Monday, July 26, 2010

Sausage Zucchini Pasta

5 stars

We plant a garden every year.  So, this time of year we have a lot of zucchini. Last year, we had so much that we couldn't even give it all away!  I came up with this recipe just for our garden.

Sausage Zucchini Pasta
Prep Time:  15 min.  Cook Time:  20 min.

1/2 lb. sausage  (I use sweet Italian sausage)
2 T. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 1/2 t. minced garlic
1/2 large red onion, diced
1 Large zucchini or 2 small
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
1 T. tomato paste
1 t. Italian Herb mixture
Shredded Parmesan Cheese


Pour 1 T. of extra virgin olive oil into a saute pan.  Over med-high heat add the sausage (casing removed) and break into small bite size pieces as you are cooking. Cook until no longer pink.

Set aside to drain the grease.

In the same saute pan add  1 T. of extra virgin olive oil, diced red onion and garlic.  Saute until onion is clear (around 3-4 minutes).

At this point I remove the onions and garlic and run it through my mini food processor.  If my daughter sees an onion in her food she won't eat it.  If this doesn't apply to you, then skip this step.

Add sausage back to the pan.  Add the zucchini, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste (I use the paste that comes in a tube so nothing is wasted), and Italian seasonings.

Let simmer until you pasta is done. Sprinkle with shredded Parmesan cheese and serve.

For the pasta I have used all different kinds, it really depends what I have in the pantry.  On this day, we had rotini.



Friday, July 2, 2010

Easy Summer Supper

Here in Michigan it has been window weather, high 70's, a nice breeze. It's been wonderful.  Yesterday I made dinner inside and our house turned into a hot box, so today I knew that I needed to find something to cook outside. Add to that to the fact we are going away for a week and I needed to rid our house of all our veggies, I came up with this meal.  It was so good.  My husband went back for seconds and even my picky eater son ate it!

On the menu:
Grilled Chicken
Grilled Zucchini
Grilled Avocado
Grilled Romaine Lettuce

Easy Grilled Chicken:
Sprinkle both sides of the chicken breast with Jane's Krazy Mixed-Up Seasoning.  Grill until done, about 9-10 minutes each side depending on your grill.

Grilled Zucchini:
In the morning, cut 2 medium zucchinis in thick slices.  In a baggy place zucchini with 1/2 cup of Italian Dressing, 1 t.  of Italian Seasoning mix, and 1/2 t. garlic powder.

Place on grill and leave for 3-4 minutes.  Turn 180 degrees and grill for 3-4 more minutes.  Flip and grill until soft in the middle, about 5 minutes more depending on your grill.

Serve with ranch dressing.

Grilled Avocado:
Chill your avocado overnight in the fridge.  Right before grilling, cut in half, remove seed, and sprinkle with extra virgin olive oil and sea salt.

Place on grill for 5 minutes or until the flesh is lightly browned.

Grilled Romaine Lettuce:
Cut in half.  Sprinkle with extra virgin olive oil and sea salt.  Grill for 5 minutes or until lightly browned.


Monday, May 24, 2010

Bow Ties with Chicken and Cream Sauce

5 stars

This is a long time favorite of mine.  I was given this recipe from a coworker years ago on a piece of paper that I still have today.  It will be nice to have the ingredients on the internet now so if I forget what to buy I can use my phone to check now. :)

here is the hand written recipe: 


  • 1 1/2 - 2lbs boneless chicken breast
  • 1 lg white onion sliced/diced
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 sm can sliced mushrooms
  • 1 can italian style peeled tomatoes
  • 6 tbsp heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cup white cooking wine
  • salt & parsley to taste
  • 16oz cooked bow tie pasta
  • combine butter & olive oil in lg skillet on med - high heat, fry chicken until golden brown (pre heat oven to 350 degrees)
  • set chicken aside, saute the onion and garlic until tender, add peppers and mushrooms.
  • saute for about 5 minutes then add the tomatoes, until warm.
  • put veggies in lg casserole dish, put the chicken on top of the veggies. 
  • bring wine to boil and pour over the chicken. 
  • cover and bake for about 50 minutes.
  • add olives and mix well then add the heavy cream. 
  • bake another 10 minutes or so
  • serve immediately.


Monday, April 26, 2010

Blueberry Flax Pancakes

4.5 Stars

I have been in the mood for homemade pancakes, so I went on the search for a good recipe.  After reading over at AllRecipes, I decided to combine a few recipes and make my own!

