Thursday, June 16, 2011

Spring Rolls

We have not been blogging much lately but this was new, fun, easy and we just wanted to share it. A light, healthy, cold summer meal! With grilling season here we have not been making as much in advance and doing more the day of. Take the spring roll wrappers and soak one at a time in cool water until it is softened (they start out like construction paper) then you layer in anything you like ~ these pictures show shrimp, spinach, carrots, chives, avocado and rice noodles. Next step you roll it up like a burrito - fold over once then fold in the two sides then over again - easy! Keep in mind the first layer in will show through the wrapper so you want it to be pretty :) Keep a cute little taste tester on hand and you will know when its right! We also used a ginger salad dressing to dip into.

Monday, April 11, 2011

2 months later...

We have not blogged in almost 2 months! We have certainly been cooking and eating for these months just too tired to blog after a day of cooking or some weeks we just made old favorites that had already been posted.

After transferring my pictures to my computer today I see that we did make a couple really good recipes that we should share. Actually Erin found a new food blog that is not only fun to read and has tons of pictures but the recipes are super delicious, several came from that site.

Today we made Club Sandwiches, its amazing to taste what just a couple extra touches will do for an old classic.

We also made Angel Food Cake, Salsa and Quiche but those are definitely all repeats.

So thinking back we made this great Beef Stew with Beer and Paprika, sooo good!

Quesadillas are so fast and easy plus you can put almost anything in them so this recipe was appealing since we love all of the ingredients!

I am a meat lover and always wondered when people talked about Portabello Burgers. Well for a lighter version of a burger I totally get it after eating this recipe
(the prosciutto is really not necessary - the mayo flavor is amazing!):

Last week we had Monk fish and this awesome asparagus recipe from Cooking Light magazine. The meal was delicious but this fish smelled up the house for days so the next time we do it will surely be on the grill! I love asparagus and always hesitate to add stuff to something that is so good on its own but this recipe adds balsamic vinegar (yum!) and goat cheese (love it!) so we tried it out and it was a keeper.

So that is it for now, since spring is finally here we will be getting out of the winter rut and be trying new and fun recipes and looking forward to grilling season!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Role Reversal

So today Erin did all of the cooking and I did the baking, usually it is the other way around...
Trying to stay somewhat healthy we started today's cooking with
Broccoli & Cheddar Mini Frittatas
from the Biggest Loser Family Cookbook.
Cute, easy and good for you:
olive oil spray
1 cup chopped steamed broccoli
2 cups egg substitute
2 ounces shredded light Cheddar Cheese
Preheat the oven to 35o. Lightly mist 8 cups of a nonstick muffin tin with the olive oil spray.
Divide the broccoli then divide the egg substitute among the cups and bake for 7 - 9 minutes or until almost set. Then sprinkle the cheese over the tops and put back in for another 10 minutes to melt the cheese.

We have a London Broil marinating for later in the week. When its warmer we will grill it along with some vegetables!

A chunk of pork shoulder is in the crock pot, once it falls off the bone we will shred it for sandwiches.

Erin made Low Fat Creamy Mushroom Soup! We have been on a mushroom kick lately and this is soooo yummy.

We also have the parts ready for a Tuna with White Beans and Spinach Salad.

Of course we made some cookies for Valentine's Day because I love an excuse to make cookies. Just sugar cut out cookies with raspberry jam in the middle.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Back at it!

So last week I was traveling home from my mini vacation and the week before we didn't cook much since I was leaving for vacation so today we are back at it...
Tonight we are going to have baked white fish with lemon pepper seasoning on it. Side dishes will be Roasted Cauliflower and Grilled Portobello Mushrooms Stacked with Fresh Spinach and Shaved Manchego Cheese.

We also made a Spicy Beef Noodle Soup. Side salad for that day will be Maytag Wedge Salad.

Next was a Creamy Artichoke and Chicken Pasta!

We also made Chocolate Chip Cookies and Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies, you know just for fun :)

Later in the week we are going to put a pork butt in the crock pot and make Mini Pulled Pork Sandwiches. And they shall be fabulous!

