Monday, December 31, 2007

King Crab Legs and Creme Brulee's a New Years Eve feast tonight at our house!! We always have king crab legs to eat for dinner tonight, and I got some good looking ones this year! The boy is going to Grandma's house for a NYE party with his grandparents (I'm sure it will be mom has always been one to celebrate NYE when it turns midnight on the east coast), the husband and I are going to an afternoon hockey game, then it's home for our feast! And probably some college football.

Since we have king crab legs so rarely, I always have to look up how to do them. This website had great tips on cooking them. I think this is somehow the same website I always find...I should probably just bookmark it. I normally bake them, but the husband is thinking of grilling them. He thinks we've done it that way before, but I don't remember. So here's how I do them, taken from the above website.

King Crab Legs
For whole (defrosted) crab legs, bake in a 350 oven for 8-9 minutes. Serve with melted butter.


Pretty easy, huh. I put them in a roasting pan because normally the legs I buy are pretty big, so that's the easiest way to get them all cooking at the same time.

So, on to creme brulee. I heart creme brulee. I heart it very much. I think around this time last year (may have even been for NYE) I was looking for a creme brulee recipe because I had FINALLY gotten one of the sets with the blow torch. I had literally been asking for one for years for Christmas, Mother's Day, anniversary, my occasion in which a gift is received, I asked for one. Last Christmas the husband came through and got one for me. Woo hoo! Then we went to use it and realized we had no fuel for it. Much sadness. But now we have the fuel and I wanted to do something fancy, so we're having creme brulee for dessert tonight. Anyway, I found this recipe online and it was awesome and easy, what could be better?!

Easy Creme Brulee
2 cups heavy cream
5 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup or so of light brown sugar.

Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Whisk the cream, egg yolks, sugar, and vanilla extract together in a bowl. Mix it all up until it gets nice and creamy. Pour this mixture into ramekins. Place the ramekins in a baking pan. Fill the baking pan with hot water, about halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Place the pan with the ramekins in the oven for 45 minutes to an hour or so. After 45 minutes or so check them every ten minutes. You'll know they're done when you can stick a knife in one and it comes out clean. Remove the ramekins from the baking pan, set them on the counter, and let them cool for 15 minutes or so.

Then put them in the refrigerator and let them chill overnight.

Sprinkle a thin layer of the light brown sugar on the top of each. Make sure it's a THIN layer, but also make sure it completely covers the custard. Now torch it! Or, if you don't have a torch, you can put them under the broiler for a minute or so. The point is, you need to caramelize (melt and let harden) the sugar.


Okay, I somehow missed the part about letting them chill overnight. DAMN IT!!! So I guess we'll be enjoying creme brulee tomorrow night. I'm so bummed. I did buy some spicy tuna rolls yesterday just in case we wanted an appetizer, so at least we have those in addition to the crab legs. Anyway, back to the creme brulee. Last time I made this I had to use the broiler, and they turned out just fine. Just watch them closely so they don't burn!

Sunday, December 30, 2007


Oh man, was that chicken last night good!! We both devoured our pieces. Super yummy, and the sauce is just incredible. The orzo didn't turn out as well as it usually does, I think we didn't put enough cheese in it or I maybe used too much liquid.

My friend Jen B. called me last night to ask about how I cut the chicken, so I figured I'd take pictures as I went last night. OH!! And I got new cookware yesterday so you can see my fancy schmancy new stuff! :)

This is how I cut the chicken breasts to stuff them. Technically one breast is two servings, but I wasn't in the mood to be healthy last night. See how I made a little pocket? By the way, the husband FREAKED OUT when he saw me using the camera around raw chicken. He must not know I always keep one hand chicken-free when handling chicken.

Here's the chicken after I stuffed it.