You can substitute any fruit you like or just leave it out all together. My husband does not like blueberries, so his were "plain".  I added flax seed meal to the recipe because I really like the taste, and flax is really good for your body.  Read about it here.  It has a slightly nutty taste, so if you don't like that, leave it out. It did not change the texture of the pancake.

3/4 c. Milk
2T White Vinegar
1 c. flour
1 T. Flax Seed Meal
2 T sugar
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda (I used 1 t. in my recipe this morning by mistake and it was fine)
1/2 t. salt
1 egg (beaten)
1/2 t. vanilla extract
2 T butter, melted
Cooking Spray
1 c. blueberries (I used frozen that I thawed overnight)

In a small bowl, combine milk and vinegar. Set aside.

In a large bowl sift flour, flax seed meal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Stir egg, vanilla, and melted butter in the milk mixture.  Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients until well mixed.

Spray skillet or griddle pan with cooking spray.  Heat on med/high.

Poor 1/4 c. batter onto the griddle.  Place the blueberries on top of the poured batter.  Wait until they start to bubble and flip.


Monday, April 19, 2010

Texas Hold-em Cookies {Joint Recipe}

Its time for another joint recipe from Jeannie and Andrea.  Last month we did the Oven fried Chicken as our joint recipe.  This time we thought it would be good to do a desert dish.

Jeannie: 5 stars- "OMG These are so good."  and "OMG Thanks for the cookies, they are the best cookies I have ever eaten in my whole life"... are a couple of things my neighbors told me after I gifted them with some of these wonderful little treats.  I have to say, that I was a bit sceptical about this recipe to start off with.. I realized it only had 1 cup of flour in it.. I thought it had to be a typo or something.. but I made this recipe with no substitues or changes.. and was rewarded dearly!  The trick is to no over cook them.. I cooked them for exactly 20 minutes and let them cool. They came out very soft and buttery! I guess I did do one thing different.. I didnt use chocolate chips, but instead  I used chunks.. I thought they better fit the TEXAS name.. (everything is bigger in Texas) LOL By the way, you all know I live in Georgia, but I am from Texas, Corpus Christi actually is where I was born.  So this recipe was kinda special to me, just because of the name.. my family will appreciate it anyway! :)

Andrea's Review: 4 Stars

I was excited to try this recipe. I haven't made cookies in a long time so my family (and neighbors!) were looking forward to them as well.  I'm wondering if i did something wrong to these cookies because they didn't turn out like Jeannie's cookies.

After mixing the recipe as written I realized that I didn't have any chocolate chips.  So, I headed to the corner market and they didn't have any either.  Not wanting to head to the grocery store on a Sunday night, I decided to get 3 Hershey bars and just crumble them up instead of using the chips.  I ended up using only 2, but these really needed the 3.

There just wasn't enough chocolate.  Also, we usually don't like nuts in our cookies, so I only used 1/2 c. of pecan chips.

Once again, the nuts tasted great in these, so next time I'm using the full 2 cups.

With all that said, these are VERY sweet, and I don't think mine were completely "done".  They never got fluffy and stayed completely flat.  Having one this morning, they are a bit better, but still, really, really sweet.

I am going to make these cookies again, only this time I'm waiting until my sous chef is in bed, because I feel like I did something wrong with these.

Try them and let us know what you think!

Texas Cookies

1 Cup Flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 cups pecans or walnuts
Chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Line a small jelly roll pan or small cookie sheet with foil and butter. (I used non stick foil no butter)

Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. (I did sift these too)
Cream together the butter and sugar and beat in the eggs, one at a time. Add the vanilla. Add the flour mixture. Mix well.

Spread the mixture evenly in the pan. Sprinkle with nuts and chocolate chips. Bake for about 20 minutes or until cookies are almost set. Do Not Over Bake.

Remove from oven and let cool. Slide cookies and foil out of pan on to cutting board. Cut into squares

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Wheat Pizza Crust

4 Stars

A few months ago I started collecting pizza crust recipes.  I have them written on small scraps of paper and most have the website or person who gave them to me. This one does not. So, if you recognize it from a blog or recipe site, please let me know and I'll give credit where credit is due!

I've made this a few times and here are the things I've learned. This recipe is enough to make 2 thin crust pizzas or 1 medium crust pizza.  You need to bake it for around 5 minutes before adding your toppings if you want a crispy crust.  When you think it is done, cook for 3-5 more minutes to give the middle more time to cook.


