Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Money Saving Tip

Did you know that you can usually buy a bunch of green onions at the store for around $1?

Did you know that if you take them home and put them in about 1 inch of water the green chives will continue to grow?

Did you know that you can keep cutting off the chives as you need them and they will keep growing back?

I had a tendency of buying a bunch every time I went to the grocery store because I love their flavor, they are milder than other onions but still bring lots of flavor to dishes- without bringing my husband the heartburn he gets with all other onions.

After my new discovery I have had the same 3 onions going in a mason jar on my kitchen counter for I don't know a month? I never could have gone this long without buying some.

Even though they aren't very expensive to buy, many people let these just go bad in the fridge. Set them in some water, and let them keep producing for you :-)

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Peach Cobbler Dump Cake!

This is one the easiest and yummiest desserts that you can make with most things you might already have on hand.

1 Large can of peaches
1 stick of butter
1 box of yellow cake mix

Grease a 9X13 pyrex dish and toss in the peaches and juice. Then sprinkle the cake mix over the peaches. Once you have melted the stick of butter drizzle it over the cake mix. Toss in the oven at 350 for 50 min. Take it out and let sit for 5 min. Serve warm with ice cream YUM! This type of peach cobbler will be more runny than cake like... just to let you know!!

This is great and soooo easy!!!
Happy Baking :)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Pesto Rolled Chicken with Mozzarella I stared at my fridge tonight searching for inspiration for what to cook for dinner, my mind created this. I do have to say that it was so yummy, I had to post!! I did fail to take a picture and what a picture it would have been. They looked beautiful!! Alas, I will have to add it next time I make this as it will definitely be a repeat!

Ingredients (serves 2):

1- chicken breast
Pesto Sauce (I personally prefer Trader Joes brand)
Butter (about 2 tbsp)
2 - mozzarella cheese sticks


1. Preheat the oven to 350. Line a small baking pan (like 8x8 or 9x9) with aluminum foil. Heat a medium sized skillet over med-high heat on stove top. Add 1 tbsp of butter.

2. Butterfly your chicken breast into two pieces. Using either wax paper or plastic wrap as a buffer, pound the chicken thin.

3. Unwrap the chicken and spread a thin layer of pesto sauce over the top. Place the cheese stick and one end of the chicken and roll the chicken around the mozzarella. Stick a tooth pick through the chicken to hold the roll closed. Repeat for other half of the breast.

4. Sear the chicken in the skillet - about 1 min on each side. You want it to start crisping brown on the outside but not cook through. Transfer the chicken to the foil-lined baking dish.

5. Top each breast with another sliver of butter. I just stuck it right on the toothpick! Bake for about 20-25min or until chicken is fully cooked and juices run clear.

Prepare side-dishes while chicken is baking (we had pasta with a basil-butter sauce and peas).

Super Yummy, super easy, and ready in 30 min. My favorite kind of meal :)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Coffee Cake

2 cups sifted flour
2 cups packed brown sugar (recipe calls for light, I used golden)
1/2 cup butter (I used cold butter cut up into pieces)
1 egg, well beaten
1/2 cup additional sifter flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup milk

In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, brown sugar and butter until crumbly (this is best to just stick your hands in and start smashing it together). Set aside 1/2 cup of this crumb mixture for the topping. To the mixture in the mixing bowl add all other ingredients and blend well with a wire whisk. Spread batter evenly into a well greased 8-in square pan. Sprinkle the crumb topping on top. Bake at 350F for 40-45 min, or until a wooden toothpick comes out clean.

Steak with grilled Butternut Squash and Salad

When the weather gets hot we like to try to grill every night that we would have to use the oven/stove. This saves us a ton of money on the A/C because we aren’t heating up the entire house with the stove. We found a GREAT deal on petite sirloin steak at Albertsons- they are buy 1 get 1 free right now. And we had such a yummy meal the other night!

For the Steak-

We used 2 petite sirloin steaks- but you can use any amount of whatever cut you prefer





Grilled Mushrooms (we like ours cooked in LOTS of butter)

For the Butternut Squash-

Peeled/Seeded Butternut squash cut into ½ in thick chunks (ours were about 3inx 4in)

Olive oil



For the Salad-

Romaine Lettuce

Sliced mushrooms

Green onion

Roasted red peppers

(We made our dressing out of olive oil, apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper, water, garlic, thyme, oregano, and roasted red peppers- then blended it with a hand blender… I’m not very good at measuring ingredients – I just kept adding until it tasted like I wanted it to)


While the coals were heating up- We rubbed the steaks in Thyme, Oregano, Salt and Pepper. One big thing about salting steaks- is that you HAVE to use larger salt. Table salt is so small that it gets into the steak and dries it out, but larger salt (like kosher salt or coarse ground sea salt) flavor the steak without drying. Then we let the steaks just rest on the counter while the coals finished heating (about 15-20 min).

Meanwhile- (I roasted the red peppers for the salad on the grill- because I could, but you don’t have to) Grill the peppers until the skin blisters, then put into a paper bag and set aside.

Rub the squash down with olive oil, salt and pepper.

We put the squash and steaks on the grill about at the same time. You will want to put the squash on the grill toward the outer rim because it isn’t as hot as the center and that way it will cook but not burn. Then just cook until the squash is tender and your steaks are as done as you like them.

Make the salad and dressing while all else is on the grill, and you are set.


Monday, June 14, 2010

Apple Pie

Well here goes my first blog Post ever.....
I was chatting with my good friend Ivy about how many apples I have left over from the past weeks of purchasing a Bountiful Basket. She gave me an apple pie recipe. It does call for Granny smith apples but I just used the red apples leftover from the basket. It also calls for the Trader Joe's Pie crust which I used but any other pie crust would do in my opinion!!! I will let you know how it tasted-smelled and looked yummy!!!
9-10 inch pie pan
1 pkg Trader Joe's Gourmet Pie Crust
3 lbs Granny Smith apples, cored, sliced
1 cup sugar
3 TBS all purpose flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp salt
2 TBS butter
2 TBS milk or cream
Preheat oven to 425'F. Prepare crust according to pkg directions. Mix sugar, flour, cinnamon, cloves and salt together and sprinkle over apples. Toss well to coat.
Mound apples on top of crust. Cut butter into small pieces and dot pieces over the apples. Carefully place top crust over apples. Press and crimp edges of the top and bottom crust together at the rim of the pan. Brush the top crust all over with milk or cream and sprinkle with sugar.
Using a small knife make five or six slits on top crust. Bake on the lowest rack in oven for 15 min. Remove pie, cover edges of crust with foil. Return pie to oven and reduce heat to 350'. Continue to bake for about an hour or until crust is evenly golden brown and apples are tender.
Allow pie to cool for one hour before cutting!!
We are topping ours with vanilla bean ice cream.

Our Family Meal Plan :)

Monday: Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry with Brown Rice

Tuesday: Digiorno Pizza on SALE this week!

Wednesday: Mom's Night Out

Thursday: Pizza Crescent Rolls with Marinara dipping sauce

Friday: Breakfast for Dinner Mmmm Blueberry Waffles

Saturday: We always try to grill on Saturdays... Chicken Kabobs, gyoza and rice

Sunday: Father's Day... whatever David wants for dinner :)

Machaca Beef Burritos!

This is my hubby's favorite!!! His wonderful Mom's recipe :)


Ingredients :
1 chuck roast 2-4 lbs
1 yellow onion .... cut into wedges
1/2 can of green chilies
2 cups of salsa
1/3 package of taco seasoning.
** Optional feel free to add in any other veggies like red bell peppers etc...

Put the onion and roast in the crock pot on low for 8-10 hours.
Shred the meat with a fork and then add the taco seasoning, salsa, green chilies and mix it all up.

