Monday, December 10, 2012

Meal Plan

L:  Ladybug Pasta
D:  Chicken Parm Subs

L:  Apple Sandwich, Tortilla Pinwheel, Fruit Kabobs
D:  Sweet and Sour chicken

L:  Pita Pizza
D:  Chicken Nuggets

L:  Veggie Quesadilla
D:  I'm going to Radio City!!  The boys are going to Pizza Hut (I guess the rest of the week is pretty healthful, so....)

L:  Caprese Pasta
D:  Separate ways

D:  Out at a party!

D:  Morrocan Fish with Mango and Couscous

Have a great week!  I'm shooting for at least one post this week.  We shall see!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Meal Plan Monday!

Another crazy week on tap, between my husband traveling on Monday and Tuesday, Thanksgiving, and Black Friday, our food is all over the place.

The plan:

Chicken Parm Casserole

B:  English muffin
L:  Ladybug Pasta
D:  Stew

B:  Carrot Cake Muffins
L:  Leftover Stew, hopefully!
D:  Crockpot Chicken Taco Soup

B:  Overnight Oatmeal
L:  Leftover Stew, Ladybug Pasta, or Soup
D:  Pizza Night

Thursday:  Turkey Day!

Ravioli Bake (Martha Stewart)

Weeknight Chicken Cacciatore

Have a fabulous week and a very happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Meal plan Monday

I keep meaning to post what I've been making, but it just hasn't happened at all lately.  The combination of laziness and my new schedule's demands of staring at the computer all workday long have me not interested in the computer at all at night.  Hopefully this week will be different.

Anyway, here's what's on tap.  A lot of the meals planned for last week went out the window with me working only three days and two of the three boys staying home the whole week.  Monday looks like everyone will return to school so maybe our lives will return to normal.

B:  Fruit Smoothie with English muffin
L:  Salsa Chicken
D:  Chicken Parm Casserole

D:  Vegetarian Fajitas

L:  Quesadillas, using last night's veggies
D:  Cheesy Baked Shrimp with Roasted Tomato Quinoa

D:  Pecan Crusted Chicken Tenders with Steamed Broccoli

Plus, these meals that didn't get made last week:
Swiss Mushroom Burger
Weeknight Chicken Cacciatore
Chicken Teriyaki Burger
White Cheese Lasagna

Have a great week; I hope it's normal for all of us!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Meal Plan Monday....

trying to get back to normal....

Sunday 11/4:
Lunch:  Greek Veggie Wraps
Dinner:  Swiss Mushroom Burger

B:  English muffin with PB, banana, and blueberries
D:  Eggplant Panini

D:  Pressed Ham and Pear Sandwich (Everyday food)

B:  Muffin Quiches
L:  Khalil's Turkey and White Bean Chili (Everday Food)

B:  Make ahead Oatmeal/Yogurt
L:  Egg Salad in Pita
D:  Chicken Teriyaki Burgers

B:  Mini Pancake Muffin
L:  Southwest Quinoa Salad
D:  White Cheese Lasagna

D:  tortellini with Creamy Tomato Sauce

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Chicken Marsala Pasta

I stumbled across this recipe on Pinterest, and was surprised to find the pin pointing to What's Cooking, Chicago?, since I know of Joelen from a message board.  I was super happy to discover this comes originally from my heroes at America's Test Kitchen, so I knew it would rock.

Rock, indeed.  This was awesome.  It came together super fast (I love how accurate ATK is at getting even disorganized me with food on the table within 30 minutes) and the flavor is amazing.  Everyone in the family enjoyed it, and we're all looking forward to having the leftovers for lunch this week.

My photo is horrible, and for that I apologize, but go check out Joelen's photo, which is as amazing as the dinner!

Creamy Marsala Pasta Source:  America's Test Kitchen via What's Cooking, Chicago?
2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts; cut into bite sized pieces
10-12 ounces sliced mushrooms
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup Marsala cooking wine
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 pound dry pasta + water for cooking (I used penne, rigatoni is also good)
1 cup Parmesan cheese + more for serving
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
salt and pepper to taste
minced, chopped fresh parsley for garnish

Makes: 4-6 servings

Season chicken with salt and pepper. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet until foaming. Cook chicken until lightly browned. Transfer to plate when done.

Boil water and cook pasta according to the directions.

Melt additional 1 tablespoon of butter in skillet, add garlic, mushrooms and onion and cook for about 6 minutes. Add cooked chicken back into the skillet. Add the Marsala, chicken broth and cream and bring to a boil. Simmer until sauce is is slightly thickened.

Drain pasta and reserve 1/2 cup cooking water. Return the pasta  to the pot with the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter. Add the mushrooms and chicken mixture and 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese and cook until the pasta has absorbed some of the sauce, about 1 minute, adding the reserved cooking water as needed.

Season with salt and pepper and serve with additional Parmesan cheese and a garnish of chopped parsley.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Meal Plan Monday

**I don't know why this didn't post at 8am on 10/15, as planned...**

I resolve to post at least three times this week.  I have been cooking and photographing, but spending all day in front of a computer has kept it in my bag in the evening.  But I want to record the good stuff I've been making in the past few weeks, including a delicious apple cake!

Here's what's up this week...  a few things were on last week's menu, but didn't get made due to evening around here being SO CRAZY this year.  I hope we fall into a routine and things aren't so nuts sometime SOON.

B:  Overnight Refrigerator Oatmeal
L: Lasagna Wontons
D: Stir Fried Pork and Snow Peas
B:  English Muffins
L:  Leftover Roast Chicken
D: Hawaiian Chicken Sandwiches (Crock Pot)
B:  Cottage Cheese and Fruit
L:  Pizza Quesadilla
D:  Monterey Chicken
B:  Apple Pancakes
L:  Sunbetter and Jelly
D:  Italian sliders
B:  Waffles
L:  Chicken Ravioli Soup
D:  Pierogie Bake
Saturday:  Chicken Marsala Pasta
Sunday:  Jill Biden's chicken Parm

Have a great week!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Nectresse Review

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of NECTRESSE™Sweetener for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

I do not like artificial sweetener; I worry about the potential risks of the chemicals in the product and I HATE the taste.  Of course, I know there are risks associated with regular sugar too.  So I was both interested and skeptical when NECTRESSE™Sweetener arrived on my doorstep.


