Costco, so I just take some out of there. The recipe says you can used a can of drained black beans instead of refried, but my husband doesn't like black beans, so I've never tried it that way. Oh, and one last thing, I make my own guacamole. Sounds impressive, doesn't it? ;) It's so easy. I mash up an avocado and mix in a little bit of salsa. That's it, and it tastes so much better than store bought guacamole.

Barbecue Chicken Cups

I'm such a slacker!! Forgot to post Friday, forgot to post yesterday. I don't know where my brain has been! Last night I made another recipe to use some of the leftover chicken. I thought that would finish it up, but nope! I still have some. I may try freezing it and just use it for something else. I found this recipe on a "frugal recipe" website when we were low on funds one week. I didn't end up making it that time, but I did a few weeks ago when I had some leftover chicken to use up. This is so easy, so cheap, and so good!

Barbecue Cups
1 can of biscuits
2-3 c. shredded chicken
1 c. barbeque sauce
1 c. cheddar cheese, shredded

Preheat oven 375 degrees. Mix chicken and barbecue sauce together in a bowl. Place biscuits in a muffin tin and push up the sides, making a cup. Spoon chicken mixture in uncooked biscuit cups and bake approximately 12 minutes. Remove pan from oven and sprinkle cheese over chicken. Return to oven and bake another 3-5 minutes until biscuits are golden brown and cheese is melted.


Last time when I made them I sliced up some green onions and sprinkled on the top with the cheese, but I didn't have any this time. This makes 3-4 servings depending on how hungry you are. :)

Saturday, August 18, 2007

BBQ Chicken Pizza

I had a rare afternoon to myself yesterday and forgot to get on and post my dinner recipe! Friday night is grilled pizza night, and since we had leftover BBQ chicken from Wednesday, that was our pizza topping. I like to use some kind of smoked cheese with this, a smoked gouda or mozzarella. My grocery doesn't ever have smoked gouda, so unless I'm going to Trader Joe's or a fancy grocery, we have smoked mozzarella. I mix it with regular mozzarella, otherwise it's too smoky tasting.

So after you flip your crust and it's time for toppings, I put BBQ sauce down as the sauce on the pizza, then spread shredded chicken on top of that (I usually mix in some BBQ sauce with the chicken, too). Top with cheese and then sprinkle chopped cilantro or green onions on top.


And, since we had it last night, I can tell you it was good. :) Tonight we're getting family pictures and my son's 18 month pictures done, so we're eating out while we're off doing that. I'll be back tomorrow! :)


The fish tacos were really good!! Definitely a keeper. The soft taco size tortillas were a little big, I'd probably try fajita size next time as I think they're a bit smaller. The recipe said it was four servings, but there weren't any leftovers. We each had two tacos. I will definitely be making this again!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Blackened Fish Tacos

Man, today sure did get away from me! I was getting out my recipe to see when I needed to start dinner and realized I had never posted it today! This is another new recipe, this time from a Pampered Chef cookbook. The finished product in the picture looks good, so we'll see how it turns out!

Blackened Fish Tacos
1/4 cup sliced green onions with tops
2 Tbsp snipped fresh cilantro
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 garlic clove, pressed
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp Cajun or blackened fish seasoning
2 cups broccoli slaw mix

1 pound tilapia or catfish fillets
1 Tbsp Cajun or blackened fish seasoning
1 avocado, seeded and sliced
8 (6-inch) corn tortillas, warmed
3 medium radishes
Additional snipped fresh cilantro (optional)

For slaw, combine green onions, cilantro, lime juice, oil, garlic, sugar, and Cajun seasoning. Whisk until blended. Add slaw mix; toss to coat. Cover; refrigerate until ready to serve.

Heat grill pan over medium heat 5 minutes. Moisten fish fillets with water and sprinkle with Cajun seasoning. Lightly spray pan with vegetable oil. Place fillets in pan; cook over medium heat 10-12 minutes or until fish flakes easily with fork, carefully turning once. Remove from heat. Flake fish into bite-size pieces.

Cut avocado in half lengthwise; remove seed and cut flesh away from skin. Cut one avocado half into slices. Reserve remaining half for another use. Warm tortillas in microwave or oven. Once heated, top tortillas evenly with slaw mixture and fish. Grate radisehs evenly over fish. Top with avocado slices and sprinkle with additional cilantro.


