Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Cheesy Stuffed Peppers MEXICAN Style!

We had some left-over sausage and rice in the fridge so I decided to make some stuffed bell peppers MEXICAN style (which just basically means I added some salsa and chili powder to the meat mixture)! The last time I attempted these, the peppers didn't come out as soft so I did some research and found that you should boil them first until they're nice and soft but still in tact. They turned out great and bell peppers are so good for you that they totally balance out all that cheese! :)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Being REALLY Creative with these Muffins!

We all know how much I like being creative with my baking so when I found this recipe using eggplant, I knew I wanted to give it a try. I know it sounds a lil weird but they actually turned out really yummy, not to mention super healthy! I basically just halved the recipe and used half of this huge eggplant, which made 6 big muffins. I also added some shredded Cheddar cheese and green onions. YUM!

Friday, September 25, 2009

More Slow Cooked Goodness!

It's been a while since I made some good ribs and when I saw this recipe from Taste of Home, I knew I needed to make it ASAP. So I picked up about 5 lbs of boneless ribs and went to work. I cooked everything on low overnight and woke up to THE MOST AMAZING smell this morning! When I got home after work, I reheated the slow cooker on low for about 30 minutes and made a quick mushroom Couscous. Lemme quote Greg here..."Baby, these are literally THE best ribs I've EVER had!" They were pretty darn good, if I do say so myself! The Couscous soaked up every last bit of the yummy sauce and the ribs were so tender and juicy! I'm DEFINITELY glad we have left-overs!

And the Secret Ingredient Is...

Apples! Fall is finally among us and what better way to welcome it than with apples! Now, a full week after my disaster in the kitchen, I decided to give baking another try. These aren't just your basic oatmeal raisin cookies! They've got chunks of delicious red apples in them! I just received my Cuisinart Mini-Prep (pink, of course!) in the mail so chopping up the apple was super easy. I followed this recipe from The Stepford Kitchen but added about 1/2 cup of raisins. SO moist and yummy! Happy Fall everyone!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Ravioli to the Rescue!

I picked up a package of fresh Ravioli a while ago and decided to make them with some left over sausage and mushrooms. It was really quick and easy but the sauce REALLY took the dish over the top! This was a Gorgonzola sauce made by simmering heavy cream with melted butter and then stirring in chunks of cheese at the end. The Gorgonzola melts wonderfully and thickens the sauce so that it coats each Ravioli and sausage chunks. What a yummy weeknight meal!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Grilled Roast Beef w/Horseradish Mayo

We had some prepared Horseradish from the last time we made Bloody Mary so I decided to use some in sammies.  I added them to mayo and sour cream and they turned out SO yummy with the roast beef!


1/4 c mayonnaise
1/4 c sour cream
1 Tbsp prepared horseradish
1/8 tsp pepper
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 slices sourdough bread
4 slices Monterey Jack cheese
4 slices deli roast beef
2 slices of tomato
2 Tbsp butter, softened


1. In a small bowl, combine the mayo, sour cream, horseradish and pepper; set aside. In a small skillet, saute onion in oil until tender, about 10 minutes.

2. Spread butter on the outside of each slice of bread, then the mayo mixture on the other side. Layer 2 slices of cheese, the roast beef, tomato, the sauteed onion and 2 more slices of cheese; top with remaining bread.

3. Cook on a panini maker or indoor grill for 2-3 minutes or until bread is browned and cheese is melted.

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Reason I Haven't Been Blogging...

Last Thursday was probably THE most horrifying day I've EVER had in the kitchen! So...I went home to start baking this lovely Apple Bread in my Pyrex Pan for Cookie Friday. Everything went well and the bread came out of the oven looking and smelling yummy. I set the hot pan on one of my stove burners to cool and moved on to make Panini for dinner. I had just received my Cast Iron Panini Press and was anxious to test it out. I started heating my grill pan and preparing the ingredients when I smelled something burning. Apparently, I had turned on the WRONG burner and was actually heating the cooling Pyrex Pan. I immediately turned it off and you know what happened? The Pyrex Pan EXPLODED! EXPLODED into a billion pieces! I think I must've stood there for a good 5 minutes in shock. Thankfully, Greg came home right then and was so sweet to clean up everything. I think he realized that I was about to cry so he asked me to just sit down and took care of everything. It must've taken him over an hour to get rid of all the tiny pieces of broken glass. It's times like these that I'm so grateful to have him in my life! (Not to sound too soppy or anything but seriously...Thanks Honey!) The next day I went online and found that this exploding Pyrex ordeal has actually happened to more than a few people. (Which, doesn't exactly make me feel any better!) The lesson learned here? Go and purchase a good pot holder so that I'll never place any baking dishes on the stove top again!