First, I tried the product in my tea.  I wasn't a huge fan, but must make a note that I usually drink tea without any sweetener at all.  I then tried it in coffee and while it wasn't bad, it would take me some getting used to.  I then had a friend over and offered it when she asked for a cup of tea; she is an artificial sweetener user and said she really enjoyed it.


Nectresse is an interesting blend of no calorie sweetener and all natural (read:  no artificial junk); it's made from "monk fruit," and seems to be 150x sweeter than sugar; this is the only 100% natural sweetener made from fruit in my grocery store.


also made a video about the product; you should check it out!




You can get a FREE sample of NECTRESSE™Sweetener by visiting the Nectresse sample site.  Also take a look at the Nectresse Facebook page.


Visit Sponsor's Site

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Nectresse Review

I do not like artificial sweeteners; I worry about the potential risks of the chemicals in the product and I HATE the taste.  Of course, I know there are risks associated with regular sugar too.  So I was both interested and skeptical when Nectresse arrived on my doorstep.

First, I tried the product in my tea.  I wasn't a huge fan, but must make a note that I usually drink tea without any sweetener at all.  I then tried it in coffee and while it wasn't bad, it would take me some getting used to.  I then had a friend over and offered it when she asked for a cup of tea; she is an artificial sweetener user and said she really enjoyed it.

Nectresse is an interesting blend of no calorie sweetener and all natural (read:  no artificial junk); it's made from "monk fruit," and seems to be 150x sweeter than sugar; this is the only 100% natural sweetener made from fruit in my grocery store.

Lisa Ling also made a video about the product; you should check it out!

You can get a free sample by visiting the Nectresse sample site.  Also take a look at the Nectresse Facebook page.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Meal Plan Monday!

A short week this week means easier breakfasts and lunches for an extra day; YAY!  This was LAST WEEK'S meal plan; I don't know why it didn't post.

Dinner--Tempeh Tacos

Breakfast--Overnight Oatmeal.  Really enjoyed the mango-almond combo last week.
Lunch:  Mac and Cheese.  I used the ATK skillet mac and cheese.
Dinner:  Stuffed Peppers (dangerous because I haven't found a recipe I plan to use)

Breakfast--Egg Muffin
Lunch--Mini Burritos

Dinner--Rotini with Summer Vegetables (America's Test Kitchen Best 30 Minute Meals)

Friday--MY BIRTHDAY!!!!
Breakfast--Hard boiled eggs and fruit
Lunch--Tomato Soup with Cheese and croutons
Dinner--Pineapple Glazed Chicken

Out with Mom and Dad

Pasta Norma

Monday, September 10, 2012

Meatless Monday--Cheese Tortellini Salad

My sons have not been eating dinner so much lately.  They wake up starving and their dad and I are frustrated.  So when I searched the trusty Google Reader for meatless meals, this recipe from Ezra Poundcake made the cut.  I knew that even if the boys didn't eat the salad itself, there was no doubt they'd eat the tortellini and the gorgeous cherry tomatoes from the CSA.

And that's exactly what happened.

This salad was tasty and surprisingly filling.  I wish I'd nixed the Parmesan and instead added chunks of mozzarella cheese.

Cheese Tortellini Salad Source Cooking Light Mix & Match Low-Calorie Cookbook via Ezra Poundcake
    1 (9-ounce) package fresh cheese tortellini
    2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
    2 cups fresh spinach leaves, coarsely chopped
    1/2 cup chopped pepperoncini peppers
    6 tablespoons (1.5 ounces) shredded fresh Parmesan cheese
    1/4 cup capers
    1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
    1 (16-ounce) can navy or Great Northern beans
    2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

    Cook the pasta according to package directions, omitting the fat.
    Meanwhile, combine the tomatoes, spinach, peppers, cheese, capers, basil, and beans in a large bowl.
    Drain pasta; rinse with cold water.
    Add pasta, lemon juice, and oil to the tomato mixture. Toss gently. Serve immediately.

Meal plan Monday!

Here we go, Week 2!

B--Waffles and yogurt
L--PB&J, melon, veggie (TBD)
D-Eggplant Parm with Garlic Bread

B--Mango Almond Refrigerator Oatmeal
L--Chili with Tortilla chips and fruit
D--Slow Cooker Greek Chicken

B--Muffin (store bought?)
L--Egg Salad
D--Chicken Nuggets

B--Egg muffins
L--Leftover chicken nuggets with melon
D--Roasted Tomatoes with Burrata and Pesto

B-- Banana Roll Ups
L--Mango and Black Bean Salad
D--Divine Chicken

Saturday and Sunday are currently up-in-the air!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Recipe Swap: Buckeye Brownies

When it comes to brownies, I love the corner.  Yeah, the middle pieces are softer, but I like the crisp edges that comes with the corner pieces.

For this week's recipe swap theme of desserts, I was given Buckeye Brownies from Kickin it in the Kitch.

When I made the batter, I was VERY concerned; it was way thicker than brownie batters to which I am accustomed and I thought I must have missed an egg or something.  In reality, they were perfect!  Thick and rich and decadent, and I loved the soft layer made of condensed milk and peanut butter.  These were a big hit with me and my boys, and they'll be going in lunchboxes this week.

I considered doubling the recipe and making it in two pans so as to not have leftover condensed milk, which I might do next time, but this time I made the recipe as written and saved the milk in a jar in the fridge.

Thank you to Sarah for hosting another great swap and Stef for sharing a great recipe.  Apologies to both of you for the lateness of my post!

What about you; which part of the brownie pan is your favorite?