We're having catfish in our tacos because I got some on "Manager's Special" at the grocery a few weeks ago and stuck it in the freezer. And I'm using regular cole slaw mix because I bought it for something else and didn't use it. Oh, and for Cajun seasoning, I like Tony Chachere's. We use it on everything. Seriously...everything. Oh, and I don't like corn tortillas, so we're using flour.

So there you have it! I'll let you know how it turns out...I'm hoping better than the tofu fried rice! :)

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


The chicken was yummy. My chicken was 5.5 pounds, so I doubled the amount of BBQ sauce. I cheat whenever I use my crockpot and take off the lid every now and then to see how it's doing. I know you're not supposed to, but I can't help it. Actually with this recipe I do it so I can baste the chicken. I use my turkey baster and get some of the sauce/juice in the bottom and squeeze it out over the top of the chicken.

The recipe called for 7-9 hours on high, but I think that's too much. I had mine on high for six hours, and it was probably done at least 30 minutes before that. Plus mine wasn't thawed all the way when I put it in!

Pimento Cheese

I figured I'd post what we did end up eating last night since the tofu fried rice was so gross. I do think it would have been better with the right amount of soy sauce, and as my husband said, "Enough soy sauce makes anything taste good." Still don't think we'll try it again, but I don't want to discourage anyone from trying it if they think it sounds good.

I use Paula Deen's (from the Food Network) pimento cheese recipe. It's so good...I don't know why I don't think to make it more often as it's super easy.

1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup grated sharp cheddar
1 cup grated Monterey Jack
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon House Seasoning, recipe follows
2 to 3 tablespoons pimentos, smashed
1 teaspoon grated onion
Cracked black pepper

Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth and fluffy. Add all of the remaining ingredients and beat until well blended. It can be used as a dip for crudite or as a sandwich filling.

House Seasoning:
1 cup salt
1/4 cup black pepper
1/4 cup garlic powder

Mix ingredients together and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.


I don't use her house seasoning. Usually I add in some salt, pepper, and garlic powder, but I forgot to when I made this yesterday. It tasted fine without it. Normally we are wheat bread eaters, but I find with pimento cheese it has to be eaten on white bread or it's just not the same!

Crockpot Barbecue Chicken

Now I know this one will be better than last night's, although I don't think anything could be worse. We've had this once before and it was really yummy. I love cooking whole chickens in my crockpot because we generally get three meals out of one chicken. Tomorrow night we're having something different, but Friday and Saturday nights' dinners will be using leftover chicken.

Crockpot Barbecue Chicken
1/4 c. water
3 tbsp. catsup
3 tbsp. vinegar
2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp. lemon juice
3 tbsp. brown sugar
2 tbsp. butter
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 (2 1/2 or 3 lb.) chicken

Combine water, catsup, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, brown sugar, butter and seasoning in a saucepan; heat to boiling. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Place chicken in the crock pot and pour sauce over it. Cook slowly overnight or on high for 6 to 7 hours. This barbecue sauce can also be used with pork and beef.


We had this several weeks ago, and it was really good. I'm always looking for new crockpot chicken recipes because I always seem to use the same one, so I was really glad when my friend Jen sent this to me. Not sure what we're going to have with it. I was thinking maybe I'd make au gratin potatoes, and I bought some broccoli at the store on Monday, but I'm the only one in the house that eats it (the dog won't even go near it).

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


Tofu fried rice is NOT a keeper. Most of it went down the garbage disposal. John and I both ended up having pimento cheese sandwiches instead. Those were fantastic. ;) I didn't have enough soy sauce, so I added more hoisin sauce...not sure if that was part of it or what. Regardless, this is not one I'll be making again.

Tofu Fried Rice

Here's another one from my new Cooking Light cookbook. We aren't big tofu eaters, but after I found out at the grocery store yesterday that it was $1.27 for 14 ounces I think we'll start having it more often.

Tofu Fried Rice
2 cups uncooked instant rice
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
1 (14-ounce) package reduced-fat firm tofu, drained and cut into (1/2-inch) cubes
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup (1/2-inch-thick) slices green onions
1 cup frozen peas and carrots, thawed
2 teaspoons bottled minced garlic
1 teaspoon bottled minced fresh ginger
2 tablespoons sake (rice wine)
3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1/2 teaspoon dark sesame oil
Thinly sliced green onions (optional)

Cook rice according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. While rice cooks, heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add tofu; cook 4 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Remove from pan. Add eggs to pan; cook 1 minute or until done, breaking egg into small pieces. Remove from pan. Add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil to pan. Add 1 cup onions, peas and carrots, garlic, and ginger; sauté 2 minutes.

