Thursday, July 30, 2009

Nana's Acorn Squash

Acorn Squash?? What is that?? I just happened to get one of the little babies when I picked up my basket at the fruit co-op. I had no idea what to do with it so of course I went to (my favorite recipe website) and did a search for acorn squash. Most of them had you cook for them for an hour in the oven and I did not have the time. I chose this recipe that microwaved the squash and then broiled it for 5 minutes to let the brown sugar and butter melt. I really enjoyed the recipe but my husband ate one bite and ask me if I wanted his (the nice way of saying HE didn't want it). That's OK. He's not a big squash fan and at least he tried a bite or two. If I get an acorn squash again, maybe I'll try another recipe that isn't so sweet. But for the record, I liked it!

Nana's Acorn Squash
  • 1 acorn squash, halved and seeded
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  1. In a microwave safe casserole dish pour enough water to reach 1 1/2 inches in depth. Place the squash halves cut side down in the water, and pierce the skin with a fork a few times. Microwave on high for 15 to 20 minutes. Drain.
  2. Sprinkle each half with salt and pepper to taste. Place 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons brown sugar in each half.
  3. Broil 5 minutes, or until butter is melted. Mix the melted butter and sugar into the flesh, and serve
Here are the results:

Italian Stuffed Zucchini

It's time to use up those ingredients sprouting from the garden! Yay!! So I cook this delicious Italian Stuffed Zucchini one night for the husband. He eats it and really enjoys it. Then he tells me I can never make it again because he doesn't like zucchini, even though it was really good, he just can't get over the fact that it was zucchini. Well...... I told him I WILL be making it again and he WILL like it. I have made it several times since and he has liked it every single time. So there!

Italian Stuffed Zucchini
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1/2 cup spaghetti sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Italian-style dried bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2/3 cup frozen burger-style crumbles (I just leave these out)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Slice each zucchini in half lengthwise. Hollow out the zucchini.
  3. Place the scraped out zucchini into a medium bowl. Combine zucchini, bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, TVP and pasta sauce. Mix well.
  4. Place mixture into hollowed out zucchini. Arrange zucchini in a baking dish, sprinkle with mozzarella cheese; bake for 40 minutes.
Here are the results:

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Garlic Asparagus with Lime

Since I've been posting so many photos without the recipes attached, I though ya'll deserved a good recipe. So here it is:


1 teaspoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 medium shallot, minced (You can use a small amount of red onion instead)
1 bunch fresh asparagus spears, trimmed
1/4 lime, juiced
salt and pepper to taste


Melt butter with olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in garlic and shallots, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in asparagus spears; cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Squeeze lime over hot asparagus, and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to serving plate, and garnish with lime wedges.

Here are the results:

Tuna Nicoise Salad

This recipe from Saving Dinner was probably the most picture perfect recipe I've ever made! Although I'm not posting the recipe, you can basically see what's in the salad. I couldn't find any tuna steaks so I just used salmon and it turned out wonderfully! A deliciously light meal on a hot Summer Day!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Irresistible Peach Smoothie

I had all this fruit from this cool Co-op (I'll write about this later) and I had to use it all up! I received some delicious peaches in my basket and decided I needed to make a smoothie. I didn't have any ice cream so I just used ice instead. It tasted good, but not Jamba Juice good. It did hit the spot on a hot summers day and I have not doubt it would have been better with vanilla ice cream instead of plain ice!

Irresistible Peach Smoothie

2 cup(s) (peeled, pitted and diced ) peaches, about 3 medium
1/2 cup(s) (low-fat) Milk
1 cup(s) vanilla ice cream
1 tablespoon(s) (fresh) lemon juice

peach slices, for garnish, optional

Combine diced peaches, milk, ice cream and lemon juice in a blender; puree until nearly smooth. Pour into glasses and serve immediately garnished with peach slices, if you like.

Here are the results:

Toasted Cousous Salad with Chicken

Another DIVINE recipe from Saving Dinner. There are a few recipes out of this book that I consider 5 stars, meaning to me, they are spectacular, my husband LOVED them,I will make them several times and often, and if I were to have this dish at a restaurant, then I would order it in the future. This recipe fits that description and it was sooooooo yummy!

Toasted Couscous Salad with Chicken

Buy the book and try it out!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Cathy's Banana Bread

When ever I make banana bread, it's gone within two minutes of me removing it from the oven. Literally. Not only does my husband snarf it down, but I usually can't keep my hands off it either! Now, banana bread in general is ALWAYS good but I found a recipe that is to die for, and I haven't ever tried another one since. It's called Cathy's Banana Bread and here it is:

Cathy's Banana Bread
  • 1 cup mashed bananas (I use 3)
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup margarine
  • 1 1/3 cups white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour one 9x13 inch pan, or two 7x3 inch loaf pans.
  2. Combine banana and sour cream. Set aside. In a large bowl, cream together the margarine and sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla and banana mixture. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; stir into the banana mixture. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan or pans.
  3. Bake for 50 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean.
Here's a picture:

Black Bean and Rice Salad

You're probably going to get sick of me posting recipes from Saving Dinner. I went shopping last week so I should have recipes to last me through about two weeks (since I don't cook every night). The Black Bean and Rice Salad was one of the recipes from Saving Dinner. It was vegetarian but it turned out to be a nice,quick, and refreshing on a hot summers night.

