Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Pasta with Pumpkin and Sausage

1 pound penne pasta, cooked
1 pound sweet sausage (I used sage)
1 onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf, fresh or dried
2 TBS fresh sage leaves, chopped
1 can +1 cup chicken broth
1 can pumpkin
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Boil pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile in an large skillet brown sausage then remove from pan and keep on a plate lined with a paper towel. Add onion and saute in the sausage drippings for 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and sage and broth. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add pumpkin and stir to combine. Add sausage back in bring back to a simmer. Remove from heat and stir in cream, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add pasta and toss. Serve with parmesan cheese on top.

Veggie Lo Mein

1/2 lb. thin spaghetti
2 TBS vegetable oil
2 cups snow peas
1 red pepper, cut into thin strips
4 green onions, sliced thin
1 can water chestnuts, drained
1 cup fresh bean sprouts (optional)
1 inch of ginger root, peeled and minced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 soy sauce
2 TBS sesame oil

Boil pasta as directed on package. Meanwhile in a large skillet or wok add oil and heat on medium high. Add snow peas, pepper, onions, water chestnuts, and sprouts. Toss to coat in oil and cook about 5-8 minutes. Add ginger root and garlic and mix in for a minute or two.

Drain pasta and add to veggies, then pour soy sauce and sesame oil over. Remove from heat and gently toss. Serve immediately.

*Note: edamame, broccoli or mushrooms would be delicious to add as well. You can also add shrimp, chicken, or beef, but then it wouldn't be veggie low mein, would it.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Greek Marinated Roasted Chicken

1 cup plain yogurt
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ Tbsp dried oregano
Zest and juice of  1 lemon
½ tsp salt
freshly cracked pepper
¼ bunch fresh parsley
3½ to 4 lbs chicken pieces

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Combine the yogurt, olive oil, minced garlic, oregano, salt, lemon zest and  juice, and some freshly cracked pepper in a bowl. Stir until the ingredients are well combined. Roughly chop a big handful, or about ¼ bunch, of parsley and stir it into the marinade.

Add the chicken pieces and marinade to a gallon sized zip top bag. Remove as much air as possible, close the bag tightly, and massage the bag to mix the contents and make sure the chicken is well coated. Refrigerate the bag for 30 minutes.

Put the chicken pieces in a large casserole dish (9x13). Bake the chicken in the preheated 375 degree oven for 45-60 minutes, or until golden brown on top.

Adapted from

Apple Poppyseed Coleslaw

I'm not a fan of coleslaw, but this I had to try! There is no added sugar, but the green apple adds a wonderful sweetness. I put it aside a sloppy joe or hamburger type meal.

2 cups shredded green cabbage
1 cup shredded red cabbage
(or 1 small bag or preshredded green cabbage to make it easier!)
1/2 cup shredded carrot
1 Granny Smith apple, julienned
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

In a large bowl, combine the green cabbage, red cabbage, carrot and apple.

In a large glass measuring cup or another bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, poppy seeds, salt and pepper, to taste.

Pour mixture over cabbage mixture and stir until well combined. Cover and place in the refrigerator for at least one hour.
Adapted by

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Rosemary Bread

1 1/4 milk
1/4 olive oil
1/4 honey
1 package (1/4 oz.) rapid rise dry yeast
1 tsp salt
2 TBS fresh rosemary, chopped
1 cup whole wheat flour
3 cups white flour

Mix milk, olive oil, and honey in small saucepan over med-low heat. Let the mixture get fairly hot, but avoid boiling and curdling. Remove from head and cool until it's no longer hot, just warm.

In mixing bowl combine yeast, salt, rosemary, wheat and 2 cups of the white flour. Add the milk mixture while stirring until well combined. Add remaining 1 cup of white flour slowly.

Knead vigorously or mix with dough hook for 6 minutes. Form into a loaf and place in greased 9x5 inch bread pan. Let rise until doubled. Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes, until dark brown.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Zucchini Mushroom Pasta Pot

1 pound spaghetti
1 pound cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 zucchini, thinly sliced and quartered
1 cup peas
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 sprigs fresh thyme
4 1/2 cups water (or veggie/chicken broth)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2/3 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 cup heavy cream

In a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium high heat, combine spaghetti, mushrooms, zucchini, peas, garlic, thyme and 4 1/2 cups water; season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until pasta is cooked through and liquid has reduced, about 8-10 minutes. Stir in Parmesan and heavy cream.

Let stand for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened.

Adapted from

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

A lighter version of a favorite. This recipe makes 1 9x5 loaf pan. I usually double it bcause one loaf is gone before it even cools in my house :-).

3/4 cup sugar
3 TBS vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 cup applesauce
2 cups white flour
2 TBS unsweetened cocoa
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups finely shredded zucchini
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°. Place first 3 ingredients in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at low speed until well blended. Stir in applesauce.
Combine flour and the next 4 ingredients (through salt), stirring well with a whisk. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture, beating just until moist. Stir in the zucchini and chocolate chips.
Spoon batter into a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out almost clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack, and remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Red and Green Pasta Toss

I created this recipe out of necessity. Its cheap, healthy, and versatile. Mix and match according to your taste. You need ONE ingredient from each section (red, green, pasta, sauce, and meat) to make your Pasta Toss.