While vegetable mixture cooks, combine sake, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, and sesame oil. Add cooked rice to pan; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add tofu, egg, and soy sauce mixture; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Garnish with sliced green onions, if desired.


So I'm going to use brown rice instead of Minute Rice because I just like it better and it's what I have on hand. I figure I'll make it earlier in the day so it's ready to go when I need it. I'm also going to use Egg Beaters instead of the real eggs since we don't eat real eggs. I think those are the only modifications I'll do. I'm excited to try it. I looked it up on the Cooking Light website, and it got really good reviews.


Our sausages last night were really good...John had two of them, and Will ate an entire one himself. I wasn't sure how turkey sausage was going to be, but it was actually pretty good. Or maybe I just had such low expectations it was just better than I thought it was going to be. I think the one pepper and onion I used was plenty, unless you're really into peppers and onions. I maybe would have added a green pepper, just for some additional color. Oh, and I skipped the parboiling. Since they were turkey sausages I didn't figure they'd be that fatty, so I just followed the directions for cooking them on the package. Saved a lot of time, too!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Italian Sausage and Peppers

I'm trying to use up things I have on hand this week, and when planning out my weekly menu I remembered the turkey sausages I had bought last week to use for the stuffed portobellos that never ended up happening. I remembered this recipe my mom makes a lot and thought it would be perfect. I didn't used to like sausage, but it's been growing on me the past few years. My mom has also done this in her crockpot as a party food. When she does that, she cuts the sausages up into a few pieces each to make it easier to serve.

Italian Sausage and Peppers
1 lb hot or mild Italian sausage
4 large green peppers, thinly sliced
3 medium onions, thinly sliced
1 cup spaghetti sauce

Parboil sausages for 30 minutes. Fry the sausage in skillet, browing on all sides. Remove from pan. Add the green peppers and onions to fat from sausage. Cook, turning several times, until tender. Return sausage to skillet. Add spaghetti sauce. Reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes, stirring frequently.


Okay, first I have to say I'm glad I'm posting this because I didn't remember the "simmer 30 minutes part." Good to know now instead of when I start working on it and we'd end up eating 30 minutes late!

Now, I thought four peppers and three onions seemed a bit much, especially since my husband doesn't really like peppers and I'm not a big onion fan (little known's mostly because I hate chopping them). So I have 1.5 red peppers and one onion to use, and I think that should be plenty. Also since I'm using turkey sausage, I am not counting on having much fat in the skillet after they brown. The husband doesn't actually like turkey, so I'm hoping these sausages will be okay. Or that he won't notice. ;)


The fajitas last night were sooooo good!! I don't think I'd ever had veggie fajitas. I didn't end up trying them with feta, just regular Mexican blend cheese. John said he wished we had some guacamole for them, but unfortunately I was out of avocados. I maybe had a bit too much onion in ours, but it was okay. If that's my only complaint, not bad!!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Portobello Mushroom Fajitas

Hope everyone is having a good weekend! I'm the only healthy one in our house today, so I'm having a nice, relaxing day. :) We skipped church this morning, and I'm still in my jammies. I love days like this!

Tonight's dinner is portobello mushroom fajitas. John surprised me with a Cooking Light cookbook (love Cooking Light!! So this recipe is from that book. I can't wait to try a lot of the stuff that's in here.

Portobello Mushroom Fajitas
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 cups (1/2-inch-thick) slices portobello mushrooms (about 8 ounces)
1 cup vertically sliced red onion
1 cup (1/4-inch-thick) green bell pepper strips
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 serrano chile, minced
12 (6-inch) flour tortillas
1 cup (4 ounces) crumbled queso fresco
3/4 cup salsa verde

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms; sauté 5 minutes or until almost tender. Add onion, bell pepper, and garlic. Reduce heat to medium, and cook for 4 minutes or until bell pepper is crisp-tender, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; stir in cilantro, lime juice, salt, black pepper, and chile.

Warm tortillas according to package directions. Spoon about 1/4 cup mushroom mixture down center of each tortilla; top each tortilla with 4 teaspoons cheese and 1 tablespoon salsa. Roll up.

