Baked Nachos

>> Monday, June 28, 2010

When I'm feeling lazy- I am the first to dollop some refried beans on a plate of tortilla chips and fire it up in the microwave. But when I'm feeling a bit more adventurous, I make these yummy baked nachos! (bonus? They work great with leftover turkey from Thanksgiving- yay leftovers!) You can substitute cooked chicken to make things easier, I just boil some frozen chicken breasts. Easy peasy.

3 tbl. lime juice
2 tbl. olive oil
1 tea. cumin
1 tea. garlic powder
2 c. coarsely chopped, cooked turkey or chicken
1 (10 oz) pkg. tortilla chips
1 can refried beans
shredded cheese
sour cream

Whisk lime juice, olive oil, cumin, and garlic powder. Toss with meat in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Layer tortilla chips in the bottom of a greased baking dish. Spoon beans over chips, then top with meat and sprinkle with cheese. Add another layer of chips, pour salsa on top and sprinkle with cheese.
Bake for 15-20 mins at 425. Serve with sour cream (and whatever other toppings you like on your nachos!)


Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo

>> Thursday, June 24, 2010

I made this tonight for the first time in a while and I forgot how much I love it! It's my favorite homemade alfredo sauce recipe. I hope you enjoy it too!! Sorry, no pics, we were in too much of a hurry to stuff our faces :)

Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo

6 oz fettuccine noodles
1 cup broccoli flowerets
2 Tbsp butter or margarine
1 lb skinless boneless chicken breasts, cubed (about 1 cup)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (shredded is better but grated works too. Sometimes I even substitute with 1/4 cup mozzarella and 1/4 Parmesan)
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper (I'm not cool enough to have a pepper grinder thingy...normal pepper does the trick)

Cook fettuccine according to package. Add broccoli for last 4 minutes of cooking time. Drain in colander. While noodles are cooking, heat butter in medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook until browned, stirring often. Add soup, milk, cheese and pepper. When noodles are cooked, add them in too. Serves 4 (or in my house, me and my bottomless pit hubby. The little one got a small serving too ;))


Easy Pancake Roll-ups

>> Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Oops! Forgot it was breakfast week when I posted my enchilada recipe. To make up for it I will post this super yummy "Pancake Roll-up" recipes, which is akin to crepes. I can't take the credit. It came from one of my high school friends Elise Peterson. So easy and so good!

3 eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt

Whisk everything together until smooth. Grease a small or medium frying pan and turn heat to medium. Scoop about 1/4 cup of batter onto pan and roll it around so it is fairly thin. Cook one side then the other, until golden brown. Spread on butter, syrup, jam, nutella, powdered sugar, fresh fruit, anything you want... roll up and enjoy! I even like to eat them plain :)


Chicken Tomato Basil Pasta

I refused to post a recipe until I took pictures - so here it is finally!
This is one of my favorite summer recipes. It's so simple but absolutely delicious. I've been making this FOREVER so all of the measurements are approximate.
This is also a great recipe because there are no fancy pancy ingredients that you're going to have to go out and buy. If you can remember to get chicken, tomatoes and basil at the store you're set! This recipe can feed 6-8. We make this much everytime because pasta is always better on the second day after the noodles have soaked up the flavor!
*Disclaimer - START this meal 2-3 hours before you are going to eat dinner. You can leave it on the stove on low and forget about it while it cooks - but it makes it SOOO much better!

2 lbs chicken breasts
8-10 tomatoes off the vine (these are the smallest vine tomatoes)
1 1/2 Tbs minced garlic
4 Tbs olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

First dice your tomatoes. I got this fancy chop wizard for $18 at Target. I really only use it for this meal but I couldn't live without it. After they're diced and ready put them in a bowl off to the side. We just got some prep work out of the way.

No picture but slice your chicken to about inch cubes.
BEFORE you start to cook your chicken you're going to turn on your stove with the olive oil and garlic. Cook your garlic but don't let it turn brown. THEN throw in your chicken.

If your chicken starts to stick to the bottom of your pot you need more olive oil. Salt and pepper your chicken. Don't be afraid to be liberal - these are your ONLY seasonings so you're going to have to really use them to pull the taste out of this meal.

You're NOT cooking your chicken all the way through. It'll have plenty of time to cook and simmer after you add the tomatoes. I just make sure the outside is cooked.
Then add your tomatoes.

