Mar 30, 2013

My husband love fried mushrooms and can easily consume an entire package of mushrooms that are fired if they are good. This is a really good recipe that is very simple and quick.

I was able to throw these together in just a matter of minutes. I love that all the ingredients are things that I normally keep on hand anyway.  

  • 10 ounces fresh white mushrooms, and quartered wiped clean
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups breadcrumbs         
  1. Mix flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
  2. Add water to make a batter.
  3. Dip clean mushroom into batter letting excess batter drip off.
  4. I find it easier to stick a toothpick into the mushroom to dip it.
  5. After dipping into batter roll in Panko breadcrumbs to coat.
  6. Deep fry in oil until golden.

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Mar 28, 2013

I was in the mood for German Potato Pancakes but I didn’t have enough potatoes to make the pancakes plus those are a ton of work and I had no desire to work that hard.

I decided to replace the potatoes with a bag of California mix frozen bagged vegetables. This recipe turned out delicious. We all absolutely love these pancakes. They have the same texture as potatoes pancakes but these have even more flavor because you can taste each veggie in the pancakes. I never thought they would taste so good but boy they are fantastic.

These are not as much work as one might think. I mixed everything together and set the mixture aside until dinner was about 30 minutes from being ready then I let the pancakes cook away. 

  • 1 pound California mix frozen vegetables
  • 1 eggs
  • 1 c cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/2 c plain bread crumbs
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Cooking spray
  1. Cook mixed vegetables in boiling water until tender which takes about 8-10 minutes then drain right away. Next use a potato masher or a fork to mash the vegetables while they are still warm.
  2. Stir in your cheese until it’s mixed in well
  3. Break each egg into a separate bowl and give them a quick stir until they are starting to get frothy then add to cauliflower mixture, then stir in bread crumbs and spices.
  4. Preheat a skillet, then using cooking spray, spray down your skillet so that your pancakes will not stick. You will want to keep your skillet at a medium and adjust the temperature as needed.
  5. Spoon mixture onto warm skillet in the shape of a small pancake 2-4 inches in diameter depending on your preference. Cook on one side until brown then flip and cook on the other side.
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Mar 27, 2013

I was telling Alison from Under the Big Oak Tree how I really wanted to decorate the dining room table for Easter, but I didn’t have the energy or really the time to dig everything out of the closet to find it all.

I decided I couldn’t stand the table not having anything on it for Easter. The last time I was in the grocery store I decided to pick up some candy and plastic eggs to keep it easy. I already had a tablecloth from last year put in a place where I could easily find it and of course I have a ton of stuffed bunnies.

It didn’t take long before we had a festive table ready for Easter! Happy Easter!

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Mar 23, 2013

I found this recipe online and with all the ingredients on hand I decided to give it a try.  I wasn’t sure I was going to like it by the smell when it was cooking, then again I didn't know much about farro so I wasn't sure how it was going to smell.

I must say the directions are very overwhelming. I posted the directions below just as they appeared in the New York Times, but I have to say I think you could have a gotten the point across in a lot less text. The directions are really the worst part of this dish. If I make this again I will condense the instructions.

In the end it was actually very good. This was my first try at faro and I must say it’s excellent! It has a very different flavor and texture that I have never experienced before but I really liked it. I am looking forward to cooking with it again in the future. 

