Thursday, July 31, 2008

Creamy Spinach Ravioli

Somebody's Recipe Blog - But Can't Remember Who!
I always print off random recipes and forget where they came from. This one is really easy, but just ok...a little too heavy for our liking.

1 pkg (25 oz) cheese ravioli (I used frozen)
1/2 of 8oz tub Chive & Onion Cream Cheese (I used reduced fat)
1 scoop fat free cream cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese
4 cups baby spinach leaves
2 tbsp fresh dill (chopped)
1 lemon zest (grated)
6 cherry tomatos (quartered)
Cook pasta per instructions...meanwhile, add cream cheese and milk in a skillet and cook until the cream cheese is melted and mixture is well blended, stirring frequently. Add parmesan cheese, dill and lemon zest. Add spinach and pasta and toss to coat. Serve over fresh spinach leaves and topp with tomatos and parmesan cheese.
Notice the fort in the background...she's so funny.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Homemade Pizza Dough

This one is just easy and fun.


1 1/2 cups warm water
1 tbsp yeast
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbs vegetable oil
4 cups flour (use about 3 3/4 cups and save the last 1/4 cup to roll out dough)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder (I just shake it once)

Add all ingredients in that order as fast as you can. Put the dough hook on your Kitchen Aid and let it run for about 2 minutes. Then turn it off and leave it alone until it doubles in little as 20 minutes. Divide the dough in half and roll out onto flour. Place unto pan sprayed with Pam. Cook at 475 for 10-12 minutes. The trick is to pre-cook each pizza for about 5-6 minutes without toppings. That way you can either freeze the pizza crust for later, or once you toppings on, it only needs to cook another 5-6 minutes.
I like to make pizza when my family comes over. I prepare all kinds of different toppings, and my little sister Melissa is the creator. Today, I was lazy and only had pepperoni and canadian bacon/pineapple.

Homemade Bread & Blackberry Jam

Bread Machine Recipe & Pectin Box Recipe
Blake eats a peanut butter & honey sandwich everyday for lunch...last night we had NO bread! So, I set the bread machine timer to bake it while we slept. We woke up to the smell of fresh baked bread - yummy!

3/4 cup water
2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp dry milk
1 tbsp butter
1 tsp dry yest

Combine all ingredients in that order and follow bread machine directions. I think the crust was a little too tough, but otherwise it was really good warm. I made the blackberry freezer jam a couple of months ago.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Thai Peanut Sauce

Recipe From: On My Menu Blog
This recipe calls for carmelized onions, but I had none! I ended up just mixing in a bag of frozen vegetables. I did get a thumbs up from Blake and Sam! Thanks Marci!
2 chicken breasts (sliced)
1 bag frozen Asparagus Stirfry vegetables
3 tbsp brown sugar (heaping)
3 tbsp peanut butter (reduced fat)
2 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 cup orange juice
2 tsp ginger (grated)
1 clove garlic (minced)
1/2 tsp dried crushed red pepper
Defrost and slice chicken to desired shape and size. Season and put in broiler on low. Combine all the ingredients (except vegetables & chicken) in a skillet and cook until it thickens. Add the chicken and vegetables. Cook until vegetables are crisp. Serve over rice.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

BBQ Ranch Chicken Salad

Recipe From Amy Griffeth
This is the 2nd time I made this. The 1st time Blake loved it...this time, he wasn't interested at all. Besides the fact that I had to pick off all the tomatoes and red peppers, he said the dressing wasn't the same.
That's what I get for not measuring.


Romaine & Iceberg Lettuce
Red Bell Pepper
Red Onion
Can of Corn (drained)
Can of Black Beans (drained and rinsed)
Cheddar Cheese
Can of Fried Onions
Grilled Chicken
1 part BBQ Sauce
2 parts Ranch Dressing (I use Fat Free)

Marinate chicken in BBQ sauce during the day. Combine the corn, beans, tomato, onion, and cheese. Keep fried onions and lettuce seperate until ready to serve/eat. Combine the bbq sauce and ranch dressing. Dress the salad and top with bbq chicken.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Meatball Sandwiches

My Original Recipe
Blake HATES meatloaf, but I love it. I figured why not just change the shape and put it on french bread...he'll never know the difference! I was right...he LOVED IT! I used my mom's meatloaf recipe as a base recipe and changed it up a bunch.

