Friday, July 30, 2010

Marie's Pasta Salad

This amazingly delicious recipe comes to us via my mother in law, Marie.  Pasta salad is one of the best meals for summer time.  When my mother in law brought this to me on my birthday, she topped with some tuna that had been mixed with mayo - and that was even better!  You should try it.  Really.  It's yummy.

Marie's Pasta Salad
Just cook, drain and rinse the pasta.  Add whatever veggies you want and toss in this dressing:
2/3-1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/2 Tbsp salt
1/2cup vinegar
1/4 tsp onion juice or 1/2cup finely chopped onion
1 cup salad oil
1/2 Tbsp celery seed
The recipe suggests marinating it all together overnight so the flavors can mix.  Then, if you choose to use fresh tomatoes, add them just before serving so that they don't dilute the dressing.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Turkish green bean stew

I saw Anne had posted a green bean recipe and I thought I'd share a recipe I just tried out today. Its another great way to use fresh summer green beans from your garden, if you have them. And, its super simple, healthy and dairy free too!

1 medium onion, chopped
1 1/2 lb fresh green beans (trimmed and cut into 1" pieces)
1 lb lamb, cut into 1" cubes (or you can use beef instead)
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
3-4 medium tomatoes, chopped
a hefty Tbsp tomato paste
1-2 Tbsp sweet paprika (or more! I think tons of paprika is the best. Actually, I didn't have paprika today, so I added some hot cayenne pepper, chilli flakes and a couple Tbsp ground cumin.)
salt and pepper

1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat and sauté onions until they're translucent.
2. Add meat and cook for about 10 minutes until most of the meat reabsorbs most of its juices.
3. Add green beans and saute for about 3 minutes.
4. Add paprika (or substitute spices), stir, and add tomatoes and tomato paste.
5. Just cover with boiling water.
6. Simmer over low/med heat until meat is tender. Usually with stew I think an hour will do it.
7. Add salt and pepper to taste.

I served it with some white rice, but I think brown rice would be even better!

P.S. I love the new blog layout!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

More New Recipes

Here are two more delicious recipes.  They are also my variations of recipes found in the All Recipes cookbook (which is based on the website).  These are both really fabulous, easy meatless meals.

Spinach & Tortellini Salad
1 (9 oz) pkg cheese-filled tortellini
1 (10 oz) pkg frozen, chopped spinach, thawed and well-drained
1 c Parmesan cheese
6 c cherry tomatoes, halved
bottled Italian dressing
salt and pepper to taste

1. Cook pasta according to pkg directions.  Rinse under cold water and drain.
2. Combine tortellini, spinach, cheese, and tomatoes in a large bowl.  Add enough Italian dressing to coat.  Toss and season with salt and pepper.

Linguine with Broccoli and Red Peppers
1 (16 oz) pkg linguine
1 lb (or so) fresh broccoli, chopped
3 T olive oil
3 cloves minced garlic
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
a pinch of garlic salt
Parmesan cheese

1. Cook pasta according to pkg directions.  Drain.
2. Steam broccoli on stove top in covered pan for 10-15 minutes, until desired tenderness.
3. Heat oil in saucepan over low-medium heat and sauté garlic and peppers.
4. Drain broccoli and add to skillet. Sprinkle lightly with garlic salt and sauté until peppers and broccoli are soft.
5. Serve over hot pasta and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Green Beans

My sister recently inspired me to start planning meals once more.  Between pregnancy, moving and a new infant it had been quite awhile, and I'm so happy to be planning for our eating once more.  As soon as I decided to start planning meals again, I also was gifted a number of used cookbooks that were on their way to Goodwill - inspiration for our meals!  It all worked out very well.  And now the kids and I have lunch made ready-made everyday in the form of leftovers.

If you have an abundance of green beans coming to you right now, this is a great way to vary the vegetable a bit.  And it's delicious! This is my version of the recipe that I got from an All Recipes cookbook.

Breadcrumbs and Green Beans
1 lb fresh green beans, rinsed and trimmed
1/2 c water 
1/4 c breadcrumbs
1/4 c olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 t each garlic powder, oregano, basil
optional: 1/4 c Parmesan cheese, if you don't need dairy-free it's yummy!

Bring the green beans in the water to a boil then reduce and simmer for about 10-15 minutes, covered, until they reach desired tenderness.  Drain.  Place in medium serving bowl and mix in remaining ingredients.  Stir until coated.

More recipes to follow!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Empanadas with Goat Cheese

I got this recipe out of the latest RealSimple issue. They have an article featuring a whole bunch of three-ingredient dishes, and this was one of them.

It's so simple, it's not even a recipe, really, but they were SO GOOD. I made them the other day when a friend came over and we gobbled them all up!

You need:

2 sheets of refrigerated pie dough (you can also make your own, if so inclined)
4 oz. of goat cheese

Roll out the pie dough and cut 3-inch circles out. I used a biscuit cutter, but you could also use the rim of a drinking glass.
Spoon a little goat cheese (about 1/2 a tsp. or so) in the middle of the circle.
wet the edges of the dough with a little water and then fold it in half, pinching closed (be careful not to get cheese in your seam).
Bake in the oven at 350 for about 20-25 minutes until they're golden and delicious.

Then, dip them in a little salsa and eat. So, so yummy!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Baked Beans

A usual side dish turned main course. Anne, I always think of you when I come across a dairy free meal for Charlie and this is packed with protein. Unfortunately it has a lot of sugar in it too but that could be backed off some and still taste good, I'm sure.

