Archive for ‘recipe’

July 9, 2014

Gemelli With Sausage, Swiss Chard, and Pine Nuts, Recipe review


Tried this recipe for dinner tonight, with some tasty local red swiss chard. Omitted the pine nuts. It was delicious, and the red chard made it quite colorful as well! I’ll definitely make it again, although the kids weren’t fans of the chard and picked it all out.

June 13, 2014

Tonight’s noms: Italian tilapia


Italian tilapia, slightly modified from Wegman’s tilapia al forno recipe, over pasta, spinach and tomato sauce. This is a popular dish in our house all around, and it’s fast and easy!

We tweaked the recipe by cutting down on the oil, just using enough to barely dampen the breadcrumbs, adding basil and oregano to the breadcrumbs, and using jarred pasta sauce.

Tonight I also tried Barilla’s veggie rotini, which was devoured. Woot!

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August 4, 2013

Pot roast in the crock pot

This is my mom’s recipe… warning, you will have plenty of leftovers! The amount of vegetables will depend on the size of your crock pot.

1 3-lb chuck roast
baby carrots
red potatoes, quartered
1 packet french onion soup mix


  1. Using saute pan over medium heat on stove top, sear roast on all sides.
  2. Put roast into crock pot.
  3. Top with roughly equal amounts of baby carrots and quartered red potatoes until crock pot is nearly full.
  4. Add french onion soup mix on top.
  5. Pour in water until all carrots and potatoes are submerged.
  6. Cook on low for at least 6 hours (all day is OK).

If you want to get fancy, you can slice up a couple of yellow onions and brown them in the pan after the roast, then add to the crock pot along with the other veggies. Serve with bread for lots of sopping goodness.

February 11, 2013

Recipe review: 2 Ingredient Cookies

I often find myself looking at one or two overripe bananas on the kitchen counter, wondering why they weren’t eaten before the skins turned so black that they became unappetizing. I usually just toss them in the freezer, saying that I will make some banana bread, or banana muffins. Then I’ll go to put something in the freezer and discover I’ve stashed away enough bananas to be making bread for days.

Yesterday I found the solution to this problem! And it’s a delicious, done in 20 minutes solution. 2 ingredient cookies.


As this review says, there are a lot of these “2 ingredient” ideas floating around Pinterest right now. One of the ingredients is usually a box of cake mix. Well, call me nuts but I don’t think anything that has 30 ingredients itself should be included in a simple, healthy recipe.

These cookies, however, are two real food ingredients, ones that I always have on hand: Bananas and oats. Then some add-ins — pretty much anything you’d like.

I’ve made these twice in the past two days — they are that easy. I’m putting the whole recipe below, because you won’t believe it, but make sure to stop by the original post for more add-in ideas.


2 ingredient cookies

Two bananas
One cup oats

Mash ingredients together in a bowl. Drop by tablespoons onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.


Crazy easy. And crazy delicious.

Yesterday I added in chocolate chips (about 1/8 to 1/4 of a cup). Today I doubled the recipe and added in the following: 1/4 c raisins; 1/4 c chopped dates; couple dashes cinnamon. Then I divided the batter in half, and put about 1/8 c chocolate chips in half (for the kids) and 2 tbsps chopped walnuts in the other (for me). Leaving out the chocolate, these are even vegan-friendly.

I made my half into bigger cookies — about 5 cookies. Two made an excellent, guilt-free breakfast. I kept the kids at about a tablespoon each. Perfect for snacking or packing in lunches.

February 10, 2013

No-sugar fruit and yogurt parfaits


W’s birthday was this past Friday, and I wanted to send a snack to his preschool to celebrate, but they have a strict no sugary snacks policy. So no cupcakes, no cookies.

Luckily, they do provide a list of suggestions. One was fruit and yogurt parfaits, and here is my version.

Bottom layer: plain, non-fat yogurt.
Middle layer: plain, unsweetened applesauce.
Top layer: vegan blueberry pie filling, which is banana, dates and blueberries.
Topper: one slice banana

We served them in empty single-serve applesauce containers… That was the trickiest part! It is hard to make and transport 26 little treats. We had to find something that would fit in my cupcake carrier, and the applesauce containers worked perfectly. I put some press-n-seal over the top of each tray for security.

Here’s hoping the preschoolers enjoy the treat! W liked seeing all 26 containers set up to go to school 🙂

November 9, 2012

Recipe review: Hearty black bean soup


This is post No. 100 for this blog! Thanks for reading. I’m enjoying sharing these comments/reviews/photos with the world.

I found this Black Bean Soup recipe on Pinterest (I ❤ Pinterest for recipes), then pinned it for when I needed an easy, filling soup.

I actually made it with dry beans and converted it for the crockpot, however, so the complete recipe I used is below. This is very easy, filling, and healthy, and involves minimal actual “cooking” – my style of comfort food to a T. I used my 3.5QT crock pot, but this recipe could easily be doubled for a larger slow cooker.

We served the soup with some freshly baked bread and a few slices of lime on the side – delicious and perfect for a cold fall day.

Hearty Black Bean Soup (Slow cooker and dry beans adaptation)

  • 1.5 cups dry black beans, rinsed
  • water to cover beans
  • 2 tsp chicken or vegetable broth granules
  • 1 cup tomato salsa
  • 1-2 cups water, as needed
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • Sour cream or plain yogurt (optional)
  1. The night before you want to eat the soup, place the rinsed dried beans in the slow cooker. Add enough water to cover the beans by about an inch. Turn the slow cooker on low and leave it overnight (about eight hours).
  2. In the morning, add the salsa and broth granules. Stir to combine. If beans look dry, add another 1-2 cups water.
  3. Cook in the slow cooker for another for 3-4 hours on low.
  4. Let the soup cool slightly, then ladle half of it into a food processor or blender and puree it (or use an immersion blender, and puree in the slow cooker until the desired consistency is reached). Return the pureed soup to the pot. Stir in the lime juice and chopped cilantro and heat the mixture through. Serve the soup warm, topped with a dollop of sour cream/plain yogurt, if desired. Makes 4 servings.
November 4, 2012

Apple compote and recipe review: Apple cider pancakes


I found this recipe for Apple Cider Pancakes on Saturday morning, when I was looking for a twist on our usual weekend breakfast. Mine were a little overdone (not the recipe’s fault), and I took the worst ones, hence the slightly blackened look above 🙂

These were great – nicely spiced, definitely a fun autumn version of pancakes to try!

We topped them with a little apple compote, quick and easy. W and J made it – W did the stirring 🙂

Apple compote recipe:

2 small baking apples (we used Empires), peeled and diced
1 tbsp butter
1/4 c brown sugar

Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add diced apples. Stir and cook until the apples start to break down. Add sugar and stir. Serve warm. Makes four servings.

October 1, 2012

Experiment: Hummus and feta mini peppers

I’ve had these peppers in the fridge for a while (KG wanted them, then decided they were yucky). Tonight, I got creative.

I halved the peppers, cleaned out the seeds, filled them with hummus and topped them with feta. Then I put them under the broiler for a couple minutes.

I thought they were great… KG licked the toppings off. W rejected them out of hand. Well, it’s not like I’ll be buying more mini peppers soon anyways.

August 31, 2012

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins

I found this awesome chocolate chip zucchini bread on Pinterest, and had to try it. Of course, I had to make some adjustments as well.

Here is my modified recipe – turned it into muffins (I know, you’re shocked, but muffins are so much easier to serve to two kids in the morning than bread). The kids LOVED these. They have requested them several times since we ran out. I didn’t tell them about the squash 🙂

1 egg
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup plain non-fat yogurt
1 to 1-1/4 cups yellow squash (or zucchini), shredded
1-1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees
2. Beat together eggs, sugar, applesauce and yogurt
3. Add squash and remaining ingredients (except chocolate chips), mix well.
4. Fold in chocolate chips
5. Spray muffin tin with cooking spray.
6. Pour batter into muffin tins. I got 12 muffins from the above amounts.
7. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Nutritional Info (from SparkRecipes)
  • Servings Per Recipe: 12
  • Amount Per Serving
  • Calories: 112.1
  • Total Fat: 1.9 g
  • Cholesterol: 15.5 mg
  • Sodium: 106.7 mg
  • Total Carbs: 20.9 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 0.7 g
  • Protein: 2.8 g
May 29, 2012

Black bean enchiladas

We have been on a mission lately to find out if KG can eat beans or not. She had a couple very bad experiences as a toddler, so we had ruled out most beans from her diet. So far, she has been fine with pinto beans and kidney beans, of the beans we’ve reintroduced.

The best benefit from this mission is that we get to try out a bunch of new recipes! For example, we made half kidney, half garbanzo bean falafel last week and it was amazing.

I wanted KG to try black beans next, and as I was paging through Wegmans’ MENU magazine, I saw this recipe, and thought enchiladas would be fun. I love enchiladas and hardly ever make them, although we made them a lot growing up. But I try to eat pretty healthy most of the time, and the way we made them, although delicious and traditional, was not too healthy. However, I didn’t like this Wegman’s recipe, either – mostly because it called for some weird soup and was a whopping 510 calories per serving.

So I did some Googling and found this recipe: Southwest Black Bean and Corn Enchiladas. This was a lot closer to what I was going for. Below is my modified version. Divided into eight servings, mine came in at 285 calories, and one serving is plenty.

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1/4 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup salsa (your favorite)
  • 2 sweet potatoes, cooked (I microwaved mine for eight minutes)
  • 1/4 cup corn kernel (frozen, fresh, or canned)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • salt
  • 4 12-inch whole grain flour tortillas
  • 2 cups enchilada sauce (I used the packet kind, because that’s what we had)
  • 1/4 cup shredded mexican style cheese mix


  1. Heat oil in a pan until it shimmers.
  2. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook for about thirty seconds.
  3. Add the garlic, cumin and oregano and cook until the onions and peppers are really soft.
  4. Add the salsa, black beans, and sweet potatoes and cook until heated through.
  5. Using a potato masher, roughly mash the black beans so that some are broken and some are whole.
  6. Add the corn and cook until heated through.
  7. Spray a 9 X 13″ casserole pan with cooking spray.
  8. Spread about a 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce over the bottom of the casserole dish.
  9. Spoon the black bean mixture evenly in the center of the tortillas.
  10. Roll the tortillas up leaving the ends open, and place them seem down in the casserole dish. When I made this I got 4 pretty well stuffed tortillas and my pan was full.
  11. Pour the rest of the enchilada sauce over the enchiladas, and use more or less to suit your liking.
  12. Sprinkle cheese over top.
  13. Cooking times vary. See original recipe for more detail. I prepped everything and put it together warm, so then just baked to get the cheese melted. 350 degrees for 10 minutes did it for me.

These were great, although I failed in my original mission to get KG to eat the black beans, which she picked out. Sigh. On to the next black bean recipe – I’d welcome any ideas!

Each well-stuffed tortilla is two servings, just cut them in half down the middle of the pan.  Just had some for leftovers at lunch, and it reheated well, too!