Friday, August 31, 2012

Chocolate Pudding and Cookies, YUM!

I made another batch of Pudding Cookies, this time using chocolate pudding and white chips. They did NOT disappoint! As always, the pudding mix made the cookies nice and soft and the white chips were a great addition. Happy Friday!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Double-Apple Goodness AND How to Make Individual Servings of Stuffing Mix

Apples and Pork are the perfect combo so I thought why not double up on the apple flavor by using both apple chunks AND applesauce? I also thought stuffing would be great alongside but didn't want to make the whole box. (I mean, it's not quite Thanksgiving yet!) I couldn't find any info on how to make just a couple of servings so I figured I'd just take matters into my own hands. How? I measured out the 6oz box which came out to be exactly 3 cups of dry stuffing mix. That means for every cup, I would need 1/3 of the other ingredients. Smart huh? Anyway, tonight we had DOUBLE Apple Pork Chops with Apple-flavored Stuffing and it was delicious!

Pork Chops Ingredients:

1 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 bone-in pork chops (1/2-inch thick)
1 small apple, diced
1/2 c onions, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 c apple juice
1/2 c unsweetened applesauce
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp BBQ sauce
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cornstarch
1/2 Tbsp cold water


1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Brown pork chops 3 minutes on each side. Remove and keep warm.

2. Add apple and onion and cook until softened, 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Stir in apple juice and deglaze. Stir in applesauce, Worcestershire, BBQ sauce and cinnamon; bring to a boil.

3. Add pork back and lower heat to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove pork to serving platter.

4. Combine cornstarch and cold water until smooth; stir into apple mixture. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes. Serve over pork.

Stuffing Ingredients:

1/4 c butter
1 small apple, diced
1/2 c apple juice
1 c stuffing mix
1/4 c raisins


1. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add apple and cook until softened, 5 minutes.

2. Add apple juice and bring to a boil. Stir in stuffing mix and raisins.

3. Cover and remove from heat. Wait 5 minutes and fluff with a fork.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Love Child of Mac and Cheese and Chili!

We LOVE Mac and Cheese and we LOVE Chili so I came up with the genius idea of putting them together! I mean, how can you possibly go wrong with that right? It was SO yummy and thankfully, we even have leftovers! Now you KNOW Chili only gets better in the fridge!


1 Tbsp oil
1 lb ground beef
1/2 c onions, diced
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp cayenne
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (15 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed, drained
1/2 c elbow macaroni, uncooked
1 c beef broth
2 c shredded Cheddar cheese
Sour cream, for garnish
Chopped green onions, for garnish


1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease a baking dish.

2. Heat olive oil in a pot over medium-high heat. Add ground beef, onions, chili powder, cumin, oregano, and cayenne. Cook, breaking up any clumps of meat with a spoon, for 5 minutes.

3. Add garlic, tomatoes, beans, macaroni and broth. Stir and bring chili to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until pasta is tender.

4. Fold in 1-1/2 cup of cheese and transfer to the baking dish. Top with remaining cheese and bake until heated through and cheese is melted, 10 minutes.

5. Remove from oven and let cool 5 minutes before serving. Garnished with a dollop of sour cream and green onions.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Thai Curry at its Finest!

A while back, I ordered 3 varieties of Curry Paste from Amazon and couldn't wait to try them all. I started with the yellow curry and it smelled incredible so I knew it would taste just as good! I was SO right! I combined it with coconut milk and a few other spices with some pork tonight. We couldn't have been happier with the result, especially with our favorite rice noodles. This was definitely Thai Curry at its finest!


1/2 lb pork, cut into bite-size pieces
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1 Tbsp oil
1/2 c onions, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbsp sherry
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp yellow curry paste
1 c unsweetened coconut milk
1 Tbsp butter
Rice Noodles, for serving


1. In a bowl, toss the pork with cornstarch and set aside for 5 minutes.

2. Heat oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add pork and brown 5 minutes on each side. Remove and keep warm.

3. Turn heat down to medium and add onions. Cook for 5 minutes, until softened. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute, until fragrant.

4. Stir in sherry and deglaze. Stir in brown sugar, curry paste and coconut milk. Bring to a boil and add pork back.

5. Turn heat down to low, cover and simmer until pork is tender, 10 minutes. Stir in butter and turn heat up to high. Boil until sauce thickens, 5 minutes. Serve over rice noodles.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

BBQ without a BBQ!

