Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Ashley's Version of Green Bean Casserole

Its not Thanksgiving with out green bean casserole. I like to add a few special touches to my casserole. Here is my version.

2 tablespoons evoo
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 yellow onion chopped
1 package of sliced mushrooms
2 packages of washed fresh green beans
2 cans of cream of mushroom soup
2 cups shredded cheese
1/3 cup milk
1 can of French onion crisps

Over med heat add evoo and butter into a medium size skillet. Add chopped onions and sliced mushrooms, cook for about 5-10 min untill onions and mushrooms are cooked down. Chop up green beans into bite size pieces and put in baking dish. Add the onion/ mushroom mixture to the dish along with the soup, shredded cheese, pepper, and milk.

Preheat oven to 350. Cook for 30 minutes, then add the french onion crisps to the top and cook for another 5 min. And enjoy!

I love this dish because you can make it a few days a head of time and bake it when you are ready!!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Pita Pizzas!

Last night we enjoyed these wonderful and very easy Pita Pizzas. They are one of my favorite quick meals to make and everyone loves them ( well at least in my family they do). I love this recipe because there are so many different versions you can make with it. You can swap ingredients and it will still be amazing. Here is what we ate last night:

Olive oil
1 lb of ground beef
2-3 cloves of garlic grated
1/2 yellow onion chopped
1 red bell pepper chopped
1 can diced italian tomatoes
4 cups shredded mixed italian cheese (more if desired)
4 pita bread slices

Pre heat oven to 375

Over medium heat brown up ground beef, garlic, and onion. Drain fat from pan, and add in bell pepper cook 2-3 minutes. Stir in can of tomatoes to meat mixture. Place the 4 pita slices on a cookie sheet and spoon meat mixture onto each of the slices. Then cover the slices with cheese and bake about 15-20 minutes untill cheese is melty and bubbly!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Lemon Butter Chicken

Here is my simple chicken recipe. I have been getting bored with the same old grilling chicken, pork chops, and steak. So stay tuned for some up and coming new recipes!

Lemon Butter Chicken


4 Chicken Breast
1/2 Stick of Butter
3 lemons
Salt and Pepper


Preheat the oven to 375, while the oven preheats stick the butter in a glass bottom pan and put in the oven to melt. Salt and pepper the chicken breast. Pull out pan when butter is melted and rub the chicken in the butter coating both sides. Add the juice of one lemon over the chicken. Slice the other two lemons into rounds and place over top of chicken. Bake for 45 min and enjoy!!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Banana Bread!

I rarely bake, but when I do it is usually banana bread! I remember having this cook book when I was a kid that had the all different kinds of recipes of kids and banana bread was my favorite recipe to make out of that book. It makes the house smell so good and makes a great after dinner treat! Not having a recipe I winged it and needless to say it ended up pretty darn good!

Banana Bread:

3 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 mashed riped bananas
3 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 cup vegtable oil

Preheat oven to 325

Combine the dry ingredients in one bowl, the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl combine the eggs, bananas, vanilla, and vegtable oil. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix. Once the ingredients are mixed together, grease two loaf pans and pour the mixture in two. Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes. Then let cool and enjoy!!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Who doesn't love Mexican food? With a craving for Mexican food and chicken breast thawing on the counter, I couldn't help but want to make enchiladas. Well being as lazy as I am lately I decide to make it a casserole then roll up each indvidual enchilada. Plus I was straving and the quicker I could cook this the better. Here is the great recipe:

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

2 chicken breasts
1 can diced green chile tomatoes
4 roughly chopped garlic cloves
1/2 of a yellow onion chopped
3 cups chicken stock
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup of cream cheese
1 1/2 bag shredded cheddar cheese
12 corn tortillas
2 cans green enchilada sauce


Place chicken, tomatoes, onions, garlic in a pot. Add chicken stock and cook covered over medium heat for 30 minutes, or untill chicken is cooked through. Once the chicken is cooked drain the liquid and chop up the chicken. In a big bowl combine the chopped chicken along with the tomatoes, garlic, and onions. Add in the softened cream cheese and cream of chicken soup and stir. In a baking dish add a little bit of sauce to the bottom, and then cover with 6 corn tortillas. Add the chicken mixture, and the rest of the can of enchilada sauce topped with the 1/2 bag of cheese. Top with 6 more corn tortillas and the last can of enchilada sauce. Top with the rest of the cheese and bake at 375 for about 30-40 minutes, once the cheese is bubbley it is done!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Favorite Summer Side Dish!

Ok people I know it has been awhile since I have posted, both of our laptops are down at my house and typing a full blog and recipe on a Blackberry just isn't going to happen. There have been a few changes since I have last blogged, the biggest one I am pregnant! I am looking forwarded to blogging about my different food cravings or food hatings through out the next nine months! So far everything is pretty much the same, although I did make a baked pasta dish with ground turkey last night that I couldn't even smell. So maybe ground Turkey is out of the question for awhile.

A few nights ago I made this amazing side dish and couldn't go with out sharing it! So here it is:

Orzo Summer Side Dish

1/2 box of orzo pasta (cooked and drained)
1 yellow bell pepper chopped
3/4 of a box grape tomatoes halfed
1 package of little mozzarella balls
3-4 fresh basil leaves chopped
2 lemons
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper


Very simple combine all of the ingredients. Zest one of the lemons and add the juice of both lemons. Add olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Toss and keep cold untill ready to serve!!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Cream Sweet Pepper Rice

Well folks I have been mia for awhile, my lap top caught a virus and has not been up and running. Also haven't been really cooking too much lately. Although the other night I did make bread pork chops and along with that made an amazing rice side dish that I think everyone will love. Here is the recipe:

1/2 stick of butter
3-4 small sweet peppers diced (or one large sweet pepper)
1/4 yellow onion diced
3 garlic cloves grated
2 cups white or brown rice
2 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup cream cheese


Sautee butter sweet peppers, garlic, and onions for about 4-5 minutes on medium heat. Add chicken stock and cream cheese and bring to a boil. Add rice in and cook according to the rice directions. Then enjoy!

This is a tasty easy side! I love making new and tasty sides that aren't the same old vegtables or plain rice!

What is your favorite side dish?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Simply yummy dinner!

Thnings are finally settling back to normal, and normal for me is cooking dinner almost every night. Tonight was a wonderful simple but yummy dinner. I actually made it to the gym today so I thought I would try to cook a healthy dinner, the plan was going well untill I found the asparagus in my fridge. Immediatley I could taste hollandaise sauce in my mouth and I started drooling. So of course I went for it and decided since I was not going to cook a starch it was ok. Got love the BUTTER!!!

Here is the simple but yummy dinner we had tonight:

Chicken Recipe:
2 chicken breasts
1 cup of hot sauce (I used El Pato Red sauce)
1 cup of italian dressing
2 garlic cloves grated
salt and pepper


In a ziplock bag add the chicken and all of the ingredients above. Marinate for 30 min. Then grill 25-30 minutes untill juices run clear from the chicken.

Asparagus with Garlic Hollandaise Sauce:

1bunch of asparagus (with the ends trimmed off)
1 stick of butter
1garlic clove grated
1 tsp pepper
Juice of 1 lemon
2 egg yolks

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add asparagus to water and boil for 5 min. Remove asaparagus and place in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking.

While the asparagus cools, add the stick of butter into a sauce pan, add the grated garlic and pepper also, melt over med low heat. Once melted whisk in the egg yolks and lemon juice. Continue to whisk about 3-5 min over med heat untill sauce has thickened.

Place the aspargus on a plate and drizzle the garlic hollandaise sauce over the top!

We had both the chicken and aspargus with a nice salad. It was a great meal, not to heavy but still very filling!