Oh and on the exact same night, my camera, which I've had for about 4 years now, completely died on me.  I guess after all the drops and food splatters, it finally couldn't take it anymore!  So I ordered a new camera the other day and it finally arrived!  It's a Canon PowerShot SD1200IS (pink of course!) and I love it!  I'll be posting again very soon, I promise!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Rice A Roni to the Rescue!

This is my second time using Rice A Roni. The first time didn't disappoint but this time the result was even better! I followed this recipe from their website and we have some left over in the fridge that I'm sure won't last long! A few changes I made were using a can of diced tomatoes with green chilies and omitting the green peppers cuz I didn't have any. The chicken I used was a bag of Tyson's Southwest Chicken Strips and the sausage were 3 left over beef franks we had in the fridge which I don't recall the brand. I also added some Canyene peppers for a lil more kick and some fresh green onions sprinkled on top. Doesn't it look so pretty?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Yucky Weather = Gormet Brunch at Home

It's been a while since I made my honey Eggs Benedict! We had originally planned on going out to brunch but the weather made a 180 turn overnight (from sunny 80's to thunder storm!) so we decided we'd go next weekend instead. I know what we would've ordered anyway so why not make it at home? It's WAY cheaper anyway and Greg can drench his plate in ketchup without anyone looking at us weird!

Baking for my Mommy!

My mommy finally came to visit our new place and I decided to bake some muffins for an afternoon snack. I found this new cup of Peach Chunks in Pomegranate Juice on sale at Safeway and just had to try them. They were SO juicy and yummy and totally beats having to skin and cut up a fresh peach! I also picked up some Yoplait Thick and Creamy Vanilla Yogurt cuz I know my mom ALWAYS has yogurt in the afternoons. I wanted to put those 2 items together and found this Peachy Moist Muffins recipe on the Taste of Home website. The only change I made was substituting 1 c of whole wheat flour to make them even healthier! They turned out SO good and my mommy and I thoroughly enjoyed them even after a big lunch at Paragon!

Making Good Use of that Left-Over Brie!

We had half a chunk of President Brie left over from when the future in-laws visited.  I know cheese lasts forever but I didn't wanna risk having it get moldy on me. I haven't baked anything savory for a while and decided that Brie would be the perfect addition.  These muffins turned out SO yummy and filled the entire kitchen with a wonderful cheesy smell!  Greg even had 2 of them and he rarely ever eats my baked goods! 

Ingredients: (6 muffins)

2 Tbsp butter
1/4 c chopped bell peppers
1/4 c finely chopped green onions
2 Tbsp grated parmesan
1 c all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
4 Tbsp (1/2 stick) butter, melted
1/4 c milk
1 egg
1/4 c diced ham
4 oz chopped brie


1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease or line a 6-cup muffin pan.

2. In a small skillet, melt the 2 Tbsp of butter. Add onions and peppers; saute until tender. Remove from the heat; cool for 5 minutes.

3. Mix together the flour, salt, sugar, parmesan and baking powder in a mixing bowl. In another bowl whisk butter with eggs and milk. Pour in the flour mixture and stir.

4. Stir in onions, peppers, brie and ham. Fill muffin cups with a large ice cream scoop and bake for about 25-30 minutes, until the tops are golden brown.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Baking Cookies Again!

I've decided that I've been in Cookie Baking Hybernation for way too long now and I can't still use the fact that I've just moved.  I wanted to make something simple but yummy.  I checked my pantry and had some white chocolate chips and cocoa powder on hand so these cookies were born!
Ingredients: (2 dozen cookies)
1 c all-purpose flour
1/3 c baking cocoa
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tso salt
1/2 c (1 stick) butter, softened
1/3 c granulated sugar
1/3 c packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 c white chocolate morsels
1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt in small bowl.  Beat butter, sugars and vanilla in large mixer until creamy.  Beat in egg and gradually beat in flour mixture.  Stir in morsels.
3. Drop by rounded teaspoon onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper.  Bake for 9-11 minutes until centers are set.

