Thursday, November 29, 2007


The casserole was so good!!!! I love this dinner. I used the amount of mayonnaise it called for, but it was a little more mayo-y. Other than that it was really good. I hope the leftovers I froze turn out okay. I think I'd read somewhere that things with mayo don't freeze well. But it wasn't a lot of mayo, so maybe it will work. Nice to have something in the freezer I can pull out when we need a quick dinner.

Like I said on the recipe, we're heading to Vegas tomorrow for my best friend's wedding. We'll be home Tuesday, but I'm not sure if I'll cook or not. Depends what time we get home.

Chicken Spectacular

We were supposed to go to dinner at our friends Jake and Kim's tonight, but my son (whom I love very much...I've been repeating this all day and you'll see why) woke up at 1:15 AM and never went back to sleep. So we weren't really up for going anywhere tonight since I've been up since literally the middle of the night. I had to come up with a last minute dinner, and while I was looking in the pantry I realized I had everything for this casserole because I was going to make it with chicken leftovers but didn't have enough chicken. So I just cooked up some chicken and voila! This is one of my favorite dinners, and we haven't had it in forever!

Chicken Spectacular
3 cups cooked chicken (about 1 3/4 pounds boneless breasts), cubed
3 cups seasoned long grain and wild rice, prepared
14 1/2-ounce can French-style green beans, drained
8-ounce can sliced water chestnuts, drained
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) lower fat condensed cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup fat free mayonnaise
3/4 cup onion, diced
1 cup fat free Cheddar or cheddar-Jack cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 350º. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except cheese. Place in greased 9- by 13-inch pan and top with the cheese. Bake, uncovered, for 35 minutes. *There are several sizes of\par packages of long grain and wild rice mixes, generally ranging from 4 to 6 ounces. We tested this recipe with a 5-ounce package.

Makes 8 main-course portions.


I ended up freezing about half of it because we are heading out of town tomorrow for my best friend's wedding. It's so good, I didn't want it to go to waste. I've never frozen it before, so we'll see how it turns out.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Vegetarian Frittata

It seemed like it had been awhile since we had this, and all I was missing was spinach. Plus we really like it and it's really healthy.

Vegetarian Frittata
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 large yellow onion, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch crescents
2 cups fresh spinach leaves, cut into a chiffonade
1 bell pepper, preferably red, roasted, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/4-inch die
6 large eggs
1/2 tsp salt
8 grinds cracked black pepper
3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

Generously butter a 9 or 10 inch pie plate. Heat the olive oil in a saute pan. Add onions and saute until browned. Add the spinach and cook just until wilted. Stir in the roasted pepper and remove from heat. Spoon the vegetables into the buttered pie plate, distributing evenly. Let cool.

Meanwhile, beat the eggs in a larege bowl just until yolks and whites are blended. Add salt, pepper, parmesan cheese. Mix thoroughly.

When vegetable mixture has cooled, pour egg mixture over it, again making sure that the ingredients are evenly distributed. Dish can now be set aside, covered and refrigerated, for up to 8 hours before baking.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 450. Bake for approximately 15-20 minutes, or until the edges of the frittata are golden brown and the center is set but still slightly creamy. Do not overbake. Remove frittata to a rack and let cool approximately 15 minutes. Carefully loosen frittata from the paln with a metal spatula. Slide out and continue to cool on rack. To serve either hot or at room temperature, slide frittata onto a flat surface and cut into wedges.


I use Egg Beaters instead of eggs, and this time I grated my own parmesan. I think before I've been lazy and just used the Kraft parmesan. Fresh grated parmesan really makes a difference--plus in the long run it's a lot cheaper.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Portobello Parmesan

I went to Trader Joe's yesterday (alone...what a treat!!) and got some portobello mushrooms. We were going to have them grilled in pitas, but I didn't have the balsamic vinegar I needed for that. So we had this instead which was fine by me because it was so good the first time we had it. Yum yum, this is one of my favorite dinners!

Portobello Parmesan
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for greasing the grill pan
4 to 6 Portobello mushrooms
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup marinara sauce (store bought or homemade)
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces

Place a grill pan over medium-high heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill.

Drizzle 3 tablespoons of olive oil over both sides of the mushrooms. Sprinkle the mushrooms with salt and pepper. Drizzle olive oil on the grill to prevent the mushrooms from sticking. Grill until the mushrooms are heated through and tender, about 5 minutes per side.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Spread 1/2 cup of the marinara sauce on the bottom of a 9 by 13-inch baking dish. Place the grilled mushrooms on top of the marinara sauce and top with the remaining marinara sauce. Sprinkle with the cheeses and top with the butter pieces. Bake until the cheese melts and the top is golden, about 15 minutes. Serve.


Sorry for the late post today. My son for whatever reason hasn't been napping which means my precious mommy alone time has been drastically reduced, so I haven't had a chance to update my blog until late. The upside of that, however, is I can tell you now that it was fan-freakin-tastic since we already ate it. I literally savored my last bite.

