November 30, 2010

Asian Lettuce Wraps

These are delicious!!! I can't say enough good things about this recipe.
Recipe from Jamie Cooks it Up-recipe from her husband
3 Chicken breasts
1 red or green bell pepper, chopped
1 1/2 T garlic
3/4 C carrots, chopped
1 C celery, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 C whole almonds
1 head Romain lettuce hearts

1 T peanut butter
2 t hoisin sauce
2 t oyster sauce
2 T soy sauce
1/4 C sugar
1/2 C brown sugar
1 t rice wine vinegar
1 t sesame oil
pinch red pepper flakes

1. Cut up your chicken breasts into small pieces and cook in a hot skillet with about 1 T olive oil. Add a bit of salt and pepper into the pan as well. Cook until the chicken pieces are a nice golden color.
2. While your chicken is cooking, chop up all your veggies so they are about the same size.
3. When the chicken is done remove it from the pan and place it on a plate. Add another T of olive oil to the pan and throw in your veggies. Cook for about 15 minutes on medium high heat, or until the veggies are crisp tender. Don't over cook them.
4. Add all of the sauce ingredients into a small bowl and whisk it 
5. Add the chicken, sauce, and almonds into the skillet with the veggies. Stir everything around until it becomes incorporated. Cook it until everything is heated through. 2 or 3 minutes.
6. Serve inside a  lettuce leaf.

Rate It!
Jen: 9.5
Kile: 9.5
Kiley: 8.5
Madee: 9.5
Destrie: good!

Healthy Egg Drop Soup

Recipe and Photo from Jamie Cooks it Up- this recipe comes from her husband.

12 C water
11 bullion cubes
1/2 C chopped carrots
1/2 C frozen peas
2 T soy sauce
1/2 T rice vinegar
pinch red pepper flakes
1/2 t sesame oil
2-4 T olive oil
4 beaten eggs
1/2 bunch green onions, chopped.

1. Place all ingredients but the eggs, green onions, and the peas in a large pot.
2. Bring to a hard rolling boil. Let it just a keep on boiling until your carrots are tender.
3. Add your peas let it boil until they are heated through. This shouldn't take long, only 2 minutes or so.
4. Add your eggs while the soup is still at the hard rolling boil. They should cook up pretty fast for you.
4. Remove from the heat when the eggs are cooked and add your green onions. Enjoy!

Rate It!
Jen: 7.5
Kile: 7.5
Kiley: 6.5
Madee: 7
Destrie:  not good

November 29, 2010

Menu Planning Monday

 Hope your Thanksgiving was great.  My favorite food of our Thanksgiving was Ham that was slow cooked in the crock pot.  A post about that will be coming soon.  It is soooo delightful, that I plan on making it again very soon this holiday season.  Anyway, here is a look at our upcoming week.

Monday: Thanksgiving Leftovers
Tuesday: Egg Drop Soup/Rice/Lettuce Wraps
Wednesday: Chicken and Spinach Enchiladas
Thursday: Sandwiches and Poppy Seed Pasta Salad

Treat: Peanut Butter and Honey Popcorn

November 28, 2010

Make Ahead Green Bean Casserole

I can't remember which blog I got this from, it's one of those listed on my side bar.

2 slices hearty sandwich bread, white or wheat, torn into pieces
2 tablespoons unsalted butter , melted
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups canned fried onions

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
10 ounces white mushrooms , sliced thin
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
6 garlic cloves , minced
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup cornstarch

For the topping: Pulse bread, butter, and salt in food processor until coarsely ground. Combine bread mixture and canned fried onions in a bowl, transfer to a zipper-lock freezer bag, and freeze.

For the casserole: Melt the butter in a large 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, salt, and pepper and cook until the mushrooms release their liquid, about 5 minutes. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook until all the liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the flour and cook until golden, stirring, about 1 minute. Slowly whisk in broth and cream and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened, about 10 minutes.

In a large bowl, toss the green beans with the cornstarch until the beans are evenly coated. Transfer the beans to a 9X13-inch baking dish. Pour the warm mushroom mixture evenly over the beans. Let the casserole cool completely on the counter. Once cooled, cover with a layer of plastic wrap and then a layer of foil. Freeze for up to 2 months.
When ready to bake, adjust oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 400 degrees. Remove the layer of plastic wrap from the baking dish and replace the foil. Bake, covered, until the sauce is bubbling and the beans are tender, about 80 minutes, stirring the beans thoroughly after 50 minutes. Remove the foil and spread the frozen topping mixture over the beans. Bake until golden brown, about 8-10 minutes. Serve.

I did not not freeze this, I just followed the directions and then baked it for about an hour- just watch it.
We had this for Thanksgiving dinner and I forgot to get ratings from people.  It was good and I have never been a fan of green bean casserole.  My brother, Kevin really liked it.