So - Erin is tired of winter where as I do not care one way or the other, it is half way over already though! Soon it will be 85 and humid and I will be the miserable one and the rest of you will be loving summer, bleh. Enjoy the recipes, they were all easy and yummy and pretty much not too bad for you either, minus the cookies of course.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Light & Healthy!

Well it is January and we have yet to have a "big" snow storm. It has all been East of us :( I can not wait for that big storm to hit us, I have been waiting for it all season long. The forecasters say that there is a storm coming, but im not getting my hopes up....Anyways, here's what we cooked today ~

Mexican Lasagna ~

Left over Turkey Chili from last week plus
1 pound ( more ) of ground turkey
2 taco seasoning packets
Tortillas ( White Flour )
Shredded Cheddar
1 Can Re-fried beans

In a 9x13 pan layer 2 tortillas, spread re-fried bean and shredded cheese
layer 2 more tortillas, some meat mixture and cheese..and so on and so forth.
We left a meat layer on the top and topped that with shredded Cheese.
Bake at 350 for 45 min. enjoy with a splash of salsa and sour cream.

Healthy Puff Peanut Butter Balls ~

This is one of my absolute favorite things to make and eat :) So healthy and yummy. Plus my kids LOVE them. Please see August of 2010 for recipe.

Mediterranean Tuna Wrap~


* 2 (6-ounce) cans chunk light tuna in water, drained well
* 1/4 cup finely diced red onion
* 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
* 1/4 cup chopped calamata olives
* 3 tablespoons olive oil
* 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
* 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
* Salt
* Freshly ground black pepper
* 6 cups pre-washed mixed greens (about 3 ounces)
* 4 whole-grain wrap breads (about 2 ounces each)
* 2 large tomatoes, sliced

In a medium bowl combine the tuna, onion, parsley, olives.

In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Pour about 2/3 the dressing over the tuna mixture and toss to combine. In a separate bowl, pour the rest of the dressing over the greens and toss to combine.

Place some tuna salad onto each piece of wrap bread. Top with 1 1/2 cups of greens and a few tomato slices. Roll the wraps and serve.

We had this for Dinner tonight ~ OMG the flavor is outrageous! I love it!!

Perfect Roast Chicken~


* 1 (5 to 6 pound) roasting chicken
* Kosher salt
* Freshly ground black pepper
* 1 large bunch fresh thyme, plus 20 sprigs
* 1 lemon, halved
* 1 head garlic, cut in half crosswise
* 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter, melted
* 1 large yellow onion, thickly sliced
* 4 carrots cut into 2-inch chunks
* 1 bulb of fennel, tops removed, and cut into wedges
* Olive oil


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Remove the chicken giblets. Rinse the chicken inside and out. Remove any excess fat and leftover pin feathers and pat the outside dry. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the chicken. Stuff the cavity with the bunch of thyme, both halves of lemon, and all the garlic. Brush the outside of the chicken with the butter and sprinkle again with salt and pepper. Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken. Place the onions, carrots, and fennel in a roasting pan. Toss with salt, pepper, 20 sprigs of thyme, and olive oil. Spread around the bottom of the roasting pan and place the chicken on top.

Roast the chicken for 1 1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh. Remove the chicken and vegetables to a platter and cover with aluminum foil for about 20 minutes. Slice the chicken onto a platter and serve it with the vegetables.

Holy Cow the house smells like Grandmas house while this was cooking ~ When we took it out of the oven I stole a carrot and the flavor OH MY in heaven!

We hope you are having a wonderful January :)

Monday, January 3, 2011


Happy New Year, Everyone! We hope you had a fabulous Holiday Season...I can not believe how fast it goes, all the preparation and anticipation and in literally 5 minutes its all over :( Today was rough getting the kids back to school ~ I could have used 2 more weeks off. But today is Monday and it's a new year! This year we are going to cook healthier...I swear it!

So lets get right to it!