Monday, November 26, 2007


We weren't impressed with the chicken last night. The cooking time was way longer than what was listed on the recipe. I probably had it in at least 20 minutes more than the time it gave, and there were still parts I threw out when I cut it up because they were pink. Yuck! I'll stick with cooking whole chickens in the crockpot, they always come out done that way. I may try this recipe sometime in the crockpot. I think the only issue would be that the skin wouldn't crisp up, but we don't eat the skin anyway, so I don't think it would matter. It had good flavor, it just took way too long to cook!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Rosemary Roasted Chicken & Potatoes

I forgot to put my chicken in the crockpot this morning, so I had to come up with a different recipe. I had seen this one in the Kraft Food & Family magazine and thought it sounded good, so this is what we're having, although I'm not doing the potatoes with it. I want to do some kind of potatoes, but I don't really feel like peeling them, and I don't have toppings for baked potatoes. I have a box of au gratin potatoes in the pantry I may mix up for us to have with it.

Rosemary Roasted Chicken & Potatoes
6 oz. (3/4 of 8-oz. pkg.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
2 tsp. dried rosemary leaves, divided
1 tsp. pepper, divided
1 whole roasting chicken (3-1/2 lb.)
6 Tbsp. KRAFT Zesty Italian Dressing, divided
2 lb. red potatoes, cut into 1-inch chunks
6 slices OSCAR MAYER Bacon, crisply cooked, drained and crumbled
2 green onions, sliced (about 1/2 cup)

PREHEAT oven to 375°F. Mix cream cheese, 1 tsp. of the rosemary and 1/2 tsp. of the pepper. Starting at neck of chicken, use handle of wooden spoon or fingers to carefully separate skin from meat of the breast, thighs and legs of chicken, trying not to tear the skin. Spoon cream cheese mixture under skin; use fingers to push and spread some of the mixture out to thighs and legs. Place chicken in shallow baking pan. Brush with 2 Tbsp. of the dressing.

TOSS potatoes with remaining 4 Tbsp. dressing, remaining 1 tsp. rosemary and remaining 1/2 tsp. pepper in separate 13x9-inch baking pan. Bake chicken and potatoes 1-1/4 hours or until chicken is cooked through (165ºF), stirring potatoes every 30 min.

TRANSFER chicken to large serving dish, reserving juices in pan. Let chicken stand 10 min. before serving. Meanwhile, add bacon and onions to potatoes; mix lightly. Spoon around chicken in dish. Spoon off and discard fat from reserved chicken juices in pan. Serve chicken and potato mixture with reserved juices.


I didn't have red potatoes and didn't know how regular potatoes would be with the skin left on and done this way. I'll be using the chicken leftovers for a casserole on Tuesday night. Tomorrow night I'm meeting some friends for dinner, so there won't be anything served in our house!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Chili Cheese Tortilla Wraps

I hope everyone has been enjoying the Thanksgiving weekend! I've been enjoying not having to cook! ;) I was going to post my apple pie recipe, but it didn't turn out how it used to, so I figured it wasn't worth it. Not sure what the problem was with it, but I wasn't pleased with the outcome, although everyone that had it said they liked it. Last night we ended up getting pizza to help the husband's depression after LSU lost to Arkansas...he equated it to a girl eating ice cream after a break-up. Whatever--just meant I didn't have to cook!

The husband is off playing golf this afternoon, and tonight we want to go to a holiday lights parade. I figured crockpot was the way to go so I wouldn't have to figure out timing on a dinner that we could have in the brief time between when he gets home from golf and when we have to leave for the parade. We haven't had this in awhile, and it's one of our favorites, so I thought it would be a good way to go. Actually I need to get it thrown in the crockpot so it's ready to eat when we need it!

Chili Cheese Tortilla Wraps
1 16-oz can nonfat refried beans
1 8-oz package nonfat cream cheese, cut into cubes and softened
1 4-oz can diced green chilies, drained
3/4 cup chopped green onions
1 cup nonfat shredded cheddar cheese
4 98% fat free flour tortillas

Spray inside of slow cooker with cooking spray. Combine refried beans, cream cheese, chilies, and green onions in slow cooker and mix well. Cover and cook on low heat for 4 hours or high heat for 2 hours, stirring once or twice during cooking. If cooking on low heat, increase to high. Stir in 3/4 cup of the cheesse and sprinkle 1/4 cup cheese over top. Warm tortillas. Spoon bean mixture into tortillas; roll and serve immediately. Can be served with tortilla chipos instead of tortillas.


I just realized I'm not sure if I have green chilies or not. That's something I usually keep on hand, but I may have used the last can for enchiladas a couple weeks ago. Oh well, I don't think it will make too much difference if I don't have them.