Fill yummy tortillas and add some cheese and sour cream!!
So simple and so yummy... plus it will last a few meals!!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Tostadas with Stewed Vegetables and Spicy Rice

Every once and a while our family seems to reach the end of our food budget before we were planning on it. You know- when a few extra things came up, and all of a sudden it is a week before you will see another paycheck? Well, when this happens we do what we like to call cleaning out our pantry and finding creative ways to use what we have.

Some things we always ALWAYS have in our pantry: dried beans, peas, lentils, and rice. Over the years I have discovered you can do so many yummy things with these, but it just takes more time and more preparation.

Here is what we did one night:


2 cups dried pinto beans

1 pkg corn tortillas

1 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese

2 Roma tomatoes

2 leaves romaine lettuce

1 avocado

1 yellow squash

1 zucchini

1 cup brown rice

2 TBSP Olive Oil

Enough Vegetable oil for frying

Lots of spices:



Garlic Powder

Crushed Red Pepper


Chicken Bouillon

Chili Garlic Sauce


The night before: soak the beans in water making sure there is at least 4 inches of water above the top of the beans.

Day of: Drain the beans and put into crock pot. Cover with about 4-5 cups of water- depending on size of your pot, you want the beans to have about 2 in of water over them. Set on low for 8-10 hours.

At about hour 4-5 check the beans, if getting softer, add some black pepper, garlic powder, a little salt. Keep cooking. 1 hour before you want to eat they should definitely be done. Scoop out the beans (reserving the juices) smash up about 2/3 of the beans adding the bean water as needed to keep a soft refried bean consistency. When you have reached the desired consistency place in a Tupperware container and set aside.

For the Rice:

In a rice cooker add 1 Tbsp of olive oil, a sprinkle of crushed red pepper, some garlic powder, ½ tsp chicken bouillon, small squirt of chili garlic paste, and marjoram. Add 1 cup brown rice, mix well. Add 2 cups of water and start rice.


Slice squashes into ½ inch discs and then cut in half. Dice tomato. Toss all veggies in 1 TBSP olive oil, a dash of salt and pepper, some marjoram and garlic powder. Place in corning ware dish in a 400F oven.

After 10 min turn. Repeating again 10 min later. Add a sprinkle of cheese on top of the veggies and cook until melted. Take out of the oven.

Tostada shells:

Place enough oil to fill the bottom of a skillet with 1 in of oil. Heat over medium high heat until a drop of water boils when dropped into pan. Place one tortilla in the pan at a time turning once it has begun t harden about 2-3 minutes depending on heat of oil. Cook until golden and hard but not burned, place n paper towels to drain, repeat until you have cooked as many as you want.


In a skillet heat and season beans to your liking.

Add beans, cheese, lettuce, tomato, avocado… and anything else you want to the tostada and enjoy.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Lemon-Herb Zucchini Fettichini

I fully admit stealing this recipe from one of my favorite blogs. BUT I thought since there may be readers here who don't read, I would post it for you. Plus it's super-easy, quick and delicious.

Especially if you picked up a wonderful bountiful basket this morning and received a handful of yellow squash.

2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 lemons
2 T red-wine vinegar
Olive Oil
1/2 lb Fettuccine (about half a box)
2 medium or 4 small zucchini
1 C shredded Parmesan cheese (about)
5-6 cloves garlic
Fresh Basil (about 1/2 cup)
Fresh Oregano (about 1/4 cup) or a little bit of dried oregano

How to make it:

1. Marinate the Chicken: In a gallon ziplock bag, add the juice of one lemon, the red wine vinegar and a couple tablespoons olive oil. Stick it in the fridge while you prep and start the rest of the meal. It shouldn't need more than 30 min and can definitely be less like 15. Heat up grill (you can do this stove top as well with a grill pan or skillet)

2. Start a pot of water on the stove for the pasta. While waiting for the water to boil, slice the zucchini length wise. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

3. Mince or press garlic. In a small saucepan on the stove, heat 1/4 C of olive oil and add garlic. This should be on low-med heat. No popping, just gently warming to infuse the garlic flavor into the oil. The garlic should not brown but remain nice and white. If it really starts cooking, take it off heat and set aside.