2 cups whole wheat flour
3/4 c. white flour (I use unbleached white)
1 t. salt
2 T. olive oil
1/4 t. sugar
1 envelope active dry yeast
1 c. warm water

Add yeast and sugar to 1 c. warm water.  Stir gently and let sit for 8 minutes.  The yeast will be bubbly.

Mix whole wheat flour, white flour, and salt.  Add olive oil.

Pour yeast mixture and combine.

Knead for 5 to 10 minutes. Well kneaded dough will be smooth and elastic.  If you press your finger into the dough, the mark should spring back.

Pour a small amount of olive oil into a bowl.  Place dough in the bowl and turn once.  Cover the bowl with saran wrap or a clean towel and let rise for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

If making 2 thin crust, then cut in half.  I freeze one half for a later date.

Roll out to desired thickness.  Don't worry about getting a perfect circle or rectangle. Concentrate more on the thickness being even across the entire crust.  Bake at 450 degrees for 5-8 minutes.

Add toppings (I used green pepper, olives, and mushrooms, mozzarella cheese, cheddar cheese, and Italian seasonings) and bake for 15-18  minutes (thin crust) or 15-20 minutes (for thicker crusts).


Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Chipotle Chicken Wrap

4.5 stars

I agree with Jeannie about running a food blog. A lot of my e-mails start with "Hey, I have this recipe I want you to try..." these days. I really enjoy getting those e-mails too, so if you have something, send it my way!

Anther thing that happens is that everything new that I try at a restaurant I think "How could I make this at home?" or "What's in this?"

Well, this happened to me on Saturday when I was at Chili's with some friends for a birthday lunch. I ordered their new Santa Fe Chicken Wrap, and after my first bite I knew I would have to try this at home.

Something that I do that saves me time when I make meals like this is that I cook my chicken ahead of time. I'll thaw out more chicken than I'll need for a dish, cook it all up and then put some aside in the fridge for quick meals later in the week. It saves so much time!


1 Pkg. Tortilla Wraps
1 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast
1 Avocado, diced
1 Tomato, diced
1 cup Mexican Shredded Cheese
1 ear of corn or 1 can of corn
1 1/2 cups Romaine Lettuce
2 T Mayonnaise
Chipotle Pepper Seasoning
2 t. Olive Oil


Lightly salt and pepper clean, dry chicken breast. Add olive oil to skillet. Over med/high heat, cook chicken breast until no longer pink and juices run clear. Place to the side to cool.

In a small bowl mix 2 T. mayonnaise with chipotle pepper seasoning. This seasoning is very spicy. I added a little at a time until I found the perfect taste for us. We like things on the spicy side, so I added about 1/8 t. for us.

Once chicken is cool, slice on a diagonal.

On one tortilla wrap place diced avocado, diced tomato, cheese, corn, and lettuce. Add chicken.

You can add the mayonnaise mixture to the inside of the wrap or use it on the side as a dip. I like it on the side so I can add or take away as I need it.

Roll the tortilla. Cut in the middle on a diagonal.



Mexican Nacho Casserole

4.5 stars

A couple of things that happen when you start a food blog, one is you spend countless hours searching for appealing easy family recipes and the other thing that happens is your family and friends offer up their family favorites.
This casserole dish was given to me from a friend. My family loves Mexican food, so I was pretty sure they would like this dish. I should really consider making more casseroles. I just never think to make them. I know there are so many of them, Im pretty sure that I have a casserole cookbook too.

We really liked this dish, I did change a few things when making this. I decided not to add the can of soup, but rather I used chili pepper seasoning and add a bit of flour and milk to make it somewhat creamy. I also added some cumin spice as well. My kids loved all the Doritos in this dish too. OH the other thing I added was some corn. I was not all that happy about the nachos on the bottom, they seemed kinda mushy, but no one else said anything about it, so maybe it was just me.. This is why I gave this dish 4.5 stars. I will make this again for sure.

Here is the original recipe, you can decide to change it up like I did.


  • 1 12 oz bag of Doritos
  • 1 medium to large onion chopped
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 2 can Rotel tomatoes
  • 2lbs ground beef
  • 1 bag of shredded cheese


  1. Brown ground beef with onion and drain, add the rotel tomatoes, can of chicken soup to the beef slowly cook while preparing chips.
  2. Crush chips in the bag and cover the bottom of casserole dish with chips.Save some chips for topping. Pour meat mixture over chips and top with cheese and more chips. Bake at 350 for 30minutes.
  3. You can substitute ground beef with chicken.


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Monkey Bread with Apples


I think the best part about this dessert was the bits of apples.. They were so yummy and I should have put more than I did.  I will be sure to make this again, very easy and yummy!