I should be back on the blog wagon after today since it will be back to making dinner every night. I need to review my list of what I have planned, but I think there's some good stuff coming your way!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Okay, we have no leftovers from the tofu lo mein tonight. It was so good!! I think next time I make it I'll use two packages of ramen noodles becuase the noodles were definitely under-represented. It was so good, but my second helping was mostly veggies.

I'm only making macaroni and cheese for Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow night, but I'll post the recipe again.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!!

Chocolate Almond Pie

Here's one of the pies I'm making for Thanksgiving. It's a Paula Deen recipe and oh-so-yummy! I know I've made it once before, but I don't remember if it was for last Christmas or just some random occasion. I came up with a bit too much filling. I feel bad throwing it away because it's so good, but at the same time there isn't enough left for a second pie, and lord knows I don't need to sit and eat it--even though I really want to!

Chocolate Almond Pie
16 to 20 large marshmallows
4 (1 1/2-ounce) chocolate bars with almonds (recommended: Hershey)
1/2 cup milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 (8-inch) graham cracker crust

Melt marshmallows and candy bars in milk in double boiler. Remove from heat and cool. Whip cream until stiff and fold into cooled mixture. Add vanilla. Pour into prepared crust and chill. Good as is, or topped with whipped cream.


I melted everything in the microwave because I don't like double boilers. I'd do it for a minute on medium and then stir, then repeat. It took about five minutes I think. I used 18 marshmallows. It worked out nicely because I had my stand mixer working on the whipping cream while I was doing the chocolate mixture. Shoot, I just realized I forgot the vanilla. Oh well, I don't think one missing teaspoon will make that much of a difference. Mine looks kind of crappy because I poured in too much filling then tried to figure out a way to scoop it out. I'm tempted to run to Walgreens or Circle K to see if they have Ready-Whip I could buy to make it look pretty on the edges.

Next pie is apple, but I think I'll wait and do that tonight with all the apple peeling involved.

Tofu Lo Mein

Okay, so I lied and I did go to a store, but it was a small, natural type market, so it wasn't that busy. And they had tofu for only $1.09! Sweet! So tonight we're having tofu lo mein because it's easy, and I have everything else on hand for it. We've only had it one other time, but it was really good.

Tofu Lo Mein
1 (16 ounce) package extra firm tofu
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 (3 ounce) packages Oriental flavored ramen noodles
1 (16 ounce) package frozen stir-fry vegetables
1 1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon soy sauce, or to taste

Press tofu between paper towels to remove some of the water; cut in to bite size cubes. Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add tofu, and fry until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent burning.

Meanwhile bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add noodles from ramen packages, reserving the seasoning envelopes. Boil for about 2 minutes, just until the noodles break apart. Drain.

Add the stir-fry vegetables to the pan with the tofu, and season with the ramen noodle seasoning packet. Cook, stirring occasionally until vegetables are tender, but not mushy. Add noodles, and stir to blend. Season with soy sauce to taste and serve.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


As usual, the spaghetti was really good. John and I each had seconds which is something we don't usually do. I think this is one of our favorite dinners now. I was going through past entries tonight (adding the "kid-friendly" tag to recipes I had forgotten it on) and saw that we have it pretty often. Since I buy feta at Costco, it's pretty easy because most of the other stuff in it I always have on hand.

I'm not sure what I'm going to make tomorrow night. I really don't want to cook because I'm going to make my Thanksgiving pies tomorrow, so we'll see if I end up making something or if we get take-out instead.

Greek Spaghetti with Tomatoes and Feta

I had something different planned for dinner tonight, but my grocery store was out of tofu when I went shopping last week, so I've had to do a bit of rearranging to accomodate that. It was either this or grilled pizzas, but we don't really have any pizza toppings, so that made the choice pretty easy to narrow down. Plus this has been good every time we've had it. I just wish we had some good bread to go with it, but you couldn't pay me to go to the store today or tomorrow--that's why I went last Friday and stocked up for this week and next!

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.


Can I just toot my own horn and say I love my blog because I make so many different things, this gives me a way to go back and see what I've made?! I was scrolling through August's recipes the other day and kept saying, "Oh I forgot about that!"

Anyway, I don't think I have green onions, so I'll either use regular onions or just skip them because I hate chopping onions.

Monday, November 19, 2007


The pork roast was AWESOME. We really liked it, although there's quite a bit left over, so we'll probably have leftovers at some point this week. Friday everyone else will be eating turkey but we'll have pork roast. ;) I probably over-seasoned it a little bit since I made double the amount I should have, but it was still really good.

Oh, I forgot, we had au gratin potatoes with it. Nothing exciting, they were out of the box.