Here's the chicken cooking in the sauce. Like my new cookware? Costco, baby!!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Sun-Dried Tomato Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Folks, this is one of my absolute favorite dinners!! We haven't had it in forever, so I'm really excited. Some friends were supposed to come over for dinner tonight, but we never heard back a final confirmation from them, but I'm making it for us anyway. Surprisingly (after you've tasted this), this is a Weight Watchers recipe! After our holiday binge eating I'm trying to do more WW recipes and really make sure we get back to eating healthy.

Sun-Dried Tomato Stuffed Chicken Breasts
2 Tbsp sun-dried tomatoes, without oil, minced
2 oz. soft-type goat cheese
1 tsp thyme, chopped
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, 4 4-oz breasts
1/8 tsp salt, or to taste
1/8 tsp black pepper, or to taste
1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 cup wine, dry, white
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1 cup canned chicken broth, fat-free
1 Tbsp canned tomato paste
1 Tbsp parsley, chopped

IN a small bowl, stir together sun-dried tomatoes, goat cheese, and thyme. Using a sharp paring knife, cut a horizontal slit through the thickest part of each breast, creating a pocket. Be careful not to cut all the way through. Stuff each chicken breast with 1/4 of the cheese mixture. Season with salt and pepper and dust with flour.

Spray a large nonstick skillet with olive oil cooking spray and warm over high heat. Add chicken and brown well. Remove and set aside. Add white wine to pan and boil until almost all evaporated.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together cornstarch and 2 Tbsp chicken broth until smooth. Whisk cornstarch mixture, reminaing chicken broth and tomato paste into white wine. Return chicken breasts to pan. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook over low heat until chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes.


Mmmmm...yum, yum! I can't wait to have this. I need to stick my wine in the fridge so I can enjoy some while I cook. This is a really versatile recipe because you can use just about anything for the stuffing. I'm skipping thyme and using fresh basil because I have some. I normally buy some kind of herbed goat cheese, but the store I shopped at this week only had plain. I've also used prosciuto that I've had on hand, and that was really good. Capers would probably be a yummy addition as well!

On the side we're going to have Creamy Parmesan Orzo, which is one of my favorite side dishes. I think I have some frozen peas I'll heat up as well. Oh man, I'm so excited for dinner! Oh, and the sauce you make is so super good. Did I mention I'm excited?!

Spinach, Mushroom, and Provolone Cheese Quiche

Forgot to post my recipe for yesterday! We waited until Will went to bed and had dinner while we watched Pirates of the Carribbean 3. I think we're probably the only people in the world that hadn't seen it. Anyway, this recipe was in one of my Pampered Chef cookbooks, and I came across it the other day while working on my cookbook indexing project (which I'll get back to if the boy keeps napping for awhile!).

Spinach, Mushroom, and Provolone Cheese Quiche
3 eggs
1/2 cup half and half
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
Dash of ground black pepper
1/2 package (10 ounces) frozen, chopped spinach, thawed, well-drained, and patted dry
1/3 cup chopped fresh mushrooms
1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded provolone cheese

Preheat oven to 375. Spray small baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Whisk together first five ingredients in medium bowl. Set aside. Combine remaining ingredients, spoon into bottom of dish. Pour egg mixture over filling ingredients. Bake 30-35 minutes or until middle is set. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Cut in half and serve.


The thing I hate about Pampered Chef cookbooks is how the recipes use the names of their products. So this one uses the "Small oval stoneware baker," so I'm not sure what that equates to. It's about 8-10 inches long and 4-5 inches wide, I would guess.

I changed a few things about this recipe. I used Egg Beaters instead of eggs, roasted red peppers, and Italian blend shredded cheese instead of provolone. And I've been inspired by Jessica Seinfeld's "Deceptively Delicious" cookbook and had just pureed some cauliflower, so I added in a spoonful. I think that and the Egg Beaters caused an increase in the cooking time, mine probably baked for closer to an hour I think.

It was okay. I don't know if it would be better without the cauliflower, but you couldn't really taste it. I like the Vegetarian Frittata I make a lot better. Not really sure what the difference is between a frittata and a quiche except that this had flour mixed in with the eggs?

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Fisher Nutty Bacon Cheese Ball

I hope everyone had a good Christmas!! Ours was great, although it looks like a toy tornado swept through our house. My son is the only grandchild on my side of the family, so he gets completely spoiled. My family spoiled the husband and me quite a bit this year as well, so pretty much the entire downstairs of my house is pure chaos. We have some errands to run this morning and then I'm cleaning house and hopefully making this place look presentable once again!

I've gotten a few days off from cooking which has been nice. We spent Christmas at my mom's last night and had quite the feast. All I had to take was a cheese ball and cranberry sauce. I saw this recipe on Oprah a couple weeks ago and it looked freakin' awesome. I was so excited to try it.

Fisher Nutty Bacon Cheese Ball
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup milk
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup (1 ounce) blue cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup finely minced green onions (white part only)
1 jar diced pimento, drained
3/4 cup Fisher pecans, divided (Of course, any nut will do!)
10 slices of bacon, cooked, drained, finely crumbled and divided
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup minced parsley
1 Tbsp. poppy seeds

Place cream cheese in mixer bowl. Attach bowl and flat beater to mixer. Turn to Speed Two and mix 1 minute. Stop and scrape bowl. Turn to Speed Two and gradually add milk, mixing until well blended about 1 minute. Stop and scrape bowl. Add cheeses, onions, pimientos, half of the bacon and half the pecans. Turn to Speed 4 and beat until well blended, about another minute. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Transfer mixture to a large piece of plastic wrap. Form into a ball and wrap tightly. Repeat with the remaining mixture. Refrigerate (or freeze) at least 2 hours.

Combine the remaining bacon and remaining pecans, parsley and poppy seeds in a pie plate. Then, remove the plastic wrap and roll the cheese ball lightly in the bacon/nut mixture until evenly coated. Wrap it back up in plastic wrap and refrigerate again until ready to use.


I initially tried to make just one big ball, but that wasn't working, so I ended up spliting the mixture in half and making two. There were 13 people at Christmas dinner last night, and we only went through one of them. The finished product after you roll it in the mixture was really pretty--and festive with the red pimentos in the cheese and the green parsley. I just realized I forgot to put poppy seeds in it, but I don't think it made any difference. It was totally awesome, if I do say so myself. I served it with Wheat Thins, but really any cracker would do or maybe even celery sticks.

Tonight it's back on track for dinner. I think we're going to have pizza, but I'll decide for sure later in the day.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Chicken Parmesan

I forgot to post my recipe yesterday! Not sure why, we did absolutely nothing all day. The husband and boy didn't even get out of their jammies. I would have stayed in mine, too, but I had to run to Walgreens to pick up some pictures. We waited until Will went to bed to have dinner. It was so yummy. We haven't had this in so long. The original recipe was from a show that's no longer on Food Network, but I've modified it a bit over the years. I'll write it how I made it, but you can make it with as many chicken breasts as you want or need.

Chicken Parmesan
2 chicken breasts
1 egg
Italian bread crumbs
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
Marinara sauce
Mozzarella cheese

Slightly pound out chicken breasts to make flat. Break egg into one dish and mix. Pour bread crumbs into another dish. Dip chicken breats into egg, coating both sides. Dredge chicken breasts in bread crumbs. Heat olive oil in skillet, add chicken. Cook chicken approximately five minutes per side or until no longer pink inside. Spread some marinara over each piece of chicken, add more marinara to skillet around pieces of chicken. Sprinkle mozzarella over each piece of chicken. Cover skillet until cheese is melted.


We usually have spaghetti on the side with it. Normally I use just the white of the egg, but last night I used Egg Beaters. It was so yummy. I honestly can't remember the last time we had this, and it used to be in high rotation in our kitchen!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Chili Cheese Tortilla Wraps

Man, I feel like I'm making stuff this week that we have all the time! All of my chores are done, so I'm going to spend the rest of my son's nap time going through cookbooks and finding new recipes to try. Or recipes I haven't made in awhile. I think I'm going to make up a spreadsheet. What can I say, I used to be in finance, and I have a thing for spreadsheets.

