Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Jello Jigglers(follow the recipe)
Clover cookie cutter

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Potato Ham Chowder

Winter is still in full force in the East Coast. To stay warm and appease my husband's meat and potatoes loving belly I try to find recipes to please us both. I tried the below one as it did look tasty. But I think next time I will try cream. It was a bit watery. But still flavorful.
Potato Ham Chowder adapted from Damn Delicious

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Yield 4 servings

4 slices Jones Dairy Farm Sliced Bacon
Diced 1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic
Minced 1 onion
Diced 1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 1/2 cups milk, or more, as needed
2 russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 (7-ounce) package Jones Dairy Ham Steak, diced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

 Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add bacon and cook until brown and crispy, about 6-8 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate; set aside. Melt butter in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add garlic and onion, and cook, stirring frequently, until onions have become translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in corn and thyme until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Whisk in flour until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk, and cook, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in potatoes. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 12-15 minutes. Stir in ham, salt and pepper, to taste. If the chowder is too thick, add more milk as needed. Serve immediately, garnished bacon, if desired.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Duggars Tater Tot Casserole

My husband really loves simple meals best so I made him one I know he would like. After all he is the happiest enjoying meat and potatoes. And boy did he enjoy the Duggar's Tater Tot Casserole.

A Very Duggar Recipe: Tater Tot Casserole

adapted from Duggar Family Blog

  • 2 lb ground turkey cooked, seasoned, drained
  • 3-2lb bags tater tots 
  • 2 cans cream of mushroom
  • 2 cans evaporated milk
  • 2 cans cream of chicken 
  1. Brown meat, and place in large casserole dish. 
  2. Cover with tater tots. Mix soup and milk together. 
  3. Pour over top. Bake at 350 for 1 Hour.
*Makes 2-9”X13” pans (about 16 servings). Recipe can be cut in half.

Friday, February 07, 2014

Review: Trader Joe's Feta and Caramelized Onion Tarts

I know I review a lot of Trader Joe's products but they are health and relatively affordable.  And the Feta and Caramelized onion tart did not disappoint. It was so delicious and an easy appetiser to enjoy on your own or to serve to guests.

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Quinoa Mexican Casserole

This little gem is a healthier but still delicious recipe for folks who love Mexican cuisine. Plenty of flavor and so easy to make. Perfect for this kind of weather as spring has decided still not come.

Quinoa Salad with Black Beans, Corn, and Tomatoes Recipe

adapted from Simply Recipes

1 cup uncooked quinoa, well rinsed
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups water
1/3 cup diced red onion
2 Tbsp lime juice
1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup frozen corn, defrosted, OR 1 cup of fresh corn, parboiled, drained and cooled (approximately the amount of kernels from one ear of corn)
3 medium tomatoes, seeded and cut into chunks
5 ounces Queso fresco, Queso Panela, fresh Mozzarella or other mild farmer's cheese, cut into 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch cubes
1 jalapeƱo, seeded and finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped cilantro, including tender stems, packed
3 Tbsp olive oil


1 Put the rinsed quinoa, salt and water into a pot and bring it to a boil. Cover and simmer gently until the quinoa absorbs all the water, about 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Place into a large bowl and fluff up with a fork to help it cool more quickly.
2 While the quinoa is cooking, prepare the rest of the salad. Soak the red onions in the lime juice and set aside. Soaking the onions in lime juice (or lemon juice or water) helps take the edge off of them. Mix the prepped black beans, corn kernels, tomatoes, cheese, jalapenos, cilantro, and oil into a large bowl.
3 When the quinoa has cooled, mix it into the bean mixture. Add the red onion and the lime juice and add salt, more oil or lime juice to taste. Serve at room temperature.

Monday, February 03, 2014

Review: Fresh Gourmet Crispy Red Peppers

I loved red peppers. Red, grilled, pickled and now I get to enjoy them crispy in my salad. Though I admit sometimes I just snack on them out of the back. They give a nice kick to my salad without the extra carbs from bread or bread cubes or the unhealthiness of bacon.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Review: Trader Joe's Cajun Salmon and Cajun Salmon Salad

This isn't really a recipe more like something I threw together. I baked the salmon in the oven at 325 till it was done. Then after it was cooked about ten minutes and it cooled I chopped it up and threw it in a salad with romaine lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers and Fresh Gourmet Crispy red peppers. I used a dressing of grape seed oil and balsamic vinegar. It was mighty tasty.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Artichoke dip

Though I normally like my artichoke dip with spinach this one is has a lot of flavor to it. Adding extra garlic helps.  The recipe is very easy to put together and can be done minutes before your guests arrive and served with veggies and crackers.

adapted from A Taste of Home


  • 1 can (14 ounces) water-packed artichoke hearts, rinsed, drained and chopped
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Dash hot pepper sauce
  • Paprika, optional
  • Assorted crackers


  • In a large bowl, combine the artichokes, mayonnaise, Parmesan, garlic
  • and pepper sauce. Transfer to a greased 1-qt. baking dish. Sprinkle
  • with paprika if desired.
  • Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until top is
  • lightly browned. Serve warm with crackers. Yield: 2 cups.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Pioneer Woman's Fruit Salad

I normally dislike any fruit salad. All that fruit mixing juices in some syrup laying around there for hours. The original fruit loses the flavor and just soaks in whatever overally sweetened syrup. Like who doesn't like fresh fruit? Why not? But if you can't get fresh or ripe fruit then I guess fruit salads are a good alternative. So if you have this issue and are looking for a really good fruit salad without it being too sweet syrup this recipe is for you. Of course by the Pioneer Woman.

Fruit Salad with Orange-Vanilla Syrup

adapted from The Pioneer Woman
">The Pioneer Woman

1 cup sugar
Zest and juice of 1 orange
1 vanilla bean
4 pints strawberries, hulled and halved
2 pints blueberries
2 cups green grapes, halved
2 cups red grapes, halved
Fresh mint leaves


Place the sugar, 1 cup water, orange zest, juice and vanilla bean in a small pan and stir to dissolve the sugar. Then bring to a boil. Turn the heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes to thicken. Set aside to cool.

Prepare all the fruit in a large bowl, pour the cooled syrup over the top and toss together. Decorate with mint leaves and chill until ready to serve.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Grilled Corn and Jalapeno dip

I love appetizers. More than main dishes. And dips are a weakness. Actually any savory food is a weakness. But dip in particular. I guess because it involves crackers and bread. Carbs. Yum. Paired with cheese. This dip did not disappoint. It was excellent.

Grilled Corn Dip

adapted from 
A Taste of Home


  • 6 medium ears sweet corn, husks removed
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 can (2-1/4 ounces) sliced ripe olives, drained
  • 2 tablespoons sliced green onions
  • Tortilla chips


  • Grill corn, covered, over medium heat for 10-12 minutes or until
  • tender, turning occasionally.
  • Cut corn from cobs. In a large skillet, saute the onion and jalapeno
  • in butter for 2-3 minutes or until almost tender. Add corn and
  • garlic; saute 1-2 minutes longer or until vegetables are tender.
  • Remove from the heat.
  • In a large bowl, combine the mayonnaise, sour cream and chili powder.
  • Stir in cheese and corn mixture. Transfer to a greased 2-qt. baking
  • dish.
  • Bake, uncovered, at 400° for 25-30 minutes or until bubbly and

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Review: Trader Joe's Kale Chips

Normally I enjoy adapted from Brad's Raw Kale Chips. I need the crunch factor but not the horrible calories. And I know the snack is quality. However quality comes with a price. So I figured since I was at Trader Joe's nyway I would try their brand of kale chips. I saw there was zesty nacho available. It isn't as seasoned as Brad's but still has the crunch factor and is flavorful.


Friday, January 17, 2014

Pioneer Woman's Breakfast Pizza

One cannot go wrong with a Pioneer Woman Breakfast  Pizza. And this meal did not dissapoint. Just because it has breakfast in the name does not mean it cannot be eaten for lunch, brunch, dinner or late night snack. Like my husband did. Over and over. But we initially enjoyed it for dinner. It was so very good. And very easy to make.

adapted from Pioneer Woman Breakfast Pizza


For the salsa:
1 14 -ounce can whole tomatoes
1 10 -ounce can diced tomatoes and green chiles
1/4 cup fresh cilantro (or more to taste)
2 tablespoons chopped onion
1 small clove garlic, minced
1/2 jalapeno pepper, thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
Kosher salt
Juice of 1/2 lime
For the pizza:
1 pound thick-cut peppered bacon
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for the baking sheet
2 cups frozen hash browns
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 pound store-bought pizza dough, thawed if frozen
12 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced
8 large eggs
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper


Make the salsa: Combine the whole tomatoes with their juices, diced tomatoes, cilantro, onion, garlic, jalapeno, sugar, cumin, 1/4 teaspoon salt and the lime juice in a food processor or blender. Pulse several times until it reaches the consistency you like. Set aside.

Prepare the pizza: Place the oven rack in the lowest position and preheat to 475 degrees F. Fry the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat, turning occasionally, until chewy, about 8 minutes; drain on paper towels. Chop into bite-size pieces.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a separate large skillet over medium-high heat; add the frozen hash browns and cook, stirring occasionally, until they just start turning golden brown, about 7 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside. In the same skillet, fry the red and green peppers in the remaining 1 tablespoon vegetable oil over

medium-high heat until they're nice and brown, about 5 minutes. Set aside.

Roll out the pizza dough on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Spread 1/2 cup salsa over the dough, then evenly distribute the sliced mozzarella over the salsa. Sprinkle with the hash browns, bell peppers and bacon.

Next comes the fun part! Make 8 little wells in the filling here and there all over the surface of the pizza; crack the eggs into the wells. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Bake until the crust is golden brown and the eggs are set but still slightly soft, about 15 minutes. Cut into large pieces and serve with the remaining salsa.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Review: Trader Joe's Soy Ginger Cod

Since I was having good luck with premarinated fish I decided to purchase Trader Joe's Soy Ginger Cod. It was so so very delicious. I literally licked my plate clean. And perhaps the dish I baked the cod in. I served it with a side of their kale. I just heated it on the stove top with some olive oil and garlic.  Man I have to find another way to enjoy kale because I sure do not like it like this. Even with the garlic. But I did love the sauce for the fish. A lot. 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Quinoa Salad

I needed a quick dinner and was lucky enough to work with what I had in my fridge and pantry. Though I am sure the recipe is not one I invented. It was just about a cup of quinoa cooked in beef broth(or whatever broth you have on hand), cup of chopped Kalamata olives, two plum tomatoes, a can of drained corn, and some parsley. I added a combination of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Easy peasy. And delicious. 

Friday, January 10, 2014

Review: Seas Cuisine's Parmesan Crusted Tilapia

for dinner one night. It was on sale and the same price as an unmarinated piece of fish. So I purchased it. Pretty flavorful. Served with a side of homemade zucchini pancakes made it a healthy and delicious meal.