Thursday, January 26, 2012

Big Mac Pizza (?!?!)

Say Whaaaat? Yep, I said it. Big. Mac. Pizza. I have to give credit where credit is due, and here it is due to my sister. She told me she made this a few weeks ago and when my 17 year old brother tried it, he told her she could cook for him whenever she wanted. Anything that gets those kind of accolades from a 17 year old boy warrants my attention. Well, that, and the hubs and I have a weakness for some big macs.

Somehow I feel that this is healthier than going to Micky D's and getting the real thing. Think about it, you aren't eating 3 (!!) buns, and you are in control over how much or how little you actually put on this pizza. You can also sub the ground beef for ground turkey or chicken. Again. this recipe is super easy (what do I make that's not?) and its not so much of a recipe than it is an assembly. Here's what you need to make this fabulous pizza version of an American indulgence.

Big Mac Pizza

1/2 pizza dough (from pizza dough recipe posted on 1-20-12)
thousand island dressing
1 T oil
1 lb ground beef (or turkey or chicken)
1 medium onion (1/2 chopped, 1/2 sliced)
4-6 slices American cheese
chopped lettuce
sliced pickles

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat oil in saute pan. Add chopped onion, saute until translucent. Add ground beef, season with salt and pepper. Cook until cooked through. Roll out pizza dough in a rectangle, transfer to oiled baking sheet. Spread on desired amount of thousand island dressing. Top with browned ground beef, spread evenly. Top with cheese. Bake 15-20 minutes until crust is risen and golden. Top with onions, lettuce and pickles. Slice and serve.

Hope this Thursday finds you all well! Have a fabulous day!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

All for MEEE!!

The hubby is out of town today and won't be home until late tonight so that means I get to make something all for myself for dinner. I'm lucky that Adam is not that much of a picky eater- usually anything I make he eats without too much complaint. There's only a few things that he's not that fond of- sausage, pork products (other than bacon), bell peppers, eggplant, baked pasta dishes, and sweet potatoes off the top of my head. So, I am going to take this opportunity to make something for myself without trying to please the hubs as well.

I think tonight I will make baked pasta with mild Italian sausage and sauteed sweet peppers. Check. Check. Check.

This dish is easy enough- just boil whatever pasta you desire (I think I'm going to use whole wheat penne), brown up the sausage and add to your pasta, mix in your desired sauce (I'm using the leftover sauce from when I made stomboli last week). Transfer into an oven proof dish, top with mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Just bake in a 400 degree oven until cheese is melted and slightly browned. As for the peppers, just heat some butter or oil in a saute pan, add your peppers, some salt and pepper and saute until they are soft and sweet. Voila! The perfect "My husband is out of town and I'm going to eat what I want" meal!

I hope you all are having a fantastic Wednesday- HUMP day! Whoo!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Taco Tuesday (Well Sort Of)

Is it Tuesday again? The weeks are just flying by...its almost February! I didn't post yesterday since I had a bit of a catastrophe. Well, catastrophe may be a bit strong, but dinner didn't go quite as planned. In honor of Chinese new year, I decided to make potstickers from scratch. They weren't the worst things ever but lets just say that I'll leave it to the pros from now on. So, lets move on to today's menu and a realm that I am MUCH more comfortable in.

Tonight we are not having tacos (shock! horror!). But its Taco Tuesday, you say? Calm down, we're having my Chicken Tortilla Soup. It combines all the best things about tacos into a delicious soup. I've been making this soup for years now and its one of my most favorite recipes and I'm happy to share it with you now. I think I am also going to make Cornbread Pudding to go with the soup tonight.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

1 T oil
1/2 medium onion chopped fine
1 garlic clove diced
1 small can chopped green chilis
1 box chicken broth
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp cayenne
1-2 Cups shredded or diced pre-cooked chicken
1/2 Salsa or Rotel
1 14 oz can corn
1 14 oz can beans of your choice
Salt and Pepper

Heat oil in large dutch oven. Saute onion, garlic and chilis until onions are translucent and fragrant. Add the rest of the ingredients, cover and simmer until ready to serve.

