Sunday, May 31, 2009

Turkey & Black Bean Wraps

A healthy lunch or dinner idea!

...turkey & black bean wraps...

1 1/2 C. thick and chunky salsa
3 cups shredded savory turkey breast
1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed & drained
1 whole lemon or lime, juiced
1/2 to 1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 to 1/2 c. cilantro
8 flour tortillas, warmed
1 1/2 c. shredded Monterrey jack cheese
(possible additions: avocado, tomato, sour cream)
Mix all the above in small saucepan. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer 3-5 minutes or until hearted through. Spread turkey mixture on tortillas, top with cheese, roll up. Suggestion: serve with rice and a salad This recipe serves 8 For savory turkey breast do the following: 6 1/2 lb. turkey breast (bone-in or boneless is fine) 1 med onion, chopped (about 1/2 c.) 1 medium stalk celery, chopped, (about 1/2 c.) 1 bay leaf 1 tsp salt1/2 tsp coarsely ground pepper 1 tsp chicken granules 1/2 c. water 1. Remove gravy packet or extra parts from turkey breast. Place on, celery & bay leave in cavity of turkey. Place turkey 5 quart slow cooker. 2. sprinkle turkey with salt and pepper. Mix bouillon & water until granules are dissolved (or use cane beef broth), pour over turkey. 3. oer &coooow heat for -9 hour or until juice of turkey is no longer pink. Remove bay leaf. (Makes 6c.shredded)

Add pico de gallo!

Recipe from Michelle Olsen

Friday, May 29, 2009

Dessert Pizza

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Ooh, La La!!!

Dessert Pizza

1- 18 oz package Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie Dough Mix
Follow package directions on the back of the cookie dough, roll out onto a 15" round pizza stone or jelly roll pan 1/4" thick. Bake according to package directions and let it cool completely before adding the frosting and fruit.

1 8oz package cream cheese
1/3 cup sugar

4 cups assorted fresh fruit
(strawberries, blueberries, kiwi, blackberries, pineapple, bananas, raspberries and peaches)

Frost the cookie (just like spreading the pizza sauce) and then top with your favorite fruits!!

Serve immediately and Enjoy.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Ultimate Chocolate Cookies

If you love chocolate, you will love these cookies!  They are moist, chewy, and almost brownie-like.  Always a hit at a BBQ, and these also freeze well, so you can make them ahead!

Ultimate Chocolate Cookies
1 12oz package of Semi-Sweet Choc. Chips
2oz Unsweetened Chocolate
2 TBSP Butter
1/4 tsp Baking Powder
Dash Salt
2 Eggs
2/3 C Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla
1/3 C Flour

1.  In a saucepan melt 1 c choc. chips, unsweetened chocolate, and butter over low heat.  Cool slightly.

2.  In a mixing bowl combine eggs, sugar, and vanilla.  Add melted chocolate and beat until smooth.

3.  Combine flour, baking powder & salt in a bowl and add to chocolate mixture.  Stir until combined.  Add remaining chocolate chips and stir in.

4.  Drop by teaspoon onto a cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for 8 - 10 minutes.  Let cool on pan for 3 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack.

Makes about 2 dozen cookies

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Baked Brie with Roasted Garlic and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

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Baked Brie with Roasted Garlic and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

1 whole head garlic

1 sprig fresh rosemary

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 (12-ounce) round of brie cheese

3/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained and cut into thin strips

1/3 cup pine nuts

3 tablespoons finely shredded fresh basil

Crostini* or apple slices

Garnish: Sprigs of fresh basil or rosemary, imported green and black olives

Preheat oven to 375*F (190*C).

Cut off 1/4 inch of pointed end of head of garlic (save small pieces for another recipe). Place cut side up in a piece of aluminum foil. Place rosemary on top. Bring sides of foil up to make a deep bowl, but do not enclose garlic completely. Pour olive oil over top of garlic. Bake for 40-45 minutes in preheated oven. Cool.
** NOTE, If you want to skip roasting the garlic, you can just purchase a jar of roasted garlic and it works just the same.

