Monday, December 22, 2014

Copy Cat Kerbey Lane Eggs Francisco

English muffin
scrambled eggs
tomato slices

*queso recipe:
1 Tbsp cooking oil
1/4 cup white onion, diced
1 large jalapeno, seeds and stem removed, diced
12 oz white American cheese, shredded
1/4-2/3 cup cream, half and half, or whole milk
2 roma tomatoes, seeds removed and diced
1 small bunch cilantro, roughly chopped
Saute onion and pepper, add cheese and cream until mostly melted, and add the rest of the ingredients.

Copy Cat Santa Fe Chicken Quesadilla

*Adapted from a delicious little local restaurant Cafe Vida. This is a reminder for myself of what's in their quesadilla.

Prep: 30 minutes

grilled chicken breast (use fajita seasoning & cumin)
mozzarella cheese
black beans
whole wheat tortilla

Meg's Cheesy Potatoes

Prep: 40 minutes
Serves: 8

1 (30 oz) pkg of shredded hash brown potatoes, thawed
1 stick of butter
2 cups half and half
8 oz Velveeta

1. Melt butter in sauce pan on low. Mix in sliced Velveeta and half and half. Completely melt cheese, stirring constantly.
2. Put hash browns in 9x13" pan that has been buttered and sprayed. Pour sauce over potatoes.
3. Bake for 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Optional: broil while watching if you want to brown it on top.

Pressure Cooker Pork Loin Roast with Cherry Dijon Sauce

*Adapted from Key Ingredient.

Prep: 60 minutes
Serves: 6

1 Tbsp vegetable oil
2-3 lb pork loin roast
salt & pepper
2 cups chicken broth
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp lemon zest
1 1/2 cup frozen cherries
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp light brown sugar
2 tsp cornstarch, mixed into 1 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp butter

1. With pressure cooker lid off, heat oil on high. Generously salt and pepper roast, place in cooker and brown on both sides.
2. Add stock, garlic, zest to cooker and secure lid. Cook on high for 25 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, place cherries, water, mustard and sugar in sauce pan over medium heat. Cover, bring to simmer and let cook 10 minutes.
4. Use a potato masher, hand blender or heavy spoon to mash most of the cherries into the sauce before adding the cornstarch mixture and letting simmer for 3 more minutes to thicken sauce.
5. Remove from heat and stir in butter.
6. Let cooker release naturally for 10 minutes then quick release. Remove roast and let rest under foil for 10 minutes before carving and serving smothered in cherry sauce.

Serving suggestions: Serve with mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables, and cornbread.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Copy Cat Maggiano's Chop Salad

*Adapted from

Prep: 30 minutes
Serves: 6

1/2 head iceberg lettuce, in 1/2" dice
1 head romaine lettuce, in 1/2" dice
2 plum tomatoes, in 1/2" dice
1/2 cup danish blue cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup prosciutto, pan fried until crispy and chopped
1 avocado, small dice
Italian dressing: (makes approx. 2 cups)
1 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
1 Tbsp granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 tsp garlic, finely minced
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1/4 cup white vinegar
salt, to taste
3/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1/2 tsp pepper, freshly ground
1/4 tsp fresh oregano (or 3/4 tsp dried oregano)
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

1. Combine mustard, sugar, water, garlic, red and white vinegar and salt in food processor. Mix until smooth. Slowly drizzle in the oils, continue to blend. Add remaining ingredients and blend until well mixed. Recipe can be doubled with remaining stored in sealed container in refrigerator for up to a week.
2. Place lettuce in large mixing bowl. Add all the ingredients except garnish and mix well. Add dressing and mix well.
3. Serve, topping each portion with garnish.

Optional: Add grilled chicken for an entree salad.

Poblano Chicken Enchiladas

*Adapted from Healthy Delicious.