  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 (12 ounce) cans refrigerated biscuits, separated and cut into quarters
  • 3 apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
  • 1/2 cup margarine
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar

  1. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a tube pan.
  2. Combine the sugar and cinnamon together in a large sealable plastic bag; add the biscuit dough in batches of 6 to 8 pieces and shake to coat. Alternate layers of the chopped apple and the coated dough pieces in the prepared pan.
  3. Melt the margarine in a small saucepan over medium heat; stir the brown sugar into the melted margarine. Bring to a boil; cook at a boil for 1 minute, remove from heat, and pour over the apple and biscuit layers.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven until cooked through, about 35 minutes. Allow the bread to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before turning out onto a plate to serve.


Nice Healthy Snack - Roasted Cauliflower


Glad I only made one head of this.. I would of ate it all by myself.. well I did eat it all by myself, but 2 heads would of been a bit much.  I really like grilled or roasted veggies a lot.  Cauliflower is no exception.   This recipe is super easy and you can use this basic recipe for roasting or grilling other veggies as well.


  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large head cauliflower, separated into florets
  • salt and black pepper to taste

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F Grease a large casserole dish or a cookie sheet. I used non-stick foil.
  2. Place the olive oil and garlic in a large resealable bag. Add cauliflower, and shake to mix. Pour into the prepared pan.
  3. Bake for 25 minutes, stirring halfway through. broil for 3 to 5 minutes, until golden brown.


Japanese Zucchini and Onions

5 stars

Just like at the Japanese Steak house.. Yum yum! I actually made 4 Asian/Japanese type dishes to go along with this, but they ended up being so much prep work and cooking them all at once was a bit of work, so getting photos of everything didn't happen.. LOL  I ended up making this recipe, plus Terriyaki Chicken, Shrimp, Fried Rice and Soy/Ginger Noodles.. Everything was fantastic..

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 medium zucchinis, cut into thin strips
  • 2 tablespoons teriyaki sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
  • ground black pepper

  1. Warm the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in onions, and cook 5 minutes. Add zucchini, and cook, stirring, about 1 minute. Stir in teriyaki sauce, soy sauce, and sesame seeds. Cook until zucchini are tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in ground pepper, and serve immediately.


Friday, March 26, 2010

Bran Flax Muffins

4.5 Stars

I am forever on the hunt for healthy snacks for my kids. I would rather make them something than pull something out of a box, but some days I just don't have time. That is when I started looking for muffin recipes. I thought muffins could be made ahead of time and pulled out when needed.

I found these on Allrecipes and didn't have high hopes for them. I mean, they got good reviews, but would my kids like them? Would they taste like cardboard with all that flaxseed? I decided to give it a try and I figured my husband and I could eat them if the kids didn't like them.

They are amazing! I mean, so good. Moist, great flavor, and fairly dense, so not little crumbs all over the place.

They didn't get 5 stars because it took a lot of prep. work. So, you may want to make these during nap time or after the kids are in bed.

3/4 c. all purpose flour
3/4 c. all wheat flour
3/4 c. oat bran
3/4 c. ground flaxseed
1 c. brown sugar
2 t. baking soda
1 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
2 t. ground cinnamon
3/4 c. skim milk (I used 2%)
2 eggs, beaten
1 t. vanilla
2 T. vegetable oil
2 c. shredded carrots (I did the smallest shred on mine)
2 apples, peeled, cored, and shredded (I used the largest shred on mine)
1/2 c. raisins (I forgot these and mine were still fine)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1. Mix flour, flax, oat bran, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Add the milk, eggs, vanilla, and oil. Mix just until blended.

2. Stir in carrots, apples, and raisins.

3. Lightly grease muffin cups. Fill prepared muffin cups 2/3 full w/ batter.

4. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. I had to cook mine for close to 25 minutes before they were done, so make sure you check these before turning the oven off.



Thursday, March 25, 2010

Sugar Biscuits

4 Stars

We love strawberries in this house! Now that spring is around the corner and strawberries are on sale 3 for $5, I knew it was time to make my sugar biscuits. They have a slightly sweet taste, but still taste like a biscuit.

I found this recipe last year around this time, but I can't seem to find it again. It is not my original recipe, so if you find it on the web, let me know and I'll post a link.

The reason these get 4 stars is that they must be eaten the same day they are made. They do not last over night.

2 c. flour
3 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1/3 c. sugar
1/3 c. butter
1/3 t. baking soda
1 c. buttermilk
1 well beaten egg

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

1. Stir flour, baking powder, salt, and 1/3 c. sugar. Work butter into the flour mixture with fingers (like making a pie crust).