November 22, 2010

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Recipe and Photo from Skinny Kitchen
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
2 ½ cups chopped onion
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
2 (6-inch) corn tortillas, chopped (I used flour tortillas-we don't like corn tortillas.)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tsp. paprika
1tsp. chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes
6 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 (14 oz) can yellow hominy, drained and rinsed
1 (14 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups cooked chopped chicken
Juice of one lime


1 ¼ cups reduced-fat tortilla chips, crushed


1. In a large nonstick pot, add the olive oil, onions and garlic.  Sauté for 1 minute.
2. Add the chopped tortillas, tomato paste, and seasonings and sauté for 2 minutes.
3. Stir in the chicken broth and tomatoes.  Bring up to a boil, turn down heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
4. Add the hominy, beans, chicken and fresh squeezed lime juice.  Mix well.  Cook 10 minutes more.
Makes 10 cups or 5 main-course servings

SKINNY FACTS: for one cup 180 calories, 4g fat, 12g protein, 26g carbs, 6g fiber, 584mg sodium, 5g sugar

Rate It!
Jen: 7
Kile: 7
Kiley: 6
Madee: 6.5
Destrie: not good

Menu Planning Monday

In preparation for the "big day" on Thursday- we are going to eat low calorie meals all week.  Happy Thanksgiving week to everyone.  Hope yours will be great!

Monday: Chicken Tortilla Soup
Tuesday: Egg White Spinach Scramble
Wednesday: Tuna Wrap
Thursday: Thanksgiving Dinner which includes:

Turkey, Ham, Mashed Potatoes with gravy-turkey and brown, Tossed Salad with Ranch Dressing, Corn,  Green Bean Casserole, Rolls, Stuffing, Cottage Cheese Jello Salad, Relish Tray, Ritz Crackers with Cheese in a Can, Pumpkin Pie, Banana Cream Pie, Raisin Pie, Turtle Pie, and Cheesecake with Strawberry Topping.

November 17, 2010

Potato Puffs

Recipe and Photo from My Kitchen Cafe

*Note: the puffs need to be refrigerated for at least 1 hour before baking but they can be made up to 8 hours ahead of time.

*Makes about 2 dozen potato puffs
1 1/2 pounds russet baking potatoes (about 2-3 large), peeled and quartered
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup grated Parmesan or sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 large eggs
2 cups panko bread crumbs (found in the Asian-foods aisle)
Boil the potatoes for 12-13 minutes, until they are tender but not overcooked. Drain the potatoes and return them to the pot. Mash them with a potato masher until they are smooth. Over very low heat, add the butter and milk and mash until the potatoes are light and creamy, about 1-2 minutes. Remove the pot from the head and add the cheese, salt and pepper. Add additional salt and pepper to taste. You should have a smooth, soft mixture. If it seems a bit too stiff and not creamy enough, add an additional 1-2 tablespoons milk to adjust the consistency. Keep in mind, you’ll be rolling this mixture into balls so you don’t want it so soft it will fall apart while rolling.

Let the mixture cool slightly. In a shallow bowl or pie plate, whisk the eggs until blended and season them lightly with salt and pepper. Place the panko on a large plate or pie dish.

Lightly flour your hands and form a heaping 2 tablespoons of the mashed potato mixture into a ball and place on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Repeat this process until all of the potato mixture is rolled. You should have 22-28 potato puffs, depending on how big or small you rolled them.

Dip a potato puff into the egg mixture, coating it lightly on all sides then dip it in the panko until it is coated. Place on the cookie sheet and repeat with remaining puffs. Cover the puffs loosely and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 8 hours before baking.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Bake the potato puffs for about 15 minutes, until light golden brown and heated through.

***We served these with fry sauce.  If you aren't familiar with fry sauce- it's equal parts ketchup and mayonnaise mixed together.
Rate It!
Jen: 8.5
Kile: 7
Kiley: 4-remember... she dislikes potatotes =)
Madee: 6 they would be good with gravy(:
Destrie: ok

November 16, 2010

Pumpkin Waffles

Recipe and photo  from
2 C flour
2 Tbsp baking powder
2 Tbsp. cinnamon
1 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
Mix ingredients together, then add:
4 egg yolks (save egg whites)   ( I just used liquid egg whites-no yolk.)
1 C pumpkin
1 Tbsp vanilla
1 1/2 C milk
3/4 C melted butter

Beat 4 egg whites until stiff peaks form and fold them into batter.
Cook in waffle iron (I used a deep Belgian waffle iron)
Rate It!
Jen: 7.5
Kile: 6
Kiley: 7
Madee: 7.5
Destrie: good

November 15, 2010

Happy Salad

 Recipe and Photo from The Meaning of Pie
 This recipe is originally called "Detox" Salad, but the blog I got it from decided to change the name to "Happy" salad.  Detox implies that someone has been unhealthy and needs some improvement-she felt Happy salad just sounded more fun!!

3 carrots, peeled
¼ to 1/3 of a head of green cabbage
5 green onions, sliced, white and light green parts only
1 crown of broccoli (one big cluster of florets…not the big giant head)
3 Tablesoons maple syrup
2-3 teaspoons fresh grated or minced ginger
1 garlic clove, minced
1-2 teaspoons lemon zest
Juice from ½ a lemon
salt and pepper, to taste
¼ cup sunflower seed kernels, or to taste

In the bowl of a food processor pulse the cabbage until it is a very fine chop. Remove the cabbage to a large bowl. Process the carrots until they are chopped very fine and remove them to the same bowl. Process the broccoli until it is chopped very fine and remove it to the bowl containing the cabbage and carrots. Throw in the sliced green onions.
In a small bowl, combine the maple syrup, ginger, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Whisk the dressing thoroughly and add it to the bowl containing the vegetables. Toss to combine. Sprinkle the sunflower seeds on top.
Rate It!
We all agreed that the ginger should be left out next we made this.  No one here is a fan of ginger.  For a healthy side dish, this was ok.  But, as Kiley and I discussed- healthy food is never good!!!
Jen: 6
Kile: 6.5
Kiley: 6
Madee: 6
Destrie: not good

Menu Planning Monday

Monday: Sandwiches and Happy Salad
Tuesday: Pumpkin Waffles
Wednesday: Cheeseburgers and Potato Puffs
Thursday: Pizza Soup

This week's dessert/treat is-
Homemade Dulce de Leche

November 14, 2010

Pumpkin Dump Cake

 Recipe and photo from Mom's Crazy Cooking
1 (29oz) can Pumpkin
1 (12 oz) can Evaporated Milk
1-1/2 cup sugar
4 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1-1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ginger- I used pumpkin pie spice
1 box yellow cake mix
2 sticks of butter
1 cup pecans
Whip Cream/Cool Whip

Beat together pumpkin, evaporated milk, sugar and eggs. Add salt, cloves, cinnamon and ginger. Mix well. Pour into 9x13 pan. Sprinkle evenly with dry cake mix over top of pumpkin mixture. Melt butter, drizzle over the top. Sprinkle with nuts and Bake at 350 for 1 hour. Cool and Serve with Cool Whip.
Rate It!
Jen: 7.5
Kiley: 7.5
Destrie: good

November 13, 2010

New Food Finds

Gum really isn't food I guess, but this stuff is really good and I wanted to let people know about it.  I have tried the Strawberry Shortcake and the Mint Chocolate Chip varieties.  Yum!!  I think the Mint Chocolate Chip is my favorite.  Has anyone tried the Key Lime Pie???

November 10, 2010

Slow Cooked Corn Chowder

This recipe was given to my mom from our friend Emily.

5 cups milk
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
2 cans creamed corn
3 1/2 cups frozen corn
2 c. frozen cubed hashbrowns
2 c. cubed ham (cooked)
1 onion- I used 6 green onions
2 tsp. parsley
2 Tbsp. butter
Salt and Pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a crockpot and cook on low for 6 hours.
Rate It!
Jen: 7.5
Kile: 6.5
Kiley: 6
Madee: 7
Destrie: good-he liked the ham.

November 8, 2010

Menu Planning Monday

Monday: Slow Cooked Corn Chowder

Tuesday: Ramen Stir Fry

Wednesday:  3 enevelope Roast , Mashed Potatoes/Corn/Rolls
(recipe for roast is located in the beef category.)

Thursday: Dinner out for Destrie's Birthday-When he decides where we are going, I'll let you know!

I have decided that each week I will plan to make one Dessert/Treat. For this week it will be-
*Dessert- Pumpkin Dump Cake

November 5, 2010

Juicing a Lemon Tip

The Real Mom Kitchen featured a tip this week on how to juice a lemon.  You cut off the ends of your lemon,  then stand it up on one end.  Then cut the lemon with three cuts leaving a triangle in the center.  Discard the triangle, this will have all the seeds in it.  Then squeeze the remaining pieces to get the juice.
Photo from Real Mom Kitchen
I love this idea.  I always tend to get seeds in whatever I am making when I add fresh lemon juice.

New Food Finds

We were looking for a "healthy" snack and came across these at the grocery store.
Try them...they are pretty good.

November 3, 2010

Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana

1/2 lb.sausage
1/2 cup chopped onion (I use minced onion flakes)
1/4 bacon (I used Hormel real bacon bits)
6 potatoes
7 c. water
7 chicken bouillon cubes
3 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 a bunch of Kale-torn in to small pieces
1 c. heavy cream
 Cook sausage until brown.
Add onion and simmer for a few minutes.
In soup pot add water, chicken bouillon cubes and bring to a boil.
Add potato slices.
Cook until potatoes are tender.
Add salt, pepper,and garlic.
Continue to cook for 10 minutes.
Add sausage, bacon, Kale, and heavy cream.
Allow to cook another 10 minutes.
Rate It!
Jen: 8
Kile: 7
Kiley: 9
Madee: 8
Destrie: good

November 1, 2010

Menu Planning Monday

 Happy first day of November!  I am totally in "Soup" mode right now, so we will be eating  soup several times this month.  Look for several new soup recipes to come.

Monday:  Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana

Tuesday: Lasagna  -I will be having Sushi with my friends @ Takara!!

Wednesday: Nachos for the kids- dinner out for us-it's our anniversary!!

Thursday: Caribbean Stew