2 16oz cans Bush's baked beans (I got what was on sale - one of the big 28oz and then a tiny can)
1 lbs hamburger
1/2 lbs bacon
1/3 cup molasses or 1/4 c syrup
1/3 cup BBQ sauce
3/4 cup brown sugar (I'll use less next time, maybe even 1/4 cup, especially if syrup is used)
1 1/2 tsp mustard
1 cup chopped sweet onion
2 tsp bacon grease (I'd omit this next time)
3/4 cup chopped celery (we loved the crunch the celery gave it. I wouldn't leave it out)

Brown hamburger with celery then crumble in 2 qt casserole dish.
Cook bacon then crumble again
Add everything else and cook at 300 degrees of 45 min

Crockpot directions:
Do everything the same as above except place in crockpot on high for 5 hours. The friend who gave me this recipe said they always double it so I'm not sure if the 5 hours is for doubled or not so I'd do less or at least on low and go from there.

Blueberry cake undone

Lesson learned: Sometimes the clean knife test doesn't work.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Chickpea, Tomato and Eggplant Dish

I am not sure where I got this recipe, but it was probably from an Indian cookbook. The meal sounds and tastes Indian in nature. Having said that, I obviously did not write down the title of the dish. Oh well. It is delish. I ate it over whole wheat cous cous because I thought it needed a base, but next time I am eating it all by itself :)

*I halved the recipe (mostly) and it still made a TON of food, but for the sake of being true to the recipe I will post the original amounts.

Chickpea, Tomato and Eggplant Dish
1 15oz can chickpeas, drained
6 Italian eggplants (or 1 large)
2 large onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped fine
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 large cans of 28oz whole, peeled tomatoes, UNDRAINED

Drain chickpeas, set aside. Dice eggplants and onion. Chop the garlic. Heat the olive oil in a big pot and saute the onions, eggplant, garlic and the spices over moderate heat for 10 mins or til onion is transluscent. Stir occasionally.

Season with salt and pepper, add the undrained tomatoes breaking them up with a wooden spoon. Add the chickpeas, cover, simmer for 20 mins. Serve hot.

*As I said earlier, I halved the recipe, but I did add 2 cans of diced tomatoes with their juices( didn't have whole canned). I also added an additional 1/2 tsp of cumin because it's mighty tasty flavor. Also I only diced 2 small eggplants and with the whole onion it seemed like a TON of food, but remember it all cooks down a bit.


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Daddy's Chicken

Tonight my husband cooked dinner with just a hodgepodge of things we already had on hand.  Grocery day is tomorrow, so he looked around and the dish just sort of presented itself!  Our daughter called it "Daddy's Chicken" while we were eating.  :)


4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
green beans
soy sauce
garlic (powder, fresh - whatever is on hand)

Season chicken with pepper and bake at 375 degrees until fully cooked.  While chicken is cooking, saute broccoli, green beans, garlic, and onion in a bit of oil.  Season with some soy sauce.  When chicken is done baking, mix with the vegetables.  Cook rice according to package directions, and mix with chicken and veggies.

*any of the ingredients could be substituted for whatever you have on hand.  It's a good dish to make when you're running low on supplies before grocery shopping!*

Italian Cheese Bread

This would traditionally be made to go with lasagna, spaghetti, or anything Italian but I'm not going to do that. I had from mozzarella cheese that needed to be used and this bread popped in my head. We're having meatloaf tonight so it'll have to replace whatever potato dish I normally would have decide on. This bread is easy but isn't anything special. I'd make it again because it's easy to get to the table and I don't have another recipe for this kind of thing. If you have one and it's really good, due share!

2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour or bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon active dry yeast (can use instant)
1 cup warm water (120*F)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 cup prepared Italian salad dressing (I didn't have this so I used butter)
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp ground oregano
1/4 tsp dried thyme
Dash pepper
1-2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1. In a bowl, combine the first four ingredients.
2. Combine water and oil; add to flour mixture. Add additional flour if needed to form a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface; knead for 1-2 minutes or until smooth and elastic.
3. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 20 minutes. (Optional: if in a hurry, just skip this rise.)
4. Punch the dough down; place on a greased 16" pizza pan and pat into a 16" circle. Brush with salad dressing (I use the back of a spoon).
5. Combine the seasonings; sprinkle over top. Sprinkle with cheeses.
6. For a fluffier cheese bread (our preference), at this point, allow the bread to rest for 15 minutes or so. If you're in a hurry, just skip this rise. (The bread will rise while it bakes, too.)
7. Pre-heat the oven to 450*F. Bake for 11-15 minutes or until golden brown. See additional notes for baking tips!
8. Slice into 12 slices. Serve warm.

Weekly Menu

Pulled pork BBQ


Corn bread

Mom’s house

Cole slaw
Corn of the cob

Baked Beans (They are full of meat and other goodies so definitely a main meal dish. I'll probably post the recipe after I make it)



Anne said she liked when I posted my menu so I'll do it again. I don't think I'll post it every week. I am looking for a chalkboard at Goodwill to hang in the kitchen though so I can post our menu in our home.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Sour Cream Chicken

Incredibly easy and incredibly delicious. A whopping 4 ingredients go into this meal. I found it the other night while searching through Tasty Kitchen. I should have taken a picture - next time.

4 skinless boneless chicken breast (I only used 3)
8 oz container of sour cream
10.75oz can of cream of chicken soup*
1 cup French fried onions

Place chicken in a baking dish. Mix sour cream and cream of chicken soup and pour over chicken. Bake at 350 for about an hour. Cover with fried onions the last ten minutes of cooking.

*I started making a homemade cream of chix substitute so it's healthier, in terms of knowing what the heck you're eating. It's very simple and I usually make it in the morning or afternoon so when I make dinner I just grab it from the fridge. I found it over at my trusty Bless Us O Lord.

Cream of chix substitute
2 T butter, melt in pan
2 T flour, add flour to pan
2 t chicken bullion
1 cup milk, slowly add chx bln and milk to pan. Stir until thick and bubbly.