Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Simple. Fresh. Pasta

This pasta is super easy and so refreshing. It's not too heavy like many pasta dinners can be. This recipe comes from my aunt Diane. Thank You! For the kids I like to season up the plain, cooked noodles and serve them that with broccoli on the side. They don't like mixed food:) Then I add everything together for the adults.

Pasta with Broccoli and Tomatoes

1 box angel hair pasta (you can but the whole grain pasta. My hubby won't eat it:)
2 heads of broccoli, chopped. About 3 cups
3-4 good sized tomatoes, seeded and diced
2 lemons
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste 

Cook pasta as directed. While that's cooking, steam chopped broccoli until tender. Seed and dice tomatoes so they are ready when the pasta is finished. Once the pasta is done, drain and put in large bowl.  Pour olive oil on pasta and toss. Season with salt and pepper. Add tomatoes and broccoli. Squeeze juice from 1 1/2 lemons over pasta (add more if needed). Toss. Serve.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken Tortilla Soup

2 tablespoons oil4 carrots, peeled and chopped
4 celery stalks, chopped
1/2 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt and Pepper to taste
4 cans reduced sodium chicken broth
2 cans diced tomatoes w/ chilies
1 package taco seasonings (you can buy this or use the seasonings I use for Taco soup)
3 large flour tortillas, cut into small pieces
2 chicken breasts
1 cup milk
8-12 oz of shredded monterey jack cheese
Corn tortilla chips for garnish and to use for eating
Fresh avocado slices for garnish  
Fresh Cilantro for garnish

Bring chicken broth to boil in large pot. Once at a boil add raw chicken. Cook 20-30 min until chicken is cooked through. While that's cooking heat oil in large saucepan. Add carrots, celery, onion and garlic. Saute until tender. Add salt and pepper. Once chicken is cooked through, remove chicken from broth and set aside. Add vegetables to broth. Add tomatoes and taco seasonings to broth. Cut chicken into bite sized pieces and add to broth. Cut tortillas and add to broth. Let simmer on med-low for 20min. COVERED. Add milk and cheese. Simmer additional 10 min. Serve with chips for dipping and avocado and cilantro on top.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Shrimp & Avacado Salad

This is a great salad for a warm summer day. As you know I am a sucker for anything with cilantro, avocado, lime or shrimp so this is a home run. My husband didn't put it on salad and ate it as a salsa so that's an option too:)

Shrimp & Avocado Salad 
makes 4 salads

1 pound jumbo cooked shrimp, peeled and deveined, chopped
2 med. tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 large avocado, diced
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
2 limes for juice and zest
1/4 small red onion, diced
1/4 cucumber, peeled and diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 small romaine lettuce heads, washed dried and chopped

In a small bowl combine jalapeno, lime juice and zest, red onion, cucumber and oil. Let sit at least 5 min. Add shrimp, tomatoes, salt and pepper. Just before serving add cilantro and avocado. Combine. Serve over lettuce. Drizzle some of the juice from the mixture as the dressing.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Craft...well sort of:)

We got this day bed frame last week. My oldest daughter really needed a bed so I was excited for her to have one. It was pretty ugly. Really dark stained wood. Not so good for her room. I have been priming and painting for a few days now and today I was proud to put it together (yes by myself) and show it to her. She was very impressed. Now I will have to redecorate the whole room around it but I think it will be fun!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

My weakness

It could be worse I know but I can't seem to stop eating avocados. This is how my dad ate them when I was little and I crave it daily. Slice a ripe avocado in half, sprinkle both sides with a little salt and squeeze fresh lemon juice in each well. Eat just like that with a spoon. I just can't get enough:) My husband likes to brag that he lived in the avocado capitol of the world for sometime but it doesn't last long once he realizes I never save him any!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Welcome Little one

I made this card and then made a few adjustments but I mailed them off before I got a pic of the final product. All well. Here is a baby card I made this week.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

S'more Bits

You have got to try this recipe. My dad introduced me to it. I finally had an excuse to make lots of goodies and not have them sit on the counter so I tried these out. They are tasty! They are fairly simple to make and different from the normal boring cookie. Let me know if you try it! P.s. I wish I would have had a few more to myself before I brought them to a party:)

