Sunday, September 30, 2012

Copycat Sonic Grape Limeade

Grape Limeades are my favorite drink to order from Sonic I absolutely love them.  I wish I had the ice machine they have because this recipe would have been PERFECT.  A friend of mine posted a recipe the other day for a strawberry limeade and I knew I had to try to make a grape one.  I kind of wish I never tried this because I had two last night and its 10 AM and its all I want now!

  • 1 cup lemon-lime soda
  • 2 -3 tablespoons grape juice concentrate
  • 1 lime
  • ice
  • 16 oz cup

Directions:  Fill cup 3/4 full of ice and add the juice of 1/2 a lime over the top.  Add 2-3 tablespoons of grape concentrate and add in soda.  Stir and top with a lime wedge!

Cookers Note:  You can add any flavor of concentrate and as much as you like.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Cuban Sandwich

This did not disappoint at all.  After searching for ideas for left over pork tenderloin I came across this one and made a couple changes.  I love pepperoncinis and thought they would be a wonderful addition.  The pickles and pepperoncinis gave just the right amount of crunch and the meat was so good with the provolone.

  • 1 baguette (the bakery did not have Cuban bread)
  • 4 slices of deli ham
  • thinly sliced pork tenderloin
  • 3 pieces provolone cheese
  • pepperoncinis, to taste
  • sliced pickles, to taste
  • mustard
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • garlic, minced just a pinch

Directions:  Melt butter and add garlic in separate bowl.  Cut baguette in half and coat the outside with butter and garlic.  Spread mustard on the inside of each half and layer cheese, ham, tenderloin, pickles and pepperoncinis.  Use a heated panini press or even a George Foreman to press the sandwich until cheese is melted.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Garlic Sherry Pork Tenderloin

I am so glad my aunt reintroduced me to Pork.  My last tenderloin was delicious and this one just as good.  It was so tender and extremely moist.  Another easy and comforting meal.
  • 1 pork tenderloin
  • 1/4 cup Sherry cooking wine
  • 1/4 cup onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper
Directions:  Remove tenderloin from package and pat dry with paper towels.  Add tenderloin to Ziploc bag and add all remaining ingredients and marinate for a hour or so.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Spray baking dish with non stick spray and add tenderloin with marinade and bake for 30 minutes.

Apple Pistachio Spinach Salad

So my husband and I have been juicing for a while now and we always have tons of spinach in the house.  I decided to actually eat it this time and came up with this delight.  This was surprisingly easy and really delicious.  Side note, every time I say I juice I feel like I am telling people I am on steroids. 
  • 3 handfuls of spinach
  • 1 gala apple, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup pistachios
  • 1 tablespoon white balsamic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:  Add balsamic, olive oil, maple syrup, mustard, and salt and pepper to mixing bowl and whisk together.  In salad bowl add spinach and top with apples and pistachios.  Pour dressing over salad and give a quick toss.

DIY Minced Garlic

I have just recently started using garlic in almost every meal and I have to say I am so tired of mincing it EVERY time.  I was watching the food network and they gave this little trick.  I am so excited to save money and time with this quick trick.

  • Garlic
  • Olive Oil
  • Jar
Directions:  Peel garlic and add to food processor.  Pulse until garlic is minced and add to jar.  Add olive oil until garlic is covered and store in fridge!!

DIY Vanilla Coffee Creamer

So as I was pouring the last drop of creamer into my coffee I was so frustrated that I was going to have to pack up baby and head off to the store for one item.  THE WORST.  Thank you pinterest for saving me once again.  This is totally not my recipe but I wanted to share it!
  • 1 can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • Empty Jar/Container
Directions:  Add all together and stir.  I just poured all of it into my leftover creamer container and shook it!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Balsamic Peppercorn Steak