Herb Crusted Pork Roast

Last night's dinner was very no-frills, so I didn't even post it. We had tilapia with basically Italian seasoning on it, cooked in a skillet. So, don't feel like you missed out on anything. :)

Tonight's dinner was a Paula Deen recipe, given to me by my friend Jen B. It was REALLY good. I'll make a confession...for a long time I didn't know there was a difference between pork tenderloin and a pork loin roast. So when a recipe would call for pork tenderloin, I'd use a pork loin roast because they're on sale all the time. And then I'd get super frustrated that it took a lot longer to cook than what the recipe said. Once I figured out a tenderloin was something different, it made things a lot easier. :)

So the only recipe I really had for pork loin roast was one for the crockpot, a cranberry pork roast. It's really good, but I was glad when Jen told me about this so I could branch out. And really, it was SO easy to do. My house still smells super yummy from it!!

Herb Crusted Pork Loin

1 (4-pound) boneless pork loin, with fat left on
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried thyme or 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon dried basil or 2 teaspoons fresh basil leaves
1 teaspoon dried rosemary or 2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary

Preheat oven to 475 degrees F.

Place the pork loin on a rack in a roasting pan. Combine the remaining ingredients in a small bowl. With your fingers, massage the mixture onto the pork loin, covering all of the meat and fat.

Roast the pork for 30 minutes, fat side up, then reduce the heat to 425 degrees F and roast for an additional hour. Test for doneness using an instant-read thermometer. When the internal temperature reaches 155 degrees F, remove the roast from the oven. Allow it to sit for about 20 minutes before carving. It will continue to cook while it rests.


The pork roast I bought was four pounds, but I cut it into a two pound roast and two one pound roasts (then I slice those and use them as pork chops). I forgot when I was mixing up the rub I was only doing half, so I tried to not use all of it. I cooked it at 475 for 15 minutes and then turned it down to 425, and it took about 40 minutes to get to 155 degrees.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Pumpkin Crumb Cake

I had Bunco here last night, so I didn't have to make anything which was so nice. It was a wine theme, so the food people brought was really good...baked brie, spinach artichoke dip, chocolate pie, hummus. Yummy!! I didn't eat all day in anticipation of it.

Now tonight we're going to my grandma's. My mom called Thursday night, I think it was, saying that one of her cousins was in town for a convention and wondered about getting together for dinner last night or tonight. So we're going over there tonight. It should be fun; I met this cousin at a family reunion we went to back in June. She's more my age than my mom's, I'd say 5-7 years older than me, and she and her husband have a son that's less than a year older than Will. Actually his name is William, too. I was told not to bring anything for dinner, but I had a can of pumpkin in the pantry and felt like making this cake. It's my friend Benah's recipe, and it's so yummy. I'm normally not a pumpkin fan, but this cake is really good!

Pumpkin Crumb Cake

1 pkg (18 oz) yellow cake mix (take out one cup for topping)
1 egg
1 stick butter, melted

1 lb can pumpkin
3 eggs
½ c granulated sugar
¼ c brown sugar
1 ½ tsp cinnamon (or 1/2 tsp each of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger)

1 cup cake mix
½ c granulated sugar
½ c chopped nuts (optional)
3 tbsp butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Mix crust ingredients; pat into greased 9x13 pan
Beat filling ingredients; pour over crust
Combine topping and crumble over filling (use pastry blender)
Bake for 45-55 min.


I sprayed some non-stick spray on my hands to get the crust spread out in the pan, per Benah's suggestion. If you don't have a pastry blender, you can use two knives to cut the ingredients together, but a pastry blender is a lot easier! I hate the two knife method--it was my main motivation to get a pastry blender!


The crockpot lasagna was really good. I think the spinach really helped give it a little extra something instead of just being cheese, sauce, and noodles. However, I think probably half a box of spinach would have done the job, and it also could have used more cheese. I used Ragu garden combination for the sauce, so that gave it a little more "oomph" too with the vegetables in that.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Crockpot Lasagna

It's totally overcast here today which is so nice! I just wish it would rain more. It rained a bit this morning but not enough for my liking. Ironic that I left Seattle because I was so tired of the rain, now living in AZ, I can't wait for it to rain. The air here has just been so gross lately, we need a good rain to clean things out. We rarely seem to get cool, big thunderstorms or all-day rain, which is still weird for me, even though I've lived here eight years now. I'd just like one rainy day!! Of course, usually the one time it does rain all day is when I have a bunch of errands or something outside planned to do.

Anyway, I digress. Tonight we're having crockpot lasagna. I've made it before and posted in on here, but I think it's been awhile. I had found a non-meat recipe I was going to try, but it was just noodles, sauce, and cheese which sounded blah to me. So I'm using the recipe I made before but without the ground beef, and I added a box of frozen spinach in with the ricotta cheese. I used to have a really good vegetarian lasagna recipe (Jo, do you remember me making it in college and when you lived here?), but alas I can't find it anywhere. I think I threw it away when cleaning out my printed out recipes awhile back because I didn't think John would ever eat it. We'll see how this turns out. It's nice to have dinner all done, just have to wash the bowl I used to mix the cheese and spinach. Cross your fingers my son takes a good nap today so I can get my chores done and have some couch time! Weather like this makes me want to just lay on the couch. Plus Oprah looks like a good one today, I don't want to miss it! :)

The recipe I'm including is the way I made it last time, with meat.

