Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Our Shutterfly Christmas Cards

So I have just ordered our Christmas Cards from Shutterfly, which y'all helped me on a couple posts ago....  Of course, when I went to creat them, I found more designs that I liked better, and didn't go with any of your suggestions anyways...  I'm a jerk, I know.

Here's the final product:

First of all, they include one of our beautiful engagement pictures from Jim Strathearn Photography.
Second, they aren't obnoxiously christmas-y.  I love the snowflakes.  The brown strip is different for a christmas card, too.
I love that it is short and sweet.  I only send Christmas cards to close friends and family, so it is not necessary for me to have a lot of space to say things.  I don't wanna give you an update on my whole year.  Most years, it wouldn't be that exciting.  This year, I could say, we got engaged and we went on some really amazing trips.  We had a lot of fun together.  Our lives are pretty everyday, and that's what I love about us.  We don't have to have this amazing mindblowing year to be incredibly happy.  Being together makes an ordinary day pretty darn extraordinary.
So these are our Christmas cards -- they are simple, fun, and subtle.  AND I can't wait to send them out!

I still wish we coulda have had a picture with Lily for our Christmas cards.  She's such a large part of my life that I really wanted her on there.  But John said no.  He didn't want a "family" christmas card with the cat.
Hope he knows that next year, he'll have no choice.  :)

Who wouldn't want this cute face on their Christmas card?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Crockpot Breakfast Casserole

I don't have a picture of this one -- but just imagine an egg casserole :)

1 dozen eggs
1 cup milk
1 (32oz) package frozen hash brown potatoes
1 lb cooked meat - sausage, bacon, or ham   (I've actually made it using a mixture of 2 meats before too)
1/2 cup onions, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped (optional)
3/4 pound cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 tsp dry mustard
salt and pepper to taste

Using a crockpot that is at least 3 quarts, start layering the potatoes, onions, green pepper, and cheese, in about 2 or 3 layers each.
In a large bowl, beat the eggs, milk, mustard, salt, and pepper together.
Pour over the ingredients already in the crockpot.
Cook on low for 10-12 hours, until eggs are set and thoroughly cooked.

My review:  I took this in to work as a birthday brunch treat, and everyone loved it.  You can add any veggies you would like to it, I imagine some fresh spinach would be good.  It's great because you can prepare it before bed, and it's ready in the morning!  Served with some bagels and fresh fruit, this was a great brunch!  It's also a great dinner!!

French Onion Mushrooms

I know the picture doesn't look appetizing, but it's so good, I promise!

1 tbsp butter, unsalted
1 can Campbell's Condensed French Onion Soup
1 pound mushrooms, thick sliced
3 slices swiss cheese

Melt the butter in a saute pan and add the french onion soup.
Heat on medium heat, until the mixture simmers.
Add in the mushrooms, and simmer, until there is very little liquid left, about 15 minutes.
Spoon the mushrooms into a small baking dish, and cover with cheese.
Place under the broiler for 3 minutes, or until cheese is brown and bubbly.
Serve alone, or with toasted slices of baguette.

My review:  This recipe was inspired by Pioneer Woman's French Onion Stuffed Mushrooms recipe.  This was an easier variation.  So yummy!  I ended up spooning mine onto toasted sliced of baguette, but it was good by itself too.

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes

In the bustle of Thanksgiving, I forgot to take a picture of these babies... Sorry!

This recipe makes 48 cupcake sized cheesecakes  (recipe can be halved)

4 (8oz) packages cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp allspice
6 eggs
1 (15oz) can pumpkin puree
1 bag Ginger Snaps

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Line cupcake tins with paper liners, and place a ginger snap in the bottom of each one.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy.
Add the sugar, flour, and spices, and mix well.
Beat in the eggs one at a time, making sure that they each mix in well.
Add in the pumpkin puree and mix well.
Pour the filling into the cupcake tins, 2/3 of the way up in each cup.
Bake for 25 minutes, or until the tops are firm, and slightly golden.
Take out of the cupcake tins to cool, and place on wire racks.  (I don't have a wire rack, so I just put them in a cake pan.
The middles will sink a little bit.
Store in the refrigerator and top with whipped cream to serve.

My review:  These were delicious and got great reviews from both sides of the family!  They were easy to prepare and tasted just like regular pumpkin cheesecake, without the hassle of using a springform pan, and without having to cut it into pieces.

Friday, November 12, 2010

It's the most wonderful time of the year...

So, I know this is usually a cooking blog, and that's great and fabulous, and I plan to keep it that way for all intensive purposes.  But, when you find something you love so much that you want to blog about it, and you will be rewarded for it, well, you just have to jump.  Rules go out the window.

What in the world am I talking about?  Well, Shutterfly is a fabulous picture hosting site, where you can also order photos, cards, and other gifts.  Their photo books are amazing and incredibly affordable.  They are easy to put together, and make fabulous gifts.  I did one for John and I's trip to Paris back in 2009, and it's one of my favorite things to look at when I'm missing France.

So, back to my point.  Shutterfly is offering 50 free Christmas cards to bloggers who blog about their amazing Christmas Cards.  If you are a blogger and would like to participate, go here.

