Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Because I am fancy

So I was asked to post this recipe so here goes....oh but wait, of course I have something to say first.  In this recipe it calls for artichokes and mushrooms (frowny face).  I cook alot but I do not cook with mushrooms.  I do not eat mushrooms.  I don't like looking at mushrooms.  This has been a fact since I can remember and the best part is, it doesn't have anything to do with how they taste.  It gags me to even imagine the texture of a mushroom.  Seriously! That spongey ickiness turns my stomach.  I have tried fried mushrooms, I have tried stuffed mushrooms, btw I really want to eat fried mushrooms, they look really good.  I have tried them covered in ranch and I try real hard to enjoy it, but then I get that funky texture and it's all over......so here ya go!

Chicken and Artichokes in a White Wine Sauce

1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 tbsp combined herbs (basil, thyme, oregano, and parsley
Salt and pepper
4 boneless chicken breasts, halved ( 2 breasts total)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
2 cups sliced baby bella mushrooms
1 can (14 oz) quartered artichokes, drained
1/3 cup dry white wine
1/3 cup chicken broth
Grated parmesan cheese, for serving
Minced fresh parsley, for serving

In a shallow dish, combine flour and herbs, mix with a fork.  Reserve 1 tbsp flour mixture.  Using tongs coat the chicken breast halves on both sides with the flour mixture, shaking off excess. 

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat.  Add the chicken to the pan cooking until browned on each side, 8-10 minutes, turning half way through cooking.  Remove the chicken to a plate, cover to keep warm.

Add the butter to the pan until melted.  Add mushrooms and artichokes to the pan and cook until most of the liquid is released from the mushrooms and the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.

In a bowl, mix the wine, broth and reserved tablespoon of flour, whisk until smooth.  Add mixture to pan until it is warm and slightly thickened.  Return the chicken to the pan to warm through and cover with sauce.  Serve chicken with sauce spooned over the top and garnish with Parmesan cheese and parsley.

I served this over angel hair pasta but you can also use rice.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Grand Lake Dip

So, I meant to do this the other night when I actually made it but I got busy.  SO now as I finish up the last of it I decided this dip is blog worthy.  This dip has been near and dear to my heart ever since I can remember.  I would always get almost giddy when I knew my mother was making it because she only made at certain times of the year.  Well, really one time a year and any other time was just bonus and very unusual.  Once a year when my mother hosted Bunco at our house I knew this dip was coming and I always called first bowl before all the ladies got to the house and I had to leave.  So when I got older and moved out I remember the first time I made it just because I wanted it. I felt very grown up :) I know it sounds weird but it's true.  I even remember calling my mother and basically telling her "I made Grand Lake Dip just because it's Thursday, so HA!"  So here it is, it's not even hard, it's really so easy!
p.s.~~~ I never knew why it was called that.......and I have tweeked it a little over the years as well....sorry mom :)


1lb. turkey sausage
1 box of velveeta
2 cans rotel
1 small onion
garlic powder
1 tbsp mince garlic

Brown the sausage, diced onion, and garlic together until the sausage is done.  Cut the velveeta into smaller, easier to melt pieces.  Open the rotel, draining one can so it's not to watery.  Drain meat if necessary, I noticed when I changed it to turkey it wasn't necessary.  Turn heat down to medium.  Add velveeta and rotel to the meat mixture.  Season with garlic powder to taste.  Make sure to watch your heat or the cheese will burn on the bottom, stir often.

When this is finished on the stove you can move it to your crock pot to take with you and keep warm.  If you make it in the crock pot the consistency isn't right and it looks lumpy or curdy.

Well enjoy!  This is a great winter weekend treat!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Frito Chili Pie

Who doesn't love Frito Chili Pie? We do, the only problem........I have no idea how to make chili. It seem like the last few years whenever I think about it, my mother is getting the kids, so I say "Hey! Why don't you go ahead and start the chili......." So I haven't had to do. Another deep dark secret......I don't do beans, so much.. So Ron's chili is where it's at!!!!!!! Great taste! No beans!! Yes please!! Listen, when I was a kid, I did not eat chili!!! You can ask my mother, no chili, no stew, no lots of things.........However, as an adult I love all of it!   So when I found Ron's chili recipe on line.......I was all about it...........So here ya go......BTW don't cook the ground beef or the ground pork first, it boils itself done......

