a cooking blog from one foodie to another... I rarely if ever use real measurements... my recipes are more like guidelines... but along the way we usually land on something kinda delectable...

Sunday, October 14, 2012


Finally!!!  Here's my recipe for chili.... this is my base recipe. Sometimes I get fancy and add different types of beans.... Sometimes I add a can of beer.... but always it is MMMMMMMM -- MMMMMMM Good!


Brown about 3 lbs of ground beef (the leaner the better) with 1 white onion diced. Season with salt, pepper, garlic and chili powder. (I believe in layering my seasonings.) Drain off the fat and return it to the pot. Add 4 cans of diced tomatoes and 2 cans of water. Season with salt, pepper, garlic and chili powder. [If using beer, add it here.] Add 4 cans of chili beans (we like to use the HOT chili beans). Season with salt, pepper, garlic and chili powder. [If using other types of beans, add them here.]

Serve this over cooked shell noodles.

Garnish with sour cream, cheddar cheese and oyster crackers.

Tanisha's Casserole

Last time John was in the hospital my lovely niece, Tanisha,

made dinner for us. This casserole will forever be dubbed Tanisha's Casserole in our house. The kids LOVED it. So I've started making it frequently.

Tanisha's Casserole

2 cans of cream of chicken soup
2 soup cans of milk
Cooked Chicken Breast
Frozen Broccoli (actually any frozen veggie will work)
Egg Noodles (about half a package)
cheddar cheese
Fried Onions (you know they come in the can and you use them to top green bean casserole)

Mix the soup, milk, chicken, broccoli, cooked egg noodles, about 1 cup of cheese, and half a jar of the onions together.

Pour it into a casserole dish.

Top with another cup of cheese and the rest of the onions.

Bake at 350 until bubbly.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Baked Macaroni and Cheese with Panko Bread Crumb Topping

We've discussed the beauty of panko before right? Okay! So now that we've established it's AMAZINGNESS....

Make your favorite macaroni and cheese. I use a recipe I adapted from Alton Brown after stealing it from the amazing Amanda Kastner, BUT once I even put panko on good old Kraft Mac N Cheese... I'm telling you... PANKO WORKS MIRACLES!!!! 
Double Batch!
Boil 1 pound of elbow macaroni.  In a separate pan, melt 6 Tbsp butter. Whisk in 6 Tbsp flour and 2 Tbsp dry mustard. Cook for several minutes before adding 6 cups of milk and 1 tsp paprika. Simmer about 10 minutes. Add 3 cups of cheddar cheese. Stir in cooked elbow macaroni. Pour into a 9x13 pan.

Melt a stick of butter. Add 1/2 box of panko. Stir until crumbs and butter are mixed. Cover mac n cheese w/panko. Bake 30 to 40 minutes at 350 degrees.


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Thai Turkey Lettuce Wraps

Mkay have you heard of the Fit2Fat2Fit guy??? FABULOUS!  Personal Trainer, Drew Manning, was in SUPREME shape. He decided to embark upon a journey to understand his clients more. He spent 6 months, letting himself GO! Didn't work out. Ate like CRAPOLA. Gained a TON of weight. Lost his 6 pack COMPLETELY. Then he spent 6 months getting back in shape. It worked. It was hard, but it worked. I think that/he is AMAZING! and INSPIRING!

Anywhoos, while checking on his progress a few weeks ago, I stumbled upon a recipe of his. Of course, I made a few Jami-fications before we had it tonight. OHMIGOSH! SO AMAZINGLY GOOD it is hard to believe it is healthy!  Here's how it went down:

Thai Turkey Lettuce Wraps

Ground Turkey (3lbs)
Fresh Garlic minced (9 cloves)
Fresh Ginger Root grated (6 Tbsp)
Green Peppers diced (3 peppers)
Red Pepper Flakes (1 Tbsp)

Brown the ground turkey. Drain off the fat (mine didn't have much fat left so I left it in there because I was omitting the oil from the sauce portion). Add garlic, ginger, green pepper and red pepper flakes. Cook until green peppers are soft.

Peanut Butter (6 Tbsp)
Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice (2 1/2 limes worth)
Soy Sauce (6 Tbsp... honestly I just shook it in there a bit)
Cilantro (almost an entire bunch)

Put the cilantro into a food chopper (I leave the stems... easier that way) with the lime juice. Pulverize the CRUD of it. Whisk peanut butter, soy sauce and cilantro/lime mix together. Add this sauce to the meat mixture. Stir it up to incorporate and then remove from the heat and let it cool down a bit.

Romaine Lettuce Leaves (washed)

Spoon the meat mixture into the lettuce leave and pull up the sides of the lettuce like a taco and ENJOY! So good you won't believe it is healthy!!!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Cantina Burritos

Last night we had Cantina Burritos. John said the rice and salsa alone would satisfy him :)


We used steak last night. You can use chicken or have them vegetarian too.

I just cooked little chunks of beef (package said it was cut for stir fry) and added a Chi Chi's seasoning packet to give a little flavor.

Take a BIG Flour Tortilla and fill it as follows:

     Meat (see above)
     Lime Cilantro Rice
     Black Beans (I make sure to rinse them carefully before using them.... it reduces the amount of sodium in them)
     Shredded cheddar
     Sour cream
     Fresh Chunky Salsa
     Chunks of fresh Avocado


Fresh Chunky Salsa

Mkay my Magic Bullet died in the move. I don't know how all I know is that I get A LOT of use out of mine before they die and it is likely that it just coincided with the move and the poor thing just gave up the ghost from too many man hours of usage. Regardless out of that tragedy came BEAUTY! We found we prefer our homemade salsa MUCH better when it isn't pulverized first (don't get me wrong the pulverized way is easier and quicker, but this way is SOOOO much better). When I finally replace my Magic Bullet, I will likely return to pulverizing the spice mix part (cilantro and jalapeno) but I will ALWAYS keep the onion and tomato chunky.

     1 small red onion, diced
     1 small jalapeno, minced (as small as you can get it or you will have jalapeno burns on your tongue)
     1 to 2 handfuls of fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
     4 to 6 tomatoes (any kind will do; I've been using roma because they are cheapest; however, last year I preferred to use FRESH HUGE ones from my garden.... *sigh* my garden is MISSED)

Just put it all in a dish and mix 'er up! YUMMY!

[Aside: when I use the Magic bullet, I will start by blending the jalapeno and cilantro with the juice of a lime and  a clove of fresh garlic. Then I will mix that with my larger chopped items.]

Lime Cilantro Rice

We are in LOVE with this rice!  It is one of our favorite creations.  We modeled it after the rice you get at Qdoba or Chipotle, but we like ours much more limey. Soooooo easy and so YUM!

     1 cup minute rice
     1 cup chicken broth (we use a cup of water and a chicken bouillon cube)

Cook it in the microwave for about 5 minutes.


     Juice of one lime
     Handful of chopped fresh cilantro

Mix it up and ENJOY!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Okay, this is HANDS DOWN my favorite frosting recipe so far. It is yummy and fairly easy to do.

1 cup softened butter [cream it in mixer]
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar [add it slowly to the creamed butter]
1/2 cup cocoa powder [again add it slowly... if you don't you will have clouds of chocolate ALL over your kitchen!]
2 tsp vanilla
4 Tbsp heavy cream

[one caveat:  because of the butter and cream in this, you MUST refrigerate frosted cupcakes and any leftover frosting]

Vanilla Bean Buttercream

I'm a little bit obsessed with vanilla beans. I, however, have to confess, I have yet to actually use a vanilla bean, but I'm in love with vanilla bean ice cream AND I found the coolest stuff at Williams and Sonoma: vanilla bean paste. FANTABULOUS! Soooooo! I changed up my vanilla buttercream recipe by replacing the vanilla with vanilla bean paste. I add A LOT (sorry again... I don't really measure)... SEVERAL tablespoons until I could really taste the vanilla bean.

This is the pink vanilla bean buttercream we did for Hannah's b-day.
It really made the difference, AND it leaves those cool vanilla bean flecks which make your frosting look oh so gourmet.

BLT Pasta Salad

Ohmigosh! I sooooooooooo just made up the BEST pasta salad EVER! Try it and AGREE! Amazing pasta salad!
(Sorry I don't measure much...)
A blob of Mayo (maybe 1 cup)
Same size blob of sour cream
1 pound of cooked bacon crumbles
1 pint of halved grape tomatoes
A couple of handfuls of shredded cheddar
Fistful of chopped green onions
A wedge of diced lettuce
Sprinkle of salt
Box of cooked pasta
Mix it all up and ENJOY!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Pizza Spaghetti Bake w/Garlic Bread Topping

Mkay... I have made this casserole for YEARS, but last night in a stroke of unintentional genius, I came up with the garlic bread topping and it took the casserole to a whole new level!  SERIOUSLY it made this dish FABULOUS!  The secret is in the


Here's the receipe....

Pizza Spaghetti Bake

Boil a box of pasta (any kind.... I have strayed away from using spaghetti noodles because they make for an icky casserole... last night I made a double batch and didn't have two of the same pasta so I used mostaccolli and bow ties)


Spaghetti Sauce
2 cups of mozzarella
your favorite pizza toppings (last night we used: pepperoni, Italian sausage, and mushrooms)

Pour that into a 9x13 pan. Cover it with 2 more cups of mozzarella and the Garlic Bread Topping.

Bake at 350:  covered for 30 minutes; uncovered for 10 minutes. Serve!

Garlic Bread Topping
1/2 box Panko
1/4 cups parmesan
2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 cup melted butter

Combine all ingredients and sprinkle over casserole.

(fyi.... for these measurements I'm TOTALLY estimating because I made it my eyeballing it).

Monday, March 5, 2012

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Sacajawea! It has been a LONG time since I have blogged ANYWHERE!  All I can say is:  we moved... and John was in the hospital again.... it's been a little crazy around here.

My new obsession (besides with FRESH RAW foods...I have a new salsa recipe... it is FAB and I promise to take pics of it when I make it today or tomorrow and post the recipe) is cupcakes!  I don't know why but I am OBSESSED with homemade frosting right now and NOW ever since

my amazing m-i-l 
surprised me with a cupcake decorating kit, I can use my new homemade frostings to adorn cupcakes GALORE.  Here's my first attempt with my decorating kit

and here is the recipe I used:

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

2 sticks of SOFTENED butter (do NOT melt it!)
3 cups of powdered sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract (don't use imitation; that stuff is AWFUL!)
4 tablespoons of heavy whipping cream

Beat away until it is light and fluffy.... Stuff your pastry bag with the frosting (my m-i-l got me DISPOSABLE ones... GENIUS!)... And then frost those cupcakes!

[coming soon.... my NEW chocolate buttercream frosting recipe.... it was even better than the vanilla buttercream!]
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