Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Beef Noodle Casserole

This casserole is very simple and packed with flavor! I've made it twice now and Dave and I both enjoyed it very much! I found the recipe on a blog called Dining Alone. I've tried a number of recipes from this blog and they never disappoint. Since the recipe is only meant to serve 3 I would probably double it next time to have leftovers for lunch. There wasn't a need to make any modifications, but if I'm being honest...I used quite a bit more than 1/4 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese:)

Beef Noodle Casserole

2 cups uncooked egg noodles
1/2 pound lean ground beef
1 can (8-ounces) tomato sauce
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup canned chopped green chilies
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sour cream
2 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup shredded part skim mozzarella cheese (I used more like 3/4 cup)

Cook noodles according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Stir in the tomato sauce, onions, chilies, garlic and salt. In a small bowl, combine sour cream and cream cheese. Drain noodles.

Place 1/2 cup beef mixture in a 1-qt baking dish coated with cooking spray (I used a 1 and 1/2 qt dish and it worked just fine). Layer with half of the noodles, cream cheese mixture and cheese. Spread 1/2 cup beef mixture over cheese; repeat layers. Spoon remaining beef mixture over top. Top with shredded mozzarella cheese. Cover and bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until bubbly. Uncover for the last 5 minutes to brown cheese on tip. Yield: 3 servings

Friday, July 24, 2009

Yummy Pot Roast in the Crock-Pot

A few nights ago I made a great Pot Roast Recipe in the Crock-Pot. Dave kind of grumbled when he heard that was what we were having for dinner because he said he normally associates pot roast with being dry and bland. One bite of this meal changed his mind very quickly! He loved it and said it was a keeper recipe (I have to agree!). So I'll let his comments vouch for this rather than a picture...pot roast really the most photogenic meal and I don't want to discourage anyone from making this by posting ugly pictures;)

Crock-Pot Pot Roast
2 to 3 lb roast
1 small onion sliced (I used vidalia)
1 4oz can sliced mushrooms w/ juice
1/2 a pack of Lipton dried onion soup mix
1/3 cup dry red wine
1/3 cup water
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 bay leaf
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup water

Combine all ingredients except the cornstarch and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours. Once meat is done remove from crock-pot. Add cornstarch to a 1/2 cup of water and mix to dissolve. Pour water and cornstarch mixture into the sauce in crock-pot and mix to combine. Turn heat up to high until sauce has thickened. Slice meat and top with sauce.

I made it with mashed potatoes and topped them with sauce too...YUM! We also had a mixture of spinach and broccoli on the side. It was a super easy and tasty weeknight meal!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Buffalo Chicken Pizza

This pizza recipe is awesome! I love buffalo wings, but I hate getting my hand all messy and chewing on the bone, etc (I know, I know...just eat BONELESS Buffalo wings) and I love pizza so I couldn't wait to try Rachel Ray's Recipe! I used a Pillsbury refrigerated pizza crust and was pleasantly surprised. Now don't get me wrong, it in no way, shape or form compares to NY style pizza crust, but for a cheap and easy alternative I was impressed.

Here is the
recipe and my recipe with the modifications below. I found it on Foodnetwork.com (with
TONS of great reviews):

Wingless Buffalo Chicken Pizza
4 servings

3/4 pound chicken breast cutlets
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
2 teaspoons grill seasoning (I used McCormick Montreal Seasoning)
1 pizza dough, store bought or from your favorite pizzeria (I used Pillsbury)
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 to 3 tablespoons hot sauce (I used Frank's, he's my fav!)
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Dice chicken into very small chunks and place into a bowl. Drizzle diced chicken with olive oil and season with grill seasoning, mixed thoroughly so all chicken is coated

Saute chicken pieces in skillet until thoroughly cooked. Set aside

Spray cookie sheet with Pam. Stretch dough and press into cookie sheet until evenly distributed. Set pizza aside

In a separate medium skilled over medium heat, melt butter and stir in Worcestershire, hot sauce and tomato sauce.