Ron's Style Chili
1 lb Ground Beef (80% lean)
1lb Ground Pork
32 oz beef stock
5 tbsp Chili Powder
1 tbsp Cumin
1 tbsp Smoked Paprika
1 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1 tbsp Corriander
1 tsp Oregano
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 can chili tomatoes pureed
1 large onion pureed
3 tsp sugar (add 1 at a time to taste)
1/2 cup ketchup
1 small can tomato paste

Add beef, broth, and onion to pot and mix well with your hands or a potato masher, slowly bring to boil stirring frequently breaking up all chunks.

Add spices, paste, can tomatoes, ketchup and simmer a couple of hours.
Float jalapeno during simmer process if you want more spice

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Soup is good, I mean it just is.

I love soup.  I think I've told all of you this before. So I've decided I am making one of two soups this weekend.  Although I did just see the forecast and I don't care.  I will use the old adage I heard long ago "Eat some soup, it will cool you down."  Well I have narrowed it down to a large pot of soup that has cheese in it.  That narrows it down right? It should however there is an entire internet of soups with cheese in them. Ultimately I narrowed it down to one I haven't had in years and another I just really want to try.  So here goes, this weekends soups, and by the way........I'm not above making both of them.

Full Moon Cafe Tortilla Soup

1/2 Gallon Chicken stock
1/2 tsp. white pepper
Combine these ingredients and bring to a boil
To thicken make a roux.
1/2 C. butter
1/2 C. flour
Melt butter. Stir in flour. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is smooth and thickened.
Stir roux into chicken stock.
1 C. Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheese mixed.
1 pint half and half
2 teaspoons diced jalapenos
1 (10 ounce) can Rotel tomatoes with chilies
1 C. cooked, diced chicken meat (Full Moon marinates chicken in fajita seasonings)
Add cheese to stock and stir until melted. Add remaining ingredients to stock and heat. To hold, place soup in top of double boiler over hot water. To serve sprinkle individual servings with strips of flour tortillas that has been deep-fried. Garnish with a dollop of guacamole and mixed cheese.

(Just a side note, I will be making my own tortilla strips by cutting tortilla's into strips and pan fried, it's really easy.)

And I couldn't get the picture for this soup but it looks good, does that help?

Triple D Cheeseburger Soup
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp table salt
8 oz Kraft Velveeta Light Reduced-Fat Pasteurized Processed Cheese Product
1 medium onion(s)
1 cup(s) Iceberg lettuce
1 cup(s) tomato(es)
3 cup(s) fat-free chicken broth
1 pound(s) cooked extra lean ground beef

1/4 cup(s) all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp I Can't Believe It's Not Butter! Buttery
1 cup(s) fat-free skim milk


In a Dutch oven, spray butter and sweat onion until translucent, remove. Add ground beef, season with salt & pepper and cook until browned and a bit crispy, drain. (Next time I will make actual patties and grill them to get more of a burger taste) remove from pan.
Add your chicken stock, & flour slurry, bring to boil scrapping bits off the bottom. Add half & half and Velveeta. Cook until all the cheese is melted, not boiling. Add in onion & hamburger.
Season to taste and lower heat. Cover and cook for about an 1 hour. Add the tomatoes and lettuce, stir and serve.

This is just a filler blog...

Well so while I was researching what I was going to make this weekend.....yes I do that.  I decided there was some prosciutto in the refridgerator that hadn't been gobbled up yet and I needed something to go with my soup I just had for dinner.......so I felt I would share this wonderfully simple yet almost fancy sandwich. 

So you need a prosciutto panino rolled with mozzarella cheese and basil, you can find it in the cheese section in the deli. It looks something like this above.  So you take two pieces of bread and spread olive oil with a basting brush, on one side of the bread.  I go out on a limb and use my garlic press and put some garlic in the olive oil.  Ok, so then you cut the prosciutto in slices, about 1/2 inche thick.  So you put your olive oil side of the bread in a semi heated pan, put a layer of prosciutto on the bread, one slice of tomato, and then the other piece of bread.  It's really just like a traditional grilled cheese but better and you can impress friends pretty easily.