Corn Pudding

1 box Jiffy Cornbread Mix
1 can creamed corn
1 can whole kernel corn
1 egg
6 T melted butter
8 oz sour cream or 4 oz cream cheese

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a round 2 qt baking dish (like Corning ware). Combine all ingredients well, and transfer to baking dish. Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown and pudding is set.

Hope you enjoy this easy, prep ahead dinner. It smells so good in my house right now! Can't wait to eat! Have a good Tuesday, and remember to watch the State of the Union address tonight. :)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

5 Minute Chocolate Cake

Pinterest is the devil and I've been addicted the last week or so. I ran across this recipe for 5 minute chocolate cake, baked in a coffee mug. I just had to share this since this is just way to awesome of an idea not to. Here is the recipe, but head HERE to see where it was originally posted. You can also go HERE to see another really cute blog post about this recipe.

5 Minute Cake
  • 4 tbsp flour
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp espresso powder
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tbsp cocoa
  • 3 tbsp nutella
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • Pinch salt
  1. In a mug ( I use a 300 ml coffee mug), break the egg and whisk a little with a fork.
  2. Add milk, oil and mix together.
  3. Mix in the nutella well.
  4. Add sugar, cocoa, salt and espresso powder. Mix well.
  5. Fold in the flour with fork. Mix well but be careful as to not over mix else you will get a rubbery, tough texture.
  6. Microwave for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes on high. You will have to figure out how long you want to microwave. For me the cake is done after 2 min 45 sec.
  7. Let cool a bit and dig in.

Freezer Friday...On Saturday?

We are doing Freezer Friday today (Saturday) since yesterday we discovered a whole chicken in our fridge that needed to be made. My husband put it on the grill and just grilled some sweet peppers to go along with it. Pretty basic. If anyone wants to know how to do this exactly, let me know :)

So tonight is Juicy Lucy Burgers and frozen prepared onion rings. The burgers are so easy to do. I just set out about 1 lb of ground beef (you could use turkey if you'd like) to defrost this morning and all you need is salt, pepper, garlic powder, and two slices of American cheese. Divide the meat in half and then each half in half again (you should have 4 balls of meat). Flatten each ball into a patty. Fold your American cheese slice into fourths and place the square of cheese on top of one patty and top with another. Pinch around the edges to seal the cheese inside. Repeat with the other 2 balls of meat and slice of cheese. Season the burgers with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Cook on a griddle or on a large skillet until the burgers reach your desired done-ness (I recommend at least medium for these burgers so that the cheese melts).

Top with your favorite toppings and enjoy! Have a great weekend everyone! Its a cold, wintry day outside today so I think I'm going to go curl up with a nice book until I need to start dinner. Hubby is passed out on the couch with the pup, so I think I need to follow their lead.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Happy Birthday Dinner

Ooops, I meant to post this yesterday...just pretend its the 19th :)

Happy Birthday to the greatest husband on Earth! Its my hubby's 25th birthday and I am making him his favorite meal. He LOVES Stromboli and his great aunt's no-bake cherry cheesecake so I of course offered to make it for him. I can't believe he's 25....I met him when he was 16 (I was 15) so its almost been 10 years since we met. Time certainly does fly when you're in love.

These recipes are SUPER easy. There are a few steps involved but the basic recipes are very easy. You could also make it easier on yourself by buying a pre-made pizza dough from the grocery store or your favorite pizza place, but pizza dough is so easy to make it is definitely worth it to do it yourself- just make sure you have time. Lets get to the birthday dinner recipes!

Stromboli (serves 2)*

1/2 Pizza Dough (recipe to follow)
toppings of choice:
shredded mozzarella cheese
1 egg - for egg wash
pizza sauce for dipping

On a floured surface, roll out the dough into a large rectangle, about 10 x 14 inches. Spread  with desired toppings leaving a 1 inch border. On one of the long edges, brush with egg wash. Starting with the long end with no egg wash, start rolling up into a long roll, tucking in edges. Seal pressing together the edge with the egg wash. Let the Stromboli rise 20-30 minutes. Place on greased baking sheet and brush the top of the Stromboli with egg wash. Bake in a 375 degree oven about 20 minutes until golden. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, if desired, and return to oven for about 5 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Slice and serve with your favorite marinara sauce for dipping.