2. Mix baking soda with buttermilk (I just add the baking soda to the buttermilk in the measuring cup.). Add buttermilk and egg to flour mixture. Blend LIGHTLY.

3. Place dough on floured surface and knead lightly. Dough will be crumbly at first, be careful not to over knead.

4. Roll dough 3/4 inch think. Cut into rounds and place on well greased baking sheet.

5. Brush tops with butter and sprinkle lightly with sugar.

Bake at 450 degrees for 10-12 minutes. My oven takes exactly 10 minutes.

To make my strawberry shortcake I butter the inside of the biscuits lightly, add crushed and chopped strawberries, top with whipped cream, and add the other side of the biscuits. So good!!


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Chicken Fried Steak Fingers

5 stars

My family really loves chicken fried steak, but it was fun to do this little twist to this meal. These are very yummy and even the kids like them, of course not with gravy, they like theirs with ketchup, just like with everything they eat.  LOL

Oh Also, my son (age 14 soon to be 15) is the one that made this dinner for our family! With my supervision of course.

  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
  • 1/2 pound cube steak, cut into thin strips
  • oil for frying enough to cover steak fingers 1/2 way
  1. In a shallow bowl, combine egg and milk. In another shallow bowl, combine flour and seasonings. Dip beef in egg mixture, then in flour mixture. Dip again in egg mixture and coat with flour mixture. Let stand for 2 minutes.
  2. In a skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Place a few pieces of meat in the skillet at a time. Fry until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Drain on paper towels.

Ok, you probably need the recipe to make the white pepper gravy too.

  • 2 tablespoons margarine
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups milk
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tsp pepper
  1. In a stock pot, over medium high heat, bring to boil 3 cups of milk.
  2. Reduce heat to medium heat.
  3. In a large measuring cup or bowl, add 1 cup of cold milk and the flour, wisk until there is no lumps.
  4. Pour your flour mixture into boiling milk, stirring constantly, until mixture is thick and bubbly and to desired consistency. Add salt and pepper. 


Friday, March 19, 2010

Two-Tators Shephards Pie

5 stars

We love shepherd's pie, but but I wanted to find something just a bit different to do with this dish.  I think I found it.. It had great flavor, which sometimes this dish is a bit bland for me.  I used cream of chicken soup, because my family does not like mushrooms.. but I prefer the cream of mushroom soup, but any cream soup will work in this dish. Also any veggies will work as well and I only use frozen.. they taste so much better. This time I used a Mexican seasoned frozen veggie mix and it gave everything a great flavor.  Feel free to mix it up. But most often we use green beans.  Oh and any cheeses are fine too, I used mozzarella tonight, but usually I use mild cheddar.

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream soup (chicken or mushroom)
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • salt/pepper to taste
  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • 6 cups frozen Tater Tots (or enough to make one layer on the bottom of dish
  • 2 cups frozen veggies thawed
  • 3 cups Hot mashed potatoes (real or box is fine)
  • 1 cup shredded cheese
  1. In a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink add garlic and onion; drain. 
  2. Stir in soup, salt and pepper. 
  3. Place Tater Tots in a greased baking dish. 
  4. Top with beef mixture and veggies. 
  5. Spread mashed potatoes over the top. 
  6. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees F for 40-45 minutes or until heated through. 
  7. When there is about 20 minutes left sprinkle top with cheese.


Butternut Squash Fries (baked)

s5 stars

These are so yummy! I love homemade fries from potatoes, sweet potatoes.. so thought I should try this too.. I was asked the other day if I had any butternut squash recipes.. and come to think of it,, nope I didnt.. so I wanted to try this one.. If you have a favorite recipe with butternut squash.. Send them to I would love to try them out.

Oh and did I say, these are super easy to make.. the only thing that I recommend is having a very sharp knife to cut these with.. thank goodness i have sharp knives now.


  • 1 (2 pound) butternut squash, halved and seeded cut into shapes of fries
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 gallon size zip lock bag
  • salt to taste
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
  2. Use a sharp knife to carefully cut away the peel from the squash or use a super sharp potato peeler. Cut the squash into sticks like French fries. Put olive oil, your squash sticks and salt into bag and shake making sure each are coated with olive oil. Arrange squash pieces on a baking sheet.
  3. Bake for 20 - 30 minutes in the preheated oven, turning the fries over halfway through baking. Fries are done when they are starting to brown on the edges and become crispy.