1 lb extra lean ground beef
1/3 onion (diced)
2 slices whole wheat bread (torn into pieces)
2 eggs (beaten)
2 tbsp skim milk (might delete next time)
1 green onion (sliced)
8 oz can tomato sauce
3 tbsp ketsup
salt, pepper, thyme, marjoram
French Bread
Bottled Marinara Sauce
Fresh Mozzerella

Homemade Sauce:

8 oz can tomato sauce
1 can tomato soup
salt, pepper, thyme, marjoram

Combine all ingredients(except cheese & marinara) into a bowl and mix up. Because I wasn't following a recipe, I didn't really know what I was doing. It seemed a little too mushy when I shaped them into balls, but they tasted really moist and yummy. It made about 24 medium sized meatballs that I put in a 9x13 pan sprayed with Pam. Mix up and pour about 1/2 the homemade sauce over the meatballs and bake at 350 for about an hour. 1/2 way through, I turned them over in the pan and when there was about 10 minutes left I poured the rest of the homemade sauce on the top. Cut a 6" piece of bread, then cut in half and then slice open. Put a few meatballs in and cover with bottled marinara sauce and top with cheese. Melt the cheese in the broiler and enjoy!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Beef Teriyaki Stirfry

Recipe From: Campbell's Soup
Super easy and one of Blake's favorites...there are few.

1/2 - 1 lb boneless beef sirloin steak
1 can Golden Mushroom Soup
1 tbsp brown sugar (heaping)
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 bag frozen vegetables (it's good when there are waterchestnuts)

I usually buy thin siroin steaks when they are on sale (about 1 1/2 lbs in a package). When I get home I seperate into 3 ziplocs and freeze. So, I don't really remember what kind of steak it is...other than it is really thin and yummy. When it is still a little frozen, cut meat into 3/4 inch thick strips and broil on low with a splash of soy sauce and meat tenderizer. Combine golden mushroom soup, brown sugar and soy sauce in a large skillet. Stir while it warms, add the beef and then the frozen veggies. Cover and stem until the veggies are crisp. Serve with rice...just the way Sammie likes it.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Chicken Salad Sandwiches

My Original Recipe
This is my fruity version of most chicken salad sandwiches. Instead of celery, green onions and water chestnuts...I use apples and grapes (and sometimes pineapple). I typically just make this for lunch, but we had it for dinner last night. I don't think Blake appreciated it much since he eats peanut butter & honey everyday for lunch. He ended up eating all of my pasta/mozzerella/turkey reserves that I give to Sam when she won't eat anything else.


Chicken (I use canned to keep it super easy)
Lemon juice
Red grapes (cut into quarters) - I put in green grapes too
Gala apple (peeled and diced)
Low fat mayonnaise (this stuff is great - only 1 gram fat per tbsp)
Salt & Pepper
Lettuce & Tomato
Whole Wheat Pita - OR - Fresh Croissants

I don't usually measure anything with this recipe. It is all to taste. Drain the chicken and soak it in about 2 tsp lemon juice. The grapes must be firm or they will be gross in the salad. Cut them into quarters. Peel, core and dice the apple. I love gala because it is so sweet and crunchy. Add 2 big spoonfuls of mayo (I used to use fat free miracle whip...but it doesn't have very much flavor). Mix it all up and add salt/pepper to taste. I serve this with either croissants or pita bread and chips/salsa, carrots/celery with ranch and peach pie.
Sam was quite a challenge yesterday (no nap) and didn't want to sit down to eat. So, she would walk by every few minutes and I would give her a bite. She loves tomatoes (one of her first foods). She was interested, but messy.

Fresh Peach Pie

Not my original, but I don't know who!
About 5 years ago, the company I worked for took us to breakfast. We went to Marie Calendar's in Utah. My friend and I had fresh peach pie and it was SO good! A couple weeks later she emailed me a recipe. I have no idea where she found it, but it is AWESOME! When I was pregnant, I would eat the entire pie (all by myself) in less than 48's fruit, so it's perfect for any meal, right? :)
5 large ripe peaches
1 cup sugar (I use 1/2 cup splenda, 1/2 cup sugar)
3 tbsp constarch
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp vanilla (recipe calls for almond flavoring)
2 tbsp butter (I use low fat)
Frozen pie shell