Bloggers get 50 free holiday cards from Shutterfly… sign up:

Last year was the first year I made Christmas cards.  I had wanted to make sure I had a good picture of Lily in her Christmas outfit to send out.  It was her first Christmas and she was so darn cute.  The response was fabulous, and it was really good to send out Christmas cards to everyone I love.

I haven't decided who's going on our Christmas cards yet this year.... a picture of John and I, a picture of John, Lily, and me, or just a picture of Lily.  The plan is to have a photo shoot this weekend/early next week, and see what picture is best.  That doesn't mean I can't try to figure out which card I like best.  So, with that, here's my favorite Christmas card layouts from Shutterfly. 

#1.  I love this one.  It's so simple, pretty and elegant.  Problem is, I don't know if I can find FOUR pictures I like well enough to send out on Christmas cards.  So, I just had to put it in here as a possibility because I love it, but I probably won't use it because I would need four photos.  Link to this card

#2.  This one is different colors for a Christmas card, with the brown, cranberry, and pistachio.  I think this makes it feel kind of country, and homey.  I like that there's a lot of room to write a message, but that is also daunting, because I'd have to think of something cute and clever that I want to say to everyone...  It's got only one picture to fill, which makes it a great option and one of John and I's engagement photos would look fabulous in this one because of the natural colors.  Link to this card

#3.  I love the fun, whimsical feeling of this one!  It would be a great layout if I had kids, but I think it would be great for a picture of Lily too.  There's a lot of room to write a message again, but I guess I could handle it.  It's very fun and modern.  Plus, aren't those kids adorable...?  Link to this card

#4.  I can't decide why I like this one so much.  It feels so festive, and the cranberry/pistachio colors are really growing on me as Christmas colors.  Also, for some reason, I really love the black.  It feels very vintage.  Its name is Retro Kaleidoscope and I just really like that name.  It's seriously cute.  Link to this card

#5.  Let's try to ignore that adorable blond headed boy over there with the curls and the blue eyes.  Whew.  I love this card.  It's got your red, your green, some holy, and a quote from a well known Christmas song.  What's not to like?  This card is gorgeous and fantastically designed.  I would only need one good picture -- and as long as I can remember our names, I think I could handle filling out the text!  This is definitely a contender.  Link to this card

 #6.  Goodness gracious.  the lime, the candy cane letters, the stars.  There is so much I love about this card.  What I don't love?  3 pictures!  Sure, I could find 3 pictures from our engagement shots that I love and put them in there.  Or I could put in 3 pictures of Lily.  But I would be too picky about whether or not the pictures "flow" with one another, or match the background that I would drive myself absolutely batty.  It's still a contender because goodness gracious i love that lettering at the top. It's gorgeous.  Link to this card
#7.  This card is very classic, perhaps a little too mature for me, but the snowflake damask on the side has just captured my heart and won't let it go.  I think this would look great with one of our engagement shots in black and white.  Beautiful.  Link to this card

#8.  I love the color scheme on this.  The winter blue with the red, and then the white, with a black and white picture?  So festive and fun.  I love the snowflakes.  It's another fun, silly one, and I like that.  Link to this card

HOW AM I EVER GOING TO DECIDE???  Someone please help.  I am unable to kick any of them out of the running just yet...

I don't have any pictures of Lily yet so that you could see what she would look like, but here's my favorites from our engagement session that I've thought about using...  Imagine any of them in color or black and white...

All engagement photos taken by Jim Strathearn Photography.  Jim does an amazing job.  If you are within an hour of Delta, PA, he's your guy for kid pictures, engagement pictures, wedding pictures, or anything else you could possibly need!

Someone help choose!  And please, head on over to Shutterfly to make your Christmas cards this year.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Crustless Mushroom and Feta Quiche

I'm baaaaaaaack!  I apologize that I've been hiding behind loads of wedding planning, school, work, and LIFE, but I'm hoping to be back in action!

When I made this recipe, I cut it, and only made a 3rd, which filled my two small casseroles you see in the picture.  I'm going to give you the recipe sized for a 9x13 pan, so you can make it for a brunch or for more than 2 people, like I was.

18 eggs (yes, 18  -- they're good for you!  and this is serving lots of people!)
4 tbsp milk, cream, or half and half
1 pound mushrooms, washed and sliced
1 small onion, diced
Olive oil
1 1/2 cups crumbled feta cheese (use the reduced fat -- I think it has a better flavor!)
2 tsp Lawry's season salt
Pepper (fresh ground or the powdery stuff)

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. 
Spray a glass or pottery 9x13 dish with nonstick spray.  (Don't use a metal dish -- gives the eggs a funny taste!)
Heat some olive oil in a saute pan.
Once heated, add the mushrooms and onions, and saute them for about 5 minutes, until the mushrooms are brown and the onions are soft.  Drain any liquid off the vegetables when finished cooking.
Spread your mushroom mixture over the bottom of the pan.  Cover with the crumbled feta cheese.
Beat the eggs in a large bowl with your milk (cream or half and half), season salt and pepper.
Pour over the mushroom mixture in your dish, and then stir if necessary to make sure the mushrooms and cheese are distributed evenly and deliciously. :)
Bake for 45 minutes.  Make sure the eggs are set, and the top will be starting to brown.
If you like, top with a little extra cheese on top -- I used just a small sprinkle of mozzarella.

