Tuesday, January 31, 2012

GETTING READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL!!!!!!!


I LOVE FOOTBALL!!! Yes, I'm a woman, I promise!!! :-) I love everything about the sport- the game, the camaraderie, tailgating and the FOOD!!! My dad has become a great tailgater and makes all kinds of stuff under that tent!

So now, it is time for the final game to end or season and whether your team (GO COLTS) have made it to the Super Bowl or not we should be watching that game, seeing those new commercials and cheering for the team that is left that we like the best...because it's FUN and because there will be FOOTBALL FOOD!!! :-)

I know that there are many of you out there who are already planning your menu and inviting your guests and there are some of you out there who still don't know what in the world you are going to bring, so let me give you a couple of easy recipes, one savory and one sweet, that everyone will love and will definitely be worthy of a TOUCHDOWN!!!!! And don't forget about my yummy Black Bean Pumpkin Chili recipe that I posted last time, it is perfect for the game too!!!!

Cheesy Pizza Dip
2 Tbsp butter
1/2 c chopped red pepper
1/2 c chopped onion
2 8 oz packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 c chopped Canadian bacon
1/2 c cooked and crumbled bacon (about 10 slices)
1/2 c cooked and crumbled sausage
1/2 c chopped pepperoni
1 tsp dried Italian seasoning

Preheat oven to 350. Melt butter over medium heat. Add peppers and onions and sautee 5-6 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Combine vegetable mixture, cream cheese and all other remaining ingredients and mix until combined and spoon into a 2 quart baking dish. Bake 30-35 minutes or until dip os browned and bubbly. Serve with Pizza Crust Dippers

Pizza Crust Dippers
2 18 oz can refrigerated pizza crust dough
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp grated Romano cheese

Preheat oven to 400. Lightly grease baking sheets. Unroll dough on a clean, flat surface. Brush dough with olive oil and sprinkle evenly with cheese. Use a pizza cutter to cut into 2x3" rectangles. Place on baking sheet and bake 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned.

Now for something sweet!!! I never ever come home with any left! Yummy!!!

Cookie Crumble Surprise
1 16 oz container of cool whip
1 lg can of drained, crushed pineapple
3 cans drained mandarin oranges
1 lg package instant vanilla pudding (dry)
1/2 box fudge stripe cookes, crushed (You can put more in if it looks like it needs it.)

Mix everything together and refrigerate forat least an hour before serving!

And if you are just looking for someone to do some work for you, please contact Miguel Hampton!! He makes a terrific salsa and guacamole and he delivers!!!!! His poster is above!!!


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Tis the Season of the Great Pumpkin

Ok, so I'm not big on Halloween, but I do LOVE LOVE LOVE PUMPKIN!!!!!!!! I even call my loved ones Pumpkin Face! LOL! They are so cute!

Pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, pumpkin bread, pumpkin blizzards, pumpkin pie, pumpkin roll and believe it or not, some roasted pumpkin that is mashed with butter and salt! YUMMY!!!! And pumpkin is so good for you! It has tons of fiber and lots of great vitamins, it is so fantastic!

So as I was thinking about the joyous occasion of pumpkin returning to my life, I remembered a GREAT recipe that I have that can also be made vegetarian or vegan....... Pumpkin Black Bean Chili! This is a crockpot recipe and my husband just loves it! And for my friends out there doing Weight Watchers, this whole recipe is...wait for it.... 24 points... for the WHOLE recipe!!! It might not be 0 point vegetable soup, but this is yummy, warm and filling and you could eat a ton even with a piece of cornbread and not break the points bank!!!! Please try this!! It is so good and you and your family will LOVE it!