I got red peppers instead of green and yellow onion instead of red, but I don't think it will make much difference. I also didn't buy queso fresco because I didn't know when else I'd use it. The recipe said that feta was a good substitute, so I might try that or we just have regular Mexican blend shredded cheese to use.


Sorry I forgot to post my review yesterday! Our pizzas turned out really good. John had his usual--tomato, basil, and mozzarella--while I branched out and had sauteed portobello mushrooms, roasted red peppers, and feta on mine. I had mozzarella on mine, too. Mine was really good, but it tasted like something was missing. I wondered if some sauteed spinach would have been good? Regardless, it was yummy. :)

Friday, August 10, 2007

Grilled Pizzas

Well, we didn't end up having the stuffed portobellos last night because the husband wasn't up for them. Bummer. We'll have them at some point because I think they sound super yummy!!! Since he's still sick today, we're not going to have them at all, and instead I'll use the portobellos for fajitas on Sunday night. Stay tuned for that! :)

Our normal Friday dinner is grilled pizzas. We wait until our little man goes to bed around 7:15 and then have a mini date night after he's asleep. Most people are pretty intrigued with the idea of grilled pizzas. They are SO EASY, and in the summer especially they are great because you don't heat up your kitchen with the oven. The dough selection is up to you. Personally, I use frozen bread dough (like Rhodes brand) as our crust. I make two pizzas from one loaf of dough, that way they're easier to flip on the grill and we can have our own toppings. I've also made my own dough before, and it works fine, just more time consuming. I buy our store brand bread dough, and it's $3.50 for five loaves, so I'd rather spend the money than make my own.

Of course, toppings are up to you. We like to use garlic-infused olive oil for our sauce and top the pizzas with tomatos, basil, and mozzarella cheese. That's the one we do most often. Tonight I may use one of the portobellos and do something like feta, portobello, and roasted red pepper on mine. We'll see. I also have stuff to do candian bacon and pineapple, so I'll see what sounds good when it comes time.

Grilled Pizzas
Preheat grill to medium heat. Place dough on grill rack, close lid. Dough will take 5-7 minutes. Check it occasionally for bubbles. Once the bottom is golden brown (or at least not burned...ours don't always get golden brown I guess), flip the crust over. This can be tricky and may require two spatulas, depending on the size of your crust. Turn heat down to low or move pizza(s) to top rack if your grill has one. Put toppings on the side you just cooked. Close lid. Check after five minutes, cook until cheese is melted.


There you have it! Seriously, they are so easy to do and they taste so good!! When we've had friends over for dinner this summer, this is what we've had and people are amazed! I think next Friday we might do BBQ Chicken pizza, which is one of my favorites.

Enjoy your weekend everyone!! I have a Girl's Night Out tomorrow night, so no dinner at the Knightly house. I'll be back on Sunday! :)

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

I'm not sure if this dinner will happen or not as my husband is home with a sore throat today. He thinks it might be strep, so if he's still under the weather tonight I'll probably skip making this so he can enjoy it. Our grocery store had portobello mushrooms on sale this week, so I bought two packages. I just love them!! This recipe is from a Weight Watchers cookbook and is actually an appetizer, but we'll have it as a main dish. I hope John's feeling better tonight so we can have this...sounds so yummy!

Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
1 tsp canola oil
1/2 pound sweet turkey sausage, casings removed
4 ounces nonfat cream cheese
1 small tomato, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup shredded reduced fat cheddar cheese
2 Tbsp chopped parsley
4 drops hot pepper sauce
4 large portobello mushroom caps, stems removed and wiped clean

Preheat the oven to 425. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Heat the oil in a nonstick skillet. Crumble the sausage into the skillet and cook, breaking apart with a wooden spoon, until the sausage is browned and no pink remains, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl. Stir in the cream cheese, tomato, cheddar cheese, parsley, and hot pepper sauce until blended.

Place the mushrooms on the baking sheet. FIll the cavity of each mushroom with the sausage mixture, mounding it slightly. Bake until the mushroom caps are tender and the filling is hot, about 25 minutes. Cut each mushroom into four wedges. Serve hot.