We're going with some friends to look at Christmas lights tonight, so I wanted something easy that could be made ahead of time. We always like this, and we haven't had it in a couple weeks, so I figured what the heck.

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 chips instead of tortillas.


I didn't feel like chopping up green onions, so I skipped that. I didn't drain the green chilies either, so I figured that would compensate for the green onions.

Tomorrow night is a new recipe I don't think I've posted on here yet. Exciting, huh? ;) It's one we used to have a lot but haven't had in forever!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Sloppy Joes

I was taking dinner to someone from my MOMS Club tonight that had a baby recently and figured I'd just make us the same thing I made her, only I used Boca grounds for ours instead of hamburger. So yummy...I love Sloppy Joes!

Sloppy Joes
1 pound hamburger (or one box Boca grounds)
1 can Campbell's Chicken Gumbo Soup
1-2 cups ketchup, depending on taste (or how sloppy you like them)

Brown hamburger in skillet. Add in chicken gumbo soup, gradually add in ketchup until mixture reaches your desired consistency. Serve on hamburger buns.


These were so yummy! The husband almost washed all the leftovers down the sink, but luckily I caught him in time. Phew! There's enough left for at least two more sandwiches.


The fish tacos were fan-freakin'-tastic! We both really liked them. There were no leftovers. I had forgotten how good they were, I think it was August last time we had them. I definitely need to get them in higher rotation.

I feel like we've been having a lot of the same stuff over and over lately, so after Christmas next week I think I'm going to revisit some cookbooks I haven't used in awhile to come up with some new ideas. My brother got me one for Christmas I can't wait to read through and use!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Blackened Fish Tacos

Now I'm officially caught up! I had bought tilapia a few weeks ago on Manager's Special at the store. They always have tilapia on Manager's Special...not sure why, but it means I get it for cheap which I like. I was trying to use up some stuff we had on hand and eat healthy this week after our food-fest in Seattle, and I remembered seeing this recipe on my blog awhile back when I was scrolling through looking at old recipes. This is one I probably would have forgotten about entirely had it not been for my blog! Just giving myself a little pat on the back. :) We really liked it when we had it before, so I'm looking forward to having it again tonight.

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.


I think the only thing I'm changing is that I'm using regular cole slaw mix, not broccoli slaw mix. And I didn't buy radishes because I don't think the husband likes them. And we don't like corn tortillas, so I'm using flour.

Tofu Lo Mein

Okay, getting more caught up. This was what we had for dinner last night. It's one of our favorites, and I had a package of tofu in the fridge. This is also one of my favorites because it's super cheap. Roughly $1.50 for a package of tofu, $0.15 for the ramen noodles, and $1 for the bag of frozen vegetables. Can't beat that!

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.


I remembered too late (i.e. as I was cooking) that the last time we had this we decided it needed two packages of ramen noodles because one wasn't really enough. Oops. Hopefully I'll remember that next time. This time also I waited until I had added the vegetables to start cooking the ramen, otherwise it gets really sticky just sitting there.

Chex Mix

I'm sure everyone has this recipe, but I figured I'd post it anyway. To me, it's just not the holidays if I don't have a big thing of Chex Mix sitting around. I think I get that from my mom. Of course that means I spend all day snacking on it, but it's just so darn tasty. I also had a coupon for Chex cereal, so how could I not make it?!

Original Chex® Party Mix

6 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons seasoned salt
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
3 cups Corn Chex® cereal
3 cups Rice Chex® cereal
3 cups Wheat Chex® cereal
1 cup mixed nuts
1 cup bite-size pretzels
1 cup garlic-flavor bite-size bagel chips or regular-size bagel chips, broken into 1-inch pieces

Preparation Directions:
1. Heat oven to 250°F. In ungreased large roasting pan, melt butter in oven. Stir in seasonings. Gradually stir in remaining ingredients until evenly coated.
2. Bake 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Spread on paper towels to cool, about 15 minutes. Store in airtight container.