Prep: 30 minutes
Serves: 4-6

2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 Tbsp green chili powder
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 cups chicken stock, divided
8 enchilada size corn tortillas (or 10-standard size tortillas)
4 oz Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
red onion and cilantro for garnish, if desired
2 poblano peppers
2 cloves garlic
1 jalapeno pepper, stem and seeds removed (optional)
1 lime, juiced
1/3 cup cilantro
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp salt (or more to taste)

1. Broil poblano peppers until skins start to blacken and blister; flip peppers and roast on the other side. Remove and place peppers in a brown paper bag (optional). Allow to cool, peel skins, remove stems & seeds.
2. Rub the chicken breasts with chili powder. Heat the olive oil in a large, deep-sided skillet. Add the chicken and cook until just browned, 1-2 minutes per side. Add 1 cup chicken stock and let the chicken simmer for 10 minutes or until cooked through and the liquid has reduced to about 2 Tbsp. Cool and shred.
3. While the chicken cooks, prepare the poblano sauce by adding 1/2 cup chicken stock, poblano, garlic, jalapeno (if using), cilantro, and lime juice to a blender. Blend on high for 1 minute or until smooth. Add the sour cream and blend another 1 minute. Drizzle in the remaining chicken stock until desired consistency is reached.
4. Pour about 1/2 cup of poblano sauce into the bottom of a baking pan.
5. Divide the chicken between the tortillas and roll; place into the prepared pan. Pour the remaining sauce over the enchiladas. Top with cheese.
6. Bake for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted. Top with finely diced red onion and jalapeno, if desired.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Easy Greek Chicken Salad

chicken breasts
romaine lettuce
spring mix
sliced cucumber
diced tomatoes
crumbled feta cheese
Greek Vinaigrette dressing

Marinate chicken breasts in Greek vinaigrette dressing for up to 24 hours. Cook chicken using preferred method. (I prefer to pressure cook the chicken--add 1 cup water and cook for 8 minutes.)

Shred chicken and combine with all salad ingredients.

Best Baked Potatoes Ever!

russet baking potatoes
olive oil
Kosher salt

Scrub potatoes clean. Rub olive oil and salt all over potatoes and place on a pan. Bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes or until internal temperature is 210 degrees.

Favorite toppings:
pulled pork or chopped beef brisket
sour cream
shredded cheese
diced avocados

Friday, September 19, 2014

Honey Balsamic Green Beans

*Adapted from Paula Deen via

Prep: 20 minutes
Serves: 4-6

16 oz green beans
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp honey
1 tsp onion powder
salt & pepper

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over medium heat. Add the beans and blanch them for 4 minutes. Immediately remove the beans from the water and drain.
2. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and green beans. Cover, and cook for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover, then stir in vinegar, honey, onion powder, and salt and pepper, to taste. Cook until crisp tender.

Crock Pot Spiced Pulled Pork

*Adapted from

Prep: 15 minutes + time in slow cooker
Serves: 6

3-3 1/2 lbs pork shoulder (butt) roast, cut in half
1 onion, peeled and cut in half
2 Tbsp paprika
2 Tbsp salt
2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
3 Tbsp olive oil

Place the onion in the bottom of the slow cooker. Top it with the 2 pieces of pork. Mix the rest of the ingredients and pour over pork. Cook on low 7-8 hours.

Serving Suggestions: on baked potatoes or sliders, with cornbread or cole slaw.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Salmon with Mango Salsa

Adapted from here.

4 salmon filets
olive oil
Seasoning Mix:
1 Tbsp paprika
2 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp ground red pepper (cayenne)
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves
1/2 tsp dried oregano
Mango Salsa:
1 mango, cubed
1 avocado, cubed
1/4 cup red onion, finely diced
2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
2 Tbsp lime juice
1/2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt

1. Heat large skillet on medium-high heat. Combine seasoning mix in a small bowl. Rub each fillet with olive oil then sprinkle seasoning mix generously and evenly on both sides of the fillets. Place in hot skillet and cook for about 5 minutes on each side.
2. Toss all ingredients for salsa together and serve on top of the salmon.

Serving recommendation: rice and black beans.

Friday, August 8, 2014


*Adapted from Design Mom. Watch her kids make it here.

Serves: 10 (about 2 1/2 cups total)
Prep: 15 minutes

1 large English cucumber
8 oz plain Greek yogurt
8 oz sour cream
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced

Peel and grate cucumber. Squeeze the cucumber between paper towels or a clean tea towel to remove as much liquid as possible. (Don't skip this step or the tzatziki will be watery.) Combine all ingredients.

Serve on Slow Cooker Greek Gyros.

Slow Cooker Greek Gyros

*Adapted from Design Mom.

Serves: 6-8
Prep: 30 minutes

1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken, cut into 1-inch pieces (4 chicken breasts or 8 thighs)
juice of 2 large lemons
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 1/2 tsp dried dill
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
8 pitas

Combine all ingredients except the pitas in a slow cooker. Cook on high for 2-3 hours or on low for 4-6 hours. (I cooked on low for 4 hours and they were perfect.) Do NOT overcook or the chicken will begin to dry out.