  • 1/2 ounce (1/2 cup, approximately) dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1 quart chicken stock or vegetable stock
  • 1 1/2 cups farro
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 pound cremini mushrooms or wild mushrooms (or a mixture of the two), cleaned, trimmed and sliced
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 large garlic cloves, green shoots removed, minced
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 to 2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (1/4 to 1/2 cup)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  1. Place the farro in a bowl, and pour on enough hot water to cover by an inch. Let soak while you prepare the remaining ingredients. Drain.
  2. Place the dried mushrooms in a large Pyrex measuring cup or bowl, and pour in 2 cups boiling water. Let sit 30 minutes.
  3. Drain the mushrooms through a strainer set over a bowl and lined with cheesecloth or a paper towel. Squeeze the mushrooms over the strainer, then rinse in several changes of water to remove grit. 
  4. Chop coarsely if the pieces are large and set aside. Add the broth from the mushrooms to the stock. You should have 6 cups (add water if necessary). Place in a saucepan, and bring to a simmer. Season with salt to taste.
  5. Heat the oil over medium heat in a large, heavy nonstick skillet. Add the onion. Cook, stirring, until it begins to soften, about three minutes. Add the fresh mushrooms. Cook, stirring, until they begin to soften and sweat. Add salt to taste, the garlic and rosemary. Continue to cook, stirring often, until the mushrooms are tender, about five minutes. Add the farro and reconstituted dried mushrooms. 
  6. Cook, stirring, until the grains of farro are separate and beginning to crackle, about two minutes. Stir in the wine and cook, stirring until the wine has been absorbed. Add all but about 1 cup of the stock, and bring to a simmer. 
  7. Cover and simmer 50 minutes or until the farro is tender; some of the grains will be beginning to splay. Remove the lid, and stir vigorously from time to time. Taste and adjust seasoning. There should be some liquid remaining in the pot but not too much. If the farro is submerged in stock, raise the heat and cook until there is just enough to moisten the grains, like a sauce. If there is not, stir in the remaining stock. If not serving right away, cover and let stand. Just before serving, bring back to a simmer, add the Parmesan, parsley and pepper, and stir together. Remove from the heat and serve.
Original Recipe Source

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Mar 22, 2013

My husband loves pasta salads so anytime I find a quick and easy pasta salad recipe I give it a try. I once tried one in a box and after a horrible experience with it I knew homemade was the only way for the pasta salads.

This recipe is so very easy and makes a great presentation. The directions couldn’t be any easier and would be lovely for a nice summer dinner or as a side dish for Easter Sunday. Yummy!

  • 1 (9 oz.) package of refrigerated cheese tortellini, cooked, drained and rinsed
  • ¾ cup light Caesar Dressing
  • 2 plum tomatoes cut into thin wedges
  • 1 can (6 oz.) pitted black olives, drained and sliced
  • ½ cup finely chopped red onions,
  • ¼ cup Parmesan Cheese

1.      Toss all ingredients except cheese in large bowl; cover.
2.     Refrigerate at least 1 hour.
3.     Sprinkles with cheese just before serving.

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Mar 21, 2013

This is a wonderful cool salad to is amazing on a hot summer day. I personally like it anytime, but that’s a personal preference. I know it’s not easy for a lot of parts of the country to find avocados right now so this maybe a recipe to set aside for summer.

It can’t be any easier to make and it goes a long way. Deliciously simple.

  • 1 large Haas avocados (peeled, pitted, & cubed)
  • 2 roma tomatoes (cubed) 
  • 1 ball fresh mozzarella cheese (cubed)
  • 1-2 Tbsp. light Italian dressing
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  1. Slice then cube one large Haas avocado and place in a bowl
  2. Wash and cube two Roma tomatoes and place in a bowl
  3. Cube one ball of fresh mozzarella and place in a bowl
  4. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of Italian dressing depending on how moist your tomatoes are or how moist you like it
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste
  6. Gently fold together then serve right away
Original Recipe Source            

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Mar 20, 2013

This is a wonderful recipe full of flavor and heat! Wow it’s spicy considering there are no spices in it. The peppers pack a mean punch especially if you don’t remove the ribs. I chose not to do that and lived to regret it. Wow smokin’ hot!

I have purchased poblanos before that were not hot at all …these on the other hand were very hot. We loved this recipe because it was so full of flavor without any cream soup or any type of dairy. It’s an impressive recipe that is easy and delicious! It’s hard to find a poblano chowder recipe without any dairy or meat in it.

  • 1 large sweet onion, peeled and quartered
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 large poblano chilies
  • 1 (16-ounce) package frozen corn, thawed
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Chopped cilantro to garnish, if desired