I don't add bagel chips to mine, just the nuts and pretzels. And I don't really like Wheat Chex, but I always include them anyway. I don't know why. I know there's a microwave way to do this, too, but I like the oven way. Plus that way requires a large microwavable bowl, and my son broke my large microwavable bowl, so I didn't have much choice this year.

Four Layer Bars

Well, we are back from our trip to chilly Seattle. We had a great time, but man alive was it cold up there! My mom--who lived there for roughly 40 years--said on the last day, "I just don't know how people live here." Amazing what constant sunshine will do to you! :) We got to visit with a lot of friends and spend time with my brother. It was really fun.

My son was having major grandma and grandpa withdrawals yesterday, so I wasn't able to get much done while he napped, so I never had a chance to update my blog. My MOMS Club had a cookie exchange today, and this is what I made to take to it. These are one of our favorites. I stumbled across the recipe a couple years ago, and the husband goes crazy for them. The recipe came from

4-Layer Bars
1 pkg. (2-layer size) yellow cake mix
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, melted
1 egg
3 cups JET-PUFFED Miniature Marshmallows
1 cup candy-coated chocolate pieces
1/2 cup PLANTERS COCKTAIL Peanuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 375°F. Combine cake mix, butter and egg. Spread into lightly greased 13x9-inch baking pan. Bake 16 to 18 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Top immediately with remaining ingredients. Bake an additional 2 minutes or until marshmallows begin to melt. Cool completely. Cut into 32 bars to serve.


I had to make two batches to have enough to take today, and I messed up cutting the first one and cut 24 bars when I meant to do 30. I think I like them cut into 24 instead of 30 (or 32 as recommended here). The pan cut into 30 had pretty small pieces.

Oh, and to spread the cake mix, I usually just use my hands to spread it around.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


Nothing exciting for dinner tonight, just tacos. We leave tomorrow morning for Seattle for six days, so I won't be on for awhile. We've rented a house to stay in while we're there, so I may end up cooking dinner some while we're there. If I do, I'll let you know what I'm making. Should be a fun but interesting son was diagnosed with an ear infection this morning. Great news the day before we're flying somewhere. At least I took him in to see the doctor! He has pain reliever ear drops and antibiotics, so he should be in decent spirits for traveling. Let's hope anyway!

So my tacos are pretty no frills. I'm using soy grounds instead of hamburger. I just follow the instructions on the taco seasoning packet...brown a pound of hamburger, add water and seasoning mix. I'm a tortilla kind of girl, I don't really like the shells. If we have refried beans I usually heat some up to have in the tacos and on the side. We're pretty minimal with toppings, too. Cheese, sour cream, salsa, lettuce and tomato if we have those. I am trying a new brand of soy grounds this time, so I'm hoping they're okay. I saw them at Trader Joe's and picked up a package. They were cheaper than the Boca Grounds I usually get but only by $0.30 or so.

Monday, December 10, 2007


The beef surprise was super yummy! Our only complaint was the minute rice I made to go with it...I hate minute rice. The husband had to work late, so I didn't know when he'd get home to make normal rice. But the sauce and the meat were really yummy. I didn't have celery like the recipe called for, but I did have a red pepper I used instead. I think that was the only difference. I would definitely make this again! Thanks, Jen, for a great recipe!!

Oh, and I love Jen's enamel pot. I must have one!!

Jen's Beef Surprise

Tonight is another Jen B. creation!! I've been dying to try this ever since she sent me the recipe. I almost made it one night a couple weeks ago, but I didn't have any sour cream. I was so bummed. It's still cloudy and gray in Phoenix, so a dinner like this will be so good tonight!