Stir them in and turn your burner down to LOW. If you've been smart you'll have done this a couple of hours before you actually are ready to eat. This will help the chicken cook slow and it'll be very tender and delicious.

Also slow cooking helps the tomatoes cook evenly. At this point you want to really start tasting you sauce. It will probably need a lot more salt and pepper. If it doesn't taste flavorful to you now it's not going to taste flavorful on the noodles - I've made that mistake more than once. So salt until you get a great taste!
This is about what it's going to look like when ready to add the basil. Some little chunks of tomato but pretty soupy. Chop up your basil and toss in when you start boiling your noodles. You don't want to add it any sooner or it will lose all of it's flavor.

Then drain your noodles and mix with the sauce. I always cook my noodles al dente because when you mix it in the warm sauce they keep cooking.
Not much to look at - but it's a FRESH relatively healthy meal. And you will just DIE when you eat this goodness the next day as leftovers. The noodles are so full of flavor you could eat them by themselves without tomatoes or chicken!


Sour Cream Enchiladas

>> Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Sour Cream Enchiladas

1 can cream of chicken
1 can cream of celery
1 small can diced green chilis
1 pint sour cream
1/4 cup chopped onions
1 1/2 lbs ground beef, browned (I prefer using chicken. Sometimes the canned kind and sometimes I'll cook a couple of breasts and shred them.)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded jack cheese
5-6 home-style flour tortillas

Combine first 5 ingredients. Spoon meat onto individual tortillas and sprinkle with some shredded cheese. Plop a scoop of sauce mixture on top of cheese.

Roll up and place in a greased pan.

Pour remaining sauce over enchiladas, making sure it goes down around the edges. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 45 minutes.


Yummy Crepes

>> Monday, June 21, 2010

I am going to list the recipe as I got it... but to be honest, I did some revamping to fit my style. No pictures!! I am really bad at taking pictures while I cook. Not to mention Crepes are a quick paced process so I was trying to keep up!!

1 1/2 cups whole milk I used skim milk
3 large eggs
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup brandy left it out... not much of a brandy-kind of gal :)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour

Additional butter for cooking and any toppings you may want!
I made a variety of toppings! Peanut butter and with small cuts of banana's, Strawberry jam ( fav), and small (very very small) cuts of strawberries and banana's.

Special equipment:
Iron skillet or crêpe pan Used a regular skillet
Flexible metal or plastic spatula

In a blender, combine milk and eggs. Mix on medium-high speed until foamy, about 10 seconds. Turn blender to low speed and remove feed top. With blender going, add sugar and salt. Replace feed top and blend on high speed for a few seconds, then turn blender back to low. In the same manner, add butter, and vanilla, replacing feed top and blending for several seconds after each addition. Turn blender off. Add flour all at once and blend until just combined. I recommend using a wire whisk. My blender didn't get the little chunks out too well. I ended up whisking it for a few minutes before pouring it into the pan.

Place crêpe pan over moderately high heat. With flexible spatula, spread a tiny amount of butter in pan (an alternative method is to use cooking spray... that's what i did! Too much butter made them almost fried tasting with a crusty edge. Not my fav) and heat until butter just begins to smoke. Pour 1/4 to 1/3 cup batter into the pan (I recommend the 1/4 portion). As you pour, quickly tilt the pan in all directions to spread a thin layer of batter across the bottom. Pour in just enough batter to cover the pan.

Cook crêpe over moderately high heat until bubbles just begin to form on the exposed surface, about one to two minutes. Lift up the edge to check the cooking process — if the crêpe starts to burn before it is cooked through, turn down the heat. If it is not nicely browned after two minutes, turn up the heat.

When underside of crêpe is browned, flip and cook another minute or less, until other side is browned. Remove from pan and keep warm in the oven, loosely covered with foil.

Grease pan with a very small amount of butter and repeat process. Continue until all batter is used, stacking cooked crêpes on a plate in the oven. To serve, sprinkle each crêpe with sugar or spread with jelly and fold or roll up.


Welsh Breakfast Cakes

>> Friday, June 18, 2010

No picture- I was not paying much attention, and they were a little burned. Tasted great, just didn't look so good. So I spared you that. If you're looking for a fun alternative to pancakes- these are yummy! And you could use ANY cookie cutter you want! (I used hearts- perhaps a Father's Day idea?)