Finished Product!
I used my 1 tsp to press the graham crackers 
After the Marshmallows have been baked
I used a double boiler to melt the chocolate

S'more Bits yields 24 bits

9 whole graham crackers, crushed
1/4 cup confectioners sugar
1 stick butter, melted
8 oz. milk chocolate, melted
12 large Marshmallows

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Crush the graham crackers by putting them in a Ziploc bag and roll with rolling pin. In a bowl mix crushed crackers with the sugar and butter. Scoop cracker mixture into each well of a 24 count mini cupcake pan. See picture above. Press mixture down so that it holds firm. Bake in oven for 5 min. While that baking, cut each of the 12 marshmallows in half cross wise. You can dip kitchen shears in cold water first and the marshmallows won't stick. Remove the pan from the oven and place half a marshmallow on top of each crust. See photo above. Bake 2 minutes longer. Cool pan on a rack for 15 min. While that is cooling begin melting your chocolate in a double boiler. Stir continuously. Carefully remove each bit from the pan and dip marshmallow top in melted chocolate. Place on a plate or rack so chocolate can set. It will take 30-40 for the chocolate to harden. Your done!

recipe adapted from: Pampered Chef

Friday, May 13, 2011

Strawberry Shortcake

This is weird... my blog post has disappeared. All evidence that I posted my strawberry shortcake recipe is gone. What the heck?? I really don't want to have to post it again. UGH!

As I wrote before my husband challenged me to make strawberry shortcake like one we had at a restaurant a few weeks back. I accepted his challenge and here we are.

Strawberry Shortcake

Strawberry Topping:
1 lb. Strawberries, sliced
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. lemon juice

2 1/4 cup flour
4 tsp. baking powder
2 Tablespoons sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup shortening
1 egg, beaten
2/3 cup milk (you may need a little more if dough is extra dry)

Whipped Topping

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Mix strawberry topping ingredients in bowl and set aside. In separate bowl mix all dry ingredients for shortcakes.  Using a pastry blender blend in shortening. Gently mix in beaten egg and milk until a dry dough is formed. For flakier cakes mix minimum. Roll into palm sized balls and shape into biscuits. Makes about 6 biscuits. Place on baking sheet and bake for 15min. or until golden brown. Cool on rack. I served them with vanilla ice cream, strawberry topping and whipped topping in the photos above.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Pot Roast

Who doesn't love a warm home cooked meal like pot roast. It's comfort food at it's best. I usually like to make mashed potatoes instead of cooked like in the picture but when I made this I only had two potatoes so I figured that wouldn't make much. The gravy comes out thick and ready to serve. Don't forget rolls for a loaf of french bread to dip in the gravy. Now I am drooling.

Beef Pot Roast

2 1/2 - 3 lb. beef chuck roast
2 Tablespoons flour
Salt and Pepper
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
1 pkg. onion soup mix
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
2 1/2 cups water
2-3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
carrots (I use a small package of baby carrots, you can cut about 3-4 carrots)
potatoes (about 3 large)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously season your meat with salt and pepper on both sides. Sprinkle flour on all sides as well so it has a light coating. Heat oil in large pan on med/high. When hot brown meat on all sides. While that's browning, pour soup mix, mushroom soup, water and Worcestershire sauce in a roaster pan that has a lid. Mix well. Add meat when it's browned on all sides. Put lid on and bake for 2 hours. At two hours add your carrots and potatoes (if you are going to mash them, cook them separately). Put back in oven and cook for one more hour or until meat is cooked through and veggies are softened.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Slow Cooker Pork ~Delicious!

I apologize for this picture. My hubby got home and started eating the rest of the pork before I could take good pics so I tried to get something to show. This is the best pork dish I have ever had. So easy and very tasty! You can serve it like you would a roast with potatoes or shred it and put it on a salad or a taco. Endless possibilities!

Slow Cooker Pork

2 pound pork tenderloin
1 envelope dry onion soup mix
1 cup water
1/2 cup purple grape juice
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons garlic, minced
3 tablespoons soy sauce
Pepper to taste

Place pork tenderloin in a slow cooker with the contents of the soup packet. Pour water, grape juice, vinegar and soy sauce over the top, turning the pork to coat. Carefully spread garlic over the pork. Sprinkle with pepper, cover, and cook on low setting for 4 hours.