Black Bean 'n' Pumpkin Chili

1 med onion, chopped
1 med yellow pepper, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 c. chicken broth
2 c. black beans, rinsed and drained
2 1/2 c. cubed cooked turkey
1 15 oz. can pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling!)
1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
2 tsp dried parsley flakes
2 tsp chili powder (if you like it spicier, add a little more)
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt

Ina large skillet, saute onion, yellow pepper and garlic in olive oil until tender. Transfer to 5 qt slow cooker and stir in remaining ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours. And scarf it up!!!!!!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Trying New Recipes


I LOVE trying out new recipes.... and TERRIFIED at the same time!!! Because what if ends up being terrible?! Then you have wasted groceries and time and you have to order in pizza! :-) But it does not have to be that way! When you are looking for a new recipe make sure that it has ingredients that you like and seasonings that sound appealing and it increases the likelihood that you will love what you make. Also, remember that the first time you make something, make it to the instructions, unless this is something that you do often and you feel super comfortable making substitutions, and then try it and see what you might like to do differently and then try it again!!! Make it yours and then share it with others! This technique has brought me some of my favorite recipes!

The recipe that I'm sharing today is FANTASTIC for the fall!!! I think that I would like to add some meat to this as well, but it's a great vegetarian dish and could be made vegan with a very few substitutions. So, let us do this! I got this recipe from the Hungry Girl website, if you have never looked at it, you should. They send a daily newsletter with several bits of great information and good recipes, if you are on Weight Watchers, she gives the points for just about everything!

Twice Baked Spaghetti Squash

1 spaghetti squash (about 4.5 lbs.)
One 14.5-oz. can creamy tomato soup
1/2 tbsp. chopped garlic
1/2 tbsp. dried minced onion
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. black pepper
3 wedges The Laughing Cow Garlic and Herb cheese, room temperature
One 10-oz. package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
One 7-oz. can sliced mushrooms, drained (about 2/3 cup)
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1 cup shredded Italian Blend Cheese

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Place whole squash in the microwave and cook for 3 - 4 minutes, until soft enough to cut.

Once cool enough to handle, cut squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out and discard the seeds. Brush generously with olive oil, salt and pepper, to taste.

To a very large baking pan (or 2 medium baking pans), add 1/2 inch of water. Place squash halves in the pan(s), cut sides down and poke flesh with fork.

Bake in the oven until the insides of squash halves are tender, about 40 minutes.

Remove pans(s) but leave oven on. Once cool enough to handle, remove squash halves from the pan; place on a dry surface with the cut sides up. Set pan(s) aside.

Scrape all of the spaghetti squash strands out with a fork and transfer to an extra-large bowl. Set aside the bowl as well as the hollow squash halves. Empty water from pan(s). Return squash halves to the pan(s), hollow sides up.

In a medium bowl, combine soup, garlic, dried minced onion, Italian seasoning, pepper, and cheese wedges, breaking cheese wedges into pieces as you add them. Stir thoroughly, until mostly smooth.

Add soup mixture to the extra-large bowl of spaghetti squash strands. Add spinach, mushrooms, and basil, and mix thoroughly.

Evenly divide squash mixture between the hollow squash halves. Sprinkle Italian blend cheese over the tops.

Return pan(s) to the oven and bake until filling is hot and mozzarella cheese has melted, 15 - 20 minutes.

Once cool enough to handle, evenly cut each of the stuffed squash halves in half, leaving you with 4 large pieces. Serve up and enjoy! (Don't eat the skin!)

MAKES 4 SERVINGS

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

No Matter Where You Are........ Don't Quit!!!!

So, I have been doing a lot of thinking about my blog and more importantly how much I LOVE to cook! I have had a lot going on these past few months with working and getting married to the most amazing man in the world and I have put some of my cooking to the side.

Last night I tried a new recipe for the first time in a long while! And it felt amazing! I got into that rut and just kept cooking the same ol' stuff and it was great to mix it up! Until it didn't coe out perfect and I got really frustrated and just wanted to throw it in the garbage, but I just kept going and fixed it and it ended up delicious and my husband loved it! Then I got to thinking about how often in our life to we end up in a rut and then try and it's not perfect so then we just quit trying in whatever it might be in our life? Our work, our friendships, our marriages... no matter where you are, DON'T QUIT!!!!! Keep going, keep trying, keep praying and keep loving.

I quit on you guys and my blog and now, I'm just going to keep trying and give you guys more and help you more! So, I guess you can say that you will be reading more from me! More tips, more recipes and more loving! Here is the one that I tried last night, try it and enjoy! My husband and I LOVED it!!!!!

1 4- 41/2 lb whole chicken
1 Tbsp olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp lemon zest
2 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 whole lemon, cut into half
Kitchen twine
salt and pepper to taste

Mix olive oil, garlic, lemon zest, rosemary, salt and pepper together. Loosen the skin between the breast and legs and rub mixture into the breast and leg meat. Place lemon halves in chicken cavity and tie legs together. Place wings up and behind bird. And salt and pepper outside skin of chicken. Place on a sprayed roasting rack.

2- 2 1/2 lbs potatoes, cut into 1- 1 1/2" pieces
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Mix together and arrange around potatoes in baking rack.

Bake at 375 for 40 min. Move oven temperature to 450 and bake for another 20 min or until meat temperature is 170 or all juices run clear and let sit for 15 minutes before cutting. Enjoy!!!! (I just happened to make roasted brussel sprouts with balsamic vinegar with this and it was a great meal!)

TRY THIS!!! And even if you don't do perfect...try again or try another recipe! Believe me, I will have more to post for you! Just DON'T QUIT!!!! I will have more for you soon!!!!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Quick Tip

Hey everybody! These next few weeks are going to be crazy! Can you believe that Thanksgiving is only 3 weeks away?! So, you are going to getting ready for travel and getting fall break homework done and you might feel a little stressed.....but don't stop by that fast food restaurant for dinner!!!! There are plenty of super healthy options that are quick. All of your local grocery stores now have rotisserie chickens and I think they are one of the BEST buys in the store! You can't even buy a whole chicken for that price. You can then pick up some potatoes- sweet ones if you like them are MUCH healthier- and some salad or broccoli and you have a fantastic meal that will be done in less than 20 minutes! Or make some tacos with some ground buffalo- super low in fat- or with a nice ground beef with yummy and healthy toppings. You can whip up some guacamole yourself with some smashed avocado, your favorite salsa, some salt and lime juice and it's a wonderful source of good fat. Add some black beans to your taco meat for extra flavor and protein.

It's also FALL!!!! There are some wonderful soups in the deli sections of your store and some fantastic crock pot soup recipes that will just be ready for you when you get home! Make up a salad and some whole wheat bread in the bread maker and you are ready to go!

Regardless, don't head to Taco Bell if you can come home and do it yourself! If you need some recipe ideas just let me know!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

'Tis the Holidays

I have been asking those around me and on my Facebook what kind of suggestions they need for the Holidays or what new recipes they would like to try and I have had some AMAZING suggestions! But it has gotten me thinking.......

You can take butter out of a recipe or flour out or reduce the fat but there is something that you should never ever take out of a Holiday meal.... LOVE!!!!!!!!!!

I guess that is why Holiday meals are our favorites. These are the times where the ones you love, the ones who annoy you, the ones you wonder why you are related to, they are all there.... and all around the table with all the foods that you love because of the feelings that went into that food and that you have when you are around that table and nothing can change that! Not even the butter!

So if you have new food allergies or you want to make sure to stay trim during the Holidays or the New Year....do it! Cut down on the fat, I can help you get or find some new recipes that will be delicious! But only you can make sure that the loves stays in your food...only you can keep it the Holidays!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Having Trouble Picking the Right Cook Book?

Looking at cookbooks can be so overwhelming! They are designed to look pretty and to entice you to buy them. But choosing the right one for you is important. You want to choose one that makes it easy for you to follow and to help you make the recipe a success.

If you are a more inexperienced cook, choose a book that has great pictures and helps show you how it works and that gives you step by step instructions that you feel comfortable with. Also make sure that you pick books that have easy recipes with simple and few ingredients. If you start out with something too complicated you could get discouraged and frustrated. You want to pick things that you will be able to do and that will taste yummy and allow you to just have fun in the kitchen!

As you become more advanced, still go with recipe formats that make you feel comfortable. This is a great time to start trying new ingredients and new techniques but don’t get discouraged!!!! Remember that you are trying something new and it may take a few times to get it right.

All in all…just make sure you are taking time to really look through a cook book before you buy one, make sure that there are at least 10 recipes that you know that you will try to make. It’s not just a decoration; it is supposed to be used! Used to make you and your kitchen happy! Enjoy!