Quinoa-Cranberry Salad with Pecans


* 1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
* 2 cups water
* 1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans
* 1/2 cup dried cranberries
* 1 tablespoon olive oil
* 2 tablespoons lemon juice
* salt and pepper to taste


1. Bring the quinoa and water to a boil in a saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the quinoa is tender, and the water has been absorbed, about 15 to 20 minutes. Scrape into a mixing bowl, and cool to warm, about 20 minutes.
2. Once the quinoa has cooled, stir in the pecans, cranberries, olive oil, and lemon juice; season to taste with salt and pepper to taste. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour before serving.

** This is so yummy ~ it may not look it but it will satisfy your sweet tooth while
also having a good grain.

Asian Glazed Drumsticks

* 8 medium chicken drumsticks, skin removed
* Pam spray oil
* 1 cup water
* 1 tbsp Sriracha hot sauce (more or less to taste)
* 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
* 1/2 cup soy sauce
* 4 tsp agave nectar (or sugar)
* 3 cloves garlic
* 1 tsp ginger, grated
* 2 tbsp chives or scallions, chopped
* 1 tsp sesame seeds

In a heavy large saucepan, brown chicken on high for 3-4 minutes with a little spray oil. Add water, balsamic, soy sauce, agave, garlic, ginger, hot sauce and cook on high until liquid comes to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered for about 20 minutes. Remove cover and bring heat to high, allowing sauce to reduce down, about 8 minutes until it becomes a thick glaze, turning chicken occasionally. (Keep an eye on glaze, you don't want it to burn when it start becoming thick) Transfer chicken to a platter and pour glaze on top. Top with chives and sesame seeds and serve.

Caramelized Onion, Mushroom and Gruyere Quiche with Oat Crust

For the crust:

* Cooking spray
* 3/4 cup rolled oats
* 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 3 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
* 3 tablespoons cold, lowfat buttermilk

For the filling:

* 4 teaspoons olive oil
* 1 large onion, sliced thinly into half moons
* 8 ounces sliced mixed mushrooms, such as cremini, oyster, shiitake
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
* 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
* 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves (or 1 teaspoon dry)
* 3 large eggs
* 3 egg whites
* 1 cup evaporated fat-free milk (not condensed milk)
* 2/3 cup grated Gruyere cheese (about 1-ounce)


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a 9-inch pie dish with cooking spray.

To prepare the crust, put the oats, flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse 3 times to combine. Add the butter and pulse about 12 times, until you get a pebbly course texture. Add the buttermilk and pulse 3 to 5 times more to combine. Form the mixture into a ball and place it between 2 large pieces of waxed paper. Roll out into a circle about 10 inches in diameter.

Remove the top sheet of waxed paper. Transfer the crust, still on the other piece of waxed paper to the pie dish, then remove the waxed paper from the top. Press the crust gently into the dish. Bake for 9 minutes, then let cool.

To prepare the filling, heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a large nonstick pan over a medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and caramelized, about 20 minutes. Transfer the onions to a bowl. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil to the pan and heat over a medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until they have released their water and begin to brown, about 6 minutes. Add the onions back to the pan, stir in the salt, pepper, mustard and thyme.

In a medium bowl whisk together the eggs, egg whites and evaporated milk.

Sprinkle the cheese into the pie crust. Top with the mushroom-onion mixture and pour the egg mixture on top. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Bake for 35 minutes or until knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let stand for 5 minutes before cutting into 6 wedges and serving.

***Note: Gruyere Cheese is freaking 21.99/lb so uhhh yeah we used mozzarella!!

We also made Marinated Vegetables with broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, peppers, zucchini, sugar snap peas and grape tomatoes covered in lite Italian Dressing.

Turkey Chili ~ Ground Turkey - a heavy pound, a can of diced tomatoes, a can of tomato sauce and chili beans, season with salt, pepper and chili powder then cook and simmer several hours.