3 cups (12 3/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 cup (7 ounces) sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, cut into pieces
2 eggs beaten with enough milk to yield 3/4 cup liquid
In a medium sized mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, nutmeg and salt. Cut in the butter until the mixture is a coarse, even consistency. Add the egg and milk. Stir to form a soft dough. Divide the dough in half and working with one half at a time (keep the other refrigerated, especially if your kitchen is warm), roll the dough into a circle 1/4-inch thick. Using a biscuit cutter or other small round cutter, cut circles of dough. Heat an ungreased skillet or griddle over medium heat (or an electric griddle, preheated to 300 degrees). Fry the cakes for about 2 minutes on the first side and an additional 1 1/2 minutes on the second, or until both sides are golden brown. As with pancakes, you’ll have to adjust the heat if you find the cakes are browned on the outside before they are thoroughly cooked in the middle. Repeat with the remaining dough. Keep the cakes warm in a 200 degree oven until ready to serve. Sprinkle with granulated sugar or cinnamon-sugar before serving, if desired. (but still use syrup- tastes so yummy!) 


Be prepared...

Doesn't this look amazing. I found a recipe... ill be back to report. This will be our Saturday breakfast!!


Turkey Sausage Breakfast!!

Sorry no pictures!
I made this one for a mothers day brunch this last May. It turned out really great and was super easy (my kind of cooking). I added 2 more egg whites (call for 4 whole eggs) cause I like the fluffy texture of eggs in a casserole. I also added a half a cup of red onions along with the 4 green onions. I LOVE onions and loved the added flavor... all optional of course!
Happy Friday!!

1 pound ground turkey sausage
4 eggs, lightly beaten
4 green onions, finely chopped
1 (16 ounce) package frozen hash brown potatoes
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

1.Place turkey sausage in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble and set aside.
2.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
3.In a large bowl, stir together eggs, green onions, hash browns, milk, cheddar cheese and cooked sausage. Pour mixture into a 9x13 inch baking pan.
4.Bake in preheated oven for 60 minutes.



>> Wednesday, June 16, 2010

OK, it's gotten a little slow around here. I don't know about you, but it is just too HOT and HUMID here to even think about cooking. We are having lots of grilled chicken and hamburgers and..... cereal. Lots of cereal. Anyway, I thought we'd do a couple days of breakfast recipes only! So starting Friday (6/18) going until Wednesday (6/23) give us your breakfast ideas and yummy recipes. Pancakes, waffles, crepes, casseroles, parfaits, french toast, eggs... anything! Can't wait to see what you guys bring to my table!
breakfast ideas

.... seriously, how cute is this picture?


Mini Breakfast Quiche To Go!

First of all, Congrats to all of us on having 100 posts on this awesome blog!!

Secondly, here is an idea for a spin on the recipe Becca posted earlier of the quiche.

I am supposed to eat a lot of protein in the morning on my diet, and so the quiche minus the crust is perfect and pretty much carb-free.

To make these little "Mini Quiche to Go", follow this recipe from Becca. I used about 1/3 of the mayo though. You could use crust like normal, or, spray the cupcake pan very generously and fill. One recipe will make enough batter to fill 9 cupcake spots, not quite a full dozen. I did two batches and used sausage for one and bacon for the other.

After I baked them and removed them from the pan to cool, I placed pairs of each kind in a sandwich bag and froze them. So now on my way to work I just grab a couple and zap them in the microwave. They are pre-portioned so it is great. Make sure you microwave them on 50% power for a minute or two so they don't "cook" too much in the microwave while re-heating. Fast and easy, that's my kind of breakfast!


Southwest Fettucine

>> Thursday, June 10, 2010

I've got two versions of this one. Both are yummy!

Expensive, but super quick version:

1 pkg. refrigerated fettuccine noodles
1 can diced tomatoes w/ green chiles
1 pkg. frozen southwest chicken strips, thawed (or two pkgs of the refrigerated kind)
1 green bell pepper, sliced
1 c. shredded monterrey jack cheese
1 small can sliced olives

Cook noodles as directed, drain. In a large skillet, sautee the green bell peppers until soft. Then combine noodles and peppers in large skillet with tomatoes and chicken. Toss in the olives and heat through. Sprinkle servings with cheese.