Add chicken to the sauce and coat. Cover the pizza dough with the saucy
Buffalo chicken, cheeses and bake 16-18 minutes or until cheese is melted and crust is crisp.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Philly Cheesesteak Mac and Cheese = Sooo good

This recipe is amazing, but as you can tell by the ingredients it is NOT healthy...at all! It is great if you are looking for a comforting and delicious meal on a night when you feel like splurging. It's TOTALLY worth the extra calories! I cut this recipe in half and it made more than enough for 2 people. We even had leftovers, but they didn't last long because Dave loved this dish:) I found the recipe here on Krista's Kitchen. She says she adapted it from a Rachel Ray recipe.

Philly Cheesesteak Mac and Cheese (this is the FULL recipe, remember I cut mine in half)

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 large onions, thinly sliced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound cavatappi-shaped pasta
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
2 cups shredded provolone
1 cup shredded Swiss
1/2 cup broth (chicken, beef, vegetable)
1 pkg Steak Umms slices, roughly chopped
1/4 cup parsley, chopped (I opted not to put parsley on mine)


  • Place a large pot of salted water over high heat and bring it to a boil.
  • Once the water boils, cook the cavatappi to al dente according to package directions. Once the pasta has finished cooking, drain it and return it to the pot it was cooked in.
  • While the pasta is cooking, place a large skillet over medium-high heat with 2 turns of the pan of EVOO, about 2 tablespoons. Add the onions to the pan and top them with a lid or piece of aluminum foil for 2-3 minutes, just to get them cooking. Remove the lid or aluminum foil and continue cooking the onions until tender and lightly caramelized, 8-10 minutes.
  • While the onions are caramelizing, melt the butter over medium-high heat in a medium-size pot. Sprinkle the flour over the melted butter and cook the mixture for about 1 minute. Whisk the milk into the butter-flour mixture slowly and bring up to a bubble to thicken. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the shredded cheese. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and reserve.
  • To the skillet with the onions, add the broth and the Steak Umms. Cook until the meat is no longer pink.
  • Add the cheese sauce and the onion-beef mixture to the pot with the drained pasta and toss everything to combine. Transfer to a casserole dish. Top with additional cheese and parsley. Broil until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Chicken Kebabs...YUMMY!!

These Grilled Chicken Kebabs are awesome! The marinade is perfect and I love that you marinate the veggies too. It really adds some amazing flavor:) I got this recipe here from The Crepes of Wrath. I made these in April and then again for company this weekend and they were a hit!

Chicken Kebabs
from Vanilla Sugar

½ cup orange juice
½ cup pineapple juice
½ cup olive oil
¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice, (about 3 – 4 limes)
1/3 cup soy sauce
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground black pepper

For the kebabs
4 – 6 skewers, 10- to 12-inch
2 chicken breasts (at least 1 pound), cut into bite-sized pieces (remember, they still need to be big enough to put on skewers!)
2 zucchini squash (cubed, but big enough to put on the skewers)
1 yellow or white or red onion (chopped into large-ish pieces)
1 red bell pepper (chopped into large-ish pieces)

  • To prepare the marinade, whisk together the orange juice, olive oil, lime juice, soy sauce, garlic, cumin and pepper in a large bowl until well blended. Set aside.
  • Use heavy duty plastic bags for marinating. Place all of the chopped up vegetables into one or two bags, depending on how big the bags are. Marinate your chicken in a separate bag. Divide the marinade equally among the bags, seal, and marinate in the refrigerator, turning the bag occasionally, for about 3 hours, or overnight (you can do as little as 30 minutes if you’re really in a pinch).
  • Soak wooden skewers in water to cover for at least one hour before grilling.
  • Assemble the skewers as you like. I did a piece of chicken, 2 or 3 pieces of vegetables, then chicken, then 3 vegetables, etc.
  • Throw away the marinade.
  • Preheat the grill to 375 degrees F (a medium-hot fire). Grill the chicken until just cooked through and slightly charred, turning often, about 8 – 10 minutes.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Pasta with Chicken and Olive Tomato Cream Sauce

I found this recipe on a blog I like to read that is all about eating healthy and exercising called Eat Live Run. It was very tasty! While I was cooking the sauce I was a bit leery of how it was going to turn out because I thought it smelled funny! But once Dave and I tasted it all concerns went out the window...it was great!! I'll definitely be making this again as a healthy alternative to pasta dishes with heavy cream sauces. Here is the link to the original recipe. The only thing I did differently was substitute another half can of chopped tomatoes for the chopped fresh tomatoes because the ones I purchased didn't look very good. I can't wait for tomato season!! I also used less pasta than it called for, I wanted more sauce and chicken and less noodles.