Summer is coming in an end and since we can't have a BBQ at our apartment, I decided to make some BBQ Meatballs in the oven. These were incredibly tasty and moist! I served them over mashed potatoes with sour cream and cheddar and it was Sunday night dinner at its best!

1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 egg yolk
1/2 lb ground beef
1/4 c Cheddar cheese spread
1/2 c BBQ Sauce
Mashed potatoes, for serving.


1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a baking dish.

2. In a large bowl, mix together the garlic powder, onion powder, egg yolk, beef and cheese. Form into 8 meatballs.

3. Place meatballs into baking dish and bake for 15 min.

4. Top with BBQ Sauce and bake another 10-15 min, until meat is cooked through.

6. Serve the meatballs over mashed potatoes with sauce spooned on top.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

My Hubby LOVES Raisins!

My hubby doesn't have a sweet tooth for desserts but he sure loves raisins! He'll actually eat my cookies if they have raisins in them even though he doesn't even like cookies! That's why I knew I had to make this Chicken Marsala with Raisins but no pine nuts or celery since he's not a fan. It came incredibly flavorful and the raisins added such a nice sweetness!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Very Exotic on a Friday Night!

I came across this recipe for Thai Chicken with Peanut Sauce and Bananas and was very intrigued. I've never considered adding bananas to a main dish but it worked really well with the peanut butter and spices. Surprisingly even my hubby, although doubtful at first, gave it approval! I served my chicken over our favorite rice noodles and omitted the chopped peanuts on top since I didn't have any. A VERY exotic way to start the weekend indeed!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Over the years, I've collected dozens of cook books but I keep coming back to my trusty Mrs Fields Cookie Book (which was given to me by my mother-in-law 6 years ago, thanks Priscilla!). Tonight, I made the Applesauce Oatmeal Raisin Cookies and they came out amazingly moist and yummy!


1-3/4 c quick oats
1-1/2 all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 c brown sugar
1/2 c white sugar
1/2 c (1 stick) butter, softened
1 egg
3/4 c applesauce
2 c raisins


1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. In a medium bowl, comine oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat sugars with butter until grainy. Add egg and applesauce and blend until smooth.

4. Add flour mixture and raisins. Blend until just combined.

5. Drop by rounded tablepoonfulls 2-inches apart. Bake 12-14 minutes, until light brown.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Secret to Perfect Meatballs

I absolutely HATE it when my meatballs fall apart on me during cooking so I did some research on how to avoid it. The solution? Refrigerate them for at least 30 minutes or in my case, freeze them for 10 before cooking. It worked like a charm and I ended up with perfect meatballs! These are my version of Swedish Meatballs and they're incredibly tasty!


1 egg yolk
1/2 lb ground beef
1/2 c Stuffing Mix
1/4 c milk
1/4 tsp allspice
1 Tbsp butter
1/2 Tbsp flour
1/2 c beef broth
1/2 c sour cream
Hot cooked noodles, for serving


1. Beat egg yolk in large bowl. Add meat, stuffing mix, milk and allspice; mix just until blended. Shape into 8 1-inch balls.

2. Melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add meatballs; cook until browned on all sides, stirring occasionally. Remove meatballs and keep warm.

3. Add flour to drippings in skillet; stir until well blended. Cook 1 minute. Add broth; bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and add meatballs back.

4. Cover and simmer 10 minutes or until  meatballs are cooked through. Stir in sour cream and serve over hot cooked noodles.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A Lil Bit of Sweet and A Lil Bit of Savory

I love the combination of sweet and savory so tonight, I sort of just winged it with stuff I had on hand and it turned out perfect!


1 Tbsp oil
2 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
Salt and pepper
1 tsp poultry seasoning
1/2 bell pepper, chopped
1/2 c onions, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 c chicken broth
1/4 c orange marmalade
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp soy sauce


1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt, pepper and poultry seasoning. Brown chicken 5 minutes on each side and remove from the pan. Keep warm and turn heat down to medium.

2. Add bell pepper and onion to the pan. Cook for 5 minutes, until softened. Add garlic and cook for another minute.

3. Add chicken broth and deglaze the pan. Stir in orange marmalad, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar and soy sauce. Bring to a boil and add chicken back.

4. Turn heat down to low, cover and simmer 20 minutes, until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken to serving platter. Turn heat up to high and boil until sauce thickens, 5 minutes. Pour over chicken and serve.