What did you have for dinner tonight?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Food, Food, and more Food!

Well I am back, that is from my wedding and honeymoon. It has been awhile since I have last blogged, but don't worry I haven't lost any interest in food! Starting with the wedding, which I actually barely remember eating, we went for a simple salad, chicken, rice (or was it potatoes... see I can't remember) and veggies. Even though I barely remember eating my wedding dinner I heard a lot of people say the food was great.

Now on to the food I do remember, the honeymoon cruise! My goal was to see how much weight I could gain on the cruise although I didn't set a number 6lbs gained was the result. Yes I hung out in the buffet while my new husband was hungover/seasick, I had a routine go to each side of the buffet that way no one would see you go through the line 4 times. The food on the cruise was great I can't even tell you a favorite thing I ate but here are a few things that stand out were the antipasto salad at the specialty Itilian resturant we ate at (see the picture) it was so good I ate the entire salad by myself. After the salad I also ate veal wrapped in sage and prosciutto, absolutely amazing, this was my 2nd time eating veal and it keeps getting better and better. Of course the lobster dinner was also great, it is hard to beat lobster, but the mushroom soup I had as an appetizer was so good I could have ate a gallon of it. The soup was perfectly seasoned with just the right amount of truffle oil, often times I find resturants add too much truffle oil but not in this soup!

All in all there was not a bad experience with the food on the cruise, I loved being able to have miso soup with breakfast, a wide variety of food for lunch, an amazing dinner usually steak, seafood, or yummy itialian, and then a late night snack with artichoke cheese dip and rasberry cheesecake! And yes the artichoke cheese dip and rasberry cheesecake was a nightly late night room service order. Dusty tried to take a chip and dip it in the dip and he almost lost a finger.

The day it we docked back in LA and were leaving the boat it hit me, well the security gaurd reminded me "no more roomservice, your gonna have to cook for yourself!" Wow I thought that sucks, well untill we got home and opened the rest of our wedding presents and then I was excited about getting back into the kitchen!!!

Stay tuned for new recipes with the new gadgets!

Until next time

Monday, April 19, 2010

Bacon Egg Soup!

Tonight's experiment:

4-6 slices of bacon diced up
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 onion chopped
3 garlic colves minced
1 tomatoe diced
1 can chicken stock
1 can water
1 lemon quartered
4 eggs
2 slices provolone cheese


In a medium sauce pan brown bacon, and then place on a plate with paper towel to drain fat. Leave about 1-2 tablespoons of fat in pan. Add olive oil, butter, garlic, and onion and cook down 3-4 minutes over medium heat. After onion is cooked down add diced tomatoe and cook for about a minute. Add in chicken stock, water, drained bacon, lemons, and season with pepper. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove lemons from soup. Crack one egg in a boil and add to soup to poach, about 2-3 minutes. In soup bowl place a slice of provolone cheese. Remove poached egg and place on top of cheese in soup bowl. Continue this with the rest of the eggs, 2 eggs per bowl of soup. Laddle the soup over the eggs and enjoy!

This experiment ended up really yummy! I loved the lemony,creamy, bacony flavor the soup had. I will defenitely be making different variations of this soup!

What is your favorite soup?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Quick and Simple!

I wasn't planning on grocery shopping till after the wedding, well that is what I told myself. Instead today I found myself at Albertson's hungry and buying way too much food. My mom had been there yesterday and told me about the meat that was on sale, which is probably why I ended up going but instead of buying just meat I bought out the whole store! Trying to decide what kind of meat to make for dinner, I thought I was craving seafood, that is untill I got to the pork and saw the boneless pork ribs! I think I was drooling in the store so boneless pork ribs it was. Along with the pork ribs I had grabbed some asparagus and then I saw it more pork, prosciutto that is! Before I was home I had figured out dinner!

Quick and easy Boneless Pork Ribs

5 boneless pork ribs (more depending on how many people you are serving)
Steak Seasoning
Extra Virigin Olive Oil
1/2 yellow onion roughly chopped
1 bottle of beer
1 bottle of your favorite bbq sauce

Season the ribs on both sides with the steak seasoning. Coat the bottom of the crock pot with the olive oil and place ribs in also. Add in the onions, beer and then top off with the bbq sauce. Cook on low for 6 hours or high for 4. If you have a temperture gauge on your crock pot you can do 2 hours at about 375 to 400, the longer you can cook the better.

Simple Side: Prosciutto wrapped Asparagus

1 bunch of asparagus
1 package of prosciutto
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and Pepper

Preheat oven to 375.

Wrap 3 to 4 asparagus with 1-2 slices of prosciutto and place on baking sheet. After all the asparagus is wrapped drizzle with a little olive oil and salt and pepper. Bake for 20 minutes and enjoy!

What are your favorite quick and simple recipes??

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Butter Chicken

Here is the butter chicken recipe:


1 whole chicken
2 sticks of butter
Salt and Pepper

Preheat oven to 350

In the baking pan place one stick of butter and place in the oven while it pre-heats. Rub the other stick of butter over the chicken and salt and pepper. Once the butter has melted in the pan remove from oven and place chicken in the pan. Cook for about 1 hour - 1 hour and 20 min!

I have done this with chicken breasts also and pork chops! It always turns out amazing!!

Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole

There is probably about a million different ways to make this casserole. I can think of 5 different ways just off the top of my head. The love for chicken broccoli casserole started back when I was a kid, my mom would make this all of the time for dinner. There was always nothing left of this casserole when my mom made it for dinner and if there was it didn't make it past the second day. Since I started cooking a few years ago one of my favorite things to do is to take the recipe and put a different spin on it, or add different ingredients. My mom's famouse chicken broccoli casserole did not have rice in it, but ever since I started making it I add rice or pasta it just makes it that much better.

Not even thinking about dinner while I was working today I started to smell the aroma of melting butter and it kept getting stronger and stronger. I had to pull myself away from the computer to see what was cooking and there it was, what I call Butter Chicken. Basically baking a chicken in a pan of butter with butter rubbed all over the chicken, oh so good! My mom was making this chicken for her weekend out at the Nascar races, but since the chicken wasn't cooked before they left she told me I could take it. From that moment on I had casseroles running through my head, what was I going to do with this butter chicken?

Finally finshed working, cut up the chicken, and came home just to catch the end of the Rachael Ray Show . Still all I could think about was chicken casseroles. After looking in the pantry I came up with a recipe, now this isn't a hard recipe or a gourmet recipe but it was yummy here it is:

1 lb shredded chicken (I used the butter chicken)
1 box chicken flavored rice cooked
1 can cream of celery
1 bag frozen broccoli
1/2 a can of chicken stock
1 bag shredded cheese

Preheat oven to 375. Combine chicken, rice, cream of celery, and frozen broccoli and place in an 8x8 baking  sheet. Pour over the chicken stock and top with the cheese. Bake for about 30-40 minutes untill the cheese is bubbly and then enjoy!

What I love about this recipe is switching out the "cream of soup" you could use chicken, mushroom, or potaote!

What is your favorite chicken casserole???

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Potatoe Enchilada Bake!

Finally today I was able to go to a spin class at the gym. It was amazing I probably burned about 600 calories, so in my head I thought I could eat anything today. After eating a healthy breakfast and lunch, all I could think about for dinner is enchiladas!! Well I had already defrosted ground chicken and I had green enchilada sauce in the cabinet but did not have any tortillas. So after thinking about what I could make that would taste something like enchiladas I figured it out, I had potatoes and I could make a casserole with the enchilada sauce and ground chicken! Not to mention I started unpacking all of my presents from my bridal shower and I really wanted to use my new pots and pans. Here is the recipe:

5 potatoes peeled and thinly sliced
1 shallot minced
4 garlic cloves peeled and grated
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 lb ground chicken
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
3-4 sweet peppers (mine were small and different colors yellow, orange, red)
1 can diced tomatoes with green chiles
1 big can green enchilada sauce
4 cups shredded cheese  (I used a mexican mixed cheese)

Preheat oven to 375. 
Keep the sliced potatoes in water so they do not turn pink. In a skillet over medium heat add the extra virgin olive oil, shallots, and garlic. Sautee the shallots and garlic untill they are translucent and then add the ground chicken to the skillet. Add the red pepper flakes and diced up sweet peppers. Cook untill chicken is cooked all the way through. Add the can of tomatoes and green chile to the chicken. In a baking pan pour a little bit of the green enchilada sauce and then a layer of the sliced potatoes. Add half of the chicken mixture on top of the potatoes and then more enchilada sauce and then cheese. Repeat with another layor of potatoes,chicken mixture, enchilada sauce, and cheese. End with another layer of potatoes, enchilada sauce, and then cheese. Bake for 1 hour and enjoy! Well let it cool off a few minutes first!

This was a great dish, although I was hoping mine would have turned out a litte more cheesey it was great. I am pretty sure I ate back all the calories I burned this morning at the spin class!!

Untill next time~!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Bridal Shower oh Bridal Shower!

When you think of a bridal shower what kind of food do you think of??? Well here is what I think of a beautiful brunch with lox, bagels, cream cheese, fruit salad, quiches, mimosas and a lovely pool to lay by. No kidding this is how I always dreamt of it and this past weekend my amazing cousin Danielle, who is my made of honor, and wonderful Aunt Marie brought that dream to reality!

I couldn't have asked for more when it came to my shower they had everything there, the lox, cream cheese, bagels, fruit salad (thanks to Aunt Susie), little quiches, mimosas, and of course the pasta salad my Grandma Wiechec made! Oh did I forget the pool that was there to the day was perfect not to hot not to cold, although I did get a little sun burned while opening my presents but that was because there was so many! I was so thankful not only for the food that was there but for everything and everyone that came to the shower!

Not only were there mimosas but also bloody marys that were amazing and had the perfect spice to them. A few days before the party my Aunt took the vodka and add in jalapenos, garlic, and what looked like maybe an onion and infused it for a few days. The night before the party added the tomatoe juice to the infused vodka and let sit in the fridge over night. They were so good and everyone really enjoyed them.

The fruit salad was a perfect mix of all of the fresh berries and fruit that was in season. And then we come to the pasta salad... The pasta salad that took 4 days to make and many phone calls to my mother and aunt, actually turned out pretty amazing and perfectly seasoned, even though Trade Joes no longer carried the exact noodles my grandmother wanted to use it was still good!

How can I forget the lemon bars! My friend Louise, kind of a mother figure to me, makes the most amazing lemon bars ever! She made about three trays of the lemon bars and I could have ate all three but I didn't think throwing up at my  bridal shower would be appropriate!

All in all the food was amazing the guests were satisfied, and I was blessed with lots of love and  gifts!!!

Thanks to all that were there!!

And a special thanks to Aunt Marie. Cousin Danielle, my sister Nicole, best friend Tiffany, and last but not least my Mother!!!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Vegas and amazing food!!

I know it has been a week or so since I have blogged. This is a very busy time for me, last week I attended Arbonne's National Convention in Vegas and this past weekend I had my bridal shower and bachlorette party! All of these events were amazing and had great food involved.

Lets start with Arbonne's national convention in Vegas, what an amazing event. I am so excited to be apart of this company right now. Our new ceo is making it easier to be successful and launched 150 new products, if you are interested you can check them out at http://www.ashleywilliams.myarbonne.com/. So anyway Vegas always equals great food and of course most of the time it is expensive food! While attending the convention I stayed at the MGM Grand and ate a wide variety of different food. From the amazing breakfast at Wichcraft Sandwiches to room service pizza, to an all day buffett, and finally an amazing dinner at Sea Blue the trip was just fun and food filled! At Wichcraft Sandwiches I had a panni breakfast sandwhich with bacon, fried egg, lettuce, provolone cheese and an amazing ciabatta bread, and to top it all off I was stood in line next to Sue Cassidy! Thinking about this breakfast I can taste the amazing bacon in my mouth, hopefully this doesn't make me too hungry lol!

Another day at the convention we took advantage of a special they were offering at the buffet, $30.00 for breakfast,lunch, and dinner. This was about how much dinner alone would have been at the buffet so it was a great deal. Breakfast was ok nothing too special, and I missed lunch, but dinner was great! Great as in crab legs that were already cracked open for you, sushi, mac and cheese, and an amazing desert spread! I could have stayed there all night and ate!

The last night in Vegas we went to an amazing dinner at Sea Blue. We had a lobster bisque that was so creamy and delicious there was nothing left in the bowl! We had an appetizer that had a variety of their raw dishes, scallop ceviche, tuna tartar, and yellow tail jack crudo. This also was gone with nothing left on the plate, each was seasoned perfectly and was so tasty. For dinner I ordered the scallops from the wood burning grill. I am a huge fan of scallops and always like to try them at different places, often they are not cooked right but this was not the case here. The scallops were cooked perfectly they melted in your mouth and were so sweet and savory it was heaven. I was so full by the end of the meal but could not imagen leaving a single bite of scallop on the plate, it was just too good! I would recommend eating here to anyone that loves seafood!

Wow talking about  all of this food is making me hungry! Thank goodness we had to walk a lot at the convention or else I would have gained 20lbs!!!

What is your favorite place eat at in Vegas???

Stay tuned for the food update on my bridal shower/bachlorette weekend it was great also!!

Monday, March 22, 2010


Ok so I know I am a little late posting my veal recipe. I have had a lot going on therapy on my hand, wedding planning (only a month away!), and I just got back from Vegas where I was attending Arbonne National Training Conference. Which by the way was amazing 150 new products were launched and they are 24 hour result driven check them out at http://www.ashleywilliams.myarbonne.com/!

Anyway the Veal ended up being amazing and everyone loved it! I bought the veal cutletts and decided to bread them and fry them in butter! Before I even told Madison what it was she said "this meat is so good!" Needless to say this was a much better choice then the brussel sprouts ugh! Here is the recipe:

1lb Veal Cutlets
Bread Crumbs
2 eggs beaten
2 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper the veal. Make an assembly line with the first the cutletts, then the eggs, and then a plate of the bread crumbs. In a frying pan add the butter and olive oil to heat up around medium heat. First dip a cutlet at a time into the egg and then into the bread crumbs, fry in the oil/butter for about 3 min on each side. Continue with the rest of the cutlets!

Then enjoy!

The meat was so tender and amazing I will defenitely be using it more often. What is your favorite veal recipe???

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Kid, or I mean "men", friendly veggies!!

Tonughts dinner played out a lot different then I had planned in a kind of funny way. Tonight was the night I decided to use my new ingredient for my weekly challenge and along with the new ingredient decided to make something both my fiance and his daughter would eat and get full of off if my new ingredient did not turn out so well. ( F.Y.I. I am writing a seperate blog on the challenge ingredient of the week which ended up being  veal.) I should have made something along with last weeks brussel sprouts that I knew Dusty would have loved and ate because we pretty much ended up with meat and not so good brussel sprouts.

This week was Madison's , my soon to be stepdaughter, spring break so she has been with us all week. I was a little worried about the challenge ingredient of the week because I needed to make it kid friendly, and I am leaving for Arbonne's yearly convention on Thursday so needed to make this challenge ingredient tonight (http://www.ashleywilliams.myarbonne.com/). Of course tomorrow night is St. Patricks day and Dad is making corn beef and cabbage, of course I will let you all know how it tastes tomorrow! Anyway along with my veal recipe I decided to make tortellinis with alfredo sauce, because I knew Madison and daddy would scarf up every last bit of that if the meat did not end up so well. I knew I was going to make a salad but at the last minute decided I needed to add more veggies into the meal. So I decided to add into the tortellinis and alfredo sauce cauliflower and it was amazing!

We sat down for dinner, well Madison and I did, and she pointed out the cauliflower in the pasta and asked why did I do that..but before I could even answer she said "I know it is because daddy never eats veggies and you are hiding them from him!" WOW I thought I was hiding them from her! Needless to say they both ate their veggies tonight and here is what I did:


1 package frozen cheese tortellinis
1/2 a head of cauliflower chopped
1 bottle premade alfredo sauce
1/2 cup milk (I used 1%)

Bring about a quart of salted water to a boil and add both the tortellinis and cauliflower to the boiling water. Boil for about 10-12 min, or untill tortellinis are cooked. Drain water and place both cauliflower, tortelllini, and alfredo sauce back in pot over medium heat. Add in the milk, stir, and heat through then serve!!!

I guess I now know how I can get both the kids and Daddy to eat their veggies!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Brussel Sprouts!

This being the first week of the challenge of cooking something new I decided at the grocery store to pick up brussel sprouts. I am not that picky of an eater and even though I have never tried brussel sprouts I was sure I would probably like them. Well I was wrong they were horrible! Now this could have been because of the way I cooked them, but I doubt it. I could not stand that bitter after taste it left in your mouth after you ate them.

After looking up a few different ways to cook the brussel sprouts I decided how I would cook them. First I boiled the brussel sprouts in salted water for 4 min, then transferred them into an ice bath. While the brussel sprouts boiled I chopped up half a yellow onion and 4 garlic cloves. I cooked the onion and garlic in extra virgin olive oil untill the onion was cooked through, while this was happening I halfed the brussel sprouts. Once the onion and garlic had sweated down I added in about 3 tablespoons of butter and added the brussel sprouts sauteed them for a few minutes and then added half a cup of red wine and 3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar. I brought that to a boil and simmered for a few minutes.

Anyway it all sounds good but what I think is that if I would have cooked them longer the bitter after taste would have not been so bad. But I am all for trying new things and tomorrow is grocery shopping day which means something new to cook!!

Does anyone else have any brussel sprout recipes???

Monday, March 8, 2010

Cody's Smoke House & Grill

Friday night was date night for Dusty and I. We were trying to figure out somewhere different to go to dinner, we usually go to some of the same places and usually both order the same thing. While driving through Cave Creek we noticed a new place called Cody's Smokehouse and Grill, so we decided to try it out. I would usually look at the menu before sitting down but decided what the heck we will just try it out.

Walking into the restaurant there is an old town western feel, which is different then any other "western" restaurant in Cave Creek. There were dark red currents with a wood floor, and older country music in the back ground. To drink I decided to order a glass of merlot and Dusty ordered a Crown and coke which he said was poured  very good! We have found that most of the drinks made at any bar in Cave Creek are usually pretty good and Cody's was no exception to this.

Looking over the menu we found there was the normal smokehouse food you would find pretty good prices, there was steak, brisket, ribs, and even fish. Then I saw it green chile macaroni and cheese!!! There was no way I was leaving this place without trying this dish. After looking over the menu and asking Dusty what he was going to get we decided to get a few appitizers and split the macaroni and cheese. We had street tacos, mexican shrimp cocktail, and the macaroni and cheese. In my opinion the best dish was the mac and cheese, it had the perfect amount of cheese to the perfect amount of green chiles. The street tacos where good and so was the shrimp cocktail, although they weren't the best I have ever had. Next time we go back I would like to try some of the bbq.

As for the service at the resturant it was amazing! Walking through the door we were greated by three different people and our waitress was on top of everything and very kind. Another waitress helped us out by boxing up our leftovers for us. I would defenitely recommend this restuarant to anyone!

Untill next time!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Here comes the challenge!

I have decided to challenge myself to learn more and taste more. What will the challenge be you ask? Well every week I am going to pick up a new food, whether it be meat, produce, spices, or anything I have never tried or am not familar with and cook with it. The challenge will be to try a new food each week for the next two months and I will start next week. I am looking forward to this new adventure and can't wait to try new food!

Untill next time!

Colorful Fajitas!

I usually do all of my grocery shopping at Fry's Food Store, but the other day after therapy I decided to just go to the store that was near the physical therapist office and that happened to be Safeway. I was planning just to find something to eat for dinner, but what I found when I went into the store was the most amazing produce. All of the produced looked so fresh and amazing. They had bell peppers, green, yellow, orange, red, and yellow, for only 88 cents a piece. I automatically thought about fajitas and grabbed a few of each color bell peppers. The red ones were huge as you can see so I grabbed two of those and figured I could find different ways to use them other than the fajitas. Once I choose the bell peppers I went to the meat counter to see what type of meat I would use. There was sirlon beef already sliced ready for stir fry, so I choose that, I sauteed everything up, an onion. bell peppers, meat, and then added some taco seasoning and it was instant fajitas! They were so good, sweet from the bell peppers and spicy from the seasoning.

The next morning I made a fajita omlete with the left overs! Hope you all enjoy!

Untill next time!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Green Garlic Lemon Chicken Noodles

I love naming my recipes it is so much fun, yet sometimes I think there are way to many words in my names! Today was a good day hand therapy wasn't that bad and I even worked out after. So needless to say I was pretty hungry when I got home which is usually not a good thing for me because that usually means I will cook "bad" food or high calorie high fat foods, and with my first wedding dress fitting in a week that would not be good.
Chinese food was on the mind today, maybe because we are going to PF Changs on sunday and I love their garlic noodles, ok I love all of the food there! PF Changs was actually the first place I tried duck, and I loved it. Duck isn't for everyone but I love dark meat!

Anyway dinner tonight turned out better then I thought it would so I wanted to share it with everyone:


2 Chicken Breast
1 Cup Chopped Broccoli
1 Cup Chopped Zuchinni
2 Cups Chopped Asparagus
1/2 Yellow Onion Chopped
6 OZ Whole Wheat Spaghetti
2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

For marinade:
1 Cup Soy Sauce
2 Lemons (juice and zest)
4 Garlic Cloves grated or minced
1 Tablespoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
1 Tablespoon Fresh Thyme

Mix marinade together. Chop up chicken into cubes and marinate for about 30 min. Bring a pot of water to a boil for the pasta. While waiting in a pan over medium heat add olive oil and chicken, keep any left over marinade for later. Cook the chicken through, about 8-10 minutes. Once chicken is done cooking remove chicken from a pan and put aside. Add pasta to boiling water and cook about 9-11 minutes untill al dente. While pasta is cooking add vegtables and the rest of the marinade to the pan and cook on medium heat. After the pasta is done cooking add the chicken and the pasta to the pan with the vegtables and toss so the sauce coats everything.
Serve hot!

5 servings in this one pot meal and each serving is 290calories!

As you can see the reason I named it green garlic lemon chicken was because all the veggies were green! I was about to cut up a yellow sqaush and add it into the mix but I decided to keep it all green. Hope you all enjoy the recipe!

Untill next time!

Amber's Hash Brown Casserole!

What a great weekend, wedding planning on friday night bbq saturday night, and more wedding stuff sunday! And it is exactly 2 months untill the wedding and the honeymoon cruise! I think I am more excited about all of the food on the cruise then I am going on the actual cruise, just kidding, but at least I will have lots to blog about when we get back!

Anyway saturday we decided to have a bbq with a few friends and I was craving my friend Amber's Christmas potatoe casserole. I think when we lived together I would make her cook it every week for me. It is one of my many favorite comfort foods and after my first week of therapy I deserved it. I will give you the recipe although mine has been tweaked a little bit from Ambers. She probably would tell me the right way to make it, but I always ask her everytime I make it so this time I decided to wing it and it was a hit! By the end of saturday night the entire casserole accept for one serving was eaten. And trust me I ate that last serving the next morning for breakfast. Normally I do cook this for Christmas morning breakfast, but it makes an amazing side dish to any dinner. It is cheesey and creamy and has potatoes you can't go wrong!

Here is the recipe:

Butter (for greasing the pan)
1 package ready hashbrowns regular
1 package ready hashbrowns southwestern style
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1 stick of cream cheese softened
4 cups shredded cheese (2 small bags already shredded)

Preheat the oven to 375. In a large bowl mix together hashbrowns, mushroom soup, cream cheese, and one cup of the shredded cheese. Place in a greased baking pan and cover with the rest of the shredded cheese on top. Bake for about 45 -60 min.

Trust me if you are looking for some good comfort food this is it! And the guys love it and always ask for me to make it, so if your trying to win him over try this recipe let me know how it goes!

Untill next time!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Pancakes pancakes PANCAKES!

Why is it that when I am trying to eat good I carve the sweets. All I could think about in the middle of the night and this morning was pancakes! If I would have had pancake mix in the pantry I would have thrown the good eating out the window and made pancakes. I usually have a box of Jiffy blueberry muffin mix on hand so Madison, my stepdaughter, and I can make pancakes. We love adding extra fresh or frozen bluberries in the mix so yummy! Well I  was out of luck no pancake or muffin mix, I knew if I ate something like eggs I would be craving sweets all day. Then I remembered I had oatmeal and I know how to make a fake out pancake which I think I actually like more then regular pancakes. Here is the yummy fake-out pancake recipe:

One packet instant oatmeal (I used high fiber maple/brown sugar)
2 egg whites
1 tablespoon margarin

Preheat a skillet to medium low heat. In a bowl mixt together oatmeal and egg whites. Add the margarin to the skillet and make sure it has coated the bottom. Add the oatmeal/egg mixture and cook untill brown on the bottom, about 3-5 minutes, and flip. The bottom side will cook faster about 2-3 minutes. Then serve.

I like to add strawberries or bannanas to the top of it. This defenitely curved my craving for pancakes!

Whats your favorite pancake recipe?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Follow me!

Follow my food thoughts through out the day at http://www.foodfinds.twitter.com/. You can also become a fan of the food lovers findings on Facebook!  Thank you everyone for the support and don't forget to tell your friends and family about the blog~!

Pork Spinach Enchilada Cassarole

I have had mexican food on the brain all day long today! Figuring I wouldn't be able to think of something that I could make that was low calorie and mexican food, I almost gave up. That was untill I remembered I had bought corn tortillas that were on 60 calories a piece, yes 60 calories. So I thought if I added some veggies and not as much cheese as I usually do I would be fine. Well I use this wonderful website, http://www.calorieking.com/, to track the number of calories I take in so I thought I would just put in the ingredients and see what a portion would turn out to be calorie wise, I was pretty excited when it came out 350 calories! Which was perfect for my dinner. I really love calorieking it offers so much more then calorie counting, it offers support and tons of information. I would refer anyone that was looking to lose weight to calorieking. Anyway back to the enchiladas, they turned out amazing and everyone loved them. I have lots of left overs to if anyone wants to come have some! Or just try it out yourself:

1 lb boneless pork loin chops
1/2 chopped yellow onion
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
3 garlic cloves graded
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cups fresh spinach
1 can green chile diced tomatoes
2 cans green enchilada sauce
9 corn tortillas (mine were 60 calories a piece)
3 cups shredded cheese


Cut the pork chops into 1 inch cubes. Place a skillet over medium heat and add extra virgin olive oil and add pork, onions, garlic,and crush red pepper. Cook untill pork is browned and cooked through, about eight minutes. Put the heat down to low and add the can of tomatoes spinach, stir until spinach wilts. In a baking dish pour a little bit of the enchilada sauce on the bottom of the pan, then add 3 tortillas on the bottom, then half of the meat mixture, then more enchilada sauce,and one cup of cheese. Repeat by adding 3 more tortillas then the rest of the ingriedents. Add the last three tortillas on top and the rest of the enchilada sauce and then the rest of the cheese. Bake about 35-40 minutes untill cheese is melted and bubbley.

There are 8 servings in this recipe and each are 350 calories.

Well hope everyone is enjoying my low calorie dishes latelt! What is your favorite low calorie dish?

Monday, February 22, 2010

My new favorite cheese!

My love of cheese has been fufilled while on my diet! I have had it before, Laughing Cow Cheese, but didn't realize how many different things I could use with. I started this realization friday and have been trying new things with it every single day. It has honestly curved my cravings for cheese, which I carve all the time! My all time favorite indulgence would be a brick of brie cheese and of course wine. If it wouldn't make me 300 lbs I would just eat cheese, thank god the Laughing Cow Cheese is only 35 calories a wedge and they are big wedges (go big or go home). So friday I made an amazing side dish to go with my salmon that actually wasn't very good so the side dish became my main dish. Couscous with spinach and garlic and herb lite laughing cow cheese so so good! Basically I made the couscous according to the directions, equal parts water to couscous boiling the water first then adding the couscous. I brought a cup of water to boil added in a cup of couscous, a cup of spinach, and 2 wedges of garlic and herb lite laughing cow cheese. Quickly stir together, remove from heat and cover for five minutes. This was amazing!

Other ways I have used this wonderful cheese, in scrambled eggs, on a mini bagel with deli turkey, on celery, or my new favorite tossing it with steamed veggies! I certainly hope Dusty loves this cheese as much as I do because I will be using it a lot from now on.

After writing this I googled laughing cow cheese, and found their website with even more amazing recipes check it out http://www.laughingcow.com/default.asp?section=laughingcow&gclid=CP3d_djOh6ACFRy4sgodRCO9mQ.

What do you do with laughing cow cheese???

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Loving the healthy food!

So this is day 2 of my Arbonne 7 day detox cleanse, and I am actually doing good surprisingly. This detox is amazing, what it consists of is a drink you mix with water and sip on through out the day along with 32 ozs of water. The reason I choose this detox to kick off my "diet/weightloss" is because you are able to eat, although you should stay away from alcohol and processed foods. You can check out the detox at, http://www.ashleywilliams.myarbonne.com/, or email me for more info eorashley@hotmail.com.

 So far I have been doing great and my fiance has even liked what I have made for dinner each night! I have been packing in the veggies and trying out new ways to prepare them. Yesterday we had a great chicken dinner, marinated with italian dressing and hot sauce (this is one of our favorite marinades), and roasted cauliflower. Cauliflower is one of my favorite veggies because you can do so many different things with it. I love smashing it to make fake out mashed potatoes, I love it raw, and love it boiled with cheese sauce! Since I am watching the calories I decided to roast it and it turned out amazing! Here is what I did:

Roasted Cauliflower

1 Cauliflower Head
2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive
1 Tablespoon Poultry Seasoning
Salt and Pepper


Preheat oven to 400.
Cut the leaves and stems off the cauliflower and then into bite size pieces and place in a bowl. In a small bowl add the balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, poultry seasoning, and salt and pepper. Toss this mixture with the cauliflower, then spread on a baking sheet and bake for 20 min. Then enjoy!

Many more healthy recipes to come so stay tuned!!!

Until next time~!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Ultimate!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It is my absolute favorite food of all time: macaroni and cheese! I could live off the stuff, and I like it all ways out of a box, homemade, or from a resturant. I do have to say my all time favorite macaroni and cheese is the (Mac & Cheese)2 from the Yard House (http://www.yardhouse.com/). I can't even believe I can pick a favorite because I am so in love, yes in love with mac and cheese. This mac and cheese from the yard house has chicken, bacon, mushrooms, and truffle oil, with parmesan and  cheddar cheese that melts in your mouth and is irresistible. The Yard House offers so many different amazing foods, there scallops are to die for, but I have the hardest time not ordering the mac and cheese when I am there! So the reason mac and cheese is the subject of this blog today is because at our Daytona Nascar party today my good friend Nicki brought her mac and cheese and it was so good, simple but so tasty. I didn't get a chance to get the exact recipe, which I will and post it, but basically it was elbow macaroni cooked, tomatoe sauce, and cheese. I know she mixes the tomatoe sauce and cheese and then adds half to a baking sheet adds cheese, then adds the rest of the noodles and sauce and more cheese. The layering is the best idea ever because every bite was cheesey!

The reason I love mac and cheese so much is because of all the different ways you can make it. I love making new mac and cheese recipes, I could probably write a cookbook just on mac and cheese recipes, because you can add in different ingriedents and it is always hard to screw up something with noodles and cheese. One of my most favorite and most requested mac and cheese recipes is what I call my "Mexican Macaroni and Cheese." Here is the recipe:

1lb Pork Chorizo
1lb Vermicelli
1 Can Green Enchilda Sauce
1/2 Cup Sour Cream
1 Cup Frozen or Canned Corn
2 Bags Shredded Cheddar Cheese (the small bags, one big bag would work too)
2 Tablespoons Butter (cut into pads)

Preheat oven to 375

Brown the chorizo in a pan about med heat untill cooked through. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta untill el dente about 6 minutes. While pasta and chorizo cook rub one tablespoon butter on the bottom of an oven safe pan. In a large bowl mix the cooked pasta,corn, sour cream, enchilad sauce, chorizo, and one bag of the cheese or half of a large bag. Add the mixture to the buttered pan and top with the rest of the cheese. Add the rest of the pads of butter on top. Bake for about 35 minutes, or untill cheese is melted and bubbley!

Hope everyone has fun with macaroni and cheese. I would love to hear everyones different mac and cheese recipes!

This week we are focusing on eating a little better so it is a good thing  we got the mac and cheese fix out of the way! Thanks Nicki!

Untill next time~!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Green Chile or Red Chile?

Never before making green chile I decided that the superbowl party we were to have would be a great opportunity and fairly easy since it can be cooked in the pot crock all day or the night before. Well at the last minute we decided not to have the superbowl party but I still had the piece of pot roast. Not wanting the meat to go bad I decided to make it anyway and could use the meat through out the week. Well while throwing together what I thought was green chile it actually turned out to be red!? Although it wasn't green it was very good and we have been eating on it breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Breakfast of course was with potatoes and eggs, lunch a cheese crisp with the meat, and dinner a baked potatoe topped with the meat. Might have gone over my calorie intake today with all the carbs and cheese but trust me it was totally worth it. In the end I decided to name the chile my Green/Red Chile. Maybe I should make it for Christmas... the colors would work well lol! Like I said I am no expert at this and didn't follow a recipe so here it is Ashley's Red/Green Chile:

4-5lb Beef Pot Roast
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (evoo)
Half a white onion chopped
4 Cloves of gralic peeled and smashed
2 Cans diced green chiles
Taco seasoning in the packet
1 Can beef broth
1 Can red enchilada sauce

Set crock pot on low and coat the bottom of the pot with olive oil. Place the beef poat roast in the pan and slit holes into the meat and stuff with the garlic. Add the onions, green chile, and then sprinkle the taco seasoning over the top. Pour the beef broth in the bottom of the pot, then pour the red enchilada sauce over the meat. Cook on low 7-8 hours, turning the roast over half way through cooking. You will know when the meat is done when it shreds with a fork.

This meat is great and stores well also. I guess it would have been green chile if I used the green enchilada sauce, but that is my favorite part of cooking throwing different ingredients into different recipes to change it up. I actually think I have never made the exact same recipe twice, well maybe the favorites and now it wont be a problem with blog!

Well untill next time!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Chicken Soup for Sick Days

I think I got it, the dread flu that has been going around the family/neighborhood. Part of my self diagnosis has to do with the fact that I am eating everything and craving sweets, this only happens when I am sick. Well low and behold the fiance comes home from work feeling sick also, so what better time to cook soup then now. I already had chicken thawed out and decided I would just throw together whatever else I had in the fridge poor some chicken stock on it and call it soup! If it was bad thats ok we probably wouldn't be able to taste it that much anyway. In the end the soup turned out great and I decided to call it Bacon Chicken Noodle Soup:

3 Chicken Breast
1 Tablespoon Polutry seasoning
3 Slices of Chopped Bacon
1/2 Yellow Onion Chopped
4 Garlic Cloves Minced
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 bag frozen vegtable soup mix ( mine had carrots, peas, lima beans, onions,celery)
1 Box of chicken stock
1 Box Rotini Noodles

In a medium sauce pan add chicken and cover with waterand bring to a boil. Once boiling bring to a simmer for about 8-10 minutes.

While chicken is cooking in a large pot add 2 turns of the extra virgin olive oil and add the bacon. Add the onions and garlic also to cook down, about 5-7 minutes. Add the frozen vegtables and poultry seasoning to the pot and stir.

Pull the chicken out of the water, reserving the cooking water, and dice or shred the chicken. Add the diced or shredded chicken to the large pot along with the reserved cooking water. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 10 minutes. After the ten minutes add the noodles along with the box of chicken stock again bring to a boil and cook untill noodles are aldente.

Then enjoy of course letting it cool down just a tad!

Well hopefully the old chicken soup will cure the sickness, its off to bed for me!

Untill next time!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

they won't eat it!

So I did it, made a dinner my fiancĂ© or soon to be step daughter wouldn't eat. Although I think there were a few factors that didn't include taste in this meal. For instance I am pretty positive Madison was just copying her dad when she said “I don't like the chicken.” I used chicken thighs with the bone in for this dinner and think this was the main reason Dusty wouldn't touch it. I personally loved meal and plan to make it again minus the chicken with the bones maybe with chicken breasts or boneless pork chops. That's what is great about cooking you can subsitute ingredients and change the dish up completely. So I would recommend using boneless meat if you are going to cook this recipe for picky eaters. Here it is:

1lb chicken (either breasts or thighs)
1 can chicken stock
1 can full of brown rice to equal the can of chicken stock
Half a bar of cream cheese softened
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can green chile diced tomatoes
1 bag frozen brocoli
1 cup of mushrooms
Salt and pepper

Perheat oven to 375. In a baking pan spread rice along to bottom and add in chicken stock. Place brocoli and mushrooms on top of rice and then the chicken. In a separate bowl mix together tomatoes.cream cheese, and cream of mushroom soup. Salt and pepper the chicken and then pour the mixture over the top. Bake the fish for 1 hour or untill chicken is cooked through.

My taste buds loved this dish and if my family would have been blind folded as they ate it they also would have liked the dish. Instead as I ate my dinner the two of them sat there and my loving fiancĂ© said “well it looks good.”

Untill next time!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Food shows so dangerous!

Sitting here watching the travel channel show called 101 Chowdown Countdown they are showing meat meat and more meat! I wasn't hungry when I sat down to watch TV in fact I was going to let Dusty fend for himself for dinner tonight, but now I am starving. Being lazy from moving today we ordered in, we live pretty far from town but have this great service called mobile waiters, http://www.mobilewaiters.com/. They deliver a wide vareity of different resturants to customers and even to us. Its great because we can't even get pizza delivered out here, now I can get sushi delivered to my door! Tonight we decided to go with a local sports bar in Anthem Legends, I ordered a french dip (gotta love the roast beef) and Dusty ordered a cheese crisp and boneless wings. I will have to tell you how it all tastes after we eat it! But I just wanted to say how much I love this service and the prices are very reasonable. It is great when you wake up sunday morning with a hang over and can order a salt bagel with egg, muenster cheese, and bacon! That will cure a hangover any day and I dont even have to cook. Well I better go the food is here!

Untill next time!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sunday Fun Day or Lazy Day!

Today was rather a relaxing day and for dinner we decided to make stuffed bell peppers similar to the ones described in this blog ,http://foodloversfindings.blogspot.com/2010/01/time-to-cook.html. Although I switched out the green chile tomatoes with basil garlic tomatoes. I think canned tomatoes are one of the greatest food inventions you can almost add them to anything and they have great flavor. I also decided I wanted to add mushrooms into the mixture but because my fiance doesn't like mushrooms and he was the one basically cooking, I was instructing, I decided just to put a few in the bottom of my bell pepper which was yellow by the way and so yummy. By the time I am able to cook by myself again my fiance is going to know how to cook.

Well along with the stuffed bell peppers I decided to make orzo. I started playing with orzo about a year ago and absolutely love it, there are so many different things you can do with it. One of my favorite ways is cook up some orzo and add cheese to it, and of course my favorite is to add brie to it so creamy, tangy, and wonderful! Of course my fiance says I like that rice stuff, little does he know its pasta lol. So here is how we made it tonight:

1/2 a bag of orzo, about 3/4 cup
1 lemon
2 cups chopped spinach
3/4 cup shredded parmasen cheese

Cook up the orzo in salted water about 8-10 min. Drain water and place back in hot pan, turn burner to low or off. Add spinach and cheese and stir. Zest the lemon and add the juice of the lemon. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve warm!

Whats your favorite orzo recipe?

Untill next time!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Left Overs!

After that great pot roast dinner there was lots of left over meat, with only two people eating that tends to happen a lot. This year I had set a goal to try and not waste the left overs, we are really bad about putting left overs in the fridge and never eating it again. Unless I eat it in the morning with a fried egg on top...lol. So instead of eating the left overs the same way the new challenge/goal is to make a new meal with the left overs. So what to make with left over beef pot roast, the first thing that came to my mind enchiladas! And then I thought good lck cooking that with one hand, so I recruited the fiance to help. We decided to have a little mexican feast last night with a few friends and the enchiladas, well enchilada cassarole was a great hit! Here is the recipe:

Left over shredded beef pot roast about 1 lb
Half of a yellow onion chopped
3-4 garlic cloves grated or chopped
1 can of green chile chopped tomatoes
1 stick of soften cream cheese
18 yelllow corn tortillas
1 large can of red enchilada sauce
1 bag of mexican shredded cheese more if desired

Preheat oven to 375
Sautee the onion in garlic over med heat with the EVOO. While the onionsand garlic are cooking shred the meeat into a bowl add the can of tomatoes and softened cream cheese. Add the onions and garlic once they are cooked down and mix. To a cassarole pan pour a little bit of the red sauce enough just to coat the bottom. Place six corn tortillas along the bottom of the pan, layer half of the meat mixture, some shredded cheese and then some more sause. Repeat placing 6 tortillas down, meat mixture, cheese, and then sauce. The last layer add the last six tortillas, then the red sauce and then cheese. Bake in oven for 35-45 minutes or untill cheese is melted and bubbley!

What is your favorite left over meal?

Untill next time!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Stormy Day = Comfort Food!

So I had just typed this blog almost to the end with just my left hand and my lap top died! So I am trying to remember exactly what I was saying. Waking up this morning to the sound of rain, yes rain in Arizona, it has been raining for 2 days now~! So this morning comfort food came to mind. I love quick and easy comfort food, ok who am I kidding I LOVE all comfort food. i could probably write an entire blog on comfort food alone. It was a good thing the grocery store had beef pot roast on sale buy one get one free yesterday. Comfort food in the crock pot great idea and even easier! So I decided pot roast with gravy, mashed potatoes, and green beans would be the menu for dinner. It fits in great with my weight loss plans for the year - ya right lol - but rainy days call for comfort food and that was a good enough excuse for me. Usually when I make pot roast I cut up garlic,onions,potatoes, and other veggies, but with one hand and wedding day duties calling this morning I decided to go simple. Simple meaning garlic and cream of mushroom soup. Now I know cream of mushroom soup is not the most professional ingredients, but it makes everything taste sooo good and it is so quick. There are so many great dishes I make with cream of mushroom soup and even my fiance who hates mushrooms eats the dishes with the soup in them to the point were he is about to get sick. I usually don't tell him its in there. After our great meal tonight my fiance said "well at least you can still cook with one hand!" So here is the recipe:

Pot Roast:
Beef Pot Roast (size depends on # of people serving)
4-5 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons steak grill seasoning
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1 can chicken stock
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (evoo)

2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon floor

Coat the bottom of the crock pot with evoo and place the pot roast in. Add the can of chicken stock. Smash the garlic to remove the skin, take a knife and slit holes into the roast and stuff with the garlic. Add the steak seasoning to the top of the roast and then the mushroom soup. Cook for 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high.

After the roast is done pull it out of the crock pot and place in a pan. Add the butter and flour to a pan over med heat. Cook untill the butter smells nutty about 2-3 minutes. Pour the drippings into the pan and whisk, bring to a boil and them simmer to thicken.

Quick and easy! What is your favorite comfort food???

Untill next time!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Time to cook!

Finally went grocery shopping and bought food we can actually cook with instead of frozen pizza, twinkies, and junk food. I am so excited about cooking, since I have been hurt the past three weeks I have only cooked one dinner and fried rice. I think I am having withdraws from cooking lol. I love grocery shopping too, I never go with a list or meal plans I just get a bunch of food bring it home and see what I can do with it. Ok I plan a little bit but not too much. I did buy yellow and red bell peppers to make stuffed peppers one of my favorites:

4 bell peppers (which ever color you like and try to find the ones that will stand up by themselves)

1lb ground beef,chicken, or turkey
2 garlic cloves grated or chopped
half a yellow onion chopped
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
can of green chile chopped tomatoes
2 cups fresh chopped spinach (you can always use frozen instead)
Shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 375
Sautee chopped onions and garlic in evoo over med heat add meat once the onions have cooked down. While meat is browing cut off the tops of the bell peppers and clean out the seeds. Once the meat is cooked through add the can of tomatoes and chopped spinach, cook untill spinach is wilted down. Fill the bell peppers with the meat mixture. Add the shredded cheese to the top of the peppers and bake untill cheese is melted and bubbly, about 15 min.

This is one of my favorite dinners and the left overs are also great. After I cook this the next morning I love to take one of the left over peppers heat it up and place a fried egg on top sooo good. I love to put fried eggs on top of anything thou.