I think I'll half the recipe so we'll each have one mushroom cap and then we'll have a salad and some kind of veggie on the side. Cross your fingers we really get to have it! :)


The pulled pork last night was so good! I really liked the addition of the chili sauce...spiced it up a bit. The two pounds made a lot, too. I think there were seven sandwiches eaten, plus two small servings for the kids, and there's still a lot left.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Pulled Pork Sandwiches

We're taking dinner to some more friends tonight that just had a baby. What can I say, I have very fertile friends! The husband leads my husband's bible study group, and the wife leads mine. They had their second child last week, so I said we'd bring dinner over and eat with them tonight before the men have their study. I was going to do a casserole but decided to move my menu around a little for the week and instead of having pulled pork on Sunday for dinner, we'd have it tonight. It's a crockpot meal...I LOVE my crockpot!

Pulled Pork Sandwiches
2 lb. boneless pork loin roast
1-1/2 tsp. garlic powder
2 cups barbecue sauce
1/2 cup chopped onions

Spray inside of slow cooker with cooking spray. Place pork roast in slow cooker; sprinkle with garlic powder. Add barbecue sauce and onions and mix lightly. Cover and cook on low heat 7-9 hours. Remove meat from slow cooker and shred with 2 forks. Return meat to slow cooker and toss with barbecue sauce until well coated. Heat through and serve on hamburger buns, toasted bread, pita bread, or baked potatoes.


I think 2 cups of BBQ sauce works out to be an entire bottle; I never measure, I just pour in the whole bottle. Why dirty a measuring cup? I didn't realize I was out of onions and didn't want to have to go to the store, so I just put some onion powder on the roast with the garlic powder. I was also low on BBQ sauce (had about 1-1/2 cup), so I had to come up with my own BBQ sauce concoction. I ended up using about 3/4 cup of chili sauce and mixed in some grape jelly and brown sugar. I sampled it before adding it, and it tasted pretty darn good.

I'm going to make a pasta salad and some cupcakes to take along with it. Should be yummy!


The rice casserole from last night was okay. The husband liked it (had two helpings!), but I just thought it was okay. It was definitely easy and pretty fast to assemble. I think it was just missing something, but I'm not sure what that was. We ended up putting it in tortillas and making burritos instead of eating it just as a casserole. And I did add some sour cream to the bean mixture. I used Trader Joe's refried black beans for it, and they didn't seem to be quite as moist as regular refried beans. I added probably 1/3 a cup of sour cream. I'd probably make it again, but I don't think it's one I'd put into high rotation.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Mexican-Style Brown Rice Casserole

Well, we are back from our trip to Seattle. We had a great time...saw lots of friends, had great weather, saw one of my childhood friends get married. And now it's back to the daily grind! It is nice to be back home in my bed and not have to eat out anymore!

So on tonight's menu, Mexican-Style Brown Rice Casserole. This is a recipe I have never tried before from the Weight Watchers website. I have most of the stuff on hand for it, and since we ate so poorly (health-wise, that is) on our trip, we're getting back to good, healthy foods. Not sure what we'll have with it, I need to see what veggies the grocery store has on sale this week.

Mexican-Style Brown Rice Casserole
1 sprays cooking spray
4 cup cooked brown rice
1 1/4 cup salsa
1 tsp ground cumin
15 oz canned refried beans
10 oz frozen corn kernels, thawed
4 oz canned green chili peppers, mild, diced
1 Tbsp chili powder
10 oz chopped frozen spinach, or collard greens, thawed and set to drain in a strainer over a bowl
3/4 cup low-fat shredded cheddar cheese, divided
2 Tbsp cilantro, fresh, chopped (optional; for garnish)

Preheat oven to 375ºF. Coat a 2-quart rectangular, round or oval baking dish with cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine rice, salsa and cumin. Spoon 2 cups of rice mixture into prepared baking dish and spread out to evenly cover bottom of dish. In another large bowl, combine refried beans, corn, chili peppers and chili power. Using a rubber spatula, scrape bean mixture on top of rice layer and smooth out top. Squeeze out any excess water from spinach or collard greens and then spread on top of bean layer; sprinkle with 6 tablespoons of cheese. Top with remaining rice mixture and smooth out top; sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Place casserole on a large rimmed baking sheet to catch any spillage. Bake until heated through and cheese is browned and bubbling, about 30 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro (if desired), cut into 6 pieces and serve.


So we'll see how it turns out. I'm worried it's going to be a bit dry. I may mix some sour cream in some where to give it a little extra moisture, but I'll see how it's looking once I start mixing it together. I may have tortillas on the side, too, in case we want to eat it burrito style.