Squeeze garlic so that the cloves pop out of their papery jackets. They should be creamy. Smash them and spread on top of brie (including some of the rosemary). Place brie in ovenproof dish. Top with tomatoes and pine nuts. Increase oven temperature to 400*F (205*C).

Bake brie until warm and softened, about 13 to 18 minutes. If topping is getting too browned, cover loosely with aluminum foil during last portion of baking.

Sprinkle slivers of fresh basil on top. Surround with crostini and/or apple slices. Garnish with sprigs of fresh herbs and, if using, drained imported olives. Provide a spreading knife.

Yield: 24 servings.

*Toasted slices of good bread that have been brushed with a little olive oil before toasting.


1. If you can only find small, 4-ounce disks of brie, push 3 small wheels next to one

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Balsamic-Glazed Steak

This is a delicious, FAST, and easy dinner.  This tastes like you are eating at a steak house, but only takes about 15 minutes to prepare from start to finish!  We really enjoy this meal!

Balsamic-Glazed Steak
1/2 C Chicken Broth
1/4 C Balsamic Vinegar
1 LG Garlic Clove, minced
2 tsp Olive Oil, divided
3 small assorted-color Bell Peppers, seeded & sliced
1 tsp dried Thyme
1/2 tsp Salt, divided
1/4 tsp Pepper
4 (1/4 LB) Filet Mignons, about 3/4" thick, trimmed or fat

1.  Combine broth, vinegar, and garlic in a bowl; set aside

2.  Heat 1 tsp oil in a large skillet, add peppers, thyme, and 1/4 tsp salt.  Cook until tender crisp.  Transfer to a plate.

3.  Sprinkle the filets with remaining salt and pepper.  Heat remaining oil in skillet.  Add filets and cook until browned, about 3 minutes on first side, and 2 minutes on the other side.  Carefully add the broth mixture (it will boil quickly) and continue to cook the filets, turning occasionally, until done to taste and broth mixture is reduced to a glaze (about 3 minutes).

4.  Divide peppers amoung 4 plates, server with filets and top with glaze.

Marinated Cucumber Salad

This is one of my favorite side dishes for the warmer months.  I look forward to all of the fresh produce that comes along with summer.  This dish is great with any meal, or as a healthy snack.

Marinated Cucumber Salad

1 Cucumber, sliced
1 Avocado, sliced
1 Tomato, cut into wedges (optional)
1/4 C Heinz Gourmet Salad Vinegar
1/4 C Olive Oil
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp Italian Seasoning blend
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Pepper

Toss ingredients together, and marinate in the fridge for 30 minutes prior to serving.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Caramel Popcorn

...Caramel Popcorn...


1 cup butter
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 quarts popped popcorn

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F (95 degrees C). Place popcorn in a very large bowl.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in brown sugar, corn syrup and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil without stirring 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in soda and vanilla. Pour in a thin stream over popcorn, stirring to coat.
Place in two large shallow baking dishes and bake in preheated oven, stirring every 15 minutes, for 1 hour. Remove from oven and let cool completely before breaking into pieces.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Courtship Brownies

Always a favorite for your loved one!

Courtship Brownies

2 cups sugar
1 cup butter, at room temperature
4 eggs
6 (1-ounce) squares unsweetened baking chocolate
1 1/2 cups flour
1 t salt
1 cup milk
2 t vanilla
1 recipe cream cheese frosting (below)
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips, melted

In a large bowl beat together sugar, butter and eggs. In a separate bowl, melt chocolate squares in microwave on high for 20-second intervals until smooth. Add melted chocolate to first mixture. In a separate bowl sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir into chocolate mixture. Add milk and vanilla and beat together. Pour into a greased 9*13 inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. Cool. Frost with Cream Cheese Frosting and drizzle with melted chocolate if desired. Makes 16 brownies. 

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 (16-ounce) package powdered sugar (2 cups)
1 t vanilla

Cream the softened cream cheese. Blend with butter. Add powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat well. Spread over brownies. Divine!

This recipe is from Julie Badger Jensen's Essentials Cookbook.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Grilled Tarragon Mustard- Turkey

During the summer we love to BBQ! This Grilled dish has light flavors, and the marinade makes it very tender! Goes great with a side salad, and a veggie!