Friday, October 8, 2010

It can be a main course!

So growing up my one of my favorite dinners was sloppy joes and Kraft macaroni and cheese.  Yeah, it's true.  So in my house growing up the only macaroni and cheese was Kraft, well unless it was Hamburger Helper's chili mac.  Now don't think that's because my mother can't cook because that's not the case.  She is a very good cook however as in every family there were nights of convenient dinners.  Having said that, my mother and I have had the conversation as to whether macaroni and cheese can pull off "main course" status.  My mother is admittedly not really found macaroni and cheese that exciting.  So my first experience with homemade macaroni and cheese was my mother in laws.  So I have decided to make macaroni and cheese this weekend so this week alot of time was spent researching recipes to find the one I HAD to make.  The Pioneer Woman won, hands down this is the most exciting recipe I found, this recipe jumped out at me and said "make me!!"

So you are in luck, I'm going to share it with you. Now obviously if you go to her site you can see it and the pics, but whatever...... by the way her choices for cheeses in this recipe are beyond what I would have thought of, but I am so excited to see the outcome.


  • 4 cups Macaroni
  • 8 Tablespoons Butter (Salted Butter)
  • 2 whole Medium Onions, Cut In Half And Sliced Thin
  • 10 slices Regular Bacon
  • 1 Tablespoon Bacon Grease (reserved From Bacon Slices)
  • ¼ cups All-purpose Flour
  • 2 cups Whole Or 2% Milk
  • ½ cups Half-and-half
  • 2 whole Egg Yolks, Beaten
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • ½ cups Grated Gruyere Cheese
  • ½ cups Grated Fontina Cheese
  • ½ cups Grated Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese
  • 4 ounces, weight Chevre (soft Goat Cheese)

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cook macaroni for half the time of the package instructions. Drain and set aside.
Fry bacon until slightly, but not overly, crispy. Drain on a paper towel. Reserve grease.
Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a skillet and then saute onions over medium-low heat for 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden brown and soft. Set aside.
In a pot, melt 4 tablespoons butter (and add 1 tablespoon of the reserved bacon grease for good measure!). Sprinkle in flour and whisk to combine. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat for 1 minute. Pour in milk and half & half, then cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until thick. Reduce heat to low. Add salt & pepper to taste. (Do not undersalt!)
Beat egg yolks and drizzle 1/4 cup hot mixture into the yolks, stirring constantly. Stir to combine. Pour egg mixture into sauce and cook for another minute.
Add cheeses and stir until melted. Add onions and bacon and stir. Taste for seasonings and add more salt if needed. Add cooked macaroni and stir to coat.
Pour into a baking dish and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until sizzling and hot. Serve with red meat or a green salad.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

It's Sunday so obviously I want to cook

I love this weather.  I do, I am a fall and winter person.  Summer makes me very angry, and the hotter it gets the meaner I am.  It's just a fact and most people who know me would agree.  SO with that being said, I also love soup.  I love all the different kinds, creamy, tomato based, broth, cheesy, sign me up, yes please.  So like the title said it's Sunday and I don't know why I always have this need to cook on Sunday, but I do, I'll own it.  My family has to just go with it and I don't care, it's not like they aren't fed!  So today I have been laying here and I have just gotten my burst of energy so I'm making soup today.  It's the first chilly day of the season and I'm soup ready.  I can actually feel how much I've missed soup weather........
So this what we are having, I love this soup and can't wait to make it. 

Olive Gardens Zuppa Toscana:

  • 1 lb ground Italian sausage
  • 1½ tsp crushed red peppers
  • 1 large diced white onion
  • 4 Tbsp bacon pieces
  • 2 tsp garlic puree
  • 10 cups water
  • 5 cubes of chicken bouillon
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 lb sliced Russet potatoes, or about 3 large potatoes
  • ¼ of a bunch of kale
Sauté Italian sausage and crushed red pepper in a large pot. Drain excess fat, refrigerate while you prepare other ingredients.
  1. In the same pan, sauté bacon, onions and garlic over low-medium heat for approximately 15 mins. or until the onions are soft.
  2. Add chicken bouillon and water to the pot and heat until it starts to boil.
  3. Add the sliced potatoes and cook until soft, about half an hour.
  4. Add the heavy cream and just cook until thoroughly heated.
  5. Stir in the sausage and the kale, let all heat through and serve. Delicious!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

My kids win.

