Sunday, March 27, 2011

Super Easy Chicken Manacotti

1 Jar spaghetti sauce (25.5 oz)
1 tsp garlic salt
1 1/2 lbs chicken breast, cubed
14 uncooked manicotti shells
1 can (2 1/2 oz) sliced olives
2 cups shredded mozzerella cheese

Spread 1/3 of the spaghetti sauce in a 9X13 baking dish. Sprinkle garlic salt on the chicken. Cube the chicken and don't cook it. Insert into uncooked manicotti shells, stuffing each end if necessary. Place shells in dish. Pour remaining sauce over the opt. Sprinkle olives and cheese on top. (I actually skip the olives, because it's always sounded a little weird.) Cover and store overnight in your fridge. (This sounds good for Sunday, right?) Bake the next day for about 1 hour.

Spinach Stuffed Shells

12-16 Large Shell Noodles, cooked about 8 minutes until pliable, but NOT mushy.
1 cup cottage cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 cup mozzarella cheese
1 10 oz. pkg spinach thawed and pressed dry
2 cloves garlic, smooshed
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 egg

Spray cooking spray on the bottom of a 9X13 pan and pour some of the sauce in. Mix everything except sauce and spoon into the shells. Pour the remaining sauce over the top. Add more cheese (cuz everything is better with more cheese) and bake at 350 for 45 minutes.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Broccoli Madness Salad

1 bunch uncooked broccoli, cut into florets
1/2 cup crumbled cooked bacon
1/2 cup cashews
1/3 cup raisins
1/4 cup chopped red onion


1 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup sugar
2 T. apple cider vinegar

Mix the broccoli, bacon, cashews, raisins and onions in a large bowl. In a second bowl, beat dressing ingredients together gently until smooth.

About 10 minutes before serving, toss the salad with the dressing to allow flavors to meld. Serve on chilled salad dishes.

Strawberry Glaze Cake

1 butter cake mix
2 Tbsp flour
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
2/3 cup frozen sweetened sliced strawberry
1 small box strawberry jello

In a large bowl combine cake mix, flour, water, oil & eggs.  Beat with an electric mixer for 2 minutes.  Add frozen strawberries & strawberry jello.  Beat well.   Pour into 2 greased & floured 8 or 9 inch round cake pans.  Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.  Cool 10 minutes in the pan & the turn out & cool completely on a wire rack.  Frost between layer, sides & top of cakes with strawberry glaze.

Strawberry Glaze
1 stick butter, softened
2 cups powder sugar
2/3 cup sliced frozen strawberries with juice
1/2 tsp salt

In a medium bowl cream together butter, sugar & salt.  Whip until light & fluffy.  Beat in strawberries & juice.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

White Bean Salad

2 1/2 cups cooked white beans (drained and rinsed if using canned)*
3 large stalks celery, sliced
1 small onion, diced
1 small green or red pepper, diced
1/2 cup black olives, drained
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
3 tablespoons olive oil
5 tablespoons white vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
1 pinch paprika

Combine beans, celery, onion, bell pepper, olives and tomatoes in a large bowl and mix well. Mix remaining ingredients together and pour over bean mixture. Toss well, cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours to allow flavors to mix. Salt and pepper to taste.

This makes a big salad, so you might want to cut it in half. Otherwise, you'd better really like it, because you'll be eating it for a week.

White Bean Chili with Salsa Verde

-Salsa Verde-

¾ pound ground raw turkey (may use pork or chicken)
½ cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
3 cups water
1 15-ounce can great northern or white kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 4-ounce can diced green chilies
2 teaspoons instant chicken bouillon granules
1 teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ cup water
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese (4 ounces)

5 or 6 fresh tomatillos (6 to 8 ounces), husks removed, and finely chopped, or one 13-ounce can tomatillos, drained, rinsed, and finely chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
2 serrano or jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped
1 tablespoon snipped fresh cilantro or parsley
1 teaspoon finely shredded lime peel
1 Tablespoon lime juice (to taste)
½ teaspoon sugar

1. For Salsa Verde, in a medium mixing bowl, stir together tomatillos, onion, serrano or jalapeno peppers, cilantro or parsley, lime peel, and sugar. Cover and chill up to 2 days or freeze up to 1 month; thaw before using.

2. In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, cook ground turkey, onion, and garlic until turkey is no longer pink and onion is tender. Drain fat from pan if necessary.

3. Stir in the 3 cups water, beans, undrained chili peppers, chicken bouillon granules, cumin, and pepper. Bring to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer, covered for 30 minutes.

4. In a small bowl stir together the 1/4 cup water and the flour. Add flour mixture to the chili mixture. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir for 1 minute more. Top each serving with some of the shredded cheese and the Salsa Verde.

White Beans

I'm back with more things to do with the beans you make yourself! First of all, a super easy, no fail, anyone can do it recipe for making white beans.
White Beans (or Canelli, or Navy, or White Kidney)
1 lb dry white beans (any variety)
6 cups water
3 chicken bullion cubes
1 tsp. garlic salt

Combine all ingredients in a crock pot and cook on high for 4-5 hours. You might need to check them after around 3 hours and add a little more water (1/2-1 cup) if they seem a little dry. Voila! You're done!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Zucchini Fries

Here's another tricky way to feed your kiddos their veggies and use up some leftover zucchini!


* Canola or olive oil cooking spray

* 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
* 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
* 2 tablespoons cornmeal
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
* 1 1/2 pounds zucchini, (about 3 medium), cut into 1/2-by-3-inch sticks or smaller
* 2 large egg whites, lightly beaten


1. Preheat oven to 475°F. Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray.
2. Combine flours, cornmeal, salt and pepper in a large sealable plastic bag. Dip zucchini in egg white, shake in the bag to coat, and arrange, not touching, on the baking sheet. Coat all exposed sides with cooking spray.
3. Bake on the center rack for 7 minutes. Turn the zucchini and coat any floury spots with cooking spray. Continue to bake until golden and just tender, about 5 minutes more. Serve hot.  These are really yummy dipped in ranch dressing.

Pink Popcorn

 Around 15 Cups of popped popcorn (I highly recommend an air popper)

2 cups sugar
1/2 small box red Jell-O gelatin powder
1/2 cup water
1 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. baking soda

Put the popped popcorn in a large bowl, carefully picking out any unpopped kernels. (I do this by popping into one bowl, then lightly scooping out the popcorn with my hands into another, leaving the unpopped kernels in the bottom.) Preheat the oven to 250F. Line one or two rimmed baking sheets with foil.

In a medium saucepan (with room for the mixture to at least double in size), bring the sugar, Jell-O, water and butter to a boil. Once fully boiling, cook for 4 minutes without stirring, swirling the bowl occasionally. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla and soda. Pour over the popcorn and toss with tongs to coat completely. Spread out onto the baking sheets and bake, stirring once or twice, for an hour. Set aside to cool.

Cheesecake Dip

1 pkg cream cheese
1 stick butter
1/2 cup powdered or regular sugar (powdered is better)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix cream cheese and butter with mixer until soft.
Add powdered and brown sugar, mix again.
Add chocolate chips and vanilla.
That is it! Serve with teddy graham crackers.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Confetti Chicken

Applebee's has a great Weight Watchers Menu. A few years ago I ordered the Confetti Chicken and as I was enjoying it, I realized that I could make it at home. I don't mean to brag, but I think mine is better.

Confetti Chicken
4 Chicken Breasts
2-4 tbsp Olive Oil
2-4 tbsp lime juice
Garlic Powder, Salt and Pepper to taste

Mix the wet ingredients in a container or ziplock bag. Marinate the chicken for a few hours. Grill, bake or pan fry the chicken, whatever your preference.

Mix about 1 1/2 cups black bean salsa (below) with a drained can of corn. When the chicken is cooked, top with a little bit of cheddar cheese and some of the salsa mix. We don't serve ours with the rice, but you could make some rice to go with it.

Black Bean Salsa II

Black Bean Salsa
2 cups black beans
2 cups chopped tomato
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1/2 cup chopped red onion
4-5 minced garlic cloves
2 tbsp. chopped cilantro
1 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar

Mix and refrigerate a few hours to let flavors blend. Serve with tortilla chips.

Super Healthy Black Bean Soup

Black Bean Soup
8 oz. Ham or Canadian Bacon
2 14oz. Cans Chicken Broth
1 Large Clove Garlic, chopped
2 Medium Carrots, grated
1 Large Onion, chopped
2 Medium Stalks Celery, chopped
1 tsp red pepper
1 tsp dried oregano
30 oz. Black Beans (a little less than 4 cups)

Cut up the ham, onion and garlic. Cook over medium heat until the onion is tender (about 5 minutes). Stir in broth, carrot, celery and spices. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat, cover and simmer about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, divide the beans into equal parts. Mash half with a fork or potato masher. Add mashed and whole beans to the broth and heat through. Serve with sour cream, lime wedges, tomatoes, cilantro and cheese.

Black Beans

Do you want to feel like a rock star? Who doesn't??? I've recently started making my own beans, using the dry ones that you buy in the big can at the cannery. It's so easy and makes me feel like such a Susie Homemaker. Here's the recipe I use for black beans. We put them in soup, salsa, Cafe Rio copy salads, or serve them as a side dish.

Black Beans
1 cup dry black beans
3 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons diced green chilis
1/4 cup diced white onion
1/4 cup picante sauce
1 tablespoon oregano
1 teaspoon each garlic, chili powder and salt
1 chicken bullion cube
1/2 tsp pepper

Put all ingredients in a crock pot and cook on high for around 5 hours. Check it occasionally because sometimes it needs more water. I usually double the batch and freeze half of it.

Southwest Eggrolls

I love the southwest eggrolls at chili's. This is the closest recipe that I have been able to find and is ALWAYS a big hit!

TIPS- I always make them the night before and freeze them, that helps to keep their shape. Also- I don't deep fry them, I bake them in the oven at a high temp.


2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 skinless, boneless chicken breast half

2 tablespoons minced green onion

2 tablespoons minced red bell pepper

1/3 cup frozen corn kernels

1/4 cup black beans, rinsed and drained

2 tablespoons frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained

2 tablespoons diced jalapeno peppers

1/2 tablespoon minced fresh parsley

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1/3 teaspoon salt

1 pinch ground cayenne pepper

3/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

5 (6 inch) flour tortillas

1 quart oil for deep frying
***I bake them in the oven***


1.Rub 1 tablespoon vegetable oil over chicken breast. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, cook chicken approximately 5 minutes per side, until meat is no longer pink and juices run clear. Remove from heat and set aside.

2.Heat remaining 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in green onion and red pepper. Cook and stir 5 minutes, until tender.

3.Dice chicken and mix into the pan with onion and red pepper. Mix in corn, black beans, spinach, jalapeno peppers, parsley, cumin, chili powder, salt and cayenne pepper. Cook and stir 5 minutes, until well blended and tender. Remove from heat and stir in Monterey Jack cheese so that it melts.

4.Wrap tortillas with a clean, lightly moist cloth. Microwave on high approximately 1 minute, or until hot and pliable.

5.Spoon even amounts of the mixture into each tortilla. Fold ends of tortillas, then roll tightly around mixture. Secure with toothpicks. Arrange in a medium dish, cover with plastic, and place in the freezer. Freeze at least 4 hours.

6.In a large, deep skillet, heat oil for deep frying to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Deep fry frozen, stuffed tortillas 10 minutes each, or until dark golden brown. Drain on paper towels before serving.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Cream Puffs

1 C. Water
1/2 C. Butter
1 C. Flour
4 Eggs

1 Small Instant Pudding Packet, Vanilla and chocolate are the classic choice but any other kind would be fun.
1 C. Milk
1&1/2 C. Whipped Topping

Preheat oven to 400. In a sauce pan bring water and butter, to a rolling boil. Stir in flour vigorously. Remove from heat and mix in eggs. Spray a cookie sheet. Drop 1/4 C. of the mixture about 3 inches apart. Bake until golden brown, about 35 minutes. Let cool. Break each puff open leaving part attached, like a hamburger bun. Pull out a little of the inside and spoon in a scoop of filling. Replace the tops and dust with powdered sugar. You can also add some sliced strawberries inside or drizzle the outside with chocolate for a little added fancy.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Chicken Parmesan


8 chicken breasts
2 eggs
salt and pepper
2 Tbsp water
½ c oil
½ cube butter
parmesan cheese
8 slices mozzarella
pasta sauce
1-2 Tbsp olive oil

Preheat oven to 375. Pound out chicken thin. Toss chicken in flour seasoned with salt and pepper. Shake off excess, dip in combined beaten egg and water. Press on breadcrumbs. Heat butter and oil in large frying pan. Cook chicken until golden. Place in ovenproof dish. Top chicken with mozzarella, then pasta sauce, then parmesan. Drizzle with olive oil. Bake uncovered 25 minutes.

Glazed Salmon


¼ c syrup
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 clove minced garlic
¼ tsp garlic salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1 Lb salmon

Mix all ingredients. Coat salmon and marinate 30 minutes. Cook at 400 for 20 minutes.

Spinach Dip


1 pkg Knorr veg soup mix
1 c mayo
8oz chopped water chestnuts
16oz sour cream
3 chopped green onions
1 box frozen chopped spinach (thawed and drained)

Mix all ingredients together.

Serve with cubed French bread, vegetables, or Ritz crackers.

My favorite Oatmeal Cookie Recipe

Cream together:

1/2 c. butter
1 2 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar


1/2 tsp vanilla
1 egg

Mix well.

Then add:
1 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt


Then add:
1 cup oatmeal, uncooked
1 cup coconut

You can add chocolate chips or raisins if you'd like too.

Bake for 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees.

Marinated Flank Steak

This is a great Body for Life recipe. Super yummy flavor!

1/3 c. lite soy sauce
1 T. balsamic vinegar
1 T. olive oil
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1 1/2 lb. flank steak

In a large ziploc bag, combine all ingredients except steak. Using a fork, pierce flank steak several times on both sides and place in Ziploc bag with marinade. Seal bag and refrigerate for a least an hour. ( I do it overnight.)

Place steak on broiler pan and broil 3 inches from heat source fro about 6 minutes on each side. Slice against grain into 1/8-inch slices.

Banana Muffins w/ a Crumble Topping

The same friend that gave me the recipe for Libby's blessing day casserole brought these to it. It was such a yummy day thanks to Betsy!(who won't post her fantastic recipes so I post them for her and get to claim them as my own:)
I honestly cannot get enough of these.

* 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 3 bananas, mashed
* 3/4 cup white sugar
* 1 egg, lightly beaten
* 1/3 cup butter, melted
* 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
* 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1 tablespoon butter


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease 10 muffin cups, or line with muffin papers.
2. In a large bowl, mix together 1 1/2 cups flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, beat together bananas, sugar, egg and melted butter. Stir the banana mixture into the flour mixture just until moistened. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.
3. In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, 2 tablespoons flour and cinnamon. Cut in 1 tablespoon butter until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. (I cheat and melt it because I lack patients) Sprinkle topping over muffins.
4. Bake in preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean.

Monday, March 7, 2011


Does everyone already know this recipe? If not, it is a real crowd pleaser!

1 Package Devils Food Cake Mix
2 Eggs
1/2 C. Oil
1/4 C. Flour
Mix ingredients and roll into balls.
Bake at 350 for 12 minutes.
Let cool and match tops and bottoms.

Cream Cheese Frosting:
1/2 cup of butter (1 stick), room temperature
8 oz of Philly cream cheese (1 package), room temperature
2 - 3 cups of powdered sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

My Mom always used to color them for the holidays. I thought it was about the coolest thing in the world. Why is food coloring so amazing to kids? I have no idea but I am one of them.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Sweet & Sour Meatballs

Sauce: Mix together in bowl.

1 cup Brown Sugar
1/2 cup vinegar
2 T. mustard or dash of mustard powder
1/2 c. bbq sauce
2 T. Worshershire sauce

Frozen meatballs- I just buy the Italian ones from Costco.

Put in crock pot for til it's heated through. ( A couple of hours)

Pasta Fagoli Soup

This is very healthy and it makes a lot of soup. I've also added sausage to spice it up a bit. As prepared below, each one cup serving is 290 calories, 4 grams of fat and 9 grams of fiber. Hooray!

8 ounces small pasta
2 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 pound ground turkey breast
1-2 teaspoons dried oregano
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 cups fat-free, reduced sodium chicken broth
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 (15 ounce) cans white kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside. Meanwhile, in large stockpot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté 3 minutes or until soft.

Add turkey and cook 5 minutes, until meat is browned, breaking up meat as it cooks. Add oregano and black pepper. Add broth, tomatoes and beans and bring mixture to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 10 minutes.

Stir in cooked pasta and heat through. Ladle mixture into bowls and top with Parmesan cheese.

Lemon Cake

A contest! Hooray!!!!

If you love lemons, this is for you!

1 lemon cake mix
1 pkg lemon jello
4 eggs
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup vegetable oil
Mix ingredients. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes. While baking mix 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar and 1 cup lemon juice together. Let sit. While the cake is still warm, poke holes around the top and pour the glaze over the top. You can top with whipped cream if you like, but it's yummy either way!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Chicken Piccata

This is by-far, me and Jason's favorite thing to eat!

Chicken Piccata

2 whole boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Salt, as needed
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons butter, divided
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup rich chicken stock
2 small, thin-skinned lemons, juiced
1/4 chopped parsley
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Lightly salt both sides of chicken cutlets. Dredge cutlets in flour and cheese mixture, patting off excess. Heat a large sauté pan over med-high heat. Add oil and one tablespoon butter. When butter foams, add cutlets, in batches if necessary, to color and cook through both sides -- a couple of minutes. Remove chicken to plate and keep warm.
  3. Add wine, broth, and lemon juice, scraping the bottom browned bits into the sauce, reduce to sauce consistency. Remove from heat. Add pinch of salt and parsley. Swirl in the two tablespoons butter and the capers.
  4. Pour the sauce over the chicken and serve immediately.