Bake 1 pie shell per instructions. Mix together the sugar and corn starch (make sure to blend corn starch in completely). While to pie shell is cooking, slice 3 large peaches and set aside. Mash 2 more peaches with a fork and combine with the following in a small saucepan: mashed peaches, sugar, cornstarch, water. Cook for 5 minutes, until it boils. Add the vanilla and butter. Stir until the butter is melted and the consistency is thick and gluey. Place the sliced peaches in the pie shell. Pour the mixture over the top, let it get in every nook and cranny. Chill in the refrigerator. The longer it chills, the better it tastes!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Thai Chicken Curry

My Original Recipe
One of my favorite restaurants in Houston is Nit Noi on Westheimer. They have the best curry. ever. I have tried and tried to find a good recipe and I ended up just compiling a bunch into my own. It's a lot of vegetables and the secret is the golden raisins! They are so yummy when they are warm and have expanded - it adds the perfect sweetness.

1 chicken breast (biggest one in the bag)
1 (13.5 oz) can reduced fat coconut milk (the real stuff is TONS better)
1/2 cup golden raisins
1 medium yellow onion (cut into wide slices)
1 medium tomato (cut into thick 1 inch pieces)
1 bunch asparagus or green beans (ends cut off and then cut into thirds)
1 1/2 tbsp Thai red curry paste
1-2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Optional Ingredients:

1 tsp sugar
1/4 cup water (with this many vegetables, I want more sauce! if you add water, add more salt & curry powder)
INSTEAD OF CURRY PASTE: 1 tbsp fresh ginger, 1 tsp curry powder, 1 tsp chili powder, 1/4 tsp cayenne

Cut chicken into thin strips. Season with curry and broil on low, DO NOT overcook as it will simmer later. Heat vegetable oil in a large pan. Saute onions first, add asparagus, then add tomatoes. Add the following ingredients one at a time and taste it as you go: raisins, curry paste, coconut milk, curry powder, salt, pepper, chicken. Simmer and taste and reseason until you can't wait anymore. Serve with steamed rice.

Chicken Enchiladas

Recipe from: Marci Freeman
I don't know how to do side dishes well, so it is just black beans and rice. Blake is always making fun of my 'plating' technique and the lack there of. That is not the point of this blog!


3 cups chicken (boiled and cubed)
1 (4oz) can green chilies
1 (10oz) can enchilada sauce (I used green, but next time I'll try red)
1/2 cup yellow onion (diced)
1 (8oz) carton of cream
1 tsp garlic salt
1 (8oz) package of Monterrey Jack cheese
14 yellow corn tortillas
Vegetable oil

Boil chicken in kosher salt, do not overcook! Chop into small pieces and combine with chopped onion, green chilies, 1/2 of enchilada sauce, 1/2 of cheese. In another bowl combine the cream and garlic salt. In a 9X13 pan pour a small layer of cream mixture. In a frying pan, heat up enough oil to lightly fry each tortilla. I don't understand why this was necessary because the recipe did not call to fry them at all, but to only warm them in the time I will either fry them more or just warm them in the oven. Dip tortilla in the cream, place the chicken mixture in the middle and roll up. Place seam down in the baking dish. I could fit 14 1/2 in my dish. Pour the remaining cream and enchilada sauce over the top and cover with cheese. Bake, covered at 350 for 20 minutes. Take the foil off and sprinkle more cheese (I used colby/jack cheese this time to add more color), and bake for 5 more minutes.

I thought they came out a little too moist, so I probley wouldn't use so much cream next time. Blake really liked them and Sam was only interested in the rice.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Chicken & Broccoli Stirfry

My Original Recipe
Nothing much to be proud of, especially from the looks of the picture....although the flavors are really yummy! This meal dates back to my college days. Besides spaghetti, it was the only thing I ever cooked...thank goodness for Wendy's
1-2 Chicken Breasts
1-2 cups Frozen Broccoli
Lawrey's Terriyaki 30 Minute Marinade
Kraft's Fat Free Zesty Italian Dressing
Variety of seasonings
Calrose Rice
This is so easy and requires zero thinking ahead of time. I cut of the chicken breasts into little strips and put into pan. I usually season with a variety of seasoning salts and a little of cayenne pepper. Then dump in the italian dressing and terriyaki marinade...use a little or a lot, depending on how much sauce you want. I put it in the broiler on low and just keep my eye on it. When the chicken is no longer pink, I stir it up and add frozen broccoli. Stir it up again and let it cook for another few minutes. Serve with rice. We love calrose rice because it is so sticky!
Typically when she eats rice, we take all her clothes off because it gets stuck to her from head to toe. Tonight, Sam wanted to sit at the bar tonight and eat like a big girl. She kept her clothes on and feed herself one spoonful at a time. She has a way of pushing the chicken and broccoli off to the side and only eating the rice. Good thing I am there to force feed as needed.