So my kids have a favorite dinner that is made by their grandmother.  I had never had this or even heard of this before being with their father.  So my ex in laws are from New York, the Bronx to be exact so one assumes when they say they are making spaghetti, it is going to be great sauce with meats and peppers and all the trimmings.  Now don't get me wrong my mother in laws Italian spaghetti is probably my favorite of all time, anywhere, so when she says she is making American spaghetti, I'm intrigued.  So this is now my kids favorite and actually it's everyone's favorite except my late father in laws.  My mother in law would have to make him something separate for dinner when she made this.  So, to make a long story short, I am making American spaghetti this weekend for my kids and I have to tell you it is very time consuming, and here it is........


2 Large cans whole peeled tomatoes
2 bricks New York Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1 box thin spaghetti

In a blender, blend the whole peeled tomatoes until smooth
put tomato sauce in large saucepan
cut cheese into small pieces and add to tomato sauce
stir while cheese melts
cook spaghetti and drain
once cheese is melted serve over noodles

And there you have it, it sounds odd but it's very good and pretty rich.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

You got the wrong meat!

So when you ask someone else to go to the store and they decide to go rogue on what they are supposed to get it can be frustrating.  So when said person came home with a gigantic family sized round steak thinking it an equivalent to sirloin, ribeye, etc. something you can throw on the grill and call it a steak dinner, the let down is palpable.  This may or may not have happened to me lately which caused much research as to what could be done with this meat.  When I first learned how to make Chicken Fried Steak from my grandmother she used round steak which she pounded to tenderize, my mother on the other hand uses ground cube steak which is what I have come to prefer.  SO! I knew I would be making something different. So here are a few options I found, in case this has or might ever happen to you......


2 lbs. boneless round steak cut 1/2 inch thick slices
1/2 c. butter
1/4 to 1/2 c. sliced onions
5 tbsp. flour
1 1/4.c beef broth (10 1/2 oz. can)
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 (6 oz.) can mushrooms (drained)
1/3 to 1/2 c. sour cream or yogurt
1/3 to 1 c. wine, red or white (optional)
Egg noodles

Cut meat into 1/2 inch cubes or strips. In dutch oven or large skillet melt butter, add meat and saute until brown. Push meat aside and add onions. Cook until transparent. Push onions aside and add flour. Cook until bubbly. Add beef broth and bring to boil. Turn heat down, add mustard. Cover pan and simmer (low heat) for 1 hour or until tender. 15 minutes or less before serving add mushrooms, sour cream and wine. Serve over egg noodles.


Round steak sauerbraten is made with round steak, onion, brown gravy mix, vinegar, ginger, and other ingredients.


  • 1 1/2 pounds round steak, about 1/2-inch thick
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 envelope brown gravy mix (approx. 1 ounce)
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons white or red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 small bay leaf
  • Hot buttered noodles, optional


Cut beef into thin strips. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add beef strips and brown quickly; add chopped onion and cook until tender. Remove beef and onion from skillet; add gravy mix and water. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Stir in vinegar, brown sugar, salt, pepper, ginger, Worcestershire sauce, and bay leaf. Return the meat and onion to the skillet; cover and simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. Serve with hot buttered noodles.
Serves 4 to 6.

What am I doing!?!

Ok, well here goes.  If there was one thing I never thought I would be, it would be a "blogger".  However I hav found several blogs I enjoy lately and have gotten positive feed back on them when I've shared them with friends.  However, the fact is I love to cook.  This passion has come and gone over the years however recently I have become a little obsessed.  My life is hectic during the fall with football so my goal is to find meals which are quick and somewhat healthy for practice nights and things which are a little more gourmet yet easy enough for anyone to make.  I enjoy making new things and empressing friends and family, I hope you will too.  I am going to try to post pics along with whatever food I am working with. So, bear with me, I am a busy gal however will try to post regularly.