Here's a pic:

Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Other Side of Heaven book review

I just finished The Other Side of Heaven by John H. Groberg. I've seen the movie and liked it, but I wanted to read the book because it was on my book club list and people said they really enjoyed it.

This story recalls John H. Groberg's LDS mission experiences in Tonga. It tells of his difficulty integrating into their culture including but not limited to: the language, the tradition, and the food. He also endured many physical challenges that could have taken his life, but with strength from above, he got through it all unharmed.

I really enjoyed reading about the Tongan culture. Many times I laughed out loud because some things sounded so bizarre to me and I can only imagine this Mormon boy from Idaho experiencing this foreign land. It was very eye-opening though on what they value and I believe we could truly benefit from incorporating some of their values into our lives.

I was also amazed at the experiences he recalled about his physical trials. He survived a fierce hurricane that wiped the island out of food. His companion and him suffered from starvation until a boat arrived months later. He tells stories of being thrown into the ocean during storms. It's truly amazing he survived. After reading this book, you come away knowing that he had constant help from God.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Mom's Meatloaf and Cheddar Bay Biscuits

I LOVE my mom's meatloaf. It was what I grew up on and it is still the best I've tasted to date. Making this the other night sent me on a trip down memory lane.
Mom's Meatloaf

1-1 and 1/2 lbs ground meat
1 egg
salt & pepper
dried onion (about 1-2T)
Wheaties or Cornflakes,crushed (about 1/4 to 1/2 C)
grated carrots
1 can tomato sauce (small)

Combine all ingredients except only add 3/4 of the can of tomato sauce. Shape into loaf and spread remaining 1/4 can on top of loaf. Bake @ 350F for at least one hour

Here are the results:

I also made some biscuits. If you've ever been to Red Lobster before, you've had my favorite cheese buscuits. They are cheesy and just plain divine! I was very excited when I came upon this recipe that claimed they tasted just like Red Lobster cheese buscuits! They were very excellent and very easy. Try them!
(I put my changes in bold)
Cheddar Bay Biscuits:
4 cups baking mix (I use bisquick)
3 ounces Cheddar cheese, shredded (I use 1 Cup)
1 1/3 cups water (I use milk instead)

1/2 cup melted butter
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon dried parsley

1.Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2.In a mixing bowl, combine the baking mix, cheese, and water. Mix until dough is firm. Using a small scoop, place dough on the prepared pan.
3.Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden brown.
4.Combine the melted butter, garlic powder, salt, onion powder and parsley. Brush over baked biscuits immediately upon removing from oven.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Almond Mandarin Salad

I always hated being asked to bring salads to get togethers. I could never figure out what to bring. And I did NOT want to bring those yucky grandma salads! I think I've made my weaknesses into strengths by experimenting with salads. This Asian themed salad tasted alot like Wendy's Mandarin Salad but better! I always splurge and buy the pre-cooked bacon because I haven't mastered THAT art yet.

Almond Mandarin Salad

  • 1/2 pound bacon
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry hot mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground paprika
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 head red leaf lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
  • 1 (15 ounce) can mandarin oranges, drained
  • 1 bunch green onion, diced
  • 3/4 cup slivered almonds
  1. In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, cook bacon until evenly brown. Drain, cool, and crumble.
  2. To make the dressing, thoroughly blend the vinegar, honey, dry mustard, celery salt, paprika, and olive oil.
  3. Place lettuce, oranges, green onion, bacon, and almonds in a serving bowl. Toss with dressing and serve.
Here are the results:

Great Greek Pasta

I just have to rave about my favorite cookbook at least once on my blog! Saving Dinner (by Leanne Ely) is the best cookbook I own. There, I said it. The concept is to shop once a week and then make dinners that take less than 30 minutes to prepare. They are usually easy and 98% of the time delicious!

Whenever I have company over, my go-to recipe is Great Greek Pasta from her book. I just found her recipe she published online so I'll link it here.

Great Greek Pasta
Serves 6

1 pound rigatoni, uncooked
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 small red onion, chopped
3 boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 large tomato, chopped
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons oregano

In a large pot, bring water to boil for pasta. Cook till al dente, drain and set aside.

While pasta is cooking, in a large skillet heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add garlic and onion, and saute till translucent, but not brown. Add chicken and cook until chicken is done, about 5 minutes.

Reduce heat to medium low and add tomato, feta, lemon juice and oregano. Add pasta. Stir until completely heated through, salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Per Serving: 482 Calories; 8g Fat; 39g Protein; 61g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 80mg Cholesterol; 224mg Sodium. Exchanges: 4 Grain(Starch); 4 Lean Meat; 1/2 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 1 Fat.

SERVING SUGGESTIONS: Serve with a huge spinach salad. I make mine with baby spinach, thinly sliced red onion, a smattering of raisins, some hard boiled egg if I have it and a balsamic vinaigrette.