My review:  Yummy!  What a delicious easy recipe that was fun to make, and delectable to eat!  I made this for a friend and I for dinner, and we both agreed that it was very good.  You could add more vegetables, too, if you like.  I think it would be good with some broccoli or zucchini.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Southwestern Fettucine

1/2 lb (8 oz) uncooked fettuccine noodles
1 cup chunky salsa
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
1/4 cup water
1 tsp Tabasco sauce
1 tsp Chili powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
Shredded mild cheddar cheese for topping

Cook and drain fettuccine as directed on package.  Spray with cooking spray to make sure they don't stick together once drained.  (or you can throw some olive oil in the water while it's cooking)
While the noodles are cooking, mix salsa, corn, water, Tabasco, chili powder, ground cumin, and black beans in a small saucepan.  Cook over medium heat 8-10 minutes, then turn down to simmer.  Make sure that the corn is tender.
This makes four servings, so divide fettuccine noodles among four bowls.  Then top each with about 3/4 cup of the sauce mixture.  Sprinkle with shredded cheddar cheese for extra yumminess!

My review:  This was phenomenally good.  I have no words.  :-)  Very yummy.  I think it would be really good to use medium or hot salsa and give it a little more kick.  You could add chicken if you have major meat eaters who can't handle a meal without meat!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

I'm still alive!

Fortunately, I am still alive...   Unfortunately, I haven't set foot in my kitchen to make anything not completely microwavable in what feels like weeks.  Summer is insane, and apparently, I'm a glutton for punishment, taking 2 grad classes this semester.  I've been living off bags of salad, microwave pizza, eggs, and takeout -- and LOTS of diet coke.  It's too hot to cook, and I'm in a food rut.  I miss cooking, but have no time!  But don't worry, I'll be back. 

I plan to get back into all of this in about a month -- 2nd week of August to be exact... After that, I will have my summer classes completed, and 2 relaxing weeks of vacation under my belt.  I will be ready to get back in the kitchen and start creating more delicious things.

Please bear with me. :-)  There are over 100 delicious recipes here on dragonfly kitchen that you can enjoy until then.  If you run out of ideas, please go check out my favorite places to find recipes:
Tasty Kitchen
Skinny Taste
How Sweet It Is
Cooking Ventures
Pioneer Woman Cooks!
Picky Palate

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Spinach & Mushroom Lasagna Roll Ups

I seem to have lost the picture that goes along with this... I will post it if I find it...

10 lasagna noodles, cooked
10 oz. frozen chopped spinach, thawed, and completely drained
10 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced
15 oz. fat free ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan
1 egg
salt and pepper
1 jar of your favorite pasta sauce
1/2 - 1 cup of mozzerella cheese (depends how much you like!)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Saute fresh mushrooms in some olive oil until they are cooked through. Set aside.
Combine spinach, ricotta, Parmesan, egg, mushrooms, salt, and pepper in a large bowl.
Pour about a cup of sauce on the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish.
Place a piece of wax paper or a cuttting board on yoru counter top and lay out lasagna noodles.  Make sure that they are dry.
Spread ricotta mixture over each noodle (about 1/4 - 1/3 cup per noodle).  Roll carefully, placing the seam side down.
Pour remaining sauce over the noodles and top each one with mozzerella.
Cover the dish with foil and bake for 45 minutes.

My review:  These were good!  If I make them again, I want to try adding some zucchini too!  One roll up was really filling, I paired it up with a small salad, and I was so full!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Lemon Feta Chicken Breasts

2 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
Juice from one lemon
2 tsp garlic salt
3 tsp oregano
Fresh ground pepper
1/4 cup fat free feta cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Mix together the lemon juice, garlic salt, and oregano. 
Place chicken breasts in a baking dish.
Pour flavor mixture over top of the chicken.
Bake for 35 minutes, until the chicken juices run clear.
Remove from oven and sprinkle with feta.
Broil on low for 2-3 minutes, until cheese is soft and melty.

My review:  This was really good.  The flavors all mixed together well, and was very Mediterranean.  I had mine with an ear of corn, but it would also be good with some rice or pasta, or just some veggies with hummus.  Yum!

Baked Bananas

This is like a lighter version of Bananas Foster, that gets all rich and buttery tasting, but contains no butter, and is very lowfat!

2 ripe bananas (they should be starting to get black speckles)
4 tsp honey

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Cut bananas in half lengthwise.
Place in an oven safe dish.
Pour the honey over the bananas, and then sprinkle with cinnamon.
Cover the dish with aluminum foil.
Bake for 10-15 minutes.
Serve with ice cream, whipped cream, or in crepes.  Tastes just like bananas foster!

My review:  These were delicious!  I was looking for a way to use my over ripened bananas, and this was great.  I had mine with a scoop of frozen lowfat Cool Whip, but would like to try them in a sweet crepe, with some ice cream on the side.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Spanokopita Stuffed Chicken Breasts

I am on such a Greek food kick right now.  The filling for these chicken breasts is inspired by Spanokopita, which is a Greek pie, with spinach, onions, and cheese.   It's yummy!  I served it with a version of my Tuscan Marinated Mushrooms, but used Greek salad dressing instead.

