Monday, August 31, 2009

Homemade Pancakes

Monday nights are always crazy and tonight my daughter had dancing. We love breakfast around our house and eat it for supper every so often. It's usually a fast easy meal. I know most of you probably use pancake mix right out of a box but it's just a easy to mix yours up homemade.

Homemade Pancakes:

1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cup of milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
2 cups self rising flour

Mix together and then pour onto griddle. So easy!! :)

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Roasted Asparagus and Grilled Tomatoes

Saturday night is our usual steak night. Ahhh..I love steak! I had a conference all day today so on the way back into town I stopped and picked up some fresh veggies. We grilled steak and I roasted some asparagus and baked some sweet potatoes. We had some tomatoes ready to eat from our garden so we stuck them on the grill. I sauteed some mushrooms to go with the steak. My husband said it was his favorite meal we've ever cooked. I have to say it was pretty amazing!

Roasted Asparagus:

Lay asparagus on a foil lined cookie sheet

Coat Asparagus in Olive oil

Sprinkle with salt, pepper and lemon juice

Bake on 350 for about 10-15 minutes

Grilled Tomatoes:
Cut ends off tomatoes where they will sit flat on the grill
Cut tomatoes in half, and once opened, drizzle tomatoes with Olive Oil,
sprinkle minced garlic on top and then top with mozzerella cheese

Cook for 5-10 minutes based on heat

Happy Cooking!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Grilled Salmon

It's Friday!! Whoohooo!!! I live for fridays. They cannot come fast enough. Friday nights are either date nights or fish night. Well, no date night tonight. My hubby wants to spend time with the kids so it's fish night! I picked up some salmon from our local seafood market. I do not do much to the salmon. I use ingredients that are usually around my house and then stick it on the grill. You know salmon is ready when it flakes with a fork.

My Salmon Recipe:

Brush the salmon with Olive Oil
Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and a little Rosemary
Sprinkle Lemon Juice on top and then brush with melted butter

That's it! Simple and Easy and Ohhh so yummy! If you want a more in depth salmon recipe just comment on this posting and leave your email address.

Happy cooking!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Fried Rice

We were on a shopping trip to Sam's the other day (which was an interesting adventure with 2 kids in tow). My husband and I decided to divide and conquer to get everything on my list in as short of time as possible. I was moseying around the meat section and my husband came up and said you have to try this General Tso's chicken that's in the frozen food section. You have to know my husband..he walks around tasting every free sample they hand out. Well, I went over and tasted it and it was AMAZING! So, I bought a box and said this would be a great "I don't want to cook night" dinner. Today, my hunny came home for lunch and said I want that General Tso's chicken tonight. This was music to my ears because I was not in the mood to cook today. My kids have not been angels today to say the least. So..I'm fixing to start cooking and i decided to make some Fried Rice to go with it. This is such a simple recipe and is yummy. Be careful not to put too much sesame oil in it cause it can overpower the dish.

2 cups enriched white rice
4 cups water
2/3 cup chopped baby carrots
1/2 cup frozen green peas
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 eggs
soy sauce to taste
sesame oil, to taste (optional)

In a saucepan, combine rice and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.
In a small saucepan, boil carrots in water about 3 to 5 minutes. Drop peas into boiling water, and drain.
Heat wok over high heat. Pour in oil, then stir in carrots and peas; cook about 30 seconds. Crack in eggs, stirring quickly to scramble eggs with vegetables. Stir in cooked rice. Shake in soy sauce, and toss rice to coat. Drizzle with sesame oil, and toss again.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Penne Pasta with Vodka Tomato Cream Sauce

Have I said it before?? I LOVE pasta. I could eat it every night. With this dish, you can take the easy way out and buy store bought marinara or make the Tomato Sauce yourself. Tonight I'm making it with store bought marinara because I do not feel like taking the time to make the Tomato Sauce. I will give you both recipes though so you can use your own judgement.