Serve on pitas with tzatziki. Serve with a Greek salad (greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, feta, olives, and Greek dressing). Another easy side that goes deliciously well are Alexia oven fries with olive oil, rosemary, and garlic. Yum!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Oven Roasted Corn on the Cob

*From here.

Prep: 35 minutes

corn in the husk

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Snip off long silks or dried leaves hanging off of husks to prevent burning. Lay corn, unhusked, on a cookie sheet (cookie sheet optional, but that makes them easier to remove).
3. Bake for 30 minutes, then remove from oven. Leave corn in the husks until ready to serve the meal.
4. Cut off the tip of the corn, unhusked, about an inch from the base of the cob. Peel back the husks and remove the silks, which should easily come off the corn. Season however you like--my favorite is butter and salt and pepper.

Caprese Grilled Cheese Sandwich

*Adapted from here.

Serves: 2 (but easily multiplied)
Prep: 15 minutes

4 slices bread
2 Tbsp olive oil
4 Tbsp basil pesto (I used prepackaged.)
1 ball fresh mozzarella, room temperature, sliced 1/4" thick, set on a paper towel to remove excess liquid
1 large ripe tomato, room temperature, sliced 1/4" thick

1. Heat a nonstick pan (or panini press or George Foreman grill) over medium heat.
2. Brush the outside of each slice of bread with oil and spread the pesto on the inside. Place the mozzarella on the pesto on one slice of bread, top it with the tomato slices, and finally top with the other slice of bread pesto side in.
3. Place the sandwich on the pan and cook until golden brown and cheese has melted, about 2-4 minutes per side. (Or, place in press or grill and cook for 3-5 minutes.)

Jan's Ham & Cheese Sliders

*My aunt Jan shared this recipe with me and it's similar to this recipe by Kraft.

Serves: 12 (2 sliders each)

24 dinner rolls
24 pieces of honey ham (cut to fit rolls)
24 slices of swiss or Provolone cheese (cut to fit rolls)
Poppy Seed Sauce
1 Tbsp poppy seeds
1 1/2 Tbsp yellow mustard
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 tsp Worchestershire sauce
1 Tbsp minced onion

1. Spread mayo on both sides of rolls. Place ham and cheese inside each roll. Close rolls and place them close together in a large baking dish.
2. In a medium bowl whisk together all the ingredients for the poppy seed sauce. Pour sauce (or use pastry brush--Jan's preference) over rolls. Be sure to cover tops and sides of sandwiches well. Let sit 10 minutes until butter sets slightly.
3. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes. Uncover and cook 2 more minutes or until tops are slightly brown. Best served warm, but good anytime!

Note: Someone suggested a sassier version with roast beef and cheddar here.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Tequila Lime Grilled Chicken Club Sandwich

*Adapted from closetcooking.

tequila lime chicken breast
sandwich bread/kaiser roll
tomato slice
leaf lettuce
jalapeno mayo
monterey jack cheese (grated) or queso fresco (crumbled)

Layer and serve.

Southwestern Corn & Black Bean Salad

*Adapted from skinnytaste.

Prep: 15 minutes
Serves: 12 (1/2-cup servings)

15.5 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
9 oz cooked corn, fresh or frozen (thawed if frozen)
1 medium tomato, chopped
1/3 cup red onion, finely diced
1 1/2 - 2 limes, juice of
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, minced
salt & pepper
1 medium hass avocado, diced
1 jalapeno, finely diced (optional)

Combine all ingredients except avocado. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Add avocado right before serving.

Note: This would also be good with a seeded and diced cucumber.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Whole Wheat Blueberry Pancakes

*Adapted from here and here.

Serves: 6 (2 pancakes each)
Prep: 30 minutes

1 1/4 c whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 Tbsp white sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
1 cup milk (plus more if needed)
3 Tbsp butter, melted
1/2 cup blueberries (or place banana slices directly into batter on the skillet)

Combine ingredients in order. Use 1/4 cup measure to pour batter onto a hot skillet for each pancake.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Caprese Salad with Balsamic Reduction

*Adapted from here.