  1. Preheat oven to 400° F.
  2. Place quartered onion and garlic clove on a large sheet of foil. 
  3. Drizzle with oil, and sprinkle with salt. Bring corners of foil up over onion to make a packet. 
  4. Place foil packet on a baking sheet or large cast iron skillet, and place chilies next to foil packet on the baking sheet. 
  5. Roast onion packet and chilies for 15 minutes, or until chilies look soft and are starting to char. Using a pair of tongs, flip chilies over, and return to the oven for another 5-10 minutes, or until they are uniformly softened and charred. Remove chilies from oven, place on a plate, and set aside to cool. 
  6. Return onion packet to the oven to continue to roast another 30-40 minutes (about an hour total).  Onion will look slightly golden and very soft when done. 
  7. Peel cooled chilies under running tap water. Remove stems and seeds from chilies, and chop into small pieces, about ¼ to ½-inch. Set aside.
  8. Once onion and garlic have finished roasting, place onion, garlic, and any juices that have accumulated in the foil in the bowl of a blender. 
  9. Add half of the thawed corn, and 1 cup of broth to the blender. Puree until smooth.
  10. Pour pureed corn mixture into a medium pan, and heat over medium-high heat. Add remaining corn, 1 cup broth, and chopped poblanos, and simmer until heated through. 
  11. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Ladle chowder into bowls, and sprinkle with chopped cilantro.

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Mar 19, 2013

I love Abuelita’s hot chocolate mix. I don’t need a special occasion to have a major craving for it. As summer starts approaching here in the south the last thing my mind is “hot” chocolate. I want cold and colder if you can get it.

By combing the desire for hot chocolate and the desire for something incredibly cold you come up with frozen hot chocolate! Frozen hot chocolate is always high on my list of delicious beverages. I love the flavor and the creaminess. 

My favorite is certainly Abuelita’s because of the fantastic cinnamon flavor. Mexican hot chocolate is the best!! Now add peanut butter to it. Oh the thrill and the happiness.

  • 2 tablespoons Abuelita’s Hot Chocolate Powder Mix (Bagged)
  • 1 cups of unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 2 tablespoons of PB2 with chocolate (Powdered Peanut butter)
  • 1-2 cups of ice
  1. Place all ingredients in the blender and blend well. 
  2. Garnish with cinnamon, whip cream or even sprinkles.
Number of Servings: 1
Nutritional Information:
  • 243 calories per serving
  • 23 carbs 
  • 6 grams of fat 
  • 6 protein
  • 39 sugar
*Nutritional information found on this information will vary based on the products you use.*

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Mar 17, 2013

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!
I hope if you celebrate you have a safe and wonderful day!!

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Mar 16, 2013

I love smoothies and make them on a daily bases sometimes more than one per day. I am always trying to come up with delicious combinations that are healthy and delicious. They are very filling and can be very healthy assuming you don’t put a lot of junk in them. It’s so easy to make a smoothie that ends up being unhealthy and loaded full of calories. 

I like to avoid that like a plague. I like to juice my own fruit and veggies and freeze other’s. I freeze bananas, strawberries, blueberries, and carrot pulp.  I juice oranges, apples, carrots and pretty much any other veggie I can think of.

Here is a really great combination that I really love. Carrot, Orange, Strawberry

  • 6oz. fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 4oz. fresh juiced carrots
  • 8oz. frozen strawberries
  • Water as needed

  1. Add all ingredients to a blender and add water as needed.

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Mar 14, 2013

In search for a meatless spaghetti sauce I came across this delicious pot of yumminess. This is a fantastic sauce. I wasn’t sure if I would like it or not because I grew up on sauce with ground beef in it. It’s hard to change your ways if you know what I mean. The only time I have ever had any spaghetti sauce without meat came from a jar on the grocery store shelf.

I was really impressed with the ease and simplicity of this recipe. The longer it cooks the better the flavor. It was even better the next day. This would be a really great recipe to double or even triple then freeze for future use.

  • 4 medium onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 12 cups chopped peeled fresh tomatoes or canned tomatoes
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin (camino)
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 2 cans (6 ounces each) tomato paste
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  1. In a Dutch oven, sauté onions in oil until tender. 
  2. Add the tomatoes, garlic, bay leaves, salt, oregano, pepper and basil. 
  3. Bring to a boil. 
  4. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. 
  5. Add tomato paste and brown sugar; simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour. 
  6. Discard bay leaves. 
Original Recipe Source

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Mar 13, 2013

There is a bakery here outside of Houston called Great Harvest Bread Company. They offer some really incredible products. For the most part I love their Pumpkin Chocolate Chip muffins. They are very good but a little dense for me. Another thing that makes me back off from them is that they are $3 each and they are 660 calories each (supposable they are 2 servings per muffin).

I wanted to see if I could make something similar to the Great Harvest Company’s Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffin. I remembered a Weight Watchers recipe I saw online a few years ago that I thought might work to replicate this recipe.  What’s so great about this recipe is that its egg free and oil free which helps elevate some of the calories.

Three ingredients and that’s it! An entire jumbo muffin is 357 calories! Wow much better! It’s very filling so you can get away with just the muffin for breakfast. If you need a little more you could add a side of fruit to keep your calories down.

These muffins blew me away! They are sooooo good!  I made them jumbo to make them easy to carry to school for breakfast. You could make these any size which would cut down the calories … depending on how many you eat! Good luck with that one.

  • 1 boxed Betty Crocker Spice cake mix
  • 1 can 100% Libby’s pumpkin
  • ¼ bag Hershey chocolate chips

  1. Place cake mix and pumpkin in a bowl and mix.
  2. Once your ingredients are mixed well fold in the chocolate chips
  3. Divide into unlined muffin tins. (These muffins tend to stick to muffin liners. You might try silicone liners or even the tin foil looking liners)
  4. Bake on 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes depending on your oven
  5. Check for it to be done with a toothpick to make sure it comes out clean.
  6. Allow to cool at least 15 minutes.

Number of Servings: 6

Nutritional Information:
  • 357 calories per serving
  • 75 carbs 
  • 7 grams of fat 
  • 6 protein
  • 40 sugar
*Nutritional information found on this information will vary based on the products you use.*

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Mar 12, 2013

If you like delicious healthy ice cream this is a recipe for you. It’s not only low in calories but it’s full of fruity goodness. We love making recipes like this around our house because you feel like you are getting something bad for you when you are craving bad, but in truth you are getting nothing but goodness!

I have altered the original recipe a bit, but the original is included down at the bottom. Check out The Primal Home for some fun and healthy recipes.

As I posted below if you are not planning on eating this right away you may end up with a solid block. No it doesn’t freeze like ice cream… it freezes more like ice. In the past I have added 2 tbsp. of  whip cream vodka to the recipe to prevent it from freezing. Although this isn’t a healthy option it’s a way to prevent it from freezing all the way and BTW you won’t taste the vodka. 

  • 1 medium banana, sliced and frozen
  • 1 cup strawberries, frozen
  • 1/2 cup (More or less) unsweetened coconut milk (Depending on the size of your banana) 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Place the frozen bananas and strawberries into a blender. Start blending then add in the vanilla and coconut milk. 
  2. Once it is nice and smooth but still very thick scoop it out and enjoy! It needs to be eaten right away as it will not keep very well in the freezer. 
  3. If you do not want to eat it right away add 2 tbsp. of vodka this will prevent it from freezing. (I use whip cream vodka when needed)
  4. Makes 2 servings. 
Original Recipe Source

Number of Servings: 2 (not including the vodka)
Nutritional Information:
  • 95 calories per serving
  • 21 carbs 
  • 1 grams of fat 
  • 1 protein
  • 11 sugar
*Nutritional information found on this information will vary based on the products you use.*

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Mar 9, 2013

We had some friends over for dinner a few nights ago. I was serving French bread with dinner, but I didn’t really want to serve plain French bread I wanted it to be something that would stand out and something that would be noticed and be delicious.

I found this recipe while searching the web. I had everything I needed on hand and in just a matter of no time it was ready and baking in the oven. Oh it’s so delicious. It got the reaction I wanted that is for sure. My guests were in love with it and begged for the recipe. I thought that was pretty cool I had no idea I would be print my guest recipes before they left that night.

Fair warning this recipe makes A LOT! Listed below is the half recipe and it still made a ton of spread.  I am excited to have extra, but I can easily see halving this recipe again.

  • 4 oz. shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • 8 oz. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 green onion chopped fine
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbsp. sour cream (optional)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened to the point of being slightly melted
  • 1 loaf of French bread

  1. In a large bowl, mix together the cheeses and the green onion. Stir in the mayonnaise and sour cream. In a separate small bowl blend the butter and garlic until smooth. Add the butter mixture to the cheese mixture.
  2. Preheat broiler. Slice loaf of bread in half horizontally, lay crust side down. Spread cheese mixture over the bread. Place under the broiler until nicely browned, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Remove from broiler and let sit for 5 minutes until cool enough to handle. Slice the bread with a bread knife. Serve. 

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