Jen's Beef Surprise (as written by Jen)
1) In a medium sized bowl, mix flour and seasoning with 1-2 lbs. of cubed beef stew meat. Seasoning includes: salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper (to taste for each). Each piece should be well coated with flour mixture.
2) Brown meat mixture in enamel pot with canola oil (2-3 tablespoons)
3) Remove browned meat mixture from pot; leave brown bits on bottom
4) Brown diced onion, celery (about 2 stalks), and 1-2 tablespoons of minced garlic with approx. 2 tablespoons of butter and salt to taste until onions are translucent and mixture is soft
5) Deglaze pot with 1-2 cup chicken stock and 2 cups red wine
6) Add 1 tablespoon of minced ginger, 1 tablespoon of worsteshire, 1 bay leaf, and a pinch of the following dried herbs: parsley, marjoram, thyme, rosemary (to taste). Add a little more salt and pepper to taste.
7) Cook COVERED on Med-Low heat for 2 hours (burner gas level between 2 & 4 on my stove), checking every ½ hour to make sure the liquid is sufficient. Liquid should be approx. 2 inches around pot. Add more chicken stock, water, and/or red wine to add more liquid if needed (add to taste—depending on what you like).
8) In a separate bowl, make mixture of 1 cup milk, 2-3 tablespoons of flour, and ½ cup of sour cream. Mix together with a wisk until combined. Ladel some of the hot liquid from the beef mixture into the milk mixture to thicken (1-2 ladels). Once liquid is incorporated, return all liquid to enamel pot.
9) Heat through to thicken for approx. 5-10 minutes on MED heat on stovetop.
10) Serve with egg noodles.


Doesn't this just sound SO GOOD?! We're going to have it over rice instead of noodles, but that's all I'm doing differently! I bought some asparagus last week that I need to use up, so I'll roast that to go along with it. YUM. I can't wait for dinner!!

Saturday, December 8, 2007


The tortilla soup was SO GOOD!! I could definitely tell the cilantro wasn't there, but it was still good. I added a dollop of sour cream to mine, and it was really good. John wasn't sure what he was going to think about it, but he said he really liked it.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Oh man, I've been waiting a week and a half to make this! My MOMS Club has a cooking club and this was the recipe that was done for December. This is why I cooked the whole chicken last night, so I could use the leftovers for this! My friend Jen B. made it...her recipes have so far all been awesome!

Chicken Tortilla Soup
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 container (12 ounces or so) salsa
6 regular cans chicken broth (or 2 large)
1 lime, juiced
1 bag tortilla chips
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
Hot sauce to taste
Shredded cheese to taste
Cooked chicken to taste

In a large stock pot, heat olive oil. When oil is heated, saute onions until translucent. Add garlic and saute for a few more minutes. Add cooked chicken, chicken broth, salsa, and bring to a boil. Add any aditional vegetables (i.e. corn, tomatoes, black beans, etc.) at this step. Once boiling add cilantro, lime juice, and hot sauce to taste.

In individual serving bowls, place some broken-up tortilla chips in bottom and sprinkle with cheese. Pour the hot soup over the chips and cheese and serve.


I realized when I was getting stuff out for it that I forgot to get cilantro. I hope it turns out okay without it...the cilantro really gave it a fresh flavor when Jen made it. I added in some canned corn to mine, when Jen made it she had some tomatoes she needed to use and added those. My best friend's mom makes tortilla soup and adds avocado when she serves it, and that's really good.

So far the sample tastes I've had are really good...I can't wait to have some!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Crockpot Roast Chicken

I have to say I'm more excited for what I'm doing with the leftover meat from this chicken than for the dinner tonight. It's so good...I can't wait to share the recipe tomorrow! It's totally overcast in PHX today and raining off and on, so it's nice to have a chicken cooking away in the crockpot. It's only been in for an hour, but my house smells so good already.

Frances' Roast Chicken
3-4 lb whole frying chicken
half an onion, chopped
1 rib celery, chopped
salt to taste
pepper to taste
1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
1/4 tsp dried basil

Sprinkle chicken cavity with salt, pepper, and poultry seasoning. Put onion and celery inside cavity. Put chicken in slow cooker. Sprinkle with basil. Cover, cook on low 8-10 hours or high 4-6 hours.


