Thursday, October 27, 2011

Spicy Spinach and Crunchy Applesauce

These two recipes are so easy, I'm just going to combine them (plus I have the "end result" of both in one photo). Now, I know spinach isn't the most popular but give it a try this changed mine and A's mind!! The applesauce smells so delicious!!! It definitely gives off every smell you think of when you think of warm and the cinnamon with the apples...YUM!!! I'm just going to get started before I abandon ship and make more for myself. :)

Spicy Spinach


  • 10 oz. baby spinach (I find per person is best)
  • red pepper flakes
  • sea salt
  • extra virgin olive oil
Directions: In a medium-high skillet, add about a Tablespoon of oil to pan. Add spinach followed by a dash of sea salt and red pepper flakes to taste (1/4- 1/2 tsp roughly). Cook until just past the point of wilting. Place on plate and pat dry with a couple napkins. 

Besides the oil, these are all the ingredients you need.
Here you can see the brand spinach I use. I usually buy for each of us.
I got the salt at a Fresh Market and peeled off the sticker.

Chunky Applesauce


  • 4 golden apples, chopped
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice
  • handful golden raisins (about 2 oz.)
  • 1in. piece fresh ginger root
  • 3 T. light brown sugar
  • 2 c. apple juice or cider
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp groung nutmeg
Directions: Combine all ingredients in a medium size pot over medium-high heat. Cook until a chunky sauce forms, about 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Keep at a low boil; if the sauce begins to boil, turn back heat just a little. Once apples are soft and sauce forms, remove from heat. Be sure to remove the ginger.

**I left the peel on for a crunchier taste but it can definitely be removed, if desired**

Here is the sauce, cooking. 

Here is the applesauce and spinach...with a side of pork chop!!
(Please don't judge my pork chops from this! They usually look better...I was
having thawing issues!)

[[Original post for applesauce can be found here. The spinach was found in Cooking Light and site will be linked in another post]]

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Easy Slow Cooker Jambalaya

Ok, so remember that site, Pinterest, I mentioned in the General Tso's post? can thank that site for this next recipe as well!!! There is only one recommendation I have for this recipe as well: If you are going to do the rice, either use the quick cook rice or (if you have to go the healthier route like I *tried* with brown basamati rice...or any rice that requires a longer cook time) add it in the beginning of the recipe instead of the last 30 minutes like the below instructions suggest. Or you can skip the headache and pass altogether! :)

**Before you begin, please note these are measurements for a 5 qt. crockpot. I will list alternative measurements for a 4- 4.5 qt. (as that is the size I have) at the end of the recipe.**


  • 2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 lb. smoked sausage, cut into 2" slices
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 large green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes with juices
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 2 c. chicken broth
  • 1 T. cajun or creole spices
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme 
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 lb. extra large shrimp, peeled and deveined 
  • 1 3/4 c. long-grain rice
  • parsley (optional)
Combine chicken, sausage, onion, green pepper, celery, tomatoes, garlic, chicken broth, spice mix, thyme, and oregano in a large (5 qt.) slow cooker. Cook on low for 5 hours. Add shrimp and rice; raise heat to high and cook for 30 minutes more. Sprinkle with parsley. 

Here are the alternative measurements

  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 (14 oz.) can no salt added diced tomatoes, with juices
  • 1 c. long-grain rice (if desired)
  • 1/2 bag of precooked, pre-peeled large frozen shrimp
Now, I don't have pictures of the jambalaya (Sorry...I thought I did) but I do have these photos. These little packets have become my new best friend!!! 

This is the Swanson Flavor Boost...the box is pretty self explanatory lol.
It was about $2 and change at my local commissary but I don't know how much
it cost at a regular grocery store. I would imagine not much more though.  
Here is a photo of the actual packet. All I needed was 2 for this recipe
and it worked like a charm!! I will definitely be stocking up on these bad boys!!!

Pictures of the Jambalaya to come...

[[Original recipe can be found here]]

Penne Pasta

This one is a go-to when A comes home late, its close to grocery shopping day or just on any lazy day. It really only takes about the time the noodles need to boil!!! The great thing about this one, since its only the two of us, is that we have so much leftover afterwards...I mean enough for a day or two (depending on how much you eat).