Crockpot Lasagna
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.


Like I said above, I skipped the ground beef and mixed in a box of frozen spinach (defrosted and drained) with the ricotta to give it a little more texture and taste. And I didn't do the canned mushrooms because they creep me out, and I think they're gross. Some things just weren't meant to be canned!


The puff pastry chicken last night was really good! John thinks next time I should splurge and get the fancy Alouette cheese, but I think really I should have used more cream cheese. Some bites had enough, others were kind of lacking. We really liked it, and we'll definitely have it again.

The brunch casserole was a big hit, too. None of it was left, and several people came up and told me how much they liked it. It's really an easy one to do. I love to have an occasion to make it.

Weekend Brunch Casserole

I have to take breakfast for my MOPS group this morning, so I figured I'd put the recipe here too. It's super easy and really good!

Weekend Brunch Casserole
1 pound Bob Evans or Owens® Original Recipe Sausage Roll
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 (8 ounce) can refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
4 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Crumble and cook sausage in medium skillet over medium heat until browned. Drain.
Line bottom of greased 13 x 9 inch baking dish with crescent roll dough, firmly pressing perforations to seal. Sprinkle with sausage and cheese. Combine remaining ingredients in medium bowl until blended; pour over sausage.
Bake 15 minutes or until set. Let stand 5 minutes before cutting into squares; serve hot. Refrigerate leftovers.


I forgot it was mozzarella that goes in it, so I bought some casserole blend of cheese. I don't think it will affect it at all. Oh, and I use at least six eggs. Four didn't seem like enough the first time I mixed this up.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Herbed Chicken in Pastry

This recipe came in a box of puff pastry I bought recently, and it sounded really good. My friend Jen B. tried it a couple weeks ago and said it was awesome, so I'm hoping for good things!!

Herbed Chicken in Pastry
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
2 tbsp. butter OR margarine
1/2 pkg. Pepperidge Farm® Puff Pastry Sheets (1 sheet)
1 egg
1 tbsp. water
1 container (4 oz.) garlic & herb spreadable cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
SEASON chicken with salt and pepper if desired. Melt butter in skillet. Add chicken and cook until browned. Remove chicken. Cover and refrigerate 15 min. or up to 24 hours.

THAW pastry sheet at room temperature 30 min. Mix egg and water. Preheat oven to 400°F.

UNFOLD pastry on lightly floured surface. Roll into 14" square and cut into 4 (7") squares. Spread about 2 tbsp. of the cheese spread in center of each square. Sprinkle with 1 tbsp. parsley and top with cooled chicken. Brush edges of squares with egg mixture. Fold each corner to center on top of chicken and seal edges. Place seam-side down on baking sheet. Brush with egg mixture.

BAKE 25 min. or until golden.


My only difference is that I cheaped out when I saw how much the cheese was, so instead I'm using garden vegetable cream cheese. I hope it turns out okay. I just couldn't justify $6 for a container of cheese when the cream cheese was like $1.50.


The pork chops and swamp were fantastic!! Will loved the pork chops, even though he called it chicken. Hey, if he eats it, he can call it whatever he wants. He even "corrected" me one time when I told him to eat his pork; he looked at me and said, "chicken." The husband, who supposedly doesn't like swamp, had quite a bit on his potatoes and even had secons. I may have to start making double the amount of swamp, just so I can get the amount I want to have! :)

I took some pictures while I was preparing so you could see what I meant since the recipe might be a bit cryptic. Let me know if you think these would be more appropriate in the recipe itself and I'll figure out how to do that.

Here's the mustard on the pork chops. I just squirt some on there then spread it around with a knife. I find it's easiest to put the flour in a pie pan, then put the pork chop in, mustard side down, then put the mustard on the other side and flip.

Here's the pork chops in the frying pan with the noodle soup sprinkled around. You can sprinkle it on the pork chops, but then you don't get maximum swamp.

Here's the water added to the noodle soup.

And here's the swamp all done. See how it thickened up?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Pork Chops and Swamp

I'm sure you're saying, "Swamp? Huh?!" This is an old family recipe, I think my grandpa's mom made it. Or at least I know his sister makes it, so maybe it was hers and my grandma adopted it. Not sure. Anyway, when my brother and I were little we somehow started calling the gravy/sauce "swamp" and it stuck. Now our whole family calls it Pork Chops and Swamp.

Since it's a family recipe, I don't have exact measurements, so I'm just kind of winging typing it up and how much of everything.

Pork Chops and Swamp
4 pork chops (I like boneless but you can use bone-in)
1 packet Lipton Noodle Soup

Spread each side of the pork chops with mustard, then dredge in flour. Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a frying pan and add pork chops. Brown on each side. Sprinkle one packet of noodle soup in pan around the pork chops (not on the pork chops). Add water to pan to about the top of the pork chops. Cook on medium heat for about 20 minutes, stirring "swamp" and adding more water as necessary.