I rubbed some of the poultry seasoning and basil under the skin of the chicken to flavor the meat a little. Also I thought I had celery, but when I took it out of the fridge parts of it were fuzzy. Gross. So, I just added more onion. Before I put the onion in the chicken I sprinkled it with basil and the poultry seasoning. I think we're going to have feta mashed potatoes and asparagus with it.

Oreo Balls

More Christmas treats today!! My MOMS Club does a Secret Sister program, so I made these for my secret sister. The recipe comes from my friend Lindsay, and they are oh-so-yummy!! I thought it was cake or something in the middle, I was shocked that it was Oreos! I changed up this batch a bit, but I'll get in to that after the recipe.

Lindsay's Oreo Balls
1 package Oreos
1 package chocolate almond bark
1 package cream cheese, softened

Chop up all the Oreos and mix with cream cheese. When you cant see cream cheese anymore you're good to move on. Melt your bark as directions say. When that's done you roll the Oreos into balls and dip in bark and get it all over the Oreo stuff and than take it out and put on aluminum foil until cooled. Keep in fridge until time to enjoy.


I put the Oreos in a big Ziploc bag and crush them with a rolling pin. Then once the Oreos and cream cheese are mixed together, I form the little balls and put them on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper (aluminum foil would work too). I use tongs to dip the balls into the chocolate, much less messy that way.

So for this batch, I had bought a box of Trader Joe's Candy Cane Jo-Jo's (their version of Oreos) and used those instead of regular Oreos. Dear lord are they ever fantastic! The cookies on their own are laced with crack, I'm pretty sure, so mixed with cream cheese and dipped in The cookies are basically Oreos but in the filling there's chopped up candy canes. Amazing--and I don't even like candy canes. Thankfully most of these are going to my secret sister and the rest got eaten at our play group this morning. I think I only brought home four or five which isn't bad at all.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Spiced Pecans

Turns out we're going to have dinner with some friends tonight, so I'm off the hook for cooking! I made a Christmas treat today and thought I'd share this recipe. I don't know why I only make these at Christmas--they're good any time of the year. The recipe comes from my mom's friend Nancy Kronoshek. Every time I walk into the kitchen I have one...I need to put them in some kind of container so they aren't just sitting out!

Spiced Pecans
1 egg white
1 t. water
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 t. salt
1/2 t. cinnamon
1 lb. pecan halves

Blend all ingredients but pecans with fork in a large bowl. Add nuts and stir until coated. Roast on ungreased cookie sheet at 225 for one hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Store in an airtight container.


These are good on their own or they're yummy in salads, too. Like a spring mix salad with feta and craisins or spinach salad with strawberries, red onion, and balsamic vinegar.

I've got a toddler trying to climb into my lap, so I guess that's all I'll say about the pecans!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Marinated Ahi Tuna

Hey guys!! Hope you all had a good weekend, even though it's Wednesday. We had a great time in Vegas, and my best friend's wedding was AWESOME. She looked so beautiful! We were definitely ready to come home yesterday--four days in Vegas is about a day and a half too long.

I'm kind of taking the easy way out for dinner tonight becausse I wasn't going to have time to go grocery shopping today, so it had to be something I already had on hand. Luckily I picked up some more of those yummy marinated ahi tuna steaks when I was at Trader Joe's last week. I can't wait to have them--they were so good last time! With it, we're having mushroom risotto...also a TJ's product. I'm on a risotto kick, I don't know what it is. I had it twice in Vegas!

So dinner preparation should be pretty easy--sear tuna, heat risotto. I hope no one was expecting some grand meal on our first day home. ;) I don't remember what's on the list for tomorrow night, but I worked up a menu for the next week while sitting in the car yesterday. We're actually leaving again next Wednesday, so I'm using up a lot of things we have on hand so I don't have to buy a bunch of groceries and then leave again.