Hot Pastrami Panini

I was watching Quick Fix Meals and Robin Miller made these Pork Panini using a method where you press down on the sandwich with a skillet and a heavy cans. The last time I made Panini, I felt like they didn't get pressed enough so I wanted to try this new method. I totally worked! My photo skills are getting better too huh? This one featured LOTS of pastramiMonterey Jack Cheese, Heirloom tomatoes and chopped onions that were caramelized in a Honey Mustard Sauce, all pressed in between thick slices of sourdough bread. I mean, seriously? How good do these babies look?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

New Deli Chicken Flavor!

One of my favorite convenience foods is Oscar Mayer Deli Slices, whether they be Roast BeefSmoked Turkey or Honey Ham.  I just can't get enough of these protein powerhouses!  I add them salads, roll them up in wraps or just (shh...don't tell anyone!) eat them straight out of the packaging!  I've tried all the flavors and pretty much loved them all.  So imagine how thrilled I was to find a new flavor at Safeway the other day?  Cajun Spice Chicken!  OMG they are by far my favorite right now!  If you happen to see them at your grocery store, GET THEM!

$10 Dinners

I know a lot of people don't like the Next Food Network Star Winner, Melissa d'Arabian, but I wanted to give the show a chance so I started recording a couple of the episodes.  She does get annoying sometimes (kinda like Rachael Ray) but she was very informative. She had great ideas on saving money and not just "DUH" ones like Sandra Lee's "buy in bulk" tip.  Her recipes also sound simple enough for any busy person to make.  I definitely wanna try her Salmon Cakes and Green Onion Biscuits!  Have you watched $10 Dinners yet?  What are your thoughts on Melissa?

Friday, September 4, 2009

SUPER Healthy Whole Wheat Raisin and Pecan Muffins

I was in another baking mood and decided to make some muffins to take to my mommy on Saturday.  It's been a while since I brought her any treats so I wanted these to be good.  I didn't really have many ingredients on hand (I know...SHOCKING!) but I always have raisins and nuts!  (I keep my nuts in the freezer for a longer shelf life.  A trick I learned from Rachael Ray)  I know my mommy is always into healthy stuff so whole wheat was the way to go.  These muffins turned out great and just sweet enough from the brown sugar and raisins.  The pecans also added a nice crunch and we all know my mommy LOVES anything with nuts in it!  I can't wait for her to try these!

Ingredients: (12 muffins)

1 c whole wheat flour
1 c all-purpose flour
1/4 c firmly packed brown sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c raisins
1/2 c chopped pecans
1 egg
1 c milk
3 Tbsp canola oil


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line 12 muffins cups.

2. In large bowl, sift together flour, brown sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir in raisins.

3. Beat egg with milk and oil in a mixer. Add flour mixture, mixing only until moistened. Stir in pecans.

4. Fill greased muffin cups about 2/3 full. Bake until well-browned (20 to 25 minutes

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Best Grilled Cheese Sammies in Town!

I make Grilled Cheese Sammies a lot cuz it's one of Greg's favorite foods but I can't believe I've only blogged about them once and SUCH a long time ago! Hey, I think my photo skills have definitely improved since then! This baby featured Provolone Cheese, fresh Heirloom tomatoes and Honey Ham all sandwiched between 2 pieces of Trader Joe's Sourdough Bread, then smeared with butter and grilled to perfection! What a beauty huh?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Dinner from the Fridge

We all know I love getting creative by using up ingredients we already have on hand to make dinner. It's just so relaxing knowing that I don't have to make an extra trip to the grocery store on a busy weeknight and still make a SUPER yummy meal! I had a package of Buitoni Herbed Chicken Tortellini in the fridge and decided to make dinner with it. I ALWAYS pick up one of these when they go on sale cuz they last practically forever and take no time to cook up! This is also a one-pot type of meal, which means that I have less cleanup to do! I'm embarassed to even call this a recipe below but more like just throwing a bunch of ingredients together with a REALLY yummy result!

Ingredients: (3-4 servings)

1 pkg (20 oz) refrigerated Tortellini (whatever flavor works!)
1 Tbsp butter
1 c sliced fresh mushrooms
6 slices of ham, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 c half and half (while milk or heavy cream work just as well)
8 oz cream cheese
1 tsp dry Italian seasoning
1/2 c shredded Mozzarella cheese


1. Cook Tortellini according to package directions in a large pot. Drain and set aside.

2. Melt butter in the same pot and add mushrooms. Cook until mushrooms are soft, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add ham, half and half and bring to a boil.

3. Turn off heat and stir in cream cheese until melted. Add Italian seasoning and Tortellini.

4. Stir in Mozzarella cheese just before serving.
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