Serve with mashed potatoes using swamp as gravy.


I'll try to remember to take some pictures while I'm cooking and when it's done so you can see what I'm talking about. I love swamp so much. John doesn't like it. I almost didn't marry him for that, but then I realized it meant more swamp for me. I made this for my friend Gina one time, and she liked it so much that when she and I have it, I make double the amount of swamp because we both love it. My mom always had to make double, too, because my brother and I like it. I'm so excited...this is one of my all time favorite meals!!

Monday, November 12, 2007


The meatballs turned out pretty good. John said they weren't as good as Lil' Smokies but that they came close, so that says a lot on its own. I didn't have quite enough chili sauce, so I just added in some BBQ sauce. We had it over rice which was yummy because the sauce is so good.

And, sure enough, I was the only one to eat any of the asparagus. Oh well, more for me! :)

Meatballs In Sauce

Creative title, huh? I wasn't going to be able to make it to the store today (normally I grocery shop on Monday), so I had to come up with something that I already had the ingredients for. I was flipping through a crockpot cookbook and saw a recipe for some kind of meatballs and remembered I still had a package of Trader Joe's Meatless Meatballs, and then I thought of the good Lil' Smokies recipe where you make the sauce with grape jelly and chili sauce, so I thought why not use that sauce but with meatballs instead of Lil' Smokies. So that's what we're having. I think the recipe link I found was for a crockpot one, but I'm just going to heat up the sauce and then throw in the meatballs. I figure we'll have rice with it, and I also have some asparagus that needs to be used. I'm the only one that will eat that, though.

Meatballs in Sauce
1 lb. meatballs
1 bottle Chili Sauce
1 cup grape jelly

Combine chili sauce and grape jelly in sauce pan. Heat through. Add meatballs. Serve.


How's that for easy?! The TJ "meatballs" are already cooked, you just have to heat them, so I'll just have them heat up in the sauce after it's done. Brilliant! I love easy dinners. :)


The tortilla pie last night was so good! Actually I may have posted it after we ate and already reviewed it, now I can't remember. We all really liked it. There's a small piece left I'm thinking of having for lunch, but then I wonder if I should be nice and save it for my husband because he really likes it.

I think I used less salsa than it called for, and I liked it better that way. I don't know, I never measure it out, but this time I used less than usual. It wasn't as soggy as it sometimes gets.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Tortilla Pie

I've posted this before, but I think it's been awhile since we had it. It's one of our favorites, and since John had to eat out all last week, I figured I'd make it for him this weekend. I'm such a good wife, huh. ;) Our friend Ed (Hi, Ed!) came over for dinner, and he liked it too. He even asked for a doggie bag because he couldn't finish his piece.

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.


I use a springform pan instead of a cake pan; I don't have a cake pan thick enough, and a springform pan makes it easy to slice it up and serve. I also use taco seasoning instead of the chili powder and cumin.

Now I have to figure out what we're going to have this week. Chicken is FINALLY on sale again, so we'll have some chicken in the house. Hooray! So I know one thing we'll have is puff pastry chicken. I can't wait to try it...sounds so good! And my friend Jen B. tried it and said it was really good.

My best friend is getting married in three weeks, and I'd like to lose 10 pounds before that. Really I'd settle for five, but either way we're going to be having some pretty healthy stuff over the next few weeks. A lot of them will probably be Weight Watcher recipes. I can never decide on those if I should post the WW Points for those or not. I guess it doesn't hurt.

Sloppy Joes

Okay, I'm slacking again. What can I say, I didn't cook Thursday or Friday nights! So given that, I'm not that far behind. Thursday night I was home alone, so I got Chinese take-out because the husband doesn't really like it, so we never get it. I know, he's weird. Then Friday night we had the leftover mac and cheese from my potluck. Way to say "Welcome Home," huh, with leftovers. ;)

Anyway, Saturday night we had Sloppy Joe's, so of course I was once again singing Adam Sandler's "Lunchlady Land." It's kind of tradition when we have sloppy joes. My recipe for them is kind of random, but they're SO good. I was thinking I could post them as vegetarian because we used Boca grounds, but I realized that won't work. You'll see why.

Sloppy Joe's
1 lb. ground beef
1 can Campbell's Chicken Gumbo soup
Hamburger buns

Brown and drain hamburger. Stir in can of soup. Add ketchup until mixture is at a good sloppy joe consistency. I meant to measure as I went, but I just squirt some in the skillet until it looks right. I'd guess it's between one and two cups. Just depends how sloppy you like them (which always makes me think of "Billy Madison" and the crazy lunchlady..."I know you kids like 'em sloppy!"). Serve on hamburger buns.


So, like I said, I used Boca grounds instead of hamburger, but that was it. They're so yummy. Will didn't really eat them, but he has a tooth coming in and hasn't really been eating much of anything the past few days.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Macaroni and Cheese

Phew...finally caught up! Thankfully everything was either already in my blog or I found it online. I would have been upset if I'd had to go downstairs and get a cookbook!