Basic Pizza Dough**

1 C warm water
1 (1/4 oz) packet of active dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
1 T plus 1.5 tsp extra virgin olive oil
3 C all purpose flour
1 tsp salt

In a large bowl, combine the water, yeast, and 1 T oil and stir to combine. Let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes.

Add 1.5 C of the flour and the salt mixing by hand until it is all incorporated and the mixture is smooth. Continue adding the flour, 1/4 C at a time, working the dough after each addition, until all the flour is incorporated but the dough is still sticky. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth but still slightly tacky, 3-5 minutes.

Oil a large mixing bowl with the remaining 1 1/2 tsp oil. Place the dough in the bowl and turn to oil all sides. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set in a warm place until nearly doubled in size, 1-1 1/2 hours.

* Borrowed Heavily from Emeril Lagasse's recipe on
**Credit Emeril Lagasse from

Adam's Favorite No-Bake Cheesecake

1 Packet Dream Whip, whipped using only 1/3 C milk and 1 tsp vanilla
1 oz Package Cream Cheese, softened
1 C Powdered Sugar
Graham Cracker Crust*
Cherry Pie Filling

Combine cream cheese and powdered sugar. Add dream whip and fold to combine. Spread into prepared graham cracker crust. Top with cherry pie filling. Voila!

*To make your own, just combine 1 1/2 C graham cracker crumbs, 6 T butter and 1/2 C sugar in small bowl. Press into pie dish making sure to evenly distribute the crumbs on the bottom and sides of the pan.

So there you have it! That's the hubby's birthday dinner! Since I am posting this on the 20th (again, oops) I can say that it was a hit. Happy eating!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Chinese Orange Chicken and Fried Rice

One of my husband's and my favorite things to do is to stay in, order Chinese food and watch a good movie (or more recently the Republican debates), but unfortunately it is just too expensive to do all the time. So, I set out to create my own Chinese food at home. It is surprisingly easy with pretty simple ingredients. This recipe has quickly jumped into being one of our favorite dishes. If you love Chinese food, but have never made it yourself, I encourage you to try this recipe- you'll want to make it all the time once you try it!

Just like yesterday, I am using chicken thighs. I have considered doing this recipe with beef, so substituting beef brisket or something similar would work in this too, I think. Obviously you can use chicken breasts in place of the thighs- use whatever you have on hand! One ingredient in this recipe, rice vinegar, you may or may not have in your pantry. You can sub cider vinegar or even red wine vinegar (just add a bit of sugar too), you just need that acidic punch that the vinegar adds. Don't be afraid to experiment!

Orange Chicken

2-3 T Veg Oil
3 Chicken Thighs cut into strips
3 T flour
1 pkg Baby Bella Mushroom (or shitake) sliced
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1-2 tsp ground ginger
2-3 T green onions chopped
pinch salt
1/2 Medium Onion thinly sliced
3 T Orange Marmalade
2 T Rice Vinegar
3 T Soy Sauce
1 T Citrus Juice
Dash or Ground Ginger
1 tsp Sugar to taste

In medium bowl, combine 2nd half of ingredients and refrigerate for 1 hour and up to 1 day. When you are ready to begin cooking, in a medium bowl, combine flour, red pepper flakes, ginger, green onions, and salt, stir to combine. Pour over chicken strips in zip top bag. Shake to combine. In wok, or large skillet heat veg oil over high heat. Add the floured chicken. Saute until brown. Add mushrooms and toss to brown, about 1 minute. Add the soy/vinegar mixture. Stir until the sauce has thickened. Serve with Asian Fried Rice.

Asian Fried Rice

1 T Butter
1.5 Cups Cooked White Rice
1/2 Onion chopped
1/3-1/2 C Frozen Peas and Carrots
1 Egg
Soy Sauce
Garlic Powder
Black Pepper
Sesame Seeds (if desired)

In saute pan, heat butter over medium high heat, add onion and saute until onions are translucent and just beginning to brown slightly. Add the rice and stir to combine with onion. Add just enough soy sauce to turn the rice brown and give it a salty flavor. Saute for about 30 seconds. Add the frozen peas and carrots and saute until heated through. Add more soy sauce if needed. Make a well in the center of the pan, and crack egg into pan. Scramble the egg and combine with the rice. Season with garlic powder, black pepper and sesame seeds to taste. Serve and enjoy!

I can't wait to see if any of you try these recipes. Chinese food made at home is just as good (or better!) than getting take out. Its definitely cheaper and in this economy, cheaper is ALWAYS better. I hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Taco Tuesday!

Welcome to Taco Tuesday 2.0. Tonight I am making Chicken Tacos with a mango salsa. Its been so cold lately (even though today is in the 60s) that I have been craving something to remind me of summer. This is such an easy recipe to make that you can make it whenever you need that pick me up in the middle of winter.

I use chicken thighs in this recipe because I love how they stay moist even if you cook them a little too long. However, boneless, skinless chicken breasts would would just as great here too. I also am using a homemade taco seasoning here as well (recipe to follow) but you can use a store bought one if you have one on hand- I just prefer the homemade version because I can control how much salt is in it and I can add more or less of certain spices that I like. The salsa is customizable to your liking as well. You can add peppers or chilis or other spices- its entirely up to you!

Beat the Winter Blues Chicken Tacos

(serves 4)
3 Chicken thighs
2 T Taco seasoning
3 T All Purpose Flour
1 T Veg oil

Slice chicken thighs into 1/4 inch strips. Heat oil over medium heat. Combine taco seasoning and flour in a zip-top bag, add chicken and coat well. Saute chicken until cooked through and golden brown.

Mango Salsa

1 Mango- chopped
1 Yellow or Red Onion- chopped
1 Avocado - chopped
2 T chopped cilantro
2 tsp citrus juice (lemon or lime)
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients except for avocado unless you are ready to serve. If making in advance leave the avocado out beacuse it will oxodize and turn brown. Just add it at the last minute. This salsa does taste better if made in advance and left to sit in the fridge for a few hours.

Homemade Taco Seasoning

1 T chili powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp paprika
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp table salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Combine all ingredients and store in an airtight container, use as needed.

Serve these tacos on four tortillas or corn tortillas with the mango salsa and sour cream. Serve with chips and your favorite salsa for a complete meal and let this dish take you away from winter and into a summer paradise!

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Best Beef Stew

I've had a roast in my freezer for a couple weeks now and decided it was time to finally use it. I personally would rather have a stew than a roast- its more flavors!- so I have trimmed my roast down to about 1.5 inch peices for this stew. The original recipe calls for some ingredients that I know we all don't have on hand so, I've left those out or made substitutions.

This stew takes about 2.5 hours to cook so make sure you have time, or you can adjust and make it in a slow cooker. Also, make sure you have a good red wine on hand for this stew since the flavor of the wine will affect the outcome of the flavor of the stew.

Lets get started!

Best Beef Stew
 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
1 T tomato paste
1 4 lb boneless beef chuck-eye roast, fat trimmed, cut into 1.5 inch pieces
2 T veg oil
1 Large onion, halved through the root end and sliced 1/8 inch thick
4 Carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
1/4 C all purpose flour
2 Cups red wine
2 Cups chicken broth
2 Bay leaves
4 Sprigs fresh thyme
4 ounces salt pork (I am using bacon since I don't have salt pork lying round my fridge)
1 lb yukon gold potaotes, scrubbed and cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 C water
1 C frozen peas, thawed
Salt and Pepper

Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees. Combine garlic in a small bowl with a pinch of coarse salt, use the back of a fork or knife to form into a paste. Stir in tomato paste and set mixture aside.

Pat meat dry with paper towels. Do not season. Heat 1 T veg oil in a large, heavy bottomed Dutch oven over high heat until just starting to smoke. Add half of beef and cook until well browned on all sides, about 8 minutes total, reducing heat if oil begins to smoke or if the bits on the bottom begin to burn. Transfer beef to a large plate. Repeat with remaining 1 T veg oil and remaining half of beef, leaving second batch of meat in pot after browning.

Reduce heat to medium and return first batch of beef to pot. Add onion and carrots to Dutch oven and stir to combine with beef. Cook, scraping bottom of pan to loosen any browned bits, until onion is softened, 1-2 minutes. Add garlic/tomato paste mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, until no dry

New week, new menu!

I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend! My husband and I were highly productive since we painted our master bathroom, hung some curtains and returned a few items to Bed, Bath, and Beyond that just weren't right that we had bought in a rush. We also found some time to celebrate my Hubby's birthday which is on Thursday. We went to Longhorn Steakhouse on Sunday- something we wouldn't normally do since we hate chain restaurants (but we had a coupon, OK?)- and we had a really, very good meal. He had a ribeye and I had my beloved prime rib. So delicious!

OK, so I have a yummy menu planned for you all this week. I had anticipated posting this yesterday, but with all the running around we did, there just wasn't time. Because of that, I will just be posting this week's menu and not the corresponding shopping list for the week since I'm sure most of you do your shopping over the weekend. If you would like any shopping lists for any one of these meals (or the whole week!) feel free to ask and I'll send it right over to you. :)

Week of 1/16-1/20 Menu (Hubby's Birthday week!)

Monday: The Best Beef Stew (courtesy of Cook's Illustrated Magazine)
Tuesday: Chicken Tacos (Taco Tuesday!)
Wednesday: Orange Chicken
Thursday: Stromboli
Friday: Juicy Lucy Hamburgers (Freezer Friday!)

I hope some of these sound intriguing to you. I look forward to sharing these recipes with you this week!

I will post the Beef Stew recipe shortly- be sure to look out for that!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Candles by Victoria Order Review

I go through a lot of phases or "obsessions" as my husband calls them, and they come and go but one that has absolutely stuck as been Candles by Victoria. For those of you who don't know about this amazing company, they are a small, family owned candle company based out of Van, Texas. Every candle is hand poured when you place your order and Victoria is known for her immaculate customer service. She is not satisfied unless you are with your order. This company offers over 700 fragrances in a variety of candle jars and tarts.

I placed this order while Victoria was having her New Year sale, so I got 15% off of this order. I am extremely happy with this order, as always. I definitely found some new favorites. On to the review!

22 oz Tureen in Halo Black Glitter Scent: Bella Swan
First of all, this is a beautiful candle. Look at that holographic glitter! The glitter itself isn't so much black as it is a bluish gray. That is actually what I wanted since its going in our gray/blue bedroom. :)The scent itself is one of my all time favorite scents. It is such a beautiful fragrance. To me, it smells like lilac, vanilla, and musk. A lot of people say they smell grape, but I think its the lilac mixed with vanilla. Its beautiful no matter what you smell in it though. My hubby likes it too. Bonus!

8 oz Jelly Jars:

Country Berry Hotcakes - I've had this before in a Scent Shot and it was a lot stronger on the berry scent. In the candle I smell more of the doughy/hotcake scent. This actually reminds me a lot of her Jelly Donut scent, but I think I prefer this one.

Lemon Vanilla - I think this is my favorite scent of the order. It is such a fresh, clean, refreshing scent. Just the two simple scents of lemon and vanilla combined make one of the best fragrances ever.

Black Raspberry Vanilla - A dupe of the BBW fragrance. This is MUCH stronger than BBW's scent. It actually reminds me of these gummy Japanese lychee candies I get sometimes. smells just like those taste. Crazy! Its such a sweet and fruity scent.

Scent Shots:

Pink Cupcake - Ahhh this one is sooooo good! I held off on ordering this because I didn't think it would smell authentic or that it would be very strong. I was totally wrong. It smells JUST like funfetti cake. Hubby smelled it and the first thing he said was "Funfetti." Hilarious! I want to eat this.

Lavender Apple -This is an amazing scent. I can't stop smelling it. It reminds me of something that I can't put my finger on. Somehow it smells relaxing and like fall to me. I LOVE it and need it in a larger candle.

Pink Sugar - A dupe of Aquolina's Pink Sugar perfume. I've never owned the perfume but I've smelled it multiple times. This is exactly like the perfume. Sweet, cotton candyish, and girly. I got this to mix with my Rose SS for my Create-A-Scent, Pink Rose. Love it!

Free Scent Shot: Rosemary Mint - Just like always, I never would have ordered this on my own, but I love this scent. Its so relaxing and refreshing. It smells just like a fresh sprig of mint that you would crush and put in mojitos. Its sweet and fresh all at once. I think this will be the perfect scent to melt on one of the first days of spring with all the windows open and a soft breeze.  

So that's the order! I am super pleased and can't wait to place my next order, whenever that will be. Hopefully soon! Have a great weekend everyone! Check back for more recipes and menus and shopping lists for the week! I have lots planned for you!

Make sure you check out Candles By Victoria and get yourself some amazing candles!

Freezer Friday: Sausage, Peppers, and Onions

Its Friday and that means I am slightly tired of cooking and planning (and too excited since I have a candle order coming today!!) so I am taking tons of help from my freezer and making sausage, peppers and onions. I found these fully cooked Italian flavored chicken sausages at the grocery store last week. We had a coupon for them, so I thought, why not?

Tonight I am cooking these according to the package directions (essentially just steaming them in a pan with a bit of water and then browning them up when the water evaporates) but I am going to top them with sauteed bell pepper and onion. You can serve them on a hot dog or hoagie bun or just eat them without the bread if you are doing the low-carb thing (it is January, right?).

I am also serving these along side sweet potato fries. Normally I would make them myself- just slice, salt and pepper, toss in oil and roast in the oven until brown and crispy- but like I said, its Freezer Friday and I have a bag of ready made ones which makes my life easier.

That's whats on the menu tonight! Let me know if you have tried these chicken sausages from Johnsonville and what you think of them!

Look out for my candle review later :)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Shrimp "Fra Diavolo"

I originally planned to make something else tonight but when I woke up this morning, the pasta monkey was on my back. I get tired of the same old pasta recipes so I am always looking to change them up or find new ones to try. This recipe was inspired by a trip to Carabbas Italian Grill with my family the week before Christmas. I had this amazing seafood pasta in a spicy marinara sauce. You can find jars of spicy pasta sauce in the grocery store or you could make your own. I am going the "semi-homemade" route and using a store bought sauce and adding a few ingredients to make it taste a little bit more homemade. I am also using frozen raw shrimp that I've thawed in this recipe but you could use scallops, mussles, clams or a combination of different types of shellfish. If you use shrimp just make sure you don't get the pre-cooked ones. They will dry out too quickly and be chewy.

Shrimp "Fra Diavolo"

Spaghetti or Linguine (how much depends on how many people you have)
1 T olive oil
1 Bag Frozen Raw Shrimp- thawed, shelled and de-veined
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 Jar Spicy Marinara Sauce
2 Garlic Cloves diced
Red Pepper Flakes to taste
8 Basil leaves chopped
Chopped Parsley leaves for garnish
Parmesan Cheese

Boil and salt water for pasta. Boil pasta according to package directions. In a large saute pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic and saute for about 1 minute until fragrant- don't let the garlic brown. Season shrimp with salt and pepper. Add the shrimp to pan and cook 1-2 minutes per side until pink and slightly curled in. Add the jar of marinara sauce, red pepper flakes and basil leaves. Heat through. Drain pasta when done and add pasta into pan and coat with sauce. Garnish with parsley and Parmesan. Serve with a salad and garlic biscuits- recipe to follow.

Eastzy Garlic Biscuits

1 Can Pillsbury biscuits
1 T melted butter
1 tsp garlic powder

Add garlic powder to melted butter. Brush butter/garlic mixture onto biscuits and bake according to package directions.

I hope you all enjoy this yummy pasta recipe!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Quick and healthy dessert

So I don't eat too much dairy but I still like things like ice cream and milkshakes and...well...cereal. So I have switched to drinking almond milk and it is absolutely delicious. Honestly I don't know why more people don't drink it, its only 60 calories for an 8oz glass, has more calcium than milk as well as other vitamins and minerals. Tonight I decided to have an almond milk-milkshake with one of my favorite ice creams- which reminds me I need to do a post on those, I have a lot of delicious dairy-free, gluten free, and low-fat ice cream favorites. So I was in the mood for something to satisfy my sweet tooth tonight but since we had such a heavy dinner, I wanted something a little lighter. So I concocted this milkshake. Here ya go!

Coffee Fudge Brownie Peanut Butter Milkshake
(Serves 2)

1/2 C Almond Milk (or regular if you'd like)
1 C Breyers Smooth and Dreamy 1/2 the Fat Coffee Fudge Brownie Ice Cream
2 T Peanut Butter (for protein, duh!)

Place all ingredients in small bowl and mix until well combined. Pour into two glasses and enjoy. You can also use an immersion blender, but mixing in a bowl works just as well too.

Cal. per serving: 240

Meatloaf, meatloaf, double-beet loaf, I LOVE MEATLOAF!

Shout out to all those who recognize the nod to my favorite Christmas movie in the title of this post! Anyway, it is true- I LOVE meatloaf. Well, let me be more specific; I love my Granddad's meatloaf. I never knew my grandad since he passed away 3 years before I was born, but I feel close to him every time I have this meatloaf and feel like I know him in some way. Here is a picture of my grandma and grandad at their wedding.

Aren't they the cutest??

Anyway, back to the meatloaf. If I could chose the meal I could have before I die, this would be it. It reminds me of home, and love, and being cozy on a cold winter night. Its so simple but oh so good. Its slightly different than most meatloaf recipes because of one ingredient- oatmeal. It uses oats instead of breadcrumbs and I think it makes all the difference. They keep the meatloaf moist and tender without making it soggy. Try it, you won't be disappointed! On to the recipe!

Granddad's Meatloaf

2.5-3 lbs ground beef
1 large onion diced
2-3 large eggs
3 T Worcestershire sauce
1 package of McCormick's Meatloaf seasoning OR Lipton's Meaty Onion soup mix
2-3 C Oats (quick oats small size is best, but I have used the regular and it works fine as well)
3-3 tsp salt and pepper
Bacon strips

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, blend ground beef, onion, meatloaf seasoning (or soup mix), eggs, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Make sure the mixture is mixed well then add oats in small batches. Use your hands to really mix well. Form into oblong shape, patting it together. Transfer to large oblong baking dish lined with non-stick aluminum foil. Spread ketchup over the top and add strips of bacon to cover.

Cover with lid (or foil) and bake for 1.5-2 hours. Juices should run clear when poked in the middle. Take the lid off the last 10-15 minutes to brown. Let stand 5 minutes before cutting.

Tonight I am serving this with sauteed mushrooms, roasted potatoes and a package of antioxidant rich steamed veggies. The mushrooms are super simple. Simply wipe mushrooms clean with a damp paper towel and remove stems and slice. Heat a few tablespoons of butter over medium high heat. Add sliced mushrooms to the pan and saute until golden brown. De-glaze the pan with a few tablespoons of red wine, let the wine evaporate and then serve!

The potatoes are even easier- just cut red potatoes in half and season with salt, pepper, and olive oil. Spread onto a non-stick foiled baking sheet and roast in oven at 400 degrees until they are golden brown and fork tender. I usually stir them occasionally while they are roasting.