Penne Pasta with Chicken and Vodka Tomato Cream Sauce:

1 quart Simple Tomato Sauce, recipe follows, or store-bought marinara sauce, blended until smooth
1 cup vodka
1/2 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1 pound penne
2-3 Large Chicken Breasts cut up in cubes

Cook the chicken in butter in a skillet until no longer pink. Stir in the tomato sauce and vodka and simmer over low heat until the mixture reduces by 1/4, stirring often, about 20 minutes. Stir the cream into the tomato and vodka sauce. Simmer over low heat until the sauce is heated through. Stir in the Parmesan cheese until melted and well blended.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente, tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Drain the pasta and transfer it to the pan with the sauce, and toss to coat.

Simple Tomato Sauce:
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
2 (32-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
4 to 6 basil leaves
2 dried bay leaves
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, optional

In a large casserole pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until soft and translucent, about 2 minutes. Add celery and carrot and season with salt and pepper. Saute until all the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, basil, and bay leaves and reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot and simmer for 1 hour or until thick. Remove bay leaves and taste for seasoning. If sauce tastes too acidic, add unsalted butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, to round out the flavor.
Pour half the tomato sauce into the bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth. Continue with remaining tomato sauce.
If not using all the sauce, allow it to cool completely and then pour 1 to 2 cup portions into plastic freezer bags. Freeze for up to 6 months.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Pork Tenderloin with Mustard Cream Sauce

Well, I was lazy and did not cook Sunday. We just hung out and did some things around the house so I didn't feel much like cooking by the end of the day. Mondays are always hectic..not sure why?? Emma starts dance today so before I leave to go take her at 5 I'm going to stick a pork tenderloin in the oven. The recipe comes from my church and I'm addicted to it!!! The cream sauce is AMAZING!!

Pork Tenderloin:
2 Pork tenderloins
real mayo
cavender's all-purpose greek seasoning

preheat oven to 500. wash pork and pat dry. slather with mayo and then sprinkle with seasoning...pretty heavy. place in 9x13 glass dish and cook UNCOVERED at 500 degrees for 40 minutes. turn once during cooking. turn off oven and leave pork in oven for an additional one hour.

mustard-cream sauce:
4tbsp butter
2 large shallots minced
1 pound fresh mushrooms sliced 1 cup
whipping cream
1/4 cup sherry
3-4 tbsp of dijon mustard
1/4 tsp thyme
1 tbsp. worcestershire
1/3 teaspoon pepper
salt to taste if needed

Heat butter in skillet over medium heat. Saute shallot until slightly softened, about 1 minute. Add mushroom and cooking sherry, cook 6 minutes. Stir in cream, mustard, Worcestershire, thyme and pepper. Boil about 5 minutes until cream has reduced and thickened. Add drippings from pork and bring to a low boil for about 2 minutes. Add salt if needed.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Zucchini Bread

We planted a garden this year and one of the things we grew were Zucchini. We love Zucchini and I've used it in a lot of dishes this year. I decided to make some Zucchini bread which I LOVE! I hope you will love it too. It's yummy and moist!! Enjoy!!

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2 1/4 cups white sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups grated zucchini
1 cup chopped walnuts

Grease and flour two 8 x 4 inch pans. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
Sift flour, salt, baking powder, soda, and cinnamon together in a bowl.
Beat eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add sifted ingredients to the creamed mixture, and beat well. Stir in zucchini and nuts until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pans.
Bake for 40 to 60 minutes, or until tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on rack for 20 minutes. Remove bread from pan, and completely cool.

Happy Cooking!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Classic Lasagna

I am HUGE pasta fan. I could eat it every night. Lasagna is just a classic dish that makes an appearance in my home at least once a month. This is a homemade classic lasagna recipe. It takes a little longer but is worth the time.

Classic Lasagna

1 lb ground beef
3/4 cup chopped onion
2 tablespoons Olive oil
1 (1 lb) can crushed tomatoes
2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
2 cups water
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon oregano
4 ounces lasagna noodles
1 lb ricotta cheese
8 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese (I like it cheesey, so I use more)
1 cup grated parmesan cheese


In large heavy pan lightly brown beef and onion in oil.
Add tomatoes, paste, water, parsley, salt, sugar, garlic, pepper, and oregano; simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile cook lasagne as directed; drain.
In 13x9x2" baking pan, spread about 1 cup sauce.
Then alternate layers of lasagne, sauce, ricotta, mozzarella and parmesean cheese, ending with sauce, mozzarella and parmesean.
Bake at 350 for 40 to 50 minutes until lightly browned and bubbling.
Allow to stand for 15 minutes; cut in squares to serve.

Makes 8 servings.

I make this a lot and serve with Italian garlic bread and salad.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Super Easy Pie Crust

This pie crust is so easy that if you do not have a ready made pie crust on hand you can make up a pie crust very quickly. I made strawberry pie the other night and was out of my frozen pie crust so I whipped this up really quickly. It's SOOOOOOOOO easy!!

2 c. flour, heaped
Pinch of salt
1/2 to 2/3 c. oil
Milk to make one full cup (with oil)

Stir quickly; roll between wax paper. Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes to use prebaked crust; or, bake per specific pie directions. Makes 2 crusts.

Happy Cooking!

Breakfast Casserole

Okay so I was slack yesterday and didn't cook a thing. I do have an excuse...I was sick with a throat infection. Well today I'm feeling more like myself again. My kids started school this morning. I'm a little teary because they are growing up so fast. Since breakfast is considered the most important meal of the day, I'm going to share with you one of my favorite breakfast dishes. You can make it the night before or in the morning. It's so easy and is nice when you are feeding multiple people.

Breakfast Casserole

1 can cresent rolls
1 lb sausage
4 eggs
1/2 cup milk
season salt to taste
2 cups cheddar cheese

Unroll cresent rolls into a rectangle and place it in the bottom of a 9x13 dish. Put browned, drained sausage on top. Beat eggs, milk, and seasoning salt and pour of sausage. Top with Cheese. Cook on 350 for about 20 minutes.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Brown Rice and Sauteed Zucchini

Brown Rice is one of my all time favorite dishes!! The recipe comes from my mom and I make it ALL the time. I use it as a side when we grill something or with my pork tenderloin. Just throw it all together in a casserole dish put it in the oven and that's it!! Trust'll LOVE it!

Brown Rice:

2 Cans Beef Consomme

1 Cup Long Grain White Rice

1 Stick of Butter

Sprinkle Onion Powder

Bake Covered on 325 for 45 minutes to an hour or till all liquid is gone.

The sauteed zuchinni is very easy and my kids even love it. I play around with how I cook it all the time and I think this is my favorite way.

Sauteed Zucchini

Melt butter in skillet. Throw in cut up Zucchini. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle in about 2 TBS of soy sauce and about 2 TSP dry sherry. Saute about 10 minutes on medium heat.

Happy Cooking!

Monkey Bread

Monkey Bread has been around forever and most of you remember having it when you were kids. Wonderful memories of the house filling up with the smell of cinnamon followed by eating a sticky treat with your fingers makes the delicious Monkey Bread a certified comfort food. Kids love this stuff, and being allowed to pull the pieces out themselves makes it all that much more fun. Hey I'm a mom and I love this stuff!!

Monkey Bread

4 cans refrigerated biscuits
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 sticks butter (3/4 cup)
1/2 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 9-10 inch tube pan.

2. Mix white sugar and cinnamon in a medium sized plastic bag. Cut the biscuits into halves or quarters and place six to eight biscuit pieces in the sugar cinnamon mix. Shake well.

3. Arrange pieces in the bottom of the greased pan. Continue layering until all the biscuit pieces are coated and in the pan. If you are using raisins, place them among the biscuit pieces as you are layering.

4. In a small saucepan, melt the butter with the brown sugar over medium heat. Boil for 1 minute. Pour over the layered biscuits.

5. Bake for 35 minutes. Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a plate. Pull apart and enjoy!



1/2 pound cream cheese
1/2 pound butter
1 pound powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon juice


1.Allow cream cheese and butter to get to room temperature.

2. Beat butter and cream cheese together in a large bowl with a mixer.

3. Slowly add in the pound of powdered sugar.

4. After all the powdered sugar is added mix for 12 minutes (do not mix less than that).

5. When almost done, add in the extract and lemon juice.

Happy Cooking!