Serves 2.

5 oz package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and juice squeezed out  (1/2 of a 10 oz package
1 tsp olive oil
1/4 cup fat free Feta cheese
1/4 cup fat free ricotta cheese
2 tsp dried parsley flakes
1/2 onion, diced small
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper
2 chicken breasts, pounded flat
1 egg
1 tbsp water
1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs

Heat the oil in small skillet.  Add the onions and garlic.  Cook for 2 minutes.
Add the spinach, parsley, salt and pepper, and let cook for another 2 minutes.
Take off the heat, and add in the feta and ricotta cheeses.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Lay the chicken breasts flat on a cutting board.  Put half the spinach mixture on one end each chicken breast, and roll up, securing with 2-3 toothpicks.
Beat the egg and water together in a small bowl.
Put the seasoned breadcrumbs in another small bowl.
Dip each chicken breast in the egg wash, and then into the breadcrumbs, covering completely.
Place each chicken breast on a greased (I used PAM) cookie sheet, and bake for 30 minutes.

My review:  This was absolutely delicious, and easy to prepare.  I did everything up to securing the chicken breasts with toothpicks the night before.  Then, all I had to do was dip in egg and breadcrumbs, and bake!  It was a delicious meal that I will definitely make again.  Another plus is that it's very low fat.  The original recipe was a weight watcher recipe, but I took out some extra items that weren't necessary for the full flavor, and helped my grocery bill be a bit smaller!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Gyro Wraps

1/2 pound ground turkey
2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp salt
red onion, diced
tomato, diced
romaine lettuce, shredded
cucumber, diced
1/4 cup feta cheese
2 burrito size tortillas
Sour Cream

In a skillet, brown the garlic and ground turkey on medium heat until no longer pink.
Stir in the oregano and salt.
Spread sour cream on tortilla.
Top with lettuce, ground turkey mixture, onion, tomato, cucumber, and feta cheese.
Wrap up and eat!!!

My review:  This was delicious, and a great, lighter version of a gyro.  Lots of yummy veggies went into it, and the ground turkey has a great flavor.  If you like gyros, you will love this!

Greek Chicken Salad

Serves Two

I know the picture isn't great, but trust me...

Two boneless skinless chicken breasts
Greek Marinade/Salad Dressing (Gazebo Room)
1/4 red onion, diced
1/2 cucumber, diced or sliced
4 mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup feta cheese crumbles
Romaine lettuce

Marinate chicken breasts in a cup of greek salad dressing for at least 2 hours.
Grill, bake, or skillet fry until juices run clear, and then slice.
Grab two plates, and put a large amount of romaine lettuce on each.
Layer with onion, cucumber, and mushrooms.
Top with chicken, croutons, and feta cheese.
Use the greek dressing for salad dressing.

My review:  the biggest reason I made this was because i had feta, cucumbers, and red onions left from the gyro pizza.  However this turned out to be really good, and just like a greek chicken salad you would get in a restaurant.  Makes a great lunch to pack for work!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Gyro Pizza

This tasted just like a real gyro sandwich!  Delicious!

1 can classic pizza crust (not thin, there's too many ingredients on top, it wouldn't hold up!)
1/2 lb ground turkey
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup light sour cream
1 1/2 cups mozzerella cheese
3/4 cup cucumber, chopped coarsely
1 medium tomato, chopped coarsely
1/2 red onion, sliced
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Spray 9x13 pan with cooking spray and press pizza dough in the bottom and up sides to form a crust.
Bake for 7 minutes, until crust begins to turn brown on the edges.
Meanwhile, in a skillet, brown the garlic and ground turkey on medium heat until no longer pink.
Stir in the oregano and salt.
Spread the sour cream over the warm pizza crust.
Top with 1 cup of the mozzerella.
Top the cheese with the cooked turkey.
Sprinkle with cucumber and tomato.
Separate the red onion into rings and arrange over the top.
Sprinkle with remaining mozzerella and feta cheese crumbles.
Bake 13-15 minutes.

My review:  I loved this, but then I order gyro sandwiches every time I go to restaurants that offer them.  The ground turkey cooked with garlic, oregano, and salt made it taste just like the lamb used for gyro sandwiches.  I have some leftover that I want to mix up into some gyros, and that recipe will be up here soon!  I will definitely be making this more often!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Chicken Wrapped Asparagus Cheese Bundles

Serves 2.

Two chicken breasts (boneless skinless), flattened to about 1/4 " thickness
About 10 stalks asparagus with the ends trimmed
1 tbsp butter
1 clove garlic, minced
2 slices provolone cheese
1 lemon, zest and juice
1 tsp dijon mustard
3 tbsp mayonnaise
Italian seasoned Breadcrumbs

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
Heat pan on medium heat.  Melt the butter.  Add in the garlic and let brown for a few seconds, then add the asparagus and saute for 5-10 minutes.
Mix lemon zest, juice, mustard, and mayonnaise together, and add salt and pepper as desired.
Salt and pepper one side of the chicken breasts.
Place a piece of provolone on each chicken breast.  Then top with 4-5 pieces of asparagus.
Roll up and secure with a toothpick if necessary.
Place seam side down in a greased baking dish.
Spoon mixture over top each chicken breast.
Top with breadcrumbs.
Bake for 30-40 minutes.

