Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

Easy, yummy and healthy!

1 lb. lean ground beef

½ cup chopped onion

½ cup chopped green sweet pepper

2 cloves minced garlic

1 (14 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained

1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 ½ teaspoons crushed dried Italian seasoning

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1 spaghetti squash

¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese


Cook ground beef, onion, sweet pepper and garlic in a large saucepan until meat is brown.  Drain.  Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste and seasonings.

Bring sauce to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer for 15 minutes.  Stir occasionally.

Cut spaghetti squash in half, remove seeds.  Brush with olive oil or butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Cook in the oven at 400 for 50 minutes.

Serve squash with sauce, sprinkled lightly with cheese.


Read Full Post »

We went to my friend’s house for Easter and anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE homemade macaroni and cheese.  Hers (or should I say Martha’s) did not disappoint, even Marty loved it!

You can easily divide this recipe in half; use a 1 1/2-quart casserole dish if you do (this was written on the website…I say just eat more and make the whole thing)

Serves 12
6 slices good-quality white bread, crusts removed, torn into 1/4- to 1/2-inch pieces
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for dish
5 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 1/2 cups (about 18 ounces) grated sharp white cheddar
2 cups (about 8 ounces) grated Gruyere or 1 1/4 cups (about 5 ounces) grated pecorino Romano
1 pound elbow macaroni

1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 3-quart casserole dish; set aside. Place bread pieces in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Pour butter into the bowl with bread, and toss. Set the breadcrumbs aside. In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, heat milk. Melt remaining 6 tablespoons butter in a high-sided skillet over medium heat. When butter bubbles, add flour. Cook, stirring, 1 minute.

2. Slowly pour hot milk into flour-butter mixture while whisking. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until the mixture bubbles and becomes thick.

3. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in salt, nutmeg, black pepper, cayenne pepper, 3 cups cheddar, and 1 1/2 cups Gruyere or 1 cup pecorino Romano. Set cheese sauce aside.

4. Fill a large saucepan with water. Bring to a boil. Add macaroni; cook 2 to 3 fewer minutes than manufacturer’s directions, until outside of pasta is cooked and inside is underdone. (Different brands of macaroni cook at different rates; be sure to read the instructions.) Transfer the macaroni to a colander, rinse under cold running water, and drain well. Stir macaroni into the reserved cheese sauce.

5. Pour the mixture into the prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle remaining 1 1/2 cups cheddar and 1/2 cup Gruyere or 1/4 cup pecorino Romano; scatter breadcrumbs over the top. Bake until browned on top, about 30 minutes. Transfer dish to a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes; serve.

I could so eat this everyday, but there are not enough gym hours in a day to keep up with that sort of eating.

Read Full Post »

Starting last week I decided to make Friday our baking day.  Skylyn loves to help bake and it is fun for us to work together now that she can legitimately help me.  I had a bunch of oatmeal in our pantry that I figured I may as well use so I searched pinterest for a recipe and came across one from recipes.com.  The cookies turned out really good (the dough was really good too).  Our first batch the cookies were rather large, still delicious though.  Recipes need to be more specific…a heaping spoonful is not the same to all people!  Anyway, here are our cookies…


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time, then stir in vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; stir into the creamed mixture until just blended. Mix in the quick oats, walnuts, and chocolate chips. Drop by heaping spoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets.
  3. Bake for 12 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.


The recipe says it makes 42 cookies, which it probably does as long as your first batch of cookies are normal sized and you don’t end up eating 3 or 4 cookies in dough form.

Here is the nutrition information I got from the cookies (based on 42 cookies):  171 calories, 21g carbs, 9g fat, 3g protein, 11g sugar (based on entering recipe into myfitnesspal.com).

Read Full Post »

White Bean and Vegetable Soup

This is my second time making this soup.  The first time I added ham to the recipe and it was really good.  This time I didn’t have any ham and it was still super flavorful.  It is loaded with fresh vegetables and really fills you up.  It is very healthy and low calorie!  It is time consuming cutting up all the vegetables and cooking it, but it really is worth it.

I got the recipe off of the simply recipes website.  The only changes I made to the recipe were that I only used green cabbage (I didn’t feel like buying two heads of cabbage and just added more green to substitute for the lack of red cabbage).  I used dried herbs instead of fresh and I added one extra zucchini.  I also did not use Tabasco sauce either.

The recipe says 4-6 servings, but I think it is more like 6-7 servings.  Here is how mine turned out…


  • 2 15-oz cans cannellini or white kidney beans (or 1/2 lb dried beans, soaked overnight in water), drained
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/8 head of green cabbage, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 cups chopped fresh tomatoes
  • 2 celery stalks, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 carrots, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 5 cups (or more) vegetable stock or canned vegetable broth
  • 1 medium potato, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 head of red cabbage, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 2 zucchini or summer squash, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Tabasco sauce (optional)


1 Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion, thyme, and garlic. Sauté 5 minutes. Add green cabbage, tomatoes, celery, and carrots. Sauté 10 minutes.

2 Add beans, 5 cups of stock, potatoes, and basil. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for one hour.

3 Add red cabbage and zucchini. Add salt. Cover and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes longer. Stir in cheese. Sprinkle in a a dash of Tabasco hot sauce if you want to give the soup a little zip.

Nutrition Information based on 6 servings:  255 calories, 40g carbs, 5g fat, 14g protein, 6g sugar (based on entering recipe into myfitnesspal.com)

Nutrition Information based on 7 servings:  219 calories, 34g carbs, 5g fat, 12g protein, 5g sugar (based on entering recipe into myfitnesspal.com)

Read Full Post »

Cake Batter Bars

Made these for my niece tonight since she loves cake batter.  They were pretty good, but not good for you at all!  I got the recipe from Lovin’ From the Oven.  I took my own pictures because I like to compare my finished product with theirs.  Hers all seemed to be flat, but mine had a big crust around the outside (not that I am complaining because I actually kind of liked that part the best).

  • 1 1/4 cup funfetti cake mix
  • 3/4 cup AP flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 5 heaping tablespoons sprinkles of your choice
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease an 8 x 8 inch pan.
  2. Cream both sugars, butter, vanilla, egg, and egg yolk.
  3. Gradually mix in flour, cake mix, and baking soda until just mixed. Stir in sprinkles.
  4. Spread batter evenly into greased pan.
  5. Bake for 30-35 minutes until top is lightly browned and middle still jiggles slightly. Cool completely before cutting.

Nutrition Information based on 9 servings:  374 calories, 49g carbs, 19g fat, 3g protein, 35g sugar (based on entering recipe into myfitnesspal.com)


Read Full Post »

Sugar Cookies

It was very cold today so I decided it would be a good day to make Valentine cookies with the girls.  I told them I would decorate the cookies for Skylyn’s class and that they could decorate their own cookies.  Marty gave me a funny look and I said, “No one wants to eat cookies that kids decorate.”  I don’t think he understood what I meant until we started to decorate the cookies and the girls were eating the toppings and licking their frosting knives.  It grosses me out every time, but as long as they are the only ones eating those cookies I can live with it.  Here are their masterpieces…

And this is why adults should not eat food that kids make…

Here are my cookies that are edible…

This is how I prefer to eat mine…

With Red Hots and Cinnamon sprinkles!  Not the prettiest, but SO good!

Here is the recipe I used to make the Sugar Cookies…

1 Cup Butter, softened
1 1/2 Cups sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract (optional)
2 3/4 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
Cream butter and sugar until fluffy.  Add egg, vanilla and almond extract.   Mix flour, baking powder and salt.  Add 1 cup of flour at a time and mix after each addition.  Divide into 2 balls.  Flour rolling surface and roll out to 1/8 inch thick.  Cut into shapes.
Bake 400 degrees  6-7 minutes
I like to let the dough chill for a little bit before I roll it out.

Read Full Post »

Marty’s Mom got us a Food Network magazine subscription for Christmas and I think we are going to be in trouble, especially since the first one we received was the Chocolate Issue.  We got an invite for some good family fun at my sister’s house and couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try a new dessert recipe.

I took my nap and woke up to the aroma of chocolate, certainly not a bad way to wake up.  I even got to sample just the chocolate cupcake portion of the cupcake and it was so delicious and moist.  I would recommend using this recipe just to make chocolate cupcakes.  The cupcakes were time consuming and Marty did all the work.  The only thing the girls and I helped with was squeezing the leftover peanut butter frosting into our mouths.  We are a classy bunch of girls.  Marty is lucky to have such great taste testers!

Here is Food Networks photo of how the cupcakes should look…

Here is how Marty’s looked…

Pretty similar.  My food staging skills are not quite up to the Food Network’s.

I wasn’t sure if the kids would like the chocolate on top since it was semi-sweet, but they didn’t seem to mind and my niece ate three cupcakes.  My Mom even commented that they were the best cupcakes anyone in our family has made.  Marty’s head is still swollen from that comment.

I didn’t do the nutrition on these.  It is probably for the best.  I am sure they were not under 500 calories, but sometimes it is worth the splurge!  Did I mention that the girls and I are making cookies today and that Marty is making me brownies with raspberry sauce today too?!  I better get this recipe on here so I can jump on the treadmill.


For the cupcakes:

  • 1 1/4 cups cake flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch- process cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup hot strong coffee

For the filling:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 1/4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar

For the ganache:

  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup roasted peanuts, chopped


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line one 12-cup and one 6-cup muffin pan with paper or foil cupcake liners.


Make the cupcakes: Sift the cake flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt together three times. Beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer at high speed for 15 seconds until combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated. Continue beating until light and fluffy, about 6 more minutes. With the mixer at its lowest speed, beat in one-third of the flour mixture. Beat in the buttermilk and vanilla, then another one-third of the flour mixture. Beat in the coffee and then the remaining flour mixture. Fill the muffin cups halfway and bake for 25 minutes, or until the centers spring back when lightly pressed. Set the pans on a rack to cool.


Make the peanut butter filling: Beat the butter and peanut butter with an electric mixer at medium speed until blended. Reduce the speed to low and gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar. Increase the speed to high and beat for 3 to 5 minutes, until smooth and fluffy. Spoon the filling into a pastry bag fitted with a medium plain tip. Insert the tip into the top of each cooled cupcake and squeeze approximately 1 1/2 tablespoons filling into each cupcake.


Make the ganache frosting: Place the chocolate in a medium bowl. Heat the cream in a small saucepan until scalding. Pour the cream over the chocolate and let sit 1 minute, then whisk until smooth. Let sit 10 minutes, until thick but still pourable. Dunk the tops of the cupcakes into the frosting to coat, then place on a rack and sprinkle with the chopped peanuts. Transfer to the refrigerator for 20 minutes to set.

Thank you Marty and Bobby Flay for some delicious cupcakes!

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »