Sunday, March 25, 2012

Brown Rice

This may seem a little obvious... but I have spent YEARS trying to make a perfect brown rice! I came across this method, and I will not EVER try to make it any other way again.

brown rice (any amount)
water (use AT LEAST 4 c, per one c of rice)

Rinse rice in a strainer under cold running water for 30 seconds, swirling the rice around with your hand. Meanwhile bring water to a boil in a large pot over HIGH heat. When the water boils, add the rice, stir it once. Turn heat to MEDIUM and boil, UNCOVERED for 30 MINUTES, stirring occasionally. After 30 minutes, pour rice into a strainer over the sink. Let the rice drain for 10 seconds, then return to pot, OFF THE HEAT. Immediately cover the pot with TIGHT lid and set aside to allow the rice to steam. If your lid isn't extremely tight, cover lid with aluminum foil. After 20 minutes, uncover rice, fluff with fork, season to taste & serve!

*Bonus- you have a perfectly clean pot when done! No sticky rice mess to clean up :)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Chicken Bowtie salad

As requested, this is what I brought to Lindseys last week.
This is the recipe halved, hence a few odd amounts, so you can double it is you are feeding an army.

3 Chicken Breasts, cooked and cubed
12 oz. Package of Bow tie Pasta-When I double it I do one package of bow tie and one package of colored curly noodles
1/2 Can of pineapple tidbits-save the juice
1 1/2 Cubed Apples-soak in the pineapple juice for 5 minutes or so to keep them from turning brown
1 Cup Water Chestnuts- coarsely chopped
1 Cup grapes-this is my favorite part so I usually do more
4 oz. Cashews-walnuts, pecan or almonds would be good too
1 Cup Chopped Celery
2 Diced Green Onions
4 oz. Coleslaw Dressing
4 oz. Mayonnaise

Combine all the ingredients and stir. Make it the day before and refrigerate over night. Before serving, stir and add more dressing if needed. I always add more, maybe even the same amount that went in before, 1/2 cup of each.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Spaghetti & Meatballs


    6 portions of lean ground turkey (about 1 1/2 lbs)
    2 egg whites
    1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs
    1/2 cup water
    1/2 onion, finely chopped
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced
    2 tsp dried basil
    1 tsp ground black pepper
    3 cups low-fat marinara pasta sauce
    6 portions spaghetti (about 12 oz uncooked)
    1/4 cup reduced fat parmesan cheese


preheat broiler
mix turkey, egg white, breadcrumbs, water, onion, garlic, parsley, basil and black pepper. mix thoroughly and then shape into 1 1/2 inch meatballs.
arrange on baking sheet and place under brouler for 10 to 12 minutes, turning occassionally until they are browned on all sides.
in a large saucepan, combine pasta sauce and cooked meatballs. Simmer over low heat until warmed thoroughly, about 20 minutes.
while the pasta sauce is simmering prepare spaghetti according to its package directions

This is a Body for Life recipe and actually the best spaghetti I've ever had. I usually use ground beef instead of the ground turkey. Also the longer you simmer the sauce the better it tastes. I try to simmer my spaghetti sauce for t least a couple hours. I buy my spaghetti sauce and my favorites are Safeway Select brand or Trader Giotto's Bolognese from Trader Joe's. Also I have found that if you eat wheat noodles, the thin spaghetti noodles are the best.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Carly this ones for you...

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce:
2 T olive oil
2 cloves garlic (or 1 t. ready-to-use garlic)
1 onion, chopped (I only use 1/2 of a very small onion, I'm not much of a
chunky/onion-y person:)
1/2-1 lb ground beef (I only do 1/2 lb)
23 oz of tomato juice (so 1/2 of a large 46 oz can pictured)
2 cans of 6 oz tomato paste (or one 12 oz can--whatever is in your pantry:)
2 cans of 8 oz tomato sauce (or one 15 oz can)
1 t salt
1/2 t nutmeg
1 bay leaf
~3 dried chili peppers

Combine olive oil, garlic and chopped onion and brown in frying pan. Add ground beef and cook until gray in color (do not brown.) Pour off excess fat.It will look like this:

Then add tomato products, and seasonings. I put in bay leaf and peppers at the very end. Cover and let simmer for abt an hour, flavor improves with slow cooking.

**Keep in mind this is an old family recipe so you can change it however you'd like--add more meat, more peppers depending on how spicey etc. I would def. use Hunts paste and sauce, it seems to turn out better. Also, my mom would let it simmer all day long sometimes and it turned out good. I only use this on spaghetti--I tried it in lasagna once and didn't love it. It freezes very well so after feeding my family I usually pour the rest into 3 different containers so I can use it for 3 more meals!

Snowy Buddies

Have you guys had these? Oh my, they are good! You just take the good old Chex Muddy Buddies recipe and exchange the chocolate chips for white chocolate chips, I like this brand that you can find at Macey's:

9 cups rice Chex cereal
1 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 t. vanilla
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

In a small microwavable bowl, zap chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter for 1 minute; stir until smooth. Microwave about 30 seconds longer if needed. Stir in vanilla.

Pour mixture over cereal, stirring until evenly coated. Pour into 2 gal resealable platic bag.

Add powdered sugar. Seal bag;shake until well coated. Spread on waxed paper to cool. Store in airtight container in fridge.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Cinnamon Roll Cake

I thought this looked like a good recipe if you ever have to host a brunch or something...(click on link below)

Cinnamon Roll Cake

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Pasta with tomato cream sauce

This one's for you Carly! I made this meal last week and everyone (including the baby) loved it!

Pasta with Tomato Cream Sauce

2 Tablespoons
Olive Oil

2 Tablespoons
1 whole
Medium Onion, Finely Diced
4 cloves
Garlic, Minced
2 cans
(15 Ounce Each) Tomato Sauce Or Marinara Sauce
Salt And Pepper, to taste

Dash Of Sugar (more To Taste)

1 cup
Heavy Cream
Grated Parmesan Or Romano Cheese, To Taste

Fresh Basil, Chopped

1-1/2 pound

Preparation Instructions

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1 cup of pasta water.

Heat butter and oil over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and saute for a minute or so. Pour in tomato sauce and add salt, pepper, and sugar to taste. Stir and cook over low heat for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat and stir in cream. Add cheese to taste, then check seasonings. Stir in pasta and chopped basil and serve immediately. (Thin with pasta water before adding basil if needed.)

by Pioneer Woman

Friday, March 2, 2012


I have a favor to ask all of you. My husband has claimed to not like spaghetti our entire married life. This has been very distressing to me because spaghetti is a wonderful meal for so many reasons (easy, cheap, good food storage, etc). Just recently, he has said he might like it if I found a good recipe for the sauce. Would any of you mind sharing your favorite spaghetti sauce? Do you make it homemade or do you have a favorite brand? I would love to be able to add spaghetti to our list of go-to meals!