VEGETARIANS: Skip the chicken and add a can of drained and rinsed white beans. YUM!

KOSHER: Skip the cheese or chicken.

GLUTEN FREE: Make sure the pasta is gluten free OR you could serve this atop a bed of brown rice.

Here are the results:

Doesn't that look yummy??!!

I'm trying to get people to come over for dinner more often so just give me a shout out! (you may or may not be experimented on just to warn you!)

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Scalloped Cheese Potatoes

I didn't get a picture of the Scalloped Cheese Potatoes I made the other night for dinner but I did try them and they turned out OK. It was a basic recipe for side of easy potatoes. I needed something fairly easy with the ingredients I had on hand, and this did the trick nicely.

Scalloped Cheese Potatoes:

  • 4 pounds potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 (10.75 ounce) cans condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine, divided
  • 2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, divided
  1. In a large bowl, combine potatoes and soup. Layer half of the mixture in a greased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking dish. Dot with half of the butter and sprinkle with half of the cheese. Repeat layers. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees F for 60-70 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.

The Best Barbequed Chicken Ever

Growing up, we basically had one recipe for chicken on the BBQ, but it was a good one. Everybody always asked us for the recipe! Don't be turned off by the lemon-lime carbonated beverage (Sprite or 7-up do nicely). Carbonation tenderizes the meat and makes it so good! We used the Marinade Master for twenty minutes, but without one, simple marinade in the fridge for at least an hour, or even overnight.

The Best Barbequed Chicken Ever
  • 12 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1 cup vegetable oil (I REDUCE THIS TO 1/2 CUP)
  • 2 cups lemon-lime flavored carbonated beverage
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  1. To Make Marinade: In a medium bowl combine the oil, lemon-lime beverage, soy sauce and garlic powder. Stir thoroughly until you have a good mixture.
  2. Put chicken and marinate together in a plastic container and marinate in the refrigerator for 12 to 18 hours (6 to 9 hours if using skinless, boneless chicken breasts) before barbequing.
  3. Barbeque slowly - don't overcook. Turn frequently, basting with marinade with each turn. Cook until meat is no longer pink in the center and juices run clear. Discard any remaining marinade after use.
Here are the delicious results:

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Olive Garden Fettuccine Alfredo

My DH always get Fettuccine Alfredo when we go out to Olive Garden. It's his all-time favorite. Which is why I was really excited when I found this recipe for Fettuccine Alfredo. My husband said he really liked it but I wasn't a big fan. Here's the recipe I used.

Olive Garden Fettuccine Alfredo
8 ounces Cream cheese -- cut in bits
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese -- grated
1/2 cup Butter or margarine
1/2 cup Milk
8 ounces Fettuccine; cook -- drain

In large saucepan combine cream cheese Parmesan, butter and
milk, stirring constantly until smooth. Toss pasta lightly with
sauce, coating well. Leftovers freeze well.

Here's a pic:
Now that I've cleared that up..... My favorite recipe I've tried so far for Fettuccine Alfredo has to be this one. Here's the recipe:
Homemade Chicken Fettuccine :
  • 8 ounces fettuccine pasta
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cut into chunks
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add fettuccine and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
  2. In a large skillet, brown chicken and mushrooms in butter until chicken is cooked through. Season with garlic salt and pepper. Add whipping cream and cook until thick, stirring constantly. Add Parmesan cheese when at desired consistency. Serve over noodles.

Super Simple Salmon

Boy, I have a lot of recipes to catch up on. I was in the mood for something quick and healthy yesterday and stumbled across this recipe for Super Simple Salmon. I followed the recipe exactly and it so so delicious! DH even said he would make it for himself when I'm away. I served the Salmon with brown rice and carrots I steamed above the rice. If you've never tried a rice cooker before, you are totally missing out. I could never get rice right and finally broke down and asked my DH for one for Christmas one year. My rice has turned out perfect ever since. Here's the rice cooker I use. It also has a steaming basket that you can steam vegetables in while cooking rice. I love it. Anyways, here the recipe I used for the salmon.

Super Simple Salmon
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 (6 ounce) salmon
2 tablespoons butter
4 lemon wedges
1. Stir together the garlic powder, basil, and salt in a small bowl; rub in equal amounts onto the salmon fillets.
2. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat; cook the salmon in the butter until browned and flaky, about 5 minutes per side. Serve each piece of salmon with a lemon wedge.

Here are the results:

Sunday, July 5, 2009

4th of July Steaks

My husband got the Marinade Master as a bonus from his employer this year and we've really liked the results so far. You basically put the marinade and the meat together in the container, vacuum out all the air, the Marinade Master spins the container for less than twenty minutes, and you're ready to grill. All the meats have turned out flavorful and tender. Yummy!

We decided to try out the Steak Marinade at because it had such high reviews. It turned out pretty good. My husband said it was not a five star recipe, but overall it was tasty.

Steak Marinade
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar or white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • pepper
  1. Mix all ingredients together and place steaks into freezer bag with marinade, preferably overnight.
  2. The original recipe used balsamic vinegar.Seems I never had that on hand so I just used white and listed that in the recipe, but balsamic is definitely better.
Here are the results: