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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Sweet & Sour Meatballs

I love chinese food. Found another simple recipe from That site is so great!

This recipe turned out so awesome! Definitely will be making it again. H was really impressed too.

No picture, I was too eager to eat and completely forget to take one. :(

  • 3/4 lb. (3/4 of 16-oz. pkg.) frozen prepared meatballs (used what I had left, I know it was more, but not sure how much more)
  • 1 pkg. (16 oz.) frozen stir-fry vegetables (sliced green, red and yellow peppers and white onions)
  • 1/4 cup apricot jam (doubled)
  • 1/4 cup KRAFT CATALINA Dressing (doubled)
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce (doubled)
  • 80z. can of pineapple chunks, with juice (great idea to add!)


  • Combine all ingredients in large skillet; cover.
  • Cook on medium-high heat 10 min. or until meatballs and vegetables are heated through, stirring occasionally.
  • Serve over hot cooked rice or pasta, if desired.

Next Time- This recipe is pretty good as is. I might want to add more pineapple next time. 8oz was good, but you can't go wrong with more!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies

A fellow May Nestie posted this recipe. It's right up my alley. It's boxed brownie mix plus a package of cookie mix. Doesn't get much easier than that. This were so awesome. With the frosting, you definitely need a glass of milk.

  • 1 Package Chocolate Chip Cookie mix
  • 1 Box Brownie mix
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/3C Water
  • 1/2C Butter or Margarine
  • 1/3C Vegetable Oil

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Prepare brownies according to package directions. Spread in greased 9×13 dish. Set aside.
  • Prepare cookie dough according to package directions. Drop tablespoons of dough throughout the brownie mix. Gently press into pan.
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes. Allow to cool at least 30 minutes.
  • If desired, frost with chocolate frosting.

Fuss-Free Ravioli and Cheese Bake

I don't even remember when I came across this recipe. I bookmarked it, and put off making it until this week. This recipe is so easy to make. I wasn't sure how much H would like it since there isn't actually any meat (unless you use meat sauce), but he liked it just fine.

  • 1 (16 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce (used 24 oz jar)
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 (10 fluid ounce) can reduced sodium beef broth (used 14.5 oz jar)
  • 1/4 cup KRAFT Zesty Italian Dressing
  • 2 (9 ounce) packages fresh cheese-filled ravioli (used 1-25 oz frozen pkg, thawed)
  • 1 cup KRAFT Shredded Low-Moisture Part-Skim Mozzarella Cheese
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Combine spaghetti sauce, tomatoes with their liquid, broth and dressing in 13x9-inch baking dish. Add ravioli; mix lightly. Cover with foil.
  • Bake 50 min. or until ravioli are tender.
  • Remove foil; stir. Sprinkle with cheese. Let stand 5 min. or until cheese melts.
Next Time- Well the website had feedback saying the sauce thickened, and wasn't too thin. Well unfortunately that wasn't the case. I thought with using more ravioli than the recipe called for I would be fine. So next time I'll cut down on the amount broth used.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Chicken Parmesan

So I told H I would make chicken parmesan to go with the cheese stuffed shells I was making. I searched for a chicken parm. recipe that I liked. Didn't find exactly what I wanted, so I kinda winged it. Nothing fancy, but it turned out good, and went really well with the shells.

  • 1 lb. chicken breasts or tenders
  • 12 Ritz Whole Wheat crackers, crushed
  • 1/3 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • pepper
  • spaghetti sauce for serving (optional)

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray pan with Pam.
  • Mix crackers, bread crumbs, and Parmesan cheese on a plate or bowl.
  • Beat egg in a separate bowl and add pepper. (I also added a splash of milk).
  • Coat chicken with egg mixture.
  • After the chicken is coated with egg on all sides, coat is with the bread crumb mixture.
  • Place chicken in prepared pan.
  • Bake uncovered 30-40 minutes, or until chicken is done.
  • Serve with spaghetti sauce, or plain.

Spinach and 3 Cheese Stuffed Shells

I love this recipe from Stephanie. I made it before (prior to starting the blog), and I had to make it again so I could blog about its greatness! Last time I made it I didn't make anything else, and H really missed having a meat with it. So this time I told him that I'd make Chicken Parmesan to go with the shells.

  • 1 box of jumbo shells (I used half the box. The full box isn't necessary)
  • 1 10 oz package of chopped spinach, thawed and drained
  • 1 15oz container of part skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup of part skim mozzarella cheese shredded
  • 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese, freshly shredded
  • spaghetti sauce
  • 1 egg

  • Cook shells according to package, drain and set aside.
  • Preheat the oven to 350.
  • In a mixing bowl combine the 3 cheeses and egg. Mix until well combined.
  • Squeeze the spinach until all moisture is removed. Add to the cheese and mix well.
  • Cover the bottom of an oven safe dish with sauce.
  • Spoon one spoonful of cheese mixture into each shell, set in the sauce in the pan, seam side up.
  • Pour some sauce over the top, sprinkle with additional mozzarella (optional).
  • Bake for 30 minutes uncovered.
Next Time- The only change I made from the first time was to limit the amount of shells I cooked up. Last time I used the full box, and ended up throwing away the extras. Half the box worked fine.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Pork Chops alla Pizzaiola

Through complete coincidence I made a red and white meal tonight. Go Wings!! ;)

This is a recipe I remember watching Everyday Italian and seeing Giada make. I went to the site and saved the recipe. I've actually made this before, but not since starting the blog, so here it is for your tasting pleasure. :)

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 (1-inch thick) bone-in pork loin center-cut chops (about 12 ounces each) (used a pound of pork tenderloin boneless sliced into 4 chops)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes, in juice
  • 1 teaspoon herbes de Provence
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes, or more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • Heat the oil in a heavy large skillet over medium heat.
  • Sprinkle the pork chops with salt and pepper. Add the pork chops to the skillet and cook until they are brown and an instant-read meat thermometer inserted horizontally into the pork registers 160 degrees F, about 3 minutes per side.
  • Transfer the pork chops to a plate and tent with foil to keep them warm.
  • Add the onion to the same skillet and saute over medium heat until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes with their juices, herbes de Provence, and 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes.
  • Cover and simmer until the flavors blend and the juices thicken slightly, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.
  • Season the sauce, to taste, with salt and more red pepper flakes.
  • Return the pork chops and any accumulated juices from the plate to the skillet and turn the pork chops to coat with the sauce.
  • Place 1 pork chop on each plate. Spoon the sauce over the pork chops. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve.

Next Time- Perhaps actually cut down the red pepper flakes. I only used the 1/4 tsp but there was still quite a kick to the sauce. Other than that this meal is pretty darn good and easy to make.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Orange Chicken Rice Bowl

My first fail. Well it isn't my fail, just the recipe didn't turn out the way I had hoped. I got it from the Kraft Magazine I get in the mail, but it is also on their site. I thought the sauce would be enough, but it was pretty bland, not a lot of flavor. I'm pretty sad, because it is such a simple recipe. Oh well.

  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
  • 1/4 cup KRAFT Asian Toasted Sesame Dressing (couldn't find, so used Ken's Lite Asian Sesame with Ginger and Soy)
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 3 cups frozen stir-fry vegetables
  • 3 cups hot cooked long-grain rice
  • 1/4 cup chopped PLANTERS COCKTAIL Peanuts (used dry roasted instead)


  • Heat large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat.
  • Add chicken; stir-fry 5 to 7 min. or until cooked through.
  • Stir in dressing and juice. Bring to boil.
  • Add vegetables; cook 5 to 7 min. or until heated through, stirring occasionally.
  • Serve over rice.
  • Sprinkle with nuts.
Next Time- I doubt I'll make this again. Unless someone has some great ideas of how to make the sauce better, I'm just not a fan.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

I'm not even that unlucky...

According to the Chinese calendar, if I conceived in the month of March it would be a girl. Also, I would have been due around Mid-December. The two things that I don't really want. For some reason, I really want a boy. And December is busy enough. There is my little sister's birthday, 2 days later is H's birthday, and then of course you have Christmas.

I decided when March began that even if it meant having a girl in December I would be happy with that. It's getting frustrating to go every month with no positive results. So instead of not trying this month, I said if it happens then it happens and I'll be happy. And I absolutely would have been.

Today AF showed up. So I'm not even getting a girl in December. We won't be having a baby in 2009. Just had to vent a little.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Annie's "Ben"-chiladas

So I got this recipe from Lauren's blog, not Annie's. They were pretty spectacular. Mine were a little on the 'wet' side, so perhaps I should actually measure the sour cream and ranch dressing next time. ;)

I've made more traditional enchiladas in the past, that are covered in the "red sauce." Neither H nor I were really impressed. We both liked these a lot better. Plus because they weren't smothered in sauce the tortilla stayed crunchier when eaten as leftovers instead of being all soggy.

  • 4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (used 3 really large breasts)
  • 8 oz. reduced fat sour cream (eyeballed, didn't measure)
  • 8 oz. Ranch salad dressing (eyeballed, didn't measure)
  • flour tortillas (10-15) (used 7)
  • jar of salsa
  • shredded Mexican cheese - Annie recommends about 4 cups
  • Cook chicken breasts by preferred cooking method until cooked through. Set aside to cool a bit. (Cooked on our George Foreman. Seasoned with salt, pepper, and garlic powder)
  • While chicken is cooling, mix up the sauce. In a large mixing bowl, combine half of the sour cream and half of the Ranch dressing. In a small bowl, combine the rest of the sour cream and Ranch dressing. Stir both until well combined.
  • Shred or chop the cooked chicken and add to the large mixing bowl. Mix well with sauce.
  • Preheat the oven to 375°. Grease a 9 x 13″ pan (and possibly another, smaller pan if needed).
  • Take one tortilla and top with a little less than 1 tbsp. of the sauce from the small bowl. Spread over the tortilla in an even layer.Add some of the chicken mixture to the center of the tortilla. Top with salsa to taste. Sprinkle with shredded cheese, to taste. Roll up tortilla and place, seam side down, in the prepared baking dish. Repeat with remaining ingredients (usually makes 10-15 enchiladas).
  • Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes (30 for a crispier tortilla). Allow to cool a few minutes before serving.
Next Time- I went a little light with the salsa, so I'd probably add a little more to each tortilla. Also, as I mentioned a little less sauce per tortilla would probably be a good thing too.

I baked!!

I know, I'm impressed too! I've been starring desserts in my google reader, and I decided that it was time to actually make one of them. Ally's Coconut Blondie's got the honor of being my first dessert! I made them the other night, and I'm definitely impressed. I told H that I would try to include a dessert each week when I'm making the menu. We'll see how long this lasts.

Ally made a chocolate ganache for her bars. I had caramel topping left from a dessert I made awhile ago, so I used that. Turned out really nice.

  • 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons double-acting baking powder (I used regular baking powder)
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (I used 1 cup)
  • 2 cups sweetened flaked coconut, toasted and cooled (didn't toast them)
  • (I added 1 cup toffee chips, same as Ally)
  • Caramel topping to drizzle over bars
  • In a bowl with an electric mixer cream together the butter and the brown sugar, beating the mixture until it is light and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, and beat in the vanilla.
    In a small bowl whisk together the salt, the baking powder, and the flour
  • Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, and beat the batter until it is just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips and the coconut.
  • Spread the batter evenly in a buttered and floured 13- by 9-inch baking pan.
  • Bake in the middle of a preheated 350°F. oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until it begins to pull away from the sides of the pan and crumbs adhere to a tester.
  • Let the mixture cool completely in the pan on a rack and cut it into squares.
Next Time- I think I'll drizzle chocolate over the top. The caramel was good, but perhaps the chocolate could be better.

Beef Macaroni & Cheese

Tonight's dinner was courtesy of Paula Deen. It really reminded me of the goulash that I grew up eating. While this didn't dazzle my tastebuds, it certainly was easy to make and it was good. The really nice thing is that since it makes so many servings we have lots of leftovers, helping our food budget.

  • 1-pound box elbow macaroni
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (didn't use)
  • 2 cups chopped green bell pepper (used one whole pepper, didn't measure amount)
  • 2 cups chopped onion (used one large onion, didn't measure)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic (used garlic powder)
  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 3 cups canned crushed tomatoes (used 24 oz can)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon each dried basil, ground cumin, and dried oregano (didn't have cumin)
  • 2 to 3 cups grated Cheddar (used shredded sharp cheddar)

  • Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Cook the macaroni according to package directions; drain and set aside.
  • Heat the oil in a skillet; add the peppers, onion, and garlic, and saute until soft.
  • Add the ground beef and saute until browned. (Added everything at once, and cooked in the same pot I cooked macaroni in)
  • Add the tomatoes, salt and pepper, to taste, and the basil, cumin, and oregano.
  • In a large bowl, combine the macaroni and the beef mixture. (Mixed everything in the pot instead of dirtying a bowl)
  • Spread this mixture into a 9 by 13-inch baking dish. (Sprayed the pan with Pam first)
  • Top with the cheese and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the cheese is lightly browned and bubbly.
Next Time- Don't really need to change anything. I was happy with how it turned out.