Sam is giving me a round of applause!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Turkey Burger

Recipe adapted from: Mar-a-Lago Turkey Burger via
How can one resist making "the best turkey burger in the entire world!" I didn't do the pear chutney the right way and totally forgot the raisins. Doesn't matter how many times I read instructions, I always miss something. We ate this with corn on the cob, carrots/cucumbers with ranch dressing and chips/salsa.

1 package (~1.4lbs) ground turkey
1 stalk green onions (thinly sliced)
1 stalk celery (finely chopped)
1 Granny Smith apple (peeled and diced)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp chiptole tabasco
1 lemon (juice and zest)
1 handful parsley (finely chopped)
1/4 cup chutney (I used mango/pappya)

Saute green onions, celery and apples in vegetable oil until tender. Let cool. Place ground turkey in a large mixing bowl and add sauteed items and the remaining ingredients. Shape into 6 burgers. Refrigerate for 2+ hours. Grill and top with pear chutney.

Pear Chutney Ingredients:

1 Anjou pear (peeled and diced)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups chutney (I dumped in the rest of the bottle - about 1 cup)
1/4 cup golden raisins

Preheat oven to 350. Toss the diced pears with the cinnamon and salt. Bake on a parchment-lined cookie sheet for 10 minutes. Cool and mix with chutney and raisins.

Sam prefers to eat her food 'dipped, ' so she ate tons of carrots and cucumbers with ranch dressing. And, of course chips and salsa are her favorite. Aunt Michelle snuck in a couple big bits of turkey burger that she ate, so I would call this meal a success. For dessert Sam dipped strawberries in Cool Whip.
Sam did not have the corn on the cob this time around and since Blake doesn't care for it, I may not do it again for awhile. But, here is a picture of Sammie eating corn 'just like mom' a few weeks ago.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Won Ton Chicken Salad

Receipe stolen from Michelle Morrison
This is one of those things we eat the day I've gone to the grocery store or Sam's Club (chicken and salad is much cheaper there). I also cut up fresh fruit (today was strawberries) and buy a loaf of French Bread.

1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil
1/2 Cup White Vinegar
1/2 Cup Sugar (I use Splenda)
Fresh Ginger (peel and grate - as much as you want)
Salt and Pepper

Combine and shake. If you plan ahead, make this earlier in the day...the longer it sits refrigerated, the better the flavors will blend.

Other Ingredients:
Bag of Baby Spring Mix
Rotisserie Chicken
Won Ton Wraps (in the refridgerated section of the produce)
Pine Nuts

Lightly toast the pine nuts in a small frying pan. Cut the won tons into desired shape (I do triangles) and fry in a small frying pan of vegetable oil. Do one or two at a time, it doesn't take on paper towel to soak up extra oil. Freeze the unfried won'll only use a bit of the package. Tear into the chicken...the goal is bitesize pieces (no skin, no bones). I don't like to dress the whole salad because it will last a couple days and makes for a great lunch the next couple of days. Piece it together and enjoy!

Sam did not participate in dinner today...salads are just not her thing. So, here is a clip of her eating Lo Mein (which is another Blake and Sam favorite...maybe another night).

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Chicken & Broccoli Alfredo

Adapted from Campbell's Cookbook
A lame way to start the blog, but it was what I had planned for dinner. Super easy and one of Blake and Sam's favorites. Hopefully, this will get more interesting as the days go by.
16 oz (1 box) Penne Pasta
2 Chicken Breasts
2 cups Frozen Broccoli
1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup
1/2 cup Skim Milk
1/2 cup Parmasean Cheese
Salt and Pepper

Boil a pot of water with a bit of kosher salt. Cut chicken into strips the size and shape of the penne pasta. Broil on low with seasoning salt. Combine the soup, milk, cheese and salt/pepper in a skillet and warm. Add the cooked chicken. While the pasta cooks, add frozen broccoli the final few minutes. Combine the pasta with the sauce and serve. There will be more pasta then needed (I only use about 3/4 of the box), so I save it for a later lunch for Sammie. She loves any meal with pasta!