Prep: 20 minutes
Serves: 2 entrees or 4 appetizers

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/8 cup honey
2 medium tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch slices
8 oz fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
3 Tbsp fresh basil leaves, sliced
2 Tbsp olive oil

1. Stir balsamic vinegar and honey together in a small saucepan and place over high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer until the vinegar mixture has reduced by half and is desired consistency, about 10 minutes. Set the balsamic reduction aside to cool.
2. Arrange alternate slices of tomato and mozzarella on a platter. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper, spread fresh basil over the salad, and drizzle with olive oil and balsamic reduction.

Pumpkin Whole Wheat Pancakes

*Adapted from here.

Prep: 30 minutes
Serves: 6

1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
2 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional)
1/2 tsp nutmeg (optional)
1/2 tsp salt
1 pinch ground clove (optional)
1 1/4 cup milk
1/3 cup canned pumpkin puree
4 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 egg

1. Mix dry ingredients in one bowl. (For less seasonal flavor, add just a dash of cinnamon instead of cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove.)
2. Mix wet ingredients in a separate bowl.
3. Fold wet ingredients into the dry.
4. Using a 1/4 cup measure, scoop out batter and pour into a warmed griddle.
5. Cook 3-4 minutes on each side. Serve with butter and syrup.

Notes: These can be very thick, so spread the batter as needed to help the pancakes cook evenly. You're going to want to double this recipe and eat these all week!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Eggs Benedict with Easy Hollandaise


Prep: 20 minutes
Serves: 2

1 Tbsp unsalted butter
4 slices Canadian bacon
2 English muffins, split and toasted
4 large eggs
for easy hollandaise:
2 large egg yolks
1 Tbsp warm water
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
3/4 tsp coarse salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

1. Prepare easy hollandaise, but do not finish until ready to serve. In a blender, combine egg yolks, water, lemon juice, and salt; blend until frothy.
2. Heat 1 Tbsp butter in medium skillet over medium heat. Add Canadian bacon and cook until well browned on both sides. Divide bacon among the English muffin halves.
3. Fill a large deep saucepan with 2 inches of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium. When water is barely simmering, break one egg into a small heatproof bowl. Placing lip of bowl in the water, gently tip the bowl to slide egg carefully into pan. Use a small spoon to "fold" the edges of the white over the egg, for a neater edge. Repeat with remaining eggs. Cook until whites are just set, but yolks are still soft (they should still move around inside), 2 to 3 minutes. Lift out eggs with a slotted spoon or small mesh sieve; transfer to paper towel-lined plate to drain. Trim edges of whites with a knife, if desired.
4. Gently place the egg on a bacon-topped muffin, and then finish the hollandaise sauce.
5. Heat 1 Tbsp butter in the microwave. With blender running, pour in hot butter in a very thin stream, blending until sauce is thick and emulsified. Serve over egg-topped English muffins.

Cracker Barrel's Pecan Crusted Catfish

*Adapted from the Wholesome Fixins Menu at Cracker Barrel.

Prep: 30 minutes
Serves: 4

4 5oz boneless, skinless catfish filets (tilapia works well too)
1 tsp olive oil
for creole marmalade:
2 Tbsp orange marmalade
1/4 tsp dijon mustard
dash of creole/cajun seasoning
for pecan crumble:
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 cup Panko seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 cup chopped pecans
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 Tbsp fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
1/4 tsp creole/cajun seasoning

1. Prepare pecan crumble: In a small skillet, heat olive oil. Add bread crumbs and cook until golden brown, then add the pecans and garlic, lightly sautéing. Add parsley and seasoning and mix together.
2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
3. Spray cast iron skillet (or other oven-safe skillet) with nonstick spray and heat with olive oil. When sizzling hot, add catfish and cook until golden on bottom--about 2 minutes. Gently turn fish with flat spatula, and even brush each filet with 1/2 Tbsp creole marmalade. Lightly pat fish with pecan crumble and place skillet in hot oven until crumble is golden brown.
4. Serve immediately.

Breakfast Casserole Bites

*Adapted from

Prep: 40 minutes
Serves: makes 12

1/2 lb cooked and crumbled breakfast sausage
2 pieces whole wheat bread
9 eggs
1/2 cup milk
salt & pepper, to taste
1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 12 muffin cups. Tear sandwich bread into 1/2-inch pieces and evenly distribute them in muffin cups.
2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together eggs and milk; salt & pepper as desired.
3. Evenly distribute sausage among muffin cups. Pour egg mixture into muffin cups and then top with cheese.
4. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until eggs are set.