  • 1 lb. penne pasta (riagte...or regular)
  • 1 (28 oz.) can of whole plum tomatoes
  • 1/4 c. Pecorino Romano cheese, freshly grated
  • handful italian parsley, chopped
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, chopped
Directions: Prepare the parsley, garlic, and cheese. In a pot on medium-high heat, boil the pasta for 10 minutes. In a medium size pan, on medium heat, add a tablespoon of oil and the garlic. Cook until golden brown and add the whole plum tomatoes, juices included. Turn heat to low-medium (so there is a slight bubbling) and stir occasionally while the pasta cooks. Drain pasta when ready, add back to pot along with the tomatoes. Also add in parsley and cheese; stir thoroughly and serve immediately. 

The sauce...sorry about the crappy photo. I remembered last minute to take it. 

I realize this is a LOT more cheese than I said but my husband is a cheese fanatic!!!
I even have to add extra cheese on top of his plate! lol

The parsley, rinsed and halfway chopped. Fresh is best!! Look at that vibrant green!!!
Penne Pasta...ready to serve!!!

[[Original recipe can be found here though I can now make this one in my sleep and made my own slight variations to it over time]]

Healthy General Tso's Chicken

I was recently introduced to a fantastic website called Pinterest (if you heard of it you know how addictive it can be...if not...DO IT!). With this site, I have found a new world of recipes and can store them by picture so easily...and it comes with a link to original site!! We tried this recipe and it was DELICIOUS!!!! The hardest part was dealing with the chicken since we were having issues with our fridge freezing everything. While I normally put my recommendations *after* the recipe, I only have one so I'll just put it here: prep the chicken first. This took the longest for me. That said, lets go.

The Chicken & Coating

  • 2 large egg whites
  • 3 T. cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1 lb. chicken, cut into bite size pieces (I used thighs)
The Sauce
  • 1 T. cornstarch
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 2 c. snow peas, trimmed & halved diagonally
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 3 T. light bright sugar
  • 2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
  • 2 T soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes (or to taste)
For the sauce: Mix together the water and cornstarch until smooth. Stir in remaining ingredients and set aside. 

For the chicken: Whisk together egg whites, cornstarch, salt & pepper. Stir in chicken. 

Cooking directions: In a skillet heated over medium-high, add a small amount of oil. Add chicken to the pan (or half if there isn't enough room), dripping off excess coating. Cook, stirring occasionally until golden brown and cooked thoroughly. Remove from pan and set aside. (If you do cook half, set the first half aside, add more oil if necessary and repeat the process). Add the sauce to the skillet and cook until the peas are tender and sauce is thickened. Add chicken back into the pan along with any collected juices. Toss to coat and serve with rice. 

Sauce before cooking

Chicken almost finished cooking...looks yummy!  
Dinner is served!! By the way...we just used the boil bag rice. Nothing fancy.

Now that you have this fabulous, delicious recipe...what are you still doing here?! Get to cookin'!!! haha.  

[[Original recipe can be found here]]

Hello Followers!!!

My most sincere apologies for not keeping up with this blog...we had so much going on and we are finally getting our heads back above water so to speak. Here is what I'm going to do though:

First, I'm going to catch up on my posts. Tonight I will be posting recipes for:

  • Penne Pasta
  • Easy Slow Cooker Jambalaya
  • Traditional *and* Taco Stuffed Shells
  • Healthy General Tso's Chicken
  • Tex-Mex Lasagna
  • Spicy Spinach 
  • Sweet Carrots
  • Chunky Applesauce
  • Quesadillas
Hopefully in between now and the last one for the night, I will think of more and post (which I just thought of another! haha). So enough chit-chat and time to get at it!!! 

**Please note that not all of these will have pictures with them right away. I WILL be updating those as I make them again, promise.**

Friday, February 11, 2011

Next posts

Once I find my magazine (A has a habit of moving my stuff to places where I won't be able to find them...on accident of course. Seriously.) I will be updating my blog with:

  • Jambalaya 
  • Tavern Burgers
  • Triple Layered Sweetheart Cupcakes (just in time for Valentine's Day!) 
  • Meatloaf 
Until then, feel free to browse my other posts and trying one of the recipes for yourself!!! :) Happy weekend everyone!!