Well untill next time!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Kitchen on Fire

Well its been a few days, had my second surgery on thursday and just feeling better. After this surgery they wrapped my right hand up so much there is nothing I can do with it. At least before I could do a little bit I was even typing with my thumb and first two fingers before, but not know. So needless to say I have been needing a lot more help then before and havent tried to cook yet. My favorite thing to do on saturday morning is to cook breakfast, well my lovely fiance decided he was going to make breakfast. I really wanted to go to the bagel shop to get breakfast, not only just to have breakfast but to get out of the house. Well the bagel shop was shot down and I was told to sit down and let him cook. Being noisey I walk into the kitchen to see what was going on, first thing I see frozen hasbrowns in a pan with no oil or butter. So instead of watching them burn or who knows what will happen I told him to add the butter. Then I get the question "How do I cook the bacon" did he really just ask that. So I told him the easiest way I like to do it is on the broiler pan in the oven, he responded " I cant do it in the microwave?". So  I thought he was clear on the broiler pan untill he said "only 4 pieces of bacon fit on the pan", I was thinking to myself I can fit 4 big steaks on that pan there is no way only 4 pieces of bacon fit there. Walking into the kitchen to see what he was talking about I find he was using the small toaster oven pan, so I redirected him to the bigger pan and figured everything was under control. Well that was untill he was screaming "its on fire its on fire" I run into the kitchen to find the smaller pan with the 4 pieces of bacon on fire! After blowing and using a dish towel to get out the fire I asked how this happened. Well come to find out he took the small broiler pan and set it on one of the top burners of the stove and I think with the grease dripping down into the hot oil with heat directly underneath it it caught on fire! But needless to say the breakfast was great, I am just ready to take back over kitchen duties hopefully soon!

So whats you kitchen tragedy story? Would love to hear from everyone!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

I cooked, I cooked!

Yes I finally cooked one handed with my left hand. I made my own version of chicken parmigiana with what I had in my pantry, and it was pretty darn good. I was so excited to cook, it is one of my farvorite things to do and it really relieves my stress. Some people hate to cook but not me! It is like my creative outlet, there is no wrong in cooking unless you burn something! I love trying new recipes or making up my own! I espescially love cooking for myself, because then I can but together what others might think to be wierd crazy concoctions. Put it this way one of my favorite snacks when I was in highschool was chocolate chip cookies dipped in queso cheese dip! I am a huge fan of sweet and spicy. There used to be a resturant by our house that had my favorite hot wings they were strawberry hot, I could eat them all night. I want to try to make them I think if you melted down jalapeno jelly and tossed it with wings it would be pretty close. I just cant seem to find jalapeno jelly at our grocery store. Once I am better I think that will be one of the first things I want to make, just need to find that jelly. So anyway what did i cook the other night, well here is the recipe:

chicken cutlets or strips (i used strips about a pound)
2 can diced tomatoes ( i like the flavored one with basil or itilian seasonigs)
1 can tomatoe sauce
half a bag of frozen brocoli
Italian Bread Crumbs
Handful of Parmasen Shredded Cheese
1-2 cups mozzeralla cheese
1 package gnocchi
olive oil
2 eggs
splash of milk
salt and pepper
2 cloves of garlic

Pour enough evoo in the bottom of a pan to coat. Grade garlic into evoo and place heat to medium. Make an egg was in a wide bowl to dip chicken into by whisking together 2 eggs and a splash of milk. On a plate combine bread crumbs and parmasen cheese. Create an assembly line next to the pan with the garlic. Raise the heat to medium high, drench the chicken in the egg wash and then bread crumbs and place in the pan with the garlic and oil. Continue untill all the chicken is in the pan. Cook about five minutes each side or untill chicken is cooked through. While chicken is cooking bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Once the chicken is done cooking add the frozen brocoli to the chcken pan along with the can of tomatoes and tomatoe sauce, cover and bring to a boil. Once the pot of water is boiling add the gnocchi cook 3-4 minutes or untill they float to the top and drain. Once the sauce is boiling add the mozeralla cheese ontop to melt. Cover untill melted. Serve by placing gnocchi in a bowl and placing chicken and sauce on top.

This was a great first meal to make after my accident, although I do have to say I missed chopping!

Well untill next time!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Childhood memories

You know how that one certain food can trigger many childhood memories? Well this is what happended last night and although it was the cucmber salad that took me back to eating dinner at my grandparents house I have many foods that take me back to childhood memories. So back to the cucmber salad, this is something my grandmother would make many times when we would come over for dinner. It is so good and almost has the slight taste of dill pickles. It has a creamy dressing and the crunch of the cucmbers just make the dish complete. My mother made the salad with red onions last night which give it good flavor but I choose yo pick them out because I can't stand red onions. Anyway here is the recipe give it a shot and tell me what you think!

1-2 english cucmbers (you can use regular cucmbers just make sure and peel them)
1 cup sour cream
1-2 tablespoons of vinegar or red wine vinegar
fresh dill or dried dill
salt and pepper

slice the cucmbers thinly and place in serving bowl. In another bowl mix sour cream, vinegar, and chopped dill, add one tablespoon of vinegar first taste and add more if needed. Add mixture to cucmbers salt and pepper to taste and serve.

A lot of my recipes I make I usually don't measure ingredients out but here I try to give about what I think I use. Also like I said before my mom adds sliced red onions to this dish.

So what dish takes you back to childhood? I would love to hear your family's dishes!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Hospital Food

Yes this is the subject of the day! After three days in the hospital there is much to be said about the food. Thank god I was not put on a diet restriction while I was there. The first hospital meal salsbury steak mashed potatoes gravy, salad and a role. After 24 hrs of not eating I basically inhaled the food, actually because I wasnt used to using my left hand to eat my sister was feeding me. But trust me she couldnt get the food in my mouth fast enough, I dont think I left anything on that plate. I remember the potatoes tasting really good and the brown gravy was excellent, don't know if I was just so hungry or it actually taste good. Breakfast the next day wasnt bad either, cheese omlet, biscuit, coffee,orange juice, milk, cereal...I ate everything but the cereal and just love the fact you get three choices of drinks lol. I actually think the coffee at the hospital was really good. As the days went on the food got worse, the biscuits didnt taste good the eggs got runny, and the chicken was rubbery, but the coffee was still good. The last day I was there, I didnt know it was the last day, my amazing mother brought me a cheese platter from Duck n Decanter! Brie, goat cheese, soft cheese with cream cheese wrapped around it, crackers, bread, apples, and grapes! It was amazing, put it this way I love cheese way more then funnel cake and brie is my favorirte. The way it melts in your mouth with the tangy taste oh just amazing. So needless to say my last meal in the hospital the cheese platter was amaxing, maybe hospitals should start going gourmet!

Well next thursday is another surgery so we will see how the food is then!

Untill next time...

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Its been awhile...

Well needless to say my camping trip did not end as planned, although the food was great. I ended up in a roll over utv accident where I smashed my hand up pretty good and almost lost my finger. So that is why I havent posted in a few days and yes I am typing with my left hand. I am going to break down my food expriences with different posts. So today I am going to talk about green bean cassarole! Yes one of my favorite side dishes at thanksgiving and christmas, or any big dinner event! So as we plannded the big ham dinner for the new years sand dune trip I offered to bring the green bean cassarole. Getting ready to make the cassarole I realized we forgot cream of mushroom soup, well I guess plain green beans it is... well thats what I thought but my dads creative cooking came to the rescue! This was one of the best green bean cassaroles I have ever had and will be the tradition from now on. It was so savory hint of onion and mushroom and of course the green beans.

4 cans of green beans
1 brick of cream cheese
1/2 a stick of butter
chopped mushrooms
1/2 a cup of milk
chopped green onions
crunchy onion topping
salt and pepper

In a med sized skillet saute the butter onions and mushrooms until mushroom are cooked down. Over medium heat add the cream cheese and milk to the onions and mushrooms and melt down. While the cream cheese is melting add the green beans to a baking pan, if camping I prefer to use an aluminum throw away baking pan. Once the cream cheese is melted pour over the top of the green beans. Add the crunchy topping and bake at 375 for 30-40 mins then enjoy!

Trust me you will love this recipe! 
Untill next time!