These freeze well, so double the recipe and enjoy them next week or next month!

Friday, May 23, 2014

The Popcorn Trick

*From 100 Days of Real Food.

1/4 cup popcorn kernels
brown paper lunch bag
optional: olive oil/butter & salt

Pour kernels into the brown paper bag and tightly fold over the top 3-4 times (no staple or tape necessary.) Heat in the microwave 2-3 minutes or until popping slows to 3-4 seconds between pops. Pour into a bowl and, if desired, drizzle with oil or melted butter and sprinkle with salt.

Notes: I started with 2 min 20 sec, but the batch was a little burned, so I backed off to 2 minutes even though some of the kernels weren't popped yet.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Whole Wheat Banana Bread (no sugar added)

*Adapted from this recipe on 100 Days of Real Food.

2 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3 ripe bananas, smashed
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup honey
2 eggs
1/4 cup oil (I used coconut oil)
1 tsp vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease pan (I greased with coconut oil).
2. Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt.
3. In a separate bowl, mix mashed bananas with yogurt, honey, eggs, oil, and vanilla.
4. Fold the banana mixture into the flour mixture until blended. Do not overmix.
5. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake large loaf 40-50 minutes until toothpick comes out clean. For 3 small loaves, bake approximately 30 minutes.

Notes: I may try melting the coconut oil 10 seconds in the microwave so that it's liquid instead of solid next time. I also used vanilla-flavored yogurt, but did not use the vanilla extract, and we all thought it was very tasty!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Turkey Cranberry Salad

*I got this idea from a pre-packaged salad that our grocery store, HEB, sells using their rotisserie turkey breast. I've never actually measured any amounts for this recipe, so if my guesses on amounts seem off as you combine them, taste and adjust as necessary.

Serves: 4
Prep: 15 minutes

3 cups rotisserie turkey breast, chopped
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1 stalk celery, diced finely
3 Tbsp red onion, diced finely
1 tsp fresh parsley, diced
salt & pepper

Combine all ingredients and refrigerate for a few hours to allow flavors to combine. Store in refrigerator up to 3-4 days.

Serve on a sandwich or as a lettuce wrap (I prefer to use Bibb lettuce for wraps.)

Notes: Chopped nuts would be a welcome addition to this salad.

Lemon Basil Scones

2 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold and diced
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
2 Tbsp lemon zest
1 cup heavy whipping cream
olive oil
garlic salt

1. Combine flour, baking powder, salt, and pepper. Cut in butter using stand mixer or pastry blender) until mixture is crumbly. Stir in Parmesan, basil, and zest. Add cream, stirring by hand just until ingredients are moistened.
2. On lightly floured surface, form dough in ball, cut in half. Form each half into 3/4-inch-thick round. Cut into 8 pie wedges. Brush tops of scones with olive oil and sprinkle evenly with garlic salt.
3. Bake for 12-14 minutes in 400 degree oven.

Note: To freeze scones, place on wax paper-lined baking sheet and cover loosely with wax paper. Freeze for several hours before packaging in fresh wax paper and sealing in freezer bag. Bake frozen scones the same as fresh scones. Frozen scones are best used within one month.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Pear Gorgonzola Salad with Chicken

*Thanks, zpizza, for the idea for this salad. This is an informal recipe to remind me of an easy & delicious meal.

spring mix
gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
candied walnuts
sliced pears
grilled chicken
Ken's Steak House Balsamic with Honey Dressing

1. Marinate chicken in 1/4-1/2 cup balsamic dressing a few hours to overnight, then cook on grill or skillet.
2. Combine ingredients, including grilled chicken, and serve with dressing.

Even my kids loved this salad and gobbled it up!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Asian Salad with Chicken

This is a very informal recipe & mainly a reminder for me personally of an easy, healthy, and delicious meal.

chicken breasts
mixed salad greens (ideas: romaine, spinach, baby leaf lettuce, iceberg, etc)
shredded cabbage (coleslaw mix without the dressing)
matchstick carrots
mandarin orange segments
snap peas
roasted almond slices
wonton strips

1. Marinate chicken breasts in Cardini's Roasted Asian Sesame Dressing the night before cooking or up to 24 hours in advance. Grill or cook in skillet.
2. Combine the rest of the ingredients along with chicken and serve with the Asian Sesame dressing.