4. When water boils, add pasta and a spoonful of salt.

5. Remove chicken and salt and pepper both sides. Place chicken and zucchini on grill (or in grill pan/skillet).

6. Rough chop herbs, get out/grate cheese, zest both lemons and juice the one that hasn't been juiced.

7. Reserve about 1/2 C pasta water. Drain pasta and place in a big bowl.

8. Rough chop the fully cooked chicken and zucchini into bites. Add to pasta. Add lemon zest, herbs, lemon juice, cheese, and garlic-olive oil mixture. Just pile it all in there. Now take tongs and toss! If it needs a little more moisture, add a little of the pasta water.

Makes 4 generous servings!

I've consolidated the recipe, but here is the link to the original in case you're curious :)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Split Pea Soup


1 green onion (thinly sliced)

1 large carrot (thinly sliced)

1 celery stalk (diced)

4 cups of vegetable or chicken broth (or 4 cups water + 4 tsp chicken bouillon)

2 cups green split peas

2 TBSP finely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

¼ tsp marjoram

¼ tsp thyme

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

6 slices of bacon

1 TBSP olive oil


In a large saucepan over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the onion and sauté until softened, 3-5 minutes. Add the celery and carrots and sauté until just slightly softened, 3 minutes.

Add the split peas, stock, 2 slices of bacon, parsley, marjoram, and thyme. Reduce the heat to medium low and bring to a simmer. Cover partially and cook until the peas are tender, 50-60 minutes. Discard the bacon.

Meanwhile, in a frying pan over medium heat, fry the remaining 4 slices of bacon until crisp, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel to drain. When cool, crumble and set aside.

Coarsely puree 2 cups of the soup in a food processor and return the pureed soup to the saucepan. Season with salt and pepper to taste, return the soup to medium heat, and simmer for 5 minutes longer. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Ladle the soup into warmed bowls and garnish with the crumbled bacon. Serve immediately.

Serve with warm crusty French bread.


French Bread


2/3 cup water
2 cups bread flour
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp yeast


Add all ingredients into bread maker in order listed. Set onto dough cycle.

Mix all ingredients in mixer until combined. Let rest for 10 minutes. Knead for 10 minutes. Form dough into a ball and place in a greased bowl and cover with a damp dishrag. Let rise for 1 hour.**

Once bread maker cycle has ended- or once dough has doubled in size - punch dough down. On a floured surface shape the dough into a ball, then roll out to a rectangle 8x3 in. Fold one-third up lengthwise and one-third down, then press. Repeat twice more, leaving the dough to rest in between folding to avoid tearing.

Gently roll and stretch dough to a 11-13 in loaf. Place loaf in a floured banneton or between the folds of a floured and pleated dishtowel, so the French bread shape is maintained during rising.

Cover with a damp dishtowel and leave in a warm place for 30-45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 450F.

Roll the loaf on to a baking sheet. Slash the top with a knife. Place at the top of the oven, on a lower over rack place a baking dish with 1 in of water. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden. Transfer to a wire rack.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Beef and Broccoli stir fry *Crock Pot Meal*

I haven't made it yet this week so I don't have a picture :)
1 pound boneless beef top round steak sliced into thin pieces
1/2 container of fresh sliced mushrooms
1 medium onion... cut into wedges
1/2 cup condensed beef broth
3 tablespoons teriyaki sauce
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil -- if desired

** Any additional veggies like beans, water chestnuts, carrots, red pepper etc...
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 cups frozen broccoli florets (you can use fresh broccoli too)

In 3 1/2 to 4 quart slow cooker, combine beef, mushrooms, onion, broth, teriyaki sauce and sesame oil; mix well and cover.
Cook on low setting for 8 to 10 hours for tender meat or 3 to 4 hours on high setting for tougher meat.
**About 35 minutes before serving, cook rice as directed on package. Meanwhile, in small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons water and cornstarch; blend well. Stir cornstarch mixture and broccoli into beef mixture. Cover; cook on low setting for an additional 30 mintues or until broccoli is crisp-tender. Serve over fluffy white rice.
YUM :)

Home-made Chicken Nuggets and Fillets

I had a friend request some skillet recipes since the summer months heat the house up quite a bit, the last thing you want on all afternoon is the oven!

