Sunday, August 15, 2010

Stuffed Peppers

Wow I had an abundance of peppers to use up. From my garden you ask? I wish! Next year! Any who....they were from Hunters 6 month photo shoot. We had the brilliant idea to do a cooking shoot. So, I pretty much bought out the produce section at the store.
I was sitting around this afternoon contemplating what to make for dinner with my abundance of veg, and stuffed peppers sounded good. I found this recipe on Food Network's web site, but I had to totally adapt it to what I had. They turned out fabulous, and Hunter and I enjoyed a nice evening of food on the deck.

1 15 oz. can diced fire roasted tomatos
1 zucchini, grated
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup parm
1/8 cup olive oil
1 huge clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 cups veggie broth
1 cup orzo (didn't have enough, so did half orzo, half Israeli couscous)
4 bell peppers (could have made 5, but pan wasn't big enough)

  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Pour tomatoes into large bowl and add zucchini, basil, cheese, olive oil, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.
  3. Meanwhile, bring the chicken broth to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Add the orzo and cook 4 minutes. The orzo should only be partially cooked. Use a fine mesh sieve to transfer the orzo to the large bowl with the other vegetables. Stir the orzo into the vegetable mix to combine. Transfer the warm veggie broth to a 3 quart baking dish.
  4. Slice the tops of the peppers and remove all ribs and seeds.
  5. Place peppers in the baking dish with the warm veggie broth. Spoon the orzo mixture into the peppers. Cover the dish with foil and bake 45 minutes. Remove the foil, sprinkle top with feta and continue baking until the cheese is golden, about 15 minutes. Enjoy!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

4th of July

Wow this took me a while to update:) Sorry! We moved to Traverse City which hosts the national Cherry Festival every year and I have been extremely busy introducing the world of cherries to my son. The fourth was great. We celebrate every year on Torch Lake, which is the 3rd most beautiful lake in the world! Every year we do a cookout at a good friends home. Her son is a chef and makes all kinds of goodies. I made a few easy desserts this year that I could throw together quickly after being on the lake all day. I made a red, white and blue trifle, which was super easy.

1 box red velvet cake mix
2 pints blueberries
1 pint strawberries
1 tub cool whip

I made the cake the day before and cut into 1 inch cubes. Then layer cake, cool whip, blueberries, then repeat. On the top layer, cut strawberries in half and decorate.

Too easy I know!

These firecracker pretzels are a no brainer as well. Just take pretzel rods, dip in chocolate and decorate with sprinkles. I did these a day ahead as well.

Now to the good stuff!

Jeremy made these fab appetizers, which I will definitely copy at my next get together.

French bread
olive oil
goat cheese
fresh cherries, pitted and sliced

  1. Slice the french bread into 1/2 inch slices
  2. Brush on olive oil and season
  3. Bake at 350 until lightly browned
  4. Sprinkle with goat cheese
  5. Add a cherry
  6. throw in oven for a couple more minutes

The 4th was a blast. Good times with good people. Jeremy also made a wonderful bruschetta which I will post at a later date. Enjoy these quick and easy holiday recipes!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Lemon and Chives Orzo with Farmers' Market Veggies

Whoo hoo I'm back!!! Finally!!! We moved into your new house this week and although we have no furniture, I have my kitchen!! And thanks to my mom it was the first thing we set up. The hubby is traveling for work and the baby's finally letting me cook, so here I go. I saw this recipe on facebook, of all places, and really wanted to try it. It was a Rachael Ray recipe, but I totally changed it based on what I had in the fridge. It turned out great and was a great summer meal.

1/4 package of whole wheat orzo
a handful of thin asparagus, trimmed
2 handfuls of green beans
1/2 cup frozen green peas
2 T. butter
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh chives
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 T. Dijon mustard
1 lemon
Parmesan cheese
2 handfuls of baby spinach

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil fro pasta. Cook Pasta according to package.
  2. Slice asparagus in 1 inch pieces on an angle. Cut beans into thirds, also on an angle.
  3. Midway through cooking the pasta, add asparagus and beans to water so they cook3 minutes in boiling water with the pasta.
  4. Add peas to the pot 1 minute before draining.
  5. Reserve about 1/4 cup of starchy cooking liquid before you drain the pasta.
  6. Meanwhile, heat EVOO in pan and melt butter into it over low to medium low heat. Add chives and garlic and stir a minute or two. Then add wine and gently reduce a couple minutes more.
  7. Stir in Dijon and lemon juice and turn off heat.
  8. Add pasta and remaining starchy cooking liquid and toss to coat evenly.
  9. Add some cheese and pepper to taste.
  10. Fold in spinach and serve with extra cheese on top.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

I Promise I'm coming Back!