Several years ago I went to a really nice steakhouse and ordered the peppercorn steak and I have never been so disappointed in a meal.  For the price tag it should have been so much better.  Needless to say I was a little nervous to attempt a peppercorn of my own but I am so glad I did.  Now I don't have to BBQ in the middle of winter outside!!!
  • 2 Rib Eye Steaks
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon beef bouillon
  • 1/4 cup milk
Directions:  Pat steaks dry with paper towels and cover both sides with pepper and salt.  Place in Ziploc bag with balsamic and marinate for at least 15 minutes.  In a large skillet over medium heat add olive oil, butter, garlic, and ginger and heat until butter is melted.  Add steak and cook for about 2 minutes on each side.  Remove steaks and place on separate plate.  In skillet add beef bouillon and milk and bring to a boil.  Place steaks back in skillet and cook for about 30 seconds on each side.  Remove from heat and serve.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Cream Cheese Chicken Farfalle

I didn't follow any sort of recipe for this dish I just threw a bunch of things together that I needed to use before they went bad.  I had lots of chicken left over from my whole roasted chicken and a block of cream cheese and I went from there.  I used a whole box of Farfalle because my freezer meals are looking a little low so feel free to make a smaller portion or freeze the extra for later. 
  • 2 cup cooked chicken, diced or shredded
  • 8 oz light cream cheese
  • 1 box Farfalle pasta, cooked
  • 1 package sliced mushrooms
  • 1 small sweet onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup sherry cooking wine
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube
  • 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • fresh basil, to taste
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
Directions:  Boil farafalle according to package.  In a large sauce pan heat olive oil then add garlic and onions.  Saute until onions are soft and add mushrooms.  Cook for about a minute and add balsamic vinegar.  When mushrooms start to caramelize transfer to separate bowl.  Add chicken broth, sherry and bouillon and bring to a boil reduce heat to low and add cream cheese and stir constantly until creamy.  Add mushrooms, onions, and farfalle and stir.  Garnish with basil and serve.
Cookers Note:  If you are freezing use a disposable 9x9 tin baking pan and cover with foil.  Thaw completely and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. 

Crock Pot Chicken Tacos

I'm drawing a blank on what to write here and all I can think of is I LOVE TACOS!!  Seriously, I LOVE TACOS!  Hope you all enjoy these as much as I did.

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1 jar Pace Picante Salsa
  • 1 can diced green chilies
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • tortillas
  • avocado, for garnish
  • cheese, for garnish
  • cilantro, for garnish
  • lettuce, for garnish

Directions:  Add chicken, pace, and seasoning to crock pot and cook on low for 4-6 hours.  Shred chicken and serve with tortillas and your favorite toppings if different from above!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Sweet and Sour Roasted Chicken

So first let me point out my rookie mistake!  I forgot to cover the chicken for the first hour so as you can see it got a little crisp.  Also the reason for lot posting a picture of the finished whole chicken.  However, the chicken was fantastic.  I also served it with my Easy Scalloped Potatoes.  So I bought a whole chicken the other day and I was debating how I wanted to prepare it.  Awhile back I made Orange Marmalade Pork Tenderloin and purchased two jars of Orange Marmalade.  It was staring me down in my pantry so I was debating how I could use it.  I remembered from awhile back these sweet and sour meatballs I made years ago.  I will make them soon and decided to adapt from that recipe.

  • 1 5-6 pound whole chicken
  • 1 jar Orange Marmalade ( We will use the zest and the peeled orange)
  • 1 bottle Heinz Chili Sauce
  • 1 orange
  • 4-5 celery stalks
  • 1/2 stick butter, sliced
  • non stick spray

Directions:  Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  In a medium saucepan heat Marmalade and Chili Sauce with the zest from the orange.  Heat until blended well.   Meanwhile remove the innards from chicken and rinse and pat dry.  In a large roasting pan spray with non stick spray and lay celery stalks.  Place chicken on celery and add a couple cutter pieces under the skin and rub the chicken with the rest.  Add peeled orange into the cavity and pour 1/4 of sauce over chicken and spread around.  Make sure to pour some under the skin as well.  Bake covered for one hour then remove and bake for another 1/2 hour uncovered.   Use remaining sauce to pour over chicken when serving. ( I had lots left over so I froze it for a later time)

Easy Scalloped Potatoes

I have tried many recipes for scalloped potatoes and I always love them.  This recipe was by far the easiest and it tastes just as delicious.  I will give away my secret TILLAMOOK cheese!!!!  Tillamook Extra Sharp White Cheddar Cheese is a girls best friend!  If you have never tried this cheese you HAVE TOO!  When I was preggo my favorite snack was an English Muffin with pb&j topped with this cheese.  I know you are thinking only a pregnant woman would like this however, a non preggo co-worker made it for me and I fell in love.  Maybe I will do a blog post on it for fun. 