Tonight we're having some friends from MOMS Club over for a potluck. I'm making macaroni and cheese. I was going to do Rachael Ray's Mac and Cheese Hot Dog Casserole, but I've since decided to just make John's mom's mac and cheese. If any kids want a hot dog, I'll heat one up for them.

This recipe is copied exactly as my fantastic mother-in-law wrote them out for me. It's so yummy. I, of course, add more cheese than is called for. :) John will be bummed he missed this. Maybe there will be some left for him when he gets home on Friday!

Aurelia's Macaroni and Cheese
(these are "unmeasured ingredients", add to your taste)
hot boiled macaroni (8 to 12 ounce bag)
1 bag of shredded cheddar cheese (~8oz)
parmesan cheese (1/4 cup)
butter or margarine (1/2 stick)
few tablespoons of milk

boil macaroni
mix all other ingredients into the hot macaroni
place in 350 oven for about 10 minutes or until cheese is melted
(toss in other cheeses as you like. ie american is good)


She makes it as part of Thanksgiving dinner, and there are NEVER leftovers. Since we'll be celebrating with my family this year, I've told John I'll make it for him so he has a little bit of his mom's dinner with my family's.


So the husband has been out of town this week at a conference in Vegas. He left Monday morning, so that night we went over to my mom's for dinner. My grandma came home with us and has been staying with us. I figure this is my chance to eat things we don't normally get to because of John's diet.

I had made these sandwiches some time ago, but John doesn't eat lunch meat anymore, so we haven't had them even though they're so good. It's a Rachael Ray recipe from her "Express Lane" cookbook. My grandma really liked them. Will's not so much in to sandwiches, so he didn't really care one way or the other.

2 tablespoons softened butter
4 tablespoons honey mustard
8 waffles, lightly toasted (such as Eggos)
1/2 lb sliced ham (deli-sliced)
1/2 lb sliced smoked turkey or honey roasted turkey breast (deli-sliced)
1/2 lb sliced swiss cheese (deli-sliced)
3/4 cup prepared cranberry sauce

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat; add in the butter; let melt.
Assemble the sandwiches by spreading the honey mustard on 4 of the waffles, then top with equal amounts of ham, turkey, and Swiss cheese. Spread the cranberry sauce liberally on the remaining 4 waffles and place them atop the sandwiches.
Fry the assembled sandwiches in melted butter and cook for a few minutes on each side until they are deeply golden in color and the cheese melts.


It's kind of like a Monte Cristo sandwich, which I LOVE but can never find in restaurants (except for this one place in Seattle). Anyway, they were really good. My grandma really liked them, like I said. I let them go a bit too long in the frying pan, but you couldn't really tell from the taste of them.

I just realized I didn't review any of the recipes I just added. Oh well. They were all good and nothing super spectacular.

Teriyaki Drumsticks

In doing a freezer inventory recently I came across a bag of chicken drumsticks. We used to eat them on a somewhat regular basis, but they're slightly higher in cholesterol than a chicken breast, so we hadn't been eating them. I was tired of seeing them in there, so I decided to use them...for the easiest dinner ever! Normally I cook six, but there were eight in the bag, so I used all of them. Here's the recipe.

Teriyaki Chicken Drumsticks
6-8 chicken drumsticks
teriyaki sauce

Place drumsticks in crockpot, add teriyaki sauce almost to cover the chicken. If drumsticks are frozen, cook on high for about six hours. If thawed, high for probably two hours should do it.


So easy, and it's so good. Then we had rice on the side and spooned some of the sauce onto the rice. Before I started buying the Yoshida's teriyaki at Costco, I'd just buy the bottle of teriyaki sauce at the grocery store that's roughly the same size as the soy sauce bottle. When I used that, I would pour the whole bottle in and use all of it.

Grilled Burgers

Saturday we were hanging out watching the LSU/Bama game and decided we were tired of soy burgers and wanted real meat. Bama took the lead, so I chose that as a good time for the boy and me to head to Walmart to see what we could find...since some choice words may have come out of the husband's mouth. They had lean hamburger for a reasonable price, so that's what I got. Oh man, were those burgers ever good!

Claire Knightly's Awesome Grilled Burgers
1 pound lean ground beef
1 envelope Lipton Onion Soup mix
1/2 cup red wine

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Form into patties. Grill until done.


Normally we just top them with American cheese and some ketchup (if we have other fixings we'll use them, but generally we don't), but I still had some gorgonzola left from pizzas a few weeks ago, so we did two with American cheese and two with the gorgonzola. Oh man, the gorgonzola with the bit of wine in the meat--so good! Jerky John only left half of one of those for me to eat...actually I only had a half of each kind! Yup, one for me--THREE for him! Although, in his defense, he only had 2.5 that night, he had the last half of the gorgonzola one (that was supposed to be mine) at some point the next day. I obviously didn't hide it in the fridge well enough!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

I know I'm behind!!!