Who would have known this baby thing would be so time consuming LOL. I think I am finally figuring this out. We are closing on a new house this week (whoo hoo) so I will be able to unpack my kitchen and start cooking (and blogging again). Now I just need to find my camera. Hope everyone will keep following this blog. I plan to resume normal blogging in July. Until then I will throw in a couple of posts ( hopefully with pictures).

Here is a quickie week night meal that I made last night and it turned out very well and in only 20 minutes flat. I got the recipe from Cooking Light and it was scrumptious. I served these Greek Steak Pitas with some garlic hummus and homemade pita chips. Hope you enjoy!

Greek Steak Pitas

1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1 tsp. Greek seasoning (McCormicks)
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1 (1lb.) flank steak, trimmed
1/2 tsp. kosher salt, divided
1 tsp. butter
1 tsp. olive oil
2 T. lemon juice
1 6 oz. pkg. baby spinach
4 pitas, cut in half
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
24 slices english cucumber
1/2 cup feta cheese

  1. Combine first 3 ingredients in a large zip-top bag; add steak to bag. Marinate 3 minutes, turning once. Remove steak from bag; discard marinade. sprinkle steak with 1/4 tsp. salt. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add butter and olive oil. Add steak; cook 5 minutes per side or until desired doneness. Let stand 2 minutes. Cut steak across the grain into thin slices.
  2. Return pan to heat. Add juice, garlic and spinach; saute 1 minute. Remove from heat and add remaining salt.
  3. Spoon 2 T. spinach mixture into each pita half. Place 1 T. onion, 3 cucumber slices and 1 1/2 oz. steak in each pita half, sprinkle 1 T. cheese in each pita half. Yield 4 servings. Serving size is 2 pita halves at 427 calories!

The Verdict: Loved it! Super easy to make. I have had to cut dairy completely out of my diet due to nursing, so finding recipes has been a task. These pitas are just as great without the feta!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Sorry No Posts!

Little Hunter Abraham was born Feb. 8th and has been my world since then. My blog will be on standby for a little while. Thanks!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Freezer Stash Chicken and Black Bean Chili

So being 1 day overdue, I feel like I should maybe start stocking up some freezer meals for when the baby's here. This will get my mind off of the anticipation. I probably should have started this a long time ago, but being in between homes has made things a little difficult. I kinda just threw this chili together, and it turned out really tasty. I made enough for 2 gallon size freezer bags, and we ate the rest for dinner for 2 nights. My point, it makes quite a bit.

1 lb. chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
1 red onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 jalapenos, chopped
1 summer squash, chopped
2 28oz. cans tomato sauce
2 15 oz. cans black beans, rinsed and drained
2 15 oz. cans corn, drained
2 packets of chili seasoning (use lower sodium)
red pepper flakes (as much as you want)

  1. Saute onion, celery, garlic, jalapenos, and squash until soft, about 2 minutes.
  2. Add rest of ingredients and simmer 10 minutes or so.
Verdict: Can't get much easier then this! To freeze, scoop desired amount into gallon size freezer bags, lay flat, let air out, and freeze. To heat, completely thaw and add to pan to warm.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Apple Cinnamon Butterscotch Muffins

I just love having muffins on hand for the week, and these were no exception. I found this recipe on Annie Eats blog, which I read all the time. She has all kinds of great recipes, so make sure you check it out. Back to the muffins, I had most of the ingredients on hand for these, so they were a quick fix. Annie put dried apples on top for decoration, but I didn't have any so they aren't as pretty. The flavor is amazing, well anything with butterscotch is amazing!
I also wanted to have these on hand in case I go into labor this weekend. I thought they would be a great treat for the nursing staff (wink, wink) I want them to be nice to me, so I will bribe them with food. If I don't go into labor, expect another treat post soon.

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
3/4 old fashioned oats
8 T. unsalted butter, at room temp.
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2/3 cup applesauce
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup milk
3/4 cup butterscotch chips
3/4 cup chopped apples
1/3 cup toasted pecans, chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line wells of muffin tins with paper liners and set aside.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Mix lightly with a fork to blend. Stir in the oats. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until light and smooth, 1-2 minutes. Beat in the applesauce, eggs and vanilla extract until incorporated. With the mixer on low speed, mix in the dry ingredients in three additions alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients and beating just until incorporated. Fold in the butterscotch chips, apples, and toasted pecans with a rubber spatula.
  3. Divide batter evenly between muffin cups. Bake 18-20 minutes, or until inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan 10-15 minutes. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
Verdict: I love them warmed up with a little pat of butter!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Light Veggie Soup with Tortellini

This soup is AMAZING!!! It is great comfort food on a cold winter night, and super nutritious with all the veggies incorporated. I found this recipe on, which I like to check out every once in a while. They have great ideas, when I feel I need a little extra nutrtion in my day. I did substitute the recipe a little bit, by adding fresh onion and peppers, rather than using frozen. This only took about 30 minutes to whip up, so it was a great weeknight meal.

1 T. extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup red onion, diced
1 cup green pepper, diced
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
1 28 oz. can crushed tomato ( I found a can with basil added for extra flavor)
1 15 oz. can reduced sodium chicken or veggie broth (I used homemade)
1 1/2 cups hot water
1 tsp. dried basil
1 9 oz. package of fresh or frozen whole wheat tortellini (or ravioli)(cheese or meat)
2 cups zucchini, diced
Fresh ground pepper to taste

  1. Heat oil in large sauce pan over medium heat. Add onions, peppers, and crushed red pepper and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add tomatoes, broth, water, and basil; bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Add tortellini and cook for 3 minutes less than package directions. Add zucchini; return to a boil. Cook until the zucchini is crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Season with fresh pepper.
Verdict: DELISH. We both added a little feta cheese to the top of our soup, which added a little tang. This soup will be added to our soup rotation. Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Fettuccine Alfredo with Bacon

Like I said.....just cooking my way through this issue of cooking light. What more can you ask for comfort food with less calories. This dish was really quick and very tasty. I love that it has a short ingredient list. and I already had most of it on hand. I served this with peas, yes I know this is boring, but I might even mix the peas in next time I make this. The peas made the pasta a little bulkier, and more of a carbonara style.

1 (9oz.) package fresh fettuccine ( I subbed whole wheat linguine)
2 slices bacon, chopped
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 T. all-purpose flour (I used whole wheat)
1 cup 1 % low-fat milk (skim works)
2/3 cup grated Pamigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/2 tsp. salt
2 T. chopped fresh parsley
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1/4 cup cooking liquid.
  2. While pasta cooks, cook bacon in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat 4 minutes, or until crisp, stirring occasionally. Remove bacon from pan, reserving drippings. Add garlic to drippings in pan; saute 1 minute, stirring constantly. Sprinkle flour over garlic; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly; cook 2 minutes or until bubbly and slightly thick. Reduce heat to low. Gradually add cheese, stirring until cheese melts. Stir in salt and reserved 1/4 cup cooking liquid. Add hot pasta to pan; toss well to combine. Sprinkle with bacon, parsley, and pepper. Yield: 4 Servings
Calories: 339 per serving!

The Verdict: Thanks Cooking Light for making our favorites healthy, or at least less caloric:)

Friday, January 15, 2010

Chicken Noodle Soup- The fast Way!

I am so happy I re-subscribed to Cooking Light Magazine. I think I dog eared every page in the Jan. issue. They have recently reformatted the magazine, and I love what they did with it. First recipe I made was the 20 minute chicken noodle soup. Being 37 weeks pregnant, this is the new type of recipe I like, EASY! This soup tasted great, and it was even better the second day. The recipe calls for a rotisserie chicken, which is a double bonus, because now I have a freezer full of homemade broth.

2 cups water
1 (32 oz.) carton fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth ( used my moms homemade)
1 T. olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 medium carrot, chopped
6 oz. pasta (used whole wheat egg noodle)
2 1/2 cups shredded rotisserie
2 T. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

  1. Combine 2 cups water and chicken broth in a microwave-safe dish, and microwave at high for 5 minutes.
  2. While broth mixture heats, heat a large sauce pan over medium high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion, celery, salt, pepper, and carrot.; saute 3 minutes or until almost tender, stirring frequently. Add hot broth mixture and pasta; bring to a boil. Cook 7 minutes or until pasta is almost al dente. Stir in chicken; cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated. Stir in parsley. Yield 6 serving.
Calories: 237 for 1 cup of soup!!