Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Chili Lime Shrimp

Sorry - no picture - we ate it too fast!

This is a Weight Watcher's 5 Ingredient Recipe, and it tasted fabulous. Even my toddler could not stop eating it. The only problem is that it wasn't enough for two adults. Which, I guess makes sense since it's Weight Watchers. They probably assume you eat a tiny bowlful of stuff if you're trying to lose weight. So, double it. :)

Chili Lime Shrimp

3/4 C green onions (basically one bunch of green onions chopped up)
1 - 1/2 lbs peeled and deveined shrimp (we bought the pre-cooked frozen kind)
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 Tab lime juice (we used lemon, but lime would be even better)
2 Tab butter
1/2 teas salt

Spray your pan with cooking spray and set on medium heat. I used a wok. Cook green onions for about a minute. Add shrimp (thawed if you're doing it our way) and sprinkle chili powder on them. Cook a few minutes until hot through, stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat, add the juice, butter and salt and stir. Serve with pasta, rice, bread...something else to fill you up. It would also have been amazing as a shrimp taco filling.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Beef Vegetable Soup

So I did a bit of tweaking on this recipe because it sounded so good but I didn't have all the right ingredients. The original recipe is in black and my "tweaking" is in red. If I didn't make any red notes next to the ingredients then I used the original ingredients. This turned out so yummy and yielded plenty of left overs.

Beef Vegetable Soup
1/2 T vegetable oil
3/4 lb beef chuck cut into 3/4" chunks
(I drained 2 cans of canned beef that I had in food storage, omitting the vegetable oil and fresh beef chuck)

1/2 medium onion chopped (I didn't have fresh onion so I used about a teaspoon of dried onion flakes)
2 cans (14.5 oz each) beef broth
1/2 can (28-35 oz) plum tomatoes in juice (I used a jar of tomatoes I canned last summer, if I were to do it again, I would strain a little bit of the juice before dumping it in)
1 c water
1/2 bay leaf
1/8 t dried thyme
1/8 t pepper
1/2 lb carrots, peeled and diced
1/2 lb red potatoes, peeled and diced (I used russets as I didn't have red potatoes on hand)
1 1/2 celery stalks, diced
1/2 package (10 oz) frozen peas (I drained a can of peas as I didn't have frozen on hand, though I would have preferred the frozen)
1/2 package (10 oz) frozen corn (I didn't have any corn so I did without but I will most definitely be adding it next time)

Brown beef in oil in large pot. Add onion and cook 5 minutes. Stir in broth, tomatoes and juice, water, bay leaf, thyme, and pepper; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 45 minutes.
Add carrots, potatoes, and celery; cover and simmer 45 minutes. Add peas and corn and cook 15 minutes.
In a large pot place beef, onion flakes, broth, tomatoes and juice, water, bay leaf, thyme, and pepper; bring to a boil. Add carrots, potatoes, and celery; cover and let simmer for 30 minutes. Add canned peas and let boil for about 5 minutes. Enjoy with some fresh french bread :)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Honey Garlic Pork Chops & Basil/Parmesan Orzo Pasta

Honey Garlic Pork Chops
1/4 c Honey
3T Soy Sauce
6 cloves garlic, minced
6 pork chops

Mix together honey, soy sauce, and garlic with a wire whisk. Pour most of it over the chops and let sit for about 10 minutes (about 5 on each side). I save a little bit of the sauce so I can pour it over the chops while we BBQ them.

Honestly I've made this marinade so many times I just "Rachel Ray" it (no measuring). If I remember correctly though, 1/4 c of honey seemed a bit too sweet but that's the great thing about marinades, you can make it your own.

Parmesan & Basil Orzo Pasta
2T butter
1 c. uncooked orzo pasta
1 (14.5 oz) can of chicken broth
1/2 c grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 c chopped fresh basil
salt & pepper to taste

Melt butter in skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in orzo & saute until lightly browned. Stir in chicken broth and bring to a boil. Cover. Reduce heat and simmer until orzo is tender and liquid is absorbed, about 15-20 minutes. Mix in Parmesan cheese and basil. Season with salt and pepper.

During the summer when my garden is in full produce mode, I'll add fresh bell peppers and roma tomatoes to this as well. Soooo yummy!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Thai Ruby Curry (Ganeg Phed Gai Yang)

Behold, my favorite dish. We first had something akin to this at a restaurant in Provo, UT called Thai Ruby (it's their "House Special"). I fell in love with it. The fresh basil with the sweetness of the pineapple and tomato in combination with the delicious coconut curry is wonderful. So Brian did a little research and we adapted some online recipes and came up with this. We've been making it for years. I now share the recipe with you!

Cut up 2 chicken breasts (it really is best NOT to use chicken thighs)
Cut up about 5 fresh basil leaves, chiffonade
Cut up about 2 tomatoes [we used Romas] into thin wedges

Put a little oil in a pan (not olive oil) and heat it up. Add a teaspoon of red curry paste and fry until fragrant. Then add 1/2 can of coconut milk (shake it up first) and heat it up until a thin film of oil come to the top. Add chicken and cook through. Add 1tsp fish sauce (find in Asian section of your grocery store) and the rest of the coconut milk. 
Add everything else: about 1/2 cup chunked pineapple, about 1/3 cup frozen peas, tomatoes, and fresh basil. Add heaping teaspoon of sugar. Heat until everything is warm and the coconut milk comes back together (shouldn't have to boil). 

Taste to make sure everything is okay. If it needs more curry, ladle out some of the coconut milk into a liquid measuring cup and stir in your curry paste. Once it's dissolved, add it back into the pan.

Serve over white rice.

(Go find an asian market, the red curry paste there is less expensive than the American grocery store's brands. For you Colorado folk, try the Pacific Ocean Marketplace in Broomfield. It's on 6600 West 120th Avenue, Broomfield, CO.)

Baked Manicotti

I made this last week. Or maybe before then. But I got it from Mel's Kitchen Cafe. Wowzers, it was tasty. Especially like the sauce! And I think the no-boil lasagna noodles are great!

Go HERE for the recipe! Try it out!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Lentil Soup & Brown Bread

Ever since I was a teen, I've been making lentil soup. And my mom used to occasionally serve us brown bread, but it came out of a can (go figure, who would think of bread in a tin can?). I found this brown bread recipe, and it is AWESOME! It's not shaped round like a tin can, but it's really yummy. I store it in the fridge, but it doesn't last long because we eat it up! The lentil soup can easily be vegetarian, but I like to add ham or kielbasa.

Lentil Soup

1 onion, chopped
1/4 c. olive oil (I didn't use that much)
2 carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. dried basil
1 (14.5 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 cups dry lentils, picked over and rinsed
8 c. water
1/2 c. spinach, rinsed and thinly sliced
2 Tbsp. vinegar
salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste
ham bone & diced ham leftovers (optional)

In a large soup pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, and celery; cook and stir until onion is tender. Stir in garlic, bay leaf, oregano, and basil; cook for 2 minutes.

Stir in lentils, and add water and tomatoes and ham bone (optional). Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for at least 1 hour. When ready to serve, stir in spinach and cook until it wilts. Add chopped ham, or strip ham from ham bone, or add kielbasa. Heat until warm. Stir in vinegar, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Boston Brown Bread

2 c. whole wheat flour
1 c. all purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2/3 c. packed brown sugar (I used dark)
1/4 c. molasses (I used the mild flavor)
2 c. buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan.

In a large bowl, whisk together whole wheat flour, all purpose flour, baking soda, and brown sugar. Mix in molasses and buttermilk until just combined. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake for one hour (I baked mine for probably 45 min. and covered the top with some foil part way through baking so it didn't darken on the top too much). Cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes, and then remove from pan. Cool completely before slicing.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


A frequent around our home. It's very easy.

4 cups flour
1 T yeast (I use instant)
1 1/2 tsp. salt
warm water-- just enough so that it makes a smooth, soft dough. If the dough is sticking to the sides of the bowl, there's not enough flour.

Mix/knead for a few minutes and let rise for 30 minutes or so.
Roll out and sprinkle garlic powder on the dough. Then add grated parmesan cheese. Also add cheddar, jack, or mozzarella cheese. Bake in 400 degree oven for about 12 minutes. Slice it up and top it with a slice of tomato and seasoned salt. That last part is what defines this dish! Gotta have the tomato and seasoned salt.

Want a little history on this? Okay, well since you asked. I went to Portland, OR to meet Brian's parents for the first time and Jill made this for us one night. I was like, "Wow. Hey, that's really good!" I've been making it like 3 times every month since then.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter Dinner

I don't have a picture of the roast, but it's SO easy and very yummy.

Pork or Beef Roast, almost any size will work
1 jar of sliced pepperoncinis
1 onion soup mix - Liptons works well.

Put all together in a crockpot and cook on high about 3 or 4 hours depending on roast size. It turns out best with pork.

This is Russell Stover Pie
Basically just layer a graham cracker crust (pre-cooked), chocolate pudding and coconut cream pudding. Top with whipped cream. I homemade all the puddings, but I'm sure a mix would be fine.

Potato Rolls - so good that no one can stop eating them

2 C warm water
2 Tab yeast
6 tab sugar
1/2 C oil
1 egg
1/2 C warm mashed potatoes prepared with milk and butter - instant flakes or pearls work just as well.
1 1/2 teas salt
1 teas baking powder
1/2 teas baking soda
2/3 C powdered milk
1/2 C whole wheat flour
~ 5 C white flour

Proof yeast in water and add sugar. Mix ingredients in order given. If you don't have whole wheat flour, you can use all white. Don't add too much flour, it should be pretty soft. Knead for 6 - 8 minutes and place in greased bowl. Cover and let rise until doubled, about an hour or so. Punch down and divide in half. Each half makes ~ 16 balls. Place an inch or two apart on greased or parchment lined cookie sheet. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes. Bake at 375ยบ for 15 - 18 minutes. In Colorado it took 12. Brush with butter if desired.

And Huckleberry salad. This stuff is amazing and Ryan says it's basically dessert. You can substitute blackberries or blueberries for huckleberries if you need to. My grandma says she's also done cherries with it and they were great.

1 1/2 C huckleberries
1/2 C water
4 teas sugar
8 oz cream cheese at room temperature
15 oz crushed pineapple
1 C huckleberries
8 oz cool whip
2 C mini marshmallows

Place 1 1/2 C huckleberries with water and sugar in bowl and microwave for about 4 minutes or until it's boiled a bit. Cool in fridge or freezer. Mix with cream cheese making sure not to get any clumps of cream cheese. A mixer works fine, but we've done it by hand. Add pineapple and 1 C huckleberries, slowly stirring them in. Gently stir in cool whip and marshmallows. Chill. It'll set up a bit after an hour or so.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Artichoke Pasta

Artichoke Pasta
2 T. lemon juice
2 cloves garlic
1/4 c. butter (or margarine)
1/4 c. olive oil
1 pkg. linguine
1 jar (about 1 c.) sun dried tomatoes (drained)
1 jar (13. oz) artichoke hearts (cut to bite size)
1 small can sliced olives

Slowly heat olive oil and butter in skillet to medium hot. Add lemon juice and garlic. Add artichoke hearts with juices, stirring until tender. Add sun dried tomatoes stirring until tender. Pour over pasta. Add olives. Serve immediately.

(I added parmesan cheese to the top. My kids picked it all out and just ate the pasta. Except Anneke. She ate the olives.) I got the recipe here and tweaked it slightly.

Friday, April 2, 2010

April Fools Dinner

I love to do something fun for any holiday. I remembered seeing these a few years ago in Family Fun. So, I decided to try it last night.
For the "cupcakes" just use your favorite meatloaf recipe and fill foil baking cups 2/3 full. (It needs to be foil because of the grease.) Cook at 375 degrees for about 15 minutes. Make mashed potatoes and then add whatever food color you desire. (There is fighting at our house unless the color is gender neutral.)

For the grilled cheese I used a loaf of angel food cake and toasted it then added orange buttercream frosting (3 cups powdered sugar, 1/3 c. butter and about 1 Tbs of milk) I made. It was a fun meal. We did have broccoli for the veggie but it didn't fit the theme.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Stuffed Shells

Not the best picture, I apologize. I load it with sauce so you can't really see how pretty the "insides" of the pasta shells are.

This is one of our favorite dishes to make but I only make it every-so-often because Jared's not a fan of forking out the cash for the ricotta cheese and sausage...I guess it just makes it that much more special. Not to mention since it's just the two of us, we have left-overs for about 3 nights.

1 Jar of red sauce
1/2 lb sweet Italian sausage
1/2 chopped onion
1 c part skim ricotta cheese
1 1/4 c mozzarella cheese
3/4 c Parmesan cheese
1/4 t pepper
2 T chopped basil leaves (this is if you're using fresh basil, you won't want to use as much if your using dried basil)
1 box of large shell pasta

Cut sausage out of the skins. Cook sausage with onions until brown, drain.
While sausage is cooling, stir ricotta, 1 c mozzarella, 1/2 c Parmesan, pepper and basil together in a large bowl. After the sausage is cooled, mix with the cheese mixture.
Cook about 25 - 30 shells (you can only fit about 25 shells in a 9x13 but I always cook extra just in case some break during the cooking process).
Pour some sauce on the bottom of a 9x13 to prevent the pasta from sticking.
Fill shells with cheese mixture and place in the pan.
Pour sauce on top.
Bake 30-40 minutes at 350 degrees until the sauce is bubbling.
Mix remainder of cheese and put on top. Bake five more minutes.
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