My review:  This was amazing.  I was skeptical of the mayo sauce, but it turned out amazing.  Delicious.  I hope to make this again soon!  It combined three of my favorite things: chicken, cheese, and asparagus.  2 thumbs up!  I served it with brown rice flavored with lemon juice and some dried basil, and tomatoes with fresh ground pepper and balsamic.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


I made these again this week.  And I've been eating leftovers of them all week.

And guess what?

They're bettter than I remembered.  And if you haven't tried them yet, you're crazy.  Go. Cook. Now.

They are so easy to make, and you are going to love them.

Teri's Hot & Sweet Drumsticks = total love.

I hope to be back next week with new recipes... but until then, check out the old ones... I won't tell.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Tacos

Unfortunately, I didn't take a picture of this on my normal camera, I had to use my old one, and the upload cable is MIA.  If I find it, I'll add the picture...

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup Frank's Red Hot
1/4 cup Ranch or Blue Cheese Dressing
Mozzerella Cheese
Hard or Soft Taco Shells
Cooked white rice (optional)

Place the chicken in a crock pot on LOW for 7-8 hours.
Remove any liquid, and use 2 forks to shred the meat.
Once shredded, add the Red Hot sauce and dressing, and stir to combine.
Let heat through for about 10 minutes in the crock pot.
Place in taco with desired toppings.  Rice is a good touch because it helps with the spiciness.

My review:  This was awesome.  I will definitely be making this again.  It reminded be of Buffalo Wing Dip, but it was really good to eat as a taco.  This would even be good on a sandwich too.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Margarita Cake with Tequila Lime infused frosting

Not giving you enough notice, but this is a great recipe for Cinco de Mayo!

1 boxed white cake mix
3 egg whites
3/4 cup bottled margarita drink mix
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 container Cool Whip
1 tablespoon tequila (optional)
2 tablespoons lime juice (fresh or bottled)  (if using fresh, zest the lime and add that too!)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray, and flour it. (if using the spray for baking, omit the flouring).
In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, egg whites, drink mix, water, and oil, and mix for 1-2 minutes on medium until smooth.  Pour into prepared cake pan.
Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Mix the tequila and lime juice into the Cool Whip until combined, and use to frost the cake once it has cooled.
Store in the refrigerator.

My review:  Yum!  This tasted really good, and the margarita flavor wasn't overwhelming like I thought it would be.  Make without the tequila if you're having an underage crowd, or people who won't enjoy the taste.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Sirloin Steaks with Dijon Mushroom Sauce

Recipe adapted from Simple & Delicious

3-4 Sirloin Steaks (about 1.5 lbs)
Lawry's Season Salt
1 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup beef broth
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp crushed dried rosemary
1/2 tsp dried thyme

Sprinkle steaks lightly with season salt on each side.  Broil 4 inches from the heat for 6 minutes on each side, or until your desired doneness.
While your steaks are cooking, melt the butter in a large skillet on medium heat.  Saute the mushrooms until tender.  Once tender, stir in the remaining ingredients.  Bring the liquid to a boil, then cook until the liquid is reduced by half.
Serve the sauce over top of the steaks.

This sauce can also be served over pork chops, if you prefer that over steak.

My review:  This tasted like something from a restaurant.  It was amazingly delicious.  The sauce had the right tinge of dijon to make it spicy and the depth of the sauce because of the herbs made it really pop.  Make this!!  I want to try it on top of pork chops next!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Hawaiian Quesadillas

4 wheat tortillas, burrito size

2 teaspoons mayo
8 slices thin sliced cooked ham, cut in strips
1 can (8oz) crushed pineapple, drained well
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Print these coupons...

About Concordance™

In  nonstick skillet, place tortilla. Spread with half of the mayonnaise. Top with half of the ham, pineapple, bell pepper and cheese. Top with another tortilla.

Cook over medium heat 2 to 4 minutes, turning once, until lightly browned on each side, and cheese is melted.

Repeat to make second quesadilla.

My review:  I loved this!  It was a nice twist on Hawaiian pizza, and on quesadillas.  Very fun.

Ree's Springy Shells

In celebration of spring, I decided to finally make Ree's Springy Shells, and they were to die for.  I knew I was going to be visiting one of my local farmer's markets, and all of the green ingredients are in season right now, so I'd be able to find it all.  I'm not going to post the recipe here, because you can find it at the link above.

But I will tell you, that they are amazing.  And make sure to use lots of salt and pepper, otherwise they can be pretty bland.  My family enjoyed it, but they were hoping for some meat, so we had smoked pork chops with them.  The recipe makes a ton, so if you don't want to eat it for 10 days straight, you may want to halve or even quarter the recipe.

But definitely make it, you will not regret it.  Also, if you do try it and find it a little bland, I think adding some red sauce to the mixture would be delicious.  Maybe add 2 layers of red sauce into the mixture.  I'll let you know if I end up trying it!

Tuscan Marinated Mushroooms

1 (8 oz) package mushrooms, quartered
1/2 cup Kraft Tuscan House Italian Dressing
Parmesan cheese, optional

Wash and cut your mushrooms into quarters.   Place into a skillet
Pour the dressing over top.
Cook on medium heat, sauteing and turning as needed, for about 8-10 minutes.
Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, if desired.

My review:  I had mushrooms that needed to be used, so I went to my pantry on a hunt for something to cook them in, besides the usual butter or olive oil.  This was amazing.  I plan on making these many many more times.  These would be good served with a steak, on a salad, or with a chicken breast. 

Meaty MushroomThin Crust Pizza

I'm going to be making a lot of variations of these coming up.  I have class 2 evenings a week, with very little time to get something for dinner, and this is a quick, fun, and healthy meal.  My lovely friend, Nicole, is south beaching it, and she told me about this yummy way she gets to enjoy pizzas.  Here, I'm giving you the ingredients to make two, but you can make as few or as many as you want!

2 low carb wheat tortillas (the wheat, low carb ones get crispier!)
4 tbsp pizza sauce
Reduced fat shredded mozzarella cheese
4 mushrooms, sliced
2 slices deli cooked ham
10-20 turkey pepperonis

Spray a cookie sheet with a little bit of Pam, and then place your tortillas side by side, not overlapping.  You might need two cookie sheets.  Spread 2 tbsp of sauce on each tortilla.  If you like more sauce, feel free to add more.
Top the sauce with your desired amount of cheese on each pizza, and then follow with pepperonis, ham, and mushrooms.  Other topping options could be turkey sausage, onions, peppers, tomatoes, or any other veggie.  Be creative!
Bake at 450 degrees F for 10 minutes.

My review:  Nicole is a genius.  This was so good.  What a nice, easy, low-carb meal.  I can't wait to make more.  I know it's cheating for new recipes, but I'm going to post all my variations that I end up making.  This is really yummy!  Try making your own, and if you get any good variations, lemme know so I can try them too! 

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Barbecue Chicken Pasta Skillet

Adapted from recipe at

Olive Oil
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut in chunks
1 small red onion, diced
3 cups water
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 ounces penne
2/3 cup of your favorite barbecue sauce
1/2 cup light sour cream
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
About 6 green onions, diced

In a large pot heat the olive oil over medium heat.
When hot, add chicken and red onion, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is browned and cooked through. Remove to a plate and set aside.
In the same pot, add water, chicken broth, penne and salt. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes, until the liquid is almost absorbed.
Stir in the barbecue sauce and sour cream. Once mixed, add in the reserved chicken, onions and shredded cheese. Stir to combine and cook until everything is heated through.
Serve immediately and garnish with green onions and shredded cheese.

My review:  This was yummy.  Such a nice change from red tomato sauce.  I liked the tangy spicy flavors of the sauce and onions together.  This was actually even better the next day cold.  The flavors all sunk into the pasta and it was awesome!

Monday, March 15, 2010

ZAM Pasta!

I'm gonna call this ZAM Pasta (Zucchini, Asparagus, Mushrooms). It was created by me this evening, because I had fresh veggies that needed to be used.  It turned out absolutely amazing.

1 whole zucchini, sliced thick and then cut in quarters
1 (12 oz) package mushrooms, sliced
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 bunch asparagus, cut in half lengthwise (try to get thin ones)
3 cloves garlic, minced
Olive Oil
1 package ground turkey (1.3 lbs)
1 jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce
Salt and Pepper to Taste
1 pound thin spaghetti

Put the asparagus in a small saucepan, and cover with water.  Put on the stove on high, covered until boiling, then turn off the heat, but leave it on the burner for about 5 minutes, then drain.
In a separate, large skillet, heat olive oil on medium heat.  Add the garlic, mushrooms, onions, and zucchini.  Cook for about 8 minutes, until cooked.  Remove from pan.
Heat the pan back up and add the ground turkey and brown.
Once browned, add the asparagus, mushrooms, and zucchini and stir. 
Pour in the spaghetti sauce and stir.  Turn the heat down to simmer and let simmer for 5-10 minutes until heated through.
Serve over spaghetti.

My review:  This was aaahhhhmazingly good.  I love spring and summer for the fresh veggies and this recipe is fabulous for that.  You can use any mixture of fresh vegetables, but I highly recommend this combination!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Hamburger Stir-Fry


2 cups rice, cooked
1 pound ground beef
2 tbsp canola oil
4 oz. snap peas (about 30)
1/4 red onion, diced
10 oz. mushrooms, sliced
20 baby carrots, diced
1/2 large zucchini, sliced into half moons
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup stir fry sauce

In a large skillet, brown the ground beef on medium high heat.  Set aside in a bowl.
Return the skillet to the heat, and add the canola oil.  Heat until hot.
Add the peas, onion, mushrooms, carrots, zucchini, and garlic.
Stir frequently, until all the veggies are cooked, but still crisp, which will take about 5-7 minutes on medium high heat.
Add the ground beef back to the pan, and pour the stir fry sauce over top.
Stir to combine and heat for another minute.
Serve over top of brown or white rice.