Grilled Tarragon Mustard - Turkey
2 TBSP Lemon Juice
2 TBSP Vegetable Oil
1/4 tsp Pepper
2 Turkey Breast Tenderloins, cut in half length-wise
4 1/2 tsp Cider Vinegar
2 TBSP Chicken Broth
1 tsp Dried Tarragon
1/4 Cup Butter, cubed
2 TBSP Dijon Mustard

1. In a re-sealable plastic bag, combine lemon juice, oil & pepper; add Turkey. Seal bag & turn to coat. Refrigerate up to 6 hours.

2. In a small saucepan, combine vinegar, broth & tarragon. Bring to a boil; cook until reduced by half. Reduce heat, add butter & mustard. Stir until melted, set aside & keep warm.

3. Drain & discard marinade. Grill turkey uncovered over medium heat. Heat for 5 minutes, then baste with mustard sauce. Cook 10-15 minutes longer until juices run clear. Basting frequently.

Penne Rosa

12 oz Penne Pasta
1 packet Knorr Parma Rosa, prepared as directed
1/4 tsp Crushed Red Pepper
1 Can Diced tomatoes, liquid drained
Parmesan Cheese
2 Cups Spinach (optional)

1. Cook pasta according to package directions

2. Prepare parma rosa sauce according to directions. Add tomatoes and crushed red peppers, bring to a simmer. Add Spinach and cook until wilted.

3. Combine Pasta and sauce, top with Parmesan cheese

Orange Chicken

This orange chicken recipe is the This orange chicken recipe is the perfect weeknight meal when you are pressed for time. Just dump everything in the Crock pot, and, 4-8 hours later, it's ready.
The kids really like this recipe for orange chicken, because it's a bit sweet. Adults won't believe how much this Crock pot orange chicken tastes like the orange chicken you'd get at a Chinese restaurant.


2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup orange marmalade
1/2 cup mustard
1/2 cup ketchup
2 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. finely grated fresh ginger
3 scallions, chopped

Cut chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces. Place in the slow cooker.

Sprinkle flour over chicken and toss well to coat.

In a medium bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients. Pour over chicken. Cook on high 4 hours or low 6-8 hours.
Serve with rice.

Contributed by Becki Cutler

Friday, May 8, 2009

Cupcake Pops

You may have seen this recipe from is so cute and so fun!  Not to mention that these little treats are tasty!  I'm still trying to get the little cupcake shape down...this is only my second try at this technique, so hopefully I'll get better with practice :-)

Cupcake Pops (from Bakerella)
1 chocolate cake mix, prepared per instructions on packaging
3/4 Container of Cream Cheese Frosting
2 Colors of Candy Melts
Lollipop Sticks
1 1/2" flower shaped cookie cutter
Styrofoam block

1.  Bake a chocolate cake, either from scratch or from a box mix.  Let it cool.  

2.  Once the cake is cool, stir it with a wooden spoon, or in a food processor until it looks like dirt.  (I know that it's hard to ruin a perfectly good cake, but trust will be better in the long run)

3.  Stir in 3/4 Container of store bought cream cheese frosting, or an equivalent amount of homemade cream cheese frosting.  Mix until cake is sticky and mold able.

3.  Roll into 1 1/2" balls and place on a Cookie sheet.  Freeze in freezer for about 30 minutes

4.  Once balls have chilled, roll into an oblong shape and press one end into a 1 1/2" flower shaped cookie cutter.  Smooth on end so that it is flush with the cutter, and form a ball on the other end to make it look like a mini cupcake. Remove from the cookie cutter, and continue process until all of the cake balls are formed.

5.  Melt your first color of candy melts.  Dip the bottom end of the mini cupcake into the melts and insert a lollipop stick.  Place upside down on your cookie sheet.  Continue until the all of the bottoms have been dipped.  Let candy melts harden onto the "pop".

6.  Melt your second color of candy melts and dip the top half of your "pop".  Sprinkle with sprinkles and insert into a Styrofoam block so that it is standing up straight.  Continue until all of the pops are complete.  Let candy melts cool and harden.