So that's dinner tonight! I like meals like this because I can have the meatloaf and potatoes in the oven at the same time and I just need to start the mushrooms about 10 minutes before we are ready to eat. Everything comes together with this meal over time so I don't feel like I'm scrambling at the last minute to get everything to come out at the same time. I hope you enjoy these recipes- I know I will! I can't wait for dinner tonight!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Eatzy Dessert!

I try to have a dessert on hand every night. I think life is too short not to allow yourself the good things. I also find that when I deprive myself of the things I crave, I tend to over eat  on other things. Thats just my own philosophy. For all of you who feel the same as me, here is a wonderfully yummy dessert that I am making tonight to go along with our fish tacos. I belive the inspiration for this came from the show "Simply Delicioso" from the Cooking Channel. I am calling my version Mexican Ice Cream Caramel Apple Chimichangas (whew! say that 3 times fast). So without further ado, here is the recipe:

Mexican Ice Cream Caramel Apple Chimichangas
(serves 2)

1/2 C oil
1 apple skinned and sliced (I am using a pink lady)
1 T cinnamon sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
1 T prepared caramel sauce
2 flour tortillas
Confectioners sugar for dusting
Honey for drizzling
Extra cinnamon for dusting
Vanilla ice cream or whipped cream

Heat the oil  in a a small saute pan over medium low heat. In a microwave-safe bowl combine apple slices, cinnamon sugar, caramel and lemon juice. Microwave this mixture for about 1 minute until caramel sauce is loosened and apples are heated through. Place 1/2 mixture on a flour tortilla and roll it up like a burrito. Repeat with the other half of the mixture. *You may have to use tooth picks to secure the tortilla. Fry the tortilla in the oil until the chimichanga is golden brown. Let cool for 1 minute on paper towels. Cut on the bias and dust with confectioners sugar and cinnamon and drizzle with honey. Enjoy with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

Taco Tuesday!

On the menu tonight is tacos. My husband's favorite meal is tacos, in fact he could probably eat them every night of the week. I love them too, however I like a little more variety so our compromise is Taco Tuesday. Every Tuesday we have some kind of tacos and tonight is no exception. I am making fish tacos.

Fish tacos are super easy (Eatzy!) and fast for a week night meal. We buy a bag of individually wrapped frozen tilapia filets so I just set out what I need in the morning and they are defrosted and ready to go by dinner time. This is also a very customizable meal. You can pick what you like and change it up. Some times I like to make a mango salsa to go with it and other times I would rather keep it simple with just lemon and tomatoes. Whatever you have on hand works wonderfully.

I also suggest using flour or soft corn tortillas for this meal. My husband loves the crunchy corn shells and normally won't touch a soft taco, however he loves them with fish.

Here's what you need for a Fish Taco Tuesday:

1 T oil
1-1.5 filets of a flaky white fish per person (I use tilapia)
1 tsp paprika
salt and pepper to taste
fresh lemon or lime juice- just enough to squeeze over fish

Heat oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Season filets with salt and pepper, paprika and citrus juice. Place fish in pan and saute until opaque and cooked through. Let cool for one minute and flake apart with forks.

To assemble your tacos, add any number of condiments, but I find that with these, the simpler, the better. Here are my favorite toppings:

Diced tomatoes, diced yellow or red onion, sour cream, avocado, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime juice. Serve on a soft flour or corn tortilla with chips and your favorite salsa!


Hi there! I guess the best place to start is with introductions. My name is Bree, but for blogging purposes it will be Breezy, or Eatzy Breezy (clever, huh?). This blog is going to be a cornucopia of things that make up my life but mostly I will be focusing on the nightly dinners that I make for my husband and I and occasionally my sick obsession with my favorite candle company, Candles by Victoria. Shout out to everyone on the Pouring Pot message board!

I hope you all enjoy my ramblings and hopefully you can pick up a couple of awesome recipes and tips from me as we go. Since I cook for just my husband and me, I have to be crafty and pare down recipes for two, or make a big batch of something and re-purpose the dish for others later in the week. I have a passion for creative cooking, stretching a meal (and a buck!) and the things in my life that make it worth living and I can't wait to share it with the world.