Beef Enchiladas

This was a very interesting (and relatively cheap) recipe and I'm proud to say it was a big hit!! A has declared that this will be made more often. :)  I will be listing what I used/my method since the site I found was all over the place.

**Picture can be found at the end of the post; more to be added later**

Here you'll need:

  • 12 corn tortillas (You can find a large packet of these at Krogers for $1.67)
  • 3 cans enchilada sauce 
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 package of mexican cheese
  • canola/vegetable oil
Cook meat till thoroughly browned and drain; set aside. In small to medium size pan (it only has to be big enough to hold the tortillas), add about an inch or two of the canola oil and let it heat up to medium/medium high (not boiling). Place tortillas one at a time in the heated oil, using a round turner to dip 2-3 times each. Remember, you want them to remain soft so they will be easy to roll. Place them on a small plate as you go fry them. Once they have all been dipped in the oil, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and heat the enchilada sauce in a small to medium saucepan. Once it is heated up (again, not boiling), dip each tortilla in the sauce (feel free to use the round turner) and place on a different small plate. Once every tortilla has been dipped in the enchilada sauce, start making the enchiladas. To do this, place a tortilla on a cookie sheet (with slightly raised sides) and fill about 1/3 with the meat. Roll the tortilla making sure the meat is tucked in and not falling out of the sides and the seam is on the bottom to keep it closed. Continue this process with the rest of the tortillas. Once all enchiladas have been made, sprinkle all of them with desired amount of cheese and pour any leftover enchilada sauce. Place in oven for 10 minutes. 

**You can replace the beef with cheese, pork, chicken...whatever you prefer really**

Important note:

I recommend doing it one step at a time and using plates for safety and convenience reasons. The first time I made this, I followed the original recipe (which called to dip in the oil, then the sauce, place on the cookie sheet and repeat) the oil was splattering, burning me and everything was very chaotic and messy. I had a guest with a child and we were constantly worried about her son and my puppy playing around too close to the stove and in the popping oil's range. My modification was much easier...a few more dirty dishes but less chaotic so it was worth it. 

Here is my first attempt at homemade enchiladas!!! :) You can see in the corner the cooking utensil I used for the tortilla dippings. 

By the way...these were SO DELICIOUS!!! A was raving about them for days afterwards! :) 

With that: Create, Share & Enjoy!!! :) 

[[Original recipe can be found at Rockin' Robins Cooking Mexican ]]

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Monkey Bread

Growing up, I always heard about my grandma making this and it being so delicious. Since I was little I wanted to make monkey bread but just never got around to it...the name just *sounded* complicated. Well, I am here to tell you not only is it *very* simple, its also *very* affordable!

I will admit...I messed this recipe up the first time. It was a complete disaster because I was not paying attention. So pay attention or you will end up with a pile of uncooked, buttery biscuit chunks all over the place...literally!! Learn from my mistakes (yes, plural!) and everything should be a-okay.  :)

*Recommendations added at the end of the recipe*

**Pictures will be added at the end of the post**

Here you'll need:

  • 4 cans of refrigerated biscuits
  • 1 c. packed brown sugar (I used light)
  • 1 1/2 sticks of butter
  • 1/2 c. white sugar
  • 2 Tbl. ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9-10" tube pan. Mix white sugar and cinnamon together in a medium sized plastic bag and shake well. Cut the biscuits into halves or quarters (I did quarters) and place six to eight biscuit pieces into the bag at a time; shake well. Once all the pieces are coated, place into the greased tube pan. Continue until all pieces are in the pan. In a small saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar over medium heat. Boil for one minute; pour over layered biscuits. Bake for 35-40 minutes. Allow the bread to cool then turn out onto a plate. 