Pasta with Chicken and Olive Tomato Cream Sauce

Serves 4

3/4 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into one inch cubes

1 tbsp olive oil

1 and 1/2 cans chopped tomatoes in juice

2 cloves garlic, sliced

1/3 cup kalamata olives, sliced

1/2 red onion, sliced thin

1 cup white wine

1/4 cup cream

2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped

sea salt and garlic salt to taste

6 oz whole wheat linguine (or whatever you prefer), cooked in boiling salted water


1. Season chicken with garlic salt, sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Brown in saute pan with olive oil.

2. When browned, remove chicken and set aside. Add the can of chopped tomatoes, sliced garlic, olives and thinly sliced red onion to the pan and bring to a simmer. Cook for about 5 minutes-10 minutes or until the onion is soft and translucent.

3. Add the white wine and simmer for another 5 minutes before adding the chicken back in.

4. Add the basil and the cream then toss with the hot, cooked pasta. Garnish with parmesan cheese!

And of course you MUST add some freshly grated Parmesan cheese on top because who doesn't love cheese!!:)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Super Yummy Aussie Chicken

I made this for the second time last night...Dave calls it "The best chicken he has ever had" :) I found the recipe on Happy to be at Home website. I followed it exactly as written, except I added a little more mayo to the honey mustard sauce than it calls for. I also didn't have onion flakes so I used a little onion powder. Other than that no modifications and it was awesome!

Here is the recipe with my slight modifications:

Aussie Chicken

4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, pounded to 1/2 inch thickness

2 teaspoons seasoning salt

6 slices bacon, cut in half

1/4 cup prepared mustard

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1 tablespoon reserved bacon grease

1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms

1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese


1. Rub the chicken breasts with the seasoning salt, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
2. Preheat oven to 350°F.
3. Place bacon in a large, deep skillet.
4. Cook over medium high heat until crisp; set aside.
5. In a medium bowl, combine the mustard, honey, mayonnaise and dried onion flakes.
6. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
7. Place the breasts in the skillet and saute for 3 to 5 minutes per side, or until browned.
8. Remove from skillet and place the breasts into a 9×13 inch baking dish.
9. Apply the honey mustard sauce to each breast, then layer each breast with mushrooms and bacon.
10. Sprinkle top with shredded cheese.
11. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until cheese is melted and chicken is done.

On the side I made some Garlic and Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes. I was inspired by this
recipe on Andrea's Recipes blog but I made a few changes. See the recipe I followed below:

Garlic and Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes
2-3 pounds Russet potatoes peeled, and cut into quarters
5 cloves garlic, peeled
1 teaspoon sea salt salt
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
¼ teaspoon dried thyme leaves
½ teaspoon dried parsley

¼ teaspoon pepper


1. In the 3-quart pot, cover the potatoes and garlic with water, add salt, and bring to a boil. Boil for about 30-35 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender. Drain.

2. Pour potatoes and garlic back into 3-quart pot. Put burner on low and whip potatoes and garlic briefly with the hand mixer.

3. Next use a spoon to stir in the, then add the sour cream and Parmesan cheese. Whip until desired consistency with the hand mixer; lastly stir in the thyme, parsley, and pepper.

And I leave you today with a picture of Winston snuggling with my
How to Cook Everything cookbook. I hope he is learning by Osmosis and coming up with a good recipe! ;)

Monday, April 13, 2009

Backlog!! and Beef Stroganoff

Hello! It's been a while hasn't it!?? I know I've been a bad blogger and I promise to make more frequent updates (really, I will:)) I've still been taking pictures of most of the meals I have cooked the past few months so at least I've been on top of that! The next few posts will be from recipes I made weeks (or months) ago, but better late than never, right!?? Once I get caught up I'll try to start posting my weekly menus again and hopefully stay on top of things.

Below is the recipe for my most favorite meal that my mom makes! I continually try to make it, but it never seems to reach the caliber that it does when she cooks it. Probably because I feel like everything tastes just a little bit better when you're not the one preparing the food. This time though, I did make a mistake! I used a regular yellow onion and not a Vidalia! I'm not a huge fan of onions, but Vidalia's are sweet and don't taste as strong as yellow onions...so needless to say I thought the Stroganoff tasted too "oniony"...but it was still good, just not PURRRFECT:)

Mom's Awesome Beef Stroganoff

1 and 1/2 pounds beef tenderloin or boneless top loin steak

3 tablespoons margarine or butter

Splash of Red Wine

1 & ½ cups beef broth (I use Campbells beef bouillon in a can)

2 Tablespoons ketchup

1 teaspoon salt

1 small clove garlic, finely chopped

8 ounces mushrooms, sliced

1 medium onion, chopped (about ½ cup) Vidalia is BEST!

3 tablespoons all purpose flour

1 cup sour cream


Cut beef tenderloin across grain into strips, each about 1 ½ X ½ inch. (for ease in cutting, partially freeze beef) Cook onions, garlic and mushrooms in margarine until onions are transparent not brown. Transfer this into another bowl then add meat to the skillet and brown meat in margarine. Add the vegetables back to skillet with the meat and sprinkle and mix in the flour. Cook for a minute to make sure the flour in incorporated. Add splash of red wine and then the beef bouillon; mix quickly to thicken. Add the ketchup and stir. Remove the skillet from the heat and add the sour cream. Heat just until hot – not boiling. Serve over wide egg noodles.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Gnocchi with Tomato Cream Sauce and Turkey Meatballs

My inspiration for this dish came from a variety of sources. I used Giada's Marinara Sauce Recipe, but made some additions, I used the meatball recipe (except with turkey) from Rachel Ray's Chicken Parm Meatball Subs and I used De Cecco freeze dried gnocchi. It turned out pretty yummy. The meatballs were a bit dry. I think it was either due to using 99% fat free turkey or baking them in the oven longer than instructed because I wanted them to be a little browner on top.

This was our Valentine's Day dinner so I decided to make it more decadent by adding some half and half to the marinara sauce. When the meatballs were finished baking in the oven I added them to the sauce. I boiled the Gnocchi for 2 minutes (it cooks really fast) and added it to the sauce and meatballs too! I think over all it was a success and I would make it again with only a few minor adjustments. I really loved the Marinara sauce! I have never made my own and only would ever use the jarred variety. I'm not sure why! Making Marinara sauce is really easy, you just need to have some time for it to sit on the stove, but I hear it freezes well so I'm looking forward to having the batch that I froze with some yummy pasta in the near future:) I think next time I make meatballs I'll just suck it up and use beef...I think that will solve my dryness problem.

Here are the recipes!

Turkey Meatballs

1 1/2 pounds ground Turkey

1 tablespoon grill seasoning blend (recommended: Montreal Steak Seasoning by McCormick)

1 large egg

1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs

Handful of chopped parsley leaves

Extra-virgin olive oil, for liberal drizzling

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place turkey in a bowl and season with grill seasoning. Add egg, half of the grated cheese, bread crumbs, parsley, and a serious drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil to the bowl. Mix meat together and roll into mini balls, 1 1/2 inches across, and arrange on a nonstick cookie sheet. Bake at 400 degree F for 10 to 12 minutes or until firm and lightly golden

Giada’s Marinara Sauce (I actually froze half of it...it makes A LOT!)
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 small onions, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 stalks celery, finely chopped

2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 (32-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes

2 dried bay leaves

1/2 cup half and half

In a large casserole pot, heat the oil over a medium-high flame. Add the onions and garlic and saute until the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the celery, carrots, and 1/2 teaspoon of each salt and pepper. Saute until all the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and bay leaves, and simmer uncovered over low heat until the sauce thickens, about 1 hour. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Season the sauce with more salt and pepper, to taste. (The sauce can be made 1 day ahead. Cool, then cover and refrigerate. Rewarm over medium heat before using.)