Homemade Salad Dressing

If you are looking to make a quick salad dressing that is oh so yummy then this is the one for you. I love it on spinach salad but you can use it on anything. I have a couple of different salads I use it with....Spinach Salad with Strawberries and Mandarin Oranges or just as simple as Spinach salad with some cranberries, walnuts, and feta cheese. You can play it up however you like!

1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 apple cidar vinegar, 1/2 cup oil, 3/4 tsp thyme, 1/2 tsp of salt, and and 1/8 tsp pepper. Mix altogether and pour on salad. Yummy!!

Happy Cooking!!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Strawberry Pie

This recipe comes from my friend Susan and it is wonderful and oh so easy!!! It is an easy dessert to bring to friend's house for dinner or to make for a dinner party. Hope you enjoy!

Susan's Strawberry Pie:

1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cup water
pinch of salt
1/4 cup cornstarch
Strawberry Jello

bring to a boil till it bubbles and thickens
let cool then put in 3 oz strawberry jello
Put fresh strawberries on top of Mrs. Smith's Deep Dish Crust and pour mixture over the strawberries and top with whipped cream.

Happy Cooking!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Easy Bruschetta

Tonight is date night so no cooking here!! However, I like to indulge in an appetizer and glass of wine before we go out. This Bruschetta is simple and easy and ohh so good!!! Trust me you'll love it!! I could make a meal just off the Bruschetta. Yummy!


3 cups chopped tomatoes
4 TBS chopped fresh basil
4 TBS olive oil
2 TSP minced garlic
1 TSP garlic salt
1 TSP pepper

Mix altogether. Serve on top of a toasted baguette and top with Parmesan cheese.

Happy Cooking!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Black Bean Dip

Well, my hubby is not home tonight so needless to say I have the night off from cooking! Since I am not cooking a meal tonight, I am going to share an easy appetizer that I make ALL the time!! It really is SOOO simple and everyone loves it!

Black Bean Dip

1 Can of Black Beans
1 Can of Rotel (I use the mild Rotel)
Block of Cream Cheese
Pack of Shredded Mexican Cheese

Spread Cream Cheese along the bottom of a 2 qt baking dish. Pour black beans and rotel over the cream cheese and top with mexican cheese. Microwave for 2 minutes or until cheese is melted. Serve with Fritos Scoops. Yummy!!!

Happy cooking!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Rigatoni with Creamy Tomato and Smoked Italian Pancetta

Rigatoni with Creamy Tomato and Smoked Italian Pancetta


1 box Rigatoni
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cups chopped onion
1/4 pound smoked pancetta, chopped
2 large ( 1 pound) tomatoes, coarsely chopped
8 leaves fresh basil (I sometimes substitute basil spices instead)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup heavy cream (may sub half and half)
2/3 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese

HEAT pancetta in large skillet over medium heat about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove pancetta from skillet and drain fat.
HEAT oil in same skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté 5 to 7 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally.
ADD pancetta, tomatoes, basil and seasoning. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
STIR in cream and continue cooking 2 additional minutes. Pour tomato cream mixture into blender or food processor; blend until creamy.
COOK Rigatoni according to package directions; drain and return to pot. Add tomato cream sauce; toss.
SPRINKLE with cheese; transfer to serving platter. Garnish with additional basil, if desired

Hope you enjoy!

Happy Cooking!!

A New Adventure

I am a stay at home mom to my beautiful 2 children, Emma and Hagan. I love to cook and do so just about every night of the week. I love fun easy recipes because lets face it..I don't have a lot of time on my hands. I get asked for my recipes a lot so I decided to dedicate a blog strictly to the recipes I make at home. I have to give my friend Grayce props for inspiring this. It's nothing too fancy or extremely difficult. Most of my recipes have been handed down from relatives, friends, something I saw on a cooking channel and decided to try, or my own creation. They are all recipes my family loves and I hope you enjoy them too! My first recipe post will come tonight when I make dinner. It is one of my favorite dishes.... Rigatoni with Creamy Tomato and Smoked Italian Pancetta.

Happy cooking!!