1. If you are using a size smaller than the 10" tube pan (mine was 9.5") then I suggest using 3 cans of refrigerated biscuits instead of the original 4. Once it has completely cooked, it will rise significantly and pour over the pan edges leaving you with a big mess to clean.
2. Which brings me to my second recommendation: place this on a cookie sheet before placing it in the oven. Cleaning the cookie sheet if you do end up having spills is much better than cleaning your oven.
3. Make sure you grease your pan!! The second time I made this, I forgot to spray the pan (because I was so excited I didn't make the mistakes I did the first time) and I ended up not being able to flip it out. Also, cinnamon and brown sugar are *not* interchangeable in this recipe...that was my first mistake. So if you somehow mixed them up, do yourself the favor and just through it out! 

 The brand of biscuits I used. I just love the Pillsbury dough-boy. :)
 This is the equivalent of one can of biscuits. As you can see, I tore them instead of cut them. I was just being lazy...but it worked!
 Placing the biscuits after they have been covered in the sugar/cinnamon mix.
 The butter and brown sugar melting into a delicious syrup
 In the oven!! By the do not want to fill the pan to the brim like it is in the picture.
Otherwise, it overspills like this. Not that its not still delicious BUT it will save on cleaning. 

Now that you have this super simple, super addictive recipe (because once you eat it you won't want to stop!): Create, Share & Enjoy! :)

[[Original recipe can be found at Easy Monkey Bread Recipe]]

Baked Salmon

If you're like me, then you would much rather go out and pay someone to cook your fish than risk doing it yourself. Well, I have decided that since fish is healthy for you this household will be having more of it...made by yours truly. Now, that being said, I have tried TWO "easy" baked salmon recipes and I preferred the second one so that is the one I will be sharing and here is why: The first one just didn't look right, I did not care for the use of the ingredients needed and it lacked quite a bit of flavor. So, I hope you enjoy "Easy" Baked Salmon...Take Two! :)

*Recommendations can be found at the end of the recipe*

**Pictures are added at the end of the post**

Here you'll need:

  • 2 salmon fillets, roughly a pound
  • 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper
  • oregano
  • garlic salt
  • 1/4 c melted butter
  • dried parsley (chopped fresh parsley will work too)
  • 2 Tbl dry sherry 
  • paprika (optional)
Preheat oven at 350 degrees. Place salmon skin side on a cooking tray. Squeeze lemon juice  over the fish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; add a hint of garlic salt. Sprinkle liberally with oregano. Pour melted butter all over salmon fillets and sprinkle with parsley. Slowly drizzle sherry and bake for 35 minutes or until fish is opaque and flakes easily. Sprinkle with paprika if desired. 


1. My biggest recommendation is to add the lemon juice, then the other liquids (including the butter since it is in its liquified form) *then* add the herbs and spices. It will just keep the spices from being "washed off". 
2. Also, I just added the paprika before popping it in the oven. 
3. Just to add, A and I agreed we will probably opt out with the fish skin next time since we didn't care for it...but hey, some do! Just like with recipes, if you do not want the skin, you can have that removed if you buy it fresh instead of pre-packaged. 

Keep in mind, a recipe is merely a guideline so if you prefer garlic salt over oregano (like I do) then by all means adjust the measurements! :) 

Here it is!! So beautiful and delicious!! :) I decided to post the side shot so you can see what "opaque" looked like (because I honestly had no idea since I don't normally cook fish). 

As always: Create, Share & Enjoy! :) 

[[Original recipe may be found at: Easy Baked Salmon]]

Friday, January 14, 2011

Update (for Chicken Parmesan recipe)

If you want a fluffy crust for your Chicken Parmesan, try Panko bread crumbs. If you can't find it in the International isle of your favorite (major) grocery store, try a Whole Foods, Fresh Market, or other "organic style" store.

We tried it recently and it was so delicious and light. The only recommendation I would make is to double your egg and milk batter. It would just help since this is a thicker, more absorbent type of bread crumbs.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


Hello my long lost followers!!

I have been without a laptop for about a month already and was having top operate from A's Piece-O-Junk 5000!! Now that I have my amazing electronic baby back, I will be updating what I can. Since I also upgraded my phones (dumb to smart) a couple of the recipes will have to be recreated in the kitchen and new pictures taken! Can you say "Argh!" (like stressed "argh"...not the pirate's version!)

Well, I now have to get back to my classwork (which I also started up again recently!) the words of the Great Terminator..."I'll Be Back!"

Till then...

Create, Share, and Enjoy! :)

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