Broccoli Cheese Soup

*Adapted from this recipe.

Serves: 6
Prep: 40 minutes

1/4 cup butter
1/2 onion, chopped
1 carrot, diced
16 oz pkg frozen broccoli, thawed and chopped
2 (14 oz) cans chicken broth
1/2 Velveeta cheese loaf, cubed
1 cup milk
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 cup cornstarch

1. In a stockpot, saute onion and carrot in butter until softened, about 5 minutes.
2. Add broccoli and 1 1/2 cans of chicken broth. Simmer until broccoli is tender, about 10 minutes.
3. Reduce heat to low, stir in cheese cubes until melted. Mix in milk and garlic powder.
4. Add cornstarch to 1/2 can of broth, stir until combined and then add mixture to soup. Raise heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently until soup thickens. (Reduce heat immediately if cheese begins to stick to the bottom of the pot.)

Notes: You can use an immersion blender before adding the cheese if you prefer your soup to be smoother. I like broccoli cheese soup to have larger pieces of veggies, so I finely chopped half of the broccoli and coarsely chopped the other half for variety. You could also use vegetable stock if you want this to be vegetarian.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Jan's Chicken Enchilada Soup

Prep: 1 hour
Serves: 6

2 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped
15 oz can black beans, rinsed
15 oz can Mexican-style diced tomatoes
10 oz pkg frozen whole corn
10 oz can enchilada sauce (red, not green)
10 oz can cream of chicken soup
15 oz can chicken broth
1 pkg dry Ranch dressing mix
1 1/2 cups milk
2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded*

1. Saute onions and bell pepper in butter.
2. Add all ingredients except chicken to large pot. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.
3. Add chicken and continue simmering for 15 minutes.
4. Serve with crushed tortilla chips, sour cream, shredded cheese, and avocado.

-sub for cooked chicken breasts: rotisserie chicken, shredded, or 3 cans chicken
-sub for frozen corn: canned corn, drained
-sub for Mexican-style diced tomatoes: regular can diced tomatoes plus 2 Tbsp Rotel or canned diced green chilies
-pinto beans would be a good addition to this soup

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Clementine Mango Green Smoothie

*From New Nostalgia here.

Serves: 2
Prep: 5 minutes

2 large handfuls of spinach (about 2 cups)
2 clementines, peeled
1 cup frozen mango (if fresh, use a frozen banana)
1 ripe banana (can be frozen)
1 1/2 - 2 cups water

If using a high speed blender, add all ingredients together and blend until smooth.

If not, start with spinach and one cup of water. Blend well until spinach is in teeny tiny bits. Add the rest of the fruit and blend away. Add more water until a vortex forms in the middle and consistency is smooth.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Simple Roasted Butternut Squash


1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic
salt & pepper, to taste

Toss all ingredients in a large bowl. Spread onto a baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes, until squash is tender and lightly browned.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Tomato & Zucchini Fritatta

*Adapted from

Serves: 4
Prep: 20 minutes

2 tsp olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 1/2 cups (7 oz) zucchini (about 2 zucchini), diced into matchsticks
4 large eggs
1 cup egg whites
1/4 cup Asiago cheese, grated
salt & fresh pepper
2 medium vine-ripe tomatoes (about 8 oz), cored and thinly sliced crosswise

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Sautee onion in 10-inch skillet (oven safe skillet) with oil over medium-low heat until slightly golden, 8-10 minutes. Add zucchini, increase heat to medium-high, season with salt and pepper and cook 2-3 minutes or until the moisture dries up, stirring occasionally.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs, egg whites, Asiago, salt and pepper. Pour eggs into the skillet making sure they cover all the vegetables. Arrange tomatoes in an overlapping pattern on top and season with salt and pepper. When the edges begin to set (about 2 minutes) move skillet to oven. Cook about 16-18 minutes, or until frittata is completely cooked. Serve warm, cut into 4 pieces.

Spinach Steak Salad

I'm jotting this down here so I can remember an easy weeknight dinner that can be adapted for just me for lunches.

beef (any form of steak*), seasoned with Cajun seasoning and then broiled/grilled
cherry tomatoes, halved
small amount of red onion, thinly sliced
light blue cheese dressing

Combine however desired, then eat!

*The first time I made this I used skirt steak and it was delicious!