So, here's one of my absolute (and my kids absolute) favorite ways to cook chicken. It creates a little bit of a mess and it's not the healthiest way to eat chicken, but it is delicious! Here's how I make it at my house - absolutely adapt it to fit yours!

1 full chicken breast (2 half breasts)
1 cup flour
2 eggs (beaten)
1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs - I use cornflake crumbs. deliciousness.
2 tbsp. olive oil**
2 tbsp. butter**
lemon (optional)

In a skillet on the stove, heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat until hot. Here's the best way to tell if oil is hot - drop a pinch of flour into it and watch it bubble and dissolve. If it just sits there and sinks, turn up the heat a little more.

Prepare the chicken: Rinse the chicken. Then I fillet one breast (slice it in half through the middle to make two thinner breasts for the adults) and cube the other breast. Place the flour, eggs, and bread crumbs in their own separate bowls. Dredge the chicken first in the flour, then egg, then cover in bread crumbs. Repeat until all the chicken has been coated, included the little cubed pieces (yay home-made chicken nuggets!).

Place chicken in hot oil on the skillet. Cook the breasts for about 7 min on each side. The cubes about 3 min on each side. They should be a golden brown color and when cut into, white with clear juices. Drain on a paper towel.

I serve the adult portions with a little fresh lemon juice squired on the top of the chicken. So yummy! I throw the left-over nuggets in a ziplock and reheat in the microwave or toaster oven throughout the week!

**if you have smaller skillets, use two and double the amount of oil and butter. I usually put the breast fillets in one and the nuggets in the other :)

Pepperoni and Cheese Crescent rolls

My wonderful auntie gave me this recipe so I made it for dinner tonight. Both the hubby and the little miss LOVED them and I have to agree :) So easy and so yummy!


1 (8-oz) can Pillsbury refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
24 slices of pepperoni... we used turkey pepperoni :)
2 oz. (1/2 cup) shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup pasta or pizza sauce

Heat oven to 375°F.Separate dough into 8 triangles; pat out each triangle slightly.
Place 3 slices pepperoni, slightly overlapping, on center of each triangle. Top each with about 1 tablespoon cheese.
Roll up, starting at shortest side of triangle and roll to the point. Place rolls, point side down, on ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake for 10 to 14 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from cookie sheet. Serve warm with heated sauce for dipping.
Makes 8.

Salmon Patties over a bed of Spinach and Rice


Salmon Patties:

15 oz canned salmon

1 egg

1/2 cup dry bread crumbs

1 green onion (sliced- including the tender green parts)

1/4 cup finely shredded cheddar cheese

dash of salt

dash of pepper

dash of garlic powder

dash of crushed red pepper

a small squeeze of chili garlic paste

2 TBSP olive oil

Chili Garlic Dressing:

1 TBSP Mayonnaise

dash of chili garlic paste

dash of paprika


Drain and reserve liquid from the salmon. Mix the egg, onion, bread crumbs and salmon together. Add all other ingredients (except the oil).

Form into patties- If mixture is too dry to form into patties, add the reserved liquid a few TBSP's at a time.

In a frying pan over medium high heat warm the oil. Place patties into the pan. Brown on each side, turning gently. If cooking in batches place in warm oven on a broiling rack to keep warm. Drain on paper towels.

Mix the Mayo chili garlic paste and paprika in a ramekin dish.