Last was Mango Salsa. It was to have sweet potato chips with it but we got lazy and decided bagged whole grain jalapeno chips work fine and are already in the house! The salsa was a mango, cherry tomatoes, red onion, red chili and mint. The dressing on it is rice vinegar, olive oil and lime juice. Smells like summer :)

Monday, December 27, 2010

Last Sissy Cooking Day of 2010

This Christmas was awesome! We really enjoyed the day with our family and watching the kids open their gifts. We had and easy dinner at our parents' house - ham, cheesy potatoes and cheesy spinach. Also had super fabulous appetizers that I posted on my facebook page on Christmas day. And there were oodles of cookies and candy that just had to be eaten too! Mix in the wine and I wasn't sure I would ever eat again after that but a couple days past, a good work out in and I was ready to cook today.

So we wanted to make at least one thing that was lite so we made an old favorite, Lemon Pasta with Roasted Shrimp.
* 2 pounds (17 to 21 count) shrimp, peeled and deveined
* Good olive oil
* Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 1 pound angel hair pasta
* 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
* Zest and juice of 2 lemons


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place the shrimp on a sheet pan with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.Toss well, spread them in one layer and roast for 6 to 8 minutes, just until they're pink and cooked through.

Meanwhile, drizzle some olive oil in a large pot of boiling salted water, add the angel hair and cook until al dente, about 3 minutes. Drain the pasta, reserving some of the cooking liquid. Quickly toss the angel hair with the melted butter, 1/4 cup olive oil, the lemon zest, lemon juice, 2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon pepper and about 1/2 cup of the reserved cooking liquid. Add the shrimp and serve hot.

I also wanted to make something a little different so I chose Italian Beef Roulade Steak: Braciole.

1.5 pound beef flank steak
3 c. spaghetti sauce
1/2 onion, sliced
1/2 c. white wine
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 eggs
1 T. fresh basil, chopped
1 tsp. fresh rosemary, minced
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 T. dried parsley
1/2 c. grated Parmesan/Romano cheese
1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 c. breadcrumbs
Spread your filling all over the flank steak. Tightly roll the meat over the filling. Place the roll seam side down and get your kitchen twine ready. This is a necessary step to tie it with the twine. (I didn't have twine so I skipped it and it came out more like a fold over than a roulade!) Place the meat roll, seam side down into a baking dish. Scatter the onion on the bottom, and pour your spaghetti sauce over the roll, and into the dish. Stir the white wine into the sauce. Cover with a double layer of foil, crimping down the edges. Bake at 350 for 3 hours. The meat comes out soo tender and delicious! You could surely play with the stuffing to best fit your taste buds and ingredients on hand.

We had some smoked salmon that we made a pizza with based on a recipe from the box it came in. The smoked salmon was delicious on its own, the pizza recipe needed had sauteed red onions along with some dill, parsley and green onions baked on the crust then topped with the salmon, sour cream and more of the herbs. A good base but needed more love, I think we will stick to cold smoked salmon with cream cheese and capers :)

I had also gotten a gift from my very best co-worker friend, Jenny, that was a jar of Goulash Mix with the recipe to finish it. It was easy and always a favorite for John and the kids so we made that too. The jar contained the macaroni and seasonings. We added the ground beef and tomatoes - easy and perfect for a winter's night dinner!

Since I base my life on "everything in moderation" we also made a Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake. People think cheesecake is so impressive and the truth is it is so easy to make, so why not, plus it can be frozen for another day if that moderation becomes to hard to control :)
2 1/4 pounds cream cheese -- softened
1 1/2 cup sugar
6 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
10 ounces semisweet chocolate -- melted
1 cup peanut butter -- smooth or crunchy


Preheat oven to 300 F. In a large bowl, beat together cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes.

Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add vanilla, beat until smooth. Add heavy cream, beat till well blended. Transfer 1/3 of batter to another bowl and set aside. Beat melted chocolate into remaining batter. Pour into crust.

With mixer on medium speed, beat peanut butter into remaining 1/3 batter until thoroughly mixed.

Carefully spoon peanut butter mixture on top of chocolate cheese mixture in pan.

Using the long handle of a wooden spoon, swirl the two flavors together. Bake about 1 hour, or until cheesecake is set around edges and puffed but still jiggles slightly in the center. Let cake cool 2 hours, then refrigerate until well chilled, 8 hours. or overnight. For a crust, use Oreo cookie crumbs.

*** Picture of Cheese Cake coming soon ~ it needs to chill ***