7.  Package in cellophane bags with ties for a special treat!

Check out the Bakerella website for more professional instructions, as well and MANY MANY more fun baking projects!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Bruschetta Chicken

I came across this recipe in a cookbook and decided to try it out.  It was delicious! The flavors are fresh and bright.  It is a simple recipe that gives gourmet results.

Bruschetta Chicken
1/2 Cup All Purpose Flour
2 Eggs, beaten
4 Boneless, skinless Chicken Breast Halves
1/4 Cup grated Parmesan Cheese
1/4 Cup dry Bread Crumbs
1 TBSP Butter, melted
2 Large Tomatoes, seeded and chopped
3 TBSP minces fresh Basil
2 Garlic cloves, minced1 TBSP Olive Oil
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Pepper

1. Place flour and eggs in separate bowls. Dip chicken in flour and then in eggs; place in a greased baking dish. Combine Parmesan and bread crumbs; sprinkle over chicken.

2. Loosely cover baking dish with foil. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake 5-10 minutes longer or until meat thermometer reads 170 degrees

3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. Spoon over chicken. Return tot he over for 3-5 minutes or until tomato mixture is heated through.

Mexican Lasanga

This is one of my favorite 'Cinco de Mayo' recipes! Living in San Diego, we love to celebrate this holiday. The kids have celebrations at school where they sing songs, create art projects, and discuss history. School lunch included a special 'fiesta churro' today... yum! Michael, my 1st grader said his teacher gave them chips and salsa today... what a treat!

I love Mexican food because most recipes generally call for fresh ingredients, which in my mind equals good healthy food for my family! This is one of those recipe's that my mom clipped out of a newspaper long ago, made it, loved it, then passed it onto me!


1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon red pepper
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
1 teaspoon black pepper or to taste
1 can diced tomatoes 16 oz
10 to 12 corn tortillas
2 cup small cottage cheese, drained
1 cup Monterrey Jack cheese with peppers
1 egg
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
2 cups shredded lettuce
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
3 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup sliced black olives

Brown ground beef; drain thoroughly. Add cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, red pepper, salt, pepper, and tomatoes; heat through. Pour half the beef mixture in bottom of a 13x9 inch baking dish. Then mix the cottage cheese, Monterey Jack cheese and egg together, put half of the mixture over the meat; then layer with tortillas and cover as completely as possible. Repeat layers. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. After taking out of oven, spread top of casserole with sour cream. Then make rows of cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, olives, and green onions across the casserole in a diagonal pattern. Yield: 6-8 servings.

Here is what Wikipedia says about Cinco de Mayo:
Cinco de Mayo (Spanish for "fifth of May") is a regional holiday in Mexico, primarily celebrated in the state of Puebla, with some limited recognition in other parts of Mexico. The holiday commemorates the Mexican army's unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, under the leadership of Mexican General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguín. The outnumbered Mexicans defeated a much better-equipped French army that had not been defeated in almost 50 years.

Cinco de Mayo is not "an obligatory federal holiday" in Mexico, but rather a holiday that can be observed voluntarily.

While Cinco de Mayo has limited significance nationwide in Mexico, the date is observed in the United States and other locations around the world as a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride. A common misconception in the United States is that Cinco de Mayo is Mexico's Independence Day, which actually is September 16 (dieciséis de septiembre in Spanish),the most important national patriotic holiday in Mexico.

Waffles with Strawberries

My kids LOVE to make waffles. My family is really into... breakfast! I try to feed them healthy & nutritious food before they leave for school every day, and it is a tiresome job. I have to admit: big breakfasts are a lot of work! Then strawberry season rolls around, and everything suddenly tastes yummy! My children feel like princes and princesses after a meal that includes waffles and freshly picked strawberries. Even as I am typing this, my 3 year old daughter is on my lap saying "Ohhh... I love that!". This is a favorite:
...Wonderful Waffles with Strawberries...