Monday, August 20, 2012

My Meatballs Fell Apart but They're Still Mighty TASTY!

I almost cried tonight when I took such effort to form meatballs and they just ended up falling apart in the pan. Then my indredibly sweet hubby said "But they still taste great!" I guess it's true, the meat ends up in the same place whether it's perfectly round or a random mass right? My Mexican "Meatballs" tasted really yummy and that's good enough for me (and my hubby)!


1 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 c onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 lb ground beef
1/4 c shredded Mexican cheese
1/4 c dry bread crumbs
1 egg
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground chipotle
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 can chopped tomatoes with green chilies


1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat; let cool.

2. In a large bowl, combine the beef, cheese, bread crumbs, egg, cumin, chipotle and onion mixture. Shape into 6 meatballs.

3. Heat remaining oil in the same pan over medium-high heat. Brown the meatballs on all sides, about 5 minutes total.

4. Pour the tomatoes over the top and turn heat down to low. Cover and simmer until meatballs are cooked through, about 25 minutes.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Chili Masters to the Rescue!

Somewhere in the back of my pantry, I found a can of Hormel Chili Master Roasted Chicken Chili and decided to make something with it for dinner. (Don't worry, it wasn't expired!) Being the creative gal that I am, I jazzed it up by adding more cooked chicken strips and served it over some pasta. So quick and easy yet incredibly comforting on a Sunday night!

Friday, August 17, 2012

A Very CHEESY Friday Night!

I can't think of a better way to start the weekend than with Cheesy Chicken 'n Shells. Quick and easy and so incredibly comforting! Now it's time to curl up on the couch and find something funny to watch. :)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

I Got a Request for CHEWY Cookies

One of my coworkers who recently transferred to our NY office came back for a visit. She always loved my baking so I asked her what she wanted me to make for Cookie Friday this week. She replied "anything chewy" so I decided to make Martha Stewart's Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies. OMG where they good! You really can't go wrong with a Martha Stewart recipe for cookies and these were DEFINITELY chewy! The trick to making these cookies is to really watch them and make sure to not overbake them. There's nothing worse than dried out cookies that were meant to be soft!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A Perfect Indian Dinner at Home!

Last night I finally remembered to marinate some chicken and was so pleased at the result! I followed this recipe for Indian-spiced Chicken and it was even better than I'd expected! The yogurt kept the meat super moist and all the spices made the dish so incredibly flavorful! I served the chicken over rice that I seasoned with the same spice combination and we had the most wonderful Indian dinner! I'm definitely thankful for my spice rack tonight!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

You Can't Go Wrong with Creamy Sausage Rigatoni!

You can never go wrong with a creamy meaty pasta dish. It's just something so comforting yet simple! Tonight, I used what was in my fridge and pantry to make a yummy Sausage Rigatoni. All I can say is that we're totally stuffed but in the best way possible!


1 Tbsp oil
1/2 lb Italian sausage
1/2 c chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 c heavy cream
1/2 c Mozzarella cheese, shredded
Rigatoni, cooked until al dente


1. Heat oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and brown for 5 minutes. Add the onions and garlic and sauté for a 5 more minutes.

2. Add the diced tomatoes and Italian seasoning and stir to combine. Pour in the cream and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to medium and simmer for 5 minutes.

3. Stir in cheese until melted. Add pasta and heat through.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Another Yummy Trip to Morocco!

I've been saving this Moroccan recipe from Rachael Ray for a while now and finally made it tonight. I chose to use chicken since that was what I had on hand and served the meat over couscous. The flavor combination of the cumin, coriander, chili and cinnamon was amazing! I also loved the bright citrucy addition of the lemon. Another definite winner from Rachael Ray!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

You Can Never Go Wrong with Meatballs!

We LOVE meatballs at our house and I'm always trying out different ways to make them. Tonight, I decided to go Thai-style and served them over hubby's favorite rice noodles. They were amazing! A lil tart from the lemongrass, a bit of heat from the Siracha and some sweetness from the brown sugar. The perfect combination and the perfect way to end the weekend!


1/2 lb ground sausage
1/2 c breadcrumbs
1 egg
1 Tbsp fish sauce
1 Tbsp lemongrass
1 Tbsp Siracha
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp lime juice
1 Tbsp oil
Green onions, for garnish
Rice noodles, for serving


1. In a bowl, mix together all the ingredients except the oil. Roll into 6 golf-size meatballs.

2. Heat oil in a large skillet. Add meatballs and brown 5 minutes on 1 side. Flip and cover the pan with foil. Cook 10 minutes until meat is cooked through.

3. Serve over rice noodles and garnish with green onions.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Enchilada + Pasta = Marriage Made in Food Heaven!

My hubby LOVES Enchiladas so when I found this recipe for Chicken Enchilada Pasta, I KNEW I had to make it ASAP. It was every bit as good as I thought it would be! I mean, how can you go wrong with combining 2 of our favorite things, Enchilada and pasta? The cream cheese added such a wonderful creamy texture and the green chilies gave the dish just the right amount of kick that was cooled off by the sour cream. What a yummy way to start the weekend!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

When Life Gives You Ricotta Cheese

You make Lemon Ricotta Cranberry mini Muffins! They were amazing! I left out the walnuts just in case anyone was allergic to nuts at the office. Don't want any unexpected emergencies!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Greek-Flavored Goat Cheese Meatballs

We always have goat cheese in the fridge cuz we love to spread them on crackers but tonight I decided to add it to some meatballs. Why not right? I decided to add some Greek flavors with cinnamon, cumin and allspice and then served them over couscous. The result? Moist and creamy meatballs with LOTS of flavor and topped with a homemade tomato sauce! YUM YUM!

1/2 lb ground beef
1/4 c onion, chopped
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cumin
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 oz goat cheese
1 Tbsp olive Oil

1/2 c onion, chopped
1/2 c beef broth
1 c chopped tomatoes
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cumin

1. To make the meatballs, place all the ingredients in a mixing bowl, except the olive oil, and combine them well. Form the mixture into 8 meatballs. 
2. Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the meatballs and brown on all sides. Remove the meatballs to a plate and keep warm.
3. For the sauce, add the onions to the skillet and cook for 5 minutes. Add the broth and deglaze. Add the tomatoes, garlic, allspice, cimmanon and cumin and bring it to a boil.
4. Turn heat down to medium-low and add the meatballs. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes until meatballs are cooked through.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Restaurant-Quality Vietnamese Pork

I came across this recipe for Vietnamese Pork in Caramel Sauce and knew I had to make it! It's one of my hubby's favorite dishes to order and it definitely turned out to be restaurant-quality! The combination of spicy, sweet and savory was just perfect and I kept the meat tender by dredging it in some cornstarch first. (It's a trick I learned from my mom.) I served my pork over rice noodles (another hubby's favorite!) and our perfect Vietnamese meal was complete!

Monday, August 6, 2012

The Pretties Stuffed Shells I've Ever Made!

We LOVE Stuffed Shells at our house and I make them as often as I can. They're super yummy but not always pretty to look at. That's why I was SO proud of myself when I took this picture! Aren't they pretty? These shells were stuffed with a beef and Ricotta mixture and topped with a homemade tomato sauce then baked in the often with Mozzarella sprinkled on top. SO incredibly delicious!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Pioneer Woman Never Disappoints!

I couldn't wait to make The Pioneer Woman's Chicken Spaghetti after watching her make it on TV yesterday morning. It seemed like such a comforting yet simple meal. I used cooked chicken strips and left out the pimentos just using what I had on hand. As usual, Ree did NOT disappoint and this dinner was the perfect way to end our weekend!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Chew-Inspired Mac and Goat Cheese

I made some Mac and Goat Cheese with Roasted Chicken from The Chew a while back and we both loved it. Tonight, I added tomatoes, onions, garlic and lots of Red Pepper Flakes and it was even better than the original! Simple and really comforting on a Friday night!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Holiday Baking in August?

I've been saving this recipe for Spice Cookies from the Daisy website and decided to make them since we somehow ended up with a ton of Sour Cream in the fridge. They came out really moist and the smell of the cinnamon and nutmeg reminded me of the holidays. I know it's only the beginning of August but one can dream right?

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Curry Chicken from Campbell's Soup?

I was intrigued when I came across this recipe for Curry Chicken from Campbell Soup but thought I'd give it a try. I mean, Garam Masala and Tomato Sauce can't be too awful together right? Although far from authentic, I was REALLY pleased with the combination! The sauce was flavorful and creamy and you'd never guess Campbell's Soup was involved!
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