Buckeye Brownies
Source: Adapted from Cookies and Cups via Kickin it in the Kitch

For the brownie portion (original recipe here)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

1 1/8 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/8 cups Dutch-process cocoa (regular cocoa is fine too)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup All-Purpose Flour
1/2 cup coarsely chopped peanuts

1/2 can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup peanut butter


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease an 8x8 baking pan.

2. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter, then add the sugar and stir to combine.

3. Crack 2 eggs into a large bowl, then beat them with the cocoa, salt, baking powder, and vanilla until smooth. Add the hot butter/sugar mixture, stirring until smooth.

4. Add the flour and stir until smooth. Mix in the chopped peanuts.

5. Pour half of the brownie mixture into the pan.

6. Whisk together the sweetened condensed milk and peanut butter. Spread over the brownie mixture in the pan.

7. Drop the remaining brownie mixture over the top of the peanut butter mixture and press down gently.

8. Bake for 30-35 minutes.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Eggplant Panini with Pesto

I hope you're having a great Labor Day!

For a long time, I was hesitant to make panini sandwiches; with no panini press and no grill pan, I had no idea how I was going to make them.  I then read a book that explained a way to make them without a press.  Then, I made the sandwich on the stove and literally piled pans on top of it, flipped, and piled again.

It's so much easier since I was given cast iron pans.

 In other news, we had this gorgeous WHITE eggplant from the CSA.  I had no idea what to expect, but it tasted pretty much exactly like your standard purple eggplant.

I made these paninis complete on the grill.  The bread obviously got a little...cajun...  but even with the blackened parts, this was a delicious sandwich!  So easy, so fresh, so tasty, and so healthful!

Eggplant Panini with Pesto  Slightly adapted from Skinnytaste
    1 large eggplant, about 12-14 oz, sliced into 1/4" pieces
    kosher salt to taste
    olive oil
    12 oz french bread (or baguette), cut into 4 pieces
    4 slices part skim mozzarella cheese
    2 tbsp pesto
    8 thin sliced tomato

1.  Preheat your grill to medium.  You can salt the eggplant, if you'd like, but I read in Everyday with Rachael Ray that modern eggplants have been bred to have the bitter out.  Do what'cha like.
2.  Brush olive oil on each side of sliced eggplant then season with salt and pepper.  Grill on hot grill until soft, about 3-4 minutes a side.  Put aside.
3.   Build your sandwich:  spread pesto over one slice of bread, grilled eggplant, slice of mozzarella, a slice of tomato, and a second piece of bread.  Spray or brush with oil, place on hot grill, and smoosh the sandwich with a heavy pan.  After a minute or two, remove pan, flip sandwich, and repeat on the other side.
4.  Slice in half (on the diagonal!) and enjoy!!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Mexican Pizza

When I told my husband we were having pizza for dinner, he told me to make sure I got spaghetti sauce and mozzarella when I went to the store.  Funny enough, I didn't need either for this version of pizza (well, I needed mozzarella, but I had a package in the fridge).

This was so incredibly tasty, and was a great end to a week chock full of delicious homemade meals.  My pizza turned out really ugly because, for some reason, we tend to have problems getting our pizza from the pizza peel to the pizza stone.  It didn't at all take away from the yum that was this pizza.

Make this for your next pizza night.  Dooooo it!!

Mexican Pizza Source:  Stephanie Cooks
1 batch pizza dough
1 tsp. olive oil
1 bell pepper, sliced thin
1 clove garlic, pressed or minced
3 ounces chicken
1/2 tsp. taco seasoning
1 cup salsa
1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1- Preheat the oven to as hot as it will go with your pizza stone in the oven.
2- Prepare your dough, rolling it out on a surface coated in corn meal or parchment paper.
3- Heat the oil over medium heat in a skillet.  Add garlic and peppers, cooking until soft.
4- Rub the chicken breast with taco seasoning; dice the chicken. Add to the skillet, cooking until cooked through.
5-Add the salsa to the skillet, stirring well. Stir over medium heat for a couple minutes to warm through.
6- Top the pizza with the salsa mixture. Top with both cheesees. Bake 7-10 minutes on the pizza stone or until cheese is melted.
7- Serve hot.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Easy Chicken Curry with Vegetables and Coconut Scented Rice

This was so stinking good.  So, so yummy.  I feared that by adding the called for amount of curry paste, it would be way too spicy for my won't eat anything remotely spicy 5 year old, but yet, he really enjoyed it too.  My husband, who doesn't typically go for curry dishes, said "Delicious" after his first bite!

I think I overcooked the chicken a little bit here, but the flavor was still amazing.  The coconut rice was really good as well, not at all bland like rice has a tendency to be.

Easy Chicken Curry with Vegetables Source:  Melissa D'Arabian via Food Network

    2 tablespoons vegetable oil
    3 tablespoons red Thai curry paste
    1 yellow onion, sliced with the grain
    2 chicken breasts, cut into cubes
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    1 1/2 cups broccoli florets
    1 1/2 cups chopped carrots
    1 teaspoon dried basil
    3 cloves garlic, minced
    Zest of 1/2 lime
    1 1/4 cups coconut milk
    1/4 cup chicken stock
    One 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
    Lime wedges, for squeezing


Cook 1 tablespoon of the oil, the curry paste and onions in a large saute pan over medium heat, stirring often and letting sizzle, 5 to 6 minutes. Pat the chicken dry, sprinkle with salt and pepper and add the remaining oil to the pan. Cook the chicken in the onion-curry mixture until golden on all sides. Add the broccoli, carrots, basil, garlic and lime zest and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are coated, about 2 minutes. Add the coconut milk, chicken stock and tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Let the chicken simmer until cooked through and the sauce begins to thicken, about 20 minutes. Squeeze with lime juice before serving.

Coconut Scented Rice Source:  Melissa D'Arabian via Food Network
1 1/2 cups long-grain white rice, rinsed  (I used basmati rice)
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Zest of 1/2 lime
1/4 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped very fine

1.  Combine rice, coconut milk, stock, and oil in a bowl and follow rice instructions or cook in a rice cooker.  (I used more chicken stock to round out the amount of liquid needed for my rice instructions).
2.  When finished, stir in zest and cilantro.


Thursday, August 30, 2012

"The Best" Tuna Salad

Trying to try out recipes to fill the Boy's lunchboxes this fall, I couldn't resist trying "The Best" tuna salad when I saw it on Sarah's blog

I used chunk tuna, which was probably a much less appetizing way to make this (interestingly, in another version, Cook's Country recommends chunk tuna for their tuna salad sandwich), but it was delicious nonetheless.  We (that's right, ALL OF US) loved this!  It wasn't until I made this that I realized my mom used to put onion in tuna salad, as well as celery, so I had a feeling it would be nostalgic for me, and while it was, it had some flavors Mom never put into my childhood tuna salad sandwiches.

Give this one a try some day for your lunch; you will not regret it!

The Best Tuna Salad Source:  Cook's Country Magazine via I Was Born to Cook

3 cans solid white tuna packed in water
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup minced onion
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon sugar
salt and pepper
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 celery stalk, finely chopped

Drain tuna and pat dry with a paper towel.  Microwave oil and onion for about 2 minutes, until onion begins to soften.  Mix with tuna, lemon juice, sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper.  Let marinate for 10 minutes.

Stir in mayo and serve.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Light Chicken Enchiladas

When I sit down to meal plan, it takes forever.  One site I often visit is the Food Network site, focusing in on Food Network Magazine because I love their stuff but no longer subscribe.  I came across this one and was intrigued; I love making chicken enchiladas, though they tend to take a long time to make, and am always looking for different methods to try.

This was definitely a different method!  Though I've made enchilada sauce from scratch before, it's never been so fresh tasting.  The sauce was quite delicious on this one.

One issue I had with this was that I used our preferred flour tortilla shells instead of corn ones, which meant that 1/2lb of chicken was not enough to feed the whole family.  My husband had an issue too; his problem was that the filling was pretty bland, being basically just chicken and cheese. 

The short is that this is a great change of pace, and definitely a tasty was to lighten up your chicken enchiladas, but you will miss the standard kind too!

Light Chicken Enchiladas Source:  Food Network Magazine
    2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
    1 to 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and sliced
    3 cloves garlic, smashed
    1/2 teaspoon dried thyme or 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme
    1 medium white onion, minced
    1/2 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, halved lengthwise
    Kosher salt
    3 to 4 tomatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds), cored and roughly chopped
    1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
    8 corn tortillas
    1 1/2 cups shredded muenster cheese (about 6 ounces)
    1 cup mixed fresh parsley and cilantro, chopped


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the jalapeno, garlic, thyme and half of the onion. Cook, stirring, until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the chicken, 1 teaspoon salt and 3/4 cup water. Bring to a boil, then cover and cook until the chicken is tender, about 6 minutes.

Remove the chicken to a plate. Transfer the cooking liquid and vegetables to a blender; add the tomatoes and allspice and puree with the lid ajar. Wipe out the skillet, add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and place over medium-high heat. Add the tomato mixture and cook until slightly reduced, 6 minutes. Pour into a baking dish.

Brush the tortillas with olive oil and put on a baking sheet; bake 5 minutes. Shred the chicken. Top each tortilla with chicken and cheese, then roll up and arrange in the baking dish, seam-side down, spooning some sauce on top. Bake until the cheese melts, 4 minutes.

Toss the herbs, remaining onion, and salt to taste. Sprinkle on top.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Turkey and Watercress Stuffed Portobellos

On a string of hits from Everyday with Rachael Ray, I wanted to make this delicious sounding meal, but could not think of a way to make it meat free; instead I substituted ground turkey for the ground beef.  I know there's got to be a way to make it meat free without using tofu (I wonder, though, how it would be with tempeh?), but I haven't given that a try yet.

This was so delicious.  It was another one of those meals the boys wouldn't eat, but my husband and I both loved it!

 Turkey and Watercress Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms Source:  Everyday with Rachael Ray


    4 large portobello mushroom caps, gills scraped
    2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), plus more for brushing
    Salt and pepper
    1 pound ground beef, at room temperature
    1 small onion, chopped
    2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
    3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
    1 teaspoon dried marjoram or oregano
    1 cup watercress, chopped and packed
    1/2-3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
    1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
    1 1/2 cups shredded provolone cheese

Serves 4

Pre-heat the oven to 425°F.

On a rimmed baking sheet, brush the mushrooms with EVOO and season with salt and pepper; situate them rounded-side up. Roast until softened, 8-10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons EVOO, two turns of the pan, over medium-high heat. Pat the beef dry and add it to the skillet; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until browned, about 5 minutes. Add the onion, garlic, Worcestershire sauce and marjoram (or oregano). Cook until the onion and garlic are softened, about 5 minutes. Add the watercress to wilt. Stir in the panko. Remove the pan from the heat; stir in the Pecorino Romano.

Flip the mushroom caps over so they're rounded-side down and fill them with the meat mixture, mounding a quarter of the beef into each cap. Top with the provolone and return to the oven to melt the cheese, 7-8 minutes.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Smoky Skillet Cacciatore

In general, I've shied away from cacciatore; it's time consuming and has so many ingredients.  But when I saw this in Everyday with Rachael Ray, it looked so good and not so time consuming at all.

This was totally delicious.  It was easy to make, and, how could you go wrong when you're cooking anything in bacon fat?

Smoky Skillet Cacciatore Source:  Everyday with Rachael Ray

    2 pounds chicken thighs
    Salt and pepper
    2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO
    4 slices bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
    1/2 pound crimini mushrooms, sliced
    1 onion, quartered and thinly sliced
    1 cubanelle pepper, halved, seeded and sliced
    1 small Fresno chili pepper, thinly sliced or 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
    3-4 cloves garlic, sliced
    1 tablespoon tomato paste
    1/2 cup dry white wine or red wine
    1 fire-roasted crushed or stewed tomatoes (32 ounces)
    1/2 cup chicken stock
    Chopped parsley or celery tops, for garnish

Serves 4

Pat the chicken dry and season with salt and pepper. In a large cast iron or other heavy skillet, heat the  EVOO, two turns of the pan, over medium-high heat until rippling. Add the chicken and cook, turning once, until well browned, about 10 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate.

Add the bacon to the skillet and cook until the fat renders, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel to drain. Add the mushrooms to the skillet; cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Add the onion, cubanelle pepper, chili pepper and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, then the wine. Stir in the tomatoes and stock.

Add the cooked chicken and bacon to the sauce and simmer to cook through, 5-6 minutes. Spoon from the pan onto plates, then top with the parsley (or celery tops).

Meal Plan Monday

I'm so sad to realize that summer is winding down.  Labor Day is one short week away, and my summer has been so crazy hectic that I've barely blogged a summer's worth of good cookin.  Last week's plan to try some new lunches didn't work out, so they're going back into this week's plan, but we are away for the Labor Day weekend, so who knows what will end up happening.

We have an overabundance of eggplant and tomatoes from the CSA, such that I am thinking about learning how to do some canning.

Monday:  Sicilian Eggplant Sauce
Tuesday:  Slow Cooker Greek Chicken Pita Pockets
Wednesday:  Cheese Tortellini Salad
Thursday:  Chicken Parmesan
Friday:  Zesty Lime Shrimp and Avocado Salad
Saturday and Sunday:  At Mom and Dad's!

Happy week!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Meal Plan Monday

Here's my meal plan for the week through Thursday.  This have been a nutty month, since we went away for a few days (and had some EXCELLENT meals out, but are definitely craving something homecooked and, um, with some vegetables) and now have to start thinking about going back to work...

Monday:  Bruschetta Grilled Chicken with Grilled Peach Arugula Salad
Tuesday:  Eggplant Panini with Pesto
Wednesday:  Chicken Curry with Vegetables and Coconut Scented Rice
Thursday:  Mexican Chicken Pizza

I also plan to make some meals for the freezer and for lunches.  These include:

Peach Cobbler Scones
Roasted Vegetable Chickpea Salad
Grilled Chicken and Spinach Salad

Friday, August 17, 2012

Meal Plan

A bit late, what with being away and then being away again.  So, here's how the rest of this week looks:

Friday:  Smokey Skillet Cacciatore
Saturday:  "Beef" and Watercress Stuffed Portobellos
Sunday:  Light Chicken Enchiladas

Have a great weekend!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Berry & Kiwi Salad with Sweet Balsamic Dressing

This week's recipe swap theme was "Too Hot to Cook," with the weather we've been having, this was a totally appropriate theme!  I was assigned this recipe from Sweet Beginnings and it's originally from Pampered Chef.

I very much appreciated the idea of this recipe, fruit and a delicious dressing sweeten up what would be a pretty boring meal (while many of us eat salad, it's not usually super tasty *salads made by my mom aside!* or exciting), but felt it was missing something.  I really missed the heft of some protein, and wished I had prepared some grilled chicken to serve on top of the salad.  I'm glad I served this for lunch rather than as a main course dinner salad since it left me wanting more in the hunger department.

I did not have white balsamic dressing so went ahead and used regular; my son wondered why his strawberry was black but ate said strawberry without complaint.  My boys LOVED the fruit and the dressing and I WAS able to convince them to try the salad greens (ahem, by telling them that was the only way to get more fruit).

In the future, I think I would change the spring mix to baby spinach.  I found the spring mix (which is my preferred salad choice) was only good if it had fruit AND dressing, but on the bitter side on its own or with just dressing.

So, my assessment of this one is that it's a great recipe that I'd like to try again with some modifications.

Thank you to Sarah for hosting yet another fun swap, and to Jaida for a great no cook lunch!

Berry & Kiwi Salad with Sweet Balsamic Dressing Source:  Pampered Chef, via Sweet Beginnings

  • 2 cups Spring salad mix
  • 1 cup strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 1 cup blackberries
  • 2 kiwi, peeled and cut into wedges
  • 1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 cup half and half
  1. Prepare dressing  by whisking together the vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce the heat to medium. Cook for 6-8 minutes, until mixture is reduced by half.
  2. Slowly whisk in cream. Cook without  stirring for 2 minutes. Removed from the heat and cool. Cover, and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  3. Assemble the salad by place spring mix in bowls, topped with strawberries, blackberries, and kiwi. Drizzle with dressing and serve.

Friday, August 10, 2012

BBQ Chicken Meatloaf

**I just found this in my drafts.  I seem to have no picture of the meal, but seem to have really liked it!**

Do you like watching food television?  Who's your favorite celebrity chef?

I feel like the Neely's can be hit or miss.  I've never before made any of their food, though it almost always looks so good on tv (and boy, do they seem nuts about their food!), but when Lauren raved about it, onto the meal plan it went.

This was outstanding.  I chose a bottled BBQ sauce, though the Neely's give a homemade version--maybe someday.  Since the BBQ sauce is so forward, it's important to choose a good one.  I used Bulls Eye Memphis Style.  I'm not sure what makes it Memphis Style, but it was an awesome choice in this recipe.

We all liked this one.  I like that the red pepper adds flavor, crunch, and the idea that it's a little bit healthy because, heck, it's veggie!, never mind that it's slathered in a bottle of BBQ sauce veggie...

BBQ Turkey Meatloaf, courtesy of The Neely's via Lauren.


  • 1 tablespoon Neelys' BBQ Seasoning, recipe follows (I used a pinch of paprika, a pinch of sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon crab boil seasoning, (recommended: Old Bay)
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups BBQ Sauce, reserving 1/2 cup for the top (this was a bottle's worth)
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 pounds lean ground turkey (I used ground chicken)
  • 1 1/2 cups bread crumbs


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl, mix BBQ seasoning, crab boil seasoning, soy sauce, beaten egg, 1 cup of the BBQ sauce and Worcestershire sauce.
In a saute pan over medium-high heat, add olive oil. Add onion, bell pepper, salt and pepper and garlic. Saute until tender. Remove from heat and add to wet mix.
Pour mixture into bowl with the ground turkey. Add bread crumbs and mix all together with your hands.
Transfer the meat mixture to a cookie sheet or baking pan. Using your hands, shape the meat into an oblong or rectangular shape. *Cook's Note: Alternately, you can pat the meat into a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan and pour 1/2 cup of BBQ sauce on the top of the loaf.
Bake for 35 minutes. Remove and add the reserved 1/2 cup of BBQ sauce to the top and continue to bake for 20 more minutes.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Vegetable Tian

Our CSA has been going what my husband would call "buck wild" with squash this season.  It's been great, except for the obvious problem of my husband's HUGE dislike of any and all gourds.  I was really scared when I received this recipe in the "Farmstand Favorites" recipe swap.  I made it anyway, on a night he was not supposed to be home for dinner.

I made a few, slight, modifications based on what was left from our CSA basket.  I used red onions and red potatoes, and am still using up 8-ball squash.

 I was really sad that the nice Parmesan crust didn't form on mine like it did on the photos that accompany the original recipe, but it was really tasty anyway.  I believe this is meant as a side dish, but I made it as the main.

My boys really weren't into it so much.  I really enjoyed it, but it isn't hefty enough to be a complete meal.  Definitely a great side dish, though!

Thanks, Lauren, for a great recipe, and thank you Jen for hosting a great swap!

Vegetable Tian Source:  Ina Garten via For the Love of Cooking

  • 2 tbsp olive oil (divided)
  • 1 large red onion cut in half and sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1-2 red potatoes, scrubbed unpeeled
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 yellow squash
  • 3 large Roma tomatoes
  • Sea salt, freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
  • Dried thyme, to taste
  • 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
1.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Coat a baking dish with olive oil cooking spray. Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the onions and saute until translucent, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another 60 seconds. Spread the onion mixture on the bottom of the greased baking dish.
2.  Slice the potatoes, zucchini, squash and tomatoes in 1/4 inch thick slices. Layer them alternately in the dish on top of the onions, fitting them tightly into a spiral, making only one layer. Season with sea salt, black pepper and dried thyme, to taste. Drizzle the last tablespoon of olive oil over the top.
3.  Cover the dish with tin foil and bake for 35 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Uncover and sprinkle the Parmesan cheese on top and bake for another 25-30 minutes or until browned.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Ladybug pasta

My son is off to Kindergarten this year, and my other son is going to a new daycare.  For the first time, we have to think about packing lunches for them as well as for ourselves, so this summer, we have been trying out new ideas for lunches.  This one came up in my Facebook feed today just as I was getting ready to go to the store desperate for something other than a sandwich for lunch.  When I told my five year old about the idea, he was excited about having it, even saying he'd rather have ladybugs than peanut butter and jelly!!!

I modified the recipe ever so slightly.  The only mini bowties I could find were the Barilla Piccolini, which have tomatoes and carrots pureed into the pasta; these were also the cheapest in the store.  I also didn't want to spend the money on another jar for my pantry, so I omitted the Coconut Spread (our store only had a Peanut Butter Coconut Spread) instead using a drizzle of olive oil, a drizzle of red wine vinegar, salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning.

I really enjoyed this one!  The best part was the tomatoes I'd plucked from our plant; they were so delicious and sweet.  My sons ate it after some cajoling; the five year old claimed he no longer likes pasta but really enjoyed the fruit I put into little cups on the plate (my first pseudo attempt at Bento lunch!).

Ladybug Pasta Inspired by Bentoriffic
1/2lb shape pasta (I used mini farfalle)
two handfuls grape tomatoes, cut in half
a can of black beans, drained and rinsed
a handful of sliced black olives
salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
a few shakes of Italian seasoning
olive oil
red wine vinegar
Grated Parmesan cheese

Prepare pasta according to package directions.  Drain.  Meanwhile, add the rest of the ingredients to a large bowl.  When the pasta is finished cooking, drain, and add to the bowl.  Toss all ingredients together.  Refrigerate to cool down (I served it after about 5 minutes in the fridge.)  Serve and enjoy!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Summer Spaghetti

Our CSA has been overloading us with squash--summer squash, zucchini, 8 ball squash, Patty Pan squash (on which I cannot comment, being that my husband passed this to his father)--and my dad passed us what I think is a Rolet squash, which means we are swimming in squash around here!  Add this to the fact that my husband does not eat anything anywhere near the squash family, and this is a big problem.

So when I was assigned The Boys Made me Do It in this week's recipe swap, I was thrilled to see this recipe, which uses a few types of squash as well as other ingredients my husband does eat.  Even better, it's fast and keeps the kitchen sort of cool and we have a winner!

I did not use broccoli as Cara suggested and really wish I had.  It would have added more heft to my husband's squash-less plate.  The trick is that you can use any fresh veg you have on hand!  Hoping to add a little more flavor, I added a splash of Pinot Grigio (ok, maybe a glug) when adding the pasta water.  I think this was a great addition and brought even more sweetness to this dish.  I used a summer squash and an 8 ball squash here.

Summer Spaghetti  Source: Better Homes and Garden Magazine, June 2012 via The Boys Made me Do It
    8 oz. spaghetti noodles
    Dry white wine
    1/4 cup olive oil
    3 cloves garlic, pressed
    Pinch of crushed red pepper
    1 1/2 cups grilled zucchini and/or other summer veggies
    1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved at the equator
    Small handful fresh basil, torn
    Salt and pepper, to taste
    1/4 cup parmesan cheese

Prepare spaghetti to al dente in a large pot of boiling water (about 9-10 minutes boiling time). Drain, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid.

In a large saute' pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and crushed red pepper and cook until just fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the zucchini, tomatoes, and torn basil. Season with salt and pepper.

Reduce heat to low. Add as much wine as you'd like with reserved pasta water to make 1/2c of liquid; add liquid and spaghetti to skillet. 

Heat thoroughly, about 3-4 minutes. Sprinkle with Parmesan.

 Transfer to large serving bowl and garnish with chopped basil.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Party menu

We are having our annual summer party this weekend.  Here's what I've planned so far for the menu; your thoughts are welcome!

We are currently expecting 15 adults and 9 kids.

Appetizer (being brought, don't know what it is)

Chips and Dip (Hot Corn Dip, Skinny Poolside Dip, Artichoke Dip)
Clams (maybe, being brought)

Potato Salad (being brought)
Cole Slaw (being brought)
Meatballs and Sausage (being brought)
Chicken Teriyaki Burgers
Hot Dogs
Tomato Cucumber Salad
Grilled Corn

Raspberry bars (being brought)
Cupcakes (being brought)
Dessert (not sure, being brought)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Sausage and Clams with Kale

Our CSA this week included a bunch of kale.  In addition, my son, father, and I had gone clamming last weekend, and came home with about 2 dozen clams.  Intending to find ways to use up the CSA basket and clams this week, I chose this recipe to do both.

When I first mentioned "sausage and clams" together, my husband actually shriveled his nose and said that they did not sound like things that would go well together.  Awesome.

I went ahead and made the recipe anyway.  My boys LOVED the clams and the sausage.  Both were asking for more and more and more.  THIRDS on the clams, and still asking for more.  The little one also went to town on the spaghetti I served this over, while his brother really wouldn't touch it.  Neither would eat the kale.

My husband, on the other hand, also enjoyed the clams and sausage, but thought the pasta had no flavor and did not enjoy the kale.

I enjoyed it well enough, and wish I'd added some crushed red pepper to the mix (alas, the almost 5 year old would NEVER have gone for that!)

Give it a try; maybe your family will love it more than mine!

Sausage and Clams with Kale Source:  Cooking Light


  • Cooking spray 
  • 12 ounces sweet turkey Italian sausage 
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion 
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Madeira wine or dry sherry
  • 8 cups chopped kale (about 10 ounces)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt 
  • 1 (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth 
  • 16 littleneck clams


  1. Heat a Dutch oven over high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Remove casings from sausage. Add sausage to pan; cook 4 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Reduce heat to medium. Stir in chopped onion and garlic; cook 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Add Madeira; cook 1 minute or until liquid evaporates. Add kale, salt, and chicken broth; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes. Stir in clams; cook, covered, 10 minutes or until shells open. Discard any unopened shells.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Corn and 8 Ball Squash Quesadillas

This weird squash looking thing appeared in my CSA basket a few weeks ago.  Not knowing what it was, I turned to knower-of-all-things, Mom, and asked her.  She agreed that it was probably a squash, but had no idea other than that.  So, the next time they appeared in the basket, I asked.

The folks at the farm said it's delicious on the grill or stuffed with meat.  Feeling lazy, I grilled it up and added it to quesadillas (the original plan was to serve this on the side; instead it went right in).

I've made this recipe before, but never with fresh grilled corn, or grilled zucchini.  I thought it was a delicious addition (though I haven't had the original in more than a year); the grilling brought out a sweetness and richness to the squash and the corn (as well as to the tomatoes) and made it outstanding. 

Here's the recipe with my modifications; the original recipe is from Robin Miller's Robin Rescues Dinner:

  • 1 8-ball squash, cut into 1/8-inch thick rounds 
  • Vinaigrette (I used the leftovers from this)
  • 1 ear fresh corn, shucked
  • 2 beefsteak tomatoes, cut in half at the equator
  • 2 tablespoons minced red onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Cooking spray
  • 4 fajita size whole grain tortillas
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack or Pepper Jack cheese
  • 4-ounce can minced green chilies, drained
  1. Spray outdoor grill with cooking spray, and heat grill to medium.  Meanwhile, toss sliced squash with vinaigrette and let hang out.  Place corn on the grate (you may brush with olive oil or spray with cooking spray if you wish), turning frequently, until tender, which should take about 15 minutes. Grill the tomatoes, skin side down first, until skin blisters, about 3 minutes a side.  Grill the squash until soft, about 2 minutes a side.  Set all aside and let cool before moving on.  Dice the tomatoes; dice the squash; remove the corn from the cob.
  2. To make the salsa, in a medium bowl, combine charred tomatoes, onion, basil, lemon juice, and cumin. Mix well and season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  3. Coat a stop-top griddle or large skillet with cooking spray and preheat to medium-high.
  4. Arrange tortillas on a flat surface. Top half (one side) of tortillas with both shredded cheeses, squash, reserved corn, and green chilies. Fold over un-topped side, making a half moon. Place quesadillas on hot pan and cook 2 to 3 minutes per side, until tortillas are golden brown and cheese melts. Serve quesadillas with salsa on the side.
Serves 4
"Mommy, can I take a picture of MY food?"

Monday, July 16, 2012

Meal Plan Monday

Oh my goodness, do I ever have an overabundance of fresh produce this week!  Instead of sharing our CSA with a friend as I usually do, I got the WHOLE basket.  It's overflowing with corn and yellow squash, 8-ball squash, and cucumbers.  Meanwhile, my dad handed me a basket yesterday from his friend's garden of cubanelle peppers and a pumpkin shaped squash.

This week's menu reflects my (poor) attempts to use it up, try some new recipes, keep it healthful and easy!

Monday:  Pulled Pork with Cucumber Salad
Tuesday:  Sausage and Clams with Kale
Wednesday:  Corn and Zucchini Quesadillas with Eight Ball Squash Parmesan
Thursday:  Triggerfish with Spicy Lemon Caper Sauce
Friday:  Garlic Lime Chicken with Olives with Roasted Red Potatoes with Rosemary
Saturday:  Summer Spaghetti
Sunday:  Chicken Suiza Pockets

Have a great week; I just saw on the morning news that we're getting our fourth heat wave of the year this week.  Stay cool!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Santa Hat Brownies

Over the weekend, we attended a Christmas in July party. The hostess was serious--we were NOT celebrating summer but rather the holidays; we all wished each other a Merry Christmas and Santa even made an appearance.