Cheap, but more time consuming version:

9 oz. (half a box) of dry fettuccine noodles
1 can diced tomatoes w/ green chiles
4 chicken breasts, cut into strips
2 tbl. olive oil
Chili powder- to taste

1 green bell pepper, sliced
1 c. shredded monterrey jack cheese
1 small can sliced olives

Cook noodles in a large saucepan. In a skillet to the side, cook the chicken with a bit of olive oil and coat chicken with chili powder to taste. Cook chicken all the way through, then toss in the green pepper to soften. When the noodles are done, drain and add to the chicken/peppers. Toss in the olives and sprinkle cheese on each serving.


Calling All Contributors

Ok- I'm a horrible admin! It looks like I have neglected to add some of our very lovely contributors to the contributor's page! (sorry- Heather, just saw your comment! A million apologies! Also, Heather: the picture from your intro post won't come up, can you email it to me? thanks!)

Go to the top bar and click "who's cookin" to make sure you are there. If you aren't- I feel just terrible, please email me and tell me! Thank you!


Fruit Salad w/ Banana Glaze

8 c. fruit- ideas: strawberries, mango, peaches, blueberries, pineapple chunks, cantaloupe, etc. (basically whatever you've got on hand)
2 medium bananas
8 oz. lemon yogurt (try not to use "light"- it tastes better as full-fat!)
2 tbl. sugar
2 tea. lemon juice

In a blender, add yogurt, bananas, sugar, & lemon juice. Blend & refrigerate. Cut up all the fruit, and pour the glaze on top. Store in an air-tight container in the fridge.


Meet Julene!

>> Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Hi everyone! My name is Julene and I have been married for two years. My husband and I are currently attending BYU and have less than a year left!!! I am majoring in Political Science and had planned on doing paralegal with that degree once upon a time. However, now that I am married, my plans have changed, and my new full time job is going to be a wife and mother after graduation. For me, that new job is going to mean lots and lots of cooking, among other things!

I have a passion for researching recipes and being inspired by recipes. I have a habit of researching like 10 different recipes for one type of dish, picking things I did or didn't like about all those recipes, adding my own touch, voila! a whole new creation emerges! I love being a part of the cooking network, and was so pleased to hear about this blog by my good friend Chelsey! By the way, I must put in a plug about her cute cute cute blog,

Not only am I big on cooking, but I have a strong belief in the power of healthy cooking. So most of my recipes will be very delicious, but also with a creative healthy twist to them (except for most desserts, you might as well go all the way with those!). While I have faith in my recipes, I am not going to post anything that has not been approved by my husband, and he has great taste!

Happy cooking!


Vegetarian Lasagna

This is a great healthy and hardy meal that will not leave you feeling weighed down afterward! My husband loves to eat meat, but he loved this meal so much he had 3 helpings!

9 lasagna noodles, cooked al dente
1 16 oz cottage cheese
1 egg
1 zucchini squash (can also add or substitute with eggplant)
1 yellow squash
1 large red onion
1/2 jar spaghetti sauce
sliced fresh mushrooms*
fresh spinach leaves*
shredded mozzarella cheese*
shredded romano cheese*
paremesan cheese*
sliced olives*
*to taste

Thinly slice both squashes and red onion, then individually saute them lightly. It is important to saute each separately so they can retain their unique flavors (you may lightly season with garlic salt or herbs). Beat egg into cottage cheese. Line a 9x13 pan with a small amount of sauce.

Each layer gets, in this order:
3 lasagna noodles
cottage cheese
yellow squash
zucchini squash
mozzarella cheese
romano cheese
small amount of spaghetti sauce
repeat 2 more times
top with olives, and parmesan cheese
You may worry that the lasagna is very "full" in the pan, but don't worry the spinach cooks down a lot in the oven.

Bake at 350 for about 45 min, *then let it cool for about 10 min so it can solidify!*


Easy BBQ Fajitas

>> Sunday, June 6, 2010

My hubby LOVES fajitas. Me, not so much. But this recipe is really quite yummy. And easy. Two thumbs up. Here goes.

Easy Easy BBQ Fajitas
2-3 boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into strips
1 medium onion cut into wedges
1 medium each red and green pepper cut into strips
1/2 cup BBQ sauce (I like the Kraft original)
Flour tortillas
shredded cheese

Mix the first 4 ingredients in a bowl. Let sit for at least 5 minutes. I put mine in the fridge for a few hours; it seems to me that the longer it marinates the better it tastes, but I could be crazy. If you are pressed for time don't fret. It really just has to be mixed together.

Cook in a sauce pan on medium heat until chicken is cooked through (10-15 minutes). Meanwhile, sprinkle cheese on tortillas and microwave just until the cheese melts (15 seconds). When chicken is cooked, scoop innards onto the tortilla, add a scoop of sour cream and salsa, fold up and enjoy!
And if you need to keep your child entertained and out of your hair while you cook, just let her get into your cupboard and pull all of your lids out:

Don't worry, she put them all back too!


Pita Pizza

>> Saturday, June 5, 2010

Much akin to Pita Tostadas, these are easy to make, and easy to let kids help! I often just buy two packs of pitas and have Pita Tostadas and Pita Pizzas in the same week.

6 Pitas
1 jar pizza sauce
shredded mozzarella cheese
toppings- pepperoni, ham, chicken, olives, onion, green pepper, pineapple chunks, mushrooms, etc.

Preheat oven (or handy toaster oven!) to 350, make up your own pita pizza and arrange them on cookie trays. Cook in the oven for 10 mins, until cheese is melted and golden.


Beef Satay Wraps

>> Friday, June 4, 2010

Please someone tell me I'm not the only one who frequents PF Changs simply for their lettuce wraps? I eat just that when we go. Its deliciousity- and I refuse to share.
While this is not the exact same thing- it's good, and pretty easy to make!

1/2 c. beef broth
(make sure it's just 1/2 c. and not the whole can- I have made this mistake before)
1/3 c. smooth peanut butter
2 tsp. cornstarch
1 tbl. vegetable oil
1 tbl. ground ginger
3 minced garlic cloves
1 lb. ground beef
1 c. shredded carrots (they sell them pre-shredded in bags by the bagged salad!)
1/4 c. thinly sliced green onion
2 tbl. soy sauce

Boston Lettuce leaves
Chopped peanuts

In a jar with a lid (maybe even the pb jar- if it's near empty?) combine broth, peanut butter, and cornstarch. Shake well to blend- shake that baby hard! Set aside.

In skillet, heat veggie oil over medium high heat. Add ginger and garlic. Cook for 30 sec. and then add beef. Brown for 5 minutes. Shake sauce again and pour into skillet- cook for 2-3 mins. Remove from heat and stir in carrots, green onion, and soy sauce. Serve wrapped in lettuce with peanuts.


Modified s'more pie

>> Wednesday, June 2, 2010

I love playing around with recipes, and got so excited about this one that I wanted to try something new out. Luckily, Memorial day provided a perfect opportunity for me to make another dessert. I knew I loved it with chocolate, so this time I wanted to try it out with fruit. It was SOO yummy! We had a big thing of strawberries, and a huge bag of blueberries we picked at a local farm on Saturday. Soooo here is the fruity marshmallow pie.

16 graham squares
1/3 c. butter (melted)
1/4 c. sugar
3 c. marshmallows
1/2 c. milk
1 tub cool whip (8 oz, I
used light, since everything else is so rich)
lots of fresh fruit

*Mix marshmallows and milk in a large
microwavable safe bowl.

*Microwave on high 2-2 1/2
minutes or until melted and smooth, stirring after 1 min.

*Refrigerate marshmallow mixture for 40 minutes
or until completely cooled.
*Mix graham crumbs, melted butter, and sugar.
Press on the bottom and sides of 9 inch pie pan.
*Prepare fruit as desired, sliced/chopped etc.
*Once marshmallow is cooled, gently stir in whipped topping (If the marshmallows got to stiff, like mine did, put them back into the microwave for 20-30 seconds), spread 1/2 over the crust, add 1 layer of fruit, cover with remaining marshmallow cream, then top with remaining fruit.
*Refrigerate 2-3 hours before serving.

**I had a little bit extra crust so I made a few individual sized servings of the pie. These were very fun little treats!


Vegetarian Taco Casserole

>> Tuesday, June 1, 2010

1 can black beans, drained
1 can "ranchero style" pinto beans w/ liquid
(I have yet to find "ranchero style" so I just get regular pinto beans)
1 c. salsa
1 small can sliced black olives
1/2 c. sour cream
2 tea. chili powder
3 c. crushed tortilla chips
Grated cheddar cheese
chopped tomato

Mix beans, salsa, sour cream, olives, and chili  powder in a large bowl. In a greased 9x9 pan, layer 1/2 tortilla chips, then beans, then top with cheese. Repeat layers. Bake at 350 for 20-30 mins. Top with chopped tomato and lettuce.


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