Serve Salmon Patty over white rice with steamed spinach- with a dollop of chili garlic dressing on top!


Pasta Salad

1/2 lb Bowtie Pasta
1 cup Fresh Spinach Leaves (chopped)
about 20 Grape Tomatoes (halved or quartered)
1 Green Onion (sliced)
4 oz Sliced White Mushrooms (chopped into 1/4 in pieces)
2-3 TBSP Olive Oil (I didn't measure just poured)
1 tsp dry Italian Spices (I have a jar that is mixed with Basil, Oregano, Thyme, Garlic, Onion, Crushed Red Pepper, Black Pepper, Rosemary, and a few others I don't remember- the overall mix isn't that important, just mix herbs you enjoy)- Rehydrated with about 1 TBSP boiling water- (then I just spoon out the rehydrated herbs when I'm ready to add them)
1 TBSP Butter
Salt and Pepper to taste

Cook pasta according to package directions.

While that is cooking melt butter in a frying pan over medium high heat. Once butter is bubbling and melted add the onion and mushrooms, and brown mushrooms.

After the Pasta is cooked, drain water and return to the pot (on a burner that is off) add the rehydrated spices, and toss with Olive Oil.

Add the mushrooms, onion, tomatoes, and spinach. Toss to coat all in olive oil- add more oil to your liking, we generally don't like the pasta to be dry at all.

Salt and Pepper to taste and Enjoy! Can be served warm or chilled.

**Note: This is also very good with some toasted pine nuts, or with cubed up grilled chicken added. **

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Turkey Burgers

Turkey Burgers
(Sorry I don't have a picture to post with it!)

Total: 30 mins give or take a few

1 1/2 T. Soy Sauce
1 1/2 lb Ground Turkey
1 T. minced garlic
1 egg
Onion Powder
Salt & Pepper

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl & let it marinate
for about 10 mins in the fridge

Make patties whatever size you desire,
When I made it .. we had 6.

Add a little olive oil to a pan and start cooking, I cooked on medium until the oil was hot enough and turned it down just tad & let the patties cook

Keep pressing the patties with a spatula to get all juice out and flip occasionally, make sure the temp isn't too hot during this process because you don't want your patties burned on the outside but raw inside, It should take about 20 mins


Tortellini Spinach *or substitute green veggie here* Bake

I thought since I was in on this blog idea, I better get one posted quick before weeks passed and I failed to remember.

This recipe was a recent find for me. I modified the original a little bit and it is delicious!! Super-easy and even better, can be prepared ahead of time and cooked 30 min before meal time. If you're not a spinach person, substitute broccoli, french cut greenbeans, or peas.

20 oz tortellini (cheese or pesto, frozen or dehydrated), I use one package of Trader Joe's dehydrated pesto tortellini
1 lb. sliced fresh mushrooms
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup butter, divided
1 can (12oz) evaporated milk
1 block (8oz) brick cheese, cubed - I used Monterey jack
10 oz frozen chopped spinach, or fresh chopped spinach, fully cooked, and squeezed dry
2 cups *about* shredded mozzarella cheese
2 cups cooked diced chicken (optional)

Cook tortellini according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, sauté the mushrooms, garlic powder, onion powder and pjepper in 1/4 cup butter until the mushrooms are tender. Remove and keep warm.

In the SAME skillet, combine milk and remaining butter. Bring to a gentle boil, stir in brick cheese. Cook and stir until smooth. Drain tortellini; place in a large casserole dish (or glass 9x13 pyrex dish). Stir in the chicken, mushroom mixture and the spinach. Add cheese sauce and mix to coat.

Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Cover and bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Uncover and bake 5-10 min longer until heated through and the cheese in melted.

Makes DELICIOUS leftovers as well :)

Our weekly meal plan :)

Here are some ideas of what we are having this week.

Tuesday: Ultimate Nachos
Wednesday: Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry *Crock Pot*
Thursday: Crescent pizza rolls
Friday: OUT
Saturday: Wedding
Sunday: Taco Soup

Let me know if you want any of these recipes :)

Summer Salad

This summer salad combines two important things that I consider a requirement for all stand alone salads. It is light but it is filling!

Romaine Lettuce
1 Roma Tomato
1 Hard Boiled Egg
1 Carrot
1/4 Red Pepper
2 Steamed Asparagus Sprigs
1 Green Onion
Kosher Salt
Roasted Garlic & Peppercorn Dressing

Chop all ingredients into desirable salad pieces, and combine all ingredients into two bowls. Toss with dressing, sprinkle with a dash of salt and pepper.


Tuscan Tomato Basil Soup

This recipe is one I developed when we were living in Spokane, WA and my garden was a bit over-abundant in the tomato department. Luke and I loved eating this in the cool (well- they are in WA!) Summer evenings paired with a nice grilled cheese sandwich!
Total Time: 1 hour

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 lb ripe tomatoes, peeled and seeded, then diced
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock or prepared broth
1/2 cup finely chopped basil leaves, plus 6-8 whole leaves
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Use only fully-sun ripened tomatoes that are slightly soft to the touch. To peel and seed them, fill a saucepan 3/4 full of water and bring to a boil. Using a sharp knife, score an X in the blossom end of each tomato. In batches, without crowding, immerse the tomatoes in the boiling water and leave for 15-30 seconds, or until the skins just begin to wrinkle. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon, let cool slightly, then peel away the skins. Cut in half crosswise and squeeze
gently to dislodge the seeds.

In a large soup pot over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the onion and saute, stirring frequently, until softened, 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until softened but not browned, about 30 seconds.

Add the tomatoes and stock, raise the heat to high, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and cool until the tomatoes are softened, about 30 minutes. Remove from the heat.

In a blender or food processor, puree the soup in batches, leaving a little bit of texture if desired, and return the soup to the pot. Alternatively, process with a hand held blender in the pot until the desired consistency is reached. Return the soup to medium heat and reheat gently. Add the chopped basil and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve while hot and sprinkle with a spoonful of Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

French Dips and Au Jus dipping broth!

French Dips are amazing!! One of David's favorites!!
1 roast 2-4 lbs
1 can of beef broth
1 can of french onion soup.

Put it all in the crock on low for 8 hours!! Mmmm shread the meat with a fork and then let it sit while you toast the french rolls.

Once you put the beef on the rolls you can then spoon some broth into a bowl and dip the sandwich into the au jus!!! It is wonderful and sooo easy to make.

Santa Fe Enchilada Bake

Total time 1 hour.

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast
1 large onion, and green pepper chopped
2 cups of salsa
1 pkg. frozen or canned corn
12 corn tortillas (6 inch)
1 1/2 cups finely shredded mexican style cheese

Heat oven to 400F Cook and stir chicken, onion, and pepper in large skillet on medium heat for 10 min or until chicken is cooked through. Stir in salsa and corn.

** If you have frozen chicken.. I put mine in a crock pot all day with some chicken broth on low for about 5 hours then I just skip the cooking chicken in the skillet part ;)

Arrange 6 tortilla on the bottom of a 13X9-inch baking dish; cover with layers of 1/2 each chicken mixture, sour cream and cheese.
* I always add an extra layer of cheese on top... then putting the foil over it protects it from getting burnt or crispy*

Repeat layers; cover with foil.

Bake 40 min. or until heated through and cheese is melted. Remove foil after 30 min of baking. Let it stand 5 min.



This is a blog where all mamas and wifeys are welcome. Here we will post yummy and easy recipes to share with others. This is an open blog so anyone is welcome to join our little community of cookers! Feel free to post dinners, desserts, snacks, toddler meals, and any tips or tricks you have in the kitchen. Want to share your meal plan for the past week, we would LOVE to hear it! We are hoping this will help everyone out when that overwhelming question "What's for dinner?" is asked!!

Looking forward to sharing favorite recipes and learning new ones!!