My review:  I knew I had all these fresh vegetables and I wanted something good to do with all of them.  I also didn't have any steak or chicken, which are my first choices when making stir fry, so I used some hamburger.  This was great, I will definitely be making this again!  It would be great with broccoli, peppers, and mini corn cobs, too!  Also, it was on the table within about 20 minutes, which made it a great weeknight dinner.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Bacon Mushroom Pasta

Pioneer Woman read my mind when she posted this recipe on Monday.  I had a variation of the ingredients in my refrigerator and pantry, and decided to cook this up.  All inspired by Ree, but with the portions scaled down, and some differences in ingredients because I didn't feel like going to the store.  It was delicious paired with a steak, but next time, I'll make it a meal!

2 tablespoons olive oil
3 slices bacon, diced into small pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (10oz) package mushrooms, sliced thin
1/2 cup chicken broth
3/4 cup half and half
2 tablespoons parsley flakes
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 lb. thin spaghetti

Cook pasta according to directions on package.
In a skillet, heat the olive oil on medium high heat and add bacon pieces until browned.  Remove and set aside on a paper towel.
Without cleaning the pan, add the garlic and mushrooms and stir over medium high heat for 5 minutes, until the mushrooms are golden brown. 
Pour in the chicken broth and stir, scraping any bits off the bottom of the skillet.  Cook on medium high for several minutes, until the liquid is reduced by half.
Reduce the heat and pour in the half and half.  Stir and let thicken for a few minutes.
Add parsely and stir, cooking for one more minute. 
Finally, add Parmesan and stir, letting the cheese melt into the sauce, and turn off the heat.
Drain the pasta and toss with half of the mushroom sauce, using tongs.
Top each serving with the rest of the sauce and some Parmesan cheese.

My review:  This was delicious and easy, and many of my favorite flavors all together.  Make it now.  It would be great with chicken added to the sauce as well.  Very good!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Italian Stromboli

Pizza Dough (I buy mine at the grocery store, from the bakery.  You can also get it at some Italian restaurants, or you can even use the Pillsbury kind.  Or make your own, too)
Olive Oil
4 oz. mushrooms, sliced
1/2 small onion, diced
1/2 green pepper, diced (optional)
1/2 lb ground beef or italian sausage, browned (optional)
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 slices Cooked Deli Ham
6 slices Hard Salami
About 20 pepperonis
6 slices Provolone Cheese
1/2 cup shredded Mozzerella

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a skillet.  Saute your mushrooms, onions, and garlic.  If you were using ground beef or sausage, you could cook it with the mushrooms and onions.
Flatten out your pizza dough into a rectangle on a cookie sheet with some olive oil to keep it from being sticky.
Start by layering your ham on the bottom, leaving room on the edges to fold up.  Then, place 3 slices of Provolone.  Top with your hard salami and pepperonis.  Then, top with the remaining Provolone.  Spoon your mushrooms and onions (and ground beef or sausage) on top.  Then, top with Mozzerella.  Fold up the sides.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown.  Serve with Pizza sauce for dipping.

My review:  My mom makes homemade stromboli all the time, and I love it.  It's one of the things I usually request when I'm visiting, or for my birthday.  Most people don't realize that it's a simple, quick, and fairly cheap meal to prepare at home for yourself.  And most importantly, it's delicious!

Valentine's Day Dinner

I was gone for way too long.  I apologize.  But the stupid stomach virus got me, and then it was one of my favorite holidays:  Valentine's Day!!!  And for Valentine's Day, I cooked one of the best meals I have ever cooked:  Ranch Chicken and Potatoes.  I can't take any credit for this recipe, and I can't give you any better instructions on how to cook it, and basically, I'm too lazy to share step by step, so I will refer here for the printable and here to check out Cooking Ventures, the blog, where Vince cooks up all kinds of amazing things.  This recipe was boyfriend approved, me approved, and absolutely darn delicious, and incredibly easy to prepare!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Amazing Chicken Fajitas! (and a great marinade too!)

adapted from recipe over at My Kitchen Cafe

1/4 cup lime juice
1/2 cup water
3 tbsp oil (olive or vegetable)
2 tsp minced garlic (about 2 large cloves)
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp liquid smoke (this is found near the steak sauce and worcestershire sauce)
salt and pepper

3 large chicken breasts (about 1-1.5 pounds)
1 yellow or red onion, cut in thin strips
1 red pepper, cut in thin strips
1/2 pound (8 oz) mushrooms, thickly sliced
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp water
1 tsp lime juice
salt and pepper

Mix all marinade ingredients together in a ziploc bag and shake.  Add chicken breasts and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, overnight if possible.
Discard the marinade and grill or broil the chicken until cooked through.  Under the broiler, it takes about 6 minutes on each side.
In a large skillet, heat some olive oil over medium heat.
Add onion, mushrooms, and pepper, stirring and cooking until crisp tender (about 3 minutes).
Add soy sauce, water, lime juice, salt, and pepper.  Cook for another few minutes and stir frequently.
Slice chicken on the diagonal and toss in with the veggies.
Serve on tortillas, topped with your favorite toppings, like cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, salsa, and guacamole.  