  • 4 Yukon gold potatoes, thinly sliced ( blanch in boiling water for 3-5 minutes to shorten baking time)
  • 2 cups Tillamook Extra Sharp White Cheddar Cheese, grated (if you do not have Tillamook I know Cracker Barrel makes one too!)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon pepper, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, or to taste
  • cooking spray

Directions:  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Spray 9 by 9 baking dish with non stick spray.  In a bowl combine cream, milk, and all seasonings and whisk together.  Cover the bottom of the baking dish with 1/2 of the potatoes overlapping slightly.  Pour half the cream over them and top with 1/2 the cheese and repeat the layers ending with cheese.  Sprinkle with a little extra pepper and paprika.  Bake for 30 minutes covered then 30 minutes uncovered. 

Friday, September 14, 2012

Korean Style Ground Beef

I must say I was pleasantly surprised by this recipe.  I had some ground beef that I needed to use so I typed "ground beef" into pinterest and this is what I found.  I made a couple changes but not much.  Such a simple and fast meal that tastes great! 

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 package mushrooms
  • 1/2 small onion chopped
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup brown sugar ( start with 1/4 and add more if desired)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce 
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger, zested
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha (optional)
  • green onions for garnish

Directions: Heat butter and oil in large skillet over medium heat.  Add onions, garlic, and mushrooms.  Saute until onions are soft and add ground beef and cook until browned.  Add brown sugar, soy sauce, ginger, salt and pepper and sriracha. Simmer for a few minutes to blend the flavors. Serve over steamed rice and top with green onions.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Hubbys Shrimp Noodle Soup

The first time my husband ever made this I thought he was crazy!  Why in the world would you put Ramen noodles and shrimp together.  When I think of Ramen noodles I think of my childhood and my brother, sister, and I playing Nintendo and eating it out of huge plastic cups like the ones you get at fast food chains.  My brother would always call dibs on the Iowa Hawkeys one!  I vividly remember the first time I saw someone eat Ramen out of a bowl and I was so confused.  I have no idea why we ate it out of a cup but for some reason it was so odd to me that someone would even consider using a bowl.  Anyhow, my husband surprised me on this one and to this day it is my favorite meal he makes.  Maybe because its the only one he makes but it is my favorite!!

  • 2 packages Oriental Ramen Noodles
  • 1 lb shrimp, uncooked
  • 1 broccoli floret
  • 1 package sliced mushrooms
  • 1 medium zucchini sliced or cut in half circles
  • 1 small onion
  • soy sauce, to taste
  • hoison sauce, to taste
  • sriracha, to taste
  • 2 tablespoon butter

Directions:  In a medium pan melt butter and saute onions and mushrooms until onions are soft.  I always add a little sriracha and hoison while I saute them!  Add shrimp and cook until pink.  In a large pot boil ramen noodles according to package.  When noodles are soft add broccoli and zucchini and cook for a couple minutes.  Finally add shrimp, mushrooms, and onions.  Add one packet oriental seasoning and add soy sauce, hoison, and sriracha to taste.

Cookers Note:  The best thing about this meal is you can use any veggies you have in the fridge and you can always substitute the shrimp for chicken or tofu.  I also love to top with fresh sprouts when I have them.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Garlic Parmesan Muffins

I absolutely hate when I get home from the grocery store and realize I forgot just ONE thing.  Of course this one thing happened to be the garlic bread that my husband has to have when eating any kind of pasta.  He has never been a fan of pasta so when I do make it I always add garlic bread.  No way am I packing up baby and making another trip so I raided the pantry and found self rising flour.  I remembered a recipe by Trisha Yearwood for Easiest Muffins and I decided to adapt it to more of a garlic bread muffin.  This is the end result and I have to pat myself on the back because these are scrumptious.

Ingredients: (this makes 6 muffins)
  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup self rising flour
  • 3 tablespoons parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1-2 tablespoons chopped chives or to taste
  •  pepper, to taste
  • cooking spray
 Directions:  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In a mixing bowl cream together butter and yogurt.  Slowly add in flour and mix well.  Add all garlic, cheese and salt and pepper and mix together.  Spray muffin pan and drop dough in with a ice cream scooper.  Bake for about 15 minutes or until tops are brown. 

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Peach Caprese Salad

This recipe comes from my amazing sister Victoria.  The first time I tasted this mind blowing concoction was at my baby shower.  I'm not going to lie, I thought I was going to hate this and was so surprised that it became one of my all time favorite salads.

  • 1 package mozzarella balls or 1/2 of a mozzarella block cubed.
  • 1 package cherry tomatoes cut in half or 2-3 small vine tomatoes diced
  • 3 peaches or nectarines, sliced or diced
  • fresh basil leaves, to taste
  • olive oil, to taste
  • white balsamic, to taste ( I usually use about 2-3 tablespoons)
  • salt and pepper, to taste ( I usually use about 1/4 cup)
  1. Combine mozzarella, tomatoes, and peaches in a large bowl. 
  2. Chop basil and toss into salad.   
  3. Mix desired amounts of olive oil, white balsamic, salt and pepper into a mason jar and shake until combined. 
  4. Pour over salad and toss. 
  5. Let sit for about an hour before serving. 

Baked Buffalo Chicken Wings

My husband LOVES chicken wings.  He is always telling me stories about a place in Florida called Wings N Weenies that he would go to when he was little.  We finally have a good wing place close by and he always wants to go.  I am not a fan of chicken wings but I thought I would give it a try.  I was surprised when I actually like these guys. 
  • 1 package chicken wings
  • 1 cup or less of Red Hot Buffalo Sauce
  • Salt and Pepper
  • cooking spray
Directions:  Preheat over to 450 degrees.  Spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Toss the wings with the salt and pepper to coat evenly in a medium bowl and then transfer to the baking sheet. Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until outer skin is crisp.  Take chicken out of oven and preheat broiler.  Brush on Red Hot Buffalo sauce to your liking and broil for about three minutes and flip wings and add sauce to other side and repeat.

Hawaiian Baked Ham and Swiss Sandwiches

I found this recipe on Pinterest and I knew I had to try it.  I am in love!  The bottom was crispy, the middle is full of cheese and the top has a wonderful onion flavor.  I only made four but I will post the recipe for a dozen.  This would be a perfect to serve during football season.

  • 1 12 pack of Hawaiian Original Rolls ( I only found the hamburger ones and they were perfect)
  • 1 1b deli ham, thinly sliced
  • 1 1b Swiss Cheese, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 sticks butter
  • 1 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 teaspoons poppy seeds
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped

Directions:   Pre heat oven to 350 degrees.  Melt butter and mix mustard, Worcestershire, onion and poppy seeds until onions are soft.  Place the bottom of the buns in a greased 9x13 pan.  Spread half of the butter and onion mixture over the top.  Add ham and cheese and place the remaining buns over the top and pour remaining butter/onion mixture over the top.  Bake covered for 15-20 minutes. 

Cookers Note:  I was using the oven at 450 degrees for some other goodies and I cooked these for 10 minutes at 450 because I was lazy and did not want to wait it ti cook.  They were perfect!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Not So Sloppy Joes

I had some ingredients I needed to get rid of so I whipped these up for something different.  A great fast and simple dinner. 
  • 1 lb ground meet of choice
  • 1 can tomato soup
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • about 2 small celery sticks chopped
  • 1/2 medium sweet onion chopped
  • 1 can diced green chilies
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar (optional)
  • Hamburger Buns
  • Salt, pepper, and Cayenne pepper to taste.
Directions: In a large skillet brown meat and add onions, celery, and chilies.  Drain any excess fat and add tomato soup, ketchup, Worcestershire, and brown sugar. Also add salt and pepper to your liking. Heat on medium for about 5 minutes stirring.  Scoop desired amount onto buns and enjoy.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Semi Homemade Potato Soup

Whenever the grocery store has a sale on Bear Creek soup mixes I always pick some up.  One package makes 8 cups of soup and after I add my touches to it I end up with 9 cups.  The best part is I always have enough leftovers for lunch the next day and one freezer meal for another time.  SCORE!
1 package Bear Creek Creamy Potato Soup mix
4 oz cream cheese 
1 cup milk
1 package bacon
2 celery stalks chopped
5 small red or yellow potatoes
1/2 cup chopped green onions, more to taste
salt and pepper to taste
2 teaspoons paprika
Directions:  Cook bacon until slightly crispy and chop when cooled.  In a large pot boil 8 cups of water.  Add potatoes, onions, celery,  3/4 bacon crumbles, and seasoning.  Lower heat and cook for about 15 minutes stirring every couple of minutes.  Add milk and cream cheese and cook for another 5 minutes stirring frequently.  When finished top with remaining bacon and season with extra pepper and paprika if desired.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Cajun Shrimp Pasta

If you have not been over to The Pioneer Woman you need to check her page out.  She is amazing.  I have always dreamed of living on a farm with lots of animals and a huge garden.  However, it all seems like way to much work for me.  So I guess I will live my dreams out while I watch her show!  I found this recipe on her site and it was very tasty.  I made some changes but essentially its the same thing.  SO GOOD.

  • 1 lb raw jumbo shrimp
  • 1/2 package thin spaghetti
  • 1 package slice mushrooms
  • 1 roma tomato, diced
  • 1/2 small red onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 cup sherry cooking wine
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoon cajun spice, more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon blackened seasoning, more to taste
  • cayenne pepper to taste
  • black pepper to taste
Directions:  Cook spaghetti according to package.  Drain when spaghetti is almost done.  In a large saute pan add olive oil and garlic.  Saute until garlic softens and add shrimp.  Season shrimp with 1 teaspoon cajun seasoning and add balsamic.  Saute until shrimp is pink.  Remove from pan and set aside.  Add butter and saute onions and mushrooms until onions are brown.  Add diced tomatoes and cook for about a minute stirring constantly.  Remove vegetables to separate plate.  Add sherry and broth and bring to a boil.  Lower heat to medium and add heavy cream stirring constantly.  Add pepper, blackened seasoning, cajun seasoning, and cayenne pepper to sauce.  Mix together and add shrimp and vegetables coating them evenly.  Finally add pasta, stir, and enjoy.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Tequila Lime Chicken

Thank you Pioneer Woman!!  My parents were coming out for dinner and I had no idea what I wanted to make.  Luckily I decided to watch The Pioneer Woman and this is what she was cooking.  It looked so good so I decided to give it a try.  It was DELICIOUS.  The chicken is really moist and the flavor is amazing.

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1/4 cup tequila
  • 3 limes (juiced)
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 can green chilies or 1 diced jalapeno
  • 1 cup shredded Monterrey jack cheese or pepper jack
  • salt and pepper

Directions:  In food processor blend tequila, lime juice, garlic, salt, pepper, and chilies.  Add olive oil and cilantro and blend just a tiny bit until cilantro is chopped.  Add chicken to bag and marinate chicken for 3 hours.  Grill chicken on medium heat about 4-5 minutes on each side.  Top each piece with cheese until melted and enjoy.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Mexican Rice

As much as I love to cook I have always been afraid to make any homemade Mexican food.  My Grandma made the most amazing Mexican food EVER.  So many memories of playing with all my cousins and watching her cook.  I will never forget the smell of her kitchen.  Nothing will ever compare to her food but this recipe was tastsy none the less.  It is so easy and I dont think I will ever buy the packaged kind again.  It also makes the house smell so amazing!!

  • 2 cups long grain white rice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small white onion
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon Turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon Paprika or Cayenne Pepper
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 can whole tomatoes
  • 1 can diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • 1 can green chilies

Directions:  In a large skillet heat oil and sautee onion and garlic until onions are starting to get soft.  Add rice and stir constantly for about 2-3 minutes.  Add all the spices, chilies, and tomatoes and stir until well blened.  Add chicken broth and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and cover for about 20 minutes or until rice is soft.