Friday, April 27, 2012

Quick Easy Skillet Lasagna {with bonus hidden veggies}

Can't believe my week with my sister is almost over!! It's been so nice to be in Utah cooking meals together and spending quality time together with our mom, sister-in-law and friends!

So...a few weeks ago I wanted lasagna, but I didn't have hours to make it, so this was the result! I am excited about this cause again, it was a hit with the kids and quick! Plus, I couldn't get enough of this...a keeper for sure.

Cook time: 30 minutes or less
Serves: 4-6
  • 1 lbs ground beef
  • 1 onion, grated
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 zucchini, grated
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1 3/4 cups spaghetti sauce
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 2 1/2 cups dry noodles (recommended: farfalle or mini lasagna noodles)
  • 1/2 tsp italian seasoning
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 1 cup mozzarella, divided
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  1. Begin to brown the ground beef. Add the grated onion, garlic, zucchini, and carrot. Cook for 5-6 minutes, or until beef is no longer pink.
  2. Add the spaghetti sauce, water, noodles, seasoning, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium low and cover. Cook for about 2 minutes less than al-dente (look on the package of noodles for the recommended al-dente amount of time).
  3. Meanwhile, combine the cottage cheese, 3/4 cups of the mozzarella, egg, and parmesan cheese.
  4. When noodles are 2 minutes shy of al-dente, all the cheese mixture. Cook for another few minutes, or until the noodles are soft.
  5. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top, and serve with your favorite garlic bread!
Next time, I think I will add a couple handfuls of baby spinach (see if I can sneak even more veggies into some picky eaters!

Bon appetit!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Moroccan Rice Pilaf

I am so excited about this dish. It's quick, easy, vegetarian, delicious, ethnic, and nutritious! My 2 year old gobbled this up, and had seconds! I think she had as much as I can I say it's kid friendly? Sure.

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6-8


  • 1 1/2 cups rice (we use parboiled)
  • 3/4 cup onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3 Tbs butter or olive oil
  • 3 cups chicken stock/bouillon
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 (19 ounce) can of chick peas, rinsed and drained
  • 2 1/4 cups broccoli flowerets (pretty much just a head of broccoli)
  • 1/3 cup dried apricots, slivered (if you don't have them on hand, raisins will do)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup slivered or sliced almonds, toasted
  • 1/3 cup cilantro (optional)
  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, saute butter, onion, garlic, and rice until the rice is light golden brown (3-5 minutes).
  2. Stir in the 3 cups of chicken stock, cumin, cinnamon, and bring to a boil. Cover, and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Stir in beans, broccoli, and dried apricots. Cover, and simmer for another 10-12 minutes or until the rice is tender. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Serve topped with almonds and cilantro.

Bon appetit!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Creole Chicken and Shrimp Gumbo

I am FINALLY feeling pretty normal again and cooking! You have no idea how hard it was to start a food blog right when I got pregnant--well some of you may know. Yep, big news, I am pregnant! Food was not my best friend, nothing seemed appetizing to me, which is pretty much the worse thing ever, for serious. BUT now I'm back and loving food and cooking again. My amazing husband gets a break...he has been a trooper and cooking dinner almost every night while I would lock myself in a room where I could not smell anything, the joys :)

This dish was full of amazing flavors, and comfort food to it's finest. My 2 year old daughter just gobbled this all up like it was her job; and for all you mommas out there, nothing makes you happier than when you see your child eating your meal!


Served 4-6, takes about 1 hour total (35-40 minutes of that is downtime)

1.5 cups of rice
1/4 cup oil for frying

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 6-7 mushrooms, sliced (you can use a can)
  • 1 cup cooked, chopped chicken breast meat
  • 1 cup large shrimp, cleaned and cooked until just pink
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chile peppers, with liquid
  • 1 cup chicken stock or bouillon
  • 1 tsp parsley (or 2 Tbs fresh)
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 to 1 tsp red chili pepper flakes (depending on how spicy you like it, I only put 1/4 tsp)
  • 1 tsp thyme


  1. Cook the rice in 3 cups of salted water.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in flour and cook, stirring constantly (watch it carefully so it doesn't burn), for 5 minutes or until mixture is the color of a copper penny. Reduce heat to low and stir in bell pepper, onion, and mushrooms (if they are canned mushrooms, add them in step 2). Cook 10 to 15 minutes, or until tender, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add chicken, chicken stock (or bouillon) tomatoes with green chile peppers, mushrooms, parsley, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, soy sauce, sugar, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and thyme. Stir together, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Add cooked shrimp in the last 3 minutes to heat them up and to cook them fully.

Oh yes, enjoy this one on me!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Mexican Taco Pasta

I love mexican food and I love pasta so this is like the perfect combination ever! This dish seriously only took me 20 min to make. I took the ground beef out that morning so it could defrost and I had some onions already chopped in my was quick and so good! 

Source: The Girl Who Ate Everything

1 pound ground beef or turkey
8-12 ounces medium pasta shells or other small dry pasta shapes
1 small onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 clove garlic, minced

1 (14 oz.) can diced tomatoes with mild green chilies, drained (if making this for kids you might want to use just plain diced tomatoes)
1 (14 oz.) can of corn, drained
1 packet (4 tablespoons) taco seasoning
3 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Salt and pepper


Bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook pasta according to the package directions. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of pasta water. Set aside.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet or sauté pan, cook the ground meat over medium-high heat until no longer pink. A few minutes before the meat is cooked through, add the chopped onion to the skillet. Once the meat is cooked through, mix in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add in the diced tomatoes, corn and taco seasoning and let simmer over medium heat for about 3-5 minutes. 

Stir in the cooked pasta, cream cheese, sour cream and reserved pasta water, and continue stirring until the cream cheese is melted and the sauce is well blended. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer over medium-low heat 3-5 minutes to reduce the sauce a bit if it is still too thin.

Toss in the cilantro right before serving for some fresh color and flavor. Serve with a green salad.

Enjoy !!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Eggplant Parmesan

So Eggplant was on sale this week at the grocery store so I decided to get one and try an eggplant recipe. I have always heard of eggplant parmesan so I decided to try it out. It was super fun to make, especially since it was my first time frying something. I halved the recipe since it was only Danny and I for dinner and even that was plenty!!


  • 2 medium eggplant (about 2 1/4 pounds), cut into 1/2-inch-thick round slices
  • Kosher salt, as needed, plus 1 tablespoon
  • 5 cups fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • All-purpose flour for dredging
  • 6 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • Olive oil, as needed
  • 7 cups QUICK MARINARA SAUCE, recipe follows
  • 2/3 cup grated Parmesan, divided
  • 1 pound fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced or shredded


Arrange the eggplant slices on several baking sheets and sprinkle generously all over with kosher salt. Set aside to let the bitter juices weep from the eggplant, about 1 hour.
Transfer the eggplant to a colander in the sink, and rinse well under cold running water. Transfer eggplant to a work surface and blot very dry with paper towels.
In a large bowl, whisk together the 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, breadcrumbs, oregano, thyme, and season with pepper.
Place the flour in a medium lipped plate or bowl. In another medium bowl, whisk the egg and milk together. Dredge an eggplant slice in the flour, then dip it in the egg, and finally dredge it in the breadcrumb mixture. Shake off any excess breading and transfer the eggplant to a baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining eggplant.
In a large straight-sided skillet, pour the oil to a depth of 1/2 inch. Heat the oil over medium heat until it registers 400 degrees F on a deep frying thermometer. (The oil must be heated to 400 degrees F. so that the breaded eggplant, when added, will drop the temperature of the oil to the proper frying temperature of 375 degrees F.)
Working in small batches, fry the eggplant slices, turning once, until golden brown, about 3 minutes per batch. Using tongs, transfer to a paper towel-lined baking sheet and season with salt to taste. Repeat with the remaining eggplant.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly brush a 15 x 10- x 2-inch-baking dish with olive oil. Cover the bottom of the baking dish with 1/3 of the marinara sauce and arrange half of the eggplant over the sauce. Cover the eggplant with another 1/3 of the sauce. Scatter half of the Parmesan and half of the mozzarella over the sauced eggplant. Repeat with the remaining eggplant, sauce, Parmesan, and mozzarella. Bake until hot and just beginning to brown, about 30 minutes. Serve immediately.
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced (about 1/3 cup)
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 7 cups whole, peeled, canned tomatoes in puree (about two 28-ounce can), roughly chopped
  • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 2 sprigs of fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Saute the onion and garlic, stirring, until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and the herb sprigs and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.
Remove and discard the herb sprigs. Stir in the salt and season with pepper to taste. Use immediately, store covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 2 months.
Yield: about 3 1/2 cups

Enjoy !!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Buffalo Chicken Cheese Balls

These make a lot of cheese balls so make sure you've got a lot of people to eat them! There are very delicious but, eat them when they first come out of the oven-- so good! I made these last month for my sister-in-laws baby shower. 

Source: adapted slightly from Sweet Treats & More

2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded 
1/2 cup Frank's Red Hot sauce
4 oz. cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup freshly sliced scallions1 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
a dash of salt, pepper, and garlic salt. 
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups bread crumbs

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly grease; set aside.
2. Place shredded chicken in a medium-sized bowl. Mix in hot sauce, scallions, cream cheese, cheddar cheese,blue cheese, salt, pepper and garlic salt, until combined.
3. With a small cookie scoop, scoop mixture out and roll into balls.
4. Place flour, egg, and the bread crumbs in three separate bowls, arranged on the counter for dipping.  Roll each ball in the flour, then the egg, then the bread crumbs, until coated well.  (Your hands will get messy). Place each ball on the repared baking sheet.
5. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown. Serve with more Frank's sauce, ranch dressing, or blue cheese.
*Makes about 2 dozen cheese bites. 

Enjoy !!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Easter Ham Leftovers: Ham and Potato Soup

So, what to do with your ham leftovers from Easter?! Ham and potato soup! Here in the Canadian necks of the woods, it's going to be pretty warm today, but in other parts of the world, I hear some of you got snow, so let this AMAZING soup take those chills away, it is absolutely comforting and delicious!

**So, I've tried making this using half cream (10%) and half milk, and don't get me wrong, it was SO good, but oh so rich, too. So if you're thinking the same, I wouldn't put half and half, maybe 1/2 cup of cream with 1 1/2 cups of milk. Just a thought :)


  • 3 1/2 cups peeled and diced potatoes
  • 1/3 cup diced celery
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup or more diced cooked ham
  • 3 1/4 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons chicken bouillon granules
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground white or black pepper, or to taste
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk


  1. Combine the potatoes, celery, onion, ham and water in a large pot. Bring to a boil, then cook over medium heat until potatoes are tender, about 12 minutes. Stir in the chicken bouillon, salt and pepper.
  2. In a separate saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Whisk in flour with a fork, and cook, stirring constantly until thick, about 1 minute, aka, you're making a roux. Slowly stir in milk as not to allow lumps to form until all of the milk has been added. Continue stirring over medium-low heat until thick, 4 to 5 minutes.
  3. Stir the milk mixture into the stockpot, and cook soup until heated through. Serve immediately.
  4. You may add some cheese and some green onions as a topping if you wish, mmm!

Bon Appetit!

Source: all recipes

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Texas Caviar

This is the easiest, quickest and best dip you'll ever have- promise! There is so much flavor and it is to addicting. We orinially got this recipe from our good friend Bethany.

2 cans of corn, drained
1 can of black beans, drained
1 can of black eyed peas, drained
1 green pepper, chopped
3 roma tomatoes, chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
1 bunch of cilantro
1 bottle of zesty Italian salad dressing

Mix all the ingredients together and chill for 2 hours for the best dip ever. Use scoops tortilla chips for easy scooping.

Enjoy !!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Egg Salad Sandwich

I remember when mama B made this for me when I was in elementary school..I hated it. Not because of the taste but because everyone made fun of how bad my lunch box smelled. It was bad. Anyways, now I love egg sandwiches and I do not care how it smells. Cathy has the perfect way of boiling eggs...but i'll let her post that :)

  • 8 eggs
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon prepared yellow mustard
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onion
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 t. lemon juice

Boil the 8 eggs for about 10-12 min. Peal the eggshell off of the eggs and place in bowl and begin the mash the eggs. Place al the ingredients in the bowl and mix together. Toast two slices of homemade bread and put the desired amount of egg salad in your sandwich.

Enjoy !!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Honey Garlic Chicken

Happy Friday everyone!! Danny and I officially leave for DC in 3 weeks, can't wait!! Well, here is a quick and easy crockpot recipe for you guys. My crockpot cooks a little faster then normal so I cooked the chicken on low for only 4 hours. The sauce is so so good!

source: adapted slightly from Croutons and Cupcakes

  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon dry mustard
  • teaspoons soy sauce
  • ½ cup vinegar
  • ½ cup honey
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • chicken legs-thighs or breasts

  • Directions

    Place the chicken in the bottom of a 4-quart slow cooker. In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic, soy sauce, ketchup, vinegar, brown sugar, dry mustard, salt and honey. Pour over the chicken and cover.

    Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or high for 3 to 4 hours. Be sure to check the chicken periodically. My chicken was done after 5 hours on low. Remove chicken, place on a plate and tent with foil to keep warm. Transfer the remaining sauce to a saucepan and reduce down over medium heat until desired consistency is reached. I mixed a teaspoon of cornstarch with a tablespoon of water and added it to the sauce and continued to stir and cook on medium heat until it thickened up a bit.

    Serve a little sauce over the chicken and garnish with fresh basil.

    Serve chicken over rice with some broccoli or green beans on the side.

    Enjoy !!

    Wednesday, April 4, 2012

    Fruit Dip

    This fruit dip is super good!! I used the pineapple to be a container for holding the dip. It was such a cute presentation for the baby shower. The dip makes a lot so I would plan this for a large group or do half the recipe. Original Recipe found here.


    • 8 ounces cream cheese
    • 1/2 cup marshmallow creme
    • 2 cups frozen whipped topping, thawed
    • 1/4 cup unsweetened pineapple juice


    Blend together the cream cheese, marshmallow cream and thawed topping. Add enough pineapple juice to make it dipping consistency. Chill for 1 hour.

    Enjoy !!