I had no idea what to bring, because it was to be a 100 degree day (so who would want to have a hot appetizer or Christmasy dessert?) but should be Christmas themed as well.  To make things slightly more difficult, I was planning to prepare the dessert at my parents' house, so wouldn't have all my normal tools.

A friend suggested this, which has been making the rounds of Pinterest.  I went lazy and used pre-made brownie bites and purchased frosting.  Lazy.

I'm not over-the-moon about how they turned out; I used a zipper sandwich bag with the corner cut off and the piping didn't come out at nicely as it should have.  They were, however, delicious, and flew off the table at the party!

Here's the original recipe, should you (or I!) want to make the brownies and frosting from scratch.

Santa Hat Brownies Source:  Daisy's World

Santa Hat Brownies
Yields 12-16 brownies
1 pan of your favorite brownies, cooled and cut into desired size and shape (I used a round cutter)
12-16 small strawberries, cleaned and hulled
vanilla-mascarpone buttercream (recipe below)
Mascarpone Buttercream
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
8 ounces mascarpone cheese, room temperature
2-1/2 to 3 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
pinch of salt
Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat butter and mascarpone cheese until light and creamy, about 2 minutes.  Add vanilla extract and salt.  Add 2-1/2 cups of sugar, half a cup at a time and continue beating until smooth.  Add more sugar, if needed to reach desired consistency and sweetness.
To assemble, pipe a ring of vanilla buttercream on top of each brownie.  Cut off the base of a strawberry so it is flat and place it upside down on each brownie, pushing slightly to secure in place.  Top the tip of the strawberry with a dot of buttercream to finish the santa hat.
Adapted from this recipe found on Erica’s Sweet Tooth

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Dijon Chicken, Zucchini, and Lemon Kebabs

When it's so hot, you don't want to leave your air conditioned spot, what do you make?  Something super simple that can be cooked outside and doesn't need to be tended while on the grill sounds like a good solution to me!

I found this recipe from Everyday with Rachael Ray in the midst of a bad heat wave when I'd just received red onion and zucchini from our CSA.

These were so good.  My boys wouldn't touch the onion, but my husband and I loved the sweetness the grill brought out in them.  The chicken came out so well, we saved the leftovers for a grilled chicken salad later in the week. 

Make these ASAP.  You will not be sorry!

Dijon Chicken, Zucchini, and Lemon Kebabs Source:  Everyday with Rachael Ray

  • 1/4 cup dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon red or white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dried herbes de provence, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup EVOO
  • 1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into one-inch pieces
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 zucchini, halved lengthwise, then sliced crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick half-moons
  • 1 large red onion, halved crosswise, then cut lengthwise into 1-inch sections
  • 1 lemon, cut into 8 wedges


  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the mustard, vinegar and herbes de provence. Whisk in 2 tbsp. EVOO. Reserve 1 tbsp. of the marinade for the vegetables. Add the chicken to the bowl with the remaining marinade and coat well using a rubber spatula. Let marinate for at least 30 minutes or up to 12 hours.
  2. Preheat a gas grill to 400 degrees . Whisk the remaining 2 tbsp. EVOO and 1/8 tsp. each salt and pepper into the reserved marinade. Add the zucchini and onion and toss to coat.
  3. Season the chicken with 1/2 tsp. each salt and pepper. Onto each of eight 12-inch skewers, thread 1 piece of chicken, 1 zucchini slice, a section of onion, a lemon wedge and a second piece of chicken; repeat with the remaining vegetables and chicken.
  4. Brush the hot grill grate clean, then lightly oil. Add the kebabs crosswise across the grate, cover the grill and cook for 3 minutes. Using a sturdy metal spatula, turn the kebabs over, releasing the meat from the grate and rolling away from you. Cover and cook until the meat is firm and browned all over, about 5 minutes.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

S'mores Brownies

One of the first times my friend Lishie came to my house, she brought S'mores Brownies.  They were so very yummy and I begged for the recipe.  She then brought them to one of our large summertime parties and everyone went NUTS for them.  We finally got around to making them when my husband decided they would be the treat we sent into school to celebrate my son's fifth birthday!

He decided to skip the homemade brownie part and used a box mix (the brand of which I have no idea.  Trust me, homemade brownies take only a few minutes later, though the box kind was delicious too if you're short on time!)  I'm posting Lishie's original recipe, including the homemade brownies.

These were a huge hit; A's teacher said that EVERYONE loved them, from the five year olds to the teachers.  My husband and I pretty much were unable to stop "tasting" them and said five year olds and teachers almost didn't get any.  I digress.

Give these delicious and easy brownies a try!  And stop in a visit Lishie's blog and say howdy!

S'mores Bars Source:  Delish

  • 1 & 1/2 sticks Butter, @ room temperature
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 cups crushed (food processor) graham crackers 
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups chocolate chips
  • 3 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
Pre-heat oven to 350°, grease or spray 13x9x2-inch baking pan (or two, 8x8 brownie pans). 

Beat butter and sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. In a separate bowl, mix together crushed graham crackers, flour, and salt. Stir the graham cracker mixture into the butter/sugar/egg/vanilla mixture. Should become one, big crumbly clump.

Press about 1/2 cup or more, if needed, of the graham cracker mix over the bottom of the greased 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Sprinkle half (1 cup) of the chocolate chips on top. Sprinkle 3 cups of the mini marshmallows on top. Crumble, by hand, the rest of the graham cracker mix on top. Sprinkle last 1/2 cup of the mini marshmallows on top and finally, sprinkle the rest (1 cup) of the chocolate chips on top.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until brown.

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