My review:  I LOVED THIS.  I plan to use this marinade for me than just fajitas, but I think this will become a favorite recipe.  It would also be good for quesadillas or chicken taco salad.  You have to try this!!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Baked Strips of Fire


 1/2 tsp ground red cayenne pepper
1 packet Shake N Bake Extra Crispy coating mix
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
1/2 cup Frank's Red Hot Sauce

Heat oven to 400 degrees F.
Add pepper and coating mix to shaker bag included with Shake N Bake.
Dip each chicken strip into the hot sauce, and then shake into coating mix until coated.
Spray baking sheet with cooking spray, and place chicken strips in a single layer.
Bake 25 minutes and serve with ranch dressing, celery, and carrot sticks.  They would also be good served on top of a salad or in a wrap.

My review:  These were amazing!  I loved them.  It was a nice healthier substitute for boneless buffalo wings.  They would be great for a Superbowl party!


Pioneer Woman's Sesame Noodles

So I've been saving this recipe up in my file for a long time, and decided to finally make it this week.  This is another recipe from the amazing Pioneer Woman, and if you would like her step by step instructions, you can find those here.  Her measurements are a bit loose, so I'm including the ones that I used.

12 ounces thin noodles (angel hair, spaghetti, asian style)
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp sugar
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp rice vinegar
3 tbsp pure sesame oil
1/2 tsp hot chile oil (this can be substituted by vegetable oil, with a pinch of cayenne pepper)
4 tbsp canola oil
3 tbsp hot water
3-4 green onions, sliced thin

Cook noodles as directed on package.
Whisk all other ingredients except green onions together in a bowl.
Taste and adjust if needed.
Pour sauce over warm noodles and toss to coat.
Sprinkle with green onions and toss.

My review:  I actually have to be honest and say that this wasn't my favorite.  It was good, but the flavors were a little too strong for me.  Try it!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Lasagna Roll-Ups

12 Lasagna Noodles
2 eggs
1 (15 oz) container Part Skim Ricotta Cheese
Salt, Pepper to taste
1 tsp garlic salt
2 tsp Italian Season blend
1 jar of your favorite sauce (or leftover meat sauce from spaghetti) (i used leftover veggie puh-sgetti sauce)
2 cups shredded mozzerella

Cook lasagna noodles as directed on package.  Drain, and lay flat on a cutting board or wax paper.
Mix eggs, ricotta, salt, pepper, garlic salt, and italian season blend.
Spread across the length of each noodle, about 1 tbsp per noodle.
Roll up each noodle.
Cover the bottom of a square baking dish with a layer of sauce.  Arrange the roll-ups in a single layer.
Cover with sauce.
Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees F.
Cover with shredded mozzerella, and return to the oven until melted and bubbly, about 5-10 minutes.

My review:  This was my quick alternative to making lasagna.  I didn't feel like fussing with all the layers, and I didn't want to make very much.  The recipe can be easily halved, which is what I did.  Just as delicious as lasagna, but a nice change.  If I make it again, I will just use jarred sauce, no meat.  It could have used a "saucier" texture.  Yum!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Crock Pot Turkey Chili

1 package 97/3 Ground Turkey (1.3 lbs)
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced (only add the seeds if you like lots of heat!)
2 cans light kidney beans, slightly drained
1 can black beans, slightly drained
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can tomato paste (6 oz)
1 small can tomato sauce
1 cup frozen corn
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp chili powder

Brown the turkey with the onion, garlic and jalapeno.
Mix turkey and all other ingredients in your Crock Pot.
Cook on low for 7-8 hours or high for 3 hours.
Serve topped with shredded cheese, onion, black olives, or crushed tortilla chips.

My review:  This was a good chili.  I think next time I will add at least one or two more jalapenos, because I felt like it needed a bit more heat, but overall it was a really good chili.  I topped it with cheese and dipped it with tortilla chips.  Obviously ground beef can be substituted for the turkey. 

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Crab Melt

6 oz can Crab Meat, drained
1/2 cup Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1 stalk celery, diced
1/2 small onion, diced
2 tbsp Light Mayonnaise
2 tbsp Melted Butter or Margarine
1/2 tsp Old Bay seasoning
1 dash Garlic Salt
Pepper to taste
4 English Muffins (try the 100 calorie ones -- they are delicious!)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Split the English Muffins.
Mix the crab meat, cheese, celery, onion, mayonnaise, butter, and garlic salt together in a small bowl.
Spread about 1 tablespoon of mixture onto each muffin.
Bake for 20 minutes, then place under the broiler for 3 minutes.

These can also be prepared and frozen before baking.  Do not top with shredded cheese and freeze, separating layers with wax paper or parchment paper.  Bake for 30 minutes.

My review:  This was absolutely scrumptious.  I had something like this in a restaurant once and decided to try my hand at making my own.  I think it would make a good appetizer for parties, too, if you would cut in quarters.  I made this full recipe, and froze the rest to use for quick dinners later.