2 eggs
2 cups buttermilk
2 cups flour
2 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1/3 cup butter, melted
4 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
Whipped cream or ice-cream, as desired

Heat waffle iron. In a large bowl, beat eggs. Add buttermilk, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and melted butter and beat until smooth. Pour batter from cup or pitcher onto center of hot, lightly greased waffle iron. Cook 2-3 minutes or until golden brown. Remove waffle carefully. Top with syrup, strawberries, whipped cream or ice cream as desired. Makes about 4 cups of batter or about 4-8 waffles, depending on the size of the waffle iron.

This is one of Julie Badger Jenson's recipe's from her Essentials cook book.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Cafe Rio - Enchilada Style Burritos

I know there are some similar recipes that have been posted here, but we LOVE this dinner and I had to share it.  I originally got this recipe from my friend, Katie Brown, and I have tweaked a few things to my liking.

Cafe Rio - Enchilada Style Burritos
1 1/2 LB Pork Loin
about 9 Uncooked Flour Tortillas
2 - 15oz cans Mild Green Chili Enchilada Sauce
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
1 - 15oz can Black Beans
1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
2 cups Monterey Jack Cheese, grated
1 cup rice
1 1/2 cups chicken broth

(Cilantro chopping tip - use your kitchen shears to cut it from the bunch.)

1.  Cut pork into cubes and place in slow cooker with 1/3 Cup Water.  Season with salt, pepper, and Garlic Salt.  Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.  Remove from cooker and drain.  Shred meat with a fork and place in a bowl.  In another bowl mix about 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce and brown sugar until combined.  Pour over pork, mix well.

2.  For Rice: cook in chicken broth instead of water.  Cook just as you would if you were cooking in water.

3.  Drain and rinse beans.

4.  Cook tortillas on a heated skillet over medium heat until blistered.

5.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9x13 pan with non-stick spray.  Pour 1/2 cup enchilada sauce into the pan.

6.  Assemble burritos by layering
 pork, rice, cheese, beans, and cilantro.  I try to keep mine small, although some people like to make giant burritos.  I like them small because you can really taste the combination of flavors while eating them.  

7.  Roll up and place in pan.  Continue until pan is full.  Top with remaining enchilada sauce and cheese.

7.  Bake for about 30 minutes until bubbly and cheese is melted.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Seasoned Potato Wedges

These potato wedges are easy to make and are great along side a grilled piece of chicken or steak.

Seasoned Potato Wedges
1/3 Cup all-purpose flour
1/3 Cup grated Parmesan Cheese
1 tsp Paprika
3 Large baking Potatoes
1/3 Cup Milk
Olive Oil Spray

1. In a large ziplock bag, combine flour, Parmesan, and paprika. Cut each potato into eight wedges; dip in milk. Place in the bag, a few at a time, and shake to coat.

2. Place in a baking pan that has been sprayed with Olive Oil Spray.  Spray the tops of the potatoes with the Olive Oil Spray.  Bake, uncovered at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

3. Turn wedges; spray with Olive Oil Spray. Bake 20-25 minutes longer or until potatoes are tender and golden brown.

4. Serve warm with dipping sauce of your choice - BBQ sauce, Ketchup, sour cream, or Ranch Dressing.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Marinated Salmon with mango kiwi relish

6 servings (serving size: 1 salmon fillet and 1/4 cup relish)

* Salmon:
* 4 tablespoon honey
* 8 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
* 4 teaspoon olive oil
* 1 teaspoon black pepper
*6 (6-ounce) salmon fillets (about 1 inch thick)
* Cooking spray

* 1/2 cup diced peeled mango
* 1/2 cup cubed peeled kiwifruit
* 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
* 1/4 cup fresh orange juice


To prepare salmon, combine first 4 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag. Add fish to bag; seal. Marinate 10 minutes minimum, turning occasionally.

While fish marinates, heat grill pan or large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Remove fish from bag, discarding marinade. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add fish, and cook 5 minutes on each side or until the fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Or you could broil it for 8 minutes or until it flakes with a fork.

While fish cooks, prepare the relish. Combine mango and the remaining ingredients. Serve over fish.

It was such a hit at our house that all the plates were clean! So
clean that they turned into hats at the end of dinner.