I'll get caught up tomorrow, I promise!!! Really you haven't missed anything too exciting, but just think...tomorrow there will be FOUR recipes instead of one. That's something to look forward to, right? RIGHT!??

Friday, November 2, 2007


Think of the soup recipe as another special bonus. There have been a lot of those this week! Tonight we're grilling pizzas after the little man is in bed. I wasn't sure what toppings to have, then I remembered we have all the stuff for one of the fancy ones we had a couple weeks ago--feta, caramelized onions, artichoke hearts, and roasted red peppers. YUM!! I can't wait!

Butternut Squash Soup

Here's another recipe from my friend Jen B. (there you go, getting your name in lights!). To be quite honest, when she sent it to me I wasn't sure if I'd like it, but I told her I'd give it a try. I had complete faith in her recipe, I just thought I didn't like squash. I was basing that on my extreme dislike of zucchini (thanks, mom, for trying to feed it to me too much growing up and sneaking it in to stuff!), but she assured me it was nothing like zucchini.

So, I found myself at Trader Joe's last week, and a butternut squash made its way into my cart. Only $0.99! I had cleaned house yesterday, so I figured I'd make up the soup this afternoon to have for lunch over the weekend if I liked it. And if I didn't like it, I wasn't out a whole lot. She originally got the recipe from but modified it, so I'm including her version.

Butternut Squash Soup
2 whole butternut squash
olive oil
garlic powder
6 tablespoons chopped onion
4 tablespoons butter (not margarine)
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 package cream cheese

Roast Butternut Squash on a cookie sheet as follows: First, season with olive oil, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and garlic powder. Then, roast halved squash face down for 25 minutes and then face up for 25 minutes @ 375 degrees for a total of 50 minutes roasting time. When cool enough to handle, peel squash, and cut into chunks.

In a large saucepan, saute onions in margarine until tender. Add squash, chicken stock, marjoram, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Bring to boil; add cream cheese.

Puree squash and cream cheese in a blender or food processor in batches until smooth. Return to saucepan, and heat through. Do not allow to boil.


I happen to have an imersion blender that I had never used, and it worked great for this!! Plus I hate pouring hot soup into a blender or food processor. Had a bad experience one time and don't want to repeat it, so that worked out great.

Oh, I actually only used one squash and half a block of cream cheese. Of course, I forgot I was going to cut the recipe in half until I was dropping the cream cheese in the pot, so I had to ladle out some of the chicken broth. I ended up adding some back in because it was pretty thick. It made a TON, so I can't imagine how much it would make if I'd made the whole thing!

I was kind of nervous when I dipped my spoon into the pot to try it because I didn't think I liked squash, but...lo and behold, I LOVED IT! I actually called Jen on the spot to tell her because she knew I was making it this afternoon. It was kind of hot, but Will had a bite and loved it, too. THe husband wasn't so sure, but by the time he tried it, it had thickened some from cooling, so he thought it would be good as a dip. What can I say...he's kind of weird, plus he'd been at happy hour. ;)

So, thanks Jen B., for another great recipe!!! I can't wait to have some of this for lunch tomorrow.

P.S. I think this could easily be made with vegetable stock instead of chicken to make a vegetarian version.


The stroganoff was really good--big hit with our guests! I serve it over rice because that's how my grandma serves her stroganoff. Like I said in the recipe, I added in some cornstarch before the sour cream to help thicken it up.

Little hands are trying to close my laptop, so this will be a short review. Just know it was good!re

Crockpot Beef Stroganoff

We had some friends over yesterday (Thursday) night for dinner, so I was busy cleaning all afternoon and didn't get a chance to post my recipe. It was a crockpot recipe, which I love to use when we have people over because then I can just enjoy their company instead of having to be in the kitchen cooking.

Beef Stroganoff
1-1/2 lbs lean beef stewing meat, trimmed of fat
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 lb. fresh mushrooms, sliced
10-3/4 oz. can 98% fat-free cream of mushroom soup
1 cup fat free sour cream

Combine all ingredients except sour cream in slow cooker. Cook on low 6-8 hours. Stir in sour cream. Cook on high for a few minutes to heat sour cream. Serve over rice or noodles.


I actually used a beef roast that had been on sale this week at the market and cut it up instead of stew meat. Plus I find that this is really runny, so before adding in the sour cream I mixed in some cornstarch to thicken it up a bit. The recipe actually calls for one cup of water to be added, but the first time I did that it was waaaaay too much liquid, so I crossed that off in the cook book.


Phew, I have a lot of catching up to do! The meatball sandwiches were good. John thought they'd be better on hoagie rolls or French bread, but I kind of liked them in the pita bread. I microwaved the meatballs, then mixed in some spaghetti sauce, spooned six meatballs into each pita half, added a little mozzarella, then put the whole thing in the micro again to melt the cheese. Super quick, easy, and cheap!