- 1 Red Bell Pepper, diced
- 1 package Cherry or Grape Tomatoes

- 1 medium Zucchini, sliced
- 1 bunch Asparagus, cut

- 2 to 3 cups Bow Tie or Penne, cooked
- 1 package of cheese ravioli or tortellini, frozen or fresh

- 4 TBSP of Pesto
- 1/2 cup Marinara or Spaghetti sauce

- 1 package Chicken Sausage (I love Italian three cheese flavor)
- 2 cups Leftover Chicken

Saute the red and green veggies until softened. Add pasta and meat and stir until meat is warmed through, and if you are using cheese filled pasta until your pasta is completely cooked. Add in sauce of choice and stir until it's warmed through.

Easy Cilantro Lime Rice

2 cups chicken stock
1 clove garlic, minced
2 TBS butter
1 cup long grain white
1 tsp lime zest
2 TBS lime juice
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

Bring to boil chicken stock, garlic, and butter. Stir in rice, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes. You might need to add a little water during the end of the cooking time. Once the rice is done remove from heat and stir in zest, juice, and cilantro and serve.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Lemon Zucchini Bread

4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
4 eggs
1 cup canola oil
1 1/3 cup sugar
1 cup buttermilk
Juice of 2 lemons (or 2 Tablespoons lemon juice)
Zest of 2 lemons
2 cup grated zucchini

Makes 2 9×5″ loaf. Preheat oven to 35o degrees. Grease two 9×5″ loaf pan; set aside.

In large bowl, blend flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

In medium bowl, beat 2 eggs well, then add canola oil and sugar, and blend well. Then add the buttermilk, lemon juice, and lemon zest and blend everything well.

Add this mixture to the dry ingredients in the large bowl and blend everything together, fold in zucchini and stir until evenly distributed in mixture.

Pour batter into 9×5″ loaf pans and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack and cool completely. While loaf is cooling, you can make the glaze…

Lemon Glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
Juice of 1 lemon (or 2 Tablespoons lemon juice)

In small bowl, mix powdered sugar and lemon juice until well blended. Spoon glaze over cooled loaf. Let glaze set, then serve.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Fresh Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

4 cups heavy cream
2 cups whole milk
2 cups packed fresh mint leaves
4 large eggs
1 1/4 cup sugar
4 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped

In a food processor, combine cream, milk, and mint leaves and process until the mint is finely chopped. Transfer to a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and let stand for 15 minutes (helps to enhance mint flavor).

While waiting the 15 minutes, in a medium bowl beat together eggs and sugar with hand mixture until well combined. After the 15 minutes is up beat in 3-4 laddles of milk and mint mixture into egg and sugar mixture slowly. Then transfer egg and sugar mixture back into the saucepan. Stir slowly and bring to 170 degrees (meat thermometers work great for this).

Pour cream mint mixture threw a sieve or wire strainer into a bowl to remove the mint bits. Cover and chill until very cold. Add in chocolate and freeze in an ice cream maker. May need a few hours in the freezer after that to harden up.

Lemon-Thyme Cookies

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 TBS fresh thyme, chopped
4 tsp lemon zest
2 TBS lemon juice
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
coarse or granulated sugar for topping

Preheat oven to 350. Beat together butter and sugar. Add cardamom, lemon zest, juice, and thyme and mix until combine. Add flour in slowly and mix until smooth.

Form into ball and roll out onto floured surface so that dough is about 1/4 inch thick (putting the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes before rolling our makes it a little easier to work with).

Cut with round cookie cutter and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Sprinkle with thin layer of sugar. Bake for 12-15 minutes until edges are lightly brown. Transfer to wire rack to cool.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Vegatable Kabobs

I personally like the combo of zucchini, mushrooms, and grape tomatoes, but you can add whatever vegatables you like.

- Fill a gallon size ziploc bag with sliced vegatables of your choice.
- Pour in 2-3 cups of your favorite Italian dressing (I like Kraft).
- Marinate in fridge for 8-12 hours.

Soak wooden skewers in water for 30 minutes then load up the veggies on the skewers and grill until tender and grill marks appear, approx 10 minutes turning once.

Grilled Pineapple Pork Chops

One of the thee most delicious meals I have eaten that came from the grill. Really good with fresh pineapple too, just buy a small can of pineapple juice instead.

20 ounces pineapple rings, reserve juice
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup soy sauce
½ teaspoon garlic powder
4-6 pork chops

Mix together the pineapple juice (reserved from the can of pineapple rings), brown sugar, soy sauce, and garlic powder together in a gallon-sized resealable plastic bag until all the sugar is dissolved. Add the pork chops and zip closed. Store in the fridge for 8-12 hours (the longer, the better!).
When ready to cook, preheat grill to medium-high heat. Remove chops from bag and place on grill. Brush pork chops with marinade while they are cooking to let the flavor really soak in.
Grill until pork chops are browned and no longer pink inside (about 6-8 minutes per side- depending on thickness of chops).
While chops are cooking, place pineapple rings on grill and cook until they are warmed through and have slight grill marks on them. Serve pork chops with grilled pineapple on top. 


Steak Marinade Recipe

1 cup Italian Dressing
1/2 cup A1 (Original)
1/2 cup Worcestershire Sauce
1 tsp. lemon juice

Place all your ingredients in a gallon bag or tupperware. Mix well. Add your steak (I prefer Flat Irons because they are tender and fairly inexpensive). Let marinade for 24-36 hours. You can even do 12 hours if you’d like but I think it’s better if it’s for at least 24 hours. Grill and ENJOY!

*Here are a few tips for grilling steak:
 - always bring steak to room temp before grilling
 - grill steak on a super hot preheated grill to start with, then lower tempature
 - rest the steak for 15 minutes before cutting into it!
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